4 Ways to Freshen Up Your Home Office Routine for Summer

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If you haven’t noticed by now, summer is on its way! Unfortunately, the shift in the seasons doesn’t often mean a change to our working conditions. And especially for those of us who work from home, it can get pretty monotonous staring at the same four walls day in day out. If the closest you’ve gotten to a beach so far this year is your desktop screensaver or endless shots of #hotdoglegs on Instagram, its time to freshen things up. Okay, maybe becoming a digital nomad is a little outside of the realms of possibility for you right this moment, but there are several little hacks you can try to bring the summer into your home office.

Plan In A Happy Hour

Just because you’re at home all day, doesn’t mean time has to melt into one big block. Why not create your own happy hour to give midweek a lift? Personalise a little ritual for you and how you like to operate – whether that is lunchtime ice-cream sundaes on a Thursday or frozen margaritas on a Friday night. It will give you something to look forward to and add a deadline to work towards. Pair it with an evening away from home – use www.theticketmerchant.com.au to find gig tickets or a comedy show to go to after ‘post-work drinks’.

Change Up Your Schedule

Although one of the joys of working from home is surely being more flexible with your hours, most of us are actually creatures of habit and stick to the same routine. Why not create more of a distinction for summer by changing your working pattern to take advantage of the lighter mornings? Start work an hour earlier and be strict with yourself about leaving your home office to get outside at 4 pm. Or, if you have lots of meetings to attend, block them in for the start of the week using a scheduling app so you can duck out on a Friday afternoon.

Brighten Up Your Desk

If the same old view is getting you down, how about changing your desk décor? Colours and images have the power to affect our mood and productivity. Use boards on Pinterest or sites like www.mydomaine.com/tags/office-decor to browse for home office inspiration. Hunt down cute printables, poster art and introduce fresh flowers to give your desk a lift and let yourself know its summer outside somewhere.

Lighten Up Lunch

If you’re still sticking to the same can of soup each lunchtime or a hastily grabbed piece of toast, its great to find some fresh, healthy lunch ideas to switch it up. The beauty of home working is the ability to prepare something new to eat at midday. And instead of wolfing down a sandwich at your desk while checking your emails, prioritise going outside to eat or for a quick walk. Even if its only 20 minutes, it breaks the day up, gives your brain a blast of oxygen and stops you missing out on all the nice weather. Studies show it can actually make you more productive and creative, so you’ll gain that 20 minutes back easily. Hit refresh and instantly feel better!

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Stunningly Unique Gift Ideas to Wow That Special Someone!

Stunningly Unique Gift Ideas to Wow That Special Someone!

Choosing the right gift can take time and effort, and is often much trickier than you might think. You have to account for the tastes of the individual, but you also need to think outside of the box as well. If you want your gift to stand out and mean something more you have to go with something a little more unique and offbeat. Look, buying or giving a gift can be a very challenging process because you want to get it right.

The simple fact is that many of us are not very good at buying the right kinds of gifts, even for the people closest to us. You might know their tastes and interests, and you’ll almost certainly have bought gifts for them in the past, but it can still be a challenge. So, here are a few unique and original ideas for gifts fit for any occasion, that will certainly blow them away!

DIY Hamper

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Sometimes a little extra forethought can go a long way to showing a person how much they mean to you. This is why you need to consider a DIY hamper – it’s original, it shows effort, and you can make it as eclectic as you want to. Yes, there are hampers you can buy that have already been put together, but these are likely to be more expensive. Buy the hamper/basket on its own, and create your own quirky hamper, perfectly suited to the recipient’s tastes and interests.

A Flight in a Fighter Jet

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What do you get the person who has everything? Well, it kinda depends on what your budget is, to be honest! But, a great place to start would be to give the gift of a flight in a fighter jet! How many people do you know who have ever had this experience? Exactly, unique and fun! Of course, this is going to be wildly expensive, so you’ll have to have a pretty large budget, and make sure you shop around of course too!

Houseplant

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Houseplants are becoming less common these days, but they are excellent for people who may not have a garden. If you want to help someone inject some color and life into their daily routine, an Orchid of the month might be the way to go. Houseplants are a great way of livening up a home (or office), and there are proven health benefits related to them as well. So, make sure you consider a houseplant or flower as a gift with a difference, and one that is suitable for any occasion too!

Record Player

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A lot of retro things are making a comeback these days, and record players have definitely enjoyed something of a resurgence. If you have a friend or family member who’s a bit of a throwback and likes things from the past, this is a wonderful idea for something to buy them. Record players give a more raw sound when listening to vinyl, and this appeals to music purists. They also look fantastic on a stand or sat on a cabinet, so this is definitely something to consider.

Whisk Them Away

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So many people give something tangible as a gift, but it’s often more fulfilling to gift an experience. This is something that shows thought, but will also allow for the creation of new memories and experiences. If your friend/partner/family member is having a tough time, giving the gift of a break from work could be just the tonic needed to help them relax and calm down. A mini-break is a wonderful way of giving an original gift and knowing it’s going to go down well.

Experience Day

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These days more and more people are beginning to see the value of experiences over possessions. You might be considering the mini-break, but you could also cough up for an experience day as well. This might be something like a flying lesson, a skydiving session, or cheese making class. Whatever it is, there are plenty of quirky and funky ideas to choose from here, and you can give somebody an experience that is both original and thrilling!

Yoga Classes

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There is so much stress and anxiety in modern life these days, and we all have that person in our lives who gets overwhelmed all the time. Well, this is the person who needs to relax and find inner peace, so they would definitely benefit from the gift of yoga classes. You’ll be able to buy packages with several sessions attached so they can really start finding their quiet place and working on achieving inner peace and enlightenment. Yoga classes are popular across the world, but you don’t see many being handed out as gifts, so this is a good place to begin.

A Personalized Movie

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Look, you don’t need to be Quentin Tarantino or anything, but this is actually a really great idea,. You can put together a movie of your friend’s life, or, at the very least, a trailer. This might be tricky without them finding out, but the ROI on a gift like this is so high. Tap up their parents to get a copy of those old home videos, scour Facebook for uploaded video clips, and check your old WhatsApp media. You might have enough material to put together something highly personal, but also very original as well.

Scrapbook

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This is along similar lines to the personalized movie, but it might be a little more doable. You certainly need to consider making a scrapbook for your friend, lover, family member. This can be filled with pictures, memories, and ‘remember when’ anecdotes from your lives over the years. This is not the sort of gift they are going to be getting on a frequent basis, and it’s something that relates solely to the two of you; for this reason, it is more personal, exclusive, and heartfelt.

Buying gifts for people can be a tricky challenge, and there’s always at least one person who is impossible to buy for. With these people, you need to make sure you give them something different, something uncommon, something they haven’t had before. If you can do that your gift will be something they treasure for years to come.

Budget Product Photography tips

With so many people having side hustles, blogs and websites – it is more important than ever to make sure you have the right tools for the job – but what happens when you’re on a budget with a job to do? Product photography can make or break a product launch, and if you’ve been called up to the plate, you need to knock it out of the park.

Light is one of those things that you need to get right. If you can’t afford reflectors or lighting kits, you can set up a reasonable kit with LED lights, and homemade reflectors.

You can make a reflector in a pinch like this:

  •    Grab some aluminium foil and some card. Wrap the foil around the cardboard, and use to reflect light from your light source to where you need it. Once these have been made, you can, of course, use them over and over again, and they can give some excellent results.

Ideally, you will be shooting in soft natural light, which is arguably better for every type of photography. Here are a few quick tips:

  •    Outside for soft natural light
  •    Diffuse light using a blank piece of white paper over your light source
  •    Avoid using the cameras inbuilt flash whenever possible
  •    Your mobile phone torch can help to lighten up dark spots – use a tripod to help keep it steady

Image from https://gratisography.com

Backgrounds with the right color and patterns can make a product pop. If you don’t have the funds to have countless backdrops or high-priced vinyl boards, then you can pick up swaths of materials and gorgeous wholesale fabric to make your own.

Making your backgrounds:

  •    Select your fabric swatch, pick the card size you want, trim the fabric to be slightly larger than your backing board. Hot glue the fabric in place – et voila – gorgeous and budget-friendly backgrounds.

Great background ideas:

  •    Faux brickworks,
  •    Wooden panels
  •    Stone

Editing. Editing is something that you sadly cannot skimp on. What you can do is invest money wisely in the top-rated editing software. Pay close attention to the saturation, the clarity and dust or marks that have appeared while you’ve been shooting.

Context is king, and sometimes a product is going to look better in a lifestyle shoot, sometimes it is going to pop on the fabric background from earlier. Either way, you need to be prepared. Rather than have to spend out on models for the lifestyle shots, ask a few friends if they wouldn’t mind helping you out.

Remember the buyer. While you are spending time setting up the shoot, looking at the angles, the light and everything else – remember the critical person is the end buyer. Try to think about buying the item yourself, what type of detail would you want to see? Is there anything that makes this product unique? What can you show the customer to clinch the sale?

Have fun, photography – while a fantastic hobby, and occasionally a reasonably lucrative job, it takes a while to get some of the expensive equipment together. In the meantime don’t be scared to have fun and experiment.

Surviving a Digital Detox

Do you look at your phone as soon as you open your eyes in the morning? Worse still, do you check it if you wake up in the middle of the night? Do you find that you can’t sleep unless you checked your social media feeds? Or, do you spend time with your friends, totally ignoring them while you sit scrolling through twitter? When was the last time that you ate a meal or went somewhere without taking a photo for Instagram? Well, the good news is, you’re not alone. Social media and smartphone addiction is becoming a very real problem in modern society. It can lead to insomnia and stress. It can make you feel jealous and like your life isn’t as good as what you see online. You could feel anxiety if you leave your phone at home or can’t get to it for a few hours and it can even ruin your real-life relationships.

If you’ve forgotten how to live without your phone and other devices and you are worried that an over-reliance is affecting your health and your relationships, then it might be time to try a digital detox. But, it’s not going to be easy. Here is what you need to do to survive.

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Get Away

One of the best ways to survive a digital detox is with a holiday. Head to Courtyard Guayaquil for a total change of scenery and a break in your normal routine. They’ll still be a temptation to overshare and let everyone know what you are doing. But, it’ll be much easier to get used to when you are away from home.

Start a Project

Keeping busy is always a good way to cope with any kind of detox or lifestyle change. You might want to take a class, start training for an event or just work on your fitness. Give yourself something to do that’s away from all devices. Make this your priority and give it all of your focus.

Get Your Friends to Join In

The hardest part of a digital detox is seeing everyone else glued to a screen. When you are out with friends or your family, explain what you are doing and ask them to join in, even if it’s just while you are together. You’ll soon be having that much fun offline that you’ll forget all about it. It’ll give your friendships a great boost and bring you all closer together too.

Take a Really Good Look Around

Look at all those people taking photographs and sharing every detail of their life. Why are they doing it? What are they getting out of it? Even when their snaps are photoshopped to perfection, it doesn’t make their life photoshop perfect, and they’ll still be jealous of other feeds and photographs. Are these people really appreciated what’s around them, or enjoying their meals or activities or are they more concerned with what other people think? Take a good hard look.

Remember, the point of a digital detox isn’t never touching a phone again. It’s about remembering that there is more to life and breaking what could become a dangerous addiction.

5 Must-Haves For Every Budding Photographer

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When you’re looking for a new hobby to take up and you’re naturally a creative person, you’re going to find that photography is one of the things that you’re drawn to. It’s a fun pastime and can often lead you on to great things. More often than not, when you do get into photography, you’re going to want to be able to take things a step further and maybe turn it into a bit of a career. However, when you first start out as an amateur, there are always going to be a few things that you need in place. And no, we’re not talking camera equipment, as this is all something that you’ll already have. Instead, we’re going to consider some of the more business essentials that will help you here.

  1. A Website

First of all, you should definitely think about getting yourself a website set up. It’s not always easy to promote yourself to those locally offline. But when you get online, it’s much easier to share your work and showcase who you are on social media. However, you also need a website to link back to with your information and contact details. You should also look to share some of your work in a portfolio (more on that in point five).

  1. Testimonials

If you’ve done some paid work, freebies, or even some work for friends, then try to get some testimonials. When you add these onto your website, your potential customers can see what other think of your work and it can often give you the credibility you need as a newbie.

  1. A Promotional Video

While a picture can speak a thousand words and it’s going to showcase the work that you do, you can always offer more. Creating a promotional video is going to help you here. Get some info, only at Lifetime-Media.com, on what this might include. When you can showcase your work or the process in a visual way like this, it’s going to customers another peak into how you do things.

  1. Business Cards

Most of your promotional tactics are going to be online these days, but they definitely aren’t the only option that you have. In fact, if you really want to make sure that you’re making the most of every business opportunity, then business cards are great. Take a look at some stunning designs that you can find on PasteMagazine.com to inspire you. Then create an on-brand design that you can keep with you and hand out whenever the opportunity arises.

  1. Good Friends

Finally, you’re also going to find that you might need a little helping hand when you’re looking to get started. You’ll know by now that you need a website to promote yourself and ideally you’re going to have some photographs on there in a kind of portfolio. And this is where your friends can come in. Do some test shots and trail some shoots with them. It’s okay to show off any free or paid work that you have already done, but if you have some gaps or you want to mix up the photography styles, your friends are going to really help you out here.

Getting Personal On A Budget

Dressing and decorating in your most personal style is the best way to make both your house and body feel more like home. And when you’re comfortable with your most intimate surroundings, you’re going to feel a lot happier in yourself. Because of that alone, it’s entirely worth it to try and get as personal as possible. But what if you can’t afford to? What if your entire house is decorated with thrift store pieces and you’ve been wearing the same jeans for at least 3 years now.

So if you haven’t been lucky in your antique store surfing or your online shopping, it’s time to start working with your budget instead of against it. Just like you would take care of yourself physically with some quick tips and tricks, you can do the same for your mental health as well via your surroundings. Here some ways on how to do that.

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For Your Wardrobe

Your wardrobe can be quite an expensive place, and being able to change it whenever you need to is something only a rich person can do. However, getting more personal with your style, and finally wearing the things you want to doesn’t have to take much money. First of all, always buy second hand. Second of all, buy hefty fabrics you know will last a good amount of time; these can be much more easily repurposed and redesigned whenever you’re tired of wearing them the same way for months on end.

You can get your own custom made or pre designed clothes here that you know will be well worth it to invest in. Feel free to view here such items here, and take a chance on these products at the end of the week when payday rolls around. You deserve a treat after all! And wearing something you think is fun and loved as soon as you saw is going to be one of the best ways to celebrate your achievements.

For Your House

Decorating your rooms takes a lot of money, and you’re always going to be building up your surroundings. Being able to look around you and truly feel satisfied with what you feel is something you don’t get when you’re first moving into a place; don’t feel bad if you’re lacking a house plant or a bookcase from the corner of your living room.

But on the other hand, decorating can make us happy, so you shouldn’t have to wait until your budget stretches that far for an indefinite amount of time. You can easily pick up a sapling plant from the garden center for a couple of bucks at most, or you can get a roll of wallpaper for a couple more to make yourself a feature wall. Or hang up your photos!

Getting personal with your lifestyle when you’re on a budget can mean a lot of things, but if you get thrifty with your habits and wait for sales, you’re going to be much better off than most.

From Amateur To Pro: 6 Steps For Jewellery Designers

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Making jewellery is something that many of us experimented with as children. We’d string beads onto string, struggle to make clasps work, and delight over our own creations— but for the majority, making our own jewellery is something we quickly moved on from. It was a fun childhood hobby, and nothing more.

However, for some women, the delight of making jewellery doesn’t wear off. Attempts from childhood are replaced by genuinely impressive crafting skills, and the hobby is just as enchanting as it always was. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s worth asking if your amateur hobby has the potential to become a career. It’s easier than ever to start a business selling handmade jewellery, and if you want to try such an endeavour, here are six steps that will help you on your way…

STEP ONE: Establish the market

Before you enter into the business of selling jewellery, you have to be sure there is a market for what you’re producing. Browse local craft stalls and online sites like Etsy to see if your designs are truly unique compared to what is currently available. If you’re making similar pieces to other designers, it might be worth experimenting with styles until you find your niche.

STEP TWO: Decide where you want to sell

You have two options for selling handmade jewellery: online, or at craft stalls. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and you may find that your best choice initially is to try both and see which works best for you.

STEP THREE: Work through the finances

If you have little experience in business, then you will need to learn how to calculate costs, profits, and expenses. While this can be a lot to process at first, there’s plenty of free assistance available for business financial management online, so you should be able to get up to speed relatively quickly.

STEP FOUR: Choose the right display equipment

Whether you’re photographing items to sell online or arranging them for display on a stall, you’re going to need to ensure that your pieces are presented well. This means opting for display equipment like hand mannequins for bracelets and rings, and bust mannequins for necklaces and earrings. This equipment will help to display your pieces correctly, and in a way that is attractive to potential buyers.

STEP FIVE: Think about advertising

Your pieces have to be known about to be able to sell, so you’re going to need to spend some time increasing visibility via an advertising campaign. There’s a useful starter guide here that can help you choose the advertising direction you wish to take.

STEP SIX: Sell!

With all the finances in place and a decision made on the markets you’re going to target, the next step is the biggest of all: go ahead and sell! It’s best to start small with just a few pieces and, should things go well, you can build your range from there.

In conclusion

Whether your jewellery designs become a handy side hustle or a fully-fledged business, it’s well worth exploring the possibilities of sharing your jewellery-making talent with a wider audience. Good luck!

Scene Setting: Finding New Things To Photograph

For anyone taking photos as an avid hobby or interest, it can be easy to let things get a little bit stale when it comes to your passion. Being restricted to the subjects you have around you, it will be hard to branch out and experiment with your picture taking, slowly making it harder and harder to stay interested in this pastime. Of course, though, it never has to be this way. Instead, if you’re willing to be a little adventurous, you can start finding new and interesting things to capture all the time. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to add the spark back into something like photography, using new experiences to drive you.

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Local Events: Sometimes, getting the perfect chance to take some snaps is all about being in the right place at the right time. In most places, the normal and boring areas can often become some of the most vibrant with the right public events, from carnivals to fairs and religious festivals. There will be nothing stopping you from attending things like this equipped with your camera. If you are able to get a couple of good enough shots, you may even be able to sell them to a local media outlet. This sort of exposure can be great when you’re first starting your career in the world of photography.

A Small World: A lot of the World’s most intricate and beautiful things can be found when you take the time to look closer. Macro lens attachments can be found for nearly nothing on sites like eBay, and you may already have a lens or two which can capture images like this. With the right kit on hand, you can take pictures which look as though they have been captured through a magnifying glass, giving yourself a door into a tiny world. Photos taken like this can look stunning. To get some inspiration, there are loads of photographers on Instagram who are taking snaps like these everyday.

Flying High: The next option in this post is going to involve taking to the sky to take some of the best photographs you’ve ever had the chance to capture. Of course, though, achieving this goal has to be done through the right means. Using a drone is boring, as this will keep you stuck on the ground, and will make it hard to take interesting pictures. Instead, companies like Float Balloon Tours could be perfect, giving you the chance to see the world from a different perspective. Photos taken from vantage points like this are often some of the most well-received on social media. In fact, in some cases, you may even be able to sell images like this.

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Long Walks: The best photographers out there are those who are able to see the beauty in everything, finding great images where other people simply wouldn’t notice anything special. Of course, as a big part of this, you will often have to go out looking for things which catch your eye. One of the best chances to do this will be on a long walk. Most places have loads of different areas for you to explore, enabling you to get loads of mileage out of the place you call home. A lot of people ignore the opportunities they have in their local area. In reality, though, this could have a huge impact on your photography going into the future.

Helping Others: As time goes on, starting small businesses is becoming easier and easier. This ease has started to have an impact on the quality of companies out there, though, giving those putting in the right effort the chance to stand out. Photography can be one of the best ways to do this, making bad websites look great and giving you loads to splash across social media. Finding local ventures in need of photos should be nice and easy. At first, you can offer these services for free, slowly building up a solid background when it comes to your product and business snaps. Once you have enough to convince people to pay you, though, this could start to become your new job.

Setting Challenges: Most people find that it is very hard to progress in the things they love if they don’t set themselves goals and targets to reach along the way. As a big part of this, you should always be setting yourself challenges, giving yourself something new to aim for. For example, if you are taking pictures of wildlife, you could slowly work to create a portfolio of birds in different stages of flight. This area of the field is notoriously difficult to master, and a lot of people have to practice very hard before they can produce anything worthwhile. To help you out with this, there are loads of Youtube videos out there which are dedicated to wildlife capture tips.

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Sharing Images: Finally, as the last option to consider, it’s time to think about stock photos. Nowadays, demand for imagery which doesn’t look like it has been taken in a studio is becoming very high. Sites like Unsplash enable users to share quality photos which they have taken themselves. Using a platform like this, you won’t often get any money for the work you do. Instead, though, you will be rewarded with credits on other people’s websites, small donations, and the satisfaction which comes with seeing your pictures on other someone else’s work. A lot of photographers make their name using websites like these.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start finding news ways to bring some passion back into your photography. A lot of people struggle with this part of their hobby, finding it hard to ensure that they are able to experience the best parts of it as much as possible. With the right time, dedication, and patience, though, most will be able to start making a difference. This sort of work will be worth it if it is the difference between abandoning your hobby and taking it to the next level.

4 Quick Win Self Care Tips You Can Do In 10 Minutes or Less

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Now more than ever, our lives run at full tilt. We’re so consumed with our jobs, families, and activities that our ‘always-on’ digital culture just seems to swallow all the time it promised to help us save. We all lead full lives looking after the wellbeing of others, so it’s little surprise that our own happiness and health can end up somewhere near the bottom of an ever-growing to-do list.

It’s easy to read lists of self care tips and imagine that you’ll never have time for the leisurely aromatherapy baths and walks in the park they describe. But taking care of yourself can be simple. In fact, if you have just 10 minutes to spare a day, you can fit in some small changes that can have a big impact on your well being.

Where to find 10 minutes? Try cutting that time out of the mindless scrolling through social feeds that we’re all guilty of – time saved! And with that small chunk of time you’ve just gained back? You can try out one of the following quick win ideas to reset your busy brain and prioritize your health:

Do a Brain Dump

All the excess baggage we carry around with us on a daily basis is a major source of energy drain. So give yourself permission to release by actively processing the information in some way. The simple act of listing out all those to-do’s, concerns and random thoughts and then sorting them into some plan of action can be tremendously healing. It helps to silence the constant loop of inner dialogue that can prevent a restful night’s sleep and means that we are always more distracted than we’d like to be. Grab a notebook and start writing, or use a digital solution like OneNote if it makes life easier. Then give yourself permission to mentally tick off those nagging ‘I must remember…’ items.

Book That Appointment

Most of us have a health niggle we’ve shoved to one side because it’s never convenient to deal with. From that old sports injury that plays up in bad weather to the issue with our backs we’ve never addressed and even the low libido we dismiss as a fact of life – there’s a whole heap of stuff we choose to ignore. You may not be able to get the problem fixed in just ten minutes, but you can take a positive step towards finally sorting it out. So call up and book that slot with the chiropractor, order that Tribulus Terrestris supplement, or find that local acupuncture clinic. It could save your health and sanity.

Have a Private Dance Party

Music has an incredibly motivating influence on most of us, so leverage the power of a good beat to re-energize yourself on days when you feel demotivated or overwhelmed. Use your 10 minutes to set up a playlist of around the same length that contains those hero tracks that you can’t resist moving to, then when you get your spare time stick it on and bust some moves. Yes, it will look silly – but dancing gets energy flowing, blood circulating, and will rev you up to tackle whatever it is you’ve been putting off – plus lift your mood!

Throw One Thing Out

We all have too much clutter- fact. And the power of letting go of objects can be quite transformative. If you have just ten minutes spare, you may not be able to tackle a complete wardrobe clearout, but you can very quickly find something that is no longer serving you. You know the one. The object you’ve been keeping ‘just because.’ Marie Kondo that item and flush it out of your life. Before long, those individual items will add up to one big change.

The Art of Appreciation, Self Love and Self Respect

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In this post, we’re going to look at the art of appreciation, self love and self respect.

APPRECIATION

It’s all too easy to focus on the negatives in life and so many of us take the good stuff for granted!

Think about how many green stop lights you notice compared to the red ones.  With a red stop light, particularly if you’re late and rushing to get somewhere important, you’ll get frustrated, tense and agitated to the point you really feel that red traffic light.  Meanwhile, all the green lights barely go noticed.

The same can be said for life.  Think about how easily we take for granted simple functions such as being able to walk, talk, see, and drive a car.  It’s all too easy to take the good stuff for granted, in that we fail to appreciate the positive stuff, until it’s taken away.

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone that you took for granted, or lived in an amazing country like Australia, but not truly appreciated what you have, until it’s taken away from you?

Today, so many people walk around with their heads down, with such negative mindsets, that the good in life passes them by.  In part, this could be an issue with self love and perhaps a place for the compassion project to step-in but it all just comes down to perspective.

Consider how stressed people get about money.  You’ll often hear people saying how “broke” they are, yet, in reality they are probably way up in the wealthier percentile of earth’s society.  Unfortunately, we often compare ourselves to people who are wealthier, slimmer, more intelligent, more attractive and so on – meaning we suffer unnecessarily, as this perspective of negative contrast impacts our self-esteem and causes us to feel not ‘good enough’.

Whereas, when you shift your perspective to one of appreciation, you can flip that contrast around and realise that there are some people without a home, without a car, or even access to safe drinking water.  This, of course, isn’t a game of one upmanship or feeling better at others expense – it’s just a matter of gaining perspective and living in a state of appreciation for what you do have rather than for what you don’t have.

When you live in a mental state of appreciation, according to Rhonda Byrne’s bestselling book “The Secret” you attract more of the good stuff into your life.  There’s a saying within the book that says “what we think about we bring about” and “thoughts become things”.

Just like there’s a universal law of attraction there’s also a law of momentum.  Essentially, it’s a slippery slope in that the more you focus on how bad something is the more bad stuff you attract, and things start spiralling downhill due to the domino effect.  Similarly, when you focus on how good something is and really appreciate it (whether that’s falling in love with Sydney again or falling back in love with your partner) this creates an upward spiral where things get better and better.

Now that we’ve defined the importance of appreciation and being in a state of gratitude, let’s move onto a topic equally as important; self love and self acceptance.

SELF LOVE

In some ways, you could view self-love to be the same as self-esteem, however, self-esteem tends to be more about how competent we feel we are in terms of tangible output and how much we value the impact and contribution we make.  Self love, on the other hand, is more about self-acceptance and loving ourselves just the way we are.

Louise Hay, who is one of the world’s leading experts in this area of self-love states:  “Self love is a deep appreciation. When I talk about loving ourselves, I mean having a deep appreciation for who we are. We accept all the different parts of ourselves—our little peculiarities, the embarrassments, the things we may not do so well, and all the wonderful qualities, too.”

She goes on to explain that, many of us make self love conditional by creating unnecessary rules, such as that we will love ourselves WHEN we lose weight, get a better job, or drive a better car… meaning, it’s constantly being put off until tomorrow.  We put external conditions on our internal sense of self-worth, which is what creates unhappiness, as it’s like a carrot dangling in front of a donkey’s nose… it’s always just slightly out of reach.

Self love is an unconditional sense of love and acceptance for who you are, where you’ve been, what you have and where you’re heading.  It’s a sense of emotional security that allows you to recognise that you are good enough as you are!

SELF RESPECT

The last principle is that of self respect.  

A lot of the time, when someone treats us without respect (e.g. by cheating on you) we take it extremely personally; as if their behaviour is a direct reflection of our value.  Indeed, when we are treated without value by a person close to us we can feel like we have no value.  This is why so many people struggle with break-ups.

It’s understandable and normal to feel this way, but there are two points here – firstly their behavior reflects who they are, not who you are, or what you deserve… and secondly, in order for people to treat you with respect, dignity and consideration – you need to respect yourself.  Unfortunately, without even meaning to, people will treat you without respect and consideration; the popular term “they’ll walk all over you if you let them” comes to mind. That’s not to say you have to be militant in the enforcement of your boundaries; it’s more that you must have a healthy level of self-respect in order for people to treat you with respect.  

Remember, life has a mirror like quality to it, in that it reflects back to us what we feel on the inside.  If you don’t respect yourself – expect others to reflect this back to you. Similarly, as soon as you start treating yourself with respect the people in your life will either adapt their behaviour to this or leave your life and make way for someone that can treat you with the respect, consideration and dignity you deserve.