It all starts with a love bombing session. They will tell you how much they love you. How much you mean the world to them. They will make you feel like you are the most special person in the world. They will create time for you and shower you with gifts and praises. They will make you feel like the love is real. And that you have finally found the one person who understands you. You will feel like you have finally met your soulmate. But all this is happening too fast.
They will not give you a breathing space. They do not want you to think for yourself. This stage can go on for as long as you prove challenging to them. They know once you figure it out at the love bombing, it is over. So they will keep on hovering around you and being the nicest people in the room when everyone is watching. Once they get you hooked into believing they love you, the drama begins.
Their Friend- The Enablers
Now that they have got you, the subtle abuse begins. Like waves, short spaced, and perfectly timed. First, it will be their friends seeking your blood. They will insult you and accuse you of stealing their friend. They will cuss you and dig deeper to see what makes you tick. They do not know boundaries, and they certainly do not give a fuck about you. All they want is for you to know that you are unworthy.
The violence will be terrifying. Later you will start to get confused about why their friends hate you so much. So you will try to seek answers from the only person you know. Your ‘beloved’ will, of course, defend you from them. Why? To seal the foundation that they are the only ones who love you and will protect you.
After a while, you will realize nothing has changed, all hearsay and no action. They will keep on hanging out and icing you out. But the funniest thing you will comprehend is that your ‘babe’ is never going to compromise for your sake. At this stage, you will start to feel hazy and shocked about the events. Then mysteriously, the abuse will begin to fade, and if you are lucky, they will leave you alone for a while.
Everything will go back to being normal. You will start to feel like yourself again. Your routine will get back to normal, and you may even feel happy again. A soul like you will always have good friends watching out for you. They will start pointing out the irregularities in your relationship. They will let you know you have changed and not in a good way.
Once your ‘babe’ gets a hold of this…. You will burn bridges with your friends.
You being happy is no longer a priority. They are always watching and planning the next move. They do not like to be bored. So your beautiful soul will be their entertainment. They will play you like a fiddle. One by one you will start to lose your friends like magic.
It will be like ‘I don’t like this friend’ ‘this friend is a bad influence’ ‘that friend is jealous of you because you have ‘me.’ ‘That friend is into you ‘I’ don’t like them’ ‘your friends make me uncomfortable’ ‘you spend too much time with your friends’ ‘if you do not stop being friends with her or him ‘we can’t be together.’ And so much more.
Because you are loving and caring, you will find yourself doing what they want to reassure them of your love. They will pretend to cut off their bloodhounds to convince you that they mean well. Then one day, you will get into a fight and realize you have no friends to confide in. But for them, they still got their entire troop, no fallen soldiers, no loss.
At this point, you will do what is best for you. You will question them why they do not like your friends, yet they still got theirs who they lied they cut off. All they will say to you is, ‘I have known them longer than you’ or ‘we have been through shit with them’ or ‘you will not understand.’ Some lame answers like these are all you will get if you are lucky.
If you are unlucky, it will be the biggest fight for you, followed by silent treatment from them. Sometimes, they will go out with their thirsty hounds and laugh at your expense.
You may be fortunate to have a couple of friends who were not intimidated by your ‘babe’ on your side. If you got these friends, keep them closer, and no matter what, do not let them go.
They will start limiting their time with you. They will minimize the amount of affection they offered you in the beginning. All this is to gauge how you will respond. If you do not protest, they will keep on taking it away. If you complain, they will hold it at that level for a while.
They will never go back to love bombing you at any time. All they will do is make you feel lonely for you to seek them out. They want to make you think what they are offering is enough, and you should be grateful.
Once they have got you hooked, they will gradually start complaining to their bloodhounds that you are neglecting them. Paint a bad image of you to them because they want to Victimize themselves to mask their abuse. They will feed anyone ready to listen to how bad you are. All this is to get everyone on their side, preparing for war.
At this point, they know they may get away with it. Such that even when you speak your truth, no one is going to believe you.
The Bold Abuse
The nightmare. Everything that you hold dear, gone. Your dreams, they will crush them. Your career, they will take it. They will lie that they will always provide for you. They will not let you be among people who inspire you. They will choose your outfits. They will not let you be independent. They will choose a place and a time when you should be seen and heard.
Behind closed doors, they will insult you and strip off your self-worth. They will mostly be on drugs and will try to make you a druggie. All this will be their excuse for why they abused you when you complain. When you try to leave, they will feign suicide. They will go as low as to use their childhood or past trauma for their horrible actions.
The minute they know you have figured them out, they will get physical with you. They will shame you and embarrass you. If you expect a full heartfelt apology, forget it. They will use false incidents to lay their hands on you. They will scream at you and make you think they have done you such a great favor for choosing you.
You will be depressed at this stage. You will feel like something is missing. You may feel unworthy, and sometimes you may want to commit suicide. The minute they see how terrible they have made you, they will pretend to seek help and apologetic.
It is all fun and games for them. Their friends will start attacking you once again. They will blame you for hurting ‘their friend.’ They will throw you into the fire while your ‘babe’ is watching. Goodness, the violence they will unleash is unmatched. They will imitate your feelings so well. The only difference is that they do not know what empathy is.
The Last Call
After months or years of abuse, you may conform to it. You may even let yourself think it is love. You will be apologizing when they abuse you. They will not give you space to heal when they hurt you. You may feel defeated, out of control, and flightless. They will compare your pain to something trivial. They will gaslight you. They will manipulate you.
They will intensify the abuse. They will take and take and take some more. Then one day, they will try to kill you. This is going to be your wake-up call. You will find strength from your one or two friends by your side to walk out. You will cry your guts out.
Even after it is over, they will still try to tarnish your name. They will always be the victims. Their enablers will always be silent, and their god complex will forever haunt them. Do not give in to such abuse.
If you know anyone in an abusive relationship, speak up. If you are an enabler, check yourself and do the right thing. There are hotlines in every country that you can call to report gender based violence.
A newborn baby can be challenging and overwhelming. There are a lot of activities such as feedings, laundry, diaper changes, and sleep deprivation. During the first months, motherhood can make you feel a bit fuzzy.
For new mothers, regular exercise in their regimen is crucial. Because it can help them feel less stressed and more energized, improve their mental, emotional, and physical state.
Thus, to ensure an effective and safe fitness journey, you need to take special postpartum precautions. All you need to get started is the right pair of shoes and a good jogging stroller. Regular postpartum exercise will improve your sleep, the production of antioxidants in your body, moods, appetite, and immune functions.
Here are some exercises that will help new mothers get back in shape:
Walking keeps your weight and that of the baby in check during pregnancy. It also reduces the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.
Walking is good if you want to start exercising during pregnancy as well as postpartum. It will increase your flexibility and tone your hip flexor muscles. The muscle helps with your recovery time.
New mothers can ease back with gentle walking in their first couple of weeks after delivery. All you will need is to find a perfect carrier for your newborn baby.
We recommend that you find a carrier that will see you through your baby’s growing stages, from 3-20kg.
You and your husband can start with a trip around the block and slowly increase your pace. The best thing, however, is to listen to your body.
When you see these side effects- dizziness, incisions not healing well, sore breast, or bleeding take a break from exercising.
Jogging is a much higher impact exercise compared to walking. Walking will help you ease back into jogging postpartum. While your body adjusts and recovers after delivery.
Cortisol levels in new mothers are lower than usual. Thus, the last thing you should do is tip the balance or overload your system.
After increasing your steps, you can slowly pick up your pace into jogging. There are good baby jogger strikers nowadays. They come with different options to suit your needs and your terrain.
Yoga will help you stretch, have a good balance, and gives you strength specifically postpartum. It is best for your fitness. But, not all yoga is postnatal appropriate. There are gentle varieties like restorative yoga and yin yoga. These are good options for new moms.
We advise new moms to focus on rest and recovery as they ease back in. Your body will change during and after pregnancy. Remember to listen and respect your body wishes all the time.
Pregnancy has different warnings and needs from what you can consume to what you can’t. With all the expectations, it can be overwhelming for a new mom. But being cautious is necessary for your baby’s health. If you have concerns with your pregnancy diet, seek help from your OB-GYN.
These are some of the foods you should avoid during early pregnancy.
The last thing you need while you are pregnant is having to deal with extra weight. Indulging in your sweet cravings can be fun. But, you may be exposing yourself to gestational diabetes. Although, this type of diabetes often goes away after giving birth. It may put you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
It is best if you opt for a healthy alternative to curb pregnancy cravings. You can replace refined sugar with unsweetened yogurt and vegetables.
You should avoid places with high-fat foods throughout your pregnancy. Though this doesn’t mean that you should avoid fats altogether, some fats are good for you. Some healthy fats include; avocados, olive oil, nuts, and chia seeds.
A healthy, well-balanced diet with good fats contributes to the brain development of the fetus. It also helps in balancing your moods.
Avoid these foods during pregnancy since they are bad for you and your unborn baby. They tend to be full of white sugar, trans-fat, fillers, hydrogenated oils, and artificial flavors.
Processed foods are mainly excess carbs, fats and sugar. Thus, the best thing you can do for your baby is to substitute processed foods with a protein diet, vegetables and fruits.
Foods Left Out For Long
We tend to leave out trays and plates of food at home or parties. However tempting, you should stay away from foods that have been out for more than two hours. Poorly preserved food attract unwanted bacteria. Harmful to your unborn baby and sometimes put you at risk of miscarriage.
On your next prenatal visit, you can ask them to help you put together a healthy, fat-free, and low-sugar diet plan.
We can define self-love as love for oneself. Taking care of your well-being, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Setting boundaries and not letting others step all over you. Self-love is accepting yourself for who you are.
Everyone has a different definition of self-love. You don’t have to label yourself, just do what makes your soul happy. Finding time for yourself is self-love. These days self-love is a substitute for a flaw, an act of selfishness and narcissism.
Why is it that self-love is frowned upon? Do you feel guilty when you treat yourself? Do people call you selfish for not letting them step all over you? Do you think you love other people more than you love yourself?
Self-love is not a good feeling. It is a state of gratefulness that cultivates from our actions. It helps us in our spiritual, psychological, and physical growth. Self-love can be, being kind to yourself, forgiving yourself, trusting yourself, taking a break from judging yourself, or self-care.
Embracing acts that grow self-love help in understanding and appreciating our strengths and weaknesses better. We become more gentle and empathetic to ourselves. Self-love helps us with our values and life purpose as a whole. We can find serenity, contentment, and a balance in our lives with self-love.
How to Practice Self-love
Taking a break from your busy work or schedule to attend to your basic needs is crucial. You can engage in activities that nourish you. Such as exercising, going to a spa, eating healthy, or even getting some good sleep
Mindful people have great self-love for themselves. They are aware of their thoughts, emotions and know how to deal with them. They don’t act to please others because they know what they want.
3.Create a Healthy Routine
Form a habit of living a healthy and fulfilling life. You can either begin by eating nourishing foods or doing exercises- jogging, cardio, or yoga. Anything that you feel is helping you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Be disciplined with your routine, and you will see results
Choose your friends wisely. Learn to say no when you don’t want to do anything that goes against your values. Cut off people who drag you down emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Once you do this, you will love yourself more
We all make mistakes and have regrets. Do not be too hard on yourself when you slip up. Taking responsibility for your wrongdoing is the first step to being better. Mistakes come with lessons. If you learn and grow from them, you should also find the strength to forgive yourself.
You can start your self-love journey with one or two of these steps. How you love yourself matters. If you want a healthy relationship, then you ought to be able to offer them to others. Be kind to yourself, speak gentle words to yourself, and practice self-love every day.
Deforestation refers to the irreversible reduction or clearance of forested areas to make room for other activities such as grazing, mining, construction, and farming. We have been losing our forests like this for decades. Our carelessness has caused losses to our biodiversity and the extinction of some species.
Deforestation generates 15 to 20 percent of carbon emissions. It is the 3rd vital source of greenhouse gases. The rise in greenhouse gases has altered the Earth’s climate patterns. We now experience tragic weather events such as heatwaves, floods, drought, and hurricanes.
Our forests play a crucial role in protecting the Earth from climate change. Each part of a tree- roots, leaves, bark, is valuable. They help in the absorption and storage of carbon dioxide.
When we destroy our forests, we emit high amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Some developing countries engage in a large number of deforestation. They contribute to high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
The rate at which forests are being cleared all over the world is alarming. The amount of carbon emission is increasing, and degradation is imminent. Look at what’s happening in the Congo rainforest. Amazon in Brazil, Boreal forest in Russia, and Peat swamp in Sumatra.
Significance of Forests
Prevent soil erosion
Purify our air
Provide a home for more than 60 million indigenous families
Provide a home for wildlife
Provide us with natural resources
Improves the quality and quantity of water
Protects us from climate change by absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide.
Provide us with food
Decreasing deforestation and degradation is part of the solution to climate change. The WWF’s Climate Solutions report indicates that we reduce emissions from our shrinking forests to prevent catastrophic climate change.
The new Kyoto Protocol is helping by setting goals for minimizing forest degradation, deforestation, and industrial emission of GHGs. But this is not enough to save our forests. Our leaders should be daring and act on this issue.
Also, WWF is setting high standards for REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) in developing countries to ensure the percentage of greenhouse gases emission is low. Nations should implement national structures to deal with emissions from deforestation.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of a critic who did not give a hoot about your feelings? Your image? Your friendship or relationship? How did that feel? How did you handle the situation?
We are creatures who love to explore our limits and depths. But sometimes another person’s opinion can make you feel horrible about your work. You are not alone if this has happened to you. Criticism affects a lot of people.
Criticism can be constructive or destructive. What determines your success is how well you deal with critics both offline and online. We will be sharing some tactics you can use to handle criticism better without getting hurt.
How to Handle Criticism Better
1. Control Your Emotions
Abstain from blowing up when you get any criticism. Anger is not a good friend. There are things you might end up doing or saying in a heated moment that may make you regret afterward. It is good to take a step back to breathe before responding.
However, do not let others damage your self-worth and self-esteem. Make sure you ask for clarification from the critic. When you do this, you will realize the mean opinions deliberate to hurt you are baseless.
2. Evaluate the Critic’s Feedback
Keep an open mind when reading or listening to criticism. Consider if the critic is a good friend, cares about you, and wants you to be better. Sometimes your superiors may criticize you. They may use offensive terms to hurt you while at the same time using the opportunity to show off they are in charge.
Thus, react to the criticism based on its intention. If it’s from people who love you, make sure you tell them when they hurt you. If it’s from a mean person, do not give them the power to bully you or put you down.
3. Do Not Take Criticism Personally
Sometimes people take a critic’s opinion to heart. They feel the unkind comments are attacking their actual self. When you feel like this, remember criticism is a personal biased emotion. If a person doesn’t like your fashion style, it doesn’t mean you are ugly.
4. Cut off People Who Hurt You
If you realize a person is harmful to you, let them go. Do not give people who derail you a chance in your life. Some thrive on destroying your esteem. Surround yourself with loving and supportive friends.
5. Speak Up and Silence the Critic
When dealing with a critic, tell them your side of the story. Do not be accommodating to their harmful opinions. If you are not okay with their sentiments, let them know in a kind manner. You can tell them that you appreciate their opinion but, you will not change yourself to fit the mold.
6. Feel Your Feelings
When the criticism gets to you, let it out. You can always speak to a friend or journal. Do not try to bury your emotions. It is more harmful to you physically and mentally. Once you have let your feelings out, move on with your head held high.
7. Act on Positive Criticism
Whenever you receive positive feedback, try to see the areas you need to change. Not all criticism is awful to you. Some are your stepping stone to being the best version of yourself. Even haters sometimes will help you to grow.
8. Be Kind and Loving to Yourself
You have the key to make everything you want to come true. Do not self-loathe because of hurtful comments. Keep reminding yourself how loving, intelligent, beautiful, gifted, or blessed you are.
Speak positive things to yourself every day. On a bad day, wear a smile. You will realize your moods will change because of your positive energy.
In conclusion, we all face good and bad criticism in our lives. It may come from a stranger, a friend, or even a family member. What matters is how you deal with it. Remember to cut off negative people, stay composed when angry, and be kind to yourself.
Are you a dog lover? How many dog breeds do you know? Our first episode is about a beautiful dog breed, Basenji.
Height: Male 17 inches, Female 16 inches
Weight: Male 24 lbs. Female 22 lbs.
Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
Colors: Brown, black, chestnut red, black with a tan
Fur coat: Short
Drooling and snoring: Low
Grooming maintenance: Low
The Basenji is an African dog from the Democratic Republic of Congo. This dog breed is well known for hunting. Basenji dogs are also known as African barkless dogs, Congo dogs, Ango angari, African bush dogs, and Zande dogs.
Basenji is a medium-size slim dog. Their height and weight ranges are 16 inches and 22 pounds for females and 17 inches and 24 pounds for males. They have erect ears with a furry tail that coils on their back. The wrinkles on Basenji’s forehead give them a soft look of concern on their faces.
They have short fur. If you love minimal grooming requirements for a dog, this will be a perfect breed. Basenji comes in different shades of black, brown, chestnut red, and black with a tan. Their white legs, tail tip, and the chest is a distinctive feature for Basenji.
This dog breed is energetic and intelligent. You will need to exercise it for long periods to stimulate their minds and burn out their energy. They are alert with sharp eyesight. Basenjis are friendly and adapt fast to a new environment.
They are independent dogs. You may have a tough time training Basenjis. They are playful and might be destructive if you are not around them. Despite them not being able to bark, they are not mute. Basenji can growl and make a yodel noise when frustrated.
Basenjis are the only dogs who clean themselves like cats. Also, they do not have the occasional dog smell.
Basenjis love to play. If you live in an apartment, you can take your Basenji for daily walks. Regular exercise will keep a Basenji happy and calm. They do not like rain. The only time they will appreciate water is on a hot day. Wash your dog when it gets dirty.
Always keep your Basenji on a leash when outside. They frequently escape when left alone. Their short coat requires a weekly brush. Also, their shedding levels are low. Basenji does well with quality dog food and homemade permitted food.
Feed your dog the right proportions according to its size. You do not want to end up with an overweight dog. You can feed your dog some human food but check out which foods are safe first. Do not forget to take your Basenji to the vet for checkups.
Stress is a feeling that can come from physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion. There are different types of stressors that affect us every day. For example, financial concerns, moving to a new location, getting a new job, an argument with a friend or family, relationship issues, and so forth.
Effects of Stress on Your Body
If you experience stress over a long period, it might be harmful to your health. Here are some effects of stress on your body
1. Insomnia – When you are stressed, it might be hard for you to fall asleep
2. Headaches – Stress is linked to tension headaches.
3. Depression – Prolonged stress can exhaust you mentally
4. Lower sex drive – Most times, when you are stressed, your mind and body get fatigued.
5. Stomach Pains – Stress may cause stomach ulcers, nausea, vomiting, among other digestive problems.
6. Fertility complications – Stress can affect both women’s and men’s reproductive systems. It may make it difficult to conceive.
7. Increased Blood Sugar – Stress may cause your liver to produce more sugar than you need into your bloodstream.
8. Weight Loss or Gain – You may find yourself eating more or eating less.
How to Protect Yourself from Stress
Keeping your body fit is a perfect way to relieve yourself of stress. You can incorporate walking, jogging, or running into your everyday routine. These simple exercises can help you manage your stress levels.
2.Reduce Drug Intake
Sometimes indulging in drugs is not helpful to us. Especially when we are going through a difficult time. These drugs may be a temporary solution, but sometimes our choices may lead us to make our problems worse.
3.Take a Break
You deserve to have a time out. Give yourself a day in your week to pamper yourself. Do not feel guilty for practicing self-care. You should know your limits and responsibilities to yourself and others. This balance is good for your mental health.
We all have a favorite food that helps us when we are in low moods. It is good to integrate healthy foods into our diet. Different studies show, eating healthy foods which nourish our brain with minerals and vitamins increases our dopamine levels.
We do not function well when we are sleep-deprived. A night of good sleep helps us with our focus, attention, speech, and moods. There are a few things we recommend you try for a good night’s sleep.
· Avoid taking caffeinated drinks before bed
· If you are feeling sick, see a doctor for medication. Being unhealthy makes it hard to sleep
· Make your bedroom your peaceful sanctuary. Avoid distractions like using your phone or tablet in bed before you sleep.
· If you find yourself worrying while in bed, get up and do something else. Do not lie awake in your bed. It will help your mind refocus on sleeping.
Do not be afraid to pay attention to your thoughts. Practice mindful meditation regularly. Mindfulness can help you with low moods, improve your concentration, and also help you with insomnia. Being mindful can reduce the effects of anxiety, stress, and correlated problems.
We all go through difficult phases once in a while. Remember to be kind to yourself. Surround yourself with good supportive friends. Do not be afraid to ask for help.