Wednesday, February 29, 2012

HTW: Writing a thank you note


I remember when I was younger I would receive handwritten letters in the mail. They would be thick with  personality and had been carefully created for my eyes only. I do miss those simple days sometimes. While it is socially acceptable to reply with text, emails, pokes and messages, I am not sure it is alright to reply to a gift or kind gesture with an electronic thank you. Today I wanted to share with you a little old school pen to paper etiquette.

1. Stationery: Depending on how much you wish to write, you will want nothing larger than a greeting card sized piece of paper. Try to use a piece which looks nice, or at the least has not been simply torn from a book. Since you should handwrite this, you will also need a pen.

2. Spelling: For obvious reasons, you want to be sure your spelling is correct as you can't exactly fall back on spell check. It is crucial to actually get the person's name right! I can not stress this enough! My Mum's name is Leeanne and about 60% of the time her name is spelt wrong. It says to me that people can't be bothered to look up her correct spelling, so make sure to check the spelling first.

3. Thank you: This is a thank you note, so you want to start your letter with "thank for the gift/favour/help". Try not to start talking about yourself.

4. Money: Don't mention money. Instead of writing "thanks for the $20", swap it for "thanks for your generous gift". It simply sounds nicer.

5. Application: Tell the note recipient how you will be using their gift. I am sure they would love to know how their gift is/has benefitted you. That was the idea after all. 

6. The future: Mention the past and allude to the future in your note. Something along the lines of "It was great seeing you last Thursday - am looking forward to catching up with you in the coming weeks". 

7. Mail: Once you think you have said all you can, and that it looks beautiful, then it is time for mail this bad boy. Snail mail is fun and exciting to receive so grab yourself a stamp and pop it into your nearest post box. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

The beginnings of an organised life


I am one of those people who likes to do 50 things at once; an extreme multi-tasker if you will. One of the problems I have found with this method is that I lose things very easily or forget what I am doing. In the past few weeks I have started to implement an organisational system. Here are a few of the basics to help you with your clutter.

A place for everything: While it is so easy to get lost in what you are working on and forget to put things away in their proper place, you are ultimately losing yourself time as in order to find the things you otherwise would have been able to find fast and effectively, you must now look for. While it can be a pain to put everything away all of the time, you will love yourself for it later. It also makes everything look cleaner. A clear space makes for a clear mind.

Clearing your day: At the end of each day, try to simply take five minutes to tidy up your workspace. File away any incomplete documents and remove all empty coffee cups. This way, you will start every day with a clean slate upon to get your work completed. You may also notice you will get stuff done more efficiently.

Create intelligent filing: While this may seem like a bit of an obvious one, if you file away your documents with binders and manilla folders, you will be able to easily access exactly what you are after. It will also declutter your office and look nicer. Throw out any unwanted or unneeded paperwork and keep only that which is important or in use.

Documents: Documents which are currently in use need to be at arms reach. You may want to invest on one of those expandable document wallets with the dividers and file according to importance, topic or use. Documents which aren't used as often can be hole-punched and stuck into a binder for easy access.

File away business cards: As you get on in your career or even just in your daily life, you will find that your collection of business cards is going to slowly grow. If you find yourself in this position, it might be a good idea to invest in a business card holder. They are quite cheap and will help you to order your cards. It is crucial to keep these looked after as you never know when you will need to communicate with a professional.

Free your mind with lists: This is a very important point for myself. My mind goes non-stop 100% of the time. Subsequently, I find myself constantly jotting down notes to myself so I can simply free up some space in my mind. By having lists you are less likely to forget the important things that you need to remember. Lists are easy to take with you, and easily prompt you into remembering a trail of thought or a simple idea. 

Keep a notebook: This is very similar to keeping lists. I keep a few notebooks, one of which being my blogging notebook. I write in it basic analytics to remind myself of how far I have came and what I wish to achieve for the day and what I would like to write about in the coming days. I have found it to be incredibly helpful in achieving more than I thought I could. 

Keep your diary close: This is probably one of the most important organisational tools you will ever possess. I was a little spoilt last Christmas and was given the 2012 Frankie Diary from my Mum which I absolutely adore. Having a visually appealing diary will always lift your spirits on the not-so-amazing days where you would rather be at the beach. It is also incredibly useful for storing important phone numbers, contacts, dates, events and for remembering things a long time in advanced. 

{Image Link}

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HTW: Relieving a migraine


While today's post is a little bit specialised, my hope is that I may help at least one person. You see, I am a migraine sufferer. Prior to this, whenever someone complained of a migraine I had imagined the pain to be that of a larger than average migraine. Boy was I wrong!

This fiend can get you at any time of the day or night, and for any reason. You will lose your appetite, your ability to think straight and in my case, your eyesight temporarily. So what do you do if you find yourself in the clutches of one of these demons?

SLEEP: For obvious reasons, sleep is amazing for our bodies healing processes. Changes in sleep patterns such as jet lag or changing study and work patterns have the potential to reduce the quality of our sleep cycles and bring upon a migraine. You may want to try getting up and going to bed at roughly the same times each day. It is also important to rest in a dark room. Other than disturbing your sleep, the light can sometimes trigger a migraine.

FOOD AND DRINK: While you don't want to drink too much caffeine, just a small amount is known to help the pain of migraines to disappear. Skipping meals is also frowned upon. It is better to eat a series of smaller meals throughout. You may want to take note of any foods which seem to trigger a migraine and steer clear of these. For me, pumpkin and coconut trigger a hell of a migraine. While this last one sounds a  little far-fetched, the hot ingredient (the seeds) of red capsicums are a great painkiller. For convenience, you can buy cayenne pepper capsules from most health food stores.

OTHER TREATMENTS: The cold is fantastic for migraines, so it is no wonder that applying an ice pack directly to your head helps to relieve the pain. Closing your eyes at the same time will help you to relax and help with the cooling effects of the ice pack. If you don't have access to an ice pack, simply place your hands into icy water while making fists. This will act the same as the ice pack over the head.

Studies have shown that taking 400mg of Riboflavin per day can help to eliminate migraines altogether. Riboflavin tablets can be found at most health food stores. Two remedies I have found of particular use while at work are to wear my reading glasses, as they will take a considerable amount of pressure off your eyes, and to drop two dissolvable aspirin tablets into a drink bottle filled with water and to sip throughout the day. I find it drastically relieves the pain and symptoms.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Back to School


Today is filled with mixed feelings for me. You see, I go back to studying today. I study externally so in essence I shall be studying from home but I am kind of regretting over-extending myself so much. I have chosen to study four units this semester as well as work full time so please bear with me if I seem to be slowing in my blogging, I haven't forgotten about you :)

I started this degree a few months after moving to Ballina. I didn't know anyone, had just came out of a five year long relationship and didn't really know myself. In my previous life in Sydney I was studying to be an Interior Designer. When I moved here I realised they didn't have my degree so had a bit of a life changing moment. I would become a writer! So off to university I went.

But then something strange happened, I became a writer without the degree. So now I am just going through the motions to finish it so I may get on with my life. Have you ever had the same problem? Anyway, today I thought I would share a few inspiring images I have stumbled across on my net travels. I hope they inspire you as much as they do myself :)


Sunday, February 19, 2012

I have a black dog


I think I was in my mid-teens when I first noticed my black dog; Depression. He has followed me ever since with his hatred, self-loathing and overall heaviness. For the most part I have cleared a spot in my life for him to be happy and leave me be, however from time to time he pops up and bites me on the arse. Today is one such day.

Not many people know that I have depression; it isn't exactly something one advertises. To my boyfriend I show it in the form of asking to get away for the weekend, while to others I don't show it at all. There is this terrible stigma that everyone who has depression or is in a bit of a down moment is 10 seconds away from downing a bottle of sleeping pills. False; we just want to be calm. We want to be able to sit down and find the beauty or the fun in something; anything, because it is there, you just can't touch it, or be apart of it for that matter.

I am hoping that not too far from now I can climb out of this hole and find the beauty once more. More than anything however, I want a new beginning. A new town with new friends; a new home with new places to explore. Just a place I can go where nobody knows me or has had a chance to be disappointed by me. 

To everyone else who has a black dog, I want you to know that you are not alone. Maybe someday soon when my dog is not so vicious we can get together and talk about all the things that make us happy in this world.

{Image Link}

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

HTW: Pulling an all-nighter


I came to a sad realisation earlier this week. I start uni again for the year as of next Monday. I have taken a bit of a break from it over the past year and am now working four days a week, and while I study externally, I am still really bracing myself for stress overload, boring topics I don't care for and long sleepless all-nighters. I would like to tribute today's post to all the uni students about to embark on the same journey as myself. With no further ado... how to pull an all-nighter:

Caffeine - Yay or Nay: This really depends on your experiences with caffeine in the past. If you are a seasoned java drinker then go for your life, however if you are not so familiar with this beverage then chances are you will peak too soon and crash long before you actually planned on sleeping. Icy cold water or a mug of green tea are a safer bet.

To break or not to break: I love my job but after a while I end up sitting there completely zoned out of my head wondering why I am staring at a computer. The lesson is, you need to take breaks! At the risk of getting side tracked, it will keep you motivated and remind you of why you are up working when you would much prefer to be sleeping. Try to aim for a 10 - 15 minute break every hour to hour half for optimum results. If you absolutely must have a nap, anything longer than 30 minutes will be detrimental to your all-nighter edge and you will find yourself sleeping through to your alarm.

Staying in the zone: It is so important that you work in an area that you feel productive in. You want to be seated in a chair which is not too comfy as to put you to sleep but is not going to cause you pain. You want to shut down Facebook and remove anything unnecessary and fun from your immediate vicinity as it is a distraction. The lighting should also be good as you want to see what you are doing. Also, very important, do not attempt an all-nighter while seated on your bed. As hard as you may try, you are going to lay down and fall asleep.

Staying Stimulated: Listening to something fast paced (like Pendulum) will keep you awake and buzzing out of your mind, which is what you want isn't it? Try to chop and change what you are focusing on every now and then to keep from repetition and overall boredom. You may even want to have a friend come around to be your study buddy, it may help you to focus a bit better. Also, you may like to keep some snacks close by to nibble on in the wee hours when you are craving something to eat.

I hope you have all taken something from this. Happy studies!! 

{Image Link}

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A woman should have...


I have chosen not to write a post of my own today, instead to share some amazing words by Maya Angelou; a truly inspiration and beautiful woman, inside and out. May you all have an amazing weekend and I hope you take something positive and life affirming from her words. Enjoy :)

A woman should have one old love she can imagine going back to and one who reminds her how far she has come.

A woman should have enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own even if she never wants to or needs to.

A woman should have something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour.

A woman should have a youth she’s content to leave behind.

A woman should have a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age.

A woman should have a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.

A woman should have one friend who always makes her laugh and one who lets her cry.

A woman should have a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family.

A woman should have eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored.

A woman should have a feeling of control over her destiny.

Every woman should know how to fall in love without losing herself.

Every woman should know how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.

Every woman should know when to try harder and when to walk away.

Every woman should know that she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.

Every woman should know that her childhood may not have been perfect, but its over.

Every woman should know what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more.

Every woman should know how to live alone, even if she doesn’t like it.

Every woman should know whom she can trust, whom she can’t, and why she shouldn’t take it personally.

Every woman should know where to go, be it to her best friend’s kitchen table, or a charming inn in the woods when her soul needs soothing.

Every woman should know what she can and can’t accomplish in a day, a month, and a year.

— Maya Angelou

Friday, February 10, 2012

On being the best that you can: part 3


Stop denying yourself a break: For years I have failed at this point. I work myself down to the bone then wonder why I can’t get out of bed in the morning. My problem is that I don’t know when it is acceptable to simply take a break. It is as though the best time to actually take a breather is the only moment you can’t afford to, so it seems. If you simply allow yourself a moment to reflect and have a break, no matter how small it is, you will be able to achieve more in the long run and your mental and physical health will adore you for it.
Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments: It is so vital to remember to enjoy the little things. One day you will look back and realise that they were actually the big things and you missed/overlooked them. We live our lives how we live our days, so there is no point living 5 years ahead at all times as you will miss the “right now” and right now is where we are.
Stop trying to make things perfect: This is a point I need to stick in clear view of myself at all times. I am a perfectionist to the core. I run around my office and house just picking up little messes that really could have been left, changing entire lists of text to a specific font because of one particular word, just ridiculous little things. But the point is, the world does not reward perfectionists for the extra mile, the world rewards people who do the job at hand. Yes, try your hardest, but move on once it is done, we (myself definitely included) need to know when it is time to stop and move to the next project.
Stop following the easiest path: Life is not easy. It is a constant challenge and many of us get lost within the tangles. However, others find something magnificent that is so great is simply must be shared. We need to stop taking the easiest path all the time, as it means we are losing the opportunity to bloom into something more beautiful, or creative or to find something we never even knew we had lost.
Stop pretending to be happy if you aren’t: I will say it again; life is not easy. My boyfriend knows this all too well. Every few months I will have this crazy breakdown and demand we go away to some rural bohemian town together to “breathe” (I am sorry Danny; you really are very patient). The point is that it is okay to simply break down sometimes. Take leave from your mind for 10 minutes and just fall apart because you need to in order to rebuild. But don’t forget to rebuild. This world is too beautiful to let the darkness take you over. We are all strong amazing people; however sometimes we just need a moment to catch our breath, don’t be afraid to break down sometimes. There is no shame in it.
Stop blaming others for your troubles: You have the potential to achieve anything, so long as you take responsibility for your own actions. This means that if you stuff up you need to acknowledge that it was your mistake and rectify it. This does not mean hating yourself, this means realising how far the tentacles of our own actions can reach. When you blame others for your troubles or problems, you are denying responsibility and are handing over the power to parts of your life.
Stop trying to be everything to everyone: This is a tough one. It is hard to be there for everyone all of the time. We all have a lot of people in our lives, but the important point to remember is that each of those have other people in their lives too, people who are also there for them, so please don’t feel that you are the only person who can help, there are others. There is no point in overburdening yourself, as then there will be none of you to go around at all.
Stop worrying so much: Worry is probably my deepest foe. No matter where I am, suddenly pop “have you paid the phone bill?” “sure you have enough cat food to last the week?” trivial little worries pop into my head. Worrying about these little tasks will not remove their existence from my life, it simply pushes the fear of the worse case scenario to the foreground. Focus on the positive, and what is important. If it will not be important a year or more into the future then simply don’t worry about it.
Stop focusing on the worse case scenario: We make our destiny with good intentions. If I focused on the worse case scenario all the time, I would never have even started blogging. When I first started writing I was terrified of people seeing what I wrote. I thought they would laugh at me. Had I let that hold me back I would never have discovered my passion for words. Focus on the positive and it will manifest itself in your life.
Stop being ungrateful: I don’t mean this in the sense of not respecting what you have, but in it’s simplest form. No matter how good or bad your day was, wake up with the knowledge that someone out there is fighting for just one more day here. There will always be someone who has it worse off. Try thinking about what you have that others are missing out on.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mental illness and the power of tomorrow.


A few years ago I came down with stomach ulcers. I have a deeply morbid fear of needles and doctors so of course put it off as heartburn. When I finally did see the doctor out of sheer desperation, I was handed this band-aid reply and a two week supply of this medication I would have sold my soul for. Those two weeks were bliss. I could actually go somewhere without feeling like I was going to die. Queue following years of "safe eating",  extremely controlled environments and excruciating pain.

Through this on/off desperation and never quite knowing if I would be fine that day or not, I developed a severe anxiety disorder to the point where I was unable to walk to the mailbox 10 metres from my doorstep without having a panic attack. The world was a terrifying place and I wasn't coping at that time.

I was put on medication for it and it is mostly cleared up now, but I swore to myself in those months of sheer pain and terror that I would use my writing to empower sufferers of mental health issues, and just individuals who needed a voice because there's was too quiet to speak out for themselves. 

It wasn't until this morning that I realised I had in part, forgotten the essence of my promise. I was driving to work and I hadn't been in a few days as my bosses are awesome and had allowed me to have a few days off to spend with my Dad (he works on the other side of the country and visits monthly) and today was to be the day I would return to work. The rain was fierce and for some reason I was really nervous. And then it happened, I had a panic attack. First in what I would have to say a year. And it was terrifying. I turned around and came home. I was defeated. I felt like every single pain and insecurity I had pushed through had amounted to nothing. 

I guess the point I am trying to get to is that despite the fact that I am still angry with myself, life goes on. Tomorrow is Friday and if I try hard enough, will be nothing like today. I will go to work, I will smile and  ask how everyone has been, I will go volunteer at the animal shelter and then come home to watch movies with my boyfriend. I realise this now, whereas I didn't realise this back then. I have the power to change at any moment, so long as I believe in myself and don't let my illness tear me down.

I would like to think that we live in a world where we are all healthy, all of the time, but the reality is that people do get ill. So I hope that you are all well, and if not, that you know you are not alone and that there are people who care.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

HTW: Relieving a jellyfish sting


Being an Australian, I love the water. I love the hot sand followed by the soothing cool of finally reaching  the water line and dunking my toes into the soft swell; the flat water and occasionally the inconsistent waves. I love looking at the shells and the froth directly after the wave crashes.

What I do not love about the beach however, are jellyfish stings. I live about a five minutes walk from the beach and just yesterday I came across a tell-tale sign that it was jellyfish season - sand littered with these little buggers. So what do you do when one has attacked you?

Firstly, don't urinate on the affected area! Contrary to popular belief it will only aggravate the sting further.

1. As soon as you are stung, you want to get yourself out of the water. Remove the tentacle with care using a stick or whatever you can find that is not your hand. You don't want the stinger to touch your anywhere else as it will continue to sting you in other areas. 

2. Rinse the affected area with vinegar. Soak a hand towel or whatever you have at hand in the vinegar and apply to affected area for 15 - 30 minutes. This is necessary to stop nematocysts from releasing toxins into your body.

3. This next step may hurt a little, but it will hurt more if you skip it. You want to get your hands on some shaving gel and a razor and shave the affected area. This will take the top layer of skin off and any stinger that remains with it, and will entirely prevent the nematocysts from entering your body. Failing this, you could rub the affected area with wet sand.

4. Reapply the vinegar soaked towel once more. You may want to get rid of further pain by using pain relief such as paracetamol or by applying hydrocortisone cream.

NOTE: If you are experiencing breathing difficulties, have been stung repeatedly or would consider your sting/s to be moderate to severe, please skip this advice and get yourself to the nearest lifeguard or hospital.

{Image: taken from the beach down my street}

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Vegan Milestone


Today is an important day for me. It symbolises a milestone that few people thought I would make. You see, on February 7, 2011 I had the crazy idea pop into my mind that I could go vegan for a few days. Those few days turned into months and as of today, into an entire year. 

At the time I was stuck in a rut. I was in a job I absolutely loathed (McDonald's will do that to you) and it felt a lot like I was constantly going through the motions or maybe just some sick Groundhog day where the only thing that changed was the sky. Regardless, I needed a change. I needed something I could take control of and morph into whatever I wished it to be. I needed something tangible I could react to that was decided upon by my decisions alone. Then suddenly it popped into my mind: quit meat. So I did. Meat, cheese, eggs, honey, milk, gelatin, leather, fur, suede, all animal derivatives and animal tested companies for that matter!

And I feel amazing! So emancipated all of the time because I know that I am doing the least amount of harm there is to make. I know that the companies I buy from are eco-sustainable and in some cases, carbon neutral and I like this. I like that my products weren't tested on animals prior to touching my skin, instead being tested via plant derived ways, which is very fine by me.

I like that I don't put on weight, ever. That my meals are inherently healthy and incredibly flavoursome an more importantly, that they aren't tainted by flesh. It just feels good and you feel cleaner on the inside and you get this strange feeling of simply radiating.

On the same token, you do get in more fights. Some people find it entertaining to try and piss you off. I don't go around throwing fake blood on people or even forcing my ways on others. I simply have the facts and people know so and know that if they have questions about anything that I am here for a chat. Simple. But there will always be the ones who want to fight.

Hopefully Year Two of my veganism brings about some exciting new prospects. I hope to continue to make even more friends, much like the ones I have made in the past year who I have found to be so inspiring and kind and helpful whenever I needed a helping hand. I hope to continue to advocate politely and gently and to simply make my corner of this earth better by trying the best I can to make a difference.

Monday, February 6, 2012

On being the best that you can: part 2


Stop being idle: While it is difficult to not over-think things sometimes, the worst thing you could do is to think so much that you create a problem that wasn’t there in the first place. If you choose that the risk is too great or that you aren’t willing to step outside of your comfort zone, then you are giving in to the mundane.

Stop being jealous: When you let jealousy take over, you are cutting off the potential to be happy for your own achievements. You are enough; you need to understand this.

Stop believing you’re not ready: Nobody ever feels as though they are 100% ready to take on an opportunity at hand, but it doesn’t mean they are going to let it stop them. Most of the great opportunities in life push us out of our comfort zone and help us to grow.

Stop competing against everyone else: It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing, only what you are doing. Forget about whether or not someone is better than you at a certain thing, you are living your life, not theirs. Success is a battle between you and you alone.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself: It is easy to stop all that you are doing and to just feel sorry for yourself, but it is counter-productive. The longer you sit back moping about what you could have had, the longer it is going to take you to get back up and try again. Give yourself a set amount of time to feel bad then get up and continue; knowing your time to grieve has passed. It is time to try harder.
Stop getting into relationships for the wrong reasons: Sometimes it is better to just be alone; especially when the choice is between being alone or being in bad company. There is no need to rush into a relationship simply because you think you are better off in a pair. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

Stop holding grudges: You shouldn’t live your life with hatred in your heart. Along with hurting all those who matter and are close to you, it will hurt you as well. It will give you a bad image and the negativity will spread until it has eaten you up. I know this because I have let grudges manifest who I am once or twice in my life. It is a horrible experience. When you forgive someone you are not saying, “What you did to me was okay”, you’re saying, “You have hurt me but I am willing to patch this up with you”. You must remember to forgive yourself as well. Grudges can be held against yourself we well.

Stop letting others bring you down: You mustn’t allow others to drag you down to their level. If they can’t see to raising their standards then this is not an issue you can control. You have tried your best.
Stop rejecting new relationships on the basis of old ones not working: You learn something from everyone you meet. While it is hard letting go of a love, maybe the purpose of that relationship was to teach you what you didn’t want in a relationship. It doesn’t mean you aren’t meant for love, it simply means you deserve something different. Allow the experience to bring out the best in you.
Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others: This is one I struggle with. People are always going to judge, so please don’t feel obliged to explain your situation to them. Just do what you know is right in your heart.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

On being the best that you can: part 1


Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but starting today you can create a new ending. We have all lived through years filled with experiences; some good, some bad; and essentially, no two people will have identical experiences of each event in life. Sometimes we find ourselves in a rut and aren't too sure where to begin. Here are some places to start.
Stop avoiding your problems: This one is fairly obvious but how often do we run from our problems instead of standing our ground and sorting them out? We need to start facing them head on, its the only way to sort them out. I'm not saying it is going to be easy, but it will be so worth it. Life is filled with trials and sorting out the kinks makes space for us to change what is wrong and try again.
Stop clinging to the past: You will never be able to move forward if you are stuck in the past asking yourself 'what if'. You need to let go of your past and realise that it has left, but an even more exciting chapter is happening right now!
Stop fearing your potential for mistakes: We make mistakes, its in our nature as human beings. But there is no shame in this. Doing something and getting it wrong is much more productive than doing nothing. Behind every success is a history littered with failure as it is the path to doing it right. You can't learn from success, only from the trials and mistakes made on the way.
Stop looking to others for happiness: You can't love someone until you truly love yourself. It is not healthy to invest so much in another person anyway. There will always be the possibility that they could leave you and leave you feeling hurt. You must remember that while it is fine to love someone, don't use them as the vessel for loving yourself.
Stop lying to yourself: You are the only person in the world that you can't lie to. You can always pretend that things are not as they seem but being truthful and accepting what is at hand will bring you peace. Our lives improve only when we take chances and the most important aspect of this transformation is to be truthful to yourself.
Stop pretending you are something that you're not: One of the challenges of life is trying to be yourself in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else. There is always going to be someone better or prettier or whatever, but that isn't you. You need to be your best, not the best of somebody else. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
Stop pulling yourself up on past mistakes: No matter how bad things get, they can always get better. I am sure that plenty of you have fallen in love with the wrong person only for it to end in devastation; or to fail at something you tried really hard to do well at. There is no shame in this. We all make mistakes, have struggles and have regrets but that mustn't stop us from starting fresh and simply living in the now free of all past pains.
Stop putting your needs last: The most painful thing is losing sight of who you are in the process of pleasing others. While it is of course important to help others, it is just as important to help yourself. You must always remember to follow your passions wherever they may lead you.
Stop spending time with frenemies: This one is particularly emancipating. A few times in my life I have simply had to stop and reassess whether or not a particular friendship was doing more harm than good. Life is too short to spend with people who are intent on sucking the happiness out of you. You should never have to fight for acceptance or for space in someone's life. You are enough. You don't need to change for a person, and subsequently, they should treat you as such. If they don't treat you right, there are plenty of others who will.
Stop trying to buy happiness: For years I have looked to retail therapy as my form of de-stressing, and you know what? It doesn't work. I always find myself worried that I may have overindulged. I have never found it has brought me happiness. You may wish to have an item or two, but in actual fact, you will receive the most happiness from things which are free such as love, laughter and discovering your true passions in life.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

HTW: Curing a hangover


Had I started this Wednesday segment a little earlier in the year I would have realised the need for this post LAST week when post Australia Day 'headaches' would have been rife. Alas, it is here now.

While it has been a while since my last hangover (the hangover from hell: it was an entire 12 hours after waking up that I would actually speak and a whole 7 days until it was finally gone). The fear of remembering that feeling puts me off having more than a few glasses. Yeah, Im old, I know :P

It's the morning after and you've woken up to a frighteningly painful migraine. Your guts are churning and you're so incredibly thirsty. What are you meant to do when you have over-indulged?

Sleep: This one is fairly obvious. The easiest way out of pain is to sleep through it. You're going to feel like rubbish so you're day was already going to be a write off. Let your body recover with a nap, it will eventually forgive you for the night before and may even love you again.

Drink: You are going to want to replenish your body with as much water, fruit juice, orange juice or Gatorade as you can keep down. It's probably best not to drink all these drinks one after the next as it would probably taste strange. Just one, or two would be quite adequate.

No caffeine: If you need it desperately then a weak coffee/tea wouldn't go astray but steer clear of high caffeine beverages. Your body is dehydrated and caffeine will continue to dehydrate your system. Its best to lay low for a while.

Oranges: I know I have already brought this one up, but orange juice! You want vitamin C in your system, it is your friend! Oranges, orange juice; anything orange flavoured you are going to want in your system (orange cruisers; probably not the best idea right now).

Pickles: These disgusting slimy suckers are very rich in minerals, which you are going to want right now. Personally, I hate pickles but I am not everyone. So if you can stomach them, go right ahead, your body will love you for it.

Shower: This is my favourite. I throw a towel down to cover the plughole and curl into a ball and pretend I have died (not really, just feel like I have). But really, a shower will help. Apparently fluctuating from hot to cool is a great idea, but I like it on warm. You will find your balance however.

Berocca: My boyfriend is a seasoned drinker. He plays sport all year long and is definitely 'one of the boys' so when I see him reach for the Berocca, I just know he went hard. This stuff must work them if he is using it. You can get them in handy little pre-made drinks in the cold section of supermarkets too, win! Saves you from having to actually think in your decrepit state.

Exercise: I have heard bad things about exercising while hungover, but movement is good for curing a hangover. I guess if it is a very severe migraine I might advise against it, but for a moderate/mild hangover, try some soft movement like walking or going for a swim. Don't forget to replenish your fluids!

Panadol: In very moderate doses. There is a down side to these medications in that too many is very bad for your health while aspirin will thin your blood and ibuprofen can cause stomach bleeding so only use if in dire need of it.

Vitamins: Before bed (pre-hangover) take a B vitamin with a glass of water. You will feel better for it in the morning.

So what do you think? Have I missed any? x Melissa