Lifestyle – the Existant http://theexistant.com the Assistant to your Existence Mon, 06 Aug 2018 10:44:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.1 http://theexistant.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-Logo_1484764201208-latest-1-100x100.png Lifestyle – the Existant http://theexistant.com 32 32 10 Weird Items You Should Store in Your Refrigerator! http://theexistant.com/10-weird-items-you-should-store-in-your-refrigerator/ http://theexistant.com/10-weird-items-you-should-store-in-your-refrigerator/#respond Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:48:19 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=37180 the Existant
10 Weird Items You Should Store in Your Refrigerator!

refrigerator

There are the obvious items that need to be refrigerated so that they don’t go bad. And then there are these weird things…

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10 Weird Items You Should Store in Your Refrigerator!

refrigerator

 

We all know the basic things that need to be refrigerated for the sake of freshness. Yet, the cool atmosphere of your fridge can be beneficial to many other household products that you wouldn’t expect!

 

Here is a list of 10 items you could definitely store in your refrigerator- and actually should!

 

  1. Candles

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Candles are known to last longer if they are stored in the refrigerator before burning- the cooling allows the wicks to burn and melt slower!

 

 

  1. Batteries

Just as the instructions on batteries’ boxes instruct to store them in a cool, dry place- the low temperature of the fridge can help to prevent electrolyte fluids inside batteries form depleting- giving them a longer shelf life!

 

  1. Sweaters

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Every person who has stored away their sweaters for the summer has experienced the disappointment and frustration in seeing your favorite fall and winter wear chewed up by moths. Rather than investing in mothballs, it can help to store your sweaters in the fridge- or even freezer for a couple of hours or overnight to get rid of all the pesky larvae from your sweaters.

 

 

  1. New shoes

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Have a new pair of shoes that you really want to wear but are afraid of the breaking in process? Just throw your new pair of shoes in the fridge or freezer- with water-filled plastic bags stuffed in the shoes to allow them to be broken into when the water turns to ice and expands in the process.

 

 

  1. Tights and pantyhose

This one may just be a legend- but rumor has it that storing tights and pantyhose in the freezer for a short while extends its lifetime of wear and prevents it from tearing as quickly.

 

  1. An envelope to unseal

    5

Another random thing to chuck in the freezer- a sealed envelope. You can easily pop open a sealed envelope with a knife or letter opener after placing it in the freezer for an hour or so.

 

 

  1. Lipsticks

Lipsticks can go bad after time- and if you don’t use your lipsticks that often and want them to last, storing them in the fridge can prolong its shelf life so that the oils don’t spoil and you can use your lipstick for a longer time!

 

 

  1. Foundation

Similar to lipsticks, storing foundation in the fridge long term can prevent its oils from spoiling, and so you can have ready to use foundation for a long time!

 

  1. Pencil Eyeliner

It seems that a lot of beauty products benefit from being refrigerated- even your pencil eyeliners! To prevent breakage when sharpening your eye pencil- which is quite the common frustration to all pencil eyeliner owners your there- just pop it in the fridge for a while before sharpening!

 

 

  1. Eye cream

Another beauty product that benefits from fridge time- eye creams. As not all eye creams can function both as anti-aging creams and anti-puffing- but storing them in the fridge can counteract puffy eyes even if it is not listed as a part of the formula!

 

What are you waiting for? Start filling your fridge will weird things that actually benefit from fridge time!

 

 

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5 Essential Road Trip Tips To Have the Time of Your Life http://theexistant.com/5-essential-road-trip-tips-to-have-the-time-of-your-life/ http://theexistant.com/5-essential-road-trip-tips-to-have-the-time-of-your-life/#respond Sun, 03 Dec 2017 06:34:35 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=37149 the Existant
5 Essential Road Trip Tips To Have the Time of Your Life

road trip tips

Love going on road trips and don’t know how to plan? Planning on going on a road trip and need some pro tips? Look no further!

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5 Essential Road Trip Tips To Have the Time of Your Life

road trip tips

 

Road trips are one of the most underrated forms of leisure of the age. The average American decides to take the next flight to anywhere using frequent flier miles- and spends the flight sleeping or watching movies.

 

There is an endangered art of road trips that bring a special magic to your vacation or any journey- the journey is half- and even sometimes most of- the fun.

 

On a road trip, you can enjoy scenery, explore local areas on the way to your destination, pace yourselves, make stops based on your energy levels and take turns driving, save money on flights, and overall enjoy the serenity of driving long distances.

 

The common mishaps that often come with road trips can easily be avoided if one plans carefully in advance.

Interested in taking a road trip anytime soon? Here are 5 essential road trip tips to make sure that you have the time of your life- and that you do not regret making the decision to go on one!

 

 

  • Take care of your car.

Your car is your vehicle and means of transport during a road trip. Well, duh. The truth is, we become so accustomed to driving our cars that we forget that in road trips, the maintenance needed is much more to ensure smoother travel.

 

Take your car for that oil change, change your tires, clean out the inside so you are in the coziest, most comfortable atmosphere possible when you are driving or if you decide to take a snooze in the backseat. Take care of any possible issues that may arise so it doesn’t hamper on your trip and take away from the experience!

 

 

  • Be open minded!

Although this goes for almost all vacations where plans go awry and we can’t always follow a pre-set “dream plan”, making sure to keep an open mind and overall be open-minded is a crucial tip to road trip bliss.  even with Google maps and all the other services the 21st century may provide, it is important to have only a loose plan of what you wish to do during the trip and the spots you wish to stop it. Plans can easily change- an accident can come up, you may find a beautiful hiking trail you did not expect to see, you might have a craving for a type of food, you may be stuck in traffic. Basically, things aren’t always going to go your way

 

Essentially, having an easy-going, open-minded attitude about your itinerary is critical in ensuring that your road trip is most enjoyable and that you make the most of every part of the experience.

 

 

  • …but having a plan is important!

As much as being open-minded and having a loose plan is fun and games, it is still important to have a basic outline of a plan to depend on when taking your road trip. It is important to have an idea of the roads you plan to take so you know what stops are generally appealing, or adjust your route thereafter if you feel there isn’t really anything that catches your eye on the way (unless you are going solely for the drive and scenery!

 

Also, sometimes not having any plan is the worst plan. Especially when booking hotels for the nights, it is important to have a target plan and hotel in mind to reach so that you are not stuck in the middle of the night without a place to stay.

 

Although, that can have its own side of fun in it, too.

 

 

  • Divide the labor.

When there is more than one person in a road trip, it can be important to split responsibilities and plan in advance.  Assigning jobs to refilling snack containers and who is going to drive and when is an important matter to sort out before the trip starts, so things do not get left behind or obstruct your actual enjoyment of the trip.

 

 

  • Pack prepared!

Keep in mind the things that are essential to you in making your road trip the trip of a lifetime. If you are not certain you can depend on radio music- preload your phone with your favorite tunes. If there is a certain type of snack that you enjoy- stock up on it! If you like being cozy and taking naps- pack cozy pillows and blankets!

 

Have access to credit cards and keep enough cash in case of emergencies! All in all, it is very important to be prepared in order to have a good time.

 

 

 

As underrated and overlooked road trips are, they are still quite popular and enjoyed by many. If you are interested in taking a road trip anytime soon, make sure to be prepared and follow all the tips you can find to ensure your trip is a trip of a lifetime- and to ensure you have the time of your life!

 

 

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5 Reasons Spending Time Outdoors is Good For You- According to Science! http://theexistant.com/5-reasons-spending-time-outdoors-is-good-for-you-according-to-science/ http://theexistant.com/5-reasons-spending-time-outdoors-is-good-for-you-according-to-science/#respond Sun, 23 Jul 2017 17:49:20 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=636 the Existant
5 Reasons Spending Time Outdoors is Good For You- According to Science!

outdoor health benefits

You know you want to go outside. What you don’t know are the scientific reasons spending time outdoors is ACTUALLY good for your health!

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5 Reasons Spending Time Outdoors is Good For You- According to Science!

outdoor health benefits

 

We are told time and time again that spending time outside is good for your health, and that it has countless health benefits.

 

Whether you are down and depressed, or feeling a bit sickly, or having weakness- the go to advice for getting out of a rut is oftentimes to soak in some sun!

 

Nature seems to have that effect- and after hours and hours of staying under fluorescent lighting and man-made artificial air, it seems only fitting to think that after countless centuries and generations of health in the outdoors, that being outdoors is the healthy way to go!

 

Sometimes, all these home remedies that people suggest to us left and right are questionable, and we wonder about their credibility. After all, what a waste of time it would be if we go through the trouble for something that provides no benefit?

 

Thankfully, the advice so often handed out to spend time outdoors is backed by science! Psychologists and researchers are continuously uncovering more and more reasons that spending time ourdoors is good for you!

 

Here are 5 reasons why spending time outdoors is actually good for your health!

  • Nature is a stress reliever!

Being outdoors effects us positively not only physically, but mentally as well. What we experience mentally is the most influential factor in our physical health- mind matters!

 

In one study, researchers found that there was a significant decrease in heart rate and in cortisol levels- the hormone that identifies stress- for test subjects spending time in the woods when compared to those in the city!

 

 

  • The great outdoors- the great energy generator!

Based on other studies, spending time outdoors can actually eliminate fatigue and increase energy levels! By bringing oneself into a natural environment, you can increase your energy levels and change your focus and view from the artificial environments of the indoors!

 

In a study measuring people’s energy levels while looking at just pictures of the great outdoors,  it was found that the subjects actually experienced an increase in energy by simply looking at a scene in nature- whereas looking at a cityscape produced no effects!

 

 

  • Nature brings you back into focus!

Just as going outdoors and even simply looking at pictures of the outdoors can increase energy levels, natural environments have been proved to improve focus and concentration as well!

 

In one study,distracted workers were given options of leisure in the city and in nature- and those who took walks in nature had significantly higher levels of focus and better concentration and attention spans!

 

 

  • The outdoors can battle depression and anxiety!

The outdoors seems to have lasting, incredible effects on all things mental health- in return, this directly impacts your physical health!

 

In addition to focus, concentration, energy and stress levels,  nature has also been proven to be incredibly beneficial in fighting off depression and anxiety!

 

In one study[about 10 articles and researched studies about a phenomenon called green exercise was examined, proving that green environments improves not only self-esteem, but also mood- especially for those with disabilities and severe depression and anxiety!

 

 

  • Being outside can reduce inflammation too!

The extreme of any inflammation can lead to disastrous effects and health problems, including but not limited to bowel diseases, autoimmune diseases, clinical depression, and even cancer.

 

One study [found significant decrease in inflammation when elderly patients were sent on a weekend retreat to the woods- and it is the elderly who experience the most heightened cases of inflammation!

 

The outdoors is Earth’s natural, most effective medicine!

 

It is no surprise that spending time in nature and in the outdoors has significant positive effects that are even proven by hundreds of scientific research studies.

 

After all, the human race began as a part of nature, and it was for the most of our existence on Earth that we have lived at one with nature. With the rise of commercial, artificial living have increased the instances, discoveries, and “inventions” so to speak of new, unheard of sicknesses.

 

If we return to the positives of the natural past whole moving forward with the positives of technological advancements, we can as a human race make the most of our time on this planet!

 

For more health benefits backed by science, read this article.

 

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Need a Break From Routine? Here’s How To Go On A Vacation- Every Single Day! http://theexistant.com/need-a-break-from-routine-heres-how-to-go-on-a-vacation-every-single-day/ http://theexistant.com/need-a-break-from-routine-heres-how-to-go-on-a-vacation-every-single-day/#respond Sun, 23 Apr 2017 06:39:26 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=604 the Existant
Need a Break From Routine? Here’s How To Go On A Vacation- Every Single Day!

daily vacation

Is there any way to take a break from this crazy routine-hectic life and have smaller vacations- every month, every week, or even- dare I say it- every DAY?

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Need a Break From Routine? Here’s How To Go On A Vacation- Every Single Day!

daily vacation

 

Sometimes, all we need is a break from our routine. That’s what typical vacations are for, aren’t they?

 

Our cultures have made crazy, jam-packed schedules where we barely get time to enjoy quality time with our families, let alone to give our minds a piece of rest.

 

And when we do have vacations, they are a pain more than relaxation. Endless bookings, morning to night excursions, running from checkpoint to checkpoint attempting to hit every tourist hotspot in your week- does that sound familiar?

 

Then the rest of the year goes just as normal- droning like a machine, almost like we seem to do on our vacations as well!

 

Is there any way to take a break from this crazy routine-hectic life and have smaller vacations- every month, every week, or even- dare I say it- every DAY?

 

The other day, my uncle told me about a really awesome trick he uses to take a break from routine more often that we normally would, in our culturally scheduled vacations that we take- sometimes only once a year.

 

He told me that he dedicates an hour a day to unplugging himself from social media and his phone to simply enjoy his time. He would visit a beautiful place near his home, get something nice to eat, and just relax and unwind.

 

What he told me got me thinking- what if we could ACTUALLY take small mini vacations every day?

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually have mini-vacations on a regular basis, rather than planning for months on end for a crazy vacation with everything BUT rest?

 

 

It would be easy for me to say that there is only one way to do this, a simple formula to take a vacation a day, but instead of giving you a grand scheme or formula, I am going to give you a small list of tips.

 

Here are some guidelines to taking what my dear, inspirational uncle likes to call a Daily Hour Vacation:

 

 

 

  • Schedule an hour a day.

daily vacation

Pick an hour of every day that you know you can take out without fail to focus on winding down. It can be the first hour of your day to relax and rethink yourself and confidence after waking up, or a lunch break, or even basking in the sunset.

 

Take your pick- and pen it to your schedule just as you would any important meeting. Your mental health matters!

 

 

  • Unplug yourself.

daily vacation

Make sure that you are out of the influence of social media, news outlets, any other beepy sounds. Shut off that phone. Unplug from the World Wide Web. Focus on the NOW. Breathe in the present.

 

 

  • Pick a place.

daily vacation

This can adjust based on the weather. Maybe you want to just sit on your front porch, or in your living room. You can go to the spotting of trees near the playground, or the new coffee shop not too far away, or drive through a nice trail that you haven’t driven by before.

 

Make sure it is not too far, so that you can return to your routine afterwards conveniently, while at the same time make sure it is relaxing.

 

Nature is always the best bet- as exposure to natural sunlight, the breeze, plants, and the overall aroma of the outdoors is good for one’s soul.

 

 

  • Pick an activity.

pure-magazine-thumb-12

There are so many things you can do to unwind. This, of course, depends on your choice of activity, and what relaxes you the most.

 

You can go for a run, or listen to some music, or do some baking, or pick up a good book, or write a list of thoughts, or write in a journal. You can even just do nothing and think, dream, imagine, daydream. Watch the clouds, count the stars. Or you can take your bike out for a spin.

 

This doesn’t have to be a session to squeeze in extra work or exercise or any of the other items on your to-do list. If you find yourself doing this, take a step back and rethink your activity. But if any of these things do indeed relax you, then be my guest!

 

The key is to do something that relaxes you.

 

 

  • Share it with a loved one.

Photo credit: photographed by Pressfoto on Freepik.com

There is no better way to wind down from routine than to do it with a loved one. Most of our routines are interwoven with our loved ones’ routines, and when they intersect, it is quick hugs and kisses and words exchanged at dinner, if we lived so fast paced.

 

Enjoying this time as a mutual activity is perfect to enjoy, appreciate, and value each other’s company and wind down together. It will make the experience all the more enjoyable.

 

 

  • Stick to it as a routine- and watch your happiness and satisfaction levels increase by the day!

 pure-magazine-thumb-8

 

Lastly and most importantly, no matter how your experience goes- whether it is sometimes longer or shorter, more or less satisfying as planned- make sure to keep it as a part of your routine.

 

Winding down, relaxing, giving your mind a time to take a break is critical for not only the functioning of your mind in your daily work tasks and potential, but also to your happiness.

 

 

Your mental health matters- and rather than saving our time to “relax” for a jam-packed weekend- why not start with a Daily Hour Vacation today, and see the impact it has on all parts of your life!

 

 

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Netflix Launches A Personal Trainer That Makes Sure Your Binge-Watching Has No Chill http://theexistant.com/netflix-launches-a-personal-trainer-that-makes-sure-your-binge-watching-has-no-chill/ http://theexistant.com/netflix-launches-a-personal-trainer-that-makes-sure-your-binge-watching-has-no-chill/#respond Sat, 18 Mar 2017 17:25:05 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=543 the Existant
Netflix Launches A Personal Trainer That Makes Sure Your Binge-Watching Has No Chill

Netflix personal trainer

Netflix launches a personal trainer you can adjust to your needs that stops your video if you stop exercising!

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Netflix Launches A Personal Trainer That Makes Sure Your Binge-Watching Has No Chill

Netflix personal trainer

 

Wouldn’t it be great if we could be forced to lose calories while we binge-watch our favorite TV shows on Netflix?

 

With this new “Netflix and chill” way of life, it seems that everywhere you turn, people are turning to Netflix for binge-watching and laziness-induced practices. Rather than doing something productive or staying fit, this cultural standard pushes for laziness and inactivity- leading to weight gain and health problems.

 

Even if people try to exercise, their binge-addictions come in the way of setting up an exercise routine.

 

What if I were to tell you that our go-to streaming outlet of today has found a way to merge both exercise and binge watching- removing the “chill” from “Netflix and chill” and give us our favorite characters as personal trainers to meet our fitness quotas?

 

Netflix’s “Make It” initiatives produce all sorts of new Netflix-related projects each year. The newest addition to this campaign is the Netflix Personal Trainer.

 

This Personal Trainer initiative is a do it yourself/modify to your needs personal trainer that you can adjust according to your needs and exercise routine. Even the trainer his or herself is modifiable and depends on your own choosing!

 

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to burn a few calories while binge-watching their favorite TV show?

 

Here are some highlights of Netflix’s newest feature:

 

  • Published Instruction Guide:

    netflix

Netflix published an instruction guide  to help you personalize, modify, and use your very own personal trainer on your Netflix account.

 

Before getting started, it is an absolute must to read this guide and learn more from the creators of the personal trainer themselves.

 

This guide includes everything you need to know to get started on your personal trainer. It outlines and shows you what exactly the personal trainer is, how it works, how to use the personal trainer, how to personalize, and the uses and application of this initiative.

 

 

  • Personalized Character Trainer

netflix

The detailed instruction guide also includes how to modify and personalize your trainer. Yes, there is a trainer. The first I heard of this initiative, I expected it to be a simple system where the amount I exercised correlated with the amount that I was allowed to watch. What I did not expect was that there would be actual character voices from Netflix original series- 14 character choices  to be exact- that you can personalize and choose to be your ACTUAL trainer in the “Netflix and Exercise” process if you are plugged in!

 

You can choose your personal trainer from three different categories of motivation- tough love, positive reinforcement, or comic relief.

 

It’s easy as choose your favorite character voice and plug in with your exercise routine! Titus Andromedon from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Pablo Escobar from Narcos, and even Queen Elizabeth from The Crown are just a few of the options available!

 

  • Motivational Talk

    netflix

Naturally, our binge-watching nation is so not prepared for an innovation like this, and with the likes of a system that is found in many other apps that control our phone or TV time while connected to our exercise machines, Netflix’s personal trainer comes with motivational phrases in the voice of your favorite character.

 

The most awesome part of this is the fact that rather than standardized motivational phrases, each character voice says things in their own style, through their own identities.

 

Is Pablo Escobar your guru? Tune into his voice and words of wisdom. Do you find inspiration in Queen Elizabeth? Select her character trainer for “A revolution must come from within”.

 

Whoever you choose from the 14 options, there is no doubt that your choice will speak to you in their own way!

 

 

  • Do-It-Yourself Device

netflix

As outlined in the instruction guide, Netflix allows you to put settings for your exercise routine, and your target. The next step after putting in your settings is to prepare your device so you can plug in.

 

The device in itself is not something that you need to buy to connect- that would have been a terrible gimmick that may not have attracted many customers. Instead, the do-it yourself device connects to your phone or tablet using Bluetooth, and can be made at home.

 

Once you are connected, the device uses an accelerometer to monitor your speed and how hard you are working out- and if it is keeping up with your target settings.

 

Of course, some hardware know-how will be needed (hint- you may need to learn how to solder!) to put together the device, which Netflix provided in a personal trainer materials guide here.

 

 

  • Plug In and Earn Your Binge-Watching!

netflix

This is, of course, the practical side of the coin. Of course the character voices and stylized motivational phrases are all good and fun. The real agony begins after you modify your settings and exercise rate.

 

As soon as Netflix (or, your chosen personal trainer character that is) senses your exercise rate has dropped below your target have stopped exercising completely, it will stop the playback. It will mute the audio, play motivational phrases from the character you chose, and will eventually stop the playback entirely.

 

Not only will it stop the playback, but it will not let you watch until you start exercising again, and reach your modified settings for your target exercise routine.

 

 

 

 

This innovation definitely seems like a turn-around from the weight-gaining, laziness-inducing culture brought about by Netflix as a way of life.

 

It is quite possible that it can actually be a motivating factor in exercising while binge-watching- if you even venture out to bother yourself to set an exercise routine for yourself, that is!

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This Is How Pursuing An English Major Changed My Life- For The Better http://theexistant.com/this-is-how-pursuing-an-english-major-changed-my-life-for-the-better/ http://theexistant.com/this-is-how-pursuing-an-english-major-changed-my-life-for-the-better/#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 06:49:16 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=526 the Existant
This Is How Pursuing An English Major Changed My Life- For The Better

English major

I was always told that the English Major has no benefit to offer. When I embarked on this journey through English Lit, my life changed- for the better.

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This Is How Pursuing An English Major Changed My Life- For The Better

English major

There are many things in life that shape us, that change us.

 

It can be experiences of loss, of success, of achievement, of failure. Sometimes, life thrusts its difficulties on us and makes us who we are. Sometimes, our choices make or break us.

 

I am proud to say that one of the most defining experiences that shaped not only my life, but my outlook for the rest of my life was my almost instinctive and thoughtless choice of the English major.

 

My story is not unlike many other college students struggling to find their way and to find success, and the actions that took me to that destination

 

But here’s the thing:

 

My story is not about action alone, per se. Nor is it about reaching the destination.

 

My story is about thought, about the mind. How the mind changed my course, adjusted my sails. And just how powerful the mind is in changing our lives, our vantage points. Not the destination in itself, but the roads we choose on the way to the destination.

 

My story is about how important it is to know how we choose to perceive the world and take every itty-bitty step towards our destinations, whatever those destinations may be.

 

 

How My Journey Started

english major

 

I started off my college career as any student might- confused and uncertain.

 

My life was not something that I took as seriously as one straight out of college looking for a job. All that mattered to me was that I somehow figure out something that I can make a living out of, something that I would enjoy.

 

It seems almost a no-brainer that I would end up as an English major. I was always the top of my class in English. I loved reading and writing, and not in the way that the majority of students said they did. I got thrills and rushes from writing, writing essays and formulating analyses and understandings of texts in-depth gave me this rush of passion.

 

It was as if the makings of the English major ran through my core.

 

Interestingly, the last thing I expected was to turn to the English department, and it was a long time before I took that route.

 

But when I did, it flipped my world around with a total 180.

 

Starting off as a freshman, and before that throughout my high school years, I always felt impassioned about becoming something, becoming someone who could make a difference. I realized from a very young age that I did not want my life to be focused on mainstreaming into a system of jobs and careers that would just pay me to live until I died.

 

I wanted to do something that would matter.

 

So, as any teenager, I explored careers. I thought about law, environmental science, medicine. I was smart. I worked hard. I knew I could achieve anything that I wanted to.

 

It was then I decided I wanted to go into education. And so, with my decision under my belt and my passion driving me forward, I enrolled in my local community college with a full scholarship and began working toward an Associate of Arts in Education.

 

I took all my needed classes, I did my observation hours, I became the secretary and eventually the President of a prominent student organization on campus.

 

In my first two years of college, I basically went with the flow and did what I needed to in order to transfer. I had a balance of subjects so it did not ever really bother me to focus on any one subject in particular. I took two math classes, two sciences, two English classes, two histories.

 

I prided myself in my holistic approach- even though I knew that the university I was transferring to did not have education as a major and I would eventually have to choose a major of focus before applying to the university’s graduate school for education certification.

 

Most people who transferred to my university- Rutgers University New Brunswick- for a teaching certification usually focused on a Psychology major. I always thought I would either choose Math or English just for the sake of dual certification in a subject matter for all grades, and special education, and then either math or English- whatever I would end up choosing.

 

 

The Instinctive Choice

english major

 

It was when I came to Rutgers and was faced with the decision, I took what was instinctive to me.

 

I filled my entire first semester with the prerequisite courses for the English major- and with less than two years before graduation, I stuck to that plan almost mindlessly, unaware until my last semester just what impact the English major was having on my mind and heart.

 

I always thought in the back of my mind that just getting a teaching certification and just, becoming a teacher in a single classroom wouldn’t be my scope of leadership. I had the utmost honor and respect for teachers and the impact they have on society, but I wanted to do something different. I wasn’t quite sure yet, maybe I would pursue a masters degree focusing on education policy or theory, prepare myself for research projects or curriculum development or a board of education job.

 

Whatever it was, I wanted to have a positive impact on the world and leave my mark, and it wasn’t until I was fully immersed in my coursework in Rutgers at university level that it dawned on me.

 

I chose the English major not because I understood what it was, never mind that I had no idea how it would change and expand my mind. All I knew was that I loved to read and write, and that I thought I could impact the world with it.

 

I also thought it would be a good idea to major in English and get a dual certification. But it wasn’t until I experienced it truly that my mind flipped in ways I could have never imagined.

 

 

What is an English Major, anyways?

english major

 

Before I tell you what I discovered, let me do a little defining for you.

 

You see, there are a lot of people out there who do not understand what exactly the English major does or offers- even I was confused at times, to be very honest- so don’t feel embarrassed I you were just like I was a couple of months ago.

 

Most people assume that an English major teaches grammar, or the English language. It is rare that people understand that we are taught to read and write and think through literature and within its critical contexts, let alone the outreaching goals that it achieves in thinking skills beyond those of the outright goals of every English department out there.

 

Each university will have a different outline of requirements, but for the most part, it will revolve around the same ideas.

 

  • Here are some snippets of English Department goals and mission statements from different universities-

 

  • “…every English class is rooted in the challenges and pleasures of reading, writing, and thinking…The English major is designed to cultivate both historical understanding and critical skills.” – Rutgers University English Department

 

 

  • The English Literature Major offers students the opportunity for a focused and comprehensive study of literature written in the English language. The English Literature Major engages students in the range of approaches to literary study that now characterize the field: the historical study of national traditions, literary theory, the study of texts in cultural context, genre studies, and the critical analysis of representations of identity, especially in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality. It builds onto the existing English Major a series of requirements that ensure students’ greater immersion in literature, and it foregrounds research.” -University of New Hampshire

 

  • “With courses in literature, linguistics, creative writing, rhetoric, and writingEnglish studiesoffers diverse gateways into the study of language. You’ll develop advanced skills in writing, reading, interpreting, and understanding the cultural place and importance of a wide variety of texts.”– Ball State University

 

 

It is interesting, after exploring the English major and experiencing it on my own, to look back on these mission statements see what university English departments have to say of the major.

 

 

How the English Major Changed MY Life

english major

 

My English classes covered information in all of the above areas. I was exposed to literature in the English language across time periods, from people of all backgrounds and nationalities, of people with different opinions and identities.

 

I was taught not only to read these texts thoughtfully, but also to think about them through different lenses of theory. I was asked to put on idealized hats, to understand texts through different contexts.

 

I saw what I was reading from different vantage points. I was able to entertain thoughts without accepting them as my own. We would not only look at characters and analyze their place in the story, we would analyze intent.

 

Once our minds were opened with the tools set through literary theory, there were endless questions we could ask to lead us to accessing the worlds and dimensions of understanding within ever piece of writing.

 

Some questions I find myself asking subconsciously now include:

  • What is the author’s intent?
  • What is the narrator’s intent?
  • What does that say about them as a people?
  • What does that say about the subjectivities of this time period?
  • How does that play into political issues of the time?
  • How did the author speak for a certain crowd, or against another?
  • How did the author express his or her own personal struggles and identity, and highlight core issues that are now discussed centuries later with his or her writing as a lens?

 

Ultimately, how can I project these ideas that I have and that I receive from these texts, onto my own belief of myself?

 

It was amazing how just the mere practice of such a skill as reading and writing with the proper theoretical mindset could open your mind to such levels of thinking- and that too, subconsciously as a natural skill, no longer needing effort.

 

In a way, the skills of analysis and deep reading I learned from my extensive English classes taught me more about life than any of my math or science classes ever could have.

 

I was allowed to be subjective, I was allowed to be myself, I was allowed to have multiple selves through people who are no longer alive.

 

I was allowed to look at a piece of text as one would look at a piece of art.

 

I was enabled and trained to look at life- as it is in all its intricacies, as a work of art. People, places, things, ideas. Myself and others, myself and others as a whole, myself and others as separate entities. Possibilties of existence, things that do exist, things that do not exist. Is it not all just that- life? And is not life itself the most intricate work of art?

 

Nevermind my writing skills and analytical skills, these are skills that anyone can have going into any major, and can be easily honed by the regularity of reading and writing in this major.

 

What the English Major truly did for me- how it really changed my life was that it changed my world view.

 

I had Chaucer by my side when I look at religious atrocities happening around me. I had Woolf’s diaries giving me solace when I was awake at night, figuring out what each star in the sky means to me. I was able to analyze the way people acted through the deep readings of the characters of Wilde, of Morrison.

 

Endless authors and their artful shaping of characters and worlds within their texts opened up my mind to see the world beyond the words and actions of everyday life.

 

Some may render this extensiveness of thought as overthinking. What I consider it  to be, is enlightenment.

 

I guess you could say I finally knew how to think. It was as if my mind was finally opened- by opening and accessing the minds of others. And as I could finally look at the world with an open mind, I had no more qualms of where I was going or how.

 

I just knew that I would find my way through the intricacies of every step towards my destination.

 

I realized that I did not need a teaching certification, nor did I need to spend endless years at a university to gain a degree as a license to knowledge, to get a “job” or career to simply stay alive.

 

I wanted to impact the world – all I needed now was to utilize this skill of critical thinking, of expression, of writing, of understanding. Of reaching out to the world and leaving my mark, as so many others did before me even if just through thought and theory.

 

I learned how to think, I learned how to know and understand. And with this tool, almost any path that I chose could impact the world with the new lens I had on my eyes. Or rather, the lack of a veil preventing me from properly seeing. There was no need anymore to limit myself to any field or track, there were endless possibilities.

 

Once the mind is open, there is no holding back, no limits as to how I could impact the world with a new-found enlightenment. There was nothing I could set my mind to without succeeding.

 

My destination was to impact the world. Granted, there were many ways to do so. But the path I stumbled upon through my subconscious passions was the most beneficial to the long-term goal and its quality and success in the end.

 

I finally knew how I wanted to impact the world in the purest, most authentic way.

 

My “college degrees” would not define me- the skills they provided me, the mind and thinking skills I now developed, would chart my future goals.

 

My success was not where I had been, but the uncharted lands I had the potential to traverse with my mind’s tool belt rearing to go.

 

All because I finally learned how to think. And that infinitely folded depth gave me a vantage point from the stars- to infinity and beyond.

 

 

This Is How Pursuing An English Major Changed My Life- For The Better
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Literary Quotes that Define Just How FED UP You Are! http://theexistant.com/literary-quotes-define-just-fed/ http://theexistant.com/literary-quotes-define-just-fed/#respond Thu, 23 Feb 2017 07:42:07 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=407 the Existant
Literary Quotes that Define Just How FED UP You Are!

Literary Quotes

Literature can often put words in our mouth when we find it hard to do so. Who better to turn to than dear old literature to phrase our fed-up-ness?

Literary Quotes that Define Just How FED UP You Are!
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Literary Quotes that Define Just How FED UP You Are!

Literary Quotes

Literature can often put words in our mouth when we find it hard to do so. Who better to turn to than dear old literature to phrase our fed-up-ness?

 

Sometimes, it is quite impossible to put into words just how fed up we are with our life and the situations around us. We are most often left to depend upon quotes from literary giants of our time and times before- only they mastered the art of fed up expression.

 

Is it homework? Your stressful relationship? Your nagging parents? Your new professor’s insane online quizzes? Your boss is surpassing the limits of work-time ratios? The government? Global warming? Disintegration of humanity? Loss of hope?

 

No worries, our literary giants never denied the art of being fed up- they channeled it perfectly for us instead!

 

Indulge in these literary quotes to express your level of fed-up-ness, and enjoy!

 

“I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Well-preserved indeed! Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.” – J.R.R Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

 

All those assignments, all that work, all the rallies to fight for our basic rights…it is too much of a stretch of my mind indeed? Our time is spread thin, the butter is running out! Maybe we need a change of jam?

 

“Tired, tired with nothing, tired with everything, tired with the world’s weight he had never chosen to bear.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and the Damned

 

 

We live in an age where the economy is collapsing, the environment is falling to pieces, democracy is up in the air, and humanity has been buried screaming. Tired, tired, tired? We may not be beautiful but with the world’s weight dropping us to the ground, we sure are damned!

 

“Winston was gelatinous with fatigue” –George Orwell, 1984

 

What better way to call that state of watching Netflix and munching on chips than GELATINOUS. Yes, fatigue makes us wiggly and wobbly, like jelly. Don’t stop us from shaking- or rather, please let us shake in our natural gelatinous state of denial.

 

“Here I am I am tired I am tired of running of having to carry my life like it was a basket of eggs” –William Faulkner, Light in August

 

Because life is like a basket of eggs! Each problem ready to drop and crack and fall apart. Oh, government? That fell back a mile ago. Humanity? That is on its way to the ground. You better hold onto that last egg called sanity, because the basket is gone! Good thing that egg called salary is tucked safe in your pants.

 

“ I feel I need a holiday, a very long holiday, as I have told you before. Probably a permanent holiday: I don’t expect I shall return. in fact, I don’t mean to, and I have made all arrangements….” –J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

 

If we could all just get a permanent holiday from reality that would be nice. Its not like life will be all set waiting for our return anyway- fascism and lack of productivity hails free!

 

 

Literary Quotes that Define Just How FED UP You Are!
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Learn Something New EVERY DAY http://theexistant.com/learn-something-new-every-day/ http://theexistant.com/learn-something-new-every-day/#respond Fri, 17 Feb 2017 04:56:59 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=341 the Existant
Learn Something New EVERY DAY

Learn something new

Mind feeling stagnant? Want to learn something new but don’t know how? Read this article for practical and easy ways to learn something new, EVERY day!

Learn Something New EVERY DAY
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Learn Something New EVERY DAY

Learn something new

Mind feeling stagnant? Want to learn something new but don’t know how? Read this article for practical and easy ways to learn something new, EVERY day!

 

Too often do we brush off education as a thing that is only done in schools and universities- when we are actually learning something new everyday. Once you are out of school, it feels like there is no time to learn something new. And, once you stop learning, the brain stagnates and seems to fall asleep. There is really no other joy than learning something new, even if it is something not from a textbook or not assigned in a syllabus.

 

Tired of learning textbook material? Feeling your brain stagnate? Want a way to learn something new, even if small, about anything at all, every single day?

 

Well, you are in luck! There is a multitude of ways to learn something new, every single day!

 

 

Here are just a few ways that you can learn something new every day:

 

 

  • Keep a daily journal of your day’s best thoughts

Throughout the day, our minds are always working on something or the other. Keep track of inspirational thoughts or things worth thinking. We are always learning and we don’t often realize it.

 

Keeping a daily journal not only allows you to record and keep track of what you are learning every day, but once you get in the habit of the daily journal, your mind will prompt you with ideas throughout the day to prep you for the daily journals! There is really no losing!

 

 

 

  • Look up anything that comes to your mind

Hundreds of thoughts run through our minds every single day. Have any thought or question about something that is irking you, or interesting you? Don’t just leave it as a mystery- Google it away, and research to the best of your ability!

 

 

 

  • Read often

Any written form of language is carrying a type of knowledge, Even if it is something we already know, it is possible for it to simply be a rewording. Read whatever you can get your hands on! Newspapers, books, signs, headlines, you name it!

 

This can even include your Facebook news feed! Knowledge doesn’t always have to be true- almost everything is subjective! As long as you get your hands on something unique, you are exercising your mind!

 

 

 

  • Introspect

This is perhaps one of the key ways of learning something new, every single day. We don’t leave our minds empty enough anymore- and if we do, our minds are emptily watching Netflix, filling our minds with TV shows and movies. While those are a source of learning in an entirely different realm, sometimes we forget that thinking and immersing ourselves in thought is a critical and beautiful way to learn!

 

We can learn about ourselves, or about the universe, or reach conclusions we never thought we could! Think of it as exercising your brain’s muscle to make it stronger. Take a walk in the woods, lay in a cozy place and close your eyes- even engage in conversation with someone intelligent. All of these stimulate the mind! Newton didn’t read his laws anywhere- an apple fell on his head, and he thought.

 

 

There are many ways out there to learn something new every day- and these are some simple habits you can instill in your everyday life to make sure that you actually do learn something new!

 

 

Your mind will be refreshed, and you will feel purposeful again! There is no such thing as enough knowledge- it is one of those things that we will want and continue desiring till the day that we die!

 

 

Establish any of these habits, and find that you are actually learning something new every single day!

Learn Something New EVERY DAY
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Always Tired? 5 EASY Ways to Increase Energy Levels! http://theexistant.com/always-tired-5-easy-ways-increase-energy-levels/ http://theexistant.com/always-tired-5-easy-ways-increase-energy-levels/#respond Wed, 15 Feb 2017 06:42:47 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=302 the Existant
Always Tired? 5 EASY Ways to Increase Energy Levels!

Increase Energy

Are you always tired? Read this article for 5 EASY hacks that you can use to increase your energy levels and battle fatigue when you need energy the most!

Always Tired? 5 EASY Ways to Increase Energy Levels!
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Always Tired? 5 EASY Ways to Increase Energy Levels!

Increase Energy
5 EASY Ways to Increase Energy Levels!

 

Being tired is a sickness that we all experience, and it has become normal to feel that it is quite impossible to increase our energy levels in any way. Falling here and there throughout the day, we tend to give up and fall prey to this weakness. Any ideas for increasing energy levels seem too elaborate and complicated.

 

Is there any way to increase your energy levels in a simpler, easier way than long-wrought out methods that we are simply just too tired to attempt?

 

The truth is simple:

There are plenty of quick and easy ways to increase energy levels for the average tired panda.

 

Here are 5 easy, and natural ways you can increase your energy levels on a daily basis- that do not include artificial energy drinks!

 

 

 

  •    Quick Exercise Routines

This may seem counterintuitive, but it is quite true that exercising regularly increases stamina and energy levels. If you are too tired to start an elaborate routine, you can easily put in between 10-20 minutes of exercise and different points of the day. Take a quick run around the block, get on the treadmill, do 20 sit-ups or squats- whatever you can squeeze in and motivate yourself to do!

 

 

  • Taking Vitamins

The extreme amount of processed foods we intake leave out many crucial nutrients to our energy levels. You can get a blood test and see if your chronic fatigue is linked to any deficiency and take whatever supplements the doctor recommends. Some general energy-boosting vitamins include iron and vitamin D- if you want to get started on your own!

 

 

  • Altering Your Diet

Our bodies rely on proper intake and diet for survival. If you are surviving on pizza and chocolate, there is no doubt that what you are eating is not giving you what you need to have the proper energy levels to get through the day. Look up foods rich in vitamins and nutrients that are crucial to energy, especially natural foods such as fruits and veggies! Make your snacks full of healthy munchies, to make sure that you are filled with energy, rather than sloth!

 

 

  •  Power Naps

Never underestimate the power of a power nap! Sometimes even if we get enough sleep, a long, busy day tires us out and makes it practically impossible to move onto the next task without falling over. Taking a quick 15-20 minute power nap (even if you do not fall fully asleep!) is important in regaining energy levels and preparing your mind to face the rest of your day’s activities!

 

 

  • Get Out of Bed!

Most of the feelings of tiredness come from the very first minute of our days. The second you wake up, the minute you hear your alarm- sit up strait. If you continue to lie down, flip through your phone, or mope in your bed for more than 5 minutes, your body will fake you into thinking you are tired. Get out of bed right away, or your body will trick you into thinking you are tired for the entire day!

 

 

There are endless ways to increase energy levels if you are always tired. Finding easy ways are difficult- but if you use the above listed EASY ways to increase your energy levels, you are sure to face many action-packed, energy filled days in the future!

Always Tired? 5 EASY Ways to Increase Energy Levels!
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Productive Daily Habits You NEED to Get Everything Done, Every Day http://theexistant.com/productive-daily-habits-you-need-to-get-everything-done-every-day/ http://theexistant.com/productive-daily-habits-you-need-to-get-everything-done-every-day/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2017 19:02:04 +0000 http://theexistant.com/?p=252 the Existant
Productive Daily Habits You NEED to Get Everything Done, Every Day

Productive Daily Habits

Having trouble getting things done? Read this article for productive daily habits that you NEED to make sure you get everything done, every day!

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Productive Daily Habits You NEED to Get Everything Done, Every Day

Productive Daily Habits

Having trouble getting things done? Read this article for productive daily habits that you NEED to make sure you get everything done, every day!

 

Lack of time to get things done is an issue that we all face, whether we like it or not. No matter how long our to- do list, our deadlines, it almost always feels that 24 hours in a day is never enough.

 

I personally became accustomed to frustrating myself to the extent of exhaustion almost every single day, the clock hitting midnight, not even half my day’s work undone, spilling over to my even longer to do list for the next day.

 

So what’s the deal here? Is there an inevitable cycle that we are doomed to repeat, day after day, month after month, year after year until our untimely demise?

 

Or is there some light at the end of the tunnel- or at the beginning of the tunnel rather- that can give a QUICK fix to this issue and allow you to sleep soundly by 10 pm each night without the nagging weight of a heavy heart to carry to the next morning?

 

The answer is simple:

 To really get everything done, on the day that it NEEDS to be done, there are a few simple habits that, from my own experience, have worked wonders. No more restless nights and anxiety headaches and overflowing to do lists.

Here is a simple list of small, quick, and PRODUCTIVE habits you can instill EASILY to get everything done, on the day that it needs to be done!

 

 

  • Sleep enough to get enough done!

This sounds counterintuitive. How can I sleep early or enough if half the things I need to get done are nowhere near finished? It’s simple science. Studies show that the more you lack in sleep, the worse your ability to productively focus on the next day, the longer it takes for you to complete tasks. The only way to break the cycle is just what it says it is: break the cycle. Sacrifice your to do list for one day, and force yourself to sleep on time and get a good 6-8 hours of interrupted sleep on average, and see how well you work the next day.

 

 

  • Sleep on time, EARLY to get things done EARLY

Sleep again, you say? I say, yes! Sleep is more important than you realize. Not only is sleep time important, but the time that you sleep will dictate inadvertently when you wake up the next day if you have no set deadline to wake up, or lessen your amount of sleep if you sleep late and have to wake up early for work or school (duh!). This is a quick easy fix. Like I said before, simply break your cycle the first day, sleep early, and wake up early. The earlier you wake up, the more things will get done in the day. Which leads directly to the next habit…

 

 

  • Wake up EARLY to get work done EARLY

If you follow the previous steps, this habit will become a no-brainer. If you wake up around sunrise, you will have more time to function and get into your day’s routine without forcing yourself out of bed and rushing, and without those bags under your eyes from oversleeping. Sleeping early and sleeping enough is only beneficial to the extent wherein you make sure you wake up early. The early morning is proven to the be the most productive time of the day. If you set your important tasks for early in the morning, there is no doubt you will have more time in the day to complete them, and definitely before midnight.

 

 

  • Plan your meals to retain energy

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day- isn’t that what they all say? The saying is as the saying goes, and breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day! A lot of times when I used to be in a rush, I would just eat whatever came into my hand first, or skip breakfast entirely. That, of course, is the wrong thing to do! Make sure to plan all the meals in your day in advance, in the way that suits you best. And make sure to actually schedule them at times that are best suitable to your busy schedule!

 

Breakfast should always be the most focused-on meal. Eating healthy and heavy an egg, some toast, some milk- is the best thing you can do to keep your day energized. Skimping on breakfast causes over-full lunches and dinners, that can offset your energy levels and leave you sleepy when you need energy the most. Eat at the right times, eat the right things, and your day will be full of energy!

 

 

  • Exercise to re-energize!

Exercise is a tricky thing to fit into a schedule for some people. However, there is no doubt that fitting in even 30 minutes of exercise a day can increase energy levels– and if it makes you tired, you are sure to sleep more soundly at night! Don’t be put off by the pains when you first start off. If you start off with smaller goals and steps, it will be easier to work your way up and create the perfect routine for you! This seems almost useless- how does exercise help you get everything done, every single day? The truth is, by exercising (and doing the right exercises as well- running or even using the elliptical) for even a short amount of time every day, it pumps you up, re-energizes you, and starts the happy-hormones flowing so you tackle your day with confidence!

 

 

  • Actually use a planner- to actually plan your days!

This sounds like a no-brainer for sure. It is very common for people to buy planners, but actually using them is another story. Have a master planner for all the things you have to do, and write down everything you need to do, and plan in advance what day you deem them important to be done. Rather than remembering off the top of your head or leaving things for the last minute, jotting them down in a planner helps you to unload the lists and lists of things to do from your own mind, and allows you to look at your time slots with a clearer head.

 

In addition to using a planner, you can even make a simple routine table with all the hours of the day on a Word document. Simple make a column for every day of the week, and timed intervals in the rows. Highlight each part to your heart’s desire, allocate what is important and what times are free and, wa-lah! You have a personal calendar and planner to make certain you follow through with everything, and finish everything when it is supposed to be finished, with time left to spare!

 

Remember to follow through!

 

 

  • Use to-do lists and check-lists

In addition to using a planner- which can admittedly become overcrowded, congested and stressful- use small checklists and to- do lists to plot out what is immediate work for the next couple of hours, the next day, or even the next week. This way, you can visualize what needs to be done immediately and make sure that it is done within the time frame! You can use post-its, index cards, small pieces of paper- anything that is most convenient for you!

 

Make sure you leave a small box to check mark a task and cross it out when it is done- there is nothing like the satisfaction of a completed task to motivate you to move onto the next one and complete it just as quickly and efficiently!

 

 

  • Take timed breaks and power-naps

Your mind needs a break- you are a human being after all, not a machine this corporate world is trying to make you. RAther than jumping from task to task, take time out to take a power nap- which are very beneficial and energizing. Meditate, read, take a stroll in nature, lay on the couch with a loved one and a bowl of popcorn-whatever relaxes you! If you have trouble fitting in or finding such times, then schedule your down times! Down time is equally important to getting everything done. Without his time, getting actual work done would, frankly, be quite impossible.

 

 

  • Take out time for yourself- you are the most important of all!

Here lies the secret of our chronic inability to get done what needs to get done: undermining our own value! When we start to consider ourselves machines, that is when we become machines! In addition to timed breaks and power naps, make sure to put in leisure time as separate from down time, to be unforgivably you! Whether it be once a day for half an hour or even 15 minutes, or once a week for a couple of hours, making sure to understand what it is you yourself enjoy, and being able to allocate time to not only that, but your own personal care and attention, is critical in maintaining your daily goals! Without focusing on yourself, our daily lives can become so out of focus that we lack motivation, and lack the ability to get things done that need to get done.

 

It seems nearly impossible at times to get things done on time the way they are supposed to. The days feel shorter and shorter, and its no wonder this generation is a stressed one. But by instilling some simple daily habits.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           we can not only make sure we get our daily stuff actually done on time, but can actually tremendously improve the quality of our lives!

 

 

Productive Daily Habits You NEED to Get Everything Done, Every Day
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