Friday, August 17, 2018

Protecting Your Property Can Become Problematic: Here's Why

As a homeowner, you have likely experienced the pressing need to protect your home. This is entirely
natural; your home is likely to be the most expensive purchase you will ever make, and you thus
want to ensure that it is as safe as it can possible be at all times.

To achieve this, you - like most homeowners - likely use a two-pronged approach:

  • You do all you can to protect your property from security threats, fire, and other
  • potentially-disastrous issues.
  • You also take out an insurance policy for additional peace of mind.

This allows you to achieve a situation where:

  • You reduce the likelihood of your home’s security or safety being breached…
  • … but you have protections in place, primarily via insurance, should the worst happen.

This dual approach is incredibly sensible, and is recommended by security, financial, and insurance
experts the world over.

However, for some people, going through this process can actually trigger unwanted, intrusive, and
distressing thoughts.

How can protecting your home become problematic?

In the vast majority of cases, protecting your home is a sensible decision. Installing security cameras,
obtaining good insurance, closing your windows, locking your doors, and ensuring you have proper
fire protection measures in place genuinely are good ideas, and the point of this post is not to detract
from this basic truth.

However, for some people, contemplating their home security can be a gateway to distressing thoughts.
Yes, protecting your property isn’t problematic for your home - it might be problematic for you.

How can this happen?

When you contemplate your home’s safety and security measures, you are essentially contemplating
the worst case scenario. You have to think, in detail, about how a number of distressing events may
occur. You can no longer think of the threat as an abstract concept; it’s something you have to truly
engage with.

Many people deal with this situation well; they contemplate the worst of the worst, and then feel
reassured by the protections they are able to put in place to guard against such an eventuality.
The process is simple:

  • Step One: Worry that their home is vulnerable to security or safety threats.
  • Step Two: Implement physical changes to their home to protect against these threats.
  • Step Three: Take out an insurance policy to protect against additional threats, or to cover areas
  • that cannot be managed with physical property changes.
  • Step Four: Feel reassured, continue life as normal.

You will often see this pattern reflected in marketing literature for home security and insurance products:
there’s a constant emphasis on peace of mind.

However, in some cases, contemplating the worst case scenario can be genuinely distressing. The need
to feel secure is a fundamental human requirement, and identifying all the ways your home - and thus
your family - aren’t secure can give way to extremely problematic secondary thoughts.

It’s at this point the thought process becomes disruptive. Rather than the clean cycle as described
above, you don’t ever reach the fourth step of reassurance and life returning to normal: you continue
to worry. For example:

  • What if a burglar steals items of high sentimental value?
  • What if our insurance doesn’t pay out for fire damage?
  • Where would we live while the house was being repaired after a storm?
  • … and so on and so forth.

This can be extremely distressing. As you are unable to reach the fourth point - feeling reassured, -
protecting your home has actually been inherently problematic, and you may experience a significant
rise in your stress and anxiety levels as a result.

How can you control this?

It’s important to understand what has happened if you do experience an increase in intrusive,
distressing thoughts as a result of examining your home’s safety and security.

Life is inherently dangerous, and the things we do everyday are genuinely threatening to our lives.
For example, as the statistics on demonstrate, driving a car is extremely dangerous -
taken in isolation, these statistics should be worrying enough to convince people to give up driving
altogether. Yet we all do it, day after day, even though we know how dangerous it is. Driving is not
the only area of life where we wilfully ignore a reason to be fearful, either; the principle applies
across all areas of life; we do things, every single day, that are inherently risky to our own personal
well-being and the safety of our family.

So why are we not all curled up, constantly terrified? Because our brain is able to rationalize information
that may otherwise cause a great amount of fear - for example, by acknowledging that car accidents
can and do happen, but that this does not mean they will happen. This rationalization allows us to
conduct our lives without living in constant fear.

However, there can be a point where this rationalization stops functioning as it should. This is
especially likely when contemplating something as fundamental as the safety of your home
and your family. Suddenly, you’re no longer able to rationalize your fears as you usually do;
as a result, your anxiety levels and incidences of distressing intrusive thoughts suddenly spike.

While not easy, bringing your anxiety levels back under control is a simple question of following the
thought through. This is a common technique for managing intrusive thoughts. It works as follows:

  • You experience a “what if” style thought that upsets you; “what if my insurance company doesn’t
  • pay out?” or “what if items of sentimental value are stolen?”

  • You then seek to answer this question, rather than just - as is most common - letting the thought
  • linger.

  • So, for “what if my insurance company doesn’t pay out?”, you could double-check your policy
  • guidelines to ensure you are in compliance, or visit claims adjusters such as

  • today for further insight into the process.
  • For “what if items are sentimental value are stolen?”, you could seek ways to protect those
  • items - perhaps by moving your most important pieces to a storage unit, or by scanning old
  • photographs so you always have a digital copy.

There is a chance you will experience further thoughts when attempting this technique. If this happens,
apply the same technique: keep answering the question because, eventually, the thought will run out
of steam.

For example:

  • “What if items of sentimental value are stolen?”
  • I’ll put them in a storage unit to protect them.
  • “What if the storage unit is burgled and they are stolen?”
  • Then I’ll lose them. I’ll be upset for awhile, but I’ll recover. It won’t ruin my life.

By following the thought through to its conclusion, you deprive it of its power, and should thus be
able to reduce anxiety levels.

In conclusion

The technique of following a distressing intrusive thought to its conclusion can be beneficial, and can help to ease problems caused by contemplating your home’s security and safety. However, if it doesn’t work, then it may be worth speaking with a doctor or therapist for further guidance on managing the matter.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hobbies Your Kids Can Pursue from Home

Every parent knows that kids need a whole lot of distraction and entertainment outside of schooling hours. You’d think that after hours in the classroom, they’d return home tired and ready to relax and nap. But this is rarely the case. Instead, they tend to be full of energy and will want all sorts of activities to try out. Now, there are various extracurricular activities that the majority of kids will try their hand at at some point or another in their childhood. Soccer, ballet, and musical instrument lessons are just a few of these. But if you’re tired of carting your little ones to and from clubs every evening and want to occupy them with something within your own four walls, you’ll be glad to know that there are all sorts of hobbies that they can pursue from the comfort of your own home. Here are just a couple to consider.


Now, we generally associate astronomy with professional astronomers - academics who spend their time studying celestial objects and phenomena beyond our own world. Sure, these individuals may compose a percentage of all of the people in the world who are interested in astronomy. But it’s important to bear in mind that astronomy can be pursued as a casual hobby too. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing! Now, what kid isn’t intrigued by the idea of space? You’ll find most kids poring over fact sheets on planets, stars, and the solar system at some point or another. So why not encourage them to take a look at these things themselves? Sure, you won’t have the most high end equipment for them to observe close ups. But you will be able to catch glimpses of some truly amazing astronomical objects or events. All you need is a telescope at home! Now, knowing the best telescope to invest in can be a little difficult. There are all sorts of designs and models out there, each recommended and preferred by different groups of people with different intentions and purposes. To see a range of telescopes that will allow you and your little ones to map the stars click here.


You may think that you need to take your little ones out to clubs for them to take on physical or sports oriented hobbies. But this isn’t true. You can provide them with equipment at home too. Now, if you’ve ever seen your kids near a trampoline, you’ll probably be more than familiar with how much fun they can have on such a simple contraption. Not only will bouncing up and down keep their minds occupied for hours on end, but it will provide them with a thorough cardiovascular workout too! Just make sure that they are supervised at all times. This will prevent dangerous games and irresponsible behaviour. There are plenty of trampolines on the market, large and small. So no matter what size your backyard may be, there will be one to suit your family’s needs.

These are just a couple of at-home activities and hobbies that you might want to encourage your little ones to pursue! They are positive and easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. So don’t hesitate and try them out soon.

Why Traveling Is NEVER A Waste Of Time

Lack of time is the most common excuse to postpone, cancel or simply fail to plan holidays. Indeed, most people who lack travel experience claim that they don’t have enough time for a vacation abroad. While there may be some truth in the statement – after all, modern life is fast-paced and doesn’t leave office workers with a lot of free time –, it also derives from the assumption that you need to have time to waste to embark on a travel journey. In reality, too many holidaymakers assume that traveling is a luxury they can only afford if they are happy with the idea that they won’t be making the most of their time off. In other words, many still plan their vacations as a waste of time. In reality, if you change your mindset and accept that traveling is an enriching experience more than a way to fill up your days, you’ll find it easier to have the time to travel.

The enriching gap year for students
For a lot of ambitious students, the very idea of a gap year is horrifying. Again, you need to let go of your fears of wasting time and embrace the potential of stepping out of your studies to see the world. 30,000 to 40,000 students take a semester to a year off before or during college. In fact, some even manage to balance their education while backpacking. Indeed, with the increase of exchange student programs across the world, there is no excuse to stay in your hometown when you could study abroad for a few months. You can also sign up for an online university to use distance learning while discovering new countries. Traveling lets you find out the reality of a market, a situation and culture in a way the classroom can’t expose. Additionally, late teens and early 20s is the best period to develop independent skills that help you to mature.

You can learn new skills at any age
As a professional, you might be tempted to believe that your learning years are long gone. In reality, traveling can help you to engage your cognitive side and develop exciting skills for the future and yourself. Don’t just visit Mexico, take the time to learn the lingo with the best online Spanish lessons on the go, for instance. Language skills are a bonus on your resume. But ultimately, the more you learn, the more you understand people and cultures, and the fitter your mind gets.

Broaden your horizons to improve your creativity
Are you in a creative field? Whether you work in a marketing agency, as an independent designer, or as a copywriter, traveling is renowned for providing an effective cure against the creative block. Why so? Because when you travel you see things you’ve never seen before; you discover new ways of thinking; and you stretch out your mental comfort zone. As a result, you train your mind to perceive different perspectives and combine ideas in a new way. From enjoying an espresso on a Plaza in Venice to diving in Bali, the experiences you make abroad bring new creative ammo!

Ultimately, travel requires free time. But you shouldn’t assume that the time you spend on the road is wasted. You need to consider the opportunity to explore the world as an investment in yourself, in your soft and hard skills and your mental abilities. It’s the only way to unlock the best version of yourself.

Summer Safety Tips For The Pooch In Your Life

We read article after article about how to care for our gardens, our homes and ourselves over the summer 
and there’s just not enough out there about how to care for our dogs. Our pets love the summer months just 
as much as we do – extra walks, bumblebees and butterflies to chase in the parks and more time to get out 
and walk with dry ground rather than frosty. They love the sunshine, and while there is nothing wrong with 
extrawalks, long hikes and allowing your dog to jump into the nearest lake or ocean to cool off, there are 
still some issues with safety that mustn’t be forgotten during the season. It’s very hard for dogs to keep as 
cool as we do when the sun is hot and beating down. We sweat to cool down and dogs just don’t have that 
same capability – they pant, where we don’t. The difficulty comes when there is only hot air for the dog to 
breathe, asthey then can’t keep as cool as they would usually. Summer is the season for fun, but for dogs
it’s a season for caution. 

Below, you can read some of the best safety tips for your pooch this summer.

Photography of a Dog on Seashore

Hot Cars + Dogs = Disaster. While it’s good to have services like on hand for our pets,your dog 
deserves for you to do everything that you can to keep them healthy yourself. Leaving your dog ina car on a hot day is akin 
to boiling them alive, and it’s neglectful. Unfortunately, there is a small minority every year that believes it’s 
perfectly fine to crack the window and keep doing it. Read here to figure out why it’s a bad idea.

Bug Off. Summer is beautiful, but it does bring a lot of bugs! If you don’t protect your pooch, your pet will be at risk for 
certain bug-related diseases, like Lyme disease from tick bites and heartworm. There are a hostof conditions that you should be keeping an eye out for, so keep watch for any mosquitoes, fleas and ticks to avoid them.

Step Lightly. Dog paws and hot pavements are not a good combination. Asphalt and metal get very hot in 
the sun, and it’s up to you to ensure that you keep your dog’s paws as cool as possible. Keep inside the 
house during the hottest periods of the day. Go for walks early in the morning and late in the evening and 
keep a dog in the shade as much as possible.

Pool. Those children’s paddling pools are the perfect play thing for a dog when it’s hot. They love water and a good splash 
keeps their skin and paws cool when the sun is beating down.

If you have concerns about your dog in the summer sunshine, have a chat with your vet and talk about the 
things that you could be doing to keep them comfortable and happy. A cool pup is a happy pup!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Staying Cool In The Summer Heat

We all love a bit of sunshine, but when the temperatures become too hot for too long,
things can start to get very uncomfortable. Finding ways to stay cool as the temperatures
rise is important, and fortunately, there are some tried and tested things you can do that will
help you keep cool throughout the summer months.

Image: Kaboom Pics

Take a look at these tops tips for staying cool in the summer heat.

Drink plenty of water

The heat can make you dehydrated, which can lead to some serious health problems. Keeping a
bottle of water by your side throughout the day will help to keep you cool and help
prevent headaches and sunstroke while you’re out and about. Buy a bottle designed to
keep your water cool for a longer period of time, or freeze a plastic bottle to ensure ice cold water.
Keep some by your bed for those hot and humid nights, as you’ll likely need a good drink when you
wake up after sweating during the night.

Cool down your home throughout the day

Keeping your home cool during the day will help make it more bearable at night. There are things you
can do such as closing your curtains and opening the windows to stop your home from heating up and to
make sure plenty of air circulates throughout the day.

Invest in fans

Fans are a more economical alternative to air conditioning, avoiding many of the potential health
problems that can occur from having the aircon on throughout the day. If you suffer through long,
hot summers every year, then get some ceiling fans from - you won’t regret it.
You can also get desk fans to put by your bedside table to help keep you cool as you’re trying to sleep.

Wear loose clothing made from natural materials

Nobody likes to feel hot, comfortable and sweaty, so learning how to dress for summer can help you
to feel cooler on even the balmiest of days. Choose breathable fabrics like cotton or linen which will
keep you cool, or even choose workout clothes that are designed to keep you dry from sweat. Stick to
lighter colors throughout the summer, as darker ones tend to absorb heat from the sun, leaving you
feeling even hotter.

Cool down for sleep

Our bodies need to be cooler in order to sleep effectively at night. From putting your bed sheets in the
freezer to spraying your bed down with some water before you get in it - there are different methods
you can try to help make sleeping in the heat easier. Take a cool shower before bed to help bring your
body temperature down, and to help you feel cleaner and free from sweat before you get your zzzs.

Dealing with the summer temperatures can be tough, but there are things you can do to make it more bearable. Transform your backyard and spend more time outdoors to avoid being in a hot and stuffy house, and try to make the most of the weather. When you’re cold in winter, you’ll be longing for those warmer temperatures so be sure to make the most of it while they’re here.