Amber Little

Big Business Blog: a guide to work, life and happiness

Organize the stress away May 2, 2011

Filed under: Healthy Living Tips — Amber Little @ 10:49 pm
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Being unorganized is one of leading causes of stress.  Think about it: how does it make you feel when you are rushing out the door only to realize that you have absolutely no idea where the car keys are?  Or, you know that you have bills, and you recall seeing them at one point…however the odds of locating said bills are slim to none.  At work, you vividly remember taking notes in an important meeting, however it’s anyone’s guess where that notebook went.  That goes for your to-do list as well.  GOOD GRAVY.  Not making organization a priority in your life will create a vicious cycle of stress.

People who are very organized may wonder how in the world others can function in such a way.  And while many unorganized folks may claim that there is a method to their madness, the truth is that it usually does more harm than good.  Disorganization is a leading cause of of continuous struggle and frustration for many people in their lives.   They aren’t running the show…their stuff is.  However, when you are organized, you will naturally be more motivated and energized…things won’t seem so overwhelming. Eliminating needless clutter will instantly make you feel better.  And while it’s tempting to start a huge project, take it easy there killer.   The key is to tackle once space at at time as to not overwhelm yourself.  This could be as small as organizing that junk drawer, because let’s face it- a junk drawer holds anything but junk. How else are you gonna find the twisty ties for the bread or that light bulb for the fridge?!?

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Your Best Asset April 23, 2011

Filed under: Healthy Living Tips — Amber Little @ 5:40 pm
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Your mind is the most powerful tool you will ever have, and will play a crucial role during your whole life…your mind’s health will determine your happiness, health, memory level, work performance, quality of life, number of healthy relationships and success.   Pretty big deal!  Just like our bodies, we need to keep our thinkers healthy to keep us in top notch.  Lucky for us, it’s much easier to exercise our brains than it is to stay on a  damn stair stepper for more than 10 minutes.  Try one of these tips to be the best you that you can be.

Sleep on it.  Depriving yourself of sleep is a sure fire way to make your brain fuzzy.   Your ability to solve problems and think critically are severely compromised when you are sleepy.

Laugh your ass off.  We’ve all heard the old saying that laughter is the best medicine, and that goes for your brain too.  Certain emotional responses target only select areas of the brain, but laughter targets multiple areas.  So go on, laugh at yourself, laugh with others, and remember to surround yourself with positive nice people and things.

Load up on brain-boosting foods.  Just like we need to fuel our bodies, we also need to fuel our minds.  Colorful fruits and veggies are the way to go…they are packed with antioxidants that protect our precious brain cells.  Also, omega-3s are great brain boosters.  Some great superfoods are blueberries, spinach, broccoli, arugula, walnuts, almonds, watermelon, apricots, cantaloupe, mangoes and freshwater “fatty” fish (salmon, trout, tuna, halibut, mackerel, sardines and herring).

Avoid saturated fats.  While it’s very important to get the right foods, it’s just as important to steer clear of bad ones.  Saturated fats are the main culprits of dementia, decreased concentration abilities and memory loss.  The main sources of saturated fats are animal products: red meat, milk, cheese and ice cream.  DAMMIT.

Drink your wine.  Now I know, too much alcohol will kill brain cells.  And while that can be fun from time to time, moderation is key.  A glass of red wine everyday can improve blood flow to the brain and reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.  That’s the best news I’ve heard all day, yippee!!!!

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The importance of vacation for all us little worker bees April 22, 2011

Filed under: Healthy Living Tips — Amber Little @ 1:48 pm
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Vacation time is just plain lovely…there’s no ifs ands or buts about it.  However, it can be quite hard to convince ourselves that it is okay to take some time off once in awhile, because let’s face it:  we have a full plate at work, perhaps schoolwork to deal with, and all of life’s other little tasks that make taking a few days off seem unrealistic.  But the truth is, taking some time for vacation can do wonders for your well being.  Vacations are like a gift that keep on giving…they relieve stress in meaningful and lasting ways.  Even the act of looking forward to a planned vacation can make our days happier.  Getting away from the daily grind is reason enough to get away, but you can also strengthen bonds with family and friends and build memories that will last a lifetime.  Vacations can also keep you healthy.  We all need time to recharge our batteries, and sometimes a two-day weekend just simply won’t do…you know it and I know it, Sundays don’t even count.  All we are really doing is thinking about how we have to go back to work the next day.  Ho, HUM.  Plus, workers that take regular vacations are far less likely to experience any kind of real burnout.  The psychological benefits of taking frequent vacations can dramatically improve the quality of life, which can lead to increased quality of work.  More and more companies are encouraging employees to take their vacations, rather than sell back their time…and they’ve got it right, because that’s what it is there for!

Bottom line is, vacations can dramatically improve our happiness, quality of life and quality of work.  Why not make some plans for a nice little get away? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, perhaps just a nice long weekend with your four-legged soulmate and family.  Where are you going for your next vacation?

 

Boost your creativity April 17, 2011

Filed under: Healthy Living Tips — Amber Little @ 7:51 pm
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Do you ever find yourself dreadfully stuck in a rut…you just can’t seem to think of new ideas that could improve your work and home life?  It’s always rewarding and exciting to think of ways to improve yourself, so it can be pretty frustrating to merely go through the motions of your day, not keeping your eye on the big picture.  Just the thought of trying to think of positive changes leaves you wanting a nap.  Everyone goes through this from time to time, and we all need a little help recharging our thinking caps.  Next time you feel like the wheel is turnin but the hamster is dead, try one of these tips to get those creative juices flowing again:

Go for a walk.  Walks are a great way to get out of the stuffy office or home and clear your thoughts.  It feels good to get out and about, and walking will leave you feeling refreshed and with a more positive perspective on things.

Read!  Reading books and articles can jump start your noggin.  Read as much as you can about as many things possible.  You will be amazed how many ideas pop pop into your head when you constantly learn new things.

Don’t get stuck in a box.  Always thinking inside the box leaves us doing things the same old way over and over.  Remind yourself that there are always multiple solutions to any problem.

Set some time aside each day to think.  Find a quite place,  and just let your mind wander.  (walks are great for this!)

Play!  Games that force us to think are a great way to keep our brain in shape.  Next time you get a chance, release that inner kid.  Some of my favorites are Mind Trap, Worst Cast Scenario, Trivial Pursuit and Sudoku.

Avoid all of those distractions.  And by distractions I mean TV and Facebook.  I swear, if you make a habbit of logging onto facebook everyday, you are making a habbit of losing hours of your life…it just leaves your brain drained.  Same with TV.   (Except for Modern Family, The Office, TLC and the Discovery Channel.  Those don’t apply of course).

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Build up that self confidence April 16, 2011

Filed under: Healthy Living Tips — Amber Little @ 2:58 pm
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Self confidence is a key ingredient of  happiness and success. A lot of people may think that self confidence comes naturally, and if you don’t have it, you just don’t have it.  Well, I’m here to tell you otherwise.  While there are always a few lucky ones that are just born with natural confidence brimming from their little souls, the rest of us need to work on it every now and then.  The good news is that building up your confidence does not require too much effort, and it’s definitely worth the work.  Here are a few easy ways to boost that confidence on days when you are feeling a little less than liony.

Try something different.  If you are feeling a little ho hum and not feeling great about yourself, try and mix it up.  Do something different one day…join the gym, join a book club, go to the beach.  It will definitely brighten your day and give you something to look forward to doing again.

Be yourself.  I always get down when I try and pretend that I’m something I’m not.  It sounds a little corny, but be yourself.  Be weird, be goofy, be klutzy…be whatever it is you are.  It will leave you feeling much better than trying to cover up the true awesome you.

Reach out and socialize.  Sometimes we simply need a friend to talk to.  We are social beings, and if we are feeling down and out, it rarely does us much good to stay in and try and deal with it ourselves.  Talk to a friend, sibling, significant other…and try and get out of the house.  You don’t have to spill your soul if you don’t want to, but just the act of socializing will make your day a little brighter and boost your confidence.

Look your best.  If you are having a tough time, I find an easy way to boost your confidence is to dress up.  Ladies, make yourselves pretty!  Boys, make yourselves pretty too.

Tell yourself you are AWESOME.  This could even involve wearing a shirt that states you are awesome.  Even though you are having a tough day, the truth is you ROCK.  So don’t forget to remind yourself.

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How to avoid the Office Plague April 11, 2011

Filed under: Healthy Living Tips — Amber Little @ 8:57 pm
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Being sick sucks. It’s one thing to be a little sick and catch up on all the wonderful cheesy daytime tv, however actually being full on sick is quite another thing.  The last two weeks I’ve been sicker than a dog (no offense Max).  The Dr says it’s a nasty cold, however I’m convinced it is some medieval plague-like disease.  And can you guess where I probably caught this virus of black death?  Work!  Damn you work.  The fact is, we need to always make healthy cleanliness habits a priority at work so we can stop wasting sick days on being sick.  I know that’s what they are there for, but seriously.  Sick days should be spent skiing.

Here are a few good ways to avoid the bubonic plague (or COLD.  Whatever DOC, I want a second opinion)

Make sure your keyboard and phone are always clean. Think about it, anyone could come along and  and touch your phone and keyboard with their germy hands.  I thought wiping down my stuff once or twice a week was good enough, but it should really be once or twice a day.

Wash your hands.  And wash them a lot.  And then wash them one more time.

Open the windows. If you are lucky enough to work in an office that has windows that open, take advantage.  Typically, offices have a heavy reliance on circulated air.  This can spread germs faster than human contact.

Use a paper towel on door knobs. Especially in the bathroom.  Gross.

Get a full night’s sleep. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t get my beauty rest, I usually end up sick. And also closely resembling Medusa.

Stay Hydrated. Keep a water bottle at your desk and fill it up as much as you can.

Avoid shaking hands.  I know this might rub people the wrong way, but I always try to get around it.  It’s just plain germy when you think about it.  Seriously, who’s idea was that anyways?  It’s just a step up from dogs sniffin butts at the dog park.

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To routine or not to routine? April 9, 2011

Filed under: Healthy Living Tips — Amber Little @ 1:19 pm
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Are you a fan of routines?  The truth is, a lot of people may think that routines can take the pizzazz out of life.  We naturally may tend to avoid routines to feel a little more sprightly and alive, because let’s face it: sometimes routines can give you tunnel vision, dull your senses, and make your life seem a little ho hum.  However on the flip side, routines actually have a lot of positive points.  They can help you focus on your goals, keep your appointments straight, and maintain control over your life.  They can also help you to relax, tackle complex issues, and increase your self confidence…and of course it’s always fun to break your routine once in awhile.

The good news is that little to no effort is required to establish a routine in your life.  This week, why not try and add a simple routine to your day?  This could be as simple as waking up a bit early to make yourself some coffee and breakfast, watch the news, take your dog for a walk…you know, give yourself some time to start the day without rushing out the door like a madman on fire.  Why not give it a try?

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