The Weather And Your Mental Health

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We’re all aware that the weather can affect our physical health, some people get more aches and pains in the cold; the flu and viruses are rife as winter hits and sunstroke, sunburn or heat rash are common in the summer. However, did you know that the weather can also affect your mental health? It’s not just about the time of year which people find difficult, Christmas and New Year aren’t necessarily happy for a lot of people, and if you’re suffering from depression, then you probably feel the pressure to be happy as well as general anxiety around the festive period. It’s also the weather and the weather won’t be getting any warmer or brighter for a few months yet, so after Christmas and New Year is often really tough as well.

You may have heard about Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. It is sometimes known as "winter depression" because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter although a few people with SAD may have symptoms during the summer and feel better during the winter.

According to the NHS, the exact cause of SAD isn't fully understood, but it's often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days.

The leading theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working correctly, which may affect the: production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy; in people with SAD, the body may produce it in higher than normal levels.  A lack of sunlight may also lead to lower serotonin levels, a hormone that affects your mood, appetite, and sleep. Feelings of depression can also be linked to your body's internal clock (circadian rhythm) as your body uses sunlight to time various vital functions, such as when you wake up, so lower light levels during the winter may disrupt your body clock and lead to symptoms of SAD.

It’s not just SAD and not just people who suffer from depression that suffer depending on the weather, according to John Grohol, PsyD, founder and CEO of Psych Central, “the overall preponderance of evidence suggests that weather can have more than just ‘a little effect’ on your mood.” In a 1974 study with 16,000 students in Basel City, Switzerland, 18 percent of the boys and 29 percent of the girls responded negatively to certain weather conditions, exhibiting symptoms of fatigue, dysphoric moods, irritability, and headaches.

During the winter months, everyone should try and get as much natural sunlight as possible, exercise regularly, and manage your stress levels. There are Depression Treatments available such as light therapy – where a particular lamp called a lightbox is used to simulate exposure to sunlight or talking treatments – such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or counseling can help too.



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Taking Active Steps to Make 2019 As Positive As Possible

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2019 is literally around the corner and this can mean many things to many different people.

Home Buying Tips For Moms Trying To Save

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From Pexels

Buying a family home, especially your first one, is an incredibly exciting process. However, amongst all of this excitement is also a whole load of stress, especially where your finances are concerned. With children to feed and clothe, bills to pay, and so much more to buy, the one thing that holds most back from investing in property is the cost. Thankfully, you can cut this down a little. With that in mind, here are six ways you can save money buying a home for your family.

Save A Larger Deposit
Unbeknownst to many first-time buyers, the value of your house isn’t the only cost to consider throughout the buying process. Among other things, you need to pay a deposit on your mortgage, which usually comes to between five and twenty percent of the loan. To cut down the cost of repayments, you should offer a larger sum. This will reduce the interest you need to pay.

Improve Your Credit Score
A poor credit score makes it highly unlikely that you’ll be accepted for a loan, but, even if you are, the interest rates and lender’s fees are going to be much higher. This will mean you have to spend much more to pay off your mortgage. To prevent this, you should look for ways to improve your credit score, such as paying your bills on time and working to reduce your debts.

Look For Different Quotes
Mortgages are rarely as simple as they first appear. You’ll quickly find that different lenders have different rates and others fees and that they all have various mortgage products, all with different costs too. To ensure you get the best deal, you should shop around and find the best mortgage rates. Ensure you get at least three quotes and negotiate with lenders for better deals.

Use An Estate Agent
Many inexperienced buyers view an estate agent as an unnecessary cost, and, as such, opt to house hunt on their own. However, realtors fees and payments aren’t actually your responsibility. It’s the seller that pays them, not you. For this reason, you should do your research and find a professional to help you. They can offer a lot of support, saving you money, as well as time.

Find A Fixer -Upper
We all want to buy a house that is clean, newly decorated, and ready to go. Because of this, most of these houses will cost you a lot more. For this reason, you should consider hunting for a fixer-upper property. These do require a lot of work but are usually much cheaper for this reason. Just be sure that the cost of repairs won’t outweigh the money you save on the house.

Buy Throughout The Winter
Moving house is a stressful process at the best of times, but, when the weather is less than kind, it can make the ordeal that much more tricky. Because of this, most people choose to move throughout spring and summer. If you want to save, however, you should hunt for properties throughout the colder months of the year. During this time, houses tend to be a lot cheaper.

Buying a house is a costly experience, but, with the advice above, you can cut costs and save some money.
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Protecting Your Child from Your Relationship Issues

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What’s Stopping You From Becoming Your Best

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Life can be tough, there’s no doubt about that. But it can also be beautiful and fun, curious and incredible. And if you’re not really living to your full potential, you may not know that. So, it’s ever so important for you to be able to become your very best self. Yet, it’s really not always that simple. Sometimes, you feel held back. Yet you have no idea why. And sometimes, you cannot figure out what you need to do to be able to make a change. And when you’re in this kind of situation, you’re not going to be at your best. So let’s change that. Because we all have potential and we all deserve to live our lives to the fullest and really get the most out of life. So let’s take a look at what could be stopping you from becoming the best version of yourself.

Fear

To start with, it could be because you’re scared. And not on an everyday, you’re so terrified of life kind of fear. But the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone. The fear of changing your life. The fear of failing. Yet, you won’t ever know what will happen until you try. Or until you make that first step. And if you have dreams and you want to accomplish them, you need to feel the fear and work on them anyway.

Money

Sometimes, it can be money. And if you do not have the funds to do what you want to do in life, then you need to work on that. Start to save. Get a new job. Sell your stuff. Start a side hustle. More money can always be earned, remember that.

Health

Next up, it could be your health. Maybe you’re sick or something happened to you? When this is the case, you may be worried about how you can move forward. Or maybe you’re still recovering from birth injuries or a diagnosis and you’re unable to actually do much to help yourself? Then here, you’re going to want to help your health and get the medical assistance that you need to actually move forward. You owe it to yourself.

Others

If you know that the opinions of others are holding you back, or what they actually want for you, then you need to just move past this. This is your life, and you need to do what makes you happy - for you. Because you’ll only ever regret it if you don’t.

Your Mindset

And finally, we then also have your mindset too. Because it could actually be the case that you’re kind of holding yourself back. And sure, sometimes this is through fear, but not always. Maybe you’re too negative and you always see the bad in life and in people? Maybe you’re pessimistic all of the time? Then you will need to improve your mindset. Because you’re only damaging yourself here. When you’re positive and grateful, your opportunities truly are endless.

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Bullet Journalling: The Parenting Savior No One Tells You About

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Even if you don’t realize that you need a bullet journal in your life, you were drawn to this post for a reason. And, that reason is that journaling in this way could be your parenting savior.

Attention: Fix Your Posture!

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Don’t let posture pains stop you from playing with your kids. Flickr


Everyone’s unique in their own way, but there are also loads of things that the majority of people have in common. These days, almost everyone you come into contact with has bad posture. Unless they’re a ballerina or an athlete, then their posture sucks! It’s an especially problematic issue for parents, as you’re often stuck doing things that make your posture worse.

I think all people and parents need to fix their posture, and I’ll explain how to do this later on. First, I want to discuss why this is so important:

Get rid of chronic pain

How many of you are stuck with a stiff neck or sore back all the time? Most of us, right? This usually comes down to lousy posture as it means our spine and hips are just in wrong positions, which causes pain. So, when you fix your posture, it gets rid of your chronic pain, leading to a much better life. This is also good for parents who might be too stiff or sore to play with their kids, which is never something you want to admit to yourself. By working on your posture, you can become more mobile, flexible, and pain-free! So, picking your kids up and running around with them becomes a breeze.


Good posture makes you much happier and positive! pixnio

Improve your mental wellbeing

Yes, your posture links into your mental wellbeing! Most people assume that issues with your mental health are purely mind-based. However, it’s often physical things that can put you in a bad frame of mind. With poor posture, you’re very rounded over, and your body language is quite closed off. Plus, there’s the soreness to deal with every day, which can make you negative. When you fix your posture and get into proper alignment, then everything feels better. You’re standing up taller, your body language is way more positive, and all the pain has subsided. As a result, you end up in a much better mental space!

Keep your body healthy

The worst thing about having lousy posture is that you don’t realize the effect it’s having on your body. Staying in an uncompromising position will put so much strain and tension on different muscles or joints. This can lead to serious problems like arthritis or it can even lock your body into unnatural positions. If you don’t do something about it, then you could end up like a hunch back all bent over or your lower back essentially gives out because there’s too much tension there. As a result, you could be asking for a one-way ticket to a wheelchair. If you look after your posture and work on improving it, then you help keep your body healthy. This helps prevent future issues like these, meaning you can stay in better shape for longer. Hopefully, you’ll still be fit as a spring chicken when you have grandchildren so you can play with them as well!

As you can see, your posture plays an integral role in your life! If you have kids, then lousy posture can ruin things for you. Simple stuff like trying to pick your child up will be painful for you. Your constant soreness means you don’t want to play with them as you’re in too much pain. So, you really need to focus on fixing any issues, and here’s what you’ve got to do:

Strengthen your core muscles

Most people’s posture issues are caused by muscle imbalances - usually centered around your core. This is basically your abs, lower back, and a bit of glute in there as well. When you fix your posture, it inevitably means you strengthen all of these muscles. Why is this a good thing? Well, strengthening your abs can help to flatten your stomach, which instantly makes you look slimmer and leaner. More importantly, it keeps your spine in a more neutral position. So, it’s not over-arching or rounding in the wrong places, meaning your pain goes away and you’re more balanced. There are loads of exercises you can try, but a classic plank is probably the best one - and here’s a video to help you do it correctly.



Strengthen your back muscles

Along with your abs and core muscles, you need to strengthen your back muscles as well. This helps pull your shoulders back into their proper position, which stops them rounding over and causing all sorts of pain and soreness.

Stretch out your tight muscles

As well as strengthening your core and upper back muscles, you need to stretch out your tight ones. Inevitably, these end up being on the opposite side of your body to the weak muscles! So, stretch our your chest, shoulders, lower back, and hip flexors/quads. This loosens them up and stops all the tension and tightness that can pull your spine out of position. Again, there’s a video below that shows you some good stretches to try out.



Sit less and stay active

The number one reason for bad posture is that we sit too much. We drive the car everywhere, we sit at work, we sit on the sofa - and so on. This causes all the muscle imbalances that throw everything out of place. So, if you sit less and maintain a more active lifestyle, then the previous three tips will start to be more beneficial. There’s no use strengthening and stretching if you aren’t changing your bad habits at the same time!

Posture is a massive issue for the majority of adults around the world. It’s worth noting that women have more to worry about as well! With the effects of pregnancy - added to the fact that there’s some extra weight on our chests that can make us round our backs - it’s easy to get bad posture. I hope this article has done an excellent job of explaining why you need to improve your posture, and how you can do it. Once you’re aware of the problem, it becomes much easier to focus on fixing it for good!

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Working Through The Pitfalls Of Life

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No matter how many systems govern our lives, and how effectively convenient and optimized our daily lives can be, the human experience will never be as well-oiled as a machine can be. We don’t run on algorithms.