Things Everyone Should Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

 

There is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding concerning Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. However statistics show that an alarming number of us suffer from this disorder, and not many of us seem to know exactly what it is. In simple terms it’s a form of depression that is affected by lack of sunlight and exposure, which means it tends to be more recurrent in the winter due to the shorter days and darker weather. There is also a tendency to disregard SAD as simply being ‘winter blues’, but it is more serious than that and should require professional help and care. Here are some things that only people suffering with SAD will tend to understand.

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SAD Is Not Winter Dependent

 

Most people assume that SAD is only present during the winter months, but this is simply not true. SAD can affect people during summer and spring, with the prolonged days and warmer climate leading them to suffer from the depressive disorder. It’s true that most cases occur during the colder, darker months, but we should take note that there are those that suffer because of the opposite conditions.

 

Anyone Can Suffer From SAD

 

Although most cases we hear of involving SAD tend to include women, and facts show that the majority of sufferers are indeed female, we must not forget that anyone from anywhere in the world can suffer from this form of depression. Men for example are less likely to be diagnosed, but those that do develop the disorder seem to have more severe symptoms. Studies have also shown that those most likely to be affected are of a younger age, and also live further from the equator due to the extreme differences in daylight hours. Genetics seems to play a vital role as well.

 

Children Can Also Develop SAD

 

Although it is not commonly heard of or mentioned, children can suffer from SAD also, just as they can suffer from other forms of depression. Identifying the problem can be difficult, since the symptoms are similar to that of general depression – loss of appetite, sleeping for an alarming number of hours, lack of concentration and energy, and being withdrawn and isolated. If you believe your child could potentially be suffering, take action immediately and seek professional consultation. In the meantime, you could also be supportive by taking more care in what you feed them, make an effort to spend more time with them and push them to do what they enjoy doing.

 

Depression Is Not The Same As SAD

 

A common misconception from those who are not familiar with the disorder is to assume that sufferers of SAD also have general depression. This is not the case. If they were depressed throughout the year regardless of external circumstances, then how would it even be possible to diagnose seasonal affective disorder? Once a SAD cycle is over, then the individual will recover from their depression and will be back to their regular old selves. What differentiates SAD from general depression is the ability to recover from these seasonal bouts of depression. You must also suffer similar circumstances at the same time of year for two or more consecutive years to be professionally diagnosed with SAD.

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6 Tips To Read 100 Books A Year And Get The Most Out Of It

Reading is knowledge, and information changes situations. We all like to read, be it novels, nonfiction books or biographies. What follows are six tips that will hopefully help to improve your reading speed, allowing reading around a hundred books a year. That’s 500 books in the next 5 years! So go ahead and apply these today, and improve your skills, knowledge and entertainment.

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Read Every Morning

 

The first tip is simply to get into a habit of reading every morning once you have woken up. This could be while you are still in bed, or while enjoying your mug of coffee. Establishing a routine is important in setting any habit, and reading at roughly the same time every day, especially in the morning, can help cement your new reading habit. Otherwise you will put it off through the day, until eventually you might be too tired to read by the end of the night.

 

Quality Not Quantity

 

Many readers who boast about the number of books that they plough through every year tend to speed read, which is not a good idea. Comprehension is lost while you are skimming and speed reading, and what’s the point in reading a hundred books a year if you don’t remember the plot or any information at the end of it?

 

Read Everything!

 

In a similar fashion, do not skip past or choose to ignore certain chapters, pages, or paragraphs. Despite some reading experts suggesting that this is a waste of time since you are reading information that you already know, you might miss a vital piece of information hidden in that extract. As an added bonus, reinforcement improves the retention of information so sometimes re reading similar information is beneficial.

 

Apply Concepts

 

When reading nonfiction or self help books especially, try to apply the concepts you learnt about as quickly as possible. If you recently read a great book about self motivation and time management, apply the principles! You’ll see the benefit of applying the knowledge you gained, and therefore will be driven and more excited about reading your future books as quickly as possible.

 

Don’t Force Yourself

 

Despite a hundred books in a year being a huge challenge and time is certainly of the essence, you should never force yourself to read to finish a book if you are truly not in the mood. You will get no enjoyment, chances are you will not remember everything that you’ve read and you are wasting time reading something that you could be enjoying. Feel free to abandon a huge novel halfway through if it’s boring you to tears!

 

Mix It Up A Little

 

Finally, feel free to read on a variety of subjects and in a variety of genres. No matter how much you enjoy horror books and novels about serial killers, if you try to read a few of these in a row, or a hundred in a year, chances are you will tire very quickly! Mix up fiction and nonfiction, and try a lot of different genres as well. This is how to keep up your enjoyment and motivation.

7 Effective Ways to Strengthen Your Leg Muscles

Everybody wants well toned legs and strong calf muscles, and despite all your best efforts at the gym or healthy lifestyle, you might find yourself distressed at the sight of your legs.

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Exercises that target large muscles usually focus on the ones in your legs and any movements that push your leg muscles to do work will strengthen them tremendously. Running, jogging, cycling; are all great cardio workouts and work wonders for your legs. But let’s turn towards strength training exercises for your leg muscles, and other sculpting exercises that will improve your leg muscle health immensely.

Skater Lunges

The Skater Lunge is very effective at improving your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Start with your feet that are shoulder-width apart from each other and raise your arms at your sides. Then take a giant step back with your left leg, and cross it diagonally behind your right leg, while also extending your right arm out to the side and swinging your left across the hips. Hop about two feet to the left and then repeat on opposite side. Do three sets of twenty reps daily.

Stiff Legged Dead Lifts

The Stiff-Legged Dead Lift works wonders for your hamstrings. Again, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent; in your each hand, hold a five pound dumbbell with palms facing front of thighs. Keep your head up and shoulders back, inhale, push hips back, lower your torso, sliding weights down thighs. Slowly rise to starting position. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

Two Third Jump Squats

The Two-Thirds Jump Squat focuses on your quads and hamstrings. Feet shoulder-width apart, arms at sides, lower into squat, but only two-thirds of the way, and jump straight up with arms raised above. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

Single Leg Prone Curls

The Single-Leg Prone Curl works on hamstrings. Lie face down, elbows bent; prop yourself up on forearms. Rest laces of left shoe on top of right heel. Bending knees, use right leg to lift left leg like a weight towards butt, soles of feet up. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

Bridges

The Bridge works on your glutes and hamstrings. Lie face up with arms at sides, palms facing down, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Contract abs and glutes, raise hips to form a straight line from shoulder to knees. Hold for 25 seconds. Do 3 reps.

Dumbbell Overhead Bulgarian Split Squats

Dumbbell Overhead Bulgarian Split Squat works your quads, hamstrings and glutes. Hold light dumbbell in one hand, stand erect, place toes of the same side foot on a bench behind you, knees bent. Keep arm extended, bend front knee and hips to the floor till front quad comes parallel to the floor, then return to start. Repeat for both legs. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Lying Leg Curls

Lying Leg Curls focus on your hamstrings. Choose a leg curl machine with an angled bench. Lie face down, place back of ankles against the pad with legs extended and knees off the bench edge. Contract hamstrings, bend knees, pull heels towards glutes. Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

These are some very basic leg movements that will give you strengthened leg muscles in no time!

10 Amazing Ways Your Body Changes after Drinking Pineapple Water for a Whole Year

Raw juices help to revitalize the body without putting strain on the digestive organs and when you add power juices to your diet, you top up your energy levels and you help your body to fight off infections. When we talk about the healthiest fruits, we cannot but mention pineapple. Pineapple is considered the king of all tropical fruits. While the fruit is loved by one and all for its amazing taste, what makes it all the more special is its nutritional factor. What you may not know is that the fruit just doesn’t taste good, but it also comes packed with vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and C and minerals like manganese, copper, potassium, folic acid, beta-carotene, dietary fibers, to name some. Drinking a glass of fresh pineapple juice is the most excellent way to get all these vital nutrients into your body in shortest possible time.

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Here are 10 amazing ways your body changes after drinking pineapple water for a whole year.

1.         Pineapple juice contains bromelain enzyme. This prevents coughs and colds and bromelain also assists with breathing because it thins mucous in the respiratory organs.

2.         Bromelain also lessens pain in arthritis and is great for assisting with inflammatory conditions such as acne and dermatitis.

3.         With its vitamin A and beta-carotene, you’ll be helping your eyesight as the juice in water prevents macular degeneration and contributes to eye health.

4.         Pineapple juice comes with lots of minerals and vitamins such as vitamins B and C as well as potassium, calcium and fiber. Vitamin C is of particular value to the immune system.

5.         With is excellent potassium content, pineapple juice reduces hypertension and its blend of both potassium and sodium helps to keep blood pressure down.

6.         Because of pineapple’s rich fiber content, constipation and irregular bowel movements can be greatly assisted.

7.         The juice of the amazing pineapple acts as a natural diuretic and this is beneficial as it helps with releasing toxins from the body.

8.         As you enter your senior years, drink a glass of pineapple juice as it can help to alleviate the signs and symptoms of arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory in nature. Pineapple juice is excellent for reduces pain for those suffering from arthritis.

9.         Because pineapple is sweet, people assume it is high in calories, but the juice has very little fat, and with about 48 kcal of fat per 100g of pineapple, you can safely drink pineapple juice in water every day. Drinking raw pineapple juice is excellent because it helps the body to maintain a healthy and natural water balance and is ideal for those battling with weight gain.

10.       Pharmaceutical blood thinners are dangerous and come with side effects. Pineapple juice is a natural blood thinner, reducing excessive blood platelet adhesiveness. It explains why you see pineapple juice being served on air flights. You benefit from improved circulation with this delicious fruit.

A Power Drink

 

What you eat and drink has tremendous impact on your health, and pineapple juice hasn’t got one health benefit, it has many that you simply can’t ignore.

 

7 Simple Steps to Improve Your Financial Management Skills

Do you keep track of where your money is spent each month? Do you have account of money you have left with you to spend this month? Have you been saving for emergency each month? If your answer was -NO – to one or more of these it is high time that you get your finances in order. It is not a matter about how much you are earning, but it is more a matter of how well you are budgeting. It’s been said many times over that adhering to a budget is the only way you can get on top of your finances. The idea with a budget is to ensure that your payments never exceed the amount of money you have coming in. Easier said than done, especially when you have lots of payments to make and you haven’t had any salary increases.

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Here are 7 simple steps to improve your financial management skills:

 

  1. Save as much as you can, even if its $5 a month, as this is better than nothing. At the end of the year you’ll have $60 which is superb if you’re already battling just to make it through the month.
  2. Share your financial burden – if you live with another earner, make sure that both of you are contributing to the accommodation expenses. You won’t feel as though you’re the one doing all the saving and bearing all the responsibility of managing your finances.

 

  1. Establish that budget – a useful tool for anyone as it will cause you to think twice about spending on something unnecessary.

    4. Assign all your finances – don’t underestimate that old fashioned technique of putting money into envelopes – one to pay for the car, one to pay for the electricity, the rent, groceries and so on. The idea is to divide your income into what your financial responsibilities are.

    5.       When you go to the grocery store, have a list and stick to it. Check out prices and where you can go for a cheaper brand of tea take it. It may not taste as good, but a couple of ‘lean’ months will put some extra money in your pocket.

    6.       The reason for financial ruin is that weakness most of us have – immediate gratification and the need to keep up with the Joneses. Restrain yourself . This is a key money management skill and you’ll have peace of mind not having that ridiculous drive to keep up with other human beings.

 

  1. Have a Plan – everything you want to achieve requires a plan – if you have a plan and a budget, you won’t be wondering where all your money has gone. Having a plan establishes your financial goals as well as your priorities.

    Most people don’t particularly want to be rich – they just want to be comfortable, and to achieve this, the most important step is to learn financial planning skills so that you can make the most of the money you earn.

 

 

These Things Might Be Behind Your Expenses

If you always feel like you are running out of money and it is not even the fourth week of the month yet, you may want to change how you spend things for a little bit. Making money may not be your problem, but your way of keeping it may be. To improve the situation, here are several things which you may have been doing which cause your expenses to grow out of hand:

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Being Too Generous

You may not think much when your very best friend asks you to borrow a few bucks for paying a cab or buying lunch at places that do not accept credit cards, but when you do this frequently it may burden you without you realizing it. Borrowing money and lending money is never a good thing. They can only be done when there is an impending emergency, and they should not be done on a regular basis. However, as some people are not able to manage their finance cautiously, they will keep on borrowing and you do not want to be the person who is known to be “the office’s cash machine” because you never say no to people who borrow from you. There is no guarantee that the people who borrow from you will give you back your money, costing you hundreds of dollars each month when done frequently. Remember, even though it is only 5 dollars, but for the 40th time you give away your 5 dollars, it will be 200 dollars already.

Throwing Out Your Discounts

You may not be comfortable with the idea of cutting out coupons or finding discount codes online, but tons and tons of discount devotees have claimed that regular use of promotional events, loyalty cards, coupons and periodic discounts can save you up to thousands of dollars annually. You can find out more about getting your discounts online, although keep in mind that regularly checking for available promotions and deals may be tiresome as well as time consuming. Therefore, getting discounts in a simpler and less time consuming manner may be done with the help of your favorite store’s loyalty card or any discount cards available in your country.

Unnecessary Splurging and Impulsive Shopping

As a human being, it is totally normal to buy things that we do not need but are tempted to buy every once in a while. However, unnecessary splurging and impulsive shopping may be the major reason of why your paychecks never last long, especially if you constantly do it. You may purchase an item because you feel that it is too good of an opportunity to throw away and that the item may not be available anymore once you decide to walk away. But in order to prevent this from reoccurring, you need to learn on how to differentiate things that you need from the things you will not want to have anymore a couple of months later. The easiest way to do this is actually to walk away. If you still want to buy the item five days later, you can come back and purchase it. This way, you avoid spending money on impulse.

Self-Driving Cars Are Going to Change Our Habits

14 years ago, in 2001, we were just getting used to Google Images, we had no notion of an immense image libraries that we could search by the push of a button. 3 years later, in 2004, Google gave us a great email service that is used worldwide nowadays. Gmail has somehow managed to be almost free of spam unlike other mail providers.

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At the beginning of the third millennium, having a car that drives itself was something that you would see in movies and read about in books. If we fast forward to present reality, all this may actually happen. You have probably heard rumors about Google building a driverless car.

Well, it’s true. Google says that the first self-driving cars will be available to the wide public somewhere around 2020. In less than 5 years we will just sit relaxed in our car and we will reach our destinations without lifting a finger.

How would self-driving cars change your life?

Such cars will be designed to offer a particularly high level of comfort. You will be able to enjoy your ride by catching up on your emails, reading a good book or watching your favorite TV shows. People who commute will no longer have to waste at least 2 hours every day driving to and from work because self-driving cars will have given us more time to enjoy ourselves.

Although we would all want a bit more time to relax, this is not nearly as important as decreasing the number of accidents. Since there is no man to drive the car, human error is taken out of the equation. No more drunk drivers, no more texting behind the wheel, no more reckless teenagers eager to push the gas pedal. The science behind this extraordinary innovation relies on precise parameters to give us the safest possible ride ever.

Google has a page dedicated to report accidents involving their self-driving car prototype. In 6 years, only 13 accidents were registered. Taking into account that the self-driving models logged 1.8 million miles, this is a pretty small number. What’s hilarious is that the majority of accidents were caused by other drivers in traffic.

How is this all possible?

The science that led to the creation of self-driving cars is a bit too complicated to be explained in a few paragraphs, but I can certainly give you some information about what made all this real. The cars have a rotating radar on the top. It’s called a Lidar, which is an acronym for Light Detection And Ranging. Basically, the Lidar informs the main computer about the edges of roadways and lane markings by analyzing pulses of light.

The prototypes have front rear cameras that register traffic variables such as street lights that change and cyclists rolling on the road. The form of the car itself allows for no blind spots and there are lots of sensors that must function perfectly. The computer is specifically designed for self-driving and analyzes all the data so that it can send appropriate commands, pretty much like a human brain we can say. There are back-up systems for all the main functions like steering and braking.

How do these car look like?

Back in 2009, Google implemented the self-driving technology on a Toyota Prius and tested the car on California highways. Since then, they created the2014 Google self driving prototype that is kind of cute but looks odd compared to the car shapes that we know. There also is the Mercedes F015 with a futuristic look and last, the good looking driverless Lexus RX 450h.

11 Nuggets of Wisdom for Launching Your Own Successful Small Business

Starting a small business is stressful and challenging. Many people have gone down this road but a lot of them have failed due to different reasons. Here are 11 things to think about before starting a small business.

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Offer something that the client needs

If you want to avoid an early failure, you must make sure that your product or service is requested by the audience. How do you think the best inventions were created (apart from the accidental ones, of course) ? The inventors saw a need and fulfilled it.

It is ideal to find a field where there is little to no competition but in today’s supersaturated market, this is easier said than done. Although you may be forced to choose a product or service that is provided by many others, you need to add a feature that’s unique to your business only. You must find a competitive advantage, meaning a reason why clients should choose you over other businesses.

Choose a catchy name

The name of your business should be easy to remember, short and sweet. You will build a brand around this name, so make sure you choose the one that speaks about your company’s values. Then create a logo and display it on your website, receipts, in your shop etc.

Know your customers

The client is your main point of interest. If his needs are met by your business, he will keep coming back and will recommend it to others. This kind of positive feedback is the best advertisement you can get. Be a client for a day and see products similar to yours. You will immediately catch on the things that you don’t like and you will know what you can add in order to create a neraly perfect product.

Make a detailed business plan

This is where you talk money and long term goals. Commit to your plan by getting it in writing. The business plan should be realistic yet challenging. Financial objectives and the method of repaying any required loans should be clear.

The start-up costs must be estimated and you should have a general marketing plan to bring you focus. It is best to take advantage of as much free advertisement as you can, but if you know nothing about how to do this, it is recommended to hire a marketing expert. Make sure to include a description of your target audience, a profit and loss estimate and a break-even analysis.

Stay in touch with your audience

Social networks offer you the perfect way to communicate with your customers. You can create polls for suggestions and you can ask people for honest feedback to find out what they think about your product.

Offer discounts and freebies

In general, people want a reasonable price for a high quality product. Whenever a potential customer sees an opportunity to save money or to receive something for free, he is likely to make a purchase. Be careful about offering very low prices, customers can get suspicious and ask themselves what’s the catch.

Don’t trick the IRS

There is a joke that if you ever feel alone, you should try not paying your taxes. Don’t hire illegal emigrants, always give a receipt to customers, don’t mess with VAT charges and don’t evade the system in any other way or else your business is liable.

Build a website

A business without a website basically does not exist. It is much easier to attract customers if you have an online presence. Besides, people expect your business to have a website with up to date and complete information about contact details, discounts, products, and a mission statement.

Keep an eye on your finances

You can see far ahead when the ship is going to sink. You must evaluate your profits and losses regularly and you must assess whether things are going according to your business plan. If you don’t recover your investment as soon as you wanted, it is time to make some changes in your strategies.

Stay on top of paperwork

Paperwork kills us all but we can’t have order without it. Hire an accountant to take care of everything you need to send to the IRS and to guide you through the mountains of papers to sign.

Know when to cut your losses

If the goals of your business are consistently not met, you won’t make profits. In such situations you need to face reality and move on without dwelling on it or you will lose even more money and time.

10 Insanely Efficient Gadgets Everyone Wishes Existed

Shortcuts and every desire to get things done in a span of a few minutes are just some of the reasons why human craving for an efficient gadget never stops. There can be no stopping when it comes to this kind of craving. Every person is longing for different things to make his or her life easier compared to what he has today. There are no boundaries when it comes to this desire. It has even been widely known that having a gadget is not merely a want these days, it has become a necessity and most people know that necessity is always and will ever be the mother of innovations.

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However, the existence of these gadgets has made the lazy behavior of every individual to coexist with them no matter what they do or where they go. Throughout the history, one of the major driving factors in the everyday life of each person is the laziness. Thus, whenever there are new innovations gaining widespread recognition, there will always be a possibility that a new innovation which encourages laziness will come into existence. This case can be proven through the span of years when cars, telephones, computers, internet, and social media come to life.

Despite of this laziness effect to the human world, you can never deny the fact that the efficiency effect outweighs the laziness effect. What is important is that your laziness will never stop you from attaining your goals and responsibilities. Below are just some of the 10 efficient gadgets that will surely wish to have existed.

Workout Alarm

It is an alarm that will need you to work out before it can be turned off. For all those snoozers, this gadget will be perfect for you.

Drip-Catcher Coffee Mug

This invention is very useful and efficient for all those coffee lovers. Coffee stains on your table can be very annoying, especially when it dries up because you don’t have time to clean it up after drinking. When drinking coffee, it will always be hard to keep track of the dripping coffee from your mug, thus, drip-catcher coffee mug is the best solution when it comes to your problem. It will gather the drops at the gap and prevent it from staining your table or furniture.

Pileup Toaster

If you are one of the lazy folks, then this toaster will work best for you. It will toast the slices of bread you put in it and it will do the job by piling up all those toasts. You will no longer have to worry about your bread getting burned because you left it for too long.

Non-Permanent Highlighter

You will be able to edit your highlights with no worries because you can erase it as you wish.

Dissolvable Soap Package

Dissolvable Soap Package is not yet available in the market. When it comes out of the market, it should be one of the products you must buy to help ease your worries. The package will dissolve itself when it will be exposed to water, thus, you don’t need to open the package just to get the soap.

Personalized Coffee Machine

It uses a hand print recognition in order to make the desired coffee for each person.

Water Sterilizer For Food

Cleanliness and sterilized table wares are very important but less people have the thought of sterilizing their food. This gadget will definitely guarantee to give you a bacteria and clean-free food when the water you are using to clean your food is not enough to offer you this opportunity. There will be no negative effects on the edibility of your food.

Printer

This device is very efficient and ecofriendly because it will allow you to erase the printed texts.

Self-Opening Milk Container

No more stress of opening your milk container since this gadget will do the job for you. You will no longer have to cut or open the lid of your milk container and you can have a good drink of your milk without exerting much effort. The weight of the milk will just open the lid and let the milk flow to your glass.

iChat

This gadget will able you to do video conferencing using your front camera.