Business Digest - May, 2012

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Green Living Tip  Keeping Your Cool...Sunstroke  Organizing Small Living Spaces  Theo's Corner

Laughing the Stress Away

"If you can laugh at it, you can survive it." -- Bill Cosby

Stress affects everyone and has become one of the most serious health issues of our times. There are many ways to deal with stress, some more effective than others. One of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce stress is to find humor in your daily life.

In fact, in turns out that laughing is good for your overall health. Researchers have found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in humorous situations than those with healthy hearts. Laughter strengthens the immune system and lowers high levels of stress hormones. Business researchers have also recognized the benefits of laughter and humor in problem solving and creativity in business environments.  Workers who find their jobs fun perform better and get along better with co-workers than those who do not view their jobs as fun.

It is easy to inject humor into your daily life. Take time each day to enjoy something funny. Read a book of jokes or talk to a friend who makes you laugh. Also, being able to laugh at yourself goes a long way towards reducing stress. Humor can keep you from taking yourself too seriously and can make dealing with others easier. It can also distract you from the situation that is causing you stress, allowing you to take a moment to see things in a different light.

So, next time you are feeling stressed out, take a moment for yourself. Take a deep breath, smile, and think a funny thought. Grab a bite to eat with a funny friend or watch your favorite sitcom. Although it doesn't get rid of the situation, you will be better equipped to handle your daily stress.

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Green Living Tip

Your home computer uses electricity even when you are not using it if you do not shut it down. Make it a habit to shut down your computer each night or if you don't expect to use it for the next two hours. If you do want to keep your computer running, at least turn your monitor off each time you step away.

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Keeping Your Cool: Protecting Yourself from the Dangers of Sunstroke

Warmer weather is just around the corner. Along with the fun of outdoor activities come some dangers, too. Among those dangers is sunstroke, also called heat stroke. To protect you and your loved ones from this hazard, keep these tips in mind this summer.

Early symptoms of heat stroke are dizziness, headache, rapid pulse and breathing, and fatigue. Warning signs that indicate a serious condition of sunstroke are hot, flushed skin, a decrease or stoppage of sweat production, an elevated body temperature, confusion, and eventually, a loss of consciousness. Extreme temperatures can cause the body's temperature to rise. Dehydration can cause a decrease in sweat evaporation, which is the body's mechanism for cooling itself. Without this, you have no way of bringing down the high temperature.

Severe sunstroke can lead to shock and eventually failure of the body's vital systems, including the heart, lungs, kidney, and brain. Rapid treatment is the key. The sooner the victim receives assistance, the better.

To assist someone showing symptoms of sunstroke, first call for help by dialing 911. While waiting for medical assistance, take steps to cool the body. Move the victim to a cooler place. Remove tight fitting or heavy clothing and use cool, wet cloths to cool the victim down. Give fluids slowly and continually.

To avoid getting sunstroke in the first place, remember to drink plenty of fluids on warm days or when your activity level is up. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, both of which can dehydrate you. Wear light colored, loose clothing and always wear a hat in direct sunlight. Try to stay in the shade and take breaks as needed. If you do find that you are experiencing any symptoms of heat stroke, get help immediately.

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Organizing Small Living Spaces

It can be a challenge to live in a small space. But a smaller home doesn't have to be a cluttered home. There are some things you can do to make the most of your space.

Get rid of anything unnecessary. Clutter should be attacked without mercy. Go through clothing, toys, papers, knick-knacks, and kitchen items. If it hasn't been worn or used in some time, it probably is not needed and is simply taking up your valuable space.

Get creative about finding and using space in your home. Consider purchasing several under-bed storage containers. This is the perfect place to store linens and seasonal clothing. Purchase only very tall bookcases, dressers, and storage cabinets to make the most of your vertical space. Drawer organizers and storage boxes are inexpensive ways to manage your miscellaneous items. Use a hanging shoe organizer to handle small items, like toys, hair accessories, cleaning supplies, office supplies, and bath and beauty products.

With a little planning and some creative thinking, your smaller home can be a "Home Sweet Organized Home!"

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Theo's Corner

Water Safety for Your Dog

Recreation around water increases in the summertime for both people and pets. If you are planning on taking your dog boating or to a lake or river, be sure to keep these safety tips in mind.

Provide plenty of shade

Your pooch will need to take a break from the sun, so make sure that you provide a shady place to lie down and rest. Place your pet's water bowl in the shade as well to keep the water as cool as possible.

Take care with swimming
Not all dogs are good swimmers. Don't leave your pet unsupervised near water. When on a boat, be sure to strap on a floatation device made for dogs. After swimming, rinse your dog to remove chlorine or salts from his fur. Discourage your dog from drinking pool or lake water, as this can cause an upset stomach.

Watch out for heat stroke and dehydration Don't assume that just because you are near the water, your dog cannot become dehydrated. Provide clean water whether you are on shore or on a boat. If your dog has difficulty breathing, excessive panting, drooling, or weakness, get him indoors to a cool place as soon as possible. If his symptoms don't improve quickly, call your vet.

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Last modified: April 24, 2012