Thursday, October 24, 2019

9 ways to indulge in self-care without burning a hole in your pocket

Hi Moms, 

As the holidays approach, we tend to focus more on our kids, specially since they will be home from school (for the ones old enough to be in school). But we often miss out ourselves, and we need and deserve a break too!
I've teamed up with a financial page and app, Basis to help you get some much needed answers like easy ways to take care of yourselves and ways to teach kids about finances. (There's a quick IGTV video about this on my Insta too!) 
These articles are fun and easy to read, so stay tuned for more and I hope you enjoy the read
More to come
TKV

 

9 ways to indulge in self-care without burning a hole in your pocket



 by Team Basis
If we go back to the basics, restoring our inner balance and well-being doesn’t have to be a drain on our energy and finances.
These days, self-care is accompanied by images of the perfect shade of lipstick or that new workout that zaps cellulite. When did something as introspective and personal as self-care become Insta fodder? It has a lot to do with the ambiguity around what self-care means. This definition sums it up nicely – It’s the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Unfortunately, most of us are following Urban Dictionary’s tongue-in-cheek definition: Self-care is an umbrella term that has more benefit for the sellers than individuals.
What was intended to restore balance has been pivoted into something superficial and commercial that often leaves us feeling inadequate. So, if your feel-good activity is retail therapy or a spa date, here are some basic (and inexpensive) changes that will make you feel as good as new.

1) Change your relationship with food:

Yo-yo dieting,(a cyclical loss and gain of weight) is bad for heart health, and not helpful in losing weight either. Instead of tucking into expensive new superfoods and spending a fortune on trendy diets, maybe we owe it to ourselves to stop looking at food as an enemy and associate with it in a more wholesome and sustainable way.

2) Take a long-term approach to fitness:

Fitness fads (and expensive gym memberships) will come and go, so it’s time to find a workout that helps us stay healthy and active in the long run. Walking or jogging in the park is a good start.

3) Revive a childhood hobby:

Remember doing something just for the joy of it, without fear of judgement or the pursuit of perfection? Tap into that feeling more often, because adulting is hard enough as it is.
 

4) Sort yourself out financially:

Setting up an emergency fund can make us less nervous about the future while cutting down on unnecessary lifestyle expenses helps us save for more meaningful experiences.

5) Give social media a rest:

Although we millennials are hyper-connected, we’ve often labelled ‘the loneliest generation’. Plus, scrolling through picture-perfect feeds make us feel less than perfect, driving us to spend more on things we don’t need.

6) Give yourself some rest:

The body heals itself during a normal sleep cycle. When we get enough shut-eye, we eat healthier, are more active and alert, are happier, and make better decisions. What’s not to like?

7) Be still:

With a million things on our minds, it’s no wonder we’re always restless. Sitting down for five minutes and focussing on our breathing (and meditating, if you like) helps renew focus while helping us feel better equipped to cope with whatever’s on our schedule.

8) Connect with a loved one:

We play up different parts of our personalities in different situations, and sometimes, we just want to be loved for who we really are. There’s nothing like a good time with friends and family to make us feel whole again.

9) Declutter:

That goes for everything from old clothes in your closet and things that have been piling up on your to-do list. Freeing up space has a liberating effect. Here’s some inspiration from Marie Kondo to get started.
Money is essential to many things in life; working in the finance industry and powering personal finance for women through Basis shows me that every day. Yet, I’ve also learnt that to thrive, we don’t need to stretch beyond our means. All we have to do is start with what we already have.



This article was originally featured on Basis. Basis is a community and content-driven platform with a focus on women’s financial lives. Join our Facebook community to connect with other financially independent women. Download the Basis app to learn about money management, and to make investments.
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Friday, September 13, 2019

10 Quick tips on getting relief from children's colds and coughs:

Flu season has been here a while, and doesn't seem to be getting any better. Most cold and cough medications do not work effectively (if at all), and we often go through bottles before our kids get any relief. It used to make me wonder whether they would have recovered in that much time on their own anyway?

After having tried several cough syrups, we tend to wait and give fever medication as needed (acetaminophen or paracetamol, with ibuprofen as an alternate as needed), and avoid cough and cold syrups which have never seemed to have much of an effect on my kids anyway. Because of this though, we have a list of other things we do when the kids are unwell, below are some of our go-to helpers!


Quick ways to give your children relief from flu, colds and coughs:

1. Eucalyptus oil:
This wonderful essential oil can be found in products from bath washes to vapor rubs and balms, and is great for opening up nasal passages and even bringing down fever - when used in the right form. Eucalyptus drops can be put on the pillow and bedding to help open nasal passages. The vapor rub form can be put on bedding too and is even effective when on the child's chest. It can be used on the soles of the feet too (under loose socks, or under the blanket and this helps bring down fever), and on the forehead (when your child is asleep so that they do not rub it into their eyes). This is recommended for children of 6 months of age and older only.

2. Raising their heads:
Some children sleep on pillows, but many (particularly babies), should not due to the choking hazard posed by any loose bedding in their bassinets, co sleepers or cribs. However, raising their heads does help them sleep better when congested, and keeps mucus from coming back up at night. This can be done by putting a gradated foam wedge, or even a thin pillow under the child's mattress. For thinner bassinet mattresses, a folded baby blanket does the trick too.

3. Cold patches:
There are several cold patches in the market that are amazing at bringing down high fever. These stick on to the forehead and prevent fever from shooting very high. My son in particular tends to get viral fever that shoots up to 103/4 degrees, which can be terrifying, and we often have to ice his forehead or shove him into a cold shower. However, these patches if applied early and kept on, can (in conjunction with fever medication of course), keep the fever from rising too high, and save you some screams (plus, it's painful for you too, to have to put your child in an ice bath).

4. Steam:
I often use a steam machine when I'm congested. However, I just don't feel safe using that around my kids, as the water is usually boiling, kids do not sit that still, and the combination is a hazard that I don't want to dwell on. However, if you run the hot water in the shower or the sink, and your child is in the bathroom (standing away from the water), even this is potent enough to help unclog their nostrils and offer them relief. You can even fill the sink and put some drops of eucalyptus oil in there, which helps. (This is usually a last resort option, as I hate to leave water running, but it is extremely effective).

5. Saline Nasal drops:
Plain saline nose drops, are most hated by the kids. However, if you can administer it effectively (often only once, and then you have to hide it away until the kids forget what it looks like), they work wonders to relieve congestion. You can try these when the kids are asleep too, but they will wake up when you're only done with one side.


6. Use a humidifier/ dehumidifier/ air purifier:
Depending on where you live and the air quality, one or both is needed. When the air is cold or dry, a humidifier keeps allergies at bay, and also prevents nose bleeds and dry coughs (this is great in the winter too).
In countries like India, where it is moist and humid, a dehumidifier is needed to remove any mould and moisture from the air - which can make you just as sick. (We use one through the monsoon months and not just because my entire bedroom gets wet with condensation).
An air purifier, is a must all year round in cities where it's polluted. I've noticed a marked increase in my own immunity, before and after we had this installed.

7. Rule out allergies and clear out allergens:
If your child is getting frequent colds, or dry coughs and often without fever or any other symptoms, it could be allergenic. The most common allergens around children tend to be chalk, dust and stuffed animals. My daughter for one loves her stuffed toys, but we try and stick to ones that are not very furry, as they give my son the sniffles. Make sure to wash these regularly too.
If eliminating the common allergens does not bring relief, you can get a simple allergy test done for your child. Do note though to take the results with a pinch of salt and use a process of trial and error yourself to ensure that they really are allergic and you are not cutting things out of their diet for nothing (chocolate, gluten and milk are common allergens that show up).

8. Keep hydrated:
When they are unwell (particularly with fever or diarrhoea), it's most important to keep them well hydrated. Kids with colds and coughs often throw up as well, its their bodies way of expelling mucus. This too can be dehydrating, so keep giving them water, or even electrolytes as needed.

9. Fever medication rules:
Fever meds should be given every 4-6 hours. I find that alternating medications (usually paracetamol alternated with ibuprofen) tend to be the most effective, specially for my son who tends to get very high spikes. For my younger one, something mild is effective enough. So your child's pattern is important, as is ensuring that they get the dose they need before the fever spikes too high (it will save you from having to put them in water and bring it down).

10. Alternative therapies:
I get a lot of questions on alternative therapies for children. I find that herbal therapies like putting heated ajwain (carrom seeds) wrapped in cloth on their chest does help. There are a ton of these but ensure that they are safe to try before you experiment. In terms of homeopathy and alternative medicine - it's controversial as to whether it works or not - I've never found it to be effective for me, but it is completely up to you to decide what is right and what works for your child! These also tend to differ between doctors and patients too (just test the meds though to make sure you are not giving them anything with steroids).

If your kids fall sick very often, do ask your pediatricians about immunity supplements too!
Hope your kids have a peaceful flu season!!
More to come
TKV




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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

5 ways to deal with working mom guilt:

Hi! I know I've been missing but it's for a good reason --
I've written a book! All you need to know about parenting, and I've been a big caught up with the editing and release! It's now in stores and online so do order, if you enjoy my blog you will love it! It's packed with fun stories and even more tips and tricks on parenting--
Click below for :
Amazon India- 

Kindle-

Amazon.com -


Hope you enjoy the read!!!


Now for mom guilt, which seems most apt, while I myself have been trying to juggle it all --
One of the most common questions I get is how do you do it all, and how do you do it guilt free. The reality is though, that regardless of how balanced everything may look on social media, or sound otherwise, there's no way to do it all without feeling like you're sacrificing something. It's definitely never guilt free. However, there are ways to make sure that the time you do get with your children is maximized so that you can be more effective as parents, and your children also know how truly adored they are.

5 ways to deal with working mom guilt and be effective parents: 

1. Quality over quantity: when you do get time with your babies, put away your cell phone, turn off the television and give them all the energy you have left - which sometimes isn't much, but make sure they know they have your undivided attention. Ask them about their day and probe with interesting questions so that you get answers beyond "nice". Instead of how was school, ask them if they read a book, what their best friend was wearing or who had the yummiest break box at snack time. If you're lucky, you may even get a short story out of them, as a response.

2. Weekend time: The weekends are really your time to maximize everything. Even if you're social and get out a lot, try and ensure that you include the kids in your routine, or then get out without them once they are asleep. You will be surprised at how much they grow and pick up from being out and about with you. Meals out and managing them outside gets easier as they grow.  So take them for a swim, to the beach, a play area or some place fun and give them attention while you can. It makes it easier to get busy with household things when home.

3. Set time everyday for your children: This could be something small like making sure you sit with them and read them books through their dinner, have a family meal or that you bathe them yourself everyday. Kids thrive on routine, and them knowing that you will be there at a set time everyday no matter what - even if it's just bedtime, is more important to them than we realize. It also gives them something to consistently look forward to when they are missing you during the day.

4. Talk to them and explain the importance of your work: No matter how significant or insignificant you think your day has been, explain it to your child. Tell them why you go to work, why it's important for you to earn for your family and what you did in your day that was meaningful. This will not only involve them in the process, it will help create an understanding and build their appreciation and values too.

5. Remember that you are setting an example: It's not easy to close the door on them and walk out to work. Specially when they are home from school, done with school or on holiday (my current situation since my babies are on summer break), but it's important to keep in mind and know that you are a role model for your children. As parents, they look up to us no matter what we do, and we pave  roads in their minds and carve their understanding of how the world works. This holds true for stay at home moms as well, you are their role model no matter what, so tell them your purpose, and be proud of who you are and what you are doing, and they will be proud of you too!


It's never easy, it's never guilt-free, but if they know you are doing all you can (and you know you are doing all you can), then that's truly the best you can do.


More to come!

-TKV




All content on this blog belongs to the author and cannot be reproduced or replicated without permission.