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WIN A Morning of Bounce-Tastic Fun at NRG Fitness

For You and Your BFF!

Closing date: Thursday, 25 March 2021

To celebrate International Happiness Day, we’re giving you and your BFF the chance to win a workout that’s super-fun and a brilliant calorie-burner from NRG fitness!

Dubai’s award-winning boutique gym NRG Fitness have launched their latest must-try fitness class – Bounce Fitness – and we want you to try it out for free! A choreographed cardio workout performed on a mini trampoline that burns up to 600 calories per hour, it offers a full-body workout and really gets the heart pumping. Choreographed to a soundtrack of all your favourite high-energy tunes, bring your favourite gym buddy and you’ll be having so much fun, you’ll forget you’re even doing a workout.

To enter this competition, submit your answer and details below and make sure you follow The Gaggler on Instagram to complete your entry.

Don’t forget to include your full name, Instagram handle and email address so we can contact you if you have won, and celebrate your WIN in our Gaggler community!

For your chance to win a Bounce Fitness class at NRG Fitness for You and Your BFF, simply answer the question below:

How many calories can you burn in an hour at a
Bounce Fit class at NRG Fitness?

Good luck!

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Meditating

Self-Love Boost: 3 Simple Rituals to Pamper Yourself

Ways to get back in love with yourself.

Self-love is an essential component of a healthy and fulfilling life. It involves treating yourself with kindness, compassion, understanding, and recognising your worth.

Far too often, we are hard on ourselves and engage in self-criticism or self-sabotage. It can lead to negative feelings and a lack of confidence in ourselves. On the other hand, when we practise self-love, we can build a strong foundation of self-worth and self-acceptance. It allows us to pursue our goals and dreams with confidence and resilience.

We will explore how self-love can benefit us and provide tips on cultivating it in our lives. So, let’s dive in and start the journey of self-love together!

Ritual 1: Crystal Healing for Increased Self-Love

Crystal healing is a powerful and beautiful way to connect with your self-love and self-acceptance. Crystals are believed to have unique energetic properties that can help to promote feelings of love and positivity.

Holding or carrying a crystal, such as rose quartz or green aventurine, experienced increased self-love and self-acceptance.

The Gaggler Picks

Flourite

MOTION TRADING

Fluorite with Stand

AED 60.00

This Fluorite with Stand from is one of the best stones for spiritual detoxification and can transform negative energy into positive. If you’re feeling off-kilter, this stone can help you get back on track. Fluorite can also boost mental clarity, promote peace of mind, and encourage positivity. It balances energy, improves balance and coordination, boosts the immune system, and more. To incorporate crystal healing into your self-love ritual, try setting aside time to sit quietly with your chosen crystal each day and focus on sending love and gratitude to yourself.

Wand

MOTION TRADING

Selenite Wand

AED 125.00

You can also place crystals around your home or office or wear them as jewellery to keep their energy close to you throughout the day. This Selenite Wand from Motion Trading is used for cleansing and protecting the energy around you and will help you connect with your highest, most divine self. It helps clear blocked energy so that you can feel more in tune with yourself and your surroundings. It also elevates your spirit and improves your intuition so that you can fully manifest whatever you desire in life.

Black Bracelet

MOTION TRADING

Black Tourmaline Bracelet

AED 56.00

Black tourmaline is a strong grounding stone that protects against negative energy, and an excellent choice for those looking for a simple way to start incorporating crystals into their lives. The Black Tourmaline Bracelet features a single strand of beads interspersed with clear quartz points. The black tourmaline beads will help ground you and establish a feeling of security from within, while the clear quartz points will help release blockages, spiritual or personal. This bracelet will clear negative energy and bring balance and alignment.

Remember: The power of these crystals lies in your intention and belief, so trust in the process and allow things to work their magic.

Ritual 2: Affirmations for Self-Love and Confidence

Here are five affirmations that you can use to promote self-love and confidence:

  1. “I am worthy of love and acceptance from myself and others.”
  2. “I choose to love and accept myself, flaws and all.”
  3. “I trust in my worth and value.”
  4. “I am deserving of happiness and success.”
  5. “I have the power to shape my own life and create my happiness.”

Affirmations are an effective tool to help you shift your mindset and build self-love and confidence. By repeating these positive statements, you can train your mind to believe in yourself and your worth. Make sure to choose affirmations that resonate with you and feel true to your own experiences.

Incorporate these affirmations into your daily routine, morning, before bed, or whenever you need a boost of confidence or self-love. Try to say them with conviction, and visualise yourself living and embodying these affirmations. And be kind to yourself if you struggle to believe in them fully. It takes time to change our deep-seated beliefs.

Ritual 3: Meditation for Deepening Self-Love and Compassion

It’s important to remember that meditation is a skill. Like any other, it takes time and practice to develop it. You might find it hard to focus at first, but don’t get discouraged.

With time, you will be able to quiet your mind and observe your thoughts with less effort. The key is to approach it with patience and non-judgment, and to remind yourself that the goal of meditation isn’t to quiet the mind but to develop a different relationship with your thoughts and emotions, where you can observe them without getting caught up in them.

In this sense, meditation can be a powerful tool in helping us to cultivate deeper self-love and compassion.

Mat

EARTHISTIC

Dhyana Darbha
Grass Meditation Mat

AED 75.00

The grass yoga mat has a long history of serving as a crucial tool for spiritual adepts when meditating. It is used in religious rituals and for seating priests and deities. A grass mat can be especially beneficial for those who have difficulty staying grounded during meditation, or have excessive energy due to stress, so you can focus more easily on your practice.

roller

GYPSY ROSE HOLISTIC

Neck + Shoulder
Essential Oil Roller

AED 75.00

With the help of the Neck + Shoulder Essential Oil Roller from Gypsy Rose Holistic, you can relax. It contains 100% pure organic essential oils, including lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus. Also, this roller is easy to use, bringing the advantages of aromatherapy to your fingertips. Use it before or after workouts or any time you need to relax stiff and sore muscles. You’ll feel refreshed after using this roller!

pillow

SAINE

Triangle
Meditation Pillow

AED 395.00

If you want to unwind after or even before a workout, the Triangle Meditation Pillow from Saine is for you. Sit down and relax for a while. Elevating the hips and finding alignment throughout the spine helps you stand up straighter. Buckwheat hulls and the cushion’s triangle shape perfectly support the body while also molding to its shape, making it perfect for meditation..

How to Incorporate These Simple Rituals into Your Daily Life

One simple tip for incorporating pampering rituals into your daily life is to focus on yourself for 10-15 minutes daily. During this time, you can use crystals, affirmations, and meditation to relax, reduce stress, and improve your overall well-being.

You can start by selecting a crystal that resonates with you and holding it in your hand while you repeat your chosen affirmations. Then take a few minutes to meditate and focus on your breath. This small but consistent daily effort can help you develop a strong self-care practice and greatly benefit your mental and emotional well-being. Here are some more wellness essentials that can further boost your ritual.

Legging

C&S ACTIVE

Tie-Dye Legging

AED 200.00

We’re all about you looking and feeling comfortable and relaxed — that’s why we’ve curated the new Tie-Dye Legging from C&S Active. Every detail has been carefully considered, from the brushed fabric that wicks away moisture to the four-way stretch in a modern tie dye print. It hits at the ankle on petites, so you don’t have to worry about it bunching up around your ankles. Pair with any of our other leggings and tops for a wardrobe upgrade.

Bra

C&S ACTIVE

Tie Dye Bra

AED 170.00

There’s nothing more comfortable than sweatpants, but sometimes you need to look like you’re not wearing sweatpants, so we’ve curated the Tie Dye Bra from C&S Active. It’s got all the comfort of your favourite pair but with a sporty, streetwear look and an athletic fit that keeps you super comfy. It’s made of brushed fabric with moisture-wicking properties, so it’s lightweight and breathable and features four-way stretch fabric for fantastic comfort, so you can move like nobody’s watching. The perfect bra for practice or

Bottle

MOTION TRADING

Amethyst Crystal Water Bottle

AED 280.00

Amethyst is known for its calming and spiritual properties and ability to enhance intuition, balance energy, eliminate negativity, and boost self-assurance. Now you can infuse your water with crystal energy — and all the benefits that come with it — with the Amethyst Crystal Water Bottle from Motion Trading.

diffuser

RUT ESSENTIALS

Stone Diffuser

AED 459.00

The Stone Diffuser from Rut Essentials is the perfect way to elevate your environment, improve your mood, and create a warm and welcoming space. The Stone Diffuser uses 100% pure essential oils to ensure a durable product that’s undergone extensive testing and is CE-certified. It has numerous mist settings, so you can change the frequency and potency of your preferred aroma, making it great for any size room. 

The very sophisticated mechanism guarantees simplicity of use and noiseless operation.

neck pillow

SAINE

Cherry Stone Neck Pillow

AED 100.00

Made in Japan, the Cherry Stone Neck Pillow from Saine is a natural way to promote well-being. It’s based on the principle of using heat to relieve muscle tension, which is a natural way to relax and ease menstrual, stomach, and colic symptoms. The cherry stones can retain heat for up to 50 minutes because they are hollow inside. The outer pillow is washable; remove it from its storage box and throw it in the washing machine with your regular laundry. 

earth kimono

KIMONOGIRL

Earth Element Kimono

AED 2,500.00

The Earth Element Kimono from KimonoGirl represents grounding, the foundation of life, substance, connection to life path, and our roots. It is charged with high frequencies and includes a mantra stitched within the placket. The superpowers of this kimono are grounded, wise, and nurturing. This divine grounding kimono is made from silk, and the outer side is printed with abundant flora and hummingbirds. The inside is a beautiful purple shade with intricate hand-embroidered details throughout the garment, including an exquisite hand-embroidered dragon that travels down one side of the kimono.

candle

SAANTE

Lavender & Eucalyptus Candle

AED 100.00

We know what you’re thinking: “I’m stressed, and I need to calm down.” That’s why we’ve got this candle. It will help you to unwind, calm your senses, and recharge with the help of a relaxing and calming candle scented with lavender and eucalyptus.

The scent supports the body’s ability to manage the cortisol stress hormone, and because it’s hand-poured in small batches using only pure beeswax and coconut oil, it’s guaranteed to smell amazing. Infused with the equivalent of one 10ml bottle of essential oil, the scented candle promises an aroma that lingers in the air long after it burns out.

oil

RUT ESSENTIALS

Sandalwood Pure Essential Oil

AED 70.00

The Sandalwood Pure Essential Oil from Rut Essentials is steam-distilled from the heartwood of the sandalwood tree. It has exceptional antiseptic and antibacterial properties and is excellent for grounding meditation because of its soothing, harmonious scent of fragrant wood. It has a rich, enduring aroma that comes from a priceless tree.

Your limbic system, a region of your brain that controls actions, emotions, and long-term memory, can be stimulated by inhaling essential oils. It triggers a response in your brain that boosts your mood and helps you feel more relaxed.

Small Pillow

SAINE

Flax Seed Relaxing Eye Pillow

AED 65.00

Lavender’s lovely aroma can help you relax, while flaxseed’s weight will help you relieve facial stress. The Flax Seed Relaxing Eye Pillow from Saine, filled with organic lavender plus flaxseeds and constructed entirely of linen, is your go-to buddy for a much-needed midday break, to sleep more soundly at night, or to unwind after your yoga session.

The pillow comes with a coordinating linen pouch to keep it clean until the next time it’s used. 

It’s important to make time for rituals, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. It is helpful to set aside a specific time of day for self-care, such as first thing in the morning or before bed, to help make it a consistent part of your routine. By regularly incorporating those products into your daily life, you can build a strong foundation of self-love and compassion that will serve you well in the long run.


The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will too.

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Smudging tools

A Beginner’s Guide to the Ancient Art of Smudging

How to use herbs like sage to purify your space and give yourself a spiritual reset.

Sage is a beautiful plant that has been used for thousands of years as a herb and medicine. It has been used in rituals and ceremonies, both religious and secular.

It’s easy to see why this plant has a long history with humans: it smells great, looks beautiful, and helps keep pests at bay. But sage also has many other uses — you can use it to spiritually clean your space and yourself.

We’ll cover how you can use sage to clear out negative energy from your home or workspace so that you can start fresh with positive vibes.

What Is Smudging and How Does It Work?

Smudging is a Native American tradition used to cleanse the body and spirit. It is the process of burning sacred herbs, leaves, and other materials in a special fire to cleanse the area around you. It clears negative energy from your space, body, or mind.

The burning herbs release smoke that carries their scent into the air. The scent of these herbs is meant to purify your surroundings because it helps remove negative energy and replace it with more positive energy.

To do this effectively, you need to understand what makes smudging so effective and beneficial in the first place.

The Benefits of Smudging: Clearing Negative Energy and Promoting Well-Being

Negative energy can come from various sources, such as stress, tension, and unresolved emotions. By burning sage or other herbs, the smoke created can help to neutralise and dispel negative energy, leaving the space feeling lighter and more peaceful. It is beneficial in areas where people have been arguing or where there is a lot of stress.

Another benefit of smudging is that it can promote feelings of well-being. The smoke created by burning herbs is said to have a grounding and centreing effect, helping to calm the mind and ease tension. It promotes a sense of peace and tranquility, which can be particularly beneficial for people who are feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed.

Smudging can also cleanse and purify objects, such as crystals or jewellery. It helps to remove any negative energy that may have accumulated on the object and restore its natural energy. That is why it’s a good practice for objects you wear frequently or that have been passed down to you.

Smudging offers a simple yet powerful way to clear negative energy and promote well-being, whether you want to purify your home, ground yourself, or enjoy the soothing aroma of burning herbs.

burning herbs

Preparing for a Smudging Ceremony

When preparing for a smudging ceremony, you should keep a few things in mind.

First, set aside at least 20 minutes of quiet time to give yourself enough time to prepare and perform the ritual properly. Second, ensure you have plenty of space to walk around freely and for others who may join you in the ceremony. And finally, prepare the sage (or other incense), matches or a lighter, a bowl or basket for the ashes from the sage, water for cleansing, and anything else you want to include in your ceremony.

Conducting a Smudging Ritual: Step-by-Step Guide

Smudging is a simple yet powerful ritual. Following a few basic steps, you can conduct your smudging ceremony at home.

Prepare Your Herbs

Select the herbs you want to use for the ceremony, such as sage, sweetgrass, or cedar. Make sure that the herbs are of good quality and are ethically sourced.

Create a Safe Environment

Make sure there are no open flames, flammable materials, or other hazards nearby — open windows and doors to allow the smoke to circulate freely.

Light Your Herbs

Use a match or a lighter to light one end of the herbs. Blow out the flame, so the herbs begin to smolder and release smoke.

Set Your Intention

Before you begin smudging, take a moment to set an intention for the ceremony. It could be something like “clearing negative energy” or “promoting peace and tranquility.”

Begin Smudging

Use a feather or a fan to waft the smoke around yourself or the room. Start at the front door and work around the room, reaching every corner and crevice. Take your time and be mindful of your intention as you go.

Finish the Ceremony

Once you have finished smudging, take a moment to ground yourself. It is a good practice to thank the herbs and the spirit of the herbs you’ve used and put the flame out properly with water or by covering it with sand.

Rejoice and Enjoy the Fresh, Clean Energy in Your Space

It’s important to note that smudging is a ceremonial practice. Some cultures have specific customs and rituals for smudging, so respect and follow any guidelines from cultures or spiritual traditions if you are from or align with any. Following these steps, you can conduct your smudging ceremony and experience the benefits.

Choosing the Right Sage for Your Smudging Ritual

Choosing the right sage for your smudging ritual is important. That’s why we’ve put together products that would suit you.

The Gaggler’s Picks

Smudging tools

MOTION TRADING

White Sage

AED 36.00

The White Sage from Motion Trading has a soothing, unwinding scent that purifies the air around you and clears the area of unwelcome energies. It is utilised as a cleansing, blessing, purification agent, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. This white sage is perfect for smudging and spiritual purification. It promotes relaxation and helps to clear your energy field.

colorful sage

MOTION TRADING

7 Chakra Sage

AED 55.00

The 7 Chakra Sage from Motion Trading is a colourful smudge stick lined with seven colour-dyed flowers perfect for spiritual purification. This smudge stick is known to assist in bringing balance to your physical and spiritual love. It can cleanse your being or space, promote healing and wisdom, and provide spiritual purification.

red sage

MOTION TRADING

Dragon Blood Sage

AED 75.00

The Dragon Blood Sage from Motion Trading is a type of sage used in rituals and ceremonies for cleansing, protection, and taking away negative energies. It has a powerful protection property and is antibacterial. Dragon blood sage is perfect for smudging and spiritual purification that promotes relaxation while reducing daily stress.

Enhancing Your Smudging Practice with Crystals and Other Tools

Try using crystals and other tools that resonate with you to enhance your smudging practice. We recommend using the following crystals and other things:

Shell

MOTION TRADING

Natural Smudging Shell

AED 50.00

The Natural Smudging Shell from Motion Trading is perfect for incorporating into your smudging rituals. It has a pearlised shine on the inside, which promotes tranquility, increases your feelings of purity, and enhances your ability to express your emotions.

Bracelet

MOTION TRADING

Labradorite Bracelet

AED 66.00

If you’re looking for a way to incorporate crystals into your life, start with the Labradorite Bracelet from Motion Trading. Labradorite beads are known as purifiers of current energies, and they support connection with the energy of light — leading you toward your higher purpose. They calm an overactive mind and open the mind to new ideas and approaches. They also strengthen and protect the aura and rejuvenate your mind.

quartz

MOTION TRADING

Clear Quartz with Stand

AED 60.00

Clear Quartz from Motion Trading enhances your mental clarity, helps with your emotional stability, and promotes light and positivity. It will help you create more focus and clarity around desire. It increases your concentration, supports a balanced outlook, and amplifies your intuition.

Incorporating Smudging into Your Daily Life

Smudging is a powerful ritual that can help you purify and cleanse your energy, as well as your physical space. It’s a simple yet effective way to bring balance and harmony into your daily life. By incorporating smudging into your daily routine, you can create a sacred space within yourself and in your home, allowing you to connect with your spiritual self and bring a sense of peace and tranquility into your daily life.

Smudging can be done in the morning to start your day with clear and positive energy, or in the evening to release any negative energy from the day and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. You can use traditional herbs such as sage, sweetgrass, cedar, palo santo, incense, smudge sprays, or even smudge sticks found in most spiritual or new-age stores.

Smudging is also way to honour and connect with the natural world. It’s an ancient practice that has been used for centuries by many cultures. It can help you reconnect with your spiritual self and to connect with the natural world more deeply.

By taking a few minutes each day to smudge, you can create a sense of peace and tranquility in your daily life and help keep your spiritual connection alive and well.


The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will too.

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A girl sitting alone a smoking

Calling All Smokers with a Desire to Quit

Now’s the time to reclaim your health.

I was seven years old when I decided to be a smoker. Yes, just seven.

In fact, it became one of my goals in life – a goal that I accomplished much more easily than anticipated. My dad and I used to visit the theatre every Saturday, sometimes to watch the same play. On one such day, we spent the intermission at a café within the theatre, where I saw a gorgeous woman – maybe in her 40s – wearing a stunning ballgown. She had a long pipe attached to a cigarette, and I had never seen anything so fascinating. I thought to myself, ‘I wish my mother was a smoker, it’s so cool. She is so pretty. One day I will become like her, I will be a smoker.’

Two years later, I caught my mom smoking and I was so happy. The next day, my entire class knew about it. Apparently, she had smoked secretly for many years. I smoked my first cigarette at 10 and was caught by my mother, but instead of being proud of me, she punished me. From the age of 13, I was a regular smoker. But as fate would have it, today, I assist my clients in quitting smoking and taking charge of their lives. As a result of my services, my clients can stop smoking without experiencing any anxiety and are able to reclaim their health. 

There’s No Going Back

It’s always important to remember that smoking is not a habit – it’s an addiction. Many smokers wish they had never tried that first cigarette in their teenage years or young adulthood. The only reason they continue to smoke is because of the fear of withdrawal symptoms. They believe they will go through miserable days of desperation and deprivation, and will not be able to deal with it. In fact, this belief about withdrawal symptoms is reinforced by manufacturing companies of nicotine patches and gums (as a substitute for smoking). Smokers don’t want to go through these symptoms and, instead, prefer instant gratification over looking into the future to a healthy life.

But the bitter truth is that the withdrawal from nicotine is very mild. And with the right attitude and support from our subconscious mind, it can be hardly noticeable. This is because physical addiction has a very small role to play as smoking is more of a psychological addiction. The first cigarette of our lives is always disgusting – we don’t know how to smoke, we start coughing, it tastes awful. But because there is always a motivation behind this behaviour, we force ourselves to become tolerant to smoking.

So What’s the Motivation?

Well, for some, it’s social acceptance and to feel a sense of belonging. For others, it’s a milestone of becoming an adult. The fact is that everyone knows smoking is harmful – even a smoker wouldn’t want their child to smoke. In any addiction, a person is trying to fill some empty space within. We call it a ‘void’ in therapy. It is important to understand this concept and deal with it in due time, so that smoking is not substituted with some other addictive behaviour or substance of sorts. In most cases, it is because of underlying anxiety that people start smoking, so we often recommend self-hypnosis and mindfulness-based practices, which can be very helpful.

One of the biggest challenges for smokers is the inner conflict that they experience. A part of them wants to quit because of various reasons, but the other part still wants to smoke. This conflict is what creates anxiety. Therefore, it is very helpful to create a list of reasons as to why you want to quit smoking, such as, ‘What are you going to lose or gain by quitting?’

The other challenge is that smoking has been associated with multiple other behaviours and actions in a smoker’s daily life. This includes drinking coffee and smoking, driving and smoking, talking on the phone and smoking, smoking after every meal, taking breaks from work with other colleagues and smoking, and smoking while consuming alcohol.

The Only Way Out Is Through

The formula for success is the desire to quit. If the idea of quitting is forced by family members or a partner, it doesn’t work. In such cases, it’s easier to change the partner than to quit smoking. In my one-on-one De-addiction & Quit Smoking sessions at Illuminations, we discover the limiting beliefs of a person and change them into beliefs that support life without smoking. We identify associations with cigarettes and break them. We create new goals and healthy behaviours that clients want to have as happy non-smokers.

Hypnotherapy is another highly effective modality that helps to resolve the conflict and release any trapped feelings and emotions related to the void. The client is also taught self-hypnosis for experiencing deep relaxation whenever needed. When we start de-addiction, one of the first rules is to smoke mindfully. This means that you start paying attention to every puff that you inhale. Whenever you want to smoke, you take time out to smoke without doing anything else simultaneously. 

This is what I tell my clients: “Cigarettes kill you and you know that. Yet, you choose to smoke. There is a very special bond you share with the cigarette – it definitely deserves your undivided attention, so from today, you can smoke as much as you wish, but do not combine it with any other activity. Do not smoke with anyone else, no conversations on the phone, no watching videos, no checking messages. Just take a moment, go out, smoke, and be present to every pleasure it provides.” 

With this simple behavioural change, they are pleasantly surprised by what they discover. Some say they couldn’t smoke as many cigarettes as before. Some throw away the cigarettes halfway through. Others say only a few cigarettes give them pleasure. Some experience anger towards cigarettes as it consumes so much of their precious time. Hundreds of people have taken charge of their lives this way, going on to become happy non-smokers who are free from past compulsions and filled with renewed energy, thus improving their health and gaining back their confidence. To quote Theodore Roosevelt, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

Dr. Irina Khanna is a Hypnotherapist and Holistic Counsellor at Illuminations.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of The Gaggler.

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The Secret to Taking Yourself to the Next Level

The art of public speaking.

Do you have the goal, the vision, the desire to be highly successful in your career or business in 2023?

If this is on your agenda, then you have probably worked on improving your professional skills and getting the certifications you need, and no doubt you’ll have considered the connections you need to take the next step. But have you also looked at and worked enough on your so-called ‘soft skills’?

There is one area that is incredibly important for anyone who wants to become extremely successful, and that is your communication, public speaking and presentation skills.

You may have heard this quote from Warren Buffet before: “The one skill to improve your value by 50 percent is public speaking.”

Well, it is true.

In my public speaking workshops, I always ask my audiences the following question:

“Imagine you are the best communicator in your team, will it have an impact on your career?”

The audience always answers: “Yes!”

“Imagine you are the best communicator in your company, will it have an impact on your career?”

The audience answers: “Yes, 100%!”

“Imagine you are the best communicator in your industry, will it have an impact on your career?”

The audience answers: “Yes, without a doubt!”

After we have established the impact that outstanding public speaking skills can have on your success, it is time to believe that you can improve and that all starts with a growth mindset. “To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are,” as said Muhammad Ali.

And public speaking is a skill that can be learned — I have seen it countless times how people that work hard and challenge themselves become exceptional speakers. It is possible.

Becoming a great speaker is a honed skill like becoming a martial arts black belt. You need to practice with discipline, be dedicated to learning techniques, to test them in training, and do this over and over again until you are ready to become a ‘black belt.’ So how can you take your communication skills to the next level and ace any presentation in the boardroom and even on the big stage?

There are many ways to achieve excellence in communication, whether you study at home and apply the knowledge you learned in the field, join a public speaking training organisation like Toastmasters, or work with a public speaking coach. Here are a few ways anyone can improve their skills no matter where you are on your journey.

Represent

The first building block to winning communication is to represent. This idea can be applied to your message and your delivery.

As a communicator it is your job to share your message in a way that enables the audience to represent your message in another setting to others. Therefore, you must tell your message in a way that is relatable, logical (for the audience), and memorable.

Very often, professionals are told they only have two or three slides, or a short speaking slot. As a result, the presenter puts as much content as possible on these few slides, making it a cluttered mess with the main message unclear. The audience is not able to memorise what was really important.

Having an overarching key message and a concise take-away is what will ensure your content is represented impactfully to others. And don’t fill your slides with words.

The other aspect of Represent is to help the audience to remember you. Think about a pitch setting where multiple companies are presenting their solutions to one potential client. After four or five presentations, it becomes difficult to remember everyone, but a strong individual that dares to stand out of the crowd will be remembered. Like it or not, it starts with your appearance. My afro, for example, is my key trademark and it makes it easy for people to remember me because very few people have this hairstyle. It might be the clothes you wear that make you memorable. The occasion might demand a suit but maybe you can play with colour or cut.

But above all, audiences will remember an authentic delivery. Focus less on perfection and more on being yourself — not just the corporate version of you. This will ensure your audience goes out and Represents your message.

Presentainment

Walt Disney used this term in the 1950s because he understood that media which educates through entertainment is more effective than boring education materials. You can use this approach in the business world. Almost every presentation aims to educate and share new information, so ask yourself: How can I add a layer of entertainment to this content?

It is very important to clarify here that entertainment is not just humour. While humour is a great tool, entertainment is so much more: storytelling, audience interaction — anything that brings a wow factor to your content.

If you aren’t sure how to do this — ask your team! There is nothing wrong with brainstorming how to incorporate a wow-factor moment. Together you can find the best stories that add value, or ideate how to create a memorable audience interaction. You might be presenting on your own, but presentation preparation need not be a solo job.

Connaction

Connaction is fusion of connection and action.

Many speakers fail to connect with the audience, meaning all they have said is swiftly forgotten and, sometimes, they are not even aware of what it means to create a connection with the audience. We have all observed speakers walking up and down the stage looking at the floor but never at the audience, or with their back towards the audience because they are only looking and talking at the screen. Sometimes, presentations only focus on the professional content but neglect the need for an emotional connection.

An authentic delivery, strong eye contact, open body language, telling personal stories, audience interaction, and talking with (and not just to) the audience are some techniques to make sure that you are turning a monologue into a dialogue. All seasoned presenters understand the importance of connecting with an audience to demand and retain their attention.

One of my favourite philosophies is: “Every speech is an opportunity to inspire.”

We should always strive to inspire action — to encourage the audience to act and look at situations differently. No matter how big or small the stage, how young or old the audience, they all deserve to see the best version of yourself that creates a magical connection and achieves the desired outcome.

There you have it, my three approaches — Represent, Presentainment, and Connaction — that lead to a wealth of ideas to take your public speaking and presentation skills to the next level!

Flo Akinbiyi is a communication specialist: a presenter, public speaker, and communication coach. Check out his free course, 5 Public Speaking Strategies from World Class Leaders, where he explains the art of effective public speaking in more detail.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional business/career advice or diagnosis and should never be relied upon for specific business/career advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of professionals, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of The Gaggler.

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Crystal stones

Everything You Never Knew About Crystal Healing

Unlock the key to radiating positive energy.

For centuries, crystals have been used for healing by utilising their innate frequencies. These beautiful semi-precious gems formed in the heart of the earth use their unique frequencies – based on their molecular structure – to help unblock our energy centres and recharge them, helping us work at an optimal level to bring in positive changes to our lives.

Crystals are formed in the deep layers of the earth under high pressure and heat. When they come together, their structure forms a crystalline shape or grid. As they form under high pressure, their atoms are packed tightly and vibrate at a certain frequency. The minerals and fibres that are trapped in the formation of a crystal is what gives each of them their unique colour and texture. To understand how crystal healing works, we first need to understand a little bit more about our energetic body.  

Our energetic body is made up of energy centres, and there are seven main energy centres (also known as chakras) that move and vibrate at a certain level to help maintain our energy field at an optimal level. These seven energy points vibrate at their own frequency and have their own assigned colours and functions. Think of them as a pipeline through your body, starting from the top of your head to the base of your spine. When they are working in harmony with each other and energy is flowing through all of them, our energetic body or aura is strengthened and we are not only protected, but also give off a positive energy that in turn attracts the same energy towards us. 

When any one of our energy centres are blocked, it affects the surrounding centres, causing us to feel less than our optimal selves. Energetic blocks are caused by many factors including self-limiting beliefs, fear of failure or other innate fears, emotional or mental trauma, societal conditioning, and even electromagnetic frequencies from laptops and phones.

Each crystal vibrates at a different frequency, and their vibrations are based on the way their atoms and molecules move within each of their unique structures. These then interact with our vibrations to balance our energy, dissipating blocks and raising our energetic frequencies. As each crystal has its own energetic function based on its structure and colour, different crystals are used for the corresponding energy centre. 

During a session, all energy centres should be worked on as they are all connected. For example, you may have just gone through a tough break-up and are not sure how to move forward. Understandably, you might be angry and upset. These emotions will create a block in your heart chakra, which is located between your ribs. This block will flow into your solar plexus, located just below the heart chakra, two fingers above the navel. This is your ‘gut’, your self-confidence and decision-making centre. This, in turn, affects the energy centres below it as well. 

The reason we use crystals is because crystals maintain and have a standard, unwavering frequency unlike human beings, whose frequencies waver depending on their emotions. Crystals, therefore, are great tools to help balance our energies if we are unable to do this by ourselves.

A crystal healing session is usually an hour long. As a crystal healing practitioner, I like to start sessionswith my clients with an informal chat so that I can get to know a little bit more about their mental and physical well-being, issues that they are struggling to get through, and any trauma that they might have recently endured. I always encourage my clients to share as much information as they feel comfortable sharing as this helps me choose the appropriate crystals to aid in their healing.

I then ask my clients to lay down and relax while I place the crystals on them. Apart from placing the crystals on their bodies (this is a no-touch healing therapy), I use affirmations, visualisation, and intuitive healing to activate the crystals to give them a specific purpose. I also ask my clients to use positive affirmations as well as visualise what blocks they want to release and what they want to bring into their lives. A crystal healing session is very calming and meditative, and clients often leave with a sense of peace and clarity. You can see changes in one session, though, it is recommended that you do follow-up sessionsin the case of deep energetic blocks. 

Crystal healing helps in rebalancing our energy points by removing negative emotions like anger, fear, guilt, and shame, and works alongside medical treatments for major physical ailments to help accelerate them. Crystals help give us a sense of clarity by clearing out the blocks that stop us from moving forward and allow us to be more aware of ourselves so that we can feel what brings us joy and what we need to avoidmore clearly. If you are new to the healing magic of crystals, here are four powerful varieties for beginners to experiment with. 

Clear Quartz

It is the easiest crystal to programme as it has a very high vibration and works well with all the chakras. Clear quartz amplifies your energy and whatever intention is put into it, thereby opening your energy centres and clearing your blocks. It also aids in restful sleep, relieves headaches, and enhances concentration.

MOTION TRADING

Clear Quartz with Stand

AED 60.00

Clear quartz is said to improve mental clarity and emotional stability, as well as increase focus and clarity in achieving desires. It also is thought to bring light and positivity, improve concentration, promote a balanced outlook, and enhance intuition.

Rose Quartz

Rose quartz is a powerful crystal that connects to the heart chakra, removing blocks and regenerating the energy centre to not only help us receive love, but also learn how to love ourselves. It opens us up to give and receive compassion and teaches us how to deal with people and situations with more empathy.

Add Intro Paragraph Here

MOTION TRADING

Rose Quartz Bracelet

AED 45.00

Rose quartz is known as a healing crystal and the stone of love, empathy, and truth. It is believed to emit strong vibrations that promote self-love, confidence, and compassion. Wearing a rose quartz bracelet is thought to help with matters close to the heart, open the heart to unconditional love, and restore trust and harmony in relationships with oneself and others.

Tiger’s Eye

Connected to the solar plexus – one of our strongest energy centres – this crystal helps us build our intuition by connecting it to where we feel it in our body (the ‘gut feeling’) and regain self-confidence, trust our intuition, and set personal boundaries. 

Citrine

Often known as “the merchant’s stone” as it aids in bringing abundance and prosperity, Citrine is also the crystal of happiness. It doesn’t just work by clearing out blocked energy – it works by rebalancing our energy centres to put in a more positive attitude.

MOTION TRADING

Citrine Bracelet

AED 50.00

A citrine bracelet is said to have healing properties that can help with emotional balance and clarity. It’s a beautiful and versatile piece of jewellery that can add a pop of colour to your outfit. Plus, citrine is said to bring prosperity and abundance to the wearer.

Incorporating crystals into your daily life can be done by wearing them, such as with a citrine bracelet. Citrine, also known as the “Lucky Merchant’s Stone,” is believed to promote positivity, self-esteem, and confidence, and aid in manifesting your dreams and desires. Additionally, it is said to bring in bright energies and enhance mental clarity.

New age healing methods based on crystals and improving energy flow around the body are helping people improve their lives in many ways. Read more in our Wellness section.

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holding urine urge

Breaking the Taboo Around Bladder Leakage

Most women experience urinary incontinence at some point in their lives — but there is help.

Urinary incontinence — loss of bladder control — is a condition that affects up to 50% of women during their lifetime. The prevalence of urinary incontinence increases with age, and physical, social, and psychological well-being can be negatively affected. It can be extremely embarrassing for those who experience it. Therefore, many women (25-61%) avoid seeking help. Many women also believe it is a normal consequence of aging or delivering babies and do not discuss their symptoms with their care teams.

Pelvic health physiotherapists are experts in the treatment of these pelvic floor symptoms. They undergo extensive post-graduate training to help manage this personal, often complex, and emotional issue. 

paper dolls

What Are the Different Types of Bladder Leakage?

The two most common types of urinary incontinence are stress incontinence and urge incontinence, or a mixture of the two — mixed incontinence.

Stress incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine with increases in physical exertion such as cough, sneezing, laughing, and exercise (jumping, weights, running). Pressure increases within the tummy (intra-abdominal pressure) cause “stress” or pressure on the bladder, neck of the bladder, and pelvic floor muscles. A weakened continence mechanism can cause loss of urine. Many women with this type of incontinence will reduce exercise, unfortunately adopting a less active lifestyle which can further compound the issue.

Urge incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine with high urges to urinate that cannot be delayed or postponed. For example, leaking en route to the bathroom or with triggers such as running water and turning the key in the door (triggers can differ for everyone). This type of incontinence poses severe distress to those who experience it, as it can impose many restrictions on their lifestyle. Many women will practice toilet mapping to avoid embarrassment and limit their social life due to fear of leaking.

This type of incontinence is usually caused when the bladder squeezes or contracts at the wrong times, which can occur irrespective of how much urine is in the bladder.

There are also other types of urinary incontinence, such as overflow incontinence and functional incontinence. Overflow incontinence refers to constant or frequent dribbling of urine. Functional incontinence refers to leakage due to a physical or mental impairment that prevents you from getting to the toilet on time.

Risk factors include age, obesity, family history, menopausal symptoms, and medical conditions, such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis, as well as smoking and urogenital microbiome.

bladder image

How Can Physiotherapy Help?

Firstly, what does the research say? A Cochrane review (the highest form of scientific evidence) in 2018 recommended physiotherapy, in the form of individualised pelvic floor muscle training, as first-line treatment for incontinence. The International Incontinence Society also recommended pelvic floor muscle training (under the supervision of a pelvic health physiotherapist) for at least three months as first-line treatment for urinary incontinence with proven positive results (level 1 evidence).

What Are the Pelvic Floor Muscles, and How Are They Trained?

The pelvic floor muscles are a sling or group of muscles that span the whole base of your pelvis, attaching from your pubic bone to your tailbone and both sitting bones. They wrap around your orifices — anus, urethra, and vagina and act like a sling or a hammock supporting your pelvic organs (bladder, bowel, and uterus). They have a crucial role in supporting the bladder and maintaining continence. 

Pelvic floor muscle training will involve an initial assessment of the muscles for strength, endurance, coordination, and relaxation. Based on this, an individualised program is provided to work on any deficits in strength, tone and coordination. There are also in-home pelvic floor training devices that we may recommend if suitable. These are in the form of an intra-vaginal device that can provide feedback on pelvic floor muscle contraction or can stimulate the muscle itself to contract. The research is limited on their efficacy, but there is some promising evidence of improvement in women with mild to moderate incontinence.

squatting

What Other Physiotherapy Treatment Is Involved?

In addition to pelvic floor muscle training, a complete assessment of the whole female body is performed with an analysis of symptomatic movements. This way, muscle imbalances within the hips, pelvis, and abdominal muscles can be addressed with specific exercises. There are lots of treatment strategies that are available to combat leaking with particular movements.

For example, if a box jump causes symptoms at a certain point, we can try techniques like varying breath, step width, and height of the box or only working on jumping down initially, to name a few. My treatment approach is to empower women to manage and improve their condition. While some activities may need to be altered and scaled back initially, if your goal is to box jump without leaking, that is what we work towards in every session.

Other non-surgical options are intra-vaginal pessaries. These are silicone-based devices that come in different shapes and can be inserted/fitted by a trained medical health professional. Pessaries can support the bladder neck and help maintain continence. We also may recommend over-the-counter options such as an incontinence tampon that can be used for 12 hours, or a reusable pessary that can be used during certain symptomatic activities. 

incontinence

Furthermore, depending on the symptoms described, we can provide bladder training and lifestyle advice. Addressing any issues with the bowels, especially constipation, is a must, as constipation can exacerbate incontinence symptoms.

We also refer you to the necessary professionals that may help — a urologist, family practitioner, OBGYN, or psychologist, if required to address any underlying issues that may be causing or impacting urinary incontinence. Medical treatment — medication, surgery, and other treatments may be necessary if conservative treatment does not provide symptomatic relief. However, studies have shown that pelvic floor physiotherapy has a success rate of up to 75% in women experiencing urinary leakage.

There is so much help available if you are living with urinary leakage. Let us break the taboo and begin talking about these symptoms openly and candidly!

Neasa Barry is a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist at Heal Hub Rehabilitation CentreVisit @herphysio and @healhub_rehab for more details.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of The Gaggler.

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How to Find the Perfect Tea for Every Mood

Explore the different types of tea and when they’re best enjoyed.

Tea has been around for centuries and is beloved by cultures all over the world. While its popularity may seem recent, tea was actually first discovered over 5,000 years ago in China. According to legend, Chinese Emperor Shen Nung accidentally discovered tea when a leaf from a nearby tree fell into his cup of hot water. He liked the resulting beverage so much that he decided to spread the word about this new discovery. Tea quickly became popular throughout China and eventually made its way to other parts of Asia and the world.

The Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

It’s no secret that tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages. But did you know that tea is also packed with health benefits? That’s right — drinking tea can help improve your physical and mental health in various ways.

Tea Can Help Boost Your Physical Health

The antioxidants in tea can help protect your cells from damage.

We all know that antioxidants are good for us, but what exactly are they? Antioxidants are molecules that help protect our cells from damage. They do this by scavenging harmful toxins and by-products that can damage our DNA. The antioxidants in tea can help protect our cells from this damage, which may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. 

Tea Can Help Improve Heart Health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, so it’s important to do everything we can to protect our heart health. Fortunately, there is evidence to suggest that drinking tea can help. One large-scale study found that people who drank three or more cups of tea per day had a lower risk of developing heart disease and Type-2 diabetes than those who didn’t drink any tea at all. Another study found that black tea may help reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. 

Tea May Help Boost Weight Loss Efforts

If you’re trying to lose weight, you might want to consider adding tea to your diet. Several studies have found that green tea’s catechins (a type of antioxidant) can increase metabolism and boost fat burning. One study found that men who drank green tea every day burned calories four percent more than this who didn’t. 

Tea May Help Improve Your Mood

In addition to its physical health benefits, tea can positively impact your mental health. One study found that people who drank tea had reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Drinking tea has also been linked to improved cognitive function and a lower risk of developing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. 

tea and books

Finding the Perfect Tea

When it comes to tea, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The type of tea you reach for can vary depending on your mood, the time of day, and even the weather outside. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the different types of tea and when they’re best enjoyed. We’ve got you covered whether you’re looking for a morning pick-me-up or an afternoon relaxer.

Tea is more than just a hot beverage; it’s a cultural touchstone that has been enjoyed for centuries. In fact, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water. And with good reason — tea is delicious, and there’s a variety for every occasion. Black teas are rich and full-bodied, while green teas are light and refreshing. Herbal teas offer a wide range of flavors and can be enjoyed hot or cold.

With so many different types of tea available, it can be tricky to know which one to choose. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you find the perfect tea for every mood. The Gaggler round up some of our favorite teas and when they’re best enjoyed.

The Gaggler Picks

green tea

Namastea

Go Green Refreshing Tea

AED 20.00

Green Tea Mint

For improved focus and concentration, best enjoyed in the morning.

Green tea is ideal for those moments when you need an extra boost of energy or concentration. The key ingredient in green tea is caffeine, which has improved cognitive function and vigilance. If you’re looking for a tea that will help you power through a workday or study session, green tea is a great choice. Just be sure not to overdo it — too much caffeine can lead to anxiety and restlessness.

tea

Namastea

Sun Kiss Immunity Loose Tea

AED 44.00

Black Tea and Exotic Fruits

For a midday pick-me-up or afternoon, break best enjoyed with a snack.

This tea is a delicious blend of black tea and exotic fruits. The sweetness of the fruits helps balance the black tea’s astringent flavor, making it a perfect choice for a midday pick-me-up or afternoon break. Black tea is also rich in antioxidants, which can help to boost immunity and protect against disease. If you’re feeling run-down or are looking for an immunity boost, this tea is a great choice.

jasmine tea

Namastea

Simple Treat Soothing Tea

AED 20.00

Jasmine Tea

For a sweet and floral flavor, best enjoyed after dinner.

Jasmine tea is a type of green tea that is infused with the fragrance of jasmine blossoms. Jasmine tea is known for its sweet and floral flavor, making it a popular choice for dessert. If you’re looking for tea to help you wind down after dinner, jasmine tea is a good option. The mellow flavor and calming aroma can help to promote relaxation and restfulness.

tea box

Namastea

Mister Grey
Relaxing Loose Tea

AED 42.00

Intense Earl Grey Tea

For a calming effect, best enjoyed in the evening.

Earl Grey tea gets its signature flavour by adding oil from the rind of the citrus fruit bergamot. Bergamot is known for its calming properties, making Earl Grey an ideal tea to drink in the evening. If you feel stressed or anxious, try brewing a cup of Earl Grey tea. The aromatic oil from the bergamot can help to soothe and relax the mind.

tea

Namastea

Sweet Dreams
Night Infusion

AED 20.00

Chamomile Tea and Honey

For relaxation and better sleep, best enjoyed before bedtime.

Chamomile tea is popular with those who want to wind down before bedtime. The key ingredient in chamomile tea is an antioxidant called apigenin, which has been shown to promote relaxation. Chamomile tea is also caffeine-free, making it a good choice if you’re sensitive to the stimulant or if you’re looking to cut back on your caffeine intake. Drinking chamomile tea before bedtime may also help you get a better night’s sleep. 

red container for tea

Namastea

Midnight Rendez Vous Rejuvenating Loose Tea

AED 44.00

Black tea, Kiwi, Strawberry and Flowers

For promoting calmness with rejuvenating effects on the skin and body.

This black tea with a fruity, floral flavor will help you relax and calm down. The tea also has nutrients that can improve the appearance of your skin, leaving you looking refreshed and rejuvenated.

Snacks to Go With Your Tea

brown cookie

Beauty Treats

The Good Mood Cookie

AED 90.00

This delicious and healthy cookie is the perfect accompaniment to your tea. It’s packed with antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals and keep you looking young, while collagen helps to hydrate your skin and boost your body’s natural collagen production.

Plus, it tastes delicious! The special recipe combines the antioxidant powers of Vitamin C powder and chia seeds (also rich in Vitamin C, A and E) with the hydrating benefits of coconut oil.

Pink cookie

Beauty Treats

The Hangover Cookie

AED 90.00

This chewy pink cookie tastes like a treat but is actually packed with nutrients! It contains vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, protein, iron and phosphorus. The main ingredient in this cookie is pataya (also known as dragon fruit), an anti-oxidant food that gives it its color. Pataya also has anti-cancer properties, aids digestion, boosts the immune system and protects our hearts from LDL cholesterol. It also protects our brains from premature aging.

green cookie

Beauty Treats

The Energy Cookie

AED 90.00

This delicious, soft-crunchy cookie is dipped in white chocolate and has matcha and spirulina as its main ingredients. Matcha has anti-oxidant properties that help your body recover after strenuous activity, while spirulina is an excellent source of protein that help boost performance.


The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will too.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation at Home

Everything you need to successfully start meditating at home.

In our fast-paced, constantly-connected world, finding ways to relax and de-stress is more important than ever. We’re constantly bombarded with notifications, emails, and calls, and finding a moment of peace can be tough. That’s where meditation comes in.

If you’re new to meditation or have been meaning to start a regular practice but don’t know where to begin, this guide is for you. Meditation is a brief respite from the chaos of the world, a chance to clear your mind and just be. 

The practice of meditation can take many forms, but the goal is always the same: to still the mind and achieve a state of relaxation. And the benefits are well worth the effort. Studies have shown that meditation can help to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and boost cognitive performance.

Getting Started with Meditation

One of the great things about meditation is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. That said, finding a space in your home that is quiet, comfortable, and free from distractions is important. If possible, try to find a room or area that you can dedicate solely to meditation; that way, whenever you enter that space, your mind will automatically begin to calm down and centre itself. 

If you don’t have an entire room you can use for meditation, that’s perfectly fine — any quiet corner will do. Just make sure to remove any clutter or distractions from your chosen space before starting your session. You might also want to dim the lights or light some candles to create a peaceful atmosphere. Finally, sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair with your spine straight and your eyes closed. Once you’re settled in, you’re ready to begin meditating.

When it comes to forming new habits, one of the most important things is consistency. The same goes for meditation. To make meditation a part of your daily routine, aim to meditate at the same time each day. That could be first thing in the morning before starting your day, during your lunch break at work, or right before bedtime. 

It’s also helpful to keep things simple in the beginning. Don’t try to meditate for hours on end; start with just five or 10 minutes of mindfulness each day. As you get more comfortable with the practice, you can gradually increase the length of your sessions. 

Remember: the goal is not necessarily to reach some higher state of consciousness; simply being present and aware of your thoughts and surroundings is enough. 

The Gaggler Picks for Top Meditation Essentials

To further set the mood, the Gaggler lists all the essential items to help you get started on your journey to enlightenment.

"Multi"

PALM LIGHTS

7 Chakra Candle Tealights

AED 180.00

room spray

SAANTE

7 Chakra Balancing Pillow & Room Spray

AED 95.00

SAINE

Lemongrass Essential Oil Spray

AED 85.00

RUT ESSENTIALS

Earth Ceramic Diffuser

AED 37.00

bra

C&S ACTIVE

Ecosoft Bra

AED 180.00

short

C&S ACTIVE

Ecosoft Short

AED 160.00

EARTHISTIC

Mantra Banana Meditation Mat

AED 180.00

PALM LIGHTS

Sandalwood Artisanal Incense Sticks

AED 50.00

With all these items on hand, you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect meditation space in your home. Just remember to keep it simple — less is more when it comes to designing your space. The most important thing is that it feels peaceful and calming so that you can fully relax and enjoy your practice.

The Gaggler team is passionate about finding and sharing great products with our readers. We take pride in researching and testing products to find the best of the best, and we only recommend things that we love and think you will too. 

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Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin D

It’s more than just sunshine and bone health.

Before we dig into Vitamin D, let’s take a quick refresher 101 about vitamins in general. Vitamins are micronutrients and we only need them in tiny amounts. Instead of grams, they are measured in smaller units: milligrams (mg) or micrograms (μg).

Types Of Vitamins Needed By Human Body

The body needs 13 different vitamins to support specific functions that promote growth, repair, and the maintenance of life. They can be divided into two main groups: fat-soluble and water-soluble. The difference between these groups determines how each vitamin acts in the body.

Water soluble vitamins C and B-complex are found in a wide variety of foods, though in relatively small amounts. Our body does not have a storage facility for these vitamins, which means you pee out any excess. Saying this reminds me of the vitamin C effervescent tablets or the energy multi-vitamin Berocca that will make your wee bright yellow. Don’t panic — it’s just your body flushing out the excess.

Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K (easy to remember thanks to the mnemonic: All Dogs Eat Kibble) are found in a variety of fatty foods, some of them in pretty high concentrations. Liver, for example, contains a large amount of vitamin A. 

Now that the basics are covered, lets do a deep dive into Vitamin D, shall we?

avocado on toast

All About Vitamin D

Why do we need it? Well, it helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in our body, which is vital for strong bones, teeth, and muscle. I know its normal to think of calcium when you say bones and teeth, and you are not entirely wrong. It’s just that no matter how much calcium-sufficient you are, without vitamin D, your body cannot absorb and use that calcium. In that sense, vitamin D becomes even more important for strong bones and teeth.

Over the years, we’ve come to understand that its benefits extend beyond bone health — it is now recognised to have a broad impact on the body as a whole. From improving the immune system (there’s some evidence suggesting that sufficient levels of vitamin D may reduce your risk of getting COVID and dial down the severity of the infection itself) to helping reduce depressive symptoms, it can potentially improve strength and fat loss goals. Vitamin D deficiency is also associated with cardiovascular disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and autoimmune disorders — all the more reason to ensure we are keeping an eye on vitamin D levels. 

mushroom

Vitamin D Types

Now that you know its importance, you need to know the sources of vitamin D. To understand this better, it’s important to know that Vitamin D comes in three forms. 

Calciferol

This occurs naturally in fish oils and egg yolk. In many countries, it is mandatorily added to fat spreads (since it’s a fat-soluble vitamin, adding it to high fat foods makes it easier for the body to absorb it), and voluntarily added to breakfast cereals and some dairy products.

Cholecalciferol

This is created when sunlight hits your skin and ultraviolet rays react with steroid chemicals in body fat just underneath. Sunlight is your main source of vitamin D even if you live in a country known for its grey weather.

Ergocalciferol

This is made in plants that are exposed to sunlight. For example, sunbathe your mushrooms for 30 minutes to get a decent dose of vitamin D. This is a science-backed hack, and now you know why.

Cholecalciferol and ergocalciferol justify vitamin D’s nickname The Sunshine Vitamin. Both of these forms are biologically inactive when consumed in foods until they have been converted into the active form by the liver and the kidneys.

sky

Sources of Vitamin D

Most of the world’s population relies on natural exposure to sunlight to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D. If you’re worried whether excessive sun exposure could lead to vitamin D toxicity, the answer is a resounding no. Prolonged exposure to sunlight degrades the vitamin D precursor in the skin, preventing its conversion to the active form, which basically means you are safe; even lifeguards out all day on sunny beaches are safe from vitamin D toxicity from the sun.

In fact, toxicity through sun exposure should not be a concern even otherwise. Considering the reality of modern lifestyles that are continually moving indoors, vitamin D insufficiency is being reported fairly worldwide. Risk of vitamin D deficiency may be higher amongst the elderly, especially those in care homes or who are house-bound. Those who completely cover skin with clothes as part of religious or cultural requirements are also at risk and may have to consider supplementation.

Prolonged deficiency in children results in rickets and leads to osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults. It can work both ways — high dietary intake can result in hyper (high) vitaminosis D, which can result in dangerously high levels of calcium entering the blood, but you won’t get it from too much sunbathing.

On the same note, for most people, exposing hands, face, and arms on a clear summer day for 10 to 15 minutes a few times a week should be sufficient to maintain vitamin D nutrition. However, it is standard recommendation to take a supplement during autumn and winter (10µg per day for adults), when you’re not getting enough sunlight. Ideally, get your blood tested and supplement accordingly — 2,500-4,000IU/day. Corrective bolus doses should only be with a doctor’s consent.

egg

Challenges With Vitamin D Nutrition

When it comes to vitamin D, the tricky part is that only a few foods supply significant amounts of it, and it’s notably derived from animal sources: egg yolks, liver, fatty fish, butter, dairy products.  Unlike other vitamins that are easy to get through food, it’s not the same for vitamin D. For example, if the reference nutrient intake for vitamin C is 40mg/day, you can easily get that by eating 45g of broccoli, one small green pepper, and one small orange. Now, to get 2,500IU of vitamin D you’d have to drink 6,250ml of whole milk and eat 143 large eggs. This is where supplementation comes to the rescue, especially in the case of a vitamin D deficiency.

If you’re someone who loves using digital apps, there are various comprehensive vitamin D-tracking apps available; Dminder, Sola, and Qsun are a few. Personally, I’ve heard good reviews about Dminder. These apps use your phone’s location data to figure out where you are on the planet, then compute when you can get your vitamin D through sunlight and how much of it you can make in your body. It also gives you a timer. 

Takeaway

Vitamin D can be synthesised in the body with the help of sunlight or obtained from animal foods. Considering modern lifestyles and diets, especially the vegan diet, it is ideal to monitor your vitamin D levels and go for supplementation under the guidance of your doctor.

Lovely Ranganath is a licensed clinical dietician in Dubai. Visit @good.food.guru for more information.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of The Gaggler.

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8 Tips to Get Employees to Refocus After the Holidays

Switching back to work mode.

As any working adult knows, the first day back at work after a long vacation is hardly as exciting as the first day of school. On the one hand, it’s great to see all your co-workers again and catch up. On the other, you quickly realise that you’re way behind on all the work that’s piled up in your absence. 

Instead of a clean slate and a new beginning, you’re met with a stack of paperwork and grumpy coworkers who didn’t take a break themselves. Whether you’re starting a new job or just getting back into the swing of things after a long break, those first few days back can be tough. 

hand stacked together

Back to Work Mindset

The beginning of a new quarter is the perfect time to hit the reset button and start fresh. For leaders, this is an opportunity to leverage the renewed vigour of their staff. However, the reality is that it takes a while to shake off the holiday mood and get back to focusing on work. While holidays are invigorating and fun, they are also draining, which means returning employees might be intimidated by the volume of work waiting for them.

Taking a leaf out of your old school book, it’s nice to have activities that ease everyone back into a work mindset, highlighting the good aspects. By formulating a plan of action to get them to look forward to the quarter ahead, you can bring company and personal goals into focus in an exciting manner. This will help your team hit the ground running and make the most of the new year.

woman working on her desk with paper work

So you might be asking yourself, how do I as a leader positively and productively affect my team’s focus after returning back to work from vacation? Here are some suggestions that could help you get employees to regain focus after their vacation:

Make Space for Catch-up Time

Knowing you understand the importance of catch-up time will increase your employees’ engagement levels. They’re going to spend time doing it anyway; they might as well do it as a planned activity and you get some brownie points for it! 

A couple of team lunches and designated catch-up time slots would liven up the first few days back with  something to look forward to. Perhaps having no scheduled meetings for the first couple of days could also help, as it gives employees a more relaxed schedule.

Give Employees a Settling in Period

When your employees come back from vacation, the last thing they want is a deluge of emails from HR and other departments. To avoid this, try consolidating all your company news into one newsletter. This way, your employees can take a couple of days to catch up on their email without worrying about missing important updates. 

Plus, by putting everything in one place, you’re more likely to get everyone’s attention. Just be sure to schedule the newsletter for a time when most people are likely to be at work, so it doesn’t get lost in the clutter.

Kill Two Birds With One Team Meeting

As the new year gets underway, it’s a great time to hold a team meeting to catch up with your employees and set some goals for the quarter. This will help everyone to focus on what’s important and ensure that everyone is on the same page. It’s also a great opportunity to get input from your team and get their buy-in for the upcoming quarter. 

Employees value being valued, and by getting their input, you’ll show them that their ideas are important to the company. This will go a long way towards increasing motivation levels and ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goals. 

Introduce a Wellness Programme

Implementing a wellness programme is a great way to show your employees you care and help them get back on track after the holidays. There are many benefits to having a wellness programme, including bringing employees together, making them feel cared for, addressing work-related stress, and improving their physical and mental health. 

With most people looking to get back on track after holiday bingeing, a wellness programme is the perfect solution. You can create team-level competitions for wellness activities to boost team spirit and help employees reconnect after the break. And don’t forget to lead by example and participate in the programme yourself!

employees having ateam meeting

Time Employee Perks Smartly

It’s always tough getting back into the swing of things after a long break, but there’s no need to wait until later in the year to introduce new training opportunities or certifications. By launching these programmes now, you’ll give your employees something to look forward to and enough time to get results before the year ends, thus boosting work focus and improving productivity. Not only will this help them refocus more quickly, but it will also increase their satisfaction, motivation, and accountability. 

Make It Personal

Depending on the size of your workforce, try to walk around and personally welcome everyone back or do it in groups. Feeling seen will give them added impetus to focus and get to work faster. You and your department heads could just pop into meetings and say welcome back; maybe not all at the same time though. 

Welcoming your employees personally is an unexpected gesture that will generate a lot of positivity and help eliminate the back-to-work blues. It also massively boosts employee morale, engagement and motivation, which is always most welcome and has positively impacted bottom lines.

Implement An Open Door Policy

Good communication is essential for any workplace, and this is especially true when it comes to delicate topics like mental health. No one wants to feel like they’re being brushed off or that their concerns are unimportant.

It’s crucial to make HR business support available to encourage people to come and chat about any issues they may be facing. This way, you can help them get a handle on those issues and ensure they’re better placed to cope with returning to work.

Reverse the Roles

Put yourself in their shoes — what would make you feel happy to be back at work? What would help you focus more easily? That’s usually a good starting point when you’re stuck for ideas. Or, get a representative group of employees and ask them for suggestions. The fact that you care enough to ask will be a win in itself. 

Most importantly, don’t forget what it felt like to be on that side of the table. As long as you stay connected with those expectations, you will find it easy to stay connected with your team.

table with hands working on laptops and papers

Get Started

As we enter the new year, the pressure builds up to set, renew, and achieve goals. The sooner you have a team cohesively working towards this shared vision, the better it is for everyone in the organisation. 

Getting your employees to refocus in a manner that addresses everyone’s needs and shows everyone is valued and appreciated pays rich dividends for the organisation. Employees, in turn, get the satisfaction of knowing their presence, contribution, and effort are worth it. A win-win for individuals and organisations alike.


Bina Mathews is an Executive Master Coach and Communications Consultant at Bina Mathews Consulting FZE. For more information, please visit www.coachbina.com or contact via Instagram.

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