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7 Strategies for Sleep When Mourning a Loved One

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When mourning the passing of a loved one, it’s important to take care of yourself and get plenty of sleep. Scientists have demonstrated that sleep plays an important part in brain plasticity and immune function. However, grief can often disrupt your sleeping patterns. Here are a few methods to try when you can’t sleep, courtesy of Shushan Khachatryan, LMFT.

1. Don’t Fight It

Often when you’re trying to sleep and you can’t, your first response is to fight it. It’s easy to get frustrated that you aren’t sleeping, which only makes sleep even harder to come by. If you’re struggling to get to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night, just get out of bed and do something else. Don’t fight sleeplessness; just work with it. 

2. Try Something Mundane or Relaxing

Electronics can provide a source of entertainment, communication, and distraction during the grieving process. However, it’s important to turn them off at least 30 minutes before going to sleep so that your body can produce natural chemicals like melatonin, which aid in the sleep process. 

If you can’t sleep, do a relaxing activity or something that doesn’t involve much brain power. This can include a household chore, such as folding laundry, doing the dishes, or cleaning. 

3. Have a Nightly Routine

A nightly routine can send your body signals that it’s time to go to bed. A nightly routine can include de-stressing activities such as journaling, mindfulness meditation, reading a book, going for a short walk, or coloring. Start your nightly routine an hour before bed so your body can begin to accept the weariness.

4. Exercise Earlier in the Day

Self-care includes exercising regularly. Go for a run or do some exercises that help you feel good. While caffeine can sometimes provide a powerful workout boost, it’s important to remember that taking it too close to bedtime can disrupt normal sleep and adversely affect your circadian clock. If you exercise in the evening, do it no later than 8 p.m. in order to wind down effectively.

5. Eat a High-Fiber Diet

Foods that are high in fat or sugar can alter your body’s normal metabolic patterns before sleep and are a major culprit for sleep problems. The solution to this is eating a high-fiber diet that gives you plenty of healthy options. Leafy greens are always a good idea, but nuts and berries also contain a decent amount of fiber as well. Most fruits and vegetables should be sufficient, as well as whole grains.

6. Avoid Stressful Activities at Night

Stress is one of the most common issues that individuals encounter when they have problems falling asleep. Finding relaxation techniques like meditation is an important part of quieting the mind and getting sleep. There are some responsibilities that can wait until the next day. Give yourself permission to tune out the cares of the world for a little while. You’ve earned it.

7. Invest in Whatever May Help

Sometimes, you get sleep with a little help from a variety of sources. You might need a new mattress or soft, cool bedding. Take a look at your pillows, too. A lumbar pillow can be a great option for something that is decorative but also functional. You can use it like a body pillow or to prop yourself up in bed. 

Look into sleep-related tech, too. You may benefit from items such as white noise machines, sleep masks, or other new forms of sleep technology. If it’s in your budget, it’s worth looking into whatever gadgets can help you.

Care for Yourself During this Time

Sleep deprivation frequently occurs with bereavement, says Psychology Today. Because sleep is necessary for mental and physical health, it’s critical for the sufferer to find new sleep techniques and strategies. It can be a struggle, but don’t fight it, and try different methods to find what works for you. The sooner you have quality sleep, the sooner you can focus on living life in a positive and meaningful way.  

There is no quick fix for grief, but talking through your emotions and fears can help you to process your experience and perhaps even sleep a little better. Reach out to Shushan Khachatryan, LMFT to set up a session and begin your healing journey.

Author: Jennifer Scott

Categories: Uncategorized

7 Actionable Steps to Kickstart Your Journey Toward Achieving Your Goals

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Living your best life and achieving your goals can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With a few simple changes to your daily routine and mindset, you can set yourself up for success and start living the life you’ve always dreamed of. In this article, Psychotherapist Shushan Khachatryan explores some practical steps you can take right now to achieve your goals and live your best life.

Make Time for Self-Care

Self-care is an essential part of living a healthy, happy life. It involves taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. To create a self-care routine, start by thinking about activities that bring you joy and make you feel good. This could be anything from taking a relaxing bath to practicing yoga or meditation. Make time for self-care activities every day, no matter how busy you are. Even if it’s just 10-15 minutes, taking the time to care for yourself will help you feel calmer, happier, and more energized.

Don’t Scrimp on Sleep

Getting enough sleep is vital to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is during this time that our bodies repair and recharge, allowing us to function at our best throughout the day. Experts recommend aiming for around 7 hours of restful sleep per night and establishing a consistent sleep schedule to reap the benefits of a good night’s rest.

Clean Your Home, Declutter the Mind

Your home environment can have a significant impact on your mental health. Clutter and mess can cause stress and anxiety, while a clean and organized home can help you feel calm and in control. Take some time to deep clean your home, decluttering and organizing as you go. You may be surprised at how much better you feel afterward when you clean your home right.

Set SMART, New Goals

Goal-setting is an excellent way to stay focused and motivated. When setting goals, it’s important to make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” set a SMART goal such as “I want to lose 10 pounds in the next three months by going to the gym four times a week and eating a balanced diet.”

Recognize Burnout to Fight It

Burnout is a common occurrence in today’s fast-paced world, especially for those who are striving to achieve their dreams. However, recognizing the warning signs of burnout is crucial, including feelings of exhaustion, irritability, and unproductivity. It’s important to take a break when you notice these signs and engage in self-care activities to recharge and prevent burnout from interfering with your goals.

Reinvent Yourself With Education

Education is a powerful tool that can help you achieve your goals and boost your earning potential. Going back to school for an online degree in a field you’re passionate about can open up new opportunities and help you progress in your career. Check it out for more info and take the first step towards achieving your goals.

Pursue a New, More Fulfilling Career

Feeling stuck in a job can be incredibly frustrating and demotivating. If you’re in this position, it may be time to consider a change. Take the time to explore fields that interest you and align with your values and strengths to find a fulfilling job that can make a significant difference in your overall happiness and well-being.

In conclusion, living a fulfilling life doesn’t have to be complicated. Prioritizing self-care, improving your mental health through activities such as deep cleaning your home, or pursuing an online degree to enhance your earning potential can help you achieve your goals and live the life you’ve always desired. Remember that it’s never too late to start, so take small steps, stay focused, and keep pushing toward your goals.

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Author: Jennifer Scott for Shushan Khachatryan, LMFT

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How to Positively Cope With Midlife Crisis

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When a midlife crisis hits you, you may feel frustrated and insecure. A midlife crisis might be caused by various factors, such as changes in your career, relationships, family structure, and doubt about your life’s meaning. But, midlife doesn’t have to be a stressful stage in your life. You can sidestep it and experience peace with just a bit of positivity and inspiration. Read on to learn how to face your midlife crisis with positivity in Woodland Hills.

Focus on Self-Care

Simple things, such as lack of self-care, can ultimately lead to a midlife crisis. Consider taking good care of yourself every day. This can include eating healthily, exercising, meditating, having fun, spending more time outdoors, and getting enough sleep. Practicing these habits can reduce stress and improve general health, allowing you to focus on things that matter in your life. 

You may also find equipment and products in Woodland Hills to make your life easier. For example, you can invest in workout equipment, highly rated kitchen gadgets, and other health-focused products to help you live a healthy life. However, as you buy these products, thoroughly research and check product reviews from unbiased sources. 

Search for Your Passion

Sometimes, your midlife crisis may be due to a lack of direction or purpose. It can be helpful to re-examine your life choices and contemplate dreams and passions you gave up along the way. For example, if you love traveling, take this time to find and visit amazing places in and beyond Woodland Hills.

Find Your Independence

Most people tend to conform to the world’s pressures, such as getting married and finding a job to earn a living. If you feel your current path isn’t working for you, consider making major life changes. Perhaps a career change would help. You can even consider starting your own business to gain autonomy and focus on things you’re passionate about. 

On the other hand, you might want to go back to school to earn a degree in something you’re interested in. Fortunately, in Woodland Hills, you can find universities where you can study part-time. Alternatively, consider an online course to ensure you can still work and have time for your family. Be sure to find an accredited school that offers competitive tuition rates. 

Reconnect With Friends and Family Members

When going through a midlife crisis, surround yourself with friends and family members who care about you. They can be your support system when you have no courage or

strength to keep moving. You may find that some are going through the same experience, allowing you to share and learn from each other. Learning that midlife crisis is common can help you internalize the idea, helping you face it with positivity. 

Need More Help?

Midlife doesn’t have to be frustrating if you follow the tips above. However, if you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to contact a therapist to help you cope with these challenges. If you’re in and around LA and Ventura County,  contact Shushan Khachatryan, a skilled and experienced psychotherapist, to help you through this challenging time. 

Article written by Jennifer Scott for

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Grief and Loss for Seniors: The Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

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When seniors experience the loss of a spouse, the grief can be debilitating. Their life’s companion, the person they made life-changing decisions with, the person by their side for better or worse, is gone. Some clinicians believe that we move through stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. However, if an elderly widow or widower becomes too ingrained in one of those stages, the grief can turn into something much more serious.

What grief looks like

Grief with seniors comes in many forms. When dealing with the death of a spouse, seniors may experience:

  • Inability to make decisions
  • Loss of energy and appetite
  • Painful longing for their partner
  • Anger or guilt at being left behind
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Bouts of depression or disorientation

How to help

Whether or not a grieving senior reaches out for help, you can watch for these signs and offer gentle support. Be a polite but persistent presence. Be sure to acknowledge their feelings. When they are ready and open, share your own memories and encourage them to share theirs. Be a good listener. Let them talk, or sit with them in silence. They may likely be confused, sad, angry and guilty; let them vocalize these feelings in a safe space, with no feelings of judgement. 

Be proactive. Talk with the grieving senior about the practical assistance you can give. Offer to help them with chores around the house, paying bills, maintaining vehicles, and getting exercise and socializing. This way not only can you help reduce their stress during a difficult time, but you can always watch for the warning signs that they might be plummeting deeper into their grief.

One easy way to get a grieving senior out of their grief is by helping them connect with others. Reaching out to former classmates is a great way to help break through the dark fog of mourning.

Issues can arise

It’s not uncommon for grieving spouses to rely on advice from others to cope with their loss. However, sometimes when people are dealing with deep emptiness and loss, they turn to substances to numb the pain. This is especially dangerous for seniors, many of whom are on medications that might have adverse complications with drugs and alcohol.

Sometimes seniors view reaching out for help as a sign of weakness or as a burden to their families. When dealing with the darkness alone, they might turn to the comfort of prescription medications or alcohol. Studies show people over 65 tend to be generously prescribed medications for blood pressure, pain, anxiety and depression. If an elderly widow or widower is prescribed these medications, he or she may start increasing the dose or frequency to help calm nerves and emotions. 

On the other hand, these medications can also be much stronger if taken with or on alcohol. Have you noticed the surviving senior drinking more than usual? Have you noticed overt or subtle signs of intoxication more frequently than you’d like? This could be a sign that the surviving senior spouse might be succumbing to the grip of substance abuse

It might be tempting to ignore these signs, even for a little while. You may think that a little extra help during this tough time isn’t so bad. It might be so hard to watch them go through the grief that you might even think they deserve a little escape. This can be a slippery slope. 

When a senior suffers loss, they may exhibit behaviors that are out of the norm. Be patient and understanding, but also be observant to their triggers and coping mechanisms. Keep watch for activities that might cause a downward spiral. 

Paying attention—that’s the best way to help an elderly person who is suffering from the loss of a loved one. Be present, be attentive, and be supportive. That way you can recognize the signs of a healthy healing process or when something more dangerous is going on. Encourage them to see their doctor or speak to a trusted advisor for counseling.

This article is brought to you by Shushan Khachatryan, a psychotherapist providing therapy to individuals, couples, and adolescents. Shushan’s goal is to assist you in your journey of working towards your potential and improving your well-being. For more information, contact her today at (818) 926-3030.

Author: Jennifer Scott

Categories: Uncategorized

Tips for Immigrants Who Want To Support Their Old and New Communities

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Immigrants seeking a better life help create a wonderful culture of diversity. But along with the benefits of earning a living as an immigrant, there are also challenges. Cultural differences can be confusing or mysterious at first, and there is also the consideration of how you’ll help your family back home with their financial needs. Here are a few tips for immigrants who want to engage their new communities while also supporting their families.

If you need help coping or are struggling with anxiety as a new immigrant, psychotherapist Shushan Khachatryan can help you handle life’s challenges. Call or text (818) 926-3030. 

Consider Starting a Business

Many immigrants choose to work for an employer. There is nothing wrong with this choice, but if you want to maximize your earning potential, you may want to consider opening your own business. Many immigrants are highly successful as entrepreneurs.

When starting a business, consider forming a limited liability company. While there are other business structures available, an LLC offers tax advantages and flexibility that other business types don’t offer. The tax advantages of an LLC may help you save more money so you can send more back to your family. 

Selecting the right business tools to help your operation run smoothly is also important. Look for as much automation as possible, such as software that can assist in inventory management, time tracking, payroll, sales, and reporting. Look for software with apps that allow for remote use so you can make the best financial decisions in a timely manner.

Send Money and Packages Back Home Periodically

If you know your family back home is struggling, send them money and care packages periodically. Transferring money back home can be done in a variety of ways. Many immigrants choose to send money transfers through their banks, but you can save by using a low-fee money transfer service like Remitly. For example, if you need to send money to Brazil, you can use their $5.99 express option which will transfer your money in just a few minutes. If you’re sending care packages to a country like India, Parcel Monkey offers affordable rates and home pickup. 

Learn About Resources Available to You

There are a variety of resources available for immigrants, so it’s important to take advantage of them. In addition to organizations that provide legal assistance, there are also educational services, study abroad opportunities and more available. You’re never alone as an immigrant, so take the time to research organizations and resources near you. Check with your local government leaders if you aren’t sure what resources are available for immigrants in your area. They should help point you in the direction of organizations that can help you acclimate to your new environment. 

Become Involved in Your Community

Though it may seem intimidating at first, it’s important to get involved in your new community. Become an active part of local events so you can enrich the lives of those around you. As an immigrant, you bring a unique perspective to the table and can help improve the atmosphere for others like you. You can get more involved by building relationships with government leaders and organizations near you. You can also help bring attention to issues that directly concern immigrants. Attend local meetings when possible, and as Psych Central suggests, do what you can to volunteer to improve the new community you now call home. 

Volunteering can not only help you help your new home, it can also help you develop your career or business. It’s loaded with networking opportunities, and it’s a chance to grow your skill set. 

Every immigrant has the potential to become a valued and involved member of his or her new community. Consider what that will look like for you; there are opportunities to plug in through volunteering, a new job, or even a business of your own. Connect with the resources available, and reap the many benefits your new home offers. 

Author: Cheryl Conklin

Wellness Central

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How To Be You At Your Best

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What does it mean to live your best life? The answer will be different depending on who you are and what stage you are currently in. Regardless of how you envision an ideal existence, there are a few common steps you can take to get there. Eating right, exercising, being positive, and learning to love without inhibitions are universal ways to care for yourself so that you can create the best version of you there is. Here’s some helpful tips and advice to get you started, brought to you by psychotherapist Shushan Khachatryan.

Eat right all the time.

As the Wildly Healthy Coaching blog points out, eating better does not mean changing your lifestyle all at once. Instead, a healthy diet, like achieving your goals, starts with small steps. You might, for example, plant a garden in 2021 instead of buying all of your produce at the grocery store. If this isn’t an option, plan to get your fruits and vegetables from local farmers, which typically follow organic farming practices — meaning your food has fewer chemicals. Start each day with breakfast, and don’t shy away from energy-boosting snacks, which will keep you physically and mentally ready for whatever challenges lie ahead.

Don’t neglect your oral health.

At the end of a long day, you may be tempted to crash into bed without brushing or flossing your teeth. Don’t let that happen! Not only is tooth decay and gum disease linked to problems such as heart disease, they can also cause you to experience mental health issues such as depression. So, make sure you develop an oral health routine that you can stick to. If crooked or misaligned teeth are making it difficult to keep your teeth clean, there are at-home options available that can correct this problem in as little as three months. Byte, for example, offers clear plastic teeth aligners that straighten crooked teeth without the need for multiple trips to your dentist’s office. But don’t let that scare you; your progress is monitored remotely by a team of qualified professionals, ensuring you still get top-notch treatment. However, it’s important to note that extreme cases may require oral surgery.

Find fun in your fitness routine.

Many people sadly look at working out as a chore rather than a fun and often family-oriented activity. Let go of this notion, and open your mind to looking at fitness as playtime instead. The best way to enjoy physical activity is to go outside. Hike, swim, bike, or work in the garden. The more time you spend outdoors (even digging in the dirt), the more vitamin D, sunshine, and exercise you’ll get.

Can’t always get outside? Start a fitness routine using your phone, TV, or other smart device. If it’s time to upgrade, your wireless provider might have a special offer, so check online so you’re not stressing over money when you’re trying to enjoy a fitness routine. This will allow you to download apps and stream videos seamlessly, which can cut out some of the frustration of getting acclimated to a new routine. You can also use your phone to cast YouTube workout videos straight to your television.

Prioritize positivity.

Life is not always peaches and cream. But life is what you make it. Look for ways to add a dose of positivity to each day. Start by evaluating the space in which you live. If your home or apartment feels cramped and unclean, open the windows and purge all the things you no longer need. Redfin asserts that booting out bad energy can also relieve tension, which is especially important if the members of your family are already arguing and overly critical for no apparent reason.

Positivity does not only come from your environment but from within, as well. If you want to truly live your very best life, you have to work on yourself. Thrive Global recommends paying attention to your body language, letting yourself go blank for a moment, and finding a creative outlet for negative thoughts.

Love without fear.

For most adults, our mental and physical health doesn’t feel fully complete unless we are comfortable loving the people around us without restrictions. This could be a lover, a best friend, or a child. Unfortunately, many of us are afraid to let our guard down, despite strong personal bonds. But love is a basic human need and a physical and emotional drive. Learn to love yourself and others without fear or inhibitions, and you just may find that each day is that much brighter.

Being happy, healthy, and whole is largely influenced by how you treat yourself. Fuel your body like the temple it is, enjoy your exercise routine, and be positive and loving to yourself and those around you. Other healthy habits will fall into place, and you will soon be living your very best life. The best part is that it won’t be forced, but a natural progression that starts with a positive attitude and ends and a better you.

Author: Jennifer Scott

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4 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Stressful Situations During the Pandemic

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Self-isolating has many positive impacts on reducing the spread of COVID-19, but it also has several negative impacts on our mental and physical health. This is especially true for larger households. Are the stress and tension rising at home? With school happening in the dining room and conference calls in the living room, the lines between work and home are more blurred than ever. Here are a few ways to alleviate some common household stressors during the pandemic.

Make remote work more comfortable.

Parents and kids are both struggling with the new world of virtual learning. It can be frustrating when technology won’t work properly, especially when you need it to. You can keep the entire household calmer by proactively addressing common tech troubles ahead of time. For example, set computers to manually update and turn them all off at night. That can result in fewer random computer restarts, like in the middle of math class or your big presentation. 

Also, consider increasing your internet speeds to accommodate all users who will be on simultaneously, whether they’re working, doing schoolwork, or playing video games. You can combat lag and boost your internet speed by upgrading to 5G internet if it’s available in your location. 

Start meditating together.

Getting everyone in the family to do daily meditation can alter stress and tension in a variety of ways. Research shows that meditation reduces stress by lowering blood pressure, but it also relaxes your muscles — easing back, neck, and shoulder pain in the process. 

There are many benefits to meditation. For example, meditation can help your family empathize more with each other. We also suggest creating morning and evening routines that focus on meditation to improve energy levels.

Stay active and eat healthy.

It can be tough to stay motivated when you’re in self-isolation. But if COVID-19 is turning you into a couch potato, it’s likely doing the same for your kids. That can lead to unhealthy habits, sedentary lifestyles, and poor coping mechanisms.

Keep your family active by going on walks and doing online exercise classes together. There are plenty of free videos on YouTube you can follow or you can sign up for live virtual classes with a local gym — which also allows your local fitness professionals to stay afloat as a bonus. And be sure to eat healthy meals! Meal delivery services drop off gourmet vegetarian and vegan meals right at your door.

Practice an attitude of gratitude.

When you are proactively grateful, you stand a better chance of feeling less stress even in typically stressful situations. Gather your family around the dinner table and turn it into a conversation about gratitude, discussing the many ways we feel thankful for a valuable experience or lesson learned.

When your family practices gratitude, you help them build up a defense against depression, see new opportunities, feel optimistic, show more empathy, and boost feelings of self-worth. These are all ways to move through painful or tense situations of isolation and into feelings of support, unity, and camaraderie. 

Self-isolating with family can be a stressful time. In many ways, we’re going to look back on COVID-19 and see that, while in some ways we’ve been separated, we’ve also had more time together. Help your family reframe stressful situations into learning opportunities with positive outcomes. 

If you need someone to talk to or options for managing your own mental health, Shushan Khachatryan offers professional therapy to help you cope with life’s challenges. Call (818) 926-3030 to request an appointment. 

Author: Cheryl Conklin from Wellness Central

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5 Budget-Friendly Hobbies That are Fun for Anyone

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Looking for some fun new hobbies to add to your skill set but also looking to stay within a tight budget? Hobbies are important for relieving stress, but they shouldn’t cause you to stress about money. Here are five ways you can pick up new skills without putting a dent in your savings.

1) Discover a New Sport

Exercise can give you more energy and help you feel happier. So, why not spend some time learning how to play a new sport? Whether you prefer to play alone or as a team, there is a sport that is right for you. You can pick up tennis, golf, or swimming as an active hobby, and you can even save money on new sports equipment. Look for ways to keep costs down by using online promo codes, coupons, and cashback offers.

2) Pick Up a New Instrument

Music adds so much spice to our everyday lives, and you can take your love of music one step further by learning to play an instrument. Use promo codes to save on your instrument and sheet music purchases at retailers like Amazon. Once you have what you need, you can learn at home with online tutorials, go to group classes or look for discounted lessons and coupons through sites like Groupon. Want an even less expensive way to make music? Work on your singing game for an instrument-free way to immerse yourself in music.

3) Relax with Arts and Crafts

Another creative way to reduce stress and keep your hobby costs down is to get into arts and crafts. You can make art out of anything, from painting watercolors to creating sculptures out of literal garbage. You can also get the art supplies you need, such as brushes, paper, and paint, without maxing out your budget. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to pay full price at craft stores like Michaels with all the online promo codes and coupons available. Many of these stores offer low-cost classes to help you improve your skills, but you can also learn valuable tips online.

4) Grow a Container Garden

If you’ve been itching to get your green thumb dirty, but have been concerned about costs that container gardens may be your best option. Retailers like Home Depot have sales and deals online and they also have plenty of container options to fit any home size. You can also use items around your home — such as colanders, buckets, and even pots — to grow your own little garden of flowers, plants, or edibles. Still, make sure you look for promo codes or discount offers to help you save on soil, seeds, and other gardening supplies. While you’re online, try looking for easy gardening tips to get your green dreams started.

5) Get Creative with Makeup

You’re probably wondering how makeup can be a hobby? However, if you’ve been paying attention to social media, you know that influencers have turned makeup application into a multi-faceted, expressive skill. You can pick up tips to enhance your everyday look or get really creative with some special effects makeup. Best of all, there are plenty of drug-store and bargain-beauty brands to help you keep your cosmetic game on point. You can also easily find in-store and in-app coupon codes for stores like Sephora, where you can pick up makeup at any price point. Many stores also offer free classes or you can just look up tutorials online to help kill some stress putting together some fierce makeup looks.

Convert your Hobby into a Business

Many hobbyists are looking to put their business savvy into converting a part-time hobby into full-time revenue. If your personal and professional goals align, you could have the ultimate career: doing what you love. The starting point is often researching your market and defining your audience. Once that pencils out, it’s time to review the legal requirements for starting a business in your state.

There are a dozen potential business structures, but one that is very popular with the hobbyist-turned-entrepreneur community is the LLC. Attractive for its tax benefits, security, and ease of set up, there are still a number of steps required to establish a bonafide business. Luckily a formation service can assist with the process and is substantially less expensive than hiring an attorney.

There are tons of ways to save on the supplies you need to pick up new skills, and you can pick up lessons online or with friends. Don’t let your budget hold you back from learning a hobby!

Photo Credit: Pexels

Author: Jennifer Scott

Categories: Uncategorized

10 Skills To Help You Cope with Life

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Life can get tough, and sometimes it feels as though the burdens you bear will crush you beneath their weight. But they don’t have to. In addition to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine, your personal leisure activities can help you cope with everything life throws your way with the added benefits of learning a new skill and socializing with friends old and new. There are many ways to learn new skills whether through instructional videos, apps, or in-person classes. Keep reading for 10 hobbies to prioritize when you’re in a personal pickle.

Of course, adopting a hobby isn’t a substitution for getting help from a mental health professional if you’re truly struggling. If you think you may be experiencing an emotional wellness issue, contact Shushan Khachatryan, a Psychotherapist who treats depression, anxiety, trauma, OCD, and relationship issues.

Leverage Technology

Before you get started on a new hobby, think about how you’re going to learn. While there are many classes you can take in person, you can also learn through online tutorials and apps, which are especially useful if you can’t afford or don’t have the time to attend a class. You can use your smartphone to access the apps and tutorials of the hobby you choose, but you may need to upgrade your data plan to handle your usage and avoid being charged for overage. Check with your cell service provider to find a plan that suits what you need. 

10 Hobbies/Skills to Learn

1. Dancing. Few things push our physical boundaries more than the art of dance. It’s a great cardiovascular exercise that can help you get up close and personal with your partner.

2. Playing music. Learning a musical instrument has a long list of benefits that deserves a post of its own. You can learn music online or at any number of local music schools throughout the country. Musicradar interviewed a number of musicians after World Guitar Day 2017 and found that, among other things, playing music enhances creativity and can help strengthen your support network. There are also apps available for learning all kinds of instruments.

3. Drawing. Contrary to popular belief, people are not always born artists. Drawing is a skill that can be learned and there are multiple mediums to experiment with.

4. Language. Hej, halò, bonjour, and hello. Learning a new language can open up a whole new world and may even enhance your employment opportunities. And since you have to have someone to talk to, it makes the perfect pastime to do with family. Pushing foreign words into your head increases neuroplasticity, meaning it makes your brain cells grow back when they die off. Language-learning apps include Memrise and Duolingo.

5. Martial arts. Self-defense is a vital skill that everyone should learn. Martial arts in particular is in excellent activity for kids and adults alike as it helps develop teamwork skills and increases self-esteem.

6. Traveling. Inc. says it best, “Travel is a great way to liberate you from the daily routine of your life.” Learn how to travel on a budget by scouring the internet and your local library for information on out-of-the-way places.

7. Sewing. Sewing is a creative outlet that can save you money in the long run. Not only will you learn how to mend your own trousers, but also it will change the way you look at your current wardrobe.

8. Public speaking. Speaking to a crowd of people can be intimidating but learning how to speak in public can help you be more comfortable around others and will even open up opportunities for you to make a difference in your community and career.

9. Cooking. Maybe you grew up with a personal chef. Maybe you got burned as a child and haven’t ventured into the kitchen since. Whatever the reason you haven’t mastered the mixer, there’s never a bad time to learn how to cook. This valuable life skill can be learned in your spare time. Heather Barnett of SheKnows put together this recent list of online cooking classes so now you have no excuses.

10. Pottery. Manual dexterity and a new coffee mug are only two of the benefits you’ll gain from taking a pottery class. This ancient art form is good for the mind and can help you clear your head of negative thoughts.

Your Old Hobby is a New Career

Since we’re on the topic of starting new skills, it’s time to talk about taking old skills and turning them into new careers. Not many people realize that their lives don’t have to go on hold to start a new career or go back to school. Online universities like WGU make it easy to earn a degree at your own convenience while keeping your current job and work-life balance. So, if you wanted to earn a degree in IT, for example, it wouldn’t be hard to earn a degree at home.

Don’t be afraid to pick yourself up off the pavement, grab a group of friends, and schedule a class or activity that suits your interests. You might just find your soon-to-be newfound skill is exactly what was missing from your life.

Author: Jennifer Scott

Categories: Uncategorized

How to Look and Feel Amazing When Money Is Tight

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As a whole, our priorities have shifted since mid-March. Unfortunately, this is due in part to widespread job losses, which make it exponentially more challenging to invest money and energy into things like self-care. But now is perhaps the most important time in your life to care for yourself, and you don’t have to let a damaged budget get in your way.

Eat Well

There is no disputing that the food you put into your body has a significant effect on your mind as well. Make a point to eat foods that can help stave off stress and depression, which can prevent you from falling back into unhealthy habits. This includes things like turkey breast, sweet potatoes, carrots, and avocados. You might also want to add Apple cider vinegar to your daily diet. According to a Sweet Pea Chef blog, apple cider vinegar has many benefits, perhaps the most appealing of which is that it reduces belly fat and lowers your cholesterol. It’s also one of the most affordable items on your store shelf.

Elevate Your Hygiene Routine

More than likely, you can’t get to the salon or spa just yet. But that does not mean that you can’t treat yourself to a spa experience at home. Check out self-care product sellers, such as Bath & Body Works and Sephora, for little indulgences that can help you keep your skin in top shape throughout the pandemic. Smoothing body scrubs are a great addition to your hygiene arsenal, and, with a little research, you might even find Sephora promo codes and coupons that can help you justify your purchase that much more.

Ramp Up Your Comfort

If you’ve been spending more time at home and want to stay comfortable without living in your pajamas and robe, it’s time to make a point to get dressed every day. Putting on clothes and preparing for your day can go a long way toward helping you feel better emotionally and can even put some bounce in your step. So take the time to plan an outfit the night before, even if it’s jeans and your favorite T-shirt. For extra motivation, you could use savvy spending to buy a few items like some comfortable pants, a cozy dress or a new bra. There’s truth in the saying that when you look good, you feel good.

Save Your Sanity with Fitness

Exercise is not just something you do for your physical health. Working out, whether walking (while socially distanced, of course), running, or lifting weights provides a direct outlet for your brain to produce endorphins. These feel-good chemicals can help you better appreciate what you do have — health, family, etc. — instead of fixating on what you’ve lost. But exercise equipment can get pricey, so it’s a good idea to get familiar with multi-purpose equipment that will help you stretch the money you can spend. An exercise ball, for example, costs around $20 for a high-quality one and can help you work your abs as well as perform balance exercises.

Take an Hour for Yourself Every Day

Chances are, you have more time now than ever. Evaluate whether or not you’re using it in your best interest. If you find that you’re spending all your time taking care of everyone else, which is a likely scenario, think of ways you can break free from your responsibilities for an hour every day. You might, for example, launch a Zoom meeting with your best friends or paint your nails. Similarly, there are plenty of binge-worthy TV shows available for free or through your current streaming services that can give you a mental break from reality. Don’t have an hour? Even 15 minutes calling your best friend or writing in a journal may be the internal respite you need to feel refreshed and ready to tackle whatever the day may bring.

Right now, self-care should be a top priority. And no matter what this looks like to you, whether you want to stay fit, change your diet, or pamper yourself a bit, it matters that you do it. Remember, you cannot run on an empty tank, and you have to fuel your mind and body to look and feel your best each and every day. And you don’t have to go broke to do it.


Image via Pexels

Thanks to author Cheryl Conklin at Wellness Central for the content.


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