4 Easy Ways to De-Stress

❄️ Meditate.

It’s easier than you think. I used to wonder whether it made a difference and then I tried listening to guided meditations, where you’re lulled into a relaxed state that helps to distract from the background chatter littering your mental landscape. If you have something of a ‘monkey mind’, the key is to observe your thoughts and let them pass you by. Remember: what you resist, persists. Meditation helps you change your brain wave frequency so you’re operating on a meditative Theta state, whereby you can integrate fully into the present moment – something that is often hard to do!

❄️ Epsom Salt Baths

Soak in the tub for at least 20 minutes in order to detoxify the body, relieve muscle pain and allow for the magnesium to be absorbed into your body so your adrenaline levels can decrease while your serotonin increases at the same time.

❄️ Get Physical.

What’s your go-to sport? Do it! We’ve all heard that running gives you an endorphin rush but it’s not the only option. Even dancing around your room will get your blood pumping and release you from the clutches of overthinking.

❄️ Grounding.

We’re raised to live our life in pre-occupation of what we ‘should’ have, who we ‘could’ be, what ‘might’ happen etc. It leads us into disappearing into our heads. In order to get back down to Earth, force yourself to be boring for 10 minutes. (Forcing yourself to be boring is a great life tip in general). Turn your attention to what you can see, feel, or hear. Read some fiction. Paint your nails (I don’t care what your gender is, it looks cool). Overall, distract yourself and remember that no matter the event, this too shall pass. The faulty desire to control external circumstances is the cause of stress and approaches like these can act as a remedy for your over-worked mind.

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Handy Hangover Guide

“I feel great! I never get hangovers” your friend says, disgustingly.

“I’m never drinking again, lol” you reply, a pokey tongue emoji disguising your contempt

As you reach for another piece of day-old pizza, your arms become limp and you slump back into the fetal position, dropping the stale bread back onto the dominoes box it barely left. Instead of getting up, you just give up, much like your body seems to be doing on this day…

But there is another way! If you take precautions you can avoid this fate altogether, no matter how immune to suffering you believe your body to be.

Sometimes we know what’s best for us but let it slide to the subconscious mind where it stays dormant. If you’re not used to drinking the bar dry, haven’t had many hangovers before or can’t afford to write off the day after then brush up on your survival skills.

The best piece of advice I can give you to avoid hangovers is to drink singles all night. In our youth we learn to go hard and double up; we want to get wasted ASAP and proceed to lose our ability to function; we wake up with holes in our memory of the night and alcohol still swimming around our system. BUT THEN, a magical moment comes when we decide to take it easy and sip on single measures. Now the transition ambles along from merry to drunken without the pain of confusion or dulled senses. As long as you drink a glass of water before bed you will not suffer on a sofa all day.

Other morsels of wisdom include the idea of drinking water between drinks – it’s the 21st century so you shouldn’t feel your ego takes a bruise from self-care, – it’s actually the in thing now, which is pretty handy for your all-important liver. Win!

Walk it off. Nothing makes us happier or healthier than leaving the house and inhaling fresh air. Even forcing yourself to visit the shops for something inane like milk will put your hangover into perspective and help your head. Sure, you know this already, but you’re sat at a laptop right now aren’t you? There’s a difference between knowing and doing; now is the time to do the doing.

Treat yourself to a large meal to soak up leftover poison and imbibe fluids to ward off the dehydration lying at the root of your problems.

Mind over matter applies here too. Run on rest, water and adrenaline until the early night you deserve rolls around again. Since you’re reminding yourself of how to do some damage control on your vitality, you’ll feel less pain next time because your brain is powerful beyond all measure(s).

 

 

 

 

5 Steps To Selfie – How to Pose for a Photo

Some people love to point their phone’s camera right at their face for some radical selfie loving while others dread the lens in self-conscious trepidation. No matter which side of the spectrum you fall upon, the impromptu photo is an unavoidable way of life and it pays to be prepared!

Love or loathe to pose, you have the chance to turn a chore into an art form – measure your selfie know-how against this short checklist so you can put your best face forward at any given moment.

  1. Face down, eyes up; instantly more flattering than a straight-on shot.

  2. Smile with your eyes; Tyra made ‘smize’ happen for a reason. 

  3. Decide what you’re doing with your mouth; pout, pursed smile or toothy smile.

  4. Tilt your head from left to right to see if you have a ‘side’; Most people have a preference.

  5. Three popular go-to poses; peace sign, hand on hips, tongue out.

Memorise a particularly hard-hitting one of these vanity morsels so you’re armed with ammo the next time someone slings a camera in your face without much warning, or for when you find yourself in the midst of a self-portraiture crisis but still want to look bangin’.

Selfie ready? You woke up like this (*WINK*)

12 simple cures for temporary sadness

1.Cook yourself a huge portion of your favourite meal so you feel full of love (and more importantly, food).

2.Watch some comedy! Viral videos, comedy shows, pranks, sketches etc. Go back to old favourites if you know they’re guaranteed to make you laugh.

3. Open up Messenger and click the name of a friend you love to talk to. Don’t be afraid of rejection – they want to hear from you! 

4.Look at inspirational quotes on Pinterest, Twitter, Google Images… let the words do the positive thinking for you.

5.Pick an item from your To-Do list and make it a Done list.

6.Help anybody that needs it, from your best friend to a homeless person. Focus on giving out hope and you’ll receive it back.

7.Seek comfort! Go to sleep : wake up happier. Win.

8.Acknowledge how you feel, accept it, then let it go.

9.Listen to upbeat songs to curb any dwelling on feelings early (it doesn’t matter if the music is classified as cheesy). Bonus points for dancing around uninhibitedly.

10.Think of the last 3 compliments you received and let yourself believe them.

11.Dig for gratitude – this includes any good experiences occurring in recent times to you or anyone else, whether big or small. 

12.Do an everyday activity that feels suspiciously adult as a victorious distraction.

 

 

Why I Write Gratitude Lists (And You Should Too)

Nowadays we’re more inclined to digest personal growth advice in blog format or by a 140 character quote on social media, although classics like Normal Vincent Peale‘s Positive Thinking Everyday and the social anxiety-busting How To Win Friends and Influence People may still reside on your bookshelf. Successful bloggers of the 21st century take inspiration from these texts, add slathers of personal wisdom and perfect the mix with a wordy dressing to encourage self-acceptance among readers; it’s a karma-inducing formula we love to indulge in.

My first experience with self-love advisory first occurred when a teenage me googled “I don’t know what I want to do with my life” and the power of SEO directed me towards Gala Darling‘s website. This moment marked a turning point for my self awareness, I was soon hooked on ‘international playgirl’ Gala’s optimistic worldview and full-time commitment to radical self-love. Like me, Gala Darling had been surrounded by negativity – some of it self-inflicted, yet crucially wanted more for herself. Clarity of thought appealed to her, as it does to myself, and the many people who bought The Secret in 2006. She transformed her inner world by adopting various universal betterment techniques such as changing her perspective on a situation, visualising goals and writing gratitude lists…

Her ‘Things I Love Thursday‘ posts were largely responsible for my new-found understanding of the power of gratitude. Prior to this, my relationship with giving thanks was casual, saying ‘thank you’ was a facet of polite behaviour and I thought nothing more of it. From Gala, I learnt the concept of ‘limiting beliefs’ – how the imaginary force you feel working against you is 100% illusory. Changing your viewpoint helps you make the most of where you are right now and being grateful for everything you’re experiencing in the present will inspire you to create more positive experiences for yourself.

An example of a gratitude list!
An example of a gratitude list!

What exactly is a gratitude list? It’s your mind intentionally focusing on all of the good things happening around you, what you appreciate about the present, and recognising everything you love! It can be written, said aloud or created as a moodboard. It’s saying ‘thank you’ to the universe to keep your heart happy and a request for positive experiences to come your way. It’s only cheesy if you judge yourself, and you don’t need to do that! You can do what you want – optimise your mental health in quirky ways.

Once you’ve written the things you love down, why not make it visually appealing? That way you’ll enjoy reading it back even more and I guarantee your spirits will be lifted slightly when you read it back to yourself. There’s no cap on the number of blessings you can list either! If you’re experiencing strife and wondering how the dickens you’d be able to compile a list of even 10 blessings, I double-dare you to try. It’s easier than it looks and even more necessary for those who haven’t had much to be feel grateful for prior to now. Gratitude lists are particularly effective during the latter part of the week as you can confidently answer “how has your week been?” with an overflowing memory bank of good times. I encourage you to incorporate these lists into your procrastination time too because there’s nothing like mindfulness to motivate you into action.

Above all, have fun with it. Meanwhile I’m off to watch the next episode of Orange is the New Black. Thank you, universe.

How To Deal With Undeserved Criticism

As a child, I expressed my many opinions with characteristic frankness. In the moments after another judgement left my lips, my older (and wiser) brother would remind me of an old adage: ‘Everyone’s a critic‘.

It’s a playful saying with truthful undertones: it’s easy to criticise. Understanding and evaluating take more effort, so the unevolved among us will sway towards harsh judgement until we fully develop our capacity for empathy. While empathy is embedded in 99% of the population – 1% are sociopaths – there are those who purposefully disregard the feelings of others in favour of self-absorption. When somebody puts you down, it hurts. After acknowledging that fleeting feeling, you have the power to choose how it will affect you.

I’ve said ‘undeserved’ criticism to highlight the need to differentiate between constructive critiquing and an insult. If you’re yet to conquer your insecurities, you could be prone to feeling attacked without due reason and therefore it’s imperative to see if you’re being unnecessarily defensive out of self-consciousness. The Baz Luhrmann song, ‘Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen‘ includes life advice such as “Remember compliments you receive – forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how”. While I can’t work some Eternal Sunshine’-esque magic on your memories, I can proffer some protips for self-preservation. The most relevant of which is this:

People tend to criticise what they fear or desire in themselves

If you really analyse the meaning behind the words, you start to realise how much truth the saying holds. Most of us have been bullied at some point, particularly as children, when we’re told it’s due to jealousy. This doesn’t make sense to someone with low self-esteem: “why would they be jealous of my poor background?” In this instance, the person slinging insults around could be trying to hide their own low socio-economic status by targeting someone else. Somebody who is kind and susceptible to what other people think of them will usually be the target for negativity. If you feel like you’re used as a cure for other people’s insecurities, take comfort in the fact you have an inner strength that other people both fear and desire to acquire for themselves.

A few years ago I taught myself to recall the above quote whenever a conspicuously petty remark was made, and it was interesting to see what traits people feared in themselves and which they desired to possess. None of us are immune from making mean comments occasionally, so when I slip up I analyse my own negative talk to see where it’s coming from.

People will sling verbal arrows at you in both casual and premeditated ways but if you do your best to accept yourself, undeserved criticism won’t hurt your warrior self.  

Sleep Better: 6 Ways To Get More Sleep!

I’m lucky when it comes to sleeping. I fall into a deep sleep from the moment my eyelids close and boast the ability to fall asleep in nearly any location. I know not everybody is blessed in the realm of much needed shut-eye, so I’ll quit bragging and start sharing accumulated wisdom on how to get more high quality sleep.

1. A warm bath or shower near bedtime will help to prepare your mind for a calming snooze due to its therapeutic nature. Simplified science bit: your body temperature drops once you’ve finished, causing you to feel appropriately sleepy.

2. You already know that we function best on 8 hours of sleep a night (- 8 for adults, 9-10 for growing teens and children), but did you know that 4 hours is also doable? Very important people on supremely busy schedules have sworn by attaining 4 hours of sleep per night – from Madonna to Thatcher, with their high productivity validating their unorthodox habit. Snoozing for 4 hours is the minimum goal as you awaken just before the R.E.M stage, although you shouldn’t make 4 hours a nightly habit!

3. The jury is still out when it comes to naps, but some strands of research suggest napping can boost brain performance. The catch is that you’re only allowed to nap for 10-30 minutes, otherwise known as a power-nap. If you nap for longer it causes sleep inertia, which is when your body feels heavy and your head is befuddled from oversleeping.

4. You need to feel comfortable before you’re able to nod off for the night. We don’t just choose comfort in the pursuit of luxury, it’s actually an integral component to the art of sleeping soundly. Consciously relax your muscles, starting from your shoulders down to your ankles, and you will feel primed for sleep in no time. Do this whenever you feel restless in your bed.

5. The logically named Sleep Cycle App (available in the Apple store) tracks your sleep cycle in order to wake you up naturally. It’s a more effective alarm clock because it prevents you from feeling groggy by slowly waking you from your slumber 30 minutes early. It also lets you rate how you feel at the moment of waking before providing you with data as to how well you slept. Highly recommended!

6. Avoid caffiene. I know you know this, but I had to say it: don’t drink caffiene within an hour of going to bed as it will only make you feel more awake. Stocking up on decaffeinated drinks is a solution here!

I hope you rest up well and keep these tricks in mind! Relaxation and planning ahead is key. Goodnight, sweet Prince(s).