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Self-Care 101 – Winter Edition

Self-care is essential 365 days a year. But some of us need to practice it a bit more during the winter months. 

Write in a Journal

Writing in a journal is a great practice all year round – especially at the beginning of the new year.

Journalling is a great place to be completely open and honest.

It also allows you to reflect, learn, and grow.

Spend Time With Friends

We all need to socialize – even introverts!

Spending time with friends helps us relax, laugh, and try new things. 

But what if you and your friends have entirely different schedules?

Thanks to technology, spending time with friends doesn’t always have to be an in-person event. A weekly Skype call is much better than nothing.

Put it on the Calendar

We are much more likely to get things done when they are written down in a calendar.

Practicing self-care doesn’t have to be an entire event to be effective. You can definitely start slow and work your way up. 

Taking a bath, reading a book or doing a puzzle are all great self-care activities.

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Do You Deal With Test Anxiety?

It’s normal to experience a little bit of anxiety before a test.  However, too much anxiety can make it next to impossible to concentrate and even finish the test. These techniques can help you overcome test anxiety. 

Good Habits

Good habits aren’t always enough to eliminate anxiety, but they can certainly help prevent it. 

Make and effort to start studying as soon as possible. 

Studying 30 minutes a day for two weeks is far less stressful than cramming everything in the night before. 

Walking into the test feeling confident and prepared can help put you at ease. 

Everyone Makes Mistakes

Sometimes when we are so afraid of making mistakes, we actually end up making more.

Remember, at the end of the day, a bad grade is nothing more than a bad grade. Your marks have nothing to do with you as a person.

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Dealing With Stress at Work 

There will always be stressful events at work now and again. The best thing you can do is learn how to control your emotions in a healthy way.

Stay Organized

Planning out your day in advance not only saves time – it also prevents stress.

Nobody likes feeling rushed or pressured throughout the day. Having a solid hour by hour plan can help you stay on track.

Say Goodbye Multitasking

Now, some of us can multitask on more straightforward tasks.

Preparing lunch while talking on the phone is one thing…

But preparing lunch while trying to solve a complex math problem is something else. 

Doing so many things at once can make us feel stressed, rushed and confused.

Try an experiment. 

Next week do every task on your to-do list one thing at a time.

Even the easy tasks! 

See if you notice any changes in your mood and productivity. 

Take a Walk

So many of us spend hours a day sitting in front of our computers.

Which isn’t the best thing for our mind and body. 

Taking a short walk around the block over lunch can help you blow off steam and boost your mood.

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Music Is a Powerful Thing

There are so many things to love about music. It helps reduce stress, manage pain, and so much more. 

Music Reduces Stress And Anxiety

It’s no secret that music is fun to listen to. 

But did you know it can also calm us down and prevent anxiety? 

Listening to soft music while meditating or trying to fall asleep can be very calming. It can even help distract us from everyday stress, like being stuck in traffic. 

With platforms like YouTube and Spotify, you can easily find the best tunes for you. If you want to go the extra mile you can even set up a relaxation playlist.

That way it’s there and ready to go whenever you need it the most. 

Music Decreases Pain

Music does release dopamine, which in turn helps manage pain.

Listen to this.

A group of patients undergoing spine surgery participated in a study.

A handful of patients were asked to listen to music the night before surgery until the second after surgery.

While the other group listened to no music at all. 

Want to guess which group had an easier recovery time?

Post-surgery, the music listening group were experiencing far less pain. 

Just goes to show how incredible music can be. 

Music Can Help You Study

Does anyone else like listening to music while they study? Well, believe it or not, it can actually be very helpful.

Here’s how it works.

Listening to upbeat music increases motivation and overall confidence. 

The right music can get you in the zone and boost creativity.

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Moving Your Body Can Change Your Mind 

Moving your body can change the way you think. 

Increased Joy

Exercise isn’t only great for the body – it’s also great for the mind.

Exercise releases dopamine to the brain, which is the feel-good hormone.

Regular physical activity also helps with sleep, memory, and can contribute to better moods. 

Bravery

Did you know that regular physical activity can make us more courageous?

Here’s how it works.

Every exercise you try enhances the reward system.

Before trying a new exercise or activity, it’s not uncommon to doubt your own strength. 

There’s no better feeling than overcoming an obstacle and stepping outside your comfort zone. 

Group Exercise Builds Trust

Participating in group exercise classes are a powerful way to experience joy.

Being active with other people not only builds trust, it also gives you a sense of belonging. 

After all, you can never have too many people on your team!

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Burnout Doesn’t Have to Last Forever

Burnout is not a fun feeling. It makes it hard to get things done and can be very frustrating. The good news is, burnout doesn’t have to last forever. All you have to do is follow these techniques. 

Strategically Organize Your Time

Be honest, how much time do you spend a week doing things that don’t need to be done at all? 

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving what you do. But at the end of the day you can’t forget to take care of yourself. 

Think about it, the more time you spend at work, the less time you have to relax and recharge.

One of the best ways to beat burnout is to prevent stress it before it even begins. 

Take a Vacation

Do you ever feel guilty about going on vacation?

You absolutely shouldn’t. Here’s why…

Immersing yourself in a new environment can help you see things from a different perspective.

Even a day or two in a new city can completely transform your mood. 

Meditation And Relaxation

There are several meditation and relaxation techniques you can practice both at home and at work.

Remember, consistency is key. The more you practice, the better you’ll feel. 

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How To Lower Your Social Anxiety

These three techniques can help lower your social anxiety.

Change Your Worries:

Have you ever taken a minute to think about how many of your worries have actually happened?

Those with social anxiety tend to experience stress before an upcoming social event takes place.

One of the best ways to put an end to your worries, is to change the way you think about them.

Embrace Your Anxiety:

It’s interesting how simply thinking about your anxiety, can bring on more anxiety.

You know yourself best. If a certain activity or event can trigger panic, the best thing you can do is prepare yourself and have a plan.

Post Event Processing:

Unfortunately, we can often be our own worst critic.

Sometimes our mind can play tricks on us. We can think a conversation was a failure when in reality, it was a success!

Remember, your thoughts aren’t always right! Challenge them and see for yourself.

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How To Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions Using Science

These tips can transform the way you go about achieving your New Year’s resolutions.

Break Up The Goal:

How does doing 100 pushups sound? Not so easy right?

Now, how does doing 1 pushup a day for 100 days sound?

A lot more reasonable.

Even if we have the best intentions, it’s common to set goals that are just unrealistic.

When goals are simply too big we’re more likely to procrastinate on them.

Don’t give up! Instead break up your large goals into mini-goals.

Before you know it, one pushup will turn into 100!

Work With a Friend:

No matter what you want to achieve, having a friend to work with can be extremely motivating.

If you’re having a bad day, they can help remind you why you started, and vice versa.

Remember The Reward:

The best things in life don’t come easily.

You have to be willing to put the work in and step outside your comfort zone.

Regularly remind yourself how great you’ll feel after reaching your goals.

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How To Improve Your Concentration Levels

You’d be surprised how a few simple habits can significantly improve your concentration levels.

Eliminate Distractions:

Sure, eliminating distractions may be a standard tip, but there is one aspect people often forget.

We all have our own definition of what we find distracting.

Some of us work best having light music playing in the background, while others can only concentrate in complete silence.

Your ideal environment may not be easily accessible. If you need a change of scenery, visit a nearby library or coffee shop.

Focus on One Thing at a Time:

We often multitask when we’re short on time.

However, multitasking can actually make things take longer.

And we’re more likely to make careless mistakes.

Take a Break:

Have you ever been stuck on a task or thought for hours on end without taking a break?

When you go that long without a break, your mind will start to wander.

Even a 5-minute break every 20 minutes can significantly improve your overall performance.

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How To Get Through a Breakup

It’s normal to experience a rollercoaster of emotions during a breakup. A breakup is a loss, and getting through it isn’t always easy. The good is news; you won’t feel this way forever.

Allow Yourself To Feel:

We get it; you may want to be strong. However, in order to heal, you have to let yourself feel the pain.

Ignoring your feelings will only prolong the healing process. There is absolutely nothing wrong with experiencing sadness.

A breakup is a loss, and getting through a loss takes time.

Journal:

Venting to a friend or family member is a great way to get your feelings out – but so is journaling.

It’s normal to experience a boatload of emotions during a breakup. You can be sad one day and angry the next, which can be very confusing.

Writing in a journal can be extremely therapeutic! The best part is, your journal is for your eyes only. It truly is a safe place to be 100% open and honest.

Look At The Situation In a Positive Light:

It’s a common misconception that all breakups are bad. In fact, they can even be a good thing. Sometimes we can lose ourselves in relationships and forget who we really are.

Being newly single is the perfect time to get back into old hobbies and discover new ones.

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