Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Are They Only Interested in Your Wallet? 7 Signs to Watch Out For

We've all been there - you meet someone promising who seems really into you at first, but over time you start to wonder if their motivation has more to do with your money than your actual relationship. 

Figuring out someone's true intentions can be tricky, especially in the early stages of dating. However, there are some subtle signs you can watch out for that may indicate they're mainly focused on your finances rather than you as a person.

Here are 7 key red flags to look for:

1. Lavish Gifts Right Away

One of the earliest signs is receiving overly expensive or lavish gifts very early on in the relationship or dating process. Someone genuinely interested in you as a person will take things slow and focus on getting to know each other before splurging on extravagant presents. However, someone primarily after your money may shower you with luxurious and costly gifts very quickly as a way to gain your affection and trust without having truly earned it. 

Expensive presents should feel meaningful based on shared interests or inside jokes - not seem like obvious attempts to impress you with how much they're willing to spend. Proceed with caution if luxurious gifts arrive before an emotional connection has truly been established.

2. Constant Mentions of Money

Another problematic pattern is if dates of conversations regularly seem to circle back to discussing your financial status, career success, income potential or overall net worth. Someone sincerely interested in you as a partner wants to understand your hopes, dreams, values and personality - not constantly probe for monetary details. 

Casual yet frequent questions about how much you make, whether you own property, or what your long term financial plans entail can indicate that personal details about your wealth may be among their top priorities rather than who you are as an individual. Be wary of anyone who doesn't seem able to carry a conversation without repeatedly steering it toward monetary topics.

3. Pressure for Joint Finances

A red flag is if someone starts applying pressure very early on for you to join finances, get a shared bank account, co-sign loans, put them on property deeds or otherwise financially entangle your lives before trust and commitment have truly had time to develop naturally over months or years. 

Rushing into legally or financially binding your lives together prematurely is a major warning sign that fiscal gain may be one of their primary motivations rather than a caring, supportive partnership. Genuine relationships progress at a healthy pace with mutual understanding and respect - not undue pressures to merge money matters before you truly feel ready based on the growth of your connection.

4. Unwillingness to Split Costs

Someone genuinely into you won't keep score or obsess over who pays for what on each date. However, lack of willingness to ever contribute financially or constant expectation that you will foot most bills can indicate selfish motives. 

Offering to split the check or trade off who treats is standard courtesy early on. Blatant assumption that due to your perceived higher income you should always or mostly pay is an insincere dynamic. Financially generous people care about equality and fairness in relationships rather than viewing their partner primarily as a source of free meals and entertainment.

5. Lack of Interest in Your Career

While passion for a partner's job or studies isn't essential, the disconnecting sign is zero interest or understanding of your professional path despite months of dating. Asking probing questions to genuinely learn about your career goals, projects or field of work shows interest in you as a complex individual rather than surface-level social media profile facts. 

However, lack of active listening and recalling career details indicates minimal care about who you are developing into outside of financial worth. Someone serious sees your multi-dimensional life and respects career pursuits as a personal priority alongside partnership goals.

6. Bragging About Access to Luxuries

Regularly announcing access to luxury vehicles, homes, recreational toys or lavish trips that are supposedly your shared future hints at ulterior motives. Brags about all the lifestyle perks you could supposedly experience together reek of treating a prospective partner more like a non-committed sugar daddy than a loved one to build an equitable future with. 

Your self-worth isn't tied to another’s spending power. Healthy relationships prioritize emotional support, trust and shared experiences - not flash and bragging rights over expensive access.

7. Pushing for Commitment without Emotional Bond

The surest sign someone could be focused on finances rather than you as a whole person is pushing relentlessly for escalated commitment steps like moving in together, engagement or marriage unusually fast without an aligned emotional bond of mutual care, respect and intimacy having sufficient time to develop naturally. 

Someone after a lifelong partner wants to feel fully certain of a rounded emotional connection before binding your lives together in serious ways. Pressure for premature commitment implies motivations may have more to do with securing access to financial resources or shared cost of living than truly wanting your partnership for all its dimensions.

In summary, potential romantic interests should take the time to understand you as a complete multi-faceted individual rather than constantly messaging, dating or interacting with you primarily through a monetary lens. Look out for an imbalanced focus on gifts, money talk, split costs reluctance or assumptions of access to lavish perks that don't align with stages of healthy relationship development. 

Keep conversations balanced, set financial boundaries you feel comfortable with and don't rush bigger commitment steps until both people truly feel invested in every aspect of each other as caring compatible lifelong partners. Protect yourself by thoughtfully watching for motives that may prioritize dollars over your well-being and whole self. With awareness of key signs, you can discern intentions and preserve healthier dynamics where you feel truly seen and supported in all your dimensions.

Monday, August 21, 2023

The Benefits of Mindfulness for Children's Mental Health

We live in a fast-paced world where children are constantly busy and stimulated. They're plugged into devices, completing homework, participating in extracurricular activities, and more. With such a busy lifestyle, it can be easy for children's mental wellbeing to take a backseat.

However, practicing mindfulness can help children thrive mentally even with demanding schedules. Mindfulness is the practice of being present and aware of one's emotions, thoughts, and surroundings in the moment. Simple mindfulness techniques teach children skills to manage stress and focus their attention.

Research has found several benefits of mindfulness for children's mental health:

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

In today's world, children face academic pressures, social media comparisons, and more stressors than previous generations. Mindfulness trains the brain to observe thoughts and feelings from a distance rather than getting overwhelmed by them. This decreased reactivity helps lower children's stress levels.

Several studies have found mindfulness programs lower anxiety scores in children. Being able to notice and accept uncomfortable feelings calmly serves as a lifelong coping skill.

Improves Focus and Attention

With constant digital distractions and extra commitments, it's difficult for kids to sustain attention. Mindfulness activities like breathing exercises help children learn to focus on one thing at a time.

Improved focus allows kids to better engage with school, friends, and activities. Their working memory also gets a boost from mindfulness practice.

Fosters Self-Awareness and Empathy

By tuning into the present moment physically and mentally, children develop self-awareness of their behaviors, reactions, and choices. They can recognize how their actions impact others.

Mindfulness cultivates emotional intelligence, compassion, and ability to see issues from others' perspectives. This encourages positive social-emotional development and relationships.

Incorporating simple mindfulness techniques like deep breathing, body scans, and focused attention activities can help children reap these mental benefits. Apps, books, and guided sessions make mindfulness accessible even for busy families. Taking a few minutes each day to relax the mind can significantly support children's holistic well-being.

How Mindfulness Apps Can Improve Children's Emotional Regulation

Children today are now bombarded with stimuli daily. From social media to busy schedules, they face constant potential for distraction or overload. This makes developing emotional regulation skills more important than ever.

Emotional regulation refers to the ability to manage feelings, impulses, and behaviors appropriately. It allows children to bounce back from stressful events and solve problems constructively. Strong emotional regulation is linked to better mental health, relationships, and academic performance for kids.

Mindfulness practice has been shown to strengthen emotional regulation in children. Now, mindfulness apps are making these benefits more accessible for families. Here's how they can specifically help kids improve emotional control:

Label and Reduce Intense Emotions

Many apps include guided activities to help children identify what exact emotions they're feeling in the body. Labeling “I’m feeling angry” versus stewing in vague frustration gives kids distance to not be ruled by heavy feelings. Over time, this fosters increased ability to observe and accept emotions calmley.

Shift Focus from Triggers

When upset, kids can get stuck fixating on whatever caused the feeling. Mindfulness apps guide visualizing the breath or surroundings to gently redirect attention. This keeps intense emotions from escalating by shifting mental focus away from triggers.

Build Stress Responses

Through fun, short sessions, apps teach deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and other self-soothing methods children can use when overwhelmed. Practicing calming techniques routinely helps “rewire” the brain to respond more constructively under pressure.

Foster Self-Awareness

Using apps interactively cultivates kids’ understanding of emotions as temporary mental events, rather than permanent personal traits. Children learn to pause and reflect on how behaviors impact others and themselves. This meta-awareness boosts emotional intelligence.

By making mindfulness accessible through kid-friendly app formats, families gain new tools to support children developing vital emotional regulation skills for lifelong mental well-being and success.

Guided Meditations for Children: Techniques and Best Practices

Meditation can be a powerful wellness tool even for young minds. Guiding children in simple meditation practices teaches focus, awareness, stress relief and more. However, it's important to use developmentally appropriate techniques that keep them engaged. Here are some best practices for led children's meditation sessions:

Keep it Short

Most early guided meditations should last 5-10 minutes, depending on age. While adults can meditate 20+ minutes, children have shorter attention spans. Going longer risks boredom or distraction. Respect natural attention limits.

Make it Fun and Interactive

Incorporate movement, imagery, games or story elements. Have them visualize colorful magical lands or imagine breathing different smells. Relaxing body parts one by one like a puppet with loose strings engages children’s minds and bodies.

Focus on the Present Moment

Rather than lofty metaphysical goals, frame meditation positively as a way to relax, feel peaceful or sleep better. Kids connect best with immediate experiences rather than abstract concepts. Guide awareness to sounds, smells, sensations and breath.

Provide Clear, Simple Instructions

Speak slowly, use basic vocabulary and pause frequently to check understanding. Correct mistakes gently versus criticism. For little ones, model behaviors so they learn by copying actions. Make guidance enjoyable versus tedious exercise.

Encourage Participation

Invite smiles, giggles and questions throughout. Praise efforts sincerely with high-fives not just at the end. They will engage fully if meditation remains lighthearted discovery instead of rigid routine. Have fun exploring stillness together!

By adapting guided meditation techniques to children’s natural rhythms, families can help young minds reap rewards like focus, calm and well-being from an early age. Making the experience enjoyable lays the groundwork for lifelong self-care.

Mindfulness Apps vs. Traditional Mindfulness Practices

With our busy lifestyles, finding time for meditation and mindfulness can feel impossible. That's where mindfulness apps come in—they promise to make fitting self-care into our day easier than ever. But as convenient as apps are, there are some drawbacks to solitary digital practice compared to traditional in-person sessions. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of using apps versus participating in structured mindfulness programs or group meditations.

Convenience is the biggest pro of mindfulness apps. You can access guided meditations, lessons, and exercises anytime, anywhere—all you need is your phone. No need to commute to a class or find quiet time at home. Apps let you practice even for just 5-10 minutes at a time, whenever stress or unwelcome thoughts start to creep in. Some even gamify mindfulness with achievement badges to keep you motivated.

Apps also make getting started with mindfulness very low commitment. You don't have to schedule time in your calendar or pay per session upfront—a free app download is all it takes to jump in right away. And most programs are self-paced, allowing you to learn at your own speed without fixed deadlines or meeting times holding you back. Plus, there's a huge variety of apps catering to different interests, minimalist or guided experiences, sleep needs, and more.

However, all-digital practice has some downsides as well. Unlike classes led by certified instructors, there's no personalized feedback on your technique or forms of meditation through an app alone. Group settings also help increase motivation through accountability and a sense of community—something solitary apps can't provide. Research even shows meditating with others enhances attention and focus.

Being totally solo also means missing out on valuable discussions post-session. In groups, participants compare meditation experiences, get guidance handling difficulties, and inspire one another. Real-time support from peers and the teacher is key for learning to work through distractions and maintain a regular mindful practice over the long-term. Apps can't replace that human element.

There's also a lack of embodiment with digital tools. While helpful for getting started, screen-based guidance doesn't teach proper breathwork, sitting forms, or movement practices. Subpar technique can hamper progress and make mindfulness feel like a chore instead of a natural, grounding habit. A skilled guide helps ensure you experience meditation's benefits fully rather than practicing wrong for weeks or months without realizing it.

Lastly, mindfulness apps are still devices—and using technology can activate distraction, urgency, and anxiety in the brain rather than calm. Even choosing guided sessions means listening to audio alone rather than truly being present. Some find constant app notifications disruptive to maintaining presence of mind, no matter how many session reminders are disabled. Traditional settings remove digital triggers completely for full immersion.

So in conclusion, apps are perfectly suitable for easing into mindfulness or adding brief respites throughout the day. The on-demand and flexible nature of digital tools removes common access barriers. However, integrating occasional in-person sessions led by certified instructors is ideal for more advanced learning, forming community bonds, receiving guidance, and developing a sustainable habit free of distractions. A balanced approach combining apps with real-world mindfulness programs is ideal for reaping both convenience and full benefits over time.

Using Mindfulness Apps to Foster Gratitude and Positivity in Kids

While screen time has its downsides, mindfulness apps can be a powerful tool for cultivating gratitude and positivity in children when used intentionally. In today's fast-paced world, it's more important than ever for kids to develop skills like mindfulness, gratitude, emotional regulation, and stress management. Mindfulness apps, when designed well, allow children to practice these skills in a fun, engaging way.

As parents, we want our kids to feel happy, confident, and able to handle challenges with resilience. Developing an "attitude of gratitude" has been shown to boost well-being and life satisfaction. Mindfulness fosters present-moment awareness which helps children appreciate the good things, both big and small, in their lives. Integrating gratitude and positivity into mindfulness apps for kids can reinforce these important lessons.

Here are some key ways that mindfulness apps can help kids develop gratitude and positivity:

Gratitude Journals and Visualization Exercises
Many apps feature built-in gratitude journals where children can write or draw about things they are thankful for each day, like family, friends, nature, sports, toys, etc. Visualization exercises also encourage imagining best friends hugging, family meals together, or enjoying the warmth of the sun - strengthening feelings of appreciation. Journaling gratitude has been proven to decrease stress and increase happiness.

Positive Affirmations and Self-Esteem Boosts
Affirming messages paired with calming music or nature sounds instill confidence and optimism in children. Hearing upbeat phrases like "I am smart and creative" or "I am proud of who I am" on a daily basis counteracts negative self-talk and builds a growth mindset. Some apps allow recording customized affirmations in a child's own voice to play back whenever needed.

Focus on Gratitude Throughout Daily Activities
Mindfulness techniques can be incorporated into children's everyday schedules, from waking up to bedtime. Prompts to notice colors they see getting dressed, tastes of breakfast, sounds in the backyard etc., keep kids present and grateful for life's small pleasures. Multi-step guided routines structure positive ways to start and finish each part of the day.

Celebrate Acts of Kindness
When kids perform or witness acts of kindness, mindfulness apps provide a way to log and reflect on these experiences. Writing about helping a friend or donating toys cultivates compassion. Kids may also send digital "high fives" and encouragement to friends through built-in sharing features - further spreading goodwill. Witnessing the happiness kindness creates fosters positivity.

Gamification for Engagement and Fun
To keep children motivated over the long-term, apps frequently use gameplay elements and positive reinforcement. Earning virtual rewards likestickers or unlocking new levels for completing gratitude journals, positive thoughts, or calm-down strategies provides enjoyable incentive. Play-based learning makes difficult social-emotional skills seem achievable and fun for developing minds.

Careful Design is Key
While the intent of mindfulness apps is positive development, it's crucial they be designed primarily for children rather than just downsized adult versions. Activities, language, visuals, and sounds must be age-appropriate, neversacrificing quality for superficial features. Data privacy and minimal advertisingare also important considerations when choosing apps for kids. With attention to these developmental factors, mindfulness apps hold great potential for nurturing gratitude and optimism from a young age.

By incorporating gratitude, positivity and play into children's daily mindfulness practice, apps can powerfully support social-emotional learning in an engaging way. With regular use, these skills become habits that serve kids well throughout life. Focusing on appreciating each moment, however small, cultivates resilience and well-being. Mindfulness apps, deliberately designed, empower kids to overcome challenges with optimism, confidence and care for others - qualities our world sorely needs.

Teaching Kids Simple Breathing Techniques for Focus, Calm and Coping

In today's fast-paced world, children experience more stress than ever before. But mindful breathing is a skill that can make a big difference in their well-being and development. Simple breath awareness techniques help kids center themselves, self-soothe when upset, boost concentration and focus cognitive skills. As parents, teaching breathing exercises is one of the most important things we can do to support children's social-emotional health and resilience.

Why Teach Mindful Breathing to Kids?

  • Regulates stress response hormones like cortisol when anxious or overwhelmed. This promotes calm.
  • Strengthens self-regulation and executive function abilities by increasing prefrontal cortex activity. This supports learning and attention.
  • Triggers the body's relaxation response when practiced regularly. Over time kids feel less stress and anxiety naturally.
  • Focuses wandering thoughts by giving the mind something specific to concentrate on – the rise and fall of breaths. This boosts concentration span.
  • Allows kids to self-soothe effectively without needing external calming like TV, food or gadgets. They learn to handle feeling through awareness.
  • Can be practiced discreetly anywhere, making it a powerful coping mechanism kids will use independently as needed.

Simple Breathing Techniques for Kids
Once children understand the concept of mindful breathing, try these basic exercises they can learn at any age:

  • Belly Breathing: Placing hands on stomach, inhaling deeply to fill belly and exhaling slowly. 5 breaths.
  • Ocean Breathing: Inhaling to count 4 like waves surging, exhaling to count 6 like water releasing. Repeat waves.
  • Lazy 8s Breathing: Following shapes with finger leads mind as breaths flow. Trace figure 8 shapes with inhales and exhales.
  • Color Breathing: Inhaling favorite color up from toes to head, exhaling second color back down. Visualizes calm.
  • Pretzel Breathing: Sitting or standing in pretzel shape stretches muscles as breaths move in opposite arm from other.
  • Bubble Breathing: Blowing imaginary soap bubbles on exhales brings fun while focusing.

Start with just 1-2 minutes and incorporate breathing whenever transitioning activities, before meals or bedtime. Pair with stuffed animals or calming music initially. Positive reinforcement helps practice stick.

Benefits Kids Experience with Mindful Breathing

Focus - Kids can manage distractions and concentrate during activities, lessons and homework with improved prefrontal cortex regulation.

Stress relief - By reducing fight or flight responses, they feel less overwhelmed internally which improves behavior and coping.

Calmness - With regular practice, kids exhibit more patience and emotional regulation from triggering the relaxation response habitually.

Empathy - Noticing physical sensations links to noticing others emotions which fosters compassion.

Confidence - Effectively handling feelings independently gives kids self-assurance to face challenges.

Creativity - Abilities in the right frontal areas are enhanced improving imagination and problem solving.

Immunity - Lower chronic stress supports physical health long term through healthy hormone levels.

Sleep - Meditative breathing helps wind down busy bodies and minds for restful sleep.

The gift of teaching mindful breathing skills to kids is giving them strategies for peace of mind that support overall wellness, learning, relationships and joy. Integrating only a few minutes into each day reaps rewards developmentally and emotionally as they grow.

Bringing Mindfulness to Playtime: The Benefits of Mindful Gaming for Kids

In the world today getting kids to disconnect from screens can be a challenge. However, incorporating mindfulness into gaming offers a way to make screen time more enriching. With careful consideration, mindful gaming presents unique opportunities to foster attention, awareness, self-regulation and compassion through an engaging activity children already love. Here are some key benefits of this approach and ways parents can encourage mindful play.

Focus and Concentration
Traditional games require sustained focus on objectives, patterns, strategy and cooperation with others for success. This type of engaged single-tasking activates the prefrontal cortex associated with attention control. Guided reflection afterwards about experiences strengthens these neural pathways over time.

Stress Relief and Calm
Mindful games intentionally selected for their calming atmosphere can induce relaxation. Titles featuring music, movement or beautiful scenery trigger the body's parasympathetic nervous system and its natural "rest and digest" response to ease tension and worries.

Self-Awareness and Insight
Gameplay that encourages noticing breath, body sensations, emotions and thoughts cultivates present-moment focus. Players becomes observers of their experience deepening understanding of thoughts, impulses and internal experiences in a low-pressure format.

Empathy and Compassion
Cooperative or roleplaying titles that build caring communities foster perspective taking and connection. Overcoming challenges as a team mirrors real-life coping and dependence on others which nurtures empathy.

Creativity and Problem-Solving
Sandbox-style, creative mode and puzzle games spark imagination and logical reasoning as multiple solutions are possible. Uncertainty replaces linear paths requiring flexible, innovative and strategic thinking on the fly.

Self-Regulation and Calming
Intentionally pausing gameplay to reconnect mindfully, breathe or journal powerful moments empowers kids with strategies to handle big feelings independently. The ability to self-soothe becomes a lifelong coping mechanism.

Tips for Mindful Gaming with Kids:

  • Discuss upfront how games can be played mindfully versus mindlessly
  • Set a timer and pause periodically for check-ins about the experience
  • Encourage grateful reflections about lessons, new skills or community
  • Model your own mindful gaming by narrating thoughts and emotions
  • Choose titles purposefully based on themes of creativity, caring or relaxation
  • Avoid ultra-violent or hyper-stimulating games prone to emotional reactivity
  • End each session by discussing how skills from mindfulness translate elsewhere

By integrating simple practices that stay true to gaming’s enjoyment while cultivating awareness, focus and compassion, parents can harness the engagement of mindful play. With the right approach, screen time becomes quality time that nourishes children’s well-being, learning and relationships both on and offline.

The 19 Best First Date Tips Straight from Reddit

Nervous for your upcoming first date? Here are 25 highly effective first date tips that real people on Reddit have found to work well. Follow these strategies from experienced daters to wow your date and set yourself up for a second.

First dates can be nerve-wracking! You want to put your best foot forward but fear making mistakes. As one of the biggest discussion platforms, Reddit is a goldmine of honest relationship advice from regular folks who've been in your shoes.

In this article, we've compiled 25 of the most upvoted and effective first date tips shared by Reddit's dating communities. Whether you met online or off, following these small tricks from experienced daters will help you relax, connect authentically and increase your odds of a second date.

19 Best First Date Tips Straight from Reddit

1. Have a Backup Activity or Location in Mind

Even the best laid plans can fall through last minute. Share a couple backup date ideas when confirming so you have a smooth pivot if your original choice doesn't pan out. Opt for flexible activities like mini golf, a local festival, coffee shop browsing or picnic in the park.

2. Listen More Than You Talk

Instead of monologuing about yourself, cultivate genuine interest by asking questions and remembering small personal details shared. Paraphrase what you hear to ensure understanding - listening is sexier than talking! Steer clear of oversharing controversial opinions or stories until comfort levels build.

3. Compliment Sincerely

Avoid just fixating on physical beauty - comment specifically on something you found engaging or endearing about their personality during date from stories shared. Be playful versus cheesy and don't overdo compliments which seem disingenuous. You're bonding through authentic connection not empty flattery.

4. Share Laughs With Lighthearted Fun

Laughter releases feel-good endorphins making positive memories. Bring a witty and upbeat attitude with humorous stories or find silly questions online to spark comedy. Self-deprecating humor is best - don't make fun of others. Lightness diffuses first date tension to get comfortable quickly.

5. Don't Overfocus on Impressing

Forget trying too hard to seem cool - people see through airs of perfection. Let YOUR relaxed, authentic self shine versus a façade. Share moments of relatable vulnerability besides bravado. Being likable matters far more than being impressive! Focus on genuinely getting to know each other.

6. Compliment Sincerely

Avoid just fixating on physical beauty - comment specifically on something you found engaging or endearing about their personality during date from stories shared. Be playful versus cheesy and don't overdo compliments which seem disingenuous. You're bonding through authentic connection not empty flattery.

7. Ask Thought-Provoking Questions

Beyond basics, dig deeper with inquires revealing values, character and outlook. Steer clear of interrogations - ask open-ended questions genuinely wanting their perspective to better understand them as an individual. Share details that make you intriguing versus vague platitudes leaving them disinterested to learn more about you too!

8. Be Present and Fully Engaged

Too often first dates involve checking phones which makes people feel ignored. Stay focused through full eye contact and engaged body language like leaning in. React thoughtfully to what they share versus waiting impatiently for turn to talk again. Your date will notice and value feeling they have your undivided attention.

9. Express Gratitude for Their Time

At parting, tell them sincerely you enjoyed listening to get to know them. Extend thanks for the date without implying need for validation of a second. Compliment one specific thing that stood out positively leaving a smile on their face. This seals a polite, upbeat note to end on.

10. Follow Basic Hygiene and Grooming

A fresh shower, clean clothes and breath mints creates good first impressions. While casual dress lets personalities shine through, looking put together shows you respect their time. Well-groomed hair and nails displays effort to make a positive impression versus slobbish presentation. Simplicity beats over-the-top efforts!

11. Suggest a Casual Second Date Idea

If hitting it off, bring up a low commitment follow up activity showing continued interest. Something low pressure like a café, local concert or board game night at a bar leaves ball in their court versus pressure to decide right away. This enthusiasm raises odds they'll say yes to seeing you again soon!

12. Relax and Have Fun With It!

Too much nerves or lofty expectations set the date up for disappointment. View it as low-stakes practice talking with a new cool person versus a job interview. Smile often, stayloose and engaged in conversation simply enjoying learning about them. Confidence and fun vibes are irresistible!

13. Remove Distractions and Be Fully Present

Silence your phone and ignore pinging notifications versus nonstop checking which makes people think you're bored of dating them. Give full eye contact, ask follow up questions and reflect regularly on what's discussed to stay laser focused! Multi-tasking screams lack of interest.

14. Pay For The Date if Asking Them Out

Quickly grab the bill to show consideration without giving off transactional vibes of expecting repayment. Read their comfort level with PDA but save intimacy for future dates when deeper bond developed. Keep things light, fun and respectful versus presumption of immediate chemistry.

15. Compliment Their Personality Not Looks

While natural to notice looks, focus comments on engaging character traits, values or interesting outlooks revealed versus fixation on physical attributes creating an objectifying impression. People appreciate feeling seen for who they are versus what they look like. Appearances fade, character is forever.

16. Follow Up After to Express Thanks

Text within a day or so thanking them for a lovely evening and saying you hope to see them again soon. leaving ball in their court versus seeming overeager. Follow any positive signs of interest while giving space if response lukewarm. Graciously accept no with confidence further awesome people await!

17. Conversation Starters Beyond Introductory Basics

Discuss favorite hobbies, latest interesting documentary/book/show, favorite childhood memory, biggest pet peeves, life dreams manifestations, social issues felt passionate about or anything uniquely revealing a deeper layer of who they are.

18. Send Intro Instead of Cold-Calling

Many feel ambushed by unsolicited numbers, so message on app with friendly introduction versus springing contact info on someone unprepared. Let curiosity bloom before potentially making them uncomfortable by cold reaching out of the blue.

19. Have Fun! Let Your Guard Down And Good Luck!

Dates take practice, so have patience with yourself and view each as learning experience versus pass/fail judgment. When relaxed having fun, natural magnetism shines through! Enjoy getting to know each funny, interesting person as they are with no rigid agenda. Wishing you all the best for smooth sailing dates and exciting connections ahead.

25 Effective Tips to Ace Your Duolingo English Test


The Duolingo English Test is becoming an increasingly popular option for those who need to prove their English proficiency. Whether you need it for university admissions, work visas, or other purposes, acing the Duolingo English Test can open many doors.

However, like any standardized exam, it takes preparation to do your best. In this article, we'll share 25 effective tips backed by research to help you maximize your Duolingo English Test score. Follow these tips and your score is sure to increase significantly.

25 Effective Tips to Ace Your Duolingo English Test

1. Understand the Test Format

The first step is understanding exactly what to expect on test day. The Duolingo English Test consists of:

  • A listening section with short conversations and questions to answer
  • A reading section with passages and multiple choice questions
  • A writing section where you respond to short writing prompts
  • No separate sections for different skills like speaking. It evaluates your overall English ability.

Knowing the format in advance allows you to tailor your practice and focus your studies on the specific skills tested. Don't waste time on skills like speaking that aren't directly assessed.

2. Practice Regularly in Short Bursts

Cramming all your practice into a few marathon sessions right before the test won't help much. Research shows spaced repetition and practice over time is much more effective for learning and retaining information.

Aim to practice English in short 15-30 minute sessions, multiple times a week in the months leading up to your test date. Break skills like vocabulary and grammar into small, digestible chunks. Practicing regularly with breaks allows your brain to consolidate learning between sessions.

3. Use Official Practice Materials

Nothing prepares you for the real test experience like practicing with official Duolingo English Test materials. They give you real past tests to take under timed conditions so you're used to the format, question types and level of difficulty.

While third party books, apps and courses can supplement learning, carve out time regularly to take full-length practice tests from Duolingo. Analyze your results to identify weaknesses and improve over time as your test date approaches. Practicing with the real thing is extremely valuable preparation.

4. Focus on High-Yield Topics

With limited time, focus your energy on the topics and skill areas that are most heavily tested and will have the biggest impact on your score. For the Duolingo English Test, prioritize:

  • Common everyday vocabulary words
  • Basic grammar rules for tense, plurality, subject-verb agreement etc.
  • Reading comprehension of short paragraphs
  • Listening to short conversations and answering questions

Spend less time on more abstract topics that are less likely to come up, like advanced literary analysis or obscure idioms. Mastering the fundamentals will serve you best on test day.

5. Improve Weak Skills through Immersion

The best way to strengthen weak English skills is through full immersion. If you struggle with listening comprehension, try watching TV shows or movies in English with subtitles. If reading is a challenge, read English books, magazines or newspapers regularly.

Make English a part of your daily routine through apps, podcasts, social media or conversation partners. The more your brain gets used to processing English in real-world contexts, the better you'll perform on the test. Immersion reinforces learning in a fun, low-pressure way.

6. Learn Through Mnemonics and Associations

Our complex brains are wired to form associations and recall information through stories and imagery. Use mnemonic devices, mental images and associations to more deeply encode English vocabulary, verb conjugations, spelling rules and more.

For example, to remember irregular verb forms: imagine the past tense of "swim" being "swam" because a swimmer is swallowed by a giant whale. Crazy images like these stick in the mind much better than just doing flashcards. Get creative with mnemonics to make English concepts memorable long-term.

7. Listen to Audio While Doing Other Tasks

Many people think they need to intensely focus 100% of attention on English input, but that's not always the case. Research shows we can still improve our listening comprehension even when multi-tasking with audio in the background.

Listen to English podcasts, audiobooks or music while cooking, cleaning, exercising or commuting. Your brain absorbs language subconsciously without consciously focusing. Make the most of every minute by exposing yourself to English wherever possible.

8. Study with a Partner or Group

Teaching concepts to others or discussing them with a study partner is a proven learning technique. Form a study group either in-person or online to prepare for the Duolingo English Test together.

Quiz each other on vocabulary, have mock conversations to improve speaking fluency, or take turns explaining grammar rules. Learning becomes a social, low-pressure collaborative process. You also spot each other's weaknesses to target and hold each other accountable to study schedules.

9. Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep plays a critical role in memory consolidation and overall cognitive performance. Exam day will require intense focus, so make sleep a high priority in the weeks leading up to your test.

Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to function at their best. Aim to get high-quality, uninterrupted sleep a few nights each week as part of your study routine. Your brain cements language learning into long-term memory significantly during restorative sleep cycles.

10. Manage Test Anxiety Through Preparation

Nothing causes a score drop like anxiety. To alleviate stress, focus intensely on preparation so you feel as confident and prepared as possible on exam day. The more questions you've seen, the calmer you'll remain in the testing room.

Practice timed sessions to get used to pacing. Visualize yourself succeeding to boost confidence. Consider relaxation techniques like deep breathing if you have sweaty palms. Being mentally ready is as important as content knowledge for getting the score you want.

11. Use Available Accommodations If Needed

Remember the Duolingo English Test is meant to fairly evaluate your skills, not handicaps like learning disorders. If you have a documented condition, inquire about available testing accommodations like extended time or breaks.

Receiving accommodations doesn't lessen your achievement - it simplylevels the playing field. Don't be afraid to self-advocate if extra provisions could help you concentrate without stress or frustration distracting from your abilities. Use any tools available to shine at your best.

12. Review Weak Answer Explanations   

Many official practice tests provide detailed explanations to questions you got wrong. Thoroughly review these explanations to truly learn from your mistakes. Understanding why an answer is right or wrong helps the knowledge stick long-term versus just memorizing answers.

Analyze flawed logic in your thinking. See how answer choices are deliberately written to attract certain mistakes. Apply lessons the next time similar question types come up. Give extra review time to explanations rather than just moving on after correcting answers.

13. Schedule Practice Test Sessions Realistically

Won't be at your peak after cramming all night before an early morning practice test. Schedule sessions when you'll be reasonably alert, focused and ready to learn.

Leave at least 5-10 minutes between segment breaks to relax eyes and refresh brain. Have water, healthy snacks and take brief stretching breaks to stay energetic throughout multi-hour long practice durations that mirror the real exam day experience. Your mock results should reflect your best abilities.

14. Track Progress over Time

Your Duolingo English score, like any skill, won't skyrocket overnight. But steady practice over months allows consistent improvement to add up significantly before test day.

Use a notebook, spreadsheet or language tracking app to log practice topics, test scores, feedback and areas still needing work. Review progress periodically to see weak areas standing still versus continually sharpening strengths. Track individual skill improvements to stay motivated through plateaus.

15. Give Yourself Rewards

Rewards maintain study momentum and improve retention according to psychology research. After goals like completing a practice test or vocabulary module, treat yourself like going to see a movie, cooking a nice meal or playing video games.

Positive reinforcement strengthens associated desirable behaviors like regular studying. Small rewards can provide just as much satisfaction and motivation boosts as large ones. Make studying an enjoyable experience versus a chore through strategically placed incentives.

16. Learn Exam Strategies Specific to Your Weaknesses

While general test strategies help all test-takers, hone in on approaches tailored to your personal skill deficits. For example, if reading speed is slow, practice skimming for main ideas versus in-depth analysis.

If distracted easily, consider noise-canceling headphones. Know thyself and target individual weaknesses that impact score more than average study tactics. Personalized strategies deliver the most power-up for areas holding back results the most.

17. Get plenty of Rest Before Test Day

Nothing dampens focus and clarity more than burnout. Taper studying intensity the final week, review what you're strongest in, and use free time to recharge. Lightly preview materials versus intense new learning.

The day before, indulge relaxing hobbies and early bedtime. Wake up refreshed on D-day without last-minute cramming putting you on edge. Your mind and body need rest to perform their complex best. Trust that your regular preparation equipped you well and stay calm.

18. Bring Only Permitted Items to the Test Center

On exam morning, double check you only bring identification, appointment confirmation and permitted materials like pencils inside a clear plastic bag. Leave other possessions at home to avoid delay or needing to go back for forgotten things.

Arrive early enough to find your room, use facilities and settle comfortably before starting. Read instructions carefully once seated and don’t hesitate to ask proctors clarifying questions. Fully understanding regulations reduces potential distractions or issues.

19. Use Your Allotted Time Wisely

Though you’ll likely finish sections with time remaining, don’t rush through questions carelessly. Instead, utilize remaining moments to double check answers, especially on sections impacting your score the most.

For writing tasks, use final minutes crafting well-formed conclusions instead of responses ending abruptly. When re-reading reading passages, catch any missed details the second time through. Manage time dynamically based on question difficulty versus treating all equally.

20. Stay Confident and Focused During the Test

After months of targeted preparation, you’re ready to show what you know! Believe in your abilities even when nervous. Breathe deeply if anxious and channel energy into demonstrating skills.

Avoid getting distracted second-guessing or panicking - trust yourself and systematic approach you’ve practiced. If struggling on a question, make your best logical guess and flag for review if time. Keep moving forward confidently versus dwelling on tricky items. Stay positive right up to submitting your exam!

21. Follow Up After the Exam

The hard work isn’t over until you get results. Wait anxiously but proudly for scores to post then carefully review feedback reports pointing areas needing more work. Reward achievements while honestly assessing room for further growth.

Consider retaking portions to boost career options if falling short of desired band scores. Most importantly, be proud of efforts expanding abilities regardless of numbers. Your ongoing English studies will open many future opportunities.

In conclusion, following the comprehensive evidence-based strategies in this guide will maximize your preparation for success on the Duolingo English Test. With diligent practice tailoring techniques to strengths and weaknesses, you'll feel confident and fully prepared on exam day. Wishing you the very best in achieving your desired result.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

How Tall Is Linus Sebastian From Linus Tech Tips?

Linus Sebastian, better known as the face of the popular tech YouTube channel Linus Tech Tips, has amassed a loyal following of over 8 million subscribers with his entertaining and informative videos about all things technology. But one question fans often ask is - how tall is Linus really? Let's take a closer look at Linus's height and background.

Linus Sebastian was born on November 20, 1986 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Coming from Canadian descent, Linus grew up immersed in technology from a young age. He developed a passionate interest in computers and gaming that eventually led him to start his own tech YouTube channel in 2009. Now in his mid-30s, Linus runs one of the largest tech channels on YouTube alongside his team at Linus Media Group.

But behind the camera, what does Linus look like? Standign at approximately 5 feet 11 inches or 180 cm, Linus is of average height for a North American male. He has a slim yet athletic build that allows him nimble movement in his production studio and while filming on location. With dark brown hair and blue eyes, Linus cuts a handsome figure in his on-camera appearances.

While not the tallest of YouTubers, Linus's charismatic personality and immense knowledge of computers and gadgets is what really stands out. He reviews the latest hardware and software with expert analysis, while keeping his presentations lighthearted and entertaining for viewers. Linus's on-screen presence gives the impression he is taller than his actual height due to his confidence and commanding screen presence behind the Linus Tech Tips brand.

So in summary - Linus Sebastian from Linus Tech Tips stands at a height of around 5 feet 11 inches or 180 cm. This places him squarely in the average height range for males in Canada and North America overall. Let's take a deeper look now at Linus's background and journey to becoming one of the biggest tech influencers on YouTube.

Growing Up With a Passion for Computers

From a young age growing up in Toronto, Linus showed a strong interest and natural talent with computers, electronics and tech gadgets. He embraced the digital revolution of personal computers and video games in the late 80s and 90s. Linus spent much of his free time taking apart devices to learn how they worked on the inside.

In high school, Linus studied computer science and business, honing his skills in coding, hardware and entrepreneurship. He went on to complete a Bachelor's degree in business administration from University of British Columbia. During this time, Linus maintained several side projects working with computers and started to develop his multimedia and presentation abilities online.

After graduating college in 2009, Linus decided to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time tech YouTuber. He saw an opportunity in the emerging platform to create entertaining and educational videos about computers, PC building and the latest gadgets - topics he was passionate about. This led to the creation of his first YouTube channel called NCIX Tech Tips, named after the computer retail store NCIX he worked at in Vancouver.

Rising to YouTube Stardom

Linus hit the ground running, producing several tech tip videos each week that showcased his charisma, enthusiasm and expert knowledge. Word quickly spread in the online PC building community about this new Canadian YouTuber worth watching. Subscription and view counts steadily climbed as Linus's production value and skills improved.

A major turning point came in 2013 when Linus decided to rebrand the channel as simply Linus Tech Tips. With a new focus and name representing Linus himself as the face of the brand, viewership skyrocketed. By 2015, Linus Tech Tips had surpassed 1 million subscribers, cementing its place as one of the top tech channels on YouTube.

Today, Linus leads a team of over 30 staff at Linus Media Group producing multiple shows for the Linus Tech Tips empire. Flagship programs include Tech Quickies, Linus Tech Tips, Techlinked and more. With dedication to daily uploads, Linus has amassed a huge following of over 8 million loyal fans from around the world. His creative, humorous and passionate approach to tech has made him one of the most influential voices in the industry.

Growing a Multimedia Company

Beyond YouTube success, Linus has expanded Linus Media Group into a full-fledged digital media company. Major initiatives include production of premium tech documentaries, sponsorships and partnerships with leading hardware brands, hosting live events, launching merch lines and building a new studio facility.

The proceeds from multi-channel network ventures like ad revenue, sponsorships and commerce have helped Linus achieve significant financial success. He now employs a team of videographers, editors, engineers and more at offices in Vancouver and Toronto. With the potential to grow even larger in the coming years, it's clear Linus's tech passion has paid off in building a thriving multimedia business.

Final Thoughts on Linus's Height and Career

So in summary - while not the tallest of YouTube stars at around 5 feet 11 inches, Linus Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips towers over his peers in leadership, creative vision and business acumen within the technology internet space. His magnetic on-camera presence and infectious enthusiasm for computers has driven enormous fans and paved the way for the expanding Linus Media Group empire.

From humble beginnings making videos as a passion project in his apartment, Linus now leads a multi-million dollar global operation renowned for top-quality tech-focused entertainment and education. All this achievement stems from a young man with an insatiable curiosity for how things work and a natural talent for engaging audiences with his love of computers. Linus's story is a prime example of pursuing your dreams and building success through authenticity, resilience and hustle on the internet landscape.

17 Essential Tips to Stay Safe and Secure Online in 2023

With the rapid growth of the internet and technology, more and more of our daily activities have moved online. From shopping and banking to connecting with friends and family - the online world has become an integral part of our lives. However, this increased connectivity also comes with risks to our personal information, privacy, and security. Cybercriminals are constantly devising new ways to steal user data, install malware, or commit financial fraud.

In this post, we'll explore some of the most important tips and best practices to help you stay safe online in 2023 and beyond. By following basic security hygiene and being cautious of potential threats, you can significantly reduce your risks while still enjoying all that the internet has to offer.

17 Key tips to stay safe online

  1. Use strong and unique passwords for all accounts

Having a unique, complex password for each account is the first line of defense against cybercriminals. long passwords containing a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols are much more difficult for hackers to crack through brute-force attacks or password guessing. Avoid using personal details, dictionary words, or sequential patterns that are easy to guess. Consider using a password manager to generate and store randomized, unique passwords for all sites and services.

  1. Enable two-factor authentication wherever possible

Two-factor authentication (2FA) provides an extra layer of protection by requiring a secondary verification code in addition to a password. Even if a password is compromised, hackers cannot access the account without that one-time code. Enable 2FA for critical accounts like email, banking, social media etc. Authentication apps like Google Authenticator are user-friendly options supported by most major services.

  1. Beware of phishing scams and suspicious links/emails

Phishing remains one of the most common tactics used by cybercriminals to steal user credentials or infect devices with malware. Be wary of unsolicited emails claiming to be from legitimate companies and urging you to click a link or open an attachment. Hover over links to check URLs before clicking. Never provide sensitive information or log into accounts from links in emails. Pay attention to spelling/grammatical errors that are signs of phishing.

  1. Do not connect to public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive activities

While free public Wi-Fi seems convenient, these open hotspots are easy targets for cybercriminals to intercept wireless traffic. Hackers can setup rogue hotspots or compromise existing ones to steal passwords, payment details etc. passed over the network. Only connect to trusted, password-protected networks when doing online banking, shopping or sharing personal information. Consider using a VPN for an extra layer of security on public networks.

  1. Beware of fake apps and enable security on smartphones

Watch out for counterfeit apps masquerading as genuine apps to skim information or carry out malicious activities. Only download apps from official app stores after verifying the developer. Enable security features like screen locks, remote wipe, app permissions, location tracking, etc. on smartphones to reduce risks from lost/stolen devices. Be cautious of malicious links and attachments received over messaging apps as well.

  1. Install antivirus and keep all software updated

Rely on commercial antivirus tools to detect and block malware, viruses, ransomware and other malicious software before they can infect systems. Configure automatic updates to patch critical security vulnerabilities as soon as fixes are available. Also, update browsers, plugins, firmware and all other software/apps regularly since outdated versions are more susceptible to exploits.

  1. Use ad-blockers and enable browser security controls

Many cyber threats originate from poisoned advertisements on websites and pop-ups that try deceiving users into installing malware or providing credentials. A good content blocker extension can filter out unwanted ads and protect browsing experience. Also adjust security and privacy settings on browsers like Chrome/Firefox to restrict tracking, block third-party cookies, enable 'Do Not Track', disable JavaScript for safer browsing.

  1. Be cautious of suspicious files and attachments

Never open email attachments from unknown sources without verifying the sender, even if the email seems genuine otherwise. Cybercriminals may use weaponized documents designed to exploit software vulnerabilities or contain malicious macros/code. Similarly, refrain from downloading pirated software or media files from untrusted third-party download portals—stick to official sources.

  1. Back up your data regularly

Ransomware and other cyberattacks can encrypt critical files and hold them hostage unless the ransom is paid. To avoid losing personal photos, documents, or other irreplaceable data due to such events, regularly back up files to external storage devices or cloud solutions. Test the backups to ensure they are working as expected and can be restored if needed. An up-to-date backup reduces risks during infections and technical failures.

  1. Use firewalls to control inbound/outbound network traffic

Personal firewall software monitors traffic moving in/out of computers and can block unauthorized access from external sources attempting to exploit vulnerabilities. Adjust firewall rules so that only authorized devices and applications are permitted to connect to systems, reducing exposure from malware and network-based attacks. Enable internet connections on a need-to-use basis instead of keeping them always-on.

  1. Limit personal information sharing on social media

Constantly broadcasting personal details like location, vacation plans, home address etc. provides hackers ample clues to social engineer their way into accounts or commit identity theft. Be mindful of what is shared publicly and review privacy/security settings frequently instead of allowing the maximum by default. Avoid oversharing, and any information that could potentially compromise passwords or authentication procedures later.

  1. Use adblockers and tracking protection extensions

Many cyber threats originate from poisoned advertisements on websites and pop-ups that try deceiving users into installing malware or providing credentials. A good content blocker extension can filter out unwanted ads and protect browsing experience. Also adjust security and privacy settings on browsers to restrict tracking, block third-party cookies, enable 'Do Not Track', disable JavaScript for safer browsing.

  1. Enable security tools on kids’ devices

Children are frequent targets of online scams and grooming attempts due to their enthusiasm and sometimes limited digital awareness. Configure proper parental control settings, monitor search/browsing activity and control app downloads on kids' smartphones to minimize risks from stranger interact ability, unwanted pop-ups, privacy leaks or unauthorized purchases. Consider specialized children safe web browsers or additional filtering software as well.

  1. Use VPNs for privacy when using public Wi-Fi

Public hotspots are especially risky but necessary at times. To prevent hackers from intercepting sensitive communications via a man-in-the-middle attack on open networks, use a virtual private network (VPN) service. It encrypts and routes all internet traffic through a secure tunnel, masking the real IP address. Popular VPN apps are easy to use, safeguard privacy, and thwart network monitoring efforts.

  1. Monitor and freeze credit reports

Have a credit check run regularly and sign up for alerts on credit-monitoring websites to spot unauthorized inquiries or new lines of credit opened in your name. Place credit freezes with agencies like Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax to temporarily restrict access until loans or applications are legitimately needed—this seals existing accounts from identity thieves.

  1. Verify website authenticity

Be wary of professional-looking phishing sites posing as common brands. Check the URL, look for HTTPS encryption and review domain details, ownership records to ensure the website is an actual trusted domain and not a clever imitation. Pay close attention while entering login credentials or payment information only on verified legit websites and their official pages.

  1. Promote online safety awareness

Finally, teach family members about basic cyber hygiene practices like using unique robust passwords, securing public wi-fi connections, avoiding dangerous downloads, being wary of suspicious links/emails and how to respond during cyber incidents. Educating loved ones regarding potential online threats helps cultivate a security-conscious environment to stay protected in the digital age.


With diligence and a little precaution, you can greatly reduce the risks of hacking attempts, scams, malware infections and other threats while continuing to take advantage of all that the internet offers. Technologies like antivirus software, VPNs, passwords managers and multi-factor authentication have made online safety achievable with minimum disruptions. By following the tips discussed in this post and adapting safe habits, one can stay protected from emerging cyber dangers. Let me know if you have any other questions!

How to Store and Care for Your Waterplosser Tips for Maximum Effectiveness

Choosing the right way to store and care for your water flosser tips is important to maximize the cleaning effectiveness of your waterplosser and keep your tips lasting as long as possible. While water flossing is a convenient way to improve gum health between regular dental cleanings, not storing or maintaining your water flosser tips properly can negatively impact your oral hygiene routine.

In this guide, we'll cover the best practices for where to store your water flosser tips after each use and how to care for them to ensure they continue removing plaque and debris from hard-to-reach areas between your teeth and below the gumline effectively. By following these simple tips, you'll extend the lifespan of your water flosser replacement tips and keep your smile bright and healthy.

Where Should You Store Water Flosser Tips After Use?

The ideal place to store your water flosser tips after each use is in a dry, protected area away from moisture and potential contaminants. Here are some good options:

  • Water flosser tip storage case - Many water flosser models come with a snap-closed plastic storage case specifically designed for the tips. This is the best location as it protects the tips from dust and moisture.

  • Medicine cabinet - Storing tips in a medicine cabinet or other dry bathroom cabinet keeps them handy for your next use but out of the bathroom sink area where moisture could collect.

  • Bedside table - For convenience, some people like to keep their tips stored on a bedside table for easy pre-bedtime flossing. Just be sure the surface is dust-free.

  • Dry zip-top bag - If your water flosser didn't include a case, an airtight plastic bag or small container helps ensure the tips stay dry. Label it clearly.

The key is to avoid leaving tips sitting in or near any source of moisture like the bathroom sink. Moisture collects bacteria and mold that can negatively impact the tips' cleaning performance over time. Keep them in a dry, enclosed area until your next use.

How Often Should You Replace Water Flosser Tips?

Most dentists recommend replacing your water flosser tips every 1-3 months for maximum effectiveness. The bristles can become frayed and less able to remove all the plaque and debris from between teeth and under the gumline after regular use over several weeks.

That said, you may need to change them more or less often depending on how frequently you use your water flosser. As a general guideline:

  • If you use it once or twice a day, plan to replace tips every 4-6 weeks.
  • For once-weekly use, tips can often last 3 months or longer.
  • If you notice the tips looking worn or frayed, it's time for a replacement even if it's been less than 1-3 months.

Catching tip wear early helps the water flosser continue doing a thorough job of removing plaque and preventing gum disease between brushing and other oral hygiene efforts. Budget for replacement tip refills every 2-4 months on average.

How to Care For and Maintain Water Flosser Tips

Beyond proper storage, there are a few additional care steps you can take to maintain your water flosser tips in top working condition:

  • Rinse thoroughly after each use. Let the water run through the tips under running water to flush out debris.

  • Gentle brushing. Use a very soft-bristled toothbrush to gently brush the tip surface if needed to remove stuck-on particles.

  • Air dry completely. Be sure tips are fully dry before closing up the storage case or container. Even a small amount of residual moisture can promote bacteria growth.

  • Inspect periodically. Check tips regularly for signs of wear and fraying. Catching problems early means better cleaning performance and value for the long run.

  • Replace broken tips immediately. Don't try to salvage tips that are cracked, broken or seriously frayed, as they won't clean effectively.

With proper care, handling and timely replacement of worn tips, your water flosser can remain an effective part of your home oral hygiene routine. The small investment in new tips goes a long way in returning your gum tissue and teeth to a state of optimal oral wellness.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The What Meme

Typically it's used as a reaction image to express confusion or disbelief, but originally it was used to describe a deliberate attempt to cover up a murder.

Origin of  The What Meme

The what meme has its origins in an old Rug Doctor advertisement. It can be found in a wide variety of stores, but also comes with Rug Doctor products and rentals. 
What exact date this ad originated is uncertain, but according to TinEye, the earliest found example online dates back to 24th November, 2014.
Redditor kittty_velor first used the ad in a meme format on Reddit on June 26th, 2017.
This post received over 99 comments and 5,300 upvotes.

The What Meme Examples

Execute a Plan of Action and Get Motivated

You have a large goal to reach, but it's lofty and looks impossible to reach, how do you go about obtaining that goal? There is a tool that is available to you and that is called an Action Plan. 

An Action Plan is different from a "To Do List" because it deals specifically with reaching one single goal. To do lists are used for multiple tasks that are unrelated to each other.

Why does an Action Plan work? 

It helps you to concentrate on each stage of your ultimate goal and helps chart your progress towards it. 

Drawing up an Action Plan simply means to list the tasks that need to be completed to achieve your main goal. It sounds simple and it is, while also being extremely useful in charting your progress. 

An Action Plan will help keep you on track if you tend to get distracted or discouraged about reaching your goal. It's such a joy to be able to mark each task off your list and see how each step is bringing you closer to your goal.

Let's look at an action plan that I developed to have a book published.

1. Develop your plot ideas and your characters. 

You have to start somewhere and you should know your characters and have a basic idea of what type of book you want to write. Determine if it will be fiction or non-fiction, for adults, children, or a book of poetry. That should be the first item on your Plan of Action.

2. Write your book. 

Take it chapter by chapter and keep plugging away on your manuscript until it is done. You may only write a paragraph at a time, but you are still working toward your main goal of publication.

3. Revisions and editing is the next step after your book is completed. 

It's a necessary step to the process even if it isn't your favorite part of writing. You want to send the very best to an interested publishing company, agent, or editor.

4. Research where your manuscript should be sent. 

You really don't want to send your romance novel to a science fiction publishing house. It's important to know your market. Research; find publishing companies that are happy to take a new author if that's what you are. Find out what their specialty is before you send that manuscript.

5. You have researched, now it's time to send a query letter. 

This letter will give a short synopsis of your story and hope it will grab the interest of an editor.

6. Your book has been accepted and is on its way to publication. 

Now is the time to do pre-publicity. Talk about your book, be your own promoter. Unless you are a big name author already, chances are, you will be the main PR person for your book. 

Take a pro-active interest in promoting your book to family, friends, and businesses in your area. In this area, don't be shy, if you don't let them know about your book, no one else may.

7. Success! Your book is published and now nationally and internationally available. 

You've reached your goal taking small steps and working your Action Plan. Celebrate and then make a new goal and start working on that. 

Wasn't it satisfying to mark items off your list as you accomplished them? If you're original Action Plan looks too short or has too many large steps, break them down again. Small steps will always help you to attain your goal. 

A quote from Ralph Marston says: "Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality."

This can also work when you begin thinking about starting your own business. In fact, an Action Plan is recommended before you begin looking for financing for your new venture. An Action Plan will be slightly different from the one I outlined above, but will use the same basic principals. 

Take each step one at a time and give yourself a pat on the back when you have marked off each task on your list. 

An Action Plan will help you stay organized, chart your progress, and helps keep your goal in sight. Good luck reaching your goals!