Practical Strategies for Boosting Positivity and Inspiration During a Midlife Crisis

Ryan Goodchild of A Pupper’s Love has been on here several times with tips on doggie care. He’s back again, this time to share strategies for boosting positivity and inspiration during a midlife crisis. Whether you’re in midlife or not, this article has lots of great tips we can all use, especially after two-plus years of covid. Take it away, Ryan!

 

Image courtesy of Alex Green via Pexels

Middle age sparks fear and dread in many people. Maybe you’re feeling unsatisfied with the trajectory of your life or like your best years are behind you. Perhaps you imagine yourself living the same day for the rest of your life with nothing of substance to fill your time. Or, maybe you’re dreading your mind and body gradually declining after going “over the hill.”

If you think you’re experiencing a midlife crisis, the first step is to recognize you’re not alone. Then, you must come up with activities and routines that inject a bit of positivity and inspiration into your life. Here are some simple strategies for doing just that!

Meet Some New People    

Community is an essential aspect of human existence. Meeting new people who you enjoy can stir your soul and bring life a new level of excitement and discovery. Not to mention building new connections with people can spark creativity, boost your motivation, and inspire you. People need other people, so be intentional about finding a good community. Here are some places and ways you can meet new people:

  • Join a book club
  • Attend community events
  • Volunteer
  • Go to church
  • Join a sports league

Consider Therapy

If your emotions have run amuck and you’re having trouble self-regulating, seek support from a therapist. Today, online options for therapy provide easy and secure ways to access the help you need.

Without having to leave the comfort of your own home, you can meet with your pick of a variety of licensed therapists and unburden yourself of the things that overwhelm you the most. Many therapists offer a free consultation, so if you don’t click with the first therapist you meet with, you’re not out of money or obligated to return.

Improve Your Health

Poor health can cause a whole host of worry and pain. If your current habits and routines compromise your mental and physical health, build a plan to make improvements and begin today.

Start with small steps like drinking more water, visiting a general practitioner for physicals, taking supplements, and portioning your food. As you develop the small habits, start adding in new ones that require more dedication like regular exercise and changing your diet.

Learn Something New

One fear that often comes with getting older is a deteriorating mind. Many studies have shown that if you challenge your brain to learn something new and live as a perpetual student, your brain can remain young and engaged and make new neural connections.

You can pick up a new hobby, enroll in an online college course, learn a new sport or game, or pick up new books. Whatever you choose, just make sure that it challenges your mind and brings you joy.

Get a Side Gig Going

You can make almost anything into a business and earn some extra money. If you currently have a hobby you love that produces a good or service or are interested in starting one, then you’re off to a great start.

Many side gigs can be done from the comfort of your own home and require as much time as you’re wanting to put into it. The more engaged you are, the more energy it gives you and the more it redefines your sense of purpose.

A mid-life crisis is common for many people. Take what may feel like sour lemons and turn them into lemonade. If you feel uncomfortable or down in the dumps, this is an opportunity for you to find new inspiration and opportunities. The tips above will get you off to a wonderful start but keep looking out for other ways to improve yourself and your future.

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Thank you, Ryan, for all the great info. For inspiring stories about man’s best friend, check out Ryan’s website, A Pupper’s Love.

Freelance Writing: How to Hone Your Craft and Build Your Client Base

Ryan Goodchild of A Pupper’s Love has been on here several times sharing tips on doggie care. Today he’s back with another great post, this time on making money doing freelance writing. Take it away, Ryan!

Photo by William Fortunato from Pexels

Do you routinely notice grammatical and spelling errors? Do you often think about how a particular paragraph would benefit from rearranging the sentences or start spilling your thoughts out on a word processor in random moments of inspiration?

You might be well-suited for a career in writing. And you don’t have to become a best-selling fiction author to build a fulfilling writing career. You can take many different paths—from blog writing to technical writing to promotional copy. If you’re interested in forging a livelihood as a freelance writer, consider these tips.

Get Better

No matter the writing career you choose to pursue, you will need to be on your A-game to build success. In other words, never stop improving your craft. Constantly look for ways to deepen your knowledge of various writing styles and practices, whether that means returning to school for a degree, finding a program that trains you in writing and editing, or finding a mentor who can help you navigate day-to-day challenges.

Also, read as much as you can. Read books and articles on topics that interest you, read works by authors who have a reputation for their masterful use of grammar, and try to read something unrelated to your work for at least a few minutes each day.

As with any other skill, writers learn best by example. Furthermore, make sure you write every day, whether that means writing pieces for your job or jotting thoughts down in your daily journal.

Explore Your Options

These days, there are many different types of careers to pursue in writing, and a lot of them can allow you to live comfortably on a salary. For example, you could become a speechwriter for a business executive, politician, or celebrity. You could become a screenwriter for film and television shows or try your hand as a technical writer for product or software manuals, user guides, or technical specifications.

If you have a strategic mind, you may enjoy a career as a communications director, which would mean that you oversee various forms of communications on behalf of a business or organization.

You could also write informational blogs and promotional copy for various companies as a freelance writer, or carve a niche in proposal writing, resume writing, or grant writing. If you love to edit, you might find proofreading a fulfilling role, and you could eventually work your way up to being an in-demand editor!

Start a Business (Officially)           

Whatever type of writer you choose to become, you should consider starting your own freelance business and creating an entity. By applying for an employer registration number, the IRS would better track your payroll taxes and identify your business. Also, an EIN will make the process of filing your state and federal taxes much more straightforward, whether you do it every year or every quarter.

There are many steps to starting a business, and it can be difficult to track them all. Fortunately, a monthly planner template gives you a graphic representation of every task and deadline you need to meet. Benefits of an online calendar for planning include looping in other stakeholders and the ability to upload images.

Build Your Clientele  

Having the necessary writing skills is one thing, but putting yourself out there and getting jobs is another. To begin building your client base, make sure you have a writing portfolio that stands out from the crowd. Your portfolio should showcase your best work, and if possible, make sure to include pieces from a wide range of industries and topics. You should also reach out to past clients about providing you with testimonials to put on your website.

Other tactics to gain customers include writing an effective elevator pitch and author bio. When it comes to finding jobs, utilize social media platforms and online job boards to connect with potential clients, and remember to maintain good relations with everyone you work for so that you can develop a solid reputation.

If you love writing, you could become the next best-selling novelist. But that is by no means your only option for a fulfilling writing career. Consider the information and advice above as you start laying the foundation for a lucrative writing career, and remember never to stop improving at your craft!

For inspirational and unforgettable romance novels, visit Carol J. Post!

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Thank you, Ryan, for all the great info. (And thanks for the shout-out on my books!) For inspiring stories about man’s best friend, check out Ryan’s website, A Pupper’s Love.

How to Prevent Common Doggie Disasters at Home

By guest blogger, Ryan Goodchild of A Pupper’s Love

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels

Caring for a dog can be a wonderful experience for families, but sometimes, a few doggie disasters are to be expected. These can include your dog going potty inside the house or acting out when you’re not around. If your dog is misbehaving, it’s likely due to underlying behavioral issues that should be addressed. Fortunately, these types of doggie disasters can be prevented and treated so you can live a long and happy life with your pup. Here are some great ways to prevent common doggie disasters at home.

Preventing Your Dog From Going Potty in the House

If your dog is going potty inside the house, it may be a sign of an underlying anxiety issue. Separation anxiety is one of the most common causes of this type of accident and can often be treated with the help of a veterinary behaviorist. Your dog may also be anxious about outside conditions, such as noise. Noise phobias may be triggered due to frightening sounds from outside, such as honking from a car. This may cause your dog to only want to pee inside instead of outside.

This can be reversed by taking your dog to a quieter outdoor setting or playing some soothing music through a music player. Accidents can also be prevented by keeping a clean indoor environment. If a dog smells its past accidents, he or she might believe that the indoor environment is the right place to go potty. Overall, this type of issue must be treated with love and proper care. Scolding or yelling at your dog will only instill more fear and anxiety instead of treating the problem.

Preventing Your Dog from Acting Out

A dog acting out is a form of misbehaving and not listening to his or her owner’s commands. A dog may also act out in front of guests or strangers. Here are some ways to prevent your dog from misbehaving:

  • Play with your dog more often. Dogs who aren’t getting enough activity may become frustrated and act out, so make sure your pup is getting a lot of exercise. If you have a busy schedule, hire a dog walker to stop by once or twice a day to walk your dog while you’re out, or hire a pet sitter who can keep him company more regularly.
  • Create consistency in your dog’s routine. Dogs love consistency, especially with regard to their training. They also rely on their owners for maintaining a sense of order in their life. If a dog’s needs aren’t being met, they may lash out or cause a bit of chaos to get their owner’s attention.
  • Sometimes dogs act out due to stress. They can pick up on our emotions, and if you’re feeling anxious or troubled, your dog will reflect it. So take steps to create a more peaceful and positive environment in your home. Remember, reducing stress in the home isn’t just good for your pets; it’s good for you, too!
  • Don’t use negative reinforcement, but don’t always use positive reinforcement either. For example, if your dog begs or barks for your attention and you give in, you would be teaching your dog that acting out is the “right” way to get attention. Instead, reward your dog for good behavior, such as not jumping on guests.
  • Note when the bad behavior started. Have you moved recently? Have you been spending less time with your dog? Have you been lashing out at your dog due to stressors from life? Identifying the factors that triggered your dog to start misbehaving may provide context to applicable solutions, such as spending more time with your dog or creating a more consistent routine for them.

Protecting Your Dog

One disaster that can be truly tragic is if your dog gets into a rodenticide. First, know the signs — which could include lethargy, bleeding gums, or difficulty breathing — and if you spot them, contact your veterinarian immediately. Also, instead of using poison or traps, if you have a problem with pests, you can hire a professional to safely eradicate them.

It’s also crucial that your pup avoids choking hazards and electrical dangers. ZenBusiness recommends tying up any loose cords and keeping them out of reach. Also make sure to remove any rubber bands, staples, and paper clips off the floor.

Doggie disasters, such as bad behavior or going potty inside the house, may be triggered due to outside factors or underlying behavior problems. It’s important to identify these factors quickly so you can teach your dog proper behavior. If it’s difficult to treat your dog’s behavioral problems on your own, consider consulting a veterinarian or a behavioral specialist.

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Thank you, Ryan, for all the great info. For inspiring stories about man’s best friend, check out Ryan’s website, A Pupper’s Love.

7 Ways You Can Keep Your Pets Healthy and Safe this Winter

By guest blogger, Ryan Goodchild of A Pupper’s Love

Photo by ModCatShop on Unsplash

Now that the cold weather has arrived, you need to make sure your pet has the essentials to stay healthy and happy all season long. Not sure where to start? Then check out these top health and safety tips for taking care of your furkids.

Find Allergy Relief for Your Pets

Itchy pets may be suffering from allergies. Pet allergies are pretty common for cats and dogs, and can be the result of dust, pollen or even certain foods. All of the scratching can lead to hair loss and infections, so schedule a checkup for your pets if you suspect environmental or food allergies. You can also try switching your kitty to an allergen-free food to see if that helps with symptoms.

Address Your Pet’s Behavior Issues

Winter weather can mean more indoor gatherings with family and friends. If you plan on bringing your pets along you should make sure they have at least some basic manners. This can also be helpful if you want to sip your favorite fall lattes on local dog-friendly patios. If you need help with training your dog, consider reaching out to a local, qualified trainer for a consultation.

Be Aware of Signs of Pain in Your Pet

Colder weather can make your pet extra achy. Arthritis is another common health concern that tends to come in during colder seasons, and aches and pains can be particularly common for senior pets. Lifestyle changes can reduce pain and inflammation for your pet, including keeping your pet active and investing in quality beds.

Pain from inflammation, nausea and vomiting from cats with sensitive stomachs is another thing to look out for. In this case, switch your kitty over to food that is specially produced for such ailments. Ingredients in sensitive stomach cat food — such as prebiotics, highly digestible ingredients, and fatty acids like fish oil — are geared towards soothing cats’ digestive systems.

Make Sure Your Pets are Microchipped

It’s always a good idea to microchip your pet. If your pet gets away from you during a hike, a walk, or a holiday vacation, having a microchip will increase the chances of being reunited with you. This is a relatively simple and inexpensive procedure that can be priceless when it comes to protecting your furry family members.

Protect Your Pet’s Paws and Nose

You know how your lips and hands can get dry and chapped during the winter? Well, the same thing can happen to your pet’s paws and nose. If you notice dry skin or cracks on their skin, consider mixing up a protective balm. You can also add a layer of balm to help safeguard your dog’s paws against salt and other chemicals used to prevent ice on sidewalks.

Protect Your Pet From Holiday Hazards

Finally, before you enjoy any holiday celebrations with your pets, you should be aware of some of the most common holiday pet hazards. Human food may be the first thing that comes to mind, and keeping fatty meats, herbs and other risky treats away from your pets can be crucial for keeping them healthy. But holiday decor, including poinsettias, mistletoe and tinsel, can also present poisoning and choking hazards.

Ensuring a safe and healthy season for your pets is all about preparation and planning. So even if the temperatures are still hot and sticky in your area, start making appointments and stocking up on supplies as soon as possible. Then you can rest assured that your pets are healthy enough to enjoy all the fall fun ahead.

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Thank you, Ryan, for all the great info. For inspiring stories about man’s best friend, check out Ryan’s website, A Pupper’s Love. For more pet safety tips How To Keep Pets Safe at Home by LA Homes offers advice for every room of the house.

Handy Resources for Moving with Pets – Sans Stress

By guest blogger, Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends

Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash

Moving can be ruff, especially for pet parents. You may be worried about keeping your furkids safe and happy, all while trying to find the purr-fect home and plan a stress-free move. I’m here to let you in on a few secrets that will set your mind at ease and help you keep your move organized from start to happy tails. Let’s dive in!

You Need a New Home

 Obviously, this is going to be the first step you take. The good news is that finding a home with pets in mind isn’t that different than doing so without. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Even in the pandemic, buying a home can be safe and as low stress as possible.
  • The upside to using virtual tools to tour homes is that your furkids can take a look, too!
  • Any home that makes you and your budget happy will be perfect for your pets, as well.
  • If you have aging pets, you may want to buy a new home that doesn’t have stairs.

You Need to Start Packing and Planning

Hopefully, that first step was simple enough. Next, you will want to begin packing your belongings and planning out your move. Keep these tips in mind to keep your pets calm:

  • Feline family members can be sensitive to change, including packing.
  • Your pups will also need some reassurance and planning to avoid anxiety.
  • For all pets, pack their essentials last and unpack them with your day-of box.
  • Your kitties are also going to need some basics to stay healthy on the road.
  • Although many hotels are pet-friendly, confirm their policies before you book.

You Need to Help Pets Feel at Home, Too

All of the stressful parts of your move are done. Well, stressful for you anyhow because moving to a new home can also be stressful for your pets. You can soothe their stress by:

  • De-stressing yourself — because your pets will pick up on your moods and anxieties.
  • Maybe make yourself a big and tasty pancake as a treat for surviving the move.
  • You can even share with your pets but remember that some human foods are toxic.
  • Upon arrival, start by allowing your pets to explore one room and then go from there.
  • If your pets still seem anxious after a few weeks, it may be time to talk with a vet.

These are all of the resources and tips you need to ensure a smooth and low-stress move with your pets. As a fellow pet parent, I can say that the most important things to keep in mind are that change can be hard for animals, but patience can go a long way. Pair that patience with positivity and planning to give your pets everything they need.

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Thank you, Jessica, for all the great info. For resources, stories and some cute animal pics, you can visit Jessica’s website, Our Best Friends.

For another great resource on moving with dogs, check out this post on Fluent Woof!

Pampering Your Good Old Buddy: Tips for Friends of Senior Dogs

By guest blogger, Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends.

Photo by Jean Alves from Pexels

Playtime, pampering, and plenty of snuggles should only grow more important as your dog ages. Your best friend deserves the best treats and attention as she enters her twilight years, and, of course, you’re the one she turns to when she needs tender care. Ensuring your good old buddy is as happy and healthy as possible is easy with a few adjustments.

It’s playtime!

Playtime is still an important part of your dog’s life, even as she ages. Conditions such as arthritis, decreased stamina, and dental issues are common in older dogs, but that doesn’t mean you should cease healthy activity. A simple change in pace for how you approach playtime could make all the difference.

Low-impact games are a great activity to keep your dog’s senses tuned and her mind sharp. A good game of tug will help her rekindle her youth and prey drive (just be sure to take any dental issues into account before beginning), and keep her happy by letting her win.

Other activities like leisurely walking, short games of backyard fetch, and hide and seek are all ways to keep your pup happy and healthy into her gray years.

Treat yourself (and your dog)

Is your dog a good dog? Of course, she is. One way to pamper your pup and keep her spoiled into old age is through healthy, easy-to-enjoy treats. When choosing a dog treat for an older dog, there are several things to consider. Does your dog have dietary restrictions, or does she have dental issues that would make harder treats more difficult to eat? What kinds of ingredients does this company use? What do the reviews from other pet owners say?

There are plenty of options that especially support the health of senior dogs. And, just like with human vitamins and supplements, you can find treats to help with any number of ailments, including poor eyesight or arthritis. You can also make your own treats! Just be sure to use healthy ingredients and steer clear of any allergens. According to the American Kennel Club, however, your dog’s caloric requirement may drop with age, so pay attention to that and to any advice your vet has to offer.

Medication and veterinary bills don’t have to be stressful

No doubt as your pet gets older, she will need some form of medication, be it vitamins for her bones or pills for arthritis. She’ll also need semi-annual visits to the veterinarian. Both of these can prove a bit challenging.

One thing is for certain: You need to be sure to be gentle when you administer her medication. Some methods for giving your fussy friend the pills she needs (even when she refuses) include cutting the pills up into smaller doses, using pill pockets, and mixing the medication in with her meals. You should also wash your hands (to get rid of the scent of the medication) and open the pill bottle when she’s not paying attention so she can’t associate the noise with the experience.

Paying for quality veterinary care doesn’t have to be a hassle. When you foresee more vet bills in your future, a great way to offset costs is through pet insurance. And it’s actually easy to find a policy that has no or limited age restrictions. A basic policy can cover the vet visit, medications and even procedures, leaving you with only a small deductible.

Remember . . .

Taking care of your older pup is easy as long as you remember the most important thing: This is your best friend, your partner in crime, and she is always worth the extra effort.

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Thank you, Jessica, for all the great info. For resources, stories and some cute animal pics, you can visit Jessica’s website, Our Best Friends.

For a detailed guide on pet insurance, with comparisons, quotes, details and all-around good advice, click here.