Ways of Providing a Safe and Healthy Environment for Your Child

Becoming a parent means making it your lifelong mission to keep your children as safe, healthy and happy as possible. You’ll turn your home into a safe haven, choose the best schools and teachers, as well as take any action you can to ensure they’re safe physically and emotionally. However, if you want to achieve all this, you have to know how. Here are some ways for you to provide an environment in which your little one can grow into a happy and healthy individual.

The way we treat people

The first thing your nestling will know about this world is your smell, your touch, and your voice. Similarly, their earliest development will be greatly influenced by your behavior and the way you treat them and other people in your life. Make sure you nurture a stable and loving relationship with them, that you teach them by example how to express any emotions they might experience and how to communicate with those around them. Show them your love and support through words, but also through other signs of affection, like hugs, kisses and your presence whenever they need somebody to listen to them or comfort them. Also, if you treat the people around you with the respect and kindness they deserve, your child will pick up on that. This especially applies to your relationship with your partner. Avoid arguing in front of your little one, but rather be tender and loving, since that’s what you want your child to consider normal.

A healthy home is a safe home

If you want to raise a healthy child, you have to make your home a safe and healthy place. Above all, this means you have to maintain its cleanliness, using only natural cleaning products that aren’t a health hazard and that are ecological. Children are more sensitive than adults, which means that they might have a reaction to some pollutant your body doesn’t even notice, so make sure your home is free of cigarette smoke, mold, and dust. Investing in a HEPA air purifier and HEPA filters on your vacuum cleaner is always a good idea. Avoid wall paint containing VOCs. Choose furniture made of natural wood, and which hasn’t been treated with glue or paint containing formaldehyde. When it comes to carpets, opt for a lovely jute rug, which won’t only look amazing on your kid’s floor, but is also eco-friendly. As for clothes, mattresses and the bedding your child sleeps in, make sure they’re made of organic materials. These things might not have been important to you when you weren’t a parent, but they are definitely something you have to think about how you’ve become one.

We are what we eat

What your child eats can have a crucial influence on their overall health. Again, you need to teach them by example, since it would be ridiculous to expect your child to eat broccoli and apples while you munch on potato chips and chocolate. The meals you serve them should be home-cooked, and if you can include them in the preparation of those meals, their benefits will multiply. A child will be more likely to eat something if they helped make it and watching you cook will set a great example for when they become independent and have children of their own. Make sure their diet is loaded with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. If they eat nutritious food, with all the vitamins and minerals they need, their immune system will be stronger and they will be readier to fight any viruses or illnesses. Instead of shopping in big supermarkets, opt for your local farmers’ market and have your child tag along when you go. Choose home-grown, organic products and don’t forget to teach your kid that eating healthy is a choice, not a punishment or a chore.

A healthy lifestyle for smart and healthy kids

Make sure your kid is physically active, that they don’t spend their days sitting in front of one screen or another. Take them to the park, to a swimming pool, or get them a bicycle and go cycling with them. Have them spend time outdoors, playing with other children or with you. Read to them, introduce them to art, music, and games that develop their imagination, creativity and motor skills. Also, it’s important that they get enough restful and uninterrupted sleep. Establish a routine that will get them in and out of bed at approximately the same time every day, even on weekends. Disrupting this routine can cause them to lose sleep, which can affect their health and mood. Teach them how to care for their planet. Plant a tree together, adopt a pet, explain that littering is out of the question and that glass containers and paper or cotton bags are a better choice than the plastic ones. Always bear in mind that the safety of your child depends on the safety of the world they live in.

In order to create a safe and healthy environment for your child, you might have to change your own lifestyle and habits. It might seem difficult, but you have to be persistent. After all, just remember who and what you’re doing it for.

About the author:

Tracey Clayton is a full-time mom of three girls. She’s passionate about fashion, home décor, and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”

How to Inspire Yourself to Work Out More

Most people who are engaged in regular exercising activities will tell you that the first step was the most difficult to make and that once they got used to the routine there were few problems afterward. We all know that changing our habits and behavior is rarely easy. It takes determination and dedication, to begin with, but if the desired goals are not met, motivation drops and we tend to go back to the old ways.

So, what can we do instead of giving up? How can we keep the motivation level high enough to be able to enjoy the benefits of working out? Let’s take a look at some tips that have proved to be effective for many people around the globe.

Set realistic goals

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One of the most common problems that lead to giving up is the failure to achieve the set goals. Unfortunately, in most cases, the goals were unrealistic and could never be reached. That’s why it’s vital to set the goals that can actually be met. In order to be spot on with them, you should consult your doctor and fitness coach and see what they have to say based on their experience. Also, your goals need to be measurable, rather than general. So, instead of “I want to feel better and lose some weight”, say “I want to lose 5 kg this month”, for example.

Reward your achievement

If you’ve implemented changes to your lifestyle with an aim to boost your health, you’ll need to keep the motivation high at all times. One of the ways to do that is to reward yourself when you meet certain goals. Your brain will associate the new routine with success and this extrinsic motivation is a very helpful tool in the process.

If you persist long enough, this motivation will become intrinsic and you’ll feel great after each workout session. The endorphins that are released will be a reward good enough for you, so you won’t need to think about any treat.

Don’t do it alone

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Experience has shown that working out in a group helps to maintain high motivation levels. Very often people don’t feel like exercising but don’t want to look bad in the eyes of their friends, so eventually, they get ready and leave their house to get some workout. Even if you started exercising alone, at some point you might want to find someone to be your workout buddy. If you are short of ideas, check here how to find your soulmate program.

Commitment contract

Most of us find it relatively easy to break a promise made to ourselves. Nobody knows about the promise and we see no harm done to anyone. What we often forget is that in many cases the damage is done and it’s done to ourselves. On the other hand, if we promise something to other people or commit to something in writing, we are much more likely to do everything to fulfill our obligation.

Let’s say you commit to a workout routine of visiting the local gym three times a week over three months. Tell your friend that you’ll pay him some money for each session you skip, no matter what the reason is. If there is a threat of paying a penalty, we’ll be more likely to do our part of the agreement.

Keep a diary

Keeping a diary about your experience and feelings from day one can be a useful tool in inspiring yourself to go even further. When you put down your thoughts and feelings into writing and revisit them when you feel less motivated, you’ll notice that you’ve already been through similar phases and that you’ve managed to overcome such problems. This also requires dedication and commitment, but the benefits can definitely be worth the effort.

Motivation is one of the key aspects of changing bad habits and leading a healthier life. That’s why it deserves a lot of attention on your behalf since nobody likes to fail and feel like a loser.

4 Helpful Things You Can Say to a Suicidal or Depressed Friend

They were celebrities at the pinnacle of achievement in their fields. Legions of fans and industry insiders worldwide respected them, yet both took their own lives last week.

No one is immune to suicidal thoughts — not even a successful public figure like Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade. Suicide and depression know no boundaries of race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, or national origin. Statistically, it’s likely you know at least one person who struggles with suicidal thoughts. In a typical high school classroom of 20 students, at least 3 have seriously considered taking their lives in the past year.

What to say when a depressed friend reaches out

This concerns most of us who question our ability to respond to someone in need. Will we know what to say if that friend, neighbour, or student reaches out to us? Will we be able to help?

As a trusted confidant, you can show someone who’s struggling you care with only a few simple words.

  • Are you thinking of taking your life right now?

If your friend has already put together a suicide plan or is about to take their life, immediately call 911 and get emergency assistance. You should let trained professionals help rather than try to handle it yourself.

  • When did you start feeling this way?

When a suicidal person reaches out for help, they really want someone to hear their story. Asking open-ended questions — and listening — lets them do that. Don’t be judgmental or dispense advice. Simply pay attention and affirm their experience.

  • You’re not alone. I care about you, and I’m here to help.

Why would someone struggling with suicidal tendencies reach out to us? They’re in a battle for their lives, and they don’t want to fight it alone any more. Telling them that we’re there, we care, and we want to help assures them they’re not alone any more. It also opens the door for them to be more specific about how you can help.

  • Have you considered getting professional help?

When someone confides to us about their personal battle with depression and suicidal tendencies, it shows they trust us, so many friends and teachers wonder if they should keep this information secret. The answer is emphatical NO.

In fact, the goal of any discussion with a suicidal person is to get them to seek professional help. If our friend had malignant cancer, we would encourage them to go to the hospital, even if they were reluctant at first. It’s the same with a life-threatening condition like suicide.

We shouldn’t give up if the person resists. We can tell them we’re asking because we care. We can offer to help them find and schedule an appointment with a mental health counsellor. We can go with them.

What to do if your friend doesn’t reach out directly

Many times, a depressed or suicidal friend won’t approach you directly and ask for help. Recent studies have uncovered a correlation between excessive time online and depression. If you notice a significant change in someone’s behaviour (if they seem habitually withdrawn, down, disengaged, or angry) you might want to initiate a conversation with one of these leading questions.

4 Questions to Break The Ice When You Notice a Change in Someone’s Behavior

  • You don’t seem yourself lately. [Add observational details]. Are you all right?
  • I’m concerned because I’ve noticed a change in you. [Add observational details]. What’s going on, and what might help you feel better?
  • You seem upset. Do you need to vent? I’m here for you, and I’ll listen.
  • You seem to be going through something tough. Can I do anything to support you right now?