Plug into Buddha

The holidays can be an insanely hectic time. Now that they’ve finally passed us by, try to regain your sanity (and maybe even find a bit of inner peace) by listening to a dharma talk podcast. A dharma talk showcases a Buddhist teacher speaking on topics such as “Simple Knowing,” “Gratitude,” or “Helpful States.” You’ll find lots of tranquil choices at—some of which are under five minutes. There’s also a meditation timer on the site.

Phone a Friend

If you find yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed, consider calling a close friend or family member for a quick chat. Hearing the familiar voice of someone close to you is known to activate the areas of your brain that produce feelings of happiness and love. It will be a nice distraction from the rigors of your workday and will help reinforce the idea that everything will be better soon.

Simplify Your Weekly Meals

Plan your meals for the week using the following guidelines, and put them together when you find the time.

  • Cap the maximum ingredient list per meal to five. A hearty vegetable medley with a cheese topping is a great example of a dish with diverse flavor but limited ingredients. (And, yes, salt counts as one ingredient, so use it sparingly or not at all.)
  • Limit cook prep. Purchase already grated cheese, jarred and sliced vegetables and fruit, etc., to keep preparation time to a minimum.
  • Come up with a few “regular” days. Alliterative and punny days of the week like Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, or Stir-Fryday take a lot of stress out of choosing what to make that day. Pick a day and make the same, or a similar, meal every week until you feel like changing things up again.
  • Leftovers are your friend. If you can’t finish it now, chances are your future self can help clear your plate. For instance, use leftover pork tenderloin to make zesty tacos the next day, or morph last night’s grilled chicken into a chicken-pesto-pasta dish later in the week.

In Another Life

Sometimes the only relaxing notion in a busy life is imagining yourself as someone else. Take a few minutes and focus on what you would look like if you changed your appearance a bit. What would you look like if you wore glasses, or maybe a different pair? Try them on virtually at Ever wonder what you’d look like if you were bald or had bangs? The BaldBooth and YouCam apps have you covered. Who knows, you might stumble across a fresh look that you’ll actually want to try out!