Saturday, 11 February 2012 19:34

Day 11: Ten To Do's To Feel Better Fast

February 11, 2012

Feeling better isn’t always a mere physical condition; it can also be a state of mind. When you’re in the mood for a little pick me up, take advantage of these ideas:

  1. Get a pedicure or manicure. You can have this done affordably (my nail place only charges $18 for a pedi) and it’s a real confidence booster. Or invite a friend over and have an at home nail session. Pampering yourself always feels good and doesn’t have to break the bank. 
  2. Go to your favorite coffee shop for coffee or tea. Sure, we all have coffee machines or kettles at home, but sometimes a little cup of cheer really does perk up your day. Even if you order a regular coffee (less that $2 at Starbucks), getting out of the house or office and enjoying something tasty will make you feel more productive. Bring a book or magazine to enjoy with your beverage for added delight.
  3. Go outside. Whether it’s eating your lunch on a picnic blanket, bringing your laptop out on your patio, or reading a book at the beach, that vitamin D can do you good and give you some perspective. Best part about this idea: it’s absolutely free.
  4. Have a glass of wine. Just one glass, not the whole bottle. Pair a white or red with your dinner, sit back, relax and enjoy it. Sometimes a glass out of a bottle you already have can make a night of reading or watching television all the more decadent. If you don’t have a bottle at home, make a pitstop at Trader Joe’s for some uber-cheap $2 Buck Chuck. As an added bonus, red wine contains antioxidants and can help prevent heart disease. Cheers!
  5. Take a bath. Relax and use those bath salts and other bubbly products people gifted you with over the holidays. Cleaning off never felt so luxurious.
  6. Wear something fancy. This may sound somewhat silly, but the truth is, you feel your best when you look your best. You know that new shirt you wanted to save for a special occasion? Or those shoes you just couldn’t part with? Or the good Chanel lipstick you are saving for a hot date? Wear it! You never know what (or who) the day will bring and if you already look like you’re killin em, you probably will. 
  7. Play with your hair. Try that new hairstyle you saw on Pinterest. Or maybe it’s as simple as taking the time to curl it.   Don’t underestimate the power of a cute ‘do on your confidence
  8. Take care of your skin. Whether it’s trying a new facial mask, using a recipe for a homemade scrub, or testing out an expensive bottle of moisturizer at the beauty counter, definitely put some effort into your epidermis. Healthy, moisturized skin produces a youthful glow, and who doesn’t want that?
  9. Work on your sole(s). You pay good money for your shoes -- you have to take care of them. This can cost as little as $10 a shoe and can take very little time. Simply look up your local cobbler and pay them a visit. It’s worth giving up a few minutes and a few dollars to make a repair that will preserve the life of your favorite heels. 
  10. Clean your messiest area. This may be your bathroom, desk or closet (guilty as charged). But I guarantee you, not only does cleaning make you feel better about your space, but it will also help you feel more organized. Plus, this process will allow you to weed out those items you no longer use. Consider selling them via eBay or Craigslist, or donating them for even more feel good side effects.

There’s no time like the present to give yourself a mini makeover from the inside out. Loving yourself means taking care of yourself -- with a slight indulgence here and there. Enjoy!

This article was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Love Yourself". Each day we released updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. Click the link to read more!

Published in Current
Friday, 10 February 2012 08:00

Day 10: Love Yourself Playlist

February 10, 2012

There’s a reason music is used to teach elementary school kids useless critical information like the Preamble to the Constitution, to lift patients out of depression and even to help us bust out that last mile of our workout. Something about positive lyrics set to a dope track makes the day that much brighter, the words stick with us that much longer, and our strut that much bossier. Today we want to share music’s unique restorative and motivational power with you, so we quizzed the Made Woman staff for the songs that instantly lift their spirits—and make them feel utterly invincible. We hope they’ll serve as your soundtrack as you take on the world.

“I'm a Lady” – Santigold
This should be the anthem for driven “Ladies” everywhere. Empowering and thought-provoking, we’ve been known to let this one play on repeat.

“Lose Yourself” – Eminem
When this comes on, all we can picture is Rabbit from 8 Mile killing his opponent in the final freestyle battle. No other song gets our legs moving or our minds focused for the final kick of a race like this one.

“Joy” - Alycia Levels
This fresh face on the gospel scene won’t let anyone steal her “Joy”—and this song makes it easy for us to say the same. With relatable lyrics and powerful vocals, we’re excited to hear more from this Atlanta-based songstress.

"Alive" – POD
The heavy guitar, intense vocals and uplifting lyrics make us remember we have the power to take on the world. Or at least the power to “fly.”

“You Still Have Me” - The Freedom
We LOVE this song by up-and-comers, The Freedom. It’s so peaceful and uplifting. It always puts us in a good mood and makes us feel hopeful.

“Run the World (Girls)” - Beyonce
Do you even have to ask why?

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“Houdini” - Foster the People
We love how they tell us to "focus on your ability" and its upbeat tempo makes it a great workout song.

“Fighter” - Christina Aguilera
She may look like she's dressed in a black plastic bag in the video, but Christina Aguilera kicks all kinds of ass in this song. In addition to being all about toughness and hard work, it's an awesome song to help you get through that last set at the gym.... If you're into that kinda thing.

"I Hope You Dance" - Lee Ann Womack
Slow tempo songs can be motivating too!  This song reminds us to live life to the fullest every single day.

“Eye of the Tiger” - Survivor
The beat just gets us going! How can you resist attempting to run 20 flights of stairs when this song is on?

“Off the Wall” - Michael Jackson
What would a playlist be without a little Michael Jackson in the mix? Thirty-plus years after its release, I dare you to play this after a long workweek and NOT instantly become weekend-ready.

“When You Believe” - Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston

“There can be miracles / when you believe.” That statement pretty much sums up what makes this song one of our faves. Throw this on when you’re having a rough day and you’ll be feeling better in no time.

This post was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Love Yourself." Each day we released updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. Click the link to read more!

Published in Current
Thursday, 09 February 2012 17:49

Day 9: Exercise Gets You High

February 9, 2012

We all have those days when nothing seems to go right: couldn’t find your keys, stuck in traffic, missed a deadline, spilled coffee on your white blouse… Sometimes the weight of what goes wrong just makes you feel low. All you feel like doing on those days is crawling back in bed and hoping that tomorrow is better. Guess what? You don’t have to resign to your bed to reboot your day. You have the power within your own body to turn your day around.

If you’ve been doing it, then you already know it. It really isn’t a secret that after you work out, you no longer feel like you need to kick and scream, self-medicate, or drown sorrows in the bottom of a bucket of Ben & Jerry’s and a bag of salt and pepper Kettle Chips… then fall asleep amongst the crumbs of your guilt. Instead you can hop on the treadmill and run, leaving your troubles behind.

There’s some science behind why exercise has the same effects of chemically-induced highs and fatty food-elicited comfort. Morphine, codeine, oxycodone, heroin, and other opiates are synthesized (or partially manufactured) chemicals that create artificial endorphins in the body. Endorphins are hormones, created and released by our own bodies during exercise, excitement, pain (it alleviates the pain and helps us endure it), consumption of spicy food, and sex.

Frankly, I think exercise and sex are the healthiest options for generating a natural high (the latter, only if it’s drama-free). You can exercise any time of day. So, rather than depend on pharmaceuticals, and to prevent morning-after (insert junk food option here) guilt, lace up your kicks and go for a run, hike, dance class, or other type of fun and exercise. That’s your natural high. You’re not letting a few mishaps lead you to where your day should end. That’s girl-power: to take charge of your body and your mood, and work it out until you are glowing with sweat and with happiness.

This article was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Love Yourself". Each day we released updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. Click the link to read more!

Published in Current
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 17:21

Day 8: Let Go

February 8, 2012

We’ve all heard the rhetoric. “Don’t give up!” “Do your best!” “Suck it up!”

But what about letting go?  Does letting go = giving up?  Why should you let go?

Let go because life has backed you into a corner.
Let go because you deserve better.  Different.
Let go because it’s more painful to hold on.

If you refuse to, you will suffocate under the weight and pressure.

Because whatever “it” is?  It’s asking you to let go.
IT wants to be let go of.
IT is dying so that something else new/fresh/alive can be born.  And the longer you fight the “let-go” the more constricting your situation will become.

Pro-actively choosing to let go is different than passive letting go whereby life snatches things from your clutches.
Passive letting go is harsh + violent.   Active letting go can be painful.

But it’s also liberating + and steeped in relief.

Borrow the courage to let go before heavy takes root.  Before dark settles in + over.

When you proactively choose to let go you make delicious space for what you
really want to show up.
When you let go you allow the acceptance of “what is” to begin healing you.
When you let go you stop fighting a fruitless battle + bow to the perfect limitations of your situation.

With a heart ripped wide open you graciously, clearly understand:
●    This is all they have to offer + it’s not enough.
●    A sentimental item brings a heavy heart + so you must store it, sell it, give it away.
●     It’s time to move on. From this job, this town, this home. It’s been good but you must continue to grow–somewhere else.

Don’t wait until you’re “ready.”
The waiting is full of wrought + angst.
You have carried it long enough.
Crouched under its weight long enough.

Unclench your fists, open your hands +
let the old pain roll off your palms, cascade through your fingers +
slip away.

Say goodbye.
Say hello.
End it.
Begin it.
Let go.

This article was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Love Yourself". Each day we released updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. Click the link to read more!

Published in Current
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 17:19

Day 7: Poetry | It's Beyond Me

February 7, 2012

I'm by myself but for the first time not lonely
I left home and found comfort
There is freedom in being a stranger
Peace in listening to your own thoughts

The clutter is gone from my eyes
And for the first time the future is in my view
Those moments I used to live by have blossomed
Into whole lifetimes of possibilities
The world is bigger then I dreamed
And now my dreams are bigger than that world

I can't go back to that place
I can't shrink back down
To fit in that airless box
I am a stranger now
For the first time
The only one who knows who I am
Is me

There are more places I want to touch
More steps I want to take
More here, more there, more me
I can go home, but I can't go back
To the old me.

This article was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Love Yourself". Each day we released updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. Click the link to read more!

Published in Current
Monday, 30 January 2012 11:19

30 Days of Made: Love Yourself

Made Woman Mag has done it again! 30 Days of Made: Love Yourself Edition starts February 1st! But this time we are going to provide you with daily updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. We are collaborating with the best female bloggers, poets, and industry leaders from around the net. And the love doesn't stop there: Made Woman Magazine is also hosting discussions and giveaways on our Facebook page. Like our page now and sign up for our email updates to stay in the loop!

Check back daily on our 30 Days of Made tab to see what's new!

Day 1     Day 2     Day 3     Day 4     Day 5      Day 6     Day 7     Day 8     Day 9     Day 10

Day 11   Day 12   Day 13   Day 14    Day 15    Day 16   Day 17    Day 18   Day 19   Day 20

Day 21   Day 22   Day 23   Day 24    Day 25    Day 26   Day 27    Day 28   Day 29   Day 30

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