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On not being a mother

“Do you have any kids?” The question was barked at me one summer a few years ago. I was at a busy city intersection when I was trying to rush from one job to another and was blocked by a woman ostensibly handing out fast food coupons. It was a pretty insensitive and a loaded thing to ask a stranger. The streetlight couldn’t change fast enough.

“Well, I feel sorry for you,” she finally literally sneered at me.

Um, what?

From mothers vocalizing regret about having children, to articles scolding women and warning them that their life will be empty and lonely if they don’t embrace parenthood, there is a lot of focus on motherhood and those who opt out.

This past Mother’s Day a meme circulated with a message I found very touching, unexpected, and meaningful. Under cartoon bouquets of flowers there were captions describing different aspects of motherhood, and one bouquet was dedicated to women who have chosen not to be mothers.

I have never wanted children. Like at all. Not ever with absolute certainty. In my 30s I questioned this for the first time. It was the sudden loud and very real biological clock that started ticking when I met my niece Grace that caused the questioning to start.

I watched awed as she examined her tiny little feet and hands. I felt fulfilled and needed in a way I’ve never felt before when I gently patted her little back, helping her to burp.

I was suddenly putting myself through agony trying to get my life ready, trying to figure out if parenthood was something I truly wanted.

I was happy babysitting my niece. I’m happy being an aunt to my other nieces and nephews. Grace was born at a difficult time in my life and being happy about her birth didn’t have to translate into me being a mother.

People are well-meaning. They ask me to picture how sad my life will be in the future without children to visit me when I’m old.  They remind me it’s a life altering experience, and that  I’m missing out on so much, that I can’t even imagine what I’m giving up. They remind me gently that it’s not too late.

There is still time for me, technically, but the window is rapidly closing.

I don’t want to have to second guess a decision that I and my partner finally made together. If we ever change our minds in the future, there’s always adoption, or foster parenting.

Privately or publicly it seems women are expected to justify their decisions for not having children.

Am I doomed to be an incomplete person?  Am I selfish? Am I letting down the human race in some way?

I don’t think so.

Some people just know they want children. Maybe they’ve always known, but can’t explain why, and no one must expect them to. So likewise, no one must expect women who don’t want children to explain themselves either.

 

 

 

 

Tips to combat those blues

Just because the weather is getting nicer doesn’t always mean a better mood and that mental health will improve.  If you are finding it rather difficult to get out of bed in the morning, let alone accomplish day to day tasks, you might have depression. And although there are several remedies to help you with your depression, there are slight changes and routines that can also assist.

Proper water intake is key to feeling better and many neglect to drink the appropriate daily amount.. Want to lose weight? Drink water. Suffer from acne? Drink water. Mad at bae? Drown him, just kidding.  In fact, it seems that not drinking enough water is the root of all problems. It can actually lead to a lot of mental and physical issues. For one thing, a lack of water intake can cause brain fog. This can prevent you from thinking clearly, not to mention leave you in a less than content mood. Of course, lack of water intake can result in dehydration. The symptoms of dehydration don’t always have to be thirst. Fatigue, headaches, and even excess body heat are all signs that you need to up your water intake. It’s not always coffee that you need to wake you up. Put down the mug and pick up a bottle of water instead. Your mind and body will thank you.

Symptoms of depression do not pertain solely to being in a bad mood. Your physical health can be a red flag too. If you find taking a nap is always on your mind, not to mention you’re struggling to break free from your sluggish and lethargic state, check your vitamin levels! Vitamin B, C, and D  and depression are very closely linked to one another. Living in Canada, almost everyone lacks Vitamin D, also known as ‘the sunshine vitamin’ which can leave you feeling gloomy with a lack of energy. Be sure to also check your Iron, Magnesium, B12, and Vitamin C levels as well. Not only can these vitamins and minerals help with depression, they are also essential for maintaining your overall health. Either get your intake through supplements or incorporate meals that are rich in nutrients into your diet. That poutine may taste good while you’re eating it, but it’s doing more harm than good in the long run.

It’s easy to slip into a state of withdrawal when you’re suffering from depression. All you want to do is crawl into a corner of your bedroom and watch Netflix all day. However, being a couch potato is highly counterproductive to improving your mental health. Although it makes sense to let yourself grieve and feel your emotions, it is more important to find ways to break free from the cycle. So, do yourself a favour and hop on a fitness cycle! Getting active in small ways such as taking a walk around the block or trying out something more daring like rock climbing, can be a huge step towards bettering your depression. It’s no secret that exercising releases endorphins, helping you feel good. It can encourage you to try something new, engage in more social interactions, and just have a change of pace from your everyday routine.

Ah, social media. The biggest blessing and curse the internet has to offer. Social media has become an integral part of all our lives. It helps us keep connected with Jennifer all the way in Australia while keeping us informed on Trump’s day to day shenanigans. However, it can also contribute to negativity in our lives. Unfortunately, being active on social media can lead us to compare our lives with others, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and depressed. You can be sitting at home, trying to get active and eat healthier while your classmates from high-school are posting photos of their engagement or new house. Getting caught up in other people’s lives is not only irrelevant, its detrimental to your physical and mental health. Unfollow the accounts that leave you feeling empty and start following accounts that encourage positivism and boast motivation. Better yet, put down your phone and focus on your own life

Say no. No one will be offended if you do. And if they are — good riddance. Whether it’s in your professional or personal life, politely refusing to do things can help you feel in control of the life you fear you’re losing grasp of. Unfortunately, a lot of negative feelings arise when you put yourself before others. However, changing this habit will help with your self confidence. You may just not want to go out for dinner with your friends one night and it’s next to impossible when your boss has already put so much on your plate. It’s okay. Listen to yourself. If you feel like you can’t take it anymore, step away. Thank yourself later.

Be sure to visit your doctor if your depression persists for a prolonged period of time or if you feel your symptoms worsening.

 

Workout motivation: do, don’t ditch

So, the calendar has an intense workout or long run scheduled but the little devil on the shoulder is making a convincing case to do otherwise. That dilemma is a classic one – even for those fit-as-a-fiddle women who seem to have all their sh*it together. No one is without flaw when it comes to maintaining the perfect workout schedule.  All have dips in motivation, and have bailed on a yoga or gym session without good reason. I know l have days where it takes all I’ve got to not succumb to pressing play to another episode of Easy. For those days when the motivation is lacking, the below list will provide an extra dose of encouragement. Here’s what happens when I actually get in that workout:

Enjoy the rest of the day with feelings of confidence… not guilt.

When the to-do list calls for an intense spin class or sweat-inducing morning of barre, it can be easy to use the I-don’t-feel-like-it excuse and reschedule for tomorrow. Remember that this workout was scheduled by yours truly for a reason. Bite the bullet and… Just. Get. It. Done. I know that guilty feeling that lingers when cancelling a workout. Actually doing it means enjoying feelings of confidence instead.

Feeling sluggish? Look forward to a second wind right afterwards.

Oddly enough, it’s during those evenings when the energy levels feel low and those gym plans feel far-fetched that I end up with a second wind afterwards. Sitting at a desk all day can bring on extra lazy feelings by dinner time but remember that to spur the body into action is to give it a wake up; a much needed one. Enjoy that post-workout energy boost.

Know you’re more likely to be alert while working.

Those morning workout people will often say that setting the alarm for early a.m. hours means arriving to the office alert, happy and ready to go. If mornings at the office are often a slog, perhaps saying yes to even gentle exercise in the morning is a way to combat that and become more productive.

Fit people often have more energy in general.

Have that friend who somehow conquers her runs, yoga practice and dance classes during the week and STILL ends up rock climbing and playing ultimate frisbee on the weekends? Well she’s not actually some super-human freak of nature. Energy breeds energy. To stay on top of the workouts is to kiss lethargy goodbye. Go to the gym during the week and on the weekends, active plans won’t seem so lofty.

Accumulated workouts are an investment in future well-being.

The present-moment version of a person may not want to drop and do those sets of planks but guess what? The future self is the one who most benefits. Getting sweaty today means looking more trim and toned tomorrow. The biggest benefit of all though is creating a healthier, stronger mind and body.

It’s one of the easiest ways to get a mood upgrade.

If these tips have yet to inspire a new, revamped fitness routine, know that today’s workout is probably the quickest route to a better mood. Even a half hour on the treadmill is likely to turn a deflated mood around.

 

Disconnected: What I learned from 24 hours without my smartphone

How often do you find yourself scrolling through your news feeds instead of observing the world around you? It’s a common scenario, you walk into a room and everyone is looking at their phones, so you get yours out as well. There is time to kill so why not take care of a few emails, catch up with family and friends, or simply keep yourself entertained while waiting for whatever it is you are waiting for. Smart phones give us the freedom to take care of business and socialize (digitally at least) wherever we are.

It has the guise of multi-tasking, however I’ve recently realized what it really is: habit. A habit that keeps us attached to our phones, and just might be causing us more stress than it takes away.

The other day my phone stopped working. It didn’t completely black out, but I couldn’t view any news feeds, it wouldn’t let me read my emails, and the screen saver kept flashing on and off. It was no longer useable.

I remember the panic creeping up; this is how I communicate with clients, my kids’ teachers, it is the device I use to do a significant amount of my work. Luckily, my photos, files and contacts are all backed up so that wasn’t an issue. But being disconnected was. There was a fear of being needed, notifications piling up and not being able to respond.

And there it was. The fear of missing out.

Isn’t that why so many of us are guilty of checking our phones as often as we do? It is the reason our phones are kept within reach; so that we are ready to take photos of the kids, respond to work emails, get in on the group chat, and keep on top of appointments, school reminders, and family schedules as they are happening.

While we are busy doing all these things, it is easy to lose track of the world around us.

I was stressed without my phone, particularly with regards to work (there also happened to be a power outage that day so I didn’t have my computer either). I was trying everything I could to get my phone to function just enough to ease my mind. Were there any new emails or missed phone calls? Those were my main priorities.

Later that evening, once the power was restored and I was able to get on the computer, I realized I hadn’t missed anything urgent. There were emails and notifications, but nothing that would cost me work or that couldn’t be dealt with later.

The realization hit hard. I spent the entire day stressing over a situation I had no control over, and honestly didn’t really matter. I could have enjoyed time playing board games, doing puzzles and reading with the kids. Instead, I was frantically trying to fix a phone. That was my focus.

Admittedly, I spend too much time on my phone, I think most of us probably do. But the twenty-four hours I spent without one provided a necessary reminder; that it’s important to disconnect every so often and allow yourself to be one-hundred percent present in the moment.

Why your physical wellness is the best investment you can make

It was after harnessing as much courage as I could, that I recently found myself halfway up a mountain on a trail above Medellin, Colombia alone, muddy and incredibly sweaty. The trail, being on a mountain route, was steep and quite challenging at times, yet I was in my element: being outdoors and active has always been my thing. It was just after pausing to take in the landscape that the first drops of rain started to fall. Though I had the energy to keep climbing, I know Colombia doesn’t half-ass its storms. I turned back towards the farmer’s house below. Within minutes, it was deluging with the vibrant orange trails quickly turning to streams. I arrived at the bottom completely soaked with mud marks on my legs and tired muscles.

Moving from Toronto to Colombia has been an interesting personal experiment to say the least (and this is just the beginning). In making a transition like this, I’ve put myself in a situation where I no longer have a large social circle and comforts like my house, my routine, my directional awareness of my surroundings and even my ability to communicate are all gone. When I look at the elements that made up my day-to-day life a mere four weeks ago, there’s only one thing left: my fitness. During this transitional period, I’m glad for that.

I’ve been an active person for my entire life. In the early nineties when I was pint-sized but high energy, I danced, swam and pedaled my pink bike around and around the block. I spent my weekends playing tag and following the current of the stream by my house to see where it led. Soon after, I found my love for distance running and that never waned. I ended up in the fitness and health writing game.

It feels like by spending my youth as an active kid, I unknowingly set myself up to become a more self-sufficient adult. These days, I’m not only thankful that I’ve made myself into a physically active person but I also feel that this is the best investment I could have made. What’s more, is that I think putting time and energy into fitness is one of the smartest things any woman can do.

I spent the past few years writing about health and exercise. Through this work, one of the biggest things I wanted others to recognize is that the benefits of maintaining a decent fitness level go so far beyond looking trim and toned. While the workouts at first may seem to be means towards achieving a certain type of beauty, I don’t think that should be the point. Someone who makes athleticism part of her lifestyle is building a body that’s strong enough to take her on adventures no matter where she chooses to end up. Those activities could range from kayaking to hiking to climbing – you name it. Being fit enough to explore the surroundings through movement, I think, is one of the best things people can do for themselves. Sure, doing those planks and yoga poses may serve an initial purpose but once those ambitions have been realized, I think it’s about being fit enough to jump into physical activity purely for the enjoyment of it. For example, now that I’m spending much of my days on my own, I’m glad that I can hike tough terrain or spend an afternoon running without feeling exhausted. If I was starting from square one during this period, I’m not sure what I’d do.

This sort of a lifestyle is a big contributor to confidence, too. Believe me, moving to a different continent is a great way to test this trait. I may be nervous to venture out into the city (what if I get lost… again?) or talk to a stranger (what if my pronunciation is off… again?) but when it comes to moving my body, I know I’ve got this. With hiking, running or yoga, I know I’m well able to carry myself through – no matter where I am. That’s a confidence booster – one I’m glad for.

Everyone gets their fair share of curveballs to deal with. Keeping up with the workouts, I feel, is probably the best way to be proactive for those crappy days. To run or cycle or commit to those Tuesday night sessions is to contribute to overall wellness. When my body is stronger and fitter, I’m generally happier. When I’ve had a horrible day, I’m able to hit the roads for a tempo run and blow off steam and suddenly, the problem seems to have shrunk itself. Trust me, the workout has the power to benefit overall wellbeing. What woman wouldn’t want that in her life?

By the time I arrived home from my mountain hike in the rain, I was severely uncomfortable. First of all, my shoes were like a pair of waterlogged boats squishing with every step. Secondly, my white tank top was now see-through which, paired with my mud-stained shorts, didn’t make for a good look. The next day, my upper legs, not used to descending down a steep mountain were so sore I could hardly tackle a set of stairs. Still, it was one of the best days I’ve had in Colombia so far. Physical activity is a big part of who I am and I’ll continue to rely on that as I navigate this country. I’ve already planned my next hike here: a route along the spine of a mountain just outside the city.

 

Top running tips for conserving energy with efficient style and form

When I first started running, I had  inadvertently adopted a few poor running habits that zapped my energy and caused me to run slower. To get the most out of my running performance and to stay injury free meant developing good running habits. This is always the key to healthy lifelong running.

I was new to the sport of running and had picked up poor running habits -which was easy to do. Having a busy schedule  led to my  thinking that stretching wasn’t important anymore, and neither was checking the weather conditions. The ramifications, however, can be substantial. By not stretching all of your muscle groups after a run, you are setting yourself up for injury that can shelve your running for six weeks or more. And being unaware of an approaching storm or sudden change in temperature can leave you unprotected from the elements at the worst possible time.

Here are my top five tips for adopting a more efficient running style:

  1. Stretching is not only a workout in itself, it’s an essential component to running that offers many benefits, such as improving your athletic performance through increased flexibility, while substantially lowering your risk of injury. Surprisingly, there are many runners that still don’t stretch. Stretching should be done after a 10-minute warm up jog, and again following your workout when your muscles are warm. Hold each stretch for 60 seconds or do two sets consisting of 30 seconds for each stretch.
  2. Carrying your shoulders high and swinging your hands across your body are counter-productive and will deplete your energy, resulting in poor running economy. To correct this you should run relaxed with your shoulders low. Focus on pumping your arms front to back, and your feet will follow. This allows you to conserve energy, especially while running uphill.
  3. Give yourself at least 90 minutes to digest your food before running, otherwise you may experience muscle cramps or an upset stomach. Always carry a water bottle for longer runs, or choose a route where water is accessible along the way.
  4. Avoid clenching your fists, especially as you become increasingly tired. Keeping your hands relaxed will help you to maintain control without cramping or side stitches.
  5. Always dress for the weather conditions – especially at night – for safety. Wear bright, neon, glow-in-the-dark garments with lights, so you can be seen by cars, buses, bikes, etc. For colder weather, wear layers that can be peeled off, carried, and re-deployed as needed. Older shoes lose their cushioning properties and can lead to injuries such as shin splints.

Before going for that run or participating in an event I always double-tie my laces to avoid losing time in a race or wasting time on a training run. I also wear sun screen, even when running on shaded routes. Suggestion-I wear a running cap with brim that will protect my eyes all year round from the sun and the elements.

Hopefully by following these tips your experience will be that much more enjoyable in the long run. Pun intended!

Twitter: @christineruns

YouTube – runwithit

Start-up success: Tips for making your vision a reality

Starting a business takes time, effort, planning, patience, courage and the right people on your side to make it work. Getting it right from the start will save you the headaches that can come from not having a specific plan, not knowing your target clientele and audience, or by attempting to go it alone. It’s imperative to chat with others and do your best to discover specific resources, gain advice from individuals who have been in your shoes and who have succeeded, as well as to ask the right questions. Here are a few tips to inspire and to set you on the road to your end goal-a successful business that you are proud of.

Do what you love

The key to success and happiness in any line of work, whether you are the owner, CEO or entry-level employee, is to truly enjoy what you do. This same principle should be at the root of your business. When brainstorming a start-up take the time to visualize yourself running a business that involves those from your web of ideas. If you can picture yourself happy in that role and you have a true passion for whatever the service is that is provided, you’re doing well already. In short, if you know a pet grooming business is needed in your neighbourhood but can’t stand working with animals, it’s probably not the best option for you. On the other hand, if you absolutely love interior decorating and have thoroughly enjoyed helping others decorate their home or apartment for re-sale, you’d likely be very successful and happy starting a home-staging business. Discover your true passion and you’re half way there.

Surround yourself with the right people

No one is an island. We must depend on others to give advice, lend a hand and to lend expertise. Let’s face it, there’s always an area of any given project that has the least appeal to its founder. For instance, the financial breakdown and accounting for expenses and budgeting may not come the easiest to some.  Find the right people to take on the facets of the business that are a bit daunting to you. Perhaps these fine folks can instruct you over time and may allow you to learn to love crunching numbers and balancing the books, but until then, there is no shame in relying on someone who enjoys that aspect of the business in the now.  Whether the area you least enjoy is accounting or admin type work, it is important to allow yourself to depend a bit on others. Get a team together that you trust and honestly stands by your side for the benefit of the business.

Do more with less

Limited resources when a business is just getting started may seem like a hurdle and may also cause an entrepreneur to feel like giving up before the project even gets off the ground. Being limited can actually be a great thing! It inspires a small business owner to get creative and to think outside that proverbial box when it comes to gaining access to the vital resources that are going to result in keeping the endeavor afloat. It also can build relationships among other small business owners if you’re willing to reach out to others in the same boat for connections and team-up incentives. A small budget does not have to equal an unsuccessful business, it simply means you have to be more careful and plan carefully, while being creative with the budget and resources that you do have access to.

Be prepared and do your homework

From brainchild to budget, every facet of your intended entrepreneurial goal should have its “I’s” dotted and its “t’s” crossed. Know the market for the service you wish to provide. Interview others within the same field, develop a survey for your prospective audience or clientele to test the waters beforehand. Know the exact amount of money you have available and develop a budget for your business that is accurate and honest. Be prepared for the business to take its time while growing. Not every business is going to explode and become a smash success right away. Be patient and stay the course.  If you love what you’re doing, and you have researched that there is a strong market for what you offer, chances are you’ll find success in the near future.

Don’t be afraid

It is only by taking risks that great things occur. Be bold and take a step. Although it’s not recommended to throw all caution to the wind, believing in your plan and setting the wheel cautiously in motion is the most important step a budding entrepreneur takes. There may be setbacks and failures, yet preparation and careful planning can easily allow an endeavor to get back on course and result in success over time.

5 benefits of doing yoga in the morning

I’m a big yoga fan. The movement and breathing wakes my body up and forces my mind to start working, without the added stress of work or life’s challenges. Even a short five or 10-minute practice is enough to to wake me up and send positive vibes throughout my day. While many people say doing yoga at night is advantageous, I think doing it in the morning has just as many benefits.

Here are five benefits of doing yoga in the morning:

Peace of mind: People often start their day by thinking about all the tasks they have to complete before 5 p.m. And then we think about what we need to take out for dinner and who is going to be home and who is going to take out the dog. It gets crazy. Instead of starting your day off stressed out, a 10-minute yoga routine can help you slow down and be completely in the present. Whatever you need to do can wait. These 10 minutes are yours alone.

Focus: The peace of mind you get from practicing yoga can help you set an intention for your day. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to feel? Whether you want to maintain positive thinking, despite a meeting-packed day, or if you want to be confident during a presentation or networking event, an intention will help you create the frame of mind first thing.

Helps digestion: Practicing yoga in the morning can help your body metabolize food throughout the day. By doing gentle stretches, especially twists that massage the internal organs, the body becomes more capable of releasing toxins from the body. It also allows for the body to better absorb nutrients in food.

Better posture: Many yoga poses focus on muscles in your back, forcing you to push your shoulder blades back and breath deep into the stretch. Once you start actively thinking about how your head connects with the rest of your spine, there will be no going back. These type of exercises are ideal for those with a desk job.

Overall fitness: While yoga may not burn as many calories as running a 5k, it can help you strengthen your muscles and tone your body. Through the movement, you are essentially supporting your entire body mass using your own muscles. Whether it’s a simple downward dog or something more challenging like a balancing practice, every movement activates your core. If you are looking for something to supplement your cardio — yoga is the perfect routine.

Do you practice yoga in the morning? Let us know your favourite poses in the comments below!

How to survive your final year of university

This is not your classic back to school article. Over the next week, most media outlets will post a guide for froshers or first- year students, but not Women’s Post. Today, I am writing for the seasoned student. Going to university is a big transition in any student’s or parent’s life. It is essential to be prepared when dealing with a completely new environment, but what happens when you’re almost at the end of the four years?  Students often need that extra motivation and a slight push to survive the daunting final year of university. By my third year the stress and assignments were overwhelming, and I was already worrying about if I would survive the final semester. With looming dissertations and logging co-op hours, there are certain things you should be aware of if you want to successfully survive your final year of university.

Plan It Out

Remember those useful school agendas they give you at the beginning of the school year? It’s time to use it and schedule your life properly. If you are trying to manage an internship along wth your final projects or thesis, it is wise to manage your time. You should essentially have a to-do list planned for every day, so you know how to properly divide your time.

Get Help

You know the ropes of the school and you should be familiar with all your professors and deadlines. Don’t become stressed; seek help or advice if you need it. If you need an assignment extension, most professors can be understanding once you put in the work. Their only goal is to mentor you to success.

Get Sleep

It might sound difficult to do, but by fourth year you should be over the ‘all nighters.’ The better your sleep quality, the more mental clarity you will have to execute tasks. If you plan out your schedule you can hopefully avoid having to stay up too late doing work.

Work Hard

This is your final lap. It is your chance to close off the four years the way you want to. If you’re not used to working hard, it’s time to do so now. You should make sure all your credits are in order and maybe even have a chat with your advisor to ensure you are on the right path to be cleared for graduation. There is a fun game my friends and I used to play in university called ‘’what’s the minimum percentage I need in order to pass this class.’’  It’s not a fun game. However, there are moments that you may feel this way. Just push harder and spend those extra hours at the library if you need to. You should also balance this out with friends, have study groups or enjoy your study breaks reflecting on how you made it this far. These are the little moment you will miss.

Play Hard

In addition to working hard, many believe you should play hard as well. Don’t feel guilty about taking a night or two off. Have fun — you are in your prime and you won’t get these university moments back. So if your school is hosting the usual mid-semester gala or pub night, give yourself a break and have a fun night off. If you don’t want to party, indulge in other fun activities of your choosing. Yoga is always a fun break and a way to distress.

The Future

So this is the miserable and daunting part that you want to avoid. Talking about an uncertain future. I know i’m not the only one to bring it up. By fourth year, almost every stranger you meet is going to ask you what you have planned for the future. Is it grad school ? Do you have a job lined up ? The questions are relentless and frustrating. The obvious choice is to block it out,  but you have to face this reality. If you’re thinking about graduate school, you should already be working on your application by the beginning of the final semester. If you need letters of recommendation from your professors, get on it because professors have deadlines too. As for the job hunting,the same applies. Get started as soon as you can but don’t give yourself unrealistic expectations. Many graduates don’t find a job they are happy with almost one year or more after graduation. Nothing can prepare you for the world outside of school.

Get Experience 

It is vital to get as much experience you can through internships and volunteer work while you still have the “student” label. These connections can help you build bridges for future positions and connections. Many companies hire from a pool of school-based interns, so this can be a good way in. The experience will also go toward building your resume.

Don’t Worry

Worry is a waste of time and as the quote goes, “You can’t change yesterday, but you can ruin today by worrying about tomorrow.” These words are more powerful than you know and it would be a shame to spend your final year of university so worried and stressed out that you miss it entirely. In my final year of undergrad there were many sleepless nights filled with worry and tears,  but I always tried to envision myself in my graduation gown , going up on stage to collect my degree. Guess what, it happened. The thing is by fourth year you’re burnt out and over it and you just want to be finished already. Just be patient, it’s going to take some time and it wont be easy. Don’t fill your final year with regret and stress. Instead have fun and enjoy the final moments. Laugh with your friends, explore your campus, network with your professors for future contact. It won’t hit you right away but when next September comes around and there is no back to school, you may be surprised how much you miss it.

Some of the best memories, moments, and friends can be made during your university years so enjoy it and cherish them.

 

Top foods to boost your mood

Feeling down? Your diet could be a factor. Despite the everyday stresses of life, poor eating habits can also contribute to your bad mood. Lack of mental and physical energy is not something you want to deal with while trying to conquer the world. If you’re experiencing a case of the Debby Downer lately, try these mood boosting remedies:

1. Apples

They always say: an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Apples are one of the most valuable remedies for mental depression. The various chemical substances present in this fruit help the synthesis of glutamic acid, which controls the wear and tear of nerve cells. Try eating the apple with honey and milk. This combination makes an effective tonic that helps recharge nerves, gives new energy, and vitalizes the life.

2. Root of asparagus

The root of asparagus is highly nutritious and is used as an herbal medicine for mental disorders. Much like apples, it is a good tonic for the brain and nerves. One or two grams of the powder of the dry root of the plant can be taken once daily.

3. Bananas

There is logic behind the phrase ”going bananas,” you know! Eating bananas facilitates the cross-talk among the brain cells and affects the mood. To prevent recurring minor depression, a banana- a – day therapy will help.

4. Cardamon

Add some cardamon seeds to boiling water along with a teabag. These seeds will add a very pleasant aroma to the tea, which can be used as a medicine in the treatment of depression.

5. Rose Petals

Feel like a queen by infusing half a cup of rose petals in two cups of boiling water. Drink it occasionally, instead of the usual tea and coffee, and get the benefits. If you wish, leave it to cool off, place it in the refrigerator and drink it cool.

6. Cashew nut

The cashew nut is another valuable remedy for general depression and nervous weakness. It is rich in vitamins of the B group, especially thiamine, and is therefore useful in stimulating the appetite and the nervous system.

7. Herb lemon balm

The herb lemon balm has been used successfully in the treatment of mental depression. It alleviates brain fatigue, lifts the heart from depression, and raises the spirits. A cold infusion of the balm taken freely is excellent for its calming influence on the nerves.

8. Peanuts

Peanuts are good sources of trytophan, an essential amino acid which is important for the production of serotonin, one of the key brain chemicals involved in mood regulation. Surprisingly, peanuts may have good affects in lowering depression.

 

Remember: In addition to eating healthy, daily exercise and a positive attitude is also highly important. If you’re experiencing depression and anxiety and are having trouble completing day to day activities, be sure to also visit your doctor for more information on how to improve your mental health.

Good luck!

What do you eat to boost your mood? Tell us in the comments below!