I'm a freelance writer

I specialise in writing about personal development, self-care, well-being, lifestyle, travel and careers. I am also a qualified careers adviser and certified life coach.

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melanmag.com

Stress: The hidden obstacle to good health

Good health is something most, if not all of us are striving for.

Many of us are more conscious than ever about what we put into and onto our bodies, making the effort to drink more water, eat healthier and be more active. While it is true that making these changes will have a positive effect on our health, there is an aspect of our life that has a massive impact on our health that we often overlook; Stress.

Stress greatly affects our health and wellbeing yet it is something that many of us in the western world have simply accepted as part of everyday life.
Of course, there will always be stressful times in life, but many of us walk around in a permanently stressed state completely unaware of the damage it is causing.

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lasmorenasdeespana.com

5 Must-Sees in Tenerife, Spain for the Non-Touristy Tourist

Tenerife is the largest of Spain's Canary Islands and this year it was included in The Telegraph's Top 10 Summer Holiday Islands in Europe. Due to its geographical position, the island has sunshine and a mild, warm climate all year round. Of the 5 million or so visitors this beautiful island gets each year, most head to the South where they are almost guaranteed sun, sea and sangria. However, there is so much more to Tenerife than the touristic South.

The following 5 places show you another side of the island:

blackgirlinom.com

Unplug to Get Connected: Why a Digital Fast Will Help You Spring Clean Within

I wish I had the willpower and self-discipline to not need a digital fast, but the truth is journaling is the only non-digital activity I do, other than my daily chores such as cooking and bathing.

Self-care is very important to me and I regularly take time to unwind, but even my go-to activities of choice—reading and listening to music—involve digital devices. I read on my Kindle and use Spotify on my phone to listen to music.

I am almost always "plugged in" and it takes its toll on my well-being. I feel it mentally, physically and emotionally. My brain is overstimulated and I find it difficult to get to sleep at night. My eyes are dry, I get pains in my thumbs and wrists and my neck and shoulders are tight. Emotionally, I feel drained by the negative, derogatory, offensive and fear-based content shared online.

A lot of the time, the online world overwhelms me and I have to disconnect which is why I believe a digital fast is essential and a valuable addition to any self-care practice.

How mindfulness can help you achieve job satisfaction.fw article
humancellintegrity.com

How mindfulness can help you achieve job satisfaction

Along with meditation, superfoods and Hygge, mindfulness is something that has become increasingly popular, with companies such as Google, Goldman Sachs and Starbucks using it.

Mindfulness is about learning to connect to the present moment. It can help us to enjoy life and understand ourselves and others better.

However, when you’re elbow deep in the reality of office politics, unrealistic deadlines and insufficient resources it can be hard to see how mindfulness can help you to achieve job satisfaction.

But, according to Ellen Langer, a Harvard professor of psychology, mindfulness can reduce stress, unlock creativity and boost performance – all factors that contribute to fulfilment at work.

subjectivityuk.com

How to Embrace Vulnerability, Unleash Your Full Potential and Live Out Loud

Vulnerability was a sign of weakness

I was independent, successful in the eyes of society and I'd pretty much achieved most of it on my own.

I was self-sufficient, I didn't rely on anyone and I liked it that way.

It worked.

No-one to let me down.

No-one taking credit for my accomplishments or telling me that I owed them anything.

Me, myself and I.

Another one of my mantras which intensified when Beyonce co-signed my sentiments!

Me, myself, and I--that's all I got in the end

That's what I found out

And it ain't no need to cry; I took a vow that from now on

I'm gon' my own best friend

I agreed fully.

People can't be trusted. They will always let you down or disappoint you, eventually leaving you on your own anyway, so why bother letting my guard down at all.

That was my firm belief.

blackgirlinom.com

Uncovering My Lack of Self-Worth and Making Peace With My Most Authentic Self

I have a confession to make. I've been hiding out for years. Scared. Petrified to be my authentic self. Unable to show up and share my awesomeness with the world.

I know I have skills. I know I am a contribution to many people in my life. I know I can inspire, support and add value to others. I know this because I demonstrate it daily, in all areas of my life. I advise friends and family. I write blog posts about personal growth, wellbeing and other topics. I'm qualified and have experience in multiple sectors. People pay me for my skills. But I also know that I'm only tapping into a tiny percentage of my true potential.

Like most, I spend much of my time online and I follow a lot of people who are doing what I want to do, are where I want to be and who are living a life I envision for myself on a daily basis. And I don't envy them because they inspire me. It fills me with so much joy and excitement to see other women who look like me and have similar backgrounds, living life on their terms.

But then, I get frustrated. I ask myself: Why aren't you doing the same? What's stopping you? And, I get annoyed with myself because I can't actually come up with a valid answer. Excuses, yes. But a valid reason, no. Then I get angry.

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melanmag.com

Refresh Your Life With a Good Spring Clean

March 20th is the vernal equinox, also known as the official first day of spring.

Spring is the season of new beginnings and fresh starts and traditionally, at this time of year, we give our homes a spring clean to clear clutter, freshen up and air out any stale, dark energy from winter. But, you can also take this opportunity to spring clean your life.

SPRING CLEANING YOUR MIND

During the winter months, it can be easy to fall into bad habits and routines but with the days warming up and getting brighter, it’s time to take a fresh look at how we’re taking care of our mind, body and spirit.

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melanmag.com

Self-Love is the Key to a Better You

The occasion of Valentine’s Day often acts as a reminder for people to express their love for someone special. We instinctively think of our partners and lovers, but how many of you think of yourself whenever you hear the words ‘someone special’?

I’m guessing, not very often and it’s time to change that.

This Valentine’s Day and beyond, why not act like you matter and show yourself some love with the following six gifts?

Lucky ladybird e1487322687561 article
fpcomms.co.uk

Four Reasons to Enter Business Awards

Supporting corporations, businesses and entrepreneurs who feel marginalised or invisible to their target audience is a core goal of FP Comms.

One way for emerging brands to raise their visibility is to enter business awards.

Business awards recognise the achievements of businesses across a broad range of industries and categories, giving you numerous opportunities to enter throughout the year.

However, the application process for each award can be time-consuming, therefore it is important to weigh up the time, effort and cost required to enter against the benefits you can gain.

Entering the right business award is time well spent and can benefit your business in the following ways:

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lasmorenasdeespana.com

How To Create Your Own Travel Budget

Do you know there are people in the world who don't own a passport? Knowing this fills me with sadness and anxiety because I can't imagine what life would be like if I never travelled. That being said, I know the reason many people don't travel is due to the cost. But creating a pre-travel budget can help anyone who wants to make travel part of their life. Travel expenses do add up and can vary dramatically depending on your intended destination but there are ways to bring the costs down to meet your own budget.

Where you stay and how you travel will influence the cost of your trip so get clear on your priorities and what matters to you then allocate your budget accordingly. There will be a huge difference between the cost to stay in a hostel and the price of staying in a 4* hotel. Likewise, flying often costs more than coach or train and local buses are normally cheaper than using taxis to get around. When creating a pre-travel budget, here are the main expenses to consider:

Beautiful calm young woman having morning coffee article
YouQueen Magazine

5 Positive Ways To Start Your Day

Whether you have a good day or a bad day depends on you and how you choose to begin each day. Adopting a positive morning routine can help you to reduce stress, improve focus and increase productivity.

Every day is filled with endless opportunities, but starting your day on 5 hours sleep, no breakfast and a to-do list as long as your arm can make it difficult to be open to and aware of those opportunities.
And when you’re feeling exhausted or dreading the day ahead, it can be easy to forget that you have the power to influence the outcome of each day.

How do you start your day?

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thatgirlcookshealthy.com

5 REASONS TO LOVE QUINOA

Quinoa has been considered a superfood for many years now.

2013 was even declared “International Year of Quinoa” by The United Nations General Assembly because they believe Quinoa can play an important role in eradicating hunger, malnutrition and poverty due to its nutritional content.

However, there has been a lot of contention surrounding so-called superfoods. Many are sceptical about whether foods labelled as “super” actually provide the health benefits they claim.

6 fun ways to practice spanish in london friendly spanish article
friendlyspanish.com

6 Fun Ways to Practice Spanish in London - Friendly Spanish

With these 6 fun ways to practice Spanish in London, not only you can improve your use of the Spanish language, you will also meet native Spanish speakers and people like you who are passionate about Spanish culture and the language.

6 Fun Ways to Practice Spanish in London

1. Attend a Cookery Class

Food is a big deal in the Spanish and Latin culture so why not practice your Spanish whilst learning to cook like a local.

Cookery School offers a one-day class where you'll learn to cook authentic Spanish food such as a variety of tapas, a traditional paella and regional desserts.

With Try My Kitchen, you can spend 1.5 hours practising your Spanish whilst making tapas. They also offer classes where you can learn to prepare paella as well as Spanish cookery classes that can take place in the comfort of your own home.

2. Eat Out

Of course, you can also enjoy Spanish cuisine without doing any of the hard work.

London is bursting with restaurants and when it comes to Spanish and Latin options, you're spoilt for choice.

You can also indulge in delicious Spanish food at two of London's markets, Borough and Exmouth.

Food festivals can also be great places to try authentic Spanish food and practice your Spanish phrases.

Bokitla article
afrocks.com

36 UK Black Owned Businesses You Absolutely Need In Your Life In 2017

2016 could be considered a pretty bleak year for people of colour after Brexit and the US presidential situation.

However, it wasn’t all bad as we saw the hashtag #UKBlackOwnedBusinesses trending on Twitter and the launch of the award-winning platform Brands of Colour.

Black people are tired of investing their money into brands and businesses that do not represent or consider them and as a result, UK Black businesses are finally getting the spotlight they deserve.

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lasmorenasdeespana.com

How to Make (And Keep) New Year's Resolutions

So here we are in a new year.

And let me guess, new year, new you right?

How's that working out for you?

Have you managed to stick to your new year's resolutions? Chances are you're already wondering how to keep New Year’s resolutions and struggling to stick to the ones you set not so long ago. I can totally relate, and evidently so can many others because statistics show that only 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolution.

During the lead up to New Year's Day, we're surrounded by talk of resolutions.

We think of the unhappy situations we’re planning to leave behind, all of the bad habits we’re going to give up and make a list of all the positive changes we are going to make. New Year’s Eve we celebrate and we're filled with optimism. New Year's Day, many of us are recovering, but feeling good about the year ahead. Then, we return to work, life goes on and before we know it, we fall right back into life as it was on December 30th.

Despite our best intentions, the challenge of changing an aspect of our life is often too much for us to commit to long term, especially if we cannot see immediate results.

For a number of years I set resolutions and year after year I failed to stick to them.

Each year I thought I'd cracked it. I became more intentional about the resolutions I set. I was very specific and made them measurable. I shared my resolutions with friends and family in an attempt to hold myself accountable. I made my resolutions realistic and achievable within the year using the resources I had or could have available to me. But even after doing all these things, I still struggled.

Then two years ago I discovered a free online mini end of year program called Unravelling by Susannah Conway. It takes you through a process of reviewing the year that is coming to an end and then planning the year ahead.

This is teamed with another free mini program also by Susannah Conway called Find Your Word - and this has transformed the way I approach New Year's resolutions. An alternative approach to New Year's resolutions. Now, I no longer set goals-based resolutions. Instead I choose a word or theme for my year which focuses on how I want to feel and experience life each day of the year.

What I found with the traditional approach to New Year's resolutions was that they felt like something I should do, rather than that I wanted to do.

They always seemed to focus on something I'd failed to do or achieve the previous year, which immediately put me in a negative space of feeling inadequate, before I'd even started the New Year.

Additionally, the traditional approach to New Year’s resolutions can feel quite restrictive. I.e. go to the gym twice a week. What is the actual purpose or motivation here? To lose weight? Increase body confidence? Have more energy? What if I want to increase my body confidence and stay fit, but I don't really enjoy going to the gym, but I don't realise this until 5 weeks into the New Year?

The moment I stop going, I fail my New Year's resolution.

With my alternative approach, if my theme for the year is to increase my body confidence, I can try the gym and if I don't enjoy that, I could go to a burlesque class a friend just happens to mention when I complain about the gym. Or, I could work with a style coach or completely change the way I wear my hair, and that could give me exactly what I need. Not only does this approach give you the flexibility to respond to real life, I feel that it also focuses on long-term sustainable change.

It gives you a method that enables you to integrate that resolution as a way of life.