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wellbeing

3 Ways to Get More Peace and Quiet

3 Ways to Get More Peace and Quiet

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In the modern world, a little peace and quiet is very difficult to come by. We are constantly bombarded by phone notifications, emails, and social media updates. No matter where you are in the world, you can always be contacted by work, friends, or family, and this can make it tough to relax. This stress can be augmented if you have young children, a high-pressured career, or a lot of social commitments. With so much on your plate, how can you find the time to settle down?

Despite the prevalence of technology and the excess of stress in your life, there are still ways to find some much needed tranquility in your life. You just need to be strict with yourself and adopt some smart techniques for getting away from the world for a while. Here are three ways to get a bit more peace and quiet.

Turn off your phone

Our phones have become like limbs, as they are completely inseparable from our bodies and we don’t like them to be out of our sight. They have so many useful applications in our lives, but they are also one of the biggest causes of stress. Phone addiction is a widespread phenomenon, and our inability to switch off leads to all kinds of health issues and cognitive defects. It impacts our mental health, memory, thinking, concentration, and self-esteem. Not to mention the vision and postural problems caused by hunching over a screen all day. Don’t let those buzzing notifications dictate your life. Endeavor to spend the minimum amount of time possible on your phone, using it only when absolutely necessary. Switch it off when you’re not using it and use this time to read a book or go for a long walk instead. Delete unnecessary apps or set timers so you can be vigilant about overuse. Spending less time in the digital world will enhance your life in so many ways.

Spend time in nature

You might have a stressful career or a cramped household, but the world is full of relaxing places where you can go to be alone with your thoughts. Spending time in nature has proven benefits on one’s mental health, and even taking five minutes of solitude each day will make your stress levels plummet. Even if you live in the city, far away from the countryside, there are no doubt still parks and rivers near you where you can go for a walk.

Build your own relaxation space

If you don’t have anywhere in your home where you can go to get away from screaming children or your incessant work emails, why not build your own fortress of solitude? If you have a spare room in your house, you could convert it into a space just for you to go and wind down, with no children, or phones, allowed. Alternatively, you could construct your own shed, or one of these modular garden rooms, to which you can retreat and spend some time away from the world. Although these options will require a bit of time and money, the results will be more than worth the effort.

wellbeing

What Is Hindering Your Relaxation Time At Home?

What Is Hindering Your Relaxation Time At Home?

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We all need time to relax at home as it’s our opportunity to de-stress ourselves from the various pressures that we have in our lives.

There are all kinds of ways to relax and unwind, whether it’s settling in for an evening in front of the TV, taking a long hot bath, or sitting down with one of our favourite hobbies. You will have your own relaxation ideas too. 

But is there anything hindering your relaxation time? If there is, you should do what you can to overcome them as your health and wellbeing could be at risk if you aren’t able to chill out at home. 

Let’s take a look at some common hindrances.

Family members

You love your family, of course, but with their various demands on your time, it might be difficult to relax fully at home. What can you do about it? Well, you could schedule your relaxation time for those moments in the day when they aren’t a hindrance, such as when they are at school, at work, or in bed. 

If your children are old enough to look after themselves, you could also retreat to another room for some valuable me-time. 

And if you’re able to call on the help of friends and relatives, you could call on their services for play dates and childminding to give you more time to relax on your own. 

Neighbours

Are your neighbours always popping by for a cup of tea? Do you catch them peeking through your windows when you’re relaxing in your conservatory or living room? If so, do what you can to regain your privacy. 

Simply tell them you’re not available for socialising when you’re in desperate need of chill-out time. 

And to block out your nosey neighbours, purchase something from outdoor blinds specialists or your local curtain stores to ensure your privacy. This latter point will also prevent your chatty neighbours from seeing that you are in. 

Clutter

You might find it hard to relax when your room is cluttered. This could be because of the knowledge that you will have to tidy up eventually. And it might also be because the sight of objects out of place drives you to distraction! 

The answer is obvious, of course. You need to conquer your clutter problem. There are ideas in the linked article so have a read and regain your relaxation space!

Busyness

Sorry to say it but it might be that you are hindering your relaxation time. If you’re forever on your toes, you are never going to experience the benefits of rest

Perhaps you’re always tidying up and doing other household chores. Or you might be out of the house socialising every night of the week. It might also be that your schedule is packed with other things you like to do (or in some cases hate doing). 

Whatever the reason for your busyness, you need to stop! Enlist help with your household chores and remember that your home doesn’t have to be perfect! Cut back on your social life if you are never at home. And take a long hard look at your schedule before cutting out anything that isn’t necessary. By taking these steps, you will have time to relax at home. 

So, what is hindering your relaxation time? We have only touched on a few hindrances but if there is anything else getting in your way, continue to look for solutions. You will have more time to rest if you do and as a consequence, you will do much to care for both your physical and your mental health. 

wellbeing

Ways To Relax And Unwind

Ways To Relax And Unwind

Stress can affect us all in different ways. It can affect our mental, emotional and even our physical wellbeing. It even affects how we behave and react to things. Stress isn’t all bad, we all deal with some form of stress in our lifetime, some on a day-to-day basis in our everyday lives, whether it be financial, family, work or even due to health stress. Learning how to cope and deal with the stress is key!

We all get so caught up in work deadlines, our hectic lifestyles, home/work-life balance that we forget to take five minutes to relax, have a hot cup of coffee, breath or even get some air. Stepping away for just five minutes could make all the difference to our stress levels. However if we stay in a state of high stress levels it can be damaging to our health.

Even life events such as having a baby, buying a house or even planning a wedding can lead to feelings of stress.

Signs of stress:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain/tension
  • Stomach pain
  • Chest pain/faster heartbeat
  • Struggling to make a decision
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Constantly worrying
  • Being irritable
  • Sleeping more/less
  • Eating more/less
  • Avoiding people or places

Stress is sadly something we are unable to avoid, but we can learn how best to manage it. When at work try and schedule in five minutes to de-stress throughout the day, get some fresh air, call a friend or loved one, enjoy a hot drink and something quick to eat. Have five minutes to yourself, have a breather and relax the best way that suits you. When at home it is really important to still take time out to relax too.

I have had an awful couple of months lately, and have really been suffering with stress, anxiety and depression. Here are a few things I have found to help me manage and get through, alongside professional support.

Enjoy a relaxing bath

There is a certain kind of magic to bathing. Sinking into a nice warm bath helps you to relax and unwind, amongest many health benefits. A nice warm bath can be a way to indulge in spa-like bliss at home, surrounded by a few of your favorite things. Whether they may be a book or magazine, bath-bomb, candles, soft relaxing music or even a nice cool glass of wine or beer. Having a nice warm bath is a great way to help improve our health, such as help with a better nights sleep, helps to relax achy muscles, relieve tension, pain and inflammation. Taking a nice long soothing bath can be the perfect antidote to a stressful day. Closing that bathroom door and taking some much deserved me-time provides us with the chance to get away from things for a while and relax.

Hobby

Everyone is creative in their own way, having a hobby is a great way to spend any spare time you may have. It is a great way to help you unwind from a stressful day you may have had, or even unwind from your daily routines. Spending time doing something you really enjoy can help improve your health and wellbeing massively. My personal favourite is sewing. Whether it be something outdoors, playing Drift Hunters, artistic, musical, learning a new skill or even just sitting quietly and reading, all will benefit your health as it is time out for you, doing something you love and enjoy. I am a great believer that those with a hobby are a lot less likely to suffer from stress, low mood and depression. Having a hobby or activity you enjoy will help to relax you, help you to feel happier and much more relaxed.

Fresh air

Demanding schedules and a busy home life leave many of people feeling trapped inside. Our busy lives can make it difficult to get outside and enjoy breathing in some fresh air from time-to-time. However the benefits of fresh air are endless. Spending time outdoors is one of the fastest ways to lift people’s moods and improve health and happiness. Being outdoors helps to lower stress levels, blood pressure, and even heart rate. Being outdoors also helps to keep your vitamin D levels up and also allowing our serotonin levels to increase. Being outdoors breathing in some fresh air will also help to clear our mind and lungs. Being outdoors can really benefit our physical and mental health. Trying to add half an hour into our daily routines can really benefit our wellbeing. Perhaps an after dinner stroll, taking the dog for a walk or even a lunchtime walk can make all the difference.

Loved ones

Interacting with loved ones, whether it be friends or family really does help. It helps to create emotional support to help you overcome life challenges. The best way to stay focused, and if needed then help to get back on track is by reaching out to loved ones. Our friends and family are our safe haven and people we can rely on at all times, helping us to feel at ease, even in the most stressful of situations. Speaking with loved ones can help ease our stress levels and help ease the pressure off of ourselves. Allowing us to have a much healthier coping mechanism for stress with the help and support if needed.

Meditation

Have you ever tried meditation? I haven’t as yet, but it is something I am looking into trying and possibly adding into my daily routines. It is said to be one of the most popular ways to relieve stress. It is said that by calming your body and mind, your physical and emotional stress can melt away, leaving you feeling better, refreshed and ready to face the day with a much healthier attitude. For anyone not knowing what meditation entails it involves sitting in a relaxed position and clearing your mind. Making sure you are not distracted for at least twenty minutes, find a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus within. Try to focus your attention on your breathing by counting your breaths, or there are meditation soundtracks you can listen to. Meditation is free, always available and very effective in short-term stress reduction and long term health.

Exercise

Many people think that exercise only has an impact on your body, when infact it has a very positive impact on your mental wellbeing too. It is said that those who are physically active are much more less likely to suffer from anxiety or depression than those who are not. This is said to be true because exercise causes particular chemicals to be released called endorphins, which are known to positively alter your mood. Exercising helps to relieve any feelings of anger, helps promote better sleep and also helps to relieve any tension you may have.

Bedtime ritual

While stress is the body’s natural response to protecting itself, chronic stress or anxiety can have many long-term effects, including poor sleep or even sleepless nights. You dont have to wait until its lights out to start winding down, if you are struggling with sleeping. Try changing up your evening routine to see if it helps. Set the mood lighting down a little earlier, have a relaxing bath, try aromatherapy, listen to relaxing music or even try mindful colouring. A bedtime routine is a great way to start training your brain to trigger the process of going to sleep.

Massage

Stress unfortunately is an inevitable part of life, and it is impossible to take away all the stress and anxiety we may feel on a day-to-day basis. Taking time out for yourself to have a massage can massively help. Having a massage is a great way to seek relief from stress as it helps you to relax and de-stress. It helps to reduce your stress hormone and increase your serotonin and dopamine levels. Along with rebalancing your hormones a massage also releases muscle tension. When stressed your muscles tighten in response and can become painful. A massage can help offer stress relief and aid relaxation.

Writing

Writing is said to be a medicine for the brain. Whenever you are feeling mentally or emotionally exhausted try writing down what is bothering you. This will help you structure your thoughts and hopefully bring you some peace to your mind. Writing down our thoughts and feelings can help us become more aware/self-aware and also help us detect any sneaky/unhealthy patterns in our thoughts and feelings. This then allows us to be in/take more control over our lives and put things in more perspective. Furthermore it can help us to shift from a negative mindset to a much more positive one.

Gardening

Chronic stress can be hard on our bodies and can also contribute to anxiety and depression. Finding healthy ways to help us all cope and take care of our minds and bodies is very important. Working out in the garden can help reduce cortisol levels – this is a chemical our bodies produces in response to stress. You dont even have to be working in the garden, just sitting out there helps too. Sow some seeds, pull some weeds or even give the garden a water. it all helps to take our minds off things for a while and before you know it time has flown by. Gardening can reverse the effects of stress, these benefits include better health, exercise, nutrition from homegrown vegetables if you grow them, improved mood from exposure to vitamin D in the sunlight and an improved focus and increased creativity. Getting dirt under our nails isn’t half as bad as we thought.

It is not always easy to recognise that stress is the reason why you could be acting, feeling or even behaving differently. If you are experiencing any unusual behavior then please do seek medical help or advice. You may find it hard to explain how you are feeling but talking about how you’re feeling really does help.

Always remember you are not alone.

Please do take care.

x

health, health care, healthy living., self care, wellbeing

Be The Most Relaxed Version Of Yourself

Be The Most Relaxed Version of Yourself

You have heard it said that stress is a killer. Stress wreaks havoc on the body. It affects blood pressure, blood sugar, the heart rate, and all the organs. It is a key factor in the risks of stroke and heart attack. It causes headaches, sleeplessness, digestion problem, and the list goes on.

When you are stressed, your body goes into slow motion. You lose your energy. You lose your drive and you invite depression to take over. The less you move the more stressed you become. But, you have the power to change this.

Making truth your reality

People who love you will give you the sound advice that you need to just calm down. Stop letting everything bother you. Do what you can do and walk away. That is very good advice if you do not have a job, a family, bills, pets, and a home. But, when you oversleep, the kids cannot find their science homework, your partner used your car and left it on empty, and the person in front of you seems to have only one objective, and that is making you late for work. Stress is part of life.

You can make some life changes that will keep these specific things from happening repeatedly, but there will always be stress in our high-tech world. Instead of focusing on the situations, let’s focus on changing the way we feel in order to process the stress.

Natures Xanax – only better

When stress and anxiety begin to affect our lives negatively, we go to the doctor. In some circumstances, people need the help of a prescription to calm down and press reset. The problem is, anxiety medication is addictive. When you finish the prescription, the anxiety comes back even worse than before. You cannot keep taking the prescription long.

The doctor may prescribe enough for a week or ten days, then take them away for a couple of weeks to protect you from addiction. So,  you put your body through cycles of relaxation and then anxiety, and the cycle repeats itself as long as the doctor prescribes the medication. At the end of the “help”, you are worse off than you were before. You did not make any changes to address the issues.

When you are sedated, you usually do not move around much. Prescription drugs make you feel as if you are in a mental fog. You sleep, but it is not a relaxing sleep. You feel no better or relaxed when you wake up.

Be The Most Relaxed Version of Yourself

Essential oils

Nature seemed to know that we would have stress in our lives. Nature gave us a huge selection of plants that have what we need. Natural oils are harvested from live plants. These oils are easy to use and they are not addictive, have zero chemicals, and gives you the help you need to allow your body to return to normal.

Let’s look at a few oils that are proven to work. You can mix the oils for the desired effect, which only you can explore.

We will list a few examples of essential oils and the benefit it gives you. But there are hundreds of essential oils. You will need to find a combination that works for you.

Note: Essential oils are usually released into the air with the use of a diffuser. The oils enter the thin nasal membranes and are absorbed. You should be careful about placing essential oils directly on your skin. Use a carrier oil such as coconut oil, or test a very small place on your body and watch for burning or rash. You may be able to rub the oil of your choice on the skin, just be careful.

Be The Most Relaxed Version of Yourself

Anxiety

The following oils will calm you and allow you to de-stress and feel much more relaxed.

  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Ylang-Ylang
  • Rose
  • Bergamot

Sleep

  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage

The use of these oils will calm your stress level and assist you in getting a relaxed night of restful sleep. Once your body is responding to this, you will need to boost your energy level.

Be The Most Relaxed Version of Yourself

Energy

  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint (Also a natural anti-inflammatory and pain killer for those sore muscles).
  • Grapefruit
  • Eucalyptus

Now you can move on to mood enhancers. These oils lift your spirits, ease any muscle pain you have and generally make you feel good.

  • Peppermint
  • Sweet Orange
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon essential
  • Cedarwood

Get moving!

Be The Most Relaxed Version of Yourself

You are feeling better and more relaxed. Now fight off depression, boost your energy, and be the best you can be by exercising. When you are active, your brain naturally produces more serotonin. This is a feel-good hormone that balances your mood. Your body is ready to take over and keep you emotionally fit. Use the essential oils whenever you like, but do not use them instead of moving. You have to invest in your body to reap the rewards.

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Health and fitness, healthy living., keeping fit, Top tips

Preparation Home Gym

Preparation Home Gym

Preparation new me

At the start of 2019 I gave myself the kick up the backside well and truly needed to get myself on the right path for a new healthy lifestyle.

Since then I have not looked back. Infact I have actually been enjoying it. I sat down and a made a list of the the things I have tried in the past, things I have enjoyed and even the things I haven’t enjoyed.

Making a list really does help

Doing this list really helped me because it helped me find all my pet hates about exercising. Such as being in overcrowded exercise classes, getting embarrased about being too fat, or not being able to keep up with the class.

I also found out that having a gym membership added pressure on me to go to the gym. This then led to me not enjoying my time going if that makes sense. I felt pressured to go to get my moneys worth out of the membership rather than freely going because I wanted to.

Life can easily get in the way

It sometimes felt like life got in the way rather a lot to. I would arrange with friends to go to a class together, 20, 20, 20 class was one of my favourites. I would find that I couldn’t always go as being a working mum things happen at home or work as they do. Meaning I had to phone and cancle more than I actually went.

Preparation Home Gym

Gyms are not for everyone

Going to an actual gym isn’t for everybody. This could be due to time, cost or even due to feeling embarrased. For me it is mainly due to time. Finding an extra hour or so in an already busy day can prove difficult. I am currently in the process of setting up a home gym.

Home Gyms aren’t for everyone but for me I think having one would work better for me and my lifestyle.

Things to consider before setting up a home gym

Budget: It is always best to work out your finances first and see what budget you have to work with. Always shop about before purchasing as it can be easy to get carried away. Always read product reviews before purchasing so you know you are getting something good for your money.

Price check: Try and do a price check so you have a rough idea of prices so then you can plan ahead before purchasing products. Exercising equipment doesn’t come cheap but you will be wanting to get more for your money so take the time to shop around online.

Space: What space do you have for you home gym? will it be a room dedicated to set up as a gym full-time or is it going to be a shared space. This will be important to know before purchasing your equipment so you know whether to look for equipment that folds to be stored easy. Also check electricity supplies, will you need added sockets for power? extention leads can be a trip hazzard and can also be a fire risk if overloaded and not careful.

Making space: Before you start to purchase your home gym equipment always clear the space first to make sure it is clean and free from clutter to prevent any accidents when exercising. Matco are always happy to help if you need help with moving or storing anything.

Be 100% sure: If you are not 100% sure on the equipment you want or need you don’t have to purchase new, there is always the option of second hand. You can sometimes find a product that is in good as new condition for half the price. It will be a good way to find out if the equipment is right for you and the space you have without the cost of brand new.

Take your time: Take your time when building your home gym, there is no rush. Purchase one or two items at a time, get use to those items first and see if they work for you and with the space you have dedicated for your gym. If happy then build upon your home gym from there.

Motivation: Sometimes a little motivation is missed when exercising at home. There is always the option of inviting a friend or family member to join you or more if you have the space. You could even challenge each other. There is also the option of exercise dvd’s or YouTube motivation. Music can help too.

Home gyms can be just as fun and ecouraging as going to the gym whilst adding loads of flixibilty. The intial outlay may be expensive but if it helps to keep us fit and healthy I would say it is the perfect investment!

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Pet care., pets

Your Healthy, Happy Dog

coco and hunter

Pet care advice

Bringing a dog into your family is an exciting time, giving them a loving family home while also adding a new member to your household. There’s a lot of responsibility involved, but a lot of fun too.

Looking after your dog’s health and wellbeing is as vital as looking after your own, and there’s a lot you can do to make sure they’re loved and looked after. Here are some tips for caring for your happy, healthy dog.

your healthy, happy dog

Give them a comfortable place to sleep

Giving your dog a warm and cosy bed to sleep in will help them feel at home, settle them into a routine and protect your furniture too. Where you keep the bed is up to you – some like to keep their dog downstairs, while others like keeping them in their bedroom. Wherever you choose, it should be warm, comfortable and away from anything that could be dangerous. Giving your dog their own bed can help them settle down in the evenings, giving you a restful sleep too.

Make sure they get plenty of exercise

Exercise is very important for your dog to ensure that they are happy and healthy. How often you should walk your dog depends on their age and size, but regular walking is recommended for all dogs. When dogs are exercised regularly, they are able to maintain their weight, socialise with other dogs and they get the chance to explore. Giving them plenty of exercise will stop them from getting bored, which will stop them from damaging your furniture, flooring and clothing. Walking the dog is good exercise for you too, so why not take them out in the mornings and evenings to help you get some exercise too?

Look after their teeth

Many dogs suffer from neglected teeth, and it’s no wonder – there’s not much they can do themselves! However, you, as a responsible dog owner, can do your bit to ensure your dog maintains healthy teeth and gums. Brushing regularly and checking their teeth for problems can help to prevent issues which will require a vet later on, while maintaining a healthy diet can also help to keep teeth strong and gums healthy.

Dogs should have regular things to chew on so that they can help keep their teeth strong. Special dental chew treats are great for dogs, or you could try a deer antler dog chew as a more natural alternative. Having plenty of chew toys around the house will stop them from chewing like your textiles and furniture, although it’s best to keep dogs away from anything you’d rather have left in one piece!

Groom them regularly

Most dogs enjoy a spot of grooming, and it can be a good way for you to bond with your pooch! Grooming also has many benefits, including to keep your dog’s in a good condition and to spot any potential issues that they might have such as fleas and ticks. There are different ways to groom your dog, and dogs with particularly long hair might be taken care of if you take them to professional dog groomers.

your healthy. happy dog

Get them vaccinated

Just like people, dogs can benefit from being vaccinated to protect them against different diseases. If you get your dog as a puppy, it’s likely that they’ll have had their initial vaccinations before you bring them home. Register your pet with a vet to put a vaccination programme in place that will keep them safe and healthy. Regular check-ups with the vet will keep an eye out for any potential health problems, so don’t forget to put those appointments in your diary.

Make sure they have plenty of fresh water

Dogs can get dehydrated quickly, especially during warmer weather, so make sure they drink often and keep fresh water to hand, even when you’re out and about. The amount of water a dog needs a day depends on their size, so it’s worth researching this to help them get the right amount. Keep an eye on your dog’s drinking habits, you’ll be able to work out where and when they like to drink to help you make sure that they get enough. If you’re going on long walks, consider taking a bowl and a bottle of water with you to keep them hydrated on the move.

Play with them

Dogs love to play, and spending time with them can help to train them, burn off excess energy and make them happy. What you’ll soon realise is that playing with your dog will help boost your mood too, so even if you’ve had a bad day – some time spent with them will soon perk you up. Come up with some different doggy games and get the whole family involved in keeping them entertained. A frisbee or a ball can provide hours of fun for a dog as long as they’ve got someone to play with.

your healthy, happy dog

Ensure they have a good diet

Dogs rely on the right nutrition to keep them healthy, strong and to stop them getting overweight. While many people might give their dog some scraps from the table or let them have some foods that they shouldn’t, it’s not advisable and could soon lead to some bad behaviours. You can ensure a balanced diet for your dog, and stop them from being unwell by not giving them chocolate and other foods that could cause serious harm. Monitor your dog’s diet regularly to make sure they’re not putting on weight or that they’re getting food from sources that they shouldn’t.

Train them

A well-trained dog can be a joy to live with, and can help you to raise a well-behaved dog that you can trust around your family as well as other people and animals when you’re out and about. Training your dog helps to keep them stimulated, by helping them practice their instinctive behaviours. You can help keep them stimulated by varying their route and surroundings, introducing them to new people and other animals and teach them new tricks as often as you can. This is a wonderful way to bond with your dog and can be a lot of fun for the both of you!

Don’t leave them alone for too long

It’s not recommended to get a dog if you are going to be away from home for long periods of time. Dogs enjoy company and being left alone all day can cause them to feel lonely, bored and start acting out through barking, scratching and more. Different dogs have different needs, and you should get to know how long is too long to leave your dog at home alone. If you’re going to be out of the house for too long, why not think about getting a dog walker or enlisting a friend or family member to spend time with your dog during the day?

Keep your home clean and hazard free

A dirty home can cause many issues, but as your dog spends a lot of time close to the floor, it’s important that you keep it as clean as possible to stop them picking up germs, etc. Keeping your home clean is more of a challenge with a dog around, but making a list of regular chores and splitting them up between the family will make it easier. It’s also important that you keep hazards out of harm’s way, including small objects, cleaning products and anything else that could be harmful to your pet.

Bath them when they need it

Baths can help a dog stay clean and keep their coat in good condition, but they don’t need one as often with you might think. Around once a month should be fine for a dog with normal skin, as any more often could mean they end up developing dry skin. Use a specialist dog shampoo to help them keep their natural oils balanced and to stop you using anything too harsh. If you’re worried about your dog smelling in between washes, there are things you can do to keep your dog clean in between baths.

Give them some space

Some dogs like a bit of alone time – a space where they can go to feel safe when they need it. When there are fireworks nearby, for example, it helps to give them a safe space to hide away in while they wait for it to be over. Sometimes they just want a bit of peace and quiet – especially if they’ve been playing and exploring all day!

Your dogs are an important part of the family, and keeping them happy and looked after will give you some incredible memories to share. A dog is a lot of responsibility, but they have a lot of love to offer and will love being a part of the family. Provided you care for their needs and give them the love and attention they deserve, owning a dog will be extremely rewarding and one of the best things to happen for your family.

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health, Health and fitness, healthy, healthy living., wellbeing

Get In The Know With Pilates Pal Website

get in the know with Pilates pal website

What is Pilates?

Pilates (pronounced puh-lah-teez) is a system of exercises developed by the German, Joseph Pilates during World War 1. The system was named after him but he referred to it as “Contrology.” He firmly believed that there was a definite connection between physical and mental health. The intent of these exercises was to strengthen both mind and body. If practiced consistently, Pilates will build strength, improves flexibility, and develop control and stamina. Pilates is practiced globally especially in countries in the Western Hemisphere. You can learn about the Pilates procedures and equipment used in the exercise programs at Pilatespal.com, Inc..   

Principles of Pilates

Joseph Pilates never created a system of beliefs for his method, but the principles included here are evident from the pages he wrote and other documented materials. There is no set order in which the principles are presented, the list here is as follows: breath, control, concentration, center, flow and precision.  These principles are the basis of many techniques of Pilates and they are normally accepted as the base of the system.

Breath

There is equal importance shared among the basic principles, but breath involves much more than respiration.  In Pilates, breath is the energy of the driving force and the engine that propels the art. It can be viewed (as regarded by Joseph Pilates) as of life, of the mind, spirit and body. Breath then is observed here as the mutual thread that goes through every foundation principle; joining them together.

Breath is an important key to life. The only skeletal muscles necessary for life are the respiratory muscles, but too often breath is taken for granted.  Understanding the anatomy essential to breath can assist in the optimum use of breath.

Concentration

The focus of this principle is the procedure involved in doing the exercise rather than on exercise itself. In this principle, it is important to concentrate on the body’s alignment, and keeping the correct alignment and equilibrium during the entire exercise session. It is vital that the practitioner maintains mental concentration throughout the session.

Center

In Pilates, a practitioner’s control of the body must begin somewhere: the center.  Of the Pilates method, the center is the primary point. The body’s “powerhouse” are the set of muscles in the middle of the body, those surrounding the abdomen, hips, upper and lower back, inner thighs and buttocks. In addition, center is the point where if the body was suspended it would be balanced fully in all directions. Learn more about Pilates exercises here:  https://www.wikihow.com/Do-Pilates

Control

“Contrology” was the preferred name given by Joseph Pilates for this principle. It focuses on muscle control. Every exercise is executed with control.  Control becomes refined with practice. Refined control is related to fewer errors, greater coordination, exact alignment, greater balance and improved ability to duplicate the exercise effectively over many attempts, by the use of minimal effort and evading unnecessary muscle tensions.

Precision

Precision is the precise manner by which an action is performed. The difference between precision and other exercise routines is the way it is done.  Knowing about anatomy will assist the practitioner in realizing precision.

Flow

Flow is effortless, continuous movement; a physical energy applied from the center that will direct movements of the extremities.  Achieving precision will ultimately lead to flow to and from and within each exercise to build strength and grit.

Equipment used in Pilates

The exercises are done on mats placed on the floor or on exercise apparatus developed by Joseph Pilates. These workout machines use pulleys and resistance from the body weight of the participant on the equipment and progressed spring levels. The reformer is most likely the most famous resistance equipment to be found in a Pilates workroom. Read here for more on Pilates.

get in the know with Pilates pal website

Pilates is appropriate for both males and females whether you are a professional athlete or you are just an ordinary person or retiree trying to get back in shape. Pilates low effect and usefulness have made it the preferred foundation exercise techniques for many individuals around the world including celebrities.

When done correctly and regularly, and with the correct instructions that will assist you in embracing the main principles, Pilates will bring a change in your life. It will also enhance your lifestyle giving you healthy appearance.  

***Collaborative post***
gadget, Technology, wellbeing

Tech-Free Days

tech-free days

Tech-Free Days

I think we all find it hard to put down the mobile phone, step away from the tablet and avoid the hypnotic draw of the TV. Being away from technology is such a good thing for your mind and your body so why aren’t we pushing this more with our children and enjoy the benefits of tech-free days?

Tech-free days are extremely beneficial to give your little (or not so little) ones the time away from bright screens, distracting beeping and addictive games, plus the stress that comes with a life lead through social media. This is even more worrying in teenagers, especially with night-time use.

But worry not, as we’ve got some top tips to banishing tech (just for a little while) and encouraging your children to interact with the family and the world around them…

Too Much Of This

Tech-free days

Quality family time

A great rule that will ease you into this introduction to family life is: no-tech at the dinner table.

Your family mealtimes may be as short as half an hour or as long as two hours, but this simple step will give your children a small break from tech so that they can take part in real discussions with their nearest and dearest. Quality family time may seem like a bit of a bore to them, especially if their friends are playing games online or frantically messaging on WhatsApp, but establishing this staple in your home will bring you that little bit closer.

Getting back to basics

When was the last time you saw your child reading a book? In this instance, Kindle books do count but it would be better if it was an actual book to fit the no-tech theme!

Getting back to basics simply means that you should encourage your children to spend some of their time enjoying activities that you did as a child. Such as reading a book, playing outside, enjoying some quiet time colouring in, playing cards or taking part in a family board game.

If you have children that range in age significantly, then you may need to find different activities to match their specific age bracket. This might also involve separating the children into different rooms, so one can read a book in peace while another can play table tennis or give you a run for your money on the miniature pool table! A great way to divide rooms as and when needed is with internal folding doors. With very little effort, you can turn a large living/dining room into two separate spaces for different functions.

Resting the eyes

Bright screens and games can leave the eyes feeling tired and sore if overused. Too much screen time for children can be very bad for children’s eyes which we should be more careful of and monitor usage more closely. 

Making the bedroom a tech-free zone will also help to give your child a good night’s sleep, every night. Mobile phones should be placed in a drawer on silent for bedtime, tablets turned off and out of sight and there should be a strict no TV rule for an hour before they go to sleep.

Keeping the bedroom free of all distractions keeps your children in tune with what the bedroom is for: sleeping.  

Social media

Although social media has only really been around for a decade, it has changed the way most people live their lives and interact with each other. Being a child in 2016 now means having several social media profiles, having several of your pictures online and the pressure to document your life through one of the many social tools available:

Tech-Free days

    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Snapchat
    • Instagram
    • WhatsApp
  • Vine

The list goes on for the benefits of tech-free days…

Wouldn’t it be better for your child to actually meet up with their friends instead of FB messaging them? How about a trip out to the beach or the local park that doesn’t involve a selfie, checking in to the local McDonald’s and spending the time filtering your photos ready for Instagram?

Not Enough Of This

Tech-free days

For the very young children, this won’t be as much of an issue but their introduction to social media will mark their entrance into a world that encourages every movement to be documented. Is it not the job of a parent to delay that for as long as possible?
Tech-free days will do so much to helping your children to have a rest break from social media, TV, games and internet browsing. It will encourage more quality family time, will help them to discover the joys of getting back to basics and will help them to interact with the world around them, not just the world from their mobile phone.

Pet care., pets, wellbeing

Skills Children Can Gain From Looking After A Family Pet

Skills Children Can Gain From Looking After A Family Pet

Skills Children Can Gain:

Pets are a source of much love and joy for families. Children especially enjoy and respond to the warmth and friendship they provide. A pet can be a furry best friend, partner-in-crime, companion, someone to cuddle with and much more for your child. Pets also make great teachers. They improve a child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development while imparting a few valuable life skills as your child interacts with them. If you are considering adding a pet to your brood, here are some of the potential skills children can gain from looking after a family pet:

Valuable Life Skills

  • Unconditional love. Pets are non-judgemental and can be quite therapeutic for lonely children or those with emotional distress. A pet can give support and comfort as well as play with your child. This can help them learn the importance of friendship.
  • Responsibility and confidence. Giving your children age-appropriate chores such as feeding, grooming and cleaning up after the family pet helps them learn what it means to be responsible. In turn, the responsibility of caring for the pet can inspire confidence. Children as young as four can help with simple tasks such as filling water and food bowls. Bathing, grooming, walking, giving cats or dogs flea treatment etc., can be the responsibility of older children.
  • Empathy and compassion. As your child cares for a pet that is dependent on him, he learns empathy and compassion. Your child learns to read and recognize the pet’s needs and how to best fulfil them, especially if the animal becomes scared, falls ill or grows old.
  • Patience. Children can learn patience from housebreaking a kitten or puppy or by teaching their pets new tricks. These young animals don’t learn all they need to know overnight while other pets might be slow to learn. Dealing with these situations and other instances of animal training will teach your child that patience and consistency are vital ingredients in attaining success.
  • Coping with loss. Although you probably don’t want to think about this, the lifespan of most pets is considerably shorter than those of their owners. Commonly, your child’s first experience with the death of a loved one is the loss of a beloved family pet. If this is managed in a respectful way that pays tribute to the pet and acknowledges the pain and grief felt, the experience can be invaluable to children as they grow up.

Looking After A Pet Is An Important Life Changing Decision.

Before selecting a family pet, you should make sure you inform all family members, especially children, of your decision. You should also pay attention to the type of pet you’d like to have. Some, such as cats and dogs, require almost constant care and are well suited to families. Others such as fish, birds and guinea pigs might not provide as much interaction. Remember that just like people, animals have different personalities and traits. Understand the different breeds available and get recommendations from a vet before making your final decision.

Pets can teach children plenty of skills that will help them grow to become well-adjusted adults. Add in the pure joy that pets bring and it seems unthinkable to let your child grow up in a house without one.

health, healthy living., weight loss, wellbeing

Feeling Good

Feeling Good

Feeling Awesome

As you may already know I am currently on a Slimming World journey in a bid to lose five stone. I have so far managed to lose just over three stone. I hit the three stone loss a while back now and have comfortably sat at this loss now for the past few months. Lately I’ve been wanting to push myself to lose the other two stone and start feeling good about myself.

I am due to attend an awards evening, this is a carer’s awards night for work. It is a Champagne four course dinner, with a formal dress code…..yikes!

I am not really a dress wearing person, due to my previous size before my slimming world journey I’d often be found in baggy trousers with a big baggy cardigan for comfort, all of which will be dark colours.

Panic overdrive

I have recently been on panic overdrive about what to wear to the awards night. I looked online at different outfits and saw this dress that I fell in love with straight away and knew that it was the dress for me. With the dress ordered – I ordered a size smaller than previously bought in the past, I done this in a bid to help keep me motivated and on track.

Due to my previous size, dresses never seemed to hang right on me, I like dresses that give you a shape and feel comfortable to wear. Unfortunately in the past this hasn’t happened. Since losing three stone my confidence has started to shine through and I now feel like I want to try different styles and actually go out in nice bright colours cardigan free.

The dress has been ordered – And has arrived……Yikes!

The table is booked, time and place to meet with colleagues is sorted…….Double yikes!

Now to find a nice bag, shoes and some accessories to go with my outfit – No backing out now.

I am really looking forward to the awards night but for me this is a BIG step out of my comfort zone. This will hopefully be a big step to a new me – One that is also back on plan and ready to lose the rest of the weight I so desperately want to shift.

health, wellbeing

Coping With Peer Pressure

Coping With Peer Pressure

Peer Pressure Is Horrible

Kid’s unfortunately don’t come with an instruction manual, we are all learning the best we can along the way. Peer pressure is a horrible thing that has probably effected us all when we was growing up.

It can have a positive effect on our life’s and it can also have a negative effect, it all comes down to choice and whether we let it have that negative effect. How can we best help and guide our children when coping with peer pressure at school?

Peer pressure can lead our kid’s to act out of character and do things that us parents know is not how our kid’s would not normally act. Coping with peer pressure can be a major worry for us parents.

I remember my days as a teenager and that feeling of wanting to be accepted and to feel like I belonged, I also remember being dared to do things and then doing them even though I knew in my head that it was wrong but still doing it just to be noticed and feel like I belonged…Stupid I know but that’s how it was!

When the boy’s started school I noticed a change of character, this soon settled down and then progressed again once they started secondary school, I then asked myself “is this just their character coming out or is it due to peer pressure”? it was hard to tell.

Signs of peer pressure:

    • Behaviour changes, suddenly becoming more rude, aggressive or even becoming more withdrawn or secretive.

    • Sudden changes in school grades or skipping classes.

    • Changes in different friends.

    • Changes of habits and going out at different times or suddenly returning home late.

    • Spending time doing things you know are odd for your child such as things that you know do not interest your child.

  • Change of style, such as hair and clothes.

As parents it’s our job to protect them and we are the most important influence in our children’s lives, all we can do is guide our children and hope they take our advice and the right path in life.

How would you guide and protect your children from peer pressure? would you intervene or would you wait for them to open up to you?

We Have Been Guiding Our Boy’s By:

    • We have let our boys have their chosen friends round for dinner so we can get to know them better and so we can see who they are spending time with.
    • We talk to our boy’s about their day and explain to them that they can ALWAYS talk to us about anything.
    • We also get to know their friends parents and keep in touch regularly, we look out for each others kid’s where we can.
    • We have regular contact with the school to keep an eye on the boy’s behaviour within the school…..We have even asked for our boy’s to be seated somewhere different, before now they have been seated next to a child who is known to the school to be disruptive and this had a bad effect on our child and his grades was dropping so action had to be taken, having our child seated somewhere else seemed to be the best option. With working together with the school on this problem made things easier and more effective.
    • We make sure that the boy’s are aware that we have noticed good behaviour, good decision-making, good grades at school, good time-keeping etc and then reward them in some way.
    • We have always told our boy’s that it is ok to say NO to anything that they don’t feel comfortable with.
    • We’ve also told our boy’s and made it very clear “there is always someone who they can talk to about anything if they don’t feel comfortable talking to us, there is always a family member, friend, teacher or anyone else that they feel comfortable talking to”.
  • We have told our boy’s to “think about the consequences of what it is they are about to do before they do it” THINK will this get me into trouble? if the answer is yes or I’m not sure then don’t do it!

The effects of peer pressure are horrible, it can get our children in some awful states and situations, sometimes in a lot of trouble.

It can:

Cause depression

Effect grades

Loss of good friends

Add pressure on relationships with family

Cause our children to lie to us

Risky behaviours such as drug and/or alcohol abuse

Truancy from school

Smoking

Under age sex

Become aggressive

Vandalism

Stealing

Criminal record

Effect eating habits

These are just some of the effects of peer pressure and I am sure there are many more.

Way’s To Help Our Kid’s Through This:

  • Help build their self-esteem back up, this will help them feel more confident in themselves again.
  • Help them with way’s of saying no to bad situations.
  • Perhaps see if they would like to join a self-defence class, it may help them feel safer.
  • Tell them they can always ring or text if they feel they are in a tricky situation.
  • Let your child have friends home after school if they wish, that way you are nearby for tricky situations.
  • Book an appointment to see the teacher with your child to discuss the situation so your child is aware the school are also keeping an eye out too. The more eye’s keeping a look out the better.
  • Try and get them involved in out of school activities that way they can mix with other children away from school and form other friendships.

We have recently helped one of our boy’s through coping with peer pressure, it was an awful time for us all, it was hard, the hardest part was seeing our child doing things we knew he was not comfortable with doing, he was in tears and felt controlled by these children.

We saw the signs and alerted the school, we worked together with the school, with the support in place and our child knowing the support was there to help he then felt safe enough to break away from them. We knew it was not something that was going to happen overnight, we knew we had to sit back and wait for him to do it in his own time in his way but we got him through.

Have you ever had to deal with peer pressure?
breakfast, food, food preperation, Healthy food, wellbeing

Homemade Breakfast Shake

Shake-up Your Breakfast!

Did you know that this week was breakfast week (25th-31st January), in our house we all enjoy our breakfast….Well why wouldn’t we it is a good way to start the day.

With the weather being cold we have been enjoying a nice variety of hot breakfast’s such as Porridge, Shredded wheat, Weetabix etc. I have mine with a nice cup of tea, Lee and Bradley enjoy theirs with a nice hot chocolate. This week we have gone through so much milk, especially with it being so cold lately we have been having extra hot chocolate drinks.

We enjoy our breakfast as it gives us a good start to the day and with the weather being so cold it is nice to have something warm inside us for venturing outside to brave the cold.

One morning we was all in a rush so we experimented by making a homemade breakfast shake to have on the go.

Ingredients:

Breakfast shakeOne cup of natural yoghurt

One cup of milk

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

One banana

One cup of oats

We combined all the ingredients together and mixed in a blender, it was so quick and easy to make. We are lucky as the boys love their fruit and they enjoy experimenting with the fruit to make all different types of shakes. This was our first attempt to make a homemade breakfast shake and the boys loved it, they said it see them through until lunch time at school so that was a bonus.

We will definitely be making this homemade breakfast shake in the future as it was so filling and it makes a healthy breakfast to have on the go.

We love letting the boys experiment with foods and flavours, we feel it is important to let them, we also think it is great that they take an interest in what they are eating, we enjoy watching them try different flavours as they don’t like all foods and spices and when they come across something they don’t like trust me they soon let us know.

Do you have kid’s that like to experiment with food’s and flavours, do you think you would try out this homemade breakfast shake?

Disclaimer: We was compensated for the milk used for the purpose of the post. All thoughts and opinions are 100% our own. 

#blockthatcold., cold and flu block, health, NasalGuard

Block That Cold Challenge With NasalGuard

Block That Cold Challenge With NasalGuard

 Block that cold 

Anyone that knows Lee will know he is never far from a box of tissues, in the summer it is due to his hay fever and in the winter it is due to having a constant cold, so we are taking part in the block that cold challenge with NasalGuard to see if we can beat the germs this year.

Lee finds it very draining constantly having a cold, it affects his schooling and socialising with Friends, we are having to take time off work to look after him which obviously comes natural, then the bills don’t get paid, having the constant battle with germs is hard work as they spread so easily around a household.

The NasalGuard cold & flu block, this is a 3g gel  that traps, holds and immobilize airborne viruses, it is to help reduce the likelihood of getting sick from cold and flu viruses, the gel is drug free and non-drowsy.

NasalGuard has a patented formulation containing cosmetic grade ingredients, which creates a positively charged gel that blocks negatively charged viruses on contact before they enter your nose.

The germs will not win #BLOCKTHATCOLD 

We are all going to be using the cold and flu block in our house this year, we are not going to let the germs beat us, we are looking forward in seeing how well it works.

www.thehousethatneverrests.com

You have to start using the gel before the flu seasons starts and use daily for the best results.

You will only need 1-2 drops of the non greasy gel, put the drops on your finger, rub your finger and thumb together, apply a thin layer around your nose and on your upper lip, you can re-apply throughout the day if you wish and there are no horrible odours.

Being drug free this product is safe for children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mums.

It can be worn under or over make up and one tube holds around 150 applications.

This products cost’s £11.99 and can be purchased at boots, superdrug or sainsburys, there is no prescription needed.

We will be tweeting our progress on twitter using #BLOCKTHATCOLD 

Disclaimer : We was sent a NasalGuard cold and flu block in exchange for our review all thoughts and opinions are 100% our own.