Tinnitus – Five Ways to Manage Your Condition

Ways to Cope with TinnitusAlmost everyone gets a bit of ringing in their ears from time to time, but chronic tinnitus can be incredibly difficult to cope with. There are medical treatments available for tinnitus and some excellent VIP Hearing Solutions which can help to make life with tinnitus more bearable, but there are also things that you can do on a day to day basis which will make your life easier. Here’s a few of them:

Avoid Stress

Sometimes worrying about tinnitus can make it more noticeable, so learning to relax can help provide relief. Slowing down the rate of breathing and relaxing your muscles are examples of simple relaxation exercises you can try. Yoga or pilates can also be a great help at getting your whole body to relax, as well as meditation and guided breating, which can all be done at home.

Avoid Silence

Believe it or not, tinnitus can often be worse when you’re in a completely silent space. Some people find that having the TV or radio on, providing some background noise, can help to tune out the ringing in their ears, and some people even invest in white noise generators so that they can have gentle noise like whale song or rainfall to help them to get to sleep.

Stay Generally Healthy

Obviously, being as healthy as possible is good for your general well being. If you find certain foods or drinks or activities seem to aggravate your tinnitus, consider reducing them. There are several therapies available now which have been shown to provide long-term and consistent relief from tinnitus. You should seek help from a tinnitus specialist who may be able to provide one of these therapies or help you choose a hearing device which can provide relief from tinnitus.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Many tinnitus sufferers find that their condition is worse when they haven’t had good sleep, so creating a good bedtime routine can be invaluable to dealing with it. Ensure you avoid caffeine for at least three hours before bed, avoid too much blue light from mobile phone or tablet screens, and try to actually get into bed to sleep in a darkened room at a certain time, rather than falling asleep on the couch while watching TV!

Avoid Loud Environments

Just as total silence can make tinnitus worse, so can extremely loud noises. Try to avoid very loud places like nightclubs and concerts, or if you simply cannot miss out, try to use earplugs or sound-blocking ear defenders to protect your ears. This also goes for very loud work environments like factories or building sites.

Protecting the Health of Your Ears

Protecting Your Ear HealthPhoto by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

For many people, ear health is not something they think about on a regular basis.  But if you want to maintain good levels of hearing into your old age and avoid the risk of needing to use hearing aids, there are a few proactive things that you can do to protect your ears. Here are five ways that you can get proactive about your ear health:

Avoid Cotton Buds

Cotton buds may be sold as a way to clean your ears but ENT surgeons strongly advise against using them to clean your inner ear. Aside from the fact that they can actually push wa further into your ear canal and cause blockages, jabbing at your eardrum is never a good idea. Opting for earwax removal through microsuction is a much healthier way to keep your ears clean and will protect the life of your hearing.

Watch Your Volumes

Spending time in very loud environments is one of the worst things that you can do your ears, but sometimes its unavoidable. Obviously, no-one epects you to wear ear-defenders to a nightclub or live gig, but if you also work in a loud envorinment then investing in some good sound blockers will go a long way to protecting your ears.

Limit Headphone Use

Listening to loud music through earphones and headphones is one of the biggest dangers to your hearing. To help avoid damaging your hearing, use noise-cancelling earphones or headphones – do not just turn the volume up to cover up outside noise and turn the volume up just enough so you can hear your music comfortably, but no higher. You should also try to never listen to music at more than 60% of the maximum volume – some devices have settings you can use to limit the volume automatically.

Get your Hearing Tested

Get a hearing test as soon as possible if you’re worried you might be losing your hearing. The earlier hearing loss is picked up, the earlier something can be done about it. You might also want to consider having regular hearing checks (once a year, say) if you’re at a higher risk of noise-induced hearing loss, for example, if you’re a musician or work in noisy environments.

Give Your Ears Time to Recover

If you are exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period of time, like at a concert or a bar, your ears need time to recover. If you can, step outside for five minutes every so often in order to let them rest. Research shows that your ears need an average of 16 hours of quiet to recover from one loud night out! Seems like a good excuse to stay in bed for the day!

Five Ways to Feel Safer in Your Home

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many of us have spent more time at home than ever before and for many people, this has turned their thoughts to safety and security. During a recent survey, 70% of respondents admitted to implementing smart technology to bolster their homes’ security capabilities, which proves that we’re all looking for ways to feel safer. Here are five tips for increasing your home security:

Doors and Windows

If you have older doors and windows, they may not be providing you with the best security available. Changing your units for high security doors and windows can give your home an added layer of protection which will allow you to sleep safely in the knowledge that you’re locked in tight.

Alarms

If you’re looking to make an investment then installing an alarm system could be a great idea. The downsides are the cost, however, and if your budget doesn’t stretch this far then research shows that even a dummy alarm could be an effective deterrent! In one survey, 82 offenders were canvassed in Southern England. They found that 84 per cent rated the presence of an alarm outside a property as a deterrent.

Security Lights

Installing security lights around your property is a cheaper alternative to alarms, but can still be a really effective deterrent. While some types of lighting could increase your risk of being burgled (lights which are on 24 hours a day will actually help criminals to see their way and avoid noisy obstacles), motion sensor lighting which only comes on if a human walks past are a really effective way to put potential burglars off.

CCTV

A CCTV system is an extremely effective way to deter burglars. It doesn’t matter how many lights are left on, how many people are home, or how close your neighbours are. You’ll capture everything with a CCTV system – and the thieves knows that too. Modern security cameras are easy to install and will often store footage in the cloud. Some can even alert you on your mobile if sensors are tripped!

Get a Dog!

Having a dog can be a great early detection system for people coming too near your home. When Sausage was very small, Husband worked shifts which included overnights and Chuck was the best, most reassuring security system I could have had. Someone only had to burp too loudly near the house and he’d be up at the windows letting me know. It gave me a tremendous sense of security, knowing that he was keeping his eyes and ears open for us and it got us all through that time knowing he was there.

Ways to Promote a New Business

Five Ways to Promote a New BusinessStarting a new business can seem really daunting, and while the pandemic was a very difficult time for millions of existing businesses, it was actually a period of huge growth for new businesses, with over 400,000 new companies launching during lockdown. Now that things are starting to get back to normal, there are more options for promoting a new business and here are a few of them:

Trade Shows

If your business falls into certain niches, there are often trade shows where you can go to exhibit your wares or services. If you’ve got the budget for it, using professional exhibition stand designers will give you the edge as you” stand out amongst your competitors and your business will look professional and well-established.

Leaflet Drops

If you run a service which covers a particular area, leaflet drops are still one of the most effective ways to get the word out. According to industry studies, 48% of consumers respond to leaflet ads while 79% of recipients either keep, pass on to someone, glance over the contents of the flyer. It’s relatively cheap too – using an app like Canva to design your own flyer and paying a youngster to deliver them means your return on investment will likely be high.

Open Days

If you have a physical shop that people can visit, holding an open day is a cheap and fun way to showcase your wares. Offer drinks and a few nibbles to people who pop in and you could even offer discounts or loyalty cards to customers who sign up to your email marketing. Another great thing to do is asking any other shops nearby if they want to collaborate and making a much larger event that you would all benefit from.

Get a Mascot

This one might seem a little bit bonkers, but hear me out! Last week, I took Sausage for an eye test and we saw two women walking along the broadway wearing dinosaur costumes. They were promoting a new shop and handing out leaflets, but seeing something so bonkers and out of place made it really stick in our heads. Using a mascot in a busy area will definitely garner valuable attention for your business and make it all the more memorable.

Speaking at Local Events

Volunteer organisations, libraries and local business groups often need speakers for meetings. You’ll benefit from the name recognition, new contacts, and publicity you gain from being a speaker at these events. While it can seem intimidating for you to speak in front of an audience, it is also one of the fastest ways to grow your network and build authority. As a new business owner, being seen in your local community is key to business promotion.

Five Ways to Help a Trapped Nerve in Your Neck

Some of you may know that I’ve had a trapped nerve in my neck since 2019 and the process of being diagnosed and treated took some time. I had to have an MRI to diagnose it and then it took some time to find the right pain medication to keep the pain at bay. In the meantime, Husband was an absolute rock and helped me make changes which helped with my healing process, and today I’m sharing some of the steps we took to reduce my pain and discomfort.

Physio

Obviously, one of the most important things to help my recovery was seeing a physio who taught me lots of stretches and exercises that I can use to reduce the inflammation and decompress the nerve and I had weekly appointments for a few months. My friend was lucky enough to find that a physio comes to you in London, but living in the countryside meant I had to go to them!

Change Your Pillows

When the pain was at it’s most acute, I could barely lay down at all and I couldn’t lay flat without a LOT of pain (which made the MRI into a form of torture…) but once I found a pillow that worked for me, it made a lot of difference. My ideal pillow was a thick memory foam one, but that’s going to be different for every person, so trial and error is probably what you need.

Assess Your Workstation

Something that was greatly contributing to my pain was the fact that I do a lot of my work on a laptop, which means that I’m looking downwards at the screen. It may not seem like much, but doing this for several hours a day is more than enough to exacerbate a trapped nerve. I switched to a desk where the screen was at eye level and this took a lot of pressure off of my neck.

Reduce Mobile Usage

I don’t know about you, but most evenings are spent in front of the telly, with my mobile phone in one hand and the remote in the other. Husband once took a photo of my sitting position when I’m looking at my phone and the angle of my neck was clearly something that contributed to my pain. These days, if I’m using my phone of an evening, I try to hold it at face height or use my iPad instead.

Look at Your Furniture

Are you one of those households where everyone has their own seat in the living room? We are and the way I was slouching against the arm of the sofa meant that my arm was lifted at an awkward angle and putting pressure on my neck. Take a look at your furniture and see if there’s a way you can sit which is more neutral and supportive to your neck and back.

What to Do When Moving Your Family Internationally

What to Do When Moving Your Family InternationallyImage sourced from Pixabay. CC0 License

In a lot of families there comes the need to move. Spouses get job promotions, family members need extra care and attention, or a dream of living in a certain location has the potential to become a reality. The biggest change in some of these scenarios is that you have to move to a foreign country. Especially if you work in business and finance, it is quite common to constantly move around the globe. If that is the case for you and your family, here are four things to keep in mind if you are moving internationally.

Culture

Your children are going to go to a different school in what is going to feel like a different world. Not only may there be a language barrier that is going to separate them from their new friends, but the culture is also going to be different. Married couples have different customs as you go around the world and so do schools. Before you move, research your new location and what their customs are so that when your family arrives they will be able to assimilate into the new culture and not cause any unwanted problems.

Visas

Make sure you have all the documents and visas you need to enter the country and stay there. If you are going back home to care for a loved one or to simply be closer to your family, make sure your spouse is taken care of legally. Your children may have the citizenship of your country because you are their parent, but if your spouse is a citizen of another country make sure they have their spouse visa. This will avoid them only having a limited amount of time in the country and being forced to leave. When all of your papers are in order, your move will be more smooth.

Cuisine

How lucky are you that you are going to get to discover some of the best food in the world? You may think it’s great, but your kids may not. Before making your big move, try learning how to cook some of the local cuisine of your new country. By making it at home and showing your kids the ingredients, they may be more inclined to try something new. As they get used to the new food, when they arrive at their new location, they will already know what to expect and will be able to have the diet they need or want without any trial and error.

Keep Tradition Alive

Just because you are moving to a new place doesn’t mean you have to give up your culture. Before leaving, enjoy some of the customs and traditions of your home country. Having pride in where you come from and how you celebrate will be a great way to keep those traditions alive in your new country. By having your family connected to their roots it may not seem too scary to pick up and move to a place that is completely unknown.

How Can I Stop My Child Being So Messy?

Messy kids bedroomAlthough it can be normal for your child to make some mess, it can be frustrating when you know that, ultimately, it means more work for you. You may want to find ways to help them become a little bit more organised with their possessions, to cut down on the amount of fetch and carry, alongside wiping and other cleaning, that you then have to do throughout the day. No matter whether your child is 2 or 12, they can be taught to break their messy habits.

Bedroom Storage

One of the first considerations you may need to make when trying to get your child to be a bit tidier is the storage they have available to them. Items which are small, stiff, or even difficult to reach may prevent your child from tidying. An idea to resolve this issue can be to swap out their existing bed for a cabin bed, like those found at roomtogrow.co.uk, as this may have storage attached. A cabin bed is not overly tall, meaning your child will be able to reach the drawers and cupboards, as well as the under-bed space that they may use. This can also help to keep all items in one place, rather than you constantly going through a number of different furniture pieces to look for missing socks or other supposedly lost items.

Rules

A good parent knows that they cannot be fun all the time. Rules and boundaries are important for your child to be able to grow up with a good sense of morals, and know which behaviours are acceptable. You may have a list of rules within your household, that you expect your children to follow. Adding rules about tidying up can help them to understand that these tasks are important. If you choose to add penalties to breaking these rules, such as missing a day out, or no time on a games console, it is important that you stick to what you say, otherwise your child will think that they can continue being messy with no consequence.

Set an Example

Children of all ages can learn through copying any behaviours they have seen, which can either be useful or problematic. If your child sees you leaving mess around the home, they may think it is also acceptable for them to do so. Likewise, if your child sees you putting your books or clothes away, and helping out, they may think that is also what they should do. Setting a good example can be vital to your child’s development, as well as not allowing them to be influenced by any bad examples they may see from their friends, other adults, strangers on the street, or even via the media.

There may be a number of reasons why your child is messy, and each reason will vary from child to child. By finding ways to help promote cleanliness, and giving positive reinforcement for jobs well done, you may be able to replace these behaviours with those that promote a tidier and more hygienic lifestyle.

4 Relationship Issues You Can Overcome

two person holding papercut heart

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No matter how much you adore your partner, no relationship will be sunshine and rainbows forever. However, rather than give up when the going gets tough, two people who love and care about one another will do everything they can to maintain their relationship and come out the other side stronger than ever before. But what are the most common relationship issues you might face? 

A Lost Connection

Couples that have been together for years will sometimes find that the spark is gone. Somewhere along the way, the magic petered out, and the passion just isn’t what it used to be.

This needn’t be a cause for concern, at least not yet, and it’s something that happens to most couples. If you are concerned about a lost connection, there are ideas to consider to rekindle the magic. 

Treating each other as a new partner is a great place to start. You can think of ways to make date night special instead of doing the same thing and going to the same place every month. Couples can also work hard to spend more time together, and get back to speaking because being friends is just as important as being in love. 

Money Troubles

Everyone will encounter money troubles in their relationship, but it’s how you deal with these troubles that can set the tone for you and your partner.

There are many expenses you’ll need to account for, including a wedding, saving for a house, and kids. This is why budgeting as a couple is so important. A couples’ budget is not the same as your personal budget, and if there are any wage differences, you’ll need to take this into account. 

Long-Distance Drama

No one enjoys a long-distance relationship. You would much rather be right there with your partner. However, long-distance relationships are sometimes unavoidable. 

Despite this, there are options you can consider to make the situation more manageable. Regular phone calls or video chats are a good place the start. But, this won’t work forever. If you want to put an end to long-distance for good, moving closer to one another or researching a UK fiance visa can put an end to your drama and reunite you. 

No Alone Time

As much as you love your partner, spending all of your time together is not suitable for any relationship. Couples must allow each other to decompress and recharge after a stressful day at work. Everyone needs their alone time, and this can stop you from becoming exhausted with one another. 

Don’t look at this as one trying to avoid the other. Instead, consider it a demonstration of independence. Being able to do what you want to do sometimes without your partner will help make your relationship stronger. 

Overcome

Overcoming a range of relationship issues that are often out of your control will help you and your partner become a unified force that is certain to stand the test of time. While some people just aren’t compatible and perhaps shouldn’t be together, most will find that working together to overcome relationship issues is the best way to succeed as a couple.

What Can Derail a Relationship?

There are many difficult aspects of life. But there’s arguably nothing more difficult than relationships. With friends, family, and partners, it’s one of those things that require work and effort. Even though things might start off from a positive position, you never know what could come along and make things more difficult. This is true of all relationships but especially romantic ones. The good news is that if you’re aware of the factors that can derail a relationship, you can take steps to avoid them. In this blog, we’ll run through some of the most common issues and offer advice.

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Out of Sync Expectations

When you first meet a person, you’ll want nothing from them — you’ll just be happy to get to know them. But at some point, that’ll begin to change. You’ll have expectations regarding where the relationship is going, how much time they should dedicate to you, and so on. This can be fine, but if the expectations of both people are out of sync, then it’ll require some management. It’s when one or both of the parties begin to suffer in silence that problems can arise. It’s always good to lay out what you want/expect from other people!

Logistical Issues

Sometimes, the issues that arise have nothing to do with the internal mechanics of the relationships but from external factors. Logistical issues can put an undue burden on romantic involvements. For example, if you’re in a long distance relationship. At that point, just seeing each other can be difficult. However, it’s important to remember that where there’s a will, there’s a way. If you want them to join you where you live, then you could look at the indefinite leave to remain uk spouse visa, for instance. Moving to the same place can take some time, but so long as you know it’s coming, you should be able to weather the difficult moments.

Sinking Into Comfort

If there’s one thing that can signal the beginning of the end of a relationship, it’s sinking into complacency. People tend to put a lot of effort in during the early stages of the romance, but once they feel too comfortable, they stop. The best way to do this is to be on guard against complacency. Just because you’ve “got” your partner, that doesn’t mean that you can stop making an effort. There’s always room for a surprise getaway, gifts, or just a romantic night at home.

Personal Issues

Life is difficult for everybody. One of the things that put a strain on relationships is when one of the two people are going through a tough time or just otherwise unhappy within themselves. At that point, many people turn to their partners for answers. But this is often the wrong approach. It’s better if both people are happy within themselves first and then look to the partnership. The other person can provide emotional support, but they can’t carry the whole weight. The relationship will only buckle under the weight of the strain.

How To Balance Business and Parenthood

Working parents understand how difficult it is to juggle a career with child care. Parents who own their own businesses, on the other hand, face an additional layer of difficulty. To an extent, business-owning parents are trying to juggle two kinds of infants: the children they are trying to raise and the business they are trying to build. To be successful, both require nurturing and attention, especially in their early phases, and business-owning parents must learn to meticulously plan and prioritise their time to make sure that each receives the care they necessitate and expect.

Here we look at some tips to help you to balance parenthood and business.

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Delegate, outsource and learn to say no

As a business-owning parent, balancing your venture and family time can be tricky, as both require a significant lot of time and resources. The sooner you realise you can’t be in two places at the same time, the better. Prioritize the moments with your children that require your full attention, and make sure you have someone to stand in for you during those times. Outsourcing is a popular strategy for many small business owners, for example, paying a digital marketing agency to handle your online marketing or an SEO specialist to get your ranking up. This frees up valuable time for you to spend with your family.

Prioritize your health and wellbeing

Use mindfulness or relaxation techniques. Set your well-being as a top priority. When life becomes an unending demand on your time, the first thing to go is your self-care. However, with 40% of firms not having a succession plan in place, taking care of yourself is critical to the future of your business – as well as ensuring you are the best parent that you can be.

Create clear boundaries between home and work – and stick to them

Establish firm time limits. Define when you are and are not available, and stick to those boundaries. This is a good lesson for your kids to learn. When you are not available, you are not available – unless it is an emergency, of course. However, when it is time to be with your family, you leave work behind and be entirely present with them. Create home/work boundaries and stick to them.

Don’t expect perfect balance every day

If we believe that we can remain balanced every day, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing we are pushing extra hard or disregarding our business. Reassure yourself that your children benefit from seeing you work hard at times and that spending quality time with your children benefits your governance

Be in charge of your own calendar

One of the benefits of being your own boss is that you can control your own calendar and be in charge of your schedule. Arrange meetings with clients when the children are at school, switch off completely when they come home from school, and do your admin work when they are in bed, for example. Find a routine that works for you and your family.