The trick to balancing life and decreasing stress in your life lies in a 20-minute exercise each day:
Five minutes for calming your mind.
This exercise at the beginning of each day is crucial. Meditating or your version of it can mean the difference between attacking your day with ferocity and approaching it with an aura of calmness. Meditation centers your mind and calms your spirit. It also helps relieve any tension you feel about the day ahead. Meditation can help you focus on your inner power and remind you that you’re important to others.
Five minutes for planning.
Once you've calmed your mind, it’s time to plan your day. Planning means organizing your tasks so you can be productive without abusing yourself. Prioritize your tasks based on their importance. Delete and delegate what you can, then schedule what must be done.
Try your best to stick to the plan for the day. Having a clear plan for what you want to accomplish helps to keep you focused and stress-free.
Five minutes for checking in.
Whether all at once or in one-minute intervals, check up on yourself. Assess how well you've been able to stick to your plan. Have you accomplished your important tasks? Have you been able to manage your day without losing your cool?
There may be times when you’ll have to readjust your list of tasks. There are bound to be unforeseen circumstances. But what's important is that you take them in stride.
Take a moment to change your approach. Learn how to go with the flow.
Five minutes for winding down.
Now that you've come to the end of the day, it's time to wind down. You've probably never allowed yourself the opportunity to truly do that before.
Taking time to wind down is the best way to relieve the stress of the day. Engage in some relaxing activities. Do you like yoga or would you prefer to sit quietly and listen to jazz music? Let go of what happened today and get ready for tomorrow.
Winding down also opens you up to spending quality time with loved ones. You'll probably agree that at the end of a busy day, you may be too tired to interact with anyone. That will change when you allow yourself to wind down each day.
Once you try it for a week, you'll realize that this approach works. Designating these 20 minutes each day can help you maintain some balance and decrease your stress level. It can also help you manage all other aspects of your life with relative ease. And you'll enjoy a calmer existence that you didn’t think was possible!
Choosing storage and backups for your precious photos is incredibly overwhelming and there are so many things to consider. I will speak to this more in upcoming posts and want to only discuss one of the many options available that I am familiar with and when you should consider using it. That is Backblaze.
Backblaze is an automated backup service. For a truly minimal fee, Backblaze, once installed, automatically backs up your entire computer and your external hard drive and is incredibly easy to recover.
The backup is stored off site in the cloud, meaning that unlike syncing services similar to DropBox, it will not slow down your computer and use up space on your hard drive. It works in the background to update new materials regularly.
This would be one part of the 3 part 3-2-1 backup suggested for all photos. 3 backups, 2 different formats, at least 1 off-site, in the cloud. Backblaze is a great option for the cloud storage part of your 3 part photo backup solutions with the added bonus of protecting everything else on your computer as well. I suggest using the free trial below first to see if its the right solution for you before purchasing.
I use SmugMug religiously in my photo organizing business. I use it as one of my main photo storage areas for both clients and my own personal photos. I love the flexibility of the settings of each folder and gallery so that people can only see, and download based on my permissions. I also love how easy it is to upload to galleries by simply sending people a customized link. I think it is one of the best options for families to all share access to their family photos. If after you watch the video, you want to try if for free, click on the affiliate link below.
Aside from a car or a whack of cash, a great memory is the best graduation gift I can think of. I don't know about you but that car and cash thing just aren't happening, so the video slideshow might be right up your alley.
Although it may seem like a quick and easy thing to do, and it can be if you aren't putting in any actual effort to make it personal, a thoughtful, memorable video slideshow can take a lot of time to prepare for and create. If you are going this route, I suggest giving yourself at least two months, depending on how much time you have to commit to it.
The first three weeks can be dedicated to locating and gathering the perfect pictures and deciding the theme for the project. Will it only include school photos or their life up to this point? Will you use just photos or will their be memorabilia and videos as well? Flipping through albums, boxes and our often disorganized digital image collections can take time. Especially if you get misty eyed reliving events as you go. Have a criteria for the types of pictures you are looking for to keep you on task. You may want to contact your graduate's friends for additional social media images to add in.
The next three weeks will likely involve digitizing the prints and memorabilia, editing any videos into usable clips setting up a storyboard with the order of the images as you want them to appear. To make it thoughtful and memorable, you want to tell their story not just a bunch of random images. Think about how you want to separate the parts of the story into chapters and add any captions you think may enhance the story. Don't go overboard with the captions, people don't want to have to read every slide.
The last couple of weeks will be uploading into your chosen software, editing the appropriate slide lengths and transitions and choosing and adding the music, fades and timing. Remember that you will need to check into copyrights for images and music if you intend to show it outside of your event or home. You don't want to violate copyright if its going on-line. I use Proshow Pro software but there are many excellent options available out there.
If you find this overwhelming, simply collect your images and videos and find someone local to do the work for you. Just be sure to give them the necessary time to do a great job on it as well. Your slideshow will likely be something they will remember and watch over and over again over the years, so all the work will be worth it.