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How to Stay Connected During COVID

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How to Stay Connected During COVID

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 4 in 10 adults throughout the United States have reported experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. In 2019, only 1 in 10 adults reported these symptoms.

Have you been feeling depressed, anxious, or just plain lonely, especially as more stay-at-home orders have been put into place lately? If so, keep reading. 

Outlined below are some of the top ways you can stay connected with your loved ones even when you’re feeling stuck at home.

Why Connection Matters

Connecting with friends and family members is one of the most effective ways to combat depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges.

Finding ways to stay in touch with loved ones reminds us that we’re not alone and provides us with some much-needed stress relief. Even if you’re only able to have a quick video chat or phone call, those small connections can make a big difference. 

Research even shows that loneliness and a lack of connection can cause more harm to our health than smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity. If you want to feel happier and healthier, prioritizing connection is key.

How to Stay Connected During COVID

Avoiding the negative effects of isolation while also protecting oneself from the harms of COVID can feel like an impossible task. There are ways to connect while also practicing social distancing, though, including the following:

Schedule Regular Calls

One of the easiest ways to maintain connections while staying home and avoiding social gatherings is to schedule regular calls with friends and family members.

Whether you arrange phone calls with your parents or Zoom calls with your best friend, put them on the calendar and treat them like you would any other appointment. Then, show up at the agreed-upon time and be fully present.

Don’t try and chat while you’re folding laundry or loading the dishwasher. Connect with your loved ones the same way you would if you were talking in person.

Plan Outdoor Meetups

If you feel comfortable seeing people in person but want to maintain your distance, consider planning outdoor meetups. Arrange to meet a friend at a local park so you can go for a walk together and stay six feet apart with ease.

Not only do outdoor meetups give you a chance to connect with friends in a safer setting, but they also allow you to enjoy the benefits of being in nature. Spending time outside has been shown to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and help with stress management. 

Sign Up for an Online Class

Why not pick up a new skill while also spending time with someone you love? Consider signing up for an online class together.

This allows you to learn something new and exciting. It also gives you something to connect over during your regularly scheduled chats.

Play Online Games

If you want to connect virtually but aren’t in the mood to sign up for a class, playing online games together is a good alternative.

There are lots of websites that allow you to play video games, trivia games, and more virtually. You can also enjoy a more old-fashioned game night by turning on your webcam and playing a board game via Zoom or FaceTime. 

Start a Podcast

When the pandemic first hit, a lot of people had extra time on their hands and decided to start podcasts. If you missed the first great podcasting wave, it’s not too late for you to get in on the action.

Starting a podcast is a great way to chat about a subject that interests you, and you can connect with others by inviting guests to join you each week. Whether you bring your friends on or reach out to strangers and invite them to be part of the show, podcasting is an excellent option. 

“Attend” Livestreamed Events Together

Right now, lots of artists are live streaming concerts. Many comedians are also putting on virtual shows.

You and a friend may not be able to get together in person, but you can still “attend” these events together. Tune in at the same time and enjoy the show from the comfort of your own homes. Then, you can hop on a Zoom call or chat on the phone after to talk about how great it was.

Have a Virtual Dinner Party

If you miss going out to dinner with your friends or having them over to eat, why not host a virtual dinner party instead.

Schedule a time that works for everyone and ask them all to prepare meals beforehand. Then, you can sit down together and eat while chatting and catching up with one another.  

Find Ways to Be of Service

Helping others is another option for those who want to foster connections and feel like they’re doing something meaningful while they’re staying home.

Perhaps you can write letters to first responders thanking them for their service. You may also want to consider volunteering as a crisis counselor and offering virtual support to those in need.

Invest in the Best Technology

Finally, make sure you’re using the best gadgets to connect with loved ones, whether you want to make video calls, be part of live stream events, or anything in between.

There are lots of high-quality business technology devices on the market today, such as the Smart View Galaxy S6. These tools make it easier for you to see and hear your loved ones and make meaningful connections even when you’re far apart.

Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Connected

It’s understandable if you’re not thrilled with the idea of going back into lockdown once more (or, depending on your situation, still being in lockdown). However, there are ways that you can take advantage of new technology and stay connected with your friends and family.

Give one (or more) of the tips listed above a try the next time you’re feeling lonely or just need to commiserate with someone who’s in the same situation as you. If you need more advice on staying connected while staying home, give some of our other health and wellness-related articles a read today. 

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Abu Dhabi Desert Safari

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Desert Safari

If you are looking for a fun way to explore Abu Dhabi, you might want to take an Abu Dhabi Desert Safari. This tour combines a visit to the desert with an excursion into the city. Companies offering this tour have been operating in the UAE for years, serving customers from around the world. However, there are a few things you should know before booking your trip.

Prices

Prices for Abu Dhabi Desert Safari vary based on the number of passengers and the type of service. You can choose from an overnight trip, which costs between AED 1100 and AED 1200, or a morning safari, which costs around AED 500 and lasts until 09:30 am the following day. You can cancel your trip free of charge up to 48 hours before the tour, and a 50% cancellation charge applies if you cancel 24 hours before the tour.

After you arrive at your desert camp, you will be treated to traditional Arabian entertainment. The entertainment will include a belly dance performance and an Arabic-style barbecue dinner. You can even get henna painted or enjoy a belly dance performance.

Activities

If you’re visiting the UAE, you must try an Abu Dhabi desert safari. This adventure includes camel riding, quad biking, sand boarding, and dune bashing, among other activities. The trip ends at a desert camping site where you can enjoy a relaxing evening. You’ll also get to see local artists perform, such as belly dancers and tanoura artists. The camp’s romantic atmosphere will transport you to a different world, one that’s reminiscent of Arabian nights.

You’ll also have the chance to try out sand boarding or sand skating, two activities that can be quite fun! These activities require a high degree of balance and skill to master. They last about 40 minutes, depending on your comfort level. Once you’re done, you’ll be able to spend the night in a Bedouin camp, where you’ll have a chance to experience the true luxury of a desert camp.

Duration

Abu Dhabi desert safari tour packages are offered throughout the year, and are especially popular between October and April, when the hot desert winds cool off and the temperature stays relatively cool. You should pack light woollens for the evening and wear comfortable clothing during the day. It’s best to check the company’s website for any safety regulations.

The duration of the Abu Dhabi desert safari depends on the package you choose. Some offer a full day of activities, while others feature only a half day. Some of the activities include camel rides and dune bashing. Other optional activities include traditional henna painting and belly dancers. The prices for these activities range from AED 200 to 300 per person.

Camels

When you go on an Abu Dhabi desert safari, you’ll have the chance to see wildlife such as Arabian gazelles and camels. You’ll also be treated to an authentic Bedouin experience as a tour guide accompanies you on the ride. While you’re on the camels, you can also watch the desert’s wildlife from up close.

Riding on a camel is a unique experience that will be etched in your memory for a lifetime. These animals were used as a mode of transportation in ancient times. Their unique qualities make them an important part of Abu Dhabi desert safaris.

Sand boarding

Sand boarding is a fun activity for the whole family. The sport is low-impact, but it does require some skill. A captain will be there to capture the best moments on camera. Alternatively, you can also opt for quad biking or dune buggying. The tour is suitable for those who want to get away from city life and enjoy the desert.

Conclusion

It is advisable to wear light-colored, breathable clothing. It is also best to wear a hat and sunglasses as the heat can be quite high. In addition, it is recommended that you wear sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher.

 

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How to Keep Your Kids Entertained Over the Holidays

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Kids Holidays

The holidays can be a really fun time for kids, but it can also be a little challenging trying to keep them entertained. If you’re looking for some ideas on how to keep them busy, we’ve got you covered, with ideas ranging from jumping castle hire in Melbourne to Giant Jenga and movie nights.

1. Teach them how to bake cookies and other treats

The holidays are the perfect time to get into the kitchen and bake some goodies with your kids. Not only will they have a blast decorating cookies and cupcakes, but they’ll also be learning a valuable life skill.

If you’re not much of a baker, there are plenty of other easy recipes that your kids can help out with, like making homemade pizzas or decorating fruit platters.

Get them involved in the whole process, from measuring out ingredients to helping with the clean-up afterwards. They’ll love feeling like they’re part of something and you’ll get to spend some quality time together. Plus, you’ll end up with some delicious treats to enjoy!

2. Watch holiday movies together at night

One of the best things about the holidays is snuggling up on the couch and watching festive movies together. Take some time to make a list of all your kids’ favourite holiday films, pop some popcorn and grab some blankets, and settle in for a fun family movie night.

You could even make it into a bit of a competition and have everyone vote on their favourite film at the end. Movie nights are a great way to spend an evening together and create some lovely memories.

3. Hire a jumping castle for the day and invite their friends around

If your kids are bouncing off the walls with excitement, why not hire a jumping castle for the day? They can invite their friends over and burn off all that excess energy in a safe and supervised environment.

Jumping castles are great fun for kids of all ages and you’ll be able to sit back and relax knowing that they’re having the time of their lives. Plus, it’s a great way to tire them out before bedtime! Just make sure you hire from a reputable company and that the castle is properly insured.

4. Invest in some outdoor games like Giant Jenga and Cornhole

If you’re looking for something that the whole family can enjoy, outdoor games are always a good option. Giant Jenga is a great game for all ages and Cornhole is perfect for those sunny days. Investing in some outdoor games is a great way to get your kids away from screens and enjoying the fresh air. It’s also a great way to get the whole family involved in some friendly competition!

5. Get them into arts and crafts

The holidays are the perfect time to get creative with your kids and do some arts and crafts. There are so many fun and easy projects that you can do together, like making homemade cards, ornaments, or even gingerbread houses.

Not only will your kids have a blast getting messy and being creative, but they’ll also be proud of the finished products that they can show off to their friends and family. Arts and crafts are a great way to spend some quality time together and you’ll end up with some beautiful (and unique) holiday decorations.

So there you have it, five great ideas for keeping your kids entertained over the holidays. From baking treats to hiring a jumping castle, there’s something for everyone. Just remember to have fun and enjoy this special time with your loved ones.

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The Best Roofing Contractor in New Orleans: How to Find Them

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Roofing Contractor in New Orleans

A brand-new roof requires a considerable financial commitment. If done correctly, a new roof can raise the value of your house. Spend the time to make sure you locate a roofing contractor you can trust to install a roof over your head since roofing is one of the biggest and most costly jobs a homeowner can take on. When the time comes to decide to install a new roof, you want to be sure to use a reputable roofing contractor in NOLA that won’t overcharge you or perform a lousy job.

What should look for in a roofing contractor in NOLA?

1. Do they provide you with references?

To choose the best New Orleans contractor, ask for referrals from them. Request references from works that were done in the last three to six months from any contractor who offers you an estimate.

When you ask for references, a reliable roofing contractor will be delighted to provide you with them. By speaking with previous customers, you may confirm that the contractor was sincere in his or her responses to the issues raised in this article.

On the other side, don’t even consider working with them if they won’t provide you with references for their previous clients.

2. Does their experience include similar roofing work in NOLA?

Although it may seem simple, it’s crucial to be sure the New Orleans roofing contractor you choose is experienced in roofing. The first and most crucial barrier from moisture, mold and mildew in your house is its roof. You shouldn’t DIY or hire a handyman or general contractor to install a new roof.

Never be afraid to ask contractors to provide you with examples of previous projects they’ve accomplished. A qualified New Orleans contractor won’t hesitate to demonstrate their work to you. Speaking with their clientele is the greatest approach to determine if you have located a good one. The bottom message is that you must exercise caution.

3. What sort of guarantees do they give?

Inquire about the warranties related to your project from your roofing contractor. Your new roof may come with a separate warranty that is provided by the company that makes the shingles and other components that make up your new roof.

Warranties typically cover labor in addition to materials and craftsmanship. Working with a roofing business that performs high-quality installations is crucial since installation flaws might nullify a manufacturer’s guarantee on the materials. All warranties that relate to your roof should be provided to you in writing by your roofing contractor.

4. Who does the work, and does the roofer plan to subcontract?

The New Orleans roofer you choose ought to be the one who shows up for the job. Make certain that your roofing provider is not assigning your project to a subcontractor. Likewise, indicate who should be contacted about the position.

You have the right to inquire about the identity of any strangers who will be visiting your house. The identities of the individuals who will be on your roofing team are probably neither important nor known to you. You should never feel threatened or uneasy when someone is on your property.

5. What’s the price?

After conducting research, you will have a better understanding of how each roofing company in New Orleans handles pricing, which may guide you in choosing one that is within your price range. Look for cost differences and find out what services each firm offers. This helps you get a better notion of the project’s scope and price range.

If you find a quote that is much less than others, proceed with caution. Working with the least expensive firm could be alluring, but it might wind up costing you more in the long term. Working with a business that does shoddy work and improperly installs or repairs your roof may result in future expenses and higher roofing rates.

Get the best roofing contractor in New Orleans Today

Never accept a roofer from just any company. To choose which local roofing company is ideal for you, you should do research on a few of them.

If you choose wisely, the roofer will not only complete the project on time and within your budget but will also provide insightful advice on the highest quality materials for your home’s design and the weather where you live. You may be sure that trusted 24/7 roofing professionals will complete the whole job with the highest expertise, knowledge, and ability.

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How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Private Investigator?

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Private Investigator

There are several things to consider when hiring a private investigator in McAllen. For example, you should know how much they charge for their services. Some agencies charge hourly rates for certain services, such as background checks or subject screening. Others require retainers.

 

Price of hiring a private investigator in McAllen

There are many factors that affect the price of hiring a private investigator in McAllan. Some investigators bill by the hour, while others prefer a retainer. There are also several types of fees that investigators can charge, including travel, mileage, and report writing. These fees are based on the service provided and the complexity of the case.

Prices for hiring a private investigator McAllen are typically higher in metropolitan areas, due to higher costs associated with licenses, insurance, and office space. However, prices can also vary dramatically depending on the size of the case and the experience of the investigator.

Services offered by private investigators

There are a number of different services that private investigators in McAllen offer. These range from a simple background check to a surveillance investigation. These private investigators use modern technology and have experience in presenting evidence in court. Their staff works discreetly to protect your privacy and ensure you have the most accurate evidence possible.

 

Retainer required by private investigators in McAllen

A retainer agreement is an agreement between the client and private investigator that spells out the specific terms and conditions of an investigation. This includes the causes of action that fall under the scope of the investigation, billable items, and rate. It also lays out the client’s obligations regarding payment and performance. Once signed, the retainer agreement is binding.

Depending on the scope of the investigation, the investigator may bill a flat fee or an hourly rate. The fee range varies, but many private investigation agencies require retainers for most cases. For surveillance cases and working with insurance companies, law firms, and other industry agents, the hourly rate may be higher. The fee may also include mileage and travel costs. In addition, report writing services may be included in the retainer.

 

Finding a private investigator in McAllen

Private investigators are professionals who use various tools and resources to carry out investigations. These resources can include human contacts, databases, and equipment. They understand how to use these resources efficiently and effectively. Moreover, these experts are highly discreet. In this way, you can trust them to protect your privacy.

 

Choosing a private investigator

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a private investigator. It is important to find one with the right experience and credentials for the job. You also want to ensure that you feel comfortable with the person handling your case and the results. Finally, make sure you are comfortable with the price and accounting of the service. Using the right service will help you save money and time.

A private investigator must work on cases that are confidential, which means that the information provided by the client must remain private. You should be wary of a private investigator who talks about past clients. They should also offer non-disclosure agreements to protect your privacy.

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5 Luxury Home Improvements Mortgage Owners Can Probably Afford

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5 Luxury Home Improvements Mortgage Owners Can Probably Afford

Do you think you’ll live in your current home for the rest of your life? Imagine how good it would feel to invest in luxury home improvement projects. You’re probably scared you can’t afford anything too exciting.

If you have a mortgage, it’s not necessarily true. It’s possible to extract money from your home if it’s what you really want, which won’t take long to arrange. Here are a few things you’ll be able to do with the extra cash.

1. Install Heated Flooring

One of the best ways to refinance your mortgage to your benefit is by installing heated flooring. Do you travel to warm countries for a yearly vacation? It’s nice walking barefoot on lovely European floors.

You can’t say the same about floors in North America, especially during winter. It’s even worse now because carpets are becoming less fashionable. A heated floor feels like heaven when you step out of the shower.

2. Professional Pool Table

Most families eat dinner in front of the TV, so dining tables are gathering cobwebs. The dining room is valuable real estate, so you don’t want it sitting empty. I’m sure you’ll enjoy playing pool on a professional table.

If you find a good reverse mortgage rate, you’ll feel fine splashing some of the cash on a pool table. It’s better if you have a games room in your home, but the dining room is usually large enough if it’s your only option.

3. Reclaimed Wood Countertops

It’s worth investing lots of money into your kitchen because it’s a popular room. Unless you order food through delivery apps every day, you’ll spend hours cooking. You’ll enjoy working on reclaimed wood countertops.

Everyone will notice it as soon as they walk into the kitchen. Marble is good if you want something just as fancy but look around for a good deal. You can look at granite and quartz if the aforementioned materials aren’t suitable.

4. Hang A Beautiful Chandelier

A chandelier is something you’d expect to see if you walked into a mansion. You won’t be able to buy a chandelier the size of a small car, but you’ll be able to get a nice one. It’s a lot more than a source of light.

Spend time choosing the right one because some designs can look tacky. It’s possible to hook chandeliers up to dimmer switches, which creates a nice atmosphere in your home while saving energy at the same time.

5. A Luxury Mattress And Sheets

It feels like you’re floating in a cloud when you jump into a freshly made bed in an expensive hotel. The mattress is a hundred times better than what you’ll find in most homes, plus the sheets have a huge thread count.

Why would you not invest in an expensive mattress and sheets? You sleep in your bed every night, so you’ll get your money’s worth. If you like watching TV in bed, you should think about getting an adjustable one.

It’s Okay To Treat Yourself

If you’ve been paying off your mortgage for years, you have more money than you think. It’s okay to treat yourself if you want to use some of the equity in your home.

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