Best ways to beat the Sunday blues

Best ways to beat the Sunday blues

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

We’ve spent our entire week slaving away at work/university with only one thing on our minds: the weekend. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there – every week in fact. We’re ecstatic when Friday finally rolls around, and Saturday’s even better because we have the whole day and night to kick back, party and do whatever else we please. But then Sunday rears its big ugly head and laughs in our faces. Whether we’re suffering from massive hangovers or just dreading the impending doom Monday brings every damn time, Sundays suck. But never fear – there are things we can do to beat those dreadful Sunday blues.

Get all your work done on Friday afternoon

We for one cannot wait to get out of the office on a Friday. However, it’s important to remind ourselves that if we don’t get all of our work done before the weekend, there will be double the workload come Monday morning. Our trick is to start organising all of our work on Friday morning, and then we can dedicate our entire day to making sure everything gets done. If necessary, we even stay back after home time to ensure everything’s in order. Honestly, we’d much rather get home a tiny bit later than spend our Mondays playing catchup and feeling like absolute crap.

Organise Monday’s gear when you get home on Friday

If we manage to get everything in order before Monday morning, we’ll have more time to spend doing whatever the hell we want on Sunday night. There’s nothing worse than feeling hard done by on a Sunday while tearfully ironing work clothes and packing bags. Frankly, it’s a huge fat reminder that soon we’ll be slaving away for five days straight. It’s much better to get the organising over and done with on a Friday when we’re feeling fresh, fabulous and thirsty for the weekend.

Spend time with friends and family

Sure, we might have already spent the weekend with our friends and family, but they’re pretty good company. Even if we just catch a movie, go out for dinner or gossip about the latest episode of The Bachelor – our minds will be focused on things other than our upcoming commitments. By the time Monday arrives, we won’t even have time to think about how bad it’ll be. It will just arrive and things will probably go a lot smoother than anything our minds have concocted to scare us.

Write everything down

No, this isn’t only for primary school kids. Writing can actually be a very therapeutic way to get all of our thoughts and feelings down while keeping us away from that mental institution. Whether we’re bitching about the colleague who keeps stealing our sandwiches, the one who types too loudly or the boss who keeps passing us up for a promotion – get it all down. Trust us, it will make you feel so much better. Just be sure to keep the diary at home and don’t let it anywhere near the workplace!

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Stop overthinking and relax

Let’s be honest, Sunday nights are probably worse than Monday mornings. We’ll never understand this because it means we use more negative energy worrying about something that’s not even as terrible as the act of worrying. It’s a weird concept to wrap our heads around, but according to experts we overthink way too much. If we didn’t know any better, we’d say our minds’ main goal was to cause as much unnecessary anxiety as possible. But hey, we can train ourselves to chill out, relax and enjoy the remainder of our weekends. Some things we can do include light exercises, such as yoga. Yoga relaxes not only the mind, but also our muscles. What better way is there to rein in the business week than feeling absolutely fabulous?

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What I learnt from other people’s weddings

What I learnt from other people’s weddings

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

I’m currently at the age where some of my friends are starting to settle down and get hitched (scary, I know). And while I’ve had a blast at most of their weddings, I also understand the amount of blood, sweat and tears that goes into planning one’s big day. Sometimes, it’s very dramatic. Mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, best friends, cousins, crazy aunts, you name it… they all get involved. And often families are torn apart, friendships are ruined and possessions are smashed. Here are some things I’ve discovered by living vicariously through my friends.

Don’t invite every single person you know

I know this one sucks because I hate offending people. However, weddings are freaking expensive (in case you didn’t already know). It often costs the bride and groom and/or their parents at least $100 per person. That’s why it’s important to ask: have I seen this person in the last year or two? How close are we really? Do I usually associate with them outside of work? I once knew someone who called a bride and asked her why she wasn’t invited to the wedding. WHY? What did she expect the answer to be? I hate your guts? After hearing this, I experienced so much second hand embarrassment that I had to stop what I was doing just to calm the hell down.

Be nice to your maid of honour and bridesmaids

This is important. A few years ago my friend was a bridesmaid to her close friend, and now they don’t even speak. The bridesmaids were even asked to fork out an unbelievable amount of money on absolutely ridiculous things, including the bride’s wedding dress because bridezilla kicked up a stink about not being able to afford it herself. Not to mention my friend also organised and paid for a hen’s night that the bride decided to skip due to “unforeseen circumstances.” I know being a bride can be stressful, but it’s no excuse to turn into a complete monster, people.

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Realise your budget might change

A sensible person will always have a wedding budget (unless they’re super rich). But the thing is, when you go wedding shopping you’ll probably find things you absolutely love that you didn’t account for when wedding planning. That’s completely normal, but just don’t go overboard. I for one am a very impulsive buyer who has absolutely no self control, but I’m getting better. I’ve heard so many tales of brides and grooms destroying their budgets, and as you can imagine it’s a very stressful thing. One good idea is to add a certain percentage you’re willing to go over, and stick to that.

Invest in a quality photographer

I know memories and ‘being in the moment’ are the most important things in life. But one day you’ll regret not having enough photos to cherish, or to show your kids and grandkids. Hiring a quality photographer and going out of your way to make that investment is super important. Do your research and ask your friends for recommendations. When my cousin got married, her friend’s little sister volunteered for the job, and let’s just say things didn’t go too well. Just ask the blurry, crooked and questionable looking portrait of her and hubby hanging on the lounge room wall.

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You need to remember that your wedding day, while stressful, is also supposed to be amazing. Cherish the moments, stress less and don’t forget the day is about you, your partner and your commitment to one another.

How to survive a long haul flight

How to survive a long haul flight

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

We all love travelling, but the idea of being trapped in a metal can for hours on end can deter even the most frequent flyers. For us Australians it’s especially difficult, as we live so far away from most of the world. But if we want to visit somewhere exciting like Europe, we have to suck up our pride and make the most of a not-so-great situation. Here are some of the best ways to do just that:

1. Wear comfortable clothing

This goes without saying, but comfortable clothes are a godsend when it comes to long flights. You will be sitting down for several hours, and perhaps even transiting through various airports, so dress comfortably. Trudging around with heavy luggage is already bad enough, but it’s even worse when you’re wearing heels and jeans that cut off your circulation. Opt for something loose, light and layer up. Planes usually range from freezing cold to scorching hot, so bring a jacket and wear something lighter underneath.

2. Bring a neck pillow, earplugs and an eye mask

Neck pillows are an absolute must for long flights. Most airlines provide you with these, but they’re not always the best quality. Invest in a proper neck pillow, which you can easily buy from your local airport. It will help you sleep, support your head and make your journey a thousand times better. Make sure you also bring earplugs and an eye mask if you want that quality shut eye. Again, some airlines will give you these, so it’s a good idea to check beforehand.

3. Don’t go overboard with food and drinks

We know free food and drinks is never a bad thing, but there’s no need to over do it. There’s nothing worse than getting indigestion when you’re thousands of feet in the air. It’s already uncomfortable enough – don’t make it worse! The same goes for alcohol. While it’s fine to have a sneaky wine or two, don’t drink too much. It can act as a stimulant and keep you up for hours.

4. Drink plenty of water

There’s a lack of humidity in air cabins, which makes flying incredibly dehydrating. Experts usually recommend quadrupling your water intake on flights to avoid dehydration. Keep this up the entire flight, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to ask for more water. Experts also advise drinking other liquids, such as gatorade because they’re full of energy, and maintaining balance is very important.

5. Bring your own entertainment

Most long-haul flights have in-flight entertainment, but you should check this just in case. Either way, pack a few things to keep yourself entertained. Load your phone up with some music, bring a good old fashioned book, download some movies on your iPad, or even take this opportunity to tackle that work you’ve been putting off!

6. Pack light, but be prepared

We know this is going to be hard for you fashion-savvy gals, but don’t pack too much stuff. Carrying heavy luggage around for hours on end can be exhausting, and it’s guaranteed to put you in a bad mood. Having said that, make sure you pack the essentials. Remember to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash, baby wipes and deodorant. They sound like simple things but can be easily forgotten and you’ll definitely regret it if you don’t. However, make sure you don’t pack anything over 100ml, and that you don’t bring aerosol deodorant. Airport security is very strict with these rules, and they’ll probably be confiscated.

7. Sit back, relax and enjoy

Finally, just enjoy your flight. We know it’s long and tiring, but it’s not every day we get to sit down for hours and do absolutely nothing but eat and watch TV. Enjoy it while it lasts because it will be over before you know it!

Fitness myths you shouldn’t believe

Fitness myths you shouldn’t believe

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

If you’ve spent even 20 minutes in a gym with other people, you’ll know that suddenly everyone in the vicinity becomes a health and fitness expert. Whether they’re criticising you for eating non-fat yoghurt for breakfast or trying to convince you how important it is to take a million different supplements a day, they think their word is gospel.

But let’s be honest – most of these people have absolutely no freaking clue what they’re talking about. To clear things up, I’ve done a bit of research and have discovered some of the top fitness myths out there. And let me tell you, there are plenty.

Strength training makes women bulky

According to certified fitness and nutrition experts, this is one of the biggest lies out there. While lifting weights does build muscle, it takes a hell of a lot more than three kilo dumbbell curls to transform you into the Hulk. You might be thinking of all those female bodybuilding pics you see on Insta, but let me tell you, those women pretty much devote their entire lives to gaining muscle and looking buff AF. They also complement their training with super high protein diets and a really, really strict fitness regime. Trust me, you’re not going to turn into a superhero just by performing two to three sets of light weights a few times a week.

Squats are bad for your knees

Again, this is complete BS. In fact, experts say squats are actually good for your knees. Squats are among some of the greatest moves for performance enhancing and core-building strength. Not only do they develop all of your major muscle groups around the knees and hips, but they also help other muscle groups, such as the glutes, calf muscles, quads and hamstrings. Once you strengthen these muscles, the pressure is eliminated from the knee joints and onto the muscles that are designed to stabilise those joints. Unfortunately, no matter how much research is done about squats, many personal trainers and media personalities are still spouting off incorrect facts.

The more you sweat, the better your workout was

Not always. Some people naturally sweat more than others, and that definitely doesn’t mean they’re working out any harder. The amount you sweat also depends on your fitness level, body type and genetic history. Experts believe that the best way to measure your workout is by intensity, not sweat. If you did an intense workout, but didn’t produce any sweat, it’s definitely not something to worry about. As long as you completed your fitness regime properly and gave it all your all, chances are you totally killed it.

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Sit-ups and ab exercises will give you a six-pack

Sorry to burst your bubble, but your six pack isn’t making an appearance any time soon if you live by this rule. According to research, “you can do sit-ups for days, but if you have a high percentage of body fat, your abs will stay in hiding.” Abs will only appear when you eliminate the belly fat that covers them. To achieve a toned stomach, you should try high intensity training. However, the simplest way is to just cut out artificially sweetened drinks and sugar from your diet.

The sorer you feel after a workout, the better your workout was

Soreness is usually just a sign that you haven’t performed a particular move before, or for a while at least. While stiffness and pain can be signs that you absolutely nailed your workout, it’s also possible to exercise without feeling like you’ve been kicked in the shins, thighs and buttocks with giant arse heels the next day. Everyone is also different, and some people experience delayed muscle soreness. Experts say that pain is not a suitable indicator of effectiveness, and that you shouldn’t worry if you’re not feeling as sore as your expert resident gym buddies.

Top friendship deal breakers

Top friendship deal breakers

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

You’ve probably read a million articles about the many deal breakers when it comes to dating. But how many have you seen about friendships? Sometimes society is so focused on romantic relationships that we forget our platonic ones are just as, or even more important. After all, who will feed us ice cream and stroke our hair when our dating lives inevitably go to hell? But even though most of our girlfriends are the absolute best, sometimes there are certain fake ones we have to weed out before being left with the beautiful flowers. Here are some of my friendship deal breakers.

The ones who constantly cancel plans

Okay, I’m not going to kick you to the curb if you cancel on me a few times. I get that life is busy and that sometimes things get in the way, but it becomes a bit of a joke when you do it ALL THE DAMN TIME. Especially when I’ve spent the last hour psyching myself up, straightening my hair, carefully applying eyeliner, and trying to master the art of contouring (trying). It’s even more annoying when you tell me five minutes before we’re due to meet that you’ve “been feeling unwell all day” or that you “found out yesterday” that your boss wants you to work late. That’s all well and good, but you could have had the decency to tell me a tiny bit earlier. Seriously.

The ones who treat you like a back up plan

This is one of my biggest pet peeves, but it also kind of makes me laugh. I have one ‘friend’ who constantly invites me out for drinks, but when I decline due to work or university commitments, I usually suggest she ask some of our other friends instead. Her reply is always (without a doubt): “I’ve already asked about ten people, but none of them can come either.” WELL. I will admit that I found it kind of (really) offensive at first, but now I’ve gotten used to her and I think it’s pretty amusing that she has absolutely no shame. After all, it says more about her than it does about me.

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Skinny girls who constantly complain about their weight

First of all, let me just say that I understand some people have body issues, so that’s a very obvious exception. But when your 50kg friend sits there picking at her salad while questioning the ingredients in her kale smoothie and you’ve already devoured a double cheeseburger and Tim Tam thick shake… without a care in the world might I add, it gets a bit exhausting. When someone knows they’re skinny, and they’re just waiting for you to throw them a reassuring “Oh my god, you’re so thin. Why are you complaining?” Guess what, girl? It’s not happening. I’ll just sit here, mind my own business and enjoy my yummy meal. Sorry, not sorry.

Friends who talk about themselves all the time

I think the worst kind of people are the ones who CONSTANTLY talk about themselves and never ask how you are. Or the ones who are so self-involved that they always have to tell a more interesting story, be the smartest or have nicer clothes. I honestly don’t understand it. Why should I have to compete with you when I already have a hard enough time navigating the world on my own? As someone once told me, women empower each other in their friendships – teens compete. So please, be a woman, give me a break and focus on bettering yourself.

Friends who are too clingy and/or needy

Okay, at first I was flattered that you wanted to spend so much time with me. But please, I have a life and it doesn’t always revolve around you. I also have other friends who I sometimes like to hang out with, and I think they might miss me. Once I went to a nightclub with my needy friend and we both bumped into another friend at the bar. I invited her to join us for a dance and we were all having fun… well at least I thought we were. Until I got 15 angry texts the next day from my needy friend who was “so upset” because the “night was supposed to be about us.” Umm, what? You’re not my boyfriend, and even if you were, I wouldn’t let you get in the way of my friendships. Besides, we were all together and I wasn’t leaving you out. She’s your friend too (well, she was…)

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I guess sometimes friendships aren’t meant to be. It can take awhile to figure out who your real friends are, but once you’ve got that down pat, you’re pretty much set for life.

I’m no longer friends with most of the people I listed above because quite frankly, life’s way too short to put up with such BS. We’re all in our twenties now, and I couldn’t even deal with this this stuff when I was a teenager. It’s time to grow the hell up.