Ways to Stay Awake Behind the Wheel

Driving typically requires a good amount of attention and effort. In fact, if that is not the case, you are probably not doing it properly. Depending on the road conditions and the length of the trip, it can also be pretty exhausting. You have no doubt heard about being people falling asleep behind the wheel and becoming involved in horrific accidents.

Whether you are a professional truck driver or simply someone commuting to and from work, it is imperative that you never nod off while driving. Ideally, you should always try to leave enough time that you don’t have to make a long drive, but if that is not possible, here are some suggestions that can help assure you don’t lose consciousness while on the road:

Be Well Rested

If you know you have a long drive coming up, make sure that you have a good sleep beforehand. Even a nap for an hour or two is better than nothing. Alter your schedule to make some sack time possible.

Take Breaks

Unless you are in the middle of nowhere and don’t feel safe getting out of your car, stop periodically and walk around. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, but try to take a break for at least a few minutes. Better to be a bit late than to never arrive.

Roll Down Your Windows

Let some cool air hit in the face.

Audio Distractions

Listening to loud music helps a lot of people stay alert. Others use podcasts or audiobooks because the content forces them to concentrate.

Have a Drink

No, not alcohol. Many people reach for caffeine to avoid sleep and that can work. However, it also can dehydrate you. Your body will work better if you drink a lot of water during the trip. That might mean pulling over more, but that trip to the restroom will also help keep you going.

Eat a Proper Meal Beforehand

One of the reasons people conk out is because they run out of energy. That can be the result of not eating properly. Sugary and fatty foods may provide a boost, but not a lasting one and you inevitably come crashing down. Eat a proper balanced meal before you leave. However, don’t eat so much that it makes you feel sleepy.

Quality Equipment is Not a Frill, It’s a Necessity

No matter what your trade, the equipment you use in the process of doing business is of great importance. This is especially true for all medical professionals, including dentists. While teeth are durable, they are not indestructible. Clients come in with cavities and various forms of wear expecting you to help them fix the issue(s). Low quality equipment can not only fail to perform that basic mission, it can even cause damage to their teeth and gums if not designed to meet modern standards of design and sturdiness.

Dental equipment is definitely not an area where one should compromise on quality. Sure, you can choose a cheaper type of carpet or maybe wait a year before you repaint the office. However, you simply cannot cheap out on things that are vital to the central mission of your practice.

It can be very tempting to choose second, or even third, best quality in the wake of the low-priced equipment flooding in from China these past few years. Short term savings can seem very attractive, especially if you are just starting to establish your practice in a new area. However, the money you save upfront from such purchases will be nowhere near the amount that you will lose in business when you fail to perform basic duties for your clients. With the internet and social media, bad reviews and bad word of mouth can kill a business in a record time.

Also, from a professional standpoint, you owe it to your clients to do the best job possible for them. That means not only having the right training, but also the right tools for the job. Dental instruments from Sable provide the sort of quality and dependable longevity that will more than justify the investment and ensure that you have satisfied clients for years to come.

Ways You Can Prevent Compassion Fatigue

The majority of us are patient, giving, and compassionate people who are eager to help when need be. However, quite unintentionally, that generosity can sometimes take a terrible toll upon us. While compassion fatigue is a threat faced by those in industries that care for people or animals, it can also be a real danger for anyone who acts as a caregiver.

Here are some steps you can take to avoid compassion fatigue:

Self-Care

As a caregiver, it is all too easy to stop doing things for yourself because you think that you just don’t have time. However, you have to make that time to preserve your own physical and mental health, thus allowing you to continue providing proper care.

Emotional Boundaries

It can be difficult to be compassionate and caring without getting emotionally involved in someone else’s problems. However, that boundary is very much necessary to preserve your own well-being.

Positive Coping Strategies

When you are down or distressed, it can be very easy to turn to drugs or alcohol to remedy the situation. However, this band-aid approach is not a solution and the issue will continue to fester and grow. Learn healthy ways to alleviate your stress, such as meditation, deep breathing, a hot bath, etc. Seeing a therapist can also help you to learn more about coping strategies and what you should and should not do.

Maintain Outside Friendships and Interests

It is very important to have healthy distractions in your life. These should be things that do not involve any aspects of caregiving and should not even remind you of it. Develop and cultivate hobbies that you do on a regular basis. Also, seek out friendships that will provide diversion and fun that can help take your mind off of the tougher aspects of life right now.

How Often Do You Have a Meaningful Conversation?

Technological advances can bring about some strange occurrences, including some that would seem to have no basis in logic. In the case of computers and smartphones, it has never been easier (or cheaper) to communicate with anyone anywhere in the world, but the amount of meaningful conversation people engage in seems to have dropped in recent years.

Something to definitely decline has been our attention span. There is so much fighting for our attention, from the internet to email to our phones, people seem to live in bubbles. Yes, we talk to co-workers, servers in restaurants, people helping us in stores, and members of our immediate family, but when was the last time you had a prolonged, intimate conversation with someone where secrets were shared and truths realized?

One of the goals of technology is to make life easier and yet, with all of these innovations, we seem to have less spare time than ever because there are so many things demanding our attention. Many of us spend entire workdays staring at screens and then spend most of our spare time doing the same thing. Conversation has been reduced to a bizarre form of shorthand in many instances, like instant messaging with its abbreviated spellings and emojis. It is not only that we don’t seem to have time anymore for a meaningful conversation, it’s almost like many of us no longer even remember how to do it.

So, how do we change this? First of all, set limits on your device use. Make plans to do things with other people who are observing the same “no phone use” rule and keep them. Think about all of the good things that come from such interactions and build upon them, increasing your social network. Then turn other people on to the same lifestyle change.

Is Your Child or Teen Obese?

There is growing concern around the world about obesity. Being overweight is bad for your body in a number of ways, including negatively impacting your blood pressure and heart function, as well as leading to diseases like diabetes.

While weight problems are occurring across all age groups, there is particular concern regarding children. Diabetes used to be a disease that affected people in middle age, but now some children are getting Type II diabetes. It is a true shame that anyone should have to deal with the scourge of diabetes, but to have it at such a young age is truly tragic.

CTV News reported today that the childhood obesity rate is ten times what it was in 1975. If that were not disturbing enough, should the trend continue upwards at this rate, it will not be that many years before there are more obese children than those at their proper weight.

There are a number of factors that can lead to childhood obesity. In decades past, the finger was usually pointed at television for making children sedentary. Now, of course, there are a multitude more entertainment options, including computers, videogames, and smart phones. The result is more and more children spending less time playing sports and exercising in favour of sitting in front of a screen and not working off those extra calories.

Experts have wrestled with what the right answer is. If it is such a challenge to get children more interested in physical activity, then it would seem that the only answer is to strictly police their diet. That means a proper and nutritious menu of food, with little or no junk and excess sugar. As anyone who is trying to lose weight will tell you, it takes tremendous willpower, so it is tough to imagine that most children will be able to adhere to such a plan, sadly.

The Changing Retail Landscape

By Mike Kalasnik from Fort Mill, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Even if you have not been paying close attention to the news, we are sure that you have noticed the retail landscape is changing. Gone are the days when people did the majority of their shopping at brick-and-mortar outlets, while saving online shopping for either emergencies or special occasions. If anything, things are the opposite of what they used to be. When Amazon first appeared, it was primarily a book retailer. Now they sell everything you can think of and some people take advantage of that fact several times a week. The convenience is difficult to argue and the price is often lower than what you commonly see in a regular store, due to their business model.

This has resulted in a distinct change of habits when it comes to shopping for many people. Some people only go to brick-and-mortar stores now in order to try products out. Once they are satisfied that the item is what they want, they then buy it online at a lower price. As you can imagine, that has drastically cut into the bottom line of many retailers that rely on the majority of their sales from physical locations.

The number of retailer bankruptcy in 2017 has been staggering, including such major chains as Sears and Toys “R” Us. As difficult as it is to imagine that retail landscape without such prominent players, this is increasingly becoming the norm as more and more people do their shopping from home. It is likely to increase in the future as so many young people are increasingly used to online shopping, so they will be very difficult to lure into a physical store going forward.

“Adapt or die”seems like a blunt way to put it, but it really is the case. Expect more retail giants to fold their tent and leave town before the decade is out.

Tips That Can Help You Live With Anxiety

Do you find yourself feeling anxious? Frankly, we would be very surprised to hear someone claim that they never experience anxiety. It is a very normal part of living, but also something that most people get over pretty quickly or only experience on occasion. Anxiety becomes a genuine problem when you experience it on a regular basis and it has a negative impact on your quality of life and/or ability to work.

Here are some tips that can help you to successfully live with anxiety:

Seek professional help

If you feel that anxiety is creating substantial problems for you, it never hurts to get a professional opinion. Anxiety is a very common problem, so you should not feel bad about seeing a therapist for it. One advantage that comes with this being such an everyday issue is that the therapist will have many ideas on how to tackle the problem. The two of you will work together and come up with the treatment plan that will make anxiety less of a problem for you.

Employ distractions

If you feel anxiety coming on, try doing something that will occupy your mind so that anxiety will be shuffled off into the background of your mind. Music, movies, reading, socializing…these are just a few things you can employ.

Exercise

Study after study reveals that the average North American does not get enough exercise. As it turns out, exercise can benefit not only your body, but also your mind. Exercising produces “feel-good” endorphins, which are brain chemicals that improve mood. These can help you to relax, and, in doing so, reduce anxiety.

Take deep breaths

It sounds simplistic, but taking deep breaths can really help to slow down your blood pressure and reduce anxiety. This is also something that you can do quite easily and anywhere.

Do You Binge Watch?

The VCR revolutionized the way we watched TV. Not only could we record something and then run it later, but it was also now possible to save a bunch of episodes from a show and watch them back-to-back.

Home video companies started releasing TV shows on videocassette and this practice intensified dramatically with the arrival of DVD. That format’s capacity meant that many episodes of a series could fit on a single dual layer disc. Depending on how long a series lasted, you could conceivably include every show in one just boxset. The capacity increased even further with the arrival of Blu-ray.

Streaming services like Netflix made it even more convenient to go nuts and binge watch, particularly since the site is designed to automatically start playing the next episode whenever you finish one.

For some, this became the most common way to digest television. On the plus side, watching one episode after another can keep up the suspense and interest. It makes a television series seem almost like an extra long feature film.

On the downside, binging can become a major time suck, taking up many hours of your day, week, or even month. There are so many options available, you can theoretically go from one binging situation to another.

Of course, another reason many people binge is to avoid commercials. DVDs, Blu-rays, and streaming services are usually commercial free, and you can always record shows and then easily skip over the ads.

The way we consume media has changed in ways that few could have imagined. It used to take years to watch a show, one episode at a time over a period of weeks. Now, it possible to binge your way through a series in only a matter of days!

What is your preference? What is the best series you have ever binged?

Why Do People Love Cottages?

I don’t know about you, but my idea of the perfect vacation involves me doing as little as humanly possible. That includes anything that has to do with cleanup and maintenance of where ever I am staying. Owning your own cottage sounds quite romantic and fun, but there is also a great deal of work and responsibility that comes with this northern prize.

And yet, many people accept that and are quite happy with their cottages. Here are a few reasons why:

A Home Away from Home

While there is nothing wrong with letting other people do the work for you, some people just to have a second home away from home. That means knowing precisely the environment they are coming to and having full control over it.

That familiarity allows them to enjoy a predictable environment away from their regular one. That sense of comfort means that they can more readily relax and take in the pleasures of this alternative location.

Relaxing by the Lake

People who lived near a lake may come to take its pleasures for granted. But for those who spend their time in the rat race of the city and the suburbs, a lake is a peaceful oasis of calm in an ever-rushing world.

Water lapping gently against the shore can bring about a sense of relaxation and peace of mind. Those are two very desirable states for most people after surviving the work week.

Bonding with the Kids

Many cottage owners have families and this getaway place provides a perfect opportunity to play and bond with their children in an environment that is quiet, safe, and filled with natural beauty.

It can be a great place to learn new skills such as swimming, canoeing, and hiking. Or you can simply practice older skills and become more proficient at them.

What to Do When You Feel Alone and Unwanted

 

Very few human beings can do without other people, even individuals they hardly even know. We often think things like, “Life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to deal with so-and-so; I’d be better off alone.” However, absolute loneliness is quite unhealthy and unnatural. Human beings are social creatures that do their best when they socialize and work together.

Because this is our natural state, loneliness can be difficult to deal with. If you are feeling lonely and unloved, here are some things to remember that can help:

You Will Get Through This

Remember times in the past when you have faced bad situations. You got through those, right? They might have seemed impossible at the time, but you powered through and a solution eventually presented itself. Keeping this in mind can help you to endure other similar moments of loneliness.

Put Your Feeling on Paper

Sometimes letting everything just pour out of you on to a piece of paper (or your word processing program) can make a real difference. It is like a weight falling from your shoulders. The problem might still be there, but you may be in a better state of mind to deal with it once your negative emotions have poured out.

Ignore Your Inner Critic

You know that inner voice that pops up from time to time in your head and says things like, “You’re not good enough,” “No one could ever love you,” or “You’re a phony and everyone knows it”? That’s your inner critic speaking and it is the voice of irrationality. You should never listen to your inner critic, especially when you are feeling down. However, this can be quite tempting because you are at your most vulnerable. When these thoughts arise, dismiss them as the untruths that they are.