Bell Peppers…The Why — May 5, 2020

Bell Peppers…The Why

Essential Oils and Weight Loss — April 8, 2020

Essential Oils and Weight Loss

This audiobook is a guide written for insomniacs, and other people who have trouble sleeping quite often, to show the life-changing health benefits that optimum sleep provides….and more importantly how to have this optimum sleep experience.

 

 

This book sparked my interest because as I get older, the more I’ve started to realize that how well and how much I sleep impacts your entire life…(yeah, Mom, I shoulda listened to you all those nights when I was little and you told me to turn the lights off and go to bed.)

 

The title of the audiobook, Healthy Sleep, is appropriate for the book because the book explains how a healthy sleep cycle can improve your immune system, mood, sense of well-being—and even your weight.

 

This theme is carried out throughout the book as evident by the exercises and strategies that the book provides to help manage both stress and anxiety as well as common sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea.

 

 

The authors of the audiobook are alternative medicine “guru” Andrew Weil, MD…and sleep expert Rubin R. Naiman, PhD.

—–Andrew Weil, MD, is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing-oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. He is founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (AzCIM) at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center in Tucson, and director of Integrative Health & Healing at Miraval Life in Balance Resort in Tucson. Dr. Weil s bestselling books include Spontaneous Happiness, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, and Spontaneous Healing, and his popular audio programs with Sounds True include The Healthy Heart Kit and Breathing: The Master Key to Self-Healing.

—–Rubin Naiman, PhD, is an internationally recognized leader in integrative sleep and dream medicine. He is director of Circadian Health Associates, an organization that provides information, goods and services in support of sleep health. Dr. Naiman is the sleep specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of Arizona s Center for Integrative Medicine, directed by Dr. Andrew Weil. He also serves as Director of the Sleep and Dream Advisory Board for Sleep Studio. For more than a decade, Dr. Naiman served as the sleep and dream specialist at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson, where he founded the first formal sleep center at a spa. Subsequently, he served as director of sleep programs for Miraval Resort. Dr. Naiman is the author of a number of groundbreaking works on sleep, including Healing Night, Healthy Sleep (with Andrew Weil), The Yoga of Sleep, and To Sleep ToNight, as well as a number of professional book chapters and articles. He also blogs about sleep and dreams for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today.

 

This audiobook consists of two discs. The first disc is a discussion on why sleep is so important and why you may not be sleeping as you should. The second disc contains guided exercises, including three sessions to help you fall asleep.

 

Topics covered in the book include sleep stages, sleeping disorders, breathing techniques, good “sleep hygiene,” and safe supplements to overcome insomnia. The book uses a combination of creative visualization, self-compassion, and pranayama to explain insomnia and then lull you gently to sleep…

 

I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who has trouble sleeping…makes an excellent read about 2am when you should be sleeping instead of reading.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Add Even More — April 6, 2020

When Life Gives You Lemons, Add Even More

Lord knows, these months and the month or even months have been downright crazy…not to mention stressful.

 

 

So what is one way that you can worry less and chill out more?

 

 

If you actually read my blog on a regular basis, you will already know what I am about to say…

Aromatherapy…

More specifically essential oils…

And even more specifically diffusing essential oils as a part of the complementary medicine called “aromatherapy.”

 

 

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How Essential Oils Work

ls through the air, our olfactory nerve  sends almost instantly sends messages to different parts of the brain, including the limbic system and amygdala, which are both directly wired to the brain’s centers of memory and emotion.

If you remember watching the movie Forest Gump, you will remember the professor explaining that the amygdala is that part of the brain which controls our emotions, mood, and memory.

Interestimgly, these parts of the brain also do two what seems opposite reactions…either triggering a fight-or-flight respons where we get short of breath, our heart rate and blood pressure go overboard…or awakening the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us relax.

In fact, certain essential oils…(which we’ll talk about later)…interact with our nervous system and brain in the same way biochemically that many anti-prescribed anxiety medications do..making it a great complementary and alternative choice. 

So let’s find out which specific essential oils, more specifically citrus essential oils, are actually the best oils for helping you feel less stressed out.

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Citrus in General

Citrus essential oils can affect different people different ways…they can either be stimulating or relaxing…are totally have different effects from one person to the next.

These oils can help some people fall asleep more easily…other people to relax but not actually fall to sleep-more easily…feel more both refreshed and relaxed if you use them during the day,

Since this is the case, you must try the particular essential oil yourself to see how it affects you.

Below are some citrrus essential oils to consider.

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Bergamot

What is it…Bergamot essential oil is derived from the peel of a bergamot fruit, a hybrid citrus fruit somewhere between a bitter orange and lemon or lime, and is widely used in aromatherapy. This is the fruit that gives Earl Grey tea its signature fragrance,…(more on this later)…

 

What does it smell like…Bergamot has a clean, spicy citrus-like fragrance that is soothing…yet at the same time invigorating.

 

How long have people been using it…This essential oil has been used traditionally in Italian folk medicine because of its ability to relieve tension and anxiety….and in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance the flow of energy, fight bacterial infections and support digestive health.

 

What other essential oils should I blend with bergamot…try  floral oils like lavender, clary sage and jasmine.

 

How do I use it…Like all other essential oils, you have the option to use bergamot essential oil in your diffuser or apply it to your skin,..but be careful if you do apply bergamot essential oil topically because it can cause severe sunburn.

Also be sure to combine bergamot essential oil with a carrier oil—such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado—before using it on your skin or adding it to your bath.

Bergamot can often be irritating to the skin…and make you more likely to get  sunburns and blisters when you’ve been out in the sun for too long.

 

Health benefits of bergamot essential oil are believed to include…

  • helping you to relax
  • improving blood circulation
  • keeping you from feeling so fatigued
  • lowering your blood pressure
  • lowering your heart rate
  • reducing chronic pain
  • relieving anxiety and stress
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Lemon

 

Source...leaves of the lemon plant

Benefits…

  • acts as a sedative
  • can help relieve the nausea associated with cancer treatments
  • eases symptoms of depression
  • improves mood
  • promotes sleep and relaxation
  • reduces anxiety and stress

 

 

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Melissa (Lemon Balm)

Source...lemons…(go figure, right?!)

History…has been used for hundreds of years. Known for its medicinal and uplifting qualities, it has also been given the name “elixir of life”.

Benefits

  • calms the mind
  • boosts immunity
  • strengthens the nervous system
  • can act as a antidepressant and release feelings of sadness and worry

 

 

 

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Neroli 

Source…derived from the flowers of the neroli, a citrus fruit

Fragrance...sweet and spicy aromal..similar to an expensive, floral-based perfume…in fact, commonly used as an ingredient in French perfumes

History…has been around since ancient Egyptian times

Blend with…sandalwood

Benefits

  • acts as a sedative
  • helps you sleep
  • improves concentration, mood, and memory
  • regulates the metabolic system
  • relaxes both body and soul
  • releases feelings of anger, irritability, stress, anxiety, and worry

 

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Yuzu

 

Source…derived from the yuzu fruit, a type of East Asian yellow citrus fruit often used in Asian cuisine

History…Japanese have had a custom of taking yuzu baths, which involves floating yuzus in hot baths during the winter to relieve stressas far back as the 1700s

Benefits

  • decreases negative emotional stress
  • decreases salivary chromogranin A, an indicator of stress and sympathetic nervous system activity
  • lowers your heart rate in just ten minutes, with effects lasting for about thirty minuters
  • soothes stress and anxiety
  • suppresses sympathetic nervous system activity, also known as the fight-or-flight response
Essential Oils and Sleep — April 3, 2020

Essential Oils and Sleep

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla
Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla is a member of the Aster Family, Asteraceae or Compositae, the dried flowewrs of which are one of the most well-known herbal teas of commerece, valued for flavor, mild anti-inflammatory activity, and a calming effect.

Many essential oils out there can help you sleep more restfully and soundly because they stimulate your brain to release the hormones, serotonin, and dopamine which are important for uninterrupted sleep.

Specific essential oils that will help you get a good night’s sleep include…

 

 

Bergamot…Bergamot essential oil smells like a sweet light orange peel oil with a floral note and has a bright, yet calming and relaxing, effect. Bergamot essential oil is used to give Earl Grey tea its flavor, to calm anxious feelings, and to reduce both the heart rate and blood pressure.

 

2.  Cedarwood…Cedarwood essential oil is an essential oil that is produced from the foliage of various types of pine and cypress trees. The oil has an earthy, woodsy smell and supports healthy function of the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, the body’s natural sleepy hormone.

 

3.  Frankincense…Frankincense essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil obtained from the tree resin of four main species of trees from the Boswellia genus. Frankincense essential oil has an earthy, balsamic fragrance and is perfect for balancing emotions, supporting healthy sleep, calming your mind and supporting your body’s natural response to healing.

 

4.  Juniper Berry…Juniper Berry essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil that has a calming, grounding effect and an earthy, woodsy smell. The oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of about fifty different species of junipers plant, a member of the cypress family that can grow anywhere within the Northern Hemisphere, all the way from the Arctic down towards tropical Africa, Pakistan, and the mountains of Central America. Most of the juniper berry essential oil that we use here in America has been harvested from juniper plants found in middle Tennessee, northern Alabama, and southern Kentucky.

 

5.  Lavender…Lavender essential oil is a steam-distilled essential oil that is obtained from the flower spikes of certain species of the lavender plant, a member of the mint family. Lavender essential oil has a relaxing and calming effect…and is used to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, help reduce feelings of tension, and calm emotions.

Most of us are already familiar with the lavender plant because the plant has been used as ornamental plants in garden and landscaping, as a culinary herb, and was one of the common colors in that magical 64-count box of Crayola crayons…the bo that had the sharpener on the back of the box…and that every kid in the classroom envied unless they had one themselves.

 

6.  Marjoram…Marjoram essential oil is steam-distilled from from the flowering leaves and tops of the marjoram plant, a somewhat cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub, that was referred to by the Romans as the “herb of happiness” and to the Greeks as the “joy of the mountains.”

The leaves have a unique mixture of sweet “pine” and citrus flavor. Most of us have had a marjoram spice container at least once in our spice cabinet of marjoram. If not an actual jar of marjoram by itself, perhaps a spice blend containing marjoram, such as herbes de Provence and za’atar…(I probably still have all three of these spices in the same container from back when I purchased thirty-one years ago when I first got married….let me go see)…

Anyway, marjoram essential oil is wonderful for muscles and joints, but it also excels in creating peaceful sleep and calming frazzled nerves.

 

7.  Roman Chamomile…Roman Chamomile essential oil has a calming, soothing, and relaxing effect and is perfect for helping to get rid of restlessness and anxious feelings.

The Roman chamomile plant is a low perennial plant found in dry fields, gardens, and cultivated grounds in Europe, North America, and in Argentina…and is used for making foods, herbal teas, perfumes, and cosmetics.

 

8.  Sandalwood...Sandalwood essential oil is a steam-distilled oil extracted from chips and billets cut from the heartwood of various species of sandalwood trees. Sandalwoods belong to the same botanical family as European mistletoe and can befound in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands. Sandalwood is the second most expensive wood in the world, after African blackwood.

Sandalwood has a distinctive rich, woodsy smell that has been highly valued for centuries as an ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics.

 

9.  Vetiver…Vetiver essential oil is distilled from the roots of a type of grass that is widely cultivated in tropical regions such as Haiti, India, and Indonesia. Vetiver has a psychologically grounding, calming and stabilizing effect and a rich and earthy smell.

 

10.  Ylang Ylang…Ylang ylang essential oil is extracted from the flowers of a ylang-ylang tree that is native in the rainforest habitats of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Ylang-ylang is also widely used in oriental- or floral-themed perfumes such as Chanel No. 5…and is also believed to relieve high blood pressure, to help with skin problems, and to be an aphrodisiac. In fact, in Indonesia, ylang-ylang flowers are spread on the bed o

Essential Oil Diffusers…The What and The Why — April 1, 2020

Essential Oil Diffusers…The What and The Why

Essentiial oil diffusers are a popular method of using essential oils to gain both the relaxation and health-related benefits of that particular oil, or combination of oils…not to mention that they also help “clear” the air and create a pleasantly fragrant environment.

This enjoyable and effective way of turning only a few drops of essential oil into a fine vapor that is then dispersed in a given area is one of the most common uses of  aromatherapy in homes.

As you breathe in the vapors that are dispersed throughout the day, the nervous system to transmit signals to the limbic system of your brain, the part of the brain that controls emotion and memory.

Diffusers are great because they an affordable, relaxing, and healthy way of using aromatherapy at home that allows you to control…

  • how concentrated the vapor from the diffuser is
  • how long these oils are dispersed
  • what oils are dispersed in the air

 

 

 

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Essential Oil and the Immune System

For strange reason, people are concerned more about maintaining their immunity system than ever before…(gee, perhaps it’s because of the coronavirus?!)

And thankfully essential oils can help because many of these have both  antibacterial and antiviral qualities that help protect your immune system as they are inhaled.  

Essential oils help boost your immune system because as these oils are diffused into the air, they break down the free radicals and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

The best essential oils to use for boosting you immune system are…

  • cinnamon
  • clove
  • eucalyptus
  • lemon
  • oregano
  • peppermint
  • star anise
  • tea tree

 

 

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Essential Oils and Pest Control

 

Essential oils can be a safe and effective way to keep mosquitoes, gnats, and other pesky bugs away without the use of insect repellants that contain toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children,

Essential oils work as an insect repellant because most bugs cannot stand the aroma of diffused essential oils runs bugs away because they think that it stinks…not to mention the fact the some essential oils are actually deadly to bugs.

The best oils to use in warding off insects are…

 

 

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Essential Oils and the Brain

Essential oils can improve cognitive function in many ways, including…

  • giving us more energy whenever we’re feeling down or sluggish
  • helping to balance hormones
  • helping us to focus
  • leveling out an imbalanced moods
  • relieving stress and anxiety
  • repairing the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function

Essential oils that are great for these purposes include…

 

 

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Essential Oils and Pain Relief

Diffusing essential oils, both through a diffuser and topically can help relieve the pains of headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints…(more on this later)…

 

 

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Essential Oils and the Respiratory System

Diffusing essential oils reduces inflammation in your respiratory tracts and provides decongestant qualities…making them great at helping to  eliminate colds, coughs, and even pneumonia.

The best essential oils to use for respiratory reasons are…

  • eucalyptus
  • lavender
  • lemon
  • palo santo
  • tea tree

 

 

Aromatherapy…The Which — March 26, 2020

Aromatherapy…The Which

Aromatherapy…The Why — March 24, 2020

Aromatherapy…The Why

Book Review…Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes — May 21, 2019

Book Review…Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes

 

 

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes is a guide book about essential oils written to “introduce you to the world of essential oils and aromatherapy.”

The book was written primarily for beginners who have absolutely no prior knowledge about using essential oils and carrier oils.to show how to use them properly…

This book sparked my interest because so many of the natural body care and skincare products that I will be making and sharing in the near future contain them.

The title, Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes, is appropriate for the book because the book explains everything in simple, easy to understand steps..

The purpose of the book–showing how to use essential oils  properly-is carried out throughout the book as evident by the fact that the book tells the reader how to store your essential oils and carrier oils, and the fact that It is important to know what you are doing when you are using essential oils because some essential oils can do things such as increase UV light/sunlight sensitivity and affect your hormones.

According to the introduction, this book promises to teach you a natural treatment that takes care of both your mental and physical health at the same time…how to cure your common cold without the use of drugand how to start the day exploding with motivation and energy, whilst finishing the day calm, content and stress-free.all through the proper application of essential oils.

The author of the book is Amy Joyson.

The main idea of the book is that both your health and vitality can be improved through the use of essential oils.

My favorite part of the book was definitely the over 100 recipes for natural body and skincare products, as well as home cleaning products because this is something that I am focusing on right now in both my life and my blog…recipes to enhance your calm or self-esteem and confidence, to uplift your mood, to support your detox and many, many more.

Other topics discussed include what aromatherapy is and how you can use aromatherapy at home for stress relief and weight loss, what carrier oils are and how to use them, and what exactly essential oils are and how they work in the body.

I highly recommend this book, and feel that you will also be happy that you bought it.

Why Being Organized in the Kitchen Matters — January 30, 2019

Why Being Organized in the Kitchen Matters

As with any goal, you can spend way too much time…

  • analyzing every tool offered online
  • dreaming that the job was already done
  • talking to others
  • thinking about what would be the best way to get started
  • reading every article and book in sight about your goal
  • wishing that someone else could or would do It for you 

 

All with the same result…

Never getting anything done

 

 

So even though you don’t have the perfect plan written down yet and are not sure exactly how it’s going to work out, the best way to learn is by doing….

 

 

The same can be said about organizing your kitchen.

But organizing your kitchen will give you even more time to…

  • analyze every tool offered online
  • dream that the job was already done
  • talk to others
  • think about what would be the best way to get started
  • read every article and book in sight about your goal
  • wish that someone else could or would do It for you 

 

So why get off the couch when you’re comfortably watching HGTV or DIY Network, and get into your own kitchen trash-bag-in-hand instead?

 

Several reasons…

First of all, having an organized kitchen will save you valuable time as you are cleaning and cooking.

For one thing, you will be able to find something when you need it, without having to search for items that should be readily available.

 

Another reason for organizing your kitchen is to use all of your available work space because you are not having to work around clutter and chaos. 

Having a certain designated ‘home’ for all of your kitchen ingredients and tools will also make it easier to put things away when you’re cleaning up.

Making dinner every night will be quicker and easier…meaning that you will have more quality time each evening to be with your spouse and kids.

Not only that, you will also have more time to do those things that you reallxy want to do to unwind after a long day at work.

 

 

So as we start digging our way out of kitchen clutter and chaos, I thought this would be a great time to share the following list of questions that I use when setting goals, regardless what kind of goal I may be setting… 


1.  THE WHO…Talk to other people about your goals. This will make you feel both more excited and more committed.

  • Who benefits the most from me achieving this goal?
  • Who can help me achieve it? Who else is or should be involved?
  • Who else believes in me and my ability to reach this goal?
  • Who will support me? Who probably won’t support me? 

   
2.  THE WHAT…First of all, write down specific goals that you want to achieve. Keep your list of goals in front of you. Frame them if you want.

  • What is my biggest passion and dream in life? What one wildly bold goal would I like to accomplish that would truly inspire me to get up each morning?
  • What do I want to accomplish? What will success look like?
  • What is the probability of ever reaching this goal?
  • What is the biggest obstacle hindering me from achieving my goals? 
  • What skills, tools, and resources do I need to acquire or master?
  • What is my next step? 

 

3.  THE WHEN…Focus on immediate tasks…only your tasks for today and the week ahead of you…so that you do not get discouraged or overwhelmed. Now, perhaps the most important task—get organized. Break larger goals into smaller tasks. Set up a plan or schedule. Break down the year into months, and then create specific action steps for each week. 

  • When can I find the time to do whatever it takes to reach this goal?
  • When would be a realistic time for me to have reached this goal?
  • When will there be enough information to know if and when I should set new goals?
  • When will I start working toward this goal?

 

4.  THE WHERE

  • Where do I want to be this time next year?
  • Where will I acquire the necessary knowledge?
  • Where will my goal be accomplished? 
  • Where have I written my “chosen frozen” goals down so that they can become something tangible to focus on, evaluate, and refine on a regular basis?

 

5.  THE HOW…Choose appropriate milestones and benchmarks for your particular goal. Reward yourself whenever you reach a milestone or benchmark.

  • How will I benefit from reaching this goal? 
  • How will I stay focused during the process? 
  • How will the business be different one year from now?
  • How will this goal be achieved?
  • How does this deadline influence your daily activities?
  • How should I best spend my time, instead wasting time on unrelated, unimportant, non-strategic activities?



6.  THE WHY… Schedule a weekly check in with yourself. Evaluate what’s working and what’s not. Remind yourself why you set these goals in the first place. 

  • Why am I going to do this in the first place?
  • Why am I willing to invest time, energy, and money in doing this? 
  • Why is achieving this goal so important to me? 
  • Why is reaching this goal important? 

 

 

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”— Maya Angelou

 

“Me Time”—The How — November 10, 2018

“Me Time”—The How

If you’re lucky, your weekends are designated “me time.” Those are the days you get to unwind from work and delve into hobbies, passions, or side projects that take us out of the daily grind and let us flex our interests and creativity.

But, you know, sometimes life gets in the way. You were supposed to practice with that fancy new camera lens you bought, but then a mountain of laundry beckoned. Or maybe you were going to finally start those Italian lessons, but then a friend asked if you could help them move.

There’s always going to be something that pops up during the weekends, but the trick is to make your side project time non-negotiable. Rather than giving away your hours because of guilt or necessity and then feeling bummed you had no “me time,” here are a few sure-fire ways that will make room for your hobbies on the weekends.

 

Announce It To Your Friends…If your friends (or partner) have a habit of springing plans up on you during the weekend, make a habit out of announcing that you need time for your hobby. So if they want to go to the beach or a flea market or get lunch, always respond with, “Well, I have my guitar lessons at two every Saturday,” or “maybe after my photo editing session at one.” By reinforcing that you have this weekly task that you make time for, they’ll begin to respect that time slot and not try to take it over. And even better—you’ll respect it more, too. By announcing it to others you’re making it a permanent part of your weekend, which will only make you take it more seriously.Sometimes responsibilities get in the way, and making room for personal hobbies or side-projects can get tricky. But follow some of these tips and your passions will have at least a fighting chance!

Block Out Recurring “Me Time” for the Future...Open up your planner right now, and every 1 PM on every Saturday for the next year, block off an hour with the words “me time.” That way, no matter who asks you to lunch, to volunteer, or to help you with moving, you’ll know that you’re already booked. It’ll help you manage your time, but it also establishes a routine for you and your hobby that will help you accept it as a permanent part of your life: Every Saturday at one o’clock, you do it. After a month or two, it’ll feel like a natural part of the weekend.

Do It In The Morning…If you find yourself easily bogged down by commitments or out-of-the-blue emergencies, try tackling your hobby during the mornings. While everyone is still waking up and moving slowly, you can get a jump start and sit down with your blog, your camera, or your book club selection, and tackle your me-time before noon hits. If you get it out of the way first thing in the morning, you won’t have any excuses for not doing it.

Have A “Short Version” Ready For Busy Weekends...Rather than just hitting pause on your interests when the weekend gets busy, have a “short version” ready of your hobby for when schedules get hectic. For example, if you enjoy doing yoga, swap your usual 45 minute session for a quick 15 minute one on YouTube. Or if you love to bake on the weekends, try a recipe that uses five ingredients and takes 30 minutes to bang out, rather than picking one out of the fancy French cookbook that’s meant to take half the afternoon. That way you can still enjoy your interests and tackle everything on your hectic to-do list.

Schedule It...It might sound rigid, but if you use a daily planner regularly or an app on your phone, then you probably know that if an appointment is made it’s basically set in stone. If the time is marked, you’ll show up to it. Following that logic then, if you see “yoga” or “beer brewing” on your Saturday afternoon schedule, you’ll be more likely to actually do it. Since it’s already blocked off in your calendar, you’ll have a smaller chance of giving that spot away to a brunch with friends or a quick nip to the laundromat.

Set Yourself Weekly Goals…It can be super easy to be diligent with your hobby one week, and then put it off for two more because things came up. What you need to do is find a way to make your me-time a priority. A great way to do that is to set yourself weekly goals so you have something to strive forFor example, say your hobby is writing. If you have a goal of writing one chapter per weekend (or one poem, or one pitch,) then you’ll be more likely to sit down at the computer and do it. You can make it more specific – maybe the first Sunday of the week you’ll write a chapter, and then the next weekend you’ll look up editors you want to pitch to, and the weekend after that you’ll read articles on how to properly write out a pitch. Having action steps mapped out for the month will help you motivated to continue on with your goals.

Think Of It As Play Time…Rather than making it another thing to check off your list, reframe your hobby as “play time.” See it as a break from the usual rotation of chores, errands, and obligatory hangouts, and use your hobby time almost like recess: This is the part of the weekend you’ve been waiting for. The part that puts your interests front and center, and has no other purpose than to let you enjoy something for an hour or two. If you reframe your hobby that way, then not only will you look forward to it all week, but you won’t feel guilty for indulging. It’s not time away from cleaning your house or hanging out with your partner- it’s self-care.