Tuesday, 5 October 2021

It's Never To Late To Try Something New

 

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It’s important to fight against the idea that just because you’re a certain age, you are totally limited from expressing yourself or enjoying what you find appealing. Of course, this has some caveats. If you’re seventy-five years old and have never sky-dived or bungee-jumped before, it’s probably not a good idea to do that now.


But for the most part, these actual limitations are few, and it’s worth thinking them through before you totally dismiss yourself. For instance, now that tattoos are relatively accepted on a baseline cultural level, more and more middle-aged people and even those later-in-life are starting to have them done anew, enjoying the lack of judgment that may have come from their profession or families when they were younger.


As such, it’s important to understand that it’s never too late to try something new. In this post, we’ll discuss a few measures that people often feel somewhat hesitant to try thanks to being later in life, and why exactly those impressions should be less ironclad than you currently think:


Piercings & Style Expression


We all change with the seasons and like to express ourselves in different ways as we age, so why do we think that as we get older, only a specific style is necessary? That’s often not the case, nor is it realistic to see ourselves as frozen in time. It might be that you wish to try a range of cartilage earrings, or have that first tattoo, or wear jackets that are a little more colourful, or try wearing more designer fashion (or even creating your own clothing as necessary, purchasing little effects from sites like Depop and flexing your creative might). It can make a massive difference.


Playing An Instrument/Trying Your Hand At Art


It’s easy to think that as we get older our creative juices leave us, but that’s not true at all. After all, how on earth could a lifetime well lived make you LESS insightful about creativity or having something to express? It might be that starting to learn an instrument now, or learning a way to do artwork could be a very key part of your daily life, one that can add colour to your days, keep your brain working productively, while also helping you feel empowered in a new skill.


Getting Involved In Fitness


Getting involved in fitness can be an essential pastime at any age, particularly if you find that you’re starting to feel less flexible or may be gaining weight a little more quickly than you’d like. From taking up yoga to help you strengthen your joints and muscles to joining a hiking club to get out in nature and improve your cardiovascular ability, getting fit and healthy can be key in our later years, and will help us manage our health and feel more empowered and confident than we may have for a while. For that reason, this process can be more than worthwhile.


With this advice, we hope you can see that it’s never too late to try something new.


This is a collaborative post.


Monday, 27 September 2021

You Need To Winterize Your Home. Here's How

 


The winter months are starting to close in. Depending on where you live, that could mean a lot of snow. Regardless of what part of the country you’re in, you should expect a chill to set in eventually.

While that could be fine when you’re out and out, you wouldn’t want it in your home. That means that you’ll need to winterize your home. Not sure about what the process is? You’ll want to know a few things before you start.

Why Winterize Your Home

You might be wondering why you need to winterize your home. There are multiple reasons for this. Keeping the cold out is the most obvious, although there are other reasons. It also means making your home more energy-efficient.

In doing so, you’ll focus particularly on warmth and comfort. That’ll typically entail focusing on a few areas, such as your doors and windows. You’ll need to look at several other places, too, such as your roof, the walls themselves, and even the floor.

Installing insulation is perhaps the most obvious way of winterizing your home. If you’ve taken care of that, you’d assume that your house is winterized. While that’s the largest thing to do, it isn’t the only one.

If you want to take care of this properly, you’ll need to look at a few specific areas.

How To Make Your Home Winter Ready

Get The Pipes Checked

You’ll need to put a lot of effort into protecting your pipes from the colder weather. If any are exposed to the outside, you should consider insulating them. Doing so will be much easier than you’d expect, although that could depend on where exactly the piping is.

If they’re not insulated, they run the risk of freezing over during the winter. That’ll have a domino effect on your water and other systems. You should also check your pipes for leaks. If you find any, they should be relatively easy to fix.

In many cases, installing a gasket might be enough to address it. You’ll need to make sure that you use the right gasket material, so that you can prevent rust buildup and other damage. You should be able to do all of this yourself. Some leaks - and other issues - may need a professional, however.

Get them done before the winter starts to prevent any issues.

Trim Nearby Trees

If there are trees on your property, then you should give these a trim. The closer they are to your home, the more recommended this is. If they’re near your windows or doors, that’s especially true.

Snow and ice can build up on the branches. While the snow falling wouldn’t be too much of a bad thing, the branches themselves could break and fall. Once they’re weighed down enough, this becomes increasingly likely.

Depending on the size of the branch, this could do a lot of damage. The last thing you’d want is you or someone else getting hurt. And that’s without mentioning the potential property damage.

Block Any Air Leaks

Drafts can have a significant impact on your energy bills. While this mightn’t be too noticeable, it can add up to quite a lot over the winter. You’ll need to get rid of these leaks to prevent this. Thankfully, this should be quite easy.

Check around your doors and windows for any cracks or holes. These will more than likely be the cause of your draft. Filling them in with some calk or sealant will fix this quite quickly. Afterwards, it’s worth sanding it down and painting it so that it matches the wall.

Replicate this process around each of your doors and windows to maximize the impact. Once you’re done, you shouldn’t have to worry about any more drafts.

Install Storm Doors & Windows

You don’t need to live in an area affected by many storms to install storm doors and windows. Putting them in could reduce your energy bills significantly. That’s primarily because they’ll let much less air in and out of your home.

That’ll make sure that you prevent any cold air from coming in. Since there’s no hot air going out, you wouldn’t need to worry too much about heating costs. Depending on where you live, there might be some tax refunds or similar initiatives that can help with the price.

That should help make them much more affordable.

Check Your Insulation

While you might already have insulated your home, it’s worth giving it an inspection. If it’s been a while since it was installed, this is especially vital. Over time, insulation can be damaged or worn down.

You’ll need to find any parts that have suffered from this. If there are any, then you’ll need to fix them. In most cases, you’ll need to remove the damaged part and replace it with new insulation. That should be relatively easy to do, although it will take some time.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Not many people know that they can reverse their ceiling fans. If you’re wondering how this relates to winterizing your home, you could be surprised. Typically, ceiling fans will blow cold air around the home.

Once they’ve been reversed, however, they’ll spin in the opposite way. That’ll make them force warmer, lighter air around the room instead. If you want to keep the heating off but want to feel a little warmer, this could make all the difference.

It shouldn’t be difficult to take advantage of this; most ceiling fans have a button that you can press to make this switch. Just remember to switch it back once the warmer months come back.

Wrapping Up

Knowing how to winterize your home is half the battle. The rest is to actually do it. While it might take some effort, it’ll save you much more in the long term. It’ll also save you a significant amount of money.

Not only will you save on any potential repairs, but your electricity and heating bills should be reduced. What’s stopping you from giving it a shot?



This is a collaborative post.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Get a Jump on Christmas with these Predicted Gift Trends

 Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Now that summer is nearly over, and autumn is here, it's time to start thinking about Christmas. You might think it's too early, but you can get a jump on stocking the right gifts and save some money by getting one or two per week or month. This will ensure that you aren’t left with a massive bill in the run up to Christmas. 

While there is usually a variety of trending gifts throughout the year, some are more prominent than others. This year, devices and technology that make life easier or more entertaining are set to be best sellers for families. However, jewellery always remains a favourite for any occasion.

Ethically Sourced Jewellery

Everyone loves jewellery because it can be seen as an investment and look great most of the time. Additionally, there are multiple jewellery types for different occasions, and Christmas is definitely an occasion for sparkly gifts. Diamonds are a subject of much debate because of how they are sourced. 

But you can rest easy with lab-grown diamonds. Reve - Diamonds and Fine Jewellery are an excellent choice for shopping for a girl's best friend. They offer lab grown diamonds over unethically sourced materials. 

Sony PlayStation 5

The PlayStation is a legendary machine and is always a bestseller during the holidays. However, the latest PlayStation 5 has been largely unavailable for almost a year. Fortunately, the console manufacturer has stated that's shortages are soon to be over. 

So the console should be available en masse coming up to Christmas. But it is best advised that you keep an eye on stock levels to avoid disappointment as they are expected to continue to sell out. And the great news is this is the cheapest PlayStation ever, starting at £350.

Massage Devices

Massage devices are nothing new, yet they usually aren't very effective, unless you buy the most expensive machines available. However, advances in the technology used in massage devices have seen the prices of machines come down, and new devices are available. 

Shiatsu massage machines and massage guns are set to be among some of the favourite trending gifts for Christmas 2021. These are relatively inexpensive and are available from online retailers such as Amazon.

Revlon One-Step

Grooming products are usually a go-to gift when you don't really know what to get somebody for Christmas. Typically this will consist of razors and shower or bath products. Still, sometimes it is best to get somebody something that they can really use. 

One such gift is the Revlon One-Step. This is a revolutionary new hair-drying product that will dry and volumize hair simultaneously. Although there are other brands available, the Revlon One-Step is considered the best, especially for its price, which is less than £50.

Portable Phone Chargers

There's no end to the accessories for phones, given that smartphones are everywhere these days. But as advanced as the new technology is, there is a consistent problem between every smartphone worldwide: battery life. The batteries of smartphones don't seem to last long, especially with the new and more expensive models that require more power. 

But the answer is relatively simple and that you can purchase portable phone chargers that can be taken anywhere. These handy devices hold a charge of energy that can be drawn by a phone in times of need. They are widely available and aren’t expensive.


This is a collaborative post. 

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Don't Let Age Stick A Pin In These Much-Loved Hobbies

 

Image Source: CC0 Licence


Hobbies like cross stitch, knitting, and sewing all require a keen eye and the ability to spot and work with the tiniest details. This is all part of their joy for many of us but, as age takes its toll and our eyesight inevitably suffers, it’s also an aspect that can prevent us from sticking at these hobbies in the long-run.


This can be incredibly disheartening considering that, for many of us, retirement and our later years are the times when we finally dedicate ourselves to these things that we love the most. Luckily, even initial difficulties shouldn’t necessarily see you sticking a pin in the hobbies you enjoy. In fact, while it may take a little extra focus and effort, it’s possible to make your hobbies more accessible in the same way that you would your home. Here, we’re going to talk you through how exactly to make that happen. 


# 1 - Find ways to improve visibility


With eyesight issues being the main reason that most of us give up our more intricate hobbies, finding ways to improve visibility can be a huge help. Obviously, seeking professional assistance is the best possible step towards this, and is important at any stage when you notice your eyesight deteriorating. Outside of that, however, many keen crafters also find that additions such as lighted magnifying glasses can transform hobbies. Equally, making sure that your general visibility is as good as it can be by investing in bright light bulbs for your rooms, in general, can help you to gain a clear picture of entire projects rather than just magnified sections. Try these techniques, and you’ll surely soon be stitching like your younger self in no time. 


# 2 - Change your materials


Image Source: CC0 Licence


There’s also a lot to be said for simply changing your materials. As frustrating as it might be that you can no longer manage double knit projects, chunky alternatives have the benefit of being far easier to work with and of knitting up more quickly. Switching to a higher count fabric (try 12-count to begin with) can also make cross stitch far clearer to see and follow. Even with sewing, making sure to avoid ‘loud’ fabrics that can prevent stitch visibility could help you to get back into the swing of things. 


# 3 - Limit your sessions


As your eyes become more susceptible to strain, it’s also important to limit your sessions to short bursts rather than hours at a time. This is crucial for both protecting your eyes from future damage and ensuring that you’re better able to see when you are working. With a hobby like cross-stitch, limiting a session to half an hour is especially important, though even with knitting, it’s worth avoiding going too far past the hour mark.


Image Source: CC0 Licence


Who said you have to give up your much-loved hobbies when you reach a certain stage in life? Keep doing what you love for as long as you can with these simple tips to hand. 


This is a collaborative post


Monday, 16 August 2021

6 Tips for Improving Customer Service

 When you run your own business, you will know the importance of good customer service regardless of your industry. The fact is, your customers will make or break your company, and if you are neglecting the customer experience, chances are you are setting yourself up for disaster.

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That being said, you cannot please everyone, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try, far from it. There are many direct and indirect ways you can boost your levels of customer service. One important thing to remember is that customer service starts well before they interact with you or that final transaction, and if they aren't impressed, chances are they won't give you their business long before the check-out process.

So what should you do to ensure good levels of customer service at all times?

Be Consistent

Everyone needs to get the same level of customer service at all times. If you want to build a good reputation, you need to look at how you treat customers and their experience.

Ways to provide a consistent service include;

  • Reliable delivery times

  • Consistent branding and messaging

  • Good quality products or high-quality service

  • Always strive for improvement

  • Cater to your client base

Good customer service needs to be at each stage of the funnel, right down from your marketing messages, responsive and easy-to-navigate website or digital solutions including mobile apps, managing stock levels efficiently, constantly updating communication channels, and more.

Reviews

One of the best ways to build a good relationship with new and existing customers is to get as many people to leave reviews as possible. While negative reviews aren't something you really want, knowing how to deal with customers who leave negative reviews can be just as beneficial. With online complaints particularly prevalent, the best thing to do is not to give people the opportunity to complain at all in the first place.

Respond to all reviews left online, both via review sites or on your social media, and thank them for their review. If the review is negative or has negative parts, try not to become combative and react angrily, instead take on board the feedback and look at where you can make changes based on the response. Let them know you will be paying attention to the points raised and be professional at all times.

Own Up to Problems

Made a mistake? Own it? A very public mistake, then very publicly own it. Use major problems and feedback to improve your products or services and avoid compacting the situation and making it worse.

Be honest with yourself and your employees about areas you are performing poorly in and work together to overcome your issues and rectify the problem while making sure you never make the same mistake twice.

If your customers lose confidence in your company, then this will have a massive impact. When possible, avoid making mistakes in this place, but problems arise, whether from human error or issues out of your control. Don't bury your head in the sand; confront them head-on and be honest about what has happened and how you intend to make it right again.

Go The Extra Mile

Your interactions with folks both inside and outside of your company speak eloquently about your reputation. This indicates the type of personality that is associated with your company. Is your company trustworthy, dependable, and kind? Is it, on the other hand, chilly, unpredictable, and disrespectful? You don't want your company to be associated with something that should be avoided at all costs.

The experience your clients have with your company is just as vital, if not more significant, than pricing and product quality. If you want to go above and beyond for your clients, you may begin by tailoring their purchasing experience to their preferences. This helps to distinguish your brand from competitors that provide similar products and/or services as you. In fact, 44 percent of shoppers said that a personalised purchasing experience would make them loyal to that brand.

Be Honest

While no one likes to make mistakes, owning up and apologising if you mess up an order or you miss a delivery slot will go a long way in building bridges with customers. While a simple "sorry" won't work for continuous issues, the occasional slip up can be easily rectified by admitting your mistakes.

If you are planning on offering different services or products, then keep any promises you make. So, if you say you are guaranteeing next day delivery, then make sure you have the capabilities in place to deliver on this, not end up failing to deliver on promises. Never commit to anything until you are confident you can follow things through as people rely on honesty and knowing what to expect. Passing the book or failing to deliver can harm your reputation.

Partner with Trusted Suppliers

As your business grows, who you partner within the name of business matters just as much as the customer service you provide. You could be delivering the best service in the world; however, if you are partnering with a company that fails to deliver, you may as well not bother.

Make sure the companies you partner with have the same ethos as you and are trustworthy and reliable. You need to rely upon them either as a stock supplier, shipping partner, or service provider, such as managing social media and maintaining an efficient e-commerce store, for example.

When it comes to delivering excellent customer service, you need to make sure you get the fundamentals right. You pay attention to the smaller details to allow you to build a reputation people can rely on and feel confident with. From here, you need to keep supporting this quality of service by vetting trusted partners and suppliers and taking feedback on board and building on this, so you don't become complacent, and you can push forward to building a reputation that completely represents who you are and what you stand for.


This is a collaborative post.


Wednesday, 4 August 2021

Fitness Guidelines For Seniors

 All older adults should try to do some kind of physical activity every day. Any kind of activity that gets you moving is good for you and is a good idea to keep up your fitness. The more active you can be the better. 


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If you’re over the age of 65, you should:

  • Aim to be physically active every day. Any kind of activity is better than no activity at all. The more you can manage to do the better, even if it’s only some light activity. 

  • Do activities that improve your strength, balance and flexibility. Try to do this at least twice a week. 

  • Do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity if you are already an active, fit person. A combination of the two works well too. 

  • Try to reduce the amount of time your spend lying or sitting down. Any long periods of not moving anywhere should be broken up some kind of activity. Light activity works for this just fine.


If you have previously had a fall or are scared of having a fall, doing some exercise to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility is a smart idea. Exercises like this will make you stronger, so you can be more confident and more stable on your feet. If you don’t currently exercise, it’s also a good idea to speak to your GP first to make sure that there is nothing you should avoid doing to avoid the risk of injury. Ask about supplements that you could take to support you. You can often get free samples to try to see what suits you. 


Exercise guides for seniors often refer to different levels of activity, but if you’re very active, it can be confusing to work out what counts. 


What Counts As Light Activity?

Light activity is any kind of activity that involves moving instead of sitting or lying down. You probably do a lot of it already without even realising. To get started, aim to do more light activity every day. 


Examples of light activity include:

  • Getting up to make a drink

  • Moving around your home

  • Walking at a slow pace

  • Cleaning your house

  • Vacuuming

  • Making the bed

  • Standing up


What Counts As Moderate Aerobic Activity?

Moderate is an activity that raises your heart rate. It will make you breathe faster and feel warmer. If you’re not sure if the activity you’re doing is moderate or not is see whether you are able to talk. You should be able to talk at the same time, such as maintaining conversation, but you shouldn’t be able to sing. 


Some examples of moderate-intensity activities include:

  • Walking at a brisk pace

  • Water aerobics

  • Riding a bike

  • Dancing

  • Doubles Tennis

  • Mowing the lawn

  • Hiking


To get more moderate activity, you could take up going for walks with a friend, or a seniors exercise class. 


What Counts As Vigorous Intensity Activity?

Vigorous-intensity activity is an activity that makes you breathe fast and hard. If you are working out at this level, you shouldn’t be able to say more than a few words in one go without having to pause for breath. You shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation at the same time. 


If you can work out at this level, you can do it less often, as for most people, 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity will have very similar results and health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. 


If you’re already doing moderate activities, you can increase your effort to make it vigorous. 


Examples of vigorous activities include:

  • Jogging

  • Running

  • Aerobics

  • Fast swimming

  • Riding a bike fast or uphill

  • Singles tennis

  • Football

  • Uphill hiking

  • Dancing

  • Martial arts


What Activities Strengthen Muscles?

Strength exercises are important for older people. To get the benefits, do them until you feel like you need a short rest before you can do the activity again. 


There are lots of ways to strengthen your muscles, both at home and at a gym, such as:

  • Carrying heavy shopping bags

  • Yoga

  • Pilates

  • Tai chi

  • Weight lifting

  • Resistance bands

  • Bodyweight exercise

  • Heavy gardening


You can mix in a few of these, such as going to a yoga class aimed at seniors, as well as continuing to work on your garden at home. 


You can do these kinds of activities that will strengthen the muscles on the same or on different days as you do your aerobic activity, like playing tennis. Just choose whichever option works best for you.


Don’t assume that muscle strengthening exercises are aerobic activities. Many are, but plenty aren’t, so make you’re finding time for both. 


This is a collaborative post.


Friday, 23 July 2021

Dating In Your 60's - How To Make It Work


Imagine Credit


It's a fallacy that men and women over 60 aren't interested in building romantic relationships. You may have different dating challenges like you did when you were younger. However, many people over the age of 60 look for love, find it and marry yearly. Life after 60 can be purposeful, and establishing a dating life can be done! Continue reading to learn how to get through this new phase of your life.


Commit to making your intentions clear from the get-go


It's a common misconception that older couples do not need to know much about their partners like younger couples do. However, relationships differ for many people, and with that much experience from life, you will want to make things more transparent early on. Consider a cohabitation agreement if you want to commit to the relationship long term. Be sure to keep in touch regularly, especially if it's distance as any of you aren't getting younger. For example, making a k1 visa application for your partner is an excellent way of committing to your relationship. It is preferable to do so with the help of an immigration lawyer or other legal counsel.


Use dating sites


A senior dating site is a convenient place to meet a pool of people in their 60s. Everyone else on the site is your age group and has expressed an interest in dating and relationships by creating a profile. The best thing about dating sites is that they aren't like meeting people in bars, which appeal to a much younger audience. Senior dating sites are a great way to find a partner and fill your romantic void.


Let go of the past


In your 60s, you will probably have a lot of emotional load and trauma, so that another romantic relationship will require tact and common sense. You will want to teach yourself to avoid unnecessary comparisons to ex-lovers or deceased ones because no one likes to be compared to their predecessor all the time. 


Professional help


You've probably been through a couple of divorces by the time you're 60 or widowed. To make things work, you will have to perform some personal growth work with a reputable therapist before you truly enter the world of dating. Working with a therapist for a few months before getting involved with anyone is a good idea to get rid of any emotional scars and learn new healthy communication and relationship skills.


Seek support from family and friends


Determine which friends and family members will be supportive and eager to hear about your dating adventures regularly. Only tell them about your new relationship. Avoid people who constantly make negative remarks such as, "finding love at your age is difficult," and so on. Working with a coach specialising in senior dating can help if you can't think of anyone to seek support from in your life. You have someone rooting for you and standing by your side, someone with whom you can email and share your triumphs and setbacks.


This is a collaborative post.