Self Improvement

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‘Work’ing Towards A Healthier You!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

While being stuck in an office cubicle all day does good things for your bank account, it really does end up wreaking havoc on your body. Eye strain from continuous screen time, posture and back issues from staying in the same positions for long durations, and lethargy and drop in energy from a sedentary lifestyle are some of the obvious issues, but stick at it long enough and you’ll end up facing more serious health issues down the line, both physical as well as mental.

So how do you break out of this cycle? Do you just quit your job? Wait, is that even an option? No, no, hold it right there. We’re not asking you to quit your job, or change your career. We’re here to share some tips and tricks to help you bring small changes in your daily routine to minimize all these problems. And you can do them right there, in the office itself!

 

1. Take a walk

This one’s pretty easy to do. Just get off your chair and take a small walk around the office. If you do this every hour or two, it gives your back a chance to stretch, gets some blood flowing, and also freshens your mind a bit.

Image source - The Context of Things

Image source – The Context of Things

 

2. Rest your eyes

This is something you should definitely do every hour,  on the hour. Especially if your work requires you to be practically glued to your computer or laptop throughout the day. The blue and bright light emitted from screens, especially for prolonged periods, causes eye strain. If you don’t take care, this can lead to vision problems, headaches, and general unease. Also, invest in a pair of anti-glare eyeglasses. You can get these from any optician, even if you have 20-20 vision. And for an added break, a cool eye mask on your eyes for 20 minutes before bed does wonders too. (You can use used and drained tea bags kept in the fridge for this too).

Image source - Harvard Health

Image source – Harvard Health

 

3. Light stretching

Even if you can’t do this at regular intervals, do try to at least thrice in the day, ideally when you reach the office, at the start of your lunch break, and before you go home for the day. This could be whatever you’re comfortable doing, whether a few full body stretches, or some simple yoga poses that don’t require a mat or too much space. And if you feel awkward doing so in an office space, try to rope in some colleagues to do it with you. Not only will make it less awkward, you’ll also be able to motivate and remind each other to follow through every day.

Image source - B2MV

Image source – B2MV

 

4. Drink up

Your parents told you, your teachers told you, Google told you, and they’re all right! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We cannot stress the importance of this enough. Getting caught up in your work and simply forgetting to drink water has happened to the best of us, so how do you avoid falling into that trap? Keep a bottle of water on your desk at all times (don’t forget to refill it!).  Another great tip? There are a bunch of apps available for your phone that remind you to drink a glass of water throughout the day. Talk about technology saving the day!

Image source - Dribbble

Image source – Dribbble

 

5. Smile

Yup, you read it right. Studies have shown that if you smile, whether you’re in a good mood or not, you can actually trick your mind into releasing endorphins (the happy hormones), and then you genuinely are in a good mood. And we don’t need to tell you that the happier you are, the better, right?

Image source - Jerusalem Post

Image source – Jerusalem Post

 

6. Take the stairs

Not only is this great advice for your health, but it’s great for the environment too. And don’t worry, if you work on the 20th floor, don’t overdo it either. Take the lift to 15th floor, and then take the stairs. (We’re not averse to a little cheating as long as you put in some work). Don’t work in a high rise, or just plain work on the ground floor? Well, you know those three-four steps at the entryway, just go up and down those at quick speeds about 4-5 times before heading in, and before heading out. Extra points for doing it at lunch time too!

Image source - Gunderson Envision

Image source – Gunderson Envision

 

Oh, and just in case you don’t work in an office, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing these things too. Whether you’re a student, someone who works from home, a freelancer, it doesn’t matter. We can all benefit from healthier bodies and minds. And it’s never too early or too late to start.

You have the tools now. It’s up to you to put them to work!

Insta-taneous Positivity!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Great advice, but probably not so practical in day to day living. Because like it or not, we all have tough days, where it seems everything that could possibly go wrong, quite literally does. And we’re not even talking about those of us who are battling some form of mental health issue. Even people who have all of the mental and social adaptability to deal with life and all that it throws our way, struggle every now and then. So how do you battle those blues away? How do find the courage and willingness to get back up after taking a fall?

We don’t know, but you do it any way, don’t you? You find that little spark inside you that tells you to keep at it. But sometimes, even that spark can seem a bit dim, and in such times, you might feel the need for a little pick-me-up, something that will charge that little spark. It could be listening to your favorite song, talking to your best friend (or your mom), ranting on social media, or even just reading a quote or two. Well, if that last one does it for you, here’s a list of Instagram handles that can fill you up with some positive vibes!

 

Positively Present (@positivelypresent)

This account is run by US-based illustrator Dani DiPirro, and features a bunch of original illustrations, some with feel-good messages, reminders to keep your chin, and teeny-tiny doses of positivity. And they’re super colorful too!

Image source - Instagram

Image source – Instagram

 

The Good Quote (@thegoodquote)

If quotes are your thing, then this account is positive quotes all the way! Some are quotes by famous people, pieces of people’s poems, and even tweets by regular people. Basically, it features things to remind you to look at the brighter side, keep hustling, and never give up!

 

Image source - Instagram

Image source – Instagram

 

Power of Positivity (@powerofpositivity)

Even though it’s pretty evident from it’s name, here’s the lowdown. It’s a bunch of messages and quotes that will keep reminding you that you still have some fight left in you, and that if you keep thinking positive thoughts and staying self-motivated, you’ll be right on track to achieving your goals.

Image source - Instagram

Image source – Instagram

 

QTube Cafe (@qtubecafe)

Ok, so we might be cheating a tiny bit here, but are we really? Along with some interesting facts here and there, there’s also a lot of feel good quotes and sayings. And it’s also home for us (along with our other account @nsapartists for NSPA), so you obviously can’t go wrong there, right?

Image source - Instagram

Image source – Instagram

 

 

Jay Shetty (@jayshetty)

You’ve probably come across his videos on YouTube or Facebook, and if you’ve seen them, you probably know why he’s so popular. He’s straight up, down to the point, and always telling you how you can make your life, by being more open, more honest, and more happy.

Image source - Instagram

Image source – Instagram

 

Self Love Club (@joinselfloveclub)

Run by Mumbai-based artist Shreya Naik, this one’s on the list for two reasons. Firstly, because there’s obviously a bunch of positivity coming your way through Instagram posts. Secondly, because that’s not the only way positivity is heading your way. Shreya and her team often leave little note cards and bookmarks with positive thoughts and quotes printed on them at various public locations in Mumbai, for people to find.

Image source - Instagram

Image source – Instagram

 

Remember all those people who keep saying that social media is bad? Well, they’re not entirely correct. They’re just following the wrong accounts. And if you’re looking for a way to change that, well, we’ve got you covered, haven’t we?

Song Lyrics to Inspire You

Friday, July 13th, 2018

How many times have you heard someone say that music has been there for them when no one else has? How many times have you thought or said it yourself? Words have always had a way to warm our soul when we need it, but when those strong words are combined with lilting music, and in a voice that haunts, or causes goosebumps, they can lift us up way more than just simple words on piece of paper ever could.

To commemorate the importance of all those immortal words, we’ve put together a list of some inspiring lyrics, and the artists that gave those words the music to touch our hearts.

 

Get up, stand up. Don’t give up the fight. – Bob Marley

Image source - AllMusic

Image source – AllMusic

 

You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one. – John Lennon

Image source – johnlennon.com

 

You are beautiful. No matter what they say. – Christina Aguilera

Image source – A&E Biography

 

Drench yourself in words unspoken, live your life with arms wide open. Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten. – Natasha Beddingfield

Image source – Official Charts

 

I get knocked down. But I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down. – Chumbawamba

Image source - Business Insider

Image source – Business Insider

 

I’m a survivor. I’m not gonna give up. I’m not gonna stop. I’m gonna work harder. – Destiny’s Child

Image source - Deezer

Image source – Deezer

 

All you need is love, love. Love is all you need. – Beatles

Image source – BC Heights

 

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill, fifteen percent concentrated power of will, five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain, and a hundred percent reason to remember the name. – Fort Minor

Image source – YouTube

 

This is my fight song, take back my life song, prove I’m alright song. My power’s turned on, starting right now I’ll be strong. I’ll play my fight song, and I don’t really care if nobody else believes, ‘cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me. – Rachel Platten

Image source - Billboard.com

Image source – Billboard.com

 

I will survive. Oh, as long as I know how to love I know I’ll stay alive. I’ve got all my life to live, I’ve got all my love to give. – Gloria Gaynor

Image source – gloriagaynor.com

 

While it’s obvious that no list can come close to touching every single song out there that is an inspiration, we hope this list gets you nostalgic enough.

And if you have more of such lyrics that you’d like to see in another such post, send us an email at reena@nspa.in with Inspiring Lyrics in the subject line, and we’ll compile and put up a second list.

 

Say Cheese!!

Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Thich Nhat Hanh once said “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

Every day can’t possibly be a great one. We all face our troubles, our low points, and our failures. After all, without our lows, why would we celebrate our highs?

But battling our blues isn’t the only reason we should be smiling more. Here’s a list of reasons to show off those pearly whites!

 

1. Because you quite literally like to say “Cheese”(It’s ok. It’s a perfectly valid reason)

Image source - JustStickers

Image source – JustStickers

 

2. Because it relieves stress (Try it. Do eeeeeeeeeeeee)

Image source - The Journal

Image source – The Journal

 

3. Because it makes you more attractive (Really. You look fabulous)

Image source – Bigmir.net

 

4. Because it makes people wonder what you’re up to (Works especially well if you do it in a serious or tense situation)

Image source – Zoran Photo

 

5. Because it elevates your mood (Just call it the poor man’s drug)

Image source - Roeselien

Image source – Roeselien

 

6. Because it lowers your blood pressure (Though we’re not sure what to do if you’re already suffering from low blood pressure. Growl a little maybe?)

download

 

7. Because it is contagious (Like a horrible disease. And don’t even start on the giggles. We would need to quarantine you. Professionals will need to be called in)

Image source - Yakubiv

Image source – Yakubiv

 

8. Because it’s easy (Best reason yet!)

Image source - Deposit Photos

Image source – Deposit Photos

 

9. Because it boosts your immune system (Keeping those germ fighting ninjas energized and at the ready)

Image source – Colloidal Silver Secrets

 

10. Because, if you are still reading this, you obviously want to!

Image source - Crazy Frankenstein

Image source – Crazy Frankenstein

 

So go ahead! Saaaayyyyy Cheeeeeeeeese!

‘Art’ your worries away

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

Fear, anxiety, worries, apprehension, nervousness, stress, these aren’t mere words on paper any more. With fast lifestyles, heavy workloads, long commutes, and overall stress, everyone feels the pinch sometimes, some more than others. And we’re constantly on the lookout for ways to help alleviate that stress. But how can a small change to your daily life help ease those 10-12 hours of “go-go-go!”? The answer – art, or rather, art therapy.

Art therapy is basically you taking a few moments at the end of each day to de-stress with the help of paints, sketch books, coloring books, and the like. And the reason why it works so well is because it creates a safe place free from judgement to express your inner emotions through the art you pursue. And no, the aim is NOT to create beautiful pieces of art, but rather just to create, with no expectations. This allows you to make things more freely, and as you do, you can disconnect from the world, as you lose yourself in the calm, almost meditative strokes of your paintbrush, pencil, or even the smooth roll of the potter’s wheel.

art

While people who are considered “good” at art keep in touch with their artistic pursuits, some even going ahead to make it their career choice, most people tend to let go of art once those mandatory school classes finish off. The reason for this is most often the fact that they weren’t good enough according to their art teacher, parents, and/or peers. But the thing is, keeping in touch with your creative side (even if you don’t have a “skill” for it) helps alleviate stress, boost creativity, leads to positive feelings, and also helps you process and deal with negative emotions better. Basically, it’s something everyone needs.

Think of your body as a glass. It has a certain capacity, beyond which it cannot hold things. Now, as you fill this glass with water, the available space left to take in more, lessens. Once it’s full, it’s full. Anything you attempt to put in after this point will result in an overflow, and well, a mess. Your emotions are like that water. They need an outlet so that you have space for more. Art gives you a safe, harmless way to sort through and expend emotions that you probably don’t even think you need to deal with.

And you don’t need to be at your wit’s end to consider this. This is ideal for every one, at any age. It doesn’t restrict itself in any way.

So, here are some ideas that you can try out, until you find the type of project(s) that suit you best.

 

1. Sketching or Doodling

Remember how you used to fill up the back of your school notebooks with endless doodles, signs, and random lines drawn? Well, the kid version of you really knew what they were doing. Just 15 minutes of random doodling at the end of the day can slowly start to help alleviate stress. It’s not only one of the easiest methods to apply, it’s also the most cost effective if you’re on a budget, because you can easily find paper and a pen/pencil around the house.

Image source - WikiHow

Image source – WikiHow

2. Adult Coloring Books

The importance of bringing a bit of color back in your life is so understood now that several companies have launched coloring books aimed specifically at their adult clientele. From complex mandalas, to fill-in classic artworks, the design ranges are large and varied. You can also find designs online, and just print them out. But you needn’t worry, if you can’t find any, any old children’s coloring book works fine too. So time to dust off those old coloring pencil and sketch pen sets!

Image source - Dailyburn

Image source – Dailyburn

3. Bullet Journaling or Homemade Planners

Have a very busy schedule, and need to create an endless amount of to-do lists? Why not make a customized planner for yourself? With how-to guides readily available on all online platforms, find yourself an idea that suits you, and just create your own. You can make it as simple or as elaborate as suits you. From checklists, to mood meters, and calendars, you can use this method to take your work, and your commitments, and turn them into something pretty. Just make sure to add some color at the end of the day, once you’ve filled in all your data and appointments.

Image source - YouTube

Image source – YouTube

4. Hobby classes

This is, thankfully, pretty easy to do nowadays, as popularity of such classes is off the charts. As since the demand is high, so is the supply. Try your hand at different types of art, through any number of seminars, workshops or classes that are help in and around your neighbourhood. You can easily find listings online, or through social media. Just hit search. Activities can range from pottery classes, to embroidery workshops, to even a dance class or tw0!

Image source - YouTube

Image source – YouTube

Know the age old dialogue “I wish I was a kid again”. Well, for a little while every day, you now can be. So hit pause on your worries, and pick up that pencil, pen, paintbrush, and get your art on! You might not necessarily be creating “beautiful” work, but you’ll certainly be working towards a happier, calmer, and more beautiful you.