I am so incredibly excited to finally be releasing the first issue of Zest For Life. I want to thank all of our followers for their kind words and dedication, you can now download the winter issue straight to your laptop, tablet and phone. Click on the front cover above and enjoy a sixty page positive lifestyle magazine with articles on Travel, Lifestyle, Health & Wellbeing. Read your spring horoscopes for 2016, be inspired by Zest For Life’s favourite quotations and try out two of our favourite breakfast recipes.
If there is one thing I have learnt from this experience it’s this – never give up on something that you want to do. There were so many moments that I wanted to give up on this project but my passion for creating something positive for everyone to enjoy pushed me to finish it. I want to thank everyone who has supported Zest For Life and I really hope that you enjoy reading the first issue and pass it on to your family and friends.
We’ve all been there. Having a bad time at work? Missing someone that you won’t see for a while? Going through a difficult breakup? When you’re feeling low and the weeks ahead look bleak, it can feel like there’s nothing to be happy about. We get ready to trudge through the up and coming days, determined to rush and get it all over and done with, but with a change of perspective it’s possible to power through and, dare I say it, even enjoy the rough patch approaching. So, without further ado, here are five tips to help you do what needs to be done:
Focus – the most important thing to remember is that all things must pass. Life might seem bad at the moment, but in a few weeks, even months, whatever it is will be over. Time cannot stand still and so inevitably, things will get better.
Angles – think about what it is that’s getting you down. Is it possible to alter your perspective? Look at the next month of your life as a challenge. If you can get through this, you can do anything! Assert your strength by summoning your own positivity.
Excitement – Nothing fun approaching? Create your own fun! Make plans with friends and organise a party or night out. Filling up your social calendar is an excellent way to, not only pass the time, but also to enjoy it. On the other hand, you don’t need to be a social butterfly to find something to look forward to. Read one of the books you’ve been meaning to get into for months, or crack on with that Netflix series everyone is talking about. Even the promise of feasting on a favourite meal can be the small glimmer of light that we need to get through those more difficult days.
Enjoy – When we’re stuck in life it’s important to savour rare moments of happiness. The activities are intended as a distraction, but they are also moments that are passing you by. Don’t spend your time dwelling on the bad things. It’s not enough to simply make plans, you have to actually enjoy them. Whatever you’re doing, do it properly. If you’re out with friends, don’t sit in the background, engage in conversation – after all, time flies when you’re having fun.
Action – sometimes it isn’t just a rough patch, it’s a rough year, or even longer. If times have been testing it’s best to assess the situation and deal with it. Ongoing stress and misery can lead to poor health and a host of other emotional problems and that usually means it’s time to make a change. You need to do whatever it takes to make the sun come out again and that means putting yourself first.
Accepting that the future isn’t bright can feel like admitting defeat, but it’s actually a great time to test yourself. By taking a difficult week/month and turning it into a more enjoyable one we allow ourselves to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and better yet, realise that maybe we’re not in such a rush to reach that glow after all.
When we see homeless people on the streets, we think of all the possibly ways we could help them and one teenager from Ireland has done just that.
15 year-old Emily Duffy from Ireland has invented a rain and fireproof sleeping bag to the homeless, not only that, she is also hiring homeless people to manufacture them. After living rough for a day on Dublin’s streets, experiencing a homeless life to raise money for charity, Emily knew she had to do something.
Duffy’s invention, dubbed “Duffily Bags,” have a highly reflective, fire retardant and waterproof shell. Velcro straps replace the usual zippers, allowing the user to get in and out more easily. The bags are currently being produced by former homeless people now earning 10 euros an hour at the Mendicity Institution – a homeless service centre in Dublin.
I hope Emily’s invention and story serves as inspiration that we can all play our part in helping the homeless in our community. What did you think of Emily’s invention? Watch the video of how the sleeping bag works below:
Many people attending yoga classes today do so for the physical benefits. Often the additional effects of calming the mind and tuning the inner processes of the body are an added bonus. This differs greatly from how yoga students in Eastern cultures practice yoga; as a way of life not just an hourly class for three times a week. The popularity and growth of yoga in the UK has moved along at a rapid pace with new studios and styles of classes appearing. There’s something for everyone’s tastes and personal preferences from sweating it all out in a hot power class to soothing and unwinding in a gentle restorative class.
Stretching or calisthenics may look similar to yoga on the surface but delving deeper below the initial impressions and appearances there is a great difference. Calisthenics are an aerobic workout of stretches and movements, such as bending, jumping, swinging, twisting or kicking, using only one’s body weight for resistance, designed to challenge the cardiovascular system and burn energy to build strength and flexibility. Routines are often used as a warm up before any sporting activity. The movements are performed in a rhythmical way, often to music, with a smooth transition between each move. They are designed to get the body warmed up and the heart rate increased ready for intense, high energy sport or exercise.
Whilst yoga increases muscular strength and flexibility the practice doesn’t stop with the physical effects. Yoga (meaning to join together or union) aims to integrate the body, mind and spirit using physical postures, the breath and the mind. Yoga goes beyond purely burning calories and toning the body. Yoga is a philosophy, a spiritual path and moral and ethical framework. Yoga is an examination of the self or soul. The philosophy behind yoga explains human existence in terms of energy – physical energy in the body from cellular processes, mental energy that is sensory, emotional and intelligence and spiritual energy or prana that is distributed throughout the body and connects the physical to the mental and mental to the spiritual.
The practice of yoga allows the body to fine tune its performance and for the physiological systems to function correctly. Yoga postures (asana) and breathing practices (pranayama) allow the body to open up in certain ways, sending blood, energy and other fluids are sent to the muscles and organs. Asana and pranayama are the foundations of yoga that link the body to the mind and the soul. They work together to provide a basis for providing the body what it needs perform at its best. Both of these practices are seen as a foundation to prepare the body and mind for meditation and moving closer to connecting with the soul and your true self.
A regular yoga practice has many health benefits for both body and mind such as reduced blood pressure, lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, reduced body fat, improved cognitive function, better mood regulation and emotional stability, increased flexibility and a better ability to manage chronic pain. These benefits pave the way for good health, improved emotional wellbeing and that sense of wanting to delve in to something a little deeper. That spiritual, soulful side of yoga that has a way of working its way in to your practice and daily activities. As one of the most influential yoga teachers, BKS Iyengar once stated ” Yoga is a light that once lit, will never dim.”