Category Archives: Intrinsic Vicissitude

Why Cooking Is an Activity That Boosts Your Mood

Everyone has the occasional rough day – and taking the time to prepare a meal you enjoy is a positive way to boost your mood when you have one of those days.

Cooking That Improves Your Mood image by Oldmermaid from Pixabay

When you’re having a really busy day, and maybe feeling a little bit tired, it’s easy to categorize cooking among your other day-to-day chores, but it’s so much more than that. Cooking is an opportunity to nourish your spirit while nourishing yourself and your family.

An Expression of Your Creativity

One thing that’s especially wonderful about cooking, is it gives you the opportunity to express your creativity. You can increase or reduce ingredients to adapt the flavor.

If you’re a little low low on one ingredient, you can explore the substitutions you have in your fridge or cupboard. You can also just wing it, and combine some of your favorite foods to create an entirely new recipe.

An Opportunity to Nourish Yourself and Your Family

One important reward of indulging in a cooking session, instead of just throwing a quick meal together, is you can explore the healthy ingredients that accommodate a specific dietary plan.

This is great news if you’re trying to lose weight, or just taking on a keto diet or exploring your gluten-free options.

A Chance to Spice up Your Routine

If you eat the same few meals over and over, enjoying a cooking session gives you a way to mix up the flavors, try new recipes, and make changes to some of your commonly enjoyed meals.

Don’t want to change a favorite recipe? Consider serving it with a different side dish.

You’re in control when you’re cooking, so you set the rules and you can take dinner in the direction that makes you happy.

A Comforting Reward Awaits

A good meal is comforting. So, if you’re cooking something in response to having had a rough day, you get to enjoy the sensation of preparing something wonderful and nutritious for your family along with getting to eat that wonderful, comforting meal when you’re done cooking.

Whether you make traditional comfort foods, like pasta, or you make something lighter and lower in carbs, you get to savor the experience of knowing you created a wonderful meal while you’re enjoying the food.

A Connection to Your Family History

If you have the recipe for ‘Grandma’s pot pie,” “Uncle Ed’s chili.” or “Mom’s secret oatmeal cookies,” you have the chance to enjoy a sense of connection to your family’s history. As human beings, it’s normal to associate flavors and scents with people we love, and food is typically a strong part of the human bonding experience.

That’s why making a recipe that was passed down from parents or grandparents is so significant, and why it can do so much for improving your mood if you’re having a rough day.

Give yourself permission to make a meal that’s as complex, or as easy to make, as you want. The rewards you gain are internal in the form of positive vibes and external when you get to sit down and enjoy the results of your cooking session.

By: Laure Justice

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Why You Should Stop and Smell the Flowers When You Need To

I don’t take a lot of time off from work, so I tend to get kind of burned out, so this post is as much as reminder to myself to stop and smell the flowers as it is to show why everyone should.

Image and quote by Laure Justice

I generally work every day. I do this because I work for myself and no one pays the bills if I don’t. So, while I may put in an occasional short day, It’s very rare that I take a full day off. However, that may actually be detrimental to my productivity, and to yours, too, if you don’t take occasional time away from work.

Overworking Is Bad for Your Health

Overworking increases your stress level and your risk of having a heart attack. As far as the heart attack risk, it’s actually based on working more than 10 hours per day, and the increased risk is huge – 60 percent higher than the risk faced by those who keep shorter hours.

This post is actually about taking days off, but realistically, that isn’t always possible, and sometimes long days are part of regular work life. So, you can apply the ‘stop and smell the flowers’ concept in short bursts throughout the day to gain some of the self-care benefits.

Productivity Drops When You Overwork

When you’re putting in too many hours, your productivity drops. So, it may seem as if putting in long days, every day, is going to up your productivity and therefore your earning potential, the reality is it doesn’t happen that way. For most people, the sweet spot in hours to work is around 40 per week, with a maximum of 50, and then productivity drops.

One place that I run into trouble is, I work from home on my computer, and sometimes my work hours blend into my mindless-internet-surfing hours. So, I FEEL like I’m working from the time I wake up until I go to sleep, but actually it’s just that I tried to work too long and my mind wandered… simply, my productivity dropped.

Overworking Changes Your Attitude

When you work too many hours in a day or a week, or you go too long without taking some time for yourself, it affects your attitude. It’s really normal to get cranky and short-tempered toward others when you’re overworked.

I tend to get stuck in a cycle when I overwork. I get annoyed if anyone interrupts me, and I miss out on the chance to connect with family members and friends. Plus, I can’t SEE what I’m doing in terms of the relationships that matter most to me because I get caught up in the work-work-work mentality.

It would so great to hear about your experiences with overworking! Feel free to share your thoughts on overworking and how it affects you in the comments section below, or look for Intrinsic Vicissitude on Facebook to join the conversation there.

By Laure Justice

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5 Ideas for Beating Stress Without Binge Eating

Today, I’m feeling super stressed, and my gosh, I want to grab some junk food and crunch away the stress. However, I’m trying hard to make healthier choices this year, and I hate to end up feeling like I wrecked my 2020 goals the second day of the year.

Beating Stress image courtesy of Pixabay

So, I’m trying to refocus, take a few deep breaths, and think of ways to destress without reverting to my old habit of eating something that’s bad for me – and I’m going to share five of my ideas for reducing stress here.

1. Meditation as Stress Therapy

I find meditation challenging. I really envy people who are lucky enough to be able to turn it all off and turn their focus inward. I have found ways I’m able to make it work though, mainly by choosing either a guided meditation to play while I relax or playing binaural beats music.

2. Relieve Stress by Cuddling a Pet

This should probably really have been my number one idea for reducing stress. I find it hard to be in a bad mood or overly stressed when I’m curled up in my chair holding my dog or one of the cats. There is just something so special and beautiful about the unconditional love they offer. I often just need to stop and refocus when I get stressed and make the time to cuddle with them.

3. Sip a Cup of Tea to Ease Stress

Sipping a cup of hot tea relaxes me, so I thought I would add it to my list. This is only if you like tea – I personally only like a few types of tea. It doesn’t have to be tea if another drink comforts your jangled nerves more – after all – if you don’t like tea, then it isn’t going to relax you, it’s going to make you more stressed-out trying to drink it.

4. Music and Exercise for Stress Relief

For me, exercise doesn’t always affect my mood or stress levels positively, but, when I add music or just skip the exercise idea and dance around the house like a fool, I always feel better. So, another way I recommend for reducing stress is putting on some good music, whatever kind of music YOU like, and then get moving whether you like dancing or lifting weights, or whatever.

5. Write in a Positivity Journal to Cut Stress

Journaling is a great way to get thoughts out of your head so you can leave stress behind. I find it doesn’t work for everything, but for things I’m really having a hard time working out in my mind, it helps me organize my thoughts – plus I can go back later and look at the issues that cause me stress when I’m rested and in a different mood.

Join the conversation in the comments below to share your ideas for reducing stress, and look for Intrinsic Vicissitude on Facebook to join our conversation there.

By Laure Justice

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Happy New Year and Happy New Decade! Goal Setting for 2020 and the New Decade

I love the idea of starting fresh (as much as possible) each new year. So, I spend some time the last day or two of each year and then spend some time setting goals for the coming year during the course of the first day or two of each new year.

2020 Goal Setting image courtesy of Pixabay

The year 2020 provides a great opportunity, in my opinion, to add some long-term goal setting to the mix, too.

Some of My Ideas for 2020 Goals

For 2020, I’m working on goals that focus on my career and my health, and I plan to add a lot of chit-chat and some facts about things that interest me, here on Intrinsic Vicissitude. So, for tonight, I thought I would combine my personal tips for goal setting with my personal goals, as examples that show ways to apply the tips.

Picture Where You Want to End Up

This visionary step is the classic ‘begin with the end in mind’ and to apply it to my 2020 goal of focusing on my career, I am picturing how much time I want to invest in my writing work, and how much I would like to have earned by the end of 2020. I’m picturing how it will feel, the things I’ll buy, the things I’ll do, and how New Year’s Eve 2021 is going to look at my house.

Commit 2020 Goals to Paper

This commitment-forming step is for your 1-year or less short-term goals. Okay, it doesn’t have to be actual paper if you’re a digital type, but it’s important to write goals down because the written form puts something solid and real in front of you. Moving on to my goal of focusing on my health for this example, I’m writing down my commitments to:

  • Drink more water
  • Eat more vegetables
  • Either walk, do resistance exercises, or yoga stretches at least five times per week.
  • Notice, I picked ‘gentle’ exercises that I find enjoyable to make it easier for myself to stay on track.

Add Some Long-Term Goals Since It’s a New Decade

You can set long-term goals anytime, but the start of a new decade is a great time to do it because it gives you an easily remembered date and time frame to work with as you aim for your goals. Like short-term goals, long-term goals should be written down to help you focus on them and make them more concrete. Allow yourself room to adjust them, though, because what you want today may not be what you want next year or five years from now.

Make a Success Plan Based on Your Goals

This step may take several days to complete, and it doesn’t matter if it takes longer than you originally expect. The important part is that you DO it. It’s practically impossible to go from point A (where you are now) to point C (your successfully reached goals) without filling in the point B (roadmap) details.

I’ll add a lot more about this in future posts, but basically, list a few things you KNOW you have to do in order to reach your goals. Want to make more money? What options do you have to do that? Get a new job or a second job? Charge more for your services? Consider all your options, and make a list of the things you’re going to do – that YOU GET TO CHOOSE from your list, and commit them to written form along with your short-term 2020 goals and long-term decade goals.

Set Deadlines for Completing Steps to Achieve Your Goals

Imagine if you were planning a trip, because the journey to reaching your goals is a type of trip in many ways. Typically, you would have a destination in mind, and know how far you plan to travel each day, and things you want to do. With goal-setting, the stops along the way are a vital part of your roadmap for the journey.

Deadlines help you stay on track, and as you reach each step successfully, you get to enjoy the success of having completed a leg of your journey to success. Plus, if you notice you’re falling way short, you can quickly adjust the things you’re doing – or not doing – so you can get back on track and work toward still reaching your short-term and long-term goals.

Goal-Setting Success image courtesy of Pixabay

Thank You For Visiting Intrinsic Vicissitude!

Want someone to talk to for encouragement and support as you work toward your short-term and long-term goals? You’re welcome to add you comments below or stop by the Intrinsic Vicissitude Facebook page and click like so you can join in the conversation that’s going on there – or start a conversation about whatever you want to talk about

I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by the site, and I hope you find something of interest here in the information I shared, or elsewhere on the site. Browse around the site to check out some of the other articles, too.

By Laure Justice

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Healthy Things You Can Do for Yourself After the Kids Go Back to School

Have you ever thought about taking a break? Summer is almost over and it’s your turn for some self-care after you send your kids off to school – so you can finally relax.

Self-care at back-to-school time image courtesy of Pixabay

Because school’s just around the corner, if it hasn’t already started where you live, it’s always smart to plan some things you enjoy.

Tips on How to Maintain Self-care

The idea of going on vacation is clearly out of the question but maybe you could do something else that’s a bit more local or a bit more convenient.

For starters, clearing out your schedule and having the day to yourself is very key when it comes to self-care. Here below are some healthy tips to get you started in the right direction.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Diet is very important. And as we get older, our metabolism slows, making it harder for us to burn off any unnecessary fat. So to make things much more easier, we must maintain a healthy diet.

Fruit image courtesy of Pixabay

Maintaining a healthy diet is not easy, it is very difficult, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t achievable. It might take a while for you to adjust to a certain eating habits.

But, in the meantime, a good tip would be to watch your daily calorie intake. Because people make the mistake of taking in too many calories more than they can actually burn.

Unless you’re going to the gym every day, controlling your daily calorie intake is very important.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an occasional treat…

Treating Yourself

There are many forms of treating oneself when it’s time to take the kids back to school.

Ice cream image courtesy of Pixabay

Whether it’s taking some time off to go to the spa, sneaking some delicious pleasantries into your diet because your tired of eating salad everyday, or simply just watching a movie at home when no one is around.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it fits you.

As long as you take that time out of the day to take care of yourself and your own needs. Because sometimes when you’re so busy worrying about giving the children what they need, sometimes you forget about you.

And, taking care of yourself, is just as important as taking care of your kids.


Ever feel tired and cranky? Well, most people don’t know this, but exercising and keeping your body in shape can be very helpful in that department.

Surfing image courtesy of Pixabay

This is why some parents must love when it’s time to go back to school, because now you have more time in your schedule to exercise.

One of the healthiest things you can ever do is exercise.

Not only does it give you a nice afterglow, but it also gives you a quick re-boost in energy.

As stated previously, it’s very important to keep your body active and to keep your muscles from staying stagnant.

The more you exercise, the better off your body will be in the long run.


Sleep is very important. If there isn’t anything on this list that you do, make sleep your top priority.

Get enough rest’ image courtesy of Pixabay

The body cannot function without sleep so if you’re not getting enough of it, you will not be able to function properly at all.

To maintain optimum health, a person needs to at least get 7-8 hours of sleep a day.

Your brain has to function at a certain capacity, and if you’re running on four hours of sleep every day there’s no way that you’re putting nearly as much effort into things you normally would if you had the right amount of hours of sleep.

Make sleep a part of your daily self-care routine.

Time Management

Clearing out your schedule is very important when it comes to self-care.

Time management image courtesy of Pixabay

Carefully manafging your time makes room for the things you want to do but couldn’t do before, such as, finally being able to have that spa day you always wanted or putting back the healthy things in your life again.

You don’t have to actually go to the spa to have a spa day, you can have a spa day right at home.

Whether it’s taking a nice bubble bath, upgrading your skincare routine with a nice facial mask, or mediating with the candles lit, it’s easy to enjoy being creative when coming up with ideas to treat yourself.

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Review of Trust and Will

What if I told you there’s an easy, inexpensive way you can protect your assets and make sure the people you love are protected in the event of your death and it’s software from a company called Trust and Will?

Trust and Will Review
Trust and Will Review image courtesy of Geralt and Pixabay

If you already have a will or trust set up to protect the interests of your loved ones, kudos! If you don’t – why don’t you? There are a lot of obvious reasons why someone wouldn’t… cost of an attorney… too busy… too confusing… and one and on.

An Easy Solution to Writing a Will or Trust

I recently was offered the chance to try out Trust and Will for free in exchange for an Instagram post, which I did. Writing about it here on my blog wasn’t part of the deal, but I was so impressed with the experience, plus I thought what a positive thing it is to do for your loved ones – so I decided to briefly share about it here on Intrinsic Vicissitude.

Life Situations Change

I had a will made years ago by an attorney, but my life situation has since changed drastically. I had been putting off getting a new will due to the high attorney fees.

While I gained access to the software in exchange for a review, it would have still cost only a fraction of what I would have had to pay an attorney if I had gone that route.

By the way, if you want to try the Trust and Will software, try adding the promo code ADULTING in the promo code box – it should give you a $10 discount, at least for a while.

How Long it Takes to Write a WIll Using Trust and WIll Software

It took me exactly 21 minutes to go through the process of writing a will using Trust and Will, and that was from the time I turned the computer on until I reached the final page and reviewed everything.

It really was incredibly easy, and if you need a will, using Trust and WIll was, in my opinion, an extremely easy and effective way to write a will. I didn’t try writing a trust, but my guess is that it’s really close. If you try and do the trust instead of the will, consider popping back on here and letting everyone know what you think.

Thanks for visiting, and be sure to visit us on our Facebook page and bookmark this site so you can find your way back when you need a little burst of positivity in your life.

I would also like to invite you to visit my new SEO copywriting and blog writing service website.

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Why You Should Pursue Your Dreams Now

Have you ever waited for the right time to say something, only to see the opportunity to speak up slip past? Or, have you thought of a great concept for a business but decided to wait for the right time to DO it – only to see someone else start a business and start living YOUR dream?

Clouds Passing image copyright @IntrinsicVicissitude

It’s really common to wait for the ‘right’ time to do something and later realize you missed your chance. It’s normal to want everything to be perfect when you go for a dream, the thing is, perfect is rarely part of the human experience, and when you wait for perfect, you miss your chance.

Another Opportunity Is Coming

If you missed a chance to ‘go for it’ on previous idea or even a relationship, know that other opportunities are coming your way. You just have to be ready to see them, and ready to act when the time arrives.

It’ll Take Too Long… Not an Excuse!

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard saying things about not going back to college because they’re tool old and it’ll take too long. The thing is, time is going to pass all the same. Same goes for starting a business. Making it a success is going to take a lot of time.

However, that time is going to pass all the same. Would you rather get to the end and look back with pride, or look back and wish you had tried. You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.

What if you try and you don’t succeed? You can try again or start something new. Each failure is a lesson you can use a foundation to build success, it’s not an end unless you CHOOSE for it to be an end.

When the Idea Is Great but the Time Isn’t Perfect

Instead of focusing on what isn’t perfect, for example if you have a business idea and don’t have the money to start it in a big way… look for other ways.

Would it be great to open a big manufacturing facility to produce your ‘widgets’? Sure! Is it necessary to start big? Nope!

Hewlitt-Packard started in a garage. McDonald’s started with one small restaurant. The point isn’t always perfection or starting in the way you want to start. It’s starting or not starting. Period.

Start From Where You Are

The best advice you can get is to start from where you are. This is especially true for business ideas, but you can apply it to anything.

For example, if you have a great idea for fashion designs. Make a pattern and make one and put it for sale in an online auction or a social media group.

The pattern can be adapted until it’s just right. You can use the money from the one you sell to buy materials to make two. Sell those two and reinvest that money.

It isn’t a fast way to start, but it’s a better than what you’re going to feel if you see someone else making tons of money after THEY develop the idea you had.

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How to Create Positivity in Your Life

If you’re feeling a little blah, this is a great time for you to create positivity for yourself. There are a lot of easy ways to make yourself feel more positive, and this short list just touches on a few to give you some ideas and inspiration.

Positivity image courtesy of Pixabay

Tips for Creating Positivity in Your Life

When you start to feel less than positive, it’s a good time to look for ways to help someone else. This takes you out of your own problems and low mood and engages your attention on someone else.

Bring Positivity to Others

Helping someone else is such an easy way to bring positivity – you bring it to someone else, and that in turn brings positivity back to you. It doesn’t have to be big, expensive or even especially time-consuming. There’s so much need everywhere, a quick look around makes it easy to find someone who needs a hand.

Exercise for Positivity

You can increase your fitness level and you can increase positivity at the same time. Make sure your doctor says it’s okay for you to start a new workout routine, and then start out at an intensity that accommodates your current fitness level.

Read Self-Help Books

Reading encouraging words and working on the issues you have in life are an interesting way to get positivity. Choose a self-help book that’s based on research, prepared by a physician or psychologist, or one that’s written by someone who’s ‘been there’.

Eat Something

A lot of people get cranky when they get hungry. If you’re like that, some food may help your low mood. It’s up to you whether you want some hearty comfort food or light, natural and healthy food.

Thanks for visiting Intrinsic Vicissitude, and if you have any positivity tips you would like to add to help others here, feel free to leave them in the comments, or visit our FaceBook page.

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