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Last Updated on January 8, 2018

We Are All Flawed By Our Perceptions Of Reality

We Are All Flawed By Our Perceptions Of Reality

The story is stand-alone yet linked.  The Life to come by Michelle de Kretser offers meditations on intimacy, loneliness, and our flawed perception of reality. Enormously moving, gorgeously observant of physical detail, and often very funny, this new novel by Michelle de Kretser reveals how a shadows cast by both the past and the future can transform and pose the current.

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    Vibrancy, vividness, depth and quality acting

    Occurring in Australia, France, and Ceylon, The Life to Appear is about the reports we tell, nor explain to ourselves as individuals, as societies, and as countries. Driven by a vibrant cast of characters, it explores necessary emigration, the art of fiction, and ethnic and class discord. As Hilary Mantel has written, “I so enjoy Michelle de Kretser’s powerful technique–her characters feel in existence, and she can create a sweeping narrative that encompasses a number of yet still retain the sharp, almost hallucinatory detail.”

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    Astoundingly real, mentally stimulating

    This extraordinary book by a long way Franklin-winning creator Michelle de Kretser will punch to your spirit and make you feel the characters come alive in such a way that their complete biopsy will be presented to you in a matter of sentences. Her writing is very witty, but it additionally goes deep, prepared at every point by the harmless and far-reaching intellect that is clearly reflected in her writing; nothing is simple, yet it’s presented in such a way that the reader will have no trouble comprehending it. Michelle is a dazzlingly attained author who orders all the strokes. Her repertoire extends from a hallucinatory sense of location to a mastery of suspense, superior verbal artistry and a formidable skill in navigating those twisty pathways where record and mindset entwine.

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    A standout book full of witty humor

    The life to come is an absolutely amazing book. It’s an honest, funny and moving portrait of modern life. de Kretser’s characters are often unlikable, but because she’s so unsparing in her pictures of them – every flaw goes under the microscope. It took me a while to settle into the structure, which leaps around with time a little bit and shifts focus quite all of a sudden, but this really is an impressive achievement. The characters act as individuals and feel alive; her writing can a sweeping narrative which includes years, yet still withhold the pointed. The whole book is depicted in an almost hallucinatory and vivid way. Michelle de Kretser is aware how to create a gripping report. She creates quickly and softly of wonderful and horrendous things which makes her book the life to come even more tantalizing for the readers.

    Reading Duration: 7 hours 16 minutes

    If you want your senses to be tantalised and mental resources to be stretched, then this book is the perfect specimen for improving your view of the world. Get The Life to Come from Amazon at $24.96

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    Lifehack Reads

    Lifehack Reads is the curated collection of our favorite books, carefully categorized and sorted by our Editorial Team.

    Good Book to Read: What I Know For Sure Here Is How You Can Turn That Frown Upside Down Today Knock Knock, Is Compassion Home? What To Do When Someone Moves Your Cheese? Balancing The Tight Rope Of Your Personal And Professional Life

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    Published on July 16, 2018

    Have Trouble Sleeping? 7 Proven Ways to Get More Rest

    Have Trouble Sleeping? 7 Proven Ways to Get More Rest

    Laying there, you watch the alarm clock change numbers more times than you’ve changed decisions on dinner.

    You know you have to get some sleep because otherwise tomorrow is going to be a wreck. You plead with your body, begging it to enter a deep slumber for your own sanity. Of course that isn’t exactly working. But hey, you’ll try anything… you’re not above the begging.

    Going to bed feeling “wide awake” is a common issue that many people struggle with, and one that isn’t easy to solve. There are multiple factors involved in your quest to fall asleep quickly and stay in a state of rest throughout the night.

    There’s one thing we can all agree on, though – it’s an awful predicament.

    Lucky you, there are ways we can combat this feeling and get to bed feeling relatively tired before we even lie down. I’ll show you several ways you can get to bed feeling just a bit more ready to accept an awesome night’s sleep:

    1. Put the phone and laptop away at least an hour before bed

    I’ll start with the no-brainer but the one that people continually struggle with the most.

    Yes, we know we need to shed ourselves of those things called “technology”; you know, the phones, the laptops, the computers, the TVs, the tablets, the phablets (a phone the size of a tablet), and the list goes on and on and on. We’re connected to them all day, and if we had the choice, we’d be connected to them all night.

    We’re hooked; consumer electronics barely leave our fingertips, and they have the pleasure of being our eyes’ object of affection for most of the day. Sometimes, I wonder what our phones or computer would say to us if it knew how much we stare at them.

    I’m glad they don’t talk. Well, I take that back since some already do on command. I’m just glad they don’t give us their unwarranted opinions.

    The least you can do is give each other a little space when the sun goes down. A little time away from each other never hurt anybody. Not a lot of time, just a few hours.

    The easiest way is to have the charger in another room (the room that you don’t spend evenings in) and when it’s time to wind down for the evening, plug it in and walk away. And then eventually go to bed, blissfully knowing your email or social media will be just fine.

    Try the whole I’ll give you a couple hours space; it works for relationships too.

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    2. Immerse yourself in some reading before bed

    We all could use a little more reading.

    I’d wager that a lot of us at some point or another put it as a goal. Yet we fall short just about every time.

    Instead, we pick up that phone, open that laptop, or turn on that TV for a little more instant gratification. Oy, reading takes so much effort.

    Well, since you’ll be putting your phone and laptop away a little bit earlier than usual, why not fill the void with some light reading?

    Any kind of book will do, or even a magazine if so inclined. The idea is to actually read words on paper, not on an LCD or LED screen.

    Feeling a little out of your comfort zone? That’s ok, I know it may seem like a foreign activity, but you’ll find that the peacefulness and relaxing nature of reading a book can do wonders for your sleep pattern.

    Plus, your eyes will thank you.

    3. Engage in a calm or soothing habit

    Hobbies is a word that has become increasingly rare in today’s generation. I’m beginning to think people are forgetting the definition of the word.

    Put together, most of us spend well over an hour a day on social media, valuable time that could be used towards a hobby.

    No, watching movies, hanging with friends, or going to the gym doesn’t count.

    Instead, look to pick up some actual hobbies, and more specifically, soothing ones.

    What exactly does soothing mean? Generally, it’s anything that allows you to relax while doing it. That means it doesn’t cause stress and doesn’t force you to be hyper-aware or exert any kind of physical activity. Things such as knitting, painting, and reading (ring a bell?) all work well.

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    Do a little research on potential hobbies you could pick up that help you relax.

    Allowing your brain to focus on the task at hand and “disconnect” from real world problems, even temporarily, can help reset and lower your anxiety and stress, all factors that affect your sleep.

    4. Eat a healthy diet, and stay satiated at night

    Eating healthy goes beyond just feeling good, it actually helps you sleep much better too.

    There is a myth that eating before bed is a bad thing; in fact, the opposite could hold true. Eating the right foods at night can help stave off those all too familiar hunger pangs, and give your body the right fuel it needs to rebuild itself while you sleep.

    The trick, of course, is eating the right foods – anything super salty, fatty, or sugary won’t do you very much good. You’ll just end up feeling uncomfortable, which affects your ability to fall asleep.

    Instead, aim for things such as complex carbs, fruit, or non-starchy vegetables. Check out the best foods to help you sleep better.

    And most importantly, don’t go to bed hungry – listen to your body.

    Throughout the day, make sure you feed it the right things too – a bad diet is a huge step backwards in a lot of areas, including your sleep cycles. A healthy, nutritious, balanced diet ensures your body is working optimally.

    The last trick is to avoid eating right before bed; as in don’t graze your way through the fridge and then throw yourself under your covers and turn out the lights.

    Give it a little bit of time, preferably at least an hour before bed. But if you last ate six hours ago…give yourself some fuel.

    5. Pick up meditation

    Even though the most convenient (and thus easiest) time to meditate is in the morning, you’ll soon find out that this science-backed activity can benefit you more than 16 hours later as you’re trying to fall asleep.

    If you need some convincing to start, here’s what meditation can do for you health wise:

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    • Reduce stress
    • Reduce anxiety
    • Increase immune health
    • Increase focus
    • Shrinks the brain’s amygdala (the part that deals with fear and emotion)[1]

    Meditation can also offer the following overall benefits:

    • Increase self-awareness
    • Induce relaxation
    • Increase happiness
    • Increase self-acceptance

    And the list goes on and on.

    Confused where to start?

    Spend five minutes sitting still in the morning before you begin your day, and even do the same at night before bed.

    Find a meditation app that can guide you if you find yourself having trouble sitting still and relaxing. Or do a simple Google search to find hundreds of guides on different types of meditation.

    Or simply check out this guide: The 5-minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

    6. Get involved in exercise

    Exercise has also proven itself extremely beneficial, and with probably thousands of studies done (don’t quote me on that but I’d argue it’s possible) that show its true benefits, you would be hard pressed to ignore it in today’s modern age.

    All in, exercise can help with the following:[2]

    • Control your weight
    • Control your hormones
    • Reduce your risk for diseases (such as heart disease) and cancers
    • Improve your mental mood
    • Strengthen your bones and muscles
    • Improve your sexual health

    Regular exercise also helps improve your sleep, by allowing you to enter a deeper sleep sooner, and for longer.[3]

    Deep sleep, known as REM, is our most restorative sleep we can achieve. The more time you spend in deep sleep, the more you can boost your immune system, improve cardiovascular health, and control stress/anxiety.

    Not to mention, physical exercise takes effort in the form of expended energy. The more energy you expend, the more tired you get eventually. By expending all this energy, you’ll feel tired sooner in the evenings, allowing you to fall asleep much faster.

    Where to start? Get moving! Join a local gym for some intro classes, do some simple bodyweight workouts at home. Again, Google is your best friend here. The options are overwhelmingly unlimited.

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    Try these 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    Keep this is mind: there is no one right way. Start something, and tweak at will.

    7. Keep a consistent schedule

    Consistency in your sleep patterns come as a result of keeping a regular routine.

    The easiest way to get knocked off schedule is by constantly shifting your bed time or what you do in the few hours before bed.

    By having a fairly standard routine in place, you begin to trick your brain into knowing that bed time is coming simply by initiating certain activities.

    The same phenomenon explains why trying to read in bed (if you never do) makes you fall asleep quickly. If all you ever do in bed is sleep, then your brain assumes that lying in bed means it’s time to sleep, right?

    If one day you decide to try to read in bed, you might find yourself waking up an hour later. Why is that?

    Your brain thought it was time to sleep. So it initiated its sequence to make that happen. It didn’t know what reading in bed meant, and so it did what it knows best – sleep.

    This is exactly why you should make sure to keep your bed reserved for two activities only – sleep and sex. Otherwise, you risk having your brain adapt to the idea that your bed doesn’t always mean it’s time to sleep.

    The bottom line

    If you find that your sleep schedule is inconsistent, you have trouble falling asleep and you wake up feeling about as sluggish as your hungover Sunday mornings in college, it might be time to reassess all the things you do in your waking hours.

    Putting technology away, reading, finding soothing hobbies, eating healthy, meditating, exercising and keeping a consistent schedule will all help you achieve better sleep.

    But it’s up to you to actually implement them. What will you do to wake up feeling refreshed?

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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