Look To the Western Sky

A blog about single life as a parent & the dreams of a writer by Margo L. Dill

Category: health and well being (page 1 of 2)

3 Reasons Why You Should Make Sleep a Top Priority

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If you’re an ambitious, go-getting, proactive, dream-chasing kind of a person, it’s likely that you have at some point in your life — or are currently — falling into the devastatingly bad habit of sacrificing sleep in order to win some extra hours from the day. This is a common tactic of hard-nosed business tycoons and creative artists and entrepreneurs alike, but also of people who don’t really enjoy their day jobs very much at all, and who want a bit of extra time each evening to watch TV, listen to music, surf the web, relax, and just do things that aren’t in any way related to work.

But no matter how much you may need or want those extra few hours in the day, you’d be better off doing without them, or with getting them by cutting out virtually anything else other than sleep. Here are some reasons why a chronic lack of sleep will ruin your life, and why you need to make sleep a top priority.

Lack of sleep could completely change your personality

In the 1950’s, radio host Peter Tripp decided to attempt a record-breaking 201-hour-wakeathon. He was observed by medical professionals who warned him adamantly against the experiment, but he went ahead with it anyway for the benefit of a charity he had selected. What happened to Peter Tripp is a terrifying insight into the tremendous importance of sleep, and the degree to which sleep deprivation can destroy a human mind.

Tripp’s personality radically changed, and he even ended up developing split-personality disorder during the experiment. When the experiment was over and he had slept, he thought he was back to normal. The people who knew him didn’t agree and declared that his personality was forever changed for the worse.

Get enough sleep, or you can become a completely different person. 

Lack of sleep can devastate your health

Recent research has found evidence that lack of sleep can cause systematic, multi-organ damage, chronic inflammation, and can lead to any number of diseases and conditions developing in the body. This isn’t too surprising considering that prolonged sleep deprivation is fatal, and that the body appears to do much of its repair and brain-management during sleep.

If you’re cutting hours out of your nightly sleep cycle to work, you’re not just sacrificing luxury time. You’re sacrificing your health and lifespan. Needless to say, not even the best personal injury lawyer can help you when you inflict the damage on yourself with a lack of sleep.

Lack of sleep can make you worse at everything

When people are sleep-deprived, their mental performance drops dramatically; they are less perceptive and less adept at reading social cues, and worse at regulating their emotions.

It’s a darkly ironic twist, considering that many people skip sleep in order to be more productive during the day; but the evidence suggests that not getting enough sleep makes you less efficient and robs the hours you’ve freed up of their vitality.

It would seem reasonable to conclude that you’d be far better off having fewer hours in your day at work and performing at your peak during those hours, than having more hours, during which you’re an under-performing, error-prone wreck.

 

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Ideas for Generating Self-Love and Why It’s Crucial

Self-care and emotional health are two subjects that readers of this blog said they’re interested in reading more about. It’s not always easy to love ourselves, but it’s important to work on it. The need to practice self-love has never been more necessary.  Today, we live in a world, where so many people suffer from low self-esteem that we’re in the middle of an emotional epidemic. This is evident by the amount of people we hear about committing suicide or suffering from depression. 

Interestingly, a lot of people struggle with this area of their lives because they feel they should naturally have high self-esteem by default, as if having high self-esteem is a human’s default state.  When, in fact it isn’t.

Self-esteem and self-love must be generated from within.  Just like how we teach our children to love, respect, and value themselves, we need to do the same for ourselves, and it’s a never-ending process.  Perhaps your parents did a great job at helping you generate self-esteem, or perhaps they were deficient in this area themselves, and couldn’t teach you what they simply didn’t know. Now that you are an adult or a parent yourself, it’s up to you to figure this out for yourself and your kids. 

Self-love as a Practice: See, self-love is a practice, just like yoga is a practice – you don’t do it once, and then you’re suddenly flexible.  You must practice. Yet, not everyone knows how to practice self-love. It’s not as tangible as doing a few yoga poses with an instructor. 

Positive thinking: Self-love, self-worth, and a high self-esteem are feelings and beliefs we must generate for ourselves… yet, have you noticed how the majority of people don’t tend to practice self-love? Instead they practice self-loathing, where they focus much more on their mistakes and faults than their achievements and qualities. When you find your inner critic being incredibly harsh on yourself, tell him or her to go away, and think of at least one positive thing about yourself–right then and there. 

Don’t Use Retail Therapy: The antidote to many of our emotional challenges can be found in this area of self-love and positive thinking. Yet often, we reach for external solutions such as a new wardrobe, furniture, or even a fancy car.  If you need these new things, then of course, there’s nothing wrong with heading somewhere like https://auto.loan/ in order to find the best way to finance your purchase.  The bit that can make purchases unhealthy are when there’s an over reliance on material objects in order to prop up your self-esteem or you can’t afford the things you are buying.

Relationship issues: The same can be said for relationships. Indeed, when it comes to being in a relationship… it’s necessary to first love yourself before you can love another person and have a healthy relationship.  A good way to view the importance of self-love is to consider how airlines will always instruct you to put on your own oxygen mask first before helping anybody else, even your children. See, we can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask if we are starving for air, and similarly, we can’t truly love and support someone if we are deficient in self-love and self-esteem, as then we can become desperate and starved for these emotional fuels.

The challenge, with relationships is that if we don’t have a healthy level of self-esteem and self-love in ourselves, then we end up giving love in order to receive love, almost out of desperation, and we operate from a depleted, somewhat needy state, where we are needing to be “filled up” like a car in need of gas.

Conclusion: We can expend a lot of energy looking to tackle our internal challenges with external solutions, like being in a co-dependent relationship or practicing retail therapy or overeating; yet this replacement approach is only temporary relief that can leave us feeling more hollow inside.

That said, if you were to shift your focus to pampering yourself because you deserve it, and nourishing your body, such as preparing healthy meals, along with a candlelit bath and your favorite bath bomb from https://lush.com  ,then you’re focused on tending to your emotional and physical needs. That is a tangible and healthy way to practice self-love. 

The solution, and the secret to self-love, is that you must take responsibility for generating a feeling of high self-esteem within yourself–positive thoughts, meditating, healthy eating, doing activities you enjoy and make you feel good about yourself–and fill yourself up, rather than expecting anyone or anything else to do it for you.

(contributed post)

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5 Tips For Getting Healthy and Active This Summer

In the Midwest, we have been having quite a heatwave. So for some of you, you may read this title and think: What? Is she crazy? There are heat advisories every day! But some of these tips can be done easily–not or hot–and I like them because they are practical, so this is definitely one of those Practical Moms Unite posts. (contributed post)

If you would like to make sure that you are getting as healthy as you can during the summer months and are looking for inspirations on planning your active summer, read on. 

Leave the Car Behind

While it is more convenient to take the car everywhere, and you can’t do the weekly shopping without it (and carry all your bags), you might want to walk or cycle to places that are less than a mile away. Make yourself a promise to do this, provided that the weather is nice and it is safe to do so. A good way of deciding whether you should take the car or not is working out if driving saves you more than 15 minutes. If it does, you might take the car; but if it doesn’t, including circling around trying to find a parking place, you could walk or cycle.

Eat More Fresh Produce

In the summer months with the heat and sun, many of us crave fresh foods and fewer carbs than we do in the winter months. Start weaning yourself off carbs gradually. Swap your pasta for cooked vegetables, your corn flakes for a fruit salad, and visit the local farmers’ market regularly to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. To stay on top of your wellbeing, you might want to reduce your intake of processed food items and opt for organic and fresh meat and fruit instead.

Raw Food Diet and Salads

With the higher availability of fruit and vegetables in the summer, you might want to go on a raw food diet for a week to help your body get rid of the toxins and improve the condition of your skin, such as acne, while also treating some digestive issues. You can cut out white rice, chips, and pasta, and switch to vegetables and fruit to improve your mood, your diet, and your overall wellbeing.

Day Trips

You can also take a couple of day trips to change your environment, see something new, and practice mindfulness. Find inspiring places and notice new things every day. Take your mind off your daily routine every now and then. Even if you are only visiting the closest nature reserve, you will return relaxed and rejuvenated, after getting close to nature.

Camping and Hiking

If you have more than a day to spend away from work and your routine, you might want to combine camping and hiking. Find a location that you haven’t visited before to set up camp, make a walking goal, and bring the right camping equipment to cook and eat fresh during your trip. You can read more about camping hacks that will make life more comfortable when away from home while maintaining a healthy diet.  

Staying active is generally easier during the summer months, as you don’t have the excuse of the cold or snowy weather. Get on your bike, go hiking, and reduce your processed carb intake to make the most out of your health.

How will you get more healthy this summer? 

 

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6 Easy Tips to Stay On Top of Your Well Being

(contributed post)

Self-care has become a hot topic in the wellness industry and popular media lately – the idea that little acts of tuning into ourselves, listening to our instincts, and taking small steps to address potential problems or complications can have a big impact in our lives. And it’s true that small steps over time can have a large cumulative impact, especially when it comes to our health. Our daily routines can introduce steps that lead to great well being – and it can all start with the simplest of actions.

Start The Day With A Cup of Hot Lemon Water

Instead of turning to the caffeine the second the alarm goes off, why not start your day off with a cup of hot water with the juice of half a lemon instead? This wonderfully simple ritual has some huge health benefits. It kickstarts good digestion that will help your gut to process food better, gives your metabolism a boost, alkalizes the body, supports your liver to cleanse itself, and hydrates you. Consuming caffeine on an empty stomach has been shown to up our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. This slows down the body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins, deal with fatigue, and burn fat efficiently. Adding raw apple cider vinegar to the mix can boost positive effects even further.

Connect With Nature

Studies have shown that immersing ourselves in the natural world has a huge impact on our sense of well being. Spending just 30 minutes a day outdoors lowers stress levels, boosts our cognitive abilities, and leads to enhanced problem solving skills and creativity. So create the opportunity to be out in nature, like using your lunch break to fit in a walk or switching your gym membership to an outdoor workout.

Book Those Tests

Good health relies on intercepting small problems before they have the chance to turn into larger ones, and that means keeping on top of routine health checks. So make sure you have that check-up at the dentist, book for an eye test, and visit your audiologist. Far from being a waste of time, you are proactively taking care of your health and identifying problems before they worsen to the point of needing major treatment. Similarly, if you have any recurrent injuries, like that bad back you ignore and just pop a pill to deal with, meet them head-on and find a decent chiropractor who can work with you to identify and solve the root cause of your discomfort and stop any further complications developing.

Eat Mindfully

Often when we eat our meals or a snack, we do so without conscious intention. We are watching TV or reading through the paper, even scrolling through our social media feeds mindlessly. This means that we consume far more calories than we need to, as we block out the natural signals the stomach sends to the brain that it’s feeling full. Make a habit of eating mindfully by banishing outside distractions. Concentrate on the sensations of eating and fully engage your senses with each bite. Not only will you feel more satisfied with what you eat, but you won’t be at risk of overeating by default. Taking the time to chew your food thoroughly also releases more digestive enzymes that help the body to break down and process your food and use the nutrients from it more efficiently.

Practice Stress Management

Stress, anxiety and unfortunate events are a part of most people’s lives, but it’s the way we deal with them that counts. Taking the time to practice a few simple techniques, made easy with a mindfulness app, can really reduce your stress levels and help you to deal with negative situations in a calm, collected manner. It introduces positive perspective and helps you to manage any negative effects in your life. Some deep breathing techniques have the potential to make a lot of difference in how you handle and react to external stress factors, such as work and family.

Balance Work, Exercise, and Relaxation

The key to taking care of yourself is to balance the different elements of your life, and schedule in enough time to get active but also to relax. Even light exercise is hugely beneficial both mentally and physically, so find the form of activity that inspires you – whether that’s running, yoga or something different like sailing or boxercise. Just 30 minutes three times a week will make a big difference to your well being. Then also create time for relaxation, like taking an aromatherapy bath with relaxing oils or just taking the time to read a really good book for some mental escapism.

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5 Things To Consider For You and Your Family When Dealing with a Serious Injury

(contributed post)

When you sustain an injury that puts you out of action for a considerable length of time, your work life will change  and your family and home life might too. It’s therefore in your best interest to think about what you can do to stop those changes from wreaking havoc. It’s possible to limit the negative impact of this situation if you take the right steps. 

Adapt Your Home

There are certain adaptations that can be made in your home to help you navigate it a little more easily after your injury. If stability is a problem when you’re getting around the home, it might be a good idea to add some grab rails, so you feel more sturdy. If you’re using a wheelchair, widening the doorways in the home might be a good idea to explore, too.

Find New Ways to Work

Just because you’ve suffered some sort of injury doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stay off work completely. As long as you feel up to it and your doctor agrees, you might be able to work in new ways that are more accommodating for you. It might be possible for you to work fewer hours or simply work from home instead of heading to the office.

Secure Compensation if Possible

If your injury occurred as a result of someone else’s mistake or fault, you should look into getting compensation for what happened to you. The major benefit of this is that it allows you to cover any loss of income you might experience as a result of your injury. An injury lawyer should be able to help you with all this, so it’s worth pursuing. At least look into whether it could be an option for you.

Maintain a Positive Outlook

Your mentality and general outlook will certainly be important when you’re looking to come back from an injury. If you take a negative approach to everything and spend all your time feeling sorry for yourself, you probably won’t make the most of your time. So try to maintain an outlook that’s as positive as it possibly can be given your circumstances.

Recovery Properly Rather Than Quickly

Sure, recovering quickly is obviously going to be what you want to do, but not at any cost. There are lots of things that can go wrong if you rush through your recovery process. That’s why your recovery should be focused on the right way of doing things rather than the fastest way of doing things. You don’t want to make mistakes that result in setbacks for you.

Experiencing a big injury can be really difficult to deal with, especially when it impacts your career and family life. However, you just need to approach things in the right way if you want to limit the overall impact on your life, and the tips here will help you.

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The Everyday Super Foods You Need In Your Diet

(contributed post)

We often hear about the term “superfoods” and how we need to incorporate them into our diets. But in reality, what does a superfood even do? The key to the term is that they are multi-taskers. They do more than one thing and are full of a variety of disease-fighting nutrients. They are usually fairly low in calories too; and at the end of the day, they are usually packaged in a form that tastes good, which really is what is going to make us eat more and more of them and incorporate them into our lives every day.

Some of the superfoods, may be a little quirky for our everyday diets, though. Can you imagine any of your children munching on goji berries? They are good for you, but not something you (or the kids) would be wanting to have every single day. They can be hard to find and pricier than many other alternatives too. So it is good to find out what superfoods can be added into your day, each day. Here are some super simple superfoods that you can have that are easy to find, easy to eat, and taste great.

Berries

They say that the brighter and more colorful your plate, the better it will be for you. So adding things like berries into your diet everyday is a good way to add plenty of color. Berries, like raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, are full of fiber, as well as being filling. They are full of antioxidants too, which can keep you healthy and even help to keep your memory sharp. They are versatile too, which makes them a great staple in every household.

Vitamin C & Vitamin K

Two vitamins that are particularly important for our bodies, as well as for things like ecchymosis (or bruising) to heal, are Vitamin C and Vitamin K. The former helps with tissue repair, and the latter, vitamin K, plays a big part in blood clotting. Both of these are found in fruits and leafy green vegetables. So if you find that you bruise easily, then it may be your body’s way of telling you that you need a more nutrient-rich diet. The foods these vitamins are found in are low in fat, high in fiber, and have other goodness in them, like iron and magnesium.

Eggs

Protein is something that we need in our diets as it helps our bodies to repair and to grow. There are plenty of ways to get protein into our bodies, including sources that aren’t from animals. One of the cheapest sources of protein, as well as being a high-quality protein source, are eggs. They are also low in calories, at around 70 calories per egg. They are packed with antioxidants that take care of our eyes, and the lutein in eggs can also help to protect our skin from UV rays. The humble egg is a super-nutritious powerhouse.

Oats

Oats are a superfood in several different ways. They are an easy and digestible food to have in our diets, and are a good way to increase your intake of fiber (something that many of us lack enough of). Having a breakfast that is full of fiber can help us keep full until lunch, which is always a good thing, especially if we are looking to watch our waistline. Oats are also a whole grain, meaning they have been unprocessed, and they don’t have any added sugar. So they are the perfect alternative to breakfast cereal. You can use them in oatmeal, overnight oats, breakfast bars, baked desserts, and even into energy balls, and making your own milk.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are another testament to the saying that the brightest foods are the best for you. They are full of color because they are full of carotene, which our bodies use to make vitamin A. This vitamin can help our immune systems, as well as helping us to have strong bones. In fact, one sweet potato has around four more times vitamin A than the recommended amount. So they are great to add to your diet. Roasted, baked, or made into your own fries, are all good ways to go.

Do you have a favorite food that you and your family like to have in your diet? As you can see, for foods to be super, they don’t need to be expensive, with a name you can’t pronounce, or bought in a health food store. It would be great to hear what you think!

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Yes, You’re A Parent, But 10 Ways To Care For Yourself Too

(contributed post)

Being a parent can be tough, we all know that. And as much as you love your children, and as much as you wouldn’t trade this blessed job for anything else in the world, you’re still a human. As an adult, you really do have to be able to put them first, but also cover off your own needs too. Whether you are a single mom or not, this is essential. You know the saying about putting your life jacket on first before helping anyone else? Well, that comes into play a lot here. It’s great that you want to be a wonderful mother, and you want your children to be happy, but you also need to be happy too. And not only that, healthy as well.

If right now, you know that you’re not really doing enough to put your own needs first, then you may want to think about changing things. You’ve probably got yourself into a bit of a rhythm with how you care for your kids, and that’s okay. But if you know that you’re neglecting your own needs, then things need to change. Or worse, if you’re stressed out, tired, overworked, and just generally unhappy, then you really do need to take action. Of course, even if you are happy (or you think you’re happy enough) some of the ideas we’re about to walk through may apply to you too. So let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to start taking care of your own needs better.

Think About Your Future

First of all, you need to start thinking a little more about your future. And this is incredibly important. If you want to be able to be happy in life, you need to make sure that you’re on the right track. Yes, you’re a mom, but that’s not all you are. And when your kids grow up, you don’t want to feel like you missed out on doing something that you love. So plan your future and figure out what you can do today that’s going to get you to where you want to be in ten years time.

Give Yourself An Hour

When it comes to physically looking after yourself on a day to day basis, you just need to be able to give yourself an hour. There are lots of different ways to find time for yourself, no matter how busy you are. So shift your schedule and make sure that you get an hour each day to just be you, relax, and do something that you love, like take a bath or read.

Balance Your Work Life

Next up, you’re going to want to focus on finding a balance with your work. Now, this isn’t always easy, but you can’t just be an employee and a mom, and then go to sleep. You’ll be exhausted. So you have to have boundaries and be able to slot your work in with everything else. Don’t feel too pressured to keep on working when the kids are asleep, you need time for yourself too.

Create A Social Life

One of the main reasons you need to keep your work life balanced is because you need a social life too. And this is essential. Even if you’re a single mom – well, even more so! A rewarding social life is something that we all deserve and it doesn’t have to be impossible to find. When you build the right network around you, you’ll feel like you’re finally putting your needs first.

Pursue Your Passion

Next, you’re going to want to make sure that whatever you want to do in life, you make time for it. If you want to write or paint, then make sure that you accommodate more time for this in your life. Life is too short for you not to do the things you love, even as a busy mom!

Take Better Care Of Your Health

But at the same time, you also need to focus on your health. Because you are only human, and if you don’t take care of your body, it will show. So above all else, eat well and stay active. When you’re focusing on your health, you will always feel great too.

Take Action

Next, you need to make sure that you are taking control of any situation that you might be in right now. If you need to handle settlements or get compensation, speak to the right professional like Muth Law and take action. Now’s the time to do it. When you do, you’ll feel like you have so much more control over your own life.

Focus On Relationships

From here, you should also start to think about your relationships a little bit more. It’s important that you’re able to develop great parent-child relationships and not just be their mom. At the same time, you should want to think about strengthening the bond you have with others around you. It’s so important to be able to have good relationships with those around you if you want to be able to feel your best.

Do Something Just For You

At the same time, you have to ensure that you’re doing things just for yourself. Not because you feel like you should, not because someone else wants you to, but because you’re taking care of your own needs. Maybe you want to take a class or you want to start a course? Whatever it is, just make sure that you take the plunge.

Always Aim To Live Your Best Life

Finally, you should definitely make sure that you’re living well on your own terms too. Remember, this is your life. You won’t ever want to feel like you didn’t live it your own way. So look how you want to look, dress in a way that makes you feel confident, take care of your appearance and feel good about yourself. Make sure that you act in a way that makes you feel like yourself. Do the things that make you happy. Because you should never look back and regret the things that you didn’t do!

 

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Round-Up: Self-Care and Emotional Health Top 5 Articles

Self-care and emotional health are two very important topics to me. I recently saw this quote on a quote calendar I own:

“You must love and care for yourself because that’s when the best comes out.” ~ Tina Turner

So true, right? And as we all know, it is not always easy when you’re a parent, especially. So here is a round-up of the top 5 articles on my blog that have to do with self-care and emotional health. I chose this round-up thanks to everyone who took my poll on what topics readers would like me to focus on next. So here we go…

Life Is All About Your Reaction and Your Tribe (This post is about surrounding yourself with people who make you better and how you can’t control others, but you can control your reaction!)

Parents: Taking Time For Yourself (This post is about a trip I took with my girlfriends and why it is important for all parents to fill their well.)

The Thing About Change and Not Giving Up (This post was inspired by a book I read about ways to NOT become unglued and making imperfect progress toward goals.)

5 Things I Learned About Living In 2016 (From “balance is key” to “parenting is hard and give yourself a break”, this post shares my personal experiences while trying to improve my emotional health.)

Make This the Year You Start Taking Care of Number One  (Three tips for taking care of yourself and why you should! )

 

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As Parents, What Can We Do to Give Our Children The Best Start in Life?

(contributed post)

When you have a child, your world changes. No longer are you the most important person in your life, you now have a responsibility to look after your child and ensure they’re happy, healthy and grow up to be a functioning member of society. Raising a child can be a minefield, and lots of things will depend on factors like the country you live in, your own personal views, your religion and much more. However there are some things that are common with all of us. Here are some of the ways your child can get off to the best start.

Look After Their Health

As parents, our children’s health is of the utmost importance. However, we’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic, and even well-meaning parents can find that their children are a little heavier than guidelines suggest they should be. This can be a mixture of a lack of knowledge, easy access to convenient foods and things like technology making kids more sedentary. A decade or two ago, children would be running around outside, playing on their bikes and being active to curb boredom. These days, they can access the world at their fingertips using their phones, computers or TV. One of the best things you can do to promote good health in children is to make it fun. Encourage them to prepare healthy meals with you, choose good ingredients while shopping and even grow some of your own foods together. Make exercise enjoyable- hire a bouncy castle on a summer’s weekend or purchase a trampoline. Have water fights and play active games together. Go on family hikes and bike rides together , which are great for bonding as well as getting in some all-important exercise. When it’s fun, kids are more likely to get on board, and eventually healthy living will become an ingrained habit. It allows them to make healthy choices for themselves as they get older, which can set them up for success in their life in future.

Invest in Their Education

Being well educated can give you so many more opportunities in life. It means you can apply for better jobs, get on a good career path and have the ability to earn money, which can give you financial freedom and a much more comfortable lifestyle. Making sure they get access to good education, and encouraging a love of learning are two of the very best things you can do for your child’s future. Studies have found that the quality of education that children receive has more of an influence than gender or even their family’s income. Your child’s attitude, their friends and peers, their knowledge and job prospects for the future will all be influenced by the school you pick. On top of finding a good school, you could focus on their education in other ways. Take them on educational trips such as to museums and galleries. Teach them around the home about nutrition, cooking, baking, DIY and crafts for example. Take them camping, fishing, teach them map reading and orienteering, and introduce them to lots of extracurricular activities, such as sports and exercise. There’s much more to learn in life that just what’s in school textbooks. Giving them a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning are so beneficial.

Think About Where You Will Live

You child’s home and school life are incredibly important, but they will also be influenced by the place that they live. Somewhere rife with poverty, crime and unemployment, for example, is never going to be the most positive environment for your child to grow up in. Of course, they can still do well and better their lives, but dysfunction can seem normal to them when they’re surrounded by it. If it’s in your power to move to a nicer area to better yours and your child’s life, then take that opportunity. Look for somewhere with good resources: activities for youth, high employment levels and good education.  Even a small apartment or HDB resale in a nice area would be beneficial compared with a larger house in an area that isn’t great. It’s certainly something to take into consideration when you’re looking for a place to rent or own.

Take Discipline Seriously

Being a parent isn’t just about providing for your child and giving them everything they need. It’s about equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to be a successful member of society. This allows them to form lasting relationships and friendships, and become a well-rounded individual who can navigate life feeling happy and secure. One thing that can help children is discipline. Discipline allows your child to become civilized in society; it’s not all about punishment. It’s a way of teaching that allows them to learn from mistakes without repeating them, and giving them the cognitive tools to be able to learn better behavior and do better next time around.  It’s about being clear on the rules and boundaries. It’s about accepting that they won’t be perfect, but acknowledging that all behavior has consequences–positive and negative. Children crave attention, rules and boundaries; they thrive when they know what it is they can and can’t do– even if they do push their boundaries at times. Remain firm but fair, and any punishment should reflect the severity of what they have done as well as their age and understanding. For example, very young children throwing tantrums aren’t going to understand or benefit from long time- outs or revoking of certain privileges.

Work on Their Self-Esteem

Again, parenting is about equipping children with the skills and understanding they need to get through life independently. And self-esteem and confidence is an essential asset. When you’re confident in yourself and your abilities, you aren’t held back from trying new things. You can smile in the face of adversity and know that even if you fail, you can keep at it until you eventually reach your goal. Children need to know that it’s ok to fail or go wrong, but that sticking with it means they will eventually achieve their goal and be proud of themselves when they do. Children with good levels of confidence and self esteem tend to be happier and more optimistic compared with those who don’t. Children with low self-esteem find challenges to be frustrating and can be a huge source of anxiety for them.  Praise your child’s accomplishments, and let them work out things themselves. For example, instead of doing everything for them, let them try themselves until they work out a solution. When playing a game, don’t let them win every time- that way when they do win, it will be well earned and they can feel proud of their accomplishments. It’s easy to want to give them everything they want, but understanding that not everything will go their way, and how to be a gracious loser when they don’t, is a fantastic skill to have. Be aware of your own words and behavior too. Criticizing yourself, others or your child can stick with them; remain upbeat and positive and realistic when things go wrong.

Teach Them the Importance of Respect

When we respect others, it shows that we value another as an individual. Respect allows us to honor the personal rights of other humans and allows them to keep their dignity. Because kids aren’t born with the ability to respect others, it’s something that as parents we have to teach them. Babies learn to manipulate the world they live in to get their needs met, so as they mature into a little person, it’s important to show them that this isn’t something they can do later on in their lives. They have to learn to respect their elders and those in a position of authority such as police and teachers. They need to be taught how to share with siblings and peers. They have to understand that sometimes they have to be patient and wait their turn for the things that they want. These are difficult lessons to learn as a child, and aren’t always things that they will thank you for in the moment! However they’re important things to understand and are crucial if they’re going to go on and be successful adults. You don’t have to be your child’s friend- you’re their teacher and guide!

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Ready to Be More Organic? It’s More than Just Eating Organic Food

(contributed post)

We all know that eating organic food is much better for our health and the state of the environment. But is that where organic living has to end? You’ll be pleased to hear that there is actually a lot more that can be done in your life, so that you can live a wholesome, naturall,y organic life. It’s not just about food!

Ready to be more organic? Here are some really great tips that can help you get started.

Create An Organic Garden

One of the easiest ways to ensure that all the fruit and vegetables you eat are organic is to start growing it yourself. Growing your own food can be quite difficult, especially if you are completely new to it. But don’t panic; you can start off developing your skills by beginning with the easier produce to grow, such as lettuce, cucumbers, and gherkins. You’ll be able to buy seeds from your local supermarket; but there are also some online stores that sell more exotic fruit and vegetable seeds, if you fancy challenging yourself!

Reduce Your Energy Consumption

Leading a more eco-friendly life is part of living more organically, too. So, it’s important that you try and reduce your household’s energy consumption as much as possible. There are various ways you can do this. First of all, make sure that every electronic device and appliance is turned completely off when it isn’t in use. Next, you should consider switching to a renewable energy source. There are now quite a few energy companies that will install solar panels onto your home’s roof, so that you can use greener energy from a nature-friendly source!

Go Natural With Skincare

You can also improve your skin care so that it’s a lot more organic. First of all, it’s worth finding some natural skin care products. Lots of beauty companies now have a very good range of natural products, as there is such a high demand for them. These are all made from organic ingredients and are completely cruelty-free, meaning they haven’t been tested on animals. If you want, you might also like the idea of trying to make your own skin care products. There are lots of recipes online that use plenty of ingredients you will already have in the house.

Eat Seasonally

There are some people who complain about the price of organic food. Sure, it can sometimes be expensive, but that is usually the case for ingredients and produce that are on sale when they are out of season. So, as you can probably tell, it’s much better to try and eat seasonally whenever you can. There are a few guides that can help you work out your diet, so that it is more in keeping with the season. But one of the best ways to figure out what is in season is to buy from farmers markets, as they will only be able to sell what they are able to grow at the time.

Enjoy your new organic life!

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