A new year brings new promise. It brings hope and, inevitably, a desire to better ourselves. If this year has given you a desire to improve your health and wellness, you’re here for some better suggestions. Harness your motivation and start making long-lasting, powerful changes that will improve your mental and physical health healthier.
Here are 5 keys to cultivating a healthier lifestyle for 2020 and beyond.
1. Ditch resolutions.
Whenever we talk about the new year, the very first thing which comes into our mind is resolutions! Mainly because we all want to be successful and better. But, success only comes when we create habits that support the changes you want to see in your life. It means not giving up when you have a slip-up and sticking with it even during difficult, stressful times. So, let’s give up thinking too much and start actually doing.
2. Identify the problems you need to leave for long-term health.
We all know we need to eat right, exercise, get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water in order to be healthy. Many of us think we’re doing a decent job of being healthy. However, most of us are not. Here are a few habits which we should quit and make our lifestyle a little better-
- Not smoking.
- Maintaining a healthy weight (a BMI of 18-25), or successfully losing weight.
- Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Exercising 30 minutes or more, five times a week.
3. Know what you want.
Your ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle will depend on coming up with strategies that work with your personality. Take a moment, have a deep breath and think about the times you succeeded and the times you struggled. What circumstances helped you and what did not? Sit and think what you really want and wish for because it is very important to have a clear mind and soul.
4. Disrupt and change unhealthy lifestyle!
The things we do on a regular basis, from brushing our teeth to the snacks we reach for, often become our habits. The first step toward changing any behavior is to evaluate our current habits and make them healthier in every possible manner.
5. Make small, powerful changes.
Start small and build. If you’re trying to get in the habit of working out more often but are out of shape and intimidated by the idea of exercise, start by doing the easiest, least-daunting exercise you can do. Try walking around the block for 10 minutes when you get home from work. Or even just doing a five-minute workout in your living room. Making small bits of changes can actually result in bringing about change.
For more, checkout this link:Mental traps to be aware of.
Anti-Racist Books That Everyone Should Read!
All lives matter. In these times of Pandemic, there are certain populations that get a privilege. For instance, there is privilege based on race, color or religion. This system is existent everywhere. For instance, the wide outrage spread in the USA, where the whites have a privilege. On contrary, there is India, where privilege is based on a persons religion. Whatever the case is, those who are on the other side of the privilege face the inequalities. In this post, read about the best of Anti-Racist Books to widen your perspective. This will also let you know the other side of privilege.
Anti-Racist Books List
In the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death, a lot of quotes by Angela Davis are being circulated on social media. However, these small quotes certainly don’t contain the whole of struggle. To know the struggle in depth, read this book. The book compiles the thoughts of the author in a series of essays.
2. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo- Lodge
The book talks about the struggles of trying to reason with those white people who think their skin color to be the norm. Therefore, all those not sharing the same skin color naturally deviate from the norm. The book dives deep into this concept. In addition, there are very minute details on which the writer focuses while presenting the book. It maps the racial bias starting from that in UK, through slavery and mob lynchings that followed the World War 1.
3. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
“If we – and I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks, who must, like lovers, insist on, or create, the consciousness of others – do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world.”
The book is a classic of the Civil Rights Movement. It is divided into two parts. Firstly, there is a letter written to Baldwins 14 year nephew on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of abolition of slavery. In addition, there is a powerful reflection on the formative years of the author in Harlem.
The book recounts the death of 5 young black men in the authors life.
5. They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, And A New Era In America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery
This is a first hand report from a reporter who has covered the deaths of unarmed black men. All these black men died at the hands of police officers. In addition, the most striking similarity in all the cases is that all the police officers were whites. The book begins with the authors own aggressive arrest while on Ferguson protest. Further, it recounts the evolution of the Black Lives Matter Movement straight from the front line. Therefore, it is a must read for now!
The book is written by a UN diplomat and an Indian MP. Inglorious Empire is about all the bad that happened to India due to the rule of Britishers.
“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”
This book by Toni Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize. It captures the trauma of black slaves and the descendants. The story is inspired by a true story.
Civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander reflects on the many ways in which the 13th Amendment is exploited.
“I am writing you because this was the year you saw Eric Garner choked to death for selling cigarettes; because you know now that Renisha McBride was shot for seeking help…… And you have seen men in uniform drive by and murder Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old child whom they were oath-bound to protect…..And you know now, if you did not before, that the police departments of your country have been endowed with the authority to destroy your body.”
The book is mainly a letter to the authors son from him. There are different cases of injustice towards blacks that the author mentions. Further, the readers get to read about a critical analysis of racism which is very much ingrained in the American life and American Society. It also gives an elaborate account of the development of the fictional notion of “whiteness”.
10. The Good Immigrant: 21 Writers Explore What It Means To Be Black, Asian, And Minority Ethnic In Britain Today edited by Nikesh Shukla
The book contains essays contributed by different authors and writers with unique perspectives on deeply ingrained racist attitudes in UK. The book is about the notions of “good” and “bad” immigrants. In addition, it talks about what is means to be a person of color facing racism. It also talks about the constant anxiety that the immigrants experience.
“Of all the millions transported from Africa to the Americas, only one man is left. He is called Cudjo Lewis and is living at present at Plateau, Alabama, a suburb of Mobile. This is the story of this Cudjo.”
With the line above starts this book by Zora Neale Hurston. It is a compilation of various interviews between the author and the last survior of the Middle Passage. Through these interviews the readers get to know the story of Cudjo.
“And I am not free as long as one person of colour remains chained. Nor is any one of you.”
The last one from the list of Anti-Racist Books is “Your Silence Will Not Protect You”. The book is a compilation of the greatest speeches and writing of Audre Lorde. It is in totality a revolutionary work of literature.
Let us know about your favorite Anti-Racist Books in the comments. In addition, also check out Dr. Shashi Tharoor On What To Read.
Quarantine Qualms: Getting Productive
THINGS TO DO IF YOU’RE PAST COOKING: Making Quarantine Productive
We’re already in the middle of the year, with three sordid months of quarantine on our calendars. From cooking to cleaning, we’ve done it all. But as we gear for the next phase of the lockdown, or what is also being called Unlock 1.0, people are looking for things to keep themselves engaged while also being productive. Here are a few productive things you can do if you’re way past looking up recipes and scrolling through Instagram:
1. Read Short Stories
People often say that if they had the time, they’d read more often. But even when they have all the time in the world, they can’t stick to one novel. If you still find yourself wanting to read, you can start with shorter pieces like short stories or novellas. Once you’ve inculcated reading as a habit, you can move to longer commitments.
2. Dear Diary Way
We’ve all written diaries in our school years. Be it as a part of our hobby, or as a part of the holidays’ homework, it was one of the most fun things to do. You can maintain a diary where you write your agendas for the day or one where you can decode and untangle your thoughts, or something of the sort of a dream journal. Whatever it is, it’s your creative space; fill it as you like.
Not everyone has space or resources to maintain a full-fledged garden with varieties of flowers and fancy, but if you do, this is the way to go. Gardening is one of those activities that is considered highly meditative and calming in nature. If you do not have a plush garden, you can start small by looking after the plants in your balcony or planting a few small ones in bottles and jars for your kitchen.
4. Ace Your Word Game
Whether you’re reading a newspaper or your favourite web series, you will encounter several words. Some will sound familiar to you but not so familiar as to know their meanings, others will be completely new. Make a habit of writing them down somewhere and looking up their meanings every time you have three words. This will help you ace your word game and also give you newfound confidence.
5. Meditation is the Mantra
Being in a lockdown, engaging with a sense of zero productivity can cause your brain and body to become tense. Ease up those thoughts by doing one meditative activity. It could be Yoga, or walking on the terrace, or chanting a mantra, or praying. This will help you reconcile your thought and lead them to a newer direction.
6. Spill them Colours
You might have often found yourself outlining and filling shapes on sheets while in the middle of a boring meeting or unnerving conversation. This is because colouring soothes you and calms your head. You don’t have to be good at it, or even complete it in one go. Just pick up those crooked dry colours and spill them.
We hope these activities make your long quarantine a little less gloomy. This time is not a productivity contest, but it’s not also about being tired and lonesome. Pick yourself up, and brush your way through.
Image Credits: inverness-courier.co.uk; Wikipedia; mindful.org
For the latest content on entertainment, food, lifestyle and more, watch out India’s coolest content space: https://littleletterslinked.com/
6 Foods That Fight Inflammation
When your immune system is working properly, inflammation can be a helpful tool. For example, if you get a cut on your finger on a rusty gate, you may experience some redness, pain and even swelling. This is known as acute inflammation and your immune system’s primary weapon against harmful bacteria. Acute inflammation may disappear once the wound is healed. It’s when you have chronic inflammation that you need to be concerned about. It is ongoing, requires persistent response when your body is under consistent attack with no time to fully recover.
Fortunately, there are a number of inflammation-fighting foods which you can incorporate into your daily diet.
It is a root plant of India. Commonly used as a kitchen spice, turmeric is what gives your curry its vibrant yellow colour. Many studies have shown that it is an effective ingredient when it comes to reducing inflammation as compared to other prescribed medicines. One way through which you can add turmeric into your diet is by drinking golden milk.
Ginger is another anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years to treat digestive upset, nausea, diarrhoea, arthritis, and even many heart conditions. It is great when it comes to fighting active diseases. It can be included in your diet by adding it to your daily recipes or try some soups which include ginger.
Packed with a lot of vitamin C. It is a powerhouse when it comes to fighting diseases. Eating blueberries can lower your risk of heart diseases and cancer. It can be included in your diet in the form of smoothies, top it on pancakes. Fresh or frozen, any form is better.
Pro tip- The darker berries, the better they are.
Avocados can be found in everything, starting off from smoothie to guacamole, salads and even in brownies! Unlike most fruits, they are a powerhouse of vitamin E, a macronutrient with anti-inflammatory resources. They can lower the risk of joint damage. Adding avocados to your diet can help you fight inflammation hours after eating the meal.
Full of omega-3s, which support a balanced immune response. It can be a great relief for ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and even migraine headaches. It was found that supplementing with fish oil decreased disease symptoms and flare-ups, and reduced dependence on anti-inflammatory medications.
Full of dietary nitrate, they have the potential to reduce inflammation and arterial stiffness which then leads to a reduction of heart strokes and chronic diseases. Moreover, they are a quality blend of vitamins and minerals which are essential for our body in almost all forms.
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