Organize your refrigerator. Often the tipping point in a kitchen is the refrigerator. When your fridge is a mess, it’s hard to know what you have to cook, what foods might soon spoil, and what you need from the store. Wirecutter has the best fridge organization tips from Marguerite Preston, a former pastry chef, who knows how professional chefs organize a kitchen. “In restaurants, organization is important not only because it helps cooks move quickly and smoothly, but also because wasted food is wasted money,” she writes. “It’s the same at home. You might not see the effects of a chaotic fridge in a bad Yelp review or review, but they will show in the time it takes to cook dinner and the stress involved.
Watch the jellyfish. One of the best mindfulness tips I found this year was from Cord Jefferson, the TV writer who thanked his therapist on national TV when he won an Emmy. Mr. Jefferson told me he struggles with traditional meditation, but enjoys watching a web camera feed showing the jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Record the jelly-cam to your phone or laptop browser and get lost in the jellyfish for a short mindfulness break from your work day.
Do the 7-minute standing workout. All you need is a nearby wall and chair for balance. You don’t even have to change clothes. Our new workout video is an anti-friction workout for anyone who avoids exercise because it’s hard to get off the floor after a push-up, plank, or sit-ups.
Complete a one-minute task. One of my favorite health tips for managing stress is the one minute rule. It comes from Gretchen Rubin, author of “Better Than Before,” a book about forming new habits. This simple tip helps you decide what to tackle on a long to-do list. Do the one-minute tasks first. Hang a coat. Read a few emails. Clean and wipe down the kitchen counter. Put away a bookshelf. Every time you take on a one-minute task, you’ll get a sense of accomplishment and a quick boost of happiness.
Do a five finger meditation. It’s a easy way to calm down no matter where you are. (I tried it on a dentist’s chair, and it worked for me!) Start by holding your hand out in front of you, fingers spread. Using your index finger, start tracing the outline of your hand. Move your little finger up and down. Raise your ring finger and come down. As you do this, inhale as you trace up and exhale as you trace down. Continue finger by finger until you have traced your entire hand. Now reverse the process and trace from your thumb to your little finger, making sure to inhale as you trace up and exhale as you trace down. You can find more tips for beating stress in my story, “Peak Anxiety? Here are 10 ways to calm down.
Create a Sunday basket. I learned this tip from Lisa Woodruff, author of “The Paper Solution”. She suggests throwing your bills, receipts and miscellaneous papers into a basket. (She sells a product for this, but I just use a regular basket.) Once a week, sort your usable papers (those that need attention) from your archival papers (those that can be filed). The Sunday basket approach (she claims it will add an extra five hours to your week) is part of a larger system proposed by Ms Woodruff that uses three-ring binders rather than a binder. (She suggests five binders for financial information, medical needs, household references, school items, and daily operations.) For me, the Sunday basket is enough, but if you’re feeling chronically overwhelmed with paper, you can learn more at the Organize365.com website. .
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