// 3 Everyday Tips for Avoiding Toxic Situations

It’s quite common, these days, to hear a lot about “toxins,” often in the context of holistic health practices (sometimes with fairly dubious claims attached), and usually in connection to various supplements and superfoods.

In fact, though, there are many “toxic” situations and elements that you might brush up against during the course of your everyday life, ranging from actual pollution and contamination in your immediate environment, to “toxic atmospheres” that bring you down in a more abstract and emotional sense.

Here are just a few everyday tips for avoiding some common toxic situations.

1. Consider installing air and water filters in your home
We all tend to be very comfortable in our homes, which means that we can easily overlook the fact that our homes can be subject to various forms of pollution and assorted health hazards, without us even recognising it.

“Sick Building Syndrome” refers to health conditions which developed as a result of a toxic indoor environment – generally in the form of allergens and irritants present in the air, often due to the buildup of certain gases, moulds, and so on.

In fact, the air found in indoor environments is often more polluted than the air found outdoors, and for that reason you should seriously consider installing air filters in your home, at least in the sense of setting up a standing HEPA filter.

By the same token, there are some pretty compelling reasons to be concerned about the quality of the water that comes out of your taps, and it might be that purchasing a water filter for your fridge, at the very least, could prove genuinely beneficial.

2. Become mindful about the kind of information you “consume”
Almost everyone can agree that there is an abundance of “toxic content” to be found in various corners of the Internet, including prevalently on social media.

The thing is, if you are on an “information diet” featuring a constant stream of stories designed to rile you up or terrify you, and if you are spending a lot of your time and energy reflecting on ideas that seem to drag you down rather than to lift you up, your health and sense of well-being will certainly deteriorate accordingly.

It’s a very good idea to be mindful about the kind of information and ideas you “consume” on an everyday basis. Where possible, try to extricate yourself from the constant stream of negative information, and focus on things from a more upbeat and positive angle.

3. Get into the art of home-cooking from scratch
There are many global health epidemics these days, ranging from obesity to the rising prevalence of type II diabetes, that appear to be strongly connected to the types of food that are increasingly commonly consumed.

For example, high fructose corn syrup and trans fats have been clearly demonstrated to contribute to a range of serious health issues. By contrast, fruit, for example, even though it contains fructose, is associated with positive health outcomes.

Get into the art of home-cooking from scratch, and take pleasure in creating delicious recipes. Not only will you feel more satisfied with your meals, but you’ll likely avoid, or at least diminish, a lot of potential health pitfalls.

// this contributed post was written for this charming life.

// If Bad Habits Are So Bad, Why Do We Always Slip Into Them?

Our human instincts make us natural survivors. We can usually sense when there’s danger around us and our body does plenty of things in order to protect us. For example, when our body detects chemical changes in our body, we start to feel nauseous because it thinks that there’s a toxin. In order to expel the toxin from our body, we instinctively feel like vomiting in order to get rid of it. This is just one example of how our bodies protect us from bad things.

But if that’s the case, why are bad habits so hard to break and why do we always slip into them? Surely if something like smoking was really bad for our bodies, we would feel ill and awful after doing it?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/EA12y2MfgXI (CC0)

Bad habits give you a temporary reward

Every bad habit in your life has a temporary reward. For instance, smoking tends to have social implications attached to it. In the past, it made people feel “cool” since it helped them fit into the workplace or with their friends. Some people also claim that it helps reduce their stress, but this is mostly due to the fidgeting with their hands and the image it gives in some circles.

As we grow older, we tend to try and balance bad habits with good ones. In short, everyone has their vice because it gives them some kind of temporary reward. Even sleeping for long periods of time or binging on fast food can be considered a bad habit. You know that it’s going to make you feel bad afterwards, but you still indulge in it because it has a temporary “feel-good” moment.

But are all bad habits really bad?

One of the things about bad habits that people misunderstand is that we can’t get rid of them. Habits are there because our body feels a need for something. However, what we choose to fill that can greatly affect our body and mood. Some people like to sleep in because they feel comfortable in bed or because they’re tired. However, if you have commitments or something fun to wake up for, then you’re less likely to sleep in.

Similarly, something like the THC oil from cannabis can actually have positive effects on the body. While there are some side effects, it’s usually a lot better than other forms of smoking and most “hard” drugs that can change your body and make you highly addicted. In short, bad habits might seem bad on the surface, but there’s likely a much worse alternative around the corner.

So can we get rid of bad habits?

It’s important not to think of them as bad or good habits. Instead, it’s best to accept that it’s part of who you are. Once you realize that you have a problem with something or that you could be spending your time and effort doing something different, you’ll start to have a clearer mind that allows you to make better decisions.

In short, don’t just think of bad habits as unequivocally bad. Instead, think of them as something that can be replaced with something better, and always remember that your bad habit could be something a lot worse.

// this contributed post was written for this charming life.

// Wow Yourself With These Ways To Wake Up Gorgeous!

I’m going to preface this article by telling you that you are ALREADY gorgeous. Even if you are waking up looking like a swamp demon, you are a beautiful swamp demon and don't you ever forget it.

That being said, waking up looking dewy and glowy and plain beautiful? That’s not a thing that everyone can do. You want to wake with flawless and radiant skin after a night of sleep, and right now that feels impossible. The thing is, it can be done - really, it can! There are so many ways that you can maintain glowing skin even first thing in the morning. You want your complexion to be hydrated and smooth, and you want to remove bags under eyes, too. You want your face gorgeous from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. So, let’s look at some of the ways that you can achieve that. (You’re still gorgeous, seriously.)

  • Every single day, use sunscreen. It doesn't matter if it’s not roaring heat with sunbathing on the menu. You want to have skin that is flawless and smooth, and for that, you need sunscreen. Apply to your face morning, noon and evening as part of your skincare routine. You don't want your skin damaged by UV levels; the leather bag look is not the look you want to go for.

  • You’ve heard the fact that you are what you eat, but did you know that that will impact your skin? You can affect your skin with things that can damage your gut, so choose to indulge in nutritious food, and you’ll be golden! Eating lots of healthy fats will also help, as the healthy fats will keep your skin hydrated and moist, which is just what you want!

  • When you want to add products to your skin, make sure that you do it right after your bath or shower. The timing of your products will affect your skin, with your skincare routine required immediately after you wash. It’ll seal in all the moisture and good stuff, and your skin will be looking beautiful in the morning!

  • Your exercise levels are so important when you are trying to get that healthy glow on your skin. The more you workout, the more the blood flow increases to your skin and the oxygen and nutrients all head to the surface of the skin. This makes your skin feel vital, plump and ready for the day!

  • Leave it alone. No, really, if you have a spot or a scratch, stop picking at it. Keep your hands away from the face and use copious amounts of good moisturizer instead. If you pick your face, you are likely to leave even more dirty germs behind that will just make things worse. Leave your face alone and make sure that you keep your face washed and clean throughout the day.

Waking up gorgeous? That’s easy - you’re already doing that. Now you know how to add dewy skin to your morning wake-up!

// this is a contributed post written for this charming life.