Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Promoting Better Pond Health in Your Own Backyard

A garden pond can be an attractive addition to your property. Whether it is a formal reflecting pool, or a more natural free-form build, there are important steps you must take to ensure peak maintenance and health of your pond's ecosystem. 

Avoid Stagnant Water

Standing water can be the root of a host of issues. Algae blooms can erupt at an unwanted rate within your pond, affecting its overall appearance and health. Mosquitoes are also drawn to still water, as they use it for breeding purposes. To prevent such takeovers from happening, it is important to equip your pond with aeration systems, like fountains (also for decorative purposes), or a kit of pumps and diffusers.

Balance Fish and Vegetation

Fish can contribute to your garden pond's ecosystem by feeding off of insects, weeds, algae, and other plant debris. If mixing species, be mindful of each fish's natural instincts and tendencies, as well as their full-grown adult sizes to prevent overcrowding. For pond vegetation, allow for partial shading of the water; too much shading, and the water could suffer from oxygen deficiencies, impacting the overall health of your pond.

Mind the Clarity

Be sure to keep your water filter cleaned to maintain a clear, attractive water quality in your pond. If you have just recently dug and installed your pond, the murky water can be a direct result of unsettled soil and matter. If, however, the muddy water problem persists, you can reach out to a professional aquatic management service for treatments that can bind loose particles for removal, resulting in better, cleaner water.

With these points in mind, you can rest assured your pond will thrive in every season. You may find that it is easy to keep your pond visually pleasing when both the flora and fauna are happily coexisting.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

5 Reasons to Get a Motorbike

Have you ever had a motorbike? Most people either love them, and would love to own their own, or are a little scared of them and would much rather be sat in a car. Unfortunately, even in the group of people that love them, many have never taken the plunge to swap their sensible car for a bike. 

Often, this is out of worries for their safety. But, while there are risks involved in riding a bike, there is always a motorcycle accident lawyer, and if we’re being honest, there’s a risk whenever you are on the road, whatever kind of vehicle you are in, and, most things in life come with their own associated risks, especially the things that we love. So, if you have always been tempted by a bike, and even if you’ve never considered it before, here are five reasons you should get a motorbike. 

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There’s Nothing Cooler

There’s no denying it; bikes are cool. Certainly much cooler than a boring family car. Imagine yourself set on a gorgeous bike wearing leathers. Don’t you look great? Owning a motorcycle can make you feel good about yourself, and be a massive confidence boost, just because it’s cool. Isn’t that reason enough?


Motorbikes give you freedom in a way that a car never can. When you’ve got a bike, you can just hop on and go for a drive. You’ll feel as though you can go anywhere, at any time and your trips will be as much about the journey as they are about the destination. You’ll take this freedom and attitude into other areas of your life, and you might find that buying a bike makes you a happier, more laid back person. 

To Be Part of a Community

There’s a massive biking community out there ready for you to be a part of. Some bikers chose to join clubs and groups. They ride together, go to shows together and build firm friendships. They might even have matching jackets and colors. But, even if you don’t want to take things this far, you will be a part of the wider biker community. When you see someone else with a bike, you’ll stop for a chat. You’ll say hi to people, and you’ll bond with people you’d never otherwise speak to about your shared interest. 

You’ll Be More Relaxed

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The sense of freedom that a bike brings you will help you to be more relaxed, but so will the bike itself. When you are on a bike, there’s nothing between you and the open air. You are close to nature, you get plenty of fresh air, and you feel as though you are a part of the environment around you. Going for a ride after a long day can be unbelievably relaxing, and it might have a positive effect on your mental health

You’ll Enjoy Your Commute

Most people hate their commute to work or school. It’s time sat in traffic that could be better spent doing something productive. It’s a waste, and it usually means that you arrive at work or home stressed out and annoyed. Get a bike, and you’ll start to enjoy your commute, which might mean that you are able to work more productively. 

Pimp Your Ride In 3 Easy Steps

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a boring old generic hatchback or a conservative SUV out the front on your driveway, the chances are you want a bit more va-va-voom for your motor. While the metallic paint isn’t looking too shabby and your set of wheels is highly economical on fuel, it might be a tad boring to look at. Cars nowadays tend to follow a strict formula when it comes to aesthetics. It is up to the car owner to add a bit more spice by customizing their vehicle. Take a look at these three simple ways that can see you pimping your ride.

Change The Color

Forget the jet black, gunmetal gray or bright red that your car came in direct from the factory, and instead opt for something a little more daring. Ever fancied lime green, shocking pink or canary yellow. If bright and bold is what you’re after then these colors will surely turn heads. Alternatively, it might be a finish that you’re looking for. The matt finishes to many customized cars look sleek and unique.

When painting your car, you are probably best taking it to a specialist who knows what they’re doing. You don’t want to make a costly mistake. However, if you are going to give it a go at home, make sure you use a primer first, you have done your research, and you have all of your kit. You might be tempted to go for graphics like racing stripes or flames. Just make sure this isn’t a fad, and that you consider how to future proof your car.

Upgrade The Fittings

Take a look at your car and decide how to upgrade the details that often get overlooked. You might want to get hold of a new BMW hood emblem for your sporty little number, or perhaps you want a set of customized alloys to set your wheel trims off a treat. Look at the interior and think about reupholstering your seats with some personalized fabric and think about swapping the steering wheel, upgrading the mats and altering the walnut trim on your dashboard. While the possibilities are endless, so is the amount of money that you could spend. Make sure that you budget wisely and don’t spend more than your car is worth.

Be Safe

While tinted windows are great, blacked out windows are illegal. Consider the safety of other road users, the law, and your own image when pimping your ride. You don’t want to end up driving one of those noisy exhaust modified cars, only for people to look at you when they hear you driving down the road with a negative perception of you in the head. Modify your car sensibly. Yes, you might want a better sound system, but a booming bass isn’t pleasant for your neighbors when you are arriving home late at night. Be considerate and pimp your ride in a sensible way.

Having the money to spend on your motor is a luxury, so don’t squander it. Make sure that you alter the appearance of your car without putting your safety and the integrity of the car at risk. Follow this guide and you will soon have the ultimate pimped up motor on your driveway.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Keep Wiggly Kids Quiet in Class

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Students who struggle to sit still can cause disruption in the classroom, particularly if their desk chair is a little wobbly and clanks against the floor with every wiggle and squirm. A teacher constantly saying "Stop that! Sit still! Be quiet" can be disruptive to classroom peace and calm as well—and if the movement-seeking student has ADHD or sensory processing disorder, all those verbal warnings will be ineffective and stressful. In fact, these students may need to move to stay alert, and surely no one wants them to focus all their attention on maintaining motionlessness.

Seeking Silence

So how can you balance a teacher's need for quiet and a student's need to move? Target the noise, not the movement. A scraping desk chair can be silenced with tennis ball chair leg covers. They can cover desk legs as well to mask the sounds of moving. Suddenly, motion isn't a commotion. Other silencing strategies include an area rug under a desk or folded-up paper under a too-short chair or desk leg.

Supplying Support

An easy way to minimize movement is to give a student's feet something to push against. Try a large heavy item as a makeshift footrest, such as a cinder block, concrete block, heavy textbook, or shoebox filled with rocks. You may need to add some nonstick material to the bottom to make sure the student can't slide it around noisily. Pressing feet against an immovable object may provide sufficient stimulation that the student won't feel the need to wiggle so much.
Students with disabilities are entitled to accommodations like these to make education accessible to them. Once an effective technique is found, parents should make sure it goes into the student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) so that future teachers will know how to handle the movement efficiently and compassionately.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Best Way to Care for Your Sick Dog

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It can feel awful whenever your puppy is sick. You love your pet a lot, so it can feel like the world is against you when they are whining. One big way to prevent sickness in animals is getting them vaccinated. If you have not done so, you can visit Vet Products Direct for dog vaccinations or information about it. Of course, talking to a vet can yield better information.

However, when your dog is sick, you can make a big difference by giving them love and comfort, taking them to see the vet, and giving them medicine.

Make Sure They Are Comfortable

Sometimes, there is not much you can do besides this. For small illnesses or chronic ones, making them comfortable can be the best option. This can include buying a soft bed and blanket for them or letting them sit on your sofa or bed with you. For small dogs, a large pillow may be all they need. Giving them plenty of water and soft, chewable food like unseasoned chicken and rice can help their recovery.

Go to a Vet Clinic

We go to the doctor when we are sick. So, it only makes sense to take your dog to the vet when they are sick. Your vet should have all their records up to date, including vaccines, so they can better determine what care your dog needs. It is a good practice to listen to their advice and purchase the medicine they recommend. For most cases, they will have notes for you to take home to assist in administering the medicine. Following-up may occur as well.

If you are not sure where a nearby vet clinic is, you can use this site here to locate one. It is a good idea to at least have the location written down in case of emergencies.

Give Them Medicine

Whether it is a tablet or ear drops, the medicine you buy can give your pet the fighting chance they deserve to recover. With any administration of medicine, it may be helpful to have someone else help with holding the dog. Unfortunately, they do not understand that we are trying to help them and can struggle during the process. You do not want the medicine to be given improperly or wasted.
For ear medicine, you should swab the area first with a cotton ball before emptying the medicine into their ear canal. For eye drops, apply the same way you would to yourself. For edible medicine like tablets, a lot come in chewable form, but you may need to place it further down the dog’s throat for it to be consumed. In any case, make sure to reward your dog afterward so they do not feel like the medicine was a punishment.
Even if you are not practiced, there are instructional videos online that can teach you how to properly care for your sick dog. Some great advice can come from your vet, especially if your dog has a file at that clinic. Make sure to ask questions if you feel confused or need more elaboration. They should be more than happy to help. Remember, when your dog is sick, they just need a little extra love to feel all better.

5 Considerations For Future Pet Owners

Countless stories tell the tale of the happiness that a pet can bring into your life. For those who are struggling with anxiety, depression and loneliness, adopting a dog or a cat can be a life-changing experience. Many claim that they never rescued their pet from the shelter; it was always their furry friend who rescued them. Pets can bring a lot of love and fun to your home, regardless of your situation. 

But a pet is not a toy. Adopting a dog or a cat comes with heavy responsibilities. You are not only caring for a living creature, but you are also responsible for their behaviors, their actions, and the damage they cause. If you’re in a position where you want to adopt your first pet, you need to make sure that you understand your duties as a pet owner. 

Teach dogs not to chase big cars
#1. Your pet could cause injuries

If you’ve played with a kitten in the past, you probably know that these fierce little cuties have sharp claws and teeth. It’s impossible not to escape with a few scratches when you play with a young cat. But it’s part of the deal; kittens are ultimately babies that are not yet able to control their strength or enthusiasm. The same phenomenon happens with puppies. It’s something you need to be prepared for. However, as your pet grows older, you will soon notice improvements as they realize how strong they are and become more careful during playtime. Typically, it is the time where you can tackle abnormal signs of aggressiveness and help your pet to feel more confident. It is your responsibility not only to keep your dog or cat safe but also everybody else. Indeed, you don’t want a neighbor complaining about an unprovoked dog bite as it can be a painful experience. If the law finds that you didn’t keep your dog on a leash in a public place, or that you didn’t handle your animal’s aggressive behavior adequately, you might be asked to cover medical bills and other compensation for the victim. Additionally, authorities might rule to put your dog down. 

#2. Living next to a road is dangerous

Every pet lover wants a garden for their dog or cat to enjoy some fresh air. But, if you live next to a big road, you need to keep your garden secured so that your pet doesn’t escape. Indeed, even for careful drivers, it can be tricky to react appropriately when a dog suddenly barges onto the road. Defensive drivers are more likely to have life-saving reflexes if they have sufficient time to respond when they see your dog run into traffic. However, your pet may not be that lucky; it could be hit, it could even cause an accident. Make it your number one training lesson to teach your dog not to run after cars. 

Keep your pet on a leash
#3. They can break everything you love

Keeping your dog or cat at home all day while you’re at work can come at a high cost. Indeed, your pet needs entertainment. Left to their own devices, pets are likely to destroy your belongings. Chewing on a sofa or pushing things off the shelf; your beloved furry friend can cost you a lot of money. If you can’t find a local daycare company for your pet while you’re working, it’s a good idea to block access to some rooms during when you’re away and leave them with plenty of toys. 

#4. There’s the matter of the vet bills

Did you know that every year pet owners choose to abandon their animals rather than pay for veterinary bills? Vet care doesn’t come for free, and ultimately, it’s something you can manage with dedicated pet insurance cover. When you adopt a dog or a cat – or any other pet – you are responsible for their health. Vet facilities that offer extensive and emergency services, distinctive experience and high credentials are likely to increase the bill. But don’t you want the best to look after your pet?

#5. Training your pet is hard work

You can’t become a pet owner if you refuse to train your pet. Too many dog owners try to skip the training stage by interpreting their pet’s behaviors in human terms.In reality, humanizing your dog’s actions can cause errors of judgments and communication, which are likely to lead to unpleasant reactions. Training is hard work, but it is necessary if you want to build a safe relationship with your pet in your community. 

Adopting an animal is an exciting and emotional experience. But you can’t just welcome a pet to your family without considering your responsibilities. As a pet owner, you have a duty of care to your pet but also the public. Failure to keep them safe can cause you many troubles. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Range Rover Luxury For Everyone

There is little getting away from the popularity of Land Rover, especially when it comes to the large and luxurious Range Rover vehicles. The British company has long been associated with high levels of style, lavishness and innovation. If you drive a Range Rover then there is no way people won’t be impressed. However, not everybody can afford the high costs of vehicles today, yet this does not mean you cannot capitalize on the fantastic qualities associated with the leading car brand. Through the range of Range Rover merchandise available on the internet now everybody can be a part of the style and luxury associated with Land Rover. 

This range of products opens up the brand to everybody, even those who are not old enough to drive! That’s right; there are even stylish and fun products available for children too. If you take a look at the range than you can expect to find anything from cuddly toys, to jewelry, to clothing, to electrical goods, to accessories, to special edition anniversary products, to camping equipment, and much, much more. Of course, there are items for your car too, for example, you can check out best dash cams on Blackbox My Car for your Range Rover.  Many people are shocked by the sheer diversity on offer. From stunning cufflinks to interesting anniversary book; there is something for everybody.

One thing most people have commented on when exploring this range is the fantastic style that is on offer. When it comes to brands delving into the fashion world who have their primary focus elsewhere, style is something that is often lacking. Companies rely on the car brand name to sell the products rather than focusing on the style of the products. However, you don’t find this with Range Rover. Everything from the t-shirts to the cuff links boast the suave and sophisticated quality you would expect from Range Rover. The cuff links are in fact extremely popular – these make great gifts for any man. You will struggle to find smarter and more stylish cuff links anywhere else on the internet today. The clothing plays towards the sportier side of fashion, yet it still has that element if sophistication as well. If you are kitted out in Range Rover gear then you are definitely going to be dressed to impress.

Nonetheless, it is not only the wearable products which look fantastic, even the USBs are stylish and creative. The Range Rover Evoque USB is a particularly popular option. This features a miniature version of the vehicle in white on the end of the USB stick. Not only does it like really cool but it is extremely practical as well. After all, there is no chance of you losing a USB stick that looks like this. Say goodbye to those annoying moments of aimlessly searching through your bag to try and find your USB! 

So, what are you waiting for? Instead of reading about it, go and witness the fantastically stylish Range Rover range of products. You are assured to be amazed by the impressive selection that is on offer. And the good news is still yet to come… they are all reasonably priced too!

3 Concerns To Think About As You Get Older

Once you start to get a little older, you need to start thinking about a number of things which would not have been an issue in your youth. That is obviously not a surprise to anyone, and yet many of the specifics can be if you haven't spent much time thinking about it. The truth is that being prepared for such changes can be an important part of aging well, and remaining happy in the process, so this is all important to consider as early on as you can. In this article, we are going to try and make this a little easier by taking a look at just three of the big concerns that you need to think about as you start to get older. Take care of these, and you will find that you can actually find much more peace in your daily life.

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Your Wishes

Once you are starting to think about life after you have gone, the main thing you will need to be sure of is that you are clear about your wishes when that happens. In other words, you need to write out your last will and testament, and make sure that you keep it somewhere safe for after you pass away. That is not something that many people like to do, but it is always going to prove necessary if you are keen to make sure that you are approaching these things in the right manner. What’s more, this is not something you have to do alone, and in fact it would generally be advisable to get a loved one to help you. You might also want a lawyer to help you, just to ensure that it is all as it should be.

Life Insurance

Again, you know that you are starting to think about these things when you start wondering about life insurance. This is of course something which is not so much for you, but much more for the people you leave behind, who are going to be a growing concern for you as you get older. You want to know that they are going to be well looked after long after you have gone, and the best way to make sure of that is to find some life insurance for seniors which seems to suit you best. Once you have got it, you will find that you have much greater peace of mind, so that is absolutely going to be worthwhile.

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Bucket List

If there are any obvious things that you know you would like to do that you have not yet done, then you might start thinking about those and trying to find some time for them. That could include visiting certain countries or seeing a singer you like live, or it could be anything at all, even something very simple like learning pottery. Whatever you want to do, make sure that you do it, while you can. You will be glad to be doing things that you enjoy, and it will feel good to be able to tick those things off your list.

How Should You Plan For Retirement?

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There comes a time in all of our lives when we must consider retiring. We can’t work forever and eventually we will need to consider living a life without income. Or do you? Retirement has changed, it's not like it used to be. Now you have countless options for how you want to live your life in the twilight years. It's all about how you plan your own finances when it comes to the lifestyle you will have when you’re older. The question that begs for your attention is, how should you plan your retirement? Well, you need some kind of stable income to keep trickling in, you need to hold onto your hard assets and also, consider what kind of state pension rules apply to your situation? Most of the time, you would wish for your budget needs to be taken care of by yourself. You won’t want to have to rely on the state to fund your weekly grocery shop or help pay your bills. So be prudent, consider your options carefully.

Look to Warren Buffet

As mentioned before, retirement is nothing like it used to be. You don’t have to take life slow, sit at home and have your meals cooked for you. Take a leaf out of Warren Buffet’s book. He’s a billionaire investor that is in his late 80s and is still working full time. He advises everyone, no matter if you’re young or old, to invest smartly. He recommends index funds be your first choice as they are incredibly balanced, continuing to turn a profit each month and year but also minimizing as much risk as possible. Index funds are not that complicated. They are simply an economic folder or rather portfolio of different businesses and their stocks. You have your money spread around evenly, so you have your fingers in all the pies. If one stock would decrease in value, another is more than likely to bounce up. This means you minimize loss and give yourself a great chance of making a consistent profit.

A similar situation

If you would rather take things slow and more or less have routine in your life, then consider this retirement home. It's a place where you will have your own apartment which has also been newly renovated. The decor is modern and also allows you to move around freely. There is a 24/7 emergency healthcare on standby so if you have any health complications in the night, the staff will arrive in no time. There’s also fresh food prepared every day and you’ll be surrounded by other people in the same situation of retirement. The retirement community is situated in a garden so you have fresh air and wildlife right outside your window. Consider what kind of package you want and contact them to speak about your preferences and see if they can accommodate you.

If you want to be financially independent you should consider doing what Warren Buffet says. Search for an index fund firm which can spread your money around evenly and maximize profits.

3 Alternative Depression Treatments Without Side Effects

Conversations about mental health have really opened up in the last few years and the stigma around mental health issues is starting to disappear. It has become clear that the scale of mental health problems is a lot more severe than people realized. There are a lot of different reasons for the rise in mental health problems, especially stress at work, and that means lots of people are in need of treatment. The reduction in stigma around mental health means that more people are seeking that treatment, often in the form of medication. However, a lot of depression medication has side effects like weight fluctuations, headaches, nausea, and trouble sleeping. Some people find that they don’t experience too many of these side effects and they get on well with the medication, but for others, the negatives outweigh the positives and they feel that they don’t want to continue taking the medication. It’s a difficult situation because they still need to treat their depression but they don’t want to continue with medication. If you find yourself in that situation, these are some of the best alternative treatments out there. 

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Talking Therapies 

Talking therapies are usually the best way to deal with mental health issues. While taking medication will help you to deal with the symptoms of mental health problems like depression, they won’t help you to deal with the root issues that cause those low feelings in the first place. There is a chemical imbalance that needs to be dealt with, and medication is great at that, but there are also psychological problems that need to be tackled as well. Seeing a counsellor or therapist and talking through those issues is one of the best ways to deal with the problem in the long term. If you speak with your doctor, they will be able to help you access these kinds of treatments. 

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a treatment that is often prescribed to people that really struggle with depression medication because it does not have anywhere near as many side effects. A TMS treatment involves stimulating the brain with an electromagnetic field, which might sound scary but it’s not dangerous and it has good results. Most patients report a big reduction in their symptoms of depression without any of the side effects that they’re getting from their medication. 


Hypericum, sometimes known as St. John's Wort is a remedy that has been used for hundreds of years to treat some of the symptoms of depression. It is believed to work in a similar way to normal antidepressants by stimulating the production of chemicals like serotonin in the brain. There are no guarantees here because some people don’t notice any difference and some people will still experience some side effects. However, it does work very well for some people so if you’re not happy with your current medication, it is worth trying. 

Medication works well for a lot of people but if you experience a lot of negative side effects, it can make your situation worse. If that’s the case, you should try some of these natural alternatives instead.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

How To Move On: Coping After Trauma

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Post-traumatic stress disorder is a form of anxiety caused by stressful, and often life-threatening situations. It can be a debilitating condition that prevents the sufferer from leading a full life. Often PTSD causes a person to relive their incident repeatedly, and have potentially vivid nightmares, insomnia, and extreme fears and anxiety.

Post-traumatic stress can affect anyone. A severe incident can bring about feelings that we are not equipped to deal with. This might be an assault, car accident, or even problems during childbirth. The symptoms of PTSD might not also become apparent for months or even years after the event had taken place. 

Those in very stressful jobs where there is a great deal of physical risk, such as military personnel, or emergency service workers may be exposed to the kind of trauma that can cause post-traumatic stress. Those working in war zones are particularly susceptible and, in this case, suffers should visit for advice and support. 

Witnessing, or learning about severe trauma in someone that you are close to can also bring about PTSD too. 


Symptoms vary, and may not become apparent for some time after the event. They may be things such as a disinterest in daily life and activities that are happening around you, a feeling of numbness and disconnection from other people, a lack of positive feelings about the future, and an avoidance of people, places or things associated with the trauma. More severe symptoms might include panic attacks and vivid flashbacks of the event. 

PTSD survivors may say that they don't want to talk about the event. A reluctance to even talk about anything to do with an incident may be a sign that they have PTSD. Having a feeling that they cannot control their own thoughts also demonstrates a potential risk of post-traumatic stress.

Taking Action

If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD after surviving a traumatic experience, then action needs to be taken. In the first instance, speaking with your doctor is advised. They will probably ask a few questions in order to diagnose and understand the level and cause of stress disorder. At this point, being completely honest about how you feel will make sure that an accurate diagnosis can be made. There is no shame in admitting that you are struggling. Suffering with PTSD does not imply failure on your part, and it certainly does not make you a weak person. So if there are symptoms that you are embarrassed to talk about, take your time and allow yourself the opportunity to open up about them and get the help you need. 


Treatment might include antidepressants. These will help with rebalancing the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain. Increasing neurotransmitters that may be depleted helps stimulate synapses making up for the reduced levels. This helps restore our brain activity to a 'normal level'. Over time, antidepressants serve to repair broken connections in the brain through neuroplasticity. When we're under a great deal of stress, our brains produce adrenaline in an attempt to run from or fight off any dangers. Reliving trauma can engage in adrenaline production, meaning that a PTSD survivor suffers from an overproduction of adrenaline. This surplus of hormones serves to raise heartbeats, fuel anxiety and keep the sufferer on edge for a prolonged time. Lowering these chemicals is essential as part of the treatment process. 


Alongside medication, many sufferers may require counselling. This could be talking therapy surrounding coming to terms with the incident. Unpicking the complex emotions surrounding trauma can take a very long time. A qualified therapist will know the types of questions to ask to help you come to an understanding of your condition. They may provide you with reading or exercises to do outside of sessions. It is vital to engage with any therapeutic activities set out, as they are designed to aid your recovery. Often, though progress can be slow and you may not notice the changes. There may be a feeling that you are wasting time, and will feel like stopping. Stick with it, it is a very gradual process, but it is beneficial in the long run.

You may be offered cognitive behavioural therapy. This type of counselling will look at the ways you think and do things and will look at changing your mindset to help you deal with situations better. It is particularly useful for breaking out of patterns of thought and behaviour that may be destructive.

Aging In Place: Is It A Good Idea For Your Parents?

Your parents aren't getting any younger, and there will come a time when one important question needs to be asked - should you let them age in place?

For your parents, they might answer in the positive. Many older people fear losing their independence as they get older, so the thought of moving into a care home might not be their preferred choice. However, if your parent has specific health issues, and they are living with reduced mobility, then you need to consider your options. You see, letting your parents stay at home isn't always the best option.

So, what's the answer?

The first thing you need to do is talk to your parents

It would be wrong of you to make any hasty decisions without consulting them first. In most cases, they will know their needs better than you, so they need to have a say in any decisions being made. Discuss with them the pros and cons of aging in place, and if their preferred choice is to stay at home, then you need to take other things into consideration.

You should consider the care needs of your parents

If you still have two living parents, then one or the other might be able to act as a caregiver if the other is struggling in any way. If you only have one, or if both parents are unwell and in need of care, then you need to formulate a plan. This begins by speaking to your parent's doctor. They will be able to advise you further, with possible options for letting your parents stay in place. For example, the doctor might refer you to specialist nursing agencies who will provide home care for your parents. And he or she might also give you guidance on any home modifications that will make life easier for your parents. If these things guarantee your parents will be safe at home, then aging in place is probably the right answer.

Consider why aging in place might not be the right answer

If your parents show signs that they aren't able to care for themselves properly, then another option might need to be found. So, if they have severe issues with their sight, for example, or if they are suffering from memory-related issues, such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia, then staying at home might not be the best answer, even with the assistance of home care nurses. You need to consider your parent's safety, after all. In such instances, a care home facility might be the appropriate way forward.

Consider why aging in place might be the right answer

If your parents are still able to look after themselves, with or without the assistance of home care staff, and they are keen to do so, then consider the benefits. For one, they won't have to leave the home they have stayed in for years, and for comfort and familiarity, this might be important to them. And because of the cutting-edge technologies available to make aging in place a possibility, it might also be cheaper to let them stay at home instead of paying for residence in a care facility. 

Think of a middle ground

If your parents are reluctant to enter a care home facility, but need the extra help, then you have at least two options. The first is to let your parents live with you, perhaps with the aid of a 
Granny Flats and Studio builder to provide extra living accommodation on your property. This way, you will be able to offer on-site care to your parents should they need it. Alternatively, you could move your parents into an assisted-care living facility that will still allow your parents to have some independence in their senior years.

And so…

Is aging in place a good idea for your parents? We don't have the right answer for you, but consider our suggestions and commit to further research. Let us know your thoughts too, and share any advice you have with us.

Take care, and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Essential Advice For New Bikers

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There’s nothing more liberating than having a motorcycle of your own. Hitting the open road on a motorbike is an experience unlike any other. Sure, driving a car is a freeing experience too, but it’s not quite the same as feeling the wind against your body and cruising the roads on a magnificent piece of machinery. Still, there are a lot of things to consider if you want to be a responsible motorcyclist. Here’s some essential advice for new bikers.

Drive defensively.

The best way to be a good biker is to drive defensively. Maybe you’re skilled at riding your motorcycle, but you have to be skilled at keeping your emotions in check too. Many incidents on the road are caused by reckless drivers, but reacting aggressively to reckless driving can turn a dangerous situation into a full-blown accident. You need to adopt a defensive attitude if you want to be a responsible motorcyclist. If you see someone driving irresponsibly, then give them plenty of space. Deescalate dangerous situations on the road. That’s the key to being a smart biker.

You might even want to consider taking an additional riding course to fine-tune your skills. You’ll probably find that there are plenty of options in your area. You can always improve your existing skills. If you want to drive defensively, then improving your own understanding and ability to operate your vehicle will definitely help. Remember, you can’t control other drivers on the road. Some of them will be sensible, and others will be entirely irresponsible. All you can control is your own driving.

Learn how to maintain your vehicle.

You also need to learn how to maintain your vehicle now that you own a bike. Obviously, this is an important piece of advice for all road users. Car owners need to regularly maintain their vehicles too. However, it’s particularly important for motorcyclists. Your motorbike endures a lot on the road, so you need to take a good look at it on a regular basis to make sure it’s actually roadworthy. Mechanical malfunctions on the road are never good news, but they can be particularly dangerous when you’re on a vehicle with two wheels that needs to keep moving to stay balanced.

You might want to do some research to find a good supplier of motorcycle parts, accessories, and even biker gear. You could check out a store such as Solo Moto. They sell plenty of high-quality biker parts and other necessary accessories for motorcyclists. If you’re going to repair your vehicle or make some improvements, then you need to make sure you use the right resources to get the job done properly. You can’t cut corners when it comes to vehicular maintenance.

Of course, it’s important to know your limitations. You can watch all of the motorcycle maintenance videos on YouTube, but you might still struggle to fix certain issues with your vehicle. If you think you’re facing a problem that’s beyond your expertise, then you might want to seek help from the professionals. Take your bike into your local repair shop when it needs to be fixed properly. You should take it to a specialist for a check-up on a regular basis anyway. That way, you can be sure you’re riding a bike which is safe for use on the road. This is one of the most essential pieces of advice for new bikers. Pay attention to your vehicle. Learn how to maintain it, but learn when to let a specialist take the reins too.

Get the right gear.

There’s no denying that you take more risks when you get on a motorcycle than someone who gets behind the wheel of a car. You don’t have the metallic shell of a big vehicle to protect you. That’s why it’s so important to get protective gear if you should have an accident, whether it’s big or small. Even falling off your bike whilst it’s stationary can cause some serious injuries if you don’t wear the proper gear. Make sure you get yourself a good helmet. Obviously, you want to look stylish on your vehicle, but you need to put safety first. Do your research to make sure you get a helmet which is going to be sturdy and durable. The same goes for the rest of your gear. You don’t want to spend a fortune replacing your gloves, boots, and other essential pieces of biker attire because they get worn out too easily. Think about this in terms of safety and your personal finances.

Being A Responsible Driver In The Modern World

With the increasing number of cars on the road and the increasing number of ways to distract yourself with technology, it can be hard to drive safely in 2019. Being a responsible driver is tough in the modern world, but the following pieces of advice might help you out.

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Drive in the right state of mind.

One of the most important ways to be a responsible driver in the modern world is to drive in the right state of mind. This has always been the case, of course, but the fact is that there are more ways than ever to distract yourself in 2019. Drunk driving has always been a cause for concern, but plenty of drivers allow themselves to be distracted by phones in the modern age. Focus your concentration on the road. It’s as simple as that. And make sure you don’t get behind the wheel if you’re tired, stressed out, or mentally impaired in any other way. Driving in the wrong state of mind can be dangerous even if you’re sober. In fact, depending on how distracted or tired you are, it can sometimes be just as dangerous as driving drunk.

Be a defensive driver.

Of course, even when we drive in the right state of mind, we can find ourselves presented with dangerous situations. It might be tempting to react in an aggressive way, even if you were in the right state of mind when you got behind the wheel. However, letting your emotions take over is going to impede your ability to concentrate on the road and react with quick reflexes. In that sense, driving aggressively is just as dangerous as driving whilst intoxicated or in a sleep-deprived state. Even impatience can be dangerous; don’t run red lights or swerve around slow drivers when you’re in a rush.

Still, even the most cautious and observant drivers can find themselves involved in road accidents. If you want to be a responsible driver, then the important thing is that you respond to such incidents in an appropriate manner. Your first priority should always be that everyone involved is okay, even if the incident was just a minor bump or scratch. You might want to look into auto accident injury care if you’ve had a car accident that injured you or someone you love recently. It’s important to get the treatment you need. But just ensure that you always react to situations on the road in a defensive manner if you want to be a responsible driver.

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Keep learning.

Whether you got your driver’s license 10 days ago or 10 years ago, you’re prone to making mistakes. The difference between a responsible and an irresponsible driver is that the former actually learns from their mistakes. If you want to be responsible on the road, then you need to make sure you keep striving to be a better driver. If you make an error, then log that error in your mind. Ensure you don’t make the same mistake again. If you do, then don’t beat yourself up about it, but just make it your goal to keep improving. Human beings make mistakes. We can only strive to get better.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

You may have heard of the term ‘SIPP’ several times before but are confused regarding what it is and whether it is the right move for you or not. This article is here to put all of those answers to bed. So, let’s jump right in…

SIPP stands for Self Invested Personal Pension. This is a popular pension plan because it allows the holder to choose and manage their investments effectively. Most traditional pension plans don’t offer this, they actually tend to limit investment choice and that’s why an SIPP presents such an attractive alternative for many.

Nonetheless, like any other type of pension plan or UK pension transfer this is something you need to think about extensively to determine whether it is right for you or not. No matter whether you’re moving to America and want to see your retirement out via luxury retirement community or you’re thinking of exploring somewhere new like Asia, your pension is going to need to be considered. So, let’s look at the benefits of an SIPP and why you should consider this option… 

First and foremost, one of the reasons why SIPPs are recommended is because of the substantial tax benefits you will gain. Of course it is important to bear in mind the fact that tax is always variable. It is based on the account holder i.e. your circumstances and there is always the possibility that it could alter as time passes. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at some of the tax benefits you could possibly reap…
  • You don’t actually have to pay tax in order to benefit from a full basic rate tax relief on your personal contributions. This is capped at up to £3,600 per tax year. 
  • You will automatically receive a basic rate tax relief on all of your contributions to your SIPP. 
  • When you reach retirement you will benefit from tax breaks. If you are over the age of 55 you will have the possibility of taking up to a quarter of your pension pot and the good news is; this will be a tax free lump sum.
  • This is not the only retirement tax break. You also have the security of knowing that your dependants will receive your entire pension account if you die before taking any benefits from it. They will get this as a lump sum which is free of tax. 
  • There is no income tax or capital gain tax on your investment returns. 
  • Higher-rate or additional rate tax payers can also claim back more tax relief. 
Aside from this, another key benefit associated with a SIPP was touched upon earlier in the introduction and this is the fact that you will gain from a huge selection of investment options. This encompasses all of the following; unlisted shares, commercial property, individual company shares, corporate and government bonds, investment trusts and investment funds. This really gives you the opportunity to make the most of your pension plan and use it to your benefit. 

It is quite clear to see why SIPPs are recommended. If this is something that sounds appealing to you, you should make sure you hunt down a quality financial advisor who can help you to assess your options and find the right SIPP scheme for your needs specifically. 

The Key Pros and Cons of PowerPoint

Image by Pixaline from Pixabay
Microsoft PowerPoint has been utilized for business and personal purposes since its creation in 1987. Despite it being around for many years and technology heavily advancing, it’s still one of the core applications that’s used for presentations across the world. From students at college using it to demonstrate a project that they’ve been working on to an individual presenting an idea to a potential client, the possibilities of using PowerPoint are endless. 

There are even businesses that offer software that complement the application, to enable people to edit the content swiftly and easily, ensure that the presentation is compliant and on-brand and that it can be shared via email  – an example of which being Alongside this, PowerPoint now also offers Powerpoint Online which allows you to work with on the presentations whilst you are on the website where the presentation is located.

If you are thinking of utilizing PowerPoint, it’s important to consider what the pros and cons are of it. To help make the decision easier, here are the key advantages and disadvantages of the application:

Firstly, what are the pros:

1. It will spruce up your presentation

When you are giving a presentation and want people to remember it, PowerPoint should be your first port of call. Adding a sense of professionalism that will make people take your business or project seriously, you can place content, images, videos and more within it. A lot more interesting than simply standing up and talking, it will help to support what you are saying in a way that’s concise and interesting. It’s also a great way of organizing your thoughts onto one easy application. 
2. It’s customizable 

Following on from the above point, PowerPoint can be edited and adjusted to fit your needs. If you want a text-heavy presentation, you can have it. If you want one that’s filled with only images, easy. This level of flexibility means that can create a presentation that will meet your requirements, whilst allowing it to look visually appealing. 
3. You can easily print the PowerPoint out in hand-out form

This means that you can present whilst it’s on the screen, as well as giving people a physical hand-out to read alongside it. This will, yet again, make whatever you’re presenting seem more credible and professional. 

If you are worried about the hefty cost of PowerPoint, you needn't be. Affordable for both students and businesses alike, it’s an application that can be utilized with ease without a big price tag.  

5.  It’s easy to use

Not only is PowerPoint easy to download, but it can be used easily by anyone. A standard application, you can adjust it by adding different fonts, adding images, etc. with ease. There are even demonstrations that you can watch if you’re unsure of how to use it. 

Now, onto the cons:

1. The presentations can easily look messy

If you are making a presentation that’s filled with text, it can be incredibly unappealing to the eye. People can easily go overboard with too much text or a color scheme that doesn’t fit the brand/simply doesn’t look aesthetically appealing. This will detract from the purpose of the presentation, causing it to look unprofessional and resulting in people losing interest. 

2. Technical difficulties may arise

Say you’re giving a vital business presentation. PowerPoint might stop working, the computer might freeze or another issue might arise that delays your presentation. This issue can be the difference between success and failure - especially if you haven’t come prepared with a physical handout of the presentation. This is a downfall, however, of all the technology that’s utilized when giving a presentation. 

3. Everyone uses it, therefore it’s not unique

Unfortunately, the fact that everyone uses it can be a downfall. You never want to stand out and give a presentation that doesn’t stand out from the crowd. You want one to stick in people’s minds because of the way it’s presented. As anyone can use this application, it can result in a presentation that’s lacking that extra spark that’s needed. 

It’s clear that there are both pros and cons of utilizing PowerPoint that should be considered before using it. An application that has been around for many years, it’s clear that it will still be used for years to come, despite its small downfalls. These cons however, should be taken lightly, as it will depend on who uses it (i.e. the style that you use), that you should expect that the technology could potentially break (no real fault of PowerPoint) and that as with everything in the modern age, it will be utilized by many because of its flexibility. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Top Considerations For Relocation Adventures!

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From time to time we all get itchy feet to make a move, and if you’re a renter, that’s the beauty of it! Whether you’re relocating for a new job, a spontaneous adventure overseas, or simply searching in your home town for a better deal each month, if you’re thinking of making a move you’ll want to consider a few things before you pack up and get gone.

The weather 

If you’re relocating close by, you shouldn't need to worry about this one! However, if you’re move is taking you to a place with a different climate, then you’ll want to prepare for this. Check out the weather by season and stock up on the kinds of clothes that you’re going to need to adjust to your new home. If you’re going somewhere hot, and you’re not used to this, remember to stay safe in the sun. Sometimes, adjusting to a new climate can make us more susceptible to getting sick, so be mindful of this and keep your immune system high with lots of healthy food, drinks, and enough exercise.  

Living Costs 

Moving to a new place can see your normal living costs change pretty quickly (for better or worse)! If you’re taking a new job, you might have seen a nice pay increase, but you’ll want to factor in the possibility of your expenses increasing too. Make sure you do a good amount of research beforehand to find out about food, transport and rent prices, so there are no surprises that you haven’t budgeted for. Of course, rent usually takes up the bulk of your expenses so it’s worth having a look at data like this and other reports for your city to help you better understand what you can afford. If you make a budget beforehand, it will be easier to prepare yourself for every aspect of the move.

Take a trip first 

If you’re relocating to a far away destination, this one might prove a little trickier. But generally speaking, it’s best to take a trip to your new town or city first so that you can ensure that you are making the right decision. Perhaps it’s just a case of the same city but a new neighbourhood? In this case, spend time there to really get a feel for the place and see if it suits you. Take a walk around, drink in the coffee shops, eat at the restaurants, and talk to the locals. If you make a list of must-haves before renting in a new neighbourhood, it will be easier to make the important decisions. 

Ask yourself questions to help yourself in your relocation journey; these questions will depend on what’s relevant to you and your current situation. They could be things like; is this property close enough to my work? Or, will my friends and family easily be able to visit this location? Perhaps-  how long will I be staying here? Regardless of what’s important to you, with a little forward planning, you’ll be sure to have a blast on your relocation adventure. 

Mental Health: Why The Issues Are Rising

This is something that we really feel needs to be spoken about at the minute. It would seem that as the years go on, mental health issues seem to be going up and up, with no explanation at all. Some people have theories as to why they’re rising, and there are a few obvious social factors that we can all see attributing to it. But we really want to get into the nitty gritty of why mental health is on the rise, and what we can do about it. It’s now becoming more of a serious problem than physical health is, because it’s just so hard to treat. Once a mental health issue has someone in its fingertips, it’s then very hard for that person to get out of the cycle they’re in. So, if you’re suffering at the minute, or you know someone who is, then this article might really help you. Keep on reading, and hopefully we can offer you some form of help!

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The Most Common Issues

There are some really common issues surrounding mental health, that usually trigger a series of events that lead to a person being classed as mentally ill. Most of the time, it’s something related to work. Work is one of the most stressful environments, and if you have a job that just isn’t treating you right, it becomes so easy for you to fall mentally ill. Another really common cause of mental health issues, is abuse in the relationship. This doesn’t have to be physical abuse either, it can be mental abuse that can lead to such unstable mental health. This is one issue that so many people are afraid to speak about, and a situation that so many find it hard to get themselves out of. Once you feel so trapped in a relationship, you feel like talking to no one can help it. These are just two really common issues, but there are so many more out there!

What We Can Do To Fight It

There’s plenty that we can do to fight mental health, even if we’re not suffering with an issue ourselves. But if you are suffering, you need to make sure you can speak out about your problems, even if it be virtually to people you don’t know. Supportiv is one platform that you could try if you know you struggle to speak out to people you know about the problems you’re having, but know you speak to someone. Sometimes being part of a community that’s going through what you’re going through, is all you need to do! If you know someone who is suffering, being there for them as much as possible is what you need to do. Talking to them, getting them to open up, and never backing away from them.

Where’s The Future Of Mental Health Heading?

Luckily, mental health is becoming something that’s so much more recognized at the minute, meaning so many more people are able to access services that will help them. There are new treatments being designed, both medicinal and therapeutic to help as well!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Using Colour Curves In Photoshop

Many who are yet to use the ‘colour curves’ tool on Photoshop believe that it is a drawing tool. However, the feature is like an improved version of the ‘levels’ tool. Colour curves allow you to target specific tonal regions, such as a shadow, and make it lighter or darker.
There is also slight confusion surrounding ‘colour curves’ and ‘curves’. The latter tool is available for those using the full version of Photoshop and it has more features, such as; being able to work separately on each colour channel. No matter what you use, TorGuard or another safety solution is essential if you’re using any program like this, especially in a business capacity.

This article will inform you on how to use Photoshop Element’s colour curves tool effectively…

The first thing you need to do is open your photo and make a duplicate layer. In Elements you cannot use an adjustment layer for colour curves as you’d be able to in the full Photoshop version. Thus the best solution is to add a duplicate layer. To add this press Ctrl and J. Next open the adjust colour curves dialog box. Go to enhance, then click on adjust colour, and finally adjust colour curves. 

The next thing you need to do is select a preset for colour curves. Navigate to the lower left window and scroll through the list. Select the preset which is the best match for what you want the image to look like. The dialog box should give you a good idea of what your photo is going to look like. However, if you want to see a full preview then merely drag the dialog box to one side. You will be able to see the photo in its full before you decide whether to make any changes or not. Once you are satisfied click ok. 

You can make further adjustments using your computer if you are not completely satisfied with how the image looks. Use the slider in order to do this. You can adjust the following; adjust highlights, midtone brightness, midtone contrast, and adjust shadows. A small change on one of these sliders can make a big difference. You can easily reset to original settings. Thus if you end up making the picture look worse you can undo your changes. 

Let’s elaborate a little bit further one what each of these sliders does...
  • Adjust highlights – This allows you to darken or lighten a photo; move left for darker and right for lighter. 
  • Midtone brightness – This slider is for the middle range of colours. Again, for darker move the slider to the left and for a lighter range move the slider to the right. 
  • Midtone contrast – Move the slider to the left if you want the contrast to be lowered and to the right to increase it. 
  • Adjust shadows – Move the slider to the left to darken the shadow and to the right if you wish to lighten it. 

Click ok when you are happy and you are good to go. If you follow this step-by-step guide then you should have no trouble using one of the most popular Photoshop Elements tools; colour curves.