I have been a crazy plant lady for many years now, but it runs in my family. Both my mother and grandmother have homes filled with tropical plants, and it is from them that I inherited my first houseplants. But in 2020, the year of the Covid-19 pandemic, houseplants were all anyone could seem to talk about. So why this sudden surge that’s quickly become an addiction for so many? Here are a few reasons why houseplants have suddenly become so popular during this pandemic.
They Keep Us Company
Houseplants, similar to pets, are alive, but they cannot talk back to us. This makes them excellent listeners. While self-isolation and social distancing have left us all alone and locked up in our houses, we have our houseplants to keep us company. Despite the fact that they cannot actually speak, they DO communicate with us. They tell us if they are happy by sprouting a new leaf or flower. They droop when they are thirsty. Their leaves fall off when they are sick or uncomfortable. Because of these things, simply being alone in a room full of houseplants makes us feel a little less lonely.
They Make Us Focus On The Future
Even houseplants that go dormant in the winter still grow, no matter how slowly. Houseplants remind us to never stop growing, never stop living. While the pandemic might have turned our world upside down, our green friends continue to thrive and grow and change with the seasons. They may lose a leaf or get cut down, but they will grow again. Houseplants are an example of persistence and steadfastness, of never losing hope that we will come back from whatever problems we face.
They Have So Many Health Benefits
The health benefits of houseplants are numerous. They clean and detoxify the air inside of our homes. With the coronavirus pandemic being spread through the air, this makes owning a few air cleansing houseplants very appealing. Many plants are grown for their medicinal benefits as well, such as Aloe Vera and Lavender. A lot of herbs can also be grown indoors that are used to treat ailments all naturally.
They Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Just as houseplants benefit our physical health, they also offer respite for our mental health as well. Having a living plant inside our homes can reduce levels of anxiety and irritability. Studies have shown that houseplants can improve heart rate and blood pressure. They make us feel calmer and more at peace. Plants also make people happy. Flowering houseplants can be a great mood booster, especially for those battling seasonal depression during the winter.
Those on the hunt for a clipping of a rare houseplant will tell you there’s no better thrill in life. Groups are popping up all over the country filled with houseplant collectors looking to buy, sell or trade a clipping or two. With hundreds of varieties available, houseplants have become the latest treasure hunt prize. Some find themselves trying to collect all the different varieties of a single species. Others want a wide array of succulents and cacti. Some pride themselves in “rescuing” half dead houseplants from grocery store aisles. Once you get a taste of the world of raising houseplants, it’s nearly impossible to stop.
They Give Us a Sense of Accomplishment
Is there a better feeling in the world than growing something from nothing? Or bringing a plant back from the edge of death? The pride that comes along with growing lush, beautiful houseplants is unlike any other. In fact, bringing an over or underwatered plant back to it’s former glory is one of my favorite pastimes. There are so many things in life we can be proud of (raising three kids included) but none give us quite the satisfaction of seeing our hard work “grow.”
They Make Our Space Beautiful
Interior decorating using houseplants is one style that works for everyone, no matter your taste. This new outlet for creativity has opened the door for makers of plant stands, plant hangers, woven baskets,moss poles, trellises and more! A simple space filled with plants has now become the most desirable room in the house. With more people spending so much time in their homes due to the pandemic, it’s no wonder they want to make it the most beautiful space possible.
They Are So Easy to Care For
Unlike adopting a pet, which has been another popular pandemic craze, houseplants are easy to care for. They don’t require daily maintenance and some even thrive on neglect. A little bit of water and sunshine is all you need. While many are investing in grow lights and humidifiers, it’s definitely not a necessity. There is such a large range of plants from low to high maintenance that anyone can find one (or a few) that suit their schedule.
They Offer Us a Challenge
While the majority of houseplants are low maintenance, there are those few that no one can seem to keep alive. These infamous plants offer up a challenge to those houseplant gardeners who want to prove their worth. Cultivating the most beautiful and healthy Calathea or growing a tall Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree in your home gives you some bragging rights. Perhaps propagating is the challenge you seek? Growing new plants from cuttings or succulent leaves can be so rewarding… ifyou succeed.
They Don’t Break the Bank
While many addictions end up costing a fortune to maintain, raising houseplants doesn’t have to cost you anything at all. Grow an entire tree from a discarded avocado or fruit seed. In fact, you can grow almost anything from leftover vegetable scraps that would normally end up in the trash. Take a clipping from a friend’s plant, it costs them nothing to give it to you. If you have your own little collection of plants, look into propagating them and then trade them for new plants. While the houseplant accessory industry might be taking off, the truth is, you don’t need anything fancy to simply grow a plant.
These are just a few of the reasons why houseplants have become the latest pandemic craze. If you have another reason, please leave it in the comments! I firmly believe that anyone can grow houseplants, even the self-proclaimed “black thumbs.” And with all the all physical and mental health benefits of owning houseplants, why wouldn’t you? They are often easy to propagate, so you can get more from nothing. And when this pandemic is over and everyone goes back to their normal lives, you will have an urban jungle to enjoy for years to come.
Don’t know what to do during these uncertain times? Consider taking up one of these hobbies to help you cope with being in lockdown. Since Covid-19 spread all across the globe, we don’t have another alternative than to stay indoors. People are having real struggles dealing with their daily life routine, once the pandemic broke their personal habits and careers.
It’s inevitable to become bored, without actually knowing why, and this can have huge impacts on your mental health. Studies have shown that depression and anxiety have increased especially in the young adult generation since this pandemic struck our modern society.
You’ve already boosted your working-home station, did a number of workouts to keep the spirit up, and binge-watched all TV series that Netflix has to offer. So… what more is there to do? Don’t worry, today we’ll help you find out, with some incredible and productive hobbies to help you cope with quarantine. Get creative and keep your mind healthy!
This isn’t a general hobby that can be adapted to everyone. It’s a bit hard, especially if you don’t have a shop station where you can make any type of mess you like, for example, if you live in an apartment or in a cozy study. But if you happen to have enough space at your house, woodworking can be a total stress relief.
Are you getting sick and tired of that coffee table getting old in the middle of your living room? If you’re a handy person, you know that building something from scratch, with your own dedication and working-craft abilities, can seriously improve your personal achievements. Woodworking can be an option for those stressful and anxious days, since it takes some time and dedication while realizing that you’re creating something from nothing! It’s cheaper than buying a new desk and it’s totally worth it, having something home-made by yourself.
There are some DIY shops that can help you get all the materials you need, at cheap prices like this site. And there’s nothing more helpful than your friend “YouTube tutorials” to help you get started.
We’ve never really appreciated our grandmother’s work during childhood, but it turns out that knitting can be a huge stress reliever, while giving your room a whole new appearance. Being thorough isn’t always a flaw. Having a blanket made with creativity and caution can help be a great coping mechanism, for example. Being focused on tiny details can help your concentration and increase your serotonin levels, while your bed gets a whole new fancy look. If you have a birthday coming up, what a lovely way to deliver something home-made to a friend or family member.
Did you know you can make your own scented candles? Candles are totally trending right now and as you know, their scent can create a relaxing environment. If you do little research you can find cheap and environment-friendly ingredients that can also be recycled. Fragrance or essential oils are a tremendous improvement to revive your mood, energy and your sleep routine!
Like knitting, you can improve your concentration skills if you take a little time coloring or drawing. It’s a relaxing and fulfilling craft that can help you loosen up for a bit, and I’ll ensure you’ll lose track of time, while getting lost in the canvas.
If you’re not much of an artist, you can acquire drawings that are custom made and color them following the paint instructions, usually by numbers. This requires way more concentration and helps your brain to focus on one function only. Painting is one of the most relaxing hobbies to help you cope with feeling isolated.
If you’re looking for a mindfulness activity, calligraphy can be the answer. With a beginner’s tutorial, you can improve your hand-writing skills and fundamental practices of this art at home, while reconnecting with yourself. You can learn the functions of ink, dip-pen, or brushing writing while creating different shapes or primer strokes. A great hobby to relieve your brain from nowadays struggles.
Stay Home… Stay Safe!
As you can see, being at home can be really productive. There are always meditation and online therapy courses you can do, in order to keep your mind away for a bit while learning new skills that can be really helpful in the future. Discovering new passions gives you a sense of joy and fulfillment, and these activities can be the food your brain needs during this time indoors. Listen to what your mind has to say, and answer the call. It’s never too late to change your daily routines and discover new pleasures.
This guest post was submitted by Luke Zitterkopf from Parent Richly. You can view the original article here.
I like to visit with people everywhere I go. I am found at only the coolest hangouts. The grocery store, Target, and around our neighborhood. I sincerely enjoy visiting with people, oftentimes for selfish reasons because I don’t get the healthy amount of time to socialize that most adults take for granted.
Once I became a stay at home dad I was able to fully appreciate the value in a plain old no computer and no phone type of interaction with another human being. Or maybe the Covid-19 event has already given us an appreciation for visiting in person. Either way I value the time people spend talking with me.
Anymore it is hard to have a no phone conversation with adults. Phones are difficult for many people to ignore even for a few minute conversation. Sure, I would like folks to have better manners and at least put their phone on silent, but hey, what if the hospital is calling and you need to go perform an emergency operation right away! I poke fun at the issue but seriously too many of us are missing out on actually listening to what other people are saying while being prepared for the ever important call or notification.
In my view there is a great risk of losing the art of the in person conversation. Partly due to phones but partly because we are forgetting to live in the moment and value what is going on in the present. If we cannot place a greater emphasis on listening to each other in person, what more important things can there be for us to do? Go back to our work or checking social media? Would we rather read someone’s post on Facebook than visit with them in person? Food for thought. One day I will be the gray haired guy at the family event telling all the kids about back when people used to talk to each other using just their voices. It was an amazing time!
How Does This Relate to Covid 19 and Homeschool?
Since late March I have had many conversations with people who see us out around town with our three kids. They cannot help themselves to ask one of the kids “Do you miss being in school?” The reactions from all three of our kids are priceless because they are being asked something akin to “Do you miss traveling in outer space?”
Our kids have a big smile and they laugh a little bit. They do answer the question and say “We don’t go to school. We do homeschool.” I suppose our kids should develop a more complete answer and maybe keep the laughter to a minimum. Maybe they should provide more information such as the historical context of their homeschooling resume from day one. They learn at home and in the real world. But that would be a crazy thing to do, wouldn’t it?
I am sincerely interested in other people’s lives. When people ask the kids and I about homeschool I take the question seriously. I let the kids give their own answer but I make an effort to fill in the blanks when a person is really wanting to know more. I want to not only answer their question but I want to help them realize that homeschool is something any parent can provide if they choose to.
It is challenging to give a complete yet concise answer about choosing homeschool. There is no short answer to questions about homeschool. So many factors will influence what homeschool looks like for a parent and their child. Is Covid 19 and the schools being closed or converted to online a good reason to start homeschooling? Not necessarily. But they are a starting point to realizing that there is probably a better way.
There is a better way for many parents with homeschool but I advise every parent to know up front that homeschool is a big commitment of their time. It is also a big lifestyle change for a parent to be at home full time, and kids will need time to make the transition mentally and socially to a homeschool life. It can be a big change for the positive but it takes time for all the dust to settle.
One of the benefits of living the homeschool life is that I have a great answer for the often asked question of what homeschool is all about. This way my answer sounds as though it is narrated by Morgan Freeman. So rich, so masterful. Well maybe I don’t sound that good but maybe I am still a voice for sanity and a beacon of hope for those wanting to leave the public school system. Those wanting to live a better family life that is free of kids living within the confines of the public education system. A system of mass education. Sounds kind of sinister. And it is!
Be free and live a richer life where the learning is made for the child and not the child made to fit the learning.
I Don’t Know Much But I Know About Homeschool
I am honored every time someone wants to visit with me and as a result they hear my story. And thank you as well for reading about my story here. Before I answer the question about homeschool I like to give a short bio. It adds greater context to my answers.
My bio looks like this. Christian. Father of three kids. Homeschool facilitator.* Stay at Home Dad. Husband. Tennis Coach. Fairly bad tennis player. *note the use of the word facilitator. I have an aversion to the word teacher. More on that in a later post.
As far as the title of this post, here’s the number one question I field from the Covid 19 school closures. This is where every parent needs to know they hold the power to determine what learning and “school” will involve. If you have been considering homeschool and want a little motivation to move forward with it, this post is just what you need to hear!
#1 Most Asked Question During Covid 19 School Closures –“How are you guys doing with the school closures?”
Shocking question, right! I feel the best answer to this question starts at the beginning and works forward with additional details. So it begins with a statement. It goes like this. “We are doing great because we don’t go to any schools.” Once the initial shock of my answer wears down a bit I continue the dialogue.
Not that people are shocked negatively but they are more in a state of surprise, and in some cases jealousy! The good kind of jealousy. As they think about the bullsh—t that is often part of most public school environments. They want to get out and who can blame them! But let us not digress, back to answering the school closures and how do we live without the public schools question.
Once I let the cat out of the bag that we are not part of the school system people are often paying close attention to any details I present. Curiosity is peaked and there is a fair enough question in most people’s minds. They wonder, rightfully so, two big questions.
“How do you do homeschool?”
and most people’s common fear of
“Do you have to report to the state what you are doing?”
Before answering either question I start the conversation with an overall context as to what our lives are all about as a family placing no emphasis on the aspect of what school our kids attend. This is an important part for setting the stage for why we are homeschool by default.
Most important is we are Christian and that has the most influence for why or why not we make certain choices. We are blessed to have children and it is our responsibility to raise them in a way that honors God. As such, we have the liberty and freedom to give the biblical perspective of truth in everything our kids learn. They are shown that not all information is true. And not all intentions are good. This sounds a bit dark but in reality our jobs as parents is to equip our kids in preparation for them being on their own. And that means they must be able to think for themselves.
An essential part to good thinking is sorting out what is true and what is an opinion.
With biblical perspective to our learning at home we have our kids practice seeing all information from the lens of truth and morality as defined by God. This reality is the short answer of why we homeschool. A longer list of reasons why are covered in posts tagged homeschool.
Nearly every person I meet is intrigued that our family is homeschooling. I can understand why it may seem fascinating to the casual observer. It is different. It is a big commitment. It often requires a stay at home dad or mom. For all of these reasons I feel it is critical to start with the why and then progress to the how.
More information about the why part of my answer I often describe our daily lives in terms of living in a balanced way. This is important to our family and to provide a rich life for our kids.
We start the morning with all three of our kids having breakfast together and deciding what activities to do first. And I am not talking about the “activities” of doing worksheets for hours at a time in a classroom. Activities at our house include reading a book of their choice, painting, playing outside, working on math puzzles or going to tennis practice. Other times our activity is making a grocery trip to Costco. We almost live at Costco with our frequent visits to buy food for our family of five.
A more complete answer to “How are you guys doing with the school closures” involves painting the picture of our kids’ living a balanced life where the learning takes place in a natural way to the student. This is a totally different approach than the forced feeding style of a public “education” system.
Our family lives each day in the real world and we learn with every opportunity that is part of our day. We do not have a separation of life that would include going to a school building to “learn.” We live and thereby we learn. The real life application of any form of knowledge is natural and obvious. There is not a time when any of the kids or myself are wondering why we are learning something new. We learn because our brains are naturally hungering for information and we want to make better sense of the world around us.
The approach to a child learning naturally is in direct opposition to that of a public education system. For our kids and family the learning is part of living. We do not have a separate time for learning and there is no separate time for learning. Life is our learning laboratory.
We have the freedom to choose learning materials that are best suited to each of our children’s needs. If you have not already encountered the term, the public education system uses the term curriculum for learning materials and areas of study. It sounds more academic using the term curriculum. As though a group of the world’s best minds are all sitting in a room debating about the newest and best curriculum. Funny, in the old days it was called studying and learning when the opportunities for learning presented themselves. Which happens to be every day, even to this present day!
When people discover you are doing homeschool they will often ask about what curriculum you are using. If you are familiar with the movie The Matrix you can think of curriculum as a pleasant state of ignorance blue pill. I recommend you take the red pill. Though it may be initially unpleasant you and your child can see learning as it ACTUALLY IS versus a place to send your child for most of their young lives. For our family, the thought of the state spending more time with our kids than we do AND being the primary source for presenting are reinforcing most of what they learn is chilling.
I personally feel the term curriculum is synonymous with programming material. As in, program everyone the same way. Sinister much! Maybe I am too sensitive but I take this issue very seriously. Every child deserves better and more personalized care than mass programming. But hey, if it’s good enough for the state it should be good enough for your kids, right? Of course not and we all know better. But making the switch from public school to homeschool is nonetheless a little intimidating. At least until you see there is nothing but freedom on the other side. The freedom comes at the cost of your time and considerate choices for your child’s learning opportunities. But you are truly free. Free from the directives of what other people insist is best for your child. How ludicrous a concept, yet the public education system is big and they will not be going away without a big fight. They are too big to fail. So we can do our part and not send our kids there!
Proverbs 22:6: Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Math sheets with all the basics, reading comprehension pages with questions about the text, short stories, science principles and experiments, geography and the list goes to infinity. Anything we want to practice and learn. We move on when the child is proficient. Which leads back to the question of reporting back to the state. For some of us, including me, we think of Darth Vader strolling around the bridge of the Death Star.
Each state has different laws and requirements. In our state of WA, we must declare with our local public school district that we will be homeschooling our child. After that letter is sent to the local district, that state of WA will mail a test for our child to complete and we mail it back to the state. That’s it. Check with your state to determine your requirements to be in legal compliance with doing homeschool. After that you are officially free to provide a learning environment for your children. You have the privilege to provide learning that is integrated into everyday life. And you have the essential room needed to fit the learning in ways that best meets the unique needs of your child.
The commentary I usually provide for “how do you homeschool” is to make the clear distinction between homeschool and public school. When done well homeschool is kryptonite to public school. A brief list of versus attributes:
Class based on age
No class, individual learning at own pace
Learning material, AKA curriculum, chosen by the Department of Education
Learning material chosen by student in conjunction with parent
Student is fed information
Student feeds themselves information
Student is asked to recite information
Student is asked to apply the information
Student receives grades for homework
No such thing as homework, all work is at home
Grade is received at the end of class or year
Student is asked to correct their work until it is correct
Grades are given on a curve from the student population
Assessment of the student’s work is based upon their best effort and completeness of answers
A failing grade means repeating the class/material
The student stays with the material until they understand
Exact amounts of time per day are applied to studying mandatory curriculum
Proportionate time is used for the student to learn the material and move on
For a more complete study please see the book by Mary Pride, School Proof. It is not only insightful but it is written with bright humor throughout. A must read for those wanting a guide to what homeschooling means.
My work with homeschool has proven to me and our family how it can be used to meet the needs of a student better than any group educational system or school. One of the best ways to convey the message for any of us, including myself that does not have a homeschool background is to think about learning a new language.
We can read books about German, listen to an instructor talk about German dialect and composition best practices, and take tests to see what we can remember about the subject. This would be comparable to taking a class at a school.
To put the same goal of learning German in the homeschool approach, one choice would be to install the Babel app on a phone or computer and practice the language with an interactive program. The next step would be to locate a native or fluent German speaking person in your community and ask if they would be willing to speak with the student for one hour per week. Hopefully this person would be willing to accept free lunch for their work. If not, Babel allows for practice speaking but a real live person would be more fun. An additional step would be to watch YouTube and listen to a guide that is providing tours through Germany while speaking in German. The student can go from learning the very basics all the way to practicing fluency.
All of this without a school, class, formal “teacher”, or grades. Homeschool should probably apply for an official name change in the dictionary to Home Based Learning. Wait, that’s a bit too fancy, too academic. Maybe we should just call it Learning.
Did this post encourage you or help with homeschool ideas? Please let us know! Leave a comment below.
Luke Zitterkopf is a writer and parent coach. He lives in the Pacific Northwest in Spokane Valley, WA. Luke provides insight and coaching on homeschooling, parenting, and individual personal development. When he is not writing or responding to audience questions he spends time coaching youth tennis. Luke responds to as many messages and emails as time allows and he believes that the only dumb question is the one that is never asked. Website: www.parentrichly.com Pinterest:@Luke_Zitterkopf Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/parent.richly.9
Could you live without your smartphone these days? Some people can’t. It seems we have become a nation that has our phones attached to our hands for the majority of our waking hours. Of course, this isn’t because we are constantly texting or talking to someone, this is because our smartphones can literally contain our lives. With that in mind, it is worth exploring how dependent we are on these devices, and what we can do with them. Maybe it will inspire you to make more of your phone in the new year, or perhaps motivate you to use your time more wisely.
We all know that meal planning can save us money when done right, but did you know your smartphone can help you stick to it? Not only could you record your weekly meals in there, but it could also help you generate a list to take to the store. There are even apps that will provide you with recipes by typing in a few select ingredients. Having all of this information at a touch of a button can save you a lot of time, and also save that money.
Streaming our favorite films and TV programs
Sometimes it’s hard to get that time to watch your favorite programs or films, especially as a busy mom. So you take your moments where you can, and your smartphone can really help with that. Having applications like Netflix could help you do that. Enabling you to even watch something fun at any moment, even when you are awake at night during a night feed.
Let’s go online shopping
Online shopping is a little dangerous for any shopaholic amongst us, but let’s be honest here, our phones have made it so much simpler. With our favorite stores having their dedicated applications, it’s now even easier to check out when a sale is on, or you just have to have that new pair of shoes.
Cash back, discount codes, and voucher apps
There are even more applications that can help save and make you money. Now with cash back apps there for every time you shop online, and even discount and vouchers online to help you make those all-important savings. Your phone not only helps you buy the products but save and make in the process.
Applications for children
Smartphones have been a parents savior. From letting your children watch videos online when you are wanting to eat a meal in peace in a restaurant, through to letting them play games that help stimulate their minds when you need time to do the washing or ironing. Also children end up having their own devices, which can be a worry, but also you might need to consider apps where you canview the location history of your child’s iPhone. As long as children are not spending too much time on them in one sitting, they can really benefit from them.
An online diary at our fingertips
Finally, with appointments, after school activities and children who have better social lives than we do, it’s important to have a diary to keep it all together. So even better that your smartphone has an online version that enables you to know where you are up to at any moment of the day.
Let’s hope this has inspired you to maybe use smartphones more wisely.
2020 has been such a crazy and challenging year for many. As it comes to an end, the opportunity to push reset arises and becomes the perfect time to focus on self-care. Take this time to move on from this tough year and pamper yourself with some self-care activities by following this 31-day self-care calendar. Plus the wallpapers and Insta-story stickers included will help you stay motivated and on-track throughout the journey! From meditating to giving yourself a spa day at home, this self-care calendar is packed with attainable and fun ways to help give yourself some well-deserved TLC.
Day 1: Eat Clean
Eating clean is a great way to start off the first day of your self-care journey! Make a day out of it and take a trip to your local farmers market.
Day 2: Listen to a Podcast or Read
Take the time to read that book you’ve been making to get to or start that new podcast your friend recommended!
Day 3: Meditate
If you need to compress, use this day in the self care calendar to meditate and recharge your batteries. Since this year has been stressful, there’s no better way of relaxing and getting rid of the bad energies. Download this wallpaper to motivate you get your meditation on:
Day 4: Declutter Your Space
Go through your old clothes today and get rid of things you don’t need. Hopefully this will also help you cleanse and declutter your mind in the process!
Day 5: FaceTime With a Friend
Reconnect with a friend today – old or new! That way you can chat about everything that’s happened this year, and maybe even over a glass of wine!
Day 6: Host Wine Night
Hosting a wine night, whether it’s by yourself or with friends, serves as a great and fun way to destress and close out a long week.
Day 7: Spa Day
Give yourself a bubble bath, use your favorite candle and make your own DIY spa day! Make sure to share your self-care day with this spa Insta-story sticker!
Day 8: Start a New Skill
Take on a skill that you haven’t tried before, like baking a new recipe, learning a new language, or how to paint something.
Day 9: Buy Some Flowers
Send a friend some flowers to brighten their day. You can even send some to yourself!
Start off the morning by practicing gratitude. You can do this by thinking about something you’re grateful for — focus on the positives! Download this wallpaper for your phone! It can help remind you of all the things you’re grateful for!
Day 12: Stay Hydrated
Remember to drink water today! Fill up your water bottle and take this day to stay hydrated.
Day 13: Compliment Someone
Find a way to compliment someone today, whether it be by texting someone or leaving a friendly comment on social media.
Day 14: Cuddle a Pet or Human
Cuddle your pet or loved one today! Cuddling has many benefits like lowering stress which makes it a great addition to your self-care routine.
Day 15: Coffee In Bed
There’s nothing quite like spending a cozy morning with coffee in bed. Take a photo of your cozy morning and be sure to add this cute Insta story sticker!
Take some time today to turn off the electronics and do something like read a book.
Day 18: Throw a Dance Party
When was the last time you busted out those dance moves? Be sure to throw yourself a mini dance party today to get your spirits up.
Day 19: Cook a New Recipe
Try out a new recipe today. Make yourself something decadent to treat yourself for everything you’ve accomplished this year!
Day 20: Write Down Some Goals
Sometimes self-care is doing what’s best for you, which includes planning for your life in the long run. Today, write down your top three goals that you want to achieve in the New Year. Take that paper with your goals and tape it somewhere you can see it each day, like your bathroom mirror!
Day 21: Try Yoga
Go take a yoga class today. Yoga is great for de-stressing and is perfect for boosting your mood! Use this Insta-story sticker the next time you do yoga to motivate your friends to try out this awesome form of self-care!
Day 22: Breathe
Remember to take a deep breath today. Be sure to breathe in and breathe out to release that bad energy.
Day 23: Say Yes
Say yes to something fun today that you’ve never done before! This is a great way to step out of your comfort zone and try out a new activity.
Day 24: Pick Out Your Favorite Flick
Snuggle up on the couch and watch your favorite movie today — this great for escaping the real world for a while.
Make some time to catch up with family members today and share your new self-care habits!
Day 27: Incorporate Hygge Into Your Home
Add some Hygge decor into your home and add some warmth with some fuzzy textures and twinkly lights.
Day 28: Shopping Spree
Treat yo’self is today’s motto. Put on a cute outfit and get yourself something nice. Make a day out of it by going to the mall with your girlfriends, or just chill in the comfort of your own home and do some online shopping. Use this Insta-story sticker to show off your fun day!
Day 29: Make a New Friend
Try to make a new friend today, or reconnect with an old one!
Day 30: Garden
Spruce up your yard today with some new flowers or plants! If you don’t have a garden, go shopping and pick up some plant babies of your own. Download this wallpaper to help you get inspired to garden:
Day 31: Take a Nap
You’re finished with your self-care calendar now, so take a nap! You deserve it after this crazy year.
Makenzie Pohl is a content creator who develops helpful and compelling stories. Her passion for digital marketing and creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from travel to lifestyle. She calls San Diego, CA home and enjoys dining out, photography and traveling in her spare time.
As flu season nears, it’s time to start preparing to fight against any cold or flu symptoms — especially this year. Due to COVID-19, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts “elevated influenza-like illness” so it’s especially important to stay safe and healthy by taking CDC-recommended preventative measures.
You can start your flu prevention off by getting your flu vaccination, washing your hands and seeking treatment of antiviral medications if you become ill. In addition to those steps, there are a number of essential oils that contain antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help purify and cleanse your home of any bad germs.
Benefits: Antibacterial, antioxidant, strengthens immune system
Chamomile essential oil is one of the most beneficial oils out there, as it helps soothe depression symptoms and ease sleep issues. This oil also contains antibacterial properties that assist in fighting germs that cause the common cold and flu.
Try: Diffusing this oil in all common areas of your home to help keep the air clean and germ free.
Benefits: Antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral
Oregano essential oil is great to have on hand during cold and flu season due to its highly microbial benefits which help fight infection. It also contains antibacterial and antiviral properties which will help keep your space clean and germ-free!
Try: Diffusing this oil in your bedroom to promote good health as you sleep.
Benefits: Antiviral, stress relief
Bergamot essential oil not only contains a refreshing and fruity scent, but the ability to fight off infections that cause the cold and flu. The antiviral properties in this oil helps put up a fight against any viruses in the air.
Try: Making a DIY home spray to keep your home clean and smelling fresh.
Benefits: Antibacterial, antiseptic
Eucalyptus essential oil is commonly found in over-the-counter medicine like ointments and cough drops, so it’s no surprise that it makes a great oil to have around during flu season. According to the National Institute of Health, eucalyptus helps combat inflammation and stimulate the immune system so keep this in mind as you stock up on flu prevention essentials.
Try: Creating your own steam inhalation remedy to help ease any sinus issues.
Frankincense essential oil is another flu prevention essential as it contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties — great for fighting germs. It also helps ease respiratory issues like a mild cough or sore throat which are common symptoms of a moderate cold.
Try: Diffusing this oil throughout your home during the holidays or making a DIY salve for when you feel a tickle in your throat.
Whether you diffuse these oils, make a DIY home spray or steam inhalation remedy, try incorporating these oils into your flu prevention techniques this year. For more essential oils and tips to stay healthy this season, check out FragranceX’s infographic below!
Madison is a content creator and writer helping businesses build their online presence through informative, creative and shareable blog posts. When not writing on all things lifestyle, you can find Madison at the beach, hiking, planning her next travel adventure, or indulging her inner foodie at local taco shops.
Thanks to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, you are likely to find yourself in need of a facemask. Whether you spend your days in a workplace or hard at work running a household, they’ve become the newest necessity. In the breathtaking moments we are encountering now, finding a facemask online is essential. The entire world is assisting each other as a helping hands in terms of mask and sanitizer trading. The facemask online market’s offerings are of enormous variety, and they aim at fulfilling humanity’s needs.
Here, we will reveal all that you need to know about the defensive facemask and where you can find some online.
What Should You Look for in Facemasks Online?
The right face masks allow you to breathe. They should be made of breathable materials so that inhaling and exhaling becomes easy for the wearer. These masks are a barrier to germs immigrating your nasal and mouth openings.
Facemask online sellers normally include a variety of:
A mask built with fabric is cheap and a local source of protection, thus carried by everyone. On the other hand, the surgical mask is also vital in providing safety and most commonly used because of its low cost and availability.
The N95 masks are now highly praised for their high quality and even doctors are recommending them. They stop the spread of allergens and also do not inhibit the normal process of breathing and respiration. Coming to the N95 mask, it is suggested to be implied for the first-line doctor and professionals because of its massive protecting ability. You can use it, but they are proposed for health care specialists.
Valve masks are rarely accessible and not demanding as it is semi-permeable for the germs droplet to penetrate and has less protection.
Who Should Wear A Facemask?
As the researchers suggest, everyone in the community is susceptible to COVID 19, so every person must wear a mask in public. Despite this, conditions are illustrated in which applying masks can be daunted.
Children under the age of 2 and patients with breathing issues are restricted to wear such masks, of whatever type. Also, an unconscious state or a person relying on others to remove masks are guided not to wear.
Now some people wear fashionable, printed, multi-layered reusable masks that can be washed for hygienic purposes and maintained all throughout the year. But if they are not recommended to wear, there is no use in wearing these masks.
Why Should You Wear a Mask?
In these horrible scenes, where the world is struggling and the coronavirus has taken control over nations, being able to purchase a facemask online is a relief.
When a person with the virus sneezes, coughs or talks, then there is a chance they transferred the virus to you. And as we comprehend that this virus is symptomless, it is better to stay prevented than search for a cure.
Where Can You Get Facemasks Online?
As far as you are concerned with buying this lifeguarding facemask online, you have plenty of options. You can make it yourself easily at home if you want a variation and desire to adopt an inexpensive one.
A series of facemask online are propelling and busy to preserve you in this fatal setting. Now, when you have recognized the importance of this health care mask, get yourself one, and drive life on a safe route.
I am Amelia Varley, a qualified blogger. Here you can see my skills which give you small ideas on understanding all the concepts with different themes. I love to write the blog on different topics, like health, home décor, Automotive, Business, Food, Lifestyle, Finance, Flowers etc.
The novel coronavirus has a long list of terrifying effects that can lead to stress and anxiety. Though the coronavirus is a physical disease, it has quite a detrimental impact on our mental health as well, and unfortunately, not many people are talking about this. COVID anxiety is becoming a real and dangerous problem.
However, if we are going to take care of our mental health, we need to know why it is difficult to control our anxiety and stress during the pandemic, and I hope reading the rest of this post helps you out.
COVID-19 is a new virus that we haven’t seen before, and that means that there are many uncertainties surrounding it. The virus is behaving quite weirdly, and it is difficult to understand who is safe.
For instance, experts believe that older people are more at risk from the virus, but there are several cases where young people have succumbed to it. In contrast, people in their nineties with underlying conditions have survived.
Similarly, experts say that if you recover from the virus, your body develops immunity against it, but several people have contracted the virus more than once.
Therefore, this medical uncertainty is one of the major reasons it can be difficult to manage COVID anxiety.
The coronavirus has caused a lot of financial problems as well. People are losing their jobs, and companies are going bankrupt, and this has created a very financially stressful situation.
People who can’t work because of the pandemic are uncertain when the lockdown is going to end, and they will be able to resume their work. People working online don’t know if they will have a job next month, and people who own businesses are uncertain whether their business will survive.
This financial uncertainty is another reason for lingering COVID anxiety.
In normal situations, watching the news and staying updated is a good habit. However, during this pandemic, looking at the ever-worsening statistics does nothing but increase your stress.
Therefore, you shouldn’t keep up with how many cases are reported every day and how many people are dying. You should do your part to stop the spread of the virus, and after that, there isn’t much that you can do, so what’s the point of worrying yourself about the virus.
Humans are generally afraid of change, and saying that the coronavirus has changed the way we live is an understatement. From distance learning to online jobs and the continuously changing safety guidelines, things are changing too fast because of the pandemic, and it is making it difficult for us to deal with stress and anxiety.
Ever since the pandemic started, our lives have been lacking some much-needed structure. We don’t have a schedule or routines, and this has a very negative impact on our mental health. Without a healthy routine, dealing with anxiety also becomes very challenging.
Therefore, even though you don’t have to go to work, you should create a healthy routine for yourself and follow it. This can help ease symptoms of COVID anxiety.
A Lack of Leadership
In a situation, like we are in now, the general public looks towards its elected officials and medical experts for guidance and leadership. However, with the nature of the virus, even our leaders are unable to provide us with steady support.
Medical experts are learning about the virus, and their statements are continuously changing. This lack of leadership from the people we look towards is another reason why dealing with COVID anxiety is so difficult.
Inability to Seek Support
Since we have to stay in our homes, for the most part, seeing support for anxiety and other mental issues has become quite difficult. People can’t go to support groups, getting therapist appointments is difficult, and above that, we can’t even hang out with our friends without risking getting infected.
Therefore, it is very challenging to deal with COVID anxiety, as there is a lack of emotional support. You should try to build a better bond with your family members and talk to them for emotional support.
2020 has been a very challenging year, and as it reaches its end, we are starting to see some slivers of hope. Though the pandemic isn’t over for now, and it will affect next year as well, knowing that we have battled through a year of it makes us more confident that we can handle it a little longer until the vaccine starts to be used. Just keep your anxiety in check by following the tips mentioned in this post, and hopefully, this pandemic will be over soon.
Josh Lees is a final year psychology student. He is a passionate writer and loves to research about mental and physical health. He has published many articles regarding different mental conditions. To find out more about his journey head over to https://kootenaybotanicals.com/.
If you’re unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic, making a career switch can increase your job opportunities. During the coronavirus outbreak, companies have started to hire skilled professionals that can help them overcome existing challenges.
The demand for talent has increased, not only because these professionals help companies survive but also because they are able to help them remain competitive. Tech professionals, like mobile developers and web developers, had significant influence in the retail industry. In fact, as more customers begin to use digital channels, they become essential for companies.
Tech talent is in demand these days, and if you want to get a new job, you should consider a new tech career switch. Here’s a list of some job alternatives that will help you catch employers’ attention and increase your chances of getting hired.
Nowadays, companies collect data to know more about their customers. As they can analyze gathered information, they can make improvements to their existing products. Also, by analyzing and interpreting data, they can provide better services.
For organizations, data is becoming their most valuable resource. As it’s helping them to stay relevant, it’s become essential to keep it safe. Cybersecurity experts have the duty of maintaining companies’ data safe. But, they don’t only fight cyber threats. They also have to look for vulnerabilities in hardware and software to improve security protocols.
Most cybersecurity experts have a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders. As they must prevent cyberattacks, they often deal with stressful situations. However, starting a cybersecurity careercan be an excellent choice as they have impressive salaries and perks.
For example, According to Indeed, a cybersecurity specialist can earn, on average, $78,000 per year in the US. As most companies hire remote cybersecurity experts, you’ll be able to travel and live anywhere you want.
Several coding bootcamps offer cybersecurity programs. But, you should enroll in Flatiron School’s online bootcamp if you really want to stand out from the competition. Flatiron School offers two cybersecurity courses that allow you to learn how to deal with cyber threats and catch attackers.
You can enroll in their online course if you have a busy schedule. But, If you have a lot of free time, the full-time in-person course will fill your expectations. Flatiron School wants its students to be exceptional. For that reason, the company provides each student with private career coaching sessions and mock interviews. As you’ll be prepared for any job interview, your chances of getting hired will increase.
Since WordPress is becoming more popular, more online coding schools are offering WordPress courses. Nowadays, around 455 million websites are using WordPress. WordPress is easy to learn and use; it can be an excellent option to start a career as a web developer.
WordPress makes the tasks of creating a site less time-consuming. By using plugins and adding exceptional features, WordPress developers can enhance users’ experience. Also, creating a visually appealing website has become a need for organizations. As it helps companies to attract customers’ attention, they can enhance their advertisement effectiveness.
Also, WordPress has a vast community that can be helpful during the development process. For example, as there are many themes and plugins available, you can use a pre-made website instead of building it from scratch. Nevertheless, skilled WordPress developers prefer to build websites from scratch as it allows them to add and design whatever they want.
Coding is still essential for WordPress developers. As they need to use programming languages like HTML, CSS, and PHP, they need to keep their coding skills up to date. Becoming a WordPress developer is the right choice if you like to use your creativity while you work. As you’d need to create eye-catchy and interactive sites, letting your ideas flow is a must.
You can learn WordPress development skills at Thinkful. The company offers several courses in web development that allows you to learn the right skills. As you’ll be able to learn from experienced mentors, you’ll be ready to convince any employer and get hired in 2020.
Thinkful cares about its students. The company offers many financing options to help them deal with the expenses, so they can focus on learning instead of paying the bills and tuition costs.
Today’s employers are in a hunt for mobile developers. As Android is the most popular OS in the market, learning Android development skills will help you to increase your opportunities. Many organizations have begun to use mobile apps to improve their strategies to attract and retain customers. As smartphones are becoming indispensable, developing mobile apps has become a need to stay competitive.
The salaries of Android developers are exceptional. At Samsung Electronics, a mobile developer can earn about $120,000 per year. But, at Samsung, Android developers not only have impressive salaries. Also, they have incredible perks like discounts, onsite gym sessions, and health insurance.
Becoming an Android developer is a career switch that will help you not only to get hired in 2020 but also change your lifestyle. General Assembly is a coding school that allows you to learn everything you need to become an Android developer.
At General Assembly, students receive instruction and mentorship from professionals in the field. During the program, each student gets help from a career coach that helps them prepare for the job search.
Learning tech skills have become vital to stay relevant these days. As tech talent is in demand, companies are making more attractive job offers to get these professionals convinced. So, if you lost your job and you want to increase your opportunities, you should consider making a career switch. These job alternatives will help you to have better job opportunities and become an attractive candidate for every employer.
Artur Meyster is the CTO of Career Karma (YC W19), an online marketplace that matches career switchers with coding bootcamps. He is also the host of the Breaking Into Startups podcast, which features people with non-traditional backgrounds who broke into tech. Find him on Twitter or Linkedin.
The body’s immune system is integral to fighting off infection and disease. At times like these, it’s more important than ever to make sure it’s not only working as well as it can, but also performing better than before. Just like a muscle in the body, you can boost immune system strength so it works better, and this could mean either avoiding illness altogether, or only experiencing mild symptoms if you do get infected.
There are several ways to build and boost your immune system, and understanding the importance of your immune system is the first step.
The Importance of the Immune System
The immune system isn’t just made up of white blood cells, but consists of a vast network of tissues, cells and organs that work in tandem to maintain overall health and protect the body against infection. The human body is an ideal host for all number of pathogens, viruses, and parasites to thrive if unchecked; the immune system acts as our defense against these microbes and any of their subsequent attacks.
Every part of the immune system plays a unique role: the white blood cells are the first line of defense against any malicious foreign invader, whilst the blood marrow produces our infection-fighting soldiers.
Other parts of the immune system include lymph nodes that act as filters for foreign particles, and the spleen which controls the amount of blood circulating through the body removing old or damaged red cells.
As you can see, there are many parts of the immune system that all play their part in various and equally important ways.
A good night’s sleep can do wonders when it comes to the body’s overall well being, improving both physical and mental health. Sleep is when the body is able to fully rest, recover and repair itself in readiness for the day ahead, and not getting enough shut eye can have bad consequences.
Indeed, studies have shown that sleep-deprived patients are at a higher risk of developing an illness after exposure to a virus, underlying the importance of getting in that recommended 7-8 hours of dream-time.[i]
2. Vitamins and Antioxidants
Like any good machine, our body runs well if it’s fueled properly, and getting the right intake of vitamins and antioxidants promotes a healthy immune system. Blueberries, spinach, kale, garlic and ginger are beneficial on many levels.
In addition to having powerful effects on your antibody response[ii] they are also some of the best brain foods available, so you’ll enjoy better physical and cognitive health by eating them on a regular basis.
3. Drink Less Alcohol
When consumed moderately, alcohol doesn’t seem to have particularly bad consequences for the immune system, and indeed the jury is still out over whether that single glass of red wine actually presents antioxidant-related benefits to the body.
Either way, it’s clear that high levels of consumption do have a negative impact, since studies have shown the white blood cell count to decrease below normal levels when a significant amount of alcohol is in the bloodstream.[iii]
4. Minimize Stress
When the body is placed in a stressful situation, the chemical cortisol is released into the bloodstream, decreasing the performance of your immune system. In addition, anxiety can impact your sleep pattern, which, as mentioned above, can reduce your body’s ability to recover at night. Try to prioritize a healthy mindset, and perhaps introduce some form of daily meditation to provide a sense of order to any chaos you might have in your life.
5. Zinc Supplements
It’s important to get enough zinc in your diet since this mineral supports normal growth, heals wounds and keeps the immune system strong. Most diets should include enough zinc to adequately support working immunity levels; however, if you find yourself more susceptible to illness than others, consult a medical professional to see if you have zinc deficiencies that need to be addressed.[iv]
6. Probiotic Foods
A healthy gut means a happy immune system since the two are closely linked: around seventy percent of your immune system resides in your gut with probiotic bacteria living in the digestive tract and supporting our immunity levels. You’ll see most benefits from fermented foods (such as kimchi) or yogurts that contain live bacteria cultures that will boost the immune system.
The body’s circulatory system plays a key role when it comes to your level of immunity, essentially acting as a transport network for white blood cells to move about the body. You can increase the efficiency of this pipeline by exercising regularly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages at least two and a half hours a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes if at a more vigorous level.[v]Read more about all the benefits of exercise here.
The Role of Weight Loss Supplements
The other benefit of exercise is that, alongside a healthy diet planvi, it helps to maintain an ideal body weight, and this is especially important in relation to COVID-19: obesity seems to worsen the effects of the disease and puts you at greater risk of complications from it.
If you are struggling with your weight, then perhaps consider some weight loss supplements. Phenocal is a popular brand on the market, made of all-natural ingredients that enhance your weight loss efforts by reducing the appetite and boosting energy levels. Taken regularly, it can make it easier to manage your weight and enjoy better overall health.
Whilst there are many ways to boost immune system strength, there is no silver bullet cure-all that will do the job by itself. Using a combination of the above methods and maintaining a healthy weight with the help of a supplement such as Phenocal will give your body the best chance of fighting off infections.
Of course, it’s also vitally important that you practice good hygiene at all times, such as proper handwashing, and follow the recommended social distancing guidelines.
Nathan Hodges is a passionate writer. He writes about health, fitness, nutrition & diet. His work gives a curiosity engaged to the readers.