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Hi! I’m Melissa

When I was young I had wings, but they were taken from me. When I turned 50, I took them back. I’m now a Chef, Photographer, Fitness Nerd, and an Artist. This is my diary about food, fitness and adventure along with tips to master midlife & live a more fulfilling life at any age. Click here for my About Page.

Mastering Midlife: 7 Ways to Squeeze in ME Time

Mastering Midlife: 7 Ways to Squeeze in ME Time

Lunch appointment canceled? Hubby gone fishing (hug yourself if it’s over a weekend) or is your Significant on a business trip? Yay! It’s time to turn your focus inward and to take advantage of the precious time you have to yourself, even if it’s only for a few hours. Relaxing can derail burnout, lower blood pressure and make you feel calmer. If you are in the throws of midlife (over 40 and beyond with all of the physical and emotional situations that entails), you are likely in desperate need to get out of your own head. 

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SEVEN WAYS TO SQUEEZE IN “ME” TIME

Below are a few activities that I do for myself, beyond soaking in the tub, when I start feeling stabby. Please note : some of underlined recommendations are affiliate links from which I could earn a tiny commission if you make a purchase (at no cost to you) that supports the finances of this blog. Thanks!

1. BREATHE. When you are feeling overwhelmed or out of control, the best thing you can do to reach a calmer state quickly is to inhale and exhale deeply for a minute before carrying on. You might be surprised how quickly this simple, natural act will make you feel better. Find a quiet, comfortable space, close your eyes and just breathe OR, watch serene videos while you listen to beautiful music or calming sounds. This video will make you feel like you’re floating through beautiful landscapes. Or if you prefer to swim in the sea with dolphins, jelly fish and whales, check out this video (I enjoyed it better with the lights off!)

2. MASSAGE. No need to make an appointment and fight traffic to get to the spa. Give your tired tootsies a deep massage with this inexpensive foot roller (great for planters fascitis!) or this hand-held massage ball that is also good for other sore body parts. A simple golf ball can also do the trick with the added benefit of massaging your hands, too. I purchased this heated neck massager with reversing roller balls for my Hubs for Christmas and now we need another because I don’t like to share.

mandala on canvas from the blog, SoufflesandSawdust.com

3. CREATE. You don’t have to be an artistic to create beautiful art! Remember how much fun you had coloring when you were a kid? Adult coloring books are my new Zen and they’re so addictive you’ll want to color instead of make dinner. My absolute favorite things to color are Mandalas , so much so that I had them printed on canvas and sell them in my boutique. Here are more options if you prefer to color animals or flowers with hummingbirds. If you are feeling really creative, you might lose yourself in the Disney collection by Thomas Kincaid. Of course you’ll need markers and these have dual tips (thick and thin) and have lasted 6 months and counting.

4. POSE. Even if you’ve never done yoga, you can benefit from doing a simple, fluid sequence of yoga poses to stretch your body and help to calm your mind. No need to sign up for a full class, just grab a mat (or a thick towel) and check out this easy 15 minute yoga workout for beginners (just do your best!) where you can pretend you are on a gorgeous beach in Costa Rica. The yoga begins at minute 1:41 so you can skip past the ads. Go ahead and watch it all the way through before you begin (like I did) because I was mesmerized by how graceful (and lovely) the instructor is!

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5. READ. Grab the unopened book on your nightstand or a copy of your favorite magazine and lose yourself in the pages. Allowing your mind to explore “other worlds” gives you a much needed mental break. I highly recommend a book I recently read that completely changed how I think of myself as I navigate midlife like a ping pong ball in a dryer. Do check this one out if you’re frustrated or suffering physically or emotionally (quietly) with menopausal symptoms. The author is like talking to your best girlfriend about the things we women in midlife are uncomfortable discussing. The reference section in the back is worth the price of the book alone.

6. APPRECIATE. Nothing grounds me like a visit to a museum or gallery. Whether indoors or outdoors, surrounding myself with art, history and culture is my favorite way to feed my soul and escape from reality. If there’s a coffee or wine bar included, all the better.

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7. Learn. Podcasts are a great way to learn no matter where you are. Search for podcasts that interest you and give them a listen. One of my favorite podcasts is  Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. Awaken, discover and connect to the deeper meaning of the world around you as Oprah interviews leaders, authors and luminaries.

I hope you found these helpful!

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Chili Lime Mussels with Chickpeas

Chili Lime Mussels with Chickpeas

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