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How To Choose Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Brands In India

In today’s world, consumerism has got the better of our senses, and in our effort to have almost anything that we can lay our eyes on, we often overlook the fact that someone else is a paying a hefty price for our desires.

The world of animal testing is one such arena. Our choice of cosmetics plays an important role in whether an animal will be harmed or spared.

The Myths Of Animal Testing

Animal experimentation, animal research, and in vivo testing or rather in lay man’s terms ‘animal testing’, means experimenting on non-human animals.

Most animal testing happens for research purposes. It is often done to assess the effectiveness of consumer products such as medicines, cosmetics, food additives and industrial chemicals like household cleaners and pesticides.

Based on the results of these tests, companies are able to tell if their inventions are safe for human consumption and the environment.

Animal testing undeniably and undoubtedly implies torture, suffering, and eventually death for humanity’s well being. However, there are alternatives to animal testing nowadays, such as this human liver on a chip.

Watch this video in which The Big Bang Theory’s Mayim Bialik (who is also a real-life neuroscientist!), debunks animal testing myths to help advocate for the millions of animals used in laboratories worldwide!

 

Are You Supporting Cruel Cosmetics?

The procedures used for animal testing can never be mild enough. Each and every one causes physical suffering, emotional and mental trauma to the animal involved.

The mere act of trapping the animal is itself pure torture. Most are very young and are barely done nursing.

They are brutally kidnapped from their mothers, natural habitats and brought to environments that are totally alien. What business do primates from the Amazon have in New York?

Today, there is no dearth of farms that specially breeds animals for laboratory experimentation.  Some common examples are rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters.

You also have more common domestic animals like cats, dogs and pigs being used. Their ears are notched and tails are clipped for identification.

Animals are animals and often traumatised in new spaces. To reduce unwanted behaviour they are deprived of food, drugged and sedated or exposed to short and long periods of physical restraint.

When it comes to testing the potency of drugs, the animals must first be exposed to a deadly virus or infected with an illness so that appropriate tests can be carried out. In other words, healthy animals are forcibly exposed to biological and chemical hazards.

There is a deliberate infliction of injuries which range from broken bones, to first and second degree burns and even superficial and deep wounds. Unwanted surgeries are performed as well. Organs are removed and foreign objects are inserted. Their bodies are mutated for scientific studies.

Often studies are conducted on pain management. That means the infliction of pain on the innocent animal in various degrees. There is no mercy on the amount and duration of infliction.

It can range from electric shock to near-drowning experiences.  Based on their reaction to the various degrees, studies are done on both the physiology and treatment.

There is no guarantee of the animal making it out alive. In fact, death is bliss, because to live maimed and unwanted or to be re-used in subsequent experiments is to literally be the living dead.

The road that leads to this particular ‘bliss’ is often the worst.  Most times they are killed with asphyxiation.  Small animals have their necks broken or they are beheaded.

How To Choose Cruelty-Free Cosmetics

Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way, says PETA’s famous slogan.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  Be a conscious of what you are consuming.  Read the labels on the goods that you intend to buy.  Make sure they reach the consumer, cruelty free.

It is one thing to be in the dark about animal testing. You are not anymore. It is only natural that you take an active stance and that too if not in a big way then in small day to day choices.

Going vegan is the best way forward but none of us can be a 100 % vegan.  It is not possible in this day and age but you can try your very best.

In India, here are some of the cosmetic brands that officially test on animals. There are countless others but very few come out in the open about the activities conducted behind closed doors.

A List Of Cruel Cosmetic Brands:

  • Avon
  • Estée Lauder
  • L’Oréal
  • Biotherm
  • Mary Kay
  • Ralph Lauren Fragrances
  • Garnier
  • Lancôme
  • Maybelline
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Gucci Fragrances
  • Gillette Co
  • Escada Fragrances
  • Lacoste Fragrances
  • Joy
  • Halo
  • Clairol
  • Herbal Essences
  • HUGO BOSS
  • H2O Plus 
  • Olay
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Old Spice
  • Pantene
  • Braun
  • Shiseido Cosmetics
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Shower to Shower
  • Neutrogena
  • Listerine
  • Clean & Clear
  • Sunsilk
  • Ponds
  • Lux
  • Axe
  • Dove
  • Vaseline
  • Clearasil
  • Veet
  • Victoria’s Secret (Limited Brands)

A List Of Cruelty-Free Cosmetics:

Here is a list of cosmetic brands in India that do not test on animals.

  • Ahé Naturals
  • Amoha Apcos Naturals – Just Herbs
  • Astonish Cleaners
  • Bath & Body Works (Limited Brands)
  • Biotop Professionals Products
  • Body Essence
  • Body Shine Organics Pvt Ltd (V)
  • Brillare Science Private Limited (V)
  • Cholayil Pvt Ltd
  • Dermalogica India
  • DoublEtcH India Pvt Ltd
  • Aromagic
  • Earthy Organic Soaps Pvt Ltd
  • Future Skin
  • Greenazo Gulnar Handmade Soaps
  • Herbal Strategi
  • Inglot Cosmetics
  • Kenisha Handcrafted Natural Products
  • Kimirica Luxuries Pvt Ltd
  • in
  • Kryolan Professional Make-Up
  • La Flora Organics
  • La Senza
  • Lotus Body Botanicals
  • LUSH Cosmetics
  • Nature’s Emporium
  • Nature’s Way Ayurvedic
  • Omved
  • Prakriti Herbals
  • RDM Care
  • Richfeel
  • Rustic Art
  • Shahnaz Husain
  • Soap Square
  • Splurge Cosmetics
  • Soulflower
  • Surya Brasil
  • The Body Shop
  • The Essential Oil Company
  • Trumount Cosmoceuticals
  • Unived Health Care Products
  • LuxaDerme
  • Vicco Laboratories
  • Banjara’s

But since it’s impossible to actually remember these lists, many cosmetics companies use labels to identify products that are not tested on animals.

Some of these are official labels vetted by a third-party and others are not. The image of official and unofficial logos below will help you tell the difference.

Image source: www.choice.com.au

When we know better, we do better. Now that you know which brands conduct animal testing, you can avoid them. To follow a more compassionate lifestyle, choose the brands that do not test on animals.

Good luck with your beauty regimen.

How To Avoid Marrying An Abuser

While I feel very deeply for anyone, man or woman, who suffers abuse at the hands of their spouse, I have to ask – what is it that makes us feel we have no other option but to suffer in silence, often for years at a time?

Why is even the sight of one’s own child being sexually abused by the in-laws, not enough to make someone pick up and leave the house, for their child’s sake?

I mean, how bad does it have to get before we realise that this person and their family are users and abusers and do not care for you and your kids? Why does it take so long for us to walk out of an abusive marriage?

If you think that being “soft and submissive” (and this applies to both, men and women) will save you from abuse, think again. The more you tolerate, the more the abuser knows they have you in their trap.

Abusers are basically bullies. An abuser is not capable of respect or love. They don’t care for you – they only care about establishing their power over you, manipulating you and subjugating you to their will. The more you tolerate, the less they will respect you, and the worse the abuse will get.

And women can be just as abusive as men. In fact, mother-in-laws are some of the most abusive people there are, just because they feel entitled to behave that way, and Indian society condones it.

People live for years with their abusers, sleep in their bed, give them children, and only when they’ve taken every shred of their dignity, do they fight back. Enough is enough!

I believe in that old saying – “There are no victims, only volunteers.” If you want to stop an abuser, you need to realize the ways in which you’re contributing to the situation – namely by tolerating it.

So when does abuse start? Even before we tie the knot.

Whether you’re marrying for love or going in for an arranged marriage, there are a number of red flags to look for, in your partner and their family, before you decide to take the plunge and ruin the rest of your life.

Here are some of the early red flags of an abuser to watch out for if you’re marrying into an Indian family (and even outside it).

How do your partner’s parents treat each other?

Our parents are our primary role models and we grow up observing how they treat each other. Unless we makes a conscious effort not to be like our parents, a  man will usually end up behaving like his father and a woman like her mother.

Most of us do this without even realizing it, because it happens at a subconscious level. Watch closely and observe how your partner’s parents treat each other. Do they talk to each other with respect and treat each other with affection?

If not, if you notice disrespectful or abusive talk, there’s something rotten there, and you need to get away from them as soon as possible. Or you’ll end up recreating the same dynamic in your own relationship.

Do they respect women?

Some Indian families will put up a pretense of respecting women and pay lip service to supporting them in their career, but once you’ve crossed their threshold, you’ll be relegated to the job of “maid and baby factory”.

Listen to the members of your partner’s family carefully before you say yes to marriage. If you look closely enough, you’ll see shades of disrespect in their attitude towards women.

Ignore this at your peril. If you notice any disrespectful talk about how “independent” women or feminists are ruining families, run for the hills.

How do they treat children?

Do they show a marked preference for the boy child, complimenting his “smartness” while throwing in a mention about how the girl “looks cute.” You can be sure you’ll face the dreaded pressure to produce a male heir as soon as the glow of the honeymoon wears off.

Watch closely to see how they treat kids of each gender, and if you notice anything disturbing, say NO, dear girl. You have the right to refuse to marry into a family that you know will make you (and your children) miserable.

Do they treat “dark” people badly?

Indians are so racist, it’s not funny how many families are concerned that their child or grandchild should be “fair”, even if they themselves are not.

Is your partner and their family colour conscious? Do they keep mentioning how “fair and beautiful” someone is? Do they treat people with a darker complexion than theirs with disgust and loathing?

Heaven help you if you produce a child that is anything but fair, in their eyes. You’ll be treated to insults, blame and worse.

Do they drink alcohol, use drugs, or worse?

Does your partner need to consume that quarter every day in order to function? Does s/he show a tendency to do drugs, watch disturbing porn, have sexual fetishes that make you uncomfortable?

Leave them at the altar and run as fast as your legs can carry you, before the fallout of their depravities damages your self-esteem (and the lives of any kids you might have had together).

Are there subtle demands for “gifts”?

Because asking for dowry outright is against the law in India, the boy’s family will often make subtle demands for “gifts”, and these demands will get louder, more strident and abusive as the marriage approaches.

The first time you hear a request for a car or household appliance, either report the groom’s family to the police or drop them like a hot potato. If not, you just might end up as another dowry death statistic.

Are they insecure and controlling?

People who are insecure are more likely to try to control you and your actions in an attempt to make themselves feel more comfortable.

Does your partner forbid you from talking to members of the opposite sex? Do they prevent you from being on social media? Do they try to hack your emails or keep tabs on your phone calls?

These are classic signs of controlling behavior. If you give in to their control, writing it off as a sign of how much they want and need you, it will only get worse, until one day you find you have no freedom left.

If you find your partner exhibiting such behavior, either set clear boundaries early on and make it clear that you will not be controlled, or leave before it gets worse.

Do they put you down and make you feel bad?

This is another attempt to try to control someone and is the definition of psychological, emotional or mental abuse. By destroying your self-confidence and self-esteem, your partner is trying to ensure that you will lack the confidence to leave them.

A lot of people remain in emotionally abusive relationships for this very reason – because their abusive partners have convinced them that they are unworthy of love and respect.

If you notice subtle put downs and negative comments on your looks, abilities and achievements, leave right away. With insecure people, it never gets better.

Are they attempting to isolate you from others?

This is classic abuser behavior. Abusers want to ensure that, when they do get abusive, you have no one else to turn to for help.

So they’ll slowly but surely start isolating you from your friends and family. They’ll get enraged if you reach out to anyone else to talk about your problems.

Indian families condone and enable such behavior by calling their daughters “paraya dhan” (someone else’s wealth). Once a girl is married, they literally wash their hands off her and her problems.

Priyanka Kapoor Chawla, who hanged herself as a result of abuse by her husband and in-laws, stated that her abusive husband would “place a lot of restrictions on her. She was not allowed to meet family and friends.”

She was also told that “such things happen in a family and there’s no need to make an issue of it.”

This is not true. You DO need to make an issue of it! Go to the cops. Lodge a complaint against your husband and in-laws.

Create a stink as big as you can, so that you do not end up like the hundreds of thousands of women in India who face violence from their abusive husbands or in-laws.

Are they a mama’s boy/ daddy’s girl?

If so, you’ll never match up to the standards of their flawless parent. Refuse to compete. Let them stay “married” to the mom or dad they can’t seem to individuate from. Make like a tree and leave.

Although there are many more traits and behaviours that can help you assess your potential partner’s character, these are some of the most important red flags to look out for when assessing a life-partner, because they will impact you the most, and can lead to a lifetime of physical or emotional abuse.

The most important thing to keep in mind when sizing up a potential partner is to trust your instincts (unless you’ve been abused in your childhood and you find yourself attracted to abusers, in which case you’ll benefit from therapy).

If your intuition tells you that something is off, trust it. As Maya Angelou so wisely said, “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

Don’t second-guess yourself, or even give people second chances. It could cost you your sanity, or even your life.

However, the best way to avoid getting into an abusive marriage is to become a whole and complete person in your own right.

Learn to love yourself, cherish yourself, get a career and a life.

And if you find yourself getting into abusive relationships, opt for therapy or alternative methods to heal the wounds that are causing you to self-sabotage.

When you know that you deserve love and respect, you’ll never settle for less.

Need help to get out of an abusive situation? Call these domestic violence helplines.

More reading:

How to Spot an Abuser on Your First Date

Domestic Violence (Physical and Emotional Abuse): Questions to Ask

The Cycle of Domestic Violence

 

The 10 Most Powerful Women In The World

What does it mean to be powerful? What does it feel like to have a massive influence on the world?

These women can not only answer these questions, but also provide a good example of what global leaders should be like — and what women from all countries in the globe can accomplish.

Here are the 10 most powerful women in the world.

  1. Angela Merkel

Each year, Angela Merkel tops the list of most powerful women. And not many could compete with the 60-year old German leader when it comes to political experience.

Photo: Bundesregierung/Kugler

A former research scientist with a doctorate in physical chemistry, Merkel has clinched her third four-year term as German Chancellor thanks to her proactive role in governing her country. This makes her the longest serving elected EU head of state.

She has a fierce stance against Russia on Ukraine, this being only one of the demonstrations of her political will. She also provided military assistance to Kurds in order to counter ISIS.

Merkel is not just influential; she is one of the people who shape the world’s political landscape.

  1. Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates is the wife of Bill Gates. But beyond that, she is an American philanthropist, a former Microsoft project manager, and is now the co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Image: Aceshowbiz.com

Gates uses her influence in order to directly aid people she thinks can really make a difference in the world. By giving grants and other forms of support, Melinda Gates helps develop the future of technology, and international development.

In fact, her philanthropic activities have cost her approximately $3.4 billion, $26 million of which is for providing the aforementioned grants.

For her services, Gates was appointed an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, back in 2013. She was also honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former US President Barack Obama in 2016.

Gates provides an example of how influential people can use their power to affect and change the lives of others for the better.

  1. Sheryl Sandberg

These days, who still doesn’t have Facebook? This globally-used social networking site is currently under the direction of COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Image: By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland via Wikimedia Commons

Sandberg was a former Google executive, who was brought on board by Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg, back in 2007.

Now she oversees marketing, business development, sales, human resources, and communications. She also happens to be a significant shareholder.

Beyond the website, Sandberg has displayed commitment to serving others. With The Giving Pledge, she promised to give away half of her net worth to charity.

  1. Hillary Clinton

Hilary Clinton is among the most powerful politicians in the United States, and has consistently landed spots on similar lists year after year.

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Even with her recent loss during the 2016 presidential elections, she remains a remarkable presence, particularly for the Democratic Party.

Clinton has been through everything: she has served as the First Lady of the United States, as a US Senator, and as US Secretary of State. Throughout her political career she has fought for gender equality and health care reform.

She came close to becoming the president after winning a plurality of the national popular vote. However, she lost the Electoral College to Republican nominee Donald Trump.

With all her political experience, it’s no surprise that Clinton is among the most powerful women.

Having held on to so many different political positions, Clinton has become an inspiration for girls all over the world who aspire to become leaders.

  1. Christine Lagarde

Christine Lagarde has been the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 2011.

Image: cfo.cio.bg

Before this, she served as the Finance Minister of France. This is a post that she held onto for an entire six-year term.

The 59-year old French lawyer and politician was the first woman to become finance minister of a G8 economy. In fact, she is the first woman to head the IMF.

  1. Dilma Rousseff

Dilma Rousseff is a Brazilian economist and politician who served as the 36th President of her country from 2011 to 2016.

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Her presidency is historic in that she was the first woman to hold the Brazilian presidency. She also previously served as the Chief of Staff to president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, from 2005 to 2010.

Holding the highest position in the world’s seventh largest economy is no easy task. But Rousseff proved that it could be done if the leader is dedicated enough.

  1. Michelle Obama

Though her husband has recently finished his term as US President, Michelle Obama remains an influential presence because of her philanthropic work and social awareness campaigns.

Image: Wikipedia Commons

This American lawyer and writer became the First Lady of the United States when her husband Barack Obama became president.

She kept this position from 2009 to 2017, during which she gained the favor of the masses. In fact, she has a higher approval rating compared to her husband. She has an approval rating of 66 percent, whereas Barack Obama only has 44 percent.

This well-liked leader has been on the frontlines of the fight against obesity – a perennial problem in the US.

  1. Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen is an American economist who now serves as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Before this, she served as Vice Chair from 2010 to 2014.

Image: Wikipedia Commons

She was also the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Under President Bill Clinton, she was the Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. She was also a business professor at the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business.

Holding control over the most influential central bank in the world, Yellen holds a huge responsibility that only a truly capable leader could take care of.

  1. Mary Barra

Mary Barra is the first female CEO of a major global automaker, currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the General Motors Company.

Image: Wikipedia Commons

Her calm and confident persona helped the company bounce back after a 30-million-car recall due to faulty ignition switches.

  1. Susan Wojcicki

Everyone has used YouTube, but does everyone now the current CEO of YouTube is a Polish-American woman named Susan Wojcicki?

Image: Twitter 

Wojcicki helped revamp the video-sharing site’s strategy upon being acquired by Google for $1.65 billion.

These 10 women above are powerful, not simply because of the positions they hold, but because of their responsible and intelligent use of the power and influence they wield.

Author Bio:

Joe Mosier is a car enthusiast and loves working on his 2011 Mercedes Benz 300 C-Class. Other than that, he loves to cook and spend time with his family. In his free time, he writes about cars on Adsitco’s blog and shares them with his readers.

 

Mindfulness Meditation: How It Can Heal Your Body And Mind

Are you feeling so stressed lately that you are starting to suffer from some mild or serious health issues? Or are you finding other ways to heal yourself aside from full medications?

Then why not control your body by boosting your health with mindfulness meditation, exercises and habits.

Have you heard of the saying that “it is all in the mind”? Well, this might be somehow true since studies have analyzed that our mental and physical health is dependent on how we see, perceive and relate to it.

This is the reason why meditation is highly recommended for further healing of the body for those who are under some health difficulties.

Moreover, a lot of people are testifying the effectiveness of the mindfulness approach in healing your body. Just from the word itself, mindful healing, our overall body is controlled by our mind.

Thus, deeper control and calmness of our mind can lead to a whole new better you and lesser pain of the body. So to totally see your healing process in a different view will give you peace of mind that will make you feel better.

And so, to further get into your senses to heal your body, let’s tackle the ways on how mindfulness meditation is done effectively and the wonders it can give to your body:

  1. Mindfulness As A Key Element To Happiness

Don’t throw yourself into depression about your health issues. Going through various health treatments can be quite frustrating especially if you are doing it for quite some time without any improvement.

But these situations aren’t a good reason to suffer depression. Start a mindful way of relating and perceiving on your difficulties and use it to practice acceptance on your present situation.

However, mindful thinking of acceptance doesn’t mean you’re already giving up. The mindful method of healing only means that you have to change the way you look onto things.

Don’t get depressed due to your pain, but rather, transform your energy to a positive one. Meditation can help you reorganize your thoughts and alleviate your negative thoughts.

It teaches us to pause on our current problem and pay attention to what is more important to focus on. Hence, a lighter and more positive view of life is achieved.

  1. Mindfulness Improves Your Overall Well-Being

Have you heard of stories wherein a patient has diagnosed with a low chance of recovery, yet, that minimal chance of recovery made the patient improved his health? Yes, it happens.

And as much as others considered it as a miracle, there are still some medical explanations that lie beneath it, and that is the mindfulness of the patient in healing himself.

When you undergo meditation, you are also gaining your control in your life. It affects your overall attitude that improves your satisfaction in life.

In addition to this, when you feel lighter and more positive, heavy and challenging activities won’t affect you as much as before, thus, you can easily deal with its adverse effects on your body like worries or regrets that could lower your self-esteem.

  1. Mindfulness Can improve Your Physical Health

In recent studies by experts, mindfulness was discovered to bear a handful of benefits in promoting your physical health to its maximum best.

Although it may vary from person-to-person basis, a huge number of regular users of this technique, and their positive results prove that mindfulness is the next big thing in preventive wellness.

Some of the health benefits that mindfulness can do to our body are:

  • Stress relief

When our body is exposed to things that elevate our stress levels, our first response could be the “fight or flight” action along with the sudden rush of adrenaline in our body.

You don’t have to endure this experience all the time. When you meditate, you are processing your mind to go for a deeper relaxation which decreases your blood pressure, pulse rate, and breathing.

With this technique, you can accept challenges and face it with lighter and happier mood and thus you will be able to solve any problem easily.

  • Treat heart disease

Meditation is composed of breathing in and breathing out. And with this simple action, your brain could signal your body for a better blood circulation and lower blood pressure which is a crucial component in treating heart disease.

Also, as mentioned above, meditation is classified as a stress-reliever, when your cortisol level drops, your heart rate will also lower down along with the dilation of your blood vessels.

This way, you’re also strengthening your resistance to stress which is the primary cause of the main heart diseases and stroke.

  • Lower blood pressure

If you are suffering from regular high blood pressure, some maintenance drug is not enough to cure your problems. Mindfulness will help you force yourself to stay calm when the time gets rough.

Just by sitting calmly for a few seconds as you perform deep breathing, you are relaxing your body and releasing your tension, thus, lower the pressure in your system.

  • Reduce chronic pain

Aside from narcotics, eliminating your chronic pain can also be done through meditation. When our cortisol level arises, it can worsen the pain and inflammation in our body, so the main solution is to lower down your cortisol level.

This is done when your body releases chemicals during meditation. Just like the chemicals released by narcotic drugs, it gives the body the pharmaceutical way to treat pain.

  • Improve sleep

Of course, if you are feeling relaxed and stress-free, then it is expected that you can achieve a good night sleep.

It is known that problematic way of thinking causes insomnia, hence, if you meditate, you achieve a state of calmness, like this, and you won’t have a hard time sleeping.

  • Alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties

When people experience some gastrointestinal difficulties, the first thing that will pop in their mind as the cause is from something they ate. However, this is not always the case for most gastrointestinal difficulties.

At times, this health problem is caused by stress. Stress can disturb the normal action of your digestive track and could even cause heartburn.

But with the recent studies, the deep breathing process that is associated with mindful meditation can help oxygen reach the muscles in our body faster which makes it easier to flex and move.

Likewise, if our muscles are flexed and stretched, we are also helping our body to function properly. Therefore, reducing the tension in your system and creating a better blood flow along with a full relaxation of the body.

Two Mindfulness Exercises For Beginners

The good news about mindful exercises is that you can easily do it on your own anywhere and anytime you could.

Just calm yourself and make sure that you are free from any distraction and you are ready to perform the exercises below:

  1. Deep Breathing

Relax on a chair or sit with cross legs on the floor as you clear your mind from any thoughts and just focus on your breathing.

Feel the sensation of air flowing into your nostrils while filling up your lungs and fully expanding your abdomen, then slowly exhale through your mouth as you’ve widened your focus with the sounds, sensation, and ideas around you.

Do this repeatedly until you have achieved your calmness and peace of mind.

  1. Walking Meditation

If you have more time to spend in your meditation, then a good walk is a more applicable way to reconnect with yourself mindfully. The walking meditation can be done at least 10 to 15 minutes a day.

This is performed by just walking around while focusing on yourself such as the way your feet touches the ground, or the way you breathe in with every step or how you move your other body parts when you walk.

The key here is to develop a relaxed attention to yourself regardless of what you are thinking or being focused on.

To sum it up, healing your body with mindfulness meditation can do a big change in your overall health. It enables you to be aware of yourself physically and mentally.

Don’t let judgment come your way on how you do this mindful technique. Whatever strategy you are in, if you’re doing your mindful healing properly, then your overall healthy will improve naturally.

Author Bio:

Brenan Quirante is a publisher at Peak Nootropics, a blog dedicated to supplements that enhance brain function. Peak Nootropics supplement ensures benefits such as enhance learning, improve memory, Increase motivation in workouts, and enhance mood and much more.

 

7 Lesser Known Career Tools For The Woman Who Wants To Go Places

Women in India have been successful at breaking away from their traditional roles and finding their place in society. This is especially true when it comes to education.

Today, they are pursuing college degrees and going after their dreams. According to research, almost 46 percent of women are enrolled in undergraduate studies, and over 40 percent of them are PhD students, which means they have also been successful at bridging the gender gap in higher education.

However, despite the fact that the number of college-educated Indian women is growing steadily every year, the situation is less than ideal when it’s time for them to find their place in the highly competitive job market.

They make up less than 15 percent of the workforce, and many those that do manage to get a job don’t have the luxury of choosing one which offers both decent salary and opportunities for career growth.

However, Indian women still have a chance to build their careers through a variety of other options, such as startups for example.

We’ve put together a list of the seven best career tools that can help Indian women build their careers and increase their chances of finding a good job.  Keep reading.

  1. Angel.co

For those women interested in assuming complete control of their own destiny, as well as their career, AngelList is truly one of the best platforms out there.

If you are looking for a job in startups, or have an idea that needs an investor, AngelList offers tons of such opportunities, because it gathers the best angel investors, many of which have been entrepreneurs in the past, so they know all the ins and outs of startups.

One of the dynamics that makes this platform better than others is the high-quality vetting, as well as the transparency of the entire process, which used to be one of the pitfalls of this industry. You can make use of AngelList if you are an investor, as well.

  1. ResumesPlanet

One of the things that can increase your chances of landing that dream job is having a killer resume.

Easier said than done, because there are dozens, or even hundreds of other applicants competing with you for the same job opening, which makes it very difficult to stand out.

Things get even more complicated if you’ve just finished college, and have no experience to speak of.

However, professional writers over at ResumesPlanet, one of the most reputable resumes writing services online, can help you make the most out of the experience and skills you do have, and shine a big spotlight on them.

They will make sure that the recruiters take notice when it comes to your strengths, as well as all information which might recommend you for the job, such as volunteering, or completion of relevant courses.

  1. ZoomInfo

ZoomInfo is probably the best resource online if you’re looking to find information on businesses, companies, as well as professionals.

Although it is mostly used by marketing experts in order to seek out potential leads and customers for their products and services, it is also a valuable tool for both companies and recruiters on one end, and those looking for a job on the other.

The list of companies and people is constantly updated, and currently, it has profiles on over 7 million businesses, and over 95 million people from all over the globe, which means you can always find numerous companies which are hiring at any given moment.

Searching through all that data is made easy, thanks to ZoomInfo’s semantic search engine, which always lists the most relevant results.

  1. GojobHero

Getting hired these days is difficult, but it’s not any easier to find the right job, either. However, thanks to JobHero, that time-consuming process has been made much simpler.

It acts as a dashboard through which you can search for jobs, save them for later viewing, upload all of your documents, as well as your resume, and set up alerts which will notify you about the approaching deadlines for jobs you are interested in, so that you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

JobHero is also available as an extension for your browser, which makes it even more convenient for job seekers.

  1. JobScan

When recruiting potential candidates for a job, companies often rely on ATS (Applicant Tracking System), which are basically applications which automatically eliminate applicant resumes based on certain criteria.

This makes the recruiting process shorter for the companies, but it doesn’t help your chances. With Jobscan, you will be able to get past the ATS, and have your resume read by an actual recruiter.

All you have to do is upload your CV, and let the application analyze it. It will calculate how good of a match your resume is for a particular job, which provides you with the opportunity to improve it even further.

Another cool thing about Jobscan is that it’s constantly updated, so that it’s able to keep up with all the changes which are made in most ATS applications out there.

  1. PayScale

PayScale is a software suite which provides you with a variety of HR and financial tools, so that you can receive safe and accurate payments for each and every one of your projects. This is especially useful if you are trying to build your career through startup companies or freelancing.

On the other hand, companies and corporations use it to determine the average rates for particular projects and services among contractors. This means you can adjust your rates to make yourself more competitive and interesting to potential employers.

You can also benefit from PayScale’s budgeting and benchmarking tools. Using all of these elements, you will be armed with almost everything you need to point your career in the right direction.

  1. Brand Yourself

These days, the recruiters are looking into everything that has to do with potential job candidates, and that includes your online presence.

You don’t want a few questionable photos or statuses to cost you your job, so the best thing to do would be to clean up all of your online accounts and profiles.

However, while you might be able to do that fairly quickly, there is not much you can do about Google search results, as those will not change immediately.

This is where BrandYourself comes in. It allows you to create an online presence which will be acceptable and attractive for employers.

They also offer premium services, which includes advice from real life experts that will help you create relevant content. The idea is to have this quality content rank higher than those search results which you find less than desirable.

In Conclusion:

Building a career is hard nowadays, especially if you are a woman in a traditional society like India. You have to work extra hard in order to find a place for yourself, grow your reputation, develop your skills, and land that job you’ve always dreamed about.

The obstacles are there, but with these helpful tools and resources at your disposal, you will be able to make your road toward success just a little bit bumpy. Good luck!

Author’s bio:

Micheal Gilmore is a career advisor and blogger. He’s psyched about personal growth, business and marketing. In his parallel life, he loves hiking and can’t wait to see the Himalayas one of these days. Follow him on Twitter.

 

4 Car Maintenance Tips Every Woman Should Know

Are you the kind of woman who likes to go for long drives, or head out into the unknown by yourself or with a bunch of gal pals?

Then you might want to understand a few car maintenance tips so that you can handle small glitches and problems without calling in the big guns.

According to the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, around 90% of the female motorist are involved when it comes to the process of decision-making for the family’s vehicle maintenance as well as repair.

Although most women have a say in what happens to their family’s vehicle, do they really know what’s going on under the hood and how to better take care of it?

If you’re a woman who owns a car, this article will teach you some car care tips and car maintenance basics to make your vehicle last longer.

Always Check the Air Filter of Your Engine

Think of your car as a well-functioning body. The lung of your vehicle is the engine air filter. You have to check it on a regular basis to make sure it is functioning properly.

You can check the owner’s manual so you can see when the engine air filter ought to be swapped to make sure that your car can breathe well.

Do Check Your Car’s Engine Oil and Filter

If the engine air filter is the lung of your car, then the engine oil is the blood. You have to check the engine oil regularly.

Again, you can refer to the owner’s manual so you’ll know when the oil should be changed as well as which grade you should be using.

Also, try to talk to car enthusiast in your neighborhood. You’ll certainly gain some insights about the products they prefer to use and why.

Know How to Change a Tire

This is one of the most basic things any car owner should know. However, it’s a skill that is most often overlooked.

Don’t you know that you can go to a car care professional and ask them to show you how it’s done? Yes! This way, you will know how to do it if you ever find yourself alone on the road with no help in sight.

Another thing you ought to know is the right tire pressure when filling your tires. To be safe, read the owner’s manual to know what specific pressure is required for your car.

You can easily find the owner’s manual in the glove compartment or the door jamb. Don’t forget to fill and check your spare tire, too.

Prepare a Preventive Maintenance Checklist

If you do this, you’ll surely be thanking yourself because you’ll be saved from so much trouble when it comes to car problems. What you can do here is to take your car to an expert and have them perform a preventive maintenance check on your car.

Do this on a regular basis. Some of the things to check are the tire pressure, belts, hoses, fluid levels, engine oils, and the rest, making sure that they are all working well.

Takeaway

Now that you know some of the basic things that should be done to your vehicle, life won’t be too hard if you ever need to change a flat tire or encounter engine problems.

In severe cases, always have the number of your preferred car care professional in your phonebook at all times. This will make sure that you know who to call if you ever need help.

But for the easier maintenance check, continue to learn more about it, so you’ll know how to take care of your car better.

Author Bio

Williams A. Young is a car enthusiast who loves to share his knowledge about cars to anyone who is interested. When he is not busy taking care of his car, he loves to go camping with his camping vehicle from Darwin4WDHire. Williams also loves to write about his adventures and camping tips and techniques.

 

Naaree Interviews Neha Yaduvanshi, Founder, Vastada Consulting

Neha Yaduvanshi, Founder of Vastada Consulting, is an MBA from ICFAI Business School, Gurgaon.

After working with the top management in the corporate world for seven years, she realized that companies are making strategies focused on short-term profit and immediate success.

Companies fail to recognize their true potential and capability to play a bigger role in the society. Neha believes an organization is a very important part of our world and has a bigger role to play in the life of human beings by delivering healthy products and quality services, as well as building a happy and protected environment for internal and external stakeholders.

With this belief and determination to transform the way companies make their strategies, she started Vastada Consulting. Today, she is dedicated to enabling senior executives to understand the bigger role of an organization.

Naaree interviewed Neha to ask her what make her choose to be an entrepreneur and what tips she has to offer other women.

What inspired to become an entrepreneur? Did you always love it or was it something you got into?

I always wanted to be an entrepreneur since my childhood.

After working with the top management in the corporate world for seven years, I realized that companies are making strategies focused on short-term profit and immediate success.

Companies fail to recognize their true potential and capability to play a bigger role in the society.

I believe an organization is a very important part of our world and has a bigger role to play in the life of human beings by delivering healthy products and quality services, as well as building a happy and protected environment for internal and external stakeholders.

And with this belief and determination to transform the way companies make their strategies, I started my Vastada Consulting.

When do you know that it is no longer just an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?

The moment I started Vastada Consulting, I was sure of its success. There are very few consulting firms helping clients in building a sustainable business and Vastada Consulting aims to be a global leader in providing sustainable strategic solutions in 10 years.

What inspired you to start out on your own? What learning lessons can you share from your startup experience?

I was always passionate about starting something of my own, which can create value in the world, and I am proud that today, with our dedication and focus, we have created a good organization led by a woman entrepreneur.

My learnings are:

  • Always prepare more than you have asked for to prove your value and knowledge and the results will be in your favor.
  • Keep your entrepreneurial spirit high and do things differently.
  • Always do the right thing. People don’t regret making choices, what they regret is not having made the right choice be it at work or in personal life. We at help our clients make the right choices that will help them achieve their dream idea into a sustainable, fast-growing business.

What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out? Do you have some examples to share and advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them?

Being young and into consulting, our prospect said, “You are very young, how are going to help us in business growth”.

Then I would always come up with sustainable and innovative solutions that surprise them, and they would also refer us to other companies.

My advice for women entrepreneurs:

  • Being a woman entrepreneur you must focus your energy on the right things and right people. Make genuine connections in both, your personal and professional life. Having the right people and a positive environment around you helps you to move forward and reach new heights.
  • Ask for help and you will get it. Never get afraid in reaching people to learn new concepts and discuss new ideas.
  • Being an Indian woman, you have to work hard in your family and business both because of our culture and family expectations. So, be honest with yourself and keep your priorities right for the business. Keep a healthy balance between your business, family and friends.

What are all the things that a woman entrepreneur needs to keep in mind? I.e. apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

Have confidence in your skills and capabilities. It is always hard to be a woman entrepreneur. Prioritize your tasks and overcome challenges. The best part about a woman entrepreneur is that she can see possibilities even in the toughest of situations.

The most important decision any woman who wants to be an entrepreneur or want to have a successful career makes is about marriage. Get married to a right person if you want to have a successful career or business.

The partner who believes in your dreams more than you, changes your life completely. He will act as a partner, friend and business advisor and you can share everything with him.

I am lucky to have a husband who believes in my dreams and always pushes me to do better in both, business and life.

Do women entrepreneurs find it tougher to get funding for businesses? If yes, why do you think that is?

Yes. But, gender biases could be real or perceived. If you are a woman entrepreneur and equip yourself with all the required information, analyze data to prove your point and have an innovative business model, then investors will listen to you and definitely they will invest also.

The most difficult part with woman entrepreneur is networking. They hesitate to develop their own network of people across different industries because of our culture and patriarchal mindset of males.

But fighting with all odds, now women should also develop their own network of people who can help them in finding the right investors. Some important plus points for woman entrepreneurs are business values, integrity, industry insights, and people skills.

Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you’re starting out on your own? What does a mentor bring to the table?

Anyone can be your mentor. Your ex-boss, your father, people from your network, a friend, anyone who knows your positives and negatives about your decision making process.

In business, it’s important to make sound decisions based on research, analysis and facts. So, having a mentor helps you in making rational decisions and gives you rights advice your emotions come into your business while making decisions.

A mentor with experience brings a fresh perspective and new direction to the table. So, having a right mentor is important for the growth f business.

My mentor is my first VP-HR (my first internship) Mr Subodh Bhatnagar, having 20 years of experience in the corporate world. He is a blessing in the business. I always take his advice before making new arrangements and decisions.

How did you recruit your first team? How difficult was it to get people on board during the initial stages?

As consulting is a very crucial field and a client’s future depends on the solutions provided by you. So, hiring the right team and getting them to invest their lot of time in extensive research and analysis was a big thing for me.

Now, all our team members understand the importance of research and analysis. My first team was from references and I am proud of my team.

What are 3 key things that you have learned as an entrepreneur?

As a woman entrepreneur, I learned the following things:

  • Define your business smartly, develop it into a brand and everything you do should be consistent with your brand identity. You should become the face of your business.
  • Get out of your comfort zone and learn new things to drive your business.
  • Bring out the best in your team. The most important asset for any company is its employees. Invest your time and values to make a great team to build a great company.

What would you describe as your biggest moments of success in your business?

Vastada Consulting works on the core values of sustainability, co-existence, and trust. Every time we create value for our clients is our big moment of success.

© Naaree.com

 

Understanding Your Child’s Neuroplastic Brain

As a parent, you of course want the best for your children. And often this means that you find yourself worrying day-in and out as to whether you are helping them to get that.

Is your child well-fed? Are they happy at school? Are they developing the way they should?

But perhaps none of these concerns is as big as our concern for our child’s mental health. We all want our children to be capable and intelligent.

We all hope and pray that they are developing at the right pace and we all dream that they’ll be the top of their class.

And we all know that we play a very big part in that: in helping our children’s brains to grow and develop as they get older.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have degrees in psychology and that makes it hard to know where to start.

In fact, it places tremendous pressure on us as we find ourselves asking whether each interaction is helping or hindering their development.

Our worst fear is to learn that something we did in some way stunted our child’s psychological development.

An Introduction to Your Child’s Brain

While most of us don’t need to worry as much as we do; we’re right nonetheless to be cautious during our interactions with our children.

The reason for this is that they are highly suggestible at this age and incredibly malleable.

That’s because a child’s brain is incredibly ‘plastic’. Neuroplasticity is a relatively new concept in psychology that describes the brain’s ability to change its shape in response to the demands we place on it.

Just as lifting weights can cause your muscles to get larger, so too can crunching numbers increase the size of certain brain areas.

This isn’t only true of infant brains but also of fully grown adults. Studies show that if you learn an instrument using your fingers as an adult, then the areas of your motor cortex corresponding to your fingers will grow.

Likewise, if you stop using certain mental faculties, the relevant brain areas will atrophy and shrink. You are constantly growing new neurons and new connections between those neurons and that is how you are able to learn and develop.

The difference though, is that the child’s brain is doing this at a much higher rate. Neurons are being born wholesale and new connections are formed and cemented in no time at all.

That’s why a child is able to learn to walk and to pick up new languages in such astonishing speed. And it’s also why they can pick up bad habits, phobias and other less desirable traits at this age too.

How Your Child Learns

So why is it that the child’s brain is so much more plastic than an adult? What is chemically different?

The answer may surprise you: it is nothing.

For both adults and children, neuroplasticity is dictated by a number of neurotransmitters (chemicals that affect the state of our brain and also our mood).

When something is interesting and novel, our brains tend to respond by producing dopamine – a neurochemical that is associated with reward.

This increases our attention and focus, thereby helping us better retain new information.

That increase in dopamine is then accompanied by an increase in ‘BDNF’ or ‘Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor’, as well as more ‘nerve growth factor’.

Together, these encourage the growth of new dendrites and axons, which form the connections throughout the brain.

But it is the novel stimulus and the learning opportunity that triggers all this. When something seems important and new, the brain wakes up and pays attention. The more this happens, the more plastic the brain becomes.

And in children, this is happening all the time.

If you make an effort to learn more, to travel and see new places, to pick up new languages, to try dancing; then your brain will become much more plastic and your brain power will grow.

For a newborn baby, everything is novel, exciting and new. They’ve never walked before, never talked before and never seen the sky before.

Their brain is therefore flooded with infinite new stimuli all the time and is awash with chemicals encouraging growth.

And all this learning then makes it easier for you to help your baby learn other new things too.

How to Help Your Baby’s Brain Grow

The first thing to take away from all this, is that your baby is going through a magical period where it’s personality and mental skill is being formed. Don’t miss this incredible window of opportunity.

The other thing to recognize is that the brain loves to learn. In fact, we like games because games create learning situations.

Even computer games usually involve learning new rules and then honing our reflexes and attention.

When you play catch with your child, you are helping them to learn better coordination and motor skills. And they will love this, because their brain will be telling them that what is happening is exciting, novel and noteworthy.

Likewise, when you let your child balance along your legs, their brain is learning to better use their body. When you get them to place blocks in colored slots, you help them to associate colors and shapes.

Turn play into a learning experience and try to find the value in every movement and interaction. That way, learning becomes fun.

Learning isn’t just math and spelling; it is any opportunity for them to explore the space they’re in and to solve problems.

And as they age, make sure you keep their brain growing for as long as possible: help them to enjoy new experiences, take them travelling, get them to meet other children, take them to classes.

The longer they keep experiencing new, novel challenges, the more they will keep learning, the healthier they will be and the happier they will be.

And while you’re at it, how about taking your own advice and injecting some learning opportunities into your life too? It’s never too late to learn!

Author Bio:

Dr.Vidhi Jain has over 7 years of experience as a Physiotherapist. She has a Masters in Physiotherapy in Orthopedics and is currently practicing at Vinayak Physiotherapy in Noida as HOD of the Physiotherapy Department. She has been nominated as ‘Best Physiotherapy Consultant’ in Noida and firmly believes in health care that is based on a personal commitment to meet patient needs with compassion and care. She also writes for Medlife International Private Limited, an online pharmacy store operating in India offering home delivery of authentic prescription medicines at discounted prices.

5 Essential Soft Skills For Employability And Job Success

Getting a job is more than just about a perfect cover letter, a well drafted resume and the right references. Although all of these are indispensable, there’s more to professional success in terms of attitude, thoughts and behavior.

Soft skills are important because they decide the nature of your success in the professional arena, and also whether it is going to be a temporary phenomenon, or a permanent pattern.

This post talks about some of the important soft skills that you should inculcate and hone, in order to deal better with daily situations at your workplace and enhance your professional life.

Most recruiters today want employees that are not only good at what they do, but also have a positive influence over their environment.

A person who is good at communicating with teams, who knows how to walk the talk, and who can contribute to the company’s bottom line in a holistic manner is more valuable than a talented individual who just likes to do her work, keeps to herself and treats work like a daily chore.

Obviously, academic credentials matter, and they do matter a lot. But if you think being a nerd will take you to the top, that’s wishful thinking.

Why Are Soft Skills Important?

The first test of your behavioral skills is the first face-to-face contact with the recruiter, i.e. the personal interview.

The moment you enter the door for an interview, you are being judged by the experienced eyes of the recruiter. There are a lot of subtle factors that contribute to their final perception about you.

What you communicate through words is only half the information that the recruiter uses to process your application. The other half part is communicated through your body language, the gestures, behavior and attitude.

According to Bibi Caspari, a soft skills curriculum instructor, “Words are only seven percent of the message. How we use our voices to say the words creates 38% of the impact. And while it is hard to believe, a whopping 55% of impact is the visual impression.”

But how do soft skills help?  When you apply for a job, wanting it is only the first step. If, through your behavior, and attitude, you are able to convince the interviewer that this is something you are truly excited about, then you are ahead of the competition.

Learning soft skills help you develop thoughts that affect your emotions in a positive manner, which in turn, affect your behavior and attitude and allow it to become more conducive to success.

Having discussed their importance, here are 5 soft skills employers seek in a candidate. These are the very skills that will help you get hired and help you succeed in your job.

1. Public Speaking

“If you can speak, you can influence. If you can influence, you can change lives”. ~ Rob Brown

If there’s one common trait amongst the most successful persons in the world, it’s their ability to communicate their ideas clearly. The ability to speak such that others are compelled to give you their attention is one of the most treasured skills you can have.

However, not everyone is a gifted speaker, and that is perfectly normal. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.”

So, don’t worry if you find yourself short of words, nervous while speaking to a crowd, or even with strangers. It’s only with time and practice that you’ll learn the power to influence others with your speech, dialogue, and words.

The easiest way to get going is talking with one stranger every day. Even greeting them with a simple, “Good morning,” “Have a nice day”, with a smile, can lead to the development of confidence, which is the key to making good speeches, and persuading others.

Another way to learn public speaking skills is to join the local chapter of an organisation like Toastmasters International, that provides a “supportive learn-by-doing environment that allows you to achieve your goals at your own pace.”

2. Networking

The corollary of the ability to speak at opportune moments is the ability to make new connections, business or personal. This ability has a term associated with it –  networking.

It’s more contemporary avatar is social networking, especially in the context of the digital domain, as a major part of our communication is happening over the web or mobile.

Networking is an intensely powerful tool that can help you go places, and without which professional success will remain elusive.

The most successful person of our times, a person who feeds the imaginations of many young minds, founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, got his big break through networking with Sean Parker, and Paypal founder Peter Thiel.

Had it not been for his networking skills, we would not have had Facebook, the Big Daddy of all social networks. The incentive of being a good networker is the ability to use the energy and resources of others, instead of just your own to fuel your dreams.

3. Resilience

The ability to take negative feedback and failure in your stride, will help you go a long way.

Those who do not allow setbacks to slow them down and remain buoyant, in spite of all the negativity surrounding them, are a special breed of humans and any employer would treasure such employees.

If, through any example you could suggest situations where you showed resilience, it would help you create a far better impression with your interviewer.  Setbacks are a part and parcel of this life. What’s important is how you respond to them.

Hope and despair go hand in hand, and we all have the power to not let the latter overcome us.  Being honest with yourself, identifying the problem, and working steadily towards creating a solution is the best recourse.

4. Acceptance

Being accepting of others differences, or being more tolerant to the points of view others is an important life skill that ensures, at the very least, that you are a good team player at work.

Unless you are tolerant and accepting of the opinions of others, collaborating with others across different projects would not only be hard but also impossible.

Be someone who celebrates differences as uniqueness of opinions and not as dissent. Teams that work well despite differences are the ones that remain at the front of the pack.

5. Time Management

A lot has been said about the value of time and its importance in one’s life. However, the majority of us lack even basic time management skills and often end up wasting a lot of this invaluable resource.

If you want to tackle this fast moving world, time management is the only way to do it. Not only should you not waste your time, but also be able to make the best possible use of it to ensure the desired outcome.

Prioritizing activities in your daily life, tasks at workplace and responsibilities in your personal life will, not only save you a lot of time, but also reduce the stress involved with all these activities.

There are many who complain about not being able to focus on one thing at a time. Prioritizing your tasks, as per their deadlines, and then setting aside time to accomplish them can help.

Learn to outsource your work whenever necessary, delegate tasks and accept help to accomplish something when strict deadlines are involved.

Author Bio:

Saurabh Tyagi is a blogger and a professional career author with proven expertise in writing for topics related to jobs, job trends, different job opportunities, various workplace and industry information, tips and strategies for job seekers. You can follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

7 Tips For Achieving A Work-Life Balance For Working Mothers

For women at work, striking the right balance between pushing your career forward while raising a family is a popular struggle. The dream of “having it all” is one that many women strive for, but the reality is much more difficult to grasp.

Just when you think one part of your life is under control, another part of it falls to pieces, and you’re left feeling like you are constantly juggling too many tasks.

One minute your career is going great and you are spending plenty of quality time with your kids, but then your health suffers as a result.

Or you might feel like mother of the year by taking your kids to all their extra-curricular activities, but then your work starts to suffer because you are distracted by your home life.

For mothers who also want to work, this struggle is all too real, but it doesn’t have to be this way. By achieving and maintaining a good work-life balance, you can keep everyone in your life happy while fulfilling all of your own goals.

1. Learn To Work Smarter

The simplest way to free up more hours in the day and put an end to late nights in the office is to learn how to work smarter rather than longer.

Take some time to identify areas that could be more efficient in your working day. This can involve anything from cutting down your time spent on email to outsourcing some of the more time-consuming tasks that you have to do on a daily basis.

You will have to prioritise your workload and ensure that tasks are completed within a set duration – this means you will stop letting tasks drag on for longer than necessary.

Another way to work smarter is to accept that finishing a task in enough, and not everything has to be perfect.

If you are the kind of person to stress about formatting things in a certain way, or combing over your work looking for errors, it might be time to try being less of a perfectionist.

While some tasks will require a little extra attention, there are also some tasks that are sufficient when finished.

2. Set Aside Time For Yourself

This might seem counterintuitive, but setting aside time for yourself in your busy life is the best way to ensure you don’t burnout.

This can be as simple as making time to attend your favourite fitness class with a friend. It’s important that this is treated as a priority, one that cannot be cancelled, pushed back, or set aside.

You owe it to yourself to ensure your mind and body are in good shape, and putting aside time for yourself is the best way to achieve this.

You can’t be a caring mother and a successful business person without keeping yourself healthy and mentally strong.

3. Learn To Say ‘No’

It’s a common myth that you have to always be available in order to excel in a professional environment. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, always saying yes to the extra work will mean your work suffers, and you could soon be known as the office pushover.

Learning to say no to extra work will show that you have a realistic view about how valuable your work is, and will prevent you from getting snowed under with extra requests.

Obviously, you can’t just start saying no to everything, but you should start holding out for the opportunities that can actually help your career.

4. Get Your Partner Involved

Unless you are a single mother, then you aren’t raising your children alone, and your partner should respect this.

Getting your partner involved shouldn’t be limited to things like sharing the housework in the evening. Your partner should help with everything from the school run to taking time off work when your children are sick.

Companies are starting to come around to the idea that parental responsibilities are best shared between both parents, so this should be met with a more understanding tone from your partner’s employer.

Split all parenting tasks down the middle and you will be surprised how much time this frees up, not only for your work, but to spend more quality time with your family, friends and partner.

5. Request Flexible Working

Flexible working can take on a variety of different forms, from shifting your hours to work around the school run, to working from home a few days a week so you can help with childcare duties.

Working from home can be a huge help for parents as you will save so much time by not committing to the office. Being able to work from home at short notice is also ideal if you have to deal with a sick child, as you might have to take a vacation day or a sick day to care for them.

Flexible working is on its way to becoming a standard right for all workers, and the process should soon be much easier to navigate. Employers are starting to wake up to the idea that keeping their employees happy means they will be much more productive.

The idea of flexible working is that you are able to establish a flexible working schedule that allows you to fulfill all of your work duties while also being able to take care of your family at home.

6. Don’t Be Afraid To Hire Help

A lot of women fear hiring someone to help them with things around the home as they worry that it will make them seem like they cannot manage a household.

You need to silence your inner critic and remember that no one needs to know if you’ve hired a cleaner or if you have help with childcare during the week. There’s nothing wrong with saving yourself some time by getting some help around the home.

This could be anything from hiring a weekly cleaner to help keep on top of the ironing, or even signing up to a meal delivery service so you don’t have to worry about putting a healthy and nutritious meal on the table every night.

You can hire people to help you with everything from walking your dog to filing your taxes, so there’s nothing wrong with picking one household chore that you hate doing and then outsourcing it.

7. Try A Different Career

If your current career choice doesn’t create the right work-life balance, then it might be time to consider a new career.

There are so many careers that will allow you to have a good work-life balance, so it might be that all you need to do is train in a different area. Teaching is a good option, as you will have a similar schedule to your children, meaning that you will always be at home when they have vacations.

You could also foster a child, as this will allow you to combine your parenting expertise in an altruistic role. You could also consider starting your own business, as this will allow you to have complete flexibility and to set your own schedule.

However, a word of warning, the early stages of starting a business will likely be very time consuming, so this might not be a quick fix but more a long-term option to allow you to take control of your own life.

Author bio:

Ryan Duffy is a freelance writer who is a recent university graduate in Media Studies. His passion for people and writing has encouraged him to pursue this career full-time. Writing on behalf of Lorimer Fostering, he enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and this is where most of his work has taken him.