Monday, 31 January 2022

Corporate New Year’s Resolutions: How Companies Can Promote Employee Health And Wellness Going Into The New Year

The end of a year, and the beginning of a new one, is the perfect time to reflect on the accomplishments, failures and progress of your business and to set goals for the year ahead. 

One of the most important and crucial goals to set, now more than ever before, is to promote your employees’ happiness, health and success. But with Covid-19 cases on the rise and stress at an all time high, how exactly can companies optimize the health and wellness of their employees as we move into year three of the pandemic?

Nora Tobin, performance enhancement and executive coach to Fortune 100 companies, nutrition specialist and CEO of Nora’s Naturals Coffee, discusses how companies can optimize overall health and wellness going into the new year:

Goal #1: Set Employees up for Success With Work/Life Balance 
Work/Life Balance is incredibly important when hoping to prevent employee burnout and dissatisfaction. Doing this can be hard without the support from your employer or colleagues. While it’s impossible to ensure that employees are practicing work/life balance 100% of the time, employers should always do what they can to make sure employees are properly and healthily adopting a work/life balance.  

Here are some workplace practices that employers should utilize when looking to promote a healthy work-life balance for their employees:

  • Encourage employees to turn off work notifications (Slack/ Teams) when on their lunch break or at home. 
  • Encourage frequent breaks throughout the day. Try implementing pre-recorded wellbeing breaks. For example, in addition to virtual workout and yoga classes, my team offers “Mindful Moments” with pre-recorded active breaks that can be implemented into any schedule of zoom meetings. The breaks are 2-5 minutes in length and easily fits into a series of back to back virtual meetings. The program allows employees to quickly change their state and shift out of the stress response.
  • Offer more flexibility and support for working parents. Sometimes, this may look like flexible hours, increased benefits, or a role tailored to their desired schedule. 
  • Consider remote work options if you do not do that already. This can help ease some workplace anxiety and stress. 

Goal #2: Make it Fun with Healthy Competitions 
Hosting a points challenge within the team/ department can be very effective in both building comradery and establishing healthy habits. For example, each employee can earn up to 5-points per day by:

  • Drink 64 ounces of water 
  • Perform 15 minutes of exercise 
  • Practice any type of breathing or meditation for 5 minutes 
  • Sleep for 8 hours 
  • Write down three points of gratitude each day.

It seems simple to just earn five points per day, but it can be highly motivating and effective for building healthy habits. 

Goal #3: Create Protected Time
While working from home, we are consistently available to anything that comes up. It is important to identify specific breaks in the action, otherwise the action just takes us into low level pro performance and depleted personal experience. One of the best things we can do for ourselves and our teams is to identify times and days off. This should be blocked off in the virtual calendars, since we all follow those to almost an exact science. If it is in the calendar, it happens. 

Goal #4: Understand that what Works Best for Some may not Work for Others
Taking the time to listen to your employees and identify what habits help make them feel happy and healthy is an important step in setting both them, and your business up for success during these unprecedented times. Similarly, it is important to take note of what each employee likes and doesn't like from their differing experiences. Maybe try setting regular check-ins with employees to see what strategies work best for them, how they are feeling that day/week, to set personal goals and objectives for the week, and to assist in any area that they may need. This will help them feel supported and heard.

Top 5 Tips for Healthcare Workers Looking to Build Resilience and Avoid Burnout in 2022

Coming up in March, our healthcare professionals will be entering their third year of the global pandemic. This means three years of being covered in heavy head to toe PPE, back to back 12+ hour shifts and all while trying to maintain a semi-normal family and friend life. The point is, burnout among this group can be high, here are a few tips on how to build resilience and avoid burnout.

Dr. Gail Gazelle MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard University and Master Certified Coach for physicians, lists her top 5 tips for healthcare workers, particularly physicians, looking to build resilience and avoid burnout. 

“The stresses of working in healthcare are many, and one thing all but absent in our training is how to cope with them. To run the marathon of a medical career, it is critical to learn resilience strategies. They make the difference between burnout and a career of meaning and satisfaction.” says Dr. Gazelle.

Tip #1: Give yourself credit
Working in healthcare, we can be so focused on problems that we can overlook things that are going well, in patients and also in ourselves. To build resilience, be sure to take stock of your strengths and accomplishments. Every evening, make a list of 3 things you did well that day.

Tip #2: Don’t run on empty
If you’re like most of your peers, you are all too good at taking care of others and not great at caring for yourself. You may consider your own needs frivolous or inconsequential. To build resilience, you need to maintain your physical, emotional, and psychological energy level. Examples of things that may fill your tank include:

  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Listening to your favorite music
  • Doing something in nature
  • Reading a non-medical book

Tip #3: Build moments of calm into your day
Whether it’s sitting in quiet meditation, taking a short walk, or simply creating a timeout in your schedule, it’s key that you have some time each day when you can recharge yourself. Even brief moments of calm can increase your ability to weather all the stresses you face. They may even lead to greater efficiency in your day.

Tip #4: Overcome the Imposter Syndrome
In the hundreds of physicians I’ve coached, the incidence of the Imposter Syndrome is over 80%. Almost all physicians are walking around feeling like imposters. The Imposter Syndrome is a very debilitating condition that erodes self-esteem, leads to excessive rumination, and contributes to the exhaustion of burnout. One strategy to overcome I.S. is realizing that it is simply a thought process, nothing more.

Tip #5: Practice self-compassion
We in healthcare can be our own most harsh critics, telling ourselves that others are smarter, more adept at diagnosis and treatment, and have their lives more together than us. To run the marathon of a medical career, we need to learn how to support ourselves, and how to bring the same compassion to ourselves that we bring to our patients.

How Regular Maintenance Can Save You Big Time on Car Expenses

If you're considering skipping out on regular car maintenance in the name of frugal living, you might want to think again. While nobody really likes to take their vehicle in for a tune-up or an oil change, these basic tasks will end up saving you money in the long run. Here are just a few reasons why.

Avoiding Costly Repairs

The best reason to keep up with your vehicle maintenance is to avoid costly repairs. The average repair cost for a vehicle in the United States is $356.04. That's a lot of money, especially for those who are on a tight budget. Some of these repairs are due to accidents and bad luck, but a lot of repairs are intended to fix simple wear and tear. Even if you don't drive very often, you're still putting your vehicle under a lot of strain with your short trips to the grocery store.

If you believe wholeheartedly in frugal living, you might balk at the idea of getting your car tuned up and your oil changed regularly, especially if your car seems to be running smoothly. And yet, changing your oil and replacing your brake pads is a lot cheaper than the kinds of repairs you'll need to make if you neglect these basic tasks.

Lower Gas Mileage

Not only does regular maintenance keep your car running smoothly, but it can also save you some money at the pump. When a vehicle is running smoothly and receives regular oil and filter changes, its gas mileage improves significantly. On the other hand, neglecting these tasks as well as regular tune-ups could cause your car to feel like it's running out of gas much faster than it once did. Anything from a worn-out spark plug to a faulty oxygen sensor can contribute to poor gas mileage, so bring your vehicle to a repair shop if you find yourself using a lot of gas or if you haven't had a tune-up in a while.

Extending the Lifespan of Your Car

Regular maintenance can extend your car's lifespan. Cars are expensive, so it makes sense that you would want to make your current vehicle last for as long as possible. There are plenty of relatively inexpensive vehicles on the market that will last for 10 years or longer as long as you keep up with oil changes and tune-ups. By the time your vehicle is that old, you'll likely no longer have to make payments on it, and keeping up with your maintenance means that you probably won't have to worry too much about making costly repairs.

Fixing Small Problems Before They Get Out of Hand

Finally, regular maintenance will allow you and your mechanic to catch small problems before they get too costly for you to repair. Even something as simple as replacing worn-out windshield wiper blades can help save you money if you replace them as soon as you notice that there's a problem with them. Windshield wipers have come a long way since they were introduced as small brushes on windshields in 1903, but they still wear down over time. If you can replace them yourself regularly, you won't have to spend extra to buy new ones when you can't afford to do so.

Of course, this goes beyond just windshield wipers. Worn sparkplugs, faulty brakes, and dying transmissions are all much easier to deal with when your mechanic catches them when they're relatively small problems. The idea of frugal living might inspire you to ignore some minor problems, but they need to be fixed eventually. It's going to be much easier and cheaper to fix them while they're still minor problems.

Friday, 28 January 2022

Taking Care of Your Home On a Budget

Once you have a home, it becomes your responsibility to take care of it. You need to maintain all of its systems and replace anything that breaks. These expenses can add up, making home care a major drain on your money and going against your frugal living plans. However, there are ways to take care of your home on a budget. Use these tips to keep your home and wallet in good shape.

Save Up for Repairs

Try to keep some money aside for repairs. That way, when you find that you need to replace or fix something, you don't need to put the expense on a credit card or take it away from other necessary purchases. Decide what kind of savings plan would work best for you. You'll need to be able to access the money quickly, so choose an account that will let you do so without penalty. An IRA can be great for retirement or other distant plans, but not for this. There are multiple kinds of IRAs, including Traditional Custodial IRA and a Trusteed IRA, which are controlled by a custodian and a trustee respectively. Consider these for other savings plans while you put your repair money in a different account.

Prioritize the Most Important Repairs

Often, the most important repairs are the most expensive. So it can be tempting to save money temporarily by putting them off and doing smaller repairs first. Unfortunately, this approach can backfire, causing further damage and greater expenses later. Figure out what needs to be done to keep your home safe. Foundation repairs typically cost homeowners around $4,640 to repair. Since your foundation keeps your home stable and safe, do that first. Then you can focus on smaller repairs that cost less money to do. Frugal living also means considering your future. So don't just look at immediate expenses, consider the long-term consequences and spend your money accordingly.

Schedule Work For the Off-Season

Certain work is more commonly done at certain times of the year. For instance, you're more likely to chop down trees when the weather is warm and you'll be using your yard. Stump grinding, which eliminates the visible parts of the tree and leaves the roots to naturally decay, will cost you more during more popular seasons. It can take more than 10 years for roots to break down, so it is best to take care of them as soon as possible. If you can, schedule contractors to work on your house during the off-season. Repairs will be cheaper then, so you can save money.

Do Regular Maintenance

One of the most important parts of frugal living is taking care of what you already have. A regular maintenance routine will help you keep your house in good shape. Set yourself a schedule and figure out the best times to do maintenance and inspections both inside and outside of your house. The chores you need to do to maintain your property are usually fairly simple and focus on keeping things running correctly. They also allow you to find problems early on. Small repairs cost much less than major repairs do, so you want to get them taken care of before they get bigger. This will save you a lot of money.

When you're working on a budget, it might seem impossible to stay within it while taking care of your home. But, by following this advice, you can save a lot of money on repairs. Save up money when you can, and with some careful planning and regular maintenance, you'll be able to take care of your house on a budget. This will help you keep up with your frugal living goals as you live comfortably.

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Thursday, 27 January 2022

How to Save Money on Your Teen's First Car

Is it time to buy that first car for your teen? Saving money on a first car should be a priority. Teens are not well known for taking care of their cars, and of course, with inexperienced drivers, there is always an increased risk of damage to the car. Looking for ways to save money on your teen's first car is simply a smarter way to do business. Saving money on that first car is possible if you follow these tips.

Set Your Budget and Stick To It

Everyone knows saving money starts with budgeting your money. The same should be true for buying a car for your teen. Set your budget and stay within your budget. Car salespeople will play with your emotions to get you to spend more. Take a firm stand and stay on track.

Don't bring your teen with you to choose a car. It can be hard to say no to a car that is over budget when your teen is pleading with you and pulling on your heartstrings. Stand your ground and stay within your budget.

Buy Used

A good used car is a great investment for your teen driver. Saving money on a used car is well documented. You can save thousands of dollars when you do your research. You want to buy a reliable, mechanically sound car, not one that goes too fast or has added features that can distract your teen driver.

Do your research on the car you are considering. When the Shelby Mustang GT 500 first made the scene, it was advertised as having 335 horsepower. It actually had about 400 horsepower (which made it a really fast car). It turns out that Ford told a little white lie to keep insurance rates affordable for drivers. The moral of the story? What is advertised about a vehicle is not necessarily true. Do a deep dive to gather the facts about a vehicle.

Know the Source You Are Buying From

Today, many people will just jump online when they are searching for a used car and are worried about saving money. Yes, the internet offers a wealth of opportunities for buying a used car. However, there are a lot of risks as well. Online scammers are just waiting for a parent like you that is focused on saving money and getting a car for their teen.

Internet crime is a robust industry for criminals. Internet crime is defined as communicating fraudulent or false information and representations. It is also really hard to prosecute because the criminal can be halfway around the world. Know who you are buying from, never send money to someone via your bank or other services until you physically see the car, sit in it, and evaluate it.

Kick Those Tires and Check Under the Hood Thoroughly

Gather as much information as possible about the car you are going to buy. Take it for a test drive. It is worth the cost of having a mechanic evaluate the vehicle for you. A professional inspection can reveal problems that you may not be able to pick up on until it is too late and you already own the car. Saving money on a car includes ensuring that you are not buying a car that will cost you a ton in repairs down the road.

Paying for a mechanic to inspect the vehicle before you make the purchase is a good way to ensure you are making a good investment. Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect used car, sometimes saving money means having to put in some work. It is important to know upfront what type of work is needed and how much it will cost. A car for your teen does not have to break the bank but it will take some time and effort on your part to find the vehicle that fits into your budget, that is safe, and that you will be able to depend on.

Want to Redecorate Your Apartment on the Cheap? Here's How.

Whether you've lived in your apartment for years or just moved in, you'll eventually want to redecorate. Home improvement projects are very popular. In fact, home improvement spending in 2018 averaged $8,305 with households spending across a little over two projects. If you are into frugal living, this might be too much for you. But there are many ways to redecorate your apartment on the cheap. Here are a few ideas.

Make a Budget

Before you buy anything, set yourself a budget for redecorating. One important part of frugal living is knowing exactly where your money is going. If you don't have a budget, it can be easy to spend your money without realizing it. Almost 34.4% of renters are under the age of 35, so many of them might not have had a budget before now. If this is you, take some time to get your home budget in order. Then, make your specific redecorating budget before you get started buying anything. Ensure to incorporate a budget for certain styles and designs you can’t live without as certain styles like vintage or unique can be pricier but worth it in the end. Vintage looks are now becoming more popular by the general public and influencers around the world. Using vintage wallpaper designs in your home is not only trendy but brings a hint of nostalgia and wisdom to your home, you may even get lucky and find some on clearance or in thrift stores for a steal of a deal. 

Use Interior Design Websites for Inspiration

While hiring your own interior designer will probably be too expensive, you can use interior design resources to plan your own redecorating. It is very popular to hire an interior designer. In fact, the market size for interior design is expected to be worth $14.6 billion in 2020. So even if you're not hiring someone, take advantage of the resources available online. Read blogs and watch videos about interior design in order to pick up tips for your own home. You can even find designs you like and figure out ways to apply them to your own space. By using interior design resources, you can learn more about color, flow, and other design aspects that will make your apartment look even nicer.

Buy Used

One of the best ways to get furniture at a cheap price is to buy it used. A major part of frugal living is understanding how to shop at thrift stores and get good things for a fraction of the price you'd pay for them brand new. While not everything will be available in thrift shops, you can likely find good furniture for your apartment. Look for things that are in good condition and see if you can get them delivered to your apartment. If you're patient, you can usually find what you're looking for. And if something is perfect except for the color or a few holes, you can also repair or repaint it yourself.

Shop the Sales

If you're not operating on a strict timeline, you can save money on new things by waiting for them to go on sale. Stores will put certain things on sale at different times, so keep track of the price and sign up for online alerts if it changes. You can also look for sales ads from different stores that carry the things you need. This approach will require you to look at different retailers and compare their prices, so it will involve more work. But if you'd rather buy new furniture or decorations, waiting for them to go on sale can help you stay on budget.

Redecorating your apartment does not have to be an extremely expensive project. In fact, with some patience and hard work, it can be fairly cheap to do. Plan ahead, make a budget, and decide what you want before buying anything. From there, you can decide what you want to buy used, what you want to buy new, and how much work you're willing to put in to get the best price. Redecorating with frugal living is completely possible. Just follow these tips to make it happen.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Best Cities to Invest in Real Estate in 2022

Many of the following factors determine where you buy a property: rental prices, the success of a business you might open there, the cost of living, quality of schools, amenities, etc. For that reason, many people who decide to invest are puzzled about where they should do it. It's about the vast number of places to choose from and the constant changes in the real estate world. If you plan on investing in 2022, you're in the right place. Here's the selection of the best cities to invest in real estate in 2022, so you can narrow your options and make the wisest choice. 

Charlotte, North Carolina 

Probably the friendliest place on the list, Charlotte is one of the cities to consider for your investment. The housing market is pretty strong here, and the city is very popular among new residents. Being a hot market makes it easy to decide if you should invest here, as finding renters won’t be a problem. Multiple job opportunities and successful employers, a strong economy, the friendliness of the locals, and a good location are all the reasons people decide to move here. However, you should know it is not that easy to find a good home here. The popularity of the place and affordable living costs have made the property supply go down recently, making it difficult to find a place for investment. 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

It’s no wonder why this Florida gem belongs to the list of best cities to invest in real estate this year. According to what experts have predicted, Florida will become even more popular in 2022. More people will be interested in investing in Florida’s real estate market, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be. 

Fort Lauderdale is truly one of the best places to live in the Sunshine State, which makes it a logical item on our list. This city has had its place in almost every real estate top list in the past couple of years. There are several reasons for it – its location and proximity to other hot spots in Florida, safety, high-quality school system, and a general family-friendly atmosphere. Whether you’re investing in your own home or looking for a place to rent, Fort Lauderdale is a wise place to go. 

Choose your property wisely – Florida’s got a lot of great options.

Austin, Texas 

Home values in Austin have gone up a lot in the last couple of years. Even though the market is not as big and hot as in other major Texas cities, this quality actually attracts new investors. It's easier to find a great property and get a much better deal. Austin gets more and more new residents because the tech industry develops each day. More new jobs emerging here make it interesting for people moving for work. 

Investing in a property can lead to bigger projects.

Boise, Idaho 

The real estate market of Boise has been quite hot in recent years, and it will continue to be popular in 2022. This city received a huge population growth because of the development of the job market, low costs of starting and running a business, and generally good quality of life. When it comes to investments, you should know that it is expected for Boise homes to hold their values, even though the demand will continue to grow. 

Atlanta, Georgia

Another city with fast population growth in recent times. The increasing number of new residents and new jobs make the city economically strong. This is reflected in the rising prices of Atlanta's properties, making the area one of the top markets in the country. Whether you’re looking for a place to sell or rent, you can’t go wrong if you start house-hunting in Atlanta. 

Orlando, Florida 

One more gem of Florida's real estate market, the city of Orlando is one of the biggest and fastest-growing cities in Florida and is becoming more prominent each day. The real estate market is favorable for sellers and renters, so you don't need to worry if you decide to invest in Orlando. And in case you choose to stay for good – moving to Florida has proven to be a breeze. You can start the process by picking a home, continue to Best Movers In Florida to choose the most suitable moving team, and finish off with packing your household for this move. There’s a good reason why Orlando and other Florida’s cities receive so many new residents each year – but maybe you can test it yourself!

Tips for investing in 2022 

After browsing the best cities to invest in real estate in 2022, you will probably narrow your options down and choose a place. However, choosing the location of your investment is only the beginning of the process. Real estate investments require more effort and knowledge, and here are some tips to help you out:

  • Explore the market – if you choose a place you haven’t been before, make sure you do the research for a while or consult a local professional to help you out;

  • Start small if you’re inexperienced – begin with a small project at first. It will help you understand how things work and introduce you to the real estate world;

  • Know your finances well – you must know your budget before you make any commitments;

  • Let someone experienced help you out – it's okay not to have experience with real estate but be eager to dive into the matter. It's best to have an agent or someone else who knows the local market well and can guide you through the process.

Know your budget well before you opt for one of the best cities to invest in real estate in 2022.

We're sure that our selection of the best cities to invest in real estate in 2022 can help you decide on your next investment location. However, it would be best to be careful with the steps that follow and make wise choices for your investment to pay off. 

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Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Budget-Friendly Gifts for Your Friend's New Baby

Babies are a blessing to any family. They bring so much joy to the world, and they deserve to be appreciated and loved. But sometimes it can be difficult to know what to get the new parents, especially if you're on a budget. You want to find something that is useful or practical, but you don't want it to be boring. Here are some gift ideas for a newborn baby that are easy on the wallet but will make the parents feel loved and appreciated.

1. Personalized Blanket

Personalized blankets are really popular, and there are many options out there. Some parents like the idea of having the baby's name on it, while others love pictures of family members or pictures that represent where they're from, such as symbols of their state or favorite sports team. The majority of women give birth on hospital beds, making personalized blankets helpful for many things. They can be used for swaddling, during nursing, or feeding the baby, and they can even be used as a playmat if they want something soft on the floor for the baby. There are endless ways that parents can use their new blanket. Having one that's personalized makes it even more special to them.

2. Building Blocks

Another budget-friendly gift for the new parents is building blocks. There are so many things that you can do with them. They can be used to decorate and brighten up the nursery, for tummy time, or even just to play with while lying on a blanket. There are so many possibilities that you can't go wrong with giving building blocks as a gift. Parents can also use them to teach their children how to spell and form words. They can be used as a stacking toy, which is fun to watch while the baby figures out what they're supposed to do with them.

3. Children's Books

New parents are always looking for ways to teach their children. Children's books do just that! They can be used as a fun way to engage the baby's interests, and they're also a great educational tool. There are so many different children's books out there that you will never run out of options to choose from. Children's books can be used to set up a firm educational foundation for their children. By the age of seven or eight, children can learn to speak a second language with perfect grammar and no accent. After this age, the ability to master a foreign language gradually decreases. So, kickstart the baby's learning abilities now by gifting books!

4. A Teddy Bear

Who doesn't love teddy bears? They're pretty much the most popular stuffed toy ever. And they make a great gift for babies because of their cute factor! Like all things on this list, teddy bears are helpful for parents to engage their child. It's easier to get the baby's attention if they're looking at or playing with something. The teddy bear can also be used as a sleeping companion when the baby is old enough.

5. A Toy Car Set

Everyone knows that babies are fascinated with anything that moves. A toy car set can be very helpful for parents to keep their child occupied. Some sets may even include a few characters to go with the car. The toy car set can be used in so many different ways. The parents can play with it inside the house or take it outside to use on the sidewalk or even on the grass. Because of its versatility, this is another great gift idea for parents. Here's a fun fact: 94,000 pedal-powered toy Mustangs were purchased for kids the next Christmas season after Ford introduced the Mustang in 1964. Your loved one's baby can enjoy a similar gift!

There are many options when it comes to gifts for the family of a new baby. These are some of our more popular options that are also budget-friendly, but the possibilities are endless. After all, personalized gifts make them extra special to the family, and they will always keep them as cherished memories.

7 Excellent Ways to Make Your House More Spacious



People living in smaller houses struggle to manage their belongings and furniture within the space available. Small spaces often look congested and cluttered, even in their most managed state. While adding an extension to your house to increase its square footage or buying a bigger place might be a good idea, both options are expensive. So, is there anything one can do to adjust their belongings and make their house look spacious at the same time? Or, are they forced to cram all their worldly processions in the same tiny place available to them?

The task of setting your furniture and other items in a small space may seem daunting at first. But the good news is with some tried and tested techniques, you can make a small abode more spacious and accommodating. A significant aspect of smaller houses is that they are easier to decorate, clean, and maintain. It’s all about making minor changes, careful planning, and nailing minimalism. The simple tips and ways below can help you pragmatically manage smaller spaces in your house.


1.       Look for a storage unit

The central idea of maintaining and organizing a smaller place is taking out stuff from the house rather than adding more. Decluttering often gives you instant results, making your home more open, inviting, and spacious. But before decluttering your house, you must decide where you will put the extra stuff. Putting your belongings in someone else’s house doesn’t seem like a viable idea because it might become an additional burden for them.

Similarly, stuffing all your belongings in the attic isn’t a feasible option either. In such situations, renting a storage unit in your region is the best solution. Let’s say you reside in or near Nashville, Tennessee. In that case, you can search “Nashville storage units” and rent out reliable storage units.

2.       Declutter your house

Once you have arranged a safe storage place for your belongings, now you can move towards decluttering your house. Take out all the unnecessary items that you don’t need right now. It could be boxes full of old toys, out-of-season clothes, old furniture that finds no place in your house, or even your old vehicles.

You can keep all these things in a storage unit rented near your house. Once you successfully do it, be ready to see a remarkable change in the appearance of your humble abode.

3.       Donate and sell the remaining stuff

Even after you have sent your stuff to the storage unit, there can be many things cramming your house. If you don’t need this stuff even in the future, it’s better to donate it to a nearby charity or sell it in a yard sale. This way, you will create more space to adjust more important items in the house while helping others.

The stuff you sold or donated might be excessive for you, but it can be a treasure for others needing it in their place.

4.       Clear the floor

We often start pilling stuff in the corner in the form of stacked boxes or luggage bags. But you must realize that the floor is not a storage place. The piles of stuff stacked in the corners reduce the walking area, making the house look smaller and cramped. Likewise, you might be keeping things aside because you have planned to send them to a charity. But in most situations, these piles get bigger until they practically take over.

So, suppose you have made such plans. In that case, it’s better to pursue them as quickly as possible because they often get postponed for an indefinite time. Once you clear these corners, your house will look spacious and stop appearing claustrophobic.

5.       Scale down your furnishings

A crucial step in making a small space look bigger is scaling down the furnishings in your house because proportion is everything in tiny apartments. Everything from furniture to fixtures and carpets should be in proportion with the overall space in your home.

If the furniture is bigger than needed, it will take extra space and block the walking area, making your house look stuffed. Similarly, when choosing the furniture, ensure to go for sleek yet minimalist pieces. For instance, a functional chair will give you as much seating space as an overstuffed couch but takes very little space in comparison.

6.       Chose lighter colored paints

You will be astonished to see how a mere change in your paint color makes your house look more spacious and welcoming. If you have a smaller space, always go for light-colored paints for the entire house. The light color of the paint makes the walls look farther away from each other, creating an illusion of expansive space. That’s because light color bounces maximum light, and it may seem like the walls are receding.

The most suitable pallet for such a house is whites, greys, and various shades of creams and yellows.

7.       Opt for a lower profile

Tall and bulky furniture makes the house look small and congested. On the contrary, a lower profile of your belongings such as couch, bed, and tables make the space look expansive by creating more space above and around them. You can even go for placing the mattress directly on the floor if you don’t intend to block the room with a wooden or metal bed permanently. Opting for 19th-century furniture pieces might be closer to your liking as it’s extremely low profile.



The key to perfectly managing a smaller space is reducing the extra stuff and striving for minimalistic d├ęcor. You might need to constantly think about what you need the most in your house and things that can go into the storage facility for the time being. Moreover, you also need to consider the furnishings you bring in and their arrangement. The idea is to opt for things that make your house look more open and inviting.

How to Fight Stress with Food


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We cannot emphasize how imperative it is to opt for a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating, exercising and resting well. As you enter adulthood, you will notice fatigue more frequently. This is because, throughout the day, your body goes through a lot. This can include physical and mental stress. Whether it is at your workplace or if you are a homemaker, the chores can physically and mentally drain you. The mountain-load of responsibilities can be taxing, and if your body is not up to the challenge, you will feel this fatigue even more.

Piedmont's website states that after you turn 20, your metabolic rate slows down by 10% every decade. This means the body's natural function that changes food to energy reduces over time. Unfortunately for you, those times have passed when you could eat anything you desired and still feel energized. When you hit your 30s, and onwards, your diet can play a huge part. As your metabolism has slowed down, you only want to feed your system the right nutrition and avoid that which can boost your chances of developing chronic diseases or contribute majorly to obesity.

The beginning of the 21st century saw a great deal of advancement in technology that has significantly changed the way we live our lives and interact with others. Lives now have become more complex and overwhelming. This is why we have seen a surge in mental health issues. People go through a great deal of financial and social stress. Some go through the occasional holiday blues, stress sf or seasonal gloom. In short, everyone is struggling at their own end. Our World in Data stated that nearly 4% of the entire world population suffers from depressive and anxiety disorders. And a major contributor to this rising trend is our poor diet.


Food and Mood

Food is known to be our biggest ally or our enemy. It can push our stress levels too high or pull them down. It all bottles down to how you plan your meals and incorporate all the right nutrients into them. An article published in Journal Stress suggested that the amount and quality of nutrients you take in can affect the body’s neural circuits that control emotion, motivation, and mood. In addition, certain microorganisms in the gut directly link our feelings to what we eat and drink. This is why the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences declared food as the key ingredient of good health.


Stress vs. Planning

After an extremely tiring day at work or with your newborn baby, the easiest option for you is to get something delivered from your favorite restaurant or simply go and eat out. You do not have the strength to cook and then clean later; quite understandable indeed!

But the truth is, eat-outs can cost more, not just in terms of money but also your health. What you cook at home is far healthier than what these restaurants offer. Yes, we know you do not have the mental strength to think of what to cook at the end of the day. But we have a better proposition for you – “plan ahead”!

It is a lot easier than you think. You can plan a weekly schedule every weekend that you can follow till the next. It doesn't have to be something fancy like a 3-course meal. Just something simple and easy to cook that is power-packed with all the right nutrients. You can also cook in advance, especially before days you know you won't be able to find the time. You can freeze that meal and reheat it whenever needed.

Another way to reduce your cooking stress is to invest in crackpots, instant pots or slow cookers. You can just toss in the ingredients before heading out and come home to a perfectly cooked, healthy meal at the end of the day.

You can also reduce your stress by asking your roommate or family to help with setting the table or cutting veggies while you cook. Delegating work can put loads of pressure off.


Food and Stress Management

A stressed-out body can release cortisol, insulin and ghrelin, which can amp up hunger and cravings for unhealthy food. You get stuck in this vicious cycle if you give in to your cravings. The more you eat unhealthily, the more you adversely affect your physical health. And the more your physical health gets affected, the more your mind becomes stressed and seeks comfort in unhealthy food.

With the right type of food, you can break free from this cycle and put your mind and body at peace. Researchers have found many foods that can help elevate your mood and manage your stress. And the foods you should avoid can increase your stress levels, even more, contributing to bad health overall. So we've made a list of all the food you must consume when you feel stressed. And all that you should avoid at any cost.

·         What to eat:

o   Water and milk – keeping your body hydrated can keep your energy levels high throughout the day. On the other hand, milk is rich in calcium and vitamin D that can help muscles relax and stabilize your mood.

o   Fruits – bananas are rich in potassium, magnesium, and dopamine, regulating stress levels. Bananas also have vitamin B12, which reduces stress and fatigue by ensuring the nervous system functions well. Similarly, Vitamin C-rich fruits like oranges and strawberries reduce stress.

o   Dark chocolate – indulge yourself in a piece of dark chocolate and let it wash all your troubles away. The antioxidants in it lower the stress hormone, relaxing your body altogether.

o   Complex carbs – sweet potatoes, whole grains like quinoa bread, brown rice or oats, digest slowly over time, providing you with the right amount of energy and sugar throughout the day. This means a good mood all day long.

o   Herbal tea-sipping, a cup of hot herbal tea, can relax you a lot. All herbal teas are beneficial, but Chamomile is proven to reduce anxiety.

o   Nuts – consuming in small quantities, nuts can help you keep your energy levels up all day long and reduce your blood pressure, keeping your body stress free.


·         What to avoid:

o   Alcohol – the biggest contributor of many chronic illnesses, alcohol breeds depression and anxiety in its drinkers. Alcohol dependence, in the long run, can lead to substance abuse that can cause many problems to your health and life.

o   Sugar – cookies, candies, cakes, doughnuts; we absolutely adore these. Unfortunately, they must be avoided entirely. When stressed, our cravings for refined sugars heighten. Increased intake of these can result in obesity and poor health.

o   Caffeine – although coffee and tea improve focus in the earlier hours of the day. But if consumed later, it can mess up your sleep cycle. Caffeine can make you jittery, anxious and more stressed.



A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. And a body needs the right amount and variety of well-balanced food for its right functioning. Eating foods that can work their way around all the happy hormones and the chemicals in your body can instantly uplift your mood after a tough day. Similarly, munching on unhealthy food can cause you to feel bloated, low and stressed. They can also cause long-term health problems that cause more stress and anxiety. To lead a stress-free life, change your eating habits now. 

Thursday, 20 January 2022

How to Get Your Family Outside More Often This Year

Spending time outdoors has been proven time and again to be beneficial to people of all ages. If you have a family, however, you may have found that it's much easier said than done. Read on to see some tips on how you can get your family outside more often this year, and you can all benefit immensely from doing so.

Set Planned Activities

To get a hesitant family outdoors, it's a good idea to plan some activities for the time they will spend outdoors. These could include things they enjoy doing, like swimming, which is the fourth most-popular activity or sport in America as found by the U.S. Census Bureau. While you do this, also allow some time for unstructured play, which will help the children learn to entertain themselves and get creative. It may take some time for older children, especially if they're not used to it, but they will find their way soon enough if you give them time.

Start a Garden

Planting a garden outside your house is an amazing way to get your children excited about spending time outdoors. They will enjoy learning about plants and the outdoors on a small scale and will be excited about being able to grow something. They will also feel accomplished and learn to be more responsible when they realize that they get results for the actions they take. You never know, you may help one of them discover that they have a green thumb.

Limit Screen Time

Screen time has become an issue, especially over the last two years, during which more people found themselves stuck indoors with their families. It's possible to break this cycle, however, and get the children excited about being outdoors. Start by limiting the length of time they can spend in front of a screen each day, and substitute it with an activity that takes them as far away from the screen as possible. If you have a place where you can go fishing nearby, it would be a great start because this is one of America's most popular recreational activities.

Have Meals Outdoors

Whenever the weather's good, you can have a meal as a family outside. This will be a great way to bond while enjoying the outdoors, so if you don't already have a set-up outside your house where you can all sit together as a family, it's a good idea to get one. A simple table with all-weather seats will do, and you can schedule at least one meal outside. Let everyone take a vote on the day, time, and even the meal they would want to have, so it can be an even more involving activity. When the whole family feels that they have a role to play in it, they will be likely to participate wholeheartedly and enjoy it.

Set Camping Dates

The final tip you can use to get your family outdoors more often is to set dates for camping and make them known to the whole family. When you do this regularly, everyone will look forward to it as family-time outside and it will be easier for them to enjoy it. You may go for drives across the country at times when the whole family is available. Just keep in mind that the oil for an RV needs to change at about the same rate as a regular car, about every 4,000 to 6,000 miles, which would vary if you use synthetic oil, drive a high-mileage vehicle, or have an older RV. The minimum is once per year, so make sure not to go longer than this.

With the tips above, you can start to get your family outdoors more often. You will all enjoy it and possibly grow a lot closer than you already are, so put them in practice as soon as you can because most don't need more than a little planning.