Just To Let You Know…

Just to let you know, you may see some new posts written by other authors from time to time in the future. Please know that these posts will continue to reflect the character of this site as well as bringing perspectives other than my own to this blog. I’m sure you’ll find them as informative and enjoyable as the ones I have written and will continue to write.

And again, thanks for reading! 🙂

Welcome All!

Columbia Gorge. Hi Everyone! Welcome to my site and blog! Here I’ll be talking about all kinds of things, many based on my own experiences.

Things such as, how I moved from one state to another and what I did to make it more successful, what I’ve gotten from the different jobs I’ve tried, what I’ve learned about selling items at flea markets, and tips about using some of the features on computers, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, and other things as well.

If you like what you see here, stay informed of new posts by following this blog! There’s an e-mail address field and “Follow” button on the column to the right.  And let others know, too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Me at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

7 Smart Tips To Keep Employees Safe

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Keeping employees safe isn’t just a nice add-on for your business – it’s mission-critical. That’s because when employees aren’t safe, it makes it much more likely that they will leave, sue or become unproductive. 

The following tips are some of the ways that you can keep employees safe during their stay with you. Check them out below. 

Nominate A Safety Champion

The first thing you’ll want to do is to nominate a safety champion. This is a person who will lead safety efforts at your firm and look for ways to protect people as much as possible. 

Safety champions are great because they are employee peers. Workers don’t feel like edicts are coming down from on high. Instead, they feel more involved in the safety improvement process. 

Praise Safe Employees

The next step is to create a reinforcing culture of praise for employees. This will help make safety changes last. Once workers begin operating in a safe manner by themselves, they will naturally encourage others to do the same. Eventually, doing something unsafe will become culturally unacceptable. 

Improve Your On-Site Security

While most business premises are safe for workers, criminals may still operate in them, posing a potential danger. For that reason, it is important to invest in on-site security. 

You can do this in two ways, according to https://www.watchmenkc.com/services/video-security-system-in-kansas/: hire on-site security staff or install a CCTV-based security system. Many companies do both because they want their colleagues to feel more secure. 

Keep Communication Channels Open

When it comes to matters of safety, employees need constant communication from staff. If there are interruptions in communication, it can lead to the formation of bad habits and incorrect practices. 

At many businesses, safety discussions are now a daily reality. Supermarkets, for instance, often hold morning meetings where they tell staff to observe protocols, such as staying away from forklift trucks. 

Create Ownership

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Another powerful tool you can use to keep employees safe is to create ownership. You do this by making safety the responsibility of all of the individuals in your team. 

The best approach is to give individual employees responsibilities to ensure other colleagues are following the correct procedures. So, for example, you might have one person ensuring that everyone wears their high-vis vests and another who is responsible for wet floor signs. 

Be Proactive
Don’t allow safety issues to go unattended before dealing with them. Instead, address them head-on before they cause injury. 

Over recent months, companies have had to become more proactive in response to COVID-19. Many are making it easy for their employees to get vaccinations. Others are providing hand sanitizers at strategic locations to keep people safe.

Be Compliant
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that you remain compliant with all relevant workplace health and safety regulations – something you can view at https://www.osha.gov/workers. These regulations are quite minimal usually, but they also address the issues most likely to crop up in your business. Abiding by the law protects your brand while also ensuring that workers avoid some of the most common injuries.

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Keep Your Home Secure With These Five Tips

Investing heavily in household goods and valuables leads to growing concerns about home security. With the advent of new technologies, burglars are now more sophisticated and can enter homes when they are sure the home is unoccupied, using new techniques to monitor it. You can make your home more secure by following these steps. 

Photo by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels

Keep Your Doors Locked 

There is no doubt that we are all familiar with the concept of locking our doors when we leave home or go on vacation, but what percentage of us make an effort when we are at home? Locking your doors while you are at home may seem counterintuitive, but it is really very helpful in maintaining the safety of your house. 

 If you want to relax in your sitting room and you don’t want any surprises to surprise you, such as a stranger in the house, then you should make it a habit to turn the key the moment you arrive at your home so you can relax when you arrive. The habit of locking your computer is also important since it teaches you how to remember to do it in the future. 

Landscape Your Garden 

It is a burglar’s dream to have a house with many trees and shrubs outside; it allows them to crouch under windows unnoticed and break the window or the door frame. If they are caught, they can also hide behind it to escape. 

 If you landscape your garden and ensure there are no unnecessary trees or bushes outside your doors or windows, you can eliminate this potential natural habitat for burglars. Consider placing these features at the bottom of the garden rather than at the top. 

Keep Your Belongings Out Of Sight

Burglars usually scout a neighborhood looking for trees and bushes to offer them cover. They will also look at what the property can offer in terms of occupations and products. Displaying your products is a bad idea. 

Make sure that you can no longer see expensive televisions, computers, or sound systems from the street. Consider talking to a product liability lawyer if you happen to be injured while moving a product, and get what you deserve. 

Keep The People Safe In Emergency 

You never know when an accident is going to happen. This means you need to be prepared. Have a first aid kit in your cupboard with items such as bandages, reusable gel ice packs, plasters, pain killers, and antiseptic cream. 

Make Your House Look Occupied

Burglars look for signs of occupied houses when they assess what sort of neighborhood they are in so that they can assess risk levels accordingly. For instance, check to see if your lights are turning on and off if the mail is piling up at your door or letterbox and if the property is in generally decent shape. 

You should always set your lights on timers, even if you’re just going on vacation for a few days. Your neighbor may also be able to help you remove snow or leaves from your path and your letterbox. 

These five tips will help you to keep your home secure. Do you have any other methods to add in the comments?

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Should You Become Self-Employed ?

Do you want to have more control over your work, be able to set your hours, or work on things you’re passionate about? Perhaps you want to build your business around supporting a good cause, or you have great ideas that aren’t possible to realize in your current job.

If this is you, then you might want to consider self-employment. Learn about whether self-employment is for you and what to consider before going through with it.

Pros & Cons of Self-Employment

There are several good reasons to become self-employed but also many difficulties that come with it. Let’s start with the more obvious stuff.

Self-employment allows you a lot more control over, and flexibility with, your work. You set your hours, choose where you work, who you work with, and what you work on. These are great, but they come with a lot of responsibility.

Though you get more flexibility with your work, self-employment means more work hours, not less. You will also have to handle the legal matters that a company would have handled for you.

Being self-employed lets you structure your work around what’s important to you. You can solve problems you care about, follow your passion, and learn a lot of things you wouldn’t have learned from working in a company along the way. 

However, you will be out of your comfort zone. That you will be learning a lot of things is great but it’salso an indicator of how much you don’t know. You won’t have co-workers to help or teach you if you don’t know something. If you weren’t directly interacting with clients before, chances are you will have to after becoming self-employed.

In the end, it depends on what you prefer, how important the advantages are to you, and how much you’re willing to bear with the disadvantages.

Another thing to consider is how much your circumstances mitigate the disadvantages. You might have a lot of money and assets, a strong support system, or experience with a wide range of tasks. All of these could make transitioning to self-employment a lot easier

Self-Evaluate and Consider Your Options

Before becoming self-employed, you should take the time to consider if this is something you actually want to do. Ask yourself what your options are and why you’re doing this. Some people might consider self-employment because they

hate their current job or their boss.

Avoiding bad jobs is certainly a perk, but it’s not enough of a reason to become self-employed. Being self-employed comes with its own hardships and responsibilities. Quitting your job and starting your own business is something you have to commit yourself to, so make sure you go into it with enough resolve.

If you’re resolute, then it’s time to take stock. Ask yourself the following questions:

Are you disposed to having more responsibility for your work?

What are you passionate about and skilled at?

What services or products can you offer?

How much of your money and assets are you willing to utilize or risk?

This should give you an idea of what it is you want to do and what your business should offer.

Come Up with a Business Strategy

After handling all the legal requirements for forming a business, it’s time to strategize.

If you come into this without a detailed business plan, then you will be setting yourself up for failure from the very start. Analyze your competitors and set yourself apart by focusing on what’s unique about what you offer.

You will need to pick a niche, at least in the beginning. Why do people buy products or avail of services? It’s because they have a goal they want to achieve or a problem they want to solve.

They buy toys to make their children happy. They hire exterminators to get rid of termites. What are you able to offer, and who would your customers be? Start small and specific. As a newly self-employed individual, you will have little in the way of reach. Address a small set of problems and offer solutions.

You will also need a way of financing your business. This could come from your savings, family and friends, a business loan, or any other source of funding.

Once your business is up and running, you should aim to get your brand out there. You will need a website. It’s a great way to attract clients and partners. If you can afford it, you might want to hire a company to market your content.

There are many objectives you won’t be able to reach simply because you lack the manpower and specialized knowledge. Partnerships and outsourcing are a couple of great ways to compensate for this.

It will be difficult, but as long as you go into it with good reasons and a good plan, self-employment can be one of the best decisions you can make for your career. You’ll inevitably stumble, but keep at it, and you’ll be able to make things go your way.

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Surefire Ways to Live a Long and Happy Life

No matter how positive your aura is, there are times you may feel overwhelmed and beaten down by life. In some instances, it may feel like nothing can cheer you up. However, as human beings, we live life with grit, and no matter what curveballs life throws at us, we overcome it and move forward. In this article, we show you how you can improve the quality of your life by giving you tips to live long and stay happy.

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Do the Things You Love

While this may sound like a cliche statement, doing the things you love is one of the pieces of advice that stand the test of time. Whether you love your career, spending time with friends, or a hobby, immersing yourself in it allows you to live a happy and fulfilling life. Allow yourself to enjoy the process without worrying about outcomes, as worry only reduces the quality of an experience.

Use Your Phone Well

The world is quickly going digital, and you can see it in how people spend their time. Today, the average adult spends approximately four hours a day on their phone.

However, your smartphone can serve your mission towards a long and healthy life. If you use your phone well, you can achieve a happy, healthy life. Your phone can help you stick to a schedule, plan and execute your diet, plan healthy meals and learn new recipes, and learn about exercise as you keep track of your progress.

Learn and Prioritize Self-care

With the current state of affairs, it is possible to get immersed in day-to-day activities and forget that we should take care of some of our personal needs. However, to live a long and healthy life, you need to acknowledge that your body allows you to experience the world, and you need to give back to it. Instead of allowing your body to stay tired and sluggish, you should prioritize self-care. Eat a healthy diet, drink water and exercise, read books and do the things that excite your body and soul. Despite a busy schedule, you should make time for your body.

Make Positive Changes

It is a universal law that we attract what we focus on. But, unfortunately, we lend most of our energy to negative thinking patterns and habits. To start attracting better things into your reality, you need to make some changes in your life. 

Some of the adjustments you can make include spending time with those who matter to you, quitting bad habits such as smoking, drinking, eating junk food, and incorporating exercise into your daily routine. You can also pick up a new hobby or rekindle your love for old hobbies and see how much energy and positivity you can pump into your day.

Bottom Line

Life can get busy and tedious. However, you can incorporate the above tips into your life and make some positive changes. Remember, your body allows you to experience everything around you. Therefore, it is only fair that you make time to adjust and enjoy life as it comes.

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Lease Accounting and What We Need to Know

A lease is defined as a transaction that a company makes to have the right to use an asset. This, like any other financially-based transaction, needs to be accounted for in a timely and accurate manner. Thankfully, these days, software exists to make accounting for leases easier and quicker in terms of recording, gathering, and reporting the information.

How Does a Lease Work?

With a lease, a company will pay the other party an agreed-upon sum in exchange for the use of an asset. The asset can be a vehicle that is used for deliveries or plant hire that is used on a construction job. The latter is likely to be a shorter-term lease because the equipment may well be returned after a particular construction project has been completed.

Leases are popular with businesses as opposed to buying an asset because no down payment will be required, the monthly payments are generally lower than with bank loans, and a lease is easier to obtain where there are bad credit ratings to consider. So, there is certainly a market for leases and much to account for to keep track of them. The thing to be aware of with leases is that there can be mileage restrictions and the potential for extra fees for early terminations. This will all be in the small print and need to be taken note of on both sides where extra payments are involved.

Accounting for a Lease

Lease accounting is an important section of accounting and should be taken extremely seriously in terms of recording things accurately. Rules exist to govern the way leases are, for instance, defined. In fact, in most cases in the future, it will be as capital leases, albeit the ones that are for less than 12-months, which remain classed as operating leases.

In an accounting ledger, whether it be a paper record or a computerized one where there will be less chance of misreading figures, a journal entry will be required. This consists of debiting the lease asset account and, at the same time, crediting the lease liability account. The amount of lease asset or liability should be recorded as the fair value in terms of the total lease payments. The idea of debits and credits follows the convention of the double-entry bookkeeping system.

The principle behind double-entry bookkeeping, which computer software will take care of, as long as you enter everything from both sides, is that every financial transaction has equal and opposite effects in two different accounts. Where software accounting tools are used, all these separate accounts will be automatically integrated by the lease accounting software and appear as totals on the balance sheet to be reported on. Figures are then instantly accessible for monthly and year-end audit situations.

There are just three basic rules to accounting, whether to do with lease accounting or not:

Debit the receiver and credit the giver.

Debit the incoming and credit the outgoing.

Debit all expenses and losses but credit all income and gains.

If you know these rules, you cannot go far wrong with regards to the placement of figures in the accounts. The software can help you with this.

Accounting Standards

There is an added complication with lease accounting because there are more accounting standards to know. For instance, concerning how, in the future, leases need to be classified from a balance sheet point of view. In the past, it has not always provided a full picture to shareholders when the details of all leases were not visible. To rectify this, in the future, leases will need to primarily be recorded as capital ones, rather than be split between finance and operating leases. When they are longer than 12 months, that is.

So, it pays to know all the different accounting standards to accurately record figures in the leasing sections of your accounts. It is, after all, these figures that will ultimately be reported.

In conclusion, we need to think of the way that we record leases in our account in terms of there being debits and credits to record for each transaction and know that in the future leases will need to be predominantly recorded as capital leases. Lease accounting software exists to help us with all of this so that we can accurately record and report our lease figures in an accurate and timely way.

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How To Best Take Care of Your Health: A Systematic Approach

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It’s essential to take care of your health, and the first step is understanding your body signs. You all know what it feels like when you’re stressed out: tight muscles, headaches, elevated blood pressure. Luckily, there are many ways that you can try to avoid stress from building up in the first place. 

Understand Your Body Signs

Understanding your body signs can help you better know what to do in case of health problems. For example, if you are aware that your body goes into certain phases, you can act faster when something is happening and get over the issue more quickly than before. 

To understand your body signs, you should know what they are telling you. In other words, you need to spot these changes as soon as possible so that you can take corrective measures immediately if necessary. 

Avoid Stresses

Stress can be due to various factors, both physical and mental, that include family, work, and school. In addition, stress reduces your immune system’s ability to fight off illnesses such as the flu or common cold. As well it can increase your blood pressure which results in heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. 

It also causes anxiety disorders and weight gain through increased cortisol levels, a hormone that increases appetite. Hence, you eat more than you should, resulting in obesity and insulin resistance leading to type II diabetes even if someone does not have genetic predispositions towards developing these diseases.

To avoid stress, you must learn how your body responds to stress, take responsibility for your actions, and learn how to prioritize.

The best thing to do is take steps that reduce the stresses in your life whenever possible. You can achieve this by avoiding stressors, planning out how to cope with any unavoidable stress or learning methods for dealing with even the most difficult stressors.

Always Consult Your Doctor

Always consult your doctor when you have a doubt, question, or issue. It is essential to follow the doctor’s instructions and take care of your health systematically if you want it to function at its best.

Consulting your doctor about your problem is the first step. They will give you a complete examination and suggest relevant tests if needed. Then, follow their advice to best take care of your health.

It helps determine if you need to take medication or not. If so, follow the prescription carefully and report any side effects of the drugs identified by your doctor immediately. In addition, avoid drug misuse or abuse to prevent any drug resistance that may arise. For example, you can you get addicted to Ambien after continuous and unprescribed usage that will cause you to be dependent or resistant to the drug. Also, never forget that lifestyle factors also play an essential role in health care management.

You should consult with your doctor when you feel like you need to take a break from work. If you feel stressed or anxious and want to get rid of them using medication, it may not always be the best solution for your health conditions.

Follow the Doctor’s Instructions

It is an essential part of taking care of your health. However, it is straightforward to become lost in the sea of information out there. In addition, it can be hard to know what you should do if you don’t have medical training or experience with different diseases and conditions.

That’s why you need to follow the doctor’s instructions precisely, which include: taking medicines at the correct times and dosages, doing all exercises prescribed by the doctor, following recommended dietary requirements, undergoing regular check-ups so that they can detect potential problems before they even show up. 

Work Out

Working out at least three times a week can help your body fight against many diseases. If you are not used to working out, make sure that the first workout is at low intensity and increases gradually as you progress with time. You should also set clear goals for yourself regarding the exercises not to lose motivation over time.

Have the Right Dietary Requirements

Moving further, you need to follow proper dietary requirements depending on your lifestyle if you want good health throughout your lifetime. You need to make specific changes in diet after consulting an expert or doctor because everyone’s metabolism rate varies differently based on age factors. 

Most of you have shifted from eating healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains towards unhealthy food habits due to lack of time & resources available. However, it would help if you made time to care for yourself. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, you must follow the doctor’s instructions. It would help if you worked out and always consult your doctor when needed. It is also imperative to understand your body’s signs, avoid stress, and have proper dietary requirements.

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Preparing Teens for the Real World: Life Skills Schools Should Teach in 2021

We think only adults suffered during this period. But teens surely had trouble, too. The pandemic distorted their view of the real world, making it scary instead of exciting. The reopening of schools didn’t help much; many kids continue to stay at home due to the rising COVID-19 cases.

This can make one wonder, “what if another crisis happened again?” While pessimism is the last thing we need right now, we can’t afford another pandemic or any other crisis to catch us by surprise again. Sure, we’ll never be prepared enough for crises, but we don’t have to feel helpless against it.

As such, teens should start learning useful skills in school. And not just cooking and cleaning; rather, skills that will help them keep their lives put together in case outside help isn’t available.

Without further ado, these are the skills schools should start teaching teens in 2021:

1. Basic HVAC Repair and Maintenance

Now that everyone’s staying at home for longer periods, HVAC systems work harder than usual. If the machine suffers a problem, it’s easy to call a repairman. But some HVAC issues require only quick troubleshooting. Calling a pro would’ve been a waste of your money and theirtime.

Likewise, relying on a pro for basic HVAC maintenance is a waste of money. So teens should learn to do it instead. Besides, they’re typically possessive of their spaces. They don’t like it when a stranger comes in, even to repair appliances.

Basic HVAC maintenance is just replacing air filters every three months or so. Onthe other hand, basic repairs can be a little complicated in the start, as it requires an ensemble of tools. But once teens get the hang of it, opening up an HVAC unit and changing its parts will be second nature to them.

2. Cleaning Gutters

A roof replacement is one of the most expensive home repairs ever. But if you maintain your gutters well, you’re less likely to deal with costly roof issues. Hence, schools should begin teaching teens how to clean gutters.

Gutters are often filled with debris during the fall. So the reopening of classes is the perfect time to teach gutter cleaning. Also, teens should learn how to tell if a gutter is already beyond fixing. This will teach them a greater sense of responsibility.

3. Basic Car Repairs

Teens as young as 13 start being interested in driving. By their 16th, they can already have a license. If their car breaks down on their way to school or home, they’d be helpless if they can’t perform basic car repairs.

Teens can learn the following repairs from school, even just by reading books or referring to visual aids:

  • Changing oils
  • Changing a flat tire
  • Changing batteries
  • Changing spark plugs
  • Replacing windshield wipers
  • Replacing air filters
  • Replacing a headlight or tail light
  • Changing brake pads
  • Jumpstarting a car

In addition, teens should know how to use the various tools and equipment for repairing cars. For example, if the tires are out of alignment, a teen should name a durable alignment car lift as the equipment that will fix the problem. Being familiar with car repair tools and equipment allows teens to make smart decisions when maintaining their own autos.

4. Transportation Skills

Just because a teen has a driving license doesn’t mean they should throw commuting out the window. It may seem like common sense is the only skill needed to use public transport, but navigating and safety skills are important, too. When teens are in an unfamiliar place, it won’t be easy to reach their destination without navigation skills. And if they’re riding a cab alone at night, for example, their safety skills can save their lives should a threat faces them.

5. Emotion Regulation Skills

Many Millennial and older Gen Z employees suffer from mental health issues. Their problems worsened during the pandemic. Though the causes of poor mental health vary, we can attribute a common root cause: a lack of emotion regulation skills.

True enough, people from older generations were never taught to be attuned to their emotions. They were seen as unprofessional or “bratty” when they became emotional.Thankfully, millennials are changing that, creating a safer environment for Gen Zs.

So from now, schools should also teach emotion regulation to prevent personality problems due to repressed emotions. This will help teens stay emotionally and mentally healthy if another crisis occurs.

These life skills are essential in living a healthy lifestyle. Remember, health isn’t just about nutrition. It’s also about mental and emotional stability and the ability to run a happy, peaceful household.

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Common Workplace Stressors And How To Manage Them

Common Workplace Stressors And How To Manage Them

As an adult, you will spend a large proportion of your life engaging in work so it may not come as a surprise that you will experience some form of workplace stress from time to time. While workplace stressors may not be uncommon they are not pleasant and can have grave consequences for your physical and mental health. Here are some typical workplace stressors and what you can do to manage them.


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Workload

One of the biggest culprits is a heavy workload. Expecting too much from employers is a sure-fire way to trigger workplace stress. If you find yourself victim to an unmanageable workload consider a few of the following;

  1. Make a priority list.
    Jot down your to-do list in order of priority. Starting at the top, work your way through your list task by task. Ensuring the most important tasks are not overlooked and dealt with first will help ease the mental load.
  2. Outsource.
    Where you can outsource tasks that you do not need to complete yourself. Can you hand over a project to a colleague? Or perhaps you are your own boss trying to do it all yourself. Consider using software such as Sage to take the load off of your accounting system or deferring to experts such as Securelogic IT provider to take on your IT management. Take a look at what is on your to-do list and work out if you are or need to be responsible for all of it.
  3. Communicate.
    If your workload is causing you stress be sure to inform your superiors or the team around you. It is not a weakness or anything to be shamed off. They may well be feeling the pressures too and just talking about it can help. Better yet, they may be able to offer up some practical solutions to alleviate your stress. Communication is key. 

Poor working relationships

Your relationships whether at home or in the office can have a huge impact on your mental health and wellbeing. Here are some ways to help alleviate the stressors of poor working relationships.

  1. Find common ground.
    You may be working closely with someone you don’t like and while that can be hard to ignore, in the adult world, unfortunately there are times where you have to get on with it as best you can. Try to find some common ground or shared interests you can bond over or have positive conversations about to detract from the negatives of your relationship.
  2. Work on controlling your emotions.
    If you find yourself getting worked up by the actions of another, while this is not to suggest it is your fault, consider working on how you deal with and react in certain situations. It may well be the other person is being unreasonable but if you can learn to deal with it in a calm manor that doesn’t result in a negative atmosphere it will improve your working life envciroment.

Reduce contact time.
If you can’t find sufficient common ground and you are finding it increasingly difficult to handle yourself in a cool and collective way around a certain person then take the steps you can to avoid contact time with that person, even if you have to work closely. Try to keep your break times separate, so you get some space. Can you communicate via email or messaging services? Can you divide up tasks so you can work independently? Do what you can to keep your contact time to a minimum and your stress levels low.

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Can You Stage Your Home For Your Brain?

Can You Stage Your Home For Your Brain?


Most people understand the importance of adjusting their lifestyles to support the brain. Ultimately, the brain is an essential organ that reacts to our emotions, energy levels, and nutrition. A healthy brain requires a healthy lifestyle. The right diet can significantly improve your cognitive functions and focus. Indeed, brain food, such as walnuts, citrus fruits, and fatty fish, can help strengthen neural pathways. 

Exercise, both mental and physical, is indispensable. Whether you choose to solve puzzles or go out for a jog, you are constantly training your brain. Mental exercises train your cognitive abilities. But physical activity ensures your brain receives plenty of oxygen and nutrients. 

Finally, plenty of sleep and relaxation can help reduce pressure and maintain your mental productivity. A stressed-out or tired brain thinks slowly and is prone to mistakes. 

But there’s more you can do to help your brain. Have you ever considered staging your home decor to enhance your cognitive functions? Here’s how it could work. 

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Maximize natural light exposure strategically

Do you sometimes find yourself lying on the bed, unable to sleep after you’ve been scrolling through your social media feed? Using a screen device exposes you to blue light, which is the same wavelength as the sunlight. Whether you are watching TV, catching up with your emails, or listening to your favorite goodnight lullaby on Spotify, blue light exposure tells your brain it is daytime. As a consequence, your brain prevents the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. 

But did you know that the reverse phenomenon can also affect your brain? If you are not exposed to enough natural light, your brain can struggle to prepare for daytime activities. Do you need direct sun exposure to feel mentally energized? The answer is no. Your brain feeds on indirect cues too, such as the window in your home office. Make sure you don’t obstruct natural light passage with furniture or obstacles. Additionally, it can be beneficial to consider window renewal by Andersen Windows & Doors to upgrade damaged frames and glass panes. Old windows can obstruct light in many ways! 

The brain needs plenty of oxygen

While we’re on the subject of windows, here’s a simple tip for you: Open your windows once a day. For a start, renewing your indoor air will improve your air conditioning system. But, more importantly, the process helps regulate air quality and oxygenation inside your home. Indoor air quality is often as bad or even worse than outdoor. Unfortunately, we don’t see particles and toxins in the air. Indoor pollution is one of the most important health concerns at home. From respiratory discomfort to irritation, bad air quality has a long list of consequences. But it can also affect your mental concentration, creating unpleasant brain fog. You help clear indoor pollution and bring more oxygen into your home when you open your window daily, supporting brain functions. 

Remove distractions that can affect concentration

Your brain constantly picks a variety of signals from your environment. While it can be hard to keep the world at bay while you’re working, you can target some of the most disruptive signals. Background noises can be frustrating, especially if you live in a busy town. Traffic sounds can affect your focus. But it may not be easy to wear noise-canceling headphones all day, as they can make you feel completely cut out from the external world. If you prefer some lighter level of noise management, you can find simple solutions such as noise-stopping panels to the inside of your wall. For tenants who can’t change their interior, a line of houseplants along the window can also act as a noise-reducing element. 

Another surprisingly overlooked factor is your office decor. Colors can significantly affect your focus and concentration. Blue tones, for instance, support mental focus. On the other hand, red and orange colors inject a ton of energy, making you feel restless at a desk. 

Add structure to your decor

Your thinking process requires structure. Therefore, it makes sense that working in a clear and decluttered place can assist the thought patterns. On the other hand, surrounded by clutter, your brain is likely to feel pressured and stressed out. 

Create a sense of reward for your mind

Last but not least, thinking spaces should engage positive feelings. Building a pleasant place with meaningful and personal decorative accents encourages your brain to produce happy and feel-good hormones. These help keep stress at bay, creating a rewarding environment for productivity. While creating a home office that includes only professional and practical elements can be tempting, little personal touches can boost your mood. A happy brain is energized, makes connections quickly, and keeps you focused. 

Is your home a brain-positive environment? Most of us fail to consider how our brain reacts to our surroundings. From natural light to mood-boosting decor, the brain responds to multiple stimuli every day. The better you understand how to create a brain-focused home, the more productive you’ll become. 

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Working Smart: How To Give Your Brain What It Needs

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A lot of time and effort goes into ensuring that our bodies are as fit and healthy as they can be, and for good reason. We certainly don’t want to be getting ill all the time, and taking longer to recover from every health issue. But there is something of a tendency among humans to set our bodies and our brains on two different tracks, and all too often we don’t consider our brains’ health with the same importance as our bodies’.

To make it clear, when we speak of brain health, we mean the whole category of health matters relating to the brain. That’s mental health, in the sense of issues like depression and anxiety, but also cognitive health – which relates to dementia and similar illnesses, but also developmental disorders like ADHD. Like our physical health, if issues in this department get bad enough we’ll go to a doctor – but unlike our physical health, we often don’t know where to start with looking after our brains from a mental or cognitive perspective.

Diet is important for your brain as well as your body

You’ll know instantly which foods you will favor when you’re on a health kick, or what you’ll eat before and after a trip to the gym. The good news is, to some extent, the same foods can help with brain health: oily fish such as salmon is a good place to start. To ensure that your brain is getting the nutrients it needs, it’s also a good idea to snack on walnuts and, if you’re familiar with the unpleasant experience of “brain fog”, try citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit, which contain antioxidants that help strengthen your neural pathways.

Exercise plays a key role

There are competing opinions on how effective brain gym programs are in actually boosting your brain, but what is not in doubt is that, like any muscle on the human body, the brain benefits from being used. Watching TV quiz shows, learning a language or an instrument, or doing puzzles will all give you practice in using parts of your brain. Even if you need to go over an answer repeatedly or occasionally rely on a jumble word solver for the trickier puzzles, you’re still using your brain and strengthening the parts that help you think, react and learn.

Rest is non-negotiable

Just as your brain will benefit from a diet and exercise regime, it is also important to bear in mind that sometimes you need to down tools and just relax for a time. It’s helpful for your brain to do some work, but it’s not beneficial at all to overwork it. Excess stress on your brain can lead to burnout, which affects you mentally, physically and emotionally – and will get worse the more you try to ignore it – so take some time to just chill out and enjoy a spell of serenity or a quick sleep. If meditation helps, go for it, but don’t imagine that it’s essential. What is important is that you rest your brain, just as you rest your body when you get tired.

Your brain and your body are very much alike; they need fuel and exercise to make them work at their best. Follow the above advice and you’ll find your brain serves you extremely well.

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