Take 30

I have been remiss in posting to this thread. However, I have not been remiss in taking ‘Windows of Time’ to stop and enjoy myself. Here is a list of 10 things I’ve discovered ( all less than 30 minutes) that help me relax, slow down, spend time with the fam and be more healthy.

1. The 10 Minute Solution workout DVD series. I received the Fat Blasting Dance Mix and Rapid Results Pilates DVDs for Christmas. Each DVD has five 10 minute workouts targeting different things. You can just do one or you can use the DVD to string them together in any order if you want to do more. Hubby even tried these and liked them. Kids would enjoy the Dance Mix. Even if you don’t feel well, the stretching section on the Pilates DVD is wonderful. It really helps release tension in my back after sitting at work all day.

2. I walk with Hubby to the coffee shop and take the bus from there on weekday mornings. This adds 20 minutes to my morning routine, but wakes me up gently with a brisk walk. It is also a nice time to chat with Hubby. I’ve read many articles reporting that the average American couple only gets 15 minutes to chat a day. Hubby and I have already beat the average by the time we get to work. I also feel more relaxed when I get to work, because I had a slower, stress-free start to the day.

3. Write or draw something. I post to this blog. I often spend more than 10 minutes a day, but even just writing a quick poem or doing a quick sketch helps ease my mind. Write or draw about something you are worried about or something that is on your mind. Maybe send a friend an email or written letter – it really is therapeutic.

4. Learn a language. Hubby and I have been talking about going to Portugal for a few years now. This year, I bought Hubby the Pimsleur Euorpean Portuguese Interactive Lessons CD. Each lesson is only 30 minutes and today we started our “a lesson on Sunday mornings” plan. Not only is this something the entire family can do (the cats are really good at rolling their “r’s”), it is supposed to be a good Alzheimer’s-fighting brain building exercise.

5. Learn and play a musical instrument. I progress pretty well if I practice banjo just 20 mintues a day. I take a 30 minute lesson once a week. Get the whole family involved and you have a band!

6. Pull out that crockpot on Sundays and make a meal that will last a few nights. Making a crockpot meal only takes about 30 minutes “hands on” time and then you have a nice sit down dinner for the fam on busy Monday night. I made pot roast, pork tenderloin, and black beans and rice recently. All of these crockpot left-overs can be used in different ways for multiple nights (one night I stuffed bell peppers with the beans and rice, smothered them with cheese, baked about 10 minutes in the oven, deeeelicious!).

7. Get a Playstation 2 and play DDR, Taiko Drum Master, or Guitar Hero. Yes, you snobs, these are video games but they are interactive. You won’t get brainwashed into shooting up the neighborhood by these games. (geesh) You can work-up a sweat doing them. You will laugh a lot when you play them. Your kids will love playing them with you (so will your in-laws, siblings, and grand-parents). The only trouble is, it is hard to keep to just 10 minutes – though I can’t physically do more than an hour DDR without completely collapsing! For some non-physical but waaaaay hilarious, bizarre, and non-traditional fun try Katamari or Rayman – Ravin’ Rabbids.

8. Put on a song that makes you feel good, crank it up, and dance baby dance! Suggested songs are “I’m so Glad” by Cream, or “I can see for Miles and Miles” by The Who (both of these require super loud singing along). Anything by System of the Down rocks my world. “Mach 5″ by Presidents of the United States of America, “I Wanna be Sedated” by the Ramones. My cats love this! They start tearing around the house. I suspect kids will do the same thing!

9. Set up an obstacle course for your cats (or dog, or kid, or ferret….whatever is around). My cats are indoors cats because I live on a super main thoroughfare and I prefer 3-dimensional cats over the mushed variety. I noticed that whenever something is moved out of place, like furniture, or their toy basket, or if a new box is plunked in the middle of the floor, they go crazy. Just putting a kitchen chair in the living room incited an all out play-war between the two cats (one on the chair, the other underneath the chair). Making tunnels out of newspapers and boxes is also a favorite.

10. Sit in a sauna! If you join a gym, make sure it has a sauna. This makes me feel so good. I can’t really describe it other than I am warm, and it smells like the woods at Lake Tahoe, and it makes my head clear (literally and figuratively). If you don’t belong to a gym, take more than 30 minutes and treat yourself to a sauna at a place like Löyly where you can lounge around for up to three hours for a $20 entry fee. (Often your local YMCA will have a sauna and a cheaper day fee.) If you want to do something cheap at home, lay on your bed and cover your face with a steaming hot cloth for a few minutes. Then put Earth Therapeutics Recover-E Cucumber eye pads over your eyes. It feels pretty good, only takes 10 minutes, and it does help the puffiness under my eyes go down temporarily.

One Response to “Take 30”

  1. hubby says:

    Re: #6…. not only does cooking a crockpot meal only take ~30 minutes, it probably saves you 30 minutes per day when you just heat up leftovers rather than cook meals on subsequent nights.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.