Archive for November, 2012

16 Desk Meditations That Will Change Your Life

Nov. 5th 2012


OK. Maybe “change your life” is a bit of a hyperbole, but meditation’s myriad forms still hold quite a few benefits for employees holed up at desks and inside cubicles all day. Benefits confirmed by reputable scientists, no less. Sitting all day leads to mental and physical health issues, but trying some of the following tactics might very well help chip away at them over time. We’re not doctors, though, so don’t take our advice as if we were!

  1. Zen:

    Emory University’s Charles Raison outlines a five-minute technique for calming down and clearing up the mind while working. Just set a timer, assume the position, and start breathing. He notes that the background noise in office settings might distract at first but can be incorporated into an exercise over time.

  2. Guided Meditation:

    It only takes a minute to mentally retreat into a “happy place” (here, a “warm, sunny meadow”) and soothe a (not seriously) troubled attitude. Try Susan Helene Kramer’s recommended positioning and breathing mechanisms when things get a little stressful at work. It may not necessarily lead to transcendent insights into the intimate workings of the universe, but it sure might alleviate some of the strain from those TPS reports.

  3. Rock garden:

    Buy or assemble a small rock and sand garden inspired by traditional Buddhist constructs used in Zen meditation. Not only will it make for a unique decoration, but offer up an anytime (or, anytime at the desk, anyways) opportunity to get contemplative while working out a difficult project or succumbing to stressors. Rock garden users can build their own personalized meditative practices around them, or check online for tips from other enthusiasts.

  4. Walk:

    OK, this suggestion is kind of cheating a little since it’s not technically at the desk, but whatever. It still works. Rather than taking a cue from spirituality, simply getting up and walking might provide a meditative moment in times of conflict. Use the time away from what’s causing the problem to chip away at negativity and formulate more viable solutions for peace and calm, both internal and external.

  5. Yoga:

    Great for the body — and mind, when paired with a meditative ritual. Yoga exercises, like the ones listed here tailored specifically for desk dwellers, stretch out muscles atrophying from too much sitting and provide an opportunity to defog the brainmeat during rough patches. Pick a few and start moving to see if it makes any positive difference.

  6. Eat:

    Employees lucky enough to be allowed to eat at their desks might want to clear some space and take advantage of the free time to meditate. After all, the art of mastication is a satisfying art indeed, so it makes sense that it would work wonders for the harried mind in need of a break from work. Focus on something simple and try “waking up to whatever’s happening right now,” as Jay Michaelson describes the experience.

  7. Audio guidance:

    Whip out a pair of noise-cancelling headphones and try some of these guided meditation recordings, including offerings by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh. Oprah.com posts several different selections to peruse, so hopefully some of the ones included here work wonders. If not, Google is a thing that exists, and plenty of free guided meditation audio and podcasts are available online. Or one could head to the store and check for CDs, too.

  8. Pray:

    More religious types might prefer prayer as a form of meditation during the rough work day, which can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Keep a reminder of a favorite verse, adage, or passage — or even a copy of a favorite religious text – on hand for reference and inspiration whenever it’s needed. No matter one’s temporal needs, chances are a tiny amount of time set aside to reflect on faith will help more than not bothering at all.

  9. Just breathe:

    Take inspiration from Drew Barrymore in Ever After and … just breathe (Hey! That’s the name of the entry!). Seeing as how it forms an integral component of meditation, paying mind to inhaling and exhaling could provide an easy, quick strategy for staying calm throughout the work day. Experiment with a few different methods and see which one proves most satisfying when navigating the daily migraines of office life.

  10. Sitting comfy:

    Try sitting on a pillow on the floor (if the company allows) and get cozy with it before launching a brief meditation session at the desk. More self-conscious individuals might want to just arrange it on their chairs instead. Either way, opting for this might not necessarily directly lead to any sort of calm or enlightenment, but it definitely can’t hurt when trying to attain it during the work day.

  11. Transcendental meditation:

    Creative Renaissance man David Lynch attributes his successes to transcendental meditation, which might very well work for the office dwellers of the world as well. While it requires a little more effort than some of the strategies listed here, some might want to explore this trendy practice’s tenets without leaving their desks. Considering one of its main thrusts involves dissolving stress levels, it might prove a tactic worthy of experimentation for practitioners in more anxiety-ridden fields.

  12. Progressive muscle relaxation:

    Psychology professionals sometimes prescribe this calming technique to their depressed and anxious patients, and it dovetails lovely with meditation practices. Which makes sense, seeing as how breathing also just happens to ensure proper muscle relaxation. Try pairing it with Zen, transcendental, or other techniques for overarching mind and body calm.

  13. Aromatherapy:

    It’s kind of a bad idea to light a candle or start smearing essential oils around at the office, but aromatherapy might prove a viable option for the work-from-home crowd. Pick a particularly soothing scent and get transported to a mental plane beyond daily drudgery. Or at least smell nice. Smelling nice is always pretty good.

  14. Mantras:

    Mantras run the gamut from a single word to a beloved hymn, and concentrating on them during the day could very well prove exactly what the stressed-out corporate drone needs to succeed. Try different ones at home and at work to see which — if any, of course — prove the snuggest fit. Some might induce meditation in certain situations better than others, so it’s probably a good idea to keep a few different ones in mind.

  15. Music:

    The right tunes at the right time are all it takes for some people to sink into a meditative state of comfort and calm. Some Internet radio stations, apps, and podcast hosts feature free streaming music specifically for inducing relaxation, but obviously desk jockeys may pick whatever they want. Getting lost in a favorite jam stands as a near-universal experience and a very simple strategy for decompressing during a long day.

  16. THIS:

    Nothing else is a more effective technique for attaining oneness with the universe beyond mortal perception. Don’t argue. It’s science.

Posted by Staff Writers | in Career | No Comments »

50 Best Pinterest Boards for Student Vegetarians

Nov. 1st 2012


Although more and more schools offer dining options for students adhering to vegetarian and vegan diets (as in, dining options beyond “salad bar”), navigating a new environment with food restrictions still proves occasionally headache-inducing. But making snacks and meals at home means sticking with the lifestyle and resisting temptations to start noshing on tasty, fatty, salty bacon out of frustration. Pinterest lets that happen.

  1. Quick Vegetarian Recipes by Cooking Light:

    The good folks over at Cooking Light compile a wide range of tasty eats for time-crunched college vegetarians; best of all, most of them are pretty healthy, too!

  2. Raw Food Recipes by Tasha Johnson:

    For students sticking with a raw food diet exclusively or simply enjoying how they supplement more traditional vegetarian meals, this listing of some particularly delectable delights might yield something tantalizing.

  3. Recipes for a Vegetarian College Student by Emily Rose:

    Like the title states, this Pinterest board features vegetarian (and a couple of vegan) recipes especially curated for meat-averse students on a time and money budget.

  4. Everything Vegan by Gabrielle Rekully:

    College kids with an affinity for animal rights and a vegan lifestyle should head here for recipes, products, posters, infographics, quotes, and other media promoting the movement.

  5. For the Vegetarian: Recipes & Inspiration by fitsugar:

    Vegetarians, vegans, and raw foodists alike can browse fitsugar’s enthusiastic pinning featuring recipes, cookbook suggestions, product information, and a shirtless Ryan Gosling, because this is Pinterest.

  6. It’s Easy Being Green by Annie Kimberley:

    With 166 pins so far and counting, this repository for vegetarian and vegan dishes has plenty to offer a wide range of collegiate dietary, time, and fiscal needs.

  7. Raw Food by Veg Writing Momma:

    Moms who want to incorporate raw food snacks and dishes into their kids’ diets might want to browse this collection for stuff to make together.

  8. Quick Recipes (Vegetarian) by Lacy Jaudon:

    Compiled especially for students and student teachers, these recipes (and links to recipe collections!) work great when eating vegetarian with budget and time restraints.

  9. Foodie Fun-For Vegetarians! by Allison Rogers:

    This “college girl approved!” Pinterest board features a diverse array of vegetarian-themed recipes, with the occasional nutritional, serving, and spicing information rounding things out.

  10. Kale University by Suzanne Turner:

    Despite the title, Kale University doesn’t exclusively focus on the eponymous green; rather, the 906-pins-and-counting serves as a veritable library of all things vegan, vegetarian, raw foodism, health, and fitness.

  11. On the Road to Vegetarianism by Jamie Searcy:

    Pinners just now starting their vegetarian journey might find this collection of resources — mostly recipes, natch — exactly what they need to never miss meat again.

  12. Nutritious Vegan Spectacular by Melanie Glissman:

    Head here for both recipes and detailed information about everything the vegan lifestyle entails, particularly when it comes to the philosophies of animal rights.

  13. Quinoa and Bean Recipes by Valerie Tourangeau:

    Both ingredients cost comparatively little, especially when purchased in bulk, definitely making them ideal for cash-strapped college kids. Thankfully, the grain and legume alike are pretty versatile!

  14. Vegetarian by Recipe.com:

    With 64 pins and 15,734 hungry followers, this board proves a popular stopping point for vegetarians of different backgrounds.

  15. Vegan food and vegan living! by Violet Williams:

    Most of the content here revolves around recipes, but every once in a while an article slips in about how to keep the vegan lifestyle rather than keep cooking for it.

  16. YUMMY VEGETARIAN by Pirate Mom:

    Admit it. These might be “kid-friendly” vegetarian delights, but you know you want to give them a try, too, you naughty collegiate you.

  17. Easy Vegetarian by Heather Garrison:

    If your cooking skills could use some serious improving, this recipe collection makes for a great start to gaining confidence in the kitchen.

  18. Vegan Recipes & Websites by Julie Blankenship:

    Keep these resources on hand when searching for fabulous vegan-friendly eats when the usual stuff gets too boring and repetitive.

  19. JUICING VIDEOS by Sam Neylan:

    Juicing can be a great option for vegetarians, vegans, and their friendly omnivore roommates to go in on together, and these videos and recipes cover all the basics. The process isn’t inherently healthier than eating fruits and vegetables, of course, but it is tasty and breaks up texture monotony.

  20. That’s it Fruit – Vegan Finds by That’s It:

    Presented by That’s It Fruit Bars, this board features fun, fruity favorites and information about staying healthy and staying vegan.

  21. Vegan Fashion by Official PETA:

    No matter your opinion on PETA’s practices, their resource curating information about vegan-friendly clothing and accessories makes for an essential Pinterest pit stop for animal rights activists and supporters.

  22. Raw Food by Danika Carter @ Your Organic Life:

    Check out 180 (so far) mouth-watering recipes completely suitable for omnivorous, vegetarian, vegan, and raw food diets.

  23. Vegan Notebook by Chef Kathi – Canopy Rose Catering, Tallahassee:

    Chef Kathi pins up fancier fare than some college students might be comfortable attempting, but more adventurous types might want to give her vegan loves a go.

  24. Tasty Things – All Vegan, Always by Jo Kell:

    This pinner has more than 18 years of experience with a vegan diet and 1,641 recipes pinned to the Tasty Things board; if you can’t find something to make and eat here, then we’re afraid there’s not much we can do for you.

  25. vegetarian/vegan snacks by Krista Gene:

    Try some of these tasty vegetarian snacks between classes for a quick, healthy kick to keep you going until your next meal.

  26. vegetarian cooking and baking by taylor fiscus:

    Stop here and sate that sweet tooth (and savory tooth, but that’s not a thing that exists) with some fabulous vegetarian baked goods and casseroles.

  27. Gluten-Free MM Recipes by Meatless Monday:

    All of Meatless Monday’s boards are essential viewing, but for vegetarians who can’t process gluten, this one in particular stands out.

  28. Mindful eating by Lorraine Guptill:

    Rather than recipes, Lorraine Guptill provides inspirational quotes and images for college students giving up meat and other products for animal rights reasons.

  29. Vegetarian Cookbooks by Elizabeth:

    As you can probably guess from that title there, this Pinterest board features some vegetarian cookbooks students might want to pick up from the library for further reading.

  30. Juicing Juicing I LOVE Juicing by Jemma Morris:

    She really loves juicing, you guys, and the recipes here for smoothies and juices to add some variety to a vegetarian, vegan, and raw food diet attest to that fact. Some are not entirely friendly to the latter two lifestyles, but that’s why substitutes exist.

  31. Vegetarian Entrees by Kendra Nordgren:

    Whether hosting a dinner party or freezing for later in the week, the featured culinary centerpieces here will make even the most ardent carnivore start drooling.

  32. Vegan Condiments by Melanie Nettle-Kahl:

    Flavor up vegetarian, vegan, and raw food dishes and snacks with some of these delightful condiments – including mayo!

  33. Food Love: Raw Food Sweet by Stephanie Wills:

    Converting to a raw food, vegan, or vegetarian diet doesn’t have to mean giving up on enjoying rich, delectable desserts and sweet treats!

  34. Vegetarian Breakfast Ideas by Two Peas in a Blog:

    Start the day off decadent and meatless with some of these tasty meals, many of which yield enough food to save for later.

  35. yum * vegetarian sides, salads and snacks by Dawn Benedetto:

    When looking for quick vegetarian bites for home or out on the go, hit up this board for a diverse selection of ideas suitable for different tastes and kitchen acumens.

  36. Working on my veggie skills … by Na Lucia:

    Newcomers to the vegetarian lifestyle should check out this ever-growing collection of great snacks, meals, and more to keep on going.

  37. Not Hippy Vegetarian yummies! by Jamie Whitaker:

    College students living in cities with limited grocery access will especially appreciate this recipe collection highlighting largely easy-to-find ingredients.

  38. vegetarian and healthy choices by Madison Hall:

    A great general recipe board for vegetarians looking for recipes that won’t place them at such a high risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

  39. Healthy & Easy Vegetarian Recipes by Jessica Weasner:

    Since the pinner herself requests recipes that are inexpensive, and not above four servings as well, her board focusing on simple, healthy vegetarian food is absolutely perfect for college students!

  40. { Vegetarian } by Ashley Armstrong:

    Every recipe featured here is suitable for vegetarian, vegan, and raw food diets of varying budgets, skill levels, and time frames.

  41. Vegetarian by Jolene Oster:

    The woman behind this board specifically zeroes in on vegetarian dishes her college-aged son would enjoy.

  42. Raw food recipes and smoothies to energize by Lora Lyons:

    If there’s one thing higher ed students need, it’s energy. Whip up these snacks and smoothies for a jolt to stay active and alert throughout the day.

  43. Going Vegetaraian? by Donna Polk:

    Seeing as how Going Vegetarian? sports around 90 pins, chances are any young folks looking to begin their meatless (or animal product-less) journey might stumble across a few that keep them on the right track.

  44. Vegetarian Thanksgiving by Shannon:

    Whether heading home or sticking with the veggo co-op for the holiday, these recipes ensure no vegetarians, vegans, or raw foodists start staring wistfully at images of turkeys and hams.

  45. Freggie (fruit+veg) & gluten-free by Lily Reed:

    Vegetarians seeking a few good fruit and veggie dishes that don’t upset their gluten intolerance or allergy should consider this board an essential bookmark – even if they don’t use Pinterest on the reg.

  46. Fit&Vegetarian by Natalie Sullivan:

    Perfect for college students who converted to full vegetarianism in order to keep their circulatory systems as clean and healthy as possible.

  47. Vegetarian Variety by Sarah Helfgott:

    Critics often chide vegetarian diets as repetitive and bland. Critics are utterly, hopelessly wrong, as this library of gustatory greats proves.

  48. Raw, Vegan and Vegetarian Food by Heather Ballard:

    It’s a smorgasbord of tantalizing treats suitable for vegetarians, vegans, and raw foodists of all tastes and budgets, whether snacking on the go or celebrating a potluck with friends.

  49. Juicing by Rissa Webber:

    More juicing recipes for the on-the-go veggo college kid sharing the cost with a friend or lucky enough to carry around a little extra cash.

  50. Vegan/gluten free by Amanda Leiss:

    Like the title of this pinboard states, these recipes focus on vegan recipes suitable for students with gluten intolerance issues.

Posted by Staff Writers | in Resources, Technology | No Comments »