Taking time to center in a frenzied world

Breath. Fresh air. Green space. Movement. Center. Stretch. Appreciate. Inspire. Exhale. Absorb. Smile. Breathe.

How do you integrate these actions, objects and ideas into your life? Are they essential or forgotten?

Think about the days that you take a bit of time for yourself. Don’t you feel more energized, empowered and productive when you allow yourself time to move and breathe? Whether it’s a 5 minute walk at lunchtime, 10 deep breaths before a big meeting or a mid-day yoga class; I have found that self-care is essential to my effectiveness as a communicator, program director and person.

With the Tour Kick-off approaching, my life usually feels as though it is picking up pace at a practically exponential rate. Sometimes I don’t know how I can fit my entire to-do list into the day – and lots of times I simply can’t finish it all. However, I have noted with interest that as my schedule becomes increasingly more hectic, scheduling a few minutes of ‘Sara time’ becomes more of a priority. I am happier, more productive and have a more clear mind when I take time to center myself through breath, engage in physical activity or spend time near green space.

Some days I’m lucky. For example on Friday I managed to squeeze in a substantial afternoon mountain bike ride – my energy level was at rock-bottom but after spinning for a few hours I felt like it was the start of a brand-new day. Granted, I had to work late to make up for lost time, but I guarantee that the work that I produced in the evening was of much higher quality than if I been forced to drag myself through the afternoon.

Such are the perks of working for ones self, I know. However, self-care doesn’t have to be a full mid-day workout. Actions as simple as standing up, a walk around the block or a quick stretch can help your energy and mind tremendously. I won’t throw a bunch of science at you, but needless to say, research supports my statements. (You can read more about short bouts of physical activity and wellness in this review article.)

I realize that often even a walk outside isn’t possible. Long conference days, toting kids around from activity to activity and life in general get in the way. I would just like to remind you that regardless of your location, you can always take time to breathe.


Houghton, MI – A Tour Community Making Headlines

A Tour community makes the news! HUGE props to Houghton, Michigan for its recent passage of a Complete Streets Ordinance. This new health statute is an exciting step forward for an unpretentious little community in the almost entirely rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Houghton also happens to be my hometown (Go Gremlins!) and still holds a dear piece of my heart. I have watched cycling bring this quaint midwest college burg alive over the past 15 years. Thanks to the diligent efforts of a handful of bike-minded (hah!) individuals, Houghton has been designated as a ‘Bike-Friendly City’ by the American League of Cyclists and is also host to many popular mountain biking events during the summer. I am so proud of my hometown and my dear friends who have led the healthy living charge there through their passion for promoting cycling. The School Food Tour can’t wait to complete the ride in Houghton!


On a side note,¬†I am still totally in love with DoSomething – an organization dedicated to involving teens in changing their communities. They’re offering Be Amazing Grants of $2,000 for young applicants who are “inspiring people to act big”.