The secret to good hair, beating jetlag and great photos – plus 13 other ways to do the little things better
How to get energised in the morning
I leap out of bed the minute the alarm goes off at 4am and have my clothes ready, so I don’t have to scrabble around in the dark. I neck a mouthful of a probiotic and have just one black coffee – otherwise I’m way too excitable. The minute I get into work, I whack on the tunes really loud: Steely Dan, Toto or some disco. Sing along to the bangers and then you’re off!
Zoe Ball, DJ and presenter
How to project your voice
Before you start, massage the hinges of your jaw so it can relax and drop open. Stand with your feet hip-width apart to give you a stable stance and some gravitas. Breathe into your ribcage and diaphragm as your belly expands, then allow these muscles to contract as you project your voice. Use gestures to increase word emphasis and bring more vocal range. This makes what you say sound more interesting.
Lisa Åkesson, vocal coach
How to cope with jet lag
Drink loads of water and avoid junk food on the flight. Maximise sleep: take an eye mask, earplugs and comfy clothes so you can remove or add layers. When heading west, take a nap when you get to your hotel, and set an alarm. This will help you through to that later bedtime and slowly shift your body clock.
Jody Breese, flight attendant
How to deal with a cold
It is important to remember the three basic principles of rest, hydration and addressing symptoms. I also try to programme in some sleep to aid a quicker recovery. Regular warm drinks with honey and lemon can help alleviate a cough and throat pain – and are as effective as cough suppressants. Over- the-counter sachets contain pain relief as well as a decongestant. I take regular and staggered pain relief tablets and salty water nasal spray which really helps with fever, aches and nasal congestion.
Joanna Kennedy, GP
How to look fresh after a big night
Avoid late-night munchies, and drink water or herbal tea before bed. Next day, have a Diet Coke or milky coffee. Jump in the shower and then get moving: walk or cycle it off. Have sunglasses at the ready and eat some fat and protein: hello tahini and chickpeas.
Jessica Cole, model
How to parallel park
Remember: “Lions Roar Really Loudly.” It stands for left, right, right, left. Pull alongside the car in front of the space, leaving one door-width of space. Check it is safe then do one turn of the wheel to the left. When your car is at about the 1 o’clock position, do one turn to the right. Wait until the kerb in your left mirror is just beneath your passenger door handle, then do one turn right and finally, when parallel to the kerb, one turn left. Make whatever minor adjustments are required, and don’t forget to make effective observations throughout.
Craig Preedy, driving instructor
How to make someone smile
Tell someone about something that went wrong for you – with a smile on your face. It will always make the other person feel better about themselves if they know you’ve had it worse. For example, if someone says “I’ve had a really bad day, my car broke down”, say, “The same thing happened to me! My car broke down on the M1 and I was wearing Hello Kitty pyjamas with a tomato sauce stain on the crotch.”
Shazia Mirza, comedian
How to have a good hair day
Brush your hair with a soft bristle brush before shampooing to break down any product build up. Choose sulphate-free products to avoid drying the hair. If hair is greasy, and you don’t have time to wash it, try refrshing it with a blast of cool air. If it’s beyond help, go for a topknot on long hair, a half-up half-down style on mid-length, or a side part/tuck behind ears for short hair. The trick is to make it look intentional. Use a finishing spray and big earrings to make it a look.
Deb Dominic, hairdresser
How to take care of your hands
I limit myself to four hours’ practice a day, and I use a paraffin hand bath, when they ache. It is a small container in which you heat blocks of paraffin. Then you dip your hands a few times into what feels like hot candle wax, and leave for 25 minutes. The heat relaxes all the muscles and tendons. It’s amazing.
James Rhodes, pianist
How to take a good photo of someone
Try to make your subject relax and forget they are having their picture taken. I tell people to make a funny noise, do an impression of a cat, or scream at the camera. This makes them laugh very naturally. I also tell them to imagine the camera lens is a window and they are talking to somebody through it. It is amazing how well this works: when you see the picture, you see them looking back at you.
How to get a good night’s rest
Morning exercise in daylight helps set the body clock. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Stop using electronic devices 30 minutes before bed and avoid stressful situations at this time. If you wake, don’t worry about it, and don’t look to see what time it is. If I wake in the night I listen to Radio 4 Extra, which I find comforting. It usually sends me back to sleep within 10 minutes.
Russell Foster, sleep scientist. His book, Life Time: The New Science of the Body Clock, is published by Penguin Life (£14.95, Guardian Bookshop)
How to look after your gut
I always recommend fermented food: kefir has done wonders for my gut and mood, supporting a healthy microbiome. Kefir introduces live bacteria, which are good not only for gut health but, research shows, reduce the risk of anxiety, depression and diabetes, lower cholesterol and support the immune system.
Daniel O’Shaughnessy, nutritionist
How to strengthen your glutes
Strong glutes are key to athletic performance and everyday movement. If you suffer lower back pain or your knees are giving you trouble, stronger glutes will support and ease this. Lie on your back, with knees bent, feet flat on the ground and shoulder-width apart. Squeezing the glutes, lift your hips off the ground. Keep your core tight and don’t over-arch your back. Squeeze for a couple of seconds before lowering. Three sets of 10 reps a day is a great start.
Rose Mac, personal trainer
How to defuse a tantrum
If I see a child becoming emotional, I distract them with a sweet. If it turns into a tantrum, I always ask parents to remove the child. If they are just livid, no matter what you do, leave them alone as long as they are somewhere safe. Give the parents a reassuring look. We all go through it.
Gilbert Giggles, children’s entertainer
How to have flawless skin
Apply sunscreen daily, even in winter – UVA comes through clouds and rain. Some suncreams don’t go on easily with other creams. To avoid this, leave a good 15 minutes between moisturiser and SPF. Also: always wash your face before applying night cream.
Emma Craythorne, dermatologist
How to brush your teeth
Use an electric toothbrush – they are superior in every way to a manual brush. I don’t rinse after brushing: a thin film of toothpaste will soon dissipate. In the evening, I use an interdental brush with a long handle to reach back teeth, making circular movements to ensure food and plaque have no hope of surviving.
Jaz Gulati, dentist