Self Improvement Month

September 2020

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What is Self Improvement?

Self improvement is very straightforward, it is the improvement of one's knowledge, status, or character by one's own efforts. By putting in the effort, we can see positive change in all aspects of our lives. Think about every dimension of wellness: social, emotional, intellectual, physical, spiritual, occupational, financial, and environmental. Which of these areas could you improve on? How are you going to make that positive change? In this edition of Positive Pulse, we will learn time management strategies, tips to improve your emotional health and ways that you can give back to your community!

Time Management Strategies

Time Management Matrix

Stephen Covey, author of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, created a matrix for taking action and organizing your tasks. Using the decision matrix below, you will separate your actions based on four possibilities:

  1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately)
  2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later)
  3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else)
  4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate)

The Ivy Lee Method

  1. At the end of each work day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
  2. Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
  3. When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
  4. Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
  5. Repeat this process every working day.

Other tips:

  • Do not multitask, focus on one task at a time
  • Determine your productive times
  • Remove distractions
  • Delegate tasks when possible
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6 Strategies for Improving Your Emotional Health

1. Brighten Your Outlook

  • Remember your good deeds! Give yourself credit for the good things you do for others each day.
  • Think positive. Note what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day, not what you failed to do.

2. Reduce Stress

  • Set priorities. Decide what must get done and what can wait.
  • Exercise regularly. Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood and reduce stress.
  • Try relaxation methods. Mindfulness, meditation or yoga may help.

3. Get Quality Sleep

  • Go to bed the same time each night and get up the same time each morning.
  • Limit the use of electronics before bed.
  • Avoid alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine late in the day.

4. Cope with Loss

  • Take care of yourself. Try to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. Avoid bad habits—like smoking or drinking alcohol—that can put your health at risk.
  • Talk to caring friends. Let others know when you want to talk.
  • Consider additional support. Sometimes short-term talk therapy can help.
  • Be patient. Mourning takes time. It’s common to have roller-coaster emotions for a while.

5. Strengthen Social Connections

  • Join a group focused on a favorite hobby, such as reading, hiking, or painting.
  • Travel to different places and meet new people.

6. Be Mindful

  • Take some deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often.
  • Enjoy a stroll. As you walk, notice your breath and the sights and sounds around you. As thoughts and worries enter your mind, note them but then return to the present.

Give Back

Are you looking to contribute toward a great cause? You can register now for the Mary Cariola Walking on Sunshine virtual fundraising event! This event takes place on September 18th-20th, and funds raised go toward providing much-needed safety equipment, evaluations for children showing signs of learning delays, social workers for every family, and so much more!

Not interested in walking? You can make a donation!

You can also help provide essential supplies by purchasing items off their Amazon Wish List!


211/LIFE LINE is a mission program of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes, and is an accredited program through the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems, American Association of Suicidology, and CONTACT USA for Online Emotional Support.

211/LIFE LINE is there for everyone, every day, anytime. Community members get connected with experienced telecounselors by simply dialing 211 for free and confidential assistance connecting you to vital services within the community. When you need help locating basic resources (like food, clothing, shelter) or need crisis stabilization for yourself or someone you know, 211 is there to listen and help.

Homemade Clorox Wipes Recipe

Out of Clorox wipes? Don't fret- here is a recipe to make your own!

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1 tsp. Dawn dish soap (only use Dawn)
  • 2 Tbsp. ammonia (optional)
  • 24 rags – cut into squares. (cut them to about 4×6 inches or whatever size you have available. You can also use old washrags that have seen better days.)

Mix the ingredients and pour over the rags.The best thing about these homemade wipes is that you can just throw them in the washing machine and use them again! After you make this recipe, you will need to adjust how much of the mixture you pour over your rags. For more information, click here!

Mexican Shrimp with Orzo


  • 1lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced, divided
  • 1½ TBS canola oil
  • ⅓ c. minced shallots
  • 1 c. dry orzo pasta
  • 2 c. low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 10- ounce can no salt added diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ¼ c. chopped cilantro
  • 2 c. sliced zucchini


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the salt and pepper and 1 clove of pressed garlic; set aside.

Heat canola oil over medium high and add the minced shallots and garlic; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring often so the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the dried orzo pasta and continue to cook and stir, until the orzo is golden and smells nutty. Add the chicken broth, water, tomatoes with green chilies, cinnamon, lime juice and cilantro; cook until the orzo is tender, about 5-8 minutes.

Add the zucchini and cook for 2-3 minutes; finish by adding the shrimp.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the shrimp is done and the orzo is tender.

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"Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort." - Deborah Day