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life advice

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I’m the eldest sister in my family which is both a blessing and a curse. I adore my sisters, but there are days- mainly the ones when they’ve stolen clothes, cookies or read my diary- when I can’t help but dream about the peaceful life of an only-child.

We bicker, argue and ignore one another until one of us calls a truce when Notting Hill is on telly. They may drive me mad but my sisters have taught me a lot in life and many have made it so much better.

  1. Moving On Is Vital

People will walk away from you, it’s just a part of life. It isn’t easy to accept and can break your heart into a thousand tiny pieces, but you cannot let it consume you. My sisters were there for me when I lost one of my dearest friends and reminded me that life goes on, with or without them, and you cannot let a break-up, be it romantic or platonic, take over your life.

  1. Wash Your Make-Up Off

As the eldest sister, I got to endure the awkward teenage years of poor skincare routines and dodgy foundation lines. My youngest sister somehow bypassed that stage and was gifted with makeup skills that I’ll forever be envious of. Most importantly, she knows how important it is to wash your make-up off and will always sternly reminds me of that when I’m dozing off with mascara smudges under my eyes.

  1. Life Is Too Short 

I can be guilty of staying in my comfort zone, but my sister’s zest for adventure always encourages me to actually live. They’ve dragged me on nights out which ended up being some of the most memorable. They’ve pushed me to see more of the world and join them on sister holidays that I would’ve been sorry to miss out on. Their pure and light view on life reminds me that there is no point in letting the negative stuff take over and stop you from creating memories.

  1. Take More Photos

Do you ever feel embarrassed for taking a selfie with your friend or a photo of the sunset? There have been times when I’ve found myself cringing when I document a moment, but my sister has reminded me that photos capture those moments forever, so why should we feel ashamed of taking three seconds to snap a quick photo? People judge you for not ‘living in the moment’ but I know I’ll always smile when I look back at the videos of us dancing at Westlife’s Croke Park gig or from our family trip to Galway.

  1. You’re Not Alone

A quick scroll through Instagram can make you feel like the loneliest person on the planet. As you move down your feed you’re greeted with pictures of couples who are hopelessly in love, work colleagues enjoying brunch together or a giant group of friends on holiday in New York. There have been many moment when I’m standing at the bus stop or sitting on a train and I’m overcome with a feeling of loneliness after a quick look at Instagram, but then I go home and my little sister nearly knocks me over with the warmest hug and the other is sitting in the kitchen telling another inappropriate story that leaves our parents red-faced.

There have been moments in my life when I felt so painfully alone, the loneliness blinded me so much that I couldn’t see that there have been two life-long friends by my side since 1996 and 2000. And I couldn’t be more grateful for them.

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A Reddit user has shared the most moving list of things cancer patients will miss the most when they pass away. The emotional post really opens your eyes to just how valuable the little things are like kisses on the cheek and the smell of flowers.

The user shared: “The things my patients say they'll miss the most are NOT seeing the World Landmarks, buying fancy things, that new car, "living it up" party style, etc.”

The patients didn’t care about visiting Paris or seeing their favourite band in concert. The things they were going to miss were simple but so meaningful.

The full list reads:

Watching my sons throw a baseball

Listening to my grandparents tell stories

My girlfriend surprised me with a kiss on the cheek

Holding my wife in my arms knowing there's nowhere in the world I'd rather be

Gram's Sunday dinners and the whole family getting together

My dog

Seeing my fiancé smile and feeling his arms wrap around me

My daughter running to me when I get home

The smell of flowers and rain

The day I got married. I said I never would. And then I met her. And now I have to leave her.

Smelling the fireplace on Christmas morning with the family

All my friends

Watching my family sleep

The rush of weekday mornings. I know it sounds crazy, but I'll miss it. I'll miss the coffee, the crowded bathrooms, my wife's quick peck goodbye, the kids forgetting their lunch.. you get my point.

Rain. Is that weird?

The heartbreaking list shows you that at the end of the day it isn’t about money or glamour, it’s about the people you love, those simple moments you experience every day, but ones you’ll miss more than anything when your time on this planet comes to an end.

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2020 has arrived. A new year is here and we’re excited to see what the next 12 months have in store for us.

Everyone has been vowing to make changes to better their lives, but we have to admit we never stick to our resolutions. Mainly because they’re always a bit miserable.

Losing weight is always one of the most popular resolutions, but we need to remember that we don’t exist to shed pounds once the clock strikes 12 on December 31.

We’re never going to achieve our resolutions if we dread them so we’ve conjured up a list of 30 things that will make your life a lot better in 2020. And none of them involve giving up your bi-monthly trip to the chipper.

Here are 30 resolutions that will ensure you have a happy, rich and joyful 2020.

  1. Cut down your screen-time

  2. Go to the cinema more

  3. Visit your grandparents

  4. Walk somewhere every single day

  5. Stop watching the same TV show over and over again

  6. Drink more water

  7. Buy a Keep Cup

  8. Less fast-fashion

  9. Go to the library

  10. Stop wasting money on taxis

  11. Go to the beach once a month

  12. Hug your parents

  13. Call your best friend

  14. Donate blood

  15. Throw out clothes that don’t fit you anymore

  16. Always wash off your make-up at night

  17. Read more books

  18. Put your phone on the other side of the room before bed

  19. Don’t feel guilty for eating a bloody biscuit

  20. Stop working through your lunch break

  21. Buy fresh flowers once a month

  22. Go to your local coffee shop instead of Starbucks

  23. Unfollow people who make you feel unhappy

  24. Go to the doctor when you’re worried about something

  25. Stop apologising when you’re not in the wrong

  26. Accept compliments

  27. Cancel plans if you don’t feel up for them

  28. Change your pillowcase once a week

  29. Don’t keep your toothbrush in the bathroom

  30. Tell your friends and family how much you love them

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The Christmas holidays are a hectic time of the year. We can get wrapped up in the merriment and festivities that we often forget to take care of ourselves.

To ensure you don’t burn out this Christmas, we reached out to the lovely Anna Geary who is working with Zenflore on a campaign which is focused on helping to manage stress during busy times. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Anna Geary (@annagcork) on

Anna said that self-care is the one gift you need to give yourself this Christmas. She understands the pressures young women are under, especially when we’re exposed to Instagram every day.

Anna stressed that one thing you must do is not to compare yourself to others. Seeing the girl you went to school with is on the trip of a lifetime in New York when you’re sat at home in your pyjamas can knock you back, but Anna reminded us that comparison is the thief of joy.

She said: “Your chapter One is someone else’s chapter 20. Remember that, so just focus on you.”

“We  often  look at  social media  and see perfection  everywhere and we can  compare ourselves to that false reality. Stay in your own lane.”

“Don’t  worry about  others, they are  on a journey you know nothing about,  with their  own obstacles  and challenges.  Don’t assume and don’t judge. It wastes precious energy,” Anna shared.

Another thing that helps the GAA player feel mentally and physically better is to simply be kind to herself. 

Self-care isn’t just about facemasks and Gossip Girl marathons. You need to take care of your body and mind and nourish it, especially during these dark, colder months.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Anna Geary (@annagcork) on

“Sometimes  you need to  take a ‘time out’  unexpectedly. Cancel that gym session or brunch date and just take time for you. It’s not selfish. We all need to push the reset button every now and again. Don’t feel guilty about doing that. It happens to everyone.”

It’s an indulgent time of the year but don’t forget to give your body some TLC amongst the turkey sandwiches and Roses.

Anna recommends taking a food supplement each day, like Zenflore, as it will help provide support for your mind and body during this demanding time of the year.

Don’t be ashamed to take a step back and have some time to yourself this Christmas. It can be a joyous but draining time for many so remember to take care of yourself, it’s the best gift you could receive.

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Once in a while we are blessed with a book that transforms your life for the better and this year that book is Everyday Ubuntu by Desmond Tutu’s granddaughter, Mungi Ngomane.

This book will capture readers interested in ancient wisdom and personal development. It shares a warm, inspirational message of togetherness for a divided and fragmented world.

Ubuntu is an ancient South African philosophy that says, ‘I am only because you are.’ It is the belief that we are defined by our compassion and kindness towards others. By embracing Ubuntu it’s possible to overcome division in a world where the wise build bridges, not walls.

Exploring ideas of kindness and forgiveness, tolerance and the power of listening, Everyday Ubuntu shows how we can all benefit from embracing others. Including practical applications and mindful exercises, it is an inspirational guide to a more fulfilling life as part of the large family to which we all belong.

In Everyday Ubuntu you’ll discover 14 simple and engaging lessons with clear takeaways and reflections that will help us all to live better, together.

Read an extract of Everyday Ubuntu below:

1. Accept the situation. This is the way you’re feeling, so honour it – cry and release your emotions. Ubuntu tells us that we need to take care of ourselves and be honest about our feelings. This helps to identify why you’re feeling hopeless. Is it because of a recent upset? Or is it a long-term struggle? Whatever it is, naming the reasons for your feelings will help you to release them. 

2. Take action. Some call it ‘wallowing’ but hopelessness can easily feel like a spiral into which you’re sucked and out of which it is impossible to pull yourself. You feel lethargic, unmotivated and in despair. Listen to your internal dialogue. It might contain phrases such as, ‘but I can’t’, ‘there’s no point’ or ‘I’ve already tried’. The first step is turning those words around and changing every negative into a positive. Say these new phrases out loud – ‘I can’, ‘I won’t give up’ and ‘I’ll try again’ all send a powerful message to our subconscious. 

3. Live in the present moment. Do something to make yourself feel better physically, even if you’re struggling mentally – the two are linked. A long brisk walk, calling a positive friend, eating wholesome food. These are all small things we can do to help change our immediate concerns. Worrying is wishing for what you don’t want to happen, so don’t agonize over the future. Focus on the present. Do anything that takes you out of yourself, even if it’s just for a few moments. 

4. Write a gratitude list. Ubuntu shows us that we all have something for which to be grateful, so now is the time to examine the good stuff in detail. You might be thankful for your physical health, your family, caring friends, the delicious cup of coffee you’re drinking. Name the things you feel good about right now. It’s an exercise that will shift your mood, energetically and quickly. 

5. Set goals. If you’ve reached a place of desperate hopelessness, you need to put in work each day to overcome the feeling. Get going by setting yourself new goals, and begin with very small ones – incremental and easy-to-achieve steps. 

If you’ve lost your job, start by reaching out to trusted contacts for advice, then build up to looking at job adverts before applying for positions. If you’ve been ditched by a partner, give yourself time to grieve and talk things through with a counsellor or friend. Allow yourself space to heal before even thinking about dating again. If you’re in despair because you’ve gained weight, find a simple exercise app to inspire you, build up the amount of exercise you do every day, find a workout buddy, then look at food plans to help you make a bigger transformation. Small steps help hope to gather momentum. 

6. Find your faith. This could be a long-term goal that evolves over time. It doesn’t have to be a religious faith, but having faith in something you can trust is something everyone needs. It could be faith in your abilities or your choices. You could put your faith in going for a daily run to improve your mental health or in eating nutritious food so that you have energy for the day. 

Build some of these hopeful ideas into a new daily routine. They’ll bolster you and give you an inner strength and hope on which to rely when things become difficult.

Everyday Ubuntu by Mungi Ngomane is published by Penguin. You can order your copy here.

 

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Sometimes a few kind words of advice is all we need to let us know that things will be okay. And who better to offer life tips than those who've already gone through it all themselves?

Radio presenter Riyadh Khalaf took to the streets of Dublin to ask some of Ireland's pensioners what knowledge they would pass on to their 16-year-old selves, if they had the chance.

"Be kind," "Don't worry" and "Follow your dreams" are just some of the messages they shared.

Weeping? Us? Never.

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Leandra Becerra Lumbreras turned 127 on August 31st, which makes her the oldest person ever (although she hasn’t got the birth cert to prove it as she lost it while moving house 40 years ago, but we’ll take her word for it!).

Leandra was born in 1887, which would have made her 27 when World War I began, 58 when World War II broke out, and 82 when the first man stepped foot on the moon.

You’d think that living through two world wars would take its toll on the body, but Leandra says her secret was eating lots of chocolate, sleeping for days on end, and never getting married.

There is a downside to living for so long, as Leandra has had to bury all of her children, and several of her grandchildren. However, she does have 73 great-grandchildren and 55 great-great-grandchildren – so she has plenty of family around her!

Her granddaughter Miriam Alvear said: “She is entirely lucid. She blows your mind with her stories from the revolution.

“She was always a woman who fought. She was still sewing and weaving until about two years ago. She never ceased to be active, that’s why we think she’s lived so long.”

Since Leandra doesn’t have the birth cert to prove her age, Misao Okawa still holds the title of World’s Oldest Person, at 116-years-old. The authorities of Mexico however, are working on issuing Leandra with a new birth cert.

In the meantime, we’re going to go eat some chocolate and take a nap!

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1. You will pity the girl who’s still with the guy she brought to her debs, even if you were jealous of her at the time.

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2. People lie about how happy they are. It all comes out once they break up. Try to avoid being jealous.

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3. You will probably experience being cheated on. It will be shit.

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4. You will have the opportunity to cheat on someone. It will hurt them and you would be surprised how long they will hold this against you. Make sure it’s worth it if you give in.

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5. You can get pregnant from having unprotected sex. Be careful. Rules don’t apply to everyone but you.

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6. Your parents or their parents will catch you at it least once. It will be awkward.

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7. Getting a smear/STI test is a horrible but necessary experience. You must do it.

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8. Contraception is expensive but extremely important. Never scrimp on it.

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9. Watching porn is fine but if your boyfriend wants you to star in a porn movie, he’s not a keeper.

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10. If a guy has a job he should be at least offering to pay on a date.

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11. If he is over the age of 25 he should at least be asking you out on a proper date. Bumping into each other in the Pav can’t really happen once you leave Trinity.

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12. If he’s 29 and has never had a girlfriend, don’t think that you will be the one to change him.

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13. If he says he’s your boyfriend but he’s still on Tinder, that’s emotional cheating which is not nice and possibly a sackable offense.

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14. If he is still seeing his ex and it makes you uncomfortable, trust that feeling.

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15. The honeymoon phase is bliss. Enjoy it all.

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16. Nice is one of the most underrated qualities in a guy. When it’s not there, you will miss it.

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17. If he doesn’t get you a birthday present (even flowers or a nice card) dump him. You don’t want to have every birthday ruined for the rest of your life. Trust us, there is someone out there who actually wants to make you happy.

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18. If you find yourself nagging and acting clingy, leave him. The more time you spend together, the more naggy you will get until you actually are a full-time nag.

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19. You should at least put in a brave attempt to score someone famous or clearly who, if you’re being honest, is out of your league. You could end up going out and you will then realise they are lucky to have you.

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20. People will marry just for money. Don’t.

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21. Just because your boyfriend thinks 3 Big Macs is a snack you do not have to follow suit.

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22. Stay true to yourself. Just because he’s a vegetarian doesn’t mean you have to become one; just because he likes Formula 1 doesn’t mean you have to like it too. These little differences are what makes you interesting.

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23. Don’t ever feel rushed by him (within reason). If you take 45 mins to dry your hair, take it. He’ll appreciate the end result.

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24. Don’t ever dim your lights for his sake. If you’re more intelligent, don’t hide it to make him look better. That kind of thing wrecks your self esteem.

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25. If you get an amazing job offer in LA/Paris/London/New York accept it. Skype exists and if he’s worth it, he will be there on the other side.

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26. Being a bit metro is fine, but if he’s using your nice shampoo/moisturizer/tights everyday it’s too much. Tell him to man up.

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27. If his mother hates you suck it up. You will not win this.

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28. If he snores, he won’t stop magically on his own. Invest in ear plugs or research any kind of treatment that has a hope of actually working. Apply it to him.

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29. Professor Green is married to Mille Mackintosh and they appear to have a very nice life. Stop waiting for him.

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30. Brian O’Driscoll is also married to Amy Huberman and Bressie as far as our gossip writer knows is with Roz Purcell. These men are taken but it’s OK as there are plenty of other nice guys out there.

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31. Don’t be one of those girls who ditches her girlfriends.

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32. This happened:

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33. Lastly

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