3 Quick Ways to De-Stress When You Don’t Have a Lot of Time

Hello, lovelies!

Stress is a normal part of everyday life. As much as we’d like to just drop everything and start a vacation, we usually just have to power through it and keep working. It is not easy to relive all the stressors in your life, so here are three quick ways to de-stress:

1. Find a short, relaxing exercise routine 

A short exercise routine like stretching or a brief jog is ideal when you don’t have a lot of extra time. If you devote just 10-15 minutes to exercising each day (even if it just involves taking the stairs instead of an elevator) you accomplish three things: (1) You get your blood flowing, (2) You relax, and (3) You stretch any tight muscles.

2. Set a daily routine for yourself 

Any joyful tasks that you enjoy doing on a daily basis have therapeutic benefits. For me, drinking my daily cup of coffee and applying makeup are calming activities. Maintaining a daily routine is an effective personal development practice. By engaging in a daily activity, you devote time to you.

3. Just breathe 

Practicing deep breathing exercises can dramatically reduce stress and tension. Take a few slow, deep breaths each day to relieve stress. Mindfulness apps that include breathing techniques (my personal favorite is Calm – it features meditation and deep-breathing techniques for stress reduction.

What techniques do you use on a daily basis to de-stress? 

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3 Tips to Help You Choose the Best Highlighter for Your Skintone

Hello, lovelies!

Adding highlighter to your face is transformative. Whether you prefer a cream, powder, or liquid formula, a good highlighter adds dimension and luminescence to your skin. While a range of highlighter products exist, not every product will suit all skin tones. Here are my top tips to help you select a highlighter based on your skin tone:

1. Know your skin’s undertones 

The most flattering highlight shade is one that is slightly lighter than your skin tone. You can either choose a color that is harmonious with your skin tone, or one that is the opposite. A harmonious highlight shade will create a more natural look, while an opposite colour will create a dramatic effect.

2. Mix it up

If you just can’t seem to find the perfect shade for you, try mixing highlighter into your foundation. This trick will give the skin a natural, subtle radiance that is not overly sparkly. Blend equal parts of your foundation and highlight before applying it to the skin to achieve a flawless complexion.

3. Try before you buy

A good rule of thumb when buying any highlighter is to try it in-store first. Testing a specific shade before buying it will give you an indication of how the colour will appear on your skin.

3 Hacks to Upgrade Your Morning Coffee With Little Effort

Hello, lovelies!

Are you an avid coffee drinker? I often stay true to one type of brew, but enjoy changing how I take my morning coffee. Here are three ways you can upgrade your standard cup of coffee:

1. Heat your milk

If you enjoy milk and sugar in your coffee, heating the milk will kick it up a notch. Heat your milk before adding it to your cup to keep the coffee cold and add froth.

2. Reduce bitterness with a pinch of salt

Sprinkle a pinch of salt into your coffee to reduce the bitter taste. The sodium in the salt counteracts with the coffee and levels out the taste.

3. Create coffee ice cubes for the perfect iced brew

Adding coffee ice cubes to your iced coffee prevents the flavour from becoming watered-down. Freeze coffee into ice cube trays then add it into a cup when ready to enjoy.

What tips do you use to upgrade your coffee?

Why I Bought a New Planner Before the New Year + 3 Steps to Set One Up

Hello, lovelies!

I love to plan. I usually buy a new planner every January, but this year I decided to buy a new one in November. The planner I previously owned did not have adequate space for my daily scheduling and I know I’ll need more writing space once I head into a new internship in January.

What planner did I buy?

I bought a large, spacious planner from my local bookstore. This one originates from a brand called ban.do. It features a 17-month spread (August 2017-December 2018), color-coded tabs and yearly/monthly/weekly calendar pageviews. To satisfy my inner organized nerd, it even contains a coil-bound closure and internal pockets.

So, why did I buy a new one before the year ended?

This new planner serves two purposes:

  1. It tracks all my reminders – Important dates, reminders, and schedules popped up throughout this semester. I already used up a lot of space in my previous planner, and required more writing space to track everything. (Grad photos, party reminders, group work, etc.)
  2. I can schedule activities in advance – I already have a few important dates scheduled for 2018. This new planner allows me to write those dates and times without waiting until January.

Tips to set up a new planner 

Setting up a new planner doesn’t need to be time-consuming. Here are three tips I use whenever I buy a new one:

  • Transfer all important dates into your new planner before throwing the old one away
  • Determine how you will colour-code your planner to organize it

How do you organize a new planner?

3 Ways to Practice Self-Care and Avoid Burnout as a Student or Professional


Hello, lovelies!

I’m halfway through my second-last academic semester of university. As a social work student, I know that it is essential to avoid burnout by devoting time to myself. This task sometimes seems impossible with looming deadlines, a long reading list, and more. Self-care comes in many forms, and this list is just a few of the ways I implement a routine to take care of myself.

What exactly is burnout?

Burnout is essentially mental or physical collapse from becoming overworked. Burnout manifests itself in different ways. I’ve experienced physical sickness, mental exhaustion, and anxiety. By the end of a semester, for example, it manifests in me as a cold or tension headaches.

3 Ways to Avoid Burnout 

1. Clear out 

De-cluttering not only clears out your physical workspace, but it also clears out the mind. If you have a lot of items in your visual field, the brain works harder to ignore it all and focus on the task at hand. This can be tiring, and cause stress. I like to tidy up my desk daily or weekly, and arrange it so that only my calendar, laptop, planner, and a few notebooks are in my field of vision.

2. Practice positive affirmations/self-talk 

Self-talk happens to everyone. We can use these conversations we often have in our headspace to our advantage every day. It can help us feel better, reduces anxiety, and improves confidence. One simple way to implement positive affirmations is by using words like “I can” and “I will”.

3. Sleep 

Sleep is so important but often undervalued. There are times when I skimp on sleep, though I fully recognize that I shouldn’t. Sleep helps us restore memories, recharge, and improves brain function. Maintaining a solid sleep routine is beneficial to all aspects of your health/wellness. Most health experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults.

How do you practice self-care? 

 

4 Easy Ways I Upgraded My Morning Routine


Hello, lovelies!

I’m definitely a morning person. I like to wake up early, and sip my coffee while gazing out the window before anyone else in my house stirs. (Plus, waking early gives me adequate time to get ready each morning without becoming late!) I adapt my morning routine with each new season, and these are a few of the easy adjustments I implemented when September began:

1. Wake up 10-20 minutes early 

I set an alarm for 6:30 on mornings I have class. My body usually wakes naturally about 10 minutes before my alarm even buzzes. These few extra moments offer me extra time to do another productive activity before I leave the house. (This usually means a second cup of coffee, so it definitely leaves me energized for the day!)

2.  Make my bed 

Most of the time, I simply toss the comforter over my pillows. I’ve recently begun to give myself time to properly make the bed, and it really makes a difference. This small step in the morning gives me an extra boost of accomplishment to start the day.

3. Drink two glasses of water

Staying hydrated is an important part of my morning. I drink two glasses shortly after I wake. Skimping on water in the morning often leaves me feeling tired, even when I know I’ve slept well.

4. Read for a few minutes

I notice this small adjustment sets a relaxed tone for my day. I often don’t have a physical book on hand but I’ll take a few moments to read an article online. This is usually a piece from Cosmo, though it lets my brain relax for a little while.

 

4 Quick Tips to Help You Effectively Use a Daily Planner


Hello, lovelies!

Finding the right planner for you can take time. Picture this: After finding the perfect planner at your local stationary store, you stare at the blank pages, unsure of exactly where to start. Today I’ll share tips to help you use those pages!

1) Use a single planner, if possible 

It can be cumbersome to manage both a personal and work planner. Find a planner you can use to record business and personal tasks. This will streamline your tasks, due dates, and appointments. A bonus tip: It is a good idea to consistently check your planner to review the day ahead.

2) Create a list within your planner 

I make lists often. I list each task to be accomplished by the end of the day, and check them off as I complete them. I enjoy the motion of marking a check-mark next to my list during the day. It provides both a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

3) Slow down in order to speed up 

Set aside time each week to plan ahead. Inputing tasks and reminders for the week ahead offers you time to organize thoughts, de-stress, and provides a clear view of what you plan to accomplish. The act of physically writing out your to-dos is an effective tool for cognitive recognition.

4) Use a color-coding system 

My favourite method of colour-coding is using different pens or post-it notes. Use a different colour for each specific task you need to remember. For example, reserve a pink pen for exam dates, a blue pen for reminders, a red pen for appointments, etc.

Do you use a planner? If you do, is it an effective tool to keep you organized?