HEALTH, self care, Uncategorized

Healthy eating habits to follow in 2019

Since its New year’s soon, most of us must have started making their New Years Resolution lists. And one of the most common resolution is “getting fit and starting to eat healthy”. But somehow, our resolutions last only for a couple of months, like our gym visits. This is because we usually look for or turn towards short term and short cut measures to achieve them. And not just as a new year’s resolution, but lot many of us decide to eat healthy every now and then and lose our way soon.

What we don’t realise is, that eating healthy is a ‘lifestyle change’. It should be such that you can follow easily and that lasts you the entire year.

Developing sustainable habits is very important in this journey. Most of our eating habits are established during our childhood, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change them later in life. As I always say, ‘getting fit & eating healthy’ is a conscious effort. It takes a lot of work and time as well.

Here are a few pointers that have helped me with my healthy eating journey over the past year.

Plan ahead- until last year I never planned our meals ahead. So many a times, when you cant decide what to cook, we ended up ordering outside food. This not only burns a hole in your pockets, but stocks up on unnecessary calories on you. This was the first step that I took on my healthy eating journey. To start with, I started to meal plan for the next 2 days. When I succeeded in following that, I started planning for the entire week. So, after stocking up on the groceries, I sit down and plan all the meals for the whole week or you can even do it the other way around, plan your meals and then stock up on groceries accordingly, and post it on the fridge. So every morning I know what all I have to prep for the day. This will help you staying away from junk. Having a break once in a while is ok and needed too. But for the most part of the week, follow as planned.

Maintain a food journal/ app- to be honest I am not very good at this. I always end up missing days together. But if you do this religiously, it helps a lot. Every night, before going to bed, note down what all you have eaten that entire day. Do this for a week. At the end of the week, REFLECT on those notes. It will give you an account what all bad and good food choices you made and where you need to cut down. This is especially helpful with snacking.
Read the labels on packaged foods- packaged foods contain high amounts of preservatives, fats, sugar, salts, man made food colourings and other chemicals. These foods aim at convenience and lack the necessary nutrients and fibres.

Mindful Stocking up of groceries- stock up on everything fresh (fruits and vegetables). Stock up on pulses and other wholesome foods. Do not get any fried foods or ready to eat or 2-minute foods. I know we crave for these things when we want to snack on something. But when it won’t be available to you, you will look to other healthy food choices. Snack on cucumbers and carrots, include nuts in your daily diet. This point has worked best for me. I always ended up eating French fries and smileys as snacks. But now when I don’t see them, I don’t crave for them. As I read somewhere “Put the treats out of sight and the fruit bowl on the counter”.

Cook often- cook as much as possible. Home cooked food is any time better and nutritious than packaged or take-home food. If you are not able to cook every day, do all the meal prep once or twice a week. This will save up on cooking time plus and you will eat home cooked healthy food. You can even play with spices and flavours according to your palette. Plus it’s the best way to know what’s on your plate and in your system.

Mindful eating- it is your foundation for adapting healthy eating. Be aware of what you are eating/ what you are putting in your mouth. This is very important for making healthy food choices. Never eat in front of the TV or while scrolling on the phone. Stay away from any sort of distraction and pay more attention to what you are putting on your plate. You will automatically stop eating when full and will feel more satisfied.
Eating slowly- I remember, my father telling me as a child, that I need to chew every bite 32 times. He used to tell me no. of times= no. of teeth. Now, I realise that he was making sure that eat slowly. This helps in proper break down and digestion of the food. Plus, it also makes us aware of our hunger levels. Gobbling up the entire food mindlessly is a bad habit. You will end up eating more than what your body wants or needs. Pause before taking a bite, and chew slowly & intentionally.

Eat 5 to 6 meals a day- instead of eating your whole meal at once, and gobbling it up to clear your plate, divide your food portions. Like for example you are used to eating 2 rotis for lunch, so make a change by eating 1 at lunch and the other 2 to 3 hours later. Eating small and frequent meals helps keep the body metabolism up, which is very important for getting fit and weight loss. This will also help you to control your portion sizes.

Eat all the colours/ seasonal fruits- every fruit & vegetable has a different colour because of the constituting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc. and each of these have a specific role to play. So it is very important that we fill our plates with all the available colours. This way, we get more variation nutrient wise. Plus, the colourful presentation will be interesting to eat. It will also give you an opportunity to try new food groups.

Water first- I have personally realised, that lot many times, when we feel that we are hungry or we have the urge to put something in our mouth for no reason whatsoever, we are actually thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before eating anything, will help you in such situations. And trust me, I have tried this and it has turned out to be true most of the times. Water is an essential for life. It is required for absorption, digestion and transportation of nutrients, it is also needed for removal of body wastes and regulating body temperature. So use this method to stay hydrated.

Eat early/ at least 2 hours before bed time- post dinner the usual thing we do is lie down on the bed. And since there is no or very less physical activity post dinner, our food is burned and digested properly. Plus we feel full and groggy the next morning. The best way to avoid this is to have a minimum of 2hours gap post your dinner. What I usually do is, I try and complete my 10k steps during this time. So I either take my kids out to gaze at the stars and moon, or I do some chores for the next day like soaking the nuts for the morning etc. the idea behind it is not to sleep immediately post meals.

Snacking- Snacking is the best way to curb our cravings and also doesn’t let us starve. With our daily office work, household chores, kids etc. we forget to keep a tab of what and when we have eaten, often leading to starving and then we give in to unhealthy cravings. Snacking throughout the day and especially in between meals will keep us from staving. Snack on healthy options like nuts, fruits, carrots and cucumbers with hummus, fox nuts, puffed rice etc.

HEALTH, self care, Uncategorized

lifestyle changes for a happy & healthy life

Life is a race. Every year each one of us makes a new year resolution to stay healthy and happy. But how many of us actually succeed in accomplishing those? To be happy and healthy does not require lot of money and time- just a little desire and motivation. It is difficult to change ingrained habits, but if we work gradually then the chances of achieving those goals are higher. Practicing small lifestyle changes like the following in our daily routine can transform our life and give it a new perspective.

Early to bed early to rise- we all are used to using our phones and tablets or watch tv till the last minute before we fall asleep. This in turn causes disturbed or inadequate sleep. You often wake up tired and leads to a stressful day ahead. So, instead turn off your devices one to 2 hours before bedtime and get a nice and sound 6 to 7 hours of sleep. Wake up fresh and have a great day ahead.

Have plenty of water- have a glass of warm water first thing after you wake up. It helps to wake you up and your body as well. If you can remember to have a glass of water every 1 to 2 hours then its fine. But if you are someone like me, who sucks at that, then download a water reminder app. Drinking at least 2 to 3 litres of water everyday is very necessary. We need to keep our body hydrated. If it goes into dehydration you are bound to have headaches and stay groggy through out the day. And we need to avoid that.

Eat fresh and local food- Every week go visit the local market and get fresh supplies. Get in a habit of cooking your own meals. If you are unable to do so everyday, prepare your food in a batch every Sunday, so you automatically wont eat unhealthy. Throw away all that junk and packaged food. The best way is to not get it in the house in the first place. When you don’t have it in your reach, you would not crave for it. Eat all seasonal fruits and vegetable. There is a reason why you get them in a particular season. Get in a habit of planning out your meals in advance. So this way you know what you need to get from the stores. And try not to put packaged food in your trolley. And, this is very important, never skip any meal. Especially your breakfast. It should be filling and of course healthy so as to avoid cravings through out the day. Also get in to the habit of eating every 2 to 3 hours. This helps maintain blood sugar levels and keeps up the body metabolism.

Planning- Plan out your next day today. Invest in a good to do list and scheduler or planner. Some people can do it for the entire week and someone like me does it every night only for the next day. You can even find many apps for the same in your play store. Go through this list every morning while sipping your water or morning tea. So automatically your brain prepares itself for what lies ahead. Plus you don’t need to stress about things. And this includes planning for food as well. I, usually make two lists. 1 is a to do list with all that I plan to accomplish in a week and the 2nd is a daily planner wherein I chalk out my tasks for the entire day. This includes my blog, other social media, household chores and stuff related to kids. Trust me, this helps a lot in getting hold of your daily life. And so less stress and happier you.

Get your ass off that couch- Get moving honey! Sitting on that couch is not gonna help any way. Start exercising. It might be something as simple as a brisk walk. But do it every day. As we all know we need to do at least 10k steps everyday. Start with a small goal of say 3k steps and gradually go up to 10k. But this doesn’t mean you do 3k steps in one single go. No!!! You have to be active through out the day. Choose zumba or aerobics or bollywood dancing. But make sure to sweat it out. Exercising daily leaves you with lesser lethary and more energy. It makes you feel good about yourself. People having desk jobs should make it a point to take a break and leave the desk every couple of hours. Take a small walk, or Just do some stretching exercises near your desk.

Practice gratitude- everyday before going to bed, think about the best thing that happened to you that day. And be thankful for that. Be thankful for the everyday small things that we often take for granted. Practicing gratitude makes you happy like nothing else can.

Self care- everyday make sure to take out a little time only for yourself. Even 10 mins in your happy place with a cup of tea/ coffee is enough. Stand in front of the mirror and praise yourself. Every day say good things to yourself. Go to a spa or a movie or a dinner date or just chill at home. We need to nourish ourselves to be able to do that to others. Love yourself the way you do to others, or maybe more than that.

Declutter- get rid of all the excess baggage that we usually carry around with us. Declutter your closet, kitchen, house and your mind. Make room for more light, fresh air and happy thoughts. Practice positivity in your life. Give your surroundings and your Mind that much needed makeover and see that glow on your face.

Get away from haters- say goodbye to all those you put you down, who say and do bad things for you. Don’t let anybody take you for granted. Haters are gonna hate, no matter how nice you are to them. So isn’t it better to chuck them out of your life. Surround yourself with people who know you for the good in you, people who uplift you and friends who stuck with you even during your worst times.

Small things great joys- This is one thing that I always say that we need to learn from kids ‘Appreciating small things’. With the aim of achieving higher goals, we often forget our smaller goals. Unknowingly we ignore the small everyday joys that come our way. And so we miss out on many important moments in life. We should learn to appreciate these small things to stay happy. Achieving the bigger goal is going to take time, till then soak in these small joys and stay happy.

Learn to say no- Whether its unhealthy food or toxic people. Learn to say no. Often we do things just for someone else’s happiness and in the process upset ourselves. We have to stop that. We stay in a relationship with someone only because they need us, but we ignore the fact that that very person is hurting us constantly. Break away from such people. it might be someone from your family or a friend or your boss. Say no when someone offers you unhealthy food. Practicing this is difficult, but is for our best in the long run.

“Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change..”

Product reviews, self care, Skincare, WOMEN ISSUES

Sirona’s therapeutic body wash

👉This body wash is a super food for the skin with real exotic oils with anti- oxidants, anti- inflammatory and therspeutic properties.

✅Ingredients like CRANBERRY OIL, JOJOBA OIL, WHEATGERM OIL, SEABUCKTHORN OIL, TASMANIAN PEPPER FRUIT etc.

✅Helps deal with dirt, suntan/ sun burn, rashes, skin itching, and body odour.

🤗This body wash has been a great rescue for me for dealing with body odour. I, sweat a lot. Even in winters i sweat like crazy. As a result i have to bathe atleast 2 times a day in winters and 3 times in summers. I have always been conscious about this problem. I wish i knew about this body wash back in college, it would have saved several trips to the hostel in summers.🤗

😎It has a very calming smell and lathers up pretty well. Since you require only about 2 pumps for every wash, this 200 ml bottle is going to last you for quite sometime. Plus it has a shelf life of 2 years.

✅ It can also be used as a intimate wash, especially during your periods.

✅It consists 100% natural vegetable oils and is free of paraben, sulphates and chemicak actives.

✅Suitable for all agre groups, skin types and both men and women.

✅✅Overall i am liking this product. Will i buy this again? Definitely. If this reduces my bathing trips to just 1 or 2, then definitely. You can buy this product from amazon.in

✅✅ 👉Do check out their page for their entire range.
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self care, Skincare

MAMAEARTH- HAIRCARE ROUTINE

Ever since the birth of my son in march 2017, I had been experiencing the worst hair fall ever. During my pregnancy my hormones blessed with the best hair I could think of and then they decided to ditch me. I was so scared of even combing my hair. I remember my maid telling me once that there are more of hair strands on the floor that dust and kids mess.

That was when I decided that I had to do something about it before going bald.

That is when a friend recommended mamaearth and I love her for that. I started using their argan hair mask and I could see reduced hair fall in just the second wash. A few months back I started using their other hair products also and I am so happy I did. In todays post I will be sharing my experience with you all. And are super gentle on the skin and hair. Plus all of them smell great!!!

To begin with, all mamaearth products are dermatologically tested, suit all hair types, have no silicones and are phthalates free, dye free, paraben free and SLS free. These are made up of 100% natural ingredients

ARGAN HAIR MASK– this has to be the most hydrating and nourishing hair mask I have ever used. I could see the results in the second wash itself. It can be used both as a leave in conditioner and rinse off conditioner. I use it twice a week as a rinse off conditioner. The Argan oil, avocado oil, milk protein and curd extract present in the mask effectively reduce hair fall, repair damaged hair and soothe the scalp thus promoting new hair growth. This was the first mamaearth hair product that I tried and since then there is no looking back.

ROOT RESTORE HAIR OIL– with the goodness of rosemary oil, bhringraj oil & vitamin E. I have been using this oil thrice a week in my routine. It is recommended that we apply it at least 30 minutes before a head wash, but I usually apply it at least 2 to 3 hours prior to my head bath. I massage it for a good 10 to 15 minutes into the scalp and then wrap a moist towel for 15 to 20 minutes for maximum effects. The rosemary oil and bhringraj oil have really helped in strengthening mu hair roots. My hair fall has reduced drastically. plus, the vitamin E has given me an added effect of nourished hair and is reducing the dryness of the scalp and hair as well especially in this weather. I am really happy with the results and I would recommend all you mamas out there to give it a try as well.

HAPPY HEADS SHAMPOO- is very efficient in cleansing the scalp and that too in just 1 application. Earlier I used to shampoo my hair twice like once to clean the scalp and 2nd time to wash off the hair. But with this shampoo I am done with just 1 application. It lathers up really well and leaves your scalp squeaky clean. It has this amazing fresh smell to it that makes me want to use it every day. I use lukewarm water to wash it off. My hair feels so soft once dry. It nourishes pretty well in this dry weather. Though I have a oily scalp, my hair lengths tend to get dry and frizzy in this weather, but now NO MORE!!!

NO MORE TANGLES CONDITIONER- Tangles are one of the major reasons for hair breakage and split ends. The Vitamin B5 in this conditioner, strengthens the hair follicles and removes dead skin cells as well, thus leaving a healthy scalp. The cocoa butter and milk protein give that added nourishment to the hair and makes them soft and shiny. For added results wrap a moist towel over after applying the conditioner and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes before washing off the conditioner. Your fingers/ comb will slide smoothly through your hair post drying them. No more tangles you see..

P.S. I have received the best compliments for my hair ever since I have started using these products. And that includes my hair stylist (you know how these salon people have a habit of saying not so good things about your skin and hair at every visit). Also, all my family and friends who used these products on my recommendation are so happy with the results.

Mamaearth products are available online on nykaa, amazon and mamaearth.in

Go get yours NOW!!!

HEALTH, self care, Uncategorized

Exercising Gratitude

In this fast paced and stressful lives of ours, we often forget to be thankful for the things we have. We tend to take these things for granted. Gratitude is from a Latin word gratus. It is a feeling of appreciation felt by and/ or similar positive response shown by the recipient of kindness, gifts, helps, favors, or other types of generosity, towards the giver of such gifts.

The thing is, that we aren’t hardwired to be grateful. And like any other skill, gratitude needs practice. It takes only 8 weeks of gratitude practice for people to start showing changed brain patterns that lead to greater empathy and happiness. We usually show gratitude only when we are benefitted from someone’s actions.

Gratitude helps us to differentiate the good from the bad. It helps us realize what we have. In all, it strengthens our relationships, reduces stress, and makes us even more happier. Some studies even show that feeling grateful makes people less likely to turn aggressive when provoked.

Ways to practice gratitude:

Gratitude journal/ Jar: It is as simple as noting down one or two things daily, which you are grateful for. You can note it down in a fancy notebook or even a simple one, or maybe makes notes and put them in a glass jar. The idea is to think back on the past few days and remember things we are extremely grateful for. This helps us to change our perception to various situations by adjusting what we focus on. Also, if you are unable to do it everyday, start by doing it once a week or maybe every alternate day, any which way suits you. You can make it fun by taking pictures of things you are grateful for and pasting them in.

Compliment: Give at least one compliment to someone. Or maybe to yourself. Tell someone you love them and how much you appreciate them. Practice self love.

Gratitude walk in Nature: Interact with nature. Take a walk in your nearby park or go trekking or sky diving. Notice the natural beauty around you and compliment it. Be aware of the nature, the colour of the trees & leaves, the various flowers you see, the sounds of birds and such .

Act of kindness: Do one act of kindness everyday. Feeding the stray dog, or helping an old man to cross the road. Or even work for a social cause. When you give something, you automatically feel grateful.

Quality time: Spend quality time with your friends, family, spouse, kids, or even pets.

Positivity: Surround yourself with positivity. Cut out negative people, negative media from your lives. Even if you are in a negative situation, try to focus on the good that it will bring, what you will learn from it.

Complaint less: Try and be satisfied and happy with what you have. Stop running after everything. If your friend has a particular thing doesn’t mean you should also. Learn to differentiate between ‘want’ and ‘need’. Enjoy the little things.

Thankfulness: Thank others. Not for something big they Did, but for the small things people around do for us, that we often forget to notice or appreciate. Say thank you when your colleague offers you a glass of water, or when some unknown person helps you at the store.

Catching up: Spend some quality time with family and friends. With ourbusy schedules, we hardly get any time to catchup with our loved ones. Make an conscious effort to meet your parents, relatives and friends once a month or every 3 months, whatever suits. The number of times you meet is not important. Meeting once in 6 months and spending quality loved time with them is what matters. When you give love and happiness, it will automatically come back to you .

Meditation: Gratitude mediation is a little different from normal meditation. During normal meditation we focus on our breath, keep our mind clear and focus on a particular thing. Gratitude meditation is visualizing things in our life that we are grateful for. Show gratitude for things we take for granted like having a house to live in, three meals a day, physical ability and such. There can be hundreds of reasons to meditate. Take stock of such things that you are grateful for and you will feel much better afterward.

As I read somewhere “ Developing an attitude of gratitude isn’t just a pop psychology trend. It has been linked to an overall better quality of life.”In this overly negative world, we all could use a little more TLC. Feeling gratitude is one of the easiest ways to feel inner peace. What happens around us is not in our control, but reacting to it is. People who practice gratitude are more easy going, happier and secure.

There are numerous ways of practicing gratitude. Choose what works best for you. And after sometime if you feel that it has lost its freshness or you are bored of that particular way, make a change in how, when and how often you express yourself.

self care, Skincare, Uncategorized

Simple ayurvedic tips for glowing skin & healthy hair

We all wish for a smooth & glowing skin and shiny, thick, soft hair. But more often we find that weather changes, physical & mental stress cause many skin and hair problems, stress being one of the major causes. We tend to use different types of creams, lotions and what not to deal with these issues. But most of the times, the results last only till the usage of those products. So todays post is about a much deeper approach to solving these problems- AYURVEDA.

AYURVEDA is not just a science. It is a way of life. It is following a lifestyle that benefits in the long run, making you the best version of yourself. It believes that beauty comes from within.

SKIN is our body’s protective outer shell has to put up with a lot. Things like chemicals, sunlight, heat, harsh cold, sweaty gym sessions, diets, mental stress etc., keep it under constant assault. And as we know every action has an equal and opposite reaction, our skin reacts by giving us acne, blackheads, dry skin, dark circles, etc.

Ayurveda believes that skin problems aren’t superficial, but they are the reflections of the hidden realities of our body. And so, Ayurvedic skin care aims at targeting the underlying causes. This approach definitely takes more time but gives real and sustained results. And the best part is, that the improvements we see are not just limited to the skin surface, but will improve our bodily functions in general.

Ayurveda suggests the following simple measures to curb these issues.

Schedule: Stick to a daily schedule that keeps your mind and body cool and in rhythm.

Breathing exercises: mental stress plays a very important role in skin and hair problems. Controlled breathing exercises are a great way to calm the mind and reduce stress. You can practice these before bedtime or any other time of the day.

Mindful Yoga

Picture credit:http://www.andme.in

Diet: Eat healthy & whole foods; eat light & cooling foods; have pitta pacifying tea (cumin, coriander & fennel). Include high water content vegetables in your diet like cucumbers, lettuce and carrots. Also include nuts & seeds in your daily diet. These contain Omega- 3’s.

All of these are very simple day to day adjustments and changes that we all can actually follow. So go ahead and bring about this change for ourselves. Then there will no looking back.

Check out their blog for more such posts.

https://andme.in/blogs/all-blogs/simple-ayurvedic-tips-for-glowing-skin-and-healthy-hair

HEALTH, self care

Lets stretch and loosen up..

Everybody needs something to wake up in the morning. 10 alarms, a cup of coffee, a cup of tea or a splash of water on their face. We need something to set that kick in to get us started with the day. Similarly our body also needs something to wake up. We often feel lethargic and heavy and stiff after waking up in the morning.

Stretching is known to have many benefits pre and post workout. Similarly it has many benefits when done first thing in the morning. Stretching every part individually may take up a lot of time and since most of us are running late in the mornings, we might avoid it.

So here are few stretching exercises that will give you a full body stretch and will get you ready for the day. Make sure to invest in a good quality comfortable pair of leggings, a full support sports bra and a tank top which moves with your movements and doesnt restrict them.

Standing side bending-

Stand with your feet together. Now slowly take your arms overhead and interlace your fingers, with index fingers pointing towards the ceiling. Inhale deeply while doing so.

Now exhale slowly and bend our upper body to either of the sides. Remember you have to stretch just the upper body, your hips shouldnt sway or twist.

When you feel the stretch, maintain that position for 5 counts and then slowly come back to the centre. While maintaining this stretch, do not hold your breath.

Repeat 5 times on each side.

Forward bending

Stand with your feet slightly apart and knees slightly bent. Always keep in mind that knees shouldnt be in a fully extended or hyperextended position. You dont have to lock them.

Inhale deeply and extend your arms back with your fingers interlaced behind.

Now, breathe out and start bending forwards, with your arms simultaneously moving towards your head, fingers towards your ceiling. Always maintain your lumbar curve while bending.

Stop where you feel the stretch and hold for 5 counts.

Repeat 5 times.

Inchworm to downward dog-

Stand straight with feet slightly apart. Bend forwards as if trying to touch your toes. Place your hands on the floor and walk forwards with your hands and stop when you attain a plank position.

Exhale and lift your heels away from the floor and lengthen your tailbone/ sitting bone away from the back of your pelvis as if you are lifting it towards the ceiling.

Try and stretch your heels down towards the floor and straighten your knees, but be sure not to lock them.

Keep the head between the upper arms and dont let it hang.

Maintain this position for 5 counts, and then come back to the standing position in the reverse sequence.

Repeat 5 times.

Runner’s stretch-

Stand with your feet hip width apart. Now step your left foot forward and lower yourself into a lunge. Place both the hands on either side of your left foot but shoulder width apart.

Breathe in deeply. Now straighten your left leg. When you feel the stretch, count till 5 while maintaining that position. Slowly return to the lunge position.

Repeat 5 times on each side.

Seated back twist-

Sit on the floor with your legs straight. Bend your left knee and step your left foot over the right leg and place next to your right knee. Place your left hand on the floor for support.

Bend your right elbow and turn to the left. Place the back of your right arm against the left knee. Inhale and sit tall.

Exhale as you twist, pressing your right arm onto the left knee and look over the left shoulder. Stop when you feel the stretch, hold for 5 counts. Do not hold your breath. Slowly come back to the centre and repeat on the other side.

Repeat 5 times on each side.

Foetal/ baby pose- this stretch also acts as a cool down.

Kneel down on the floor and touch your big toes to each other as you sit on your heels. Place your hands on your thighs. Inhale.

Exhale and bend forwards with your palms sliding on the floor. Lay your torso between your thighs as you do so.

Stretch the tail bone away from the back of the pelvis as you lift the back of your head slightly away from the back of your neck. Stretch your arms forwards and place them in front in line with your knees.

Since this is also a resting pose, you can stay in it for a few minutes.

Benefits

1. Increases the blood flow and gives a boost of energy throughout the day. It prevents lethargy and feeling of tiredness.

2. Increases oxygen flow to the brain for improved morning alertness.

3. It helps to calm your mind.

4. Increases flexibility and range of motion and thus fewer aches and pains throughout the day.

5. Improved posture- for people who have desk jobs at work or work in front of the computers for longer periods of time. These people often develop poor posture due to overstretched back muscles and tight chest muscles. These stretches when done before starting your day will loosen up those muscles and if done regularly will improve the posture over a period of time.

6. And of course, you will burn some calories as well.

“If you stretch correctly and regularly, you will find that every movement you make becomes easier”.

self care, Uncategorized

Falling in love with yourself.

Every time we talk about love, we think about loving someone or something. A friend, fiancé, spouse, parents, books, a place, a dish, sunsets, sunrises and the list is endless. But how often is it that we think about loving our own selves? Is loving someone else easier than falling in love with yourself?

It is thought of that finding the right partner completes us, he/she fills that empty space in our hearts and rids us of our problems. But when we come to think of it, it’s the exact opposite. You yourself have to do all of that.

So what Does loving thyself mean? Is it about the looks or is it about Your nature?

To me, loving yourself means appreciating your capabilities, knowing your worth and accepting your flaws. It is to cater to our own needs and not wait for someone else to do that. It is to realize your strengths and weaknesses, chase your dreams and to forgive yourself for your mistakes and failures. For once. Make yourself a priority.

As Samantha Jones from SATC said- “I love you..But I love me more. I have been in a relationship with myself for 49 years and that’s the one I need to work one.”

Here’s a list of ways that might make you fall in love with yourself.

Working out: Yes! You heard it right. Personally, I have never been comfortable in my body. I have always been on the heavier side (thanks to the hormones and genetics). I would always want to wear clothes from all the aisles in the mall. But more than half of the times, they didn’t fit me. I have been through the worst phase of PCOD too (it just added on to all of that). Working out is not just about burning calories, it is about investing time in yourself. Work on yourself, develop a healthy lifestyle, have healthy food. I mean, how can you not love yourself when you are taking such good care of “U”.

Look back on your achievements: Take out your old certificates and trophies and remind yourself of what you are capable of. It will give you that feeling, no one or nothing else can.

Maintain a diary/journal: Its like talking to yourself. Everyday write something nice about yourself. One positive character in you. Note down your daily achievements. It might be as Simple as completing your to do list. But that will definitely make you pat your back and feel proud of yourself.

No comparison: Never compare yourself to others. Every one faces a different set of challenges. And so different failures and successes. Never think of yourself to be less than the other person.

Self trust: This is very very important. We all dislike people who lie to us or let us down. But knowingly or unknowingly, we often do that to ourselves. Trust yourself, trust your judgement, your decision, trust yourself that you can sail through this difficult time. Remind yourself of times you have done that in the past. Be true to yourself.

Pamper yourself: Go to the spa, go shopping. Dress up, put some makeup on and take yourself for a movie/ dinner date. If you look good to yourself, you are more likely to fall in love with “U”. It is absolutely OK to splurge and indulge in yourself once in a while. This is a great way to show yourself some love. Something you will be glad about later. I had this friend who used to go the mall, try on some clothes in the trial room, take pictures and feel happy. Sometimes you just need to step out, get some fresh air, clear your head and remind yourself of who you are and what you wanna be.

Hobbies: Work on things you like to do. This is a great way to spend some quality ‘me’ time and concentrate on yourself. When you do something you love, you will definitely love the person doing it.

Surround yourself with positive people: Declutter. Just remove all the negativity from your life. People, things, unwanted stuff. Be with people who uplift you, who know you for the good in you. People who have been with you through your past achievements, and who can remind you about your capabilities and capacities. These people are your mirrors. Look at yourself through their eyes.

Improvement: Work on things you have wanted to improve. Like losing weight, getting fit, drinking more water in a day, eat healthy, not losing your temper, saying yes to everything and everyone, planning your day. It might be anything, depends from person to person. Remind yourself of the end result and how it is going to make you a better person.

Do a noble cause: Doing something for the society like a charity or blood donation will Definitely give you a feel good feeling about yourself.

Me time: go on a solo trip, sit back and relax with that cuppa, read a book.

Let go of the past: The more you hold on to it, the more you poison yourself.

Be adventurous: Do things out of your comfort zone, something you have never tried before or never even thought of. You will get to know yourself more. And it definitely will be positive.

Loving yourself is very important for a happy you. And a happy you is mandatory for building happy relationships and a happier life. You deserve the kind of love you would give to someone else.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong relationship”- Oscar Wilde

HEALTH, self care

23 tried and tested ways to de- stress

These days life has become very stressful. Things like traffic jams, unhappy/ troubled relationships, heavy workload, motherhood, exams, everyday expenses are the most common sources of stress and tension. Whenever, we are stressed, our hormones go into the fight or flight response. This increases our heart rate and we start breathing heavily/ feel anxious/ feel nervous. Whenever in such a situation, it is important to activate the body’s relaxation response. Being stressed is not really a choice, but to relax is.

Today’s post is all about things that help me to relax or de- stress and which maybe useful for you all too. The list is in no particular order.

  1. WALK: go for a walk, especially where there is greenery. Might be a neighbourhood park or your own garden or even in your balcony with your potted plants. This boosts our endorphins and reduces the stress hormones. This will automatically attract your attention to the surrounding and away from the stress causing factor.
  2. DEEP BREATHING: will make your body feel relaxed. Deep breathing-> oxygen boost-> reduced stress.
  3. MEDITATION: easier said than done. We are not saints who can meditate anywhere and everywhere. So what we can do is, we can concentrate all our attention on one particular point in the room/ wherever you are. It might be the wall, a painting, or a showpiece. Automatically, your brain is diverted to that thing and away from the stress. Many a times chanting “AUM” also works.
  4. TALK/ SPEAK- UP/ SHARE: It maybe your friend, your mom, sibling, colleague or just any random person. Just vent it out. Keeping it within is going to increase your stress- level. It is necessary to get rid of your stress inducing thought.
  5. MUSIC: It is often suggested that we listen to classical or soothing music to relax. But, i would say, listen to whatever music that makes you happy. We need to release those feel good hormones to relax. For some it might be rock or maybe jazz, basically any music that you love. I have known surgeons who listen to music while operating just because it relaxes them. And if none of the above, then sing/ humm for yourself. Worse come worse you will end up laughing at your singing skills, which will also give the desired result- relaxation.
  6. YOU TUBE: watch funny videos, especially those of animals (cats and dogs) and babies. There is no way you wont feel relaxed. Laughing-> increased oxygen intake-> releasing feel good hormones -> relaxation.
  7. MATHS: I know, many of you might be saying, this woman is crazy. But trust me solving a simple maths equation or sum will relax you well. It might even be something as simple as counting forwards and backwards or reciting the tables.
  8. GET CRAFTY: Create/ make something. Activities with repeated motions like knitting, jewellery making, origami, drawing and painting, doodling, or sometimes even colour my daughters colouring books. These fine motor activities grab your attention such that you forget the reason for your stress.
  9. Take a warm bath or relax in the pool.
  10. YOGA: SHAVASANA is the most common asana for relaxing. It helps you regulate your breathing and also in muscle relaxation. All you need is a mat or even a carpet will do. And if nothing is available just lie down on the floor. Or just lay back on your chair. You can even try the other stress- relieving poses like the eagle pose.
  11. DANCE: Go to a pub, discotheque, or just dance in front of the mirror or wherever you are. People might make fun of you, but its helping you. And when they see you enjoying, i am sure they will join in. Remember how Meredith Grey (Any greys anatomy fans here?) dances it out? Its the same. Dont worry about anything or anyone, you need those feel good hormones.
  12. HUG: Now, this might sound stupid to many. But ask someone to hug you. It might be your office colleague, sibling, BFF, or a random person. You can even try hugging your favourite pillow. Whenever you hug someone or someone hugs you, you feel the support, you feel cared for, you will feel happy and so relaxed.
  13. PET: that furball of yours will give you immense joy when you play with it or take it out for a walk. Hug your pet Nd talk to it.
  14. DECLUTTER: This is one of the main things that i personally do to relax. Just pick a corner of the house, or a drawer, or your cupboard and start decluttering and cleaning and organizing it. The idea is to get rid of the junk or unwanted stuff. It acts like a vent out for the negativity that is causing the stress.
  15. ROCKING CHAIR: Ever wondered why and how a crying baby is consoled or put to sleep? Its the rocking movement that is used. This rocking movement releases the endorphins which improve your mood and thus reduce anxiety. Now, obviously you cannot be held like a baby, so go get that rocking chair.
  16. SCREAM/ SIGH: The idea is to let it all out. I have seen it in a bollywood movie. Letting out a scream or a heavy sigh makes yu take in more oxygen after, which helps to calm down your nerves and you feel light and relaxed.
  17. CHEWING GUM: According to some studies, chewing a piece of gum, improves your breathing and thus reduces anxiety.
  18. TREAT TIME: A small piece of chocolate never hurt anyone. I am not saying binge eat or eat the whole bar. Just a small chunk. Getting a little sugar in your system will definitely make you feel good. And no, this doesnt mean that i support stress eating.

The above mentioned ways were what you can do when you are feeling stressed, like immediately at that moment. But there are certain things that you should follow in general in your daily routine to help you fight stress. Lets take a look at them:

  1. Try and get GOOD QUALITY SLEEP. Switch off that mobile/ TV atleast an hour before going to bed. Light some scented candles in your room, have a warm bath, have a nice conversation with your partner and go to bed. Also, do not drink tea/ coffee after 7 PM. Caffiene will make you more alert and will compromise your sleeping time.
  2. REDUCING SCREENTIME: More screentime throughout the day leads to disturbed sleep, stress and depression (in extreme cases). If you are a office worker, then screen time= work. So, try and take breaks every hour or two. Drink water, take a small walk in and around your office, listen to some music, chat with your colleague, do stretching exercises at your desk. Just go off screen for sometime and then return refreshed and start working again. For SAHM, make sure you use your mobiles, laptops, TV when the kids are sleeping or are at the school or day care. When they are home spend all the time with them. Automatically your screentime reduces to just a few hours. And spending time with kids is one of the best stress busters.
  3. MINDFUL EATING: Always be careful of what you put in your system. There are some foods that may cause digestion issues. These might get you stressed. Snack on healthy options like dry fruits, nuts, fruits. Get out of the room, go to a peaceful corner with lots of air and light and eat. Focus on the food and how it makes you feel. It is very important to nourish your system from within.
  4. HOUSEPLANTS: Some plants are not just air purifiers but also act as calming agents. Keep one on your office desk, decorate them in your living room/ bedroom/ in your house. Even talking to plants helps. Imagine you are talking to your friend.
  5. SELF CARE: That occasional visit to the salon or spa is also needed. Get a nice massage or just a mani/ pedi. Enjoy that me time. Go for shopping alone. Retail therapy never hurt anyone, especially you girls out there.

So thats all..

I know it was a long post but i am sure you would agree with a couple pointers here and will find the others to be helpful as well. Most of these methods are tried and tested by me, so i know for sure that they work.

If you like what i write, then show me some love.

Stay tuned for more.

Till then

BBYe…..