Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Taking Your Kids To Visit Grandma When She's No Longer At Home

Seeing our children develop close and loving bonds with our own parents is one of the primary joys of family life. Unfortunately, while this relationship is straightforward while your parents are living independently, maintaining that bond becomes a whole lot harder if your parents ever face the reality of entering an assisted living or care facility. Suddenly, visits go from being an everyday occurrence to being a pretty big deal, and you may even prefer to keep the kids away while your parents settle.

Eventually, though, grandchildren and grandparents alike will be desperate to reunite, and we’ve got some crucial tips to help you manage the smoothest possible first visit when that happens. 

Tell your children what to expect

While most kids won’t bat an eye at their surroundings when they’ve seen them more than once, children can find it quite overwhelming the first time they visit their grandparents outside of their home. This is especially true in things like care homes, where the environment can be busy, and entirely unlike the home space that kids are used to. Even in more home-like assisted living apartments, children may struggle to settle if they aren’t quite sure where they are or what it means. To avoid this, it’s always worth talking to your children about what they can expect, including things like staff presence, on-site activities, or any health-related changes that they might not be prepared for in your parents. This way, they’re far less likely to experience unpleasant shocks and distress on the day. 

Find a time that works for everyone

If kids or grandparents are tired, hungry, or anything else, this visit could become more emotional and rushed than you would ideally like. Hence why it’s also vital that you time your visit carefully based on everything from your children’s meal and nap times to the care home schedule where relevant. This way, you make it far more likely that the visit will run well without unexpected hiccups or the risk of a bad atmosphere, which is going to make all of the difference for keeping everyone happy for the duration.

Plan activities if you can

Particularly if your grandparents aren’t in the best of health, sitting around in their apartment or care home room can be difficult for them and your child. As such, you may also want to fill this visit with activities that can keep everyone occupied and ultimately show your child the fun grandparents they know and love. Luckily, most care home facilities will have family-friendly activity schedules that you could sign up for. Equally, if an assisted living facility offers additions like restaurants, swimming pools, etc., you may find that heading here helps to keep everyone busy, having fun, and distracted from the more medicalized or scary elements of this move. 

Kids are resilient, and once they’ve visited your parents a few times they likely won’t even notice this change in scenery anymore. That’s especially true if you make their first visit as good as it possibly can be using these pointers. 

How to Mentally Prepare for Having a Baby

When you are planning to have a baby, there is so much to think about. But one of the most important things to consider is how you will mentally prepare for becoming a parent. It can be a huge change, and it's important that you take the time to get ready for it. This blog post will discuss some tips on how to mentally prepare yourself for starting a family and also talk about some of the challenges that you may face and how to overcome them. So if you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant soon, make sure to read this post!

1) Talk to other parents

One of the best ways to mentally prepare for starting a family is to talk to other parents. They can give you advice and tell you what to expect. You can also ask them about the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. This will help you feel more prepared and less alone.

If you don't have any friends or family who are parents, there are plenty of online forums where you can chat with other parents-to-be. Just remember, every parent's experience is different, so take everything with a grain of salt! Another great resource is your OB/GYN or midwife. They've seen it all and can answer any questions you have about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.

2) Do your research

In addition to talking to other parents, it's also essential that you do your own research. Read books, articles, and blog posts about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. This will help you understand what to expect and give you a better idea of what you're getting yourself into. It's also essential to learn about the different challenges that you may face as a parent so that you can be prepared for them. And don't forget to talk to your partner! They need to be on the same page as you when it comes to starting a family.

3) Make a plan

Once you've done your research and talked to other parents, it's time to make a plan. This should include everything from how you're going to financially support your family to how you're going to balance work and parenting. It's also important to think about the kind of parent you want to be and what values you want to instill in your children. Making a plan will help you feel more prepared and less overwhelmed when starting a family. You could also look into IUDs affect on fertility when considering starting a family soon.

Of course, even with all the planning in the world, things can still go wrong. So it's important to be flexible and remember that there is no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect family. So just do your best and enjoy this special time in your life!

4) Seek professional help

If you're feeling really anxious or stressed about starting a family, it's important to seek professional help. There are many resources available to help you, including therapy, support groups, and hotlines. Also, don't be afraid to reach out for help if you need it.

Having a baby is a big change, but it can also be an amazing and rewarding experience. By taking the time to prepare for it mentally, you can set yourself up for success. So talk to other parents, do your research, make a plan, and seek professional help if needed. And enjoy this special time in your life!

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Dealing With Family Loss: How To Make Coping More Doable

The concept of losing a loved one isn’t something that any of us can comprehend until it happens to us. There’s is nothing worse than losing someone that you love, and coping with that loss can be extremely stressful and upsetting. This is especially true if you have been put in charge of dealing with the arrangements following their death and you have your own young family to look after. 

Knowing where to start after losing a loved one can be extremely difficult. There’s a lot that you need to think about and consider when it comes to coping with the loss of a loved one - it’s not an easy task, knowing what steps to take in the wake of someone you care about passing away. However, just because it’s not easy, that doesn’t mean that you cannot make coping a little easier. 

Photo source: Pixabay

Here’s how to make coping when dealing with a family loss a little simpler to manage - read on for everything that you should know. 

Don’t put pressure on yourself 

It’s easy to put a lot of pressure on yourself when it comes to coping with family loss, as there’s probably a lot that needs to be done. However, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Realize that it’s okay to move slowly to organize things and that there are no time constraints on how long you have to get organized. Coping with a family loss is hard and it’s important to realize that it’s okay to not be okay and to need time. 

Find a funeral home 

An important step to take when it comes to coping with the loss of a loved one is to find a funeral home to work with on the end of life celebrations. You want to find a funeral home like George Boom Funeral Home that is able to offer you plenty of help and support with every aspect of your loved one’s funeral arrangements. Finding the right funeral home will help to make the process that little bit easier, so it’s worth taking the time to find the right one. 

Spread the load 

Don’t try and deal with everything yourself, you’re grieving too. Spread the load and speak to other family members and friends and see if they can help you to organize everything in the wake of your loved one’s passing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, after all, you need time to grieve too. Whether you need help organizing the service or you need help organizing the memorial, don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

Coping with the loss of a loved one is never easy; it can be extremely upsetting and even traumatic. Dealing with that loss and putting the arrangements in place to say goodbye isn’t easy either, and it can often end up feeling like a little too much pressure. Hopefully, however, the advice above will help to make dealing with your loss that little bit easier to cope with. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Learn the Secrets to a Healthy and Happy Family

 

Juggling with work, a partner, kids, parents, and other personal responsibilities that come with family life like maintaining the household chores and expenses can be stressful. Sometimes it is impossible to see the fun and joy in the family. However, that should not be the case. Below are secrets to maintaining a healthy, strong, and happy family.

Eat together

Eating together as a family has great benefits. Children get to consume healthy diets, have higher self-esteem, well-behaved, and have better vocabularies. Additionally, children who eat dinner with their families have lower chances of developing eating disorders like Anorexia, do drugs, commit suicide, drop out of school, or get pregnant. This is mainly because eating together creates a sense of security, and parents can guide their kids and ask about their day during meals.

Share stories

When the day is over, you come back to family, parents from work, and children from school. Ask your children about their day at school and also tell them stories about your day. You can create a tradition of telling each other the highlight and low moment of your day. Tell your children stories about their family history to give them a sense of control and high self-esteem.

Your family will be happy whenever they have something to look forward to. As a parent, you are also able to learn your children's interests, and you can advise and support them. If your child has severe loss of hearing, get cochlear implants to improve communication and their psychological well-being.

Take a vacation

A vacation will break the monotony of how you do things at home. It increases the feel-good-chemicals (dopamine) that bring the whole family closer. Making fun and lasting memories together once in a while, especially during the holidays, will make your family grow healthier and happier. During this time, avoid using your phone regularly to deal with work-related issues, read books, and watch movies after your day-time adventures.

Have conversations about money with your children

Children grow up knowing that their parents are their superheroes, and they are. However, learn when to tell your children no to something that they want when you cannot afford it. As much as pleasing your children is necessary, taking care of your finances is crucial to building a happy family. Teach your children about savings and debt at an early age. Tell them how money is made, spent, invested, and lost. Truth is better than ignorance.

Invest in your marriage

The love between couples is the foundation of a healthy and happy family. Once you get children, don't forget to put time into your marriage. Ask a relative to come and watch the kids as you go out on a date or get a nanny, agree on how to parent your kids together, make financial decisions together, and enjoy some alone time together.  Your partner should not become a substitute provider of love when children come into the picture.

Bottom Line                                 

Building a healthy and happy family requires positive thinking. Ensure you spend time together by sharing meals, share stories about your daily activities and family history, and go for vacations to break the monotony. Also, invest in your marriage as it is key to creating a happy family and discuss finances with your children.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

 

Are you no longer intimate with your partner? Both physical and emotional lack of intimacy comes as no surprise in marriage, triggered by a myriad of situations that happen along the way. However, not every married couple is capable of resolving marital issues on its own, hence ending up estranged. 

Nowadays, marriage counseling has become an effective way of saving relationships. These therapies teach individuals how to express their emotions, admit their fears, and let go of their grudges. 

These are the main ways in which therapists help partners renew their love.

Improved communication

The core of marital problems is predominantly the communication between partners, such as barely speaking to each other, not being able to find a common language, or turning a blind eye on what the other spouse wants to say. Therefore, marriage counseling sessions provide the perfect opportunity for individuals to vent out without feeling disconnected. Visit this page to check out some helpful strategies for improving communication in marriage. 

Additionally, therapists ensure no issue is left unheard, hence allowing both spouses to share their side of the story. In the meantime, they take the role of mediators by providing unobstructed two-way communication, preventing partners from interrupting each other while opening their souls. These professionals will make sure you understand why the old patterns of interaction are no longer functional, as well as assist you in finding new ones. 

In some cases, having no normal conversation between spouses is triggered by the fear of one partner to share its opinion and true feelings. In such scenarios, marriage counselors provide the necessary encouragement to individuals to speak up without feeling afraid. Therapists work on improving clients’ self-confidence, as silence is definitely not golden in a marriage. 

Fear realization

Many married couples cope with repetitive arguments due to the fear of certain aspects of marital life. Most individuals aren’t even aware of their underlying fears, thus inducing unnecessary quarrels in the hope of getting rid of their negative energy. Nevertheless, the arguments keep on repeating as long as spouses take no action to overcome their fears. 

Instead of going through tirades every single day, couples therapy might provide you with the long-desired peace of mind. Most of the respectable marriage counselors are experts in helping married couples understand how fear affects their relationship. Through conversation, your therapist will make your realize your deepest fears, such as having financial problems, not being prepared for the role of a parent, or feeling no longer intimate enough with your spouse. After admitting your fears and discussing them with your partner, you’ll no longer be tempted to initiate quarrels. 

Improved intimacy

Another major issue married couples experience over the years is the lack of both physical and emotional intimacy.  It’s common for spouses to drift apart after years of being in a marital union, as infatuation fades gradually. However, partners should strive to keep the spark alive, regardless of the inevitable feeling of monotony. 

For instance, most couples forgo physical intimacy after their newborn arrives due to being overwhelmed by their new role of parents. For some spouses, the sexual dry spell lasts for a few months, while for others it lasts much longer. In the latter case, most partners feel like strangers, which might eventually result in an emotional, not just physical estrangement. 

Fortunately, marriage counselors help spouses deepen their intimate connection both on a physical and emotional level. By tackling the core of the issue, these professionals enable married couples to rekindle their spark and restore their intimacy. 

Learn to forgive

Couples therapy teaches partners about the power of forgiveness, which most individuals lack. Instead of putting an end to your marriage after learning about your husband/wife’s infidelity, find the strength to give him/her another chance. 

Moreover, counseling might prevent you from terminating your relationship prematurely. After listening attentively to what your spouse has to say about its disloyal behavior, perhaps you’ll reconsider your opinion about getting a divorce. Go to this link, https://www.wikihow.com/Forgive-After-an-Affair, for some useful tips about forgiving after an affair. 

Final word

Marriage counselors are the right professionals to consult when coping with marital problems. 

Don’t miss the chance!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

How do you explain to a child about the coronavirus crisis? It is difficult enough for adults to get a full grasp of the pandemic, what more for a child who is wondering why he or she cannot go out and play. Here are some of the questions your little one may ask, and the best responses you can give.

Image credit
Question: "What is a Corona Virus?"

Response: "A Corona Virus is a germ. You know what germs are, right? But this one is different because it can make people sick very quickly. The germ comes from people who have it in their bodies already."

Question: "Why can't I go out and play? 

Response: "We are doing our best to keep you healthy and free from the virus. We cannot see it, so the best we can do is to stay home. We do not know where it is. It is an invisible enemy. So to avoid getting sick, we should stay home. Only Mommy or Daddy can go out to get food and other things we need."

Question: "Mommy, why do you have to wear a mask when you go to the grocery?"

Response: "Mommy needs to do that to protect me from the virus. Remember I told you, we cannot see it? A mask protects Mommy's nose and mouth from inhaling the virus so I don't get sick. I also wash my hands thoroughly after I get home before I touch anything else. Mommy and Daddy are being very careful so that we don't get sick."

Question: "When can I go back to school? I miss my teacher and my friends."

Response: "Right now, there are still people who are getting sick, so your school will be doing online classes for now. You can still see your teacher and your friends. You will still be doing your lessons, sing songs, and learn art. The only thing different is that you will be using the laptop to do these things. It will not be forever, only until things get better."

Question: "Can I visit Grandma and Grandpa?"

Response: "Sure you can, but not as often as we did before. Once a week will be fine. But you will have to wear a mask and a face shield when we take you to visit your grandparents."

Question: "Can people die if they get the virus?"

Response: "Yes. People may die if they get the virus. These people are those who are already sick of something and then they get the virus. But if you are healthy and strong, you may only feel sick for a while and then get better. Now, do you understand why I keep telling you to eat healthy food and finish your veggies? It is because I want you to have a strong body to protect yourself from the virus."

Question: "When will the virus go away?"

Response: "Many people like scientists and doctors are working to find a cure. Do not worry, they are doing their best. Let us pray for them so that they may find the solution to get rid of the virus." 

These are just some of the questions a young child may ask. As parents, you must learn to choose the right words that your child will easily understand. Be honest, but also be careful not to overwhelm them with information and cause anxiety. Reassure them that all these things that are happening are only temporary.

Keep their little minds busy with other things. Encourage them to be creative through art. Get new books, especially on topics they are interested in. Keep them interested in learning new things. You can get your child a small plant that they can take care of. You can sit outside in your patio at night and gaze at the stars and the moon. Teach them about the planets, the solar system, asteroids, and galaxies. There are so many ways to keep a young child curious and hungry for new knowledge! 

My 4-year old grandson busy drawing the earth, sun, moon and other planets
Being on lock down has its perks too. Some of you may have been given a work from home set up by your employer. That's good because you get to spend more time with your child and you get that chance to personally see to it that your family is safe. 

We have been on lock down since March 16th. That's a total of 126 days to this day. Some restrictions have been lifted, but the rising number of cases is still getting everyone worried. My family and I follow strict sanitation procedures - wearing a mask (and face shield if possible), no shoes or slippers in the house, washing hands, avoid touching our faces when we are outside, and practicing social distancing. Prayers do help a lot too!

Before I end this post, let me share with you a photo of my grandson's drawing. He drew the earth, and then grabbed a red crayon and started coloring a part of the earth red. When I asked him what the red color is all about, he said, "This is the people on earth with coronavirus." And this kid is just 4 years old! 

That red area, according to my grandson is, "People on earth with corona virus"
Stay safe, and stay home as much as possible. Let us listen to the experts' advice and be vigilant always.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Pixabay - CCO License

Although it’s important to prioritize your health at any age, there are certain advantages to enjoying a healthy lifestyle as you get older. The aging process can mean that you experience various age-related health issues, but these shouldn’t impact your quality of life.

With the right prevention and symptom management, you can enjoy an active lifestyle. To maximize your enjoyment of life, take a look at these top tips for remaining happy and healthy as you age:

Keep moving

Keeping active is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health as you get older. Maintaining your mobility ensures a greater level of independence as you get older, so it’s certainly something you’ll want to prioritize. A daily walk, a gym workout or even playing with nieces, nephews, and grandchildren are excellent ways to keep active as you get older.

Stay social

Being sociable helps to prevent loneliness and isolation, both of which can have a significant impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing. In addition to socializing with your current circle of friends, take a look at community groups and local events too. If it’s logistically difficult for you to be as social as you’d like, get to grips with technology so that you can maintain social connections online.

Check your hearing function

Age-related hearing loss is an extremely common issue but it’s one that can be managed successfully. A hearing test will assess your hearing function and indicate whether or not you’re suffering from any form of hearing loss. If so, an audiologist will determine what type of hearing loss you’re experiencing and prescribe appropriate treatments and symptom management devices.

Do balance exercises

Many older people find that their balance deteriorates over time, which can increase the risk of falls and subsequent injuries. Incorporating balance exercises into your daily routine can help to prevent this from happening. Ensure you have a safe area in which to practice and ask your physician for advice on which exercises are best for you.

Travel more

If you’ve always enjoyed taking vacations and seeing new places, don’t let your age stop you! A road trip across the U.S., a cruise around the Bahamas, or a trip to Europe will reignite your passion for life and keep you feeling young at heart.

Overhaul your diet

As you get older, your metabolism changes, which often means you don’t need to eat the same number of calories as you used to. Additionally, now is the time to cut back on salt and saturated fats, as they can increase your blood pressure and cause cardiovascular problems. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can reduce your risk of related health conditions and enjoy being more active.

Prioritizing Your Health at Any Age

If you want to be happy and healthy as you age, the best time to start making changes to your lifestyle is now! No matter what age you, prioritizing your health will help to ensure you enjoy better health in both the short and long-term.


Thursday, June 4, 2020

Why Escaping To The Country Could Be Good For You

If you have been a city slicker for your entire life, you might be craving the peace and quiet of some countryside living. Moving to the country is a very stereotypical thing to do when you hit your mid-thirties, and you’re thinking about settling down to a gentler pace of life. As our kids grow older and we are reconsidering our priorities, we look to the countryside to help us start a new chapter. Rural or village life may sound idyllic, but you need to head on a few long weekends in the country before you make your mind up. Take a look at why escaping to the country could be good for you.

Pexels - CC0 License
 Moving Away From Work

Our work lives tend to be more frantic than ever. In the twenty first century, there is greater competition in every industry, and as you rise through the ranks in your career, you will find more responsibilities and stresses intrude on your home life. You might be working long hours, you may have an overbearing boss, and the targets that you are set may be unrealistic. Give yourself some physical distance between you and your work by moving further out into the country. You could even take advantage of a flexible working policy and work from home a little more.

Rural areas may not have cable so you need to source a reputable Internet service provider to give you the speed you need to hook up reliably to Zoom or Skype meetings with your work colleagues. Companies like Viasat have a range of comprehensive plans giving you fast download times and the data allocation that you need.

Open Air

Getting outside in the open air can be good for the soul. Being surrounded by greenery can be great for your mental health as the natural environment can lower your blood pressure, release endorphins and make you feel calmer and more content. Head for a stroll outside of the city, and you will feel your heart rate lower and your mind become less clogged with the stresses of everyday life. You can get the kids away from their video games and into the great outdoors a little more. They will relish spending time with you and enjoy your attention. Have a kickabout with a ball, fly a kite or go on a hike and a picnic.

Pexels - CC0 License
More For Your Money

While you might enjoy a small flat or modest house in the city, you can get a lot more for your money in the countryside. You could be swapping a leasehold apartment for a detached dwelling. This can help you get more space for your growing brood. You might have your own garden for your kids to play in. Schools can consist of better quality teaching, crime rates can be lower, and your neighborhood might feel more friendly. People in cities tend to keep themselves to themselves, and the neighborhood spirit isn’t as alive. In the countryside, you will know your neighbors’ names and become friends.

Consider moving to the country to improve your health and start a new life chapter.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Caring For Someone With A Chronic Condition

Chronic conditions are hugely important things which affect not just the person suffering with them, but everyone around them as well. This can often especially be the case when someone is diagnosed with something very suddenly out of the blue, but even when it is from birth it is likely that it can affect one’s life profoundly too. If you are living with someone, or otherwise close to someone, who has a chronic condition, you probably want to know what you can do to help them. As it happens, there are many things you can do in caring for a person who has a chronic condition, and we are going to take a look at some of them now. Bear these things in mind if you want to ensure you are helping them out as well as possible.

Source - CCO Licence
Understand The Condition

The most important thing that you can do is to understand everything there is to understand about the condition itself first and foremost. By getting to grips with everything you can about the condition, you are going to be in a much better position when it comes to helping that person, rather than being in the dark. There are many things you can do in order to learn more about their condition, whether you look for information in trusted books and medical journals or whether you simply speak to the medical professionals. If you seek information online, be sure to take great care in ensuring that it is a reputable and trustworthy source, otherwise you might struggle to know whether the information you are getting is any good at all.

All in all, if you make a point of understanding the condition more, you are going to feel more capable of helping your loved one - and they are going to likely appreciate that you have taken the time to learn all of that information.

Be There For Them

The best thing to do in a day to day sense is just to be there for them however you might be able to. That means that you are by their side when you need them, so they know that you are there and they subsequently feel supported. That doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to put literally everything on hold, nor are they necessarily going to ask for that. But showing that you are there for them is going to mean that they feel so much more supported, and in many ways it is the most important thing that you can do for them. As long as you are there for them and generally supportive, that is absolutely going to be the best you can do.

Source - CCO Licence
Help Them Make Healthcare Decisions

With many chronic conditions, there are going to be a huge range of decisions which the person needs to make. Knowing that they have someone with them who can help them to make those decisions will make it a lot easier, and should mean that they are going to be more likely to make an informed and sensible decision along the way. If you are particularly close to them and they want you to help them out in the future in this way too, then they might even think about asking you to be their power of attorney for healthcare and medical decisions. This is a big responsibility to have, and you are going to have to think carefully about whether or not it is something that you want to engage in. As well as the huge decisions you will likely have to make in the future, you have to bear in mind that there are many risks of being a power of attorney, and it’s a decision that only you can really make. So be sure to take it seriously and treat it carefully, and you should find that you can do what is right.

Source - CCO License
Ask Questions

It is generally best not to just assume that you know how the sufferer is feeling or what is going through their heads, and that you instead simply ask them where necessary. The more questions you ask them, the more you are going to work out what is going on for them. That will inform the help that you provide them, and it will help you to do the right thing for them at all times. You will also find that it’s a great way to show how much you care, and they are probably going to appreciate it for that reason too. Ask as many questions as you can to really get to the bottom of their experience at all times.

Taking Care Of Yourself

A big mistake that a lot of carers make is that they forget that they are also important. If you want to ensure that you are going to be able to help the person long into the future, and if you want to stay sane and happy yourself, then you need to make sure that you are caring for yourself as much as you are caring for them. If you forget to care for yourself, you can find that it quickly leads to a lot of resentment towards the person you are caring for, and that means that you are then more likely to start turning away from them, so it’s really no good for anyone to let this happen. Taking care of yourself means that you give yourself a break from time to time, that you say how you feel about what is going on, and you don’t completely give yourself up in service to the other person. If you can remember that and still show them a lot of care, you have done it right, but it is a hard balance to get right.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when you are caring for someone with a chronic condition. As long as you have thought about these things, you should find that you can do it much better.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

7 Ways To Protect Yourself Right Now

https://unsplash.com/photos/DUrU_bZV8So
It’s safe to say that we’re all living through strange times right now. We’re all having to adapt our lives and change our habits and it can be really hard to deal with. But, at the same time, it’s happening. And there’s not a lot that we can do about it other than work with it and try and make the most of it. Sure, there are also going to be negatives that we have to deal with too. It can be incredibly stressful and you may be experiencing a wealth of worries. But that’s not all. You may be dealing with money troubles or struggling to manage day care for your kids. And while there will always be a range of worries that go with the current situation, here can be positives too.

As with anything in life, you always have the option to focus more on the good things than the bad. It can be hard, but it’s something that can make you feel so much better when you do. After all, you’re spending more time at home and around the people that you love, and it’s a good idea to try and make the most of that. But at the same time, you will want to ensure that you are protected too. Let’s take a look at how you can do that.

1. Block It Out

To begin with, as much as you might want to stay up to date with the latest information, you should also try to block out as much noise as you can. Sure, take in all of the official information, but try to distance yourself from the news or social media conversations around the pandemic, especially if they are making you anxious.

2. Cut Back

Next, you’re going to want to take a look at your financial situation. One of the most important ways to protect yourself right now is for you to make sure that your money is manageable. It can help for you to cut back your monthly expenses here so that you aren’t paying out too much. Any way that you can reduce your costs and spend as little as possible will allow you to have a cushion in case anything happens to your income.

3. Save More

Now, you may find that you do actually have some spare money to put into savings. And, because we’re living and working through such strange times, it’s nice to be able to have some money in savings. Even if you use it soon, it’s very reassuring.

4. Be Careful

Next, you’re going to want to make sure that your home is protected. And that means that you’ll want to be a lot more careful about your house and property. Sure, you may be in all of the time now, but you may be targeted when you do go out of the house. So maybe look to hire a certified residential locksmith to keep the house safe. It’s also a great idea to make sure that you don’t lose your keys because you need to be in your house more than ever now.

5. Be Vigilant

And it’s important to be careful online as well as in real life. Sadly, you may notice that there’s a lot more online scams at the moment. So you’ll want to be vigilant. And not only that, but make sure that your online security is still good.

6. Go Slow

But that’s not all. You’re also going to want to make sure that you’re protecting your health here. And yes, that does involve wearing a mask or gloves and washing your hands when you’re in public, but it also means slowing down. Don’t feel pressure to be on the go. Don’t push yourself to do too much because it’s an exhausting time right now. So it’s okay to slow down in life and just enjoy the time right now for what it is.

7. Be Kind To Yourself

Finally, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re able to just be a lot kinder to yourself. It’s easy for you to beat yourself up and feel like you’re not doing so well, or to feel like a guilty parent, or worry about what’s happening with life. But this isn’t going to be the best thing for yourself. Instead, you will need to make sure that you are a lot kinder to yourself. Take it easy and just enjoy this time, because soon enough, life will be back in full swing.

Friday, May 1, 2020

What is your idea of a gift that keeps on giving? 

More often than not, you’d come across such a description underneath the photo of a particularly funny t-shirt or a cupcake that – oh miracle of culinary technology – hides another cake in its heart. Perhaps, we tend to rely too much on clichéed sentences to fill our conversations and minds. At the end of the day, the gift that keeps on giving becomes a meaningful piece of junk, at best. 

However, in challenging times such as during a lockdown situation like now, gifts that go above and beyond and that are looking toward the future can brighten up someone’s day significantly. Why does it matter? Because in uncertain times, a present that can make both today and tomorrow better can be a life-changer. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas to fit every budget and help you create a meaningful present: 

Pexels - CC0 License 

Start gardening with your relatives

Children are the first to struggle with self-isolation. Now that the weather’s getting warmer, you can seize the opportunity to spend an afternoon in the garden. Indeed, gardening is a breath of fresh air, both figuratively and literally, under lockdown. Spending quality time with your children and your partner to prepare your quarantine garden is guaranteed to boost your mood and your pantry! With this in mind, you can also visit relatives who are self-isolating and offer to prepare a vegetable plot for them. In an afternoon, you can plant plenty of veg and fruits that will give delicious and fresh crops in the weeks and months to come. It’s a nice way of being there for them without putting their health at risk. 


Forget jewelry, settle for gold

Is someone’s big birthday coming? As tempting as it can be to buy a beautiful piece of jewelry, you can break up with traditions and consider purchasing gold directly? You can find exquisite nuggets By Grant Gold Nuggets, which come primarily from Australia, Alaska. But you can also find exotic gold locations around the world. Gold can act as a good luck talisman. It is a reminder for someone who struggles during the pandemic isolation that things can get brighter once this is over. While you can find gold pieces to suit all budget sizes, it’s fair to say that your friend may not be able to replace their pre-pandemic income through your gift. But it can be a source of motivation. During the Wild West conquest, finding gold nuggets was a lucky sign. It could do the same thing today!


Give time as much as you can 

Spending time with the people you love is a gift that doesn’t cost any money. You can make distant relatives feel valued and help them cope with isolation. All it takes is a little planning, as per The Financial Diet. People who are self-isolating can rely on digital meetings to come together and even plan common activities online. You could play games or have a family video chat. Don’t let other technologies distract you as you do – aka no checking your text messages when you’re in a Zoom meeting with your cousins. 

Meaningful gifts can help someone cope with self-isolation pressures. It doesn’t have to be much, from fixing a vegetable garden in a relative’s backyard to scheduling video chats with friends, you don’t have to break the bank to give someone that will be a token of love and appreciation during those challenging times. 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Few Tips for Fuelling Creativity at Home

Pixabay CC0 License
Currently, a huge number of people from all around the world are being forced to exist in a state of more or less 24/7 homebound quarantine, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

For many people, this time spent at home – while being stressful and filled with uncertainty in various ways – is also a potential opportunity for working on side projects and business ideas, investigating various hobbies, and checking in once more with dreams, chores, and plans that have been lurking in the background for some time.

If you have a decent plot of land at your disposal during this period, your circumstances likely seem more upbeat and promising. But even if you are confined to a small apartment, there are various ways that you can use this time in a positive way.

For many different potential projects, it would be a great help to fuel and enhance creativity while stuck at home. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that.

Allow enough leisure and “fuel” for your creative fires

Creativity is an interesting thing, because on the one hand it typically happens, or at least as expressed, through “work.”

On the other hand, though, you can’t exactly “grind out” creativity on demand. Rather, creativity needs to be fuelled by a series of internal motivations, interests, and the ability to engage with ideas and projects in a relaxed and “fresh” way.

One mistake that a lot of people make when they’re trying to be as productive as possible with their businesses, is to simply not allow enough time for leisure. And yet, there is evidence to show that when people do allow for sufficient leisure time – such as by taking their full annual vacation allowance, for example – they are more productive, and perhaps more creative as well.

Work hard when you’re working, but ensure that you also have plenty of time for simply relaxing, having fun, and building your motivation and interest in an array of different manners.

Work on several different projects and hobbies at a time, that interest you

It can be very easy to fall into a state of “tunnel vision” when you are too focused on one project, for long stretches of time without any variation.

One solution that has been suggested by several entrepreneurs and public figures is to always be working on several projects and hobbies at a time, all of which interest and motivate you in a significant way.

That way, when you start to run up against a dead end with a particular project, you can draw insight and inspiration from the other projects you’re working on at the same time. Or, you can switch over for a while and focus your energies on something else – and when you return to the original project, you will often find that new approaches and solutions have occurred to you that you hadn’t originally foreseen.

Generally speaking, your creativity is likely to be higher when you have a greater variety of experiences and information sources to draw on when tackling problems and coming up with approaches to things.

Try things out in a spirit of play

The famous Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman argued that his great breakthroughs were only possible at all because he had been allowed by his employers to essentially “play” in an undisturbed manner, which might have seemed like time-wasting to casual observers, but which ultimately ended up providing him with invaluable insights.

Creativity largely comes out of a spirit of play – and the ability to try different things out, experiment with different ideas, and simply have fun with the process of discovering what might be possible, and what might be interesting, without being held ruthlessly to various performance metrics such as KPI’s.

So, try things out in a spirit of play. In other words, try taking a more light-hearted and “fun” approach to your various projects and interests, with no pressure or expectations – or at least as little as possible – that you will actually have to churn out a finished project by a set time, or that you will have to share the results of your experiments with anyone else.

The thing about “good ideas” is that you only discover which ideas are good through a process of trial and error, which involves generating many ideas that may not actually work for your original intended purpose.

That’s fine. Just play around and see where your own creativity takes you after a while.


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

For several weeks now, we have been living in crazy, unprecedented times. And while most of us are getting to grips with the way things are, adapting to video conferencing with the boss in your sitting room while trying to keep the kids out of the way, queuing up for grocery stores and keeping the required social distance away from strangers and people on the street – it really does not stop things becoming a little boring, especially if you have young kids to keep amused at home.

Spending more time at home means you need plenty of tricks up your sleeve to keep the kids occupied and entertained. However, after several weeks, even the best set out plans and ideas can get get a little dull and boring. Here, we look at five activities that will keep you all occupied and happy.  

Image credit: Pixabay CC0 License
Coloring

It is very rare to find someone that doesn’t love a few quiet minutes of coloring. It is relaxing, peaceful and creative, which is why people of all ages enjoy it. Gone are the days where you are limited to kids coloring books - these days, you can buy books for all themes and all ages, including some rather rude adult ones! You can also if you have access to a printer, print some from the internet. There are some really intricate mindfulness ones that encourage you to relax.

Gaming

Gaming is not just a geeky teenage activity. It is something that the whole family can enjoy, whether on their own or as a family. Dig out the console and some old school multiplayer games or wait until the kids are in bed and try your luck at some Lucky 7 slots.

Write letters and postcards

In an age where almost all communication is digital, a personalized piece of mail can be very well received and appreciated. After all, most of us only ever get bills and junk mail through the mailbox! Why not draw some pictures or send a ‘wish you were here’ postcard from your sitting room to a family member or a friend? You could even draw or paint some pictures and mail them to a local senior care center - many have stopped visitors and the residents would be cheered up by receiving something lovely in the mail!

Grow your own vegetables

If you have some outdoor space, maybe a plot in the yard, an allotment or even a window box, use this time to plant and start growing your own vegetables or herbs. They don’t take a great deal of upkeep, but it is good for children to see how and where their food comes from.

Create a family newspaper

Keep your family up to date and create a record of this rather unusual time by making a family newspaper. Include pictures, dates and a breakdown of what you have been doing. Send them digitally or by mail to your loved ones, and don’t forget to print off a copy for your quarantine scrapbook!


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Planning For The Future Of Your Family

It can be a difficult task to look after your family, juggling work, and social life. It can be tempting to get so wrapped up in the here and now instead of looking to the future. But at some point,  you will need to start planning for the future of your children, and here are some questions you will want to ask yourself:

I have assets and income, but can I live comfortably? 
When will I be able to afford to retire?
Have I enough to consider giving money to my children?
What impact would my death or serious illness have on my family and life plans?

Image credit: Pixabay CC0 License
It is quite often a serious injury or illness that forces you out of work for a while that propels you to start asking these questions. However, you should be thinking about all of these things anyway, especially if you have children. Most jobs will typically have a period in which you are entitled to be sick and still get paid, and many people run out of money pretty fast when this period is up.

Before you do anything else or set up anything, sit down and take a close look through your finances. Write down your income for a month, and list any significant expenses, like your rent or mortgage, auto insurance, home insurance, and taxes that come out instantly. Whatever money you have left is what you have to spend on food, travel and anything else. Looking at this, do you have enough to maintain a comfortable lifestyle?

If not, there are things that you might need to think about.

First of all, you need to discuss whether you have plans in place to add to your family. While a blessing, children can add more financial pressure. If you know that this would make things difficult, a vasectomy will take away the worry. 

Can you downsize your home? If you have more rooms than you actually need, it may be worth selling up and buying something smaller. Not only will this be cheaper outright, but the running and maintenance costs are likely to be lower on a smaller property. 

Increasing your income stream may be another possibility. While that is easier said than done, if you have a bit of spare time and a good idea, you can make a fair amount of money around your regular job. Perhaps you are can play the piano and could offer piano lessons on the weekend, or maybe you are good with wood and can make items to be sold on Etsy? Think outside of the box and see where the opportunities lie!

Can you reduce your expenses? Shopping around for your utilities and insurance can save you money every month, as would cutting out unnecessary costs. Have you got into the habit of picking up a coffee on the way to work, or grabbing lunch in the office canteen? Cutting those out and taking them from home can save a considerable amount.

There are plenty of things that you can do now to improve your financial future and leave your family safe and secure. 


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

How To Hire a Nanny

Image credit
Once children come into the picture and it is time to get back to the office, it is always a difficult decision choosing between a parent staying home, touring day cares or hiring a nanny. If you may be interested in hiring a professional to come to your home and look after your kids, keep reading. Here are a few tips on how to bring a nanny into your household. 

Use a Nanny Resource

There are many perks to using a nanny staffing agency to hire a nanny, but there may also be Facebook groups available in your area, specifically put together to connect families with potential caregivers. If you have friends and family who have used similar services, it doesn't hurt to ask around for recommendations.

Conduct Many Interviews

It is always a good idea to bring in many applicants in for an interview to help find the right person for the job. From there, you can narrow down the list and invite a few options to come and meet your children. You can then base who you want to hire on how they interact with your family. Your intuition will likely be a huge deciding factor during this process.

Better To Be Safe Than Sorry  

Once you have your very own Mary Poppins, it is highly recommended to order a driving record background check. It is always better to be safe than sorry in a situation where your loved ones are involved. Another great reason to use a nanny agency is that all applicants sent from these services will be pre-screened. References are also a great way to get an idea of a candidate's relationship with previous families.

If everything is done the right way, bringing a nanny into your household can be a positive and beneficial experience. There is nothing wrong with taking your time to find the right person for the job. With the tips above, you will be well on your way to doing so.