London

London on a Budget: 15 of the Best Things to Do for Free

London

If you are thinking of ways on how to best spend 10 days in London without breaking the bank, here are some of the best free things you would not want to miss out on.

1. See the vast and awe-inspiring collection at one of London’s must-see attractions – the British Museum. Get a glimpse of some of the thousands of artworks and artifacts the museum has on display.

2. Make a pit stop at the National Gallery to see the works of some of the greatest artists of all time like Michelangelo and Renoir among many others.

3. Enjoy the architecture and explore the contemporary artworks and exhibitions at the Tate Modern.

4. Spend time looking at some of the more than four million collection of decorative arts and items at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

5. Indulge your inner geek at the Science Museum and enjoy some of its interactive exhibits.

6. Admire the architecture at the Houses of Parliament and see the city’s iconic clock tower – the Big Ben.

7. Head out to the Buckingham Palace and find a good spot to watch the Changing of the Guard.

8. Make time for Sunday worship at the Westminster Abbey and be awed by the beautiful interior of the world-renowned church.

9. Visit the Tower of London at night to witness the centuries-old tradition of the Ceremony of the Keys.

10. Take a stroll and enjoy the spectacular views along the banks of the Thames.

12. Go for a walk along the London Wall to see what is left of the city’s ancient Roman walls.

13. Explore the many attractions and activities at London’s Royal Parks.

14. See what’s on the menu at the food stalls of the city’s famous Borough Market.

15. Catch a lunchtime concert at St Martin’s in the Fields.

8 Ways for a Happier Day

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There are days when you just feel out of sorts. These are days when stress threatens to overwhelm and cheering up seems like a hard thing to do. This can happen to anyone. For some people, happiness just seems to come naturally while others have to work on it. The good thing about being happy is that everyone has a choice to go for it. And achieving is easier than it may seem at the onset. The following are some of the things you can do for a happier day:

1. Start your day early

Waking up early has a lot of perks. You get more time to prepare your mind and body to take on all the things you need to do for the day. Starting the day early allows you to do things slow and easy. It gives you time for quiet self-reflections or to do a bit of reading that you may not be able to do on busy days.

2. Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude helps you focus on the good things. It makes you appreciate even the small things that you would otherwise miss amid the clamor of daily routines. It gives you a feeling of abundance which can boost your mood.

3. Take time to exercise

Exercise is great mood booster. The endorphins released during physical activity make you feel good. One of the best things about working out is that you do not need a lot of time to do it. Even a 15-minute workout that you can do at home can already improve your mood.

4. Spend time outdoors

Take time to reconnect with nature. Or at the very least, spend some time outdoors every day to breathe some fresh air. Head to the nearest park or have lunch al fresco. Go for a short walk. The time you spend outside not only enhances your mood. It can also clears your mind and make more room for creativity.

5. Focus on the here and now

Nothing ruins a mood quite like obsessing about the past or worrying about the future. Be present in every moment. This helps you make the most of the time you have and avoid the stress of thinking about things that are not happening yet.

6. Do a random act of kindness

Kindness is something that you give away where you unfailingly get something in return. It not only benefits the recipient, but it also leaves you with positive feelings. Sometimes a smile may be the only thing you need to do to make others feel better.

7. Connect with family and friends

Make time to nourish relationships with family and friends. Spend time with them or give them a call if you cannot be physically with them. Enjoy a meal with your family. Plan meet-ups with friends you have not seen for a while. Have lunch with a colleague at work. This can strengthen your bond with the people around you.

8. Get enough sleep

It is hard to wake up early if you do not have enough sleep. Lack of sleep can cause fatigue and sluggishness. You will feel more refreshed if you have a good night’s sleep.

6 Reasons to Have a Good Laugh Every Day

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It has often been said that laughter is the best medicine. There have been many studies that support this. So why are many of us not laughing as much as we should every day? With so many distressing things happening around us, it is easy to get caught in the gloom that seems to pervade the bad news we come across on a daily basis. Thankfully, there is nothing like a good laugh to counterbalance the negativity that threatens to overwhelm us from time to time. Here are seven reasons to take the time to laugh every day:

1. Brightens the mood

Laughter can brighten up your mood. It releases endorphins that make you feel happier. Laughing shifts the focus toward something good instead of dwelling on thoughts or things that may be causing a lot of stress or anxiety. This makes it a great antidote for the unpleasantness that creeps up on anyone at some point.

2. Reduces stress

Have you ever noticed how laughing leaves you feeling more relaxed? Laughter relieves muscle tension. It also refreshes the mind and provides more clarity, which can be hard to achieve if you are feeling stressed. Making it a habit to laugh every day can help you manage stress more effectively.

3. Good for the immune system

Studies suggest that laughing can have a positive effect in the production of antibodies which help the body ward off diseases. According to Loma Linda University Professor Lee Berk, laughter increases certain antibodies and immune cells which do an important job in fighting off illnesses.

4. Enhances blood flow

Research also reveals that laughter can improve blood flow. A study conducted by University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers indicates that laughing triggers the expansion of the blood vessels’ inner lining which improves blood flow. This in turn can have positive effects to your overall health.

5. Great workout

Laughter is an excellent workout. Like exercise, it facilitates the release of endorphins. And mirthful laughter often triggers a feeling akin to a workout where you feel tired but in a good way.

6. Improves relationships

Laughter is a great way to connect with people. It also strengthens relationships. Notice how the happiest people have positive relationships with the people around them. Laughter can also be an excellent ice-breaker. It helps people appear more approachable.