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5 Tips to Make Sure Autumn Memories Stay With You

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5 Tips to Make Sure Autumn Memories Stay With You

The freezing temperatures of winter and the lack of sun always make us remember the autumn fondly. Always make us think back on our travel adventures and on the golden leaves shimmering in the street. We miss the walks we used to take with our long trench coats, sipping our delicious pumpkin spice lattes. The traces of autumn never leave our minds as we wish for the same season to repeat itself again.

Sometimes, when our pets are staring at us blankly, we even wonder if they too are missing those piles of golden leaves. Although winter provides us with the perfect comforts of snuggling and enjoying our homes, there’s a part of us that always misses the outdoors.

How do we preserve the memories of autumn through the seasons that follow? How do we arrange our plans for fall vacations before autumn comes again?

These are personal questions that I’ve been contemplating myself. This article will help shed some insight into my personal ways of keeping those memories fresh and motivating.

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    1. Sorting Out All the Travel Pictures

    During the year, we are constantly busy. Our daily lives consume our time, and we rarely can afford the luxury of sorting out most of our pictures. Often times, they end up in a pile on the side of our desktop with a simple title defining and encompassing all those adventures. We rarely go through it, because our Instagram or Facebook feed seems enough to remind us of our adventures.

    Therefore, winter is definitely the perfect time to start organizing and rearranging all your travel pictures. Delete those that are not necessary, and save the photos of events and places that really left a mark during your trips and travels. Furthermore, this will allow you to free up some space on your computer and keep it organized.

    On the other hand, you could also use this time to store those pictures in the cloud. That will serve as a backup plan in case something happens to your internal hard drive.

    Wouldn’t you rather be safe rather than sorry?

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      2. Reserving and Highlighting Great Deals for Your Next Trip

      Winter is the perfect time of the year to start planning for trips. A common misconception is that it is best to aim to travel in the summer. The demand for travel skyrockets in the summer as people from all around the world looking forward to going somewhere.

      However, this demand is the main reason for the hike in air fares and the crowds of tourists and travelers in certain locations during the summer. Furthermore, summer vacations are usually cut short, impairing your ability to enjoy a city or a new destination to the fullest. Work and other priorities compete with your vacation plans, which gives you only a short time span to enjoy your holidays.

      However, planning for autumn travel will allow you to discover cheaper air fares as well as lower rates on accommodations. As the hype of summer simmers down, you’ll be able to find great deals, so reserving and highlighting those offers will give you the flexibility to plan either for solo travel or travels with company.

        3. Choose Your Top Three Choices of Places to Travel

        During summer, you’re always left with limited options for places to travel. Sometimes, in a rush to choose your travel destinations, you always end up returning to the same places. On the other hand, the rise in air fares and accommodation expenses may restrict the number of places you could travel to and the amount of vacation time you could enjoy if you travel in the summer.

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        So, why not make a list of your top three destination choices for autumn?

        For example, you could plan a beach vacation in the Bahamas, where you can bask in the sun and enjoy the sunny weather on another continent. You can also plan to experience the truffle season in Italy, a trip which you may not be able to take if you’re planning a summer vacation. Truffle season in Italy is a highlight for many chefs around the world. It’s only at that time of year that you would have the opportunity to select those expensive truffles and purchase them for a reasonable price. Truffles are a rare ingredient, and for anyone who loves food, they are a luxury to cook with.

        Wouldn’t it be great to be able to discover and enjoy such a unique experience?

          4. Hold A Potluck with Your Previous Travel Companions

          Sometimes, all your memories can be relived when there’s a group of like-minded people around you. That’s the magic of potluck dinners. During winter, psychologically, we may prefer to be alone and content in our homes. However, this can also be the biggest cause of depression and loneliness in the winter.

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          Therefore, having a potluck dinner with your previous travel mates doesn’t only give you the chance to relive your travel adventures from the previous autumn. It also gives you the chance to increase your social connectedness. Food allows anyone to bond, and it creates an amazing atmosphere, so why not use the opportunity to the best of your abilities?

          You can also make the potluck unique by recreating dishes that sparked your imagination during the autumn, while others do the same. Then, you’ll not only have a great conversation but also enrich yourself culturally and feed your mind, body, and soul.

          In Conclusion

          Traveling during any season can be amazing, but we often forget to keep the memories together so we can treasure them in the future. Sometimes, reliving these memories heals the soul and gives you the opportunity to look forward to something amazing whilst going about your daily life.

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          Last Updated on July 20, 2021

          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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          How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

          You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

          Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

          Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

          Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

          1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

          According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

          “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

          Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

          Warming up

          If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

          If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

          Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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          1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
          2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
          3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

          Stay hydrated

          Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

          To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

          Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

          Meditate

          Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

          Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

          Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

          Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

          2. Focus on your goal

          One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

          Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

          Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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          Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

          If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

          3. Convert negativity to positivity

          There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

          ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

          It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

          Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

          Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

          Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

          4. Understand your content

          Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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          However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

          “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

          Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

          Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

          One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

          5. Practice makes perfect

          Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

          In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

          Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

          6. Be authentic

          There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

          Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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          Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

          To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

          With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

          Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

          7. Post speech evaluation

          Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

          Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

          We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

          You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

          Improve your next speech

          As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

          Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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          • How did I do?
          • Are there any areas for improvement?
          • Did I sound or look stressed?
          • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
          • Was I saying “um” too often?
          • How was the flow of the speech?

          Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

          If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

          Reference

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