Guest blog: Reach Your Better Self: A Self-Improvement Guide for 2018


By Jennifer Scott

CaptureDon’t fall into the trap of thinking that the better version of yourself is unattainable, out of reach, or a fantasy. You can improve yourself and reach your potential. It is not impossible or far-fetched. Begin by caring for yourself and achieving balance in various aspects of your life.
According to Psychology Today, a concept known as self-love is important to living well. It affects the way you see the world and how you cope with the world’s challenges. The state of loving oneself involves engaging in actions that support physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Caring for oneself is vital when setting and achieving personal and professional goals.

Physical Health

Exercise
Find a kind of exercise or sport that appeals to your personality, lifestyle, and schedule. Look into a variety of options and stay open to new opportunities:
Gym membership. Join a traditional gym and commit to a certain schedule per week. This is a great way to begin if you haven’t exercised in some time because you can go at your own pace.

Try a new sport. Find out if your local recreation center has adult sports teams you can join. Joining a team sport can not only provide some fun social interaction in a new setting, but it helps people commit to schedule.

Try out a class. There are many schools and academies in your area that offer free classes to try out their programs. Sign up for a free dance class, martial arts lesson, or yoga session. Trying it out beforehand will give you a taste of what to expect.

LiveScience recommends starting off slow and gradually working your way up. Make sure to be honest about your current fitness level to avoid injury, and set goals for yourself to stay motivated.

Loving yourself also means staying away from behavior and substances that harm you. Exercise has recently emerged as a great companion to addiction recovery. The National Institute of Health cites that aerobic exercise can help people that abuse illicit drugs. Physical activity releases endorphins in the brain which produce a “high” feeling and help in restoring a balance in the brain. It aids in promoting feelings of positivity, improved mood, and better sleep.

Change Your Fuel

Diet is key. Many people often cite a lack of time as an impediment to eating better. However, establishing good eating habits and avoiding fast food doesn’t have to be that difficult. All it takes is a little organization and a nutritional plan:

  • Meal planning: Take one day a week for bulk cooking, and freeze portions that you can eat throughout the week. Make sure your meals are well balanced with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
  • Plan trips to the store: Do not shop while hungry. Plan your grocery trips, follow the list based on your meal plans, and do not buy junk food or sugary stuff.
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods: Inflammation is a generator of pain, infections, injuries, and bad moods. Eat a diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids to ward off inflammation and stay away from refined carbohydrates like french fries.

Follow Your Passions

The source of many people’s unhappiness often stems from a sense of unfulfillment. People give up on their passions for a variety of reasons. Generally people who pursue their hobbies and passions are happier and more productive. So don’t be afraid to pursue the hobby that keeps you happy and engaged.

Little Acts of Self-Love

A big part of caring for yourself is to spoil yourself when you achieve a goal or are successful in a particular area of your life. Treat yourself to a massage, visit a spa, or update your wardrobe. Small little acts of kindness toward yourself keep you motivated by providing positive reinforcement that keeps you disciplined and focused.
The best version of you is waiting to be be unleashed. Write down your goals and commit to them on paper. As you cross things off your list, you’ll find yourself feeling empowered and confident to take anything on. This year, reach your better self through a little self-care, discipline, and consistency.
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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It All Comes Down To This … Happy New Year


Happy New year everyone.

I don’t fully understand the concept and the excitement over the start of a new year. Ever since I was a kid I enjoyed a full moon. It was always about the full moon which is at its the last stages . Never was I called out to check the birth of a new moon; it was just not as fascinating, “oh look, there is a crescent forming in the sky”. Really? A crescent?

Happy-New-Year1Even in a solar eclipse, where the sun entirely disappears, the climax is during the complete black out. It’s towards the end of the existence of the sun. A few seconds of complete darkness. After that when it’s re-emerging back, it is not as fun anymore.

When people reach the end of their life that is exactly what they call it; The end of their journey. They never say, I will start a new life in Heaven / hell or I will be reincarnated in 10 days.

It is sad in a way that we contemplate on everything and we label them based on their expiry date. But why can’t we do the same with the celebration of the new year? Why can’t we celebrate the end of the existing one instead?

If I had a great year so far, I would like to be warned just like they do in malls, “dear shoppers, we will be closing in 30 minutes”. Maybe not along the same lines, but something like: “Hey, you’ve had a wonderful year so far, but you still have 10-15 days before your luck runs out. Do something about it. Buy a lottery ticket, or do something crazy.”

And if you’ve had a not so great year, you will hear something like: “Hey I know you’ve had a shitty year, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, don’t despair”.

The current year as it stands, is something I am very well experienced with. The one to come is still unknown. I may not be too eager to see the year over yet, but I can only wish this upon everyone: “for those who had a good year, I hope it extends indefinitely. And to those who have experienced sorrow and misery or even consider themselves unlucky, I can only wish them a happier life with more ups than downs.”

New-Yorks-Times-Square-on-004

Just like in the movies, it isn’t over until you see the words “the end”.

You know what they also say, “ it’s not the end of the world”.

So Happy End of this Year to all 🙂

Raghid Khalil