5 Great Ideas To Celebrate Winter Solstice With Family

Note: This wonderful and inspiring blog post is brought to you by Annette, author of the blog Little Autumn Cottage. If you love magic, cozy, and hygge as much as I do, you will love to visit Annette’s blog!

Winter Solstice is only one week away! It falls on Friday, December 21st this year and marks the first day of winter. Being the longest night of the year, everyday after the Solstice will slowly grow lighter and lighter. It’s a time to celebrate that it won’t stay dark forever!

Continue reading “5 Great Ideas To Celebrate Winter Solstice With Family”

How To Put Your Life Together

I’m in the aftermath of some terrible months which have essentially been marked by overwhelming feelings and a deep frustration because most things in my life seem to be stuck and unchangeable. And even though this seems very familiar when thinking about the past few years (to the point that it even became the ‘new normal’), it is certainly not the best way to live for me. So last week I sat down with my laptop and I started typing in a blank page under the title:

“Put Your Life Together”

Even though I’m no longer finishing my PhD in September (had a review meeting last week…), I decided that I can’t keep delaying the changes that I need for myself right now. I have been trying to focus on getting things done as much as I humanly can but the pressure has been so much that I found myself sacrificing my wellbeing again. That in turn makes me feel incredibly miserable and unhappy.

If you follow me on instagram, you might know that I that I have a tattoo on my back which says:

Love yourself. Love your day. Love your life.

And being fuelled by several cups of coffee during the day, working non-stop in front of a computer, and having no sort of positive human interactions are totally incompatible with those three sentences whose purpose was in the first place to remind me of how I should actually live! Instead I have been leading such a terrible lifestyle that I am even ashamed of saying out loud my blog’s URL.

I miss my yoga in the morning, my warm water with lemon, my smoothies and juices, my healthy food, and most of all I miss the overall feeling of being fit (I haven’t done any workout besides walking… and I’m now three sizes bigger because I keep eating to numb my feelings and thoughts!). And it’s because I miss all these good things that I decided it is time to stop letting my current situation (being stuck in this PhD process) overdrive my mood and my wellbeing goals. So while listening to one of D. Carnegie’s audiobooks (“How To Stop Worrying and Start Living”), I decided to put a four-step approach to change in practise on my Google Drive’s blank page:

  1. What needs to change?
  2. What can I do about it?
  3. What is my decision?
  4. What is the next action?

It wasn’t long until I a list of 12 items emerged. From finding a new house and applying for a different job in the local area to buying a gym membership and creating a saving account, the list revealed itself to be quite diverse. Under each item I then started to write a couple of actions that could contribute to the achievement of my overarching goals. I’m not going to share my detailed list, but here are my 12 items:

Put Your Life Together: #TheList

  1. Move house
  2. Change job
  3. Complete PhD thesis
  4. Buy a gym membership
  5. Book a massage
  6. Get a proper bike
  7. Invite JJ, W. and wife to have dinner in the new house
  8. Build-up a nice romantic relationship (forget this item!)
  9. Revamp my blog
  10. Work on my social business plan
  11. Create a saving account
  12. Visit family on a weekend asap

I can tell you that I already started to take action on some of these items. I showed interest in a house back in town, I applied for two jobs that I would sincerely love having, I have been writing up a lot in the last few days, and I also decided to only enjoy my friend’s love-life stories and stop thinking about mine. And… I also got a Thai massage taster today from my friend: actually I spent most of the time laughing because I realised that I’m really in a big physical trouble!

FITNESS-FRIDAY: Three Exercises That Will Transform Your Body

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While working out, there have been times when I have come across offbeat questions. People have asked me the weirdest of questions and have left me dumbfounded. So, for a week, I conducted a little survey, asking people about their problems and their excuses for not going to the gym. Below mentioned are the questions I asked my followers to understand their behavior and mindset before reaching a conclusion. Also, their responses helped me to suggest tips for enhancing their physiques.

  1. What stresses you out the most?
  2. How often do you eat outside?
  3. How happy are you with your body shape?
  4. During weekends how much money do you spend over drinks?
  5. How much water do you drink in a day?
  6. According to you, what is the best diet for your body?
  7. What is your preferred drink – tea or coffee?
  8. What is your least favorite fitness exercise?
  9. What is your breakfast timing?
  10. What helps you stay full throughout the day?

These number of questions helped me to decipher few common behaviors. It further assisted in providing the solution to avoid these occurring. Lot of people complained about the weight management, finances, lack of time due to their busy schedule at work, eating lot of processed food, not drinking enough water and choosing the wrong tea. Also, few people talked about the vitamin supplement that they intake on a regular basis stay energized.

Now, all these problems have a solution and it will only ask you to shred away 15-17 minutes out of your 1440 minutes in a day. This is not a tough task. Don’t fall into the trap where people are casting a spell on you and asking you take supplements for quicker results. Don’t inject your body with foreign materials which it doesn’t understand. Take it slow and you’ll see results in the long term. Furthermore, it gives a sense of pride when you realize that you did it, the hard way.

Take up these 3 exercises before you go for a shower or whenever you have time. Also, you don’t require any equipment for these 3 exercises. These 3 workouts will mold your body in a manner where you can take up bigger challenges.

PUSH-UPS

For many, the thought of performing a push up conjures memories of gym class. Perhaps one of the easiest exercise movement, push up activates nearly every muscle in your body, which yields far more than toned muscles and increased endurance. Push-ups increases functional strength and activates your entire body. Major muscle groups, such as your biceps, core muscles, triceps, anterior deltoids and lower body muscle groups are activated to support your body while stabilizing your movements. I perform this exercise on a regular basis irrespective of what my routine. Try doing at least 30 divided into 3 sets, or 50 if you think you can push yourself a little bit more. This exercise not only improves your posture, but also helps you in cultivating a strong body.

SQUATS

Squats is another power pack exercise. If you’re looking to boost your overall fitness and get some results, then look for no other exercise then performing squats. For a starter you can go for 3 sets of 15 each, or 3 sets of 20 each if you think you can push yourself a little bit more. Squats trigger the testosterone in your body, which are harmful for your muscle growth. Squats again helps you in keeping your posture right and balanced. It helps you in building both the upper and lower body. It will boost your immune system, keeping you active and energized throughout the day. It burns your fat and boosts your performance.

CRUNCHES

Before I advise you to do this, let me make one thing very clear that crunches do not actually burn fat. But it is one of the most effective exercise if you combine it with the other two I mentioned above. It actually flexes your muscles and can help you to keep you positive by sending a message to your brain that you have started working for it. It is more of a controlled exercise and helps you improve your focus on the other exercise and also increases your flexibility.

 

The above mentioned three exercises complement each other and if done regularly can bring ample amount of change in your body. By that I do not mean that these cannot be done separately. But, if these three are combined and practiced, great result is inevitable.

 

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