Discovering Your Happiness In Life: Making “The Friend Cull”

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We change. This is a given in life, we develop new goals, new approaches to our existence, but we don’t always envelop our new personality with open arms. There are so many things we hang on to, friends being one of them. And when we look at our group of friends, has it got to the point where it’s time to bid goodbye to some of them? This can be incredibly intimidating, but for so many out there, making the cull is an essential procedure. Why should we do this, and how can we do this?

The Threat Of Toxic Friendships

There’s no need to overcomplicate things, when we are in some sort of toxic relationship it negatively impacts us. That is the bottom line. But we still procrastinate, and do our best for the other person, even if they drain our resources. You could find that they talk about their problems, with no thought for yours, or you could find yourself in a social circle, with the same people, talking about the same old things, again and again, every Friday and Saturday night. Sometimes we feel we can’t escape these because we’ve known them for so long, or we’re caught in certain behaviors. Social activities, like drinking, becomes the distraction that masks our true feelings of these people. And if you get caught in a pattern, it’s very difficult to escape from. Toxic environments result in you feeling inadequate. If you feel like this, it’s time to make a break for it.

Implementing The Cull

Sometimes it’s not about being harsh and cutting someone out of your life, you could find that you’ve hit the point in your existence that you want to try new things and change your lifestyle habits. For many, discovering how to stop drinking by changing your goals to encompass exercise and a clearer mindset could be all it takes for you to realize that the people you’ve been swanning around with aren’t good for you anymore. When you have discovered that these people are bad for you, it can be stressful to implement the cull. Why? Because what if you’ve got no other friends? It’s a very natural concern, but when you weigh up the balance, what would you rather be? Alone and happy, or acquainted and miserable? When it’s someone you’ve known for a long time, it can be difficult to explicitly say that “I’m done”. And if you feel unsure if you’re about to do the right thing, all you have to do is arrange to meet up. This one meeting will likely be more than enough for you to confirm in your mind what you need to do.

If there’s one person in your life that is bad for you, it can take some time to see this. After all, we all share mutual passions and adventures in life, but after a while, these are all we have to talk about with them. And when you’ve moved on and you don’t want to hit the clubs, or talk about the same thing that happened a decade ago, making the call to cull will be the best thing that ever happened to you.

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Improve Your Aging Parents’ Future With These Tips

One thing that not many of us look forward to is our parents becoming old and frail. This is something that is impossible to prevent, but it can still be a very upsetting prospect. Thankfully, though, your parents don’t have to suffer in their old age, especially if they have you to help support and care for them.

Looking after elderly parents is a big responsibility and not one that should be taken lightly. It will take its toll on you as it can be quite emotionally stressful, and it can also be difficult for them as they have to get used to a role reversal. They will have spent so many years looking after you throughout your childhood and caring for you, that this change in roles could be hard for them to come to terms with.

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It doesn’t have to be so difficult all the time, though. If you use these next few tips, then you can help your aging parents look forward to a much brighter future.

Be Realistic With How Much Care Is Needed

Firstly, you should sit down with your parents and consider exactly the kind of help and support that they might need. Ideally, you should plan for care that they need right now and any forms of extra care and support that they might need in the future. One way to figure out the kind of care that is needed, it’s worth listing all the tasks and things that you currently help them with. It’s also worth considering whether the likes of constant supervision or assistance through the nighttime are required as well. Once you have this list in front of you, it should help you shape your parents’ care plan.

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Club Together With Your Siblings

If you aren’t an only child, you will be able to team up with your siblings and help support your parents together. This will make it a lot easier on you as you won’t be the only individual sole responsibility for all of the help and support. You will each be able to take it in turns to check in on your parents and help them with their various chores and tasks. Don’t worry if you don’t have any siblings. Perhaps you have some other close relatives who will be able to help you out with looking after your parents? Not only will sharing the responsibility give you a chance to get on with your own life in your spare time, but it also gives you someone who you can share the financial pressure of elderly health care with as well.

 

 

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Don’t Harm Your Own Health In The Process

If you are busy with your parents most of the time, then it can be all too easy to forget about your own health and wellbeing. Looking after elderly parents can be stressful even at the best of times, and you need to make sure that the stress doesn’t build up too much. This could have serious implications for your mental health if it does. One great way to stay on top of your own wellbeing and to reduce any stress is to practice good self-care. The main focus of self-care is to make sure that you take plenty of time for yourself and follow a balanced and nutritious diet. If you need any further tips to improve your self-care, it’s worth checking out an online guide like gaiam.com/blogs/discover/5-self-care-tips-for-the-busy-working-female.

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Consider The Different Senior Housing That’s Available

It might be necessary for your parents to move out of their home and into some senior housing. This is usually necessary if one of your parents suffers from a chronic illness and requires regular medical attention and assistance. Even if neither of your parents are ill, they might still be better off moving into a nursing home if they are frail and can’t manage on their own anymore. If one of your parents is particularly ill or quite frail, they might need a home that offers around the clock assistance from skilled nurses. You can find out more about this from mcknightplace.com/skilled-nursing and other sites online. However, if your parents are able to enjoy a bit more independence, then they might simply want to move into a retirement community. These offer apartments or small houses that are built close together and will feature certain facilities like a corner shop. They give retirees and pensioners the chance to live together with people in a similar situation to themselves.

 

 

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Look For Financial Help

There is no denying that support and health care for the elderly can be very expensive. So, there’s a good chance that you might have to find some financial support to fund everything. Thankfully, there are quite a few different support options available. Firstly, your parents should be receiving a state pension. You might want to use all or part of this to put towards their care fees. Of course, any other money from other pensions that they might be receiving could also go towards this as well. There are other government benefits that your parents might be eligible to apply for, especially if they are particularly unwell.

Write Up An Emergency Plan

You never know when something can go wrong, especially when it comes to care for the elderly. Even though you have everything planned out as well as can be, an issue could still arise that might throw a big spanner in the work. You need to know how you will all cope in the event of such as an emergency. As well as this, you also need to have a plan ready that can help you if a parent were to fall seriously ill. Of course, you can never predict some emergencies, but it’s always best to have some kind of idea as to what you will do whenever you are in a predicament.

Hopefully, all of these tips in this post can help you make your parents’ future a better place to be!

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Reducing Family Arguments

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All families argue. It’s completely normal to have the odd disagreement, especially if you’ve got teenagers in the house. Most conflicts come when we’re busy and tired, or when we’ve all got a lot going on outside of the home. Most of these disagreements are small. We bicker, and we share cross words, we might say something that we’ll regret later. But, most families move on quickly. These arguments are resolved rapidly and forgotten, then we get on with our lives.

This isn’t always the case, however. Sometimes, the same things lead to the same arguments, again and again. We keep coming back to them, we can’t move on, and they are creating a negative atmosphere and hurting our relationships. If your family is arguing more than you’d like, here are some tips to help you reduce the arguing at home.

Manage Your Money

The most common family arguments are about money. When we first start dating someone, we never argue, because family finance isn’t part of our lives. Our money is our own. Then, when we move in together and our finances become linked, things get more complicated. Suddenly we care about what our partner is spending, and we have to think more carefully about where our own money goes.

Creating a family budget can be tough. Especially when money is tight. But, it can make life run more smoothly, reducing arguments. Look at how to find a financial planner if you need a little help managing your money.

You might also want to consider keeping your own bank accounts if money is a source of problems. Have a joint account for bills, but keep your own money separate too.

Have Clear Rules and Expectations

Another common cause of arguments is all having different rules. If the kids aren’t allowed chocolate for breakfast, should the adults be? Make your family rules clear, even writing them down somewhere that everyone can see. If these rules are broken, there should be consequences, but it’s important that you are all clear about your rules and your expectations.

Slow Down and Do Something Fun

Most family tension arises when we’ve got giant to-do lists, and we’re all busy with our own things. We don’t have the chance to communicate our feelings appropriately, and we’re more likely to be snappy and have misunderstandings when we’re in a rush. So, slow down. Clear your to-do lists, ignore the chores for a day and go out together as a family. Do something fun or just spend a lazy day at home together.

Ask Yourself if It’s Worth it

When you are angry, it can be hard to think straight. So, sometimes it’s a good idea to remove yourself from the situation for a while. Think about your family, and all of the positives in your life. Ask yourself if what you are angry about is worth it. Is it worth losing a day of happy family life to fight this battle? In the grand scheme of things, do you care about this problem that much? If you do, go back and talk. If you don’t, let it go.

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A Box Of Treasures: What The TV Can Do For Us As A Family

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Surely, it’s unfair nowadays to proclaim the television as the idiot box? While the television has been the backbone of family life for the last 60-plus years, so many people view it as the epitome of idiocy. But, for a lot of families, if it wasn’t for the television, they wouldn’t bond at all. In fact, think about your own experiences growing up. The television was there, and it was, usually on in the background. Now, not to say that television is amazing for us in every sense, but now, with the internet, and the various ways we consume information now, the television could be the one and only way that we can spend time together as a family. So, we need to make the most of this box in the corner of a living room. But if you have concerns that it is making you and your family stupid, what can you do to ensure that the TV helps you cement quality family time, but without destroying brain cells?

Altering Your Own Viewing Habits

It’s a delicate balance to get right when we are TV addicts ourselves. We know that there is a lot of bad quality television out there, and if we are guilty of watching hour after hour of reality TV, we don’t want to pass these habits on to our children. So, when we think about what our kids start to watch at a young age in terms of their own habits, the best indicator of what your children will watch is actually what you watch. As a parent, if you don’t watch anything educational, and you are setting this example of television habits, your children will grow up accepting that this is the norm. So, it’s an age-old expression, but practice what you preach. When our children are young, they are so impressionable, that they will watch what we watch, and these habits will become embedded in their life. So if you are guilty of watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, talk shows, and similar content, maybe it’s best to keep this firmly under wraps. When you are watching television as a family, go for good quality content. While there are numerous family shows out there, are many of them educational? If your children are young enough, sitting down with them and watching shows they like, but you know has an undercurrent of education, is a great way to get your kids hooked onto good stuff. CommonSenseMedia.org has a list of educational TV shows to get you started. But as our children grow up emulating us in one way or another, if you want to make sure that your children are using the TV for good, then you have to alter your viewing habits drastically. This means having the History Channel on in the background or going for family quiz shows to encourage a bit of friendly competition in the living room.

Using Television As An Example Of What Is Good And Bad In Society

One of the biggest positives of watching TV is the fact that it can increase your emotional intelligence. While most people consider television to be something that rots your brain, if you watch TV in an active sense, rather than a passive one, you will develop this emotional intelligence, where you begin to develop your own self-awareness, as well as awareness of other people. Emotional intelligence is one of the biggest indicators of demonstrating empathy and observation. It’s unfair to say that television is very selfish activity because when you watch good quality shows, you can become actively involved in something that you wouldn’t normally do in real life, because television shows these heightened scenarios that we seldom come across. While there are numerous shows out there that are realistic, by exercising our ability to think laterally, and from other perspectives, we can begin to differentiate between right and wrong. This is important for children at a young age. We are all impressionable when we’re young, and we grow up, for the most part, understanding what is right and what is wrong, but it’s not as simple as this. Of course, there are numerous shows out there that blur the lines and highlight moral dilemmas, and this can help to instigate interesting debates in the family household. Cable TV is one of the biggest purveyors of high-quality drama, that shows complex characters, where they are doing something wrong in a literal sense, but they are wrestling internally with themselves. Classic shows like The Sopranos or Breaking Bad were mainstays of cable TV but dealt with moral implications in an intelligent manner. Cable TV is full of drama of this ilk, and you can go on Optimum.com to learn more about the various cable TV channels and premium packages if you are interested in going down this avenue. But also, it’s important not to underestimate the news as a way to instigate debate with your children. Be sensible, because the news can throw up topics that you don’t want to discuss with your children because they’re too young, but, the point is, as far as instigating debate and looking at things from other perspectives is concerned, television is a very good tool!

Connecting With Your Children

Because we watch TV on many different devices now, that actual quality time with people are sat as a family in front of the TV seems to be non-existent. This is why we can use television to connect with our children, not just in terms of being sat in the same room at the same time, but we can use television as a way to communicate with each other. Your children like a certain show, so it gives you the opportunity to sit down with them to watch it and to talk about it. When your children are toddlers, there are going to be many kids TV shows that they love, and by sitting down with them, and watching these shows, no matter how much they numb your brain, the children are going to be grateful to you. When we are raising our kids, it’s so easy for us to not be present in the moment, because we either sat on our phones while the kids are watching TV, or we just got too many things to do, but if you take that opportunity to sit down on the floor, cross-legged, with your child, watching their favorite show, you will feel much closer to your child. And as they get older, you can use their favorite TV shows as a way to make quality family time together. You can sit down, at the same time every week. But now, because of the fact that we can watch what we want when we want, that means you don’t have to sacrifice other aspects of your life. If you can make a date to sit down at least once a week, to watch their favorite TV show, and to have a discussion about it afterward, this is a very simple way for you to bond. But you have to show willing; it’s not good enough to just be sat there next to them. As parents, we can easily pay lip service to the idea of quality time, just by being sat next to them. But if we get out our phones, there is no sense of engagement, and while you can argue that sitting together in silence watching the TV is just as bad, at least you are both sharing a common activity.

Can The TV Say Something That You Can’t?

We can struggle to verbalize how we feel now and again especially when it comes to matters of the heart. This is where television can do a lot for us. Have you ever sat with a parent or loved one, and saw a tender moment on the TV and it really hit close to home? You might have felt a moment between the two of you at that point, but you didn’t say a word. TV can help us to say what we’re really thinking, not just in terms of emotions, but in terms of what you might want for your children as they get older. For example, if you want your children to have confidence and belief in their abilities, the words that come out of your mouth may seem forced or a bit noncommittal. But by using a TV show as an example to back up your statement of intent, that little box in the corner of the room can fill some of the gaps in your parenting skills.

A lot of people put their kids in front of the TV as a way to distract them and placate them. But, as a family unit, we can use the TV to advantage, whether it’s to educational shows, or by helping our kids to differentiate between good and bad, but also to spend quality time with them bonding over certain shows. It seems that now as we can go and watch movies on our devices, this idea of a solidified family unit is non-existent. This is why the TV should take pride of place in the corner of your living room because it can do so much for every member of your family. The idiot box? Hardly.

 

 

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Seven Ways to Get Your Family Bond Better

Families come in every size and form. You might be living with older family members and looking after them after their health has let them down. You might have your children and grandchildren in your family. It is also possible that you joined forces with your new partner and are now living in a mixed family. No matter if you are trying to get generations or step-siblings to get on well, you will have to make sure that you are investing in bonding exercises that will promote respect and harmony in the family. Below you will find seven tips to get started.

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  1. Family Trips

Whenever you are taking the kids for a day out, you need to invite other family members, too. The more the merrier, and older people enjoy a walk in the park just like little ones. You will have to pick the location to suit everyone in the family, and find something to do for every person to do. You can get different generations to bond together and have fun, while creating memories for a lifetime. You should not simply accept your elderly parents’ excuses to stay at home; get them to help with teaching the kids how to prepare the picnic basket, at least.

  1. Nights In with a Movie

New and newly bonded families can set up a home movie schedule and have a night in with a pizza or takeaway. Whether you would like to get people to vote for a number of movies to watch on Netflix or Blue Ray or are open for suggestions and debates, it will be a great night. Not to mention that you will also save a lot of money by not paying too much for your popcorn and your drinks. Put the money aside so you can plan a trip to the park or a getaway as a family.

  1. Cooking Together

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If you would like your kids to be self-sufficient when they go to college and avoid living on pot noodles and burgers for years, it might be time to introduce them to the kitchen and the different appliances. It is never too early to teach your kids to cook simple foods; toasted sandwiches, pasta, or even pizza for the night out. Have one night allocated for cooking together, and you will see how confident your kids become in the kitchen.

  1. Gaming

Of course, playing brings every generation together. If you have just joined another family and are now trying to get the kids to bond together, you will have to create a gaming competition at home. Find out which video games are their favorites, and ask someone to be the judge. Once you have the night arranged, you will see that the conversations between teenager are becoming less awkward.

  1. Family Shows

If you would like to celebrate being a family, you might even arrange going to the theatre together to watch a family show. Whether it is Christmas or someone’s birthday, you can find a nearby restaurant where you can have a family meal before going to the theatre. This will also teach your kids the rules of getting dressed up for special occasions. Look for romantic or family friendly shows, such as the Waitress and have something to look forward to together.

  1. Sport Events

It might also be a good plan to get people to enjoy a live sport game together. The laid back atmosphere of the event will create a stronger bond. No matter if you are basketball or football fans, or are supporting different teams or sports, you will all have a lot of fun at the match.

  1. DIY Projects

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Once you have a new family structure in place, a lot of things need to be taken care of before you would be able to feel comfortable. If you are into DIY, you can teach the little ones a trick or two. Alternatively, if you are moving an elderly family member in your home, you can ask them to teach your kids some great skills, such as crocheting or knitting, maybe embroidery. Even if you don’t have time to pass on the skills, you can give your older family members a sense of belonging and purpose.

When families change and join together, it is important that you change the routines and help everyone settle in their own roles. Use the above bonding exercises to help your family become a well-functioning unit and learn to respect each other.

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The Greatest Gift Your Company Can Possess… How To Keep Your Employees Happy

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Happiness is the greatest gift that any employee can possess. But, with increasing competition in industry, as well as tighter regulations, as an employer, you can feel the pinch in so many ways. We all know the devastating impact of a sour workplace atmosphere, it leads to lots of whispers, and the rumor mill inevitably builds up. In addition to this, your business could be going through a tough time, which is why you need to ensure that your employees are happy, healthy, and have an attitude to work that is productive but also contributes to a positive workplace culture. What can you do to make sure that your employees stay on the right side of the tracks in this respect?

Clarity Avoids Confusion

It’s often discussed, the benefits of transparency and communication. Clarity, in every aspect, makes for a happier workplace. From how you deal with your employees on a personal level, all the way through to simplifying complex jargon that turns up in employee contracts. In fact, contract drafting is a fine art, and while you need to remain firmly on the legal side, when stating your intent with your employees, especially if you are working with them in a freelance capacity, it’s important to ensure that everything is as transparent as possible on paper. There are infinite resources relating to this, and drafting attorney Andrew Weisblatt and his explanation of contract drafting is one of the many professional resources you can go to. The contract, as well as the communication, needs to be clear.

Don’t View Them As “Only Workers”

Once you get into this frame of mind, it’s very difficult to back pedal. As a leader, your enjoyment of bossing people around begins to take center stage, and the great divide presents itself. Instead, look to moving forward as a team. Don’t view them as just workers who are there to do your bidding. This is a sure-fire way for them to jump ship, so, work at congealing your relationships. This can be done, not just by an open door policy, but also, by focusing on more prominent values. From the work-life balance to the most basic of perks, they all add up to a happier environment.

Take A Step Back

You can be so preoccupied with the business side of things, that you can completely avoid the overall human impact. You might find yourself calculating how much money you’ve wasted in a particular day due to downtime, but this isn’t healthy. Remember, lead by example, and if you are a stressed out person, this ill feeling will easily transfer to your employees. Instead, take a step back, assess the situation, but also, work at making yourself a better person. Relaxation, mindfulness or anything that makes you feel rejuvenated is a major asset to the company.

We don’t have to walk around with smiles fixed onto our faces, but if there are very obvious reasons why morale is low, or productivity is down, you should work hard at happiness. Content workers can complete tasks better. And you may have a pool of talented employees, but if they aren’t working their best, the onus is on you to fix this, not to place blame on them.

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Pardon? How To Deal With Hearing Loss Without Becoming Anti-Social

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Losing your hearing can be a horrible thing at any age. You suddenly can’t listen to your favourite music anymore and you can struggle to hear what your friends and family are saying to you. It can be easy to become antisocial when you are hard of hearing, however this can be damaging to your friendships and relationships with people as a whole. Here are some ways to make sure that you don’t struggle with your social skills when you are hard of hearing.

Use technology

You can use lots of helpful technology such as a hearing aid to make sure you can still listen and join in with conversations with the people you love. You can use adjusting hearing aids to make sure that you can always stay part of the conversation and that you are never left out of anything.

Use visual aids

When you can’t hear as well as you would like to, you might need to start using visual cues to make deciphering what others are saying a little bit easier. Even if you don’t lose your hearing completely it can be helpful to learn sign language for watching your favourite TV programs, and you can learn how to read lips so that you always know what people are trying to talk to you about even if you can hear small fragments of it already. Visual cues can be a lifesaver for those who cannot hear every well so make sure that you take the time to learn some of them.

Network with similar people

If you are hard of hearing and you are struggling to cope with it all, you can actually help make a difference by networking with other people who are also hard of hearing. You will find that you make some great new friends by attending different events and meeting with other people who struggle with hearing and you will also likely be able to gain some tips and tricks to make your life easier in the future.

Stay online

If you struggle with your hearing it might be much easier for you to stay online and use things such as social media to stay in touch with you family and your friends. It can be a great tool to use because you can still talk to people without having to make phone calls and it will make it easier for you to stay in the loop with your family and things which are going on in other people’s lives.

It’s okay to be independent

If hearing loss makes you be more solitary and independent, there isn’t anything with that. The loss of your hearing might force you to be more independent as a person and this might actually make you feel so much more strong as a result. You don’t have to rely on the help of others, however you should at least make sure that you stay connected with your friends and your family for the best possible life.

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