How Depression Affects Your View of the World

Written by Salina Jivani

You can’t get out of bed.
You’ve lost interest in hobbies.
Happiness seems to escape you.

If any of these sound familiar, you’re likely suffering from depression—and that can affect you. Badly.

Here are just a few of the ways the dreaded “D” word can transform your outlook on life, leaving you a shell of your former self.

You let go of routine appointments
The dentist, your manicurist, and even your hairdresser are a thing of the past for the depressed. But even simple things like making your hair, or caring for your appearance and hygiene don’t happen because they seem like huge chores you no longer have sufficient energy for, or can accomplish with ease.

 

To-do lists are pointless
You used to be a beast with to-do lists, zapping items off at record-breaking speed. But all of a sudden, you don’t know where your to-do list is, let alone what’s on it. You simply lack the motivation to do anything, because nothing seems worthwhile. If this disregard carries into your work responsibilities, it’s likely your declining performance will catch the eye of your colleagues or manager.

 

You push everyone away
One of the most painful things about depression is that it transforms relationships…for the worse. You might find yourself swinging between extremes of irritability or anger with the drop of a hat. Maintaining relationships with even your most favorite people may become increasingly difficult and require a lot more energy than you feel you have. Soon, you might find yourself distancing yourself…from everyone, because it’s easier than facing them.

Depression is a serious illness that can have long-term, devastating repercussions if it remains untreated. Seek counseling, try exercising or consider self-help practices. If your depression worsens, see a doctor. When it comes to depression, ignorance is definitely not bliss.

3 Foods That Make Your Child Sharper

Written by Salina Jivani

Homework, soccer, tutoring lessons, piano practice. What don’t parents do to ensure their kids a bright, promising future? While extracurricular activities can help build a child’s confidence and intelligence, most parents miss out on another key component that can effectively help foster a healthy, sharp mind in their children…a healthy diet.

 

Here are three foods that are proven to cultivate sharper minds and more intelligent kids.

Almonds
Almonds are great for kids because they contain fatty acids and are also extremely rich in protein, which is great for brain cell repair. Also, almonds are proven to improve your child’s cognitive functions, which equals improved memory.

Fish
There’s nothing fishy about fish being great for the mind. Salmon and mackerel have tons of Omega 3 fatty acids—which are prime material for a child’s brain because they keep memory sharp, prevent mental skills from declining and have a great dose of Vitamin D (especially handy in winter months when you’re child’s more likely indoors than out).

 

Eggs
If you’re looking for an all-around wholesome food, you can never go wrong with good ol’ eggs. Egg yolks in particular contain amazing nutrients that promote healthy communication between cells and improve memory function. The best part about eggs is that they can be cooked in many different ways, catering to even the pickiest of eaters.

 

Diet lays the groundwork for your child’s success…so don’t neglect it!

 

 

How to be a Gentleman When Your Woman’s Got the Monthly Blues


Written by Salina Jivani

Call it Aunt Flo or the punctuation at the end of a sentence, a period is a tough time of month…for both a woman and her guy pal. If you’re wondering how you can make it through it on a good note, we’ve got some tips up our wings…err…sleeves. And they come directly from women who know what it’s like to fight that monthly beast.

 

Be considerate

Understand that her hormones are going crazy…and all she really wants is for you to be sensitive to her aches, pains and emotions. Massage her shoulders, rub her feet, cuddle her. In other words, do whatever she wants. After all, you’re supposed to be there through thick and thin, right? Being there for her through her period is not even the tip of the iceberg, honey!

 

Don’t run and hide

If high emotions make you jittery, you might be tempted to clam up or stay away. But that’s not going to make her feel any better. She needs you, so hold her and comfort her. And let her know that you’re there.

 

Pamper her
Women usually crave sweet munchies like chocolate, cookies or a tub of their favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s. Why not get on her good side by hitting the store when you know her cycle’s about to start? Not only will it help her feel comforted, but it’ll also get you in her good graces…never a bad thing.

Periods are no fun…and it sucks that they’re not a one-time battle. But remember that all she really needs is you and some extra special loving. Do just that, and you’ll be considered a gentleman—and one she’ll appreciate.

How to Be a Kick-Ass Communicator

Written By Salina Jivani

You may be intelligent, but do you ever find yourself faltering when it comes to communicating your thoughts well? Unfortunately, not being able to articulate your thoughts or relay your main point in an effective way means you’re missing out on sharing your brilliance. After all, great thoughts have to be articulated to be beneficial to others. Here are three simple ways you can be a top-notch communicator…just like you’re a top-notch everything else.

Present the problem

The first few moments of any conversation are golden—because it’s when people are paying attention the most. So get to the point right away and tell them what exactly the issue or main point is. In other words—be quick and brief.

Paint a picture

People love stories—give them one. Sharing an anecdote or a colorful example that reiterates your main point is a great way to keep your audience listening in rapture and drive home that point further.

Invite feedback

Once you’re through presenting your main point and sharing an example or supporting story, you can tie up with a quick sentence reiterating your main point. And then, be sure to let your audience contribute by inviting them to offer feedback and thoughts.

Communicating is a two-way street. By following these three simple steps, not only are you delivering your message in an engaging, brief way, but you’re also keeping the gates of communication open by allowing your audience to chime in—which is really what communicating is all about.

3 Things You Shouldn’t Do Right After a Fight

Written by Salina Jivani

They say men are from Mars and women are from Venus. And maybe they, whoever “they” are, are right, because it certainly can be difficult to understand the opposite sex, leading to frustration, arguments, and, yes, even fights. Whether bickering is a pretty regular occurrence in your day-to-day life with your partner or not, fights are inevitable, here are three big-time no-nos to avoid once the fireworks have died down.

Reject their apology

If your partner is gathering the guts and courage to dish out an apology—no matter how wrong they are—take it. You don’t have to apologize in return, and, yes, maybe you’re still a wee bit mad, but do not throw their apology back in their face…unless you’re hoping for WWII.

 

Act like it never happened

The worst thing you can do is nearly rip each other’s heads off to only moments later act like nothing ever even happened. Shoving your fight under the proverbial rug will only create for more tension and unresolved disputes—both of which are never healthy in a relationship and will either resurface later on or create an unsurmountable wedge between the two of you. Learn to talk things out so that you know better for next time. After all, relationships are about growing, not repeating past mistakes.

Stay angry

Giving your partner the cold shoulder or throwing sarcastic jabs his or her way after the fight is over is not the way to go. Instead, if you feel that strongly about what’s happened, talk it out in a healthy, adult-like way, and let the anger out.

 

Fights are tough, and forgiving can be even tougher. But in the end, forgiveness is the only way you’ll be able to move forward in any relationship and build a stronger, better you.

3 Ways You’re Preventing Your Child From Growing Into a Leader

Written by Salina Jivani

Our dream as parents is to see our children become wildly successful. So what do we do? We prod them, encourage them, hover over them and try to get them to be the very best, most intelligent, perfect, wise little humans they can be. But in the process of making them their best, could it be that you’re doing the worst? Here are three signs that indicate you’re crippling your children rather than helping cultivate them into leaders.

 

You praise them too easily

We’re so eager to encourage our children that sometimes, we just don’t know when enough is…too much. Yes, praise is important—when it’s well deserved. But when your child does simple, ordinary things that aren’t truly praise-worthy, you’re really setting them up for failure by lowering the standards of how much harder or smarter they need to work to elicit a true, well-deserved praise from you. Don’t let praise come too easily, or they’ll expect it just as easily from everyone else or will not work as hard to earn it.

 

You don’t let them take chances

While it’s important to set guidelines for your children (no monkey bars—you’re too young!), let them sometimes venture beyond the boundaries you’ve set to take reasonable risks on their own. They’ll only know what they’re capable of when they spread their wings to try new things…even if you’re not quite sure they’re ready to go without training wheels just yet. Let them try…they might surprise themselves—and you.

 

You save them too quickly

It’s tempting to swoop in like a mother hen and save your child from difficult situations, tough kids, even from eating that French fry that you know is too hot. Because sometimes the most effective lessons come from experiencing our own mistakes and no matter how much it may break your heart to do it, sometimes you just have to let them learn on their own before you go rushing in to embrace them.

 

Leaders are trained young, so make sure you focus early on leadership skills if you want to foster these skills in your child and see them benefit from them much later down the road.

Beyoncé’s New Campaign Partnership Will Bring Clean Water to Africa

Image source: Beyoncé.com

Although Beyoncé recently gave birth to her new twins, she is still hard at work making a difference for the world around her. In a new partnership campaign with the UNICEF( United Nation Children’s Fund) , the music moguls Bey Good Foundation  has started the #BeyGood4BurundiCampaign, which is a new initiate to bring clean water to Burundi. Burundi, which is one of the smallest, poorest nations in Africa, has more than 2 million who people spend more than 30 minutes a day doing something that most Americans take for granted everyday, trying to get clean water for bathing and drinking.

Beyoncé.com stated that with the  help of supporters “nearly half a million people will gain access to safe water, as BEYGOOD4BURUNDI and UNICEF will support building water supply systems for healthcare facilities and schools, and the drilling of boreholes, wells and springs to bring safe water to districts.” This partnership will be a continuation of the efforts her family and company Parkwood Entertainment have been making to have an impact on Burundi.

Ivy McGregor, ‎Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Relations at Parkwood Entertainment, who traveled to Burundi earlier this year stated,  “In Burundi I saw myself, my sisters and my mother in the strength of the women and young sisters traveling miles to carry water for their families. Today young girls in the ‘Heart of Africa’ are given the gift of hope for a brighter tomorrow through our multi-year partnership with UNICEF and commitment to support safe water access solutions.”

Beyoncé’s new partnership initiative just goes to show that no matter how busy or successful you are in life, you can always make time for the things that are valuable to you the most.

Insanely Affordable International Vacations for Americans

Written by Salina Javini

Vacationing in a new city is thrilling. But it also can wreak havoc on your pocketbook. The expensive tickets, long flights and all the meals in between can leave you feeling pretty certain that by the time you actually do reach your destination, you might just not have enough mula in your pocket enjoy your vacay time. But book these three foreign vacation destinations and both you and your pocketbook are sure to be pleased.

 

Czech Republic

Visit the beautiful city of Prague and snag a one-bedroom apartment for as low as $30 a night. This lovely, small city is filled with great dining and touristing spots, all within walking distance—so you don’t even have to worry about coming out of pocket for transportation. Plus, a lot of their main attractions, such as Old Town and Charles Bridge are absolutely free!

 

India

With the U.S. dollar topping over 60 rupees here currently, you can get by on as little as $25 a day, if you wanted, in cities such as Goa. Cheap transportation, like rickshaws and buses, are all around and can hail you an authentic, traditional, and affordable experience, with rides under $2, depending on distance and city. Even trinkets or souvenirs for your favs can be bought for mere dollars or even pennies on the dollar from roadside vendors or smaller shops.

 

Bulgaria

If you’re looking for a fabulous lesser-known getaway, Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, is your escape to paradise. Get manicures, pedicures, and haircuts combined for under $20, plus enjoy a delicious, filling three-course meal for under $20, too. Visit monuments, bars, and seaside stretches for cheap while relishing your escape from reality.

 

Explore other foreign locations whose currency or affordable rates can work in your favor and alleviate some of the pain for your wallet…and don’t forget to check out ways to save on flights through travel rewards credit cards and travel points!

 

3 Things you Should Never Wear to a Wedding

Written by Salina Jivani

It’s officially wedding season, which means getting dolled up in your favorite jewelry, gorgeous dresses and envied collection of shoes. But while you’re busy glitzing up, make sure don’t lose sight of basic attire etiquette by committing one of these three wedding guest wardrobe faux pas.

 

Don’t wear white…or black

Yes, you’ve heard it a million times, but wearing white to a wedding is a definite no-no—that’s the color reserved for the bride and only the bride. Don this color and you’re definitely going to be labeled a notorious attention seeker. At the same time, don’t wear black—the color of sadness and grief (though it might be tempting if the groom happens to be your much missed ex-Romeo). Instead, opt for safe shades in between such as pastels and other solid, vibrant colors.

 

Keep your décolletage decent

If your neckline is so low you risk exposing your goodies or inadvertently stealing the guests’ attention from the bride, reconsider your ensemble. While cleavage is sexy and even welcomed when you’re out on a romantic date with your sig fig, it’s unseemly and frowned upon when you put it on display at a wedding.

 

Avoid uncomfortable shoes

Shoes are a woman’s best friend, but wear an uncomfortable pair to a wedding where you’re itching to party it down or required to walk a lot, and they’ll quickly become your worst enemy. While donning sexy shoes to a wedding isn’t a sin, doing so at the expense of your lovely toes can be a pain in the foot—pun intended.

Still iffy about your attire? To play it safe follow this simple rule: Don’t wear anything that will make you stand out unfavorably against the bride and most certainly don’t compromise your comfort just to look good. Because, yes, beauty is sometimes painful, but weddings are meant to be fun!

5 Toxic Personalities to Avoid Like the Flu

Written by Salina Jivani

You’re walking down the street, trying to find that restaurant you’re supposed to meet your friend at, and you see several people around you. Ever notice how you have a tendency to feel more inclined to approach one person versus another? No, it’s not in your head—people give out different vibes. And some people don’t emit such great ones.

You may notice that your best friend just gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling while your evil aunt from Tennessee really is just plain evil. Here are five personality types you should definitely keep away from to avoid the negativity and feeling of ill will from permeating your life.

The green giant of envy

Jealousy is an intrinsic human trait we all experience every now and again, but overly envious people just don’t seem to catch a break from it. You know this person because they’re constantly eyeing what others have, upset that they can’t flaunt something equivalent or better. And they’re never content with anything they get—no matter how great it may be, because they always spot greener pastures elsewhere in someone else’s backyard. Keeping company with envious people may rub off on you and, eventually, you might find yourself exhibiting some of the same traits as them. So steer clear of such individuals and don’t look back.

The manipulator

We’ve all known someone who’s super nice to us…with the caveat that they need some favor or another in return…just innocently or out of thin air. But you know better than that. Manipulators are very calculated—they know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. And their list of favors is never ending. The moment you stop acquiescing to their requests, they’ll drop you faster than a dead bug on a fly swatter.

The damsel in distress

A great and true friend is someone who’s there during times of difficulty, but if you find yourself being a great friend a little too often, it might be because your pal is a self-perpetrated victim. These people always want to whine and complain about life’s curveballs, but they never want to do anything to help themselves past them, instead opting to make other people feel sorry at their completely “helpless” situation. Instead of trying to prod them to take action, it’s probably just easier to walk away because once a person is set in his ways…well, you know how that story goes.

The egotist

You’ve probably come across someone who constantly sees everything you do as an opportunity to one up you. Being in company of someone like that is like tiptoeing on eggshells, always having to weigh your thoughts and what you say aloud, wondering how it will be received and possibly rebutted or outdone. People who constantly need to feel superior to others usually have many deep-rooted confidence problems. You don’t want to be the butt of their frustrations or unresolved issues, so it’s better just to avoid their kind of personality altogether.

The moody

Everyone has ups and downs, so we understand that life is more like a roller coaster than a skating rink. However, moody people have no true reason for their sudden shift in temperament other than they simply feel like going from one extreme to the other. In other words, there’s often no rhyme, reason or logic behind their temperament. And people with this kind of personality are dangerous and extremely draining because you don’t know what can set them off and you don’t know how to stop a happy moment from becoming a terrible one. To prevent yourself from feeling exhausted and using too much mental energy on these people, it’s better to just dump them.

Remember that while toxic people do exist, not everyone is toxic. There are plenty of beautiful people out there who have minor flaws (but don’t we all?!) so when possible, try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt instead of automatically trying to shove them into one of the above categories. Otherwise, the world can fast become a boring place.