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    • How to Make the Holidays Less Stressful for the Whole Family

      25 October 2021

      (Family Features) Between changes in routine and visiting family (or having them visit you), the holidays can be emotionally overwhelming for children and adults alike, even in “normal times.” Add in inclement weather, the desire for a perfect holiday and parents still working, and you have a perfect cocktail for emotional meltdowns.

      “The key to enjoying whatever this holiday season brings is to acknowledge the range of emotions the entire family may be feeling and hold space for those feelings,” said Ariel Acosta from KinderCare’s Inclusion Services team. “By working on a few key things now before the heightened expectations and busyness set in, families can build a toolbox of skills that will help make the season less stressful for everyone.”

      Consider these tips to help families prepare for a less stressful holiday season.

      Find ways to destress as a family – Throw on some music and have a dance party. Incorporate some simple yoga moves or stretches into your day to create mindful moments. Help your children create a list of calm-down techniques to choose from when they start to become overwhelmed or as a way to reset after an outburst, such as taking a deep breath.

      Set expectations for greetings – Talk with your children about your family’s expectations around greetings and help them think of and practice different ways to say hello, such as a hug, handshake, high-five, wave or verbal greeting. Giving your children options ahead of time allows them to choose the greeting that feels most comfortable in the moment. To lessen the pressure, make sure family members and friends understand what you and your children are comfortable with. For example, “It looks like Zazil doesn’t want a hug right now, Auntie Mei. Perhaps a high-five would be better.”

      Give your children (and yourself) grace – Talk with your children about the range of emotions you feel throughout the day. This can help them learn emotional literacy and flexible thinking. It also normalizes feelings. When a big feeling does happen, remember to connect before you correct by labeling and validating your child’s emotions: “I can see that you’re really sad we have to leave the party. Leaving makes me feel sad, too. What would help you feel better?”

      If your child is engaged in unsafe behaviors, like hitting, wait until after everyone is calm before talking about what could be done differently next time.

      “How you handle your mistakes can be a powerful example for your children,” Acosta said. “Once you’re calm, explain what happened to your children. Start by naming your emotion, apologize if you didn’t handle your feelings well and let your children know what you plan to do differently next time. ‘I was really mad you two were arguing and I yelled. I shouldn’t have done that. Next time, I’m going to try to remember to take some deep breaths to help me speak more kindly.’”

      For more tips to help your children with social and emotional development, visit kindercare.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Buying a New Mattress Could Help You Sleep Better

      25 October 2021

      Are you one of the millions of people who say they have trouble sleeping? Chances are, it has something to do with your mattress and the fact that you're just not that comfortable at night, tossing and turning throughout.

      It could be that the mattress is too hard or soft for your liking, you might not like the size, or it just may be old and you feel it's time for something new.

      But buying a mattress isn't as simple as going to the store and picking one out based on looks. There is a lot that goes into buying a mattress to ensure this is something you will want to lay on night after night.

      Buying the correct mattress could be the most important purchase you make for your home because you will spend more time on it than any other piece of furniture in your home. Just think, most people try to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, so that's almost a third of your life!

      Think about other beds you've slept on over the years—at hotels, family gatherings or a friend's house—and figure out if you slept better on those beds than yours. If so, the type of mattress probably had a great deal to do with it and you should try to figure out what they have to aid in your mattress search.

      Before purchasing a mattress, you should get on top of it and try it out. You won't be able to actually take a nap in the store, but you should lay on it in the way you would fall asleep and see how it feels. Stretch out, roll from side to side, and see if it's a comfort that works. It's going to feel different than what you're used to, but different could be better. If you share the bed with a loved one, make sure he or she checks it out as well. You want everyone in the bed enjoying a peaceful sleep.

      There are numerous types of mattresses out there, with the most common being a traditional innerspring, memory foam, and hybrids that combine the two. Adjustable air mattresses, such as Sleep Number, are also somewhat popular, so make sure you try them all to figure out what's best.

      Some people like firm mattresses, while some people prefer the opposite. And not every mattress company has the same definition of firm, so again, check to make sure you like whatever level you plan to buy. You may think you don't like a hard bed, but then find it more comfortable than you imagined.

      Sleep is important so buying a mattress that will let you be comfortable is a decision that you should take seriously.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Carpet Maintenance: Why It Can Help Your Sale

      25 October 2021

      When it comes to selling a home, carpets can help.

      That's because carpet is easy to maintain and keep clean. And if there are floors in your home that are scratched up or damaged, carpet is much more affordable than new tile and hardwood floors. And there are also many options in terms of colors and styles that can give rooms a fresh and exciting look.

      Clean your carpets. Professional cleaning services are affordable and can make your carpets look brand new. If you want to save even more money, you can rent a cleaner from many supermarkets and home improvement stores. While you're at it, these machines also clean many pieces of furniture. Be sure to follow the instructions and test any kits on areas of carpets or furniture that aren't immediately visible.

      Repair It. If your carpet has sections that are damaged or badly stained, you actually can fix them. Carpet repair kits are available at many stores and YouTube offers instructional videos that take you through the process step by step.

      Buying new carpet. Let's say you have a carpet that's damaged beyond repair, or maybe there's a room in your home with wooden floors that are unsightly. Installing new carpet is an investment, but it's more affordable than other options, such as installing tile or new hardwood floors, and it could make the difference between selling and not selling.

      Unless you're selling in a very high-income area, you don't have to spend money on expensive carpets. Go with something appealing but reasonably priced. Light, neutral colors offer a lot of appeal, but avoid white, as dirt is more visible on it. To complement your new carpet, give the room a paint job to make it look in tip-top shape. Then cap it off with flowers and other decorative touches.

      The right carpet could help you make the right sale for your home.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Space Heater Safety Tips

      22 October 2021

      During the colder months, many families throughout the country rely on space heaters to help heat their homes. However, if not used properly, the devices could pose a serious fire risk.

      According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Committee (CPSC), portable electric heaters are involved in about 1,100 fires per year, resulting in about 50 deaths, dozens of injuries and millions of dollars in property loss. Taking this one step further, the National Fire Protection Agency notes that 32 percent of home heating fires involve space heaters, resulting in about 80 percent of home heating fire deaths in the U.S.

      To help keep your family safe, warm and cozy, the CPSC offers the following tips for using a space heater:

      • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home, outside all sleeping areas and inside each bedroom. Test the alarms once a month.
      • When purchasing a space heater, make sure it has a safety seal of a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as UL.
      • Keep curtains, sofas, beds, clothes, papers and other flammable materials at least three feet away from the device. This includes the front, sides and rear of the heater.
      • Before using your space heater, make sure it’s placed on a stable, flat surface in a location where it can’t be knocked over.
      • To reduce the risk of fire, don’t use extension cords or power strips with your space heater.
      • Don’t run the heater’s cord under rugs or carpeting. This can damage the cord, causing it and nearby objects to burn.
      • Be sure the heater plug fits tightly into the wall outlet. If not, don’t use that outlet to power the heater.
      • If the heater plug, cord, wall outlet or faceplate is hot when the space heater is in use, turn it off and have a qualified electrician come inspect the unit.
      • Make sure to turn the heater off when leaving your home or heading to bed at night.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 3 Ways to Live a More Sustainable Life With Your Pet

      22 October 2021

      (Family Features) Many people around the world are opting to live greener and more sustainable lifestyles. Feeling good about the future can lead to more thoughtful practices with your pet, and it just takes a few simple steps to make the shift toward eco-friendly pet parenting and reduce your carbon pawprint.

      One of the main responsibilities eco-conscious pet parents face is making sure their dogs and cats are happy and in good health, while carefully striking the balance between their pets’ needs and sustainable practices.

      Every step you take toward protecting the earth can add up for the environment. Consider these tips and tricks from KARMA® pet food to live a more conscious lifestyle with your furry companion. For more information on how to lead a more earth-friendly lifestyle, visit KARMAPetFoods.com.

      Choose Sustainable Options
      There are many ways to lead a more environmentally conscious lifestyle with pets. Look for collars, leashes and bedding made from recyclable plastics or sustainable materials like bamboo or hemp. This simple step can significantly reduce the amount of pet-related plastic bound for landfills.Try an Environmentally Conscious Dog Food

      When your pet eats healthy, it can lead to a happier life. When looking for a plant-first food, it’s also important to choose one that supports strong, lean bodies and provides high-quality protein to nourish their whole-body vitality, such as KARMA Balanced Nutrition. It offers a balance of whole grains, healthy fats and protein, crafted with more than 60% plants, plus real chicken or white fish. Plus, the packaging is recyclable through a partnership with TerraCycle, and it’s crafted at a site committed to zero waste to landfills. Purchasing dog food or products that can be recycled or repurposed can help reduce the environmental footprint that much more.

      Scoop Poop with Purpose
      Dog waste left unattended can be more than just an annoyance on your afternoon walks. The bacteria from leftover waste can be harmful to plants, animals and other people. Always be sure to pick up after your pets and try using biodegradable bags, rather than plastic ones, to reduce the amount of plastic going into landfills.

      SOURCE: Karma

      Published with permission from RISMedia.