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When we’re young, many of us have an idealized image of what our future relationships will be like. We hope and imagine meeting the perfect person, getting on with them flawlessly, having plenty of things in common, and never finding anything to annoy or irritate us, with no arguments or disputes of any kind.

However, after growing up and getting into their first romantic relationships, many people realize that these idealized images are little more than fairy tales. Every couple argues. It’s a natural part of the process of sharing so much of your life with another person; every now and then, you’re going to find things that you don’t agree on or just wake up on the wrong side of the bed and need a little ‘me time’.

But while every other will argue sometimes, it’s important to not let arguments and quarrels become a regular part of your romantic routine. Arguments can get worse as they start to occur more frequently, and it’s important to note that domestic violence isn’t just limited to physical assault; mental and emotional distress caused by one partner to another can be very damaging in the long-term too, so if you’re worried about excessive arguments with your partner, here are some key tips.

Communicate Calmly

One of the first and most important tips to keep in mind when it comes to avoiding nasty arguments or defusing disputes before they turn bad is to try and make your communication as calm and clear as possible.

This means that you should avoid raising your voice, yelling, calling names, or resorting to any other bad habits you may have that don’t actually contribute to any kind of positive outcome or conclusion for you and your partner. Talking calmly and at a reasonable volume can instantly make a big difference.

Listen, Don’t Just Hear

People often argue because they have something they’re unhappy about and want their partner to know about it, but may feel that they aren’t being truly listened to. This is why it’s so important to actually listen to what your partner is saying, rather than simply hearing the words and failing to properly process them.

Too often, people in arguments focus purely on reacting to the last thing the other person said, trying to catch them out or prove them wrong, rather than actually listening, putting themselves in that person’s position, and truly understanding why they’re so upset. Working on your empathy can really help you resolve arguments much faster and help your relationship become healthier too.

Take a Breather

There are many different things you and your partner might argue about. It could be money, which is reportedly one of the most common subjects of dispute and disagreement among couples, or it could be something totally different like your sex life, work-life balance, family matters, etc.

Whatever it is you’re arguing about, don’t be afraid to call for a time out if you feel you need it. This can be a good strategy for many people, especially those who have trouble keeping their tempers under control. Taking a breather and letting yourself cool off could majorly help you avoid saying something you might regret.

Take Action

Don’t look at an argument as a battle between you and your partner. Don’t see it as something with a winner and a loser or a simple opportunity for one or both of you to yell things at each other. See it as an opportunity. An argument is a sign that something is wrong, but it’s also a sign that at least one of you wants to fix it.

This ties into the previous point about listening; really take the time to focus on what has caused your argument and what you can do to make it better. Taking this constructive, positive approach to disputes can help you and your partner turn a negative experience into something positive that really benefits the pair of you as you move forward as a couple, rather than repeating the argument over and over.

Final Word

As stated several times above, it’s important to acknowledge and accept that arguments are more or less inevitable. Some couples have more of them than others, and some can argue about the tiniest of matters while others only quarrel over serious subjects. But in any case, when arguments happen, having the right attitude and approach can help you negotiate them more carefully, reducing the risk of any emotional damage on either side and helping you and your partner build something stronger.

Source: Baucemag.com

  1. YOU BUY YOUR WEDDING DRESS BEFORE CHOOSING THE VENUE.

Before booking your wedding dress and second dress appointments, make sure you know the type of wedding you’re planning and where.

Yes, you can wear whatever you want, but if you purchase a low-key gown and you end up booking a large and classy venue, you may wish you went bigger and bolder, with the venue in mind.

  1. YOU ANNOUNCE YOUR ENGAGEMENT TOO SOON.

Remember to share the big news with your inner circle before updating your status on social media.

Tell your family and closest friends first, preferably in person, or by phone or Skype  (so they see the ring!) if they’re long-distance. Then change your Facebook status.

And after the outpouring of congratulations, be sure to post a quick thank you to the well-wishers.

  1. YOU RULE OUT A WEDDING PLANNER ALTOGETHER.

The most stressful planning period? The week before the big day. That’s when handfuls of unforeseen details arise, leaving some brides sorting out spreadsheets instead of connecting with friends and family.

Avoid this by hiring a professional wedding planner or even an event coordinator especially if you’re on a tight budget.

They will handle last-minute vendor meetings and put out fires so you don’t have to. If budget is a concern, some planners even offer hourly services.

  1. YOU FALL VICTIM TO CRASH DIETING.

No bride should feel as if they have to change themselves ahead of their wedding. But if you do wish to adopt healthier habits, instead of drastically reducing calories or abstaining from whole food groups a month before your wedding date, ease into it.

Try adopting a healthier eating plan or fitness regimen six months before the big day.

Focus on gaining confidence, stress-relieving practices, and healthy habits that will follow you way past your walk down the aisle.

 

  1. YOU DON’T FEED YOUR VENDORS.

 

The last thing you want on your wedding day is a low-energy DJ or an exhausted photographer.

So plan on feeding any hired hands who will be working during the reception. This includes your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, and DJ or band, plus their assistants (but not your florist or the ceremony musicians). Work their meals into your budget and consider it part of their fee. (Many vendors stipulate in the contract that the couple is to provide a meal.)

 

  1. YOU FORGET TO HAVE FUN!

Don’t  forget the reason you’re doing all of this, and keep things in perspective. It’s all about starting your new life together, so make sure to set up the right foundation for a joyous future. Remember, it’s just one day in the journey.

CHIKA IBEABUCHI popularly known is the Founder/Creative Director of Gemini24 Events, @weddingsplash (An online  bridal/event store) @Cedamicuspicykilishi (A healthy snack brand popularly known as Kilishi)

She is also an event management coach and she has coached and mentored not less than 100 persons online and offline.

She is also an event management consultant, wedding planner, event manager: she has assisted numerous brides to be to make their wedding a reality.

She will be sharing some tips and nuggets that have helped her client make the best decision as regards their wedding and also saved them time, money and contributed to unforgettable memories.

So feel free to go ahead with your wedding plans, you should also aim to have a stress free planning process by hiring a professional to guide you so that you can sit back, relax and be taken care of.

Need more information? I am here to give you more tips on how to get it right, drop a message in the comment section.

CHIKA IBEABUCHI,

Your Cherished Wedding consultant.

In just 15 years, Croatia’s Istrian peninsula in the northern Adriatic has become one of the world’s best producers of olive oil, decorated with top industry awards.

Denis Ivosevic from the Istrian Tourist Board said that Some 15 years ago there were practically no producers of bottled olive oil in Istria and there was no expert verification of its quality. Now Istria has become a region where guests come also because they know what kind of olive oil they can buy.

Manuel Grubic, the owner of an olive oil mill in the town of Bale, said the quality of the oil is based on the work of small family producers. He revealed that the olive harvest is done manually, they are processed immediately and the quantity produced is relatively small.

Miroslav Pliso, a lawyer who started his small olive oil business some 20 years ago, said that a focus on quality production and the industry awards had put Istria on the map with tourists seeking good local gastronomy. The price of the oil is quite high in comparison to the price of an average good quality oil which costs around 100-120 kuna ($16) per litre. We bottle the oil in the quantity of 0.25 litres and the price per litre is around 600 kuna. He also declared that his output is some 2,000 liters of top quality olive oil a year.

In 2020, Istria won the Flos Olei guide’s best region in the world award for extra virgin olive oil for a 6th consecutive year. The guide is compiled by expert tasters.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-croatia-oliveoil/

Article by Vivy LaBelle

Men lie, women lie. Even kids are quite good at the game, too.

It’s something about the human nature… a way of getting out of a difficult situation, it’s about deceiving people into believing or doing something we want them to do.

For men, the lies told are quite unlimited. In their relationships with wives and girlfriends, 10 lies seem to be so widespread that some now believe that 18 out every 20 men are guilty of these lies.

So what are the lies that men seem to enjoy telling?

1. I’m single

This is a very classic one. Men seem to lie about their relationship/marital status all the time, and if you ask 10 women, about 7 of them will tell you they have been told this lie at least once.

2. I love you

The reason for this is usually to a woman to get into a relationship with them and to make her comfortable enough to have sex with them.

3. It’s only you, I swear

Says the man who has a side-chick somewhere, and a baby mama pregnant with his second illegitimate child.

4. “No sex before marriage”

He’ll say; “I promise not to have sex since that’s what you want” but once you say yes and enter the relationship, it’s a different ball game entirely.

5. “I’ll put just the tip”

When a man tells you he just wants to put ‘only the tip in,’ you know he’s really feeling the konji and would say anything to get laid.

6. “I will not move. Lemme just put it inside”

Another lie like the one above.

7. Sexual prowess

Men are also pretty good at painting a picture of themselves as the ultimate love-making machines.

They whet your appetite and make you ready to open up to them… but when the time comes to actually act on all those fantasies they have created in your head… they’re done in 2 minutes.

8. They lie about their whereabouts

For example, “I’m at home” when they are out with the guys or at their side chick’s place.

9. Lies about money

Unmarried men often try to impress women by lying that they have money, when they actually do not.

Married men lie to their wives that they do not have money, when they actually do.

10. Their source of income

Shout out to the Yahoo boys and other people who can’t proudly tell people about the kind of job they do.

Source: Pulse Ng

A regular screening test is very important because it helps find breast cancer in its early stages before any symptoms appear.

Breast Cancer: Symptoms and prevention of this deadly disease.[medicalnewstoday]
Breast Cancer: Symptoms and prevention of this deadly disease.[medicalnewstoday]

With breast cancer becoming the most common form of cancer among women, the importance of having the knowledge of it cannot be overemphasized.

Because finding breast cancer as early as possible help gives one a better chance of having a successful treatment.

Be that as it may, it is important to state here that having the knowledge of breast cancer, which comes hand in with knowing what to look for, does not take the place of having regular screening tests.

However, symptoms of breast cancer include a lump in the breast, bloody discharge from the nipple and changes in the shape or texture of the nipple or breast.

There are also cases where breast cancers can be tender, soft, or rounded. Additionally, they can even be painful.

For this reason, new breast mass, lump, or breast change should be promptly checked by a health care professional experienced in diagnosing breast diseases.

Here are other possible symptoms of breast cancer to look out for

How to prevent breast cancer?

Reasonable women put into consideration the steps to take in other to prevent breast cancer. But so far, it has not been proven as to what can be done to prevent the disease. Instead, it is the lowering of the risk factors that have been given.

Here is how to reduce your risk of breast cancer:

1. Don’t smoke

Studies have succeeded in showing a link between smoking and the risk of breast cancer. And this is most particular in premenopausal women.

In addition to the risk of breast cancer, it is known to most people that smoking lowers the quality of life and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and at least 15 cancers – which of course breast cancer, is included.

2. Limit alcohol

Researchers claim that chances of developing breast cancer become high when you consume more alcohol. Even small amounts of alcohol are said to also increase the risk of breast cancer.

It is, therefore, advisable for you to try as much as you can to minimize your intake of alcohol.

3. Avoid birth control pills, particularly after age 35

Unknown to most women, birth control pills have both risks and benefits. And the younger a woman is, the lower the risks are.

But for women above the age of thirty-four, birth control pills pose a threat to them as they have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer when they take it.

However, the risk goes away quickly, after stopping the pill.

In addition to the possible risk of breast cancer, the risk of stroke and heart attack is also increased while on the pill – particularly if a woman smokes.

4. Be physically active

The health benefits of exercise are priceless. As a matter of fact, it can be a silver bullet for good health.

Studies have shown that women who are physically active for at least 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer.

5. Avoid post-menopausal hormones

Just like birth control pills, post-menopausal hormones have mixed effect on health. It increases the risk of some diseases and at the same time lowers the risk of others.

However, it has been proven that both estrogen-only hormones and estrogen-plus-progestin hormones increase the risk of breast cancer.

Note

Sometimes a breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes under the arm or around the collar bone and cause a lump or swelling there, even before the original tumor in the breast is large enough to be felt.

Swollen lymph nodes should also be checked by a healthcare provider.

Although breast cancer might not always be the case, it is, however, advisable to always go for screening whenever such symptoms are seen.

When it comes to the clearing of skin, lemon is magical; it is one of the best ingredients that can be used to promote skin condition.

How to improve the quality of your skin naturally
How to improve the quality of your skin naturally

The idea of having a flawless skin should not be confused with skin bleaching.

Simply because it is possible for every skin, irrespective of colour, to be made more beautiful and flawless.

Be that as it may, it can not be denied that every woman, and also some men, long to have a fresh glowing skin.

But owing to stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and constant exposure to sun’s ultraviolet rays, it seems like their desire will be difficult to meet with reality.

However, there are hundreds of chemicalized products that comes with the assurance of making the skin glow in a couple of days.

So luring is their temptation that a good number of people yield to it without knowing the long-term effect these products will have on their skin.

It is, for this reason, we decided to show you the natural ways in which the skin condition can be made beautiful and healthy without incurring any possibility of an aftermath effect.

Read on to see the natural ways that you can use to improve the quality of your skin.

1. Lemon

When it comes to the clearing of skin, lemon is supreme. It is one of the best ingredients that can be used to promote skin condition.

Because the presence of citric acid in lemon helps keep the skin clear by removing dead cells. Also, its vitamin C content helps reduce dark spots by increasing the cell renewal process.

Owing to the fact that lemon also has bleaching properties that help improve the overall skin complexion, it is, therefore advisable for dark skin people to use it as rarely as possible.

How to use lemon to improve skin quality

Apply fresh-squeezed lemon juice to your entire face and neck and leave it for ten minutes: wash it with warm water afterward.

To soften and moisturize the skin, rub the slices of cucumber all over your body. Do this every day for effective result.

Apart from the above method, you can also squeeze the juice of one-half lemon and mix two tablespoons of raw honey in it.

Apply it on your face, leave it on for fifteen to twenty minutes and then rinse it off.

And to improve skin quality, mix two teaspoons each of lemon juice and sugar. Apply the mixture on your face, neck, and hands by scrubbing circularly.

Leave it on for ten minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. If you can do this twice a week, you will be surprised at the result.

2. Honey

Honey is not just a skin moisturizer, it is, in fact, a great skin moisturizer.

The antibacterial properties of honey make it possible for the clearing of skin impurities as well as the removal of skin infection.

How to use honey to improve skin quality

Apply raw honey on your skin and let it dry; rinse it off with mild water. The water content in honey will make the skin soft and supple as it helps to moisturize it.

Alternatively, you can also mix two teaspoons of milk and one teaspoon of honey. Add to the mixture one teaspoon of gram flour and mix them together.

Apply it all over your face. Leave it on for twenty minutes and then rinse it off with warm water.

If you can do this once a week, you will appreciate the radiant quality of your skin.

3. Aloe Vera

Numerous are the benefits Aloe vera has on the skin. It has antibacterial properties that help kill bacteria that cause acne.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help in the soothing of irritated skin, and astringent properties that help heal scars.

In addition, aloe vera moisturizes the skin and stimulates new skin cell growth.

How to improve skin quality with aloe vera

Extract the gel from the aloe vera.

Use a cotton ball to apply the gel on your face

Let it dry for about half an hour, and then rinse it off with mild water.

Do this every day if you can and you will be grateful that you did.

4. Coconut oil

When it comes to antioxidants that prevent free radical activity, which is one of the reasons behind dull and lifeless skin, coconut oil is king.

It is also rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties that help maintain clear skin. Additionally, it helps to soften the skin as the oil permeates deep into underlying tissues of the skin.

How to use coconut to improve skin quality

Warm coconut oil in a microwave.

Apply the warm oil to your face, neck, hands and legs.

Massage gently into the skin for ten minutes; rinse it afterward with warm water.

It is okay to do this once a day.

5. Pawpaw

It is not without reason that Christopher Colombus refer to it as the fruit of angels.

Papaya, as it is also known, can not only be used to improve the texture of the skin, it can also help to maintain clear skin.

Like lemon, papaya has natural bleaching properties that help reduce the appearance of scars.

In addition, the enzyme papain that is present in it has antibacterial and wound healing abilities that help in the removal of dead damaged skin.

How to use pawpaw to improve skin quality

Cut pawpaw into small pieces and combine the pawpaw with one teaspoon each of sandalwood powder and honey.

Grind these ingredients into a paste and apply all over your face and neck.

Leave it for half an hour and rinse with cool water

Finish the treatment by applying some rose water on your face.

Do this, at least, once a week for effective result.

Note:

This should be made applicable to only light-skinned people because of the bleaching properties in it.

In conclusion, you should be reminded that what you eat, is what you are. In other words, what you eat ultimately reflects on your body, especially your face.

Try as much as you can to consume diets that do not only provide nutrients to your body but also bring about the repairment of damaged tissues, as well as the building of new cells.

Studies have shown that when it comes to getting rid of belly fat, lemon water is amazing.

Losing belly fat is one the healthiest thing that can happen to anybody that has it.

And it’s not because, by so doing, the body returns back to shape; losing belly fat helps prevent conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

As a matter of fact, studies have shown that having lots of fat in the abdominal area is strongly linked to these diseases.

However, studies have shown that diet and exercise are the best ways to get rid of belly fat; but there are also home remedies that can be used to make the process much more effective.

Here are five natural home remedies to help you get rid of belly fat

1. Ginger

Ginger is not only a natural digestive aid that helps with nausea and an upset stomach, it is also thermogenic; which means it increases your body’s temperature to let it burn fat more efficiently.

As a matter of fact, ginger also suppresses the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Stress causes weight gain, so ginger helps prevent this. Drinking ginger tea daily can really help with losing belly fat.

How to get rid of belly fat with ginger

The ingredients you need to make ginger tea is 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger, 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of raw honey or pure maple syrup, and the juice from half of a lemon.

Put the water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then add the ginger, and turn off the heat. Place the lid on the pot and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Next, strain the tea into a mug, and then add the lemon juice and sweetener, and mix. At night before bedtime is a great time to drink this tea.

2. Honey

Honey is one of the best natural foods in the world that you can consume if you want to lose belly fat. It is not only delicious but extremely beneficial. The ethereal oils and alcohol in honey help reduce belly fat.

How to get rid of belly fat with honey

Mix the honey in the water and drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Organic raw honey should be consumed each and every day. It would be best to replace sugary cereal with honey for breakfast if that’s what you have been eating.

Do this daily for a few months. Supplemented by some of our other home remedies, you’ll start losing fat in no time.

Do not eat until after at least two hours.

3. Lemon water

Studies have shown that when it comes to getting rid of belly fat, lemon water is amazing.

Lemon water detoxifies your liver. This is important because when the liver is clean, it works best and it metabolizes fat so the fat doesn’t get stored in your stomach.

How to get rid of belly fat with lemon water

A simple recipe for lemon water is 2 cups of water, with the juice of half a lemon. It is okay to add some of the zest in there as well for added benefits.

All you do is squeeze the lemon into the water, grate some of the zest into the water, and drink. It is important to note that the best time to drink lemon water is right in the morning before drinking or eating anything else.

4. Warm salty water

As strange as this might sound, it is what it is. Studies have shown that warm water helps neutralizes the lactic acid produced when the bacteria in your mouth break down the sugary, fatty and starchy foods you consume.

It is, however, important to note that you can also use salt water even if you do not have belly fat, as it will help you to stay in shape.

How to use salt water to get rid of belly fat

Dissolve the salt in the water and take a sip.

Swish it around your mouth for about a minute, then swallow. You can do this as many times a day as necessary.

5. Garlic

Garlic is not only effective for getting rid of belly fat, it also helps prevent weight gain by stopping the pre-fat cells from converting into actual fat cells

How to use garlic to get rid of belly fat

Garlic and honey might seem like a weird combination, but it does wonders for your body.

What you will need is 3-4 heads of garlic, 1 cup of raw honey, and a small mason jar. Start by separating the heads of garlic into individual cloves.

Don’t peel the cloves, just remove the outer layer. Fill the jar with the unpeeled garlic cloves.

Then slowly pour honey over the cloves. Use a spoon to make sure there aren’t any air bubbles. Make sure that all of the cloves are covered with honey, and then put the lid on.

Allow the honey to infuse for a few days in the fridge or at room temperature and take a spoonful of the combination daily on an empty stomach.

Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms.

  • Anxiety and stress

People who constantly worry about everything normally suffer from acne. They undertake too much mental or physical pressure that releases hormones into the body, which then prompts the sebaceous cells to secrete oil that later transforms into pimples. If you want a flawless face, try to calm now when you’re going through difficult times.

  • Bad sleeping routines

A good 8 hours of sleep will re-energize it to ensure healthier skin. However, you have to sleep on clean pillows free from germs, oils, sweat, and hair product residue that you carry throughout the day if you want a smooth skin.

  • Incessant facial contact

Some people can’t resist picking at zits and scabs which traumatizes their skin, plus exposes it to the bacteria on your fingers. Buy a stress ball or fidget spinner to keep your hands busy.

  • Lack Of hydration

Some people are always caught up in their work that they forget to stay hydrated which causes skin conditions such as acne. For a smooth skin, one must the daily water requirements. Drink. More. Water. If not that, then look into a supplement that can boost your body’s hydration levels.

READ ALSO: 5 tricks to grow your beard faster

  • Overexposure to sunlight

People who make their daily income by selling on the streets and roadsides should invest in a good sunscreen because too much sun exposure generates sweat and makes skin more prone to blemishes.

  • Not showering after workouts

To promote your personal hygiene, keep a towel in your locker at the gym and shower thoroughly after every session. All that dirt and sweat trapped on your body, along with the friction of sticky clothes creates a cesspool of bacteria that stimulates breakouts.

READ ALSO: How to slay with a GHc 100 makeup budget

  • Smoking

Enjoying a cigarette more than often leads to acne and premature aging. The amount of oxygen your skin needs to remain supple starts to decrease and dries it out, increasing oil production. And that could be the least of worries for smokers. Need we remind you of the cancerous effects linked to the habit?

  • Taking certain medications

Certain drugs can affect the hormone levels in your body and cause acne-like eruptions. Always consult your physician when dealing with prescribed medications.

Carrot oil is very easy to make at home and it is extremely beneficial for the hair and skin.

Carrot contains an anti-aging nutrient with antioxidant capabilities, Beta-Carotene, to help slow down the ageing of cells in the body.

One way to get that into your body is by using carrot oil. Carrot oil is very easy to make at home and it is extremely beneficial for the hair and skin.

Supplies

Veggie peeler

Hand grater or food processor

Crockpot

Fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth

Jar

Carrot Oil Ingredients

Carrots

Olive, coconut, sunflower, or sesame oil, to cover

Preparation

Step 1: Wash and peel the skin off the carrots.

Grate carrots with the use of a hand grater or food processor.

Step 2: Place the grated carrots in a crock pot and pour the oil of your choice to cover.

Step 3: On your crock pot’s lowest setting, maintain a warm temperature, infusing the oil for a full 24-72 hours.

Note: Use the “warm” temperature setting on your crock pot. Try not to allow the temperature of the oil to rise above 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit. You will notice the oil becoming orange in colour.

Step 4: Once the infusion process is complete, pour the carrots and oil mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and strain.

Step 5: Label and store the oil in a glass jar in the refrigerator until ready for use.

If you’re not protecting your mental health right now, you’re either struggling or a superhero. Even before the coronavirus pandemic there was plenty to stress about.

Concerns about everything from dirty dishes to climate change can affect your mental health. Just remember: You control your mental state. You may not be able to solve all of life’s challenges, but you can keep them from getting to you.

Safeguarding your mental health isn’t just about keeping your stress levels in check, either. For yourself and others, it’s critical for a healthy, productive life.

How to Protect Your Mental Health

Protecting your mental health starts with a simple commitment: to separate your internal state from what’s going on around you. Here’s how to do it:

1. Talk it Out

The first and most important step to protecting your mental health? Speaking up.

Opening up to friends and family about your mental health challenges isn’t a sign of weakness. In fact, it proves you’re strong enough to show others the not-so-perfect parts of your life.

Need an easy way to start the conversation? You could say:

  • “I want to share something with you.”
  • “I’ve been thinking about…”
  • “Can we talk about…?”
  • “I’ve been struggling with…”

Any one of these will allow an easy in to a conversation you need to have.

2. Shrink Your Screen Time

Tempting as it is right now, spending hours each day on social media isn’t good for your mental health. At best, you’ll distract yourself from what matters; at worst, you’ll internalize all the bad news and anger online.

Young people are particularly prone to this, but they’re not alone. A friend of mine got her daughter a Gabb phone, which is a safe phone for kids[1] that helps limit screen time. After I got my niece one, it made me think about how much I need to limit my own screen time.

I haven’t swapped out my smartphone, but I have put boundaries on how I use it. I limit myself to two hours of surfing per day, with a hard stop at 9 p.m. I don’t touch it again until I leave for work in the morning. Consider doing something similar to get yourself away from your screen.

3. Avoid Drugs and Alcohol

Another lesson I’ve learned about maintaining my mental health? Avoiding drugs and alcohol is key.

A few years ago, I got in the habit of pouring myself a glass of wine after a long day. It sure helped me unwind from the stresses of work, so I figured it was worth the health risks.

What nobody told me, though, is that alcohol makes anxiety worse. A few hours after having a drink, I noticed I’d get stressed out. Cutting back helped me get back to my normal self.

4. Don’t Neglect Your Diet

Have you ever heard medical experts call your gut “your second brain”? The reason is that the gastrointestinal tract has more nerve endings than anywhere in the body apart from the brain.

Every bite you take affects those gut nerves. Nutritious foods — the fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean meats your mother likes to talk about — nurture it, while unhealthy ones upset it.

Cook meals at home whenever you can, and keep an eye on your snack intake. Even if you’re eating salmon and broccoli for dinner, binging on processed snacks at night could be messing with your mental health.

5. Stay Active

Your physical and mental health are more connected than you might realize. Regular exercise can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety as effectively, in some cases, as medication[2].

What type of exercise is best for mental health? Opt for cardio, but realize that anything is better than nothing. Whether you like to swim, run, row, or lift, get some fresh blood to your brain.

Don’t let your current fitness level be a barrier. When I was looking at new ways to exercise, I was looking at what a lot of busy entrepreneurs do to work out. I randomly came upon a site where Mark Cuban got a new e-bike and figured I would try one out. Within a few weeks, I was cruising for miles while listening to my favorite podcasts. It’s become one of my favorite times to learn while staying active.

6. Give Yourself a Break

Although perseverance is admirable, you have to cut yourself some slack when times get tough. Taking breaks is critical if you want to keep going for the long term.

Because I struggle to take breaks, I use the Pomodoro Method: I buckle down for 25 minutes, after which I give myself a five-minute break. There’s no right or wrong approach, but you do need a system.

How should you spend your breaks? Do something that rejuvenates you, such as:

  • Reading a book
  • Calling up a friend
  • Taking a bath or shower
  • Taking a nap
  • Going for a walk

7. Get Outdoors

Speaking of going for a walk, there’s no better way to get some headspace than to get outside. There’s just something about the smell of fresh air and the feeling of sun on your skin that melts stress.

8. Lose Yourself in a Hobby

Sometimes, an hour in the sun isn’t enough to take your mind off what’s bothering you. In that case, try diving into your favorite hobby.

Practicing a hobby helps you get into a “flow” state, which is when you’re so focused on what you’re doing that you lose track of the world around you. That mental break can be just what you need to get some perspective.

As with exercise, what the hobby is isn’t as important as your ability to stick with it. If you don’t have much time or money to spend, good options include:

  • Drawing
  • Hiking
  • Reading
  • Dancing
  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Knitting
  • Writing

9. Ask for Help

In rare cases, you might not be able to protect your mental health alone. If you’re feeling outgunned, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional. Although they mean well, your family and friends simply can’t provide the level of support a mental health expert can.

Remember, there are resources out there to help you get through tough times. Talk to your doctor, or call an helpline.

Source: Lifehack