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Friday, 10 November 2017

Mindfulness: What is it and how can it help you?

How mindfulness can change your life

Mindfulness is a word that has been floating around for quite some time, coming under the umbrella of health and wellness- it is a term that is used to describe our mental state and being aware of what we are doing in life. Mindfulness can be used in many contexts, but notably it is known as a very simple yet effective form of medication, where you focus your full attention on your breath, your mind and your body. Many health experts and public figures swear by this form of meditation, and there have also been many apps and books released on how to find your peace of mind and become more calm.

It’s no secret that meditation has long been a therapy used in many different cultures to help a person find themselves and become more at one with their mind and body. Some of the earliest written records of meditation come from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism around 1500 BCE. Around the 6th to 5th centuries, other forms developed in Taoist China and Buddhist India.

What can mindfulness do for you?

Over time mindfulness can help bring long-term changes to your mood and happiness levels as well as wellbeing. Scientific studies have shown that mindfulness not only prevents depression, but that it also has a positive effect on the brain, targeting anxiety, stress and irritability. It has also been found that your memory and reaction times become much faster with your mental stamina increasing. Mindfulness also reduces addictive and self-destructive behavior including drug taking, alcoholism and self-harming. Doing meditation can also improve the heart and circulatory system by reducing blood pressure and hypertension.

How do you do it?

With the practice of mindfulness being tried and tested much more in this digitally engaged world, it’s much easier to find places and groups who offer the practice. Seek meditation classes nearby and attend with a friend if you’re nervous, or download one of the many apps available on app world. There are also countless books available on mindfulness, meditation and how exactly to do it that you can easily practice from the comfort of your own home.

When will I see results?

The effects of mindfulness meditation depends how much you practice. Most people find that it takes at least 20 minutes for the mind to begin to settle. But in terms of long term, you must invest your time and yourself into the art of meditation, many people have found it to improve their lives but most after weeks maybe months of meditation – it is not an instant gratification exercise and each person is different, your outlook and willingness to learn will determine how much it changes your attitude towards life.

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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Top 10 tips for keeping your skin glowing during winter

With autumn well and truly upon us, and winter right around the corner – it means we finally get to snuggle up in big coats, drink mulled wine by the fire, and enjoy long walks in the crisp, autumnal air-  but for our skin, it’s a very different story. The colder weather can reap havoc on our skin as the air is much dryer and harsher, so ensuring you take the necessary steps to keep your skin hydrated is paramount to retaining that beautiful, healthy glow.   

  • Hyaluronic acid
Originally used as a lip filler ingredient, Hyaluronic Acid has quickly become a vital element of every beauty expert’s skincare routine. Having previously had the reputation of being an unattainable ingredient with a significant price-tag attached, it can now be found practically anywhere, including high street drugstores. Hyaluronic acid, in short, is easy to use the hydrating solution you can apply any time of day, aiming to hydrate and re-plump the skin leaving it looking and feeling fresh and dewy. 
  • Protect your skin
The nights may be drawing in, the temperature dropping, and the sun dipping a little lower in the sky, however, this doesn’t mean that your free from the risk of sun damage, in fact, the sun can sometimes be even harsher in the winter due to its angle in the sky. Making sure you use an SPF daily is imperative to ensure your skin is free from sun damage and drying out – many moisturisers now include and SPF making it much easier to remember to apply in the morning.
  • Top up your H2o Levels
It’s no secret that drinking 8 glasses of water a day is the simplest and cheapest way to keep your skin hydrated and looking fresh, however managing to drink this much can prove difficult when you lead such a busy life. Try keeping a reusable water bottle by your desk so you remember to top up each day.
  • Hydrating Sheet Masks
Sheet masks have only really become a bit of a phenomenon in the UK over the past year or so, originating from the Korean beauty industry, women are now swapping their much-loved clay masks in favour of these easy to use, no mess masks. There are countless hydrating sheet masks available on the market at varying price tags all promoting similar benefits for the skin, and with hyaluronic acid acting as the key ingredient, this allows your skin to enjoy a super-hydrating facial leaving your complexion plump and fresh.

  • Facial Sprays
Hydrating facial sprays are perfect for the busy woman who need to top up their skin hydration levels on the go. A quick spritz all over the face and neck instantly gives you a glowing complexion, eliminates that tight feeling and allows your skin to breathe. These can be found most places, from high-end brands to drugstore. 
  • Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil is a naturally rich source of essential fatty acids that re-hydrate dry, sun damaged skin and help to improve the appearance of wrinkles, scars, burns and stretch marks. Used regularly, it can completely change the look and feel of your skin, rejuvenating and kick-starting those skin cells.   
  • Exfoliate
Ensuring you thoroughly exfoliate your skin a few times a week will ensure your skin stays soft and supple during the colder months. Invest in a good scrub or exfoliating gloves to rid of the dead skin cells that tend to surface over the winter months.
  • Turn the heating down
Us Brits are notorious for whacking the heating on as soon as we feel so much as a small breeze drift our way – however having the central heating on all the time is actually quite detrimental to our skin, drying it out and causing it to look dull and drawn. Try and prevent putting the heating on too early by wrapping up in jumpers, slippers and cosy nightwear.
  • Night time Moisture masks
Our skin loses a lot of moisture overnight, and in the colder months, it’s beneficial to invest in heavy-duty face moisturisers. Why not try some overnight moisture masks which will allow your skin to enjoy some hydration, and you will wake up with soft supple skin that looks fresh and glowing.
  • Eat well
Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try watermelon, apples, oranges and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots. Making sure you get enough Vitamin C can also increase collagen levels in the skin, keeping your skin supple and soft.

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Thursday, 2 November 2017

5 ways to help you stay passionate at work

No matter what job you have, whether it’s your dream job or just a run of the mill 9-5 to keep you afloat, we all lose a bit of ambition and passion for our role at some point in our careers. However, if you want to succeed and go far, it’s important to stay positive and try to overcome this work slump and regain the passion you once had. Here, I have listed 5 ways to help you fall back in love with your work.

1.       Take on a new challenge
Sometimes if you find yourself doing the same old thing at work, or perhaps your doing well and don’t feel the need to work as hard, it can be easy to sink in a bit of a hole a lose motivation. I find that if things are going well on the job I get a bit complacent, but this isn’t good, especially if work is suddenly sprung on you. There is always room for improvement, why not set yourself some work challenges, or perhaps ask a colleague if there is anything you can help them with – they will be happy you asked as well as impressed with your enthusiasm.

2.       Go to a networking event 
If you’re losing a bit of love for your career, sometimes it takes a few words of wisdom from someone else in the field to reignite your passion. Maybe go to a work event in your sector, or a networking evening – you will most likely meet a lot of other people in similar roles and may find it interesting hearing another perspective, plus sometimes a good knees up and a chat can bring back the motivation to succeed.

3.       Go on a social with work
At many work places, a lack of enthusiasm can stem from a bit of a dip in social activity in the office. If your finding the work place a little stale, or feel the need to reconnect why not organise an evening out at the pub after work, a few drinks always brings work colleagues closer together and may help office moral.

4.       Set some goals
Setting goals for yourself is sometimes the best thing you can do to further yourself and your motivation. Don’t go too OTT just set some realistic and achievable goals that will give you the motivation to work harder and strive for bigger better results; remember you can always do better and go further no matter what stage you are at in your career. 

5.       Intensify your workload
Ok – this one may sound a little scary, but trust me it will definitely give you the kick up the bum you need to get s**t done. Explain to your boss that you’re losing a bit of motivation, or if your finding it all a bit easy, which usually means motivation is lost, tell him/her that you would like more work to challenge yourself. It may sounds mad but trust me it will definitely make you work harder.
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