Wednesday, July 6, 2022 / by Evelyn Lopes- Klarine
When Sufficiently Motivated
Two warring tribes lived in the Andes, one in the lowlands and the other high in the mountains. One day the mountain people invaded the lowlanders and, as part of their plunder, they kidnapped a baby from one of the lowlander families and took the infant with them back up into the mountains.
The lowlanders didn't know how to climb the mountain. They didn't know any of the trails that the mountain people used, and they didn't know where to find the mountain people or how to track them in the steep terrain. Even so, they sent out their best fighting men to climb the mountain and bring the baby home. The men tried one method of climbing and then another. They tried one trail and then another. After several days of effort, however, they had climbed only a few hundred feet.
Feeling hopeless and helpless, the lowlander men decided that the cause was lost, and they prepared to return to their village below.
As they were packing their gear for the descent, they saw the baby's mother scrambling down the mountain toward them. She had gone higher than they had!
Then they saw that she had the baby strapped to her back. How could that be?
One man greeted her and said, "We couldn't climb this mountain. How did you do this when we, the strongest and most able men in the village, couldn't do it?"
She shrugged her shoulders and said, "It wasn't your baby."
You never know what you can accomplish when you’re sufficiently motivated!
Canada Day, July 1. Often informally referred to as "Canada's birthday," Canada Day celebrates the anniversary of Canadian confederation on July 1, 1867.
Space Exploration Day, July 20. The day in 1969 when Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin first set foot on the moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission.
2 Simple Ways to Upgrade your Cleaning Routine
Your daily on-the-go schedule can make it challenging to keep your home clean and tidy. At the same time, relaxing in a clean home can feel calming and also help declutter the mind.
Here are two simple ways to upgrade your cleaning routine. As with any system, creating one that will work for you, not against you, starts with a good structure and the right tools.
Break it down and plan ahead
Making a whole list of chores that includes everything from making the bed to cleaning out your storage space can feel overwhelming.
Start with what needs to be done today. These tasks may include loading the dishwasher making the bed, putting away clutter and wiping down countertops. Once you’ve settled into a daily routine with these tasks, move on to weekly chores and pick a designated weekly chore day to get these done. Some tasks you might schedule weekly include laundry, changing linens, lawn work and gardening, vacuuming and dusting.
Then, move on to monthly, quarterly and yearly tasks. These chores will be more time consuming, and it helps to schedule these ahead so you are prepared to take them on. These tasks could include cleaning the stove and oven, cleaning out the fridge, tidying your storage spaces like the garage or basement, and sorting through old clothes.
Be mindful of your health at home
The products you use in your home leave behind residue that can come into contact with your skin, the food you prepare, the clothes you wear and your pets. Any cleaning products should be gentle on your home, furniture and your health, avoiding harsh cleaning products that contain hazardous and toxic chemicals.
Opt for naturally-derived, nontoxic and biodegradable cleaning products when you can. This will keep your home free of dangerous chemicals and create a healthier home environment. You can find affordable, high-quality natural and green cleaning products at local health food stores like Nature’s Emporium.
A Growth Mindset
To get ahead, you can’t keep doing the same things you’ve always done. You have to adapt and grow. Here’s how to develop a growth mindset (from the Very Well Mind website):
• Believe your efforts matter. Take a look at your job and career. Look at how you help people. If you understand that your work makes a difference, you’ll be motivated to stick with it and do more.
• Keep learning new skills. Look for training to expand your job skills, but also look outside the narrow scope of your occupation to pick up life skills. Take a painting class, volunteer at an animal shelter, learn a new sport—anything that will get you out of your rut.
• Learn from your failures. Everyone makes mistakes. The only shame is repeating them because you didn’t find out why they happened. Investigate the causes of your failures to ensure you don’t make them again.
Top tips for your Summer Getaway
There’s nothing quite like summer vacation. But not every holiday has to be a long one: three-day weekends can feel just as luxurious if planned right. Get the most out of your long weekend with a few expert tips and tricks:
· Capitalize on the “staycation”
With gas prices sky high, it’s a great time to practice the art of the staycation. Take this opportunity to visit local places you may have never had a chance to see.
· Have a rough schedule in mind
Once you land on a destination or staycation plan, do your research and determine what attractions, sites and bites you might want to work into your schedule. Take into account the distance between activities.
· Pack smart
Whether you’re a tourist in your own town or you go farther afield, only bring what you need for your planned activities. For any type of exploration, the key is to keep smart footwear in mind.
Mental Health During Summer
After all the stresses of the past year, the thought of relaxing and just enjoying the summer months can feel alien and unfamiliar. Nothing is certain, of course, but you can reduce anxiety and let yourself go with this advice from the University of Colorado website:
· Let yourself feel everything. Don’t try to force happiness. Allow yourself to feel a full range of emotions—excitement, anxiety, joy, sadness, and everything else. You’re able to experience multiple emotions at the same time, after all. Learn to balance your emotions so a single feeling doesn’t overwhelm you.
· Take a proactive approach. Confront your fears openly. This can be as simple as brainstorming summer projects or just making a packing list for a trip. Come up with a list of friends you can depend on for support if things get emotionally tough.
· Accept what you can’t control. Things happen. Don’t try to take on everything.
· Find ways to cope. Practice meditation and mindfulness. Try writing in a journal or talk to a close friend you trust. Remember that exercise is good for the mind as well as the body, so get outside as much as you can. Spend time with friends and family, and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories.
· Take care of yourself. Eat healthy food and exercise regularly. Get plenty of rest and sleep, whatever else you’re up to.
Benefits of Daydreaming
Some people think daydreaming is a waste of time, but it can be a powerful tool for sharpening your creativity. The Entrepreneur magazine website spells out why:
• Motivation. Daydreaming about something you’d like to do can increase your motivation to go out and do it. It helps you visualize your goals and structure your thoughts.
• Visualization. Use your daydreams to go into detail about your goals so you can identify possibilities and options.
• Problem Solving. You can’t always attack a problem with logic and brute force. Spend some time letting your mind roam. Daydreaming relaxes you and reduces stress, so it might help you spot a solution you’d otherwise miss.
• Productivity. This may seem counterintuitive, but daydreams can help you focus. By daydreaming about a problem or opportunity, you give your brain a chance to concentrate on your goal without clutter or pressure.
You think high school algebra was hard? Try wrapping your mind around these amazing numbers, courtesy of the Cracked website:
- To write the largest known prime number in a straight line, you would need a sheet of paper 23 miles long.
- Americans use 100,000,000,000 plastic shopping bags a year, enough to stretch end to end around the equator twice every day.
- A blue whale can eat up to 40 million small krill a day—about 7,900 pounds, which is more than the weight of a Hummer.
- A Rubik’s Cube has 45,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible configurations.
- Beetles represent 30% of all known animal species, with more than 300,000 species currently identified.
- People send 205 billion emails every day. If you were to print out each one on a separate sheet of office paper—which would consume 25 million trees—the stack would stretch halfway around the equator.
A Morning Routine is Key
Are you as productive as you could be at work? It depends on how you start your day. To get off on the right foot, follow this advice from the Resume.io website:
- Empty your mind. Get rid of extraneous thoughts that might distract you up front. If necessary, write down any ideas or worries and then set them aside so you can focus on your first task.
- Don’t check your email right away. Spend 30 minutes or so on something productive before looking at your emails. You’ll avoid getting sucked into nonessential tasks.
- Avoid meetings. Don’t call a meeting first thing in the morning. We spend enough unproductive time in meetings as it is. Block out a meeting-free zone on your schedule and attend only the most essential early morning meetings.
- Stand up. Instead of settling into your chair first thing, take a short walk or use a standing desk for the first 10 minutes of your day. This can help you feel more energetic and empowered.
- Use natural light. Open your blinds to let in the sunshine. It’ll help you wake up and feel more alert. If that’s not an option at your workspace, invest in a lamp that simulates sunlight.
- Set—and share—deadlines. Let someone else know when you expect to finish an important task. Keeping it to yourself makes letting it slide too easy. Having someone in on it will help you feel accountable, even if it’s just a co-worker with no authority over you.
- Start one at a time. Don’t try to accomplish several morning tasks at once, no matter how easy they are. Focus on just one, finish it, and move onto the next. Allocate blocks of time for specific tasks, with shorter spans in between for miscellaneous jobs.
Can you afford to buy a home in a hot housing market?
Owning a home can feel like an important milestone, providing a sense of control and stability over your future. It can also be a point of pride and an investment in your equity. And yet, sky-high housing prices across the country often make it feel impossible to afford a home.
In fact, the amount Canadians expect to pay for a house has increased by $100 000 over the past year according to a recent survey by BMO. With buyers across the country expecting to pay an average of $588 000 for their property, it’s natural for would-be buyers to question their options.
Here are some tips to help you figure out if you can afford to buy.
Consider wants and needs
Take time to think about the kind of home you want and what you are willing to compromise on. Asking yourself questions can help you figure out what’s affordable for you. For example, are you willing to pay more for a prime location, or will you be just fine buying further afield? Do you plan on living in a new home for decades or only a few years? Be realistic with yourself and understand you may have to make some changes to this list or make sacrifices down the line. But at least you’ll know where you draw the line when it comes to affordability.
Take stock of your financial position and research what your mortgage could look like. Remember that you will have to pass a stress test to qualify for a mortgage so double check what you can afford based on that qualifying number, not on what you make. There are plenty of online calculators that make it easy to figure this out. And when you know what you’re working with, consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage. That way you’ll officially know your budget, you’ll be ready to act fast when the time comes, and you’ll have time for due diligence.
Ask any questions
There are many factors that influence what you can afford to pay for a home, from your credit score to the type of mortgage you choose and the size of your down payment. Everyone’s situation is unique, so it can help to discuss your options with a mortgage broker or specialist. Do your research ahead of time and be prepared with questions about your options.
Find more information at bmo.com/mortgage.
Stress-free tips for moving
Summer is the most popular season to move house. Weather is more co-operative, days are longer and you can connect with your new community before it quiets down for the winter. Plus, kids can settle in in time for the school year. That said, moving can have its challenges in any season, so here are some quick tips to help:
· Don’t wait
It’s never too early to plan your move once you know the date. Start decluttering right away so you’ll have less to pack, and be sure to promptly secure people and vehicles to help – whether that’s confirming the date for your buddy’s truck or booking a team of professionals.
· Fuel up
Moving day can be so busy that it’s easy to forget to pause for meals. But you know it’s important to eat so you can keep up your strength and stay hydrated. This is especially important on hot summer days when the risk of heat stroke is highest.
· Dress right
All the bending and lifting you’ll be doing on moving day can put a real strain on your body, so proper clothes and well-fitting, supportive shoes are crucial. A pair of insoles like Dr. Scholl’s Tri- Comfort Insoles or Custom Fit Orthotics can provide the cushioning and support you need to move all day pain free.
How do I overcome extreme heat in my house?
In the winter you can put on layers and hopefully turn up the heat. But if you don’t have air conditioning in your home, it may be difficult to stay comfortable when the temperature rises high. Here are some in your overheating home:
- Close your curtains and blinds to block out the heat of the sun
- Open windows overnight to let cool air in, if it’s safe
- Go somewhere air conditioned for a couple of hours to take a break from the heat
- Have friends or family stop by to check on you and see if you’re okay
- Be patient with yourself, as it’s hard to be physically or mentally productive when you’re very hot
- Plan and prepare recipes that don’t need the oven — cold or no-cook meals are best
- Drink cool liquids such as water before you feel thirsty to keep hydrated
- Dress to keep cool in light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics
If your home is very hot, it’s also important to watch for the signs of heat illness. Keep an eye out for symptoms like unusually rapid heartbeat and breathing, nausea or vomiting, dizziness or fainting, and extreme thirst. If you experience them, get somewhere cool immediately and drink cool liquids.
Call 911 if someone you’re with has a very high body temperature, is unconscious or confused, or has stopped sweating. These can be signs of heat stroke, which is a medical emergency. Find more information and tips for staying cool at Canada.ca/health.