The 5 Coolest Cave Destinations In The World

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Caves are some of the world’s most beautiful and impressive natural wonders. These underground worlds can develop via a variety of ways, but are quite often the result of millions of years of erosion and rock formation through rain. Here are some of the most intriguing caves from across the world that ought to be on every travelling troglodyte’s bucket list.

Skocjan cave, Slovenia

The largest cave in Europe, this hidden treasure has no shortage of stalagmites and stalactites offering several huge chambers. It’s also thought to have one of the biggest underground canyons in the world, which you can take a bridge across on a guided tour. This cave was inhabited during prehistoric times, and so you can walk in the footsteps of cavemen. Skocjan can be easily reached via car – the nearest train station is Divaca railway station and there are villages and campsites in the area for accommodation.

Waitomo Glowworms Cave, New Zealand

This cave is special for the creatures that inhabit it. Thousands of tiny glowworms live on the rocks illuminating the cave like a night sky full of stars. Visitors can take a boat trip through the cave and take in the spectacular sight. Waitomo is about three hours from Auckland.

La Jolla Caves, USA

California’s La Jolla Caves are only accessible by water and attract many visitors each year. You can visit them via kayak as part of a tour dependent on the tides. The water around the caves is inhabited by sea lions – you may even spot a leopard shark too. La Jolla is just north of San Diego past Mission Bay and Pacific Beach.  Those visiting from afar should check San Diego visitor information for oversea visitors. You can travel there via road.

Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave, Austria

Eisriesenwelt means ‘land of the giants’. The cave measures a whopping 42 kilometres and contains all manner of dramatic ice formations such as the Ice Organ and Hymir’s Castle. It was formed by erosion from the Salzach river. Over time thawing snow and has continuously frozen in the cave creating the ice formations within. The Ice caves can be located 40 kilometres south of Salzburg. They are only open between May and October.

Krubera Cave, Georgia

Krubera Cave is also known as the ‘cave of crows’ due to the amount of crows nestling at its entrance, giving it a menacing presence. It’s the deepest cave in the world, stretching down more than 2 kilometres. Climbers have described it as an ‘inverted Mount Everest’. Unlike many of the caves on this list, Krubera is still in the stages of being explored and limited largely to professionals, although there are other caves in Abkhazia that are open to tourists.

Caring For Your Mental Health: A Complete Guide

Whenever we talk about health, it’s usually centred around physical issues. We talk about ensuring we remain healthy, and it’s normally accompanied by advice such as exercise a lot and eat foods that are good for you.

The problem is, we focus so much on our physical health, we end up neglecting our mental health. This is a real issue as mental health problems affect millions of people up and down the country, and billions all over the world. They’re serious issues too, and many people die because of mental health problems every year. In the UK alone, around 6,000 people commit suicide every year as the result of deep mental health issues. So many of these deaths could’ve been prevented if individuals cared more about their mental health and understood how to handle any problems.

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That’s what this post is going to talk about today. I want to help you learn how to keep your mind healthy, which will ultimately lead to a much healthier you in general. If you feel like you have some issues going on up there, then I implore you to carry on reading this guide. It will help you understand what your problems are, and the best course of action to keep yourself healthy. Even if you don’t have issues, it’s important to know all of this in case you start to develop them one day or you have friends/family suffering that need your help.

So, without further ado, here’s a complete guide to caring for your mental health:

Accept That You Have An Issue

I think the biggest problem with mental health issues is that no one likes to admit they have one. We can talk all day about the stigma of mental health that’s really been created by the media and mainstream TV. We’ve almost been led to believe that if you have a problem with your mind, you are insane and will be crazy.

No. This is not true at all. There are multiple issues that develop over time and are common in so many people. Things like anxiety, depression, split personality disorder are all common problems and don’t turn you insane. They’re health issues just like a dodgy knee or obesity, the only difference is they affect your psyche rather than your physicality.

So, the first step in caring for your problems is accepting you have one. Realise that you’re depressed, that you’re suffering in some way, and make a commitment to improving your life and dealing with it. Don’t be afraid of acceptance, things are a lot worse if you’re in denial.

Try And Find The Cause Of Your Problems

If you have a physical problem that’s causing you pain, what do you do? You try and figure out what’s causing your pain, and it will help you solve the issue and return to full health. It’s the same with mental health problems. A lot of them are triggered by an event or circumstances in your life.

The issue is, it’s sometimes a lot harder to pinpoint the cause of mental health problem compared to a physical one. But, there are some examples of common causes. I think one of the top causes has to be divorce. If your parents split up when you’re quite young, it could have an effect on your mind and lead to mental health issues down the line. Mainly, this is because you bottle up your emotions and never speak to them about how you feel. As is the case with a lot of the causes, such as feeling left out of your friend group. You feel left out, you get lonely, and you retreat into your shell which causes anxiety and depression.

A big cause of mental health problems is a severe or critical event that happens to you or that you witness. The best example of this is an army veteran that saw horrible things when in the service, and it plays with their head. But, you could also develop mental health issues after a car crash or if you’re mugged, etc.

It’s important to try and trace back the start of your mental health problems to the main cause. In doing so, you can maybe confront it and help figure out ways to cure yourself.

Get Professional Help

As I’ve already mentioned, there are parallels between mental and physical health problems. When you’re physically in bad shape, what do you do? You call up your doctor and book a consultation right away. Often, they help you in ways you couldn’t yourself, and you recover quicker.

Again, it’s the same with mental health problems, you need to get professional help. Sometimes, this means calling your doctor, and they’ll refer you to a psychologist or another qualified professional with experience in this field. You should also speak to your bosses at work if you’re suffering as they may provide you with a professional service to help you cope. I know there are companies like Health Assured that some businesses work with for this exact reason. It’s especially important if some of your stress and anxiety comes from work too. You need the professional help and guidance to help get through it and combat your issues.

Looking for help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong. It shows you’re facing up to your demons and really want to change the way you are.

Talk

My final tip is simple; just talk. Talk about your problems with a professional counsellor or with friends and family. Write about your journey in a blog or film it and upload it to YouTube. Just make sure you speak about it as much as possible, it will really help you.

Most mental health problems are aggravated when you bottle everything up and don’t express your feelings and talk about what’s wrong. Don’t let this happen to you, speak out, and speak loudly too, it will help you as well as others too.

I really hope this guide helps many people out there suffering from anxiety, depression, or any other mental health problems. Take my advice on board, and you can start breaking free and feeling more healthy.

Sure Signs You Need To Make Some Changes

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We all want to b perfectly healthy, and yet achieving that can be incredibly difficult. Partly what it so tricky about it is keeping up with our own bodies. Trying to stay in tune with your body is one of the most difficult things you need to do – but it is likely essential if you want to improve your health. In this post, we are going to look through some of the most common telltale signs that you are in need of some health-related changes in your life. As long as you are looking out for the following, you should stay on the right track for as long as you need to, or would like to.

Aches & Pains

We all get aches and pains from time to time, but if you are getting any that seem to be unexplained, or they persist for a long time, then you will want to have it checked out. Although they can be benign and nothing to worry about, it is also always possible for aches and pains to be symbols and indicators of something more serious. Aching limbs could mean the start of a flu, for example. Or worse, if you have chronically aching limbs, it might be that you are developing a serious illness like meningitis or something similar. Make sure you keep an eye out for any aches and pains, no matter where they might crop up in your body. You need to ensure that you are doing everything you can to keep illnesses at bay, so this is hugely important.

Tiredness & Lethargy

Being tired is quite common these days, especially in our culture. However, this doesn’t mean that it is a healthy state to be in. As it happens, we are all far too tired far too often these days. Mostly this is down to the nature of our work, which often seems to be designed to make us as sleepless as possible. If you find that you are excessively tired, however, you should consider taking some steps towards fixing that.

There is fortunately a lot you can do to improve your overall sense of tiredness. For a start, you should stop relying on caffeine to get you through the days. Caffeine can affect your ability to sleep up to twelve hours after taking it, so if you want to sleep better you should cut it out immediately, or at least cut down on how much you have. It is also true that screens affect our ability to sleep. This happens because the light from screens inhibits the body’s production of melatonin, the chemical which informs your body clock that it is time to sleep. So if you want to sleep better, you should seriously think about reducing the amount of time you spend looking at screens throughout the day, and particularly in the evening.

Another common problem is that the bed is simply not comfortable enough. There is no reason not to have a comfortable bed, so you should make sure to treat yourself to only the very best that you can afford in bedding. That way, you are much more likely to get a decent amount of sleep each night, and that will hugely affect your overall health in a number of positive ways, as well as ensuring that you feel much less tired on the whole. Sleep is an essential – make sure you get enough.

Addiction

The number of things which are potentially addicting is incredibly high. In a way, you can say that anything which relies upon or provides a dopamine rush can be potentially addictive. The quality of addiction is not necessarily anything to do with the substance or habit itself, but the dependence that the person feels upon it. If you ever start to notice that you are developing a dependence for something, it is a good idea to nip it in the bud as soon as you can.

Some addictions are arguably more damaging than others, and often these are the most common ones, simply because they are the most addictive. A good example in our culture is nicotine. This is the second most commonly addicted-to substance in the world (sugar being the first) and it is also incredibly dangerous when smoked in tobacco. If you notice yourself beginning to smoke more and more, you should think about curtailing it in order to get your health back on track as soon as possible. You might find it difficult, so using discount vape juice or nicotine patches is likely to make the transition easier on you. However you do it, you should aim to be rid of your addiction as soon as possible.

If you find yourself becoming addicted to something other than a substance, you still might want to think about kicking it. You might be addicted to social media, for example, and even this can negatively affect your health and your life as a whole. Remember: anything can b addictive, and it is up to you to decide whether something is becoming a problem or not.

Depression

It is often said that depression is the most commonly widespread mental illness in the world. If we think about the worst possible outcome of this affliction (death) we can see why it might be such a serious concern, and something which we should all learn as much about as possible. Depression kills people, and it is so important that you keep an eye out for any early signs of it in yourself and in your loved ones.

Depression is usually marked by a flattened affect, meaning a lack or loss of ability to feel emotions deeply. It is also usually accompanied by an intense sadness, but it can also just be a numbness. Sometimes, it comes hand in hand with a heavy dose of anxiety, and this can confuse the situation greatly. If you notice depression in yourself or anyone else, you should ensure that the proper medical treatment is sought immediately. It could be a life or death decision.

Is Your Body Showing Signs Of Stress?

We tend to focus on the psychological symptoms of stress, but stress can also contribute to changes in your physical health. If you’ve been under pressure at work or you’ve been going through a tough time in your personal life, you may not have given your health a second thought, but your body may be crying out for help. Here are some signs that your body is feeling the impact of stress too.

Tiredness and lethargy

Sleep problems are a common byproduct of stress, and many people find that they can’t sleep properly when they’ve got things on their mind. We are usually capable of bouncing back after a sleepless night, but if you’re losing out on sleep on a regular basis, it’s bound to take its toll eventually. If you’re not getting enough sleep, this can affect your energy levels and cause you to feel tired and lethargic during the day.

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IBS

IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is a common chronic condition, which affects the digestive system. It can cause you to experience changes in your bowel habits. Although stress doesn’t cause IBS, it exasperates symptoms. If you’re prone to stomach upsets, diarrhoea or constipation, you may find that your symptoms may become more severe or you get more frequent bouts of IBS when you’re stressed. If this is the case, arrange to see your doctor to discuss treatment for IBS. There are changes you can make to your diet that may be helpful, and you can also take medication and add probiotics into your diet. Some people also find that regular exercise is beneficial.

Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. If you’re having one of those days when you’ve got a million things to do, or things just aren’t going your way, you may be more susceptible to headaches. Tension headaches are not associated with underlying causes, and they tend to develop when you’re anxious, you’re tired, or you’re dehydrated. If you have a headache, take some painkillers, get some fresh air, and try and relax. If you keep getting headaches or the pain is getting worse, see your doctor.

Coughs and colds

When you’re stressed out, your immune system may suffer, which prevents it from working as effectively as it could. You may have noticed that you seem to catch every cold going when you’re feeling frazzled, and you’re struggling to stay on top of everything. When your immune system is compromised, your body may not be able to fend off threats, and this is why you’re more prone to illnesses and infections. If you’ve got a cold, get plenty of rest, keep warm, and stay hydrated.

Stress isn’t just a psychological illness. It can also affect your physical health. If your body is showing the signs of stress, and you feel like you’re swimming against the tide, there are lots of stress relief techniques and therapies that could help. If self-help methods like exercise, taking time to relax and meditation don’t work, don’t hesitate to talk to a doctor.

With Will (And Grace)… How To Deal With Old Age

It’s something we can’t always get our heads round, getting older. Some of us deny it until we actually get to the point where we realize we’re not invincible anymore. Or we may experience something that makes us think about how mortal we are. It’s difficult from any point of view, whether we’re dealing with our own life clock ticking away, or we’re looking after a parent or relative because they’re not able to look after themselves anymore. Coping is a skill we can all learn when faced with a difficult situation, and whether you’re a carer or the person being cared for. Let’s delve into it a bit more…

Looking After Yourself…

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Age-related cognitive decline is something we all worry about, and what it’s all about is that we’re not keeping our brains sharp and fit enough. We can see when we’re overweight, or if we need to exercise more, but in our minds, it’s much easier to be locked into a certain state and not recognise that we may need a little help. The basics provide a good base, healthy food (Omega 3’s, fish oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds), moderate exercise to get the blood flowing, and doing a lot of things that exercises your mind. It’s important to remember that when we’re trying to learn something, we can get frustrated and think it won’t click, but the next day we’ve cracked it. This is actually due to your brain building more connections. Don’t think that you or the person you’re looking after can decline fast, it’s all about keeping them engaged in the right ways, and this is why a lot of people after retirement decline fast because they’re not making the most of their minds anymore.

Comfort And Relaxation…

Stress is a big killer in the modern world, but at the same time, too little stress is bad for you too. Finding a balance between the two is the right approach. When you’re looking after someone, it can be a big stress on you, and you may wonder whether to step back and let your loved one be looked after by professionals. The right care homes provide comfort and relaxation for your relatives but also reduce the stress for you in many ways. Places like Porthaven promote spirituality, physical exercise, as well as creativity, which helps to keep those faculties sharp, which will reduce stress and anxiety for them. Comfort and relaxation aren’t just about sitting in a nice chair for twelve hours a day, but by providing meaning to our existence in our twilight years, which is something for all of us to think about.

Not Sweating The Small Stuff…

The key to longevity is happiness, and this is something we all forget about from time to time. The Italian who died at 117 earlier this year, the oldest living person, clung onto her independence after an unhappy marriage, and this, she said, was the key to her living a long and happy life. Stress is bad, and we all suffer from it, but whether you’re looking after someone, or you’re trying to think about how you can age gracefully, take note.

Shabby Chic At Home: Is Less, More?

If you have an older home that you want to make some changes to, then you really need to think about what will work well with it. An ultra minimalist and modern style of decor could work. However, due to the nature of the design of the home, it could look a little out of place. So it could be worth considering and embracing, a bit of classic British shabby chic for your home. With a cottage feel, full of lace, and frilly touches, it can look really cute, but still with a bit of a retro vibe. The key is to not overdo it, though, or it could end up looking like an old people’s home! So here are some tips of how to embrace shabby chic the right way. You’ll have a cute and cosy interior before you know it.

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Look For Antiques

If you want to get some genuine shabby chic into your home, then being on the hunt for antique furniture is a great way to do it. You don’t have to leave the furniture as it is. However, you can if you would like to. But repainting and reupholstering is a great way to get some really unique pieces that look just as stylish too. It could be some old French chairs, for example. With a sand down, a lick of paint, and fresh new cushions, they could look amazing in a dining room, or even to use with a dresser in a bedroom. They key to finding the best pieces of antique furniture is to look for the potential that the furniture has, not just what you see it has on face value. If the thought of reupholstering does scare you a little, then why not look at an article like upholster.co.uk/howto/, for example. Then you’ll have a guide to help you get the furniture looking as you’ll want it to.

Choose Dainty Accessories

In order to embrace the shabby chic look in your home, then it is all about the accessories. Personal preference does come into play here, as not everyone is going to want accessories on every shelf and in every room. So choose what works for you. Think about things that give a nod to the shabby vibe, though, with things like cute cups and saucers, as well as vintage teapots or silver trays. Flowers are always going to work for a shabby chic look. But instead of the more modern looking succulents, choose actual flowers, or even paper flowers for something extra quirky. One piece of advice is to not go overboard with the colours that you choose. They should suit the colours of the room and compliment them, not clash or distract from them. When it all fits with the tone of the room, it looks right, rather than something from a jumble sale.

Country Kitchen

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. So it makes sense that getting the kitchen right is the best way to get the overall look of the home that you want. An English country style kitchen is the best way to get the look that you’re after. You could choose some intricate designs on your kitchen units, as well as choosing rustic wood floors and a rustic wooden table and chairs. Annie Sloan do some great paints for this shabby chic look in a kitchen, as in most instance, you don’t even need to sand down the furniture. It just paints right on. So you may have a table that just needs a little love and an update. Leaving the top of the table as wood, and then painting the legs a lighter colour, like cream or white, is always a good shabby chic look. It makes it look very homely and chic but still gives it a modern and classy edge.

Don’t Forget About the Bathroom

The bathroom can often get a little overlooked when it comes to decorating the house. Especially when it is decorating the house in this shabby chic style. Which can leave it looking a little out of place with the rest of the home. But there are lots of ways that you can make your bathroom a cute and cosy shabby chic style bathroom. First of all, if you have space, then a freestanding bath in the bathroom is the way to go. It just screams elegance and vintage style, just like in the old movies. So look for a roll top bath with claw feet, from somewhere like drench.co.uk for the ultimate shabby chic bathroom style. Of course, there are plenty of showers and sink styles that will work too. It is just about things like the fixtures and fittings when it comes to getting the style just right, though. Look for waterfall showerheads and taps, rather than their really modern looking counterparts. It is also a good idea to look for bronze or brushed gold taps, rather than shiny stainless steel silver ones. The latter just looks too shiny and modern, when you are trying to achieve a classic and slightly aged look.

Other things that work well in the bathroom are freestanding towel rails, as it will make them almost look like a changing rail or shutter. Choosing fabric shower curtains is more of a shabby chic look, rather than a glass or Perspex shower screen. So all just things to bear in mind. In many ways, it is all about the accessories and the finish on things, that will really give you the shabby chic look.

Wall Decor

You can’t just have bare walls in your home, can you? But you need to be more particular about what you want on the walls when you’re trying to achieve a certain look. One thing that I particularly like is when a plain mirror is framed and paired with a large vintage looking photo frame. Often you can’t find a mirror with the right kind of edging (and if you can it will often cost a fortune). So framing the mirror with a large photo frame can give it a quirky and vintage look. The best thing about it is that you can sand down and distress or paint the photo frame, so you can make it look quite different to how you bought it. Again, don’t just take these kinds of thing at face value. Look for the potential that they have, and you can make something look completely different and just in the style that you want.

Other wall decor could be classic photographs in mismatched frames, as well as putting accessories on the wall. Old plates or saucers could be hung on the walls too. You could frame three in a row that are similar, just like you might do with photographs. Just be careful to not overkill the look. Things like that don’t need to be on every wall in the home, for example. But a few here and there will make the room look totally different than if there photos or wall art hanging there instead.

Think About Colour

Some colours will really help to give the home a shabby chic and vintage look. Some colours, however, will really distract from the look that you are trying to achieve. The colours you want to go for should be softer colours, rather than harsher colours. If you’re unsure what I mean, then just think of a cream coloured wall versus a white coloured wall. The white colour might look more crisp, but it does look more harsh than the soft cream coloured wall. So pure bright white is a colour to be avoided really. The same goes for bright colours too. Pastel shades and paler colours will be the colours to choose. A duck egg blue or pastel blue will look much softer in the home that a bright cobalt blue, for example. So think about colour in your home and choose it wisely. It can make all of the difference!

Layer Up

Trying to achieve a shabby chic look in the home can come down to lots of different layers. First of all, you start off with your walls. Then there might be accessories on the walls or photographs, and mirrors hung to display. Then you need to layer things up on your furniture. Think about throws and cushions for your chairs and sofas, as well as cloths and lace trimmings for things like your dining table and on your bed. You could add lace to shelving in your home, to add another dimension to it. All of the frilly and feminine touches will give your home a really vintage feel, and make it the prettiest place to be. Again, don’t do everything all at once in one room. It could be a lace tablecloth and drapes in one room, with a frilly throw and cushions in another room. Less can be more.

Is shabby chic a style that you love in your home? Would love to hear what you think.

Don’t Improve Your Home Alone

Although your home may be your little castle, and although improving it by yourself may be something that you long to do, you have to enlist help. You simply can’t take a home improvement venture alone. Well, that’s if you want your home improvement to be a success. Below you can find a few instances of when you should ask for help, and details of those who can provide it.

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The designing

Designing a home is only something a select few can make a real success of. These types of people are called architects and interior designers. They have a talent to pinpoint even the smallest of instances that could hamper a successful home improvement. They also have the talent to be able combat these instances and make them right. An architect is definitely somebody you should enlist to help you because he or she would help you get the best out of every room in your home before the improvement takes place. They would position the appliances, cupboards and other kitchen necessities in the most practical places possible. They would make the living room a nice place to be in by positioning it in a way that makes it both comforting and open. And they would make sure that the bathroom is laid out in a way that makes it as safe a place as possible in relation to the water usage within it. And then, once the architect has sprinkled their architecture magic all about your home you’d get an interior designer in. They would get to work in bringing the plans laid out by the architect to life. They would bring unused spaces to life with decor. They would choose a colour scheme that would accentuate a room. And they would do a whole host of other brilliant designing things.

The manual work

Manual work is not for everyone, that much is for certain. Some people just don’t have the body to be able to paint, lift and stretch for large portions of the day. No, this isn’t laziness. It’s just nature. But, if you feel that you’re just not up to the heavy lifting, stretching and other strenuous activities induced by home improvement work then you should know all hope is not lost. You can and should get help off of someone who is able to do these things. And this type of person is generally going to be a tradesperson. These types of people are physically capable of completing the manual work that is demanded of a home improvement venture. This is exemplified by the fact that they do it for a living, every single day. And because they do it for a living it means they are professionally qualified and in the know on how to complete it. Painter and decorators, for instance, are both used to the demands of a long days working on a home and they are trained to be able to do the work also. They will prepare the places in your home that is going to be painted. They paint them. And they then add the finishing touches to them in order to ensure all is as you desire it to be.

The payment

Home improvements cost a lot and there’s no getting around it. Before you even stop to consider how much you have spent you could have already spent tens of thousands — and that’s just on one room! So, you need to take your budget into account. And one way to stretch this budget as far as it can go is to ask for financial help from others. This could be family member, a friend, a colleague or even a professional borrowing company. It’s not embarrassing to ask for financial assistance — in fact it’s quite a normal thing to have to do, especially when you are undertaking a home improvement venture. Borrowing is a quick way to get the money you need to turn your home into your dream home. Borrowing from people you know is a great way to cover the costs of your home improvement without having strict deadlines to pay back by. But when you take this route, you might not be able to get the amount of money you need. But cash loans without lenders makes the attaining of substantial amounts of cash as quick and as easy now as it ever has been. You just need to be aware of the deadline that is in place on you to pay the money back by. And you need to be capable of paying back the money you borrowed before this deadline. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help financially, whether you ask somebody you know or a professional borrowing or lending company.

Unless you are professionally trained in all trades, have an architectural or designing streak coursing through your veins and are made of money you simply cannot take a home improvement venture alone. You must enlist help — if you don’t, not only will you ruin your improvement plans but you could make your home an unsafe place to live in. So, don’t be silly. Don’t put your safety and your home’s much-needed improvements at risk; ask for help when it comes to making upgrades to your home.