We all have days where we feel a little down. Having a few tricks up your sleeve for putting a positive spin on your day can be a great way to lift your mood. Here’s a few tips for getting out of your funk, and on your way to a better day!
- Singing. Studies show that singing can actually improve your overall happiness. Blast some music – and sing along – on your way to work.
- Mindfulness. It can be easy to get so busy that you don’t find time for yourself to relax. For a few minutes each day, try adding a little mindfulness training in the form of meditation or yoga to your daily routine. The result will be a more relaxed, quieter mind.
- Socializing. Being around friends and family is a great way to boost your mood when you’re feeling down. Humans are social creatures, and even on off days, being around others can bring out the best in you.
- Smiling. Studies show that smiling more can brighten your mood by positively altering your brain chemistry. Try flashing a smile next time you’re feeling down.
There is no better way to bring the beauty of summer to your home than by growing a little garden of your own. Just a bit of effort planting some seeds can result in a lush garden blooming right before your eyes.
But how does one get started on such a gardening venture? Here are some tips for honing your green thumb:
- Know the climate of your location. The ability of many plants to grow quickly is often dependent upon the climate. Certain plants are naturally happier in warm, tropical climates with lots of sun, while other plants need shade or thrive in cooler climates. Before you buy a plant or plant seeds, be sure to research what environment the plant needs and how you can best achieve easy growing conditions.
- Know how often to water. Plants need different amounts of water, often based off the climates from which they originate. Often, unexperienced gardeners will kill their plants by either overwatering or underwatering. For this reason, be sure to know how much water the plants you choose need, and consider organizing your garden so plants with similar needs are close together.
- Know how it grows. Some plants grow so quickly and take up so much space that they kill the plants surrounding it, such as mint and bamboo. Knowing what plants are likely to overtake your garden, and should be grown in a pot or space, is important for a healthy garden.
- Pick the best location for your garden. Be sure to think about where the garden will be located. Being aware of how much light a region of your yard gets, or the ability for pesky critters to access the garden is important for planting.
Sleep, and enough of it, are essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Here’s a few tips to make your sleep more peaceful and rejuvenating.
- Exercise. Being active may seem like a weird suggestion for better sleep, but a run can be the difference between struggling to fall asleep and resting peacefully through the night. You don’t need to run a marathon to get a good night’s rest, try talking a long walk at night or a leisurely jog through your neighborhood.
- Regular rest. The best way to become a better sleeper is to make your sleep schedule regular. Getting to bed at a reasonable hour and getting up around the same time each day are good ways to get your sleeping on track.
- Avoid screen time. The light that radiates off your laptop, phone, and TV screen is stimulating. Too much time spent looking at these devices prior to bed can make getting to sleep impossible. Try changing your phone settings to switch to a red light after a certain hour, and pick up a book rather than a TV show right before hitting the hay.
- Avoid worry overload. When you are trying to go to sleep, the mind has a way of worrying about what needs to get done. Try keeping a pen and notepad by your bed so you can write down thoughts to review the next morning. This will allow you to focus on sleep and ensure that you can tackle your concerns tomorrow.
With the weather warming up, the danger of dogs overheating is on the rise. For this reason, I think it is important to remind all the dog owners out there of how to best care for your puppy in the heat.
Here are a few tips for making sure your dog stays cool:
- Make sure they are hydrated. Be sure your pup has a bowl full of water at all times. Ensuring they are hydrated will keep them happy and healthy while avoiding the negative consequences of dehydration.
- Don’t leave your dog in the car. Leaving your dog in the car before an errand may not seem like a big deal when the weather is cooler, but in the summer months, your dog can very easily get overheated. To avoid this, leave your dog at home when you go out.
- Keep an eye on them in warm climates. Outside of taking the necessary precautions mentioned above, the best way to ensure that your dog doesn’t overheat is to keep an eye on them when they are exposed to the heat. If your dog stays outside most of the day, this is especially important.
- 4. Take them for a swim. If you think your furry friend is getting a little too toasty, take him or her for a swim in a creek or pool nearby. Many dogs really enjoy swimming – and they will cool off in the process!
Summer is a great time to get outdoors, spend time with friends and family and take memorable trips. It is also a great time to pick up some new healthy habits to keep you energized and feeling great all summer. Here are a few tips for a better summer and a better you.
- 1. Take ten. With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s always a good idea to take a few minutes for yourself. Summer lends itself to relaxing “you time” activities like a quick nap on a hammock or taking your dog for a stroll in the park.
- Break out the bike. With months of sunny weather right around the corner there’s even more reason to get outside and exercise. If you aren’t a big runner or walker, break out the bike and take a spin around your neighborhood or a nearby park.
- Eat better. If you have been letting your food choices slip a little in the cold weather, then the summer is a great time to catch up with your health. So many fruits are in season during the summer, and lend themselves to delicious, light snacks.
- Set a goal. To celebrate the new season, set a goal for yourself to learn something new or do something different. Achieving a goal is a great way to get to know yourself better while accomplishing something you can be proud of.
- Take a trip. As a lover of travel, I try to take every opportunity to explore a new place. That’s why this summer, I highly suggest taking a trip with friends or on your own to a spot you’ve never been before.
Memorial Day is just around the corner and plenty of people are gearing up for a kick-off to the summer celebration. Don’t have any good ideas for you and your friends to celebrate? Don’t worry – I’ve got a few:
- Cook and Hook. If your ideal hangout is just a few friends and the outdoors, try finding a good fishing spot with access to a grill. Catching fish and eating well is a great way to enjoy the day.
- Picnic Party. If getting outdoors sounds fun, but you aren’t feelings sporty, try finding a local park to have a picnic with some friends. Good food, company, and a little music makes for a great day.
- Pool and Fuel. A pool party is a great way to escape the summer heat, exercise and enjoy the day with friends. But with swimming comes the need to snack, so I suggest making some tasty appetizers and a hydrating beverage to go with it.
- Get Away. If you are a frequent reader of my blog, then you know how much I love to travel. That’s why my final Memorial Day idea is to take a trip somewhere fun with your friends. It doesn’t need to be far away – just take a drive, and enjoy a new place!
When it comes to decorating, art can be the hardest (and most fun!) thing to pick for your space. There are so many types of art, and each piece serves as a little insight into the mind of the owner and makes the work feel personal.
If you are looking to find a piece of art for your home, it is important that you ask yourself a few questions before buying:
Question One: Is it Original? There is plenty of art in the world, but not all of it is very original. Artists borrow and share ideas and concepts, but a true artist also wants to find their own voice. When you pick a piece for your space, try to buy something that is a little different from anything else you’ve seen, otherwise, why not just buy a cheap print?
Question Two: Does it Fit the Room? Just because you like a painting doesn’t mean that it is a good fit for your wall. If your space is very contemporary, a classical piece might appear strange in the same way that a modern piece might look odd in a contemporary room. Look to your furniture and walls for color inspiration when you are art hunting, and remember that patterns and themes in art can bring out similar colors and patterns in the room around you.
Question Three: Does it Represent Me? All art is different, just as all people are different, therefore you should pick art that reflects you in some way. Art lasts for a long time, so find work that makes you happy and that will make you smile for years to come.
We are in an age of increased internet use, and the online world is booming. Millions of people use the internet to check their schedules, emails, bank accounts, make purchases and to engage with others. With online growth comes the increased risks associated with oversharing and failing to protect private information.
We’ve all seen the repercussions of unsafe internet usage in the news. The data-mining firm Cambridge Analytical recently came under fire for its misuse of 50 million Facebook users’ data mined from those who agreed to the terms of an online personality test. Thousands of people have dealt with cases of their private photos or information being spread on the internet by a third party. And, the number of online hackers and scammers is only rising.
So how can you protect yourself while still participating in the digital world? Here are a few important points to remember:
- Make a password and make it good. Having a password on your technology, important documents, or various web accounts may seem like a hassle, but it’s essential for your protection. If you lose your phone or laptop without a password, anyone who picks it up can get in and access your information. Creating a password makes accessing your personal information much harder.
- Read the fine print. Resist the urge to accept whatever agreement pops up on your computer when trying to access an application or site. Reading the fine print is important for understanding with who and where your data could be shared. You may find that the dangers of accessing that page outweigh the positives of using the product. If so, decline and go elsewhere for your online needs.
- Avoid scams. If you get a call, text, or email saying that there is a problem with an important account of yours, and if you are asked to share your social security or bank account information to fix it, be sure to check the validity of that statement with a verifiable source. Instances of imposters pretending to be account managers are common, and their ability to convince anxious users to quickly turn over their personal information makes them incredibly dangerous.
- Use trusted sites. If a website is safe to use, it will usually say so at the bottom of the page in some form. It is important to only access pages that are considered trustworthy, as some sites can be vehicles for computer bugs, viruses or hackers.
Interviews can be intimidating, no matter who you are. Consider these tips next time you’re prepping for a big interview, and let me know if you have other interview tips for success!
- Bring a printed resume. Despite being an incredibly important resource for the interviewer, many interviewees forget or do not think to bring a printed copy of their resume to their interviews. Even if you have already emailed them a copy, be sure to print and bring with you a clean copy of your resume, as this shows the interviewer that you are prepared and capable of anticipating the needs of those around you.
- Make eye contact. Maintaining an appropriate amount of eye contact with the person who interviews you is important because it signals that you are present and focused.
- Don’t fidget. Toying with your hair or clothes is a nervous tick that many people bring to their interviews. These actions often have the adverse effect of making you look nervous or insecure, and therefore it is important to be aware of what you are doing with your hands.
- Be polite. It seems obvious to say that you should be on your best behavior during an interview, but it is worth reemphasizing. Thank your interviewer, and anyone else you spoke to, for their time, use a professional tone and be sure to dress appropriately for your meetings.
- Ask questions. Nothing shows a potential employer that you are interested in them better than having questions ready for your interview. Asking intelligent questions displays your smarts while also showing that you’ve done your research and have genuine interest in the work.
I hope that these tips bring you great success in your job hunting!
If you have been reading my blog, you probably know by now how much I love animals. Animals of all kinds are fabulous, but dogs have a special place in my heart. As much as dogs make an excellent household pet, they can provide comfort and joy in a more official capacity as a therapy dog. Different than service dogs, which help individuals perform tasks they cannot do for themselves because of a disability, therapy dogs travel to facilities such as hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, and schools to provide comfort, companionship and relieve stress.
News of the positive effects of therapy dogs is spreading: especially in health care. Some hospitals have even implemented therapy dog programs as part of their patient experience initiatives. Benefits of interacting with a therapy dog include: lower blood pressure, improved cardiovascular health, the release of calming endorphins (oxytocin) and more. A therapy dog can be trained to do anything from comforting an older individual in a nursing home, to aiding a college student in relieving stress during final exams, to cheering up a child in a hospital wing.
If you’re interested in registering your dog as a therapy dog, or just want to learn more about the benefits of therapy dogs, visit the American Kennel Club for more information!