6 ways to tone down your stress levels

It is not uncommon to see someone you know, perhaps your friend, a family member, or a colleague whose demeanor is looking unusual, and you show concern by asking the question: ‘why is your appearance looking so dull today?’  and their reply goes ‘it is stress’.

Recently, I attended a meetup where young women discussed ‘creating balance’. In the heat of the discussion, one woman mentioned that she was on an official assignment to a psychiatric ward and found that the leading cause of psychosis in women admitted was stress.

I was both alarmed and pained.

The term stress seems to be something everyone takes for granted but its effect on our physical, emotional and mental well-being is often disastrous.

More women than men are prone to stress partly because besides the everyday hustle to support the family income is the added responsibility of taking care of the home front.

Many studies have confirmed that stress could lead to deli-bating diseases like high blood pressure (which is constantly on the rise in recent times), heart attack, nervous breakdown, and many others. Hence, there is an urgent need for us to take the matter of stress very seriously.

On the scale of 1 - 10, how high is your stress levels? @awunliwomanup highlight 6 ways to manage stress. Read more... Click To Tweet

Stress cannot be eliminated completely, however, here are six ways to manage it.


Some women are naturally workaholics, while others are in the hustle just to outdo their contemporaries in terms of material acquisition.

Whichever end of the divide you find yourself, be kind to your health and long term well being, you have to know when to stop.


Some people know when to unwind after a hard days job while some people see it as unnecessary. For example, I have a friend who stays glued to his laptop watching one series or the other after work and I get so angry until he explained that it was one of the ways he cools off after a hard days job.

Whatever works for you, make sure you go for it.


It has been emphasized more often than not that being busy does not translate into being productive. To increase your productivity, prioritize your activities and determine when you have reached your limit.


This is especially for those who have the perfectionist syndrome. They believe no one can do it the way they can. Sister, if anything happens to you, there will be someone else who will do the job better than you, so put your health first.

Leave those things you can delegate to someone else at work, outsource some tasks if you can afford it, and ask family members and friends to help out as a way of reducing your workload.


We all know how what last-minute tension feels like. you begin to sweat profusely, you get jittery all over. To avoid this kind of scenario, do things well ahead of time.


I have a friend who says worry is her recipe for losing weight.

Worrying over an issue does not get the problem solved. Worry and anxiety tend to the release of stress hormones in your body. Rather than worry, pray, believe and take the steps you need to solve the problem.

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How to celebrate Valentines Day – with or without a Boo

With Valentines around the corner, Yes I’m sure you’ve seen the countless teddy bear, red roses and champagne combo begging for your attention.

And being within the self-care era as a reigning champion. What are the options you could consider this Valentines? Single or not, you should have just as much fun as the next Motherland Mogul with or without a boo.

There’s much to do outdoors (if you’re in a warm country) just as there is indoors for all the queens.

You are a Motherland Mogul. And in case you’ve forgotten who she is, she knows what she wants and how to get it done.

As a motherland mogul, you’re running your business/es- being a sister, a mother, a daughter, partner, or a wife. You have a lot on your plate and self-care sometimes falls last on that list.

So how can you apply these strengths to having fun and unconventional day?

Wondering how to spend valentines day - with or without a boo? Here are some ideas... Click To Tweet

Be your own date

You shouldn’t get anxious at the idea of spending time all by yourself. There’s so much beauty in taking a little pause for you.

Valentine’s day is about showing affection, being sweet and thoughtful. Give all that love to yourself.

Treat yourself like a queen, make that plate of pancakes and strawberries for breakfast, take a long stroll around your block and enjoy your company or even take that spa day you’ve always wanted.

Create a vision board

There’s so much power in visualizing the things you want to achieve in your life when you especially feel low- sometimes the anxiety of Valentines Day can leave you feeling some type of way.

You could take a notebook and write down 3 things you’d like to achieve by the end of the week, Give yourself something to look forward to.

So grab the magazines and start dreaming. Do this after work or during your lunch break. Grab your boo or a friend and visualize together.

Doing this makes sure you have someone to hold you accountable on your promise.

Share gifts with your loved ones

The most amazing thing about giving gifts is that you made that someone feel special that day. This good karma will always come back to you when you least expect it.

Try going for the less traditional route of valentines favorites- teddy bears, flowers and champagne. Be thoughtful in your efforts. Write a letter, visit your boo or friends and spend some quality time with them. We all just want to be seen.

Cook a hearty dinner

There’s something about good food that just cures the soul. You don’t need to be a foodie to understand just what I mean. Plus trying to make reservations on such a busy day is a struggle we don’t need, sis.

Go on a grocery run with Bae or on your own. Queue a great show or movie to watch after your lovely dinner and mellow out. You can have major fun taking it slow too.

Book an AirBnB sleepover with your girls

You can never have too much fun with your girls. Especially when there’s a bottle of bubbly involved. Make a great girls night in playing games and gossiping the night away with some wine and pizza.

You don’t need to go too crazy with the budget, find something in your town, just try something new and fun with your friends

Work on your New Years resolutions

New Years came and went, leaving most of us to make resolutions for the new year. Why not try to execute that one thing you haven’t worked on.

Having a better idea of how you feel about 2019 and what you’re trying to achieve. Re-evaluate what you had listed and where you are now, maybe you wanted to go to a yoga or aerobics class or said you’d call your mom more.

Attain at least two of your resolutions and challenge yourself to keep it going for 2019

Pursue your passion

Life can get overwhelming- meetings, play dates, parent-teacher conferences, family. We juggle a lot as motherland mogul and we are the last ones we check on.

The show has to keep running right?

Think of a passion project you have always wanted to accomplish. Write that blog, Start that course, work on that business proposal.

See this as an opportunity to be proactive, a chance for you to do you and feel no guilt.

 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

Need some zoning out? – 4 quick ways to create mini escapes

An average African woman is strong. There is no argument.

Her strength is not basically physical. She is emotional, mentally, psychologically and spiritually strong. Nobody expects her to need an escape, once in a while.

Naturally, mental health or exhaustion is mostly not discussed in Africa (we are improving but not yet).
Nobody likes to be labeled “abnormal” or “possessed” due to being bi-polar, depressed or schizophrenic.

It always baffles me when I say I am mentally tired and people ask “how?”. Some even go ahead to suggest that I might be possessed. LolMental health and wellbeing are often overlooked because they are not physical. They do not show up in blood or urine tests, neither do they have noticeable symptoms.

Therefore, we sometimes see it as a shameful thing and never admit that as women, wives, employees, employers, business owners, we need some escape space.

Truth is, whether you are a working-class woman or you own a business, There are moments when you want to forget everything and have a brief respite, escape.

Regardless of your state or status, there comes a time in everyone’s life when we just want to drop the reins and unravel in peace for a little while.

We might not all get enough time for a long respite but, in-between the day, we can steal bits of escapes to help us power through the day.

I have over the years developed quick escape spaces that help me zone out at times when I get overwhelmed. Here are some of them:


The power of music cannot be overemphasized. There have been more times when I get overwhelmed with the work on my desk and the work waiting for me back home (i run a business too).

Right there on my desk, I plug in my earphones, sit back for 2 minutes and listen to something. My go-to choices are slow blues or classical music. Beethoven’s is a staple.


It gives me a little reprieve and escapes. Little is enough


I have loved sappy romance novels from when I was 8 years old. It took me a while to understand that they provided an escape for me.

Right now as I type, I have an appointment with one chapter of a sappy romance novel.

It is a long day.

Old Movies

I cannot count the number of days I have gotten home, work on my business and snuggle under the blankets for an old movie. I mostly end up falling asleep most time, but for a while, the whole world falls away.

Me time

Me time means different things to different persons. It could be an alone moment with your thoughts or a 2-minute cup of tea. There are long “me times|’ and short ones.

It could be savoring a piece of chocolate while at your desk or a reasonable drink after work. Personally, I take snatches of “me time” whenever I can.

Just me. No work, No business.

In this second month of the year, we may have done a lot and still have a whole lot to do. However, let us remember it is okay to escape briefly, unwind and revive.

Most importantly:

  • Plan your dream vacation and work towards it.
  • Take your mental health seriously.

 Interested in contributing for She Leads Africa? Click here.

Find your zen with Spa Pampering At Home (S.P.A.H)

Spa Pampering At Home (S.P.A.H) was founded by Kemi Bawa-Allah, who is also the lead therapist of the company and has been practicing her craft since 2010. She started her training as an apprentice after which she sought formal training and then returned to an apprenticeship position.

All of this training spanned a period of 2.5 years before she decided on starting her own mobile spa service. She is dedicated to her profession and service to wellness advocates, rookies to massage, and those interested in how massage influences beauty.

Kemi has a diploma in Beauty Therapy, she is an infant massage instructor and an aromatherapist who is committed to learning and proffering touch as a solution to improved world wellness.

In this interview, Kemi tells us about her company, and her commitment to learning and proffering touch as a solution to improved world wellness.


Tell us about S.P.A.H

S.P.A.H is a beauty and wellness outfit focused on helping you be your best self with an array of mobile spa services and products delivered to you wherever you want.

S.P.A.H has a brand culture of delivering calming and meticulous massages, which stands us out of the crowd of relaxation professionals in the industry.

Their highly trained, empathic and intuitive therapists deliver mindful massages using the finest carrier oils, blended with pure essential oils for their aromatherapy qualities. S.P.A.H’s table set-up selection of sheets and towels are inspired by Buddha traditions of zen and feng shui.

Kemi Bawa-Allah (center) with fellow colleagues

The innovative idea behind S.P.A.H

S.P.A.H is a venture that is built around customer experience and the belief that a spa experience is not a luxury. A spa treatment should be part of your commitment/journey to being your best self.  

Choosing not to have a brick-and-mortar spa and instead, delivering that experience to customers in their own comfort space allows the best part of a spa treatment to last even longer.

This not only means that we are keeping the company lean, it also means that we are able to focus on what is most important –  the customer experience. This also allows us as a brand to reach many virgin spa users who had previously considered spa services out of their pocket reach.


Would you consider S.P.A.H as a social venture?

We are creating increased awareness of the need for a relaxation culture that is focused on wellness. This is why we offer self-massage workshops, guided meditation and aromatherapy sessions at private events, workshops, fairs, and exhibitions. We call this the S.P.A.H experience.

Our guests get an immersion experience that is filled with soothing and calming moments and relish the impact this can have on their daily life and general wellbeing.

We are also curating wellness boxes targeted at cancer patients. People who have been diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers would usually commence a journey full of anxiety and turmoil.

We want our wellness boxes to help bring a little pixie dust to their lives. These boxes will contain aromatherapy products from our collection and other sample products sourced from other wellness companies.

A percentage of proceeds from the sale of each box will go towards funding onsite massages at chemotherapy lounges in cancer centers across the country.


Who are the people you cater to and how have they received your service?

Our customers are those who have chosen a more personalized and convenient service. We are able to provide our service when and where the client wants it. We are able to consistently match clients and therapist based on their specific needs, giving consideration to their lifestyle and stressors.

Our customers love the S.P.A.H experience, the convenience, and our holistic approach. We have a maintained a 95% customer retention over the last 5 years.

How did you come up with the idea of organizing relaxation events for individuals and organizations? Has this always been the company goal?


Relaxation events which we call the ‘Pop Up Spa’ was part of our growth model. We identified that we needed to reach a new market demographic that was not as self-aware as the market we were currently serving and we identified that the way to reach them was by creating these experiences.

This was easy for us because S.P.A.H was created to bring these experiences to our customers, so yes you can say that this has always been the goal. Our approach was the same even though we were now looking to attract a new target market.

We are creating a cohesion in the wellness industry with wellness practitioners to provide a complete experience. Our relaxation event offers aromatherapy workshops, talks with nutritional experts/ nutritionist, yoga classes, pilates classes, meditation classes and massage services.


In what way have you diversified your products to suit your market?

We have created DIY relaxation kits, such as our aromatherapy box, containing essential oils in 3 notes, a personal oil burner and tea light candles which are the perfect starter pack for introducing aromatherapy.

This introductory guided experience for our customers is increasing their awareness and resulting in the use of essential oils for wellness and relaxation.

Aromatherapy provides a natural, holistic and non-toxic way to promote wellbeing and relaxation.

Tell us 5 DIY daily relaxation advice you always recommend to your clients.

  • Try self-massages: the acupressure points in the hands and feet are just waiting to be touched to give immediate relief from the stress and anxiety and promote relaxation.


  • Use aromatherapy on the go: especially peppermint essential oil, essential oils have an immediate effect on the mood, use your essential oil in a roll-on bottle blended and apply to your pulses, inhale deeply and feel relaxed immediately.


  • Take a tea break: you should actively take a break from work every 4 hours, especially if you have a very stressful and sedentary job. Use your break time to have a mug hug, try a decaffeinated herbal tea, like lemongrass tea, and if you must have caffeine try a green tea.


  • Take a power nap: yes close your eyes from all the stimulation, keep your phone on silent and take a 10-15 minutes nap. Wake up refreshed ready for the other half of your day.


  • Breath: simply breathe to promote relaxation, take slow deep breaths and keep your awareness to your breath and relax.

How can people interested in your service contact you?

With just one phone call to initiate our seamless booking process, you can choose the time and venue for your relaxation experience. Visit our website, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Sponsored post.

How to stop procrastinating using ‘temptation bundling’

Procrastination is like a credit bill: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill Click To Tweet

Does this scenario sound familiar? You wake up in the morning, pump your fist in the air and tell yourself that today you will finally go to the gym and exercise.

As the day goes on, you’re losing energy and willpower from work demands and other activities. By the time you get home from work, you’re exhausted the last thing on your mind is to exercise.

Then, just like every other day, you curl up on the couch read a book and watch your favourite TV show. It’s been several months since you had your New Year’s resolution to get in shape, but you’re still procrastinating on it.

Luckily, there is a simple, effective strategy you can use right now to stop procrastinating and start taking action to achieve your goals.

You’re not alone

Katy Milkman, Associate Professor at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, had a similar struggle in overcoming procrastination. In an episode of Freakonomics, she talks about this strategy:

“I struggle at the end of a long day to get myself to the gym even though I know that I should go. And at the end of a long day, I also struggle with the desire to watch my favourite TV shows instead of getting work done.

And so I actually realized that those two temptations, those two struggles I faced, could be combined to solve both problems.”

To combat her chronic procrastination, Katy simply combined her guilty pleasure of watching her favourite TV show with her long-term goal of losing weight.

She would only allow herself to read ‘The Hunger Games’ book when she went to the gym. Her strategy worked very well, Katy soon started going to the gym regularly soon after.

This simple technique of combining things that make you feel good now with something that is good for you in the long-run is called ‘temptation bundling’.

Temptation bundling

Essentially, you bundle behaviours you are tempted to do with behaviours that you ‘should’ be doing.

Temptation bundling has been formally tested in a study done on the exercise habits of 226 students from the University Of Pennsylvania. During the experiment, students were only allowed to listen to their favourite audio books if they went to the gym to exercise

The result: students who applied the temptation bundling strategy were close to 51% more likely to exercise than the control group. (Full study, PDF)

How to (finally) stop procrastinating using this research-backed strategy Click To Tweet

How to use temptation bundling to stop procrastinating

Here’s a simple exercise to put all of this into action.

Draw two columns on a piece of paper.

  1. In column one, write down the activities that you’ve been procrastinating on doing.
  2. In column two, write down your guilty pleasures that give you that feeling of instant gratification.

Now you can simply criss-cross across both columns to match what you ‘should’ be doing with what you ‘want’ to do.

For example, whilst writing this article, I’m also listening to my favourite music and podcasts. I’ve also used a similar technique to maintain a regular exercise routine for over five years.

Here are some examples that may help:

  • I will only listen to my favourite music when I exercise.
  • I will only watch my favourite show when I work on my writing project.
  • I will only get a pedicure when I catch up on my backlog of emails.


“Just try new things. Don’t be afraid. Step out of your comfort zones and soar, all right?”
– Michelle Obama

Temptation bundling is one of many strategies that will help you stop procrastinating and take action. Most importantly, it kick-starts a new habit by helping you to do more of the things you should be doing and not just things you want to do.

By combining your guilty pleasures with your long-term goals, you can begin to build healthy habits that will transform your life.

How to build a daily culture of rest (The rest rituals of the rich)

We live, work and play, burning out and hoping for resuscitation over the holidays Click To Tweet

I learnt that we do not have a culture of rest in our society and holidays reveal that for me personally. We live, work and play, burning out and hoping for resuscitation over the holidays. You can’t put your wellness on the line for 350 days and hope that in 2 weeks you can snap back! We need to build a ritual of rest, all successful people have some type of ritual that involves treating their bodies with care, so perhaps this is one you can adopt.

Last year, I started reading “Thrive” by Arianna Huffington, but I stopped because I felt that Arianna was telling people to slow down on work after she had sold her business for $315 million to AOL! I was like “let me do that first and then I will rest!” But this holiday I dusted off my copy of “Thrive” and reread it to find some daily rituals I can practice going into the year!

Here are my top 5 rest rituals I am challenging myself with this year.

1) Quality sleep: 7-8 Hours a night

As an entrepreneur that works from home, it is very difficult to unplug and go to sleep, especially towards the end of the month. The Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine states, “sleep deprivation negatively impacts our mood, our ability to focus, and our ability to access higher level cognitive functions: the combination of these factors is what we generally refer to as mental performance.” Therefore, to be smarter, you have to sleep more; not less! In this instance, I encourage that we sleep our way to the top!

Now sleeping isn’t getting into bed and scrolling through time feeds until you fall asleep, you need to completely shut down before you get into the bed and be prepared for sleep.

Here are a few things you can do to cross over into la-la land:

  • Make your bedroom darker (use lamps or candles) and keep it cool;
  • Practice deeper breathing before bed (I’ve tried this, it does work)
  • Banish all LCD screens from the bedroom at night (cellphone- charge it in the lounge and buy an alarm clock, laptops, TV, tablet)
  • Get a nice set of pyjamas, instead of a t-shirt, that will excite you to get into bed.

2) The power nap

If you decide to nap, you are actually in good company with the likes of former US President John F Kennedy, inventor Thomas Edison, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Their naps would vary from 20 minutes to 2 hours and even up to 6 hours! The most bizarre nap I have heard of is that of Salvadore Dali, the artist, who would nap for 1 second! He called it “slumber with a key” where he would sit in a chair, holding a key and place a plate on the floor so that when he fell asleep the key would fall onto the plate and wake him up! Allegedly Albert Einstein did the same, so it may be worth a try! Slumber is the key!

Side note: These are all men, can we take up the challenge of becoming famous women nappers??!!

Consider a 30-day social media hiatus at least once every 6 months Click To Tweet

3) Unplugging

We live in a hyper connected world where we probably know more about whats going on around us than we do whats going on inside us.

I did not think I was addicted to social media until I watched Simon Sinek’s talk on Millennials in the Workplace, which you can see here. A warning, do not watch this video if you aren’t ready to make some changes, I was not ready!

I strongly recommend a 30-day social media hiatus at least once every 6 months.

4) Minimalism

This is a concept I came across recently, so I am also learning! Minimalism is about owning exactly the right things, for you and your needs, and no more than that, so that you then have more time, energy, and resources (including money) to spend on the important stuff.

Stuff costs money and it takes up a lot of space -a lack of both can lead to stress- which does not help to rest! Living with less is not just about getting rid of junk and making extra cash from selling your hoarded items. It is about living with passion and purpose and less about living for things.

I have read about people living with just 50 items and up to 300 items. It’s about frequently asking the question, ” Does this serve a purpose in my life?”

Living with less is living with passion and purpose Click To Tweet

5) Quiet time

Call it whatever you want, meditation or prayer or power hour or stillness. Whatever word you decide to use. We all need at least 5 minutes or an hour to connect with our source of wisdom and power. I personally use this time to read my Bible and pray.

Binge watching series, Netflix, and chill are not resting or recuperating, at best it is escapism. I think implementing each or one of these simple steps on a daily basis will allow us to cultivate a culture of self-care, taking rest daily instead of waiting for the next holidays.

What are some of your tips?

The scramble to the top: 8 things overlooked in a fitness entrepreneur’s journey

People have to see to believe that you are capable of transforming fitness goals into a physical reality Click To Tweet

The hustle is real. Becoming a fitness entrepreneur may be one of the hardest career choices a person can make because of the required level of patience and discipline accorded to success in the fitness industry. People often overlook the journey of a fitness entrepreneur owing to the fact that they are not privy to the behind-the-scenes footage in their lives.

Most fitness entrepreneurs start out juggling their passion with another job in order to fund their lifestyle, gain experience and get professional certification. Here are eight considerations that are often overlooked in a fitness entrepreneur’s journey to career growth and stability:

1. Food and supplement expenses

A small fortune may be spent on food depending on fitness goals; weight loss, muscle gain or maintenance. Protein requirements vary per person depending on their body mass index and daily activity levels, so buying protein and multivitamins may be a major consideration.

Sometimes eating a balanced diet may dig a hole in your pocket but the results are totally worth it.

2. Blood, sweat, and tears

In order to stay relevant, you literally have to keep training. This could involve coming up with different challenges, hitting personal targets and diversifying your fitness regime to stay on top of your game.

A serious fitness entrepreneur trains at least five times a week and rests on other days.

3. Getting that perfect shot

It’s time to get into amateur modelling via social media. People have to see to believe that you are capable of transforming fitness goals into a physical reality. Sharing clear photos taken from a good camera is absolutely necessary to showcase your physique to a target audience of potential clients.

Early in one’s journey, a good camera phone may suffice but if you choose to engage your clients and audience through workout videos and short inspirational clips then investing in a professional camera will be worthwhile.

Building an army of loyal clients may take some time but requires consistent effort Click To Tweet

4. Client loyalty

Building an army of loyal clients may take some time but requires a show of consistent efforts on your part. Following through with a plan and holding yourself accountable for every bit of information shared on social media will build trust in potential clients and reinforce working relationships with existing clients.

Let’s face it, you have to lead by example; don’t expect your clients to be thrilled at their chicken salad dinner when you are actively sharing photos of Italian thin crust pepperoni pizza topped with extra cheese and a glass of South African wine.

5. Sponsorships

Becoming a sponsored athlete or fitness professional may not only be for the ‘elite’. You just need to position yourself to attract brands through social media and official websites. The companies that approach fitness professionals may not be in the fitness industry as they may be looking for an unexpected beauty icon or someone to drive their sales traffic.

Although it takes a while to get to this stage, doing what you love for photoshoots, working holidays and press briefings will give you a financial boost and expose you to greater opportunities.

6. Becoming a thought leader

Want to become the next Lita Lewis? Growing in your area of fitness expertise will allow you develop ideologies on a certain type of fitness goal or exercise. Trying and testing what worked for you in your fitness journey will spark peoples’ interest and increase your following.

This can be reinforced by testing your ideologies on yourself and a focus group to build credibility.

Maintaining relevance in the fitness industry can be likened to a product life cycle Click To Tweet

7. Competitions

Sports, physique or athletic competitions are great ways to advertise your personal brand, challenge your physical capabilities while escalating your career to a different level of professionalism.

Placing in a competition usually attracts endorsements from supplement and fitness apparel brands which may be in the form of money or free products in exchange for regular promotion and modelling.

8. Guest appearances

Making a name for yourself in the fitness industry requires you to actively network at fitness festivals and other related events. Popular fitness entrepreneurs may often have the chance to speak at health and wellness workshops or lead a corporate wellness event.

These appearances will ensure that your face becomes familiar to fitness enthusiasts and people that are just beginning their journey.

Maintaining relevance in the fitness industry can be likened to a product life cycle: a fitness entrepreneur will get to a stage that requires innovation to maintain steady growth. This phase is mentally and physically tasking but the benefits accrued are insurmountable.

Apart from growing in discipline and perfecting your time management skills, you get to be in the best shape of your life while turning your passion into profit! This career path may not be suitable for introverts or socially awkward people unless they are willing to grow in their confidence and interpersonal skills. Are you ready to step outside your comfort zone and embark on this journey?

7 ways to maximize your productivity everyday

Being productive is not about working longer, it’s about working smarter & achieving more Click To Tweet

There was a girl that would wake up at 4.45am every morning to set off for work at 5.00 am. She would stop by the gym for an hour before arriving at work; eat breakfast between 8.30 am and 9.00 am after wading through morning rush traffic.

During work, she would often drift off into her own world on her phone, trying to make personal plans because there really was no spare time for other spheres of life. How did Beyoncé do it anyway? Short concentration spans began to set in and before the blink of an eye, it was already closing time. This usually meant time to journey through traffic again. These traffic bouts amounted to 6 hours daily and feelings of underachievement would often arise.

That girl was me! Taking charge of my productivity and life is a daily (and not yearly) resolution which has enabled me highlight a few life hacks. Have you been wallowing in disbelief of how you never manage to be very productive? Maybe you have recently taken on a new role at work or have greater developments in your business. Being productive is not about working longer and harder, it’s about working smarter and achieving more. Here are seven ways to effectively maximize your productivity every day:

Get quality sleep

Even as an adult, you should be having nothing less than 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Anything short of this is simply killing your productivity potential. Apart from gaining a huge 13% on mortality rates compared to those that get more sleep, a recent study also confirms that the US loses up to $411 Billion on productivity from people that sleep less than 6 hours every day.

Get to work or attend to your business with a relaxed mind so you can make the most out of your thinking time.

Eat brain food

Adjusting your diet will do great things for your productivity levels. It is advised to never skip breakfast; but eating heavy and starchy food in the morning can be counterproductive as it you may feel tired a few hours into the day.

Endeavour to choose a healthy meal plan that reflects your activity levels to give you a burst of energy and not lethargy. This means a lot more vegetables, lean meats and water with your meals while you have fruits and nuts as snacks. Fighting the urge to sleep rather than work with a clear mind is not the formula to smashing your goals!

Choose a healthy meal plan that reflects your activity levels to give you a burst of energy Click To Tweet

 michelle obama healthy eating turnip turnip for what turn up for what GIF

Drop it like a squat!

Exercise has proven several times over to be therapeutic, creating a positive effect on your productivity levels. Memory concentration and mental alertness are just a couple benefits associated with regular physical activity.

Engaging in a regular exercise regimen promises better sleep and the regular release of endorphins -the feel-good chemicals that bring about your inexplicable happiness. Whether you choose to hit the gym, do yoga, join a dance class or play a sport, make sure your activities are diversified to avoid boredom.

Make a weekly goal

To increase your productivity, create and document a goal to accomplish by the end of the week. Whether you are setting targets at work, or planning expansion strategies for your new business, it is wise to set specific and realistic goals that you can reasonably achieve within the space of one week.

Remember that goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Based.

Create a task timeline

It is extremely useful to make a list of your daily tasks and allocate time slots to each task so that you can manage your time efficiently and have productive ‘working’ time.

Ensure to have short breaks to eat and rest your mind in between tasks to prevent fatigue. Tick off each task as you complete them and feel accomplished!

No phone zone

If you are battling a major addiction of toying with your phone, it’s probably best to switch it off completely or work in another room if you work from home. Chatting, Candy Crush and social media can all wait while you make money.

Focusing only on work for allocated periods of time will increase your productivity levels. However, if your job involves the use of social media, you have to concentrate only on your current task at hand and not cyber stock people on Twitter and Instagram.

Memory concentration is just one benefit associated with regular physical activity Click To Tweet

 golf serena williams tiger woods busted no phones GIF

Daily recap

At the end of the day, recap all your tasks including the incomplete ones and others that need more research or tweaking. Recapping at the end of the day allows you time to cool off and give yourself constructive criticism, seeing how you can be more productive the next day.

To really compare your state of affairs to your impending progress, try these seven tips for a week and watch out for any differences in your productivity. Remember that if you dislike your situation, you can always change it. I can assure you that there will be no turning back!

Humbulani Ravhura: I would love to make yoga more accessible to black people

Humbulani Ravhura

Humbulani Ravhura: The African dream will not happen if our bodies are dying Click To Tweet

Some of us are very familiar with the struggle between keeping fit and registering at an expensive gym. Humbulani Ravhura learned yoga from a DVD and enjoyed it so much she went on to train as a yoga teacher.

Now Humbulani is the founder of PeachBerry Wellness, a yoga-focused initiative that aims to bring yoga to black South Africans in Pretoria. Read on to find out why Humulani believes wellness is integral to the growth of the African continent.

How did you find yourself where you are now?

I have always been interested in exercise but I could not find a form of exercise that I enjoyed. Yoga and pilates were in some way at the back of my mind, but gym rates were too high. So, I would run once a week and workout at home on some days. After I got a yoga DVD from a friend and a yoga mat for my birthday in 2015, I decided to follow the DVD as my instructor every morning for two weeks.

After that period, the results were amazing. My body felt really light, the bloating I had grown to expect was no longer an issue, my body started to tone, I was sleeping better, more flexible and I began to lose weight. That gave me the motivation to practice regularly.

I got to know a different side of my body, I was more aware of everything that happened in it and began to appreciate it even more. I fell in love with the practice of yoga. So I decided to register for a yoga teacher training course in February 2016.

How do you combine wellness with development of the African continent at PeachBerry?

Africa is now the fastest growing continent in the world. The growth of the continent is attributed to the works of people across all fields of expertise from science, economics, health sciences, humanities, the entertainment industry and others.

But I do not see how any of the things we do or aspire to do can be sustainable if our bodies are not taken care of. Our bodies are very precious possessions and without them we can’t be.

The African dream and narrative that we are working towards every day will not happen if our bodies are dying. We need sharp physical and mental health to be effective. I would like to contribute to that by introducing yoga, general physical activities and healthy eating habits.


To grow PeachBerry wellness, what do you think is more important; mentorship or funding?

To grow PeachBerry wellness, both mentorship and funding are equally important. It is essential to have mentorship and learn from people that are more experienced and have been entrepreneurs for years.

I believe that you do not only learn from your own experiences, but can also learn from other people’s experiences. It is also very important to get opinions from people that think differently from you, to get challenged by different mindsets and to get support in all possible ways from mentors.

But most important, I need to remain rooted in the vision I have for my entrepreneurial path because nobody knows it as well as I do. Funding would help PeachBerry reach both its short term and long term goals, which are studio space and an integrated wellness centre, respectively.

Humbulani Ravhura: I could not find a form of exercise that I enjoyed Click To Tweet

What will a “wellness conscious” African continent look like?

A wellness-conscious African continent would be a continent of people that prioritize physical activity, eating well and hydrating well.

It would have people that treat their bodies as the precious temples that they are. We can’t be a growing continent with decaying bodies.

How does one turn wellness- in this case yoga, into a profitable business?

Firstly, just like any other business, you have to create your own opportunities. You have to identify gaps and obstacles that people encounter when they are trying to live healthy lives and try to figure out how you can ease their journey.

Try to come up with ideas that will help you meet your potential clients’ needs. Like making yoga easily accessible and teaching yoga sequences that compliment your potential clients’ everyday jobs. If you have athletes as potential clients, learn about their careers and training methods to see how you can help them reach their goals in a more holistic way.

Blend other health and wellness modalities such as massage therapy and aromatherapy because they are complimentary tools. Potential clients may find this to be more interesting.

Humbulani Ravhura: Our bodies are very precious possessions and without them we can’t be Click To Tweet

What would you like to achieve in the next three years? How do you plan to achieve it?

In the next three years, I would like to have my own yoga studio. Also, I’d like to be a mobile yogi offering corporate yoga at work places, schools, and every corner of Pretoria.

I would love to make yoga more accessible to black people. I have realized that most yoga studios are in regions that are not easily accessible to them. This makes it harder for most black people to practice yoga.

To reach my goals, knocking on as many doors as possible and exhausting every avenue will be key. Practising every day to perfect my skills so that I can deliver the best yoga sessions will also contribute greatly.humbulani-3

What is your favourite yoga position? Do you think it says anything about you/your personality?

My favourite yoga position is called Pincha Mayurasana, which is a forearm stand. I do not think it says much about my personality, however, it helps me realize the limitless capabilities that lie within me.

For example, the first time I saw this pose in a picture, I thought I would never ever be able to do it because it looked so difficult. After a number of trials, I got it right, although with a fall every now and then. It also reminds me of the fact that no matter how much I know, I will always be a learner. There are times that I nail it and there are times that I fall. This pose brings out the best yogi in me!

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