You Are Not Alone: Empty Nest Syndrome Is Common. Here’s How to Cope.

Posted by Silvernest Team on May 9, 2019 11:24:51 AM

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Image credit: Rebecca Siegel on Flickr

Well, here you are: The last kiddo has left home and you’re feeling pretty blue. Maybe you’re worrying all the time. You’re probably a little lonesome (or a lot). You may feel like it, but you are not alone.

The Empty Nest Is Actually Full—of Emotions

According to GoodTherapy.org, empty nesters may experience insomnia, anxiety and/or panic—as well as feelings of extreme grief, isolation/loneliness, guilt and purposelessness. They may even lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. Psychology Today notes that “…parents often struggle with a profound sense of loss, not just because they miss their child, but because their very identities have been significantly impacted.” In other words, if your parenting role has changed so dramatically, who are you?

In two-parent families, empty nest syndrome is at least a team experience—one partner can offer support and empathy when the other is struggling. For divorced, widowed or single parents, however, there may unfortunately be an even greater sense of isolation and loneliness.

If you are struggling with empty nest syndrome, the good news is you are not alone. Most parents experience at least some of these feelings in varying degrees. Here are five suggestions for coping with empty nest syndrome and finding your groove again.

Five Ways to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome

1. Participate in Activities That Include Others.

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, we all need friends. If you’re already involved in a community group, don’t stop now! If you’ve been too busy, go ahead and sign up for those art classes, start a band, look into university extension programs, or join a new class at the gym. The excitement and energy of taking up a new hobby or learning something new is a real balm for feelings of loss, and being around other people can help stave off social isolation.

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2. Find New Ways to Feel Valued and Needed.

One of the rewards of parenting is the feeling of being important to another person. While nothing will ever replace the love between a parent and child, you can find some fulfillment in helping others. Look for a volunteer organization that aligns with your values and sign up! Offer to read books at a nearby school, or hold babies in the NICU at your local hospital. Sign up to work at a local food bank or community garden. Or use your skills to help others—knit blankets for hospital patients, teach home repair skills… the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

3. Embrace a New Adventure.

If your time and budget allow it, why not enjoy all that traveling you put off during the busy parenting years? Some empty nesters even decide to sell their homes and travel full-time! While that might not be the right choice for you, having a trip to plan and look forward to (and then enjoy) can be very therapeutic.

4. Embark On an Encore Career.

If you’ve reached retirement age, becoming an empty nester might inspire you to re-enter the working worldEncore careers can take on many forms — a coaching or consultative role in your former industry, professionalizing one of your skills (such as giving art lessons), or even joining the staff at a nonprofit. These “second-act” jobs can be a great way to recharge your spirits, stay engaged and extend your retirement income.

5. Discover the Benefits of Homesharing.

Sometimes an empty nest means you’ve got unused space in your home. Homesharing offers a wonderful way to put that space to work and have some company around the house. In homesharing, your renter (or “housemate” pays rent or does household chores (or a combination of the two) in exchange for living space.

Some homeowners find housemates by asking around among friends and neighbors, or by advertising in the community, online or on social media. Silvernest uses unique roommate-matching technology and other tools to make homesharing simple and worry-free. We’ve helped build happy homesharing agreements between people of similar ages or across generations.

There’s Hope Ahead.

Those “empty nest” feelings are normal and natural. While you’ll always miss having your kids around, the most intense emotions usually ease with time. However, if you find yourself too depressed or anxious to fully participate in your life as you once did, please seek out professional support. A trained therapist or, if need be, psychiatrist can help you work your way through this transition to a brighter future.

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7 Keys to Increase Productivity

We’ve all had those days when we feel like we are not accomplishing anything no matter how hard we work. Looming deadlines, increasing workload, multitasking, and stress could all disrupt a person’s productivity. “Work smarter, not harder” has become a famous motto among the workforce. And this statement actually has merit. Sometimes, when we wear too many hats, take on too much work, instead of becoming more productive, our productivity actually decreases. So what can we do to increase our productivity?

1. Have a healthy breakfast… or skip it!

healthy breakfast foods

I don’t mean to confuse you, but there are studies showing that skipping the most important meal of the day can benefit various brain functions. Intermittent fasting has been gaining popularity lately, and there are scientific studies to back it up. However, if you want to give this a try, it is best to ask for a doctor or a nutritionist’s advice first. For anything to work, one has to have the know-how and the right motivation. On the other hand, if you are a huge fan of breakfast and could not possibly start a day without it, by all means, eat! Fuel your body with the right food. Make healthy choices.

2. Take that coffee break

people laughing over coffee

Though it might be tempting to just keep plugging away at work and skip your breaks in order to meet your deadlines, it would not be a very good idea. You need to relax and take a breather. This will give your brain a much-needed break and you a chance to walk around and enjoy a nice cup of joe, maybe even socialize with your other harried co-workers.

3. CBD Oil

cbd oil tincture dropping into bottle

Adderall has been making the rounds around colleges and even workplaces. However, if you prefer a more natural approach to boost your concentration and productivity, why not give CBD oil a try. It has been known to increase alertness, help calm nerves, and boost your mood. So when you find yourself stressed with your head all over the place, why not try popping a CBD gummy, a flavored tincture, or even straight up CBD oil to help ease your stress and calm your nerves. Unlike its addictive cousin, THC, CBD will not get you high.

4. Don’t multitask

desk with productivity tools

Multitasking is not something the human brain is built for. It has proven to cause loss of productivity. Doing too many things at once will take away your concentration from the crucial things that need doing. This will make your work prone to errors and cost you time that you were trying to save by multitasking in the first place. Do one thing at a time before moving on to the next task. This way you can ensure each task is accomplished properly. Try doing the tasks that take the least amount of time to accomplish first. This will get these tasks out of the way and allow you to focus on the more complicated ones.

5. Take exercise breaks

Isn’t it ironic that a post about being productive is talking about breaks a lot? That’s because taking breaks in between tasks is a good way resetting your brain and preparing it for the whole new task ahead. Exercising will send a rush of much-needed oxygen to your brain and will help loosen your muscles that might have bunched up from getting the previous task done. Taking a brief walk, or a short stretch will allow your brain to stop thinking about work and “breathe”. This will help bring your focus back to where it is supposed to be – your looming tasks.

6. Use tools

Using online tools or apps to track your work and tasks for the day is one easy way of getting your day organized. When you have your day organized, you won’t need to spend extra time trying to remember what to do next; you would already have it laid out for you. Most of these tools are free and can be linked to your personal or work email. Just make sure that the apps abide by your company rules and risk profile.

7. Say no to meetings

work meeting people around conference table

Meetings take time. And a lot of the time, these meetings are not even really necessary. If you have a lot of things to do, and someone schedules a meeting, try to find out if your presence is necessary for the meeting. Or if the items on the agenda could be discussed through email, that would be a better venue. You only get so many hours in a day, after all.

This article originally appeared on MadeByHemp.com

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3 Things Even The Best Restaurants Can Get Wrong

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Due to the extremely time-intensive and experience-led nature of any good restaurant, we can often feel that the ones that really ‘do a great job’ are watertight. We imagine that for something so complex to work, especially for any length of time, they must be doing something right. And to a certain extent, that’s completely true. However, even the best restaurants can suffer from issues that leave them less popular than they might be.

A restaurant is one of the most popular kinds of business to start, own and operate, but also a business most likely to fail within its first two years. This is because there are so many moving parts, and because it’s a guest-experience that fights with takeout delivery, an increased awareness of home cooking and of course, the social scene of the local environment, a restaurant can find itself on its knees if it does not pay attention to every little thing.

This means that if you want to build a restaurant that will stand the test of time – or you wish to take inspiration from the greats – it’s also important to know how you might get things wrong. Let us consider how you could do that:

Impeding The Waiters

It’s not uncommon for us to think of waiting or waitressing as a fairly low-level job. In some States, they aren’t even guaranteed an hourly wage. This is of course preposterous. So is the first assumption. Waiting staff have an incredibly hard job to do. Not only are they the frontal ambassadors for your restaurant, but they must also be able to build a rapport with their guests, communicate their desires perfectly, upsell and suggest menu items, navigate the floor with heavy plates of food, and upkeep their personal grooming to an extensive degree, but they need to do all this quickly, quickly, quickly. Make things easier for your waiters. First, pay them hourly of course. Split the tips evenly each and every night. Ensure that the restaurant floor plan is logical and open enough to allow free and direct movement to the right tables. The more you help your staff maintain the flow of the room, the more successful each service will be.

Requiring Anything Less Than A Gold Standard Of Hygiene

Even big restaurants, especially those that are independent, can be caught out by health inspectors. One simple mistake by a chef can cause the hygiene star rating of an establishment to tank. We needn’t patronize you and tell you how this might affect business. But you might be surprised as to just how granular this could be. Imagine two people looking at restaurants to visit around town. Will they prefer to pay for a star jump in hygiene? Often, yes. Will anything less than five-stars seem suspicious? Absolutely. You need to continually ensure your staff are fully trained and are kept accountable to their hygiene standards, each and every night. To that degree, you can uphold your reputation.

Keep Things Fresh

Often, restaurants find a ‘winning formula’ and then stick to it. However, times move on. Tastes change. A head chef should never rest on their laurels, but instead consider their menu as if it was fashion. Sure, certain staples are timeless. But modern tastes must always be accounted for, unless you’re running a niche historical food place. Change with the seasons. Celebrate local product. Always. Stay. Relevant. Or your competition will.

With this advice, we hope you launch your career in cuisine with strength.

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5 Ways to Make Money with the Extra Space in Your Home

Posted by Kate Cygan on May 13, 2019 4:34:18 PM

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For most people, our homes are our biggest tangible assets. So it seems like a no-brainer to put them to work and make a little money if we can. Airbnb is a big success story, but not everyone wants to rent out their homes for vacationers. Luckily, turning your house into a short-term vacation rental isn’t the only way to make money with your extra space—and we’ve got five creative ideas that prove it.

5 Ways to Turn Your Home Into Income

1. Share Your Garage or Workshop for Projects

Your unused space doesn’t need to be fancy to earn a little extra income. Your garage or workshop might be a real lifesaver for a weekend mechanic, local artist or a group of musicians needing rehearsal space. To find these creative neighbors, try reaching out on your neighborhood email list or in your church bulletin, posting on the local Craigslist or just putting up some flyers in the coffee shop near your home.

2. Offer Your Home as a Potential Filming Location

Similarly, your home doesn’t have to be a mansion to be useful as a filming location for movies, commercials or TV shows. Lots of productions need “real” homes that look lived-in and authentic. Your state or local film commission may maintain a database of homes that are available as film locations—especially if you live in an area with significant film/TV production like Toronto, Chicago, New York City, L.A. or Atlanta. You can also list your home on referral sites like SetScouter.com, which help location scouts find available properties easier.  

3. Rent Out Extra Parking Space in Your Driveway or Yard

If you live in a big city, downtown area or anywhere near a sports venue, beach or other popular destination, you know that parking is at a premium. Depending on demand, you can make some extra money by charging people to park in your driveway or even (temporarily) in your yard. Covered parking would likely generate the most money, but people will pay for parking convenience even without special amenities. If you live in a congested business district, you might even find a renter looking for an ongoing monthly deal. Finding parking space renters might be as easy as putting a sign in your yard or taking a flyer to a few office buildings nearby.

4. Share Your Empty Storage Space with a Neighbor

Surely you’ve noticed the proliferation of storage places across the country. But who said people have to store their stuff in a big commercial building? You might have an empty bedroom or extra space in your garage or basement. Maybe you own a warehouse, or your property includes some empty space or an RV pad. Someone in your area is probably looking for space to store things like ski equipment, holiday decorations, heirlooms or even a boat. They might as well rent your extra space! Check out Neighbor.com. Their platform makes it safe and easy to find and connect with potential renters, with free background checks, secure automated payments and a $2 million host guarantee.

5. Share Your Home With a Housemate

If you’ve got an extra bedroom, in-law suite or basement room, homesharing might be a perfect solution. Having a housemate—in other words, a compatible renter—can bring in some pretty considerable incomewhile also providing companionship and even some help around the house. 

Making money from your extra space might be simpler than you think. With today’s connected communities and helpful technology tools, it’s easier than ever to put extra space to work. It just takes a little creative thinking and willingness to be flexible. We hope these innovative ideas have opened your eyes to the potential in your home.

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Restoring Your Home After A Fire

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It’s during the summer months that you can find that your home is just a bit too warm, so you end up going out a lot. But when we are going through those incredibly hot southern summers, it can switch our brain off from time to time, and this is where our lack of judgment can mean that we burn our food, or even worse, suffer a fire. And when this happens, it can feel devastating. While you’re more than relieved that everybody is okay, you’ve still got to deal with the cleanup. What can you do to make sure that you rebuild and restore your home effectively after a house fire?   

Assessing The Damage

After you’ve called the insurance company, you should think about bringing in a professional fire restoration contractor. They can recommend a structural engineer to examine the property so you can get the ball rolling. It’s important that you contact the insurance company right away because the claims process can take a long time. Once you’ve secured the property, you can get on with addressing the structural repairs. This follows with the assessment of the electrical system, and then it’s time for the cleanup.

Restoring The Property

In terms of a house fire, there are two main sorts of damage apart from the fire damage itself. There is soot damage and smoke damage.

You’ve got to be careful when it comes to soot damage, even if the fire didn’t completely gut your property. Soot can be very dangerous to your health. You’ve got to be careful not to breathe it in. And when you are cleaning up the property, you have to start from the top and work down to the bottom because soot could fall from objects while cleaning. Because soot can be oily and stain carpets, you have to make sure that the carpet is secure. Once you are confident that the search has been removed from all of the high up areas, you can vacuum it all up. Be sure that you protect yourself in terms of the appropriate breathing apparatus.

Smoke damage is a different beast. It’s something that you can see for the most part, but you can smell it more. Even if you don’t see particles deposited, you will always be able to smell it. And when you are attempting to clean up specific materials, it’s important to go for the textiles first. And if you’re wondering what are textiles, they consist of items that don’t break, so this could be blankets, clothing, toys, sports equipment, and so on. Cleaning these can be difficult to get rid of the smoke residue and the odor, but there are some homemade techniques that you can use. To begin with, you can use a bucket of warm water with non-corrosive detergent on surfaces, and in terms of clothes, a good quality washing powder should do the job. Because it can be a lot of money to replace all of these items, you naturally want to be able to recover most of it. But if there are items damaged beyond repair, especially in terms of clothes, this is something that you need to discuss with your insurance company.

Additional Cleaning

In terms of soot and smoke damage, you’ve also got to be aware that your home should be protected from future damage. Mold is one of those things that may not enter your mind because of the severity of the fire. But if there’s minimal damage to your walls and ceiling, you can use a solution of hot water and bleach to wipe down the walls and prevent mold and mildew growth. It’s also important to realize at what point you should bring in a professional. Some homes will need to be treated right away by a professional. And again, this is something that you will have to discuss with your insurance company, but you can also look at local contractors that provide services for cheap. It’s difficult to find the right contractor because your insurance company will have specialized ones that they use. Generally, it’s far better for you to have an expert deal with it that comes highly recommended, rather than finding a cheap contractor that may not do everything to a high standard.Restoring your home after a fire is a long process, and can be emotionally draining. But you have to remember that, despite the hardships you are going through, and the time that it may take to get the home back up to code, that you shouldn’t lose heart.

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Startup Success 101: 5 Ways to Make Your Capital Work Harder

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There’s nothing quite like having that Eureka moment of a new business idea. However, it doesn’t take long to realise that turning concepts into profits is hard work. In many cases, the hardest challenge revolves around getting through the initial phases. If you can do this, your hopes of success become far, far greater. Keeping a firm grip on the outgoings and overheads will make a monumental difference.

So, how can you make your capital work harder? Here’s all you need to know.

Work From Home

Formulating ideas and putting them into action could take months. Rather than paying for commercial spaces, you should try working from home. This instantly reduces the costs while you can take the DIY approach even further. Use 123inkjet Canon cartridges to do your own printing, and use call redirecting to handle your own calls. As long as you continue to maintain a positive work-life balance, you’ll be fine. If it worked for Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and co. it can work for you too.

Outsource

Aside from removing the costs of running an office, outsourcing can reduce direct staffing costs. You can hire freelancers to complete the works that you require, which is cheaper than full-time staff or contractors. Meanwhile, you can use this as an opportunity to try out new people, keeping on the best and losing the rest. For the sake of productivity as well as your finances, this could be the smartest move of all. Outsource wherever possible for increased success.

Embrace Digital Marketing

Marketing is one of the most significant strands of any business venture, and efficiency is vital. Essentially, there’s little point in gaining $1m of sales if you spent $2m on marketing. Digital campaigns require creativity to stand out from the crowd, but allow you to achieve great results on small budgets. When supported by free resources such as Google My Business and on-page SEO, you will see great results. Better still, it’ll enhance offline sale and offline sales at once.

Sell Online

A few years ago, the costs of setting up an eStore were quite high. Nowadays, it’s far cheaper. For a small business, the annual costs are probably lower than a monthly rental in a real world location. However, you can also use eBay stores and Amazon stores to sell items in a trusted place. This helps you build the client base before directing them directly to your venture and can work wonders for long-term prospects. Besides, this is the ultimate way to increase your potential audience size.

Avoid Unnecessary Ideas

When starting a new business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing things because it’s the done thing. Whether working from home or a commercial setting, saving time will ultimately save you money. Replace unnecessary meetings with emails and group chats. Get rid of any activity that doesn’t actively benefit the company. Be happy to say no before trialling ideas that you know will fail. When all of these issues are under control, the waste of time and money will fall.

When your business actively makes its capital work harder, fewer sales are needed to turn a profit. If that doesn’t encourage you to make a change, what will?

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3 Good Reasons to Do a Camping Trip Soon

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With more and more of us living in cities and other built-up urban environments, the natural world isn’t necessarily something that plays a prominent role in our everyday lives, as a rule.

Still, there is undeniably something deep within the human psyche that draws us towards the natural world. That must be part of the reason why nature documentaries are so popular, and why so many people are so concerned with environmental issues.

In order to reconnect with nature, many people go on camping trips when the opportunity arises.

If you’ve been thinking about investigating roof boxes for your car, dusting off your tent, getting back to nature and doing a camping trip of your own recently, here are a few reasons why you should go ahead with that plan.

Time spent in nature helps you to reset your body and mind

An incredible number of people in today’s world apparently suffer from disrupted circadian rhythms, and various hormonal and mood issues – not to mention health problems – as a direct result of this.

There are many reasons for this, including the prevalence of bright artificial light in the evenings, and abuse of caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants.

The interesting thing is, research has shown that when people go camping in nature without artificial lights for a few days, their circadian rhythms are radically reset, and they are brought into much better alignment with the natural cycles of night and day.

Time spent in nature help you to reset your body and your mind in a variety of ways. It helps to get you back to a healthy baseline.

Time spent in nature helps you to radically destress and gain a sense of perspective on things

People who spend more time in nature appear to be healthier, happier, and more stress free, than their counterparts who live in built-up urban settings and spend all their time there.

This has been a consistent finding among researchers of various types.

When you get out in nature, you can see your everyday situation from a different perspective, and can better identify solutions to issues that might have been hidden from you before.

It’s not exactly clear why this is the case, but throughout history, many notable people have reported that walking in nature has been a key for helping to inspire them to come up with solutions for complex problems.

Time spent in nature helps you to experience the wonder of the world at large

There is just something majestic and awe-inspiring about a beautiful natural environment, and the fact that such an environment isn’t the product of human artifice.

When you are spending time out in nature, you put yourself in a position where it’s much easier for you to experience the wonder of the world at large, and to regain some of the childlike sense of enthusiasm and curiosity that we typically lose sight of as we get older.

Nature is something to experience, and not just something to understand. And in order to experience it properly, we have to give up a little bit of our control, and just marvel at the sights and sounds that surround us.

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