How to Choose a Safe Video Chat to Talk to Your Family

Cyber security is a real threat nowadays. While you might think cyber crime only affects businesses and billionaires, that’s not the case. All types of individuals are targeted online, and that’s why you need to be extra careful.

One of the ways criminals gain access to your information is through video chat. While there are a number of free or affordable video chat tools online nowadays, how do you know which one is safe? Here’s how to choose a safe video chat to talk to your family with confidence.

1. Protect Your Computer

The first thing you should do is make sure your computer is protected. The good news is that most video chats are unlikely to be monitored or recorded by outsiders. Most data transmitted through any trusted video chat platform is encrypted within the browser, and that means it can’t be intercepted by a third-party.

However, you should take action to make sure your computer is safe from harmful viruses or malware. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, there are 2,645 records stolen from data breaches every minute. TYu need to make sure your computer is clean and safe, whether that means recruiting the help of a professional or installing anti-virus software.

2. Set Safety Rules

Next, before you can choose a safe video chat platform, it’s important to set clear safety rules. Many kids don’t have experience online or talking to family over the internet, so you want to set clear rules from the start. Make sure kids know how to verify the identity of family members and to always come to you if they experience any problems.

Image via Pexels

3. Check Security Features

Before choosing a video chat service, check safety features. Look for key things like encryption and privacy protection. Is it possible to have a private account that isn’t easy to find? How does this company keep your data safe from strangers?

These are important questions, and they might not always be clear upfront. If your kids will be using the chat tool to talk to family, are their child protection options to keep them from being contacted by strangers? Say Family Video Chat is an example of a platform built with family security in mind.

4. How Easy Is It to Use?

Last but not least, make sure whatever video chat you use is easy for the whole family. If it’ll be used by grandparents and kids alike, everyone needs to know how to use it to their advantage. If it’s too complicated or confusing, this is when security mistakes are made.

In addition, ensure everyone in the family follows online safety rules like making a secure password and keeping your personal information private. As long as everyone’s on the same page about safety, odds are you’re ready to start video chatting right away.

Keep the Family Connected Safely

Video chat has come a long way, but it still poses a safety risk for families. Many families use video chat tools to keep in touch when separated long distances, but that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Like all tech tools, you need to be educated and safe.

These tips above will not only help you choose the best platform for your family, but they’ll make sure you’re using them safely. It’s time to get calling!

Make-It-Yourself Yarn Crafts for Your Pet Pooch

If you’re reading this, then you are a craft lover who wants to make something special for their dog. And if you’re looking for an ideal pet present for a four-legged friend, then keep reading. Even if you have never made any sort of homemade gift, there’s no reason to hold back. It’s possible to knit and crochet all sorts of pet accessories and toys for dogs, cats, and other pets.

For the dog or dogs in your life, here are five make-it-yourself yarn crafts for all experience levels. After all, with so many online resources available to help people teach themselves new hobbies, you don’t have to look far for a free dog sweater knitting pattern or for the best yarn for animal use.

Blanket

Sure, blankets may be pretty standard for a first-time knitting or crochet project, but that doesn’t make them any less special. You can crochet a mat out of pet-friendly yarn, creating the perfect place for your dog to rest. These blankets also come in handy when you’re on the go, and make for the perfect way to make sure your pup is comfortable on road trips (and that your car doesn’t get covered in hair).

Indoor Flying Disc 

Nothing throws off an otherwise consistent doggie schedule than some inclement weather. When you and your pup are getting restless indoors, the right indoor toy can make all the difference. A knitted toy disc for your dog will fly through the air in your home for some games of indoor catch. The best part of these toys is how soft and lightweight they are, which means you don’t have to worry about breaking any furniture when you and your pup play inside.

A Baggie Bag

Pet owners cannot ignore the realities of cleaning up after your pet. Sure, it’s not glamorous, but it comes with responsibility. But does it feel like you constantly forget to grab the baggies before you set out on a walk? You can knit a small tote or pouch out of yarn and keep them stuffed with dog waste bags. Keep them by the door and you’ll always be ready for every walk. These also make excellent gifts to other dog owners.

Anxiety Wrap

If you have a dog that has lots of feelings and displays signs of canine anxiety-like pacing, destructive behavior, restlessness or more, they don’t have to be anxious forever. Swaddling has been a godsend for many pet owners who find that an anxiety wrap works wonders to calm an anxious dog, especially during periods of stress like car rides or fireworks. 

You can knit the wrap yourself to make something a bit more durable and stylish than a typical elastic bandage while still ensuring your pet gets that much-needed sense of comfort. Dogs are complex creatures and they experience all sorts of emotions that they sense from their environment.

Dogs thrive when they have a sense of control over their personal space. With a lovely blanket, toy, or doggie accessory made from yarn, you can make sure your pup feels good and looks cute, too. And what’s great is the amount of amazing and free patterns you can find online. There is a great knitting and crocheting community out there! Why not see what’s out there?

The Art of Matching Flooring with Window Treatments

No matter how much you love changes and innovations, the fact is that you probably don’t like renovations. Having to spend tons of money, invest tons of energy, and waste tons of patience is no fun at all. However, if you put your mind to it and find renovating projects that actually make sense, things could be different. Finding these projects might not be that easy, so start simple and focus on your floors. Fixing your floors or installing new ones goes a long way, especially if you match them with your window treatment. This way, you’ll bring your entire home together, so here’s what you need to pay attention to.

Tones and contrasts

This is the first you need to think about, and these are the colours that will ultimately define the look of your home. Although most people don’t really pay that much attention to the colour of their floors and window treatments, you should dedicate some time to this. Using similar tones is a great idea, and that’s a solution that could lead to a much-needed contrast in your home.

Most people opt for hardwood floors that are dark, so going the same way with the windows will look amazing against your bright walls. Creating contrast is important for introducing a dose of excitement into your home, so take your time when choosing the colour scheme of your floors and windows.

Proper décor

Insisting on the right décor is another way to bring your space together and make everything work really well. Choosing décor is never easy, which is why most people decide to hire professional interior decorators, but you can surely do it yourself too. Just make a plan in advance and define the look you’re trying to achieve.

After deciding on the colour scheme of your floors and windows, you need to pick your décor in accordance with the choice you’ve made. The colour of bigger decorating and furniture pieces could be contrasted with your primary colours, especially if you’re arranging a sitting area in your living room. The same goes for the rugs on your floor and the paintings on your walls, so don’t be afraid to experiment a bit.

Amount of sunlight

This is one of the most important things you need to take into consideration when renovating your home and installing new floors and windows. Unfortunately, most people just don’t do that. They don’t think about the amount of sunlight in their home and therefore often end up living in a space that’s too dark or too bright. Luckily, there’s an easy solution for that problem.

Shutter, blinds, and shade sails are all practical ideas, but are they really the best choices out there? Probably not, because these aren’t always the best at keeping too much sunshine from penetrating into your interior space. That’s why you need to think about those useful roller blinds that help you regulate the amount of sunlight more easily and take your interior design to a whole new level. Available in various colours and fabrics, these blinds aren’t just practical, but also visually appealing, and that’s always good.

Defining the sizes

When you’re matching your flooring and window treatment, you need to think about other things than colours. The size of your window and the treatment you opt for – as well as their placement – are crucial as well, so don’t forget to pay attention to these issues too. Windows come in different sizes, depending on the function of the room they’re in, so give each room the love and attention it deserves.

When it comes to window treatment sizing, things are quite simple: they need to be big enough to cover the entire window, but still not too big so that they’d ruin its aesthetic appeal. Also, if you opt for drapes, pay attention to the fabrics and keep the amount of sunlight in mind. Long thick drapes will make your interior too dark, so be sure to go in another direction.

Matching your flooring and window treatment sounds like the hardest thing in the world, but it’s not really that hard. All you have to do is define what you’re trying to achieve and stay dedicated to your ideal look as much as you can.

Best Ways to Make Happy Family Memories

When raising a family, the days are long, but the years are short. You have about eighteen summers to spend with your children, and likely less time to enjoy those summers together as a family. In other words, it’s integral that you make the most of every moment.

Creating cherished family memories will shine a light on the dark times, and give you something to look back on and smile as the years go on. These memories shape how your children will raise their children and become your legacy. 

Here are three ways you can make happy family memories that will stand the test of time.

Make Time to Play Every Day

Finding time to do things is one of the biggest challenges parents face in the modern world. Long hours spent at the office, extracurricular activities, chores and responsibilities around the house, and endless expectations are exhausting. At the end of the day, it can be tempting to detach and find some time to relax.

Realistically, there are short bouts of time that you can shut out the rest of the world and find time to play. Start by allocating ten minutes per child to close everything else down and give them your full attention, focusing on what’s important to them. Remember, quality matters more than quantity. The dishes can wait so you can play with dolls for a few minutes. The laundry can wait while you shoot some hoops in the yard.

Some of the greatest memories children have are not the big, extravagant events, but the small act of their parent finding time to share with them. By participating in the activities that matter to your children, you’re improving their sense of value and self-worth.

Unplug and Be Present

Whether you’re heading to the local park for some fresh air or on a grand adventure across the country, remember to be present in the moment. With smartphones being a staple in the modern world, it can be hard to disconnect and focus on what’s happening. If you’re always viewing the world from behind a lens, you’re missing the little, perfect moments that create incredible memories.

Turn your phone on airplane mode and avoid social media, using it only to snap a few photos before putting it away. Instead, give your full attention to the event that’s taking place. You’ll have more fun with your children, and they’ll remember you as an active part of their experience for years to come.

Balance Traditions and New Adventures

Both lifelong traditions and new, exciting adventures are catalysts for great family memories: find time for both. Create fun traditions throughout the year, such as an annual camping trip each summer or a movie marathon over the holidays. 

Instead of going to the same places all the time, try new things. Become tourists in your own town and make an effort to attend community events. Pick up a travel brochure from the local tourism office and spend time getting to know the hidden gems in your area. Those unexpected adventures may create new traditions for your family or unlock new hobbies, passions, and knowledge.

Create Family Memories On A Road Trip To The Golden Isles

As Travis from DaddysHangout.com shares, last year approximately 87.7 million U.S. citizens traveled out of the United States showing that the majority of US residents are choosing to vacation within the US. With fifty states to choose from, the options for family holidays are endless. So if you don’t fancy leaving the country then take the family to Georgia’s Golden Isles for an array of healthy family activities including beach living, nature trails, boat trips and so much more.

Themed Weekends Promote Family Togetherness

Heidi has shared a nice tip about spending time together when vacationing in her post about their visit to the Yogi Bears Jellystone at Kozy Rest. “Yes, the kids go off to play basketball and do other things on their own, but it was nice that the campground had activities planned that encouraged us to spend time together as a family – such as the donut decorating and root beer floats.”

Make Sure You Are Keeping The Memories, Too

Memory is lost when a family member passes away before the memory has been shared and saved. Don’t wait another day, as advised in this article here.

Consider family memories you don’t want to lose:

  • Think about important memories from your life events, videos, stories, or photos that are not already recorded.
  • Prayerfully consider who in your family has a family heirloom, a photo, or a story that could be lost.

Using Wall Decals to Create a Family Photo Wall you will love!

Kristin gave me this wonderful idea of using wall decals – as she explains that at some point this summer she realized that all the photo’s in their home were outdated. They have changed so much and gone on so many fun adventures that she really felt like it was time to add some new memories to the walls. She can’t really remember the last time I ordered a photo print (me too!)! It is nice to have an actual physical copy – and a family photo wall is a wonderful way to decorate your home!

Use Your Backyard!

Children like to play outside and spend their free time doing some fun outdoor activities. Having a backyard that’s suitable for them is what every grandparent would want, and you need to think about how your outdoor area suits your family. Not only is this space great for your grandchildren, but it can also be an oasis for their parents and space to relax in the sun all summer long. That’s what makes these long afternoons more enjoyable and serves as a great area for creating new family memories, as shared by Eileen from feistysideoffifty.com.

Organize Old Family Photos

Whenever you see a news broadcast of the after effects of a natural disaster, you hear the same thing. “I lost everything. I lost all my family photos.” Photos represent memories. All the other stuff can be replaced, but the memories cannot. Having photos saved digitally can help with that loss. More on that a little later. I would argue that there is another loss that competes with being left with nothing. That is the loss of keeping everything. What I mean is, if you have every photo hidden away, then none of it feels accessible. Keeping everything makes it not only inaccessible, but less shareable. This can be solved by, again, scanning and digitizing your photo prints, as advised by Matt Baier.

Sorting Photos To Tell Stories

Instead of trying to sort photos chronologically sort them by topics.  Photos tell stories. By sorting using topics you will get stories on vacations, cars you’ve owned, children’s lives, pets, flowers, scenery etc.  Pick any topics that suit your life and start making piles.  As you’re sorting, get rid of ones that are out of focus, duplicates, one you don’t recognize the people or setting, as advised Julie Stobbe from MindOverClutter.ca.

Make Your Own Memories

The best part of making happy family memories is that you don’t have to break the bank to do so. You just have to be willing to set aside the time and get creative with your ideas. The memories you make together will hold more value than a price tag could ever equate. 

 

If you have ideas or advice for creating happy family memories, or experiences of your own to share, let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Fairly New Parenting Discipline Tactics That Are Worth Trying

Parenting is always evolving. New ideas, methods, and techniques for bringing up kids are always emerging. Many of these “new” parenting or discipline tactics are just some tried and true ones that have been revamped and brought back.

It’s worth noting that experts haven’t managed to agree on which discipline tactic is best. However, they all agree that each style has its own benefits. As you try to decide which discipline method is best for your family, keep in mind that there’s no “one size fits all” solution.

Instead, try and tailor the different discipline styles to your child’s temperament, your family values, and your discipline philosophies, then do what feels right for you. Also, remember that what suits one kid might not work with their siblings.

Here are some tactics that have been around for a while but are finally being given the light and attention they deserve. These are fairly new in being discussed in the parenting world and could have some great results.

Boundary-based Discipline.

 

This type of discipline focuses on setting firm limits as well as making clear rules and consequences. Kids are told the rules as well as the consequences for failing to adhere to them so they know what to expect. If you’re going to use this discipline tactic on teens, it’s best to involve them in setting both the rules and consequences. That way, they’re more likely to cooperate.

Gentle Discipline.

A gentle disciplinarian focuses on preventing problems from cropping up and will use humor to redirect children’s attention from bad behavior. While kids are still given rules, the focus isn’t on shaming them but cooperating with them to find a workable solution. For instance, if you want to encourage your kids to read more, you could set aside some daily reading time and make it a fun activity for the whole family.

Positive Discipline.

Instead of focusing on punishment, positive discipline uses praise and encouragement to help effect good behavior. The emphasis here is on making discipline about teaching your kids why they should behave a certain way or do certain things. It goes well with an authoritative approach so the parent is always the one in control. Let’s say your child has a negative attitude towards studying and you want them to love it. Using this approach, you could explain the importance of studying then work together to find ways to help them change their attitude while encouraging them all the way.

Behavior Modification.

Alternatively, you could borrow a leaf from behavioral modification programs common in therapeutic boarding schools and use these at home. This mainly involves using a combination of both positive and negative consequences where good behavior is reinforced through rewards and praise while misbehavior is discouraged through negative consequences such as loss of privileges or being grounded.

Emotion Coaching.

Emotion coaching is based on teaching children to identify, understand and verbalize their feelings instead of acting out. Kids are taught that having feelings is okay but they should watch what they do as a result of those feelings. Parents using this discipline tactic help their children to find healthy, positive ways to cope with their emotions and develop skills to effectively manage them.

If you’ve been wondering how to bring up disciplined kids, these are worth a shot. Just remember that there isn’t a sure-fire tactic that will work on all kids in every situation. Sometimes, borrowing a few techniques from different styles and combining them might be the way to go. So do what feels best for your family.

 

Daily Workout Routine for Ladies—What You Should Do to Gain the Best Results

Do you want to look leaner and stronger? Or do you want to lose a few pounds before your vacation or that important event? Or are you just aiming to be healthier and more active? Working out should be your path no matter what your goal is! Here’s a little guide to help get you on the right track and some tips that will maximize your results.

Do cardio for weight loss

If you want to lose weight, boost your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular health, you must do some cardio! This type of workout keeps your blood flowing efficiently and keeps your endurance high. Plus, you have literally a ton of workout options from jogging outside to hitting the elliptical. You can also try functional movements like kettlebell workouts (usually used in strength training, but if you lower weight and boost reps, you’ll get a good cardio exercise). However, it’s important to keep one thing in mind: your heart rate has to be high in order for the activity to be cardiovascular. While your target heart rate for weight loss is unique to you, a good starting point is to aim for anywhere between 120 and 150 beats per minute and keep it there for 45 to 60 minutes.

Strength training is a must

Many women avoid doing any strength training because they are afraid they will put on too much muscle. You’re not going to turn to She-Hulk unless you lift crazy weights, keep your diet spotless and train two times a day, so don’t worry. However, what you will gain from strength training is sexy lean muscles, better figure, and many amazing health benefits. Also the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism is which will help with your weight loss. In order to build some muscle, you should work for your major muscle groups two times a week. You can also try adding some supplements to your diet and workouts. For instance, you can find great supplement ideas here and pick up a fat burner that will aid weight control. Have a fat burner in the morning and experience a great feeling of fullness and a surge of energy perfect for your workouts!

Try HIIT

If you don’t have time for longer workouts, try something short and sweet. High-intensity interval training is super hard, but it’s also short, 20 to 30 minutes max. Structure your HIIT properly and you’ll burn a lot of calories during the afterburn long after you get home from your workout. Keep in mind to hold your heart rate high during the entire workout. If you can easily keep up for more than 30 minutes, it means you’re not keeping the intensity high enough.

Have active recovery days

In order to achieve the best results, you need to allow your body to rest. While you could sit and watch Netflix as a form of recovery, you can also do something light, easy yet active to boost your body’s range of motion and increase your calorie burn. For instance, try taking a walk, going for a light swim or joining restorative yoga.

Keep your diet clean

While working out is very important for getting in shape and losing weight, you must also watch out what you eat. A clean diet is just as important as exercise, if not even more. If you have good impulse control, you don’t have to change much, just decrease your portions a little bit and stay away from empty calories like sugary drinks, fatty snacks, and sweets. If you need a more structured plan, you can check out MyFitnessPal that will help you keep track of everything that you eat and offer inspiration for meals and workouts.

Don’t forget to have fun

Losing weight and getting in shape should be a pleasant and happy activity. After all, you’re starting a new path in life and that’s something to be celebrated. So, don’t dedicate all your time to workouts and cooking! Go out with your girlfriends, have fun and enjoy life! That’s super important for your mental health!

If you combine good exercise, with plenty of rest and clean eating, you can expect to see amazing results in no time. However, make sure to be patient! Most effective changes happen over a longer period of time, not overnight!

Most Common Eye Problems Today and How to Prevent and Deal with Them

No matter how much you take care of your eyes and your vision, you can expect to have some sort of eye issues at one point of your life. In order to stay safe and protected, it’s very important to know which are the most common eye problems and how to prevent and heal them.

Refractive errors

This is probably the most common issue with eyes people experience all over the world. As a matter of fact, around 50% of Australians wear glasses or contacts to correct one of these vision issues! Refractive errors occur when the eye’s shape prevents the light from hitting the eye correctly and focusing on the retina. These errors can be caused by a number of reasons from the length of the eyeball to changes in the shape of the cornea and aging of your eye. Most people with refractive errors have one of these four types.

Myopia or nearsightedness is a condition where you can see objects that are close to you clearly, but objects that are far away are blurry. The issue with myopia is that the light focuses in front of the retina instead where it should—in the middle of it.

Hyperopia or farsightedness is another common type of refractive error that opposite from myopia. With this issue, objects that are far way appear clear and objects that are near are blurry. However, farsightedness is quite specific. Some people don’t even notice any issues with their vision, especially at a young age while others experience blurriness for objects at any distance no matter if near or far.

Astigmatism is an eye condition that prevents the light from focusing evenly onto the retina. People who suffer from this condition tend to see images that are blurry and stretched out.

Presbyopia is strictly age-related. It’s an eye condition that prevents the ability to focus up close (or makes it very hard). As the years pass, the eye ages and the lens is no longer adaptable enough to low the eye to focus on objects nearby.

All of these conditions can be fixed with visual aids like glasses and contact lenses. In some cases, laser surgery is possible. If you do your laser eye surgery in Sydney you can even choose blade-free laser surgery that will allow you to ditch your contacts and glasses and see independently again.  The treatment is safe, quick and effective and can work on many people!

Glaucoma

This eye disease is much more serious than refractive errors. If you have glaucoma, your eye fluid presses the optic nerve and can cause nerve damage and even blindness. While it can’t really be prevented, if you’re an older individual with a family history of glaucoma, make sure to have your eye exams regularly.

Cataract

Clouding of the lens or cataract causes blurry vision or even color changes. People who suffer from this disease often report seeing auras that surround objects, especially at night. This condition is most common in seniors and it can be removed with surgery that replaces the damaged lens with an artificial one.

Amblyopia

Also known as “lazy eye”, amblyopia occurs when vision is not properly developed in the eyes, so the brain starts to concentrate more on the eye with better vision. This usually develops in formative years from birth to six years old if one eye exhibits issues like lid droop, tumor or eye misalignment. If the condition is properly diagnosed and treated, children have a big chance of recovering.

Diabetic retinopathy

Like it says in the name, diabetic retinopathy is damage to the blood vessels of the retina in people with diabetes. The result of diabetic retinopathy can be blurred vision, dark spots in the visual fields and even blindness (when not treated). The best way to prevent this issue is to keep your blood sugar at bay and have a regular dilated eye exam with your doctor.

Dry eye syndrome

Usually, due to issues with tear formation, tear ducts and eyelids, some people can develop a lack of tears that results in a dry eye syndrome. While it can cause pain and blurred vision, it can be easily managed with special drops prescribed to you by your doctor.

If you keep these common eye diseases in mind and have regular exams with your doctor, there’s a great possibility you will retain your good vision long into your old age. If not, there are always aids and surgeries that can help.

Overcoming Addiction: How to Help Yourself and the One’s You Love

Photo by Kylli Kittus on Unsplash

There is no easy way around it: you need to overcome your addiction or eventually it will ruin your life. The same goes for your loved ones, as it is up to you as a loving, supporting figure in their lives to help them overcome this ordeal and get their lives back on track before it’s too late. However, this is usually easier said than done, because you can’t simply force yourself or anyone else to check into rehab if they’re not willing to make a positive change.

No, this is a lengthy process, and it includes a number of crucial steps you will need to take on the road to full and long-term recovery. Let’s take a look at the key tips that will help you recognize and treat addiction, and ensure lifelong sobriety.

Try to understand it as much as possible

The first step towards recovery is recognition and understanding, no matter if you have an addiction or if you suspect a loved one struggling with an addiction of their own. Recognizing an addiction is not just about identifying the problem, it’s also about recognizing and understanding the impact that this condition has on your personal and professional life, as well as how it affects your relationships and the lives of those who hold you dear.

Start by putting everything down on a piece of paper – this will give you a bird’s eye view of your situation and allow you to distance yourself from the allure of your addiction. Once you made a list of all the ways the addiction is affecting your life, be sure to make another list of your long-term dreams and aspirations. What you will find is that a person who has an addiction cannot hope to achieve their lifelong goals if they continue down this path. Now’s the time to seek professional help.

Seek professional help and guidance

Photo by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash

Many of us like to think that we can manage an addiction all on our own and that we can even overcome it if we put our hearts and minds to the cause. While it is true that your mindset will play a vital role in your rehabilitation, you shouldn’t underestimate the ability of addiction to overpower your determination in the long run. Instead of going through this ordeal all on your own, you need to seek professional help.

This is also true for your loved ones, and it is your duty to find the innovative institutions that specialize in addiction treatment, patient care, guidance, and education that will increase the chance of a complete recovery. Remember, there is no shame in checking yourself into rehab, or helping a loved one find a center themselves, because the sooner you let a team of professionals lend a helping hand, the higher the chances are of achieving lifelong sobriety.

Connect with the right people

During the treatment phase and especially after you or your loved one has checked out of the rehab facility, finding and connecting with the right support groups will be vital. Your caretakers and doctors will have already prescribed the necessary lifestyle habits and suggested the best support group for your condition, and now it’s up to you to remain consistent with your attendance. Be sure not to skip a single meeting, because these are the people who have been through the same ordeal, and they can help you prevent relapse and eliminate the temptation for good.

Stay consistent and adopt healthy habits

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

And lastly, you not only need to be consistent in attending a support group meeting, but you also need to adopt and uphold several key lifestyle habits that will help you fall in love with a healthier way of living, to fall in love with the life you deserve. To prevent a relapse, in the long run, be sure to stick to regular physical exercise, join a meditation group, and of course, switch to a healthy diet routine devoid of addictive substances such as alcohol or cigarettes. 

Final thoughts

Every type of addiction is a serious matter – one that doesn’t have a simple solution, nor one that you can overcome overnight. Following these steps will prevent you from prolonging the condition, and instead, empower you and your loved ones to seek the necessary treatment and uphold a healthier lifestyle after rehabilitation. This is the way you pave the road to a lifetime of sobriety.

Mom Tips: How To Kick-Start Your Workday

Being a mom and having a full-time job isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires a lot of focus, discipline, and motivation. But here’s what a key to success is: a set, regular, step-by-step morning routine. Some parts of the routine are productive, and others are more ritualistic, but greatest times of productivity happen when you stick to the routine.

If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around the workday, try making a step-by-step plan. Whether you work from a cubicle or your kitchen, these tips will help you to get started on the grind and stay focused on all day long.

Get Enough Sleep

Before you can implement new, healthy morning habits, you should have the foundation of a well-rested body and mind. The way you feel while you’re awake is dependent on how well-rested you are. If you’ve been feeling groggy, irritable, or exhausted, you are not getting enough quality sleep. When you are sleeping, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. Sleep plays such a vital role in your physical well-being, mental clarity, and quality of life that ongoing sleep deficiency can have adverse effects on your health and how well you think, work, learn and get along with others.

If you are finding you are not getting enough quality sleep, try using some lavender-scented sprays to wind down. There are also apps that can track your sleep habits. When you start your day after a night of good sleep, you will wake feeling ready to take on the day, starting with your new morning habits.

Don’t Use Your Phone Right Away

Besides turning off your alarm that might be on your phone, resist the urge to check your emails or social media. It sets you up for a day of being addicted to technology, and your morning time should be reserved just for you. You can do that by disabling notifications on your home screen so you’re not tempted by Facebook updates or mounting emails.

Stretch Out

Most of us wake up to the same generic alarm clock sound, roll out of bed, get dressed, grab a mediocre breakfast, and leave the house still rubbing your eyes and yawning. But if your day starts really early, a quick meditation will help stretch you out, give you focus, get your blood flowing, and put you in the right state of mind for work. 

But if it’s not for you, just pick another activity to do before your kids wake up. For example: go for a run, stretch, do a Pilates routine, or a spin class. These are all a great way to start your morning.

Keep Your Blinds Open

Sunlight is the best way to wake your body up. It’s hard to go from pitch-black to bright light, so make it easier on yourself by keeping your blinds somewhat open at night. It’s a little less jarring to wake up to your alarm each morning.

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations are a great way to promote positive thoughts and create a successful mindset for your day. Our thoughts and the things we say about ourselves are affirmations. When we say we are bad or good at something, it is an affirmation and that thought becomes the truth. Choosing positive affirmations is a great way to change 

Your thoughts and help yourself start the day right.

Take a (Cold) Shower

There’s no better way to wake you up than the feeling of water on your skin. If you are brave enough switch the temperature from warm to cold. It may sound like a shock to your system, but a cold shower will boost your alertness, increase tolerance to stress, relieve symptoms of depression, improve your immune system, circulation and most importantly, give you a lot of energy.

Eat a Good Meal

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you haven’t satisfied your growling stomach, there’s no way you’ll be able to focus on work or be productive. As follows, make sure that you’re well-rested and hydrated, because taking care of yourself is the best way to remain focused and sane throughout the workday.

Drink Coffee

After you got ready for the day it is finally time for coffee. Like most moms, coffee is probably your best friend in the morning. Lavazza Blue Pod coffee is a lifesaver, you just pop one into the coffee maker push the button and your coffee will be done in no time. For some more coffee drinks and tips you can also check out this blog.

If you’re not a coffee drinker, you can find the same effects in a protein shake, smoothie, or a cup of tea.

Get Ready For the Day

This part of the day is the most stressful for a lot of moms because you’re not just getting ready. You are doing your hair and makeup, running small errands, and pulling out meat to defrost for dinner. However, the days when you get dressed nicely, do your hair and makeup, and the most productive of them all. Something about a nice white button-down and a bright scarf makes you feel like you can conquer the world.

Music

Listening to music will boost your mood, energize you and reduce stress. Music is stimulating and has the ability to change your state, play something that gets you in the right happy mindset for the day.

Be With Your Family

Now that you have woken up and the train of thought has left the station to run all its errands for the day greet my family. Greet your partner and children and discuss the day with them.

Your child and or husband might have plans that you need to account for when I start planning my day. By taking time before planning the day to see what your family has going on means that you can make sure you are available at the time that they need me.

Track Previous Days Stats

After you get your brain going and have the family plans for the day, you can start gearing up for the work ahead. Check the previous days’ stats, overnight emails, and any urgent notifications on social media. Check what you need to respond to and what you have to leave for the actual workday. If there are tasks that need urgent attention you can address those otherwise, schedule it for later in the day.

Create a Simple To-Do List

Creating a to-do list each day keeps you focused and clear on what you need to do, but try to keep it simple and just write two or three big important tasks. Be realistic about what you need to get done and keep your schedule in mind. If we always try and get too much done we feel like we’re never achieving enough. The key is to keep it simple.

Regardless of what you do for a living, starting with a simple list can help you flesh out your ideas for a project or for the day more thoughtfully, and it will help keep you on track so that you maintain focus.

Organize Their Workspace Area

Not being able to find things in your workspace is the biggest time-waster. Don’t just jump right in because the clutter will catch up to you. If you have a clean or cleaner slate on your desk and desktop, it will clear your mind for the day’s tasks.

Put Your Workspace to Work

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a formal office space or you work from your desk at home, it’s important that you’re organized and that you provide yourself with the tools necessary to get the job done.

Clean your desk, have good lighting, a supportive chair, and your coffee within arm’s reach. Figure out what you need and make sure you have it there with you each morning.

Anticipate distractions

No matter where you work from, distractions are hard to manage. Unexpected visitors, noisy co-workers, Facebook alerts, Tweet deck updates, kids running around and a relentlessly ringing phone can all destroy your concentration.

Try to avoid compromising your attention to your work, make sure you’ve addressed those distractions.

Block Out Negativity

The trick to fully focus on your work is that you don’t dwell on any challenging events that happened the previous night or on the morning commute, or other pointless thoughts. Putting them in a separate ‘box’ when you start your week.

Take Small Breaks To Recharge

 

When your energy levels are getting low and you’re running out of steam, you aren’t as productive as you would be normally. This is natural and is one of the easiest things to fix. Take a few minutes in the middle of the day to get away from your desk, go outside, grab a snack, and take a few minutes to relax, or even take a short nap. Even though you may think pushing through a busy day is the best way to get things done, after having a short break, many people noticed that their productivity and focus has gotten better.

They Take a Moment To Be Grateful

A great way that people can start their day is to think of something they’re grateful for, and it can be personal or business-related. It’s motivational and reminds you to put all the small things in perspective.

A lot of people take advantage of the first few minutes of their workday to get situated and focused. Once you have the right mindset and routine for success, the rest of the day will run smoothly.

Know Your Limits

Great advice to full-time working moms is to know and respect your limits. Know how much time you need alone just for yourself. Because when you are burnt out, both of your jobs will suffer, and everything will become harder for you to do.

Conclusion

You don’t have to have specific habits for your mornings, but taking some time for yourself before you begin working can help you be more relaxed and well equipped to take on your day. Having a morning routine also makes your mind ready for the upcoming day, preparing for what lies ahead. So experiment and see what works best for you and your family.

5 Things to Know When You Are First Time Pregnant

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but in the beginning, it often feels overwhelming- especially if it is your first-time experience. Don’t worry, everything will get better once you figure out your body changes and how to handle them, but for now, take a look at this, commonly underestimated pregnancy tips!

 

1.) Stack Up on Apples

Yep, just keep an apple (better six) next to you anywhere you go! Apples help with morning sickness, fatigue, fighting hunger (which will kick up pretty strong), and are amazing for a common pregnancy symptom- constipation!

Apples are full of nutrition, low in calories, and a superfood for your developing baby. So, in general, the more apples you eat – the better you are going to feel!

2.) Pregnancy Pillows are Often Underestimated

Surprisingly, with all the money going into pregnancy and baby products, women often decide to save money on something like a pregnancy pillow. However, that’s not the type of saving you need to do. First of all, you don’t need to break the bank to purchase one, and secondly, it isn’t anything unnecessary.

Pregnancy pillows promote a healthy back, shoulders, neck and knee support during sleep, as well as helping you to make sure you are sleeping in a pregnancy-safe position. Since you no longer can sleep on your back or stomach, a pregnancy pillow ensures that you are sleeping on your side during the night.

Sleeping during pregnancy is more overwhelming than it looks like, and even during the first trimester, it is common to feel discomfort during sleep. However, it is better to start using your pillow during your first trimester, because otherwise, it will be difficult to get used to sleeping in a new position during your second and third trimesters.

Also, even during the first trimester, your back goes through a lot of challenges, so it is better to start taking care of it from the beginning of your journey!

3.) Pregnancy Underwear Feels Heavenly

It seriously does! You will be amazed at how big of a difference pregnancy underwear will make you feel compared to regular ones.

Even during the first trimester, women often struggle with feeling pressure on their stomach from any piece of clothing, no matter how comfy it felt before. Maternity underwear is affordable and workers at maternity shops are usually sweet and helpful so they will help you with your new sizing (no worries here).

Don’t torture your body with all these uncomfortable clothing and spoil yourself with some pretty (yep, now maternity underwear is pretty too) and comfortable underwear!

4.) A Pair of Soft Slippers Makes Magic

You can never underestimate the power of a pair of cushiony, soft slippers! Pregnancy is overwhelming (duh) and extra comfort is never extra! You will be amazed at how tired your feet felt before you put a pair of nice slippers on.

Of course, you feel how tired your feet are, but just try something nice and soft on your feet and you will never want to leave them again!

 

Buy Stretch Mark Creams

Start to use creams as soon as possible because your skin will start to itch like crazy and most creams and oils don’t relieve this problem (or for a short time). Stretch mark creams, Oils, and Derma Rollers help with itchy skin pretty quickly, as well as preventing stretch marks which none of us want.

Olive, coconut, and other oils work with this problem well, but commercial brands often work better because of special formulas and oil blends added in.

Itchy skin “attacks” quick, so you better prepare yourself from the beginning!

Concluding Thoughts

As you can see, some common pregnancy symptoms can be avoided pretty easily, and they do not require much effort nor finances. Fighting pregnancy symptoms is always better from the beginning, so they do not spoil your “magical” pregnancy time!

I hope these tips helpful to you and your lovely baby!