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Top 5 Valentine’s Day Ideas To Impress Your Partner

Top 5 Valentine’s Day Ideas To Impress Your Partner
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Don’t know how it is with you, but when Valentine’s Day is approaching I get the familiar lump in my throat and I can’t really tell if it’s excitement or stress. When I was single it was quite amusing boycotting the day on the principle and not caring too much, but now being in the relationship for a reasonable period of time, I have to acknowledge it’s existence. So there arises the ultimate problem of Valentine’s Day ideas and planning. What to do and what kind of surprise to prepare so it’s entertaining, not cheesy, not too over the top but also charming and unexpected?

Depending on what stage of dating you are in, there are many different options. The first time around, Valentine’s might get away with a cinema date and flowers, but when its 4th or 10th year it can become a true challenge with much skimming involved. Thus, we compiled a list of awesome Valentine’s day ideas just for you.

Get A Couples Massage

    Featured photo credit: Andreas 160578 via Pixabay via pixabay.com

    Not only a great gift for your partner but also for yourself. It’s a win-win activity; you can unwind and forget about all the stressful aspects of everyday life. An hour (or two) of absolute relaxation will get you in the best mood for the rest of the evening.

    Where to get it from: Urban Massage

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    You can enjoy a massage in the local spa or even book a massage in your own home through Urban Massage. Even if you are a first timer at this, there are so many different massage options like Thai, calming, energizing that you can be sure you will find something to suit your needs.

    Hire A Private Chef

      Featured photo credit: Meditations via Pixabay via pixabay.com

      Restaurant date is a cliché, but you still love amazing food without the effort of cooking yourself? What about the fact that you will have to run to kitchen and back constantly leaving your love on their own if you choose to make the grand gesture of making the 3-course meal yourself?

      Where to get from: ChefXChange

      Hiring private Chef with ChefXChange is a blessing sent straight from heaven. Not only the food will be restaurant quality but also you can enjoy it in the romantic setting of your house. Probably the biggest surprise on your partner’s face will be the fact that when you invite them to the house for dinner. They would have never expected to eat a Michelin star dinner prepared by a professional chef, unless you are a chef yourself!

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      Spa Break

        Featured photo credit: Rhuthmuswege via Pixabay via pixabay.com

        Beloved by everyone weekend away from hustles and bustles of the city. You can choose any kind of weekend trip but a spa break in especially romantic choice. A great location will both provide you luxury accommodation, opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate. You can also take your time to take a little trip outside of your spa and discover a new region. Dial back on your itinerary for a weekend and relax. Your partner will love the spontaneous trip and a surprise.

        Where to get from: Spa Breaks

        Spa breaks specialize is spa break packages, thus you can find good spa break hotels and location. And, there are good changes that you will find good bargain too.

        Champagne Experience at The View from the Shard

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via Pixabay via pixabay.com

          Who said only Paris should be a city of love? London can be just as romantic. The night skyline will take your breath away and bubbles will send you into a celebratory mood.  Thames looks especially lovely from the distance so let yourself drift away on a cloud into a romantic evening on top of the world.

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          Where to get from: The View at The Shard

          Take a look with a Champagne in your hand and your partner standing around at what’s best in this crazy city from the top of the Shard.

          Chocolate Tour

            Featured photo credit: Pixel2013 via Pixabay via pixabay.com

            Idea: Chocolate Tour with your partner

            Something on the sweet side of life and for those who never miss out on a dessert. Chocolate tours involve not only a great deal of sampling, but will also give you some interesting facts on chocolate. This idea is an amazing recommendation for those who like to spend their Valentines with in a more casual atmosphere. This experience is a great mixture of causal, romantic, fun and sweet of course!

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            Where to get from: Chocolate Ecstasy Tours

            Chocolate Ecstasy recommended because they specialised in chocolate tours and they always put on great deals.

            There can be a million more ideas for you depending on what is your ‘thing’ so the best advice, when it comes to planning Valentines, would probably be: don’t let the pressure of the day get to you and do something that will make you feel special, regardless if it’s a bungee jump, exotic trip or something more trivial like finding time together to have a bottle of wine at home.

            Happy Valentines Day!

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            Featured photo credit: Karolina via Pexels via pexels.com

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            Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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

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