It's time for a home tech make over. No gimmicks

A recent Fortune article made the case that the “smart home” is, in fact, stupid. It was a funny headline, but it appeals to a broader sense among most people that the inexorable rise of technology isn’t always particularly useful. Do we really need a smart toaster in the kitchen? Is it wise to have showers that we can talk do? Do our fridges the ability to do our grocery shopping for us?

The level of technology we want in our homes is a personal decision. Each of us will have a different threshold for the level of tech-related blunders that they are willing to accept. With that said, technology can also be a force for good, even if you’re not a particularly tech-savvy person.

It’s time for a home tech makeover. Here’s how to get the best from your technology to make life easier. No gimmicks.

Boost Your Connection Speed

Image result for internet fibre

There’s nothing more annoying than a slow connection to the internet. And when you’ve got four or five people trying to download videos at the same time, you soon notice if your provider isn’t giving you the service you paid for.

The good news is that you can check your connection speed. A service by i3Broadband allows you to test how fast you can download online. You can then compare this speed to that advertised by your provider to see if they actually do match up.

Get An Assistant

Image result for home assistant

One of the fastest-growing tech market segments today is the home assistant. Amazon, Google, and Apple all have viable products in this space.

The benefits of a home assistant are many. You can get them to remind you about stuff, ask them questions, get them to tell you recipes, and a whole host of other beneficial things.
But what’s so exciting about these home assistant products is that they are improving all the time. The value you get today isn’t the value that you’ll get tomorrow. Over time, these systems will continue to improve. And because all of the technology is contained within the cloud, there’s no need to go out and buy new software. You just wait for updates and get a better service with each round.

Automate The Boring Stuff

Perhaps the best implementation of home automation so far is the automation of the stuff that nobody wants to do. At the moment, automation is limited to things that don’t require much manual dexterity to operate. For instance, light switches, door locks, and alarms. These can all be controlled electronically. But not having to fumble around for keys or tap in codes to set alarms can be a great help, especially if you have a busy family life.

Image result for home automation

Just as with home assistants, home automation is a technology that is only just getting started. Already there are lights and speakers on the market which will adjust to your mood and preferences. And we’re likely to see this accelerate, especially when robots become dextrous enough to begin performing more complex tasks. Who wants to do the dishes anyway?

Self Care: an opportnity for the family

Living with a chronic illness can be an isolating feeling. You will undoubtedly need to overcome challenges, as well as accept and adapt to new realities. Mental health disorders can be considered chronic conditions and affect tens of millions of people each year, including children.

When an individual is impacted by mental illness the people closest to them in life are as well. But support from family and loved ones is a crucial part of restoring and maintaining good mental health. Making self-care a priority in your family’s routine can strengthen and sustain the entire family’s well-being.

Luckily, there are a number of ways that the entire family can take part in self-care:
Educate each other.
In many cases, family members and other close loved ones are the first to recognize changes in each other’s mood and behavior. When there is a complete understanding of the struggles that someone is facing, there is less of an opportunity for feelings of isolation and misinterpretation of actions and attitudes. Empower the whole family to use education to create an environment of camaraderie. You may not know where to start - and that’s okay! There are free, family-friendly mental health materials that easily introduce information and share personal experiences of others who have also been affected by mental health conditions. It’s comforting to know others are out there and that they have made it through this journey.

Embrace expressive outlets.
There can be a point where words will not suffice. Sometimes feelings are so intense or unfamiliar that we have a hard time explaining them. Encouraging your family to find a creative outlet to channel their feelings will reduce the risk of internalizing intense emotions. Whether each of you keeps a journal, creates music, or makes art through drawing or painting - you will give voice to experiences and feelings not easily expressed through spoken word. Creative outlets provide safe and productive ways to de-stress and manage emotions.

Remedy your mind with exercise.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness affirms that family has a big influence on how we perceive exercise and mental health: “Exercising as a family not only gets the entire family moving to reap the benefits of exercise but also models healthy beliefs about physical activity and improves family relationships.” There’s no need to be a family of star athletes to begin and enjoy exercising. Nor do you need to have hours on end of spare time to get moving. Building physical activity into your family’s routine can be as simple as a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood, or, as entertaining as having a dance party or teaming up for a local “fun run” with paint or bounce house themes. When enticing, exercise has the power to enhance mood and energy, combat stress, increase self-esteem, and improve social relationships.

Recovery is a family effort. It takes a lot of energy from all members even if you don’t realize it at first. Taking care of your mind and body will only make you more energized and ready to face whatever tasks the day brings. A strong family unit is essential, work together and be a support system.


How to plan for unexpected future

There are many things in life that you will have absolutely no control over, and this is understandably rather frustrating and even exasperating at times because you will often feel helpless in certain situations, and no one likes to feel that way. But although this can get you down, it's important to take your attention away from that and instead focus your energy on the things you can control.

When thinking about the future, there are most likely a million and one thoughts that race through your mind at the same time, and that's because there are so many paths and possibilities and opportunities out there that you can't just focus on one thing at a time. While a lot of things will feel out of your hands, there are a few very important areas of your life that you need to think about so that you're able to plan for the unexpected future in your own way. Remember that you're your own individual, and you may want to go in a direction that your friends don't, and that's okay. We're all different, and you should never feel as if you need to conform and fit in. Just embrace being you, and have fun while doing so.

The health
One of the most important things in your life, is making sure that you look after your health the way that you should so that you can live a long and happy life. This starts from very early on when you're young, but as you grow up and become an adult, you soon realise just how much more important your health seems because you're constantly being made aware of new illnesses and issues that happen, especially if you're not being careful and responsible. It doesn't have to be a complicated thing though, the most basic rule is to consume goodness. This means minerals, vitamins, and nutrients that your body needs. Then pair that up with some regular exercise to get your heart beating and your blood pumping and you're already off to a great start.

The career
Some people are fortunate enough to know exactly what they want to do as a career, and so they keep their head down and study in order to get the necessary grades they need to have a chance at bagging their dream job. But for others, they have absolutely no idea, or too many things at once that stops them from being able to settle. If this is you, don't worry about it. Of course, the older you get the more stressful it becomes because you will feel as though everyone is passing you by and you're still stuck not knowing what to do. But it's important that you know that there is no time limit. It's never too late to go back to school and take some courses. As long as you're happy and passionate about whatever it may be that you want to do, then there's no reason that you can't achieve it, no matter how old you are.

The finances
When it comes to your money, there are so many options that you have of ensuring you know how to manage your finances and save up along the way. You never know when an event might happen that results in you needing a large sum of money quick. You may be involved in an accident that leaves you needing medical attention, but as a result, you have fees to pay off, and sometimes if you're not able to pay, you're left with bad credit score and a whole lot of debt - something that you will very much want to avoid from happening. So you need to save up when you can so that you always have something there to tap into. You can find out more with a Health Savings Account Guide that tells you all there is to know. It's also a good idea to speak to a financial advisor as well so that you can get a professional opinion from an expert in finances.

Now you have a few things to think about, try and reflect on your life so far, and ask yourself if there's anything that you want to decide to do a little differently now. This may be to benefit you even more, or it may be because you're simply bored and feel like a change. Regardless of what the reasoning may be, you are in control of your own destiny.


Today I turn 36...

36 Things I Learned By 36
1)Greys Anatomy is the greatest show ever created, and Friends is the worst. 

2)Marry your best friend because life is hard and you need someone to laugh with. 

3)A clean house is addictive, and will make you feel 10x better.

4)My emotions have nothing to do with truth. Some days I feel unloved, alone, and unworthy, but God says we are loved, cared for, and righteous. Ignore those feelings, they're lies.

5)Being home with your people is way better than going out. 

6)It gets harder to make friends the older you get, and to keep them.

7)Making more money will not make you happier. I promise.

8)Spending time with your kids is way better than doing laundry, but still do laundry because being naked is apparently frowned upon.

9) frozen beats every other kids movie ever, hands down, no argument.

10)Stop trying to make a plan, and live with purpose. Plans never work out anyway.

11)It's not about you. This one takes a long time to really sink in. We are born thinking we are the center of the universe, but we're not.

12)It's okay to be lazy. Take a break, spend your day in bed! 

13)There's never a perfect time to make big moves like buying a house, getting married, or having kids. Do it anyway. 

14)You don't have to go out and make grand gestures to love God. Right where you are, with the people you already know is right where God put you. 

15)Baby sneezes are to die for

16)Being right is a lot less important than the relationship with the person your trying to prove wrong. 

17)Date your spouse forever. Never stop dating! 

18)If you're spending all your money on yourself, you're doing it wrong. Give a little, or a lot! 

19)Take care of yourself. Even when it feels like you have no time, make your health a priority. You can't take care of other if you neglect yourself.

20)Be present. Put your phone down and enjoy the people your with. 

21)Your success and failures have nothing to do with who you are. God says you're his. 

22)Don't overthink life, just live each day as if its your last.

23)Every now and then it is good to stop and look at how children see the world. Remember how it was to be a child and look at life with a sense of wonder and adventure without any jaded opinions?

24) I am not perfect nor am I vain enough to think that I am even close to perfect. I make mistakes. I stumble. I fall. Some days I am a big bundle of mess. I am darkness and I am light. We are beautiful souls despite our faults. We are as unique as the snowflakes that fall from the sky.

25) you can not buy happiness. We’ve heard it a million times. It is not found in a box, on a shelf, online or in a store. Stuff will never fill that void. In fact it will make us feel more empty. True story.

26)Appreciate life with all its quirks and blessings. It all happens for a reason. If you don’t stop and enjoy it then at the end what was the point? Just when you think that you are getting the hang of it those ray hairs start poking up in your head. With all stages there are positive and negative. No point focusing on the bad.

27)Practice gratitude. It is one of the best ways to find contentment. Humans are often discontent. We want what we don’t have. When we stop and remember all that we do have then suddenly our way of thinking turns around. Things like health and relationships all mean so much more than material things.

28) We are taught to conform. Media is prevalent in our world. It is everywhere that we turn and we follow what we are ‘supposed to’. Go ahead and question people. Research all that you can. You may just be surprised at what you find out.

29) Sometimes you just have to lighten up. Throw caution to the wind. Be silly. Dance in your living room. Sing at the top of your lungs. Laugh really loud. I can’t imagine that anyone has regretted any of these things.

30) Stop and take the time to show others that you care. Love isn’t always enough – actions are another way to show and say thanks or proclaim love.

31) Life is short. Don’t waste time worrying about what other people think. I am not sure at what age this happens but there is a time in your life when a switch is turned on and you really start living your life how YOU want to.

32) Not everything is intentional. I used to get so disappointed with people thinking that they would intentionally hurt me. Now I know that we just all think and do things differently. Their actions were not always for the purpose of intentionally being hurtful. It is ok to let people go. Everyone comes into our life for a reason. Remember the good times.

33) Stop with the comparison game. This can be a toughie. I have some very inspirational friends that I look up to and admire. I also know that we all have our junk to contend with. Lift each other up instead of cutting each other down.

34) Be yourself. Always. Seriously. Though you may want to fit in with everyone it is much more fun to be you. The people that are right for you will stick around.

35) Slow down. Life is most enjoyed when we can stop and savour it at a leisurely pace.

36) Your past is not your future. You cannot change your past so focus on the present. We all do stupid things at one time or another. What is important is that we learn from it and move on.

© Take A Walk In My Shoes. Design by FCD.