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Lifestyle

7 Ways to Beat a Toxic Family Dynamic with Positivity

7 Ways to Beat a Toxic Family Dynamic with Positivity


Do you feel like you have a toxic family? You can pick your friends, but when it comes to your relatives, you have no choice in the matter. There are many family members both near and far that have qualities that you don’t like, and it’s not always easy to deal with them.

However, what about the family that you live and communicate with daily? Every family goes through certain seasons where things are rough, and dealing with these each other at these times can be overwhelming. You will experience bumps in the road, such as financial difficulties, job losses, and medical problems, but outside frustrations don’t equal a toxic dynamic.

How do you know if your family’s relationship is toxic or if the complications you face were brought on by circumstantial problems that will eventually even out? Here are some classic signs that your family puts the fun in dysfunctional.

7 Ways to Identify and Overcome a Toxic Family Dynamic

Here are seven red flags that signal a toxic family relationship that might exist.

1. Punishment and Discipline Are Blurred

Many people confuse discipline and punishment, as they are not the same. When you discipline your children, you are teaching them something or correcting behavior. Punishment is something that is done out of frustration, and the parent teaches the child nothing.

If you are in a toxic family pattern, then punishments can become excessive, and the behavior is never addressed. Many adults that don’t know how to handle a situation effectively may use the silent treatment as a method to manipulate their children. To combat this situation, the parent should sit down with the kids and explain to them what they did wrong, why there is a punishment, and how things could be handled better in the future.

Make sure they understand why they are in trouble and how to correct their actions. This is one of the reasons why spanking and things of that nature don’t work. Adults have temper tantrums and take out their frustrations on their children, but they never address the real issue.

2. You Play the Blame Game

Folks who have a toxic family dynamic often have problems with members not seeing the wrong that they do. Sadly, finding fault with others comes easily to them. When a family is toxic, one person may blame others for their issues as they see themselves as always right.

Additionally, they can’t comprehend taking responsibility for his/her actions because it would mean they must admit they are wrong. This should not be confused with people who don’t truly realize that they have made a mistake. To combat these issues, you need to make sure you address the problem with the person.

While it’s never popular to point out the wrongs of others, an ongoing issue of this nature can certainly make for some uncomfortable living conditions. Sit down and discuss the problems and make sure you don’t point fingers but recognize the question that needs to be addressed. In these instances, you will almost always find poor self-esteem or other issues that drive the person’s need to always be correct.

3. You Threaten Each Other

One way to tell if you have a toxic family dynamic is if there is physical violence in the home. Did you know that anger is one of the easiest emotions to show? However, there doesn’t need to be slapping and hair-pulling to be toxic.

If you have one family member who tends to use threats to punish others, then it’s a toxic family environment. An example would be if the parent were upset because their child was going through a rebellious stage and wanted to control them. The parents could tell the child if they don’t follow the rules or do what they wish, they will make them go live with another relative or parent.

While a child should know that there are rules that they must follow, their home and the security of their “safe zone” should never be compromised. Many split families often must consider where the child should live, but this decision should be based on the kid’s best interest and not as a punishment.

When a child is acting out, it means there is something under the surface that’s bothering them. There could be hormones that are raging out of control, or they could be bullied at school. To send positive vibes to this adverse situation, sit down and talk to the child openly and honestly. If you can’t get through to your child, get a therapist involved to keep the toxic aspects of the situation under control.

4. You Deal with Control Issues

Control issues are not uncommon in families. Children often feel that their parents are controlling because they can’t do what they want. There’s a difference in having control issues and being a concerned parent.

If you want positive vibes and don’t want others to feel like they walk on eggshells, then communication is vital. Never put tracking apps on phones of other adults in the home, and you should never use money as blackmail to get someone to do what you want. Finally, while you may not agree with clothing choices or makeup, you must allow people to be comfortable in their skin.

Many people try to control others when they feel like things are chaotic. The way to combat this is to get to the crux of the issue. A parent may be controlling because they fear the decisions their children make will hurt them. However, parents must give their kids room to make mistakes as it’s how they grow and learn.

Rather than talking about the issues at hand, people often use underhanded methods to control an out of control situation. Sit down and have family meetings often and make sure that you are all on the same page.

Avoid these toxic relationship habits.

5. Critical Towards You

Do you ever feel like you can do nothing, right? If you have a toxic family member in your household, then you may feel like they are never satisfied with anything you do. You could pay off all your debt, get a promotion, and have a credit score of 850, and it still wouldn’t be good enough.

When one party likes to criticize and undermine others in the home, it can be very frustrating. You will generally find a miserable person at the crux who is battling feelings of not accomplishing goals they had for their life. It’s often that they will project their feelings of frustration on you.

Since this is truly not your problem, you need to get to the root of the behavior. It would help if you had a pattern for recovery and goals that this person and the family needs to meet. You can recover from this toxic behavior with help.

6. Sibling Rivalry is Taken to Extremes

If there is more than one child in your home, there will be some rivalry. It should be noted that not all rivalry is terrible as it can drive someone to succeed. Sadly, these behaviors can become toxic or even dangerous.

When one sibling tries to blame the other every time they get into trouble, there is an issue that needs to be handled. A parent should never allow a child to humiliate another sibling even if it’s comical. Lastly, any competition within the family should never be allowed to become personal or vindictive.

Parents must foster a healthy relationship between their children by never playing favorites, ensuring all children receive the same discipline types and giving them each equal attention.

7. They Dismiss Your Feelings

If you have a toxic family situation, you may feel that your thoughts and feelings are easily dismissed. Again, this all comes down to control, and the need to be right. The party displaying these behaviors may feel that your opinions are insignificant to theirs, or they don’t’ t value what you have to say.

You need to tell this person that it hurts you when they dismiss your feelings and work on a sufficient resolution for change. Call them out now as you don’t’ t want to wait and let things fester. When you tell them about your issues in the heat of the situation, it’s easier to address it head-on.

Final Thoughts on Handling a Toxic Family Situation

If you have toxic family dynamics in your home, you must regain control to change your environment to a healthy one. Here are some things you can do to shift your abode into one with positive vibes.

  • Let Everyone Have a Voice
  • Set Firm Boundaries
  • Stop Toxic Behaviors Immediately
  • Never Play Favorites
  • Treat Everyone in the Home as an Equal
  • Sever Ties when Necessary
  • Get Outside Help When Needed

It’s easy to have issues that can change the dynamics of the home. However, it’s crucial as parents that you set firm boundaries and say what you will and won’t allow. Your children will run the show if you enable them to do so. If your home is a war zone, you must take control of the situation and find effective ways to change the toxicity. You will all be much healthier and happier when you get rid of toxic tendencies.

Lifestyle

6 Ways To Beat Social Isolation Fatigue

6 Ways To Beat Social Isolation Fatigue


As the current world pandemic continues to unfold, many individuals have begun to feel a certain type of tiredness. This is known as “social isolation fatigue”. If you feel excessively exhausted at the end of each day while you’re socially isolated, you’re likely experiencing this too.

Why does this happen? There are countless different reasons. Nervousness and anxiety, stress from financial difficulties or strained relationships, and the toughness of dealing with unpredictable lack of control all contribute. Here are 6 ways to fight against social isolation fatigue.

1.    Understand And Fulfil Your Basic Needs, Then Your Wants

There’s no denying just how much social isolation has affected our normal lives and structure. In turn, we impact our mental, physical, and emotional health. In the process of trying to deal with how our lives have been upturned into a difficult mess, we can often forget to take care of ourselves.

·         Eat Healthily

Studies have shown, however, that creating a consistent routine has a strong positive effect on your health. Trying to ensure you have meals at set times can help combat time blindness while making sure we have the right nutrition we need to stay healthy and energized.

·         Stay Fit

When you’re forced to stay indoors, it can be easy to neglect one’s physical health. Considering just how intertwined our mental health is with our physical, keeping up a consistent exercise routine becomes incredibly important. Doubly so since it can help combat both fatigue and stress.

·         Learn Something New

It’s easy to forget that just like zoo animals, our brains also need to be entertained and to have enrichment. Read some books, listen to some podcasts, or try picking up a new hobby all together! This helps you keep your mind active and occupied, which may be just what you need in such a situation.

·         Reach Out For Help

Being alone can be draining, and it can make even the simplest tasks seem impossible. If you find yourself struggling in any way, ask a loved one or a neighbor for support and guidance. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or a hotline for advice, either – they’re there to help you.

2.    Don’t Watch News 24/7

It’s hard to keep up any sense of positive thinking when we are constantly buffeted by bad news every time we turn on our devices. It’s even worse when said news is available essentially 24/7! Here are a few ways to combat such negative effects:

·         Curate Your Feed

Choose one or two news sources you can rely on or trust, and only read headlines that are of immediate relevancy or interest to you – and no further.

·         Don’t Linger

Set a hard cap on how much time you’ll dedicate to reading or watching the news. Updating yourself twice a day and setting aside an hour for each update should be more than enough to catch up on what is happening in your community and the world at large.

·         Have A Second Filter

If you find yourself still struggling to remain unaffected, consider having a friend decide what’s important and relevant for you, and get your updates only through them. This can help ensure that you’ll only find out what you strictly need to know.

3.    Stay Socially Connected

No man is an island – and they really shouldn’t be. Humans are hardwired by evolution to be social creatures. As a result, isolating ourselves from any form of social contact can be detrimental to our mental health, and is something you’d generally want to avoid. Here are a few tips and tricks on staying in touch with the ones you love:

·         Determine Your Most Crucial Connections

There are some folks we can confidently say that we cannot live without, and it would not be an exaggeration. Considering how hard it can be to keep up social connections (especially when we start getting exhausted), it’s best to identify a specific list of people you want to keep in your life no matter what. Your counselor and therapist can be on the list, but you ideally want to avoid visiting them physically to keep everyone safe.

·         Go For Video Calls Over Voice Calls Or Texts

As it turns out, studies have shown that maintaining face-to-face social contact, even virtually, has a significant positive impact on people. Being able to see the facial expressions of our loved ones in a conversation can be more energizing and infectious than just hearing them by voice alone, after all!

·         Try And Stay Up-To-Date On Communication Tech

With just how reliant we are on communicative technology to stay connected now, there’s no excuse to refuse to learn how to use platforms like FaceTime or Zoom. Learn how to set up a stream to share your baking sessions, or figure out a way to have everyone watch a movie together!

4.    Keep Your Mind Busy

Our brains naturally crave stimulation. Without stimulation, we tend to ruminate on the negatives – which can make positive thinking difficult. So for the sake of your mental and emotional health, it’s best to keep yourself occupied with activities. Here are a few suggestions:

·         Sing Along To Music You’re Listening To

Ever noticed just how much better you feel when you’re singing along with friends or to a song on the radio? As it turns out, there’s a reason for that. Studies have shown that singing with other people, both live and recorded, is actually highly therapeutic! So consider trying to put together a virtual karaoke session, or scream your lungs out with your favorite song – it may be just what you need.

·         Find Something That Absorbs Your Mind

It’s easy to find some sort of mindless activity to do – but if it doesn’t occupy our minds, then it often isn’t capable of keeping negative thoughts at bay. Instead, studies show you’ll have to find a task that puts you in a state of flow to truly fill up space and silence – for example, playing games or learning how to knit. Then only does it act as a proper buffer against social isolation fatigue.

·         Let Fiction Take You On Adventures

Do you enjoy binge-watching your favorite shows? Do you get overly invested in fictional characters and the worlds they inhabit? As it turns out, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Studies have shown that these fictional worlds and characters can act as social surrogates – and, by extension, make us feel like we belong somewhere. And what better time to catch up on all the shows and podcasts you’ve been missing out on than right now?

5.    Practice Healthy Habits

At the end of the day, we must keep ourselves healthy – both in body and in mind. By extension, this can help us manage our emotional distress. Plus, we face the exhaustion that comes with it, especially since our emotional, physical, and mental health are all so strongly intertwined. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions you can try:

·         Take An Online Exercise Class

There is plenty of research that shows just how important exercise is for our body and mind. As it turns out, there’s another additional benefit you can obtain if you get said exercise via fitness classes – social support and structure.  Studies have shown that even if the classes are virtually conducted or live-streamed, they can still provide a sense of community that you need.

·         Do Some Meditation

Taking a moment to simply calm your mind and accept your thoughts can be incredibly helpful – especially if it’s focused on being kind and loving. As it turns out, research has shown that learning and practicing self-acceptance via meditation can also help combat social isolation fatigue.

·         Go Out In Nature

After staying cooped up in your house so long, it is inevitable that you will develop some kind of cabin fever. As you can imagine, this is not great for our sense of isolation. The best way to combat this is to go out for a walk – a fact that is backed up by research, which suggests it can help us with our perspective and mental health!

6.    Set Goals With Rewards

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless when you’re isolated and alone – especially when it seems like nothing matters anymore. Letting such a situation flood your mind and senses completely, however, doesn’t help matters – and in fact, can easily send your mental health into a spiral.

Instead, research has shown that the best way to tackle it is to give yourself manageable goals. Here are a few pointers on how to do it:

·         Be Kind To Yourself

It can be a struggle to just carry out day-to-day tasks. Even though it’s easy to beat yourself up over being unable to do them, there’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself for doing the little things – especially if they’re all tasks you’ve been struggling to execute recently.

·         Identify What Is Immediately Accomplishable

Take some time to figure out what is immediately within your control. It can be as simple as cleaning out your closet, organizing your photo album, or learning a new recipe! This can help give you a temporary sense of purpose and accomplishment that is easy to achieve – which can be crucial for your mental health.

·         Give Yourself Short-Term Rewards

With just how many unknowns there are presently in the world, it can be incredibly reassuring to know that performing certain tasks or completing them will guarantee you some kind of reward or outcome. In a way, it helps one regain a sense of control over our environment and ourselves. Ant that can help combat learned helplessness.

Final Thoughts On Some Ways To Fight Against Social Isolation Fatigue

Social isolation fatigue can be damaging when not managed or handled correctly, potentially resulting in long-term depression, anxiety, or even trauma responses. When you think about it, it’s easy to understand why. People are struggling to get through their everyday lives alone and in new ways with all the additional stressors of a pandemic and being separated from the world.

But you don’t have to be powerless against social isolation fatigue. By using the 6 methods we’ve discussed, you’ll be able to help your mind and body adjust to the changes around you. It’s no substitute for the way things once were, but it will certainly help a lot.

Technology

Tips to Choose the Right Air Cooler to Beat the Heat of Dry Summer

Tips to Choose the Right Air Cooler to Beat the


Air cooler is the most economical and environment-friendly way to lower the temperature of a room. Mainly designed for the desert areas to heal the people from heat of dry summer days, air cooler is equally popular among the people of humid areas.

Right now, an air cooler is the best cooling gadget for those who are disgusted and exhausted with the heat, but unable to afford an AC. Even after knowing that you need an air cooler, it becomes troublesome to select one until you know the factors to consider before purchase. Don’t worry! Here, we are helping you in doing so.

Calculate Room Size

Different air coolers are designed to cool the rooms of different sizes. That’s why our first tip for you is to measure your room. Based on the height, length, and width of your room, you have to measure the size of your room.

It is mandatory, and if you purchase an air cooler, without knowing your room measurement, you may not experience the optimum cooling effects. Either your room will be excessively chilled or it will get less chilled.

Know the Types

Right after understanding the size of your room, you need to find out which type of air cooler will be ideal for you. There are two types of air coolers: personal air coolers and desert coolers.

In case you don’t want to do the measurement, you may select a personal air cooler for your small to the mid-sized drawing-room, living room, bedroom, or garage. For up to 120 sq. ft. rooms, these personal air coolers work really fine.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an air cooler for a large hall, you have to get the desert coolers. For more details, you may check the recommended CFMs based on room measurements and get an air cooler accordingly.

Check Its Power Consumption

At the time of buying an electronic device, we are always worried about power consumption. That’s why our recommendation is to purchase the cooler with the least power consumption to enjoy cooling effects without worrying about electricity charges.

Know the Cooling Pads

Cooling pads are the essential determiner of cooling effects in an air cooler. These pads absorb water and air becomes cool as it passes through this pad. At present, you can get air coolers with aspen pads or honeycomb pads.

We recommend you to get an air cooler with honeycomb pads because these are more durable and thicker. It ensures more cooling by absorbing more water. Even though it is costly, try to get the honeycomb pads – not the aspen pads.

Ask about Maintenance

Air coolers need low maintenance, but you cannot avoid this if you want to enjoy the cooling effects for a long time. In case, you are not very efficient with maintenance, we recommend you to get an air cooler with the least maintenance.

In air coolers, you only need to wipe the outer part of the portable swamp twice a month. Along with this, you need to clean the cooling media once a month and replace that when it malfunctions. During winter, don’t forget to drain the water before keeping it aside.

That’s all! We believe that it will not be very difficult for you to maintain the air cooler.

Get a Cooler with Larger Water Storage

Air coolers cool your room in the evaporative cooling method. So, getting an air cooler with larger water storage will always be better. The evaporating process will keep going as the cooling media will have constant access to water from the larger storage.

No matter, you are purchasing a personal cooler or a desert cooler – look for decent storage capacity in it.

Consider the Features

If you are obsessed with the modern features, you may need additional features like inverter compatibility, adjustable speed control, water level indicator, empty water tank alert, an ice-cube tray and so on. Air coolers of the higher price will enable you with all these to ensure more cooling in a smart way.

If you want to invest in a really good air cooler that can fulfill all your requirements, you have to follow all the tips mentioned here. Along with this, you have to understand how much money you can spend on the air cooler. In the market, you will get so many affordable air coolers with some really cool features to make the summer days bearable.

Entertainment

Groovin’ to the Beat: How to Increase Freelance Output with Productivity Music

Groovin' to the Beat: How to Increase Freelance Output with


Groovin’ to the Beat: How to Increase Freelance Output with Productivity Music

Americans clock in over 32 hours a week listening to their favorite music. Yet, most don’t know that what they are listening to has a big impact on their work output. 

Freelancers enjoy the freedom of flexibility in their careers. Yet, some days it can be tough to find focus, as distractions get the best of you. 

Yet, listening to productivity music can boost cognitive function and mood. It can give you that extra motivational edge to get your work done. 

Here’s a look at how music can make you more productive in the workplace. 

Music Is About More Than Background Noise

Freelancers use music in the workplace to help create a more positive environment. While some work in the comfort of their own homes, others may choose upbeat coffee houses to get their work done. 

Yet many of today’s freelance workforce rents a co-working office space. As at least 50% of coworking members are freelances.

For those who work in an open environment, they are often subjected to noise and distractions. This includes chatty coworkers, ringing phones, and food deliveries. 

The act of listening to music helps to block out these disruptions. It lets you go with the mental flow, without breaking concentration. The right music for work keeps you staying in the zone, creating a nice pace for your day. 

Yet, work music does more than serve as a pleasant distraction from working hours. As music can also create positive reactions in our mind and body. This includes an increase in your own productivity levels. 

The Power of Sound on the Senses

Music is powerful because it has the ability to affect our mental, physical, emotional, and behavioral state.  It does this by triggering chemicals and hormone production in the brain. 

Memory

These chemicals can help enhance memory and boost cognitive functioning. They can also improve our mental health. Music therapy aids those who suffer from dementia, anxiety, and depression.  

Relaxation

Music also provides a calming effect on the mind and body. This is ideal in stressful work situations, like working under tight deadlines. Or when dealing with a major crisis or annoying coworker. 

Relaxing music can improve insomnia, helping you to get better sleep. This allows you more energy and a well-rested mind for your workday.  

Mood

Music affects our behavior by triggering happy hormones. This, in turn, helps to balance your mood. It allows better concentration and an increase in focus for work projects.   

Motivation

Music can also be motivational. It can help to increase endurance and enhance a workout. As it gets your heart pumping and blood circulating. 

It can boost creative thinking, helping with writing projects. It also makes us more efficient at managing day-to-day tasks. Especially repetitive ones that tend to lose our attention.     

How Music Can Further Stimulate the Brain 

Music’s effect is subject to your own unique personal preferences and past experiences. Yet, listening to the right type of music can stimulate brainwaves, both on the left and right side of the brain. 

The type of music you listen to has a big impact on this though. The best music for productivity depends on what type of workload you have.

For deeper concentration, it’s best to go with music that doesn’t have any lyrics. As lyrics can sometimes distract us, especially if it’s a new song you haven’t heard yet. This can cause your brain to try to focus on the words and meaning of the song, instead of the work in front of you.  

So choose music with instrumentals, paying attention to the beat and tempo. This can be a flowing list of focusing music or ambient music. 

Classical music can also increase productivity when working. Those who study the Mozart Effect say it can even boost the brain’s IQ. This makes it a smart choice to use for study music or when trying to teach yourself a new skill. 

Vocals and Volume 

Your work music doesn’t always have to stay instrumental. Feel-good favorites can also put you in a good place, making you more productive. These work great for a mood boost during your morning commute or lunch break. 

Songs with lyrics can also help make you more alert during that mid-day slump. These can be high-energy or low-key happy beats. A loud heart-pumping playlist can also help you tackle your jam-packed inbox. 

Songs that evoke an emotional response can be great for creative writing. They can give you inspiration and help reduce writer’s block. Here are a few more creative tips to improve your writing. 

Playlists with High Productivity Levels in Mind 

To test the theory, start by making a productive music playlist to listen to at work. Spotify is a great source of pre-made playlists that you can stream all day long. Check out their Deep Focus, Brain Food, and Perfect Concentration playlists. 

Some people also find focus when playing nature sounds or white noise in the background. Listening to white noise will also help you retain information better. 

Or you can try listening to video game soundtracks. These get made to help people solve puzzles, complete quests, and concentrate on tasks. Check out The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear Solid. 

Another trick is to try repeating a song over and over. This can help the mind better concentrate through an act of repetition. Blazo is a good artist to try this technique with.

One word of advice is to pick the right headphones to rock out to your productivity music favorites. For noise-blocking and sound quality, see page to check out the best headphone buys this year.   

Playing Productivity Music in Your Workspace 

Productivity music can get used for increasing motivation and cognitive thinking. Or as a distraction technique in a loud work environment. The best idea is to find out what style of music works best for you and run with it. 

To improve productivity levels you should also pay attention to the ambiance of your workspace. You’ll want to have an environment free from clutter. As well as one that allows natural lighting and a comfortable temperature. 

Organization techniques can also help create a better work station. Here is more on how to create a well-designed office space to boost productivity.