Thursday, 8 November 2018

You Deserve Better – Find your mate through #Okcupid

We all wish to lead happy and fulfilling lives but sometimes our circumstances do not let that happen.

With increasing urbanization there has been a rise in migration maybe to pursue better education or better career prospects .At the same time there has been a spurt of unlimited social opportunities around us, and we might feel left out when we do not have a special social connection while others flaunt theirs on social media.

This leads to a feeling of being isolated and lonely amidst the chaos of the urban jungle, basically an uneasy combination of being exposed and isolated both at the same time.
                                           
 (Image source – Pexels.com)
                                         
Loneliness is an acutely painful state that can feel very embarrassing and uncomfortable to live in.
In fact, according to Gretchen Rubin, the celebrated author of “The Happiness Project”-“One major challenge within happiness is loneliness “.
Loneliness should not be confused with solitude which is a chosen circumstance that is peaceful and recreational while “Loneliness” drains us emotionally and feels like a black hole, sapping us off energy and joy.

Loneliness can be due to many reasons – 

Migration – Be it for education or jobs or relocation, one loses the touch of the special people who were unconditionally there for you. Forging new ties takes time and effort and most importantly trust. Trust does not grow overnight and one has to work at forming new relationships.

Cultural and Socio-Economic differences - Difference in social and cultural origins etc.  leads to difference in opinions and beliefs, making it difficult to find like-minded people around you. Opposites may attract, but that is generally short lived, one needs a cohesive, binding force and common grounds for long lasting relationships.

Busy schedules – Sometimes we may find the right people but our busy schedules may not allow us to connect as much as we want.

Death or separation from a spouse – Let us not forget that a sizeable population of young adults is now battling divorce or separation and some of the mature adults too  have to deal with loneliness arising from the death of their spouse.
  

 (Image source – Pexels.com)
To be happy, we need intimate bonds with people we can confide in, we need to feel loved and feel cared for by someone;we need to feel that we belong; we need to be able to get and give support in times of crises. In fact strong relationships can be the key to a happier life!

How can one combat loneliness and create that much sought happiness?

 (Image source – Pexels.com)
                                           
1. Nurturing and caring for others - Caring for someone be it an elderly or caring for a pet — helps to alleviate loneliness and makes you feel appreciated.

2. Create your own tight social circle - Having just one of two good friends may still not fill the gap and may leave you feeling lonely many people need both a social circle and an intimate attachment so it is important to have a close knit group of friends or community.

3. Sleep Well  - Sleep deprivation brings down people’s moods, makes them more likely to get sick and dampens their energy, so it’s important to have a good night’s sleep that you rise with a sunny mood and we all want to be around happy and positive people, don’t we?

4. Try to figure out what’s missing from your life - You may want a friend, a roomie or love in your life to fill the loneliness. Figure out what you are missing and then try to find possible solutions to that problem. 

5. Take steps to connect with other people (to state the obvious) -Show up, make plans, sign up for a class,and take a minute to chat. The idea is to try and find new connections.

In fact the same technology that can make us feel exposed and lonely can also help us in filling the void if used constructively.

 
 (Image source – Pexels.com)
                              
The internet has a host of social networking sites, dating websites and online dating apps that can cater to your needs once you have identified them.

Personally I am wary of websites that focus only on physical appearance or hook ups. I would prefer to be able to look up for like-minded persons who share my passions like books, trekking, traveling etc. ...
An online dating app should respect a women’s privacy and at the same time allow her to choose whom she wants to connect with.

I am not picture perfect nor do I look great in selfies,so I need an App that understands that and shows the real me beneath the touched up surface to the world and gives me the flexibility to choose my date upon not just on one or two perfectly filtered pictures  but traits , common likes etc. basically something that gives weightage to #substanceoverselfies                           
                                           
  (Image source – okcupid.com)
A platform like #Okcupid (yes it is now coming to India in a big way though it has been around for a long time)that helps in finding compatible partners not necessary a life partner but maybe a partner in crime!

That special someone that can be considered for serious dating and not just a one night stand. 

A person with whom you can connect over coffee and share jokes and who knows what else!

I have tried a few dating apps and #OKCupid fills the gap between the plain old matrimonial websites and sleazy hook upsites. It is an App that encourages serious dating and offers you the opportunity to make meaningful connections with the person of your choice.

  (Image source – okcupid.com)
                                               
If you find yourself lonely or need a mate, you might want to check this app #OKcupid here, you can also check out their Instagram account - Okcupid_India to get a feel of this App.

So what are you waiting for ...
Choose to be happy today – after all you deserve better!

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Book Review - A Dowryless Wedding


Price – Rs 399/-
Pages  - 225 

About the Author 
                                             


This is the debut novel of Dr. Merlin Franco, a P.H.D. in Ethnobotany from who is an Ethnobiologist from Kanyakumari district of India and is currently based in the beautiful island of Borneo studying the  relationships between people, languages and biological diversity of the Island. An avid dancer,he dreams of a utopian society when he is not working in the woods.

The Cover –The cover itself bears a humorous take on dowry, with a garland made of Rs. 2000 notes, roses and a car dangling from the center. There is no acknowledgment about the artist but it was a very appropriate cover.

The BOOK 



                                         
This book is a brilliant and hilarious take on the custom of giving dowry from the male’s perspective.The Book has strong autobiographical influences as the main character Dr.Franklin (distorted to Pranklee lovingly by his Tamil Mom) is also an Ethnobiologist like the author and is striving hard to conserve the flora and fauna of his native district Kanyakumari often ending up at loggerheads with the local religious and political leaders for speaking out his mind.

The left leaning young Dr. Franklin is of marriageable age and considered a good catch even though he is not a devout practicing Christian as his Mother wishes him to be. When his parents choose the lovely Nisha as a bride for him, he falls in love instantaneously with her. But the turning point comes when Nisha’s father, an important man in his community, insists on gifting his unwilling Son-in-Law, a car in dowry and there from starts a tale of clashing beliefs , counter allegations  and compromises making Franklin often question his love and his beliefs.


The book is written in simple English and is full of satire and wit and makes for an amusing and easy read. Also Dr. Merlin Franco gives us such a beautiful insight into the social, cultural and political threads of the society that you almost feel a part of the narrative. For a first timer, this is a very good book indeed.


FINAL VERDICT – I rate it a 4/5.

I would have given it full marks but I was a little let down towards the end, with things going in a spiral and at a fast speed  and almost leaving the reader confused though ending  on a positive note (maybe I myself am a bit of a day dreamer and expect Utopia !).

Saturday, 29 September 2018

World Heart Day 2018 - Make A promise to Yourself

Before starting,let me quote some interesting facts about the human HEART  :

                                           


1.Your heart beats about 100,000 times every day, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood. Your heart pumps blood through the 10000 km network of blood vessels which is almost 60,000 miles !

2.Did you know that the signs of heart attack are a lot less evident among women?
Research believes that women tend to show other minor symptoms of heart attacks like nausea, shoulder pain, etc. instead of the chest pain more commonly found in males.

3.Your sex life directly impacts your heart health. An active sex life can reduce the risk of heart diseases to half.In fact activity of any sort helps !

                                          

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) or Heart disease is the cause of nearly half of all deaths in the world  due to Non Communicable Diseases thus making it the world’s number one killer.

World Heart Day is celebrated every year on the last Sunday of the month of September since the year of its establishment in 2010.
World Heart Day is a global campaign during which individuals, families,communities and governments around the world participate in activities to that promote a more heart friendly lifestyle and to educate people about the risk factors that can put them at risk of CVD.

HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR ARE AT RISK OF HEART DISEASE

1. Check your blood pressure – After the age of 40 a Blood pressure less than 150/90 mm Hg is considered normal.
High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for CVD. It’s called the ‘silent killer’ because it usually has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realize they have it.
2. Check your blood glucose levels – Blood Glucose fasting levels (>110 mg/100ml) are considered high.
High blood glucose (blood sugar) can be indicative of diabetes. CVD accounts for 60% of all deaths in people with diabetes .If left undiagnosed and untreated, the risk of getting a stroke or Coronary disease will stay high.
3.Body mass Index (BMI)  and Waist/Hip ratio (WHR)
The BMI is defined as the body mass (in Kgs)  divided by the square of the body height (in Meters).A BMI score of more than 25 indicates an increased risk of cardiac disease and other diseases linked to obesity.
A WHR above 0.90 for males and above 0.85 for females is considered an indicator of increased risk of heart disease .

4. Blood Cholesterol Levels – This is done through checking fasting blood samples.High levels of LDL ,VLDL and Triglycerides in your blood implicate a raised risk of Heart disease.


SIMPLE MEASURES THAT CAN DRASTICALLY REDUCE YOUR RISK OF CVD
                                                   


 1. EATING HABITS  :
Cut down on sugary drinks – choose water or unsweetened juices instead.
Whenever you crave sweets, have fresh fruits rather than a sugary dessert.
Try to eat 5 portions (about half a cup each) of fruit and vegetables every day.
Restrict alcohol to one or two drinks in a week.
Try to limit the intake of processed and ready to eat foods because they are mostly high in salt, sugar and fat content.
Pack home-cooked meals for your school and office lunch.

2. EXERCISE
                                                        
              
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity like walking 5 times a week
Or at least 75 minutes spread throughout the week of vigorous-intensity activity –like playing, running dancing –everything counts as activity as long as it revs up your heart rate and circulation.
Be more active every day – whenever possible take the stairs, walk or cycle instead of driving

Exercise with friends and family – you’ll be more motivated and it’s more fun!

Download an activity tracker app that can help you stay on track.

3. QUIT SMOKING 

                                         
                                           
Promise to say NO to smoking, even moderate smoking is injurious.
Do you know that within 2 years of quitting, the risk of CVD is reduced quite significantly .
And within 15 years of quitting,your heart and lungs become as good as that of a non-smoker.
Exposure to secondhand smoke is also a cause of heart disease in non-smokers .You can improve the health of those around you by quitting smoking (or not starting in the first place).

4. BE PREPARED 
Understand the signs and symptoms of a heart attack from your health care provider because statistics show that more than  70% of all cardiac emergencies  occur in the home in the early morning hours when a family member is present and could help a victim.
When a loved one gets a heart attack, every single minute counts.
                         
                                         

Learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) , so that precious time is not wasted when you suspect a cardiac emergency at home.
Also, giving two Aspirins immediately on suspecting a cardiac emergency can delay or prevent a fatality.

START TODAY 
Join us now, and make a promise to yourself to start taking care of your heart .If you already are following a heart healthy lifestyle, join us in motivating others to adopt healthier lifestyles and give themselves the gift of a healthier and fitter life !

Monday, 24 September 2018

Stress Relief Tips for Busy Moms

Being a Mom especially a working mom, can be a hectic and stressful job sometimes.There are thousands of things to take care of and there never seems to be enough time to do everything because as you handle one thing, two more pop up!

This constant avalanche can have you feeling stressed out and if you’re like most people; an increase in stress will only lead to a decrease in efficiency and productivity.In order to make the most of the hours in a day without compromising on mental health, monitoring your stress levels is the key.
This article touches on some very simple ways that busy moms can reduce their stress levels, which will lead to a happier, more productive life at home and or work. 

1.MAKE TIME TO EXERCISE 
If possible make time at least five days a week to exercise. Exercising regularly not only releases endorphins which reduce stress levels but is it also improves the quality of your sleep.
You can even get a little creative with exercising; personal favourite activity of mine is "wandering off ".

No really ... Just put on some sneakers every evening and walk away from your home in any direction for about 25 minutes you will be surprised at some of the things and places you discover; and when you feel like you have been walking for about 25 minutes just turn around and head back home.
                                               


 That’s it- You just walked for almost an hour !

Other ways you can exercise are: 

Jogging around the playground while the kids play line change

Playing with your kids in an active way like sports running games extra

Yoga which is a fun activity that you can actually learn about with your children strengthening your born while being active

Whatever you do some exercise is better than no exercise when trying to manage your stress levels.

2. CHEW GUM
                                         
Gum chewing is the lesser known stress relieving activity but it works extremely well and has even even been corroborated by a Cardiff University study(1).

                                                  
     
The belief is that chewing gum causes brain waves that are similar to those in relaxed people and increases blood flow to the brain.

3. PRACTICE  DEEP BREATHING

I heard that internal YAWN that you just made but hear me out please!
Deep breathing  when done properly helps to suppress the stress response and allows your body to relax .

How to Breathe deeply

A.Take care of any and all biological needs before you start.Trying to meditate when your stomach is rumbling all your bladder is nagging you is frustrating and not relaxing at all there for defeating the whole purpose of what you are doing.

B. Find a comfortable space to sit or lie down where you cannot be reached by the distractions of life for at least 20 minutes.

C.Put your hand on your stomach ( this is optional).

D.Inhale slowly and evenly, feeling your stomach expand as you do so.

E.Breathe out slowly, through either your mouth or nose whatever feels more natural.

F.Repeat

While breathing deeply, be sure to allow your mind to wander. Think about the past or the future but do not think about the challenges of the present so that you can relax.

As a bonus you can include some relaxing essential oils in your breathing sessions .

4.AROMATHERAPY
                                 
                                         

Many essential oils have been shown to greatly influence stress levels,anxiety and general mental health in human beings .

Lavender is the traditional go-to for stress relief because of its incredible efficacy backed not only by word of mouth but by published studies as well (2)(3).

Other stress relieving oils include Arbor Vitae, Bergamot, Roman Chamomile and Ylang Ylang.

5.BE REALISTIC IN YOUR APPROACH

One way to reduce stress is to be realistic in your assessment of how much time a certain task will take. Sometimes stress piles on because we try to fit too many things into a finite amount of time not leaving enough room for error or unexpected situations so don’t be afraid to say 'NO'.

                                        

6. PRIORITISE GETTING MORE SLEEP

There is a direct relationship between stress and sleep .Inadequate sleep makes you more vulnerable to stress but a high level of stress can prevent you from getting quality sleep too.To fix this problem you have to start somewhere in the cycle and addressing your sleep issues may be the easiest.

How to Ensure you get More Sleep

A.Give both yourself and the kids a bedtime and stick to it.

B.Create a routine and stick to the same sleep schedule even on weekends. According to psychologist it takes most person is about 3 to 4 weeks to develop up a new habit so it is important to be disciplined especially in the early stages.

C.Turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed if possible.

D.Don’t drink caffeine in brackets coffee soda T within six hours of bedtime

E.Don’t exercise close to bedtime

F.A few drops of a relaxing essential oil such as lavender, Roman chamomile and Ylang Ylang on the pillow or in the bedroom work great too.

FINAL WORD

Looking at this list of things might make you feel like you just have more things to fit into your already crowded routine but it will be for the greater good.Take one or more off the list and apply them to your life and in no time you will start to feel more relaxed and you’ll be able to get more work done.You can even mix it up and try different combos but you must include adequate sleep in this combination.

Author Bio :
                                              

Trysh Sutton is a Naturopathic Wellness expert and the founder of Pure Path Living.She regularly shares remedial prowess using natural healing resources such as essential oils. Her teaching skills and passion for healing a natural gift designed to inspire and restore.

She also sees to it that Pure Path Living delivers quality personal health and wellness approaches and products to help all health enthusiasts find exactly what they’re looking for to live their lives to the very best.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Little MAC False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara

Girls, I am back with a hot new review for you all and this one is a Little MAC False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara from MAC .

PRICE - This too has been launched in the Little MAC range of travel size products and is priced at Rs 900.The full size product is available for Rs 6877/- for 8 grams but you can get it at a discount here .

                                           

It comes in a solid black tube and the applicator which is very ergonomically shaped and gives a good grip while applying .

   




  



PROS of  Little MAC False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara 

THE PRICE - The original size is priced at Rs 6877/- for 8 gms  so this one is more pocket friendly if you just want try this product or need a smaller version to carry around.

THE SIZE - It has a very convenient size, easy to hold and slim enough to slip in a little clutch .

WATERPROOF - A little bit of crying or stepping out in the rain will not give you raccoon eyes with  Little MAC False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara .

GOOD PAYOFF  - two swipes and a little jiggle can give you great looking lashes .

FALSE LASHES - Take my word - you do NOT NEED False eyelashes if you use.It gives a tremendous( when I say tremendous , I mean it) effect on the lashes - they look fuller , thicker,longer and blacker - considerably !

COLOUR  - It is a dark matte black

EASY to REMOVE - I just used my Kaya Soothing cleanser and it came off easily so if you use a proper eye make up remover , it should easily come off though it did not get runny when I splashed my face with water

CONS of  Little MAC False Lashes Extreme Black Mascara 

EXPENSIVE  - The little version will not last long and compared to our other brands this is definitely very upscale.

CLUMPING - The product can get clumpy after some time though that does not affect the application much as the wand has good bristles that help in coating the lashes well uniformly .

                                                 

FINAL VERDICT - I love it , I have only used two or three brands of Mascara so far and I am super impressed with its quality and performance .I do not mind paying this much for such astounding results.
I rate it a 4.5/5 - marks deducted for being so expensive .