TIP OF THE WEEK
Walking meditation can offer multiple benefits without much of an investment in time or money.
To get started, consider these steps from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center:
— Find a place that’s relatively free of distractions and where other people won’t make you self-conscious. Your path — whether it’s a hiking trail or a little-used hallway — doesn’t have to be long; the whole point is to go nowhere, slowly — and safely.
— Relax your hands and arms, stand up straight and take a few deep breaths. Take 10 to 15 small, deliberate steps, counting them in your head. Be mindful of the way your feet feel as they rise and land on the ground, weight shifting from heel to toes.
— If your mind wanders, try to push out extraneous thoughts and focus on your breathing or the sights and sounds of your surroundings.
Pause for a breath, turn around and start again.
4 ways play and learning go hand in hand
Here are four benefits of hands-on, playful learning, according to author Jessica Joelle Alexander.
1. Using imagination: Playtime gives kids space to freely explore and decide how they’ll complete a task.
2. Gaining knowledge: Think of how kids learned the alphabet — framed in a happy song. That illustrates this low-pressure, highly engaging way to learn.
3. Promoting happiness: The recently released LEGO Play Well Report shows a link between hours spent playing together and the happiness of a family. Eighty-eight percent of families who play five or more hours a week say they are happy.
4. Building connections: Nearly three-quarters of parents (72 percent) fear technology is dampening kids’ ability to think for themselves. However, kids are seamlessly blending real-world, imaginary and digital experiences what some refer to as “fluid play.”
Americans are not using their PTO
Here are some ways you can get around your objections to taking PTO and relax, refresh and revive.
— Just take one day. You don’t have to take an entire week off. Starting small and giving yourself a long weekend can do a lot to recharge your batteries.
— Start a PTO savings account. If money is the reason you haven’t been using your PTO, sock $25 away each week. In a year, you’ll have a PTO stash that you can use to take a vacation.
— Plan ahead. Give your manager ample notice by scheduling PTO well ahead of time, especially if you’re angling for days off around a popular holiday. You’ll beat your co-workers to the punch.
Landshark Lager partnered with Project: Time Off to raise awareness about the fact that Americans aren’t using the PTO days they’ve earned. For more information, visit the Landshark Lager Facebook page or Instagram.
Car safety and air quality for little ones
You know it’s important to install and use the right car seat, buckling your child in properly every time you hit the road. But there’s another car safety step that parents should consider — improving your vehicle’s air quality.
The California Air Resources Board reports that the air inside a car, truck or SUV can be up to six times dirtier than air outside, because cars are constantly surrounded by emissions from other vehicles. What’s more, studies show that babies exposed to pollution in the first year of life are more likely to develop allergies, according to FRAM Fresh Breeze.
Consider air filters, which can remove up to 98 percent of dirt, dust and allergens from the air passing through a car’s A/C and heating system.