Reducing Distractions While Writing

If you write regularly, either on a professional or enthusiast level, you probably roll your eyes when hearing about those scribes who turn out content by the pound. Unencumbered by distraction or writer’s block, they produce page after page, hitting every deadline and creating work that draws favorable feedback.

Staying focused when writing can be quite difficult. There are a million distractions, thanks to technology and other factors, no matter where you choose to work. Here are some strategies that can help you reduce those issues and produce the quality content you need when you need it completed.

Hold Off on Research

Research can take time, even with the miracle of the internet. Yes, Google will allow you to find out every fact under the sun, but you must also navigate your way through a million and one possible distractions that eat up your time. Every go to look up “SEO tricks” only to find, 20 minutes later, that you have somehow landed on YouTube watching a video that has nothing to do with that topic?

The best solution here is to leave the research portion of your work for last. Do everything else you can and then come back to it. This will allow you to maintain the rhythm and flow that develops when a writer is producing at his or her best.

Reduce Electronic Distractions

If you must use the internet, turn off all instant messaging and other programs that produce alerts and notifications. Before you start working, turn off everything that could possibly cause you to lose your train of thought.

No Multitasking

The ability to multitask was something that people used to brag about. Now we know that while it is entirely possible to do several things at once, the quality of your overall work suffers because you cannot devote yourself fully to one thing at a time. That is essential when creating content, so adjust your schedule so that your writing time allows you to fully concentrate on that one important thing.

Do Yourself a Favor: Stop Eating So Fast

Are you always eating on the fly? Many of us are extremely busy these days and when we’re running behind, it can be very easy to just rush through meals. That may save you time, but it’s a bad idea when all is said and done.

Gas

Gas can be very embarrassing, but also extremely uncomfortable. Do you find yourself feeling painfully bloated after a meal? If so, you are probably eating too quickly and inhaling excessive oxygen. That air then becomes trapped, leading to flatulence and/or bloating. You decide which is worse: taking a few minutes longer to eat or hours of dealing with the uncomfortable effects of gas?

Eating Slower = Eating Less

Believe it or not, if you slow down, you will actually eat less. If you rush through a meal, you can finish so quickly, your brain and stomach don’t have time to let you know they are full. That can lead to weight gain, something no one wants.

Give Your Stomach a Break

Pounding through a meal can not only lead to gas, it’s also just plain hard on your stomach. If you take your time and thoroughly chew your food, there is less chance of painful annoyances like acid indigestion. Take smaller bites and just ssssllllloooowwww ddddoooowwwwnnnn.

Look at it this way: if you enjoy something, why not have it last even longer? You might spend all day thinking about an exquisite dessert, but if you just woof it down in a minute flat, the pleasure will not have lived up to your anticipation. Why not prolong that wonderful taste for at least ten minutes? That way, you are more likely to benefit from the experience and look back on it with fondness? You are also less likely to want a second piece (and all of the calories that go with it).

Hey Guys, Clean Up Your Act!

In one of the great inequalities of life, men are not held to the same appearance standards as women. Oh, some do take great pride in the way they look and take steps every morning to ensure that everything is in place. Unfortunately, many do not and guys, you’re really letting down the side. As men, we need to up our game and try harder to present an exterior that, if not perfect, is at least presentable.

The first step is ensure that you practice basic hygiene. Follow these steps every day:

Wear Deodorant

We recognize that the rugged appeal of men can lie in their musk, but more often than not, you just plain stink.  If your job involves a great deal of physical activity, then you can really develop an unpleasant odor. Just because you don’t smell it doesn’t mean other people aren’t suffering.

Be sure to apply a dependable deodorant every morning. If you like to wear dark colored shirts, watch out for ones that leave you with white stains in your armpit area. Make sure to also do your laundry regularly.

Trim That Excess Hair

We’re not talking about the hair on your head here. We mean the strands sticking out of your nostrils and ears (for some older guys, it can even be growing on your ears). Buy a trimmer and check those areas daily for spots where hair shouldn’t be found.

Bad Breath

Like armpit odor, we are often not even aware that our breath is offensive. This can be especially true if we smoke. Be sure to gargle with mouthwash each morning and, for back-up, carry some mints on your person. It also helps to brush your teeth first thing in the morning and after every meal.

Cologne

Have you ever blanched when standing near a woman who is wearing too much perfume? The same holds true for guys and cologne. Too much is…too much.

Dandruff

Ever notice white flakes on your shirt? This can be a sign of dandruff and it’s especially troublesome for people who prefer their clothes on the darker side. Using a dandruff shampoo regularly can help keep this under control.

Why is Breakfast So Important?

We’ve all done it: we’re running late in the morning and decide to save time by skipping breakfast. Ever since childhood you have probably heard about the importance of breakfast, but is that really true? As it turns out, yes, it is very true. Here are some of the reasons why you should always make time for breakfast in your day:

Brain Food

Breakfast not only provides energy for your body, but it is also fuel for your mind. While many people rely on coffee for that early morning brain boost, a proper breakfast is actually more effective at getting your creative juices flowing. Need your memory and concentration levels to be at their peak tomorrow? Starting the day off with a balanced breakfast is an excellent way of ensuring that.

Lose Weight

People snack for a number of reasons, but mostly because they are hungry. If you eat proper meals at regular intervals, you are less likely to snack because your body feels full. Eating may seem like an odd way to lose weight, but if you do so properly, it can be one of the key factors.

Gets Your Body Moving

If you eat breakfast, your body gets the boost it needs to get you moving. People who skip that first meal of the day are less likely to be active in the early part of the day. That will not only slow you down, but also possibly lead to weight gain.

Lowers Risk of Diabetes

Related to some of the above points, breakfast can improve your chances of long term health. Diabetes is currently a major problem in this part of the world and often results from snacking and lack of exercise. Eating breakfast helps to ensure that you have the proper nutritional balance and energy level to be up and moving throughout the day.

How to Live With a Depressed Person in Your Life

Depression can be an incredibly difficult burden to deal with. Even the simplest things in life can seem almost impossible when you feel like your life is falling apart. Even just getting through a simple workday can feel like the equivalent of having to walk through water.

Through no fault of their own, people dealing with depression can cause difficulty for those living with the person affected. People grappling with mental health problems can seem needy or demanding, and that can strain the patience of others to the point where it might even damage their relationship.

Here are some tips on how to live with a depressed person in your life:

Learn More About the Person’s Struggles

Understanding more about that mental health condition will put you in a better position to provide a helping hand, as well as understanding why they might be acting in a particular way.

Provide Support

Try and encourage your loved one to do things that will help with their situation, such as seeing a therapist, getting proper exercise, eating right, keeping a journal, etc.

Listen to Their Concerns

Some people with depression find it tough to speak with therapists, but can unburden themselves much more readily with loved ones. This should not be considered a replacement for a therapy session with a properly trained professional, but it can still be very cathartic. Also, the more you know about what they are going through, the better you can be at supporting them.

Remember to Take of Yourself

If you fail to keep up with your own needs, it will be nearly impossible for you to provide support. Worse still, you can develop your own mental health challenges as a result. Don’t forget to include some me time in your schedule and make the most of it.

Depression in Senior Citizens

Depression can strike anyone of any age, but senior citizens seem to be especially vulnerable when it comes to this form of mental illness. People in their golden years often struggle with daunting physical and cognitive issues that can reduce their ability to lead fully functional and productive lives, resulting in depression. It can also sometimes be difficult to then detect the depression because symptoms they display are sometimes misdiagnosed as being side effects from medication.

Here are some factors that can lead to depression in senior citizens:

Isolation

Many seniors reach a point in their lives where travel becomes more difficult. As a result, they may lose touch with friends and loved ones, and begin to feel quite isolated. Those living in managed care might even see them less due to geographic distance.

Physical Ailments

When we feel poorly, it almost always has a negative affect on our mood. In addition to common ailments like cold and flu, seniors’ moods can be impacted by more serious problems common to this stage in life, such as heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and dementia.

Medication

We mentioned above that depression can sometimes go untreated in seniors because it can be mistaken as side effects from medication. However, there are certain meds that can actually induce or worsen depression. These include blood pressure medication, painkillers, beta blockers, steroids, and drugs to treat high cholesterol.

Lack of Exercise

Whether it be physical limitations, location, or lack of motivation to get up and do something, not having regular forms of exercise in life can be a factor in developing depression.

Poor Sleeping Habits

Many older people do not sleep well due to having to use the bathroom more frequently, unruly roommates in managed care facilities, etc. Lack of proper rest can lead to lessened enjoyment of life and depression.

Does Weather Affect Your Mood?

Are you the type of person who feels down a lot during the winter months? Does a warm and sunny summer day just make you feel happier? Does a downpour make you want to go inside and just crawl under the covers?

It seems pretty clear that there are definitely some individuals out there whose mood is influenced by the weather outside. This subject has been gaining interest in the wake of the more extreme examples of weather the world has experienced recently. With climate change continuing even faster than scientists initially predicated, that sort of thing will no doubt continue and possibly even get much worse.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a well-known cause of depression for some. It mainly affects people during the winter when the reduction of sunshine and inability to enjoy as much time outdoors causes them to feel deflated. However, it can actually occur during any time of the year; people who don’t like hot weather may experience SAD during the summer months.

Extreme weather can also cause high levels of stress, which may lead to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. The weather events may bring this about, but so can the aftermath of something like a tornado or tsunami. Having to rebuild your life after the loss of a home or relatives can take a major toll on a person.

It should be noted that unpleasant weather can further heighten a person’s already negative mood. Studies have also shown that crimes involving violence tend to increase during particularly hot stretches of weather. Meanwhile, on the other end of the scale, homicides tend to drop during cold weather. It may seem simplistic to say this is due to people not wanting to go outside in the cold, but there may well be some truth to that.

Workplace Etiquette: Never Say These Things to a Co-Worker

Whether you work at a firm that employs hundreds of workers or just a handful, it is important to be mindful of your fellow employee. Everyone has the right to expect respectful treatment on the job, no matter what it is that they do. Here are some things you should never say to one of your co-workers:

“You really should exercise more”

It is very bad form to discuss a person’s weight, even if you are sincerely worried about their health. People with a few extra pounds are not always the stereotypical lazy slob who eats poorly; there are several medical conditions that can cause a person to gain weight and there is little that can be done about it. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Chances are, you wouldn’t want people to say something like that to you.

“You’re not religious, are you?”

Whether a person practices a certain religion, or none at all, is their own choice. Religion can be a touchy subject that causes people to argue. This is not the sort of thing you want to possibly sour the relationship you have with your co-workers, so leave religion out of your water-cooler conversation.

“You’re not a Trump supporter, are you?”

Politics is an area that can even cause old friends to quarrel, let alone people who simply work together. With the considerable political divide in the country these days, this is another subject best left outside of the office.

“Don’t get mad! It was just a joke!”

We all have different senses of humor. Some of us like a nice, harmless joke, while others are amused by some of the raunchiest, filthiest material imaginable. At the office, you should take a neutral stance. There is nothing wrong with an occasional joke, but be mindful of saying something that someone could take the wrong way. No joke is worth lingering hurt feelings and the effect they can have on your ability to work together.