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6 College Habits That You Need to Shake off if You Want to Look Younger

6 College Habits That You Need to Shake off if You Want to Look Younger

Who doesn’t want to look younger? If you’re anything like me, college is in the rearview mirror; something I look back on and smile. Unfortunately, while I’ve moved on, some of my habits have hung around.

If you want to look longer, it’s time to take a close look at these habits you might have picked up in college. And, if your freshman 15 turned into a mid-life 30, these habits will help you with that too!

1. There Really is Such a Thing as Too Sweet

Hitting the vending machines in the lobby of my dorm was a go-to midnight snack solution during my late-night cramming sessions. But, it turns out that the foods in our refrigerators and cupboards could be even worse for us.

According to a recent study, Americans are consuming 40% more sugar today than we did in the 70’s (source). Take a close look at the nutrition labels on your food. Sugars (both natural and artificial) are packed into a lot of our favorite snacks. Cut back if you want your skin to recover and the dark bags under your eyes to become less noticeable.

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2. Cut Down on Hair Products

During my weekends in college, there were few things more important than making a killer impression at off-campus parties. Gel, mousse, hair spray and all of the other chemicals we put into our hair can cause hair to split, lose its luster and become seriously damaged as a result of long-term use.

Switch to a hairstyle that doesn’t require the use of daily hair styling products. Your hair will thank you and look much healthier.

3. It’s Time to Drop the Tobacco Cigarettes

I know, it’s so easy to blame the proliferation of smoking on Hollywood and the real-life Mad Men that made smoking so cool, but it isn’t the 80’s and 90’s anymore; the rebellion against parental authority is over. It’s time to put out tobacco cigarettes, for good.

If you’re having trouble quitting, try E-Juice, “Also known as e-liquid, vapor juice, and nicotine juice, e-juice usually blends propylene glycol with vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavoring to be vaporized, not burned. Most e-liquids are made with synthetic flavoring…[and] contain no actual tobacco,” according to the ECASSOC.

It’s an excellent alternative to traditional, tobacco cigarettes; especially if your intent is to eventually quit.

4. All-Night Cram Sessions

It was so easy to do it all in college; at least if you were willing to give up precious hours of sleep to cram before exams. Yes, we were kings and queens of the world! But, procrastination is what gave us our social life, and it then cost us our sleep as we tried to catch up.

The Daily News reported on a study that showed those lost hours of sleep actually make us “…look old and sad.” If that won’t scare you into sleeping more, I don’t know what will! Make sleep a mandatory part of every 24 hour period.

5. Energy Drinks, Nicotine and Copious Consumption of Caffeine

If you want younger, healthier skin, it’s time to cut back on the consumption of the hazardous chemicals found in energy drinks. Even caffeine, if consumed to excess, can contribute to your dry, prematurely wrinkled skin.

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And it isn’t just energy drinks. There are some reports of e-cigarettes getting a new ingredient added to the list of options: caffeine? Yes, caffeinated e-cigarettes are actually a thing, reported by Vapourlites.

Alex Williams, a reporter for The Times, described his experience trying the “…Eagle Energy caffeine vaper…Just five puffs of the stuff made his fingers tingle and at ten puffs he felt a serious caffeine buzz…”

I’d definitely give the inventors credit for making a more efficient caffeine vehicle, but they may be contributing to an increasingly over-caffeinated population with horrible skin.

6. Don’t Forget to Condition!

In college, there were weeks where I was so broke, buying shampoo was sometimes a stretch. Adding conditioner into the mix just wasn’t financially in the cards. I didn’t give it much thought until a recent magazine article caught my eye. I never really considered how important a good conditioner is to maintaining hair’s resilience and vitality.

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If you want to look younger, longer, don’t forget to add a quality hair conditioner into your daily regimen. You have a career; you can afford the little things to help take care of yourself! Combine conditioner with less styling products (see point 3) and you’ll have younger looking hair in no time!

We all want to reclaim our youth, and relive some college memories. Hold onto the memories, but let go of the habits. It’s time to focus on taking care of you, and that starts with living a healthier lifestyle. Your body will thank you, and trust me, getting carded for alcohol at the grocery store is a fun reminder that you’re doing things right!

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Ahmed Raza

CEO of Samurais.co

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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