How to Pull Off a Last-Minute-Time-Off Request

Things come up. Whether it’s a concert or tickets to a fútbol match, sometimes you just need to take the day off at the last minute. Make your absence a smooth one with these steps:

Let the right people know: Even if it is late, just make sure that anyone you work with directly on a daily basis finds out before they receive your out-of-office email or arrive at your desk to find it empty. This way, they can readjust their plan for the day accordingly to continue any work you were doing with them.

Stick with the facts: Just because you feel a little guilty about requesting the time off, doesn’t mean that you have to share details about your plan. Instead, stick to the logistics: who will cover your post in your absence, and the amount of time you will be away.

Get someone to fill in: If there are deadlines to hit or meetings to make while you are out, find someone to cover for you. That way you will have notes to come back to and nothing will be overdue when you return.

Don’t procrastinate: This is an everyday strategy that will make you more available overall. If you stay ahead of your work as much as possible, this will free you up to take a day off last minute, or even take on an extra project if one pops up.

De-Stress in 10 minutes or Less

Don’t have time for a day at the spa? Unwind with one of our 10 relaxing ideas:

1. Call a Friend: A quick phone call to a friend can be just the distraction you need to relax. The trick is to wisely choose which friend you want to speak with.

2. Sweet scents: Aromatherapy can help calm, energize and revitalize. Sweet scents like lavender and peppermint can help soothe the mind and also improve focus.

3. Meditate: Close your eyes and think about something that makes you happy -- a place, a person, an idea. This distraction will leave you feeling calm and inspired.

4. Stretch: Stretching feels good! Loosen up and touch your toes, or try some arm stretches if you’re in the office.

5. Music: Put your headphones on and shut the world out for a minute while listening to one of your favorite tunes.

6. Close your eyes: Don’t have time for a nap? Don’t worry. Just closing your eyes briefly will make an enormous difference during a stressful time.

7. Take a walk: Get your blood flowing a little bit and go for a walk. Pick up the pace if you want to boost those endorphins!

8. Get outside: Fresh air will do wonders for your mood and calm any anxious thoughts you may be having.

9. Clean up: Even the simple act of straightening up can leave you feeling refreshed, renewed and ready to tackle bigger tasks.

10. Hand massage: Hands carry a lot of tension, so something as simple as massaging the pressure point under your thumb will relieve stress in the shoulders, neck and scalp.

No Gym Necessary: At Home Workouts

Before spending money on a gym membership, consider ejercicios that can be done from la casita. When combined with 30 minutes of cardio -- a short jog or a brisk walk -- three to four times per week, these moves will help to keep you healthy.

Legs: Squats are simple exercises that pack a lot of punch if they are done properly. This is because they engage every muscle in the legs. Place your hands behind your head or straight out in front of your body and do five sets of 10 reps with a brief rest between each.

Arms: Dips are a strength-training exercise for your triceps that can be done on your coffee table or even a chair. Sit up straight with hands resting on each side of your hips. Straighten your legs and use your arms to slowly lower your body. At least three times a week, perform three sets of 12 dips with a brief rest between each set.

Abs: Planks are a versatile and effective way to work your core. Begin in a push-up position and slowly lower onto your forearms, keeping your back and legs straight. Flex your abdominals and your glutes and hold for four sets of 30 seconds. As this exercise becomes more comfortable, increase your sets to one minute each.

Glutes: Lunges are a great exercise for firming up those glutes. Stand straight with your legs shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Step forward with your right leg and bend both knees at the same time, trying to form a 90-degree angle with each. Be sure that your right knee does not go over your toe line. Alternate legs, and count one rep as two lunges -- one on each leg. Repeat for three sets of 10 reps. 

Familia Fitness

Wherever you’re working out, bring the rest of your family and stay healthy together this summer.


Familia Dance Night: Set aside one night a week to meet in the living room for a dance party at home. Make a play list that includes everyone’s favorite songs and groove the night away! You can even choreograph routines or have dance-offs with each other.

Go to the Mall: Head to the mall as a group and count how many paces you put in with a pedometer. When shopping, stay together or divide the list and split up into smaller groups if it is easier to get around.

YMCA: Cold or rainy weather may make it difficult to get outside and exercise. Joining a team or a league at the local YMCA is a great way not only to get the family to spend time with each other, but also to make friends in the community. Water sports are a great option for a group, as are team sports like volleyball or soccer.


Walking and Hiking: Take a daily walk after dinner or scope out your area for nearby trails. Hiking is a great activity for all members of the family because you can set a pace that is comfortable for everyone.

Biking: A family-friendly activity, biking can help improve endurance and balance. It is also an easy way to explore a new neighborhood or even other areas in your own neighborhood. You can control the group’s pace and the distance you travel.

Swimming: When the weather is warm there is no better way to cool off than going for a swim. A low-impact activity, swimming leads to greater strength and flexibility.

5 Ways to Boost your Career

Moving up the career ladder may seem like a long-term goal, but it’s never too early to get started. In fact, taking incremental steps toward a promotion can be accomplished on a daily basis. Follow these five tips to stay sharp and to keep a competitive edge when it comes time for a promotion:

1.    Use Social Media Strategically: It is not only important to read social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn to keep up with the news in your industry, it is just as important to participate in them. Get your opinions out there so that employers can see what you know and how you think.

2.    Education: Find out what skills you need to make it easier for you to advance in your career. Once you know, invest in the right education to develop those skills, whether it is night classes or an additional degree.

3.    Look up: Examine the job descriptions above you in your company and make sure you have what it takes to perform those duties. Lead projects whenever you can and take on as much responsibility as you can manage.

4.    Read: Stay up-to-date with news in your industry. Read as much as you can so you can speak thoroughly about current events and updates within your company, as well as in competitor companies. Don’t forget to read international news as well. Global awareness is a huge strength to bring to an interview.

5.    Network: Get yourself out there! In-person communication is invaluable, so be sure to set up lunch dates and to attend panels and lectures in your field whenever possible. If you can’t set up a meeting with someone, a simple email or phone call goes a long way.