Category: Exercises

Five by five: reboot your stress

Five by five: reboot your stress

We are all crazy busy. Yes, me too, as can be attested to the fact I haven’t posted in months. We live with stress every day and it can be a killer.

This post has been languishing in my drafts for over a year, and I finally decided to finish it and post it and pay attention to my own preaching!

Here are five five-minute activities to decrease your stress and increase your organisation. Do them every day if you can. You deserve to feel some control over this rollercoaster ride that is life. Here are five of my favourites that help me feel like I have my life together!

  1. Make a dinner planner for the week, on Sunday. If you have extra time, make a bunch of meals ahead of time. I try to prioritise lunches because they are the one thing I always struggle with making healthy choices for.
  2. Decide on your clothes for tomorrow. This saves you so much stress in the morning! It literally takes a few minutes to pick out an outfit, and lay it all out. Pick out everything, including underwear. If you are not a morning person (like me), you will be glad for the extra time saved.
  3. Do that chore. If you walk past something – dirty dishes in the sink, clothes to put away, recycling bin to empty – and a stress triggers in you (“I really should do that”), quickly assess if it’s something you can do in 5 minutes. If it is, do it straight away. If not, write it down and do it later.
  4. Plan your leisure activities. This may seem strange, but if you have lots of things you want to do, it can feel overwhelming. Planning out a leisure activity or two to do each day (during your lunch break, or after work) really helps me to feel better about my hobbies, TV and gaming. We all deserve to indulge our passions.
  5. Meditate. Yes, I know it’s cliche. But even five minutes, to reset your body and mind, will clear out the cobwebs and give you a fresh perspective. Find a quiet place, set a timer, and focus on your breathing. Let everything else go and just breathe. If you can do this every day, you’ll see results in a matter of days.

There we have it, short and sweet, and completely achievable! Now get out there and enjoy your awesome life, because it’s YOURS!

Create a CV for your personal life

Create a CV for your personal life

A CV (curriculum vitae, or résumé) is a common accompaniment to a job application. It outlines your career goals, educational qualifications, skills, experience and knowledge, and work history. Sometimes it will include references who can vouch for your capability to future employers. It’s an important document that gives an overview of your working life.

But not all our skills, knowledge and experience relate to work in a specific sense. We have many other accomplishments and achievements as well. And why shouldn’t we document and celebrate those as well? They may not ever be seen by a future employer, but they are just as important as our work achievements – perhaps more so, given we work to live, not live to work!

Having these details written down is a good reminder that we are already excellent members of the human race, and that’s something to be proud of. So next time you are feeling down about yourself, try out this exercise: create your personal life CV!

Here’s my example:

Personal Life CV

My aspiration in life is to become a published novelist, and to continue my writing into a paid career.

Skills and proficiencies

  • Experienced in pop culture with ability to make obscure references in a single bound
  • Excellent listener
  • Ability to temper honesty and compassion to provide measured advice
  • Well versed in identification of scams and fake news
  • Good singer with skills in a number of different instruments
  • Committed friend, wife and cat-mother
  • Adept at internet research for pretty much anything
  • Strong Facebook stalking abilities
  • Confident English speaker and writer
  • Basic ability in Japanese and Greek language

Life history

  • Completed high school, college and university
  • Consistently employed for adult life
  • Married with four cats
  • Homeowner
  • Well-travelled

Education and training

  • Diploma in Dream Analysis
  • Introduction to Fencing
  • Introduction to Tae-kwon do

Personal interests

Writing, gaming, gardening and Netflix. Spending quality time with my cats.


Lots of great friends who are there for me, as much as I am there for them.


And there you have it! Now it’s your turn – celebrate all that you are that makes you awesome!

Take on a timed challenge

Take on a timed challenge

You have a dream. An idea. A creation that begs to be brought into the world. It’s been there in your head for weeks, months, years. You want to try, but don’t know how to start.

How do you turn this yearning into a project? As you may know, I’ve written a novel. Right now, I’m in the throes of editing. This post covers a technique I’ve found very successful for myself. I hope it works for you too.

I’d like to introduce to the concept of timed challenges. If you work well to deadlines, and can be disciplined, a timed challenge will be perfect for you. You’ll be amazed and proud of what you can achieve if you dedicate to it.

First work out what you want to do: write a novel/poem/screenplay, record music, make a photography/graphic design/other art portfolio – it’s up to you.

Start Googling. There are plenty of these challenges out there for all sorts of creative endeavours.

Once you’ve chosen your challenge, consider what you need to do to achieve it. Talk to friends and family, tell them what you are doing and that you will be busy creating so might not be around as much. Make a plan for when you will work on your project. Commit to your project.

Here are a few suggestions to get you inspired.

Writing challenges

NaNoWriMo – November is National Novel Writing Month. Originally a US-based event, NaNoWriMo is now a world-wide phenomenon. The challenge is to write a novel of 50,000 words in one month. It’s fun and exciting, and completely achievable. “Winners” get access to discounts on writing tools and other novel-related goodies – as well as a nice banner to use on social media. I participated for the first time in 2016 and was super proud to complete my novel in the 30 days.

Camp NaNoWriMo – Runs in April and July. Not an actual camp! Much like NaNoWriMo, but instead you set your own goals. You can choose a word count, or go by pages or time. I use Camp NaNoWriMo to kick my editing into gear. Last year I did two Camps of 15 mins a day editing. This year, I’m doing 30 mins. You can opt to work alone, or be part of a cabin. Cabins are online writing groups to give you inspiration and put you in touch with like-minded writers.

31 Plays in 31 Days – If you are theatrically-minded, August is your month. The challenge is to write a play a day, with plays needing to be a minimum of one page. The site offers writing prompts and encouragement, so all you aspiring playwrights should give it a go!

Music challenges

Album a day – I’m not sure if this one is still active, but the concept is to write and record an album’s worth of songs in a single contiguous 24-hour period. No breaks! It needs to be a minimum of 20 minutes long, or 30 songs. Only work on one song at a time, and no idea prep allowed. Everything must be created from scratch on the day.

50 songs in 90 days: This one gives you a bit more time!  It operates between 4 July and 1 October every year.  Essentially you will create a song every two days. The site provides challenges and inspiration for your creative muse.

Visual art challenges

365 Project – Take a photo every day for a year, and document your life and improve your photography skills. The site is an archive of amazing photographic journeys that will inspire and motivate you. If you’d rather not upload your work to the site, create your album privately on another platform.

Animation month – Again, I don’t know if this is still happening, but if so, January is your month. This is a good one for comic artists, or those who want to play with animation. The challenge is to make 31 animations, but they don’t have to be done once a day. Go wild, just get your 31 animations done in January.

One Game a Month – For budding game developers or those who want to push themselves, the site provides monthly themes for your creations. The challenge runs indefinitely so you can dip in and out, or stick to it forever!


These are a just a few, but there are many more. Check out this helpful Wikipedia list of timed artistic challenges. If you know of others, leave me a comment!

Life administration

Life administration

With a new year just around the corner, I’d like to inspire you to feel more together. I had a pretty great year and I think at least in part that was due to getting shit done. So instead of lofty resolutions or meaningful goals, here are some completely non-aspirational suggestions for things you can do in the first few weeks of January to set yourself up for a more organised life in 2018. It’s time for Life Administration 101.

I would bet that a few of these items will have been on your mental to do list for a while now. Well, let’s make a commitment to change that. You don’t have to do everything (I’m not your mum), but they are all good and necessary things that will help you feel more organised in life.

Organise your organising

Before you do anything else, get yourself a calendar, diary or planner (or all three!) It doesn’t have to be anything flash (though I am heavily addicted to stationery so I would provide enablement if you want to go there). Once you have your chosen scheduling tool, start filling in all the events and appointments you already know about: birthdays, anniversaries, special dates, holidays, appointments, etc. You might like to liven your planner up with stickers, coloured pens or anything else that takes your fancy. By making this a fun task, you are more likely to commit to using the planner in the future. Keep it visible and look at it often, adding in new entries as they arise. You can also use it to mark down when bills need to be paid, when to call your parents, and other things you have a tendency to forget.

Look after your health

Do you have a regular dental checkup? What about an annual health check? No? 2018 is the year to change that. Your health is supremely important but so often we neglect it due to time, money, or other reasons. Not any more! Get out your planner and jump on the internet (or phone) and make a dentist appointment and a doctor check up. Probably would be a good idea to get an eye test as well!

While you are at it, this is a good time to take a look at your health insurance policy if you have one. Are you covered for everything you need? Have your circumstances changed since you took out the policy (including getting older)? If so, you may want to reduce or increase your cover. If nothing else, it’s worth doing a check every year or so against other health insurance providers to make sure you are getting good value for money.

Look after your future

It’s good to live in the present, but hopefully you (and I) will survive in good health for many long years. So it’s important to make sure you have a plan for retirement. When was the last time you thought about your superannuation? Whilst it is very complicated to the average person, superannuation is something that you should try to get a grasp on. Will you have enough to live on based on the growth of your super? If not, it might be wise to put a bit more money aside. A financial advisor can provide guidance, and your bank can usually put you in touch with someone (and it might not cost anything that way, which is a bonus!)

Look after your loved ones

The only true certainties in life are death and taxes, and while we have government to make sure we pay the latter, it’s kind of up to ourselves to sort out what happens with the former. This past year I committed to sorting out mine and my husband’s wills after letting our old ones languish for many years (like, over a decade). It really does give you peace of mind, especially if you travel (even though you are more likely to die in a car accident or slip in the shower at home – but let’s not think about that too deeply).

Having been through what happens when someone dies without a will, I can assure you the bit of time and money required to get a proper will is well spent. Ask around your friends for a recommendation, and then make a will appointment. The call takes only a few minutes, and the actual appointments are no more than an hour or two. If something happens to you, the will means your wishes are clearly detailed, and your loved ones will be saved a lot of stress in an already difficult time.

Commit to your filing

How do you manage all the paper information that arrives in your home? Do you have a series of disorganised piles, or a drawer that everything gets thrown into? Or do you have a filing system of some sort? If you do have a system, how often do you maintain it?

First let’s tackle what to do if you don’t have a system: get one. Accordion-style filing systems are cheap and don’t take up much room. Label the dividers with the kinds of paper information you want to keep, such as council rates, tax, insurance, water bills, etc. Once a month put your disorganised piles into the relevant divider in the file system. At the end of the year (financial or calendar, depending on your preference), cull out anything from the previous period (e.g. twelve months for bills, or five years for tax records). If you have a shredder, shred all this old information and use it as mulch in your garden. If you don’t have a shredder, find or borrow one because all that information is an identity thief’s dream – protect yourself!

Now the other filing area that often gets away from us is email. What does your email inbox look like? Do you have a page of actionable messages, or are you dealing with 11528 unread notifications? This can be a huge task, but you can get your email under control (I believe in you!) Set up folders much like you have for your paper filing system. Move emails into the relevant folders, flag actionable items, and (at least) every year do a cull of messages you no longer need. Also, take some time at the start of the year to revise your newsletter subscriptions. Most of what overwhelms us in email is stuff we don’t really need to see. Unsubscribe! You’ll feel much better, trust me.

Declutter, one room at a time

I find decluttering extremely cathartic. Taking a mess of chaos, and turning it neat and orderly – this gives me a huge sense of satisfaction. However, it can be very tiring – so break up your decluttering into achievable chunks. You might like to commit to decluttering just a single room each month. In your bedroom, clear out your closet and donate unwanted clothes. In the kitchen, toss out plastic containers without lids (recycle or repurpose), and compost any old food in your pantry, fridge or freezer. In the bathroom, clean the fan, and do an audit on half-used products (make a commit to use them up before you buy more). Just take it one room at a time, and keep the cycle going through the year, so you maintain control. Clutter, you will not prevail!

Make a to do list for the year

Now this isn’t a list for the daily, weekly, monthly tasks, this is the big one. This is the list of all those things you need to fix, buy, replace, organise and do, that take money, time and effort. Write them all down to give yourself some accountability, and check them off throughout the year. Leave room to add new things as they occur to you. Here’s mine:

  • Buy a new mattress
  • Get bathroom retiled
  • Buy and set up pantry organisers
  • Fix or replace toilet seat
  • Clean jewellery
  • Tidy and organise shoe cupboard
  • Scan game receipts and put in database
  • Wash car more than once a year


Got other life administration suggestions? I’d love to hear them – jot down your thoughts in the comments!

Post-holiday crash? Make an adventure board!

Post-holiday crash? Make an adventure board!

I’ve just returned from a big overseas holiday, followed by an intense weekend at my favourite gaming expo, and the first few days back to work and real life were tough. Not only was I really tired, but I experienced a crash of pervasive sadness.

Holidays are great because they take you out of your day-to-day routine and plonk you into a new environment and culture. You get to experience all manner of new sights, smells, sounds and tastes and many of your cares just drift away. You also don’t need to go to work, or make dinner, or clean the house, or feed the pets/children or any of those daily duties that life requires of us. How nice is it to have someone tidy up your room each day, and have your meals prepared for you, and even your day planned with activities.

But alas, holidays can’t last because most of us can’t afford to be perpetually on vacation, and we need to come home and unpack, and wash all those clothes, and buy some groceries, and make dinner and then lunches for work, and so on and so on…

That crash back into reality can be quite devastating and can even come before you arrive back home. The last couple of days may be fraught with thoughts of what you need to do when you get back, the old stresses about work or study begin to encroach and the funk sets in.

How can we deal with this crash after a holiday or big event?

And importantly, minimise its effects?

There is a simple trick: plan your next trip.


While you are away, start talking about where you want to go in the future. Firm up some places and make a decision on what will be the next holiday. When you get home, get to planning. Pick some dates, and do some research. If it’s going to be a fair bit of time away, plan some other smaller things to keep your excitement up. Some domestic travel, day trips around your home state, even making some social dates with friends. Start filling up your calendar with fun things to look forward to before you sink back into the daily grind.

Make an adventure board

Now it’s time to actualise those plans! Much like a vision board, the adventure board is a way to inspire and motivate you.

Print out colour pictures of the things you have planned to do this coming year, for example, photos of musicians whose concerts you have tickets to see, shots of cities or landmarks you plan to visit, images of anything that represents your adventure plans for the year.

Grab a canvas photo board or similar and display those pictures all over it. You could choose to decorate it with stickers or text.

Place your adventure board in a prominent spot, somewhere you can see it every day and be reminded of all the fun to be had.

You can do this with a Pinterest board or other electronic method, but I find that seeing a physical reminder is far more effective on one’s mood and will really boost your morale.

Don’t forget to add to your adventure board as you plan new activities.

I’d love to see your adventure boards if you make them, so take a pic and send me a tweet or Facebook post.

Happy adventures!

Dealing with a mental mid-life crisis

Dealing with a mental mid-life crisis

The mental mid-life crisis: have you experienced this? It can hit at any time in life, but is common between your 30s and 60s.

Whilst some people deal with the dawning realisation of one’s mortality by trying to recapture their youth (think, red sports car and young new partner!), others experience it wholly in their own heads.

You might have reached a milestone in your life and suddenly it feels like your time is running out, and that death is already knocking at your door but you have so many things you want to experience, you just aren’t ready! This feeling can be extremely debilitating, and it’s important to take steps to prevent it from overwhelming you.

There are things you can do. However, if you are finding yourself constantly thinking about time running out (or worse, death and dying) you may want to consider seeing a trained professional who you can talk to about this specific anxiety. They can offer you personalised help and methods for subduing the anxiety beast.

Now getting back to the ordinary, everyday mental mid-life crisis, let’s have a look at some practical steps to stop this runaway train! First things first – and I know this is one you’ve heard before  – try to be present and live in the moment as much as possible. What this means is don’t spend so much time focussed on a future that may or may not happen, when some really good stuff is happening right now and you are missing it! Life is what happens when we are busy making plans. Hug your loved ones, watch that sunset, enjoy that delicious meal – mindfully. Really feel what’s happening, and try to stay out of your own head during these good life moments.

Next I want to throw back to an earlier post about acknowledging your life accomplishments. If you are feeling the crush of time, go back to your list and remember those amazing things you’ve done. You’ve come so far! And you’ve got heaps of time ahead of you to rack up a whole bunch more achievements!

Following on from all those things you’ve done, now I want you to make a list of things you want to do. This is sometimes called a bucket list, but I think it’s nicer to call it goals and adventures list! Adventures come in all shapes and sizes, and will be personal to each individual.

Exercise: write your list

Sit down for five minutes with a blank piece of paper and your favourite pen, and just start writing. Let your consciousness throw up all the things you’ve thought would be fun to try, or places you’d like to see, things you’d like to do. It doesn’t matter how practical or achievable they are right now – these are aspirational! Write it all down.

Once you have your amazing list, you might like to organise the entries into topics such as travel, skills, projects etc. This is a good way to actualise your goals and adventures and make them feel possible and real.

Take it a step further – jot down some notes under each entry about what is needed to achieve them. Do you want to learn to play an instrument? Jot down how proficient you’d like to become, how much time you’d be able to dedicate per week, how much lessons would cost, and whether you want to buy or borrow an instrument.

What you are doing now is starting to make a life plan!

You may find that a lot of what’s on your list are things you can make significant progress towards right now – start saving for that trip, pick a weekend to build that garden shed.

Keep track of your progress, and tick things off as you complete them. Don’t forget to move them to your life accomplishments list!

Here’s a few of the things on my goals and adventures list:

  • Travel: Explore Greece and the Greek Isles (doing this year!), see Machu Picchu, visit Stonehenge and Ireland/Scotland, see the pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt, go on an African safari, see Niagara Falls and explore Canada, see the Northern Lights in Iceland!
  • Activities: go horseriding again, indoor rockclimbing again, buy a kayak and paddle the local areas.
  • Projects: publish my book, record an original song, set up a backyard bee hive, get a swim spa, plant a fruit tree orchard, make 5 Minute Reboot even better!
  • Skills: become more proficient on the guitar and the piano, get better at coding, do winged eyeliner without ruining it every time!

Look forward to the future

If you have things to learn and look forward to, life becomes exciting again instead of a terrifying march towards the end! Drop the morbid inner dialogue (I’m looking at you, self!) and replace it with taking joy in the small things, and making plans to make the big things a reality. Together we can do amazing things!

The importance of doing something

The importance of doing something

In my last post, I extolled the virtues of ‘doing nothing‘ – spending time doing things that others might think are a waste or don’t achieve anything (when actually they are are enriching activities).

To turn that on its head – because I do love to offer a range of perspectives here at 5 Minute Reboot – today, I present the importance of doing something.

As you would know, time can often feel like a chain around your neck when it comes to achieving all the things you want to do. We feel burdened by our apparent lack of time, and what little we think we have can get frittered away with the day to day requirements of life. Then it’s time to sleep and the whole cycle continues again.

I’d like to remind you that five minutes is a lot of time, depending on how you see it. You can and will accomplish a lot in those 300 seconds. Trust me!

This month I’ve been editing my novel and I’ve set a time goal of 15 minutes a day. That’s an ideal amount of time to get really stuck into a task, but if you don’t feel you can dedicate that much, stick with just five minutes to start.

What’s something you’ve been really yearning to (or feel you should) do lately? Commit to yourself to do it for just five minutes today. The key is to just start – that’s really the hardest part. Doing is easy – it’s procrastinating that makes it seem difficult! And once you’ve broken through that initial resistance, you might find your motivation takes over and you finish that task you’ve been putting off, or learn something new, or progress a personal project, or just feel like you’ve done a great job.

The important thing is to do something because if you don’t try, you’ll never accomplish anything. And the simple act of starting has this miraculous side effect of inspiring you to keep going.

Go on, give it a go. Tell me in the comments what small something you are going to do today. And then come back tomorrow and share what happened!

Dealing with setbacks: positive opposites

Dealing with setbacks: positive opposites

The heavy stuff

I’ve had plenty of setbacks in my life, as I’m sure you have too. Generally speaking, I’m a pretty positive person, and I like to see the good in any situation, but there have been times where it’s been really difficult to maintain that optimistic outlook. I lost my brother when I was in my early 20s at a time where I was only just learning who I was as an adult. Losing a close friend or family member is nothing you can really understand unless you’ve experienced it. My mother referred to it today as an almost literal tearing of the heart. That grief is so powerful it really does feel like your heart will pull itself apart; it is a thick and heavy weight like someone is pushing your chest in, and your breath just won’t come. Even though it’s been nearly 18 years, it still feels that way if I let my guard down. The grief remains ever-present, threatening to well over at any moment, but I’ve learned to keep it at bay (most of the time). Since that day, I’ve experienced other losses but that is the one that really that defined my attitude towards life.

How I deal with the ups and downs of life involves an attitude that is a mixture of plan-oriented and spontaneous. As you can imagine, this can make for an interesting inner dialogue! I am a sensitive person and I am comfortable talking openly about my emotions. Despite my losses over the course of my life, I’ve kept up a pretty good emotional resilience. But there was a period of time that really threw me a curveball. In the larger scheme of life, perhaps it shouldn’t have hit me so hard, but that’s how things sometimes go. And once you’ve had a big hit, it can take a long time to feel you have that emotional fitness back. I’m only now starting to feel like myself again.

During that time, you may find that comparatively-less traumatic setbacks can be really tough to deal with. Things like not getting that job you wanted, a relationship breakdown, projects stalling or getting caught up in red tape… these can feel overwhelming when your resilience is low. If that’s you, don’t wait until you are at rock bottom, speak up and get some help. Depression is a real risk when your defenses are down, and it’s okay to not be okay. Talk to your family, friends, doctor or psychologist. There are lots of great support services that can help. Here are just a few good Australian ones:

Okay, so that’s the heavy stuff. Now I want to talk about how to deal with those sorts of setbacks when you are doing okay (mostly). If you have a planner personality – someone who thrives off lists and following a decided path – these things can really hit you for six.

Some home truths

First things first, know this: you can’t control everything. In fact, a lot of what happens to us is completely beyond our control. Anyone who thinks otherwise is probably kidding themselves! So be kind to yourself. Do your best, and know you have given it your best shot, and if it doesn’t work out, it’s not your fault.

Next you need to listen. Really listen. Listen to your friends, your partner, your manager – hear them when they say ‘You did a great job! You gave it your best! I still think you are awesome!’ This is the time to ignore your own inner critic. Sure, it helps you be a high achiever, and work hard and aim high, but when your plans don’t go your way, it can be an absolute confidence killer. In this case, tell it to shut up.

When life gives you lemons…

Get some tequila!

Don’t let these setbacks define you. See them as an opportunity: an opportunity for something you may not have considered or expected.

Take those setbacks and turn them into positive opposites! Didn’t get that job? Something else will come up (maybe it would’ve been an awful place to work!) Girlfriend broke up with you? She wasn’t the right one for you anyway (horrible taste in music!) Home renovation project has been delayed again? Oh well, don’t need to pay that deposit yet!

Maybe these seem a bit cliché and trite, but the more you can teach yourself to do this, the easier it will become to deal with setbacks of this nature. I challenge you to give it a go next time something doesn’t go to plan. Instead of getting caught up in a whirlwind of negativity, try this five minute reboot:

  • Take a minute or two to feel and acknowledge your annoyance (or sadness, anger, other emotion). It’s okay to cry, or yell, or scream internally
  • Take a long breath in, and let it out slowly
  • Now spend another minute or two to look for some kind of positive opposite to the situation (no matter how much of a stretch it might seem!)
  • Write it down or say it out loud
  • Now try a five by five exercise to reinforce that positive feeling

Tell me in the comments if this technique works for you! It does for me – I missed out on a job this week that I really wanted, and while I was sad initially, I took on board the feedback I was given, and then thought that perhaps I’m where I need to be right now. Opportunity presents in odd ways, and it’s important to being open to that – even if in this instance,  it means an opportunity to stay where I am now. Positive opposite!

Five by five: Reboot your mood

Five by five: Reboot your mood

We’ve all been there – maybe you are there right now. You’ve been in a funk for days, and life just seems dull and grey. Your motivation is way down, and it’s a struggle to even watch TV. Does this sound familiar?

It can be tough to lift that cloud, but there are some simple things you can do for an instant mood reboot. You only need five minutes. Try these out – do one, two or all five!

1. Take a quick stroll

When I’ve been sitting around feeling sorry for myself, it’s an instant mood lifter to get out of the house and get moving. Start with five minutes and see where it takes you. This isn’t an exercise regime, this is about a change of scenery. So if you are feeling down, put on your walking shoes and hit the footpath. Even if you hate exercise, you’ll have to agree, a five minute walk will feel pretty good. You can even do more than five minutes if you are up to it.

2. Make a salad

Do you eat your five serves of vegies a day? I usually don’t, but I’ve started including a basic salad with most of my lunches or dinners. I don’t love it, but it only takes a few minutes to make, and I know it’s doing me good. I will never be satisfied by replacing meals with salad, but this way I’m adding goodness in to what I eat. If you really hate salad, combine it with number 3!

3. Have a coffee (or tea or hot chocolate)

A warm beverage is balm for the soul. If you don’t like warm beverages, we can’t be friends (just kidding, I’ll still love you husband). A warm beverage will also make your salad less eurgh! If you want some extra bonus mood points, have your hot drink somewhere you wouldn’t usually, such as outside in the garden.

4. Bond with your pet

If you are fortunate enough to have a pet or four in your life, take five minutes and go and snug with them. They love us and want to hang out with us, and let’s be honest, we sometimes take our furbubs for granted. Brush them, play with them, and generally remind them you love them. The happy purr or bark in return can’t help but make you smile. Repeat every day forever!

5. Play some music

I often forget how good music makes me feel. I can go days without listening to something and when I finally do make an effort, I’m always uplifted. So turn on your music device and listen to a couple of (preferably upbeat) songs. Add some crazy dancing for an extra lift. This one is especially good if no one is there to make you feel silly! Music is life.

Did any of these help your mood? Post in the comments and let me know what works for you!

Exercise: your life accomplishments

Exercise: your life accomplishments

What even is life?

So you are about to hit a milestone age and this has you questioning everything: What have I done in my life? Why haven’t I made it? What will be my legacy? Will my life mean anything?

These are normal feelings and questions as you transition from one point in life to the next. They can hit you at any stage, not just at the big 30, 40, or 50.

If you let yourself wallow too long, you can begin to feel like there is nowhere to turn. But that’s just your mind playing tricks on you. You’ve lived probably a few decades by now. That’s a lot of time. You’ve done amazing things.

If you are feeling like life is speeding by and you haven’t done anything yet, and you are running out of time – take five minutes from your panic, and do this exercise. Do it right now.

You will need:

  • Pen and paper or a blank document and keyboard (or use my template [Word 22Kb])
  • Your brain, for a nostalgic trip down memory lane
  • Possibly a box of tissues, you never know

Exercise: recording your accomplishments

Think back to your life up to this point. What are some things you’ve done that you look back on fondly? What are your proud of? What happened to make you the person you are today? Let’s write them down.

There’s no set criteria here – it should be personal and meaningful to you. What might be important and life-changing to one person, might be ordinary to someone else. That’s okay. This is for you, not anyone else.

At the end of five minutes – or longer if you are on a roll – look back over your list and you’ll see just how awesome your life is already!

If you are struggling to think of things you’ve achieved, instead think of things you are glad have happened to you – and maybe that will help you shift your thinking.

Print out your list and put it somewhere safe. When you are feeling stuck, take it out and have a read through. Maybe you have some new accomplishments to add to it!

My list

Here are a few of mine (in no particular order):

  • Performed music live, on the radio, online, and on TV as both a soloist or in a band – and won a few karaoke competitions too!
  • Travelled to a few different countries, including at least one non-English speaking one – which broadened my horizons and my mind
  • Taught myself HTML from scratch in the late 90s, and taught others online – I became an internet pioneer!
  • Learned a few phrases of different languages – enough to get by at least!
  • Graduated university as a mature-age student – I have a Bachelor of Arts in Internet Communications
  • Married my amazing husband – and picked up some awesome extra family as well (I love you guys!)
  • Survived the death of my brother when I was in my early 20s – grief can teach you many things about life
  • Adopted and loved many wonderful catties – enriching my life every day!
  • Bought my perfect house – but always working on improvements!
  • Discovered my green thumb – and have enjoyed the fruits (and vegetables) of my labour!
  • Been consistently employed since leaving college – in a range of roles that have given me a wide amount of experience, and the chance to make lasting friendships
  • Made friends with people the world over – many of which have left an indelible mark on my soul (my Faery!)
  • Started writing a book – and now I’m writing about writing the book too!

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helped you shift your perspective a little. Feel free to share some of your life highlights in the comments if you are brave. Life is wonderful!

See you next time!