Previous Month's Articles

The Best Productivity Tips for Business Owners

It’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed, but running a business requires self-control. Follow these tips to help manage your work and keep yourself accountable.....

6 Health Benefits of Sunlight

While we have been stuck indoors with lockdown, it is important for us to remember to still get out into the sunshine as often as possible. Not only does sunshine lift our spirits, but it improves our overall health too.....

How Parenting Stress can affect you and your children

The demands placed on parents are very high. Parenting stress may damage your well-being, and it may alter the course of your child's development.....

7 Work-Life Balance Tips for Female Entrepreneurs

Balancing a career with other life priorities can be difficult, especially if you’re a business owner. As women, this task can be even more overwhelming as society expects us to additionally take on domestic and family responsibilities.....

Hydrate your Health with IV Vitamin Therapy

IV Vitamin Therapy can improve your health and reduce illnesses. Adding high doses of vitamins directly into your blood stream can help to reduce fatigue and low energy levels, as well as improve concentration, moods and sleep cycles.....

What Does It Mean If You Wake Up at The Same Time Every Night?

Waking up in the middle of the night is normal. Most of us experience “mini-awakenings” without even noticing them. If you frequently wake up at the same time every night, this could be a message from your guardian angel, to look deeper.....

Margaret Hirsch - building a legacy and empowering women throughout Southern Africa

Hirsch’s was not created overnight. When Margaret lost her job as a receptionist and pregnant with her first child, she and Allan needed to plan for survival.....

Why Walnut Resembles the Brain It Nourishes

Nothing could be more beautiful or poetic than when a healing food actually looks like the organ system it nourishes and heals in the body. These phenomenon are described as part of the "doctrine of signatures," a concept at least 500 years old.....

My personal lessons from 2020

An excerpt from Valerie Prasetyo's article on personal lessons learnt. Hopefully it can help you to take time and reflect on the past year as well and build your own future vision for 2021 in a more effective and inspiring way.....

5 Free Marketing Ideas for Your Business

Being an entrepreneur means you don’t always have a big budget at your disposal. Here are some tips for five free marketing tools to use to help boost your business.....

The Many Healing Properties of Turmeric

Turmeric has long been used in traditional medicine and it is quite possibly the most effective nutritional supplement in existence, with a wealth of health benefits.....

Ditch the New Year’s Resolutions – Rather, Reset for a New Life

Find that thing that you are obsessed about and then strive to make that your life's purpose, not just a simple new year's resolution.....

“How can I inspire anyone if I am hiding? Come together. Work together. Brag together. Be powerful together.”
 
Top 5 Hacks for A Budding Superwoman

Women play many roles in their daily lives. We are loving mothers, adoring wives, dedicated daughters, driven professionals, and caring mentors to name a few. Success in all these sections of our life depends on keeping a healthy balance between them.....

Is Your Handbag Ruining Your Posture?

Your handbag posture can have profound effects on your muscles and joints. Causing neck, shoulder, arm and back pain, tingling in your hands and extreme headaches. If continued, it could result in your gait becoming unbalanced....

Celebrating With Minimalism - Your Holiday Gift Guide

With everything that has happened this year, now more than ever is a time to celebrate connection with others. A time to focus on the gift of being together and cut back on unnecessary clutter....

Women - Conversations Make Our Businesses Better

Forums such as That’s Her Business provide an encouraging sisterhood where we can share lessons and have conversations about how to successfully intersect the various pillars in our lives....

How to Navigate A Healthy Breakup

The feelings that can come up during a breakup are so big that they can be difficult to navigate without losing yourself. Big rage, hurt, powerlessness, hopelessness, desire for revenge – all threatening to overwhelm us....

Are You Suffering from Lack Of Sleep?

Not only does lack of sleep make you feel grumpy, but sleep deprivation can also lead to serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes....

 
7 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Relationship

A strong relationship requires work and commitment from both parties. Even if you feel that you were made for each other, you’ll still get into arguments, and you’ll have to overcome challenges. Here are some important tips for nurturing your relationship....

The Importance of Bookkeeping for Your Small Business

Getting a bookkeeper on board is not a luxury - it’s an essential part of your small business. If you are not analysing your finances properly, you could be preventing your business from reaching its full potential....

Step into Your Garden - Health Is Closer Than You May Think!

While all types of gardening can be rewarding, herb gardening is fun and unique. Herbs are usually used for cooking and even beautifying products, but they also have important herbal ingredients which can be used for medicinal purposes....

 
Six Easy Ways To Empower Other Women

When women come together – great things happen. Together, we are stronger. You can start empowering other women right now. Here are six quick and easy things you can start doing right now to start building up the ladies around you....

How to Age Gracefully

“Aging gracefully” has often been used to describe women who choose to grow older without undergoing aesthetic procedures to help them maintain their looks. But “Aging gracefully” is NOT all about looks....

Boost Your Natural Immune System - Activate The Vagus Nerve

The stimulation of this nerve is tied to the reduction of cortisol, the amount of inflammation the immune system produces, and many other internal processes that shape human health....

 
“I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.”
What Would the Workplace Be Like Without Its Powerful Female Entrepreneurs?

Throughout history, women have made their mark in the workplace with extraordinary innovations and successes. We explore the history of their ascent.....

Period Pain is Not Normal – Stop Putting Up with It!

We have all heard the old adage that period pain and cramping are just one of things we must endure as a woman. However, this is untrue. Painful periods that impact your daily performance are not normal.....

The Delights of Being a Single Lady

One of the most important relationships you will have is with yourself. Being single gifts women with the freedom to learn, grow, and explore, without any of the guilt associated with taking time out for self-care....

 
Has COVID-19 had a Negative Impact on your Business?

COVID-19 has not only had a negative effect on our businesses, it has also been a true struggle on an emotional level....

Get Stuck In! The Art of Decluttering

How do you set yourself up for the task, without falling into despair? How do you do it effectively? Let’s discuss some decluttering tips and tricks....

Ditch the multi-vitamins and eat yourself healthy

Nutritional supplements don’t actually provide much (if any) additional health benefits if you’re already eating a well-balanced diet....

 
Knowing When to Walk Away from An Opportunity

The economy has been disrupted and you may feel a sense of panic, but saying ‘yes’ to every new opportunity that life presents to you, is not a sound professional strategy....

The Reality of Gender-based Violence in South Africa

There were over 8 000 calls made in the first week of lockdown, and even after the murder of Tshegofatso Pule, our leaders remain silent regarding gender-based violence....

Taking care of your Mental Health - allowing yourself to have a 'Good Cry'

Research has found that in addition to crying being self-soothing, the shedding of tears may also ease both physical and emotional pain. Why as adults do we stop crying.....

 
“The glass ceiling that once limited a woman’s career path has paved a new road towards business ownership, where women can utilize their sharp business acumen while building strong family ties.”
How to Reframe Networking so that it Makes Sense

Does the word networking fill you with fear? As women it is a primal survival instinct built into us to gather - relationships, stores and information.....

The Powerful Immune Boosting Role of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a clinically proven antiviral, so it an excellent way to boost your immune system - both for the seasonal flu and Covid-19....

Why Our Hustle Culture Can Be Toxic

With lockdown now eased a level, and the way slowly being paved for us to return to ‘normal’ – we can ask ourselves how healthy ‘normal’ was, and do we really want to return to that way of life? ....

 
Talking about Tererai Trent - “It is achievable!”

Tererai maintains that there is a massive, untapped, global resource in women. Women have the capacity to inspire, to create, to transform. ....

The link between pulmonary fibrosis and COVID-19

Some of the people who recover from the virus may have diminished lung capacity, as it can cause Pulmonary Fibrosis in the lungs....

The gift of Family Bonding

Let's turn off the tv, switch off the Wi-Fi, and spend some quality time together face-to-face. Below are some ideas of fun things to do....

 
Women in business – successful and unstoppable

In the last two decades more women than ever before have started their own businesses, overtaking their male counterparts....

Concerned about Coronavirus?

Despite the media frenzy (who love sensationalism) and worldwide panic, with marketers jumping onboard to take advantage of these fears, you can reduce your risk of catching the virus....

Children and the love of reading

The love of reading is the greatest gift any parent can give their child. What many parents don’t realise, however, is that enjoyment of reading is not automatic; it is learned by association...

 

6 Health Benefits of Sunlight

While we have been stuck indoors with lockdown, it is important for us to remember to still get out into the sunshine as often as possible. We are lucky enough to live in a country that is blessed with so much sunshine. Not only does sunshine lift our spirits, but it improves our overall health too.

The best-known benefit of sunlight is its ability to boost the body’s Vitamin D. Most cases of Vitamin D deficiency are due to lack of outdoor sun exposure. At least 1,000 different genes governing virtually every tissue in the body are now thought to be regulated by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25[OH]D), the active form of the vitamin, including several involved in calcium metabolism and neuromuscular and immune system functioning.*

1. Improve your sleep

Our bodies create a hormone called melatonin, which is critical to helping us sleep. Sunshine plays a role in regulating hormones and sleep patterns by affecting the melatonin circadian rhythm (sleeping and waking cycle).

Research indicates that with just an hour of natural light in the morning you will sleep better. Exposing yourself to sunshine regulates your circadian rhythm, so your body knows when to increase and decrease your melatonin levels. So, the more natural sunlight exposure you can get, the better your melatonin production will be at bedtime.

2. Reduces stress

Melatonin lowers stress reactivity, so being outside will help your body naturally regulate melatonin, helping to reduce your stress levels.

3. Maintains strong bones

One of the best (and easiest) ways to get Vitamin D is by being outside. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for bone health.

4. Helps keep your weight down

Getting outside in the morning sunshine for 30 minutes between 8-12 has been linked to weight loss. There of course could be other factors to this, but research suggests that there is a connection between early morning sunlight and weight loss.

5. Strengthens your immune system

Vitamin D also plays a critical role in your immune system, and with consistent exposure to sunlight, you can help strengthen it. A healthy immune system is necessary to keep your body overall healthy.

6. Fights off depression

As South Africans we are very outdoorsy people. All of us can agree that we do feel better when out in the sunshine. Sunshine boosts your body’s level of serotonin, which is a chemical that improves your mood and helps you stay calm and focused.

Article by Colette Carr
Image by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov | www.forbes.com
 

The Best Productivity Tips for Business Owners

Our days can often run away with us, but you can make the most of your day with these productivity tips. It’s easy to get distracted and overwhelmed, but running a business requires self-control. Follow these tips to help manage your work and keep yourself accountable.

1. Write Everything Down

Don’t forget about a meeting or task again! If you get into the habit of writing everything down, you’ll be more likely to remember what you need to do. Either keep a notepad with you at all times or email yourself reminders of what to add to your list once you are back at your desk.

2. Plan Ahead

You won’t gain respect if you constantly forget about meetings, phone calls, paying bills, etc. You can increase your productivity by holding yourself to a schedule. Using a planner can help you stick to deadlines and avoid procrastination. There are many online planners available, for example Doodle, OnceHub and Weekplan, to name a few.

3. Learn Self Control

As a business owner you will need to remove distractions and stay focused. This can be challenging, especially during lockdown when you may be working from home. Set yourself small task deadlines, and only allow yourself to take a break, for example check emails / phone, once that task is completed.

4. Make Productivity a Team Effort

Even if you are extremely productive, if your support team isn’t organised, things can still fall through the cracks. To ensure your staff are productive, hold weekly meetings, or bring in some productivity tools that will benefit them.

5. Store Important Information Securely

Struggling to find important documents is stressful and time consuming and losing them is even worse. Always keep sensitive information locked away. File your bills and other expense reports as soon as you receive them. By making organisation a habit, you’ll never risk misplacing something significant.

6. Change the Way You Work

Complete your most vital tasks first, so that once you’re finished, you’ll only have smaller duties left to finish. If you are able to start any assignments ahead of time, you’re pretty sure to finish on time.

Remember to account for day-to-day responsibilities when setting up your schedule each day. Even though simple tasks might not seem time consuming, they do add up in the end and could knock out your schedule.

7. Take Breaks

It is always key to make sure you aren’t overworking yourself. If you’re working around the clock, you’ll be more likely to burn out, which could affect the quality of your work. Taking time to rest actually increases your productivity and quality of work.

Article by Colette Carr
Image by Minh Pham
www.forafinancial.com
 

How Parenting Stress can affect you and your children

Parenting stress may damage your well-being, and it may alter the course of your child's development.

What is "parenting stress"? What do psychologists mean by the term?

According to psychologists, parenting stress is the distress you experience when you feel you just cannot cope as a parent. The demands being placed on you are too high. You do not have the resources to meet them (Deater-Deckard 1998; Holly et al 2019).

How does stress affect parenting, and what can we do about it?

If you are feeling overwhelmed, that does not make you an inferior parent. Perhaps you just have too much on your plate. Feelings of inadequacy, defensiveness and guilt make parenting stress even worse.

“If it threatens your ability to provide for your children - if it makes you worry about your ability to keep them safe, healthy, and thriving - then it can contribute to parenting stress.” - www.parentingscience.com

Parents often report higher levels of well-being than do childless adults, but only when their burdens are relatively light. Parents tend to be happier than the childless if their offspring have grown up and left the nest.

Parents also report greater well-being if they have higher levels of social and / or family support. Children with easy temperaments, in good physical and emotional health also alleviate parenting stress.

Tips for making life better as a parent

• Reach out for help and assistance. Parenting is a lot easier when you have friends, family, or neighbours on your side to lend a hand.
• Limit your exposure to negative thoughts and negative media. After a very brief exposure to negative emotional content, people tend to pay more attention to upsetting images, threatening words, and negative feedback (Cartwright-Hatton et al 2014; Forbes and Leitner 2014). They replay bad memories or worry about the future.
• Seek out pleasant social interactions.
• Pay attention to your child's smiles and seize opportunities to show physical affection.
• Reflect on happy memories.
• Read uplifting stories, share jokes.
• Little kids do things relatively slowly, so, if running late is driving you crazy, start earlier.
• Positive cognitive reappraisal can help us bounce back, and that may be why parents who use cognitive reappraisal are less likely to engage in counterproductive, over-reactive discipline (Lorber 2012).
• Get in touch with the more clear-headed, problem-solving side of your empathic nature.
• Poor sleep can make life difficult, so you want to fix sleep problems whenever you can. Getting resentful or worrying about your inability to function the next day is not going to help, as your kids are likely to sense your emotions, and this usually makes it harder for them to sleep.
• Help your kids cope with their own stresses. Teach siblings how to work out their differences by themselves. They are not born with an instinct for emotional self-regulation, they need to be taught this.
• Make time for inspiration.

What if our children are here to provide us a platform for our freedom?

Could it be that our children stretch us and that, as we contort, we often get riddled with uncomfortable feelings. Could it be that when they scream and sulk and are “naughty”, they are bringing us, as a parent, back to reality, back to life, back to ourselves? Could it be that they are possibly stretching us back to where we are and aligning us to the totality of an awakened and wiser adult?

Article by Lisa Carr
Image by Sergiu Vălenaș
 
 

7 Work-Life Balance Tips for Female Entrepreneurs

Balancing a career with other life priorities can be difficult, especially if you’re a business owner and so need to take on so much responsibility. As women, this task can be even more overwhelming as society expects us to additionally take on domestic and family responsibilities. Because of this skewed expectation to be perfect in all areas of our lives, women often feel more pressure to prove themselves in the workforce. This is a recipe for disaster which leads to stress and burnout. This year self-care is key! It is vital that you learn to set healthy boundaries so that you can live a balanced, healthy life.

Read our seven helpful tips to maintain a healthy work-balance, so that you can run a successful business while still having a happy and fulfilling personal life.

1. Set a Work Schedule and Stick to It

As a business owner - and especially if you work from home - it can be easy to work around the clock. Although it can be tempting to push yourself to exceed typical business hours, you should instead follow a reasonable schedule. Work out a set number for each day and stick to this – unplugging so that you have valuable time to spend with your family or by yourself. Overall, you should aim to be consistent and set boundaries in your professional life so that you don’t become overworked. A great way to do this is to have a separate business phone, so that you can switch it off during non-working hours.

2. Schedule a Free Day

Selecting one day a week in which your scheduled is un-bookable gives you the chance to complete important tasks without the interruption of phone calls, emails, and meetings. Although you may think it would be a bad thing to be away from colleagues or customers, being in isolation does actually increase productivity. By taking time to be alone and focus on your to-do-list, you can avoid distractions or procrastinating on high priority tasks and get through them quicker and with more attention and accuracy.

3. Adopt Healthy Habits

By looking after your physical and mental health with enough sleep, healthy eating, enough water, meditation/prayer, body movement (it doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise), listening to music and getting out in nature – you help to keep the balance, recharge, and thus work smarter and better when you are at the desk. By making simple healthy choices, you benefit your overall quality of life, while also steering away from many stress-related medical issues.

4. Outsource and Delegate

There simply aren’t enough hours in a day for you to run a full-time business, look after your children, cook three meals a day and still squeeze in a social life. To avoid being overworked, evaluate your list of necessary tasks, and decide which of these can be outsourced. Know your strengths. You can’t do everything, so focus on what you excel at and then delegate or outsource the rest. This can be done at work and at home. This will provide you with more free time to put towards your business or spend with your family.

5. Continually Evaluate Your Schedule

If 2020 taught us anything it is that nothing is permanent, so even when you begin to outsource tasks, you’ll still need to evaluate what’s working and what’s not. Life is always changing, and what worked six months ago may no longer work now. Make a note to evaluate your schedule at least every three months, in order to determine what needs adjusting – so that you are continuously finding ways to be more productive and enhance your work-life balance.

6. Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Women

Society has basically brainwashed us into constantly comparing and competing with other women. We are led to believe that every other woman is doing better than us (social media does not portray someone’s real messy life), and that we need to do better and be perfect. Comparison is a silent killer for women. As a female entrepreneur you may find yourself comparing your strengths, weaknesses, and needs to other entrepreneurs. Just because somebody else is up at 5am, doesn’t mean you have to be. If you feel that your own body requires more hours of sleep to function. Instead of comparing yourself to other women. Stay in your own lane. Focus on yourself and your own goals. When you start being compassionate to yourself, you’ll be surprised at how much more you can achieve.

7. Ask for Help

Many women have come to realise that having a support system (family, friends, That’s HER Business) is very helpful, and that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of combining our strengths. When running a business, don’t be afraid to ask a business partner or colleague to pitch in if needed. In your personal life, ask family, friends, other parents for help when you need it.

That’s HER Business is dedicated to celebrating and supporting women in business. If you need support in business or just to pick someone’s brain for advice - let us know and we will share this request with our network.

“Be gentle with yourself. Success is a journey and not usually manifested in the way you initially envision it. Ask for help often, find hobbies outside of building your business to refill your cup, and be a lifeline to other women doing the same when they need it.” - Judy Terry

Lastly, remember that a healthy work-life balance doesn’t just happen overnight. There is not a quick magic formula – it differs for everyone and will need some adjusting as you go along. So, it is important to allow yourself breathing room and compassion as you find your groove as to what works best for you.

Article by Colette Carr

Image by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production
 

Hydrate your Health with IV Vitamin Therapy

Together with healthy eating and exercise, IV Vitamin Therapy can improve your health and reduce illnesses with high doses of vitamins directly into your blood stream. IV Vitamin Therapy is an excellent and quick way (15 – 30 minutes), to reduce fatigue and boost your energy levels, as well as improve your concentration, moods and sleep cycles.

Jet Fuel

A vitamin cocktail which includes a high dose of vitamins that assists in balancing the body with electrolytes and fluids to boost your energy from within, strengthen your immune system and support your health conditions.

Jet Fuel can also be used as a muscle and fitness enhancement for athletes looking to support muscle efficiency, joint pain and experience faster recovery.

Vitamin C

A high dose of Vitamin C can promote wound healing, provide an antioxidant to prevent damage to cells, assist with the production of collagen (keeping skin strong and flexible), reducing the severity and duration of the common cold, by speeding up recovery.

Carnitine Fat Burner

This includes concentrated doses of the amino acid “Carnitine” which assists in the natural speeding up of fat burning and weight loss. Carnitine transports fatty acids into the mitochondria, where they are used up as energy. Not only does the Carnitine Fat burner IV promote weight loss, but it also prevents muscle damage, boosts brain functioning and regulates blood sugar levels.

Why should you consider IV Vitamin Therapy?
  • Sport recovery and added boost
  • Chronic and adrenal fatigue
  • Inflammation of the gut and digestion difficulties
  • Severe headaches
  • Auto-immune conditions (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, lupus)
  • Immune booster
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Endurance
  • Anti-aging
  • Weight management

IV Vitamin Therapy benefits deliver fast results and are felt almost instantly. A key benefit to using IV administration is that absorption is 100% guaranteed, whereas with supplements your body can only absorb from 0-10% of what is contained in them.

IV Vitamin Therapy available at Care by Sr. Sue

SR Sue-Ann Mahlwele (Prac no. 0180637)
Bracken Wellness Centre
073 545 3236

Article by SR Sue-Ann Mahlwele

Image by Anna Shvets

What Does It Mean If You Wake Up at The Same Time Every Night?

Waking up in the middle of the night is normal. Most of us experience “mini-awakenings” without even noticing them. If you frequently wake up at the same time every night, this could be a message from your guardian angel, to look deeper.

Ready to learn what it means when you wake up at the same time every night?

Our bodies have their own internal mechanisms which control the work and function of our organs. It is believed by Chinese medicine that the human body dedicates different energies to different organs of the body within the 24-hour cycle. So, if you are waking up at the same time every night, this could very well be a sign that your energy in your body may be somewhat obstructed. The obstruction could be on a physical or spiritual level signalling that the natural balance of the body is disrupted and needs attention.

Let’s have a look at “wake-up” times and how they link to your body’s organs

9 pm To 11 pm – The endocrine system restores balance; your enzymes are refilling
The endocrine system controls your metabolism and hormones. If you are waking up at this time or finding it difficult to go to sleep at this time, it may be due to a late heavy meal, poor diet, worrying or anxiety.

11 pm To 1 am – The yin energy (female / passive energy) converts into yang (masculine / active energy)
Regular waking up between this time may be due to some resentment you are experiencing. One would need to practise being calm, perhaps by meditating or listening to relaxing music. Waking up at this time may also indicate issues with the gallbladder and the breakdown of unhealthy fats consumed.

1 am To 3 am - Detoxification and renewal of the body
During this time, the liver releases toxins. Waking up between this time may be a result of negative formations like frustration and anger, or some problems with the function of the liver.

3 am To 5 am – The lungs undergo repair and flood the body with oxygen
At this time one should keep the body warm enough to speed up this repair and oxygen function of the body. From a spiritual point of view, this may be a symptom of sadness and grief. Breathing techniques can be greatly beneficial if you are waking up at this time. This could also be an indication of a process of an increasing of your vibrational levels, which may also lead to sensitivity to sounds, appetite changes, feeling cold, or lucid dreaming.

5 am To 7 am – The large intestine is highly active as it breaks down and removes toxins from the body
Waking up at this time could be due to poor nutrition or eating too late.

Source Soul Vision | Higher Perspectives
Image by cottonbro

Margaret Hirsch - building a legacy and empowering women throughout Southern Africa

Hirsch’s is a truly South African family business. Founded 41 years ago by Allan who is the Chairman, and Margaret, the Executive Director, it is the largest independently owned Appliance and Electronics retail outlet in South Africa.

Hirsch’s was not created overnight. When Margaret lost her job as a receptionist and pregnant with her first child, she and Allan needed to plan for survival. Allan had been working as a refrigeration repairman, but this would not have been sufficient to provide for the family. Allan suggested they start their own business. It started off as a refrigeration and air conditioning repairs shop and eventually they were opening one store after the other. Today you will find Hirsch’s stores scattered around the country. In Gauteng (11), KwaZulu-Natal (6) and Western Cape (2).

Margaret, who at the age of 69 was recently awarded her MBA, regards herself as a “jack of all trades”. She has done selling, invoicing, demonstrating, deliveries, installing and generally taking care of almost everything at Hirsch’s for the past 41 years. She doesn’t have an office at any of the 19 branches. But before the pandemic she visited each of them every week – joining staff on the floor to get involved with customer queries, and enjoying every minute of it. “Keeping our customers happy and providing them with a unique, hands-on service has helped our business grow and we are continuously finding ways to improve on our service to them.” She says. She is itching to get back on the floor to join her customers and staff when the time is right.

Her knack for empowering everyone involved with the company is inspiring. In 1994 Hirsch’s decided to empower their drivers. The company sold their trucks to the drivers at a low price over an extended period. The ripple effect of this was that more than 20 delivery businesses have started up over the past 21 years, and these delivery businesses now employ more than 800 people.

With more than 2 000 people in their employ, Hirsch’s mostly invests in turning their staff into motivated employees with sound goals. Objectives that are encouraged, include investing in their own homes to live comfortably. Values that are embedded with the staff are honesty, integrity and loyalty.

As far as a recipe for success goes, there are intriguing points of difference in this family operation. The company has honed the concept of customer care to a unique level. It starts with building customer loyalty that made Hirsch’s a household name. The approach being that Hirsch’s is not just about shopping. They aim to add value to the shopping experience by hosting functions and demonstrations in store that revolve around product. This is driven by embracing 21st century technology and social media platforms.

Customers are drawn to follow Margaret on their website and social media. On the website she provides entertaining and lifestyle sections on motivation, content for business women, a sound cloud and blogs on recipes, decor and fashion. These sections are not trying to sell anything. They merely add value with a wealth of useful content to be enjoyed by followers.

Before Covid-19, Hirsch’s stores ran active community involvement projects like networking sessions for local entrepreneurs, training sessions for domestic workers and regular cook-offs by children in store, or Margaret teaming up with celebrities for fun culinary experiences.

The networking programmes facilitate businesswomen and men to connect, share knowledge and support each other. Successful business people in the community or Margaret herself regularly do a talk on their business model, providing motivation and business tips useful to the audience. During Lockdown, Margaret has held these networking sessions in a virtual setting, and response has been exceptional.

During networking sessions wannabe entrepreneurs often ask Margaret about borrowing capital to start their business. She believes entrepreneurs should never borrow money to start a business. She says, eventually they would need to pay back the money with interest. “Start slowly, use the money you have. Get what money you can, sell everything. And every cent you make, you plough back into the business.”

In the day-to-day business operations, Margaret savours the customer interaction. “What I love in our industry, is seeing two and sometimes three generations from the same family coming through to furnish their homes with us.”

Margaret has become a leading example to business women in Southern Africa – coming from a humble background, to co-founding and running the family’s multi million rand appliance and electronic retail operation. She has been recognised with a multitude of business awards, including two Lifetime Achievement Awards in business and entrepreneurship.

This leading businesswoman believes that entrepreneurs could make a difference in the future of the country. “I am passionate about business. I am passionate about South Africa and I think we as a country need to be strong. We as South Africans have to be entrepreneurs.”

Why Walnut Resembles the Brain It Nourishes

Author Sayer Ji, Founder

Nothing could be more beautiful or poetic than when a healing food actually looks like the organ system it nourishes and heals in the body.

While commonly viewed as mere coincidence or an act of extraordinary randomness, it is difficult for me to acknowledge the exquisite design of the walnut, whose eerily skull-like shell encompasses the fatty-acid rich, bihemispheric "brain" of the nut, without opening myself to the possibility that mother nature wove metaphor, meaning, and a high degree of co-evolutionary non-arbitrariness into the natural order of things. Walnuts are well known to have a disproportionately higher amount of the very fatty acids, specifically the EPA/DHA omega 3 fatty acid substrate alpha linolenic acid that the brain requires for optimal health. Moreover, walnuts contain well-known neuroprotective compounds, such as gallic acid, vitamin E isomers, melatonin, folate, and polyphenols. Coincidence, or mother nature providing a clue so obvious we would have to be nuts (or nut deficient) in order to overlook it?

Or, consider the remarkable pomegranate fruit, prized the world over as a regenerative, fertility and prosperity enhancing food of deep cultural and mythological significance. Amazingly, pomegranate not only looks like the mammalian ovary but is literally the fruiting ovary of the pomegranate plant, and which produces some of the very same hormones (e.g. estrone and testosterone) that normally only animals produce, and which can even replace their function in the ovariectomy-induced experimental model of menopause.

In these examples, we see reflected a phenomenon once described as part of the "doctrine of signatures," a concept that goes back at least 500 years around the time of Parceleus (1491–1541), who stated: "Nature marks each growth ... according to its curative benefit." While this concept was sometimes taken too literally in the ancient world, with superficial resemblances between plants and human organs often being mistaken as having significant medical value, indubitably, there is still deep wisdom embedded in ancient medical texts, concepts, and practices.

© [Article Date] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter

 

My personal lessons from 2020

2020 taught me many lessons, as well as showed another perspective on how reality can look like when there are so many changes we cannot control and predict the outcomes of them.

Here are some of my personal lessons that I learnt, hopefully it can help you to take time and reflect on the past year as well and build your own future vision for 2021 in a more effective and inspiring way.

Lesson 1: Take one step at a time: being present is a key

I had a huge vision for 2020. This year is supposed to be packed with events, book launches, speaking engagements, coming back to a big sport and winning championships, and somehow figuring out how to recover after the second pregnancy and being a “perfect mom of 2” You probably guessed that none of the above were meant to happen…all events were cancelled, countries closed their borders, and we were stuck in our homes receiving an opportunity to learn a lot about ourselves.

The truth was that my vision for this year was not going to happen anyway, with or without pandemic. Instead of creating an illusion around your “perfect life” that you’ve seen in somebody else's Instagram or because somebody seems like having it all at once, appreciate what you’ve already built and created, analyse available resources and realign the priorities. Take a step by step approach, you will come there where you want to be but on your own speed and time. Your path is unique, and it is not possible to compare it with someone’s else, especially during the times of crises and massive transformation. Instead of living somebody else's dream, focus on yours.

The first step: Build a clear picture of what kind of person you should transform yourself into in order to be able to make your dreams come true and at the same time enjoy the process. I am a person who wants everything at once and as soon as possible, if something is not going the way I wish or planned it activates “an alarm system” inside of me, meaning I need to push harder and do whatever it takes. But I learnt in a hard way that every breath counts, being present and appreciating what is here available for me is priceless, otherwise, you will always run for the next goal, for the next prize but will never ever experience true happiness. I believe I became happier, calmer and more balanced during the last year. I wish you to find a key to your own inner peace as well.

Lesson 2: In times of uncertainty focus on things you are able to control

Whether it is a global crisis, changes in political regimes or forces of nature or any other external factors that fundamentally impact our life, the first reaction is always a panic, fear and frustration. The only question you probably have in your mind is “What is next?” But there is no clear answer! Did you experience that during the first half of the year?

Maybe some of you are still trapped in the labyrinth of constant questions with no answers. To get out of this darkness of your mind, or avoid it in the future, pay attention to things you can control, change and impact.

First of all, it will give you the feeling of confidence and stability, switch your focus on the right things that bring positive results and will help to ground and see things clearly. It will help you to make up your own mind without being manipulated, develop a biased opinion, or be lost in the chaos completely.

We know exactly what we need to do to keep our immune system strong, increase energy level and be fit just by following a simple routine. But very often we neglect it. Self-care is not an act of selfishness, self-care is a sign of common sense as it allows you to serve others better, to have enough energy for your loved ones, to produce greater results and at the same time to live fully.

Learn how to raise your energy level, keep your mind in a neutral state and keep your spirit in a positive and happy mode.

Develop a toolbox that allows you to keep your happiness level high despite the external factors, people around and some internal mood swings. Do you have your toolbox? If not, maybe it’s time to think about it. As well as to list the things you are in charge of and develop a plan how to strengthen and make better these areas of life where it is necessary for now.

Lesson 3: Let things go, the Universe has a greater plan for you!

As a continuation of the first two lessons, sometimes you don’t need to figure out all things, especially when you have no control, and the best option is to let them go.

If you find yourself in a situation that seems to be unbearable emotionally, you feel like there is nothing much you can change, let it go. And as I mentioned, focus on things you are able to change. Sometimes, the Universe has a better plan for us, allow it to do its work. Invite miracles into your life. You can find thousand solutions to any life issue, just keep searching and stay aware to notice the opportunities.

You don’t need to pretend to be a superficial hero and prove to the whole world your amazingness. You have enough capabilities to make your dreams come true and to fulfil your vision, it’s just time to outgrow yourself and face the truth of who you really are. Follow your mission and your own unique path and every single day will be full of excitement, not just a specific phase, everything is in your heart, head and hands.

Article excerpt from Valerie Prasetyo
Image by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production

5 Free Marketing Ideas for Your Business

Being an entrepreneur means you don’t always have a big budget at your disposal. Here are some tips for five free marketing tools to use to help boost your business.

1.) Engage on Social Media

Using social media for marketing is a no-brainer, because it’s mostly free. If you don’t yet have a budget to invest in social media advertising, how best can you still make it work for you? The secret of social media lies in interactions with others and also being active on your platforms.

Make sure you regularly reply to messages and comments, providing information that promotes your brand or product/service. Create catchy posts that trigger conversation, giving you more of an opportunity to engage and promote.

2.) Use Free Online Tools

There are plenty of Free Digital Marketing Tools that will help you promote your business. From Project management, Customer relationship management, Email marketing, Social media to Proofreading – to name a few.

3.) Create Content That Is Educational

When creating content, the key is for it to be useful and shareable. Your audience should value it enough to want to share it with their friends. A great way to do this is to create educational blogs and/or video tutorials.

A simple how-to video will more likely get shared on social media than something less informative. Make sure to reference your product /service in the video. Google also rates the search ranking higher of sites that share knowledgeable content.

4.) Host A Zoom Workshop

Hosting a Zoom (or other virtual) workshop can position you as an authority in your field and can incur no cost to spread the word about your brand.

Ensure the topic you choose is something that is relevant to your target market, is something you know well and can speak on easily, and in some way relates to your business offering.

5.) Networking, Networking, Networking

Networking can happen anywhere. Whether it’s online, a child’s birthday party or one of our Chats and Hats events. Always be on the lookout for ways to connect with people and businesses.

Use this opportunity to build real connections - don’t be pushy! Listen to others, focusing on what you have in common. This is the key to generic and natural connection, which will create the flow of opportunities coming your way naturally via your networks.

Well there you have it ladies. Get going on these and start promoting yourself and your brand.

Article by Colette Carr

Image by Christin Hume
 

The Many Healing Properties of Turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has long been used in traditional medicine and it is quite possibly the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. The spice is cultivated primarily from the roots of flowering plants in Southeast Asia. Aside from the well-known use of giving curry its bright yellow colour, turmeric has a wealth of health benefits.

Turmeric contains compounds called curcuminoids, the main active component which is curcumin (which is also accountable for its characteristic yellow colour). Curcumin is the compound component responsible for most of turmeric’s health benefits. There are a wealth of studies which confirm the benefits for brain and body.

Most of the studies are done using turmeric extracts (containing mostly curcumin itself, with the dose exceeding 1 gram per day). As it would be difficult to reach these levels by just spicing your food, you would need to take a supplement.

1.) An Anti-Inflammatory

Turmeric’s main claim to fame is its ability to fight inflammation. In fact - according to a recent study - curcumin (in the right dose) may be a more effective anti-inflammatory than medications such as Advil and aspirin.

2.) Boosts Immune System

Turmeric may be able to boost the immune system, by moderating it, and can even be effective for people who have immune disorders.

3.) Protection from Free Radicals

As turmeric is rich in antioxidants, it may help protect against the damage caused by free radicals. Too much exposure to free radicals can lead to a number of common diseases and health conditions, including cancer and heart disease among others.

4.) Eases Arthritis Pain

The strong anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can help relieve inflammation in people with arthritis, thus reducing their pain.

5.) Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

While the search is still on as to what exactly causes Alzheimer’s Disease, it seems as though curcumin may help in its prevention. The antioxidants prevent damage, which has shown to reduce the accumulation of amyloids and synaptic marker loss that have been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

6.) Helps Cancer Prevention

The National Cancer Institute has acknowledged curcumin as an effective anticarcinogen (carcinopreventive agent), a substance which inhibits the development of cancer.

7.) Lowers Cholesterol

A lower cholesterol can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. There is evidence that turmeric is effective at reducing cholesterol levels.

8.) Improves Skin Health

With turmeric’s range of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, it may be an effective treatment for an array of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne.

How to Make Turmeric Tea

Boost your turmeric intake, and make this quick and easy, delicious turmeric tea.
1. On a stove, boil 3-4 cups of water
2. Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric and stir
3. Simmer for 5-10 minutes
4. Strain the liquid into a container
5. Add honey, freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice, and milk to taste

Article by Colette Carr
Image by Tina Witherspoon

 

 

Ditch the New Year’s Resolutions – Rather, Reset for a New Life

If 2020 taught us anything, it is that nothing is permanent, and that things we may have held up as important in our lives, were actually not (in fact just distracting us from the real gems).

The main reason most people set new year's resolutions and goals and then do not fulfil them, is because they actually aren’t trying to create the life they want. The sad fact is that the goals they set for themselves are not their own goals, but somebody else’s. Society, family, culture – all feed us stories about what we should be doing and striving for. No wonder most new year's resolutions are not followed up with any energy or passion.

Take a few minutes to ask yourself:

  1. What is something you have always been passionate about and willing to do for no pay?

  2. What would you be willing to travel far for in order to speak to somebody about?

  3. Would your friends and family label you “crazy” for the pursuit of this goal?

Find that thing that you are obsessed about and then strive to make that your life's purpose, not just a simple new year's resolution. Every exceptional person you know of, was simply an ordinary person who became obsessed with some wild, great, seemingly unachievable goal - and refused to let go of it. This could also be you!

After a year of the ‘norm’ - and what we took for granted - falling apart, this is definitely NOT the time to be playing small, setting resolutions that are not from the heart, small thinking, or seeking approval from your peers. Take this time to reset your life with heart-guided goals that are consistent with that hidden potential you have most likely been denying yourself.

“Great people do great things; not because they are great, but because they refuse to be average.” - Unknown

Regardless of where you are in your life story, there is a greater potential living inside you. The greatest regret in life, is opportunities not taken and the loss of one’s purpose.

Wishing you a Heart-led, Exciting, Self-Discovering and Successful 2021! Live your dream!

Article by Colette Carr

Image by Kelly Sikkema
 

Top 5 Hacks for A Budding Superwoman

Zanele Mbokazi - Mentor, Mother and Matriarch

Women play many roles in their daily lives. We are loving mothers, adoring wives, dedicated daughters, driven professionals, and caring mentors to name a few. Success in all these sections of our life depends on keeping a healthy balance between them. Author, mentor, and mother, Zanele Mbokazi, tells us how she manages to find inner peace through balance.

Zanele is a passionate believer that Faith plays a core part in success. Encouraging people to have faith and believe that everything they have ever dreamed is possible, is the cornerstone of her workshops. Her ability to add a uniquely feminine touch to the process of dream realisation has earned her the title of ‘Midwife of Dreams’ from her past students.

Here are Zanele’s top 5 hacks for other budding superwomen:

Dream big and start small

If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there? Life-altering actions always begin with dreams, big dreams, that are based on a big picture of what you want and why you want to achieve what you want. Once you are grounded in your dreams, you need to translate them into goals that are simple, achievable, measurable, and timebound so that you can see your progress and stay motivated.

Plan everything and write it down

Any successful woman knows that planning is essential. Zanele’s to-do list includes everything from family time, business commitments, self-care rituals and much more. She knows from experience that detailed planning allows her to fulfil all her roles, be there for everyone who needs her and still reserve some energy for herself. Attention to detail, quickly executing each task, and having a written record of your plan is key to avoiding getting side-tracked.

Prioritise and focus

To make sure you are working towards achieving your goals you need to take a step back often to check if what you are doing every day is in line with them. To ask yourself if what you have planned to do today, is taking you closer to your dream tomorrow. Only then can you prioritise which to-dos are most important and focus your energy on a realistic path to achievement.

Recognise your inner voice

We all have that inner voice that can be our biggest critic. It is important not to ignore it, instead recognise it, and accept it, and you remove its negative power. Zanele has given her inner critic the nickname ‘nunu’ and will repeatedly tell that negative voice ‘not today nunus’ as a way of claiming power over potentially negative thoughts and reinforcing faith in yourself.

Find your tribe

No woman is an island and you cannot do everything for everyone all the time. Pay attention to those around you who are able to help and delegate them responsibilities and tasks in your home and professional life. Empowering those around you, creating a sense of agency and giving gratitude to those who help you makes them feel valued and gives you a way to balance your time. If you can’t pick up the kids from school, somebody in your tribe should be able to. In life and business, your tribe will support you and make sure you don’t buckle from the stress of trying to do everything.

Zanele’s story is, without doubt, one of resilience and dedication. It is her faith, her ability, her family, and her tribe that allow her to see possibilities in places of crisis. As a mother, mentor, and matriarch Zanele believes in leading by example. She wants to make us aware of the powerful influence we have over our children, our colleagues, and our confidants in what we say, how we carry ourselves and what we do professionally. When speaking of her family, Zanele bursts with pride not only for her children but for herself and the faith she had to be capable of raising giants. Self-belief propelled her to be able to stand on any stage in the world and helped her see herself as more than simply Zanele from Thornwood.

Article by Zanele Mbokazi

Image by lenadrofranci
 

Is Your Handbag Ruining Your Posture?

Your handbag is your lifeline, carrying all your necessary items – phone, purse, sunglasses, makeup, laptop to name a few. However, we find that we usually end up shoving many items into it which we don’t need – adding to its weight over time.

Now the question is – do you suffer from body pain? What if I told you that your handbag could be the cause of neck, shoulder, butt, arm, and back pain, tingling in your hands and even extreme headaches. And if that’s not bad enough, subjecting your body to a continued off-kilter angle could result in your gait becoming unbalanced.

My sister lugs a heavy bag to work every day. One day I decided to weigh it, and it came in at a whopping 10kg. That is 10kg she places over one shoulder every day.

How your handbag affects your posture?

Whether you prop your handbag on your forearm, hold it in your hands, drape it across your body or carry it on one shoulder, your handbag posture can have profound effects on your muscles and joints.

What type of handbag holder are you?

The Clasp
This double-handed sagging pose is most often used with a clutch bag. This posture is the worst culprit when it comes to slouching and is as detrimental as sitting at your desk all day, the back becomes rounded and the shoulders rotate inwards. This can cause localised problems in the shoulder and create back pain too.

Try to remember to hold the clutch bag in one hand with the shoulders back and down, with palms facing forwards, and to alternate hands.

The Crook of the Arm
In this stance, the elbow is bent, and the handbag is propped on the forearm. This causes rounded shoulders and strain on the bicep and the elbow joint. As the whole weight of the handbag is on the bicep, it could lead to bicep tendinitis.

The Drape
While we may on occasion adopt this pose for safety, when we are weary of pickpockets or bag snatchers, it is actually one of the better ways to carry a handbag. Not only does it have the advantage of allowing full use of the hands and arms, but it is also better for your muscles and joints.

This is not putting an asymmetrical strain on your body, like a lot of the other postures. The weight of the handbag is close to the body and is evenly dispersed. Remember though to keep it even, and switch sides every so often.

The Shoulder Boulder
Posture is all about balance and proper alignment. Carrying any type of bag on one shoulder inevitably causes imbalances and puts you out of alignment. It may cause you to lean to one side. It may create muscle tension in certain muscles that aren’t made for that. The result is pain in your back and shoulders, and a stiff, sore neck.

Like a lot of things in life, it comes down to balance and symmetry. Good posture is symmetrical and any load - like a heavy handbag - can throw off the innate and symmetrical balance that keeps your spine in line and your body upright. By carrying a bag on one side of your body, you’re creating an abundance of misalignment as well as seriously stressed out muscles and tissues.

You should never carry a large load for longer than approximately 10 minutes.

Better bag options

If you need to carry heavy items out of the house - like a laptop - consider a backpack or a wheelie bag instead. If you're using a backpack, remember to put both straps on! Tighten up the straps, so that it is not sagging near your bum. The closer it is to your back, the less it will weigh you down and throw off your alignment.

Daily stretches

We should be undoing the imbalances caused by heavy handbags by taking a few minutes at the end of each day to feel which of our muscles (e.g. shoulders, neck, back, chest) are tight and to stretch those out. You can also use a small therapy ball to roll out the tension in specific muscles.

Head, neck and shoulder circling

This helps to loosen up the muscles around your neck and shoulders. Move your head from side to side, then up and down, then left to right. Do this 5-10 times. If your shoulders feel stiff, gently circle your arms forwards for 5-10 repetitions, then circle backwards for the same.

Time to ditch that heavy handbag

Don’t jeopardize your health for fashion or convenience, it’s not worth it! Lightening your load is the best way to ensure that your muscles and joints stay healthy. Simply do a clean-out every Sunday - reduce the weight of your handbag to the point where you don’t feel any noticeable strain when you are carrying it.

Your health should be non-negotiable, you can never get it back once it is lost.

Article by Colette Carr | Image by Marcos Paulo Prado

markmanson.net; finerminds.com

 

 

Celebrating With Minimalism - Your Holiday Gift Guide

The December holidays are here at last! Along with the joy of connection with family comes the celebration of gift giving, which can often leave us stressed out from trying to find that perfect gift. With everything that has happened this year, now more than ever is a time to celebrate connection with others – that is the real gift. A time to focus on the precious moments of being together and cut back on unnecessary clutter, in the spirit of minimalism.

Secret Santa Gift Exchange

This is a great way to avoid stress, long lines in malls and breaking the bank. Write each family member’s name on a piece of paper and have everyone draw a name. You then are Secret Santa to the person whose name you drew, and you buy only a gift for that person.

Choose a spend limit, e.g. R100 per gift. This way, everyone still gets to open a present, and you’re able to cut down on waste and expenditure.

Skip Gifts, Donate Instead

Again, this year is such a great time to do this – as there are so many in need! Cut down on clutter and more ‘things’ you don’t need and instead use that money to help someone who has a real need. You can choose to do a group donation to a charity, or in lieu of a gift to each other. This helps to support the community and see the money going to good use instead of being spent on an item that will be stuffed in the back of a cupboard and forgotten about.

For some ideas - That’s HER Business this year has supported Hi Hopes (for deaf babies), Bereshith (for addiction), Nisaa (for GBV).

Get Crafty

Arts and crafts are a great, fun way to practice self-expression and are a wonderful way to spend quality time with your children. You can teach them how to use things around the house, like newspapers, to decorate and use as gift wrap. You can bake, sew, draw, paint, make candles or soap – making personal, special gifts for each family member. Creativity and craft can become synonymous with the holidays, rather than consumerism and shopping.

Volunteer Your Time

If you’re interested in going minimalist, this is a great way to give your time and energy to others and an alternative to donating if you are unable to afford it. Homeless shelters, animal shelters, soup kitchens etc are always happy for an extra helping hand.

Not only will you be helping those in need giving them a reason to smile, but you’ll also feel good about yourself without the need to consume or spend. If you can get your loved ones involved too, even better!

Love and Celebrating Each Other

No matter what you choose to give your friends and family these holidays, remember the most important gift to give is love. The true meaning of the holidays is celebrating our loved ones and our connections, this doesn’t require spending money and contributing to waste in the world.

Article by Colette Carr

Image by Vladimir Proskurovskiy
 

Women - Conversations Make Our Businesses Better

I was invited to attend a Women in Leadership online conference recently and what an amazing session that was. I think the session was refreshing and unique because we had conversations that centred around “human language” as opposed to business language. One of the main activities we had to do was watch a video of Michelle Obama. In that video, Michelle Obama mentioned that often as women we plan for a lot of other things in our lives, like our careers, our families and businesses. But we don’t often take time to plan for our own Joy.

After watching the video, we were placed in breakaway groups and we had to think carefully about what were the things that brought joy in our lives. The facilitator then debriefed to say that when we continuously invest in joy as businesswomen, that joy triggers into how we run our businesses and how people around us experience us.

This resonated with me so deeply because over the recent years I have been living with a belief system that says, “Joy is a decision.”

The That’s Her Business - Chats & Hats event, also further entrenched this. The Chats & Hats philosophy echoed that as women we wear multiple hats and society puts extreme pressure on us to balance all of them. But forums such as That’s Her Business, provide an encouraging sisterhood where we can share lessons and have conversations about how to successfully intersect the various pillars in our lives.

One of my favourite statements is, “Conversations are the birthplace of action” - Nozipho Tshabalala.

We need to continue coming together, whether digitally or face to face (with caution of course 😊) and have conversations, because some of these conversations are planting seeds in our hearts and minds. Some are watering seeds that are already inside of us. In no time these seeds will grow and produce fruit that will make our businesses better. And if our businesses become better, our nation and the world becomes better, after all, the real mandate of business should be to solve society’s problems. As business people we are in the business of selling solutions, plain and simple.

What are some practical things you can do to support women business conversations?

  • Plug into different women spaces by attending events and grow your network
  • Share another women’s business on your social media platform
  • Mentor young women starting their businesses
  • Support the business by buying the product or service

“When women come together with a collective intention, magic happens” - Phylicia Rashad

Article by Bongeka Mhlongo

Image by Christina @ wocintechchat.com
 

How to Navigate A Healthy Breakup

We all know the old saying that “breaking up is hard to do.” Well, not only is it hard to do, but what is also hard is dealing with the aftermath, the emotional roller coaster of feelings and the complications that arise when we are in this truly vulnerable state.

In the blossoming of romance, connecting with someone can be one of the most beautiful experiences. But extracting your former love from your mind can be an agonizing experience.

Even when the actual break-up is quick, the inner one rarely is. It is no surprise then that we’ll often divert the grief process by allowing anger to be our reflex emotion. Allowing anger to consume us for too long though, is not healthy. At first, hating your former love may seem like a good idea because it can help you detach from him/her, but if you ever hope to have a healthy future relationship, you’ll need to learn how to disconnect in a healthy way.

There is not one-size-fits-all for breakups, as they are as unique as the relationships that precede them. The length of a relationship does also not dictate the amount of pain you are allowed to feel - 3 months or 10 years can be equally devastating (it’s more about the intensity of the connection than the time frame). The key to a dignified separation and a healthy recovery depends on many elements. Are you the instigator, or are you on the receiving end? Did you break up over a single issue or were there many? Were emotions stormy for a long time or did things just suddenly snap?

Also, the more permanent questions: Do you want to stay in contact with your ex? How do you get past feelings of missing them? What do you do if they want to get back together with you?

The feelings that can come up during a breakup are so big that they can be difficult to navigate without losing yourself. Big rage, hurt, powerlessness, hopelessness, desire for revenge – all threatening to overwhelm us. They can cause us to behave in ways that are completely outside of who we are.

Below are some tips on how to handle a break-up gracefully

Allow Yourself to Grieve Fully

As the Alanis Morissette song says ‘The only way out is through’ – bypassing won’t stop the pain, you have to feel it to heal it.

We can learn how to hold the energy of these tough emotions. The important step is to FEEL them. Don’t try and push the feelings down by distracting yourself and keeping yourself busy. Give yourself alone time to grieve – scream, ugly-cry, punch a pillow. We need to let the emotions out so that they don’t get trapped in the body. Journaling is very helpful, venting everything on the page – anger, sadness, hopelessness, desire for revenge – allows you to process the emotions and set them free. You can burn the pages after, which gives you the freedom to write everything you feel – no holding back - without the concern of somebody reading it someday. See our previous article on The Benefits of Crying

Find the Lesson

By working through our emotions and grieving in a healthy way – we can then step back and simply be the observer. See what lessons you have learned from this experience; this can serve as a powerful catalyst to grow from the experience. It is a wonderful gift of being able to transform the energy of destruction into the energy of change. We can use this energy to empower us to graduate from old hurtful and disappointing patterns in love, honouring this loss by harnessing the opportunities for growth it inherently holds.

“Anger is the garbage of all emotion, but it takes garbage to make compost, and it takes compost to make a flower.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

The Pain Goes Away – But It’s Not a Straight Line

While you are knee-deep in it, it is hard to believe, but the pain will eventually pass. It is good to remember that just because you start to feel better, maybe for a few weeks, this doesn’t mean you won’t be knocked back a week later. This is natural and you shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. Memories are powerful, and they can pull you back in very quickly.

Again, try to step back and be the observer – allow the emotion to travel through your body and out. Eventually you will forget what the pain even felt like. It might take some time, but I promise that this too shall pass.

By personally going through this experience, you’ll gain the wisdom, and be able to be there for a friend when they are going through the same thing.

"No relationship is ever a waste of your time." - Unknown

Article by Colette Carr | Photo by Kelly Sikkema

markmanson.net; finerminds.com

 

 

Are You Suffering from Lack Of Sleep?

If you answered YES, your overall health may be affected.

Most of us do not get enough sleep, as society increasingly seems to “burn the candle at both ends”, staying up late to work, study or have fun. We need around eight hours of quality sleep per night to allow us to function properly. If you find yourself waking up tired and looking forward to an extra nap, it is likely that you may not be getting enough sleep.

Not only does lack of sleep make you feel grumpy, but sleep deprivation can also lead to serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Can lack of sleep negatively affect your immune system?

Yes! Studies show that people who do not get either quality, or enough sleep, are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

This is because during sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you are under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines. Infection fighting antibodies and cells are also reduced during periods when you do not get sufficient sleep.

In the short term
Lack of sleep can affect your mood, judgement, ability to learn and retain information and cause an increased risk of accidents and injury.

In the long term
Sleep deprivation may lead to chronic illness and early mortality.

“Lack of sleep exacts a toll on perception and judgment. In the workplace, its effects can be seen in reduced efficiency and productivity, errors, and accidents. Sometimes the effects can even be deadly, as in the case of drowsy driving fatalities.” – Harvard University

Tips for better sleep
  • Increase your bright light exposure during the day
  • Reduce blue light exposure in the evening. E.g. cell phones, televisions, computers
  • Reduce caffeine late in the day
  • Aim to try to sleep and wake up at consistent times
Article by Kirsten Carr Thomas

Photo by Vladislav Muslakov
 

7 Simple Tips to Strengthen Your Relationship

A strong relationship requires work and commitment from both parties. Even if you feel that you were made for each other, you’ll still get into arguments, and you’ll have to overcome challenges.

Keeping your relationship strong requires everyday work, just like looking after a plant requires daily watering and sunshine, a relationship needs to be nourished.

Very often we have a romanticized idea in our minds about what life will be like after we settle down, which is rarely based on reality. We take care of the children together, get busy at work, spend time with co-workers and our girlfriends. Subsequently we spend more time apart from our partner and end up confiding in those people with whom we share our day.

It is absolutely vital that we consciously create time to come back together with our partner to connect and share. This connection has the potential to be very nourishing, satisfying, and complete, and can help us to grow to levels of emotional intimacy that we never imagined.

Here are seven keys points that are important for nurturing your relationship

1.) Focus on The Good In Each Other

Making a conscious effort to focus on the good allows us to appreciate our partner. Ironically, we do this when we first start dating, de-emphasising the negative and overemphasising the positive. Unfortunately, this shifts the opposite way after we settle down with the person. Only through a conscious effort can we create a consistent kindness, fondness, and appreciation towards one another. If necessary, keep an old photo of the person on your desk, from when you were still in that puppy-love phase (the person you fell in love with).

2.) Mutual Forgiveness

Holding grudges is probably the most destructive force in a relationship. Forgive your partner for their words, actions (or lack thereof). Let go of that which you cannot change.

If you’re angry, sit down together and verbalise this in a calm manner. Make sure your partner understands how you feel but listen to their side of the story too. This conversation should mark the end of the issue. Both make your points, forgive, and move forward.

3.) Face Challenges as a Couple

When you become a part of a couple, you cease having individual problems. It’s always good to use your partner as a sounding board – even if not to give advice, but just to have someone to air the problem out to. Even if the issue is a small one and involves you solely, it’s still essential to communicate, as this strengthens your bond as a team.

4.) Make Each Other Laugh

Making each other laugh and sharing an inside joke builds a strong bond and a sense of belonging. It is important to work at lightening the mood in darker moments and just enjoying each other’s company at these times. Living with someone can result in so many little frustrations. Turn those into jokes or seek your “revenge” humorously. If you learn to keep such small things from annoying you, you’ll reduce your own stress, as well as strengthen the relationship.

5.) Be Vulnerable With Each Other

Giving your heart to somebody you trust, and love can be a beautiful thing, even if it feels hard to do. We may feel too proud or untrusting to become vulnerable, but so much love and connection can come from opening your heart fully to someone.

6.) Discuss Compromise

All relationships require compromise. What is most important is reaching a compromise that doesn’t make you or your partner feel like you are being taken advantage of. Compromise is not the same as sacrifice. If either of you is asked to make a major sacrifice with something, it will rear an ugly head later as resentment.

Sit down and talk honestly about it, discussing what you’re used to in your everyday life, what you want for the future and which habits or behaviours annoy you the most. Let your partner do the same. Based on this, you can identify anything that could stand in the way of growing together as a couple.

7.) Don’t Forget Intimacy

Physical intimacy is the bonding glue in a relationship as it allows you to experience a person in a way that you don’t with anyone else. Intimacy takes connection to the next level and helps you to forget about the silly everyday annoyances.

The spark will go out from time to time. This is when it’s important to schedule date nights and some hanky-panky.

To end off, remember there are no stable relationships (they are always in flux), but there are happy ones. Our relationships are either helping us to grow or holding us back. We owe it to ourselves and those we love not to settle for mediocrity in any shape or form, and to therefore nurture them and allow our relationships to become a source of joy, love and support, just as we dreamed it should be.

Article by Colette Carr

Image by Khamkéo Vilaysing
 

The Importance of Bookkeeping for Your Small Business

How can a bookkeeper help you run your business?

If you are a small business owner, you will be quite familiar with trying to juggle several tasks at once. While focusing on keeping your business running, you also have the job of generating income, taking care of financial information, and keeping your clients happy.

How much did your small business earn as a profit on the last job? How much did you spend on your latest office upgrade? If you want to accurately keep track of financial records you must understand the importance of bookkeeping.

Tracking and keeping a record of your financials can be overwhelming and a chore, especially when your time or knowledge of the processes may be limited. “What to do? Whom to ask?” It may be time to look at getting a bookkeeper to help.

A good bookkeeper can manage a lot of different responsibilities within a small business, taking the pressure off you, thus allowing you to tackle other aspects of your business. Although the focus of a bookkeeper would be organisation of the business, recording and reporting of financial transactions forming part of the operational life of a small business, their range of duties may extend to include:

  • Training staff/clients to use accounting software
  • Inventory control processes
  • Document management
  • Implementing systems to record and keep track of daily transactions
  • Reviewing internal processes
  • Keeping an eye on cash flow
  • Preparing and sending invoices
  • Managing the accounts receivable and payable ledger

A bookkeeper would also prepare your books for the accountant, by ensuring the accounts are valid and up to date when the accountant requests them.

You will often find that a bookkeeper has an area of specialisation, so it would be a great idea to ask them more about this when you are looking at hiring their services.

In summary, it is the bookkeeper who does the day-to-day work so that the accountant can concentrate on strategic financial operations. So, bookkeepers play an important role – without them, accountants cannot do their jobs.

A cost-effective alternative to hiring an in-house/full-time bookkeeper, is to look at hiring an online bookkeeper who can diligently track your finances away from your offices, thanks to new cloud-based technology.

Outsourcing bookkeeping to an online bookkeeper is also a cost-effective alternative to hiring an in-house bookkeeper for businesses of all sizes.

The Benefits of Bookkeeping
  • From staying compliant with SARS tax regulations to making informed decisions, bookkeeping is important in nearly every aspect of your small business growth. It is crucial for all businesses to understand where cash is coming from and going.
  • Knowing what your business is spending and earning, which allows you to seamlessly analyse expenses and if necessary, adjust your budgets.
  • Tax preparation time can be a stressful season for small business owners. A bookkeeper will ensure that all relevant information is meticulously organised and all potential tax write-offs identified.
  • Paying attention to the close track of cash moving in and out of your business can allow for a healthy cash flow.

In fact, implementing a bookkeeping system and getting a bookkeeper on board is not a luxury - it’s an essential part of your small business. To manage your business correctly you need to know what is happening on a basic financial level. If you are not analysing your finances properly, you could be preventing your business from reaching its full potential.

Bookkeeping helps you clearly and easily understand all of this.

Article by Lisa Carr

Photo by Kelly Sikkema

 

 

Step into Your Garden - Health Is Closer Than You May Think!

Many of our familiar garden plants were first grown for their healing properties and not for their appearance.

Learn About the Healing Power of Plants

Growing your own plants is a means to relax whist also allowing you to feel a sense of accomplishment. If you are planning to plant outdoors, then you will also experience the added benefit of breathing in fresh air.

By taking on the hobby of planting you will notice a sense of stress relief, which will have a positive effect on your overall health.

Medicinal Herbs and Plants

While all types of gardening can be rewarding, herb gardening is a fun and unique type of gardening you may not have ventured into yet. Herbs are usually used for cooking and even beautifying products, but they also have important herbal ingredients which can be used for medicinal purposes.

Coriander

Is believed to help with indigestion and for stimulating the appetite.

Dill

Is a constituent of gripe water, often used to soothe babies, also a popular remedy for an upset stomach, hiccups, or sleep troubles.

Mint

Mint can be used for headaches, nausea, pain, digestion, bloating, diarrhoea, skin irritations and chest congestion. This refreshing herb can also be used to invigorate the body and repel bugs.

Sage

Has been used for many years to make a gargle for sore throats, infected gums, and mouth ulcers. It can also be used as a hot infusion for colds.

Lemon Balm

A lemon balm tea may be used to relieve headaches and aid digestion. It is said to also help with improving the memory, and to reduce anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.

Garlic

Is known to treat toothache, earache, coughs, and colds. It is also known to be effective against many fungal infections and has been shown to reduce blood pressure.

Peppermint

Peppermint is often used in toothpaste because of its antiseptic properties. It can also be used as herbal tea for headaches, muscle pain and gastro-intestinal disorders.

Aloe Vera

The gel inside the leaves of the aloe vera plant can be used to soothe and heal the skin from bites, burns, scrapes, rashes, sunburn, and shaving.

Bergamot

An herbal bergamot tea can be used to relieve nausea. Both leaves and flowers are edible and can be used in a salad.

Feverfew

A feverfew tincture or fresh feverfew leaves can be used as a treatment for migraine (be warned that feverfew has a very bitter taste).

Lavender

Can be used for many things but is most commonly used for anxiety and stress, however it has antiseptic and soothing properties and is good for burns, stings, and cuts. It can also be used as a massage oil to help overcome anxiety and insomnia as well as a variety of aches and pains.

Marigold

The marigold petals are edible and have antiseptic properties which can be included in preparations to soothe and heal the skin and eyes.

Chamomile

Chamomile is most commonly used in teas as a calming ingredient. Its flowers contain terpenoids and flavonoids that support its medicinal uses. Chamomile has been used for hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual pains, wounds, digestive issues, and wounds.

Which plants should you keep in your home to improve your health?

An average home has dangerous toxins which can include formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, trichloroethylene, and ammonia - according to a NASA Clean Air study.

Did you know? … Indoor plants can absorb up to 90% of these pollutants and chemicals.

Although the air-purifying benefits of plants are always welcomed, there are other health benefits which can be gained too.

Golden Pothos

It removes chemicals like benzene and trichloromethyl from the air (benzene is in glue, paint, and detergent).

Peace Lilies

This plant helps to remove chemicals emitted from harsh cleaning products.

English Ivy

English ivy has been found to filter out and, according to HuffPost, is the number one air-filtering houseplant. It is especially good for people who are sensitive to smoke.

Ferns

Ferns can increase air humidity. This boost of moisture then assists in not allowing your skin to become too dry.

Snake Plant

This plant is especially good to keep in your bedroom as it not only removes benzene and formaldehyde, but it also absorbs carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night.

Rosemary

Is mostly known to improve concentration and memory. It is also used to ease muscle pain and boost the immune and circulatory systems. As a bonus, you can use the fresh leaves in cooking.

Bamboo Plant

This plant will bring you more than just a bit of good luck. It is also known for eliminating formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide, xylene, and chloroform from the air.

Jasmine

Jasmine has a great effect on our mental health due to a chemical that assists in relieving anxiety, treats mood swings, improves sleep quality, and, in larger quantities, raises immunity and even can increase libido.

Rubber Plant

Rubber plants tend to grow large with huge leaves, these leaves absorb all the bad things from the air. Therefore, it is important to remember to wipe the dust from the leaves.

What a blessing that we have our green plant helpers on our side!

Article by Lisa Carr

Photo by Brina Blum
emedihealth.com | faena.com | brandsouthafrica.com
 

Six Easy Ways To Empower Other Women

When women come together – great things happen. A strong community of women empower each other, intentionally creating an atmosphere in which other woman can find assistance, advice, and support. They elevate and mentor one another, recognising their own self-worth and viewing all other women as valuable.

Together, we are stronger.
You can start empowering other women right now.

Here are six quick and easy things you can start doing right now to start building up the ladies around you.

1.) Be Honest

A key to empowerment is being honest. We must be willing to drop our fear of ‘not being liked’, while at the same time not ‘be bitchy’ in this process. Be willing to tell your female colleagues when they are wrong or made a mistake. This should be done in a caring, but truthful way – and seen as an opportunity for growth. By being honest, we open the door to discussion about work practices, performance, and paths and how to continually improve, thus striving to be the best versions of ourselves.

2.) Encourage Other Women to Step Up

As women we are prone to hesitate, question ourselves, and allow our lack of confidence to hold us back. It’s much easier for you to spot the potential in another woman than it is for her to see it in herself.

Encourage other women to step up, participate, engage, put up their hands for new opportunities, apply for promotions, ask for training, seek mentors. We can so easily get caught up in our daily routine that we may miss potential opportunities, so having your limits pushed by another woman can help you to expand. On the other end of the scale though, it is also vital to support women in saying, “No,” to avoid taking on too many responsibilities and spreading themselves too thin.

“I have to keep reminding myself: ‘No’ is a complete sentence.” ~ Gloria Steinem

Be there to hold a woman’s hand when she needs courage, and give her that push when she needs it, always keep reminding her of her talents and abilities. So many people love to pull others down, we need to be the ones who help them climb.

3.) Be a Cheerleader

We empower other women when we celebrate their successes. Even though society has brainwashed us to compete with other women, it is not true that “there can be only one” – there is enough space for ALL of us at the table – our success is not diminished by the success of another. When one of us succeeds, we all succeed. Also, a fun fact is that the way the Law of Attraction works – getting excited about another’s success paves the way energetically for your own.

"For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women." ~ Elizabeth Blackwell

Women earned legal rights and began branching out from jobs such as secretaries, teachers, and nurses to explore the larger business sphere.

4.) Tell Your Story

If people view you as successful, they admire you and often put you on a pedestal, as though you were born successful. Of course, though, you weren’t. You worked hard to get where you are today. No matter what your position (or how quickly you got there), we all had hiccups along the way – some caused by others, some by our own mistakes.

Other women can learn from our mistakes and our successes, but only if we share those stories. To remind them that we are all human, and that success is not a carefree linear journey.

Tell your story, with all its ups and downs. Talk about your wins as well as mistakes and losses. Other women can learn from your story and relate, when they realise the road you travelled is very similar to the one they’re on, thus inspiring them to start believing they have the power to reach their goals. They could also learn from your mistakes and prevent making the same ones.

5.) Ensure Our Voices are Heard

Employ the amplification tactic. Usually in male-dominated meetings and workspaces, women's ideas aren’t being heard (in fact men often later repeat the exact same thing and get the credit for the idea). To curtail this, we as women can repeat and validate our female colleague's points or ideas to boost the voices of women in the room (voices that would otherwise be ignored or brushed-off).

Empowering other women to speak up with their ideas helps them feel more confident and start believing in themselves.

6.) Build Your Network

Find a tribe of women who are positive, encouraging, strong and determined to help other women succeed. There’s strength in numbers (especially emotional strength) which as a businesswoman you will always need, to help keep you standing up for yourself and other women. Build a strong network (as we are doing here at That’s HER Business) – we need each other.

Challenge Accepted

Challenge yourself to think about the women in both your personal and work life, and find ways - every single day - to lift them up, by sharing your stories, helping them find their voices, encouraging them out of their comfort zones, amplifying their voices, celebrating their achievements and success, as well stand by them in times of indecision, failure and lack of self-belief. When women empower other women, we all succeed!

"The beauty of empowering others is that your own power is not diminished in the process." ~ Barbara Colorose

Article by Colette Carr

Image by recitethis.com
 

How to Age Gracefully

“Aging gracefully” has often been used to describe women who choose to grow older without undergoing aesthetic procedures to help them maintain their looks. But “Aging gracefully” is NOT all about looks.

Yes, it can be a bit daunting when things start to sag and wrinkle up a bit, and the amount of birthday candles on your cake seem to take over, reminding you to make sure a fire extinguisher is close by...

Let’s face it, none of us “looooove” the idea of getting older, but it can be strangely exciting to look forward to a new chapter of getting comfortable in your own skin, after all, with age comes wisdom, experience, peace and a certain level of respect. We so often tend to associate “youth with beauty”, when in fact beauty transcends age. Over the years we learn that as we cultivate our lives, our beauty becomes as much about what we create and do, as it is about our appearance.

“Just as a deciduous tree is stunning in all its stages--from its full leafy green in the summer to its naked skeleton during winter and everything in between--human beings are beautiful throughout their life spans….. When the time comes for us to let go of the creations of our middle lives, we are like a tree in autumn dropping leaves, as we release our past attachments and preparing for a new phase of growth. The children move on, and careers shift or end. The lines on our faces, the stretch marks, and the grey hairs are beautiful testaments to the fullness of our experience. In the winter of our lives, we become stripped down to our essence like a tree. We may become more radiant than ever at this stage, because our inner light shines brighter through our eyes as time passes. Beauty at this age comes from the very core of our being--our essence. This essence is a reminder that there is nothing to fear in growing older and that there is a kind of beauty that comes only after one has spent many years on earth.” – Madisyn Taylor

Getting older does not mean decline or despair. It is a REASON FOR CELEBRATION!! There are so many ways that can help us to age with grace, joy and beauty, which allow us to experience greater happiness and more success, as we become better and more authentic with age.

What is the biggest way to age gracefully?

Put a stop to all those stressors that overwhelm your life. Easier said than done? Unfortunately, stress is a big factor that causes ageing of the body and mind. Stress does not only cause the furrowed brow to become a permanent wrinkle, it has many negative effects on your health too, like higher blood pressure, poor sleep cycles, weight gain or loss and much more.

Fortunately, we can fight stress by adopting healthy habits
  • Hydrate throughout the day by ensuring you drink sufficient water
  • Eat unprocessed nutritional food. A balanced diet will balance your body and increase your energy levels
  • Move – exercise, stretch, dance
  • Keep your emotional habits healthy by practising gratitude and learning to let go of that which no longer serves your highest good
  • Get enough sleep because this is the time your skin cells build and repair themselves
  • Learn something NEW. A true secret for staying sharp is to never stop learning
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen! Graceful aging may be a lot about mind over matter, but great skin certainly helps. Sun damaged skin ages faster, so while a little sun is great for increasing your vitamin D, make sure to always protect yourself with extra sunscreen and plenty of coverage

“Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. It is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty.” -Coco Chanel

The fact is that aging is inevitable. We either throw in the towel and give up, or we embrace it as a natural part of life.

Article by Lisa Carr

Photo by BBH Singapore

 

 

Boost Your Natural Immune System - Activate The Vagus Nerve

With all that is happening in the world right now, there is such intrinsic value in strengthening one’s immune system. We cannot emphasise this enough! While governments encourage us to do things like ‘stay indoors (thus out of the sun and away from nature), self-isolate, wear a mask, avoid touching others’ the irony is that all of these things actually weaken the immune system.

It is important to remember that the body is strong and vital, and by design capable of healing itself. We are much more poweful that modern medicine would have us believe.
If you dive in and do some research, you will find that there are a range of simple, natural and cost free ways to boost your body’s natural immune system and calm your anxiety (some of which we have covered in previous articles).

One of the fascinating ways we recently discovered – is by stimulating the vagus nerve.

All About the Vagus Nerve

Vagus is Latin for “wandering,” which is apt when one considers all the different parts of the body the vagus nerve reaches.

In this instance what happens in ‘vagus’ does not stay in vagus, as this complicated system of nerves runs from your brain to your gut and regulates ALL organ function. It connects the brain to the heart, gut, lungs, immune system, and many of the organs. There is a branch that is connected to the face and voice and another branch that runs down to the gastrointestinal tract (where low vagal activity can interfere with proper digestion).

This nerve’s activation (or lack thereof), is tied to the surge or reduction of hormones such as cortisol and ghrelin (digestive hormone), the amount of inflammation the immune system produces, and many other internal processes that shape human health and experience.

How could one nerve system control so much? Well the vagus nerve is the governor of the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps control the body’s relaxation responses. In simple terms, heightened vagal activity offsets the stress response, which involves the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system being ‘fight or flight’, while the parasympathetic nervous system is more ‘rest and digest' (the state that promotes healing and health maintenance like your body’s ability to digest food, expel toxins and absorb nutrients).

Initiating Your Relax Response

When the sympathetic nervous system kicks in its ‘fight or flight’ response, it floods the body with cortisol and adrenaline (the stress hormones). Whereas the vagus nerve tells your body to ‘relax’ by releasing acetylcholine. The vagus nerve’s tendrils act like fibreoptic cables that send instructions to the organs to release enzymes and proteins like prolactin, vasopressin, and oxytocin (which calm you down). Those with a stronger vagus response may be more likely to recover more quickly after stress, injury, or illness.

Stimulating the Vagus Nerve

The more things we do to stimulate/activate the vagus nerve, the more we banish the effects of the sympathetic nervous system (‘fight or flight’, stress-releasing adrenaline/cortisol one).

By stimulating the vagus nerve, you send the message to your body that it's time to relax and de-stress, which leads to long-term improvements in immunity, well-being and mood.

Ways to stimulate your vagus nerve

  • More time to develop strong friendships
  • More time to focus on health – research suggests that unmarried people tend to be healthier than married counterparts
  • More time to learn about yourself

Each of these simple acts bestows a sense of calm and comfort. And each works its magic by activating the vagus nerve.

Stephen Silberstein, MD, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Headache Center -Philadelphia Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals says that almost anything people find relaxing — deep breathing, meditation — is also associated with heightened vagal activity and parasympathetic nervous system activity.

We found a great Vagal Nerve Meditation on Insight Timer

The Medicine of Touch

Research shows that these activities increase vagal activity via pressure receptors buried beneath the surface of the skin — receptors which are located throughout the body, and that only firm pressure or deep stretching can activate. Tiffany Field, PhD, (Director of the Touch Research Institute - University of Miami School of Medicine) states that light touching or stroking is arousing, while a bear hug or powerful handshake are inherently soothing. “A strong hug or a handshake promote parasympathetic activity,” she says.

The Healing Breath

Breathing deeply immediately relaxes the body, as it stimulates the vagus nerve, which again promotes parasympathetic activity.

In simple terms, the vagus nerve gets its cue from the way we breathe and sends the brain and the heart whatever message our breath indicates. Breathing slowly, for instance, reduces the oxygen demands of the heart muscle (the myocardium), and our heart rate drops.

Interestingly – it is when you are exhaling that vagal activity is highest (so heart rate and stress are lowest). The ideal, most calming way to breathe is six times a minute: five seconds in, five seconds out.

Article by Colette Carr

www.elemental.medium.com
 

What Would the Workplace Be Like Without Its Powerful Female Entrepreneurs?

Throughout history, women have made their mark in the workplace with extraordinary innovations and successes.

Feminism finally began to make remarkable changes in the female working climate, in the beginning of the 20th century.

Did you know?

Before this time, women who owned businesses were usually those who were in dire straits or without husbands. These businesses were mostly brothels and taverns.

Who were some of the earliest “femmepreneurs”?

In the early 1900s, female entrepreneurs such as Madam C.J. Walker, Coco Chanel, Olive Ann Beech, and Ma Perkins established their own brands and fought for success in the face of discrimination.

World War II

World War II marked a time when women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers. From 1940 to 1945, the percentage of working women rose by almost 10% due to male military enlistment leaving many gaps in the workforce. Women filled a variety of positions, from sewing clothes to repairing planes. A boom in female entrepreneurship was noted during this period, which generated additional household income.

One of the most noteworthy femmepreneurs is Elizabeth Arden, the woman who singlehandedly established the American beauty industry in 1910. After the war, her empire boomed with Red Door salons which opened in fashion capitals around the world.

Workforce growth in the 1960s to 1970s

In the 1960s and ’70s, women saw great changes in political and social landscapes. During this time divorce rates escalated, which lead to an increase in working single mothers. It was at this time that feminist movements finally broke down barriers for women in the workplace by leaving behind the old believe that women needed to be homemakers to be accepted by society!

"We don’t want to wait centuries or even decades to achieve equality for all women everywhere. We want it now." Alexa Blain, co-founder and Managing Partner at Deetken Impact

Women earned legal rights and began branching out from jobs such as secretaries, teachers, and nurses to explore the larger business sphere.

The 21st century

The 21st century has seen an increase in women entrepreneurs, but it has not and is not always an easy position to fill. As female business owners we still face wage wars and are often still met with gender discrimination and fewer opportunities than our male counterparts do. But, despite the hurdles we are faced with, women continue to rise through the ranks and keep creating bigger and better businesses.

Article by Lisa Carr

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com

 

Period Pain is Not Normal – Stop Putting Up with It!

We have all heard the old adage that period pain and cramping are just one of things we must endure as a woman. However, this is untrue. Painful periods that impact your daily performance are not normal.

Severe pain and cramping associated with your menstrual cycle is in fact a sign that something is not quite right and is rather a signal that there may be a hormonal imbalance, nutritional issue or underlying health condition that you need to address.

Ideally, your menstrual cycle should come and go with minimal discomfort and disruption to your daily life. An odd spasm or cramp is usually nothing to worry about (and is quite common during the first two days of your cycle), but severe cramping, pain, throbbing or stabbing sensations (especially strong enough to require pain killers) need to be looked into.

When is menstrual pain not normal?
  • Pain so severe that over-the-counter pain killers offer no relief
  • Extreme backache
  • Pain so severe that you cannot participate in normal activities
  • Severe diarrhoea or constipation, or blood in the stool
  • Bladder pain
  • Painful sex
  • Symptoms at times other than during your period
Variations in Pain

Dysmenorrhoea is the term used to describe painful periods. There are many causes of dysmenorrhoea, but it is important to know that period pain can present itself in many ways and is unique from woman to woman. Some women experience spasms in waves, others experience acute, sharp, stabbing pains. The area in the body also varies - some women may feel pain in the lower abdomen, and others in the back and legs.

For those women who are lucky enough to never have experienced severe period pain, it’s important to recognise that for some women, it can be severely debilitating, requiring hospitalisation or medical intervention. Some women have such severe pain it can cause nausea and vomiting, so it’s essential we never dismiss a woman’s pain based on our own personal experience, and instead should be supportive and encourage them to seek advice from a healthcare practitioner. If you feel you are not getting adequate support from your healthcare practitioner, seek a second opinion.

Enquiries into the cause can include:

  • Case taking and questioning (the more information you can provide on the nature, timing and type of pain, the better)
  • Blood tests
  • Imaging (e.g. ultrasound)

In some cases, further testing may be required, such as with a pelvic exam, laparoscopy or MRI.
Once the cause has been identified, one can then begin to manage the problem.

Causes of Period Pain

As there are many types of pain women can experience during their period, each needs to be considered in the context of other symptoms and enquiries that have been carried out.

Simpler causes can include:

  • Magnesium deficiency (this results in the cramping of the uterine muscle)
  • Oestrogen excess (this results in heavy bleeding, meaning the uterine muscle needs to work harder to expel the blood)
  • Inflammatory diets (caused by increased production of inflammatory prostaglandins; hormone-like compounds that cause contractions and pain in the uterus)
  • Zinc deficiency (zinc deficiency is associated with heightened sensitivity to pain and increased production of those inflammatory prostaglandins).

If the underlying cause of your period pain is a nutritional issue (such as a zinc or magnesium deficiency), then correcting this imbalance should help alleviate the issue. Increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, ginger and omega 3 fatty acids (from oily fish, flaxseeds, chia and hemp seeds) may help decrease production of those inflammatory prostaglandins, to reduce pain and cramps.

Many women also experience a reduction in period pain when removing dairy from their diet. The possible reasons debated for this are that dairy contains small amounts of hormones such (insulin-like growth factor 1 and oestrogen), or that milk contains a protein called A1 casein, which is metabolised in the body to form BCM7, which some people are especially sensitive to. For some women, switching to a dairy free diet can result in a remarkable reduction in pain.

If oestrogen excess is causing heavy periods and subsequent pain, then this hormonal imbalance needs to be rectified. Oestrogen excess may be due to increased production of oestrogen, reduced clearance of oestrogen, or a combination of the two.

If increased production of oestrogen is the cause, then one needs to look at factors they can modify, like body fat levels and exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Some women, however, do naturally produce more oestrogen, so in these cases it is necessary to assist the body in oestrogen breakdown and clearance. Oestrogen is cleared mainly from the liver and bowels, so supporting these organs and ensuring regular bowel movement can help remedy the situation.

More Serious Causes of Period Pain

Sometimes, the issue is something more serious than a nutritional deficiency or dietary issue. In these cases, period pain may be caused by an underlying condition, like fibroids, endometriosis, cervical stenosis or pelvic inflammatory disease (typically caused by a sexually transmitted infection) and ectopic pregnancy.

In endometriosis, the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus, for example in the bowel or abdominal cavity. This can cause extreme pain, heavy bleeding and widespread inflammation. Other symptoms of endometriosis include bleeding between periods, pain during sex, infertility and pain during urination and bowel movements. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is vital that you get yourself checked out.

What Isn’t a Cause of Period Pain

PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome), is a common health problem caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. But although many believe it may be the cause – PCOS is not in fact a cause of period pain. So, if you have assumed that your painful period is being caused by this, it is important to realise that this is not the case, and to investigate further.

Perimenopause is a time in which women experience changes in their cycle, like variations in length, heavier or lighter bleeds, however pain is not inevitable. In the early stages of perimenopause, many women experience a significant increase in oestrogen production, which may lead to the issues discussed above. Therefore, it is common to allot painful periods down to these hormonal fluctuations. However, it is important to still investigate the pain fully independently, as a potential separate item, to ensure that the true cause isn’t missed.

Monitoring Your Period Pain

Your overall health and wellbeing can be greatly affected by the health of your reproductive organs, so being informed and proactive when it comes to your menstrual cycle is indispensable. Keep track of your menstrual cycle and symptoms with one of the many period tracking apps, or in a notebook. These tools will provide you with valuable information to give to your healthcare provider.

Article by Colette Carr

Photo by Sydney Sims

Centre for Women’s Health; www.nikicleuet.com; www.yourperiod.ca

 

 

The Delights of Being a Single Lady

"Give it up for my sister!
All right now, everybody put your hands together
Do we have any single ladies in the house tonight?"
- Beyoncé

The historic term for unwed women is “spinster” (now considered a very derogatory term).

Years ago, an unmarried woman ended up with a lower-status, which led to lower-income jobs like combing, carding, and spinning wool—hence "spinster." When the term “spinster” first entered English in the mid-1300s, it referred to a woman who spun thread and yarn. By the 17th century, spinster was being used in legal documents to refer to unmarried women.

Single women today are often referred to as “bachelorettes”.

You’re Single? So What!

There is so much value in being single that people often tend to overlook. We should instead be embracing and appreciating our single life. Being single means you are not legally bound to another person, you have the freedom to learn, grow, and explore, without any of the guilt associated with taking time out for self-care. And the payoff is, that if you do decide you would like to pair off with someone, you know exactly who you are and also what you want.

The Benefits of Being A Single Lady
  • More time to develop strong friendships
  • More time to focus on health – research suggests that unmarried people tend to be healthier than married counterparts
  • More time to learn about yourself

One of the most important relationships you will have is with yourself and being single can provide a valuable opportunity to learn about your likes/dislikes, embrace your authentic self, and explore hobbies or activities you’ve been itching to try.

It's not uncommon for people who have not had the chance to explore life on their own terms to experience regret. It is important to use your single status as an “opportunity” to be a little selfish about your desires. The reason is twofold: The more you spend time with yourself, you get clear about what your values are, thus the more likely you are to attract the type of partner that is the right fit for you.
That is, of course, if that's of interest to you!

Being Single in The Workplace

Single, child-free women often find that they don’t receive the same flexibility in the workplace and are often made to feel that they are there to pick up the slack for their married bosses and colleagues.

"There are a lot of misconceptions about single people in the modern-day workplace. A former employer once brushed me off when I raised the issue of salary, telling me that because I was a single person with no children, my concerns couldn’t really be about money—after all, I had no one else to support". Bella DePaulo

The Single Lady’s "Second Shift"

The single lady often finds herself spending late nights at the office with a desk cluttered with takeout containers whilst losing track of time as she makes her way through files and heaps of paperwork. Her co-workers with children are out the door at 5pm, balancing their work life with family life. Does “life-balance” only apply to moms?

And so, the newest form of workplace discrimination enters our offices… single women who carry the undue burden at the office and leaning in for their married-with-kids co-workers.

“… an inequity simmering under the surface in many corporate cultures”, says social scientist Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., author of Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Stop It. According to DePaulo, "singlism" represents the myriad ways that our culture rewards married couples, from discounts on car insurance to preferential treatment in the housing market, while treating singles as second-class citizens—and it's increasing in the office. While businesses are increasingly sensitive to helping parents manage their time, they still assume, says DePaulo, that "single people don't have lives. No life means no need for balance—when, of course, everyone has important obligations, whether it's a class, exercise, caring for an elderly family member, or taking a vacation."

If you do not have children to support, do you not deserve to have a life outside of work?

Article by Lisa Carr

Photo by Jeffery Erhunse
 

Has COVID-19 had a Negative Impact on your Business?

The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating for most small businesses around the world.

Some of us have experienced a total loss of business and income, causing many businesses to shut their doors and say sad good-bye to their loyal staff and customers. Other small businesses are keeping their doors open but finding it extremely difficult to “hang in there” to survive.

COVID-19 has not only had a negative effect on our businesses, it has also been a true struggle on an emotional level, for us all, as we each do our best in trying to stay positive and look to new or revised avenues of resources. Entrepreneurs are being forced to adapt fast during this incredibly challenging time.

What should you be looking at now?

1. Business Finances

Expense management is likely to be one of the first things that you consider, by cutting back expenses where you can. It is important to carefully check to see what is vital for the running and potential growth of your business, also to ensure that you market and advertise your business now, to extend your reach and to continue to create brand awareness to your market. Many businesses fail to do this. Advertising and Marketing is key, to ensure that you stay “top of mind”. That’s her Business provides your clients / potential clients with a “go to” list as well as a platform to stand together in unity as we support our sisters in business.

2. Productivity and Mental Health

You may be inclined to try to be as productive as possible. However, your well-being is equally as important. COVID-19 has compounded the stress of being an entrepreneur, but, during times like this, you need to prioritise your mental wellbeing.

“We are dealing with two contagions — the virus itself and the emotions it generates. Negative emotions are every bit as contagious as the virus, and they’re also toxic." - Emily Pine and Tony Schwartz in the Harvard Business Review

COVID-19 has shifted our mindset about the world, about health and our bodies. It has forced us to reckon with our own health, and that of our loved ones. It has caused a deep impact in our imagined futures and the tools we have to cope with our mental well-being.

Forcing yourself to schedule one Zoom meeting after another does not allow you to process your feelings and response. Allow yourself time and space to give you better clarity for decision making and creativity. If you have a family at home to take care of, which may even include home schooling your kids, then putting pressure on yourself to work, and maintain your usual levels of productivity will exhaust you.

Right now, your physical and mental wellbeing are of utmost importance.

Keep up to date with official news, but limit this. Too much of it, may cause your days to be overtaken with panic and worry. Mindfulness is an essential way of grounding yourself, especially in these overwhelming times.

3. Networking

You may feel that there is not a lot you can do, during lockdown. The important thing you can be doing is TALKING TO YOUR MARKET, THE RIGHT PEOPLE. Talk to your friends, family, employees, customers, and your market – expand through networking.

  • Open communication is key for survival
  • Stay connected through channels of targeted communication
  • Support local businesses that are hit hardest by lockdown
  • Support your sisters in business

If you have a service or product to offer, share it on the platform which supports like-minded female businesswomen.
If you need a service or product, then look to that same platform.
This way, we can “link hands” as we hold each other in support through these difficult times.

View this month’s listings and support our Ladies’ businesses for:
Property sales, Home renovations, Bookkeeping, Design, Education, Health & Wellness, Handmade pampering products, Custom made garments, Acudetox, Out-patient services and Vitamin C drips, Nails (gel, manicure, pedicure), Hair styling (cut and blow), Holistic Reset Healing, Psychic Intuitive counselling.

We often find our lifelines in unexpected places.
Your business has an opportunity to thrive when plugged into the community around you.
Don’t allow yourself or your business to become isolated.
Be committed to nurturing your network!
List your business with www.thatsherbusiness.co.za and join a powerful resource to extend your data base. Support your sisters as they support you!

Article by Lisa Carr

Photo by Erik Mclean

 

Get Stuck In! The Art of Decluttering

The idea of decluttering can be a welcome challenge for some, and for others fills them with anxiety and despondency. From whichever side you look at it though, there is no denying that decluttering is in fact an art.

It is something we all at one time or another attempt, whether willingly or not, but where to begin? How do you set yourself up for the task, without falling into despair? How do you do it effectively, so that the clutter doesn’t just pile up again within a few weeks and you’re left feeling despondent with more of a mess than you started with?

Well the answer is to have a plan!

It is possible to make the process of decluttering fun and stress-free. It can feel like a daunting task, but if you break it into steps it can make things easier, helping to make you feel the joy as you bring freshness into your environment.

Let’s discuss some decluttering tips and tricks to get going.

Decluttering Tips and Tricks

1. One room at a time
Focus on one room at a time, trying not to venture off into different rooms. Moving from room to room as you work will cause you to lose track of what you’re doing and thwart your progress, which can leave you feeling frustrated.

2. Music is key – prepare a playlist
Music is one of the best ways to boost your mood, and thus help to pass the time and enjoy the chore. It can also pump up your motivation and energy.

3. Five Basket Rule
Prepare these before you begin. The five baskets are used for you to sort your clutter into five sections:

  • Keep - things that need to be packed back away
  • Fix - things that need repairing
  • Recycling - things to be recycled
  • Charity - anything that can be donated to charity
  • Rubbish - anything that needs to be thrown away

The five baskets will help ease your anxiety, as it makes everything a lot more organized - you only need to decide what goes in which basket. If you are undecided about an item, be still for a minute, hold it to your heart and feel what your intuition tells you about where it should go.

It’s important to empty each space first and then divide everything into the five baskets.

4. Other helpful items
Small plastic baskets – these can be used in cupboards and in the fridge, to help group together items for easy storage.
Room sprays and Candles – sealing the deal with a lovely smell in the room you just decluttered.

5. Reward yourself
Decluttering is a task! It can get boring very quickly and it can be disheartening. Reward yourself after each room with something – a nice cup of coffee with a cookie, a glass of wine, reading some great online articles in That’s her Business.

Tips for Decluttering Specific Rooms

Decluttering the Bathroom

The bathroom is often the easiest room, so you may want to start here.

  • Expired - First, tackle the medicine cabinet. Throw out any outdated skincare, make-up, medication, etc. Keep whatever you still need, placing the items you use the most at the front, so they are easily accessible
  • Bathroom cupboards - Next, move onto cupboards and drawers. Repeat the same steps as the cabinet
  • Bath and Shower - Clear out the shower and/or bath, throwing out anything you no longer use
Decluttering the Bedroom

The bedroom is usually a biggie – make sure to have your big bins and music ready before you get stuck in.

  • Make the bed – Seeing a messy bed while you’re trying to declutter and be very demotivating. A key to decluttering is to make things as visually appealing as possible while you’re busy, so a tidy bed will help to do this
  • Loose Storage - Start with nightstands, shelves, desks - areas where things are sitting loosely. These areas usually have collected a lot of clutter over time, so focus on one spot at a time and work through meticulosity, singing along to your music as you divide into your five baskets
  • Cupboards - Cupboards can be the most daunting but focus on one shelf at a time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. Clothes can all be put in Keep basket, unless you no longer want them – in which case, Recycle or Charity are good options. Decluttering cupboards can be challenging as there are often memories and emotional attachments to items. It can be hard to let go of things, but this can lead to hoarding, so hold the item to your heart, asking if you need to keep it
  • Repack - Return everything that you are keeping to its proper place. You should feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in getting to pack items away neatly and with space around them. You could even make a little game out of it – picking things up by colour, category etc
  • Yummy smell - Spritz the rom with a room or linen spray or light a scented candle. This makes the room smell as well as look good, giving it an all-round lighter feeling and making you feel good when you enter
Decluttering the Kitchen

The kitchen can be another daunting room because it is filled with all sorts of things, you never know what science experiment you might growing in the corner of the fridge! But put on your big girl panties, turn that music up, and get stuck in!

  • Fridge - Start with the fridge and freezer as it can give the most instant feeling of reward. Throw out everything that is moulding or well past it’s use-by-date. Clean the inside thoroughly
  • Food Storage - Next move onto cupboards and drawers with tins, spices, sauces, flours, etc. Remove them all and sort through the items, throwing away anything past its use-by-date or which you will never eat or use. You may want to buy some small plastic containers, to keep together items of the same type so they’re easier for you to find
  • Cleaning Supplies - Remove everything from under the sink. You might find old cleaning supplies which you never use or even empty bottles. Recycle or throw away anything that is no longer needed
  • Kitchen Counters - Lastly, focus on countertops. Remove everything from the counters and wipe them down, throwing away anything into the five baskets that you no longer need
  • Now that you have some tips and ticks to get going. Why not use this weekend to declutter and bring some fresh new energy into your home.

    Article by Colette Carr

    Photo by Grass America

Ditch the multi-vitamins and eat yourself healthy

With so many people taking multi-vitamins, we would assume that those little pills you pop are doing something good for you right?

Well – ‘No’ say numerous medical experts and studies.* Off the shelf vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements don’t actually provide much (if any) additional health benefits if you’re already eating a well-balanced diet.

While multi-vitamins do contain just about every nutrient one would need in a convenient little pill, that doesn’t mean they’re as effective you think.

Multivitamins can pair ingredients that don’t work well in conjunction (for example nutrients like iron and calcium that actually don’t absorb well together).

Food is the best resource

Vitamins are indeed essential for our bodies, and they contribute to digestion, growth, nerve function, healing and many other feats.

But the important distinction is how you’re getting those vitamins says Dr Anne Linge, R.D.N., C.D., C.D.E., a dietitian and diabetes educator at University of Washington Medical Center.

“Our diet should be what’s supplying all of the nutrients that our body needs. That being said, we need to be eating a variety of foods. There is no one major miracle food that supplies absolutely everything.”

The wonder of Bioactive Foods

Adding bioactive foods to your diet is one of the significant ways to attain natural health for the whole family. Consuming foods that are rich in bioactive compounds can help to ensure you are getting the nourishment your body needs.

What are Bioactive Compounds?

A chemical found in plants and certain foods (fruits, vegetables, oils, nuts and whole grains).
Examples are Carotenoids (these give pumpkins, carrots, tomatoes their distinct colour), Polyphenols (a group of more than 8,000 antioxidant-rich phytochemicals which boost the immune system), Fibre (roughage such as cellulose, lignin, and pectin - resistant to digestive enzymes and help makes you “regular”), Essential oils (organic compounds extracted from parts of certain plants like leaves, herbs, barks, and rinds. They contain powerful antioxidant and healing properties). compounds can help to ensure you are getting the nourishment your body needs.

So, what foods should we be eating?

Seeds
A great source of fibre, seeds also contain healthy fats and a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Seeds can help reduce cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.
Add these to your salads, stews, soups and smoothies: Hemp seeds, Cacao seeds, Chia seeds, Flaxseeds, Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds.

Healthy Oils and Fats
Not all fats and oils are healthy. Some excellent choices to add to salads or cooked veggies are Extra-virgin olive oil and Avocado oil.

Fruits
Many fruits are rich in antioxidants and can be added to smoothies, oats, or snacked on alone, like Berries, Avocado and Grapefruit.

Cruciferous Vegetables
One of the healthiest food groups, they are natural detoxifiers, anti-inflammatories and fight cancer. As well as containing bioactive compounds, they are also rich in vitamins C, E, and K, folate, and minerals. Steam, grill, fry or make a salad / soup with:
Broccoli, Bok choy, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brussel sprouts.

Nuts
Nuts are full of protein, fibre and unsaturated fat. Just a handful of nuts a day can help prevent type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Add to oats, fruit salad, or simply grab a handful for your afternoon snack:
Almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts.

Legumes
Providing protein, fibre, carbohydrates, vitamin B, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese. They are naturally low in fat, practically free of saturated fat, and cholesterol free.

  • Black beans - contain bioactive compounds known as anthocyanidins that give a fruit or vegetable its colour. They help lower blood sugar after a meal, important in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes and heart disease
  • Lentils - green, black, red or yellow, all varieties contain numerous bioactive components as well as prebiotic carbohydrates that help your healthy gut bacteria to thrive

Wild-Caught Cold-Water Salmon
Salmon is a great protein option that improves brain health and can help protect against inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. It is rich in selenium, vitamin B (the entire group) and is one of the best sources of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

Teas
Tea contains antioxidants which may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, protect your bones, as well as several other health benefits. Try these out:
Matcha green tea, Rooibos, Holy basil tea, Senna tea .

Article by Colette Carr

Photo by Nadine Primeau

*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309636/
 

Knowing When to Walk Away from An Opportunity

The current climate of the world can be quite scary. The economy has been disrupted and you may feel a sense of panic and the need to grab any opportunity that looks to promise financial gain. But saying ‘yes’ to every new opportunity that life presents you with, is not a sound professional strategy.

Sometimes we are impatiently waiting for opportunities to come our way. Other times we have too many opportunities and we don’t know which one to choose. Regardless, it is important to be cautious and recognize that just because a seemingly great opportunity presents itself, does not mean you have to take it.

Right now, it is easy to make decisions based on fear, and thus overlook breaches of your own personal integrity. Nobody wants to lose business or miss an opportunity. However, what might seem to be a minor infraction at the time (something which you think you can overlook) can often escalate into a major disaster at some point. When you compromise yourself once, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you are needing to do it again and again to survive in the environment you have allowed yourself to tolerate.

As a result, these infractions will take their toll. Stress level increases, work passion decreases, you may even find yourself feeling depressed. This is because you have wandered off your path, not following your inner compass.

Stop before it’s too late. When you compromise, you are closing yourself off from positive opportunities. It isn’t always easy to stand up for what you believe in and walk away. But if you don’t, when the right opportunity comes along you won’t see it because you’ll be too busy struggling with the negative path you’ve chosen.

The Power of No

‘No’ is an incredibly simple yet powerful word. The best business leaders understand that sometimes it is essential to pass on an opportunity, even when it appears to be a terrific one.

Saying ‘No’ to an opportunity is not an arbitrary decision and it should not be used just because something seems risky or because others may not understand it. In such instances, the word will be coming from a position of weakness.

When saying ‘No’ – ensure that you are doing so from a position of strength. That it is disciplined and focused – while keeping your eye on the goal and using your instinct to feel what is right for you.

Using Your Gut Reaction

It is so important to take your personal feelings into account. Going for a walk, or ‘sleeping on it’ are great ways to allow your body’s wisdom to give you clarity. Your heart and gut are as important (if not better) decision makers than your brain – which only uses the logic of that which can be seen and calculated. Checkout HeartMath Institute Scientific findings.

It is key to recognize that an opportunity usually feels wrong for a reason. So, take your gut reaction into account and analyse it. And then follow it.

Checklist

Kathy Caprino (in her Forbes article) shares a checklist she uses to tell her when to walk away from an opportunity, even if it seems lucrative and looks great on paper.

Walk away if…

  1. You cannot be yourself
  2. The messages you believe are important to share are not welcomed
  3. The outcomes you’re passionate about are not in alignment with their desired outcomes
  4. The people you will be collaborating with do not reflect core values that are essential to you (for me, those are collaboration, diversity, integrity, honesty, emotional health, and balance)
  5. You are being micromanaged before you even take the gig
  6. Your experience, know-how, and perspective are not appreciated or valued
Stick to Your Decision

The last step is to stick with your decision. Once you have decided to give up the opportunity, don’t continue to worry and analyse what it would have been like had you taken it. Tell yourself whatever you must, but don’t allow it to turn into regret.

It can be difficult walking away from opportunities because we don’t know what they will turn into. Could they have been massive successes? Maybe, but that still doesn’t mean they were right for us.

We cannot possibly say ‘Yes’ to every opportunity. The only thing we can do is choose what feels right for us at the time, and trust that because we are able to walk away from the wrong opportunities, we’ll be able to recognize when the right ones come around.

Article by Colette Carr

Photo by Burst

 

The Reality of Gender-based Violence in South Africa

Article by #TheTotalShutdown Intersectional Womin’s Movement

The frightening effect of lockdown on gender-based violence

We believe there has been no urgency from the government to fight against gender-based violence. The President in his addresses never seriously spoke to the plight of womin (“i” stands for Intersectiona) during the lockdown, womin that were and are still stuck with their abusers, with nowhere to go or hide.

The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele shared that there were over 8 000 calls made in the first week of the lockdown, but has not spoken on the brutal murder of Tshegofatso Pule or the murder of a sex worker, Robyn Montsumi who died at the police station. The Minister was vocal about the alcohol ban, and active during the higher levels of lockdown. Now? Silence.

#TheTotalShutdown

#TheTotalShutdown Intersectional Womin’s Movement is a Movement that was started by young radical black womin to fight against Gender Based violence and Femicide. The spelling of womin was created by one of our members and the “i” stands for Intersectional. We held a march on the 1st of August 2018 and handed over a list of #24Demands to the three branches of government.

We believed it was time for us to take a stand as womin and gender non-conforming people living in South Africa, the femicide capital of the world. What has changed since then you might ask? Well, the President convened the first ever Gender Summit. Womin from different backgrounds were there and womin that were affected by GBVF in this country shared their stories. The stories were horrifying and upsetting but a picture needed to be painted for the President and the country.


South Africa, the femicide capital of the world

The picture that we painted that day, about the lived experiences of womin, is still how womin live today. Womin and children are still being killed, migrant womin are still being discriminated against when seeking help from officials after an assault, sex work still has not been decriminalized, our leaders are standing in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and forget that it includes womin too.

We believe we are being pacified by Red tape. We are told that the government is working on the #24Demands and that a National Strategic Plan has been concluded and it will benefit womin and GNC people, yet the interim structure did not include young black womin to form part of the committee. There was also lack of representation from the LGBTQIA+ community. A lot of womin and children have died whilst we’ve been caught up in Red tape. Where is the urgency from the government? What drastic measures must womin and GNC people in this country take for the President to realise that GBVF is a crisis that needs immediate attention?

We are tired, we are angry, we are hurt, we are scared but our wish to eradicate GBVF in this country still stands. We won’t stop and we will no longer be pacified by red tape.

How can you make a difference?
Add your voice to the womin who are speaking up about gender-based violence.

Follow The Total Shutdown on Facebook


Article by #TheTotalShutdown Intersectional Womin’s Movement

Photo by Melanie Wasser
 

Taking care of your Mental Health - allowing yourself to have a ‘Good Cry’

Mental, or Emotional health, refers to our overall psychological well-being and plays a major role in our ability to also maintain good physical health.

Part of maintaining good emotional health is being aware of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. This has been particularly difficult to navigate during the stress that the lockdown has imposed on us all, leaving us often feeling anxious as our choices have become somewhat limited to the rules set down by others.

And so, through these many disruptions, we currently find ourselves going through more ups and downs, and perhaps experiencing more frequent sudden feelings of sadness. Our emotional health is being affected, whether it be in small or big ways, leaving many of us feeling somewhat “lost and unsupported”.

The start of strong feelings of sadness, stress and anxiety can very easily develop into depression, and as the depression increases, so does your risk of a number of diseases and conditions. Depression can affect the immune system, making it harder for your physical body to fight off infection and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and other stress-related disorders.

It is not just a rumour that “Crying has health benefits”, there is much truth in the fact that our tears can help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being. We all cried as little babies, and that was acceptable and okay, but now as adults, many of us believe that it’s no longer okay to cry, and that our crying may be seen as a sign of weakness and something to be ashamed of.

Research has found that in addition to crying being self-soothing, the shedding of our emotional tears, releases oxytocin and endorphin chemicals that make us “feel good” and may also ease both physical and emotional pain. When crying, our tears can kill bacteria lingering in our tear ducts or on our face.

The Verdict: Shedding tears can be good for your mental and physical health!

Article by Lisa Carr

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

 

How to Reframe Networking so that it Makes Sense

By Kim Vermaak

Does the word networking fill you with fears of being opportunistic?

Social media rules of not private messaging people, not selling, not spamming, not whatever… can make you fearful of reaching out and leave you feeling isolated.

What if members of those groups perceive you as a taker only and not as a contributor? Will the very people you need to connect with to build your brand shun you? At this point you must ask yourself, what does networking really mean?

As women it is a primal survival instinct built into us to gather. We gather relationships, stores and information. But instincts without skills can fill your life with clutter that does little to serve you or those around you.

One way of looking at this phenomenon of networking is to look at it through another instinct we have, which is to gather food.


You may have heard someone say to you that you need five fruits and vegetables a day to protect yourself from cancer and help your body and mind to thrive. Now you could read hordes of articles about the benefits of what the vitamin content is, but unless you learn how to plan your grocery shopping and prepare delicious meals with those five fruits and vegetables, the facts will do little to improve your life and that of your family. Rather, you may feel so overwhelmed that you end up lying on the couch and scoffing an entire bag of crisps, which has the opposite effect of meeting the vitamin quota you just read about.

This is true for relationships. We meet so many people every day. Whether it is the teller at the grocery store, someone in a group on Facebook, a friend of a friend or a business associate. There is no shortage of people all making noise and giving different messages at the same time.

But networking is rather like going through the grocery store and picking up each fruit and vegetable and turning it over. You check to see if it is ripe, full of colour and ready to eat now or if it will sit like an avocado in a brown bag on your shelf until it is ripe and delicious.

In the same way look at each person you meet at a networking event or real or virtual social gathering. Instead of just talking about you, find out who they are and where they are from. What do they like doing? What their big goal is for their future and their family? That direct contact is like feeling if that beautiful tomatoe is going to be good for slicing and eating fresh, or if it will make a rich and delicious pasta sauce. Each relationship is valuable for a different reason and your job is to sort through these relationships and find a place in your life for it.

When networking, you do need to tell people about you, or else how will they remember you. But communicate your story within the frame of what they have shared with you.

With people you will find out if this is the person who will make you laugh when you feel like crying or will introduce you to your next big customer. Perhaps this is the contact who will be part of a lift club for your kids. Don’t underestimated the value of the person offering the lift club. That extra half an hour that it frees you from traffic could be the time that you sign the biggest deal of your life. Each relationship has its own unique flavour to add to your life.

We meet so many people every day. Whether it is the teller at the grocery store, someone in a group on Facebook, a friend of a friend, or a business associate. There is no shortage of people all making noise and giving different messages at the same time.

While you are still trying to sift through what all this networking means, you can get lost in what you ought to be doing. And that is connecting.

We all want to be heard, to be known and to connect. Like food, some relationships give you a sugar rush high, but leave you feeling unsatisfied and then you need that extra slab of chocolate to feel good again.

It is time to be deliberate. Set up a list of what you really need out of relationships. Does that sound opportunistic again? No, it is not. It is about setting realistic expectations and realism protects both parties. I cannot add the bag of crisps to my fresh salad or the crisps will get soggy. Is it the crisps fault that the tomatoes make them soggy? No, rather it is my unrealistic expectations of the combination that is the problem. Once you have sifted through those relationships and put them into the correct place, is will provide for a better quality of relationships This does not imply that at some point the relationships may not take on extra dimensions.

Networking does not have to be a scary process. It is rather about fine tuning your existing instincts to connect, gather and find meaning in the world.

Kim Vermaak is an author, marketer and legacy builder.

She is the author of the Book Series The Chronicles of Nadine. Her book The Last of the Silver Wings is available on Amazon.

www.kimvermaak.com

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez

 

The Powerful Immune Boosting Role of Vitamin C

The cold weather has indeed set in, and with winter upon us, we all know that means flu season has arrived too.

With Covid-19 being at the forefront of our minds, one may have forgotten that the flu can also be deadly, for those who have a lowered immunity.

“In South Africa, it is estimated that approximately 11,800 seasonal influenza-associated deaths occur annually”

Dr. Andrew W. Saul, an international expert on vitamin therapy, says, of Vitamin C, that it is “...a clinically proven antiviral, without equal.”

Unfortunately, not all Vitamin C is created equal, and many of those bottles available on the shelves may have very little benefit, as Vitamin C tablets have very poor absorption. This is why getting a Vitamin C drip (a quick 15 minute process) is a great way to safely boost your Vitamin C levels.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient in our diet which is found in
  • Citrus fruits
  • Red & green peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Brussels sprouts
Do you have Vitamin C deficiency? What are some of the symptoms?
  • Swollen & bleeding gums
  • Fatigue
  • Coloured spots on the skin
  • Poor wound healing
  • Joint pain
  • Loose teeth
Vitamin C assists in the building of the body’s immunity by
  • Promoting wound healing
  • Providing an antioxidant to prevent damage to cells
  • Helping with the production of collagen (collagen keeps skin strong and flexible)
  • Assisting in the production of chemical “messengers” called neurotransmitters
  • Reducing the severity and duration of common cold, by speeding up the recovery

VITAMIN C DRIP now AVAILABLE!!
SR Sue-Ann Mahlwele (Prac no. 0180637)
Bracken Wellness Centre
073 545 3236


Article by SR Sue-Ann Mahlwele

Photo by Bruna Branco

 

Why Our Hustle Culture Can Be Toxic

The last month has definitely been a shock to our systems, having had to suddenly slam on the brakes of our work and social lives. While it has been challenging, perhaps causing feelings of fear and anxiety – one good thing that has come from all this, is that it has shone a light on just how hard we had been pushing ourselves without even realising it.

I am sure most of you have done a lot of sleeping, because our poor bodies have finally had a chance to slow down and catch up on some much-needed healing rest.

So, with lockdown now eased a level, and the way slowly being paved for us to return to ‘normal’ – we can ask ourselves how healthy ‘normal’ was, and do we really want to return to that way of life?

Less Hustle more Heart

Had your ‘busyness’ actually moved you further away from what really matters to you? Had it been getting in the way of truly living the life you want to live? When last did you play board games with your spouse, have fun baking, do arts and crafts with your children – before this pandemic? And how much enjoyment have those things brought you during lockdown?

When we return to work, let’s focus on using our hearts as well as our brains this time – to work smart, while staying healthy and happy.

The Hustle

Society has drummed into us from day one that to be successful you have to hustle. To follow your dreams, you need to do more, work harder, sleep when you’re dead etc. So, we work the long hours, take no breaks, up the caffeine levels …we push through, just make it happen.

We console ourselves with “But I love what I do, I’m passionate about it!” So, it seems valid that this is the extreme we are meant to be aiming for, it’s what we have all been trained to do. But hustle is an outdated philosophy!

To have a healthy balance you need to intentionally and purposely create a little bit of happy for yourself everyday – so that you can get to do what you love, or life will simply take over again and you will miss the chance, just as you did before.

So yes, you can still be passionate about what you do, and work hard for your dreams, but at the same time remain cognisant that you are human and have a right to rest, spend time with loved ones and do something enjoyable each and every day.

Now more than ever is the perfect opportunity to start afresh and create balance for all the things you care for. That means health first, sleep and exercise first, loved ones first.

Let us go back to work with an intention to make time daily to listen to our hearts. Quiet your mind. Relax your breathing – and ask yourself gently “What do you need today?”


Here are some steps to make sure you are keeping your Happy in balance

1. Take a moment to step back and catch your breath

First thing in the morning, and/or last thing at night, or any time you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed – do the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise.

By doing this you are taking a step back from the situation and viewing it from the outside – and so you will be able to see more clearly what is really important and what is not.

The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise

  • You can do this standing, sitting, or lying down – keeping your back straight
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound
  • Close your mouth and inhale through your nose as you count to four
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven
  • Now exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of eight
  • This is one round
  • Do four rounds – and if you feel you need more, you can continue

2. Urgent vs Important

We all have a to do list that seems endless. Small and large things that take up our time.

On a piece of paper make two columns. One labelled 'Urgent' and the other labelled 'Important'. Then list your 'To Do' items under each.

Important – these are things that make your heart happy. What is going to give you the most satisfaction. Your calling, your dream, something that lights you up. E.g. home cooked meal, meditate, lunch with a friend.

Urgent – e.g.: pay bills, buy milk, answer emails, etc

Then do the important thing first.

When you do the important things first, suddenly the urgent things don’t feel so urgent anymore, and when you do tackle them – it is with more enjoyment and a lighter heart.


3. Do Happy Now

There is a myth where we all say “I’ll be happy when…”

That car, relationship, job, pay-out may or may not ever come. Or maybe it will only come in five years. Why hold out on being happy until then? Happiness comes before success.

What we focus our attention and our energy on, is what grows. When your mind is focused on the good things you have, you are going to start seeing more of that around you.

So, write down something you can do today that will make you happy. And then make sure to do it. Feel the gratitude and the joy that it brings you. This is the key to bringing in more happiness.

Let's commit to a new 'normal'

We genuinely hope you can hold on to some of the good things that came with the lockdown. Rest, relaxation, creativity, fun and taking the time to connect with loved ones.

So, commit to yourself – and don’t allow yourself to slip back to the insanity that we called ‘normal’. Live life with more heart – and less of that outdated concept of the hustle.

Article by Colette Carr

Photo by Garrhet Sampson

Talking about Tererai Trent - “It is achievable!”

Tererai Trent was born in 1965 into a life of poverty in a village in Zimbabwe. Tererai was raised in a hut and, being a girl was kept out of school for most of her childhood, as girls were pushed toward marriage and frequently prevented from engaging in any education.

But she was desperate to learn, and so secretly did her brother’s homework and taught herself to read and write from his books. Her father did eventually allow her to go to school, but she only attended two terms before she was married off – when he accepted a bride-price of a cow - she was just 11 years old.

Her husband used to beat her for wanting an education and by the time Tererai was 18, she was already a mother of three children, but her passion for education never left her. When Tererai was 20, encouraged by her mother she wrote down her dreams on a piece of paper and buried it in a tin under a rock in the pasture where she used to herd cattle.

When a non-profit organisation visited her village and asked every woman about her greatest dream Tererai said she wanted to go to America and get a bachelor's degree, a master's, and PhD.

A few years later, Tererai began making her dreams a reality. First, she relocated to the US in 1998 with her then-husband and their five children. Three years later, she earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural education and later her master's degree, at which time her husband was deported for abuse. She followed this with achieving her ultimate goal in 2009, earning her doctorate.

After every achievement, Tererai returned home to Zimbabwe, unearthed her tin of dreams and checked off each goal she accomplished, one by one. In 2011, Oprah named Tererai her favourite guest of all time.

Tererai’s motto is “Tinogona”, which means, “It is achievable!”

Tererai maintains that there is a massive, untapped, global resource in women who have, for one reason or another, set aside their wisdom, their skills, and their dreams in order to take care of the personal business of their lives. Not only is this a type of invisible suffering experienced by countless women, this rich resource is a secret weapon for improving our world. Women have the capacity to inspire, to create, to transform.

You can find out more in her book The Awakened Woman: Remembering & Reigniting Our Sacred Dreams

Article by Colette Carr

Picture Credit: @TereraiTrent on Twitter

 

The link between pulmonary fibrosis and COVID-19

What do we know about COVID-19?
  • Those with certain underlying medical conditions are most at risk
  • The good news is that the majority of people who become infected will recover
  • Some people who recover will however have diminished lung capacity, because the virus can cause Pulmonary Fibrosis in the lungs
  • By the time people know they are infected, fibrosis in the lungs may have already have begun
What is Pulmonary Fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition that causes lung stiffness and scarring. This makes it difficult to breathe, as it can prevent your body from getting enough oxygen. This weakness in the lungs may eventually lead to respiratory and/or heart failure, stroke, pulmonary embolism, and lung infections. Weakness in the lungs means that other tissues aren’t getting the oxygen that they need, and scar tissue makes the lungs more susceptible to infection. You may have pulmonary fibrosis for some time without any symptoms. Typically, shortness of breath is the first symptom to occur, other symptoms can include:

  • dry, hacking cough that is chronic
  • fatigue
  • chest discomfort
  • weakness
How is Pulmonary fibrosis treated?

By making changes to your lifestyle, which includes:

  • Avoiding second-hand smoke and taking steps to quit if you are a smoker. This can help slow the disease’s progression and ease your breathing
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Following an exercise plan (developed with guidelines from your doctor)
  • Avoiding excess stress
  • Getting adequate rest

A lung transplant may be recommended for those under the age of 65 with severe disease.

How can I protect my lungs?

Recommended use of a combination of LifeWave patches. LifeWave X39 + Y-Age Glutathione provide a solution in protecting the lungs, as they can prevent fibrosis.

The X39 patch increases collagen production. Collagen is the most prolific protein in the body and is required for healing. It protects cells from damage as well as also healing tissue. The Y-Age Glutathione protects the body from infections by balancing the immune system.

Article by Colette Carr

The gift of Family Bonding

During the last couple of weeks, we have all been given the gift of family bonding. While in years gone by it was the norm, in today’s busy society it is very rare for a family to spend this much time together. Though at times you may have felt yourself close to either madness or murder 😉, it is good to remember the benefits. Family bonding times are a great way to model expected behaviours inside the family circle and the community. It is also a great way for the parents in the family to learn how to communicate with each other as well as with their children.

This shared quality time assists children in improving relationships and bonding to their family members. Making a habit of displaying interest in the well-being of your children and spouse makes it more likely for them to consult family members when they are experiencing personal problems.

Turn off the tv, switch off the Wi-Fi, and spend some quality time together face-to-face. Below are some ideas of fun things to do.

Bake and cook together

This is a great one, as family members learn how to listen and work together as a team. It’s a great way for children to learn how to interact in society by watching their parents interconnect with each other.

Getting children familiar with baking and cooking from a young age can have a lasting impact on their eating habits later in life. So, why not dedicate a day to this activity and see whether it is something that interests them? They may even develop a love for cooking and grow up to become a master chef. 😊 Start out sticking to easy, child-friendly recipes, so that they can understand most of it. Think up some tasks they can help you with - depending on their age, for example mixing the ingredients, peeling vegetables, and if they’re old enough maybe even chopping them.

Tend to your garden

If you have a green thumb, maybe your children will also enjoy gardening. Check with them if this would be something, they would like to try with you and then you can designate a part of the garden to be their mini garden where they can take care of their own plants.

Arts and crafts

Give your child a chance to embrace his or her artistic side, as well as giving you the chance to get creative and act like a kid again. Arts and crafts cover such a wide category of, whether it's learning a new handcraft, or getting messy with paints, your children will love exploring the many ways to express themselves. You can try your hand at painting or drawing. Other options include paper mache, learning to knit or sew, scrapbooking, photography, and so on. Basically, it doesn’t really matter what you decide to make, as long as you do it together.

Fun exercising

Another fun activity is physical activity. Teaching your children from a young age how important it is to stay active is essential. You don’t have to do any strenuous workouts but just 30 minutes a day can have a big impact on their well-being. Stretching, running, dancing and playing a sport in the backyard are all options – anything to get the body moving and the heart rate up. The focus here is on having fun!

Check out this video for a fun exercise routine for children

Article by Colette Carr

Women in business – successful and unstoppable

We are all aware of the imbalance between men and women in the workplace, from salary scales and increases to promotions. But for every negative situation, there exists an opportunity – and the obvious one in this case is the amount of women who have opted to start their own businesses, perhaps sharing the thought “Screw that, I’ll just start my own business!” 😊

In the last two decades more women than ever before have started their own businesses, overtaking their male counterparts, and they are prospering. The reality is that women can, and now do, have an impressive presence in the business world.

A great advantage that women offer the business world - in particular, management roles - is that they have a different set of life and work experiences to men, and therefore offer a different perspective. This leads to different opinions and strategies.

The trend for women in business is growing, fuelled by women brave enough to push past their comfort zones and social conditioning (women’s place is in the home) and get into the big business game. Finally, we are seeing women following their inner compass, and showing support to other women.

Deep down we instinctually know that we are meant to be supporting and lifting each other up, not competing. Mentorship programs are on the rise, helping pull women up, and women are pulling together and creating their own networking, conferences, and meet-ups - this very online magazine an example of that.

Let’s pull together and support our sisters, after all…the future is female.

Article by Colette Carr

Concerned about Coronavirus?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) mania is visible everywhere. Turn on the news, open a magazine, check your social media…and it’s there. All these messages succeeding in causing fear and panic around the topic. Add to that the announcement from the President yesterday, and you are justified in feeling a little overwhelmed and scared right now.

Why you shouldn't panic

Coronaviruses belong to a large family of viruses which cause a wide spectrum of illness, these range from very mild to severe. Some of these viruses cause illness in people, while there are numerous others that circulate among animals.

While the focus right now is solely on the coronavirus, we are forgetting that we manage through the seasonal flu season (without panic) every year.

According to the World Health Organization, the common flu causes up to 5 million cases of severe illness worldwide and kills up to 650,000 people every year. Currently, global deaths from COVID-19 (most recent stats are around 6526) are far less than that.

So, despite the media frenzy and worldwide panic, with marketers climbing onto the bandwagon to take economic advantage of these fears, the Coronavirus has thus far been less deadly than the flu. Only 2 out of 10 cases tend to be more serious (and can be fatal), while the other 8 cases are considered mild, with minor flu-like symptoms that resolve themselves. The elderly as well as people with compromised immune systems are those who tend to be at higher risk – for Coronavirus as well as other viral infections.

So don't panic, instead be reasonable and bear in mind that influenza season (Winter) is soon approaching and that expected respiratory tract infections are common. It would benefit you to increase your immunity and that of your family to better fight off ALL illness.

Also, be mindful of inadvertent prejudice. Just because someone is Asian does not mean they have COVID-19, any more than the fact that you come from Africa does not automatically mean you have TB. Let's spread love and tolerance...not fear. We need to support each other in these difficult times.

In general, these are the steps to take in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses, which include both coronaviruses and flu viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds
  • Take steps to boost your immune system
  • Increase your Vitamin C intake
  • Take a Probiotic - the health of your gut bacteria has a direct impact on immune health
  • Get plenty of sleep - without adequate rest, your body (and immune system) never fully recover. The secret to immunity is good sleep!
  • Exercise in a way that makes you happy and that doesn't put strain on your adrenal health
  • Deep Belly Breathing - when you are anxious your nervous system moves into ‘fight or flight mode’, which lowers your immunity
  • Meditation - according to the World Health Organization, stress is one of the primary barriers to good immune health
  • Stick to a lean diet free of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol
  • Eat lots cruciferous vegetables
  • Avoid processed and junk food
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay at home when you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect your frequently touched surfaces/objects

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is closely monitoring the situation and will test patients that satisfy the criteria for suspected cases. Bear in mind that influenza season (Winter) is soon approaching and the expected respiratory tract infections are common. It would benefit you to increase your immunity and that of your family.

Sources: National Department of Health. (Communicable Diseases) 30 January 2020
World Health Organisation
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Dr. Michelle - Glow Natural Wellness

Children and the love of reading

Article by Fiona Ingram

The love of reading is the greatest gift any parent can give their child. What many parents don’t realise, however, is that enjoyment of reading is not automatic; it is learned by association. When a parent reads with a young child, that feeling of togetherness, that special time, creates in the child a sense of enjoyment that they then associate with reading, and thus as they grow up, reading is associated with pleasure.

But even more importantly, reading with your child will have the most beneficial effects. Parents can assess their child’s emotional, mental/intellectual, and spiritual development, and help them learn about life, (and sometimes death), decisions, and choices that will determine who they are in life and help build their future. Literacy will help a child to forge ahead in education and life.

Getting children to enjoy reading is hard in a world where technology has overtaken good, old-fashioned literacy and other forms of entertainment and play. Your child’s level of concentration and problem-solving on their own might be affected by instant gratification at the touch of a button. A few simple changes in the household routine will help a child develop a love of reading, attain a higher level of concentration, be able to remember things better, and want to advance their reading skills on their own.

Make sure your child sees you reading, to set an example. Get print books on subjects your child enjoys, which may not necessarily be the books you loved as a child. Spend time either during the day or at bedtime reading with your child – just ten minutes will suffice. Quality counts here more than quantity. Engage in the reading aloud experience and make it as exciting as possible. Invest in audio books and have a fun trip to your destination while listening to a story. You can stop the tape, or stop reading, at any time and ask your child what they think of the action, the characters, etc. This will help them to focus and sharpen their attention. Read wherever and whenever you can with your child by engaging in enjoyable activities around reading. This can include while shopping as you ask your child to help you find the right products by reading the labels on tins or packets.

Many parents feel they need ‘special’ help in getting their child to enjoy reading. In most cases (apart from dyslexia), you don’t. You only need a sense of fun, some imaginative ideas, the desire to bond with your child, and the vast library of fantastic adventures that children’s authors have written. Don’t forget to turn off the television and other electronic devices, including your own, during story time!

Fiona Ingram is a multi-award-winning children’s author. Her experiences with child literacy began when she fostered and later adopted a disadvantaged African child who was still illiterate at age eleven. Fiona has presented many talks to parents, educational institutions and libraries on her experiences with teaching her daughter to read and, as important, to love reading. Fiona’s series The Chronicles of the Stone is a middle-grade adventure series sure to get any reluctant young reader to love diving into a book. Fiona’s books are available from Amazon and other major online booksellers. www.chroniclesofthestone.com | www.fionaingram.com