- My son
- My husband
- Loving family
- Inspiring and supportive friends
- Generous clients
- Creative inspiration
- A beautiful Fall day in Chicago (see above)
I forgot to mention my dog Essie, but I’m grateful for her too!
I forgot to mention my dog Essie, but I’m grateful for her too!
One of the things I love about having my own business is the flexible schedule that allows me to take walks with the dog in the morning, which is where I snapped these lovely fall pics this week.
I recently worked with a client launching a new business. Not only do I love working with up-and-coming businesses, but it was wellness-related to boot!
Started by wellness coach Amy Nadelen, Tribe Wellness offers health coaching for families. Their mission is to tackle the issue of childhood obesity from a holistic perspective, offering tools and support to the entire family.
My client liked the idea of using a Tree of Life—a traditional symbol of interconnectedness—so I used that in my initial design concepts. It was eventually chosen as the final, but I also explored a simpler tree motif (signifying strength/family) and a subtle “tribal” design.
Once the logo was designed, I designed promotional materials, a One-Sheet Promo and “RX Pad” (for doctor’s offices), as well as a Program Workbook template.
I used to be an avid yoga enthusiast. I even did prenatal yoga quite regularly when I was expecting. And then I had a baby. Who didn’t sleep for the first 10 months.
Now that Little One’s just over a year old and sleeping well, I’m slowly getting back into my yoga routine. One of the things I missed was how great yoga made me feel—especially during busy weeks when I logged a lot of computer time. A regular yoga/stretching routine even helped me bounce back from a case of wrist tendinitis, so I can’t sing its praises enough.
I’ve been taking outdoor yoga classes in a park near my office, so it has the added benefit of spending an hour in fresh air and sunshine. Friday can’t come soon enough!
Is sitting at your computer all day a pain in your neck? Or back? or hands?
Extended periods of time in a sitting position + poor posture = aches and pains.
But, relief can be just a few stretches away. Having experienced a bout of wrist tendinitis when I first started my business (yes, I worked too many hours!) I can vouch for the benefits of daily stretches and yoga, as well as frequent breaks.
See some of my favorite resources below.
Now, step away from the computer and get moving!
Thanks to my yoga teacher, I recently picked up the book Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul by Melody Beattie.
With books like this, I like to flip to a random page and see what the “message” might be. The daily meditation I flipped to was titled “Learn to be Calm.” It was incredibly appropriate as I prepare my business for an upcoming maternity leave—a process that can sometimes feel, well, not so calm.
The meditation detailed a drive the author took along the Redwood Highway in California, her observations of the tall, proud trees and the lessons learned from the calm, patient redwood:
Learn a lesson from the redwoods. Let them teach the power of patience and calm… Times move along. There are stories to live and stories to tell, but we can be calm and know that, always, all is well.
It’s a good lesson for any small business owner who is going through a busy or stressful time. Staying calm and assuring yourself that “all will be well” can help get you through—even though you can’t predict the path that will take you there.
One of my favorite things about warm, summer days is taking a lunch break in the park.
On days when my husband works from home and we both have free lunchtime schedules, we make an effort to dine al fresco in the neighborhood park with our dog in tow.
As much as I love my office, getting out into the fresh air not only improves my mood, but recharges and inspires me for my afternoon workload—which means I get more done.
And Essie doesn’t complain about getting an extra walk and park time!
Now, back to work…
My friend Amy and I were just talking about how great we feel after yoga class—mainly due to the fact that we’re able to stop and breathe during our busy day.
Often we get so wrapped up in our work that we find ourselves literally holding our breath. As anyone who’s taken a yoga or meditation class can attest, breathing works wonders. This article from Yoga Journal called “Meditation 101″ details 10-minute mini-meditations and breathing exercises that can be done in your office, car or on your commute (just don’t close your eyes while driving!)
And next time you find workday stress creeping up, just stop and breathe…
I realized this was taking a toll on my health, and I needed an easy way to remind myself to stretch throughout the day. I created a stretch book by making copies of fast and easy stretches I could easily do at my desk. I placed the stretches in sheet protectors and paired it with a cover that would stand out on my bookshelf—making sure I wouldn’t forget to take a break and stretch. It worked!
Another useful tool for good office posture is an ergonomic chair cushion, such as the Fitball Wedge by Ball Dynamics. It can be used as lumbar support or an angled seat cushion that encourages proper posture. (your grade school teacher was right: sit up straight, no slouching!)
And don’t forget to schedule a 30-minute to 1-hour yoga or stretching session at least once a week. It can help prevent repetitive stress injuries, back pain, and bad posture. Personally, I have found that doing yoga and stretching regularly keeps aches and pains away. Can’t make it to a class? Try a DVD that focuses on upper body and back stretches such as my top picks, the RX: Yoga series and Back Care Yoga by Gaiam. There’s even an online yoga-at-your-desk routine at My Daily Yoga.
No more excuses.. and no more slouching!
January always seems to be the busiest time at my gym. Whether it’s New Year’s resolutions or just a lingering desire to be fit, it’s a popular time to start a fitness program. However, most gyms are not cheap and if you’re a small business owner, this might be a place where you cut your budget. Don’t give up on your fitness routine just yet: check out the Chicago Park District.
The Park District has many fitness centers, with low-cost membership fees, located throughout the city. There are also great classes available, like circuit training, Pilates and yoga—I’ve become a big fan of the yoga class at my local park.
If you have a home office, the park district is a great option as there is likely a park near your workplace—and it’s a great excuse to get out of the house. Now get out there and start moving!