Insomnia is a tricky beast to defeat. You can keep yourself hydrated, exercise regularly, completely cut out coffee, sleep in total darkness, and yet still find yourself fully awake when you’re supposed to be asleep.

This is because insomnia is usually caused by several varied factors that affect several aspects of your life. In order to have a real chance at beating insomnia, you need to open yourself to certain calming activities that might be able to suppress some of the factors preventing you from easily falling asleep.

#1 Pottery

Giving form to lifeless clay can be a very rewarding and relaxing experience. To start practicing pottery, all you need is some clay, an electric potter’s wheel, your own two hands, and a place in your home where you can get messy.

You’ll also need a very sturdy table that can take the pressure of kneading the clay. Much like in baking, you need to knead the clay in order to ensure the consistency of the batch. When you get the privilege of watching a master potter in action, you can see how kneading itself can be a repetitive, intensely focusing, and calming act – similar to meditation. It’s also a good mild workout for your hands and arms.

After properly kneading the batch of clay that you’re going to use, you can set it up on the potter’s wheel.

Keep a cup or bowl of water nearby – applying water to clay softens certain parts and allows for more malleability. To control the amount of water on the spinning clay, you can use a sponge or a piece of cloth.

As you mold the clay to your desired shape, do not depend on just your hands and eyes. The dexterity of your hands depends a lot on your posture as you sit and work. Breathe in to lengthen your spine, and when you breathe out, let your spine stay in that position.

This allows your lower back and core muscles to support your spine, letting your hands work with utmost dexterity. Keeping all of this in mind as you’re forming your first clay bowl is a very calming and focusing exercise. And the more you do it, the better you’ll become at achieving the relaxed state you need to make better clay pots with your hands.

#2 Longboard/Skateboard Cruising

Skating isn’t just for bored teens or kids who want a little danger in their lives. In fact, the reality is the opposite: at its core, skating is all about balance, focus, fun, and relaxation.

You can achieve all that by just focusing on the most basic aspect of skating: cruising. While it’s easier to cruise on a longboard because its size makes it more stable, regular shorter skateboards can also be used for cruising just as well.

The first step to cruising on either a longboard or skateboard is finding your stance. Are you a goofy or a regular?

The goofy or unorthodox stance means that your right foot is at the front of the board. Regular is the opposite, with the left foot in front and the right foot doing the pedaling. Once you find the stance that’s easier for you to skate with, cruising is going to be a breeze.

When you focus on just cruising and not doing tricks on a longboard or skateboard, you won’t need to stress out about perfecting certain moves or worry about wiping out.

Even just cruising or riding on your board can be hard to pick up at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize just how relaxing it can be. When you get used to cruising, you can enter a state of mind where it’s just you, your board, the open road, an nothing else – no job, no insomnia, no anxiety.

Just remember that longboard cruising is just as good at melting away time as it is at melting away anxiety – feel free to lose yourself in this activity, but do still try to keep track of the time.

#3 Muay Thai

This ancient Thai martial art is all about power, technique, speed, and aggression. Also known as The Art of 8 Limbs, one of its basic tenets is that the human body has 8 lethal weapons: 2 fists, 2 elbows, 2 shins, and 2 knees.

As you can probably surmise, it’s a pretty intense full-body workout that can develop strength, speed, and endurance. However, what most people don’t realize is that it’s also a great way to sharpen one’s mental focus.

If you position your body in the proper stance, breathe out as you throw a strike, and twist and move your body according to the prescribed physical technique, every fiber of your being is focused on throwing that single strike. In that moment, nothing else matters but your form and how it translates to an expression of pure physical power.

Apart from the calming effect of having to utilize every bit of focus that you can muster, the act of releasing power through your bones and muscles is a fantastic way to release aggression, which is another possible cause of insomnia.

Keep Your Mind and Body Open

Don’t be afraid to try somewhat strange and alternative treatments to insomnia. From the most relaxing traditional arts like pottery to the aggression-fueled Art of 8 Limbs, you never know where you can derive focus, calm, and relaxation. Insomnia may be a formidable beast, but with an open mind and healthy body, you might just be able to lay that beast to rest.

Bio:

Randy Vera is a freelance writer, licensed nurse, and sleep enthusiast from Los Angeles, California. After traveling through SE Asia to learn of his heritage, he joined a few of his colleagues at One Bed Mattress. He practices Zen meditation daily and prefers living a natural health lifestyle.

5 Sun Protection Tips for Healthy Skin

It’s a well-known fact that the sun can do a lot of good. Sun exposure lowers blood pressure, improves bone health, sleep quality, brain function and can also help to ease mild depression. While the right balance of exposure can have a lot of benefits, there is a downside to it as well. Sun exposure can lead to wrinkles, age spots and in worst cases even lead to skin cancer.

Sun exposure is considered to be one of the main reasons for premature aging. But through protective creams and lotions, you don’t have to succumb to the damaging rays. Even, if you haven’t been protecting your skin in the past, it’s never too late to start.

Keep these tips in mind to protect your skin from the sun.

  1.    Choose a broad spectrum cream

Two types of UV lights can harm your skin –UVA and UVB. UVA rays cause your skin to age quickly, and UVB rays burn your skin. Too much exposure to both the rays can cause skin cancer. So the SPF factor will rate how well the cream will protect your skin from harmful rays. For instance, if you use a sunscreen of SPF 15, it means that you can be safe in the sun for a minimum of 2 hours. Also, if you’re in the pool or sweat often get the right sunscreen accordingly. According to WebMd, SPF 15 can filter 93% of the UVB rays and SPF 30 can filter 97% of the UVB rays.

  1.    Application

Most of us need one ounce of sunscreen to protect the exposed areas of our bodies adequately. So use a generous amount and rub the sunscreen thoroughly on your skin. Remember to apply it to your ears, neck, eyes, and feet. Also use an SPF added lip balm to protect your lips. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours after swimming, excessive sweating and if you’ve indulged in outdoor activities.

  1.    Apply it with makeup

You might use products from foundations to moisturizers in your routine. So it will be tempting to skip sunscreen as some of the products you use may contain SPF. But, you should not avoid it as you won’t get enough protection from such products. Apply sunscreen on your face after you have applied a serum and moisturizer. Check out this list of top 5 vitamin c serum of 2016 for pointers on choosing the right serum for your skin.

Wait for 10 minutes before you use makeup. Do visit fixyourskin.com to get more advice on skincare.

  1.   Protection for your scalp

Most people are so focused on protecting their skin that they forget about the scalp area. Shielding your scalp with an umbrella or a hat won’t do. Combine 1 tablespoon of SPF lotion or cream into half cup of water and stir well until the cream is dissolved. Pour the contents into a spray bottle and spray it onto your hair and scalp 30 minutes before you go outside. This procedure will protect you from scalp burn.

  1.     Food

Apart from applying creams, certain foods will help to guard your skin against damaging sun rays. Even though fruits and vegetables cannot be substituted for a sun block, having healthy food can protect your skin from within. Have citrus fruits, green tea, carrots, nuts, and green leafy vegetables all of which are rich in essential vitamins and minerals which can provide inner protection.

Also, check out this infographic to know about the importance of vitamins for healthy skin.

 

Other tips

  •   Always get a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 or higher.
  •    If possible avoid going out between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. as the sun rays are strongest during those hours
  •    Apply sunscreen half an hour before going outside
  •    Toss out expired sunscreen
  •    Protect babies by keeping them out of sun altogether during the peak hours
  •    Encourage your kids to put on sunscreen designed for their skin
  •    Wear sunglasses as UV radiations can damage your eyes and may also lead to cataracts
  •    Tanning booths or beds emit large doses of radiation. Avoid them and use tan-building lotions to get the tan you want.
  •  If you have to be outside during the sunny hours, wear loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and pants. Also, keep in mind that dark-colored clothing offers more protection than light-colored ones.

 

Excess sun exposure is linked to skin cancer, and you have to avoid staying outside without sunscreen. If you’re going to be outside for longer than 15 minutes, you must definitely use sunscreen. Your skin is exposed to UV radiations the moment you go outside. So whether you’re on vacation or going for a casual walk on cloudy days remember to use sunscreen.

Author Bio:-

Hello, Sarah, here from FixYourSkin.com! I have a lot of experience with skin health and have written several articles that have been published. FixYourSkin has a lot of tips, health advice and DIY recipes which can give you great looking skin without any side effects!

How to maintain your home in 5 easy steps

There are numerous things you have to know regarding your home. Almost every part of it is susceptible to change, corrosion, damage and rot. Due to this fact, you will need to invest a lot of time in maintaining different appliances, facade, windows, roof etc. Always be proactive! Sometimes, disaster can occur due to prolonged damage, leakage or malfunction. So, to stay on the safe side, regularly check all the main systems making sure that everything is working properly.

Almost anything can cause us trouble. However, we should only concentrate on main culprits. Let’s check them out.

Change air filters

Nowadays, more and more people use air filters. This shouldn’t surprise us as there is increased number of infants and young children suffering from allergic reactions. So, having a clean air in the room is a must. These filters require regular service. In most cases, you will have to change them on a monthly basis. Generally speaking, HEPA filters are the popular choice.

Maintaining your AC

ACs are mainly used during the summer. They are a great way to cool off your home. Similarly to HVAC filters, filters on ACs should be cleaned every spring, prior to summer season. Also, make sure that your drain tubes are intact and that they are directing water properly. If they are not, water may start leaking on concrete, damaging it. On the other hand, if you are living in an apartment building, ruptured drain tubes may cause a real trouble to your neighbors.

Repair your pool pump

Pump is the heart of your pool. It helps you filter water. Like any electric device, it has a small motor that allows it to work. This motor may start malfunctioning at any time. Another issue that may occur is having a damaged drain pipe. You will have to fix it as soon as you notice the issue. When it comes to specific products, Sparkle pumps are a good solution as they last longer and require less maintenance.

Fixing your heater

Heater is another home appliance that will be damaged after some time. It can store a lot of water inside. Water has small particles which will drop down and concentrate on the bottom of the heater. They will cause irreparable damage to it. As prevention, you have to drain all the water from time to time and to completely clean it.

Check your facade

Numerous cracks can appear at the side your house without you even realizing. This is especially common during the winter, when there is a lot of moisture in the air. Cracks will start appearing, paint will start chipping. You will need to check it out thoroughly and repair all the damage that has been done. Silicone can help you with a lot of issues. Mirror mate is a product that can help you, not only with walls, but also with window frames.

Pavement cracks

Similarly to facade, cracks may appear in pavement surrounding your home. The damage can increase during the winter as ice sets in these cracks and widens them. In order to prevent this, you will have to patch up these holes in time.

 

As you can see, there are numerous things that need to be checked regularly. Besides these examples, there are some other parts of your home that need extra care. In some cases, you will notice issue too late. However, by being proactive, you can notice the problem on time and eliminate it before it spreads or worsens.

Short bio: Nick Stoyanov is a pool maintenance expert at forpumps.com.au. 4 Pumps Pty Ltd (4 Pumps) is Australia’s largest online pump store. 4 Pumps is an Australian company that focuses on the national distribution of its comprehensive range of quality pumping products.

How to prepare your pool for the winter

Preparing your pool for the winter is as important as preparing it for the summer. Have in mind that most of the issues happen during the off-season. During this time, your pipes are likely to burst, there may be some issues with heaters or microorganism may start accumulating. This is why you have to take precautionary measures and protect it from elements.

Here are some tips that will help you do it.

  1. Clean your pool

Even though this seems like unnecessary step (given that the season is over) there is a good logic behind it. There will always be some remaining debris or insects in the pool. Instead of waiting for the next spring when the filth sets in, take it out immediately and reduce future work.

  1. Regulating the water chemistry

This is something that needs to be controlled both during the winter and during the summer. By regulating chemical properties of the water, you are able to protect the pool from corrosion. Besides that, it is also a great way to deal with scale buildup. Naturally, you can purchase various devices and testers that will help you during the process.

  1. Dealing with chemicals

During the summer season, you use various chemical products that help you eliminate microorganisms, such as chlorine. Now, at the end of the season, all of them need to be flushed out. These products can have a very negative impact on your equipment. Instead, you should use winterizing chemicals that will protect your pool during the off season. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using them, similarly to any other chemicals.

  1. Clean the filter

When the season is over, make sure to thoroughly clean your filter. Cartridges need to be pulled out and either rinsed with water or backwashed. There shouldn’t be anything in them. Simply put, filter needs to be as clean as it was when you first bought it.

  1. Take care of your pipes

Pipes should receive the same treatment as the filter. The biggest enemy of the pipes is water. During the winter, when temperature falls below zero, all the water within them will turn into ice. As a result, they will be severely damaged. If you have anything else within them, such as dirt or debris, it also should be flushed.

  1. Take care of your pump and heater

First thing that you have to do is to disconnect pump and filter. There shouldn’t be any water within the pump. Sometimes, water may be stuck due to the drain plugs. Make sure to remove them. After that, you can turn it on in order to flush any water that remained. Similar goes for heather. It also should be completely drained and devoid of water. Like with the rest of the equipment, water within heater may freeze leading to damage.

  1. Use a floating device

Floating devices are a very important for preservation of your pool. They work in unison with a pool cover. When rainwater and ice start accumulating on top of your pool cover, floating device helps balance it. This helps reduce pressure on the pool walls as the water and ice go towards the device.

  1. Use a winter cover

After you have done everything else, removed all the equipment, cleaned it and drained it, it is time to put a winter cover. This item has a two-fold function: it protects the pool from water and it prevents people from falling into the pool. Naturally, this cover has to be completely intact. Any type of hole can be disastrous as it allows passage of ice and snow. The cover needs to be stretched properly. You have to ensure that water cannot reach the pool.

  1. Store your equipment

Everything that was removed from the pool needs to be stored in a safe and clean place. Even though pool chemicals are often put in the same place as the rest of the pool equipment, make sure that they do not come into contact with anything humid.

Although this preparation can be very tedious, it is a necessary thing for protection of your pool. Here is a definitive guide on how to clean your pool. You need to put a same amount of effort when preparing the pool for winter as you did when you prepared it for summer. This way, you will save a lot of money in the long run as you preserve your pool.

Short bio: Nick Stoyanov is a pool maintenance expert at forpumps.com.au. 4 Pumps Pty Ltd (4 Pumps) is Australia’s largest online pump store. 4 Pumps is an Australian company that focuses on the national distribution of its comprehensive range of quality pumping products.

Most at times, we do not watch what we eat. Acne is brought about by the toxins in our body, and when left to accumulate, the toxins will affect your skin. This is when acne develops. Eating the right food can help get rid of acne scars. Before you proceed to adapt to a particular diet, you need to consider how it will help clean out the toxins from your body. Foods that concentrate on improving the condition of the skin will be the best to go for. Remember that you are aiming to make your skin look good and thus you have to go for foods that are less toxic.

You need a diary for food. This diary you will be using every day to help you eat right and improve the health condition of your skin. Acne entails having ugly scars on your skin. It may be on your face or other parts of the body. Having the right diet will help you arrive at a natural way to get rid of acne. Before you can go the diet way, you need to know what you are getting yourself into. Unlike scar creams and surgical procedures, dieting to get rid of acne is not immediate regarding results. You have to practice patience and discipline by adhering to your daily routine.

Include a lot of water in your diet

Clean drinking water is the best way to hydrate your skin. You do not want a situation whereby the acne on your skin is dry. Moisture helps the scars look good and also reduce. You need to keep your body hydrated by drinking a lot of water daily. At least 8 glasses of water will be good for your skin every day.

Minimize on alcohol consumption

Alcohol is rich in sugars and is a dehydrating agent. Remember that you want to keep your skin hydrated and by taking too much alcohol, it goes against this. Apart from the sugars and dehydration of the skin, high consumption of alcohol can lead to heart diseases among other ailments.

Stay away from processed foods

Processed foods will have a lot of artificial sugars and thus not good for your skin. You need to check the ingredients before you can buy any food at the grocery store. They also additives and preservatives which will end up intoxicating your blood and thus worsen the acne condition on your skin.

Endorse green tea

It is rich in polyphenols which increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the skin. Remember that the skin will also require to breath and increase blood flow to the skin is what makes it healthy. This will improve its look and feel where it has acne. With time, it will start disappearing.

Include oysters in your diet

They are rich in zinc which is a key component in maintaining good health of the skin. Due to this, they can make your acne go away. Buy your oysters from a reliable farm to make sure that you have the right thing.

Eat berries regularly

Berries are rich anti-oxidants and thus can take part in reducing the acne on your skin. They help keep your skin healthy at all times and thus the best way to stay healthy. You can get back your shine with berries due to their antioxidants properties.

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