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Beethoven at 250: famous figures share what his music means to them, in 250 words – Classic FM

Posted: December 19, 2020 at 11:00 am


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Beethoven in 250 words.

Beethoven fans and aficionados give us 250 words no more, no fewer on the great composer, as the world marks the 250th anniversary of his birth.

16 December 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of great composer Ludwig van Beethovens birth.

Weve invited music lovers and Beethoven devotees to give us 250 well-chosen words of their own to sum up what the great composer means to them.

Heres to you, LVB...

You can have the sunniness of Mozart, but very often he seems to be painting a world that is only sunny and ordered and loveable. With Beethoven, however, even though hes nearly always optimistic, theres often a lot of pain to be got through on the way. So in that sense hes realistic.

In the music of Beethoven you feel the agony, and the pain, and the effort; and the stretching, and the yearning; and the desire for things to be right; the storms that get in the way. And then, very often, like in the famous last final movement of the Fifth Symphony, the sun bursts through but hes taken us on a journey through lots of pain and melancholy before we get there.

I think if you listen to symphonic music written by a composer like Beethoven, there is a real sense of a human individual struggling to be happy, struggling to connect, struggling to belong. You get a sense and you can call it over-reading, if you dont like this way of talking about music of someone who feels outside of the run of common humanity and wants desperately to be a party, who wants to join in the dance, but cant. And then hes brought in by the forces of the orchestra, by the forces of a kind of belief and hope.

Beethoven, I do think, in particular is our champion, our humanitarian kind of figure, our Prometheus. Hes just there for us.

This interview originally appeared on Moira Stuart Meets...

This December, StephenFry narrates Beethovens Prometheus with Classic FM's Orchestra on Tour, The Philharmonia. Click here to find out more and watch on demand.

My favourite piece of music by Beethoven is the second movement of his Piano Concerto No. 5. Its always been my favourite. As well as it being an incredibly beautiful piece of music, I love the simplicity of the piano part. In particular, I love the purity of the solo passage about a third of the way in.

Its the piece of music my wife walked in to on our wedding, so as well as being a wonderful piece, it evokes all these memories of my wife looking beautiful on our wedding day.

I love classical music. I went to Guildhall School of Music & Drama when I was younger and therefore learnt lots about music. Sticking with Beethoven, another piece I really love is the Pastoral Symphony No. 6. It was one of my dads very favourite pieces of music, so again is particularly special to me. Towards the end of the symphony, when we come out of the storm and feel the sunlight breaking through again, it always feels like an inspiring moment for me.

I listen to classical music to relax at the end of a busy day Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, you name it. Theres a bit of a battle in our house because weve got a 10-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy, and theyre not as into classical music as I am. So theres often a battle between whose music gets put on when I win, I choose classical music because I find it really relaxing.

Sir Keir Starmer is the leader of the UK Labour Party. Prior to his time in law and politics, Sir Keir played theflute,piano, recorder andviolin, and was a young scholar at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.

From my vantage point as a conductor, I naively thought 2020 would be remembered as the year the world celebrated the 250th anniversary of Beethovens birth. No one could have anticipated the unbelievable upheaval that 2020 would bring or how inconsequential a composer anniversary even an iconic one would seem. But the more I thought about Beethoven, the more I realised what a perfect symbol he was for everything we have experienced this year.

Beethovens life was filled with physical and personal challenges, capped by his profound and devastating hearing loss. He longed to connect with people, yet became inevitably more isolated. Now that we all have a deeper understanding of isolation, we can relate to his frustration. We can also draw inspiration from his continued faith in humankind. Despite everything, he believed we were empowered by sharing joy. When he incorporated Friedrich Schillers poem Ode to Joy into his Ninth Symphony, it was a radical call for equality, freedom and brotherhood.

I originally collaborated with Carnegie Hall on plans to honour Beethovens anniversary by reimagining the Ninth Symphony for 21st-century audiences, with orchestras on six continents. When these live events were cancelled, I partnered with YouTube, Google Arts & Culture, BTHVN2020 and the worlds leading arts organisations, inviting the international community to celebrate Beethovens birthday with joy-filled videos tagged #GlobalOdeToJoy. After sharing such a difficult year, this was our chance to come together and amplify his message by flooding the digital sphere with unity, solidarity and hope.

Marin Alsop conducts #GlobalOdeToJoy in 2020. Click here to find out more.

Beethoven broke the rules, simple as that.

You dont begin a piano sonata with a resounding chord, like Beethoven did in the Pathtique.

Nobody had begun a piano concerto with solo piano, as Beethoven did in Piano Concerto No. 4.

You cant possibly begin a symphony with two huge chords, as if to say Pay attention!. Beethoven did in the mighty Eroica.

In a good performance of Mozart, his music should wash over you, cause you to smile, convince you all is well with the world. A good Beethoven performance should turn your knuckles white from gripping the arms of your seat, your nerves shredded, but leaving you imbued with a feeling of exhilaration and triumph as well as deep love and admiration for a man who suffered the worst fate that can befall a musician, yet overcame it.

Beethoven was difficult, irascible, hot-tempered, cruel to his friends, withering about other musicians. How nice would you be if you were a musician, and you knew that was all you could be, and you realised you were slowly, inexorably, losing your hearing?

Beethovens music is evidence of his iron will and determination, his resolve not to give in to deafness, but to triumph over it. His music instils the same spirit in us Look at me. I refused to give in to my deafness, and by doing so I overcame it. Listen to my music. Through my music you can face whatever hardship confronts you and overcome it.

Subscribe to John Suchets new podcast, Beethoven: The Man Revealed, via Global Player, the official Classic FM app.

To me, Beethoven was the beating heart of the Romantic era not only through his music but the spirit of his soul. Over my career I have been lucky to play many of his piano concertos to audiences around the world, but I didnt actually begin performing his works until I was 20. Perhaps I felt that the emotional challenge, rather than the technical, was beyond my comprehension before then.

Beethovens short Bagatelle Fr Elise was not published until forty years after his death, and this, coupled with the identity of the lady in the title, gives is a deeply personal and intriguing context shrouded in mystery. For a pianist, Fr Elise requires a lightness of touch almost featherlike for the delicate melodies and left hand arpeggiated chords. The home key of A minor suggests lamentation, and the rondo form mirrors the emotions that move through storms clouds of sadness to moments of happiness and back to uncertainty much like the early stages of falling in love!

I recorded this piece for my Piano Book release on Deutsche Grammophon last year to inspire young piano players. I had neither performed nor recorded the piece before, but my motivation was to move the listener. It would be disingenuous to describe this piece as simple background music. The dynamics and phrasing are so important, and really bring out the depth of the emotions concealed within. This work demands to be treated like the great masterpiece it truly is.

Click here to watch Lang Lang & Friends 2020 Virtual Concert on demand now.

Beethoven's music is unmistakable its full of vitality, humour and drama. He was a complex genius. To me, he is to music what Shakespeare is to literature. It's hard to imagine a world without Beethoven's music.

As a pianist, his piano sonatas have always been stationed within easy reach of my music stand. And I even have a portrait of him above my piano which looks down on me every day as I compose. It inspires me to respond to any musical challenge!

Beethoven's music sounds as fresh today as it did when it was first published; as with all great works of art, it is ageless, timeless; immortal. Music, to Beethoven, was a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy offering an entrance to a spiritual universe. He was a father of modern music - linking the classical and romantic. I agree with Stravinsky who called him supreme among musicians.

The overriding feature in all of his music is vitality. Even his gentle music is more profound and more affecting than that of other composers. Goethe said of Beethoven that he never knew a more energetic artist. Beethoven is always surprising us every passage of his music is utterly convincing. In 1823, Beethoven wrote to his friend the Archduke Rudolph, to whom he dedicated the Missa Solemnis: There is no loftier mission than to come nearer than other men to the Divinity, and to disseminate the divine rays among mankind. Beethoven, without a doubt, fulfilled that mission.

Debbie Wiseman is Classic FMs Composer in Residence. Her new work for cellist Steven Isserlis is out in 2021.

Beethoven the brilliant virtuoso. Beethoven the bigger-than-life hero. Beethoven the transcendent visionary. Three epithets to cover the three creative periods of one of humanitys greatest geniuses. I hadnt really, viscerally, understood how amazing he was until this year, when I decided to tackle the complete cycle of 32 sonatas.

As I made my way through this incredible treasure trove, my biggest discovery was Beethovens character as it shone through his music. He wasnt the angry, grouchy man with a stormy brow I previously imagined, but a composer of light and life. His music radiates life energy, so present in every note we sometimes dont notice it so obvious it seems. But in this most difficult year, oh did I notice it.

Learning and recording his sonatas, following him on this journey that took nearly 30 years to complete, I was constantly uplifted by the warmth and life glowing from every page. I was energised by the unstoppable fast movements. I was entranced by the poetic beauty in his melodies. I felt privileged to have access to magnificent, awe-inspiring sound worlds particularly in the late sonatas which he had explored, captured in music and shared with us.

This year Beethoven became a composer I passionately love and turn to for comfort and support; a composer I passionately want to share with others. I couldnt have asked for a better musical companion for this year, and I so look forward to exploring his musical worlds for years to come.

Boris Giltburg performed all 32 of Beethovens Piano Sonatas in 2020. Volume 6 is out now on Naxos.

Beethoven has been part of my world for as long as I can remember. Writing Immortal, my novel about the composers immortal beloved, was a chance to try instead to immerse myself in his. Ive emerged with his music meaning more to me than ever before. Now I experience Beethoven not as an intellectual mountain-range or an unapproachable Goliath, but as a total human being, complete with all his fortitude, self-delusion and personal demons.

During lockdown I began practising the piano again regularly for the first time in years and decided to learn some Beethoven sonatas that I hadnt tried before. With live music all but wiped out these past months, Ive never been so glad that I can play some myself, and trying to get to grips with the Waldstein Sonata and the E flat major Sonata Op. 31 No. 3 has brought home the extraordinary generosity of Beethovens musical spirit. However much effort you put in, he rewards you threefold. Having conquered his own despair through his art - and sometimes I think thats what he was doing - he helps us with ours, giving us more and more energy, filling our hearts with his own unquenchable joy.

Oh, how beautiful it is to live, he wrote to Franz Wegeler, to live a thousand times!

We often think of Beethoven as the music of struggle - but its overriding drive is transcendental joy, filled with wonder at the marvels of nature and an elemental passion for life itself.

Jessica Duchens novel, Immortal, is published by Unbound and is out now.

Listen to 250 minutes of music by Beethoven across the UK on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio and TV, at ClassicFM.com and on Global Player, the official Classic FM app.

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Beethoven at 250: famous figures share what his music means to them, in 250 words - Classic FM

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December 19th, 2020 at 11:00 am

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Having trouble falling asleep? Lush have added a brand new mask to their "miracle" Sleepy range – Her.ie

Posted: October 4, 2020 at 7:54 pm


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Lush have added brand a new product to their Sleepy range -- and they sound justdreamy.

The brand's Sleepy lotion has previously been hailed a "miracle" by people who have been struggling to fall asleep. A shower gel and a soap in the same scent were later introduced (and fans went just as wild for it).

And now Lush have unveiled a new addition to the Sleepy lineup: Beauty Sleep, a face and body mask.

The mask -- which is available in the 125g size and the 315g size -- is described as the "stuff dreams are made of".

The luxurious clay mask is jam-packed with soothing and calming ingredients like lavender oil, neroli oil, lemon and verbena and valerian root extracted in honey.

Lush's Halloween collection is here and it's absolutely spooktacular

The maskalsocontainsground organic aduki beans, which will gently exfoliate your skin, and a spoonful of Gorgeous, Lush's most decadent moisturiser, for an added boost of hydration.

And the company have also provided a bit of advice for the best -- and most relaxing -- way to use the product.

"Run a warm bath, put on some relaxing music and apply this beautiful face mask to clean skin. Sit back and relax," they advise.

"Inhale the neroli and let the valerian and lemon verbena get to work. Once youre feeling relaxed and ready for bed, rinse away with warm water."

Like we said, it sounds absolutely dreamy.

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Having trouble falling asleep? Lush have added a brand new mask to their "miracle" Sleepy range - Her.ie

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October 4th, 2020 at 7:54 pm

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COLUMN: Music is so much more than background noise on TV – Meadville Tribune

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Music is many things to many people.

I have known that for many years, but this week it seemed to be emphasized by a couple of things on TV.

One was background music, which I thought was so loud it drowned out the dialogue and rather annoyed me.

The other was a realization that just before a dramatic scene the music seemed to intensify as though to say "pay attention; something important or dramatic is going to happen." Again, I have known that for eons, but it hit me the other night when I was only half-watching TV and the music got louder and I had to pay attention or miss the important part of the shown.

I recently attended a funeral in which a soloist sang two songs, "One Day at a Time" and "Love Lifted Me." She did a beautiful job and I thought it really spoke volumes about the person to whom we were paying tribute.

At church, we have been blessed to have both a praise team, which sings beautiful music (including my favorite which says "God Knows Your Name"), and a praise band, which definitely adds to the worship experience. There is something about people making beautiful music together which speaks to my soul, uplifting my spirit, reminding me how important music is in so many ways.

It seems music has always been important to me. I have loved country music foragesand still do. I think it speaks to the mind and spirit with its honesty in the messages itportrays. Whether it's a sad song or a party song, some of my favorites always remind me of thingsthatwere important to me. I love some of Randy Travis' songs and, of course, George Jones and Merle Haggard.

For party music I'd put Alabama and Garth Brooks up against anyother artistsfor getting the crowd to really celebrate life and have fun. They really put people in a happy mood, ready to let off steam. Of course, Garth Brooks also has some songs like "The River," "The Dance" and "Unanswered Prayers," which I think have the best messages about life and love that anyone could imagine. They truly speak to me about things that make a difference in how we live.

Somehow I never liked classical music until my granddaughter played violin, and now I think some of it is beautiful especially if she is playing it. But, it's still not my favorite for reasons unknown to me.

Rock and roll was music I grew up listening to;I still enjoy it, although mostly now I hear it as background music, not really party music.

Holiday songs are geared to get people into theseasonalspirit and it usually works, no matter if it is a novelty song or a religious song. They all speak to the celebrationsthemselves,from Thanksgiving to Easter and even the Fourth of July.

"Silver Bells" will always be my favorite Christmascarolbecause it was sung by my mom for so many years as she rocked the kids to sleep, singing it over and over. Hearingittoday seems to say my mom is nearby.

Like movies, it's hard to choose favorite songs if asked because, depending on the mood, one or another would be my favorite.

I have to admit, though, I still love Bill Luther's song, "Who You'd Be Today," because it makes me remember and to wonder what life would have been like. It's still a powerful song that speaks volumes about how people feel sometimes.

Those who are music therapists tell us how important music is to those who are ill and howitcan soothe their soul and lift their spirits and even get them to sing sometimes.

It is a gift, I think, to be able to sing beautifully or play beautifully and to perform the songs that talented songwriters have given us to enjoy to use in praise, to dance to, to sing to, or just have when a relaxing day is needed.

Somehow songs that are so meaningful do just that.

The song "Sanctuary" will always remind me of a beautiful moment during an anniversary celebration when a young boy led the congregation in an impromptu singing of the favorite chorus which truly does speak to our soul.

Each person has his or her favorite song and I hope each one enjoys the songs as much as i enjoy my favorites and that they still enjoy them when some of them are used in commercials instead ofonthe dance floor.

I also hope that asLee Ann Womack's songsays, that given the opportunity, "I hope you dance."

And if you don't like to dance, I hope you at least enjoy the lyrics and the tunes which make your day go just as little bit brighter, your soul feel a little bit lighter, your life a whole lot better.

That's what music is really intended for, I think not just to warn you a dramatic part is coming on a TV show.

Jean Shanley is retired from The Meadville Tribune where she was society and communities editor.

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COLUMN: Music is so much more than background noise on TV - Meadville Tribune

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October 4th, 2020 at 7:54 pm

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The Unwind: How were finding calm, from hiking to morning meditation – Yahoo News Canada

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Welcome toThe Unwind, a recurring feature in which Yahoo staffers share the ways were finding moments of peace, levity and inspiration during these trying times. From adopting soothing strategies that boost ourmental health, to losing ourselves in virtual social calls, newfound passions and other joyous diversions, these are the things getting us through the pandemic. The days may feel uncertain, but beauty and bright spots abound.

For more, check out past editions ofThe Unwind.

Hitting the road every evening helps Nathalie Cruz clear her mind. (Photo: Getty Creative stock image)

Every week my husband and I take sunset drives to nowhere specific. We just drive around for an hour or two with the windows down. It clears our mind and changes the scenery while giving us a sense of going somewhere. Nathalie Cruz, multimedia designer

I have not had a good night's sleep since the start of the pandemic in March. I've tried everything from melatonin to CBD, and everything in between. Nothing has worked. It would take me hours to fall asleep, and when I finally did, Id wake up in the middle of the night, wide awake. Id scroll through Instagram and Facebook in the wee hours of the morning and then check emails which, let me just say, is not advisable. Someone suggested that I download the Calm app. I was skeptical, but it worked like a charm.From guided meditations to sleep stories, to nature sounds and relaxing music, the app helps you focus and relax in order to get a good night's sleep. Harry Styles has even lent his voice to a lullaby-like sleep story called Dream With Me, and I've had good dreams ever since. Jen Kucsak, Yahoo Life & Entertainment supervising producer

After a lot of coordinating and quarantining beforehand, I treated myself to a solo staycation at a trendy local motel following strict COVID-19 protocols (including a room key presented in shrink wrap) while my parents babysat. As someone whose personal time typically consists of wolfing down dinner, showering and maybe watching a Law & Order rerun before bed, having a couple of days to catch my breath, sleep, read, sunbathe, do online yoga without a toddler climbing on me during a downward-facing dog, sleep, watch cheesy movies in bed and yes, scroll through photos of my kid on my phone, felt so restorative and made me feel like myself again. Its been a heavy year, and just having some space to reflect, and not simply react, was a blessing and a privilege. There are a million analogies about oxygen masks and pouring from an empty cup, but as a parent, its still difficult to not feel guilty about taking time for yourself. This mini-break taught me, however, just how valuable it is, especially in these tumultuous times. Erin Donnelly, Yahoo Life news editor and writer

Becky Horvath is benefiting from hikes in nature thanks to a helpful app for outdoor adventurists. (Photo: Becky Horvath)

Story continues

Though I've never considered myself much of a hiker, it turns out wandering through the woods is a very zen experience during these uncertain times. And naturally, theres an app for that! While on a road trip out West, I started using AllTrails. The app caters to both novice and experienced hikers with everything from short, easy walks to long, challenging climbs. Not only do they have trails through national and state parks, but Ive also discovered new walking paths back home in New York City. Youre bound to find the perfect path to unwind. Happy hiking! Becky Horvath, Yahoo Life and Entertainment supervising producer

Earlier in the pandemic, I committed to streaming weekly, hour-long dance cardio classes. Now, more than six months at home have passed, and I admittedly fell into a fitness funk. Thanks to a OnePeloton membership, however, I was able to break it. The 20-minute dance cardio classes, with warm-up and cool-down to follow, make me feel like I can hit tangible goals of getting up and moving multiple times a week. Not to mention, the music choices (Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, anyone?) help me to not take the workout too seriously.Alexis Shaw, Yahoo Life and Entertainment news editor

Attractive young brunette woman exercising and sitting in yoga lotus position while resting at home

As a single mom with a stressful schedule of juggling two kids Zoom calls as well as my own, there just arent enough hours in the day. I had to find a way to steal some time for myself. (Im a highly sensitive introvert and I have a couple of wild ones!) Ive always been a night owl and found it hard to transition to being a morning person, but a 30-day morning meditation class for just 15 minutes on the app Insight Timer helped me start the day calmly and with intention, learn to find focus throughout the day, and practice mindfulness. At 42, you can still make new habits! Ariella Quatra, Verizon Media producer

In the Before Times, it was all too easy to throw our old kids toys, personal mementos and general household clutter in plastic bins that we stashed in the garage and ignored. But during housebound COVID Times, those bins proved seriously underfoot. So with apologies to Ben Grimm it was declutterin time! Every few days, Id open a random bin and make snap decisions about what stayed and what went. Block sets with 65 percent of the blocks missing? Gone! Old print magazines with my byline? Relevant pages clipped and archived in binders, the rest gone! That brokenTV set? Gone! My collection of 80s-eraMADMagazines? OK,thoseI kept. Nostalgia and inertia had always kept me from taking inventory and getting rid of said inventory, but every plastic bin I emptied over that weeks-long project made me feel a little lighter ... and the garage a little easier to navigate. Ethan Alter, Yahoo Entertainment senior writer

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The Unwind: How were finding calm, from hiking to morning meditation - Yahoo News Canada

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October 4th, 2020 at 7:54 pm

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Aromatherapy & Essential Oils-New And Convenient Ways To Relax At Home – Highway Mail

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From working from home to homeschooling this year has been tough. Before you go reaching for your cellphone to make a booking at some or another spa to relax and unwind, allow us to give you some helpful advice on how to unwind in the comfort of your home. Spas, although relaxing, can be costly. Why not get a good book, light some scented candles and run your bathwater while we school you on convenient ways to relax at home.

With the kids back at school for two to three days a week, its the perfect time to reset and strike a balance. Set the tone for your day by starting it off with a warm bath or shower, sing if you must, but setting the tone for your day goes a long way in restoring balance, be it mentally, emotionally or otherwise. Use a body wash that is infused with floral beauty oils and fine fragrances such as fig extracts, magnolia and coconut to restore lost moisture while leaving your skin deliciously fragranced long after your morning shower routine.

You read that right, sister friend! Taking time off from your busy schedule to reconnect with you is vital in the art of relaxation. Conveniently, unleashing your inner goddess can be done in the comfort of your home with chocolate ice-cream, a hot bath, relaxing music and a great aromatherapy body wash. Body washes infused with honeysuckle helps with inflammation while neroli oil helps to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, age spots and scars. A fine fragrance collection from a reputable skincare and beauty brand will have you looking and smelling every bit the goddess that you are!

Taking some time to yourself after a long day is not only good for you mentally, it can be great for your skin too. Dull and dry looking skin be as a result of not resting enough. Sleep doesnt necessarily equate to rest, you can rest while relaxing peacefully in the shower as the water provides a gentle but much-needed massage. Pair that with an aromatherapy body wash infused with essential oils and exotic fragrances and youve got yourself one of the most convenient ways to relax at home yet.

One of our five senses is the sense of smell. Fragrances have the ability to influence how we feel or bring to a mind a memory of a person or a place. Starting and ending your day with one or two of your favourite fragrances can be relaxing and good for the health of your skin, if your preferred beauty skincare products cater to the needs of your skin. Relaxing in the comfort of your home as we fully adjust to the new normal shouldnt have to break the bank. Investing in a beauty skincare brand that invests in you, by providing great products, is essential in maintaining your peace of mind, radiant glow and beautifully soft skin. Now that weve briefed you on convenient ways to relax at home, allow us to leave you with some beauty tips that will not only complete your beauty routine, but will save you time in the process. This article was supplied by NP Digital.

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Aromatherapy & Essential Oils-New And Convenient Ways To Relax At Home - Highway Mail

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October 4th, 2020 at 7:54 pm

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Working smart: Using technology to reduce stress – KnowTechie

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There is no denying that stress is a constant factor when it comes to dealing with lifes many responsibilities. Whether you have to deal with responsibilities at home or at work (or both simultaneously), stress has a way of piling up and causing trouble when you least expect it. That said, just because stress is commonplace does not mean that you always have to resign yourself to its grasp.

As a matter of fact, there are plenty of modern amenities available that can help you make life much easier, reducing stress levels, and helping you focus on the tasks at hand. After all, life is about working smart not necessarily always about working hard. Here are just a few ways you can use technology to reduce stress.

Fortunately, there are plenty of different ways to make use of tech to help relieve stress while at work. Here are just a few examples:

Aside from dealing with modern technology to help relieve the stresses while at work, there are also plenty of ways to destress while relaxing at home. As mentioned above, streaming relaxing music is one of the best ways to set the mood and relax.

For those who want to make the most out of their free time and relax as much as they possibly can, you can use apps to shop online for wellness products. In a lot of ways, just the act of shopping online can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. You might even end up with a new flavor of tea you have yet to try, or perhaps even CBD oil with its variety of health benefits that can reduce anxiety without any side-effects.

It would also be a good idea to look online for fitness videos, to help sweat the stress away with a bit of exercise. Not only will exercising help distract you from troubling matters, but it also makes it much easier to get some sleep at the end of the day. When it comes to dealing with stress, modern technology has you covered!

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to ourTwitterorFacebook.

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Working smart: Using technology to reduce stress - KnowTechie

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October 4th, 2020 at 7:54 pm

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The ten essential facts you need to know about BTS’s Suga – Film Daily

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The Bangtan Boys, popularly known as the BTS boy band, is a phenomenon of our times. This South Korean boy band group has caught the attention of the world with their music as well as their boyish charms. In fact, their fans collectively refer to themselves as the BTS Army. Among the seven members of the group, theres Suga originally named Min Yoon-gi who is primarily the rapper in the group.

Its no surprise that fans want to know more about their favorite BTS members, so heres a little treat on Suga.

BTS members have maintained that they dont have time for dating. Suga told ELLE Girl Russia that he works all day from morning to night, then repeats the same every day. This leaves the members with little to no time for romance.

Suga has never got a tattoo, but he opines that a tattoo can be construed negatively. He does have plans for getting a small, inconspicuous one & might do it for charity.

His writing process has evolved over time. Suga mentioned that he now tries to write from his heart. Its how his lyrics are able to reflect a more intimate, dark, contemplative side.

Suga is a staunch mental health advocate. He was quoted, We feel that people who have the platform to talk about those things really should talk more, because they say depression is something where you go to the hospital and youre diagnosed, but you cant really know until the doctor talks to you.

Hes very conscious of the influence & the reach he has, and makes every possible effort to use it to bust stigmas around mental health, When celebrities talk about it if they talk about depression for example like its the common cold, then it becomes more and more accepted if its a common disorder like the cold.

Among his various interests lie basketball, piano, and photography much of which is self-taught. He was a regular at basketball, practicing & training until an accident prevented him from taking on the sport professionally.

But his love for basketball was so pronounced, his stage name Suga has been derived from his position in basketball called the shooting guard.

According to a Soompi list, Sugas Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introvert-intuitive-feeler-perceiver (INFP). It makes sense since Suga is always very altruistic & giving.

Suga understands that the BTS members have an on-stage aura to maintain, so he acknowledges the role of fashion in live performances. He told Billboard, Music is not just about listening any more. I think visuals are very important. He understands how music is complemented by fashion & art, but when hes not performing, he likes to keep it simple.

When not on tour, he can be found relaxing in comfy clothing, oversized outfits & slippers included. At the same time, he has his quirky tastes hes expressed his knack for bracelets, king rings, and the like.

In his own words, Suga actually wanted to become a composer, I didnt want to become a rapper, I wanted to become a composer. Thats why I joined the agency.

Following from that, Suga never could have imagined or anticipated what signing up with Big Hit Entertainment would entail. He often jokes about how the agency founder & co-CEO Bang Si-hyuk tricked him into joining BTS, He told me Id be in a group like 1TYM. He said I wouldnt have to dance, only groove a little. He said all Id have to do is focus on rapping.

Suga is considered the most outspoken member of the group in a positive manner, of course. Hes been very vocal about the social causes he supports & his charity efforts. As mentioned before, he also openly talked about mental health. He knows the influence he wields on BTS fans & is using it for good.

Kritika is a writer and communications consultant based in India. She loves consuming stories in all forms books, movies, TV shows and places these stories under a fierce assessment to see if they are feminist, empathetic or entertaining enough. All of Kritika's work is undergirded by her passion for mental health.

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Film Daily

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The ten essential facts you need to know about BTS's Suga - Film Daily

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October 4th, 2020 at 7:54 pm

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Theater Producers Go Rogue In The COVID Era – KNPR

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Were well over six months into the pandemic and most things have opened back up - casinos, restaurants, even bars.

But even with Governor Steve Sisolak relaxing some of the guidelines that previously shut down nearly all forms of entertainment,thousands of actors, musicians and professionals remain without a paycheck.

For local theater companies to survive COVID-19, the show must (somehow) go on.

So, some of them have found clever workarounds, including ambient performances -- the only ones allowed under the states guidelines.

Sabrina Cofield is an actress and board member for The Lab LV, and director of the theater companys latest play, "Pass Over," which debuts Oct. 15.

The performance will take place outdoors with the audience wearing masks and socially distanced. The producers have described it as a panel discussion with the "ambient dialogue" of "Pass Over" by Antoinette Nwandu.

Cofield told KNPR's State of Nevada that the idea for ambient dialogue came about because there has not been any clear information from the state about how to safely conductlive performances.

Its just making sure we stay within the mandates set by the state, but still allowing ourselves to be creative and to express ourselves and also have these really important conversations that we think will happen with Pass Over, she said.

The Lab LV will hold the performance at a private location, and the audience will have to bring their own chairs or blankets. Cofield said that will add to the overallambiance of the play.

The lovely thing about what we are doing and specifically the ambient dialogue of Pass Over is it takes place outside and so being outdoors fits perfectly within the idea of us all sitting out in an open space and people bringing their own chairs, she said.

The play itself is centered on two Black men standing on the corner of an unnamed city longing for life to bedifferent. The play has been described as"Waiting for Godot" in the era of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Cofield said she hopes the play opens up a conversation that is needed in Southern Nevada, which is why the theater didn't want to wait until live theater is entirely open again to put on the play.

I think it is very clear that we cannot wait. That what was really front and center for this particular show, at this particular time," she said.

Another theater company that as come up with a unique workaround of the pandemic rules is the Majestic Repertory Theater.

The company will be performing "The Parking Lot" like a drive-in theater, but it's a bonus to the merchandise item you're buying because Majestic can't sell tickets to live performances.

Its a drive-in show,"said Troy Heard, artistic director. "You arrive in your vehicle. You stay in your vehicle for the duration of the show and you cant sell tickets to live events, but you can sell retail," he said,"So, were selling a customized air freshener that you can sit in your car and enjoy the new car scent while enjoying the ambient experience of the show.

The actors' microphones will be tuned to an FM frequency that people can get on their car radios.

Heard said that Majestic is already known for immersive-type theater and so this production was not too far off base from what they did before the pandemic.

We do miss the one-on-one experience not separated by a plate of glass, but for now, this is the story that was given to us to share and were rolling with it, he said.

He noted that creative people will come up with a way to get their workin front of an audience.

Its going to be a long time before were even allowed to set foot back into the theaters, but I think what Sabrina and Kate at The Lab are on the same path with me is were just trying to find a way to get back together to tell stories and share space in some way or another," he said.

The play itself was written by Adam Szymkowicz. It is about a couple who has been together for 10 years, butnow after quarantining together, they are considering getting a divorce.

Heard said the play is a metaphor for the world right now.

Like a parking lot, were stalled. Theater companies are stalled, venues are stalled, artists are stalled, but what do we do to survive and breathe and connect while we are stalled and [explore] how can we have hope for whats next? he said.

Heard has been vocal about his opposition to how the rules about live performances are being enforced in the state. He said there is a crisis going on now in Las Vegas' theater community because they are not allowed to produce.

If youre Ford or Chevy, you produce cars in your assembly line. Our assembly line are performers, writers, technicians, designers who come together to create this product, and right now, we are not allowed to create the product because we supposedly cant [ensure] safety [of] our consumers? he said.

Heard understands why Gov. Steve Sisolak shut down much of the economy to stop the spread of the virus but he doesn't believe the rules are consistent.

For example, the governor was criticized for going to a restaurant that had ambient entertainment in the form of a band and a singer. When pressed about the issue, the governor noted ambient music is allowed.

Heard doesn't understand how that is allowed but a drive-in theater experience is not.

How is that any less dangerous thansitting in a car in a drive-in? he said.

He said he would love to sit down and talk with the governor about the issue. If the rules don't change, he had a dire prediction for Southern Nevada's theater industry.

Heres whats going to happen: If we cant generate income and the government is not going to subsidize these nonprofit corporations, youre going to see A) a quick shutdown of venues and B) drainage of performers, of artists, of entertainers out of Las Vegas, and youre seeing that right now, he said.

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Theater Producers Go Rogue In The COVID Era - KNPR

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October 4th, 2020 at 7:54 pm

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Expert’s simple tips on how to sleep through a thunderstorm – Liverpool Echo

Posted: August 16, 2020 at 9:52 am


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As the UK continues to struggle with an ongoing heatwave, things are about to take a turn with at least a week's worth of rain and thunderstorms according to meteorologists.

Many people across the country have complained this week as they struggle to sleep in this humid and unpredictable weather.

To help ensure a good nights rest isnt too heavily impacted by overnight storms, Lucy Askew, a sleep expert at home interiors specialist http://www.Hillarys.co.uk, has compiled a selection of tips.

Invest in earplugs

If you are a light sleeper and loud rain and thunder will easily wake you, then its a wise choice to invest in a good pair of earplugs so you can experience a peaceful and undisturbed nights sleep.

If you are worried about not hearing your alarm the following morning, try inserting just one earplug in the opposite ear you rest your head on, in order to block out as much of the storms noise as possible.

Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here.

Give essential oils a try

Essential oils such as lavender can help in calming down your body in preparations for a full night of rest.

You can purchase it in a multitude of forms, including a pillow spray, a massage oil or even to add to the bath for a luxurious soak before hitting the hay.

Many light sleepers already swear by the benefits of reflexology, so its a worth a go if the storms are likely to keep you up in the coming days.

Listen to sleep meditation/white noise

Focusing on something specific that distracts your focus away from the outside noise will help with preparing your body for sleep.

Pop in your headphones and listen to some relaxing music or podcasts, or alternatively try downloading one of the increasingly popular apps designed to help users drift off to sleep more quickly.

Plan your sleep

If its crucial for you to rack up a sufficient nights sleep whilst a thunderstorm is predicted, then try to plan ahead and keep checking the weather forecast for when its likely to hit your local area.

If a trusted weather source says thunder and heavy rain is forecast for 12:30am for example, then make sure you are in bed at least two hours beforehand as youll be less likely to wake up if youre already in a deep sleep and significantly into your nightly sleep cycle.

Blackout blinds/curtains

If you havent already, invest in some blackout blinds or curtains for your bedroom.

Creating a pitch-black atmosphere in your room will signal to your eyes and brain that its time to shut down for the night and enjoy some well-deserved rest.

The last thing you need waking you is flashes of lightning creeping through your window in the middle of the night.

Keep up to date with weather in your area by adding your postcode below

Dont worry

Try and get yourself in the right headspace before bed and reassure yourself that one night of poor rest wont be the end of the world.

The more you start thinking about not being able to sleep, the more likely it is that your worries will manifest into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Find a thunder buddy

Whilst the humid weather can make it almost unbearable to share a bed with someone, having a partner, family member or friend there will bring you comfort if you are disturbed or scared of the noises that a thunderstorm can bring with it.

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Expert's simple tips on how to sleep through a thunderstorm - Liverpool Echo

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August 16th, 2020 at 9:52 am

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Quick, stress-reducing strategies to help you better deal with challenges and anxieties – The Irish Times

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In this emotional equivalent to an ultramarathon, its key to have some stress-reducing strategies available that work quickly and efficiently to help you hit the reset button.

Heres why: Struggling with chronic worry gets in the way of effectively managing your emotions. Unfortunately, many people who experience distress try to escape their unpleasant emotions by distracting themselves in ways that ultimately backfire.

If you suspect you might be one of them, ask yourself whether you have a tendency to judge your emotions its a common thing to do. But it can fuel a vicious loop of feeling, then avoiding the feelings and feeling even worse. Pushing away feelings is like trying to force a beach ball underwater: They will pop back up. Instead, notice and normalise difficult emotions; ideally, negative feelings, including fear, can motivate us to solve problems.

So rather than dealing with anxiety and uncertainty by getting lost worrying, then chasing short-term fixes with longer-term consequences, such as procrastinating or using food to cope, its helpful to experiment with quick strategies that will empower you. These strategies are not necessarily a cure, but can help lower the intensity of overwhelming emotions, allowing you to recalibrate to better deal with challenges you face.

Focusing on relaxing sounds reduces stress. In research spearheaded by Dr Veena Graff, an assistant professor in the department of anesthesiology and critical care at the University of Pennsylvania, pre-operative patients were assigned either to music medicine listening to Marconi Unions Weightless or prescribed a benzodiazepine. Remarkably, serene music proved nearly as effective in easing patients jitters as the medication option, with no side effects.

To honour your unique taste, explore different options and create a playlist that you find comforting when you need a break. Keep in mind that although it can seem cathartic to hear songs that validate your emotions (for example, listening to lyrics about heartache while feeling lonely), research on inducing varying mood states concludes that we can improve our experience with a more uplifting soundtrack. Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears it is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear, as Dr Oliver Sacks wrote in, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.

Marsha Linehan, a professor emeritus in psychology at the University of Washington, popularised an exercise in dialectical behaviour therapy to regulate intense emotions that involves immediately lowering your body temperature by creating a mini plunge pool for your face. This sounds odd, but it activates your bodys dive response, a reflex that happens when you cool your nostrils while holding your breath, dampening your physiological and emotional intensity.

To do it, fill a large bowl with ice water, set a timer for 15 to 30 seconds, take a deep breath and hold your breath while dipping your face into the water. While this isnt conventionally relaxing, it will slow your heart rate, allowing blood to flow more easily to your brain. I love watching my clients try this over our telehealth calls and seeing firsthand how quickly this shifts their perspective. Just being willing to do this, I tell my clients as they prepare to submerge, is a way to practice being flexible.

One of my favourite ideas that never fails to fill me with gratitude, no matter what else is happening, comes from the mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn, who likes to say, As long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you. In The Healing Power of the Breath, Dr Richard Brown and Dr Patricia Gerbarg offer a range of exercises to promote resilience. One of my favourites: Slow your breathing down to six breaths a minute by consciously inhaling and exhaling (to practice this timing, you can use a secondhand and inhale for five seconds, exhale for five seconds, and repeat four times, or try a guided recording). Paced breathing offers a host of physiological benefits, like reducing your blood pressure, which helps promote a sense of tranquility. When people tell me it feels challenging to breathe in a certain way when they feel panicked, I tell them to start with alternative soothing activities, like music, and work their way up to paced breathing.

Another way to stay present rather than spin into a crisis is to notice if you are engaged in thinking that isnt helping you. Our interpretations of events supercharge the intensity of our emotions. After all, anticipating, This will go on for years! in a moment of anguish will only inspire more hopelessness. But mindfulness, or learning to see more clearly as opposed to jumping to conclusions, is a nice remedy for anxiety. One brief way to enter the moment is known as anchoring, a popular strategy.

Start by physically centring yourself by digging your heels into the floor this evokes a feeling of being grounded in reality.

Then take a moment to observe: What am I thinking? Feeling in my body? Doing?

Then ask yourself: Is my response: a) Helpful? b) Aligned with my values now? Or c) Related to future worries or a past problem?

While we can get stuck in specific thoughts, stepping back to more generally decide if those thoughts are helpful can get us out of rumination mode. It may also help to tape a list of these prompts on your computer to remember to take a step back and refocus when your thoughts are only making things worse.

If you struggle with physical sensations of anxiety, like muscle tension and feeling like you cant get enough air, a counterintuitive yet important way to manage is to practice bringing on those sensations in more quiet moments to improve how you tolerate stressful ones.

Learning to repeatedly welcome physical symptoms allows you to stop seeing them as catastrophic. In a recent therapy group I led on Zoom, my clients prepared to try this by ordering thin coffee straws. I set my timer for a minute as they pinched their noses and tried to breathe only through the straw.

We also worked on replicating the other sensations they associated with fear, like muscle tension, dizziness and shortness of breath. We held a plank, spun in circles and ran in place. Some people were surprised that the practice experience was worse than the anxiety they normally felt. Others found it was similar, which felt liberating they didnt have to wait for the feelings to catch them off guard and instead could purposefully habituate themselves to them.

Recently, at the end of a long day of video calls with patients, my five-year-old daughter asked, When will the germs go away? After removing my three-year-olds sneaker from my one-year-olds mouth, I saw a request from a client about an urgent check-in. I practiced paced breathing and pulled up our nightly dance party playlist (by request: Justin Timberlakes Cant Stop the Feeling) before discussing my daughters feelings and returning to work.

Now I hope you create your own plan with the strategies above. By practicing managing your emotions, youll experience a sense of freedom in your life. I dont know about you, but Id chase that over any mindless short-term alternative. The New York Times

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Quick, stress-reducing strategies to help you better deal with challenges and anxieties - The Irish Times

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August 16th, 2020 at 9:52 am

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