Sudoku Puzzle #2 – Easy

Sudoku puzzles are solved with logic and don’t require you to have any math skills (well, besides being able to count to 9). All of the sudoku puzzles are 9×9 grids. To solve them you have to fill in the empty cells. Each column, row, and region must contain the numbers 1 to 9 exactly once.

Ready, set…Go!

readersdigest.com©

Some Good News for a Change

There’s still a lot of good in the world — and a lot of reasons to be hopeful. (Even when it doesn’t always feel that way.) Here is some good news for you.

Article by Best Life

Inspirational Thanksgiving Quotes to Share 

Even though it goes against the meaning of the holiday, Thanksgiving can be stressful. Amid the bustle of preparing the Thanksgiving menu, decorating the house, and cleaning before guests arrive, it can be difficult to take a moment to breathe and reflect on just what the holiday is about. Sometimes we need a little inspiration to show our gratitude for all of our blessings, and these Thanksgiving quotes will help you do just that.

Most of these sayings will help you express your love and appreciation for all the good things in your life: family, friends, colleagues, health. While others are more on the funny side because making someone laugh is often the best way to show them how much you value you them and the time they are spending with you on November 24.

Wishing you all the best.

Follow the link below to view over 70 more wonderful quotes of the season.

Article by KATIE BOWLBY for Country Living©

Source: https://www.countryliving.com/food-drinks/g2059/thanksgiving-quotes/

You Can Get TSA Pre-Check at Staples—Here’s How

With the holidays rapidly approaching—along with long airport security lines—enrolling in TSA Pre-Check can save travelers time and headaches this holiday season. Staples TSA Pre-Check enrollment process offers an easy “lifehack” for travelers.

OLENA YAKOBCHUK/SHUTTERSTOCK

Here’s how Staples made your next trip through airport security a breeze.

What is TSA Pre-Check?

No one likes waiting in long security lines at the airport. It can be a hassle to take off shoes and layers and rummage through bags. That’s where TSA Pre-Check comes in.

TSA Pre-Check offers an accelerated security process for travelers. The option allows travelers to keep their “shoes, jacket and belt on… laptop in its case; 3-1-1 compliant liquids in your bag; and enjoy a better overall travel experience,” according to the Staples website.

For frequent travelers, those flying with kids or anyone who simply wants a stress-free travel experience, TSA Pre-Check can be a lifesaver for both domestic and international travel.

How can I enroll in TSA Pre-Check at Staples?

Typically, enrolling in TSA Pre-Check requires travelers to go to designated locations like the airport. But as Mackenzie says, “If you’re looking to get TSA and you’re like ‘I don’t want to go to the airport,’ all you have to do is sign up on Staples the night before and go to your local Staples.”

On the TSA Pre-Check enrollment process, Mackenzie says “they took our fingerprints, took a mug shot, we confirmed our address, typed in our social security number, and we were out of there” with the entire process taking around “three minutes.”

According to Staples website, it really is that simple. All travelers need is to follow these easy steps:

  • Search for the closest participating Staples to your location by typing in your zip code on the Staples TSA services website
  • Head to the government website to begin the enrollment process
  • Once on the government website, look for a “located inside Staples” option to confirm you are enrolling at the store that is closest and works best for you

With those three easy steps, you’re ready to head to Staples for a process that takes less than five minutes. Talk about our new favorite travel hack.

What are the benefits of TSA Pre-Check?

TSA Pre-Check costs $78 dollars to enroll in. However, the upgraded security screening lasts five years! Bonus: according to the TSA website, in October 2022, 91% of TSA Pre-Check travelers waited less than five minutes in line going through security. With lines like that, we’re planning our next trip already.

Article by Jessica Kaplan, the Assistant Editor of Trends, writing for Readers Digest©

Source: https://www.rd.com/article/tsa-pre-check-staples/

Overworked and exhausted? 5 reasons your mental health may be suffering

As the cost-of-living rises, so do our work loads and stress levels, which in turn can drastically affect our mental health.

With many focusing on increasing their workload to keep up with the growing demands and pressures of the economy, there has been a significant rise in concerning health issues.

Healthista spoke to Jess Hillard, Nutritionist from leading sports nutrition brand Warrior, who reveals the surprising signs that could be contributing to poor mental health.

#1 Longer Working Hours

To compensate for the rise in the cost of living, many are taking on extra jobs and working longer hours. These long working hours can massively aggravate anxiety, depression, and eventual burnout.

Symptoms of overworking can be seen through weight fluctuations, constant fatigue, lack of sleep and frequently feeling run down which all in turn lead towards a weakened immune system.

The health issues that coincide with overworking are extensive and can escalate into serious problems rapidly. Studies have shown that those who work 55 to 65+ hours per week have considerably worse mental health when compared to those who work less than 40 hours per week.

Studies also found that those who overwork, are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease (e.g. type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure). This is mostly due to eating habits, stress, relying on alcohol, lack of sleep and physical activity, all of which can be triggered by the stress of overworking.

To help keep our overall health in check and avoid an eventual burnout we really should be limiting our working hours to around 40 hours per week.

#2 Poor Diet Choices

As well as over doing it when it comes to work, there is a strong link between what we eat and our mental health. Our diet plays a huge role in our mental wellbeing. This is due to our eating times, habits, as well as micro and macro nutrients that come with diet.

A meta-analysis done across ten different countries showed that a diet with high intake of fruit, vegetables, fish, whole grains, olive oil and low-fat dairy, was associated with a decreased risk of depression.

Not only this but research has also shown that individuals with a high intake of ‘unhealthy foods’ (high in saturated fats, low fibre, little fruit and veg), with a lower nutrient-density, are associated with smaller left hippocampal volume.

This is the area of the brain that is connected to stress, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. The reasoning to why these foods decrease the size of this area of the brain are not yet clear.

#3 Deficient in Protein

Something which often gets overlooked when identifying the reasons why someone’s mental health might be suffering is their protein intake.

Protein intake has been seen to link to high levels of dopamine, which control mood regulation within the brain. Protein consists of amino acids which help the body to rebuild muscle fibres. Some amino acids cannot be produced naturally in the body, so we need to supplement them through food or vitamins.

#4 Insomnia

Despite often feeling tired throughout the day, many highly stressed people have difficulty getting off to sleep or staying asleep through the night, which can have a huge impact on mental health.

Getting a second wind of energy just as you should be going to bed is a classic sign that our adrenal glands (which control are stress response) are struggling.

Stress hormones can cause hyperarousal, upsetting the balance between sleep and wakefulness. This creates a vicious cycle, as stressful situations are much more difficult to cope with when you are tired, leading to further stress.

#5 Not Getting the Right Nutrients

A nutrient that greatly affects brain health, corresponding with mental health, is omega 3. This is found in foods such as oily fish, flaxseed, walnuts, olive oil.

Cell signaling and structure of cell membranes within the brain are changed by omega-3 fatty acids which can act as an antidepressant.

Research within this area is growing through time and is showing positive effects with using omega-3 fatty acids to help treat depression and bipolar related depression too.

It is worth noting that if you do not eat oily fish two to three times per week or taking on high levels of plant-based sources in the form of flaxseed, olive oils etc, it may be worth supplementing or even better, trying to increase these whole food forms into your diet more often.

Source: Overworked and exhausted? 5 reasons your mental health may be suffering (healthista.com)

The Tom Hanks Rule

When Hanks got his first taste of success and offers became streaming in, that the actor says he learned an important lesson- one that can benefit entrepreneurs, freelancers, and other small business owners, as their work and reputations start to grow. He was speaking about how he got to a place where he could make the movies he really wanted to make. To do that, says Hanks, he needed to learn to say a very difficult word to people.

That word was “no.”

© Photo: Getty Images Tom Hanks

“The odd lesson for that is I figured out that’s how you end up making the favorable work you do,” said Hanks in an interview. “Saying yes, then you just work. But saying no means you made the choice of the type of story you wanted to tell and the type of character you want to play.”

There’s a lot of wisdom in these words. When it comes to my own work, they’ve helped teach me to set my own priorities and create a business that helps me to achieve my own personal goals.

I like to call this lesson, the “Tom Hanks Rule.”

Getting more out of work and life means learning to say no

The Tom Hanks rule helps you to develop self-management, a key facet of emotional intelligence. It states simply:

Every time you say yes to something you don’t really want, you’re actually saying no to the things you do.

It’s important to remember this, because it’s easy to get caught up in the moment. You might get in the habit of saying yes to everyone’s request for a favor, just because you want to be helpful. Or, you might accept whatever work comes your way-even if it prevents you from reaching your goals.

When you remember the Tom Hanks rule, you remind yourself that every decision has consequences, and that there is only a certain amount of hours in the day, days in the week, and weeks in the year.

This is especially important to remember as your business becomes more successful. As an owner, you might chafe at the idea of turning down sure work. But part of the beauty of running a successful business is that you can get more picky with how you choose to spend your time.

You don’t have to work with every client; you can focus on the clients you enjoy working with.

You don’t have to spend time on tasks you hate; you can hire others to care for these, and focus on aspects of the business that leverage your strengths.

You don’t have to work sixty or seventy hour weeks if you don’t want to; you can build your work schedule around other things that are just as important to you, if not more so.

Of course, you shouldn’t say no to everything. Part of relationship-building, and likely what helped you build a successful business in the first place, was helping when you can.

But every day, you will be faced with tough choices, about how you’re going to spend your time and energy. When you do, remember the Tom Hanks rule: Keep your emotions in check, and just say “no” to the things that aren’t important to you…so you have more time for the things that are.

Written by Justin Bariso for INC.©

Source: How Emotionally Intelligent People Use the “Tom Hanks Rule” to Get More Out of Work and Life (msn.com)

Here’s How To Use the HALT Method To Figure Out Why You’re So Grumpy

When you’re feeling worked up, it’s always better to take a pause in order to figure out what your body needs before you say or do something you’ll regret. (You’re never too old for a nap or a snack.) To do this efficiently, therapists often recommend the HALT method as an excellent way to tame emotions and create calmness by addressing basic human and bodily needs to prevent taking out your frustrations on someone else.

© Photo: Stocksy / Vertikalahalt method

What Is the HALT Method?

HALT stands for:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

The HALT method is based around the premise that you’re more likely to make poor, highly emotional decisions when hungry, angry, lonely or tired. “The purpose is to help us identify these experiences when we are tempted to engage in a negative behavior and to instead address the underlying issue,” says Kassondra Glenn, LMSW, a social worker and addiction specialist for Diamond Rehab.

The Purpose of the HALT Method

“The purpose of the HALT tool is to help us feel better when we are not feeling great emotionally, and it’s often used when we’re feeling upset or emotionally off-centered,” says physician and integrative medicine specialist Catherine Uram, MD.

Use it by asking yourself what seems “off” about your body and mindset, so if you notice you are not feeling like your usual self, you can go through the HALT acronym, questioning whether you’re hungry, angry, tired or feeling more isolated and alone, than usual.

1. How To Use the HALT Method When Hungry

When hungry, you tend to make hasty, emotional decisions, rather than use logic, as your body cries out for food and your stomach grumbles. “This is because our blood glucose (blood sugar) can be lower than usual, affecting our physiology, how we think, feel and therefore make decisions,” says Dr. Uram.

The best action plan is to identify hunger signals (rumbling stomachs, headaches, irritability, etc.) and find food as soon as possible. If hunger is the cause, it’s best to eat something light and nutritious, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, or seeds, which gradually brings physiology back to baseline

Then, later eat a meal, or add on to your snack, with slow speed and mindfulness to help you think more clearly and to feel calmer. “As your body and brain are coming back into homeostasis, you will think more clearly and feel calmer, avoiding hasty remarks and snappiness and alleviating uncomfortable moods,” says Glenn.

2. How To Use the HALT Method When Angry

Anger is a normal human emotion, but unless managed, it can lead to poor decision making in the moment. Use the HALT method by recognizing that you’re angry, and then choosing to use mindfulness to rest, with exercises that bring self-awareness, acknowledgement and a sense of calm. Glenn recommends deep breathing, sending energy into the feet, or touching fingertips together one-by-one as three simple techniques with potential to regulate anger quickly and with ease by bringing more attention to the present moment and anger.

Another way to use the HALT method is to target anger as the cause and then workout, which will release anger and stress. “Running, walking, or some other form of vigorous exercise can be helpful, because when we are angry, we have increased adrenaline and glucose (blood sugar), so intense exercise allows us to put it to good use physically, rather than keeping it all pent up inside, to then explode outwards,” says Dr. Uram.

3. How To Use the HALT Method When Lonely

People are wired to seek belonging, so when you’re feeling lonely, it may lead to depression and anxiety, as well as making decisions without connecting to yourself and your authenticity or power. There’s confusion on how to stay connected to yourself and to those around you. When depressed, HALT helps you handle emotions better and avoid taking them out on others.

Use the HALT method by reaching out to someone you feel you can be your authentic self with, and face-to-face, if possible, to reduce the loneliness you’re feeling. “Connection promotes nervous system co-regulation, which allows us to move from depressed/anxious back toward our baseline,” says Glenn. You might try yoga and meditation, exercising, reading a book, painting or doing any other hobby you love.

4. How To Use the HALT Method When Tired

Without physical energy, it’s hard to maintain enough mental energy and focus, as well as clarity with thinking and judgment. “Tiredness causes us to feel foggier and increases stress around making decisions, causing those decisions to be more rash,” says Glenn.

Use the HALT method by targeting the root cause (tiredness), and then prioritize tasks, to check off items accordingly, but also by prioritizing sleep, as well. A break might signify sleep, a vacation, a walk outside, an episode of your favorite television show or even simply sitting in silence for a brief pause, just for yourself.

When Is the HALT Method Most Useful?

The HALT method is a beneficial tool for people with anger management issues or chronic stress, for couples who are struggling to connect intimately or communicate well, and for those recovering from addiction and require greater self-awareness and ability to pause before doing things hastily to reflect and center themselves first.

“In general, HALT requires us to pause before choosing our next action and this pause creates space in which we can identify core emotions and choose a less harmful route,” says Glenn.

It’s important to remember that the HALT method is a tool for our toolbox, and it isn’t a cure-all or a technique for every scenario. It can be useful to talk to a professional in the area(s) in which you’re struggling to determine whether the HALT method can help with handling your emotions.

Written by Isadora Baum for Well+Good©

Source: Here’s How To Use the HALT Method To Figure Out Why You’re So Grumpy (msn.com)

All About Monotasking: Our Favorite New Productivity Tip

“I used to pride myself on being able to juggle a bunch of tasks at once, and as a mom it’s not only necessary, but impossible not to. But lately just reading a paperback without distraction or going for a walk without my phone brings me more joy while freeing my brain for more creativity. But here’s a surprising productivity tip: Science shows that focusing on one task at a time is better for your brain. One Stanford study found that high-tech jugglers, those who are trying to do it all, retain very little of what they actually consume; and their memory and attention spans are less robust than those who focus on one task at a time.

I recently chatted with Thatcher Wine, author of The Twelve Monotasks, about ways in which we can slow down in order to get more done. From reading and listening to creating, eating, and sleeping, there’s a science to how we can approach these tasks with focus and attention to ultimately do them better. Drawing on research in psychology, neuroscience, and mindfulness, Wine provides a roadmap for resisting all of the distractions we encounter in a day to bring a renewed focus on getting things done. Scroll for more tips from his new book.

What are the benefits of monotasking?

Wine: Monotasking can help us be more productive, less stressed, and more connected to other people. When we multitask, we make more mistakes and things take longer. Plus, constant multitasking tends to make us feel overwhelmed by how much we have to do. In contrast, monotasking provides satisfaction from doing one thing at a time with our full attention.

What are easy ways we can break free from multitasking?

The first thing we have to do is put down our phones and keep them out of reach. They are good at convincing us that we can and should multitask all the time. The second thing we can do is to do something every day that builds our ability to focus. I love to read for 20 minutes each morning. When you’re feeling stressed out and have too much to do, I also recommend going for a walk for 20 minutes. Keep your phone in your pocket and monotask the walk, doing nothing but walking, paying attention to the sights and sounds, but resisting all temptations to multitask… this will help you reset and multitask less at your desk and in life.

How has technology played a role in our desire to multitask?

We invented all of these devices and technology over the past few decades and have built them to be faster and faster, and to multitask more and more. It’s confusing to us that if the smartphones and computers we invented and configured can multitask, why can’t we?

However, we have the same brains that humans have had for thousands of years, yet we are asking something different of them and are frustrated and overwhelmed when they can’t keep up. Advertisers and technology companies have figured out how to get our attention with various notifications and rewards. They are constantly tempting us to multitask. The sooner we release that these are just distractions, the sooner we can reclaim control of our own attention to get done what we need and want to do.

Parents, especially moms, are overwhelmed with the tasks of childcare, navigating a pandemic, and work, plus finding time for themselves. What is your best advice for slowing down when it seems impossible to do so?

There is way more economic, cultural, and societal pressure to do more than ever before in the history of human beings. We’ve tried to keep up by doing more, and doing more than one thing at one time (multitasking). However, as a parent, I have found that I’m much better able to take care of my family, and myself, by slowing down and being present in every moment. It seems hard to do when we have so much on our to-do lists, and our kids need us and want our attention. However, we always have a choice with everything we do: we can do one thing with our full attention (monotasking), or we can do multiple things with partial attention (multitasking). The more we choose to monotask with our full attention, the more we’ll get done, and the more our friends and family will value our presence and learn from our example”.

Article by Theresa Gonzalez for Brit.co

Sourcer: All About Monotasking, Our Fave Productivity Tip — Brit + Co – Brit + Co