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Creating the perfect spa atmosphere in your home is all about incorporating design elements that give the space a luxury feel, as well as using ‘spa’ materials to get the desired effect. Whether you want to transform your bathroom into a heavenly retreat or you simply want to make a few tweaks to make it more inviting, the following tips will help you enjoy that spa-like experience daily.

Clear Out the Clutter in Your Bathroom

Bathroom cabinets that are overcrowded with toiletries and other things will not give your space a relaxing feel. To declutter your space, start by getting rid of any items that are outdated or have not been used in a long time. Also, store any items that you don’t regularly use inside cabinets, drawers, or baskets so that they’re out of sight. The counter space should be for those items that you use every day and hopefully, this is only a couple of products at most. Everything else should be properly tucked away out of sight.

Make It Easier to Store Items

Another way to create a spa-like atmosphere in your bathroom is to incorporate more storage options. This includes putting in cabinets to store your hair spray, shampoo, or lotion among other things. You’ll also want to install hooks and shelves to organise your belongings. To make things easier, keep all the similar items in one place. You may also create categories by separating the items into small containers.

Include Natural Elements in Your Décor

One of the simplest ways to get your bathroom to feel like a spa is to bring in some natural décor to the space. Consider placing some potted indoor plants on the floor, the countertops, as well as other bathroom, surfaces for a more natural appearance. Alternatively, you may try suspending your potted plants from the ceiling instead. Make sure that you choose plants that will flourish in humid conditions because that’s what your bathroom is like.

Upgrade Your Toiletry

Decorative elements, such as visually pleasant bath items that match in with your colour theme, may help to reinforce the spa atmosphere. If your favourite items do not come in spa-worthy containers, try decanting your hand soap, full-size shampoo, and conditioner into attractive bottles to give them a more luxurious appearance. Clear glass jars are ideal for storing goods such as sponges, cotton rounds, and cotton balls.

Arrange your items on a tray next to the sink to give your vanity area a more elegant touch.

Create a Sense of Tranquility with Colors

Soft and subdued colours are perfect for creating a relaxing atmosphere. Consider avoiding high-contrast colour combinations like black and white or blue and orange when designing your bathroom. These combinations might look aggressive and stimulating rather than tranquil and relaxing. Nature-inspired shades such as seafoam green and sky blue may be used with warm, earthy neutrals to create a serene colour scheme that would look right at home in an expensive spa.

 

The Caribbean is one of the best vacation destinations on the planet for outdoor activities and watersports. Everywhere you turn in this beautiful corner of the world there are top quality camps and clinics dedicated to everything from open water swimming to kite surfing.

For water sports fans, a Caribbean vacation is a perfect opportunity to really get to grips with your passion.

So if you are packing your bags and heading off on a Caribbean cruise in 2022, check out these top camps and clinics that you can’t afford to miss.

Odyssey Expeditions

Odyssey Expeditions, based out of Tarpon Springs in Florida, runs a great series of camps that operate in the British Virgin Islands every summer. More than just a sports clinic, the kids live together and work together, learning a huge range of skills and abilities. The camps themselves focus on a variety of activities, including swimming, scuba diving, sailing, and hiking, but the real value is the softer social skills students learn as they interact with each other throughout the courses.

Swimtrek

With swimming tours in both the British Virgin Islands and St Kitts and Nevis, Swimtrek is one of the Caribbean’s most reputable and exciting swimming camps. Over the course of a week, you’ll get a unique perspective on these gorgeous paradise islands, paddling your way through warm, calm, crystal-clear water and getting to see a completely different side of the Caribbean. Swimming up to 6km per day, you can choose from the stunning white sand beaches of the British Virgin Islands or the more dramatic volcanic landscapes of St Kitts and Nevis, but whichever you choose you’ll discover an unforgettable experience.

15 Knots Kiteboarding

Based out of San Juan in Puerto Rico, 15 Knots Kiteboarding offers a wonderfully hassle-free summer camp experience – you don’t even need to bring your passport! With some of the friendliest instructors around, 15 Knots are dedicated to making kitesurfing simple and accessible at every level, from complete beginner to seasoned veteran. Their long-running Discovery Course is regarded as one of the premier kiteboarding clinics in the Caribbean. Best of all, they are located on La Plage, one of San Juan’s most beautiful spots, and the ideal location to chill out after a hard day’s boarding with a cool, refreshing drink.

Broadreach Sailing Camp

Aimed at middle school kids, Broadreach Sailing Camp operates throughout the Leeward and Windward Islands, providing educational, adventurous, and above all fun two-week experiences for students. Their main offer is sailing, but they also provide a number of snorkelling schools as well. Most importantly, they go above and beyond the usual summer camp experience, giving their kids a complete, holistic package that helps them be more independent, understand more about the world they live in, and develop leadership skills.

Sail Caribbean

Sail Caribbean has been running camps in the British Virgin Islands for over 30 years, taking on students from as young as 11 to as old as 22. Far more than just a sailing school, they combine practical learning with environmental awareness, as well as offering more advanced courses that include navigation, docking, boat safety, and passage-making.

For anyone interested in improving their skills and discovering exciting adventures in one of the most beautiful places in the world, then a summer camp or clinic in the Caribbean might just be the best vacation you ever take!

There was a time when people shied away from cosmetic treatments due to insufficient knowledge about them. But today, things are different. Information about all the treatments is readily available on the internet. On top of it, cosmetic treatments have become extremely affordable and safe today. These cosmetic treatments are very popular amongst the masses.

One such really popular, affordable, and safe solution is PRP hair treatment. It is extremely effective against hair loss. 

What is PRP?

PRP stands for Platelet Rich Plasma. PRP treatment is used to accelerate the healing process in various parts of the body. As you would rightly guess, the main component of this treatment is platelets. Your platelets!

To the unversed, platelets are one of the core components of blood and play a very important role in our human body. They are the first responders to our body’s wounds. They travel through the bloodstream to the wounded area, stop the bleeding and promote healing.

Now let us come back to PRP. Its theory is pretty straightforward. When concentrated platelets are extracted from your blood and injected into the damaged areas(your scalp in this case), it would promote fast healing in that region. 

To extract concentrated platelets from your blood, medical professionals first draw blood from your body and add it to a centrifuge machine. The centrifuge spins at rapid speed and separates the components of your blood. They then extract only the platelets and administer them to the patient. 

Initially, this treatment was extremely popular and was widely used on sportspersons for fast healing. But over time, it has cemented a place in the cosmetic industry too. Dermatologists suggest this as the primary treatment for patients with male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia).

What happens during the treatment?

On the day of your appointment, the blood is drawn from your arm (mostly). Then as you wait, the concentrated platelets are extracted from your blood to prepare the PRP injection. Then the dermatologist administers the injection to the marked areas on your scalp. Usually, the platelets are injected by leaving a gap of half-inch between each injection site. Based on the desired results, several sessions might be required.

Usually, the pain associated with PRP injections is not much, but repeated injections near the same area on the scalp can cause some irritation and discomfort. If needed, the patient can ask the dermatologist for a local anaesthetic to numb the pain. Mostly, it would be in the form of a cream applied to the treated area before administering the injection. 

How effective is PRP treatment?

You must understand that PRP is not a miracle cure for hair loss. Multiple PRP sessions are required over a period of time to reverse the hair loss. The same is the case for any other treatment for hair loss.

The number of sessions that you need depends on two factors. 

  • The rate of hair loss in the untreated region 
  • The effectiveness of the first session. 

Based on these two factors, your dermatologist will suggest the frequency and overall duration of the injection.

Who is best suited for this treatment?

Here are the ideal candidates for PRP hair treatment – 

  • The treatment is best suited for those suffering from male/female pattern baldness. This is a hereditary condition that has affected a large portion of people. 
  • It can be effective for people who have suffered hair loss due to high-stress levels. This condition can be easily treated as it is not chronic.
  • It is perfect for those who are experiencing hair thinning or at the initial stages of balding but is not completely bald yet. PRP treatment would aid in growing the hair from follicles that are still functioning, and it is also used to strengthen the hair.
  • People of all age groups (18 – 72 years) can be great candidates for PRP treatment.

Are there any side effects?

The beauty of PRP treatment is that it uses components that are extracted from your own blood. This means there are way fewer risks than other treatments. However, some rare and minor side effects do happen, which go away on their own after some time. Here are they – 

  • Scalp tenderness
  • Headache
  • Temporary bleeding in the treated area
  • Mild pain in the injected area
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Conclusion

As you have seen in this post, PRP Is undoubtedly one of the most promising treatments for those suffering from hair loss. There are hardly any side effects, and the downtime is also minimal. A head full of hair is not tough to get anymore when you undergo this procedure from the right dermatologist. The right dermatologist can ensure that you achieve your desired results in a minimum time. 

From tackling environmental concerns as product differentiators to fashion brands implementing sustainability as an industrial practice, Sustainable Fashion has come a long way. Slow Fashion is a popular, effective alternative to fast Fashion. There are numerous concepts in the sustainable fashion world, and it’s easy to become confused when some of them seem to blend. So, what exactly is ‘slow fashion,’ and how does it vary from sustainable Fashion?

What is Slow Fashion?

Fast Fashion is the opposite of slow Fashion and entails a fashion awareness and approach that considers the processes and resources needed to make garments. It promotes the buying of higher-quality garments that will last longer and the ethical treatment of people, animals, and the environment. It’s deliberate, intentional, and all-encompassing. It’s also a case for reining in overproduction, overcomplicated supply chains, and mindless consumption.

Slow Fashion/ ethical Fashion have a lot in common. They are movements that abide by the same basic principles. Slow Fashion differs from fast Fashion in that it focuses on minimizing consumption and production.

Start of Slow Fashion

Since the last decade, a wave of change has spread through the fashion industry. A growing number of brands are rejecting fast fashion principles in favor of a more sustainable approach to clothing production. Kate Fletcher coined the term “slow fashion” in a 2007 article published in The Ecologist, in which she compared the eco / sustainable/ethical fashion industry to the slow food movement.

In contrast to the fast-fashion model, slow Fashion emerged around 20 years ago, resulting in cheaper clothes and shorter trend cycles. With brands like H&M burning tons and tons of unsold garments each year, despite continued sustainability efforts to close the fashion cycle, it’s clear that this ideology is an essential part of the movement as a whole.

Essential Characteristics of Slow Fashion Brands

The values that comprise the Slow Fashion movement posit a complete overhaul of consumption and production, from high-end to small-scale designers. You can make a change by opting for a Sustainable Wedding dress at your wedding.

This approach has inspired many changes, most notably in clothing production and consumption habits. Slow Fashion has gained prominence in recent years as consumers have become more aware of the importance of higher sustainability and ethical standards.

  • Made of high-quality, eco-friendly materials such as linen
  • Frequently sold in smaller (local) shops rather than large chain stores.
  • Garments are sourced, manufactured, and sold locally.
  • Garments are more classic than trendy.
  • Frequently made-to-order to reduce wasteful production.
  • Few, different styles per collection, released twice or no more than three times each year, or a lasting seasonless collection

What is the difference between Sustainable / Ethical Fashion?

There appear to be many misunderstandings about the differences between slow, ethical, and sustainable Fashion. This is understandable given the similarities; sustainable Fashion cannot be sustainable without being ethical, and slow Fashion cannot be sustainable.

Their focus is what distinguishes them. Ethical Fashion is often concerned with human and animal rights, whereas sustainable Fashion is frequently worried about environmental impact. While slow, ethical, and sustainable Fashion all refer to aspirational goals such as reconsidering our relationship with clothing, slow Fashion combines a brand’s practices with a customer’s shopping habits. The movement seeks to establish an industry that benefits the planet and all people.

How can you practice Slow Fashion?

Think before you buy: Begin by resisting the impulse to buy something on the spur of the moment. Before putting on new shoes, consider your existing wardrobe before purchasing a product that will not match anything you own. When you’re ready to buy anything new, consider checking out secondhand apps or thrift stores first.

Watch out for expert guides: Look out for expert guides about various clothing brands that are producing ethical & sustainable, ethical shoes, affordable (Ethical) clothing brands, and organic clothing brands.

Do Research: If you come across a new slow fashion brand, do your homework and make sure you’re investing your money wisely. Examine the brand’s website for details on the design process. Is it long-term, slow, and ethical for all parties? Is the manufacturing process and place of the brand disclosed? What number of collections does the brand release in a year? Answering such questions will reveal whether a company follows through on its promises. Still in doubt? Send an email to the brand or reach out on social media.

Create a new wardrobe: This wardrobe method needs you, to be honest about what clothing is appropriate for your lifestyle. A capsule wardrobe is made up of a few items. The garments must be both functional and fashionable.

Some Slow Fashion Brands

If you’re looking for some slow fashion items, these slow fashion brands use fair practices for their environmental, ethical, and animal impacts and are great places to start:

OhSevenDays

Megan Mummery, an Australian-Canadian, founded OhSevenDays to encourage slow Fashion and the “power of circularity.” Based in Istanbul, the brand repurposes end-of-roll fabrics from the city’s garment factories to create sharp, everyday womenswear, both wearable and ethical. Essentially, it creates slow Fashion from the byproducts of fast Fashion. OhSevenDays clothing is available in all sizes, as well as custom sizing.

TWOTHIRDS

TWOTHIRDS is a company for people who are aware of the great importance of our oceans but also desire style and quality. They evaluate how many pieces they will sell from one product using their Pre-Order system: they, therefore, produce what they sell, which is yet another fantastic slow fashion approach.

Unspun

Unspun, an American brand that is working to create a world that reduces the world’s carbon emissions by 1% through a zero-inventory, low-waste process. Its product sizing is entirely adjustable, so you can always find the perfect fit.

The R Collective

Womenswear designs by The R Collective are created by reusing rescued excess materials from well-known luxury brands and manufacturers. The company makes extensive use of environmentally friendly materials, reducing the number of chemicals, water, and wastewater used in the production. It also makes sure that its supply chain pays a living wage.

Conclusion

While slow Fashion is gaining popularity, there is still a long way to go. To support the slow fashion movement, we must join a growing community looking beyond the “attraction” of fast Fashion’s low cost as well as high turnover. We can remain mindful of what a brand truly represents by streamlining our wardrobes and focusing on quality rather than quantity.

 

Leather bags have been around for centuries and have withstood the test of time. They’re a timeless accessory that many people love to wear. Leather items are known for their durability, but it’s hard to tell the difference between real and synthetic leather.

If you’re looking for quality leather bags, you’ve already made a wise choice. Leather bags are durable and fashionable. They’ll last you for many years, and they’ll only look better as the years go by.

If you find a great leather bag, you’ll want to buy it. But how can you be sure you’re buying a genuine leather bag? The last thing you want is to buy a leather bag that isn’t actually leather. Here are a few tips for buying genuine leather bags.

If you’re in the market for a new bag and want to ensure you’re getting the real thing, this guide is for you. The guide is pretty straightforward, it tells you what you need to look for when you are buying a leather bag. For example, it advises you to go for natural leather, the quality and durability of the leather, the stitching, and if it has metal or plastic buckles.

How to Buy Genuine Leather Bags

Brand

Genuine leather is the most expensive leather available. It consists of full-grain leather hides that have been tanned using natural ingredients (as opposed to man-made chemicals) and then aniline-dyed. As a result, it is the softest of all leathers and can be easily damaged by water.

Genuine leather is also the most natural as it is tanned without fillers, chemicals, or surface coatings. And as a result, genuine leather is not only stronger but also more breathable than synthetic and coated leathers. Ensure you buy from authentic brands alone. Only purchase bags from reputable brands, like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, or Taschen für männer

Price

Because of the many fake leather bags out there, it is important to be able to tell the difference between real and fake leather bags. There are a few things you should check to make sure that you are buying real leather bags. First of all, check the price. Genuine leather bags cost a lot more than the fake ones, so if you are looking at a deal that is too good to be true, it probably is.

Construction and Smell

Another great way to check the quality of the leather is by touching the bag. High-quality leather has soft touch. It’s very important to check the material because most sellers try to sell poor quality leather as genuine leather.

If you have already bought a leather bag, but you’re not sure it’s genuine, you can take a look at the stitching. High-quality leather bags have solid stitching, while poor-quality ones have loose stitches. The most important thing is to learn how to distinguish genuine leather from poor-quality materials. Once you know the difference, you will be able to find a beautiful and high-quality leather bag.

Genuine leather is one of the most popular materials used to make bags and other accessories. Every year, millions of leather bags are sold, and the market is growing. Start with the smell. Poor quality leather doesn’t smell like genuine leather. Genuine leather has a specific smell that you can’t miss, and you will love it.

 

 

 

Namaskar or the Surya Namaskar, this form of exercise was introduced in ancient times to salute the sun, which plays an integral part in supporting life on this planet. Since the sun is the source of energy, this yoga asana is a powerful way to awaken your body, mind and soul.

If you are too busy to exercise or practise yoga, simply perform this namaskar exercise that is equivalent to a workout session and yoga practice. The benefits of namaskar are many as it is believed to activate each part of the body, including the mind. 

The Surya namaskar comprises 12 poses, each holding a special significance and benefit to the body. 

  1. The prayer pose: This pose can be done in an upright position by holding your hands in a prayer form as you inhale and exhale deeply. This position relaxes the nervous system, helps maintain the body balance and aids in relieving stress and anxiety.
  2. The raised arms pose: This position requires lifting your hands while joining your palms and bending slightly backwards while keeping your feet close and your back straight. This pose stretches and tones the abdominal muscles, aids digestion, reduces back pain and lowers asthma.
  3. Standing forward bend pose: This position requires you to touch your heels with your fingers without bending your knees and spine. This pose helps cure insomnia, headache, anxiety and stress.
  4. The lunge pose: This position requires you to bend your knees slightly and rest your palms on the floor, in line with your feet. Your right knee should be on the right of your chest, while your left leg should be stretched out at the back. This pose increases lung capacity and relieves indigestion and constipation.
  5. Plank pose: This pose needs no introduction. All you need to do is position yourself in a plank pose while keeping your elbows and knees straight. This pose keeps your mind calm and improves posture.
  6. Eight limbed pose: Bring your knees on the floor, rest your chin on the floor, your hips raised slightly, your posterior in the air and your arms on the side of your chest. This pose increases flexibility and relieves stress.
  7. The cobra pose: Lie flat on the ground, and with the support of your arms, raise your body in the air, like a cobra, with your pelvic region touching the ground. This pose improves flexibility and mood.
  8. Downward facing dog: As you’re standing straight, try bending forward without bending your knees and back and touching the ground with your palms. This pose calms the nerves, relieves menopause symptoms and increases blood circulation.
  9. High lunge pose: This pose is similar to the lunge pose, with a better stretch and aids digestion and relieves constipation.
  10. Standing forward bend: Once again, you come back in the standing forward turn pose as you reach towards the final steps of this exercise.
  11. Raised arms pose: Get back into the extended arms pose again while practising deep breathing.
  12. Prayer pose: Conclude this namaskar by positioning yourself in the first pose, which is the prayer pose.

Now that you know the benefits of the namaskar, you can start doing it every morning to feel rejuvenated throughout the day.

 

No matter if you are a newbie bibliophile or an avid reader, a good book recommendation is a bonus for everyone. Among all the genres, crime books take the cake. There is some connectivity with the crime thrillers that strike the chord in the reader. The gripping storyline, plot twists, and sudden turns of the events keep the readers glued to the story and make them think of possible routes to the ending of the story. This genre is much more engaging. No wonder it’s growing in popularity among the new age readers.

Although each individual has their own admired types of stories, some love tragic and dark crime thrillers, some love more mellow stories and some love to have a comic touch to their chosen novels. Among all these categories, here I have some books that have touched many hearts with their fabulous narrations, plots and storytelling.

Here are a few of my favourites –

The Never Game | Top 5 Crime Books By International Authors

1) The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

About the book:

Three people are kidnapped across California. Sophie is locked inside a derelict warehouse. Henry is abandoned in remote woodland. Elizabeth is trapped inside a sinking ship. They are alive, but don’t have much time to live…
Only one man can save them: unique investigator Colter Shaw. He’s an expert tracker with a forensic mind, but this will be a test even for him.

Because this killer isn’t following the rules; he’s changing them. One murder at a time…

With a lot of twists and turns of events this story is completely unputdownable. Deaver does a great job creating the storyline and going along with the flow, leaving the readers in question.

The Windsor Knot | Top 5 Crime Books By International Authors | Cherry On Top blog

2) The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett

About the book:
“[A] pitch-perfect murder mystery… If The Crown were crossed with Miss Marple…, the result would probably be something like this charming whodunnit.” – Ruth Ware, author of One by One

The first book in a highly original and delightfully clever crime series in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves crimes while carrying out her royal duties.

It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted by the shocking and untimely death of a guest in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene leads some to think the young Russian pianist strangled himself, yet a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play. When they begin to question the Household’s most loyal servants, Her Majesty knows they’re looking in the wrong place.

For the Queen has been living an extraordinary double life ever since her teenage years as “Lilibet.” Away from the public eye and unbeknownst to her closest friends and advisers, she has the most brilliant skill for solving crimes. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian officer recently appointed to the Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen discreetly begins making inquiries. As she carries out her royal duties with her usual aplomb, no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that the resolute Elizabeth won’t hesitate to use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to bring a murderer to justice.

SJ Bennett uses the wit of Her Majesty as a witty, extremely observant detective who is there to investigate a murder mystery. Set on a funny note, this is a sheer brilliance in terms of plot and storytelling.

The Woman in the Window | Top 5 Crime Books By International Authors | Cherry On Top blog

3) The Woman in The Window by A.J. Finn

About the book:

It’s been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too terrified to step outside.

Anna’s lifeline to the real world is her window, where she sits day after day, watching her neighbours. When the Russells move in, Anna is instantly drawn to them. A picture-perfect family of three, they are an echo of the life that was once hers.

But one evening, a frenzied scream rips across the silence and Anna witnesses something no one was supposed to see. Now she must do everything she can to uncover the truth about what really happened. But even if she does, will anyone believe her? And can she even trust herself?

This is another unputdownable book that is filled with elegant, mind-boggling twists written in a beautiful manner. A must-read for sure.

The Guest List | Top 5 Crime Books By International Authors | Cherry On Top blog

4) The Guest List by Lucy Foley

About the book:

On a remote island, guests gather for the wedding of the year, the marriage of Jules Keegan.

The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.

All have a secret. All have a motive.

This is one of the few books that you can visualize while reading. Great plot, praise-worthy storytelling and a wonderful setting. All works for a great read in the crime genre.

The Silent House | Top 5 Crime Books By International Authors | Cherry On Top blog

5) The Silent House by Nell Pattison

About the book:

If someone was in your house, you know … wouldn’t you? But the hunter family are deaf, and don’t hear a thing when a shocking crime takes place in the middle of the night. Instead, they wake up to their worst nightmare: the murder of their daughter. The police call Paige Northwood to the scene to interpret for the witnesses. They’re in shock, but Paige senses the hunters are hiding something. One by one, people from Paige’s community start to fall under suspicion. But who would kill a little girl? Was it an intruder? Or was the murderer closer to home?

The blurb itself is enough to make you pick up the book. The layered plot and sudden turn of the events make it a gripping read.

I hope you loved this little list of must-grabs. Which one is your favourite?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being stressed or anxious is not a rare feeling to have nowadays. They have been there since time immemorial but even since the pandemic broke out, the frequency and strength of stress have only increased. According to a study conducted by a Delhi-based preventive healthcare platform The Center of Healing (TCOH), 74% of Indians are suffering from stress and 88% from anxiety issues since COVID-19 hit India. Everyone’s mental health has indeed gone for a toss but the severity of rising issues of anxiety, be it moderate or extreme, is genuinely alarming. That is why I wanted to share some of the stress relief activities that are not only approved by me as an anxious person but also are backed by science.

Stress: What is it like?

Stress, as I would describe it, is a continuous feeling of exhaustion both mental and physical caused when one is overwhelmed with or cannot deal with emotional pressures. It is your body’s and your mind’s way of responding to the emotional strain.

We often use the term ‘stress‘ in the most casual ways to describe how we feel but in this way, we only trivialize the most serious aspects of it and the effects it causes to those who have it. Stress can be of two major types- Acute and Chronic. The former is when you are feeling pressurized emotionally and unable to express yourself daily and the latter is when you are living in a stressful situation with the suppressed feeling for a long time.

The chemical changes caused by stress result in some involuntary consequences including an increase in blood pressure, blood sugar and heart rate. The most common effects are nervousness, shaking, exhaustion, inability to sleep often turned into insomnia, mood swings, instability of emotions and sometimes stress can affect your hormones, if you are a woman then your menstrual cycles could get affected. Sometimes severe hair fall and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) could also be the results of being stressed.

The reason for Stress

To address stress, we need to precisely scrutinize the reasons behind it. It could be caused by a traumatic experience or just a result of a flawed lifestyle. It could be personal or work-related or both. It could also possibly be a repercussion of being in a toxic environment where you overburden yourself with irresolute emotions. Even being burnt out could be a reason too. For an instance, the reason that I am stressed all the time or I should say most of the time is because I am a very self-critical person. I judge myself way too much that sometimes I suffer from imposter syndrome. This leads to overtaxing myself and eventually being stressed and anxious.

Stress and Anxiety: How are They Related?

Coming to anxiety, well, being stressed doesn’t necessarily mean you are anxious too. Stress may or may not result in anxiety but if you have anxiety then it can assume that you are stress-ridden. Basically, all I am trying to say here is that stress and anxiety both are related to each other but it doesn’t establish a pattern of one of them being the result or reason of the other.

Anxiety, as described in Google, is an “Intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating and feeling tired may occur.” Basically, it is a fear or apprehension about what’s about to happen. Although indescribable you can compare it with nervousness or restlessness. It can happen before a big event or while taking an important decision or while thinking about you being heard by several people. In my case, it happens before a big day, or when I am too much behind my schedule, I keep judging and doubting myself. Being anxious means you have definitely been hit by stress.

Reasons to Choose Natural Ways to De-stress

Stress is not exactly as grave as it may sound. It is a part of our lives and almost all of us deal with it. In the present-day scenario, stress is inevitable as it comes along the chaotic lifestyle we have chosen for ourselves. We have the ability to treat stress ourselves in the early stage when the severity of it is mild to moderate.

There are many medical therapies, anti-depressants, stress-relievers available in the market which not only harms your body internally in the long run but also makes you dependant on the medicines. Even if it is a mild mood swing you’ll be reaching for medicines as you know they are going to work in a jiffy. But, that is totally not how you should treat stress. Some simple changes in the lifestyle and a few adopted practices can make your life simpler and happier. No medicines can make you internally happy which is the only guaranteed treatment for a stress-ridden person.

Science-backed Stress Relief Activities You Must Try

The reason why people often turn away from natural de-stress techniques is that A) they don’t have much idea, B) they are sceptical of the results, and C) they think natural remedies take too long to show effects. Busting the myths around natural stress-relievers, I am going to share in this post 13 Stress Relief Activities that are backed by science.

1. Practice Mindfulness

In simple words, mindfulness is the process of being fully aware of what you are doing and feeling. It is synonymous with being present in the moment and living each second being exclusively attentive to and focused on things that you’re doing. Believe me, it is as easy as it sounds. One gets hang of it when practised.

According to Mayo Clinic, “Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.” As true as it is, I believe we can practise mindfulness in each activity that we do on a day to day basis. For example- mindful eating where you are completely focused on the food you eat and not in the surroundings like the people who share the table with you or the TV show that you’re watching while eating, mindful journaling- where you genuinely pay attention to your thoughts and ideas without being critical or judgemental of them.

We attain ultimate peace when our mind, body and soul are aligned correctly. Mindfulness is a process that ensures they are aligned. It awakens our senses and makes us realise the importance of each moment, each breath we take, each work we do.

The next three points are how I practise mindfulness which you can try too!

Chant a Mantra or Prayer

India is a land of spirituality. The Indians have been practising chanting mantras and hymns from the bygone era. Indian culture has a lot to do with creating a healthy lifestyle and positive atmosphere which leads to eternal peace. Thus we can assume that the idea of chanting mantras had more reasons than just a religious practice. Chanting is one of the most powerful mindfulness exercises. Not only does it create a positive aura around you but also it works best in accordance with the Law of Attraction.

It is scientifically proven that repetitive motions or sounds can soothe anxiety, plus, it distracts you from the environmental interruptions and negativity.

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Meditation- One of the Most Popular Stress Relief Activities

The benefits of meditation are known to all. It helps us cope with stress and anxiety by calming down our senses. Meditation is the most popular and most celebrated way of practising mindfulness. It opens the window of self-exploration as it allows the mind to be focused on what is been happening within us and not on the external world. Meditation allows us to delve deeper into our soul and thus receiving the vibrations that are hidden inside us. That is why meditation is considered one of the most rewarding methods to ensure physical and mental well-being.

You definitely don’t need to be an expert to start meditation. There are many tutorials on meditation all over the internet but what works best for me is to close your eyes and think of the happy times, or of a person who makes you happy, or of any god your worship. You won’t be able to focus in the first but soon you will get the hang of it. Make sure you are meditating in an open space in the quietest hour of the day, preferably in the early morning.

Conscious Breathing

Many of us do breathing exercises or ‘Pranayama’ but have you ever heard of breathing consciously? Well, if not then keep reading. The term conscious breathing is quite self-explanatory. It means being completely aware of your breathing and taking control of it. Deep conscious breathing calms us down, reduces blood pressure, and relieves stress. It helps us balance our physical and mental health.

Inhaling and holding your breath for 20secs and then exhaling slowly is the key to deep breathing.

2. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Being grateful allows us to work on ourselves and improve. Counting your blessings every now and then and keeping a gratitude journal has been beneficial by many including me. Every morning, listing down the things I am grateful for helps me get mental peace as I know how lucky I am and what has been given to me by the universe and how should I use them to improve myself. A gratitude journal is just a place where you jot down your gratitudes.

It is proven to improve your mental health, give you a boost of self-esteem, bring positivity, help relieve stress and calm you down. Regular practice of gratitude journaling will fill you with immense happiness and appreciativeness.

3. Doing Morning Pages

This is a term that might sound a little alien to many. I myself have started practising morning pages very recently. I got the idea from Lavendaire’s video. As I started doing it I actually started loving the process. Basically, morning pages is a writing one or, as Lavendaire mentioned in her blog, three pages every morning. The writing should be spontaneous and not at all planned. In the morning pages, you dump all that has been going on in your head, all that has been making you hold back or making your heart heavy in a journal. It makes your mind a lot lighter and gives you vision and clarity in life. This is basically purposeless writing where you just empty your heart out on a piece of paper.

journaling for stress relief | Stress relief activities that are scientifically proven, stress relief activities at home

Morning pages might seem hard to do at first but you must not stop writing no matter how ridiculous it may read. Remember, you are writing for yourself and not for others to read. As you keep writing, you’ll get the hang of it and then you’ll start to notice the change in your overall mental health.

You may start by writing the quote you saw the other day, or about how your yesterday went, to-do lists, prayers, gratitude, books you’re enjoying reading, TV shows or web series you loved etc. Basically, anything and everything. I’ll recommend you to watch the video on the Lavendaire channel. She has discussed this in detail.

4. Include Yoga in Daily Routine

According to Wikipedia, “Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines that originated in ancient India, aimed at controlling and stilling the mind, and recognizing the detached ‘witness consciousness as untouched by the activities of the mind and mundane suffering.” Yoga is a century-old method of stretch your body scientifically which is practised to target many physical and mental problems and at the same time relaxing the mind and soul.

Practising yoga every day for at least 15-20 minutes will help you increase your fitness, calm you down, reduce neck tensions, relieve soreness, and rejuvenate you. Regular practising Yoga will increase vitality, give clarity to your thoughts so that you have a clear vision of life.

5. Spend Time in the Sun

A lot of us have to spend most of our time confined in a small space for work. Even when we are not working we hardly go out in nature. But, that is essential to keep up the balance and harmony between you and nature. We are made from nature and it is obvious that nature has all the essentials to make us content and happy in-store. Such a thing is Vitamin D. We have learnt in school about Vitamin D and how we can get it only from the Sun. Not only does it strengthens your bones or regulates your immunity but also helps with the neuromuscular functions which enable you to fight stress, anxiety, hypertension, sleeping disorders, depression and other psychiatric problems.

Spending time in the Sun, definitely not in the scorching heat but the mild Sun during the early period of the day with help you absorb the necessary Vitamin D thus taking care of any deficiency. It will automatically uplift your mood, make you feel lighter and give you a good night’s sleep.

6. Meet the People you Love 

Our body works under different mysterious substances that are commonly called hormones. Not only do they regulate our bodily functions but also our emotions. Such a hormone is Cortisol. This hormone helps control many internal concerns like blood sugar levels, blood pressure, metabolism, inflammations etc. There is an increase in the cortisol levels when a person is going through a tough mental state for example anxiety. It is scientifically established that there is a significant reduction in cortisol levels when we meet our loved ones.

Another such hormone is Dopamine which is popularly known as the ‘happy hormone’. When spiked it makes you feel happy and content. Any pleasurable experience, delightful emotion can spike up the dopamine level which in return gives you the feeling of comfort which eventually becomes a stress-reliever.

7. Stay Away from Social Media

In the current scenario when most of us are homebound, our exposure to social media as well as screentime, in general, has been increased dangerously. Too much addiction to the digital space eventually escalates the chaos of the mind and lessens the enthusiasm that is essential for a peaceful life. Days started with a small scroll through the social media handles vs the days started without that seem significantly less peaceful and productive. It overwhelms our minds and weighs down our thoughts. Also, this consumes a lot of our time and positive energy making us procrastinate.

Staying away from social media or what we call it these days, social media detox, once in a while, provides us with clarity in life, makes us focused and help us getting all our work done in a timely and organized manner. Excessive screentime can cause stress, loss of sleep and headaches. It is recommended to turn away from the screen at least an hour before bedtime.

8. Laugh a little Harder

When comes to relieve stress naturally, there is no better medicine than a dose of laughter. A hearty laugh has many benefits like stimulating the organs like the heart and the lungs, stretching your muscles, boosting endorphins released by the brain which helps us deal with stress and anxiety.

I get my daily dose of laughter by watching funny animal videos on the internet.

9. Listening to Music

Those who are easily affected by overthinking and are overwhelmed with emotions know what music can do to pacify the senses. The right choice of music can help you calm and soothe yourself which could be considered one of the best stress relief activities.

Here is a playlist created by me that has songs that are meticulously handpicked for stress relief. I consider it to be one of the best Spotify playlists for anxiety.

10. Surround Yourself with Plants

Houseplants are not just to have a pretty corner in the house or to purify the air, they are anti-depressants too. You can lower your stress level just by looking at them. Research shows houseplants can reduce stress by 40 per cent which is insane. It is more of a mental thing than a physical one. Living amidst plants tricks our mind to believe we are living a slower, simpler life close to nature which instantly calms us down.

house plants for stress relief | Stress relief activities that are scientifically proven, stress relief activities at home

Some of the indoor plants you can consider having in your home or in your office are- Aloe Vera, Jade plant, Areca Palm, Peace Lily, Syngonium, Snake Plant etc. These are some of the houseplants that cleanse the air and detoxify the space they are in.

11. Start Eating Healthy

Eating a healthy diet does not only ensures your physical health but also your mental health. To fight the adverse effects of stress and anxiety i.e. increased heart rate and blood pressure, a nutritious diet plays a huge role. Stress negatively impacts the functioning of the brain and the signals it sends. The brain needs nutrients to work properly and those nutrients are derived only from a good diet.

Usually eating junk food creates a subliminal guilty feeling which indirectly affects your already amplified stress level. Eating homemade clean food makes you feel good about yourself as if you are taking care of your body. This sense of satisfaction helps reduce the stress level. The increased blood pressure caused by stress can also be treated with food that helps regulate the blood flow in the body.

Daily consumption of greens, leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts are helpful for health. Also, nutrients like omega-3 and vitamin E are should be kept in your diet. Fibrous food like cereals and vegetables and yoghurt also take care of the gut and psyche.

12. Take a Stroll in the Nature

There is nothing like nature therapy to de-stress or unwind. A quick stroll in the park or a hike through the jungle help reduces the stress level. This light cardio does not only work for your physical health but also helps release endorphins which makes you feel better, reduces pain and help achieve a positive attitude. It also helps in lowering the level of cortisol also known as the stress hormone.

A walk in nature allows you to breathe properly, increases the intake of pure oxygen and at the same time helps you distract your mind from your otherwise chaotic life. So, like many other stress relief activities mentioned here, it is also beneficial for both the mind and the body.

13. Aroma Therapy

essential oils for stress relief | Stress relief activities that are scientifically proven, stress relief activities at home

Fragrances play an important role in relieving stress in our day to day life. The significance of aroma in human psychological and physical health is increasing day by day and that is the reason why there is a considerable increase in the use of essential oils in medicinal as well as in cosmetic industries. The aromatic essential oils can reduce your cortisol levels, relax your senses and help you sleep well. Here are a few of the essential oils that help you calm yourselves-

To treat insomnia or for relaxing- Lavender and Chamomile,
To lift up your mood- Lemon Essential Oil
To stimulate the mind and the body- Peppermint, Rosemary
To reduce fatigue, anxiety, agitation and nervousness- Bergamot, Thyme
To treat restlessness and promote good sleep- Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

So, these were the 13 easy stress relief activities that are science-approved and need to be incorporated into your lifestyle straight away. Stress is inescapable, what we can do is to know how we can deal with it and we must make sure we are choosing the natural way to treat our stressed mind.

Don’t forget to let me know what you think about this post. How many of the above-mentioned activities do you follow. Comment with your favourite destressing methods. I’ll be back with another exciting post in a couple of days. Until then, have a great weekend ahead!

Blessed are those who did not have to go through a phase where everything seems to be falling apart, to be drifting away in front of their naked eyes, to be losing themselves but completely unable to do anything about it. Sometimes, people don’t even know what is happening with them because of very little or no awareness and they seem to fall into pieces silently inside themselves. As I am writing this, even I am finding it extremely hard to put the feelings into words. That, my friend, is Anxiety and what I have written here is probably 0.5% of what people actually have to go through in anxiety.

In 2017, I was going through anxiety and now that I am recalling the time, I know the reasons behind them. It is so essential to know what are the things that are making you anxious and face them and fight them with utmost confidence. Now, I did not need to write all these in this post because that would be completely irrelevant but whenever I am talking about my anxiety issues, I find myself obliged to let you know what I feel about it so that everyone out there feels that they are not lonely. Anyhoo, let’s continue with this post.

When I was going through anxiety, I found a few things that made me feel a little better. One of them was an introduction to Indie music. I was browsing aimlessly through YouTube and I found a video containing a playlist of aesthetic music. Being a sucker for everything aesthetic, I immediately played the video and the very first song I listened to was Sometimes by Goth Babe. That song was so soothing it left me with a sense of tranquility and contentment. Then my YT homepage was full of suggestions and recommendations of indie pops and I was consuming each one of them like crazy. I did not stop there and kept exploring lo-fi songs, reverbed songs, and whatnot. Basically, that was a time I was longing to drift away from the reality and thoughts that were weighing me down. Personally, I feel the above-mentioned types of music give you that freedom to achieve quietude. They give you a break from reality which in turn makes you feel at peace for the time being.

It’s been a year since I created a playlist on Spotify to calm down my restless days and sleepless nights. Exactly a year ago, I created my very first Spotify playlist and named it CALM. What else could be more appropriate! Today, I am going to share that with you, with people who are feeling stressed, burnt out, and/or anxious. The playlist includes songs that have a slow tempo and relaxing beats. Most of them are vintage and aesthetic that best suits my preference.

playlist for anxiety

As I mentioned earlier, my very first encounter with western Indie music was with the song that is listed on top of my Spotify playlist. Then it grew long and long. I still add songs that are appropriate for the list. So, this playlist is updated regularly. If I had to choose two bands I have been enjoying listening to, that would be Goth Babe and Cigarettes After Sex. I have started liking Prateek Kuhad’s songs as well. There are still so many songs to explore and add to my favouite playlist. I hope it heals you too like it did to me.

Have you listened to any of the songs from my Spotify Playlist? Let me know your thoughts when you do!

Parents should always take the lead in teaching basic courtesies and manners to their children. This is a must in order to ensure holistic development and growth of their little ones while also making sure that children learn how to speak, behave and respond in the outside world without ruffling unnecessary feathers in a manner of speaking! A well-behaved, cultured, and well-groomed child will always be a positive reflection on his/her parents, indicating the knowledge and grooming that he/she has received at home. At the same time, it is important to encourage children to develop a well-rounded personality and perspective. Encourage kids to make new friends and pick up social skills. They will find more friends through participation in fun activities for kids online. Yellow Class is the best place for these fun activities online where they can learn new skills, make new friends, and find an outlet for creative and imaginative expression. 

Parents should start young with their children in order to help them develop manners for a lifetime. Training can start as soon as the child starts talking and can assume more intensity with progress in age and more interaction and exposure to the outside world. Etiquette can be taught early on to children. Teach them to say thank you and please whenever they get something or ask for something respectively. When the child sits at the dining table for meals, then you can start by teaching him/her dining etiquette and manners. Children should be encouraged to go for family meals so that they understand how to behave from an early age. Teach children to be respectful and understanding at all times while being kind and patient with people as well. 

Here are some basic commandments- 

  • Etiquette or manners are always meant to show kindness or respect to others. 
  • Thank you, excuse me and please are must-haves in the etiquette dictionary. 
  • It is important to learn how to hold cutlery properly. 
  • Children should learn how to wipe their mouths properly with the help of a napkin. 
  • They should also learn to chew with their mouth closed. 
  • They should be able to introduce themselves respectfully to others and also introduce other people including their family members. 
  • They should learn how to invite people to something. 
  • They should learn to be aware of positive body language and showing the same. 
  • They should not interrupt adults while they are speaking to others. 
  • They should learn that it is bad manners to comment on anybody’s appearance. 
  • Learning how to pay compliments is also essential. 
  • Writing thank you letters is a good practice that parents may encourage. 
  • Children should learn the most important etiquette rule of all helping people who are in need. 
  • They should not call adults by their first names unless instructed by the adult in question. 
  • They should knock on doors before opening the same. 
  • They should politely answer phone calls. 
  • They should always make eye contact when speaking to someone else. 
  • They should refrain from staring or pointing in any scenario. 
  • They should cover their mouth while coughing or sneezing. 

These are some basics that children would do well to absorb and follow. 

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