1) Mini-purge Your Closet and Improve Your Life! Go to your closet and take a good look. Then pull out three articles of clothing you haven’t worn in the last year. Bag them and put them in the car now. That way the next time you drive by the Goodwill truck all you have to do is to pull over to make your donation.

On another day do the same thing with your shoes; on another purge that cluster of products you have on your bathroom counter. On still another day, pick over a shelf on your bookcase. Your local library will love to get your old paperbacks for their next fundraising book sale.

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2) Contact an old friend. Next time you think, “I wonder what so and so is doing these days?” reach out to her on the spot. Do not wait until there’s more time. Social media makes it so easy. You can write her a direct message on her Facebook page, email her, text her, actually take pen to paper if you’ve got a stamp handy, or even call her! It takes less than a minute, literally, to write: ‘Hi, Tallulah! It’s been so long since we talked last. I’d love to see you and catch up. Could we set up a lunch date? I’m free most Thursdays. What do you think?’  Before you know it you will reconnect with an old friend who will be grateful you took the time to make genuine contact.

3) Take a nap. OK. This might take longer than a minute but it’s a ton better than eating something fatty and sugary, which is what a lot of people do when they are tired. Turn off the lights, lie down and just listen to your breathing for a few minutes before your next appointment. You don’t have to actually fall asleep to get the benefit. I used to do this in my office when I worked at the county hospital ER. Studies show naps are a great way to re-charge the brain. You will approach the rest of the day with a fresher attitude.

4) Smile. My mother used to tell me how pretty I was when I smiled. I hated that! So many things Mom said that I hated, only to find out she was right! Smiling is an instant face-lift. Everything looks up when you smile. Research studies even suggest your mood improves just by smiling. Not feeling it? Try this: Go look at yourself in the mirror and make silly faces. Even frown the deepest frown you can muster. In a few seconds, you will be smiling, even laughing at yourself, quite naturally.

5) Make your next minute a Mindful Minute. How? Mindfulness is the practice of being fully in the moment. You are not mindful if you are worried about what happened yesterday or fretting over what might happen tomorrow. A trick to being mindful is to reflect on what your five sense are telling you. Right this minute what do you see, smell, taste, feel and hear? This moment I am aware of the feel of the soft fabric of my shawl around my shoulders, the smell of the fabric softener I use in the drier and the vanilla-y taste of my tea. I hear the sound of the keyboard as I write this post and my dog’s nails on the wood floor as he walks across the room. I see the first flowers coming into the garden outside my window and the soft light of a cloudy day. Focusing on our senses helps us appreciate the Now in a kind and gentle way.

Even if it’s just for a minute.

Elvira G. Aletta, PhD, Founder & CEO

dr aletta of explore what's next

Executive & Personal CoachingIndividual & Relationship Counseling

Life gave Dr. Aletta the opportunity to know what it’s like to hurt physically and emotionally. After an episode of serious depression in her mid-twenties, Dr. Aletta was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease that relapsed throughout her adulthood. While treatable, the cure was often as hard to bear as the disease. Later she was diagnosed with scleroderma, another chronic illness.

Throughout, Dr. Aletta battled with anxiety. Despite all this, Dr. Aletta wants you to know, you can learn to engage in life again on your terms.

Good therapy helped Dr. Aletta. She knows good therapy can help you. That’s why she created Explore What’s Next.

Today Dr. Aletta enjoys mentoring the EWN therapists, focusing on coaching and psychotherapy clients, writing and speaking. She is proud and confident that Explore What’s Next can provide you with therapists who will help you regain a sense of safety, control and joy.

716.308.6683 | draletta@explorewhatsnext.com

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