November 13, 2017

Beyond The Diagnosis – When You’re Facing Tough News

This post has been contributed.
No matter what age you are, hearing that your health is failing is tough news to take. You might not even feel that unwell. Perhaps you were expecting the worst? It doesn’t matter because it will always come as a shock that feels like a punch to the gut. Whatever your diagnosis, it’s the prognosis you need to focus on now. You need to know what you’ve got to do to make things better.
Cry, Scream, Shout
The first thing you need to do is digest the news. That’s not going to happen on the day. It might not even happen that month! But along the journey toward acceptance, you’re going to feel every other emotion that exists. Yes, you should cry. Yes, you should scream. And you should definitely shout and yell about how unfair this is. Bottling it up, ignoring it, or refusing to believe it does your emotional and mental health no good at all. Get it out so you can get on with taking action.
Doctors don’t tend to be great communicators. They’re not good at explaining things, and they don’t have time to detail everything that might happen. Your treatment options will be delivered like a menu. What you want is the full ingredients list including the issues of digestion after you’ve eaten it! Research is key right now. Learn everything you can. And make sure you’re getting the latest information like this cancer study that Poseida Therapeutics detailed in an article. Know what you’re up against and what the options are.
Address How You Got Here
Of course, we all start wondering ‘why me’ at some point in the process. You might be asking yourself what you’ve done wrong. Often, it’s just a case of genetics. But there are certain lifestyle choices you might have made that increased your risks of health problems. Simple things that are hard to avoid like stress can be one of the factors. Maybe you smoked, or perhaps your diet is poor? Fix these issues now and give yourself the best chance of living a healthy life going forward.
Gather Your Network Of Support
We all need people in our lives, especially when we’re feeling frail and frightened. Start to mend those relationships that broke down. Engage with friends and family regularly. Surround yourself with the people you trust the most. You can’t do this on your own, and you shouldn’t even try. But there will be times when you want to be alone. And there will be times when you lash out. Just make sure the people around you can handle it.
Do What You Need To Do
Whatever your prognosis, you will have a list of things you want to do. Some of these things will be actions to take to get well again. Others will be actions to take if you don’t. It’s important you give yourself the freedom to do what you need to do. We’re all different, so we’ll approach bad news in different ways. What gives you strength and courage?

November 13, 2017

Knowing Where You Stand With the Law

This post has been contributed.
The law is in place to protect the general public and its best interests. Many of us know what to do if we witness something that seems contrary to the law: we report it to the relevant authorities. However, if you believe that you may be the individual who has come to loggerheads with the legal system, you may not be quite as aware of what is expected of you. The key to avoiding further trouble is to know exactly where you stand with the law at all times: both in terms of being a victim or a perpetrator of a crime. Here are a few key pieces of information that could help you if you ever find that you are a wanted person.
Understanding Arrest Warrants
If you believe that you may have broken a law, there may be a warrant out for your arrest. An arrest warrant essentially means that you are suspected of carrying out an offence, and a police officer is rightfully within their grounds to arrest you should they come into contact with you. They are generally issued if you are suspected of taking part in criminal activity, you have failed to appear in court when expected, or have failed to comply with pre-existing bail conditions. While arrest warrants may mean that you can be arrested, they do not necessarily mean that you will undertake jail time. If you are unsure as to whether there’s a warrant out for your arrest or not, there’s no need to worry. You can find out How to check if you have a warrant relatively easily with the use of simple, specialist online search engines. If you find that you do have a warrant, it’s time to contact your defence solicitor. It is generally best to then hand yourself over to the police rather than avoiding your inevitable arrest.
Being Familiar with the Arrest Process
Your legal rights are liable to vary depending on your location. However, if you are arrested, there’s certain procedure that will take place and a protocol that you should follow to prevent further charges being made against you. Firstly, it is important to remain calm and not panic. Lashing out, using abusive language, or resisting arrest is likely to make the series of events much more difficult and unpleasant for you. Then we have the usual statement that will be used by the officer while you are being placed under arrest: you do not have to say anything to the police, but if you are later charged with a crime, and you have not mentioned, when questioned, something that you later rely on in court, then this may be taken into account when deciding if you are guilty. It is generally best to remain quiet until you have consulted your solicitor, who you will be able to contact once you have arrived at the police station.
Knowing Your Rights
In the Street
If you are stopped by a police officer in any situation, you have the right to request to see their identification documents and their warrant card if they do attempt to arrest you. You can ask why you have been stopped and, if searched, you can request a record of the search after the process has been completed. You also always have the right to be treated humanely and with respect at all times.
In a Police Station
If you are detained in a police station, you can request to see the written codes governing your rights and how you are treated, to ensure that everything is being carried out lawfully. You can also ask to speak to the custody officer at any time. This is the individual who is endowed with the responsibility of ensuring your welfare at any given time. Again, you can request to know exactly why you have been arrested at any given time. Finally, you have the right to notify someone of your arrest and to contact a private solicitor. Do not panic, you cannot be kept in custody for an indefinite period of time.
In Your Home
Sometimes police will be given the authority to search your home. If they do not have a warrant, they will require your consent. If they do have a warrant, they can search your property with or without your consent. There are also certain situations when police can enter your property without your consent or a warrant, though these are less common. This could be to capture an escaped prisoner, searching your property following your arrest, to protect a life, or to prevent serious damage to the given property.
Remember that it is always essential that you know and understand your rights in relation to the law. So keep up to date and conduct further research if you are in any doubt when it comes to any legal situation.

November 10, 2017

The Weigh Up: Risk Vs. Reward

This post has been contributed.
In the modern world, most people have plenty of things in their lives to keep them entertained. From your work which occupies most of your time to the personal relationships you value so much, you always have loads on your plate. Of course, this isn’t negative and is very healthy at any stage in life. There’s one thing you might be lacking, though; risk. This is truly one of the most exciting elements in most people’s lives and will be a real chance for you to explore what makes you tick. To help you out with this, this post will be going through some of the ways you can balance the risks you take with the potential rewards you will get from them.
Probability: One of the most important parts of this whole thing is probability, as this will be the largest deciding factor in the risks you take. Follow a career path, for example, can be seen as a risk. Opting to try and become a doctor is an achievable goal, and most people will be able to do it with the right dedication and willpower. But, gunning to become an astronaut would be too risky, as you would have to put too much time into it, and you would be extremely unlikely to actually do it.
The Effort Getting There: Along with considering the likelihood of your risks being fruitful, it can also be wise to think about the effort you’re going to have to put in to get there. In the case of becoming an astronaut, you would have to dedicate a huge portion of your life to this sort of goal. If your risk is unsuccessful, you will have wasted this time, and won’t be able to get it back. This element of the process covers any money you might be putting at risk, as well.
The Payout: When you take a risk, there will almost certainly be a payout of some sort. Otherwise, there would be no point in taking it at all. Whether this is a job, money, or something else, the risk you take has to be worth it. A lot of people will ignore this part of their risk-taking. But, if you’re not careful, you could end up investing a huge amount for very little, even if things pan out well. This can be very hard when taking risks which are close to your heart. But, in reality, there’s never a good ready to cast aside logic in this sort of field.
Balancing It All: Once you’ve got an idea of each of these elements, it’s time to start balancing it all. Ideally, the risks you take should have a high probability of succeeding, like going for a promotion when you have been doing well. Along with this, though, the should also be easy to achieve, while also offering a very high payout. Of course, this sort of process can be twisted to meet your needs. American lotto online has a low probability of giving you some money, for example. But, it is also cheap to join, and you could gain a huge amount from it. This can make it worth your time and money.
Even if it may seem scary, it is often well worth taking risks in your normal life. Whether this is asking your boss for a day off or talking to that crush you’ve had for ages, you won’t be able to succeed in life without putting things on the line. Of course, though, this doesn’t have to be scary. Instead, if you simply take the right measures to balance the risks you take with the potential reward, you will find it much easier to feel secure in the decisions you make.
The risks you take never have to be too scary. This is an essential part of life, but this doesn’t mean that you have to let it ruin what you’ve built. People in the highest positions in the world have all had to take a risk at some point in their life. Big or small, this sort of decision will always shape your future, so it’s worth making sure you make the right one. One of the biggest regrets people will carry with them is being too cautious to take a risk.
Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the security you give yourself when you’re avoiding risks in your day to day life. Most people don’t consider the importance of this area. But, without the right work, you won't be able to take any positive risks at all.

November 4, 2017

Dealing With Finances In An Unstable World

This post has been contributed.
With countries leaving major institutions, reckless leaders being put into power, and turmoil around the globe, nothing is impacted more than the economy. Now, more than ever, people are worried about the state of not only their own money but also the money in the hands of their government. In a world of instability, no one feels safe. Of course, though, it doesn’t have to be this way. This post is here to be your cheat sheet when it comes to overcoming the perils of modern money. So, now, it’s just a matter of making some rules and sticking to them.
A man with a leather suitcase running near an office building
  • Your General Banking
The very first area to consider is the money you make and how you could work to improve it. Nothing makes you secure like a greater income, though a lot of people don’t know how to go about doing it. One of the best ways is through study, as this will give you the chance to get a better job, but simply working hard will also help you. Your regular salary should always go into a bank account, instead of being cash.
Once you’ve figured out your path to more money, it's time to consider how you’re going to look after what you have along the way. Budgeting is essential for a lot of people in the current climate. But, even if you don’t have to, this can still be a very worthwhile exercise. By simply limiting how much you’re allowed to spend, you will drastically improve your ability to save, while also making it easier to keep track of what you’re spending and earning.
If you manage to keep your spending under control, it should be nice and easy to avoid having to get credit all the time. But, of course, there will always be times in life when you need to have a good credit score. Buying a house, applying for a phone contract, and trying to hire a car can all be impacted by this part of your life. So, it’s a good idea to find a tool which can give you advice when it comes to improving the score you have.
A lot of the time, when it comes to your normal finances, the bank will be the very best people to help you. This sort of organization makes money from your financial success and will want to push you in the bright direction. Their advice is often free, as they already get enough from you. It’s a good idea to either call or book an appointment if you want to do this. Most professionals will be very busy and will like to have some warning before they have to help you.
Numbers on metal deposit boxes in a bank
  • Investments & Savings
When you look for financial advice around the web, a lot of people will advise you to save as much as you can, putting your money away so that it can’t be touched. Of course, though, this isn’t very helpful, as it doesn’t tell you where the money should go. Below, you can find some examples of the places you can put your money. Along with this, you will also find some information to help you to understand how much needs to be saved.
  • Savings Accounts: It’s never a good idea to keep your savings in the account you use on a daily basis. Not only will this lower your security, but it will also make it a lot easier for you to overspend. A basic savings account can be set up over the internet. With this sort of resource behind you, it will be a lot easier to start working towards improving your money. You can use a comparison tool to help you find the very best account for your cash.
  • Bonds/Other Specials: When you’re saving money for a long time, or you want to make it very hard to access, there are several other options you have to put your money away. Bonds will make a lot more money than a normal savings account. But, as a result, you have to leave the money sitting there for many years. There are a lot of different options like this. So, it could be worth talking to the bank to find the best one for you.
  • How Much To Save: One of the hardest parts of saving up is knowing how much you should save. In reality, you should never stop saving, and be always on the path to a greater hoard. As a starting target, most experts will recommend that you try to save at least three months worth of cash before you spend any money on yourself. Along with this, though, you should also consider the large purchases you may have to make in the future.
Once you’ve considered your savings, it’s time to start thinking about the real money; investment. In the modern age, there are loads of options out there to help you make some extra cash, and it is easy to tell which is good and bad. Of course, though, there are usually some ways to make your investments better. Below, you can find some examples of the different areas a lot of new investors will fail to consider.
  • Location: Where you choose to invest your money will always impact its future. In property, for example, it might be a bad time to buy at home, but looking at HDB resale price lists in Singapore, it might be a good idea to start looking East. Different parts of the world will always have different economies. So, it can be worth making sure that you choose the right place for your cash.
  • Industry: Along with location, the industry you choose can also make a huge difference to your money. At the moment, the camera industry has taken a huge hit thanks to the power found in smartphones. Investing in Samsung could be much better than Canon. To find this information, it could be worth getting the help of some investment websites and apps.
  • Risk: When it comes to investment, there is always a certain amount of risk you have to take on before you start. In most cases, though, this risk can be lowered with some simple changes to your tactics. It will be very hard for you to identify the methods you need to change. So, to help you with this, it could be worth looking for the support of a professional investor.
  • Taxation & Law
In most places throughout the world, residents have to declare their own taxes to the government to make sure that they pay enough. To do this, you will need comprehensive records of your earnings and spendings throughout the year, along with what you expect to make in the next. You should always try and stay ahead with this sort of work, completing your self-assessment long before it is due.
Two people discussing business over a table with documents
  • Getting Some Protection
Finally, it’s time to consider the protection you get for your money. When times are rough and unstable, it can often be best to aim for security rather than a quick fix. Below, you can find some examples of the different ways you can protect your finances. But, along with this, you should also be doing some research of your own to make sure you have the full scoop.
Before you can start looking for protection, it’s a good idea to consider exactly why you might need it. At the moment, a lot of people are desperate for money and will go to extreme lengths to try to get it. If this means hurting someone in the process, it doesn’t always matter. Unfortunately, this means that you have to take preemptive action, even if the odds of facing financial trauma are very unlikely.
  • Insurance: When you get into a car accident, find yourself in court, or in pretty much any other financially troubling situation, insurance is usually there to help you out. Legal insurance will make sure that you can always afford a lawyer, and home coverage will protect you from bad weather and natural disasters. A lot of people will ignore this important part of their finances. But, in reality, it can be the very best line of defence you have.
  • Some Support: Even when times are tough, it’s important to remember that you’re never alone with your money. Whether you need help from a charity or a government organization, there is usually the support you need within reaching distance, and you just have to look for it. Using forums and blogs, you can get loads of information to lead you in the right direction. It’s much better to take a financial problem head-on than it is to leave it for the future. To do this, though, you might need some support.
Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on securing your money in unstable times. A lot of people feel worried and insecure, at the moment. But, in reality, you don’t have to do very much work to make sure that you’re safe, and most people already have the tools they need to do it.

November 2, 2017

4 Factors Currently Influencing The Global Economy

This post has been contributed.
The economy is inescapable. Even if you have zero interest in how money works or moves between nations, the economy still influences almost every area of your life. It influences the houses we buy, the jobs we do, and the future we are trying to develop for ourselves.
As a result, keeping an eye on the state of the global economy is generally a good idea. The world economy is more integrated that it has ever been before. No longer do countries exist as an island, with their economies reflecting the state of the nation and not much more. Countries are now dependant on one another and, to paraphrase an old saying, if a butterfly flaps its wings on one stock market then it can send a country halfway around the world into recession. The global financial crisis of 2007/8 is the perfect example of how the economy is now a worldwide issue rather than limited to each nation and its own finances.
At the time of writing, the global economy is not as healthy as one might hope it could be. There are numerous reasons for this, so let’s delve deeper and see which matters from across the globe are holding back the oh-so-treasured economic growth.
Changing Political Fortunes
Since the 1970s, the majority of global economies have worked on neoliberal policies. Neoliberalism is generally summed up as free trade between nations and little regulation on that trade. For decades, neoliberal economics were generally accepted as the norm, the standard, and the best way for the global economy to proceed.
However, after years of recessions, turmoil, and the biggest financial crisis in living memory, it’s fair to say that many people are souring on neoliberal economics. The beliefs that are rising in its place vary wildly, which makes predicting the economic outlook all the more problematic.
There has been a resurgence of socialism in a number of countries, most intriguingly in the uber-neoliberal countries of the USA and the UK. While socialism may be thriving on the ground, however, at this point there are few governments with true socialist principles; Iceland and Costa Rica are the most notable examples, but they are not major players in the global economy.
It’s not just socialism that is experiencing a resurgence; many countries have right-wing movements that are winning power and influencing economic policy. Politics has changed, and the global economy really doesn’t like change.
Of the major G7 countries, all still adhere to neoliberal, capitalist principles-- but this seems likely to change. How it will change, and what it will change to, is very much up for debate-- creating an atmosphere of uncertainty around an economic system that has held power for nearly 50 years.
When the UK voted to leave the European Union, the established global consensus slipped on its axis. As a G7 member, the UK has been a part of the European project for 50 years, but a right-wing surge pulled the country out its major trading partner. Many worried what this would mean for the global economy.
The UK is currently in the midst of negotiating its withdrawal from the EU, a process which has to be completed by 2019. Talks, however, are not progressing well. This leaves a huge black mark in the economic picture; as the world’s sixth largest economy, no country is able to ignore the UK’s fortunes-- but no one can predict what those fortunes will be. Some economists predict the UK will slam into a huge recession the moment they officially leave the EU; others believe that the UK will do just fine.
What we do know is that the Eurozone is coping well with the turmoil, while the UK economy… isn’t. The UK hoped that countries would be queuing to agree trade deals with them following Brexit, but this has yet to materialize. When one of the biggest players in global economics faces such an uncertain future, the entire global system may spend the next 18 months waiting with baited breath to see what’s going to happen.
Every Major Country Has A Housing Crisis
The housing market has always been a major influencer on economies. In fact, it was the collapse of the subprime housing market that brought on the Great Recession of a decade ago. It is therefore worrying to the economic outlook that almost every major country is suffering a housing crisis.
There are many reasons for this. Immigration is a factor; major countries’ populations are continually rising. Another factor is that the super-rich are still buying properties as investments in developed countries; houses which then go unused by the owner, denying housing stock to local residents.
There are still opportunities outside of the more developed countries. Foreign investors may be tempted by the booming housing markets in countries like India and Malaysia, countries where the search for a new property is far easier than it is in the overcrowded developed nations. There are still opportunities in emerging markets, but elsewhere, the housing market is suffering-- which has a rebound effect on the economy as a whole.
Climate Change
We have long been warned that climate change is a problem for the future; an issue that our grandchildren will have to deal with. However, we are already living in a time when the climate is changing-- which has a huge impact on the way the global economy can function.
There is evidence of a disturbed climate throughout the globe. We know that permafrost is beginning to melt at the poles; we know that the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has been one of the most damaging on record; we know that the recent monsoons in Asia have been some of the worst ever recorded.
Of course, all of the above are dangers to life, and this should be the primary concern. However, there is no doubting that the changing environment is influencing the economy. As Donald Trump crudely put it, the devastation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria has damaged the US budget. The cost of repairing the damage, helping people, providing relief centers and all the other work involved in clearing the mess left by environmental disasters is taking a huge toll on the budgets of almost every nation on earth.
The obvious solution to this problem is for future investments in slowing or outright halting the horrors that climate change can unleash on the world. At this point in time, however, there seems to be little global appetite to do this. There may be a point when the environmental costs are so severe the issue has to be examined, but we have yet to reach that point, and some of the biggest countries on the earth have outright climate change deniers is their administrations. The change in attitudes may come, but there’s no sign that will be any time soon-- and so the global economy will continue to struggle to cope with natural disasters.
So What Does The Future Hold For The Global Economy?
Frankly, no one knows!
The one thing that economies hate more than anything is uncertainty, but we live in incredibly uncertain times. The world is changing, and the economic model as we currently recognize it may be on borrowed time. There might be a huge change in global finances on the horizon… or the current blip will be righted, and all will return to normal. The problem is that no one knows what is going to happen.
There’s also little sign of this changing; certainty is a long way off in the future, as the issues outlined above are decades in the making. So hold tight; the global economy might have to endure a few more tidal waves before it returns to calm waters.

November 1, 2017

Tips for Dealing with a Legal Problem

This post has been contributed.
You may never expect to have to deal with legal problems, but sometimes they appear in front of us regardless. It may be a business lawsuit, a traffic violation or something altogether more serious, but it is important that you know how to respond in the right way.
First of all, it is worth asking: Do I need a criminal attorney? In more serious circumstances, this is likely to be the case. But it still helps to know how you can respond in the event of any legal issue, so let’s look into this in more detail.
Do Not Ignore It
Though it may be tempting to sweep it all under the rug and pretend it is not happening, legal issues rarely magically disappear. In fact, they generally tend to get worse and more complicated over time, so deal with any issues at the earliest possible opportunity. Sometimes, you will receive a letter with a deadline for response written on it, but other times you will have less time to respond. This brings us onto the next step…
Determine the Urgency
All legal matters have differing levels of urgency. For the most urgent ones that you can’t delay - maybe someone is threatening to go public with a certain story about you or your business - get a lawyer on the phone as soon as you can. Try to choose one who specialises in the particular area of the law that you need. When you have more time to deal with an issue, you have a wider range of options in front of you. You may find that you have people in your circle of contacts who have been through similar issues that you can get in touch with.
Be Proactive
As much as possible, you should be proactive in your approach to legal matters. Otherwise, they will always stay there at the back of your mind. Get advice from a number of different sources before settling on a course of action. Try doing some research yourself. The internet has provided a wonderful tool to read about the law, and also check forums in which people may have dealt with similar problems to yourself. Prevention is always far better than the cure.
Increase Your Knowledge
It always helps to have as much knowledge as possible, so if you foresee any legal issues in the future, it is worth reading up on them. This way, you can analyse whatever your lawyer is telling you to check you are comfortable with the advice they are giving you and make suggestions yourself.
These four steps are some of the most effective ones that will get you responding in the right way to the legal challenges you face. To recap: always confront the challenge at the earliest possible opportunity, determine its level of urgency, be proactive in your approach and seek to increase your knowledge wherever possible. And if you can take any preventative measures, these are obviously worth doing.

October 31, 2017

Crafting A Relief Center To Provide Help In Hard Situations

This post has been contributed.

If you stayed up to date with the news this summer and fall, you are likely aware of the global catastrophic weather effects which displaced many people and destroyed many homes. From massive hurricanes to earthquakes and forest fires, there always seems to be something tragic occurring around the world which affects livelihoods and the integrity of people’s homes.

It’s a natural response to want to help out the people affected. In some circumstances, this can take the form of a humble effort of donations, whether that’s clothes, food or money. Sometimes, people provide shelter if living nearby those residents having a hard time getting back on their feet. There are those incredible people who’ll stop at nothing to open a relief centre, to give the community a grounding point to stage relief efforts.

If you feel as though this is something you’re interested in, we’d like to provide you with a list of handy tips to craft this. While you will for sure be helping your fellow citizens out, you may also be able to turn this into a small business or nonprofit organization, depending on how you gate access to your firm.

Here’s what you need.

Communication Networks

You need to be able to get the word out fast, no matter what that word is. Having connections with local charities, government departments and emergency services will make sure your center is a hub from which all recovery can be based. It’s important to stay upfront as to how you’re helping people. If it’s providing temporary accommodation, helping with food basics or even light medical help, you should make that perfectly clear so that the community knows exactly how and when your services should be required.

Medical Help

While you can’t expect to rival hospitals and clinics, your relief center may be able to stock some medical equipment, as well as one or two medical professionals to either help or defer a visitor elsewhere. Look to to provide you with the medical equipment you need, as they provide easy acquisition and reasonable prices. Your in-house medical professional may be able to save lives with these providing the place is correctly cleaned and is happy to undergo specific clinic audits.


One of the most conciliatory events that takes place in a natural disaster or some form of community tragedy is how the collective bands together to help out those affected. It’s likely that once you open your doors as a relief center, you will be bombarded with items that can help your relief efforts. From bed linens to non-perishable food items to clothes, all of these will need to be stored in sizable storage containers. Make sure they are labelled and efficiently organized and that your space allows from all these excess goods.


Thankfully, disasters do not happen all the time. You will need to keep the lights on, so monetizing your firm is somewhat useful. Sometimes, relief centers can gain lucrative charity contracts, from which you can earn a salary.

Sometimes, you’ll have to work with the community yourself, turning the space into a local hall for party rental, AA meetings, or some such other activity. Luckily, while major disasters do not happen constantly, there will always be a professional reason to hire your hall out to people in need. Doing this can make your relief center financially viable and earn you a respectable wage for your efforts.

With these tips, you are sure to become a force for good in the community.

October 30, 2017

Can You Be Prepared For Anything Without Being An Anxious Mess?

This post has been contributed.
In this day and age, it seems none of us really know what’s just around the corner. This is why many people are choosing to prepare for just about every eventuality. However, it can be tough to do this and not look over your shoulder constantly, anxious at what could come next.
Providing you’ve prepared for the future in the best way you can, then you should be able to relax and have peace of mind. It may seem easier said than done, but we’re going to discuss what you can do in this post.
Stock Up on Non Perishables
There are a few reasons you should stock up on non perishable food items. Maybe one day you’ll get snowed in. Maybe one day you’ll simply arrive home from a long day starving hungry with nothing in the fridge. Stock up on things like oatmeal, quinoa, pasta, canned vegetables and beans, and rice.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
Getting plenty of sleep will help you coming into cold and flu season, as it strengthens your immune system. People who get 6 hours sleep a night or less are much more likely to catch a cold or the flu - four times more likely, in fact. Plus, a shortage of sleep can leave you feeling stressed out, which again, lowers your immune system. Get plenty of sleep and your immune system will be strong and your stress levels low.
Pack Up Your Car
Nobody wants to get stuck in a broken down car, but it happens. Make sure you have the essentials in your car just in case. You’ll want some jumper cables, a toolkit, jack, a lug wrench, and even some warm clothing. A first aid kit and a flashlight will also come in handy. Just because you’ve called a tow truck doesn’t mean you won't get stressed out and feel all helpless, so make sure you have what you need on board.
Come Up With An Emergency Home Escape Plan
Anything could happen when you’re at home; a fire could break out, burglars could get in - we won’t list anymore as this post is supposed to make you less stressed, not more stressed. However, there are things you can have in the house alongside food to help you in these situations. Coming up with an emergency escape plan is also a good idea, so brief the whole family on the best way out. There are more resources that can help you at home, like those on Prepared Bee. The more prepared you are the less frightened you’ll feel.
Practice Mindfulness
Any event can be stressful. It all depends on the person and the context, so we couldn’t possibly list everything here. However, one way to be ready for any stressful event is to become more mindful. This involves staying focused on the present moment and accepting your feelings. When you’re more mindful, you’ll feel far less stressed over things and feel able to regulate your emotions.
There’s no need to be on the brink of a breakdown when you have the above tips.

October 22, 2017

Talk Is Tough, But It’s Gotta Be Done

This post has been contributed.
We live in a world that is becoming more open, free and inclusive as the years go on. There are currently parts of the world that exist in the past, where time has seemingly stood still and men and women are not all equal to one another. However, for the most part in the developed world, we are becoming more even. There is one thing in the world that most people can agree on, and this is that some topics in life are still largely untouched and are taboo to talk about. We don’t openly speak about these topics, for fear of offending or causing upset to others. The problem with this, is that topics can never move on from being taboo if we’re silent about them, and so the catch-22 continues.
The fact that in 2017 there are still subjects we shy away from addressing shows that, as a society, we do still have an awfully long way to go! If you rewind time by 100 years, you’ll find a plethora of taboo topics that are now brought up in common conversation. Homosexuality, death, sexism, racism and gender norms are some of the topics that were once forbidden to be addressed in civilised conversation. Thankfully, in the last two decades we have become far more awake to these issues and we discuss them more. Of course, not everyone is going to have the same opinion on each topic out there; we’d be a pretty boring species if we all believed in the exact same way of living. If you’ve ever watched movies like this one, you’ll know what could happen in a society where we all think the same!
There are a lot of topics out there that we do still need to speak about, however, and that is exactly the point of this article. We need to break the silence and become comfortable with talking about the uncomfortable things in life. The generations that come behind us need to come into a world that is open to talking about the hard things – it makes it far easier to have a conversation with someone if you know you can be comfortable in what you’re talking about. We’ve put together some of the taboo topics that we still avoid in current society, and why we should be breaking down barriers and getting the real issues the awareness they deserve.
Death is one of the biggest topics in the world to debate about, but it’s one that never gets spoken about enough. It’s a funny concept, given that one of the only things – aside from birth -  that is equal and guaranteed to every single human being on earth is death itself. It remains a topic of taboo, causing awkwardness, embarrassment and in some cases, denial.  As humans, we don’t like to talk about things that could potentially hurt feelings or upset, but the practicality behind it means that death is something that must be addressed before it happens and not afterward. Being practical about death means ensuring you live a life that keeps you secure; setting up a will, setting up life insurance, arranging obituaries and making a point to learn about are all things that we should be doing before we die. No one wants to leave a mess behind for their family, and death can be messy. It’s emotional, upsetting and knowing how to grieve is often hard. The thing is, if we don’t discuss death with our loved ones, we can’t know how to gather our support systems that help us to cope. Open up about fears surrounding death, and you’ll find other people equally willing to discuss it, it’s just that no one wants to go first!
Generally, conversations that surround disabilities are about the inspiring subjects. We talk about which Paralympian is an inspiration to their generation. We talk about the person we know with a hidden illness who is soldiering on regardless. The rights surrounding disabilities, discussions about ableism and broaching the subject of accessibility – and the lack of it – are all topics that get touched upon but not discussed in depth. Those who are able talk about disability though they have no real idea about how to handle a disability and how to live with one. The trouble with disability being a taboo topic, is that no one knows how to bring it up or discuss it, meaning there is always going to be offence caused. Is it offensive to ask the reason a wheelchair is required? Probably, but learning about disability can only be done if questions are asked in the first place. For the good of those who deal with a disability – be it physical or a learning difficulty – we need to learn how to broach the topic in a way to help others understand.
Mental Health
It is only in recent years that society has moved from hiding away people with mental health issues and facing the topic itself head on. Mental health issues come in many forms, from depression, anxiety and eating disorders like anorexia, to ADHD, Asperger’s and Autism. We have only begun to scratch the surface of understanding how the human brain works, and it’s because of this that mental health is a topic to be reckoned with. The stigma that surrounds mental health issues is huge, and while we are thirty years ahead of an age we would employ electroconvulsive therapy for postnatal depression, we still do not discuss it. The main feeling with mental health issues is that they are to be shamed. We all want to be able to put on a front and show the world we can cope with whatever is thrown our way. When we cannot put on that front, we are supposed to stay hidden away and not show the world we aren’t dealing very well. It may be hard to talk about, but we need to so that we can better understand the issues.
It’s long been a topic of shame, but sex is still a highly taboo topic around the world. We publish magazines and posters with sexual content and we make new films that are increasingly racy, but when it comes to discussion, sex is off the table – so to speak. Teenagers are taught to avoid sex rather than teach them the consequences, and not just pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. No one wants to discuss the emotional consequences of sex and how such an act can affect your mental health. It’s the most natural thing in the world and without it, we wouldn’t be here. But we keep quiet and stoic about it, because it’s still viewed as a dirty topic. We need to break down that barrier and get comfortable talking about it – otherwise having children is going to be an issue!
Our world has been in a constant cycle of war for many years now. Countries are at each other’s throats over oil, land, gold and other issues but we often turn the other cheek and ignore it. The birth of the internet has meant that we are more in tune when the world is in conflict, as the news is given to us minute by minute. However, we support troops and cheer on our armies and commend bravery without thinking about the cost. The lives lost in war are often not the lives of the people that are being targeted, but innocent people that have nothing to do with the conflict itself and just happen to be collateral damage. We don’t discuss that part of the war, as generally it wouldn’t be in the agenda of those who fuel war. It would be nice to live in a society of total peace, but it’s not discussed enough from both sides to realise that we are all human and we can all live in one place without the fighting.
One of the biggest topics of taboo is religion. There are many of them in the world and everyone believes theirs is the ‘correct’ one. Debates always end up heated when religion is involved, because the passion of belief is very strong. Learning about the religions of others is a good way to be open and accepting of other cultures and how things are done, but opinion and ego generally win the conversation instead.
Taboo topics can only stay taboo if people refuse to open their eyes, minds and mouths and discuss them. The world itself is a work in progress, with countries still developing and opinions still taking time to become current and equal. If we all made a point of opening our mouths about the tough topics, they would no longer be tough and the barriers that are always up can be broken down. Society as a whole would be far happier if they were brave enough to be open with each other, and if you believe that your opinion is all that counts it’s time to realise you can hold more than one opinion in your mind, even if you don’t agree with it. Be bold and break the silence – goodness knows we all need to.

October 18, 2017

The Dirty Stains in Your Life That Are Difficult to Wash Out

This post has been contributed.
Dirty stains in your laundry are hard to wash out. No matter how much you scrub your clothes and apply detergent, it’s going to take a while for them to disappear. Sadly, if you try too hard to clean them out, you’ll start to damage your clothes and there will be irreparable damage. Unfortunately, this also applies to the stains we have in life too.
People do stupid things all the time. Whether it’s arguing over a disagreement, creating a misunderstanding or developing bad habits, it’s all too common to get into trouble and forever make a stain on your life.
Source: Pexels
Bad Health Habits
Smoking, drinking and stuffing yourself with fast food can all lead to an early death. Even worse, it’s usually the small unnoticeable things that cause your quality of life to lower. The problem with unhealthy habits is that you don’t notice them. For some people, it’s normal to cough all the time because their lungs are filled with tar from smoking. For people that eat too much junk food, it’s normal to have stomach problems all the time or have difficulty moving around due to their weight. These aren’t normal things, and the later you realise that you have a bad health habit, the harder it will be to erase that stain from your life. Practice healthy habits, stomp out bad habits and you’ll be able to live a long and carefree life.
Criminal Record
Whether it’s a DUI that landed you in hot water or an argument that got personal, it’s surprisingly easy to get a criminal record. This can have a serious effect on your ability to find work in the future, and you may feel guilty for something you’ve done that was ultimately your fault. It’s best to try and get out of these situations as early as possible, but there are times when you get into trouble with the authorities due to someone else’s negligence. Don’t let these people push the blame onto you, call a defense lawyer to fight in your corner so you don’t end up with a criminal record for no reason. If you’re adamant that something wasn’t your fault, there’s no reason not to argue your case. A criminal record can become a deep stain on your life, so wash it out early to prevent it from settling in.
Poor Credit History
Are you good with money? Do you get a lot of extra income from hobbies in addition to your main job? Then you’re probably financially secure and have no real troubles managing your money. However, for the rest of us, money can become a struggle. Whether it’s low wages or bad budgeting, it’s important to take your financial situation seriously. If you have poor credit history, then you’ll have trouble securing loans in the future or funding for a business venture. Poor credit sticks with you for a long time, so make sure you erase it early by managing your money properly.