By Miranda Massie on July 16, 2019
Over the past few weeks, a number of friends and colleagues have shared news articles, stories and recommendations with me, all related to time and technology. Perhaps there are new research results circulating, or maybe summer activities are inspiring folks to think more about how they spend their time. No matter the reason, these topics have been floating around in my head.
A fine line exists between supportive technology and digital overload. Programs and apps are constantly emerging, most designed to theoretically make our lives easier and enable us to do more with the time we have. And yet, we know our devices can leave us feeling lonely, overwhelmed and disconnected. So is technology making us more efficient or creating further distance between us and those around us — and potentially even distancing us from our true selves?
This month, I’m sharing suggestions — both digital and human-centred — for bringing more awareness to our use of technology.
The above actions will help you:
- Relax your eyes, neck and wrists
- Increase feelings of closeness and connection through social time with others
- Create space for increased mindfulness, less multi-tasking, and a greater attention span
This summer, I encourage you to try using “smart technology” more intelligently. Focus on connecting with yourself and your communities in ways that will support and rejuvenate you for the busy fall months ahead.
Signing off until September!
All my best,
By Guest Contributor on August 3, 2017
Guest contribution by Wendy Quan
If you have wondered whether the time of day matters for your meditation practice, the answer is “Yes, it matters, but…”
It is definitely worth trying meditation first thing in the morning soon after you get out of bed. This is the time of day when your brain is already calmer, so it is much easier to get into a nice meditative state. If you think, “But I don’t have time in the morning to meditate”, know that all it really takes is five minutes of meditation per day to make a noticeable impact on your life. I have heard countless stories from people who have greatly benefited from just five meditative minutes per day: decreased anxiety, decreased depression, more focus and intention for the day, and more joy in life. If you need to set the alarm five minutes earlier, that’s a small lifestyle change for a potentially big benefit.
Some people prefer to meditate in the evening, after dinner and after the kids have gone to bed. This is their “me” time and they enjoy settling into meditation to calm their minds after a busy day. Instead of being on the computer, checking cell phones or watching TV, this meditation time creates a nice transition to bedtime. Many people report much better sleep once they make meditation a habit in their lives.
So the answer to, “When is the best time to meditate?” really is a personal choice. It is best from a brain-state perspective to meditate in the morning, but I often suggest to new meditators to try different times of the day and decide for themselves what feels best and fits best into their lifestyle. After all, doing meditation when it feels right for you is better than not doing meditation at all.
No time to meditate? Sometimes, this is a matter of what priorities we set for ourselves in life, and sometimes we truly do not have five minutes to spare. Remembering that being mindful during the day has much of the same benefits as seated meditation.
Try this several times throughout your day: pause and take three deep, intentional breaths. Focus completely on the sensations of your body breathing. This simple, mindful practice can bring some calm and peace into your life. It’s easy to fit this into your busy day: while you are typing on your computer, waiting for an elevator, or doing everyday tasks like washing your hands.
Wendy Quan is an industry leader in helping organizations implement self-sustaining mindfulness meditation programs to create change resiliency. She is the founder of The Calm Monkey, the first and only online and in-person training and certification of its kind, which turns experienced meditators into Mindfulness Meditation Facilitators in the workplace and community.
Wendy is a certified organizational change manager who has been recognized as a pioneer by the Greater Good Science Center of the University of California, Berkeley and the global Association of Change Management Professionals. Her client list includes individuals from around the world and organizations such as Google and the government of Dubai. Her life’s purpose is to help people create a better experience of life.
By Miranda Massie on September 13, 2016
September is a hectic time of year, which can make it challenging to stay active. Competing demands on our time, financial obligations and fatigue are among some of the reasons that contribute to a decline in our fitness habits.
Here are some ideas for fitting a little fitness into your day, without breaking the bank, as you kick off the new school year:
Week 1: Take advantage of Free Week!
Try out as many classes as you want on campus from both UBC Recreation (Sept. 12-18) and Bodyworks Fitness centre (Sept. 6-17) totally free. Provides a great opportunity to try new classes while exploring different campus fitness locations.
Week 2: Try active commuting
People who commute to work and school by bus, bike, or foot tend to be more active in their day, and have more positive lifestyle attributes [Source]. Look for opportunities to build more walking into your day. Park on the top level of the parkade, get off the bus 1-2 stops early, or cycle to your meeting across campus. Or try taking the stairs to your classroom or office.
Week 3: Access corporate discounts
UBC has a wide variety of corporate health and fitness discount partners to help you fit in your fitness without taking too much out of your wallet. Be sure to check back as the list is updated and expanded regularly.
Week 4: Book time with a workout buddy
Scheduling your active time with a buddy is a great way to stay accountable to yourself and your health and fitness goals. Join a running group, sign up for a class with a friend, or share your goals with someone who will provide encouragement and support.
Check out these workouts for two:
By Colin Hearne on August 5, 2015
Most experts agree that spending quality time with your partner is an essential ingredient for a lasting relationship.
But with work, family and a billion other things on your plate, finding time to spend together is easier said than done. Here are a few easy ways to squeeze in more time for each other from UBCs EFAP provider Shepell:
Plan ahead. It may not be “romantic” or “spontaneous” but there’s something to be said for direct scheduling.
Debrief daily. Take 15 minutes at the end of each day to sit down with your partner and share each other’s experiences, successes and frustrations.
Turn chore time into together time. Why not crank up the music, tackle those tasks together instead, and make that “to do” list much more enjoyable?
Plug in. Use technology and your downtime opportunities to stay connected. Share a quick phone update during a coffee break or commute.
To read more, including tips for dealing with routine relationship disagreements, click here to open the full article.
By Colin Hearne on April 8, 2015
Welcome to Fitting in Fitness – a series that shares tips and hints on how to increase physical activity levels.
These physical activity boosters are distributed one-per-week through our UBC Health Contacts and will available here as a group each month.
Dumbbells 101 –click here
Yogi About Town- click here
Fartlek Running-click here
Pushup Progressions- click here
Courtney is a third-year kinesiology student at the University of British Columbia. When not studying or working at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. Courtney enjoys running and curling, and has a secret passion for line dancing. To her, the most important part of fitness is feeling good about yourself and having fun!