3 Benefits And Challenges Of Cultural Diversity In The Workplace

Multiculturalism is the bread and butter of Australia, especially when it comes to the workforce. According to the 2016 Consensus, 45% of Australians reported having a least one parent born overseas, and 19% of the population is born overseas; it only logical to have the workforce accommodate the growing melting pot that we have.

Having a culturally diverse team in the workplace means an inhibition to tackle a project from different perspectives, knowledge, and experiences. Chances are hiring staff from different backgrounds can be good for business.

Countless studies have reinforced the importance of having a culturally rich workplace. These are three key benefits that motivate a workplace to be culturally diverse.

  1. Enhance business performance and productivity.

According to Deloitte and the Human Rights Commission, fostering an inclusive and culturally diverse workforce will significantly improve business performance and productivity. When employees work with someone who has the same background as them, it gives them a sense of familiarity.

  • Employees’ ability to innovate increased by 83 percent.
  • Responding to changing customers needs to be increased by 31 percent.
  • Team collaboration increased by 42 percent.
  • There also find that employees likely to stay at work because they feel more included, which decreases the attendance rate.

As a result of having a culturally rich office, the 2017 McKinsey report, companies that have fostered a solid ethnic and cultural diversity in their executive teams were 33% more likely to bring in business than companies with homogenous teams.

  1. Thinking Innovatively by breaking language barriers

Reports have concluded that if cultural diversity initiatives are appropriately implemented, innovative thinking amongst staff members becomes more collaborative.

By the staff of different backgrounds, they can understand the intercultural differences and help decipher the dynamic between the company and their clients. As a result, overcoming language barriers by hiring staff with diverse backgrounds is viewed favourably by a client with the same background.

As for innovation, reports have shown that CALD workforces perform better on brainstorming solutions and ideas. Due to the diverse ways of thinking, experience, and perspectives from ethnic groups, they identify cultural nuances from an ethnic audience.

It’s also worth noting that as the world becomes increasingly globalised, there is a need for a company to establish an international presence, which means there is an advantage for CALD staff who bridge into Australia’s neighbouring trade partners in Asia.

  1. Promotes team morale, health, and wellbeing.

Although being a multicultural country, Australia has its fair share of racial discrimination. It’s never fun to be a token of an ethnic or racial group. It will lead to further ostracisation if the individual feels there are surrounded by the majority Anglo-Celtic workmates.

There is solid evidence to suggest that racism can be debilitating for a person of colour’s mental and physical health. Anxiety, depression, stress, and poor quality of life ensues if there is no sense of belonging when it comes to the workplace.

People who faced racial discrimination regularly are also more likely to be overweight or obese or engage in destructive habits (i.e. smoking).

When cultural diversity initiatives are correctly done, a multicultural workplace is beneficial as it maximises profits, efficiently solves problems by tapping into intercultural communication, and improving the overall team’s morale.

Meet The Superstar Behind The Cover Of The September 2021 Issue Of Global Elite Entrepreneur: Gwen Stefani

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By Allison Kugel
 
Gwen Stefani spent her childhood and adolescence in Anaheim, California, a suburban girl living just a stone’s throw from Disneyland. It was her older brother, Eric, who founded No Doubt, the hybrid ska/punk/rock band that would help Stefani make her way into the musical limelight with their 1995 breakout album, Tragic Kingdom. The band’s unique sound coupled with Stefani’s platinum blonde hair, red lips, and punk rock fashion sensibility, brought the singer to Rockstar status in the 1990s.

With lyrics torn from the pages of Gwen’s personal diary about falling in love, breakups, makeups, and mending a broken heart, her music has always drawn in listeners with its raw vulnerability. Her down-to-earth nature and self-deprecating sense of humor helped to seal the deal with fans, making her one of the most successful female recording artists of the past twenty-three years.

Her first solo album, 2004’s Love. Angel. Music. Baby. and L.A.M.B. fashion label catapulted her into the music and style icon stratosphere in the early 2000s. Follow-up albums like 2006’s The Sweet Escape and No Doubt’s 2012 reunion album, Push and Shove capped off two decades of non-stop recording and touring for the Grammy-winning artist, as she focused on raising her three sons with then-husband, Bush lead singer, Gavin Rossdale.

In the summer of 2015, the California girl experienced a seismic 8.5 earthquake in her personal life when her marriage to Rossdale imploded amidst a cheating scandal. An unexpected romance came in the form of country crooner, and Gwen’s The Voice costar, Blake Shelton, whom the Hollaback girl began dating later that same year. Gwen then did what she does best, pouring her emotions into her most personal music to date, with 2016’s This Is What the Truth Feels Like album and a subsequent tour.

From October 22 – November 6, the hitmaking mom of Kingston, 11, Zuma, 9, and Apollo, 4, is preparing to embark on her Las Vegas Residency at Zappos Theatre at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. It’s called, what else? Gwen Stefani: Just A Girl – an homage to her first single to make the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and her own personal anthem that she says still holds true today. I sat down with Gwen to discuss this new chapter in her life and career.
 
Allison Kugel: Was this Las Vegas Residency a family decision? Did you sit down with your three boys and say, “Mom’s going to perform in Las Vegas instead of touring. What do you think about that?”
 
Gwen Stefani: Honestly, my kids don’t really have too much of a say on what the schedule’s going to be. But as a mom, if you look at my touring for the last ten years, I haven’t really toured. In the past, I did tours for seven years. It’s hard with the kids, because they’re in school and I’m not homeschooling, and you can’t pull them out. It’s not fair on them. I did my last tour because I had this unexpected life crisis and then the music came pouring out of me from that. I didn’t even plan on making any music. It was such a lifesaver and a beautiful moment for me to be able to write again. I put that tour on at the last minute (referring to her “This Is What The Truth Feels Like” tour) and went on a summer tour with the kids. It was so much fun for them. They love touring, but it isn’t realistic. So, I’ve been thinking about doing the Vegas show for a while now. The Las Vegas Residency will really work for me as a mom, because it’s these little chunks of time where you can fly in and out, and it’s workable.
 
Allison Kugel: It’s a shifting of priorities.
 
Gwen Stefani: Yes. After that last tour, I felt like, “God I’ve toured a lot in my life!” I love it, but it takes so much out of me as far as being able to focus on the rest of my life with the kids. I have three kids and it’s a big deal! Any parent would probably go, “How does she do it?” It’s almost impossible to do and it’s a lot of balancing. The Las Vegas Residency is just perfect for where I’m at right now.
 
Allison Kugel: What does performing live give you, personally and energetically?
 
Gwen Stefani: Being on stage for me, I always forget how much it’s a part of who I am. I’ve done it for my whole life, pretty much. I always think I don’t want to do it. I always think it’s fine if I never do it again. Then when I get on stage, even when I’m sound checking, I’m like, “Oh My God, I love this!” I love my music, I love being up there, I love the attention and I love being able to share that love with people and get that exchange. I don’t understand why I like it so much.
 
Allison Kugel: It feeds your soul. You’re connecting with the source and you’re in a zone.
 
Gwen Stefani: It’s my gift. It’s what I’m here for. I’m obviously at the end of my journey of being a musician…
 
Allison Kugel: Why would you say that?
 
Gwen Stefani: Well because of my age, and I’ve been doing it for thirty-something years. It’s perfect for me to be able to do a Las Vegas show, because not only does it work for me as a mom, but it also works creatively. It’s a new challenge. It’s going to be a way to express myself and do my whole catalog of music that defines every single period in my life; all the crises and all the joys. Creatively, I couldn’t have done it any sooner. I had to have all these songs. It just feels like the perfect next chapter for me.

Gwen Stefani, April 12 2018, Photos By Denise Truscello

Allison Kugel: You’re taking the audience on a journey of your life, and to do that you have to have lived.

 
Gwen Stefani: Exactly! And I also think people who are going out for that weekend in Las Vegas, it’s so different from, for example, if I’m performing in Philly and it’s about Philly culture, and the audience is just coming out for that one night and getting a babysitter. You know what I mean? This Vegas show is a bigger commitment for people. They’re going for the weekend and they’re making a memory. You’re competing with the Las Vegas nightlife, you’re competing with the gambling, the partying, and with the hotels and all the expenses. It’s a big commitment for people, and they’re coming to me from all over the world.
 
Allison Kugel: And they’re going to get a more intimate experience with you than they would in a stadium setting.
 
Gwen Stefani: It is a much smaller audience than I’m used to, under five thousand people. It’s going to be so different and that’s something I need. When you’ve toured for however many years I have, it’s super awesome, but let’s do something new! That’s why even doing The Voice for the last couple of years was so inspiring for me. I think everybody wants something challenging and new to look forward to.
 
Allison Kugel: You went to see Jennifer Lopez’s Las Vegas show, All I Have. I’m assuming the two of you discussed her Las Vegas Residency. Did she give you any advice?
 
Gwen Stefani: Me and Jennifer, I’ve always looked up to her in the sense that we’re exactly the same age, and I remember when No Doubt was coming out and she hadn’t done Jenny from The Block yet, but she had that song out, Waiting for Tonight. At the time I was working with Prince and he started comparing me and Jennifer, and at that time I didn’t even see how I was in the same category as her. She was Jennifer Lopez and I was in a band called No Doubt (laughs). But nowhere we both are doing these residencies all these years later, and we’ve known each other through the years. She’s always invited me to her kids’ birthday parties and things like that. She is a crazy worker. I cannot believe how much she works! I know I do, but I look at her and I’m like, “Wow!”
 
Allison Kugel: It doesn’t seem human, right? Multiple television shows, Las Vegas Residency, albums…
 
Gwen Stefani: I know. I don’t understand it. Going to see her, and I’d never seen her do a performance live, I was studying the production of her show. The show was incredible, and she works so hard on stage. I admire her a lot and it was so inspiring to see… and scary! When I came backstage to talk to her afterward, she comes out of the dressing room looking like a Barbie Doll. She was breathtaking on stage, but when you see her up close, it’s like, “What?! It’s not possible. You are so gorgeous!” She was just so glamorous. We talked for a while and she was like, “Yeah, I’ve just done 100 shows…” And I’m like, “Whoa, that’s a lot of shows!” (Laughs) And she still has forty more to go. She’s really enjoyed it, but she said it is challenging.
 
Allison Kugel: I think you’ll find it challenging, but one of the best experiences of your life.
 
Gwen Stefani: It is challenging, and as performers, we have a completely different perspective on doing a concert than the audience. The challenge isn’t about us. We’re going to be us every time we get up there. We may have that one night where we’re off because of whatever might be going on. A lot of times, you just never know what you’re going to be like on stage. But at the same time, we’re pretty much consistent. It’s really about the audience. What are they going to be like and are they into it or not?
Allison Kugel: What are you presenting to the audience, artistically, with your Just A Girl Las Vegas Residency? You’re also a fashion designer and you have a strong aesthetic vision. Between the sets and the costumes, how will everything tie together on stage?
 
Gwen Stefani: I’ve really tried to put together a show that has a nostalgic feel. The show is full of hit songs that are recognizable and take you back to that time period in your life. And of course, the real reason for doing Vegas is the costumes. I’m working with Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn who I’ve been working with now for, I don’t know how many years. They are just incredible. They did Jennifer [Lopez’s] show, and they’ve also worked with Jennifer for years. They really get me. I think there’s going to be about five costume changes, which is a lot for me considering that with No Doubt I never did any.
Gwen Stefani, April 12 2018, Photos By Denise Truscello

Allison Kugel: I remember. With No Doubt, it was just you out there with your cut-off t-shirts (laughs).
 
Gwen Stefani: (Laughs) Yeah. But now I’m working with designers to see what they come up with. There are different chapters as far as what I want to look like, and I basically have it all worked out. Now it’s just putting it all together.
 
Allison Kugel: The title of your Las Vegas show, Just A Girl, is the title of one of your biggest hits, but it has a double meaning for you. You’re always saying, “I’m just a girl from Orange County…” Is that your way of keeping yourself grounded?
 
Gwen Stefani: Honestly, I think if you really knew me or saw my family and how I grew up, I am 100% the same person I have always been. When I wrote that song, Just A Girl, I was twenty-five years old, going to college, still living at my parent’s house, and I was very naïve. I had a boyfriend at the time that lived at his parent’s house. I was driving one day and I’m thinking, “Wow! I really have a different position in this world, being that I’m a female.”
 
Allison Kugel: Did something happen that made you stop and think, “I’m going to be treated a certain way because I’m a girl.”?
 
Gwen Stefani: It was just more of a realization that I had. I think we all do as females. I’m walking down the street and some guy just whistled at me? What does that even mean? Suddenly, you’re aware of your sexuality and that you’re ascribed a certain value because of it. It was when that hit me, that I wrote the song, Just A Girl. Nobody was paying attention at the time. Nobody was ever going to hear the song. I didn’t even know how to write a song. It was just so naïve. I guess I wanted to figure out a way to say, “This is my DNA.” And really, my DNA is I am just a girl from Anaheim [California]. I’m just me, and I’ve never been anything else. I know that’s what got me to this point, by being honest, real, and sharing my story with people. That’s all we can do in this life, and I’m nothing more than that. But at the same time, by using my gift, being aware of it, trying to respect it, and being confident in it, I’ve gotten this far. Music is so powerful, and for a song like that to still be relevant twenty years later? In a way, it’s even more relevant now. We have so much going on with female empowerment and what’s our place? When I read the lyrics of that song I think, “My gosh, that must have been a Godsend,” because I know I didn’t think that up on my own. I always thought it would go out of fashion, or I’d be too old to say “just a girl” but it still works.
 
Allison Kugel: Has Blake had any creative input with this Las Vegas show?
 
Gwen Stefani: Obviously he’s my best friend, so I’m bouncing stuff off him all the time. He’s one of those people in my life that’s super supportive and gets me motivated. There’s a whole bunch of songs about him in the show, so that’s fun. Like anybody with their best friend, we share everything together. I’ll tell him, “I picked my dancers. There were 500 girls that tried out!” And I’ll send him videos. Just things like that.

Allison Kugel: Did you choose Planet Hollywood as the venue?
 
Gwen Stefani: I feel like they chose me, and what’s really cool about it is that Planet Hollywood is also the Zappos Theatre now, and the Zappos team is just incredible. They’re taking over the theatre with their creativity and it has a very futuristic feel. I also give $1 of every single ticket sold to the children’s charity, Cure 4 The Kids Foundation. It’s going to add up to be a crapload of money! It’s something I’m going to be really proud of. You get very motivated about giving and helping, and making a difference, but you really don’t think as one person you’re ever going to in your life. I feel that to be able to get up there and share my story, and then make that kind of money to give away is amazing. I feel so proud of that.
 
Allison Kugel: What’s your routine before you step out on stage? Do you pray? Do you meditate? How do you gear up to give your best performance?
 
Gwen Stefani: I don’t meditate. I’m a prayer. I pray, but first I do my makeup (laughs). My makeup is huge for me. I have this song called War Paint. Putting on my makeup and getting ready, there is a kind of meditation in the preparation. Makeup is art, and it’s like getting into character when I put it on. I’ve always done my own makeup for shows. And praying for me is really important. We do a group prayer circle. In the last few years, and when I toured for the last show, the payer is not just before, but also during [the show]. When I think about how ordinary I’ve always been, and to think that I’ve created all these songs, I don’t know where they come from. I always think that it’s got to be a channeling and it just comes through me. It’s a spiritual thing that has been given to me to share. When I’m in the music, the music takes me right back to those moments in my life. And some of those moments are sickening, you know what I mean? Certain memories are upsetting. That’s why I say this is not just a show for me, it’s my life. It’s real for me and I think that’s why I’m very anxious about it.
 
Allison Kugel: It’s going to be a tremendous spiritual, emotional and physical undertaking.
 
Gwen Stefani: And I’m very lazy (laughs). I like to not have to work out and not have to be committed to something. And I love to be with my children, of course. But it is such an amazing opportunity and they don’t just hand them out to everybody. I feel really honored to be able to do it. I’m thrilled to see who’s going to show up and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m going to look back on this and say, “I can’t believe I did that!”
 
Allison Kugel is a syndicated entertainment and pop culture journalist, and author of the book, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record. Follow her on Instagram @theallisonkugel.
 
Photo Credits: Yu Tsai, Denise Truscello

Meet The Woman Behind The Cover Of The September 2021 Issue Of GEQ Magazine: Michelle Walker

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Michelle Walker – Katz is a beauty queen who hails from Sydney, Australia. She originally grew up in Bondi and spent most of her youth at Australia’s most famous Bondi Beach. Her parents are from the entertainment capital of Ukraine called Odessa, but they speak Russian at home. She grew up watching Russian concerts and all sorts of Russian programs due to her mother’s love for them. When her parents migrated to Australia, they moved to Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, where a Russian community had formed. Similar to New Yorks’ Little Odessa in Brooklyn. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Public Communications from the University of Western Sydney as well as a Masters In Media from Sydney University. Nowadays, she’s based in Sydney’s Hills District (North West of Sydney) with her family, two beautiful daughters, and husband and they’re working on hopefully completing the family soon. She’s also an entrepreneur – three years ago she started her boutique recruitment agency called Katz Recruitment. She’s a career recruiter who has worked in the industry for the past 17 years and she felt that it was finally time to make her dreams come true and become a full-time entrepreneur. At the Curves & Curls International Pageant, she was lucky enough to be awarded two titles; Brand Ambassador 2021 and Best Interview 2021.

Michelle’s favourite activities consist of going to a disco, watching a movie, and game nights with her family. Although Covid lockdown has dampened a little of her social butterfly efforts, she still meets with business friends and acquaintances regularly online to stay connected. GEQ Magazine recently caught up with Michelle to discuss her journey in the pageant world and here’s what went down:

How did you get into the pageant industry?

Earlier this year, I noticed a friend of mine posted about The Curves & Curls International Pageant. I have come to a stage in my life where I’m very comfortable with my curves and felt it was time to share them with the world. My friend had introduced me to the wonderful founder Maxine Simmons, and the rest is history. Maxine is the founder of Curves and Curls International Pageant and she has been very inspiring and supportive of my journey and I really appreciate that.

Photographed by: Sarah Keen/Truthfully

How were you actually ‘discovered’?

My discovery was destiny, I believe. When I came across the post about The Curves & Curls International 2021 pageant, I was just drawn to reach out and get introduced to the person who made all the magic happen. I had reached out late at night on Facebook, and at 5 am in the morning, I had a loud ping on my phone. Maxine, the founder, messaged me to let me know that I was in and had three weeks to get ready for I was a late entrant. I believe that sometimes the universe makes things happen. For me, this was the opportunity I had been waiting for.

What do you like most about being a beauty queen?

I love being a beauty queen because it allows me to express my gratitude for myself and how far I have come with loving myself and my body image. Being a curvy beauty queen provides me with a platform to inspire and encourage other curvy girls to love and embrace themselves. Growing up as a curvy redhead, I always felt invisible, but who would have thought that these days as a grown woman, makes me different and stand out from the crowd. I never imagined that I would be in the beauty industry, but why not. We’re all different and must make the most of what we have. In some ways, I feel like I’m part of a beauty revolution, something I never thought I would see in my lifetime, where plus-size women were encouraged to join a beauty pageant. When I had won a few titles, I seriously had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I’m hoping that my gorgeous daughters, who are 6 and 7, won’t experience feeling less of a person because of their physical attributes. I want to do my part in keeping the changes coming so that my daughters and other women can go out into the world, aim high and do what their hearts desire.

Downside to being a beauty queen?

I don’t believe that there are any downsides to being a beauty queen. I honestly believe that we should have beauty schools that all can attend. Being a beauty queen teaches one to be confident in how you walk, talk and present. It also teaches you discipline, organisation, and how to smile on stage. These are skills and attributes that are important in all areas of life. In my business life, I run a recruitment agency. These elements are so important throughout one’s career life and even within one’s personal life. My dad always said to me that when people first meet someone, they judge them by their appearance and then take the time to get to know the person’s brain. This doesn’t mean that one needs to dress in the most expensive brands (it would be nice, of course). It’s more about being neat, tidy, and making the best of what you’ve got.

What has been the most memorable experience of being in the pageant industry so far?

Earlier this year, at my first pageant, my 6-year-old daughter Valentina had surprised me and had run out on stage to me while I was strutting my formal wear. She was being very cheeky and wouldn’t go back down to join the rest of the family. I told her that if she doesn’t go back down, she’ll have to walk with me and listen to my instructions. Valentina was fantastic. She listened to everything I told her to do and did a fabulous job. The crowd and judges were impressed by her natural ability. I’m sure she helped me score a few extra points because I kept the catwalk rolling and embraced the beautiful hiccup. I’m sure we’ll have some more pageant queens in our family in the future – both my daughters Rochelle and Valentina are excited to get involved in pageants in the future.

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

To be honest, the women in the pageant industry that I have met so far have all been extremely inspiring and empowering. Always so patient with newbies to the industry, sharing their skills and knowledge with us – it has been a beautifully heart-warming experience.

What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while in the pageant industry. This can be about the industry or yourself.

One of the most important lessons pageants teaches us, just like the entertainment industry in general; is that no matter how nervous you are or whatever is going on in your life or your head – You need to collect yourself, smile, and keep moving forward. This applies to all areas of life. Sometimes you need to take that first step and keep going. Small steps become leaps and bounds. The pageant industry has also reminded me to be proud of my femininity and not be afraid to share it with the world.

Photographed by: El Earl Photography

Working in an industry whose only emphasis is on the outside characteristics of a person, how have you stayed grounded?

I’m very new to working in the beauty industry. Growing up with curves and red hair, I know that focusing on just beauty can be very superficial. I must admit I love getting dressed up and getting my hair and makeup done too. Whenever I walk down the runway, I feel like a million bucks. In my real life, I run my own business. Most recently, due to lockdown in Sydney, I wear activewear every day (at least from the waist down) with my children fighting over my mobile phone under my desk. I’m lucky to be able to have my beautiful children, my own business, and my beauty queen opportunities – the juggle is real, and it’s not always easy. But just like when it’s your turn to work down the catwalk, I smile and keep moving forward.

Is your family supportive of you being in the pageant industry?

My family is extremely supportive of everything I do, especially my handsome husband; my absolute rock, as well as my mother, sister, and niece. My mother is a beauty queen in her own right. Now in her early 70’s, she still presents immaculately and always made an effort to look her best, especially during her social butterfly days on my fathers’ arm. Unfortunately, in 2006 my beautiful father, Roman Katz had passed away from cancer. My father had originally founded and opened Ruski’s Deli in Bondi and would have customers come from far and wide. I’m sure I have my entrepreneurial flair from him. I’m also sure he’s with me every day, supporting me on my journey and proud of all my achievements.

What are your future plans? Inside pageantry or out of it.

I want to continue my journey in the pageant industry and with my boutique recruitment agency based here in Sydney. I feel that both worlds complement each other, and I enjoy and love both. It would be nice to see my daughters join the pageant industry so that I can share these special memories with them too.

The ‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:

1. Last good movie I’ve seen: We recently watched ‘Isn’t It Romantic, starring Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth with our daughters. We all enjoyed it – it was fun and light-hearted.

2. What do you consider beautiful and why? I consider our children beautiful. It’s so magical that my husband and I were able to create something so perfect. Our beautiful family.

3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could? Something I wish I could do is travel more. I would love to see more of Europe. Unfortunately, due to Covid and the lockdown, it’s impossible. Still, I’m happy to wait until my children grow up some more so that we can experience it together. Hopefully, the world will be in a better place then.

4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…” walk down the catwalk in a bikini (laughs). As much as I love my body, I don’t feel ready for that yet.

5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself? To be honest, I’m filled with flaws, but I wouldn’t change any of them. They all add up to make me, and I’m proud of the woman I have become.

5 Tips To Manage Your Mental Health and Well-Being During The COVID-19 Outbreak

The world has certainly been turned upside down over the last couple of months. These unprecedented times have tested people and the impact of the pandemic will be seen for a long time. This has, however, given people a good opportunity to get to grips with their physical and mental wellness. If you are someone who exercises regularly then you will understand how important it is to a human being’s stability. Our emotional status is often very closely linked with our physical state.

Think about it, if you have a stressful day at work it is compounded by any physical ailment you may be experiencing. Stress is exponentially increased when we are out of balance with our bodies and the current situation has led to a lot of stress going around. We need to make sure that we are keeping tabs on our physical and mental well-being. This article will give you 5 tips to maintaining yourself during a pandemic and hopefully teach you to deal with stress a lot easier.

Here are 5 steps to get you going throughout the day:

Step 1: Wake up and make your bed.

Step 2: Eat a well-balanced breakfast.

Step 3: Take a moment to plan your day (without using your phone or technology).

Step 4: Pick a time to put on your exercise shoes and do it.

Step 5: Put on your shoes.

You do not have to be lifting weight or going for 2 hour runs every day. Simple exercises with simple movements can have a massive impact on your health and mental state. A good rule of thumb is that you should aim for half an hour of exercise every day. Regular exercise has proven to increase your brains ability to process serotonin and norepinephrine. These are the hormones in your brain that manage your ability to deal with stress. Simple exercise and getting the blood flowing can have a tremendous impact on your mood and stress levels. Another vital impact of exercise is that it will give you more energy. It may seem like a contradiction but the more energy you use, the more you actually have. If you spend all day on the couch your body will become accustomed to that lifestyle and you will find it harder and harder to get up and get going. During a pandemic, it is absolutely crucial that you keep your energy levels up because it is hard enough to deal with lockdown in a normal state, doing it while feeling tired and lethargic is much harder. Give yourself the boost you need by training your body and your mind.

Maintaining a healthy mindset is so important at this time. Everyone is dealing with the pandemic in different ways and you will find that those who are able to cope with the hardships are probably those people who have regular exercise routines. Taking care of your body creates a positive atmosphere and you will find that your mental state improves with each day that you spend on the go. You do not have to become a world-class athlete; you just need to get your body moving. Even a simple walk around the block can have massive effects on your well-being.

Meet The Rising Star Behind The Cover Of The September 2021 Issue Of GEK Magazine: Sam Pio

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At such a young age, Sam Pio is multitalented and living out her dreams as a singer, actress, and model. She is set to release a cover album of faith-based Christian Gospel songs such as Amazing Grace and O’Lord, as well as a solo album with originally written Christian songs later this year. The goal of her music is to bring an angelic, spirit-filled message of hope, love, and light after the tumultuous time the world experienced.

Sam booked her first baby modeling job at the age of 1 with OshKosh B’gosh and later with Vertibaudet Fashion Kids which inspired her to become a rising star and pursue additional passions. By age two she was singing, making up her own songs, and if there was a stage in sight, she wasn’t shy and made her way to perform. Sam has appeared in commercials, theater production, television series, independent films, and has graced main stage events across the country. The independent film she stars in, “Little May,” is out at award-winning film festivals, and her 26-television episode “Love at Work” series is scheduled to premiere on the Hope Channel (date TBD). In this production, Sam is the youngest of 15 singers in this musical, based on the ten commandments of the bible, alongside Whitney Phipps, Yolanda Innocent Palmer, Neville Peter, and nine others.

In December 2020, Sam performed alongside Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik for Amazon Prime’s first augmented reality movie musical called “It’s Christmas All Over with the Goo Goo Dolls.” A true philanthropist at heart, Sam has used her talent and performed to help raise money for the Los Angeles Food Bank and the families in need.

Sam studies with some of the leading coaches and trainers in the industry and although she works hard at developing her craft she still finds time for her favorite activities – play dates, baking, swimming, board games, and reading the Bible.

Global Elite Kids Magazine recently caught up with Sam and here’s what went down:

Can you tell us about BE BLESSED and your upcoming album featuring originally written Christian songs?

BE BLESSED is a Christian cover album of contemporary, classic hymns, and worship songs like Lauren Daigle’s “Oh Lord,” Toby Mac’s “Everything,” Sinach’s “Way Maker,” and John Newton’s “Amazing Grace”.

My next album is all original music where I get to tell everyone how much God loves them. I am excited to share the visions he has given me. I just can’t wait! We have already started recording and we hope to have the album out by the end of the year. We are working hard to do so but you can’t rush the process. I am in the studio most Friday’s either laying down tracks with my engineer or recording with my vocal producer.

What sort of person is going to love this album?

Anyone who loves uplifting music.

What inspires you to be creative?

God always inspires my work. He gives me a vision; I write it down and turn it into a song. My team is also a huge help with turning my vision into an album.

Is there anything special that you do to get into a creative mindset?

I pray and God answers by giving me a vision.

What message, if any, do you try to put into your work?

My message is about faith and love. How much God loves everyone.

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

My baptism, because Jesus is such a huge part of why I do what I do. He gave me my gifts and without Him, I would not even have a career.

Do you ever find yourself unable to express your creativity to the fullest? What kinds of things inhibit you?

When I need to write a song right away but God hasn’t given me the vision yet.

Who is your greatest influence?

Everything I do is influenced by my faith and relationship with God.

Do you feel that you chose your “passion,” or did it choose you?

Both because God asked and I said yes.

If you hadn’t chosen to be a singer, actress, and model, what would your career path be?

My singing, acting, and modeling are second to my relation to God and my ministry. I plan on touring around the world as a missionary giving back to God all that he has given. I just established my own company called Live For Jesus Ministry.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

I dream of touring around the world and being a missionary, singing praises to God, and helping others get to know the wonderful life they can have through a relationship with God.

Photo credit: Bobby Quillard

5 Interesting Facts That Might Surprise You About Self-Motivation

The link between self-motivation and success is undeniable. Both go hand in hand just like bread and butter. The reality is that with positivity, focused attitude and courage – you are bound to achieve great milestones in life. There is a lot that is said about self-motivation so we have put together an endless list of some interesting facts that might amuse you about self-motivation.

1: It is harder to believe in yourself than you think

It is really easy to read a few motivational quotes and vow to believe in yourself. Acting so is an entirely different story. Self-motivation is highly dependent on how much you believe in your own self; your potentials, skills and abilities. But it is not easy to have the unmoving, undying faith in you. It takes time but it will eventually happen.

2: With continuous efforts, you are bound to get better

Self-motivation makes you believe in the power of continuous efforts. Fact is that with continuous efforts, you are bound to get better and emerge as an unstoppable force. Another fact is that when you make the conscious efforts to improve yourself – everything around you automatically uplifts too. So self-motivation not only helps you to develop personally but helps to improve everything around you too.

3: It is hard to discourage a self-motivated individual

Another fact is that it is almost near to impossible to disappoint or discourage a self-motivated individual in life. It takes a lot for a motivated person to become disheartened. A person who is continually striving to achieve the greater and pursue the better in life is hard to bring down. Even the biggest sorrows and hardships cannot deflate the spirit of a motivated individual. This is indeed the true spirit of self-motivational driving force.

4: A self-motivated person is the most humble

Self-motivation gives you a great sense of confidence but that does not mean it would give you any false pride. In fact, a self-motivated person is the humblest person alive. He is never driven over the roof because of his confidence but is sane and self-assured enough to hold his head high against all odds. So even though self-motivation brings unparalleled success – it never drives to the head of the person and neither does failure. Self-motivation introduces great balance to the life of any individual who manages to achieve it.

5: Setting up Goals is Crucial

A lot of people think that setting up goals is a cliché but the fact of the matter is that without goals there is no point in getting yourself motivated. Once you have a goal in mind, everything would fall into place, and you will be able on the right track of life.

How to Use Social Media for Small Business: 4 Surefire Tips

Social media marketing has exploded into the online marketing industry within the last few years and has completely redefined it. With well over 3 billion active users, the figures are set only to rise, and many companies have already begun to capitalize on its valuable assets, influence, and connectivity.

We have outlined 4 secrets below to growing your business with social media and ultimately improving your revenue and audience.

 1. Promote your e-commerce store

This point may sound obvious at first, but it is critical that this is executed correctly. Ensure users can easily find your store by linking to it in your profile descriptions, posts, stories, and tweets; However, you must keep in mind that consumers do not want to be ‘sold’ to. Some businesses swear by certain ‘content to hard sell’ ratios, for example, 5 posts of purely unique content and inspiration that your followers will value, then 1 post with a hard sell and direct link to your online shop or service.

 2. Content is King

Little and often, an age-old saying, but one that reigns true in the world of social media. Your customers and followers do not want to be bombarded every hour, they can quickly grow tired of your content, no matter how unique or engaging it is. You have to leave them wanting more.

In terms of what your social media posts should contain. Content really is king. The videos, photos or text that you post cannot be repetitive or flat. Some of the most popular types of posts that have gone viral include humor and creativity. Ensure though that you keep your target audience in mind when creating content and keep it relevant.

3. Influencers and Bloggers

Once a very misunderstood industry. Businesses are now understanding the vast potential influencer marketing has for their business. Influencers are everyday people from all walks of life, who particularly inspire a group of individuals who idolize or respect their values and opinions. By expertly selecting influencers who match your product or service values you have the ability to reach a very niche but widespread target audience.

4. Communication

Social media is a means of communication after all. It is important to engage in conversation with not only your followers but other businesses and brands too. Being polite, witty and friendly when interacting with others on social media is key.

However, you must ensure that any awkward or abusive comments and interactions from users are dealt with professionally and calmly. If you have an employee who controls your business account, it is of paramount importance that they understand this too. The world is watching, and social media has the power to spread rude or abusive reactions from a business very quickly. In the past it has even helped to completely destroy the reputation of brands, so count to 10 and reply with consideration and respect.

 In conclusion, social media incorporates a huge number of target markets, although different platforms appeal to different types of users (for example Snapchat appeals to ages 18-25, and Facebook pre-dominantly ages 18-45), social media as a whole is used by almost every culture, age, and nationality on Earth. As long as you are providing enriching content and utilizing appropriate marketing techniques like influencers or adverts, you will begin to see positive growth in followers and engagement on your social accounts, which should transcend to sales and profit for your business.

5 Surefire Ways To Tame Food Cravings So You Can Avoid Weight Gain

It’s always important to consider the ways in which you can improve on yourself. And a common goal for anyone is to want to lose weight. And it is equally as common to find that weight loss resolutions are easily broken. Some of this failure can be attributed to the common misconception around weight loss is that you have to forsake everything you love in order to achieve your goal. Not only is this notion untrue, but it is also actually the opposite of the truth.

Below five ways for you to shrink your waistline without having to sacrifice your food cravings.

Exercise

The key to losing weight is to burn calories, and a good way to burn calories is to participate in moderate exercise. The most effective exercise to burn calories and belly fat is a combination of weightlifting and aerobic exercises. Prior to beginning an exercise regimen, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure that there are no underlying health risks for moderate exercise.

Keep Good Portions

There is a ring of truth to the phrase “all things in moderation.” Even if you’re eating what you want, smaller portions will have smaller amounts of calories and fats. But just because you eat smaller portions of your favorite things, that doesn’t mean you have a license to make that favorite food the only thing you eat. Instead, eat balanced portions of your favorite junk food, fruits, vegetables, and protein.

Eat Smaller Meals Throughout the Day

Conventional wisdom talks about eating three square meals each day, but conventional wisdom has more recently taken a back seat to the notion that light snacking throughout the day is the way to go. If you don’t eat throughout the day except for regular meal times, you may be inclined to eat more. But if you lightly snack throughout the day, you can avoid those big meal pig-out sessions.

Embrace Your Caffeine Habit

Coffee and other sources of caffeine can act as an appetite suppressant, making you want to eat less. If coffee or tea is one of the things you love, go ahead and have some. But remember to have it in moderation.

When you eat, Don’t Over Eat

This point goes right alongside the necessity of keeping good portions. Often times when we eat, especially bigger meals, we have the tendency to eat well past the point that we are full. Resist this temptation. If you only eat to the point that you are pleasantly full, you will have an easier time working off those calories.

A Final Word

Losing weight doesn’t have to mean losing your taste for the food and drink you love. And if you follow guidelines for responsible eating of all such tasty food, you will be able to go into next year with more than just a desire to stay thin, but a practical approach to making sure it happens.

How to Get More Facebook Likes & Followers: 5 Tactics That Actually Work

Since its inception, Facebook has become one of the most successful social media sites to advertise on. With just under 17% of the population of the planet signed up to Facebook, you can get a much larger audience than any other site to view your posts and engage with your brand. But to make any waves on Facebook, you need Likes and followers. A popular way in recent years to gain Likes is to buy them, but not only is this not authentic, it also doesn’t get your brand noticed by actual potential customers. So how can you get the Facebook Likes that you need, without paying for them?

Here are some killer tips for creating a successful Facebook page for your brand without spending a penny.

Fill out your page

Filling out your page may seem obvious, but a mistake that a lot of people make is not to fill out their pages entirely. You can add plenty of information to your Facebook page including links to other sites that you have, and all the information that a customer needs, and this is what they are looking for. A sparse Facebook page makes it look like you aren’t taking this seriously and may even make them question if you are a legitimate business in the first place.

Use Insights

Facebook insights is free to use and an invaluable tool to use when advertising on the site. You can access this through your business page on Facebook, and what it does is it lets you see what is working for your page. Which posts are seen the most, liked the most, what other pages your followers are interacting with and when. This is useful as you can schedule your posts for when the most people will see it, and also get an idea of the other kinds of things you could do in the future to gain popularity.

Use a great picture and heading

Appearance is everything these days, and even more so on social media. If you don’t already have a recognizable logo, you need to get one. Make your Facebook page look good, and people won’t mind liking and sharing. You can look at similar businesses to yours to see how they did theirs and how you can do better.

Invite likes

Make sure to invite those who like your posts, to like your page. This can be done by using other sites to drive traffic, or in your Facebook settings.

Share relevant content

Users like pages that share other things they want to see. If you can find videos or posts that are related to your area of expertise or your industry, users will find your page more engaging and entertaining, and thus, will interact more with it. Unless you are already an extremely popular brand, users will quickly get bored if you only ever share your own content. This can also help to build relationships with other users and businesses.