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agency-trained copywriter - freelance 16 years - extensive experience in business and education - plain English specialist - reasonable rates


'Beautiful You' Calendar for Superdrug plc.

JANUARY - Get slim for good
Hoping for a beautiful new year? Most people over-indulge a bit in December and resolve to do something about it in January. So start now! Find the right weight for your height and build, work out what you need to lose and then DON'T weigh yourself for a fortnight. Instead, start making some gradual, permanent changes to your lifestyle.

The three golden rules (1. Exercise 2. Eat less and 3. Exercise) needn't mean rabbit food and step aerobics: at first go for something achievable like one more walk and one less biscuit a day. Give yourself a non-food reward if you succeed - and tomorrow, the same goal will seem easier. DON'T expect instant results, and remember you need the energy that food gives you to enjoy life - so don't overdo it.

JULY - Sun care matters
Now that the risks of sunburn are known, self-tanning creams are the smartest way to get that golden glow. They're also more reliable than the average British summer. The secret is to rub the product well in to cool, dry, well moisturised skin, fading it out round rough, absorbent patches. Tan takes a while to develop, so don't forget to wash your hands straight away and avoid contact with clothes or bedding for an hour.

If you must sunbathe, don't doze off, slap on high protection factor sunscreen as often as directed, wear a hat and reduce eye strain with sunglasses. And as well as the above, give your children the oldest, most natural sunscreen of all - shade.

SEPTEMBER - Force yourself to relax
Aromatherapy or a warm bath, a holiday or reflexology, yoga or a good book? Most stress-busting techniques have one thing in common - they make you lie down! So why not try this one at home: light a scented candle and lie on your back on a draught-free, carpeted floor with your knees bent, your hands loose by your side and that good book under your head. Over about 10 minutes take several slow, deep breaths and do a mental checklist of your body, concentrating on bones and muscles. As you think of each muscle, flex and then relax it. Take some more slow, deep breaths and then, rather than sitting bolt upright, which is bad for your back, carefully roll over onto all fours, before getting to your feet.

Now, you should be in a better frame of mine to choose between aromatherapy, reflexology, yoga - or perhaps... another lie down again tomorrow?

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Julia Deakin is a member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.