We are all aware that these are stressful times, no matter where you live or what you do for a living. So, what can we do to make life a little easier?
One key word is Zen.
No, you don't have to sit in a room, surrounded with candles, repeating the latest Gregorian chant, unless you want to. But creating a Zen environment is still a simple process with great results.
Incorporate Zen into your decor:
You don't have to completely embrace a Feng Shui lifestyle to create a relaxing environment.
Use accent pieces to tie the Zen feeling into your home decor. Try traditional wall plaques with nature-inspired images such as trees, mountains, lotus blossoms or images that evoke serenity and gentle relaxation.
Incorporate earthy and neutral tones with furnishings and flooring.
Create as much natural light as possible by avoiding heavy window coverings.
Declutter is the answer: Your interior decorating efforts can create a sense of Zen at home in a number of ways, starting with the old adage, "A place for everything, and everything in its place".
Only have one thing in one space - your computer desk is for the CPU, monitor and printer only. Pens and one or two books for reference are the exception.
Buy a bookshelf and use it for just for books. If you have too many, use a library-style system for categorizing and alphabetizing titles.
Create a workable file system where you can access what you need within 30 seconds. Place incoming faxes and letters with corresponding files as they arrive.
Creating Zen in just 15 minutes a day:
Have fun with this one. Buy an egg timer at the dollar store and for only 15 minutes at a time, tackle the often-overwhelming task of decluttering.
Take one room, or even one corner of a room, and clear away all unnecessary items. You will feel better, guaranteed.
Tidy up the kitchen while you are boiling the kettle for tea (or coffee). If the kitchen is already clean, spend the boiling time tidying the living room.
Throw away any outdated bottles or questionable products in your fridge. Remember: when in doubt, throw it out.
Find some time for yourself:
Beyond having a physically clean environment around you, taking time for yourself is another key to living a Zen life.
Take a 20-minute walk. You can choose to listen to music, inspiration tapes or just the natural sounds around you.
Make lists for things you have to do, and celebrate crossing them off when completed.
Meditate for 10 to 15 minutes each day.
Be thankful for all the positive things in your life now, and the things to come.
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