6 activities for you when you practice digital detox.

6 activities for you when you practice digital detox.

Sometime back, I read a post on my friend, Vidya Sury’s blog, about ‘Unplugging’ on a particular day of the week. For, spending time doing things that do not need a phone, laptop or even the television, and being ‘in the moment’ without the disturbance of the constant pings of notifications, makes life so peaceful.

It’s become a necessity today for us to reclaim our peace of mind by living the life we lived before the arrival of the gadgets, and hence digital detox is the need of the hour!

As much as I did stay away from my phone on a daily basis, I needed an entire day of the week when I wouldn’t even look at my phone or the laptop. And, so, I decided to make some changes in my Sunday schedule.

I MADE SUNDAY MY ‘STAY UNPLUGGED’ DAY.

I do check my phone in the morning on a Sunday for any messages, but then I switch it off. I might check it again once, but otherwise, it stays out of my line of vision.

I busy myself in completing chores that I don’t find the time to do during the week. I also spend some time indulging in self-care, like pampering myself–giving myself a facial, mani-pedi, colour my hair or groom myself.Apart from these, I busy myself doing some other activities I am going to share with you today.

JOURNALING HELPS:

Preparing a To-do list every first week of the month helps me remember all the things I need to focus on.

I prepare a bullet list for all my activities:

Household choresDe-cluttering

Cleaning

Healthcare

Blogging

Digital Detox

Under every topic, I make a short entry of what I need to work on during the month and then, every Sunday, I tackle those chores, one by one. Of course, I do not blog on Sundays, but the rest of the work I tick off my list as and when I an done with it.So, my to-do lists help me greatly in completing the tasks and making sure nothing gets left out.

HOW TO SPEND A DAY WITHOUT GADGETS

DE-CLUTTERING:

This is one of my favourite activities…all thanks to my mother’s genes that I inherited, I am obsessed with cleaning and purging.

De-cluttering is also one activity that helps me clear my mind even as I clear my home. Every Sunday, I pick one area or one corner, one shelf or one drawer, and then work on discarding stuff I haven’t used in the past year, and replacing the rest of the things in order, so that they are easy to locate when needed.I usually put away smaller items in boxes and label them, a la Marie Kondo!ūüėČ

De-cluttering the physical room to de-clutter the mental rooms!

Give away the books you have read so that someone else can read them and enjoy them!

So, until now, I have sorted and de-cluttered my wardrobe, the kitchen cabinets, the library, the shelf with all the important files, the medicine boxes, the loft in the kitchen and the storage area of my bed.It feels fabulous when I admire my handiwork. I love gazing at all these areas with all the necessary stuff arranged neatly and zero clutter to spoil the look!

BAKING:

I started baking with much enthusiasm in 2017. I had my cousin and bestie to guide me during all my baking endeavours, and I found it so relaxing and invigorating that I wished I had had a career as a baker! Last year, though, things went downhill and my baking supplies lay forgotten in a corner of my kitchen. But, on the 31st of December’18, I decided I would begin baking again and that’s what I did.

Fun activities to do on a Sunday!

I bake most Sundays, and hubby loves the activity, too, he being such a fabulous chef. It’s like I am learning it all over again, but it feels wonderful.Breads, cup cakes, pizza…we have been doing these on Sundays, and I plan on continuing it in the future, too.

ART:

Sunday afternoons are best spent working on some artwork. Be it a Mandala, a Zentangle design or an illustration, I play my favourite music and work for a couple hours.Time well spent!

Art to keep away technology

Not only does my mind stay occupied, but also my art keeps improving, and that makes me feel fantastic!Couple weeks ago, I did stumble upon a digital art app available on my phone and made a couple of abstract artworks, but yesterday, I felt that using the app on a Sunday disturbed my digital detox mantra, so I uninstalled that app and am back to my book and pencil for my artwork.

Last month, during the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I took an art break. Well, I had become rather lazy and did nothing on Sundays except watching movies on Netflix. Hubby and I would watch two movies, back to back–which was our fun-time.

But, last week, I decided to do away with watching television, altogether. It was taking up precious time, straining my eyes and giving me headache, and being a blogger, I can’t afford to neglect my eye health, can I?So, now on, it’s total unplugging on Sundays.

READING BOOKS AND NEWSPAPERS:

Sundays are now spent reading the news in detail, and not just skimming through the papers. Moreover, the kind of articles they publish on Sundays are the kind I love reading, and writing, too…so, this way, I get to learn a lot.

CANDLE-MAKING:

Okay, this one activity took place only on one Sunday, but it was something I had been planning since ages. I gathered all the unused candles lying at home, melted them in a double boiler, added some colour to it, and poured the wax in a pickle jar which had lost its lid, and a few tequila glasses that would never serve their purpose.Best out of waste....

I loved this activity, too, but I am not going to indulge in it again, because, well, what will I do with all the candles?

MEETING MOM & DAD:

I saved the best for the last.

Most Sundays, I go visit my parents who live half an hour away from my residence. And, what a time I have there! All the pampering by mom, arguing with dad, playing with my little nephew and cracking jokes with my bro and sis-in-law…HAPPINESS, indeed!

 

Put away your gadgets and spend time with your family.

Now, isn’t that a Sunday well spent?

All I can say is, “Hail, Digital detox!”

How do you spend your Sunday? Do you ‘Unplug’, too? If you don’t, then I would suggest you try it out–at least for a few hours– and see for yourself how amazing it feels.

Love,

SHILPA…

 

 

Why you need to 'UNPLUG'

H – H.E.A.L.T.H. Matters #AtoZChallenge

H – H.E.A.L.T.H. Matters #AtoZChallenge

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Being health-conscious doesn’t just mean visiting the gym and following diets. It also means making sure you are healthy from within and that all your organs are functioning well. The best way to do so is by getting regular blood tests done and going for check-ups (annual/six-monthly) and consulting your doctor for any issues you might spot during the check-ups.

Sharing today-

12 easy ways to look after your health.

COMMON BLOOD TESTS:

ROUTINE BLOOD TEST:

CBC –¬†A Complete Blood Count that measures the haemoglobin¬†levels and counts your red and white blood cells.

This blood test will help you know if you are anaemic, or suffering from an infection.

 

BSL –¬†A test that’s usually advised by a doctor to check your Blood Sugar Levels. People with a hectic daily schedule, who don’t follow a set eating and sleeping pattern and whose diet includes more of junk food (because of their schedules) are advised to take this test. So, if you belong to this category, do enquire with your family physician about it.

 

LIPID PROFILE –¬†This test measures your cholesterol, LDL (Bad cholesterol), HDL (Good cholesterol), and ¬†triglycerides (fats) in your blood). This test is for those who have a poor diet, follow no exercise regimen and have irregular sleeping patterns. Excess levels of these fats is harmful for your health. It clogs arteries and keeps your heart from functioning normally.

 

SERUM TSH ( THYROID) –¬†TSH is the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. This ¬†test checks if your thyroid gland is functioning well. Higher levels of this hormone in your blood could mean an under-active thyroid, and lower levels could mean a hyper-active thyroid.

 

URINE –¬†Routine and Microscopy exam – This is advised to check for any Urinary Tract Infections, kidney problems and diabetes.

 

SERUM CALCIUM –¬†To check your calcium levels.

 

VITAMIN D3 –¬†To check your Vitamin D3 levels.

 

VITAMIN B12 –¬†To check your Vitamin B12 levels, if you experience weakness and fatigue.

 

USG – Ultra Sonography –¬†To study your internal organs like abdomen and pelvis, the uterus and the ovaries.

*Based on the results of the above tests (BSL, Lipid Profile, TSH), your doctor will advise you on how often you need to go for these tests. Usually, if all the reports come out normal, you could repeat it yearly, or once every two years, depending on your lifestyle and overall health.

OTHER IMPORTANT CHECK-UPS:

 

BREAST EXAMINATION –¬†Checking your breasts for any abnormalities is best done by yourself at home. This will help you stay aware of any changes that you might notice in your breasts. Visit your gynaec if you do notice any changes in the breast’s appearance.

 

DENTAL CHECK-UP –¬†A six-monthly dental examination will help in maintaining your overall oral health and hygiene.

 

ANNUAL EYE CHECK-UP –¬†An annual eye check-up is most necessary today because of the number of gadgets we use. Staring at a screen for long duration can dry your eyes. It is advised to blink regularly and take regular breaks while using the laptop. So, if you work with the computer/laptop or are addicted to your smartphone, it’s best to get your eye health checked regularly.

 

These are some of the tests we need to get done on a regular basis. Mark your calendars or set a reminder in your phone, but do take care of yourself.

 

Love,

SHILPA…

Regular health check-ups ensure you are in a good health from within.

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and my theme this year is ‘SELF-CARE’.

You will find all the posts here. 

G – Grooming is essential! #AtoZChallenge

G – Grooming is essential! #AtoZChallenge

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Have you noticed how happy you feel after a visit to a beauty salon? Be it a hair-cut, a mani-pedi, or a head/body massage, pampering your body is one of the most therapeutic activities we indulge in.

Not only do these grooming sessions take care of our body, physically, but mentally and emotionally, too. Of course, not all have the time or even the energy to visit a salon every week/fortnight. But, we definitely can find time to do a little something at least over the weekends, can’t we?

Maybe a mani-pedi, or a facial, a head massage, or exfoliation¬†with ingredients from the kitchen…you can do it all in the comfort and privacy of your home.

Women prioritize all the extra chores that need to be¬†completed over the weekends. Add to it, there’s the school projects that kids need help with. There’s hardly any time left.

But, grooming at home hardly takes a lot of time, really. Believe me, it takes no more than 10 minutes to 40 minutes in the bathroom depending on whether you decide to scrub your feet or your entire body, plus a hair-wash. Yes, I timed it all–I had to write about it here, so the R&D was much-needed!

Also, staying well-groomed is a necessity, not to impress others,  but to feel good about yourself!

Women, usually, tend to let themselves go after marriage. Correct me, if I am wrong, but don’t we become ‘lazy’ about grooming matters? I know I was! But, since some years now, grooming is a part of my weekly schedule, and I do it so that I FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF.

 

“GROOMING IS THE SECRET OF REAL ELEGANCE. ¬†THE BEST CLOTHES, THE MOST WONDERFUL JEWELS, THE MOST GLAMOROUS BEAUTY DON’T COUNT WITHOUT GOOD GROOMING.”

__CHRISTIAN DIOR

 

 

TIPS FOR GROOMING AT HOME:

  1. Use ingredients from the kitchen for preparing face and body scrubs.
  2. Be gentle with your skin–especially your facial skin.
  3. A facial done at home might not be your idea of pampering, but trust me, there’s a lot of difference between how a beautician massages and how you do it–you know the kind of pressure you find comfortable.
  4. Scrub your feet every night. It takes just a few minutes. Apply Vaseline or a foot care cream and you have beautiful feet, free of cracks and dead skin.
  5. Apply coconut oil to dry hands and feet, at least, at night. The skin soaks it all up and the oil softens your skin better than a chemical-laden cream.
  6. Include a head massage at least twice a week. Heat some coconut oil, add fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Heat for a few minutes. Allow to cool and store in a glass jar. Apply this oil to your hair regularly to reduce hair-fall and dandruff and make your hair stronger and silkier.
  7. Opt for henna or chemical-free hair colours.
  8. Look after your hands well. They show the first signs of lack of care.
  9. Never compare yourself with others. Be happy with how you have been created.
  10. And, finally, SMILE. It’s the best accessory to enhance your beauty!

 

Much love,

SHILPA…

 

A grooming session not only works on you, physically, but also emotionally!

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge. My theme this year is ‘SELF-CARE’. You will find all the posts here.

 

F – Follow a Fitness Routine. #AtoZChallenge

F – Follow a Fitness Routine. #AtoZChallenge

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TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. IT IS THE ONLY PLACE YOU HAVE TO LIVE!”

Life is busy, and a hundred tasks to juggle that leaves you with no time to join a gym or a yoga class.

But, you really don’t need to join a gym or a yoga/dance class to stay fit.

All you need, is will-power, the desire to look after your health and the patience and the perseverance it requires to maintain it.

Being a career woman with a 9 to 5 job, handling household chores and looking after the family’s needs is no mean feat. I see my SIL doing it, day in day out. She hardly has time to even look into the mirror before leaving the house every morning, so finding time for a physical activity is next to impossible.

But, she walks each time she finds an opportunity. And, she wears walking shoes to work, even with her Indian outfits. For her, comfort is much more important than style. Those shoes support her when she decides to walk it down from the train station to her home–a half an hour walk that leaves her feeling rejuvenated.

My mother, at 73, walks all the time–to the temple, to drop her grandson to skating classes, and to her English language classes where she teaches.

Never sit idle!” is her fitness mantra.

Making tiny changes in your lifestyle and your daily schedule will help you stay fit, no matter how busy you are all day. These changes go a long way in improving your health, from the inside to the outside.

Any physical activity increases the feel-good hormones–endorphins, dopamine,serotonin–which improve your mood, increase your happiness quotient and your fitness level.

All you need to do, is move!

Whether you have a sedentary lifestyle or a hectic one, it is paramount that you set aside some time for some physical activity that suits your age and your fitness levels.

TIPS TO INCLUDE FITNESS IN YOUR DAILY LIFE:

  1. Wear comfortable walking shoes so that you can walk during the day, as you commute to and from work.
  2. DO NOT walk in any other footwear except that which is made for walking.
  3. DO NOT take up a rigorous physical activity if you have never exercised earlier. All that enthusiasm will evaporate in a matter of days and your body will not be able to take the sudden change.
  4. Instead, ease into a fitness routine that caters to your age, stamina, your overall health and your body’s ability to get used to this change.
  5. Be gentle with your body and see the signals your body sends out from time to time.
  6. The pain in the neck/lower back/shoulders etc needs to be looked into before you begin a new physical activity. Consult your doctor for a thorough check-up before you set about to do something you never have attempted.
  7. Never follow the herd mentality. I mean, if others jog, does not mean so can you! You might be suffering from some physical ailment that might get aggravated because of the new activity.
  8. Begin with a warm-up, always. And, begin SLOW before you move on to RIGOROUS.
  9. NEVER sit for long hours. It’s worst than smoking. Take short breaks to move around, regularly.
  10. Finally, being physically fit DOES NOT mean reducing those kilo-. It means increasing your stamina and energy levels. So, DO NOT check your weight now and then and grumble if the needle does not move an inch.

Just remember…

Slow and steady, wins the race! So, get movin’, babe!

Love,

SHILPA…

Physical fitness does not mean reducing the kilos, it means increasing the stamina.

 

I am participating in the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and my theme is ‘SELF-CARE’. You will find all the posts here.

Taking tiny steps towards better health and a happier me!

Taking tiny steps towards better health and a happier me!

Time flies! Precisely why we need to make full use of every moment we get–every single moment of every single day.Some months back, I decided to change my phone habits and save the time I wasted on social media and use it to improve my productivity. What a perfect decision it was!Sometime back, I made some changes in my diet, too, and today, it does feel wonderful seeing how the changes are affecting my health and my lifestyle positively.So, here’s what I changed:

CHANGE IN DIET:

Earlier, my breakfast included a mug of chilled milk with a spoonful of Horlicks and an omelette with either chapati or bread.It was something I looked forward to, the moment I woke up. However, it was also something that gave me gas. Yes, milk does that to me….Sigh.So, to get relief from it, I switched to curd/yoghurt.Now, curd+banana+raisins+oats (I know, I know..OATS!!?? But, hubby got it for me, so I have to finish the stock, right?) has been my breakfast, ever since.I have also started having curd+rice for lunch, as opposed to no rice earlier. My lunch, which comprises of chapatis/ragi rotis, sabji, curd-rice, satiates me.No more hunger pangs within two hours of lunch!The curd keeps me cool, helps with the digestion and I no longer feel like my tummy is a gas chamber!The live bacteria (pro biotics) in the curd takes good care of my gut health. And, a healthy gut, is a happy me!Its high protein content ensures I have enough energy to face a busy day. I deducted rice from dinner, too, which now includes chapatis, sabji/dal, and a huge bowl of salad (cucumber+carrot+tomatoes).Makes me feel full, and yet, not uncomfortably full.MORAL: It helps having a light dinner!

CHANGE IN PHONE HABITS:

I did a post on my phone habits last year. I also did a follow-up post.Since the past two months, I have made furthermore changes in my phone usage.I switch on my phone wifi in the morning at 8.00 to check messages/mail etc and switch it off within 10 minutes.I check it again for few minutes at 11.00 and then keep it switched off till 1.30 pm.I use the Canva app on my phone to make images for Instagram and Pinterest after lunch for half an hour.Evenings are usually spent working on laptop, or talking to friends on the phone. So, by 8.00 pm my phone wifi goes off to sleep.The time I spend on social media has reduced substantially:INSTAGRAM: 15 MINS. (Set the timer on Instagram and it will remind you when your time’s up).FACEBOOK: 10 – 15 MINS.WHATSAPP: 5 MINS. (I’d rather talk than text).CANVA + PINTEREST: 30 MINS.GMAIL: 2-3 MINS. (it’s also on my laptop, so makes no sense wasting time there).Now, I have ample time to indulge in art, reading, blogging and planning.Also, it saves my eyes from strain.I have stopped watching TV during lunch time, too.I pay attention to the food in my plate and how good it tastes.TV viewing is for the evenings, for some time. That’s a lot less screen-time, right?MORAL: Use the phone judiciously and you will have mastered the art of Time Management!I keep an account of it all and intend to do a follow-up post on how well these changes help me in the long run.How about you? Have you made any changes lately? How do you feel about it all?Love,SHILPA…