Existing With Pain

Pain is a fact of life: unless all of the nerve endings in your body are dead, you will feel pain at one point or another. For some unfortunate souls, however, pain is not a fleeting problem, but something they live with at all times. Such discomfort can be quite debilitating, preventing some from being able to work or even enjoy basic pleasures.

Is pain ruling your life to the point where you find it difficult to function? The following suggestions won’t get rid of pain, but can help you better manage this unfortunate time in your life.

Battle Depression

When you suffer from depression, it can be very tempting to just succumb and stop fighting it. Chronic pain often leads to depression, but this is not something you should just accept. While trying to find a cure or balance for your discomfort, work with a therapist to help you regain mental well-being. Feeling happy and optimistic can be an excellent ally in the fight against chronic pain. There are also support groups for people who are in a similar situation. These are great places to make new friends, and share tips and encouragement.

Be Open to Help and New Ideas

As mentioned above, prolonged discomfort can cause people to retreat from the world and otherwise close down. However, it is important to remain open to friends and family, as well as medical practitioners and their new ideas for treatment. If help is being offered, accept it.

Accept That There Will Be Bad Days

Even the happiest people have bad days, so accept there will be times when you feel even more uncomfortable than usual. Keep in mind that not everyday will be this bad, and it will pass eventually.

Advocate for Yourself

Sometimes there can be long waiting times for treatment or acceptance into groups. The best way to achieve positive results is to make some noise; let them know you are out there and seek results. The old adage “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” is just as relevant now as when your grandmother used to say it.

Don’t Forget to Buy Travel Insurance for Your Holiday Trip!

Are you planning to take a holiday trip this year? You have probably already thought about the essentials, bought your traveler’s cheques, and booked a kennel for your dog. However, have you thought about what you might do if you experience a medical emergency while on vacation?

If you are in Canada and a Canadian citizen, this is likely not a concern because you know you will be covered under your provincial health plan. But what if you are going to another country? You have no doubt heard the horror stories about average Canadians on holiday in America who required hospitalization and ended up being bankrupted as a result. Travel insurance is the best way to avoid this nightmare and here are some reasons why you need to get it:

Medical Costs

As mentioned above, these can be horrendous if you need any kind of involved treatment and a stay in hospital. Also, travel insurance can cover the cost of your getting yourself back home, if your condition leaves you in a state requiring a special form of transportation.

Trip Cancellation

When you travel, there is usually more than just plane or train tickets involved. You also need to book accommodations, rent a car, arrange to join a tour group, etc. Very few of these options offer refunds if you cannot live up to your obligations. Some forms of travel insurance take care of such issues if you are unable to go or must come back home to Canada early because of an emergency.

Accidental Death

Travel insurance can also help with expenses should you or a traveling companion die while on vacation in a foreign country. Depending on the specifics of the policy, it may also cover some of the working income the person would have made for a certain period.

You’re Probably Eating Too Fast

Do you find yourself constantly in a rush? Do you have to eat faster in order to get back to work so you can finish as promised? If that is the case, you are probably rushing through your lunch and that is not a good thing. Eating fast may be convenient, but it is really not good for your body.

Gas

When we eat, we inhale some oxygen. Usually this is not an issue, but if you eat fast, you are inhaling more and taking in a larger quantity. That air can become trapped and lead to painful bloating and embarrassing instances of belching and flatulence. What you would rather choose: a few more minutes eating lunch or an uncomfortable and potentially mortifying afternoon dealing with gas?

You eat less when you eat slower

This sounds counterintuitive, but the truth is that when you eat quickly, your brain and stomach do not have time to register when they are full. This can cause you to eat more than you need and lead to weight gain.

Tougher on your stomach

When you take your time and thoroughly chew your food, your stomach has less to deal with and there is less chance of digestive issues like acid indigestion. Do you suffer from stomach problems and tend to eat quickly? The answer to the issue may lie largely there. Try taking smaller bites and chewing slower.

Dragging it out means more to enjoy

Gulping bring down that plate of dessert can be a very enticing prospect, but the pleasure will be over in two minutes at that speed. Why not savor every bite and let this wonderful experience last, say, ten minutes? Both your brain and your stomach will thank you. Eating at this speed will also make it less likely that you want another piece (and all of the calories that go with it).

Hate Giving Speeches? These Tips Can Help

On the average person’s scale of Likes and Dislikes, giving a speech ranks somewhere down with going to the dentist and cleaning of the cat litter box. Very few people feel comfortable standing in front of a group of others giving a speech. It is just something that lands well outside many individuals’ comfort zones.

Fortunately, like most things in life, you can learn to be more at ease with the idea of giving a speech. Here are two steps that you can try that will help to overcome your Glossophobia (fear of public speaking):

Do your homework

Some people can stand in front of a crowd and just wing it, but that is not the case for the majority of us. In fact, one of the biggest fears for most is standing in front of an audience and not knowing what to say. You can avoid that scenario by learning your speech backwards and forwards. Also know the subject well enough to answer any questions that might come up at the end.

Pretend you are speaking to an empty room

Would you be as nervous about giving a speech if there was no one in the room? When the time comes to give your talk, imagine exactly that scenario. However, that does not mean you can stand completely still and stare off into space. It is important to still make eye contact every once in a while, but beyond that, you do not need to acknowledge the presence of anyone else until you are finished.

If you are standing on a stage under a spotlight, chances are that you will not even be able to see the audience anyway. That can be a godsend for some people, but it is still important to be able to learn the art of giving a speech when others are in plain view. Keep practicing!

Don’t Let Frustration Get the Better of You

Do you get mad? Truly red-faced frustrated angry? We will bet that you do because it is a very common human emotion that affects everyone at one time or another. However, it is not a desirable and some people find that they become so frustrated, it even negatively impacts their physical and mental health. Do you fall under that heading? If so, here are some things that you can do that should help:

Seriously think about your options

When people are frustrated, they are in a state of high emotion. You are not at your logical best during these periods, so it is a good idea to step back from any situation that makes you frustrated. Put some time and distance between yourself and the incident, then sit down and think about your options. Chances are, with a clearer head, you will be able to find a solution that makes sense and will diffuse your frustration.

Take action

When you come up with a solution, it is time to take action. Following through on your solution, and definitively getting rid of the problem, will do wonders in eliminating your frustration.

Avoid people and situations that make you frustrated

Sometimes the best way to get rid of a problem is to never create it in the first place. If there are people and situations that have consistently made you frustrated in the past, do your best to avoid stumbling into them again. This can sometimes require some complicated manoeuvring, but it is well worth the effort nine times out of ten.

Remember the times when things worked out

When faced with what seems like an insurmountable situation, it can be very helpful to remember the times when you faced similar obstacles, but triumphed anyway. Things will almost certainly work again for you.

Make the Most of Your Spare Time

Many of us complain that there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. And yet, when we do have some spare time, we don’t make productive use of it. Sitting around can be useful sometimes to help us wind down, but doing it more than occasionally that is counterproductive.

OK, let’s say you have some spare time coming up and you are determined not to waste it. Here are some things you can do with that extra time:

Clean Up Your Computer

We’ll wager that you have not cleaned up your desktop in a while. All of those extra icons actually slow your machine down! Delete some or put them into folders organized around a central subject.

E-mail is another area where it is very easy to fall behind. Answer some that you have been meaning to get to, send out ones that you have not gotten around to, and get rid of others that are just taking up space.

Exercise

If you are like us, you plan to exercise, but don’t often get around to it. Well, don’t be us: get out there and move around! Even if you are just going for a walk around the block, you are helping your body and aiding your longevity.

Experience Some Relaxing Silence

We spend so much of our day running around meeting deadlines, we can easily forget to get some needed peace and quiet. Silence can be very good for the soul, so turn off your phone for awhile, close you eyes, take some deep breaths, and enjoy a little quiet time.

Deal With Those Household Chores

All homes have things that need doing, but get put off thanks to business or just plain apathy. Here is your chance to get them done and out of the way, once and for all.

Walking is an Important Part of Your Day

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
– John Muir

There is increasing evidence that being sedentary is very bad for your health. The more that computers play a role in our lives, the more people spend their time sitting in front of them either for work or leisure. It is simply not healthy for your body mechanics or your heart spend so much time in immobile. We need to get up and move around regularly throughout our day.

Many of us leave very busy lives and it can be difficult to find time for exercise. For those on tight budgets, a gym membership might be more than can they afford each month. Fortunately, there is a very economical and easy way to get the exercise you need each day: walking.

Walking may not seem very excited, but it is incredibly helpful for your body. A brisk 30 minute walk each day can provide you with the exercise you need. Coupled with a proper diet, it can be a recipe for good health.

But you say walking is boring. Yes, it can seem old school compared to the more exciting things that you can do with the gym. However, walking can be very relaxing and provide a bit of needed solace in the middle of a long and hectic day.

When you go for your walk, try to go to an area with little traffic and not too many people. The more scenic the area, the better. Take the time to observe the sights, listen to the birds, and feel the breeze on your face.

Your walking time can be both a period of exercise and relaxation. You can also use it as a chance to listen to your favourite music or catch up on our some podcasts. Try to schedule a walk in the middle of the day and another one after supper.

Advantages of Working from Home

It is the fantasy of some people to be able to work from home, but many have made it a reality. Whether they are self-employed or simply working off-site, quite a few modern day workers are able to fulfill their responsibilities from home and there are definite advantages for both them and the companies they work for.

Fewer Distractions

If you have your own home office set-up, you can close the door, sit back, and work in an atmosphere of quiet and comfort that is free from the noise and interruptions of the office.

No Commuting

Some people have to drive to other cities for their jobs and that can mean hours of time en route to and from work. Working from home means that you can get up five minutes before the start of your day, sit down, and get to work without ever leaving your home. No traffic, no car expense, no delays. This also helps the environment because it takes cars off the road.

Life Balance

Some people find it tough to maintain that important work/life balance. When working from home, you can more easily recognize when it is time to call it a day.

You can also spend more time with your family, even during your lunch and rest breaks.

Increased Productivity

Even the best run offices can be noisy hubs of distracting activity. Perhaps the worst problem are annoying co-workers who drone on about nothing and just don’t get the message that you have work to do and want to be left alone. At home, the only distraction you might have to face is your cat wanting attention.

More Space in the Workplace

Some companies expand before they are in a position to relocate to a larger facility. Allowing some workers to perform their role offsite frees up valuable space.

 

 

 

Don’t Forget Window Safety This Summer

 

Summer is a time when people commonly have their windows open. Whether it is to let a bit of cooler air in or to try and alleviate the humidity, an open window can be a nice way to let a bit of nature into your home. It can also be an environmentally friendly way of cooling things down without contributing to the issues caused by air conditioning.

However, there can be a notable downside to leaving your windows open. While you may have thought you had inspected all areas of your home, did you consider the safety of your windows?

Open windows can be an invitation for disaster when it comes to children and pets. If you must leave your windows open, keep an eye on your children and animals’ activities at all times. It can only take a few seconds for one to climb up on a ledge, lean too far out, and have a nasty, potentially fatal fall. Don’t let screens lull you into a false sense of security; they are merely designed to keep insects and birds out, not to support the weight of a persistent child, cat, or dog.

To ensure that such an unfortunate accident does not occur, make sure your windows are securely closed when you are not around to watch them. There is also the alternative of installing a window stop. These limit the amount that a window can be opened, thus making it impossible for a child to force their way out. You can also choose to install top opening windows as it would be very difficult to get out of one.

Another good tip is to make sure there is nothing nearby that a child can easily climb, thus giving them easy access to the window.

It doesn’t take long to practice window safety and it is definitely not time wasted.

Ever Wonder Why You get a Birthday Cake and Candles on That Special Day?

Certain traditions have been with western civilization for so long, we tend to simply take them for granted. For example, the birthday cake. While birthdays are something that you celebrate, who thought of putting burning candles on them and then asking the birthday boy or girl to blow them out?

Birthday cakes actually date back to the middle ages in Germany, but did not become commonplace there until the 18th century. They eventually made their way to this side of the pond and were adopted into our culture.

The history of birthday candles is not quite as clear cut. Some believe the tradition originated in ancient Greece as a way to honor Artemis, the goddess of the moon. Others also credit Germany with this development as well, stating that it was a way to depict the light of life.

The reason you blow out the candles apparently derives from the common belief that smoke acts as a vehicle to carry your prayers to heaven. Of course, people make a wish rather than pray nowadays, but the intent is pretty much the same.

The earliest birthday cakes were rather bland affairs that did not even include icing. As the years passed, they became sweeter and more elaborate, with multiple designs and flavors.

In fact, there are now so many options, it can be really tough to decide which one to pick. Sometimes people choose cakes that match a birthday party theme, like superheroes or princesses. In other cases, the style and flavor might be selected simply because it is the one likely to find the most favor with guests.

Whatever style you choose, make it the centerpiece of the celebration and be sure to offer a generous slice to everyone attending! The guest of honor is traditionally the one who cuts the cake.