For entrepreneurs and start-up founders putting in as many hours in their work as possible has become a normal culture. Even 9-to-5ers put in extra hours just to get the promotion sooner. Everyone has started focusing solely on moving forward in their careers and will sacrifice anything for it. It is a good thing but not when it costs everything: your health, your life, your relationships.
Let’s focus on the health aspect today. Let’s say you work non stop- no time to eat or sleep. Your body gets tired, doesn’t get proper nutrition, falls sick, and then you stop working and spend all that you have earned in getting back in shape. Is it worth it?
We work until we feel total burn out. My question to you is how logical do you think it is? Why not do what we can to take care of ourselves and not fall into the predicament that many young, ambitious people are falling into. As important it is to work toward our dreams, it is equally important to keep ourselves in shape so that we can work toward our dreams.
I get it. You don’t have time to cook meals, so you resort to takeouts or packaged fried junk. They might be quick fixes, but processed food, fried food, and everyday takeouts will take their toll on your body. One solution to that is batch cooking.
When you have no time to cook during the week, batch cooking is the best way to ensure that you have healthy food and always have something to eat. All you have to do is take some time out of your weekend to make sure you eat well for the week. Just imagine the amount of stress regarding the food you will forego and how much time and energy you will save overall.
What exactly is batch cooking?
Batch cooking means preparing or cooking larger portions of a variety of dishes that can be mixed and matched to create different meals throughout the week. Most people do it on Sundays to prepare for the week. Some people like to break it down and do this on Sundays and Wednesdays so that they can get more variety.
All you have to do each day is pull out the meal out of your refrigerator and heat it or maybe if it is something that you can just grab and go then more props to you. You will be thankful to your weekend self for taking a few hours out to save so many hours and headaches throughout the week, and your stomach will be thankful for not getting the onslaught of junk food and cheap takeaways.
How to go about batch cooking
- Plan out your meals for the entire week – Decide the meals that you want to home cook. If you are starting out, maybe plan only dinners and then see how it goes or you can go the whole mile and plan all the three meals on the weekend and prepare them. That is actually the best thing to do. It can get too much for beginners though, so start out with one meal. If you are planning for lunch then maybe you would want to focus on something that you can just grab and go because lunch hours can be short for most of us. For dinners, you can have something that can have all its prep done already, and all you have to do is put it together, it will give you the feeling of cooking a quick meal but not the time-consuming process of putting everything together.
- Make a grocery shopping list – Now that you have a plan of what you are going to be cooking, you need to list out all the ingredients that you need. Cross check it with what you have at home and then head out to stock up on the remaining things you need.
- Grocery shopping – Saturdays and Sundays are usually the busy days at the grocery stores because everyone heads out to get their shopping done so plan accordingly. If you have a farmers market nearby head over there to get fresh produce or your good old grocery stores, general stores, departmental stores will do – stock up on anything that will help you make a quick snack and also help your dish better.
- Prep – Once you are done gathering the ingredients, start prepping. This is also a great time to catch up on all the podcasts you have been meaning to listen to or the audiobook that you keep putting away. Maybe just songs or the show that you have wanted to binge watch? Wash, chop, cook, boil, bake – whatever your dish entails. Make sure to work on recipes that can be reheated (soups, veggies, lentils, beans) or can be eaten cold (salads).
- Store – Now that your dishes are prepared. Pack them in airtight containers and refrigerate them so that they are good to go throughout the week.
Batch cooking has a lot of advantages. The only disadvantage is that you have to dedicate some part of your weekend to cooking, but that is nothing when you look at the advantages. You bulk produce, so you use less energy, and bulk buying ingredients also saves money.
You have to head out to the grocery store only one time a week. You don’t have to spend tons of money on restaurants and takeouts. You don’t have to cook every day, nor do you have to worry about what to eat. You eat healthy so you can mark that off your list of things to do.
You can also work on your health goals and diets because diets require a little planning, which usually puts us off. You can do something or do nothing with the time you save every day with the meal plan in place.
You must have heard that “Modern problems require modern solutions.” This is the solution to everyone being too busy. It’s a win-win!
The Good Side of The COVID Crisis
I know you must be feeling skeptical about this; I mean, what can be good about anything that has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the world to a halt?
But there are some silver linings and corners of positivity in this whole scenario. Here we will list out all the good things that have happened or are happening right now due to the crisis we are facing!
Nature is Thriving
With less human activity and reduced water traffic, the waters in the canals of Venice are becoming clearer by the day. Fleets of white swan were spotted in the waters, a rare visitor over the last several years.
In Mumbai’s Marine Drive, schools of dolphins were seen playing around, as the ports were closed, and barely any water traffic and pollution were there to keep them away. Unusual sightings of dolphins have also been reported from the ports of Cagliari, Sardinia. Devoid of ships, as seen on a typical busy day, the marine lives thrive and have relief in the peaceful, calm, human-less waters!
Herds of deer were seen roaming around in Japan’s streets. With no crowds or traffic, the animals were seen having a gala time exploring the usually busy and bustling city streets.
More than 70,000 Olive Ridley sea turtles were seen nesting on an empty beach in Odisha, located along the eastern coast of India. These beaches, usually abuzz with human activity in the tourist seasons, were deserted because of the nation-wide lockdown in place, and thus left at peace for these turtles. While in Brazil, 97 Hawksbill sea turtles, a critically endangered species, hatched on a deserted beach. Moreover, a similar occurrence has been reported in Florida, where a high number of Leatherback turtles have surfaced on the shores.
In Canada, orcas have been spotted swimming further into regions where they were not seen venturing before. In fact, dolphins, seals, and other marine animals have been spotted in areas where they have not been seen for decades!
In Llandudno, North Wales, usually shy mountain goats came down from the higher altitudes and were seen freely roaming the streets of the town. Meanwhile, wild boars were seen exploring Barcelona’s city streets, an incredible sight in the bustling and one of the busiest parts of Spain.
In San Francisco, packs of coyotes were sighted roaming on the streets, whereas in Nara Japan, Sika deer were seen exploring empty streets and subway stations.
In South Africa, wild penguins were spotted roaming the streets, and in Argentina, sea lions were seen chilling out near storefronts!
With less number of vehicles, shutting down of factories and industries, the air has become cleaner in unprecedented ways. Recently, residents in Jalandhar, India, were able to see the Himalayas’ Dhauladhar range from their houses due to cleaner air.
Moreover, Delhi, the country’s capital and one of the most polluted metros on Earth, recorded good air quality index levels for the first time in several years. Other big cities like New York, São Paulo, London, Bogota, and others have also recorded better air quality due to lower pollution levels.
In Italy, air pollution levels have dropped by 40%, whereas China has also seen a dramatic drop in its pollution levels. According to NASA, the nitrogen dioxide levels in busy cities of China have dropped by 10-30%. The current crisis is also leading to the largest ever decline in annual carbon emission levels. This has led to some reversal of greenhouse effects caused by human activities in recent years.
Adults and children are all locked inside homes due to the forceful timeout created by the virus. Although it leads to occasional struggles, overall, it has given people a chance to reconnect better with their families.
We have been consumed so much by our busy lives and technology craving habits, that our family ties and socialization had taken a back seat over the years. The pandemic has given all of us the time to connect with our friends, families, and dear ones.
From doing household chores to bringing down forgotten board games, families are bonding in all kinds of wonderful ways.
For the first time in life, we as a generation are facing a common enemy. Everyone around the globe has never been united like this with such a singular yet massive cause.
The love, support, and prayers for each other across communities have brought a remarkable sense of unity and keeps reminding everyone in the crisis that we are in this together!
Now is the time when you can finally focus on yourself. From learning new skills to completing courses, reading, writing, or simply enjoying me-time, or indulging in your long-forgotten hobbies, the quarantine can be your long path of self-discovery!
This crisis has brought out some of the best of people into the frontline. From doctors and nurses striving daily, there have been thousands of volunteers worldwide who are helping vulnerable people with food, money, sanitization, and other necessities.
Many people have come forward to feed and care for strays and animals going without food after being abandoned by their humans or running out of their daily source of meals due to closed shops, fewer people, and empty roads.
It is a tough time where everything seems uncertain. But you have to search for positivity and keep your hopes up. Believe that there is a light even in the darkest corners.
Keep adding more such good things happening around the world, in nature, and amongst people. Look at the silver lining, keep hoping, stay positive, and spread that positivity all around you every day. Finally let me finish off with a wonderful quote that Buddha said,
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us all be thankful.”
7 Simple Ways Traveling Can Help Improve Mental Wellness
7 Simple Ways Traveling Can Help Improve Mental Wellness
Do you feel as if you are stuck in a rut?
From family to work issues, daily chores, illnesses, maintaining your home, and a hundred different concerns, the daily grind could sometimes take a toll on your well-being.
Having a change of scenery or taking a vacation can already do wonders for your mental health. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that traveling provides several benefits to your mental health.
Taking a trip could change your life for the better. In this post, we will talk about the seven simple ways of how traveling can improve your mental health:
1. You’ll discover more about yourself
Traveling helps you re-assess and re-invent your life. It helps you boost your thinking in a way that you never thought of.
Overcoming the challenges that come with traveling brings about a feeling of independence and a sense of control in your life. For instance, choosing which luggage brands to purchase from.
Going out of your comfort zone helps you build resilience, which allows you to learn how to cope with different situations.
Moreover, traveling and achieving these goals can make the day-to-day stuff back home easier to handle. Spending the time to fend for yourself while traveling, like bargaining in a local market or catching public transportation in a foreign country, could also lead to positive personal outcomes that build up your confidence.
Not to mention that it improves your overall life satisfaction.
2. It helps you increase creativity
According to Adam Galinsky from Colombia Business School, a key to increasing your creativity is to immerse and engage yourself in the local culture.
This open-mindedness helps you embrace various situations and could even influence your outlook in life. Moreover, because creativity is directly linked to neuroplasticity (or the brain’s ability to form new neural connections) it means that our brains are often sensitive to change.
New environments and experiences could influence creativity. Having your own creative outlet is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness. Also, the more you’re able to put this into good use, the better.
Immersing yourself in unfamiliar sights and sounds when traveling boosts your creativity.
3. You’ll be familiarized about other cultures
Traveling allows you to navigate, communicate with others, and to learn about different cultures.
Whether you are asking for directions in a foreign country while bringing your luggage, meeting new people and new friends, or immersing yourself in new cultural experiences, you will learn more about the world as you try to get around.
4. Makes you mentally resilient
Traveling and living somewhere exciting yet intimidating at the same time could toughen you up mentally and emotionally.
When you face challenges in an unfamiliar environment, it forces you to learn and adapt to something that is beyond your comfort zone. This helps you be more flexible on things and emotionally strong.
Delayed or canceled flights, and last minutes plans? Traveling helps you deal with bigger issues in life, with more patience and grace.
5. It gives you a change of scenery
If you have been struggling to find motivation at work lately or just ended a tough relationship, hitting the pause button and going somewhere is one of the best ways to restore yourself.
Although staying in a familiar place could bring a sense of comfort to others, it could also make you physically and mentally trapped.
Changing your daily routine and going somewhere will help stimulate your mind, improve your overall happiness levels, and could make you feel as if you are doing something worthwhile with your time.
6. It disconnects you from daily stress
As mentioned previously, many people travel because they want to break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Traveling helps you rejuvenate, destress, and recharge. That way, when you’re back from your holiday, you can put forward more great ideas and lots of enthusiasm.
Traveling also helps you take off your mind from stressful situations, leading to more cortisol levels, and making you feel more calm and content. It also helps you focus on the present moment.
Having a list of fun and exciting activities can add novelty and change in the form of new sights, sounds, and experiences.
7. Traveling increases happiness
Booking accommodation, finding the perfect travel destination, and packing your bags are proven to make you happy.
In fact, a study conducted by Cornell University found out that the process of planning and anticipating a trip increases happiness levels more than the process of obtaining new material possessions such as a new car or clothes.
The time to relax and do what you want on your trip significantly reduces your stress and increases your overall happiness as well.
So there you have it. After you have read about the wonderful things traveling does to your mental health, it is time to do your research and plan your next trip!
4 Benefits of Doing Yoga Regularly
Yoga is an excellent place to start a healthy lifestyle if your life has been quite a bit sedentary for some time. Even with health conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis, you can safely practice Yoga. With multiple types and forms of Yoga to choose from, you have the freedom to practice whatever suits you. Regular Yoga can help you become more robust and flexible by making it easier for you to do other exercises like dancing, walking, or swimming.
Moreover, it is also a great way to stay energetic and flexible. Your general alertness increases, and there is also a profound positive impact on mental health with Yoga.
With regular practice, you will gradually notice overall well-being and a deep sense of inner peace. Yoga frees you of all the worry, stress, anxiety that bogs you down and lets you proceed towards a more holistic and spiritually fulfilling self-development.
Let’s take a look at four of the obvious benefits that come from practicing Yoga.
- Improves poor blood circulation
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Reduces oxidative stress
- Reduces body-wide inflammation, contributing to healthier hearts
- Improves mobility in people with lower back pain
- Reduces risk for injury
- Allows better coping with arthritis
- Can slow down the advent of osteoporosis
- Improves the condition of people with limited mobility
- Reduces headaches
- Helps you to have better control over tension or stress
- Reduces anxiety levels and depression
- Can help you get better sleep, improves insomnia
- Relaxes your body
- Increases overall mental and physical stability
- Improves breathing patterns
- Increases lung capacity
- Improves lung output and pulse rates
- Helps people with asthma, to control definitive symptoms
Yoga is an excellent way to heal your body, both physically and mentally. It allows you to have the perfect blend of de-stressing and exercise in a simple yet effective way.
A healthy body makes a healthy mind. Regular Yoga can help you achieve health and fitness. Moreover, daily practice brings in more discipline to your everyday life. Especially during these testing times of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we are all trapped in our homes, a regular fitness regime that is easy to follow is especially necessary.
The best part is that Yoga is trendy, and you can always find guidelines for the correct postures. With many materials and videos available online, you can start your fulfilling Yoga journey any moment you wish. So what’s stopping you today?
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