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10 Life Lessons That Were Reinforced Because of Hurricane Irma

  1. Be Patient

Waiting sucks! Over the years I have learned that patience is not easy, and I have tried to become increasingly more patient as I have matured. But this is not always easy. As I waited for Hurricane Irma’s arrival, I felt myself ruminating and creating scenarios in my mind that did nothing but stir up anxiety within me. I teach my clients “worry when it’s time to worry” and I found myself repeatedly stopping and saying to myself “worry when it’s time to worry.”

 

  1. Humor Works

I also was reminded while waiting for Irma that there are very few things in my control in this world. Hurricanes, and the path it chooses to take, are one of those things I can’t control. So, I found myself working hard to control the one thing that I could, my attitude. Since I could control my attitude, I used humor to make me laugh in a time of uncertainty. I found myself spending hours looking at memes about Hurricane Irma sharing with family and friends who also laughed with me. While the situation itself was the furthest thing from funny, taking my mind down a path where I could find a smile was much easier to manage than something I could not control (the path of a hurricane). Normally, I would say spending hours looking at memes is a complete waste of time, but in this situation, where the entire state was shutting down and evacuating in tragedy, me trying to focus on work was not about to happen. Instead, I used humor to minimize anxiety and nerves for a moment in time.

 

  1. Be a Minimalist

More, more, more is our way of life. But when you are told to evacuate your home, suddenly you need nothing. I looked around my beautiful home and couldn’t even fill one full suitcase.  Ask my husband, if we go to a hotel for one overnight stay I have three pieces of luggage! Now, someone tells me my house is going to blow away and I need to leave the state immediately and I can’t even fill one suitcase? Why? I realized that when it comes down to it, you need nothing but family pictures, yoga pants and your stuffed animal from when you were a kid. You only need the few things that comfort you, nothing else matters in the end.

 

  1. Things are Replaceable

A home, a car, a boat, a mansion, a race car, a yacht. Mother Nature doesn’t care. You can work a lifetime for it and when she is ready, she can take it all from you in one fell swoop. Gone. The theme of Hurricane Irma, everyone kept saying, save yourself and your family, things can be replaced, people cannot. This is 100% true. When it boils down to it, what mattered most to me? My favorite dining room table or my kids? My 30K car or my husband? Of course my kids and husband. I need to keep that in perspective when I am “too busy” to give them time throughout the weeks and years ahead. In the end, they matter most and everything else is replaceable.

  1. Visualize

One of the scariest things about Hurricane Irma for me down here in Tampa, Florida is that her wrath came in the dark. It was 10:53 pm and I was sitting in the middle of a monster storm. The wind was so loud all around the home I was in, but yet I was somehow untouched. I went to open the curtain to see the destruction and what I was hearing, but it was so black out I couldn’t see anything. Was a tree starting to fall toward the house? I had no clue. At this point I was reminded of the power of visualizing. When you can see things, they become less scary and clearer to you. If you visualize your goals and dreams the path will be less scary and clearer to you.

 

  1. You Better Have an Emergency Account

As I sat and thought about the power of Hurricane Irma and her potential for destruction over the city I live in, I was glad that we had saved as a family for unforeseen emergencies. I thought about the rebuild process and how services I offer, and so many other small businesses here offer, would no longer be a priority in society’s eyes right away. Rightfully so of course, but student loans and mortgage companies, they still want their payments. Life once again reinforced to me that there is a real importance in saving, because when life happens to you, life around you still goes on and that costs money.

 

  1. Anxiety is Draining as All Hell

The entire journey of Hurricane Irma was a rollercoaster of emotions. The ups and downs were draining. But when the storm ended, my body had time to catch up and reflect on the journey and stop living in adrenaline mode. Somehow I was living in BOTH fight and flight mode with Irma. I was exhausted. I went to bed at 5:30 pm the night she left Tampa Bay and slept until 6am the next day. Looking back, if I would have worked even harder to “worry when it was time to worry” perhaps I would not have had as much anxiety and thus exhaustion.

 

  1. There is No Place Like Home

This has got to be one of the truest movie lines of all time. When I was told to evacuate my home, I loved and appreciated my home even more than I already do, and let me tell you, I LOVE my home.  Not sleeping in my home, not knowing if my home was being leveled, this made me miss and be grateful for my home more than ever. Seeing my home after the storm, still standing, was an incredible feeling. Sleeping in my own bed and not at a shelter, friend’s home or out of state was an amazing feeling. I was in my home. More than ever I want to take part in the rebuilding process of people who lose their homes during a natural disaster, because there really is, no place like home.

 

  1. Positive Vibes and Prayers Work

Whether you believe in God, positive energy or something, anything, bigger than yourself, you’re right. Irma reminded me that there is something much bigger than us out there. For Tampa, I hope our eyes have been opened or at least we all question the universe more. With a couple hours to spare, what could have hit us as a high category 3 hurricane was downgraded to hit us at a category 1. With 60-120 minutes to spare Hurricane Irma shifted inland taking the eastern wall away from the ocean waters so that the wind ended up pulling water away from the shore. It literally appeared as if we had a reverse tide! For me, something bigger than myself plus the energy of the entire country sending us positive vibes and prayers clearly worked.

 

  1. The sun will shine again

The storm was mostly gone around 930 a.m. on 9/11 here in Tampa. At 10:01 am the blue sky and beams of sun came out over my home. This deadly monster of a storm whizzed by us and moments later the sun shone as if nothing ever happened. But this showed me that life goes on. That you have to rebuild, be humbled every once and while and begin again. Hurricane Irma showed me that tough times are inevitable, but the sun will always shine again.

 

 

Thank you for allowing me to share my personal reflection of Hurricane Irma with you. This event was eye opening to both myself and family in so many ways. For those of you that were impacted by the Irma’s power, my heart, positive vibes and prayers are with you. I hope that you and your family are safe and that you are somehow stronger than you were just days ago.

 

Very Respectfully

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5 Ways To Balance Life & Social Media

Millions of people use social media on a daily basis. There are a lot of advantages to social media. Social media can platform your business, help you to keep up with friends and family and even give support during challenging times. But with those advantages, come disadvantages. Just as with most things in life, you need to balance the pros with the cons.

Here are 5 ways you can better balance life and social media:

Don’t Compare

We have all done it. We look at all the amazing pictures of people on social media and wonder, what are they doing that I am not? In some fashion, we all have felt that feeling for a moment. But, what is important to realize is that what you are seeing is just a moment in time on social media for that person. I call it the highlight reel. You are seeing a bunch of the best clips of people’s lives. What is dangerous about this highlight reel is that you are comparing a bunch of people’s best moments to your entire life. This can decrease confidence and be very discouraging.

The Fix

When you are scrolling through social media, get real. Understand that every single person that you are viewing has faced trials and tribulations. Cut the ruminating during and after your time on social media and accept that you saw a moment in time for someone, and recognize you can’t realistically compare their one moment in time to your entire life.

 

Limit Your Time

Your time on social media can add up quickly. Five minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch and 20 minutes at night; that adds up. What if you took 30 of those 40 minutes back? Could you get that run in? Could you read a chapter in a book? Would an extra 210 minutes a week help you work toward that goal? By limiting your social media time you increase the ability to get some time back in your day to help you achieve bigger goals.

The Fix

Start by becoming more aware of your social media time. Be honest and track how many minutes you spend on social media. Then, cut that time in half and take the time you get back to do something healthy for your mind or body. If you feel you can’t get away from social media because you need to make posts for your business. Take time to look into programs where you enter in your social media for the week or month and it automatically releases it for you each day. This will keep you off social media, where you may blend doing business with checking your personal profile.

 

Avoid Distractions

Social media can be a distraction. While in the middle of a project you get a pop up on your phone that says “John Doe just followed you.” This two second distraction soon becomes 20 as you look at John’s Page, thank him for following you and then scroll through Twitter.

The Fix

When you are working on a project, be sure all social media tabs on your computer are closed. Do not enable push notifications on your phone for social media. Research shows it takes 15 minutes to get into flow (or the zone). When you are interrupted, it takes that much time to get back into the zone. Don’t waste your time, avoid distractions and use social media as a reward for getting work done.

 

Don’t Worry About Being “Liked”

Some people use “likes” on social media as way to boost confidence and get approval. While it is okay to want people to like your posts, be sure of two things: First, that you do not post out content and then hover over your social media to see every single like that comes in. That is a waste of your time and energy. Second, that you are not posting a picture or content to feel personally validated. Be sure that you are happy and approved with yourself, don’t give that control out to others.

The Fix

If you are that person that hovers over social media to see every like that comes in, instead, make a posting and put a time limit to checking your social media. Post your content and then check your social media 30 minutes later. Go work on a goal or task and then as a reward check your social media status. If you post to gain acceptance from others, complete an honest self-check of all sectors of your life and make sure that you are content with where you are in those areas of life. If you feel off in one or more of those areas, take the time you spend on social media and instead channel it into improving the area in your life that you feel needs some working on.

 

Put Your Main Life Roles First

The goal here is to be sure that you have given quality time and attention to those people (including you) you love and care for before you give your time to social media. For example, the parents who use social media at the dinner table may be missing opportunities to ask their children about their day. Or, when you are on social media and around your partner, you may miss opportunities to touch or learn more about each other. And, when it comes to you, if you are on a walk alone and flipping through your social media, you may miss an amazing idea that your mind has. Alone time is a great time for self-reflection and the generation of new and potentially successful ideas.

The Fix

During important moments put your phone away. If you want to take photos on your phone, only use the phone for taking photos. Make the commitment to yourself that you will not swipe the push notifications or post the photo you just took onto social media. Be present and in the moment. You can always post the photos you take later on. When you are alone with yourself, set the phone aside for at least the first 15 minutes and take time to reflect.

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5 Mid-Day Routines to Help You Reset & Get on Track

 

We often hear of routines to help you have better mornings; a way to start your day off on the right foot. Mornings are extremely important and play a major role in your day. There are so many benefits in starting your mornings off with being grateful, having a plan, eating breakfast, drinking water, stretching, etc. However, starting your day off on the right track and keeping it there is just as important.

Here are 5 mid-day routines to help you reset and get on track when the afternoon slump attempts an attack.

1.Take a Clarity Break

 

Sometimes, sitting in the same environment, hour after hour can make us feel delirious and cyclical. Our eyes need a break, our legs need a stretch and we need an overall different perspective for a moment.  To be a better you, better employee or leader, you may need to step away.

 

The Fix

Take a clarity break. A clarity break is just a break that allows you to step away from your environment to gain a new perspective. Some clarity breaks do need to be longer than others, but mid-day, you may not have too much time. Instead, take a mini clarity break and walk away for 15 minutes.  The clarity break needs to be out of the office or work space you have been in. Take this time to go for a walk outside. Use this break to look at nature, be solution oriented and visualize the stress or problems releasing from you.

2. Reexamine goals

 

While we may start off our day with goals in mind, it is easy to let the hecticness and distractions veer us off track. Knowing we are off track can make us feel unproductive, overwhelmed, stressed and all over the place.

 

The Fix

Reset yourself mid-day by checking your to-do list or schedule. Create a habit of not letting the day slip you by without checking your planner. When you feel all over the place, stop for a moment and check your planner to see what your goals were for that day. Have you lost focus? If so, don’t get discouraged, just get back on track. Put the distractions that you can aside, or the new to-do’s on another day’s agenda and stay focused on your tasks for that day. Sticking to your schedule can increase your confidence and feelings of accomplishment.

3. Eat a Snack

Glucose is brain fuel. Your brain is a very energy needy organ and if you want it to work well, you need to fuel it. When the day passes by and you haven’t eaten, you might get grumpy, become “on edge,” “irritated” or get a headache. To reset, you might need some food.

 

The Fix

Eat. Grab a snack and eat. At work, have handy foods around you that increase your memory and focus like avocado, nuts, blueberries, celery and, lucky you, dark chocolate (Disclaimer: in moderation!). We are all very busy nowadays, but that should not be an excuse to not fuel your body and mind, especially if you want your brain to work effectively and top notch so you are successful.

4. Get Inspired

 

As the day goes on, things change, distractions pop up, the afternoon slump sets in and you just might need a double dose of motivation to keep going. Especially if you have half the work day left, kids to help complete homework and dinner to make; not to mention that the calendar is showing it is only Tuesday. To reset, you may need a quick boost in motivation.

 

The Fix

Get inspired. While you can’t always change your immediate situation, you can change your perspective. Take time during your mid-day to look at inspiring quotes, pictures and even visualize your goals coming to fruition. This is not the time to get on social media and check out the “fabulous” lives of everyone and self-pity, but rather to be inspired by what you have and where you desire to grow and be. I encourage you to surround yourself and your work space with things/pictures that are upbeat, colorful and goal focused. Then, at mid-day, take time to reflect and look around at your space. If you have a vision board, your work space is a great place to put it up and take time each day to reflect on it.

5. Take Deep Breathes

 

With the fast pace of our society, we sometimes forget to breathe. Yes, we are breathing, but we fail to stop and just take a deep breathe to center and be present.  Failing to just stop and deep breathe can keep us in a go-go, rush-rush and somewhat impulsive mode.

 

The Fix

Take deep breathes. Taking several deep breathes at mid-day can help you to feel more calm and neutralize stress. Make deep breathing at mid-day a habit, even on non-stressful days. Deep breathing can bring mental clarity, re-center you from distractions and help you to be more present.

 


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