17 Ways to Impress the In-Laws

Happy Lists has moved to http://www.MyHappyLists.com and this blog entry can be read over there: http://myhappylists.com/2010/02/how-to-impress-the-in-laws-17-ways-to-improve-your-chances/

5 Ways to Beat the Post-Vacation Blues

When you get back from a vacation, do you experience the Post-Vacation Blues?  The post-vacation blues are what I refer to as the time after a vacation when you feel sad, depressed, unhappy, unmotivated, and grumpy about life, relationships, and work.  It’s that period of time when you have to come back down to reality and get back to the often-irritating daily grind of life.

For me, it can be really challenging.  I get extra-frustrated because vacations are supposed to be rejuvenating, right?  We’re not supposed to come back and feel worse than when we left.  But sometimes we do.  So what can we do to maintain those positive feelings when we get back from vacation?

 

 

1. Write.  Write about your vacation – all the fun stuff.  Even if it just happened (that’s actually the best time to write so you’ll remember the details), writing about how great your vacation was (and why) will have a positive influence on your state of mind.  So sit down and journal or write a blog about it.  Throw in some pictures so you can look back at it and make yourself happy. 

2. Keep vacationing.  Sure, you have to go back to work, family, and life, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop having fun.  Think of atleast one thing you can do after your vacation that is fun and may even have some vacation-like characteristics.  Can you find a new park and go for a walk after work? Paint a picture? Take some pictures of random stuff around your town or neighborhood?  Find an entertaining activity to remind yourself that “getting back to the daily grind” can still mean having fun. 

 

3. Start planning.  Just because you might need to save up for another 6 months to afford your next vacation doesn’t mean you can’t start planning it now.  Fantasizing about your next fun adventure can be just the thing to help you disassociate from reality for a little while.  Don’t get carried away, but a little planning may be just the thing to lift your spirits.

4. Music.  While you’re on vacation, buy a CD.  It doesn’t have to be related to your vacation at all (you don’t have to buy Hawaiian music if you go to Hawaii) but it can if you like.  Listen to it while you’re there and associate your positive vacation feelings with the music. From now on, listening to that CD is going to make you think of that specific vacation.  When you get back, put it in the player, and when you’re getting ready in the morning and feeling particularly cranky about being back, pump up the volume and jam out.  Remind yourself that the vacation was meant to rejuvenate you, and this music is the tool to help that happen.

5. Short work week.  Do not return on a Monday!  Schedule your return for a Wednesday or Thursday so you have a super-short week to reacclimate yourself to the work day.  Even when you love your job, it takes a few days to get back into the groove.

Here are some additional sources for ways to beat the post-vacation blues:

Beat Those Post Vacation Blues

The Providence Center: Beating the Post-Vacation Blues

Dancing and Drumming Drive Post-Vacation Blues Away

Pamela Kruger’s Post Vacation Blues (you’re not alone!)

16 Ways to Feel Sexy

Whether you’re a man or woman, it feels good to feel sexy. It doesn’t matter who you are, feeling attractive boosts confidence and happiness. While many of these may be aimed towards women, I hope you can find a few creative and fun ways to feel sexy!

1. Cat Walk. If you’ve ever seen a model walk down the cat walk, the image of sexy, beautiful, and attractive probably comes to mind. No matter what you look like, you can walk sexy. Practice walking with good posture, confidence (fake it for now if you have to), head up, and think sexy things. Try walking like this for a week, and see if you notice any differences in the way people look at you.

2. Sexy Eyes. While you’re walking all sexy, make sexy eyes…not crazy eyes, but sexy eyes! Think and channel, “SEXY.”  Make your blinks a little longer, add a mysterious and sexy half-smile, glance at people and blink away. 

3. Smile and Laugh.  Who was the last cranky-butt you thought was sexy?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.  Now, you can rock the “bitchy sexy,” but that takes a lot more practice and the right crowd.  Stick with fun and sexy – more people are into that.

4. Get out.  People on the internet might provide you an opportunity to experience sexiness, but that doesn’t come near to getting outside the house and making physical eye contact with another individual.  If you just can’t pull yourself away from the cyber world, get a microphone and practice that deep, sexy, sultry voice. 🙂

5. Shower.  Seems obvious, but if you’re feeling dumpy and down – a shower can be the perfect thing to lift your spirits (and make you smell better). 

6. Dress Up.  After you take that hot and steamy shower, get dressed.  Hair, make-up, cute clothes – the whole shebang.  The more you put into your appearance, the sexier you will feel.

7. Workout.  Whether you’re a size “0” or a size “40” – working out will make your body feel good, give you more confidence, and make you feel sexier.  So whether you think you need it or not, and whether you think you want to or not, just do it.  Start small, do what you can, and start noticing how much better you feel.  Checkout my post on 20 Creative Ways to Get Exercise.

8. Write your fantasies.  You’re on the computer reading this, so you must know to work this thing.  Open up a word document, and start writing about some of your hottest fantasies.  Worried others will find your wild fantasies?  Two words: password protect.  Don’t how to do that?  Ask the little help wizard/paperclip guy in Microsoft Word.  Work on your fantasies, make them juicy and exciting.  Need to feel sexy? Write, read, and enjoy!

 

9. Tan.  If you aren’t white, you’re already one step closer to sexiness!  If you are pasty white and live in America – welcome to the culture of tanning.  Self-tanning lotion is great and safe, so I suggest that.  Start using it.  Take notice to how much sexier you feel.  If it doesn’t help, then don’t do it.  If it does, how easy is it to slab on some sexy every morning?

10. Water.  Water is the basis for physical and mental health.  To function at your best, provide your body and mind with the water it requires.  Start drinking enough, and you will start feeling better physically.  When a body feels good, a body feels good.

11. Flirt.  If you are single, get out and flirt.  Successful flirting is a skill.  If you have a friend you think is great at flirting, ask them to coach you.  If you are married, flirt with your partner.  Yes, flirt with your partner.  I don’t care that you’re married – you can still flirt with one another.  Remind yourself how much fun you had when you first met – re-spark that inner-sexiness from when you first met.

12. Dance.  Pump up that music and move your body.  Can’t dance? Learn.  With the internet, you can learn to do anything.  Practice in private and then take those moves to the dance floor!  Dancing is also a great way to improve your abs, as I talked about in 9 Creative Ways to Workout Abs (without crunches).

13. Connect to your body.  Feeling sexy means that you have complete control over your body and you feel great about what you look like, feel like, and what you are capable of doing with your body.  If you haven’t gotten “in touch” with yourself in a while (or ever, eek!) – go for it.  Knowing and understanding your body is essential to being a strong and sexy individual.  It also comes in handy when you want to be intimate with another individual – you know what you like and need and can have healthy communication about it.

14. The right clothing.  I understand that sweats are comfy, but NO – they won’t make you feel (or look sexy).  Find the right type of clothing to flatter your body type.  Do your research and bring an honest friend shopping with you.  Don’t have enough money to overhaul your wardrobe? That’s fine.  Go buy one flatter thing from Ross, Target, or a second-hand store like Good Will.  Looking good doesn’t need to cost a fortune.  Start small!

15. Get your beauty sleep!  It’s hard to feel sexy and energetic when you feel like your face is dragging on the floor.  Be sure to get enough rest!  Having trouble falling asleep? Check out these Ways to Fall Asleep and be sure to get the beauty rest your sexiness demands!

16. Say it.  “I am sexy.”  How many different ways can you say it?  Try it out loud.  I AM sexy.  i am SEXY.  I AM sexy. I AM SEXY. I am sexy.  Keep going it.  When you need a boost, see how many different ways you can phrase it (and remember to do it outloud for best results!)

 

 Need some more ways to feel sexy?  Check these out:

Ways to feel sexy in a flash

10 Ways to feel sexy again

10 Ways to feel sexier naked

9 Creative Ways to Work Abs without crunches

Getting down on the floor and completing a bunch of crunches, for me, is not fun. If it’s fun for you – keep up the hard work! If you dislike it as much as I do, but you want to strengthen those ab muscles, try some of these creative ideas. For additional creative ideas about exercise, checkout 20 Creative Ways to Get Exercise.

1. Flex it. This one isn’t that creative, but it’s important to remind yourself that you have control over your muscles, and you can work them any time you want! Whether your driving, watching television, or at the computer. You can tighten those abs as hard as you want, for as long as you want, as often as you want. That’s a pretty obvious and easy way to work your abs!

2. Dance. Whether you’re home alone, with a partner, or out at the dance clubs. Move those hips side to side while thinking about your abs, move your but front and back while thinking about your abs. See how many dance moves you can do while using your abs. Dancing is fun and you can do it any time that you’re home.

3. Sit and Stand up Straight. Forcing yourself to have good posture will include pulling those abs in. Plus it makes you look good. Two benefits out of one easy thing. So go ahead, sit up straight – just like your mom has been telling you to do your whole life!

4. Replace your recliner with an Exercise Ball. You know what I’m talking about – one of those giant balls. You know you secretly think they’re a lot of fun. So push your recliner to the side (or out to the garage) and use your ball! You can find plenty of ways to work those abs while your enjoying television or a good movie.

5. Push Ups. Yes, push ups work your chest and shoulders, but they also work your “core” aka your abs! Don’t believe me, get in the push up position, and go down. Now hold it for as long as you can. Feel something in your abs? I thought so. Why are push ups a creative alternative to crunches when you still have to get down on the floor? (because you’re working a BUNCH of muscles out at once, not just your abs)

6. Twist and Punch. I get this one from that intense Tae Bo guy, Billy Blanks. Go into a squat and start punching to the opposite side of your body, but still forward. Use your abs to turn your body. You should be making an “X” with your arms, as your right fist punches left, and your left punches right. Why is this one good? Again, because you’re working multiple muscles: abs, arms, legs. More bang for your buck!

7. Squat and Lean. I got this one from a Pilates/Yoga instructor in college. Get into the squat position, and put your hands on your head. Now lean your upper body to the side, bringing your elbow towards the ground. The lower you go, the harder the workout for your abs. Now do the other side.

8. Colon cleanse. This doesn’t exactly work your abs, but it’s a good way to flatten your abs. The average person carries about 5 pounds of excess weight in their colon. Pretty disgusting, I know. For the visual, I like to pick up my 5 pound hand weight and imagine that stuck in my colon. Gross. If you clean that junk out (which is sitting right under your abs) your abs will look flatter. Plus, you’ll be healthier!

9. Skip the gadgets. Save your money and don’t buy those silly ab gadgets that promise to get you flat abs. The reason they work is because they get you to actually exercise. If you can get yourself to exercise and work your muscles, you will get the same results. Put that money towards something more useful, like #8.

Here’s some good resources:

Get Fab Abs (without crunches) Shows some standing exercises to work your abs, with pictures!

Better Abs without crunches includes some more hard core workout moves, but it’ll work!

Yoga and Pilates for Abs with no crunches

Good luck, and I hope you start working those abs (without getting on the floor!).

10 Ways to cope with missing a funeral

Happy Lists has moved! Please read this blog at: http://myhappylists.com/2008/04/10-ways-to-cope-missing-funeral/

Thanks!