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Freelancing or Running a Business From Home? You Need The Perfect Home Office

A home office is particularly important for freelancers and anyone who runs their own business, although it’s something that’s useful in any home. Whether you have a spare room that you want to turn into the perfect home office, or just have an empty nook or corner somewhere in your house- here are the things you’ll need for a great functioning home office.

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A Desk

Go for the largest desk you can fit in your space, having more room makes everything much more comfortable and is easier to work from. This is vital when you work for yourself and spend a lot of time at it! Something with a drawers or storage space is your best bet, perfect for things you need to be able to quickly grab but don’t want cluttered up the top. You can find good quality, inexpensive desks from just about anywhere, but for a fun project why not upcycle an old piece? Find a solid wooden desk from somewhere like Craigslist, and modernise it by painting it with a chalk furniture paint and switching out any handles.

A Supportive Chair

To go at your desk, a supportive chair is essential. Don’t skimp here or you could end up with painful problems later down the line, you need something comfortable with good back and neck support. If you have carpet down in your home office, you’ll need to chose a chair that doesn’t have wheels (or buy some plastic sheeting to go underneath it). Otherwise wheeling up and down over it will have your carpets looking bald in no time.

A Reliable Computer

Your computer is the workhorse of your home office, and when you work for yourself your livelihood quite literally depends on it. Always perform security updates to make sure that it’s not vulnerable to attacks, and back up your information regularly. If you notice any problems, make sure that computer repairs are carried out as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your machine. Choose a screen that’s big enough to see everything clearly without having to hunch over or squint, if you use a laptop or Macbook you could hook it up to a larger monitor. You’ll be able to see things more clearly, this is especially useful if you edit pictures or videos or do any kind of design work

A Filing Cabinet

Self-employment comes with masses of paperwork that you need to keep safe. Things like invoices and receipts are crucial when it comes to your tax return, and so invest in a good filing system. Ideally a proper filing cabinet, but at the very least a folder which is divided up by category so you know where everything is. There are a number of Ikea hacks for filing cabinets if you want something a bit more personal.

Stationery

Things like pens and pencils, highlighters, paper clips, post-it notes and notepads- have a think about the stationery you’ll need to keep everything in your business running smoothly. Keep everything organised so it’s easy to grab things when you need them without rummaging through everything. Organisers like containers and pots are useful, as well as miniature sets of drawers for the desktop to keep everything neat and together.

A Notice Board

A noticeboard or a large calendar helps to keep you organised, stick to deadlines and gives you a general idea of your workload for the weeks ahead. Get into the habit of updating it regularly, and you’ll be able to see exactly what you need at a glance. We shared some cool printable calendars here, so you could easily make your own.


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Bedhead to Bright-eye -Bushy-tailed in a Few Minutes



How long is your morning routine? If you're fed up of getting out of bed early so you can sort yourself out, there's no need to continue. You don't have to spend an hour sorting out your hair, makeup and outfit every single day. A shorter morning routine can give you more time lounge in bed or to spend on other things. You'll be able to sit down for a leisurely cup of coffee or spend the time you save making a proper breakfast. And you don't have to compromise on how good you look either. Use these steps for a quick and effective way to get ready every morning.

Don't Leave It All Until the Morning

Your first step should be to reduce the amount you need to do in the morning. If you wake up with your hair out of control, it could take you forever to tame it. If you want to lower your morning workload, you can do everything at other times. For example, if you look for the best products for straightening hair, you can keep your hair straighter all the time. Use a straightening shampoo when you shower and your hair won't need wrestling into control when you get up in the morning. The same can go for your skin; if you look after it on a regular basis, it won't be as hard to perfect when you wake up.

Perfect Your Five-minute Makeup Routine

Makeup can be one of the most time-consuming things to concentrate on in the morning. One of the problems is that you start putting it on and then you lose track of time. Sometimes you might be a bit overambitious about what you can do before you step out the door. Working out a short routine that will still have you looking and feeling amazing will get you some time back in the morning. It's not just down to what look you choose. Practising your application can help you do it faster too.

Choose Outfits in Advance

Do you spend ages dithering in front of all your clothes, undecided about what to wear? If it's a source of lost time for you, don't leave it until the morning. Pick out what you're going to wear the night before, and lay everything out somewhere. You could even decide what you're wearing across the week so that it's all taken care of in one go.

Use Multitasking Products

If your bedside table or bathroom is littered with beauty products, it might be time to cut down. Instead of using three or four different products, you can cut them down to one. There are cosmetics you can use for your skin and your hair that will do several things at once. For example, you can use a foundation or BB cream that will moisturise and brighten your skin. Hair products can multitask too, helping to clean, hydrate and smooth your hair.

You don't have to spend too much time getting ready in the morning. You can get your time back if you reorganise your routine.


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Health || Living an Active Life With Arrhythmia


Arrhythmia is a blanket term for a number of conditions that result in the irregular beating of the heart. It can raise the chance of strokes and heart attacks significantly, which makes it a serious concern. Particularly for those who are into exercise and raising their heartbeat. However, it doesn’t make an active healthy lifestyle impossible. Here’s how you cope with it.

The symptoms

You may not be entirely sure yet whether you suffer from arrhythmia. If you have a suspicion, it’s best to get an idea what the symptoms are before getting overly concerned. However, if any of your symptoms include pain in the chest or palpitations, you will need to get yourself to the doctor no matter what. Other ways to test is by finding your pulse and counting your heart rate. A racing or slow heartbeat could also mean you need to get checked out. Shortness of breath, dizziness and sweating can be signs of arrhythmia, but not conclusively. If you faint or suffer near-fainting regularly, you should also get checked out. Again, if any of these symptoms are experienced frequently, you need to see a doctor.

Find out your treatment options

If you are worried that you suffer from arrhythmia, you want to see a specialist quickly to get your treatment options laid out in front of you. You can find one on AbbottEP.com or ask your doctor to recommend you. There are a lot of different kinds of arrhythmia. Some may be relatively tame whereas others can be life threatening without treatment. There are a lot of different treatment options, from lifestyle adjustment to fitting a pacemaker. It’s best to get to a specialist as soon as possible to know what the best foot forward is.

Getting used to doctor visits

If you have an arrhythmia, your doctor will likely tell you that it’s important you visit often. Especially if you feel a change in your condition. Make these trips to your specialist or doctor as effective as possible. Take a list of all medicines you’re on to your doctor. That way, they can better see what to prescribe you and prevent any combination from having harmful interactions. Check with your doctor before getting any over-the-counter medications. Even cold and flu medicines, which can prove a danger to those with arrhythmia. Be candid with any side effects from medication prescribed as well.

Nutrition

Part of a healthy life with arrhythmia is using the right nutrition to build a healthy heart and fight what could be an increased risk of stroke. Sites like Everydayhealth.com have a lot of tips for your diet. As you might expect, one of the most important ways of doing this is by eating a lot less processed foods. Processed foods are one of the leading contributors to a high blood pressure and high cholesterol. There are other, specifically, heart healthy foods to look out for. For example, salmon and other fatty fish are rich in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids but low in the more harmful saturated fats. Every seven ounces of fruit and veg a day can decrease your risk of a stroke by 32%, too.

Adjusting your fitness plans

It will depend on the type and severity of arrhythmia, but it’s likely you will have to adjust how much exercise you get and how you get it. Your doctor will provide more specific details for you. Your doctor can help you organise a fitness exam to see how much stress your body can safely take. If you have to cut out on the intense intervals of training, consider things like walking groups. Spread your exercise over a longer time. Learn to check your pulse for signs of trouble. If you wear a pacemaker, avoid contact sports that can damage the device.

Cut the bad habits

You already know the kind of habits that you should be avoiding. All the ‘vices’ you know are unhealthy are specifically bad for your heart. We’ve mentioned cutting processed foods. Smoking is another that you can fight by using things like e-cigarettes or nicotine patches. You don’t have to abandon the pleasure of a drink, but you do need to do it in moderation. Stick to the safe drinking limit and make it a rarer occurrence. One habit that fewer people consider is not having breakfast. If you want to avoid overeating, it’s an important part of getting your metabolism and blood sugar levels on an even field for the rest of the day. That means fewer cravings.

Don’t think it’s safer to stay still

Some with arrhythmia might get concerned about doing any exercise at all. They might think it safer to sit still entirely. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Maintaining a low weight through your diet isn’t enough. Neglecting exercise builds visceral fat around your organs. This can be particularly stressful on your heart. Even if you’re concerned about pushing yourself too hard, you should get up, walk and be more active throughout the day. So long as you’re able to monitor your heart rate and stop at the first symptom of your arrhythmia acting up, you should be fine.

Fight stress

Your emotional health is intrinsically linked to your physical health. That’s especially true when it comes to stress and your heart. So you need to find new ways to deal with the natural stress that happens in everyday life. For example, some might think that ‘letting it all out’ deals with stress, but the opposite is true. It builds it up and even makes aggressive displays of stress a more likely occurrence in future. Helpguide.org recommends avoiding stress and expressing your feelings calmly when you do encounter them. Most importantly, besides the tips above, get your sleep. Staying up too late and getting little sleep makes you produce more cortisol, the stress hormone.

As you can see, the idea that arrhythmia makes a healthy style impossible couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, making healthier choices including exercise is actually good for you. Just make sure you have a specialist who can help you craft your health plans to the condition.

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Eight Common Health Problems That Occur With Old Age



Thanks to advances in medicine and nutrition, the average life expectancy is higher than ever before. The problem is, the longer you live, the harder it gets to take care of your body. Many health conditions, both physical and mental, commonly arise in old age, particularly past the 65-year mark. If you take care of an elderly person, or if you’re getting on in the years yourself, it is important to watch out for certain medical issues. Here are some of the health problems that are particularly common in the elderly.

Dysphagia

Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties. The muscles you use for swallowing get weaker with age, so dysphagia is common for elderly people. Dysphagia is characterised by problems with swallowing. Some people may have difficulties getting food down, while others may not be able to swallow at all. Watch out for frequent coughing or choking when consuming food or liquids, as this is a good indicator of dysphagia.

Age-related dysphagia often requires a change in the diet. Foods need to be softer and fluids need to be thicker, allowing for easier swallowing. There are certain foods and drinks designed for those with dysphagia, such as the products from Thickit.com. It’s important to make these dietary changes to avoid choking or any further swallowing issues.

Alzheimer’s Disease

After 65 years of age, elderly people can often experience dementia. Dementia is a term covering various types of brain conditions which involve confusion and memory loss. Alzheimer’s is the most common form. While things such as head injury and depression have been linked with the onset of Alzheimer’s, 70% of cases are believed to be generic. Almost 50 million people worldwide are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Since those with Alzheimer’s may not realise they’re ill, it’s important you know how to identify the early signs and symptoms. Alzheimer’s is incurable, so elderly people in the later stages of the disease will need loved ones or a carer to look after them. Treatment is available to make some symptoms more manageable.

Osteoporosis

As you age, your bones start to become thinner and weaker. While this is natural, some people lose bone density much faster than others, leading to a condition called Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis develops over a long time. The increasingly weakened bones can lead to them becoming easily fractured from minor falls.

Statistics state that one in every four men over 50 years of age will experience osteoporosis. It is even more common in females- by 50 years old, 2% of women will have osteoporosis, and this rises to 25% by the age of 80. Most people will not be able to tell they have osteoporosis until they experience a fracture. Because of this, it is worth getting a DEXA scan carried out to check your bone density.

Arthritis

Arthritis is the most common health condition faced by elderly people. Statistics suggest that almost 50% of people over 65 are diagnosed with arthritis. Arthritis involves inflammation of the joints. It can occur all over the body, most commonly in the knees, hips and back. Arthritis can cause severe pain and reduce the quality of life. It is usually indicated by painful, tender or swollen joints. Because there are many different kinds of arthritis, if you notice any of these signs it’s important to see a doctor to get the right treatment.

Painkillers, steroids and even surgery may be required in more severe cases. For some, less painful forms of exercise and physiotherapy will often be recommended.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological condition which builds up over time. It involves nerve cells in the brain dying, leading to reduced dopamine production. This results in various problems with motor skills. The main symptom of Parkinson’s is involuntary tremors or shakes around the body. Slowness of movement and stiff muscles are other key symptoms. It can also cause fatigue and depression. Parkinson’s makes it harder to do many day-to-day tasks, impacting quality of life for those affected.

Parkinson’s symptoms usually start out mild, but can become more severe over time. Although it is incurable, as the condition worsens it is recommended to get treatment. Treatment can involve physiotherapy, medication and surgery in extreme cases.

Diabetes

There are two different types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age, and for a number of reasons. Type 2 diabetes is particularly common in the elderly. It is also known as adult-onset diabetes, and can occur in adults over 40.Type 2 diabetes involves your body using insulin incorrectly. It may resist insulin or fail to produce enough to keep your glucose levels high enough. It is often caused by poor diet and insufficient exercise. It has also been linked to genetics.

Symptoms include frequent urination, increased hunger and thirst and blurred vision. If you start to exhibit symptoms of diabetes, you should visit your doctor. Treatment often consists of eating healthier and exercising more. Blood sugar monitoring and insulin therapy may also be required.

Cancer

Cancer can come at all ages in many different forms, but elderly people are particularly at risk. Between 2011 and 2013, half of all cancer cases in the UK were diagnosed in patients aged 70 and above. Because cancer is a slow progressing illness, it can be hard to identify. It is important to look out for any possible signs and symptoms. If you see any begin to develop, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible, as early treatment can be a lifesaver.

Heart Disease

Alongside cancer, heart disease is the leading cause of death for the elderly. Coronary heart disease is when fat in the arteries prevents them from supplying blood to the heart. Coronary heart disease can also lead to heart attack or heart failure.

You should look out for symptoms such as regular fatigue and exhaustion. Regular breathlessness and dizziness are also common signs. Doctors will usually recommend lifestyle changes to prevent serious heart issues. However, in some cases, surgery such as a bypass operation or heart transplant is required.


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The Most Delicious & Healthiest Drinks You’ll Ever Try


You know those smoothies that almost all coffee shops sell, the ones that are meant to be super healthy? Well, most of them, if not all, are packed full of sugar and empty calories, not to mention a whole load of additives. Being healthy is much harder than it seems. Especially when things that are meant to be healthy aren’t as healthy as they seem. Food is one thing, but drinks are completely another.

Who would have thought that a fruit drink made up of lots of healthy fruits and a small dollop of ice cream could equate to over 500 calories? Who knew that some fizzy drinks contain over 12 teaspoons of sugar? What about the fact that fruit juice drinks made for kids can be packed full of sugar and sweeteners, isn’t that scary? The truth is, unless you make your drinks yourself, you have little idea of how healthy or unhealthy they are.

So with that in mind, here are some of the most delicious and healthiest drink ideas to make and try out. They taste just as good as their shop bought alternatives but are much, much healthier.

Fizzy drink alternatives

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Let’s start with fizzy drinks. While some fizzy drinks can be packed full of sugar and goodness knows what else, having a fizzy drink doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Well, if you make it yourself it doesn’t. Believe it or not, going DIY with fizzy drinks is much easier than you would think.

The most thing to have on hand is a Sodastream - these aren’t expensive to buy and often go on sale. Sodastream machines turn normal water into soda water, giving it a light fizz. So you’ve got the fizzy part of your fave drink but what about the flavour? If you have a look online, there are healthy recipes for recreating your favourite fizzy drinks. Say, you’re an orangeade lover, to recreate the orange part of the drink, orange juice is the best option. It tastes just as good and is much better for you, as it’s lower in calories and free from any nasty additives.

Juice drinks that are good for you


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Juice drinks might taste delicious, but often, they’re packed full of sugar. Or, if they don’t contain sugar, there are sweeteners in them that are just as bad for you. Sweeteners have been linked to cancer in many studies, which is why it’s best to avoid them where possible.

To make delicious, healthy fruit drinks, a water filtration system is worth having as it makes the water taste cleaner and crisper. If you don’t already have one, there are some great models on TheBerkey.com to take a look at. As for the juice flavouring, there are a few options. The easiest one is to make homemade fruit cordial - there are lots of healthy recipes for this online. Or, another option is to infuse fruit into the water to make a juice-inspired drink that’s similar to flavoured water.

Iced drinks that don’t contain too much sugar


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There’s no getting away from it, iced coffees and iced teas are delicious. The only problem is that most of the pre-made ones are packed full of sugar, additives and flavour enhancers. Because of this, they’re high in calories and fat and aren’t very good for us.

To make your own homemade versions of your favourite iced tea and coffee drinks isn’t hard. All it takes to make iced tea is a few fruit teabags, some boiling water, and some honey. Mix this together, allow the water to cool and then remove the tea bags, and voila, perfect iced tea. For more ideas, visit Womenshealthmag.com and have a read. As for iced coffee, make up a jug of black coffee and place it in the fridge to cool. Then, once it’s cooled, pour a small amount over some ice and top it up with the milk of your choice - dairy, nut or soy.

Just because your favourite drink isn’t as healthy as it seems, that doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking it. Instead, opt to go down the DIY route and make it yourself.


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