How to Cope With Anxiety

Anxiety can be a very normal part of life. After all, who doesn’t feel anxious at a job interview or when on the altar and about to say, “I do.” However, some people suffer from abnormally high amounts of anxiety that adversely effect their ability to function in life. Things that you and I take for granted can cause considerable concern for people with anxiety disorder. These individuals can also spend great periods of time agonizing about what has happened in their lives and also what could happen, even when there is no obvious, logical reason for them to worry.

If you suffer from anxiety, here are some things that can help make things a bit better:


This helps to keep you fit, while also generating dopamine, the feel good brain chemical, which can help to make you more relaxed.

Cut Back on Alcohol

This may seem to relax you in the short term, but it is a depressant and can actually lead to more anxiety.

Beware of Triggering Situations and People

Think about the situations and individuals who make your anxiety worse. Do your best to limit your exposure or avoid them altogether.

Eat Properly

It can be very tempting to indulge in comfort foods, but the high amounts of sugar and caffeine will just increase your anxiety level.

Take Deep Breaths

It sounds like nothing, but closing your eyes and taking slow, deep breaths can be a very effective way to relax.

Call a Friend

Do you have a friend or family member you feel comfortable with? If so, call or visit with them.

See a Therapist

If you have not already, make an appointment. Therapists can help you to come up with a treatment plan to make your life easier. They may also recommend certain lifestyle changes or medications that will aid you in restoring balance.

Fire Safety Tips

Everyone wants a safe home, but not all of us take the time to ensure that this is the case. One of the most dangerous issues is fire. There is no way to ensure that there is zero possibility of fire, but you can definitely reduce the chances by following these fire safety tips:

Smoke Alarms

Make sure that you have smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, including the attic and basement. Check them once a month to ensure they are in working order.

Fire Escape Plan

Work out a fire escape plan and make sure that everyone in your home knows it. The plan should include which exits to use, checks to ensure that everyone is out of the house, and other components specific to the type of structure you have. Practice the plan every few months and make changes as needed.

Check Holiday Decorations

Any holiday decorations that involve the use of lights or candles are potential fire hazards. Make sure that lights are in working order before using them and do not leave candles unattended.

Do Not Leave Cooking Unattended

It is important to keep an eye on your stove at all times. While cooking, stay in the kitchen. If you must leave, even for a brief period, turn off the element.

Smoking Safety

If you must smoke, only do so outside. Never ever smoke in bed or near oxygen containers. Make sure all butts are thoroughly extinguished (use water). E-cigarettes also have some safety hazards, such as faulty batteries that catch fire during charging.

Clothes Dryer Lint

The lint that comes off of your clothes in the dryer can be extremely flammable. Empty the lint trap after every cycle and periodically clean your exhaust vent pipe at least once a year, if not more.

How Do Dogs Learn?

Dogs are one of the smartest animals that humans commonly have as pets.  However, even the smartest of them require some degree of training in order to perform the sort of tasks and tricks we request.

Understanding more about how dogs learn can help us to streamline the education process by using techniques most effective at showing results and avoiding ones that are counterproductive.

Here are some of the ways dogs learn:


Like little children, dogs will learn to perform a certain action if there is a reward provided for doing so. Also like kids, dogs will try and get away with certain behaviors to see what will and will not fly. Rewarding the ones that you find acceptable will encourage the dog to repeat those, rather than something useless and/or destructive.

Replace Bad Behaviors With Good Ones

If your dog is doing something you don’t like, it is important to discourage them. However, being overly harsh will only damage the bond of trust you have with your animal; he is then less likely to obey you in future.

Whenever you see the dog doing something bad (e.g. chewing on furniture), admonish them, but also try to distract them into doing something positive. When the dog performs this preferable action, reward it. That way, the dog will think more about what will bring them food and acceptance from you, rather than a scolding.

Provide Immediate Reactions to Their Actions

When your dog does something negative, make sure they know this is not good. Similarly, when they do something right, clearly praise them. Yelling at a dog hours after it has eaten garbage is useless because the dog will not realize what you are mad about. However, catching him in the act and firmly expressing your unhappiness will help instruct him not to do it again.

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth

Anxiety and stress can have a lot of negative impacts. People often discuss how it impairs mental health, but it can also really take a toll on your body. One of these points, surprisingly enough, is your teeth. When stressed, people often clench their jaw or grind their teeth. They can also do that unconsciously while sleeping.

Continually grinding your teeth can cause people to wear down, crack, and otherwise damage their teeth, which can lead to additional dental complications. If you find yourself doing this, here are some things you can try:

Reduce Your Stress Level

As stress is usually the culprit, cutting back on the amount of stress you experience each day should have the dual effect of reducing your grinding and improving your overall well-being.

Get More Sleep

The better rested you are, the more centered you feel. That can make you more relaxed and less likely to become stressed, leading to clenching and grinding.

Cut Back on Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol may seem like it is relaxing you, but it actually increases the likelihood of clenching. Caffeine, of course, is the type of stimulant that does just the opposite of what you want here. Switch to decaf coffee and stay away from the colas.

Wear a Guard at Night

If you have not been able to reduce your stress level and are worried about the amount of damage on your teeth, ask your dentist to make you a night guard. You wear these while asleep and they protect your teeth from additional wear. Depending on how much you grind, they can last 1-2 years. Guards tends to be fairly expensive, but don’t use cheaper, over the counter ones instead: a guard needs to be custom made so that it fits securely over your teeth in order to be effective.

How to Relax

It seems like many of us are going non-stop these days. Between the responsibilities of work, family, and any outside interests we have, there is little time left to sit back and smell the roses. While it is important to get things done, it is even more urgent to take care of yourself. Our bodies and minds were not meant to be going at full speed for hours on end. I’m sure you have noticed at work that the quality of your output declines as the hours pass. It is normal – and necessary – to take the occasional break to relax and re-charge.

Having trouble calming down and restoring that sense of inner balance? Try any one of these suggestions:

Avoid Caffeine

Coffee and sports drinks have become the go-to means of revitalizing ourselves. Unfortunately, the positive effects of caffeine do not last and it can be quite hard on your heart. Try drinking green tea instead; it contains little or no caffeine and is much better for you.


People are hesitant to try meditation because it seems difficult: “What if I don’t do it right?” There is no right way or wrong way to meditate, just the version that is effective for you. Find a place that is quiet and concentrate on your breathing. Even if you only do it for five minutes, it can make a real difference.

Spend Time Alone

Many of us deal with other people from morning until night, never getting some effective down time. Try and arrange your day so that you can have some me-time all by your lonesome to do whatever you feel like.

Spend Some Time in the Sun

Going for a walk on a sunny day can really help to lift your spirits and distract you from anything that is on your mind. That cannot help but slow down the old pulse a bit.


What Do Animal Shelters Do?

Many cats and dogs have happy, steady homes, but they are also a great many that exist in the wild. Those animals are not neutered, so they breed and create more cats and dogs that must then live in the same conditions. Various strategies have been tried to address this ongoing issue and animal shelters tend to be the most widely employed solution.

Animal shelters provide temporary care for stray dogs and cats. Pet overpopulation can result in a number of problems for city and town residents, not to mention detrimental health for the animals, which are often on the verge of starvation. How these organizations are run varies from state-to-state as per that area’s laws.

Shelters cannot solve the problem of overpopulation on their own. However, they are highly useful when it comes to reducing the spread of diseases, such as rabies, among the animal populations, and finding homes for these cats and dogs.

In addition to handling strays, shelters also take in animals that have been surrendered by their owners. This can be due to behavioral or health issues that the owner cannot cope with, or the fact that the people are moving to a new home that will not allow them to bring their animal along.

The animals are offered to the public for adoption, and people who select a dog or cat then pay an adoption fee. Animal shelters are run on a not-for-profit basis, so this money goes towards paying staff salaries and the associated costs that come with running such an organization.

A good animal shelter is clean, run by patient and helpful employees who understand the issues dogs and cats can face, and take steps to reduce the amount of stress the animals experience while in their care. Many people find wonderful pets through these organizations, but the sheer number of strays means that some never leave and must be euthanized.

You can do your part by adopting pets from these organizations, rather than buying your cat or dog from a breeder or pet store. Animal shelters treat their animals for diseases and other health issues, as well as neutering them before adoption. These costs are typically included in the fee.

Finding Another Job While You’re Already Employed

There’s an old saying that the best time to find a job is when you already have one. This is quite true; if you are working, you are mostly likely doing your job to the satisfaction of your employer. Other companies will view that as a sign of your overall competence and move you ahead in the pile past people who have been out of the workforce for some time.

However, it is not always desirable to let your current boss know that you are casting out the net in search of a new position. That can make your remaining time with the company quite unpleasant. It can also make it quite short; you may find yourself out of one job before you have had a chance to get that new one.

Fortunately, there are ways you can look for that new job in secret. Here are a three basic tips:

Keep Quiet About It

Even though you may have trusted friends and colleagues in your current workplace, they can accidentally spill the beans. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to tell them…once you have that new position officially confirmed. If they are truly friends, they will understand why you couldn’t mention it in advance.

Also, limit the number of friends outside of work that you tell. That mass e-mail stating that you are looking could accidentally get forwarded to someone you don’t want to know.

Limit Your Communication at Work

Breaks and lunch time are a handy way to catch up on correspondence, but leave all job search matters until you get home. Also, do not print off anything related to your search at work where someone might accidentally read it.

Limit the Information You Reveal While Networking

This might seem a bit suspicious, but, again, it only takes one slip-up for someone to reveal what you are doing. While fishing for leads you can mention the industry that you are in without naming the company.



Metrolinx May Begin Drug Testing in the Workplace

The Hamilton Spectator reports that Metrolinx may begin alcohol and drug testing in the workplace.

Metrolinx, the provincial agency in charge of GO Transit and Union Pearson Express (UPX), formed a committee to study the issue last year. Now, Metrolinx officials are waiting to see how workplace drug testing goes at the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) before moving forward with its own plan.

Drug Testing at the TTC

The TTC hired employer drug testing services and began doing spot-checks of workers in safety-sensitive positions in May of 2017. The union that represents TTC workers have been battling management in arbitration over the issue since 2011. Recently, the Superior Court rejected the union’s request for the court to step in and stop the testing via an injunction.

Since the TTC began random alcohol and drug testing in the workplace, four employees have failed tests.

The Impaired Driving Incident at GO Transit

Metrolinx currently has a zero-tolerance approach to drug and alcohol use on the job, but it does not make use of employer drug testing services to enforce the policy. Instead, the agency does unannounced check-ins with drivers to ensure compliance.

Back in April, a GO Bus driver was discovered to be impaired during one of these random check-ins. Metrolinx removed him from duty, and he was charged with impaired driving and excess blood alcohol.

According to Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins, this was the first such incident in GO Transit history, and that no driver has ever been involved in an accident due to drugs or alcohol. However, the agency wants to be cautious.

“Some of our positions are driving trains, they’re driving buses on highways fast, with lots of customers, so there is a high risk associated with their job if they aren’t fit for duty,” said Aikins.

GO Transit Union Opposes Workplace Drug Testing

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 represents GO Transit drivers. Though the union has not commented on the announcement yet, the leader of the union’s parent organization has opposed random drug and alcohol testing in the past, calling it a “breach of employee’s human rights.”

That is why Metrolinx officials are watching the TTC carefully. “The law right now is a bit murky, so while it’s being tested at the TTC, we’re watching that to see if we move towards that direction,” says Aikins.

How Important are References?

We all know the basics of job search, right? But do all of them still apply in the 21st century? There are have been so many innovations and so many new industries sprout up in the past few years, the plain paper resumé seems rather quaint. However, there is a reason that this format and its components have endured for so many years: they offer a predictable and streamlined way for employers to get a first glance at your credentials.

References are a part of the standard resumé package and one that people should take more seriously. Employers do look at your references and they do indeed run reference checks. Office Team reported that more than 20% of candidates are eliminated from consideration once potential employers speak to the people in the reference section.

What is the best course of action when it comes to references? First off, do not put anyone down without getting their permission. Can you imagine being phoned by an employer and asked questions about someone without any advance warning? You will not have thought about what you might say, and your answers might not be that positive. In fact, you might be so annoyed that you intentionally say something negative or simply hang up.

Choose people that you know liked your performance and respect your skills. Once you have received the OK to use them as a reference, don’t be afraid to tell the person what you would like emphasized. For example, if you are seeking a job as an administrative assistant, you could ask them to emphasize how good you are with time management and attention to detail.

Most importantly, don’t believe that your references are not important. If you are facing a lot of competition for a position and the hiring manager is not sure who to go with, they will put a lot of emphasis on how your references speak about you.

Hiring Process Made Easy Using Hiring Assessments

Hiring process is one challenging work not just for the applicants but also for the employers or in charge personnel on hiring process. It is not easy if you use the traditional process of hiring. The process will take so much of your time and can result to stress that make your judgement not reliable. It will tend to hire a wrong applicant and missed out the best match for the job. The traditional hiring process usually get to evaluate the education experience and passion of the applicants. You don’t get to analyze their attitude and behavior during workplace. Plum’s algorithm help you determine and choose fast the right candidate for the job.

plumNot all applicants with good resumes are fit for your company to work. The skills are more important factor plus the behavior and attitude in the workplace. You only get to know it by the use of pre employment assessments – Plum. The applicants are prompted to take the pre-employment test as part of the application process. Plum’s algorithm put together the results from both surveys. It gives each applicant a match Score and creating an instant shortlist. It will eliminate applicants that is not qualified.

All the results for each applicants during the hiring assessment, each data predicts the quality of hire to guarantee you that who you hired executes as expected. The hiring manager can be confident enough that the applicant he/she choose is fit to do the job. It is because of Plum’s easy hiring assessments. This algorithm works on employees that match them up based on objective, evidence based data that comes from pre-employment screening assessment. The system encourages each company to make it part of their business to help them out and minimize the future problem that can occur if they hire wrong the person. The results of using the algorithm are having engaged employees, increased productivity and reduced turnover time.