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Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Brief But Comprehensive Guide To Hearing Loss


15% of American adults aged 18 and over experience hearing loss - that’s approximately 40 million people, and yet, like so many disabilities, it is seldom spoken about. Whether you are currently experiencing hearing loss yourself or have fully functioning hearing, the key to breaking down the stigma around hearing loss is education - so here is a brief but comprehensive guide to hearing loss, so that you can begin advocating for yourself and the rest of the hearing loss community.

What is hearing loss?
Hearing loss is a very broad term used to describe a loss of hearing in one or both ears. Although hearing loss often occurs gradually as you age, it can also affect younger people and can be caused by other lifestyle factors. There are three types of hearing loss:

  1. Conductive - involving the outer and middle part of the ear
  2. Sensorineural - involving the inner ear 
  3. Mixed - involving a combination of the inner, outer and middle ear

What causes hearing loss?
Hearing loss is most common in those over the age of 65 and happens naturally as people age. As people get older, their inner ear structures and hair cells degrade over time, gradually causing a loss of hearing. Aside from simply getting older hearing loss can also be caused by:

  • Exposure to loud noises 
  • Exposure to loud noises over 85 decibels is one of the most common causes of hearing loss in those under 65. Explosions, power tools, loud music, gunshots, and machinery can all cause damage to the ear, either causing damage to the inner ear cells or rupturing the eardrum.
 
  • Illness 
  • Aside from loud noises, hearing loss can also be caused by illnesses such as severe ear infections, ear cancer, and meningitis.

Does hearing loss cause other health issues?
Yes, there are two hearing loss health effects that people should be aware of including, cognitive decline and an increased chance of experiencing depression. New research is showing a strong link between hearing loss and an early cognitive decline, showing that the brain heavily relies upon hearing for stimulation. Similarly, strong links have been found between depression and hearing loss, mostly as a result of the isolation and communication difficulties that hearing loss can cause.

How can you prevent hearing loss?
Age-related hearing loss is difficult to prevent, so it is vital that you do all you can to look after your ears while you are young to give you the best chance of hearing well in the future. Some things you can do to protect your ears include:

  • Wearing ear protection
  • If you know that you are going to be exposed to loud noise such as a gunshot or machinery, then always make sure to wear adequate ear protection. Earmuffs and earplugs can reduce loud noises by up to 30 decibels, taking them below the risk level and protecting your ears.
 
  • Turning your volume down
  • Rather than turning your music up to a high volume, instead, invest in a good quality pair of headphones that will provide a better quality sound that you won’t need to turn up so loud.
 
  • Visiting an audiologist regularly
  • We visit the dentist for our teeth and the opticians for our eyes, so be sure not to forget a visit to the audiologist for your ears. Hearing loss can be very gradual, often going as many as 7 years before being detected, so be sure to have your hearing tested regularly so that you can catch it early.
 
  • Not attempting to remove ear wax yourself
  • Never put anything inside your ears, including cotton buds. Attempting to clean your own ears will only result in pushing the earwax further into the ear canal, causing compaction. Instead, book an appointment with your audiologist or hearing specialist who will be able to remove any build-up of earwax safely.

How can you tell if you have hearing loss?
If you are worried about your hearing then the first thing that you should do is to book an appointment with your audiologist so that they can conduct a hearing test. Don’t take tests online as these are not accurate and don’t put off making an appointment. If you are worried about the hearing of someone else, then breach the subject tactfully and suggest that they too accompany you to the audiologist to have their own hearing tested. Hearing loss can be a very sensitive subject, and so it is important to be sensitive when bringing it up with other people.

So there you have it - a quick but comprehensive guide to hearing loss - have you learned anything new?
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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Guaranteed Ways To Improve Your Career Prospects


We've all been there.

The alarm clock starts ringing, we wake feeling less than enthused about another day at work, and as we start to eat our cornflakes, we try to shake off those negative thoughts that come from a job we don't particularly enjoy.

We then go to work, endure the trials and tribulations that so often hinder any chances of falling into a good mood, and then go home again, wishing that we didn't have to suffer the same routine in the days, weeks, and months to come.

Are you relating to what we are saying?

So many of us hate our jobs for one reason or another, and so many of us long for something better. And if this is you, now might be the time to consider what you might need to do to make your life a better one. Now might be the time to do those things that will improve your career prospects, whether that's getting a promotion at work or moving into another job role or career type.

Here are some tips we hope you find useful.

#1: Take a course
If there is a qualification you need to attain to get a promotion or to move into a new career, then go for it. Whether it's going back to college or sitting at home taking an online course, you will then have the credentials you need to impress your current or future employer. It might be a full-blown academic program, a day-course to improve something you are weak in, or something to beef up your resume. Whatever it is, your life will be improved if you take the courses that are relevant to you, so even though it might mean extra work for you, think about the benefits that will be afforded to you upon completion.

#2: Work on your online portfolio
If you already have an online portfolio, then great. Work on improving it, perhaps by uploading elements of your work to show off to future employers, and by adding testimonial quotes from others about your work. If your website has expired, perhaps because you have been too busy to maintain it, use a renewal coupon if your web host allows it, or use your back up files to get something else up and running online. And if you haven't even started your online portfolio yet, check out these excellent examples, and research the web hosts that will allow you to showcase your work online.

#3: Impress your boss


Your employer is never going to consider you for a promotion or give you a good reference if your performance at work is less than decent. You need to be the best that you can be, even if you're hating every minute of your job and dreaming of a better life. So, turn up on time each day and work as hard as you can. Take on new responsibilities if offered them, as not only will you win your employer over if you do, but you will benefit from the experience too. And behave yourself! This means no gossiping with your colleagues, no slacking off when you should be working, and no leaving work early with an excuse that is less than honest. The more you can do to impress your boss, the better, as they should then give you that leg up you need when you're trying to move on with your career.

#4: Talk to HR
If you have a human resources team at your workplace, talk to them. Especially if you're looking to stay with your employer with a hoped-for promotion, they should be more than willing to help you with your goal. Ask them about the courses they think you should take, and find out more about the career ladder that is available to you. And if there is something you should be doing but currently aren't, they might be able to point you in the right direction to improve your career chances.

#5: Talk to your boss
Your boss should have an idea of the courses you might need to take too, so arrange to sit down with them to discuss your chances of promotion. And it might be that your boss needs reminding that you want to move on up the career ladder, so by bringing your goals to their attention, they might consider you the next time a promotion is available. Of course, this is assuming that you want to stay in your place of employment. If not, a conversation with your boss about the things that are getting you down might result in a positive change to your working life, and this will make coming to work more bearable each day while you're in the process of considering the next stage on your career journey.

#6: Network with others
Do you know somebody who has earned a promotion in your workplace? Talk to them and find out what they did to get to their position. Do you know somebody working in a career that you are considering for yourself? Ask them what they did to get there, and learn more about the qualifications that you might need to attain. And going beyond people you know, network with other people who might be able to help you on your career journey. Look for industry people on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other types of social media, and reach out to them. Attend those conferences and other business meetings that offer scope for meeting the right people. And visit other employers, as while they may have no jobs available immediately, you will still have made that connection with them that could prove fruitful later.

#7: Clean up your social networking sites


We mean this in two ways.

First, get the most out of your social media to prove your worth to your current or future employers. Your networking sites can act as online portfolios, so add and upload what you can to prove your worth to others. Check out these Facebook tips for some useful ideas. With the right details, photos, and personal posts, you might do much to improve your chances when an employer researches you online.

Secondly, take down anything that could work against you, such as those photos you uploaded from the wild parties you attended. Or alter your privacy settings, as this way, your personal life will be kept hidden from the people who are looking to promote or hire you.

#8: Take on a side gig
There is no harm taking on extra work, provided your current job contract has no clause within this regard, and you have the time to take on more work within your week. By taking on freelance or contract work, you will get the opportunity to build up your resume, boost your skills, and perhaps make inroads into the type of career that you are looking to move into. Oh, and you will make more money too, and assuming you aren't burning yourself out with the extra work you are taking on, that can only be a good thing.

#9: Take on voluntary work
As above, only this time you won't get paid for it! Still, you will learn new skills and get valuable experience, and you will showcase a positive work ethic to your current or future employers. And if your everyday job sucks, you will also have the opportunity to do something you might enjoy, and that will make your week a little bit more bearable.

#10: Stop procrastinating
Okay, so you have read our suggestions, and hopefully considered them reasonable. We have recommended all kinds of things, from speaking to the people who could help you to taking on voluntary work, educational courses, and side gigs. These are all good ideas (we're not bragging), but they need to become your reality. You don't have to follow every one of them, but for those suggestions that could make a difference to your career, you should make a plan to incorporate them into your life.

So, don't put them off until another time. Don't tell yourself that you will focus on them next week or next year. Make a five-year career plan, and alongside our ideas, brainstorm what you might need to do to achieve your career goals. What do you need to do to get to where you need to be? When would be a good time to leave your current job? Who are the people you need to speak to? And how much money will you need in your bank account if you're planning on starting at the bottom of a new career ladder or if you need to pay for certain qualifications? By asking these questions and making a plan to match them, you will have an idea of what you need to do and when, and that will ensure you don't procrastinate and stay within your current position forever.

So, what are you waiting for? If our ideas were useful to you, keep them in mind, and let them be the catalyst for improving your career prospects. We wish you success, in whatever you decide to do.
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Social Enterprises Are Going To Dominate In The 2020s

The idea of a social enterprise is nothing new. Charities have been around since the middle ages, helping people weasel their way out of tight situations and get back on track. But the modern conception of a social enterprise is slightly different from its historical counterpart.

Cynics see the term as something that merely emerged from the blogging community’s current obsession with entrepreneurship and creating value. The idea of a social enterprise seems more dynamic and fashionable than a charity.

That’s not, however, exactly what a social enterprise is. It’s not just a repackaged charity. It’s something that goes a bit beyond that.


Social enterprises first came to the attention of the public around ten years ago. But they appeared to operate on a different model from pure charities. They didn’t rely exclusively on donations for their survival. Instead, they made their money and addressed their cause by selling products and branding. Some even made profits.

Social enterprises, at root, are organizations trying to do business in a way that minimizes external costs and maximizes social benefits. In other words, they turn the business world on its head, reversing the decades-long trend in which companies foist externalities on the community. It’s all about creating external benefits but reducing some of the excesses that we saw in the past. Profits are not the top priority.

Social Enterprises Prove That You Can Achieve Social Justice Through Voluntary Means

What’s interesting about all this is what it says about current economic thinking. The primary school of thought is that private enterprises will always seek profit at the community's expense. But one of the not for profit company benefits is that they don’t always do this. Instead, people voluntarily undertake enterprises that seek to enhance society and eliminate the traditional costs, such as pollution or worker injuries.

Thus, it changes the entire conversation. It is not just a case that human nature produces markets that the government needs to control. Some people care more about their personal values or community than they do profit. And this fundamentally undermines the claim by authorities that they need to impose regulations on businesses. A grassroots movement, such as social enterprises, shows that their thinking is flawed.

Why Social Enterprises Will Dominate

Many commentators suggest that we now live in a “post-scarcity” society. It sounds like a strange thing to say, but there’s mounting evidence that people’s primary concern is no longer the lack of goods, but the fulfillment of their values.

In an environment like this, social enterprises will bloom. These organizations are an outgrowth of various values that people hold, such as equality, justice, freedom, and community spirit. And the wealthier the society becomes, the more able they are to put these into practice.

Social enterprises will likely continue to dominate in the 2020s. A lot of entrepreneurs will give up their singular focus on profits. Instead, they’ll focus on plowing money back into reducing the costs that their businesses impose on others and increase the benefits.
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Monday, April 27, 2020

Planning a Post-Lockdown Party


The past few months have been somewhat of a rollercoaster for the majority of us. At the start of the year, very few people could have anticipated the chaos that would unfold at the hands of coronavirus and Covid-19. The unravelling of a worldwide pandemic has resulted in endless tragedies. Those of us who are well are still finding that our lives have completely changed, as we follow social distancing measures to slow the spread of the virus and protect ourselves and others. We aren’t leaving our houses other than for essentials. If you have kids, they’re off school. Unless you’re a keyworker, you’re not going into work. When you do head out for essentials, such as food or medicine, you’re having to stand two metres apart from everyone else. Many of us are growing bored. Many of us are missing friends and family members we don’t live with. Many of us are missing the freedom we took for granted just a couple of months ago. So, it’s not all too surprising that many of us want a real celebration when the issue is resolved and we are free to head out and do what we want again. Planning a post-lockdown party can be a creative use of the extra time you may have found on your hands and can give you something to look forward to. If this sounds good to you, here are a few areas to focus on.

Who Will Be Invited
Think of who you’re missing the most right now. These are likely to be the attendees of your gathering. They’ll be people who you want to catch up with. Hug. Laugh with. Note their names down and add in anyone else you might have started catching up with virtually who you’d like to reunite with once we’re free to socialise in person again!

Venue
Where will the venue be? Will it be a few friends round your house? Will it be a huge bash at a rented venue? If the latter, start browsing different places. Of course, you can’t book yet, as we don’t know when we’ll be out of this lockdown situation yet. But it’s good to have an idea of where you’d like to book once we are more clear about dates.

Food
Will you be cooking a meal? Will you be putting on a buffet? Will you be using some of the best catering companies to whip up an unforgettable meal? Maybe you just want to have the event as a meal at a restaurant. Whatever you opt for, remember you may need to cater to guests with dietary requirements or preferences (like allergies, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or more) so ensure they don’t get left out. You don’t want anyone left hungry!

Music
You’ll probably need music if it’s going to be a proper party. So, make sure you have whatever you need ready or planned. If it’s at your home, it could be worth getting some speakers you can connect to. If elsewhere, a DJ could be good.

These are just a few areas you might have fun focusing on. You’ll have a great time and it’ll give you something to focus on.
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Friday, April 24, 2020

Looking After Family In Tough Times

There are times in life where someone needs more love, support, and care than usual. Traumatic events or things that are outside of the usual ups and downs of life can be hard to handle and take a lot of mental energy to get through.

It is all about learning how to tackle the new normal, and how you can support yourself and your family during the situation.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Basics
When you find that the day-to-day of supporting others is taking its toll on you, it might just be time to strip it back to basics. Maintaining your usual rhythm when there is something big going on can be difficult. For some, keeping things ticking over at high speed is ideal, but for others having less to do is going to be better.

If you have children, then it is likely that some stability is going to be your preference, which means keeping up clubs, school, and the routine they are most used to with as little disruption as possible.

Time
They say that time heals wounds, but in reality, time spent well can fill you up again when you need it most. Making sure that you have time with people who make you feel calm, relaxed, and cared for is essential.

However, you need to have time for yourself too. Being able to have the space to process what is going on for yourself is important. If you’ve personally suffered trauma, or it is someone close to you, then you need to have that room for yourself.

Help
There will be times that what you are doing for others might need to be supported elsewhere too. Asking for help for yourself or seeking help for others can be a difficult step, but it can make a huge difference in how you feel and the recovery of the person in question. There are some things like drink or drugs where outside help is often the best thing that you can do.

Drug rehab centers and meetings can be a great source of support for you and your family members. Online forums can often be useful too. Don’t be afraid to reach out and find help.

Healthy Coping Mechanism
As well as spending time with friends and family, and seeking out help. There are some other healthy coping mechanisms that you can introduce for you and your family. These will help to take care of yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Here are a few great options:
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Exercising
  • Reading
  • Being creative
  • Drinking lots of water
  • Resting and relaxing
  • Watching a funny movie
  • Listening to music and singing

Find ways to take care of yourself and enjoy things. It isn’t a crime to find things you enjoy, and that makes you smile even in the hardest of times. In fact, it might just be the remedy you need for a while. A stroll around your local park, followed by a slowly brewed tea or coffee, can make you feel great.
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5 Methods for Self-Discovery

There comes a time in everybody’s life when a person wants to learn more about themselves, and be more honest about who they are as a person. This can happen at any time, but is particularly prevalent in adult years. Whether it’s a young adult wanting to make sure the next steps count, a middle-aged adult who’s wondering about their own path in life, or even an older adult who is wanting to try those things they perhaps never did, many people will feel like this at some point.

Self-discovery is essential no matter your age, and being true to your own wants and needs is important for a positive life.

Here are some of the ways you can be true to yourself and learn more about yourself.


Keep a Journal
A lot of everyday life is spent thinking about what you should and shouldn’t say, and if you’re around different people, it may be that you’re unable to fully express yourself. Expressing yourself and being honest with yourself is essential for self-discovery, which means keeping a journal can be a valuable practice for organizing your own thoughts and seeing what you prioritize the most.

Daily gratitude journals can also be helpful tools for a relaxed and positive mind.

Take a Solo Trip
There’s nothing more valuable than taking a trip alone to discover more about yourself. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in the realm of travel and having to spend this time in your own company and making your own decisions can allow you to learn new things about yourself and build confidence. Solo travel is a fantastic way to open your mind and put yourself in new surroundings, and you’ll feel more enlightened when you return.

Go Back to School
You know a lot more about yourself as an adult than you might have done as a student heading for university. This means that you may begin to wonder about a qualification you didn’t take (but might have wanted to), or perhaps your career goals or interests have changed dramatically. There’s nothing wrong with setting out a new education or career path for yourself. Furthermore, scholarships in Utah and tuition aid can mean that it’s easy to return to education as an adult if you’re looking to pursue a different qualification. CampusReel, for example, has a wealth of information on the best scholarships to apply for

Work for Yourself
If you’ve reached a point in your life and career where you no longer want to work in the same environment or answer to somebody else, then working for yourself can be a fundamental opportunity for developing your own skills and standing on your own two feet. Starting your own business venture can allow you to learn more about your own skills, the way you best work, and the hours of work you prefer.

Stop Worrying About What Other People Think
The moment you start saying ‘no’ to people without worrying whether you will upset them is the moment you learn more about yourself. Start by being honest about the social occasions you wish to attend and the times you want to turn down invitations and spend time alone.  Then try to stop worrying about what others will think about what you wear, say, and do. Doing so will allow you to embrace who you are and be honest about the way you wish to live your life - which will be very liberating.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

How To Take Adequate Care Of Your Elderly Parents


Aging is all part of life, unfortunately. We’d all like to be young whippersnappers for as long as we’re on this planet, but that’s not how our biology works. We get a good few years at our fittest and at our peak, but then things start to get a little harder; things start to slow down. You won’t see a better example of this than looking at two of the most important figures in your life – your parents. Slowly but surely, they stop being as dependable and as reliable. It’s not the greatest sight in the world, but one you can absolutely understand.

They took good care of you and molded you into the human being you are today. You’re where you are because of what they did for you. Now, it’s only fair that you take care of them when they need you the most, right? If you aren’t exactly sure about how to do this kind of thing, then it can feel a little daunting. Here are a few things you can do, though:

Don’t Patronise Or Say Anything Silly
Whenever you’re in a better position in life than another person, it can become very easy to talk down to them – even when you do not mean to be sinister in your approach. People don’t like being patronized, so make sure you’re not saying anything that might make them feel inadequate. They are still the same person, after all. Treat them as though you would if they were on the same level as you – this is only a small ask, but it could make a big difference mentally.

Get Extra Help When Necessary
You obviously won’t be able to do absolutely everything on your own. Sometimes, things get a little too much, and you have to call upon the expertise of another. This might mean getting a friend or a member of your extended family to help out a little. This might also mean professional help is necessary. There are hundreds of caregiving companies out there; you just have to pick up the phone and get in touch with a Home Care Franchise that suits your situation.

Keep Them As Active As Possible
As they age, it can become increasingly easy for them to just sit around and do very little. This won’t help anyone. Now, this isn’t to say that they should get up and walk miles, and do as much as they can. Simply getting up and doing things to keep the muscle working would be enough. Keeping their brain active would also help, so some creative activities wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Make Sure They Have All Their Essentials
They won’t be able to do all their shopping all of the time – especially as time moves further on and they get much older. That means someone will have to run a few of their errands for them. Everyone needs to collect essential groceries each day/week; they don’t just arrive on our doorsteps.
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Planning A Wedding? Look Ahead To Success

Planning a wedding can become a full time project management role. You might have had to just move yours, or cancel it altogether due to corona-virus. With no end in sight, it can be quite disheartening, especially if you’d gone a long way through the planning process. However, try to look on the positive side. You now have the time to plan your wedding to perfection. Use it wisely. Planning a wedding is tough. When you start, and it's from scratch the clean slate looks inviting, but when you start to add differing strands it can be a little overwhelming. These tips can help you along your way. You might have already considered a lot of them, but they might be able to open your mind and allow you to think of new aspects you hadn’t previously thought off. Whatever the case, good luck!

Sound Out Availability From The Outset
A year is the minimum amount of notification you’d usually give for a wedding to ensure all the people you want can make it. But you might need longer for service providers or professionals. If you were looking at Christophe Viseux Photography, or a key DJ or wedding entertainers, you might want to sound out their availability right away. This doesn’t necessarily mean booking them, as you might want to price up a few businesses to see what's going on but being able to rule them out from the outset can narrow your mind. Avoid disappointment and do your research. Only part with your deposit if you are absolutely sure you want to go ahead with them. The same applies to your nearest and dearest. Don’t slap down deposits if you wouldn’t want the wedding to go ahead without close friends or relatives. Check with them first. They might already have a holiday booked or maybe they might even have another wedding to go to. Check the availability of bridesmaids, groomsmen etc. A lot of people will send out a save the date before they actually send invites, so they can be sure the recipient will be able to attend, or at such an advance date that there is likely nothing else that they’ve already committed to.


Home or Abroad?
Getting married abroad has become more popular over the last few years. Primarily because the cost of domestic weddings has skyrocketed. It means you can get abroad for a similar price. Use caution, there are a lot of aspects you need to be aware of. Are you paying your airfare for guests? If not, you might want to give them more notice so that they can book appropriate flights at decent rates. There’s a lot to think about with a wedding that’s abroad. You need to look at the legal side of things too, to ensure everything is done above board. You can find a specialist planner to make sure all of this is done right, but you can do it yourself too if you’ve got the time to apply the research. Just make sure you get it done properly. You wouldn't want to come home to find out you aren’t legally married.

Consider Off Peak
If you were looking to save a little money, see if you can get married off peak. This means either side of the popular summer periods. You risk adverse weather of course, but this can be mitigated if you plan ahead and choose the right venue. A place which has the inside space to utilise just in case you get rain on the day. You can set up to enjoy the outside, but if the worst happens have an alternative. It isn’t always available, but it sure is better than just keeping your fingers crossed. You could also just try to go with the weather. You see a lot of winter wonderland weddings happening these days. They’re a great idea, especially if you live somewhere where you get guaranteed snowfall.

Keep Proper Notes
Throughout the planning of your wedding it’s a good idea to keep a proper, up to date notebook. Here you can ensure all the key data is kept in one tidy, organised and easy to manage place. Think about key dates, phone numbers of caterers or venues etc. You can make a list of people who have been invited and whether or not they have RSVP’s. Think about dining plans and colour schemes. Are people vegetarian? There’s a huge chunk of information you need to consider and may need to refer to when speaking to other people. Be organised. It makes such a big difference.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Guide To Figuring Out Your Dream Career During Lockdown

Lockdown is a difficult time for everybody. Some people are working from home, others have been furloughed or even laid off. One thing is for certain: life is going to be different for everybody after this. If there’s one thing we’ve all got during lockdown, it’s time. Even if we’re working from home, we’re all likely doing a lot less with our spare time, giving us much more time to think. Perhaps you’re realizing that you’ve been unhappy with your job for a while, and you’d like to make a change. What better time to figure out what you want to do than now? You don’t have to start online training for your dream career now, and you don’t need to start a business and be the most productive person in the world. It’s a global pandemic - cut yourself some slack.

All you have to do is think about the sort of change you’d like to make, and then start taking steps towards the change when you feel ready. Read on for some inspiration:

Know Your Personality Type
If you don’t already, knowing your personality type can give you a huge hint as to what you should be doing. Not only will this help you to become more self aware, it’ll give you plenty of ideas as to the sort of careers that could fulfill your soul, not just your bank balance.

Think About Where You’d Like To Be in 5-10 years
Think of yourself in 5-10 years time. What would you like to be doing? What would you like to have? Use this vision to define your career goals and ensure they resonate with you. You don’t want to work hard trying to achieve somebody else’s dream. You don’t need to own a hugely successful business just because it’s what everybody on Instagram seems to want to do.

Start Networking
Open a Linkedin account or speak to people you know in the career you’re thinking about switching to. You could learn a lot from a short conversation!


Take On A Research Project 
When you have an idea of what you’d like to do, take on a research project and learn as much as you can about the role/career. If you’re thinking of accounting, for example, know what qualifications you’d need, the accounting career salary, whether you’d need insurance, if you could work from home, etc. Write everything down.

Ask Yourself The Important Questions
Ask yourself questions, such as:
  • How much time do you want off each year?
  • Do you want to be able to work flexibly?
  • What incentives would you like?
  • Would you like to travel for work?
  • Would you like to work alone or as a team?
  • What are your skills/passions?
  • Who do you want to help?
  • What would you do if money wasn’t an object?

How Much Time Are You Willing To Invest In Upskilling?
You could do a quick online course and learn a new skill in a few weeks, or you could go back to school for a few years. There are usually various paths you can take into a career you want, but it all depends on how much time and effort you want to put in. You could do an intense course, for example, but you will likely need to put a lot more effort in the long term.

Whatever you do, don’t limit yourself!
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What To Do About Ingrown Hairs

When it comes to taking care of your body and carrying out your beauty procedures, there’s always a risk of an unexpected surprise. One such example of this is ingrown hairs, which can often emerge after shaving. They can be annoying and very painful in some instances. If you’re dealing with an ingrown hair right now and you’re not sure what to do about it, the steps and advice below will make things clear.

Exfoliate and Warm the Skin
The first thing you should do before you can actually remove the ingrown hair is exfoliate the skin in the area where the ingrown hair is found. Doing so will remove all the dirt, dead skin cells and great that are clogging the skin and pores. Use an exfoliating cream with a scrub glove to do this; it’ll prepare the area and help to ensure the problem doesn’t return. You can then soak the area in warm water, warking the skin to prepare it for the hair removal.

Use a Needle or Tweezers to Remove the Hair
When you’ve completed the first step, you can get a pair of tweezers or a sterile needle and get underneath the hair in order to try and prize it out. This might take a little time and you should be careful as you do this. Be gentle and force the hair to the surface; the fact that the skin is warm and wet will help with this.


Cleanse the Area
Once the hair has been removed, be sure to clean the skin carefully. This is important because it will ensure any damage to the skin is cleansed properly and there won’t be any risk of infection. A simple combination of hot water and body wash is all you need to use when cleansing the skin at this stage.

Consider the Laser Hair Removal Technique
If the steps above don’t work for you or you simply don’t want to go it alone with removing an ingrown hair, there are other options out there. Among the most common is a laser hair removal technique. Not everyone knows it, but laser hair removal helps with ingrown hair and you should make the most of it if you haven’t got any other options to try out.

Understand How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs
When everything is complete and your troublesome ingrown hair has been fully removed, you should be sure to take steps to ensure you don’t have the same problem again at any point in the future. The way in which you shave matters; always shave with a sharp razor and wet your skin with warm water before shaving. You should also cleanse and exfoliate your skin regularly.

Ingrown hairs are pretty nasty and they can cause real pains. But it’s important to deal with them in the correct and safe way. If you follow the steps and use the guidance above, you should find it easier to deal with and prevent these kinds of problems.
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Monday, April 20, 2020

What Happens To Your Ears As You Age?

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Over the years, your senses encounter many situations and naturally get less sharp than before. As your ears specifically change with time, you may notice communication issues that affect your quality of life. Below are details about how your ears alter during the aging process.

Two Main Areas of Change
The ears have two main functions:
  • Hearing
  • Balance

Thus, when it comes to what alters with time, these two areas are affected. Both hearing and balance can suffer as a result of issues with the ears. Thankfully, a hearing aid can help someone with hearing loss to listen and participate in conversations better than they could do so before.

What is Presbycusis?
The most common type of natural auditory loss related to aging is called presbycusis. The process of diminished hearing is called presbycusis.

Specifically, it affects a person’s ability to hear sounds that are at a higher frequency, versus a lower vibration. That includes high-pitch voices, a ringing telephone, or a chirping bird.

While the sufferer hears voices loud enough, they are usually not heard clearly. The voices likely sound like the person speaking to them is mumbling, however, they are not doing so in reality.

A problem then for the person with presbycusis is that they cannot distinguish between every word or always understand the overall message being spoken. They also likely have trouble hearing words clearly when there is a lot of background noise, such as in a busy coffee shop setting.

Common Causes of Presbycusis
As a result of the natural aging process, presbycusis occurs in many older adults. It can start even sooner when noises contribute to the hearing loss too.

About 30-35 percent of those who are 65 years or older have at least some kind of diminished hearing. Commonly, it comes from changes to the inner ear as the individual ages, and it occurs slowly over time, so the person may not even realize they have a problem. It can also be from middle ear changes that hearing loss occurs.

About Noise Exposure
Another form of hearing loss happens as a result of exposure to sounds in the environment. While many of the sounds are at safe levels, others can be too loud and damage the ear.

Known as noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL, this condition can happen slowly over time or suddenly. The damaging noise can be sudden and intense, such as an explosion, or one that is continuous, such as a metal-working shop. It can also affect one ear or both.

As a result of NIHL, a sufferer might hear voices as distorted when having a conversation or turn up the television volume to listen to what is being said. Furthermore, being around loud noises over time can lead to tinnitus, a condition called tinnitus, which is typically characterized by a ringing or buzzing in the ears.

Balance Over Time and the Ears
Imbalance and dizziness are common among seniors, and both can relate to changes in the ears over time. Unfortunately, balance issues are a health concern as it puts an individual at a heightened risk of falling and injuries.

This type of incident would be especially severe for someone with fragile bones, such as a senior. A head trauma could result from the fall too, which is significant.

Of course, feeling dizzy and having balance problems in older age is not only associated with ear changes. It can also have muscular, neurological, and visual origins.

If it is an inner-ear problem, the part of the ear that relates is the vestibular system. Taking medications can intensify the disturbance.

Final Words on Auditory Changes Over Time
As you age, you may notice your ability to hear high-frequency sounds as clearly as you did in younger years. The changes can occur slowly over the years, or it can be sudden if there was a significant event that caused damage to the ear.

Seeing an auditory specialist to get fit for hearing aids can help many adults enjoy hearing well again. Regaining good hearing has the potential to improve the wearer’s self-confidence as they engage fully in conversations again without worry about not hearing everything clearly.

Lastly, take care to properly care and maintain the hearing aids so that they work properly for as long as possible with less need for repair. You will be fit for them by a hearing specialist so that they are comfortable and work well. Once you get used to wearing them, these devices can bring big changes to your daily life!
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Thursday, April 16, 2020

3 Tips for Using Your Time Fruitfully When Stuck at Home


As of this writing, the global COVID-19 pandemic is ensuring that much of the world’s population is currently stuck at home in a state of quarantine.

Whether you are reading this article during the current quarantine period, or whether you are reading it in completely different circumstances but are nonetheless stuck at home for some reason, it certainly can’t hurt to have a few pointers at hand that you can use in order to help ensure your time spent indoors is used fruitfully.

So, here are just a few tips for using your time fruitfully when stuck at home.

Work on identifying and managing those aspects of your life that lead you off track

We all have certain things that we want to achieve in our lives, and certain visions of the person we would ideally like to be.

What stops us from moving towards those ideals is – probably more than anything else – those assorted everyday habits, stumbling blocks, and distractions that throw us off track, divert our attention and energy, and sap our motivation.

One of the best ways you can use your time when stuck at home, is to work on identifying and managing those aspects of your life that lead you off track. One way to manage this is by doing a thoughtful inventory of your positive and negative habits, as advocated by James Clear, among others.

Another way is to simply track how you spend the majority of your time each day, potentially using a timesheet such as the one suggested by Laura Vanderkam, author of “168 Hours.” From there you can gauge how much of your time is being wasted.

Often, just a couple of substantial changes can lead to a really dramatic series of improvements.

Begin setting goals and planning for the future

Do you have some sort of idea for a future business that you would like to turn into a reality? Or maybe there’s a particular physical event you’d like to participate in, like a marathon?

Time spent at home is naturally useful for introspection – but don’t let it be only absent-minded daydreaming.

Sit down with a pen and paper and actually start setting some goals for yourself, and planning for the future.

What steps would you need to take in order to move closer to your goals? Perhaps that business idea of yours would require you to buy platform scales. Maybe getting marathon ready would require a particular training regimen upfront.

Either way, begin planning for the future.

Follow a body weight exercise routine

It’s difficult to overstate just how valuable exercise is.

For one thing, contrary to all the meathead stereotypes, exercise is one of the few things proven to improve cognitive function.

For another thing, exercise helps to boost immune function and mood – just as long as you don’t dramatically overdo it.

If you’re stuck at home and don’t have a convincing home gym setup, never fear. There are all sorts of effective body-weight exercise routines and programs out there, that can get you into great shape with little if any equipment at all.

So, whether you want to use certain interactive exercise services, or whether you want to simply piece together your own workout routine after a quick web search, look into body-weight fitness.
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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

How to Make a Success of Running Your Own Home Beauty Business

Whether you want to subsidize your current income or simply make money from the hobbies that you love, many entrepreneurs are now looking to open their own beauty businesses from home. Not only will opening this allow you to work around your own hectic schedule, but it will also allow you to build up the business of your dreams from scratch. For those looking to sell homemade beauty products or offer a salon service, here are some of the top tips that you can follow to make your venture a success.


Print Custom Business Cards
The major challenge for entrepreneurs who decide to open a business from home is their ability to spread the word about their enterprise and attract a constant stream of custom. One of the best ways to make your company known without building a website or investing in retail premises is to consider printing business cards customized to your style. Rather than opting for a formal design, you should ensure that your business cards evoke the spirit of your company’s mission through trendy or aesthetically pleasing fonts and prints. You can then share these prints with family, friends, and anyone who might be interested in what your business has to offer.

Become Active on Social Media
Being able to widen your customer base outside your immediate friends and family can be difficult when you are opening a beauty business from home. To make an impact on a larger target audience, you should consider utilizing the advantages of social media. For instance, by building a Facebook or Twitter page for your business, you will be able to create advertisements and promotional content, such as blogs and competitions, that your family and friends will be able to share with their followers. This can even help your new products and services to go viral.

Create a Relaxing Home Office
However, creating a home office environment that is conducive to productive working days is vital to the success of your business. To ensure that you are able to maintain your efficiency, you should create a focused home office by renovating a room away from the rest of the home, such as an attic or garage, to house your beauty business. Then, you should soundproof the walls, install technology that can allow you to connect with clients and complete necessary tasks, and consider adding storage facilities to enable you to hold your wares within your home.

Become Part of the Community
An integral part of any home business's marketing campaign is becoming part of the local community. However, it is simple to make your business known in your town or village. You can do this by asking to post your advertisements on local noticeboards, attending or buying stall space at community fairs and annual events, and leafleting around the nearby residential areas.

Get the Right Documentation
Even when you are running your business out of your home, it is still important that your company meets the requirements of the most recent laws in the beauty industry. For example, these regulations cover the chemicals that you use in your products in order to ensure that they are safe. It is also paramount that you have obtained the right beauty qualifications, especially if you are providing a service, such as salon or hairdressing treatments, and that you have the skills and experience in order to implement this knowledge effectively.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Improving Oral Hygiene (When We Think We're Too Old To Do Anything About It)


It is something that we all know should be a priority but we seldom view it that way. If we're looking to be healthier and happier, there are key components of our life that we need to focus on. But when we feel that life is too short or there's nothing wrong with having that extra cookie after a while, these little unhealthy habits can start to impact our lives in subtle but detrimental ways. And as we get older, old habits definitely die hard. And when it comes to something like oral hygiene we may very well feel that it's too late to start all over again especially if you've made one too many trips to the dentist. But with this in mind, what can we do to ensure that we are improving our oral hygiene regardless of our age?

The Importance Of Regular Dentist Visits
Yes, as boring as it sounds, it's crucial to go to the dentist on a regular basis. It's one of those things that we may feel that we don't prioritize. But if you want to avoid root canal therapy or any painful operation, it's a good idea to go to the dentist to make sure that you have a good base level of health. And while we may very well avoid going to the dentist for our own individual reasons, perhaps it's too expensive or we won't like the outcome, it's a good idea for us to get into this habit. It's something where going to any medical specialist will get you into the all-important habit of prevention. After all, prevention is better than cure.

Maintaining Your Bone Health
It's important to remember that your teeth and your bones are linked ever so slightly. Looking after your bone health as you get older means that you should have the recommended intake of calcium, but you also watch your diet. It's something that we don't all pay attention to but if you have a hefty intake of tobacco or sugar, they can extract minerals from where it counts. And when you start to think about your teeth and your bones as the same thing, this is where you can start to take supplements that work for both. It's not just about calcium, but it's making sure that you have the right habits in place. Looking after your teeth is about flossing but it's also about making sure that supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin form part of your daily intake.

You Are What You Eat
And it's something that as we get older we may think that it's too late to change, but when you eat healthier you will feel happier. And this isn't just in terms of your oral hygiene, but it's about your health in general. Having an extra bit of spinach on your plate can make all the difference because of the high amount of vitamin K, but it's also important to think about a balanced diet. A lot of people don't like removing sugar completely from their diet but if you can minimize it, or at least have better habits such as swilling your mouth out with water after consuming sugary substances, there won't be as much decay.

As we get older, these old habits we have can die hard but when we start to feel the impacts of an unhealthy diet or poor oral hygiene these things can make us miserable. You make little changes and they will impact you in big ways.
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Taking Care of Your Eyes


We use our sight from the moment we open our eyes in the morning to the moment that we close our eyes at night. It really is important for many of us and makes our lives a whole lot easier on a day to day basis. Of course, hundreds of thousands of people with poor quality eyesight - or who are completely blind - who lead full lives on a daily basis. But if you’re lucky enough to have good eyesight, you need to maintain it as best you can. Here are just a few different steps you can take in order to take care of your eyes.

Visit Your Optician
It’s absolutely essential that you keep up to date with your opticians appointments. It’s generally recommended that you visit your optician at least once every two years in order for them to check your overall eye health and monitor any changes to your vision. make sure to book in an appointment with your optician. When you visit the optician’s, a professional optometrist will be able to conduct a full eye examination. They can identify any conditions that need to be treated and they can prescribe lenses for glasses or contact lenses if you require them.

Tackle Discomfort
Some of us experience itchy, irritated, dry or sore eyes for a number of reasons. Generally, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor with any complaints that you might have. They’ll be able to diagnose any illnesses, conditions or problems and will be able to prescribe relevant medication or treatment to reduce your symptoms. You can also use over the counter medicines and treatments for common conditions that may be ongoing. This could be anything from antihistamines to tackle itchy eyes from hayfever to Theralife remedies for dry eyes. Using these kinds of products, as advised by your doctor, could help to relieve discomfort and help you feel a lot more comfortable on a day to day basis.

Check Your Makeup Bag
Many of us wear eye makeup. Whether regularly or just on the odd occasion here and there. Regardless, it’s important that you pay attention to how long you’ve had the makeup that you’re using. Many of us have items in our makeup bags for months on end. But many items have a limited shelf life and can actually prove detrimental to the health of your eyes if you continue to use them once they’ve passed the use by date. Make sure to clear out any old products and replace them with fresh, new products as and when you need.

These are just a few different steps that you can take to prioritize the health of your eyes and your overall well being. Take them into account and try to incorporate them into your routine as and when necessary. You’ll really benefit from it!
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4 Reasons Why You Should Hire A Wedding Planner

Planning a wedding is so stressful and there are a million tiny details that you have to work out, so why doesn’t everybody just hire a wedding planner? A lot of people skip the wedding planner because they think that it’s an extra expense and there’s no need to pay for a planner if you can do it yourself. But there are a lot of great benefits to hiring a wedding planner so you should definitely consider it. These are some of the biggest reasons why everybody should hire a wedding planner.


They Save You Money
Most people think that they are spending more if they hire a wedding planner but that isn’t the case because they will actually save you a lot of money. Wedding planning companies like Anticipation Events, for example, will be able to help you find the cheapest venues, without compromising on your big day. Wedding planners also have a lot of experience budgeting for a wedding and they have good relationships with suppliers and caterers, so they can usually get you a better price. The money that you spend on a wedding planner is outweighed by the money that they will save you, so it is always a good move.

They Make It Less Stressful
Your wedding should be one of the happiest days of your life, but in the months and weeks leading up to the big day, it feels like anything but. It’s hard to get excited because of all of the stress, and if you really want to enjoy the process of planning your wedding, you need to find ways to make it less stressful. Hiring a wedding planner is the easiest way to take the stress out of the planning process so you can actually enjoy it. They will handle everything for you so you don’t need to worry about it.

They Save You Time
Time is a big problem when you are planning a wedding, especially if you work a 9 to 5 job or you have other family responsibilities to deal with. All of your time outside of work will be taken up by wedding planning, which is exhausting. By the time the wedding comes around, it feels like you haven’t had any time to yourself for months. But if you have a wedding planner to handle things for you, it will save you a lot of time so you are still able to relax and unwind in the evenings and at the weekends.

They Are More Experienced
Wedding planners have been involved in so many weddings, so they know all of the ins and outs of how the day should run. There are so many small details that you probably haven’t even considered before, like all of the legal aspects, for example. They can help you to navigate these difficult details with ease, so you don’t make any mistakes along the way.

If you are just starting to think about your wedding, you should definitely consider hiring a wedding planner because they make life so much easier and save you a lot of money at the same time.
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Monday, April 13, 2020

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Nude Cream Review

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Not Sponsored: I LOVE THIS BODY CREAM! Ok, let me slow down. I tried Sol de Janeiro's other lotions (coco cabana and brazilian bum bum cream), and was impressed. BUT THIS ONE, in my humble estimation is a WINNER! Sol de Janeiro's Brazilian Nude Cream (Revolve, Sephora, Harvey Nichols) has a creamy white texture. It's fragrance free. It's hydrating and moisturizing to the skin. As soon as you apply it, you can feel it going into your skin. It's not heavy, oily or greasy. It contains, "Brazilian Passionflower (rich in nutrients and bursting with vitamins and omega-6 essential fatty acids; Brazilian Passionflower soothes, moisturizes and calms dry, itchy, or irritated skin) and colloidal oatmeal (helps to create a protective barrier, locking in moisture and soothing skin for soft, touchable, and always comfortable skin)." This is also an excellent hand cream (nourishing). Now let me talk about the packaging. It easily dispenses the product until about the half-way mark. After that, you're going to have some problems. You can remove the white cap, but the stick is short. So to get to the bottom of this container, you will have to use something longer (plastic spoon etc). You can hit the bottom of the container, but it doesn't easily come out. Another option is turning it upside down, but you will need a basket to keep it that way (from falling over). But the formula of this body cream is superb. My dry skin loves it, but I see all skin types loving it. You can also use it year round.

Sweet-Bittersweet-NotSweet
supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
  Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Nude Cream is Supersweet

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J.R. Watkins Detox and Sleep Creamy Body Wash and Aromatherapy In-Shower Mist Review

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Not Sponsored: One of my goals this year is to review products that promote relaxation and sleep. I was looking on ULTA's website and saw J.R. Watkins DETOX Creamy Body Wash and DETOX Aromatherapy In-Shower Mist (there's also a DETOX Sugar Body Polish and DETOX Bath Elixir) and J.R. Watkins SLEEP Creamy Body Wash and SLEEP Aromatherapy In-Shower Mist (there's also a SLEEP Sugar Body Polish and SLEEP Bath Elixir). J.R. Watkins also makes an AWAKEN Creamy Body Wash, AWAKEN Aromatherapy In-Shower Mist, AWAKEN Sugar Body Polish, and AWAKEN Bath Elixir, but I didn't purchase those. I've never tried anything from the J.R. Watkins brand. They've been around for over 152 years (1868). They create natural remedy products that soothe and heal the body. They focus on the mind, body and spirit. I love their philosophy! "At J.R. Watkins we are committed to helping you find calm, peaceful moments of reprieve from daily stress through our products and regimens." Their price point is wonderful. All of these products are cruelty-free, paraben-free, silicone-free and sulfate-free. Below are my thoughts.


Sweet-Bittersweet-NotSweet
supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff)

J.R. Watkins DETOX Creamy Body Wash and Aromatherapy In-Shower Mist - Sweet
J.R. Watkins states "Our DETOX line is crafted to clear your mind and detox your body. Wash away impurities and relieve inflammation for a much-needed reset. ⁣⁣Infused with witch hazel to clarify skin and ginger to soothe muscles." I love the scent of both the creamy body wash and in-shower mist. It's ginger, but it also reminds me of an orange creamsicle. The body wash is creamy. It lathers well. Feels great on the skin. It rinses easily. It provides light moisture. The in shower mist has the same scent. I would spray this from the chest downward, because the scent will rise. The only quirk I have is that the scent only lasts a short time (about the time it takes to apply and use the body wash). So if you take long showers, you will have to spray it a couple of times. But overall the scent is satisfying to the senses. It's calming and relaxing. You can use this both day & night.


J.R. Watkins SLEEP Creamy Body Wash and Aromatherapy In-Shower Mist - Bittersweet
J.R. Watkins states, "Our SLEEP line is crafted to calm the mind, relax the body, and support a restful night’s sleep. Infused with lavandin to encourage relaxation and orange to calm your nerves." When I purchased these, my focus was on the word SLEEP. If I took a shower at night using this product, would I go to sleep? WELL ... that is not the case with this product. I wish they would've called it CALM or RELAX, because that is what it does. Of course you eventually go to sleep, but its not right away. The SLEEP scent for these are very light. A little too light for me (almost non-existent). This has lavandin (encourages relaxation), orange (relieves nervous tension), calendula (protects collagen to beautify skin). What's positive about these is that the creamy body wash feels great on the skin, cleanses well and rinses cleanly (again, only light moisture). The in shower mist, because of the very light scent almost serves no purpose. By the time you spray it, the scent is gone. So I wasn't very impressed with the SLEEP formula.

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Sunday, April 12, 2020

My Easter Thoughts & Prayer For You

Not Sponsored: With everything going on in the world, it's hard for me to say HAPPY Easter this year. The coronavirus has been devastating to so many worldwide. People have lost their jobs. They have lost friends, co-workers and family members. People are anxious, depressed and stressed. Like you, I hear these stories on tv, from conversations with others and from friends & family. It's heartbreaking to see and hear. This entire experience has been very humbling and has shifted my entire focus this year. A couple of months ago I put up indoor Easter decorations, but as this crisis unfolded I decided to take them all down. When you see videos of people dying in the street, piles of body bags, rows of coffins and people gasping for air in hospitals ... Easter decor truly becomes insignificant. I will decorate the inside of my home again, but for me this was not the year to do so. If I had children, I would've kept everything up because for them its entirely different. They don't fully understand the complexity of this situation and need something happy to look at right now. My focus during this crisis has shifted to helping personal friends, elderly neighbors, patronizing local businesses and giving to local government. What you do ... whether it's small or large ... does make a difference and has a huge impact. Don't think it doesn't. It's important to help others anyway you can. It doesn't even have to be monetarily. Your service and/or kind words are worth the weight of gold. What the world is dealing with is a relentless, unmerciful and deadly virus. I live in one of the hot spot cities (New Orleans), so I've been taking all precautions for myself and mother (who is a senior citizen). We already live a quiet life, but it will be even more solemn this year. We're thankful for the roof over our heads, food on our table, our health and the ability to help others. We all have a long road ahead in fighting this virus. It has to be a team effort to eradicate it. It can be done, but it can't be done alone. I pray for you. I pray for your family. Take care of yourselves. May God Bless You. May God Protect You. May God See Us Through This.
Image Source: Peter Anton (learn more about Peter's sculptures and artwork here)
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