Day: February 15, 2017

Where to Find Friends and Support During Addiction Recovery

When you’re in rehab, you have a support system of therapists, group leaders and fellow patients. However, when you go back to your everyday life, you may suddenly find yourself alone. It can be difficult to get through work and your other responsibilities without anyone there to soothe you.

Perhaps you don’t live near family and friends, or they’re enablers. They also may just not understand what you’re going through and not be able to help. If you don’t have a therapist you see regularly either, you may feel lost.

After rehab, it’s crucial that you have a period where you can transition back into your everyday life and get on your feet again. This can be difficult to do, especially when substance abuse was your primary coping mechanism. You need people you can turn to who are reliable, as well as places you can go if you feel like you’re slipping back into your old behaviors.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can garner support during this tough time. The following are places to look for support during your post-rehab recovery period:

Individual or Group Therapy

family-counselling

Before you exit rehab, you should be set up with a private therapist who has addiction counseling experience. If that didn’t happen, ask your rehab for referrals.

Depending on your situation, you may want to visit a marriage or family therapist, too. An alternative to individual or family therapy is addiction group therapy, which may be lower in cost and give you more of a support system.

Peer-to-Peer Support Groups

group therapy

Recovery support groups, or peer-to-peer groups, are essential to your recovery. It’s been proven that when you join these types of meetings, you are much more likely to stay sober. Similar to rehab, you are connected with people who are going through the same or similar situations. They’ve all struggled with addiction and know where you are coming from, so you won’t feel like an outcast or like you don’t belong. In fact, you should feel accepted and related to.

Two popular peer-to-peer groups are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. You can use Addiction.com’s meeting finder to determine the most convenient location for you. In AA and NA, participants stand up, explain why they are in the group and how it has changed their life, as well as what their path to recovery has been like. Then, other members can volunteer to talk about their stories too. You may even establish a relationship with a sponsor you can call if you’re in need of help or you just want to check in. These are informal settings, so there is no pressure to share or connect with a sponsor if you don’t want to.

Organizations like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence give you information on the various types of meetings available as well.

You may also find support within your local church, synagogue or mosque, or you can use a toll-free telephone hotline if you find yourself in need. Most of these hotlines are staffed 24/7 with helpful individuals who can give you referrals for additional support.

Your Rehab Facility

If you live near your rehab facility, they may provide support to you as part of an ongoing outpatient program. Most likely, your rehab will set you up with support outside of the facility. They will be there for you in your time of need, however, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them at any point.

A Successful Recovery Is Possible

Addiction recovery is not easy. Without the care and support of friends, family and professionals, you may feel like you can’t get through the hard times.

But don’t despair. Wherever you live, you can find a meeting, a therapist, friends, or simply pick up the phone to talk to someone on a hotline. Always remember that it’s normal to need help from a variety of sources at this time, even if it means going to groups and talking one-on-one with mental health professionals.

A full recovery outside of rehab is possible. It just takes time, patience and a little work to find the support you need to succeed.

See Also: 8 Drug Addiction Treatment Programs To Help You Break Free

The post Where to Find Friends and Support During Addiction Recovery appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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The Aussie Guide to Bad Credit & What to Do About It

The funny thing about credit scores is that hardly anyone ever notices them until you need to buy a big ticket item. Swiping left and right is all fun and games until you need to make an adult purchase — like a house or a car. Chances are, you’ll need to take on a home loan or get car finance. Seems simple, right?

Now, imagine being excited to finally get the car of your dreams and then all of a sudden your application gets rejected because you have bad credit.

What does having bad credit mean?

When you try to borrow money from any institution, the deciding factor on whether or not you’ll be given a loan (or how big the loan will be) is your credit score. In the simplest sense, your credit score is the expression or representation of your trustworthiness with borrowed money from the lender’s point of view.

This score is determined by a form of point system in which the numbers are taken from your credit history. When you pull together the sum total of these points, you get a statistical “proof” of your reliability with debt.

Your score can sit anywhere between 0 and 1200. The higher your score, the higher your chances of being given a loan or finance (GOOD CREDIT). This is because higher scores generally tell financiers that you’re more likely to make repayments on time (or at all). In the same way, the lower your score, the lower your chances of getting a lease or loan, and the more wary institutions would be in lending to you (BAD CREDIT).

How do I get a good credit score?

good credit

The process of getting a good credit score is pretty straightforward. All of the basic things that lenders want you to do are already within the realm of your responsibility.

Here are few general rules for keeping a healthy credit score:

  • Don’t max out your credit cards
  • Make repayments on time
  • Don’t skip on payments – make an arrangement
  • Pay attention to notices and respond as soon as possible
  • Check your credit report regularly to ensure that all information is in order
  • If/as soon as you find them, fix any mistakes that have been made on your credit report

Getting a bad credit report, on the other hand, entails doing the exact opposite. If you miss out on payments or forgo them altogether, or if you keep maxing out your credit cards, you will get a bad credit score. The more late payments, maxed out cards,or notices you ignore, the more negatively impacted your credit score will be.

See Also: 4 Ways to Start Building Great Credit 

How to find out if I have bad credit

bad credit

The simplest way to find out is by checking your credit report. Australian credit reporting agencies like Veda should be able to help you with this. It does take a bit of time because of its application process and requirements, but this should definitely be your first step to checking for your credit health.

Even without checking your credit report, there are a few warning signs that you’re going towards the wrong end of the credit spectrum.

Pay attention if or when you start to get multiple call and letters from debt agencies. This is a tell tale sign that your score may be going lower and lower.

The same goes for having a flurry of unpaid bills, credit card defaults, overdue balances, and notices of assessment from debt collectors. You don’t have to experience all of these at the same time. Being in just one of these situations is already a red flag for your credit report.

How does bad credit affect me?

As discussed earlier, your credit score shows lenders how reliable you’ll be with repayments should they lend or loan to you. Bad credit limits your options on who to borrow from, how much will be lent to you, and the interest rates of your loan. While there are financing institutions who will give you second chance car finance or bad credit home loans, they may be a little trickier to find.

While debt and credit relations are a little more common knowledge, there are a few seemingly unrelated effects to having bad credit. Who would have thought that landlords would actually check credit before letting you sign a lease? If you find yourself having difficulties getting approved for an apartment, it may be time to check your credit score.

You’d also be surprised to know that certain jobs especially in upper management, actually require you to have a good credit history. You can be turned down for a job or promotion because of things like bankruptcy, large debts, outstanding bills, and other negative items in your credit report.

They don’t look at your scores per se, rather things that may potentially affect your job performance. The expectation is that the more personal financial problems you have, the more likely and negatively impacted your performance will be.

How do I fix my credit rating?

The whole irony of the situation is that, more often than not, you have to take on another loan to fix a credit rating that may have gone down due to previous loans. The idea is to repair your credit by showing lenders that you can use credit responsibly. The trouble is — having bad credit makes access to new credit or new loans quite difficult. This is much like the whole “Need a job for experience – need experience for a job” kind of scenario.

Before you go around looking for new loans to take out, start first with what you have. Make sure that your existing home and utility bills, phone bills, internet bills, credit card bills and other recurring bills are paid for regularly. This way you get into the habit of paying for things on time and managing your money better.

Once you’re comfortable with this new routine, start small before going big. Take out a small loan or apply for a credit card to prove that you are financially trustworthy. If you can make repayments on time, lenders may just give you the benefit of the doubt with a larger loan.

If there is a larger more immediate need, let’s say for a car for a new job, you can also go with bad credit car loan companies to help you out. Interests might be a little higher, but they do create repayment packages that make it easier for tighter cash flows.

A car lease with rent-to-own option, even from a second chance car finance company, will definitely help you boost your credit rating — if you’re always on time with repayments. It also helps you kill two birds with one stone considering you’ll be rebuilding credit while having the vehicle that you need.

See Also: 6 Step To Improve Your Credit Score Now 

 

The post The Aussie Guide to Bad Credit & What to Do About It appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Reasons Your Business Idea Is Rubbish

I got a message this morning from a guy in London who wanted my advice on setting up a peer-to-peer taxi service to rival Uber and Lyft. He reckoned he had a USP, but I was already walking away from this assignment.

I explained that he’d broken one of the basic rules of goal-setting. The one about reality.

Uber raised over $12bn to get where they are, Lyft around $2bn so far. My loner in his home office might manage that, but chances are he won’t. Ever.

Of course, he also might win the lottery. All he has to do is buy a ticket, right?

I like to be brutally honest with my clients. More to redirect than demoralize of course, so here are 5 ways to test if your well-meaning idea might never create a successful business.

Reason 1: Barriers to entry

business barriers

Many industries require big investment in machinery, technology and people just to get started. That’s a barrier to entry if you’ve got limited access to funds.

Other barriers could be the need to obtain licences, authorisation or qualifications before you’re able to trade. The most common barrier though, is the cost of being heard.

Do you have a viable route to market at a price you can afford?

If you don’t, then find a different idea.

Reason 2: Misaligned skills

You’re an accounts assistant looking to escape the grind of the company you’re working for. Setting up your own bookkeeping firm might be a realistic goal.

On the other hand, deciding to launch a children’s nursery just because you have a child of your own isn’t an indicator of success by itself. Learning ABOUT your business whilst also learning how to run it might just be a stretch too far.

Think “I am able to do this” rather than a loose “I would like to do this”.

Reason 3: Poor goal-setting

It’s been said many times, many ways that goals need to be specific, measurable and realistic. Beyond that, your goals need to inspire you.

Goals are not just about numbers. You have to really WANT to achieve them. You have to live and breathe your goals. Missing them has to feel like dying.

Can you quantify goals that mean the world to you?

You should.

See Also: Gardeners Have the Secret Sauce for Goal-Setting 

Reason 4: Me-too!

business competition

It’s tempting and even inspiring to look at a successful business and think “I could do that”. Maybe you could, but here’s the news: they already did it.

The market for anything can only take a certain supply before it’s saturated. New entrants then face an uphill struggle to be heard, and a downhill race to the bottom as they attempt to compete on price.

Try this instead: do something new and better.

Reason 5: No market

I had a friend who had a hunch. Actually, more an itch he had to scratch.

Based on his experience of fixing his mother’s washing machine (and thereby saving her the perceived cost of replacement), he reckoned he could start his own domestic appliance repair business.

He had a van and some tools, right?

Wrong. Nobody fixes their white goods anymore, as he found out too late.

Cost of replacement is low, products are generally reliable and extended warranties abound. As the TV Dragons might say: Congratulations, you’ve found a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist!

Brain Tattoo:

Don’t waste your precious life trying to polish a poo.
Every successful business starts with a great idea.
Find yours, and connect to it.

See Also: Five Steps To Turn Doing What You Love Into A Successful Business

 

The post 5 Reasons Your Business Idea Is Rubbish appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Packing Made Simple: 7 Tips to Make Your Move Go Smoother

A lot goes into planning and executing a move especially when it’s long distance. Even if you’re just moving across town, there are a lot of logistics to plan for, from packing the boxes, to packing the truck, and finally organizing your new place to make it a new home.

Regardless of how far you’re moving from your current home, here are 7 tips to help make packing and moving smooth and (nearly) stress-free.

Packing Boxes More Efficiently

packing boxes efficiently

Packing boxes takes a lot of time, but it is so much easier when you have all of the supplies you need on hand. Purchase boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper to keep breakable items safe while in transit to your new home.

Sheets, blankets, and towels should be packed in larger boxes since they tend to be lighter, while smaller and more sturdy boxes are best saved for breakable and heavy items like dishes, glasses, and other kitchen appliances.

See Also: Protect Your Breakable Items By Following These Packing Tips

What Not to Pack

Keep important documents like medical records, school documents, and anything you may need at your new house handy so you can access them as needed. Consider packing a backpack with these items along with anything else that is irreplaceable or you’d rather not lose, like jewelry, cash, prescriptions, and keys.

Additionally, don’t pack anything perishable, toxic, or dangerous like dairy products, fertilizer, or gasoline. Instead, dispose of them in a safe, environmentally friendly manner before you move.

Get Organized

labeling boxes

Create a plan to help break your move into more manageable pieces. Set deadlines and stick to them to keep yourself on track so you’ll be all finished with packing and ready to load the moving truck come moving day. Label your boxes clearly, and have an idea where they’ll go in your new house to make unpacking that much easier.

Decide Whether or Not to Hire Movers

A professional moving company has the potential to make your move easier, but is hiring one the best fit for you? If you have the extra money in your budget, it might be a good option considering that hiring movers has the potential to save you the stress and backache that often accompany loading the moving truck yourself.

Generally speaking, the only disadvantage to hiring movers is the cost—moving companies tend to be pretty pricey. You’ll need to weigh through the pros and cons to determine whether a moving company is worth the financial investment for you.

See Also: Penny Packers: How to Move on a Budget

Make Moving Day Easier

Planning ahead is the best way to make moving day go smoothly. Make sure you have help lined up if you need it, and that you have water and snacks on hand to keep any helpers sustained and happy.

Pack an overnight bag with a change of clothes, your toiletries, and anything else you’ll need over the next 24 hours. This way, you won’t have to frantically sort through boxes to find what you need when you’re already exhausted from the move.

How to Pack a Moving Truck

As you label boxes, consider marking heavier ones so you know what to load up first in your truck. Make sure you have extra packing equipment ready to make loading the truck go smoother like a dolly to move large furniture and heavy boxes, stretch wrap to protect furniture and other large items, and extra straps and bungee cords to secure items.

Unloading and Unpacking

Prior to unloading the moving truck, take a walk through your new home to get a good idea where you want things to go. Measure doorways to be sure furniture will fit through, and lay down plastic tarps to cover the floor to prevent dirt and mud from being tracked through your house. Unload furniture first and place it in the desired rooms, then unload everything else and start getting settled in your new home. If others are helping you unload, you might consider adding cards to doorways with room labels that match your box labels. This will make it easy for movers to place your boxes in the right rooms.

Don’t Forget to Make a Plan

Making a plan and staying organized are essential to a positive moving experience, and who doesn’t want to have one of those? With the help of these 7 moving tips, you’re well on your way to crafting the ideal moving-day plan for your unique situation!

 

The post Packing Made Simple: 7 Tips to Make Your Move Go Smoother appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Canon's new cameras are perfect for Casey Neistat wannabes

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Thanks to popular YouTubers like Casey Neistat, vlogging is more popular than ever. 

With its three new cameras — the EOS M6, EOS T7i and EOS 77D — Canon’s fully embracing the vlogging movement with open arms.

What makes a great vlogging camera? There aren’t any official requirements, but unofficially, you want a camera with a touchscreen that flips out to face you so that you can see what’s in your shot, an autofocus system that’s super fast to focus on faces and subjects, plenty of dials and buttons for adjusting essential camera settings (i.e. exposure, color temperature and aperture), and a lens system with a library of nice glass. Read more…

More about Mirrorless, Cameras, Dslrs, Eos 77d, and Eos T7i

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Grandma passes a year in hospital making paintings to share with fellow patients

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Despite an unusual living situation, a New Jersey grandmother has managed to keep up with a lifelong hobby.

For the past year, Jill Sobocinski’s 83-year-old grandmother, Joan Holland, has lived in a New Jersey hospital. To pass the time, she’s painted 15 pieces of art which she plans to share with family and fellow hospital patients.

my grandma and her paintings! she’s been in the hospital bed for a year now and this is how she passes the time. love herpic.twitter.com/Oe6jOehxWn

— Jill Sobo (@jill_sobo) February 13, 2017

On Monday, Sobocinski posted a photo of her grandmother surrounded by her paintings to Twitter. Within a day, the photo picked up more than 2,600 likes and comments of support. Read more…

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mClinica raises $6.3M to map healthcare data in Southeast Asia

Scattered colorful medical pills and capsules Health startups are pulling in money in Southeast Asia. A week after wellness-focused insurance brokerage CXA drew $25 million from investors, fellow Singapore-based startup mClinica has announced a $6.3 million Series A raise. mClinica was founded in 2012 and its mission is to provide healthcare data in Southeast Asia, much like Nielsen and other traditional analyst houses, through an… Read More

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Viral selfie-morphing FaceApp launches on Android after huge iOS success

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Android users will now be able to change their frowns to smiles, after a popular face-morphing app launched on Wednesday on Google Play.

FaceApp, which was initially available only for Apple iPhones, had reached one million downloads in two weeks, the app’s developer told Mashable.

Different from the filters we know through Snapchat, Faceapp instead morphs faces by blending in facial features so that it can change a closed mouth to a toothy smile.

Its handful of features allows you to age yourself or change your gender, too. Read more…

More about App, Photo Editing App, Photo Morphing, Faceapp, and Android

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Pleo, a startup that offers a card and app to manage company expenses, gets backing from Creandum

Pleo London and Copenhagen-based fintech startup Pleo, which offers a card and app to manage company expenses, has closed an additional $3.25 million in funding. The round was led by European VC firm Creandum, with participation from pre-seed and seed investor Seedcamp, and previous backer Founders. Read More

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Let's turn off Magic Leap's mixed reality hype machine

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There is vaporware and then there’s oh-shut-up-and-just-release-the-damn-product-ware. The latter is what many have come to think of when the name Magic Leap is mentioned. 

And with good reason.

Founded back in 2011, the hype train for what many believe is an augmented reality headset or glasses company left the station around 2014. Since then, the company has racked up investments from the likes of Google and others amounting to over $1 billion, as well as tantalizing testimonials from high-profile names who have tried the technology and have indicated that it’s so impressive it may change computing forever.   Read more…

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America First, India Second? This video makes a strong case for it

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In case you’ve watched the video and haven’t got the context, here’s what’s happening.

After the Dutch satirical video went viral, a host of countries have been mocking Trump’s oft-repeated “America First” statement with tongue-in-cheek videos. Not to forget, a Trump-ish voice-over to go with it.

And now, India shows Trump why it is “amazing at being second.” 

Sample this:

India is the second-most populated country in the world.
India is the second-most polluted country in the world.
India came second in badminton finals at the Olympics.
There are about two-and-a-half million Indians in America.
And so on. Read more…

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PromisePay rebrands to Assembly Payments and nets partnership with Gumtree

assembly-payments-founders Australia-based payment firm PromisePay, which raised $10 million last year, has a double shot of news this week: it has rebranded to Assembly Payments and inked a major partnership deal with Gumtree. The deal will see Gumtree, which is owned by eBay, introduce a new services-focused business in Africa. Gumtree Connect links users with local home services, such as cleaners, machine repairs… Read More

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NewsWhip nabs $6.4M from the AP, more to shed light on what’s trending

newspapers As publishers — scrambling for revenues and audiences in a rapidly changing media industry — try to get a grip on how to make the best use of social platforms like Facebook and Twitter (without simply conceding traffic to those social platforms), a startup that’s building tools to help them surface interesting content has raised $6.4 million in funding to grow its… Read More

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Gamalon leverages the work of an 18th century reverend to organize unstructured enterprise data

Red and white dice casting shadows on grey surface It’s hard to fathom that the work of Reverend Thomas Bayes is still coming back to drive cutting edge advancements in AI, but that’s exactly what’s happening. DARPA-backed Gamalon is the latest carrier of the Bayesian baton, launching today with a solution to help enterprises better manage their gnarly unstructured data.
The world of enterprise is full of unstructured data. Read More

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Trump aides were in constant contact with top Russian officials during campaign

This is so much bigger than Watergate. America has not seen a political crisis of this magnitude for generations. The other shoe drops on #Flynngate tonight. Trump, Manafort, and Flynn’s activities “raise a red flag.” The U.S. government is in “unbelievable turmoil.” Who is in charge of America?

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Vindictive Trump dragged on providing aid to 188,000 Americans displaced by Oroville dam crisis

By delaying federal aid for days while he partied at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump failed evacuees threatened by a failing spillway in Northern California’s Oroville Dam complex. Some 188,000 people from counties that mostly supported him were evacuated when authorities said the risk of a sudden and dramatic overspill became too high, but Orange Julius remained silent for days after California governor Jerry Brown requested he declare a federal emergency in the state.

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