Seeking Rest in a Busy World

Rest is hard to find. Our homes, schools, and public places are filled with sound and activities. People talk, electronic devices ping, beep, and trill. Machines hum. We are plugged in 24/7.

Our lives have become a hive of constant connection. We are never alone! And quiet time is so necessary for well-being. A recent study looked at the benefits of time alone. It turns out, even extroverts need alone time and that time spent alone makes people feel more rested, which contributes to their well-being.

james_tissot_-_quietAnd the activities that people in the study found the most restful?
1. Reading.
2. Being in a natural environment.
3. Time spent alone.

So grab a book and head outside for some quality alone time. It’s good for body and soul.

 

Want to know more about the benefits of rest? Try these titles. Just want to relax? Check out the downloadable music suggestions at the end of this post. For a full list of relaxation resources, click here.

jacket-aspxSilence : the power of quiet in a world full of noise / Thich Nĥát Hạnh. (Hardcover)
One of the world’s most beloved teachers and Zen masters shares a profound, concise, and practical guide to understanding and developing our most powerful inner resource—silence—to help us find happiness, purpose, and peace.

jacket-aspxThe art of stillness : adventures in going nowhere / Pico Iyer. (Hardcover)
Why might a lifelong traveler like Pico Iyer think that sitting quietly in a room might be the ultimate adventure? Because in our madly accelerating world, our lives are crowded, chaotic and noisy. There’s never been a greater need to slow down, tune out and give ourselves permission to be still.

jacket-aspxStillness speaks / Eckhart Tolle. (ebook)
If you connect to the stillness within, you move beyond your active mind and emotions and discover great depths of lasting peace, contentment, and serenity.

 

 

jacket-aspxRelaxation revolution : enhancing your personal health through the science and genetics of mind body healing / Herbert Benson and William Proctor. (Downloadable Audiobook)
Using the mind to quiet the body not only eases stress, it actually alters the activity of thousands of genes, promoting wellness. Science now proves that relaxation not only changes how a patient feels physically and emotionally, it has the power to transform genes, molecules, cells, and other physiological functions to relieve a variety of afflictions.

vector-musical-1Downloadable Music

Positive thinking, vol. 1 – music for meditation, relaxation & yoga

Guided meditation guided relaxation & guided imagery for the body and mind

Classical music for relaxation vol.1

Spa music: relaxing music for massage therapy, spa, yoga, stress relief, meditation and sleeping

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Help for New Years Resolutions

new-years-resolutionsEveryone has good intentions at the start of a new year, and why not? A new year is a great time for a new beginning. If you need help with some of your New Year resolutions, it’s the perfect time to take a look at lynda.com.

lynda.com is an online learning site with over 3,000 courses that’s available to all Cheshire Library cardholders. Login from the library’s website!

Here are some suggested courses to get you started on your new year! To view the courses in-depth, grab your library card and head over to our eLearning page where you can login to lynda.com.

smileHappiness Tips: (Weekly Tips)
Get a new happiness tip every Monday to help you live a happier life. Learn practical, actionable techniques for finding more time for the things you love and maximizing your day-to-day happiness.

moneyPersonal Finance Tips: (Weekly Tips)
Each week, receive a new tip, designed to help you make smart decisions about your money.

5 Personal Finance Tips: 9 minutes, 18 seconds.
This short course provides time-tested tips on managing your spending, managing your fixed costs (regular monthly expenses), creating a budget, investing, and saving money.

face-sad-sweatingManaging Stress: 21 minutes, 2 seconds.
With the right techniques, you can reduce the amount of stress in your life. In this short course, author and retired MBA professor Dr. Todd Dewett shares his tips for managing stress, including identifying your triggers, managing responses, and making positive personal choices.

thumbs_upDisrupting Yourself: 24 minutes, 28 seconds.
Disrupting yourself is the secret to breaking into a new field, never settling for less, and achieving more. In this course, author, Harvard Business Review blogger, and consultant Whitney Johnson walks you through her seven-step model to disrupt yourself and move to the next level in your career.

power_fist_Powerless to Powerful: Taking Control: 60 minutes.
In this course, executive coach and LinkedIn’s head of organizational development Fred Kofman helps you make the choice to embrace life’s challenges, to go from victim to hero, and shows how to help others do the same through support and coaching.

push_back_timeManaging Your Time: 11 minutes, 11 seconds.
Learn four time-management tips that help everyone from busy executives to new employees get more out of their work day.

Time Management Tips: 43 minutes, 1 second.
Learn about everything from managing emails and calendars to setting priorities, reducing interruptions, crafting a “productivity mindset,” and creating a more comfortable and effective work environment.

chakra-meditationMindfulness: 1 hour, 16 minutes.
UCLA professor and executive coach John Ullmen, PhD, explains the fundamentals of mindfulness and provides step-by-step methods that anyone can use.

aide-memoireImproving Your Memory: 1 hour, 29 minutes.
This fascinating course explains how and when to employ tricks such as mnemonic devices, rhymes, stories, and alliteration. And it explains the best methods for different situations, like remembering names, important dates, passwords, to-do lists, quotes, and more.

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in January?

Happy New Year! We’ve got some programs to help you start the year off right, whether it’s getting healthier, spending quality family time together, or figuring out that new technology you got over the holidays… check out our January calendar for the full roster of programs this month, including:

Tuesday Movie Matinees

img_8439Tuesdays, Jan 3, 10, 17, 24, 1:00 PM

  • Jan 3: Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
  • Jan 10: Money Monster (2016)
  • Jan 17: Sully (2016)
  • Jan 24: All the Way (2016)

Family Game Night

familyWednesday Jan 4, 2017, 6:30  –  8:00 PM

Enjoy a fun-filled, family-friendly evening at Family Game Night! We’ll bring out a mix of classic and new tabletop games, as well as video games for Wii. Use the library’s games, or feel free to bring your own! Best for families with children ages 3 and up, registration required.

board-game-1719449_960_720Cheshire Board Game Club

Thursday Jan 5, 2017, 3:00  –  4:30 PM

Cheshire Board Game Club is a table top gaming group welcoming all skill levels and gaming abilities. We have a ton of games, so come on by, play games and nibble snacks with us! Grades 7—12, no registration required.

fbf9a5407e5c6c03f4ccda8cca141cd3Little Movers: Indoor Obstacle Course

Saturday Jan 7, 2017, 11:00 AM  –  12:00 PM

Baby, it’s cold outside! Come in from the cold and join us for an indoor obstacle course that’s just right for kids under 6. Healthy snacks will be served. No registration required.

karkowska_sistersThe Karkowska Sisters Duo

Sunday Jan 8, 2017, 2:00 PM

60 Minutes Around the World will take the audience on a breathtaking journey/adventure around the world with unforgettable stories, a healthy dose of humor, and an amazing program of the most beloved classical music. Free to the public, no registration required.

Drop-In Tech Help

notebook, and two persons on white backgroundMondays Jan 9, 23, 30 and Saturday Jan 21, 1:00 PM

Do you have questions about your computer, smartphone, or iPad? Do you need help navigating Facebook or downloading an ebook?  Bring your technology-related questions and problems to Cheshire Public Library’s Drop-in Tech Help. NOTE: Please be sure your device is fully charged beforehand. In the event your question or issue is more involved, we may ask you to schedule an appointment to come back for one-on-one help. Tech help is available on a first come first served basis.

3_healthy___delicious_pasta_alternatives_0_27750151_ver1-0_640_480Cookbook Club: Good and Good FOR You

Wednesday Jan 11, 2017, 6:30  –  8:00 PM

Let’s explore recipes that not only keep up healthy and fit, but that also taste great!  Are you like us, and looking to get back on track after the holidays?  Then this Cookbook Club is for you. Check out a cookbook from the library, bring a sample dish, and discuss healthy and delicious food with some great people.  Don’t forget to bring copies of your recipe to share with the group.  Bon Appetit! Registration is required.

apple_me276ll_a_16gb_ipad_mini_with_1011237Introduction to iPad

Thursday Jan 12, 2017, 6:30 PM

Do you have an iPad or are you thinking of getting one? Then this class is for you!  Get the lowdown on apps, music, settings and more. Please bring your fully charged iPad, apple user name/password and your e-mail user name/password if applicable. Registration is required.

05-stock-illustration-13570049-gym-exercises-silhouettes-female-copy-2Pilates

Saturday Jan 14, 2017, 2:30  –  4:00 PM

Pilates is a highly effective exercise that can be practiced by all ages and abilities to help you build strength, flexibility and overall well-being. Pilates is designed to help you improve muscles, strength, breathing, posture, balance and more. Come  improve core strength mobility and stability with Pilates instructor Nadine Phillips. Registration is required.

dr_lynnette_m_guida-61115356_stdHealing Power of Nature

Wednesday Jan 18, 2017, 6:00  –  7:30 PM

Join  Dr. Lynnette M. Guida, a Naturopathic Physician and  Licensed Acupuncturist, as she explains principles and benefits of naturopathic medicine and acupuncture. Registration is required.

kindle-fire-hdxIntroduction to Kindle Fire

Thursday Jan 19, 2017, 6:30 PM

Join us as we discuss the fundamentals of the Amazon Fire HDX.  We will look at apps, setting, how to connect your device to the internet and more.  Please bring your fully charged Amazon Fire HDX and your Amazon user name/ password.  Registration is required.

home-page-revised-225x300Live a Happier More Fulfilling Life

 Wednesday Jan 25, 2017, 6:00  –  7:30 PM  

Join Lynn Healy as she shares her own personal stories for overcoming fear and limiting beliefs around self-worth and happiness. She’ll provide tips and tools you can put into your life today to help you find your happiness. Talk includes meditation designed to help you bust through the blocks that are holding you back. Previous meditation experience is not necessary. This meditation will help spiritual gurus and newbies, alike. Registration is required.

20110816142644Making Healthy Chocolate Treats

Saturday Jan 28, 2017, 2:00 PM

With the holidays over, we naturally begin to focus on healthy eating and exercise but we still want our chocolate!   Can chocolate really be part of a healthy diet?  Long time chef and chocolate expert Maria Brandriff will demonstrate that it can. The program will feature information about the health benefits of chocolate as well demonstrations of some healthy and easy-to-make recipes.  Ample samples and recipes will be available. Registration is required.

3 Ways to Enjoy a Minimalist Holiday

christmas-fireplaceA blog post that dares to ask the question, is it possible to celebrate the holidays without the clutter and overabundance that characterizes most households during December? Let’s rephrase that: is it possible to do away with the clutter and overabundance and still have a fun holiday?

You bet! First, study after study has shown that happiness comes from experiences not from things. Second less stuff means less stress. Third, fewer gifts equals more money, and more money is the equivalent of greater peace of mind.

Of course minimalism does not mean no gifts. It just means less. It means fewer, more meaningful remembrances for loved ones. Think quality, not quantity.

Make and Give Homemade Gifts.

jacket-aspxFor instance, Country Living Christmas Joys: Decorating, Crafts & Recipes has chapters titled “Handmade gifts from the heart” and “Homemade Gifts from  the kitchen”. Gifts of food are great because they are an experience, both the making and the eating. And food is a gift that leaves nothing behind but good memories.

Enjoy Shared Experiences.

jacket-aspxShared experiences are another memory-maker that creates fun and costs little to nothing. Family holiday movie nights are a great way to celebrate all month long. Make special treats and check out a holiday DVD or blu-ray or stay in the warmth of your house and download a Christmas movie.

 

Give.

jacketAnd let’s not forget the gift of giving. The Giving Way to Happiness : Stories and Science Behind the Transformative Power of Giving by Jenny Santi discusses the wisdom of great thinkers past and present, as well as cutting-edge scientific research, and makes the case that the answers to the problems that haunt us, and the key to the happiness that eludes us, lie in helping those around us.

It’s simple. Cook. Eat. Share. Laugh. Give. Enjoy.

The Joy of Following Your Own Rules

There is significant pressure in the world for us all to be perfect. The perfect employee, parent, student, child, and so on. There is a seemingly endless supply of information available claiming that it can help us get closer to that goal of perfection.  The pressure of this constant pushing can be hard to handle, and some make different choices (good and bad) than they might without the social pressures.

While it might sound easy, it is actually difficult to let go and ignore the people who should really have no say in our lives. Sometimes we need to put the blinders on and focus on doing the best we can with what we feel is important, rather than doing the best we can to fit the expectations of others. It is a challenge, especially now when new is so immediate and our lives feel so interconnected via social media.

I have found that there is a movement out there to help us all focus on what is truly important (the health and happiness of ourselves and those we love) rather than fitting the labels perfect1or expectations others might want to impose on us. Here are a variety of book that encourage us to let go of those restrictions to take care of ourselves and our loved ones in our own way. Fair warning though, there is some censored profanity in some of the titles, and the tone of the book often matches the title.

Big Girl: How I Gave up Dieting and Got a Life by Kelsey Miller

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do by Sarah Knight

Instant Mom by Nia Vardalos

Better Than Normal: How What Makes You Different Can Make You Exceptional by Dale Archer

jacket-aspxF*ck Feelings: One Shrink’s Practical Advice for Managing All Life’s Impossible Problems by Michael I. Bennett, MD, and Sarah Bennet

The Tao of Martha: My Year perfect2of LIVING, or Why I’m Never Getting All That Glitter Off of The Dog by Jen Lancaster

Helping Me Help Myself: One Skeptic, Ten Self-Help Gurus, and a Year on the Brink of the Comfort Zone by Beth Lisick

Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin– Every Inch of It by Brittany Gibbons

Do you have a favorite read that helps remind you to just be you and ignore the critics of society? Please share it with us in the comments!