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It’s okay to be too busy

Metrosmag,SA

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After rescheduling three times due to unforeseen work travel, I recently made plans to get together with a long-time internet friend in Washington, DC.

“Hey!” I DMed him, “any chance you would want to meet me for a drink somewhere by Union Station around 7pm after work on Tuesday? I have an 8:30pm train but we could hang for an hour before.” He replied, “sure!” We met up, I sipped a seltzer, we had a great time chatting and by 8:15pm I was in line to board my train.

There was a time, earlier in my 20s, when I would have felt bad about this. And according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, I still should. Abiding by the advice in the article, I should have pushed my train later, exhausting myself and sacrificing sleep before a long flight the next day so that my friend knew he was prioritized.

The article suggests that “busyness” is a choice or a brag, and that those who set hard restrictions on their time are rude and inconsiderate.

This is bullshit. Anyone who thinks this way should be cut out of your schedule immediately. There is nothing worse than a “friend” who thinks they are entitled to your time.

Me making plans with someone I really want to see

Earlier in my 20s, I surrounded myself with people like this. I bent and caved to other people’s whims and schedules.

A friend was feeling sad? It didn’t matter if I had an early meeting, I’d drink with them until 3am. Someone else was feeling bored and lazy after a breakup? I’d cancel yoga and spend all day cheering them up and watching Netflix. If a friend wanted to hang out with me, I would make time. If an acquaintance was in town and wanted someone to show them the city, I was there. If some random person online liked my tweets and wanted to meet up in person, I cleared my schedule.

For years I sacrificed my own mental and physical well being in service of other people’s needs. I gave everything I had to every friendship and it was never enough. There were always more birthday parties, readings, dinners, drinks, housewarmings to attend. There was always someone who wanted my time or felt like hanging out or catching up and I had no ability to say no.

One day, I woke up hungover and exhausted. I texted another friend who I hadn’t seen in a while to meet me for brunch. “I’d love to, but I’m actually going for a run then gonna chill. I’m free the Saturday after next if you want to meet at 10:30am at XX before I run errands at 1:00pm though.”

I remember taking a screen-shot of the text and thinking, “You can do that?!” It was freeing.

Ever since then my view on friendship has changed. I realized that my time is just as valuable as anyone else’s. You cannot give everyone who wants your time full reign of your schedule or you will never have time for yourself. I repeat: never.

Me, stressed out and trying to escape it all

My schedule now is planned out weeks in advance. I have a much smaller group of close friends who I will still drop almost anything for if there’s a crisis, but I realize that with the right kind of friends those “crises” are few and far between. I am almost always free for a heart-to-heart phone call but, for me, busyness is a means of self-protection.

The notion that saying you’re busy is some type of bragging is ridiculous. The idea that anyone who is “busy” is simply horrible at time management or they’d have endless hours to dedicate to any friend or acquaintance who comes calling is also insane.

When most people say they’re “busy” they mean that they’re busy, as in, they have other plans. It’s not up to you to deem which plans are more important.

This doesn’t mean I value any of my friends any less. I just know that if I don’t protect myself and my own time, I won’t be able to handle my own problems, much less be there for anyone else.

Make new friends, but protect your time. In ideal world we’d all spend our days “gabbing over cocktails at a new Vietnamese restaurant,” but good friendships, like all relationships, require good boundaries.

I guard my time specifically because I want to be able to be there for friends when it’s most important. I want to have extra time in my week baked in so I can be spontaneous and maybe do an unplanned meet up. I never want to go back to those frazzled years when I was spread so thin I couldn’t be a true friend to anyone.

The next time a friend invites you to dinner with a hard stop at 8pm or sends you a meeting planner for a scheduled hangout two months from now, don’t take it personally. They’re probably just busy, and that’s okay.

Metrosmag,sa ( inspired by Mzansi Lifestyle ) Mzansi is rich in Lifestyle, a nation diverse in race and culture. Mzansi Magazine explores the rich heritage , versitile culture and the celebrations of Life in Mzansi. Metros Magazine, SA is South Africa's informative Metropolitan lifestlye magazine with all the fresh and important news in Mzansi.

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Lifestyle

Give your dad the best gift on Father’s Day

Metrosmag,SA

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With Father’s Day fast approaching, sourcing the most suitable gift is top of mind.

But we overlook that the most valuable gift one can offer their father is their presence.

For several dads, living in old age homes, Father’s Day has lost its significance as they long for a call or visit from their children.

The Association for the Aged (Tafta) invites you to share your “presence” this Father’s Day, especially to those whom need it the most. It’s about opening our arms and hearts to our elders.

“For our residents, love is a place of safety, a warm bed, good food, a hug and a kiss when they are tired or sad. This is how we view love at Tafta,” says CEO Femada Shamam.

In Tafta’s commitment to providing comfort and support to the elders of our province, we open our arms and hearts with love and compassion.

“Our work at Tafta imparts a clear message of love, which gives every resident a feeling of belonging and contentment,” added Shamam, who stressed that the best gift we can give to our seniors is the gift of our time.

“Whenever guests drop by, regardless of what they are doing, our residents’ faces always light up at the sign of a visitor,” she said.

Spending an hour to have lunch with an elder brings joy, pleasure and a sense of pride. It breaks the monotony of the daily routine and reassures them that they are cherished and valued.

This Father’s Day listen to your dad tell his stories if he is able. If not, help him out by supplying the words or using other gestures to express your appreciation. However you plan to celebrate, take the initiative to make this Father’s Day rewarding for you both. The gifts of caring will most certainly provide you with memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.

While love is limitless, Tafta’s finances are far from limitless.

Tafta appeals to you at this time for a gift that will show your infinite love for our fathers, grandfathers and even great grandfathers. A gift that will help us help them, Your support is what makes our work possible.

You can also share the LOVE by SMSing “Donate” to 40555, SMS charged at R20.00, free SMSes do not apply.

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Lifestyle

What would happen if you didn’t shower for a year?

Metrosmag,SA

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We all know a person whose boasted about the length of time they’ve abstained from showering or bathing.

It’s either an odd point of pride or a self-deprecating knock on their personal hygiene.

Either way, if they kept it up — say, for an entire year — they’d smell awful, would run the risk of infection and could be covered in acne and bumps.

Keeping it au naturel for that long is, besides a slow way to alienate yourself, not recommended, advises Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Here’s what would happen:

You’d smell

Unsurprisingly, a person would develop quite a funk after 365 showerless days.

Rokhsar said your stench likely would come as a result of the bacteria and dead skin accumulating on you.

After a year, he said, you’d have a build-up of skin stratum corneum, or dead skin on top of your skin. It includes a build-up of a protein our skin produces that has a funky odor to it. Bacteria also would accumulate on the skin, giving off a nasty smell when it mixes with our sweat.

Brown clumps would grow on you

Initially, said dermatologist Dr. Lauren Ploch, the skin would become oily or dry and become infected with fungus or yeast and then bacteria. The dirt on the skin could then cause warty growths.

Dr. Caroyln Jacob, director of Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology, said the oily parts of your body would collect dirt and pollutants. This would happen most in places where your body produces the most oils, such as your underarms, behind the ears, on the neck and under a woman’s breasts.

The body’s dead skin normally rises to the surface and is flaked off through normal washing, said Jacob, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. When that stops, the dead skin clumps together with your body’s oils. The clumps would grow in patches and take on a brown hue once they collect dirt and other pollutants.

You’d be at higher risk for infection

We’re taught early the first step to take when you get a cut is to wash it.

If you haven’t washed in 365 days and you suffer an abrasion, the building bacteria on your skin means you may be more likely to suffer a soft tissue infection, notes Rokhsar.

“While infection may not be a concern in the beginning, carrying a large load of bacteria on the skin can pose a problem if the skin barrier were to become compromised in some way. i.e. through a cut or scrape,” said Ploch, a member of the AAD.

Your head would itch

Dead skin would build on the scalp. We commonly call this dandruff, which causes your head to itch. But after a year, explains Rokhsar, your head would become “extremely itchy.”

If not groomed, Jacob said hair becomes heavy with oil secreted from the scalp and the collected dirt and pollutants that stick to it. It would later, Rokhsar said, look matted and knotty.

You could break out in acne or puss bumps

As bacteria builds on your skin, said Jacob, it risks inflaming hair follicles, causing pimples. Rokhsar adds something called sebum would build up on your face, causing acne or puss bumps.

Your groin area will become a big problem

Jacob warns people to watch out for the groin area. She said you’re likely to get rashes or something called intertrigo, a yeast and inflammation combination that goes from itchy and red to burning and painful.

Scum between your toes

Speaking of the groin, the fungus that will grow between your toes could easily spread to the pelvic area.

Jacob said dead skin would build up between your toes and become crusty. It could then harbor fungus, which could be transferred to your groin while putting your feet through your pants or underwear.

It could take weeks to return to normal

Turning yourself around could take time.

Rokhsar predicts it would take about a week to get back on track. However, Ploch hints it could take longer.

Some of her patients have gone months without washing a certain part of their body. It can take weeks, she said, for the skin to return to its normal state.

P.S.  – Not everyone needs to shower every day

Dr. Elaine Larson, the associate dean for research at the Columbia School or Nursing and School of Public Health, said “frankly” showering and bathing is mostly for “aesthetics.”

Showering every day, she said, is unnecessary. Every two, three or even four days is acceptable as long as you don’t stink up the place. She said, generally, the organisms naturally found on her skin protect us from picking up harmful germs.

The exception, she said, are people with fragile immune systems, such as newborns, the elderly and people suffering from cancer.

 

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Health & Fitness

Benefits of drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning

Metrosmag,SA

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Your normal a.m. routine goes something like this: Wake up, check Instagram, make a beeline to your coffee machine. But starting your day with a glass of water instead actually has tons of good-for-you health benefits. (Don’t worry, you can still get your caffeine fix immediately after.)

1. It Can Improve Your Metabolism

Drinking water (approximately 20 ounces) can increase your metabolic rate by 30 percent, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Having a glass on an empty stomach helps put your body on a path toward more efficient digestion the moment you start your day.

2. It Can Help Alleviate Heartburn and Indigestion

When you sip a glass first thing in the morning, it cleanses any food acids from your esophagus that worked their way upward while you slept. (It also helps flush acids off your teeth.)

3. It Can Prevent Kidney Stones

Drinking water first thing is key to diluting the substances in your urine that can cause kidney stones to form. But remember: Your water intake should amount to at least a half gallon a day to really ward them off, experts say. (Adding a slice of lemon—rich in citric acid—also helps, FYI.)

4. It Can Stop a Headache in Its Tracks

Dehydration is one of the leading causes of that throbbing pain in your skull. Think of a glass of water first thing in the morning as a measure that helps prevent a headache from developing. (Just be sure you keep sipping throughout the day.)

5. It Helps Flush Toxins from the Body

It’s all about keeping your small intestine hydrated and your body’s water balance in check. Your gastric emptying rate (i.e., how much you pee) is accelerated by how much water you consume. The more you pee, the more toxins you flush out. Simple as that.

6. It Keeps Things Moving, Too

Yep, a glass of water on an empty stomach also helps regulate your digestion (ahem, your bowel movements) so you get it out of the way first thing.

7. It Can Keep You from Getting Sick

To dodge a cold or the flu, you need to keep your lymphatic system—a vital part of your immune system—hydrated. A glass of water in the morning will help ward off congestion and ensure proper (and efficient) drainage.


 

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