Browse Category


Fight Off the Winter Chill With Smart Heating Ideas

The wintertime is a time of cold weather, wherever you are. This is obvious, but battling the winter chill in order to maintain the comfort level that you are accustomed to within your home can often feel a bit more difficult. Fortunately, homeowners all over the United States and abroad have come up with a good idea or two for protecting your home and family from the cold weather just beyond your windows in order to keep the comfortable, toasty atmosphere that you are seeking for your home.

Keep up your home maintenance routine throughout the year.


Home maintenance tips for wintertime begin early in the colder season. In order to protect your family and home from the cold weather in December and January, it’s essential to consider upgrades and repairs during fall that comes beforehand.

Planning for air conditioning repair in the months that come before the downturn in temperatures is the best way forward when prepping for this inevitable time of the year when furnaces start to burn and chimneys begin to see their highest period of usage. If you are worried about your family’s ability to stay warm all winter then you should begin to seek out AC repair technicians in your local area today in order to get ahead of any problems that may be headed your way in the near future. Hiring a contractor with years of experience in the industry is the best way to secure your family’s peace of mind as the temperature outside drops and the limits of your heating system are tested.

Regular maintenance is crucial to a property working system, especially considering that your air conditioning unit is designed to last for fifteen or more years – barring any damage from extreme weather conditions, of course.

Add space heating capabilities throughout your home.


Heating elements have come a long way from the antiques that you may have seen in old, grainy pictures of your grandparents. These days, homeowners can take advantage of floor heating solutions, space saving radiators, and portable electrical heaters that provide intense warmth that rivals a fireplace or traditional heating system. Used in tandem with your existing heater, you can expect warm air to circulate throughout your home for the duration of this coming cold period, giving your family a warm and cozy living condition.

Creating this safe and comforting space is particularly important this year as we continue to battle the coronavirus pandemic. With the virus continuing to rage out of control around the United States, and indeed the entire world, we are finding ourselves spending far more time at home than we might otherwise. Therefore, the need to create a comfortable living space that can function as a workable office or classroom for your job requirements and children’s educational needs makes your HVAC system far more important during these colder months than in any year prior.

One important thing to remember when installing new heating systems in your home is to maintain your windows as well. These panes provide the best opportunities for heat to escape out into the open air beyond the confines of your home, so replacing seals, adding additional caulk, or replacing the windows altogether if they are aging beyond their expiration date is an essential component of winterizing your home. Without this additional step, you will end up running up a massive energy bill as your system heats a buffer around your home as well as the interior space.

Preparing for winter starts months before the temperature begins to drop. Prepare for the colder time of year with a plan this time around in order to make the most of the winter season and colder months.

5 Ways to Celebrate Body Positivity

Body image is key to self esteem and identity. It’s easy to get down about our bodies with constant messages from social media about what makes someone beautiful or not. Instead of listening to all that and allowing it to hurt you, having a body-positive attitude is one of the greatest acts of self-care around. If you’re working toward body positivity, congratulations! Celebrate it. The world will be a better place when there are more people like you who celebrate body-positivity.

For those looking to celebrate themselves and the shapes and sizes they sport, there are easy ways to do that starting with rolling out that body-positive attitude. Here are five ways to celebrate not only your body but the fact that you are perfectly beautiful too.

1. Surround yourself with positive people.


The journey toward how to be more comfortable in your own skin wasn’t likely an easy one. Learning how to be more comfortable with your body takes some people a lifetime. But if you’re there, stay there. Do what you can to surround yourself with others like you. Join support groups to celebrate and encourage each other along the way. It never hurts to have reminders that you’re perfect and beautiful just the way you are, and having a support network will be great, not only to celebrate, but to remind you to stay positive on the bad days too.

2. Have a photoshoot.


If you’re finally where you’ve fought so hard to be and feel great about yourself, schedule that sexy photoshoot. Whether you do it in lacy undergarments, a bathing suit, or fully dressed in a fabulous gown, the only rule is to give yourself permission to be free about it. Have fun with it. Much like the effects of smoking a CBD cigarette, you should feel relaxed and stress free. This moment is about you, and whether you take the pictures yourself or have a friend or even professional help out, you want to create memories here too.

3. Dress to celebrate yourself.

Let’s face it. Not all clothes are made the same. Sometimes, it’s good to let our fabulous bodies dictate how we dress. The perfect demi bra will give you lift and help show off those curves. Being body positive doesn’t mean you have to feel great wearing a burlap bag or tent. Instead, find the kind of undergarments and that perfect dress that make you feel your prettiest. There’s nothing vain about it. Instead, you’re putting your best foot forward and granting other women the excuse to do the same.

4. Choose relationships carefully.

Not all people operate in modes of kindness. For this reason, to celebrate your happiness with your body, you want to make sure that the people in your life are body positive too. Especially in a romantic relationship, look for partners who love you just the way you are and who want to celebrate you and your body. Staying with someone who insults you or tries to micromanage your image and self-esteem can be toxic. You’ve come too far to stay with someone negative about what a beautiful person you are.

5. Start a body positivity blog or group.


When you know you’re in a place to help others, consider celebrating this by starting a blog, online or in-person support group, or posting about your journey on a platform like YouTube or Instagram. Too many other people are out there feeling bad about themselves and their bodies. You could counteract those media messages about what beauty is if you use your own story to spread body positive awareness.

Why You Should Turn to Your Religious Community During Trying Times

Regardless of how much we plan our lives, we all find ourselves facing trying times sooner or later. There’s simply no way around it. Even the best planners can’t be completely ready for a natural disaster, or a sudden illness, or an accident, or financial ruin. Not that any of us would wish these events on anyone, but we still need to be aware that they are a part of life. The question is not whether we will encounter disaster over the course of our lives. The question is only how we will handle it when it comes knocking.

Whether you’re religious or not, it’s a good idea to have a robust spiritual community that can support you in your times of need. This may mean close friends and relatives, it may mean a psychotherapist or counselor, and it may mean a priest, rabbi, imam, or any other religious leader with who you feel comfortable. We are not islands; we need other people to help us endure the hardship and celebrate the joyous moments. To that end, if you are connected to a religious tradition it’s a good idea to find a corresponding community that will stand by you through the good and the bad.

Do some research about local religious events.


There are so many churches and other religious institutions out there that you may not even know where to begin looking for the right one for you. Maybe you were raised in a Baptist church, but the one nearby is a Seventh Day Adventist community. Or maybe you’re more connected to an Episcopalian tradition but are interested in the philosophies of a Unitarian church. It can all get a little bit confusing.

The good news is that you can do some research, have some conversations, and make an informed decision on something that works for you. Religious leaders tend to be very open to speaking with potential congregants, and you should be able to set up meetings with local pastors, clerics, or priests with very little trouble. If you just want to sit in on a church event to see if it feels like the right atmosphere, check out local church bulletins for information about events that may be of interest to you. After all, you’ll want to know if the community feels welcoming or not.

Find like-minded groups to join.


Sometimes you may want advice about how to handle a particular situation, but you don’t have quite the right friends to turn to. For example, if you’re looking for advice for planning a family when you’re older you might be concerned that your friends may be judgmental or misunderstand your motives for having a child. You also might just not have friends with useful expertise on the topic.

Many local religious institutions host group sessions for people who are facing similar situations. Whether that’s a TTC (trying to conceive) support group, mommy and me classes, Alcoholics Anonymous, or any other group that may be of use to you, take a look online at what your local church is offering. It may help to talk things through with someone, or a group of people, with a similar spiritual outlook.

Consider therapy as an option for support.

Religious leaders can provide a great deal of support to their followers, but sometimes it’s time to call in someone who has expertise in the human psyche. Contrary to many stigmas surrounding mental health treatment, a psychotherapist or psychiatrist can actually do a great deal of good for someone who is struggling or going through a hard time. Even your priest or minister will likely tell you to call a therapist or counselor if they believe that the situation is dire.

You may be nervous or unsure of what to expect during your first therapy session, and that’s completely natural. It can be nerve-racking to open up to a stranger about your traumas, or grief, or desires, or secrets. Remember, you can take it as slowly as you’d like. Also, the first therapist you work with may not be the right fit. You may go to a few different sessions before you feel like you’ve found a person who you can work with. What’s important is to take the first step towards healing.

Reach out to those in need.


Sometimes, following the Golden Rule is a great way to feel better about the crises you may be facing. By doing for others as you would want them to do for you in your time of need you’re opening yourself up to human connections. Plus, you’re helping out others in need. By setting that example you’re sure to feel better and to make someone else feel better as well. It’s a win-win situation.

For example, you could join a program that writes letters to incarcerated people. You may not know this, but people in jail love reading letters. Many incarcerated individuals face a great deal of isolation; some may be hundreds of miles from their family members, making it nearly impossible to receive visitors. Others may be estranged from loved ones due to the circumstance of their arrest and conviction. Regardless of how the incarcerated person has ended up all alone, receiving some kind words from another person can breathe life and hope back into their lives. By reaching out to a person in jail you may find the connection you didn’t know you needed, and you’ll be giving another person the gift of friendship. There is truly no greater gift you can give.

Understanding that, eventually, hardship visits us all can be a hard pilot swallow. Nevertheless, it’s a truth we must bear. Instead of burying your head in the sand and hoping you never need to call upon a religious or spiritual community to keep you afloat during the hard times, act now. Find a person or a group of people who you can feel a connection to, reach out to a spiritual or religious leader who you can trust, and consider finding therapy to work through underlying issues standing in your way. You won’t regret it.

5 Things You Can Be Doing to Slow Climate Change

Climate change refers to significant shifts in weather patterns. It isn’t synonymous with global warming, although these terms are often used that way. Climate change includes global warming. Human activities that produce greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming, which changes the climate.

The effects of changes to the climate are widespread and catastrophic. As glaciers melt, sea levels rise. Temperatures are rising, and frost-free seasons are increasing. Consequently, more regions are suffering from droughts and prolonged fire seasons, which led to some of the worst fire seasons on record in California and Australia in 2020. Warmer temperatures are also enabling more hurricanes to form and strengthen and preventing hurricanes from breaking up once they reach land. The number and severity of storms are increasing, with 2020 producing the highest number of tropical cyclones on record. Environmental damage has severe implications for people and the planet, but you can take some crucial steps to do your part to slow climate change.

1. Support organizations dedicated to protecting the environment.

Join organizations that are fighting to improve the climate. Get involved with the Climate Leadership Council. The founding members include environmental leaders such as theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and Christiana Figueres, the former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Climate Leadership Council focuses on supporting a viable climate solution to reduce greenhouse gases. Their membership includes business leaders, underscoring the importance of working with businesses to find practical solutions to environmental issues without shutting businesses down or significantly increasing operating costs. Whether you’re interested in volunteering or providing financial sponsorship, you can help slow environmental damage from global warming by supporting organizations dedicated to the cause.

You can also invest in mental health support for individuals affected by the repercussions of global warming. Farmers experience stress and financial hardship when crops are destroyed by drought. Individuals who’ve lost their homes to floods and wildfires also suffer from emotional strain. When people are affected by threats to their livelihood or primary needs, such as shelter, it can be hard for them to focus on environmental issues. Find therapists who understand the implications of climate-related disasters and offer in-person therapy, teletherapy, or online therapy sessions. Promote these counselors to people who are adversely affected by environmental issues. If you’re able, you may also be able to finance therapy for individuals who can benefit from counseling.

2. Protect natural habitats, plant trees, and keep oxygen-producing plants.

Pollution causes global warming. Burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide. When carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, they absorb solar radiation. Without a buildup of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases, solar radiation would drift into space. When toxins accumulate in the atmosphere, they trap the radiation in, which causes temperatures to rise. In turn, growing seasons increase, which also affects air quality. Longer growing seasons result in more pollen being produced. Tropical storms cause flooding, which produces mold that’s circulated in the air. Consequently, more people have asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

Low oxygen levels are also contributing to global warming because oxygen typically creates a protective barrier that reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the earth. When oxygen levels are low, more sunlight breaks through the atmosphere. The sunlight produces water vapor—which is a greenhouse gas—because it causes water to evaporate.

Keeping potted patio plants and houseplants is an effective way to improve air quality and increase oxygen levels. Plants such as Lady Palm, Umbrella Plant, and an assortment of palm plants are some of the plants that most effectively improve air quality. Plants absorb carbon dioxide, which means they reduce the carbon dioxide levels in the air.

They also absorb light and water, which reduces the amount of sunlight trapped inside the earth’s atmosphere and water volume that vaporizes. As a result, investing in potted patio plants is one of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plants also produce oxygen. The extra foliage can also shield your windows from sunlight. Fill your patio with plants to reduce the amount of full sun that enters your home. This will help keep your home’s temperatures cool in the summer. If you’re a homeowner, care for your trees or add trees and annuals, such as geraniums, to your outdoor space. By extracting harmful elements from the air, plants improve air quality and prevent environmental damage from greenhouse gases.

Deforestation increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the air and reducing oxygen volume. Trees ingest carbon and store it. Like plants, trees also produce oxygen. This means you can reduce carbon dioxide levels in the air by planting trees.

3. Reduce the amount of energy you use.

Your energy consumption is one of the primary ways you contribute to global warming, which is why reducing your energy consumption is one of the most effective ways you can protect the environment.

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that heat and cool your home consume a lot of energy. You can reduce your heating bills by investing in energy-efficient windows. Search for “Grand Traverse window replacement” to find a window installation company in your area that specializes in energy-efficient window replacement. Old windows are drafty, and the unwanted airflow increases the demand for heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Replacing your windows will prevent unwanted airflow and reduce the amount of time your HVAC unit operates, which will save you money and reduce the number of fossil fuels you’re burning.

You can expand your energy conservation by reducing your hot water tank’s temperature by 20°F. Use cold water when you’re brushing your teeth and washing clothes. These steps will decrease the volume of hot water you use, which will reduce the amount of time your water heater will need to operate. You can expand your savings by decreasing showers by one minute per person per shower, which will conserve water and further reduce your hot water consumption.

Conserve more energy by focusing on cold meals, such as salads, during the warm summer months so you don’t have to run appliances that will heat your home. You can also use a barbecue for cooking outside. Barbecuing food will decrease the amount of time you run your stove and oven, which will reduce the amount of time your AC unit needs to run to cool your home.

4. Invest in renewable energy and energy-efficient appliances.

Renewable energy is more affordable than ever, and you can help slow climate change by switching to renewable energy sources. Although this could mean investing in solar panels, it can also mean researching energy companies to find companies focusing on renewable energy sources. Solar and wind power are the leading sources of renewable energy. When you purchase your energy from companies using solar and wind power, you’ll decrease fossil fuel demand. This helps reduce the volume of carbon emissions and reduces global warming.

Additionally, you can expand your impact on the environment by investing in energy-efficient appliances. Energy-efficient appliances use less energy than older appliances.

5. Reduce your carbon footprint.

Every person produces greenhouse gases. The amount of greenhouse gases you create is your carbon footprint. You can help the environment by reducing the size of your carbon footprint.

One way to reduce your carbon footprint is by recycling. When people recycle, they decrease the demand for resources, preventing deforestation, and the environmental damage caused by drilling for oil and manufacturing products. Recycling also reduces the volume of materials entering landfill sights, which can cause environmental damage and produce greenhouse gases.

Reducing food waste can also reduce your carbon footprint. Plan meals carefully and reduce the amount of food waste you create by freezing leftovers. When you do have food waste, compost it instead of adding it to the garbage going to the landfill. Bagged food waste rots in the bag and produces methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas. Composting allows the soil to absorb the nutrients, and the food doesn’t rot and produce greenhouse gases.

Supporting organizations devoted to protecting the environment, growing plants and trees, reducing energy consumption, investing in renewable energy, and reducing your carbon footprint are effective ways of slowing climate change. You can have a significant impact on the environment with some simple lifestyle adjustments. While you’re helping the environment, you can enjoy the benefits of cleaner air and reduced energy expenses.

Common Triggers for Depression in 2020

There is no question that 2020 has been a tumultuous year. Even with no personal issues to contend with, nearly everyone you’ve encountered over the past twelve months has been dealing with distress, be it on a global or local level. From medical fears to stock market drops, the year has brought one challenge after another. For many people, this constant state of anxiety and uncertainty has led to another medical concern: symptoms of depression.

Medical Concerns


With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to make headlines, it’s no surprise that medical concerns are a top trigger for depression symptoms in 2020. On a global scale, people are worried about contracting the virus, having their loved ones test positive, or how they’ll seek care for other issues amidst the crisis. But the fear of diagnosis isn’t the only cause for concern when it comes to health in the past year. Medical costs, particularly in America, are extensive. From affording your copay to awaiting your total at the pharmacy checkout, healthcare costs are a stressor that can literally be a matter of life or death.

While it can’t remedy more systemic issues associated with healthcare costs, RX discount coupons can help you get the lowest price on medicine and dread your trip to the pharmacy a little less. Before you visit your pharmacist, spend some time browsing the available coupons for whatever medicine has been prescribed to you. You’ll find that plenty of local pharmacies and chains like Walmart and Walgreens will accept a coupon or discount card for popular medications, making sure you’ll pay less than the retail price whenever you head to the pharmacy.

Financial Stress


Pharmacy and medical costs haven’t been the only financial stressor to hit many people through 2020. In the United States alone, a crashing stock market, surging unemployment rate, and lacking government intervention have come together to form a recession that could distress anyone. Whether you watched as your net worth and portfolio sank or you struggled to afford essentials as grocery store shelves were wiped clean and medical costs rose, this year has been enough of a financial roller coaster to arouse symptoms of depression in anyone.

If you’re hoping to regain some financial security in the new year, an alternative investing platform like Yieldstreet can help. After your initial minimum investment, you’ll find high yields and ease of use go hand-in-hand with this investment opportunity, even if you’re new to the stock market. Whether you’re starting with one of the asset classes in the Yieldstreet Prism Fund or diving in with single asset offerings, you’ll find that Yieldstreet complaints are few and far between—and your annual return might help ease some of the depression symptoms caused by financial concerns.

Political Strife


In the U.S. and abroad, politics have been at the forefront of 2020’s news cycle. From the divisive presidential election in the United States to global leaders’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, protests against inequality and police violence, and the ever-lurking climate change crisis, people around the world have watched headlines and debated popular issues over the dinner table.

While citizens can’t single-handedly revolutionize international relations and eliminate the stress of political uncertainty, they can take steps to make a difference, however small they might seem. Participating in demonstrations to support causes you believe in, donating to or volunteering with organizations making change, signing petitions, and sharing information to raise awareness are all steps you can take to feel a bit more in-control amongst a convulsive political climate.

Changes in Routine


For those who thrive on routine, 2020 has been a direct line to depression symptoms and other distress. Daily commutes became a relic of the past for many workers while trips to the gym and weekly brunch dates or girls’ nights out faded into memories. People working from home found that the ritual of getting up and getting ready for the day fell to the wayside while those facing joblessness were faced with a loss of their former routine almost entirely. Even something as simple as going to a doctor’s appointment was a changed process.

While you can’t simply return to your former routines in most cases, you can work to create new ones. Give yourself a pseudo-commute by taking a walk around the block before signing into work. Sign up for a virtual class or schedule a non-negotiable home workout for yourself in place of your daily trip to the gym. Enjoy a warm cup of coffee in your favorite cozy spot after work each day. By regaining a sense of routine, however minor, you’ll decrease the sense of uncertainty that triggers many symptoms of depression.



Even if you’ve been isolating with a group of people, it’s hard been hard not to get a bit lonely throughout 2020. Holidays and events have passed without the pomp and circumstance you’ve been accustomed to. When you do see friends or loved ones, it’s from six feet apart and behind a mask, or through a screen. If you’ve been quarantined alone, you’re left with even less of a sense of connection.

While it doesn’t replicate face-to-face interactions perfectly, virtual gatherings can make a difference in your feelings of isolation or loneliness. Set up Zoom drinks with your friends or register for an online event—with so many people isolated, there’s no shortage of interesting experiences to attend, from poetry readings to trivia nights.



For those who’ve lost loved ones to COVID-19 or due to other causes, 2020 has been a uniquely grief-laden year. Losing a friend or family member over the past year has been accentuated by isolation—funeral attendance is limited or virtual and many don’t get the chance to say goodbye. But death isn’t the only cause of grief that’s littered 2020. People are grieving on an international level: thinking of those who’ve been lost, the events that would have been, and the idea of their future that, for many, has been snatched away by furloughs or illness.

Whether you’re one of the many people dealing with depression from grief or other 2020 triggers, take the time you need to grieve your losses. As much as possible, try to preserve grieving rituals and seek out support from family members, friends, or support groups. If you’re dealing with especially negative feelings, consider talking to a therapist or psychiatrist to work through your feelings.

Whichever of 2020’s challenges triggered your mental health concerns, there is one piece of good news: seeking help from therapists for depression or other conditions has never been easier. Amidst the chaos, this year has also seen a rise in teletherapy and other forms of virtual medicine, making cognitive behavioral therapy and other treatments more accessible—and affordable—than ever before. If you’ve faced loss, loneliness, or other hardships in the past year, finding a good therapist is the first step to feeling better in the new year.

Whatever sorts of grief, medical or financial concerns, or other stressors 2020 has brought you, it might bring you some comfort to know that you aren’t the only one dealing with depression symptoms or more general despair. Perhaps the most reassuring aspect, though, is this: like every calendar year that’s come before, 2020 will come to an end.

4 Tips for Making Yourself Feel Better

Have you been feeling not quite like yourself lately? Maybe your energy levels are low, you aren’t sleeping well, or you are struggling with anxiety and depression. All of these symptoms can have a damaging impact on your confidence, your mood, and your productivity.

Or perhaps your back and shoulder pain has been increasingly worse and you’ve been struggling to keep your chronic pain under control. Whether you just need a good laugh and a change of routine or you are in need of a more serious shift in your routine or health care, here are a few tips that contribute to improving your well-being on a daily basis. From a clean diet and exercise to an updated look and self-love, always remember the importance of investing in yourself.


1. Invest in your physical health.

When you’re feeling unwell, one of the first ways this manifests is in your physical wellness. Prioritizing physical health is something that can be highly beneficial. Although it can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise when you’re struggling with depression or feeling down, research has shown just how effective physical activity can be at easing anxiety. Regular exercise can help combat depression by releasing endorphins that enhance your positive mindset and by taking your mind off your worries. Whether you run, cycle, hike, do yoga, take a boxing class, dance, or even just go for a walk around the neighborhood, getting your body moving can contribute greatly to helping you feel better.

Another area you may consider exploring is a type of physical therapy. If you struggle with chronic pain or any sort of physical ailment, your day-to-day may be impacted. It can be exhausting to constantly be in pain. Explore various treatment options for your specific needs. Massage therapy or acupuncture may help relieve back pain or ease achy joints. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may consider a more rigorous course of treatment to address your back, spine, or neck pain. Consult an expert for medical advice, such as seeking neck, back, and spine care in Mount Laurel, NJ, for advice on the next best steps. By working with a specialist, you can come up with a treatment plan for pain management that will prioritize your health and improve your general well-being.


2. Explore a natural diet and supplements.

If you’re feeling under the weather, either physically or mentally, you might consider changing your diet. What you put into your body has a great impact on your energy levels and your mood. Although each body requires a different diet, a general rule of thumb to follow is to focus on natural, unprocessed foods.

Think leafy greens, a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, seeds, whole grains, nuts, and healthy fats such as avocado and fish. Berries can help reduce inflammation and are rich in antioxidants, which are thought to combat stress and potentially lower depression. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, and sunflower, and pumpkin seeds not only are great sources of protein but also provide tryptophan, which produces mood-boosting serotonin. In addition to emphasizing a wholesome diet, natural supplements are beneficial to improving how you feel. From herbal capsules such as turmeric to vitamins like vitamin D and C, supplements can be a natural, chemical-free boost.

Depending on your needs, you might explore CBD products that can have a variety of benefits. Found in the hemp plant, CBD is a natural extract that is being increasingly explored as an alternative to alleviating achy joints and anxiousness. CBD comes in many forms, available as oil, creams, and edibles. Whether you are experiencing occasional nervousness or are struggling with a sore back, consider trying out miracle CBD gummies and incorporating them into your daily health routine. THC-free is made with all-natural ingredients and these gummies are a tasty and easy way to feel better both physically and mentally. Be sure and try out different strains to find the best CBD products for your needs.


3. Change up your look and boost your confidence.

If you’re in need of a mood lifter, sometimes it can be as simple as changing your style. Although your self-worth should come from the inside, updating your wardrobe and changing your look can be a fantastic way to boost your confidence. You may want to just get a simple haircut or buy a new outfit. Or perhaps you want to make a more drastic change by trying out a new hair color or changing your style dramatically.

Updating your wardrobe can also be a fun and easy way to improve your mood. If you’re wanting to change your look entirely, flip through some look books, consult magazines and your favorite style gurus for some inspiration, or maybe even work with a stylist for some guidance. Figure out if you want to change your wardrobe for work, for every day, or for dressing up and going out. Invest in staple pieces, such as womens dresses, jumpsuits, and jackets, that can translate well from the office to the street to a dressy event.

Choose pieces that are comfortable, stylish, flattering, and timeless so you can wear them for multiple purposes and seasons. Sneakers are both comfortable and stylish and fall in line with classic street style. You can also never go wrong with a little black dress or maxi dress. And don’t be afraid to add in a statement piece to help define your own unique style.

4. Invest in your mental well-being.

At the core of making yourself feel better is learning to love yourself. This comes in many shapes and forms but ultimately boils down to investing in your mental and emotional well-being. There are many simple ways you can achieve this by incorporating small, positive changes into your daily life.

If you’re feeling like you’re in a rut, then it might be time to change your routine. This might be as simple as making an effort to spend time outside each day. Fresh air and connecting to nature are immensely healing and can improve your well-being for the long and short-term. Changing your routine also may involve a more drastic change, such as switching careers or moving cities (or even countries). By letting go of fear and embracing change as potential opportunities, you will have a much more positive mindset.

There is an abundance of other activities that can help shift your mindset and improve your well-being. Set aside time at least once a week just for yourself. Treat yourself to your favorite meal, a new book, or a spa day. Anything that brings you a small joy.

For the longer term, you may want to keep a gratitude journal, where you write down positive events that happened during your day or certain elements in your life that you are grateful for. Writing them down makes them more concrete and serves as a reminder of what you do have in your life as opposed to focusing on what you don’t have.

Meditation and breathwork can also be hugely transformational. These simple grounding activities help you to become present, connect to yourself, and become more in tune with your internal dialogue. By sharpening this awareness, you can start to recognize and move past negative thoughts and begin to shift your perspective towards a more positive one.


5 Keys to Reaching Your Fitness Goals

Whether you’re a burgeoning bodybuilder or want to slim down by springtime, setting health and fitness goals isn’t solely a New Year-fueled event. Fitness goals vary by person, and like those people, come from every shape and size. Focusing on muscle growth, fat loss, increased endurance, or simple health improvements, improving your body and mind through achievable fitness goals is always a good idea. But just setting goals isn’t enough to see progress, much less a significant impact. A few tools and tricks in your fitness toolkit will fuel you through workouts, diet, and other weight loss or muscle growth efforts.

Track Your Progress


While your measures will vary by a goal, there’s almost always a way to track your progress toward them. You can track weight, of course, but measurements of key areas like your hips, waist, or neck are also popular options for following muscle growth or fat loss. Photographs are a particularly helpful option, too, especially if you typically struggle to see the changes in your body when you look in the mirror. Take the time to regularly snap a photo of yourself in a similar (or the same) outfit. For long-term goals or added privacy, a photo storage device can ensure your photos are secure and accessible throughout your journey so that you can compare your progress before and after without the need to keep track of an SD card. That way, when your friends enthuse over your new look, you can see yourself as they do.

Don’t Hyperfocus on the Scale


Even if your primary goal is weight loss, avoid the temptation to focus solely on the number that appears on your scale. From water retention to increased muscle mass, your body will undergo a series of changes—and a variety of weight fluctuations—throughout your fitness journey. If you’re only looking to the scale for reassurance, you’ll be discouraged when the number rises, even if your clothes are fitting better and you’re feeling yourself grow stronger. Remember: whether you find the right natural diuretic to minimize water weight or your body holds on to a few extra pounds as it gains muscle strength, if the number on the scales is rising, it isn’t always a bad thing.

Ease Any Issues That Arise


From injuries to edema, stumbling blocks can interfere with your fitness plans no matter how much you do everything the “right” way. Rest when your body needs it and try supplements like SwellNoMore to treat inflammation, swelling, and, of course, water retention and consequential weight gain. Soothing your swollen ankles after a heavy workout or even relaxing your puffy eyes after a poor night’s sleep, decreasing harmful inflammation in your body really will make a difference. By treating the less-than-fun symptoms that appear as you aim to reach your fitness goals, you’ll help your body to become healthier and stronger—making you happier in the process.

Keep Yourself Motivated


Even with clear markers of your progress, proper nutrients, and fewer symptoms than ever, you won’t always feel like working out. Keep yourself motivated by booking that dance-workout class you’ve been meaning to try or treating yourself to your favorite protein shake after beating your personal best. Remember: you don’t need to wait until you’ve met your big goals. Keep track of milestones along the way to stay encouraged and excited about your fitness plan.

Pay Attention to Your Diet


You might lose body fat and enhance muscle growth by adding regular workouts to your schedule but the best way to meet your fitness goals is to combine those workouts with proper diet and nutrition. Aim to highlight more natural ingredients in your meal plan, whether you’re chugging a protein shake on your way to the gym or cooking a fancy meal for date night.

When fruits, vegetables, and full grains don’t quite meet your needs, seek out natural supplements to add extra nutrients, and help you meet your goals⁠. Seeking out the best bodybuilding supplements, appetite-curbing workout shakes, or simple multivitamin can help supercharge your success. Incorporate whole foods as well as adding some high-quality supplements to your diet and watch your goals become a reality.

From battling edema and inflammation, striving for weight loss, or working to gain muscle mass, fitness goals vary. But, whether you’re a bodybuilder, training for a marathon, or just want to get through a yoga class effortlessly, you can reach those goals⁠—one supplement, workout, meal, and progress photo at a time.

How to Improve Efficiency and Quality in Your Health Company

In the health market, technology tends to move rather quickly. From a softgel manufacturer to a formulator, the supplement market, in particular, requires a great deal of attentiveness. Overall, brands and manufacturers need to work on ways to improve both quality and efficiency. Depending on your toolkit, this can be complicated. In some instances, you’ll need to work to ensure that your metrics and strategic priorities are in alignment.

Whether this involves OKR classroom sessions or a partnership with a top manufacturer, it’s important that you’re able to consistently achieve your key results. If you’d like to improve business efficiency, here’s what you need to know.

Goal-setting is paramount.


For your own organization, you need to keep a constant eye on your strategic priorities. While strategic priorities may seem simplistic, you need to consider results management whether you’re a startup or a pioneer in the industry. The easiest way to do so is through the OKR methodology. OKR, which stands for objectives and key results, is a framework for assessing productivity and making key business developments. Brands like Workboard even offer OKR coach training programs. An OKR training program combines classroom sessions and offline exercises that can benefit project managers, administrators, and general workday ventures.

If you’re looking to streamline each workday, you may want to consider becoming an OKR coach through an OKR coach certification program like that offered by Workboard and similar brands. A certification shows that you’re a global leader of the OKR mindset and helps you hold your business to an enterprise standard. If you’re ready to consider a certification program, you should do so in addition to other continuing education programs to help ensure that you’re well-rounded.

The right manufacturer can aid efficiency.


If you’re not currently partnered with a highly reviewed softgel manufacturer, you may be doing your dietary supplement business a disservice. Whether you’re creating a fish oil softgel, supplemental tablets and capsules, or batches of powders, incorporating a supplement and softgel manufacturing supervisor can easily benefit your business. When you’re developing custom softgels and supplements, you want a formulator who can aid with the custom formulation and help organizations ensure clarity, purity, strength, and consistently high-quality products.

No matter your specialty, the right softgel manufacturing supervisor can help you make key business decisions and help you focus less on the minutiae of the development process. When you spend less time on quality assurance and maintenance, you’re able to focus your strengths on business development, growth, and expansion. This can help you hit a high point while you move past common manufacturing hiccups.

It’s a good idea to review the Glassdoor of a given manufacturer to determine its performance capabilities. After all, you want to ensure every single product batch matches your quality standards. It’s also helpful to find a manufacturer that acts more as an ongoing partner. This is beneficial when it comes time to develop new products and services. A collaborative partnership will only assist you in moving forward.

Trim the fat.

Many softgel and supplement manufacturers are too often bogged down with mundane business processes that could either be streamlined or cut out. Whether you’re operating out of Hamburg, Silicon Valley, or Redwood City, you need to ensure that you’re maintaining a smoother operation. Perhaps you could eliminate processes that slow you down or automate flavor adjustments for your gelatin or softgel products. Maybe you introduce quality control standards that help you verify clarity much more effectively. Take a moment to review your ongoing practices and find areas to trim.

Whether you’re pursuing OKR coach certification training or you’re partnering with a new softgel developer, it’s important that you find ways to enhance your existing structure. Health and wellness businesses require careful, precise adjustments to succeed. With these tips, you stand a chance at crafting a winning brand.

How The Pressures of Sexual Performance May Impact Members of the Gay Community Differently

Whether you’re single, with your partner, polyamorous, or in an open relationship, there’s a lot of stress that comes with sexual activity in the LGBTQ community. Trying to overcome issues with intimacy, difficulties with erectile dysfunction, or experiencing intercourse with the same sex for the first time, there’s just so much that can weigh on the mind that can ruin a moment.

It’s important to know you aren’t alone in these feelings. Gay couples and lesbian couples, and even singles in the LGBTQ community, have a harder time dealing with the pressure of sex than straight people and heterosexual couples.


Pursuing Therapy

Gay couples counseling by counselors who are also members of the LGBTQ community is the best way to get the affirmation we may need to discuss our issues without the need to translate because of sexual orientation.

The truth is gay couples and lesbian couples face relationship challenges but can be more apprehensive about seeking help because of the inability of others to identify with their specific relationship issues. This has made mental health such a dire focal point for LGBTQ persons.

Sexual and intimacy problems, like performance anxiety and troubles with stamina, can stem from deeper troubles within a gay relationship, like lack of trust and awkward and tense communication that comes from not giving attention to issues that have affected you both in the past.

Couples therapy can also cut through the tension of discussions about your sex life, like going from a monogamous relationship to an open one. This can sometimes be leaped into headfirst by same-sex couples without acknowledging certain issues before. This can lead to disagreement and even resentment about sexual partners.

Internalized Homophobia

LGBTQ sexual relations present unique challenges, and that includes overcoming discrimination within the community. Internalized homophobia can show up in the form of self-hatred, shame, fear, and bias. While this may seem harmless in thought sometimes, rejection on the basis of gender identity and skin color, to even weight and appearance, creates a vulnerability and uncertainty about oneself. This impacts self-esteem without a way to better understand where the big problem truly is.

That stress becomes internalized and leaves us unable to perform sexually, due to a lack of compassion. Stress has the greatest impact on a sexual encounter, making lasting longer in bed impossible, and can even lead to struggling with libido and the inability to have a satisfying orgasm.


Sexual Exploration

When exploring sexuality, there is certainly trepidation about trying new positions and expanding horizons romantically to find healthy ways to guarantee satisfaction while not sacrificing comfort for better sex life.

For gay men, the first time bottoming could be scary. Taking a deep breath is important to help you relax as you anticipate penetration. When exploring sex positions, be sure to find an angle that suits your partner’s penis. As for topping, it’s important to be understanding your partner’s sexual desire. Be sure to take into account ejaculatory control without sacrificing your partner’s comfort, monitoring thrust, and endurance.

For lesbians, gentle fingering to induce sexual pleasure is a good start, and you may want to increase tempo depending on your partner’s arousal levels. When it comes to penetration by strap-ons or the use of a vibrator, it’s important to maintain a strong pelvic floor. Kegel exercises can help to build strength while increasing sexual pleasure and raising sexual confidence.

Understanding each sex session and taking into account your own comfort and your partner’s will lead to great sex and a gratifying experience for everyone involved, taking your sex relationship to the next level.

Natural Ways to Manage Stress and Pain

Ongoing stress and chronic pain can drastically reduce your overall quality of life and impact both your mental and physical health. Frequent stress can lead to poor sleep patterns, poor diet, and high blood pressure. These symptoms can exacerbate or lead to obesity, heart disease, increased risk of certain cancers, and diabetes — among other serious diseases. Chronic pain can negatively impact your quality of life by itself while also causing increased stress levels, furthering lowering your quality of life.


Too often, people treat stress like a normal part of life while ignoring the health implications that it poses. However, you do not need to live with constant stress or chronic pain. Natural remedies can help alleviate ailments while boosting your overall health and encouraging better daily habits. While non of these suggestions will work immediately, when taken or practiced consistently, you will notice a marked improvement in both stress and pain over time.


1. Yoga



Yoga has been practiced throughout many cultures for generations. It is a combination of movement, stretching, balance, and mindfulness. There are many yoga forms so that can benefit you regardless of your age or physical condition.


You can partake in fast yoga, slow yoga, chair yoga, and hot yoga — to name a few. Yoga works by strengthening your core, which can help with balance, posture, and alignment. Strengthening your core can work to alleviate pain in different parts of the body. Yoga also involves a lot of stretching, which can help with overall muscle pain and stiffness. The practice of yoga involves a level of mindfulness that helps alleviate stress, increase gratitude, and lessen feelings of anxiety.


Check out the yoga classes in your area to reap the benefits of this amazing practice while tailoring to your specific needs. There are many yoga studios in Scottsdale, for example, with the senior population of this area experiencing yoga’s benefits for staying active and managing pain.


2. Hemp and CBD Products



Hemp and CBD products have been shown to help alleviate stress, occasional anxiety, and discomfort without the mental effects of THC. Plain Jane Hemp has created a high-quality, reputable CBD and hemp products line, including CBD cigarettes, hemp flower, CBD oil, and tinctures. These great products can help in many ways, and Plain Jane has made educating the public part of their mission with ample information on CBD, hemp, and its benefits on their website.


3. Meditation



The practice of meditation can increase mindfulness, gratitude, and serenity. Meditation is often part of yoga but can also be practiced in many other ways. There are many different forms of meditation that are utilized in both spiritual ways and non-spiritual. Meditation is practiced in every major religion throughout history and has been shown to help alleviate discomfort and speed up healing.


Meditation also can be as simple as sitting quietly in your car before working or a stressful meeting. Meditation can be done in a group setting with someone leading the practice, or you can listen to a guided meditation in the comfort of your home. There is no wrong way to meditate, as long as it brings you the inner peace intended.


4. Massage



Massage therapy is utilized in many different healthcare settings, including physical or occupational therapy. A licensed massage therapist can work with you to target pain areas and work the muscles to alleviate muscle pain. Different forms of massage utilize different tools and techniques, including deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, and hot stone massage. Getting a massage can also alleviate stress since it’s highly relaxing and forces you to stop moving and lay still for a period of time.