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  • Riya S.

    Riya is an inspired writer who is passionate about traveling, lifestyle and encouraging startups, and always finding new ways to improve her work productivity.
8 Caffeine-Free Tips to Beat the Afternoon Slump
Diet & Exercise

8 Caffeine-Free Tips to Beat the Afternoon Slump

There's something about the hours that follow lunch. Many people feel an extreme fatigue set in, and the hours between 2pm and 5pm can be really gruelling to get through. Unless you have the freedom to create your own schedule, you are likely working and have to stay alert. In this case, most people look at coffee as the solution to the problem. Yet if you're trying to be more mindful of your caffeine consumption, coffee isn't an option. But don't fear. Here are a few tips on how to beat the afternoon slump without reaching for that one cup too many. 8 Caffeine-Free Tips to Beat the Afternoon Slump You cannot mandate productivity; you must provide the tools to let people become their best. – Steve Jobs (more quotes) 1. Take a walk Sometimes, getting outside and breathing in fresh air will do so much for your psyche. If the weather allows, go outside and take a brisk walk around the office building. Put on some headphones and listen to some music that wakes you up and gets you excited and pumped to go back inside and get to work again. 2. Drink water The human body thrives when it's taken care of. The body needs water to survive and thrive. So, start training yourself to drink lots of water. Your body will operate better. It won't feel as sluggish. You'll feel more alert. You might take more trips to the bathroom, but that comes with the territory. To minimize frequent bathroom breaks, sip your water. If you gulp it down, it'll pass through a lot faster. Sip slowly to let it absorb more efficiently. 3. Listen to great tunes Sometimes, the dull sounds of white noise and the office copy machine are enough to put anyone to sleep. If it's allowed in your workplace, put on some headphones and listen to some music to help the brain stay engaged. Some people prefer listening to instrumental music or orchestral tunes to stimulate the mind. Whatever you choose, make sure your co-workers aren't distracted by it. The volume needs to be loud enough for you to hear, but soft enough that it doesn't disturb their workflow. Avoid the noise-blocking headphones too though. You're still at work. If a call comes through or someone is in need of your assistance, you need to be able to hear them. 4. Take a 10-minute exercise break If you can't leave the office to go take a walk, consider heading over to the stairs to run up and down them a few times. Do a few jumping jacks in your cubicle. If you're a big fan of stretching, do a few yoga poses and some headstands. Headstands are great for getting the blood rushing and shifting things up a bit. Once the blood is flowing and your heart rate is up a bit, your mind will feel stimulated to get back in the ring. 5. Do a puzzle Puzzles are an exceptional way to stimulate your brain. Some people choose to play games on their smartphones; others choose to connect with others over the classics, like chess or backgammon. Studies show that solving puzzles can slow the cognitive decline associated with aging, and prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer's and dementia. Puzzles increase a person's ability to focus and concentrate while improving memory. 6. Eat a lighter lunch If you ate a large lunch, chances are you'll have a difficult time staying awake afterward. Eat a meal that's filling yet lighter on your system. Try eating a predominantly plant-based meal for lunch. By the end of the meal, you'll feel satiated. By the end of the afternoon, you'll realize you made it through without feeling drowsy in the afternoon. 7. Use the power of natural herbs and oils If you're looking to avoid caffeine, brew up a hot cup of herbal tea, add a natural sweetener (like honey or maple syrup) and sip on it to get a natural boost of energy. Essential oils are very therapeutic, restorative and powerful too. If you struggle with energy levels in the afternoon, get a diffuser for your desk. Add water and a few drops of peppermint oil, as the menthol it contains is very stimulating. You can also add a drop or two to the pulse points of your body for an extra boost. 8. Take a B12 supplement Many people love B12 supplements because they give you a great dose of natural energy. There are a few ways to consume B12. You can get concentrated doses through powdered products that you can mix with water for a boost, or you can take B12 in capsule form. If you really want to try something more intense, you can even get a B12 shot injected at doctors' offices and medspas. Ease off the coffee, not the energy Because coffee is such a popular option, most people fail to realize all the alternatives that are available in the marketplace. While a good cup of coffee tastes great, drinking it in excess leads to addiction, damages your sleep quality, and is harmful to your your overall health and well-being. Avoid caffeine dependence by substituting with these healthier options, and you'll notice the change!

How Do We Empower Young Women and Girls?
Friends

How Do We Empower Young Women and Girls?

Despite all the talk about equality these days, women are still stereotyped even in Western countries, especially if they try to fit into men-dominated spaces. Many industries, such as the tech, engineering, and mining sectors employ very few women compared to men. This is not because women are less capable in those domains; they are just made to believe so, and in many cases, are denied the chance to prove their worth.Girls have long been discriminated against by society and made to believe that they are inferior or less important than boys. Studies conducted by the United Nations on different traditional practices have found that the boy child is still viewed as better or more capable than the girl child in many countries. Harmful traditional values and beliefs like son preference, forced marriages and female genital mutilation still affect girls around the world and have dealt an enormous blow to their self-esteem and ability to succeed.There have been several government interventions to address these harmful practices. Different organizations have come up with women empowerment programs that are geared towards helping young girls and women have a voice in the society and achieve their full potential.How Do We Empower Young Women and Girls?I raise up my voice – not so I can shout, but so those without a voice can be heard… We cannot succeed when half of us are held back.- Malala Yousafzai (read more quotes)So what is women empowerment? These are efforts and activities aimed at changing young girls’ and women’s mentality from “can’t do it” to “can do it.” It is about creating an environment where women can have a voice in economic, political and cultural issues. These women and girls empowerment activities boost their self-esteem and allow them to participate on an equal platform as their male counterparts.The following are some empowerment activities that can build self-esteem in young women and girls.Building their communication skillsThe voice of young women must be heard if they are ever going to contribute fully to the world. Girls must be taught to express themselves articulately to build their charisma so that they can claim a more active role in their society.Giving them decision-making rolesIn most societies, women have little to no say on the issues affecting them, such as governance, allocation of resources, marriage, childbearing, etc. Right from the family level, women should be participants in the decision-making process.Providing leadership spaceOf all the activities for women’s empowerment, providing a path to leadership is the most instrumental. It does not only instil confidence but also puts women at a level where they can be able to empower other women. In a male-dominated society, affirmative action is the only way of help women to achieve leadership roles.Empowering girls and young women is not an 'option' for a modern society -- it should have already happened a long time ago. The following are some ways we can all help empower young women and girls tobe the best that they can be.A post shared by Goalcast (@goal.cast) on Jun 1, 2017 at 11:57am PDT1. Provide educationIf you educate girls, you give them the power to conquer the world. An educated girl or young woman knows her rights. An educated woman can perform a job with her acquired skills. She will be able to take care of herself without being reliant on anybody. Education is among the activities for women's empowerment that lays a foundation for how far a lady can go with her life.2. Appreciate the women around youWomen empowerment should begin at the family level. Whether it is your wife or daughter, let them feel valued and equal to everyone else. Whether in the neighborhood or office, support women who need assistance and let them know that you care.3. Invest in small businesses owned by womenAll over the world, small business owners are challenged with raising capital. Women are particularly disadvantaged due to historical or cultural reasons. Support a hardworking woman entrepreneur by way of advancing grants or a small loan. It can make a big difference.4. Be a mentor to a girl childReach out to a girl in your community or wherever your heart is and be a source of encouragement. Girls in every society are impacted by violence, drugs, and bad influences. Your act of reaching out could be the saving grace in the life of a young girl.5. Help young women to join a youth engagement program that will push them to learn and acquire a skillWith the right skills, a young woman will be self-reliant, independent and strong. With the right mentorship from a youth engagement program, girls can take part in activities for women's empowerment and also mentor other girls in their locality. This initiative should be taken to every area no matter how remote, so that each and every girl or young woman benefits from such programs. Youth engagement services should also be accessible to every girl and young woman wherever they are. These youth engagement services will teach the young women how to tackle life's challenges and live a more productive life.If you instil the right values in a girl child when she is still young, she will grow up into a strong woman. Girls' education can make a lifelong difference to not only an individual’s life but to the larger society.

The Enlightened Entrepreneur Knows: Wellness Works
Entrepreneurs

The Enlightened Entrepreneur Knows: Wellness Works

Are you a small business owner? Do you want to find new ways to create a healthier work environment for your employees and save costs on healthcare? Are you unsure of what wellness activities you should pursue at your company? Do you want to find the common causes of work-related mental disorders and improve the health of yourself and entire workforce and workplace? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, read on to get our top five pro tips for why health and wellness programs at work really do work – and how you can get started now!Enlightened Entrepreneurs Know: Wellness WorksThe higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel, and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results. - Tony RobbinsPay less in healthcare costsWork pressures can account for more than a third of the stress an employee experiences in the office. That stress can lead to critical health issues—such as anxiety disorders, burnouts, mental breakdowns and heart attacks. But when you address the stress levels of your employees, then you end up ultimately paying less in healthcare costs. That’s something to note for both you and your employee.Watch employee attendance improveWhen employees are healthy and happy, they want to come to work and they want to work for the common good of the company. So incentivize being part of a corporate health and wellness program. Perhaps you gift a prize at the end of the year for all employees who participated or perhaps you add a bonus to their paychecks. Whatever you decide to do, you’ll notice that it has a ripple effect. Your employees will want to show up and participate because they feel healthier and happier while they are at work – where ultimately they spend most of their time!Sitting is the new smokingFor a long time we’ve known that sitting at your desk is the “new smoking” – to the point of detrimental effects to your body. When you sit for a long period of time, it actually increases your chances for diseases and conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Avoid unnecessary risks to your health by getting up out of your chair periodically throughout the day and taking a walk. Also, consider investing in standing desks for your employees so they have the option of standing up and stretching while they are working.Improved mental healthWhen you provide a wellness program for your employees and they participate, you are doing to see an improvement in mental health among your employees. That’s because exercise releases endorphins and makes you physiologically happier. In fact, research shows that about 50 percent of the time exercise can be just as effective as taking anti-depressants.Increased productivityWellness activities at work can increase the productivity of your employees. That’s because when they exercise, they feel more energized. Many people falsely and detrimentally get into the habit of thinking that they don’t have time for exercise and that to be most productive, they have to work long hours. But you actually do yourself a disservice when you do this. Instead, when you get out of your chair, take a walk, eat lunch, go to the gym during lunch, or do some type of small physical activity, you actually re-energize and redirect your brain. You come back to your desk or to that meeting with renewed direction, inspiration and energy. Yes, it does take some practice to make this a habitual part of the work day, but it can be encouraged via a top-down approach. Encourage your employees to take an hour out of the day to exercise. It benefits your company in the long run because your employees are able to give more of their mental energy and productivity to you throughout the work day. Ready to get healthy at work?It can seem overwhelming at first, but remember that day by day, making wellness at work a habit will encourage a healthy lifestyle that benefits everyone. If you’re ready to improve well-being at work and find health and wellness programs that produce real results, then keep this guide handy as you map out your own corporate course of action. There are many fun wellness activities at work that not only will decrease work injury but will create more productive employees and decrease the overall stress level of your workforce. Best of all, when you deploy a wellness program in your workplace, you ultimately produce happier employees who stick around, decrease turnover, and save in healthcare costs for your employees who might have otherwise continued sitting, smoking and participating in other unhealthy workplace habits.

Healthy Habits, Happy Worker: 5 Tips for Boosting Well-Being at Work
Diet & Exercise

Healthy Habits, Happy Worker: 5 Tips for Boosting Well-Being at Work

Most people spend 40 hours plus at work. For some, it is their home away from home. But sitting at a desk every day, if you have such a luxury, can do more harm than good. Have you seen the new standing desks? They promote good circulation, allow a person to move around while they work, and prevent aching joints and muscles from sitting in the same position hour after hour. Since you must work to make a living, you must learn the importance of work-life balance, and of keeping healthy habits that enhance your well-being on the job. Here are some tips to ensure that you stay healthy and happy at work. Healthy Habits, Happy Worker: 5 Tips for Boosting Well-Being at Work The greatest wealth is health. - Virgil 1. Stand up for what’s right As mentioned above, standing desks are all the rage, but you may wonder if they are more hype than help. According to Smithsonian Magazine, sitting all day long for years can cause serious health problems. Did you know that you can become obese, develop diabetes or even cancer from a sedentary lifestyle? Some experts are comparing sitting to the smoking epidemic of the 1980s. It is important to step up and get out of that cubicle. Standing allows you to move around, pace, and even jump up and down if you want. All of this burns more calories and takes the strain off your back and neck. Many people who stare at a computer screen all day have neck problems. Standing while working may be the answer to having a healthier and happier body. 2. Toss out the trash snacks When people are stressed, they eat. It is easy to have a drawer full of snacks from the vending machine on your desk. You can snack when you're mad, snack when you're happy, and snack from pure boredom. Yet all that will do is pack on the pounds. Rather, you should be more focused on eating healthier. If you tend to be a grazer or someone that likes to snack all the time, then make better food choices. Apple slices with peanut butter are an excellent snack. What about some carrots with ranch dressing or celery sticks with cream cheese? You can find all sorts of things to calm your cravings without wrecking your caloric intake for the day. Trail mix, cheese, yogurt, and health bars are just a few things to keep on hand. 3. Mess equals stress: Clean up your space! Do you need to declutter your desk? A clean and tidy workspace can enhance your focus and productivity. A messy desk can raise your stress levels. When you are constantly digging through piles of paper trying to find what you need, you are wasting time and energy. You can limit your distractions and increase your output by simply cleaning up your space. Also, bosses notice employees who are neat and tidy. In many cases, it is reflective of their work product. 4. Work out at work Moving is one of the best ways to burn calories. Some people make a game of it. For every hour that they sit, they get up and walk for five minutes. It can be a quick jolt to the bathroom, the break room, or simply to get supplies. The key is to keep moving. Take your 15-minute breaks moving around too. There are probably some people in your workplace that are health-conscious. Get a buddy or two and make it a routine. You will have someone to talk to and motivate you when you feel like surfing the web rather than walking. Get a pedometer or watch that counts your steps to track your progress. Paths For All found that those who walk during work are less stressed, more focused, and have 27 percent fewer sick days. 5. Learn to meditate Many people enjoyed the famous movie The Karate Kid. During the movie, Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel the important art of breathing. It helped him to center, stay focused, and to shed the angst he was feeling. The same concept can be used in the office. Asian cultures have used meditation to focus for thousands of years. Did you know that workplace stress can lead to mental health issues? Guided imagery or visualization, as well as yoga, are great ways to practice calming yourself. It is simple, inexpensive and great for relaxation and stress reduction. You can meditate at your desk and no one will know your secret to remaining calm, cool, and collected. You must work. However, you have the power to improve the health and positivity of your workspace, lifestyle and attitude. By incorporating a few of the items above, you can ensure that you are a happy and productive member of your team. Who knows, by utilizing some of these tips above, you could even catch the boss's attention and get a well-deserved raise.