first_imgHealth and happiness may be the foundations for a good life, but factor in today’s life realities – relationships, money, parenting, schools, in-laws, career, commuting, competition – and being happy seems a utopian dream, something to postpone for the “future”.But this is no longer an option; not when strain and fatigue are telling on your everyday life; on your productivity and your mood. It’s happening to every single one of us. As we navigate difficult personal and professional terrain, keeping our physical and emotional balance has become trickier than ever. We argue more, cry more and stress more. We’re more anxious, irritable and short-tempered. And we often feel like we aren’t doing things that we should; things for which we no longer have the energy.There are no easy solutions to life’s big issues, and we do not claim to have them for you. What we do have, instead, is a tangible plan to transform your stressed-out life and make you feel like you’re in control again. We have culled out proven research, tested tips and expertise of professionals to put together this nine-month plan to help you feel less drained, relaxed and more upbeat. Before you start, ensure you go through the various medical tests that are critical prior to embarking on a new physical routine or changes in diet. Then, make a commitment to yourself to start this focussed plan – and experience a new you!The Health PlanApril: For Mind & BodyTake one afternoon “off” every two weeksadvertisementWhether you have a job or are a stayat-home wife and mother, it’s unlikely you take any time – relaxed, guilt-free, uninterrupted – just for yourself in an average week. Even waking up slightlylater-than-usual on a weekend is often instantly accompanied by a long list of chores, entertaining, grocery shopping, meeting family or ferrying the children to and from classes. Research proves, however, that taking a few hours off for yourself isn’t a selfish move, it’s a critical investment for your sanity and peace, and thereby your family’s wellbeing.Once a fortnight rexal – on a working weekday or on a Saturday if you are office bound – negotiate one afternoon completely for yourself.Pre-fix with a relative, a neighbour or a friend to take care of your child; order a meal in for dinner that night instead of cooking. Make this time nonnegotiable – let your husband, child or parent adjust their schedule around your needs on this one day, instead of the other way around.Use this time purely to unwind – picking up clothes from the tailor or visiting a sick relative don’t count, they’re still errands. This time is for pure leisure – reading at a caf (or in a quiet corner of your home if you can ensure you’ll be left alone), watching a movie with a friend, browsing a gallery, getting a pedicure and a head massage, or just sleeping the afternoon away in your bedroom.Not used to doing leisure things alone? Start by including a friend in your plans if you’re wary of going to a caf or mall alone. Set a ground rule: talking shop (by which we mean about children, husband, home, in-laws, job and boss) are off limits. Feel free to gossip about friends or celebrities or television, though!Don’t make excuses – the more hectic your life, the more urgent your need for this personal time. Make it as much a priority and as immovable on your calendar as your child’s PTA meetings or your pet’s vaccines.May: For your BodyFactor 5 superfoods into your meal plansNutritional research seems to throw up new findings daily, but if they have been consistent on one thing, it is that the fibre and iron content of your food is directly related to your mood and energy levels. ‘Foods can really “up” your energy in three ways: by providing the body with sufficient calories, by delivering stimulants such as caffeine (in limited quantities, good for a shortterm energy boost), and by pushing the metabolism to burn fat more efficiently. As for mood, the best foods are those that stabilise blood sugar and trigger the feel-good brain chemical, serotonin,’ says an authentic online medical source, Make these five superfoods central to your diet for a sustained boost in your energy levels.Iron Include iron-rich foods such as spinach, tofu, lentils and soyabeans in your diet. Lack of iron deprives cells of adequate oxygen, and slows down the burning of carbs, making you feel tired with minimal activity. Women need about 33mg daily till their menopause, says Dr Kavita Khiara, a Mumbai-based nutritionist. For non-vegetarians, a weekly steak – yes, red meat – should definitely find a place on your meal plan. Vegetarians must add a daily Vitamin C pill to their schedule; iron found in vegetables is much harder to absorb by the body, and Vitamin C aids in its absorption.advertisementCarbohydrates A drastic cut of carbs from your diet will play havoc both on your energy levels and mood, as well as weight – the body’s preferred source of fuel. Carbs also raise the serotonin levels, which means they help cope with stress. Keep off all sweets, and pick wholegrains instead.Dahi (curd) This magnesium-rich superfood activates enzymes that are important for protein and carbohydrate metabolism. Probiotic dahi keeps your digestive system clean, which helps your body absorb nutrients from food better. End result: more energy!Oatmeal ‘It’s your best friend for breakfast, especially when it is eaten with skimmed milk instead of water, and topped with any kind of berries you can find,’ says Dr Khiara. It is packed with fibre, calcium, iron and Vitamin A and will keep you satiated for long, thereby aiding weight loss.Fresh produce: Fresh fruit and vegetables, especially those with high water content (watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes and leafy vegetables), prevent dehydration, a major cause of fatigue and chronic exhaustion. Drink enough water – the eight-glasses-a-day rule is acceptable, but if you have a high-salt or high-sodium diet, sweat a lot, or don’t eat enough water-rich foods, then up your intake. Just spread it out across the day rather than in short bursts.June: For Mind & SoulThrow out the “energy vampire” from your lifeWe all know at least one person who drags us down whenever we see them or speak to them; someone who brings stress and emotional upheaval into your life; unpleasant people who seem to cause an intangible strain any time they’re around. Often, these “energy vampires” aren’t even particularly significant to us; yet they manage to cause a lot of angst in our lives. Consciously think over who this person or people are; it could be a friend, a co-worker, a neighbour. Make an effort to minimise contact, so that they’re not always piling their negative emotions onto you. Do not waste your time trying to change them – this only puts more pressure on you.Keep calls with them to less than five minutes; time yourself if needed.Avoid meeting them when you are alone; if other people are around, you are spared the solo assault.Make another friend/family member part of your support group; they can help deal with this person and take some pressure off you.Cut off as much contact as possible: and do not feel guilty about it. Distance yourself from such people whose behaviour does you harm; if you cannot change them, there is no need to join them.advertisementJuly: For your BodyPlay a game you’ve never played beforeThe last time you got on a cycle or played table tennis may have been over two decades ago or, worse, never. Make this your month to start! ‘Doing something new is always stimulating; when it’s physical, it has the additional impact of releasing feelgood endorphins, with the likely bonus of weight-loss,’ says Delhi-based fitness trainer Kiran Sawhney.Find a partner, a like-minded friend or neighbour or, even better, your husband. Choose a game that doesn’t require fancy equipment or facilities – logistics shouldn’t become a challenge here, otherwise it defeats the feel-good purpose. Table tennis and badminton are good games to start with; cycling is another such activity. ‘I’ve been playing table tennis with my husband every week for the past two months,’ says 35-year-old Delhibased homemaker Ruchika Sharma, ‘and it’s amazing how wonderful I feel. The exercise makes me happy, and we are having so much fun together. Last week, we even played a couples’ game against our neighbours, and it had us charged up. It’s become a high-point for us!’Fix a half-hour date with your partner twice a week, and before you know it, you’ll be addicted to the rush of energy and positivity from the simple switch in your schedule.At month’s end: You totally dislike your new game? Switch to a different one the next month. Can’t manage anything physical? Go with scrabble or chess instead; you’ll still reap benefits from the excitement and competitiveness.August: For Body & SoulLaugh more and stay happy and healthyThis month, try to focus on factoring in things, people and activities that make you laugh or, at least, smile. It sounds almost too obvious; we all like things that make us happy: why should they need scheduling? But too often, we don’t make the time for the small things that can up our feel-good quotient: a funny film, a daily comic strip, a standup comedy act or a humorous writer. Slot one activity a week which you know you’ll have a light-hearted, good time doing.Rent DVDs of comedies and watch them together on Friday nights to set the tone for the weekend to come; a lot of these are family movies, so you can make this into laugh-together time. If the feelgood factor of laughter isn’t enough to convince you by itself, here is a more compelling reason: some researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, US, have recently made the incredible discovery that laughter is linked to the healthy functioning of blood vessels. People who laugh more live healthier lives, and are in fact more productive, says the study.At month’s end: Try a new route to humour yourself. Hunt online sites for stand-up comic acts in your city – this genre is new but is fast becoming very popular – so as a surprise, buy tickets for your husband and yourself. You may just discover a novel way to laugh together!September: For Mind & BodyMake your bedroom a low-stress zoneIt has been said often enough but somehow we are unable to limit the use of the bedroom to what it was originally meant for: to sleep, relax and unwind. Researchers have repeatedly found that removing distraction, stressful or workled gadgets from the bedroom helps you unwind more, sleep better and turns it into a zone that signals peace. That means no computer or laptop, no TV, and no newspapers in the bedroom.Why does this matter? Because the effect of information overload on the mind is a well-researched phenomena. Groundbreaking writer and futurist Alvin Toffler warned us about it over 30 years ago in his bestselling book Future Shock. He argued that the human brain has finite limits on the information it can assimilate and cope with; going beyond that limit causes the brain to become overloaded, with eventual physical and mental disturbance.And then there’s the problem of “packaging”, especially on television news. ‘The media often sensationalises or exaggerates certain events without highlighting their rare nature,’ worries Boston-based psychologist Rati A Raichand. ‘For example, stories about airplane accidents, or abductions – the fact is that these are low-probability events. But the way they’re depicted causes huge amounts of anxiety in a viewer’s mind, especially when it comes to things that can affect their families.You can’t insulate yourself from it completely, but recognising that this is a problem for your peace of mind is a critical first step. It sounds hard to do, but limiting your information sources – especially in an area designed just for unwinding – pays off richly. Make leisure magazines, music and books your bedroom companions and you’ll find it easier to sleep; your bedroom will also become a physical escape from the stress of the daily routine. A scented bedside candle, and flowers make a tangible difference to how you feel.How-to tip: Cannot get rid of the TV in your bedroom? Take up the challenge of not using it for about two weeks and assess if your bedroom feels like a more restful space to you. Is this too extreme for you? Set a daily time deadline – say, 9.30pm – after which the TV gets switched off. Still not do-able? Avoid news or business channels; instead, old movies, music channels and sometimes even cartoons will keep your mood upbeat.October: For body & soulMeditate a little every daySkeptics the world over have found that there’s nothing hocus-pocus about meditation; neither does it have anything to do with religion. Rather, it is a route for calming yourself; to finding some peace within your current compulsions of space, relationships, lifestyle, career, children and more, instead of seeking an escape from them. It also physically relaxes the body, and puts the mind on an even keel.Meditation can be centered around a chant, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be so. The idea is to learn to empty your mind of all conscious thought. Pick any mantra that suits you. Don’t know any? The word “Om” has historically been used because it inspires peace.Fix a time and space to meditate; stick to it everyday. And while early morning has proved beneficial, don’t go against your grain when it comes to meditation: fighting to fit it in will not help.There’s no right or wrong way – you can sit on the floor, on a bed, staring at a wall, at an object that feels calming to you…It takes discipline and time to think about nothing; the first few weeks, don’t judge your results. Focus only on sticking to the habit for at least a month, starting with 5 minutes daily, pushing it up to 10 minutes in 2 to 3 weeks. Don’t make time the agenda – 5 minutes for months is fine if you can start to empty your mind of conscious thought for that duration.November: For Mind & BodySet yourself a small challenge every weekThere’s something fundamentally exciting about doing something you did not think you could – it could be as simple as trying a brand-new recipe, or wearing a new style of clothing or hair; or maybe more involved, such as learning a new form of dance or a sport (even a single session can be fun). Accomplishing new things brings a surge of positive energy and self-confidence; the bonus is it keeps people interested in you, since you constantly reveal new facets of your personality to them – and often, to yourself as well!Pick small challenges that you can switch around often, to keep your mind engaged. These aren’t meant to be “competitive” challenges – don’t try to outdo anyone else. Instead, savour the excitement of doing something new. You could try a dish from a completely different cuisine, such as Ethiopian or Moroccan, maybe. If you like music but don’t dare to sing, give karaoke a shot one night with friends! Don’t bother about staying in tune.December: For Mind & SoulDe-clutter your life. Now!We usually tend to do a lot of physical de-cluttering during festive times and at year’s end; this year, though, go beyond the physical purging of things and make it an emotional exercise as well. Anger, frustration, jealousy, irritation – these emotions build up over time and sap the mind and body of their positivity. In fact, according to Dr Matthew Burg, PhD, associate clinical professor of medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine, depression and negative emotions are associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Dealing with these emotions, though, is far more challenging than tackling a purely physical medical condition. ‘It’s not like going to a patient and saying, “You have high cholesterol, and here’s the pill,”‘ he says.Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, US, discovered a surprising way to help individuals whose heart health suffered due to negative emotions: listening to their favourite music. At a simple level, the music brought them joy; at a medical level, doctors found that listening to their favourite music caused tissue in the inner lining of blood vessels to dilate, which increased blood flow and reduced blood pressure.Music may be a great cure, and may work preventively as well, but nothing is more important than tackling negative, health-eroding emotions that can cause you physical and emotional damage, without you even knowing it.Make a start here: list down situations, people and grudges that make you deeply unhappy.Systematically go down your list, and over the course of this month, deal with what depresses you; if your husband or best friend or sibling’s manner hurts or offends you, talk to them about it, calmly but firmly. Explain why it’s important to you to resolve and move on. Find other outlets – basically deal with it, end it.If there are people or situations you cannot change, work at yourself to let go of old grudges, things in the past that you’re holding on to. Don’t go back to the old issues.Allow yourself to be imperfect this one time: no-one puts as much pressure on women as we do ourselves, to be perfect mothers, wives, homemakers, employees, daughters, daughters-inlaw, friends, sisters? Accept that trying your best is the most anyone can ask of you. And raise a toast to yourself for all that you are, and all that you manage to do every single day!last_img

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first_imgBY RAMONA LUTHIThe elderly couple that was burnt to death in their East Bank Essequibo home by bandits was on Wednesday laid to rest.Bibi Jamila Munir and her husband, Mohamed Munir were killed on Sunday last when bandits invaded their Lot 17 Good Hope, East Bank Essequibo home and set it on fire during a botched robbery.At the funeral on Wednesday, the atmosphere was both sober and sad, as hundreds turned up to pay their last respects to the couple.Paying tribute to the couple, their granddaughter said the family has suffered a shocking blow and are still trying to come to grips with the death of their loved ones.Relatives and friends pay their last respects to the coupleShe described her grandfather, Mohamed Munir, as the “kindest, most hard-working, most compassionate and gentle person” she has ever known and her grandmother Bibi Jamila Munir, as the “bravest woman in the world.” She added that her grandmother was a driving force in their lives and the lives of everyone in the community.Munirs’ granddaughter noted that her grandparents loved Guyana, and the family is praying that they get the justice they deserve. She also recited a poem during which she broke down in tears.The children of Bibi and Mohamed Munir conveyed gratitude to all those who supported them in this time of their grief, noting that the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG), friends and neighbours played an integral part in assisting the family.Agriculture Minister Noel Holder who was also present at the funeral expressed condolences on behalf of himself and the Government of Guyana to the family.People’s Progressive Party’s Member of Parliament and cousin of the late Bibi Munir, Bibi Shadick, in her tribute said the couple would “forever be remembered by everyone as persons who cared for the community and wanted it to be better than it was.”She added that the fate the Munirs met on Sunday last was one that she cannot accept.‘’We have to stand up for what is right and we have to demand that there should be security for lives and livelihood. What we work for, we should be allowed to use and we should be allowed to give when we want to give and somebody should not come and snatch it from us. Then when they don’t get it, kill us,” she lamented.Shaddick said that her cousin was “not just a farmer” but she was also a “social worker, mother, sister, daughter and everything to everyone that needed her.”Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo who also paid his respect to the couple, conveyed his condolences to the family. He described their departure as being “tragic and horrendous.”Jagdeo relayed that from what he gathered from persons that knew the couple, it seemed as though the lives of these wonderful people epitomised hard work and commitment to cause. He said that Bibi Jamila Munir was an executive member of the Rice Producers Association (RPA) and knew what struggle was.He added that “it is a pity that hard work is not recognised in this country, today since people can come in such a callous manner and try to snatch away one’s fruits of hard work, possibly killing them in the process.”According to Jagdeo, the State should not be held responsible for every criminal act but they should indicate where their sentiments are directed as they should be on the victim’s side and not the perpetrator’s.”We don’t see them (APNU/AFC) go to places where tragedies occur, right across this country, where people are grieving and they are sorrowful and they have their lives knocked out in callous manners. But we see negotiations in the prison with criminals and we heard about how many people were released from prison… We are still asking until today to see the records of those people who were released from prison and until now there is no attempt on the part of the Government to make those records public.”According to reports, at around 23:15h on Sunday, several armed bandits invaded the couple’s premises but they managed to secure themselves in one of the bedrooms.After not being able to gain access to the couple, the angered bandits then doused the house with gasoline and set it alight.last_img

first_imgAlso signing for Wazito is Ivorian Emmanuel Tienan who was previously with MOSCA.“These are players who we think will be a great addition to the squad. Nyakha is a very good midfielder especially on the ball and his experience having featured for AFC will be great for us. We are still chasing a few names and I can assure that we will have a very strong squad,” the tactician offered.Wazito earned a berth in top flight after finishing second in last season’s National Super League and Ouna who joined them midway through the 2016 season before turning them into a winning outfit has vowed they will not be in the KPL to make up the numbers.“We are coming in to compete and show that we are a good side as well. We went through so many challenges in the NSL but the players had the belief and we achieved what we didn’t think was easily achievable. It is now time to show that we can compete at the top,” the former Posta Rangers and Gor Mahia assistant coach added.Ouna has been credited with lifting the team from the ashes, one he found dwindling in relegation when he took over before raising its profile and finally a first ever berth in top flight.To aid his course, Ouna has added two more hands into his technical bench with former Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards goalkeeper trainer Iddi Salim joining the team on the same capacity.Wazito FC head coach Frank Ouna issues instructions to his players during a past National Super League match. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluHe has also brought on board immediate former Modern Coast Rangers head coach Mohammed Ahmed as a First Team coach. He will be in charge of training the midfielders.Francis Oduor who has been part of the team for a while will be in charge of the defense while former Gor Mahia striker George Midenyo will this time be charged with sharpening the team’s next big strikers.“It is very important to have many hands to help each other out especially at this level of the Premier League. It becomes easier to pick out and manage mistakes. I think the two new guys to the bench will add so much to the team in terms of their experience,” the tactician further added.Wazito begin their Kenyan Premier League campaign on February 5 at home against Sony Sugar.“We expect a very tough challenge but looking at how we performed especially in the GOtv Shield matches, I am certain we can weather the storm. We just need to firm up a few areas technically and we will be good to go,” further added the tactician.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000AFC Leopards goal keeper Edwin Mukolwe in action against their SPL clash against Tusker FC last season. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu.NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 10- Kenyan Premier League new boys Wazito FC have snapped up the AFC Leopards duo of midfielder Harun Nyakha and goalkeeper Edwin Mukolwe as they continue to rebuild ahead of their top flight debut.Head coach Frank Ouna has confirmed that both join the side on two year deals and reckons they will be a brilliant addition to the squad.last_img

first_imgWith France three goals ahead in the final, Lloris tried to dribble past Mario Mandzukic, failed and gave Croatia a consolation goal.“During a season one knows there are always highs and lows, one just has to try and be as consistent as possible and be ready to be at your best for the most important moments of the season for the club,” the 32-year-old Frenchman told AFP.As the English season quickly followed the World Cup, Lloris was arrested for drink driving in London in August and within days suffered an injury that Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino put down to the stress of the brush with the law.After Lloris returned to the team, he made a string of errors leading to speculation over his future. His misjudgements against Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven in the group stage pushed Tottenham to the edge of Champions League elimination.At the end of March a fumble in the dying seconds which gifted Liverpool the 2-1 victory that ended Tottenham’s fading Premier League challenge forced Pochettino to defend his ‘keeper.“I don’t search to be understood by those outside, the most important is to be understood inside the club,” said Lloris, who joined Spurs seven years ago from Lyon.“It is important to enjoy the confidence of the manager, the staff and my team-mates and it was the case this season.”Hugo Lloris saved Tottenham against Ajax © AFP / Adrian DENNISLiverpool fans will be hoping they benefit from a goalkeeping error this year with memories painfully fresh of the blunders by the Reds’ stopper Loris Karius in last year’s loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League final.Yet there have been highs for Lloris too.He repeatedly saved Tottenham as they teetered on the edge in the Champions League, making remarkable saves in both legs of the semi-finals before Spurs rallied from three goals down to beat Ajax.“We are where we are as we have given a bit extra for the team to make the results be in our favour.“It is important to have the same attitude and character for the final.”He says Spurs have been on a high since their comeback against Ajax as they prepare for the final against a side that finished 26 points clear of them in the Premier League and swept aside Barcelona in a stunning semi-final second leg.– ‘Energy, positivity, confidence’ –“It has given us a lot of energy, positivity and confidence for the final, but, there again, it is equally the case for Liverpool after beating Barcelona,” he said.“We have just got to remain focused and be best prepared in our approach to the final. (We want) to walk off the pitch at the end without the slightest regret and knowing that we have given our all.”Should the final go to penalties, Lloris could come into his own as he has saved three in four months. The most recent was from Sergio Aguero in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final with Manchester City.“One has to prepare but after that it is difficult to place yourself in such circumstances, with the pressure and the adrenaline,” he said.“It is a particular exercise, you can be ready mentally and you can have a little luck and a little bit of success.”Lloris comes from an affluent background. His father is a banker and his late mother was a lawyer. Yet he is a tough character who turned out for his then club Nice just two days after his mother’s death in 2008.Hugo Lloris has had a year of triumph and mishap summer up by the error that gave Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic a consolation goal as France won the World Cup final © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYSHe says his experience in winning the World Cup, and losing in the finals of the Euros two years earlier, can, to some extent, help prepare his team-mates for the final.“They are two different contexts, club and country,” he said.“With your national side you are only with them for a short period, with your club you are together every day and work together for months on end.“There again the Champions League is a major trophy which links it to a World Cup and a Euro and that I believe is what we work for every day of our career to win silverware.“The story will be tremendous for Tottenham if we win on Saturday.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris says has been backed to the hilt by Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino despite some wobbly moments this season © AFP / Daniel LEAL-OLIVASENFIELD, United Kingdom, May 28 – Hugo Lloris has had his share of setbacks over the past 12 months, but he can complete a remarkable year in triumph if he leads Tottenham to glory in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday.Last July, Lloris captained France to the World Cup, but the moment the celebration was preceded, typically for the goalkeeper, by mishap.last_img

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