In this encounter, I will delve into another area which helps you to feel great about yourself. So far I would have encouraged you to eat right, enjoy music, travel for leisure and sport; but this time I want you to explore reading.
There are so many quotes/sayings associated with reading; here are some to chew on:
We read to know we are not alone
Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light –Vera Nazarian
I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense – Harold Kushner
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers – Charles William Eliot
Reading has a way of taking you into a space which can help you to relax when life is throwing serious challenges at you. Reading takes you away, even temporarily, from the reality of what you confront, to a place where you want to be. Reading also gives you the opportunity to consult over and over without any judgment from anyone – it is that gift you can open over and over again.
The good thing is, you can read just about anywhere
On the train
On a plane
At the coffee shop
In your bed
On your couch
On the beach
Even in a meeting
Here are some ways you can start the habit of reading
Research the authors you find readable
Get their books
Find books on topics you find interesting – this makes reading easy
Find books on topics you need to learn more on – this can be hard in the beginning, but you will get there
Find a source to get the books – online or at a book store
Also, determine if you prefer books or on your device/s
Reading is a worthwhile hobby, but can tack up costs very quickly, so find ways and means to get books at the most reasonable costs. Join a book club so you can find folks who may want to exchange ideas and even books. A book club is also a way to be encouraged to read more, the interactivity helps.
The impact of reading on your life should be a positive one and I encourage you to read a book at least once a quarter; that is the recommendation if you are just getting into the habit. At the moment, I read a book a month, sometimes two; but then I have been doing this for a long time.
Whatever you decide to do, read a book soon – Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body – Richard Steele.
Following from the last guide which advised you to “go somewhere you’ve never been”, this time I am encouraging you to do some sport travel.
When one thinks of sport travel in this context, there are so many events to choose from. You can start from the gigantic World Cup Football, scheduled to start in Russia in less than a month https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/
Football (Soccer) is the most watched sport in the world and I know some folks would have planned this from as far back as two years ago. Some tips in going to events of this kind:
Get the schedule of the event, early
Secure tickets (early) to matches you really want to see
Ensure you travel in a group of at least four
Book hotels/homes closest to the venues; you may choose to walk home sometimes, but it is just enough distance to catch a cab if necessary
On the off-day, try the attractions and the eateries – sample the culture and elegance of the location
The experts in travel would say “this is a way to enjoy Russia, while watching football.” May the best team win!
Now there are other major sporting global events one can choose from, for example, the Summer Olympic Games, the Winter Olympic Games, World Championships of every kind – Cricket, Track and Field, Volleyball and any other sport you desire.
There are some other bucket list events one may choose from and these are becoming more attractive to the discerning sport tourist than ever before. The television broadcasts with 23 cameras and replays won’t deter these folks from attending events like:
With Tiger Woods making a comeback, golf has again become exciting and since last November in Nassau for the Hero Challenge http://tigerwoods.com/schedule-stats/ he has single-handedly brought back old fans and some new fans to the sport. Tiger’s performances, specifically in Valspar, Arnold Palmer and the Masters were enough for you to want to see him up close and personal. The US Open, June 14 – 17 in New York could be a great time to go see him. Start planning, you still have time.
WINDIES Women are the defending world champions for the Twenty20. This year, at the first ever stand-alone ICC World T20 Championship, the West Indies will play hosts. St Lucia, Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda are the three countries designated.
Plan to be there from November 9 – 24. This Championship features ten of the world’s best women’s teams in cricket. The final schedule will be announced in June because there is a qualifier to select the last qualifier and so, while those fixtures aren’t quite ready, you can start looking around for tickets. It can even be a gift for you or for a friend.
In the meantime, plan for World Track and Field Championship 2019, Doha, Qatar, next September and the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. That said, when you’re on your next sport trip, here’s some advice:
When you travel in a group, ensure you all stay together, set time limits for departure from hotel to matches and back (first safety tip)
Stay hydrated – there are always long walks involved
Leave all the expensive trinkets at home, some item you cherish always gets lost
Sport travel can be fun and exciting, but can also be stressful. Plan!
In the mid 90s, a program called the Social Agenda was developed and was never implemented. The program at the time had two basic goals
To reduce poverty
To empower two main groups; Youth at Risk; Communities
The updated program could look at a revised civics curriculum in schools which identifies “the ideal Jamaican” as the main aim. The ideal Jamaican would be someone who epitomizes
…as typical behaviors
The program which was initially created as a public education program could add the educational element for schools, and over the next three to five years, could begin to curb some of the social ills we currently face in our society. The Social Agenda, with its renewed thrust, could be a subset of Vision 2030. Go to www.pioj.gov.jm for more details.
The objectives are clear:
to communicate Government’s determination to address the social problems of the nation
to educate members of the public of the various services available for support for persons considered to be a part of the poverty group
to educate the public on practical approaches to promoting health, community development, a wholesome environment and the development of the nation’s children
to provide progress reports on the implementation of the program to show trends, growth and the areas that may need to be readdressed
I would therefore like you to consider a Ministry of Education, Youth and Social Development to incorporate the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the National Youth Service (NYS) as the main agencies. Why Education? Because they can continue to focus on the formal process of which Compulsory Education MUST be considered. If we can create a five-year plan with a determined focus on this, we can achieve social growth that will ease the ills we currently face.
There are key roles for Government and Private Sector to offer employment to the skilled set from these groups with an attendant compulsory employment program.
May 7 – The last time we spoke on Self Care, I recommended that you go somewhere you’ve never been.
So after you have figured out the food, music, TV shows, clothes and exercise routines you would become accustomed to; I have a few more suggestions.
Self Care speaks to a routine, one which requires habitual acts. In the early stages do some of the activities the same time of day and same day each week. This kind of repetition will create a rhythm so the practice becomes a routine.
By now you would have created your playlists. These playlists should be done based on a particular mood. If you are a writer like me, there is a playlist to help you relax, one to boost a new idea, one to refresh the memory among other things.
Go somewhere you’ve never been
New places have a way to set one’s soul on fire; it makes one curious and those kinds of missions allow you to see and hear things you’ve never seen before. The trip/journey to the new location allows for a perspective of value that one will never be able to get if you stay home all the time.
Here’s how some see travel
A wise man travels to discover himself – James Russell Lowell
All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it. –Samuel Johnson
This other quote I found speaks to the adventure
Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people and look beyond what’s right in front of you. These are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in – Andrew Zimmern
So as the experts recommend, once a year, do something different. The food, music, people, locations and the language of the folks you will experience would be well worth the time spent away. I have a friend who does a blog at this link mytravelstamps.com/ – here you will find tips on travel you will want to take note of before you head off to your first/adventure. The blog clearly speaks to Ways You Can Save; Bucket List; Business Layovers and so many other things. Read it when you have some time.
Mix and match the self care activities
While you are having fun traveling, here are some fun things you can do
Try the local spa
Hop off to any of the local bars
Walk in the park closest to your hotel
Go to a local play or music show
Makes notes for a journal if you feel the need and takes loads of pictures
Life is really about enjoying the moments. You can go this alone or tag along with a few friends. Either way – E-N-J-O-Y!
In the next piece, we will talk about Sport Travel.
SUNDAY – Today, or any other Sunday, is probably the best day to do so many things you have not done for the week. On the other hand, it is also the day one should take a break – Eat. Pray. Love – to get ready for the week ahead.
The recommendation is always to write down the things you want to achieve. You may even want to create a list. Over time, as you go through the list each week or month (which is what I recommend); you will become accustomed to planning and implementing the things that pulls you off the grind and brings you back full center.
I will therefore share some of the easier ways to achieve this so you can ease into making this process one that you grow into and making it a habit. Last time, we never spoke about food, but here we go:
Create a log of food you eat for a week, then determine if over the next week, you will maintain or change that list. We have different reactions to food. We also have different needs where food is concerned, but for self care, we are going to focus on foods that make us feel the best about ourselves. Hope this picture helps with the variety I want to convey. Of course, add some meat along the way or whatever else you eat. Just add water.
Focus on self care as being essential to you. Never see it as a reward. Over time, it should become part of what you do daily. Here is a chart that should identify the effort you need to put:
I strongly recommend MUSIC as part of any self care plan. Recently on Facebook, friends have asked to tag 10 favorite albums. These albums, though you may not admit, form part of your life. You sing, dance and hum every word, rhythm and rhyme you can remember. Some experts recommend meditation music. While there is need for that too, the songs that made you happiest, dance the best and gave you a good vibe are the ones you should focus on. Now, you can compile a play list; before we had to play each album or just pick the song and play it over and over again. Start working on that list now.
This sums up how important self care is – “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brownn
In the next article, we will look at – going somewhere you’ve never been – to create moments you will never forget. Until then #OneLove
SUNDAY (Funday) – Over the last five years life has become so much more hectic. In my line of work (marketing, communications, media), information and consumption trends have changed tremendously. I have had to ensure that these tools are used in the most efficient way – either by me – or by teams I end up working with.
That said, during that time, I have begun to pay way more attention to rest, relaxation and rejuvenation, also known as self care. The process is one which requires some thought, as it falls within the routine you would usually have.
Here are some tips you may consider as you head into self care:
Listen to music from one of the happiest periods of your life
Write down all the things you love about your life
Watch a few episodes of your favorite TV shows back to back every now and again
Dance to your favorite songs (15 minutes) at least once a week
Refresh your wardrobe. Donate.
Volunteer to a cause that means a lot to you
Take a drive out of town. Roll down the windows. Turn up the sound and SING out loud
Once a month, get body treatments you prefer – massage, pedicure, manicure, yoga, sauna steam
Say “no” if you can’t do it
Skip the routine once in a while and do something different and wild