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No matter how much you might love your job, there are few among us who don't find ourselves struggling against those classic Sunday Night Blues as Monday morning creeps ever closer.

And such is the extent of our weekly woe, many of us fail to realise the true potential of a well-spent Sunday evening.

Relaxing and unwinding before diving back into the working week is essential, but so too is putting a little prep and planning into ensuring a successful week ahead.

From brisk walks and at-home manicures to goal checklists, reclaiming your Sunday with our simple P plan has never been so easy.

Press pause

There comes a point on Sunday evening when you have to accept that the weekend is coming to an end, and it's time to look ahead and stop clinging to the last vestige of the previous days' festivities.

While it sounds harsh, there is no point in dragging your Sunday Fear into Monday morning because you were unable to draw a line under your days off.

Telling yourself you're simply pressing pause on your down-time until next weekend is a simple way to focus your mind.

Plan your week

Much of the anxiety brought about by Sunday night stems from concern over commitments and responsibilities awaiting us in the week ahead.

Take 30 minutes to sit down and consider the next five days, so you have a clear idea of what is expected from you.

It sounds like a bummer to consider work-related events during time-off, but it really helps to alleviate stress.

Pamper yourself

After you've accepted the fact that work is looming, and dedicated some time to considering the week ahead, it's time to focus on treating yo'self!

Why not indulge your hands with an at-home manicure from Sally Hansen which guarantees a salon finish without the price tag? With an incredible array of products which protect, condition and strengthen your nails, Sally Hansen provides you with all the tools need for a high-quality treatment from the comfort of your own home.

Taking the time to pamper yourself on a Sunday evening is a guaranteed way to relax, and ease yourself into the next five days.

Pound the streets

It's rare you'll return from a brisk walk and not feel much better than when you left.

Shake off the cobwebs from the weekend's excesses by grabbing your runners and going for a 30 minute walk around your neighbourhood.

Not only will it help you sleep better (something that is absolutely vital on a Sunday night), but it will help clear your head if your planning hasn't quite done the job!

Prepare your outfit

A very simple way to rid yourself of Sunday night fear is to prepare an outfit (from underwear to accessories) for the following morning.

Take the time to iron your clothes, and tidy out your handbag so your Monday morning doesn't involve frantically rooting through your laundry bin or fighting your way through mountains of receipts in search of your Leap Card.

Covering the little things makes Monday mornings so much more doable.

Praise and preach

Now is the time to truly relax… because it is still the weekend, after all!

Praise yourself for getting ahead of the game by tending to vital tasks, give props to yourself for taking the time to treat yourself, and remind your friends to do the same by getting straight on WhatsApp and preaching the good word!

 

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Cellnutrition, the Galway-based mineral supplement specialists have teamed up with top Irish health and fitness blogger, Maeve Madden in their effort to rid the world of mineral depletion.

Quinton is a 100 per cent natural mineral supplement containing 78 minerals and trace elements. The product comes in two forms, Hypertonic and Isotonic.

Quinton Hypertonic work to fortify and energise your cells, making it the perfect go-to supplement for those mornings when you need that extra little kick.

The Isotonic form works to gently replenish the minerals and elements missing from your body while also aiding a good night’s sleep.

 

keep #hydration levels up in this #sunny day with #cellnutrition #quinton & enjoy the #BankHolidayMonday #UK

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Quinton brand ambassador, Maeve Madden has made it her mission to spread word about the how she is beating the bloat herself and to help others do the same.

With a social media following of over 115,000, the former dancer turned lifestyle blogger has built a a loyal community of followers with whom she shares her secrets for becoming the best version of yourself.

“I am so excited to be working with Cellnutrition, since adding their products into my daily lifestyle, not only have I noticed a huge difference in how less frequently I have been bloating but even my followers on Snapchat and Instagram have seen a difference in a whole host of ailments that had otherwise stumped them as to how to treat them,” she said.

Maeve has always had a passion for fitness, health and beauty. The former dancer began her professional career at the tender age of 17.

She travelled around the world, performing and filming with Irish dancing super star, Michael Flatley, before her career came to an abrupt halt following an unforeseen injury.

Devastated by this turn of events, Maeve began to rapidly lose motivation and confidence, but with a little encouragement from her parents, she decided to move to London where she studied at the University of Westminster.

It was during this time that she became interested in a career in beauty, health and fitness.

‘’I felt motivated again, determined, because I found passion in doing what I loved to do and my biggest goal was becoming the best version of myself.’’

Since then, Maeve has had a successful modelling career, securing campaigns and working for high end brands, including Adidas, Treseme, Lacoste and Vichy.

She is also extremely respected in the fitness, lifestyle and beauty sectors, making her the perfect brand ambassador for Cellnutrition’s Quinton supplement.

 ‘’I want to share my secrets for success to becoming the best version of you.  Listening, learning and believing with passion it is just the beginning.’’

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If you're anything like us, you likely give yourself a mental pat on the back when you opt for a sparkling water over a sugar-laden fizzy drink.

When you're in the throes of a hangover, it feels particularly virtuous to choose sparkling water, but it turns out that consuming the carbonated drink can cause effects which many of us may be oblivious to.

Put simply, it can massively accelerate your appetite.

According to a study published in the journal of Obesity Research and Clinical Practice, the presence of carbon dioxide triggers a hormone in the digestive system called ghrelin, which alerts you to feelings of hunger.

Using rats in an initial study, researchers from the Birzeit University in Palestine gave the rodents tap water, flat soda, carbonated soda, and diet carbonated soda. Under scrutiny for six months, the rats who consumed the carbonated beverages ate more food than their counterparts.

But wait; why is sparkling water getting called out when the rats drank other carbonated drinks?

Well, when researchers studied human reaction to carbonated drinks, they established that men who drank sparkling water following their breakfasts had a staggering six times more ghreline in their bodies than those who drank still water.

We all knew fizzy drinks had their downsides, but we were certain we were playing it safe with a few bottles of sparkling water.

Looks like it's back to tap for us…
 

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While our parents and grandparents are flat out lighting candles and praying to St Jude in the run up to exam season, apparently the people actually sitting the exams are being a little more practical.

Acknowledging that memory probably plays a bigger role in exam success than anything else, students across the UK and Ireland are turning to rosemary essential oil in order to boost their memories, and it all comes down to findings highlighted in a recent study.

With the help of 40 participants, researchers at the Northumbria University established that the herb's scent plays a part in memory control.

Dividing the group in two, researchers placed one group in a room diffused with rosemary oil while the other group was placed in an aroma-free room, and both groups were assigned memory-related tasks.

According to an ITV report, the study ultimately established that those in the rosemary-scented room performed better in the memory stakes than their counterparts.

Commenting on the findings, researcher Mark Moss provided possible reasons for the rosemary effect, saying: "It could be that aromas affect electrical activity in the brain or that pharmacologically active compounds can be absorbed when adults are exposed."

Since the study came to public attention, students have been flocking to stores in order to stock up, with Holland & Barrett confirming that sales have almost doubled compared since last year.

"Following the Northumbria University research pointing to a positive link between rosemary and memory in students, we saw a sharp rise in customer demand for our 100% pure Miaroma Rosemary Essential Oil, with sales increasing by almost 300 per cent on the previous week," a spokesperson for Holland & Barrett said.

"As exam season continues, we have increased provision in store to meet demand and our trained associates are on-hand as always to answer any questions customers may have about the benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils."

Something to think about…

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We all know that there's a distinct hierarchy when it comes to friendship. And the older you get the more emphasis you place on quality over quantity in terms of the squad, and who you let into your life.

Most of us will attest that our friendships with various people have evolved over the years, but if you're lucky you will have one person who has been a constant in your life since you first clapped eyes on each other.

You struggle to articulate the strength of your bond, you question whether some cosmic force ensured you met and you're forever grateful to be able to call this person your BFF.

And why do they take the crown? Well, for the following 7 reasons…

1. That time they saw you at your worst… and didn't hold it against you

We've all been guilty of behaving in a manner that makes our toes curl when we look back on that period of our lives.

Whether it was neglecting your friends, adopting a new (and unlikable) persona or choosing to rail against the people who loved you, there's a chance you went through a time when you mightn't have truly deserved your BFF.

And yet she stuck around….because she's a keeper, and truly believed you were too.

2. That time they allowed you to be right… even when you were wrong

There are certain times in our lives when we need to tell ourselves we were right in order to justify something we've done or said.

And a true soul sister will allow you to grab hold of that notion with both hands if she thinks it will genuinely help.

Don't expect her to do it on the regular though, that Get Out of Jail Free card doesn't come in daily form.

3. That time they sacrificed something… just for you

It could have been an outfit, it could have been an event, it could have been anything important to them, but they decided to let go of it in order to help you.

What about the time you vowed to start focussing on your health, and she rocked up on your doorstep with an armload of Avonmore Super Milk and a promise to sacrifice her daily fizzy drink to down one of those bad boys alongside you?

And what about that time she endured Lent with you because she knew you needed some hand-holding….

4. That time they made you laugh… even when you thought it was impossible

We've all endured times when it felt like nothing or no one would be able to jumpstart us out of our bleak, bleak mood.

Enter that one particular person who doesn't even have to try to buoy you, but manages to by their very presence alone.

One hour later and you've an ache from laughing so hard… yup, been there.

5. That time they forgave you… when you're not sure you could have done the same

Look, no one is perfect and there will have been times when you wronged your BFF (unintentionally or not) and they simply drew a line under the incident.

And the most heartening part? They managed to do it with ease when you genuinely don't know if you could have done the same without kicking up a fuss.

Bottom line is though; fuss or not, you would have done it…. eventually.

6. That time they told you the truth… even when it was difficult for them

You know that time they let you be right even when you were wrong, and the way that's pretty damn rare?

Well, that's because there will have been times when they just had to tell you the truth no matter how difficult it was for them.

They did it with your best interest at heart even though it may have required a stiff gin and a deep breath to get it out.

7. That time they believed in you… and made you do it too.

Like those foul humours you thought you'd never get through, there have been times when you struggled to muster up any self-belief whatsoever.

Whether it was due to a bad run of luck, a disappointment in work or a sudden dip in self-esteem, your BFF was the one person who helped you build your confidence back up.

This person has your back, and will always be your number one cheerleader.

 

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'Avocado hand,' as doctors are calling it, is a new phenomenon that has prompted the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons to warn people about the practice of slicing.

Apparently, improper slicing of avocados can lead to nerve and tendon damage – which is a very upsetting revelation. 

"People do not anticipate that the avocados they buy can be very ripe and there is minimal understanding of how to handle them," Simon Eccles, a former Royal Society of Medicine president of plastic surgery told The Times.

avocado, close-up, color

He also added that his hospital endures a Saturday 'post-brunch surge' of such injuries, and he sees four patients each week due to avocado hand.

Some people even require surgery to fix the issue, and they may never regain full use of the affected hand.

The injury has become so common that doctors are now calling for safety warning stickers to be put on the fruit (btw, we had no idea avocados were fruits until today).

Avocado Fruits

To avoid giving yourself avocado hand, place the avocado on a flat surface with your hand on top and gently make incisions around the outside. When you are de-stoning the fruit, wrap it in a towel and leave only the stone exposed.

'Use the edge of a heavy sharp knife to chop into the summit of the soft pit, so that it is slightly buried. Holding the knife, so that the pit is stabilised, use a towel to twist the pit out,' David Shewring, vice-president of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, told The Times.

Next time you want to make guacamole – be careful, ladies. 

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So, it’s a well-known fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and yet many of us still struggle to incorporate it into our daily routines.

Emerging from a warm, cosy bed can be a struggle at the best of times and with a long morning to-do list in front of us, breakfast is normally the first thing to get dropped when we’re running late.

But when exactly should we eat our first meal of the day?

Well, health professional, Dr. Oz, has finally given us the answer.

Speaking to Pop Sugar, the expert recommended eating breakfast within one hour of waking up.

What’s more is you should be eating lunch no later than four and a half hours after, and dinner should be at least three hours before bedtime to avoid a belly full of food and indigestion.

Dr. Oz explained that adopting this routine will make you much less likely to cheat on high-calorie junk food throughout the day.

But if you do want to sneak a little treat, the best time to do so is before 10 am.

Chocolate for breakfast anyone? Science says it's totally okay. 

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For almost three decades, society has been fascinated by the concept of cosmetic surgery.

And while much attention is focussed on the final result, we’re less familiar with the process each woman goes through in order to address the area of her body she feels would benefit from augmentation.

Thankfully, hugely popular personal trainer, Siobhan O'Hagan, has been candid about her breast augmentation surgery thereby allowing thousands of women a better insight into a process which many a year contemplate.

As a dedicated personal trainer with thousands of devoted followers, you would be forgiven for thinking that Siobhan was positively brimming with confidence, but this simply wasn't the case.

While she undoubtedly personified the term 'FitFam', the Dubliner wasn't fully content with her appearance, saying: "I was getting leaner and leaner but at the same time I didn’t feel very feminine."

"I just wanted to put on a bikini or sports bra and not have to stuff them with padding," she explained.

Interestingly, Siobhan's concerns about her breast size materialised long before she embarked on the health and fitness journey she has documented extensively on Instagram and Snapchat.

Revealing that she approached The Avoca Clinic two years before dedicating herself to fitness goals, Siobhan explained that her first visit made her realise that augmentation was a step for her future, not her present.

"I took the money that I was going to spend on that breast augmentation, and ended up spending it on a personal training course. It just wasn’t the right time but everything happens for a reason," she explains.

But after establishing herself as one of Ireland's top fitness and nutrition gurus, Siobhan decided July 2016 was the right time to revisit her interest in augmentation as she no longer wanted to 'fix' her body, but instead celebrate her choices.

"It was so different when I was going in this time for my consultation," she admitted.

"I was so happy with my body and it really wasn’t something I was doing to fix myself, it was just something I wanted. I didn’t see any negative reasons and I’m delighted with it.”

Going from a 34A to A 34C, Siobhan is elated by the results of her augmentation.

"I get so many emails from women, who’ve gone into the Avoca Clinic and they’re really excited about it. They never really have a proper question for me, but I love being able to tell them just do it, it’ll be the best decision you’ve ever made."

Combining her dedication to heath and fitness with the service provided by The Avoca Clinic, Siobhan admits she's never been happier.

"I feel like I’m boasting if I go on about how happy I am, and how well everything worked out!" she admits.
 

 

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As most fans of Emma Stone would know, the much-loved actress has spent much of her life navigating an anxiety disorder.

And in an effort to share her experience with fellow sufferers, the La La Land actress teamed up with Child Mind Institute, and revealed that her coping mechanism hinges on her abiility to acknowledge the fact that anxiety ebbs and flows.

“It’s so nice to know that, in those moments of real intensity, it will shift, and it will change, and there’s a lot that I can do to help myself," she said.

When asked what she would tell her younger self when dealing with anxiety, she said: "Life goes in stages and it has always been something that I've lived with and flares up in big ways at different times in my life."

"But sometimes while it's happening when I'm in a phase of real turmoil or the anxiety is very strong and it feels like it's never going to end, but it does."

Emma reminded sufferers that she has learned how to manage the condition and encouaged them to seek tools which enable them to deal with it as well.

Have a look here…

 

 

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You don't need us to tell you that exercise is good for you.

At this stage we all know that in addition to improving your physical health, breaking a sweat on the regular also does wonders for your mental and emotional wellbeing.

But did you know that regular exercise can also impact on your cognitive ability? In other words, your work-out sessions can actually positively impact the ol' noodle.

According to a review of studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, getting active for just 45 minutes a day can help to boost your brain health and improve your cognition.

Researchers from the University of Canberra established that regardless of the form of exercise the individual chooses to partake in, exercise of moderate intensity was linked to improved cognition.

But there's more!

Different exercises were linked to different areas of the mind, with aerobic impacting positively on thinking, reading and learning while resistance training helped with memory, planning, and organising.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the more often the individual works out, the greater the cognitive effects!

And we thought our lunges were only working our thighs…

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Over 800 women in the UK are to take legal action against the NHS and the makers of the vaginal mesh implants used by the health service. 

Transvaginal tape is a plastic mesh used by the NHS to treat women who suffer from stress incontinence (unintentional loss of urine) and pelvic organ prolapses, symptoms often suffered by women post child birth.

The mesh strip is cut to size and placed through the vagina or abdomen during a supposedly simple 20-minute procedure. 92,000 women underwent the surgery in the UK between April 2007 and March 2015.

For a lot of women the experience is positive and the insert works to alleviate those taboo symptoms with no adverse side effects.

However, the same can’t be said for every woman. According to the BBC, 800 women in the UK are suing the NHS and the manufactures of the inserts after they experienced chronic pain following the procedure.

Struggling to urinate, plastic cutting through the virginal wall and an inability to have sex or use tampons were just some of the symptoms reported by these women.

One of these women, Kath Sansom, spoke to the-pool.com about her experience saying, “If this hadn’t happened to me, and someone told me about it, I’m not sure I would have believed them. It’s like a bizarre horror story.”

Before having the surgery, Kath was and extremely active diver and cyclist.

However, the intense pain that Kath has suffered as a result, left her unable to run or even kneel down for any extended period of time.

Despite having the device removed, she is still unable to live the active lifestyle she was so fond of before entering the operating theatre that day.

According to Kath, the problem with the mesh insert is that it shrinks and erodes once inside the body.

“It should remain the same until the patient dies. But there are studies which show this fabric can shrink, and twist and the edges can fold, it can degrade and have fragments drop off, and it can go brittle or really hard.”

She also claimed that women are often ill-informed about the potential risks of the procedure, and believes no one will take the issue seriously.

“Still surgeons are purporting that the surgery is more beneficial than risky. But what we should be doing, instead of rushing women into procedures like this, which are obviously not working well enough, is looking towards preventative measures. ‘’

Of course, Kath’s story is just one of many.

The scandal involves over 800 effected women who will take legal action against the NHS in an effort to have the mesh tape banned for good. 

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WellFest – Ireland's only health and fitness festival – is coming back to Dublin's Herbert Park, and it already has a great line up.

Taking place on May 6 and 7, the festival is set to host some of the world's best-known fitness stars for talks, classes and demonstrations.

Some of the faces you'll see over the weekend are Joe Wicks, otherwise known as The Body Coach, John Kavanagh, Roz Purcell and Kathryn Thomas.

 

A post shared by Joe Wicks #Leanin15 (@thebodycoach) on

Herbert Park will be transformed into eight WellZones, which include the WellStage, WellFood, WellKids, WellTalk, WellMind, WellYoga, WellStrong and WellPilates.

If you fancy heading along, here's the line up for the whole weekend:

On Saturday, 6th May, presenters not to be missed at WellFest will include:

  • WellStage, 11.00 – 11.40am: Instagram Yoga sensation duo GypsyOn.
  • WellStage, 12.00 – 12.40pm: International health and fitness icon, Joe Wicks ‘The Body Coach’.
  • WellFood, 1 – 1.40pm: Cooking demo with Lucy Bee.
  • WellTalk, 4.00 – 4.50pm: Q&A session with John Kavanagh, coach to MMA superstar Conor McGregor.
  • WellStage, 4.00 – 5.30pm: Kathryn Thomas, founder of Pure Results Bootcamp, Ireland's premier all-inclusive fitness retreat and weight-loss bootcamp.
  • WellFood, 5 – 6pm: Cooking demo with healthy eating guru and founder of Natural Born Feeder, Roz Purcell
 

A post shared by Coach Kavanagh (@coach_kavanagh) on

For the second day of WellFest, Sunday, 7th May, programme highlights include:

  • WellStrong, 10.40 – 11.20am: The Fit Foodie Power House with Derval O’Rourke.
  • WellStage, 11.00 – 11.40am: Bootcamp with Pat Divilly, who runs Ireland’s most successful personal training empire. 
  • WellFood, 12.00 – 12.40pm: Healthy food enthusiasts The Happy Pear.
  • WellStage, 1.00 – 1.40pm: ‘Vertue Method Bodyweight Blast’ with PT, author and yoga teacher Shona Vertue.
  • WellTalk, 1.00 – 1.40pm: London based PT and doctor, The Food Medic.   
  • WellStage, 2.00 – 2.45pm: Master Trainer of the renowned Barry’s Bootcamp – Faisal Abdalla.
 

A post shared by Rozanna Purcell (@rozannapurcell) on

A limited number of tickets for the festival are still available at www.wellfest.ie. Weekend tickets cost €65, while day passes are available for €40. 

Tickets include unlimited access to classes, talks and workshops on health, fitness, nutrition, cookery, yoga, pilates, mindfulness, and more.  Kids under 12 go free.

Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!

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