Everything You Need to Know About Emotional Support Animals

Generally speaking, humans and animals tend to live apart. We pass hundreds of animals on a daily basis. However, we tend live alongside them with little interaction. But then there are animals who we actively incorporate into our lives. Nine times out of ten, these animals will be pets. We offer them a comfortable home to live in, in exchange for their companionship, loyalty, and unconditional love. However, you will often find that different people rely on their pets to a different extent. Some treat them as pets. Others treat them as family. If you find that you have a particular bond with your pet and rely on them for emotional support on a regular basis, you could say that you have an emotional support animal. Read on for everything you need to know about this!

What Actually Is An Emotional Support Animal?

An emotional support animal, otherwise referred to as an “ESA”, is a companion creature who actively provides their owner or handler with emotional support that can significantly improve their overall health, happiness, and wellbeing. In order for an animal to be officially recognized as an emotional support animal, they will have to be signed off by a psychiatrist, psychologist or other qualified health practitioner. This individual will verify that this pet’s presence is necessary for you to maintain a good quality of life. You can then enroll your pet as an ESA and receive official documents to confirm this through certa pet.

Can My Pet Be an ESA?

ESAs tend to be most beneficial for individuals who suffer from some sort of physical, psychiatric, or intellectual problem or disability. If you fall into this category, your pet may be an ESA. There are no species specific requirements for ESAs. While dogs tend to be the most common form of emotional support animal, any animal can qualify. So, if you have a cat, bird, or even a more alternative pet such as a hedgehog, these could all count.

How Can I Benefit from ESA Certification?

There are certain situations in life where you could potentially be separated from your pet. This, of course, could be extremely traumatic if you have a special bond. ESA certification can help to guarantee that you and your pet can remain together. Say you move into a privately leased house and the landlord may say that they have a no pets policy. An ESA certificate can be used to ensure that your pet is allowed in the house, regardless of the no pets policy. An ESA certificate can also be used to ensure that your pet can travel with you on airlines that may otherwise exclude pets from the cabin.

 

This is just a brief introduction to emotional support animals. Hopefully, it has proven useful, and you can put the information to good use if you have an animal of your own who offers you emotional support in your life!


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Treat Yo'self (on a budget)

The concept of treating yourself and engaging in self-care has become increasingly popular over recent years, and for good reason. The need to focus on health and mental well-being cannot be overestimated, especially in a busy world that relentlessly places extra demands on your time and energy. A societal change that encourages people to focus on themselves and their own happiness has long been due.

However, there is one downside to the self-care, treat yo’ self phenomenon; it’s that many of the methods employed to do this are downright expensive. Go out for a meal with friends; get a massage; have your nails done… all wonderful ideas, but all demanding on your finances. In fact, you were to engage in this kind of self care on a regular basis, it wouldn’t be long until you were having to visit the likes of https://debtconsolidation.co in an effort to manage your beleaguered finances - which wouldn’t be much of a ‘treat’.

There’s no denying that treating yourself and indulging in self-care are beneficial, however, so how can you introduce these concepts into your life without ruining your finances? Here are a few ideas.

#1 - Switch your phone off

We spend our lives tethered to our phones, instantly contactable by a variety of people, and exposed to an endless stream of information. While undeniably useful, the harm caused by this relentless connectivity cannot be underestimated; it can lead to addiction, and creates a sense that you’re always “on”, needing to be ready to respond if someone reaches out to you. Under these conditions, relaxation can be incredibly difficult.

To counter this, turn your phone off the moment you get home from work. You can warn your closest friends and family of this decision, so they know they will need to actively visit in an emergency, then switch your phone off, and enjoy a little mental space to yourself.

#2 - Go for a walk

It may sound simple - perhaps too simple to really be of any use - but going for a walk really is one of the best methods of free self-care you can experience. As https://www.rd.com/ points out, going for a walk has a range of benefits that few conventional self-care measures could ever come close to replicating, so it’s well worth giving it a go.

#3 - Use your vacation days

As discussed on https://www.marketwatch.com/, studies have shown that over half of US citizens don’t use all of their work vacation days. This is a real shame, as time off from work is essential for managing your mental health and sense of well-being. To truly treat yourself, keep track of your vacation days and note when they expire; if the year is running out, treat yourself to a few days off - you’ve worked to obtain those days, so you definitely deserve to enjoy them.

 

In conclusion: As the points above prove, treating yourself and pursuing self-care doesn’t have to cost the earth. The tips above cost precisely $0, but will have a huge impact on your overall health and well-being.


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3 Tips for Saving Money.... and Boost your Well-being at the Same Time

Money is, by all accounts, one of those things that you just never feel like you have quite enough of. At the same time, however, there are all kinds of things in life more valuable than money. Our personal well-being is one of those things. If you can go through life relatively happy and stress-free, you’re likely to have the envy of a large number of the people you meet on a daily basis, who haven’t yet cracked the secret.

If, however, you could improve your own well-being while simultaneously saving a bit of money, that’d be the cherry on top, wouldn’t it?

Here are a few tips for saving money and boosting your well-being at the same time.

Workout outside in nature

Research has found, consistently, that people who spend more time outdoors in nature are happier, healthier, and have a better overall experience of life, than those who either stay indoors or remain surrounded by concrete, glass and steel for the majority of their lives.

In fact, one amazing study even found that people recovering in hospital would recover faster and maintain better spirits, if they could see a single tree from the window of their room. Nature is a big deal, and it seems to have a lot of power to improve our quality of life. Luckily enough, nature is also, for the most part, free.

Regular exercise is another one of those lifestyle activities which has been shown time and time again to boost health, happiness, and energy. 

The logical conclusion here is pretty straightforward — cancel your gym membership and enjoy more of your workouts outdoors, in natural environments. Your local park can be a great option.

Use financial management apps

Money management is probably one of the all-time leading causes of stress out there, and money mismanagement is without a doubt the leading cause of financial waste and economic misery.

Anything that you could do which would enable you to handle your money, better, and with less stress, would have the potential to be a serious game-changer.

Financial management apps are that game-changer. Personal budgeting software like YNAB can save you from spending your paycheck absentmindedly, while a good personal capital app can help you to invest wisely.

Sell your old outfits before buying new ones

This tip isn’t strictly for everyone, and it’s not necessary to get rid of all of your old outfits. Obviously you’ll likely have classic or useful clothes which you’ll want to hold on to.

Nonetheless, however, selling your old outfits on eBay before buying new ones can free you from a mountain of stress and irritation, while also saving your bank account a lot of strain, for a couple of straightforward reasons.

Firstly, selling your old outfits will limit the number of clothes you have at any one time, which will also reduce some of the anxiety that comes from struggling to choose what to wear.

Secondly, selling your old outfits will help to raise money for your new ones, and you won’t just be caught in a constant consumer cycle.

 

What are your go-to tips for saving money?


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How You Can Stand Up For Gender Equality

The tide is turning towards gender equality… slowly. Thanks to the thousands of women who marched on International Women’s Day; thanks to those who have stood up for their rights with the #MeToo movement, and thanks to all of those other campaigns advocating the rights of women in the workplace and beyond, we are seeing a change in attitude.

But there is still some way to go before equality is fully attained. Despite the example of the Arizona Secretary of State, there is still a shortage of women in politics. Millions of young girls are being forced to marry in specific countries and cultures. There is still a gender pay gap in many careers, regardless of whether these jobs are male-dominated or not. And women are still being treated like sex objects, despite the trial surrounding Harvey Weinstein.

We don’t have to accept gender inequality. As a woman, you can make a difference. Here are some of the ways you can do it.

  • Have a positive attitude. The more you can support positivity in your life and the lives of those around you, you can throw off the negative attitudes others impose upon you. Don’t let others dictate what you can and can’t do. Don’t conform to expectations. Whatever you do, be it in the educational courses you enroll in, or the jobs you apply for, don’t be afraid to go against the grain, even if others try and deter you. You are allowed the same opportunities as men, no matter what society dictates.

  • Get involved in your community. You have a voice, so use it. Rather than being dissatisfied with your lot in life as a woman, speak out and make a difference. Could you run for local government? Are there local boards or community groups you can get involved in? Could you take a stand at community meetings and raise particular issues affecting gender rights in your town? It’s about taking a stand, and while you may face opposition, surely that is better than doing nothing at all.

  • Get involved online. Take part in online forums on subjects that are relevant to you. Share your opinions on social media, and join specific groups on the issues that matter. Write a blog, bringing attention to gender inequality around the world, educating your readers on matters they may not be aware of. Contribute money to charities already making a difference. Email government officials, and add your name to those pushing for differences. And Google search ‘women’s rights’ and look at all the ways online you can make a difference.

  • Support your sisters. If you see another woman being treated unfairly in work, then do something about it. Don’t stand for workplace bullying and sexism. If you need to take matters to the top, then do so. Support the women you know who are striving to make a difference. If they organize a march or a debate, then take part. You may only be one person, but in all kinds of ways, you can support the women around you, whether they are fighting or struggling in this male-dominated society.


So, what can you do? I hope I have given you some inspiration as you fight against inequality. And if you have some ideas of your own, please let me know. As women, we need to stand together. We can make a difference, and we can start making that difference today.


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Changing How We View Cancer Treatment

There are few things in life that are more devastating than hearing that a loved one has cancer. However, it seems that very few of us are destined to go through life without knowing at least one friend or family member who receives a cancer diagnosis. As challenging as a this can be, there have been a lot of advances in research made within the past few years. Many patients find themselves in outpatient settings, which can be much more convenient and less expensive than sitting in a hospital. But this can also be a bit alienating to someone who may be experiencing massive physical and mental strains on a daily basis. The one thing that studies have proven—over and over again—is that having an emotional support system can be a key component for someone who is undergoing treatment for cancer.

People are usually mistaken in believing that their loved one constantly want to discuss their treatment regimen or other aspects of their diagnosis. In this regard, you will want to let them lead the way. Chances are that if they’ve just been to chemotherapy this week, they may want to talk about something else. They may want to go see a movie or just hang out and drink tea. Being part of someone’s support system doesn’t necessarily have to be a heavy responsibility. Checking in on your friend periodically, asking them if they want you to bring them something, may be all that they need. Every case is different, so don’t assume that a loved one’s journey is the same as another’s. Try to be as considerate as you can possibly be; realize that your calendar might not work for them, so try to call them when they have some time to talk. Ask if they need help with chores or errands. You don’t have to break the bank helping someone; many times, the most helpful tasks do not require money. If your loved one’s appearance is different, try not to reveal your emotions about how they look. Remember that cancer may seem a lot worse than it is during certain portions of treatment.

Some organizations have dedicated a great deal of time and funding to the cause, such as the Lefkofsky Foundation. As the co-founder of Tempus, Eric Lefkofsky is a visionary who believes that cancer treatment needs to be brought into the 21st century. With an astute business sense, his endeavors have often been very high-profile, and his somewhat recent foray into the medical field is no different. Tempus is considered a “unicorn” fund, attracting an extraordinary level of investment from heavy hitters in the marketplace. Everyone recognizes that the need for better and more advanced cancer care should be a top priority in our society, and Lefkofsky agrees. 

Tempus wants to make it easier for physicians to do the simple things that will enhance their patients’ lives, such as digitizing clinical and molecular data for cancer. With Lefkofsky leading the charge, everyone is hopeful that real results will be generated.


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Life First, Outlook Second: Dispelling The Positive Thinking Myth

We talk about changing our outlook to change our lives. All it takes is positive thinking, and everything will start to work itself out. But, for many of us, changing our outlook does barely anything to improve our lives. As such, we slip back into old habits and negative ways of thinking. That’s why we’ve decided to flip the issue on its head. Instead of changing outlook first, we’re going to look at how changing your life can make the most difference. Life first, outlook second; it may be the only way!

But, why should this advice be any better? For one, focusing on changing your outlook is lazy. Not that you’re lazy, of course. But, the people who claim this is the way to change your life definitely are. Changing outlook requires no more effort than smiling when someone walks all over you. The situation doesn’t change. Sure, you’re smiling, but is that enough? Changing your life will have much more impact. Instead of smiling when that negative friend puts you down, tell them how you feel. You could even remove them from your friendship group. Much better all round, right? And, here are some other examples of when changing your life first is the way to go.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

People who claim outlook is everything can cause damage. These theorists fail to account for the importance of looking after yourself. You’ll be so busy pretending to be happy about rubbish things that you won’t have the time! But, when thinking about changing your life to change your outlook, this is a step you need to take.

For one, you need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you’re tired, even a positive outlook won’t help. Eating right is also important here. The food you eat has a massive influence on you mentality. If you’re struggling to get a grip on well-being, a change in diet may be in order!

THE POWER OF MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness and meditation is a powerful tool that helps to transform your mood and outlook on life. Something as simple as working on breathing (to reduce stress) and staying present in the moment, maybe what your body is missing. I try to practice mindful mediation every morning before I start my day and I teach my therapy clients how to incorporate it into their daily lives. 

In addition to mindfulness, some individuals tend to seek counsel and inspiration through other forms, one being through astrology, numerology and/or finding meaning behind names which for some help them to find their purpose and meaning in life. 

LEAVE THAT JOB

Positive out-lookers claim that, if you’re unhappy at work, you need to reassess. They may urge you to stop seeing it as a chore. Instead, embrace opportunities and be grateful for what you’ve got. If you’re unhappy with work, a change of thinking isn’t going to help. It won’t ease the stress or help you find fulfillment. Again, this change is short-term. Once the rose tinted glasses wear off, things will be the same. Instead, we urge you to change your life. All it takes is finding a new job. Okay, so that may not be the easiest thing in the world. It takes a lot of courage. But, it’s a novelty that won’t wear off. Don’t settle for a job you hate and try to be happy about it. Find a job you love and reap the rewards


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Break The Mold With These Wedding Planning Tips

Let’s be honest… it can sometimes be hard to tell one wedding day from the next! In 2018, there are definitely certain trends and patterns that you see over and over. It could be that you want traditional; after all, you’ll only get a wedding day once (hopefully!). However, if you want to break the mold, more power to you!

Avoid having a copycat wedding day with the following hints, tips, and ideas. Get inspired by reading on…

Break The Mold… Do It In An Unusual Venue

Churches, barns and marques are, in 2018, so overdone. Break the mold with your wedding venue by doing it in an unusual location. If you can guarantee great weather, how about a clearing in the forest. Live near the sea? Knock on the door on a lighthouse and ask if you can borrow their grounds for a day. A cliff-top ceremony will make for some incredible photographs and views! Are you getting married in a city center? Then how about a local music venue, or a theatre? The world is yours boo!

 

Break The Mold… Focus On The Videographer, Not The Photographer

Up until a decade or so ago, the photographer was the best way to capture the day. This is still true to a certain extent. However, they still only can capture the day in still life. So, how about mixing things up. You can still have a photographer, sure, but how about focusing on a videographer instead? That way, you have a short film of the day to treasure forever. There will be lots of parts of your special day that you won’t get to see for yourself. Take all of your guests first arriving at your venue, for example! Also, don’t forget that you can always take stills from the video footage also.

 

Break The Mold… Revert Back To Traditional, Personalized Invites

In this case, you’d be breaking the mold by returning to an old tradition. One that is slowly but surely becoming less popular. Sending personalized wedding invitations, of course! As the whole world moves online, there is a growing trend to invite people via social media. This might be with E-invites, or with a Facebook group. But your wedding invitation is your first impression of the day that you are giving your loved ones. Plus, who doesn’t love receiving mail that isn’t a bill!

 

Break The Mold… Rock A Colored Wedding Dress

White, ivory and cream dresses are beautiful yes. But is that really what you want? If so, great, go for it, but if you think you might want to be adventurous and something different, have the confidence to go for it. It is your wedding day, so nobody should tell you what you can or can’t wear! Wanna wear a huge, royal blue dress? Go for it! Want to wear something silky, red and floor-length? Why not! Your wedding day is your wedding day. Rules are there to be broken, and traditions are there to take or leave! 


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Wedding Planning 101

Lots of women grow up with a detailed idea of how their wedding will look. They know the design of the dress they want. The color scheme has been set in stone for years. And there is often a scrapbook full of centerpiece ideas. Of course, not all girls want a big fairytale wedding.

But would you be happy letting go of the reigns on this most important day of your life?
Tastes and desires do change as we grow up. Each season, new ideas and designs come out that may excite us and influence our decisions about style. I like to think I keep on top of some of the latest trends. Perhaps I am even a trend setter in some respects.

A wedding is a great opportunity to really flex those creative muscles. After all, we often choose our own rings, and write our own vows. There is so much to plan and organize that spending time designing every detail may actually be a little tough to do. Most brides need to find shortcuts. And some will hand over the planning to a friend or a professional. This avoids months of stress and hours of hassle.

GUEST LIST

Most wedding plans start with inviting the guests. Personalized wedding invitations can be made  to your requirements. But why not browse through a large catalogue of choices that you can select from to create what you want? It’s quicker, easier, and may even provide options you didn’t think of before.

HAIR

The same can be done with your hair style. By stepping back from the choices you’ve made in the past, you may be more open to some of the latest and innovative ideas from today. Use Pinterest and YouTube to explore what people are doing. Perhaps your chosen stylist has a portfolio with a style you could fall in love with?

VENUE

Decorating the wedding venue isn’t always possible for a bride to do herself. You may have input about color schemes and floral displays, but you’ll be busy getting dressed on the morning of your wedding. Someone else will have to finalize the decor. You might choose a trusted friend, or you may agree on a theme with the venue manager. Sometimes, we have to put some faith into other people to deliver.


Weddings are so personal for the bride. We all want our own wedding to be absolutely perfect. This means designing it to our tastes and preferences. But sometimes the hassle and stress that brings just aren't worth it. Could you let someone else design your wedding?


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Greek U & Her Campus | A Resource for the Modern Collegian

I remember when I was attending undergrad at Howard University (Bison YOU KNOW)....  I was thousands of miles away from home, in a new city with a future ahead of building new relationships and on the journey of the beginning stages of starting my career. 

To be honest, I was not frightened at all, very excited to start this new venture in my life at one of the most prestigious HBCU's in the nation and to soon be able to call myself an alum and walk in the footsteps of greatness.  I loved my undergrad (wouldn't change it for anything in the world) because it opened soooo many doors for me and taught me how to be independent, hardworking and resilient. I was involved heavily in my academic studies, a member of the marching band, year book committee and a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, International Music Fraternity for women.

   with my sorority sisters singing around our tree <3 @}--

with my sorority sisters singing around our tree <3 @}--

Being apart of different organizations and pledging definitely opened lots of doors for me. I gained a host of new and amazing people in my life and became apart of something greater than myself. Besides the civic duty that we did as a fraternity, one thing I definitely loves was walking across campus in my paraphernalia. There were so much cute Greek gear that you could get for events that it became my secret obsession. 

Greek U is an online resource that provides custom Greek apparel and accessories for sororities and fraternities for an affordable price. The company was founded at Univ. of California- Santa Barbara by a fellow fraternity member, so the company takes pride in creating products that are relatable to today's modern Greek member.

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HER CAMPUS

While there were resources on campus for students transitioning into college and resources for internships, like many other institutions.... there was not enough.

For TODAY'S modern college woman (because I graduated almost 10 years ago...) there are a plethora of online resources to help with transitioning from grade school to university life as well as giving you tools and tips to build confidence and more. Her Campus is an online resource for collegiate women that has a sole goal of empowering women through providing beauty, health, entertainment, DIY, and lifestyle content as well as providing many resources that the young college woman will definitely need.

Some of the resources provided include....

Her Campus was founded by 3 (then) Harvard undergraduate women and has since grown into a platform that not only gives back to other undergraduate women through their 10,000+ contributors (content written FOR YOU by women like YOU), but also has 350 campus chapters nationwide in ten countries. And for those of you looking to branch out into the world of journalism, media or fashion, the company prides itself on being a career launching point where members have been offered jobs and internships from some of the top magazines and newspapers in the world.

I wish there was a resource like this back when I was in undergrad, but I am happy to know that for women (and men) in college today, there are so many resources available. 

Make sure you check out Her Campus today!


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Finding The Right Car with Cars.com

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Cars.com, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Finding the right car can be challenging. Especially when there are so many dealerships (certified and off brand or well known and private owned), going with someone you can trust is like finding the perfect mate.... IT TAKES TIME.  Well to help ease the process for you, your fairy God (father) mother is here to help the process a smooth ride.

Cars.com is a well respected online service helping buyers and owners of cars navigate car ownership. The site helps to connect consumers with honest local dealers across the country by providing a wealth of information giving you all the tools you need to make informed decisions and have confidence when buying your next vehicle. You will find extensive reviews from consumers just like you, and the best part is nothing is sugar coated. They give it to you real and honest. You can also find how-to videos if you are a fixer upper and are very handy with tools, and great pricing and deals on vehicles. Most importantly since Cars.com is a well respected leader in the industry, most dealerships are willing to price match.

SO WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE!!

If you are in the market for a reliable and affordable vehicle, make sure you head to Cars.com.

 

 

 

 

Cars.com helps shoppers buy, sell and service their vehicles.