Tips to Boost Your Self-Esteem

Your self image is an essential part of your well being. It is not always possible to be positive about ourselves. We would have many reasons to think low of us. The first step in overcoming this is to accept ourselves for who we are. We are special in our own way. It is normal to have flaws, there are some who are capable of covering it up which is why we tend to see some as perfect. Here are a few tips that will help you boost your self-esteem.

1. Exercise

This is a great way to boost your self-esteem. If you exercise regularly and remain fit, this will automatically make you feel good in your own skin. If you feel a little plump, it is more likely that you feel very uncomfortable and too cautious about yourself. This directly lowers your self-esteem whether you realize it or not. You might not be aware of the fact that your physical appearance is a reason why you think low of yourself. You might even deny and say you are fine with you being plump, but deep down it does really affect you in a negative way. So try doing some light exercises, like for a start, brisk walking. Even if you are not plump you could do some exercises, there’s no harm in it. This will surely make you feel better about yourself than usual.

2. Write 2 or 3 things you appreciate yourself for

At the end of the day write down in a notebook, 2 or 3 things for which you are proud of yourself. It could be you finishing an assignment, learning to cook something new, doing your daily exercise, etc. You might find this task a little boring and useless, but it really motivates you to do better the next day. Keep a small notebook beside your bed and make sure you write in it every day.

3. Don’t compare

You are totally different from everyone around you. Keep this in mind. Try not to compare yourself with your friend, your classmate, your sibling or even your twin. This is not a healthy way of dealing with shortcomings. Understand that you cannot always be on top and that you cannot be anyone else. It is when we fail to meet the expectations that we start doing a series of comparisons.

Comparing themselves with others might help some people. On the long run this won’t be healthy as you might end up with a long list of your flaws and none of your strengths. It’s good to know your flaws as it will help you mend it. But too much of it would just harm the little hope left in us.

4. Do what you love doing

You might love reading or swimming or dancing etc. Whichever is it that you love doing keep at it. Take some time during the week to work on it and try and excel in it. This will give you a sense of achievement which is very necessary for everyone.

Try these out and I am sure it will help you.

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Why Self Esteem is Important?

Am I good enough? This is a question we might ask ourselves a lot. Your answer to this question will tell you how you value yourself or your self esteem. Self esteem is how much you value yourself and how important you think you are. Self esteem affects your body, mind, thoughts and relationships. This not only influences your thoughts but also your actions and reactions. Here are a few reasons why high self esteem is important.

1. Handling Criticism

If you have a high self esteem it is very likely that you will be able to face criticism. It is not an easy task to face criticism positively, especially if we are being criticized by someone of our same position. No matter which position we hold it is good to be criticized by others. This will help us to modify our skills and also will help us to learn new things. Whenever a person is criticizing you think of it as something which will make you better.

2. Overall Wellness

If you have high self esteem it will help you balance your mood and emotions which will inturn boost your physical health and energy. Only if you honor yourself will you be able to make choices that will nourish your body and mind. You will also value your safety, your feelings and your health. This will force you to take wise decision on food,  exercise or setting your priorities.

3. Make you happier

Studies show that people with high self esteem are happier. High self esteem will help you to undertake difficult tasks and persevere during tough times. This in turn will ultimately make you proud of your capability and make you happy.

You are amazing and lucky so be proud of yourselves.


Tips for Better Sleep

Do you get frustrated because you can’t get a good sleep? Its not necessary that you will get a good sleep every night. There might be some mornings when you might feel like you only slept for since time, or that your sleep was not enough. Here are a few tips on how to get a good sleep.

1. Have a Regular Sleep-Wake Cycle

You might feel sleepy around the same time you fell asleep the previous day. This is the main reason why we should have a regular sleep time. If we sleep at a set time every day (say 10pm to 11pm) our body will get used to that and can easily fall asleep at that time.  Otherwise we might be in bed tossing and turning trying so hard to fall asleep and end up getting frustrated and getting off of the bed.

Our body is capable of remembering the time we wake up from our sleep. Thus during the same time the following day our body starts preparing to wake up. Which will prevent us from getting the needed sleep.

2. Have a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Since the environment impacts the quality of our sleep here are a few suggestions.

a) Bedding

Make sure you have a comfortable mattress and a pillow. Also make sure you have a bed big enough as you might change position during the night.

b) Light

We sleep better when there is less or no light around us. Thus try to sleep with very little light. If you are trying to nap during the day, you could cover your eyes with a dark piece of cloth.

c) Sound

Sound could easily wake us up from our sleep. If you are a person that can only sleep with music around you, try setting a timer for your music to shut off so that it won’t wake you up in the middle of the night.

d) Keep electronics away

Studies show that the use of electronic devices one hour before sleep could increase the time gap between the time our head hits the pillow and we actually fall asleep.

e) Temperature

Have a moderate temperature, so that you don’t wake up at night shivering with cold or drenched in sweat. Also cool temperature will get your body ready to sleep.

3. Avoid Heavy Dinner

When your stomach is too full, you might have a hard time sleeping. Especially if you have taken fatty foods or junk food for dinner. It is because our stomach has to work extra to digest. This which will result in loss of sleep. If you are hungry even after dinner, eat light ( like fruits, some milk, etc) so that it won’t disturb your sleep.

4. Have a bedtime routine

A bedtime routine could include making your bed ready, personal hygiene, moisturizing hands and legs, listening to a soft instrumental music or reading, prayer, etc. Create a routine for yourself and make it a point to do it every day before you go to bed. After some days our body starts responding accordingly and will help you to sleep faster. In a way this routine could be a message you are sending to your body, telling that it is time for bed.

Hope you have enjoyed this series on sleep.

To see the first post of this series, Better Sleep Better Life click here.

To see the second post of this series, Tips for a Better Sleep Environment click here.


Tips for a Better Sleep Environment

The need for proper sleep is absolutely vital. A good night of rest acts like a “reset” button for us. It rejuvenates us both physically and mentally. The best time to fall asleep is 10pm to midnight. The sleep during day time will not make us as rested as when we sleep at night. It is not just the time we sleep that affect our sleep but also our sleep environment. Here are a few tips to make a better sleep environment.

1. Bedding

For a comfortable rest it is very important that your mattress and pillow are comfortable for you. Everyone has a different definition for comfort, so find a mattress and pillow which makes you feel comfortable. Make sure your mattress is large enough because you are going to change your position quite a few times during sleep. Also changing your bedspreads and pillow covers on a regular basis of at least once a month is required.

2. Light

Have you ever compared how fast you fall asleep during day light and how fast you fall asleep when it is pitch dark? You sleep better in the dark. That is how our body works. When you sleep try to avoid all sorts of lights, even a night light. There are chances of you waking up during you sleep and this light could easily wake you up, or it could prevent you from getting a sound sleep the rest of the night. If you are trying to sleep during the day, try to prevent any sort of light from the outside by covering the windows.

3. Sound

Noises can prevent you from sleeping, or it keeps you in a state where you are partially awake. Our body is designed to respond to outside stimulus so it is common if we wake up hearing an unpleasant sound, whether it is in our room or across the street. Some people claim they can only sleep with music around them, they might need the music only to fall asleep so put a timer for your music or ask someone to turn it off one you are asleep. Try to minimize the sound around you when you sleep because only them can your body rest properly without distraction.

4. Keep electronics away

Electronics are a big distraction for us. It not only eats up our time during the day it also prevents us from getting a sound sleep. For some they can sleep the moment their head hits pillow and for some others it might take quite some time. Studies show that the use of electronic devices one hour before sleep could increase the time gap between the time our head hits the pillow and we actually fall asleep. Therefore set a time for you to shut off electronics one hour before you sleep.

5. Temperature

There are situations where we wake up from our sleep drenched in sweat or shivering from cold. By night time allow your room to get some cool air from the outside and also use air-conditioning or a fan to cool your room. Our body generally cools down when it is preparing for sleep, which is why it is good to have a cool environment when you sleep.


Better Sleep Better Life

Sleep might not sound important, but it is equally important as nutrition and physical activity. It is the time when our body and brain recharges and repairs itself for the following day. Sleeping for at least 6 – 8 hours a day is a necessity. Sleep plays an important role in our hormone production as well as regulation. Here are a five reasons why sleep is important.

1. Boost memory

Even when our body rests our brain does not. While sleeping our brain goes through the events of the day and tries to connect it with previous events, feelings, etc which make it easy for us to retrieve certain information in the future. The brain also consolidates what we’ve learned throughout the day. This process is important as certain information might not get stored and could be lost.

2. Lowers stress

If we get the sleep which is required we tend to feel relaxed in the mornings or else we get into a state of stress. This causes the increase of blood pressure and the production of more stress hormone. This increased blood pressure can cause many physical and mental health problems such as heart attacks and depression. Sleep does not mean you will not get stressed, but it will help you to cope with the stress that comes your way.

3. Gives more energy

Have you ever felt enthusiastic and energetic after a good sleep? Or even after a power nap? When we sleep our body is well rested. While we are asleep our brain goes through a revitalizing process that prepares us for the time when we are awake.

4. Elevates your mood

Too little sleep will make you irritable, annoyed, moody, emotional, etc. It even leaves you with less energy to do the things you like, which in turn make you unhappy. Getting the proper amount of sleep will not guarantee an amazing day. But it gives you a sense of satisfaction which is what we all crave for.

5. Balance your weight

Good sleep helps you to maintain the hormones which make you feel hungry. If your body is not well rested, the level of the hormone called Leptin which makes you feel full will come down making you to eat more than usual. Also when you are not well rested you crave for more sugar which makes you alert. These factors will cause you to eat more than usual and to crave for sugar. Proper sleep will regulate this helping you to manage your diet and to be fit.


Tips on How to be a Better Friend

“How useless is this idea? How can I learn to be a better friend from some blog post?” Don’t worry. These thoughts have crossed my mind too. Below are some tips that I personally think is necessary for everyone. We are not perfect and we can never be perfect, so don’t blame yourself for messing up your friendship. There’s always a way out. So here are a few tips on how to be a better friend.

1. Be a Good Listener

Listening to your friend is very important. When you are listening to your friend, try to paraphrase and tell them what they are saying. This will ensure to your friend that you are truly listening. Also you will be able to clarify what your friend is telling you. Wait till your friend has told you everything they have to say and only then give your inputs. As an example chose to tell your own story over other people’s story. Before trying to help them, ask them to give suggestions on how you could help them.

2. Be There in Time of Need

This need is not just material. It could be sickness or the loss of someone special. We always need people around us, especially if we are going through a hard time. Being there for your friend, when they are going through a tough time is important. You could call or text them. If you are planing to visit them, then you could ask them before you show up at their door step.

When you hear that your friend is going through a hard time, think of yourself in that situation. And do for you friend what you wished your friends to do for you.

3. Own Up to Your Mistakes

This is important as it makes you a trustworthy person. This tip is not only important in friendships but in every relationship. Owning up to our mistake might seem humiliating at the moment, but it is worth. People might criticize you for the mistake you’ve done, but you will be appreciated for owning up to what you did. This shows your willingness to be taught and corrected. Most of us dislike the idea of being corrected, which is a natural human instinct. We learn to be open to corrections.

Is this something you struggle to do? Try harder! Your friends might dislike you for the moment, but I guarantee they will come around.

4. Warn Danger

We like the feeling when others approve of what we do and dislike when others don’t approve. As friends we are expected to support each other no matter what. But this does not have to be done all the time. If you see your friend doing something which is inappropriate and unacceptable you have to warn them. Because if you don’t warn them, then who will?  It could be something they are doing out of pressure or because some think they are cool. Either way if it is harm to them, you should warn them. They might not approve of your input and they might cut you off on that topic but it is worth the try. 

They key to a good friendship is honesty. So be honest no matter what!


Tips on How Win Over Homesickness

Homesickness is something we all have faced or something we will face at some point in our lives. Even if it has been some years since you’ve moved out of your home, you will feel homesick on a particular day or time of the day like on your birthday, or while having dinner, etc. Sometimes it captivates us and we feel handicapped. Here are a few tips on how to deal with homesickness.

1. Know you are not alone.

We might look at other people around us and feel as though we are the only ones who miss home and all the other people are just living it up. Well its not true. I went through it too. The thought that we are the only ones who feel this way allows homesickness to handicap us even more. If you talk to others around you will come to know that you are not alone. This truth gives us a great sense of relief.

2. Make your room as comfy and homely as possible.

When you wake up on a different bed, in a different room with other people around you, you will feel out of place. For this you could try and make your  room resemble your room at home. You could bring some of the pictures in your room, your favorite blanket, your favorite coffee mug, and so on. This will not completely take care of your homesickness, but will help you to reduce its effect on you. When you see a lot of familiar things in your room, even though it is arranged in a differently from your room back home. This will give you a feeling that you are not totally detached from home.

3. Skype and call.

It is really important to stay well connected with your people back home. Set up a timetable for yourself where you will either text, call or Skype your family and friends. For me talking and texting is better than skyping, . Skyping will just increase my desire to go home and be with family and friends back home. While talking to ones back home get updates on what’s going on in their life and also give updates of your life too, knowing about what’s happening in their lives will reduce the feeling that we are far away from home.

4. Keep yourself going.

When you are in your dorm room doing nothing, there is more chance that you will start thinking of home and would want to go home. For this keep yourself occupied. If you are in your room, if not studying or reading for a class you could listen to some music, play an instrument(if you know how to), read a book or so on. If none of this helps you the only one thing you  could do is to get out of your room. You could spend your evening in the library, or in some café(where there is a good environment for you to study and calm your mind). Once in a while you could plan to go out with your friends which will also give you some time to talk, laugh and have fun.

This feeling of “missing home” is quite normal. So find which options is best for you.