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Archive for the ‘Relaxing Music’ Category

5 ways to cope with cannabis-induced anxiety – The GrowthOp

Posted: August 16, 2020 at 9:52 am


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A bad high can come with either physical symptoms or those that express themselves as paranoia, stress and discomfort.

One exercise said to work when dealing with anxiety is breathing. / Photo: fizkes / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Bad highs are common, but they express themselves differently depending on the person.

For some, the symptoms might be physical, such as nausea or dry mouth; for others, the symptoms can express themselves as paranoia, stress and discomfort. All of these reactions can lead to anxiety, which can quickly transform into being overwhelming if action is not taken.

A bummer high can be absolutely terrible, but its side effects have not been shown to be dangerous, especially if a person remains calm. Remember, no matter how bad it gets, the feelings are temporary and ones attitude can have a huge impact.

One exercise said to work when dealing with anxiety is breathing. If a person is overthinking things after a smoke, take some deep breaths and count them in your head. Place one hand on the chest and the other on the stomach, breathe deeply and focus on how the belly seems to inflate and the chest stays still. This kind of belly breathing is said to be effective in helping to reel in the brain and make a person feel present.

One exercise said to work when dealing with anxiety is breathing. / Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto Getty Images/iStockphoto

Cannabis heightens all sensations, which is one reason its so great. But when a person is having a bad high, this makes it particularly difficult to stay present and rational. One thing that can help is to put on relaxing and soothing music, even something without lyrics to help prevent overthinking, while taking deep breaths.

If feeling anxious and too high, a vigorous workout will likely stress you out even more. Some peaceful music or a background yoga video can assist with some light stretching to help focus on how the body feels. Stress and tension is held in the body, too, so the stretching will likely make it easier for to relax, no matter how anxious a person is feeling.

Taking a shower, either with hot or cold water, is likely to help switch mood. / Photo: yogenyogeny / iStock / Getty Images Plus yogenyogeny / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Showers are great things when high. If the water is warm, it can signal to the body that its time to wind down and relax. If the water is cold, it can wake you up and zap your brain into action. Try both and see what works, but either option will surely help switch mood.

The oldest trick in the book is also said to be the most effective. While sleeping is not convenient during certain occasions, its the quickest way of getting rid of a bad high, especially if a person is feeling drowsy and woozy.

If youre having a bad high and are with trusted friends at your home, set up an alarm and catch a half-hour nap. Although you might not be completely recovered, you will likely feel way better and prevent an anxiety spiral.

The FreshToast.com, a U.S. lifestyle site that contributes lifestyle content and, with their partnership with 600,000 physicians via Skipta, medical marijuana information to The GrowthOp.

Want to keep up to date on whats happening in the world of cannabis?Subscribeto the Cannabis Post newsletter for weekly insights into the industry, what insiders will be talking about and content from across the Postmedia Network

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August 16th, 2020 at 9:52 am

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6 Hidden Low-Grade Stressors That Lurk In A Remote Workspace – Forbes

Posted: August 10, 2020 at 9:49 pm


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6 ways to evaluate your remote workspace to enhance job satisfaction, health and performance.

Now that so many of us are working from home, we have to start to ask some of the same questions about our remote workspace that we ask about our office environments. Scientists say everyday surroundings can keep us in a state of low-grade stress. Its important to pay attention to stressors that we ordinarily might not recognize. Chances are youve become so used to clutter, noise, harsh lights and other environmental stressors that you dont notice they make you feel stressed. Studies show that under environmental pressure, your stress hormone levels can escalate even when youre not aware of it. Over time these hormone levels take a toll on your mental and physical health. After you check out the following 6 hidden low-grade stressors, take the work environment inventory to see if any of them diminish your job enjoyment, health or productivity.

1. Eliminate Environmental Pollutants

Scientists say that steady exposure to loud noises such as traffic, aircraft, and railway engines raise stress levels that can lead to high blood pressure even heart attacks. Plus lawn mowers, car engines, and loud music increase stress levels and interfere with your concentration. If youre surrounded by noise pollution, consider muting jarring news events or hard rock music from a blaring TV, radio or computer. Soundproof outside racket with insulation, window treatments, pleasant background music, and nature sound machines, headphones or earplugs. Air pollutants such as cigarette smoke, chemical smells, mildew, toxic odors and air qualityall can raise your stress level and lead to illness. Use humidifiers in dry areas and dehumidifiers in humid places. Ban tobacco smoke from your workspace. Rapid temperature changes also can trigger stress. Room temperature that is too hot or too cold can interfere with your concentration and escalate tension. Maintain a well-ventilated space with as much fresh air as possible.

2. Create Visual Rest

A disorganized, cluttered workspace can make your life chaotic and stressful. Clutter becomes a roadblock to finding things you need, cutting into valuable workflow and adding another level of frustration when youre in a hurry. As things pile up, your stress level can go sky-high. Chances are, your productivity wanes as you bounce from one task to another, paralyzed by where to begin. After a long day when youre trying to relax, the last thing you want is stressful visual reminders of what needs doing staring you in the face. If youre like most people, youre seeking visual rest. De-clutter by deciding what you really need and what you dont. Then toss, donate or recycle. Consider electronic billing and payment in order to eliminate excess mail and paper clutter. Theres something freeing and peaceful when your space is uncluttered, visually appealing and functioning smoothly: the kitchen bar is free of junk mail, and dishes are off countertops stacked in cabinets. Order conveys a feeling of calm and stabilitya feeling that things are under control and all is right with the world.

3. Make Stress-Free Zones

Its important to consider the environmental stress thresholds of other household members. Your family member or roommate might think blasting Lady Gagas latest hit is the coolest way in the world to work. But you might find it to be the most stressful activity on the planet when youre under deadline. What is environmentally stressful for one person might not be the same for someone else. Agree to certain common areas that are maintained to suit everyones needs. Separate work areas such as bedrooms or office spaces can be individually maintained based on unique work schedules and childrens home schooling activities. Whether you own or rent a house, condo, apartment or cabin in the woods, planning for everyones preferences can save a lot of animosity and promote harmony among housemates.

Having a special place to relax makes you more likely to hit your pause button between projects. Consider assigning a getaway where youre not allowed to think about, feel or deal with stressful job issues. This stress-free zone is a place of solitude where you have quiet and serenity. Your zone contains no electronic devices, no work tools, no hassles and no scheduling boards. Getting carried into a thought stream of worry, rumination and pressure is off-limits in this special place. If you dont have a room, find an area with minimum traffic flow. A corner of your den or bedroom where you wear earphones and listen to relaxing music can also work as a getaway.

4. Invite Mother Nature Into Your Personal Space

Another way to create a calm stress-free work environment is to breathe as much natural life into your personal space as possible. Studies show that a view of nature from your window reduces stress. You can capitalize on scenes of wooded areas, water, sunsets, landscapes or wildlife. Bring as much outside indoors as possible by arranging your living areas facing the views. If you dont have a view, nature photos or paintings will do. An opened window with a soft breeze and nature sounds add a natural touch. A tabletop waterfall that makes babbling sounds, an aquarium or fish bowl, or potted plants, fresh flowers or a terrarium have stress-relieving, restorative properties.

5. Accentuate Sensory Comfort

Its important to create a personalized environment that attracts your five senses in a totally different way from the sensory experience you associate with daily job pressures. Consider neutralizing your personal surroundings from the loud noises, harsh sights, rough textures, offensive odors, and strong tastes of your stressful world. You can actually use color as a stress management tool when you choose room colors that calm and relax you. Studies show that colors affect your emotional state and raise or lower your stress levels. Red excites and stimulates you and makes your heart beat faster, whereas more natural tones of green (think trees and grass) and blue (think sky and ocean) have calming effects that relax you. The use of soothing textures such as cushioned slippers, cozy blankets, or a comfy velvety throw creates sensory comfort. Certain scents evoke pleasant feelings and have soothing effects such as scented candles or a simmering pot of potpourri with whiffs of clove, cinnamon and ginger root. Dolling up your workstation with personalized itemssuch as scented candles, appealing paint colors, vacation memorabilia, photos of children and spouses dogs and friendscan warm a weary heart and lift your spirits.

6. Capture Natural Lighting

Artificial lighting is a subtle form of environmental stress, and limited sunlight can trigger depression and elevate stress. Studies show that artificial lighting such as fluorescent lights increases cortisol stress hormone levels. But you can turn a work area into a stress-free zone with natural lighting, which is more restful and lowers stress levels. Create a well-lit space while avoiding harsh lights, and use indirect lighting or capture as much natural sunlight as you can. Keep blinds and shutters open to create a sunny atmosphere. Remove window treatments, furniture or objects that block daylight. Wash the inside and outside of windows on a regular basis. Studies also show that full-spectrum lights give you the benefits of natural lighting and elevate your mood.

Does Your Remote Work Environment Contain The 3 Ss? Take The Test

I developed an inventory to measure my own home workstation and realized it needed a touch up. I de-cluttered my desk, installed a ceiling fan to cool warm summer days, and created noise buffers from my three barking Golden Doodles. The changes made my writing much more efficient, enjoyable and productive. Erasing these stressors enabled me to write my latest book in a much shorter amount of time.

What about your remote workspace? Notice if your surroundings contain the three Ss: Safe, Soothing and Stress-free. Rate where the needle falls on a scale from 1 to 2 (Bad); 3 (Mediocre); 4 to 5 (Good) on these 6 conditions:

Sum your 6 scores into an overall score: 6-12 (Red Light. Needs a major touch up); 13-19 (Yellow Light. Maybe some light touches); and 20-30 (Green Light. Youre in tip-top shape).

As I did, you, too, can devise a plan to raise your needle from a 1 or 2 on each condition to a 4 or 5, depending on the conditions that are Safe, Soothing and Stress-free. Suppose natural settings are soothing for you, and you rate Touch of Nature a 2 because you have a sofa blocking a large window with a wooded view and a bird feeder. Part of your plan might be to reposition the sofa so that the view brings more nature into your personal space and raises your needle to a 4.

Scientists say theres a link between mental and physical health and a safe, soothing, stress-free environment. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each of us has to determine what type of surroundings work best then personalize a workspace that fosters comfort, calm and ease. After taking the inventory, see if your workstation needs a touch up then give it one and watch your mood and productivity soar.

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6 Hidden Low-Grade Stressors That Lurk In A Remote Workspace - Forbes

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August 10th, 2020 at 9:49 pm

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Live music returns to Eagles Nest Ranch – CHAT News Today

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Both of our camps had our camp season shut down due to COVID-19 so we thought what better way to come together as camps than to put on these two evenings to make a space for families to come and enjoy a relaxing evening with some music, says Kyle Church, events coordinator at Eagles Nest Ranch. Eagles Nest Ranch amphitheatre is a great venue for that.

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The location lends itself to physical distancing, Church says.

It is outdoors and theres plenty of space to be able to space people and do it safely so were glad to be able to open up the doors.

The lineup of musicians includes Church, Denver Knodel, Nolan Penner, Alex Egert, Jessikah Babe and others.

The shows will also be fundraisers for the camps, which took a big hit this year with the cancellation of the summer camps. The summer camp experience and the summer camp programming go a long way to sustaining the camps operations year-round, says Church.

A concession will be available and each of the camps will have their own booths at the event where you can purchase merchandise if you want to help support camps. Donation envelopes for each camp will also be available.

Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Church encourages anyone who is not able to make it to the concerts but would like to place a donation to visit the websites for each of the camps Eagles Nest Ranch and Whispering Pines.

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Live music returns to Eagles Nest Ranch - CHAT News Today

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August 10th, 2020 at 9:49 pm

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Spotify Has Playlists & Podcasts for Animals That Are Paw-fect for Your Pets! – WORLD OF BUZZ

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If you have a pet, whether it be dogs, cats, birds, hamsters or even lizards, one of the hardest thing to do everyday has got to be leaving them when you go to work. If only we can bring our pets to work amirite?

Worse, if you live alone with your pets, the thought of leaving your cuddly furry best friend home alone must be daunting. Well, while youre away from home, why not let your pets listen to some of their favourite music and podcasts?

Did you know that the music streaming paltform Spotify has playlists that are automatically created based on their subcribers own musical tastes and the species of their pets?

Furthermore, Spotify even have a podcast titled My Dogs Favourite Podcast which was crafted by animal experts and said to be able to h-elp alleviate the stress of pets! The podcast runs in two 5 hours stretches and features reassuring human voices saying stuff like youre a good boy etc, relaxing music and ambient sounds.

Launched by Spotify back in January this year, it was created after the company made a study regarding how pet owners use music with their pets.

Here are some of their findings:

Woah, those are some really cool and cute facts!

So if you leave your pets at home when you go to work, make sure to play some music to them via Spotify. You can set up the Spotify Pet Playlists through this link here.

Also read:Get Excited Spotify Users, You Can Now Enjoy Your Music With LYRICS Starting 1 July!

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Spotify Has Playlists & Podcasts for Animals That Are Paw-fect for Your Pets! - WORLD OF BUZZ

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August 10th, 2020 at 9:49 pm

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ams Survey Finds Consumers Expect to ‘Hear What They Want to Hear’ Without Compromise on Earbud Comfort – Business Wire

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PREMSTAETTEN, Austria--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide supplier of high-performance sensor solutions, shares the results of its Comfortable, Smart, High-performing Earbuds Survey conducted in spring 2020 with 2000-plus consumers around the world on their audio earbud uses, habits and preferences. The survey was conducted in Austria, China, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, UK, and USA. It found that consumers are demanding greater comfort and hearing safety without compromising on sound quality or their long-term hearing. This becomes more important given the trend to wear earbuds all day. In fact, customers are asking for innovations like reducing background noise without losing awareness of ones surroundings, volume-limiting features, 3D/special sound, and long battery life. This is especially true in China where consumers seem to be particularly well informed and more selective on earbud innovations.

Are your earbuds now part of your daily routine?

Listening to music was cited as the primary use of headphones across all regions (80%), followed by sports/exercise (61%), voice calls (51%) and gaming (45%). In fact, the survey showed earbuds are an integral part of daily life for many consumers. Users in USA and some European countries reported that they tend to wear earbuds all day while making calls, listening to music, or exercising.

Until now, real data on consumer needs, wants, and uses for earbuds was hard to find. By talking directly with a statistically relevant sample of earbud users, we have learned, that users want a say in earbud innovation. They want comfort, safety, and usability: such as a comfortable yet secure fit; innovations, that will protect their ears and hearing; and long battery life in both the earbuds and charging case regardless of the usage scenario. ams strives to deliver innovation to meet these needs. Examples include: digital active noise cancellation for loose-fit earbuds to address comfort and hearing safety; features that help reduce the symptoms of Tinnitus for safety; and proximity sensors to help increase battery life. They want these features regardless of their activity traveling, working, relaxing, or doing sport activities such as running or biking, said Wim Renirie,

Vice President and General Manager for Accessory & Wearable Solutions Business Line at ams.

Users do not want to compromise: Active Noise Cancellation in a comfortable form factor and long battery life

Loose and tight fit: Around 45% revealed they use tight-fitting, in-ear earbuds because they are perceived to stay in place (67%) and feel more secure when exercising (51%). However, consumers noted tight-fitting earbuds are not comfortable for extended periods or they do not fit correctly (44% across all regions surveyed). Respondents also reported that tight-fitting earbuds can make them feel less aware of their surroundings (21%) and that they hear their own footfalls when wearing them particularly during exercise (11%). Those problems are remedied with the loose-fit earbuds which have ANC. In addition to being more comfortable than tight-fit earbuds (26%), the ability to hear what you want to hear with augmented hearing allows users to hear necessary surrounding noise and activity (20%).

Augmented hearing through Active Noise Cancellation technology provides important usability factors in earbuds through reducing the distraction of ambient noise. This helps to keep volume levels lower, important for ear health. Moreover, ams has Augmented Hearing technology specially designed for loose-fit earbuds increasing comfort for users. The survey results showed that volume-limiting technology to prevent hearing loss or damage was important across the world with 56% requesting this feature. While half the respondents in China (49%) use active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones to reduce the distraction of ambient noise, just 17% in the US and 16% in Europe have ANC headphones. However, about 21% of respondents said they hear too much background noise with loose-fit earbuds. Until now, ANC has not been available in loose-fit earbuds. Thanks to ams developed digital ANC features for loose-fit earbuds, users can now have this feature in a very comfortable form factor. However, the same percentage also noted they did not know active noise cancelling technology was available in loose-fit earbuds. Consumers in China were savvier with just 14% unaware that ANC technology is available for more comfortable loose-fit earbud designs.

ams audio sensing technologies, such as Digital Augmented Hearing for high-performing noise cancellation for all types of headphones and earbuds, is used by manufactures around the world to give customers these kinds of audio benefits. Real time adaptation enables ANC on loose-fit earbuds, allows use of a smaller speaker on closed-fit designs, and always delivers the best performance on over-ear designs even if you wear eyeglasses or prefer a loose fit.

Battery life continues to matter: ams proximity sensors are key to helping manage battery life in earbuds, as the buds only turn on when they register that they are in the ear. Nearly 49% across all regions agreed acceptable battery life must be at least 5 hours. However, 32% of respondents said they prefer battery life of over 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Just 11% said less than 5 hours of battery life was acceptable.

Emerging earbud innovations

Users are looking for new technologies such as 3D or spatial sound had high interest in China (at 48%) but less so in the US (24%) and Europe (20%). High volume without distortion (mostly for gaming) was important to consumers in China (50%) but less so in the US (31%) and Europe (19%).

Survey Methodology: Who participated and what type of earbuds they use

In spring 2020, ams surveyed over 2,150 consumers around the world (USA, Europe, and China). Respondents were almost evenly split between men (49%) and women (51%) between the ages of 18-29 (41%), 30-44 (32%), and 45-60 (18%). In pre-qualification questions, 24% of respondents said they use tight-fitting, in-ear, wired earbuds, 22% used tight-fitting, in-ear wireless earbuds; 10% use loose-fitting, wired earbuds; 6% use loose-fitting, wireless earbuds; 23% said they use both; and 15% said they do not use earbuds. The survey was conducted through SurveyMonkey.

Resources

For more information on the survey and more detailed results, please

download the ams Comfortable, Smart, High-performing Earbuds Survey eBook.

A consumer-focused Earbud Reviewers Guide is also available for media use.

Visit the ams website to see all available earbud technologies:

https://ams.com/wireless-earbud-solutions

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ams Survey Finds Consumers Expect to 'Hear What They Want to Hear' Without Compromise on Earbud Comfort - Business Wire

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The Best VR Meditation Apps To Try – ARPost

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A lot of people turn to meditation in this period to find inner peace, balance and the strength to deal with stress. Since offers always appear where there is demand, users can choose from a large variety of VR meditation apps. These apps allow you to meditate at your own convenience and in a place where you are comfortable and at ease.

Meditation involves getting into a deep state of mental relaxation. You should not be disturbed by anything in the world around you, such as images and sounds. However, this is difficult for beginners.

See Also: VR Experience Review: Guide Your Mind To Relaxation With The Marvellous Machine

This is why VR meditation apps are so popular among people trying to meditate for the first time. They can enter an immersive world specifically designed to induce rest and relaxation. Thus, the users can focus on the experience itself and not on any disrupting elements.

Are you ready to give VR meditation apps a go? Then here are our recommendations for you:

Devices: HTC VIVE, Oculus Rift

This is one of the best VR meditation apps for beginners. It takes the user through a series of magical landscapes, from deep seas to tropical forests. Along the way, the user discovers motivational quotes inspiring them to find inner strength and balance.

The dreamy landscape is made even more relaxing with a selection of soundtracks created by international artist and Academy Award-winning composers. The producers created the sequence of images and sounds in a succession that takes the user through various soothing emotional states.

Devices: a variety of VR viewers/smartphone VR headsets for Android and iOS phones

Our list of VR meditation apps includes something for people who want to choose an active form of meditating. Originating in ancient China, Tai Chi consists of slow, flowing movements with the purpose of activating the chi (the vital energy) and bringing the body and mind together.

If you are interested in this practice, Tai Chi Trainer XR is the right choice for you. It features:

Thus, as you become more advanced in your meditation technique, you can switch to the less immersive AR version of the app.

Devices: Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Go

With Chakra VR, you can enjoy a guided tour into your inner world and discover your chakras. They are seven wheels (direct translation from Sanskrit) that keep your spiritual life in balance:

With one of the most innovative VR meditation apps, Chakra VR, you can learn how to unblock all the chakras with the specific poses for each of them. This app received a lot of positive reviews (4.5/5 stars rating on the Oculus store) and costs only $2.99, so give it a try!

Devices: Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Go

This is one of the VR meditation apps designed for people who need a step by step approach to this activity. It features six modes aimed at helping users reach inner balance: Breath, Focus, Movement, Letting go, Calm, and Restore.

Featuring superb, calming landscapes from Iceland in 4K quality, the app is developed by an award-winning startup and includes music by bands like GusGus and Sigur Rs. As you may recall, Sigur Rs also partnered with Magic Leap to create the first immersive music video experiences.

Last but not least, we recommend a traditional approach to VR meditation apps, featuring authentic meditative music. The app contains a series of 23 relaxing landscapes, from tropical beaches and forests to majestic mountaintops and peaceful Greek coastal cities.

Built specifically for the VR medium, this app offers one of the most immersive and relaxing experiences, capable of helping anyone disconnect from stress and worries.

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5 Thing You Can Do To Make Your Weeks Run Smoother – L.A. Weekly

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Mornings are tough. Theyre even worse when its the start of the week, at least for the majority of people.

Still, the start of the week is important since this day is a big influence over the rest of your week. A bad Monday can easily translate into a bad Tuesday, and then you blink and you realize that your entire week ended and that it wasnt all that productive. Luckily, there are simple ways of curbing this problem, making your weeks easier without much hassle on your part, just a little pre-planning.

Here are 5 things you can do to make your week run smoother:

Trying to smooth out your week and your Mondays can be helped dramatically by scheduling things in advance during the previous Friday. While you most likely wont be able to schedule every detail, you can complete a Monday to-do list and include some time constraints in order to help you stay on track. Doing this will only take a couple of minutes and it will help you enter the weekend with a relaxed state of mind.

While the weekend is meant to be enjoyed thoroughly, it could drastically help your upcoming week by have a relaxing Sunday. Try a work out or an early hang with friends, leaving your nights for relaxation and ensuring you have everything ready for Monday.

While some people have to complete their work on the weekends, especially freelancers, it really helps to block some days off, preferably in succession. This time-off is vital for preventing burnout, helping you relax and contributing to your productivity. Your Mondays can be whenever you want, just make sure you feel rested before you start your week.

Since Mondays tend to be tough, one thing that can help you is to go to bed early. Try working out Sunday evening and going to bed early and tired, ensuring that youll get your 8 hours of deep sleep and are able to kick-off the week with the best foot forward.

Another thing that can help you start your week right is to access a positive mood. Take an early morning shower, put on some comfy or colorful clothes and listen to some music. Try out a fun podcast, preferably not one thats about true crime (unless that puts a smile on your face, weirdo). Try out new things and see what makes you feel your best. Whatever you land on is what you should do to kick-start the week.

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How to Be a Morning Person When You’re Really a Night Owl – StyleBlueprint

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First things first. I am not purporting that you must be a morning person to be successful in life or productive throughout the day. Our natural sleep cycle called our circadian rhythm varies greatly from person to person. Depending on whether you feel most awake and alert in the morning, in the evening or somewhere in between, you have a certain chronotype, and no type is better than the other. In fact, some experts say its best not to force yourself into another type. If being a night owl works for you, dont let the early risers shame you into thinking youre doing something wrong. Sayings like The early bird catches the worm! point to a general orientation around the workday.

Night owls AND morning people will want to read this. Lets begin.

There are, however, benefits to seizing a few sweet hours in the morning before most of our life functions rev up. Evidence shows there are benefits to maximizing effort in the morning while we have our reset calories that start to burn off throughout the day the moment we wake up. One study shows that we handle stressful things better in the morning due to cortisol levels (source), but for complex tasks, its best to work when youre less distracted whether that is morning or evening. A lot of morning people will tell you they get their best thinking or writing or problem-solving done early in the morning, and its largely due to the lack of texts, emails, TV and noise that grows and grows through the day. This also leaves room for menial and thoughtless tasks that are best saved for the end of the day when our core body temperature is highest.

Waking up early is something that I a classic night owl have historically struggled with (but am getting much better at!). So I called on Koula Callahan, a trained and impressive morning person and the Director of Content at StoryBrand, to weigh in on what works for her, too. Here are some helpful ways for night owls to begin to shift to an earlier wake-up time.

I dont do well with a routine thats heavily regimented and structured because if I dont do it exactly as I should, I feel like I failed, Koula says. The most important thing about my morning routine is that I dont let myself get on any device. There is a lot of science that backs the benefits to this, but Koulas main one is that it gives her time to fill her mind and soul with things that are good and nurturing. If the first thing I look at is my phone, it immediately fills my mind with comparison, stressful task lists, etc., she says. Other things Koula does in the morning: walk the dog without a phone, make a slow cup of coffee, meditate (Its like dental floss for my brain, Koula says.), drink water, or write for about 10 minutes. The takeaway? Do something that nourishes your mental, physical and emotional health each morning, but know that it can change day-to-day.

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If youre used to going to sleep at midnight, its unrealistic to think that your body will be ready to go to sleep at 9:30 p.m. If you expect that to be the case, you will get frustrated quickly. Instead, go to sleep at the same time, but get up earlier. You might be a little sleepy the next day (and the day after), but this way, your body will naturally start to want to fall asleep earlier. Day by day, go to sleep 15 minutes earlier than the night before. I fully believe that no one is just born a morning person, Koula says. You have to be disciplined about your wake-up time in order to morph into a morning person because its just not natural to want to get out of bed before you have to. I have not always been a morning person. But after years of getting up and experiencing how much better I think and feel in the morning, Im a convert. Im also highly protective of my sleep if I dont get eight hours I am a monster. So I really plan my days around how much sleep I need to get.

Youve heard everyone tell you to turn off your phones and screens after a certain point in the night. There is a truth to that, but dont beat yourself up if watching an episode of Parks and Rec helps you unwind. I try to nix mindless, purposeless scrolling at night and instead read a few non-current-event-related articles or listen to an uplifting podcast. Once my phone automatically sets to Bedtime Mode at 10 p.m. (maybe this is earlier for you!), I start reading an actual physical book. This helps lull me to sleep. If possible, open the blinds or curtains before bed to let natural light pour in in the morning!

For Koula, the nighttime routine is just as important as the morning one. Your wind-down helps prepare your brain and your body for sleep. Turning down the lights, getting quiet, taking care of your personal needs like skincare conditioning yourself to wind down at a certain time each night will get you into a good rhythm.

There are a lot of tools at our fingertips and on our bedside tables to help aid a morning person schedule. The sleep tracker that comes on your iPhone is a perfect place to start. Another great app to consider is Sleep Score, which tracks your sleep contactless from the bedside table, gives you actionable tips for improving your sleep, provides lots of data about your sleep, and it even comes with a smart alarm that gradually wakes you up at the best time during your cycle.

Sleep Cycle is another great option that offers less detailed sleep data, but more sound options for their smart alarm function. Other ideas: Play a guided meditation on apps like the Calm app as youre falling to sleep. Digital white noise or rain sounds played softly through a smart speaker can help to block background noise in your home and outdoors. Light sleepers, yall know what I am talking about.

Darkness is essential to good sleep. It tells the body that it is time to rest. Light exposure at the wrong times alters the bodys internal sleep clock our mechanism that regulates our sleep-wake cycle can mess with quality and quantity of sleep. Image: Sleep Cycle

One of the best tricks to feeling energized when you wake up is to immediately (like right away, on an empty stomach) drink as much water as you can muster four cups is ideal. For me, drinking a large glass of chilled water is more effective at waking me up than a cup of coffee. There are a lot of benefits to this. In a basic sense, six to eight hours of sleep is a long time without hydration, so morning water necessarily rehydrates us. But it also jumpstarts your metabolism, kickstarts your organs, balances your immune system, flushes toxins the body naturally casts out at night, and starts to produce a bunch of red blood cells.

A main symptom of dehydration is fatigue and tiredness. So if you awaken early after maybe not as many hours of sleep as youd like, preemptively squash that grogginess by fueling your body with water starting on an empty stomach. Plus, the brain is 70% water and if it doesnt get enough, it cant perform or remember at its best.

You dont have to run a 10k at 6 a.m. Even two minutes of jumping jacks or a few walks around the block in the morning is enough to wake up the body, start the metabolism and ignite that mental clarity. Need a few quick, effective 10-minute workouts? Weve got you!

There is likely a reason (or reasons) you want to get up earlier. Some might want to be more clearheaded and ready for work. Others might want to create alone time for introspection without distraction. Some might want to knock out exercising in the morning. Others might want to be more present for their children before school. Whatever your reason or reasons, return to them often and remind yourself of why your alarm is set.

I set my automatic coffee maker each night so that when my alarm goes off, I know that fresh, piping hot coffee awaits me downstairs. This is a small tactic that makes me look forward to jumping (well, jumping, is definitely a stretch) out of bed. (SB TIP: Wait 30-45 minutes to let all the water start to work its magic before you dive into the coffee.) Other versions of a morning treat would be to make your favorite smoothie or put on the latest episode of The New York Times The Daily or The Wall Street Journals The Journal. Speaking of journals, writing in the morning has been a formative habit for me and many others I know.

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Every morning, after water and coffee, I put on some relaxing music like Neil Youngs Harvest Moon and start to write out three very short lists. First, I write three things I am proud of. Cooking that meal last night instead of ordering takeout. Making that pesky dentist appointment Ive been putting off. Turning in an article before a deadline. Running three miles without stopping. Thinking about accomplishments small or big is a great way to start your day with positive self-talk. Next, I write three things that make me happy. Mini M&Ms. The morning sun. Houseplants. Conversations with my mom. My new running shoes. Write down anything that comes to mind it does not have to profound. These change a lot throughout the weeks, months and years, and I always love going back to look at these lists. The last one is my motivated list of three things I want to get done that day. I start with the bigger project or task, and then work my way to the menial things like order new contacts or get a case of wine at Trader Joes wink wink!

RELATED:3 Simple Steps To Achieve Your Goals (Especially When Youre Overwhelmed)

The mental clarity that most people have in the morning is much sharper than later in the day, Koula says. Getting up early gives you the white space to think strategically and critically about your priorities. Since youre coming out of a sleep state, youre functioning more from your limbic system (motivation, emotion, learning, and memory) in the mornings, so its usually the best time to get creative work done. Rolling out of bed at the last possible minute even if youre just joining a morning Zoom meeting forces you to start your day feeling rushed, scatterbrained and anxious. Youre immediately forced to switch into the analytical part of your brain so you skip over that creative, fluid thinking time, Koula points out. Theres also tons of research that shows how [that creative time] improves your mood, makes you more likely to get promoted and paid more. (source)

Dont forget that many of us just arent wired to be larks, so a shift from night owl to lark is not going to happen overnight (see what I did there!?). Be patient with yourself. If you want to stay up late sipping cocktails on your neighbors porch, do it! If youre at the beach and you want to sleep in, sleep in! Just try to keep a schedule as best you can, because its easy to fall out of sync once your sleep cycle has shifted. Even a 30-minute shift to an earlier wake-up call can provide some much-needed alone time to start your day with intention and calmness.

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How to Be a Morning Person When You're Really a Night Owl - StyleBlueprint

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August 10th, 2020 at 9:49 pm

Posted in Relaxing Music

Repose playlists for the week of August 10, 2020 – Interlochen

Posted: at 9:49 pm


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Repose is an hour of beautiful and relaxing music. You can hear it every weeknight at 10 p.m. on Classical IPR, with new episodes every Saturday at 10 p.m.

Monday Ep080405

Peter Kater - Ascent

David Lanz - A Whiter Shade of Pale

Jeanette Alexander - The Road to Caernarvon

Autumn's Child - Row of White Trees

Jeffrey Michael - Indigo Falls

Paul Cardall - An Unseen World

Peter Kater w/ Paul McCandless and Mike Hamilton - Calling You

Esteban Ramirez - Love and Moonlight

Gerry Schubert - Forgiveness

Danny Wright - Softly as I Leave You

Tuesday Ep080315

Jim Wilson - Cape of Good Hope

Jeanette Alexander - Peaceful Path

Robin Spielberg - Just Float Away

V/A: - When Angels Smile

Kim Robertson - Sally Gardens/Rider's Song/Apples in... - Dance to Your Shadow

Paul Sullivan - The Rising Moon

Emile Pandolfi - Broken Vow

Frank Steiner, Jr. - Ajala

Kevin Kern - In My Life

Jon Schmidt - Night Song

John Fluker - Through New Eyes

Colors of the Land - Goodbyes

John Boswell - Recollection

Danny Wright - Softly as I Leave You

Wednesday Ep080216

Gerry Schubert - The Dream Princess

Jeff Oster (w/ Philip Aaberg, Michael Manring, Eugene Friesen and Patrick Gorman) - Violet

Tom Salvatori and Iris Litchfield w/ John Catchings - Song of Hope

Nicholas Gunn - Dance of Light

Kathy Raimey - Shimmer Float

Brian Henke - Light of Dreams-Part 1 (Dreaming with Eyes Wide Open)

James Todd w/ William Morse - New Day

Richard Collins - Delicate Memories

Secret Garden - Heartstrings

Jim Chappell - Once in August

Jennifer Haines - Miles Apart

Carolyn Southworth w/ Paul Speer, Nancy Rumbel, Richard Warner - Highlander

Danny Wright - Softly as I Leave You

Thursday Ep080209

Fiona Joy - Snow Bird

Kevin Kern - Through Your Eyes

Laura Sullivan - First Course: Pinot Noir

Jeff Oster (w/ Philip Aaberg, Michael Manring, Eugene Friesen and Patrick Gorman) - Violet Lawrence Blatt - I Remember When

Patty Griffin - Some else's tomorrow

Laura Sullivan - Coral Castle

David Lanz w/ Paul Speer - Veil of Tears

Lawrence Blatt - Catalina

James Todd w/ William Morse - New Day

Stanton Lanier (w/ Tracy Silverman) - The Quest

Danny Wright - Softly as I Leave You

Friday Ep071006

James Todd w/ William Morse - Esperance (Hope)

Kim Robertson - Ferry Me Across the Water

Wind Machine - Twin Bridges

Karen Marie Garrett - Moon Night

Secret Garden - Sleepsong

Michelle Sell - Within Every Moment

Enya - May It Be

John Boswell - Recollection

V/A: Bonnie Rideout - Rebecca's Hymn

Peter Janson & Friends - Beautiful Day

Kevin Kendle - Roses

Wayne Kelling - Last Flight of the Butterfly

Karen Marie Garrett (w/ Will Ackerman, Jeff Oster, Steve Schuch and Derrik Jordan) - Finale of the Rose

Danny Wright - Softly as I Leave You

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Repose playlists for the week of August 10, 2020 - Interlochen

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August 10th, 2020 at 9:49 pm

Posted in Relaxing Music

Outdoor theatre and music can restart in England from 11 July – The Guardian

Posted: July 9, 2020 at 5:07 pm


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The government gives the green light for outdoor opera at Glyndebourne, and outdoor theatre at venues such as the Minack Theatre and Shakespeares Globe. Photograph: Stefan Postles/AAP

Theatres and music venues in England will be able to host physically distanced outdoor performances from Saturday 11 July under new government guidance, but industry figures are calling for more clarity on when full-capacity indoor performances can return.

The culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, announced the relaxing of restrictions at Thursdays 5pm press conference where he said performances can now take place as long as they are outside and with a limited and socially distanced audience.

As Ive seen for myself at the Royal Academy this morning, the National Gallery and as well see shortly from the National Museums Liverpool, our cultural institutions are beginning to welcome back visitors, he said.

Im really urging people to get out there and to play their part, buy the tickets for outdoor plays and music recitals, get to your local gallery and support your local businesses.

The government said that now gives the green light for outdoor opera at Glyndebourne, and outdoor theatre at venues such as the Minack Theatre and Shakespeares Globe, but industry figures were disappointed that the announcement did not go further. Earlier in the week, Dowden unveiled a 1.57bn rescue package for the arts industry.

Jon Morgan, director of Theatres Trust, welcomed the relaxation but called for more clarity on when theatres can move to stage five of the governments roadmap, when performances are allowed indoors with audiences.

He said: It is disappointing that the guidelines have been published without a not before date for stage four and the all-important stage five the point when theatres will be able to open fully and welcome back audiences without social distancing.

Dowden said that pilot performances are taking place in venues to assess when indoor performances can return, which is vital for theatres that need to be almost at full capacity to make a profit and justify the cost of reopening.

The announcement comes after Britains struggling arts and heritage sectors was promised 1.57bn in a rescue package, which the government claimed was the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture.

Dowden also said that the government was changing planning rules in order to prevent vacant theatres from being demolished or changed for other uses. Our culture, heritage and arts are too precious to lose. Thats why were protecting venues like theatres from redevelopment if they fall on hard times, he added.

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Outdoor theatre and music can restart in England from 11 July - The Guardian

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July 9th, 2020 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Relaxing Music


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