Tuesday, March 19, 2019

How To Protect Your Hearing

Image Source. Licensed under Creative Commons.
Hearing loss can be debilitating for many people, making social interaction more difficult and leading to frustration and depression. It’s natural for many people to develop minor hearing loss as they get older, however some people can develop more serious hearing problems later on in life as the result of their lifestyle and actions. Here are just a few ways in which you can keep your sense of hearing sharp long into old age.

Wear ear protection in noisy environments

One of the biggest causes of hearing loss is not wearing ear protection when it is needed. In many noisy work environments such as construction sites, airports, factories and nightclubs it is a legal requirement for employers to supply ear protection. You should make sure that you are wearing this protection at all times whilst at work if you want to look after your sense of hearing.

You may also want to buy your own earplugs for certain leisure events that may be noisy. These include motorsports events, air shows, music concerts and night clubs. Many advanced ear plugs are able to channel out certain sounds making it possible to still have conversations with people around whilst filtering out more harmful distant levels of noise.

Stop using cotton swabs

Using cotton swabs to clear out earwax could be doing more harm than good. Whilst you may remove some earwax whilst using cotton swabs, you could find that a lot of the wax gets pushed further into the ear. This can often lead to hearing loss and could even lead to permanent damage of the ear canal and eardrum.

If you’ve got a build up of wax in your ear, your best way of clearing out is to use water. Whilst taking a shower, you could find that the water clears it out. If this doesn’t happen, you may want to look into ear drops or professional ear cleaning. Ear wax build-ups affect 1 in 20 adults and 3 in 10 senior adults.

Turn down the volume

Listening to music loudly can also damage your hearing. Most audio equipment can reach volume levels above 85 decibels – the volume at which hearing loss is thought to occur. If you commonly listen to music on full volume for long periods, you could be causing yourself serious damage.

Modern smartphones and sound devices tend to come with warning such as red indicator to show when you’re reaching an unhealthy volume. As for listening to music in the car when going down a highway, if you can’t hear the engine because your music is so loud it’s likely you’re on the threshold.

Give yourself a noise detox

If you’re not prepared to wear ear plugs to a rock concert or a nightclub, another way to protect your hearing could be to ensure that you give yourself a noise detox. This involves giving yourself at least 24 hours of quiet time. During this period try to only listen to music on low volume and keep to quiet activities (i.e. not going to another noisy music venue or nightclub). This can help your ears to recover and could stop any damage caused from being permanent.

Know when to get a hearing aid

Once you start to notice hearing loss, it’s worth getting yourself a hearing aid as soon as possible. Having a hearing aid will allow you to hear at a normal level and could also prevent further damage. Many people with hearing loss tend to compensate by adjusting the volume when playing music or watching the TV – as a result many people can end up turning it up to an unhealthy level.

Getting a hearing aid fitted is easy and there are now places including opticians and doctor’s clinics that can supply hearing aids for an affordable price. You should make sure that your hearing aid is maintained so that it’s not making any unusual noises – you don’t want to damage your hearing with a faulty hearing aid!

All too often, it can be easy to ignore those little health worries, unusual symptoms, and various physical concerns. You might hate the thought of booking an appointment, seeing a healthcare professional, or seeking treatment that will aid your recovery. However, you’ll be smart enough to understand how ignoring these issues, will only lead to them getting worse, and potentially having a negative impact of your life, not to mention your overall health and wellbeing. You might just have got quite good at getting on with things and living with issues, or, you might just be purposely ignoring things because you fear acknowledging them. Therefore, it’s crucial to know that seeking advice, care, and the right help, will only lead to good things.

It’s time to open your device and get online (oh hi, you’re already here), grab your phone and type in the correct number, or discover where and when you can get your health concerns taken care of. Make the most of living in an age where there is so much available out there, and that you definitely won’t be the first person to be suffering with what’s bothering you. Let go of any pre-judgement, embarrassment, and fears, and head straight to where you need to be so that you can prioritize your health, from head to toe. The following are some ideas and advice for those who have become far too skilled at ignoring their health concerns, and are ready to make a positive change, for a healthy and happy life ahead. 

Image source: https://kaboompics.com/photo/3400/blue-notebook-with-a-pink-iphone-and-a-pencil
Keep An Eye On Your Senses

Starting with all those functioning things on your head, you’ll want to ensure that they are in tip-top, working order so that you’re not missing out on all the lovely things that life has to offer. Sight is something that can deteriorate in countless people, at any age or stage of life. Therefore, if you’re noticing that things are getting a little blurry, or difficult to see or read; it’s time to get yourself off to a reputable optician. It’s nothing to worry about, loads of people use glasses or contact lenses; and, there’s even the option to fix your vision with laser treatment nowadays. So, take a deep breath, make an appointment, and enjoy being able to see things with crystal-clarity once again! Also, you can get some pretty cool glasses now.

Another common issue among many, is hearing problems, Whether it’s tinnitus, or hearing loss of another kind; it’s always worth your time and effort to get it checked out. It might simply be that you need your ears cleaned, or perhaps you can make the most of some discreet hearing aids; there are plenty of options out there, so you just need to find what’s right for you. Often people will have forgotten what it’s like to hear things clearly, making the moment you get your hearing problems treated, a truly special one; you’ll be able to enjoy all that music, t.v, and conversation that you may have been missing-out on. Sorting out ear problems can also help with balance issue and even headaches and migraines, so, get them looked at as soon as you can!

Deal With Those Creaks And Clicks

It can be easy to ignore hearing your joints creak and click regularly, especially when so many put it down to old age, or a busy lifestyle. However, if you’re beginning to suffer aches and pains, alongside those creaky joints; it’s time to seek some professional help. You don’t want to continue to rely on painkillers all the time, or just getting used to wincing when you get out of bed, or up from a chair, each time. Things like this can dramatically decrease your quality of life, and they often happen so gradually that you just get used to the symptoms. 

Most importantly, you’ll need to ensure that these joint and muscle issues aren’t related to something more serious; surely, that’s enough of an incentive to head to the doctors ASAP? You doctor will be able to run tests, and give you the right treatment. More often than not, it’ll be down to something totally benign, and something yu can treat with the help of a physio, diet, and exercise. The power to move freely and pain-free is something many take for granted, and many feel that there’s little that can be done once these things deteriorate. This simply is not the case, so stop just “getting on with it”, and seek reputable advice, help, and treatment so that you can literally give these issues a good kicking!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Image Credit
Older homes have a certain amount of charm and character that new ones simply don’t have, so it’s definitely easy to see why they’re such a popular choice for people who are looking for a new home, and even why a lot of newer homes are built using the style of older homes as their inspiration.

However, as beautiful and full of character as they may be, they also come with their own challenges just like a newer house does, so it’s really important that you take the time to understand what exactly you’re getting into when you buy an older house and if you’re ready and willing to make the time and energy commitment to it.

So, in this post, we’re going to share with you some of the things to consider when buying an older home.

Safety checks:

Unlike newer homes that have to be built with the latest health and safety standards in mind before anyone can even buy them, older houses may not benefit from those standards unless they were completely renovated and checked over within the last 10-20 years and upgraded, so you’ll need to make sure that your home is free from things like asbestos, doesn’t have any lead paint or other toxic substances, and it will also need to have things like the plumbing, pipework, and electric systems checked over to make sure they’re safe for living. 

Insurance costs:

Insurance is something that every home owner should have, and although the cost of it will vary and depend on different factors, the monthly premium you pay is definitely going to be worth it if you ever need to use that insurance since the cost of repairs or replacing things will be a lot higher. 

However, one of the factors that will determine how much you pay for insurance is going to be the age and condition of the house when you buy it, so since the chance of an older house needing more work doing to it is going to be a good bit higher, then the insurance premiums will be reflected in this.

Energy efficiency:

Nowadays homes are built with the latest energy-efficient standards in mind, however, many older homes won’t have been built that way or won’t have been updated to reflect them, so it’s really important that you consider this and then look at your options for bringing your home up to the latest standards of energy efficiency. Not only will it help keep your monthly bills lower, but will be better for the environment and also make your home more comfortable. You should also look at things like how well insulated your house is so that you can take the measures to update this and ensure you’re actually keeping heat in during the winter. 

Being energy efficient certainly doesn’t mean that you need to give up the original features of your house such as hardwood floors, bay windows, and even a chimney if you’re lucky enough to have one - you can still keep these original features, but just make sure they’re in line with modern standards when it comes to health and safety and energy efficiency. The best way to get advice on how to do this is to speak with professionals in each of these areas, such as a company like Capitol Chimney Sweeping Services, as well as a glazier who can come in and give you tips about the best ways to care for your windows and keep them well insulated.

Renovation costs:

One of the best things about older homes aside from them having lots of original features is that they’re generally going to be a good bit cheaper to buy than a newer one would be, but the downside to that is that the costs and need for renovations is going to be a bit higher. However, if you’re okay with this and are prepared to put in the work, then the upside is that you’re really going to be able to make the house exactly the way you want it and it can be far more rewarding than going in to something that’s been done by someone else.

When it comes to buying an older house, you should always consider this as part of it and make sure you factor the additional renovation costs into your budget when deciding how much you’re able and willing to spend on the place you want to buy so that you’re not going to be stuck with unexpected costs.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Breast Cancer Claimed Another Beautiful Soul

My mother when she was only 19 years old
February 12, 2019 at 9:55 am, one month ago today, my mother lost her battle with Breast Cancer. We were with her when she breathed her last.

Her cancer has spread to her hip bones which gave her so much pain with the slightest movement. I cared for her every day, kept her company, fed her through the tube in her belly, changed her diaper, watched TV with her and responded to her questions even if it was no longer in line with reality. I checked her blood pressure and oxygen saturation levels at regular times during the day.

I even argued with her when she asked for coffee. She was not allowed to have anything by mouth, because of the risk of aspiration. I just told her she'd have coffee when she was well enough to sit up.

Five days before she passed, Mama lapsed into a coma. She was no longer responding, no longer complaining of pain, no more struggling every time I had to change her diaper. She started getting a high fever, which did not go back to normal even with anti-pyretic medications. 

Then I noticed her oxygen saturation level was dropping. It went down to 84%. I told my sisters and brother that it was not a good sign. Her blood pressure was on the low side too. The following morning, my brother bought two medical oxygen tanks, a regulator and cannula. We immediately set it up to get some oxygen into her lungs. I took a reading after a few hours and her oxygen saturation went back up to an acceptable 95%. Mama's vital signs were stable the whole night. I then went home to attend to my own family.

At 5:00 am of February 12, my sister called me and told me that she took Mama's oxygen levels and it was down to 72% despite having oxygen supplementation. I rushed back to Mama's house and stayed with her. My sister started making calls to my aunts and cousins. Mama was slipping.

I sat on the couch beside her bed and turned on the TV. I then noticed that Mama's respiratory rate was getting slower. There was a long pause between breaths and I shouted, "Mama!" I took her vital signs again. She had high fever, her blood pressure was down to 80/50 and her oxygen saturation was 46%

My sisters and I held her. We knew it was time. Mama took her last breath at 9:55 in the morning. I thought I was prepared for this. In reality, I was not. No one is ever prepared for a loved one's passing.

I will miss my Mama for as long as I live. 

I will miss her cooking. 

I will miss our lively conversations about politics, college sports, current events and showbiz scandals. 

I will miss seeing her cuddle and kiss her great-grandson. 

I will miss everything about Mama.

I will seek comfort in the thought that she is now together with my Daddy. Mama has gone to a happier place, with no more pain and suffering. She is with God and with all her loved ones who have gone before her.

I love you Mama. I love you Daddy. Please do watch over us always.

No goodbyes. Just "See you again sometime" and "Till we meet again."


Why Doing DIY May Make Your Life Better

Image via Pixabay
There is a big, dedicated, and lively “self-help community” out there, as well as a related industry that churns out large numbers of books, video tutorials, pamphlets, retreats, seminars, and other guides and techniques for becoming your “best you” and getting over whatever situation might be holding you back in life.

In the self-help sphere, in general, you often hear about things like meditation, holistic health techniques, certain dietary practices, and so on. You’re not so likely to hear about the ways in which performing DIY can help to make your life better, and bring out your “best you”, however.

DIY is probably less popular these days than it has been in some time. The abundance of information provided by the World Wide Web in general means that we can always contact specialists when we need to conduct some roof maintenance, or replace a leaking faucet.

And of course, there are many situations where you really should leave it to the experts.

That being said, by living a life devoid of DIY, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Here are some reasons why doing DIY may make your life better.


It can help to get you out of your own head

From time to time, we are all likely to fall victim to the phenomena of being “stuck in our own heads.” That is to say, we're all vulnerable to getting caught up in our negative ruminations, daydreams, uncertain reflections and fears, and all the rest.

Often, we construct mental prisons for ourselves that essentially stall our ability to make progress in our lives in general, to live the kind of lives we want to live, or to become the kind of people we want to be.

Often, people try and think their way out of their mental prisons, and there may be something to that. The “Positive Psychology” school that brought us the concept of “Learned Optimism” emphasises the importance of challenging critical thoughts, and they seem quite successful in doing so.

Then again, it can be the case – and often is – that what we really need to do when we’re caught in our own mental prisons, is to find ways of breaking out altogether.

Largely, this is a matter of doing things that force you to engage physically and directly with the world around you – whether that means socialising with friends in a public place, engaging in an active hobby, exercising, or in fact doing DIY.

When you’re working on repairing a damaged appliance, or sanding a table, you’re physically active, and it can be easier to get out of your own head.

It can boost your self-esteem by making you more self-reliant

One of the downsides of having so many amenities, services, and goods at our disposal these days, is that we tend to be significantly less self-reliant than the generations that came before us.

That lack of self-reliance can often be tied into a lack of self-esteem, and a sense of being somewhat more vulnerable and helpless in the world and we would like.

When you get into DIY properly, however, you are making yourself significantly more self-reliant, and more capable of dealing with the issues that are likely to arise in everyday life.

A lot of anxiety can melt away when you feel that you are up to the challenge of facing the world head-on, and dealing with the problems you find there.

It can help you to appreciate the complexity of the everyday amenities you take for granted

These days, we all tend to be pretty spoiled, and take for granted the amazing variety of amenities that we enjoy, that people only just recently in history would have considered supreme blessings from above.

For example, how much appreciation do you feel on an everyday basis when you turn on the hot water tap in your shower, and the water actually comes out hot?

When we take things for granted, we essentially strip them of their special value and meaning, and react to them as if they were just unremarkable features of the environment.

But when you take up DIY as a pastime, however, you are constantly confronting those amenities from a problem-solving state of mind. This will very quickly motivate you to see the value in these things, to be reminded of the miracle of their very existence, and to appreciate them.

This, in turn, can help you to feel more grateful for your life in general.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

DIY Time: Sourcing Parts For Your Home's Pipework

https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2017/10/07/08/31/water-2825771__340.jpg
If you are doing any pipework in your home, then there will be some essential accessories that you will need to buy. Before you go ahead and start completing the task it is crucial that you think of all the options at your disposal. After all, you need to make sure you have all of the necessary accessories. 

The first thing that you should do is make a list of all the accessories and goods that you need for your home DIY task. This will ensure that you do not forget anything. After all, there is nothing more frustrating than starting a job only to find that you cannot complete it because you are missing a key component. The following are some of the main accessories you will need to consider; compression reducers, pipe clamp fittings, backing rings and end feeds. Don’t forget to make sure that you have all of the tools for the job as well. 

Once you have made your checklist you can then begin to search for all of the accessories you need. The first thing that you should do is source out a reputable company like Slater Pumps. This is crucial because you need to be assured of quality. Moreover, a top company can provide you with advice regarding which will be the best accessories for you as well as even giving you a heads up relating to the task at hand. The best way to discover a company’s worth is to see how much experience they have in the industry. At the end of the day, you don’t want to be someone’s practice project.

Once you have found a good company to source your materials from you will also need to decide on which material pipe accessories you need. If you are doing some pipe work repair and already have either metal pipes or plastic pipes then you will have to stick to the material you have already utilized. Nevertheless, if you are starting a job from scratch then you have choices at your disposal. People generally tend to lean more towards plastic because it is much more durable and long lasting. The reason for this is because it does not corrode or rust and thus you need not worry about any expensive repair work in the future. Moreover, the thickness of plastic means that it tends to act as a heat retainer as well and therefore it is energy efficient.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Trickiest Things To Deal With When Moving Home

Moving house is a big step in life. When you first moved out of your parents’ home, and you were on your own in the big wide world for the first time, you probably felt an equal mix of excitement and trepidation. Staying up all day and sleeping all night, going out when you wanted, eating and drinking whatever and whenever you needed to, You were ready to move into your very own place, maybe with a roommate or two, and all in all you had a good time. 

But now, you’ve got a family to look after, a career to boost, and a home to keep all safe and happy and tidy. And that makes having to move house a lot more stressful than it ever was before! You’ve got a lot more inventory to keep track of this time around, and considering you’re more likely to be buying instead of renting at this point, you’ve got a lot more admin to do as well. If you’re not ready to take on the challenge of finding and keeping a buyer, or doing your mortgage research, this is going to be one of the hardest points of your life!

So with that idea in mind, let’s think about what’s the trickiest to deal with when you’re moving home. After all, you want to prepare yourself accordingly. 

(Image)
Deciding on the Mortgage

If you’re out to buy a home, or any kind of real estate, there’s a good chance you need a mortgage. Indeed, about 70% of American homeowners have a mortgage still on their credit score, and only the other 30% (give or take) have managed to pay theirs off already. You can immediately see that the financial odds are stacked against you, but you wouldn’t take out a mortgage unless you were completely ready to move on up and own your own home. Therefore, it’d be a waste of time to worry about this prospect in the here and now!

But if you’re ready to get on with buying some property of your own, you need to know you’re getting the right mortgage, using the right lender who is both quite lenient and has a good reputation, and will offer you a good amount of time to keep up with your payments. After all, finding an arm loan is a big deal, and it’s one you should take your own time with - you need to know what you can afford, you need to get a mortgage deal in the bag before you try to buy a home, and you need to know if you can have more than one person on the policy you’ve chosen if you’re moving in jointly with someone else. 

Make sure you do plenty of research in the here and now, and at least know the type of mortgage that’s going to be most beneficial to your plans. 

Packing Correctly (and then unpacking correctly!)

Packing is something we all worry about, at the end of the day. No matter if you’re going away on vacation for a few days, or you’re moving your entire household from one end of the country to the other, you need to know you’ve packed correctly. And once you’ve arrived at your destination, you need to know you can unpack easily, with a simple system on hand to help you out. 

You’ll need to have a good moving company on hand, who understand what kind of care needs to be taken during transit, and listen to your needs. So start with a sharpie pen, or a similar marker, to label the boxes you’ve bought and intend to pack all your things away in. Use color coding if need be - red for the kitchen, blue for the living room, green for your son’s bedroom etc. Even if people don’t read the word on the front, they’ll notice the color in their rush to get everything out of the moving van and immediately head to the right room. 

When it comes to fragile objects, make sure you wrap up everything with some bubble wrap, and then put some protective paper padding inside the box as well. Make sure only you or your partner are taking these boxes inside the house, to prevent tripping or falling or running into each other, which kids are far more likely to do! 

Discovering the Neighborhood and the Neighbors

You’re moving to a new area you’ve probably never even visited before, maybe for work purposes. Or maybe you visited this new area on vacation once or twice when you were younger, but now you can’t remember much of your childhood trips. Either way, you need to get to know the place and the kind of people who live in it, to determine if you’ll get along, and if you’ll get plenty of peace and quiet throughout the day and at night. 

But you don’t know your neighbors’ schedules, you have no idea where the nearest convenience store is, and the only point of reference you have is the local school. What do you do? You explore! Be sure to knock on the doors of the people who live either side of you and introduce yourself, as you’re going to want to make friends with the people partly privy to what goes on in your walls. Always be friendly and civil with them, at the least - if you do, you even get another layer of protection when you’re away from the home. Then get the car out and drive around for a good hour or so, getting to know where the local haunts and the town are. 

How Do You Feel About Moving Home? 

Moving home is always going to be a tricky point in your life, and you’re going to have say some kind of goodbye each time you move up and on. So be sure you’re always aware of what the trickiest things to deal with are going to be, so you can prepare properly for them. 

Live in the Moment: Life Is Just A Single Journey Ticket


Rummaging through old stuff, I found an expired single journey train pass. I have no idea why it is with me. It should have been captured at the turnstile if I used it. Maybe I changed my mind and took the bus instead.

Maybe this is a reminder for me. That this is what life is all about - A SINGLE JOURNEY TICKET.

A reminder to make the most out of this life that I was given. To be more loving, more caring, and to make use of the gifts I have received to show compassion towards others.

There is no point in having regrets for opportunities missed, for keeping grudges against others. A minute lost will never be recovered. As I move forward, all I should focus on is the present. The past can not be changed and the future is not assured.

Live for the moment and make every minute count, because life if just a single journey ticket.

Peace, Love and Light.

The Steps To Take For Better Health In Your 50s

Your 50s are an important time to start paying better attention to your health. From going through menopause to changes in your skin, hair, and body, you’ll experience several changes that will lead you to address your health and even make some lifestyle changes to keep you feeling fit and full of health. 

Want to stay healthy in your 50s? Here are some tips for taking care of your health.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons
Give up smoking

First and foremost, it’s important that you give up smoking. Smoking is one of the world’s biggest killers and is a preventable cause of many illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke. There are a lot of resources out there to help you quit smoking that can help you give up the habit for good. 

Eat a healthy diet

Maintaining a healthy weight becomes more vital as you get older, as being overweight can lead to some serious health complications, affect your mobility and stop you from enjoying life. A healthy diet should be balanced with plenty of protein, healthy fats and fruit and vegetables, while you should avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and salt. Be sure to eat foods that are rich in calcium too so that your bones stay healthy as you age.

Don’t ignore your health checkups
Make sure you attend regular checkups and screenings with your doctor to help detect any serious conditions such as breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease early. These sorts of checks can be scary, but they’re a must to help enjoy a healthier life.

Early detection is key to treating a number of serious conditions. If you are faced with bad news, it’s important to get support so that you don’t feel alone. Talk to friends and family, and make the most of groups like the ovarian cancer symptoms Inspire discussion board that can help you speak to others going through the same thing. Serious diseases are becoming more and more treatable, so getting that early diagnosis through a checkup can be life-saving. 

Take care of your mental health

Mental health issues can affect people at any age, but there are things you can do to help you stay grounded. Exercise is particularly good for relieving symptoms of stress or anxiety, so take note of some exercise tips for your 50s that can help you stay fit.

Meanwhile, some of the signs of aging can have an effect on your self-esteem and confidence. Giving yourself a boost with some beauty tricks to turn back time could be all you need to lift your spirits and feel more comfortable in your skin.

Whatever your current lifestyle, there’s always some room for improvement. Help make your 50s some of your best years yet to keep you fit and healthy. Some simple lifestyle changes are all it takes to boost your health, your energy levels, and your confidence, so why not start today?

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

How Should You Give Back to the World?

We’re encouraged, in this society of ours, to look out for only one person -- ourselves. But just because that’s the mindset that’s presented to us, that doesn’t mean we should take it. Indeed, we’ll likely be happier, and the world a better place, if we take that mentality only so far. While it’s good to think about yourself a little, it’s also important to think about how you can contribute toward making the world a better place. You’ve benefited from the work of others before you -- it’s up to you to also do something for others. But how can you do this? We take a look at four ways below. 

Source: Pexels.com
Be The Change

There are plenty of people who have a lot of ideas about all that’s wrong with the world. They know exactly what needs to be done for the world to be better, if only everyone else would start taking their suggestions on board! The problem here, however, is that often the people giving the advice are not taking it themselves. If you want to change the world, first change yourself -- it’s much better to say, be kinder to those less fortunate than yourself, rather than tell other people to be so.

Volunteering Your Time

Our lives can be pretty jam-packed, especially in this day and age, when we’re working longer hours, have longer commutes, spend more time than necessary on the internet, and so on. However, as full as the diary might seem, there is always space for an hour or two for volunteering. It can be something as simple as picking up trash from the beach, or serving hot drinks at a shelter. It doesn’t matter -- you’ll be doing something that is undoubtedly positive, for the sake of people other than you and your family, and will make you feel good

Through Your Work

We tend to think of jobs where we have to just think about ourselves, work hard, make sure we get a promotion about other people, and things like that, but it’s not always the case. There are jobs that inherently make a positive impact on the world, such as healthcare and educational positions. Nursing, for example, is a job that exists to improve the lives of others; and if you study for an online masters degree in nursing, you can have an even bigger impact, as you’ll be able to transform nursing for the better. If you want to give back to the world in a less hands-on way, you can do so by becoming an environmental engineer, a position that helps to alleviate the problems caused by climate-related changes.  

Financial Support

There are plenty of people who want to do more to give back to the world, but who really can’t -- they just don’t have the time, and they’re so entrenched in their work that they can’t retrain for another position. If you’re in this position, then look up charities and organizations that do the most good, and make a recurring donation. They’ll do good on your behalf! 

Monday, February 25, 2019

5 Easy Ways To Progress In Your Career

In reality, there are very few people who are happy with their jobs, and don’t want to progress in their careers. One glance at someone above you in the workplace (who seems to be doing a lot less work than you, for a lot more money) can just make you feel fed up with your job, but there are many ways to ensure that you’re progressing up the ladder.

We’ve put together some simple tips, for those looking to say goodbye to that stagnant and boring 9 ‘til 5 job, and hello to career progress.

Image credit
1. Be a ‘good’ employee
OK, if you want to progress in your career, you don’t have to be sucking up to your boss to make it happen. However, you do need to make sure that you’re coming in on time, you work to the best of your ability, and you’re not always having sick days for no reason. When you ask for a promotion, you need to have evidence that you’re committed to your career, and the business.

2. Ask
If you want to progress, and get a little bit more cash for what you do, then you may just need to ask your boss how you can advance though the company, and whether the opportunity is there. Not only will this alert him to the fact that you’re considering this (and thus he will consider it himself) but it will also help you to do make the right choices when it comes to career progression.

3. Get more qualifications
Another way to progress is by getting more qualifications, and this is beneficial in many ways. Not only will they help you in the future, but your boss will see that you’ve gone out of your way to improve your chances at a promotion, which shows your commitment and initiative. From a police foundations online course to a Masters program in business, there are plenty of options.

4. Seek advice
If there is somebody above you in your career that you’ve always looked up to, then it may be wise to approach them and ask for advice and support. You don’t always have to look for an official ‘mentor’, but there are plenty of people out there who can tell you how they progressed, and what steps you should take, too. Again, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, so seek some advice!

5. Set your sights on something
OK, so you know that you want to progress. However, do you know where you actually want to go, and do you have a specific job in mind? Having some direction will ensure that your chances at success are a lot higher, and it allows you to be sure that the steps that you’re taking will get you there. You also need to know that you have the ability to do the job, and that it matches your skills.

So, if you want to progress in your career, then why not try out these simple tips? You could be on your way to getting the role that you’ve always dreamed of!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

https://pixabay.com/en/bank-note-dollar-usd-us-dollar-941246/
Delving into the world of investing can be quite scary for most beginner investors. That’s because there are a fair few risks involved - sure, you could make some big returns on your money, but there is also the risk that you could lose some of your cash too. In fact, it is entirely possible that your investment’s value could be wiped out completely. Thankfully, though, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about if you research all of your investment opportunities carefully and are careful with where you place your money.

There are also a few goals that you should have in mind for your first-time investments as well. These can help you maximize your returns and increase the profits made on your money. As well as that, they should also help you stay away from most of the potential risks as well. Read on to find out more!

https://pixabay.com/en/money-profit-finance-business-2696219/
Think About The Short And Long Term

When you start thinking about your investments, you will need to consider some goals and targets for the short and long term. Once you come up with some goals for each time frame, you will then have a much better idea of how to invest your money. For instance, if one of your short-term goals is to just save up enough money to be able to afford a vacation, then you should start putting away some money into a high-interest bank account every month. However, you will need some long-term investments for long-term goals, including retirement and leaving a financial legacy for your family. In this case, the best way to invest your cash would be in safe investments like property and a pension.

Create An Emergency Fund

It’s also essential to set up an emergency fund for you once you do start to gather together some savings. This should be placed in an easy access high-interest account so that it can accrue as much interest as possible. It should also be kept separate from your other savings so that you don’t end up mixing them. The money in your emergency fund should be used for just that - emergencies! You’ll be able to dip into it whenever you need to make any repairs in your home or if you have to pay for any unexpected medical bills. Having an emergency fund such as this will prevent you ever slipping into the red because of an unexpected emergency.

https://pixabay.com/en/piggy-bank-save-piglet-economical-1595992/
Start Off With Some Tracker Funds

When you are looking for some investments for your money, a good place to start off with is tracker funds. These types of funds are usually very affordable, so it’s easy for people with just a small amount to invest to get started with them. The funds are called “tracker” as they track the indices of major stock markets, like the FTSE 100. As there are fund managers who look after the funds on your behalf, these are considered to be a passive investment. You simply hand your investment over and can then sit back while the managers do their job and look after your money. So, as you can see, they are also very easy to manage as you will have little to do. You simply pay your money and then alert the investment platform when you are ready to withdraw your money.

https://pixabay.com/en/accounting-report-credit-card-761599/
Diversify Your Portfolio

When you do start to look for a few more investment opportunities, it is necessary that you try to diversify your portfolio as much as possible. One of the main reasons why diversification is the key to a successful portfolio is that it means splitting up your money into different investments. This can greatly protect your money. That’s because you won’t lose everything if just one investment loses value. Hopefully, all of the investments that are doing well will help to prop up your overall investment, so you shouldn’t have to be too worried about the one or two investments that aren’t doing that great. In order to diversify your investments, you just need to put your money in different types. So, you might want to invest in property as well as stocks and funds. It’s also important that you find investments that are in different industries and international markets. 

Consider Branching Out Into Cryptocurrencies

When you are thinking about diversifying your portfolio, you should think carefully about whether or not to put your money into cryptocurrencies. This is a new modern investment opportunity that has opened up just a few years ago. If you want to find out more about the development of these new currencies, you should check out https://blockchain.intellectsoft.net/blog/cryptocurrency-development-and-types-of-cryptocurrencies/ for more information. One thing that you need to remember when thinking about throwing yourself into this new world of cryptocurrencies is that they can be very volatile. Sure, you could stand to greatly increase your investment, but there is also a very real risk that you could end up losing a large chunk of your investment as well.

https://pixabay.com/en/accountant-accounting-adviser-1238598/
Make Your Investments Tax Efficient

Don’t forget that you will need to ensure that your investments are tax efficient. If you do very well and end up making quite a bit of money with your investments, you might have to start paying tax on the profits. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can get around this. For starters, it could be worth hiring an accountant such as one of the ones listed on https://clutch.co/accounting/boston. They will be able to give you lots of great advice on how to shelter your investment profits from the tax man.

Find Yourself A Financial Adviser

If you enjoy investing your money and want to take it even further, it could be worth hiring a financial adviser. They will assess your financial situation and figure out the best kinds of investments for you. Most advisers will also manage your investments too, so you don’t have to worry about continually checking on them.

So, are you tempted to start investing now?

Friday, February 8, 2019

Anxiety is a mental illness that affects over 40 million people in the US alone and it can completely change the way a person sees life and even worse, how they live their life. The problem with anxiety is that because it’s a mental illness, it’s hard to portray to friends, family, and medical professionals how you’re feeling. It’s important to seek medical help if you’re suffering with anxiety as your first port of call. However, there are a plethora of different things you could be doing at home that could help you fight anxiety and restore some normality into your life.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/alone-man-person-sadness-236151/
First of all, how do you know that you’ve got anxiety? Here are some common symptoms that people experience:
  • The feeling of panic, uneasiness, and even fear. Sometimes these feelings can come on without any sort of logical explanation.
  • Problems sleeping which include falling asleep, staying asleep, or even oversleeping.
  • Heart palpitations that take your breath away
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling sick, gagging, or even vomiting without a reason such as the stomach flu.
  • Changes in behaviour and speech such as talking too fast, talking slower than normal, or even a stutter developing.
  • Feeling the need to get out of situations that you’d usually be fine with. Often this involves being around a large group of people.
  • Dizziness without any other explanation.
  • Feeling tense and being unable to relax properly.
There are, of course, other symptoms that could lead back to anxiety but these are the most common symptoms to show in someone that’s experiencing feelings of anxiety.

So what can I do to combat anxiety?

As mentioned earlier, your first port of call should always be seeking medical help. Your GP will be able to offer you many courses of treatment such as medication and therapy. However, sometimes you may not feel like this is the right course of treatment for you, or perhaps even the waiting list for cognitive behavioral therapy is rather long and you want to try and help yourself in the meantime. Whatever your reasons are, there are things you could be doing at home too.

Promote a healthier sleeping pattern
Getting enough sleep is essential to promoting a healthy lifestyle, and it plays a huge role in how much anxiety you’re experiencing. A well rested mind will be able to deal with situations that could cause anxiety much easier than one that’s not. However, we understand that getting a good night of sleep is easier said than done, so check out these tips on how to promote a healthier sleeping pattern:
  • Go to bed at the same time every night
  • Write down your worries before bed - it really does help!
  • Avoid alcohol right before bed as it can prevent you from falling asleep. It’s important to also not use alcohol to make yourself fall asleep because it’s not a restful sleep.
  • Consider using himalayan salt lamps in your bedroom. Not only are they proven to help calm anxiety, but they provide a soothing light that may help you fall asleep.
  • Change your mattress! 
  • Use a weighted blanket to help provide a feeling of security. Parenting pod believe that in both adults and children, using a weighted blanket can help promote better sleep. They comment that if people are suffering with anxiety they should try “the best weighted blankets according to our psychologist”. It’s definitely worth a shot if it helps you get a better night of sleep.
  • Try sleep hypnosis to help fall into a more natural sleep. It works by helping you relax every muscle in your body including your mind!
Getting a more fulfilled night of sleep can and will affect the way you experience your anxiety.

Change your eating habits

When you’re feeling anxious, you may feel inclined to reach for the treats and junk food - and that’s understandable! It’s a normal human behaviour to find something that makes them feel good when they are feeling out of sorts. However, the food you’re eating will dramatically affect your anxiety and it might be worth trying to change your eating habits to improve your symptoms. Did you know that junk food can cause a chemical imbalance in your brain which, in turn, will bring on the feelings of anxiety, depression, and can also accelerate the feelings of stress too?

Try eliminating as much junk food and processed sugars out of your diet as possible. Not only will you notice that your anxiety is improving, but so will your general health, self confidence, and quality of life (which by the way, could be a cause of your anxiety!).

https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-black-and-white-body-dark-271418/
Shout it out

It’s not unusual to experience feelings of frustration in everyday life, never mind when you’re feeling anxious. One of the greatest ways of reducing your anxiety is by letting these feelings out! Why not try:
  • Finding a secluded space and literally screaming your frustration out. It might seem a little over the top but trust us, it works!
  • Cry it out. There’s nothing wrong with a good cry every now and then, so if you’re feeling a lot of pent up frustration - have a good cry! Remember though, that if you’re crying on a regular basis and you’re not in control of your emotions that you may be experiencing something other than anxiety, and you should speak to a medical professional about these emotions.
  • Talk to someone you love and trust. We know it’s hard to talk about your anxiety but you’ll be surprised at how understanding your loved ones can be. This could be a family member, friend, or even a work colleague!
Letting emotions out before they take over can help prevent long term mental damage and also breakdowns. Let out your anxiety!

Ground yourself

Something you may have heard of is grounding yourself. As you well know, when you feel anxious it’s almost like an out of body experience. You don’t feel like yourself, your head feels funny, you feel sick and you generally want it all to stop. Grounding yourself is super simple and can be done anywhere. Here’s how it works:

Find something that you can-
  • See
  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Taste
  • Feel
Using your five senses will help bring you down from anxiety and can help you regain clarity. This is a great trick to remember if you’re in a particularly stressful situation such as giving a speech or doing a performance. The next time you’re feeling anxious try grounding yourself. It might not make it go away, but it will certainly help put you at ease and bring you back to normality a little.

Distract yourself

This might seem a little obvious, but distracting yourself from the way you’re feeling will help you come down from your anxiety high. Many people don’t like using the distraction method as it doesn’t solve the problem, it simply masks it. However, if you’re no longer feeling anxious isn’t it worth it?

Different distractions work for different people, so it may take some time to find a distraction that works for you and your anxiety. Sometimes simply picking up a book or turning the TV on can help and for others, they need to get moving and go for a walk. Experiment and you’ll soon find the perfect distraction for you.

Eliminate anxiety causes

Sometimes you may not have a clue what’s causing your anxiety, and in other cases you’ll be able to detect what triggered your panic attack. It’s important to eliminate these triggers as much as possible so that you can concentrate on maintaining a healthy mental health attitude. This may mean changing your career, cutting out poisonous people, or simply finding a new hobby, but it will help your anxiety improve.

Ride it out

One of the greatest pieces of advice we can give to any person suffering with anxiety is to ride it out. We understand that this isn’t what you want to hear, but look at it this way:
  1. Your anxiety will go away at some point.
  2. Your anxiety can only get so bad before it begins reducing again.
  3. Riding it out will reduce the length of time you’re anxious in the future.
Remember that what goes up must come down, and this premise is the same for anxiety too. Find a safe space in which you can ride out your anxiety. Practice healthy methods to deal with it such as grounding, deep breathing, and sipping cold water and you’ll soon notice that each anxiety attack is shorter and doesn’t feel as bad as the last time.

Anxiety doesn’t have to take over your life, and if you put these methods of coping into practice, not only will your anxiety attacks not feel as bad as before, but you’ll be taking the right steps into fighting this horrible illness once and for all. You can do this!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

https://unsplash.com/photos/KE0nC8-58MQ
When you first start to work for yourself, you’ll often be grateful for the opportunity. Plus, there’s just so much to do, that you’ll want to get stuck into the work - and this leaves little time for anything else. But, when you’re running a business, or you’re building your career, there is more to do than just the work. And when you want to focus on making more money, you need to get a lot smarter about those ‘extra’ things. From sales to streamlining your processes, you need to be driving this forward. You cannot work on autopilot or just do things the way in which you’ve always done them. You have to proactively aim to take your earning potential to the next level. So let’s look at how.

Delegating

To start with, one of the best things you can do to grow your business, is to not do everything yourself. When you start to delegate, hire help, and outsource tasks to specialists - especially these extra tasks that take you away from the real money earning work, you free up your time. This then allows you to work on earning more and growing your career.

Expanding

From here, you then might want to expand. The idea is for you to be able to do what you’re doing now, but on a much larger scale. So do you want to aim to double your sales? If so, you need to look at your marketing plan to see HOW you’re going to do that.

Working On Your Skills

Another thing that might work in your favor here, is increasing your skill set. They say if you’re not growing, you’re stagnating. So it’s in your interest to always be learning. So look to your field and find the next level up. Whether it’s a masters in special education or a PhD in communications, take a look at your options. It may even be that you choose to grow your skills by moving into a new field that has more earning potential for you.

Working On Your Pitching

However, you may need to do more that just hone in on your skills. If there’s one thing that will push you to the next level here, it’s pitching. And having the confidence to pitch. And making sure that you consistently pitch and put your name out there. So make sure that you have an elevator pitch that you can turn to in an instant. Remember, practice makes perfect. Sure, pitching and selling yourself is daunting, but the more you do it, the successful you will become.

Networking

Finally, you should find that networking is going to help you to grow your earning potential too. So put yourself out there. Connect with other professionals. Attend events. The more people you meet and can connect with, the more people that you can help. So keep this in mind. And then, you should find that you’re able to drive more sales on a month on month basis, or get more commissions. And this will always allow you to grow your income.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Photo by stevepb from Pixabay
Your bank account is something that can cause you the highest amount of stress in life, or it can ease any worry that arises in your mind. There are some good ways to transition from the stress-based way of living with your finances to the confidence of someone with healthy numbers in their account. Here we are going to take a look at some of the things you might want to consider when it comes to looking after your money

Savings

The first area of finances that we are going to look at is the way you can save money. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean that you have to cut out the things you enjoy in life or settle for subpar services. No, there are ways that you can save money while still getting what you want out of your expenditure.

To do this, you should address one of the elephants in the room of any household, utility bills and costs of subscriptions. If you haven’t been using comparison websites to help reduce expenses already, then the time has come for you to load up one of these sites and get comparing deals to bring down your outgoings. You might think that you can’t make that much of a saving, and you would be wrong. Utility companies and internet providers are clamoring for your business and will offer all sorts of discounts to new customers. And one of the great tricks is taking your new offer to your current provider to see if they will match or beat it - customer retention is a big target for most businesses in this day and age of mass competition so it is worth your time challenging their prices. 

You will quickly find that once your bills start to come down, you will have excess cash leftover at the end of the month. 

Photo by mohamed_hassan from Pixabay
Investments

Now if that is how you can save money, how about making more? Getting involved in the investing world is a good way to start increasing your savings from being sat in a bank account to being something you can build a future with. The problem for a lot of people when it comes to investing is they don’t know where to start and need help. Well for those of you who want to get involved in investing your hard earned and saved cash then consider automated trading to get you going. 

There are many types of investing that are open to you and finding the right one is all about doing your research and settling on where you feel comfortable. For example, someone who is in touch with current affairs around the world might find that investing in foreign currency markets is the best place for them. Whereas someone who isn’t confident on being able to track fluctuations in exchange rates might prefer to look into dividend investing where you buy stock in companies that historically pay out a good dividend each quarter. 

Don’t be deterred from investing just because your knowledge of the industry isn’t particularly high. You can learn with small investments and build your portfolio up over time. 

Friday, January 25, 2019

If you have a close friend or a family member who is recovering from an illness or injury, it’s natural to want to do everything possible to help and support them, but how do you make sure that you do and say the right things? It can be challenging to find the right balance between taking over and being too intrusive and ensuring that your friend knows you’re there whenever they need you. Here are some tips you may find helpful. 

Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/girlfriends-hug-trust-girl-2213259/
Offer an ear

Often, when you have to deal with the aftermath of an injury, or you’re struggling to cope with a long-term illness, it can affect both your mental and physical health. Sometimes, people find it easy to talk, but in other cases, opening up is a real challenge. If you have a friend who is recovering after an accident or a relative who has been diagnosed with a chronic mental or physical illness, you can help them out by informing them that you are there if they ever want to talk. This might be the invitation they’ve been looking for to discuss their feelings or emotions, or it may simply give them access to somebody to call upon if they need cheering up or they fancy talking about something that takes their mind off their injuries or symptoms. 

Do some research

If you’ve never been in the same boat as your loved one, it can be difficult to appreciate and understand what they’re going through. If you feel like you’re in the dark, it’s really useful to try and learn more about the condition or the injuries and complications your friend is faced with. If you’re trying to help a friend recovering from an eating disorder, for example, talk to their doctors, read up about the specific disorder on the Internet using reputable, reliable sources, and take an interest if they’re willing to talk to you about their illness and how it affects them on a daily basis. You might be interested to see an anorexia recovery meal plan or to talk to people who have been through the recovery process and emerged the other side. You don’t want to spout facts at somebody or tell them things they already know, but it helps to have an understanding. 

Be positive

When you’re feeling low, and you’re struggling with your health and wellbeing, you need people around you like never before. Try and be a positive influence, and ensure that being around helps your friend. Encourage them if they’re showing signs of progress, build their confidence, and urge them to keep going if they’re getting frustrated by the speed of their recovery. Be a cheerleader and play to your individual strengths. Perhaps you’re not the person who is necessarily the best at giving practical advice, but maybe you can bring a smile to that person’s face every time you see them because they think you’re funny and you take their mind off their recovery. 

Most of us go through periods when we need others to help us out. If you’re eager to support a loved one, hopefully, this guide will benefit both you and your friend.