What really helps jet lag?

170728_ClaireBeermann_by_JuliaZierer-5659-1272x848As summer is upon us many will be heading to exotic locations for their next holiday. Something that usually spoils my first two days of a holiday is jet lag. However, you’re in luck because I studied sleep a few years back (yes, that was a module) and learnt how to REALLY combat jet lag.

Firstly, why do we get jet lag? A common misconception is that jet lag is caused by a lack of sleep, which isn’t necessarily the case. Our bodies are synced up with our location so we feel awake in the day and tired at night based on our environment.  When it’s dark your pineal gland releases melatonin, which many will know as the sleep hormone. Your circadian rhythm (body clock) is in tune with your environment. Yes, that’s a real thing! So, when we hop countries and enter different time zones our bodies become confused and we experience symptoms of jet lag.

So, I’m not going to go through all the myths that supposedly help you avoid jet lag but the main one I do want to address is the whole sleeping on a plane waking up fresh as a daisy in Bangkok lie. Mainly because my parents always used to say this to me!

Don’t book one of those god awful night flights thinking you’ll sleep on the plane. Jet lag will catch up with you, it will find you and it will get you. The best thing you can do is book a day time flight and just pretend it’s like you’ve been on the other countries time your entire life – you exotic traveler you!

The best thing to do is arrive, eat food at the same times you would at home but on the other countries clock. Food is actually a big part in helping you kill jet lag quicker because you’re tricking your body to keep to your schedule (not telling it you’re in a different time zone).

Finally, sleep at a normal time in your new country. I know it’s annoying when your tossing and turning, you lie there thinking your just going to fall asleep on the sunbed later but don’t let yourself! Don’t curl up in your air-conditioned room and have that family mid day nap! It will fuck you up! Siestas are reserved for post-jet lag life.

Give my tips a go and let me know how you get on.

Don’t upset the rhythm yo.

Photo Hairstyle

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I always want my hair down in pictures. It annoys me that every time I wear my hair differently and someone takes a photo of me I dislike it. I’ve had my hair all pinned up and styled for a fancy event, then pulled it down just for photos. I’ve thought my hair would look good tied back with certain outfits but bailed in case someone pulls a camera out on me.

The funny thing is I like how I look in person. Sometimes I think I look better with my hair pulled off my face and people have told me I do. So why doesn’t this translate to the way I see myself in photos? I don’t know if it is that I’m not photogenic or if it’s in my mind. Every time I’ve attempt to have a hair up picture my eyes immediately go to my forehead. I just see this line, like I have a lumpy head or something. I can’t see it in person but the light just seems to catch it every time… I’ve just held my fingers to my head to check I don’t have a ‘five-head’ (the paranoia is real).

I noticed recently my sister commenting on the same problem. I was flicking through some really nice pictures of her and she kept saying she hated them because of her forehead. It made me wonder if this a common thing for people. Maybe it’s not foreheads for everyone, maybe it’s something else. Maybe you avoid posing on one side or wearing certain clothes because they don’t translate well in selfies.

Whether I have a big forehead, a lumpy forehead or no forehead at all I’m going to make a conscious effort not to hide it. I’m making a promise to myself never to ruin a perfectly good up-do again because someone is taking a picture of me. Even if I don’t like the picture now, I think I might in the future.

Should you get a dog before you’re 30?

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As a 23 year pupper enthusiast I’m obviously camp yes! If you don’t know already I have a “Minature” Labradoodle called Harvey. He also goes by many other aliases including Wink, Harvoo, Harvard-Wean etc.

I adore dogs. I completely baby them and I greet them before their human compadre. My family dog Jake, who passed away a year ago was the light of my life. He had moles, a sunken back from his fat belly, his hair had thinned, his bottom lip used to droop and reveal two teeth. He sounds beautiful right? Glad you agree!

You’re probably thinking, that’s all well and good but is it sensible to get a dog when you’re young? Something sensible my boyfriend and I did was make sure Harvey was “hypo-allergenic”. Ironically we’re both allergic to dogs but we suffer through our pain for the lurve. Our search became more specific and we kept coming back to Labradoodles.

A dog should never be an impulse buy. Choosing the right breed can be tricky. You might love Great Danes for instance but that doesn’t mean you’re the right owner for one. You need consider your lifestyle and foreseeable living spaces. You need to be realistic and not make false promises to yourself. Will you really walk them 2 hours every day? Are you actually going to groom their coat when it means coating your living room in the process?

That being said people come to pet Harvey all the time and tell me they would love to have a dog. I can’t help but think ‘why not get one then?’ I know we get full-time jobs, have children and travel amongst other things. I think a common misconception is that a dog can’t fit around that. Dogs are adaptable and there are lots of options available to make sure your furry friend is happy. Stop saying it wouldn’t be fair on the dog and start asking yourself how you could make it fair. Can you afford doggy day care? Can you afford a dog walker? Do you have a support network?

It’s true not everyone is in a place of their life for a dog. Maybe you will have to wait till you’re 30, maybe even later. A lot of people would say getting a dog whilst you’re young is a bad idea but I’ve found it to be the opposite.

We’ve had time to train Harvey and get him into a routine. We had money set aside to care for him properly. He’s on the best pet insurance which was lucky because he’s been a sickly dog; he’s such a regular at the vets we walk in to a choir of “Welcome back Harvey!” .

As many of you know I set up a dog boarding business last summer and I don’t know if that would’ve happened if I didn’t have Harvey. He puts a smile on the faces of everyone who meets him and he’s just crackers. For all the hassle that comes with having a dog he is 100% worth it.

I must stress, If you are thinking of getting a dog they basically become your child. Harvey’s a full-time commitment and accompanies me on most of my dates. My boyfriend is regularly rushing back to his flat to limit anytime that he’s left alone. Day trips need to be organised in advance so Harvey can get a sitter arranged, if he can’t come along. We can’t just spontaneously wake up and decide to go to Paris. He’s always in our thoughts and always needs something. However, if you really do love dogs more than life itself then you’ll fine a way to make it work, no matter how old you are.

 

 

The what the hell effect

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Have you ever told yourself you’re going to eat well but moments later you’re stuffing your face? Yeah? Let me guess, a lot of times something triggered it. You were going to be healthy but then your friend got a promotion so you have to go out for drinks. You were going to be healthy but now it’s your mum’s birthday so you have to eat birthday cake. You get my drift? No, I’m not going to tell you off for making excuses, I’m going to tell you about the ‘what the hell effect‘ (legit psychological term).

The what the hell effect happens when we set goals for ourselves but feel like we’ve messed them up so everything goes out the window. If we diet and say we’re not going to eat any biscuits but then we eat one, your more likely to devour the packet because in your mind that line has already been crossed. You tell yourself you’ll start again tomorrow and the whole cycle starts again.

 Janet Polivy did an experiment with dieters vs non-dieters. Both groups were given pizza and cookies. The dieters were lead to believe the slice of pizza they received was bigger than the non-dieters pizza, although all slices were the same size. Both groups were then offered cookies. The results showed that the dieters ate 50% more cookies than the non-dieters because they believed they’d already blown their limit.

So are we all doomed to stuff our faces for all of eternity?

Apparently, part of the problem is short term goals. When we think of things more long term we think about all the work we’ve done to get to where we’re at now and don’t want to mess that up.

One famous example is Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics are trying to avoid drinking so they thinking about the number of days sober. It’s like they’re trying to acquire non-drinking days in the grander scheme of things.

So in relation to food, dieters can think about the number of days they’ve been good. Sure you could then count a whole day as a failure and give up but hopefully having this knowledge helps you.

A chocolate biscuit doesn’t ruin your diet, or a slice or pizza, or a cookie. What ruins your healthy eating is not focusing on the bigger picture.

Why is everyone changing their face?

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I caught myself looking through pictures I was tagged in the other day criticising myself. I always make it a point to tell myself off when I do this because I know it’s not healthy. What I was focusing on this time was my lips. I knew why I was doing it. I’d been binging on social media all day and it seemed like every woman had these ginormous lips. Going from looking at those to my face seemed like a massive jump. I feel shame writing this but I actually thought for a second about getting my lips plumped out one day. How silly!

I’m white, I’m British and I don’t have a whole lot of diversity immediately in my family tree. I have a narrow nose, I’m pale as fuq and my lips are thinnnnnn! That’s just me – and a bunch of other people. So why do I always seem to crave the opposite? I used to hate my nose, I don’t really know why now… It’s small, it’s not got anything too crazy going on with it. For some irrational reason I’d just developed this hatred of it. When I was younger I wanted brown skin. I thought it was beautiful, warm and looked good in every colour. Now, I’ve been turning my judging eye on my lips. I basically just want to look Jamaican!

I’ve wizened to these negative thoughts about myself over the years. I’ve spent more time appreciating the face and body that I have. I’ve grown to feel thankful for my nose, love the contrast between my skin and my hair, as for me and my lips, we’re going to be just fine. Actually, I’m pretty sure one day I’m going to be thankful they’re thin because my face will look like my own.

There seems to be this one face that everyone is striving for and I can sum it up for you. It has tanned skin, big eyes, big lips, a small nose and thick threaded eyebrows. It’s basically Kylie Jenner’s new face. Everyone seems to be inching closer to this one homogeneous look and it’s scary! I find it really disturbing that all this natural uniqueness we all have is being blended into this fashion face. Every trend has its day, it’s like Newton’s third law of motion – you know the one ‘what comes up must come down’. This trend is going to peak and when it does there will be girls all over the place stuck with giant lips, that don’t match the rest of their face.

Facial features can all be different but for me I think it comes back to a question of ethnicity and identity. Why wouldn’t I want to look like me?

 

 

Reclaiming Leopard Print

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Somethings we just associate things with other people. Maybe your mum always wear Chanel perfume or perhaps your best friend religiously sports skinny jeans. One of those things for me is leopard print.

Every time we walked past leopard print, without fail my ex-boyfriend would point out to me that his ex loved leopard print. I nodded politely the first few times but then it became irritating. I’d see leopard print heading our way and preemptively brace myself for the reminder. That’s how leopard print became Olivia.

I wasn’t a huge fan of leopard print before, for no reason other than all my life I’d been told that it was trashy. It was associated with older women with no class or taste. My mum used to walk past it in shops and shudder.

A few weeks ago, I passed a pair of leopard print boots and they didn’t sing her name to me. They looked funky, loud and fun! Everything that I’ve been drawn to in clothes lately. I went to reach out for them when suddenly the voices returned. You’ll look like OliviaYour mum will think they’re hideousYou’ll get mistaken for a 50 year old hooker…. And in listening to them, I swotted them away and took my manic waving hands with me.

The boots didn’t leave me though. The voices went away but the boots kept mentally resurfacing when I’d piece outfits together. I could see them going with everything. I could imagine how good they would make me feel wearing them. I wish I’d just bought them at the time. It made me realise I have a lot of voices like that (in a none schizophrenic kind of way). I still have the same irrational, restrictive thoughts pop up every now and again. This can happen with all sorts of things, foods I still refuse to try, movies I’ve already decided I hate.

I’ve realised the problem isn’t leopard print, it’s me. I’m allowed to change my mind about something and form new opinions. It’s still me and it will still be me when I wear leopard print. So, I will be buying a pair of leopard print boots and if you see me in them, ask me how I feel. I’m pretty sure I won’t say I feel like Olivia

Are we worshipping the wrong magazine?

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I say fashion you say Vogue. Fashion-Vogue, fashion-Vogue. Maybe you don’t…

Vogue is synonymous with fashion, it’s known as the fashion bible to many. Carrie Bradshaw declared she’d rather buy the magazine than have dinner because she felt it fed her more! Granted, she said this in 2001 so she could have still been delirious from the turning of the millenium. Perhaps, I missed the good ol’ days. Either way, gal needs to get her priorities straight.

I’ve bought Vogue, I’ve had subscriptions to Vogue. It’s a peep hole into another world in many aspects and showcases so many wonderful designers. However, I’m getting bored. I even cancelled my subscription – gasp!

I noticed I was getting bored when I started benching my latest copy. I couldn’t bring myself to peel back the cover and be faced with the hurdle of ads before you get to any actual words. Granted, a large part of Vogue is the ad campaigns because they feature the latest clothes but I feel like the romance of it all is disappearing. After the 10th page of gaunt moody faces and brand names, I can’t say I’m interested. It started to feel like I was paying Vogue to give me Gucci‘s leaflet or link me to Prada‘s website. Vogue isn’t cheap. I want an expert on clothes to talk to me about what interest them.

I started writing this post before the whole controversy of Lucinda Chambers unceremonious dismissal (British Vogue’s fashion director). She herself admitted that one of the latest covers of Vogue was boring, featuring Alexa Chung. Her big bitch fest was the sweet relief I’d been looking for. The validation that I wasn’t going crazy or just had no concept of real fashion.

The fashion world has been gravitating towards bloggers, influencers and personalised fashion for some time now. A world where “realness” sells, which causes a conflict with “brand image” as a person is ever changing and evolving. That’s not to say big designers don’t do that but it’s a constant battle with identity. How can you change but stay the same? Can you?

I don’t think the problem stems from the big designers. I think it comes from this exclusive window that we’ve been allowed to peep through. As access to everything has opened up via the internet we get bored now by a restricted view.

If you follow British Vogue on Facebook you’ve probably witnessed the never ending waves of posts of Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. The people are MAD. They comment on these posts constantly complaining that they’re sick of seeing their faces and these awkward curated videos. I don’t need to see Gigi Hadid bake a cupcake. I want to see ART.

Vogue hasn’t been listening because their hands have been tied ever since they opened up the worm hole of deep advertisement. Like Chambers said in her Alexa Chung shoot, the decision fell down to advertising Michael Kors in a certain way. Vogue used to call the shots and say what fashion is. That’s what gaining it’s respect in the first place. That’s what they need to recapture. Vogue’s identity has been lost amongst the designers it represents and it needs to claw it back, before it’s too late…