How to Beat the Winter Blues

This post is by Stephanie Staszko of Blue Octopus Flat Fee Recruitment.

Winter blues aren’t uncommon as dark nights descend and the stress of Christmas looms. Coping with cold weather, flue outbreaks and the stress of Christmas are all to blame for the so-called “winter blues.” Winter, however, doesn’t have to be such a depressing season; it can be a time for enjoying family over Christmas, making fresh starts at the New Year, and feeling optimistic about the following year.

Here are a few tips for beating the winter blues.

Meet new people

Dark nights and cold weather make it easier to become reclusive and withdrawn—after all, the prospects of venturing outdoors are so unattractive!

Joining a new club can be an excellent way to expand your social circle in the cold months, and the wider your social circle is, the more people you’ll have to talk with. The club you join could be related to a New Year’s resolution you plan to make, such as joining a fitness class or learning a new craft.

Joining different clubs can help to vary your working week and break up your routine, which is the very place where boredom often originates. Also, it can provide you with somewhere to escape from the stresses of Christmas as you indulge in an activity you enjoy.

Take a break

There’s no better way to vary your lifestyle than by taking short breaks away to different destinations. Not only does a holiday give you something to look forward to, it also helps you to relax and broaden your geographical knowledge. Mini-cruises can be a great way to take a city break on a budget, and there are often many offers on holidays in January as it’s considered to be the “low” season in many destinations.

If you really want the ultimate Christmas holiday, you could go on a winter sports trip! Not only will you learn a new activity, you can experience the mountainous regions and take in some astounding views. Furthermore, you don’t have to feel stressed over Christmas dinner, as it will be made for you!

Ski holidays, however, can be quite expensive so you may require a holiday loan in order to visit one of the top destinations. Different websites offer different types of holiday loans so make sure you shop around to find the best deal.

Socializing with old friends

Meeting up with old friends and reminiscing can really lift your mood. If there’s a friend you haven’t seen for quite some time, arrange to meet them and recount fond memories—or even create some new ones!

Remembering good times you’ve had in the past can help you to feel like you belong again if you’ve been lacking motivation recently. Laughter is a great stress reliever and instantly lightens your mood, so dig deep and reminisce over the wackiest and funniest memories you’ve had.

Creating life achievements

To avoid the January blues that follow Christmas you need to keep your mind active, and nothing occupies the mind more than working towards certain goals and achievements.

Why not set yourself personal or career-based targets to reach by the end of January? It could be something as simple as taking on a renovation project in one of the rooms in your house. Not only will this keep your mind busy, you’ll also have a redecorated room whilst keeping costs to a minimum. And you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of achievement when it’s finished.

Winter could be the perfect season to try out new activities and experiment with challenges you’ve never attempted before. Avoid lying around your house because of the cold: embrace the weather and use it to your advantage as you beat those winter blues!

Written by Stephanie Staszko on behalf of Blue Octopus Flat Fee Recruitment. Steph enjoys writing various posts on recruitment for candidates and employers alike. You can find her on Twitter @StephStaz where you’ll find more career/recruitment posts.

6 Ways to Be More Positive and Happy

This post is by Lou Macabasco–Yanuaria of

The ability to keep a positive attitude in our day-to day-activities and interactions is a skill that only few people possess.  For most of us, it is easier to fill our minds with negative thoughts and ungratefulness.  We complain and feel miserable in a lot of areas in our life.  We hate our homes, work, school, family, friends, co-workers—or our whole life in general.

Personally, I used to live with negative attitude. But fortunately, through my willingness to unlearn my old beliefs and openness to learn new ways of doing things, I was able to surpass that negative stage of my life.  Eventually, I found happiness and success.

How did I change my negative outlook, to eventually become more positive and happy? Allow me to share with you a quick story.

A couple of years ago, before I started discovering, studying, and teaching personal development, I was limiting my happiness and success because of pessimism.  I hated so many things in my life.  I hated my work.  I hated my teammates at work.  I hated our family’s financial status.  I hated the attitude of some family members.  And I hated my ex-boyfriend who dumped me for another girl.

A day came I could no longer take all the hateful feelings and stress in my life. I decided to pack a few clothes and take a weekend off alone in a town in the mountaintop with no familiar people around. No friends, no family members, no co-workers, no boyfriend.

While I was staying at my hotel room and watching TV, I saw the talk show of a life preacher.  Something about what he said changed my perspective in life.

He compared life crises, such as pain, hatred, or stress, to a journey in the forest.  He asked the listeners to imagine a life crisis as if you are going to walk in the forest.  At the beginning, it will be a bit tough to walk on forward because you feel scared and anxious with the unfamiliar path you are about to take.  You may need to do work, cutting the grasses and large branches of trees in order to pass by.

The next morning, when you pass by the same route in the forest, it will now be much easier than the previous day.  You are now more familiar with the new path.  Although you may still feel a little discomfort, and you still have to cut few more grasses and branches of trees as you pass by.

As you continue passing along the same new path in the forest, each day that follows will be easier than the previous one.  You will adapt to the new journey, and you’ll no longer feel pain, fears, doubts or anxiety. Eventually, you will feel comfortable and happy with your new path.

Be happy

Image is author's own.

To end the story, the preacher then said, “if only you will be open to change your perspective, be more positive, and adaptable, you will see that that life crisis isn’t as hard as you think it is.”

After my soul-searching on the mountaintop, and hearing the story of the life preacher, I went back to my reality determined to change my perspective in life.  In my desire to change and be more optimistic, I’ve read many different self-help books and I’ve even attended many self-improvement seminars.  These have helped me develop, change, and keep a positive outlook in life.

To help others create the same positive change in their life, for them to start appreciating and stop hating, I’d like to share some of the principles in keeping a positive and happier life.

1. Thoughts become things

I’ve learned this phrase from the book, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, which is based on the principle of the law of attraction.  The law of attraction states that like attracts like.  It means that when we are thinking negative thoughts, we attract more negative things into our life.  And the same is true when we think of positive thoughts.  We can bring happiness in our life by focusing our thoughts on the positive, not on the negative.

2.  To be enthusiastic, act enthusiastic

I knew this principle when I attended the Dale Carnegie Course.  Dale Carnegie said, “Enthusiasm is the little secret of success.” When you are able to develop and practice enthusiasm, it gives you positive energy for your daily tasks or activities.

3.  Read books or articles on motivation and personal development

Positive attitude is a habit, and the same is true with negative attitude.  To help us habitually maintain a positive outlook in life, we need constant reminders.  Our reminder can be through reading books on personal development at least once a month, or subscribing to personal development websites which send weekly motivational articles.

4.  Join an organization of like-minded positive people

Another way to be consistent in keeping a positive attitude is by becoming a member of organization that promotes personal growth and a positive attitude.  Surrounding yourself with positive people can influence you to maintain and develop a habit of gratitude.  As they say, attitude is contagious.

5. Attend training seminars on self-improvement

I have noticed that people who keep looking for ways to improve themselves end up happier and more successful than those who don’t.  Attending training and seminars on self-improvement give you an opportunity to learn from the people you meet in the process, such as the trainer/coach and your co-participants.  It’s also a chance to practice mingling with like-minded people.

6.  Find and do something you’re passionate about

Passion is having strong desire or devotion towards something, like people, an activity, or a cause.  When you are passionate with what you do, you are likely to enjoy working, and to produce an exceptional result.  And when you enjoy what you do, the more likely you will be to be happier and positive in your perspective.  If you want to be more successful in your life, find and work on something you are passionate about.

Changing attitudes and your perspective won’t happen overnight—it happens through continuous effort and action called habit.  Which is why, in order to form a habit of positive attitude, you need to constantly follow guidelines I’ve mentioned above.

For a final note, let me leave you this quote to ponder:

When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears.—Anthony Robbins

Lou Macabasco-Yanuaria is a professional accountant, personal development coach, public speaker and entrepreneur. She writes and coach on positive attitude, productivity, stress management, success, personal finance and balanced life. Find out more about her works at

10 Tips for a Safe Halloween

This guest post is by Janette Dolores of

Remember growing up and looking forward to the cool or spooky costume you’d be wearing for Halloween and all of the candy you’d rake in?

As a parent, grandparent or relative of little ones, do you now regard those cool and spooky costumes and candy doled out by strangers as causes for concern?


Photo Attribution: Stuart Miles at

If so, consider the following ten tips for safe Halloween fun.
  1. Join the fun. If your children are young enough to trick-or-treat, they’re still young enough to need a responsible adult present during the outing. The combination of Halloween falling on a weekday this year and people driving home from work while trick-or-treaters are racing from house to house warrants extra caution.
  2. Plan the trick-or-treating route ahead of time. If you’re taking the kids door-to-door, consider the neighborhood to be visited, its traffic pattern and whether the area is sparsely populated.
  3. Check the weather. Keep in mind that, despite areas with cooler Halloweens, kids may scoff at the idea of wearing a jacket over the outfit they’ve had picked out for months. One way to avoid this tug-of-war is to dress the kids in long-sleeved shirts, thermals, or leggings under the costumes so the integrity of the costume oeuvre d’art isn’t compromised.
  4. Host a Halloween bash! Frigid or stormy weather forecasted on the day of? Call fellow parents beforehand and plan a home Halloween party. Safe-to-eat treats, warm drinks, and family-friendly Halloween games can be included. Pick up a Halloween CD at your local party store for added effect.
  5. Visit the mall. If your children are toddlers or younger and you are hesitant to take them outdoors this holiday, dress up your children and take them to the mall to trick-or-treat with other costumed children. Many stores in malls pass out candy on Halloween. Note: get to the mall early to avoid arriving after candy supplies at stores have run out!
  6. Stay safe by staying visible. Stick reflective tape (found in hardware or toy stores) on your children’s costumes, or take along glow sticks, glow necklaces, and/or a flashlight to stay visible to motorists.
  7. Do a costume test-run. Have your children try on their costumes. Notice how well they walk in them, and see and breathe through any mask or headgear. Consider face painting instead of a mask so that vision and breathing aren’t obstructed. Never dress an infant or toddler in costumes with long pieces of fabric or embellishment that may pose a choking hazard. Last, check labels for fireproof or fire retardant material.
  8. Inspect all Halloween candy once you get home. This rule has applied for generations and remains a safety must for identifying and discarding unwrapped or otherwise problematic treats. Give your children dinner before trick-or-treating and take along a few pieces of candy from home to keep at bay your children’s temptation to dip into the Halloween bounty.
  9. Know the allergy-friendly treats. If food allergies are a concern, consider your children’s specific allergic trigger(s) when deciding what candy gets past you, the gatekeeper. While which candy is “safe” depends on the allergy at issue, some peanut and tree nut-free options are: Junior Mints, Pez, Tootsie Rolls, Twizzlers, Sweet Tarts, Starburst, Life Savers, Skittles, Smarties, and many varieties of lollipops.
  10. Trust your instincts and remind your children to trust theirs. A stranger doesn’t stop being a stranger just because he is handing out candy. Allow children to only approach homes with illuminated front porches, and instruct your children to never go inside a home or near a car for candy.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Janette Dolores is an at-home mom, wife and blogger. She is passionate about family, spirituality and writing, and draws inspiration for her writing from everyday experiences. Read more of her posts at

Morning Energy: 10 Tips to Kickstart Your Day

This post is by Susie Michelle of

Are you having one of those days? If so, you probably knew it from the moment your eyes blinked open and struggled to focus.

Maybe you slept okay, and maybe you didn’t, but the day is here just the same.

Wake up

Image copyright AVAVA -

Here are ten tips and techniques to help you start your morning with more energy.
  1. Drink a glass of water right when you wake up. It’s a great way to energize and set the tone for a healthy, active day.
  2. Yes, have that cup of coffee. Unless you have a medical condition, there’s probably nothing wrong with a morning wake-up cup of coffee or tea. Blow the steam and watch it scatter across the top of your mug. Sip it and savor it with enough attention and reverence, and you might just find that one cup is enough.
  3. Take a moment to be with your thoughts. Don’t rush headlong into your day, if you can help it. Maybe you enjoy writing for a few minutes in a journal. Maybe you like to sit at the table and thumb through the newspaper. Don’t discount these little rituals in starting your day off right. Give yourself time to shake off the sleepies and bring your full attention to the day ahead.
  4. Brush your teeth, and use some zingy mouthwash. This always helps me feel a little more invigorated, and it also helps me turn down that second cup of coffee.
  5. Use a daily morning ritual to get your head on straight. When you’re brushing your teeth, or when you’re washing your hair in the shower, for example, recount as many things as you can that you are thankful for—or things that you are looking forward to in the day ahead. Marinate in your own positive thoughts for a minute.
  6. Blast some tunes. Get a good, energizing playlist or tune into some free Pandora channels that help you stay energized and eager for the day ahead.
  7. Energize with aromatherapy. Citrus scents are perfect for getting you going in the morning. Use an essential oil warmer in the room where you’re getting ready to face the day, or find a perfume that incorporates these energizing notes.
  8. Start your day by eating something healthy and fresh—something with high water content. Indulge in a piece of fresh, juicy fruit, for example, along with something else that will stick to your ribs. I always have a few walnuts to add some protein and staying power.
  9. Exercise in the morning. You don’t have to go nuts. Just a brisk 20 minute walk or jog will do wonders for your mood and energy levels. Sometimes (okay, often) I have to trick myself: I’ll put on my running shoes and tell myself I’m going to go for just ten minutes once the kids are on the school bus. After ten minutes have passed, I nearly always find that I don’t want to stop.
  10. Make some time to laugh. Set your browser to open with one of those websites or YouTube channels that always makes you giggle. Read The Onion or The Pioneer Woman or call that friend who always has a good joke at the ready. Humor has a remarkable ability to break us out of a bad mood and help us feel better about the day ahead.

If you still can’t seem to wake up, give yourself a little more time. Some days are like that. Have another cup of coffee and breathe deep. It’s going to be a beautiful day.

Susie Michelle is the publisher of a parenting site with articles, tips and ideas from renowned experts on health and fitness, organic living, weight loss, romance, and travel. Susie is also the founder of where she spotlights coupon codes, daily deals and fun finds from around the web.

How to Be as Happy as a Child, No Matter What Your Age

This post is by Marie-Eve Boudreault of the blog.

Happiness is a tricky thing when you’re a kid—and also as you grow up into an adult.

I observe that we find happiness easily when we’re young. But we try so hard to please others, so we can be loved by them, or believe in a fictive way to live, that we lose that knack along the way. At least we can expect to grow up wise enough to have a broad perspective on life, and to know “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”


Have happiness teachers: mine are my sons (Image is author's own)

Fun is now

Somehow, when we think we “get” life and have a lot of responsibilities, the fun levels can decrease. We don’t have time for fun; we can’t have fun at work because we have to do “important stuff.”

When I was young, every moment was an opportunity to have fun. In school or in spare time, I knew instinctively what I loved: to hang out with my friends and sisters, read, go out into the woods with my dog, or be an athlete.

My three-year-old twin boys are the same: everything can be a source of wonder. Fortunately they are my every day teachers of having fun.

Find out how you can keep fun in your life or get it back.

Love goes with happiness

Love is energy: it can neither be created nor destroyed. It just is and always will be, giving meaning to life and direction to goodness. Love will never die.—Bryce Courtney

I understand now that love is what we should look for and do our utmost to carry out. But I can’t say I understand it more than ever, because it seems I knew it when I was as young as a toddler.

I flourished being in a circle of constant love, and perished when I wasn’t. Even if through the passage into adulthood loving slashed a bit of my happiness—because when love crashes, it hurts bad—I’ve never regretted to love. I get love from relationships, but also from the beauty of this world, the smile of a stranger, and conditions that permit us to live and experience reality.

Violence is the contrary of love. We can all know violence, going from a mild form to the extreme, and showing itself by verbal or physical abuse. I know we can stay in that place because we need to be loved, but this is not love. Looking back now, I’d stand up for myself and get out of abusive situations as soon as they came. Don’t be afraid to do so. Love yourself enough for that—and by this you’ll never be out of love.

You always have a choice to be happy

It’s easily observable: when a child has all his needs responded to, he’s—most of the time—naturally happy. I strongly believe genuine happiness is a natural state in humans.

Adults in our industrialized societies don’t appear to have retained this ability. Maybe we’re too much occupied to get the next thing that should gain us happiness, and greed, avarice or complacency have a part to play in it. Maybe we’ve been hurt too much by sad events in our lives. But we have to realize that we can be happy this very moment. If you don’t, you consciously—or unconsciously—make the choice to be unhappy.

I realized after doing what was expected of me, and facing the hardships of life, such as sickness, violence, and a child’s death during pregnancy, that I was becoming more and more unhappy. At the same time, that was the last thing I wished for me, and others. So I went out on a happiness quest: maybe this job will make me happy, this thing, this relationship…

I should have just stopped doing what was making me unhappy, and lived happiness in the present instead of going on a happiness treadmill. I’m not angry at myself. I was pretty much on my own, and I now have tools to remain happy no matter what happens. One of those tools is that I have to make the conscious choice to be happy.

Dreaming is good for happiness

Dreaming is the first step to achieve our dreams. We dream a lot when we’re kids, but somehow growing up we try to make those dreams fit with what’s socially acceptable.

Now that I have children, I really understand that parents love their offspring a lot. Often, we’re stuck in unpleasant situations and are depended upon to fulfill needs, so we forget our dreams and/or the wellbeing of our children. Young people, please understand this; parents, don’t neglect your children because of it.

Any of us can always strive for a better situation, and do our best to reach it. This is what will bring your dreams into your life.

An example: I’ve always loved books. In kindergarten I was angry at the teacher because she wouldn’t show me how to read and be in the first grade class. I forgot that one of my dreams was to write, but I’ve rediscovered it recently.

Now, the situation isn’t ideal because I work a lot at home with my kids. But we shouldn’t wait for ideal situations. I find time every week-day to write, because if I don’t, I feel unfulfilled. I’m an author and I love it. But if I’d stuck with my dreams originally, it would have taken me less time to find my passion, and what I believe I’m here to do: inspire people to live a happy, aware life and do what they love.

As adults, we have to fulfill all our needs, and rediscover our dreams without sabotaging those of our young—let them be.

Be a conscious, happy child

Now, it’s not too late! You can remember, as I did, to make the choice to have fun, love as if you’ve never been hurt, and live your dreams. Be a conscious child, no matter what age you’re at, and live in happiness.

Marie-Eve Boudreault chose the path of happiness and living her dreams, being a sociologist, stay-at-home mom and author. You can get her free ebook, ecourse, newsletter at Be Happy and Do What You Love, under the free products page, at

5 Steps to Better Self-confidence

This post is by Nabil Gulamani of

Many of us want to work on our self-confidence, but we are not sure about what approach to take to improve it. Those of us that suffer from low self-confidence know we need to take action … and yet we don’t.

Below I have included five tips for ways you can improve your self-confidence so that you can have more success in your career and your personal life.

1. Talk to more people every day

Most of us are caught up in a routine lifestyle, and we talk to the same people every day.


Image copyright Yuri Arcurs -

In order to take your self-confidence to whole new level, you have to make a habit of talking to different people consistently. You will realize that when you have mastered this skill, you will overcome your shyness. The reason why many people suffer from low self-esteem in their social lives is because they are not talking to enough new people each day.

2. Get outside of your comfort zone

We all have fears in certain areas that stop us from having the lives that we really desire. In order for you to grow mentally and emotionally strong, you have to get outside of your comfort zone.

Make a habit of doing what you fear, and you will notice that you will get past all of your limiting beliefs. The reason most of us are afraid to step outside of our comfort zone is because we fear the unknown. When you learn how to deal with uncertainty on a regular basis, you will get a sudden boost in your level of confidence.

3. Practice making direct eye contact when you’re talking to other people

Making eye contact is very important with the people you communicate with face-to-face, every day. When you can master making great eye contact, it will help you in your career, but it can help improve the relationships you have in your personal life as well.

When you can make good eye contact when talking with others, it shows that you have leadership traits. People respond positively to leaders, so if you master these skills, your friends, co-workers, and members of the opposite sex will gain more respect for you.

4. Surround yourself with people who are successful

Start getting to know people who are successful in every area of their life. This includes friends and people in your work niche as well.

When you make a habit of talking to successful people, your vision will expand and you will explore new opportunities that you hadn’t seen in the past. When you are around individuals that are willing to share their success and help you as well, you will enjoy a lot of positive energy.

5. Exercise more often

Go to the gym at least four to five times a week. Many of us are sitting at our office desks the whole day, and it can get really depressing if we don’t move around during the day.

Lack of exercise will affect your confidence in all areas of your life. If you do not want to go to the gym and prefer the outdoors, go for a run or hike. Make working out and eating healthily a long-term commitment. Don’t get into crash dieting because you will feel like you are forcing yourself to stay healthy, and that can have a negative impact on your self-esteem.

Next time you pull out your calendar, make sure that you have enough time set up so you can work on mastering the above skills. Make a daily habit of doing something that will improve your self-confidence.

What are you going to do to take your self-confidence to the next level?

Nabil Gulamani is in sales and helps businesses nationwide with their Direct Marketing. During his free time he blogs about self-improvement and personal growth to help people improve their overall lifestyle. You can visit his Self-Improvement blog

Top Health Tips for Computer Users

This post is by Jane of Coupon Triumph.

Online entrepreneurs use computers a lot. They sit in the same place a lot. That doesn’t sound healthy, does it?

It’s not just online entrepreneurs—anyone who uses computers for their work, or for fun, sits in front of computers a lot.

Such people tend to neglect their health as they spend long hours in front of their computers. Sitting the whole day isn’t really advisable as it may affect your body and take a toll on the overall health. And that’s before we consider strain and other injuries specifically related to computer use itself.


Image copyright Ana Blazic Pavlovic -

Yes, as a person who uses computers often, you will need to invest in your health too. Here’s a list of action items to get you going and stay healthy—even in front of the computer!

Your eyes need attention

As you continuously work in front of a monitor, staring the screen for a long time, you are sure to strain your eyes. Many vision-related issues crop up because of long hours spent sitting in front of the computer.

Taking breaks in between tasks, looking away from your screen, and maintaining a good distance from your screen while you are working may help you give you relief from eye irritation and strain. You should also make sure you blink while you look on the screen—don’t just stare at it for long hours.

Back issues

Many people’s backs ache when they sit for long hours; it only adds up more pain if you don’t pay enough attention to the initial signs and take steps to avoid the back issues in the first place.

Get yourself a comfortable chair which enables you to keep your feet on the floor. A footstool may help if you need extra height. Sit straight and take small breaks for walks away from your desk.

Eat—don’t skip

Your diet does come into play here. You shouldn’t skip your meals: you are what you eat, and your health depends on how healthily you eat.

Avoid sugar-rich foods and starches. Grab fruits and healthy snacks instead. If you feel that you don’t have time to get away from your work, keep healthy snacks at your desk. Remember: eat healthy to stay healthy.

Drink water

Water, as they say, is the elixir of life. Drinking water while you work may save you from lot of problems related to dehydration. Your computer heats up, and working inside under lights, or in air-conditioned spaces, can also make you feel dehydrated.

Sometimes, you may not even feel that you are thirsty because you are so busy at work. Keep a bottle of water ready and sip in at regular intervals. This will ensure that your water intake is proper.

Neck pain

Exercise while you work. I do not mean that you have to totally cut off from your work—you can follow some simple and easy exercises at your desk itself. Tilt your head to avoid neck pain now and then by looking up, and to the right and left sides.

You can also relax for a few minutes in your chair, too. Do try exercises that relieve shoulder pain, like rolling your shoulders back and forth a few times each hour.

Use a friendly keyboard

This may sound a little difficult, as many of us usually become adjusted to a particular keyboard. But this quick tip works too well, as it gives much-needed comfort to your ever-typing fingers.

Invest in a ergonomic keyboard—one that’s friendly to your hands and wrists. It will benefit your work and your health as well. It helps you easily avoid that wrist pain which cramps your muscles, and leaves you free from finger pain too.

Weight loss

Unintended weight loss occurs as we result of the wrong eating habits and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Skipping meals is a strict no-no. Give yourself good amount of time to finish your food completely—it energizes you to work for the rest of the day. Try spending meal times with family or friends, and make eating a fun-filled activity in your schedule.


Last, but not least, sleep is as important as food to your health. You might get yourself a bad headache or strain yourself too much if you continue working all day and night.

Relax your brain and eyes and slip into a good sound sleep. You will feel more refreshed after a good sleep, and you’ll work more effectively too.

Try these effective tips to get your work going without sacrificing your health. Do you have any you can add?

Jane also writes for Coupon Triumph, a discount coupon site that offers bistro md and diet to go discount coupons.

Help the Elderly Feel Comfortable in the Cooler Months

This post is by Jocelyn.

With the arrival of Fall, most of us are excited about finally enjoying cooler evenings, spending a Sunday afternoon curled up with a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese in hand, and the long-awaited return of Fall football.

But, for the elderly, Fall isn’t always all warm and fuzzy. In fact, it can often trigger SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and make their lives more difficult all around—even more dangerous. As the weather cools, getting around becomes more difficult and keeping warm and comfortable can become an overwhelming challenge.

Elderly wellbeing

Image copyright jon11 -

If you have any elderly loved ones in your life, here are some simple ways to ease the transition, keep their spirits high, and keep them comfortable and safe all season long.

Plan extra activities

One of the primary reasons that the elderly tend to become sad or feel blue around this time is because they can feel more trapped and miss the activities that were so readily available in summer.

You can easily combat this by maintaining constant visits and by planning extra activities with them. Look for indoor options that you can get your loved ones involved in, like indoor walking in the mall with friends, extra game nights, movie dates, pet visits, or even just extra deliveries of their favorite books and movies for those long fall and winter afternoons.

Plan and schedule for winter help

Don’t wait to make plans for who will help your elderly loved ones take care of winter chores. This can make them nervous and worried. Whether it will be yourself or someone you’re hiring, schedule now for basic things like sidewalk shoveling and porch de-icing, and maybe even grocery delivery.

It’s also a good idea to contact a back-up person for help in case your primary help is ever unable to come for any reason.

Organize a heating plan

The elderly can often become very uncomfortable during the fall and winter months because they find it so difficult to maintain their body temperature. And, even worse, according to the American Red Cross, elderly people are at a higher risk for cold injuries and thousands die unnecessarily every year because their homes are too cold.

Plan in advance to ensure that your loved ones can avoid getting cold. A central heating system set to room temperature most likely will not be enough. Rather than increasing the whole central system by the degrees necessary to keep them feeling warm, consider portable heating options. This will allow them to regulate the temperature of just one room much more easily. They can change the entire room temperature rapidly and increase the temperature greatly without having to do so in the entire house.

This not only saves time waiting for that temperature to be met, it also saves tremendous cost. Sitting right next to a heat source is also often more comforting and soothing for older people. An small electric fireplace in a bedroom can be just what they need for heat and comfort.

Stay in constant communication

Don’t let a day go by that you aren’t in contact with your elderly loved ones. You’ll be able to notice instantly if they’re feeling blue or uncomfortable, or just don’t seem like themselves. And, even if they’re feeling and doing great (which we hope for every day!), you’ll still get a conversation that you wouldn’t have had otherwise and every conversation is precious. You’ll feel good, they’ll feel good, and you’ll get to share a little more love every day!

What do you do to make sure the elderly people in your life stay warm and well over the cooler months? Share your tips and experiences with us.

Freelancer Jocelyn is dedicated to helping families live healthier, happier lives. At the moment you’ll find her writing alongside Air & Water, a company that loves to help families find the best heater for the elderly in their lives.

5 Fun Fall Brain-boosters

This post is by Jesse Langley of

It’s back-to-school time for students, but even if you’re not in school, you can still find new and exciting ways to keep your brain stimulated.

The concept of lifelong learning isn’t new, but it’s a trend that’s gaining popularity. There are benefits to keeping your brain active: studies have shown that, for older people, staying active after retirement can delay dementia.

But no matter what your age, staying active and challenging your brain can lead to better mental and physical health. Consider trying a few activities this fall to keep yourself intellectually stimulated.

1. Be a bookworm

Reading stimulates the brain

Image copyright Andrey Kiselev -

Reading is an activity that takes very little effort, but can provide tons of benefits. The trick is finding books that will challenge you, not reading the latest James Patterson novel (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Try revisiting some of those big, classic novels you had to study in college, or find challenging books you’ve always wanted to read.

You can also expand your worldview and read translated books written by authors from other countries. Reading books written by foreign authors can be one of the best ways to get a glimpse into another culture. Time Magazine’s All-Time 100 Novels list is a great resource for finding novels from a diverse pool of authors.

2. Full-body workout

Intellectual stimulation can be physical too: starting a workout plan and learning how to eat well is a good way to keep your body and your brain healthy. It’s been proven that regular workouts improve brain function by improving blood circulation and regenerating brain cells.

A good diet is also a part of building a strong brain: several foods like blueberries, wild salmon, and avocados are packed with vitamins and healthy fats that the brain needs to stay healthy.

3. Make your dreams come true

This is a good time to revisit some of your childhood dreams, but on a perhaps smaller scale.

If you wanted to be a rock star, learn to play an instrument or how to read music. If you wanted to be an international spy (like I did), you can take classes online or at your local community college to learn a new language. People who can read or speak another language are not only better at multitasking, but the onset of dementia is delayed for them as well.

Finding ways to meet some of your personal goals is an ego booster—feeling good about yourself is good for your brain, too.

4. Meditate on a better brain

Meditation is an ancient practice that’s remained a cornerstone of wellness for many Eastern cultures—and that’s because it works. And recent studies suggest that maintaining a regular meditation schedule can help increase gray matter density in the areas of the brain associated with memory and learning.

Meditation can also encourage you to take a little time out of your day to concentrate on yourself. Even if you don’t perform full-fledged Transcendental Meditation, learning a few proper meditation techniques can help clear the mental fog you might suffer at the end of a long day.

5. Get some sleep

This might seem like a no-brainer (pun intended), but sleep is critical to good brain function. Remember that your brain is an organ, and it needs rest and time to regenerate, just like every other part of your body.

The effects of sleep deprivation can range from the annoying to the alarming: people who consistently get less sleep than their bodies need can increase their risk for illnesses like heart disease, stroke and obesity. This activity doesn’t require much effort from you, other than getting to bed at a decent time each night, but the benefits will boost your brain’s ability to work properly.

As the weather turns chilly, it’s tempting to bundle up and stay inside. But learning new things, trying new activities, and paying attention to your body-brain connection can help keep you and your brain at their best.

Jesse Langley lives near Chicago. He divides his time among work, writing and family life. He has a keen interest in blogging and social media and is an advocate for online training. He also writes for

FeelGooder Asks: How Will You Stave Off Cold and Flu this Fall?

With the changing seasons, it’s all too easy to pick up bugs and get sick. I don’t know about you, but I often seem to forget that the weather’s cooler, and try to get around in my summer clothes as long as possible. Not smart. Inevitably I wind up sniveling on the couch with red eyes, a headache, and a dearth of vitamin C tablets.

So we asked our lovely FeelGooder followers:

How will you stave off cold an flu this fall?

We got some intriguing ideas.

Cold and flu

Copyright Elenathewise -

AnJuli advised, “The moment I start to feel ill or sense illness coming on I switch to a diet of fruit and water. All those antioxidants must be good for something.”

It’s a good point: often we “sense” an illness coming on before there are any major symptoms. When you start to feel run down, AnJuli’s advice might just help you out.

Reader Leigh, on the other hand, is a picture of health. “I hardly ever get colds! Maybe three total in 35 years,” she boasted! Lucky lady. She recommends this article from Scientific American, which details research that shows how populations in different regions have differently shaped noses.

My favorite quote from the article comes from Nathan Holton at the University of Iowa, who says “Proper heating and humidification of air in colder climates are important for respiratory health.” Keep that in mind, northeners!

When I get a sore throat I rely on ginger tea—root ginger boiled in water for around five minutes, then sipped—to sooth the situation. What’s your secret cold and flu remedy? Share it with us in the comments!