Style Over Substance? Never!

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When it comes to a home, it is tempting to make it as stylish as possible. No one wants a house over a home, so filling it with designer products makes it more welcoming. However, although the design is important, style should never come before substance. At the end of the day, a home is a place to kick back and relax after a hard day at work. As such, it needs to be as comfortable as it is beautiful. Luckily, every homeowner can get the balance just right by following the advice underneath.

Here’s how to create a stylish home full of substance.

Use More Fabric

The current culture involves ridding houses of any piece of fabric and replacing it with a shiny alternative. Although leather sofas and hardwood floors do look the part, they are nowhere near as cosy as fabrics. The material itself is soft and welcoming, and it is warm to the touch. Plus, the look also adds a sense of warmth to the room so that it never appears cold and bare. With a fabric couch or carpet on the floors, there is no reason to worry about either substance or style. You can have both with a couple of savvy purchases.

Coat With Fresh Paint

One of the reasons houses begin to look old is because of the paint job. In the beginning, the paint has a certain gloss and shine that makes it very appealing. However, like all things, it ages and loses its appeal as it becomes tired and dilapidated. The good news is that a fresh coat of paint will instantly revive the style as soon as it touches the walls. In fact, you can use it on any surface in the house. Even better is the fact that the colour takes care of the substance issue. Now that it is summer, light hues not only invoke happiness, but they reflect heat and lower the temperature of the room.

Invest In Quality Furniture

Every room in the house will have furniture or fittings, from the bathroom to the kitchen. The problem with this is the expense because fixtures are not cheap. As a result, homeowners shy away from the best quality pieces to help keep their bank balance happy. That is a mistake if you care about getting the balance between style and comfort just right. Why? It’s because designer furniture kills the two birds with one stone. Of course, it pops due to the fact that it is a designer piece, yet it is also practical as it uses quality materials. Anyway, buying the best items is usually a great way to save money in the long-term.

Consider The Format

Comfort doesn’t only revolve around sinking into an armchair and relaxing. It is also about how easy it is to navigate the room. Let’s face it, squeezing through tight spaces is a nightmare. As such, it is very uncomfortable, especially if you have to do it on a daily basis. The trick is to restructure the rooms in the house so that there is a design pattern as well a clear pathway.

For obvious reasons, some things are hard to move, but the furniture that isn’t bolted down is a prime candidate.

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The Golden Years: Simple Healthcare Tips That You’ll Need Throughout Your Retirement

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As you approach retirement, the thought of spending more time with loved ones and relaxing with your favorite hobbies is exciting. However, you’ll only be able to enjoy those golden years if your health remains in great condition.

 It’s only natural for the human body to change over time. But as long as you’re prepared to pay attention to those new health requirements, there’s nothing to stop this being the greatest time of your life. So, what are you waiting for? There’s no time to waste.

 #1. Think Movements

 The most common change to take place as you grow older revolves around movement. It’s likely that aches and pains will start to creep in while your body simply won’t be able to do some of the things it used to. Accepting those new limits is vital.

 It’s still important to remain active. Yoga for senior citizens can be a particularly great option while swimming and cycling offer low-impact workouts. Meanwhile, you may need to complete various exercises to reduce the damage caused by arthritis and similar problems.   

 Arguably the most crucial factor is to remain comfortable in the home. This may require some adaption via stairlifts and easily accessed bath tubs. Alternatively, you could look at downsizing to ground floor property. Either way, this will go a long way to retaining your independence.

 #2. Fuel Your Body Well

 Good nutrition is something we should all appreciate throughout our lives. Having said that, the need to give your body the right things is even greater as you get older. Cooking multiple meals at once and freezing them will save you plenty of time and money. Meanwhile, it’s worth looking into couponing and any schemes aimed at senior citizens.

 Giving your body the right things isn’t just about food, though. Aged care medication allows quick, easy, and affordable access to important medicines. Whether it’s controlling your diabetes or other ailments doesn’t matter. Ensuring that your body gains everything needed for great health and comfort will pay dividends in the long run.

 Finally, it’s imperative that you give yourself the best chance to get a great night’s sleep. Sleep patterns can influence various elements of your health, and will make the whole world feel brighter too. Besides, waking up an hour later is one of the best things about not working.

 #3. Appreciate Mental Health

 Protecting your physical health is one thing, but it’s equally imperative that you consider the mental health aspects too. Being away from the daily interactions of the workplace can cause issues, as can losing friends and family over the years. Ignoring it simply isn’t an option.

Knowing how to care for your mental health will have a telling impact on your ongoing happiness. But as well as taking individual precautions, you must also learn to accept help from others. A problem shared is a problem halved, and you mustn’t feel as though you’re fighting it alone.

A healthy mind combined with a healthy body will establish the foundations of a happy retirement. What more could anyone ask for?

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.