Friday, 27 March 2009
How To De-Stress Your Life and Make It Better . . .
"Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark, as sages say;
Oft, a little morning rain,
Foretells a pleasant day."
There’s no denying it. Life is hard. Life is stressful. We live in a world with an ever-increasing fast pace. Everything needs to be done yesterday, and there always seems to be a never-ending list of tasks laying before us. Sometimes it seems, that we do indeed live in a world without quiet corners. There are ways however, that we can take back our days for ourselves and find little pockets of joy, no matter what else the day might bring. Here’s my list of sure-fire stress busters.
1. Be grateful. No matter what, no matter where, no matter when, no matter why. There is always something to be thankful for.
2. Carve out an hour each day for solitude and meditation. Might mean you have to get up an hour earlier each morning, but it will probably be the most important and meaningful hour of your day. Lay claim to it.
3. Begin and end each day with prayer and reflection. It’s the single most important thing you can do for yourself and for others. Making a few moments for gratitude and supplication, focusing for a time on the problems of others, this simple act has a power that can never be underestimated.
4. Keep it simple. Don’t over complicate things, ever . . .
5. Eat only when hungry, and when you do eat, make sure it’s delicious. If it’s not delicious, then don’t eat it.
6. Keep your house picked up. When it’s not in use, put it away. When you are finished with something, put it away. A few minutes spent each day doing this can save you hours another time and helps to de-clutter your life. (I need to work harder on this!)
7. Never make a promise you cannot keep, and always keep the promises you make. ‘Nuff said . . .
8. Always carry something interesting to read in your purse. That way if you get stuck in traffic, waiting in a queue, have a few moments to waste, etc. you always have something to do, uplift, inspire, magnify . . .
9. Create quiet places at home and at work. Always have somewhere you can go, if only for a few moments in time, to gather your thoughts and just be . . .
10. Be realistic. About goals, about deadlines, about desires, about expectations, etc. both for yourself and for others. Keep things achievable.
11. Take time to breathe, deeply and often. Stop and smell the roses.
12. Don’t over schedule. You know how much you can reasonably accomplish in any given hour, day, week, month. Don’t overstretch yourself. Be reasonable.
13. Stay away from negativity. Don’t watch it on the television. Don’t cultivate it in your friendships and relationships. Stay away from negative people altogether. Don’t give negativity any toehold whatsoever in your life.
14. Laugh, loudly and often. It will help to nurture your soul and create little pockets of joy in your life. “Cry and you cry alone, laugh and the whole world laughs with you.”
15. Create boundaries and then honour them.
16. Express love every day, for God, for yourself and for others.
17. Look at your problems as challenges and then work to overcome them, one small step at a time. Remember, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
18. Set aside one day a week for rest and renewal. Capture 24 hours just for yourself. Don’t shop. Don’t work. Just let go and be . . . It’s what God wanted for each and every one of us. Remember. . . “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
19. Move . . . walk, run, dance, just move . . .
20. Don’t be afraid of your passions. Embrace them.
21. Stop trying to please everyone else and start pleasing yourself. There are some people in this world you will never please, no matter how much you try, or how high you jump. Accept this and move on . . .
22. Don’t squander your precious resources . . . time, energy, creativity, emotions . . . they’re all yours, so use them wisely.
23. Savour beauty. It’s all around us. Take notice of it and appreciate it for what it is. Let Mother Nature, nurture and feed your soul, even if it’s only am errant blade of grass growing up between the cobblestones . . .
24. Cherish your dreams. They’re worth their weight in gold.
25. Enjoy your life. You only have one. Don’t wish away your days waiting for better ones to come. Embrace and cherish the here and the now.
26. If you don’t love it, then learn to live without it.
27. Go for comfort. In your clothing, in your footwear, in your furniture, in your bed, etc.
28. Nurture your senses. Feed them daily and make them come alive. Take time to smell, taste, feel, listen and see.
29. Care for your soul. It’s precious and is the only thing you will carry with you from this lifetime into the next. It’s the single most important thing you have. Don’t let anyone or anything take it away.
30. Don’t worry . . . Be happy!
As a girl, I used to love looking at my mother’s cookery books. She only had a few and still does. Even now, when I go home to visit, I love to go through them. They are full of wonderful gems such as this one. This is a recipe I got from out of her meat cookery book. I’ve adapted it and changed it somewhat through the years, but it has stood me well. Todd really loves this. Most people do . . .
*Pork and Mushroom Casserole*
Moist and tender pieces of pork, lightly crumbed and browned, then layered in a casserole dish with lightly sautéed mushrooms, bacon, onions and fruit juice. This is quite simply . . . Delicious. I like to serve this with some steamed rice and a vegetable on the side.
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into ½ inch slices
3 slices of streaky bacon, diced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 TBS oil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup fine cracker or bread crumbs
¼ to ½ cup fruit juice (apple, orange, or pineapple)
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Put a skillet over medium heat on top of the stove and pan fry the bacon until it is starting to brown. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for a few minutes longer until they too are softened and the garlic is fragrant. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan.
Mix together the cracker/bread crumbs and the seasonings in a shallow bowl. Beat the egg in another shallow bowl. Lightly season your pieces of pork and then dip each piece in the egg and then roll it into the cracker/bread crumbs to coat. Heat the oil in the skillet and when it is hot, brown the pieces of pork on both sides.
Layer the cooked pieces of pork in a 1 litre casserole dish along with the bacon, onion, mushroom mixture. Pour the fruit juice over top and then cover with a lid.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes until juicy and very tender. Remove from the oven and serve hot with some steamed rice and vegetables on the side.