All posts by Sarah Burgoyne

About Sarah Burgoyne

Hi I'm Sarah, I manage all of the social accounts for 123Print and Bride & Groom Direct . I spend most of my time researching and writing about the wonderful world of weddings! When I’m not doing that you can find me laughing at bad jokes, eating large quantities of nachos or emotionally investing myself in too many TV shows.

5 Tips To Help Perfect Your Work-From-Home Routine

Working from home is great on so many levels – from the 15 second commute to getting to wear sweat pants. Nothing quite compares to doing your job from the comfort of your own home. But there are challenges as well. How do you prevent yourself from being distracted? How do you turn off when you know your laptop is there all the time? Here are some tips for perfecting your work-from-home routine:

Have a Work Schedule. Most people who work from home struggle to turn off – which is completely understandable when your office is only a few steps away. Without a routine it can be easy to find yourself scrolling down your Instagram feed all day and then working into the early hours of the morning when you realise you’re behind. Without routine or boundaries your mind won’t turn off and your productivity will suffer greatly.

Get Some Fresh Air. Working from home in some cases can lead to you being sat at the kitchen table from 8am-5pm before you crawl onto the sofa to catch up on ‘The Chase’. It’s crucial that you take at least 30 minutes half way through your day to go for a short walk or nip to the shop not only to increase your creativity levels but to insure that you don’t go crazy. You don’t want to end up naming every bird that lands in your back garden and sharing their daily routine with all of your loved ones. All in all, a change of scenery is good for the mind and your health so, it doesn’t matter where you go, just get yourself out.

Create a Work Environment for Yourself. As appealing as typing away whilst you’re led in bed watching the latest episode of Jeremy Kyle might be – the chances are it’s not going to lead to you being productive. Find a spot in your home that is the furthest away from the commotion, or why not consider making space in the garage? Creating a work zone is one of the best ways to make sure you can remain focused and produce some work of a high standard.

Have Time Out. Working from home can feel like one big break however, it’s this kind of thinking which can lead to problems occurring. Even though you’re in the comfort of your own home, you still need some time off throughout the day – whether that be a read of a book, a short walk or simply relaxing for a while. Giving yourself time to recharge can allow your day to go much smoother due to your being refreshed and able focused.

Keep Work & Personal Time Separate. You work when you say you will therefore, you should give yourself time off when you have promised to. Even though your office is in your home it is super important that you clock out and stay clocked out, as tempting as it may be to add something to that spread sheet or quickly change an error you know you have made, it simply shouldn’t be an option. Over-working and not having enough time to yourself can burn you out and lead to an increase in stress levels.

Jon Snow What Do You Know?

Well, Game of Thrones fever has well and truly set in, with one question on everyone’s lips – is Jon Snow dead? Officially he is “as dead as dead” or “dead, dead, dead!”. One thing we do know however is that Jon Snow knows nothing – but to what extent does his lack of knowledge stretch? One thing he does know – is how to get good volume into those dark Stark locks of his. We found some examples that you might find interesting.

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How To Get A Better Night’s Sleep When You’re Stressed

Everyone at some point or another knows the frustration of lying awake in bed with a busy mind ticking away. Whether it be an amazing idea, something you’ve forgotten to do, or a twinge of  worry – these little niggles can keep you from drifting off no matter how relaxed or tired you feel. Adding stress to that equation will only make things worse and before you know it you’ll be staring at the clock at 3am wondering how many hours of sleep you can potentially get before the new day. A bad night’s sleep leads to even more stress, which can potentially lead to an even worse night sleep, so all in all it’s pretty important to break the cycle and fix the problem. Try some of these tips tonight for a night of sweet dreams.

Set a bed time. One of the best ways of making sure that you have yourself a good night’s sleep is to get into a routine. Statistics show that our bodies are built for a sleep pattern of 10pm – 6am however, it’s not always that simple, so set a realistic bedtime that will suit your lifestyle. It is a well-known fact that 9 hours is the recommended amount of sleep, so use your morning routine to figure out your evening – but make sure you leave yourself a good 15 minutes to fall asleep.

Choose your snacks wisely. For some reason most people believe that snacking before bed is a no-no, however, a light snack before bed can in some cases help you to sleep. Foods such as turkey sandwiches, whole-grain cereal, granola and bananas have been proven to calm the brain.

No electronics. We know how tempting it is to check your email or Twitter just one last time before you shut your eyes for the night, but the blue light from screens disrupts your brains ability to feel sleepy. Avoiding bright screens within 2 hours of your bedtime isn’t necessarily ideal but if you’re in desperate need of those Z’s and are sick of counting sheep, it may be the way forward.  

Caffeine is not your friend. Busy schedules love coffee, it’s just the way it is, but caffeine can stay in your system for up to 14 hours after consumption. If you seem to be having trouble sleeping try and remove caffeine from your diet for a few weeks replacing it with water or herbal tea and see if you can spot any improvements.

Break a sweat. It has been reported that regular exercise can help you to sleep better and feel more energised throughout the day. It doesn’t need to be a high intensity work out, low-impact exercises such as yoga or walking can speed up your metabolism leading to improved sleep quality.

Have a soak. Having a bath before bed can really help to reduce stress levels and relax the body. A hot/warm bath with lavender extracts for around 20 minutes is a great idea – adjusting your body’s temperature to a point that signals your brain that “It’s time to snooze!”.

Stay asleep. If your waking up during the night the likelihood is – something is catching your attention whilst you’re in the lighter part of your sleep cycle. Try cutting down on your liquid intake before bed to prevent you from needing to use the bathroom mid-sleep, or invest in some dark curtains to block out any natural light entering your room.

We hope this helps and you’re full of beans in the morning! 

 

5 Hobbies That Will Boost Your Brain

It’s annoying admitting it but your teachers were right: Your brain is like a muscle and to make it smarter you just need to give it a work out.  Scientists have proven that it is possible to increase your potential by exercising your mind- unfortunately endless hours of Downton Abbey or Candy Crush don’t count… Of course, Sudoku and reading the dictionary are well known ways to keep your brain up to speed – but those activities aren’t really that thrilling. If you fancy boosting your brainpower in an enjoyable way here are some recommendations

Grow something. Gardening is actually good for you. I mean, yeah you get to grow your own veggies and save yourself a trip to Mr Tesco’s but it also has some great benefits for your health and mind.  This green hobby reduces your levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone and keeps your brain intact reducing the risk of dementia by 36%! Gardening has never sounded so good.

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Take up Salsa. Everyone knows that exercise is good for your body and health, but it has also been proven to be good for your mind. In addition to having a physical workout, dancing reduces stress and increases cognitive activity – basically makes you smarter. There are so many benefits to this fun sport it is unreal, from making you a better leader to increasing your long-term memory. Who would have thought that breaking a sweat could be so positive? So, why not swap those office shoes for your dancing ones!

Shoot a Zombie. I know. The inner mum in me didn’t want to believe it either, but it’s true. Videogames may have a bad reputation but 30 minutes of gaming a day have been shown to improve strategic planning, spatial navigation and can develop your working memory. On top of all of that, a recent study also states that they can actually improve your hand-eye coordination. Who would have thought it?

Be the next Beethoven. Learning a musical instrument is a great fun way to get your brain ticking. Playing an instrument is proven to help with creativity, maths and analytical skill. If that isn’t good enough, to put the icing on the cake, playing a musical instrument raises IQ by seven points in both children and adults. Oh yeah, the thought of a keyboard is much more appealing now isn’t it?

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Bonjour. Learning a language is a great investment of time, not only is it fab for traveling and becoming more cultured it can also slow brain aging which is always a bonus! According to research bilinguals are being at planning and task management due to better attention and task-switching capacitates in the brain. There are not many negatives of learning a new language: it will make you smarter, better at communicating and it will even make you better at speaking your first language.

So there you have it! Say goodbye to long nights of doing crosswords and chess to try and boost your knowledge. Why not take up a hobby which you can enjoy alongside helping your brain increase? You’re never too old to learn.