Matric need not be so Stressful

Long days and nights trying to study… Coffee and orange juice by the litre… Snapping at everyone near me – those are some of my memories of matric and for many learners the stress has only increased.” Says school counsellor Mandy “ Uncertainty in the job market, economic instability, crime and societal strain add up to a 2008 matric group who are stretched to their limit. “Many learners feel that matric is it, there is nothing after matric, and if they don’t do as well as expected their futures are bleak It’s so important to let learners – and their parents – know that there is light at the end of the matric tunnel”.

Tshepiso matriculated last year and recalls her stress and strain. “I could barely breathe, I expected so much of myself and had so much external pressure to perform well that I sometimes wondered how I was going to get through each day.” Tshepiso phoned the South African Depression and Anxiety Group’s toll-free line and spoke to her school counsellor as well. “I was so stressed I knew I wasn’t functioning properly. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t concentrate, and my eating was terrible”, she says. After exams, waiting for the results were even worse for Tshepiso. She knew she had done her best, but would it be good enough?

Christopher knows all about stress. He and his father were high-jacked during his finals. “I was trying to deal with the trauma and get through my exams. I sometimes wondered how it would be possible but with help from a counsellor I did. I guess in a way I was lucky, I realised that matric wasn’t the only thing in the world worth stressing over – there were bigger things.”

Corina remembers some of her peers saying that if they didn’t pass matric, they would commit suicide. “In a way I could understand their stress and worry but I never thought that failing matric was reason enough to destroy your future”, says Corina who always believed that matric was just another exam.

Family support, teacher availability and regular exercise, sleep and proper diet all helped these learners get through their exams. “My teachers were always there if I had a question and gave me lots of encouragement and help”, says Corina. But, say some mental health professionals, children and teens need to learn coping skills before they get to matric. “It is vital that parents and schools teach children how to cope and foster the development of a positive self-esteem and resilience in children so they are able to deal with the stresses of matric in a constructive way”, says teen wellness coach and educator, Janine Shamos. “We too often expect our youth just to handle what life throws at them – they can’t, unless we show them how to. Self harm is a very real threat at this time of year – we need to start looking at prevention.”

“This is a tough time for matriculants, and their parents. There’s a lot of pressure and high expectations to perform, and those learners who don’t do as well as they had hoped can feel dejected and hopeless”, says Mandy. But while many learners and parents feel isolated and alone, there is help available.

SADAG has trained counsellors manning their toll-free lines for acute stress and severe depression – 0800 12 13 14, 011 262 6396 as well as their SMS line 31393 – from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

Anyone feeling overly anxious or desperate is encouraged to call the line. “We are here to help learners and their parents with the stress. I have always believed that failure need not be the end of the world; it can be an incredible opportunity for learning and growth, Unfortunately we cannot help with studies or educational problems” says Cassey Amoore, SADAG Counselling Services Manager.

“I’m about to write first year exams at varsity – now that’s stress”, jokes Tshepiso who is doing a Bsc at Wits. Christopher, who didn’t get the results he had wanted, has some good advice – “I didn’t get the marks I wanted and I was devastated at first but I spoke to the university and wrote their entrance exam. Now I’m doing a Bcom Law – just what I had dreamed of. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get what you want, as long as you know you did your best. Believe me, there are so many more stressful things in life.”

Exams are never fun and seldom easy. Matric is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. Remind yourself that this is the nature of the exam-beast and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Some study tips to help you:

Make a time-table so you know what you have to study and when

Stay away from the junk food, coffee and stimulants – they slow the brain’s ability to concentrate and retain information

Eat healthy snacks like orange juice and Provita and cheese

Take regular breaks – the brain can only absorb so much information without over-writing itself – study for 45 minutes then take a break for 10

Don’t watch TV or read during your breaks – go for a walk, kick a soccer ball, get some fresh air and stretch your body

If you can’t sit and study – don’t… Walk, talk, teach – it will help you remember. Exercise also helps.

Use colours when studying, it’s easier for the brain to relate

Get enough sleep, set a routine and set small goals.

Be prepared when going into your exam – have everything you need, make sure you have eaten and gone to the bathroom before you start

For more information:

can depression be cured

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Hand luggage regulations in South Africa

During my time of travel, I have often encountered travelers boarding the flight with two or bags bags and stuffing them into the small overhead compartments.

This resulted in other travelers having to find space in the compartments a distance away from their seats. Quite a common practice I found amongst travelers to the Asian countries where shopping is a paradise.

Airports company of South Africa (ACSA) has now enforced stringent new hand luggage Regulations.

Each passenger is allowed one item of hand luggage which should not be bigger than the size indicated.

56 centimetres tall (approximately 22 inches).
45 centimetres wide (approximately 17.7 inches).
25 centimetres deep (approximately 10 inches).

The guideline is approximately 5kg for hand luggage. If you cannot easily lift your hand luggage above your head, it is probably too heavy.

If taking medicines with you, try to keep in the original packaging. This will assist security to identify the medicines and will prevent delays.

Camera Film
The x-rays used to screen hold baggage should not affect most camera film. Film material over 1000ASA/31 DIN should be removed and offered for screening separately.

Keep your valuables such as jewellery and important documents safely stored in your hand baggage. It is a good idea to keep some money (local currency) on your person. Then, should you be separated from your bag, you will still be able to make payphone calls, pay for transport or purchase small items.

Laptops should be removed from their bags for screening prior to boarding the aircraft.

Many laptop bags look similar which can cause confusion when leaving the aircraft. Put a keyring, sticker or other identifying mark on your bag so that you can be sure that you are leaving with the correct computer.


Prohibited and Permitted Items
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) also has rules that restrict the amount of items that passengers may take on board.

You may only carry Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGs) in your hand luggage in containers that have a maximum capacity of 100 millilitres each.
You may carry several containers with liquid contents.
These containers must be packed in a re-sealable, transparent plastic bag.
The total capacity of the plastic bag must not exceed one litre.
It must be possible to open and re-seal the plastic bag.
Each passenger can carry ONLY ONE of these bags.
These bags must be removed from your hand luggage and presented to security personnel for inspection.

Liquids, Aerosols and Gels in your hand luggage must be in containers of maximum 100ml each.

Store them in a transparent, resealable bag. Total bag capacity must be maximum one litre.
Only one bag per passenger will be allowed.

Be prepared before you check-in by having your bag out at the security check.

If they do not comply with the new rules, pack them in your check-in luggage.

No containers over 100ml in your hand luggage, even if they are partially filled.

Baby formula and food as well as medication carried on-board need not be in your LAGs bag but remember to show them to Security. If carrying medication you may need to produce your prescription.
How are the new rules being applied?


New rules only apply to hand luggage.
Liquids of any amount can be stowed in the luggage that is checked in.
These rules only apply to international flights.

There are some exceptions regarding:
Baby food
Special diet food
Duty-free purchases
In each of these instances, the capacity does not have to be restricted to 100ml, and the containers do not have to be placed in your transparent, resealable plastic bag.

You may carry medication in your hand luggage or check it in. If you carry it in your hand luggage, it will be inspected by security staff to ensure prohibited items are not being concealed. You may be asked for a prescription. You may also be asked to taste your medication in the presence of security personnel.

Baby food
Baby food including formula and milk is exempted provided you are travelling WITH your baby. You may be asked to taste your formula/milk in the presence of security personnel.

Special diet food
Liquids that form part of special diets may be carried in your hand luggage but you may be asked to prove the necessity and authenticity of the liquids to security personnel. You may be asked to taste these items in the presence of security personnel.

Duty-free purchases
Duty-free shoppers can rest assured that they can still buy duty-free items at the airport but must be mindful of the fact that the transfer and termination regulations pertaining to duty-free LAGs purchases differ globally. Passengers are thus encouraged to contact the airline they will be travelling with well in advance to establish the latest duty-free LAGs regulations in effect in the country they will be transferring through, and ultimately terminating their journey in. ACSA continues to work closely with the South African Civil Aviation Authority in this regard whilst duty-free sales staff remain ready in-store to assist passengers. Duty-free shoppers are reminded that their LAGs purchases must be kept sealed in the special plastic bag, given at the point of purchase, until they reach their final destination.

More details

Happy travels :)

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Deepak Chopra Live in South Africa


DEEPAK CHOPRA is the author of more than seventy books translated into over eighty-five languages, including twenty-one New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and nonfiction categories. He is also the  Founder of The Chopra Foundation and an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, Columbia University.

Dr Deepak Chopra, will present a roadmap for South African audiences for “higher health” and in support of his theories, will offer practical ways to experience higher consciousness, transformation and healing.

The Future of Wellbeing
The New York Times bestselling author of Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, returns to his health and wellness roots with an exciting new approach to holistic health that focuses on the hungers we experience physically, mentally, and spiritually.

What are you hungry for? Food? Love? Self-esteem? Security? Acceptance? Peace?

Join Deepak as he creates a roadmap for “higher health,” based on the latest findings in both mainstream and alternative medicine.

Are we in the midst of a major paradigm shift in science?
Is the universe becoming self aware in the human nervous system?
Is the next stage of human development conscious evolution?
Can we develop a higher awareness of who we are, what we yearn for, and what we can ultimately do about it.
How does our understanding of consciousness also enhance our capacity for total well being (physical, emotional, spiritual, social, community, financial and ecological)?
Deepak will address all these questions as well as practical ways to experience higher consciousness, transformation and healing.

Time magazine has described Dr. Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and credits him as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine”


Gauteng : 18 March 2015,at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg

Durban : 19 March 2015, Durban ICC,

Cape Town : 21 March 2015, CTICC

Tickets Are Already Selling Fast! Get Yours Today.

To book your tickets NOW , follow this link and quote namri

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”


** We have 2 sets of tickets to be won right here **
1.Please share this post on facebook and tweet : I want to see @deepakchopra live in SA with @Namritha_
2. Please comment on why you would like to attend. Make sure you follow me to see who wins.

Terms and Conditions

  1. The prize is a pair of Enlightened Tickets* ONLY. Should the winner wish to upgrade the tickets this needs to be done by arrangement with: at the winners cost.
  2. Any travel, accommodation and meal/s will be at their own expense.

Goodluck and see you at the Deepak Chopra event in Jhb soon :)

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Movie review – American Sniper

What started out as a slow war movie  turned out to be a gripping story of the most successful sniper in the American army. The movie, based on a true story,  centres around Chris Kyle , played by Bradley Cooper, who is the Navy Seals best sniper.


Chris served four tours to Iraq and in this time he “loses his soul”  after  being part of the war. He is nicknamed “Legend” after  he kills many of the “terrorists”. The violence and having seen women and children being killed haunts him.

Taya, his wife, is played by Sienna Miller waits for his return. She has to raise the children alone in his absence and his family life suffers as he pledges allegiance to his fellow colleagues and in not giving up his position in the Navy Seals.


Chris visits his family during his time as a Navy Seal but is never fully present. He seems distracted and the war in Iraq is portrayed from an American point and it stirs many emotions in the viewer. The film describes the mental suffering of soldiers and their families.

On tour four, in the midst of the firefight , Kyle calls Taya and tells her he is ready to come home. A sandstorm provides cover for a chaotic escape in which Kyle is injured and almost left behind.

Kyle returns home unable to adjust fully to civilian life. He tells a psychiatrist he is “haunted by all the guys he could not save”. The psychiatrist encourages him to help wounded veterans . He meets with veterans who were severely  injured and coaches them at a shooting range. This helps him to gradually adjust to home life

On February 2, 2013 , Chris Kyle was murdered at a shooting range by a US military veteran he was trying to help.

Clint Eastwood directs the movie and American Sniper is nominated in 6 categories at the Oscars. Bradley Cooper worked hard at his physique and looks fantastic in his role.

My guess is blue-eyed Bradley Cooper will win the best Actor in a leading role.

Go watch American Sniper at your nearest Ster-Kinekor theatre. Let me know your thoughts on American Sniper!

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The 36 Questions to Fall in Love with Someone.


In Mandy Len Catron’s Modern Love essay, “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” she refers to a study by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) that explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions.

The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one.

The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. To quote the study’s authors, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.” Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.

Can science be the answer to helping people fall in love?

“Actually, psychologists have tried making people fall in love,”  said Many Len Cantron, remembering Dr. Aron’s study. “It’s fascinating. I’ve always wanted to try it.”

I first read about the study when I was in the midst of a breakup. Each time I thought of leaving, my heart overruled my brain. I felt stuck. So, like a good academic, I turned to science, hoping there was a way to love smarter…

Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common?

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Set II

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

17. What is your most treasured memory?

18. What is your most terrible memory?

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

20. What does friendship mean to you?

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?


25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

Share your thoughts with me. Would you try these questions with a friend, love or colleague to see the outcome?

There is also an app available to download. For more information, see the source:

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Valentine’s Black Tie Affair on the 12th February with Maps Maponyane


Cantare is pleased to announce that for the month of love we will be hosting a Valentine’s Day Black Tie Affair on the 12th February,  titled AN INTIMATE NIGHT WITH MAPS MAPONYANE.

The evening promises to be one filled with Live Entertainment and Laughs as Maps serenades the audience with Classic Jazz Standards followed by an “Up Close and Personal” interview session hosted by  Coca-Cola Southern Africa Senior Communications Manager, Khaya Dlanga.

The event kicks off with a Cabaret show with Maps,   followed by a Q and A session where members of the audience ask him personal questions about himself and his career, giving them a personal and emotive experience with this Suave personality. The evening will be followed by a Valentines After Party Cantare style hosted by Khaya Dlanga and Maps Maponyane. A flaming line up of Djs will be offered to finish off your valentines evening party.

The show was conceptualized and directed by Kanyi Nokwe and choreographed by Winner of Two Standard Bank Ovation Awards (Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2013/2014) Phume Sikhakhane; Cantare’s resident production creative director .

This Valentines treat is set to be filled with songs by Sinatra, Nat King Cole and many more as Maps Maponyane serves the public with a dash of chivalry, romance and charm.

Cantare which means “To Sing” in Italian is an after dark venue for the cosmopolitan people of this world. The venue has Pin-Up Art decor that enhances the sense of a cosmopolitan nightlife with class. It is all about showbiz, cabaret entertainment and fun in a very intimate setting situated in the heart of Montecasino.

Event Details:

Venue: Cantare , Monte Casino

Date: 12th February 2015

Time: 19:00

Dress Code: Black Tie

Ticket Price: R150 (Singles) R250 (Couples)

Contact Details

For bookings Call : 011 511 0505  Or  Email :

****Now you 2 lucky followers get to win 2 tickets to the fun filled evening.

Simply follow my blog and facebook page. Share this post.

Tweet: ” I want to win with @Namritha_ & Maps Maponyane ”

Comment below with your contact details and why you would like to win :)

Winners chosen tomorrow 12 Feb 2015 at 7am. Goodluck!

Posted in Events, WIN, WIN**WIN | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Exploring Japan

Japanese culture fascinates me. I admire them for the calm, polite nature and the discipline in their culture.

Visiting Japan is on my wish list, so that I can experience the trains, a clean city, the best sushi and singing karaoke for leisure until early hours of the morning.

If you have some travel tips to Japan to share, please share them below.

This video may inspire you too, to visit Japan.

An exploration into the culture and nature of Japan:

Posted in Travel | Tagged | 2 Comments

To my Daughter: Where are you the Most Beautiful?

Society has a way of defining beautiful. With magazines showcasing “beautiful women” on the front covers and using powerful words like, flawless, grace, naked and age defying to capture a women’s attention, rarely does much for their self esteem.

At some point we all have looked at a cover wishing for that body or shining hair or flawless skin. Its because we have been conditioned to believe that we are not good enough!

The truth is, we are perfect in our own skin, as we are created. A dad wrote these words to his daughter after going shopping for her. These words really are as it should be said and I am sharing them with the hope that you too will let these powerful emotions resonate with you or your daughter. Beauty truly is an inside job.

Brilliant strength. May your strength be not in your fingernails but in your heart. May you discern in your center who you are, and then may you fearfully but tenaciously live it out in the world. Choose your dream. But not from a department store shelf. Find the still-quiet place within you. A real dream has been planted there. Discover what you want to do in the world. And when you have chosen, may you faithfully pursue it, with integrity and with hope.

The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on. But take your gloves off. Pull no punches. Say what is in your heart. Be vulnerable. Embrace risk. Love a world that barely knows what it means to love itself. Do so nakedly. Openly. With abandon.
Infallibility doesn’t exist. It’s an illusion created by people interested in your wallet. If you choose to seek perfection, may it be in an infallible grace—for yourself, and for everyone around you.
Age defying.
Your skin will wrinkle and your youth will fade, but your soul is ageless. It will always know how to play and how to enjoy and how to revel in this one-chance life. May you always defiantly resist the aging of your spirit.
Flawless finish.
Your finish has nothing to do with how your face looks today and everything to do with how your life looks on your last day. May your years be a preparation for that day. May you be aged by grace, may you grow in wisdom, and may your love become big enough to embrace all people. May your flawless finish be a peaceful embrace of the end and the unknown that follows, and may it thus be a gift to everyone who cherishes you.
Little One, you love everything pink and frilly and I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you. But I pray three words will remain more important to you—the last three words you say every night, when I ask the question: “Where are you the most beautiful?” Three words so bright no concealer can cover them. Where are you the most beautiful? On the inside.
From my heart to yours, Daddy.

Please share this empowering, powerful words with your daughter today.



Posted in Fashion & Beauty, Health, Worth Sharing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Music to the Ear : Blank Space

Take a listen to this groovy song by Taylor Swift.

Sing along :)
Blank Space By Taylor Swift

Nice to meet you, where you been?

I could show you incredible things

Magic, madness, heaven sin

Saw you there and I thought

Oh my God, look at that face

You look like my next mistake

Loves a game, want to play?

New money, suit and tie

I can read you like a magazine

Ain’t it funny, rumors, lie

And I know you heard about me

So hey, let’s be friends

I’m dying to see how this one ends

Grab your passport and my hand

I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

So it’s gonna be forever

Or it’s gonna go down in flames

You can tell me when it’s over

If the high was worth the pain

Got a long list of ex-lovers

They’ll tell you I’m insane

‘Cause you know I love the players

And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless

We’ll take this way too far

It’ll leave you breathless

Or with a nasty scar

Got a long list of ex-lovers

They’ll tell you I’m insane

But I’ve got a blank space baby

And I’ll write your name

Cherry lips, crystal skies

I could show you incredible things

Stolen kisses, pretty lies

You’re the king baby I’m your Queen

Find out what you want

Be that girl for a month

Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no

Screaming, crying, perfect storm

I can make all the tables turn

Rose gardens filled with thorns

Keep you second guessing like

“Oh my God, who is she?”

I get drunk on jealousy

But you’ll come back each time you leave

‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

So it’s gonna be forever

Or it’s gonna go down in flames

You can tell me when it’s over

If the high was worth the pain

Got a long list of ex-lovers

They’ll tell you I’m insane

‘Cause you know I love the players

And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless

We’ll take this way too far

It’ll leave you breathless

Or with a nasty scar

Got a long list of ex-lovers

They’ll tell you I’m insane (Insane)

But I’ve got a blank space baby

And I’ll write your name

Boys only want love if it’s torture

Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya

Boys only want love if it’s torture

Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya

So it’s gonna be forever

Or it’s gonna go down in flames

You can tell me when it’s over

If the high was worth the pain

Got a long list of ex-lovers

They’ll tell you I’m insane

‘Cause you know I love the players

And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless

We’ll take this way too far

It’ll leave you breathless

Or with a nasty scar

Got a long list of ex-lovers

They’ll tell you I’m insane

But I’ve got a blank space baby

And I’ll write your name

Posted in Worth Sharing | Tagged | 1 Comment

How to create the Perfect Smoothie

It is back to work, back to school and with so many of us, eating on the go is a norm. I myself am guilty of this and this year I have chosen to eat healthier to shed a few kg’s. I blame my mum and all her delicious cooking over the festive season :)

Smoothies are a perfect way to get as much nutrients into one single cup, and that too quite easily and quickly. Great for breakfast or anytime of the day. A smoothie I make regularly, has the following: Banana, whey protein, dates , water and chia shake mix. It tastes divine and at the same time it keeps me going till about lunch time.

I came across this helpful infographic to making some delicious  smoothies and thought I would share it with you. Please give them a try them and let me know if you have any variations that worked for you.


You will find more information on healthy eating at

Your taste buds will love this :

smoothies 1

Happy healthy eating :)

Posted in Food & Eat out, Health | Tagged | 2 Comments