1862 posts Posts by Jayne

4 Healthcare Checks Your Should Perform Regularly

Over the years, doctors have stressed the need for people to have regular medical check-ups to monitor their health. Regular screening by a specialist quarterly, twice, or annually should not be a daunting exercise. On the contrary, these can help an individual detect their risk of potential ailments for early treatments. A report by The Guardian suggests that between 50-80% of cardiovascular disease is preventable with early checks. With that said, these four checks should always feature on your medical to-do list.

  • Breast cancer 

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Medical specialists concur that having regular breast screening is valuable in detecting breast cancer early and offers a better chance of survival. This means you are also less likely to undergo a mastectomy (removing the breast issues to treat cancer). However, chemotherapy will come as the best treatment if the cancer cells are detected early. Studies have shown that breast cancer treatment and the survival rate has improved substantially in the last four decades in the UK; about 600,000 individuals remain alive after early diagnosis, with the figure expected to rise to 1.2 million by 2030.

  • Check your heart rate

Your resting pulse before anything else gives a sign of your overall health. The regularity of  your heart rate depends on your age and fitness level. Get familiar with your normal heartbeat by checking every morning for seven days. Thankfully, technological innovations have presented everyday gadgets like smartphone applications, wellness trackers, or pulse screens for this purpose. A difference in 10 beats for every moment (bpm) or more may mean you are run down. Over 100 bpm could mean you are dehydrated, stressed, sick, or excited. Consult a specialist if you need expert advice on the matter.

  • Oral check-up

Frequently visiting the dentist is significant in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. During the dental examination, the specialist will check your general oral health for any areas that may require attention. A clean-up by your dental specialist will eliminate any tartar development and plaque and also clean your teeth thoroughly. In general, you should undergo a dental examination or check-up at least once a year, especially for those at increased risk. You can visit this website for more information on all your oral health-related issues.

  • Blood pressure 

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Persons with high blood pressure are at significant risk of developing a heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and heart failure. Most of these health conditions strike with no indications or warnings; therefore, it is essential to have your blood pressure regularly checked. Fortunately, this is an exercise that can be carried out at home without necessarily visiting the hospital. Blood pressure monitors are easy to use. Ensure you are in a calm climate when you do the test. Blood pressure between 90/60 and 120/80 mmHg in adults is regarded as usual. Anything higher means you must engage in activities like cutting back on your alcohol and salt intake while adopting healthy eating and an active lifestyle.

The famous saying “your health is wealth” is a significant indication of how important your health is. Just as you protect your finances, your health deserves such premium treatment to improve your quality of life.

Cars Are Expensive – How Do You Pay For Them?

Paying for a new car, whether it’s second hand or not, can get quite pricey. Even when you have a budget that you’re working well within the parameters of, you can question if forking out this much money is really worth it! After all, the car in front of you won’t last forever, and who knows if you’ll ever default on the payments?

And with all that in mind, it’s time to think about the ways to pay for a car. They’re expensive, for a variety of reasons, but there are three main financial categories you can choose from in the car world. Let’s go through them below.

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With Your Own Cash

Using your own cash is often the most pricey and financially risky way to go – you never know when you’re going to need your savings, after all, and now you’ve just used them all up. However, it’s also one of the safest ways to ensure you’ve got a car for as long as you need it – there’s no payments to default on, and you’ll never be out of your transportation thanks to the lease being revoked.

As long as you’ve got the savings to do so, you can pay by cash. You could also use your cash to put down an even bigger deposit than is actually required, which will stop you from having to pay too much in financing in the future.

Using a Scheme

There are plenty of car financing schemes out there – you just need to look for them! It all depends on fitting into certain brackets, such as being the right age, or being from the right financial background, and then applying to the right places.

For example, you could make use of the Motability scheme. This allows people who live with disabilities to retain their independence, and have some much needed transport in their lives. And these schemes are available everywhere, and for all car models, such as VW Motability. Next time you go into a dealership, be sure to ask for a specialist to guide you around the application process and what’s currently on offer.

On Finance

And finally, you can always get a car on finance, of which there are many different options to choose from. Depending on the money you have to work with, you’re not going to find a one size fits all financing solution here.

From hire purchase to conditional sales (which is the more traditional form of purchasing a car on finance) to PCP (personal contract purchase), you have quite a few variable rates to choose from here. However, be sure to do some more research into each one of these options before you sign one, as they all have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Paying for a car can be done in a variety of ways, and working out which is best for you is important to do beforehand. So, do your research, and make sure you’re getting the right deal here.

Reasons to Quit Smoking This Year

Reasons to Quit Smoking This Year2020 has been one of those years that, if it were our child, would be sat on the naughty step for an indefinite time out. A lot of people have reached their limit, with restrictions, job insecurities, and concern about the state of the world. Many will be wondering how they could possibly quit smoking with so much going on all around them.

Quitting does not necessarily need to involve completely foregoing nicotine completely if you don’t feel ready. Instead, you might opt to switch to vaping. For more info, click the link to browse through our range of vape liquids. You might find a delicious one at a strength that suits you.

Detox from Chemicals

Cigarettes contain many toxic chemicals, such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, methanol, and even lead. None of these are good for you and have been known to cause various types of cancers and other illnesses. Getting rid of these chemicals can help to prolong your life and reduce your likelihood of gaining a smoking related illness. It is possible to restore your likelihood back down to that of a non-smoker, so the sooner you quit, the more positive effect you will have on your body.

Be a Better Role Model

Having young children means that your every move is being monitored and emulated. If your child sees you smoking, they may assume that means that there is nothing wrong with it and, therefore, be more likely to smoke as they grow up. This can even occur if you tell them about the health problems that can coincide with smoking, as they will still see you continue to do it, and so may not believe it to be as serious as you make out. The older your child is when you quit, the more likely they may be to smoke themselves. This means that quitting now is far better than leaving it even another couple of months.

Save Money

Smoking costs an extortionate amount of money. With a pack costing nearly £9 now, this means that a 20-a-day smoker will be spending roughly £63 per week on cigarettes. Over the course of a year, that comes to £3276! This money could be better spent elsewhere on bills, home improvements, saving for a mortgage or car, or even a family holiday abroad. Add into this that the cost of cigarettes is ever increasing, and it is clear that it would be better to jump off this toxic ship now before you haemorrhage more of your hard earned cash into something that is detrimental to your health.

Quitting smoking may not be easy, but it certainly is possible. Gaining the support of family and friends, as well as speaking to your doctor or local cessation team, can help you to achieve your goal. In the long run, you will have more money and be an overall healthier person without that white stick holding you back.

 

My Nostalgic Music Playlist #MemoriesInMusic

My Nostalgic Music Playlist #MemoriesInMusicIf there’s one thing which is sure to evoke a lot of memories, it’s hearing a particular song which reminds me of a specific time in my life. Some of those memories are so strongly linked to the song that it can actually remind me of how I felt when I was hearing it, way back when. Chums, the online-fashion retailer have recently created a campaign to search for Memories in Music to help people bring the happier days back to life. With this in mind, I thought I’d share some of my most nostalgic songs for you:

Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac

When I was 6, my Mum and Dad split up, and my Mum and I moved in with her parents for a while. We shared a set of bunkbeds in their small second bedroom and although it was cramped, I was happy. Mum had job in a bar and I’d sit with her in the evening, watching her get ready, listening to her music – the smell of hairspray reminds me of this, too! Mum had her stereo and a load of vinyl in our room, and one of her favourite bands was Fleetwood Mac (she had a bit of a Stevie Nicks vibe going on in the late 80s!) and Rhiannon reminds me so much of this time.

Mmmbop – Hanson

Anyone who knows me well knows that I was a MASSIVE Hanson fan when I was younger. When Mmmbop came out, I immediately fell in love and even to this day, I feel transported back to a really happy time when I hear it. My whole bedroom was covered in Hanson posters, including the ceiling, and I used to spend Saturday mornings sitting by the TV with a blank tape in the VHS, waiting to hit record, just in case they came on the telly!

Rewind – Craig David

When I was about 15, my friends and I would spend every Friday night at “Intrigue”, an under 18’s Nappy Night, located in an old bingo hall. We’d get dressed up in what were, looking back, some rather over-the-top outfits (a powder blue lace dress, white Wonderbra and a white feather boa was a personal fave, and NO, my mother did NOT know I was going out dressed like that!) and feel like we were going to a proper nightclub. UK Garage was massive around this time, and this song was a particular fave…still is, if I’m totally honest! It’s like my guilty music pleasure.

Everlong – Foo Fighters

I’ve loved Foo Fighters since the first time my friend Steven played The Colour and The Shape to me, back in the late 90’s, but Everlong has always been my favourite. When Husband and I met, one of the things we immediately bonded over was music, especially Everlong. We’d been together just a few months when we saw Foo Fighters play in Hyde Park on the day after my 22nd birthday, and it’s been something that brings back amazing memories ever since.

God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

Another song that is special to Husband and I is “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys. When I was around 9, my family and I lived in a house which was just down the road from a second-hand record shop and it became routine for me to go there on a Saturday morning and buy a record. I started collecting vinyl and Pet Sounds was a personal fave. In those early days of our relationship, when we’d sit and talk for hours, learning about each other, I found out that Husband was a huge Beach Boys fan when he was a kid too. Back in September 2016, we were lucky enough to get tickets to see Brian Wilson perform at a local venue, and it was one of the most amazing experiences that Husband and I have ever had – it’s something I’ll remember until I’m old and grey.

What are your #MemoriesInMusic? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Helping Children Through a Divorce

Helping Children Through a DivorceIf two people no longer wish to remain together, that is their business. Divorces can, at times, be messy and complicated. A couple who once felt nothing but love and admiration may now only feel resentment and spite towards their former other half. It is known for individuals to get hurt quite often during the divorce process. 

Yet, in all this, it can sometimes be the children who bear the brunt of the pain of their parents’ lost love. Child custody rights when filing for divorce can be one of the issues that causes the most friction, particularly when children are made to feel like they must choose between one parent or the other.

Whether you are one of the parents, a relative, or even a family friend, there are multiple ways in which you can help children get through the divorce process with as little trauma as possible.

Offer to Babysit

If you are an outsider in the divorce, looking after the child while the parents are at a mediation, or in court itself, can take a weight off of everyone’s shoulders. This way, children do not have to be exposed to the divorce process, and parents can take some time to decompress afterwards to limit the amount of emotional strain that their children are exposed to.  

Fun activities during this time can also help to take the child’s mind off of how their world has been disrupted, which can be great for their wellbeing. 

Open Conversation

Communicating with children can be key. Their parents may be struggling with their own emotions and stresses and, therefore, be less available to the needs of their offspring. This can be a crucial time for other trusted adults to step up and be there for these vulnerable young people. Building trust and opening communications regarding the children’s thoughts and feelings can help them to work through their feelings in a safe and healthy way. 

Keep Bickering Away

If you are the child’s parent, you may be concerned about how your upcoming divorce is affecting them. One of the crucial ways of limiting their distress is to avoid discussing the divorce around them. Likewise, ensure that you and your former partner do not speak ill of the other around the children, as this may put them in an uncomfortable position. 

Unless there is a legitimate reason for doing so, such as a parent threatening or endangering the child, there is also no reason that they should be privy to the real reason behind the divorce. A child does not need to know about any adultery, or other marital issues, and relationships between both parents and their children should be maintained wherever possible. However, you shouldn’t just brush it under the carpet – explain to them what is happening in the simplest form and ensure they know it’s not their fault.

Going through a divorce can be stressful for anyone involved, but it is crucial that children are protected from as much of the emotional turmoil as possible. Likewise, it is key that they are reassured, as often as they need, that they are not at fault, and that they are loved. 

Reusable Shopping Bags and other Small Changes You Can Make for the Environment

Reusable Shopping Bags and other Small Changes You Can Make for the EnvironmentWhile there’s no doubt that the vast majority of global pollution comes from the mega-factories which produce the world’s retail offerings, there are still things that we can do which will contribute to a cleaner environment for ourselves and future generations. Small things which won’t have too much of an impact in terms of cost or effort, but will definitely contribute to a safer planet. Here are some ideas to inspire you:

Reusable Shopping Bags

It’s been quite a while since the supermarkets implemented their ban on free plastic bags for shipping with, but many people still spend the extra 10p for one, rather than bringing a reusable bag. In many shops, if you invest a couple of pounds in their branded totes, they’ll often replace them for free if they break, of if you want to be even more adventurous, there are some gorgeous personalised reusable shopping bags if you shop around. Top tip – keep them in the boot of your car when you aren’t using them and you’ll have them to hand when you shop!

Reusable Coffee Cups

If you’re someone who likes a daily latte, you’ll probably be aware that the disposable cups offered in many places aren’t the greatest thing for the environment. More than 1 billion coffee cups from 720,510 trees are made each year in Australia alone, and that’s just one small corner of the planet. There are even cups made from materials which look like plastic but are in fact bamboo, or other eco-plastics, making your impact on the environment even less.

Homemade Cleaning Products

It’s way easier than it sounds, especially considering white vinegar and baking soda clean pretty much everything. Making your own cleaning products not only reduces packaging waste from regularly buying them at the store, but it also saves you from using harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals on your everyday surfaces. Going Zero Waste has some great recipes for DIY cleaning products, including an all-purpose cleaner, a tub scrub and even all-natural bleach (yes, this is possible!)

Ditch the Drinking Straws

If you love drinking through a straw but don’t want to have the impact on the environment of disposal plastic straws, you should seriously consider investing in a stainless steel or copper straw. Many restaurants are also transitioning from plastic straws to more eco-friendly options, such as paper straws or even straws made from pasta!

Say Please to the Bees!

If you make packed lunches for your spouse or kids and end up using things like cling film or plastic bags for wrapping the food, you’re probably putting a LOT of single use plastic into landfill. Beeswax wraps are an amazing, hygienic alternative to plastics, are better for your health and you can even make them yourself at home.

Do you have any easy hacks or swaps that you use to make your life a little more eco friendly? Do you have a gorgeous reusable shopping bag that you love more than your Mulberry?! Leave me a comment below letting me know!

Guide For Buying a Home For Your Family

If the time has come for you to purchase that next family home then you may be slightly overwhelmed at just how much there is to consider here. It is for this reason that we want to offer you some tips on exactly what you should be looking for with regards to that next property. We have recently spoken with the brilliant real estate guru Frank Carioti, check him out here http://frankcarioti.com.au/, to bring you some of the finest tips on how you can ensure that you get this property choice just right.

The Need For Right Now 

When it comes to invest in property you have to think about the future of you and your family’s needs. With this being said however the most important aspect to consider is the right now, and this is where the majority of the focus should be. Thinking about what the life of your family looks like in the now will include the following questions with regards to where you should be looking for a property.

How far from your job?

Where is the high quality nearest school?

What are the transport options like?

Where is the nearest grocery store?

Can my children play nearby?

These are key questions which will impact your daily lives and the answers will certainly help you to whittle down which places are possible choices.

The Bigger Picture

One thing which many people fail to look at is the big picture of where you live and this is one of the most important considerations to make. What everyone wants to find is a property that is in a safe place and one which can become more than just a house or apartment to live in, but also a community. Make sure that you do your research around crime rates, community groups in the area and the demographics of the place that you are thinking about living.

Planning For The Future

Ultimately those kids of yours will grow up and get jobs, advance their education and look to enjoy a vibrant social life. You as parents will also move on with your careers and your personal life and it will be important that you are able to find a property which can fit with your potential future needs. This will be a big factor when considering what size property to buy and what extras you would like it to have. You may have twins sharing a room right now but in the future they’ll want their own space, consider factors like this to help you in your decision to buy a property which you can stay in long term.

Budget

The budget will be a huge factor here and more often than not it will be the deciding factor between location or property type. The reason why so many people live in suburbs is because they wanted more bang for their buck and they were happy to travel if it meant a sizable property. This is usually the decision of those who are looking for a family property too, that they want the space more than they want to live in a hot location. The key will be balancing these two and in order to do that you have to work hard on the budget. Even if you are borrowing, it is important that you don’t go too big that you will feel under pressure to pay the mortgage every month, but also not to be too conservative and end up with a property which isn’t fit for all of your needs. Be smart, decide on a healthy budget and stick to it.

Take your time, consider all options and use a process of elimination to get the property which you want.

 

4 Practical Tips for Hosting a Teen Party at Home

4 PRACTICAL TIPS FOR HOSTING A TEEN PARTY AT HOMEHosting a teen party at home is both fun and challenging. Fun because it is your teen’s party. You want this to be memorable for him and his guests. On the other hand, it is challenging (on your part) because of the planning and the after-cleaning you must do, especially if you hosted a large crowd of youngsters.

Here are practical tips to consider before hosting one for your teen.

Use visual effects

Visual effects like lasers and mood lights can add more life to the party and you can rent them, risk free, from a company like dj finance. It can lend a disco party vibe. On the other hand, smoke machines are also a fun addition to any party. These machines can enhance your lighting effects. You will have an instant light show that will stun your guests. Do you know that bubble machines are not for kids only. Liven up your party. Floating bubbles paired with lasers and colored lights will produce a stunning effect. Consider giving out non-toxic, multi-colored glow sticks among your guests. It is a cheap visual effect that is handy and glows for about six hours of use.

Keep guests outdoors

While it may look rude to prevent guests from entering your home, keeping guests out, and planning for an outdoor teen party may still come out more practical than ever. The pros far outweigh the cons. You do not have to worry too much about after-party cleaning and scrubbing. You save your couches and carpets from possible spills that can leave heavy stains. It costs more to steam-clean furniture than to pick up trash from the garden or mop the garage or patio floor.

If you are hiring party services like photo booth rental ny, you will have to disclose that you are planning an outdoor party. In this case, they will require clients like you to ensure that the booth is under a shade. They may also offer an outdoor canopy as added protection. Some are specifically made for outdoor use and are waterproof. It is best to choose this type of equipment. Ask installers to put it in a pretty obvious area. It will avoid the need to announce or remind guests to have their photos or selfies taken.

You might want to hire a portaloo to ensure that all guests don’t have to go into your house to use the bathroom. However, if you have a bathroom that’s accessible to guests without necessarily passing through your main living area, you do not have to rent one.

Friends or neighbors might have a garden marquee or party tents that you can borrow for the night. It will save you unwanted stress in case an unexpected drizzle happens on the night of your teen’s party.

Holding your teen’s party outdoors can be both fun and stress-free, especially after the last guest has gone. You don’t have to worry much about cleaning or accidental damage to indoor property and accessories.

Regulate background music

Parties aren’t complete without background music. Let your teen choose the music he would love to hear playing during the party. Most teens love alternative or classic rock music. While he will love to play them all aloud, you must remain considerate of your neighbors at the same time.

Know when to play music at its peak and when to tame it. Usually, you can have it downplayed when everyone is seated and conversing. When making a short speech or announcements about food and drinks, have the music turned to a low volume. Turn it to high once the guests are ready to hop in on the makeshift dance floor.

Discuss entertainment options

Get your teen involved in party planning. If your teen is a movie buff, why not help him download movies of his choice or those that he thinks his peers will enjoy. Of course, you are there to screen his movie choices. Ask for a list and assist him by compiling them. It won’t hurt to filter the list if you think there is inappropriate content in one or two movies he selected.

Does he love indoor games? Why not put up a dartboard. Bring out your pool table or card table. The party could look like a mini pub. Include pizzas and snacks to complete the pub ambiance.

If he is fond of music and loves to listen to DJs, offer to bring one in. There are a lot of disc jockeys you can hire if you are around New York. Ask him to search for dj buffalo. It is cool to be around while he is surveying the list. Remember, stay, and get involved. He will appreciate you hanging around and making yourself available when he seeks your opinion on which ones to hire.

When hiring a DJ, expect him to give you a rundown of the types of music that are appropriate for your teen and his guests. You may also suggest titles from your son’s list. Ask the DJ for a list of his collection of music. A professional one will have a ready playlist and keeps on updating it. He knows which music is trending with teens and young adults. DJs often ask for playlists not only from the celebrator before the party begins but from guests too on the day of the event.

Hosting a teen party can be exciting. Your teen won’t be young forever. Let him experience a fun night with friends. But remember that you too have to be practical. These tips will help you come up with a fantastic party without stress.

My Neighbour Has Japanese Knotweed – What Can I Do?

Japanese knotweedJapanese knotweed is an invasive plant species that grows rapidly and dies hard. While the law does not require you to take action if you find Japanese knotweed in your garden, you will get into trouble if you allow the plant to spread into the wild; for this reason, if you do have knotweed growing on your property, it’s a good idea to contact a qualified Japanese knotweed removal specialist who can get it under control.

But what if it’s your next-door neighbour who has a Japanese knotweed problem?

Well, ideally, your neighbour will act quickly and make sure the plant doesn’t spread onto your property. Unfortunately, not everyone is that proactive, so a certain amount of vigilance may be necessary on your part too.

Here are some tips to bear in mind if your neighbour has Japanese knotweed:

Start by talking to your neighbour. They may not be aware of the invasive weed that’s lurking in their garden—they may not even know what Japanese knotweed is, so be patient and politely suggest that they get in touch with a specialist contractor. It’s always better to resolve issues like this amicably if possible.

Remember, your neighbour is not breaking the law by having Japanese knotweed on their own property. UK law does not even require them to remove or treat the knotweed—only to prevent it from spreading elsewhere.

If your neighbour refuses to take action or acknowledge the issue, you should take the initiative and contact a qualified Japanese knotweed specialist yourself. They will be able to confirm the plant’s presence and can send your neighbour an official letter notifying them of their legal obligation to ensure that the knotweed does not encroach on your property.

Monitor the situation closely to see how it develops. Photographic evidence and regular reports from your knotweed expert will help you to demonstrate (if necessary) that your neighbour did not take sufficient action to prevent their Japanese knotweed from crossing the property boundary.

Japanese knotweed can have a significant impact on your property’s value and may even cause damage to the property itself, so it’s imperative to make sure you’re covered. A neighbour who has permitted Japanese knotweed to spread from their property to yours is legally liable, and you may be able to claim compensation—but only if you can prove what happened. This will be far easier if you have an expert witness to back you up (ideally a qualified professional who specialises in Japanese knotweed control and who has been monitoring the situation from the beginning).

Online Counseling and Other Ways to Care for Your Mental Health

Whether you’re back to normal and going out and about, or still trying to isolate as much as possible, there’s little doubt about the fact that lockdown had an effect on the mental health of many people. As humans, we’re usually social creatures who need to feel a sense of togetherness and community, even if it’s something as simple as a chat to the other school mums in the morning, or a cheery hello from the person serving you in your local shop.

With this in mind, I’ve been thinking about ways that we can galvanise our mental health, especially if we have a second wave incoming, and I’m sharing them with you today:

Find a Counselor

Never underestimate the amount of mental wellbeing a counselor can offer, and thanks to technology, you don’t even need to be face to face. BetterHelp offers online counselling services, and can match you to the right mental health professional for you. Booking yourself in for a weekly chat to vent your frustration and fears can have a profound effect on your mental health.

Find a Hobby

Unless you live in a house which is equipped with all sorts of entertainment areas, the chances are, you were bored at least once during lockdown. Boredom can be devastating to your mental health and the overthinkers amongst us can dread time alone with their thoughts. Finding a new hobby can really help to combat this – I’ve taken up cross stitch since lockdown began and it’s something that’s really helped to give me a focus and a distraction.

Depending on your likes and interests, some hobbies are easier to do at home than others are. If you’re good with your hands and you love solving puzzles, consider hobbies like picking a lock, jewelry making, pottery (if you have the space), or even calligraphy. You can certainly pass the time picking up new skills or discovering new things.

Get Some Exercise

Keeping your body healthy can have a really big knock-on effect on your mind, not least of all because you release endorphins, the “happy hormones”, when you work up a sweat. It’s difficult with gyms being shut, but there are lots of exercise tutorials on YouTube. If that’s not your cup of tea, simply stick some headphones on and go for a walk.

Have a Spa Day

You don’t need to leave the house to treat yourself to some spa treatments – there are plenty of things you can do at home which will make you feel like a new person! Face masks, hair masks, long baths and even self-massage can all help you to feel like you’ve been pampered and nurtured, and taking the time to care for your physical appearance is vital to better mental health.

Do Something Nice

You’d be surprised at the mental boost you can get from doing something nice for someone else. Write a letter, send a box of chocolates in the post, you could even just mow an delderly neighbour’s lawn without being asked. The glow you get from doing something nice for someone else can really bolster your mental wellbeing.