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5 Tools To Help You Learn A Language Quicker!

1. Podcasts

Understanding the sounds of letters and words in any given language is vital to imprinting it on your own memory and getting to grips with the pronunciation. Often there are tapes and recordings that can sound overtly formal and strained in regular conversation or lack any sort of entertainment value that would help you remember what was being said.

Podcasts are a fun way of supplementing these tapes as they often offer up more informal conversation in a fun and easy to listen to manner. It is even better if you listen to podcasts specifically aimed at language learners and there are plenty of them out there.

 

2. Text To Speech Software

Another great tool for helping to be able to nail pronunciation is text to speech software. This allows you to write your own words, phrases, and conversations down and hear them pronounced properly.

There are a few of this software out there so make sure to make an informed decision before purchasing but they can be absolutely vital in learning to write and speak a language.

 

3. Music

We all know an irritatingly catchy tune that gets stuck in our head or a classic song that we love and know every word to and this is because the rhythm and beat of the music can hammer home what is being sung. Apply this to learning a language and it can help words and phrases stick in the memory. Find yourself a type of music you enjoy and start listening to artists who record in that language.

You can often find music videos with the lyrics online making reading along whilst you listen a great thing to do as well. You may even discover your new favorite band.

 

4. Learner Community Websites

Websites that gather people learning the same thing together can be vital because it offers the extra support of knowing you’re not the only person struggling with a certain thing. It also means that you can turn to others to find out their methods and ways of learning.

These sites often have their own tools and resources which you can use to further your knowledge and you can interact with real people through natural conversation.

 

5. Online Newspapers

The web is a great source for news in any language and almost every paper in the world has its own website or online presence so you shouldn’t have too much trouble trying to find one that’s right for you. By reading the paper and news in any given language you learn what words and phrases are being used at present.

It will improve your reading skills in that language and you can start out with photo captions and ads and then work your way up to short and then longer articles.

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7 Ways To Fully Utilize Your Free Time

1. Create A Time Journal

Spend a week detailing what you do with your time hour by hour, including work and what you do whilst there. This will help you keep track of when you exercise and do chores and other activities that need to be done but you don’t necessarily consider your free time. Once you can see how you structure your week, you can see how much time you have to yourself and when and if you can maybe rearrange your week or combine activities to make the most of what you’ve got and give you the opportunity to find the time for new things.

 

2. Limit Your Screen Time

There’s no problem with watching a boxset or going on social media but the problem is that they just swallow up whole chunks of time in one, large gulp and you just have another day of achieving very little. Limit your screen time and set yourself a certain period of time for watching shows or updating your profile so that you can then use the free time for more productive means.

 

3. Sort Your Life Out!

That wasn’t an insult but rather a solid piece of advice.Seriously, think about how much time you spend looking for keys or files, folders etc. Just have a place for everything and always put it back in that place and you will have so much more spare time. Organization is key!

 

4. Plan Chores Ahead

No one likes doing chores but if you plan ahead and give everything a set place then you can half tie by eliminating faff. In cooking, for example, if you cook all your meals on a single day and then freeze or store appropriately, you then save time deciding what to have every day. If you clean as you go and keep things neat and tidy for a few minutes a day it will save you hours of cleaning or sorting at a later date.

 

5. Set Boundaries

It is good to help others and make time for them but when it starts impacting on your own projects it can also be a curse. If you receive a phone call from a friend in need, it’s probably best to help them out but if you know it is just a catch up over the same old things, then it is okay to ask them to speak later. There’s nothing wrong with hanging a do not disturb sign on your office door if you need to do something. Focus on you for a bit and now your limits.

 

6. Limit Unnecessary Communications

Following on from the previous point, think of all the time you spend responding to texts and emails about pointless and inane things. If they are pointless and inane then just don’t bother, of course, it pays to be polite but sometimes you need to give yourself the space to get things done before responding to others. Explain that you had an important thing to deal with and most will understand.

 

7. Preparation

By preparing what you are doing for the next day, you save time procrastinating and trying to organize your thoughts. It is a good habit to set goals for the day ahead and thus know what you need to d before doing so freeing up time and also allowing you to know how to utilize before you’ve even stepped out of the door for the day.

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22 Foods That Often Trigger Migraines

However, nutritionists and doctors are usually in agreement that migraine sufferers can significantly reduce the likelihood of further attacks simply by eradicating certain foods from their diet. Here are 22 such foods that many medical professionals believe are migraine triggers.

1. Processed Meats

While red meat is known to increase the likelihood of a range of cancers, red meats are also packed full of tyramine, a known migraine-inducing chemical. As Susan Buckley, nutrition manager at South Denver Cardiology Associates in Littleton, Colorado explains, ““Generally, the longer a high-protein food ages, the greater the tyramine content.”

2. Olives

Just like with red meats, olives are another food laden in tyramine.

3. Caffeine

Caffeine is a substance 99.% of the world consumes yet few know of its migraine side-effects. For instance, too many trips to Starbucks can spawn migraines if you’re new to drinking caffeine while more seasoned drinkers can also suffer from migraines if they attempt to decrease their consumption.

4. Dried Fruits

Often hailed as ‘health foods’, the head can often take a battering in the form of a blistering migraine if dried fruits are regularly consumed due to the high-level of sulphite.

5. Alcohol 

This may be a no-brainer, but unlike a hangover, a migraine-hangover combo is far worse. The reason migraines often occur after drinking is due to the body turning the alcohol into acetate, which many doctors believe leads to migraines. Spirits like whisky and bourbon are thought to be the worst triggers although the research isn’t conclusive.

6. Soda

Aspartame is used as an artificial sweetener for many fizzy drinks. Because of this, health professionals have long labelled sodas no-go drinks for migraine sufferers.

7. Pizza

This may be a hard one to stomach (excuse the pun), but the yeast in the crust and tyramine in any potential meat toppings can create a vomit-inducing migraine.

8. Bread

Another commonly consumed food that causes migraines is bread, due primarily to the occurring chemical called coumarin found in yeast.

9. Hot Dogs

As a red meat. Hot dogs are full of tyramine while the preservative-laden sauces won’t help, either.

10. Candy

Bright coloured candy can play havoc with your head due to the additives (E Numbers) used to brighten and make the food appear more attractive to consumers.

This applies more to children than adults, however, due to their organs being less adept at removing certain toxins from the body that such additives create.

11. Bacon

Just like with hot dogs, the tyramine and preservatives in bacon are also known migraine culprits although it’s worth noting at this stage that not all migraine sufferers are affected by tyramine.

12. Chilli peppers

Chilli peppers aren’t just known for burning your tongue- they can also cause rip-roaring migraines. In fact, they are one of the most commonly known triggers and are even used in research when analysing migraines.

13. Beans

If you’re prone to migraines, it’s perhaps best to exclude beans from your next burrito order. After all, all beans contain tannins which can be a migraine- trigger for some.

14. Aged cheeses

Aged cheeses are full of tyramine and as we’ve stated before, are best to be avoided if your migraines are regular occurrences.

15. Sour Cream  

Sour cream is a dip we all love, but you may want to swap to salsa if your migraines are perpetual due to the choline.

16. Whole Milk

Choline is also found in whole-fat milk, so it’s better for sufferers to purchase semi or fully skimmed milk as an alternative.

17. Any MSG foods  

MSG, an abbreviation of Monosodium Glutamate is a flavour enhancer used by many fast food joints, and in recent years doctors have speculated it to be a migraine trigger.

18. Avocados

While avocados are healthy sources of protein, they’re a strict no-no for migraine sufferers due to their tyramine properties.

19. Bananas

As well as tyramine, histamine is another compound found in this popular fruit which can sometimes cause significant pains around the cranium.

20. Red plums 

Red plums, while often only consumed in the summer are another fruit with high levels of tyramine.

21. Vinegar

Yes, you guessed it, the seemingly ubiquitous compound tyramine is also found in balsamic vinegar although white vinegar is usually safe as it contains no tyramine.

22. Skipping meals

And finally, the most important thing to remember is that while there are plenty of foods to avoid, sticking to a correct eating routine is just as vital. Irregular eating patterns are never good for migraine sufferers, and a full stomach is often the best way to combat the early stages of a migraine.

For guidance and further reading about the best foods to eat, we recommend you read Karren Appold’s article in Today’s Dietitian entitled, Migraine Headaches — Here’s How to Identify Food Triggers and Reduce Debilitating Symptom.’

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10 Perfect Conversation Starters For a First Date

Yes, It can be mentally exhausting going on a date; let alone spending hours arranging one. It’s a risk, and a step outside the much-loved comfort zone.

So in the interests of all our readers still looking for that special someone, we’ve compiled ten natural conversation starters that are all but guaranteed to start a flowing (and hopefully interesting) conversation.

1. Good day?

Let’s start with the basics. Starting a conversation about a cliched topic such as the weather is, of course, a no-no.

It already suggests you’re devoid of ideas and screams unease and a lack of confidence. But playing it safe with a genuine interest in their day allows the conversation to grow organically.

2. The traffic wasn’t too bad, was it?

Dependent on their mode of transportation, asking your date if the traffic was bad or if the train was busy isn’t the worst conversation starter in the world so long as it’s followed up with something interesting.

You could even follow the question up with a funny story about how your face got squashed on the train on the way to work.

3. You look really nice

While best served in moderation, complementing someone (especially women) on a first date shows you appreciate the effort they’ve made while also making it clear you find them attractive.

However, any saccharine language is usually ill-advised. Telling someone they look ‘stunningly beautiful’ or ‘dazzlingly pretty,’ for instance,  is unnecessary and can give off an air of desperation.

4. Any awkward date stories?

After you’ve said hello and found some sought of natural rhythm to the conversation, you can break the ice by asking them if they have any funny date stories they’d like to share.

It can offer light relief to the initial unease of meeting a stranger, and also gives one another a glimpse at their sense of humor.

5. Favourite book/movie of all time?

The wonder of creative entertainment serves billions, not only you, which means conversations around books and shows can quite easily go in an upward direction.

For instance, if you’ve just finished watching an episode of Game of Thrones, ask them about it! Chances are they’ll like it too. It may sound rather generic, but once you have a similar interest, you’ll hopefully feel more at ease.

6. Dogs or cats?

This is always a favorite question. Something along the lines of, “Okay, first things first: cats or dogs?” can quite easily proliferate into a fun and impassioned conversation about likes and dislikes.

You could even ask them if they like cheese….

7. What are you looking for in a relationship?

It may seem like a direct and intimidating question, but with time, it’s necessary for both parties.

Asked correctly, with interest and lightness, it can offer an insight into how that person is, which could save you a lot of time and money.

8. What’s your dream?

Asking someone about their dreams and ambitions is a great way to know someone and gauge how they are in general. You want to know as much as you can on a first date, and one thing we as humans hold dearest is the possibility of our dreams coming true.

So ask! Who knows? Their dreams might even align with yours.

9. What kind of music do you listen to?

Even if you’re not the biggest music aficionado, chances are you probably have a similar playlist with at least one person you date.

So ask them what they think of popular artists like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. Again, these are light-hearted questions that can lead to so much more.

10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Everyone likes to envisage their ideal location. It offers escape and a chance to romance wistfully about future happenings. So ask! While daunting, a date is an escape from the mundanity of everyday life, so ask them questions associated with dreams and exotic places.

Chances are you’ll then be able to ask follow-up questions. Have you been before? What is it you like about such climates? Would you ever live there?

Remember, a conversation starter is intended to spawn more interesting and in-depth discussions. So take these questions as a starting point for something special. 

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10 Ways To Lose Weight Without Ever Going To The Gym

The good news, however, is that you can gain the same benefits as any regular gym-goer without ever setting foot in one. Here are ten simple ways.

1. Make sleep your best friend

It can be hard to turn in early when you really want to read another chapter of that page-turning novel or tune into another spellbinding episode of Game of Thrones, but research shows that a lack of sleep is correlated with an increase in weight.

In fact, Michael Breus, PhD and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep, believes the loss of only 30 minutes sleep can lead to a fluctuation in weight due to an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol, which can cause a person’s appetite to rocket.

2. Eat foods high in protein and rich in fibre

Carbohydrates are great energy boosters but are slow to digest. Protein, on the other hand. is practically fat-free and not only promotes muscle growth but also keeps you full and away from gorging on weight gaining foods.

Even a juicy burger or a grilled kebab is a better option than carb-heavy foods such as pizza and pasta. The fibre found in fruits is also another great option due to its ability to speed up your digestive system.

3. Don’t let your body get too hungry

While your weight may be high because of excessive eating, eating too little just to save yourself for a feast later can be much worse.

In fact, your blood levels will lower if you do so and your body will go into starvation mode, meaning it will slow the metabolism down for as long as it can to preserve every ounce of fat.

4. Always keep on the move

If you don’t want to burn those calories off in the gym, then you’re going to have to be prepared to do a whole lot of walking. It could just involve choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or, if you work in an office, make sure you at least stand up and walk around once every two hours. If you want to buy some milk in town, walk it. These are small changes but in time, you’ll be surprised how bigger change they’ll bring to your body.

5. Make sure portions aren’t excessive 

It may be somewhat obvious, but a big portion for one person might be tiny for another.

To avoid confusion, make sure you take out snacks from the bag and put them onto a plate so you can visually see how much you’re consuming. Buying smaller plates will help with this.

6. Eat a piece of dark chocolate for desert 

While dark chocolate can taste incredibly bitter, your digestive system will soon get used to it.

So instead of raiding the cookie jar, try eating a bar of dark chocolate after every meal. The healthy fats contained in dark chocolate have been known to fasten the metabolism.

7. Get into the habit of drinking at least 2 litres of water a day

Just one whole glass of water can make you feel instantly refreshed and even fill you up for a few hours, preventing your body from overindulging in snacks.

8, Swap certain condiments and dressings

While salads are healthy options, the dressings drizzled on them can be quite the opposite.

So instead of a creamy dressing, which will no doubt be laden with carbohydrates and sugars, go for a vinaigrette or lemon oil option.

9. Avoid certain drinks

Many diet followers usually focus on foods without giving much thought to the drinks they are consuming. A glass of wine, for instance, contains more calories than most beers, while a cheeky soda now and then should be out of the question. Water, water, water is the way forward.

And for those needing a bit of help at weaning their way off sugary drinks, try flavoured waters.

10. Workout at home

Okay, so you probably weren’t expecting this one. But don’t despair!

If you invest in just a few simple dumbells and an abdominal roller, you can do many exercises within the comforts of your home. Even if it’s for only 20 mins two times a week, your body will begin to tone. After all, when losing weight, no diet comes close to the physical benefits that come from regular exercise.

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10 Things You Should Never do After Turning 25

Well, while there are no rules for adulthood, most twenty-somethings have found the transition harder in recent years, but by making a few changes to your life, it needn’t be so bad. So stick around and let Lifehack Lane take you through ten things every quarter centurion should stop doing.

1. Not caring about your appearance

When you’re in High School and College, you practically have free reign to wear whatever feels most comfortable. If you want to wear a bright red shirt with various curse words printed on the front, then you’ll probably get away with it and be deemed, “cool” and “out there”.

But if you’re still going weeks without shaving, and haven’t bothered to shower in the last week, then you’ll find it harder than others to get employed. You don’t have to become a vain and ardent gym goer, but knowing when to look clean and presentable every once in a while is a skill many young people struggle with.

2. Blaming your parents for everything 

Increasing numbers of young people are now moving in with their parents after college. Or in Lena Dunham’s case in the much-loved HBO series, ‘Girls’, living off the bank of mum and dad. So you might be forgiven for blaming your plight on your parent/s. It could be resentment at the fact that your generation has it much harder than there’s, or that your life could have been so much better if they invested more money in your private tennis lessons.

However, look at yourself, and question what it is that you could do to move your life forward.

3. Waking up late

We all love a good lie in and having to wake up a 7 AM every morning can feel akin to being doused in buckets of cold water. But what can you do about it? Well, it’s simple… Get yourself a better nighttime routine. Do you really need to watch that late night movie that goes until 2.30 AM?

Are you really going to benefit from rushing out the door each morning with unkempt hair instead of waking up an hour earlier and giving yourself a bit of time to prepare for the morning ahead? These are small but simple adjustments, and with time, you’ll get used to it.

4. Wasting time on your phone and laptop

Look up, instead of down. There’s a whole world out there! You’re allowed to have a social media presence and swipe right on Tinder once in a while, but doing it every waking second and not being able to do anything else will do your development no good.

Your attention span will reduce, and you’ll struggle to sit still. So learn to be without technology for a good few hours each day. That way, you’ll see the importance of being productive and not wasting away your hours on a plethora of pixels.

5. Being a lazy slob

This can encompass a wide variety of traits. For some, it might be applied in the literal sense. However, many forms of laziness go undetected.

For some, that might be doing everything last minute. For others, you might go to the gym or clean the house in the knowledge that you’ll have little time to pursue that dream you’ve always wanted to be realised because you’re not confident enough in your ability to make it come true. So rid putting important tasks and dreams off and instead tackle them head on and you might find yourself feeling more fulfilled.

6. Pleasing others all the time

This isn’t the worse thing in the world. If anything, people pleasing is a sign of a caring and thoughtful person. However, it can lead to feelings of insecurity over whether you said the right thing or not. The solution? Let go of others’ happiness.

You’re a nice person, and all you can do is be yourself so don’t go out of your way to show people that. They’ll see it instantly, and you’ll feel less stressed knowing that making others happy doesn’t need to come from any outlandish gesture.

7. Caring what others think

Like people pleasing, valuing your life in terms of the other peoples’ opinions is often the result of underlying insecurities and fears. Where you bullied at school because of your appearance? Are you someone who needs the vindication and attraction from others to feel pretty?

These are common reasons, and while those may not directly apply to you, they can leave us feeling pretty drained and tired from trying all the time. So learn to let go, and love yourself rather than waiting to hear it from others.

8. Dating unsuitable people

It’s no laughing matter, and while you may laugh at the crazy nights and drunken antics shared with previous girlfriends/boyfriends, you can easily forget the times they broke your heart. Or the arguments that took centre stage, because aside from the intimacy and gushing at their desirable looks, you probably had little in common.

So put your dating priorities into more important traits and you’ll find yourself ending up with someone a lot more suitable.

9. Overusing slang

Idiomatic language can be cool and endearing and is often used when in the company of close friends and family. Still, if you continue to use said language, it will creep into all situations- including professional ones.

After all, the last thing you want to say in an interview is, “This job opportunity is sick”….

10. Complaining about life

Life isn’t a montage of roses and petals. It’s hard, and whether you’re living in a beachside villa or a block of high-rise flats, the same problems will still arise.

Family bereavement. Personal and professional rejection. Self-doubt. It’s a standard life cycle, but one which can be made a whole lot worse if you take what you have for granted.

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5 Life Lessons Everyone Should Be Taught

With that in mind, here are 5 simple life lessons that can bring about a sound and healthy mind.

1. You are never too old

When we age, we tend to prioritise the needs of others, whether that be our children, parents, marriage etc.

But while these things are all crucial to living a happy life, it can often mean letting go of your hobbies and dreams. So don’t let commitments stifle your dreams.

Whether you’re an 80-year old who always dreamed of writing a novel, or a 30-year old mother wishing to go back to school, it is never too late.

2. Nothing is impossible

Your thoughts create realities. And that’s a proven fact. Why? Because at one time or other, all these multi-national companies, all-star athletes and inspiring political leaders had nothing but their imagination. And within that imagination came a dream they went out and achieved. It would be wrong, of course, to suggests that all dreams come true, but that’s not to say that your goals won’t.

You may never play alongside Kevin Durant in the NBA, but you could still achieve your dream of becoming a coder for Facebook. After all, if you don’t try, you’ll never get it. Being level-headed is essential, but having no dreams at all can be soul-destroying.

3. Help yourself by helping others

It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own problems. Few have it easy, and chances are you’ll feel that giving your time to someone else sounds overwhelming.

But even taking half an hour out of your day- or even week- to do a good deed, whether that’s volunteering at a soup kitchen or playing games with the elderly at the nearby care home can do wonders to not just them but you too. You’ll see people who are vulnerable, and your empathy will take effect, making you realise that life is short and precious.

4. Not everyone will like you

It’s a truth that even the most likeable people will encounter. People are different, and no matter how gentle and humble you are, others may look at you in a different light. And that’s okay. So long as you believe in yourself and are happy with who you are, then that should be enough.

Nobody’s perfect, but everyone can be kind, which leads nicely onto our final point.

5. Nobody is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try and be the best possible version of yourself

We focus less on ourselves and more on those who we believe are more desirable. We get intimidated and allow self-doubt to tell us that we should leave our dreams to those more likely to succeed. “Who am I kidding?” many a person has probably bellowed.

So until you realise no dream is stupid, or no part of you is ugly or inadequate, then you’ll never feel satisfied. You’ll never attain perfection, but if you learn to love yourself and go for every opportunity, you’ll feel amazing inside, and your life will open up in ways you never thought possible.

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10 Explanations As To Why Some People Are Happier than Others

Not quite. There is no ‘key’ to happiness. But in their mind at least, they have opened a door where they can see everything for what it is. In the words of a well-known Greek philosopher, ‘Happiness depends on ourselves.’

Here are ten possible explanations for why some people are happier than others.

1. They never take anything for granted

It’s common knowledge that those who value friendship, love and the simpler things in life are often happier.

One only has to look at the demographics of Western economies like America to see that people’s individualistic and financially driven lifestyles have made them more depressed whereas those in developing countries, where there is little modern technology in place, are usually better off emotionally.

2. They’re not materialistic 

While happy people may notice the latest Chanel bag or the shiny new Ferrari Spyder that whizzed down the road, they don’t look at them and feel an innate need to have them.

Their only care is living, not wanting. If you manage to distinguish between the two, then you’ll probably feel just as good as they do.

3. They are ambitious

While living care-free can be a positive sign of one’s happiness, many living that lifestyle lack any long-term plans and instead turn to partying and wild nights of debauchery.

The happy-go-lucky types, however, may seem carefree, but they also know what they want in life. The difference between these two types may be subtle, but it’s crucial.

4. They value living in the moment

On the other hand, those with grand plans and big ideas can still feel bogged down and dissatisfied with life for not seeing their dreams come true.

However, those that are ambitious, but who value the now, rather than solely looking ahead are often happier. They know they are doing their best for a better future, but at the same time, they know the future is unpredictable and to neglect the present would be naive.

5. They say yes

Saying yes isn’t the answer to your problems, but it can help. You don’t have to revert to Jim Carrey’s character in “Yes Man”, but by saying yes more times than you say no, you’ll likely find yourself in some cool scenarios.

Some things will backfire, leading you to have wished you said no, but by saying no all the time, you are putting a wall up to living.

6. They experiment 

You may be one of those people who always order the same thing in a restaurant. Or never goes to another holiday destination because the place you went to last year was ‘ just fine.’ By doing that, though, you are restricting yourself to new flavours, sights, and sounds.

Those who constantly want to switch things up, however, and try new things are happier and usually lead more prosperous lives.

7. They value the importance of the self and aren’t always worrying about pleasing others

Happiness shouldn’t be confused with kindness. Sometimes, being happy requires a bit of self-interest to preserve your wants and needs. For instance, if you wanted to write a novel and get it published, chances are you won’t be too fussed telling your friends you can’t see them for a while.

Even those who end relationships at the drop of a hat, while appearing mean, are merely following their needs to be happy and not waste their life being with someone they don’t want to be around.

8. They don’t set unrealistic standards 

In a world increasingly built on material success, you can be forgiven for falling privy to the flawed notion that success equates to wealth and beauty. But if you see past these shallow desires, and look into the inner-beings of someone, you’ll have a whole new outlook on life.

Of course, it can be easier said than done, and happy people who don’t need material possessions aren’t always the happier than people who are rich.

Usually, though, they are far more at one with themselves that those who pursue the most expensive cars and the most ‘attractive’ partners.

9. They value the importance of downtime

You can be ambitious and go-getting without working every minute of the day. It’s important to have fun, regardless of how badly you want your life to be in the future. You don’t have to work hard and play even harder, but you should let go once in a while.

If you consume yourself in something for too long, it turns into an obsession that can sometimes have adverse effects on the project/goal.

10. They don’t dwell on the past

Looking back isn’t best advised, and while you can learn from the past, you can never replicate it.

So let go off heartbreaks and unsavoury memories. Enjoy what you have, and you’ll soon find yourself dancing like a 1969 Woodstock hippie every day of the week.

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5 Things You Can Do In The Office To Speed Up Time

Here are five such things that will put an end to your clock-watching days in the office.

1. Take walks

It won’t hurt you to take a five-minute break and regather your energy and focus. Better still, if you pass a nice coffee shop, why not pop in and order a hot beverage? That way, you’ll have something to consume that feels nice and distracts you from the boredom at hand.

And before you know it you’d have had a lovely walk, drank a comforting coffee and started on your next piece of work. Remember, taking regular breaks has been scientifically proven to boost productivity, so don’t feel guilty for not being able to sit still for hours on end!

2. Strike up a conversation with a colleague 

Talking about work-related matters can fast become irritating and can leave you wanting to isolate yourself. But by doing that and not engaging with others, you’re forcing yourself into a corner of boredom where interaction is few and far between.

Instead, make it a habit of striking up regular conversations with a colleague nearby. It doesn’t have to be about work. In fact, it could be about anything, from the American presidential elections to what Britney Spears was wearing at last night’s VMA’S.

3. Listen to music 

Unless your boss is mean, most bosses let you used your headphones providing you get the job done. However, this can also lead to boredom and procrastination if you have nothing new to listen to.

If that’s the case, stream your favourite album and absorb all the lyrics. More often than not we miss the important meanings behind them.

4. Write a bucket list

Sometimes, when the days are slow, and there’s little work to do, it can be tempting to sneak on Facebook or Youtube for a few minutes. But don’t. Not only do you risk looking unprofessional but it is also something you will likely do hours later at home.

Instead, create a bucket list file on your computer and every time you find yourself bored and with little to do, think of things to add to it.

5. Respond to old emails

Once you forget to reply to emails, you can end up with a deluge of them that can eventually leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed. So get in the habit of responding to them and craft new ones as well.

You’ll feel organised, gain more respect and best of all, it can be something that quickly turns a slow period of the day into a productive one.

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10 Safe Ways You Can Get A Natural Tan Without Damaging Your Skin

So to help you achieve that lusted summer tan, we’ve listed ten safe ways you can build- and even enhance= your tan without harming your skin.

1. Tanning lotion and oil can expedite the tanning process

If your skin isn’t too fair a tanning oil or lotion can be a great way to speed up the tanning process and allow you not to spend all day roasting yourself under the sun’s merciless UV rays. Make sure you put an adequate amount all over your body, from your legs and arms to your front, and back.

You’ll want to massage the lotion in a circular motion so that the pores absorb the properties.

2. Sunscreen is your best friend (not your enemy)

Applying sunscreen and reaping its full protective properties is best achieved by applying it 10 or 20 minutes after the oil has soaked into your skin. Depending on the strength of your sunscreen and your natural skin tone, it’ advised that you don’t spend any longer than 2 hours in the sun. Doing so for longer will cause nothing but damage to the skin, as well as increase your chances of skin cancer.

3. Always apply lip balm

It may sound somewhat redundant when it comes to getting a tan, but lip care often gets untreated in the quest for glowing skin, causing them to dry and chap. To avoid this, apply a lip balm the moment you make contact with the sun. That way, your tan will be enhanced by a bright and healthy pair of lips.

For more effective protection, apply lip balm every 20 minutes.

4. Avoid certain times 

The sun is strongest between the hours of 10am-3pm, meaning you should avoid the sun at these times at all costs if you don’t want to look like a roasted tomato. As the old Spanish proverb goes, Only mad dogs and Englishmenn go out in the midday sun.”

5. Hat and sunglasses should always be worn

While many people believe that wearing sunglasses will obstruct the face from an all-round tan, but that just isn’t the case. While tanning, remove your shades by all means, but once the tanning period is over, put them straight on again. Our eyes are one of our most sensitive body parts, and they are easily prone to sun damage and ageing.

A hat is equally important, especially for bald men, so it’s imperative you keep your scalp protected as well.

6. Rotate that body!

Like a hog on a spitting roast fire, you want to treat your body the same way. By doing so, not only are you providing equal sun coverage to both your front and back, but you are also decreasing the chances of sunburns. We recommend turning your body once every 20 minutes.

7. Shower after

Once tanning yourself for a reasonable period (preferably no longer than 2 hours), it can often be a good idea to water off the sweat with a refreshing, lukewarm shower. Doing this will keep your skin hydrated and thereby eliminate the risk of your skin drying out and flaking.

8. Remember to exfoliate

Exfoliation can help bolster your tan and prolong it once those rays disappear. While it is not necessary to exfoliate right after tanning, a one or two day gap should be sufficient to remove the dead skin cells and revitalise your skin

9. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, and  moisturize some more

We can’t stress this enough. If you want your skin to have an effortless-looking smoothness to it then moisturizer really is your best friend- and that includes you too, men!

After exfoliating, applying a moisturizer regulalry will prevent flaking, peeling, and dryness and will only add even more appeal to your golden skin.

10. Always carry a bottle of water

Water intake is key anytime of year, but the summer months require us to drink more water than we normally would. Not only is it healthy for our bodily functions, but water also promotes healthy, supine skin, which will only add to your skin’s radiant, tanned complexion post-sunbathing.