Health + Fitness

Mindfulness: Ways To Clear Your Brain of Clutter

Mindfulness: Ways To Clear Your Brain of Clutter

Mindfulness is a buzzword you may have heard more and more. It can mean “being in the moment” and generally being aware of your environment. It can also mean clearing your brain of clutter. But how do you do that?

The brain is crazy, right? It’s full of so many different pieces of information. If you tried to log it all down on paper, your entire home would be caked in the stuff. That’s kind of the opposite of mindfulness.

Our minds are capable of so many good things. Therefore, it’s a blessing to be able to engage it every now and again!

Because of the vast amounts of info and data with which the brain is clogged, it can play up now and again. We’re flawed as humans, so the mind isn’t going to be positive all the time, unfortunately! 

Mindfulness 101

Getting stressed out due to one reason or another is something that happens often to us humans – as you’ve probably experienced before.

When we get ourselves into stressful situations, it can be pretty difficult to dig ourselves out of them. Stress is necessary in order to survive, but it can really do us some damage too.

That’s why, when we get into testing instances mentally, we need to clear our minds. Removing such panic and worry for a short space of time can make such a difference to our entire day.

Here are a few changes you can make that could help you lose some of that negative energy for a while:

Change Your Everyday Routine  

When you get into the same routine that repeats itself every day, you find yourself literally doing the same things over and over again. Now, it’s pretty handy if you’re looking to become speedier and more efficient, but it can damage your mind.

Firstly, your mundane days means your mind will be elsewhere, overthinking about something. The same routine also means you’ll experience the same feelings over and over again. Now that’s not great if you’re looking to start afresh mentally.

Practice mindfulness by trying new things and making changes to what you do every day.

Exercise A Little 

Exercising is a great way to empty your mind of most negative thoughts and practice mindfulness. If you’re constantly thinking about terrible situations, then getting a little active can negate them.

Moving the stress from your brain to your muscles will do so much good in more ways than one. If you’re constantly moving, your brain will release endorphins, which give off an overall sense of happiness and positivity.

Exercising also means your focusing on the intense activity rather than the (probably small) issue in your mind. 

Work On Your Home 

A lot of issues can come as a result of being unsatisfied domestically. It might not be a huge issue, but it’s something that sticks with you. For example, not enough space or a wall colour you dislike.

Beautiful restful bedroom designed by Plush Design Interiors. Photography by Claudine Burgess, Define and Shine

Fixing interior design problems at home can solve a lot of stress-related issues. Perhaps hiring a few home builders and investigating building a new home or having an addition to your current home. Whatever it is, control it before you move onto other external issues. 

Having a home you love and a place to which to retreat in comfort, is very healthy for mindfulness.

Tackle Your Problems Head-On 

One of the best things you can do to fix worries in your head is to literally attack them. Confront the issue head-on, and get that particular monkey off your back.

If you sit back and let it consume you, then things will only get worse. If you face the issue, then you’re going to get an answer.

Back Pain Could Be Caused by 7 Bad Habits

Back Pain Could Be Caused by 7 Bad Habits

80% of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. Sometimes this can be a natural effect of aging. However, more often it is the result of lifestyle choices and bad habits.

To help you to avoid back pain, here are just 7 bad habits that could be worth ironing out.

Poor posture can lead to back pain

Posture is the way in which we hold our bodies while sitting and standing. Many of us develop poor posture, which eventually leads to back pain through stress on the spine.

For instance, hunching at a desk often leads to lower back pain, while stooping as you walk could lead to upper back pain and possibly even a ‘hunchback’.

Good posture can be developed through physiotherapy. Thinking ergonomically can also help you to keep a good posture such as having your desk and chair at the right height so that you’re not stooping.

Bending over to lift things

Just as negative as bad posture is bad form. This is how we position out body when doing certain actions.

A big cause of back problems is bending to lift heavy objects such as boxes or barbells. You should never bend – instead keep your back straight by squatting to lift.

Overeating

Eating too much food (in particular junk foods) will cause you to get overweight, which in turn could damage your back. Extra weight in the stomach pulls the pelvis forward, leading to strain on the lower back.

By keeping to healthy diet, you can reduce the risk of developing such pain.

Not exercising enough

This relates to overeating – exercise is also just as important for preventing weight gain, helping to take pressure off the lower back. Exercise is also important for preventing muscles and joints in the back from seizing up.

Wearing high heels

High heels can also damage your back. This is most common with those that regularly wear heels – heels force people to walk with their hips forward, which puts pressure on the lower back.

Wearing flats more often could not only prevent back pain, but also pain in the hips, knees and ankles (pretty much all joints in your lower body).

Carrying a bag regularly on the same shoulder

It’s not just heels that can cause back pain, but also handbags. If you wear a bag on the same one shoulder continuously it can start to affect your posture.

It can cause one of your trapezius muscles to grow larger than the other, throwing your body off balance and causing back pain as a result of having to constantly compensate. The simple solution to this is to keep switching shoulders.  

Sleeping on your back/front

Your sleeping position can also affect your back. Both lying on your front and lying on your back can damage your back.

You’re much better off being a side sleeper and using pillows to support your head and knees. This can be a hard habit to change – if you’re not able to sleep on your side, there’s always the option of changing your mattress to help support your back.

Lifestyle Changes: Could Moving House Be Your First Choice?

Lifestyle Changes: Could Moving House Be Your First Choice?

Lifestyle changes may often be on your mind whether you realise it or not. Perhaps you want to change your diet, your fashion, even your friends. However, one change may be the key to really having the lifestyle you crave.

Do you often think about lifestyle changes you’d like to make? Perhaps you wish you could swim more but don’t have access to a pool. Maybe you wish you lived a few minutes walk from the beach so you can swim there.

In many cases, those who choose to live in a rural area have different ambitions from those who live in the City. A City lifestyle offers opportunities to build an outstanding career and enjoy the perks that come with it. However, rural life could mean building your own small business and having a more relaxed lifestyle too. It might be that you are simply in a new phase of your life and looking for something different.

lifestyle changes

Your lifestyle is far more important than you could ever imagine. It is the blueprint for your whole life and is determined by your priorities, interests and ambitions. While your lifestyle is made up of everything from your food choices to your savings goals, your home is probably one of the most important aspects of your life: this is where it all happens. 

When you choose a property, you should always ask 3 questions: Can I afford it? Is it in the right location? And, will this property deliver the lifestyle I really want? The first two are practical considerations and relatively easy to work out. The 3rd question is entirely personal and, therefore, doesn’t come with a ‘right’ answer.

So what should you do when you’re searching for a house to suit aspirational lifestyle changes?

Choosing the Right Location

The right location is absolutely essential for any lifestyle. You aren’t going to get the cool Melbourne vibe if you are living in the outback. And you’re not going to get a beach lifestyle if you are in the city centre! However, if you’re an interior designer in Adelaide you’ll get both. Location is crucial and you need to think carefully about what you want from the place you choose to live.

lifestyle changes

Moving interstate can be quite daunting but it is well worth it if you know that your life would be improved by living in a different state. The cities of Australia all have such different characters and people that it’s not too surprising that like-minds tend to cluster together. If you’re feeling nervous about moving all your stuff such a great distance, have a look at https://www.jayde.com.au/ to see how easy interstate logistics can be. 

Of course, the right location isn’t just about the where; it’s also about the who. Moving to be closer to friends and family is a good reason to upsticks, especially if you are about to start a family and want a support network.

Another good reason to move is if you have an amazing job offer you just can’t refuse. Even if you only move for a few years, following an experience can be a good reason to pick a particular location. 

Finding the Features that Suit You

Now that you have the location in mind, you need to think about what you really want from a property. Common desirable features include things like a swimming pool in the backyard and an open plan kitchen, perfect for entertaining. However, this isn’t about what other people want – this is about what you want. 

lifestyle changes

Finding the property that suits your aspirational lifestyle changes requires a bit more creative thinking than you might first think. This is because you have to release yourself from what you think you want and decide what you actually want. These things are often not the same! For example, you might think that you want a large garden. However, when it comes down to it, you’d rather spend time on the beach. This means a smaller property closer to the sand would be better. It’s all a case of prioritising your needs.

The real difficulty in buying a property is working out what you might need in the future. Future-proofing is essential if you are planning to grow your family but it is definitely worth thinking about regardless of your age. On this subject, you should also think about the sort of features that will enhance your lifestyle beyond your basic needs. For example, an older couple might not need a 4-bed house for themselves but the extra bedrooms mean that family and friends can come and stay anytime they like. 

Try Something New

It is so easy to slip into a monotonous lifestyle that you never quite chose but have maintained for most of your life nonetheless. Monotony is the easiest way to find yourself in the midst of a midlife crisis before you even hit midlife and won’t do your mental health much good either.

Moving house to break a monotonous lifestyle might sound like a radical option but if you are looking for something new and different, you can’t achieve that much faster than by changing something so fundamental. But beware the spontaneous house move that hasn’t been thought through! Escaping one monotony by settling for another is not the answer to your lifestyle woes! 

lifestyle changes

One of the main ways that moving house can impact your lifestyle is the chance to free up some cash. More and more people are downsizing as they realise that paying less on bills and mortgage or rent payments gives them a chance to do more with their time. Freeing yourself of stuff in favour of experiences is also a good way to shake things up. You might not move more than a couple of blocks over but the way you live in your neighbourhood could change quite a lot. 

Your home is integral to your lifestyle. When things aren’t working out as you imagined, it might be that a new property could breathe new life into your boring lifestyle. Just remember that while an aspirational lifestyle might be appealing, you still need to be realistic in your expectations!

Instead of focusing on what you want, it is sometimes better to consider how you want to feel and then work from there. You have an endless capacity to surprise yourself so be brutally honest about what you are searching for. 

Be brave and get on exciting with lifestyle changes… you deserve it!

11 Smart Ways To Eat Comfort Food The Healthy Way

11 Smart Ways To Eat Comfort Food The Healthy Way

Eating comfort food can be a great joy of fall and winter, but it can also mean developing unhealthy habits that can be difficult to shake off. It’s much better to develop healthy habits so that you can have a sustainable, healthy lifestyle year round.

Below, you’ll find 11 suggestions that can help you to eat comfort food the healthy way. Take a look and you’ll realize that you don’t have to be ‘all or nothing!’

#1 Make Smart Swaps In Your Recipes

Start by seeing if there are any smart swaps you can make in your recipes. For example, you could try using greek yogurt instead of cream and heavy sauces like mayo, and using tinned tomatoes instead of ready made sauces. There are so many swaps you can make and you should hardly notice while you’re enjoying your dish! You might even grow to prefer this way of eating. 

#2 Add More Veg

Rather than serving yourself huge portions of food that you know are too much for one sitting, add more veg. Serve yourself a portion of comfort food and have lots of vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, and peas on your plate, too. This will bulk up your meal and make sure you’re getting your nutrients, too. A true balanced meal! 

comfort food

#3 Swap Red Meat For White

Swapping red meat for white can be a great way to enjoy comfort food – for example, turkey sausages rather than regular pork sausages. You can always use vegetarian alternatives, too – these alternatives are better for the environment in many ways. You don’t have to become fully vegetarian or vegan to make a difference. You might be surprised at how much more you like the veggie options! 

#4 Watch Your Portion Sizes 

We already touched on portion sizes a little, but it’s important to understand that most people serve themselves more than a one person portion size. Be realistic about how much is suitable for one meal. You should also listen to your body by stopping when you begin to feel full – you shouldn’t feel stuffed and sick before you stop eating! If you’re eating something out of a package, make sure you actually read it so you know what the portion size is supposed to be. 

comfort food

#5 Use An Air Fryer

Air frying is one of the healthiest ways to cook foods like chips. Even healthier than oven cooking! You can use Air fryers to make kale chips, sweet potato chips, and even just a healthier version of traditional potato chips. They’re still super tasty as you can still use oil, herbs, and other seasonings to make them delicious. 

#6 Eat Slowly 

Eating slowly is one of the best psychological things you can do to feel fuller for longer. Take your time to really chew your food – do this at least 20-30 times per bite, if you can. Put your knife and fork down in between bites too. This can be really difficult if you’ve always been a fast eater, but it’s imperative if you want to avoid guzzling your food down as quickly as possible and then not feeling satisfied. This allows you to fully focus on each meal so you don’t end up eating when you’re not hungry. 

comfort food

#7 Drink Plenty Of Water Before 

Before you eat a meal, make sure you’re hydrated. This isn’t about drinking so much water that you can pretend you’re not hungry. It’s about making sure you’re not mistaking thirst for hunger, and that you’re recognizing real hunger. Stay hydrated throughout the day and you’ll probably eat just as much as you need. Aim for 2 litres, but drink more if you’re active. 

#8 Learn How To Read Nutritional Labels 

Learning to read nutritional labels will be such a help when you’re trying to pick ingredients and even ready made items for your meals. Try to understand things like protein, carbs, and fat. Make sure you’re not having too much sugar, saturated fats, and other things that aren’t optimal for health. Just because something is labelled as ‘fat free’ for example, doesn’t make it healthy. Aim to understand marketing of foods better as well as their labels.

comfort food

#9 Focus On Balance Overall 

Make sure your goal is to focus on balance overall. Eating a big plate of spaghetti for your dinner really isn’t terrible, especially if you’ve been balanced throughout the day. However, if you’re eating huge comfort food meals all the time, you’re probably going to experience weight gain and lethargy. By focusing on living a healthier and more balanced lifestyle as a whole, you’ll feel so much better.

#10 Don’t Eat Mindlessly

 Eating mindlessly is a really easy way to consume more than you need and not even realize that you’re full. Try not to eat in front of the TV without paying attention to what you’re eating, especially foods that are snacked on, like popcorn and chips. Make eating the only thing you’re doing when you eat, and you’ll feel more satisfied. When you’re not focusing on what you eat, you’ll likely feel the need to eat more and more. 

comfort food

#11 Don’t Let Guilt Rule You

If you do eat a little more than you should from time to time, don’t let guilt rule you. Guilt and food shouldn’t be a thing, but it is because the media and other sources are designed to make us feel like we should feel bad for eating nice things (which is why there are so many diet products and fads).

All you need to do is ask yourself whether it was a good choice. If it made you feel good, don’t have any regrets and get on with your life. Eat your veg and fruit and other meals as normal. If you feel rubbish because the food was heavy and you know you overdid it, make a mental note to try not to do it again. When you eliminate guilt and shame, you’ll feel more relaxed around food and you’ll be more likely to stick to a balanced lifestyle!

Tackling Stress When You Are Faced With Big Life Events

Tackling Stress When You Are Faced With Big Life Events

Tackling stress isn’t necessarily intuitive. Depending on many factors, including childhood development, tackling stress can be extremely difficult for many people. So I’ve identified some stress triggers and ways of coping.

There are a few events in life that have a considerable stress tax attached. There’s even a scale attached to tackling stress, called the Holmes and Rahe stress scale. It also goes into details like – can your stressful life events predict your future illness?

In their research, while pulling data, they found links so strong that they were able to rank things from the most stressful to the least stressful.

tackling stress

There are, of course, always smaller stressors and things that come up. And people are quick to say that they are ‘stressed’ about something. However, typically these aren’t the significant life events. Significant life events are ones that change your life and are often challenging.

Each of these big life changes will need some stress management. Some of them arise unexpectedly, and others are choices that we have made. Like interstate moving, having a baby, or getting married.

Most Stressful Life Changes

It is always worth remembering that people experience stress differently. What has a significant impact on one individual might not have as big as an impact on the next person. Everyone is tackling stress differently. However, the Holmes and Rahe stress scale has a 100-point inventory.

Here are a few events that are generally accepted as the most stressful.

Death Of A Spouse

Or a partner. This won’t be a shock, as it usually happens by surprise and is painful. The chances are you have lost someone you have spent years with. Financially many couples have a constructions with banks, mortgages, and hire purchase agreements between them.

tackling stress

Meaning there can be a heavy financial burden too. Tackling stress around this period is incredibly difficult – there is no other way to say it. And, everyone handles grief differently.

Spending time with friends and family who loved your spouse and can share great memories is usually an excellent way to start the process. Honoring who they were and what they did can bring a lot of peace.

tackling stress

Don’t force yourself to ‘be over it’ or rush your grieving process. You can take as much time as you need to feel like you are in a better space.

Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.

José N. Harris, MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope, and Love

Illness and/or Injury

If you suffer from an injury no matter how it happened, you can be left with physical and mental scars. Injuries can often lead to depression too. The inability to do all of the things that you once did with ease weighs heavy on a person.

It is hard to go through something that causes you physical pain. Usually, a range of standard treatments would be offered like pain management and physiotherapy when needed.

tackling stress

Being diagnosed with a life-changing illness also has a huge impact. Often we don’t see it coming, and we are never entirely sure of the ramifications in the early days.

Both of these will need a lot of emotional support for those around you. So while it might be tempting to cut people out, it will be more beneficial in the long run to talk about how you are feeling. And, while accepting your new limitations might be difficult, you should allow yourself the time to navigate your new way of life.

Moving Country

If your move has been something you have chosen or something that has been required of you due to family commitments or the work that you do, it can be both exciting and a challenge. Moving house is already a high-stress trigger. Packing up your life, and then unpacking it, later on, can be confronting and on some occasions unpleasant. The culture shock of moving to a new country can be tough, in fact, so can moving to a new city. Equally, if you have been away from your country of origin for some time, you can experience reverse culture shock.

tackling stress

Learning a new language, driving on a new side of the road, and perhaps feeling isolated from what you have been so used to can be challenging, and sometimes we can feel lonely.

We are, however, lucky now that we have things like WhatsApp and Facebook, that allow us to keep in touch with the people that we love – no matter how far apart you are. If you have relatives or some friends nearby, it is always lovely to see them when you can. If, however, you are by yourself, then it’s a good idea to get out there and try and meet people.

Coffee shops are great for curbing that lonely feeling, only by being around people. Try to learn some of the languages in your spare time, and you might like to try and find some expat groups to join too. They are filled with people who are going through or have been through what you are experiencing and can be a great support network.  

Marriage

It might seem like a strange one to have on the list, but getting married can upset your natural emotional state. It is a happy event, but if you haven’t been living with your partner up until now, things can get a little tricky. Not to mention that you are now joining two families together.

tackling stress

The wedding day itself can cause people a lot of stress, because even when it is planned to perfection, sometimes things do go wrong. Family and friends might refuse invitations if specific other people are going – which causes a lot of heartaches when you love both sets of people.

Marriage itself takes work and time to adjust to. Even if you have been in a relationship for a long time. Things like wills, insurances, and finances can cause many issues. The important thing is that if you do run into trouble, the best thing you can do is talk about it. Whether you speak to your friends and family about it or choose to see a therapist is up to you. Keeping the lines of communication open with your partner is going to be essential too – which is always easier said than done.

After all, marriage is the joining of two individuals, into one.

Death of a Family Member

This can be very difficult to deal with as often families have unresolved issues from the past – and it can feel like they will never be resolved, and leave you in a state of unrest.

The way they died will also have an impact. Sudden death is one of the hardest to deal with because you simply weren’t prepared and may feel like you have no closure.

tackling stress

If you have had time to come to terms with the fact that they may pass on soon, tackling stress and the grieving process start much earlier on.

Like the death of a spouse, it is essential to keep talking. Your feelings, positive or negative count, and you shouldn’t admonish yourself for feeling any specific way. Seek support from your friends and family if you can. Keep their memory alive if you chose to by talking about them often.

Key Points

We have a tendency to try and lock ourselves away and try and deal with everything ourselves. Unfortunately, this can lead to grief or upset sitting and festering rather than being dealt with in a healthy way. Some things take us by surprise, and you may feel like you have had the wind knocked out of you – which is totally normal.

There is no single way to deal with grief. Talking to the people that care about the most, being open when you are finding things difficult, and sharing the good stuff is a good start.

tackling stress

Try not to bury yourself in things like work. Letting stress levels build without addressing them can be even more difficult later on. Stress, in general, is not good for us. If we let it go on for too long without taking active steps to lower the levels, we can be more susceptible to anxiety, depression, and heart issues.

It is vital that you understand and accept that there will be things in life that you don’t see coming. Typically they are things that change your life – one way or the other. It can be a lonely time, but usually, we aren’t alone so much as we feel isolated and cut people off.

tackling stress

Try to be open, talk about how you feel and what you are going through. Talk with people that you trust so that you can work through your feelings without judgment and in a healthy environment.

If you feel that you cannot manage simply by sharing with friends and family, then seek the counsel of a trained therapist or grief counselor. They are lovely at being an unbiased ear and letting you talk for as long as you need to. While giving you coping mechanisms that will help you move forward in your life by learning about tackling stress.

Getting Summer Ready In 5 Simple Steps

Getting Summer Ready In 5 Simple Steps

Are you summer ready? Summer is on the horizon and it feels so good to notice the longer days and the warmer weather. We can all feel like we go into hibernation mode, especially when it comes to our bodies during the winter.

So now is the perfect time to start thinking about getting yourself summer ready for warmer months ahead. This isn’t all about having a bikini body. This is more about feeling good within yourself.

If you feel good, then that will radiate out, and you will look just as amazing. It’s all about being responsible with your diet and keeping up the motivation to exercise.

But how can you get yourself ready for summer. It is actually simpler than you think. Here are some of the steps that you can take to get yourself summer ready.

Summer Ready #1 Start with your skin

As we have been in the depths of Winter, it’s understandable that our skin takes a bit of a back seat. But, in theory, during the winter our skin is much more exposed to the elements causing it to be dry and un-nurtured.

summer ready

So now is the time to give your daily skincare routine a bit of a revamp. Maybe there is a brand you have been wanted to try, or perhaps you need to stock up on some old favourites. It could be worth checking out websites like SkinDoctors for some tips and advice.

Now is the time to get ahead with it all and give your skin some TLC. Regular cleansing and moisturizing can work wonders for the way you look.

Glowing skin always gives the impression of great health and body confidence.

Summer Ready #2 The perfect time for a detox

A detox is an excellent way to rid your body of toxins and bad substances. During the winter months, we tend to hibernate a little and enjoy a few more junk meals than we would perhaps like.

So a detox is a great way to start as you mean to go on. It’s then important to create a balanced diet. Crash dieting or doing things in an extreme way is never good for you, but eating healthy will always get you the results you are after.

summer ready

Perhaps changing things for alternatives would be a good place to start. However, don’t be tempted to do anything to extreme when it comes to diet.

Extreme diet may give you result initially, but they are often unsustainable in the long term.

Focus on nourishing your body with the food it needs to function and feel healthy. A balanced diet will still give you amazing results.

Summer Ready #3 Increase your intake of water

Water is such a healthy staple to any diet, but most of us don’t drink anywhere near enough of it. So trying to increase your water intake would be a great boost to your health and the way you look.

summer ready

Hydrating your body can help with the way your skin looks, reduce bags or dark areas under your eyes, and naturally detox your body daily. Water can also help with things such as sleep quality and your mood, so generally it is an all rounder.

It is recommended to drink at least two litres of water a day, but that can be quite hard to do. So you may want to remind yourself by keeping a water bottle close at hand.

Summer Ready #4 Keep up with regular exercise

Taking exercise regularly will always keep your body in shape. But again during the winter, this can sometimes be put to the back of your mind. It’s colder; you don’t feel like it as much.

summer ready

It’s natural, and we can all get in that slump sometimes. So use the brighter nights and better weather to get out exercise more. You will feel much more motivated.

Don’t feel like you need to be in a gym every night. Being active can mean joining in with an exercise class once a week, walking your dog each day or even things like taking the stairs instead of a lift.

Summer Ready #5 Get more sleep

Finally, try and increase the amount of sleep you get. Even though it is tempting to stay up later as the nights are lighter.

Your body uses your sleep time to rejuvenate itself, so make sure you take advantage of that and get your rest.

summer ready

Getting more sleep, or a better quality of sleep can also help you to feel happier in yourself the following day. A positive mindset can help you to feel good on the inside as well as the outside.

Let’s hope these tips help you get ready for the summer months ahead.

Some Simple + Quick Ways To Become Genuinely Happy

Some Simple + Quick Ways To Become Genuinely Happy

Being genuinely happy is not a big ask; it’s a basic human right. Everyone has the right to be happy. However sometimes it takes a few tips to fast track the process.

Everyone wants to be as happy as they can be. However, what does it mean to be happy? Is contentment the ultimate way to be genuinely happy?

If you know that you could probably be happier, you are almost certainly keen to make sure that you are doing whatever you can to make that happen more easily.

genuinely happy

But it is often hard to know where to begin. If you are hoping to be generally happier in life then that in itself can cause you a lot of stress. Not being specific about your happiness can make it trickier to work out.

In this article, we are going to try and make being genuinely happy a little easier. We’ll look at some of the real and quick ways that you can hope to genuinely generate more happiness in yourself and in your life.

Try these, and you will find that happiness comes much more easily.

Being Genuinely Happy Means Sleeping More

One of the things that affects happiness levels very directly and deeply is sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll find that you’re not as happy in your daily life as you could be. So it is one of the first things that you should look into if you can.

genuinely happy

If you think that you could probably get more sleep, there are a lot of things to do.

First of all, make sure that your bed is comfortable enough – and if not, look into treating yourself to a new mattress from the likes of https://www.fernearth.com.au/.

Also make your room more conducive to sleep, by ensuring that the temperature is right for sleeping. You might also want to think about reducing your caffeine intake and trying to have a good nighttime routine too.

Meditate To Be Genuinely Happy

If you have not got much experience with meditation, then you might want to think about trying it out a little more in order to try and take control of your happiness in some way or another.

Meditation can do much for you, and one thing that it does is that it absolutely makes it easier to be generally happier in your daily life.

genuinely happy

All you need to do is meditate for around twenty minutes per day, and this will be enough to ensure that you are going to see some real distinct benefits in no time at all.

You might not expect it to help as much as it can, but it is something you just need to try if you are to see what it can really do for you.

See https://eocinstitute.org/meditation/meditation-and-happiness-why-meditation-makes-you-so-happy/ for more.

Help Others – the perfect way to feel genuinely happy

Something that always makes us happier is if we make a point of helping others, but we are often too caught up in ourselves to be able to do this.

genuinely happy

If you feel that you could probably be doing more to help others, then you should start thinking about little ways in which you can hope to do that.

It only needs to be small things if you are to see some benefits, but even small things will mean that you are going to be much happier on the whole.

Feeling Confident: Easy Ways To Give Yourself A Boost

Feeling Confident: Easy Ways To Give Yourself A Boost

Are you feeling confident right now? As a busy woman, you’re bound to have a list longer than your arm (and legs), in regards to your family, job, social commitments, chores, and, well, you get the idea.

It can be easy to get stuck in the rut of pleasing everyone else, ensuring that others needs are taken care of. This usually means putting yourself on the bottom of your list of priorities (that’s if you’ve even made it to the list at all). And this can lead to not feeling confident for your own needs.

Maybe you feel a little overwhelmed, and somewhat rundown; further ensuring that you don’t have the energy left to focus on your own well-being and happiness.

Before long, you might be suffering the effects of fatigue and tiredness, and the sense that you’ve lost yourself somewhere along the way. These thoughts will mean that your inner confidence takes a negative hit.

Therefore, it’s time to take a step back (preferably with your drink of choice in-hand), and access your list of priorities so that you end up right at the top.

Don’t worry, there are a plethora of things you can do, and little changes you can make, that will give you a boost and back to feeling confident.

Getting these boosts regularly, will lead to your confidence growing, a more relaxed and happy you, and your self care-game becoming stronger than ever.

The following are some ideas and inspiration for those who feel like they need help to find their confidence, and want to tackle life head-on with a smile.

Change Your Style

A great way to give yourself a quick boost, is to embark on a little change of style. Take a look in your wardrobe. Pull out all those things you haven’t worn for a year or more; this will help to make room for the shopping trip you’re about to go on.

There are often in-store stylists available, who can help you find some new clothes that flatter and suit you. So you’ll end up feeling your best each time you get dressed.

Maybe it’s your hair that you feel could use a change; click here to get some colour inspiration, or book in for a cut and blow dry at your local salon.

Treat yourself to a regular blow dry, manicure, or beauty treatment. This will give you time to unwind and clear your head so that you leave feeling fresh and confident for the week ahead.

Try New Things

Whether you go solo, head somewhere with your other half, or call your friends up to keep you company; it’s always a lovely idea to organise to do something different.

The best way to get out of that rut, is to change things; so, book tickets to a show, go out for dinner and drinks, or enrol in that class that looked appealing.

Putting new activities and events on the calendar will ensure that you’re scheduling-in your needs first, and who knows where getting out and about will lead.

You’ll also have the opportunity to show-off that new outfit, and your confidence will begin to soar.

Little things like switching your coffee and a catch-up from your home, to heading to the latest trendy cafe, with your friend, is an east way to treat yourself in a small way, and get a change of scene in the meantime. Whatever you choose to do; ensure it’s going to make you happy.

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Preparing To Look After Older Relatives

Preparing To Look After Older Relatives

When you want to look after the people who are closest to you throughout the years, it is important to truly to think about all things they did for you when they were in their prime.

Our parents, aunts and uncles and grandparents all spent a lot of time and effort to make us happy. They made sure we were healthy when we were young, and eventually it becomes our turn to do the same for them.

Today, we are looking at some of the ways you can prepare to look after your older relatives this year.


Make their home safer

One of the first things you can do for an older relative to make their lives a little easier is to make their home safer.

older relative

As people grow older they will often struggle to use their legs and hands as they used to. This can make every day activities such as turning taps and walking up the stairs a lot more difficult.

To make things easier for them, install special recliner chairs, stair lifts and rails which will allow them to navigate their own home with relative ease.


Spend time with them

One of the best things you can do for your loved ones as they grow older and more frail is to spend some time with them.

older relative

Our relatives are precious to us and it is so important that we spend as much time with them as we can.

It is also a fact that spending more time with family can help you live for longer. So there is no better excuse to get out there and go for a coffee.


Make sure they have checkups

When people get a little older it can be easy for them to drop the ball with their health. Your older relatives might not make the effort to make checkups at their doctor’s now and again.

older relative

It is Important for everyone to have a health checkup now and again and you can make sure that they do this by making an appointment and taking them there.

It will allow any issues to be diagnosed and treated and will keep them healthy and strong for longer.


Suggest alternative living

If your relative isn’t quite able to live in their home without some assistance but they still want some independence, you can make this happen with an assisted living village such as https://yukana.org.au/.

older relative

Locations like this will provide a place for your older relative to life alongside other people their age and they will have access to care 24/7 if they need it.

You can rest easy knowing that they are safe and this can make a big impact on you and on them.

Give them some independence

Even if your relative does have to move to a new home, make sure they can take home comforts with them.

older relative

Their favourite chair, a sketchbook to draw in or anything else they love… allowing them to live a happier life even when they struggle to look after themselves is essential.

How To Introduce More Romance Into Your Life

How To Introduce More Romance Into Your Life

We all need more romance, right? If you have a steady partner you may need more romance. But if you’re single, you’ll love these tips to invite more romance, and confidence, into your life.

It’s often easy to think that romance is dead. The impartial nature of swiping someone left or right reduces them to a few biography markers or online statistics. Hardly a good start to more romance.

more romance

The hookup culture seems to be more celebrated than ever. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking for anything you can to criticise the other person.

It’s a wonder how we find anyone worth entering a romantic union with at all.

But romance isn’t dead. Far from it, in fact. You just need to look in the right places, and implement more optimism into your approach.

more romance

No matter if you’re single, in a relationship or have been happily married for decades. There are often a range of potential considerations that might help you restore your faith in marriage, encourage more romance and feel confident as a result.

Then you’ll see just how much positivity you have to enjoy, and how wrong your initial pessimistic viewpoint might have been:

Give More People A Chance

When we’re looking online at dating profiles, or being set up with a friend’s friend, or even meeting someone who seems to spontaneously ask us for dinner, it can be the easiest thing in the world to find reasons to decline.

Of course, you should never, ever feel obligated or pushed into dating someone, this should never be a chore but something you are enthusiastic about.

more romance

But sometimes, widening your criteria a little could surprise you. We are in no way suggesting that you are superficial or look at the wrong set of criteria. It’s a very human thing to have your own tastes.

However, those tastes aren’t going to be the thing that sustains you through a relationship. Yet they could blind you to the inner value someone has, which will minimise having more romance.

For example, if someone quite overweight asks you out, you might consider this person to be contrary to your fit and healthy lifestyle. It’s easy to dismiss them as someone who lacks discipline, and might bring that into your life.

But what you might not see behind the scenes is the weight they have lost in the last year, and the weight they put on through comforting themselves due to the sudden loss of their parents.

more romance

Before you know it you have opened yourself up to an opportunity looking a little further than that presented to you, and you might find the soul mate you have been interested in.

Of course, this is a highly specific, extremely convenient and quite unlikely scenario, but it illustrates that sometimes, we can be most surprised and enraptured by the people we initially thought had little value to us romantically.

Celebrate The Truth Of Feeling

It’s very easy to dismiss anything romantic as being cringeworthy, or insincere, or perhaps easy to grow out of.

It’s true that no relationship will remain in its honeymoon stage forever, but that hardly precludes the very real presence of more romance, and just how great it can make you feel.

more romance

Never think that the time-honored methods of showing affection are obsolete. It might be you care for flower delivery as a gesture to someone you care about, or perhaps even something silly such as writing them a poem when you start to feel true feelings.

The application matters, but more is your feeling behind it. Mostly, it’s that feeling vulnerable and able to open up to someone in this manner is important.

Sincerity is a valuable thing, especially in a world where social media seems to preclude or suggest that it’s no longer a real thing.

Let More Romance Make You Better

When we are interested in romance, it can help us stay at the top of our game. Keeping virtuous in our actions, staying in shape, taking care of our minds all becomes something that helps us not only be more secure in ourselves, but also helps us enjoy the romantic process much more deeply.

Letting more romance make you better can help you feed positive energy into that situation, and support someone as much as they support you. This is where the real truth of romance lies.

more romance

Of course, attraction, connection, intimacy all matter and are essential for any fundamentally healthy relationship. But these work in tandem to allow you the ability to feel confident and comfortable in yourself, to have a rock by your side and also be that rock for someone else.

And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

All images courtesy of Pexels

more romance
Love Yourself By Loving Your Lifestyle

Love Yourself By Loving Your Lifestyle

When you love yourself many other elements in your life will just come together beautifully. But why? And how does that translate to your lifestyle?

We can often find ourselves looking for the perfect homes throughout our lives. When you love yourself, not only do you picture yourself there but you also ensure you ARE there.

We all dream of living in the most beautiful area, heading on the most beautiful vacations, and knowing people with the most beautiful souls.

However, over time we might realize that since we are always the common denominator no matter where we go or travel, that loving your surroundings will also mean loving yourself. This means that while the search for our perfect lives is absolutely a comforting and worthwhile pursuit, it can never fully be met without constructing your perfect life.

love yourself

Of course, these are noble goals, but perhaps they’re not to be fully arrived at, as the journey is always the best part of heading to a destination.

To get you started, it’s only right that we discuss how you can focus on loving yourself, and developing your mindset in a manner that can help you feel more comfortable in yourself so you can also feel more comfortable in your surroundings. With the following advice, this could be possible:

Your Daily Schedules

It’s quite amazing how when we tell ourselves we are worth it, we don’t usually back that up with any strengthened understanding of why.

Of course, having this vague self-belief can often help you, but it can be so much more effective when coupled with a schedule that reinforces this belief into you.

love yourself

Does this mean you need to climb a real mountain every weekend in order to call yourself someone worthwhile?

Not at all. But structuring your daily schedule can help you show yourself you’re important and worth taking care of, which is much more grounded  than a simple sentence said alone.

For example, waking up at 6am on the dot each day can help give you time to meditate, to read a little, or to exercise slightly in the morning. With that you can start your day off with positivity, as if breaking the billiard balls of your day with excellence.

This shows you that you love yourself, as do many other self-preserving actions in your daily schedule.

Your Long Term Goals

Focusing on your goals can help you feel less swayed by the circumstances around you.

love yourself

With a diligent effort each day, even a small one, you can feel as though it doesn’t matter where you are right now. Because where you’re headed is better, and your personal respect for yourself is pushing you forward to that which you love.

This self-love can ironicially help you appreciate your surroundings all the more.

Your Fitness & Body Image

Your body image is important to consider. Might you be better off accepting your perceived flaws to help you feel more comfortable?

For example, a birthmark is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, quite the contrary, it helps you stand out as unique. But you must never feel like you are shameful if you do wish for a change.

love yourself

Professional surgeons such as Dr Kourosh Takavoli emphasize through their work that love is the ability to love yourself no matter how you wish to express it. Feeling comfortable in that could be your greatest strength.

It’s all about if your perception is healthy or not, and what you might do to help you feel better.

With these tips, you are sure to love yourself as a means to love your surroundings.

Fabulous Pre-Workout Meals for Strength and Stamina

Fabulous Pre-Workout Meals for Strength and Stamina

Pre-workout meals will help you to have the strength and stamina to get through a tough session. But it’s not about ANY food, it’s about the RIGHT food for health, fitness and success.

Exercise is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. It helps you to maintain a healthy weight. It reduces your blood pressure and your risks of developing heart disease and high blood pressure.

It can help to improve your posture and get a good night’s sleep. Regular exercise is also great for your mental health, your skin, your stamina and your confidence.

There are so many benefits to working out regularly, and once you get into a routine, it can be a fun part of your life.

pre-workout meals
Photo by Tammy Gann on Unsplash

To be at its most effective, exercise should be teamed with a healthy diet. Many people make the mistake of thinking that because they are working out and burning more calories, they can eat what they want without having to worry.

To an extent, this is true. If you are burning more calories, you can eat more without gaining weight. But, a healthy lifestyle isn’t all about your weight.

Excess fat and sugar in your diet can lead to health issues, even if your weight is in the healthy range.

That’s why what you eat before your workout is crucial. While you’ll probably manage a short run or yoga session before breakfast on an empty stomach, anything more intense, and you’ll need to eat pre-workout meals. However, the balance is tricky. Triathletes follow a triathlete diet and even more casual athletes should tailor what they eat to their exercise.

Overeat before you work out, and you’ll feel sick and sluggish. Not enough, and you may feel dizzy and faint. You’re also in danger of rushing home and binging on sweet snacks.

pre-workout meals
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What you eat in your pre-workout meals is also important. You want plenty of protein to keep you going, but not too many low-quality carbs, that could make you feel tired and dull.

Here are a few meals that are perfect for before a workout. Meals that will boost your energy levels without filling you up too much or making you feel ill.

A Boosted Smoothie

Different smoothie, with some added protein powder, are fantastic pre-workout meals. Add plenty of fruit, like bananas and berries that are filled with protein and natural sugars which boost your energy levels.

pre-workout meals
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Add some natural yoghurt and oats for slow release energy and extra calories, and mix with some low-fat almond milk. The best thing about a smoothie is that you can mix it quickly, and drink it on the way to the gym if you are short on time.

Porridge with Banana

Oats are great for before a workout, and to start your day generally. They release their energy slowly, and so keep you going for longer.

pre-workout meals
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Bananas are filled with carbohydrates and potassium, which boost your muscle performance and energy. Bananas also make a great post-gym snack if you need a quick pick me up.

Whole Grain Toast

Whole grain toast is an excellent source of complex carbs. Add some peanut butter or a hard boiled egg for extra protein.

Grilled Chicken and Broccoli

Grilled chicken and broccoli are both filled with nutrients. You’ll get plenty of protein, iron, and vitamin C.

Add some sweet potato or brown rice if you need a more filling meal, but give it an hour before you exercise if you eat a more significant portion.

Fruit Salad and Greek Yoghurt

Greek yoghurt has almost double the protein of standard yoghurt, while still being low fat and tasty. You’ll get carbs and energy from fresh fruit, banana and berries, and protein from the yoghurt.

pre-workout meals
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If you need something a little more filling, add some dried fruit and a portion of nuts, some oats or a little granola. For an extra sweet twist, add a drizzle of honey.

Multigrain Cracker and Hummus

Multigrain crackers and hummus are both low fat and packed with lean protein. They taste good, they’ll keep you going, and together it’s an easy and quick snack that you can eat close to exercising without being too full.

Homemade hummus is a healthier alternative to store-bought and is super easy to make.

Whole Grain Pasta and steamed Veg

Steamed veg, like broccoli and carrots, keep their nutrients and crunch and taste great. Team them with wholegrain veg for some complex carbs, and add grilled chicken or sweet potatoes for a more filling meal.

pre-workout meals
Photo by Rui Silvestre on Unsplash

Of course, what you eat before you workout will to an extent depend on the time of day. Just remember to keep it light, and to drink lots of water while you exercise.

A general rule to follow is to leave 30 minutes before exercise for something light like fruit or a smoothie. For a more substantial, more filling meal, leave at least an hour.

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Avoid The 8 Consequences of Poor Oral Health

Avoid The 8 Consequences of Poor Oral Health

Oral health is often underestimated in today’s society, especially when you consider the number of cosmetic treatments available. This plays into the mentality around fixing whatever isn’t perfect with your appearance.

However, a radiant smile is about a lot more than just brushing your teeth or getting a fancy cosmetic treatment. It’s all about how you take care of your teeth and how invested you are in learning about your dental situation.

This article shows you just how bad your teeth situation can get if you continue to neglect dentist visits and fail to look after your smile.


oral health
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1. Dementia

Poor oral health can actually have a negative impact on your brain. Infected gums can release substances that potentially lead to memory loss. Brain cells are lost which could eventually develop into Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Diabetes

Diabetics are already susceptible to infections such as infected gums and this can lead to periodontal disease.

However, these diseases can make your diabetes harder to control. You may suffer from worsened blood sugar levels putting you at risk of developing diabetes.

3. Respiratory Infections

Infections to our respiratory system can result from poor oral health. Bacteria in our mouth caused by infected teeth and gums can be breathed into the lungs.

This can lead to complications like pneumonia and bronchitis.

4. Pregnancy Issues

Mothers absolutely have to practice good oral hygiene. Hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy can cause women to develop oral infections.

oral health
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Infections in your body could cause pregnancy complications, so taking care of your oral health when pregnant is important.

5. Infertility

Studies have shown that there is a link between infertility in women and poor oral health.

It’s believed that gum disease can lead to negative health issues making it more difficult for a woman to sustain a healthy pregnancy. It also makes it more difficult for women to get pregnant.

6. Cardiovascular Disease

One of the most common consequences of poor dental care is cardiovascular disease. Having poor oral health increases the risks for developing heart disease.

Bacteria that inflames gums can eventually make its way into your bloodstream, causing your arteries to harden. This ultimately leads to blockages and blood flow issues.

7. Tooth Infection

Infected teeth will typically lead to a root canal. This is a procedure designed to treat the infection at the centre of a tooth that is caused by leaky fillings, tooth decay or even trauma.

oral health
Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Tooth infections are easy to deal with if they are spotted at an early stage, hence the importance of visiting a dentist.

8. Cancer

Cancer is a very uncommon symptom of poor oral health. However, it’s often linked with your oral health. Factors like smoking can cause both poor dental care and cancer.

In addition, certain types of cancers have been linked to gum disease so bacteria can infect various parts of your body.

A Beautiful Smile With Six Simple Tips

A Beautiful Smile With Six Simple Tips

A beautiful smile is something everyone wants but few truly achieve without action and help. Don’t rely on what you’re born with. Create the beautiful smile you crave with some expert tips and a little help.

Flashing a big and beautiful smile can truly work wonders. Not only can it improve your mood, even when you’re feeling your worst, but it can also help you to look younger, more attractive, and more approachable.

Smiles are also highly contagious, which helps others around you to feel happier too. Unfortunately, if your teeth are looking at little worse for wear, you may be too self-conscious to put on a happy face.

To remedy this, here are six steps you should take for a beautiful smile.

 

  1. Don’t Forget To Brush

We all know that we should brush our teeth twice a day, but that doesn’t stop many people forgetting this vital step or ignoring the advice completely.

Unless you brush your teeth frequently, the plaque buildup can harden into tartar, which can cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Teeth are sensitive just after you eat, so make sure you brush before you do instead.

  1. Try Whitening Your Teeth

Regular brushing can help whiten your teeth to some degree, but won’t always make a noticeable difference depending on the stains.

For this reason, you should consider a teeth whitening gel or charcoal teeth whitener. If neither of these options works, then you may be facing a deeper stain caused by injury or infection.

Visiting your dentist’s office is the best way to deal with this issue.

  1. Kick The Unhealthy Habits

Once you’ve whitened your teeth, the last thing that you’ll want to do is stain them again. For this reason, you should avoid damaging and unhealthy habits, like smoking and eating sugary foods.

Drinking tea, coffee, and red wine can also cause problems, so you may want to cut back. At the very least, you should swill your mouth out with water so that the liquids don’t rest on your teeth.

  1. Upgrade Any Old Fillings

Silver fillings can stand out a lot when you yawn or laugh, which can make many people with them embarrassed. They also wear out quite quickly, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay.

With that in mind, you may want to upgrade your old fillings to new and better ones. Not only are these better at bonding to your teeth, but they also match your natural tooth colour.

  1. Get Them Straightened Out

Most assume braces are only for older children and teenagers, but, if you have crooked or wonky teeth, then there’s no reason why you can’t have orthodontic treatment too.

All you need to do is visit your dentist, and they’ll likely spot the problem right away. By having your teeth straightened out, you can improve the appearance of your smile, while also combating tooth decay.

  1. Attend Regular Dentist Appointments

No one enjoys visiting the dentist, but it’s a necessary part of life. Unless you want to face unappealing and expensive dental problems, you should attend checkups and have any preventative treatment you may need.

If you’re dealing with a dental emergency, you needn’t wait until your scheduled appointment. Instead, go and book one right way to avoid further problems.

We all want a beautiful smile, so remember the advice above and take the steps necessary to improve yours.

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Stress Busting Exercises For Those Under Pressure

Stress Busting Exercises For Those Under Pressure

Stress busting exercises don’t have to over-exert you to be effective. There are ways to bust the stress through exercises that can be relaxing yet highly effective.

It can be hard to make yourself feel relaxed when you’re living under a lot of pressure. So stress busting exercises shouldn’t add to this burden.

Whether it’s work, family life, or something else, those things that weigh on your mind are very hard to escape. Tragically, many people go through stress and trauma on a daily basis.

To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best stress busting exercises for those who want to kick stress to the kerb.

Using stress busting exercises is a great way to improve both your physical and mental fitness at the same time.

 

Best Stress Busting Exercises #1: Yoga

When you’re living a very hectic life, it can be hard to find the time to simply move, limiting yourself to the most basic of thoughts.

stress busting exercises

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Yoga classes can provide a great exercise for those who’d like to take themselves away from normal life. With routines designed to make you feel more relaxed, try yoga if you don’t like doing heavy exercise.

Some people find that yoga and meditation works better for them than a high-impact exercise like running.

 

Best Stress Busting Exercises #2: Weight Lifting

Taking a slightly different approach, weight lifting is becoming very popular all over the world. Instead of relaxing you through calm and tranquility, weight bearing exercise will make you feel more at ease by simply working the stress out of you.

stress busting exercises

There are few things more cathartic than lifting some heavy objects for a while. To feel more powerful is a great way to reduce stress. Building your muscles will empower you and give you the feeling that you are in control. Lifting weights won’t bulk up women because we are not built that way.

You can sculpt your body very effectively but you won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger unless you take ‘supplements’, which is not advised.

 

Best Stress Busting Exercises #3: Swimming

Water has long been used as a way to help people to relax. The sound water makes, the way it makes your body feel, and the types of exercise which can be done in water are all perfect for those who want to slip into their own world.

stress busting exercises

The beauty of a water workout is that you don’t have to follow a strict routine. Instead, if you want to swim in straight lines for a while, that’s fine.

Along with this, though, you could also look for some sports which are done in the pool.

 

Best Stress Busting Exercises #4: Long Cycles

Finally, as the last option on this list, cycling is best for people who like to spend time outdoors. Instead of using motion or a workout to relax you, cycling relies on your surroundings. Long bike rides are a great way to think about something else for a while.

stress busting exercises

Photo by Travis Yewell on Unsplash

Cycling works best if you are able to go for a long time. It’s great to take it slow using hours and minutes as your measure, rather than distance.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to find relaxing workouts that you’ll love. When stress is getting you down it can be difficult to get motivated. Just focus on how great you’ll feel AFTERWARDS and wait for the exercise addiction hormones to kick in. Good luck.

Header image from Bruce Mars at Unsplash