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7 Inspiring Ways to Maintain Your Motivation

7 Inspiring Ways to Maintain Your Motivation

When it comes to getting things accomplished, motivation can be hard to come by. Yet, motivation is exactly what is needed. A small amount of motivation is required to do small, simple things, like brushing your teeth. Bigger tasks require more motivation to complete.

But how do you manufacture motivation when you have none?

Learn to motivate yourself and you’ll accomplish more:

  1. Use pain. If you fail to complete a particular task, what damage will be done? It might just be the inconvenience of having even more to do the following day. Or it could be the prospect of someone dropping by and seeing how filthy your home is.
  • Come up with several good reasons why failing to take action would be painful to you.
  1. Use pleasure. Saving $25 this week might not be too exciting, but the vacation you’ll be taking next year is pretty great. Remind yourself of all the benefits you’ll receive. Make a long list that will help to keep the fire burning inside to successfully deal with those unpleasant or boring tasks.
  • Visualize the future you expect to enjoy from getting your tasks completed. Rehearse your successes in your mind. Create an image that motivates you take the next step enthusiastically.
  1. Set short-term goals. It’s hard to stay motivated for more than 8-10 weeks. So, if you have a goal that will require a year to accomplish, you’ll run out of gas before you’re successful.
  • Break goals that take an extended amount of time into smaller goals that can be accomplished within two months.
  1. Make the task more enjoyable. Raking the leaves might sound like a dreadful way to spend the afternoon, but what if you listened to your favorite album on your iPod while you raked? You could invite a few friends over for a barbeque and ask them to bring a rake.
  • Ask yourself, “How can I make this task as enjoyable as possible?” and then listen to the answers you receive.
  1. Give yourself a reward. You wouldn’t go to work each day if you didn’t get paid. The reward you receive is enough to keep you going back each day. Apply the same idea to keep your motivation high enough to get things done. Think of a few things you truly enjoy and use them as motivation.
  • Just feeling proud and pleased with your progress can be a form of reward. Those that struggle with motivation are often hard on themselves. Be happy with your progress and you can expect to enjoy more progress in the future.
  1. Take a deep breath. Few things will drain your motivation faster than an over-stimulated mind. Stay clear on what you’re trying to accomplish and focus on the most direct path to get there. Deal with one task before moving on to another.
  • Keep your brain focused on your current task. Meditation is an effective tool for learning to focus more effectively.
  1. Include another person. Going to the gym each day can be challenging. But if you know your workout partner is waiting for you, it’s more difficult to stay home. The presence of others can increase your level of commitment. Reach out to a friend.

Without motivation, willpower is the only solution. Willpower is much more difficult to sustain than motivation. Learning to control your motivation is part of learning to control yourself. There’s little that can’t be accomplished once you learn how manipulate your level of motivation. Even the most challenging tasks become manageable.

Use These Tips to Apply Meditation to Daily Activities

Use These Tips to Apply Meditation to Daily Activities

The most challenging and meaningful part of your meditation practice may begin after you rise up off your cushion. If you take the insights you acquire during meditation and apply them to your daily routines, it can change your life!

After all, you probably meditate for less than a half hour a day, which leaves a lot of hours free for wandering off course, especially when you’re dealing with deadlines at work and parenting at home.

Learn how to stay on track by integrating meditation into the ordinary activities that fill up most of your day.

Steps to Take While You’re Meditating:

  1. Set your intention. Set an intention that will guide your actions. Having goals gives you something to strive for, along with a map for how to reach your destination. Spend a few minutes at the start of each meditation session thinking about what you want to accomplish.
  2. Narrow your focus. While meditating can enhance any aspect of your life, you’re bound to wind up overwhelmed if you try to tackle too much at once. Clarify your priorities and pick one project for your starting point.
  3. Form a resolution. Make a firm decision about what you are going to do differently today. Aim for something that is challenging, but within your grasp if you make enough effort.
  4. Create a timeline. It may be difficult to listen attentively or give up swearing for the rest of your life, but you may be able to stick to your resolution for an hour or an afternoon at a time. Those victories will add up.

Steps to Take in Between Meditation Sessions:

  1. Slow down. Rushing around interferes with mindfulness and awareness. Move at a deliberate pace, and take frequent breaks to conserve and replenish your energy stores.
  2. Eat mindfully. Meals are one of the most obvious triggers you can use to remind yourself of anything. As you drink your morning coffee or eat your lunch, go over your resolution for the day.
  3. Be flexible. Actual events may look quite different from what you envisioned while you were meditating. Look for ways to adapt the spirit of your resolution to whatever conditions may arise.
  4. Refresh your motivation. Even if you’re short on time, a brief meditation session can help you channel your thoughts. Take a few deep breaths and chant a mantra while you’re showering or driving to work.
  5. Help others. Use meditation to strengthen your relationships and make new friends. Boosting your kindness and compassion draws others to you and tends to make you happier.
  6. Find a buddy. You’re more likely to stick to any resolution if you feel accountable. Team up with a friend so you can give each other encouragement and feedback.
  7. Join a community. If there’s anything more powerful than a single meditation buddy, it’s a whole community. Research places in your neighborhood that might offer meditation programs. That could include yoga studios, community centers, and public libraries.
  8. Make friends with yourself. You’ll accomplish more with a gentle and positive attitude towards yourself. Know that you are worthy just the way you are. Think of learning and growing as a gift to yourself rather than a set of corrections.
  9. Continue your studies. Acquiring more skills and knowledge can help you deepen your spiritual practices. Sign up for classes or browse online for books and videos.
  10. Protect your health. It’s easier to meditate when you keep your body fit. Exercise regularly, eat nourishing foods, and stick to a consistent sleep schedule.

Who said meditation is a passive activity? To realize the full benefits of your sessions, stay focused and put what you learn into action throughout your daily life.

What You Need to Know about Caffeine and Sleep

What You Need to Know about Caffeine and Sleep

If you’re wondering what’s keeping you up at night, it could be the coffee that you drink during the day. Caffeine is safe for most adults and can even have important health benefits. On the other hand, too much of it can contribute to insomnia and other sleep issues.

While you could give up coffee without sacrificing any essential nutrients, it’s rarely necessary to go that far.

Learn how to enjoy your daily caffeine habit and still stay well rested.

Facts about Caffeine:

  1. Understand the chemistry. Caffeine is a stimulant. It blocks the effects of a neurochemical called adenosine that makes you feel sleepy. It aso increases your dopamine levels so you become more alert.
  2. Spot the symptoms. You’ve probably noticed that it’s more difficult for you to fall asleep after you’ve been drinking coffee. Caffeine can disrupt your body clock because it suppresses melatonin. You may wind up reducing your sleep time as well as the amount of restorative deep sleep that your mind and body need.
  3. Know the benefits. Studies show that moderate use boosts your mood and mental performance, and may lower your risk for many serious conditions including certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Managing Your Caffeine Intake:

  1. Consider each source. While coffee and tea account for more than 90% of the caffeine in the average diet, there are some additional sources that may surprise you. Caffeine is also found in chocolate, colas, and even some over-the-counter and prescription medications.
  2. Measure your consumption. According to the Mayo clinic, it’s wise to limit your caffeine consumption to less than 400 milligrams each day. That’s about 4 cups of coffee.
  3. Downsize your servings. Of course, you also need to pay attention to the size of those cups. A single giant mug or oversized fast food cup could put you over the limit.
  4. Set a curfew. Timing counts too. Caffeine takes about 20 minutes to go to work, and the effects can last for 6 hours or more. If you want it out of your system by bedtime, have your last cup of coffee in the early afternoon.
  5. Take a break. Tolerance to caffeine builds up quickly, so it will have more impact if you resist overindulging on a regular basis. You may even want to taper down on some days.
  6. Avoid energy drinks. Many experts warn against the use of products like energy drinks and caffeine powder that deliver large amounts of caffeine very quickly. They can contribute to heart conditions and anxiety, especially when combined with alcohol.
  7. Drink more water. On the other hand, water is a great supplement to coffee drinking. Downing a glass of plain water first thing in the morning may help you wake up with less coffee than usual.
  8. Turn up the lights. Exposure to light is another safe way to make your brain more alert. Take a morning run or walk around the block during your lunch hour.
  9. Try coffee naps. For an occasional boost, try drinking a cup of coffee before taking a 20 minute nap. You’ll find that you’ll be waking up just when the caffeine kicks in.
  10. Talk with your doctor. Your doctor can advise you about any individual concerns about coffee. You may want to cut back if you have high blood pressure or you’re pregnant or nursing.

Caffeine can have positive effects for most adults when used wisely. Knowing when and how to drink your coffee will help you to enjoy your favorite brew without disturbing your sleep.

What You Dont Know About Going Vegetarian Will Surprise You

What You Don’t Know About Going Vegetarian Will Surprise You

Are you wondering about going vegetarian? Surprisingly, your health isn’t the only thing that can improve when you go vegetarian. Learn more about the benefits of switching to a plant-based diet.

Consider these benefits:

  1. Grocery budget savings. Did you know that going vegetarian can actually lessen your grocery bills?
    • Although you may assume that fresh vegetables and fruits would be expensive, eliminating meat saves you money. Meat is one of the most expensive items at a grocery store, so becoming vegetarian cuts spending.
  2. Weight loss. Becoming vegetarian can help you lose weight faster.
    • A study from the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that participants were able to lose more weight by switching to a vegetarian lifestyle.
    • This may be caused by fruits and vegetables helping you feel fuller and avoid cravings.
  3. Environmental help. You help the planet when you go vegetarian.
    • Raising and shipping meat damages the environment in many ways that fruit and vegetable production can avoid. Meat requires the use of many natural resources before it shows up on your grocery shelf.
    • Vegetarians who stick to the diet create fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. Better mood. Researchers have discovered that vegetarians report better moods than meat-eaters. This means they’re happier and have lower risks for depression.
  5. Skin improvement. Eating a vegetarian diet can help your skin. You may notice a healthy glow and fewer breakouts. Plant-based diets add important vitamins and minerals to your diet that benefit the skin.
  6. Longer life. Researchers have found that plant-based diets help people live longer, healthier lives.
    • Vegetarians reduce their risk of cancers, dementia, heart disease, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other illnesses. This contributes to more years being added to their lives.
    • Not only do vegetarians live longer, but also the quality of their life is enhanced. The benefits of a healthier life simply cannot be overstated!
  7. Exposure to more foods. Compared to meat-eaters, vegetarians have diets that are filled with more variety. They aren’t afraid to experiment with new foods or try new fruits or vegetables.
    • Vegetarians are also more likely to try foods that meat-eaters may avoid.
    • Vegetarians are more willing to use new recipes that call for unusual ingredients or cooking procedures. This adds a fun zest to life.
  8. More education. Vegetarians are willing to explore more information about diets and health. They’re willing to increase their education outside of the classroom by learning more about food.
    • A well-balanced diet is essential for vegetarians. They’re more willing to seek information from their doctors and dieticians about their health and diet.
  9. Concern for animals increases. Studies show that many vegetarians become more concerned about the wellbeing of animals on the planet. They may become advocates or share information about animals with others.

Becoming a vegetarian is a big lifestyle change that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Before you switch your diet, consider these benefits and consult your doctor or dietician.

For the greatest success, start small by gradually switching over your meat-based meals to plant-based meals. Both your mind and body adjust to small changes easier, but these small changes will add up over time to a healthier new lifestyle.

14 Tips for Helping Your Child Build Language Skills

14 Tips for Helping Your Child Build Language Skills

Language skills are important to your child’s future.

Strong communications can help them to manage their emotions, develop healthy relationships, and succeed professionally.

As a parent, you can accelerate and enhance their verbal development by the way you interact with your child. Many studies show that talking and reading with your children extensively from an early age helps them to increase their vocabulary and other verbal abilities.

Give your sons and daughters a head start. Follow these practical tips full of simple and fun activities that will help your child to speak and write more effectively.

Tips for Talking with Your Child:

  1. Sing and dance. Children enjoy sounds and movement. Music also makes lessons more memorable and demonstrates the rhythm of language. Focus on repetitive lyrics and funny tunes.
  2. Share stories. Make up stories for your children and invite them to create their own tales. Personalize your works by using the names of family members and other familiar information.
  3. Ask questions. Children learn by asking questions, and answering them can help too. Use open-ended inquiries that will stimulate conversation.
  4. Play word games. Make learning fun with puzzles, puns, and riddles. Show how words that sound the same can have different meanings. Laugh about silly noises like ducks quacking and balloons popping.
  5. Discuss routine activities. Turn household chores and errands into teachable moments. Describe what you’re doing as you bake a cake or go shopping for school supplies.
  6. Follow their lead. Give your child your full attention when they’re talking to you. Build on what they’re saying. Ask them how they feel about various situations.

Tips for Reading with Your Child:

  1. Create a home library. Fill your home with attractive and enriching books and other reading material. Design an inviting reading nook like a table covered with blankets to look like a fort or a stack of soft pillows on the floor.
  2. Encourage their interests. PIck books about your child’s favorite subjects. Maybe they’re wild about horses or robots.
  3. Expand their vocabulary. Teach your child new words. Sound them out together and use them in a sentence.
  4. Take turns. As your child grows older, they can start reading to you sometimes. Even when they’re small, they can point out pictures and describe them.

Other Tips:

  1. Give gentle feedback. Children are bound to make some interesting guesses as they’re learning about pronunciation and grammar. To guide them without discouraging them, try repeating back the corrected version of what they said while praising them for their efforts.
  2. Plan field trips. Bring language to life by visiting places where your children can see what they’re learning about. Attend special exhibitions at art and science museums and check the calendars for hands-on family activities. Visit amusement parks, state fairs, and toy stores.
  3. Limit electronics. Many experts recommend no screen time for children under 2, and limited hours at any age. While some educational programming can be beneficial, interacting face-to-face- with your child builds language skills more effectively than passively watching TV.
  4. See your pediatrician. Language skills can be affected by other events in your child’s life. For example, they may regress to baby talk during challenging transitions like starting kindergarten or adjusting to a divorce. Talk with your pediatrician if you have any concerns.

Help your child to succeed in school and beyond by teaching them how to express themselves and understand others. Spending time talking and reading with your child draws you closer together while you encourage their growth and development.

12 Constructive Things To Do While Youre Unemployed

12 Constructive Things To Do While You’re Unemployed

If you’re currently searching for a job, you already know that a big part of your routine is waiting around. Maybe you’ve let everyone from your old boss to your hairdresser know that you’re interested in a new opportunity. Maybe you’ve been attending job fairs, and you’ve even landed a few promising interviews.

Now, you need something constructive you can do while you’re waiting for the phone to ring.

In fact, given that some aspects of finding employment tend to feel like they’re beyond your control, engaging in meaningful activities could boost your mood and make you a more attractive job candidate.

Run down this checklist for things you can do for yourself and your career.

Things to Do for Yourself:

  1. Work out regularly. If you have free time on your hands, spend it at the gym. As you shape up your body, you’ll also find that exercise is a safe way to deal with the stress that comes with being unemployed.
  2. Connect with family and friends. Take advantage of opportunities to hang out with those you love. Plan a weekend outing with your family to visit parks and free museums. Invite a friend to join you on your morning run.
  3. Appreciate nature. Enjoying the great outdoors can lift your spirits and boost your energy levels. Do some yard work. Take a nature hike on your own or bring your children along.
  4. Read more. When is the last time you read a book for pleasure? Expand your mind by catching up on fiction and nonfiction titles. Visit the library to borrow the latest bestsellers or classics that you loved as a child.
  5. Clean house. Neat and orderly surroundings help to fight anxiety. Clear away the clutter that’s been building up in your closets and garage. Scrub your bathroom floor and air out your mattresses.
  6. Review your budget. Take a close look at your finances. Look for ways to cut costs on entertainment or utilities. Try using your hobby to earn some money by becoming a Russian tutor or a part-time caterer.
  7. Practice your faith. Find comfort and strength in your spiritual practice. It can help you to deal with the emotional and economic consequences of being jobless. Browse online for churches and meditation centers in your neighborhood or build a shrine at home.

Things to Do for Your Career:

  1. Take a course. See what kinds of classes are available at your local community college or online universities. You could study coding or basic accounting.
  2. Build your portfolio. What would make your resume stand out? Interview a thought leader in your field, and publish your work online or in an industry publication. Produce an educational video and post it on YouTube.
  3. Volunteer your services. Giving back to your community can increase your self-esteem and make you more attractive to potential employers. Participate in fun runs and food drives. Contact a charity that interests you and discuss how you could help upgrade their database or write a quarterly newsletter.
  4. Polish your online presence. Do you wish your LinkedIn profile attracted more traffic? Makeover your digital identity by updating your accomplishments and taking down any unflattering photos.
  5. Explore your options. Maybe you want to continue in your field or maybe you’re interested in taking another route. Review your experience and contacts with an eye as to how they could help you transition your career.

While you want to stay on top of any activities that will bring you closer to your next position, there are many ways to find fulfillment while you’re waiting for that job offer. Use the time you spend unemployed to keep learning and growing in your personal and professional life.

Can You Ignore These Red Flags in a Relationship

Can You Ignore These Red Flags in a Relationship?

The red flags you see in a relationship aren’t always a sign of trouble. You may still be able to have a successful and happy relationship, even if your relationship does have some characteristics that could cause issues for others.

Sometimes, what may be red flags for some don’t apply to others. Plus, you may have a healthy system for overcoming challenges before they become too big for you.

Consider these red flags:

  1. Your family hates your partner. One common red flag in a relationship is that your family disapproves of your partner. However, this doesn’t mean you have to separate or break up.
    • Does your family dislike your partner? Do they criticize them every time they see you? Although your family may not approve, it’s not an indication that your relationship is doomed.
    • It’s important to evaluate your family’s comments and consider the past. Does your family always disapprove of your relationships? Do they always have a negative comment about your dates? If you notice an unhealthy pattern, then you may doubt your family’s concern.
    • If only your family has issues with your partner, it’s possible they may not be ready to see you in a committed relationship.
  2. Your partner is a collector. Does your partner enjoy collecting toys, gadgets, or other items?
    • A partner who is a collector may be a red flag for some because it can mean an obsession. However, not all collectors are overly obsessed with their items.
    • Before you end a relationship over this red flag, have a serious discussion with your partner. Bring up your concerns and determine how this hobby may affect you in the future.
    • A hobby that involves collecting items can be fun and safe. You should be concerned if it negatively affects your partner’s job, finances, family, or friends. Otherwise, consider helping them with the collection or starting your own. Collecting can be a great way to bond and share interests.
  3. You’re worried about age. If you’re very young or old, concerns about age are common. In addition, if you and your partner have a great difference in age, then you may be worried about this red flag.
    • Age differences aren’t an automatic reason to end a relationship. You may be mature and strong enough to handle them.
    • Your family and friends may not approve of your relationship because of age differences. They may also feel you’re too young or old to be in relationship. However, it’s important to focus on your partner and not allow outside influences to damage a happy relationship.
  4. Your partner resembles your parent. Does your partner have an uncanny resemblance to your parents? Do they look or act in a similar way? Although this may be a red flag in some instances, it doesn’t mean you’re automatically doomed.
    • If others notice the similarities between your partner and parents, you’ll have a hard time ignoring them.
    • However, if you love your parents and have a healthy relationship with them, then your partner’s similarities aren’t an issue. Couples have built successful relationships and marriages despite resembling each other’s parents.
    • You may simply be more comfortable in a relationship with a person who is familiar.
    • You may also discover that external appearances and similarities aren’t an indication that your partner is a clone of your parent. Your partner and parent may have completely different personalities and backgrounds. This may not have an impact on your relationship or future.

Red flags aren’t always an indication that it’s time to end the relationship. You may be able to embrace the quirks and live happily ever after.

Are you Ready for Commitment Watch for These Top Relationship Signs

Are You Ready for Commitment? Watch for These Top Relationship Signs

Are you in a close relationship? Maybe you’re excited about taking the next step. But you could be scared at the same time. You’re wondering if your partner feels the same way! What should you do? How do you even know if you might be ready for more of a commitment?

Consider these signs:

  1. Compatibility. Do you and your partner enjoy being around each other? What about similar interests? Do you feel that your partner completes you? Your compatibility can be a big sign that you’re ready for the next step.
    • If you feel that you work well together and can finish each other’s sentences, you may be ready for commitment.
    • During conversations, you feel you’re respected and your partner listens to you.
    • The relationship feels right, and you’re happy to be with the other person. In fact, you want to spend even more time with your partner.
  2. No interest to date others. Do you feel like you’re done “playing the field?” If you’re not looking for a different partner, a better match, or if you’ve lost the interest to date others, it may be a sign that your relationship is ready for the next level.
    • In a committed relationship, the desire to be exclusive is important. For commitment to work, it’s crucial that you both want to be exclusive.
  3. You feel comfortable. Strong relationships aren’t filled with anxiety, stress, or tension. If you feel comfortable around each other, you may be ready for commitment.
    • You feel like you’re able to discuss any topic.
    • You can be vulnerable with your partner without worrying about negative consequences.
  4. Comments from others. If your relationship is strong, others may recognize it.
    • Are you receiving comments from friends and family about your relationship? Are they wondering when you’ll take the next step?
    • You may want to pay attention to their advice and see if you’re ready to commit to each other.
  5. Conversations about the future. Are you having frequent conversations about the future with your partner? You may be ready to make the conversations a reality.
    • Do you discuss taking trips together as a couple?
    • Do you discuss your dreams and hopes for the future?
    • Have you talked about how many children you want to have?
    • Discussions like these can indicate that you’re ready for the next step in your relationship.
  6. Similar goals. Do you and your partner have closely related or compatible goals, like where you want to live, career plans, or how you see yourself 5 years from now? Do you share plans that will help both of you achieve success?
    • If you’re sharing goals and plans, you may be on the same page. Couples who have the same goals tend to imagine life together as a family.

Before you make a commitment, it’s important to have a discussion with your partner about what it will mean for both of you. Commitments can drastically change relationships in a short period of time.

Do you recognize these signs in your relationship? If so, they’re a good indication that you and your partner could be ready for the next step.

A Parents Guide for Helping Your Child Deal with Test Anxiety

A Parent’s Guide for Helping Your Child Deal with Test Anxiety

It’s natural for your child to be nervous before a test, but they may need help if their discomfort is too intense.

When a student forgets the answers they knew the night before or becomes so flustered that they fail to follow instructions, they may be experiencing test anxiety.

Many education experts believe that this condition affects about 20% of children, and that the numbers are growing since schools started devoting more time and resources to required tests over the past decade. As a result, blanking out at the sight of an exam book can hold a student back even if they know the material.

Help your child to relax so they can perform up to their potential. Start with this checklist for what parents can do to help a child with test anxiety.

What To Do in Between Test Days:

  1. Talk about testing. Demystify the issue. Discuss the purpose behind classroom quizzes that help students measure their individual progress, and standardized tests that compare students from different schools or cities.
  2. Think positive. Point out how students can use pressure as a motivation to study. Praise your child when they do well. Teach them how to adopt a growth mindset, and challenge any limiting beliefs they hold about themselves.
  3. Study regularly. Being prepared is one of the most effective remedies for test anxiety. Your child will absorb more information if they study a little each day instead of cramming. They’ll also feel more confident.
  4. Limit distractions. Set down some rules to make study time more effective. Create a quiet space free from phones and TV shows. Allow instrumental music if it helps your child to focus.
  5. Share relaxation practices. Teach your child healthy ways to soothe themselves. Invite them to join you for a yoga class or practice deep breathing and meditation together.
  6. Talk with your child’s teacher. Ask your child’s teacher for suggestions. They may be able to recommend activities you can do at home or refer you to other professionals for additional support.
  7. Use practice tests. Self-tests are one of the most constructive ways to study. Ask the teacher for sample tests or work with your child to design your own.
  8. Review the last test. Ask your child to bring home a copy of any graded exam. Go over the questions and teacher comments to see what’s working and where your child needs to devote extra effort.

What To Do for Test Day:

  1. Go to bed on time. Staying up late to cram the night before a test usually backfires. Your child is likely to quickly forget the material and be less alert the next day. Instead, plan on a good night’s rest.
  2. Eat a hearty breakfast. Students perform better when they give their bodies the fuel they need. Serve a breakfast rich in protein, healthy carbohydrates, and fats. Good choices include Greek yogurt with fruit or an omelet with vegetables, along with oatmeal or whole wheat toast.
  3. Arrive early. Give yourself plenty of time so you won’t have to rush around. Try laying out anything your child needs the night before, from the shoes they’ll wear to some extra pencils and erasers.
  4. Be strategic. There are many simple test-taking techniques proven to increase scores. For example, remind your child to scan the whole test first so they can budget their time, and use the final minutes to proofread their work.

Fight test anxiety by providing reassurance and encouragement while you help your child to develop their test-taking skills. Learning how to deal with pressure will help your sons and daughters to succeed in school and handle similar challenges in their adult life.

What To Do When You Have More Than You Can Handle

Life is a series of challenges to be managed. In between challenges, life can seem easy, but the next challenge is always on the way. When faced with too many challenges at once, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to believe that you have more going on in your life than you can handle.

Regardless of the size or the number of challenges you may face, the solution is the same: Ignore those things you can’t influence and spend your time and energy implementing solutions for those things you can influence.

A level head, a solid plan, persistence, and assistance can overcome any challenge life may bring.

Try these strategies to lighten your load:

1. Acknowledge that you’re feeling overwhelmed. There’s nothing to be gained by ignoring your situation. You’ll be in a better position to deal effectively with your life when you acknowledge the reality of the situation. When you recognize that something is wrong, you can begin to do something about it.

2. Take a time out. If you’re at work, slip away for a quick walk. If you have the freedom to do so, try taking a weekend trip. A change of scenery can make the challenges in your life seem more manageable.

3. Make a plan. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to spend too much time focusing on the challenges in your life. While this is a natural response, it leads to feeling even worse! Rather than focusing on your issues, try focusing on solutions.

* Imagine your friend was facing the same challenges, what advice would you give to them?

* Make a plan to move beyond your current situation. What solutions can you find? How will you implement them?

* A simple change of focus can alter your perspective and your mood. Do you think you’ll feel better focusing on your problems or the solutions?

4. Distract yourself for a few hours. Read a good book or take a friend to the movie theater. Now is the perfect time to do all the things you usually do to avoid working!

5. Talk to someone. You could speak to a coworker, a friend, family member, or a mental health professional. Who would you call on in your life to talk you down off a ledge? Pick up the phone and include someone else in your current situation.

6. List the good things in your life. Things might be rough at the moment, but there are plenty of things in your life that you can be grateful for. Make a list of them and reflect on the many blessings in your life.

7. Laugh. Few things feel better than laughing. What makes you laugh? Rent a funny movie or spend time with someone that always finds a way to make you giggle. Who is the funniest person in your life?

8. Get some help. More heads and pairs of hands can get a lot more accomplished than you can all by your lonesome. Most people are pretty bored and would jump at the chance to help you deal with your drama. Get some help.

You have plenty of options when you think you have more to deal with than you can handle.

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. When life becomes especially challenging, feeling overwhelmed can dampen your spirit and hide the best solutions from you.

Admit to yourself that you’re struggling and begin looking for solutions. Allow yourself a few distractions when you need them. Reach out to others and avoid trying to solve everything on your own. Soon, you’ll be back on a more enjoyable path.