Slumber Party in the Dark

When the clock hits 12, darkness begins wrapping the place and people vanish one… by one… by one…

Photo grabbed from D1978C via Flickr

Photo grabbed from D1978C via Flickr

Nah. It’s not some horror story.

 

My work’s office has an unusual lunch break culture. Instead of the usual break time, most employees start going to the pantry or outside to eat lunch at around 11:30am, then go back to their workstations afterward to take care of some personal stuff. Then once the lights go off at exactly 12nn, they take their naps, which they do either by resting their heads on their desks with their arms as pillows or by lying on the back of their chairs, then when the lights are turned on at exactly 1pm, they wake up all ready to face their works.

 

When I was new in the company, I found this everyday habit completely awesome on the part of the employers since they allow total relaxation for their employees. But as months passed, I realized that it is not only for the benefit of the latter but also of the former. It is a two-way street after all.

 

Napping has a lot of advantages especially for workers and employers, whom all the jobs are being done for. Wondering what I mean? You better read on:
 

Photo grabbed from Zerteh via Flickr

Photo grabbed from Zerteh via Flickr

1. It makes us more alert

It’s official from a NASA research: Napping, though it’s not as long as sleeping, boosts alertness by 100%. Another study also shows that a nap as a break makes a person more alert and active compared to before the rest happened.

 

2. It promotes faster learning and better memory

Need to pay attention to your work? Taking a nap before attacking that hard task has an amazing result of helping you focus and keeping your memory working properly.

 

Photo grabbed from marcinbunsch via Flickr

Photo grabbed from marcinbunsch via Flickr

3. It helps avoid suffering from information overload

If you’re piled up with a lot of tasks, never do the mistake of not getting some nap. According to studies, failing to rest leads to decrease of productivity. So it’s better to take a short nap to have your mind refreshed.

 

4. It gets your creativity and senses going

A scientist in the name of Sara C. Mednick revealed it: Taking a nap is as good as a good night sleep when it comes to sensory perception. It also boosts creativity as it untangles the knots in overlapping ideas and binds the related ones at the same time.

 

Photo grabbed from Hilali via Flickr

Photo grabbed from Hilali via Flickr

5. It is good for the health

Lack of sleep is never good as it increases the cortisol hormone in the body. Cortisol is not bad, as it helps us deal with stress, but an excess of it leads to glucose intolerance and abdominal fat, it undermines muscular and immune systems, blocks memory and learning, and reduces levels of growth hormone and testosterone in the body, which can all cause diabetes and heart attack. Tsktsk. There’s just too much that can happen to our health if we don’t take that short, sweet nap.

 

6. It improves our mood

I have proved this numerous times. I am often so groggy and irritated in the morning, but after napping during lunch break, I am already feeling okay, I laugh, smile, and am very much ready for the rest of the day.

Well, that is because of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that handles our moods, sleep, and appetite. But during lack of sleep or stressing moments, the body uses more serotonin and it also stops producing it. The aftermath, then, is that we are caught in a bad mood.

 

Photo grabbed from fiatlux via Flickr

Photo grabbed from fiatlux via Flickr

7. It is budget friendly

Which is better, paying for something or getting it absolutely free? I am almost sure that everyone would choose the latter. If we get a cup of coffee, we spend for it, while decreasing our memory’s performance, but if we just take a nap, we get to energize ourselves not just for free, but also in a natural way! Isn’t way better? 🙂

 
 

Taking a nap is not just like that, though. Follow these simple napping tips from Dr Mednick for a more effective one:

 

1. Stick to a regular schedule

Ideal napping time is from 1pm to 3pm, but for people like me whose only break is from 12nn to 1pm, I get to sleep only within that time. I think it’s okay, as long as I stick to that schedule.

 

2. Naps should be quick

When we take a nap, we do it quickly, otherwise, it may already be called a sleep. The ideal duration is 30 minutes or less so make sure to set your alarm. In my case, I start resting my head at 12:30pm, so when it is 1pm and the lights are on, I wake up.

 

Photo grabbed from ♥♥♥ Fufue ♥♥♥ via Flickr

Photo grabbed from ♥♥♥ Fufue ♥♥♥ via Flickr

3. Do it in the dark

The reason is simple: It helps us fall asleep faster. If you can’t turn off the lights in your office, you can opt to wear an eye mask.

 

4. Be in a warm place

Our body temperature drops when we sleep, so Dr Mednick advised this or at least bring and use a blanket. But if you’re living in a tropical country like the Philippines, this is a bad idea, otherwise, you’ll wake up drenched in sweat.

 

 

I always say that when it is lunch break, I really take a break. And people should really give me a break. So for that precious hour, I toss away my work load and relax, either by eating outside the office or taking a nap right after munching my lunch in the pantry. I especially do the latter when I know that I will be needing that extra energy to work my mind for my current task.

You should take a nap, too, during your lunch break even though your office doesn’t have the same culture as ours. It’ll help you big time in finishing a quality assignment or two. Well, of course, it’ll not only benefit you, but the company you’re working for as well. 😉

 
 
 

Sources:
Art of Manliness
WebMD

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Pucker Up those Healthy Lips :*

It was just in April of this year when I started wearing lipstick.

My officemate, who is a close friend and a long-time wearer of red lipsticks, had convinced us, her lady co-workers, to buy inexpensive lippies from NYX online. At first, I wasn’t interested in joining the craze, thinking my lips are way too dry for it and that wearing one would be very uncomfortable.

But then my friend pointed to NYX Round Lipstick in Indian Pink and said it would look great on me since its light color fits my “demure” image. I considered what she said for a few minutes, then I thought, hey, it’s only 135 pesos, so why not try it for a change.

NYX Round Lipstick in Indian Pink (Photo by Champy Cachola)

So the purchase was made and I got my first. ever. lipstick. Oh boy, it’s kinda embarrassing, but it did look good on me and even on my other colleague who also bought the same shade. It makes one’s face bloom!

The Tale of the Lipstick Addict

That NYX shade became my official lip color for a few months except when I felt like using the NARS lipstick my close friend gave me some time when we transferred to another job.

Then one July night,  a seductive little catalogue arrived home with the letters A, V, O, and N on its cover page. I flipped through its contents and was completely hypnotized. And so, it was then when my love for lipsticks was born. I got two from it, was sated, then I bought another one from MAC. I thought of trying a red shade, but I was afraid it wouldn’t look good on me, so to be safe, I purchased a very affordable one from the local brand Fashion 21, then I bought another from a foreign brand, until voilà! I already have a lipstick collection!

It is true that mothers know best, though. When my mom noticed that I buy lipsticks like I was simply changing clothes, she suggested that I stop because it was getting too impractical. She said that there are other better stuff that I can use my hard-earned cash with. I got her point, and it had sense, and so like your regular obedient child, I took her advice. Whew!

Okay, I confess. It didn’t stop there. Just this month, I bought Avon Ultra Color Rich Brilliance Lipstick in Vermilion on a whim. I have this Avon dealer co-worker who always brings her catalogue to the office, and I saw this other officemate deciding on what to buy, then BOOM, I guess you know what happened next. I told it to my mom, and as she was about to say something, I quickly interjected that it was only 199 pesos, and that I promise that this time around, it’s really, really, really, really, reeeeaaaalllllyyyy the last. Hehe. Really now… >.<

Taking Good Care of Your Lips

With dry lips and a great lip color come great responsibility (Whoa. Who would’ve thought it would be just like being Spiderman? O_o).

Lips should be kept healthy so you can confidently pout like this! Just kidding. >.< Next photo please…

As I said above, I wasn’t into lippies before because I have dry lips (Along with my dry hair, dry skin, and dry eyes. Dry everything.). So just imagine yourself in my shoes. You’re on your way to work and you’re wearing a noticeable fuchsia pink lipstick. You’re so happy about it, but after a while, you feel your lips are getting dry. You’re tempted to lick it but doing so will erase what’s on so you act like a martyr who has mastered the art of self-control for the sake of beauty.

Then there comes a cute guy from the opposite direction and he is kind of looking at you. He is your type so you smile at him until you suddenly realize that he may be looking at the horror that is your now chapped fuchsia pink-colored lips. So what happens next is you look away in shame. Not a very good sight for him, not a very good sight, indeed. Tsk tsk. And you just ruined that potential love affair before it even started. (Note: This is purely fictional, okay? There’s no way I can smile to the guy I like like that. 😛 ) Fantastic. Simply fantastic.

Devastated, you mull over stopping painting your lips ’cause it’s turning into a discomfort. Yet just like anything else, once you start with it, you can never live without it ever again. So you need another option for this little challenge.

But what may it be? Thanks to the pieces of information I got all over the Internet, I now know. If you’re also a lipstick wearer but have lips that are always dehydrated, you may want to continue reading for useful tips on how to take care of your lips without causing you a fortune.

Aside from the dry lips itself, there are lipsticks which formulas are very drying and hot on the lips like that one I got from Shiseido. So add those two up and you get double pain in the neck. The solution? Simply put lip balm first about three minutes before you apply your lipstick. That way, it wouldn’t only moisturize your lips, it’ll also make it shimmery (That is, if you’re into that kind of lips).

Then before going to bed every night, always put petroleum jelly on and leave it overnight to achieve that soft duckface-worthy lips.

… Or like this! The “sexy” way, if it can be called that. hahaha This is getting too shameful, this blog entry is turning into my vanity pout page. :’) My apologies. Last photo please…

But applying those on your lips isn’t enough, for just like the skin all over your body, your lips should be stripped off of the dead skin cells to expose those healthy live ones. There are several simple ways to exfoliate the lips:

1. Toothbrush. After brushing your teeth, put a small amount of toothpaste, petroleum jelly, or nothing at all on your toothbrush, and gently rub it on your lips in circular motions. Do this for one to two minutes, then put petroleum jelly to moisturize your lips afterward.

Among the exfoliation methods, this is the only one that I do since it promotes no bother. I brush my teeth thrice a day with the use of a toothbrush and toothpaste (just like everybody else), so the only extra stuff that’s needed is another few minutes to my brushing time, that’s all. There’s no way I would forget it or I would be lazy ’cause all the essentials are with me thrice a day. 😀

2. Sugar. Mix sugar with olive oil or petroleum jelly. Use it as a scrub and gently rub it to your lips in circular motions using your fingertips. After rinsing off with warm water, don’t forget to put petroleum jelly on your lips.

3. Baking Soda. Mix baking soda with water until it resembles a paste. Put it on your lips, then with the use of a toothbrush or your bare fingertips, rub it gently in circular motions for a few minutes, then rinse it off with water. To moisturize your lips, do not forget to apply petroleum jelly.

4. Honey and Sugar. Make a scrub of honey and sugar by mixing both and applying it to your lips, again, in circular motions. Let it stay on for a few minutes, then rinse it off with water. Honey is known to be a natural moisturizer, so by using this method, you won’t need to apply petroleum jelly anymore.

So those are the four simple and budget-friendly steps to exfoliate the lips. Whatever method you choose, as long as it’ll get rid of the dead skin on your lips, go, go, go, I support you! haha.

Serious mode. Of course, a duckface is more fun and better done with a close friend who has equally healthy lips. Meet Mao, the person who persuaded me to wear lippy. 🙂 (Photo by Champy Cachola)

Oh, I almost forgot. Wearing lipstick did something good to me aside from the aesthetics. It stopped me from licking my lips whenever I feel like its very dry. Did you know that saliva evaporates fast making your lips drier than before you lick it? If you don’t, well now you know. That’s all. Hope this entry helped you if you have the same problem as mine. 🙂