Wiser Living
Finding a natural solution


6 Tips on Balancing Your Family, Career and Your Anxieties

It can be difficult for adults to have to take care of their families and manage their careers at the same time. This can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for many people.

father and daughter in nature
Photo by Morgan David de Lossy on Unsplash

As a result, here are six tips on how to take care of your family and your career without getting overly stressed.

1Set Goals: Try to set goals for yourself when you manage your family or career. When you get up in the mornings, try to set some daily goals for you to accomplish. When you accomplish these goals, you will feel happier and more confident to do more things.

2. Delegate: When taking care of your family, get your spouse to help out. If your kids are older, get them to assist you. If you are at work, only take on what you can handle. Don't try to do everything all at once. Learn to delegate and work with other people.

3. Evaluate Your Situation: If you try to do everything, you will get stressed and anxious. A person can only do so much in a given day. Do not everything. Learn to manage your responsibilities. If you feel like you are doing too much, then take a break and evaluate your situation.

4. Prioritize: Try to do things in terms of their importance. Let's say that you have to clean the living room, go to the supermarket, and wash the dishes. You decide to go to the supermarket since that is the most important thing that needs to be accomplished You decide you can do the other two tasks later on. Determine what needs done right now and do those particular tasks in order of importance.

5. Plan Ahead: It is much easier to accomplish something if you know what you are going to do ahead of time. Proper planning will help manage the stresses and anxieties of getting want you want and help you to stay organized.

6. Communication Is Important: It is important to talk to your coworkers and family members in order to avoid any potential problems. Get into the habit of talking to others in order to get things accomplished. Don't get upset when things don't work according to plan. Learning how to work with others can help save you a lot of time.

How Climate Change May Impact Your Life Insurance Policy

Purchasing life insurance marks the soundest financial investment many make to provide their loved ones with the means to survive in the case of untimely death. It makes sense — even while we mourn, landlords and utility companies still demand payment if we hope to keep a roof over our heads and power our appliances. However, few among us give pause to consider how climate change may impact the monthly amount we pay to keep our families safe.

Recent increases in the severity of wildfires and hurricanes serve as an exclamation point that human beings need to change their polluting ways or risk extinction. However, despite the warnings of scientists, relatively few insurers have diversified their investment portfolios to include more renewable and sustainable business practices. The result may mean passing on rising costs to consumers.

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Bigger National Disasters Lead to Greater Mortality Rates

In recent years, the U.S. has experienced an increased number of hurricanes of Category three or higher. Hurricane Maria, which decimated Puerto Rico and parts of Florida in 2017, claimed anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of lives. Nor was Maria the only deadly storm to batter the east coast of the nation of late — Hurricanes Harvey and Irma likewise claimed dozens of lives while causing billions of dollars in damage.

In the west, a rampage of wildfires has caused death and destruction. The California wildfire season of 2018 proved the most deadly in recent memory. The city of Paradise, CA, will never return to its former grandeur as a retreat for wealthy celebrities and Silicon Valley bigwigs after the Camp Fire ravaged the city and claimed 85 or more human lives.

Should climate change continue unfettered, more severe natural disasters will arise. And this raises the hackles of actuary agents everywhere. Already in 2018, the life expectancy of U.S. citizens lagged behind that of other developed nations and earned the distinction of being the only industrialized nation where the average age of death fell below 80.

Given that insurance companies use a mathematical formula to determine rates, the increase in natural disasters paired with decreasing life expectancy will result in higher monthly rates for all. Young couples and families who have yet to shop around for policies should cease procrastinating as this may result in paying far more in premiums.

Climate Change Leads to Poorer Health Outcomes

Risks of sudden death due to natural disaster isn't the only factor that may drive up life insurance rates. Areas most affected by climate change see higher rates of infectious and chronic diseases.

In areas choked by smog, air pollution increases the risk of developing upper respiratory infections and lung diseases, including cancer. High particulate levels also cause more severe allergy symptoms which limits productivity in the workplace.

Increases in global temperatures result in the rise of dangerous strains of algae in many drinking water supplies. Additionally, as some areas of the United States continue to struggle with crumbling infrastructure, water quality remains dubious in many locations. As many as 63 million Americans suffered exposure to unsafe drinking water in the last decade.

Exposure to high pollution levels also impacts the brain and central nervous system. Many neurologists express concern about the role of increased pollution in causing or exacerbating diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Pollutants can cause changes in the blood-brain barrier, and some theorize that exposure impacts the recent rise in mental illness and death.

Finally, exposure to pollution lowers immune system functioning, making people more susceptible to infectious diseases. Areas with large homeless populations have recently witnessed the resurgence of diseases like typhus which were long considered eradicated.

Growing levels of pollution may likewise influence the increase in autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's and rheumatoid arthritis. In such illnesses, the immune system goes haywire, causing the body to attack its own tissue. Exposure to high ozone levels has proven to cause changes in the immune response of laboratory mice.

The Impact on Insurance

When life insurance companies issue a policy, they typically require a medical examination. While factors such as age and lifestyle do play a role — skydivers, for example, may pay higher rates — poor physical health drives premium prices out of reach for some. As climate change continues to impact human health, those considering buying a policy do well to act quickly in establishing one as soon as possible.

Environmental catastrophes such as hurricanes and wildfires mean insurers receive a glut of claims after such events. To meet demand, insurers need to maintain their own investments to continue generating sufficient capital to pay claims quickly. As many insurers hold real property assets in coastal areas often targeted by severe storms, each large-scale disasters may drive rates up further.

Protecting Your Family

Life insurance provides many Americans with the financial peace of mind that their loved ones will remain cared for after they pass. However, environmental disasters and declining public health outcomes may cause rates to rise. The best time to protect your family is now.

6 Tips on How to Overcome Your Depression and Persistent Fears

Some people have a difficult time in managing their depression. Sometimes, their depression and fears can become a huge factor in their personal life and professional career.

As a result, here are six tips that a person can use to help manage their depression.

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1. Challenge Your Depressing Thoughts: One of the ways to manage your depression is to challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking. When encountering thoughts that make your fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. Your fearful thoughts are usually not based on reality

2. Distract Yourself: Some people can get depressed over doing a certain task. When this happens, a person should take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get their mind off of the problem. A person could take a walk, listen to some music, read the newspaper or do an activity that will give them a fresh perspective on things. Doing something will get your mind off of the problem and give you confidence to do other things

3. Worrying Makes It Worse: A lot of times, our worrying can make the problem even worse. All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope for the best, and when something does happen, take it in stride.

4. Take It One Day At A Time: Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different opportunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems. You never know when the answers you are looking for will come to your doorstep.

5. Read Positive Affirmations: Another technique that is very helpful is to have a small notebook of positive statements that makes you feel good. Whenever you come across an affirmation that makes you feel good, write it down in a small notebook that you can carry around with you in your pocket. Whenever you feel depressed, open up your small notebook and read those statements.

6. Ask For Help: Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future.

7 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Loneliness

Sometime or another we will experience a time when we are alone. Some people fear being alone for various reasons. The first step is to become comfortable with yourself and having the self-confidence that you will be able to manage being alone. There is nothing wrong with being alone. If being alone bothers you then seeing a counselor can help you with these issues.

Dog Picture

In the meantime here are seven tips on overcoming the fear of being alone.

1. Find An Activity: Find an activity that you enjoy and where you can meet a lot of people. Doing something that you like will make you happy and will increase your chances of making friends.

2. Spend Time With Animals: Spending time with an animal or pet can help us feel better. Animals can be good company to all of us, whether we are alone or not. There are many local shelters that could use your time and talents.

3. Helping Others: There are many people out there who could benefit from your time and skill sets. Helping others can give you a source of pride and accomplishment, and may also lead to friendships.

4. It Could Be Worse: It isn't fun being alone, but sometimes there are worse things. For instance, imagine that you are married or stuck in a relationship that you can't get out of, which also makes you miserable. As a result you are stuck living with someone that you can't stand and makes you depressed. With this viewpoint, being alone doesn't sound that bad.

5. Be Constructive: Sitting around and doing nothing will not make things any better, whether it is dealing with the fear of being alone or something else. Take it one day at a time and stay committed in trying to solve your problem.

6. Things Can Change: Nothing remains the same forever. No one can predict the future with 100 percent accuracy. Events change all of the time. Even if the thing that you feared does happen, there are circumstances and factors that you can't predict which can be used to your advantage. You never know when the help and answers you are looking for will come to you.

7. You'tr Not the Only Who Is Alone: Remember that everyone deals with loneliness sometime in their life. Focus on your life and don't compare yourself to others. Continue to seek friendships with other people and try not to feel sorry for yourself. There are kinds of people in various circumstances, so don't assume that you are the only who is alone.

Good Habits to Establish While Young

The goal of a healthy life can be challenging to achieve for many of us. When just starting out, it can feel like there is an insurmountable number of things to change about your lifestyle in order to be successful. It can seem as though healthy living requires giving up more than it is worth.

Fortunately, that is not necessarily the case. Small steps and minor changes can do wonders in improving your general health and well-being. Creating a pattern of healthy habits, such as brushing your teeth every night, can help to ensure you and your kids are on the way to lifetime health.

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This is especially true when our positive health habits are established at a younger age. Some research indicates that habits — both healthy and unhealthy — that are developed early in life are likely to stick and hard to break. It is critical to practice good habits early and often. Here are a few to get started with!

Junk Food Moderation

In this day and age, perhaps one of the most challenging things to avoid is unhealthy junk food. We all know that eating junk food in excess has the potential to cause some serious problems; for instance, we know that sugary drinks can wreck havoc on our teeth. But junk food seems to be nearly everywhere and can be difficult to avoid without special precautions, such as preparing your own food in advance.

When trying to give up junk food, there are a variety of ways to get started. Arguably the best way to begin combating unhealthy food cravings is by drinking more water. Aside from water being incredibly good for you in general, some research has actually linked thirst to the feeling of food cravings. When you are thirsty, your body may actually be interpreting that as hunger.

Another means of combating junk food cravings is by making sure that you get enough nightly sleep. Sleep plays a role in nearly all bodily functions, including appetite. Poor sleep can actually contribute to swings in hormones that ultimately lead to stronger cravings — often for foods that are sugary and will provide a quick burst of energy.

Bedtime Routines

Bedtime routines are another healthy habit that can make a significant difference in your overall routine. Ritualizing bedtime can help your body and mind prepare for a good night’s sleep. Furthermore, certain aspects of a routine can help make you more organized in the mornings, reduce stress after long days, and improve overall physical and mental health.

Nightly routines don’t have to be super complicated. Simple things such as brushing your teeth, washing your face, and taking out your contacts before bed can give your body cues that it is time for bed. If stress is a concern, doing things such as writing down your thoughts or practicing mindful meditation before bed can make a profound difference in avoiding restlessness at night.

For children, nighttime routines are imperative to developing good sleep habits and reducing fussing before bed. Sometimes it can be challenging to get your child into a bedtime routine that works for both them and you, but it is well worth the effort. Tips and tricks include things such as giving warning, reading a book, brushing teeth, and being firm once the lights are out.

Personal Hygiene

Another good habit to get into and stick with early is a good personal hygiene. This is particularly important for preteens and teenagers that are going through changes that require additional hygiene requirements. Things such as putting on deodorant, showering regularly, and maintaining facial hair suddenly become much more essential.

Regardless of age, there are plenty of good habits that can improve personal hygiene. For instance, facial cleansing products can help reduce acne, improve skin durability, and ultimately make it feel softer. Habits such as cleaning and caring for your skin can have long-lasting impacts that become increasingly obvious as you age.

Additionally, the habit of brushing your teeth and flossing twice every day can have profound impacts on your oral health and greatly reduce the risk of gum disease. This is a particularly important habit to get small children into early on as brushing teeth can be a difficult skill to learn and takes a lot of practice. When teach children to brush their teeth, be sure that they are reaching all corners of their mouths and not simply focusing on their front teeth.

Health habits can be difficult to get into, but they are well worth the extra effort. Things such as avoiding junk food, developing a nightly routine, and making a habit out of good personal hygiene can be great starts to healthy habits for both you and your children. Starting early is key to long-term success!

Stop Buying Books: Rent Them Instead!

Ya got me. I am terribly, terribly biased. As a former librarian, and a lifelong library aficionado, I’ve been raving about the beauty and necessity of libraries for aye! But in the land of zero waste, libraries are a gold mine.

Before starting this journey to zero waste, I regarded paper as one of the most innocuous types of waste we can produce. Yes, it costs us trees, but it’s recyclable right? Well, yes but…there’s a but…Did you know paper is recyclable only 4-6 times before the fibers are so over-processed that it’s no longer recyclable? Or that the paper production industry is wildly polluting. Or that, of the 4 billion trees cut down every year, 35% are directed towards the paper industry? Not to be a buzz kill or anything…

lauren in library

But that’s where the library comes in! Instead of all of us buying our own copies of the same John Grisham novel, we can all rent the same novel from the library FOR FREE. Or DVDs or CDs. Depending on your local library, they probably have the latest issues of your favorite newspapers and magazines for rent, again FOR FREE. And, to go truly zero paper, many libraries offer FREE Kindle book rentals via platforms like Overdrive which allow you to download practically any popular book immediately to your e-reader or computer from the laziness of your sofa. FOR FREE. How beautiful is that?

If you need any help figuring out how to download books for free, ask a librarian. They are literally being paid to wait around for you to ask them that question. Or if you need a hard to find book, a librarian can order that book from any of the other libraries in their system (which can be state or nationwide) just for you because libraries share all of their materials with each other so we all have access to it. FOR FREE.

Some libraries even offer discounted passes for local museums and attractions. Other libraries allow non-traditional items to be checked out, like board games, musical instruments and tools. My local library has a ukulele and a ping pong game set on loan (among other things).

You know how much the average paperback fiction book at Barnes and Noble costs? $14.50. The average hardcover? Around $24.

You know how much the average library card costs? FREE!

Eco-Tourism in Ogden, Utah

Ogden, Utah sits at the base of the Wasatch Mountains—the town’s impeccably preserved historic buildings and snowy, but not too chilly atmosphere make for a phenomenal home base for a winter getaway. Three ski resorts are minutes away, with two of them being accessible via bus. A local food scene is blossoming, with vegan cafes and sustainably-sourced cuisine becoming the norm. Downtown is quite walkable, making it possible to omit using a car when visiting. Ogden provides an affordable way to take a ski vacation, while making it easy to make sustainable decisions.

Downtown

Ski

All three ski resorts are vastly different, from the terrain to the food. Yet all of them make an effort to preserve the land they reside on, while reducing the overall footprint. 

nordic valley 

  • Nordic Valley is best if you’re a beginner. A gentle green run sits right up front, and there’s a snow tubing hill for a more chill experience. 

  • Snowbasin offers farm sourced, local cuisine, and Snowbasin blend coffee comes from local roastery, Daily Rise, which is a great example of how the local community works. Nordic trails take adventurists on a peaceful ride through wooded areas, and you’ve got the more intense snow sports experiences.

  • After a stunning bus trip up to Timberline Lodge, you’ll find a cozy pub serving local beer, warm ramen and hot popcorn at Powder Mountain. More minimal in the sense of development, it exudes a very homey feel. They work to protect their trees, recently planting thousands, and you won’t find disposable water bottles for sale—fill stations are dotted through the area. Being on top of the mountain, they don’t need to make their snow, so an immense amount of energy is saved. 

Eat and Drink

The food scene in Ogden is diverse, largely health conscious and quite intertwined, with many eateries collaborating and using each other’s products. The sense of community is strong, there’s a farmers market, which even operates in the winter within historic Union Station. Here you’ll find everything from seasonal produce to handmade items. 

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  • Daily Rise is the place to go for coffee, as their innovative and pure methods make one appreciate the depth and importance of carefully sourcing the beans that we all love so much. Ogden has three locations, of which range from the actual roastery/drive thru, the lone drive thru and a downtown location that will soon be serving vegan savory and sweet crepes.

  • Cuppa, an airy café on 25th street, serves straight vegan fare, like coconut tortilla breakfast tacos with tofu scramble, avocado and creamy plant based sauces—add the tempeh bacon and you will never feel the need for any other taco again. The black rose waffle with charcoal batter and a hint of floral flavor, topped with coconut whip, then drizzled with forest berry sauce takes the cake on the sweet side of things, but Cuppa has a generous list of other animal product free deliciousness from macadamia nut lattes to vibrant salads. 

  • Ramen Haus’ vegan bowl incorporates a load of sprouts, mushrooms, onions, tofu and yam (aka shiritaki) noodles in a refreshingly simple miso broth. 

  • Snowbasin isn’t just a place to ski, their cuisine is chef cultivated. Aside from munching on farm sourced dishes and house made pastries at one of the lodge’s, including a stunning mountain top location accessible by chairlift, the resort hosts numerous culinary events through the year. In the summer, the John Paul Campout brings visitors to the top of the mountain to enjoy camping under the official designated Dark Sky, while being treated to authentic Dutch oven meals sourced from the surrounding farms. 

  • Trek a few miles to the small town of Eden and you’ll find the most charming small town with a tiny cluster of food and a handmade body product shop, Simply Eden. New World Distillery is also nestled there, and is revolutionizing the booze world by pushing for ingredient transparency. Cultivated with absolute precision and a fragrant array of botanicals like juniper berries and cinnamon, the gin is something to be remembered and contains 100 times more botanicals than typical brands. Other spirits feature thoughtful twists—barrel aged tequila and a tart cherry liquor made with cherries harvested just down the road, and sweetened with organic agave, not refined sugar, aren’t the typical among the spirits world. 

Stay

The Bigelow Hotel has resided in Ogden since the 1800s, and the building has been carefully cared for and preserved. Oldies tunes pipe through the halls, much of the original decor is in tact, and they work to reduce water and energy usage. 

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Other Reasons to Come

The area does its part to protect the bison, antelope, birds and deer that call Ogden Valley home. A short trip out of the valley, to Antelope Island, on the Great Salt Lake, increases the likelihood of spotting one of these beautiful creatures, while introducing visitors to an intriguing environment. 

Union Station, where the Pacific and Union railways crossed paths 150 years ago, has preserved significant pieces of history, from World War II medical cars, to artifacts within the terminal. It sits right at the end of historic 25th street, which served as a socializing hub way back when. 

Almost torn down around the 60s, a protesting effort saved the Peery Egyptian Theater, which is accented with a stunning night sky ceiling that is original to the structure. It’s an important part of history and is a beautiful depiction of classic movie palaces. Locals gather here for live shows.

The Ogden River has undergone an intense cleanup over the years, to remove rubble, old cars and trash to return the urban water feature to its original glory. In fact, it is now so pristine it is classified as a Blue Ribbon river. The initiative was instigated by the still intact GOAL organization put into action when the Olympics came to town in 2002. This is a fantastic example of how Ogden is ever evolving into a more eco conscious, mindful destination.

Ogden was once a diamond in the rough, but has now been steadily polished into what could soon rival some of the best cities in the United States. They’ve preserved, transformed their food scene, and are making the city more accessible and appealing to those looking to travel in an eco-conscious way. 

Daily Rise







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