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Moving in with a partner is a big step for any couple. And for some couples, it can actually spell the end of the relationship as each party finds out things about the other that they’d rather not.

Before you move in together, it’s easy to maintain a bit of illusion — you’re not thrown together all the time, you can keep your finances separate, and you don’t have to deal with arguments over whose turn it is to do the dishes. But once you’re living together, little things can take on huge significance.

Here we explore some common problems faced by couples moving in together and how you can get around them.

Fighting over Finances.

This is probably the single biggest danger to be aware of when you move in with a partner. Ideally, you should probably have a conversation about finances before you move in together.

If one of you is prudent in spending and the other is an impulsive buyer, doesn’t stick to budget and doesn’t mind having debts, it’s a bit of a recipe for a disaster.

This can lead to arguments and even more pervasive problems such as an overall lack of trust.

So, if you’re about to take the plunge and move in together, it’s time to sit down and have a very serious chat about how you’re going to manage your finances. Whether it’s opening a joint bank account, setting up payment plans and direct debits or simply setting up a household budget, make sure you’re on the same page.

And if you’ve already moved in together and find yourselves fighting over finances, don’t despair. You can still have that conversation and put plans in place to make sure you get things straight. The important thing is to find an arrangement you’re both comfortable with and that is manageable for both of you.

Not Aligning Life Goals.

Another big issue that cohabiting couples can face is finding out that they aren’t on the same page when it comes to long-term life plans. One of you wants marriage and kids, the other’s not sure. One of you would like to work abroad, the other can’t bear to be away from family.

The thing is that moving in together is often seen as a step towards marriage and kids. So, even if those things aren’t on the table yet, if you’re thinking about making the commitment, you need to be sure that you both want the same long-term goals.

Losing Your Personal Individual Identities.

You’ve moved in together because you love each other and want to spend more time together. But let’s face it, even the closest of couples can get frustrated if they’re together all the time. And going from seeing each other maybe a few times a week to seeing each other every single day can be a bit… well, much.

That’s why it’s vital to still have a bit of alone time now and again. If you’ve lived independently for any length of time, you’ll still have your own friends, so keep up with these as much as you can. Make sure you still both do things for yourselves as well as a couple.

You should also recognize when the other needs a bit of space and respect that. You’ll likely find that you naturally end up spending more and more time together.

However, keeping separate lives to a certain extent will allow you to build your own new routine without forcing things. You should also make time together to go on dates and spend time doing things you both love. Don’t lose your identities as individuals or as a couple!

Always Merging Your Interests.

Just because one of you loves nothing more than a ten-mile run on a Saturday morning, it doesn’t mean you both need to get those sneakers on. Likewise, if you enjoy a good Peaky Blinders binge session but your partner’s more of a Game of Thrones fan, you don’t have to suddenly know everything there is to know about the politics of Westeros.

If you had a particular set of interests before you moved in, you should try and maintain at least some of these. On the other hand, you may find new hobbies and interests to pursue as a couple through living together! Tuscan cookery class for two, anyone?

Not Accentuating the Positive.

When you’re suddenly thrown together all the time, those little quirks that you once found endearing in your partner can suddenly become infuriating. Maybe they never put their socks in the laundry basket. Maybe they insist on loudly singing show tunes when they’re doing housework. Or maybe they’re just so incredibly stubborn that they’ll happily argue chalk is cheese until the end of time.

Whatever annoys you about your other half, you can guarantee they’ll have a list just as long about you. So, pick your battles. Figure out what you can live with and what really drives you both nuts.

Then, talk about it to find a way that you can manage each other’s little foibles. Also, try and focus more on the things you love about each other. It could be how your partner always leaves little notes for you or how he or she will give you a back rub after a tough day without being asked. You’ll find that this makes the annoyances a little bit easier to cope with.

Arguing Over Chores.

If there’s one thing most couples argue about more than any other, it’s housework. It’s not the most fun thing in the world, but it needs to be done. And if you’re cohabiting, then you both need to accept your fair share of the burden.

Talk to your partner about what you each expect and what each of you really loathes doing. Maybe you hate doing the dishes but your partner is fine with it. In which case, you can do the cooking or the vacuuming. Alternatively, take turns in doing different chores.

A major cause of arguments can be if one partner is tidier than the other. If that’s the case, you need to come to some sort of arrangement where the tidy partner is not constantly picking up after the untidy one. Try and do a bit of tidying every day to keep things at a manageable level or have a blitz every weekend. Do whatever works for you. Alternatively, if all else fails and you’ve got the budget for it, hire a cleaner!

Final Thoughts

The underlying theme behind all of these issues is communication. It’s vital to communicate with your other half to make sure that you’re both happy with any arrangements, bank accounts, chore rotas or long-term relationship goals.

Remember to keep talking. Make time for each other and always remember why you love each other in the first place.

Happy cohabiting!

 

Staying a shape for a lot of people can be rocket science as it seems not just impossible but difficult. For some, it is even harder because they have to work from home and are used to sedentary lifestyle.

How then do you stay in shape without doing too much?

Healthy Eating

Here are some healthy hacks for fat loss:
  • Keep tinned and preserved food in storage for emergencies, but eat fresh on the daily. Purchase or procure real food like vegetables, fruits, and meat whenever you can. A lot of people are now turning to urban homesteading. If you can’t grow your own greens, find out where you can get your fresh foods in your immediate vicinity.
  • Leave out processed food out of your grocery cart. You can’t eat something that’s not present in your home no matter your midnight cravings.
  • Follow food blogs who prepare healthy meals that you are partial to. Avoid videos about desserts and sweets.
  • Keep a journal and take photos of your healthy meals.

Not only will these improve your eating habits, these tips also double as healthy hacks for fat loss.

Movement

Coming from a day of hard work (while trying not to catch anything) or having to stay at home for days on end, especially if you work from home, it’s easy to just Netflix and chill, literally. The body’s natural response to stress is usually a surplus of sleeping or eating, or both.

To keep your health and your immune system up, make sure you are doing healthy movement everyday. And yes, this means some form of exercise. Instead of passively gaining weight, you can take this opportunity to build the body you’ve always wanted.

Here are some tips to get you moving:

  • If you like dancing, build a library of your favorite zumba or dance routines on YouTube done to your favorite songs. It’s a great way to keep motivated when you enjoy the instructor and love the songs your bopping to.
  • There is a plethora of free exercise videos on YouTube. Take your pick from gentle tai chi, heart-pounding cardio, or stretchy yoga. Mix it up every other day to keep it exciting.
  • If you prefer using an app, find a free exercise app on the App or Play Store. Even better, they have tracking features that will let you see your progress.
  • If you are blessed with a lawn or a backyard, take advantage of the warm weather by doing some gardening. Plant greens that can be harvested fast and/or regrow food from scraps. Not only will you be moving your body, you’ll also be getting sunshine and healthy greens for your meals.

Now, if your goal is weight loss, here’s something interesting. Most health experts believe that weight loss is a combination of exercise and diet. However, exercise is often said to be 20% responsible for a person’s weight loss.

Cardiovascular exercises like jogging, aerobics, and biking are excellent for circulation, heart health, and increasing lung capacity. Strength-training exercises are excellent for protecting bones and disease prevention. Once you lose weight, you still want to maintain a long, healthy lifestyle.

Hydrating

Did you know that stress and water are directly linked?

When you are undergoing stress, your heart rate goes up and you breathe more heavily. This results in the body losing more fluid. To add to that, people often forget to eat and drink when they are heavily distracted by anxiety triggers. Keeping this in mind, make sure to stay hydrated during these stressful times.

If you’re in a space where you feel a hunger pain, drink some hot water with lemon first. In many cases, people eat with the assumption that they’re hungry. In reality, the body is craving more water. If you love the fizzy, carbonated sensation, pour some carbonated water on ice.

When the body remains hydrated, you’ll give your body the foundation it needs to work efficiently. Plus, juice, lattes, and other sugar-filled drinks are loaded with calories. Decrease your intake of liquid calories by drinking lots of water instead.

 

Playing with different kinds of nail colors is fun and relaxing. But when it comes to truly making your hands beautiful, it’s not all about the color or finish of your manicure. To have beautiful nails, don’t just look at your polish. You also have to know how to find the best nail shape for you.

Each hand, finger, and nail shape is different, and we are all born with various features. However, with the right nail shape, short fingers can look longer and hands can look daintier, edgier or more sophisticated to go with a particular look.

Get the right shape that accentuates those beautiful hands with these tips on how to find the best nail shape for you:

Round

This type is the simplest and most natural look that you can do for your nails. It is effortless to maintain, especially if you have time growing your nails.

To achieve this look, simply cut your nails to create an arc similar to the arch of your cuticles. Then, file off any of the rough edges.

Round Nail
Round Nail

A round nail is best when you are after strong nails. If you have visually long nails even after cutting, this makes your hands look very feminine and beautiful. Gel manicure would look lovely over it.

Oval

This shape is quite difficult to execute. The form should be symmetrical, and the point is a little between oval and almond. If you file it too much, you could end up getting either one so it would take time to file your nails to get the perfect shape.

Oval nail shape
Oval Nail

It’s perfect for people with long fingernails who want a beautiful, sophisticated look because it creates a more feminine vibe.

Almond

Almond shape looks lovely on glamorous, eye-catching events. It looks a little like an oval, but it is more tapered on the sides to shape more like an almond. To make it noticeable, you have to have longer nails.

Almond Nails

To get the perfect shape, make sure to ask your nail salon to do it for you. It is one of the most playful designs you can get because it works for medium length nails. When you get tired, you can turn it into a squoval – a square or even an oval shape.

Square

Square nails are the easiest to make. To achieve this look, just file your nails down and make sure that ends become perpendicular to the nail. It is one of the most versatile looks because it works for either short or long nails.

Square Nails

However, if you already have short nails, the square may make your nails look even shorter. If that’s the case, go for an oval, round or squoval to make the shortness look less noticeable.

Squoval

It seems the most natural because most people are already born with this kind of nail shape. That’s why it is suitable for both long and short nails.

Squoval Nails

For the nails you currently have now, you only need to file a little bit to get the perfect squoval shape and you’re good to go. If you want the square look but hate how sharp it is around the edges, this would work best for you.

Ballerina

As the name suggests, the ballerina is a nail shaped like a ballerina’s pointed shoes. It is a longer version of a square, but it is a little more convex with a straight tip. It is slightly tapered like the oval. Instead of an arc, the tip is flat.

Ballerina Nails

The ballerina works best for people who love growing their nails long or for people who love going to nail salons. It’s ideal for people who love putting on gel manicures or acrylics to achieve a longer nail and avoid damage to the natural nail.

Stiletto

Stiletto nail design looks intimidating and deadly. Both sides are tapered to create a pointy end. It’s very dramatic, edgy, and can be best left in the hands of professional nail salons.

Stiletto Nails

For this, you need the help of nail extensions or gel overlays to create the look. Your nail techs will shape and design your overlays to create the pointed tip for each nail. It also works best for gel manicure because the polish makes the design look more prominent.

Lipstick

Going for an out of the box look for special avant-garde events? Choose the lipstick.

Lipstick Nails

The lipstick is like a simple square nail but only longer and asymmetrical, meaning it is just tapered at one side of the nail. It creates an uneven look that is too risky, eye-catching, and highly unusual. It works best for an equally experimental or innovative fashion style.

There are plenty of options for you to choose from, but what would be best would totally be up to you. This guide on how to find the best nail shape for you is just here to help you out.

If you want feminine looks, you can make your hand look dainty and slender by choosing rounder nails shapes like round, oval, almond or squoval. If you want strong, intimidating nails, you can choose between the square, ballerina and stiletto.

Do you usually feel stuck? Are you tired of your hectic, daily routine? When did you last take a break to unwind and treat yourself? Are you truly free? In fact, when have you ever had a whole day to focus on your desires, thoughts, and needs?

In truth, life can sometimes feel so overwhelming, and you need to take a break to freshen up your mind and to sharpen your focus. But which is the best way that will make you feel this alive again?

The answer is pretty simple; adventure solo travel! Of course, for a majority of people, the idea of solo travel can be a huge challenge. Yes, it makes us uncomfortable, causes too much thinking, and we often have to face our fears alone. However, once we choose to ignore such awful feelings, there are several incredible benefits of solo travel especially when it comes to personal development. Take a look!

Teaches You to Be Brave

What is ‘fear’?

We can describe it as hard work, taking risks, letting go, and jumping deep into nothingness. If you’re willing to accept those things, you’ll enjoy a high sense or exhilaration, excitement and most importantly, achievement.

Now, traveling solo requires a significant amount of courage. Remember that you’ll be in the woods or in the wild alone trying to pass through different obstacles. Here, ignoring the problem or sleeping it off will not work.

Instead, you have to tackle the challenge head on! The good thing is once you make it through, the realization that you did it by yourself is quite empowering.

It Teaches You How to Accept Uncertainty

So, you’ve chosen the best place to travel solo, but keep in mind that things are bound to go wrong. For instance, the bus may break down, you might misplace your passport or even get food poisoning after overeating in a fancy restaurant. However, you’re exploring a fantastic destination and you have no time to be sad or miserable.

You’ll have to accept the course of things, search for solutions, and make the most out of the entire experience. We should definitely adopt such an approach in our daily lives. After all, it would make us happier, more relaxed, and focused on attaining our goals.

Travel for Development of Personal Authenticity

You’re just a traveler moving from one country to another. No one knows you or your past. They don’t know what type of car you have, how ‘perfect’ your marriage or relationship is, and they don’t even follow you on social media.

Amid such anonymity, there’s a strong feeling of equality. It’s complete freedom where you have the chance to be anything you want to be with no pressure or expectations.

As you travel for development, you’re like a blank page with the perfect setting to have a fresh start. It’s here that you’re reduced to the core of your essentials without the ‘distractions’ of friends or even family. Eventually, in such clarity, you’ll realize your destiny.

Understand the Importance of Connection

Don’t forget that you’ll be alone almost every time. You’ll go searching for a fun conversation or maybe just a friendly gaze. Once you get what you are looking for, it’s hard to hide the excitement and high feeling. It almost feels like a huge part of you has changed.

These moments can actually increase your well-being and happiness, especially while traveling. As human beings, aren’t we here to connect and love each other?

It Improves Communication

Have you ever talked to a local who didn’t know your language or speak it well? If you have, then why do you think you were able to converse flawlessly without using words?

Now, you might not know this, but it’s because you were not only curious but also made an effort.

How do you think your daily encounters would change if you adopted such a method?

Try turning off your cell phone and give a friend or colleague your undivided attention. You’ll realize that it takes a lot of energy to listen to and connect with someone’s feelings and experiences.

If you can’t let go of your device, then you could also open a travel blog or website.

We’ve discovered that travel blogs have become an excellent avenue for sharing exciting outdoor experiences. Here you can share the ‘beauty’ of solo travel with your readers. Tell them all how you’ve learned from a journey you took to South America or Asia and create a section where they can write their comments.

Conclusion

We all know that transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a well-executed plan and a strong support system. So, jumpstart your transformation and soon, you’ll reap the benefits of traveling solo.

Be brave, be authentic, learn how to talk, and come up with solutions. Know how to connect with diverse people as well. After all, don’t you feel that these traits are all you need to be successful?

 

There are plenty of things one can gain from exploring different places. The list includes gaining new friends, new experiences, and new stories.

When you start exploring new places, you get a better understanding of the people living there, including their culture, history and background.

Studies show that travelling can improve your overall health and enhance your creativity. Therefore, you need to take time out from your daily tasks, office responsibilities, hectic schedule, and everyday pressures at least once in a year. Plan a tour to a new city with an open schedule and let life present you with the numerous opportunities.

If you need more convincing, here is a list of all the benefits of travelling.

1. Improves Social and Communication Skills.

One of the main benefits of travelling, especially to areas where your native language is not widely used, is that you learn how to communicate better with other people. Brushing up your knowledge on the most commonly used phrases or questions tourists ask can help you reach out to and relate better with the locals.

2. Ensures Peace of Mind.

We all have stress and tension in our lives. Travelling forces us to temporarily disconnect from our normal routine, helping us appreciate the people and things we have around. As per a famous saying “we never know what we have until we lose it.”

3. Helps You Get Original and Creative Thoughts.

It is believed that if someone gets out of their comfort zone, the mind gets more creative. To develop new neural connections that trigger original and creative thoughts, you must explore new places and break out of your daily routine.

4. Broadens Your Horizons.

Travelling helps you connect with different people from different cultures. This gives you the opportunity to see issues and daily life challenges from a different angle.

5. Enhances Your Tolerance for Uncertainty.

While travelling, you will find yourself stuck in situations where things don’t always go as planned. Such situations will help you learn to cope with the uncertainties in life.

6. Boosts Up your Confidence.

Being in a place where you do not know anyone will assist you to gain confidence and presence of mind. You will develop the ability to cope with obstacles, which will make you a confident person.

7. Gets You Real-life Education.

Meeting different people from vast cultures and societies provides an education that is impossible to get in a traditional school, college or a university. There is no substitute for the real thing.

8. Creates Memories for a Lifetime.

If you travel with friends and family members, traveling helps you build stronger bonds and make memories. You can also save memories of a lifetime by creating photo albums or sharing photos in social media.

9. Helps You Have Fun.

No matter how young or old you are, there is always a time when the child in you wants to have some fun. When you travel, you do not care what you do at all and you can just break free from the norm.

10. Aids you Get to Know Yourself.

While travelling, you might find yourself stuck in situations you won’t normally experience in your daily life. This can help you understand yourself and how you react to such circumstances, preparing you for future similar situations.

Although travelling offers many benefits, it also has some disadvantages if not planned carefully. If you are a patient and taking medication for a disease, do not forget to carry your medication. Keeping jet lag pills handy saves you from unnecessary discomfort.

Those susceptible to allergies should carry allergy medication. Plan your tour in advance, prepare a checklist to keep yourself healthy while traveling, and pack important items before you travel.

Travelling is good for the health so decide a place now and pack your bags. Remember, you only live once, so start travelling to different places and get some life-altering experiences.

When life is shaking us up and we’re feeling stressed … it can be tough to feel resilient.

Resilience helps us to deal with the chaos and overwhelm … but how to we create it when we feel like we’re underwater?

The first step is to remove things that are adding unnecessary stress. The second step is to do things that help us feel replenished.

Those two steps won’t get us all the way to full resilience, but they’re a huge huge start.

Remove Extra Stress…

Some stress is inevitable — wishing for a life where we feel zero stress is just going to add more stress.

But if we are flooded with stress, removing some of it can help us to clear the space to create even more resilience. If we don’t remove the extra stress, we’ll never do the things we need to take care of ourselves, or to train our minds to be more resilient.

So removing unnecessary stress is the first step.

Some examples:

  • If you’re drinking a lot, reduce down to 1-2 glasses of wine a night. Zero might be even better for some, but it’s useless to ask someone to quit alcohol when they’re flooded with stress.
  • Similarly, reducing smoking or other narcotics or drugs would be a big help.
  • If you’re working late into the night, creating a stopping point earlier would be a big help, if possible.
  • Cut back on your workload a bit, if you’re able to. Delegate the ones you can. Create a to-do list and prioritize the ones you can’t delegate.
  • Stop saying yes to everything, and take fewer meetings. Don’t be afraid to turn down excess workload as well.
  • If you’re fighting a lot with someone, refrain for a bit. Take a breather and let yourself settle.
  • If you’re watching things or playing games late into the night and getting little sleep, cut back on that.
  • If you’re watching news or reading things online that really get you angry, stop that for awhile.
  • Cut out social media if that gets you anxious.

And so on.

Removing these stressors will help you catch your breath.

…Then replenish yourself.

I don’t mean that you have to take a spa weekend (though that would be great!) … I mean doing little things that help you feel more recharged and settled.

These things fill you up, so that you can better take on the world.

For example:

  • Go for walks out in nature.
  • Create space for reading, having tea, taking a bath, journaling.
  • Talk with someone regularly, in person or over the phone.
  • Take naps.
  • Get better sleep.
  • Take a weekend off.
  • Get some sunshine, if there’s any where you are.
  • Take moments of stillness and deep breathing during your day.

These little things can make a huge difference.

You won’t get all the way to resilience with these two steps — but you’ll have given yourself what you need to take the further steps of shifting your thinking patterns and practicing resilience.

Take a minute to think about how much information you process every day. If you’re like me and a lot of other people, you get a lot of your news on the Internet, and you also read a lot of blogs. You might also read books and magazines and newspapers. You probably also watch a lot of TV, where you get entertainment and news. You might watch a lot of movies and listen to the radio on your way to work.

At work, you might get memos and emails and a billion other pieces of information coming at you. You might be a part of an online forum, or social site, or newsgroup, or mailing list (or several!).

It’s information overload.

Our brains are not made to process this much information. We can do it, but it gives us a lot of stress, and we cannot think about any of the information long enough for it to give us real value. We are in the middle of a vast river of information, and it just flows by us constantly.

And then there’s all the time we spend on all this media.

Take a minute to think about how much time you spend online (typically a few hours), watching TV (typically a few more hours), and reading all the other stuff mentioned above (another hour or two). Now think about how many goals you could accomplish if you cut those activities out of your life. The time you would gain would be tremendous.

So what do you do about it? Sometimes it’s good to get drastic. Try a media fast. But is it even possible?

Yes, it is. Here are some ideas:

  • If you’re feeling bold, cut out everything for a week. Well, everything that isn’t completely essential — you might need things like email for work, but can you really say that reading your blogs is essential? Is TV essential? Most likely not. Cut it out and see if you can make it a week.
  • Fast for a day. Can’t hack a week? Try one day. Cutting all Internet, TV, radio, and reading (other than fiction) for a day would be pretty drastic for most of us. See if you can last.
  • Fast on specific media, and take turns. Instead of cutting out everything, try cutting out only TV for a week. Then try cutting out newspapers and magazines. Then … if you dare … try cutting out your blogs. Then your favorite websites.
  • When you fast, work on specific goals. Don’t replace one media with another, or with another time-waster. Have a goal that you’d like to accomplish for that day, or week. See if you can use the time you’d normally spend on media to accomplish actions that further your goals.
  • If you’re not sold, track your time. Try logging your time spent on media for one day, without actually cutting back. Add it up in a spreadsheet at the end of the day. See how many minutes you devote to each type of media. It might be an eye-opener.
  • Once your fast is over, re-think your media intake. You may discover that cutting out TV, for example, wasn’t as hard as you thought, and that you were able to get a lot done. Maybe you want to stay off TV for good, or at least cut back on it drastically. Instead of launching right back into your old media habits, use your media more thoughtfully from now on. See if you can live with less, and work on your personal goals more.

Imagine the peace of mind that could come from shutting off the river of information that comes at you daily. Imagine the focus you could find without all the distractions.

Imagine that your life can be changed for the better with this one little edit. It may seem difficult to quit an addition, but don’t you think it might be worth it? At least give it a try.

It can be easy to lapse into a predictable routine at the weekend, especially if you’re on a strict budget.

However, there are plenty of fun things to do on weekends! Here are examples of activities to liven up your free time. They are cheap, fun, and entertaining, so give them a go!

1. Go For a Walk: brisk walk is healthy and can be a fascinating pursuit.

2. Dance: Turn on the music, or stick on your earphones, and dance away to your favourite songs.

3. Join a Film or Book Club: Most film or literature fans will be able to find a weekly club. Here you’ll be able to meet like-minded people and discuss your hobby.

4. Visit Friends: Organize to meet with friends and spend the day talking and having fun.

5. Volunteer Work: Consider doing some volunteer work for a charity. As experience it can go on your CV, can introduce you to new people, and provide a welcome feel-good factor.

6. Bake some bread or cake using online recipes from YouTube or food channels on TV.

7. Netflix and chill: Netflix.com is a very cheap online streaming video service. Sign up to watch amazing shows such as Breaking Bad and Arrested Development.

8. As an alternative to Netflix, you can watch Free Films on YouTube: Typing “Full Movie” into a YouTube search brings up dozens of free films to watch. Check Rotten Tomatoes to gauge if they’re any good.

9. Go On a YouTube Marathon: It’s an amazing resource for fun and creative videos; go on a wild search for the funniest videos you can find.

10. Blog: If you want to write digitally you can start a blog (free on sites like WordPress) and connect with the world.

11. Have a Board Game Day: Want a break from the internet? Try these classics: Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Chess, Risk, Cluedo, Checkers, Battleship, or Snakes and Ladders.

12. Listen to Podcasts: Podcasts can be entertaining and informative at the same time. It is a free and accessible form of entertainment as it can be accessed anywhere using just your device.

13. Read: Reading is a great accompaniment to your life. Head to your local library for classics. You can search the internet for free books or ask your friends to recommend books to you.

14. Learn a Foreign Language: Nothing is stopping you from taking up French, Japanese, Italian etc. A foreign language can come handy, you just an never tell when.

15. Take an Online Course: You can learn anything you like at Coursera and Teachable. Just explore all the skills or interesting things you’d like to learn more about and take one of those courses.

As humans, occasional retreats are necessary because that is how we get rest, reignite our fire and bounce back with energy to continue on the journey to efficiency and productivity.

However, we sometimes get so engrossed with life and work and personal issues that we refuse to pay attention to our own need to take a break and do nothing but rest and allow your body and mind heal.

So instead, our body and mind revolts and breaks down, screaming and letting us know they need a break.

How do you know you should take a break?

Simple.

When you begin to experience any of the 8 signs below, you should take a break.

1. You’re watching hours and hours of pet videos at the office during work hours.

Seriously. Maybe it’s cats. Maybe it’s reruns of Bridgerton . Maybe it’s random YouTube videos. The point is, you are no longer focused on your work. What you do seem to care about though, is how to pass the time.

2. You make careless mistakes that shouldn’t have happened.

When you stop caring, you tend to make careless mistakes. You accidentally drop your purse into the trash can at a restaurant. Your emails suddenly contain embarrassing typos. You look like a confused deer when you’re asked for your opinion in a meeting because you weren’t paying attention the whole time. You call a coworker by the wrong name because your brain cannot process their real name.

3. You’re emotionally overwhelmed and sometimes, you cry for no reason.

You’re upset, irritated, angry, frustrated, or sad over what would normally be a small issue. This happens to almost everyone. If you find yourself breaking down emotionally, that might be a good time to consider a break. Maybe it means walking outside for 30 minutes. Maybe it means buying a one-way ticket to Hawaii to lay on the beach and bask in the sun. Maybe it means driving to a resort nearby for a weekend. Take a deep breath, collect yourself, and consider taking a break.

4. You’re always exhausted.

Feeling tired for a day? That’s absolutely normal. Feeling tired for an entire month? That’s definitely not normal. Remember to get enough sleep and to take care of yourself. While it’s great to be hyper productive for a short period of time, it’s usually not worth it in the long term. Pace yourself.

5. You hate waking up for work

The alarm goes off and the first thing you think is “I really don’t want to go to work.” You no longer feel inspired by the company mission. You feel like you can’t make an impact anymore. You feel like you’re going through the motions. It’s time for you to step away. Take a moment for yourself. When you remove yourself from the situation, you allow yourself to think more clearly and to get a fresh perspective on what the next step should be.

6. You’re having trouble falling asleep

You have too much on your mind — that next project, that big deadline, that promotion you’ve always wanted, that coworker who seems like they can’t stand you. If you’re starting to lose sleep over work, it’s time to take a break. If you don’t take the break, the lack of sleep will start to hurt your health and your passion, energy, and focus will start to fade.

7. You’re getting physically sick a lot.

If you’re under a lot of stress, not sleeping well, and working crazy amounts of hours, your immune system is probably under a lot of duress and you’ll likely get sick quite often. Don’t let your physical health go sideways — take some time off and go on a break!

8. You’re dreaming of quitting work with no plan in place

You’ve romanticized the idea of quitting in your head. You have no back-up plan or next steps in place. It’s a clear sign that you’re simply trying to get away. Instead of making a quick decision with huge implications, it may be best to take a short break to see if that’s what you truly want.

If you’re seeing these signs, take a moment, take a step back, and take a break — you’ll be better for it.

Even though many assign a portion of their success to waking up early, many find it difficult to make the switch. While most people know what needs to happen to change their life, they find then difficult to implement consistently. To understand how to wake up early, you need to tap into the wisdom of those already doing it.

Here are the 6 things early risers do:

1. Stop Procrastinating

The first thing you need to do when you want to learn how to wake up early is to go to sleep earlier. You will find it much easier to wake up when you are getting the proper amount of sleep. Set a bedtime that allows you to get 8-hours of sleep and hold yourself accountable.

The problem most of you will have at first is how tired you will feel. If you are someone who goes to sleep after midnight, waking up by 6 a.m. will not be easy. The reason you need to push through that initial difficulty is that you are going to be very tired at the end of the day. Realistically, you probably would fall asleep at your desk or doze off on your lunch break. Either way, waking up early no matter how you feel will motivate you to go sleep at the proper time that night.

Force yourself to wake up early no matter what time you went to sleep. You are going to promise yourself you will go to bed at the right time.

2. Pace Yourself

If you want to start waking up a couple of hours earlier each day, you may not be able to make that change all at once. It stands to reason the more drastic the shift, the more difficult it will be.

So, instead of trying to adjust your sleep pattern by several hours, start in 15-minute or 30-minute intervals. If you wake up 30 minutes earlier each week, you will be a morning person by the end of the month. This may feel like you are drawing out your goal but in reality, you are accomplishing it much quicker than most. Most people who are naturally night owls find it difficult to completely change their sleep habits overnight.

3. Watch Your Lighting Before Bedtime

Light reduces your body’s production of the sleep-inducing melatonin hormone. In practical terms, your body naturally wants to be awake when the sun is up and go to sleep when the sun is down. This is called your circadian rhythm.

In the technology-driven world we currently live in, you likely look at a screen or two before bed. Studies show television and phone screens trick your body into thinking the sun is up. As a result, your body starts producing less melatonin. To help you fall asleep, you should stop looking at screens at least an hour before bed.

This can also mean that if you want to wake up before the sun, looking at your screen when you wake up can help you to stay awake.

4. Make It Worth Your Time

Have you ever woken up early but went back to sleep because you didn’t have a reason to stay up? To put it another way, have you ever fallen asleep because you didn’t have anything better to do?

If you want to be excited about going to sleep and waking up early, then you need to give yourself a reason to be excited. You can accomplish this by listing the three things you want to accomplish the next morning. Notice I said “want” and not “need” to accomplish. You don’t want to be dragging yourself into the next morning kicking and screaming.

Your list should not only include what you want to accomplish but also why you want to accomplish it.

5. Avoid Binging

There is a difference between sleeping and getting a good night’s sleep. Sure, you can drink alcohol and fall asleep, but you will not be getting quality rest. You will wake up feeling as though you slept for only a couple hours.

It is best to stop drinking at least 4 hours before bedtime. Binge drinking is known to impact your sleep-inducing melatonin hormone levels for up to a week. The same holds true with eating a large meal right before bed. It is not that your body can’t process food and sleep at the same time. The main concern has more to do with the possibility of indigestion or heartburn than anything else.

If you find yourself dealing with either of these symptoms, then you may want to stop eating at least two hours before bed.

6. Get the Blood Flowing

Your first movement is to get out of bed. To help you get out of bed, have your alarm far enough away that you need to get up and turn it off. Before you allow yourself to contemplate going back to sleep, take a moment, and do 10 push-ups or 10 jumping jacks. Think of each exercise as you taking one step further from being able to go back to sleep.

You decide for yourself how you want to get your blood flowing. Whether you want to go on a walk, workout at the gym, or do something at home, make sure you are scheduling time to exercise.

Final Thoughts

The key to understanding how to wake up early is to recognize that it is heavily driven by the actions you take the night before. You will wake up early if you go to bed at a good time and get the proper amount of sleep.

By taking the time to prepare yourself both mentally and physically each night, you can ensure you are positioned for success the next morning. Once you have taken the proper actions the night before, make sure you use that momentum to start your day, on time.

The goal is to make the actions you want to take as easy as possible. The key to changing your life is to discover a way to have the wind at your back, going in the direction you want.