Tuesday, 12 December 2017

The Top 5 Benefits Of Individual Sports For Kids

Most people, when talking about sports, only refer to team sports such as football, basketball, baseball, and so on. They swear by the benefits of team sports and they are not wrong to do so; after all, team sports can help an individual learn when to follow, when to lead, and how to work well with others to achieve the same objective. However, the benefits of individual sports such as badminton, lawn tennis, bowling, cycling, golf, figure skating, snowboarding, martial arts, and boxing also shouldn't be overlooked. Without beating about the bush any further, here are the top 5 benefits of individual sports for kids.
  1. Helps your child become self-reliant
Individual sports require the player to be self-reliant. Athletes are entirely and solely responsible for their success. If an athlete wants to achieve victory, he/she cannot rely on anyone else to carry them through to victory. And, if he or she loses, he or she won't be able to blame anyone for his or her failure. Individual sports help an athlete become more responsible for his/her decisions and actions. An individual sport helps your child become self-reliant.  
  1. Individual sports can teach players about teamwork too
Contrary to popular opinion, individual sports can teach players about teamwork too. Sports such as gymnastics can teach players about the importance of teamwork.  After all, when your child competes as an individual in gym events, his/her scores will be added to the overall score of the entire team, and contribute to a team's success. Swimming relay events and track events also operate similarly.
  1. Helps a child compete with other children of a similar skill level
When participating in individual sports such as martial arts, children will only have to compete with other children who boast of a similar skill level. In team sports such as football and basketball, children are often forced to compete with athletes who are older, or who have trained longer. Jiu Jitsu training institutions such as Garden Grove Jiu Jitsu schools ensure that your child has the luxury of competing at his/her own pace.
  1. Helps a child solve problems on his/her own
As we stated earlier, athletes who participate in individual sports, are often left alone to their own devices while on the playing arena. Therefore, they are forced into developing independent thinking. They will be required to problem-solve on their own, think on their feet, and change their tactics and strategies as the game progresses. The participation in an individual sport will also teach a child how to motivate himself/herself.
  1. Helps your child become comfortable in the spotlight
Your child will not be able to hide in a crowded field when he/she is involved in an individual sport. All eyes will be on your child when he/she enters the playing arena; therefore, an individual sport can help a child become comfortable in the spotlight. This process can, in turn, help get rid of stage frights and enable your child to present presentations confidently in class.   

Monday, 11 December 2017

Cheap and Easy Ways to Winterize Your Garden

Your garden is a wonderful investment of your time, energy and money, and as such, it should be protected at all costs. This means that it’s absolutely necessary to button up your plants for the winter so that they don’t get damaged by the cold and you pave the path to a healthy blooming season next year. And it is super cheap if you use your resources properly. Here are some simple tips on winterizing your garden.

Clear and clean

This is the first step in winterizing and it absolutely cannot be avoided. It’s not just cleaning out the weeds – you need to get rid of any dead vegetation, blackened stems, rotten fruit, etc. This way you avoid the risk of insect eggs and diseases invading your plants during their nap. Also, it’s crucial to examine all plants carefully and get rid of the ones that are diseased – basically, get rid of anything that you wouldn’t want there during growing season. Now is the time.

Move away tender plants

Most bulbs and tubers are very gentle and cannot withstand the cold. In order to risk losing them completely, you need to dig them up before winter and place them someplace dark and cool, such as the shed, basement, or garage until spring, when you can replant them again. Some gardeners also like to move their annuals indoors – if you have enough space, it doesn’t hurt to try, and it would be cool to have annuals that actually kept going through the winter. They need cool and bright conditions, so you can try this if you have a glasshouse or an enclosed, bright porch.

A long pre-dormancy drink

Before turning off your water so that the pipes don’t get frozen during winter, give your plants a good, long watering. This is especially important for newly planted shrubs, trees, and perennials. The best time to do this is about a week or two before the ground freezes, so measure your soil temperature regularly, keep track of temperature changes, and follow the weather forecast. Experts from Hose Link remind us that once you have given your plants their pre-dormancy drink and turned the water off for the whole winter, it’s crucial to empty hoses as well as store them away along with other gardening supplies so that they don’t crack from the cold.

An extra layer of mulch

Once the ground freezes, add a layer of mulch around the plants in order to insulate the soil and provide protection from frost heave. The reason we do this once the ground freezes and not before is because the point of layering with mulch is not to keep the plants warm, but rather to keep the soil at a constant temperature until spring so that your plants don’t start growing prematurely. You don’t have to buy mulch, just use shredded leaves and bark you’ve collected, straw and chopped cornstalks. The important thing is that they are all loose, non-compacting materials.

Extra protection for beds that are new

The first season is always the most important when it comes to planting, so if you have any new garden bed, it’s advisable to get additional coverage for it. Garden cloches typically come to mind. They’re not expensive, but you can even avoid buying one and use something simple, like an old window resting on the raised bed.

Dress up

An important part of winterizing is covering your plants so they don’t get destroyed in harsh winter conditions. This stands for trees, shrubs, and especially rose bushes. You don’t have to buy any – fashion your own. Gather old sheets and tablecloth, garbage bags, or large cardboard boxes. Just make sure everything is well secured, so your plants don’t have their clothes blown off in the wind. Also, you’ll need to protect the bark of trees (fruit trees especially) with plastic collars, because rodents tend to eat a ring of bark particularly around young trees.

Once you are done preparing your garden for winter conditions, you can sit back and give yourself a pat on the shoulder. With everything well protected and prepared, the next season will hopefully be a smash of beautiful blooms.

Friday, 8 December 2017

These Frugal Tips Will Help Lower Your Grocery Bill

Along with your commuting and housing costs, your grocery bill consumes a major part of your budget. You’re probably already cutting down on unnecessary bills, such as downgrading your data usage or cutting cable.
You can’t exactly cut down on your nutritional needs, though, because food is kind of intrinsic to this thing called life and survival. However, you can wage war on your grocery bill with these frugal tips.

1. Get Serious About Your Budget

Budgeting feels painful, but another way to look at budgeting is as goal setting. What are you trying to achieve with a budget?

Look at your spending patterns at the grocery store. If you don’t keep your receipts, start saving them now, and keep spending the way you normally do. How much do you typically pay on average? Start small, with an ultimate goal of shaving your grocery bill by 10 or 15 percent. This approach makes budgeting feel more achievable than overwhelming.

2. Diversify Your Shopping Locations

Do you burn more gas when you shop at multiple stores? It depends. If you’re driving more than 30 minutes to every store, you’re probably spending the same amount as if you’d stayed with one grocer.
When you diversify your shopping locations, the idea is to stay local. Or, if you have a long commute to and from work, get experimental and make a pit stop at a store that catches your eye.

3. Focus on Clearance Items

Suck at clipping coupons? Focus on purchasing clearance items instead. Just because an item is on clearance doesn’t mean it’s past expiration — the store may just have purchased too much product and placed it on clearance to sell it.

Clearance items force you to get creative with using your purchases quickly, though if you freeze the items, you don’t have to worry about an expiration date at all. Clearance items you’ll find may include deli, produce, dairy and meat. Don’t forget to take advantage of big sales after the holidays, such as on Thanksgiving or Christmas, and pay attention to when your favorite stores regularly put items you use on sale.

4. Get the Most Out of Your Baack

When meal planning, all the extra ingredients quickly add up. Take a note from your grandmother’s Depression-era cooking skills and make the most out of what you have and what you will buy.
Get the most out of your buck, or in this case — your baack! For example, it’s OK to splurge on something big and delicious for your family, like a rotisserie chicken, but don’t destroy it in one or two meals. Stretch out that rotisserie chicken over several recipes — for example, turn that chicken into meat for Taco Tuesday filling, chicken and dumplings, chicken salad and chicken curry.

5. Shop Basics at the Dollar Store

Whether you have a family, or are scrimping and saving through the single life, shop for basics at your local dollar store. Buy paper products, bathroom and cleaning products. Pick up frozen vegetables and pantry goods, such as canned foods, spaghetti and cooking oil.

Instead of buying $4 crackers at the grocery store, get your vegetable gourmet crackers at the dollar store. Instead of spending $3 on toothpaste, buy toothpaste with the same ingredients for $1.

6. Introduce Meatless Mondays

What’s the most expensive ingredient in most meals? Meat.

If you typically serve meat with every meal, it’s time to introduce Meatless Mondays to save more money — and do some good for your health and the environment, while you’re at it. You can always follow up with Taco Tuesday as an incentive. There are so many delicious meatless dishes to try, such as vegetarian lasagna with gooey cheese or sweet potato and black bean soup.

7. Get Inventive With Substitutions

If specialty ingredients are getting too expensive, cook with substitutes. Focus on your senses. What is the taste, smell and texture? How will your cooking method alter the ingredient once you’ve mixed it in and heated it up? What’s the purpose of the ingredient in the recipe? Work with what you have.

In baking, vegetable shortening is a substitute for butter, but you can use an equal amount of vegetable oil when the recipe calls for melted butter. Texture is the most important aspect in these instances to consider.
To stand in for buttermilk, you could use a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice with milk to get a similar taste. For fluffier biscuits, use a little plain Greek yogurt.

8. Drink More Water

Most people don’t drink enough water throughout the day. Instead of starting the day with coffee, begin the day with a tall glass of water — then follow up with your cup of coffee.

Do you drink more soda than water? Make it a goal to reverse that habit. By drinking more water, you’ll curb cravings — sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re really dehydrated. You’ll also save more money by buying less soda, alcohol or coffee.

You can cut back the bills, but you can’t cut out your need to eat. Don’t skip meals to save money.
Shop around at different locations and work with the ingredients in your pantry, especially when it comes to substitutions. When you use meat in your recipes, stretch out the use over multiple recipes, and drink more water, silly.

Lowering your grocery bill doesn’t mean your meal quality has to be substandard, either. Focusing on your budget and ingredients will also help you look at what you eat in a more conscious and healthful way.

(Image credit: Chris Perez)

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Gift Ideas For Moms Self Care

Mom and mindfulness expert Randi Zinn, founder of Beyond Mom and author of Going Beyond Mom: How To Activate Your Mind, Body & Business After Baby (September 2017).


Most moms are frazzled and frantic during the holiday season, between taking charge of holiday celebrations, meal prep, gift buying, decorating, and more. In fact, 44% of women say they have increased stress during the holidays, according to the American Psychological Association. The stress from these added responsibilities can have a long-lasting impact on your body and your mind that goes well beyond the holidays. 

What better gifts to give mom this holiday season than ones that can help her de-stress including:
  • Doterra essential oil diffuser: It’s simple and compact. You plug it into wall and chose the blend to match the mood you want.  
  • Sam and Maddy Make Up: An amazing make-up line made for women to feel their own natural glow. The company was also created by a Beyond Mom who named the company after her children.
  • Athleta Studio Wrap: Cozy jacket, wrapped in good vibes can be dressed up or down
  • Peleton bike: Get your sweat on and workout conveniently at home when time is limited or babies are napping!
  • Sip Bottle: A stylish fun bottle that will help keep you hydrated all the time.  
  • Frends: Jam out to fun tunes or take time for relaxing music with these Frends headphones
  • Headspace: A daily meditation app to help you connect to your breathe and silence.
Author, Going Beyond Mom: How To Activate Your Mind, Body & Business After Baby (Sept. 19, 2017)
Randi Zinn is the founder of Beyond Mom and BeyondMom.com. Born from her own experience of motherhood, and the desire for a more connected community- Beyond Mom offers: content, podcasts, mixers, events, and retreats for forward-thinking Moms. She encourages moms to cultivate a life “Beyond Mom”- one that embraces the gifts of motherhood but expresses all that they are as individuals: creators, businesswomen, thinkers, friends, and so much more.  Randi is an ambassador for Athleta and has partnered with Comptoir Des CotonniersSoulCycleMio SkincareTOWN Real EstateThe Mother CompanyBody Conceptions and IntenSati. Her writing has appeared in Honest Company BlogFitBumpEpoch Times and Well Rounded NY. She is a certified yoga instructor through Laughing Lotus NY and has taught since 2008.

Randi’s first book Going Beyond Mom: How To Activate Your Mind, Body & Business After Baby, was published on September 19, 2017.

Expert Psychologist Comments on Sexual Assault

 Fast Facts on Sexual Assault from

In the wake of accusations against Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Harvey Weinstein and other powerful notable public figures from entertainment and politics, sexual assault is a hot topic in the news and on social media. Many argue that not enough is being done to protect women inspiring a “me too” campaign which has spread on social media inspiring women to share an incidence of inappropriate sexual advances. Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, is incredibly passionate about the topic given she sees the negative long-term consequences of sexualassault. In this open honest, Q&A Dr. Hafeez shares insights to offer clarity and help drive the conversation forward.
Who typically commits sexual abuse or assault.
Sexual abuse or assault is most commonly reported as being committed by a relative, a parent or a sibling. It can also be a close family friend. Such assaultusually takes place at home, and for years, goes unreported or unaddressed. Sexual assault can also take place in the workplace or with a work colleague outside of the office location. This is what we are seeing in the news as more and more people become comfortable coming forward.
It is important to note that sexual assault also occur in dating, committed relationships, even marriage. If one person feels uncomfortable and clearly declares their unease or fights a certain type of intimacy, it is assault if it is forced on them. Often, women ignore such assaults as just part of their relationship.
What is the mindset of the assailant? 
Opportunity, a sense of entitlement and oppression over the victim. They want to assert power over the victim. Partly it’s a pathology that leads people (often men) to coerce another person into a sexual act. It can be a form of control that someone feels they are lacking which drives them to dominate someone they perceive as weaker. It is definitely more psychological than physical, as the tactics are often based in domination, a sense of strength along with the satisfaction of ‘owning’ the victim.
What are the thoughts of the victim when it happens and after?
Typically, victims experience feelings of fear and guilt that they somehow helped precipitate it in some way. They also have a horrible sense of being bonded forever with the assailant in hiding the crime. They also experience rumination as they replay the event over and over leading to anxiety or depression, self-doubt and a sense of extreme vulnerability. They question their safety and ability to protect themselves.
Why do many people refrain from coming forward with an accusation?
Many fear persecution, losing family and loved ones, being 'tainted', not being believed and the “drama” of it all. They figure best to remain quiet as not to stir anything up. When it comes to the workplace, many fear losing their jobs or having their name linked to something scandalous. This is why they often remain silent. What we see currently in the news media is a momentum of more and more people coming forward because they see they will be protected once they do. We also see workplaces sticking to their core values as an organization regardless of how notable the accused is. The statement made by NBC after Matt Lauer’s firing went in this direction.
What are the key things women must do when assaulted and why are they so important?
First, report the assault immediately to if not family or close friend, the police. Stepping forward to police prevents it from happening again to you and to others. It's incredibly important to keep the evidence, clothes, texts, etc. seek medical and psychological treatment. Document everything. This is more difficult for children who may cope through playing or with drawing. Parents should pay close attention to what their kids express during play. Oftentimes children who are sexually abused feel anxious or frightened that "something bad will happen" if they tell a grown up. Kids become paralyzed with fear and then deny or bury the memory of the trauma. 
What should parents tell their children about inappropriate sexual advances from adults?
It is very important that parents make kids feel 100% safe should they ever have anything to share with parents. Having open discussions about their bodies so they understand what is and isn't appropriate is also key. Parents should tell their children that any contact that makes them feel uncomfortable is unacceptable and they should always tell their parent or a trusted adult. Kids must be empowered to be assertive and vocal to the adult making the advances. Finally, children should not feel pressured or forced to hug, kiss or be overly affectionate with anyone. 
What are long term ramifications if children do not speak up?
They learn that the behavior is either acceptable or become timid and afraid to address it. It shadows their lives in other ways as well. They may bury the incident only to later develop anxiety, addictions to alcohol, drugs or food. They may develop an eating disorder, engage in cutting, or other self-damaging behaviors. 
What are long term ramifications if adults don't speak up?
Trauma affects people of all ages. When adults keep the incident to themselves and try to forget it, it still lingers in their mind. Anything can trigger the memory or the feelings associated with it such as anxiety, fear and a general uneasiness. This may arise in intimate relationships where a person may be closed off sexually or emotionally without knowing why.
What is the treatment for moving past sexual assault
One form of therapy that has been extensively researched and proven to be effective for treating trauma such as sexual assault is EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This combined with cognitive behavioral therapy and talk therapy helps heal. 
Does admitting it happened and seeing the accused brought to justice help the person get over their experience if so why? If not what else must they do to heal? 
Yes, many avoid the experience because if they admit it to the world then they have to admit it to themselves and relive it. In reality, having the accused brought to justice brings closure, hopefully a possibility that it won't happen to others but there's healing in the exposure. Exposure therapy is one of the best treatments for all trauma. 
What else would you like people to know about this subject?
That sexual assault exists a lot more than people think and would like to believe. Yes, there are some guidelines to what constitutes it, but there are some rules of thumb when it comes to children in particular. For example, a child cannot consent to any form of sexual activity, period. When a perpetrator engages with a child this way, they are committing a crime that can have lasting effects on the victim for years.
Child sexual abuse does not need to include physical contact between a perpetrator and a child. Some forms of child sexual abuse include: exhibitionism, or exposing oneself to a minor, masturbation in the presence of a minor or forcing the minor to masturbate, obscene phone calls, text messages, or digital interactionproducing, owning, or sharing pornographic images or movies of childrensex trafficking and other sexual conduct that is harmful to a child's mental, emotional, or physical welfare.
Education is a must, to help spread awareness and teach both adults and children what is and is not appropriate. 
What are some ways parents can educate their children?
It all depends on the age, cognitive and developmental level of the child but at any age, a parent should try and instill some basics into their child about abuse. For instance; telling very small children or toddler about who can bathe them or touch their private parts, teach them to have a healthy body image but understand privacy. As they get older, allow children to explore developmentally but have them be aware of their rights, such as even not kissing grandma if they don't feel like it. Giving children that control allows them to understand the ownership over their bodies and realize its value. Explain as they get older what types of actions constitutes assault but always, at all ages, explain, that they need to tell a trusted adult when someone hurts or violates them.  

About the Doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD, a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens.  

She can certainly provide answers to specific questions regarding the connection between grief and anxiety. Feel free to send them to me.  

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.
Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com