## How to construct a golden rectangle

This example demonstrates how to construct the golden rectangle using a compass and ruler. The golden rectangle is a rectangle whose sides form the golden ratio which is a naturally occurring number approximately equal to .

## Steps

Start by drawing a square with a side length of 2. The length of 2 is chosen instead of a length of 1 because it will make the math easier later on.

Place a point in the middle of the bottom edge of the square so that the edge is divided into two equal parts.

Draw a line from the point to the top right corner of the square. This line forms the radius of the circle which we are about to draw. Using the Pythagorean’s Theorem we know that the length of the radius is . Also, extend the bottom edge of the square outwards in the right direction.

Using the point and the radius, draw the arc of the circle from the top right corner of the square in a clock-wise motion until the arc intersects with the bottom line we extended.

Draw a perpendicular line up from the point of intersection and another line which extends the top edge of the square to get the top right corner of the golden rectangle.

We have now finished constructing the golden rectangle. The ratio of the sides form the golden ratio represented by the greek letter (phi).

We can also scale the golden rectangle by a factor of two to get a normalized version of the golden rectangle where the shorter side’s length is 1.

The pythagorean theorem equates the square of the sides of a right triangle together.

The golden rectangle is a rectangle whose width divided by height is equal to the golden number (approximately 1.618).

The golden ratio is a number represented by the greek letter ϕ (phi). The value of ϕ is approximately 1.618 and is a naturally occurring number in nature.

A golden rectangle is defined as the angle that has side lengths in ratio. Typically, a square must be constructed to build a golden rectangle. For those looking to draw a classic proportioned rectangle, you should consider drawing an angle first. Drawing a golden rectangle is an excellent way to find two unknown numbers that have a Golden Mean relationship with each other. Constructing a golden rectangle can be quite challenging. If you want to construct a golden rectangle then you will have to follow some simple instructions to learn this ancient Greek methodology.

• How to Make a Cherry Blossom Painting

### Instructions

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Use a straightedge and a measuring device to draw a perfect square. You could choose a square of any size but make sure there is enough room at the top of your paper. It is important to keep some space at the top for the extension.

Now consider bisecting one side of the square using the compass method. This can be done by opening the compass to just over half of the length of the side of the square. Place the compass on one end of the baselines and draw arcs; one on below and one above the line. Put the point of the compass on the other end and repeat the process to make the two arcs intersect below and above the line. Now consider drawing a line through these intersecting points. Connecting line should pass through the square’s sides in the middle of the square.

Place the pencil one of the square’s corners on the opposite side and place the compass pointer on the halfway mark. Draw an arc large enough to make sure there is a point where the extension intersects the arc. As it joins the arc extend the bisected side of the square.

Repeat step 2 and step 3 for the other side of the baseline. When you are done with it, you should have extension lines of the same size on all four sides of the square. To construct a golden rectangle, consider joining the two extension lines. Erase all extra lines if you want to see only your golden rectangle.

The ratio, called the Golden Ratio, is the ratio of the length to the width of what is said to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing rectangular shapes. This rectangle, called the Golden Rectangle, appears in nature and is used by humans in both art and architecture. The Golden Ratio can be noticed in the way trees grow, in the proportions of both human and animal bodies, and in the frequency of rabbit births. The ratio is close to 1.618. Whoever first discovered these intriguing manifestations of geometry in nature must have been very excited about the discovery.
A study of the Golden Ratio provides an intereting setting for enrichement activities for older students. Ideas involved are: ratio, similarity, sequences, constructions, and other concepts of algebra and goemetry.

Finding the Golden Ratio. Consider a line segment of a length x+1 such that the ratio of the whole line segment x+1 to the longer segment x is the same as the ratio of the line segment, x, to the shorter segment, 1.

A positive root of this equation is

or 1.61803. This irrational number, or its reciprocal

is known as the Golden Ratio, phi .

Now we will construct the Golden Rectangle. First we will construct a square ABCD.

Now we will construct the midpoint E of DC.

Extend DC. With center E and radius EB, draw an arc crossing EC extended at C.

Construct a perpendicular to DF at F.

Extend AB to intersect the perpendicular at G.

AGFD is a Golden Rectangle.

Now we will measure the length and width of the rectangle. Then we will find the ratio of the length to the width. This should be close to the Golden Ratio (approximately 1.618).

Now we will take our Golden Rectangle and continue to divide it into other Golden Rectangles.

Within this one large Golden Rectangle there are six other Golden Rectangles.
When you measure each Golden Rectangles length and width you will see that the ratio of the length to the width is the Golden Ratio (spproximately 1.618).

Now we will construct the spiral through the whole Golden Rectangle.

If you’re a designer or artist, you should know about the Golden Ratio. We explain what it is and how you can use it.

Creating a Golden Rectangle is pretty straightforward, and starts with a basic square. Follow the steps below to create your own Golden Ratio:

### 01. Draw a square

Start by drawing a square of any size. The side of this will form the length of the ‘short side’ of the rectangle.

### 02. Divide the square

Next, divide your square in half with a vertical line down the centre. This will leave you with two rectangles.

### 03. Draw a diagonal line

In one of these rectangles, draw a straight line from one corner to the opposite corner.

### 04. Rotate the line

Rotate this line, pivoting from the bottom (or top) point, until it lines up with the bottom of the first rectangle.

### 05. Create a new rectangle

Create a rectangle using the new horizontal line and original rectangle as guides. That’s your Golden Rectangle.

Next page: How to use the Golden Ratio in your design work

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The ratio, called the Golden Ratio, is the ratio of the length to the width of what is said to be one of the most aesthetically pleasing rectangular shapes. This rectangle, called the Golden Rectangle, appears in nature and is used by humans in both art and architecture. The Golden Ratio can be noticed in the way trees grow, in the proportions of both human and animal bodies, and in the frequency of rabbit births. The ratio is close to 1.618.

Look at the rectangle below. Do you think the ratio of length to width is golden?

To find out for sure click on the rectangle above and explore with the rectangle that appears.

• Drag point E. Describe what happens?
• Drag point B. Describe what happens?

Now we will construct the Golden Rectangle. First we will construct a square ABCD.

Now we will construct the midpoint E of DC.

Extend DC. With center E and radius EB, draw an arc crossing EC extended at C.

Construct a perpendicular to DF at F.

Extend AB to intersect the perpendicular at G.

AGFD is a Golden Rectangle.

Now we will measure the length and width of the rectangle. Then we will find the ratio of the length to the width. This should be close to the Golden Ratio (approximately 1.618).

Now we will take our Golden Rectangle and continue to divide it into other Golden Rectangles.

Within this one large Golden Rectangle there are six other Golden Rectangles.
When you measure each Golden Rectangles length and width you will see that the ratio of the length to the width is the Golden Ratio (approximately 1.618).

Now we will construct the spiral through the whole Golden Rectangle.

There’s a mathematical ratio commonly found in nature—the ratio of 1 to 1.618—that has many names. Most often we call it the Golden Section, Golden Ratio, or Golden Mean, but it’s also occasionally referred to as the Golden Number, Divine Proportion, Golden Proportion, Fibonacci Number, and Phi.

You’ll usually find the golden ratio depicted as a single large rectangle formed by a square and another rectangle. What’s unique about this is that you can repeat the sequence infinitely and perfectly within each section.

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If you take away the big square on the left, what remains is yet another golden rectangle. . . and so on.

### The golden ratio in art and architecture

The appearance of this ratio in music, in patterns of human behavior, even in the proportion of the human body, all point to its universality as a principle of good structure and design.

Used in art, the golden ratio is the most mysterious of all compositional strategies. We know that by creating images based on this rectangle our art will be more likely to appeal to the human eye, but we don’t know why.

Some scholars argue that the Egyptians applied the golden ratio when building the great pyramids, as far back as 3000 B.C.

In 300 B.C. Euclid described the golden section in his writing of Euclid’s Elements, and before that, around 500 B.C., Pythagoras claimed that the golden ratio is the basis for the proportions of the human figure.

The ancient Greeks also used the golden ratio when building the Parthenon.

Artists throughout history, like Botticelli and Leonardo daVinci, have used the golden rectangle, or variations of it, as the basis for their compositions.

Here’s da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper, with golden sections highlighted.

Golden rectangles are still the most visually pleasing rectangles known, and although they’re based on a mathematical ratio, you won’t need an iota of math to create one.

### How to make a rectangle based on the golden ratio

If you want to use a golden rectangle in your own compositions, here’s how you can make that happen without any special tools or mathematical formulas.

1. Begin with a square, which will be the length of the short side of the rectangle.

2. Then draw a line that divides it in half (forming two rectangles).

3. Draw a line going from corner to opposing corner of one of those halves.

4. Rotate the top point of that diagonal line downward until it extends your square.

5. Finish off the rectangle using that diagonal length as a guide for the long side of your golden rectangle. It’s that simple.

### Visual points of interest inside a golden rectangle

Any square or rectangle (but especially those based on the golden ratio) contain areas inside it that appeal to us visually as well. Here’s how you find those points:

1. Draw a straight from each bottom corner to its opposite top corner on either side. They will cross in the exact center of the format.

2. From the center to each corner, locate the midway point to each opposing corner.

These points—represented by the green dots in the diagram above—are called the “eyes of the rectangle.”

### How to use the “eyes” of a golden rectangle

One strategy often used by artists is to locate focal points or areas of emphasis around and within these eyes, creating a strong visual path in their compositions.

Edward Hopper’s composition, below, sets the sailboat right on the lower right eye (with the tip of the sails extending nearly to the upper right eye).

In this painting, Carolyn Anderson places her subject’s hands around that spot too.

J.M.W. Turner uses the angle of his waves to create an arch that circles through the lower right and lower left eyes.

Notice that the focus of the scene is then captured within all four eyes, too.

How you use the golden ratio or these “eyes” to direct a viewers’ visual path is limited only by your imagination. Try using the eyes of the rectangle in your next painting and see what difference it can make in the strength of your composition.

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Starting with a square, construct a golden rectangle. How do you obtain a golden spiral?

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Q: The quantity of water discharged over a rectangular weir is directly proportional to the crest lengt.

Today I will be discussing what the golden ratio is (otherwise known as the golden mean) and how we can use it to improve your artworks.

### What Is The Golden Ratio?

The golden ratio is the ratio of approximately 1 to 1.618. These are extremely important numbers to mathematicians. But what do they mean to us artists?

Well there have been studies which suggest designs set out using the golden ratio are aethetically pleasing. We can use the golden ratio to help design our paintings and position our subjects.

Who would have thought art and maths could have such a close connection? Luca Pacioli (a contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci) went as far as saying:

“Without mathematics there is no art.”

### History Of The Golden Ratio

The golden ratio has been around for some time and has influenced many areas of life, including architecture, maths, design and of course art.

Here is a rough timeline of the golden ratio’s history according to author Priya Hemenway:

• Phidias (490–430 BC) made the Parthenon statues that seem to embody the golden ratio.
• Euclid (c. 325–c. 265 BC), in his Elements, gave the first recorded definition of the golden ratio, which he called, as translated into English “extreme and mean ratio”.
• Fibonacci (1170–1250) mentioned the numerical series now named after him in his Liber Abaci. We will discuss the Fibonacci sequence later in this post.
• Luca Pacioli (1445–1517) defines the golden ratio as the “divine proportion” in his Divina Proportione.
• Charles Bonnet (1720–1793) points out that in the spiral phyllotaxis of plants going clockwise and counter-clockwise were frequently two successive Fibonacci series.
• Martin Ohm (1792–1872) is believed to be the first to use the term goldener Schnitt (golden section) to describe this ratio, in 1835.
• Édouard Lucas (1842–1891) gives the numerical sequence now known as the Fibonacci sequence its present name.

### Calculations

I will try and keep this simple (as we do not need to understand all the complexities of the golden ratio as artists).

The golden ratio can be calculated as follows:

That weird symbol at the end represents the golden ratio.

I find this equation easier to understand in pictural format:

So a+b is to a as a is to b.

Confused yet? Keep reading as it becomes easier to understand when we apply it to certain situations.

### The Golden Rectangle

Below is a golden rectangle, which means the side lengths are in golden ratio. If you take away that square on the left, another rectangle will remain which is also in golden ratio. This could continue indefinately.

There is some kind of peacefulness and beauty in infinite numbers, which is possibily why the golden ratio is so popular in design.

Creating the golden rectangle is easy using these steps. All you need is a compass.

Step 1 – Construct a simple square.

Step 2 – Draw a line down the middle of the square.

Step 3 – Grab your compass and place one point at the intersection at the bottom middle and draw down from the edge of top right corner, as shown below.

Step 4 – Complete the golden rectangle.

Note: This is for demonstration purposes only so it may not be the exact proportions of the golden ratio.

### The Fibonacci Sequence

The following is the Fibonacci sequence:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, .

The next number is found by adding up the two numbers before it.

When we take any two successive (one after the other) in the sequence, their ratio is very close to the golden ratio.

In fact, the later the numbers are in the sequence, the closer it becomes to the golden ratio.

This relationship between the Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio is shown below:

## How to lay tile on concrete

Laying your concrete basement floor with ceramic tiles is an excellent way to enhance both the beauty and lifespan of your concrete basement floor. The early application of tiles as floor finish was not as successful as it is today because older style tiles broke too easily.

With new technology, the durability and appearance of tiles have tremendously been improved, making the use of tiles a favorable option to various flooring repairs. Follow these steps to lay tile on your concrete basement floor.

#### Step 1 – Inspect Your Basement Floor for Damages

Inspect your basement floor for cracks, rough surfaces, leaks, and any flooring anomalies before installing ceramic tiles. The damages must be repaired first. Uneven surfaces need to be thoroughly leveled.

#### Step 2 – Cleaning the Concrete Flooring

Remove dusts and debris with a vacuum cleaner and a broom. Remove stubborn dust and dirt with a mop soaked in a solution of bleach and water. Mop the entire floor area of your basement, as any dirt or dust is a potential hazard to the success of your tiling job. After mopping, allow your concrete basement floor to completely dry.

#### Step 3 – Preparing the Tiles to Be Installed

Decide on the pattern to be installed and dry-set it. Cut the tiles to the desired size with a nipper, then mark the room flooring to make quadrant divisions with horizontal and vertical lines once the tiles have dry-set. It will be the guide to ensure that the tile application will fit the area of the flooring. Remove the tile pieces and be ready to apply the thinset mortar.

#### Step 4 – Applying the Thinset Mortar

Read the product instructions on the label. Different manufacturers have different ways to mix their thinset, so make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instruction to the letter. Work with one quadrant at a time, applying the thinset mortar. Put this mixture onto the concrete flooring using the flat side of a trowel.

#### Step 5 – Setting Down the Ceramic Tiles

The ceramic tiles should now be positioned into the mortar. Securely tap the ceramic tile in its rightful location with a rubber mallet. Spacers should be used to act as a barrier for the grout. Finish filling the concrete flooring area and leave the mortar to fully dry.

#### Step 6 – Applying the Grout and Drying the Area

Per the manufacturer’s instructions, the grout should be mixed thoroughly as needed. Remove the spacers between the tiles and wipe grout into the space. Allow it to settle and remove excess grout with a soft cloth. The grout should then be allowed to cure, which can take up to 48 hours. The tiled concrete flooring can now be walked on.

All it took was sex steps to tile your concrete basement floor. It’s time to enjoy your handiwork!

Floor coverings need a solid base for installation. But if the base is not solid, some compensation can be found with the floor covering itself. Laminate flooring, engineered wood, and even solid hardwood are moderately flexible. As the house expands and contracts, the flooring does too. Luxury vinyl plank and tile, along with sheet vinyl flooring, are all supremely flexible floor coverings.

Ceramic and porcelain tile, by contrast, do not compensate. Tile cannot bend, flex, or shift. Complicating matters, the material that fills tile seams, tile grout, cannot flex or shift. More than almost any other type of floor covering, tile needs a rock-solid base.

If you attach the tile to concrete, you need to take special precautions by uncoupling the tile from the concrete. Rather than using cement boards (CBUs), the favored method is to use an uncoupling membrane. Schluter Ditra and Redgard Uncoupling Mat are two popular brands of tiling membranes that lessen the chance of concrete events becoming tile events.

## Installing Tile Directly on Concrete

Ceramic and porcelain tile are so frequently installed at or above grade level on a cement board underlayment or directly on plywood that it almost seems novel to install tile directly on concrete. Yet this application does make sense, since concrete is heavy, solid, and is typically thought of as an unbending, uncompromising material. Far denser than plywood and weighing in at a hefty 75 pounds per square foot (at a six-inch depth), concrete is heavy. Not only that, concrete and tile are both mineral-based materials, so it seems natural that the two would be a perfect match.

But that only describes concrete in its perfect, unchanged state. Concrete responds poorly to foundation shifts. Groundwater pushing up from below can crack it. Tree roots routinely burrow under concrete slabs, then lift and crack them. The best mode of thought is to assume that your concrete will crack at some point in its lifespan.

The safest way to approach questionable concrete is not to cover it over with CBUs but to fix the concrete. Cracks and gaps can be filled with Portland cement-based fillers. Tile cannot be attached directly to painted concrete, as the thin-set will not adhere well to the paint. Painted concrete can be made porous with sandblasting or other hard abrasive actions.

While you can install tile directly on concrete, problems erupt when the concrete cracks or shifts. All of the movement in concrete is transferred to the tile. Cracks in concrete immediately become cracks in the tile. If you were to remove a cracked tile from concrete, undoubtedly you would see the same crack pattern below.

## Installing on a Cement Board

If the concrete floor exhibits cracks, gaps, holes, or other imperfections, does it make sense to put down an entire underlayment of cement board, such as HardieBacker or Durock, instead of repairing each imperfection piecemeal?

Durock, HardieBacker, and WonderBoard are all cement backer boards and are 100-percent inorganic materials that will not rot, shrink, or decompose. Laying cement board on good concrete would be unnecessary and redundant: a cement product on a cement product. Yet veteran tile installers have differing opinions, with some saying that this can be done, especially if floor level needs to be raised significantly. In this type of application, attaching a CBU to the concrete is preferable to floating an entire floor’s worth of mortar bed.

Most tile professionals agree that attaching a CBU to a concrete floor would be more trouble than it is worth. If anything, it would be difficult to screw the CBU into the concrete, especially with the middle layer of thin-set.

In short, installing cement board between concrete and tile is possible. But generally it is not worth the effort and it may even result in a poor tile installation. Most importantly, the cement board is not considered to be an effective uncoupling material. While you may gain some benefits from using cement board as an uncoupling surface, a true uncoupling membrane’s benefits far exceed this.

## Installing on Uncoupling Membrane

Schluter’s Ditra and Redgard Uncoupling Mat are brands of polyethylene membranes with a grid of squares or circles embossed in the face. These are often used as waterproofing elements for building shower pans. Widely installed by tile professionals, their true value for concrete bases is as an uncoupling material.

An uncoupling material does just that: it uncouples one thing from another. In this case, it unlocks tile from its subfloor. Acting as a buffer layer, it is flexible and does not mimic the actions of the concrete. Because subfloors can move and crack, they transmit the same to the tile above. Uncoupling material breaks this chain of transmission.

Uncoupling membranes are invaluable if you anticipate any movement or cracking from the concrete floor. Generally, it is well worth the cost and the time to purchase and install an uncoupling membrane.

Uncoupling membranes are not perfect, though. When the concrete dramatically tilts or cracks, no membrane can uncouple the two surfaces enough to prevent tile damage from happening.

Ordinary concrete is fine for your average backyard patio, but to create a rich, inviting outdoor patio space, installing tile is the best way to go. There is a huge selection of tile styles and colors for you to choose from, and the greatest benefit of using tiles is that they can be laid directly on top of preexisting concrete.

Once you’ve gone through all your options and found a tile style that suits you, these instructions will help you plan out your project and install the pieces without overlooking important details.

Laying floor tile over concrete is not a technically demanding job. It can be physically strenuous and messy, but it is a home improvement project that will allow you to cut labor costs by doing it yourself.

#### Step 1 – Preparing the Concrete

Before you begin to lay the tile over your concrete slab, make sure the concrete is properly prepared. Mix up a bucket of TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) solution. TSP is a high-strength cleaner, which is useful for removing dirt, grease, and oil from your existing surface. Scrub the floor with a brush and TSP, and allow it to dry thoroughly. Then examine the floor and see if there are any cracks or pits that need to be fixed before you lay the tile.

Keep in mind, any uneven areas will allow the tile to rock back and forth, even after installation. If the tile isn’t completely flat, it will probably crack somewhere down the road. Take the time now to use the concrete patch or leveler to ensure you have a flat surface with no defects.

#### Step 2 – Seal the Concrete

Once your repairs have dried, seal the concrete. True, using a sealant is an extra step in the process, and you don’t really need to do it, but in the long run, it will be time well spent. Applying a sealant will prevent moisture from settling under your tiles and will allow your mortar to stick tightly.

As you get ready to begin laying the tile, you will need to decide ahead of time where you want your configuration to begin and end. This is important because you will most likely have to cut pieces at the end to make them fit. It is usually best if these cut pieces are in inconspicuous places, such as against the home. Plan your starting point accordingly to ensure that you can hide the cut pieces as well as possible. It is best to mark your starting point on the concrete floor and snap a chalk line the entire length of the room. You can use this line as a reference point to make sure that your first row is square and even.

#### Step 4 – Mixing Mortar

After you have decided where you want to begin, you must mix and put down a layer of mortar. Keep in mind that different varieties of mortar work best with different types of tiling so you should make sure your selections are compatible. Once you’ve chosen a mortar, follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer and begin to mix the mortar. Don’t mix too far in advance, as it will begin to set on you before you can use it.

#### Step 5 – Applying Mortar

Begin spreading the mortar over a small area using a trowel. As a tip, a grooved trowel will work the best for this kind of a job.

Never spread out more than what you can cover with three or four tiles at a time. If you run into trouble and have to stop or slow down but you’ve got a huge area of mortar already spread, it may start to set up before you can get the tile down. Just do a little at a time, and you will save yourself a potentially huge headache.

#### Step 6 – Installing the Tiles

Lay the tiles into the mortar, and using the spacers, make sure you are running even with the chalk line. As you move on to the subsequent rows, use the spacers to keep your pattern square. Once a tile is set, try to avoid touching it again. As soon as you make a small adjustment to one, you will find that you need to adjust them all. It is far more efficient to get it right the first time and not have to touch it again.

Wash the tiles off with a damp rag as you go. If you leave clumps of mortar to dry on the surface of the tile, it will make cleaning them later much more difficult. As you get to the end of the room, make sure your cut pieces fit properly, and then leave the mortar to dry as specified by the manufacturer’s instructions.

#### Step 7 – Grouting the Tile

The next step is to grout the tile. Mix the grout as specified on the package, and begin liberally spreading it over the tile using the grout float. Use the float to make sure there are no low spots. Then use a damp rag to wipe any excess grout from the face of the tile. Once the grout has had time to set, repeat the process. Don’t worry at this point if the tile appears a little cloudy.

#### Step 8 – Clea ning Up

Once the grout is completely dry, take a wet rag and wash the surface of the entire floor. As the floor dries, you will probably notice a haze forming over the tile. Allow it to dry completely, and then go back over it with a slightly damp rag. This should polish the haze right off.

Once you have polished the remaining grout and mortar residue off of the floor and are confident that the grout has fully cured, use the grout sealer to prevent stains and mildew from taking hold in the future.

###### Join the Community

Cement tile is a type of tile which is made from cement, as the name implies. These tiles are very durable and sturdy, being especially well-suited to high traffic areas, and they come in a range of patterns and colors. Cement tile tends to be about twice as heavy as ceramic tile, and it is less subject to breakage and chipping. Morocco, Portugal, and Latin America are especially famous for their brightly-colored cement tile designs.

More properly, these tiles are actually made from concrete, a mixture of the binding agent known as cement and some type of aggregate. In basic cement tile products, the cement is blended with a pigment while it is being mixed, so that the resulting tiles are colored. These tiles often have dark, earthy colors, a result of the natural dark gray of the cement blending with the pigment. They can be glazed for a glossy finish or left matte, and they are typically sealed to resist moisture and staining.

It is also possible to find encaustic cement tiles, which are made by creating a pattern from several different colors. Encaustic tiles are brightly colored and very bold, with meandering designs which often have a heavy floral or geometric influence. Many encaustic tiles are designed to interlock to create a repeating pattern. This method of cement tile production was developed in the 1800s, and the persistence of bright colors in tiles dating back to this period would suggest that encaustic tiles are a good choice for people who want very durable flooring.

Like other types of tile, cement tile is designed to be laid on a hard, flat surface and then grouted. The tiles and grout can be sealed after installation to prevent the seepage of water, grease, and other spills, keeping the floor in good condition. In some cases, cement tile is laid over a heated floor, with the floor conducting and slowly releasing radiant heat to keep the structure warm.

Home supply stores usually carry or can order cement tile, and some people like to make it at home, mixing their own pigments and building molds for their tiles. Home made tiles can also be made with inclusions which are pressed into the tiles as they set. It is also possible to order tile through specialty companies which import cement tile from traditional centers of production in Morocco, Portugal, Italy, and Latin American nations.

Special cutting tools are required to trim cement tile, because it is quite hard. Some hardware stores rent out tile cutting equipment so that people do not have to purchase it for tile installation, and it is also possible to use the services of a professional flooring company, for people who do not feel up to installing their own tile.

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

You have to clean the surface of the concrete before anything else. Clean with a washer that is at least 4,000 psi careful to follow manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging the concrete with the pressurized spray.

Using a small cold chisel or flat-head screwdriver dig out rubble in large cracks and chips. Loosen dirt and debris in small cracks using a wire brush. Sweep the area or use a wet/dry vacuum to remove all remaining debris.

Using a masonry trowel fill all small cracks and chips making the surface smooth. You should allow the patching compound to cure according the manufacturer’s directions.

Should there be damage at the front edge of the step, clean it as follows. Place a board in front and secure it in place with bricks or concrete blocks. Wet the damaged area and fill it with patching compound. Using a masonry trowel smooth the patch and then allow it to cure thoroughly.

Spread a layer of isolation membrane over the concrete using a notched trowel. You should smooth the surface of the membrane using the flat edge of a trowel. Making sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions, allow the membrane to cure.

When tiling a stairway with landing the sequence is important. Your main goal is to install the tile in a manner that the least possible cut edges are visible from the main viewing position. If you are tiling the sides as well, start there first. Start by extending horizontal lines from the top of the stair treads back to the house on the sides of the steps. Use a 4 ft level.

Prepare a batch of thinset mortar with latex bonding adhesive and trowel it onto the sides of the steps, trying to retain visibility of the layout lines. Because the top steps are likely more visible than the bottom step, start on top and work your way down.

Begin setting tiles into the thinset mortar on the sides of the steps. Start at the top and work your way downward. Try to lay out tile so the vertical gaps between tiles align. Use spacers if you need to.

Wrap a 2 x 4 in old carpet and drag it back and forth across the tile surfaces to set them evenly. Avoid getting too aggressive as you dont want to loosen all of the thinset mortar.

Measure the widith of a riser, making account for the thickness of the tiles you have laid on the sides. Calculate the centerpoint and mark it clearly with chalk or a high visibility marker.

You will then dry lay the tiles on the stair risers. As the location of the tops of the riser tiles affects the positioning of the tread and landing tiles, you will acheive the most accurate layout if the riser tiles are laid first. Vertically stack the tiles against the riser, note that in some cases you will only need one tile to reach from tread to tread. Add spacers. Trace the location of the tread across the back of the top tile to mark it for cutting.

## Tile a concrete patio for a decorative touch to your outdoor space.

#### By Jeanne Huber

Handmade clay tiles or stone tiles with naturally split surfaces look great in a garden setting. But accommodating the size variation requires a slightly different installation process than you’d use for the factory-made tiles that are more common indoors. This project originally appeared in Walks, Walls & Patio Floors by Jeanne Huber, published in 2008 by Sunset Books. The patio features handmade saltillo tiles, which are popular where winters are warm. They are too porous to survive a freezing winter. The procedure also applies to stone tile with slightly irregular dimensions. These saltillos were glazed at the factory. If you are using unglazed saltillos or porous stone, apply a sealer before you install them to prevent mortar stains.

Sort the tiles before you begin. Set aside warped pieces with a slight hump in the center until you have mortar prepared and can spread a little, like frosting, to make the backs flat. If thickness varies significantly, sort out the thicker pieces and include at least one in each section you set so that the paving turns out even.

Before tiling a concrete slab, be sure it is stable. Deep cracks are likely to show up in your tiled surface, even if you patch first. Run a straightedge along the surface and knock down any protrusions with a hammer and chisel or a grinder. Patch large holes, clean the concrete, let it dry, then paint the surface with concrete bonding adhesive.

Lay out the project. Check the slab to make sure corners are square. If not, draw two lines at a 90-degree angle to each other and make all your measurements from them. Do a test run by placing tiles to make a section about 3 feet square. Space them to allow grout lines of a width you want. Measure the width of the tiles plus one extra grout line. This is the size of the squares in which the tiles should be laid. Using a tape measure and chalk line, mark lines in both directions to produce a grid of squares.

Trowel on the mortar. Mix a batch of latex-reinforced mortar so it is just stiff enough to cling for a second or two to a trowel held vertically. Using a notched trowel of the size recommended by the tile dealer, spread the mortar inside one of the squares. First spread a thick layer using the flat side of the trowel. Then use the notched side to comb the mortar. Don’t scrape down to the concrete.

Place and align the tiles. Fill the square with tiles, leaving gaps for grout lines. Set the tiles straight down into the mortar; don’t slide them or press down on them. Stand up and examine the tiles from several angles to be sure the grout lines are as consistent and straight as possible.

Bed the tiles and check adhesion. Place a block of wood or a piece of plywood across several tiles and gently tap it to seat the pieces evenly. Every so often, pick up a tile to make sure the mortar is sticking to at least three-quarters of the back surface. If it’s not, back-butter each tile with a thin layer of mortar before setting it in the troweled mortar.

Cut tiles to fit. At edges, you may need to trim some pieces. Cut tiles using a rented wet saw, or a grinder or circular saw equipped with a masonry cutting blade or a diamond blade. Some tiles are easier to cut with a snap cutter. Ask your tile dealer which cutting tool to use.

Grout and clean. Wait about 2 days for the mortar to harden. Mix a batch of latex-reinforced sanded grout just to the point that it does not pour readily. If joints are 3⁄8 inch or wider, apply the grout with a mortar bag and shape the joints with a brick tool or the rounded end of a trowel handle.

If joints are narrow, hold a laminated grout float nearly flat and push grout between the tiles in at least two directions. When the joints in an area are full, tilt the float up and use it to squeegee away most of the excess grout. Drag a wet towel over the area, then wipe lightly with a damp sponge, rinsed often. Once the grout starts to stiffen, use the sponge to shape the surface to a consistent depth. Allow the surface to dry until a white haze appears, then buff it away with a dry cloth. Mist the grout with water until damp and cover it with plastic for several days, making sure it stays damp.

New Ideas for Outdoor Living

New for 2009 is Patio & Stone, A Sunset Design Guide. This handsomely photographed book includes the latest ideas on design and materials, along with essential landscaping advice from industry professionals. Design an inviting patio with decorative features such as flagstone paths and stone walls. Discover a wealth of great landscaping materials, from natural stone to concrete pavers, brick and tile. Plus, you can see advanced views of the spaces you are planning with the 3D interactive design software that is included with the book.

Photo Credits: “Photos courtesy of Wayne Cable

Editor’s Note: Excerpted by permission of Sunset Publishing Corporation from Walks, Walls & Patio Floors by Jeanne Huber and the editors of Sunset Books, published in 2008 by Sunset Books.

If you are installing ceramic tile over another surface, it is important to follow specific recommendations and steps to make sure there will be proper bonding. Ceramic tile over wood, tile, concrete, or vinyl should be installed by using appropriate products that will allow the right adhesion between surfaces. Always be sure the existing surface has been cleaned and leveled.

## Installing Over Concrete

Installing ceramic tile over concrete requires repairing all cracks and voids in the concrete prior to the installation process. Cracks in the concrete eventually will lead to cracks in the tile because the concrete at the point of the crack won’t be able to support the tile. For cracks, less than 1/8 inch, use crack suppression products. If installing over larger cracks, you must consider removing the concrete section and pouring a new concrete slab.

If you are concerned about cracks, you may want to have an isolation system installed onto the slab to separate/detach the tile from the slab. This is a membrane that separates the tile from direct contact with the concrete, helping to provide support for any weaknesses in the concrete due to shrinkage or expansion.

It also is important to verify that there are no chemical products acting over the concrete surface. Some chemical products applied over the concrete surface can reduce the bonding capacity of the tile over the surface. To check the slab for the presence of such a coating, drip a few drops of water on its surface. If the water beads, it’s highly likely that a coating was applied.

## Installing Over Wood

To install ceramic tile over wood, the wood surface must be structurally sound enough to support the weight of the tile. Chipboard, cushioned vinyl flooring, particle boards of any type, oriented strand board (OSB), interior-grade plywood, tongue and groove planking, and hardwood floors are unsuitable substrates for direct installation of ceramic tile. Tile is hard and will break or dislodge if the surface bends under the load, and many wood surfaces can expand or contract, negatively impacting their ability to stay level and support the weight. If you must install over such surfaces, it is best to install a backer board over the old surface and install the tile on the backer board.

If installing over an appropriate wood surface, sand the wood to make it smoother, and remember that the installation will work better over a subfloor at least 1-1/8 inches thick. If the tile is being installed in a bathroom, consider applying an isolation membrane over your wood subfloor to further protect against expansion and contraction.

## Installing Over Existing Tile

Before installing ceramic tile over the existing tile you will need to roughen the existing ceramic tile surface to produce a better grip for the new ceramic tile. It is recommended to sand the floor using 80-grit sandpaper. After the tile has been sanded, clean and remove all particles and dust before applying a floor leveler product to fill in grout lines and level the surface completely for the new tile application. Use a thin-set product to install ceramic tile over existing tiles. This is a mixture of cement, fine-grain sand, and water that will adhere the new tile to the old. When it comes to mortar, latex or epoxy options are best for installing tile over tile. Also, consider that doors, cabinets, and other hardware might need to be reworked or replaced with new ones to compensate for the higher floor.

## Installing Over Existing Vinyl

Installing ceramic tile over vinyl or linoleum surfaces can be more complicated than expected and probably should be avoided whenever possible. However, if you can’t remove the old surface or otherwise decide to install over it, lay a backer board with thin-set over the old surface to serve as your new subfloor material. It is important to use the thin-set recommended by the backer board manufacturer, make sure all loose adhesive is removed from the surface, and verify that a good bond to the substrate can be achieved. For cutback adhesive residue, verify that the thin-set manufacturer’s mortar is compatible.

## Leveling a Subfloor

It’s not uncommon for subfloors to develop low spots or other imperfections over time, but before installing a new floor over one, it’s very important to address these issues and make certain the subfloor is level. Low spots can be filled in with a floor-patching mixture that then can be sanded once it has hardened.

## Measuring Tile for Cutting

When actually laying the tile, measure out an area away from walls and other border areas where you can install full squares of tile. Once you have allowed this to set and can walk on it, measure the space you have along walls and other border areas, minus the grout line, and mark where tiles need to be cut to fill these odd spaces.

Installing a slate tile over a concrete base is a task that you can do on your own by following certain steps and tips. Slate is one of the most durable and long-lasting floor materials and requires little maintenance. It doesn’t allow dirt to show very much either. Concrete is an ideal subfloor for installing slate tiles. Preparation is the most important part of every do-it-yourself task and slate floor tile installation is no exception to that rule. The more time and attention to detail and workmanship you put into your slate flooring the more beautiful it will be.

#### Step 1 – Preparation

Before starting with the installation, you should remove all possible flooring and coverings. The older flooring will need to be removed and cleaned. Slate tiles can be installed over a wood floor or a cement floor, but in any case, the floor needs to be dry.

#### Step 2 – Level the Floor

Before starting you should check the concrete base to ensure that is level. You can use an 8-foot level to check it; in the case that the floor is not level, you can and should use a leveling compound that will make the concrete level. Make sure that the compound dries completely.

#### Step 3 – Use Thinset

Use the thinset over the concrete base and spread it evenly. You can use a trowel with notches that are proper for the size of the tiles you will be using.

#### Step 4 – Install the Tiles

Take the tiles and set them in the thinset. Make sure that you do not use more thinset than is necessary. Use the spacers to space the tiles evenly until you have covered the entire concrete base.

#### Step 5 – Use the Grout

Take the grouting bags and squeeze the grout into the lines between the tiles. Make sure that you do not leave any voids or gaps. Let the grout dry and cure for 2 to 3 days.

#### Step 6 – Use the Tile Sealer

Two to three days later use the tile sealer over the surface of the tiles. If you wish for a glossy result you should apply 2 to 4 coats of sealer. The sealer can prevent the slate tiles from staining. Keep in mind, though, that you should not use the sealer over waxed flooring because the sealer will not be effective. If the slate flooring is in a room with moisture, such as bathrooms or kitchens, you should also seal the gaps between the tiles and the walls. Always allow the sealer to dry properly.

#### Extra Tip

One of the first things you need to do is to calculate how many tiles you will need. If you take the floor plan or sketch it, you will be able to calculate the exact amount. However, you should always order more, at about 5 to 10 percent more than the calculations, because some tiles might break, or you might make some mistakes and you will need to use more tiles than you would normally. When you buy the tiles, you can buy the other needed materials at the same time, so that you buy the proper ones for the slate tiles you are using. Preparation is key.

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## How to have a good day

We’ve all had those days at work when nothing goes right: Your boss is in a wicked mood, your computer contracts a virus and there’s a two-hour traffic snarl on your commute home. It’s easy to dismiss days like these as the inevitable by-product of a modern workplace. But a new book by executive coach and former McKinsey partner Caroline Webb, How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life, makes a compelling case that you have far more control over your workday than you might realize.

One of the most thoroughly researched and practical personal management books I’ve read in a long time, Have a Good Day doesn’t just explain why we behave the way we do. Webb shows how small tweaks in your behavior can ensure that the good days will outnumber the bad.

Before sharing my favorite Webb tips, let me clarify what she means by a “good” day. It doesn’t mean a day free of distractions, stresses or challenges (as lovely as that sounds). Rather, Webb says, a good day is when you can answer three key questions in the affirmative:

• Did you spend your time and attention on things that matter?
• Do you feel that you did a good job and had the support of others?

• Did the day leave you feeling more energized than depleted?
• ### 5 Tactics to Have a Good Day

If you want to improve your productivity and joie de vivre, I suggest you read Have a Good Day soon. (You can download a free chapter at CarolineWebb.co.) But in the meantime, here are five key tactics from it that you can put to good use immediately:

1. Set intentions for your day: Have you noticed that when you’re shopping for a new car, it suddenly seems that every vehicle you see is the exact model you’re considering? That’s because your brain can only actually consciously perceive part of what’s going on around you at any time. What you notice is whatever matches things that are already top-of-mind. It’s a phenomenon researchers call “selective attention” and it’s why Webb suggests you become more deliberate about setting your intentions for the day.

Also on Forbes:

For example, say you’ll have an important meeting with a difficult co-worker. Normally, when you focus on the fact that he or she tends to be a bit of a jerk, you’ll quickly find evidence confirming your expectations (e.g. an irritating smirk) while filtering out all else (a smile or conciliatory tone). Your fixation on the negative means the conversation is likely doomed before it starts.

Instead, Webb says, if you consciously try to notice the positive cues (as few as they might be) before going into the meeting, you’re more likely to enjoy a cordial discussion.

Here’s the daily intention-setting routine Webb recommends to start your day:

• Get clear on your goal by asking, “What really matters most in making this a success?
• Acknowledge the concerns dominating your thoughts and ask, “Do these attitudes and assumptions help me achieve my real aim, and if not, can I set them aside for now?”
• Ask, “Given my real priorities, where should I focus my attention? What do I most want to look out for?”

Practicing this strategy will help ensure you pick up on cues that foster the kind of outcomes you want, as opposed to those you don’t.

2. Practice distancing. No matter how skilled you become at setting intentions, you can’t always avoid life’s frustrations and challenges. To paraphrase a popular bumper sticker, “Stuff happens.”

Distancing is a deceptively simple technique that allows you to gain needed perspective during those “Take me away, Calgon” moments. Two distancing tactics from Webb:

Second, pretend you’re advising a friend. Most people find it much easier to help a friend than to solve their own problems. So the next time you’re grappling with a thorny issue, ask yourself: “What would I say if I were giving advice on this same situation to a friend? You’ll be amazed how much easier it will be to think clearly once you remove yourself from the equation.

3. Plan strategic downtime. Webb says the research overwhelmingly shows that we make better decisions when we give our brains a break. So while this might sound counterintuitive, you’ll be more productive when you carve out small break periods during the day.

Ideally you’ll break every 90 minutes: Take a brief nap, go for a quick walk or simply get up and stretch your legs. Your brain — and your co-workers — will thank you.

4. Focus on one task at a time. Here again, notes Webb, the research is clear: Multitasking makes us less, rather than more, productive. When we constantly juggle, error rates increase and output decreases. Two of Webb’s important tips:

Rather than responding to email all day long, check your electronic mailbox just twice a day. That way you can hone in on the most important work without constant interruption.

Also, plan a block of uninterrupted thinking time to work on your most complex task and batch similar tasks together.

5. Practice gratitude. Ultimately, much of what makes our day good or bad, says Webb, is our mindset. When you make a point to note the good things (however small), your brain gets into the habit of scanning for positive things and your mood impro

So make it a habit to actively notice the good around you.

At the beginning of each day, try to notice three good things. For example: Your coffee was hot, someone held the door open for you and the train came on time. Then at the end of the day, think about the three best things that happened and write them down or tell your partner about them.

The more you practice gratitude, says Webb, the happier and more productive you’ll likely be.

We’ve all had those days at work when nothing goes right: Your boss is in a wicked mood, your computer contracts a virus and there’s a two-hour traffic snarl on your commute home. It’s easy to dismiss days like these as the inevitable by-product of a modern workplace. But a new book by executive coach and former McKinsey partner Caroline Webb, How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life, makes a compelling case that you have far more control over your workday than you might realize.

One of the most thoroughly researched and practical personal management books I’ve read in a long time, Have a Good Day doesn’t just explain why we behave the way we do. Webb shows how small tweaks in your behavior can ensure that the good days will outnumber the bad.

Before sharing my favorite Webb tips, let me clarify what she means by a “good” day. It doesn’t mean a day free of distractions, stresses or challenges (as lovely as that sounds). Rather, Webb says, a good day is when you can answer three key questions in the affirmative:

• Did you spend your time and attention on things that matter?
• Do you feel that you did a good job and had the support of others?

• Did the day leave you feeling more energized than depleted?
• ### 5 Tactics to Have a Good Day

If you want to improve your productivity and joie de vivre, I suggest you read Have a Good Day soon. (You can download a free chapter at CarolineWebb.co.) But in the meantime, here are five key tactics from it that you can put to good use immediately:

1. Set intentions for your day: Have you noticed that when you’re shopping for a new car, it suddenly seems that every vehicle you see is the exact model you’re considering? That’s because your brain can only actually consciously perceive part of what’s going on around you at any time. What you notice is whatever matches things that are already top-of-mind. It’s a phenomenon researchers call “selective attention” and it’s why Webb suggests you become more deliberate about setting your intentions for the day.

Also on Forbes:

For example, say you’ll have an important meeting with a difficult co-worker. Normally, when you focus on the fact that he or she tends to be a bit of a jerk, you’ll quickly find evidence confirming your expectations (e.g. an irritating smirk) while filtering out all else (a smile or conciliatory tone). Your fixation on the negative means the conversation is likely doomed before it starts.

Instead, Webb says, if you consciously try to notice the positive cues (as few as they might be) before going into the meeting, you’re more likely to enjoy a cordial discussion.

Here’s the daily intention-setting routine Webb recommends to start your day:

• Get clear on your goal by asking, “What really matters most in making this a success?
• Acknowledge the concerns dominating your thoughts and ask, “Do these attitudes and assumptions help me achieve my real aim, and if not, can I set them aside for now?”
• Ask, “Given my real priorities, where should I focus my attention? What do I most want to look out for?”

Practicing this strategy will help ensure you pick up on cues that foster the kind of outcomes you want, as opposed to those you don’t.

2. Practice distancing. No matter how skilled you become at setting intentions, you can’t always avoid life’s frustrations and challenges. To paraphrase a popular bumper sticker, “Stuff happens.”

Distancing is a deceptively simple technique that allows you to gain needed perspective during those “Take me away, Calgon” moments. Two distancing tactics from Webb:

Second, pretend you’re advising a friend. Most people find it much easier to help a friend than to solve their own problems. So the next time you’re grappling with a thorny issue, ask yourself: “What would I say if I were giving advice on this same situation to a friend? You’ll be amazed how much easier it will be to think clearly once you remove yourself from the equation.

3. Plan strategic downtime. Webb says the research overwhelmingly shows that we make better decisions when we give our brains a break. So while this might sound counterintuitive, you’ll be more productive when you carve out small break periods during the day.

Ideally you’ll break every 90 minutes: Take a brief nap, go for a quick walk or simply get up and stretch your legs. Your brain — and your co-workers — will thank you.

4. Focus on one task at a time. Here again, notes Webb, the research is clear: Multitasking makes us less, rather than more, productive. When we constantly juggle, error rates increase and output decreases. Two of Webb’s important tips:

Rather than responding to email all day long, check your electronic mailbox just twice a day. That way you can hone in on the most important work without constant interruption.

Also, plan a block of uninterrupted thinking time to work on your most complex task and batch similar tasks together.

5. Practice gratitude. Ultimately, much of what makes our day good or bad, says Webb, is our mindset. When you make a point to note the good things (however small), your brain gets into the habit of scanning for positive things and your mood impro

So make it a habit to actively notice the good around you.

At the beginning of each day, try to notice three good things. For example: Your coffee was hot, someone held the door open for you and the train came on time. Then at the end of the day, think about the three best things that happened and write them down or tell your partner about them.

The more you practice gratitude, says Webb, the happier and more productive you’ll likely be.

## How To Have A Good Day

### Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life

In How to Have a Good Day, economist and former McKinsey partner Caroline Webb shows readers how to use recent findings from behavioral economics, psychology and neuroscience to transform the quality of our everyday lives – at work and beyond.

Advances in the behavioral sciences are giving us an ever-better understanding of how our brains work, why we make the choices we do, and what it takes for us to be at our best. But it hasn’t always been easy to see how to apply these insights in real life – until now. In How to Have a Good Day, Caroline Webb translates three big scientific ideas into step-by-step guidance that enables us to make every day feel more like our best days, by showing us how to: set better priorities, make our time go further, ace every interaction, be our smartest selves, strengthen our personal impact, be resilient to setbacks, and boost our energy and enjoyment. In short: she shows us how to take more control over the quality of our days – whether the “day job” sees us in an office, a studio, outdoors or at home.

How to Have a Good Day was hailed by Forbes as a “must-read business book,” described by Fortune as one of their top “self-improvement through data” books, and listed by Inc as one of the best 15 leadership and personal development books of the past five years. Written in an accessible, engaging style for anyone with an interest in evidence-based self-improvement, the book has been widely lauded in the media, winning plaudits from publications as diverse as the Financial Times, TIME magazine, and Cosmopolitan. It’s been described by Susan Cain as “extraordinary”, Cass Sunstein as “wise and humane,” Tom Peters as “magisterial,” and Dan Pink as “smart, thorough, and eminently practical.” (You can read more endorsements below.) How to Have a Good Day has so far been published in 14 languages and more than 60 countries.

We help people be at their best at work, using techniques that blend rigorous science with deep practicality.

 How we spend our days is,
of course,
the way we spend our lives. 

## Small steps,big difference

We show people how to apply simple insights from behavioral science (behavioral economics, psychology, neuroscience) to make lasting improvements in their professional performance, productivity and sense of wellbeing. And we help leaders use these techniques to build the kind of organizational culture that everyone wants to be part of.

Our workshop participants practice applying the techniques we teach to real situations they’re dealing with. This deep learning-by-doing makes the concepts truly stick, and people get immediate value from attending our sessions.

Explained by science

We’ve found people are far more likely to embrace and remember a technique if they understand why it works. This deeper understanding also makes it easier for people to share the techniques with their colleagues.

Tailored to you

Our material is tried-and-tested, but we don’t do “off the shelf” work because no two organizations are the same. So, we immerse ourselves in your context and then design our sessions to make sure we’re focusing on what’s truly most important to you.

We help people be at their best at work, using techniques that blend rigorous science with deep practicality.

 How we spend our days is,
of course,
the way we spend our lives. 

## Small steps,big difference

We show people how to apply simple insights from behavioral science (behavioral economics, psychology, neuroscience) to make lasting improvements in their professional performance, productivity and sense of wellbeing. And we help leaders use these techniques to build the kind of organizational culture that everyone wants to be part of.

Our workshop participants practice applying the techniques we teach to real situations they’re dealing with. This deep learning-by-doing makes the concepts truly stick, and people get immediate value from attending our sessions.

Explained by science

We’ve found people are far more likely to embrace and remember a technique if they understand why it works. This deeper understanding also makes it easier for people to share the techniques with their colleagues.

Tailored to you

Our material is tried-and-tested, but we don’t do “off the shelf” work because no two organizations are the same. So, we immerse ourselves in your context and then design our sessions to make sure we’re focusing on what’s truly most important to you.

Have you ever noticed that it doesn’t matter if your kids are in kindergarten or high school, getting out the door in the morning and on to school is never an easy task? In fact, its one of the most frustrating routines in most families and can cause a lot of disconnect. With anxiety high, worry looming, and everyone rushing, sometimes even the best intentions come out wrong and we leave our kids with words that might not be the most encouraging to start their day. More often than not we are stumbling for words and we mutter a “Have a Good Day” as our children stumble out away from us. However, what if we had a list of encouraging alternatives to Have a Good Day that set our kids up for the best they can be?

Just the other day in our sensory support group, someone asked “What words do you say to your child with SPD, as you send them off to school each day?” Immediately, I started following the thread, because can’t we all use encouraging phrases to say to your child before school each day? I know, I can!

In fact, I can vividly remember the days of my son with SPD in public school. Saying “Have a good day” never seemed to cut it. The truth is, some days just weren’t very good.

With the permission of the members of my sensory support group, I have gathered some of these simple encouraging phrases and made a list that is easy for you to use, hang on your fridge or keep in your car. Whether you homeschool or traditional school, we all can use a little encouragement each morning. Goodness, I could stand to hear these myself.

## 30 Encouraging Phrases to Say to Your Child Instead of “Have a Great Day”

“You are awesome”
“You can handle it”
“I’m so proud of you.”
“I love you”
“Today’s going to be a great day! I can feel it!”

“Don’t stop, never give up, hold your head high and reach the top! ”
“You’re gonna rock it in your school shoes (thanks to this book )”
“I’m excited to see you tackle __________ today!”
“You are an awesome kid.”
“I believe in you.”

“You are my pride and joy.”
“Have fun and learn lots.”
“Have a safe day”
“Make good choices.”
“Mama always comes back (from this book )”

“Have a great day… but if you don’t… that’s okay too!”
“See you later, alligator.”
“You are strong, smart, and capable.”
“Have a rock n’ roll day!”

“Be yourself.”
“Whatever will be will be, the future is not ours to see.”
“You make me proud.”
“I know you will do your best.”

“You don’t have to be perfect to have a great day!”
“You’ve got this.”
“See you soon”
“Today is a new day.”

Finally, every single day I send my son off to public school, I give him a big hug, smile and say “Remember, what’s the number one rule?”

He always looks at me, winks and says… “I know Mom, have fun and do my best!”

Now, you know just as much as I do that some times even the right words won’t make for a perfect day. Especially if you have a child who struggles with sensory processing, anxiety, anger, or emotional regulation. In that case, you might want a few more phrases to add to your arsenal!
I would recommend checking out the following resources for helpful phrases to use with your struggling child that will allow them to feel both successful and connected to you!

### Print the 30 Encouraging Alternatives to “Have a Good Day”

This post comes with a free printable to share with friends or to hang on your fridge as a good reminder of what we go through every single day.

I have made a simple printable for you that has the entire list in a simple and easy to display format. Place it on the fridge, in a frame or even hand it to your best friend the next time they ask for a play date. Don’t get caught struggling to find the words to describe your child.

## The seven choices that determine your day.

Aug 5, 2017 · 5 min read

When we have a bad day, it’s usually our own fault.

Because while some things happen that are out of our control, the quality of most days is determined by how we choose to approach them.

A bad day is often the result of bad choices we make about what we invite into it. The better we select our “inputs,” the better our day becomes.

Our inputs — the things we consume, interact with, or experience in a given day — are largely in our control.

We can’t guara n tee ourselves a great day, but we can stack the deck in our favor by pursuing positive inputs and limiting negative ones.

Here are a few places to start…A

According to a 2015 study, if you expose yourself to three minutes of negative news first thing in the morning, you’re 27% more likely to declare you’ve had a bad day six-to-eight hours later.

The content you consume — news, music, podcasts, TV, etc.— has a HUGE impact on how your day goes.

One of the simplest things you can do to have a good day is consume media that inspires, motivates, and energizes you and limit media that makes you angry, anxious, or depressed.

It’s important to be informed, but if you know the latest political madness is going to raise your blood pressure, there’s no reason you need to consume it first thing in the morning.

Some people love a full daily calendar and think time flies when they’re busy.

Others consider that their worst nightmare and prefer the bliss of starting their day with an empty calendar.

It doesn’t matter which you prefer, what matters is that you actively optimize your day for whichever makes you feel good.

Doing so drastically increases the odds you’ll have a good day.

And while you will have some commitments you can’t re-arrange, you probably have more control of your calendar than you exercise.

This is where you might expect me to tell you how important it is to eat healthy, how doing so will give you more energy, and how you’re more likely to have a better day if you eat kale than a cheeseburger.

I’m not going to tell you that because anyone who’s had a cheeseburger knows it will likely make you WAY happier than kale ever could.

Instead, I suggest you make your food choices based on what you enjoy— there’s value to eating a slice of pizza if you love it and there’s value to eating healthy because it makes you feel good.

Look for ways to incorporate foods that make you feel good — not guilty, gross, or unsatisfied — into your day.

Don’t eat crap because you’re too lazy to eat healthy when you know eating healthy makes you feel better.

And don’t go on a juice fast because you think it’s good for you even though it makes you miserable.

Whatever it is you love to do, do it. Every day.

If it’s something you can’t do every day — like skiing when you don’t live near the slopes — find a way to incorporate it into your every day routine. Watch ski videos, chat on a ski-fan message board, plan your next ski trip, whatever.

Life’s too short to not do what you love on a daily basis.

There are people in your world who radiate positivity and there are others who, well…not so much.

Focus on interacting with the people who make you feel better about the world as opposed to those who do the opposite.

Just because a co-worker likes to spend 20 minutes a day complaining about how stupid the company is, that doesn’t mean you have to give them 20 minutes of your time.

Choose to spend that 20 minutes talking to another co-worker who’s excited about the project they’re working on, eager to learn from you, or happy to mentor you.

Pay attention to the conversations you find yourself in and the people you have them with — if they’re overly negative, find some new ones.

Besides changing your bad phone habits, you can also improve your day by being intentional with how you use social media.

When you check Facebook, does it make you feel good or bad? Does it help you have a good day or prevent you from having one?

It’s not just about the time you spend on social media, but also how you use it.

Does posting content to your account make you feel better than commenting or liking other people’s posts? Or does it make you feel more anxious?

Does Instagram make you feel happy and creative, but Twitter makes you feel like you’re in the apocalypse?

Social media isn’t inherently bad — a lot of good can come from it — but you must be selective with when and how you use it.

The more you do that online, the more likely you’ll have a good day offline.

If you only do one thing after reading (and hopefully sharing!) this post, let it be this:

Consider whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert and plan your day accordingly.

If you’re an introvert, it’s going to be more difficult to have a great day if you’ve packed it with crowds of people and social situations.

And if you’re an extrovert, your recipe for a good day probably needs to include more than just time spent at a secluded beach by yourself.

The key to a great day is to take into account what makes you happy, curate your inputs to emphasize those elements, and limit your exposure to the things that drag you down.

Doing that won’t guarantee you a great day, but it sure gives you a great shot at one.

Start small, grow slow

The Daily Stoic for May 7th. “How to have a good day”.

“God laid down this law, saying: if you want some good, get it from yourself.”
—EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 1.29.4

I think we all can agree on our disagreement of “what’s a good day”. The definition varies wildly from person to person. Of course, a good day is not necessarily a perfect day… It’s just a day that ends with a sense of fulfillment and joy.

## How To Have A Good Day?

In my case, there’s a series of things that help.

### Set The Most Important Task For The Day, And Complete It

One of the most important things to end my day with a smile on my face is being able to finish a task that’s significant enough. I think it was The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferris, that mentions how you should set an important task and focus on finishing just that task to consider your day productive.

I have always struggled with that. As both a solopreneur and a workaholic, saying “no” or delegating tasks has not been easy for me. In fact, only recently I have learned to focus on one, and only one project. Ok, maybe two if you count this blog.

Setting a realistic task you can complete every day will allow you to end it with a feeling of closure, and will boost your confidence in your skills. On the contrary, overwhelming yourself with lots of different tasks will only make you think you never have enough time.

Cut to the chase.

### Do Some Exercise, Or Go For A Walk

Today I had a lot of work and was not able to go to the gym. I try to go at least every weekday. Exercise not only helps you focus, it generates endorphins -the hormone of happiness- and gives you more energy to face the day, especially if you train or exercise early in the morning.

Thus, after finishing work, I felt constrained by the walls of my apartment. I decided to go for a walk and then find a café to write the daily stoic post of the day.

That short walk through Riga, and getting my eyes away from the screen for some time, has been enough to help me relax and focus on my writing.

### Do Something Good For Someone

And this is where I completely agree with today’s stoic excerpt. Doing something good for someone is the best way I know to make you feel happier. In fact, I think every good deed we do propagates exponentially to people around at that very moment.

This small gesture need not be elaborate. You don’t need to chase old ladies to help them cross the street. Saying “I love you” to the person you love, or inviting one of your colleagues at work for a good cup of coffee will do the trick.

## Conclusion

Today’s Daily Stoic, “How to have a good day”, discusses that in order to have a good day, one must do good things. That’s definitely one of the three things that are guaranteed to cheer up my day too. The other two being finishing the most important task of the day, and doing some exercise, a walk or any other outside activity.

If you found this content useful, consider showing your appreciation by buying me a coffee using the button below 👇.

## 10 Simple, Sure-fire Ways to Make Today Your Best Day Ever

I shut my eyes so I can see. – artist Paul Gauguin

###### By Leo Babauta.

This morning as I took my kids to school, I was feeling rushed and harried. Stress levels high, my face wore a permanent frown, my mind was in a million different places, and my two youngest kids (3 year old, and 20 months) were quiet in their car seats.

Then I realized: while my mind is elsewhere, I’m missing some prime moments with my kids. And not really enjoying my day.

And so I changed the moment, and in doing so changed my day: we began singing some of our favorite children’s songs. Itsy-bitsy spider, twinkle twinkle, wheels on the bus, ABCDs, I’ve been working on the railroad, the ants go marching two by two … all of the oldies.

Instead of thinking about all the things I had to do today, I brought myself into the present moment. And when we got to school, I took a few minutes to spend time with them. Be present with them. It was truly lovely.

This little incident not only brought warmth and joy into my heart … it brought a realization into my mind: I can either have a stressed, difficult day … or I can have an amazing, wonderful day.

I chose the amazing day.

The rest of the day, I did things to ensure that my day was the best ever. And it was. I had the greatest day … all from simple little things that don’t seem like much, but make all the difference in the world.

Do you have to follow these things step-by-step? Not at all. Find your own methods, or pick and choose a few of these. Main thing, though: take steps to make today your best day ever.

1. Be present. Instead of having your mind elsewhere, bring yourself back to now, in this moment, focused on where you are and what you’re doing and who you’re with. We cannot change things that have already happened, and obsessing over them does nothing to help us now. We cannot predict the future, so worrying about it does nothing to help you either. Instead, focus on now … if something is worrying you, take action … but even better, just be in the moment, and live as if now is all there is. Because it is.

2. Do less. Have a full schedule today? Cut it in half. You don’t need to do everything on that list. I took a few items on my list and moved them to next week. Do less (but focus on the important — not urgent — stuff) and you’ll be less stressed out. If you cut your list down and do only half the things you want to do for today, you’ll have a much better day. You’ll thank me.

3. Get one important thing done. As I said in the previous point, do less but do more important things. When I say important, I mean things that will have a huge impact on your life (personally or career wise) over the long run. Not things that need to be done today or else. Here’s why: If you get something important done, something that will help you in the long run (even if it’s only a step towards a major accomplishment, it’s important), you will feel great! You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. That makes any day a great day.

4. Plan your perfect life. What would your life be like if you had no restrictions? I’m not talking about living in a McMansion or flying around in jet planes, but what would make you happy. A good step: pick the 4-5 most important things in your life, and build your perfect life around those things, eliminating most of the rest if possible. Plan that perfect life, and then plan the first few steps you need to take to get there. Now schedule those first steps over the next week, including one today. It feels amazing to start taking action on making your life the way you want it to be.

5. Declutter. Even if it’s just a little space — say a drawer or a shelf — decluttering an area of your life can have a wonderful effect on your mood and happiness level. I know it gives my day a boost. When things start to get cluttered (and let’s face it, even the best declutterers among us face clutter creep), I take a few minutes to clear it out. Clearing your desk (at least the surface of it) can be a great way to start.

6. Go for a walk. I was going to write “exercise” but I’m afraid that many readers will just skip over this one. So instead, just go for a walk. That movement, and the fresh outdoor air, will have a great effect on your day. And even better: take a few minutes to enjoy the nature around you as you go for your walk. Clear your head. Calm yourself during a busy time of your day. Think to yourself: “How lucky I am to be alive! How wonderful a world I’m in! What opportunities and possibilities lie before me!”

7. Focus on 3 projects. I wrote about this recently, but you’ll probably hear me repeat it a few times just because of the terrific effect it can have on your productivity and your life: choose only your three most important projects, and focus on them exclusively. Focus on getting them to completion, to the exclusion of all other projects. Do that today. You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll accomplish. I only started doing it recently, but I’m getting so much done that I feel like I was sitting on my hands before this. It feels wonder-tastic!

8. Listen to great music. When I was in the car, after I dropped the kids, an oldie came on the radio: Tommy James and the Shondells singing Hanky Panky. “I saw her walking on down the line (yeah) … you know I saw her for the very first time …” Well, I love songs like that (call me old if you like) and I started dancing in my seat. You might be turned on by hipper songs (or is “hipper” not a trendy word anymore?) but whatever music gets you going, jam it on your iPod or car radio. Or while you work. It’s a great time! “Hey, pretty baby, can I take you home!”

9. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Trite? Yes, definitely. But does it work? Yes, definitely. I took the time to enjoy the sunset on my way home today. Mmmmm. It was lovely. It just fills me with warmth. Sunrises are even more beautifuller!

10. Spend time with a loved one. Another obvious one, perhaps, but there’s nothing better, really. When I spent even just a few minutes with my two babies this morning, it filled me with a joy unequaled anywhere else in life. Then I spent some time with my wife, after work, and let me just say that’s about as good as it gets too. Even if you don’t have a spouse or kids, there’s someone in your life that you value … make time out of your day today to spend time with them … and not just to watch TV, but to actually be with them, talk with them, bond with them. It works.

## How to survive ap chemistry

You take a deep breath. Click. You’ve just scheduled a four-hour chemistry lab. You think to yourself, “This is gonna suck,” “When am I supposed to eat?” and “Ugh, this is going to be so hard.” I once had the same thoughts. But as daunting as intro chemistry labs look, with the right steps it really won’t suck that bad. Before you head off to the lab, review these tips that’ll help you receive a good grade and also help you (somewhat) enjoy it.

### 3. Keep a Clean Notebook

Reviewing for midterms and final lab reports becomes 10 times more complicated if you have a journal with writing and scribbles all over the place. How will you be able to tell the difference between doodles of trees and actual chemical bonds? Keeping a clean notebook helps you keep track of all your data and makes studying easier when you are going back to review your old data. Some TAs even grade your lab book for cleanliness and structure. An organized journal gives you easy points to boost your grade too.

### 4. Wear Proper Lab Clothes

Nothing’s more embarrassing than being sent home because you showed up to lab wearing flip flops. On the day of lab, have “duh” moments picking out your #ootd. “Should I wear this scarf? Oh wait, duh, no this is probably going to fall into a flame and set me on fire.” Stay away from what’s fashionable and choose an outfit that you don’t mind getting stains on. You also need tie that hair back (work that up-do), wear closed toed shoes and avoid any cute accessories that might fall into a flame or toxic substance. Save those looks for when you want to impress your new lab partner at a party, not when your mixing stinky chemicals in a dirty lab coat and huge, dorky safety goggles.

### 5. Most importantly, HAVE FUN

Having fun in a four-hour class sounds absolutely insane. But sitting around hating your decision to pursue a science major, glaring at your lab partner and constantly thinking to yourself how many episodes of Narcos you could’ve watched in that time only makes time pass slower. Embrace your choice of studying and exploring the world of science. Be awestruck that two clear chemicals make a purple one. Get excited to look like a real laboratory scientist in a lab coat and safety goggles. And lastly, get pumped that your one step closer to your career and to achieving your goals.

Music lover and yogi enthusiast. Passionate about photography, mother earth, and the color purple. Junior at Penn State University studying Photojournalism and Geosciences.

## life, music, cartoons, beauty, food, and some more stuff

So this isn’t a post about the units or “content” of AP Chemistry. This is just a post about the “non-academic” things I learned from the class.

I just realized that this week, we’re going to be doing a mock exam, so I was just thinking about how fast time flies. I mean..dang. It’s almost time to take the real thing.

I honestly think I’ll get maybe a 1 or 2. That’s not to just sound “modest” or “humble”, but more of the fact that I simply. just. don’t. know. the. stuff. It’s just all pretty confusing…but that’s another post all on its own.

But maybe it was the new school, or maybe it was because this was my first ever AP course…whatever it was, I learned a couple things..

-Don’t sound intimidated. This one I learnt the hard way, and its something I’m still trying to learn. At the beginning of the year, AP Chemistry was just too fast, and too hard for me. And when the teacher called on me all a sudden, I didn’t know the answer, and I’d speak really silently. Just shrugging my shoulders. But I’ve learned that you can’t do that anymore. Even if you have no idea what’s she/he is talking about just say, confidently, “I’m not sure”, or “Could you help me figure it out?”

Whatever you do, project your voice, and keep locked eye contact. That ensures that you’re not scared. You’re not scared of challenging yourself and figuring out the problem. And I think the more you assure yourself that you CAN do it, the more it’ll happen. (just remember that cockiness and confidence are two, very different things).

This is something that I’m still trying to learn. I say this, but I think, yesterday, I shrugged at a problem. But I think I’m getting a little better. Whatever you do, don’t seem like you’re scared. Being scared is a lot worse than not knowing. (atleast in this case)

-Think out of the box. The only reason I actually agreed to take AP classes next year, and the only reason that I recommend other people to take some AP courses, is because they truly teach you to think outside the box. I’ll admit it, I haven’t learned too much about the actual chemistry content, but it has taught me to link a couple things here and there. I’m not exactly … well flat out NOT, the student that is a “star” and always thinks out of the box on questions, but I have learned stuff from other people.

(*side: I would have never thought of that extra O!)

Maybe this isn’t true for other subjects, but for Chemistry, every unit connects to another unit in some way. So in a way, instead of learning flat out new things over and over again, you can learn to use the knowledge you already have, and kind of, build on that, I guess. I guess you have to learn to think resourcefully and think efficiently…something, I admit, I have no success in. (but I’m kind of trying!)

-Stoichiometry: My enemy. Actually a lot of other units are enemies too. But stoich is my worst. Stoich was the first chapter, and its the one that I seriously can’t get a hold of. Just ignited my bad reputation in the class. Anyways, in the beginning of the year, they told me that stoich was going to come ALL THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. Lieeeeeee.

Now, I admit stoich is a hugeee part in chemistry, and it could be applied everywhere. But after the actual stoich unit, I didn’t really work anymore stoich problems. Now, this is not to say that stoich isn’t important (watch there be a stoich problem on the exam and me sitting there blank), but I’m just saying that they (kind of) LIED. That’s all. No complaining, just saying 😉

-Read the introductions. When you’re doing labs, and especially when you’re trying to finish some prelab and postlab questions, its EXTREMELY helpful to read the one or two paragraphs in the introduction. It’s something that I think I didn’t too often, and I’d just sit there blank, when the answer, or some really helpful sign or clue was in the introduction. So just read it! It just makes life easier.

-Befriend your lab partner. I’ve had 3 different lab partners, and I’ve been “friends” with just one of them. Now, some lab partners are just not cool, not friendly, or whatever. But if its a decent person, (haha I sound stupid saying that) , then just start a conversation. The only reason I say this, is because they’ll help you on the lab questions. When you work together in AP Chem…you can get at a different level. And if you forget to jot down the data or something, they’ll help you out more. It’s just good to have that. I’m not saying to be BFF’s with your lab partner, I’m just saying to be “cool” with them. ya know?

**and if you guys do “trade and grade” (where after you finish your quiz, you just trade with each other and grade), then its wayyyyy more comfortable. For some reason, if you don’t do so well, you can try to laugh it off, and you won’t feel as…neglected, I guess. Err, stupid to say it. But I guess that’s how it is 🙂

But yeah, think that’s it 🙂 I’m sure there are more, but that’s all I can think of right now. So if you’re planning to take AP Chemistry…then, definitely go for it…(or any AP course for that matter). Have fun, and play it hard 😉

(** (almost…we still have some time) survived it…not passed it! haha)

and and AND…you know how much I love memes, so here are some:

## How to make a pet hamster

#### Contents

• Rats as Pets
• Rat life expectancy
• Hamsters as Pets
• Hamster life expectancy
• Different breeds have different needs
• Taking care of your new hamster
• Who is a hamster best for?
• Make the best choice for you

You’re thinking about adding a new furry member to your family, but which creature is better – a hamster or a rat?

This article will provide you with all the information about pet rats and hamsters that you need to know so you can make the best choice of animal for you and your family.

Both hamsters and rats make wonderful non-traditional pets. They are cute, fuzzy and fun to interact with. Rats and hamsters are both fairly simple to take care of and are a great choice for people living in small spaces where a larger animal like a cat or a dog wouldn’t be suitable. As a first-time pet owner, adult or child, they would be great companions and also would teach the responsibility that comes with caring for another life. Rats and hamsters thrive in clean environments with plenty of appropriate food and fresh water available at all times.

## Rats as Pets

### Rat life expectancy

Adult rats weigh between one half to one pound and have a relatively short life-span of two to three years. Rats are very social and inquisitive animals by nature, so it is recommended that you keep them in pairs of the same sex for companionship or if choosing opposite sex rats, one or both should be neutered or spayed so you don’t have surprise litters of 12 or more rat pups!

Rats will make themselves at home in any roomy cage with adequate ventilation. You can use aspen bedding which is typically marketed for snakes or any other type of pelleted substrate as long as it’s not pine or cedar since it is poisonous to the little critters. They need to have places to hide and sleep, different things to crawl on, run through and to generally cause mischief with. Their cages need to be cleaned out daily to remove waste and keep everything smelling fresh and the rats healthy. Rats can eat any store-bought rodent food and love to have human food treats, as long as they are healthy like fruits and vegetables. Junk food for you is junk food for a rat and would be a poor choice for their longevity and quality of life.

Rats are an exceptional pet for younger children that want an animal that they can remove from their cage and play with on a regular basis. They enjoy being handled and playing with people once they feel comfortable in their new environment. Although, any play needs to be supervised with very young children since a rat can bite if hurt or scared. Rats are very investigative and as a result, they need to be stimulated mentally and physically continually to keep them content. Rats are very intelligent animals, and it is possible to train them to do tricks, with the help of lots of treats of course. They also are very affectionate and will show their owner the love they have for them with snuggles and kisses. They are definitely not a hands-off pet. They need interaction with other rats, people and also lots of different obstacles to explore and play within their cages. The reward for choosing a rat is a fairly easy to take care of pet that will bring joy and unconditional love to you and your family.

## Hamsters as Pets

### Hamster life expectancy

Hamsters range from two to six inches long depending on the breed and live for one and one-half to two years, possibly longer depending on breed. There are many different types of hamsters all with slightly different qualities. Generally speaking, hamsters are nocturnal creatures. This needs to be taken into consideration when choosing this type of pet. Having an animal that sleeps all day and spins around in the wheel in his cage all night making noise might not be an ideal situation, especially for children.

### Different breeds have different needs

Some hamsters need to be kept alone and will only fight with a cage mate. Other types enjoy the company of another hamster, as long as they are the same sex or there will be lots of babies – hamsters are prolific breeders! It is recommended that before choosing a hamster to make sure of the nuances your particular breed has by consulting the breeder, pet store, etc.

### Taking care of your new hamster

As far as habitat and food are concerned, hamsters and rats are very similar. A clean cage, rodent pellets and fresh water available consistently are the necessities. Just as rats, bedding should be aspen shavings, pellet substrate or the like; pine and cedar are poisonous to hamsters. They also love fresh fruit and vegetable treats and enjoy the dried versions as well.

### Who is a hamster best for?

Hamsters are nocturnal creatures and they need to be left undisturbed during the day. If they are kept awake and handled, they are likely to get cranky and could bite. They also tend to have awful eyesight and may mistake a human finger for a tasty treat. For those reasons, a hamster may not be a good selection for a young child who would not understand why their little pet only wants to sleep all day and not play with them and occasionally tries to eat their hand. On the contrary, the fact that hamsters are nocturnal may be of benefit to some. If you are gone all day at work, your little friend will not be pining away for you – he’ll just be sleeping. When you get home in the evening, he’ll be ready to interact and spend some quality time together. Hamsters are an ideal pet for someone who wants to bring a low-maintenance animal into their home. They are extremely cute and fun to watch stuff their little expandable cheeks with an inordinately large amount of food. They are more hands-off than rats and typically will not be able to be trained. Although just like any animal, they appreciate being treated well and will show you love and affection in return, thus a hamster might be the perfect addition to your family.

## Make the best choice for you

As you can see, both rats and hamsters have extremely positive qualities and some drawbacks for the prospective owner. It boils down to a matter of preference and what animal would be the best fit for your personal situation. Armed with the knowledge of the particulars of each creature, you will now be able to make an informed decision and hopefully enjoy your new pet for years to come.

Handling a small pet can be one of the joys of having it around, but not all pets enjoying being handled right away, including some new hamsters. Some hamsters need to be tamed before you can safely hold them. Thankfully there are a few tried and true steps you can take to get your hamster in your hands in no time at all. There are a few simple rules to follow to make sure your hamster is not stressed before you begin the training process.

## Let a New Hamster Adjust

When you bring home a new hamster, give it a week or so to adjust to its new home and surroundings before you try to do much handling. Make sure your hamster has a good-sized cage and the other necessities for stress-free housing. Place your hamster’s cage in a location where it will be around people but not disturbed by excess noise, other pets, and other distractions (especially during the day, when hamsters do most of their sleeping). ﻿ ﻿ Don’t disturb or try to handle your hamster during the day when it is sleeping.

## Prepare Yourself and Your Hamster

Taming a hamster requires time and patience. Don’t rush through the steps. Take the time to get to know your hamster and respond to its cues. The key here is to earn your hamster’s trust so it can learn that there is no reason to be afraid of you.

Notice when your hamster has gotten comfortable in its environment. Work on taming and handling it only after it has emerged from its nest on its own. Signs of a relaxed hamster are that it is eating, drinking, and playing when you are present. Spend more time around your hamster’s cage and quietly talk to it to get it used to your voice. ﻿ ﻿ If you don’t know what to say, try reading a book out loud or singing softly.

## Coax Your Hamster With Treats

Offer some favorite treats to your hamster from your hand. ﻿ ﻿ If you have a wire cage, start by offering treats through the bars of the cage. Otherwise, just offer them right at the edge of the cage door. Once your hamster scurries over for the treats, try putting your hand just inside the cage. Don’t try to touch your hamster but rather let your hamster come over to explore your hand.

The time between steps varies, especially depending on the age of the hamster and your hamster’s personality. Your hamster may quickly accept being picked up or take treats from your hand right away, or it may take a month or more to be relaxed enough to do so.

## Let Your Hamster Move Around

The best way to pick up a hamster is cupped in the palm of your hand with the other hand over its back. ﻿ ﻿ It is best to begin picking your hamster up just above your lap or some other soft surface in case it falls or jumps.

As your hamster gets more comfortable, let it crawl from one of your hands to the other and over your arms. You can continue to offer treats, though your hamster may not be as interested in treats when there are new things to see and explore.

## Problems and Proofing Behavior

There may be a time you need to pick up a hamster that hasn’t been tamed yet, such as to clean its cage. To do this, place a cup (or cardboard tube with paper stuffed in one end to close it off) on its side in front of the hamster and gently herd it into the cup (or tube). ﻿ ﻿ Most hamsters will walk right into the cup out of curiosity. Gloves or a thick towel can be used if you must pick up a hamster that bites and if the cup method hasn’t worked. This can be really stressful and cause your hamster to resist handling even more, so if it is necessary to use this method, take extra care to be as gentle as possible.

If your hamster bites you while you are handling it, know that it didn’t mean to hurt you. The hamster just felt threatened. ﻿ ﻿ Try not to overact by yelling or harshly moving the hamster. If you do, it will become scared of you. Instead, calmly place it back in its cage and wash the bite with soap and water.

If you are thinking about getting a pet hamster for you or a child, it is important that you know how to choose one, what supplies you need, and how to feed and care for your new pet. Hamsters are typically low-maintenance pets but proper care is essential to keeping them happy and healthy.

## Choosing a Pet Hamster

Hamsters are popular pets for children and adults alike. They are small rodents that typically live about two years, and are usually best housed alone. Hamsters come in a variety of colors and breeds, and different breeds are known for distinctive traits.

• Chinese Hamsters: These small hamsters are not as common as other kinds of hamsters. Many people often mistake them for dwarf hamsters but they are not true dwarfs. They only grow to be 4 inches long.
• Dwarf Hamsters: There are several varieties of dwarf hamsters, such as Roborovskis and Russians, and they’re similar to Chinese hamsters, but much more commonly found in pet stores.
• Syrian Hamsters: Syrian hamsters come in several color variations and go by different names, such as goldens, panda, and teddy bears. They are much larger than dwarf and Chinese hamsters and are the most commonly seen type of hamster.

## Choose a Healthy Hamster

Not every hamster in the pet store is in optimal health. Moving from a breeder or supplier to a store can be a stressful period for baby hamsters, and they will often get sick from it. Choose an active hamster that doesn’t look like it has a wet rear end or watery eyes. Both eyes should be open and, ideally, the hamster will be eating or running around the cage. If a cage seems to have a few sick hamsters, it is probably best to avoid buying any hamster from that group since ​hamster diseases are very contagious. ﻿ ﻿

Choosing a hamster that is easy to tame is another factor to consider. Young hamsters will be easier to train and hand-tame than older hamsters, who may have had bad experiences or have never interacted with humans.

## Hamster Cages and Supplies

There are many hamster cage options available both online and at pet stores but some cages are definitely better than others. Several cages may look cool, but aren’t very functional and are extremely difficult to clean (cages with colorful tubes are a good example of this). Fish tanks aren’t good options for hamsters either, since they lack proper ventilation. You may also have to consider that smaller hamster breeds have different cage needs than the larger Syrian varieties, since cage wire spacing can determine whether or not a hamster is able to escape. Choose a cage that has good ventilation, is easy to clean, has space for a hamster to run and explore, and won’t allow your hamster to escape.

Inside the hamster cage you’ll need to provide soft and absorbent bedding, a water bottle, an exercise wheel, chew toys, a house, and food dish. Keep in mind that hamsters like and need to chew on items so wood, cardboard, plastic, and other items that are able to be chewed may not last very long inside the enclosure.

## Feeding Hamsters

Most people assume that a store-bought bag of hamster seed is what is best for a hamster but they actually need a variety of proteins, fruits, and vegetables to keep them healthy and happy. Hamsters may pick and choose what they want to eat from seed mixtures and therefore will not receive a balanced diet. But if you offer a pelleted diet instead of a seed mixture and supplement it with a variety of other safe foods, you will be providing your hamster with everything it needs to thrive.

## Hand Taming Hamsters

Hamsters can be tamed to be very sweet little pets but for anyone who has ever been bitten by one, they know hamster bites definitely aren’t fun. Young hamsters are typically easier to hand-tame, but you can start teaching your hamster not to bite by making sure you don’t startle it. Try not to wake it up, and instead entice it to climb onto your hand on its own using a tasty treat. This will allow you to gain your hamster’s trust over time, and allow you to pet and hold your hamster while avoiding being bitten. Hamsters are not aggressive pets but if they are scared or startled they may bite.

## Toys for Hamsters

Hamsters need to be active and have enrichment so they don’t get bored and overweight. They also need chew toys to keep their teeth neat and trim. There are a variety of hamster toys that are designed to be chewed so your hamster’s teeth can be properly cared for, and an exercise wheel will allow a hamster to run as much as they want. Special balls can also be purchased to allow a hamster to run around safely outside its cage; cute houses and other climbable options are available to provide your hamster with ample exercise.

## Breeding Hamsters

Hamster breeding is not something the casual hamster owner should do. ﻿ ﻿ It is best left to hamster breeders who are breeding for specific qualities and temperaments but accidents do happen. Many unsuspecting new hamster owners find themselves with a pregnant hamster after purchasing it from a pet store. Extra food and a quiet nesting area inside the cage need to be provided to a pregnant hamster.

Four paws, two bright eyes, and a set of twitchy whiskers. There’s nothing cuter than a pet hamster! If you’ve recently welcomed a hamster into your family, here are nine quick care tips to memorize.

### 1. Choose a habitat

Your little dude (or dudette) needs a safe home in which to explore and feel comfortable. Explore colors, tubes, accessories, and add-ons to create a unique habitat with plenty of places to tunnel, hide and burrow. Use different Crittertrail® tubes to connect two or more habitats and create endless configurations. Pick bedding they can burrow in, and make sure to choose the right-sized water bottle like a 6-ounce chew proof water bottle.

### 2. Put their habitat in the right place

As is the case with many small animals, placement is essential to a happy pet. Put your hamster’s home near the sounds of your family, but not right in the thick of things. They’ll be comforted by your day-to-day sounds, but will be stressed out by loud noises and lots of hubbub right outside their space. Do also be sure to keep your pets habitat away from any vents or drafty windows to ensure they are in a safe temperature controlled environment.

### 3. Cover their habitat with a light cloth for the first few days

When you bring your new hamster home, everything is new to them. Give them the headspace to get to know their new habitat for a few days – without the distractions of your home – by placing a light cloth over their space. Feel free to take this cover off for bonding time!

### 4. Wait a few days before trying to pick them up

Like any new friendship, it takes time to get to know someone and feel comfortable with them. That said, wait a while to handle your hamster or pick them up. After a few days of giving them food and water, they’ll start to trust you!

### 5. Once they’re acclimated, think outside the box for feeding time

You don’t eat the same things every day, do you? Your hammie will appreciate a varied diet as much as humans do. In addition to their normal, everyday food, try giving them small amounts of carrots, squash, broccoli, cucumbers, apples, pears, or berries. Ask your vet about the best foods to feed your new friend. Remember, treats should always be given in moderation.

### 6. Clean and wash your hamster’s space regularly

There’s a happy medium between keeping your hamster’s home clean and comfy and creating undue stress by cleaning it too much. In general:

• Clean the toilet area daily
• Spot change bedding as needed (when soiled/wet)
• Wipe out their food dish weekly
• Change water daily
• Empty their entire habitat weekly or twice a week
• Place all new bedding weekly

Every week or every other week, take soap and water and wipe down the entire habitat once it’s empty of bedding, toys, and other pieces. That extra step will keep your hamster’s space smelling good.

### 7. Give them plenty of out-of-habitat time

A great way to give your hamster exercise and get some needed bonding time is to provide ample playtime outside their habitat each week. We suggest setting up a small gated area with lots of toys and some treats so they can explore and say hi to their human family! Remember to always supervise your hamster when he or she is out of their habitat.

### 8. Take time to bond with your hamster

Patience, regular feeding, lots of out-of-habitat playtime, and soft talk will go a long way in helping you bond with your hamster. Make sure to always approach your pet slowly and talk to them in a conversational manner. They’ll learn to recognize your scent and voice and see you as a source of comfort.

Get more tips on bonding with your small animal here.

### 9. Handle your pet with care

Unlike other small animals, hamsters and gerbils need to be picked up with both hands and cradled in cupped hands. The same goes for putting them down, but use extra caution so they don’t accidentally escape from or slip through your hands. Because these pets are naturally nocturnal, be sensitive to the time of day you are trying to handle your hamster. You wouldn’t want someone snatching you up out of your sweet dreams!

Ready to start pet parenting your hammie like a pro? Explore our small pet supplies for bedding, habitats, treats, chews, and much more. Want more info? Explore our always-growing collection of small animal advice written by our pet experts.

Lianne McLeod / The Spruce

Fleece (sweatshirt fleece, polar fleece, etc.) is a favorite fabric for making homemade hammocks. Fleece and flannel make cozy beds for winter time, and cotton and denim make nice beds for warmer weather. No matter what fabric is used, watch for loose threads and discard the hammock if it is being chewed up.

## Clips for Hanging the Hammock

Owners usually have to discard a few store-bought hammocks due to chewing, but the swivel clips they come with can be saved to make your own hammock. You can also buy a variety of clips, snap hooks, carabiners, shower curtain hooks and other assorted hardware that can be used to attach hammocks to cages. Check your local craft, hardware, or animal supply store for different options. Whichever option you choose, try to think about it in terms of safety, making sure no body parts could get trapped in the clips you choose.

## The Hanging Loops on the Hammock

Bits of fabric, sturdy ribbons, bias tape or nylon webbing (like leash material) can be used for making the loops to which the hanging clips are attached. Thin leashes bought at discount stores can be cut into smaller sections as inexpensive webbing for the hanging loops.

## Gather Materials and Cut Your Fabric to Size

This hammock can be made into any size you like. For the hammock demonstrated here, two pieces of fleece are cut into 12 inches by 24 inches. The finished hammock is just nine inches wide by 10 inches long (suitable for a rat or smaller pet; a larger one would be necessary for rats to pile in together, or for a ferret).

To make a differently sized hammock here is a general guide to sizing your pieces (the exact size of the finished product will depend on seam allowances and may also be affected a bit by the thickness of your fabric). Decide how big you want your hammock then cut two pieces of the fabric. The width of the hammock should have two inches added on for seam allowances, and the length should be doubled what you want the final length to be.

## Strips for Hanging Loops

You will also need to cut four strips of your chosen material for hanging loops. These can be cut to any length you wish and then doubled over to make a loop so the finished length of the loop will be less than half of the cut length (nine inches is a good starting point to cut the strips ​into).

## Sew the Two Pieces of Fabric Together

Place the two pieces of fabric together with the right sides together (so it appears as though it is inside out). Leaving a small opening that will allow you to turn the hammock right side out, sew around the rest of the rectangle leaving about a half an inch seam allowance. Snip extra fabric from the corners outside the row of stitching as shown in the bottom left-hand corner of the photo to make turning the corners right side out easier. Turn the pet hammock right side out through the opening then hand stitch the opening closed at the bottom right-hand corner of the photo shows.

## Place the Hanging Loops on the Main Piece of the Pet Hammock

Lay the right-hand stitched together (and right sides out) hammock on your work surface. If you have two different colors or patterns, the side facing up will eventually become the outside of the finished hammock.

Feed the strips for the hanging loops through your clips. Lay the hanging loops on the hammock, as shown in the photo. The loops and clips should be towards the inside while the loose ends are hanging over the edge of the hammock. The hammock should be roughly divided into thirds in your mind if the loops are positioned correctly but don’t worry about their exact placement (you can fiddle with the placement of the hanging loops later on).

## Fold One Side of the Hammock Over the Hanging Loops

Fold one side of the hammock over one set of hanging loops.

## Fold the Second Side Over the Other Hanging Loops

Fold the second side over the second set of hanging loops so that the folded in parts overlap a bit.

Tip: A one to two-inch overlap (as shown in the photo) will make an “easy access” pouch while a greater overlap will make a more enclosed pouch.

## Stitch Along Two Sides of the Pet Hammock

Stitch along both sides of the hammock (shown by the yellow line), across the folds. For a little added strength, back stitch well at each end and over the hanging loops.

## Grasp the Opening of the Pouch to Turn the Hammock Right Side Out

Grasp the opening of the pouch to open the hammock and turn the whole thing right side out.

## The Final Product: A Homemade Pet Hammock With a Pouch

Tip: For pets that don’t do hammocks but like sleeping pouches (like hedgehogs and guinea pigs or even rats and ferrets that prefer solid ground), you could simply skip the hanging loops and make a pouch that sits on the ground.

## Steps

Creating a Suitable Environment

• Wire siding allows hamsters to climb up the walls, which can help satisfy their curiosity and burn off some energy.
• Consider getting a multi-level cage. That way your hamster can have more room to explore and play.
• If there are any gaps in the bars, your hamster could get stuck.
• A cage with a deep plastic base will allow your hamster to burrow and roam. Aim for a large cage with a base that’s at least 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 centimeters) deep.
• Make sure there are no hazards, like sharp edges or bits of metal that might poke your hamster.
• Whatever cage you choose, it must be at least 360 square inches or 80×50 centimeters.

• The shelter or nesting box should be big enough for your hamster to move around inside with relative ease.
• Your hamster should also have enough room to store some food inside the shelter.
• Make sure the shelter is dark inside. Your hamster should be able to retreat inside and feel safe and protected.

• Make sure the room where you keep your hamster is free from drafts. Keep the cage away from any open windows or air conditioning vents.
• Make sure the environment is as dry and free from humidity as possible.

• Avoid putting the cage in direct sunlight, though ambient sunlight in the room is okay.
• Try to keep the lights in your home on a regular schedule so that your hamster can be in the dark around the same time every night. This will help your hamster stay on a regular schedule.

## Is this pocket-sized pet right for you?

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While the decision to bring home any new pet requires careful consideration, hamsters can make great pets for almost any responsible family based on their modest space and care requirements.

To help decide if this is the right pet for you, consider these seven reasons to bring home a hamster.

## 1. Hamsters Don’t Require Extensive Training

Unlike cats or dogs, hamsters do not require extensive training. No litter box training or obedience courses are needed!

Hamsters do, however, benefit from regular socializing and handling to help them get to know you. If you are looking for a lower-maintenance furry companion, a hamster may be just the pet for you.

## 2. Typically, Hamsters are Inexpensive Pets to Own

On top of being low-maintenance, buying a hamster won’t break the bank. Though you must consider the cumulative cost of all the supplies needed to care for a happy hamster, the overall expense will be far less than adopting a cat or dog.

Once the initial one-time costs are covered, such as the cage, hamsters are relatively cheap to upkeep. You won’t be spending much per month on hamster food, treats, and bedding. Of course, as with any pet, there can be unforeseen costs, like vet bills, that you will need to be prepared for.

## 3. Hamsters are Cute and Entertaining

Who doesn’t love a hamster’s adorable fuzzy features and tiny size? These cuties are a joy to watch play and clean themselves.

From running in their wheels to exercising in a ball, each hamster has its own unique personality and watching them enjoy their favorite activities can provide endless entertainment.

## 4. Hamsters Are Great Pets For Night Owls

Hamsters are nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night. Though this could be seen as a negative, this is perfect for any people who keep late hours. Are you looking for a late-night movie companion or someone to keep you company while everyone else is in bed? A hamster could be the perfect night time friend.

## 5. Hamsters Require Minimal Space

Unlike dogs, cats, or even rabbits, hamsters really only need a few feet to live in. You can easily make room for a hamster cage on a desk or dresser, making them the perfect pet for those who live in small houses or apartments.

However, don’t be shy about taking your hamster out for regular playtime. With supervision, hamsters love to explore. Getting them a hamster ball is a perfect way to let them burn off some energy. Plus, they are so much fun to watch roll around.

## 6. Hamsters Don’t Require Constant Attention

Though they can enjoy quality playtime spent with their people, providing they have enough space and entertaining toys, hamsters are usually content being left alone in their cage. Time for training, daily walks, and long grooming sessions aren’t needed to care for a happy hamster. They don’t need the kind of attention and human interaction that dogs and cats do.

Keep in mind, however, that failure to socialize your hamster (especially early in its life) may make it more shy or hesitant to be handled.

## 7. Hamsters are Easy to Clean up After

Hamsters are clean animals, so you will rarely ever have to bathe yours unless you have to wash something off of them. They are generally fastidious about personal hygiene and regularly clean themselves to keep tidy. Not only does this mean that you have less work, but it is also adorable to watch them undertaking their little cleaning rituals.

Hamsters are also quite good housekeepers. They usually choose one corner of their cage to be their bathroom, which keeps the rest of the cage relatively clean. This makes tidying up their home a breeze in comparison to some rodents!

With so many things to love about hamsters, it is no wonder they make such popular pets. Without much cost, time, or space, you can keep an adorable little companion to call your own.

Although they may be easier to care for than some other pets, it doesn’t mean that a hamster is right for every household. Very noisy households or ones with lots of other pets could be stressful or a risk for a hamster. And keeping any pet requires time, patience and dedication. If you can offer these things, then a hamster could be the perfect pet for you.

Last Updated: June 1, 2021

Hamsters sure do love to play! Once your hamster’s cage is complete, it’s time to think about providing them with enrichment activities. There’s plenty of options for making toys to keep your furry little friend entertained.

From boredom breaker toys that will encourage your hamster to forage for their food, to cute little donut tunnels that provide them with a safe spot to hide, there are so many different options out there!

We’ve rounded up our favorite nine DIY creations — and there are seriously creative hamster owners out there!

For those looking to learn how to make hamster toys, this is great news! All of these DIY hamster toys require minimal equipment and DIY skills. So even if you have never attempted a DIY project before, we reckon that these are the perfect ones to start with!

We’ve listed the materials and tools that you’ll need for each project, most of which should be easily found in your house already. Don’t forget that if you’re going to use anything with paint, you need to select a pet-safe and non-toxic brand that’s safe for hamsters.

## #1: Cute Popsicle Fort From Pinterest

### Skill Level: Beginner

This simple Popsicle Fort from Pinterest is a great idea for providing a cozy elevated hideaway for your hamster. All you’ll need is Popsicle sticks and non-toxic glue before you let your imagination run wild! This is a great project for kids to get involved with too.

Status: Not Listed

Like frogs, toads are amphibians. They differ from most frogs because they have dry skin, warts, crests behind the eyes, and parotoid glands. The parotoid glands produce a poisonous secretion that helps the toad defend itself from predators. This substance, called a bufotoxin, can cause death in small animals and allergic reactions in humans. Toads have other ways to avoid being eaten too. If they’re brown or green in color, they can blend into their surroundings and escape detection. If brightly colored, they warn predators to stay away because they’re poisonous. Toads also puff up their bodies in an attempt to look bigger and inedible if a predator is nearby.

The smallest North American toad is the oak toad (Bufo quercicus), which reaches a length of only 1.3 inches (3.3 centimeters). Cane toads (Rhinella marina) are the largest toads and grow up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) in length. But a massive cane toad caught in Australia, nicknamed “Toadzilla,” has been described as the size of a small dog!

Many toad species live throughout the United States. Toads are found on every continent, excluding Antarctica. Adult toads generally prefer moist, open habitats like fields and grasslands. The American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) is a common garden species that eats harmful insects and can be seen in backyards in the Northeast. Predators of toads include snakes, raccoons, and birds of prey.

Like frogs, most toads eat insects and other arthropods. However, some species eat reptiles, small mammals, and even other amphibians.

Several toad species are federally listed as endangered or threatened. The biggest threats to toads are habitat degradation and invasive species.

Touching a toad will not cause warts—however, the bufotoxin found on its skin can cause irritation.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, United States Geological Survey

Caren White is a Master Gardener and instructor at Home Gardeners School. She has been associated with Rutgers Gardens for over a decade.

I love finding toads in my garden. It means that my soil is healthy and bugs won’t be bothering my plants.

Toads (Bufo bufo) are just another kind of frog! Scientists don’t even make a distinction between the two, referring to both as frogs. Non-scientists like myself think of them as two different animals. Frogs are slimy and spend their lives in and around water whereas toads have dry skin and spend most of their lives on land, returning to water to breed and lay their eggs.

Both are amphibians. Amphibians are animals that start out their lives in water as tadpoles. Tadpoles breathe through gills like fish and cannot survive on land. As they mature into adults, they develop lungs so that they can breathe air and legs so that they can get around on land.

## Why Do I Want Toads in My Garden?

One simple fact should convince you that you need these creatures in your garden: toads consume up to 3,000 insects per month. Their diet includes beetles, flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, caterpillars, cutworms, moths, slugs and snails.

In 1989, the first World Congress of Herpetology was held. Herpetology is just a fancy word for the study of reptiles and amphibians. The attendees made a dismaying discovery. Amphibians are disappearing all over the world at a rapid rate.

No one is sure exactly why we are losing our amphibian population. One theory is that because they have very thin skins, they absorb chemicals in the environment very easily. All of the herbicides and insecticides that we are spraying on our yards and farms are killing amphibians as well as the intended plant and insect targets. This could also explain why there are so many deformities being observed in the amphibian population. Environmental toxins may be causing birth defects in tadpoles.

I am an organic gardener. I don’t use any chemicals or poisons. So a healthy toad population in my yard means that the environment in my yard is healthy.

There are three steps you should take to attract toads to your garden:

• Provide shelter
• Provide water
• Avoid certain plants

A broken flower pot can provide shelter for a toad.

## Provide Shelter

The most important thing that you can do to attract toads to your yard is to stop using chemicals. The second most important thing that you can do is to provide shelter. Toads are nocturnal. They hide in a protected shady spot during the day. When the sun goes down, the toads come out and feast on insects.

Stop cleaning up all of the debris in your garden. The leaf and litter debris provides natural shelter. If you can’t stand looking at a messy garden, sweep the debris to an inconspicuous corner of your yard. Plants with large leaves also make good shelters.

You can provide artificial shelter using an old broken flower pot. Simply place it upside down in a shady spot. It should have an opening large enough for the toad to enter and exit comfortably. If it doesn’t have an opening, prop it up on a stone so that the toad can shelter underneath.

## Provide Water

If you have a garden pond or want to install one, depth is important. It should be no deeper than 20 inches and no shallower than 8 inches. Install water plants that are native to your area. Toads lay their eggs in strands which they attach to water plants. You will also need to install some sort of ramp for them to be able to get out of the pond once they have hopped in. A simple slab of rock is sufficient.

The bottom should be mud. Tadpoles filter feed through the mud looking for algae and other water organisms. Don’t introduce fish to your pond. They will eat both the eggs and the tadpoles.

If you just want to provide drinking water, you can use a shallow saucer. Toads don’t drink water. They submerge themselves in it and absorb the water through their thin skins. Make sure your saucer is deep enough for them to submerge themselves but not so deep that they cannot get out.

## Avoid Certain Plants

Certain plants are poisonous for toads. Avoid planting snowpeas, rhubarb, eggplant or potatoes near shelter and water. Flowers that are toxic include daffodils, hyacinths, azaleas, hydrangeas and honeysuckle. Toads will avoid them.

## Be Careful After Dark When Toads are Active

Toads are nocturnal but they are attracted to the lights in your yard and home. They know those lights will attract insects. Be careful where you step at night. Always check around your car before driving it. Driveways are killing fields for toads. I’ll never forget how upset my family was when my father accidentally ran over Ol’ One Eye, the one eyed toad. He was in a rush and forgot to check the driveway before backing up his car. Ol’ One Eye had lived in our yard for many years. Toads can live as long as 15 years.

They also hibernate undergrund during the winter. So each spring, pile up some garden debris from your fall cleanup and put out a saucer of water to let the toads know that they are welcome in your garden where they will provide you with years of free insect control.

Question: We saw a toad under the leaves of some yarrow in my garden and built a toad neighborhood the next day. We haven’t seen the toad in a few days. Is there any way to sleuth around and find clues that the toad has stayed in our garden?

Answer: I’m not sure what you mean by a “toad neighborhood”. From the toad’s point of view, you have disrupted his home under the yarrow. The best thing that you can do is to stay away for a few days. Do not disturb anything and hopefully, the toad will return. If not, he or she is probably not far away in a different part of your yard or garden. Be patient. Wild animals are shy around humans.

While it may be unbeknownst to some, toads are actually welcome additions to the garden. In fact, they eat many types of insect pests that affect garden plants. You should think carefully before deciding to kill toads or eliminate toads as they are an important benefit to the garden. However, too many toads could become a problem, or more likely a nuisance, but there are a few things you can do to get rid of garden toads should this occur.

One of the best ways to get rid of garden toads around your garden or landscape is to make it less attractive to toads. Generally, for toad control, if you remove their favorite hideouts and water or food sources, they will move elsewhere.

For instance, toads enjoy dark, damp places. Look for and remove pots, water containers, or ground-level birdbaths. Also, remove any wood, old lumber, or brush piles.

If you have pets, don’t leave their food outdoors where toads could have access to them. They find pet food quite inviting and since their secretions can pose a threat to dogs, it’s even more important to keep this food source out of their range.

If you have a pond or similar water feature, you could implement small fencing, which they cannot squeeze through, about a foot (0.5 m.) or so high around it. Also, ensure that toads cannot burrow beneath the fencing. In addition, you could add fish or a fountain, which encourages water movement and deters toad inhabitation.

When all else fails, physically removing them may be required. Simply catch the toads and relocate them to a suitable area.

Some people choose to rid their gardens of toads by killing them. Be aware that in some areas, this is illegal and they are protected animals. Also, be aware that toad populations around the world are in jeopardy due to chemicals and pesticides. We do not advocate killing toads.

But, if you feel must, toads are very susceptible to toxic chemicals, like garden pesticides, which can be an extremely slow and painful death. Therefore, if you must kill toads, it should at least be done humanely.

The easiest method to eliminate toads is to get rid of their eggs and dispose of them by burying in the ground or leaving them to dry out in the sun.

The most humane way to kill toads is to put them into a sealed container (with air holes) and refrigerate overnight. This induces a coma-like state, which is not painful. Then freeze the toad(s) for a few days to ensure death has occurred and bury afterward.

Whimsical as well as practical, a toad house makes a charming addition to the garden. Toads consume 100 or more insects and slugs every day, so a toad house makes a great gift for a gardener who is fighting the battle of the bug. While you can always choose to purchase a toad house for the garden, they actually cost very little to make, and building a toad house is simple enough for even the youngest family members to enjoy.

## How to Make a Toad House

You can make a garden toad house from a plastic food container or a clay or plastic flowerpot. When deciding what to use as a toad house, keep in mind that plastic containers are free and easy to cut, but clay pots are cooler in the heat of summer.

If you plan to decorate your toad house with children, make sure you use a washable paint. Washable paint adheres to clay better than it does to plastic. Once you have decorated the container, you are ready to set up your toad house.

You have two options for setting up a toad house made from a clay pot. The first method is to lay the pot horizontally on the ground and bury the lower half in the soil. The result is a toad cave. The second option is to set the pot upside down on a circle of rocks. Make an entryway by removing a couple of rocks.

When using a plastic container, cut an entryway into the plastic and place the container upside down onto the soil. Place a rock on top, or if the container is large enough, sink it down into the soil an inch or two (2.5 to 5 cm.) to keep it in place.

A toad house for the garden needs a shady location, preferably under a shrub or plant with low-hanging leaves. Make sure there is a source of water nearby. In the absence of a natural water source, sink a small dish into the soil and keep it filled with water at all times.

Quite often, a toad will find the house on its own, but if your house remains empty, you can find a toad instead. Just look in cool, shady woodland areas and along stream banks.

Adding a garden toad house to your planting areas is a great way to entice these insect-eating friends to the area. In addition, it’s a fun activity for the kids.

South Florida is experiencing an infestation of poisonous Bufo toads, also known as Cane toads.

These creatures are not native to South Florida but were brought to the region to control pests attacking the sugar cane crop. They like to hop around “human modified environments near a source of moisture,” says Dr. Steven Johnson, an associate professor at University of Florida’s Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, such as suburban neighborhoods, gold courses and baseball fields.

News stations have broadcast images of the toads appearing en masse in Palm Beach Gardens. One resident tweeted a photo of the toads in a swarm across a swimming pool and covering the walls. For residents this has sparked fears of pet poisoning. “We’ve been getting about 100 calls a day,” says Jeannine Tilford, the owner of Toad Busters, a pest control business that collects cane toads at homes. “We ended up catching like 135 in one night.”

Recent rain and warm temperatures have led to a rise in breeding. Female canes can reproduce 10 to 30 thousand eggs, says Johnson, who specializes in cane toads. He joined Sundial to talk about the Bufo toads.

WLRN: Why were Cane Toads brought to South Florida?

JOHNSON: Back in the 1930s there was a meeting convened in Puerto Rico, as a matter of fact, where somebody extolled the virtues of the toads. They said, ‘this is going to be our solution to controlling Kheng grubs’ (worm that kills plants) that were damaging sugar cane growing areas around the world. Toads were introduced in many places. A hundred of them were shipped over to Australia. They were introduced here in Florida. They’ve had huge negative impacts on the environment in Australia.

What have they done to our environment?

The main concern in Florida at present is the socioeconomic impact of the toads, like the fact that they can cause sickness or death in a pet. And if you’re somebody who’s got a pet dog or a cat that you love like a child like I do, if my pet was to get negatively impacted by a cane toad it’d be a devastating impact on me. Then also there’s a cost because people have to take their animals to the vet so there’s an economic and human quality of life impact that the toads are having here. But as far as we can tell their ecological impacts right now don’t seem too big, which is fortunate because we have a lot of other invasive species like the Burmese python for example that are having some big ecological impacts.

What’s the harm [to pets or small children]?

It’s this toxin, this thick viscous substance that’s contained in water called the parotid, there’s a pair of them, one on each shoulder of the toad, and that big gland has a lot of poison ducts and if you put that gland under pressure that toxin would squirt out and that’s the same thing that happens when the dog bites it. People don’t have to worry about them being a threat to them, but you wouldn’t want a young child putting it in their mouth. It’s that poison that can come out of those glands that are the major problem with the cane toads.

As a homeowner can I try and deal with all those toads myself or should I call somebody to do it?

Fortunately you have the resource, but unfortunately we’ve got to the situation where cane toads are so bad that we need these nuisance wildlife trappers like Toad Busters.

Watch can toad expert Dr. Steven Johnson give tips on how to spot and handle the toads.

#### Tennessee is home to 21 species of frogs and toads.

What is the difference between a frog and toad? In general:

• Frogs have smooth moist skin, can jump very well, and usually are found close to a water source even as adults.
• Toads have dry warty skin, make short hops, and may be found far from water as adults. However, technically toads are frogs! Frogs and toads belong to the group of animals known as amphibians.

## Amphibians

Amphibians are the class of vertebrate animals containing the Anura (frogs and toads), Urodeles or Caudata (salamanders and sirens), and the lesser known Gymnophiona (caecilians) which do not occur in North America.

Amphibians are ectothermic (cold-blooded), have smooth porous skin, primarily fertilize their eggs externally and do not have a hard shell or membrane around the eggs.

The word amphibian comes from the Greek language and means “dual life.” This refers to the lifestyle practiced by many amphibians. The adults are primarily terrestrial (land-dwelling) and the larva (tadpoles) are mainly aquatic (live in water).

Male frogs gather at the breeding pools and begin to vocalize (call) to attract females. Females arrive at the breeding sites and seek out the most attractive males. Those males with the deepest voices and the longest calls attract the most females.

Larger frogs have deeper voices and those frogs that are the largest and have the longest calls are the most fit. A male grasps a female from behind and grips her behind her front legs and hangs on until mating is completed (amplexus). During amplexus, the female expels her eggs and the male releases sperm into the water to fertilize them. This type of fertilization is called external fertilization.

The eggs are laid in jelly-like masses in groups of a few to as many as several hundred depending upon the species. The egg cells of each embryo begin to divide into more cells (egg cell cleavage) and grow to form the tadpole. The eggs hatch within a few days.

Tadpoles remain in the water a few weeks for most species, and up to 2 years for other species, before they metamorphose. Metamorphosis is the process in which a tadpole changes into a frog.

## Population Information

Natural extinctions and population fluctuations are a normal part of nature. Scientists have uncovered five mass extinctions throughout the history of earth. But the accelerated rate at which many species are now declining and disappearing is very alarming to the scientific community. It is believed we are now in the sixth mass extinction event; the first ever caused by the actions of a single species, humankind. During the past couple decades, scientists have become concerned that many of our amphibian populations are declining and some species have become extinct in areas of the world that are relatively undisturbed by man. Below are but a few examples of the many declines and extinctions of the past two decades:

The golden toad (Bufo periglenes) was first discovered in the remote and pristine cloud forests of the Monteverde Preserve of Costa Rica in 1967. This toad was very unusual because it was sexually dimorphic (the sexes could easily be identified.) The last golden toad ever seen was in 1987 and they have now been declared extinct.

The northern gastric brooding frog (Rheobatrachus vitellinus) of Australia was discovered in 1984 and last seen in the wild in 1985 following the fate of the closely related gastric brooding frog (Rheobatrachus silus) that was discovered in Australia in 1973 and had disappeared by 1981. These unusual frogs brooded their young in their stomachs and were of interest to the scientific and medical community as they ceased [Chiricahua leopard frog] producing hydrochloric acid in the stomach when they were brooding young frogs.

In the United States, populations of the western toad (Bufo boreas) and Chiricahua leopard frog (Rana chiricahuensis) have plummeted by 80%, the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana mucosa) has disappeared from much of its range, and recent surveys to find the Yosemite toad (Bufo canoris) in Yosemite National Park were fruitless. Two species, the relic leopard frog (Rana onca) and the Wyoming toad (Bufo baxteri) are on the brink of becoming extinct in the wild and the Vegas Valley leopard frog (Rana fisheri), last seen in 1942, is now extinct.

Population declines and extinctions are not the only problems facing amphibians today. Scientists have noted an increase in reports of malformations. Scientists believe there are three main factors contributing to the increase in malformations: increases in UV-B radiation because of the thinning ozone layer, chemical pollution (insecticides and pesticides), and parasites (chytrid fungus). These factors combined with a weakened immune system due to environmental stressors, can increase the number of malformations found in a population. Malformations come in many forms ranging from missing limbs, bones and eyes, to extra limbs, digits and eyes. Few, if any, of these malformed amphibians survive to reproduce. Tennessee does not appear to have an abnormal number of malformations, but we need to be watchful. For more information about malformations, including state maps showing reported malformations, visit the North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations.

Amphibians, including the frogs and toads, around for over 360 million years, survived the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs. Below is relative time scale showing geologic history and when the amphibians first appeared.

## INVASIVE SPECIES

### Cane Toad (Rhinella marina [formerly Bufo marinus])

Watch this video to learn how to capture and humanely euthanize invasive bufo toads on your property – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCZlSVbOkWU.

Cane Toad (click on comparison image to view larger)

Photo by Dr. Steve A. Johnson (UF). To obtain permission to use this photo for educational purposes, email [email protected]

#### Impacts:

Ecological – Cane Toads prey on native frogs, lizards, snakes, small mammals, and just about anything else that fits into their mouths.

Human Health/Quality of Life – Cane Toad toxin can irritate your skin and eyes. If your pet bites or swallows a Cane Toad, it will become sick and may die — take it to the vet right away! Symptoms of Cane Toad poisoning in pets include excessive drooling and extremely red gums, head-shaking, crying, loss of coordination, and sometimes convulsions.

Usually 4 to 6 in. (max.

9.5 in.) Note: With very few exceptions, any toad in Florida that is larger than 4 inches is NOT native and is almost certainly an invasive Cane Toad.

#### Identification

Body is tan to reddish-brown, dark brown, or gray; back is marked with dark spots. Skin is warty. Large, triangular parotoid glands are prominent on the shoulders; parotoid glands of native “true” toads are oval. Unlike native Southern Toads, they DO NOT have ridges or “crests” on top of the head.

Note: In the known range of these toads, it is a good idea to catch and identify ANY toad you see in your yard to be sure that they aren’t dangerous. Humanely euthanize any Cane Toads you find by rubbing or spraying 20% benzocaine toothache gel or sunburn spray (not 5% lidocaine) on the toad’s lower belly. In a few minutes, it will become unconscious. Put the frog in a sealed plastic bag it in the freezer for 24-48 hours to ensure that it is humanely euthanized before disposal.

#### Breeding:

March to September; eggs are laid in long strings, virtually indistinguishable from eggs of native “true” toads. Call is a slow, melodic trill. To hear the Cane Toad’s call, click here (choose to open file if asked). To hear other frog calls, visit the USGS Frog Call Lookup and select the species you want to hear from the common name drop-down list.

Beetles, centipedes, crabs, millipedes, roaches, scorpions, spiders, and other invertebrates; also frogs, small reptiles, small birds, and small mammals.

#### Habitats:

Native to Central and South America.

Found in areas of Central and South Florida, including Key West and Stock Island, and in an isolated population in Bay County in the panhandle. Found predominantly in urbanized habitats and agricultural lands, but also in some natural areas, including floodplain and mangrove swamps. Breeds in the vegetated edges of any available freshwater habitat, including ponds (natural and manmade), lakes, canals, and ditches.

Note: Report any suspected Cane Toad sightings outside of the range shown in green to [email protected]

Map by UF, IFAS Extension – may be used freely for education.

## What does a toad mean spiritually?

A toad is a special kind of species under the family of the frogs that has similar attributes but deserves special mention.

The toad is pretty popular on folklores and myths. They often portrayed this creature as an ugly, gentle creature, but often times emerge as a hero of the story. In medieval ages these creatures are often associated with the devil due to the belief of the Catholic Church that toads are associated with the witches and witchcraft.

In ancient Egypt this creature is a sign of new life, fruitfulness and prosperity. Furthermore there is an Egyptian God named Heget often depicted with a head of a toad. Heget is a Goddess that signifies fertility. Greeks and Romans also connected this creature with prosperity and harmony, and are oftentimes associated with the Goddess Aphrodite.

In China, toads represent the yin which is a symbol for rejuvenation and good fortune. While the Vietnamese believe that a sound of a toad is a sign that it is going to rain soon. Scotland believed that a toad is a charm of good fate. In ancient Peru, the Moche prays to animals, toads are often times seen on their artifacts.

If this creature presents itself to you, it means that the success that you are waiting for is drawing near. It is often a good luck sign but requires action. Much like the story of the frog prince, the toad is a symbol of having to do something that you may not particularly like.

Doing this task will often prove to be rewarding. Frogs are usually connected with money and fortune. If you’ve experienced a series of bad luck recently, the toad is a good symbol that your fortune will start to turn.

A toad is also a harbinger for a time to examine your inner self. Are you letting so many opportunities passed your way? Are you doubting on yourself that you’re abilities are insufficient to succeed in life? The toad is a reminder to us that we are pretty capable to do well in life if we will only grab the chance that life is offering us.

A frog is also a continuous reminder not to doubt on our self, look at him, he maybe the ugliest creature you’ve ever seen but he never hesitated to show its presence.

Toad is a Lunar Symbol which represents Yin and Yang, life and death, good and evil, light and dark. The toad is also teaching us to find balance on wealth. How are you thinking of spending your money? It is fine to spend something for yourself and your family, but when is the last time you give back?

When the toad comes to you, consider it a sign that you need to take action. The toad does not succeed by sitting idly by. They are animals that have to eat almost constantly and any missed detail can result in them suffering. This can be a sign to be more alert to small details in your life.

The toad is also considered an astral traveler because he can survive in both worlds – aquatic and the physical. He can be in the spiritual or emotional level represented by water and the physical plane represented by the ground.

He is grounded in his spiritual being. While the toad may be a stubborn guide, he often will help you with encouragement. His attention to detail will help in learning to communicate with the spirit world. He is also a sign that spiritual education can take time. Do not be frustrated when things do not happen overnight. Have patience and persistence.

## How to remove dye from hair

If your hair dye has come out terribly wrong, you can thank your lucky stars that there are some natural and really good ways to get rid of the hair color. With these methods, you would not have to wait for a long time for the color to fade or the hair to grow out. As you might know, permanent hair dye can stay in the hair for at least 3 to 4 weeks or until new hair grows out, so if you absolutely cannot wait to get rid of the color till that time, then try these natural ways. These methods will work to remove permanent hair dye from hair naturally only if you have dyed your hair recently.

## How to Remove Permanent Hair Dye from Hair Naturally

### 1. Anti Dandruff Shampoo with Baking Soda:

Pick a good anti-dandruff shampoo because it is stronger than regular shampoos and has a compound called selenium sulfide which helps to fade hair color faster. Baking soda is a potent cleansing agent. When baking soda can remove stains, it can definitely take down your hair color. Mix baking soda and anti-dandruff shampoo in equal parts, in whatever quantity you want. Shampoo your hair with this mixture, keep it on for 5 minutes, and then rinse off completely to fade the hair color quickly.

### 2. Vitamin C tablets with Hot Water:

This is Kim Kardashian’s own hack to remove hair dye. Crush a few vitamin C tablets (we can suggest Celin 500 mg tablets available at local pharmacies) and add it to your regular shampoo. Mix well both and apply it to the hair. Keep it for 20 minutes and rinse off until the water runs clear. Do this two times in a week to see your hair color fade quickly. The acidity of vinegar will take down the color from your hair.

### 3. Vinegar and Water:

Use equal parts of white vinegar with warm water. Apply this mixture on to hair and leave it there for 10 minutes. The natural vinegar will also help clear product buildup from your scalp. The acidic content will work on the hair dye and bring your hair back to its original state.

### 4. Dish Washing Soap with Shampoo:

Sounds scary right? But if you are desperate to get rid of hair dye from your hair, then this one is a good option. Mix 4 drops of a dish washing soap with two squirts of any shampoo. Mix well and apply on hair, work out a good lather, and rinse off completely till the water runs clear. Since dish wash soap can be harsh on your hair, remember to moisturize your hair well with coconut oil or olive oil later on, otherwise, you will be left behind with straw hair!

### 5. Baking Soda with Lemon Juice:

Take baking soda and lemon juice in equal measure and apply it to your hair. Let it sit in the hair for 5 minutes. Rinse your hair with water thoroughly. Baking soda’s bleaching properties and lemon’s acid nature can work together to bring down the hair dye.

### 6. Hydrogen Peroxide and water:

Though not completely natural, you can use hydrogen peroxide mixed with equal amount of water and apply it to hair to get rid of hair dye. Keep the hydrogen peroxide in hair for 10 minutes for it to work through hair. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

### 7. Epsom Salt and Baking Soda:

Add equal parts of epsom salt and baking soda in warm water and spray it on to hair. Keep it on for 10 minutes and rinse off with later on to get rid of hair color. Repeat it at least twice a week.

### 8. Hot oil treatment:

With this treatment, you get two benefits – lustrous mane with the goodness of oil and also get rid of the hair color. Warm up a little coconut oil and massage your hair. This will also help you relax and also add a lustrous shine to your hair.

### 9. Lemon juice with water:

The acidic nature of lemon will strip the hair dye from your hair and also clear flaky dandruff, so that’s a two-in-one treatment for your hair.

### 10. Anti-dandruff shampoo frequently:

Most anti-dandruff shampoos have strong agents that can help you clear out hair dye from your hair faster. Do this thrice a week to see results.

### 11. Honey and Cinnamon:

Honey is a natural hair bleaching agent and when it’s combined with cinnamon it can lighten hair color really effectively. Mix ground cinnamon powder with just enough honey to make a paste out of it. Apply on to the hair evenly and keep it on for 2 hours. Rinse it off and condition. You would see that your hair color has lightened considerably after this treatment.

If You Still Have Queries On How To Remove Permanent Hair Dye from Hair, Ask Rati Tehri Singh on: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

If your hair dye has come out terribly wrong, you can thank your lucky stars that there are some natural and really good ways to get rid of the hair color. With these methods, you would not have to wait for a long time for the color to fade or the hair to grow out. As you might know, permanent hair dye can stay in the hair for at least 3 to 4 weeks or until new hair grows out, so if you absolutely cannot wait to get rid of the color till that time, then try these natural ways. These methods will work to remove permanent hair dye from hair naturally only if you have dyed your hair recently.

## How to Remove Permanent Hair Dye from Hair Naturally

### 1. Anti Dandruff Shampoo with Baking Soda:

Pick a good anti-dandruff shampoo because it is stronger than regular shampoos and has a compound called selenium sulfide which helps to fade hair color faster. Baking soda is a potent cleansing agent. When baking soda can remove stains, it can definitely take down your hair color. Mix baking soda and anti-dandruff shampoo in equal parts, in whatever quantity you want. Shampoo your hair with this mixture, keep it on for 5 minutes, and then rinse off completely to fade the hair color quickly.

### 2. Vitamin C tablets with Hot Water:

This is Kim Kardashian’s own hack to remove hair dye. Crush a few vitamin C tablets (we can suggest Celin 500 mg tablets available at local pharmacies) and add it to your regular shampoo. Mix well both and apply it to the hair. Keep it for 20 minutes and rinse off until the water runs clear. Do this two times in a week to see your hair color fade quickly. The acidity of vinegar will take down the color from your hair.

### 3. Vinegar and Water:

Use equal parts of white vinegar with warm water. Apply this mixture on to hair and leave it there for 10 minutes. The natural vinegar will also help clear product buildup from your scalp. The acidic content will work on the hair dye and bring your hair back to its original state.

### 4. Dish Washing Soap with Shampoo:

Sounds scary right? But if you are desperate to get rid of hair dye from your hair, then this one is a good option. Mix 4 drops of a dish washing soap with two squirts of any shampoo. Mix well and apply on hair, work out a good lather, and rinse off completely till the water runs clear. Since dish wash soap can be harsh on your hair, remember to moisturize your hair well with coconut oil or olive oil later on, otherwise, you will be left behind with straw hair!

### 5. Baking Soda with Lemon Juice:

Take baking soda and lemon juice in equal measure and apply it to your hair. Let it sit in the hair for 5 minutes. Rinse your hair with water thoroughly. Baking soda’s bleaching properties and lemon’s acid nature can work together to bring down the hair dye.

### 6. Hydrogen Peroxide and water:

Though not completely natural, you can use hydrogen peroxide mixed with equal amount of water and apply it to hair to get rid of hair dye. Keep the hydrogen peroxide in hair for 10 minutes for it to work through hair. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

### 7. Epsom Salt and Baking Soda:

Add equal parts of epsom salt and baking soda in warm water and spray it on to hair. Keep it on for 10 minutes and rinse off with later on to get rid of hair color. Repeat it at least twice a week.

### 8. Hot oil treatment:

With this treatment, you get two benefits – lustrous mane with the goodness of oil and also get rid of the hair color. Warm up a little coconut oil and massage your hair. This will also help you relax and also add a lustrous shine to your hair.

### 9. Lemon juice with water:

The acidic nature of lemon will strip the hair dye from your hair and also clear flaky dandruff, so that’s a two-in-one treatment for your hair.

### 10. Anti-dandruff shampoo frequently:

Most anti-dandruff shampoos have strong agents that can help you clear out hair dye from your hair faster. Do this thrice a week to see results.

### 11. Honey and Cinnamon:

Honey is a natural hair bleaching agent and when it’s combined with cinnamon it can lighten hair color really effectively. Mix ground cinnamon powder with just enough honey to make a paste out of it. Apply on to the hair evenly and keep it on for 2 hours. Rinse it off and condition. You would see that your hair color has lightened considerably after this treatment.

If You Still Have Queries On How To Remove Permanent Hair Dye from Hair, Ask Rati Tehri Singh on: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Don’t let stains get in the way of great color.

Whether you’re coloring your hair at home or visiting a professional colorist at a salon, some hair dye can inevitably end up on your skin, whether it’s your forehead, ears, neck, or elsewhere. “The pigment in hair dye is designed to penetrate through the outer cuticle of the hair and remain there, infusing long-lasting color into the hair shaft,” explains Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at the Mount Sinai Hospital Department of Dermatology. “If exposed to the skin, it can also penetrate through its outer layer, causing a semi-permanent tint.”

Getting dye on your skin is, for the most part, annoying and unsightly, but in rare instances, “it can cause serious skin irritation or allergies,” Dr. Zeichner explains. Your skincare regimen can also be a culprit: “While all skin types are equally at risk for dye staining, if you are using topical retinoids or products like alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids, the skin may be more prone to irritation from the dye because it will more easily penetrate the exfoliated skin.”

Luckily, there are easy ways to remove (and prevent!) dye stains on your skin. “The sooner you can remove the hair dye from the skin, the better,” Dr. Zeichner advises. This prevents the dye from settling further into skin. Before your next hair color touch-up, study up on our experts’ tips to get rid of hair dye stains on specific areas:

## How to get rid of dye stains on your face and along your hairline

“I recommend a simple non-soap cleanser and water,” such as the classic Dove Beauty Bar. Any kind of oil — such as coconut oil, baby oil, or argan oil — can also work as a cleanser to remove hair dye. Some beauty brands also offer products made specifically to remove hair dye stains from your skin, such as Framar’s Kolor Killer Wipes. They’re gentle on skin, but extremely effective for removing stains on your face, neck, and hands.

You can also look for products with chemically exfoliating ingredients, such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid. These ingredients will help shed your stained skin cells and bring new ones to the surface. That said, Nikki Ferrara, celebrity colorist and owner of Nikki Ferrara Hair Color in New York City, strongly advises against trying to remove dye on your face with a manual face scrub: “They can cause irritation and tear the skin,” she says.

If all else fails, “you can try using rubbing alcohol,” Dr. Zeichner says. “Apply it to a cotton ball or use a pre-moistened alcohol swab and gently rub it against the affected area, taking caution not to overly scrub the skin.” If you don’t have any rubbing alcohol in your cabinet, you can use hydrogen peroxide. It’s known to remove all kinds of stains, but it’s also safe to use on your skin in low concentrations (3% or lower).

Happens to the best of us.

Falling victim to rogue splashes of hair dye is one of the more aggravating costs of admission to coloring our hair.

Whether the dye job is done in a salon or over our bathroom sinks, dye seemingly always manages to drip onto our neck, ears, hairline, or hands — and those stains are stubborn little suckers.

But the struggle is over.

Lingering color stains will no longer expose our fresh dye job, thanks to LA-based celebrity colorist Amanda Lee and Harvard-trained dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon, Jennifer Herrmann, MD, FAAD, who shared their hacks on how to gently erase any signs of leftover stains — without compromising our skin (or mental health), so we can get on with telling the world that our natural hair color really is just this beautiful.

All of their expert tips, ahead.

## Is Hair Dye Harmful to Skin?

It’s not a secret that hair dyes — despite becoming safer over the years with stronger FDA regulations — contain a cocktail of chemicals to bleach, lighten, or alter hair color, according to the Beverly Hills-based Dr. Herrmann.

That said, it’s not exactly the type of product you want sticking around for longer than necessary, especially on the delicate scalp and face area, as it may cause “irritation or allergy on the skin,” explains Dr. Herrmann, which presents symptoms like “redness, burning, and/or itching.”

Sensitive skin types and those with blemishes or nicks on or around their scalp are particularly vulnerable, although seriously harmful reactions are rare.

“A small amount of chemicals can penetrate, but they’re not highly toxic,” says women’s health expert and assistant professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, Jessica Shepherd, M.D. “If you’re going to dye or bleach your hair yourself, make sure you use gloves and follow directions carefully — and make sure that you’re thoroughly rinsing after every application of hair dye.”

## How Can I Prevent Hair Dye From Getting on My Skin?

Prevention is always better than the cure. Stay ahead of any slips of fate by using Dr. Herrmann’s genius trick of applying Vaseline or Aquaphor to the skin around the hairline and ears to create a makeshift barrier and help protect it, especially if you’re doing an at-home dye job.

“This step will prevent chemicals from contacting the skin, so they can’t cause allergy or irritation,” she explains.

Lee adds that people with dry skin are “likely going to stain worse than someone with oily skin,” due to the slippery sebum base making it harder for the dye to latch on. So if your skin skews dry or dehydrated, Lee suggests “moisturizing your face around the hairline really well prior to your in-salon hair appointment.”

And scalp stains? Don’t stress, says Lee. “Typically, the scalp won’t stain unless you’re using direct dyes,” she explains.

In other words, you’ll only need to worry about intensely colored hues that don’t penetrate very deeply into the hair’s fiber, meaning that the dye sits at the top of the hair shaft on your scalp, giving the color more time to settle and stain. So expect fun, rainbow bright dye colors like pink, blue, green, or red to outlast their welcome by leaving a vibrant tint in their wake.

Also, just to state the obvious: do not attempt to dye eyebrows, lashes, or any other strand of hair on your body with dye designed for the head.

VIDEO: Is Rudy Giuliani. Leaking?

## How Do I Get Hair Dye Off My Skin?

Don’t pull out the heavy hitters straight out of the gate — and nine times out of 10, you won’t need them anyway.

### Do Nothing

It sounds absurd, but if there’s just a speck or two of dye — or maybe there are even a few stained patches of skin — but it’s not bothering your skin or your mind, just let it be.

“Once your skin produces some natural oils, it’ll wipe right away, usually within a day,” assures Lee.

### Clean As You Go

During at-home dye jobs, keep a rag or paper towels and a bowl of clean water handy throughout the entire process to tend to dye smears and splashes as they happen. “It’s best to wipe any dye off the skin immediately after contact,” warns Dr. Herrmann, adding that “simple water” can do the trick if you’re quick enough.

### Opt For a Moisturizing Baby Wipe

If the dye didn’t budge, advance to drugstore baby wipes with hydrating ingredients to avoid an unnecessary dry-out. Baby wipes are a great option for sensitive skin types because they’re gentle and non-stripping on skin, but tough on stains and residue.

### Use a Creamy Shampoo For the Rinse-Out

If you notice a bit of dye around your hairline or on your neck while you wait for the color to set, try Lee’s shampoo trick. Bonus: it also works to prevent a shampoo smear.

“Before I rinse the hair color out, I take a little bit of shampoo — I’ve been loving the new Native moisturizing line — and I rub it into the hairline and any areas that could stain during the shampoo,” she explains. “I find that if I do this before I rinse the color out with water, it won’t stain nearly as bad!”

To shop: \$9; target.com

### Use an Oil as a Cleanser

Nearly any kind of facial or hair oil — think coconut, argan, rosehip, or almond — can double as a cleanser to break down larger stains. Warm a few drops in your hands and swirl the oil into the stain in soft, circular motions with your fingertips, and the dye should melt right off without much pressure or roughness.

### Use a Stain Remover Solution

If the dye refuses to part ways peacefully with your skin, reach for a product specifically designed and formulated to remove hair dye from skin from a trusted hair brand. We’re fans of Roux’s creamy Hair Color Stain Remover and Redken’s Color Stain Remover Pads.

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Many individuals take to coloring their hair at home to save the cost of the salon. The task itself isn’t too challenging, and in most cases, you can get results as good for a fraction of the cost.

However, it doesn’t matter if you are coloring your hair with a friend or going it alone. You always seem to flick or drop bits of hair color before you have finished.

Some surfaces are easier to clean than others, although the way hair color works, you may need to act fast. How to get hair dye off wall surfaces can be challenging, depending on which room you’re in.

Luckily, our guide shows how to get hair dye off walls and other surfaces without resorting to a Magic Eraser to tackle the job.

By the end of this guide, you’ll discover how to get hair dye off wood walls and more using things you have around your home. (Learn How To Remove Adhesive From Wood)

## How Do You Remove Color Stains from Walls?

Dyeing your hair can be messy, and as much as you try and avoid it, you can find spots on surfaces around where you have applied the hair color.

What makes this such an issue is hair dye contains many ingredients, like alkalizers, modifiers, dye, and worst of all, ammonia.

Once you try to remove this, you’ll find so removing a dye isn’t always a straightforward process. It takes a solvent to dissolve the dye and at the same time leaving the color of the wall unharmed.

Here are some things to know about how to remove color stains from a bathroom wall.

### Solvent Options

If you see a splash on your wall, you need to act fast. Your aim is to remove dye stains is when still wet. If you are lucky, you could manage this with soap and water. However, it is a challenge once the stain is dry.

If you see a woodworker who has to remove a dye stain from wood, they often use a strong chlorine bleach solution. The bleach solution that is strong enough to remove these stains from would might harm the wall finish.

You could quickly find that household chlorine bleach or similar bleach-containing cleaner can be sufficient.

If bleach won’t work, then rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol may work as some hair dye products contain alcohol as the primary solvent. You will, however, find bleach better than the above of the color remover you get to remove dye from your skin.

Acetone or acetone-based nail polish remover can be another suitable alternative; however, you need to test a small area as these can lift paint from the wall. (Learn How to Remove Chalk Paint)

Vinegar can be a good final solution as it is often used to remove dye stains from fabrics.

### Steps on How to Remove Hair Dye Stains

1. Wear a pair of rubber gloves
2. Pour chlorine bleach in a spray bottle with an equal amount of water.
3. Spray the dye spot and let the bleach sit there for around 10 seconds. Wipe off with a clean white cloth. You’ll find this works by fading the dye color as opposed to dissolving it. If effective, your stain should go.
4. Mix a 1-to-1 solution of vinegar and clean water. Spray any stain remaining after your bleach treatment on your black hair dye. Wipe the area with a clean white cloth.

If the above doesn’t remove the stain, you can resort to this; however, you will need to check a small area to remove more paint.

1. Damp a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol, denatured alcohol, or acetone. Rub against the spot with the hair dye. If it works, you should wipe with vinegar and water to neutralize and further action on the surface.

## How Do You Get Hair Dye Off of Surfaces?

Here you can learn how to remove hair dye stains from various surfaces.

### Remove Hair Dye Stains Off Tiles

Tile can be an easier surface to remove dye from compared to your painted wall. It can, however, still fail.

• To remove the stain, you can try toothpaste. Brush the stain with toothpaste for 2 to 3 minutes, then wipe away with a damp cloth.
• Nail polish remover (acetone-based), bleach, rubbing alcohol can also be suitable for these surfaces.
• WD-40 spray can be used in many similar situations and can help remove stains from different materials. It may be more suited to wall or floor tile than painted walls as it could leave an oil stain on the paint.

Like any liquid that does this, you’d discover it hard to repaint over without the paint sticking.

### Remove Hair Dye Stain from Carpet?

The best recommendation is removing hair dye from the carpet is to do it immediately. Don’t let the dye dry on textiles and get deep in the fibers. Gently wipe the dye with a clean tissue before you remove the stain.

1. Among the most effective solutions for removing hair dye from carpet is dish soap mixed with vinegar.
2. To make the solution, mix two cups of water with a spoon of dish soap and a spoon of white vinegar.
3. Soak a clean white cloth in the solution. Remove excess liquid and then push down on the stain.
4. The cloth should wipe away the dye.
5. Repeat several times with a clean area of your cloth.

### Removing Hair Dye Stains from Bathroom Sink

1. Mix 1 tbsp of baking soda with some warm water to a paste
2. Rub gently on the stained area using a clean cloth
3. Leave the paste on the sink surface for 1 hour.
4. Scrub the sink stain gently using a damp sponge or soft damp cloth.

Other alternatives to baking soda are hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol.

## How Can I Remove Permanent Hair Color at Home?

Here are the best ways how to remove permanent hair color. (Learn How to Remove Sticky Residue From Plastic)

You dyed your curls yourself but are not satisfied with the color. Your hair color looks uneven, and hair dye leaves on the scalp. Don’t worry! You can use simples tools available around your house to get rid of hair dye. Figure out several ways on how to remove hair dye from scalp without killing your natural locks. Dive into our words to know more.

## Hacks on how to remove hair dye from scalp but not hair

Main of Contents

Those of us always struggle with a problem from hair dye, it leaves stains on our scalp and skin. So how to remove hair dye from scalp fast ? Here’re 6 useful tips that might help you.

### Utilize makeup remover

We are sure that this is a must-have item for millions of girls. It is available in various brands, and most of them are inexpensive. But many individuals don’t know that it works wonder to remove splat hair dye from scalp.

Makeup remover will work to break down the pigments in the hair dye and cleanse your scalp. You should apply some to a cotton pad and gently rub the areas with hair dye left. Leave it for 5 minutes before you wash the hair. Also, the item is safe for removing eye makeup. Hence, if your scalp is sensitive, feel free to apply this tip to make all stains disappear.

Use makeup remover

Which product works best to remove hair dye from skin and scalp? Reviewers say that creamy and dense removers work more effectively than the micellar water. If the item you use is alcohol-based, don’t forget to condition or moisturize afterward since it may dry your scalp and skin.

### Baby oil or olive oil

I colored my hair in red, but the dyes still stick on my scalp. How to remove hair dye from scalp and face , not hair?

Try using baby oil, olive oil, or other natural oils. For those who don’t know, oil can work perfectly to remove hair dye from your scalp. This method does not dull your hair color and not fry your curls.

To try the oil method, you use your fingertips and coat baby oil on the stained areas. Rub it and leave for hours or overnight. You should leave the solution on your stained skin as long as possible. If you leave it overnight, wear a headband to avoid staining your pillowcases. Shampoo your hair in the next morning to avoid greasy hair and get rid of all left dye.

Move on the following tip if you are still not getting your desired needs.

baby oil vs olive oil

### Toothpaste

We think that many may be surprised to read this method. In fact, toothpaste can serve as a good hair dye remover. This product often contains active ingredients to whiten your teeth, such as baking soda, that activates as a mild abrasive.

How to remove hair dye stains from scalp ? Dab the right amount of toothpaste onto your affected scalp, and spread it to create a thin coat over the stains. You can use your fingers, a cotton pad, or a new and clean toothbrush to get rid of hair dyes. Wash your hair with warm water and dry.

### Dish soap & baking soda

Wondering how to remove semi permanent hair dye from scalp ? You can stir dish soap with baking soda to create a paste. Then it breaks up pigments of the dye and lifts all stains from your scalp and skin. However, don’t leave it too long as it may be so abrasive for some skin types.

To try this method, you apply the mixture of baking soda and dish soap to the dye-stained areas. You then use a cotton ball to rub the solution into the scalp and move in a circular motion with gentle pressure.

Note: Don’t leave the mix to contact your eyes as it may cause some side effects, such as irritation.

Finally, wash your hair with warm water to remove all stains.

dish soap vs baking soda

### Nail polish remover

As a fantastic way to remove purple hair dye from your scalp, nail polish remover is widely applied. Start by applying the remover to a cotton ball, then dab and wipe splat hair dye from your scalp. It works fast to deal with your problem. Shampoo your hair carefully and get a clean scalp.

But be careful with this solution as it is not good if you leave it contact prolong to your skin. Wear a headband to avoid the remover staining to your face and eyes. If you feel any sign of discomfort, rinse your hair or skin with warm water.

### Rub alcohol

Move on to this common method on how to remove red hair dye from scalp to see if that works more effectively.

You may know that alcohol can be harsh and dry to the skin. However, it is an ideal option to do away with your dye-stained scalp. You take a cotton pad and soak it in alcohol. Squeeze all excess water and gently dab the pad on the affected areas. Once the scalp is clean, shampoo your mane with a gentle and mild product. Apply conditioner to avoid drying to your locks.

Remember to wear gloves before using this tip to protect your hands. Or apply a thick coat of moisturizing cream around your hairline before applying the solution.

nail polish remover vs rub alcohol

## Treat scalp well after getting hair dye off

Don’t forget to take care of your skin and hair after you get rid of all stains. Detergents such as alcohol and removers can strip natural oils from your scalp. Natural oils, or sebum, helps your hair feel smooth and shiny.

After removal, you should apply moisturizer to prevent skin from drying out. Opt for products with a light lotion formula as they will not leave you feeling too oily.

If the dye stains don’t disappear after following these above hacks, you should visit a professional hair colorist. They are better able to keep your scalp and skin from becoming stained with hair color. It is much more expensive, however.

That’s all we want to present about how to remove hair dye from scalp . Which one do you prefer? Leave your comments below to share the results you get.

In case you plan to color your curls, applying cream moisturizer around your hairline and forehead first. It helps save you time to remove purple hair dye from your scalp.

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Whether you need to nix red hair, black hair, or bright tones, let’s forget that bad dye job ever happened.

Sometimes the perfect hair color doesn’t turn out quite as planned, whether you tried at-home hair color or not. Maybe the red hair color you picked looked amazing in photos, but doesn’t necessarily flatter your skin tone. Maybe your color turned a shade or two (okay, or five) darker than you had hoped. No matter what happened, if you’re wishing there’s an undo option for your dye job, hair color removers help fix color mishaps.

When shopping for hair color removers, celebrity hairstylist Kiyah Wright says that you should try to avoid harsh ingredients (like bleach and ammonia) to avoid damage to your hair and prioritize a product’s gentleness. Read the individual packaging to determine how to apply and how long to let the product sit on the hair, as every formula is different: Typically, you can’t just douse on your head and call it a day. “Apply it section by section, just like color, on the hair shaft,” says Wright. Keep in mind that color removal isn’t a blanket fix — you likely won’t be get back the color you started with, and the dye may only fade instead of disappearing entirely.

We vetted user reviews and tapped Wright’s expertise to find the best hair color removers on the market, whether you used temporary dye, natural hair dye, or otherwise. Below, the picks that will help you erase even your most egregious hair color mistakes. Removers often have a strong smell, so apply in a well-ventilated area, and be sure to follow up with a hair mask to renew moisture as hair color removers can dry out your strands!

This product is a cult favorite for permanent and semi-permanent color removal (it has over 100 five-star reviews on Amazon), and for good reason. “I was so pleased with the results,” said one reviewer. My hair lightened and the color came out. My hair was not hard and wiry, it remained soft.” The formula only takes 20 minutes to do its thing and conditions your hair while it works.

This product is kind of like a leave-in conditioner. To use, you mix together the two packets to create a thick, jelly-like substance that you apply all over your hair. Let it soak in while you sleep and wash out in the morning. “When I shampooed, so much red came out,” said one reviewer. “I wasn’t expecting much since there is no bleach, but this was amazing!”

This is a favorite for many professional hairstylists, including Wright. “Malibu is gentle,” she says. “Mix it with water and you apply it after you shampoo the hair with a cleansing shampoo.” It can lift your hair one to three shades, all while keeping your natural hair pigment intact. Plus, the packets are easy to use and you see results within minutes.

This fades and softens your hair color without damaging hair. It’s also packed with vitamin C, which helps nourish your strands. Reviewers praised this color fader for doing just that — fading their color gradually. “It certainly fades,” said one reviewer. “Just be sure to set your expectations . to a slight fade per use.”

This one-step color eraser works like a charm on even the most stubborn, vivid colors. This easy remover gets left on strands for up to 30 minutes to remove dye from hair. “This stuff is amazing,” one reviewer raved. “I had layers of dyes, and the top layer was metallic cobalt steel which gave it a deep purple look. I needed something drastic to get rid of everything and start with a blank slate.”

This hair color remover delivers some serious payoff. “This worked fantastically to get rid of the years of red and black dye without damaging my hair,” said one reviewer. “The only other time I’ve tried to strip color out of my hair was with bleach (professionally done), and I ended up with a lot of broken strands.” Keep in mind that this has a strong scent.

If you need a serious color intervention, you may need to take out the big guns. “This remover is, in my opinion, the best one you can buy,” one reviewer raved. “I have tried every brand of remover throughout the years and this is the only one that will remove built up black dye. It foams to help cover all of your hair resulting in a more even tone at the end.” It won’t bring your hair back to its normal color, but it will lift any unwanted dye.

If you need to remove hair color stains from your skin, not your hair, this is your pick. which you will likely need if you attempt dyeing your hair. “If you leave it on long enough, that color is just totally staining the skin,” says Wright. She likes this stain remover for cleaning up around the edges of hair when she needs to. “It’s super gentle on the skin,” she says. “I just love it. It’s just kind of global and universal.”

## How to help a sick person feel better

Last Updated: May 6, 2021

This article was co-authored by Ran D. Anbar, MD, FAAP. Dr. Ran D. Anbar is a pediatric medical counselor and is board certified in both pediatric pulmonology and general pediatrics, offering clinical hypnosis and counseling services at Center Point Medicine in La Jolla, California and Syracuse, New York. With over 30 years of medical training and practice, Dr. Anbar has also served as a professor of pediatrics and medicine and the Director of pediatric pulmonology at SUNY Upstate Medical University. Dr. Anbar holds a BS in Biology and Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and an MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Anbar completed his pediatric residency and pediatric pulmonary fellowship training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and is also a past President, fellow and approved consultant of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.

The quality of care a sick person receives during recovery from an illness is one of the most important steps to getting better. You may have a friend or family member who is suffering from a bad cold, an illness, or an infection. Once the person receives medication from their doctor, they may be instructed to stay at home, rest up, and get better. You can provide care for a sick person by using kind and comforting words, and by using caring actions to ensure that they undergo a speedy recovery.

Home > Tips > Wellness Tips > 5 Ways to Feel Better When You’re Sick

## It seems like just about everyone has gone through the flu this year! Try out these 5 ways to feel better when you’re sick.

This article with 5 Ways to Feel Better When You’re Sick is part of a sponsored article written by me on behalf of SheSpeaks/P&G. #ReliefIsHere

Earlier this cold season I posted an article with 11 ways to avoid getting a cold or the flu, but what do you do when you’re already sick? When you have a virus, there’s no magical pill, but there are several ways to help yourself feel better and help alleviate those icky symptoms. Check out these 5 ways to feel better when you’re sick.

1. Get as much rest as you can. When you rest, you give your body the ability to really concentrate on defeating the virus you caught instead of whatever activity you’d otherwise be doing. So whether it’s lounging on the couch watching TV or curled up in bed asleep, make sure to get as much rest as you can.

2. Stay well hydrated. Staying hydrated is important to do every day, but it’s even more important when you’re sick. Not only does it help your body function, but it also helps to thin mucous when you’re congested.

3. Eat plenty of bone broth or stock. Bone broths and stocks is some of the most healthy things you can consume. Not only will the warm steamy broth help you feel better and help ease a sore throat, but it’s also packed full of nutrients to help you get over the illness.

4. Behold, the power of steam! Whether it’s a steaming mug of tea with honey, a hot shower, or warm bath, steam can do wonders to help you feel better when sick. It can help ease sore throats and help you breathe easier when congested. Plus a hot shower or warm bath can also help relieve aches common with the flu.

5. Use a medication to help alleviate your symptoms. Sometimes you just don’t have the time to lounge around and wait for sickness to pass. Luckily, there are a variety of medications available these days to help you feel better and get what you need to done. My go-tos have always been DayQuil and NyQuil. I love that DayQuil helps me to feel better and be able to concentrate on what I need to get done without feeling like I’m living in a haze. NyQuil is great for those nights where you feel super drainer but can’t sleep or constantly wake yourself up with a stuffy nose.

Recently I was browsing the aisles of Walmart to stock up on some “flu feel betters” since Mr. Savvy’s office had an outbreak of the flu and was happy to see that Vicks DayQuil and Nyquil are now available in a new maximum strength Severe formula. The NyQuil formula also now has a decongestant! Now you can tell your cough, congestion, fever, sore throat and more to take a hike while you get back to your day.

When you start to feel unwell, what steps should you take to get better? Do you immediately call the doctor and schedule an appointment? Do you take medication for your illness to treat it as soon as you start to feel unwell?

There are a lot of steps you can take to simply feel better. Do you know how to feel better when you’re sick? Knowing some basic healthy measures you can do can make a huge difference, and even if you aren’t fully better yet, just doing these things can improve the way you feel.

## Get Enough Vitamins Each Day

You need plenty of Vitamins each day, and it’s very likely that you’re not getting enough if you are feeling unwell. A lot of the basic nutrients that are supposed to be included in our diet help keep us from getting sick and empower us to feel better when we are unwell.

Here’s a list of some of the vitamins and other nutrients that should be a part of your diet:

• Calcium
• Fluoride
• Folic acid
• Iron
• Magnesium
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin B3
• Vitamin B6
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin D
• Vitamin E

How much of those are you actually getting in your diet right now? Your food may not be providing you with adequate nutrition, and to supplement, you can take a daily vitamin or multivitamin. You can also change up your diet to ensure that there are enough nutrients in what you’re eating. That can be a little trickier, but it really is the best way to get the nutrients that your body needs.

How to feel better when sick? Don’t just take vitamins to keep from getting sick. Continue to take them while you are sick. In many cases, your doctor may recommend that you increase some of your vitamin doses when you are ill.

## Get Plenty of Rest

If you’re not getting enough sleep, that can open your body up to infection and disease. A tired body is one that will have trouble fighting off an infection, and it will likely have a weak immune system. One of the best ways how to feel better when you’re sick is to get plenty of rest. That doesn’t just mena sleeping extra, but it also means taking things easy.

It means slowing down your schedule, perhaps taking days off from work. It means getting plenty of bed rest and not overexerting yourself. The average recommended amount of sleep when you are well is 7 to 8 hours a day. When you are sick, you should increase the amount of sleep you are getting.

This is one of the most effective ways how to feel better when your sick. When you sleep is when your body does most of the healing and recuperation. If you’re not sleeping, you’re very unlikely to get better. It may even be necessary to use medication that helps you sleep to ensure you’re getting enough rest while your body is trying to recover.

## Drink Plenty of Water

Water makes up about 70% of your body. It makes sense then that if you don’t have enough water in your body, it won’t be able to function properly. When you’re dehydrated, your organs start to malfunction. Your body needs plenty of water each day in order to feel at its best. This is even more important when you are not feeling well.

How to make someone feel better when they are sick? You can make sure they are drinking plenty of liquids. Water is important, as well as juice or Gatorade to help provide sugar and electrolytes so that they have some energy. Sweet but healthy drinks like juice and Gatorade are great for rejuvenating the body and giving it some short-term energy.

You should avoid drinking beverages like soda, milkshakes, and energy drinks. These can do more harm than good and should not be used as a substitute for water or other healthy beverages.

Hot drinks, particularly herbal teas, can be very helpful for people who are feeling unwell. If you’re looking for how to feel better when sick to your stomach, a hot beverage can make a big difference. It can settle your stomach and help with feelings of nausea, cramps, gassiness, and abdominal pain. Coffee is okay to drink when you’re sick, as long as you’re drinking it in limited amounts. Remember that you do need plenty of sleep when you are sick, and too much coffee may keep you awake and prevent you from getting adequate sleep.

Herbal teas like green tea, lemongrass tea, and others are not just calming to your stomach, but they can also soothe your throat and provide other medicinal benefits as well. If you want to know how to make yourself feel better when sick, drinking some hot tea can make a world of difference. If you don’t have tea available, simply hot water or hot chocolate can be helpful as well. Be careful about drinking anything with too much sugar, as that may not be the best thing for you as you recover.

## Get Plenty of Fresh Air

What also helps when you’re feeling ill is to spend some time outside or at least opening the windows in your room. Fresh air does wonders for someone who isn’t feeling very well.

It can actually hurt your ability to recover from an illness if you’re staying indoors all the time, particularly in a closed off, stuffy room. The lack of fresh air can be stifling and can make you feel even worse. You may be taking your vitamins, taking medication, getting plenty of rest and eating well, but if you’re not getting fresh air, you won’t get well as quickly as you should.

On that same note, sunshine is good for you as well. It provides nutrients to your body and stimulates your skin. Sunshine and fresh air work together to help you feel great. Even if you can’t go for a walk or get off your property while you’re unwell, you may be able to step outdoors for a bit and soak up some of that sunshine and fresh air.

You want to be careful about getting wet or cold while you’re outdoors, though. If you’re not careful, you can actually make your condition worse. It’s a good idea to check the temperature and the weather before you spend time outside when you are ill.

## Stay Warm

When the weather gets colder, it seems like more people get sick. That’s because their body is fighting off the chill and trying to keep them warm, and at the same time it is fighting off constant attacks from viruses and infections. The intense coldness of winter can give your body extra work to do, leaving it vulnerable to attack.

When you are sick, you want to make sure that your body isn’t exposed to even more extreme temperatures. You especially need to watch for anything that can make your body cold. Simply stepping out of your bed onto a tile floor in the morning can set your recovery back a little bit. Your body will be fighting the coldness of that floor, and it can be tough for the body to do that and fight off infection.

If you have to walk across the cold floor while you’re unwell, you can wear house shoes or socks to protect your feet. You may also want to wear a sweater or housecoat inside, if your home isn’t warm enough. A lot of people will put extra sheets or blankets on their bed to bundle up in at night when it gets very cold. Not everybody has central heating in their home, so these are ways that you can keep yourself feeling better and help your body to recover faster.

When you start to feel unwell, what steps should you take to get better? Do you immediately call the doctor and schedule an appointment? Do you take medication for your illness to treat it as soon as you start to feel unwell?

There are a lot of steps you can take to simply feel better. Do you know how to feel better when you’re sick? Knowing some basic healthy measures you can do can make a huge difference, and even if you aren’t fully better yet, just doing these things can improve the way you feel.

## Get Enough Vitamins Each Day

You need plenty of Vitamins each day, and it’s very likely that you’re not getting enough if you are feeling unwell. A lot of the basic nutrients that are supposed to be included in our diet help keep us from getting sick and empower us to feel better when we are unwell.

Here’s a list of some of the vitamins and other nutrients that should be a part of your diet:

• Calcium
• Fluoride
• Folic acid
• Iron
• Magnesium
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin B3
• Vitamin B6
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin D
• Vitamin E

How much of those are you actually getting in your diet right now? Your food may not be providing you with adequate nutrition, and to supplement, you can take a daily vitamin or multivitamin. You can also change up your diet to ensure that there are enough nutrients in what you’re eating. That can be a little trickier, but it really is the best way to get the nutrients that your body needs.

How to feel better when sick? Don’t just take vitamins to keep from getting sick. Continue to take them while you are sick. In many cases, your doctor may recommend that you increase some of your vitamin doses when you are ill.

## Get Plenty of Rest

If you’re not getting enough sleep, that can open your body up to infection and disease. A tired body is one that will have trouble fighting off an infection, and it will likely have a weak immune system. One of the best ways how to feel better when you’re sick is to get plenty of rest. That doesn’t just mena sleeping extra, but it also means taking things easy.

It means slowing down your schedule, perhaps taking days off from work. It means getting plenty of bed rest and not overexerting yourself. The average recommended amount of sleep when you are well is 7 to 8 hours a day. When you are sick, you should increase the amount of sleep you are getting.

This is one of the most effective ways how to feel better when your sick. When you sleep is when your body does most of the healing and recuperation. If you’re not sleeping, you’re very unlikely to get better. It may even be necessary to use medication that helps you sleep to ensure you’re getting enough rest while your body is trying to recover.

## Drink Plenty of Water

Water makes up about 70% of your body. It makes sense then that if you don’t have enough water in your body, it won’t be able to function properly. When you’re dehydrated, your organs start to malfunction. Your body needs plenty of water each day in order to feel at its best. This is even more important when you are not feeling well.

How to make someone feel better when they are sick? You can make sure they are drinking plenty of liquids. Water is important, as well as juice or Gatorade to help provide sugar and electrolytes so that they have some energy. Sweet but healthy drinks like juice and Gatorade are great for rejuvenating the body and giving it some short-term energy.

You should avoid drinking beverages like soda, milkshakes, and energy drinks. These can do more harm than good and should not be used as a substitute for water or other healthy beverages.

Hot drinks, particularly herbal teas, can be very helpful for people who are feeling unwell. If you’re looking for how to feel better when sick to your stomach, a hot beverage can make a big difference. It can settle your stomach and help with feelings of nausea, cramps, gassiness, and abdominal pain. Coffee is okay to drink when you’re sick, as long as you’re drinking it in limited amounts. Remember that you do need plenty of sleep when you are sick, and too much coffee may keep you awake and prevent you from getting adequate sleep.

Herbal teas like green tea, lemongrass tea, and others are not just calming to your stomach, but they can also soothe your throat and provide other medicinal benefits as well. If you want to know how to make yourself feel better when sick, drinking some hot tea can make a world of difference. If you don’t have tea available, simply hot water or hot chocolate can be helpful as well. Be careful about drinking anything with too much sugar, as that may not be the best thing for you as you recover.

## Get Plenty of Fresh Air

What also helps when you’re feeling ill is to spend some time outside or at least opening the windows in your room. Fresh air does wonders for someone who isn’t feeling very well.

It can actually hurt your ability to recover from an illness if you’re staying indoors all the time, particularly in a closed off, stuffy room. The lack of fresh air can be stifling and can make you feel even worse. You may be taking your vitamins, taking medication, getting plenty of rest and eating well, but if you’re not getting fresh air, you won’t get well as quickly as you should.

On that same note, sunshine is good for you as well. It provides nutrients to your body and stimulates your skin. Sunshine and fresh air work together to help you feel great. Even if you can’t go for a walk or get off your property while you’re unwell, you may be able to step outdoors for a bit and soak up some of that sunshine and fresh air.

You want to be careful about getting wet or cold while you’re outdoors, though. If you’re not careful, you can actually make your condition worse. It’s a good idea to check the temperature and the weather before you spend time outside when you are ill.

## Stay Warm

When the weather gets colder, it seems like more people get sick. That’s because their body is fighting off the chill and trying to keep them warm, and at the same time it is fighting off constant attacks from viruses and infections. The intense coldness of winter can give your body extra work to do, leaving it vulnerable to attack.

When you are sick, you want to make sure that your body isn’t exposed to even more extreme temperatures. You especially need to watch for anything that can make your body cold. Simply stepping out of your bed onto a tile floor in the morning can set your recovery back a little bit. Your body will be fighting the coldness of that floor, and it can be tough for the body to do that and fight off infection.

If you have to walk across the cold floor while you’re unwell, you can wear house shoes or socks to protect your feet. You may also want to wear a sweater or housecoat inside, if your home isn’t warm enough. A lot of people will put extra sheets or blankets on their bed to bundle up in at night when it gets very cold. Not everybody has central heating in their home, so these are ways that you can keep yourself feeling better and help your body to recover faster.

No medical degree required.

The only thing worse than being sick is when your SO is under the weather. And no, not because you might catch whatever they have. If the person you care about most is feeling crappy, then you probably can’t help but feel their pain. There are plenty of things you can do to make an ailing SO feel better вЂ” like bring them soup, watch their favorite movies with them, or give them a foot massage вЂ” but sometimes even a simple text can make them smile. Coming up with texts to send your partner when they’re sick can be tricky, but there are better ways to check in on your SO than texting, “How are you feeling?” once an hour.

Comforting a sick person over text doesn’t require professional medical training. Sometimes all it takes is finding little ways to let them know you’re thinking about them and that you care. Only you can know what sort of gesture your partner will appreciate most, but almost anyone on bedrest could use a message that will make them smile. And not to be insensitive, but your partner might just be contagious, so sending a text might be your best move anyway. Here are just a few comforting messages to make your sick partner feel better over text in no time.

Everyone needs some sympathy when they’re sick, but a little levity might do your partner more good than your pity will. Sending goofy memes, GIFs, and selfies could do a lot to bolster your SO’s spirits, and if those don’t do the trick, perhaps try one of these light-hearted texts instead.

• Could you hurry up and get better so we can go back to making out?
• On a scale of 1 to 10, how contagious are you? I just want to know if I should wear a mask when I come over.
• Sorry if this is super sappy, but I’d do anything to make you feel less crappy.
• How do you make a tissue dance? You put a little boogie in it. Hope you’re feeling less stuffed up today.
• Don’t get me wrong, you still look super cute when you’re sick, but healthy is definitely a better look for you. Get better soon for both of our sakes!
• вЂњI love you even when youвЂ™re sick and look disgusting.вЂќ вЂ” Love Actually, but also me to you RN.
• Shorty, IвЂ™ma only tell you this once, you the illestвЂ¦ but srsly, get better soon.
• I hope you make haste in obtaining a deep hole in the ground filled with water. (Translation: Get well soon.)
• Hey, why donвЂ™t cows get sick? Because they have strong immoooonue systems. LOL.

You know what they say: A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, and sending your partner a super-sweet text is sure to ease their pain. Don’t be afraid to get a little sappy вЂ” even if you and your partner aren’t touchy-feely types, sending one of these adorable texts will probably make their day regardless.

• Thinking about you sick in bed makes my heart ache. I really hope you’re feeling better soon.
• Please enjoy this TikTok of a dog sneezing. Hopefully it makes you smile.
• If hugs and kisses were medicine, then I would send you infinite Xs and Os.
• Guess what? Even when you’re sick, you’re still the cutest person I know.
• Even though I’m not with you, I hope you know I’ll be thinking about you and hoping you get better all day long.
• If I had one wish, it would be to have you feeling рџ’Ї again.
• Wishing I could kiss you through the phone.
• Sending you good vibes and infinite kiss emojis рџ.

Funny texts and sweet texts go a long way towards lifting your SO’s spirits, but if you really want to help your partner out, then send them a text asking about practical matters. They’re probably not up for talking on the phone, but if you text to ask what you can do, you can figure out a concrete way to do them a favor (and you’ll save them from having to ask you themselves).

• Do you need any errands done? Let me take something off your plate while you rest up and get better.
• Need more tissues? Medicine? Gatorade? Make a list of everything you need and I’ll bring it over.
• Are you up for a movie marathon? Pick your three favorites and we can watch them together.
• What is bothering you the most right now? Let me ask around and see if anyone has any advice on how to alleviate that symptom.
• Is there anything I can do to make you feel better? Just say the word.
• IвЂ™m ordering Uber Eats for you. Pick a food genre and your dream meal will arrive shortly.
• If youвЂ™re up for a FaceTime, IвЂ™m down to let you complain as much as youвЂ™d like.
• Want me to come over and play personal assistant? IвЂ™m happy to help you out with anything you need.

You might actually have a medical degree, but even if you don’t, you can make a sick partner smile by sending a simple, thoughtful text. Your partner is sure to remember the gesture and return the favor next time you’re feeling under the weather.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated by Elite Daily Staff.

### We’re smack in the middle of cold and flu season right now.

Our workplaces resound with the honks of blowing noses. Try to go to a movie and all you’ll be able to hear is coughing—and if you have kids, they’ve brought home at least four colds and probably a stomach virus by now.

Unfortunately, none of us are totally immune and even the healthiest among us will sometimes get sick.

When we get sick, we’re all told a bunch of ridiculous remedies that are sworn to make us better immediately. They won’t.

My doctor says that with medication it takes seven days to cure the common cold and without it, it’ll take a week to get better. The only cure is time. Sorry. There are, however, a lot of remedies that will provide some comfort, and I’d like to share my favorites in case you are under the weather.

Remember, I’m not a medical professional, so always check with your doctor if you’re not sure if something is safe or right for you.

1. Lemon Honey Tea: People believe this cures everything from strep to tuberculosis. It doesn’t cure anything, but it tastes good and soothes a sore throat better than pretty much anything else. I usually add a slice of ginger, especially if my stomach is acting up and I’ll sip this all day long when I have a cold or a flu.

2. Elderberry Syrup: I make sure I always have a bottle of this on hand because elderberry has been proven to shorten the duration of colds and flus and it’s an excellent immune booster. An added bonus is that it tastes fantastic (kids love it) and it’s great for coating a dry, sore throat. Take elderberry syrup straight or stir a couple teaspoons into boiling water for a pleasant tea.

3. Zinc Lozenges: Also proven to shorten the duration of the common cold. Try them and see if they work for you. Just be careful to suck the lozenges slowly and on a full stomach because zinc can make some people a little nauseated.

4. Slippery Elm: This herb has several uses and can be found in many forms from liquid, capsules to lozenges. Often it is a main ingredient in natural cough remedies because of its demulcent properties. That means it helps coat and protect the mucous membranes inside your body and that makes slippery elm perfect for a dry, hacking cough. During cold season I never go anywhere without my packet of slippery elm lozenges.

5. Epsom Salts Baths: Epsom salts always seem to make me feel better. Add at least a full cup to hot bathwater, and go for a long soak. I like my baths to be very hot and I prefer to add a few drops of essential oils so it smells good and I can pretend I’m in a spa. Lavender is my favorite. Epsom salts reduce inflammation and draw toxins out of your body, so if you only do one thing when you’re sick, try this.

6. Stick a Heating Pad in Your Bed: Under you, on your stomach, whatever. I like to rest my head on the heating pad when I get bad headaches and it really helps. Just don’t fall asleep and burn your face and then blame me. If you don’t have a heating pad, a hot water bottle is just as good.

7. Tiger Balm: This wonderful, clove-scented product is wonderful to massage into achy joints and I rub a dab on my temples or forehead if I have a headache, but watch out because sometimes the vapors can make your eyes water or cause temporary redness on your skin.

8. Smoothies make everything better: Throw some frozen fruit, a little juice, almond milk or coconut milk into a blender and slurp away. In our house, we like smoothies when we can’t stomach much else. Another big treat is to stir together a slushy out of fruit sorbet and lime flavored seltzer water.

9. Hot Yoga: Hot yoga does wonders for me when I have a head cold. I like to set up my mat next to the humidifiers and sprinkle of few drops of eucalyptus on my towel. Then, I take it very slowly and gently, modifying the asanas and taking plenty of breaks in child’s pose. Be careful to stay extra-hydrated and don’t practice if you have a fever, stomach bug or the flu. You want to avoid over-exertion and you don’t want to get your fellow yogis sick.

10. Asian Soups: Most people swear by chicken soup, but when I’m sick I like tom yum, pho and miso the best. The garlic, ginger, lemongrass and hot peppers really help to ease congestion and warm you up, plus they’re delicious.

11. Sunshine and Fresh Air: Never underestimate the healing powers of the outdoors. Take some time to sit outside in the sun or if you’re feeling up to it, go for a short, slow walk. If it’s cold outside, make sure you bundle up appropriately.

12. Moisturize: When you have a bad cold or the flu, your nose is going to get raw and red. You’ll have miserably chapped lips, so don’t neglect these parts of your body. Lanolin is a miracle moisturizer and you can find it in tubes in the breastfeeding supply section of most large stores. Dab it on your nose for instant pain relief. Vegan alternatives that are equally excellent for chapped skin are rosehip seed oil, coconut oil and argan oil, and beware of most commercial lip balms because they contain ingredients that can actually dry your skin more. Avoid any product containing castor oil when your lips are chapped.

13. TV—You’re sick: This is the perfect excuse to sit around and do nothing but watch movies. Alas, I have a three year old so I don’t get to do this much, but I can dream. One day she’ll be old enough to appreciate Wes Anderson with Mommy.

14. Turmeric: This root, and the spice made from it, contains strong anti-inflammatory properties. Work fresh or dried turmeric into your diet however and whenever you can, every day. Try this yummy warm beverage when you aren’t well.

15. Burning Essential Oil: When someone in my house is sick I like to put eucalyptus, peppermint or lavender oil in my oil burner and light it up. It freshens the house, promotes a healing atmosphere and soothes the sinuses.

16. Eucalyptus Spray: I use this kind, but there are many, or you can make your own by placing eucalyptus oil and water in a spray bottle. I’m addicted to it. I spray it on myself, in the air, in the shower, over my bath when I’m soaking, in the car. I love it.

17. Fresh Eucalyptus: You can usually find fresh bunches of eucalyptus wherever flowers are sold. Lightly crush the leaves and stems to release their oils and then hang the branches upside down in your shower.

18. Give yourself permission to be sick: We live in a hectic society and most of us don’t take enough time to settle down and rejuvenate our bodies and our spirits. When we get sick, we feel guilty if we need to stop running around, or if we have to say no or cancel obligations, but taking a break to heal is essential and you deserve this down time.

19. Don’t blame yourself: You didn’t do anything wrong to cause yourself to get sick and guilt will make you feel worse. It’s not because you didn’t exercise or meditate enough or take the right combination of supplements. Sometimes we just get sick. End of story. This is your time to be ill and understand that it is temporary and soon you will be well again and back to your regularly scheduled activities.

If someone is facing a health emergency or terminal illness, it can be difficult to know the right thing to say. Do you tell them everything will be OK? Change the subject? Share the story of your Aunt Sally, who died of cancer 10 years ago?

The best response is something along the lines of, “I’m so sorry to hear the news. I’ll be here to support you in any way I can,” sociologists told Live Science. But you’d be smart to tweak this message on a person-by-person basis.

“There are no easy answers to what you should say or what you should do,” said Amanda Gengler, an assistant professor of sociology at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. [7 Ways to Recognize Depression in 20-Somethings]

If the person is a close friend, family member or even an acquaintance, contact them as you normally would, by phone or email, for instance, the experts said.

“The best advice I can give is to offer to help in concrete ways,” Gengler told Live Science. Often, people will say they can help, but the sick person has no idea what they are willing to do. It’s easier for someone to take you up on a specific offer to babysit, drive them to treatment, or deliver groceries or meals, she said.

Sometimes, the sick person might just want to binge-watch Netflix for 3 hours with you. “Ask if they want company, or if they would rather have some time alone,” Gengler said.

While it’s good to reach out, be mindful that the person might be receiving dozens of well wishes, and that it’s hard to respond to all of them. Don’t expect an immediate, or even any, response.

“If the person reaches out, great,” Gengler told Live Science. “And if not, don’t get angry about it. Don’t make this about you.”

There are many reasons a sick person might not answer. They might feel too sick or tired. Also, while it’s nice to get sympathetic messages from friends, it also can be emotionally exhausting. Countless somber reactions can emphasize the gravity of the situation, Gengler said.

“There’s no easy solution to this, because the answer would obviously not be for other people to be flippant about an extremely catastrophic situation that someone is facing,” she said.

But there is a way to take off the pressure. If you’re emailing, you can include, “You don’t have to answer this, but I’m here if you need me,” said Deborah Carr, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

What NOT to do

If you learn that a friend is sick, don’t evade them, Carr advised.

“In general, people avoid circumstances that make them uncomfortable,” she said. “We’re so worried that we’re going to do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing, and so people often go underground.”

But that’s problematic, Carr said. “The most important factor that helps people deal with any problem, from terminal illness to divorce, is social support,” she said. “It’s really important that people are there — just simply showing up can be really powerful.” [5 Ways to Foster Self-Compassion in Your Child]

After reaching out, don’t minimize their situation by saying, “Look on the bright side: At least it’s not X,” or “Don’t worry; it will be all right,” the sociologists said. Also, don’t try to one-up them by talking about someone who is worse off, they added.

“You don’t want to invalidate their concern — that’s going to shut the conversation down,” said Linda Francis, an associate professor of sociology at Cleveland State University. “Because, quite possibly, everything isn’t going to be all right. Any kind of forced or false cheerfulness is going to make the speaker feel better; it’s not going to make the sufferer feel better.”

Instead, you can validate their situation by saying, “I’m so sorry; how awful,” Francis said.

Then again, it’s hard to know how someone will react. One mother at a Ronald McDonald House whom Gengler interviewed disliked it when people said, “I don’t know how you do it,” Gengler recalled. “She thought, ‘I’m a mom; you’re a mom — of course you do whatever you can to save your kids.'”

After expressing concern and support, you can ask general questions, such as “How are you doing this week?” This allows the other person to take control of the conversation and share as much or as little as they want. In addition, don’t give unsolicited advice, the experts said.

“It’s OK to be encouraging, as long as you’re not being unrealistic,” Francis said. “The important thing is just to express your concern.”

When Anna Grace Downs was in the intensive care unit being treated for COVID-19 the nurses, nursing assistants and technicians offered comfort and support when no one could visit her. Even though friends and family couldn’t physically be there, they found other ways to comfort her while she was in the hospital and afterward.

“My own personal world was rocked, as my dad would say,” the 26-year-old medical student in Lexington, Kentucky, told TODAY. “When you’re that sick, it’s really hard to even process what is going on. Since I’ve been home that has given me time to process what happened and how quickly it happened and everything.”

Even a short text could boost her mood.

“So many people have reached out and have made my recovery so much easier,” she told TODAY via Facebook Messenger.

Downs and others who have recovered from coronavirus share things that loved ones did for them that helped them during their illnesses.

Download the TODAY app for the latest coverage on the coronavirus outbreak.

## 1. Meal and grocery delivery

Making meals and eating is often the last thing on the minds of people recovering from COVID-19. Yet, they still need food.

“When I was in the hospital, I wasn’t thinking about that because my meals were coming to me,” Danielle Sol, 35 of Long Island, told TODAY, who along with her husband had coronavirus. “Once I got home that first night my friend Erica said ‘Oh I ordered food for you. It will be there in 30 minutes.’”

And, she had just delivered a baby so meals were a welcome relief.

“I cannot tell you how amazing that was that I didn’t have to think about how are we going to eat,” she said.

Downs agreed. People dropped off food to her parents when she was in the hospital and that continued when she returned. But she especially appreciated the meals her mom prepared as she recovered at home.

“When I was still in isolation, my mom would cook and arrange food on a tray for me and my dad would bring it up to me, and that made me feel special and cared for while I was stuck in my room,” she said.

Mallory Pease, who like Sol had coronavirus and gave birth, said that “meals in labeled containers (or containers you can throw away)” and grocery drop offs made her recovery easier.

## 2. Calls, video chats, texts, window visits

Even a text “hello” goes a long way.

“A lot of people were hesitant to reach out to me because they didn’t want to bother me, but even if I couldn’t respond to texts or talk for long, it meant a lot to me,” Downs said.

At first, Sol didn’t want people to say too many nice things because it would cause her to burst into tears. Once she felt less emotional, the kind words helped her as she recovered.

“Hearing them tell me that they were proud of me … it really makes you think, ‘Yeah, I can do this,’” Sol said.

People visited Peace and her daughter Alivia and stood outside the window to see them. Just a few minutes of face-to-face time invigorated her.

“The window visits helped a lot just to see people in real life and not on a screen. It was just a relief to be near people you love and see their faces. It is exciting to see each other,” she said via text.

## 3. TV and movie suggestions

It might sound simple but recovering from coronavirus requires loads of rest and a lot of alone time. Having good TV and movie recommendations helps isolated, convalescing people pass the time.

“It was very lonely,” Pease told TODAY. “I would just wake up, eat dinner and go to bed. I had zero energy.”

### Pop Culture Here are the best movies and TV shows to watch on Netflix in May

When Sol came home with her son, Jonah, she worried about him gaining weight. Most of his doctor’s appointments were virtual so she wasn’t sure if he was growing as needed. So a friend dropped off a baby scale and that eased her fears. People delivered clothes and that also helped. Downs received flowers that brightened her mood.

“People would really just text my parents and say, ‘I left something on your front porch,’ which was so nice,” Downs said. “We received many cards, too.”

## 5. Prayers

When Downs’ family worried about her, prayers helped them.

“My parents’ church friends came by to pray with them when I was at my sickest,” she explained.

## How to stop being homophobic

No one has the right to discriminate against or bully another person, or to hurt them emotionally or physically. There are several things you can do to help stop homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia:

• Don’t ever use negative or offensive language to describe LGBTQ people.
• Be careful of how even casual language — such as saying “that’s so gay”— can hurt others.
• Don’t believe stereotypes about LGBTQ people or make assumptions about them.
• Be a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ community, regardless of your own sexual orientation and identity. This is called being an ally.
• Let the LGBTQ people in your life know that you’re a friend and ally.
• Educate yourself on LGBTQ issues.
• Respect LGBTQ people’s decisions about when and where to come out.
• Remember that being LGBTQ is just one part of a person’s complex identity and life.
• Show as much interest in your LGBTQ friends’ or family members’ partners as you would show in a straight person’s partner.
• If you feel safe doing so, speak up when other people are being homophobic or biphobic, such as making offensive jokes, using negative language, or bullying or harassing someone because of their sexual orientation or identity.

• Decide if it’s safe to address the issue. Some things to consider: Will you be confronting a stranger in public? Or a friend or family member in private? Do you want to speak up now or save it for later, when you’re alone with the person? Would it be safest for you leave it alone and walk away?
• Ask questions and stay calm. Often, people don’t know that the language they’re using is insensitive. Avoid insulting them and tell them why you find their words offensive.

In western countries there is a strong tradition based on discrimination against homosexual people . This cultural characteristic (which also appears and has appeared in many other societies) has not only been embodied in laws that discriminate against this minority, but has also had an effect on the mindset of the majority.

In fact, even today it is not strange that homosexuals are criminalized and discriminated against, taking advantage of the most far-fetched excuses: from the appeal to a supposed “human nature” that coincidentally coincides with the description of what one believes should be love and family, even biblical quotes interpreted as oneself interests you, going through myths about homosexuality that are not backed by scientific consensus .

## Abandoning homophobia, step by step

In short, homophobia remains a reality even in the most affluent societies and with greater access to university education. In fact, many people experience a kind of cognitive dissonance when they understand that there is no reason to discriminate against homosexuals and at the same time be surprised by falling into beliefs or thoughts based on homophobia .

But all thought schemes can be modified, and this too. These are some keys to stop being homophobic, based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral psychology.

### 1. Consider the usefulness of your mental schemes

A mental scheme is the set of ideas and beliefs that acts as a matrix to interpret reality. It is what makes, for example, that some people relate the concept of “chemical substances” with technology, pollution and processed foods, and others relate it to almost everything that exists (and that is composed of atoms and molecules) .

In the case at hand, it is worth considering first whether the cognitive scheme that is being applied when thinking about the idea of ​​homosexuality is useful to understand this concept in the best possible way. This involves questioning whether stereotypes that were related to homosexuals are in themselves indispensable to understand these people. After all, you can be homosexual without meeting them

It also implies questioning the idea that homosexuality is an ideology and at the same time a sexual orientation, something that is logically impossible. Many of the ideas used to defend discrimination are based on criticism of ideological groups that are against homophobia, not homosexuality itself.

### 2. Consider the degree to which you believe in equality

The idea that all human beings are equal implies believing that, in the absence of very solid arguments based on scientific consensus to the contrary, all individuals must enjoy exactly the same rights .

Thus, a good way to perform a cognitive restructuring autonomously is to reflect on the reasons why it is believed that a minority such as that composed of homosexual people should not have the same rights as others. Are those beliefs well-founded? Is there a scientific consensus on the reasons why the treatment of these people should be different in certain aspects?

### 3. Write down the habits that feed homophobia

A person is what he thinks, but also what he does. That is why one way to stop being homophobic is to reflect on habits and habitual thought routes that fit with homophobia stay alert to prevent its appearance .

For example, think of homosexuality as an insult, or consider that all members of this minority fulfill the stereotypes that some people associate with the LGTB movement.

### 4. Learn to argue before homophobic comments

Reverse engineering against homophobic beliefs of others it is a good way to detect its faults and its logical cracks. This, in addition to being very useful to externalize your change of perspective, is very intellectually stimulating, because it involves discovering new reasonings that open up through the old beliefs that you previously held.

## What Putin thinks about gays – BBC NEWS (June 2021).

A series of apps sponsored by a non-denominational ministry called Setting Captives Free claim to cure you of any sins through faith and prayer alone. They have apps for depression and alcoholism and gambling, but by far the most popular one, called “Door of Hope,” will fully cure that pesky moral disease called homosexuality.

In only 60 days, no less!

Disregarding all evidence that the ex-gay movement is incredibly damaging to more than 90% of those who undergo “treatment” (because they clearly just didn’t believe in God enough), Setting Captives Free wants you to know that you were not “born this way.” Homosexuality is a sin that you need to purge from your system, and the only way to do it is to follow their three-parts-a-day program.

While the app is only downloadable from Google Play (iTunes and the 69,822+ people who petitioned them don’t believe in conversion therapy for some reason), there is an abridged version available on the ministryвЂ™s website. I skimmed through 10 days’ worth of their cure, and this is what I learned you need to do to heal thyself:

Admit that you have homosexual tendencies, but donвЂ™t say anything else about it. Anything “graphic or overly detailed” is just giving attention to Satan.

We don’t want you to actually think about your experiences or emotions, we just want to hear you say that you’re wrong and you need help.

### 2. Stop Calling Your Homosexuality an “Alternative Lifestyle”: It’s “Wicked,” “Evil,” and a “Sin”:

These are the only things you should ever call it from now on, preferably in hushed tones. Even better, feel free to refer to your homosexuality with water-based metaphors: It’s a “broken cistern” that will never satisfy your thirst. ItвЂ™s also “like drinking out of a sewer and expecting to take in cool, clear spring water.” Is that what you what?

### 3. Change For the Right Reasons (the Glory Of God):

After all, homosexuality is nothing but “lust, porn, and sexual immorality,” sins that are applicable only to gay people and never to straight ones. But don’t change to make others happy or to save your family. Change only because we (a group of random people) are telling you that that’s the only way for you to “become normal, and acceptable to God.”

### 4. Always Read Scripture, But Only the Parts We Tell You to:

Who knew curing homosexuality could be so much like doing high school homework? We’ll provide you with a few carefully-selected verses every day and follow it up with our interpretation. Read only this over and over until you have fully embraced our reading of the Bible.

### 5. Remove Yourself From Anything Even Remotely Gay:

Don’t watch porn (again, it’s only a gay thing), don’t go on gay websites, and most of all, certainly don’t associate with gay people. Any of those things might make you feel like your homosexuality is a natural part of your identity and can be accepted by those around you.

### 6. Realize That Being Homosexual Makes You Feel Alone

Forget that we told you to shut yourself away from most of the world, and ignore the idea that maybe gay people feel so alone because of the discriminatory and hateful attitudes that they face, helped by people like us. Feeling alone? Try not being so gay.

### 7. Reconcile With Those Who Tried to Help You Stop Being Gay:

All those people who called you “faggot” and told you that you were going to Hell? They really had your best interests at heart. Apologize profusely.

### 8. Always Remember:

Because this phrase hasn’t been overused at all.

### 9. Imagine Yourself as “Broken”:

Only when you are “utterly broken” will you find God and freedom. Ignore the fact that 90% of people leave conversion therapy feeling broken in a very real, psychologically damaging way, or that many attempt suicide. Reduce yourself to nothing so we can shape you how we want.

### 10. Know That You Will Be Saved If You Believe

This is the most important lesson of all. If you truly believe in God and want to change your sinful ways, God will remove all homosexual urges from your mind. But if at the end of this 60-day therapy, you still have homosexual tendencies, then you didn’t really believe and you didn’t really want to change. Rinse and repeat.

## Tackling Ideas About Gay Marriage, Gay Parenting, and Gay Sex

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At some point or other you are going to encounter people who want to argue with you about being gay. Maybe they are claiming that gay sex is “gross.” Or that gay marriage is unnatural. Possibly they want to convince you that same sex parents are bad for kids and gay parenting should be banned, or they feel that you must be convinced that your sexual orientation is a choice.

So how do you deal with these blowhards who seem to think it is fun to get down in the mud about something that may be not be a personal or emotional issue for them, but sure is for you? Here are a few suggestions.

## Agree to Disagree

Just because you are queer, this does not mean you have to constantly be the communities spokesperson. You do not need to engage in every argument out their, nor do you need to be well verseed on every issue related to the GLBT community, just because you are part of it. It is perfectly fine for you to say, “You know what, it seems like we feel differently about this, so let’s just leave it at that.”

## Educate Yourself

If you do decide to engage, you will fare better if you actually know about this issues. Arguments like, “the Bible says it’s wrong to be gay,” can be refuted pretty easily with just a little knowledge of what the Bible actually says (if you aren’t a reader, check out the great documentary, For the Bible Tells Me So.) Similarly, arguments against gay marriage, or gay parenting, assumptions about HIV risk can all be dismantled pretty easily if you just know a few key facts.

## Come Up With Some Quick Responses to Common Arguments

Here are some ways you can reply to common homophobic arguments. If someone says:

It’s not natural. You can remind that person that same sex behavior has been documented across history among a wide range of societies. It has also been found among a huge number of animals. You might also want to add that legal unions, whether it is a gay marriage or a straight, are not inherent parts of the human condition, but rather rituals we have invented. And that while it is true that two men and two women can not “naturally” have a baby themselves, in a world of adoptions, foster parents, single parent households and assisted reproductive technologies gay parenting is no less natural.

It’s gross. Look when someone says it is gross to be gay, they are often thinking about what two men do in bed and imagining anal sex. You can alway explain that a) not all gay men have anal sex, b) plenty of heterosexual couple do have anal sex, and c) most people who regularly have anal sex do it because it feels good for both people and with a few basic nods to hygiene and safety is no “grosser” than plenty of other sex acts most people don’t freak out about. But really, anal sex is actually besides the point. There are loads of things that gross one person out that are completely acceptable to another. That’s just life.

The Bible says it’s wrong. Now even if you are a religious person, this argument doesn’t hold a lot of weight. If someone tells you, “The Bible says its a sin to be gay,” You might want to ask them if they also think the hundreds of other proclamations (don’t eat shellfish, do marry your dead brothers widow, don’t work on the Sabbath, do leave a sacrifice at the temple, don’t touch a woman who has her period, do cut off the hand of a thief) are sins that should be met with the extreme punishments described.

Think of the children. Has anyone ever told you that gay men are child molesters and peodphiles? A lot of people seem to think this, but this is not based on any reality. In fact, the vast majority of pedophile identify as heterosexual men, regardless or the gender of their victim. Oh and to those who say that gay parenting or gay marriage is bad for kids, please check out this article, Hey Conservatives — Gays Are Better Parents Than You.

Whether it is an argument against legalizing gay marriage or criminalizing gay parenting, a rant about gays in the military or a lamentation over how “hard” it is to be gay, dealing with someone who is trying to argue that an aspect of who you are is wrong can be maddening and painful. You sure don’t need to engage, but it is wise to have a plan for these situations!

May 17, 2016 · 4 min read

Perhaps the greatest debate of our time is the debate concerning who should be allowed to love whom. Let me put this across simply — I don’t think anyone should get to choose who we love, be it in a marriage, about your friends or the sexuality of the person you’re loving. There’s only one thing that matters in this perspective and that is consent. Without consent, nothing works. But, I digress.

Today is International Day A g ainst Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. The cause calls for everyone around the world to pay heed to the discrimination that the LGBTQ community faces on a consistent basis. How can we stop this? It’s not easy. And it takes more than just one person. But everything that we believe in, our value systems by themselves, are a product of the views society has impregnated within us. To prove this point, I’d like to introduce you to a video that I came across by chance on Facebook.

This video addresses just a few of the issues that gays and lesbians in India (and probably around the world) face every day. Do you notice how every single one of the silly questions that straight people ask gay men are an exaggerated view of how normality is supposed to be based, which in this case compares a gay or lesbian relationship to a “normal” relationship. But let me ask you — what really is a normal relationship? By trying to impose our views of what normal is onto a relationship between two people of the same sex, we are telling them that their relationship is probably improbable. Think about it. Why should there even be a man and a woman in any homosexual relationship?

By telling them that there needs to be a hierarchy in terms of the partners roles and duties, we are instilling within them the requisite for a patriarchal system, which is what our society runs on, which is where our society stands wrong.

And you can see this even in the classification of homosexual relationships among straight people. Lesbians are seen as inherently hot and over-sexualized. Bisexuals are the perfect middle group, the ones who will sleep with both sexes, who will probably be getting into threesomes, or sometimes, the ones who can’t really decide who they want to fuck, so they go about doing both until they see the light. And gays are the ones everyone (and I mean, everyone) hates and is really disgusted by.

And let’s not even get started on how transsexuals and transgenders are viewed in this country. Historically, transsexuals and transgenders were said to be magical and highly esteemed individuals with powers and value beyond our knowledge. Where did our respect for them go? They’ve been reduced to hiding within their violent and sometimes, murderous communities for the sake of protection. Because they would much rather stay in a community that is savage but accepting than in the larger community that abhors them. I had the privilege of meeting a small group of transgenders fighting against their injustice during my postgraduate days for a paper on feminism studies. They told me stories of how men would come to them for sex (prostitution is a common job profile among the transgender and transsexual community) and at the end of the ordeal, would send them away, disgusted at them. What baffles me is that they are not disgusted with themselves for actually indulging in (what could possibly be) any extra marital affair or relationship, or even disgusted at themselves for hiding their true orientation (which is also common among the customers they they receive), but instead they are disgusted with the partner whom they have slept with. Again, why are these men acting out this way against these people? Perhaps it is the sound reasoning that has been ingrained into them which tells them that women must be degraded into nothing, because they are only worth that much.

My intention is not to sound preachy, but to bring to view how our entire flawed perceptive rests upon the way society views us, the way society wants us to be, how society will continue to treat the “weaker” sex. And we can rise against that. I urge you to think outside this box you’ve grown up in.

You may believe that you are supportive of the LGBTQ community and are fighting against what they face, but how many times have you used the word ‘gay’ as a synonym for stupid or weird in the last 24 hours? How many times have you looked at a transgender and shown them a face of utter disgust, rudely asking them to move out of your way? How many times have you called a girlfriend ‘bi’ for affectionately kissing another girl? Every time we subject someone to any of these orientations as adjectives, we are unconsciously reminding ourselves of the beliefs that society has rooted within us — this is unacceptable, this is wrong, this is insupportable. Worse still, you might be telling someone who has no voice in the matter, who has been hiding under the covers, but is fearfully looking forward to letting someone else understand their plight — this is unacceptable, this is wrong, this is insupportable. Don’t be that person. Try your hardest to never be that person.

As a conclusion, I would just like to say this — gender is a scale, and people vary across miles on that extent. Much like the flexibility of gender, we must also be flexible. Flexible enough not to question someone’s feelings for another person, because they know what they feel. Flexible enough not to try and reduce a person because of their sexual orientation. Flexible enough not to ruin the moral compass of anyone. Rise against the the flaws that our society insists we follow.

The most widely debated topic about homophobia is the question as to what can be done to stop it. Well, there are several things that can be done to stop homophobia in terms of culture as whole, homosexuals can do something to stop it themselves, and lastly the media can contribute to putting an end to these continuous homophobic hate crimes. Firstly, in terms of culture, we all need to pitch in to help put an end to homophobia starting with the higher authorities. In 1998 the Supreme Court of Canada stated that someone cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation. Through this law, homophobia has become one step closer to becoming diminished. Through this law they are allowed to express themselves freely without fear of discrimination. Homosexuals can do several things to put an end to homophobia as well. As of 1998 several Gay Straight Alliances have been created to put an end to the social injustice that is homophobia, including the LGBT association which targets lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transsexuals and attempts to allow them to coincide with society creating a more versatile environment. This affects not only homosexual people but the community as a whole as it may lead to the end of homophobia within our society. Media is another area that can contribute immensely to put a stop to homophobia. Media discourages homophobia in several parts of the entertainment world with one of the greatest being in the music industry. Several members of the media industry have contributed to the stoppage of homophobia in their own ways, whether it was coming out and saying “it’s okay to be homosexual”, with Adam Lambert recently admitting to being a homosexual, or by developing campaigns or songs to promote homosexuality, such as Lady Gaga’s new song “Born This Way”. Through these media campaigns homosexuals are being affected in a positive aspect as they now feel more comfortable with their sexuality. Before artists like these in the media began to support their sexuality, homophobes remained hostile towards this issue until they saw their role models become educated and open to it thus changing their perspective on the matter. Homophobes are also now seeing these campaigns and discovering that if their favorite artist says it is okay then it must be okay, in turn helping to put a stop homophobia, and creating less of a negative environment for homosexuals. Together, we as a society can put an end to homophobia!

It’s 2021, bruh! Homophobia is illegal.

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“It’s 2021, bruh! Homophobia is illegal.” How we wish saying just this was enough to shut homophobic folks up. Especially those who are young and Internet savvy. But, homophobia is so deep-rooted that we can’t just ‘bruh’ people out of it! If we want to make a real dent in a homophobic culture, we have to be patient. But also clever. Facts and figures, and educating oneself about sexuality are crucial. But sometimes, our biases keep us from changing our point of view even when we have been shown proof that we are wrong. In cases like this – and for homophobes like this, who know about different kinds of sexuality, etc – one has to put on that manipulator hat. Change their behaviour by changing their environment.

Homophobia is a dislike or prejudice or negative bias against homosexual individuals. In simple words, a homophobic person doesn’t like or gets uncomfortable around someone who is gay or lesbian, or bisexual.

Homophobia is rampant in our country, and despite the decriminalisation of same sex relationships, the LGBT community continues to face harassment and isolation. Below are a few injustices that homophobia leads to:

• Forced marriages – Many people believe that marriage will “cure” homosexuality. It doesn’t, because homosexuality is not a disease to begin with. But, these forced marriages are inevitably unhappy marriages.
• Conversion therapy – Like marriage, conversion therapy is torturous for homosexual individuals. You can’t “convert” someone’s sexual orientation. If sexuality worked like that, then that means straight people can also be “converted”.
• Bullying and harassment – From playgrounds to offices, the LGBT community faces a lot of bullying and harassment. This takes a toll on their mental health.
• Having to live a closeted life – Very few people in our country are able to come out to their families. They live a closeted life where they have to hide their relationships from their loved ones. This can’t be easy for anybody! This hiding is not limited only to family. In many professions, homosexuality becomes grounds for discrimination. Many people don’t want to rent housing to individuals from LGBTQIA+ community. There are too many struggles the community has to face, because of homophobia!

Here are 5 simple ways to deal with homophobic people without getting into a futile argument:

## Don’t laugh at their homophobic jokes

People make jokes because they like making others laugh. When someone laughs at one type of joke, they will come up with other jokes of the same type. If no one laughs at their jokes, they will eventually stop making those kinds of jokes. So, f*#k politeness or whatever it is that makes you think you owe a homophobic joke a laugh.

## Make them hang out with your queer friends

The best way to normalise different types of sexuality for someone is to humanise it. If the homophobic people in your life don’t have any friends from the LGBTQIA+ community, then that’s a huge problem. One learns to accept different ways of living only if they see it. Otherwise, it’s all words and no action. Next time you’re casually hanging out, have your “different” friend/family groups together in one room and make it a pleasant experience for everyone.

Pro-tip: If you’re inviting your queer friends to hang out with a homophobe, you have to be the gatekeeper. It’s your responsibility then to make sure your queer friends don’t get uncomfortable. If something inappropriate is said, you should nip it in the bud.

## Recommend TV shows and movies that have totally loveable queer characters

Of late, there have been many shows and movies with realistic and relatable representation of the LGBTQIA+ community. Next time a homophobic friend or family member asks you for a recommendation, suggest something with a queer character they’ll like. Some examples of recent movies or shows that are truly inclusive when it comes to sexual orientations are Made in Heaven, Schitt’s Creek, The Married Woman, Geeli Puchi, Supernova. Also, check out this list of Indian TV shows and movies with queer characters we love!

## Casually tell them successful queer stories

Next time you’re having a gossip session with that homophobic person about someone’s love life, drop in a story about a happy, or madly-in-love same-sex couple. Talk about it in the same breath as a heterosexual couple, with the same excitement and happiness for them. Avoid using labels and focus on the love that the two share – this will make it very difficult for the homophobic person to pass any judgements, and even if they do, it will be easier for you to push back. But more importantly, people are more receptive to new ideas when they are in their comfort zone, and in a language that is familiar to them. So, when they’re talking about love, you also talk about love – just between two people of the same sex.

## Also casually tell them how people from the LGBTQIA+ community suffer because of lack of inclusion

Sharing stories of oppression is a crucial step toward changing the status quo. Next time there’s a conversation about all the suffering in the world, make sure you mention that queer friend who struggled with depression, had to keep their sexual orientation a secret from the landlord, and was disowned by their parent(s) for being gay or lesbian. If all your queer friends are well-adjusted, then you can always remind them that isolation and bullying hurt everyone, including people from the LGBT community.

Dear Gay People,

Check out the following 10 ways to deal with homophobic people that will upset them more than they will upset you!

1. Glare at them like they are retarded

Source: NBC

2. Tell them to get a life

Source: myhyperreality.com

3. Piss them off by being even more fabulous than you already are

4. Tell them to shut it

Source: giphy.com

5. If they still won’t shut it, shut them off yourself

Source: giphy.com

6. Roll your eyes at them

7. Keep rolling your eyes at them till they get dizzy

Source: Paramount Pictures / Via giphy.com

8. Bitch slap them

Source: uproxx.com

9. Bitch slap them one more time just cos it feels good

Source: reddit

10. Walk away with style

Ok in all seriousness, homophobes aren’t worth your time so just treat them as noise pollution.

You might also like to read:

## A beginner’s guide to healing your gut & feeling amazing

Medically reviewed by Dr. Anthony Gustin, DC, MS on September 12th, 2019 — Written by Spencer Brooks

• What is Leaky Gut?
• Symptoms of Leaky Gut
• Causes of Leaky Gut
• The Leaky Gut Diet: How Keto Can Help
• Other Ways to Heal Leaky Gut

You may have heard of leaky gut syndrome before. Leaky gut happens when your intestinal lining gets damaged, allowing the contents of your small intestine — undigested food particles, gut bacteria, and more — to leak into your bloodstream, triggering an immune response.

Leaky gut is becoming more and more common thanks to food sensitivities, chronic stress, inflammation, nutritional deficiencies, and imbalances in gut flora.

The good news is that a ketogenic diet can help improve symptoms of leaky gut and the health problems associated with it. A high-fat, low-carb diet like the keto diet can relieve a lot of the inflammation and intestinal barrier damage that contributes to leaky gut.

This article will cover what leaky gut is, its causes and symptoms, how keto can help with leaky gut, and a few other ways you can repair your intestinal wall and get rid of leaky gut.

## What is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut is a condition in which your intestinal barrier (the lining of your gut) develops holes, allowing the contents of your small intestine to leak into your bloodstream.

Your gut lining is designed to separate the contents of your digestive system from the rest of your body. Its goal is to isolate toxins, pathogens, poisons, inflammatory compounds, and other damaging things that you might eat, protecting the rest of your body from any ill effects they may cause[ * ].

However, your gut lining isn’t totally impermeable. It lets certain beneficial molecules out of your gut and into your bloodstream, including signaling molecules that allow your gut to communicate with the rest of your body.

For that reason, your gut has tiny holes called tight junctions that are like gatekeepers between your gut and your bloodstream. Tight junctions stand guard at your intestinal wall, deciding what gets out of your gut and what stays.

But if your intestinal wall becomes damaged, those tight junctions begin to open up. They stop regulating the right molecules, allowing damaging compounds and foreign substances to leak out of your small intestine and into your blood[ * ]. Researchers call this issue leaky gut syndrome.

## Symptoms of Leaky Gut

There are a few different symptoms of leaky gut.

• Brain fog and fatigue are common early symptoms of leaky gut. In fact, leaky gut may be misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome, or may be a root cause of it[ * ].
• Skin problems like eczema or dermatitis may be a result of leaky gut as well[ * ]. Intestinal permeability only seems to link to skin issues in certain people[ * ].
• Digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and other types of inflammatory bowel disease can either develop or worsen as a result of leaky gut[ * ]. Symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, and general digestive distress.
• Celiac disease , type 1 diabetes , rheumatoid arthritis , and other autoimmune diseases may be influenced by leaky gut. An increasingly supported theory in the medical community suggests that leaky gut causes foreign substances to leave the small intestine, which triggers an excessive immune response and can make immune system issues worse[ * ].
• New food intolerances and/or food allergies are signs of leaky gut syndrome[ * ].

If you have several of the symptoms listed above, you may want to consider improving your gut barrier. Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to bring your gut into balance and strengthen your digestive tract.

## Causes of Leaky Gut

There are several potential causes of leaky gut.

It’s hard to believe, but a few years ago, very few people were familiar with the term “leaky gut”.

Now, everyone’s talking about it, and I even wrote a whole book on the subject. (1) One of the main reasons that people are talking about it so much is that leaky gut has affected (or will affect) the vast majority of the population – thanks to many modern conveniences that we enjoy daily.

We oversanitize. (2) We use antibacterial cleaners to wash away harmful bacteria that could make us sick, but they also wipe away beneficial bacteria that could boost our immune systems. We rely on pre-packaged, highly processed foods, which are full of genetically modified foods, chemicals, and other toxins. They feed bad bacteria and kill off the good bacteria, which naturally occurs in our guts. We pump our bodies full of antibiotics and other drugs at the first sign of a stuffy nose. Meanwhile, our go-go-go society has us checking email 24/7, bouncing from one meeting to the next, and feeling more stressed than ever. And all of these factors contribute to the development of leaky gut.

Do you struggle with bloating, gas, constipation, or other digestive issues? We’ve created a FREE guide to healing your gut naturally.
Click here to get your FREE copy of our Digestion Guide! [tweet_quote]Sanitizers, processed foods and stress are to blame for leaky gut syndrome.[/tweet_quote]

While the root causes of leaky gut are basically the same in everyone, the results can vary considerably, including psoriasis and irritable bowel syndrome. The good news is that you can start healing your gut, no matter what your symptoms are. In addition to a clean, healing diet, supplements are a great place to start. (3)

Here are the five best supplements for healing leaky gut:

## Soil-based Probiotics

Probiotics are absolutely essential when it comes to healing leaky gut. They can help restore the balance of bacteria in the gut by replenishing the good guys and crowding out the bad ones. (Experts estimate that a healthy ratio is 85% good/neutral bacteria to 15% bad bacteria.) But not all probiotics are created equal.

Our ancestors didn’t have to take probiotic supplements because they spent the majority of their lives outdoors, and they planted and harvested their own foods. (4) So they regularly came in contact with all the beneficial bacteria that occurs naturally in the soil. [tweet_quote]You don’t have to eat dirt to fix your leaky gut. Try a soil-based probiotic pill![/tweet_quote]

Today, we have soil-based probiotics (SBOs) that are designed to mimic these bacteria. Because SBOs are formulated to mimic bacteria that thrive in harsh, natural, outdoor environments, they can also withstand the harsh conditions of the human digestive tract. In other words, they’ll actually arrive at their intended destination – where they can start taking root and flourishing. That can’t be said about many commercial probiotics, which are actually destroyed in the body before they ever reach the gut.

## Digestive Enzymes

Food is the very thing that’s supposed to give you energy and strength, but when you suffer from leaky gut, food can become your worst enemy. In many cases, the digestive system has been compromised, so most foods are not properly broken down. The increased permeability of the gut then allows these undigested food particles to leak through the gut and into the bloodstream – where they wreak all kinds of havoc and cause allergies, skin rashes, and other issues.

One way to combat leaky gut is through the use of digestive enzymes. (5) There are many full-spectrum enzymes on the market, which work to break down proteins, starches, fats, and dairy. They ensure that there will be fewer food toxins passing through the gut and causing further damage.

## L-Glutamine

L-glutamine is an amino acid supplement that is critical for healing leaky gut. (6) By definition, a leaky gut is damaged. It has increased permeability (i.e., tiny holes) that allow toxins, undigested food proteins, and others foreign particles to pass into the bloodstream. L-glutamine coats the intestinal lining and starts repairing that damage. It also helps thicken cell walls and prevents future infections.

## DGL Licorice Root

Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) is an adaptogenic herb that’s one of my favorite supplements for correcting leaky gut. (7) It helps maintain the mucosal lining of the stomach, while also improving acid function (a key way to properly break down food).

Licorice is also beneficial in the treatment of adrenal fatigue, which can be a side effect of stress-related leaky gut. In addition to taxing the adrenal glands, cortisol (the hormone that’s elevated when we feel stressed out) inhibits the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while also allowing the bad bugs to proliferate. Licorice can help keep cortisol levels under control, which will put a stop to the domino effects that trigger leaky gut. [tweet_quote]Licorice can heal your gut while also fixing adrenal fatigue.[/tweet_quote]

There are multiple formulations of licorice root on the market, but generally speaking, the the removal of glycyrrhizin makes it safer for a large portion of the population. When taken in excess, glycyrrhizin can cause certain side effects, including increased blood pressure, reduced potassium levels, and edemas. This overdose can be particularly problematic for pregnant women, as well as those with blood pressure and liver and kidney issues.

## Collagen

Bone broth has been the health food du jour of late, and for good reason. Among other health benefits, it contains the amino acids proline and glycine, which are instrumental in repairing a damaged intestinal lining. It can also help boost gastric juices (and again, restoring healthy digestion is key) – as well as a healthy mucosal lining.

But for those short on time, you don’t have to constantly simmer gallons of bone broth to get those benefits. The key component of bone broth that is behind those miraculous benefits is actually the collagen, which is readily available in powder form. (If you’re looking for a beef-free alternative, I recently launched my line of bone broth protein, which is derived entirely from chicken.)

(Read This Next: The Top 10 Natural Detox Foods)

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack. Read full profile

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You’ve got a difficult choice to make.

You are up for a promotion on your current job and suddenly, out of nowhere, you are confronted with another, very attractive job opportunity. The salary and benefits are great for both your current job and for this new position.

If you stay on your current job you eliminate having to deal with all of the woes of transitioning to a new job and you may get the promotion you’ve been working so hard for these last five and half years.

On the other hand, if you take the new job, you will be making more money, you’ll have more responsibilities, you’ll have to learn a new system and make new friends.

What should you do? Should you play it safe? Should you take the risk? What does your gut tell you? Should you even listen to your gut?

## What is Intuition?

Often times when you’re faced with a difficult decision, you just know what the right choice is. You feel the answer in your gut. That’s what experts refer to as your intuition. Intuition is defined as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.” And while intuition [1] may seem to be some instinctual and mysterious internal process, it’s actually a form of unconscious reasoning. It is a process that is rooted in the way our brains collect, store, synthesize and recall information.

The problem so many of us have with trusting our intuition is two-fold. First, the process in which we undergo to arrive at our “gut feeling” is an almost entirely, subconscious process. Therefore, you have no idea what data and processes you used to arrive at your conclusion. The second issue is that we often times confuse fear with intuition. We literally feel fear in our gut. This feeling can lead us to believe that our gut is telling us to avoid danger.

## When To Trust your Gut

So, when should you trust your intuition? And how do you distinguish between fear and a legitimate gut feeling? Below are three tips that can help you determine when you should go with your gut and when you should get a second opinion.

This is so important because intuition is a highly subconscious process. Understanding how you think and process information builds confidence in your internal reasoning process. You assimilate information and use inductive and deductive reasoning constantly. The trick is to shift the process from the background to the forefront of your consciousness.

Consider a routine task you do daily without actually thinking about it–such as driving a car. Just as you perform all of the necessary actions to operate a vehicle without actually thinking about it, if asked, you could reverse engineer your thought process. You could describe circumstances, conditions, other people’s motivations, and your own behaviors using the assumptions and calculations done unconsciously. And while this is an unnatural and somewhat difficult process in the beginning, with time and practice you will be able to understand how you think and quickly track your thought process. Here are a few tips to assist you evaluating your thoughts:

• Observe own thoughts. Ask questions like, “What is causing me to think this way? What belief is forming this thought? What pressure is making me believe my assumption is true?”
• Practice “beginner’s mind.” The concept of “beginner’s mind” has it’s origin in Zen Buddhism [2] and encourages you to adopt a fresh perspective when looking at things. It involves considering a multitude of possibilities. Try to adopt an attitude of openness, eagerness, and steer away from personal bias when considering your choices.
• Play Devil’s Advocate. For each option, find reasonable, logical and legitimate reasons why you should choose the other option. You could do this by simply making a list of pros and cons for each decision. Measure out the pros and cons and see if your reasonable and measured deduction matches your gut feeling.

Frequently practicing these mental exercises will lead to you knowing when to trust your instincts and when to seek the advice of others.

### 2. Distinguish Fear from Intuition

When trying to distinguish if your gut feeling is something intuitive or good old fashioned fear, consider the following aspects:

• Fear is highly emotional- Fear is emotionally charged and worries about the future or the past. Fear is often anxious, dark or heavy. It has cruel, demeaning or delusional content and considers past emotional wounds.
• Intuition is emotionally neutral– Intuition doesn’t carry overly positive or negative emotions, it is benign. Intuition is logical and not emotional. Intuition focuses only on the present and does not consider past wounds. It is a gathering, sorting and synthesizing of evidence. It does not attach itself to your emotions. It brings with it a steady calm

One of the best ways to determine if your gut is feeling fear or if it has arrived at a logical conclusion is to make a list of everything that scares you. Then it becomes much easier to recognize when a gut feeling is referring to one of your fears versus being logical. If it’s fear based–get a second opinion, if not, go with your gut.

### 3. Don’t dismiss your inner skeptic

Our instincts are the primal internal urges and alarms that help keep us alive. Listening to and interpreting these urges is especially critical when a decision affects your safety and well-being. In situations such as the initial stages of dating, hiring someone to babysit your child, decisions concerning your health or when making investment decisions–in short, any decision requiring you to trust another individual–you must trust your instincts.

We’ve all said something similar to, “if I would have just went with what I thought, this never would have happened.” And the truth is nine times out of ten there are warning signs, red flags and things that feel “a little off” about a situation, which we choose to dismiss. Ignoring these inclinations could be costly and even fatal.

In his book, “The Gift of Fear,” author Gavin de Becker explains how our primal fight or flight instincts work. He explains that what we refer to as “a feeling” is actually the result of hundreds of quick calculations done subconsciously that register as a physical response. We feel suddenly afraid or uneasy. When there is no logical explanation for fear (it’s not tied to a past or present event or an emotional scar) you should absolutely trust your gut. And I’m talking about the heart pounding, pit in your stomach type of fear. Your brain has done the calculations and something about the situation is wrong. Becker has found that 85% of the time our calculations are accurate. The other 15% of the time our calculations are not necessarily wrong, just slightly askew.

Your psychic sense may be just below the surface – however, you wouldn’t know unless you were able to identify your ability and hone it to work for you. Clairsentience is one of the more common intuitive gifts and one of the four main gifts that we will talk about in this article.

## What Is Clairsentience?

Clairsentience, when broken down to its base components, means ‘clear-feeling’. Generally, when a person is clairsentient their psychic information comes to them via feeling or sensing subtle energies around them. People who are clairsentient can sense pass what is physically there and pick up energy. It is the most down-to-earth of the four intuitive gifts.

When a clairsentient is using their ability, it often takes the shape of a gut feeling that can be formed about a person, place, or situation. Clairsentients tend to use their ability every day. Here are a few examples of what clairsentience looks like:

• You get a slight discomfort only to turn around and find that someone’s staring at you.
• You’re overly sensitive and can become overwhelmed in large crowds or in places with a violent past.
• When you enter a room, you can sense the mood and can tell if people are relaxed or if there’s tension.

## Symptoms of Clairsentience

If you aren’t exactly sure if you or someone you know are clairsentient, here are some signs to look out for:

• They get a gut feeling about people they’ve just met or about situations or events they’re about to attend.
• They can easily pick up on another person’s feelings and feel what it’s like for another person.
• They’ll have physical sensations such as chills, a feeling of heaviness or lightness depending on the person they’re around or situation they are in.

You may often hear a clairsentient talk about a gut feeling they have about a person, place, or thing. This sensation is the hallmark of a clairsentient. Gut feelings are intense emotional responses and can either feel like a sinking in the pit of your stomach or a light-excited feeling. The difference between the two will usually let the clairsentient know whether they are on the right track or if they’re in a situation that isn’t going to work out in the end or that needs to be avoided at all costs. It can even help them figure out whether to trust someone or not.

Because of a clairsentient’s heightened sense of feeling they are often very empathic and may even be an accomplished empath. Not only can they feel what others are feeling but they may even be able to absorb some of those emotions that are given off by other people. Sometimes this can negatively affect they’re mood and cause them to feel emotions that aren’t theirs.

Clairsentients also tend to feel sensations in their bodies when they are tuning into other energies. These can come in the form of a tingling or pressure when a clairsentient tunes into the energies around them.

Related Content:

## How to Develop Clairsentience

If you believe you are Clairsentient, here are a few ways that you can hone your abilities:

• Quiet Your Mind: Clearing out all the loud thoughts and distractions will allow you to become more aware of your body. Learning to listen to what your body tells you is just the first step to developing your clairsentience. It will also make it easier to pick up on the energies around you and hone your clairsentient abilities. Meditation is a great start for this. If you haven’t meditated before try starting out with five minutes of silent meditation every day.
• Be Aware of your Feelings: Knowing how you feel at all times and being aware of your natural responses will help you gage when you have a sudden shift in mood or when you have a feeling or express an emotion that isn’t yours. Knowing how you feel or how you would normally feel when you enter a new situation will help you differentiate between your inherent feelings and the feelings that you receive from your Higher Self. Learning from yourself and how to decipher the subtle feelings you get will go a long way in the development of your clairsentience.

The easiest way to start developing your clairsentience is by going with your gut. Paying attention to your gut feeling and learning to trust them is the first step to becoming an accomplished clairsentient. Once you have the basics down the rest should develop naturally over time with ample practice and a keen awareness of your emotions and feelings. Most of your clairsentient feelings will only make sense in hindsight so remember to use your journal.

Your psychic sense may be just below the surface – however, you wouldn’t know unless you were able to identify your ability and hone it to work for you. Clairsentience is one of the more common intuitive gifts and one of the four main gifts that we will talk about in this article.

## What Is Clairsentience?

Clairsentience, when broken down to its base components, means ‘clear-feeling’. Generally, when a person is clairsentient their psychic information comes to them via feeling or sensing subtle energies around them. People who are clairsentient can sense pass what is physically there and pick up energy. It is the most down-to-earth of the four intuitive gifts.

When a clairsentient is using their ability, it often takes the shape of a gut feeling that can be formed about a person, place, or situation. Clairsentients tend to use their ability every day. Here are a few examples of what clairsentience looks like:

• You get a slight discomfort only to turn around and find that someone’s staring at you.
• You’re overly sensitive and can become overwhelmed in large crowds or in places with a violent past.
• When you enter a room, you can sense the mood and can tell if people are relaxed or if there’s tension.

## Symptoms of Clairsentience

If you aren’t exactly sure if you or someone you know are clairsentient, here are some signs to look out for:

• They get a gut feeling about people they’ve just met or about situations or events they’re about to attend.
• They can easily pick up on another person’s feelings and feel what it’s like for another person.
• They’ll have physical sensations such as chills, a feeling of heaviness or lightness depending on the person they’re around or situation they are in.

You may often hear a clairsentient talk about a gut feeling they have about a person, place, or thing. This sensation is the hallmark of a clairsentient. Gut feelings are intense emotional responses and can either feel like a sinking in the pit of your stomach or a light-excited feeling. The difference between the two will usually let the clairsentient know whether they are on the right track or if they’re in a situation that isn’t going to work out in the end or that needs to be avoided at all costs. It can even help them figure out whether to trust someone or not.

Because of a clairsentient’s heightened sense of feeling they are often very empathic and may even be an accomplished empath. Not only can they feel what others are feeling but they may even be able to absorb some of those emotions that are given off by other people. Sometimes this can negatively affect they’re mood and cause them to feel emotions that aren’t theirs.

Clairsentients also tend to feel sensations in their bodies when they are tuning into other energies. These can come in the form of a tingling or pressure when a clairsentient tunes into the energies around them.

Related Content:

## How to Develop Clairsentience

If you believe you are Clairsentient, here are a few ways that you can hone your abilities:

• Quiet Your Mind: Clearing out all the loud thoughts and distractions will allow you to become more aware of your body. Learning to listen to what your body tells you is just the first step to developing your clairsentience. It will also make it easier to pick up on the energies around you and hone your clairsentient abilities. Meditation is a great start for this. If you haven’t meditated before try starting out with five minutes of silent meditation every day.
• Be Aware of your Feelings: Knowing how you feel at all times and being aware of your natural responses will help you gage when you have a sudden shift in mood or when you have a feeling or express an emotion that isn’t yours. Knowing how you feel or how you would normally feel when you enter a new situation will help you differentiate between your inherent feelings and the feelings that you receive from your Higher Self. Learning from yourself and how to decipher the subtle feelings you get will go a long way in the development of your clairsentience.

The easiest way to start developing your clairsentience is by going with your gut. Paying attention to your gut feeling and learning to trust them is the first step to becoming an accomplished clairsentient. Once you have the basics down the rest should develop naturally over time with ample practice and a keen awareness of your emotions and feelings. Most of your clairsentient feelings will only make sense in hindsight so remember to use your journal.

Read Time: | 5th December 2019

## Grace Forsythe from Viva!Health discovers that the smallest microbes can have the biggest of impacts on your gut health.

T he microbes that live in and on our bodies are easy to overlook – not that we could see them if we tried! We’ve known about these microscopic organisms for a long time, but only now is research beginning to reveal how important they really are to our health. Learn how to look after your gut bacteria.

#### What is the gut microbiota?

The term ‘microbiota’ is used to describe the collection of different microbes that inhabit different parts of the body. For example, the microbiota of the skin is made up of different species of microbes to the microbiota of the gut. These microbes can include bacteria, viruses and fungi.

#### Why is it important?

The microbiota of the gut has been found to have a particularly important role in our health and can influence our immunity, nutrition, behaviour, and can cause or prevent disease. The species, diversity and numbers of microbes in our gut have been linked to conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, fatty liver, obesity, type 2 diabetes, allergies, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It can be influenced by a huge number of factors including genetics, infections, medications, and even the method by which we’re born and whether we’re breastfed or not. The factor that we have the most control over is diet – and it’s a crucial one.

#### How can we keep our gut healthy?

Research into the gut microbiota and its role in health consistently shows that the healthiest diet is a vegan one. Here’s how the different components of our diet can affect our gut microbiota:

#### Fibre

Some criticise the vegan diet for including large amounts of food with low bio-availability, meaning that our bodies can’t absorb or use them. This includes foods high in fibre, which we cannot digest, so some believe there’s no point in eating it – but they forget that we’re not just feeding ourselves.

These foods are also known as ‘prebiotics’, and some types of bacteria in our gut use them to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These provide an energy source to the cells of the intestine and they also have protective anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer effects. One SCFA called butyrate has been shown to prevent colorectal cancer, and also to prevent the growth and spread of this disease when it is already present.

As these foods are not absorbed by the small intestine, they reach the large intestine where they can enrich the gut microbiota. Much of the typical western diet consists of highly processed foods where any intact plant cells are destroyed, removing the fibre. These foods are easily absorbed by the small intestine, and hence are less likely to travel further down to the large intestine, depriving the microbiota located there of nutrients.

Over time, if someone consumes mostly processed foods and meat and dairy products, the composition of their gut microbiota shifts. As there is less fibre passing through, the types of bacteria that depend on it for energy reduce in numbers and ‘bad’ types can fill their place. The good news is that it can also shift into a healthy state with the introduction of whole plant foods and the reduction of meat and dairy.

#### Protein

The type of protein we eat also influences our gut microbiota. Those who eat animal protein show reduced amounts of gut bacteria that can use plant carbohydrates. This results in less SCFAs being produced, increasing the risk of inflammation and colorectal cancer. SCFAs are not the only products produced by gut microbiota – some of them can also be harmful.

L-carnitine and choline are found in meat, egg yolks and dairy products and in very small amounts in some plants, and can be converted in the gut into trimethylamine. This is later converted into TMAO, associated with heart disease, kidney disease and neurological disorders. Some fish and other seafood are naturally high in TMAO.

Studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans have a significantly reduced ability to produce TMAO, even when foods high in L-carnitine are consumed. This is thought to be due to L-carnitine having a high bio-availability in the small intestines of vegetarians and vegans, meaning it doesn’t reach the bacteria in the large intestine that would convert it into trimethylamine. This may sound complicated but the take-home message is healthy food produces
a healthy gut.

#### Polyphenols

Polyphenols are found in all plants, but some have particularly high levels such as coffee, turmeric, herbs, tomatoes, nuts, garlic and cocoa. Some gut bacteria can free these compounds from the plant foods in the gut, so that the body can use them. Many polyphenols have strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to protect against chronic diseases.

Intuition. It’s that voice in the back of your head telling you that you should bring a raincoat or umbrella. It’s that sinking feeling you have in the pit of your stomach when feeling that you’ve been betrayed. It’s the instant connection that you have with your best friend. It’s that hunch that you should make that investment or .

Intuition has long been studied. From Aristotle to Carl Jung’s groundbreaking in the early 20th Century. More recently, intuition has been linked to successful executive management and been favored by successful individuals like Steve Jobs, who , “Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect, in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.”

However, intuition also has a bad reputation. Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer, a German social psychologist and director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, told that is because “it is not thought to be rational.” That can be a problem in “some situations, that demands too much information. Plus, it’s slow.”

Dr. Gigerenzer adds, “When a person relies on their gut feelings and uses the instinctual rule of thumb ‘go with your first best feeling and ignore everything else,’ it can permit them to outperform the most complex calculations.”

A gut feeling, Dr. Gigerenzer says, is “a judgment that is fast. It comes quickly into a person’s consciousness. The person doesn’t know why they have this feeling. Yet, this is strong enough to make an individual act on it. What a gut instinct is not is a calculation. You do not fully know where it comes from.”

Despite the misconceptions, intuition is beneficial. It’s a form of intelligence that .In fact, Bruce Kasanoff makes the argument in that intuition, is in fact, the highest form of intelligence.

“Sometimes, a corporate mandate or group-think or your desire to produce a certain outcome can cause your rational mind to go in the wrong direction. At times like these, it is intuition that holds the power to save you,” writes Kasanoff.

“That ‘bad feeling’ gnawing away at you is your intuition telling you that no matter how badly you might wish to talk yourself into this direction, it is the wrong way to go.”

“Smart people listen to those feelings,” concludes Kasanoff. “And the smartest people among us – the ones who make great intellectual leaps forward – cannot do this without harnessing the power of intuition.”

## How Intuition Enhances Your Life

“There is a growing body of anecdotal evidence, combined with solid research efforts, that suggests intuition is a critical aspect of how we humans interact with our environment and how, ultimately, we make many of our decisions,” Ivy Estabrooke, a program manager at the Office of Naval Research, .But, what exactly do intuitive people do differently and how does that enhance their lives?

They listen to their inner voice, instead of ignoring it. Slow down, spend some time by yourself, and listen to that voice in the back of your head. We often make our best decisions when we balance our instincts and rational thinking.

They practice empathetic accuracy. This means that they can read other’s body language and tone of voice to understand their thoughts and feelings. It’s an effective way to develop more meaningful relationships.

They create. “ does its best work when it functions intuitively,” .

They practice mindfulness. “ can help you filter out the mental chatter, weigh your options objectively, tune into your intuition and ultimately make a decision that you can stand behind completely,” explains the .

They trust their gut. There’s a reason why we refer to intuition as a “gut feeling.” Sometimes our body is telling us that something’s wrong. We either feel sick to our stomachs or still to get clammy. Don’t ignore your “Spidey” senses. They’re telling you that something isn’t right.

They analyze their dreams. While some dreams are nonsense, there are plenty of other dreams that are trying to tell us something. Don’t dismiss these dreams. The ask, “Where did this dream come from?” and “What can I take away from it?”

They let go of negative emotions. Your intuition can fail when you’re depressed or angry. And, those negative emotions aren’t good for your health or productivity as well. Those who are intuitive, however, are able to accept and let go of these emotions.

Make no mistake about it. Intuition is a powerful part of our intelligence that can assist us in making better decisions.

## Tips to Harness the Power of Intuition

Thankfully, intuition is something that we can turn up by following these tips:

What is your gut feeling? When making a decision, you’re probably going to be competing with your thoughts and your gut. Instead of overthinking or overanalyzing the situation, consider how you feel about making this decision, as opposed to thinking about it. Keep in mind that when listening to your gut you should be calm.

Inside or outside? Are there outside forces, your family, friends, or colleagues, pushing you in a certain direction? That’s not always a bad thing. But, remember, these outside forces always have an agenda, so take their advice with caution. Unlike your inner sense that always has your best interest at heart without an agenda attached.

Keep a journal. “Writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper—even if you ‘think’ you have little to say — helps the nonconscious mind open up,” , author of “The Intuitive Compass: Why the Best Decisions Balance Reason and Instinct.”

Knowing or thinking? “I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics,” Virgin Group founder Richard Branson in his memoir. “I tend to make up my mind about people within thirty seconds of meeting them.” In other words, sometimes we just know an answer before being asked and having time to think about.

Silence your inner critic. “Allow the inner dialogues to happen without fear or ridicule,” Cholle.

Remember, your gut feeling could be wrong. While you should listen to your gut or inner voice, there are times when it can be wrong. Before making any rash, , or major decisions, make sure that you instincts gel with your thoughts. For instance, you may have the gut feeling that you need to start a business, but you’re still going to need to think about your industry, audience, marketing, etc. After your research, you may decide that you need to develop a different business because the one you had won’t be profitable.

Image: john rampton

John Rampton is serial entrepreneur who now focuses on helping people to build amazing products and services that scale. He is founder of the online payments company Due. He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine. Time Magazine recognized John as a motivational speaker that helps people find a “Sense of Meaning” in their lives. He currently advises several companies in the bay area.

What exactly is intuition? You may believe it’s a supernatural force, or simply the brain analyzing facts at a subconscious level and sending you “hunches” based on that analysis. Either way, there’s no denying that intuition is a powerful force in the business world. Donald Trump and Conrad Hilton are just two of the business icons who’ve relied on intuition to help them make smarter business decisions.

Highly developed intuition is a “secret weapon,” says Judith Orloff, MD, professor of psychiatry at UCLA and author of Dr. Judith Orloff’s Guide to Intuitive Healing. “It gives you all kinds of information you wouldn’t normally have. This isn’t the brain analyzing; this is nonlinear knowledge. It’s a second kind of intelligence. You want to use both.”

But what if you’re someone like me who depends on analysis and isn’t especially intuitive? Never fear, Orloff says. There are simple techniques you can use to develop your intuition and start listening to your nonlinear self. And they work for everyone. “People can develop their intuition even if they think they don’t have it,” she says. After all, intuition is in large part messages from the right side of the brain. And all of us have one of those. Well-developed intuition can seem like a superpower, she adds. “People get these amazing flashes.”

Ready to give it a try? Here are four simple steps that are sure to increase your intuitive powers:

## 1. Listen to your gut. Literally.

Believe it or not, your digestive system can help improve your intuition. “There are neurotransmitters in your gut, so if you get a gut feeling, it’s not good to ignore that,” Orloff says. Enhance that aspect of your intuition by checking in with your gut when you have decisions to make.

For instance, if you’re hiring someone, set an intention before the interview to listen with both your mind and your gut. “Notice the physical sensations in that area and ask yourself how this person makes you feel,” she says. “Do you feel queasy, tight, or nauseated? Or comfortable, exhilarated, and at ease?”

One client of Orloff’s was about to enter into a large business deal, but his gut kept telling him to stay away. “He opted to wait, and it turned out the man he was about to go into business with was an embezzler,” she says. “At work, anybody can say the right things and look good. If your intuition tells you otherwise, pay attention.”

## 2. Observe your energy levels.

Pay attention to whether being around someone makes you feel tired and drained or energetic and lively, Orloff suggests. Some people, she says, are energy vampires who will suck the life out of you and drag you down. “If you don’t feel well around someone, your intuition is trying to tell you something,” she notes.