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    6 Simple Ways to Have Better Posture at Your Desk

    You’re probably currently sitting at your desk reading this, blissfully unaware of your posture right now—and that’s perfectly normal. It can be difficult to always be mindful of your posture, especially during a hectic workday through hours of Zoom meetings and conference calls.Your posture is a very important indicator of your overall health, as it supports blood flow, improves your mood, increases your confidence, and strengthens your other muscles and joints. Practicing better posture while at your desk at work or at home, even in the smallest ways, is a great way to be mindful of your health on a daily basis, and there are a few quick ways you can improve your posture as you go along your workday. Give your posture some attention and work smarter, not harder, at your desk.  

    1. Switch up your seating 
    Your seating can make or break your posture—literally. Seating with little to no back support, worn-out chairs, and working from your couch or bed could wear on your body over time, straining your shoulders, spine, and lower back. 
    If your desk chair doesn’t have the support you need to sit comfortably and in an upright position for an hour or two at a time, you may need to switch up your seating. A good, ergonomic chair for your workspace will have lumbar support to help the middle of your back, where most of the tension goes when you’re hunched over your desk. You also want to pick a chair that keeps your body at a neutral, upright position with an adequate seat height that keeps your arms and legs leveled and a backrest that isn’t too firm or too soft. 
    If you’re now working from home, make sure to be mindful of where and how you’re sitting. Set up your own workspace with a desk and chair that supports your back and shoulders and promotes better posture over time.

    2. Take frequent stretch breaks 
    Spending hours upon hours every day in a seated position where your back is either slouched or hunched over is detrimental to your posture. Many health professionals have declared that sitting has now become the new smoking, a popular myth that compares the negative chronic health effects of both, such as weight gain and diabetes.
    Prolonged sitting can have long-lasting effects on not only your back, but on your overall health. Make it a priority to get up and move around on a regular basis throughout your workday to give your body some relief from sitting and staring at a screen all day. Put yourself on a daily schedule to get some time away from the desk to give your back a break from sitting in an upright position, putting more pressure on your spine. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your workday and forget to move, so set an alert on your work calendar or on your phone as a regular reminder to take a break and switch up your posture by taking a walk, standing briefly in between meetings, stretching, or getting a quick exercise in. 

    Source: Danielle Moss

    3. Exercise for better posture
    When we exercise, we often forget to exercise for better posture, especially as working from home becomes more prevalent. Your posture is key to better overall health, and taking out the time to focus on it during your workday can help prevent lifelong body issues. 
    Exercising throughout the workday for better posture can be as simple as standing upright for an hour or two at a time at your desk, stretching and rotating your neck to relieve some of the tension from hours of working, or getting a good back bend at the waist to loosen up that lower back. Give yourself a few small breaks during the workday to work out those kinks in your shoulders, neck, and back from sitting too long, and focus on exercises specifically for those areas. 

    4. Keep your workspace eye level
    Hunching over your desk to look at your laptop or to type is one of the key indicators of poor posture. If your laptop or desktop computer isn’t eye level, it makes it easy to slouch and get stuck working that way for hours. 
    Do an overall assessment of your workspace, including your laptop, your monitor, your desk, and your computer accessories like your keyboard and mouse to make sure they are level to your eyesight and body to ensure that you’re not straining your neck, shoulders, and back to use your devices. Your workspace should be at a comfortable level, but upright enough where your posture isn’t compromised. Switch up the positioning of your workspace so that it makes it easier to sit upright while still being effective throughout the day. If you work remotely or from home, find a better place to set up your workspace like on a high bar-style countertop where you can easily sit in an upright position, or even stand and work for a change of pace. 

    Source: Jenny Komenda | Juniper Studio

    5. Practice mindfulness of your posture 
    It can be difficult to take a lunch break or grab a second cup of coffee during the workday when you’re juggling emails and meetings, let alone be actively aware of how your body feels. Taking the time out to connect with your body every so often throughout the day to see how it feels can seem like another item for your to-do list, but your back most importantly will thank you for it! 
    Practice being mindful of your posture throughout the workday by setting frequent reminders on your phone to check in with your body. There are plenty of mindfulness apps that can help you break away from your work mentally for a few minutes to give your body and mind a quick check-up. Block off time in your work calendar to check in with yourself, your posture, your mood, and your overall body. Scheduling time on your work calendar helps you stay accountable to yourself and your health. 
    Use this mindfulness to be more aware of your posture on a daily basis and when you place the most tension on your back. Do you find that your posture suffers during long Zoom meetings? Are you sitting for more than 2-3 hours at a time in the mornings or afternoons? Take note daily of all of your workspace habits and how it impacts your posture and your overall body. This will help you anticipate and be more mindful of your posture during the most stressful times of your day and prepare to change it up.

    6. Keep your feet flat on the floor 
    Your feet and their position while at your desk play a crucial role in your overall posture while sitting. If your feet are crossed or elevated, that could compromise your posture, as your weight is primarily on one leg or your back is taking the brunt of it. When your feet are flat on the floor and properly leveled, the weight of your body is evenly distributed across your hips. Keeping your feet flat on the floor also makes you more mindful of the overall stance of your body, as it unconsciously makes you straighten up.
    Practice keeping your feet fully on the floor for longer periods of time instead of elevating them using a footrest or crossing your legs at the knees underneath your desk. Planting your feet on the ground will help you be more aware of your posture and if you’re slouched or hunched over your desk. 

    Your posture is a key indicator of your body’s health during your workday. Don’t ignore any signs of back or shoulder pain; make it a point to take care of yourself while working, starting with your posture.  More

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    Got the Sunday Scaries? Try These 9 Things

    Last weekend, I texted one of my friends to hang out. Her response: “It’s Sunday. You cannot pull me out of bed on Sundays.” I remember times when I related to this all too well. There’s a whole unspoken thing that Sundays are off-limits; they’re reserved for doing nothing and simultaneously stressing out about the fact that you’ve, in fact, done nothing all day. It’s that impending doom of a Sunday evening, thinking about everything you have to get done and accomplish that week. It’s more than just being sad the weekend’s over, and it can truly take away all the joy of a Sunday. I’m sure you’re wondering: Beth, how on Earth are you speaking in the past tense here? Are you immune to the Sunday Scaries? Nope, I’ve just conquered them. If I’m being honest, I actually enjoy Sundays now. 
    After years of anxious Sunday nights spent alone coveting my precious free time and cursing the man (because of course it was) who created the 40-hour workweek, I’ve grown to appreciate the ample planning-time I get on a Sunday afternoon. Wondering how I’ve done it? These are my secrets to a productive Sunday (and in turn, a much better week). 

    1. Chop your vegetables
    The first step is obviously getting ready for the week, and while a full night of meal prep definitely does the trick, a simple and easy way to get ready without giving up your evening is simply doing the bare minimum to prepare your meals for the week. For me, it’s chopping up all the vegetables I plan to eat throughout the week. For you, it might be preparing the salad you’ll eat for lunch every day. Maybe it’s cooking up a chicken breast in the crockpot. You don’t have to put a bunch of meals in little containers to get yourself for the week. Whatever you can do to make your daily meals easier on you is worthwhile. 

    2. Prep your coffee
    In the same vein as a little meal prep, prepare your beverages too, namely your morning coffee. Make sure you have all the necessities: creamer, K-cups, clean mugs, your milk frother, all the syrups you love. However you make your coffee, get it ready for the next day. More of a Starbucks or Dunkin girl? Set your keys and wallet out and prepare your mobile order. No matter what, you know you’ll have some good caffeine in the morning. Honestly, thinking about how good your coffee’s about to be might even make you excited for Monday morning. 

    Source: @equilibriawomen

    3. Try CBD
    First of all, if you’re not taking CBD, now’s the time to start. I love Equilibria because of how easy it was to find the right dosing for me. I was able to talk with one of their dosing specialists to come up with my perfect routine to beat Sunday Scaries once and for all. I normally take a Daily Softgel in the morning and use their Daily Drops at night, but when I’m feeling extra anxious on Sunday, I add in half a dropper of the Daily Drops in the morning as well to keep my stress at bay. Perhaps you could add some CBD at night, or change how much you take in the morning. I also have enjoyed adding baths to my self-care routine, and the Mineral Soak makes it so relaxing. After I take one of those baths, truly nothing can phase me. Use code “theeverygirl” for 20 percent off your first purchase at Equilibria! 

    Brilliance Box

    The Brilliance Box includes Daily Drops for fast-acting, targeted relief, Daily Softgels for a sustained-release, and topical Relief Cream for local discomfort.

    As per FDA guidelines, Equilibria CBD is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or ailment. As always, consult with your physician before starting any new program that may interact with your current health plan.

    Source: @rachparcell

    4. Create a Sunday self-care routine
    I live by “work hard, relax harder.” If you spent a whole week busting your ass on a project, you deserve to have a fun weekend, whether that’s getting together with friends for a wine night or lighting expensive candles and watching TV for hours on end. While you can certainly play it by ear, seeing what works best for you that day, I’ve found success creating a routine for my Sundays all about self-care. When the anxiety creeps in, I know I can do these few things to wind down and get excited for the week ahead. For me, this looks like doing my skincare routine early, wearing a face mask, putting new sheets on my bed, reading a book, and writing for fun. It gives me something to look forward to every Sunday evening, rather than focusing on how stressed I am about the week ahead. Plus, it sets me up for success the next day. I’m relaxed and rested! Play around with a routine that works for you based on your own ideas of self-care.

    5. Make enjoyable plans for the week
    Sit down on Sunday and schedule your week with more than just the work meetings and workouts. Add in the times you’ll hang out with friends, when you’ll call your mom, the couple hours you want to spend baking a new treat, and more. One of the biggest reasons for the Sunday scaries is fearing for everything you have to do that week, but if you turn it around and start looking at everything you’re looking forward to, that anxiety might start to balance out a little bit. 

    Source: @calpak

    6. Brain dump
    A lot of the time, we get so stressed on Sunday because we’re thinking about all those unwritten things that need to be done. It might not be in your work task-list, but you have to message your boss about that tax question, or you randomly realize you need clarification on a project before you can get started. These can really fill up your brain, and before you even realize, it’s all the little menial tasks that clog your excitement for a new week. Sit down and get these all out on paper (or on your phone or computer—I’m partial to a Slack message to myself because I’ll have to go back and read it Monday morning). Then, you’ll have a much easier time sleeping and relaxing knowing those points are written down somewhere for you to easily remember.
    7. Rework your to-do list
    If you’re feeling bogged down because you have a mile-long to-do list every single day, it might be time to rethink how you set up your goals for the week. While making your large tasks into a bunch of small ones works for some people, it might be the opposite for you, causing you stress about checking off a million things the next day. Instead, make a priorities list. Make one priority for the next day and tell yourself that the world will keep turning as long as you accomplish that one task. Then, everything else is just extra. A daily “top three” might work for you by convincing you that you only have to do those three things that day, while everything else is a bonus. Make your to-do list work for you; don’t let it kill you.
    8. Add your after-work goals to your to-do list
    While you’re looking at everything you have to do in the next week, make sure to add non-work-related tasks too. “Go for a bike ride with friends,” “Write a handwritten letter to someone,” “Try a seasonal recipe,” “Order that sweater I’ve been eyeing.” Being productive doesn’t have to mean that we scheduled a week’s worth of social content or called 10 potential clients. Especially if you’re working from home, it’s easy to get so lost into work that you forget about your after-work hours. Plan for those too!

    Source: @amybartlam

    9. Address any pain points in your job
    Likely some aspect of your job is what’s making you stressed, so do what you can throughout this week to actually make a change rather than putting a bandaid on the problem. If your boss’s constant demands stress you out, have a candid conversation about how they can change how they assign you tasks. Talk to your coworkers about creating a system of non-distracted working throughout certain parts of the day. Ask your supervisor if you can have more liberty with your deadlines. And if you are truly just miserable because you hate your company or dislike the work you’re doing, a self-care day won’t make work on Monday any easier. Invest the time into searching for your passion and finding a job that fits your life and goals better. All the face masks and to-do list tweaks in the world won’t reduce your stress if you truly just hate your job. More

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    The 4 Work-From-Home Rules I’m Breaking for Better Results

    Many of us are hitting a stretch of work-from-home fatigue. We’re nearly six months into this and many of us have slim prospects of returning full time to an office this year, so I’m finding I need to amend the ideal work-from-home standards. If you are fortunate enough to have a job that can be done from home, productivity has probably gone in many directions over 2020.First, a reminder that productivity isn’t just doing more work, faster. Getting “better results” during this time period is about producing whatever outcome is meaningful to your life. More time to get creative in the kitchen? Productive! Learning to let go of things we can’t control? Productive! These may not be the gold standard of work from home that make sense in normal times, but they’re more reflective of my personal work-from-home style. These are the rules I’m breaking to make it through this time of “Pandemic, but make it work from home.”

    1. Dress for your work day
    Along the way in 2020, dress for your day morphed into curating the perfect work-from-home loungewear capsule. While I definitely added in a few new pairs of joggers, I’m far gone from stressing over the perfect look for a video call. The last thing I need right now is decision fatigue over what to wear, staring in to a closet that was built for a business formal office life.
    Instead, I’ve extracted five “Zoom toppers.” It’s my favorite mix of blouses, a sweater, and a knit blazer that fit the bill for any time I’m on camera. Outside of that, I’ve let go of the pressure to figure out a perfect work-from-home look. The non-negotiable tasks for me include a little bit of hair care and daily minimal makeup. Slim down your daily essential get ready routine, revel in this moment of not being coiffed to the nines, and spend that time elsewhere.

    2. Set up a dedicated workspace
    I am delighted for you ladies that have the room for a chic dedicated workspace. (Hello, home office goals!) A fabulous home office set up is a huge part of making work from home livable. But some of us are in smaller spaces, sharing home office space with kids and partners, or have decamped to stay with families.
    A dedicated workspace that I can count on daily is a bit of a pipe dream. Instead, focus on the space you need for specific tasks. When I know I need to be on camera, I’m at the kitchen counter with better light and fewer background distractions. Emails happen on the couch and hard number crunching gets a few hours at the bedroom desk. This idea of tying tasks to spaces has helped me be much more deliberate with my time. It’s also giving me enough variety to feel not completely claustrophobic in my space.

    3. Keep set work hours
    I pop out of bed at 5:30am ready to go. Before I know it, it’s 9:30, and a traditional half work day is under my belt while others are just getting started. On the flip side, my productivity hits a major slump in the afternoons. Shifting my schedule around gives me the opportunity to destress with workouts or personal tasks, depending on my daily workload.
    If at all possible, negotiate with your manager on your daily schedule and when you must be online or available. If you are leading a team, manage your employees’ outputs and outcomes, not how they get there. This is always a good leadership best practice, and it’s even more important as kids head back to school, care for family members changes, or to combat the fatigue of more months ahead of this type of balancing act.

    4. Stay visible to your team
    It is important to stay visible to your team and manager in any condition. It’s especially important now as companies are tightening expenses. In the beginning of this work-from-home period, you might have had a lot of check-ins or more team meetings. Some of us may have even been instigating those check points to win over work from home non-believers.
    Now that we’re in a bit of a rhythm, my “visibility” efforts look different. Instead of getting burnt out from unnecessary task check-ins or an endless stream of zoom happy hours, I’m being more deliberate with how I stay top of mind. At the beginning of the week, I might drop a note to my manager of everything on my plate. I forward that note on a Thursday afternoon to let them know my progress, which gives me all of Friday to redirect or pick up any loose ends.
    Visible also doesn’t have to mean “on video.” Now, I’m also much more deliberate about when I join on screen and I reply to meeting requests letting the host know my plan in advance. This gives them an opportunity to weigh-in if one option is preferable. I also now try to issue meeting appointments with that consideration. Sometimes I’ll include a note asking a list of the key decision makers to join on screen if possible, and encourage others to just listen in as needed. 

    Are there any work from home rules you’re breaking with better results?  More

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    HGTV’s Breegan Jane on Finding Her Eye and What Success Really Looks Like

    She flips houses, perfects interiors, manages international real estate projects, stars in one of the most iconic home-improvement shows, writes children’s books, runs a lifestyle blog, and and even has more new projects on the horizon. “Chances are, if it’s artistic, I’ve done it,” says Breegan Jane, the CEO, founder, and owner of Breegan Jane LLC. This renaissance woman had a keen eye for design and visuals starting at a very young age, which led to the most inspiring and eclectic career trajectory that combined her natural talents with her passions. Breegan’s tenacity for taking on new, challenging opportunities and her innate desire to lend a hand to anyone in need make her someone we can truly say that we admire and learn so much from. Ready to meet your new entrepreneurial and creative idol? Keep reading to find out how she juggles it all, what projects she dreams of taking on in the future, and the philosophy that governs all of her work. Trust us, you’ll want to take notes!

    Name: Breegan Jane, CEO/Owner/Founder, Breegan Jane LLCAge: Young!Location: Los Angeles, CAEducation: My path to becoming an interior designer was lined with several educational and entrepreneurial events that made it impossible for me to deny my innate creative passion. I am largely self-taught, though I did attend art school and study the classic courses of study. As my skill and enthusiasm matured, I realized I possessed an unrelenting interest in representing the visual. At 19 I owned a clothing store, and I would spend hours in the middle of the night working on window displays. I should have known at that point that this would all lead to a future in design. Opportunity lined up with talent and career, and a business in the world of interiors was born!

    Let’s start with your background! What was your first job, and how did you land it? 

    I had a modeling career that started at 2 years old. I was required to have a work permit that listed my information and my company, which was Esprit.

    Talk us through your career trajectory from there. What led to you to discovering your passion for interior design?

    It’s interesting, because even as a child model I had an affinity for projects that appeal to the eye. From there I owned my own retail store as a teen, and that transitioned my eye from designing clothes and staging mannequins to designing the interior of my store. That energy continued to develop as I was offered an opportunity to stage luxury yachts in Texas. That led to other opportunities like redesigning an entire plane hangar for a private client, and the career started booming from there.

    Source: @breeganjane

    Growing up, did you always have a keen eye for art and design? How did your creative outlets change and evolve over the years? 

    Yes! I didn’t know interior design was my calling, but as I reflect, visual representation was something I was always drawn to. I tried my hand at several things: designing clothing, web design. I even painted backpacks and sold them at 16. I was always creating something in the middle of the night. Chances are, if it’s artistic, I’ve done it. All of these interests came together in the career I was supposed to have. Design truly allows me to effectively and creatively use my talent in a way that satiates my artistic spirit.

    Your resume is rather impressive (to say the least!), with you having worked on unique spaces like personal music studios, and having managed large international real estate projects. What’s one project that you feel most proud of, and why? 

    I think it would have to be my first residential flip. It was the first time I went out completely on my own in areas of both design and execution. I challenged myself in so many ways. It was the first time I did a tub in shower design, which would later become one of my signatures. When I look back, that project as a whole isn’t my favorite design-wise, because it was at the beginning of my design journey. However, it serves as a reference point for my love of bathroom design and my desire for pushing the envelope. It was a successful endeavor that took a lot of risks and betting on myself. I accomplished that project solely on my own—pregnant with my first child, no less. It’s a great reminder when I’m faced with more challenging things that I can do everything I set my mind to do.

    Chances are, if it’s artistic, I’ve done it. All of these interests came together in the career I was supposed to have. Design truly allows me to effectively and creatively use my talent in a way that satiates my artistic spirit.

    Which one proved to be the biggest challenge to work on? 

    My most challenging projects are the ones that involve clients who are unsure of what they truly want. Often, if a client is in the midst of emotional turmoil and trying to find themselves, they can take a designer on a proverbial winding road to their design destination. That’s not to say that it can’t be amazingly therapeutic to help someone find themselves. However, many clients are seeking answers to their lives through what they want “identity” to be in their homes. If they don’t have a good sense of that, you can get lost in helping them find it. If they’re open to guidance and suggestions, it’s an awesome experience. 
    Source: @breeganjane

    OK—so naturally, we have to ask you about your stellar spot on HGTV’s relaunch of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” What an incredible gig! What was the process of landing that like, and how did you manage transitioning from “normal life” design to TV design?

    I feel so honored to be a part of the show. They actually found me! I never imagined I’d get that opportunity, and I was so pleasantly surprised. I’ve always watched and loved that show. The transition was a major one, and in order to do it successfully, I had to lean heavily on my team. I tell people all the time that Breegan Jane LLC isn’t just a singular person, it’s a group of people working to make it all happen. Ultimately it all came down to equipping my team with the tools they needed to get the job done, and entrusting them with more responsibility.

    I tell people all the time that Breegan Jane LLC isn’t just a singular person, it’s a group of people working to make it all happen. Ultimately it all came down to equipping my team with the tools they needed to get the job done, and entrusting them with more responsibility.

    Surely, it must have really tugged at your heartstrings to see families emotionally react to coming home and having their entire lives changed with the incredible transformations you and your team made. How did “EMHE” change your perspective on interior design and home renovation? What was the most important lesson you learned being a part of that experience?

    EMHE made me question everything about what can be achieved in design. Watching a house be erected in five days out of pure love and community support was something I never thought would be possible. I learned so much during that experience. It was interesting to hold emotional space for something so much bigger than me. Day after day I was the recipient of so many hugs and so much gratitude actually meant for thousands of people. Watching these beautiful families tell their triumphant stories, knowing my role was to be a lens and function within the storytelling experience that isn’t my own, required me to dig deeply into my own emotional intelligence and empathy. I had to be a vessel for so much good, and I took that very seriously. It all made me want to be better in every way and in everything in life.

    Source: @breeganjane

    Being a designer, real estate developer, children’s book author, lifestyle blogger, small business owner, and (above all else) a mother, you can honestly be considered a modern renaissance woman. How do you balance all of these roles? If it all gets to be overwhelming at times, how do you unwind and disconnect for a bit?

    Balancing all of these aspects lies in the fact that they’re all genuine to who I am and what I care about. To the casual onlooker, these things may seem unrelated or disconnected. But each project I take on honors a part of myself that I believe needs to be expressed. My brand is me. It’s not just a name; it’s who I am. I wrote a book because it was in my heart to do so. I put my all into my business ventures, into giving back, and into motherhood. Taking on so much doesn’t feel burdensome; it feels necessary.
    I unwind with baths. Water feels healing for me. I love spending time in the ocean, but if I can’t do that, I’ll take a swim in the pool. Water helps cleanse the soul, and it’s an amazing practice for me. When there isn’t time for any of those things, I take baths. That time helps reset and refresh me.

    Day after day I was the recipient of so many hugs and so much gratitude actually meant for thousands of people. Watching these beautiful families tell their triumphant stories, knowing my role was to be a lens and function within the storytelling experience that isn’t my own, required me to dig deeply into my own emotional intelligence and empathy. I had to be a vessel for so much good, and I took that very seriously. It all made me want to be better in every way and in everything in life.

    What is a typical day in the life of Breegan Jane like?

    “Typical” doesn’t exist! Every day for me is atypical. I’m always up to something new and challenging, and my days are always a bit surprising. One thing I can guarantee is that they always include motherhood, friendship, and daily check-ins with loved ones more than others might see or expect. I feel very blessed to have a professional team, but I’m also blessed to have an emotionally supportive and loving tribe of friends whom I cherish. My days are incredibly long. I’m a bit of an insomniac, so a 5am-2am day can be typical. Currently, I’m doing a lot of media and content development, but design is always a part of everyday life in some form.

    Source: @breeganjane

    You’ve had such a full and exciting career already, but is there still something you’ve always wanted to work on, but haven’t gotten to yet? What’s a “dream project” you’ve always had on your mind? 

    Hotel design is something I would love the opportunity to do. I love the idea of creating spaces that will be used by a host of people from all walks of life and all corners of the world. When I design a home, it’s usually only going to be viewed and experienced by the owner and their guests. I welcome the challenge of creating “home” for any traveling wanderer in a hotel space.

    Source: @breeganjane

    What main philosophy governs all of the work you do, and any potential new project you decide to take on?

    Honesty, as a philosophy, governs my work. My clients can count on me to always work in excellence and give my absolute best. I lead with my heart, and my reputation reflects that. It’s important to me to always be genuine and to let you know if I don’t believe in something. I think the truth of what you do and how you feel only becomes more apparent as you climb the success ladder. I’ll always do my best. There’s nothing better than that!

    My brand is me. It’s not just a name; it’s who I am. I wrote a book because it was in my heart to do so. I put my all into my business ventures, into giving back, and into motherhood. Taking on so much doesn’t feel burdensome; it feels necessary.

    As a young girl, you would save your own money to help buy gifts and items for children who were less fortunate, which truly goes to show that regardless of our income, we can always give a little bit and lend a hand to those in need. How have your charitable efforts evolved since then, and what role does philanthropy play in your life now?

    I’ve surprised even myself in how involved I’ve been in the anti-FGM project in Kenya. I’ve realized that one of my dreams is to have schools for girls. That’s a lofty feat, but throughout my philanthropic efforts I’ve learned that enormous impact isn’t solely accomplished by enormous efforts. While I’ve helped establish a safe house and education center in Kenya, equally important are the days when my sons and I hand out blankets in Venice, California. The human connection is what it’s all about, and I never want to lose that in my giving back.

    If you could go back in time to give some advice to your 22-year-old self, what would it be? 

    Success and wisdom will come later than you expected, but they will feel more soul-filling than anything you could achieve before you’re 30. At 22, I thought age 27 would see me with 2.5 kids, the career and husband I wanted, and that would be my story! I now realize that my preferred timetable for setting and achieving goals isn’t written in stone. I can dream it, work for it, and trust that it all will develop and materialize in its perfect timing. That doesn’t always align with my initial set of “vision board deadlines,” but it happens as it’s supposed to. That’s what success looks like in my book.

    I now realize that my preferred timetable for setting and achieving goals isn’t written in stone. I can dream it, work for it, and trust that it all will develop and materialize in its perfect timing.

    Source: @breeganjane

    Breegan Jane is The Everygirl…
    What’s at the top of your bucket list? Expanding my brand internationally, which will allow me to chase all the bucket list travel plans I have.
    Late night snack of choice: Definitely Reese’s peanut butter cups!
    If you had a superpower, it would be: I would be the ultimate vessel of light and love who makes people feel seen, loved and appreciated. I’d want my powers to make people feel good about themselves and stand up a little taller.
    Your guilty pleasure book/movie/show: My favorite movie of all time, The Thomas Crowne Affair with Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. I never get tired of watching it.
    Your signature scent: Meadow by SKYLAR. I love that it’s organic, vegan, and cruelty-free, and it smells amazing.
    Top 3 items you must carry at all times: A legal pad, an extra phone charger, and a man wallet (it’s really handy!)
    If you could have lunch with any woman, who would it be and why? It would definitely be Michelle Obama or Oprah. I’d like to ask them both how we could fix this world we’re living in. I’m so convinced one of them has the answer! More

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    How to Build a Career Brag Sheet—and Why You Should

    Growing your career requires a combination of a more sophisticated skill set and getting increasingly good at building your personal brand. Being able to confidently speak to our work successes and achievements is a huge part of marketing ourselves. Whether we’re working on improving credibility in our current role or positioning ourselves for future opportunities, pointing to concrete achievements in our career is essential for success.Being methodical and structured about how we capture those achievements is an important habit to start building, and as our careers become longer and more complex, an email folder tagged “Kudos” just won’t do. To really put your achievements to work for you, they need to be thoughtfully captured, catalogued, and translated into the larger arc of what you’re trying to achieve in the working world.
    Enter the “brag sheet.” Think of a brag sheet as the sub-levels of your resume. It’s the achievements—of all sizes—you’ve accomplished along the way in your job that tally up to the results and success you can demonstrate in your role. A brag sheet isn’t meant to be a run-down of uncomfortable self-congratulating. Instead, it can be a record we carry throughout our careers that help us highlight our achievements, skill set, and the meaningful results we create in our work. 

    Why should I have a brag sheet?
    Somewhere between the high-level career story that is our resume and our day-to-day work selves, we can lose track of our achievements. When it comes time to ask for that promotion or big raise, you want to be able to point to a concrete list of the ways you’re excellent. Building a brag sheet along the way in our career showcases evidence-based results, which is the backdrop for increasing responsibility and advancing professionally.
    It’s also easy to let tiny achievements slide over time. This is especially true when they may not be incredibly relevant to us until further down the line in our job hunt. For example, in an earlier stage of my career, I spent time helping build a client relationship management database. It wasn’t a core part of my role at the time, but I meticulously tracked our results and the partners I worked with. Years later, it is a story I trot out at interviews to highlight my technical experience and ability to work across a variety of business lines.

    What does it look like?
    A brag sheet can take any form. It can be a running word doc, or for the ultra-organized, even an excel file. Those of us with creative portfolios, data visualization projects, or any work that displays better visually might want to connect it with a running portfolio of projects.
    However, one thing that brings a brag sheet to life is the fact that you created it and transformed these ideas into your own words. A brag sheet can be built off a pile of emails of “wins” that you save, but it must be built. You’re looking to capture a running narrative of your successes, and are knitting them together in a meaningful way for your career.

    How do I build it?
    Start with a blank page and brainstorm your successes since the beginning of the year. Take a weekend and think through past positions. Comb over your emails, key client, or internal partner meetings for any prompts. Your brag sheet can include stories and examples from any of the following:


    Did another team send a note to you and your boss on something you knocked out of the park? Capture that exact language and build out a few data points on why the project or success was meaningful to the firm.

    Quotes from senior leaders

    If a senior leader in the company sent you a congratulatory note or included you in a key project, it’s worth capturing the exposure and the results.

    Data-backed results

    Any of your successes with metrics tied to it is a brag sheet gold standard. Do your client surveys reflect a 20 percent increase in satisfaction year over year? Capture that. Are there dozens of new users on an internal collaboration board you built? That’s a metric too—you’re furthering inter-company connectivity.

    Corporate “extracurricular” activities

    Any time you’re serving the wider good beyond your immediate role, be sure to document those activities. Often times, these contributions set you apart for promotion and new leadership opportunities. Sometimes when we’re mentoring or supporting a company volunteer event, we feel like that shouldn’t be “brag sheet” worthy, and that it diminishes our contribution unless we do it unseen.
    If you’re taking on those tasks only to put them on the brag sheet, that’s another thing. But often times, women are loaded up with invisible contributions in this area, often requiring extensive time and emotional labor without recognition for a meaningful contribution.

    Peer Feedback

    We can tend to discount peer feedback, thinking that kudos are not helpful to our careers unless they come from someone above us in the pecking order. Not true at all! Keeping track of peer feedback is essential. It shows that you are a great team mate, and can also help you get a different perspective on how people see where your skills and talents lie.

    Qualitative “interview responses”

    Start to train your mind to think of work successes as future answers in an interview. This can look like more qualitative milestones where you’re learning about your work and leadership style. For example, I was part of a team project where we were working for months on a new product, without a named leader. I challenged myself to take on certain tasks that were outside of my comfort zone, and they felt like new achievements in my career. It would be hard for anyone but me to have identified that, so jotting a little “diary entry” on my brag sheet ensures I’ll never forget that perspective on my own growth.

    How do I use a brag sheet?
    A brag sheet serves short-term and long-term goals. Use it to get yourself ready for annual reviews or check-ins with your boss. Add to it over time to be sure you capture all the success milestones of your career. We’re likely to have a number of different careers over our lifetimes that use many different skills. You never know when an earlier success will prove relevant in a future job hunt.

    What’s the first thing you’re putting on your brag sheet?  More

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    10 Work-From-Home Habits I’ve Adopted That Have Saved My Days

    I’ll say it over and over again: I absolutely despise working from home. I’m an ENTJ fire sign who thrives in groups and does my best work when surrounded by my competition… haha, I mean my coworkers. But I have to get the heck over it and learn to love all this time at home while we’re doing it. Lately, I’ve been taking advantage of all the perks that come with working remotely and finding ways to create healthier habits at home. Adding these simple habits into my routine has made a major difference in how confident and happy I feel sitting at my desk all day long.
    1. Eating breakfast after 11am
    If you practice intermittent fasting, you’ll understand this concept well. While this definitely encourages me to enjoy my morning beverage and drink some extra water, this is more about how it impacts the rest of my day rather than the health benefits. I notice a major difference in how happy and productive I am when I can take a later lunch, but when I eat breakfast at 8 or 9 in the morning, I’m starving at noon. So by waiting a little bit to eat breakfast, I prolong when I need to eat lunch. This helps me schedule my day better, and I also have less of an urge to snack around 4pm.

    2. Keeping my desk clean
    Pre-WFH life, my “desk” was my vanity. I worked from home twice a week, but I spent those days in bed or at coffee shops. I never needed a clear desk in my home because all of my work was done in the office. Well, that obviously changed. I rearranged my apartment, purchased a comfortable desk chair, and made it a point to keep my desk clear. This has made a major difference in my productivity. I get way more done when I’m sitting down at a desk versus in bed, but I’d often just stay in bed because my desk was filled with makeup and papers and whatever else I accumulated the days prior. 

    3. Set timers
    I have a Google home, and I absolutely swear by it for setting timers throughout my day. I’ll set a timer for 30 minutes and tell myself to write as much as I can in 30 minutes, and then I’ll stop to do a different task. Sometimes, I’ll set an alarm for a specific time to remind myself to take lunch. This is something that was a little bit harder to do in an open-concept office, so I’m taking full advantage while I’m working remotely. It helps keep my productivity at a 10, even when I have a cabinet full of snacks and a TV with Netflix queued up within 5 ft. of me. 

    4. Taking a lunch break—and actually leaving my home
    I used to never take a lunch break for things other than doctor’s appointments and random one-off lunch dates with friends who were in town (or the two times in 2019 that I met the Jonas Brothers and Sophie Turner on the street—no lunch break will ever top those). I would rather grab my lunch and work through it, or at the very least, eat my lunch in front of my computer. Now that I’m at home all day long, I really make it a point to take my lunch break and use it to its full capacity. I’ll go for a walk or use it to run errands or go to the grocery store. Anything that gets me out of my house, or even just out of my desk chair, is worthwhile to me. I find that I’m more motivated and ready to get back to work afterward too. 

    5. Talking to my coworkers
    I have a habit to disassociate during times of stress and anxiety, folding into myself rather than seeking solace and joy through my loved ones. But I’ve made it a habit to check in with people, make sure I’m talking throughout the day, and staying in touch as much as I can, especially at work. It provides that social aspect I love about an office even while I’m at home. I make sure to chime in to conversations, ask about people’s weekends, and more. It adds a bit of normalcy to our otherwise very odd lives right now.

    6. Organize my desktop
    Looking at 500 screenshots and files on my desktop all day long makes me want to close my computer and do nothing even remotely close to work. At the beginning of every workday, I go through my desktop and delete what doesn’t need to be there and organize everything else into their proper folders. I love doing this in the morning because it often gives me reminders of things I need to do and gets me started for the day; however, this could be a great task to save for your final minutes of the workday too.

    7. Break down tasks into small chunks
    If you often feel like you don’t accomplish anything during the day, it’s possibly because you’re looking at the big picture of all of your tasks. Sometimes, sitting down to do something feels unconquerable. But since work-from-home, I give myself a little pep talk and break big projects into as many small tasks as possible. I’ll go as far as to write an item on my to-do list for every single paragraph in an article (think Enneagram articles, perhaps). Write the intro? Check. Write paragraph #1? Check. Add links? Check. It seems simple, but it reminds me at the end of the day that I was getting things done versus feeling like a failure because I didn’t complete a 10-hour project all in one day. 

    8. Keep my phone on another side of the room
    If my phone is next to me, I’m scrolling. There’s just no way around it. So when I know that I need to get a task done without any distractions, I put my phone on the other side of the room (or better yet, a different room; however, I live in a studio apartment so that doesn’t actually exist). Do I miss texts from my best friends about the latest tea of the day? Literally always, but it ends up making me a better friend because I can actually give them my undivided attention later on when I’m allowing myself to actually indulge in my phone. If you get sucked into Tik Tok or Twitter (my weakness) for hours on end, try this. I’ve also played around with turning off my wifi when I’m doing a task that doesn’t require it, like writing an article or editing photos. 

    9. Change my environment
    I get really bored in my space. Heck, I have rearranged my apartment three times during quarantine. To keep myself inspired, I constantly have to change aspects of my environment to give me a boost. Some days this looks like working in bed first thing on Friday morning or allowing myself to write on the couch instead of my desk. Other times this means moving my desk into my closet for one single day because I can’t bear to look at the same white wall all day long. Any way that I can get myself into a different headspace allows me to be significantly more creative. (And it obviously works because you’re reading this totally-original-amazing-never-been-done-before article right now!)

    10. Make plans for the evening
    One of the perks of working in an office is the feeling that your day is over and you have a whole night ahead of you when you leave. I’ve found myself disregarding that entire principle for WFH, allowing myself the whole night to work instead of trying to finish something so I can relax. Lately, I’ve made it a habit to plan something for myself every night. Watching a movie with friends, laying on the couch with a new book, baking something delicious, going for a long walk—I’ve found having something to look forward to, even the simplest of things, gets me out of the mindset that I have all night to complete a task.   More

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    The Questions You Really Should Ask in a Job Interview

    Go ahead and wipe your sweaty palms on your dress pants, because you’ve made it to the end of your job interview. You’re feeling like you knocked it out of the park. Then your interviewer looks at you and says, “Do you have any questions for me?”Your mouth goes dry, your stomach drops to your shoes, and suddenly the only thing in your brain is the Jeopardy theme song.
    You polished your elevator pitch, memorized the company’s history, and perfected your answers. But this? This you totally forgot to prepare for.
    Sound familiar? Yep, I’ve been there too. It’s a disheartening scenario—and one you definitely don’t want to find yourself in again. So, let’s dig into some of the best questions to ask at the end of a job interview. Keep them in your back pocket, and you’ll be prepared to wrap up that conversation on a high note.

    But wait… do you have to ask questions?
    Here’s the short answer: yes. This is your chance to emphasize your interest in the position and the company, as well as to demonstrate that you’ve done some research.
    If that’s not enough to convince you, keep in mind that this is a great opportunity to find out more about that employer and the role you’ve applied for.
    You can only learn so much from a job description, and asking your interviewer some thoughtful, well-prepared questions is about more than looking good—it offers a lot of value for you too.

    Asking questions emphasizes your interest in the position and proves that you’ve done your research.

    Questions to ask at the end of a job interview
    When you know you’re supposed to ask questions, it’s tempting to throw anything out there in the interest of filling the silence. However, not all questions are created equal and some will do more harm than good.
    Don’t ask any questions that you should already know the answer to. If you did your research ahead of the interview (which, side note, you should always do) you’ll already know important facts like the company’s history, size, and mission statement, as well as some of the core responsibilities of the role. If you ask about them, you run the risk of looking unprepared.
    So, that begs the question: What should you ask? Here are eight standout questions.

    1. Why is this position available?
    Did the person who previously filled this role leave? Were they promoted? Did they move to a different job or department within the company? Is this a new position entirely?
    This one can be a bit nerve-wracking to ask, but remember that the interview is a two-way street. You’re entitled to get the information you need, and this is the only way you’ll learn why that position is vacant.

    2. What’s the most pressing goal for whoever fills this position?
    Chances are, that employer isn’t filling that position to check a box. They want to bring someone onboard who will drive change and make an impact.
    This question demonstrates that you’re achievement-oriented and eager to make a difference at that company. It will also give you a great sense of how high-pressure that job might be.

    3. What is one skill that you think will make someone most impactful in this position?
    You’ve already taken a fine-tooth comb to the job’s requirements and you have a pretty good handle on what they’re looking for. But, this question will help you go past surface-level qualifications and get into the nitty gritty.
    Does somebody need to be an expert with Google Analytics? Do they need to be skilled at explaining complex topics in simple terms? A diligent project manager? A fearless negotiator?
    Find out what one quality they deem most important. That’s helpful for determining whether or not you’re really the best fit to take those responsibilities on.

    4. What opportunities for professional development do you offer?
    Growth and advancement matter to you, and you aren’t alone. One LinkedIn study found that 94 percent of employees would stay at a company if it invested in their learning and development.
    From lunch and learns or seminars to structured paths for promotions, find out how that company prioritizes employee growth. In addition to getting valuable information about your potential future, it also shows that employer that you’re eager to thrive within the company.

    5. What three words would you use to describe the team?
    You’ll spend right around one third of your life at work. That’s not only a lot of time spent at your desk, but a lot of time spent with your coworkers. Needless to say, it’s important to find a team that you enjoy working with.
    How would your interviewer describe the team you’d be working with? Are they close-knit, collaborative, and encouraging? Are they driven, fast-paced, and passionate? These adjectives can help you suss out whether or not that team culture is a good match for you.

    6. What’s your favorite part about working here?
    Company culture is such a huge part of enjoying where you work, but it’s also notoriously hard to figure out before you actually start working there.
    This question is a straightforward way to learn a little bit more about that work environment. Plus, it’s more digestible and approachable for your interviewer, as opposed to asking something more general like, “What’s the culture like?”

    Company culture is a huge part of enjoying where you work, but it’s also notoriously hard to figure out.

    7. Where do you see the company in the next 3-5 years?
    You might’ve been asked a question like this one in interviews, and it’s a good one to turn around on employers.
    They might not be able to give you a super detailed answer and, of course, they’ll be careful not to divulge any confidential information until you’re actually hired. However, this will clue you in on whether the company has any major growth plans, product releases, or strategy shifts in the works.

    8. What are the next steps in the hiring process?
    You know how this goes. You leave that conversation with no clue if you’ll hear about the job in two minutes or two weeks (or even worse, not at all).
    Here’s the good news: This question gives you a little bit of power back. Make it the very last question you ask to get a better grasp on what’s next in the process and whether or not they have a timeline in place for making a decision. You’ll save yourself a lot of wondering and compulsive inbox-refreshing.
    It’s hard to guarantee with any level of certainty what you’ll be asked in a job interview. But, I’m willing to bet that your interviewer will wrap things up by asking if you have any questions.
    Fair warning: your answer better be yes. Have a few of these questions ready to go (jot them down ahead of time if you have to!) and you’ll present yourself as polished, professional, and prepared—while also getting your hands on some valuable information. More

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    Follow These 4 Steps to Stop Living From Paycheck-To-Paycheck

    You worked hard all week at work, are Superwoman at home, and when payday rolls around, it feels like you have nothing to show for it, shuffling around bills, debt, and other expenses as soon as your check hits your account. If you feel like every paycheck is slipping through your fingers as soon as Friday rolls around, you’re not the only one: 59 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a 2019 survey from Charles Schwab. Break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle with YNAB (which stands for You Need A Budget), an award-winning personal finance software that’ll help you gain control of your money with their modern, easy-to-use budgeting tools. YNAB helps your budget with the money you have now, offering free video trainings and live workshops centered on their four simple rules to help you stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck, get out of debt, and create a savings plan so that your money works for you. 
    What’s your financial game plan? Here are four simple ways you can stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck so that you can enjoy your money more. 

    1. Give Every Dollar a Job
    Instead of picking up 2-3 jobs in order to make ends meet, use a budget to help guide you to only spend the money you have available right now. With a budget, you’re able to look at how much you’re spending on necessities and obligations like housing expenses, credit card, or student loan payments each month and how much you spend dining out with friends and family. Breaking down your spending habits is easy with a tool like YNAB, which helps you budget to gain better control of your money.
    Your budget on YNAB is broken down by category to help you sort out your expenses more wisely and see where each dollar is going: 
    Immediate Obligations (monthly fixed expenses like rent and utilities) 
    True Expenses (non-monthly expenses like tuition and clothing)
    Debt payments (payments towards consumer and student loan debt)
    Quality of Life Goals (self-care expenses like workout classes or spa treatments)
    Just For Fun (anything goes, from vacations to dining out)
    Being able to look at your spending by category helps you give each of your hard-earned dollars a job, whether it’s to help fund your next fitness class or to pay for your fixed expenses like your rent or mortgage. Your money should be used to fund the most important things in your life, and you deserve to be in control of each dollar as it comes and goes. 
    Knowing exactly where each dollar is going empowers you to make the right decisions with the money you already have. Your money should work for you–not only the other way around! 

    2. Embrace Your True Expenses 
    Your fixed monthly expenses could be as simple as rent, your transportation, and one or two credit card payments, but larger or uncommon expenses, such as car repairs, school tuition, or maintenance on your home, will come up, and you should be prepared. Breaking down infrequent expenses into smaller, more manageable payments can help you gain control of your money when those expenses arise.
    The simple-to-use personal finance software YNAB does a great job of helping you take a bite-size look at your budget and show you how you can better manage your money to make way for future expenses. Future expenses should be treated like your current expenses and be included in your budget broken down into smaller “payments.” Those payments will eventually add up and help you pay for that new laptop or home repair expense in the future, instead of being surprised by them. 
    Reducing or cutting down on expenses like going out to eat or your standing weekly nail appointment can also help you shift your budget around to make room for larger expenses. Cutting back on a few “just for fun” expenses even for a few weeks could help you budget better and get back on track with saving smaller for a larger goal. 

    3. Roll With the Punches
    The unexpected is bound to happen in life–and to your wallet. Building a budget helps you to be flexible financially when changes arrive. 
    Evaluate your budget on a monthly or even weekly basis to get the most out of your money when unexpected expenses come up. It’s probably likely that your budget will fluctuate month-to-month, with changes in variable expenses like utilities, car maintenance, and home expenses, so be prepared to move your money around from category to category to accommodate those changes. 
    Keep an eye out for any unexpected expenses you may anticipate ahead of time in order to prepare ahead of time for any changes to your budget. Have a girl’s trip coming up, gearing up for a move, or getting the kids ready for a new school year soon? Prepare to shift your money around in your budget in order to make way for those plans in advance.
    A budget helps you anticipate these changes and gears you up to go with the flow financially. Just because you may have to shuffle around where your money goes each month doesn’t mean your budget isn’t working. Your budget is there as a guide to help you manage the money you have. No matter where each dollar may end up, your budget helps you gain control of where it goes.

    4. Age Your Money
    Ever find yourself anxiously waiting until payday so that you can cover your current month’s bills right before they’re due? No one should have to live on pins and needles, hoping their paycheck will cover all their current month’s expenses. 
    A good practice to adopt is to use the money you earned from last month to pay for your current month’s expenses. Having this breathing room creates more space in your budget to be proactive when unexpected expenses arise, as well as keeping all of your bills up to-date and current. YNAB helps you to live within your means financially so that your current paycheck isn’t paying for your present or playing catch-up but helping you fund your future.
    Build up a cushion by using YNAB to fund categories in your budget for next month, or set aside a goal amount in a separate category to fund next month’s expenses. When a new month approaches, your expenses will already be covered, or saved up in a category, ready to cover all your expenses before the month even kicks off! That’s the beauty of having a great budget: you can manage your money better to save a few dollars each month to help fund next month’s expenses so that you aren’t bombarded with every bill all at once. 
    While you’re starting off small with using a budget to help you better control the money you already have, look for ways to make a few extra dollars to help jumpstart your goals and age your money better. A temporary side gig can help you reach a few of your short-term goals while maintaining your budget with the money you already earn. Additional income is good to supplement your regular paycheck, but shouldn’t be a crutch or a mainstay for maintaining your finances. Use a side job to get to where you want to go a little quicker while making plans to sustain yourself with only your current income.

    Living paycheck-to-paycheck is an unsettling cycle no one should have to experience. YNAB helps you create a peace of mind around your money so that you feel more in control. 

    This post is sponsored by You Need a Budget, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More