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Feeling Out of Sorts?

Do you usually have no shortage of drive and energy, but things have just not been same lately? If this is becoming the norm for you, something is likely up. Have a read through the following, which might explain why you are feeling off:

Exercise

Humans function the best when they are active. We should have at least 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity per day. Have you fallen off of the exercise wagon? Try to exercise more because both brain and body will benefit.

Sleep

Are you getting the same amount of sleep? Some people pride themselves on being able to function with little sleep, but it’s really not wise. At the very least, your performance will suffer and your body will also not be at its peak. You really need at least eight hours of sleep per night, so make whatever changes are necessary to make this possible.

Weight

One reason you may feel tired is that there is now more of you to lug around. The heavier you are, the more you have to work. That means you need more energy to do anything and everything. Eat right and exercise, and you will lose weight and definitely notice the benefits. It will also prolong the health of your heart, circulation, and other functions.

Breakfast

Are you taking the time to have a nutritious breakfast every morning? It really is the most important meal of the day. Make room in your schedule to have it at the beginning of every day, whether you are going to work or just lazing around the house.

Depression

In addition to recurrent feelings of sadness, one of the hallmarks of depression is a loss of energy and purpose. See your family doctor and, if that does not, produce an answer, consider making an appointment with a mental health professional.

How to Dispose of Your Old Medications

When we receive a prescription from a doctor, it is customary for us to continue taking the pills until they are gone, even if we start to feel better a few days in. However, many people do not follow that advice and they end up with half-finished bottles of pills. These then sit in their medicine cabinets sometimes for years on end. Some like to hold onto these pills so they can just use them the next time they get sick. However, medications do not last forever. Some of them lose their potency, and thus their use, over time. Some others become toxic and should not be used at all past a certain point.

OK, have we now convinced you that you should take all of your pills? That means it is now time to get rid of the old ones. However, do not flush them down the toilet or throw them in the garbage. Old drugs must be disposed of in a certain fashion for safety reasons.

Drugs flushed down the loo end up in rivers, with that water then sent to treatment plants. While the water coming into your house has been treated for your safety, these processes do not catch and remove pharmaceutical drugs. Thus, the medications you are flushing away will end up in someone’s water. Or fish and other animals that live in or near water. Even though diluted, they can still have a negative effect.

You are probably thinking, well, I’ll just throw them in the garbage then. Wrong — pills and capsules melt when exposed to moisture and that can end up as runoff that goes into rivers and you have the same problem again.

Fortunately, the answer is quite easy. Get all of your outdated and unused medications and bring them to your local pharmacy. They will dispose of them in a proper and safe manner at no cost to you.

Tired of Being Shy? Try These Tips!

Would you describe yourself as being a shy person? There are many introverts in the world and some find it challenging to be comfortable around certain individuals or groups. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that, though it can make life a bit more complicated and difficult.

Are you tired of being shy? Would you like to be a bit more outgoing and talkative with strangers? If so, try out the following suggestions:

Look people in the eye

In some cultures, eye contact is considered rude. However, in the West, it is a show of respect. Certain shy people have trouble maintaining eye contact with others, but it is a necessary skill when it comes to feeling comfortable in social and work situations.

Try maintaining eye contact with people you are already comfortable with. Watch the rhythms; staring at someone nonstop can be creepy and inappropriate. You will learn through doing to know when eye contact is appropriate and when it is fine to occasionally look away.

Test and experiment

If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable in groups, think of occasions where you can dip your toe into the water. These should be low stakes; in other words, if you feel uncomfortable, getting up and leaving does not matter. Try these a few times and you will gradually become more and more comfortable spending time with groups of people.

See a therapist

Being shy is not a psychiatric condition, though extreme versions of it (eg. being so intimidated that you do not ever leave your home) do exist. If you feel that your shyness is an extreme case, it is a good idea to talk about it with a therapist. They will have a number of ideas on how you can start to feel more comfortable and overcome this challenge once and for all.

Some Tips on How to Keep Your Cool

Do you blow your top? Flip your lid? Raise the roof? We will wager that even the calmest Buddhist monks lose their temper once in a while. Everyone gets mad, but the question is how often you do it and whether the anger is valid. As adults, we should be able to moderate our emotions so that we do not flip out over things that are not worth getting upset about. However, thanks to a number of different reasons, some people get angry on a regular basis. This can do considerable damage to both their physical and mental health, as well as their ability to interact with friends, coworkers, and loved ones.

Do you have trouble keeping a cool head? There are some things that can help:

Know when to walk away

The next time you feel your blood boiling, take a step back. It is impossible to come up with a rational solution to a problem when you are very upset. Walk away from the situation and come back to it when you are feeling calmer.

Get some exercise

Exercise causes the creation of “feel-good” endorphins, chemicals that are a byproduct of physical activity. These also help to calm you down and make you feel more serene. So you are not only doing a good thing for your body, but also for your mind.

Do not hold a grudge

If you are involved in a situation and things ultimately did not work out, try to just let it go. Holding onto a grudge is a recipe for periodic bouts of anger.

See a therapist

There are therapists out there who specialize in helping people who cannot control their temper. The therapist will meet with you, discuss your problem, and come up with ways to help you stay calmer and more balanced.

Is Interpersonal Communication in Decline?

Chances are you have seen it, and even perhaps recently: several people sitting at a table looking at their phones and not talking to each other. A couple decades ago, a scene like that would probably only be imaginable in a science fiction movie. However, it is depressingly familiar now.

If you like people watching, it is a lot less interesting these days because half the people who go by are just looking at their phones. It is like we are turning into an army of zombified clones.

Ironically, cellphones were supposed to make communication easier. They have succeeded in that respect to some degree; when was the last time you had to run around looking for a payphone? However, when smartphones came along and made it possible to browse the Internet, your phone’s purpose suddenly took on a whole new dimension.

It is no longer just a phone, but a small computer that you carry with you at all times. Smart phones became the centre of entertainment for many people and led to a new form of addiction. How many times a day do you look at your smart phone? You might be rather horrified to hear the number.

One result that is clear is that interpersonal communication is in decline. People spend so much time now looking at screens, the old tradition of “let us get together for coffee sometime” has morphed into “let us get together at the coffee shop, sit at the same table, but say virtually nothing to each other.”

Some people now communicate only by texting, even when they and the recipient are in the same home. That has further led to a significant decline in the quality of conversation because people get sick of typing words that have more than four or five characters. It is a sad state of affairs that is likely to continue getting worse.

How to Deal With Difficult Clients

Talk candidly with any business owner and they will likely have a view of clients somewhere along the lines of “cannot live with them, cannot live without them.” It is true that clients are the lifeblood of many businesses, but that does not mean that the relationship between each side is always a smooth one.

Are you struggling with a particularly difficult client? Here are some things you can try that might help:

Consider your approach

Sometimes what you say is not always as important as how you say it. When trying to smooth over any conflict, the remedy is always important, but how you present it can also make a major difference. Think about your past dealings with this client, what did and did not work, and go from there.

Think about your reputation

There are no doubt some clients who you would like to tear strip off of, but think about the possible repercussions of such a drastic action. If you go scorched-earth on someone, it can prompt them to badmouth you throughout your industry. That can lead to serious reputation problems and possible loss of business. Think seriously about whether it is worth it; chances are, it is not. Take it was a learning experience and move on.

Make sure you do the homework

When trying to work out a situation, make sure you take the time to have all of the details and know them inside and out. The fact that you are being this thorough demonstrates to the client that you care about their business and are sincere about fixing the situation.

Admit your mistakes

If the problem arose from a mistake on your end, it is important to own up to it. Trying to fob the blame off on the client will just make the situation even worse and possibly irreparable.

Warning Signs That You Might be Experiencing Depression

Depression can strike any of us. Regardless, there is still an unfortunate stigma attached to this condition which can prevent people from seeking help. While depression is an increasingly common diagnosis, many people still adhere to the old stereotype that depression is a form of insanity. This is not correct and not fair.

Do you think you might be suffering from depression? Here are some warning signs:

Compromised Brain Functions

Do you usually pride yourself on having an excellent memory? Depression can cause both long and short-term memory to be adversely affected.

Your concentration level may also not seem as good as usual. As a result, you might feel less sure of yourself and have trouble making decisions.

Low Energy

Are you usually the type of person who can’t wait to start the day, but you are now having trouble getting out of bed? Energy levels tend to drop due to depression.

Sleep Problems

People who normally get a sound sleep may find that they now have bouts of insomnia. Conversely, they may discover that they are sleeping longer, but not feeling any more rested.

Feeling Hopeless

Are you usually optimistic about life and your career, but now no longer see the bright side? Do you find there is nothing to look forward to in life?

Eating Problems

Are you now overeating, particularly “comfort foods,” in an attempt to make yourself feel better? Or are you no longer eating enough?

Physical Pain

In addition to mental anguish, depression can actually cause instances of physical pain, such as muscle aches and even headaches.

Thoughts of Suicide

Do you ever feel so despondent that you think about killing yourself? Is it just a passing thought or have you actually come up with a plan?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consider seeing a therapist to discuss your situation.

Why Cats Make Great Pets

Dogs vs Cats seems to be the eternal argument. Both sides have their ardent defenders, but today we have come to celebrate the joys of having a feline in your life. Cats can be more challenging and less predictable than dogs, but for some, that is part of their appeal. Here are some reasons why you should consider adding a cat to your life:

Independence

We all like our pets to depend on us to a certain extent, but dogs require a considerable commitment that can be quite challenging, especially if you work outside of your home. Cats are much less work: no walks (unless you have one of those few cats that are into this), no bathing needed, and you can easily leave a cat alone for two or three days without worry. Just put out adequate food and water and you’re good!

Playful

Dogs are known for being playful, but cats can be wonderful in this area, too. Just try dangling a string over your kitty sometime. Cats can be hours of entertainment; they may not play fetch, but felines still find ways to become and stay engaged. Felines don’t require the same degree of engagement as dogs, but you should still spend regular time with them.

Purr and Cuddle

If you have an affectionate cat, they can be a great deal of fun to be around. Warm and fluffy, they also emit that wonderful purring noise that can be quite relaxing and delightful.

You Can Train Them

Cats have a reputation for being untrainable, but that’s not true. It is easy to get them to use a litter box (just try doing that with a dog), and you can also train them to not scratch your furniture or do other destructive things. However, this does require some patience.

 

Do You Listen to Podcasts?

Podcasts have been around for a number of years now, but there are still quite a few regular internet users who have never listened to one. For the uninitiated, podcasts are essentially the internet’s answer to radio (though there are also video podcasts).

Unlike radio, however, you are not restricted to a station’s schedule. You can either stream or download a podcast and listen to it whenever you like. That freedom means you can easily keep up with several podcasts because you can listen to them in the car, at the gym, on a hike, or whenever you have some spare time.

Podcasts can be anything their creators want them to be. There are official podcasts put out by groups and organizations, and there are podcasts put out by teenagers from their bedroom. Some are very slick and professional, while others are endearingly amateurish. If there is a subject, you can do a podcast about it, and there is a good chance you will find one that conforms to your interests.

Podcasts can be highly factual and informative, or they can be irreverent and just a piece of disposable entertainment; both of these approaches have their merits and many people listen to a combination of podcast styles.

Most podcasts are free, though some creators charge subscription fees in order to help recover their costs or as simply a way to make some extra money. Some offer two versions of the same podcast: a short one that is free or a longer version that must be purchased (either individually or part of a subscription, the latter usually being cheaper).

You can download podcasts directly from the creator’s website or through a service like iTunes. Going the latter route is especially helpful because you can adjust your settings so that each podcast downloads automatically, saving you the time and effort.

The Internet’s Negative Effects on Education

 

The internet has changed the world in many ways. To site just one example, information has never been easier to access. However, this also means that it is now simpler than before to spread misinformation, which can have terrible results (e.g. fake news and Donald Trump’s election victory).

The accessibility of facts can certainly making learning easier and more efficiently delivered, but the internet has also had some very negative effects on education:

Corner Cutting

One of the main ways that essays and reports benefit students is that they help to stimulate creativity. You have to spend time and problem solve to come up with a topic or information that will allow you to fulfill the parameters of the assignment. With the internet, a pupil can just go online and instantly find examples to emulate. This hinders the development of the skills that they will need both in school and on the job.

Cheating

Another aspect of corner cutting is cheating. Previously a student would have to look for something or hire someone to write a paper for them. Now they can go online and cut and paste things in seconds. Not only does this hurt them, it is easily discerned as teachers can use the internet to check on sections of papers (or entire papers) that do not seem to be that student’s work.

There are also sites where students can buy pre-written essays or commission ones related to that particular assignment.

Time Wasting

There are so many ways to waste time on the internet that you could literally spend entire days doing just that. Students already find some classes difficult to care about; with their laptops and smartphones, they can instantly zone out. This can also tempt them to do the same even during subjects that would regularly engage them.