SPEECH FEAR IS NO FEAR!

Recently I came across this word called ‘Glossophobia’ meaning speech anxiety or fear of public speaking. Honestly I did not even know such a word existed to describe the anxiety which each one of us have experienced for years. Most of us as children have faced challenges in becoming socially comfortable.This is what turns into social anxiety and speech anxiety when exposed to a large crowd. While being a fearless speaker is very rare, your fear can definitely lessen with time if the following points are kept in mind.

     1.You are the winner

Preparing mentally minutes before speaking works really well for me, may not work great for you but what is for sure is a good audience engagement.Visualizing yourself at the venue and  looking your best through the eyes of the audience contributes greatly to your confidence.Believe that you are delivering your best, you are giving in your 100 percent and you are winning the show.

  1. Breathe

Nerve control comes from the breathing pattern. Deep breathing helps calm the nerves and gives more power to your communication . It gives a major boost to your confidence and credibility in the concerned forum.

  1. Rehearse , rehearse and rehearse

Rehearsing for a performance acclimatizes you to the environment of pressure. Research says it has a neurological impact which helps convert your thoughts to words and actions more clearly.

  1. Skill can be developed

Public speaking is a skill and like all other skills, it can be developed with practice. To be successful in developing a skill, it is important to not just devote time but constantly seek feedback from people around oneself. So, pick up topics and start engaging in group conversations with friends and colleagues.

     5.Focus

It is one of the primary tools as a speaker who knows how to engage audiences. It is natural for irrelevant thoughts to intrude into your mind, just let it float and move away. The more consciously you try to dissuade it on the stage, the more evident it becomes to the audience. Just let it be, that is the way to speak effortlessly.

  1. Body Language

If you stand still at one point, the pressure automatically builds. The stress hormones are dealt with movement. It is important to use your body movements to express your thoughts with animation.It helps you fight the pressure and makes you appear more confident.

  1. Be yourself

The last point but the most important one. Being natural gets you brownie points everywhere. You may choose to act but your audience can sense personalities. Hence, it is best and easiest to be just yourself.

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Image Source – Business-Superstar.com

COMPETITION AT WORK!

In the Indian society, the concept of peer pressure is seeded in our minds since a very early age. Whether you blame it on our education system or the fact that we Indians are born competitive by nature; more often than not, it does more bad than good. So, dealing with it is tough at times. Here are 7 ways how you can deal with such anxiety and juice out the positivism from it.

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Source Google

  1. Competition is ubiquitous – It is important to accept the fact that competition is inevitable. One must make peace with it and utilize it as a reason to strive to work harder and perform better.
  1. Channelize it into self-improvement – This is a great opportunity to polish and fine tune one’s skills. Taking a competitive colleague as a challenge is a good chance to leverage the strength areas and plan support and training to improve one’s development areas.
  2. Showcase the best: In the process of meeting targets and deadlines, we often forget the fact that selling skills are very important irrespective of the role one handles. Showcasing the best in you to the world is a mandatory skill that every professional needs. Hence, when one sees a competition flaunting his/her work, we must step up and exhibit our talent as well.
  3. Choosing a mentor: Mentor ship and professional guidance programs are extremely critical as one grows up the career ladder. When one feels down due to an aggressive competition at workplace, it is always good to take additional support from an experienced hand who can help pave the way forward for the individual. I have seen several mentor ship programs turning around the game for critical resources in the organisations I have worked for.
  4. High on Integrity – It is often noticed that when two employees at the same level have similar competencies and skill sets, integrity is a differentiation factor. So, one who maintains integrity is bound to score better than the one who does not. No wonder, most organisations have a very strict Code of conduct and compliance policy.
  5. Befriend the competitor: It is not easy to turn competitors into allies. It requires a deep level of empathy and a determined effort to build a new bridge. If it works out, you can really get to learn and appreciate some of the good aspects of his/her challenging behavior.
  6. Identification of critical influencers: Sometimes how you gauge your career has a lot to do with whom you measure yourself against. If one closely observes the competitor, one can choose individuals who motivate and possess skills that one wishes to emulate. This is the right opportunity to identify roles models and people who critically influence one personally and professionally.

 

Competition is largely positive if one looks through the right glasses. I have personally evolved quite a lot owing to the tough competition in the corporate world. I would also love to know more about my readers’ experiences.

 

GLAMRADA – Real People,Genuine Reviews

Glamrada is an online beauty community where one can read & review skincare & makeup products,share honest opinion with brands & fellow members of the community.Anything from a regretful purchase to a new obsession, people are free to give their opinions and it also works as a great repository for reviews which can be referred to before you buy a product.

Glamrada

If you are a Glamrada member, you would not miss a latest trend or styling tip that is reserved for only registered members.Well not just that, you also have coupons and deals on the best of brands which help you make an informed decision on your skincare and cosmetics purchases. Blogs to makeup/hairstyle tutorials, food to healthy lifestyle products, they have it all covered. Check them out on Instagram  –

 

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Depending upon how active you are,you could be a part of their trial squad,where you get to test products from the featured brand for free & in turn you are expected to write a genuine review on their website. So guys, check it out and join me in the trial squad for the coming month.

RAISING A BABY WITHOUT GENDER BIAS

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Image source : Steemit

When we were expecting V, we often debated the idea of knowing the gender of the baby before she was born. While it is a common practice in many countries, much to my delight it is a big ‘NO NO’ in India. I always wanted it to be a surprise and I can vouch for the fact that it is totally worth it. People around me often expressed their views on how knowing the gender beforehand helps you plan better – buy clothes fitting to a specific gender, do up the nursery in a particular color or for that matter even buy toys which are of particular interest to a baby boy/girl. It made me realize how these stereotypes are ingrained in our minds so deeply that we cannot help but create that bias with kids as young as a new born. While there is nothing wrong with girls loving dolls more than cars, I feel we should give the opportunity to explore everything until they are of the age where they can begin to work out for themselves what it means to be a boy or a girl. Few of the options that I am going to explore with V to avoid the gender stereotypes and would suggest you to try out are as follows –

1.Integration of  Toys

Research says the earlier kids learn that there are no boundaries in their playtime, the quicker they will understand that it is okay to experiment, to explore and express their instincts. I was really happy to see few baby carrier brands advertising toddler boys carrying dolls in their doll baby carriers – after all, if boys learn to care and display the so called ‘maternal instinct’ it only helps them evolve as kind and loving people.

2. Using neutral meaningful words

Having a daughter and seeing all things pink and purple automatically makes you utter the word pretty multiple times in a day. Lately, I realized that there are so many more meaningful words which can help me express my excitement and boost her confidence better. So, I have consciously moved to phrases like “Hey V, you look so confident! I love your smile, you look so happy!You are such a brave child!” These are all neutral words and after all, it is more important to be kind, brave, generous , wise – definitely more important than being just pretty.

3. Leading by example

We often assume that babies do not understand much but the reality is they are very observant and really grasp things which they notice on a regular basis.Hence, from the very beginning it is important to show them that there is no specific role to a gender.For example, the kitchen can’t be the mom’s spot all the time and in a very similar way the dad can’t be fixing the plumbing issues at home on all occasions.

4. Appreciating Interests

We as parents must not encourage or discourage our babies towards a particular interest area which is based on our choice. The best option is to just let be and observe how the baby develops his/her likes and dislikes with time.

5. Promoting common sports

Sports could start pretty early in childhood. I have a toddler who can hit a ball with the bat and I am open to let her watch and experience the game of cricket or baseball if she likes. Children must understand early in their age that extracurricular activities are really great for overall personality development and they are absolutely free to choose what they enjoy playing.

6. Using neutral colors

Let’s get out of the blues and pinks. While I strongly feel that blue would look as great on girls and it does on boys and vice versa for pink, I do understand the plight of parents whose kids get teased by their friends for not wearing a ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ color.We can go for neutrals like yellow, grey and the whites or for that matter any color that we really like irrespective of the gender stereotypes.

7 Questioning our own attitude

This is something really interesting that I picked up in one of the articles that I read recently. The way our society is saturated with gender stereotypes, we tend to adapt ourselves and cultivate the same mindset with time.I think there is absolutely no shame is introspecting and challenging our own beliefs when it comes to gender stereotyping. Probably , that would only help in getting more ideas to make this world bias free.

Stereotypes are very well entrenched in our minds and in the society .It really takes a lot of conscious parenting  to get rid of the biases with which probably we have been raised too. Starting early would only be a good decision towards making the future free of stereotypes!

FOTD:Yellow & Blue Contrast Eye Makeup

As you would have noticed in my previous makeup posts, I have always been shy of using striking bold colors but with the new Huda Beauty electric obsessions palette in my kitty,I cannot stop experimenting with the bright colors. As it is already peak summer here and my wardrobe is filled with summery sunset and blue sky colors, I decided to show you 2 looks of eye makeup inspired by the bright sunny skies which I created recently.

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Yellow and sapphire blue –

Products used –

Urban Decay Eye primer

Huda Beauty Electric Obsession Palette- Electric Yellow in Matte on the eyelids

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Moonshadow on the crease and outer corner

Maybelline Waterproof Gel Pencil Eyeliner in Lustruous Sapphire in the upper lash line

Chambor kohl in the water line

Mimoso Eye Mascara

Benefit Brow Set

Bright yellow and turquoise blue

Products used –

Bobbi Brown Eye primer

Huda Beauty Electric Obsession Palette- Electric Yellow in Matte on the eyelids and Shimmer Blue in the outer corners and crease

Chambor in Aqua Blue in the upper lash line and water line

Benefit Roller Lash Eye Mascara

Benefit Brow Set

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I absolutely love the palette and will be coming up with more creations very soon

ORGANIC CLOTHING : BERRYTREEINDIA

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It’s been a while since I have been debating whether paying the premium for organic clothing is worth it. We always want the best for our kids and choosing safe clothing is no different.My initial thoughts while contemplating the same was primarily for the reason that in commercial farming methods used, ordinary cotton contain impurities which could trigger allergic skin reactions in babies and hence, organic cotton should be used to avoid that.In due course of time, when I got introduced to Berrytree India line of clothes, I got to know that there are many more reasons why we should opt for organic cotton only. Berrytree India has a wide range of products available for shopping online and I got this cute whale print sleep suit for V. It totally justifies the reasons I chose to opt for babies’ organic cotton clothing.

  • No issues with skin sensitivity – Since baby skin is very delicate, I always make sure the clothes are dipped in water before the first use and soft enough to be worn  but with Berrytree India sleepsuit, I was sure to go ahead the first time itself as organic cotton is not machine cleaned with chemicals which helps retain the quality as a finished product.
  • Soft and comfortable – The fabric was so soft to feel that I could notice how comfortable V was in her sleep suit. She had a good night’s sleep and woke up  counting the number of whales on her suit.
  • Bright fun prints – I absolutely love the prints Berrytree India has chosen for its clothing line. The one we got had multiple bright colors making it look fresh and beautiful. V loves the word ‘fish’ and she just can’t stop repeating it ever since she wore this for the first time.

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Besides being a happy customer and new consumer for organic clothes, I thought I must share few ways how we contribute to the environment  –

  • The main benefit of organic materials is that the toxins which are generated during pesticide treatments and genetically modified organisms do not harm the farmers or the wildlife ecosystem.
  • Organic cotton uses lesser fuel and energy – so less carbon.
  • It is a chemical free process, hence it prevents water contamination as well.
  • This could be our contribution to the environment. It helps the consumer to become a responsible citizen who is fully aware about his/her responsibility towards helping preserve a sustainable environment. Organic cotton clothing also serves as a reminder to everyone in the society that anything natural is healthier and also cost effective in a long term perspective.

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Hope you too make a wise choice to move to organic clothes and do not forget to check out the wide range of fun prints https://berrytree.in/ have to offer.

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INDOOR NEW BORN PHOTOSHOOT

Murphy’s law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” – Source Wikipedia

So, Murphy has been my best friend since childhood, always making sure if I dreaded something would go wrong, he made sure it did. When we decided to do the first photoshoot for V, she was only 10 days old – we wanted a few pictures of her to be printed in the invitation cards for her welcome party. I was prepared for sleeping pictures but she kept wide awake all through the photo sessions getting really uncomfortable with the idea of clicking pictures. It was tough but we managed somehow. The second time we actually did a shoot, she was about 2 months old. I had many plans with props but little miss V decided to sleep through the whole session. So, we had to make do with available resources at home and get few pictures clicked. Here are few options that you can look at when you are not prepared or have to do a shoot with very limited resources.IMG_2640

We used a black fur carpet and a white fur one-sie , two red balloons with long strings and the picture was taken from the top. You could easily use few crumpled towels for making clouds around to giving it a feel of the baby floating in her dreams in the sky.

Onesie from NEXT UK

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White is my favorite color for pictures. It just makes everything look so dreamy.Here, I have used a white blanket as the base and this is just a candid shot while she is deep in her sleep.I regret some happy places few red flowers in the base, they would have created the perfect contrast.

Onesie – Carter’s USA

Hair band: Claire’s

Thanks to the filters these days, you can create the dreamiest of pictures from the most normal photographs. These are pictures from different angles while V slept peacefully.

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A basket came super handy when we thought of bringing in another element to the picture. We used the same black carpet, white blanket and placed V gently on the top of the basket which was covered with the white blanket.

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Sleep time is the best time to capture these tiny little feet. I have been obsessed with baby hands and feet for a long time ago. The first prints are always special and to be preserved for ever.

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The last picture of course, was shot after she finally decided to wake up and pose with us for a few minutes before she called it quits 🙂

SEVEN TRUTHS NO ONE TOLD YOU ABOUT MOMMYHOOD

Motherhood

Motherhood is the most beautiful feeling in the world – We have heard of this since ages, haven’t we?  Even when you google maternity shoot pictures, you get photographs of beautiful women(with no dark circles) in white flowy dresses posing with absolutely quiet and angelic babies. This is the image which was stuck in my mind till reality hit me hard right after Little Miss V was born.

  1. Guilt is your middle name : I haven’t met a new mom yet who hasn’t felt this way. We are racked with guilt when our work commitment prevents us from spending enough time with our little ones. We associate almost everything in our lives with the way we are raising our kids. On most occasions, even the best doesn’t seem to be good enough. We always find faults with ourselves and when we don’t, people around us help us find few.
  2. Hormone dance is for real : When we were counting days to our pregnancy acne to end and sore legs to be back to normal, our hormones had different plans for us. The hormonal balance throws most of us off the track right after the baby is born. The mood swings, depressing thoughts and baby blues start to get worse and just when we hit the 3 month mark and start to get better sleep, we start to lose chunks of hair. Ever wondered, why is it just us women who get to go through all of it?
  3. Time moves incoherently: When we are away from our kids, the clock stops ticking and when we are with our kids, the whole weekend passes away in the blink of an eye. No amount of planning and prioritizing can get us close to being perfect time managers when it comes to spending enough time with our babies. We constantly feel that there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done and Monday blues get worse. The struggle is real.
  4. Stop shopping for yourself: Shopping was fun once upon a time. Remember, how window shopping and even scrolling through online shopping sites felt therapeutic. These days, we just pass through the apparel section and land straight in the baby care section. Baby dresses look way more alluring than the Little Black Dresses we wore all our lives (fitting into it or not is still a question though).
  5. Bye – bye to sleep : Honestly, this does not deserve to be on Point number 5. Sleep was my first and foremost priority for the longest period of time. There were enough number of articles to support my argument of direct correlation between sleep and a healthy life. Unfortunately, the dream shattered for me soon after V arrived in our lives. I lived like a zombie for months with a little less than 2 hours of sleep every night. I kept patiently waiting for that magical age when she would start sleeping through the night but each time she did, she made the following nights worse.
  6. Get used to a messy house : Until now,we thought leaving the wet towel on the bed and the shoes on the floor was called a mess. Say hello to the new idea of mess after having a baby.Kids and clutter go together like glitter and glue and we just cannot do anything about it. So, we have to make peace with a messy house. Good news is studies say, messy houses raise immuned, strong and independent children.
  7. All the parenting strategies go for a toss – Remember the last time we saw a wailing baby in the flight and gave the mother a frosty stare? Or the last time we saw a mom handing over a bag of chips to her kid while we smirked and wondered how she could be raising her child with junk eating habits? Well, now the whole universe is conspiring against us – it is all coming back, one after the other. The biggest thing I learnt as a mother is to “NOT” judge another mother. Everyone has a different way of parenting and sometimes we just give in to the whims and fancies of our child for the sake of peace of our minds. It is ok, everything is not going to be perfect all the time, it need not be.

These were the top 7 shocks motherhood gave me but the reasons to the joy of motherhood are infinite. I will be happy to know more about what shocks did my readers get post motherhood?

 

WHY CHILDREN SHOULD PLAY OUTDOORS?

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This winter has been very tough for me as far as V’s health was concerned. We struggled for nights with blocked nose, persistent cough and sore throat. I had to do an extensive research on how to deal with baby’s cough and cold , how to boost immunity and how to get rid of recurring flu. While I was not successful in the initial attempts, I learnt a lot through the failed attempts. One of the biggest myths that burst for me was that babies/kids should be kept indoors to avoid any kind of health issue. Contrary to this popular belief, there are in fact hundreds of benefits for kids who play outside regularly, it is also advised that kids should spend more than 3 hours outdoors each day. Some of the reasons why you should let your child spend time outside are listed below –

  1. Confinement breeds diseases: While rest is extremely important for the sick and we are perennially worried about our kids catching cold when they step out, the reality is virus is easy to catch in closed environments. In open areas, there are lesser chances of kids catching the virus and in open air.
  2. Emotional and social competencies: Outdoor play has brain-boosting benefits for kids, starting in infancy. It strengthens the language and communication interactions among children who play together in the park. The more they socialize, the faster their learning is.
  3. Vitamin D Levels : Vitamin D has several health benefits like strengthening bone health which is a key parameter for growth in kids. Since, most of our kids have minimum exposure to sun these days, we try to supplement through food and tablets but sunlight is the most natural and effective way of receiving Vitamin D. Ofcourse, the precautionary measures must be taken for children who get sun burns easily.
  4. Channelize energy and increase curiosity: Kids come with a huge amount of energy which has to be channelized in a productive way. Kids who are confident about their physical abilities tend to be more positive about their lives in general. When they are exposed to newer things, their curiosity levels rise up, their tendency to ask questions increases and all of this contributes to the overall energy levels of a child.
  5. Increased attention span : Green outdoor settings always appear to reduce Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms amongst children, that includes the exposure they get to natural settings through different outdoor activities.
  6. Concept of leadership and team work – Outdoor play is extremely important to the social development of children particularly for building self-confidence. In addition to it, children also get more empathetic through social play, and they develop more skills for coping with conflict. Group activities also help develop team skills and leadership/moderation skills at a very early age.
  7. Boosting creativity: Sensory inputs help boost creativity and imagination. It also helps with quick learning – we all know we learn to do by doing and there is no substitute to experience. So, if you touch the sand, you would understand the concept of coarse and fine and there is no other way to explain it by seeing or reading. Hence, we must encourage our kids to step out and enjoy the sun, grass and wide skies.

I would be so happy to receive inputs from other moms who are willing to share their experiences and tricks which have worked for them.