When life gives you lemons…

In 2013 poet Sharon Olds won a Pulitzer Prize for her collection entitled Stag’s LeapShe was 71.

Welcome to The 5-Minute Recharge Newsletter with 1 quote, 3 ideas and a 5-minute challenge to charge up your wellness and help connect you with your purpose.

Blooming has no deadline 

“Blooming has no deadline. Our future story is written in pencil, not carved in stone. It can be changed. There is no fixed chronology to self-determination, no age limit for breakthroughs. What we accomplish in the marathon of life depends on our persistence, our patience, and an ability to see ourselves as we really are.”
Rich Karlgaard makes the case for late bloomers 



  • NBA PLAYERS ARE FINDING IT HARD TO REBOUND FROM SLEEP DEPRIVATION. Imagine a job where your workday–in which you’re expected to consistently perform at a world-class level–ends at 10pm, you board a plane at 11:30pm, hit the hotel around 3am, and do it all over again the next day. Welcome to the world of pro basketball where sleep deprivation combined with the circadian rhythm disruption of crossing time zones is the league’s dirty little, potentially life-shortening secret. Five months into the season, the effects of sleep deprivation are seen in testosterone levels–the athlete’s foundational hormone that affects speed, muscle mass and mood–that can drop a whopping 64 percent, increasing the risk of injury. Lack of sleep messes up recovery, performance and mindset; therefore sleep is everything to an NBA player…and sleep is everything to you. LeBron James invests over a million dollars a year on his wellbeing, but his sleep routine is freely available: he sets the temperature in his hotel room to 68-70 degrees, shuts off all electronics 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime, and uses a sleep app with the sound of rain drops to ease him into restorative sleep. And if you’d like a more luxurious way to slip into sleep, check out these five tips to improve your bedtime routine.

“But where the morning routine is more about doing — the matcha ritual, the jade rollers and serums, the lists of intentions — the evening or bedtime routine is about the pleasure of refusal, of solitude and of melting into being.”
Kate Carraway


  • IS ADDICTION TO GAMING REALLY AN ADDICTION? In May the World Health Organization (WHO) added gaming disorder” to its list of afflictions, and although some objected, noting that gaming is just another activity like shopping, or gambling, or sex, that certain people enjoy specializing in to the exclusion of most other activities, nobody with gaming disorder was paying attention to WHO’s latest pronouncements. They were too busy playing Fortnite in their parents’ basement. But the debate about video-game addiction is much more than simply an argument over the classification of mental disorders. The nature of addiction itself is at a crossroads with the biological theory that faulty neurocircuitry is to blame for addictive behaviour being challenged by a much larger cultural argument. What if addiction is a disease of loneliness and lack of purpose?

“If addiction is the compulsive substitution of an artificially rewarding experience for essential human intimacy, then these men had found its opposite in each other.”
Ferris Jabr, The New York Times Magazine


  • IF YOU DON’T WANT TO CALL IT SELF-COMPASSION, CALL IT INNER FRIENDLINESS. Kristin Neff is one of the world’s leading experts on self-compassion. In a recent 10% Happierpodcast interview with Dan Harris that we highly recommend, Kristin talks about the difference between self-esteem and self-compassion, how self-compassion makes you stronger, and how we can use mindfulness, connecting to our common humanity, and kindness to become more self-compassionate. Her website offers a number of free meditations and resources, but if you want to take a more systematic approach to building your resilience through self-compassion, Kristin Neff has a new workbook that will take you through an eight-week program in inner friendliness. And, for those of you who received some unpleasant feedback and are in search of a 5-minute self-compassion recharge, here’s Kristin Neff with a short meditation to gently talk you off the ledge of self-loathing.

“When life gives you lemons, make margaritas.”
– Kristin Neff


Value Your Values

“I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.”
― Michelle Obama

Losing touch with your values is painful. Connecting with a value you truly find meaningful and putting it into daily action gives life purpose and meaning and provides an inexhaustible source of motivation. In this 5-Minute Recharge challenge based on an exercise from the wonderful book A Liberated Mind by Dr. Steven Hayes, you’ll spend five minutes (ten if you believe the exercise would be valuable) writing about a value that is important to you. Choose one of the following: Family (other than marriage or parenting), Marriage/couples/intimate relations, Parenting, Friends/social life, Work, Education/training, Recreation/fun, Spirituality, Citizenship/community life, Physical self-care (diet, exercise, sleep), Environmental issues, Art/creative expression.
Now write about it answering the following questions:

  • What do I care about in this area?
  • When in my life has this value been important?
  • When have I violated this value, and what was that like?
  • What can I do to bring more of this value into my life?

Research has shown that writing about your values is a lot more powerful than simply choosing values from a list and thinking about them. Values writing can reduce stress, help us transcend our egos, and connect with others. We hope that you will take what you learn from writing about a cherished value and act on it. Start working that book you’ve always wanted to write, join a community organization or plan a get-together with friends.

“Building your connection with your values is a journey that can last the rest of your life, and every step can make your life more meaningful.”
Steven Hayes

Wishing you a meaningful week ahead!