Supporting a Friend Who Just Left Rehab

Posted on 13 October 2017 by sam

It’s tough to know what to say after a friend goes through rehab for a drug or alcohol addiction. It’s tempting to just pretend like it never happened, to proceed as if everything is fine and normal. But it’s not fine and normal. It doesn’t mean you have to treat your friend with kid gloves, but you do have to acknowledge that things have changed. You need to give your friend support without smothering them. It can be a bit tricky to pull that off, but it’s worth a shot.

Recovery is an ongoing process

Addiction isn’t a small thing. It’s not a sprained ankle or even a hairline fracture; you can’t set it, wait a few weeks for it to heal, and then act as though there was never any sort of injury. It’s a long-term condition. There’s a reason why addiction experts say an alcoholic is always an alcoholic, even if they’re in recovery and have been sober for years. It’s also why so many people often relapse at least once or twice before they can stay on the straight and narrow path of recovery.

When your buddy gets out of rehab, feel free to ask some questions, although you shouldn’t be too nosy (don’t ask for details on other patients in rehab, for instance), and back off if your friend indicates they don’t want to talk about it anymore right now. It’s natural to want to know the name of the facility. Don’t be surprised if your friend says something like “I went to a place called Beachside Rehab. Their website is https://www.beachsiderehab.com/, so feel free to look them up.” Then do that. There are some misconceptions about what rehab is and isn’t, so educate yourself on the reality of your friend’s situation.

If they were receiving inpatient treatment, you may want to throw them a big welcome home party, but resist the urge. They’re still in the early stages of recovery, after all. It’s great that they recognized they needed to make a change, but don’t celebrate too much. You can be supportive without acting like All of Their Problems are solved forever. Buy them a gift if you want, but don’t get too crazy. It should be something helpful, like a relaxing piece of artwork or a massage at the local spa.

Offer yourself up as a sounding board for your friend, but only if they’re open to it. They may be participating in a group like Alcoholics Anonymous, which means they should have a sponsor tasked with helping them stay sober. So they may not take you up on your offer, but they’ll probably appreciate it all the same. Tell them they can call you and talk anytime, but only if you mean it. Don’t overpromise and underdeliver.

It’s important not to make your friend’s addiction all about you. For instance, maybe you bought your friend a bottle of wine five years ago without realizing they were an alcoholic. There’s no need to bring that up, especially since your friend probably doesn’t even remember it anymore. It’s very unlikely you had anything to do with their descent into addiction. If you did, then they probably wouldn’t be talking to you right now. Recovering addicts are supposed to keep away from bad influences. So if you’re still in your friend’s life, it’s unlikely that they’re mad at you or think it’s all your fault.

It’s common to wonder how you should approach parties with a friend in recovery. Even if they weren’t receiving treatment for alcohol abuse, you may wonder if the mere act of serving alcohol could send them over the edge somehow. Talk to them and ask. If they wave it off, you’re probably fine serving a little beer and wine. If they admit it might be an issue, then it would be nice of you to avoid serving alcohol, at least at the first few social events. Keep in mind, though, that eventually your friend is going to have to figure out how to manage in a world where people drink alcohol at parties. Never serving it again is probably not realistic.

The League of Ladies: Women and Fantasy Football

Posted on 13 October 2017 by sam

When you see commercials promoting fantasy football leagues, what do they have in common? Well, there’s plenty of beer and bar food. Most of the people are wearing jerseys in support of their favorite team. There’s probably a lot of cheering.

And what else? Oh yes. Men. Lots and lots of men.

The world presented by corporate advertising doesn’t always bear much of a resembles to reality, though. The truth is, there are a ton of women who like sports and are interested in things like fantasy football. And it’s not because they think the players on the field are hot.

Women can appreciate sports just like anyone else. You don’t need to have a Y chromosome to be awed by the way Aaron Rodgers throws a Hail Mary. You don’t need to be male to get excited for the playoffs because of the play on the field rather than the nachos on the food table (although nachos are also pretty great).

Sure, there’s some truth to the notion that women are more likely to follow Olympic sports like swimming and gymnastics, but that’s far from the whole story. According to numbers from Athletic Business, which bills itself as a resource for sports and fitness professionals, female viewership of the NFL shot up twenty-six percent from 2009 to 2013. The NFL itself says women make up forty-five percent of the fan base as of 2017. The NFL has even held Breast Cancer Awareness months in an effort to attract more female viewership. Such efforts may not be doing as much as they could for actual breast cancer charities, but it’s a sign of how much the NFL is trying to appeal to women.

So next time you see a woman wearing a ring, know that it might not mean she’s engaged or married. It could mean she and her friends got together and decided to purchase fantasy football rings for the top finishers in their fantasy league. Fantasy football has exploded in popularity in the past few years, and it’s only natural that women would be a big part of that surge.

Think of TV broadcasts of professional football games. When the cameras pan to members of the crowd, there are plenty of men and women in the mix. Women may be more fond of glitter face paint than their male counterparts, but there’s no rule that says they have to be. There’s a stereotype of female sports fans that insists they’re only interested in their sport of choice for shallow reasons. That’s no more true of women than it is of men. People like sports for all sorts of reasons. No reason is inherently better than the others, unless your reason is “I like to see traumatic brain injuries.” Because honestly, that’s a pretty horrifying reason.

So if February rolls around and a female friend of yours says she’s heading to the airport for a flight to Minneapolis, don’t assume she’s visiting the Mall of America. There’s also a pretty big football game happening around that time, and she just might have been lucky enough to score tickets.

Living With Rhythm

Posted on 13 October 2017 by sam

You can feel rhythm in the way that your toes start tapping to the beat of a catchy song – and you can also feel it as you grow tired at the end of a long day. Rhythms are all around us, and our bodies are in tune with them. This isn’t New Age mumbo jumbo: this is real science!

Rhythms are all around us… and inside us

Rhythms exist in nature. The cycles of the moon, and rise and fall of the tides, and the rising and setting of the sun are all natural rhythms. They’re as predictable as the drumbeat in a pop or rock song, and they have a significant impact on the world all around us. The whole world is joining in: birds singing in the morning, ocean animals migrating with each night’s temperature changes, and even we humans sleeping in the dark hours and rising with the light.

But we’re not just responding the rhythms of life. We’re also keeping track of them inside ourselves, whether we realize it or not. That may sound like some hippie nonsense, but it’s actually hard science: this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine went to researchers who traced the biological source of circadian rhythms in fruit flies. Yes, even fruit flies are in tune with the rhythms of the Earth, and the research that these scientists did has brought us closer to understanding the ways in which animal life all over the planet has adapted to the beat of the Earth’s rotation.

How to tap into the rhythm of life

The rhythm is in each of us, and we want to live in harmony with the Earth – but we’re not always doing it. Anyone who has ever been jet lagged knows what it is like to disrupt “circadian rhythms,” which is science’s fancy term for our body’s natural sleep patterns. Our bodies want us to sleep at night and get up in the morning! Not all sleep is created equal, and we will be better rested and healthier if we sleep the way that nature intended. It’s just one of several ways that we can better live in the rhythm of life:

    • Sleep better. There are a lot of way to track your circadian rhythms, including apps and pen-and-paper methods. Use one, and try to get natural sleep by using comfort aids like water pillows rather than sleeping pills and other chemical solutions.
    • Eat on a schedule. It’s not clear that your body is on an internal eating clock, but we do know that eating between meals is one path to obesity, and that habits build on themselves with each passing day. So set a new normal for yourself, and stick to a schedule for your meals.
    • Steer clear of chemicals. There’s no surer way to disrupt your sleep or eating schedule than to ingest things that make you tired (or alert) or hungry (or not hungry). Alcohol, sleeping pills, caffeine – they all can mess up your internal rhythms. So be moderate in your intake of these substances, or avoid them entirely.

 

 

 

When Home Isn’t Enough: Places People Go for Help

Posted on 13 October 2017 by sam

When people buy a home, they often think of it as their safe place, their refuge from the world. It’s common to think, “I’m going to go home and figure this out,” because home is the place where you feel calm and capable. When you go on business trips and vacations, you’re always incredibly excited to get home and sleep in your own bed. It can be hard to think of a time when your home might actually be a dangerous place for you or a loved one.  

There are some issues that require leaving the house and going somewhere else to solve. Your time away may be short-term or long-term, but in desperate situations, the house you’ve grown to love just won’t be quite enough.

Addiction in the Home

For people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol, home is a place where they can hide their addiction. They can put a flask in a secret location, or just hide all of their alcohol in a cabinet no one ever uses. They can tell their friends they’re too busy to go out, then stay at home and ingest their substance of choice. When you’re home, it’s easy to convince yourself that you’re not addicted to anything, especially if no one else knows just how much you’re using.

If someone does find your liquor cabinet and confronts you, what will you do? Will you make an honest pledge to get better, or will you just move your stash to another secret location?

The former option is the better one for a lot of reasons. Addiction is bad for your health, and hiding it makes you feel like a criminal (depending on what you’re using, you might actually be a criminal if police ever find your stash). If you’re truly committed to getting help for your addiction, you need to put all the options on the table. That includes going to a reputable rehab facility. It’s scary to pack up your things and head to a new place, but you may very well need that fresh start to truly reckon with the past. Get out, clear your head, and get sober. Then you can return home ready to live a more open and free life.

Aging and Isolation

Merely saying the words “retirement home” is enough to make some people panic. There’s a sense in some circles that retirement homes are where you go when you’ve given up on life, but that’s simply not true. Modern retirement homes can be vibrant, active communities (look at places like Riddle Village LifeCare Retirement Community as evidence). As we get older, the house we love can become an impractical place to live. Living in a “normal” home can even be dangerous for people with certain medical conditions. Moving to a retirement community could make sense for a lot of reasons, including financial ones. Take time to explore your options, and don’t make any rash decisions. Try to be open to the idea of heading to a retirement community. Many seniors tend to live isolated lives, especially after the death of a spouse, and a retirement community can be a great way to meet new friends. You can still live an independent life while getting the support you need in a safe, friendly environment.

poster

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Using The Pomodoro Technique as a Freelance Writer

Posted on 30 June 2017 by sam

As a freelance writer, it is very easy to drown in projects and forget to take breaks. Working continuously is not efficient, and you will find yourself drained of energy and inspiration, struggling to finish a task that usually would have taken less to complete. Exhaustion can make you lose your focus, make mistakes that you normally would not to and miss deadlines. For a freelance writer, this means unhappy customers, bad reviews, and lost contracts. You have worked so hard to get your hands on those online freelance writing jobs that it would be a shame to lose them like this.

Fortunately, there is a productivity tool that you can use to keep up your energy levels and the good work. The Pomodoro technique is, in fact, a timer which breaks down your work into smaller periods of time. You set the timer for a 25-minute period, and you focus on your task without interruption until the timer rings. The one who developed this technique is Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s, but it was only in 2006 when he published his book The Pomodoro Technique. The technique’s name comes from the kitchen timer Cirillo that he used, which is shaped like a tomato (pomodoro in Italian).

This time management method can boost the writing productivity for people with online writing jobs from home, and Cirillo believes that people are the most productive when they focus and work on 25-minute tasks, followed by 5-minute breaks. The 25-minute period is called a ‘pomodoro.’

How the Pomodoro Technique Works

The Pomodoro Technique helps you map out your entire work based on 25-minute periods and breaks. This involves not only planning, but also challenging yourself.  Here is how it works:

For every 25-minute period of work, you take a 5-minute break. After four sets you take a 15-30-minute break. Then start all over again.

According to Cirillo at the beginning of each day, you make a list of activities you want to complete and prioritize them. List each activity with an estimate of how many 25-minute breaks or pomodoros you will need to complete it. Then, as the day goes along, you have to track your activity and mark off each pomodoro and cross out activities once they’re done.

The technique has three evaluation stages: record, process and visualize. At the end of the day you will review your plan and determine what improvements you need to make in your writing practice.

How the Pomodoro Technique Can Help Authors

For many freelance writers writing a task in 25-minute periods is close to impossible, especially if you have a lengthy article, review, blog post or even a book. Although it might seem that this technique will complicate things instead of making them easier, give it a try. You can challenge yourself and try to write a certain number of words in a pomodoro or try to write more when you have a little bit of available time.

Useful tools

Instead of using a simple timer you can install some of the amazing apps out there, with lots of useful features.

Marinara Timer

This is a web app that you can keep open in a separate tab. Simply select the timer alerts so that you know when you should take a break or reconfigure the writing and break times to suit you.

Tomighty

This is a desktop Pomodoro timer app that you just start, and it will do the rest. You can also customize the app according to your work and break periods.

Pomodorable

This app has more visual cues for your complete and coming up tasks, and it also lets you estimate how many pomodoros you need to finish a task.

Focus Timer

Focus Timer, previously known as PomodoroPro is a great app for iPhone and iPad. You have the freedom to customize your work and break periods and review work history. It shows you how your focus is improving and it offers a star-based rating system to help you stay motivated.

These are some of the apps that you can choose from. Experiment with all of them and see which one fits your needs.

The Pomodoro Technique is perfect for those with freelance writing jobs online, students, managers, lawyers, developers, directors, parents, teachers and any other persons who have to deal with creative work. The goal of this technique is to help you focus and get into the zone, but also to remind you to go out for air. Give it a try, and you might realize that it’s just what you were looking for.

self-improvement

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Inspirational Lessons for Self-Improvement from a Founding Father

Posted on 10 June 2017 by sam

A recent study classified two different types of behaviour people take on when produced with critical feedback. First, there are the Provers. These people tend to attempt to justify their current state with excuses and rationalization. Whether or not those defenses hold any weight, these people are trying to “prove” that they are fine as they are. The second group contains the Improvers. These people, no matter how qualified they already are, take a close look at themselves and try to find ways a situation can help them become better.

The Founding Father Benjamin Franklin is perhaps the most famous “Improver” in history likely due to the prolific documentation we have on his methods and philosophies for improvement. He attempted to cultivate habits for holistic self-improvement throughout his entire life.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Not surprisingly, Franklin was an avid reader. When he decided he wanted to become a better writer as well, he made up exercises for practice and committed to studying famous authors.

Franklin was renowned for his writing, but his methods can be applied to any skill and individuals often see success when focused on honing personal strengths, whether those be essay writing like Franklin or the chemistry of beauty products like Ida Gál-Csisza.

Don’t simply rely on being “good enough” at something. Analyze methods and disciplines to help you improve and learn more about your greatest skills. There is no ceiling for excellence, so continue to improve your education by any means necessary, find unique areas of interest and do your research to be sure you’re landing yourself in the right courses to provide the most fruitful learning experiences possible.  

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” – Benjamin Franklin

Often remembered as a scholar, Franklin should also be remembered as a strong proponent of physical self-care. He made certain to exercise frequently and eat well, even becoming a vegetarian for health and thrift. An avid swimmer in a time where most of the population did not know how to swim, Franklin was posthumously inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1968.

He believed that productivity improved as health improved, an attitude that remains relevant as more and more americans are affected by diseases of affluence like obesity or back pain due to inactive lifestyles. While modern medicine goes a long way, even today many doctors recommend lifestyle changes to deal with chiropractic or health issues.

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” – Benjamin Franklin

From his heavy involvement in the ideology of the birth of the United States, it is fitting that Franklin was invested in cultivating moral character. And not only on a nationwide scale, but personally as well. A bit of a scoundrel in his youth, Franklin bemoaned that he learned the wisdom of morality so late in his life. At least, late from his perspective. There many who go through life with little thought to their personal morality at all.

Not satisfied with other systems of morals at the time, Franklin codified his own list of 13 virtues he strived to uphold. At the end of every week, we would look back and judge how well he did hoping to practice and improve.

While the specifics of improvement areas and methods will vary from individual to individual, Benjamin Franklin stands as a shining role model for any who wish to carry on the path of improvement.

Summer.

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How to Get Away Without Actually Getting Away

Posted on 31 May 2017 by sam

Summer is a great time to take a breather from work. In lots of industries, Summer is a slow time, so it’s relatively easy to take some time off without missing out on too much. Vacations can be expensive though, not to mention stressful, and sometimes it’s not feasible to get on a plane or in the car and actually go somewhere far away from home.

Enter, the “stay-cation.” You can get away from home for a night and stay in a hotel nearby, or, to save money, you can act like you’re on vacation in your own city. Get out and explore. Walk around, try new restaurants. Go to museums. Go shopping. Find a nearby hiking trail. Check out some theater or a concert. Whatever you need to go to get away. Do some research ahead of time. You’d probably be surprised at how much your area has to offer!

Often times, however, what you need to take a break from work is to truly unwind and slow down. And, if that’s what you’re after, you can go on vacation without ever leaving your house. One option is to create your own spa day. Light some candles and do an at-home facial, manicure, or pedicure. Another easy way to unwind while at home is doing a movie day. Or, you could try that recipe that you’ve had on your list, but have never had time for.

As long as you’re taking time to do something that you enjoy, it’s good time that you’re taking! Really enjoy those days off, whether that means going out and doing a bunch of things you’ve always wanted to do or simply sitting home on the couch with your significant other. If gaming is your thing, you could spend some time playing online games, either alone or with others. If you’re a sports fan, get out and catch a game before it gets too hot.

Truly checking out is often easier said than done. Oftentimes, we plan to take the day off but one e-mail turns into two, and then ten. A phone call turns into three and then four, and by the time it’s 6:00pm, you haven’t really taken a break at all.

Whatever your “thing” is, take some time and do it. You’ll go back to work refreshed. Your family, your body, your mind, and yes, even your job, will thank you.

CRM Software

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7 CRM Software Stats You Can’t Ignore

Posted on 24 May 2017 by sam

CRM Software

More and more companies are discovering just how effective CRM software is. In fact, over 70 percent of businesses that use this software say that it has improved their access to customer data.

The information provided by CRM software will help you better understand your customers and how they use your products. It also will inform any potential modifications or alterations that you may make to your products in the future.

Need more convincing? Here are seven CRM software statistics that you need to know.

Productivity From Mobile CRM

The amazing capability of smartphones today has changed the game when it comes to mobile CRM. While this type of CRM was once thought of as unnecessary, it has now become almost essential to businesses.

The main reason why mobile CRM is so appealing to companies is the productivity it creates. With mobile CRM use, businesses have seen rises in productivity as high as 15%.

A recent study also shows that 65% of sales reps who use mobile CRM reach their sales quotas. Meanwhile, only 22% of the reps who solely use non-mobile CRM achieve their sales goals.

Accessing CRM Through Multiple Devices

Given the success of companies that use CRM software on their mobile devices, it makes sense that more and more people are now accessing this software from multiple devices.

Laptops and desktops remain the primary devices for this software. However, the use of tablets and smartphones continues to rise.

Roughly 81% of users are now accessing their CRM software from multiple devices.

The Rise of Cloud-Based CRM

Individuals using multiple devices for CRM has led to an increase in cloud-based CRM solutions.

In 2008, only about 12 percent of businesses used cloud-based CRM. However, that number has skyrocketed in recent years.

Currently, 87 percent of businesses use cloud-based CRM. That’s a pretty staggering number but one that certainly makes sense in today’s mobile-friendly world.

Knowing Your Customers

With so many online options nowadays, customers are looking for brands and businesses that they can trust more than ever. In fact, 80% of consumers will research your products online before they make a purchase from your site.

How can you make sure you stand out among everyone else offering the same products?

CRM software can be a huge help when it comes to getting to know your customers. This software allows you to create a 360-degree overview of every individual you interact with online.

As an example of how this can work, let’s take a look at Adobe Spark.

People use Adobe Spark to create videos, images, pages, and posts. With the Adobe spark app, users can build the type of content that they want from anywhere with many different devices.

A downloadable app for a content creator like this is essential because you never know when inspiration will strike for your customers. People want to have the ability to create and invent wherever they go.

In this example case, CRM software can help you identify which devices your customers use most and what exactly they use them for. It will allow you to get to know your customers better so that you can cater to their desires.

Creating a Customer Community on Social Media

While CRM software can certainly be helpful for personalized, one-on-one customer interactions, it has also been useful in fostering online communities.

Simply look at Best Buy, which found success for years with its Twelpforce account on Twitter before adapting it into its Best Buy Unboxed community.

Over the course of about four years, the Twelpforce team featured 3,000 registered Best Buy employees and Geek Squad agents. These agents sent more than 65,000 tweets to customers.

While the Twelpfroce team no longer exists, the bond between Best Buy and its customers still does. Company employees continue to assist customers through the @BestBuy, @BestBuySupport, and @GeekSquad Twitter accounts.

Personalized Marketing Strategies

You may be happy with the amount of customers you have, but it’s never a bad thing to try to get more.

More and more companies are planning on increasing their email marketing budgets in the coming year.

The main reason for this influx of spending is that emails’ RIO has been consistently great. You make much more than what you spend.

Providing personalized email messages to potential customers is a dependable way of bringing more awareness and use to your products.

The CRM Market Continues to Grow

The CRM industry has seen incredible growth in recent years.

There is no indication that this expansion will stop. In fact, research indicates that the market will grow even more this year.

Recent forecast projects that the CRM market will be worth $37 billion in 2017.

The benefits of CRM software are clear. Why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of it like so many others are?

Tech Savvy Furniture for Your Home

Tech Savvy Furniture for Your Home

Posted on 20 May 2017 by sam

In the age of home automation, convenience and comfort are high priorities to many homeowners. If you’re looking to trade your squeaky desk chair or beat-up work desk for something a little more sophisticated, look no further. Modernize has a few ideas for updating your space with the latest and greatest high tech furniture pieces.

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Who Needs a Lead Generation Software System?

Who Needs a Lead Generation Software System?

Posted on 30 December 2016 by sam

We all know that economic activities are dictated by supply and demand. The greater the demand, the greater the production to increase the supply. Enterprising entities have learned to manipulate this a bit by creating an artificial demand so that others will also follow. Unfortunately, over time, consumers are becoming more intelligent and they already know if they are being fooled or not. If the goal of companies before was to look for customers, today, the goal of businesses today is to be discovered by customers. As such, if you have a company whose goal is the latter, then you will need a lead generation software system.

Lead generation, for all intents and purposes, is simply any activity that stimulates and captures the interest of consumers related to a particular service or product with the end in mind of further developing this interest down the sales funnel. Today, lead generation is almost always equated with digital marketing activities and can include search engine optimization, website optimization, content marketing, social media, mobile marketing, and a whole lot more.

Technically, the purpose of these channels is to drum up interest among a certain target population so that they will be enticed to learn more about the product or service being offered. So, they click on links, fill up some simple forms, or even answer a very short survey. For some, it may be as simple as clicking on the Like or Share button on their social media accounts. The fact is that whenever someone performs something on the internet in response to a call to action, it initiates a cascade of processes that eventually leads to the creation of a list of potential customers. These are what are called leads and these are what the sales people will try to convert into actual customers where the real business transaction commences.

The question now is whether you have the necessary manpower to manually create all of these lead generating forms, email lists, call trackers, and other media. Doing it manually is entirely possible especially if you are only entertaining about tens of potential clients every month. However, if you’re entertaining hundreds every day, then you’re better off with a fully automated lead generation software like Boberdoo’s to ensure uniformity and standardization of your lead generation activities.

Lead generation programs effectively automate everything in your marketing program from inbound marketing to content marketing to email marketing and to social media marketing as well as other lead generation activities. Each of these activities will require some type of form which will capture the information of your potential customer which, if successful, will be converted into actual clients or sales. Because there are so many inherent processes in each of these activities, automating these will greatly reduce the time and effort in its generation so you’ll have more opportunity converting these leads into actual customers. This is how you become successful in this very competitive world.

Lead generation is very important for businesses to succeed. Automating lead generation can help ensure greater chances of success.