Dumb Little Man

Decorating With Area Rugs: How to Spice Up Your Bedroom

An area rug is a great way to bring out the best in any room. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and can be picked up relatively cheap, too. You don’t need to have lots of money to start decorating with area rugs. There are plenty of DIY ideas that you can do at home. If you are wondering where you can find some inspirations, here are some really handy tips.

Add some stripes to the room

Choosing a rug that’s stripy will automatically make the room look bigger. Stripes also give the room a very contemporary modern feel. However, if you’ve already got a striped duvet cover or walls, a plain area rug would be a better choice.

Fluff it up a little

fluffy area rug There’s nothing more comforting than getting out of bed in the morning and stepping on a nice, fluffy rug. As well as adding extra warmth to the room, fluffy rugs also make a nice contrasting feature against wooden floors.

Minimalism is the key

Another popular choice is minimalism. You don’t need to have a bedroom packed with lots of objects and loud colors. Plain colored walls with a basic, plain area rug are all you need to pull this look off. It’s very minimalist yet very effective.

Break up the colour

bright colored area rug Some people tend to go a little overboard with the same color when decorating their bedroom. Adding an area rug to the room that’s a different shade breaks it up a little.

Wall to wall effect

People sometimes choose wall-to-wall area rugs as opposed to carpeting. It has a really nice effect and is certainly a much cheaper option. You can get them in just as many designs. They look just as good and they’ll save you a whole lot of money in having to fit the carpet.

Blend in the greys

When you first think of grey, you may automatically think old-fashioned. That’s no longer the case. In fact, grey is making a comeback! Grey on grey is a very popular look at the moment, particularly in the bedroom. Having different hues of grey on the walls mixed with a different hue of grey on the floor makes for a very nice look.

Create the mood

Not everyone has the same taste and not everyone will want the same mood for their bedroom. So, choose a rug that matches the mood you’re trying to create. Solid colors or classic pattern rugs work well for a traditional style bedroom. They will make you feel instantly at ease. On the other hand, adding stripes and dots will make the room look more upbeat.

Careful positioning

The positioning of a rug can make all the difference to the look your room portrays. Offsetting an area rug will give it maximum visual appeal and can be done by placing the bed on just a third of the rug. This works well with heavily patterned area rugs.

Double the fun

If you have quite a large bedroom, having two distinctly different but complementing rugs in the room can have a nice effect. It can help break up the monotony in such a large area. Just make sure they are different, as too much of the same is never a good thing.

Cozy it up

bedroom area rug Laying in a warm bed in a cozy little room is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. And while you may feel that a small bedroom is already cozy, adding a nice wool area rug can make it even cozier. It will also give the room a nice, rustic look. Now that you have some ideas as to how to decorate your bedroom with area rugs, all that’s left for you now is to go and find (or make) that perfect rug!

See Also: 6 Decor Hack to Make Your House look Pretty

The post Decorating With Area Rugs: How to Spice Up Your Bedroom appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Your Camera

Cameras are incredibly expensive. On top of that, their gear is also expensive. With that, you need to take the necessary steps to make sure that you can keep your camera working for as long as you can. But, do you know how to clean your camera? Now, to ensure longevity, you need to take proper care of your equipment and learn to clean it properly. This post will teach you some of the basics.

Don’t Use Your Shirt to Clean Your Lens

This is one of the most common mistakes made by anyone learning to use a camera. They look through the lens and see a speck of dirt and they wipe it off with their shirt. Yes, it technically gets rid of the smudge, but your sweater absorbs dirt and sweat throughout the day. That gunk transfers over to the lens. Your shirt can even scratch the glass, too. Instead of using your shirt, you need to use a special cloth, like a lens tissue or microfiber material, to clean your glass.

Always Use a Lens Cap

camera lens cap A Lens caps keep your camera and its lenses free of dirt, gunk, and scratches. Whenever your camera is not in use, you should have a lens cap on it. Whenever you take a lens off your body, a lens cap should go on both the body and said lens. You’d think this would be second nature, but tons of photographers forget to do this.

Take Care of Your SD Card

SD cards store all the photos and videos you’ve taken. They’re necessary to transfer that data over to a computer for editing and properly caring for them is essential. Your camera has a blinking light near the SD card slot. When blinking, that means data is being written to the SD card. Too many users rip their SD card right after turning the camera off. This is wrong and it can ruin all the shots you just took. Make sure to wait at least five seconds after turning the camera off to eject the card.

Cleaning the Rear Area of The Lens

This part gets overlooked a lot but it’s a big deal when it comes to keeping your equipment working. The rear area of your lens is the part that attaches to the body of the camera. Any dirt or gunk on it can get into the sensor and ruin the body of the camera. The best way to address that is to use compressed air or a cotton tip with a small amount of alcohol on it.

Cleaning the Camera Body

Take a clean paintbrush and run it through the outer body of your camera. Once done, take some compressed air and puff it around as well. Make sure not to let the dust blow into the body. Cameras such as Nikon or Canon make it simple to clean. Both companies have manuals and videos to guide you.

Camera Sensor

Your camera’s sensor is the most expensive part to replace and an essential piece of your camera. Shooting outside almost always guarantees getting something stuck in the lens. That lens then transfers the dust over to the sensor and those specks of dirt can ruin every single photo. There’s almost no way to clean it when out and about, either. Sensors need special care, though there are a few ways to do it by hand: Auto Clean: Every single DLSR on the market comes with an auto-clean function. This option “shakes” the sensor with the intention of knocking the dust off. However, this only works with very light specks and will do very little to a very dirty sensor. Swabs and Fluid: You can purchase swabs designed to clean your sensor without damaging it. Pairing them with a specific cleaning fluid means you can wipe it clean almost instantaneously. You can even get swabs that are the exact size of your sensor so you can get it done in one swipe. If your sensor is still dirty after all of this, you need to bring the camera body to a cleaning expert. They have the tools and will take the time required to clean your sensor correctly. Also, be careful not to overexpose the sensor whenever you’re switching lenses. When changing lenses, do it as quickly as possible. Remember to face your camera downwards when making the switch.

In Usage

camera usage When using your camera, always make sure to hold it securely. Using a strap helps keep the device safe and holding it with two hands ensures that even more. This prevents it from bouncing around when walking and it also makes for a steady shot when capturing images. If you invest in cameras and extra equipment for them, it is vital that you go the extra mile to take care of them. Spend on cleaning equipment. Read about taking care of the device and make sure to take all the steps necessary to prevent damage. In doing so, you’ll have a camera that stays working for years to come.

See Also: 7 Tips For Amateur Photographers You Need To Know

The post A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Clean Your Camera appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Be Successful In Sports: Career Management Tips From Female Athletes

When women find work in sports, they tend to face a lot of obstacles. After all, the sports world is particularly male-dominated. In fact, an April 2017 Glassdoor study found that significant gender gaps exist in several areas. For example, men earn nearly 10% more than women in exercise science. The study also found that 9 out of 10 highest paying majors are dominated by men. On the other hand, 6 out of 10 of the lowest paying majors are dominated by women. This is why female athletes can teach you a lot about career management. They’ve overcome so many challenges and many have found mainstream success. If you’re wondering how, let’s turn to some of the world’s best female athletes. Their stories can teach you a lot about how to be successful in sports.

Redefine Your Industry (Ronda Rousey)

ronda rousey
Via sportsrageous

Many people consider the world of mixed martial arts to be ‘anti-woman’. This is a view that Ronda Rousey, one of the most celebrated athletes in recent years, doesn’t subscribe to. “There are so many ridiculous arguments that MMA is somehow anti-woman,” she explained on Good Morning America in 2015. “Fighting is not a man’s thing, it is a human thing.” Her rise in popularity shows that MMA is an ‘everyone’ sport and her empowering message is hard to ignore. She further explained how she was celebrated as an American hero when she won Olympic medals in judo and that she sees MMA as a form of art. She worked with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to change how women are perceived in pop culture. Her involvement helped introduced women as fighters and champions and not as ‘women’s bantamweight champions’. Just as Rousey did, you can redefine your industry. Find a career where you can succeed and prove the status quo wrong.

Consider Other Passions (Serena Williams)

serena williams
Via nydailynews

When someone thinks about tennis, Serena and her sister Venus are often the first athletes to come to mind. Both women are among the greatest tennis players of all time. Serena, for example, holds countless achievements, like 23 Major singles titles in the Open Era. However, her career isn’t always championships and celebrations. In fact, she’s been plagued with injuries on and off for years now. In 2011, she had to withdraw from the Sony Ericsson Open due to abdominal injuries. Despite her various injuries, she climbed back to being one of the best. This shows you the value of learning how to rebound when you’re faced with major career obstacles. However, be aware of your limitations and determine the next step for you and your goals. Just last year, Serena was sidelined again but she didn’t rush her return. Instead, while she’s recovering, she pursued another passion- her fashion line. Don’t always force yourself to continue down a path just because you think it’s all you know. If you face setbacks, look at some of your other passions and strengths. You may have another career path worth pursuing.

Become Bigger Than Your Current Role (Mia Hamm)

mia hamm In the world of soccer, Mia Hamm continues to build her legacy. She was the face of the United States women’s national soccer team and she was actively involved in different roles. Following her retirement, her work in sports included being a co-owner of Los Angeles FC and a global ambassador for FC Barcelona. She is also on the board of directors of Serie A club A.S. Roma. Despite retiring from playing soccer, Hamm is always finding new ways to stay engaged. You should do the same in your line of work.

See Also: 4 Things Tom Brady Can Teach You About Career Management

Think beyond your current role and determine how you can contribute to your industry in bigger ways. Plan for long-term success by determining how your strengths and skills can be applied to other areas of your industry.

See Also: 4 Career Management Lessons You Can Learn From Playing Golf

The post How to Be Successful In Sports: Career Management Tips From Female Athletes appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Safety Tips for Natural Disasters: A Quick Guide On How To Secure Your Property

Accidents and natural disasters can happen anytime. If you aren’t prepared, they can end up ruining your property and taking your loved ones’ lives. To ensure protection, take a look at these 8 severe weather conditions and safety tips for natural disasters.

Earthquakes

If you live in an earthquake-prone area, hire an engineer to conduct a seismic evaluation. This way, you can be sure that your property can resist damage. This may cost a little more than you like, but keep in mind that earthquake damage is a whole lot more expensive.

Additionally, furniture, walls, fixtures, and vents should all be properly anchored or braced. If an earthquake hits your building, evacuating all residents and shutting off electricity and gas switches should be a priority.

Wildfires

wildfires

Wildfires are unpredictable and often destructive. If your building is situated in an area where wildfires are a reality, there are several things you can do to prevent devastating damages.

Using fire resistant materials in the construction or modification of your property is a great way to prevent damage. Another area to assess is landscaping. Make sure that there aren’t any bushes that could lead the fire right to the structure.

Keep on top of all fire prevention systems. Sprinkler systems, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers can not only save lives but belongings and buildings, too. If you have any questions, contact your local fire department.

Floods

Flooding or flash flooding can happen almost anywhere. In fact, each of the 50 states has had one of the two occur.

To protect your property, consider raising wall sockets, switches, and other electrical elements to above-predicted flood levels. Take a look at the grading outside as well. Chances are you may need to have the grading re-sloped to provide you with the most flood defense.

Consider relocating your HVAC system to a higher floor as well as anchoring fuel tanks. Assuring your building has a sewer back-flow valve will protect against sewage backflow as well. Keeping gutters and drains free from debris allows water to flow properly and reduces the risk of severe flooding.

Severe Heat

Preparing your property for heat comes down to installing and maintaining a good HVAC system. Consider systems that clean and reuse air for green solutions that save 20 to 30% more energy.

Maintaining all systems during hot months is as important as replacing air filters. Consider having a backup generator on the property to ensure cool air in the event of a power outage.

Blizzards/Extreme Cold

blizzards extreme cold

Structures built to withstand cold weather are well-insulated.

To ensure your building will stand the test of blizzards and chilly winter air, check out the insulation situation first. Next, take good care of your heating source by keeping it well-maintained and by changing filters in your HVAC.

Insulate plumbing pipes and be sure to drain any outdoor exposed pipes before the cool weather comes. Burst pipes are a property owner’s nightmare.

Make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors installed. It also doesn’t hurt to have a backup generator for the worst case scenario — power loss.

Drought

For drought, consider all the little things you can do to help reduce water consumption. One simple task to stay on top of is the plumbing. By making timely repairs and routinely checking your property’s plumbing, water conservation has already started. Replacing regular fixtures with low-flow versions and adding smart water meters are two additional ways to save on water.

Tornadoes and Hurricanes

hurricane

Although these two weather conditions are slightly different, they are both capable of causing severe damage quickly. With tornadoes, you have almost no warning.

If your property is in a tornado-prone area, investing in roof clips, cable ties, and reinforced external doors should be considered in building modifications. As well, designate a safe place to get to and stay throughout the storm. Looking at FEMA regulations is a great place to start.

The best ways to prepare for hurricanes include boarding up windows and removing and safely storing outdoor furniture and other unsecured outdoor items. Clear drainage areas and gutters and collect sandbags in case of flash flooding.

Although prevention does not mean assured protection, with these modifications and procedures in place, you will have the best chance of minimizing damage to your property. Always follow your local building codes and contact the right people before starting any work on your property.

Severe Weather Preparedness Tips for Your Apartment Community

The post Safety Tips for Natural Disasters: A Quick Guide On How To Secure Your Property appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

8 Instagram Trends In 2018 You Need To Know

Instagram offers a wealth of possibilities when it comes to reaching your customers and effectively distributing your content. It is a convenient platform for brands since it’s where your audience already engage with other brands and users.

As you look ahead to 2018 and begin planning your social media strategy, it is essential to monitor trends. With that, here are 8 Instagram trends you need to watch out for this year.

Rise of Instagram Stories

instagram-stories
Via TechCrunch

Instagram Stories were a big deal in 2017. This trend isn’t likely to go anywhere in the coming 12 months.

The introduction of Instagram stories was the most noticeable change in the Instagram user interface. It has enormous marketing implications.

Accounts with over 10,000 followers can now add a link within the feature. This is a significant development as it has the potential to multiply buying or inquiry opportunities.

In just one year after launch, Instagram stories surpassed Snapchat in terms of daily viewers.

Improved Visual Search

The ability to search using image content is an extremely useful feature. Facebook has already started developing an advanced image recognition AI. This feature will be even more valuable on Instagram since its primary focus is image and video posts.

The search feature on Instagram is continually being upgraded. This means that we can look forward to more improvements in 2018. We can expect to see better search capabilities, including images.

This is especially beneficial for brands since they will be searchable both by image content and hashtag. Customers will also be able to find and identify products easily.

A Boost in User-Generated Content

In the coming year, we can expect to see more brands making use of user-generated content. Various companies are already focusing on content created by fans. Most of the time, it’s through community-driven hashtags and campaigns.

Brands are now working on implementing systems that will make it easier to share user-generated content. As a result of this, social media managers will be able to access more trusted, high-quality content.

Expansion of Shopping Tags

In 2018, we’re likely to witness Instagram putting more of a focus on growing their business options. They need to remain competitive with other business platforms that are witnessing substantial growth. As a result, we are likely to see the expansion of their shopping tag. Through that, businesses can add descriptions and prices to their product images.

They have been trying this out since November 2016 and have recently partnered with Shopify. As expected, tons of brands are looking forward to this feature and Instagram is likely to do a more extensive roll out in the next few months.

Video Will Have a More Significant Role to Play

Video content is extremely popular and, therefore, increasingly important for brands. Videos play a huge role in building an audience and generating engagement. They generally get more likes, shares, and comments than any other types of content.

Brands can now create videos and share them immediately with their followers, thanks to the Instagram Stories feature. Having the ability to create and promote video content will be critical for brands in the upcoming year.

More Robust Social Analytics Tools

When someone interacts with a brand on Instagram, they will be immediately put off if they come across something that is irrelevant or doesn’t add value. If they are constantly bombarded with this type of content, they will get frustrated and may even unfollow the brand.

This is the reason why content personalization for audiences is a major trend in content marketing. Marketers will be better equipped to do this with better social analytics tools available. In 2018, social analytics tools are likely to become more detailed and valuable to marketers.

Focus on Generation Z

instagram users

According to a recent study, marketers on Instagram must shift their focus from Millennials to Generation Z. People in this generation are in their early twenties and are just beginning to enter the workforce. This gives them newly increased buying powers that many organizations are looking to tap into.

As more and more brands start to recognize this, they are shifting their social media strategies accordingly. Instagram is a platform Gen Z love and is likely to bring in new features to cater to this group.

Instagram-based Influencer Marketing Will Be on The Rise

An increasing number of brands are adding influencer marketing to their social media strategies. Influencer marketing is an effective way to connect with new followers and build engagement with your existing audience.

Brands that don’t evolve with the times and only opt for traditional advertising strategies will find it difficult to connect with social media users. In 2018, more brands will use social media influencers as a way to improve reach and engagement.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Instagram Advertising

Final Thoughts

In the next twelve months, we can expect to see numerous developments on Instagram. Marketers will focus on consistently putting out more personalized, high-quality content for their audiences. There will be cutting-edge analytics tools and improved selling options to help them.

These Instagram trends have enormous implications for users and marketers and are set to change the way we use the platform.

See Also: The Secret Behind Instagram’s Success

 

The post 8 Instagram Trends In 2018 You Need To Know appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Find Inner Peace: 5 Beliefs You Must Drop Now

Each one of us is fighting a battle no one is aware of. This is why finding inner peace is extremely important.

But, is it as simple as it sounds?

No.

Not because it’s hell difficult but because of the beliefs, stories, perceptions, and philosophies we have adopted over the course of our lives. Dalai Lama could not have said it better, “We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

People think of peace as some kind of epiphany or an enlightenment from the skies.

In reality, inner peace has nothing to do with it. It’s more about accepting the things in life you have no control over and dropping beliefs you are holding onto for the longest time.

When you start to let go of those beliefs, you will find it within you to liberate yourself. This being said, here are five beliefs you should drop if you want to learn how to find inner peace.

I am perfect

No one was and will ever be. So, what’s the point of troubling yourself by comparing your life to others?

Drop the belief or even the expectation that you are perfect or sufficient. The moment you accept this reality, you’ll liberate yourself from one of the heaviest feelings in the world.

There’s no such thing as a perfect body, perfect career, perfect house, or even the perfect time. Perfect doesn’t exist.

Make peace with your life, struggles, and circumstances as they are. They are just the way they are supposed to be.

I have not achieved anything significant as of now

self progress

You don’t have to build a Taj Mahal or get a prefix in front of your name to feel important or special.

If you haven’t achieved something extraordinary, you don’t have to beat yourself to death for it. Destiny has a reason for everything.

All that matters is that you give your heart and soul to whatever it is that you do – from making planes to earthen lamps.

We all have our journey. Some reach their destinations early while it takes time for others. Don’t confuse movement with progress, my friend!

What if they don’t like me if I show my true self to them

Most of us aren’t content because we carry the baggage of being someone else. We are scared that if we act the way we are, people might not like that.

Just imagine:

How can you be happy being appreciated for being someone you are not? Does that validation even matter?

The reality is you are much more than the pretense you do, the jokes you crack, and the smiles people show when they look at you.

What matters is that you’re appreciated for what you are and what you do- even if it means not many people liking you.

See Also: Are You Your Own Best Friend Or Your Own Worst Enemy?

How can I love myself when no one else does

love yourself

The world we live in paints a wrong picture when it comes to the idea of lovers and friends. Humans are social beings. We tend to surround ourselves with the company of others to feel better.

Those who aren’t social by nature get the whole idea wrong and end up thinking that something is not right with them.

We need to promote self-love, the concept of loving yourself unabashedly.

Go out on a date with yourself, travel solo, buy yourself gifts, and date yourself until you find someone worth it.

See Also: 5 Steps to Loving Yourself and Living Happily Ever After

I have to make them proud to feel good about myself

Success is the word which is making people feel inadequate about themselves.

What if I say that you don’t have to be successful, you just have to be you. Period.

People who love you when you don’t own the biggest bungalow or the fanciest car are the ones that really matter.

They love you for what you are- successful or not. They aren’t waiting for you to climb the Everest to say that they are proud of you.

The day we learn to get out of the shackles of these self-created opinions and beliefs will be the day we would find inner peace. The day we stop berating our existence and accept that we deserve nothing but the best will be the day we would enjoy inner peace.

Ask yourself this:

Why do we only rest in peace when we can live in peace?

The post How to Find Inner Peace: 5 Beliefs You Must Drop Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Stopping Steroids Abruptly: What You Need To Know About Steroid Withdrawal

Edward Kendall from Mayo Clinic won the 1950 Nobel Prize for his research on the medical use of cortisone. This drug helped in simulating cortisol, an anti-inflammatory hormone released by the adrenal glands.

That and many other steroids, such as prednisone and prednisolone, have since been proven useful in treating an array of conditions. They help to relieve ailments, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

But, steroid use has come at a high price and that price is addiction.

Steroids Dale Guide reports that steroids can aid bodybuilders and athletes in boosting their muscle mass and overall athletic performance. But, as many have realized the hard way, steroids have an inherent risk of addiction, mainly when used for a long time.

There are several concerns that stem from long-term steroid use. These are the medication’s side effects, the imbalance in hormone levels, and withdrawal symptoms.

Steroid withdrawal symptoms occur when a patient attempts to discontinue the drug or decrease his usual dosage abruptly, causing symptoms that mimic other health conditions. In this article, you’ll learn what those symptoms are and how you can overcome the condition.

Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms

These signs will appear after extended steroid treatment has been abruptly stopped.

Abdominal pain

Many steroid users begin to experience intense pain in the stomach region. Others may suffer from a burning sensation throughout the abdomen.

Anxiety

While many individuals report that they suffer from depression, there are those who experience intense anxiety. It arises from changes in hormone levels and HPA.

A decrease in appetite

This is not surprising, given that the majority of steroids work by stimulating an individual’s appetite. When you quit taking steroids, your appetite will decline significantly.

Fatigue

Another common symptom of steroid withdrawal is fatigue. It’s because you are not taking cortisol anymore.

Muscle soreness

Some patients have experienced muscle soreness after discontinuing steroid treatment. We recommend that you purchase some over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the pain.

Physical weakness

It is also not unusual to experience a general sense of malaise. You are likely to feel very weak and achy, but this is just your body’s response to working without the drug that it has been supplied with regularly.

Diarrhea

This is more of an immediate side effect following the discontinuation of steroid use. If you fall prey to this condition, you should consider purchasing Imodium, which can be bought over the counter.

Dizziness

It’s a widespread withdrawal problem from any drug and not just steroids. Luckily, it may wear off in a few weeks or once the drug is out of your system.

Headaches

Some patients start using steroids to treat headaches. Consequently, coming off of the drug may lead to more severe headaches. Some patients may get constant headaches while others experience full-blown migraines.

Joint pain

It is also common for steroid users to feel pain in the joints because of the inadequate cortisol production. It could also stem from the inflammation that comes with the withdrawal process. If you experience joint pain, avoid engaging in rigorous activities as it will only stress your joints further.

manage joint pain

See Also: Words of Advice To Keep Your Joints Healthy

What Influences Steroid Withdrawal?

Regardless of the medication that one is taking, some factors can make withdrawal more difficult. The list includes duration, dosage, and individual physiology.

If you’re experiencing steroid withdrawal symptoms, it’s probably because of these factors:

Time Span

As a rule of thumb, the longer the time you take your steroids, the longer it will take for your body to readjust to normal functioning.

Using steroids for up to a month or a year causes your body and brain to rely on the drug exclusively. As a result, it becomes incapable of functioning well in the absence of the drug.

In contrast, an individual who has been using steroids for just a short period will have an easier time discontinuing the drug.

Dosage

Steroids are used in treating a vast range of illnesses. Consequently, the dose that your physician prescribes will rely on the condition he’s treating.

If you choose to take a dosage higher than the one you have been prescribed, you’ll have a harder time withdrawing. Conversely, those on low-maintenance dosages will find it easier to withdraw.

Individual Factors

steroid withdrawal factors

Withdrawal symptoms will vary considerably from one individual to another. People on high steroid dosages are likely to suffer severe physiological responses. Others get lucky and barely experience any adverse effect.

Just remember that the symptoms you encounter may be entirely different from what another individual will experience.

See Also: The 7 Side Effects of Overtraining Syndrome

Why People Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Differently

Throughout history, researchers have questioned why some patients experience withdrawal symptoms while others don’t. This all boils down to the production of corticosteroids.

Ideally, this process is facilitated by a feedback mechanism. It involves three parts- the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and the brain.

Scientifically, the three constitute the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HPAA). When you continuously take steroids, it inhibits the HPAA mechanism.

The dose of steroid varies from one patient to another. Usually, taking high doses for a couple of days or small doses for an extended period causes adverse effects on HPAA functioning. Since there will always be a variation in the manner in which individuals take steroids, they can be affected differently.

Tests for Diagnosing Steroid Withdrawal

Given that steroid withdrawal symptoms always vary, health practitioners find it challenging to diagnose this problem. The most recommended technique is a good history and physical evaluation of the patient. The physician will need to pay close attention to the individual’s history of steroid use and treatment.

Other tests that may prove useful are cortisol level, Complete Blood Count (CBC), BUN level, and creatinine level. The cortisol test is for measuring the concentration of cortisol in blood while BUN test determines the amount of urea nitrogen in the blood. CBC, on the other hand, is essential in evaluating an individual’s overall health.

Treating Steroid Withdrawal

You may find this peculiar but the best treatment for steroid withdrawal is to administer a steroid course to the patient. Then, after a short while, your physician will start to reduce the steroid dosage gradually.

This way, your body can start adjusting to its normal functioning, including synthesizing steroids.

However, patients have different reactions. As such, health experts will have to account for the patient’s specific symptoms, type of steroids, as well as the individual’s compliance.

Based on how dependent your body had become to steroids, the withdrawal treatment can last anywhere from a few weeks to one year.

Is Steroid Withdrawal Avoidable?

Yes, there are ways to prevent steroid withdrawal. The best way is to use steroids only for the short-term and in a conservative approach.

Short-term use (although this will differ depending on the type of steroid) is highly unlikely to stimulate steroid withdrawal. However, this condition can be prevented by tapering the dosage with time.

Final Verdict

Steroid withdrawal results from the abrupt discontinuation of steroid treatment. The most common symptoms of this condition include joint pain, muscle soreness, fatigue, and anxiety.

Thankfully, you can avoid steroid withdrawal by ensuring that you take these drugs for just a short period. Also, instead of quitting steroids cold turkey, try to reduce your dosage gradually.

The post Stopping Steroids Abruptly: What You Need To Know About Steroid Withdrawal appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Get Over A Bad Day

It starts with spilling your coffee, then you lock your keys in the car, and now you are late for work. It’s not even 9 a.m. and you have already told yourself that you are having a bad day. At this point, it would almost take a miracle for you to see this day any other way.

Sound familiar?

The negative thought pattern that gets created when a few things go wrong can blister into a long-term, self-fulfilling prophecy if you aren’t careful. It can be very difficult to break that cycle. Left unbroken, it can leave you feeling depressed and overwhelmingly unhappy for days.

So, how to get over a bad day?

Recognize the Thoughts

It’s easy to take a series of unfortunate events as signs of a bad day. And once you give in to that thought, you have effectively taken away any alternative and your day will surely be bad.

It can take some work, but try making a conscious effort to recognize the tone of your thoughts. Are you thinking in negative terms?

There are physical cues that can go along with this as well. For a minute, consider what your body is doing.

Are your shoulders tensed? Are your brows furrowed? Is your jaw clenched?

These are all physical manifestations of the tension that negativity breeds. If you recognize these signs, stop yourself and force those muscles to relax. You will feel an immediate difference.

Consider Your Feelings

consider your feelings

Negative thoughts trigger negative emotions. Anger, frustration, irritation, anxiety, and sadness can consume you when you are thinking negatively. Those feelings have a way of pushing happiness and satisfaction to the back-burner, leaving you an anxious, angry wreck.

Ask yourself what you are feeling.

Identifying your emotions gives you control over them rather than letting them have control over you. Once you have identified what you are feeling, you can start taking actions.

Identify Your Behavior

If you have already decided you are having a bad day, then you are likely to be anticipating all the other things that could go wrong.

How can this affect your behavior?

Quite possibly, you’ll be walking in an aggressive manner, responding defensively to those around you, and becoming inordinately irritated with everything you encounter. If ever you find yourself behaving in such way, stop.

Take a deep breath and recognize your thoughts. Think about your feelings and make an effort to change them. For sure, your behavior will follow.

Even just forcing a smile and saying something nice to someone can have positive effects. Purposefully changing your approach to those around you and making a direct effort to be positive can reverse your negative thinking and cycle. Additionally, acts of kindness toward others can release endorphins, which can help you regain a positive outlook.

Reset

Take a deep breath and give yourself a do-over. Get a fresh cup of coffee or tea and find the positive things in your environment. Smile even if no one is looking and move forward. If you need to, remind yourself that a couple of bad moments do not make up a day. By letting them color your entire day or week, you have given them too much power.

See Also: Happiness Techniques From Around The World That Can Change Your Life

When All Else Fails, Talk

talk to someone

Sometimes we just need to vent. If you are having a hard time putting yourself back into a positive space, try talking to someone. A friend or a family member that you trust will likely understand how you are feeling.

Bad days happen to all of us. They are fairly normal experiences for most people. The problem is that many of us get sucked into a negative way of thinking, which can be hard to escape from. Following the suggestions above can help you avoid getting stuck in that depressive cycle.

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally

The post How to Get Over A Bad Day appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Need A Productivity Boost? Here’s How Tea Can Help

Tea is a popular drink all over the world for a lot of reasons.

For one, it tastes good and it’s a good way to help you get more fluids. Plus, it’s available in several varieties.

Apart from that, tea also comes with health benefits. It can even help you in boosting productivity and mental wellness.

Now, if you are thinking of drinking tea for an energy boost, here’s what you need to know.

It Contains Some Caffeine- But Not Too Much

Tea contains a little amount of caffeine, but it won’t make you jittery or wreak havoc on your nervous system like coffee. It can boost your energy so you can stay alert and ready to take on your day, without the side effects associated with too much caffeine.

It’s even said that tea has more health benefits than coffee, but we’ll let you make your own decisions about that one.

See Also: 5 Exciting Health Benefits of Tea

It Increases Brain Performance

A study found that a half hour after drinking black or green tea, brain activity starts to increase. The stimulated areas of the brain all contribute to improved cognitive function, alertness, memory, and logical reasoning.

All of those things are helpful if you want to be more productive at work or if you need to get a project done at home. And the best part?

As tea increases your productivity, it also provides a relaxing effect.

It Helps You Relax

tea relaxation

Too much stress is never a good thing. It hinders productivity by affecting how well you’re able to focus on both remembering things you know and processing new information.

Less stress means better productivity and more work done.

Tea can give your mind a little break, even when it’s increasing your brain’s  activity. It helps with relaxation and mental clarity as well as increased learning and attention.

Tea gives you more dopamine, which means you’re going to feel great. It will make you feel excited and ready to get things done. No one is super productive if they’re really bummed out, right?

It Counteracts Effects of Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress isn’t good for your body. It prevents your tissues and cells from functioning properly and that can cause serious health issues.

One of the best teas that can help you with that is green tea. It helps combat free radicals with its antioxidant properties.

It Helps with Both Physical and Mental Health

Studies have shown that tea is associated with a lower risk of depression.

Those who suffer from depression know how hard it can be just to get out of bed on those bad mornings, let alone be efficient and productive. While tea isn’t a total cure, it can be a helpful tool to manage the symptoms of depression.

It’s also been found to help with headaches, nausea, and other digestive problems. All of these things can hinder productivity and distract you from getting things done.

Again, it may not be an absolute cure for what ails you, but it can definitely help alleviate some of your symptoms so you can focus on what needs to be done.

See Also: 4 Best Teas To Help You Lose Weight

Tea Breaks Are Good for You

tea breaks

You need regular breaks to avoid burning yourself out and to keep your productivity at optimal levels. Taking a break to get your mind off of things can help your mind relax a bit.

Tea is a huge help for both productivity and your overall mental health. Make it a point to find a tea that works for you and incorporate it into your daily routine!

The post Need A Productivity Boost? Here’s How Tea Can Help appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Find Your Dream Job: 5 Tips You Can Use Right Now

Everyone has a dream job in mind. However, finding and actually getting that job isn’t that easy.

You may need to send out countless resumes and cover letters. You may need to go to interviews that don’t really guarantee any good results. There will be times that you won’t get any response, no matter how persistent you are. You’ll face a lot of competition and rejection that will really affect your confidence.

Listen:

Randomly sending out resumes may get you a few interviews, but you will be wasting a lot of real and good opportunities. For an effective job search, you need a careful and well-planned strategy.

If you aren’t sure how to do that, here’s a quick guide on how to find your dream job.

Define your job search criteria

The first thing that you need to define is the criteria for the job you are looking for. You need to be clear about your job priorities because it will help in focusing your research.

When you know your motivations, it will be easier for you to find opportunities that are perfect for your ambitions and skills. It can be the salary, job position, or company culture.

Although defining the criteria for your job search is essential, you still need to make sure that there is enough room for flexibility. If you are too rigid with your criteria, you can end up sacrificing your dream job for some mundane things.

Create a list

writing a list

 

Once you have defined the criteria that you are looking for, you need to use them to search for available jobs and make a list. Prioritize them according to their desirability and when you have a list, you’ll find it easier to organize and keep track of the jobs.

Read job descriptions

When you are searching for a job, make sure that you read every job description. It may feel like a time-consuming activity, but it will actually save you more time in the future.

When you read job descriptions, you’ll be able to know which jobs fit your skills, education, and experience. By knowing which jobs you qualify for, you’ll have more time to focus on them and you’ll spend less time on irrelevant jobs.

Create an attractive resume and engaging cover letter

short resume

Your resume and cover letter play an important role in getting the attention of potential employers. They are your way of introducing yourself and convincing them that you are the best candidate for the position.

Instead of sending out the same resume and cover letter, create multiple versions. Make sure that you only send out resumes that speak about the requirements for the jobs you are applying for.

See Also: 5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out

Activate referral network

It is important to create a network because it will expose you to a lot of job opportunities.

There are a lot of opportunities that are not advertised and if you do not have a referral network, you won’t even hear about them. You should take some time to attend conferences, events, lectures, and industry-related seminars so that you can build a good network that will keep you informed about the best positions and opportunities.

When you are looking for a job, you should let people know that you are looking for employment. This way, you’ll be one of the first people they’ll think of when the hiring process begins.

Finding a good job that will keep you happy and satisfied requires patience and the right strategies. Sometimes, it can take years before you can find your dream job, so be patient and consistent. With a little work and discipline, you’ll be able to get the job that will make you really happy.

The post How to Find Your Dream Job: 5 Tips You Can Use Right Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Why You Should Include Nuts In Your Weight Loss Regimen

Nuts are healthy as they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. However, a majority of people on a weight loss regimen avoid including them in their diet because they fear their fats and calories.

That is a mere misconception. In reality, nuts can help you lose weight.

How?

We’ll share with you the best nuts for weight loss but first, let’s unravel the truth first.

Studies on How Nuts Aid in Weight Loss

Nuts are rich in calories. A large part of them contains fat which is a concentrated source of energy. 1 gram of fat has up to 9 calories while a gram of protein contains only 4 calories.

This high concentration of fats and calories makes many people on a weight loss diet assume that adding nuts can make them gain weight. To bust this idea, a lot of studies have been conducted over the years.

One particular study involving 8865 men and women over a 28-month period found that those who ate two or more portions of nuts every week increased their chances of losing weight by 31% compared to the placebo group. Another review involving 36 studies reported that taking nuts is not associated with increased body weight, waist size or BMI.

In a controlled study, where the participants adhered to a strict diet, the inclusion of different types of nuts to their diet did not lead to changes in body weight. More importantly, where the nuts were included in a diet of people on an unrestricted diet, nut consumption did not cause weight gain.

A study involving 65 obese patients compared a low-calorie diet which has complex carbs to a low-calorie diet enhanced with nuts. They took equal amounts of cholesterol, calories, protein, and saturated fats.

After a 24-week period, the people on the almond diet had reduced weight by 62%, fat mass by 56% and waist circumference by 50%. The groups also experienced improved cholesterol, including reduced LDL and triglycerides. The other group did not encounter such benefits.

How Nuts Aid in Weight Loss

Nuts have a complex structure, which means that unless they are chewed up completely or ground up, a large proportion only passes the gut without digestion. As such, they are not absorbed and are lost in fecal matter. It explains why nuts are weight loss friendly.

Here are some of the best nuts for weight loss you can add to your diet:

Walnuts

walnut

Apart from being heart-healthy, walnuts contain unsaturated fats which help reduce abdominal fat. They come in handy for people on a weight loss regimen as they also improve insulin metabolism. They are unique as they are rich in polyunsaturated fats, unlike other kinds of nuts that have high levels of monounsaturated fats.

Walnuts have Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). It helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Walnuts have 183 calories and 18 grams of fat of which 2.5 grams of fat contain ALA. It makes walnuts a rich source of the essential fatty acid.

A research on 245 women showed that a diet rich in walnuts helped them lose weight, reduced the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), and improved the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

You can add these nuts to your salad or mix them with your breakfast oats.

Cashew Nuts

cashew-nut

A serving of cashew nuts contains five grams of protein and thirteen grams of fat. Cashew nuts are also an excellent source of magnesium. In fact, a 100-gram serving of cashew nuts provides up to 73% of the daily value of magnesium.

This mineral is essential for regulating the amount of carbohydrates in the body and metabolism of fat, which helps you lose weight.

Apart from taking raw cashew nuts, you can also try spreading cashew butter on whole-wheat toast to up your intake of these healthy nuts.

Pistachios

pistachios

Their unique color and flavor make them a favorite ingredient in morning green smoothies, morning snacks, and baked recipes.

A serving of pistachios has three grams of dietary fiber which is 12% of the recommended daily intake. Dietary fiber helps the body feel satiated for long, which helps rid of intense food craving. This helps you lose weight fast and burn more calories.

A study involving participants who included an afternoon snack of pistachios achieved lower triglycerides and body weight.

See Also: How to Boost Metabolism: 8 Foods That Can Skyrocket Your Weight Loss

Nut Recipes You Should Try Out

Banana Bread

banana bread

If you want to avoid gluten products, then this banana bread is the right snack for you. You can eat it for breakfast, dessert or snack.

A snack of gluten-free banana bread made of walnuts allows you to enjoy the benefits of ALA while enjoying the satiety of protein. Plus, walnuts can add a delicious crunch to this snack.

Ingredients

For this recipe you will need:

  • A couple of overripe bananas
  • Brown rice flour
  • Walnuts
  • Applesauce
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Honey
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond milk
  • Gluten-free rolled oats
  • Coconut flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Apply oil and flour on the baking pan and set it aside.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients (two eggs, coconut oil, bananas, honey, almond milk, applesauce) in a mixing bowl.
  4. Then, fold in the dry ingredients (baking soda, brown rice flour, baking powder, walnuts, gluten-free oats, coconut flour, salt) and combine until the mixture is smooth and thick.
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking pan.
  6. You can sprinkle some oats over the butter.
  7. Allow the batter to bake for 55 minutes until the tester comes out clean.
  8. Remove it from the oven and let it sit for twenty minutes in the baking pan.
  9. Allow it to cool on a wire rack and cut it into slices for breakfast.

See Also: 5 Healthy and Delicious Juice Recipes for Easier Weight Loss

Conclusion

Clearly, nuts are essential for people who want to shed off a few pounds. The right proportion of the best nuts for weight loss also provide numerous other health benefits.

The post Why You Should Include Nuts In Your Weight Loss Regimen appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

4 Simple Ways To Increase Your Customer Base

So, you’ve been in business for some time now. Do you know how to increase your customer base?

When you started out, you’re probably not so bothered about having little or no customer. After all, it’s normal for new businesses. But now, you’re probably thinking why you can’t keep your business on a steady ride.

What will be the fate of a business without customers?

I’m no prophet of doom but it’s quite obvious that it’ll be a disaster. And that’s because customers are the sustaining factor of a business.

It’s no exaggeration when they say that customer is king. Their patronage provides the revenue that businesses thrive on. Simply put, they are the reason why you are in business.

So, how do you deal with the problem of little or no customers? Unless you want to go out of business soon, you have to be worried about your lack of customers.

Here are four simple ways to increase your customer base.

Provide excellent customer service

customer support

Charity begins at home.

A good way to increase your customer base is to work on putting customers at your disposal. When you don’t give these customers a reason to stay, they’ll run into the open arms of the next available competition. The first contact a customer makes with you is worth more than a million dollars.

You know why?

If such a customer is satisfied with your delivery, he/she could transact businesses worth more than a million dollar with you subsequently. A satisfied customer is likely to tell their friends, family, and associates about your services, referring more clients to you even without you asking.

See Also: Live Chat for Business: The Best Investment?

Understand your target market

Needs can only be met when they are understood.

It’s impossible to provide a solution to a problem you know little or nothing about. You could end up spending so much time and resources doing the wrong things.

Identifying prospective customers’ needs gives you better insights on how to provide products or services that are tailor-made for them. When you have the answers to customers’ problems, they’ll naturally be drawn to you. And if you live up to their expectations, you’re likely to keep them around for a very long time.

At the end of the day, every customer wants to be satisfied. If you tick that box, you’ll have their full attention.

Utilize your network

In this digital age, we are bombarded with different modern marketing strategies with the promise of great results. While some of these techniques are efficient, they are still a far cry from the good old proven word of mouth marketing technique.

You see, your social capital isn’t just there for socializing; it can be of great help in growing your business, too.

Your network consists of people who know you personally. While they may not be able to vouch for you on matters of life and death, they trust you enough to give you the benefit of the doubt in trying out your products or services. Don’t be shy to tell them about what you do.

Remember, you are your best marketer. Talk to people in your network about your business. You’ll be surprised at the number of new customers you’ll get from that.

Explore social media

social media marketing

If everyone is gushing about the benefits of social media in business, there’s a chance that there’s something in it for you as well. It’s okay to be a doubting Thomas but sometimes, you have to give the benefit of the doubt.

Look at it this way:

With social media, you can reach people that you may not be able to reach normally. When you do it right, you are likely to generate leads from your social media marketing strategies.

See Also: 4 Good Reasons For Marketing With Facebook

Technology makes it easier for you to streamline your campaigns to consumers who are in need of what you are selling. You can get your products or services right in front of people who are looking for exactly what you are offering.

There’s no such thing as too many customers; the more the merrier. If you made it a point of duty to increase your customer base on a regular basis, you’d have more revenue in your bank account. You get to meet your business goals and even expand. In the end, you stand to lose nothing. So, wouldn’t you rather give it a try?

The post 4 Simple Ways To Increase Your Customer Base appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

4 Simple Ways To Increase Your Customer Base

So, you’ve been in business for some time now. Do you know how to increase your customer base?

When you started out, you’re probably not so bothered about having little or no customer. After all, it’s normal for new businesses. But now, you’re probably thinking why you can’t keep your business on a steady ride.

What will be the fate of a business without customers?

I’m no prophet of doom but it’s quite obvious that it’ll be a disaster. And that’s because customers are the sustaining factor of a business.

It’s no exaggeration when they say that customer is king. Their patronage provides the revenue that businesses thrive on. Simply put, they are the reason why you are in business.

So, how do you deal with the problem of little or no customers? Unless you want to go out of business soon, you have to be worried about your lack of customers.

Here are four simple ways to increase your customer base.

Provide excellent customer service

customer support

Charity begins at home.

A good way to increase your customer base is to work on putting customers at your disposal. When you don’t give these customers a reason to stay, they’ll run into the open arms of the next available competition. The first contact a customer makes with you is worth more than a million dollars.

You know why?

If such a customer is satisfied with your delivery, he/she could transact businesses worth more than a million dollar with you subsequently. A satisfied customer is likely to tell their friends, family, and associates about your services, referring more clients to you even without you asking.

See Also: Live Chat for Business: The Best Investment?

Understand your target market

Needs can only be met when they are understood.

It’s impossible to provide a solution to a problem you know little or nothing about. You could end up spending so much time and resources doing the wrong things.

Identifying prospective customers’ needs gives you better insights on how to provide products or services that are tailor-made for them. When you have the answers to customers’ problems, they’ll naturally be drawn to you. And if you live up to their expectations, you’re likely to keep them around for a very long time.

At the end of the day, every customer wants to be satisfied. If you tick that box, you’ll have their full attention.

Utilize your network

In this digital age, we are bombarded with different modern marketing strategies with the promise of great results. While some of these techniques are efficient, they are still a far cry from the good old proven word of mouth marketing technique.

You see, your social capital isn’t just there for socializing; it can be of great help in growing your business, too.

Your network consists of people who know you personally. While they may not be able to vouch for you on matters of life and death, they trust you enough to give you the benefit of the doubt in trying out your products or services. Don’t be shy to tell them about what you do.

Remember, you are your best marketer. Talk to people in your network about your business. You’ll be surprised at the number of new customers you’ll get from that.

Explore social media

social media marketing

If everyone is gushing about the benefits of social media in business, there’s a chance that there’s something in it for you as well. It’s okay to be a doubting Thomas but sometimes, you have to give the benefit of the doubt.

Look at it this way:

With social media, you can reach people that you may not be able to reach normally. When you do it right, you are likely to generate leads from your social media marketing strategies.

See Also: 4 Good Reasons For Marketing With Facebook

Technology makes it easier for you to streamline your campaigns to consumers who are in need of what you are selling. You can get your products or services right in front of people who are looking for exactly what you are offering.

There’s no such thing as too many customers; the more the merrier. If you made it a point of duty to increase your customer base on a regular basis, you’d have more revenue in your bank account. You get to meet your business goals and even expand. In the end, you stand to lose nothing. So, wouldn’t you rather give it a try?

The post 4 Simple Ways To Increase Your Customer Base appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Secrets To Help You Make 2018 Super Successful

There are many ways to be successful. As we move into the new year, you are starting to think about how you can make this your most successful year ever.

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

You’re going to learn seven practical tips for reaching your goals and improving your life in 2018. Each of these tips will focus on the following aspects of your life:

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Soul
  • Relationships
  • Business and career
  • Personal finances
  • Personal limits

One of the most important keys to goal setting and goal achievement is to take a holistic approach. You are not simply composed of a body and a brain. You are a complete person, with a mind, body, and soul.

When you focus on only one aspect of your life, it becomes too easy for it to become unbalanced. Achieving success in one area of life at the expense of the other areas will cause frustration and will eventually make you miserable and unhealthy.

So, learn from these seven tips and discipline yourself to build a balanced life. Choose goals that are in harmony with one another. When your goals are in alignment, your progress will advance at a rapid rate and your life will improve faster than you can imagine.

Feed Your Mind

Everything begins with your thoughts and your mental health. Successful people think positively. They bring a good attitude to everything that they do. They are optimistic and practical and they have hope for the future.

What does your future look like? When you project yourself five or ten years forward, do you like what you see? What do you want your life to look like a few years from now and how will you make that happen?

Your future life will be determined by the actions you take right now. If your present course will not get you where you want to be, then you must change course.

You must learn new things. You must develop new skills. You must expand your education in order to create new opportunities for yourself. The internet has created a revolution in self-education and you must take advantage of this.

Did you know that you can get a free Harvard education?

We’re not just talking about scholarships here. But any average person can audit online college courses for free.

Just think of the possibilities and check out the free courses available today. See which of them align with your goals.

If you don’t see any classes you want to take, you can still expand your knowledge in other ways.

When was the last time you visited your local public library?

Every topic you could possibly want to learn about can be studied in-depth at the library.

It is said that top business executives read one new book every week, on average. If you want to gain new knowledge in your field, you shouldn’t stop yourself from feeding your mind.

Feed Your Body

healthy meals

To achieve higher levels of success in 2018, you will also want to feed and care for your body. Did you know that your physical condition can affect your mental health, your job performance, and your relationships?

See Also: 10 Brain Damaging Activities You Need To Stop Doing Now

Think about it.

Your brain requires a variety of nutrients and proper blood flow to perform at its best. Mental sluggishness goes hand-in-hand with physical sluggishness. So, let your physical condition support your mental, financial, and spiritual goals.

Begin by only putting quality foods into your body. Man-made, processed foods cannot supply all the nutrients you need for optimum health and peak performance. Instead, spend more time shopping in the grocery aisle.

Purge your kitchen and pantry of junk foods and stock up on fresh vegetables and fruits. Whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds should make the most of your grocery list.

If you live a busy lifestyle and are pressed for time, cook your meals in large batches. You can just divide them into individual storage containers so that you can simply grab one from the fridge as you head out the door to work.

Slip in a little physical exercise every day as well. If you don’t have the money for a gym membership or if you have difficulty carving out time to go there every day, then just park a little bit further from the entrance when you go to work or to the store. The added walking distance can accumulate throughout the week.

You can also take the stairs instead of the elevator or try spending half of your lunch break walking around the office building instead of lounging in the break room and watching TV.

Feed Your Soul

yoga love yourself

There are so many ways to nourish your soul. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Religious practice
  • Prayer
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Nature walks
  • Music
  • Art

All of these activities are good for the soul and they can reap great benefits in your life with only a few minutes per day. The secret is to make them a part of your daily routine. Forming new habits may seem difficult at first but with daily practice, you’ll find your soul craving for them.

Nurture Your Relationships

You are not an island. Your life is greatly hindered or enriched by the relationships you build. But despite being surrounded by hundreds and even thousands of people every day, you’ll find that limiting your interactions to a few key people can be greatly rewarding.

You can’t nurture 100 relationships at once. So, take some time to identify those people who matter most to you. Commit to engaging with them a little more each week.

In order to spend more time with these key people, you may have to spend less time with others. Think about the other people in your life and identify any toxic relationships.

Do some people seem to drain your energy and happiness? Do you feel more stressed out after hanging out with certain friends, coworkers or family members?

If so, recognize that your happiness matters. Start weaning yourself off of those people to free up more time for those who actually enrich your life.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

Build Your Business

Your business or your career takes up a huge part of your life, so it only makes sense that you set goals for achieving higher levels of success there. Your career can affect other areas of your life, too. Before you spend another decade climbing the corporate ladder, you need to make sure that this ladder is leaning up against the right building first.

If you are unhappy with your job, change it. If you can’t stand your boss, fire him. This is not the 2018 BCE. You have freedom and you have choices. Use your freedom to choose the life you want and that starts with your job.

And if you seem to hate every job you’ve ever had, then maybe it’s time to create your own job by starting a business. With the internet, it’s now easier and cheaper to start a business from scratch.

Protect Your Finances

You work hard for your money but does your money bring you more freedom?

It can and it should.

The problem many people face is that they are stuck in the work-spend-work cycle. They work harder to make more money. Then, they spend all the money they make and more, thanks to credit cards. Once they spent all their money, they work even harder to keep up with the credit card bills.

It’s an unending cycle.

This year, you don’t have to live that way.

Begin setting aside a little money every week into a savings account and don’t touch it. If you need to cut back on your spending, then do that. Remember, nobody is stopping you.

If you cannot discipline yourself to save money from every paycheck, then you will never reach your financial goals.

Push Your Limits

This is the year that everything will change for you, but the changes cannot take place if you are continuing to live your life the same way you’ve been living it for the past few years. To get different results, you have to do things differently.

If you want to achieve more, you must become a new person. The old you is stuck in a comfort zone, and that is what is holding you back. To achieve the life you want, you will need to push out of your comfort zone.

This will not be easy, but it will be totally worth it.

As you attempt to make changes in your work life, your body, your relationships and your spiritual life, you will encounter discomfort. Pay attention when this happens! This is good! This is your opportunity!

To achieve the breakthroughs in the life that you desire, you must learn to love the discomfort. You must embrace the uncertainty that comes with trying new things. Everything you want is on the other side of that discomfort, so do not give up and do not give in.

Push through your limitations to create the new life that you envision. Those are the best ways to be successful.

The post 7 Secrets To Help You Make 2018 Super Successful appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Your New Year’s Resolution: Better Recycling Practices

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That’s an old classic saying, but is it true?

How about garbage? Is garbage beautiful?

Maybe, if you know how to make it “un-garbage”.

Take this year as an opportunity to do the planet a great favor by avoiding the landfill in favor of recycling.

Science Weighs In

earth closed system

In a closed system, like the Earth, where very, very little mass ever exits orbit to enter outer space, the total amount of energy can change from one form to another, but cannot ever be destroyed.

The things we make out of any material, whether simple or complex, natural or synthetic, organic or inorganic, are going to stay right here in our neighborhood garbage dump or even in the ocean when we are done using them.

So, challenge yourself and assess your recycling practices.

Glance around your room for about 30 to 60 seconds. Try to imagine the length of time the items you see will remain in a useful condition. This length of time is called ‘the useful life of an asset’ by the United States Internal Revenue Service.

If you see a lot of things that can be used for a long time, then that’s great! However, if you see more things with lower useful life, then that’s going to be a problem.

For example, gadgets and other products of technology are great when they are new. They are useful and enjoyable to use. Once newer and more innovative devices are introduced, your gadgets become less and less useful.

Removing the old technology, sometimes called e-waste, is a huge problem in both personal and business settings.

Getting Practical

Practice makes perfect. Now, that’s not quite correct as only perfect practice makes perfect. Imperfect practice makes imperfection and that is the recycling system of today. We are, as a whole, still uneducated on the correct recycling procedures.

For example, what is the negative result that comes from single-stream (unsorted) recycling?

The answer is often unsorted trash put in the recycle bin that doesn’t end up getting properly recycled at all.

How and Why to Recycle the Weird Stuff

If you’re not sure where to start with recycling, here are a few tips you can use:

Aerosol Cans– Valuable for their steel, they may go in a bin or taken to a recycling center.
Car Batteries– Valuable for their lead, you can turn them in for money at a scrap yard.
Pet Fur– Valuable for its ability to absorb oil, you can donate them to proper institutions. Pantyhose– Valuable for its nylon, they can be repurposed as well as recycled because they are stretchy and strong.
Vegetable Peels– Valuable for making dirt, you can turn them into fertilizers.

See Also: How To Recycle Copper Scrap

Disasters Spell Disaster for Recycling

recycling

When destructive natural causes wreak havoc in a certain area, caring for survivors, preventing diseases, and restoring health and safety services as soon as possible are top priorities. The most vulnerable segments of society suffer deeply in times of natural disaster and unfortunately, there’s a disparity in the fair distribution of resources and aid. Removing damaged and dangerous remnants, even when help arrives swiftly, can still take all too long to accomplish.

Because there are so many things we have to deal with during a natural disaster, recycling isn’t given much priority. There’s not enough room to add a recycling mandate on the clean-up crews’ list of responsibilities and this can spell bad news. There’s the risk of exposure to black mold, sewage contamination or storm residues.

When times are okay and we’re not dealing with any disaster, we hardly think about access to clean water and air. We enjoy uninterrupted services and access to the goods we want to buy and use. The only time we think about and appreciate those things is during a natural disaster.

This year, don’t wait for a disaster to strike. Start doing better recycling practices to avoid regrets later on.

See Also: 10 Ways to Enjoy a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

The Future is Now

We said progress and progress we shall have.

Waste can become a resource and a path for revenue. Since the concept of recycling has improved over the years, it’s now making more of a difference than ever before.

That’s the good news.

Ecologists, environmentalists, and ordinary people who participate in increasing society’s awareness on recycling continually work hard to improve the quality of the recycling process. They put an effort to let in more types of products, process more substances, and form new goods out of old materials.

Students in college programs majoring in ecology and environmental studies in the U.S. and abroad are working hard before and after graduation to contribute to our sustainable future.

Garbage is beautiful when it is the topic of a positive problem-solving conversation. The infographic below has a number of salient talking points to get us speaking (and listening!) together about caring for our big blue and green planet.

Let’s recycle and be smart!
Garbage is beautiful
Source: It’s Not Trash

The post Your New Year’s Resolution: Better Recycling Practices appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The 5 Key Yoga Poses For Women Over 50

Let’s be honest.

Turning 50 doesn’t really mean much anymore when people are healthier and living longer than ever. However, society still sees this as a milestone. That being said, for some women over 50, a whole new chapter of growth and excitement could be opening up. If you are one of those women, this means a lot more free time for new experiences.

Being over 50, whether male or female, also means physical changes could be occurring in your body. For women, the list includes arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic back pain, heart disease, and a loss of flexibility. There’s the horror of menopause, too.

In the words of Dr. Christiane Northrup, a renowned expert in women’s health, “Getting older is inevitable; aging is optional.”

If you’ve seen women in their 80s and 90s doing yoga, you know this is true!

The gentle exercise of yoga and the inherent practice of mindfulness can drastically change the way you see your own body and life. It’s also an inexpensive tool to combat stiffness, arthritis, and chronic pain.

Interested in trying yoga? Here are a few yoga poses for women over 50 you can try today.

Downward Facing Dog

downward facing dog

Downward Facing Dog is a yoga classic that no practice is complete without. Down Dog, as it’s called colloquially, stretches the entire back while allowing the neck to relax. This makes it a favorite for those with chronic lower back pain as well as those who work behind a computer all day. It also helps strengthen the shoulders, but exercise caution and listen to your body if you’re recovering from a shoulder injury.

See Also: Top 10 Yoga-Before-Bed Poses to Reduce your Back Pain

Modified Tree Pose

modified tree pose

Tree Pose is a balancing pose. Like all balancing poses, it brings strength to the feet and a mild workout to the abs. Tree Pose also provides a gentle stretch to the hips.

From a spiritual perspective, yogic wisdom holds that balancing poses inspire confidence. Similarly, core strengthening is meant to cultivate willpower while hip openers are said to release emotional blockages. God knows you’ve probably accumulated some of those.

To modify this pose, place your hand on a sturdy chair before executing the balancing aspect of the pose.

Crescent Pose

crescent pose

Crescent Pose, also known as High Lunge, builds strength in the legs while delivering a delicious stretch to the hips, chest, shoulders, and the all too forgotten ankles.

For a milder pose that requires less balance and muscular engagement, feel free to perform this pose with one knee on the ground. If you have knee troubles, be sure to use a thick mat or put a towel under your knee.

Triangle Pose

triangle pose

Triangle Pose or Trikonasana is one of the best poses for a full body stretch. While opening the entire front body, this pose also delivers a much-needed stretch to the ankles, hips, legs, and back. Women who are braving menopause particularly love this pose, claiming it helps relieve constipation and lower back pain.

Restorative Bridge Pose

restorative bridge pose
Via breastcanceryogablog

Restorative Bridge Pose is a modification of the Bridge Pose. It creates a more restful posture, which is perfect for nights when you can’t fall asleep. This relaxing pose is also said to help relieve digestive discomfort while opening the chest.

For this pose, you’ll need a block or bolster. Simply assume the position of traditional Bridge Pose. You can use your prop to support your lower back. Then, relax and allow gravity to deliver a gentle stretch to your lower back.

See Also: Yoga and Health: From Better Mental Health To Improved Sleep Quality

Treat Yourself

No matter what your age is, there’s no question that yoga can radically change your life.

If you’re craving for more flexibility or relief from chronic pain, yoga might be one of the most cost-effective solutions you can find. If you are dealing with menopause, yoga can help you survive those painful days and sleepless nights while the meditative aspect of the practice can help with your mood.

As a woman, you’ve probably been taking care of other people your entire life. However, you have to remember that taking care of yourself is actually the first step in helping others. Take time to do something for yourself by introducing yoga into your routine. Your body will definitely thank you for it.

The post The 5 Key Yoga Poses For Women Over 50 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Common Mistakes When Apologizing

Do you really know how to apologize?

In some cases, saying sorry isn’t enough. Instead of smoothing things over and making the situation better, it just leads to an even bigger explosion and mess. Often, we just put our hands on our hair and wonder why the other person doesn’t seem to appreciate what we’re doing.

Why do other people always have to see what you’re saying in the worst light?

Well, it might not be their fault.

It’s possible that your apology isn’t coming over as sincere or as well-meaning as you intend it to be. That’s because many of us make mistakes when we apologize. We say and do things that don’t help what we’re doing.

For that reason, here’s a helpful guide on how to apologize.

Including the word ‘but’

In Game of Thrones, they compared everything before the word ‘but’ to horse manure. Well, that’s true, particularly when you’re apologizing.

If you say “I’m sorry, but it’s your fault, too”, then what your audience will hear isn’t the “I’m sorry” but the “it’s your fault” instead.

The best advice when you apologize is to focus on actually apologizing and leave the quibbling for later. If you’re finding it hard, just remember this: Apologies wouldn’t mean much if they were easy.

The golden rule

Do you know what the norm of reciprocity is?

It’s the one where we do unto others what they have done unto us.

For example, if you go to somebody’s house and he gave you a bottle of wine, you should do the same. If someone sent you a postcard or messaged you on your birthday, then you should do the same thing.

Often, if you want an apology to run smoothly, you should apply the same idea.

You apologize and the other person returns the apology. If you don’t do that, then things can easily get out of hand. The person who apologized first will feel that he put himself out there only to be ignored.

You’re not sincere

unsincere sorry

Apologies only work if you mean them. Often, people will say ‘I’m sorry’ and then insist that it’s not really their fault.

That’s not an apology. That’s just saying ‘I’m sorry’ before complaining.

Focus on being sincere and taking responsibility for your actions. Later on, when you’ve repaired the breach in your relationship, you’ll have time to deal with the unfairness of the world.

You’re not recognizing the other person’s feelings

Yes, it’s you that’s apologizing. All the same, that doesn’t mean it’s all about you.

To apologize effectively, you need to not just accept responsibility for what you’ve done, but also take the other person’s feelings into account.

Things like ‘I can only imagine how this makes you feel’ or ‘I understand that this wasn’t nice for you’ will demonstrate that you’re considering the other person’s feelings. It will show that you’re capable of showing empathy which can really help soothe the other person’s anger.

You’re hurrying through

Rushing through the apology and not leaving enough time for the other person to decide if the apology has satisfied him creates a bigger problem.  He can end up feeling like he’s been cheated, leading to all sorts of resentment.

So, how to apologize?

Say ‘I’m sorry’ and then give the other person enough time to respond. Practice active listening and pay close attention to what he’s going to say.

When you do this, you’ll be able to understand and respond to the actual issues you’re dealing with. It will encourage the other person to accept your apology and see it as sincere.

im sorry

See Also: 5 Ways to Say Sorry

Last words

Apologizing is a fact of life. We all screw up. Nobody is perfect. Heck, sometimes it is even a good idea to apologize when we’ve done nothing wrong.

For example, a very useful apology when you’ve done nothing wrong but the other person is still angry is to say ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’. This shows empathy and can help mollify another person’s anger. It puts you closer to fixing a problem and moving on from it.

The post 5 Common Mistakes When Apologizing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Dental Care for Children With Special Needs

Meeting and balancing the requirements of your special child can be very challenging at times. Urgent medical matters usually take preference over dental care. According to research, these children are more likely to suffer from dental problems as compared to children without any disabilities.

If your child has down syndrome, seizure disorders, learning disabilities or cerebral palsy, here’s a quick guide to proper dental care for children with special needs.

Dental Visits

dental visit

Make sure not to skip any dental visits and find a dentist who understands children with special needs. You can learn a lot from them. If your child is having a hard time sitting still during his dental exam, you can plug in some earphones with music so they can be comfortable.

Daily Oral Healthcare at Home

Allow your child to brush his teeth where he is comfortable. The bathroom is not the only place where your child can brush his teeth. Make sure to provide enough light, steady and clean water, and a good sized mirror. Have a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste ready, too.

Create a Positive Atmosphere

Your approach to oral care is important to your child. A positive attitude will make your child’s approach to dental care a lot more fun.

Explain and demonstrate all the steps to your child. Make sure to appreciate his effort the best way possible to ensure good behavior and consistent good practices.

Establish a Routine

oral hygiene routine

Developing a consistent routine can help create a sense of familiarity. This can increase your child’s confidence in taking care of his oral health. You can set the routine according to what your dentist recommends. Maintain a record of what is effective and what is not so that you can refer it to the dentist on your child’s next visit.

Nutrition and Oral Health

Make sure to kick-start your child’s dental routine as soon as you get home from the hospital by wiping his gums with a wet gauze pad. Once your child’s teeth have erupted, make sure to brush his teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Ask your dentist when you can start using fluoride toothpaste and how much you can use.

Serving healthy and well-balanced meals with limited use of sugary or starchy foods can encourage healthy teeth and limit tooth decay. They can also encourage your child’s baby teeth to grow and develop properly.

Remember to brush your child’s teeth after eating. If that isn’t always possible, have him drink water or rinse out his mouth after eating to neutralize or wash away the acids.

Make Your Child Comfortable with Oral Care

Giving your child a lot of time to become familiar with his dentist’s clinic can help reduce his anxiety to a large extent. You should help your child find his comfort zone, help him explore the dental clinic, and understand the dental procedure as much as possible.

Timings Matter

Some people are able to cope better at different times of the day and the same goes for children.

Mornings are ideal as children still have a lot of energy. However, for children who are diabetic, make sure to ask his doctor as there are certain procedures that need special requirements. One good example is blood sugar.

Break Stereotypes and Work with What Your Child is Comfortable With

It is not necessary for your child to get his dental check-up done in a dental chair as has been stereotyped for adults. He can have his check-up done wherever he feels comfortable. He can get his teeth and mouth checked whether he’s in his wheelchair or sitting on your lap.

I hope that these 8 oral health care tips help your children maintain good oral health and experience healthy and happy lives without being plagued by dental problems.

The post Dental Care for Children With Special Needs appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Complete 2018 Step-by-Step Guide On How To Write A Press Release

In order to ensure the maximum effectiveness of your press release, you will want to make sure that they conform to certain generally accepted formatting practices. By following the press release format guide below, you’ll increase the reach and popularity of your company.

But first, what is a press release?

A press release is defined as “a public relations announcement issued to the news media and other targeted publications for the purpose of informing the public about company developments”.

Simply put, a press release is simply your ticket to publicity.

Whether you are planning on having a startup or you already have a company, here’s a handy guide on how to write a press release.

write press release

Step One

As a first step, you’ll want to alert whoever is reading the press release when the news is “officially” available. Often, companies will send out press releases a day or two in advance of an event in order to give media outlets some time to prepare a story.

In the top left corner, you’ll want to use either “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” (in all capital letters) or “HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL [DATE]”.

Step Two

You’ll also want to pay a lot of attention to the headline and sub-headline. The headline needs to clearly communicate the story of your press release and it must include the name of your company. The sub-headline can be longer and should provide some additional facts and information that will attract the attention of journalists.

Step Three

Every press release will list the location (including city and state) and date of the story. The inclusion of those pieces of information is important because many media outlets consider news on whether it is a local, regional or national event. A local media outlet is only interested in covering stories that are of relevance to a small geographic area.

Step Four

Now that you’ve completed the first three steps, it’s important to come up with the text for the press releases. As a general rule of thumb, you will need to limit your press release to 300-500 words. Your goal is to tell the who, what, why, when and where of your story as succinctly as possible. It’s best to divide the body text into a series of short paragraphs of no more than 2-4 sentences each.

Step Five

When writing the press release, you will also need to observe certain norms within the industry. For example, it’s customary to include at least one quote from someone involved with the story. This helps to bring your press release to life. Also, you should always use the third person when writing about your company . Avoid the use of words like “we” or “I” or “you.”

Step Six

You will also need to include relevant contact information of your company at the very end of the press release. This is called the “boilerplate” and will often consist of one very brief paragraph. It includes details about your company and specific contact information, like web, phone or email.

Step Seven

It’s still customary to mark the end of a press release with the word “END” and the inclusion of “###” at the very end. This is a long-time practice. In fact, back then, press releases were sent out over the wire and people receiving them wanted to make sure that they had all the necessary information.

Final Words

press release

What’s fascinating is that the modern press release looks almost identical to the first-ever press release which was sent in October 1906. That press release had a headline, a sub-headline, a date, content, geographic information, and entirely similar structure. It also used short block paragraphs to tell the story.

When it comes to sending out a press release, you want to make sure that it looks just right.

Above all, press releases that are formatted based on the traditional structure will definitely do well in increasing the popularity of your product or story. Remember, a press release can change the story and outreach of your company.

 

The post The Complete 2018 Step-by-Step Guide On How To Write A Press Release appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

12 Christmas Quotes about Love and Family that will Lift Your Spirits

Do you need inspiring Christmas quotes and cards to send out to your loved ones this holiday season?

Friends, throughout the year, our minds are filled with thoughts of improving our businesses,  boosting our productivity and focus, and ultimately creating success. It does get wearying and holidays are the perfect time to pause awhile, take stock, and turn our attention outward to all our blessings and all the people surrounding us.

Send out these inspiring Christmas messages to the loved ones in your life. It’s not about expensive gifts, rather, it’s the simple thought of being remembered that often counts.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas!

quotes christmas

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. – Roy L. Smith

christmas quotation

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

christmas blessing quotes

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. – Janice Maeditere

christmas-quotes

The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. It illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things. – Thomas S. Monson

christmas greetings quotes

Christmas is the season of joy, of holiday greetings exchanged, of gift-giving, and of families united. – Norman Vincent Peale

christmas-quotes-for-family

Christmas is a tonic for our souls. It moves us to think of others rather than of ourselves. It directs our thoughts to giving. – B. C. Forbes

family christmas quotes

The only blind person at Christmas-time is he who has not Christmas in his heart. – Helen Keller

famous-christmas-quotes

Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling. – Edna Ferber

quotes for christmas cards

Like what you see? See more Merry Christmas Images.

The BEST of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a HAPPY FAMILY all wrapped up in each other. 

xmas quotes

God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it. – Pope Francis

merry christmas wishes quotes

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas. – Dale Evans

christmas quotes

Please visit SayingImages.com for more Christmas Quotes, Messages and Greetings.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

 

The post 12 Christmas Quotes about Love and Family that will Lift Your Spirits appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Boost Metabolism: 8 Foods That Can Skyrocket Your Weight Loss

I’ve got a secret to tell you.

Your body has one powerful tool it can use to start burning fat like crazy. That same tool can also make you gain weight and store all those excess fats in all areas of your body.

Can you guess what it is?

It’s your thyroid.

It’s that tiny gland located in your neck, right below the Adam’s apple. It has dozens of different functions and effects, but perhaps the most important one is metabolism regulation.

thyroid gland
Via webmd

What is metabolism?

In layman’s terms, metabolism is the speed and intensity of all biochemical reactions and processes happening in your body. It is defined by a lot of different factors, among which endocrine regulation plays a crucial role.

Actually, that’s why some people are naturally thin while other folks are chubby.

Imagine it as an engine and the fuel is your body fat.

The faster it goes, the more fuel it burns.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

So, how do you kick-start your metabolism, especially if its natural rates are much lower than you’d prefer? Is there a way to safely tweak your endocrine system to boost the rate of your body’s chemical reactions?

That’s where your thyroid plays a crucial role.

Thyroxine: The Ultimate Metabolism Booster

Thyroxine, also known as T4, is one of the main hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Its primary role is to be transformed into triiodothyronine (T3), which is the active form of this hormone.

Yep, thyroxine isn’t that active. So, why do we call it the ultimate metabolism booster in this article?

The main trick here is that you can’t elevate T3 levels directly, but it is possible to improve T4 secretion. Thyroxine will then be converted into T3 and this will skyrocket your metabolism, resulting in a significant fat loss.

Now, let’s get specific and take a good look at what your thyroid needs and how to boost your metabolism through it.

The Essentials for Having Good Thyroxine

Iodine

This is the staple component of all thyroid hormones: none of them can be synthesized without iodine. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that iodine deficiency quickly results in hypothyroidism. It’s a health condition during which your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroxine and triiodothyronine.

Studies indicate that almost 2 million people around the world have a certain degree of iodine deficiency and it often remains undiagnosed due to the mildness of the symptoms.

Weakness, fatigability, decreased mood, and excess weight are among the usual ones. Most people would think that they’re just bad effects of chronic stress and would do nothing about them.

Selenium

This essential micro-nutrient plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of your thyroid gland. It doesn’t only improve the production of thyroid hormones but it can also help alleviate the course of some health conditions, like Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an autoimmune condition that gradually destroys the thyroid, often without any prominent symptoms besides mild reduction in hormone levels.

Just imagine, taking 0.2 mg of selenium daily can improve the antibodies count by a whole 21% during Hashimoto’s!

Vitamin C and Zinc

A study published in 2008 analyzed whether there was any consistent vitamin C and/or zinc deficiency in patients with benign thyroid diseases. It turns out that all of the examined patients had low levels of these nutrients, suggesting that they may also play a crucial role in keeping your thyroid healthy.

Vitamin D

Multiple studies, including this one from 2013, showed that people with low thyroid hormone levels usually have low vitamin D levels as well. This emphasizes the importance of this vitamin in maintaining a healthy thyroid function.

On the other hand, studies affirm that over 40% of American adults have a certain level of vitamin D deficiency. Who knows, maybe this is one of the reasons why excess weight and obesity are all over US?

But, fear not.

We won’t let you go with just this vague piece of advice. Below you’ll find a fabulous list of 10 specific foods that increase thyroxine secretion. Eat them regularly and you’ll be able to boost your metabolism in no time.

8 Foods that Boost Thyroxine Naturally

Seafood

seafood thyroxine rich food

All kinds of seaweeds (algae), shellfish (oysters, shrimp, clams, scallops, octopuses, squids), and fish (preferably wild-caught) are fabulous sources of iodine.

The best thing about increasing your iodine intake naturally, instead of looking for some sort of shady supplement, is that you can’t overdose on dietary iodine. Your body will take as much as it needs, increasing your body’s thyroxine synthesis to its natural levels.

Brazil nuts

brazil nuts thyroxine food

This is one of the richest sources of dietary selenium ever. A single ounce (6-8 nuts) of Brazil nuts contains over 500 mcg of selenium!

The RDA for this nutrient is 55 mcg/day, so snacking on 1 to 3 nuts will be more than enough to skyrocket your thyroxine production. Also, these nuts are just delicious, so that’s an all-win advice.

Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds thyroxine rich food

A cup of these beauties provides almost half of your recommended daily value of zinc (6.6 mg out of 15 mg).

Bonus benefit: A study has revealed that pumpkin seed extracts could reduce the risk of breast cancer. These seeds are rich in dietary fibers, magnesium, and plant-based omega-3s, too.

Guava, Blackcurrant, Red Pepper, Kiwi

guava thyroxine rich food

Can you guess what do these 4 delicious foods have in common? They are all incredibly rich in vitamin C.

Just imagine:

A single guava can give you more than 6 times your RDA for ascorbic acid. Surely, that’s more than enough to support your thyroid.

Cod liver oil

cod liver oil thyroxine rich food

A single teaspoon of cod liver oil contains 440 IU of vitamin D. This is more than enough to cover your recommended daily dose of this valuable nutrient.

Sunlight

sunlight

This is your most reliable and accessible way to get some vitamin D. 10 to 15 minutes of unprotected sunlight exposure 2 or 3 times per week should be enough—and don’t forget to put on your sunscreen right after that!

You see, vitamin D can be produced in your body from the cholesterol in the skin and that’s a great way to get enough of it at all times.

Quick Recap

If you want to boost your metabolism and lose weight for good, one of the most reliable ways to do that is to support the function of your thyroid gland and to help it to produce more thyroxine (T4).

This hormone is inactive itself but quickly transforms into triiodothyronine (T3), boosting your metabolism big time. We can’t elevate our T3 levels directly, but T4 is under our control.

To keep it soaring and healthy, keep track of the following things:

  • Have enough iodine in your diet. Stack on seafood and don’t worry about having too much of it. You can’t get an iodine overdose from eating shrimps.
  • Control your selenium intake. Most people don’t get enough of it but if you want to have healthy thyroxine levels, you should. Snack on 1 to 3 Brazil nuts each day and you’ll be great!
  • Zinc, zinc, zinc. Another micro-nutrient that most Westerners don’t get enough of in their diet is zinc. Don’t follow their path and get your zinc straight for a healthy thyroid. To do so, just carry a pack of pumpkin seeds with you every day. These little fellas are not only a fabulous source of fibers but also a sheer zinc bomb! One cup per day gives you more than half of the recommended daily amount.
  • Keep track of your vitamin C. No, no need to eat lemons. Instead, opt for guava, blackcurrant, red peppers, and kiwi.
  • Go for a walk! 10 minutes of sunlight exposure is more than enough to make your body produce the vitamin D it needs. Just don’t forget to put on your sunscreen after those 10 minutes, not before them.

See Also: 5 Healthy and Delicious Juice Recipes for Easier Weight Loss

The post How to Boost Metabolism: 8 Foods That Can Skyrocket Your Weight Loss appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Can Stroke Prevention Save Your Life

No one wants to think about the possibility of having a stroke, but someone in the United States has a stroke an average of every 40 seconds. It could be life altering or even life ending.

The good news is that it is possible to survive a stroke and it’s also possible to prevent one from happening in the first place. You should take steps to understand your risk factors, make lifestyle changes, and finally plan for your best possible outcome should the worst happen.

Do You Have Risk Factors For Stroke?

There are certain risk factors that make you more prone to developing a stroke. According to the National Institutes for Health, here are some of those risk factors:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Personal history of stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Existing heart Disease
  • Smoking
  • Malformations of brain blood vessels
  • Age
  • High Cholesterol
  • Gender
  • Race or Ethnicity
  • Family history
  • Poor diet
  • Stress and Depression

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally

When you have any of those risk factors, it’s important to check your lifestyle and make the necessary changes to prevent stroke. Eat a healthier diet, be more physically active and quit smoking. Seeking medical treatment for other risk factors is also crucial.

stroke risk factor

See Also: 16 Essential Tips for Quitting Smoking

How To Know If You Are Having A Stroke

When you or someone you love is having a stroke, it isn’t always immediately obvious. Someone having a stroke may just seem tired or even a little drunk, so early warning signs are often brushed off.

According to the American Stroke Association, you should think FAST. It’s an acronym which stands for:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call

Another easier method is to have the person stick out their tongue and see whether it is lopsided.

No matter what, if you suspect you or someone else is having a stroke, you must get to the nearest emergency room immediately or call 911.

call 911

Stroke Prevention: Giving Yourself A Better Chance Of Survival

Obviously, getting yourself to the hospital as soon as you suspect a stroke is crucial to your survival. Preventing a stroke from happening in the first place is also a great idea. But if you know you are at risk and you have already done everything you can to prevent a stroke from happening, it’s time to plan for the worst-case scenario.

How do you give yourself the best chance of surviving a stroke once it already starts?

With a little planning, you can identify which hospitals in your area will give you the best chance of surviving a stroke. It starts with identifying the Comprehensive Stroke Centers.

A hospital with a Comprehensive Stroke Center certification is one where the doctors, nurses, and other staff have been trained to work together to ensure the best possible outcome for stroke patients. These healthcare professionals are constantly updating their training to be on the cutting edge of research that will allow patients to recover more quickly and more thoroughly.

This research is not only used to stop your stroke as quickly as possible, but it is also used to put you on the right path toward recovery. It can help you get your life back as quickly as possible.

It’s not always easy to identify which hospitals in your area are certified as comprehensive stroke centers. This is why it is important to do your research ahead of time and talk it over with your family. When you make a plan before anything bad happens, it will be that much easier to get where you need to go in an emergency. It could save your life.

Learn more about Comprehensive Stroke Centers from this infographic. A little bit of preparation could lead to a 7% reduction in death when the absolute worst happens.Comprehensive Stroke Centers

The post How Can Stroke Prevention Save Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

4 Ways Small Business Can Become More Efficient Through Cloud Computing

In today’s business world, it is important that business have access to what they need when they need it. Whether through phones, tablets or computers, there is a need for convenience and reliability as far as access to information is concerned. Cloud computing facilitates all these. Without a doubt, it has transformed how several businesses operate.

For those who are entering the arena for the first time, it is important to note that cloud computing is an umbrella term that includes:

  • Cloud storage
  • Cloud hosting
  • Software as a service
  • Cloud backup

By migrating the cloud, your business can use this technology to enhance your operations in a couple of ways. In essence, cloud computing guarantees several benefits.

Enhanced collaboration

cloud computing collaboration

Provided there is reliable internet access, it is possible to access cloud-based programs any time using a couple of devices. For a business with remote employees, nothing facilitates greater collaboration than this.

In today’s economy, we have a substantial number of small and medium-size businesses which rely on remote productivity as a critical aspect of their operation. Using various cloud-based software, different teams in various locations can collaborate on the same documents without the need to email attachments, schedule calendars, and share task lists.

This reduces the need for physical meetings. Participants only need to sign up for the services and pick up their tasks online without the need to install new programs or download other software.

Secure data backup

Businesses have always relied on data. The only difference is that businesses are more dependent on data now than before.

Losing essential data can be detrimental to a business or an organization. For smaller businesses, you might not have the resources or time to implement an effective backup strategy.

With cloud computing, you can easily retrieve the latest version of your data in case of an onsite system failure. Such system can also come handy in case of a disaster, such as fire.

Remember, you have the option of using cloud-based services to back up your business data automatically. In case of any unforeseen interruptions, your business will be back up and running in a couple of minutes.

Several firms offering cloud services provide geo-redundant backup. That implies that your data is saved in multiple centers across various locations to enhance data security.

Improved reliability

We all understand that cloud-based services are often more reliable compared to promised services. This is particularly true in instances where the servers and other hardware components used in service delivery are aging.

Cloud service providers boast of dedicated and highly experienced IT staff. When it comes to resolving various IT issues, you can rely on such team to provide better services in terms of reliability and speed.

For any business, nothing is more important than knowing that there is a team you can always rely on in case of anything. With the kind of support offered by cloud service providers, you won’t always have to worry about your data.

Better resource management

small business cloud computing

When you opt for cloud service, one huge burden lifted off of your shoulder is that of hosting the servers. Since the servers will be located off-site, you can sit back knowing that their management is an experienced IT staff.

Since there is easier access to resources as needed when dealing with the cloud, there will be less time involved in starting these services. It is also clear that several smaller businesses have limited IT experts and resources.

Outsourcing cloud computing services give them an opportunity to concentrate on the other aspects of their business while cloud service providers handle the rest. For smaller businesses that are out to edge or rival the big names in the market, cloud computing provides an opportunity to be more competitive and claim their fair share of the market.

Don’t ignore the details

While it is true that cloud computing comes with multiple benefits, it will not be fair to ignore the possible setbacks that can come with this technology. Just like any other technology, it takes time to set up and adapt to a new system. You will need to train your personnel, even in the slightest ways possible.

In addition to that, there is also the need to establish a very effective troubleshooting system during and after the system is launched. Always remember to never ignore security risks when considering cloud computing services. The rate of cyber crimes is at an all-time high.

If you are going to use any cloud service provider, make sure that they have all the answers to any security concerns you have. Try to understand the contingency plans they have in place in case of a security breach. Only after that should you sign on the dotted lines.

See Also: How Cloud Technology Can Help Your Business Grow

The post 4 Ways Small Business Can Become More Efficient Through Cloud Computing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The 3 Types of People That Ruin Meetings

Aah, the office meeting. While there are many grievances in the average workplace, none is quite as loathsome as having an unproductive meeting. And yet, we still spend around 31 hours a month doing it. If you’re in the upper management, you can expect to spend 50% of your time in meetings. While some meetings- like brainstorms and quarterly reviews- are justified, many are just awful time-suckers that yield no productive results. So, what makes these meetings unproductive and so terrible? Check out these 3 types of people you should never invite to your meetings.

Naked Ned

Remember the parable about the Emperor with no clothes? Fast forward him into the 21st century, arm him with an excel spreadsheet, and get ready to have the worst meeting of your life. The naked Emperor may have a position of authority but he actually spends his time doing very little. To compensate for this, he hides behind an incomprehensible spreadsheet and spends several hours every week explaining it to the team. But, is there an explanation? Never! Instead, the naked emperor weaves together buzzwords and gibberish sounds so that nobody really understands what’s happening. He tries so hard to hide the fact that he is actually spending that six-figure salary going through Pinterest.

How To Defeat: Ask direct questions and don’t let the Emperor’s words fool you. What is that spreadsheet for? What is the ROI? What is the objective? Keep drilling until you get clear answers in English. When the Emperor inevitably trips up and makes a fool of himself, hopefully, he’ll decide that dragging everyone into a pointless meeting isn’t the best way to disguise his laziness.

Sad Sally

Sad Sally is supposed to be breaking down the budget but she’s just breaking down. Before your coffee cools, Sally has already shared with the meeting that she’s recently gone through a break-up, she’s about to get evicted or her car got a flat tire this morning. While sharing personal information with colleagues can often be a bonding experience, the Monday round-table isn’t the best time and place to do it.

How To Defeat: Create a meeting agenda and write down who gets to speak about which topic. If Sally starts veering off course in the next meeting, gently remind her to stick to the agenda.

Angry Amber

In every business, things go wrong. A team failure is hard for everyone but the only thing worse than making a mistake is being publicly raked over the coals for it. A good leader will learn from that mistake and create a plan to avoid it from happening again. A bad leader will drag everyone into a meeting to scream and throw things at them. Worse than general yelling is when a boss decides to single out one employee and scream at him in front of the entire team. That is not leadership but harassment. Generally speaking, there are two types of screaming bosses. The first one is emotionally unstable and cracks under pressure. The second one enjoys belittling people to make himself feel bigger. While neither are fun, the first boss is likely to return to normal once the crisis is over while the second type remains a toxic bully.

How To Defeat: Dealing with a toxic boss isn’t easy for anyone. You can say nothing and wait for the storm to pass, attempt to talk it out, speak to HR, or jump ship.

See Also: 3 Easy Ways To Stay Positive When Dealing With A Difficult Boss

Does This Really Need A Meeting?

The best way to make meetings better? Only host them when they’re very necessary. While a Naked Ned, Sad Sally, or Angry Amber might be too tone-deaf to realize that everyone hates their meetings, you can be a better colleague by refusing to engage in unproductive meetings.

See Also: How To Make Meetings More Effective

Not sure if you should host that meeting? The following infographic, courtesy of Fundera, has a handy flowchart to help you decide, along with key facts about the true cost of unproductive meetings.does this really need a meeting

The post The 3 Types of People That Ruin Meetings appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating

Finding out that your partner has betrayed your trust is completely devastating. You begin to question the entire relationship, struggle with feelings that you’re not good enough and, above all, wonder whether or not the damage can be repaired.

One thing that can offer you at least a sliver of comfort?

If you’ve been cheated on, you’re not alone.

In fact, in 1/3 of marriages, one or both couples have committed some form of cheating during their relationship.

While there are countless articles encouraging you to dump your cheating partner, there are also resources to help you out in case you decide to give your relationship a second try.

After all, if Beyonce and Jay-Z were able to do it, then why can’t the two of you?

If you’ve decided to stay with your partner after being cheated on, then you need to know what it really takes to heal.

Read on to find out how to rebuild a relationship after cheating.

Take Some Time Apart

cheating time apart

Finding out that you’ve been cheated on can lead to some serious fights between you and your partner.

These fights quickly stop becoming productive. Once that happens, they will start to take cruel turns that can make it a lot harder for you to move on. If you’re still living together or spending time together in the same environment, consider moving out. It will be impossible to resist the temptation to cut your partner down or to beg for forgiveness.

Whether you’ve been cheated on or if you’re the one doing the cheating, you owe it to both yourself and your partner to spend a few days away from each other.

First, you’ll be able to clear your mind. Secondly, you’ll be able to seek the support and advice of your friends. It will also help you remove yourself from a toxic environment.

So, book that dream Airbnb or just spend a few nights crashing on your friend’s couch.

Consider Counseling

Improving communication with your partner after being cheated on is one of the most important things you can do in order to heal.

To ensure that both sides are heard and that the difficult questions are addressed honestly, it’s a good idea to have a therapist to play as a mediator and to offer objective advice.

To find local counseling therapists in your area, you can search online or ask your friends if they know someone who can help.

Remember, cheating is often caused by underlying issues in your relationship. It can even be a consequence of the emotional imbalance of your partner. It’s important to tackle these problems head-on if you want to rebuild trust.

Resist The Urge To Snoop

20% of men go through texts and pictures while in a relationship.

If you’ve been cheated on, the desire to spy on your partner can be incredibly strong. While it might feel satisfying or offer a sense of relief if you don’t find anything, it’s important to think bigger.

Remember that spying on your partner indicates a serious lack of trust. If you truly want to move on after infidelity, then you need to learn how to trust your partner again.

This starts by resisting the urge to check their messages on social media.

Remember, It’s A Process

relationship process

When things are good with your partner, it can be tempting to throw the past out of the window and return to your previous routines. It can also be challenging to stick around if the changes you want to see aren’t happening fast enough.

Give your partner a chance to improve and give yourself the time to heal. Remember that recovery after infidelity is a process. If you treat it like a race, you’ll both end up losing.

The post How to Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship Is Worth Fighting For

Is your relationship worth fighting for? Is the stress of the struggle worth it?

If you are currently in a romantic relationship or marriage and you’re having doubts about whether to fight for it or not, there are a few ways to tell.

Here are 5 signs that you can put away the white flag and salvage your relationship.

You Mean It When You Say, “It’s Not You, It’s Me”

relationship

Yes, this phrase is one of the most cliché break-up excuses. Cliché or not, looking at your own, personal intimacy issues can provide great insight into your current relationship.

Maybe your issues have nothing to do with the love and companionship your partner offers. Maybe it has something to do with your own emotional baggage.

Are you seeing a pattern in your relationship turmoil? Are the same issues that ended your last relationship haunting this one?

What’s the common denominator?

Yep, you guessed it right – it’s you.

Though I’m painting a pretty dismal picture, all hope is not lost.

If the only problems plaguing your current relationship are deeply rooted in your own insecurities, the first step is to acknowledge them. Take a step back and examine how these personality traits are affecting your relationship. You’d be surprised to see how a few slight changes to your state of mind, communication tactics or displays of affection can change things for the better.

You’re Willing to Put in the Work

Do thoughts of attending a couples retreat or counseling turn your stomach? Do your palms get sweaty and blood pressure rise when you and your loved one are left in a room together?

If working to save your relationship sounds like too much work, then it’s probably time to move on.

But if you can clearly see salvageable pieces of your broken puzzle or if you can still easily name at least five admirable qualities about your partner, there may be hope.

So, make a list and include pros and cons of you two as a couple and your partner individually. You might be surprised to discover that one awesome ‘pro’ can actually outweigh a long list of ‘cons’ or the other way around.

If you’re willing to work things out, then the relationship is definitely worth fighting for.

See Also: When to Say Fuck It and STAY in Relationship

The Thought of Ending Things Makes You Sick

Maybe it’s jealousy. Maybe it’s possessiveness.

Whatever it is, if the thought of your partner moving on or moving out turns your stomach, then you’re probably not ready to end things.

Ending a toxic relationship usually leaves you with a feeling of freedom, release, and peace of mind. All these feelings are a good indication that you made the right decision.

Sleepless nights and conflicted emotions, on the other hand, mean the opposite. If your heart and mind are torn over whether to end things, you should probably give it another shot.

There’s no worse feeling in this world than regret. Avoid the “what if” by giving things another try.

You Only Threaten to Break Up When You’re Mad

romantic relationship

We all say things when we’re mad and sometimes, it can get ugly. You blurt out things you later wish you could take back.

Often times, people use idle threats and make empty promises in the heat of an argument.

Have you ever threatened to leave only to go around the corner for a beer and return home after cooling off? Or promised to never name call again only to forget your promise during the very next fight?

If the only time you can think of leaving your partner or ending the relationship is when you’re angry or high on adrenaline, then it’s likely an irrational and superficial emotion. This means you should pause for further consideration.

You Can Imagine a Future Together

People say things like “I can’t live without you”, but do they really mean it?

If you can’t imagine your life without your partner, then you have a great foundation to work with.

When you have a solid relationship, talking about the future is important.

Some people depend their life plans on their partners. They will plan their life, career choices, and thoughts about kids based on their significant others.

For you, do your long-term goals all include your partner? Can you not imagine purchasing a home or growing old with anyone else? Even when times are tough and the two of you can’t seem to get on the same page, do you still foresee a future together?

If your answer is yes, then the two of you should be willing to work through whatever issues you are having.

See Also: 7 Best Secrets To Building Lasting Relationships

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know that your romantic relationship is worth saving, you can take the necessary steps.

Keep the lines of communication and your mind open. Try not to go on the defensive when your partner expresses concern or worry about your relationship status. Don’t jump the gun and call things off at the first sign of trouble.

Yes, relationships take work but if it’s a relationship worth saving, it will feel less like work and more like an investment in your future.

 

The post 5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship Is Worth Fighting For appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Written By Him: How To Handle A Break Up

Whether you were expecting it, initiating it or it just came out of the blue, handling a break-up like a man can be really difficult. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best thing for you or if you cared about her at all, there is going to be pain when things are over.

So, is coping really different for men than for women?

Well, the answer to that is yes and no.

Emotions are emotions and recognizing how you are feeling is important. If you try to ignore your feelings, then they are likely to surface somewhere else and become destructive.

To help you cope with a breakup, below are some tips to get you through the hard times.

Do not try drowning your sorrows

You hear stories all the time of men crying and drinking alcohol just to forget. Skip this technique. Alcohol is a depressant and is far from lifting your spirits. It is more likely to make you feel worse both physically and emotionally.

And with impaired judgment, you’ll be at a higher risk of getting involved in destructive behaviors. Drunken one-night-stands or emotionally driven bar brawls will not get you through a breakup.

Consider getting back to the gym

go to the gym

Or if you are already there, consider taking on a new challenge. Training for a half-marathon or setting a new goal for bench press can provide a healthy physical outlet for your anxiety and emotional stress. Being physically active is also a great way to clear your head. So, drag your sad self into the gym.

Don’t start booty calling through your contact list

Really, this is a pathway to trouble on many levels. In most cases, women are looking for more than an hour of your time and after a breakup, you are not likely to be in the condition for that.

And there’s a long list of negative consequences when it comes to jumping in and out of bed with people. The last thing you want is to need an antibiotic or to be researching the latest in crib features.

Spend time with friends

have fun with friends

Guy friends, couple friends or a female friend – anyone who cares about you and that you enjoy being with is a good bet during this time. You may feel like you would rather be alone but override that desire and spend time with people. You don’t have to get too involved in discussing your feelings with them.

Let yourself have a good cry

It goes against all masculinity rules but crying is a natural response to sadness and can be very cathartic. You don’t need to do this in front of other people.

Don’t give in to the desire to text and call repeatedly

That nagging inclination to call or text your ex will always be there.

Maybe the break-up was a mistake, right? If you could just talk it out, maybe things will be fine again.

No.

You broke up for a reason and whether it was the right reason or the wrong one, you both need some time to gain perspective. Repeatedly calling will not make things better. In fact, it can make things worse.

Take care of yourself

Many people experience physical symptoms associated with intense emotions. Some people can’t eat, feel physically ill or can’t sleep. Others overeat, abuse alcohol or other substances or sleep all the time. None of these are healthy options.

Try to ensure you have the right nutrition and make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night.

See Also: What To Do After A Break Up: A Handbook For Every Newly Single Guy

Conclusion

Very few of us get through life without a heartbreak. If you have ever loved someone, then you have taken the risk of getting your heart broken through a breakup. Try and remember that everything will be alright in time. While that time is passing, you need to do what you can to ensure you are ready when your next opportunity for love comes around.

 

The post Written By Him: How To Handle A Break Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The 7 Side Effects of Overtraining Syndrome

The 21st century is the Golden Age of Exercise. Never before has there been such a keen fixation with being fit. People go crazy over yoga, spin class, the treadmill, the elliptical, and the good old jogging/running.

While the significance of exercise can’t be over-emphasized, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Research has shown that overtraining syndrome or engaging in too much exercise does indeed have significant side effects.

Illnesses

Too much exercise puts those who exercise for more than two hours at risk of getting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). According to the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics Sports Journal, too much stress on the body, such as engaging in strenuous exercises, can actually cause the Leaky Gut Syndrome.

It weakens the lining of the gut, leading to the entry of germs into the bloodstream. This poisoning is a major cause of MS and a host of other illnesses.

Multiple Sclerosis has been known to bind people to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives and it would be somehow ironic to lose your mobility because you couldn’t keep your legs off the treadmill.

Abnormal heart rhythm

Another side effect of overtraining syndrome is the occurrence of arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythms. Research suggests that excessive endurance exercises can cause changes in the heart muscles. These changes expose athletes to arrhythmia that increases the risk of cardiac death.

This is a sharp warning to those who self-righteously think that only smokers and drug addicts are at risk of arrhythmia. If your resting heart rate has increased by more than five beats per minute, you might want to pick the sofa over the treadmill. Your heart will thank you for it.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

Weak immune system

It is a well-known fact that exercise makes one stronger. However, too much exercise does the opposite.

During exercise, a hormone called cortisone is produced. This hormone is essentially beneficial to athletes as it decreases swelling, stimulates gluconeogenesis, and increases the breakdown of protein in the liver. Unfortunately, it’s also immunosuppressive, which means that it can make athletes more prone to getting sick because of a weakened immune system

Weak bones

bone pain

Research suggests that overproduction of cortisol interferes with bone building.

When the hormone is in the bloodstream, there is more bone tissue being broken down than being deposited. This explains why people who are over-exerting themselves are more at risk of getting fractures. Moreover, as bone density decreases, conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis are more likely to happen.

Ill mental health

Exercising has been known to release the feel-good hormone dopamine. It’s one of the reasons why athletes keep going back to the gym.

Overtraining, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. It releases the same biochemical markers as those diagnosed with clinical depression. In addition to that, athletes who overtrain can also experience apathy, irritation, and hostility, which are similar symptoms of clinically depressed people.

Sleep disorders

sleep disorders

Too much exercise can also affect a person’s sleeping habits. People who overtrain experience insomnia at night. They may also find themselves extremely tired during the day and feel sleepy. This can definitely affect your productivity at work.

See Also: Importance Of Sleep: How It Can Put Your Health In Serious Jeopardy

Eating disorders

Less common but equally troubling is the effect of overtraining on people’s eating habits.

Most people exercise as a way to lose weight. And while normal exercise routines do deliver intended results, those that overtrain become prone to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. One good reason is the false belief of people that consuming food would only get in the way of them achieving the body they want.

Conclusion

While health and fitness remain key reasons why many choose to exercise, the biggest reason is still aesthetics. With images of toned arms, firm thighs, sculpted calves, and rock-hard abs continue to be in demand, who wouldn’t feel motivated to exercise?

For as long as the standards of beauty are this high, people will continue to get their sweat on. It is important, however, to keep track of how much pressure we are putting on our bodies so that we can avoid the side effects listed above.

The post The 7 Side Effects of Overtraining Syndrome appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Importance of Meeting The Boss Regularly

Everyone knows that effective communication is absolutely necessary to make a relationship successful. Marriages fail every day due to a breakdown in communication between spouses. Professional relationships in the workplace fail for the same reason.

Misunderstandings and differences of opinion can turn into distrust between an employee and the boss. Once that happens, the workflow gets disrupted and the success of the business gets compromised. To prevent any of those things from happening, both parties need to recognize the importance of meetings.

When Meeting Regularly with the Boss is Not an Option

For a lot of employees, having a one-on-one meeting with their boss may not always be possible. This can be due to their demanding schedules and other specific deadlines that they have to meet. For some employees who are located in another office or work site, meeting with their boss regularly isn’t a practical option.

Despite those conditions, meeting with the boss should still be a priority. It’s one of the most effective means for keeping the boss updated.

If you’re one of those employees who work far from the main office or your boss is frequently away, you can turn to technology. The internet provides a lot of means to have a meeting even if the parties are not physically together. You can use your computer or your mobile phone to communicate with your boss regularly.

Things to Communicate to Your Boss

one on one meetings

To keep the boss in the loop of how things are progressing in an organization, it is advisable to keep the lines of communication open on a regular basis. One way to accomplish this is to have a regular or weekly meeting with the boss.

Some of the things to be discussed at the meeting would be:

Status of projects

It is always important to keep the boss updated on the progress of his projects. Provide regular updates and be prepared to have a full report instead of waiting to be asked for it.

Goals and objectives

The boss will want to know how well you are keeping up with your team’s goals and objectives. Meeting with the boss on a regular basis will keep him/her updated on how things are progressing and what goals and objectives are yet to be met. While written reports outline the details of your progress, being able to discuss and explain the report is much more effective.

Personal goals

A good boss will want to keep employees motivated. Therefore, he/she will want to know more about the goals or personal ambitions of the employees. These things are best discussed in a one-on-one meeting.

Ongoing issues

Most bosses prefer hearing about issues as they happen and what is being done to address them. A regular meeting with the boss can provide the necessary updates regarding those issues.

Projection of possible issues down the road

Since no boss likes being caught off-guard with bad news, your boss will want to know any potential challenges that could pop up in the near future. So, regularly communicate any negative issues concerning his employees and what things can be done to address them.

Responses to last meetings

It sounds like common sense, but employees often get so wrapped up in their day-to-day issues that they forget to address issues that were discussed at their last meeting with the boss.

Read your notes and review them from time to time. This way, you’ll have an answer to your boss in case he asks related questions on your next meeting.

Wants and needs

The boss will not know what tools, resources or training you need to be successful unless you tell him. He’ll likely assume that all is well unless he hears otherwise. If you have any request or demand, don’t hesitate to communicate it during the meeting.

Updates on schedule for upcoming vacations

It is prudent to always compare schedules with the boss to know when the boss will be going on vacation and when an employee will be out of the office as well.

Input for strategic plan of the organization

Meeting with the boss can be a great opportunity to share thoughts and ideas about what’s happening in the workplace. It’s also a good chance to alert the boss about the things that can hinder the business’ success. Honest, frank discussions where ideas can be exchanged between the boss and the employees can help in the achievement of the organization’s goals.

Building Trust

meeting importance

Regular meetings establish trust, mutual respect, and care. And the more often these meetings occur, the less anxiety employees will have when sharing honest information concerning the boss and the business. The boss, on the other hand, will find it easier to rely on his employees, knowing that they are doing their best in their job.

See Also: How To Make Meetings More Effective

The post The Importance of Meeting The Boss Regularly appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Enjoy Traveling Solo

“But, don’t you get lonely traveling solo?”

This is a very common question for a lot of people who have jumped on a plane or a train and set off on their own little adventures. After all, spending anything from a week to a month away from a familiar environment and without the people you know can be a little more than nerve-wracking.

Even on our best days, the thought of traveling solo either for a break or to start a life elsewhere can be daunting. However, traveling alone has some significant benefits, like pushing you outside of your comfort zone.

Now, before you go ahead and fulfill your dreams, take a look at our tips on how to enjoy traveling solo. This list can help make sure you get the most out of your next trip.

Stay In A Suitable Place

If you’re new and nervous about traveling solo, booking in at the best hotel you can comfortably afford is probably the best bet. While you may want to save money on accommodation and put your hard-earned money towards unforgettable experiences, in order to enjoy traveling solo, you need to prioritize your comfort.

If you can, try and find a hotel with a bar on site or close enough to walk to and restaurants you’ll be happy to go alone. This way, you won’t feel disconnected from the world.

The Room

Once you have found a suitable place to stay, politely request a room that suits your needs. For some, a room away from the noise of the elevator is the best while others prefer staying in a room with a magnificent view. No matter what your needs might be, don’t be afraid to ask for them.

And if you’re unhappy with the room you have been given when you arrive, speak up and politely request to move to another one. After all, this is your traveling experience. You should do what you need to do to be comfortable and enjoy yourself.

Splurge On One Adventure

solo travelling adventures

If you don’t have the budget to do everything you want to do when traveling solo, then try and make sure to splurge on at least one adventure.

For example, if bungee jumping off the Air Boingo Tower in Dallas, Texas doesn’t appeal to you, why not try dining in a fancy restaurant with a glass of bubbly instead?

Don’t feel embarrassed about experiencing things alone. That’s exactly one of the great things about traveling solo.

See Also: 10 Wonderful Benefits of Traveling

Plan Your Days In Advance

Plan your days in advance to avoid spending unnecessary time wondering where you should go or what you’ll do on your vacation. Now, although planning everything can help make your trip go smoother, you should still be open to other opportunities.

Spontaneity can help make traveling solo a lot more exciting. Don’t forget to indulge yourself in all the glorious treats your destination has to offer.

Ask People To Take Photographs

solo travelling tips

One of the big downsides to traveling alone is that you have no one to take pictures of you. Photographs can serve as reminders of your adventures so don’t be afraid to ask other people to take your pictures. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a collection of awkwardly-angled selfies!

Remember that there is always the risk of strangers fleeing with your camera. Consider your safety first so you don’t end up with regrets.

See Also: 6 Ways Traveling Alone Makes You Stronger

The post How To Enjoy Traveling Solo appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Quick Guide on How to Clean Up Blood Spills Properly

Blood is one of those substances that are tricky to clean up. It can seep through porous materials, bind to anything it comes in contact with and stain fabrics and surfaces. Apart from those things, you also have to worry about the things you can’t really see.

Blood can carry disease-causing microorganisms that can put everyone in danger. Because of this, it’s only essential that you know exactly how to clean up blood.

Blood Spill on a Non-Carpeted Floor

blood spill on non carpet
Via brooksremediation

The most common place for a blood spill to occur is on a non-carpeted, hard surface. The list includes cement, wood, metal, linoleum, vinyl, ceramic, and tile. It can also happen to any type of non-absorbent flooring, like a pool deck.

It is easier to clean up blood as well as other types of body fluids from those surfaces compared to absorbent surfaces. However, there are still some important steps that you need to take into consideration.

A spill on a hard surface will frequently spread over a larger area, so the spill needs to be contained right away. The following are the procedures that should be taken for cleaning spills up on those surfaces:

  • Block the area off until the disinfection and cleanup process have been completed. No one should be allowed to access the area, particularly unprotected staff members or visitors.
  • Put disposable gloves on.
  • Wipe the spill as much as you can with an absorbent material, such as a paper towel.
  • Pour a bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach) to all contaminated areas.
  • Allow the bleach solution to soak those areas for around 20 minutes before wiping off any remaining bleach solution.
  • All non-disposable cleaning materials, like rags, brushes, and mops, should be disinfected by saturating them with a bleach solution and then letting them air dry.
  • Take your gloves off and put them and any other dirty cleaning materials into a garbage bag.
  • Double bag and tie the garbage bags securely.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap.

Blood Spill on a Carpeted Floor

blood spill on carpet
Via aftermath

Due to its absorbent nature, a blood spill on a carpeted floor is one of the hardest to clean up. Most buildings have at least some carpeting which is why it’s essential to know how to clean up blood on such surface.

Since there is no way for you to completely disinfect your carpet, you need to know how you can thoroughly sanitize it as much as you can. Here’s how you can do that:

Work Fast: Blood and other body fluids can quickly set or harden on carpeting and that can make them harder to clean. So, respond fast and make sure that all safety precautions are followed.

Use The Right Products: Bleach and other types of decontamination products may destroy or damage carpets. Using manufacturer-approved carpet cleaners and shampoos is the best way to get the contaminated areas clean.

Steam Clean: Depending on the size and nature of the spill, it is recommended to steam clean the carpet. A steam cleaner can clean, sanitize, and remove debris from carpets more thoroughly than conventional washing can. Although there are added expenses with steam cleaning, it’s the best way of preventing blood-borne pathogens.

Now that we got those things out of the way, here’s how you can clean blood from carpets.

  • Put Disposable Gloves On: No matter what kind of surface you are cleaning, you should first put on gloves.
  • Contain the Spill: Following a spill, it is critical to keep the affected area as contained as possible to prevent it from spreading further.
  • Initial Disinfect: After the area has been contained, spray it with the proper carpet detergent to help kill pathogens.
  • Blot Excess Fluids Up: Use disposable rags or towels to blot as much excess fluids as possible. Then, secure your soiled rags by placing them in a sealed bag.
  • Extract Any Absorbed Fluids: Carpet does absorb some fluid so the next step is to remove it. Use a wet-dry vacuum and wet the carpet thoroughly before applying suction. Repeat the process as necessary.
  • Re-disinfect: After you have vacuumed, re-saturate the area thoroughly using the right disinfectant. Repeat this step twice.
  • Let Sit: Let the disinfectant sit and work for around 20 minutes.
  • Rinse: After completing the final disinfecting round, rinse the area a final time so that any remaining disinfecting solution or detergent is removed.
  • Dry: Thoroughly dry the area with rags so that any remaining moisture is drawn out.
  • Wrap: Once the area is clean, secure all your PPE and rags in a bag.

Blood Spill on Furniture

The material of your furniture will determine the method you can use to clean up a blood spill.

For example, if you have an upholstered furniture, you need to treat the affected spots like you would treat a blood spill on a carpet. You have to disinfect it, allow the disinfectant to sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe everything off.

However, if you have a piece of fabric covering your furniture, the best thing to do is take the fabric off and wash it on a warm wash cycle using the right detergent. Check your furniture for any stains that may also need to be cleaned.

Outdoor Blood Spills

Cleaning blood spills from grass or dirt is much more difficult than cleaning stains from your furniture at home. One good reason is its accessibility. Anyone can get into the contaminated area, so you have to work fast and be strategic in cleaning up.

You can begin by blocking the affected area off. Make sure that no children can get near the contaminated area until you are done cleaning and disinfecting it. If there are children playing nearby, find another spot for them.

In disinfecting the area, make sure to disinfect as thoroughly as possible. You can use a bleach and rinse it thoroughly with water after. Remember to wear the right PPE when cleaning up.

See Also: How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents

The post A Quick Guide on How to Clean Up Blood Spills Properly appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Quick Guide On How To Choose A Website Name

Whether you are starting a new business or you already have a brand and want to create an online presence, you are going to need a website and a good domain name for it. But, do you know how to choose a website name?

After launching your website with responsive WordPress themes, like Genesis or TemplateMonster, you should think about your brand name. Naming a website is not a small fit. In fact, it is an extremely important decision.

Domain names have a huge impact on the success of your business. It can influence click-through rates, referring links, type-in traffic, online advertising, and brandability.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is this: Changing a name, later on, is a huge hassle that is sure to hurt your brand and search rankings. So, you have to choose the perfect name from the very start.

You might have some name ideas already, but is there something important you have to keep in mind when registering the name? Are there things to avoid? What name is sure to make the most impact on the web?

In this article, we will answer these questions, share some useful tools, and essential tips to help you choose the best domain name for your business and finally register it.

You Want a Brandable Name

You want your domain name to sound like a brand name.

Why?

Well, do you really want to end up with a name that is generic, indistinguishable, easy to forget, and not related to your business? If you want to be successful, choose a website name that is memorable, unique, and stands out.

You Want to Avoid Numbers and Hyphens

Hyphens and numbers in domain names look and sound generic and strange. They definitely do not make good brandable names. They are also often misunderstood.

For example, if you hear a website address with a number in it, you won’t easily know if it’s a numeral (3) or if it is spelled out (three).

And hyphens are easy to forget or misplace.

If you choose a domain name with a hyphen because the one without a hyphen is already taken, you will end up sending your potential customers straight to the competitor. Hyphens are also often used in spam domains and you definitely don’t want to be associated with those.

You Want to Avoid Doubled Letters

Domain names with doubled letters in them have more chances to lose traffic to typos and misspellings.

You Want It Short

When it comes to domain names, the general rule is this: the shorter, the better.

The shorter the name is, the easier it is to remember, type in, pronounce, and share with others. It is also less shortened on social media and search results, which is good for branding.

You Want It Pronounceable

While it is true that most people will type your domain name in or even click a link, psychology makes it important for the name to be pronounceable.

People are more likely to remember and have positive associations with things they can easily say or think about, including pronouncing it in their minds. If the domain name cannot be easily said out loud, the domain is more likely to lose a lot in terms of memorability and brandability.

You Want It Easy to Type

A name that is easy to type is critical to your success online. Words like “u” instead of “you” and words with multiple spellings are easy to forget, misspell and mix up. They can make you lose lots of leads and traffic.

You Want It Intuitive

A well-chosen domain name gives people a clear idea of what the website is all about. If the name of your choice tells people that your business is producing exactly what it is producing or offering exactly what it is offering, then you’ve won big time.

You Want to Avoid Trademark Violation

Try to avoid words used by well-known brands as much as possible. This is not about your domain name being confused with theirs; it is about the possible legal actions they can take against you. If you have any doubts regarding the name you have in mind, better consult with a legal professional to be safe.

You Want to Use Broad Keywords

It used to be imperative to find a domain name with the target keyword in it, but Google does not give any privileges to such domains anymore. They tend to have a negative association, both with the end users and the search engines.

If you can get a domain with a keyword which makes it clear what the website is about, you most definitely should grab it. But, try to use broader keywords instead of the target keywords you want to be ranked for.

You Want to Stick With .com

It is very true that finding a domain name with .com extension is very hard in 2017 as it’s been around for too long. There are plenty of new extensions to use, not only the top-level domains(TLDs) like .com, .net and .org, but such niche specific ones like .pizza and .photography. And while it is easier to get such a domain extension, .com is still the most credible one. People simply trust it more.

Besides, .com domains are more memorable. A lot of users even type .com automatically after every domain name.

If you can’t find the name of your choice with the .com extension, try to stick to the established top level domains. Here are the most established ones and their proper uses:

  • .net – Mostly technical sites, Internet infrastructure sites.
  • .co – Usually stands for company, community, and commerce.
  • .info – Informational websites.
  • .me – Blogs and personal pages.
  • .org – Nonprofits and non-commercial organizations.
  • .biz – Business and commercial websites.

And don’t forget about country-specific domain extensions if your business is centered in one particular country. These are the domains like .it for Italy, .de for Germany, and .uk for the United Kingdom.

The Best Domain Name Generators

All the above recommendations might have scared you off. And yes, it is not an easy task to get a great domain name these days, especially considering there are about 331.9 million domain name registrations in the top level domains this year so far.

But, don’t fret! There are dozens of tools designed to help you out. They are called domain name generators and we will introduce you to the best of them below.

Lean Domain Search

lean domain search
Via startupstash

Created by team Automattic, the people who are responsible for the WordPress platform, Lean Domain Search is really easy to use, including country-specific. You will need one seed keyword and we recommend one that defines the niche you work in.

The generator can generate tons of name ideas based on your keyword and chances are – some of them will be available with the .com extension.  Lean Domain Search can filter the results by popularity and length. You can save your favorite ideas, track the history of your searches and share the results with your team if you want.

This is a great tool to use if you don’t have any ideas but you have a couple of keywords that define your business.

NameStall

namestall
Via data roots

NameStall is an awesome generator that provides amazing flexibility. It allows you to choose if you want your keyword placed at the end or at the beginning of the name. It allows selecting TLDs, including country-specific ones. You can also choose from various groups of words.

For example, there is a word group named “1500 popular last words” or one named “500 popular first words”. By selecting one of those groups, you will allow the generator to add the popular words to the keyword you specified. This is an awesome search customization feature.

NameStall is a good choice if you do not have a specific name in mind, but want to have more ways to customize your search.

Name Mesh

name mesh
Via mashable

Name Mesh is a versatile tool. It searches for domain names based on more than one keyword. As a result, you get a huge list of names, which can be divided into such categories:

  • New
  • Common
  • Similar
  • Short
  • SEO
  • Fun
  • Mix

There are also filters you can use which will sort the results based on extension, unregistered domains, and length. Name Mesh can also suggest other keywords for you if you can’t find a name.

Name Mesh is the tool for you if you are not opposed to spending more time on looking through more choices.

Check Your Names for Availability

Most of the name generators check the availability of the domains automatically. Simply put, there shouldn’t be any unavailable names in the results the domain name generators provide.

But if you want to double check or forgot to check in the first place, GoDaddy is the best tool for it. And if you want to check the availability of your name across the social networks you are planning to use, the best tool is Namechk.

Where to Register Your Domain Name

There are two ways to go about registering a domain name. The obvious first route is to register a free domain name when you get your hosting. And you will need hosting to launch your online business anyway, so why not use all the benefits it provides?

The most trusted hosting providers on the market are  Bluehost.com, HostGator.com, and InmotionHosting.com.

If you’ve already got your hosting and did not register a domain name with it or you’ve already used your free name for another project, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of domain name registrars out there. There are both free and paid options. We will show you the two most popular and trusted registrars here.

GoDaddy.com

godaddy

GoDaddy has been around for a really long time. It is the go-to name registrar for a lot of professionals. Their prices are not the cheapest on the market, but they often offer promotions and deals.

If you need to claim a name fast, GoDaddy is the best tool for you.

NameCheap.com

namecheap

NameCheap is another popular registrar. It is slightly cheaper in the long run than GoDaddy. If you are sure you will run your online business for a long time, we recommend registering a name for 5 years as that is the cheapest option.

Both these websites offer hosting as well, so if you haven’t got your plan yet, check out their hosting offers, too.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to choose a  website name and getting a domain name are very important tasks. They can be really challenging, particularly if you are doing it for the very first time.

However, it doesn’t always have to be a complete hassle. In fact, you can make it a fun and an educating experience.

To get an even deeper understanding of how to choose a website name, make sure to read this free ebook.

The post A Quick Guide On How To Choose A Website Name appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Things You Need To Know About Shared Web Hosting

With technology evolving, customers have more options than ever before. They are surrounded by streams of brands- millions of them. People are agog over searching things they want over the internet, so if you do not exist online, you are probably losing a multitude of your potential customers.

Having a website is a must!

Whether you own a large corporation or a small cafe, you will need an influential web presence where your customers can connect with you, discover about your business, and eventually buy your products online. Taken together, an appealing, user-friendly, and informative website can magnetize new customers and prospects.

Businesses that still don’t have a website may be considered as outdated or even unreliable. Obviously, you wouldn’t want your business to have the same impression.

Since a majority of small and big businesses get their own website, they need to choose between different hosting solutions at some point. If your website does not attract much traffic and you have a tight budget, then shared web hosting service is the best option for you.

The Most Affordable Hosting Option

web host

Shared hosting is the most classic and widely chosen hosting plan across the globe. The key reason is its affordability as you don’t have to burn holes in your wallet.

Shared hosting is more like sharing an apartment where you share different facilities, like parking lot, kitchen, internet provider, and so on. When it comes to hosting, you have to share your resources with other hosting mates, like CPU time, memory, data, and disk space.

The Drawbacks

Shared hosting comes with some drawbacks. Potential website instability is one of them.

Take note that your website will be sharing server CPU resources with different other websites. When any of the websites sharing your server experiences an upsurge in traffic, your site might load slowly.

More Things to Consider

Hosting providers offer different plans for shared hosting. They may ask you to pay monthly, quarterly or yearly depending on your chosen plan.

Apart from payment options, you also have to be clear about the features you should be able to get from your plan. Storing files on the server is essential and so is the volume of data transfers and storage limits. If the basic features aren’t enough, you can always get an upgrade but be prepared to pay more.

Many shared hosting providers offer unlimited monthly data transfers to their customers. This may not be a catch, but you have to be sure that there are no hidden prices involved and that your definition of unlimited is same as theirs.

Now comes the OS. Check if you need Windows servers or Linux servers. Most common OS available for servers is Linux, but there are some web hosts that will allow you to choose between Linux or Windows hosting. For server-side apps that require Windows, let’s say SQL Server or a customized software coded in .NET, then Windows hosting will be the right option.

Make sure that your prospective web host offers a user-friendly control panel to streamline server administration and website management. Rather than typing a command line manually, the user can click the icons they recognize.

Another thing is customer support. You need to be certain that your host offers responsive 24/7 customer support. Some useful tools are forums, tutorials, and knowledge bases, but there’s nothing like having a human at your disposal.

customer support

See Also: 5 Effective Ways To Sound More Human Over A Customer Support Live Chat

Hosting For Bloggers

WordPress hosting is an effective and affordable solution, just like shared web hosting. This sort of hosting is the best solution for people planning to create a website powered by WordPress CMS (content management system), but don’t want to be troubled with things like updating CMS and the apps. Managed WordPress plans is mostly comprised of security features aimed at protecting CMS from layabouts.

Some managed WordPress hosts restrict certain plugins. Therefore, if your website demands certain plugins, then you might have to search for other hosting options. Please note that only WordPress CMS can run on managed WordPress hosting.

See Also: How to Choose a Web Host for Your Website

 

To wrap up

Selecting the right hosting option is no rocket-science; it truly depends upon your unique needs and budget. Most of the time shared web hosting is more than enough to cover your hosting needs as it is affordable, practical, and uncomplicated.

The post 5 Things You Need To Know About Shared Web Hosting appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Top Job Industries That Are Flying Under Your Radar

When your job search feels stalled, it’s time to make a change to your strategy. So many top job industries are emerging, providing opportunities for you to pursue one of your passions.

Your job search strategy should have more structure than just randomly sending your documents to dozens of job openings every week. Reflect on what industries align with your interests and focus on those.

Let’s take a look at the most exciting job industries you can start with.

Outdoor Recreation

outdoor recreation

More people are spending time and money on experiencing the great outdoors. In fact, according to an April 2017 report from the Outdoor Industry Association, the outdoor recreation industry creates $887 billion in consumer spending and employs 7.6 million Americans.

If you love taking hikes, camping, and seeking adventures in your local parks, this is the perfect industry for you. There are several awesome companies to choose from.

For example, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) is perfect if you’re into outdoor gear. They continue to be recognized as a top employer. Every year since 1998, they earned a spot in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list, which is based on anonymous employee feedback.

Additionally, they ranked second in Glassdoor’s 2016 list for Top 20 Employer Benefits and Perks. Employees enjoy discounts, retirement plans, community involvement, two days of additional PTO for outside activities, healthcare, and a positive culture that shares a passion for the outdoors.

To make the most of your job search, learn how to show your enthusiasm to potential employers. Niche industries are especially competitive because there are fewer opportunities and a lot of passionate people who want to work there.

Just this year, my company, JobsInSports, conducted a survey of employers. They said one of the best ways you can express enthusiasm for your industry is by writing a tailored cover letter. Also, one in four employers says sharing industry experience during your interview is crucial to demonstrating enthusiasm.

To put it simply, gain experience as you look for jobs within a niche industry like outdoor recreation. Search for internships and volunteer opportunities if you’re struggling to get entry-level work. As you work, think about how you are going to write about your learning experiences and how you can share them in your cover letter.

See Also: 5 Tips To Making Your Resume Cover Letter Stand Out

Sports

The world of sports is huge and it’s only going to get bigger. According to a 2016 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the sports industry will be valued at $75 billion by 2020.

However, this doesn’t just include the major sports, like football, baseball, and basketball. Soccer is becoming more popular in North America and esports shows no signs of slowing. In fact, a 2017 report from Newzoo found that there are 191 million esports enthusiasts worldwide and just the esports industry alone generated $696 million in revenue.

The best part about the sports industry is that you have plenty of opportunities within each sport. Depending on your interests, you can find the perfect employer.

For soccer fans, look at MLS. Baseball enthusiasts thrive when they work in MLB. For those interested in sports media, ESPN still stands as one of the best employers.

Another exciting world within the industry is sports technology. Companies like Hudl and SeatGeek are among the best employers. They offer exciting growth opportunities and great benefits.

The best way to stand out in sports involves two key factors: networking and building an online presence.

Employers noted that the top ways candidates stand out to them include joining professional organizations, commenting on industry discussion boards, sharing industry content through social media, and engaging with relevant industry groups through networks like LinkedIn and Facebook.

When you meet people and publicly engage with sports groups online, potential employers will see you’re passionate. They will also see what your expertise is if you’re sharing ideas and starting discussions.

Wellness

spa and wellness

The wellness industry includes nutrition, alternative medicine, beauty products, the spa industry, fitness, and wellness tourism. With more people interested in self-care, this industry is booming.

As a 2017 report from The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) found, the U.S. generates $202.2 billion of the annual $563.2 billion global market. In other words, there are several opportunities awaiting you.

Our survey found that employers think the most important aspects you should know about a potential employer are core values, the vision, their products/services, and their mission statement. When you want to work for wellness companies, start researching them.

See Also: 5 Best Ways to Use Technology To Land Your Dream Job

Not only will you gain a clear understanding of their role in the market, but you’ll also see how you align with their culture and how you can provide value to their mission. Then, you can tailor your resume and cover letter to clearly indicate why you’re the best fit for them.

How are you focusing your job search strategy in niche industries?

The post 3 Top Job Industries That Are Flying Under Your Radar appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Magic of Appreciation: How to Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is the key to happiness in life, at work, and in relationships.

Studies show that depressed people who engaged in gratitude practice were 25% less depressed after a 12-week period. Interesting, right?

When we are down, we tend to ruminate and go over the same things over and over. Most of the time, it’s about our past and ourselves. We can’t stop being self-critical.

According to a study performed by Dr. James Pennebaker, depressed people used the “I” word at a 6.5% rate, that’s 4% higher than the average person. And those who suffer from a mental illness use “I” 11 times more than other people.

When we focus on the present and we’re grateful for what we have and who we are, we generate positive memories. These are the memories we can reflect on in the future that can help us feel better. Also, focusing on others and what we can do for other people can help us, too. We won’t be using so many “I” words.

So, do yourself a favor and focus on the present, what you have and what you’re doing. Once you are able to do that, you’ll be a happier person.

thank you

Make sure to appreciate the people around you as well. They’ll know it and they’ll reward you in kind.

In one study, twice as many people helped a second time after receiving a thank you email than when no thank you email was sent. The study showed people did it because they felt more socially valued when they’d been thanked.

Dr. Sara Algoe, a US psychologist, emphasized that “Feelings of gratitude and generosity are helpful in solidifying our relationships with people we care about and benefit to the one giving as well as the one on the receiving end.”

On the other hand, a Glassdoor study showed that more than 80 percent of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.

gratitude

A feedback loop develops when you appreciate others. They begin to think about how they appreciate you.

It is easy to focus on what people are not and how they are different, but when you focus on people’s good qualities, you will be happier around them. They will be happier around you, too.

And what happens when you do the opposite?

Many will get defensive, angry, and lash out, causing you to do the same thing. Best to start off and focus on the right things. This is especially true in marriage.

So, appreciate people for what they are, what they bring to the table and for who they are and not who they are not. This way, you’ll be better off individually and together.

What can you tell about people who don’t say thank you?

Well, the inability to say thank you could be a sign of narcissism. When people feel entitled or full of themselves, they fail to appreciate the complement or the contribution of others. They think they deserve the special treatment or special praise because they are special.

No one wants to be with someone like that. So, make sure to show how thankful you are to those around you.

See Also: A Little Bit of Gratitude, Everyday!

How to get started?

Make it easy.

Try thinking or writing down three simple things you’re grateful for each day. Tony Robbins makes this a daily practice and he starts with something easy, like the wind on the face or the peacefulness of no wind.

You can show gratitude for anything or anyone in your life. It can be as simple as being alive and the opportunity to do things better the next time.

Make it a habit and do it every single day. Over time, your view of the world and life will dramatically change.

Thank you for reading this!

The post The Magic of Appreciation: How to Practice Gratitude appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

A Quick Guide In Designing Your Children’s Room

Adding fun to your children’s room is no different from any renovation project you have for your home. However, in choosing the right child room design, you have to make sure that it can adapt to the changing moods of your children while allowing them to develop some really cool memories.

If you are not sure where to start, here are some ideas you can consider.

Clocking The Cool Color: The Basics

The project has to start with picking the right color.

It is a myth that children love all colors. In fact, they are very picky.

To address this, you need to introduce themes along with the colors. For instance, you can associate yellow with sunshine and red with roses.

Since children have ideas, make sure to ask for their opinion. Depending on your children’s age, they can assist you in coloring the wall themselves.  For you and your children’s safety, choose paints without toxic fumes.

Thematic Tales: Every Wall Has A Story

harry potter themed childrens room
Via pinterest

Children grow up listening to stories of monsters, centaurs, and unicorns. So, it’s only logical that you design their room with those stories. Hire a professional or grab a paintbrush yourself and draw stories of David Slaying Goliath or Beauty and the Beast. This can freshen up the room while imparting values to your kids.

You also need to pay attention to the room’s flooring since it’s where your children spend most of their activities. You can opt for laminate and vinyl flooring in hardwood, stone, tile, and carpet flooring.

In choosing between laminate and vinyl flooring, consider that your child’s room is a high traffic area and the flooring has to be durable. Laminate is a durable material and it rarely fades. It is resistant to stains and easy to install.

Vinyl flooring, on the other hand, is a step up from the old linoleum types. It is also good for a child’s room as it is resilient and doesn’t take a lot of time to install.

Killing The Ceiling: The Dreamy Sky

dreamy childrens bedroom ceiling
Via Decoist

The right design can make your child’s room look dreamy. Peeling paints and plasters on the ceiling can be really depressing.

Since the ceiling is the last thing your child looks at right before he sleeps, you need to carefully plan its design. It should be designed tastefully and with care.

For the wood ceiling, you can get board planks from your local hardware store. Run them in the same direction on the ceiling. Finish the job with crown molding or wood trim. For ceiling tiles, get the adhesive ones that are easy to install. Mix and match tiles or create a pattern. If there’s an existing wallpaper, make sure to remove the old wallpaper and prepare the ceiling before you add a new design.

Furniture And Accessories: The Finishing Touch

Assess the furniture in your child’s room.

If they are still usable, consider freshening them up. Take out all pieces of wood furniture and sand them down. You can also paint them up with a shade that matches the color scheme you used on the walls. For those items that need upholstering, check if you can do it yourself. If not, make sure to hire someone you can totally trust.

Consider the layout of the room. Children move around a lot and need space. So, go for an uncluttered layout that will allow your children to move freely.

Now, go for accessories. Here is where you can make the most out of your designs. You can use accessories that can double as learning materials. For example, you can make their geometry lessons come alive by decorating the room with different shapes. A mixture of symmetric figures and patterns would enhance the imagination and creativity of your kids.

Conclusion

The best child room design idea is one that reflects his or her dreams, ambitions, and emotions. It should allow them to feel comfortable and safe, too.

By following these steps, you should be able to create the perfect room for your little ones.

The post A Quick Guide In Designing Your Children’s Room appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Really Useful Tips For Renting A Car Abroad

Often, the best way to go traveling is to rent a car and just head on out there. In that way, you can get off the beaten trail and see the world beyond the hotel in your own time and at your own speed. That’s way better than getting stuck in one of those tourist bus groups or trying to see everything with public transportation.

Of course, if you’re going to rent a car while you’re abroad, then you want to make sure that you do so correctly. After all, to get into an accident or get into a bunch of trouble can really put a crick on your vacation. In our experience, a lot of holidays can be ruined by a serious mishap as it throws a wrench in the group cohesion.

For that reason, here are the best tips you can use when renting a car abroad.

Make sure your driving license and insurance work where you’re going

You might think that one country’s driving license is as good as another’s, but that isn’t necessarily true. In some countries, they don’t accept driving licenses from other places.

Before you head off, check that your driving license will be accepted where you’re going. For example, US licenses aren’t accepted in a lot of countries, like Italy and Germany. So, check first with the embassy of your target destination.

Even better, get an international driving permit. These pieces of paper will let you drive nearly everywhere without any trouble.

While you’re at it, make sure you check if your car insurance also applies abroad and to other vehicles. If not, then it might be a good idea to get insurance from a company in the country that you’ll be in.

Note that a lot of car rental companies will insist that you have insurance. So, if you do have an insurance policy that will protect you while you’re abroad, take a copy of it so that you can prove you’re insured.

See Also: Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for The Best Auto Insurance in Canada

Is it safe to drive there?

You’d be amazed what some drivers in other countries get up to.

In many countries, for example, they don’t pay any attention to the dividing lines between lanes. They’ll just drive where there is space. In other places, the rule isn’t that you have right of way based on signage or some kind of agreement, but based on the size of the vehicle you’re driving.

Then, there are countries where there are more potholes than road, where chickens and pigs regularly cross the road and where the people use the road surface to dry their beans or crops.

Driving in these countries can really elevate your heartbeat and stain the enjoyment of everybody in the car. For that reason, make sure to check first what other people have to say about the country you’re going. You can get a lot of ideas online.

Before you get behind the wheel, take pictures of everything

take car pictures

This has saved me so much money over the years. Before I go out, I take pictures of everything inside and out. Every scratch, dent or mark I can find, I photograph. I also photograph the rental agent with the car somewhere in the sequence, as well as the fuel gauge and the seats.

Why?

Because the pictures will serve as proof of the car’s condition before you hit the road.

If they say that a dent wasn’t there in the morning, you can show that it most certainly was. You’d be surprised how often they’ll try to get different tourists to pay for the same tactic. Don’t be one of those people. Take pictures of everything. It will save you a lot of heartache in the long run.

Also, make sure that you know how much fuel you had when you started out and that you bring it back with just as much. This can be annoying, but they’ll often give you the car with an empty tank and not give you any kind of compensation when you return it with a full one.

You need navigation

navigational map

Have you tried navigating with a paper map lately?

Back before the days of GPS and mapping technology, that was a major reason people broke up, you know. Don’t put your relationship under that kind of strain.

There are a lot of mapping apps that you can download straight to your phone. There are even apps which don’t require to be connected online but just work with your GPS.

Take your device with you when you go out. It will mean less time in the car and less chances for you and your partner to yell at each other.

It’s a holiday, not a fantasy

And finally, remember that it’s a holiday and not a fantasy. Just because you’re not back home doesn’t mean you’re suddenly invulnerable.

So many people seem to forget that. The result?

People’s chances of getting into accidents are much higher when they’re in foreign countries.

Don’t end up as a part of that statistic.

Drive safe. Pay attention to how the people in the country drive and try to drive safely like them.

For example, a friend of mine got into an accident because he stopped in front of a zebra crossing to let a person pass in Turkey. The cars behind him hadn’t expected that (they don’t stop for crossings there) and crashed fully into the back of his car.

Obviously, that left for a sticky situation where the Turkish guy was yelling and so was my friend. What’s the point of zebra crossings, if you’re not going to stop for them anyway?

And though he had insurance and it was covered, his vacation was still not as much fun as it could have been.

Don’t let that happen to you. Understand how the people drive and know what to expect.

See Also: Top 10 Cheap European Car Hire Destinations

The post 5 Really Useful Tips For Renting A Car Abroad appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Must-Reads For Ambitious Humans

I am ambitious.

To reach my goals I need to learn to get better. And to get better, I read all the time.

I do it partly because successful people throughout the ages have been voracious readers.
Legends, like Elon Musk and Abraham Lincoln, attribute their success to reading.

So, without further ado, here are the best books to read for success.

Methods of Persuasion

methods of persuasion nick kolends

Every page and every section of this book is chock-full of methods you can use on a daily basis.

The best part of Methods of Persuasion is the thoroughness of the research.
Every method is backed by scientific studies.

On top of that, Kolenda provides case-studies and real-life applications of each method.

I’ve implemented every aspect of this book in my daily life and it has paid off handsomely. I have secured a new, better-paying job, my relationship with my fiance has vastly improved and my overall communication skills have increased ten-fold.

If you don’t read this book, you’ll be left in the dust by the people who did.

Ego Is the Enemy

ego is the enemy ryan holiday

Most of us struggle with ego.

In fact, ego is a major obstacle in our lives. It is in mine and I work towards diminishing it every day.

This book illustrates just how much of our lives are controlled by ego and how destructive it is. Ego keeps us from paying the price of success. It keeps us from doing work that we think is “beneath us”.

Ego is an enemy and a slippery one at that.

Reading this book has made a difference in my life. It has made me more humble.

Humility has helped me delve into various tasks with a more open mind.
Open-mindedness has allowed me to learn more and in turn add more value. This has benefited my career tremendously.

Trust me.

If you want to do more, create more and achieve more, you need to diminish your ego.
Ego Is the Enemy shows you how.

Reading and re-reading this book will add tremendous value to your life.

The Score Takes Care of Itself

the score takes care of itself bill walsh

Bill Walsh is famous for his work as head coach of the 49’ers. He built one of the most majestic dynasties in Football history from the ruins of a franchise.

How did he do it?

By focusing on the process and on the fundamentals.

This allowed him to hone the skills of Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice and Steve
Young into the best players of their generation. Some of the best players of all time.

His consistent focus on the fundamentals as a key driver of performance is essential. Whatever your field, Walsh’s advice is valuable.

My three key takeaways from the books:

  1. Focus on creating a system that supports your progress.
    If you do the right things the right way, the results will follow.
  2. Keep your eye on the fundamentals instead of the score.
    It doesn’t matter if people praise you at work. What matters is that you add value and get better every day.
  3. Everything you do matters.
    Some of Walsh’s tenets included no sitting on the practice field, no smoking on the facilities and always dressing in a tie and jacket.

Your representation of yourself and others matters more than you think. You represent yourself in all of your actions so everything you do matters.

The lessons in these three books will add tremendous value to your life if you implement them.

So, read the books and learn their lessons. Apply them in your life and repeat.

Do this and you will get far.

See Also: 7 Reasons To Start Reading Books? Here’s why!

The post 3 Must-Reads For Ambitious Humans appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

6 Ways To Live Well With A Chronic Illness

Living with chronic illness comes with its own set of unique challenges but it doesn’t mean that life has to be one terrible ordeal.

Often, we don’t look ill and we can still manage to hold down a job. We have families and a bit of a social life. Despite these things, we still feel terrible.

It’s like having the flu every day, with maybe an odd hour or two of relief.

Living with a chronic illness brings with it the challenge of honoring ourselves while also living up to the expectations and responsibilities of being alive. Often, that includes extreme pain, exhaustion or a hidden disability.

The hardest part can be that because we don’t look ill and we do our best, family and friends can forget. They can even become frustrated with us. As a result, we become frustrated with them and we get angry at ourselves for being ill.

These feelings of guilt and frustration can lead to arguments. Sometimes, they can also push us into a deeper sense of depression and deprivation.

Why us? What did we do wrong?

Despite all the questions you may have in your mind, remember that there is a way to live well. It can be a challenging work but living with chronic illness is possible.

Below, I’ll show you how.

First, we need to grieve

grieving chronic illness

We need to grieve for the life we are not going to live or might never live. We need to grieve for the lost time, missed events, and missed opportunities.

And grieving is tough, especially when we are told we can think our way out of it or we, on some metaphysical level, asked for this. This ‘magical’ thinking or any other general new age BS does not help us when we are deep in the mire of seeing our lives crumble beneath us.

We are ill.

Most of us are still desperately searching for a cure. But to continue with this journey, we must accept where we are.

Grieve the loss of the life you don’t have. Grieving comes in waves and must be honored.

However, you should remember that grieving does come to an end once there’s acceptance. So, accept how life is and get on with it.

Let’s live it well- even within the restrictions of the disease.

Which means boundaries

Boundaries keep you safe. They keep your pain down and they keep you sane. They don’t mean brick walls.

Instead, think of them as flexible fences that control what comes in and goes out. Learning to set your fences can be hard. But once done, you’ll wish you were able to do it years ago.

Boundaries let you stop worrying. And when you worry, you increase your stress levels and even your pain. It becomes an endless cycle that damages you more.

Strong boundaries ensure things get done, toxic people stay away, and you stop over giving.

So, sort out what type of boundaries you need. Get others on board, remind them when they are overstepping your boundary, and stick to your guns.

The boundaries you put in place will be unique to you.

Honesty with yourself and others

I feel this follows on naturally after the grieving process and boundaries.

You are going to disappoint people.

You can’t do everything. You’ll have limits due to your illness.

Being honest about this is the best way forward. Explain that you only have so much energy. Give a warning when that energy starts to deplete and plan how you’ll leave if this has not already been done. Then when ready, put your plan into action.

Do not push through!

Pushing through is for emergencies or once in a lifetime events only. The consequences of pushing through are harsh. They mean days in bed, increased pain and increased brain fog.

And often for what? So other people will like you more?

People without a chronic illness can bounce back after 5 minutes, but what about you?

You’ll crash and can’t move.

Listen to your body. Honor when it talks to you and for the love of all that is, don’t push through!

Drop the guilt

It is not your fault that you are ill and it is not your fault that you have limitations. It’s just not your fault so stop feeling guilty.

I can’t stress this enough.

It has taken me years to drop the guilt but finally, it is happening.

This is life.

By accepting ourselves as we are, we make it easier for others to accept us as we are. If we present to the world who we really are without the guilt, the world will reflect that back to us. People that can’t honor this will walk away.

Pamper days that are more than pamper days

Pamper days to me are ‘women going to a spa’.

Well, that is not enough.

Living with chronic illness means we miss out big time.

For me, a pamper day is planning a day where I don’t miss out. I don’t do what anyone else wants or needs me to do. This day is for me to experience what I need to experience to feel alive. This may be a visit to an art gallery, a trip to friends, a simple stroll or a wheelchair visit outdoors.

Too often, we are bounded to our beds and houses and this is bad for us on all fronts.

If you can’t get out, bring the pamper day to you. Have your friends come around and cook for you, have a tea party or a picnic in the back garden. Do what feeds your soul and not what feeds others!

pamper days

But again, don’t push through.

Be strategic about coping with your energy/pain levels.

Love

I am so lucky that I have a partner who understands that I have an illness one can’t see. It wasn’t always like this, but we are now at a point where our routine honors his needs and mine. He knows I’m not pulling a fast one. He can now recognize when exhaustion sets in and if I need to be in bed, then I’m in bed.

It has taken time and patience to get here. Education and seeing medical results have been instrumental, but I’m so glad we have hung in there.

It hasn’t been easy for my daughter, either. She can’t remember a time that I was not ill. As a result, she can read me like a book and sense within a second when I’m flagging. I have done my best to parent her the best I can, but this has sadly meant she has grown up way too fast for my liking.

She spins it and says she is independent and she is. I can’t deny that her love has helped immeasurably, but at a cost to her childhood.

But, what if you don’t have love?

Join clubs or groups. You can even search for virtual ones. Facebook seems to be a suitable place for support and advice. Just try and avoid the toxic groups. We need support, not a pity party.

Which brings me on to toxic people.

What if you have a toxic relationship?

If you do, then get help or just get out. Toxic relationships stress us immeasurably.

We are far better off without them.

There is nothing worse than being ill and living with toxic family or friends. They will make you worse and you deserve better.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

Alternative therapies

Alternative therapies are often complementary to the regular medical care many of us have. Some find them a bit ‘woo’ but I do believe the right ones have a significant role to play.

If we are truly fortunate, we have an integrative medic that practices both conventional and complementary techniques.

My illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, needs to be treated with several complementary therapies. Diet change has been one and I strictly follow the Auto Immune Protocol. My emotional and mental well-being has been improved with therapies like EFT. I take supplements to correct blood test results and they have improved my fatigue levels.

I still can’t do everything I want to do, so I do the best I can. I no longer beat myself up for it.

I don’t believe I am to blame for this illness and I will no longer allow people in my life that disrespect me because of it.

I see conventional medicine and alternative medicine as a partnership where they complement each other. Together, they can help a person live well.

See Also: Common Health Conditions Treated with Alternative Medicine

My life is more balanced, more loving and more fun. I have grieved, I have dropped the guilt, I have a fantastic doctor and I am loved. All these things make living with chronic illness a little easier.

The post 6 Ways To Live Well With A Chronic Illness appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

7 Medical Procedures That Are Not Covered by Health Insurance

Many people apply for a health insurance in the hopes that whenever they have medical problems, it can help them cover the costs.

Health insurances are pretty expensive and they take a sizable portion of your total salary. It is really helpful as it can truly cut your health expenses down.

Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t aware that there are certain medical services not covered by insurance. Below are just some of them:

Liposuction/Weight Loss

Obesity is rampant and a number of people suffer from being overweight. This is why a lot of people undergo weight loss procedures that can cost them a lot of money.

Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with getting the procedures as long as you can pay for them. However, it’s important that you understand that they aren’t covered by your insurance so you may need to pay for them on your own.

Also, note that there are weight loss procedures that would require you to visit the doctor a couple of times and each time you visit, you’ll need to hand out cash.

Lasik Surgery

lasik surgery

If you’ve worn glasses all your life, Lasik surgery can be a godsend for you. This procedure makes use of a laser to fix your cornea and improve your vision. This is ideal for people who are suffering from astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Despite its amazing benefits, Lasik surgery can easily cost you more than $1,000 per eye. If you do not have the money to pay for the surgery, you can get a personal loan to cover the costs.

Breast Implants

A lot of women are always concerned about their figure and that is why breast implants have become quite common.

The implants and the entire operation would cost you anywhere between $5,000 to $15,000. That is pretty expensive and you might not be able to pay for it as of the time being. If that’s the case, you can request a reasonable payment plan but not all doctors will be fine with that.

Acupuncture

acupuncture

Acupuncture has a lot of health benefits. You can get this procedure to detect and even heal some of your bodily ailments.

Unfortunately, it can cost you around $100 up to $1,000 and one visit to the acupuncturist will not be enough.

See Also: How Acupuncture Can Help You Quit Smoking

Dental Procedures

Certain dental procedures are covered by your health insurance but only if they are deemed as “medically necessary”. For example, if you’ve suffered an accident where your jaw has been severely damaged, a dentist can help correct it and it should be covered by your insurance.

However, if you only plan to get dental services for the sake of cosmetics, then you may need to pay for them by yourself. This includes services like teeth and gum augmentation, braces and porcelain veneers. Prices vary depending on the dentist.

The best thing you can do is get dental procedures from a dentist who has affordable rates or you can apply for alternative funding such as personal loans or credit card line.

Infertility Treatment

Infertility is another treatment that isn’t covered by your health insurance. In vitro fertilization can cost you around $2,500 to $5,000 per cycle.

And you know what’s worse?

You’ll probably need more than one cycle.

Cosmetic Surgery

Let’s face it:

Every one of us likes to look beautiful and it’s the reason cosmetic surgeries became quite popular. Unfortunately, despite their popularity, they aren’t covered by medical insurances.

Depending on which body part you want to enhance, a cosmetic procedure can easily cost you thousands of dollars. The cost can greatly increase since you have to buy medicines for the procedures, too.

Paying For Medical Services Not Covered By Insurance

The procedures above are just some of the medical services not covered by insurance. If you are thinking of getting them, you need to be prepared as they can get costly.

So, what should you do?

Well, you can get a personal loan to pay for them. It is very easy to apply for one as long as you have a good credit score.

See Also: What To Look For In A Good Health Insurance Plan

Now, the main takeaway here is this:

If a medical procedure is purely for cosmetic purposes, there’s a good chance that it won’t be covered by your medical or health insurance.

The post 7 Medical Procedures That Are Not Covered by Health Insurance appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

Mastering The Beautiful But Difficult Art Of Letting Go

“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.” – Dodinsky

Fears, doubts, past events, unpleasant memories, bad conversations – these are some of the factors that contribute to our unhappiness.

Our mind has the tendency to hold onto those things for long, creating misery. For instance, if someone said bad words to you, your mind will keep on clinging to it until another event happens.

Unless you learn how to let things go, you won’t be able to embrace every moment of life and live it to the fullest. You won’t be able to enjoy even the world’s best luxuries.

In this article, you’ll learn the best tips for mastering the art of letting go.

Learn to Accept Before You Learn How to Let Things Go

More than half of our problems begin when we start questioning the things around us. For instance, suppose you are stuck in a bad traffic jam and there’s no way out for you.

There are two ways in which you can handle this scenario.

You could start yelling at people and vent out your frustration but this can make things even worse. Or you could keep calm and use this time to do some thinking. You could sit quietly and enjoy the music being played on the FM.

Now, what usually happens?

We choose to react negatively to the things around us. When thoughts bother us or a past event troubles us, we start questioning, explaining or justifying it. This leads to more chaos and confusion.

The best thing you can do at any moment is to accept it as it is.

When you accept it, your mind comes to rest immediately. With a stable state of mind, you can decide what can be done to make the situation better. Such decisions usually never end up in regret or guilt. Also, accepting things can help you to move on quickly from events and situations.

Remember Death

letting go

What are you really holding onto? How long will you hold onto it?

In all those moments when you find it difficult to let go, just remember that one day this is all going to be over. This very realization takes away the stiffness in your mind and body. When you remember death, you are able to honor life.

There are many people who have come before you, had been in the same situation as you and may have even left the world by now. So, there’s no point in worrying or holding onto things. Enjoy the moment you have now and just let go!

Have Faith

What keeps us from letting go of our anxieties and fears? It’s the lack of faith.

Lack of faith leads to insecurities and fears in us. That’s why faith is the biggest blessing you can ask for. With faith and confidence that you will get what you need at the right time, you can easily let go of your fears and worries.

We all have experienced this at some point.

There have been moments when you badly needed money and somebody out of nowhere came to help you. Whenever you need some help, someone always finds a way to be there for you.

That’s because of faith, isn’t it? So, have faith and let go!

Meditate Regularly

meditate regularly

Meditation is a highly recommended activity for mastering the art of letting go and living in the present moment. Meditation helps you get rid of negative emotions, stress, and everything that bothers you. It gives you the power to channel your thoughts in a positive direction.

Practicing meditation twice a day keeps you away from impressions, events, and happenings in the outer world. It helps you stay in the present moment and do your tasks with sincerity and dedication.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Bottom Line

With practice and patience, you will eventually learn how to let things go, particularly those that bother you. You’ll realize that anxiety and fear are not worth your precious time and peace of mind.

Let go of things and be happy right now!

See Also: 12 Stressful Things To Let Go Of If You Want To Live A Calm Life

The post Mastering The Beautiful But Difficult Art Of Letting Go appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

Are You Too Complacent In A Relationship?

Do you remember when you would check the mirror, adjust your hair and perhaps, put on cologne before seeing your mate? You wanted to put your best foot forward to make sure you would impress and attract.

Now, let’s be real.

After a few years in a relationship, we become so comfortable with one another that a lot of those little details don’t happen anymore.

Becoming complacent in a relationship is a double-edged sword. It shows that the love is unconditional and that our partner accepts us for who we are, good things and bad. The problem, however, is that you no longer put the effort you were giving before. When we start acting as though those details don’t matter anymore, a lot of things in the relationship change.

Now, if you are starting to worry about being complacent in a relationship, check these signs below.

You no longer hide the array of sounds (and smells) that your body produces

You may be thrilled that your relationship is close enough that you no longer have to leave the room every time you let out a bit of air. Unfortunately, your partner may not share your enthusiasm. Consider it something to keep to yourself and take it somewhere else whenever possible.

You have lost interest in personal grooming

It isn’t necessary to slap on some aftershave each time you walk past the mirror. In fact, it would probably be an overkill.

You should, however, make it a point to shower daily and brush your teeth regularly. Yes, your partner may love you no matter what but you shouldn’t make her work to remind herself why.

You mumble some version of “love you babe” frequently and without eye contact

Remember when you first told her you love her? You probably looked into her eyes when you said those words. You definitely felt their meaning.

If “I love you” has morphed almost exclusively into “love you babe” or some version of that, you probably have forgotten what those words are supposed to convey. It’s time to remember and make a change.

You think “dates” are no longer needed

no date

Believe it or not, dates are still necessary. What brought you together as a couple and helped you gain the comfort and closeness you now have was developed through dating.

Just because you are a few years into things doesn’t mean you should stop putting effort. People (yes, even your partner) change and grow continually. If you don’t spend enough time to enjoy each other’s company, you’ll eventually grow apart.

Closeness is a moving target. You can’t stop working on it just because you think you have it.

See Also: 6 Hobbies For Couples That Can Strengthen Your Relationship

Sex has become like a well-loved recipe

sex in relationship

If your intimate life has a set routine and you could and possibly have done it in your sleep, you are probably too comfortable. Just because you achieve a successful…ahem…end result does not mean you have had a successful experience. Sex is far more enjoyable when there are a few new moves here and there. So, throw out the recipe and try exploring a bit. You might find yourself surprised by the result.

There is a difference between trusting someone so much that you can be completely comfortable in their presence and being so comfortable that you seem not to care. That difference can be a very fine line.

If several or all of the above points ring a bell, you have probably crossed that line. Try changing things up and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your partner’s reaction and what you get in return.

See Also: 6 Signs You’re In A Long-Term Relationship

The post Are You Too Complacent In A Relationship? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

3 Simple Ways To Improve Your Piano Skills

I have been a pianist all of my life. I took lessons when I was about 13 and have never regretted it. By learning the basics of music and the piano at such an early age, I was able to build a foundation for music that lasts a lifetime. I play mostly by ear but by having the essential basics behind me, I am able to play a lot of things.

Not everyone takes lessons, though. Some people wait until they are middle-aged to learn an instrument and that’s okay, too! You’re never too old to learn, as long as you have the passion and desire to do so.

Do you find yourself wanting to become a more accomplished pianist or musician but don’t know where to start? Maybe you’ve become so frustrated at times that you just want to give up on your dream of playing altogether. Don’t do that!

If you want to do something, just try another way.

The piano has evolved over the years and there are several forms of this instrument. There’s the electronic keyboard, synthesizers, computerized musical composition software and much more. If you learn the basics of the piano, you’ll gain a wealth of skills and knowledge that you can use in a lot of ways.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to improve your piano skills and become a better musician.

Three Ways to Improve Your Piano Skills Now

These tips are not magical solutions for you to become the next Carnegie Hall performer. Instead, these practical tips can help you polish your act when it comes to achieving your music goals.

Make Use of Online Training Tools

There are tons of online tools you can use nowadays. One good example is the Online Pianist. It has created a piano online tutorial self-study that makes it easy for anyone to learn how to play the piano from home or on-the-go. This online tool allows you to learn the basics of piano and music theory in a fun and engaging way.

In addition to this, you can take a wide range of courses on Udemy, the famous online training and educational site that allows you to learn at your own pace. Simply visit their site and search for “piano”. From there, you’ll see the courses they have.

Feel free to browse and search on Google for more online training solutions and tools that can improve your piano skills as well as your music ability. By using these online tools, you can learn to play any instrument whenever and wherever you want.

You can also find a lot of helpful videos on Youtube. Instant Piano Genius is a great program that is showcased on that site. Pick up a few free tips or take the whole course. It features a non-traditional approach to learning the piano that you’ll surely enjoy.

Record Yourself Playing and Analyze It

One of the best tools you can use to improve your piano or musical ability is to record your performance and evaluate it. There are many cheap recording software solutions online, like Multitrack Studio. This software allows you to record both midi and standard audio inputs, mix it with other tracks and save your recordings. The cost of this nifty software is only $69.

If you would rather use a mobile app solution, try J4T. It’s a 4-track digital recorder that allows you to record up to four tracks and mix them together for your final output. You can record yourself playing piano using an external mic and this software. Once you are done, you can just mix in other tracks later, such as vocals or other instruments.

If you’re after an external solution, try the Xoom™ H4N handheld multitrack recorder. Amazon has this nifty recorder at some competitive prices. You can use this device to record up to four tracks. It allows inputs from professional XLR mic and other similar devices.

If you want to improve your music ability and skill, you will need to get used to the idea of recording as it’s a part of being a musician. Doing so will allow you to evaluate your performance and take notes of the things that need improving.

It can also help you be familiar with the recording techniques you can use professionally. Who knows? You might be able to sell your finished music on iTunes, CD Baby or Amazon in the future.

Practice and Review Your Weak Points

practice piano

Once you have a recording of your musical performance, you can listen to it carefully to see where you need to improve. Accomplished musicians and pianists will tell you that there’s no substitute for practice when it comes to developing your performance. Training does, indeed, make perfect.

You can also watch other performers that you admire and get ideas from them. Don’t copy their style but notice what makes their music high and see how you can apply some of their techniques.

Conclusion

Finally, have fun with your music!

One of the most successful groups in music history was “The Beatles”. When asked how they planned to become so famous, they said that they didn’t plan to be celebrated. They just wanted to have fun with it!

Perhaps, it is this kind of passion and dedication to music and not the actual ability or equipment that makes a great musician. So, play in your house, in the streets or in front of 10,000 people.

Whatever you do, just enjoy it.

Try our tips and see if they can help improve your piano or music skills. If they do, tell them where you heard it, okay?

The post 3 Simple Ways To Improve Your Piano Skills appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment

A lot of organizations deal with challenges like maintaining productivity and quality of work. Employees constantly complain about the increasing chaos that hampers their productivity and this directly affects the business. Because of that, managers are quite pressed to find a solution that can motivate their team members while boosting their productivity.

In this article, we’ll share with you few essential tips on staying focused at work.

Prepare a To-Do List

prepare to do list

Half the battle is won once you prioritize your tasks. Make a master list of what needs to be done.

For example, you can put all tasks that require urgent attention under “A”.  Create a list “B” for things that are important but not urgent and List “C” for tasks that can wait for a while. Complete all tasks under “A” first before you move on to “B” and “C”.

Plan your day through these lists and set realistic deadlines to accomplish each one of them. Once you’ve completed everything, don’t forget to reward yourself to keep your spirit up. When you start prioritizing, you won’t just be focused but efficient, too.

Start With Cognitively Challenging Tasks

After preparing your to-do list, start with cognitively demanding tasks. Suppose your List “A” has three tasks. Start with the most difficult tasks before moving on to the easier ones. Do the same thing for the “B” and “C” lists.

Once you complete the difficult tasks, you are all set for the rest of the day. Now, you can relax and take care of the other tasks that aren’t as mentally draining.

Schedule Your Work

Don’t overstretch yourself with your work. Rather, split your work into segments and sub-segments. Try working within a 2-hour window and then take a break. Don’t sit for more than two hours at a stretch or else you’ll feel exhausted. Even a leading study suggests that “Sitting is the New Smoking”.

To avoid such burnouts, take a walk to revitalize your brain, allowing it to concentrate better. Though breaks are essential for a healthy workday, you must learn to take them with a pinch of salt. Frequent breaks can be addictive and can hamper work.

To draw a line, you can optimize your breaks by doing the following:

  • Schedule your breaks
  • Keep a track to ensure you are not overdoing or under doing your breaks

Learn to Set Priorities

Responding to each and every request of your co-workers can immediately affect your focus, preventing you from doing deep work. If you have a habit of entertaining every request, you are most likely to lose your value. On top of that, tackling on-the-fly requirements can also deplete your focus.

With that, you have to make others understand that their requests will be entertained but only once you are finished with your priorities. For better focus and results, it’s also important to avoid indulging in non-work related discussions or “grapevine.”

If there are sudden urgent tasks, you can deal with them with a simple project management tool. Simply make a note of the new task, assign a deadline and you are good to go. Once you’re done with your current task, start finishing the others one at a time.

Desist Multitasking

It might feel tempting to do multiple tasks simultaneously to enhance your productivity. But, honestly, it just makes things worse.

Multitasking drains your mind and it can cause a significant decline in your mental sharpness with time. It can prevent you from achieving your most important goals and make you more vulnerable to work errors.

Avoid Distractions

Nowadays, being online on various social media platforms is a trend. Several notifications pop up every now and then, commanding your attention. If you are constantly attending to such notifications, how are you supposed to do meaningful work?

One of the greatest tips in staying focused at work is to identify distractions and just get rid of them. While working on an important project, put your phone on silent or switch it off. If you really want to stay updated with your social media accounts, you can designate dedicated time slots to check your phone.

Be an Email Ninja

Though emails are important, they can be distracting, too. They have the potential to divert your attention from your work to something that can wait.

So, lay down personal rules and follow them religiously. Set specific times for your emails and stick with them.

Pay Attention to Chat Status

More often than not, people take your chat status wrongly. If your chat status says “available” all the time, they’ll think of it as a sign to forward more requests.

When you are doing a task that demands a razor-sharp focus, set your chat or email setting to ‘busy’ mode. Needless to say, you can change the chat status after you’re done.

Cut Outside Noise

avoiding noise distraction

Managing your focus in an office environment can be quite tricky. Until you do away with noise, you won’t be able to focus.

Limiting auditory distractions is crucial in increasing attention span. You can use noise-canceling headphones for that. If you still feel distracted, you can move to a quieter place, such as a conference room. In case that doesn’t solve the problem, opt for remote work for a day or two to regain your lost focus.

Manage Stress

Working on a crucial project with close deadlines? Growing expectations, increased competition, and pressing deadlines can increase your stress at work. This can make your productivity suffer.

To solve this, try turning on a soothing music to lower your stress and calm your mind. Apart from that, you should also pay close attention to your diet. As much as possible, avoid the following:

  • Nicotine
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol

Don’t forget to exercise regularly and sleep well.

See Also: 4 Ways To Reduce Stress Inside and Outside of Work

Declutter Your Workdesk

Visual clutter can take away your focus, preventing you from doing any meaningful work. Therefore, you must declutter your office desk to increase work performance.

Keep everything that’s essential to your work, like your pen, notepad, marker, and files, on top of the table so you can easily get them when needed. Lock all other unnecessary things inside your drawer.

See Also: 12 Desk Hacks To Make You More Productive At Work

In Summary

Focus on bringing tranquility to your workplace, so the whole environment undergoes a positive change. You can add positive images to your work desk or you can write down quotes to boost your focus. Practice a simple routine of keeping a clean desk and make sure that you don’t leave food or other things lying on your desk.

Keep on practicing these positive habits and you’ll surely see a noticeable improvement in your productivity level at work.

The post Staying Focused At Work: How To Be Productive In A Challenging Environment appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

5 Behaviors That Annoy Your Customers

Frequent calls and customer complaints are staples in every business. This, however, doesn’t mean that they are completely harmless. In fact, the increasing number of calls and customer complaints can mean that your business isn’t doing well.

Today, customers aren’t afraid of switching. If they are unhappy with your services and goods, they’ll just move on and find another company or brand that can meet their needs and expectations.

So, whether you are a startup or a big player in your niche, providing the best services and products for your clients is essential. After all, the more unhappy customers you have, the less chance you’ll succeed.

With that, we have jotted down 5 things customers find annoying and what you can do to avoid them.

Slow response

One of the most common things that customers find annoying is when they can’t find a quick and instant solution to their problems. If your business fails to impress with a quick response time, it creates a negative experience and forces customers to switch to a competitor.

Introducing a live chat solution can permanently fix the problem. Your customers can connect to a live chat agent in seconds and get their questions answered in real-time, creating a positive impression.

live chat

See Also: Know Your Customers In The Digital Age

Irrelevant Information

Most businesses today focus on acquiring customers through social media campaigns. Posting engaging content with appealing headlines is the most common way to do that.

But, are you false-trapping your buyers through click baits? If yes, then you need to reconsider your strategy as soon as possible.

Customers feel annoyed when they aren’t provided with the promised content. They are likely to leave and never return if they feel like they’ve been fooled.

As a way to solve this, make sure you live up to your promises. If you are offering a solution to your customers’ problem, ensure that your content has it. In addition to that, you should also consider the way you deliver your promise.

Most web users are short on time these days and they want solutions that they can consume in a matter of minutes. If you provide that, you are most likely a step ahead of your competition.

Insufficient Value

Valuing your customers is one of the best things you can do for your business. If your customers feel privileged, they will stay and ultimately become members of your loyal tribe. On the other hand, not offering what they expect can make them switch to a competitor product.

That said,  you must focus on getting regular feedback from your audience. You can use the information you get from them to improve the products and services you offer.

Introducing a live chat can be one option but it’s not the only thing you can do. You can also offer discount coupons, freebies and more to make them feel valued. Never miss an opportunity to show how your customers are important to you.

Uniform Treatment

happy customer

 

A business has both loyal and occasional customers.  While occasional customers expect discounts and better services, loyal customers may demand more.  They should be given some liberty points, coupons or schemes to make them feel more special. Customers observe each and every detail, so you should always keep these things in mind.

Not listening to your customers

Every business has problems that their customers also feel. If you are a smart business person, you will find a way to make sure that your customers are heard.

If your customers have no platform where they can put their thoughts, they may feel neglected, annoyed and angry. This can decrease customer retention and negatively affect your overall business. A live chat can help in this case as it allows your customers to speak their mind.

See Also: 4 Surprisingly Easy Tips To Improve Customer Engagement

The Solution

You obviously don’t want to continue making those mistakes. So, here are a few notable suggestions to avoid unhappy customers:

  • Provide 24/7 online support by integrating live chat for website
  • Improve the quality of your services and products
  • Take immediate actions on customer’s feedback and complaints
  • Keep refining the products

Conclusion

Businesses should aim to improve their relationship with their customers to increase retention. The more loyal customers you have, the better your business’ survival rate is.

Avoid having unhappy customers by giving them exactly what they want. Provide a solution to their problems and make that solution easy to achieve. Be consistent in your efforts in making them feel valued and they are highly likely to stick around for a long time.

The post 5 Behaviors That Annoy Your Customers appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business

If you are aware of the developments in technology, then you have probably heard about Artificial Intelligence (AI). For a lot of people, it’s too complex or high-tech so they don’t really pay a lot of attention to it.

In fact, even small businesses don’t think much of AI. They believe that only big tech companies like Apple and Google can utilize it. However, that’s not true.

AI has numerous benefits for small businesses. It’s something you cannot ignore if you want to stay ahead of your competition.

Today, open-minded businesses have started using AI to create a business logo, respond to emails, comb the Internet for leads identification, help customers with chatbots and a lot more.

If you have not seriously considered AI automation for your business yet, then the following 5 reasons can surely convince you.

Enhanced Bookkeeping

There are plenty of AI tools designed specifically for bookkeeping that you can use. While many offer help with the basic data entry tasks, some are more advanced and can easily perform many roles. You can use it in reading and preparing invoices, set invoice reminders, release payments on schedule and more.

So, instead of expanding your accounting department, you can invest in an AI bookkeeping program which is more affordable and highly useful.

Lead Nurturing

No matter how skilled your sales reps are, they will always have limitations.

For starters, one can handle only a certain number of leads at a time. Secondly, they need a certain amount of time with every lead to learn about their personality, pain points, opportunities for connection building and many other aspects that are required for their nurturing.

However, with AI automation you can take the entire process to the next level and benefit from increased productivity.

An AI program designed for lead nurturing can read and respond to the emails of your prospects using a list of set messages and the Natural Language Processing technology. It can also go through the past conversations you have had with your leads to pinpoint important bits of information. Most importantly, it can work 24/7 since it can function without human intervention.

Online Customer Support

A number of studies have found that customers find it more comfortable to inquire about the services or products of a company through messaging, especially via online chat as opposed to voice calls. However, hiring a full-time customer executive can be expensive for a small business. Again, this is where AI automation can be a great option.

chatbots

Not only AI-powered chatbots are highly popular today, you can also find some highly affordable options easily. You can install one of these on your website so that when your customers need some information, it will be readily available. In addition to that, having AI-powered chatbots can also make your website more attractive.

See Also: How To Boost Your Business with Influence Marketing Chatbots

Cheap but Quality Branding

Usually, it’s hard to find quality and affordability at the same place. However, AI automation seems to have changed that.

This is because it can help you with your company branding in many ways and at modest pricing. There are companies like Tailor Brands that offer an entire suite of branding tools- from logo creation to social media banner creation at a fraction of the price that you would pay to a graphics designer.

Intelligent Personal Assistants

You are probably already familiar with virtual personal assistants, such as Apple’s Siri or Microsoft Corona. Today, a new range of similar assistants is emerging and they are even more intelligent and more suitable for businesses. For instance, there is Amy from x.ai that can arrange meetings for you or Pana that can arrange your travel.

amy intelligent personal assistant
Via slideshare.net

AI has matured enough today that it can be utilized in different ways in every industry. It’s now easily available at affordable costs, too. If you haven’t considered using one for your business, it’s probably the right time to reconsider your strategy.

 

The post 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider AI Automation for Small Business appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

Roofing Inspection Checklist for Homeowners

Performing preventative maintenance on your roof can make your life a lot easier. Many of today’s repair orders could have easily been avoided by a simple roof inspection by the homeowner.

However, some people aren’t comfortable climbing a ladder and standing on top of a roofing system. If you are one of those people, it’s a good idea if you can get your roof inspected by a professional. It will be less costly than waiting for an actual problem to happen.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at the most common inspection techniques you can actually use.

Cracks

Sloped roofs are the most common residential structures since they easily repel rain with an associated gutter system. They are mostly required by homeowners’ associations with strict building guidelines.

The surfaces considered here are mostly composite shingles- the most common roofing surface for residential homes. Finding broken shingles can even be done on the ground, as it is really easy to spot a missing shingle from even a few yards away.

Cracked shingles may be a little more difficult to spot, so getting up close and personal may be the only way to go. You will see a dark seam on the outside. When you get up close, be sure to peel it back the best that you can and see if it has any give to it.

It should not fold or crease as you peel back; it should remain sturdy. Anything less than a solid, seamless shingle should be considered cracked or damaged and should be replaced asap.

Leaks

Another part of the surface that can be cracked is the caulk around the base of the flashing. Inspecting the flashing seals are extremely important as these are the number one cause of leaks over time. You may also notice some rusted spots on the caulk, which can result in cracks shortly so make sure to repair and replace quickly.

The rubber boots are the pieces around the vent pipes, mostly near the apex of the roof. Check to make sure that there aren’t any cracks in these pieces either, as there could be a significant leak resulting from such instances.

Replacing these parts can be a bit difficult, so consider calling in a professional should you spot any issues.

Decay

Finally, you could find organic growths on and around the roofing surface in the form of moss, algae or mold. This indicates that there is decay occurring on the plywood that supports the shingles.

moss on roof

Plywood can become decayed if exposed to too much water, so any areas with cracked or missing shingles are usually a good place to look for such decay. Decay can’t only damage your roof but it can also affect someone’s health if gone unchecked for too long.

Final Thoughts

If you are hesitant to go up and do your own roof inspection, don’t do it. The fear of being up there can paralyze your balance and result in injury. You may want to hire someone else to climb atop your home and do the roof inspection.

In fact, a great way to get this inspection done correctly is to request a roofing quote by a local roofer. This may sound a bit expensive but it’s actually not. You can actually end up saving more if you do.

inspecting roof

And if your local roofer finds a problem, he can give you an estimate of the severity of the damage as well as the overall cost of the project.

The most important thing here is that you pay attention to the condition of your roofing system and perform preventative maintenance whenever possible. This will ensure a long life and an ease of any larger concerns down the road.

See Also: Roof Issue: Why Metal Is Better Than Asphalt Shingles And Tiles

The post Roofing Inspection Checklist for Homeowners appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

Is There Going To Be A Student Loan Apocalypse?

One of the scariest things that can happen is a robocall alerting you to the fact that student loan forgiveness program is on thin ice. It’s such a predictable tale of terror – people were promised a decade ago that if they made payments based on their incomes, the remainder of their debt would be wiped out in a decade.

It seems that the program is on the chopping block and people are in a panic. They entered into these agreements in good faith, executed their end of the bargain over the past decade only to see their balances increase, thanks to unfettered interest rates.

Now, they have no recourse and many will have to start the cycle all over again. Is it time to talk about student loan forgiveness?

Student Loan Forgiveness Horror Stories

Clerical errors that aren’t even your fault can keep you in debt for life if your debt is in the student loan category. The New York Times recently reported a story about an Oregon man named Jed Shafer who discovered- after eight years of his 10-year payment plan- that his loan servicing firm failed to enroll him in the program he asked to be enrolled in.

The $70,000 he’d paid in that time period had not put a dent in his loan principal balance. And he’s not the only one who spent the last decade spinning his wheels.

Even the folks in the correct repayment programs are worrying that they might not be out of the woods yet after announcements of their programs’ probable cancellation.

How Many People Are Affected By Student Loans?

The short answer is almost everyone. Even if you don’t carry a student loan balance, chances are you know someone who does.

But even if you don’t know a single person who carries a student loan balance, student loans are an invisible drag on economic recovery. Black Friday is just around the corner. It’s called Black Friday because that’s when retailers get their ledgers into the black after being in the red all year long.

But people who have a student loan debt, a debt category that is second only to mortgage debt in America, spend far less money during the Holidays than everyone else. These are people in their supposed prime earning years who should be otherwise contributing to the economy.

  • 61% say they spend less on gifts
  • 39% say they spend less on travel
  • 28% say they spend less on charitable donations
  • 28% say they spend less on Holiday gatherings

An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure

student loan tips

The bottom line is this:

The only way to survive student loan debt is to not get into it in the first place. Sure, there are people who dutifully made maximum payments and got out of their student loan debts by living in their parents’ basements and working two jobs.

But, for many people, especially those who find that making a living wage isn’t as easy as you were led to believe at college orientation, the payments are too big and the paychecks are too small. It may be too late for Millennials. However, younger generations should heed their warnings: no amount of student loan debt is safe.

What Needs To Be Done?

student loan crisis

If you already have student loans, don’t count on forgiveness programs to bail you out. You could end up like countless others paying minimum payments while your balance continues to grow. Pay as much as you can each month, including additional principal payments.

The key is to reduce the balance, not to wait around for someone else to do it for you. Take a second job if you have to or find an employer who will pay a portion of your student loan debt as part of your compensation package. Your future depends on it.

See Also: What Can Employers Do About The Student Loan Crisis?

If you are a student looking at schools, stop. Go to a state school or a community college. Apply for work-study programs. Do not go to a private or for-profit college or university. You don’t need it. Consider becoming an entrepreneur to fund your school expenses so that you can work your schedule around school.

The problem with student loan forgiveness is that it is a tremendous economic burden. All that debt has to go somewhere and it’s starting to look like Congress has declared a collective “not it!”. Time will tell if anything meaningful will be done about the student loan crisis. Until then, learn more about the case for student loan forgiveness from this infographic.

Source: refinancesstudentloans.net

Student Loan Forgiveness

The post Is There Going To Be A Student Loan Apocalypse? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Set Up a VPN

If you want to protect your online privacy and prevent unwanted people, such as government agencies and advertising companies, from tracking you and using your private information to their advantage, there are a few ways as effective as VPNs to do it.

However, not everyone is really aware of what they really are and their advantages. To help you out, we’re here to discuss how to set up a VPN and how you can start using it.

How do VPNs Work?

As the term suggests it, a Virtual Private Network or VPN is a network of servers you can connect virtually (using the internet instead of a physical connection) to enhance your privacy. It does this by encrypting all the traffic that comes from your device and then rerouting it through one of the servers that compose it to mask your online trace.

Each part of the process presents a benefit for the user. The encryption of communications between the user and the VPN makes it impossible for Internet Service Providers and other eavesdroppers to snoop on your online activity. On the other hand, tunneling your connection through a VPN server makes websites think it is the server that’s accessing them when it’s actually you who’s doing it.

That offers you two benefits:

First, this prevents the website from tracking information about you coming from your device. You’d be accessing every website as if it were the first time you’re doing it and advertising companies would be unable to tailor ads for you.

The second benefit of tunneling is tied to the location of the server. Servers located in different countries allow you to access web content as if you were connecting from the same location of the server. This lets you access content from websites that isn’t available in your region.

Clear and Easy Way to Set Up a VPN

set up vpn

To use a VPN, you have to find a provider of the service online. This is perhaps the hardest part of the process since there is a very wide variety of VPN services available online. Not all of them are equally good and some of them may even end up doing more harm than good.

We recommend you use one of the following providers. We have already tried out and verified the quality of their service.

  • NordVPN
  • VyprVPN
  • PureVPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • IPVanish

After you’ve made your pick between them, all you have to do is follow these steps:

Purchase a Subscription

The first thing you have to do after you’ve picked a VPN service provider is to buy one of the subscription plans they offer. Keep in mind that the longer the subscription time you buy, the more value you’ll get for every penny you spend.

Download and Install the Software Client

Most VPN providers will ask you to download their software in exchange for letting you connect. This software client contains all the options you need for a safe connection that suits your needs.

Adjust the Settings

After you’ve installed the software, you have to open it and configure your connection to your specific needs. Most of these settings will come preconfigured for the most common and convenient settings, but you might want to tweak it a little bit.

Particularly regarding communication protocols and encryption algorithms, you’ll want to use OpenVPN and 256-bit AES encryption, respectively. These are the most reliable settings you could wish to have on a VPN, so they are the ones we recommend you to use. If you’re curious, you can look up any other settings online before messing with them but do this with extreme caution.

Choose a Country

After you’ve dealt with the technical details, it’s time to choose the location of the server you’ll be connecting to. This is important if your goal is to bypass the region lock of a website.

For instance, if all you want is to be able to access Netflix’s full library, then you’ll want to connect to a server in the US. VPN services usually let you decide this using a drop-down menu on their software.

Connect and Enjoy

After all this, you’re ready to hit the connect button and start browsing the web as you’d normally do. You’ll now be completely anonymous to the websites you visit. Your ISP won’t be able to monitor your online activity, too.

It’s only responsible for us to spread the benefits of VPN usage to contribute to a safer internet. They are a very powerful tool that helps you protect your online privacy and that of your loved ones.

The post How to Set Up a VPN appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico

Client Refusing To Pay Invoice? 5 Ways To Deal With Non-Paying Clients

One downside of being an entrepreneur is clients who pay late or not at all. Small business owners are most likely to face this problem. It’s usually because they are unsure about how to pursue these clients.

Are you a small business owner tired of having your invoices ignored? These tips can help you deal with a client refusing to pay an invoice.

Contact the Client

email clients

Email your clients and remind them that you haven’t received payment. If they don’t respond within a week, then send a follow-up. The person responsible for invoices might have been out of town, had an emergency or accidentally deleted the message. You can also try contacting them via social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).

However, if these methods yield no results, then it’s time to place a phone call.

Talk to the client. You may need to call every day for a month and act like an absolute pest, but hey, you need the money. Make sure to leave a voicemail each time, explaining that the invoice is past due and you want to resolve the issue. This is a good time to ask if there was a problem with the service or product you provided. If the answer is no, then they should have no problem paying.

Offer Options

Sometimes, clients put off paying their invoices because (1) the payment method is inconvenient or (2) they’re having trouble with the payment system. In this case, often all they need is a friendly person to reach out and guide them through the process. If there is a problem with the system itself, offer another way they can pay you.

The client may also put off paying their bills because they’re having financial trouble. Be flexible in this scenario by working out a payment plan (a certain amount per month over a certain time period) or requesting a good faith payment now and the rest later. When you’re understanding with your clients, they’re more likely to stick around.

Settle for Less

If worst comes to worst, you can discount the bill. They’re likely to jump at the chance to pay less for the service and you’ll get money in your pocket sooner than the alternative. You may want to avoid potential future invoicing headaches by dropping the client, though.

Hire a Collection Agency

Emails, phone calls, and reminders have gone unanswered. In this case, business to business collections is a possible solution. A professional collection agency could contact the client and attempt to get your payment. This type of agency deals exclusively with business debts.

As long as your debt is business-related, then this type of agency can be your next best option. If you’re hesitant to go that far, a warning letter from a lawyer generally elicits a speedy reply.

Small Claims Court

small claims court

Small claims court allows you to present your case directly to a judge. Some states, such as Michigan and Nebraska, don’t allow lawyers in small claims court. If you live in one of those states, then it’s mandatory for you to represent yourself. But, in most states, legal representation is an option.

The cost of hiring a lawyer for small claims court is usually not cost efficient, so most people choose to represent themselves. However, using an attorney instead of a debt collection agency can result in a quicker resolution to the outstanding debt and the preservation of your business relationship.

Each state sets its own limit for the maximum amount you can request. The limit can be anywhere from $2,000 up to $10,000. Check with your state to see if your claim is eligible. If your claim exceeds state limits, then you need to file your case in another court.

See Also: How to Sue in Small Claims Court

Moving Forward with Problem Clients

Once the client has finally made the payment, you may want to make some adjustments to how you bill them in the future. For example:

  • Ask for a pre-payment or retainer, especially for larger projects.
  • Make them sign a contract before getting started. That way, if they go AWOL, you have a more straightforward route in place to go after them.
  • Ask for payment based on project milestones rather than dates. This makes sure you’re paid in full before the project is finished.

Conclusion

In a perfect world, you’d get every invoice paid in full and on time. in reality, however, you have to take action against a non-paying client. So, don’t hesitate to ask for the money you’re owed; you’ve already earned it.

The post Client Refusing To Pay Invoice? 5 Ways To Deal With Non-Paying Clients appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Powered by WPeMatico