How Stem Cells Could Improve Your Health

How Stem Cells Could Improve Your Health

Stem cells are the body’s building blocks. They create the other types of cells in the body, morphing from their original stem cell state into tissue-specific cells such as heart, skin, liver and brain cells. They exist in embryos, directing the initial stages of human development, but they also reside in adult tissues and can be “activated” to replicate into alternative cell types when needed.

Nobel Prize winner E. Donnall Thomas first used stem cells clinically to treat acute leukemia via bone marrow transplantation in the 1950s. Through his work and the research that followed, science has verified the value of stem cells, using their potency and ability to self replicate for advantages that span the breadth of modern healthcare. Here are some of the ways stem cells could potentially be used to improve your health or that of someone you love:

Regenerative Medicine

Stem cells are the backbone of regenerative medicine, with stem cell therapy playing the leading role in transplantation science. Indeed, the very nature of stem cells means they are able to “transform” into other types of cells. It’s a feature unlike any other, granting stem cells the unique ability to replace damaged, decaying and/or diseased cells in multiple tissues of the body when needed. In addition to continued clinical use of bone marrow transplants to treat blood cancers and other blood disorders, stem cell therapies have been researched and tested for other purposes, including the treatment of macular degeneration and many orthopedic conditions. For instance, stem cells have been shown to alleviate symptoms of age-related eye disease and also back pain, serving as a herniated disc surgery alternative and providing options for less invasive treatments for other degenerative soft tissue problems.

Tissue Engineering

Often considered a part of regenerative medicine, tissue engineering involves the fashioning of living tissue out of stem cells, synthetic or biological scaffolds and various growth factors. But whereas regenerative medicine seeks to harness the body’s own natural defenses to create new tissue, “tissue engineering focuses on developing tissue outside of the body.” Currently, engineered tissue is mostly used for research, providing realistic and easily acquired tissue samples for experimentation and drug testing. It is hoped, though, that one day it will be able to provide functional tissues for transplantation of whole organs.

Research and Testing

There’s little doubt that the clinical implications of stem cells are huge, but their contribution to research cannot be overlooked. Stem cells bolster our theoretical understanding of science by providing us with evidence of how single cells develop into multicelled tissues. This helps researchers better understand and treat disease. Tissue samples derived from stem cells are also being used to replace those usually obtained from animal and human donors, thereby speeding up many research processes and cutting costs. Likewise, stem cells help to fast track the human testing of drugs. Rather than test new chemical compounds on animals, a prerequisite to human trials that can be expensive and ultimately ineffective (since there’s no guarantee that a drug that is safe for an animal will also be safe for a human), scientists can expose them to embryonic stem cells to see the effects. This provides a better indication of how the drug will ultimately react in clinical trials and gives all of us access to better treatments in the future!

Trends in Wellness 2020

Trends in Wellness 2020

If you’re interested in wellness – whether that manifests as eagerly combing the internet and the shelves of your local organic and health food shops for new products, or simply maintaining a simple personal regime that works for you – you can’t help but notice some of the trends that dominate the market at different times. This can offer either brand new ways to improve your quality of life and health or, sometimes, ways to spend money without enjoying any effect whatsoever.

Today we’re taking a look at some of the trends dominating wellness in 2020 so you can make better decisions about what to add to your wellness routine.

CBD

The CBD market is still growing, as more products are added to the shelves and they continue to reach more and more customers as through specialist retailers like Dayzed, CBD is being delivered to the masses!

You can choose from CBD oils, edibles, teas and even vape juice, along with topical creams which promise to relieve aching joints.

Is CBD Effective?

Evidence suggests that CBD may be effective for some conditions, though it can’t live up to all promises made for it and the medical establishment has yet to come to firm conclusions about it’s use outside a small number of clinically complex cases.

It does show some signs of being useful as a painkiller, especially for chronic conditions like arthritis as it appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also much vaunted as a support for people dealing with certain mental health conditions, as it appears to act on the brain in a similar way to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs.

Turmeric

Until recently this was merely a useful spice in Asian cooking. It’s now been adopted as one of the most important supplements for wellness you could buy, with Turmeric tea promising anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories, improved brain function, and lower risks of heart disease and cancer!

Is Turmeric Effective?

Many of these claims are far from proven but medical science is finding evidence to back up the imported folk wisdom that turmeric is good for you! The key is finding out what part of turmeric has these effects: it’s a compound called curcumin, one of several in Turmeric known as curcuminoids. It’s curcumin that acts on the body to produce these effects, but the amount of curcumin in a given dose of Turmeric is low. Look for products built on an extract of pure curcumin for the best results!

Learn How to Manage Your Stress Like a Pro

Learn How to Manage Your Stress Like a Pro

Bills, family, work; all of these things add to the stress in your life. However, you’ve probably noticed that some people can handle stress better than others. What exactly is their secret?

Although there’s no black and white answer to this question, there are several things that you can do when you feel stressed out.

If you want to decrease your overall stress levels and feel more productive throughout the day, be sure to continue reading.

1 – Practice Some Breathing Exercises

Breathing is an essential part of life — without the appropriate amount of air, your body wouldn’t be able to function properly. Additionally, your breathing habits can significantly influence your stress levels.

Numerous breathing exercises can help you manage your stress levels. You can perform these exercises at work, at home or on the go.

Some examples of common breathing exercises include:

  • Belly Breathing
  • Roll Breathing
  • Morning Breathing

Try them all out and see which exercises work best for you.

2 – Drink Cannabis Infused Tea

After spending a long way at work, few things are more relaxing than a cup of premier, cannabis-infused tea. These delicious teas taste very similar to some of the herbal mixes that are currently sitting in your pantry — the only difference is that these products have pleasant, cannabis undertones.

Not to mention, many of these amazing beverages contain CBD (cannabidiol), which is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis.

CBD has several stress-relieving properties, making it the perfect way to unwind after a long day. If you want to experience the calming effects of indica infused tea, be sure to purchase products from sophisticated brands that you can trust.

3 – Take a Nap

Many people avoid taking naps throughout the day because they feel it will affect their overall productivity. However, if you’re feeling stressed out, you should close the blinds, get under the sheets and take a quick nap.

When you nap, several things happen to your body. Some examples include:

  • Decreased stress levels
  • Your brain’s “batteries” get recharged
  • Lower chance of suffering from a heart attack

If you want to start integrating regular naps into your daily routine, try to limit them to 30 minutes or less. This will ensure that you don’t oversleep and get the most out of your day.

4 – Write in Your Stress Diary

Many people like to keep a diary for several reasons. When you write in a diary, you have the opportunity to go over the events that took place during the day. It also gives you a chance to work on your writing skills.

Aside from this, dairies are extremely beneficial for people who suffer from both minor and severe stress. When you’re feeling stressed, make sure that you make note of the time, date, place and the people you were with. You should also make note of how stressed you were feeling and what helped you calm down. This will help you deal with future stress-related issues.

Whether it’s because of a bad day at work or a fight with your spouse, everyone gets stressed out at some point. Thankfully, the next time this happens, you’ll be able to deal with your stress like a pro.

Life insurance: Does my age matter?

Life insurance: Does my age matter?

Life insurance, one of the great gambles in life is whether or not to have it. When you think about the needs for life insurance at different stages of your life, it is easy to see why some would want to go without it, or be afraid they cannot get a policy.

Life insurance policies are based on many factors the biggest is age. Age plays a role in getting life insurance and there comes a time when you can no longer get an insurance policy.

Most insurance companies cut off policy’s at between 75 and 80 years of age. After age 50 it is still possible to buy a policy but the premiums are usually higher. The older we get, the more our bodies fail us, as a result many insurance companies ask for physicals or medical history. Insurers are in the business of insuring healthy people. They don’t want to risk having to pay out a $1,000,000.00 policy on a man or woman who could die at any time soon. That is the reason your premiums are so high after 50. The insurance company wants max out their profit on you and hope you don’t die before the policy term is up.

As to the other end of the generational spectrum the young should be insured from day one. Life insurance policies are based on age the younger you are, the cheaper the policy. Experts suggest that one should purchase a policy before 35 years of age and warn that waiting too long could have harsh economic ramifications. The average funeral costs between $7 and $10 thousand dollars and if you don’t have insurance, the Social Security Administration will give you $250 to help with funeral expenses (obviously that has not moved with inflation). Most 0-35 policies are relatively in expensive and most go without it due to several factors such as debt or being in good health.

It is still possible to get life insurance after age 70 but it will require a lot of work and the help of a skilled agent. Some of the options for people in the 70+ community are as follows.

Guaranteed Universal Life Insurance

Guaranteed United Life Insurance policies are a combo of term life and permanent life insurance. In essence this is insurance that lasts for as long as you live and even offers a death benefit. If you want to avoid a medical checkup, you can still buy such policies but the death benefits get capped in return.

Term life policies

Term life is a great idea for those who have no family and no outstanding debts it is a cost effective option for the elderly as it helps avoid unwanted or unneeded coverage.

Whole life policies

Whole life policies are a good option to purchase at a young age. If you feel you no longer need it when you get to your early 60’s you can always cash it in for a lump sum payment to help with your retirement.

Life insurance is possible to purchase at any age, but the price and paperwork increases as one ages. It is of little regard as to what age you purchase the insurance because it does not stop the premiums from climbing. When it comes to buying life insurance age should not be the only factor involved. One needs to think about the reasons they want insurance and assess the profitability of the money invested in the policy. Remember unless you are very lucky and have a whole life insurance policy you will never see a penny of what you paid into the policy if an emergency should arise.

How to Strive to Prevent Drug & Alcohol Addiction

How to Strive to Prevent Drug & Alcohol Addiction

Millions of adult’s struggles with addiction. Some are successful and some, sadly, are not. Experts in the field of mental health say the best way to address the general societal problem of addiction is to focus on prevention. That’s not to say we should in any way neglect those who already suffer from alcohol and drug problems and attend regular sessions at an addiction rehab center.

But, generally speaking, the best way to minimize the long-term spiral of increasing addiction in modern society is to emphasize smart strategies for avoiding falling into the addiction trap in the first place. What are some of the strategy’s doctors recommend for making sure you never have to deal with a drug or alcohol problem? Of course, the younger you are, the more effective the advice is, but here are the suggestions you’ll most often hear from addiction specialists:

Look to Counseling

Perhaps the main trap of substance abuse is the immediate, but never long-lasting, relief it gives for problems like depression and anxiety. Many teens turn to drugs in order to handle the incredible stress that goes along with growing up. The drawback of using drugs and alcohol this way is that users are only dealing with symptoms, not causes. For long-lasting relief from anxiety, depression and other psychological problems, counseling is the answer. An experienced mental health professional can help patients of any age learn to deal with a wide range of problems.

Learn Effective Ways to Handle Stress

Studies have shown that people who regularly meditate and engage in exercise have fewer problems with addictions of all kinds. It appears that when we learn healthful ways to deal with ordinary stress, we are less likely to turn to the quick-fix of drugs and alcohol. It’s telling that the vast majority of drug and alcohol problems begin between the ages of 16 and 30.

Those are the times in a person’s life when they are faced with the greatest amount of pressure. Graduating from high school or college, getting a job, finding a mate and similar milestones of a typical life can be overwhelming for many people. Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol can be an attractive solution for those who don’t have social support networks or lack a supportive friend to point them in the right direction. That’s why maintaining a network of friends and supportive family members can be one of the most effective deterrents to drug and alcohol problems.

Know Your Family’s History

Doctors say that everyone should be aware of any history of substance abuse among parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents. There’s strong evidence that a tendency to develop addiction to certain chemicals, alcohol for instance, can be passed down from one generation to the next. This, of course, does not mean that you will fall victim to substance abuse if there’s a history of the illness in your family. But it does mean, according to experts, that you might be more susceptible to developing an addiction if you begin a pattern of drug or alcohol abuse.

Have You Tried This Solution for Your Acne Scars?

Have You Tried This Solution for Your Acne Scars?

Having acne is bad enough. Dealing with permanent scars is an awful perk of the chronic skin problem.

You’ve tried to get rid of these scars, but nothing seems to work. You’ve tried retinol creams, vitamin C serums, scar sheets, daily peels and more, without much success. The evidence of your worst breakouts remains. The only practical solution that you can come up with is covering it with layers of clothing or makeup.

One solution you probably haven’t tried that can get rid of your acne scars is out there. You should go to a laser skin clinic.

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

Reputable laser skin clinics offer several services for people that want to reduce the appearance of highly-visible conditions like hyperpigmentation and scarring. People tend to turn to this option as a hopeful solution after trying over-the-counter creams, prescription medications and home remedies.

If you’re considering laser skin treatment, you should ask the clinic what lasers they intend to use. Certain types are better suited for scar healing, redness reduction and overall skin clearing.

The Smooth Beam Laser

The Smooth Beam Laser is a dermatologist-recommend option for getting rid of specific types of acne scars like ice pick, rolling and boxcar scars. This laser increases collagen production, which forces the scar tissue to rise. It will eventually come up to the skin’s surface, looking smoother and healthier than before.

Type of Scar Definition
Ice Pick Deep, narrow, pitted scars.
Boxcar Wide, round, crater-like scars.
Rolling Uneven, shallow, wave-like scars.

The V-Beam Laser

Experts recommend the VBeam Laser for treating the embarrassing symptom of long-lasting redness that can follow after breakouts. The redness comes from inflamed and broken groups of blood vessels. The laser heats the vessels to encourage coagulation so that they close and shrink down until they’re absorbed. When these vessel groupings disappear, the redness dissipates and leaves a clearer skin tone in its wake.

Don’t Make More Scars

If you’re still dealing with acne breakouts, you need to be careful about making more scars. People often get acne scars after they squeeze or pick at their pimples — the physical intervention sends debris into the skin and disrupts the healing process. Think of it like the chickenpox. When you scratch the spots, you extend your suffering and raise your chances of life-long scars.

So, when you see an enormous pimple growing on your forehead, you need to fight the urge to poke at it. Leave it alone. If it bursts on its own, clean the area and apply a hydrocortisone cream onto it to reduce inflammation. Don’t peel off the scab forming over the top — this means that it’s healing.

Fighting Off Future Flare-Ups

Laser treatment can do more than heal your acne scars. The treatment can prevent flare-ups and scars in the future, too. The gentle light pulses reduce inflammation, encourage collagen production and discourage the overproduction of sebum. After years of using creams, scrubs and medications without much change, this could be the method that really tackles your acne.

Dr. Matt Hutton’s Guide to Varicose Veins

Dr. Matt Hutton’s Guide to Varicose Veins

You probably already recognize the enlarged veins which become twisted and show up on some people’s lower legs as varicose veins. You might have recognized that they are incredibly common. According to the Vascular Surgery Society, more than a third of Americans have them. However, they are more than just a cosmetic issue.

Varicose veins can become a serious health concern if you leave them untreated. Though there is no complete cure for the vein disease, there are a number of different treatments that can reduce their appearance and reduce the risk of complications.

Here’s the ultimate guide to varicose veins.

How Varicose Veins Develop

When the blood travels from the heart and lungs to different parts of the body, delivering oxygen and returning once more to get more oxygen. Arteries carry blood that is full of nutrients and oxygen from your heart to the other areas of the body. The veins then move the blood that has been filled with toxins and byproducts back to the lungs and heart to remove the toxins and get more oxygen.

The arteries have an easy job getting the blood down towards your feet because of gravity. The veins have no such helper. They have to work against gravity to force the blood back up towards your heart. Often, the valves in the veins will close after the blood has passed to prevent the blood from pooling or flowing backward. However, the valves can become weak over time as the walls of the veins become less elastic. This causes the blood to begin to pool in the veins of your lower legs.

The blood presses against the weakened walls of the veins, creating a bloated and twisted appearance. The varicose veins often develop deep within the body tissues. If it is left untreated, the toxins and other waste products remain too long in the tissues. It causes venous ulcers that are difficult to heal because they don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients.

It can also cause blood clots because the blood might stagnate in the veins. If the blood clots begin to move to your lungs, heart, or brain, you will need to be treated by a doctor immediately.

Risk Factors and Symptoms

If you notice you have twisted veins that are dark purple or bulging, you may have varicose veins. Many people also experience other symptoms like throbbing, swelling of the ankles and calves, pain, itching, and skin discoloration.

There are a number of risk factors, including age, family history, gender, obesity, pregnancy, and sitting or standing for long periods of time. Women have a higher risk of getting varicose veins because they experience changes in hormones throughout menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy. Pregnancy also causes an increase in blood volume, placing more pressure on the veins. If other members of your family have varicose veins, there is a high chance that you will also experience them too. If you stand or sit for a long time without moving, the blood is also more likely to accumulate in your legs and feet.

Vein Doc at Metro Vein Center

If you are experiencing symptoms of varicose veins, it is important to be treated by a vein doc or specialist like those at Metro Vein Centers. They have locations in Texas, New Jersey, New York, Michigan, an Pennsylvania. They created their first office in 2006 to help patients who suffer from venous diseases.

Dr. Matt Hutton is the Chief Medical Officer at the Michigan locations and he has more than 25 years of experience treating diseased veins. He was the Attending Vascular Surgeon at the University Hospitals of Cleveland.

With Glo, You Can Do Pilates Online Anytime In the Privacy and Comfort of Your Own Home

With Glo, You Can Do Pilates Online Anytime In the Privacy and Comfort of Your Own Home

You may have considered working out in the privacy and comfort of your own home, but after looking at all of the different programs and videos, you may not know where to begin or exactly what to take. There are aerobics classes galore, yoga classes out the wazoo, and spin classes aplenty. It can be overwhelming, which is why it may be more important to look at reputation rather than style.

Reputable Online Classes

There’s no doubt some online workout classes are better than others. Rather than look for a specific type of workout, find workout classes that are more individualized and tailored to your needs. This way, not only will you be sure to get a good workout, but you’ll have personal training that can help you reach your short-term objectives and long-term goals. Meeting these milestones can mean the difference between staying out of shape and getting motivated to get in shape.

One of the Best Online Classes

Glo is an online platform that offers meditation, yoga, and Pilates online. What sets Glo apart from other online classes is what I was mentioning above: They offer personal training that can help you from beginner to advanced, pushing you to reach your milestones and get the best workouts for your particular situation. What’s best about Glo is that it is online and you can do it practically anywhere and with anyone. Invite over your friends and have a Glo party. It gets you moving without having to tread weather and traffic while trying to get to the gym.

Yoga, Meditation, and Pilates

Another great thing about Glo is that it offers a great internal curriculum that not only works your body but also your mind. Glo is about the whole self. Meditation is great for reducing stress, connecting the mind to body, and healing the self from within. Yoga is wonderful for internal and external balance, stretching and strengthening ligaments, muscles, and tendons, and Pilates is awesome for developing a strong core and building vitality and stamina. Together, all of these workouts can lead to a more well-rounded, more balanced you.

More About Pilates

Most people know about yoga and meditation, as these exercises have been gaining a lot of positive press lately. But Pilates is still new to a lot of people, so I wanted to take a moment to explain exactly what it is and why it is beneficial.

Pilates was started by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. His father was a gymnast and his mother was a naturopath, so he grew up learning a lot about the body and how to heal injuries. Pilates used a lot of exercise machines to assist people with working their bodies in various fashions, many of the machines focusing on building core strength as a remedy to pain. This is similar to the way physical therapists currently approach treating pain, as oftentimes it is weak muscles that do not provide substantial core support that lead to injuries. In a way, Pilates exercises can be thought of as personal physical therapy. Eventually, Pilates exercises evolved to be performed without the machines, even though various machines still exist.

Glo offers Pilates online that will help you build your core, strengthen your stomach and back muscles, and achieve some of the same mind-body connection that is found in yoga. What is unique about Glo is that it offers Pilates online along with yoga and meditation for a more well-rounded workout if you choose to participate in more than one type of exercise. Again, you can tailor your workout so that you can get exactly what you need for your lifestyle.

Whether you decide to take yoga, meditation, or Pilates online, Glo offers curricula that can be beneficial, healthy, and fun for the whole family. With Glo, it is more than just a workout. It’s a journey within that can lead to an awakening of self.

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Skin on Your Next Vacation

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Skin on Your Next Vacation

Whether you’re headed to a beach or a big city, Jet setting away from home can make you feel mentally and emotionally refreshed. That said, the change in temperature and atmosphere can have some physical effects on your skin.

It’s common for one’s skin to get dry and irritated on vacation. The thing is, vacation is a time for relief and relaxation — and how can you relax when your skin is burnt, dry and itchy?

Fortunately, there are products ranging from accessories to skin care items that can help you physically look as refreshed as you feel when you are travelling. With the help of these beauty items, you’ll be able to keep your skin protected on your vacation:

Facial Oil

There are various reasons why your skin may start to dry out when you are on vacation; a lot of people find that their skin dries on the plane and others find that a different country’s climate can wreak havoc on their complexion.

Of the many quality SK-II skin care products on the market, their most famous has to be their Facial Treatment Oil. With the help of a quality facial oil like this one, you can hydrate and moisturize to keep your skin nourished and protected from dryness.

Stay Hydrated

Drink water — and a lot of it. When you are travelling, it’s easy to forget to drink water because you get swept up in the excitement of being in a new place. Even the plane itself can leave you dehydrated; according to Marie Clare, on an average 10-hour flight, a passenger can lose up to 8% of their body water — that’s 4 litres.

When you are on the plane or walking around in the sun at your destination, it’s important to drink water to keep yourself hydrated and energized.

Slather on the SPF

When on vacation, people are outside a lot more than they usually would be — which is why it’s important to stay protected from the sun’s UV rays.

This means not only lathering on sunscreen all day every day but also making smart choices with your makeup — in other words, use products that have SPF in them. The good news is there are tons of reputable brands like BY TERRY and IT COSMETICS that make products like foundation and powder with SPF.

Wear Sunglasses When Out & About

The skin around your eyes is a lot thinner and more sensitive than other areas of your body, which is why it’s so important to protect your eyes.

The best way to do this? Invest in a pair of good sunglasses and wear them often. This will protect your eyes and your skin from the sun’s strong UV rays. The FDA suggests wearing sunglasses with a UVA/UBV rating of 100 for maximum protection.

Lip Balms

Your lips can dry and get burnt on your trip just like your skin can, which is why it’s important to protect your pout. By TERRY’s Baume De Rose is the perfect example of a lip balm that will tint and plump your nose, while also protecting it with SPF and various moisturizing properties.

With the help of these hydrating, nourishing and protective products, your skin will look as refreshed as you feel during and after vacation.

Taking Care of Every Family Member: A Guide

Taking Care of Every Family Member: A Guide

Having a family is a hugely rewarding experience, but it is also definitely no shortage of work. Raising a happy and healthy family takes time, dedication, sacrifice, and patience. Of course, every parent wants to ensure their children are happy and living a stress-free life, but raising a joyful and connected family means more than just focusing on your kids.

Too often, parents (especially new parents) can lose themselves in their children and not take enough time to connect with their partners, take care of their pets, remain in contact with their friends, or focus on their own needs. While parents obviously should be taking time to focus on their kids, maintaining relationships, and enriching their own lives will ultimately help the entire family stay connected and happy together. Families like the Brady Bunch may make it look easy because it is television after all, but it takes a lot of effort to maintain in reality.

Here are some tips on how to keep yourself, your partner, your kids, and your furry family members healthy and happy.

Your partner

Often, couples can lose that spark once the kids come along. The busy lifestyle that follows children can make it tough to carve out romantic time, between working, raising kids, and dealing with all the responsibilities of home ownership, other family members, and adulthood in general. It is important to take time for each other, though, and reconnect at least once a day to check in on each other and see how they are doing.

Having a scheduled date night might sound boring, because what kind of romance is scheduled? In reality, it might be the only way to get each other’s full attention, especially if you are both working and busy. Plan at least one night each week where you call a babysitter for the kids and do something you and your partner will both enjoy. This could be going for dinner and a movie (perhaps something a bit more adult even?) or going for drinks at a spot in the city and catching a show afterward. It could mean taking a class together that you have always wanted to try because trying new things together is a great way to have fun and possibly even learn something new about each other. It could mean going to a spa and totally unwinding and relaxing with a couples massage, followed by a dip in the hot tub. It could even mean staying in (because family life is exhausting!) and having a quiet, romantic night at home catching up on your favorite Netflix series, ordering delivery, and cracking open a bottle of wine.

Your kids

Every parent wants their child to grow up happy and healthy, with good habits and the ability to make the right decisions for themselves. Spending quality time together every day, encouraging them to communicate their feelings, and setting boundaries are all important when raising children.

Ask them about their day at school and exchange stories over family dinners to help understand their lives, and them yours. Plan family activities and playtime to encourage fun, emphasize health and fitness, and make memories. Establish routines, like bedtime routines, where you can connect and reflect together.

There are also the less fun tasks that unfortunately need to be done, but will pay off in the long run. Establishing rules and guidelines will help your children keep their behavior in check and also help them feel safe and secure. Children need limits in order to thrive, so make sure if you set a rule, you stick to it. Teaching responsibility and self-discipline is important at a young age, so when they grow up, they have the knowledge to make good choices.

Your pets

You can’t overlook your furry friends as part of the family! Anyone with a pet knows that they truly are like another family member, and you want to make sure you give them the best quality of life you can. Ensuring you give your dog or cat plenty of attention, love, and attention will keep them happy, but it’s not all you need to do.

Keeping an eye on your pet’s health will help them live full lives. Regular vet visits (annually, or semi-annually for senior animals) are good ways to make sure their health is in good shape and can help catch early signs of disease or illness. It would also be a smart choice to invest in a good pet insurance like Bivvy insurance. Paying attention to their diet and weight will also keep them healthy. Quality pet food, as well as liquid vitamins for dogs and cats, is necessary to avoid preventable health issues. Giving them plenty of exercise by taking dogs for walks once or twice a day and playing with cats for at least 20 minutes a day will help keep them active.

Yourself

Don’t forget that you are just as important as every other member of your family. Parenting is challenging, cultivating a successful relationship can be difficult at times, and the overall stresses of life can take its toll as well. You have already gotten this far, and that is a major achievement, so cut yourself some slack in times of hardship because you’re doing great!

Taking time for yourself is vital to keeping yourself and your family happy. If you’re happy, your family will feed off of that vibe. Think about what you used to do in your downtime before you had kids and consider if those activities still bring you joy. Maybe you went on long bike rides while blasting your favorite tunes through a mini speaker, possibly even singing along and not caring who heard you. Maybe you curled up with a good book and read for hours on end, ignoring the hustle and bustle of life around you while you immerse yourself in another world. Maybe you recharged by going out with friends, having a few drinks or grabbing delicious food, and gossiped all night or watched the game together.

Whatever the case, take time at least once a week to do these activities again and have some good old fashioned “you” time. Practicing self-care and unwinding from the stresses of life is important, not just for your own sanity and mental health, but to show your children that taking care of their own needs is just as important as taking care of the needs of others. It can help them build good habits and self-esteem if they see you doing it too.