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12 Ways to Stay Calm During Relationship Struggles

12 Ways to Stay Calm During Relationship Struggles


Relationship struggles happen with every couple from time to time, but they don’t have to make your relationship spiral out of control. It’s important to stay calm during conflict so that both people hear each other out and come to a compromise. You might think that never fighting points to a healthy relationship, but experts say the opposite is true.

One study found that over 14 years, couples who argued often had the least likelihood of getting separated. The study followed 79 couples across the Midwest and found that the healthiest couples clashed and reconciled immediately afterward. So, don’t think that arguing a lot signals a strained relationship. It may strengthen your bond, depending on how you react after the argument.

Here are 12 ways to stay calm during relationship struggles:

Below, we’ll go over a few easy tips for remaining calm amid a disagreement. Remember, arguing is normal, and how you respond to your partner makes all the difference.

1 – Don’t expect perfection.

Many good, solid relationships fail because of unrealistic expectations. By expecting perfection from your partner, you never give them the freedom to make mistakes. They won’t feel comfortable in the relationship because of the impossible standards you’ve set for them. When you have relationship struggles, remember that both of you likely contributed to the problem.

This way, no one will get all the blame for the issues, and you can talk openly about your feelings. Of course, if you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to feel sorry for. If it was indeed on your partner, remember that they’re only human and likely didn’t purposely hurt you.

2 – Listen first, respond after.

Sadly, many people react without actually listening to someone’s point of view. However, make sure to stay calm and give your partner the chance to talk. You will learn more this way and perhaps understand why they reacted a certain way. Listening makes up a massive part of a successful relationship. Studies have shown that those who actively listen have better relationships.

What is active listening, exactly? It usually consists of the following:

  • Put away your cellphone or any other distractions.
  • Maintain eye contact with your partner
  • Restate or summarize what they’ve said for clarity
  • Acknowledge that you’re listening by saying “Mmm-hmm” or “yeah” occasionally.
  • Have empathy and understanding for your partner.
  • Most importantly, listen to understand wholly, not to reply.

3 – Try to remember you’re a team.

Don’t look at your partner as the enemy; instead, look at the problem you face as the real opponent. In relationship struggles, it’s easy to blame your partner for everything. However, this won’t get you any closer to solving the issue at hand. For any problem you face, you’ll want to stay calm and actively brainstorm on a resolution together.

4 – Keep in mind that every relationship has ups and downs.

Don’t get discouraged when you and your partner have disagreements; these will come up in any healthy relationship. Life does not come complete with an instruction manual. Indeed, you’ll face tons of challenges along the way. However, learning how to tackle problems as they arise helps you become stronger as a couple.

Of course, if a relationship goes through more bad times than good, you may want to reevaluate where you stand with them. Perhaps they haven’t been pulling their weight or have an overly negative attitude. As long as you work together and put in equal effort, you can get through anything.

5 – Don’t say anything you’ll regret later.

In the heat of the exchange, you may get a case of word vomit and say a few things you don’t mean. It happens from time to time. But if you wish to smooth things over easier, try to take a few breaths before you speak. Nothing good comes from anger, including lashing out at your partner during a disagreement.

Take time to formulate a response before you say anything because this can prevent a lot of heartaches and hurt feelings.

6 – Walk away for a few minutes to stay calm.

If taking a few breaths doesn’t work, you may need to walk away and get some fresh air. Or even revisit the topic later that day or the next day if you need to. Never put yourself in a situation where you don’t think you will have control over your response or reaction. This will only cause hurt to your partner and perhaps damage your relationship in the long-term.

7 – Put yourself in your partner’s shoes.

Sometimes, the best way to overcome relationship struggles involves a hearty dose of empathy. If you want to resolve a problem, try to get inside your partner’s head. Where are they coming from? What can you learn from their side of the story?

You always want to approach relationship struggles as a team rather than you vs. them. You will only cause more strife and turbulence by trying to get your way or discarding their feelings.

For example, if your partner didn’t come home in time for dinner, they probably have a perfectly reasonable explanation. They may have gotten tied up at work or had a flat tire. Make sure to hear them out and get their side of the story before you react.

8 – Remember the positives of your relationship.

Many people ruin a perfectly good relationship by focusing too much on the negatives. In fact, according to the Gottman Institute, contempt in marriage is one of the most significant predictors of divorce. An excerpt from an article on the book’s website states:

“After watching thousands of couples argue in his lab, he was able to identify specific negative communication patterns that predict divorce. He called them The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and they are criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.

Contempt is the most destructive of The Four Horsemen because it conveys, “I’m better than you. I don’t respect you.” It’s so destructive that couples who are contemptuous of each other are more likely to suffer from infectious illness than couples who are not scornful of each other. The target of contempt feels despised and worthless.”

However, even if you have a pattern of talking down to each other, you can always reverse this behavior. Relationship struggles can take a toll on a couple, but you can overcome them by recalling positive aspects of your relationship. Think back to when you first met and remember why you love your partner. If you can revive the fondness and admiration, you feel for each other. You’ll approach problems as a team.

9 – Put your partner’s happiness first.

Sadly, many people look to others to fill a void within their hearts, but this can quickly drain the other person. Of course, you should have a partner who makes you happy, but your relationship shouldn’t be primarily self-serving. In other words, you should want to make them feel fulfilled and put their needs first. If you both can do that for each other, you’ll have a higher chance of a successful relationship.

People who only think about their personal needs often end up jumping from one relationship to another. If you want a relationship, it takes a lot of sacrifice and selflessness to make it work. Sometimes, you must be willing to put aside your desires to make your partner happy.

10 – Practice mindfulness.

To stay calm during relationship struggles, you should remain mindful and present. Don’t recall old arguments and mistakes, and hold them over your partner’s head. This will only add more fuel and fan the fire and make your partner resentful or unwilling to discuss things with you. Tackling only the problem at hand makes it easier to smooth things over, and you’ll have the mental focus necessary to do so.

11 – Be open to being wrong sometimes.

You can’t be right all the time, especially in a relationship that requires humbleness and vulnerability. If you want a successful partnership, you’ll have to have an open mind and admit when you’re wrong at times. Focusing more on overcoming the issue instead of having to be right will ensure success in the problem getting solved.

12 – Don’t make assumptions about your partner.

Your partner may not be giving 100% lately, which makes you feel resentful and neglected. However, try to put yourself in their shoes– don’t assume they don’t care about you. Maybe they have a lot going on in their life, and asking them about it opens the floor for a heartfelt discussion. Not sure what’s on your their mind? Ask them–their inattentive behavior might be an outcry for help.

Final thoughts on how to stay calm in relationship struggles

Every relationship goes through phases, and it won’t always feel like the best time of your life. Anyone in a long-term relationship knows it takes enormous sacrifice and understanding to make things work. However, if you can apply some of the tips we’ve listed above, you can get through any relationship struggles that arise.

Technology

Stay Connected With Your Customers Even in a Physically Disconnected World

Stay Connected With Your Customers Even in a Physically Disconnected


In a world where customers are used to getting everything they need immediately, chatbots have already become a vital part of our daily lives. From paying utility bills to getting financial advice regarding important investments to interacting with favorite brands without browsing their websites — chatbots are at the vanguard of round-the-clock online customer service. 

This level of superior customer service can not only result in customer retention but also overall profitability. Satisfied customers tend to stay associated with a company and even expand their investment, refer others, and – generally – agree to pay premiums rather than switching to a brand with whom they’re neither familiar nor comfortable. Both customer support chatbot and IT support chatbots bank on this phenomenon to boost a company’s sales and market performance via user experiences.

While older versions of chatbots relied on identifying keywords and solving only static, repetitive queries – modern chatbots improve customer service by a lot more. Advanced conversational AI support bots can now contextually converse with the user, creating an enriched, personalized, and compelling experience. They are designed to understand the intent behind a user’s messages and even identify emotions. This has made it possible for chatbots to go from being just an additional support accessory to a powerful business tool that directly corresponds with end-customers across various touchpoints including web, mobile, WhatsApp, email, and virtual home assistants like Alexa. 

The modern way to support customers

Traditional customer support services are plagued with issues like technical inconsistencies, inefficient practices, and sometimes, human error. These have given rise to customer complaints such as –

  • Difficulties in communicating with agents from offshore call centers
  • Lengthy wait and hold times
  • Repetitive call transfers
  • Never-ending automated self-service menus 

Many of these issues can now be addressed with the help of conversational AI. This is of vital importance given the physical distancing norms imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Incorporating AI-powered personal assistants across customer touchpoints can ensure a seamless service delivery even with support centers operating at limited capacity.  

Gartner claimed long back that 25% of customer service and support operations would integrate chatbots across engagement channels by 2020. However, little was it expected that the adoption rate would grow so phenomenally. Today, experts forecast that over 53% of service organizations will adopt chatbots by the end of 2020, and these numbers are only increasing as the need for social distancing grows. In the new normal of the business landscape, augmented automation and remote workplaces are a testament to this growth. That said, the ultimate goal of chatbots in customer service is very fundamental—providing customers with instant and accurate responses.

Automate routine requests and outbound notifications to prioritize the things that matter

So how can chatbots improve customer service? What are the chatbot use cases applicable to business operations? Well, let’s begin with simple numbers. Advanced, well-trained chatbots can accurately and instantly respond to 80% of routine customer service questions. Their popularity has been soaring as the number of chatbot use cases increase day-by-day, and the millennials populate the customer base. 55% of respondents of a survey said that they want chatbots involved in the customer service process. And with chatbots becoming a critical stakeholder in the customer service game, repetitive questions become less of a hassle for human agents. Without the need to handle routine requests and send timely alerts/payment reminders/follow-ups, human agents can focus predominantly on handling complex problems effectively. Some popular chatbot uses include-

This is the era of conversational customer services

From automated messages to visual search, chatbots empower companies to better support customer needs along their journey.

  • Personalized experience: Chatbots can leverage conversation and transaction history of customers to provide hyper-personalized suggestions and interactive experiences. 
  • Instant gratification: Customer queries are responded to or redirected almost immediately, making them reliable during times of emergencies. According to a survey, over 37% of people prefer customer service bots during emergencies. The efficiency achieved by having a chatbot in place can cut the average handling time of queries by 50% and reduce support costs by over 30%.
  • 24/7 conversational support: With chatbots in place, customer service teams can provide not merely round-the-clock customer support, but also ensure high quality and consistency of responses. This ultimately leads to customer satisfaction and a reduction in the volume of repeat calls by as much as 40%.
  • Preference pattern recognition: Chatbot conversations have proven useful in gathering information from users and understanding a preference pattern. These insights can augment user data collected during their shopping and transactions. This allows the chatbots to provide intuitive suggestions. 
  • Omnichannel integration: By integrating conversational AI, organizations can help customers get consistent responses across different channels, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, e-mail, website, and mobile apps. Further, this also ensures better conversation continuity, thereby reducing the need for customers to repeat their queries over and over. 
  • Self-learning and building of databases: AI, in combination with machine learning, can teach itself and build databases on-top of the training data. It can learn, understand, improvise, and execute with a continually growing library of data. 

Tailor new connections with chatbots

The apparent benefits that customer support chatbots bring to the table cannot be overestimated. By responding to most standard questions, conversational chatbots reduce overall costs and expedite response time. Owing to the faster and more accurate responses, organizations can benefit from lower customer bounce rate and increased retention.

By proactively educating customers with targeted messaging, preemptively answering their questions, and providing visual tours, they reduce the support volume and improve customer experiences across several customer-facing industries. 
Expand your audience outreach, boost your brand image, and augment customer satisfaction with zero-coding chatbot platforms. Reduce the training period and time-to-launch of your chatbot with pre-trained industry models that require minimal information input!

Lifestyle

Therapists Reveal How to Stay Positive When Your Partner is Irritating You

Therapists Reveal How to Stay Positive When Your Partner is


There’s something beautiful about having a partner that you’ve committed to for life. You get to spend every waking morning together and go to bed beside them at night. All that togetherness can be a bit too much for some people–sometimes ever irritating.

The cares of life can weigh heavily on your relationship, and there are times when your partner is getting on your nerves. It may not be about his or her actions. But it has everything to do with what’s going on in your life. How can you stay positive when your partner is irritating you to the point of an explosion?

Therapists work with people every day who have relationship problems. The tiniest of infractions can fester, causing arguments that last for days. Many people break-up and move on, and they don’t know what the problem was in the first place.

If your partner is getting on your nerves, you need to learn positivity in dealing with these situations. Here are some tips to help you keep from going over the edge.

•Realize Why They’re Irritating You

You’re human, so it’s only reasonable to shift the blame from one person to another. For instance, if a coworker made you upset at work today, then you may come home and take it out on your partner. Sometimes, even their heavy breathing can make you want to scream.

You must realize where your frustration is coming from, and never take it out on anyone else. Anger is the most natural emotion to show, and it’s so easy to show it to the wrong person.

•Do Not Resort to Childish Games

When someone is on your last nerve, it’s easy to want to call names, yell, or even not speak to them at all. Instead, why not effectively communicate the issue. If your partner leaves his or her dirty clothes on the floor beside the hamper rather than inside it, you can simply tell them how this is bothering you.

Never avoid speaking to them, leave angry, or make the situation worse. Act like an adult and get to the crux of the matter. Many people don’t even realize why they are getting on their partner’s nerves until the other person says something about it.

•Set Aside Time to Discuss Frustrations

One of the reasons why so many couples don’t make it is because they don’t have a good communication line. If your partner has little habits that drive you mad, you need to have an open dialogue about it. You should set aside a time each evening to talk.

Now, this time should not be reserved to point out all the wrong things that they’re doing, but it should be a time to talk about anything and everything. You need to tell them about work frustrations, problems with the kids, and the things that you both can improve on as a couple.

However, you mustn’t nitpick your partner. You don’t want to send them a text at work and tell them about the cap being off the toothpaste once again. Save all these little frustrations for discussion time. You can quickly drive them out of the door if you are constantly badgering them.

If you don’t have an active line of communication, don’t be surprised if your relationship doesn’t make it. Most conflicts can be resolved with effective communication. It helps to keep positivity in the union.

•Take Care of You

If your partner is annoying you, it might be because you haven’t had time to take care of yourself. You may tend to make mountains out of molehills when all you do is work. If you’re not getting enough sleep, meeting your deadlines, and feel like life is passing you by, then it’s easy to be aggravated by the smallest things.

Schedule a massage or a night out with your friends. With some rest and relaxation, you will be amazed at how much better you feel. The things that seem to bother you when you’re stressed out will probably be lessened when you are in a better place.

•Address an Underlying Mental Health Issue

Some things can be irritating to you because you have an underlying anxiety disorder. Did you know that anxiety can make you moody, irritable, grouchy, and a bear to be around? If you feel that you’re on edge often, it’s worth seeing a therapist.

You may have an anxiety issue that is causing you to be irritated by everything your partner does. In the spirit of positivity, you want to make sure their irritating ways aren’t only bothering you. For instance, do they drive you mad when they are crunching on potato chips or eating popcorn?

Misophonia is an anxiety-based condition that is aggravated by noise. So that chomping isn’t them being annoying, it’s your disorder kicking into overdrive. You can learn effective ways to manage this condition.

• Take a Walk

If your partner is doing something irritating, like turning the television up too loud, you may need to remove yourself from the room. The reason they may have the TV volume up so high is that they cannot hear it. While they may need hearing aids, it’s not something that you can take care of right now.

The best thing to do in this situation is to remove yourself. Go outside, take a walk, or sit on the porch and talk to one of your friends. When you take yourself away from the noise and chaos, then you will be able to refocus.

It’s not easy living with another person, and you will find that some days are worse than others. If they aren’t trying to annoy you, then just take a break. You will feel refreshed when you come back.

•Address Some Issues in the Moment

While you don’t want to be a nag, some things need to be addressed at the moment. For instance, if your partner is wearing shoes through the house, explain why this bothers you. There’s no need to wait for a specific time to talk when it’s something that you can address right now.

Rather than telling them all the reasons you’re upset, you can use science to back you up. Saying something like, “Did you know that when you wear shoes in the house, you are dragging in fecal matter and urine from dogs, not to mention all the other toxins on the ground?” You’re taking the focus off you and telling them a scientifically based reason why wearing your shoes in the house is terrible.

Plus, it’s incredibly irritating to have to clean up mud and shoe marks from the floors but blame it on science for the sense of positivity.

• Get Professional Help

Just because you’re in love with someone doesn’t mean that you will always like them. There may be times when you downright can’t stand them. If your union is worth salvaging from their irritating habits and the constant bickering, you need to see a therapist.

Therapists have a way to get to the crux of the matter and help you find effective methods for conflict resolution. Some issues are damaging to the relationship if they’re not dealt with immediately. Other situations boil and fester and put permanent wedges between people that are not repairable.

Therapy isn’t something that can fix everything, and it doesn’t work overnight. You both must commit to finding positive ways to deal with the irritations that are in your relationship.

• Learn Meditation

Meditation is a widely accepted Eastern treatment for what ails you. It helps to put the mind and body in perfect alignment as you learn to control your breathing. Did you know that you can learn simple forms of Meditation to stop a panic attack?

If you’re new to this art form, then using guided audio from the internet is easiest. However, Tibetan singing bowls are becoming increasingly popular in this country too. These bowls have a harmonious sound that brings an immediate focus and calm to your body.

Meditation helps you to rid negative energies that attach themselves to you during the day. For instance, you may have argued with a person at work, and all that negative drama is plaguing your mind when you get home. You can wash away the effects of that by simply meditating for a few minutes.

Final Thoughts on Overcoming the Irritating Parts of Your Relationship

There is no relationship without conflict and irritants. However, you must learn how to deal with these times positively for your union to last. When you look at people who’ve been married for 20 years or more, they have mastered the art of conflict resolution with their partner.

Lifestyle

8 Ways Meditation Rewires Your Brain and Helps You Stay Calm

8 Ways Meditation Rewires Your Brain and Helps You Stay


Millions of people today have taken up the practice of meditation due to its ability to rewire the brain and promote calm feelings in the mind and body. This practice offers a wide range of benefits from easing depression to helping with weight loss. Therefore, meditation can transform the lives of everyone who practices it in some way.

Many people look forward to vacations or time off of work. Indeed, this break gives them a chance to rest their weary minds. However, you don’t need to travel or spend any money to get the solace you seek. Search within, and you can find everything you’ve been looking for.

During meditation, you can detach from the mental chatter and emotional states. You learn how to connect with the soul. Those who delve deep in meditation can quiet all of the senses and experience a peace that most of us couldn’t even fathom. However, everyone can access this realm of pure tranquility by using willpower, concentration, and dedication.

We all can create either chaos or peace in our lives with the power of our minds.

Our thoughts create our realities, so we get to choose what we experience on a minute by minute basis.

Meditation allows us a path back to ourselves. We came from love and peace. Thus, we must find our way back to this place within ourselves. Meditation can rewire your brain and change your thinking patterns, and the best part is, anyone can do it free of charge in their own home.

“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”  ~Jiddu Krishnamurti

meditation

Here are eight ways meditation rewires your brain and helps you remain calm:

1 – Meditation lowers your heart rate and stress levels.

In a study from Stanford University, participants who completed an eight-week mindfulness meditation course had more significant activity in areas of the prefrontal cortex that regulate emotions. In turn, this helped lower their stress levels. Another five-year study asked 201 patients with coronary heart disease to engage in transcendental meditation, which involves repeating a sound or mantra, for 15 minutes per day. The meditators had a 48% lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and death following this meditation program. Their blood pressure and stress levels also decreased.

2 – Meditation preserves the brain.

One study from UCLA found that long-term meditators had less brain decay as they age. Participants who’d practiced meditation for around 20 years had more grey matter volume throughout the brain.

The older meditators still showed some volume loss in the brain, but the non-meditators’ brains had much more noticeable signs of aging. Study author Florian Kurth said that the research team didn’t expect to see such distinct effects from meditating, but they observed widespread changes throughout the brain.

gratitude

3 – Meditation reduces activity in the brain’s “me” center.

One study from Yale University found that mindfulness meditation reduces activity in the default mode network (DMN), the area of the brain that causes disorganized, chaotic thoughts. The DMN becomes activated when our minds don’t have anything specific on which we should focus. And unfortunately, our thoughts tend to become cynical when left to their own devices. Our monkey minds often focus on the negative because biology wired our brains to scan for threats in our environment.

In our modern world, however, this innate characteristic can lead to ruminating about the past or future, worrying about bills, etc. Meditation can help to quiet this area of the brain so that we can focus on one task and activity at a time.

Meditation causes new synapses to form in the brain so that when the mind does wander, the meditator can easily come back to the present moment.

4 – It helps reduce depression symptoms.

A review study at Johns Hopkins looked at how meditation can reduce symptoms of depression in people who practice it regularly. Researcher Madhav Goyal and his team found that meditation had an effect size of 0.3. That number may sound low, but antidepressants have the same effect size.

“A lot of people have this idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing,” says Goyal. “But that’s not true. Meditation is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.”

Meditation isn’t a magic bullet for depression, as no treatment is, but it’s one of the tools that may help manage symptoms.

5 – Meditation can lead to increased thickness in the brain.

In 2011, Sara Lazar and her team at Harvard found that eight weeks of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) increased cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which aids in learning and memory. Areas of the brain responsible for emotion regulation and self-referential processing also showed increased thickness. The team found decreases in brain cell volume in the amygdala, which makes us feel fear, anxiety, or stress.

These changes matched the participants’ accounts of their stress levels, which shows that meditation can alter the perception of our emotions as well as areas of the brain responsible for regulating them.

So, not only can meditation improve learning and memory, but it can help reduce unwanted negative feelings, thus enhancing our quality of life in general.

womens brains work better

7 – It improves concentration and attention.

In our world of constant distractions, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many people have trouble concentrating on one task at a time nowadays. However, meditation gives us the tools we need to retrain our brains to focus. One study found that in just two weeks of meditation training, people scored higher on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE. The average increase in score was a whopping 16 percentile points.

Meditation involves concentration and focuses on achieving desired results, so this carries over into the “real world” as well. Better concentration and attention can improve job performance, test scores at school, and even conversation and listening skills.

7 – Meditation lowers both generalized anxiety and social anxiety.

Anxiety seems pervasive in almost every area of the world today. In our fast-paced culture, this just seems to occur as an unfortunate side effect. However, the meditation we mentioned previously called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), can help to lower stress and anxiety levels. Research shows that mindfulness meditation can help reduce anxiety symptoms due to the decrease in rumination and reduced activity in the “me” center of the brain. Mindfulness meditation can even help with a social anxiety disorder. A Stanford University team found that MBSR led to changes in areas of the brain governing attention. In this way, meditation helps to calm self-destructive thoughts so that socializing and being out in public doesn’t seem as overwhelming.

8 – Meditation can help to fight addiction.

A growing number of studies have shown that meditation can help people recover from addiction due to the increase in self-control one experiences after regular practice. One study, for example, compared mindfulness training to the American Lung Association’s freedom from smoking (FFS) program. They found that people who learned mindfulness had a much higher chance of quitting smoking by the end of the training, as well as at 17 weeks follow-up than those in the FFS program.

Researchers believe that meditation may help people control their cravings better. Thus, they can simply watch the waves of thought pass by without reacting to them. In other words, they can simply observe their desire without having to give into it. However, some different types of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, might be necessary as a supplement in some cases.

meditateFinal thoughts on how meditation can rewire your brain and help you stay calm

Meditation offers us such a powerful tool to rewire our brains and help us remain calm even amid chaos. Meditation helps reduce depression and anxiety symptoms, fight addiction, improve concentration and attention, decrease social anxiety symptoms, and reduce aging in the brain.

It also lowers heart rate and stress, leads to increased thickness in the brain, and reduces rumination and negative thinking. Meditation offers mental and emotional benefits. Plus, it can improve our physical health as well.

This shutdown offers all of us an excellent opportunity to slow down, go within ourselves, and start up a regular meditation practice. We all have incredible power within us to assert more self-control and achieve a better balance in our lives.

If you haven’t started a meditation practice of your own, just make sure to find a quiet area that you feel comfortable in. Also, try using crystals, calming music, incense, or whatever else adds to your experience and gets you into a zen state of mind.

Even if you can only spend 10 or 15 minutes before work meditating, that is fine. This time spent can change your mindset for the rest of the day. It can seem daunting at first to just sit alone with your thoughts. But once you start feeling and seeing the results, it will make it easier to incorporate into your daily life.

Lifestyle

10 Mental Health Tips to Stay Positive During Quarantine

10 Mental Health Tips to Stay Positive During Quarantine


There are few things worse than being under quarantine. You want to provide safety for you and your family, which means utilizing shelter-in-place protocols. However, while you may shield yourself from outside exposures to various viruses and toxins, you must stay positive. By keeping a positive mindset, you will protect your mental health too.

10 Tips for Stay Positive and Protect Your Mental Health

If you ask any mental health professional, they will tell you that if you want to avoid depression, then you need to get out from behind four walls. When you’re under quarantine, you can’t do that as easily. Thankfully, here are ten tips to help you ride out the storm and keep your sanity.

1. Get Plenty of Time Outside to Help Stay Positive

Nothing can give you a better boost in your mood than sunshine. The sun provides ample doses of Vitamin D, which is something your body desperately needs. There’s no reason to stay inside when the weather is beautiful outside.

The key to being outside is to maintain your distance between other folks, while still allowing everyone to enjoy parks and other public spaces. During social distancing, you always want to observe the rules of the quarantine. However, you can play ball, walk hiking trails, and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer.

vitamin d deficiency

2. Tackle Household Projects

Do you have tons of little projects around your house that you’ve never got around to doing? Well, being off during the quarantine offers you plenty of downtimes. Why not paint the stairwell or the master bedroom, or can you build that deck you’ve wanted for years?

When the world opens back up and is going at an accelerated speed, you will appreciate all the time you had to work on these projects. Most hardware stores are open for your home repair needs. Head over to the paint department and see what new hue you can splash on your walls.

3. Dive into Spring Cleaning

The adage states that a clean home is a happy home. You’ll be able to stay positive after the restrictions lift by having a better-organized household. Since you want to ensure your family’s health anyway, why not tear out all those closets and wash the curtains? Spring cleaning can be something you get the whole family involved in doing.

Remember to pull out the stove and refrigerator and clean behind those significant appliances. It might be a great time also to have the carpets shampooed and give your abode a deep clean.

isolated during quarantine
Here are 10 ways to feel less isolated during the quarantine.

4. Engage in an Excellent Novel

When it comes to mental health, there are few things as beneficial as a good book. You can transport yourself to another time and place by simply reading a captivating story. If you want to be anywhere but stuck at home, why not join an adventurous story that will engage your mind.

If you have children at home, then you should encourage them to read. Why not have a family book night where you all read a novel a few chapters at a time? You can have some really engaging conversation when you’re all excited and hearing a story come to life.

5. Catch up with Friends and Family

While you may not be able to see your friends and family during quarantine, you can still communicate. Thanks to the power of technology, you can use apps that allow you to have video phone calls.

Since you can’t be there in person, then a video call is the next best thing. Catch up with siblings and relatives both near and far. Technology can bridge the gaps between you and your loved ones, and you can find out all the happenings in their life.

grief quotes

6. Join an Online Support Group to Feel Less Isolated During Quarantine

Some people handle being in lockdown better than others. If you feel that you are on edge and about to have a break, then it’s best to reach out to others for support. The internet is full of people that are experiencing the same emotions as you, and they can be a great source of comfort.

You must remember that your feelings are not abnormal and that many people are having a hard time with sheltering-in-place. Online support groups using apps like Zoom can make you feel as if you are attending a meeting. Seeing all the other faces and hearing their stories can make you think that you’re not alone, and you have someone’s shoulder to cry on.

7. Use Humor as Much as Possible

Much research has gone into the effects of humor on the body’s health. It’s hard to stay blue if you’re laughing. Many people are using Tik Tok to create funny videos.

Could you be the next great chef, or would you like to create a hilarious video using your children and their abilities? You can create anything you want and share it with the world. When you’re laughing and smiling, it helps to pass the time.

Also, your videos can help someone else who may be going through a difficult time right now. Sign up for a daily joke and watch some of the hilarious videos that have gone viral because of their great content.

8. Turn Off the News and Put Down the Phone

In times of uncertainty, it’s important that we only get the right amount of news. You don’t want to burden yourself with all the negativity. Rather, you need to focus on the things that are important for you and your family.

It’s also of supreme importance that you limit your children’s interaction with social media. While video games and watching YouTube are all great things, there should be limits placed on them for mental wellness.

You and your children need to be spending time together playing board games, running in the wind, and cooking dinner together. Putting so much negativity into your spirit can really start to cause issues for your psyche. It’s okay to leave the TV off for a day and have everyone put their cell phones in a box.

9. Stay Positive by Establishing a Comfortable Routine

Daily habits are there because they are important. During quarantine periods, things get all mixed up, and your schedule gets off. However, if your timetable is really off, then it can really mess with your mental wellness.

No matter how hard it is to get out of bed, you must get up at a decent hour. Sleeping in should be no later than 9 am. Also, you and your children should get dressed, brush your teeth and hair, and be presentable for each day. Not only will you look better, but you will feel better when you are up and have completed your daily routine.

When it comes to your children, you must have some patience and understanding when dealing with them. They don’t comprehend what’s going on and why they are at home so much. They will have behavioral issues, and they will not be perfect angels.

Be sure that you react with kindness and understanding. While everyone needs to follow the rules, you can extend some leniency due to the circumstances. Just keep reminding yourself and your family that this will all soon be over.

10. Stay Positive by Finding a Safe Retreat

All this togetherness is sometimes overwhelming. You can and should spend as much time with your children as you can. Those little moments playing a board game or watching them learning to ride a bike will be precious to you one day. However, there are times when you need a little solace.

Do you have a sacred space where you can go and meditate for a while? Meditation should be one of your new daily habits during the shelter-in-place orders. Many studies show how beneficial meditation can be for your mind, body, and soul. Plus, during these sessions, you can learn to get rid of negative feelings and channel positive ones.

If you don’t have a designated space where you can go to escape the world, then you need to go outside and take a walk. Don’t ever underestimate the power of sunshine, fresh air, peace, and quiet. It’s healing beyond measure. Make sure you get at least a half-hour of uninterrupted me time each day.

vitamin c
China is testing the use of Vitamin C to battle coronavirus–and it’s working!

Final Thoughts: Stay Positive and Make the Best of a Tough Situation

It’s important to remember that your children are looking to you during this time of uncertainty. If you are anxious and upset, then they will copy your emotions. However, if you use this time for something good, like spending lots of time together, then they will be happy and playful.

Being under quarantine is not easy for the strongest person. If you feel that you are getting to a point where you need help, then reach out to your doctor or a therapist. There are extra resources in place to help people who struggle with depression and anxiety, as well as other mental illnesses.

The only way to get through a difficult time is by doing things that you love most. So make that gourmet meal, go for a ride on your bike, and by all means, take a nap to rejuvenate yourself. Whatever it is that makes you happy–just stay positive.

Health

Get Moving: How to Stay Healthy When Working a Sedentary Job

Get Moving: How to Stay Healthy When Working a Sedentary


Get Moving: How to Stay Healthy When Working a Sedentary Job

You’ve been feeling a bit sluggish and your body is always in pain. It could be because you have a sedentary job. These jobs pay better than your basic retail job but they can hurt your health. 

You need to be able to stretch and walk around regularly. Depending on how crazy your work schedule is, it may be hard for you to find the time. Rather you know it or not, it’s not too hard to work fitness around your daily life. 

To help you bring in the cash and stay healthy while you do it, here are a few ways to take care of yourself when you’re working a desk job.

Stretch at Your Desk 

Sometimes it’s hard to find time to leave your desk during the day and that’s fine. You can do stretches and exercises without ever leaving. 

If you’re not sure where to start with this you can find some great desk workout ideas online. 

Take the Stairs 

Most workplaces have both stairs and elevators. When you’re left up to choose, go with the stairs. It gives you more opportunity for walking. 

If stairs aren’t your friend then you can get the same kind of benefits from parking further away from your building. Basically, find as many opportunities to take steps throughout your day as you can. 

Have Weekly Fitness Sessions 

While you may not be able to fit in working out every day you can still get wellness benefits from scheduling a few. You don’t have to head to your local gym. You can go on a jog a couple of times a week. 

Some workplaces do have a gym on sight. If yours offers this service then make sure that you’re taking advantage of it. 

Get Up 

Even though you work at a desk you don’t have to keep yourself glued there. You can get up and walk around a little whenever you want. 

For example, say your boss asks you to take a conference call. You can take the call and then pace around as you listen and take notes on a pad. 

Schedule Your Meals 

Between staff meetings and projects you may not give yourself too much time for lunch and if you do take a lunch it’s quick unhealthy options. You need to give yourself time. 

Write down your lunchtime on your calendar every day. When you plan for it you’re less likely to rush to the nearest convenience store and grab a bag of chips and a soda. 

Staying Healthy When You’re Working a Sedentary Job 

Having a sedentary job isn’t a bad thing but there are some health concerns that come from them. You’ve got to schedule in time for fitness and a lunch that’s more substantial than the stuff you get from the work vending machine. Incorporate some of these steps into your day so you can stay in top form at your desk job. 

Did these wellness tips help you start feeling less fatigued and sore from your sedentary job? Check out our blog daily for more articles like this one. 

Health

Breathe Easy Busy Bodies: How to Stay Healthy and Happy When You’re Super Busy

Breathe Easy Busy Bodies: How to Stay Healthy and Happy


Breathe Easy Busy Bodies: How to Stay Healthy and Happy When You’re Super Busy

In a 2017 poll, only 33% of Americans said they felt “happy.” Now, happiness is a difficult thing to define, much less quantify. But the poll results do tell us something about the state of our psyches.

We are overworked, underpaid, and stressed to the max. If you’re looking for ways to stay healthy and happy in these super busy times, look no further. 

Make the Time for Sleep

We all know that sleep is important in determining our quality of life, yet it’s the thing we decide to skimp on first. Maybe it’s because we don’t know just how important sleep is. 

Sleep is a major determinant in your moods on a day-to-day basis. Sleep deprivation can lead to greater feelings of anger, sadness, and anxiousness. So try to make time to sleep, even if that means sacrificing in other areas. 

Meditation

The scientific jury is still out somewhat, in what exactly the physiological benefits of mediation are, but so far, we know that they’re good. Frequent meditators report feeling less stressed and happier. 

These days, you don’t even have to join a Buddhist monastery to find the time to meditate. With the help of smartphone apps like Headspace or Calm, you can find the time to meditate in short, 10-20 minute bursts.

It’s Okay to Say No

The common refrain “You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce” is true, but Beyonce actually knows how to manage her commitments. Many of us don’t.

Even with way too much on our plate, many of us can’t seem to stop saying yes to new responsibilities. If people are constantly coming to you for favors and tasks, you have to know that it’s okay to say no to things. 

This will lead to less stress and more happiness. After all, it’s better to do a few things very well than it is to do a lot of things poorly.

Find and Maintain Intimacy

Life is hard, and you shouldn’t have to go it alone. Finding and maintaining intimacy, platonically or romantically, is a huge key to happiness in life. When sharing a kiss, a hug, or having sex with someone, our brains release oxytocin, otherwise known as the “feel good” chemical. 

It can be difficult to find time for friends or lovers with a busy work schedule, but time well-spent with these people in your life makes for a much happier one. If you need help finding ways to stay intimate with your partner, make sure to follow this advice. 

Need More Advice for Staying Happy While Super Busy?

Hopefully, this article has given you some coping mechanisms for managing your super busy lifestyle. You just have to remember to take a breath, smell the roses, and partake in some self-care. 

However, if you’d like more advice on how to stay healthy and happy in these trying times, be sure to check out the rest of our articles, like this one on how to reduce workplace headaches. 

Business

5 Super Effective Tips to Stay Organized as a Freelancer

5 Super Effective Tips to Stay Organized as a Freelancer


5 Super Effective Tips to Stay Organized as a Freelancer

From the outside looking in, living the freelance life might look like a dream.

There is no one to tell you when to start working in the morning, no one to tell you that you need to work late, and no one bossing you around throughout the course of the day.

But in reality, freelancers often face a long list of challenges that can frustrate them if they’re not careful. One of the biggest challenges is trying to stay organized while still remaining productive.

Here are 5 tips that will help you stay more organized if you live life as a freelancer.

1. Set Up a Schedule at the Start of Every Day

As a freelancer, you don’t have to stick to a rigorous schedule like you would have to if you were working at a 9-5. You have the ability to be a little more flexible when it comes to scheduling.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to set up a schedule at all. If you want to stay organized, get into the habit of creating goals for yourself at the beginning of every day and set up a schedule to achieve them.

You’ll feel better at the end of the day when you know that you accomplished something.

2. Create Time Limits for the Tasks You Need to Complete

When you’re freelancing, you usually won’t have someone breathing down your neck asking you when you’re going to be finished with a task. You can work at your own pace and take breaks when you want to.

But try to come up with a realistic time limit for each task that you do. It’ll prevent you from dragging your feet and falling behind with your work.

3. Come Up With a Filing System for Your Important Documents

You’ll have a lot of important documents on your hands when you’re freelancing. For example, many of your clients will probably ask you to sign contracts before giving you assignments.

Purchase a filing cabinet and keep copies of important paperwork organized in it. This includes contracts, payment agreements, pay stubs, and anything else you might need to refer back to later.

4. Put Aside a Percentage of Any Money You Make Freelancing for Tax Purposes

When tax time rolls around, freelancers are responsible for getting their taxes squared away on their own.

Don’t wait until April 15 to figure out how you’re going to pay taxes on the freelance money you’ve earned. Put aside somewhere between 20 and 30 percent of your earnings, depending on your personal situation, for taxes.

A freelance management platform can help you keep tabs on things like your freelance income.

5. Find a Way to Work Personal Time Into Your Life

Staying organized as a freelancer is essential. But don’t allow it to run your life!

You’ll think more clearly and be better organized when you have a good work/life balance. Make time for yourself as often as you can and socialize with others, too.

Stay Organized to Increase Your Chances of Being a Successful Freelancer

Being a freelancer isn’t as easy as it looks. Not everyone has the discipline it takes to succeed.

If you want to ensure you have long-term success as a freelancer, stay organized by following the tips listed here. You’ll keep your head on straight and be able to deal with whatever freelance life throws your way.

Check out our blog for more tips on staying organized as a freelancer.

Health

How to Stay Positive and Reduce Divorce Stress

How to Stay Positive and Reduce Divorce Stress


How to Stay Positive and Reduce Divorce Stress

While divorce rates are falling, they’re still quite common, with about 40 percent of all marriages ending in divorce.

Splitting up with a spouse can bring tons of heartache and turmoil, as well as financial, familial, and personal stress.

During these times, it’s pertinent that you stay positive and do everything you can to reduce divorce stress.

While that’s often easier said than done, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can minimize divorce stress and stay positive during this dark period.

Spend Time With Family And Friends

When you marry, you expect your partner to be the one person you can always count on. So it makes sense that your faith in others may be a bit shaken following your decision to get a divorce.

Don’t let your past experiences dictate your future. Now, more than ever is the time to reach out.

Start spending time with family and friends. Don’t be afraid to confide in them and let them know you’re hurting.

By nature, humans are empathetic and seek companionship from others who understand us. Leaning on your loved ones can bring you closer and lift you up during your time of need.

Keep Track of Finances

Aside from the emotional pain, divorces can be financially draining when you factor in the cost of lawyers and court fees. On average, the price of divorce falls somewhere between $500 and $9,000.

Therefore, you’ll need to be smart with your money. If you haven’t already, start keeping track of your finances.

Free sites like Mint can help you determine a monthly budget that fits your needs when going through a divorce.

Write About Your Divorce Stress

Even with work and social obligations, it’s easy to isolate yourself and get stuck in your own head.

Be careful of critical thinking. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop.

You can curb negative thinking by writing your feelings down in a journal, or detail your journey online.

Whenever you’re feeling upset, write out your feelings. Studies show that there are benefits to seeing your thoughts on paper.

Volunteer Your Time

Giving your time to others in need is a great way to take you out of your own mind (and home) for a little while. By volunteering, you’ll stay busy while making a difference in your community.

There are tons of service options for people of every type.

Take cute shelter puppies out for a walk if you love animals. Hand out meals at your local soup kitchen if you’re concerned about the homeless. Mentor kids and take a vested interest in their future.

After an afternoon of service, your divorce stress will lower and you’ll feel great about yourself to boot.

Final Thoughts on Coping With Divorce Stress

Divorce is never a happy situation. But you can view it as the end of your life or the beginning of a brand new chapter.

Keep these tips in mind and remember to breathe. You can handle anything that comes your way.

And don’t forget to keep coming back to ArticleCity for tips on how to live your best life.

Lifestyle

How To Stay Fit over 50 and Still Enjoy Eating

How To Stay Fit over 50 and Still Enjoy Eating


How To Stay Fit over 50 and Still Enjoy Eating

As we get older our body composition changes. This is often a result of becoming less active, which leads to a decrease in our basal metabolic rate (BMR).

With less muscle to burn calories, we may find that we can’t eat as much as we used to without gaining weight. Other changes in hormones, tastes, energy levels, and nutrient absorption can also impact our fitness levels and health.

However, staying fit over 50 doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy eating. Learn how to get the balance right with these great tips.

Stay Active

Many people think that our metabolism decreases as we get older, but this isn’t true.

What actually happens is that our activity levels decrease and we lose muscle mass as a result. With less muscle the body needs less energy, so food is stored as fat rather than burned off. Our basal metabolic rate (BMR) then slows down as the composition of our bodies change.

The simplest way to counteract a slowing BMR is to stay active. Walking is a good, fairly low-impact exercise that will help to burn calories and maintain muscle mass. Walking is also great for the heart and helps to boost your mood.

Other low-impact exercises to try include gardening, swimming, yoga, and Pilates.

Cut Calories, Not Taste

With small changes to the meals you love you can save a lot of calories and still enjoy eating.

Many people find that reducing their intake of carbohydrates helps them to stay in shape. Why not try spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta? And even if you’re not much of a baker, this low carb bread recipe is delicious and simple to make.

Alternatively, you can make small changes to the products you consume every day, such as opting for low fat dairy over full fat versions. Many taste exactly the same but pack in a lot fewer calories.

Another great tip is to try to make more meat-free meals. Try a bean Bolognese or make a stew with veggies and lentils. You’ll cut calories and saturated fat drastically by skipping meat a couple of nights a week.

Consider Supplements

Another key part of staying fit is maintaining good health.

Our bodies become less efficient at absorbing some nutrients as we get older, so it’s important to make the calories we consume as nutrient-dense as possible to stay healthy.

Without key vitamins, it can be hard for your body to process food correctly into energy, meaning that you may feel tired and sluggish. You may also put yourself at risk of infections and more serious illnesses.

Some of the nutrients you may be lacking include Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Vitamin D, Fiber, and Omega-3 Fats.

It’s always preferable to get nutrients through your diet but you may need to consider taking supplements. Consult your doctor to discuss your diet and whether supplements could help you stay fit over 50.

Drink Water

Our sense of thirst also reduces as we get older, so it might not be so easy to tell when we’re dehydrated.

Drinking water can help reduce hunger, boosts energy and facilitates digestion.

And not drinking enough water can cause urinary tract infections and lead to memory problems, so getting enough water is beneficial for our physical and mental health.

Keep small bottles of water in your fridge and drink from them regularly, even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty. You should aim for around eight cups per day for good health.

Sleep Well

Staying fit at any age is all about balance. As well as your diet and activity level, getting enough sleep is an important part of that.

As well as giving you the chance to rest your mind and body, sleep helps to regulate the hormones that control hunger signals. Not sleeping well can disrupt these signals and fool your brain into thinking you’re hungry when you’re not.

As we get older it can be harder to enjoy a good night’s sleep, possibly because of hormonal factors, physical discomfort or changes to our oxygen intake.

If you’re finding it hard to sleep at night then these simple solutions to help you sleep better should help.

How to Stay Fit Over 50

Staying fit over 50 doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy eating the same foods or that you have to make any drastic changes.

With small sustainable changes to your lifestyle and diet, you can maintain good health and keep fit for many years to come.

Do you have any tips of your own for keeping fit over 50? Let us know by commenting below.