Lift Your Spirits In Seconds: Confidence-Boosting Hacks That Will Make Your Day

We all have those days when we don’t feel that great about ourselves. Perhaps you’ve looked in the mirror and not been thrilled at what you’ve seen. Or maybe you’re sick of doing a dead-end job. Whatever the reason for your crisis of confidence, there are solutions out there. Here are some confidence-boosting hacks that will save your day in a matter of seconds.

 

Put your phone down

The last thing you want to see when you’re lamenting last night’s chocolate-fest, or you’re feeling insecure about your skin is airbrushed models frolicking in exotic ocean waves. Sites like Instagram are great for giving us ideas about fashion or interior design and enabling us to keep in touch with friends. But they can also be a major confidence drain, especially if you tend to be overly critical when it comes to your appearance. Unfortunately, it’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, and seeing perfect-looking people can make you feel even worse. Take a break from your phone, and focus on what the day ahead holds. If you know that you react badly to seeing images on social media or in magazines, try and spend less time checking your news feed. It can become very obsessive.

 

Smile!

When you smile, you don’t just open your mouth and show off your pearly whites to the world. Smiling actually triggers a reaction in your body, which makes you feel better. Smile at yourself in the mirror, or flash a stranger a smile. Think about how much better you feel when somebody walks past you with a smile rather than a frown on their face. You can spread a little joy, as well as making yourself feel happier.

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Do a good deed every day

If you’re in the business of making resolutions, there’s no better pledge to try and uphold than doing a good deed every day. Embrace the practice of tzedakah, and try and help people in need. Buy a homeless person a coffee and a sandwich or sign up to help out at your local food bank. Offer an old lady a hand down from the bus or donate clothes you don’t wear to a thrift store. Even the small things can make a big difference.

 

Give yourself a compliment

Many of us are really uncomfortable when it comes to receiving compliments. But if you’re giving yourself one, you may not feel so awkward. We tend to be hard on ourselves, and really nice to the people around us. Think about how complimentary you are when you’re out with friends, or you’re getting ready with your sisters or your mom. You probably tell them they look gorgeous or ask them where their lovely dress is from. When was the last time you said anything kind to yourself? You don’t have to go all-out and tell yourself you’re the best-looking person in the world. But it’s good to love yourself.

 

Confidence has such a profound impact on the way we live our lives. It’s normal to have days when you lack confidence, and you don’t quite feel yourself. Hopefully, if you’re having one of those days, these simple tips will help to lift your spirits in seconds.

5 Great Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

We live in an exceedingly competitive world. Sometimes the pressure to be the best, to do everything and please everyone, has a negative impact on self-esteem. In a world where everything is shared on social media, it’s easy to compare yourself with others, want what they have, or think you are not good enough. This makes looking after yourself, and boosting your self-esteem more important than ever. Here are some easy ways to make yourself feel great.

Don’t Compare

Now this one can be much easier said than done. It’s so tempting to look at what other people have got. But, try not to compare your life to theirs. All that will happen is you will feel bad. Instead try to remind yourself that you probably have a lot that other people would love. This might be a happy family, or a full head of hair, there is always something. Love yourself for who you are.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to make yourself feel good. It releases serotonin, which gives you a natural happy buzz, and will also give your self confidence a huge boost. If there is something you love doing, such as cycling or running, go for it. If you are new to exercise, try a couch to 5k program, which is a great way to get started. Swimming is a brilliant exercise if you are unfit or suffer from injuries as it gives you a full body work out without putting pressure on your joints. If none of this sounds appealing, or you don’t have time, even a brisk walk can do you good. The fresh air won’t hurt either. If you work from home, or study online, exercise is a great way to get an important change of scenery.

Education

Learning something new, or furthering your education is an incredibly good way to make yourself feel positive. You’ll feel like you are bettering yourself, and working towards an improved future, as well as keeping your mind active and alert. You might want to take a course to learn a new hobby or craft, or do a degree to help you secure a career change, such as criminology. Studying online can be a cheaper alternative, and online criminology degree tuition offers many payment options. Online degree in criminology admissions are always looking for new students and could offer you a really bright future.

Remove Negativity

If there are people in your life that are always negative, that only comment on bad things, that never boost you up, or make you feel good, don’t spend time with them. Instead, listen to the compliments of others. Laugh and have fun with people who make you feel good about yourself and your life.

Treat Yourself

Even small treats can give you a big boost. Often, in our busy lives we forget to take some time out for ourselves. But it is exceptionally important. Whether it’s a shopping trip, or going to a sporting event with friends, it can be anything you enjoy to take your mind of life’s stresses.

Remember it’s never too late to make changes. If there is something in your life getting you down, whether that’s your career, home life, or something about yourself, change it.

How to Find a Meaningful Career Path

Finding a meaningful career path doesn’t need to be as difficult as you might imagine. Most career advisers will tell you to ‘follow your passion’ however this is not always the right answer for everyone.

Most young people, and even older people, do not really know what their passion is and as life progresses, passions change. Something that you enjoyed doing as a teenager might not be what you will enjoy when you’re in your thirties or even forties.

Consider What You Can Do to Help

Instead of ‘following your passion’ consider what you could do to help people or what would make a difference in people’s lives. This can encompass so many different career choices and opportunities, especially if you focus on a field that you’re naturally good at.

We all have natural talents or things that we find easy to do. These talents should give you a clue as to what areas of employment you might enjoy.

Let’s say you have a good ear for music and learnt to play an instrument when you were younger. You could consider becoming a music teacher or think about teaching disadvantaged children to sing. You could run a local choir group that regularly entertains elderly residents in local nursing homes. The possibilities are endless if you let your imagination take control.

Maybe you’ve always loved to read but have never entertained the idea of becoming a writer. Instead of thinking about the traditional jobs around being a writer, how about looking for opportunities where you can help individuals or organizations with your writing craft.

There are so many opportunities where a good writer can make an enormous difference to people who need articles or other types of writing done, but who would rather do almost anything other than putting pen to paper. You could write content for websites, a regular newsletter for the local school or fundraising letters for an animal welfare organization.

Consider Furthering Your Education

Now that you have a better idea about what kind of career you might want to pursue you really should consider some further education. A career in finance can be very fulfilling if money and numbers are a passion to you. An MBA is probably one of the most useful degrees you can attain as it can be extremely useful and well regarded in so many different work applications.

MBA students study not only important business practices like accounting, finance, marketing and management, but can also specialize in very diversified fields such as health care, sports management, entertainment or e-commerce.

If you’re currently already working you could easily study for your MBA degree online. To ensure that this study fits into your current lifestyle, check out this page by Pepperdine University for time management tips for college students.

An MBA will definitely be highly regarded when you want to move into a management position such as managing an aged care facility, a childcare center, or even your own business.

A Rewarding Career

So if a fulfilling career is something that you really desire, consider using your skills or talents in employment situations where you can help people. You’ll not only find this extremely rewarding, but enjoyable as well.

After all, you’re probably going to spending around 80,000 hours of your life working, so you might as well enjoy it!

What You Should Do For Well Being In Every Area of Your Life

There’s nothing quite like having a feeling of well-being, whatever you may be doing and wherever you may be in life. But how do you achieve that? Of course, it’s unrealistic to think that you can walk around feeling happy go-lucky all the time if you’re not naturally that way inclined already. However, you can take the steps to feel better, and eventually, you might be able to only see the positive in the world! Here’s what you can do for well being in every area of your life:

 

Find Meaning And Purpose

Most people expect their ‘purpose’ to come along and smack them in the face. Until then, they decide to do things that they don’t really enjoy, and just hope that whatever it is comes along. Here’s a secret: you get to give your life meaning and purpose. You get to decide! The universe doesn’t decide for you. There’s no higher power out there just waiting for the right moment to give you purpose. Think of all of your talents, skills, and things you enjoy. It’s likely something to do with them. Simply follow your hunches, have fun and you’ll realise what it is soon enough.

 

Get Plenty Of Sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be functioning optimally throughout the day. You might even find that your hormones are messed up, and you want to eat less/more. Make sure you’re getting all the sleep you need to feel good. That being said, there’s such a thing as too much sleep too. The ideal range is usually between 7-9 hours, and you need less as you get older.

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Eat A Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is so important for your emotional, physical, and mental well-being. It impacts all of them. Of course you can have treats, but you should make sure that you’re not tipping the balance too much, or you won’t feel too good.

 

Focus On Stress Management

Knowing how to manage stress is important. Sometimes you might not even realise that you’re stressed. However, if you have unexplained tummy pains, you’re more/less hungry, or you just feel all over the place, you could very well be stressed. Do what you can to eliminate stress and make your life more enjoyable.

 

Stay Active

Staying active is important. Humans weren’t meant to sit around doing nothing! Walk as much as you can, and try to fit more exercise into your everyday life. Try to fit a couple of workouts that you really enjoy in each week too. It’ll make all the difference to the way you feel, and even the way you look.

 

Connect Face To Face With People

Call someone right now and arrange a catch up with them. It’s all too easy to spend time alone and convince yourself that you’re too busy to catch up with the people you love. But you shouldn’t take them for granted. Make sure you still make an effort, even if it’s just a 15 minute coffee catch up.

 

Deal With Your Emotions

Some people don’t like dealing with their emotions and decide to do things to shut them up instead, such as eating, drinking, and taking drugs. Instead, process and deal with your emotions appropriately. There’s a difference between dealing with them and dwelling on them. Sometimes, a good cry can be good for your health and put you in a better mood afterwards. If you struggle to deal with your emotions, it could be time to speak to somebody who knows about this kind of thing. You might want to do a test, like a bipolar test, and chat with a professional about your concerns.

 

Step Outside Of Your Comfort Zone

Aim to step outside of your comfort zone as often as possible, even if it’s just a little bit each day. Life starts outside of your comfort zone. Nothing good ever happens inside of it. Once you’re comfortable, you stop growing. We should all aim to continue growing, however old we are!

 

Work On Living In The Moment

Some people worry about the past. Others stress about the future. Don’t be one of those people. You can’t change the past, and the future hasn’t even happened yet. All we have, all any of us have, is this very moment. Be more present in the moment and you’ll live a happier, less stressful life. This can take practice, but sometimes all you need to do is breathe deeply and focus on where you are. Notice your environment, and use all of your senses.

 

Laugh Often

Do things that make you laugh, and spend time with people that make you laugh. Watch a funny film. Have fun with life. Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. You’ll only regret it later on if you do!

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Practice Gratitude

The most successful people in the world know that practicing gratitude is crucial for a happy, fulfilled life. Think of at least 3 new things you’re grateful for in the morning, and do it before bed too, if you can. These things can be absolutely anything, from your favorite perfume to the fact you have a roof over your head. You have so many things that others don’t. Make sure you appreciate them!

 

Spend Time With Positive People

Studies show that we become like the people we spend the most time with. Would you be happy with that at the moment? If not, it could be time to reassess what you’re doing with your life. The more time you spend with positive, focused, happy people, the more you’ll feel the same way. If there’s a toxic person in your life, consider cutting them out for your own well-being.

 

Replace Negative Thoughts

Practice with replacing intrusive, negative thoughts with positive thoughts. It’s important to know that you are not your thoughts. You don’t have to respond to every thought you have. If you have a thought about a scenario you’d hate to happen, simply say to yourself ‘cancel’ and think of something else. Or, you could reach for a thought that gives you relief on the subject. There’s absolutely no point in worrying about these thoughts. Ask yourself, how many of your dreaded predictions have come true? It’s likely that not many have.

 

Start doing these things and you should feel a much better sense of well being!

The Day My Daughter Taught Me What Real Beauty Means

As preparations are underway for the upcoming Miss Universe pageant, so is my 10-year old daughter busy primping her hair, as if she were a contestant on the show. Lately, she has been busy preening in front of the mirror, and practising her beauty queen walk down her makeshift ramp inside our cramped condo unit.

I’m pretty certain that every mom like me dreams of having their daughter win a beauty contest. Who wouldn’t want to see their girl, all dolled up and admired by a cheering crowd?

For some mothers, they feel it’s important for their daughter to have perfect doe-like eyes, or skin like Snow White’s. Others make a huge deal out of their daughter’s innocent smile or angelic voice. So many factors work together to make a beautiful girl, but what really matters to me when it comes to prettifying my daughter is hair! In my opinion, one’s hairstyle can make or break the entire look.

I can still vividly remember that horrific day when my daughter trusted her hair to the hands of the hairdresser from hell. I brought her to this salon to have her hair cut in preparation for her fifth birthday. Because I was mindlessly wrapped up in a phone conversation with a friend, I didn’t notice that the hairdresser was snipping away at my daughter’s tresses like he was Edward Scissorhands on Prozac. He cut her hair way too short.

I was about to throw a hissy fit and lash out at the hairdresser when my little girl calmly said to me, “It’s Okay, Mama. I’ll just wear a lace front wig that will make me pretty. It’ll go nicely with my birthday dress, and my friends will not laugh at me.”  And then I remembered that wig I bought just a month ago from the veryhair online store.

In the middle of that hair crisis, my daughter thought of a solution to the problem. Instead of being overcome by fury- like I was- she came up with the idea of the wig.

I felt as if a shower of fragrant petals descended upon me, washing away all my anger. I couldn’t have been prouder of my daughter at that moment. A five-year old girl just taught me the true meaning of beauty. I put priority on hair, when what really counts when it comes to beauty is the ability to handle unforeseen circumstances.

What my daughter displayed was grace under pressure. And that, my friends, is the true mark of a beauty queen.

 

From Blip to Baby: How I Came to Terms With My Unplanned Pregnancy

Is it just me, or is everything simply whizzing past in a dizzying blur? Things are happening at lightning speeds, that it’s becoming increasingly stressful to keep up with the pace.  In the midst of all this daily frenzy at home and at work, it’s always refreshing to hear good news (not gossip!).

I just got word from an old friend who now lives in Australia, that she had an ultrasound in Adelaide which confirmed that she’s 8 weeks pregnant. How exciting is that!

This brings me back to nearly two years ago, when I found out I was pregnant. When I saw that tiny blip on the ultrasound machine, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was shell-shocked, to say the least, as it was an unplanned pregnancy. The last thing I wanted was a baby with a man I had just broken up with. A tsunami of thoughts and emotions wiped me out: How was I going to raise this kid alone?  Will I have enough money to make it through this? How is this going to affect my older daughter?

After turning to friends and family for emotional support, sanity then took over. The torrential rains inside my head started to die down, as I embraced the fact that I was going to have a baby.

Even as my little one was still inside my womb, I showered him with all the love I could possibly give. I watched what I ate, and tried my darndest to always think happy thoughts. I regularly tracked his development as he grew inside my 40-year old uterus. When he was finally born, i had a newfound sense of what true happiness meant.

Sometimes, life plays funny tricks on us and jolts us out of our mundane existence. It’s not the end of the world when things don’t go as planned. As long as we believe that we have what it takes to pull ourselves through any situation, we will come out whole again- sometimes, as better versions of ourselves.

And then when it hits you that the seemingly impossible CAN be possible, you get a renewed faith in the cliche that there is a reason for everything.

All About Authentic Assessment

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Naturally, all educational institutions differ in the way that they cultivate their young. But only the best international schools in the Philippines – who understand the importance of accommodating their students fully – can truly adapt to the needs of the children. This in turn allows them to learn at their own pace. The way they learn will also affect how much they know, so it is imperative that they completely understand their lessons.

 

Authentic Assessment, a method used by Reedley themselves, is a form of assessment which calls upon students to display their knowledge by performing real-world scenarios.
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Understanding Authentic Assessment

 

Authentic assessment is carried out by immersing students in controlled, real-world scenarios where they can apply the things they’ve learned in a non-artificial way. For example, literature can be practiced by keeping journals, writing letters, or discussing books. Note that failing these activities do not really have consequences, but doing them does bring in practical experience.

 

In effect, the experience they gain from performing such tasks are authentic, real; it helps them better understand how they can apply the things they’ve learned from school into actual real-life situations.
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What Authentic Assessment can guarantee

 

Authentic assessment is a practical educational tool that results into several positive outcomes for its users. Its best result is that it will develop productive, self-sustaining people who are capable of performing tasks and solving problems on their own while learning from whatever mistakes they may have made. Those who have undergone authentic assessment will also be capable of confidently overcoming challenges and executing their thoughts whenever needed, leaving them fully capable of driving themselves into action.
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A quick look at Traditional Assessment

 

What is Traditional Assessment and how does it compare to Authentic Assessment?

 

Traditional assessment is more conventional in the sense that testing is done through the use of written documents such as exams, quizzes, papers, and the like. Rigid, pre-determined tests with correct answers are the norm. While it may be effective when used on fact-centric subjects which only require a knowledge of the topic, it does not do so well when used for subjects that require a more practical touch. The likes of physics, literature, and physical education are better off demonstrated or experienced altogether.

 

On the other hand, authentic assessment focuses more on performance and in-depth problem solving with no exact right or wrong answers – just effective or non-effective ones. In the end, its goal is simply to provide practical experience.
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Other terms for Authentic Assessment:

 

Authentic assessment can also come in other forms, and while the names differ, the outcome is the same.

 

  • Performance assessment – like its name implies, instructors need to score students against a set standard to measure how well they did in performing a task.
  • Alternative assessment – this type of assessment centers more on portfolios or projects, which are clear indicators of what a students know and what they can do with that knowledge.
  • Direct assessment – is called as such because it provides a direct evidence or proof of an individual’s development. This can be seen most when learning something new such as a skill or a language.

In conclusion, Authentic Assessment is a great method for teaching students the realities of the world. Its greatest draw is that it is a type of education that is not bound by academic standards, which gives it the freedom reminiscent of the real world. The best part is that whatever experience they gain, they will have with them for the rest of their lives.

 

About the author:

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Katrina is your average gal living inside the metro who has passion for writing, travel and photography. She admires nature at its finest and always wants to be part of it.  She dreams of living the Cinderella life one day: humming with the birds, dancing with the clouds.

Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet

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As one year comes to an end, another rises from the ashes like a phoenix. A new year gives us a new clean slate, the opportunity to start fresh and the motivation we need to get to where we want to be. But don’t just make meaningless resolutions, take steps to ensure 2017 is your best year yet.

 

Reflect on Your Goals

To know where you’re going in life, and to make sure you’re on the right path, it’s important to reflect on your goals. Each new year is a fantastic opportunity to do this. Tick off any short-term goals you have managed to achieve, and write down new ones which will get you closer to your long-term goals. If anything has changed, you’ve adjusted your sails and want to do something different to what you originally thought then write it down. Work out manageable steps that you can take throughout the year to get there, this gives you something to focus on and prevents you from going off track.

 

Get Healthy

Few things in life are more important than health. Make 2017 the year where you kick your bad habits once and for all, and embrace a healthier lifestyle. You could quit smoking, reduce your alcohol consumption and eat a balanced diet filled with fresh produce. You could drink more water, sort out your sleeping pattern and discover an exercise routine which you actually enjoy doing. It could be a sport, a class or working out with a friend. Either way, these are all things which will hugely improve and benefit your life.

Spend More Time With Loved Ones

Friends and family are so important, but when we lead busy lives, you might find you’re not in contact with them as much as you’d like. Have a chat and arrange to do something that suits you all. For example, you could arrange to get the whole family together once a month for food and drinks to keep in contact. Or you could organize a bi-weekly coffee break or shopping trip with a friend. Having a plan in place means you can organize your schedule around these visits and you’re more likely to keep to them. Other commitments can mean time is tricky, we never seem to have enough of it. But it’s important to make the time for our nearest and dearest. For friends and relatives who live far away, be sure to keep in touch via Skype or by phone. The internet makes it so easy to stay in contact these days, but ensure that it’s real communication rather than just a like or favorite on social media.

 

Speak to a Psychic

Talking to a psychic can give you clues as to what 2017 may have in store. Psychics are highly intuitive so are able to give you guidance, and also objective advice on any issues that you might have. If you don’t have time to visit a psychic for a phone reading, phone psychics are a convenient way to get a reading. Psychics can offer insights into careers, finance, relationships and more. Having hints about the future means you can adjust your sails accordingly.

 

Learn Something New

Learning something new is good for your mental health, boosts confidence and could lead to all kinds of other opportunities. For example, an evening class learning about a new subject will introduce you to like-minded people, and if it’s a craft of some kind you could even set up a business and make some extra cash. Learning new skills stops life from becoming stagnant, just because you’ve reached adulthood doesn’t mean there’s not a whole world of things out there to be learned and enjoyed. You could take a class, an online course, read books or just wing it and teach yourself something new.

 

Stress Less

Life can be stressful at times, but if you let stress consume your life then it passes you by, and you love the enjoyment from it. If you’re a chronic worrier and it’s affecting your health, consider speaking to your GP. Otherwise, develop ways of de-stressing which help you to wind down. Things are never going to be perfect, so it’s important to know how to deal with worries when they crop up. It could be through exercise, meditation or just taking a long soak in the bath. Writing a ‘worry journal’ is useful for some people too. This is where you designate a few minutes a day to worrying and write it all down. After that, you have to put your worries out of your head until the next session. This can prevent you from worrying about and dwelling on things all day.

 

Knowing where you want to be in your life and taking steps to get there is how you can make 2017 your best year yet. So enjoy it, have fun and embrace changes and challenges.

 

Are you excited about the new year?

 

Slow Down: Simple, Mindful Ways To Reclaim Your Life

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Through all the hustle and stress of modern day living, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. It’s a common occurrence and something that happens gradually. It begins with something simple like a new job. At first, it’s exciting and a new challenge. Your employers are busy, which you see as a good sign. To make a good impression you work a little overtime. Nothing significant at first, just working through lunch and staying a little later. But that soon becomes the norm, and you’re lucky if you ever leave on time. And then there are the kids. They have busy social lives and need rides to see friends and attend classes. The house needs to be cleaned, and meals need to be cooked. When did it all become so busy?

It’s often when things go awry that you realize how much of a treadmill life has become. It might be through illness or stress, for example. But it’s good to be aware of these things before they become a problem. If you feel as though you don’t have enough time to think, then it’s time to take action. There are simple things you can do to slow down, take stock and reclaim your life.

 

Figure Out What’s Not Working

Sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and think carefully about what’s not working. Is it your job, home life, both? Or is something completely different? Why is it no longer working for you? What do you need to change to feel happier? This is the first step to turning things around. If your job is the issue and you’re sick of staying late, then speak to your boss. Be absolutely clear on what you’re prepared to do and establish boundaries. If you agree to work late once or twice a week, make sure you leave on time for the rest of the week. If you work late, set down exactly what time you will be leaving. It may seem difficult at first, but you’ll get used to saying no.
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Ditch The Tech

I’m only joking. You don’t need to get rid of your technology. Not fully anyway. But be aware of how much you use it and rely on it. Is it serving you well? Do you tend to communicate with friends only via Facebook or text? If so, it’s time to schedule some time to meet up. Talk in the flesh rather than from behind a screen.

Discover letter writing again. Forget about 140-character tweets, let your creative juices flow and get in touch with old friends and family. Even if it’s just a quick thank you card it will be appreciated. Enjoy the feel of a beautiful fountain pen on fine stationery. Tapping on a screen just can’t compete.

 

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been around for centuries. Significant research has been carried out in the last few years. Results indicate that being more mindful improves happiness, reduces stress and makes us healthier. It’s not just about meditating. It’s about being present in the moment. For example, if you go for a walk, don’t spend it texting your friends and taking photos. Take time to appreciate your surroundings. Think about what you can see, smell, touch, etc.

Do What You Love

The best way to reclaim your life is to do what you love. Find out what makes you happy and do lots of it. You can’t change or control everything. But you can decide to put your health and happiness first. And this will make the rest more bearable.

8 Unique Ways to Celebrate Your Summer Birthday

Summer birthdays yield some really fun options for celebrating. With school out and vacations abounding, people have more time to plan and attend parties—more time than they might have at any other time of the year. So if your birthday is coming up, treat yourself to a good time. You deserve it! You work hard day in and day out on top of raising kids. So, how do you throw a party that’s really special and that stands out from the crowd? First, think about all the things your friends have been doing and then make sure you don’t do any of those things. Instead, check out some of these ideas.

  1. Celebrate Christmas during the summer. There’s a little less than 6 months until Christmas, so lots of people like to now celebrate a half-Christmas in the summer. If your birthday falls sometime around then, this could be a fun and unexpected way to celebrate your birthday. If you’re accepting birthday gifts, put them under a fake Christmas tree. Check out some ugly Christmas sweaters from Tipsy Elves for fun outfit ideas (bonus: a good ugly sweater will carry you through many holiday parties to come) and get antlers for the dog or bells for the cat. Instead of a flag or tassel banner, use some old Christmas ornaments. Serve summer versions of favorites like cold eggnog, iced (and spiked!) hot chocolate, and snow cone snowmen.
  2. Have a champagne brunch. Invite your friends over earlier in the day for an at-home, upscale meal. Take some long tables out to the porch or yard and decorate for a fancy summer garden party. Ask that guests come dressed to impress and decorate your table like a fancy spread from a magazine: folded napkins, pitchers of lemonade and iced tea, and mason jars of flowers at each place setting.
  3. See a show, attend a concert, or check out outdoor music festivals and street fairs. The summer is always full of these kinds of great outdoor activities so find out what’s going on nearby or wander around a popular area in the city to see what’s there. If you can find a concert or a show in the park, bring along some picnic lunches for a lazy afternoon of yummy food, drinks, and music.
  4. Take a tour of something interesting in your town: the historic sites, the famous landmarks, the museums, etc. Or check out local breweries for a tasting tour. And keep a watch out for block tours. Sometimes areas with lots of restaurants will have tasting tours where you can pay in advance to stop and sample something at every participating restaurant. This could be a fun stand-alone activity or a good complement to a brewery tour or bar crawl.
  5. Go for a bike ride or a hike. Getting your friends out into nature will be a really refreshing and enjoyable experience, especially if you have a few guests who aren’t normally that interested in exploring the great outdoors. Keep it simple and not too intense, but make sure to pick a route with lots of scenic views.
  6. Take a mini trip. If you don’t feel like throwing a big party for lots and lots of people, consider trimming down your guest list to just a few and taking everyone on a little road trip. Pick a fun destination like a nearby beach or mountain range, and make sure to stop at some fun attractions along the way like diners, roadside attractions, and landmarks. Download the Roadtrippers app to make sure you don’t miss out on any of these attractions.
  7. Have a craft party. If you and your friends are already the craft types, invite them to bring over projects to work on. Otherwise, spend some time on Pinterest and other DIY sites and find some fun and easy crafts to make. Set up little stations in your yard or living room with lots of fun and simple crafts to do. Ideas might include: learning to knit or crochet, making terrariums or hanging cactus gardens, making jewelry, or making scrapbooks or decorated frames.
  8. Have a cooking or baking party. If you and your friends love to cook, then don’t let them miss out on the fun of preparing your birthday menu. Invite them over early to help you with all of the stages of cooking and preparation. Be sure to pick out some fun playlists of good cooking music, and decorate your kitchen to make it festive. Go with some classic party themes like banners and balloons (but tape everything to the walls and ceilings to keep them out of the way while you cook).

 

Planning a really special and unique birthday celebration is all about figuring out what will be most fun and memorable for you and your guests. Think about the activities that you and your friends really enjoy and go with that! There’s no reason to throw a party that you don’t really want just because you think it’s the way birthday parties are supposed to go. Be creative and unique for a really memorable summer birthday.