Monday, 18 February 2013

Tips for sleeping better

Sleep is important for everyone. Many people look forward to sleeping while others dread bed time. Most people will at some time suffer from minor sleep problems while others will experience more serious sleep issues. Regardless of which category a person falls into, the following tips can encourage a better night's sleep..

Human bodies like to stick to a schedule, getting up and going to bed at the same time will encourage an individual to get into the habit of sleeping at certain times.

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and make sure the body is physically tired enough to go to sleep. Don’t exercise too late in the day though as time is needed to wind down after exercise.

Avoid stimulants such as cigarettes, coffee and alcohol before bed. Try a calming tea or warm milk instead.

Establish a getting ready for bed routine. Such as having a bath, hot shower, reading a novel or something else relaxing and do this before bed each night.

Don’t try to force sleep. If a person is having trouble falling to sleep, consider getting out of bed for a while and reading a book.

If an individual is worrying rather than sleeping, keeping a notebook by the bed to write worries down can be beneficial. Don’t think about them again until the next day.

Photo source : KB's Room

Don’t take naps during the day, this will make it harder to fall to sleep in the evening.

Give meals plenty of time to digest before sleep. Perhaps eat a larger meal for lunch rather than in the evening.

The bedroom is for sleeping and sex…no TV in the bedroom. Try relaxing music instead.

Place a few drops of lavender oil on a pillow or even better, buy a lavender pillow.

Taking time to relax with relaxation exercises or meditation during the day will help an individual sleep at night. Lie down on the back, take a couple of deep breathes and then tense and relax each of the muscle groups. Start from the toes and work up to the head. Do this during the day rather than at bedtime as this practice tends to refresh rather than encourage sleep.

The best thing for a good night’s sleep is stop worrying about it but if problems persist, see a health professional.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Social Anxiety Disorder and Phobia

Social phobia, also referred to as social anxiety disorder, is one of the more common anxiety disorders. Most people experience some degree of anxiety when asked to perform in certain social situations but for a person who suffers from social phobia, these situations can be terrifying. The social phobic is fearful of embarrassing or humiliating themselves in social or performance situations.

The most common social phobia is fear of public speaking but other phobias include

Fear of crowds

Fear of blushing

Fear of sitting examinations

Fear of eating in public

Fear of signing documents or writing in front of others

However, just because you have a fear of speaking in public, doesn’t mean you have a phobia. The phobia develops if you begin avoiding your fear and it then interferes with your work, relationships or social outings. Social phobia can also be more general, you may be afraid of any social situation in which you feel watched or judged. This is known as generalized social phobia. In these situations you feel peole are judging you and your abilities in a negative way and are worried they will see you as weak or stupid.

Phobias can range anywhere from being a nuisance to completely debilitating. If a phobia is interfering with your work, relationships or your day to day life, it’s best to refer to a health professional. A doctor can discuss your options and refer you to a therapist if needed. There are many treatments available ranging from medication, relaxation techniques, exposure training and cognitive therapy.

There are many different medications to treat anxiety and your doctor will establish which is the best for you.

Relaxation techniques calm your body and your mind so you have a general feeling of well being.

Exposure training involves gradually exposing yourself to situations you are afraid of. For example, if you are phobic of crowds, you may begin by spending time with a couple of people and slowly increasing the number of people and the amount of time you spend with them.

Cognitive therapy helps you asses and replace your fearful thinking. By evaluating and changing your thinking, you will learn to look at situations in a realistic rather than a fearful way.

Having social phobia can be overwhelming and make you feel hopeless but help is out there. If you find a professional you are comfortable with and make a plan together, your social phobias can be overcome.

Friday, 15 February 2013

How to incorporate 10,000 steps into your day

Health organisations around the world recommend healthy adults aim to walk around 10,000 steps per day to remain in good health. Children and adolescents should be taking between 12,000, to 14,000 and seniors just a little under 10,000. The days may be busy and full but due to a reliance on convenience and technology, many people are walking under 3,000 steps per day without realising they are relatively inactive.

Photo source : KB's Room

Follow these simple tips before beginning a new walking programme.

1. Invest in a good quality pedometer. A sturdy, accurate pedometer is a must. Cheaper versions may break quickly, measure steps inaccurately and be easily lost due to breakage.

2. Wear a pedometer all day. Remember, every step counts.

3. For the first week, record steps without making any changes to the day. This will give an accurate idea of how many steps are taken on an average day. Increase steps gradually each week. Be realistic in weekly goals, setting a step count which is a little too adventurous, can become disheartening if the goal is not reached.

Incorporating 10,000 steps into a busy day may sound overwhelming at first but it's surprising how easy it becomes when a few simple changes are made.

1. The easiest way to reach a step goal is to incorporate a 30-60 minute walk into each day. Another idea is go to bed 30 minutes earlier and take a 30 minute walk the following morning. A walk around the block or the shops during lunch hour will not only increase the amount of steps but clear your head and bring you back more focused on the job in hand.

2. When using public transport, get off a stop earlier than normal.

3. Park the car further away from the shops/office rather than closer. Time can be spent reaching the front door faster rather than wasting time driving round and round, trying to find a closer car park.

4. Mow the lawns. This will save money and top up valuable Vitamin D, from being out in the sunshine.

5. Walk the kids to school. A good way to share quality time with youngsters.

6. Use the stairs rather than the elevator.

7. Find a friend to walk with. It's much harder to find excuses not to walk when a commitment has been made to another person.

These easy tips will help to achieve the goal of walking 10,000 steps a day.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Having a lovely day with my man. Cooked a heart friendly recipe of Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon for our Valentine's Day brunch. 

photo source  : KB's room

photo source : KB and Whitesnakes Home

Coco is exhausted after her long walk with her Dad this morning, (while I slept in).

Looking forward to a relaxing afternoon reading a book and listening to music on our back deck. This evening we are going to watch a couple of romantic DVDs. Perfect! What are you all doing for Valentine's Day?

Love KB


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

It's a dog's life

Coco's had a big day. She's been for a walk, smelled a couple of dog butts at the park and had lots of cuddles from Grandma and Grandad.

Such a hard life! Love KB xxx

Symptoms of diabetes in dogs

Diabetes in dogs is on the rise, but don't panic, the symptoms are similar to diabetes in humans and can be managed if diagnosed early.
Picture source : Teodoro S Gruhl

The most common type of Canine Diabetes is Diabetes Mellitus. This is caused by a lack of insulin which plays an important part in the body's sugar metabolism. Diabetes Insipidus, is a lack of vasopressin which controls water resorption by the kidneys. Diabetes Mellitus can be categorised as Type 1 or 2, most dogs will fall into the Type 1 category, which will require insulin as treatment.

The third type of Canine Diabetes is Canine Gestational Diabetes. This happens when a female dog is pregnant and her body does not produce enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it produces correctly. The symptoms are the same symptoms as Diabetes Mellitus. Treatment is a variation of diet and exercise and in some cases insulin injections. Gestational Diabetes is a result of the pregnancy and in most cases, symptoms will cease after the dog gives birth.

Diabetes is basically caused by a lack of insulin.Normally, the pancreas manufactures its own insulin. Insulin is needed in order for the body's cells to accept glucose. Glucose is a sugar which is needed to provide fuel for energy. When the pancreas isn't functioning properly, it stops production of insulin. This leaves your dog feeling tired and lacking energy.

EARLY WARNING SIGNS: If your dog is experiencing increased thirst, frequent urination and eating more while appearing to lose weight, they may be suffering from diabetes.

INCREASED RISKS: Diabetes may be hereditary or result from obesity and a poor diet. Middle aged to older dogs are more prone. Certain breeds appear to have a higher risk: Poodles, Daschunds, Cocker Spaniels and Beagles.

MORE SERIOUS SYMPTOMS: If diabetes goes unchecked, more serious symptoms can develop: depression, vomiting, rapid breathing and even death.

Many of the symptoms of diabetes can be confused with other health problems. If you suspect your dog has diabetes, it’s important to take them along to your local vet. Not only for your peace of mind but for the comfort and safety of your pet. The veterinarian can do a simple blood test to confirm your suspicions. Diabetes can be managed with insulin, exercise and an appropriate diet. With a lot of love and a few lifestyle changes, your beloved dog can live for many more years to come.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Last week in pictures

Hi all,

Here a few random pics we've taken through the week. Enjoying a drink on our front deck and the others were taken this morning during our daily walk to the park. Hope you enjoy.

Love KB

Sunday, 10 February 2013

How to stay positive in a negative world

Remaining positive isn't easy in a negative environment. Pick up a newspaper or turn on the television and you will be bombarded with shocking images and news stories. Positive stories (if there are any), are left until the end of the show or tucked away at the back of the paper. Advertisements everywhere are urging us to buy items we can't afford, to lose more weight, to live life at 100 miles an hour while still keeping it all together. They would have us believe that being ourselves and accepting ourselves the way we are, is not good enough.

Why do we take notice and keep feeding these negative thoughts? It's because that's the way our minds have been trained and it's easier to slip back into those bad habits than it is to start making new, healthier ones. Try some of these tips, they really work.

Surround yourself with positive people

Surrounding yourself with positive people creates a positive environment. Do you have a friend who is miserable and never has a good word to say about anyone? You could be in a fantastic mood, spend five minutes with your friend, and then feel totally depressed. Spend time with people who make you feel good instead.

Photo source : KB's Room

Read inspirational books

Inspirational books can really give you a boost when you're feeling low. Why not ditch the newspaper for a few days and check out a library book instead? One of my favorite books is - Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It's packed with inspirational quotes and has a fun exercise for every day of the year. I dip into it when I need some guidance.

Keep a gratitude journal

This is something I love to do. Each night, before bed, I write down at least 5 things I am grateful for. Some days my list will be full of amazing things and other days, I'll write down the basics...having a bed to sleep in, etc.

It's a wonderful habit to start. You will become more aware of your surroundings, focusing your mind on the positives thoughts, rather than dwelling on the negative. You will be more 'in the moment'.

There will always be negative aspects of life which have to be dealt with, but being in a positive frame of mind makes moving forward much easier. How do you deal with the negativity and stay positive? You have to work at it every day, and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Focusing on the positive or the negative is a choice only you can make.

Staying positive in a negative world -  published to bubblews         4/12/2013
                                                                        to helium network 14/3/2010

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Simply Delish Chicken Curry

Hi all,

Whitesnake and I have gained a little weight during the past year so we've been cooking healthy versions of our favourite dishes. A couple of nights ago I cooked a delish Chicken Curry. Follow the link to our joint blog for the recipe.

picture source : KB and Whitesnakes Home

Love KB

Thursday, 7 February 2013

What is addiction?

An addiction consumes an individual's life. If an activity or substance is having an adverse affect on an individual's work, relationships or health, it is likely to be an addiction. Many people think of addiction in terms of being addiction to drugs or alcohol, but an addiction can relate to just about anything. It can be substance related (e.g. drug addiction) or behavioural (e.g. gambling addiction).
Photo source :  Anna Langova

Here are some of the addiction warning signs:

Regularly engaging in the activity longer than you originally intended.

Using the activity on a regular basis as a way of escaping from problems.

Neglecting responsibilities at home, work, school.

The activity is causing stress in your relationships.

Feeling upset or moody when trying to stop or reduce the activity/substance.

Thinking a lot about the activity and anticipating the next session.

Having these symptoms doesn't necessarily mean a person is addicted but often a habit can become an addiction if warning signs are ignored. It becomes a problem when a person cannot control how they use a substance or take part in an activity and need the substance/activity to cope with daily life. With a habit a person is in control of choices but with an addiction, that control is lost. If a person has concerns, it's worth doing something about the problem in the early stages, rather than realizing too late that addiction has taken hold.

This can be a problem as many people who are addicts don’t realise it. When a behaviour is practiced or a substance is taken on a regular basis, the addict can be unaware of the problems that the addiction is causing. For example, a person who is addicted to alcohol may become so used to feeling tired and unwell in the mornings, that they put it down to not being a morning person rather than realising they are having withdrawal symptoms. This explains why some people do not realise they are addicted for many years, continuing to practice addictive behaviours and relieving withdrawal symptoms.

Often addicts try to justify the behaviours being used and deny the effect these behaviours are having on relationships, health and work. In some cases others are blamed instead. Once an addict can admit there is a problem, half the battle is won. This is not often the case and an addict has to suffer a trauma such as a relationship breakup, job loss, health issues before a problem is acknowledged.

When this happens, help needs to be sought. Recovering from an addiction is difficult to achieve alone. Support can be found from family, friends, health professionals and other addicts.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Happy Waitangi Day

It's Waitangi Day here, which is a public holiday for New Zealand. We are enjoying lovely sunshine after a day of rain yesterday. This morning we went to the local shopping centre, but it was a little too crowded and hot for my taste, we didn't stay long. Now it's time for a cup of decaf, while sitting outside at our new table and reading a  good book.

Photo source:KB's Room

Hope you're enjoying your day/night.

Love KB

The importance of quality customer service

Many companies in today’s business environment, offer similar products and services therefore, quality customer service can have a huge influence on attracting potential and retaining existing clients. Providing quality customer service is key to the growth and survival of any business.

photo source:Vera Kratochvil
It is pointless to offer the best product at the most reasonable price to a customer unless you can also provide excellent customer service. If a potential customer is given poor service, they may stay with the business but they will their friends and family about the lack of service provided to them. Word of mouth is a great way to ruin or build a business reputation. If the customer receives bad service on more than one occasion, they will undoubtedly leave immediately or as soon as a better deal comes along.

The key to providing excellent customer service is training, consistency and follow up. All members of staff who deal with customers should have the same training on procedure. If a potential customer makes contact and is dealt with by the least knowledgeable person on staff, they may not be impressed with the service even though all the other staff are well trained. Consistency is important as first impressions count.

If a customer has a complaint, this is another opportunity to make a good impression. Many customers will stay with a business they have a history with if their complaints and inquiries are dealt with in an efficient manor. If an inquiry or complaint is left unanswered, some customers will simply leave and look elsewhere. It is not their responsibility to chase up after the business that is supposed to be looking after them after all.

Customers, who are treated with respect and feel happy when they have dealings with a company, will return with repeat business. A good relationship must be established with the customer. If they feel angry and unheard, they will most likely look for another place to take their business. Going the extra mile for a customer will ensure the customer remembers how helpful the staff where and ensure they think of the business next time they need a product or service the business provides. Also telling their friends about the experience is a great way to reach potential new clients. Word of mouth is an inexpensive way of advertising and a good service story spreads quickly.

Providing quality customer service will guarantee happy customers who will return again and again and spread the good word, ensuring success and growth for the business.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

I'm such a slack blogger these days

Hi all,

Here are my excuses for not blogging recently...

I'm enjoying filling up our new house with lovely things and making it our own.

We're planning our wedding for March this year.

We're planning our Honey Moon for April this year.

I was asked by Helium to join Sears Fitness Writers. We're writing articles for six months and the price offered per article is a good incentive. I'm really enjoying learning more about fitness as I do my research and I pick up assignments as often as I can.

Right, I think my excuses are actully pretty good.

Hope you are well.

Love KB

P.S. I tend to update on twitter and facebook these days as it's faster. You can friend me on Facebook as Kay Bee or twitter as k_b1


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