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Lifestyle

How to Cope with the Sudden Death of a Loved One

January 13, 2019

The sudden death of a loved one is a horrific time and one that triggers a variety of emotional responses.  The grieving process is something that everyone deals with differently, and it can affect both your mental and physical wellbeing.  Although there’s nothing we can say that will make the bereavement process easier, there are some steps that you can take to help you get through it as well as possible.  These are listed below.

1. Know What to Expect

The emotions commonly felt during the grieving process include shock, guilt, disbelief, sadness, and anger.  Understanding these emotions and knowing how they respond to grief can help not only you to manage what you are feeling, but your loved ones as well.  Physical symptoms can also manifest, and these can include a loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, and sickness. Being aware of these and the reasons for them is important.

2. Talk to Someone

Some people dealing with the loss of a loved one find it helps to talk to friends and family.  Reminiscing about their life and the memories you shared can help you to feel less alone, while also helping you to come to terms with what happened.  Talking can also be a good form of emotional support for everyone involved. If you don’t feel able to talk to friends or family, speaking to a counselor or therapist could also help.

3. Consider Your Children

At the same time as managing your own grief, you also need to consider your children (if you have any) and how they may be feeling.  Depending on the age of the child, they may not understand what is happening or know how to control their feelings. To help your child, talk to them in an age-appropriate way, and let them know that it’s okay to show their emotions.  Allow the child to take part in the rituals of mourning and explain anything they are unsure about.

4. Let a Funeral Home Help You

Planning a funeral while grieving is not easy, and it’s something you will struggle with if you haven’t made plans in advance.  Most funeral homes will provide a caring and patient environment and try to make the process as straightforward as possible. For example, baldwincremation.com who are based out in Florida offer a very personalized service to make it as hassle free as possible. They will notify the local newspaper and Social Security office on your behalf, as well as provide a Celebration of Life memorial to honor your lost loved one. Don’t be afraid to speak to them and let them answer any questions you have about the funeral process.  If you don’t want to be involved every step of the way, you don’t have to be. This is one part of the process that can be hassle-free.

5. Seek Professional Help

Sudden death can be a lot to handle, and many people struggle with being unable to say goodbye.  If you feel like your grief is taking over your life, and you may be struggling with mental health issues, it’s time to seek professional help.  Conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder can interfere with how you function and are best treated as soon as they become apparent.

Lifestyle

3 Ways to Create More Space in Your Home

January 4, 2019

“Your home is your castle,” as the saying goes. You want to live in a place you are excited to come home to, which is comfortable and a true haven for you and your family. Anything less than perfect, and you can become uncomfortable and stressed.

One common issue is a lack of space within your home. Having enough space is essential, otherwise you may find yourself anxious and unable to relax. Plus, if you have children, you’ll find that having the extra storage facilities for toys is crucial. Here are three ways to create more space in your home.

Basements

If your home has a basement, then you have access to a whole new floor for you to make use of, and while some people feel wary about converting a basement because the underground level makes them prone to issues such as damp, and you have unlimited potential with a basement conversion.

Before you plan your basement room, however, you will need to get advice to make sure it is structurally sound. Make sure to hire professionals so that they can discuss your options for remodeled basements. They will be able to coat the walls properly, as well as transform the basement into whatever room you wish for, be it a cinema room or an extra bedroom.

Attics

Attic spaces can be so much more than just a place to store your unwanted household items and heirlooms. In fact, an attic can become a study, a reading room or even an extra bedroom. While you may not want your children to play in the attic, when they become teenagers, it can be the perfect place for them to store their belongings or sleep. Include shelving units and units to keep your possessions, but also consider turning the attic into a large, stylish master bedroom with a skylight for beautiful mornings.

Garden Rooms

If you don’t have any options for adding space within your home, then how about creating new space outside? A garden room is more than having a shed for you to fill up and then abandon. In fact, you can get a cabin or even a granny annex, which can act as an extra living space or a place for you to convert into a study space.

For families, this can become the perfect summer house for children to play in, or if you have a teenager, a room for them to hang out for added independence.

People may think the easiest means of getting more space is to move, but this is rarely the case. Not only is moving expensive, but it is incredibly stressful for both adults and children. Rather than leave an area you love, and a house that is your forever home, find ways to extend and expand your current abode. Basement and attic conversions not only offer more space but also increase your curb appeal. Therefore, you do ever wish to sell, your asking price can increase, too.

Lifestyle

Different Ways To Celebrate A Loved One’s Birthday

December 25, 2018

If you have a loved one’s birthday coming up, then you will want to do everything that you can to make it a special and memorable occasion for them. Everyone should be able to celebrate their birthday with friends and family, and there are many lovely ideas that will show them just how much everyone cares about them. Of course, everyone is different, so you will need to take their own personality into account, but here are a few nice ways that you can celebrate a loved one’s birthday that they are sure to highly appreciate and always remember fondly.

  • Surprise Parties

Surprise parties can be fantastic fun and a good way to get everyone together to celebrate their birthday. This can be a risky type of party, however, particularly if the person does not like to be the centre of attention, so think about whether or not they would enjoy this. In order for it to be a surprise, parties like this are usually best held in someone’s home.

  • Venue Parties

Alternatively, hiring out a venue and hosting a birthday party with friends and family is a great option, particularly for landmark birthday such as their 30th or 40th. This is because you can fill the venue with those that are dearest to them and control factors like the music to personalise it to their tastes. You may also need to think about hiring event bartenders so that there are a range of drinks available, and you can rest assured it will be a success by leaving it to the professionals.

  • Night Out

If they are the sort of person that wants to celebrate their birthday but do not necessarily want to make a song and dance out of it and be the centre of attention, then a night out is a good option. This could be at their favourite pub, a bar crawl or heading out of town for a fun night out. With these nights out, it is good to arrange travel if required and to have a loose plan for the evening.

  • Tea & Cake

Of course, not everyone wants to have a wild celebration for their birthday which is why a tea and cake celebration is a good alternative. Having just a few people that they care about to show them that they care and sing happy birthday can be a calm and enjoyable way to celebrate a birthday.

  • Tickets To An Event

Finally, another good option is to arrange tickets to an event such as a sporting fixture, concert, theatre production etc. This will certainly be memorable especially if it is something that they are passionate about and this could either be a surprise or something that you tell them about in advance.

There are many ways to celebrate a loved one’s birthday with the above being just a few options. Unless it is a surprise party, it is always worth checking with the person first as it is their birthday after all and they may want a quiet one or a big celebration!

Lifestyle

3 Ways To Make The Exterior Of Your Home As Exciting As The Interior

December 22, 2018

Every home should be a stylish home. After all, you’ve worked hard for it, so why settle for anything less? Transforming the inside of your property so that it looks exactly how you want can bring an enormous sense of achievement and satisfaction. Stylish and well-designed rooms are sure to impress your house guests too, but it’s important to remember that they’ll see the outside of your property before they see the inside. That’s why it’s important to consider the exterior of your home as well as the interior, so here are three ways you can make the outside of your property look great.

1. Fencing And Walkways

As a guest approaches your property, the first thing they are going to see is any fencing around it, followed closely by the footpath they have to walk down to reach your door. First impressions count so don’t let these components drag the rest of your property down. A strong fence not only looks great, but it can also boost your home security too. We like traditional wooden fencing, but you’ll need to treat it with preservative or paint on an annual basis to prevent it from turning an unsightly silver color. Walkways should be even and free of moss and algae; natural stone cobbles or paving slabs can provide a highly stylish pathway to your home.

2. Roofing

Your roof is the most practical and important part of your home, keeping rain out and heat in, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be beautiful as well. Our roofs have to withstand extremes of weather and temperature and over time, that can leave them looking unsightly and impair their performance. Roofing experts such as Megram provide a comprehensive range of roofing solutions which ensure that your roofline always looks impeccable. They install roofs in a range of styles, so you can find one that perfectly complements your home, and they also provide roof repairs from shingle replacement to roof lining repairs. Our eyes are naturally drawn upward, so make sure that your roof is one to be proud of.

3. A Garden Center Piece

You’ll already know how important it is to keep your lawn and garden in good shape, but a well-selected centerpiece can transform an average garden into a great garden. This could be a traditional garden structure such as an arbor or pergola, and they can make a great meeting point for a summer garden party. Even more stylish is a well-placed water feature, such as a pond or waterfall. Less can be more when it comes to garden ornamentation, so don’t be too ostentatious.

A high-quality roof in perfect shape, smart fencing, even walkways, and an exciting garden feature will all help to impress house guests before they even reach your door. Creating a great exterior helps to achieve a stylish and harmonious whole for your home, and you could even find that it increases the value of your property if you later decide to sell it.

Lifestyle

Subaru Loves Pets as Much as its Owners

December 18, 2018

Subaru shows its owners love by providing reliable vehicles that are ranked as some of the most trustworthy cars out there, but did you know that we show love to communities and causes as well?

As part of our Love Promise Community Commitment, we join forces with a wide variety of non-profits and charities on a local and a national level. Our missions include protecting and preserving the environment, supporting education for all, and encouraging volunteers within communities.

When you find a Subaru dealer for your next vehicle, you can be sure that we’re taking action beyond simply providing you with a great car.

If you’ve seen some of our commercials featuring the furry Barkley family going to the car wash or taking driving lessons, you know that our vehicles are dog-tested and dog-approved! Many Subaru owners are also pet owners, and we’re consistently ranked as one of the most dog-friendly vehicle makers out there.

But our love for pets doesn’t stop with our customers’ companions. We’re committed to the well-being of pets everywhere, not only those who already have homes with our customers. We show that love through action – it’s about returning the love that our animals so generously give to us. It’s all part of our Love Promise because Subaru loves pets as much as its owners, and we’re committed to keeping dogs and other animals happy, healthy, and safe.

October is Subaru Loves Pets Month

Every October, we celebrate Subaru Loves Pets month when we team up with long-standing partner The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) to help the approximately 6.5 million companion animals that enter shelters each year. Since 2008, Subaru has donated nearly $22 million to the ASPCA, helped support over 1,500 animal welfare-related events, and significantly impacted the rescue, transport, and adoption of more than 50,000 animals nationwide.

Our dealers across the country also work alongside local animal organizations in our communities to collect supplies needed to keep animals healthy, happy, and ready to find homes.

If you want to help, find a Subaru dealer near you and bring in some pet supplies such as canned or dry food, collars, towels, blankets, grooming supplies, food bowls, small dog/cat toys, treats, or cleaning supplies. These items will be donated to a local organization.

Another partner of ours in the Subaru Loves Pets initiative is BARK, the makers of BarkBox and one of the dog-friendliest companies around. Together with BARK, we put together and provide Subaru Loves Pets shelter supply kits. These special kits include lots of different pet items that can support the well-being of shelter animals awaiting adoption such as chew toys, reusable water bowls, bath wipes, and tennis balls.

We believe that keeping animals happy and comfortable during their stay in a shelter is important, and once they find a new home, we also offer starter kits to families who are adopting a pet

Meet and Greet with Pets in Your Community

During Subaru Loves Pets month, Subaru retailers host pet events in partnership with local animal welfare organizations where you can meet different pets that might just become your new best friend.

Often times, the adoption fees are waived or significantly reduced at these events, which leads to higher rates of pets finding homes. In fact, surveys show that the majority of pets adopted at a waived- or reduced fee are kept by their owners and that their owners actually report a higher attachment to the pet. It’s all about giving these animals a second chance and making sure they find a safe place to call home.

Subaru provides grants to the ASPCA that waive these adoption fees; our funding also goes toward Rescue Rides, which transports animals for adoption. In fact, we’ve helped transport over 21,000 pets in just four years.

Throughout October, we also encourage you to find a Subaru dealer and take a picture with the Subaru Loves Pets photo frame. You can then share this on social media using the #SubaruLovesPets hashtag to raise awareness about animal welfare.

Our Commitment to Pets is Year-Round

How else do we show that we love pets? One way is demonstrating that we care about providing the safest possible vehicles for your animals. We’ve collaborated with the Center for Pet Safety, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated to companion animal and consumer safety.

Subaru has sponsored two studies conducted by the Center for Pet Safety around pet travel, which looked at dog harnesses/safety belts and animal crates that performed well in crash tests. If you’re interested in learning more, you can read about one of our sponsored 2015 studies here.

We also work with the Southeastern Guide Dogs, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping blind men and women achieve independence. We sponsor many events every year that fund the training and development of guide dogs so that they can eventually be placed in homes with individuals who need a service animal.

You can also see evidence of our dedication to pets in your very own community here in the Portland metro area. For example, during the Oregon Humane Society’s 150th anniversary, Royal Moore Subaru of Hillsboro donated over $5,000 to the organization.

Together with other regional Subaru dealers and members of the community, the Humane Society was able to raise over $55,000 that year. And, during Summer 2018, local Subaru retailers donated $25 to the Oregon Humane Society for every vehicle purchased.

You can tell we’ve got a soft spot for pets: we make sure our vehicles are the safest they can be for all of your family members, whether they’re human or animal, and we dedicate financial support to charity, research, and organizations to support pets everywhere.

Our animals show us unconditional love, so we want to protect and love them too!

Lifestyle

How to Improve Your Productivity When Studying

December 17, 2018

Studying is a process – there’s no way around it. You have to put in the time to retain the information and perform well on tests and exams. But you can make the most of the time you put in by maximizing your productivity. Try these tips to improve your productivity and transform your study habits.

Know your high functioning hours

Studying is an individual process. You can choose to study in groups and to meet up with a tutor to help you out, but at the end of a day, it’s a solo practice. Only you can study for the test that you have, and put in the work that you know that you need to to feel confident. So, make it a priority to know what your high-functioning hours are. Are you an early bird, who is most alert and productive in the morning? Are you a night owl, who feels most creative and effective in the evenings? Do you feel supercharged after an afternoon workout?

Figure out what your studying sweet spot is, and fit in your study hours during that time. This will make sure that you’re maximizing your studying effectiveness on your own schedule.

Try the Pomodoro Technique

One popular technique for “time blocking” when it comes to productivity is the Pomodoro technique. With this technique, you work non-stop for 25 minutes at a time, usually with the help of a timer. During this 25 minutes, you are focused only on one singular task – you are not taking any breaks to check your phone or social media – you are only working on the task at hand. Once the block is done, stop working. Get up and take a 5 minute walk, get a coffee, take some deep breaths and re-center yourself.

Once you’ve completed three to four Pomodoro cycles, then take a longer 20-30 minute break. By using this technique, you can help to amp up your focus, eliminate distractions, and remain on task when studying.

Create an ideal study space

If you frequently study while sitting or laying in bed, you may want to reconsider your choice. To ramp up your productivity when studying, choose one consistent spot (or a couple consistent spots) where you can go and really get in the zone. Whether it’s a desk in your room, a certain spot at the school library, your favorite coffee shop, or somewhere else, find a space that works for you and use it to maximize your productivity.

Use Memory Tricks

Another way to maximize your study time is by using memory tricks. Probably the most popular memory trick is the use of mnemonic devices. The mnemonic technique translates information you’re trying to memorize into a pattern your brain remembers better, like a sequence of numbers letters, and words that will correlate to a core concept in the material. It’s a super helpful technique for when you’re evaluating your university of miami final exam schedule.

Use these tricks to make your study time as productive and possible, and improve your chances of getting the best grade possible on your test.

Lifestyle

How to Save Space in a Small Home

November 28, 2018

You can live in a 300 square metre house and yet feel crowded. Equally, you can live in a 60 square metre flat and feel that its spacious and airy. The future of housing, with the population rising and more people sharing rooms and homes, requires a smarter use of space. Improperly furnishing your place, neglecting to consider space maximisation in a small house, will mean youre living a cramped life needlessly. Instead, make absolutely sure that youre extracting value from every square inch of space in your home by following the tips outlined below.

Paint Smart

The feel of a space differs significantly depending on how you paint the walls – and the feeling of the colours you work with. Some colours create a warm feel while others are cold, and the general idea is to use colours that feel spacious, such as white, instead of colours that actually make the room feel smaller. Dark rooms can feel gloomy and uninviting – lighter rooms feel breathable, airy and expansive in comparison.

Furnish Smart

Furniture pieces are more than just functional, in the sense that their purpose is not just to provide you with a level surface on which to eat, or a seat in which to sit. Nowadays furniture is designed to have more flexibility and adaptability built in, which means modern furniture might be the right option if youre trying to save space.

An excellent example of space-saving furniture are wall beds – not only adaptable in saving space, but they provide a sense of modernity, and they can allow for different settings within the same small living space. Other tips for smart furnishing include:

  • Arranging things appropriately. Generally speaking, you need to avoid stacking furniture in the middle of the room, which makes the space feel crowded. Have the smallest and lowest furniture in the centre of the room in order to accentuate the space around it.
  • Get rid of boring or useless furniture pieces, and instead make sure that anything thats rarely used in your home is either providing visual relief from the clutter or is an integral ornament to your home. If its not, it should go.
  • Do not forget that you have a 3D space. Use the vertical depth of your home wisely to store more and spread your belongings throughout your space. An easy example of this is floor-to-ceiling shelving. Having more surface area to work with means youll have the ability to arrange places for your small items, making them easier to find.

Be Experimental

You have to be a designer to know exactly how things should look in your home – but youre nonetheless encouraged to just experiment with your space. Its a fun activity to spend some time moving things around, seeing what the outcome is when item A is swapped with item B, and so on. Rearranging the furniture in your house will help you see your space differently, opening up holes in the space you own that you didnt know existed before.

See cramped or small abodes as a challenge and not a defeat, and work to make the very most of your conditions with the tips provided above.

Lifestyle

How to Cope With a Mental Health Condition

November 28, 2018

Mental health problems affect ever-increasing numbers of people across the country, causing distress, misery, and lost productivity on a massive scale. Sadly many people don’t seek help for their mental health problems until they become severe, which means that recovery takes longer and is more problematic. If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, it’s difficult to cope with on many levels, but there are ways you can help yourself to recover from your illness and return to leading a happy, fulfilling life.

The complications of mental illness

Having a mental health condition has added complications compared to a physical illness. Firstly, there are no outward signs of mental illness, at least not until you become very severely afflicted. That means people you meet and friends and family might not realize how sick you are, and to add to the problem, a lot of people still find it hard to be honest about mental health issues, so they don’t tell people they’re unwell.

You might find that because people don’t know there’s anything wrong, they won’t understand if you seem out of sorts, don’t want to talk, or you become irritable or angry. They may just assume you’re having a bad day, or they may even take offense and think you don’t like them anymore. The only way to avoid this problem is to be open about your illness. You don’t have to give any more details than you feel comfortable with, but unless people know you’re unwell, they won’t be able to understand your behavior.

The nature of mental illness

Another problem with mental health disorders is that because your brain is the organ that’s ailing, in many respects your thought processes aren’t working in the way they usually would. For example, if you have depression, you’re likely to view yourself and your abilities in a very poor light, being unduly self-critical and often convinced that not only do people not like you but that you are essentially unworthy of their regard. Managing these thoughts when you’re ill is a real challenge, which is why it’s so important to make sure you have a good support network in place, with both professional help, plus support from those close to you, to aid your recovery.

Another common problem for people with mental health problems is substance abuse. When you’re unhappy or your thinking is disordered, you may think the answer lays in a bottle of vodka, or a narcotic high. Although these substances might provide a form of temporary relief from the misery of mental health problems, in the long run, they make the situation worse. Therefore, if you’ve started taking these substances when you have a mental health disorder, you should find out about rehabilitation centers that specialize in helping people with both mental health problems and substance abuse issues, such as benzo withdrawal treatment.

It’s never easy to live with poor mental health, and it can feel almost impossible to help yourself get better at times. Just remember that’s the illness making you think that way, and you genuinely can get better.