1.      An XL Water bottle. Here’s the thing: Keeping a small water bottle or glass at your desk will, in theory, encourage you to get up out of your chair and walk to the water cooler more often. But in reality, most of us end up surviving the day on that one original glass of H2O because we’re too busy or too distracted to make the walk. So, make an XL bottle that you fill up once in the morning, then mindlessly sip, sip, sip until afternoon.

2.      A protein bar: Not all protein bars are equal, so make sure you’re having the ones without all the rubbish. Protein will keep you fuller for longer and give you the sweetness you might need to get rid of the slump.

3.      Citrus-scented lotion: Studies show that smelling citrus for several minutes will boost your mood and reduce stress levels for the next half hour. Keep a bottle of lotion handy—one with a strong scent of lemon, orange or yuzu—and take a moment to rub it on while absorbing the energizing smell. This is best if you need a quick pick-me-up, like, say, right before an afternoon meeting.

4.      An easy-care plant. 2 culprits of the afternoon blues are the lighting in the office and boring views – something that we don’t really have here in Cape Town. However, if you got the desk with no view then it’s time to put something visually pleasing on your desk – from pics of your loved ones to bringing some green to your work space. An easy-care plant will not only add a pop of natural color to your desk (mood booster number one) but also filter more oxygen, giving you the benefit of extra fresh air (mood booster number two). Start with a snake plant, or spider plant, which are easier to keep alive than they are to kill.

5.      A book of Sudoku puzzles. Taking a mini break in the afternoon is great and  studies show that taking smart breaks is key for reducing mental fatigue, boosting brain function and increasing productivity. You might think that a break is switching your mind off… but it’s about switching your brain from the task you were doing.

 

Here are 5 beauty customs from around the world and these traditional treatments have stood the test of time, scientifically speaking.

1. Turmeric Mask, India. Turmeric is loaded with antioxidants, which help slow down the aging process by protecting and firming your skin. That said, turmeric can temporarily stain your skin, so best to try this mask on a rainy weekend in.

Recipe: Mix a couple tablespoons of full-fat, plain Greek yogurt; one teaspoon of turmeric; and one teaspoon of honey until smooth. Apply the mixture to your face and leave on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off.

2. Coffee Cellulite Scrub, Colombia. Although there’s no miracle cure for cellulite, this scrub can give you a tighter, more radiant backside—temporarily. It pulls water out of the skin, making the skin look less dimpled.

Recipe: Grind half a cup of Colombian coffee beans fairly fine. Add two tablespoons of unrefined coconut oil and a teaspoon of brown sugar. Mix it up and start scrubbing, or transfer to a jar for later use. Wash off and admire.

3. Red Wine and Oat Mask, Argentina. Hate to break it to you, but you’re not drinking the wine…  Resveratrol, found in red wine, is a powerful antioxidant that can fight skin aging. Red wine also has anti-inflammatory properties, while oats are known for their ability to calm down skin irritation. If you have Rosacea, you might want to sit this one out though as it can make the redness flare up more.

Recipe: Combine a tablespoon of yogurt, two teaspoons of honey, and a handful of dry oats. Add a splash or two of red wine and mix. Apply to your face using circular motions and let sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing off.

4. Matcha Powder Hair Mask, Japan. Women were using it as a way to prevent hair loss and get some shine. Matcha is loaded with antioxidants, which, as we know, is always good for the skin. Peppermint oil has a cooling effect on the skin, has been shown to stimulate hair growth, and may increase circulation to the scalp. However, don’t overdo it! Like all essential oils, peppermint oil is highly concentrated, so keep the dosage super low.

Recipe: Warm a tablespoon of coconut oil in a bowl with one teaspoon of high-grade Matcha powder, stirring gently, since Matcha is very delicate. Add 1 drop of peppermint oil and mix. Part your dry hair, and, working in sections, apply the paste to your whole scalp. Work the remainder of the mask into the ends, gently brush through, and wait 30 minutes before rinsing off and shampooing.

5. Clove Scrub, Zanzibar. This scrub down is used by Zanzibar brides for a week before their nuptials to get their skin glowing and fragrant. You’ll find cloves in a lot of skin products for acne-prone skin because of their antiseptic properties.

Recipe: In a large bowl, combine three tablespoons of coarsely ground cloves, two tablespoons of rose water, two tablespoons of coconut oil, and three tablespoons of ground dried flowers. You can create a mix of your favorites, but roses, jasmine, and ylang-ylang are amazing. Mix all of the ingredients together and vigorously massage into dry skin for a few minutes before washing off.

 

It’s mid-year and while this year might be flying by, it’s usually this time of year that people start feeling the burnout.

Our plugged-in lives make it easy to work anytime, anywhere … and difficult to mentally “clock out.” It’s no wonder that more and more people are battling with stress, and overworking themselves until their personal well being suffers. The concept of “career burnout” is a hardly-talked-about condition that affects so many young professionals. What exactly is it?

Burnout is the depletion of internal resources due to chronic stress. What makes burnout so dangerous is that it’s rarely visible on the outside, and creeps up on the individual slowly.

This is what you can do to avoid it:

1.      Prioritize. You should overachieve only on the things that truly matter. Your boss will notice when you overachieve on things that matter to them and the senior leaders; this typically means excelling in areas that directly impact revenue, the strategic priorities of your company, or ideally both.

2.      Learn how to say “No.” Every “yes” you say adds another thing on your plate and takes more energy away from you, and your creativity.

3.      Self-care. We all know this. We all need to take this seriously and not shrug it off. It is vital for your mental health. Self-care comes in 100 forms, find what works for you whether it is meditation, exercise, going for a walk in nature, having a massage or getting together for a laugh with some friends.

4.      Separate Yourself. A change of scenery can do wonders to change your perspective. Even if it’s just a weekend away. Before the words “I can’t take time off” pop into your head, consider this: You’ll be much more productive in the long run if you take a few days to recharge, as opposed to fizzling out so badly, you can’t perform at your job anymore.

5.      Seek professional help.  If you’re right on the brink of a breakdown, self-care and vacations may not cut it. Getting professional help will be the best thing you can do just talk it out, get things off your chest and even get some fresh perspective or some fresh ideas on how to handle things.

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