How to Maintain Your Relationship By Taking Time For Yourself

How to Maintain Your Relationship By Taking Time For Yourself

Relationships are hard work if both parties are invested in the relationship. Lack of work on the relationship can lead to resentment and communication issues. The truth is that working on your relationship isn’t always fun as there are uncomfortable conversations to have in every relationship. Taking time for yourself is part of a healthy relationship as spending every waking moment together can create a codependent dynamic. Time apart does not mean that your relationship is not as strong but will make you more versatile as a person. The following are tips to maintain your relationship by taking time for yourself.

Schedule Time for Yourself

Scheduling time that you will be spending at the gym or other place you enjoy is important. There are a number of hectic schedules in today’s world so it is important to ensure time for yourself and significant other. Using an online calendar might seem overzealous but it can allow you to plan things when your partner does. Time by yourself doesn’t mean quality time for your relationship is not equally important.

Find a Hobby

The best way to fill time for yourself is by doing something that you truly enjoy. Immersing yourself in your hobby for a few hours a week can allow you to enjoy yourself. Hobbies differ immensely as some like that of lifting weights is far more affordable than being interested/repairing classic cars. During the age of this pandemic, it might be great to find a hobby that allows you to easily social distance.

Have a Place Reserved For You at Home

Being able to have a man cave or a she shed allows you to have time at home alone. This doesn’t mean your partner cannot enter this area but rather it is an area predominantly for your interests. Monster sheds can allow for home gyms to be built or even home offices. Even a small place to meditate can be enough if you do not have a large living area in your home/apartment/condo.

Nights Out With Friends Alone Can Be Great

Going out with your friends for a dinner or a night out on the town can be a blast. You can have fun with your significant other there but things are different for a girls or guys nights. Trust issues usually rear their ugly heads if a partner doesn’t trust you when out with certain friends. Make sure that the friends you do spend time with respect your relationship as otherwise you might need to make new friends. A few times of month to watch a big game or have a movie night with friends is a great way to spend quality time with friends.

Spending time doing things that you enjoy will make you a happier significant other. Far too many couples focus on their relationship without taking time to care for themselves as individuals. Take the time to create a schedule where you allot time for yourselves as you won’t regret it. 

How to Make Sugar Free Chocolate Pie

How to Make Sugar Free Chocolate Pie

We all love delicious desserts. It’s the sugar we can go without.

Even though processed  sugar adds a delicious sweet taste to foods, it has been shown to be harmful to health in the following ways.

  • It has calories that can lead to weight gain.
  • It can increase the risk of heart disease.
  • It can cause acne and wrinkles.
  • It can accelerate the aging process.
  • It increases the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • It may increase the risk of cancer.
  • It may contribute to depression.
  • It can increase cellular aging.
  • It reduces energy levels.
  • It can lead to liver disease.
  • It causes inflammation in the body.
  • It’s bad for your teeth.
  • It can increase the risk of developing kidney disease.
  • It can increase the risk of developing gout.
  • It can lead to cognitive decline.

That’s quite a list!

So, taking this into consideration, does this mean we should be completely without sweets? Of course not!

Fortunately, there are plenty of sugarfree desserts you can make that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Here’s one for Sugarfree Chocolate Pie.

Sugarfree Chocolate Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup cocoa or 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 4 ¾ tsp liquid stevia or ½ tsp. pure stevia
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 (9-inch) baked pie shell
  • Whipped cream

Directions:

1. Mix cocoa, stevia, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan.

2. Gradually stir in milk.

Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until boiling. Let boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.

3. Blend in vanilla.

4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and pour into the pie shell. Refrigerate.

5. Top with whipped cream and serve.

Why Stevia?

The reason this sugarfree chocolate pie tastes so great and is a lot healthier than a sugary dessert is because stevia is added.

Stevia is a sugar alternative that is about 200 times sweeter than table sugar. It is way lower in calories and therefore is not linked to weight gain. It has also been shown to reduce insulin and glucose levels to keep blood sugar in check. Therefore, it is better for diabetics.

Even though stevia is a healthier alternative to sugar, there are some health concerns about the product due to the fact that it is processed. Therefore, when buying stevia, you will want to go with a brand that is known for products you can count on for their honest and natural ingredients. The Nutramedix brand is highly recommended.

Nutramedix is known for its honesty, integrity and unique, proprietary extraction processes. Their Stevia product is an herbal supplement containing the stevia leaf extract. It is recommended for supporting glucose levels already in normal range and it is sure to take your recipes to the next level.

Sugar is not great for our bodies, but it sure tastes great. Fortunately, you can use healthier substitutes like stevia to make a delicious sugarfree chocolate pie and other terrific desserts. 

Which sweets are your favorites?

Options to Consider When Working Out Alone Isn’t Producing Results

Options to Consider When Working Out Alone Isn’t Producing Results

Getting that perfect look you wish to attain can be tough as it will take complete dedication. Younger people might be able to get a great body just by going to the gym due to a high metabolism. As we age, our metabolism slows which makes it essential to also eat in a healthy manner to see any results. Putting together a complete program is going to take time and quiet a bit of effort/discipline. Staying on a diet might be the toughest aspect of this for a number of people as unhealthy food just tastes so good! The following are options to consider when working out alone is not producing the results you desire.

Start a Strict Diet

A strict diet should be the first step but this doesn’t have to happen all at once. You can slowly improve your diet by scaling up the number of healthy meals per day over time. Eventually all of your meals are going to healthy although a cheat meal per week can help you keep your sanity. Starting out with a challenge like the Whole 30 Challenge can allow a normal healthy diet to not seem that bad. A popular tactic to start one of these diets is to go on a juice cleanse as you will lose water weight over the course of the cleanse. The cleanse also recommends cutting out caffeine and alcohol a few days before you begin.

Supplements Can Help Immensely

Supplements can help whether you are trying to assist in your recovery so you can workout daily or you need extra nutrients in your body. Even the healthiest of diets might lack in specific vitamins which makes a multivitamin an easy fix. You want to make sure that your supplements align with your personal goals whether they are to build muscle or to lose weight while toning up.

Change Up Your Routine

Your workout routine could be causing you to hit a plateau. You should always be trying new ways to workout as a different form of cardio can raise your heartrate immensely. Swimming is a great example of a way to workout that will raise your heartrate while working out the entire body simultaneously. When you seem to have stopped improving and your body composition is stable then changing can produce additional results.

Consult a Plastic Surgeon to Help

There might be an area that you have tried to work on for years but have garnered very little in terms of results. You might find that you have an area that is common among people to have trouble getting into shape. A number of factors play a role in this but the good news is that it can be handled by a top plastic surgeon. A tummy tuck plastic surgeon can help immensely especially with those areas of your stomach you can’t seem to garner results with.

There are options to help you get the results that you want that vary. Take the time to look at your options as you might see one fits your needs perfectly.

How to Tell If You are Involved in a Toxic Relationship

How to Tell If You are Involved in a Toxic Relationship

Romantic relationships differ immensely whether it is a casual arrangement or you live together. Each portion of a relationship has different challenges that a couple has to work on. The sad truth is that some great relationships turn toxic when both parties in the relationship do not actively work on issues. Bottling up issues can result in a fight that could end the relationship as unforgiveable things can be said during the heat of the moment.

Zero Communication

Communication is a pillar of relationships as it is a huge part of compromise. Compromise is a huge part of a relationship as one party shouldn’t always get what they want. Communication through issues being done daily can allow for small issues to be dealt with and not to compound into larger issues. A partner that isn’t willing to work on their communication clearly does not care about the future of the relationship. Take time weekly to talk about anything and everything as this can allow for both partners to become more understanding.

Abuse of Any Kind

Domestic abuse is a huge issue throughout the world and should not be tolerated. Unfortunately, there are a number of accusations that are baseless when it comes to domestic violence. A partner might try to control the other person through threats of calling the police. A domestic violence attorney has likely seen this in the past so consulting them after the threat has been made could be wise. 

Emotional and verbal abuse usually come in the form of a person telling the other they are worthless. This might seem to come in many forms but its intention is to break you down so you think that you need the abuser. Abuse is a telltale sign of a toxic relationship so get out now if you can!

Separation from Friends/Family

Controlling relationships can turn toxic quickly as emotional abusers usually separate their partner from those that they love the most. This happens for a few reasons including that those closest to a person might be able to express their displeasure at the relationship. All couples should have friends together and their own friends. You do not have to go everywhere with your partner and privacy is important in serious relationships. Take time to identify this controlling behavior as it is likely more apparent than you think.

Dishonesty/Infidelity

Dishonesty usually is associated with infidelity when it arises in a relationship. Infidelity has changed over the years with dating apps coming to the forefront of the dating world. Far too many married people are on these apps for various reasons. Emotional and physical cheating are very different but can destroy a relationship all the same. There shouldn’t be a reason that you track your partner’s location via their phone. Trust is a huge issue in a number of relationships so make sure the truth becomes a focus in your relationship. Keep in mind there are serial cheaters so this might not be the end of your infidelity problems no matter how much they promised it would not happen again.

Toxic relationships can become healthy again if both parties are willing to work on it. Not all people are willing to change so if you notice this, end the relationship immediately as not all relationships are meant to work out.

Arranged Marriage vs Forced Marriage: Everything You Need to Know

Interested to know the difference between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage so you can identify it better? Discover the signs to look out for, right here…

Arranged marriages are not the same as forced marriages. In an arranged marriage, both parties always give their consent but, in a forced marriage, victims are coerced into a marriage that they do not want. They also often suffer physical and mental abuse in the process.

Distinguishing between the two types of marriage is really important. Forcing a marriage is a criminal offence, requiring a Forced Marriage Protection Order to protect the victim. Getting the two confused can promote a negative image of certain cultures and countries who practice arranged marriage.

There are no ‘typical’ victims of forced marriage. That said, there are a number of signs that can indicate that someone is at risk of a forced marriage, or is already in one. With this in mind, to discover the differences between these two controversial marriages so you can better spot them, read on…

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What are the Differences Between a Forced Marriage and an Arranged Marriage?

It is important to understand the differences between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. Not only will this avoid wires getting crossed between culture and abuse, you may be able to better spot it…

Arranged Marriages

An arranged marriage is where a family find a marriage partner for their son or daughter, but the marriage is entered into willingly. Both parties have the option to choose whether or not to enter into the marriage, although it is generally believed that parents know what is best for their children in the long run.

In arranged marriages, parents will look for a partner for their son or daughter who has a good family, good career prospects, and the same religion and values; someone who will ultimately make their child happy. That’s not to say that all arranged marriages end in happiness. For children who refuse to marry their chosen partner, they are often shamed and cut off from their family.

Forced Marriages

A forced marriage, on the other hand, is one in which either one or both parties do not consent. This could be because the person is too young, they have a learning disability which prevents them from making an informed decision, they have a physical disability, or because they simply don’t want to. 

Forced marriage is illegal in the UK, and victims are often coerced into marrying through physical, psychological, sexual or financial abuse. Some victims are sometimes unaware of the situation, and are then drugged or kidnapped so that they can’t escape and are forced to go through with the marriage.

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Who is Most at Risk of Forced Marriage?

There is no ‘typical’ victim of a forced marriage. It can happen to anyone from any background. It can affect both men and women who are usually aged between 13 and 30. It is also not a problem specific to one culture or country. 

According to the latest statistics from the government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), in 2019 they handled 1,355 cases related to a possible forced marriage. These related to 66 different countries, excluding the UK. The most frequently encountered countries were:

  • Pakistan
  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Afghanistan
  • Somalia
  • Iraq
  • Romania

This could be the country in which the forced marriage is due to take place, or has already taken place. It could also be the country in which the spouse is currently living. There were 72 cases reported in the UK in 2019. Of these cases the FMU handled in 2019;

  • 27 percent involved victims below 18 years of age
  • 36 percent involved victims aged 18-25 years of age
  • 10 percent involved victims with learning disabilities
  • 80 percent involved female victims
  • 19 percent involved male victims

These are the reported cases only. The full scale of the problem in the UK, and other related countries, is unknown, as many cases go unreported. Because fo this, the government introduced lifelong anonymity to forced marriage victims in 2017, to encourage more people to come forward.

Why Do Forced Marriages Happen?

There are a varied number of reasons for forced marriage, many of these reasons relating to family honour. Some of the most typical reasons this might occur include:

  • Parents reacting to social pressure from friends or older relatives to marry off their children;
  • Parents believing that their children’s behaviour is starting to disgrace the family honour;
  • If a child reveals that they have been raped or sexually abused, the parents may force them to marry to restore the family honour;
  • Retaining wealth and property in the family;
  • Marrying children into a wealthy family to reduce poverty and pay off debts;
  • Marrying children with physical or learning disabilities so that they are taken care of;
  • Forcing children to marry to cover up their true sexual identity, e.g. lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
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What Does the Law Say About Forced Marriages?

Forced marriage has been illegal in the UK since 2014, under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. Because of this, it is now a criminal offence to:

  • Take someone overseas to force them to marry (whether or not the marriage actually takes place)
  • Marry someone who lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage (whether they are coerced or not)

Committing this offence can result in imprisonment for up to seven years.

In 2008, under the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007, the government introduced Forced Marriage Protection Orders in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to protect victims who are being forced into a marriage or who are already in a forced marriage. Anyone who breaches this Order is committing a criminal offence, and it can result in imprisonment for up to five years.

How to Spot the Signs of a Forced Marriage

Now that we know more details about what exactly forced marriage entails, and who is most at risk, spotting the signs is crucial. Here are some of the things you can look out for in others that may signal a forced marriage, both before and after the marriage has taken place:

  • Parents removing a child from education of from participating in extra-curricular activities for no reason;
  • High levels of absenteeism from school, college or work;
  • The victim may come from a community where ‘honour’ is culturally embedded;
  • An engagement announcement between the victim and a stranger not previously mentioned;
  • Changes to the victim’s personality e.g. they may appear depressed, anxious or withdrawn, and their appearance may deteriorate;
  • The victim may go missing or have a fear of returning home;
  • The victim may talk about a family holiday abroad with trepidation;
  • The victim may go abroad and not return home;
  • The victim’s family may regularly check up on them when they’re not home via phone, emails or text messages;
  • Incidents of crime or domestic disturbances at the victim’s home;
  • The victim may not have any control over their own life e.g. they may not be allowed a phone, money or access to the internet;
  • The victim may show signs of self-harm or even attempt suicide;
  • The victim may experience an unwanted pregnancy or a pregnancy very early in their marriage;
  • The victim may have their passport or other legal documents taken away from them so that they can’t leave.
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What Should You do if You Think That you or Someone Else is at Risk of a Forced Marriage?

There is lots of help out there from the government and domestic abuse charities, such as Refuge, Karma Nirvana and the Halo Project, who can give you advice. If you believe you or someone you know is in immediate danger, always call 999.

The Forced Marriage Unit can also help you or someone you know. Just be sure to have as many details as possible ready before getting in touch, including:

  • Name (you or the person you are calling about)
  • Address (you or the person you are calling about)
  • Details of why you are concerned about your own or someone else’s safety
  • Any details about where you or another person is being forced to go or has gone

If you’re not comfortable calling any of these helplines, or you’re not able to, try speaking to someone you trust. This could be a friend, co-worker, or even your GP.

Getting a Forced Marriage Protection Order

If you’re being forced into marriage, are unable to leave a forced marriage, or someone you know is in this boat, there are legal avenues you can take. Applying to the court for a Forced Marriage Protection Order is the main pathway to look into.

The order is designed to protect victims of forced marriage based on their individual circumstances. For example, the court can stop someone from approaching you or threatening you, and can even order someone to hand over your passport so that they cannot force you to travel abroad.

It is also possible to get an emergency order to protect you or someone you know immediately. This does not require the involvement of the person you’re making the order against.

If you’re concerned that you are about to be taken abroad to be married against your will, then contact the Forced Marriage Protection Unit. Or, if you are already abroad, contact your nearest British Embassy. You can also do this on behalf of someone else.

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Get Help and Support About a Forced Marriage

As mentioned above, if you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 999 straight away.

Forcing someone to marry against their will is a form of domestic abuse and is a criminal offence. If you think that you are at risk of a forced marriage or you think that someone else might be, there are many resources and helplines available to help:

Forced Marriage Unit: 020 7008 0151

Refuge: 0808 2000 247

The Halo Project: 01642 683 045

Karma Nirvana: 0800 5999 247

If you wish to apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Remember, help and protection is available; don’t suffer in silence.

Top Tips for Buying a Home during a Pandemic

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During ‘normal’ times, buying a house is always a very involving process. It involves meeting lots of people, from sellers and advisors. The level of human interaction is quite high, which is a considerable problem in combating the Covid-19 pandemic. In this complicated Covid-19 times, you may be wondering whether buying a house is possible. Well, here is some help. Here are some tips that will help you buy a home and still ensure safety.

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Find a Tech-Savvy Real Estate Agent

An excellent real estate agent is key to finding the ideal home for you. Apart from aligning with your needs, real estate agents are now required to be conversant with technology. This is because physical meetings expose you to risks. Therefore, the agent of your choice needs to be comfortable in hosting online meetings. This is through platforms such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, and many more. There also applications that allow you to receive and sign documents digitally. Such measures ensure a limit on time spent moving around and coming into contact with contaminated surfaces.

Consider Virtual Tours

House tours where there were cookies for everyone to nibble on are no longer viable. Visits carried out at the comfort of your couch are now the in-thing. Your realtor can easily send you pictures and videos of prospect properties. Since sellers can always edit videos, you may ask for a real-time virtual tour or a Face time with the realtor. This will ensure you get a feel of the house and make observations on imperfections without edits. The primary purpose of virtual tours is to eliminate some properties from a long list of choices. It is unnecessary to visit numerous houses where you expose yourself to more risks. Take your time and visit Movoto.com to narrow down your choices.

Remote House Inspection

Skipping a house inspection is one of the biggest mistakes you could make when buying. However hard the times maybe, you could still get a thorough home inspection, without necessarily putting yourself at risk. You can easily find agencies that conduct remote inspections by consulting with websites that show house listings. An independent review is the best option. The agency will take videos and pictures of things they find faulty in the house. This helps in getting a full report on the state of the residence. The findings reach you through a virtual meeting. Apart from that, after inspecting the house, the inspectors sanitize all surfaces before and after physically examining them.

Apply for Loan Pre-Approvals Online

Getting pre-approved for a loan ensures your finances for your house are okay. Before the pandemic, several lenders had transformed into a fully online system for efficiency. Thus, it should not be hard finding a loan officer who is conversant with an online order. The officer should provide learning materials, where you can learn everything about mortgage, the interest rates, and still track your loan progress. Shop around for loan officers, compare what they are offering and pick the best. Documents that the officer needs to assess, such as credit history, bank statements, or tax returns, are also available online. This ensures a paperless system with limited human contact.

Prepare Efficiently for the Showing

When you narrow down your options to a few houses, you could start physical visits. There are some details about the house that may not be detected by virtual tours. This includes things like smells. For those few house tours, you should prepare thoroughly. Carry your mask and sanitizer.

Additionally, insist on precautions such as filling of questionnaires to ascertain the health status of everyone involved in the process. You could also practice habits that reduce our exposure to the virus like avoiding touching your face. You could also arrange such that showings are minimal to avoid congestion. Such simple preparations reduce your likelihood of contracting the virus tremendously.

Remote House Closings

Previously, house closings involved shaking hands and handing over keys, among other activities, where both parties heavily interacted. Since there are documents that require signing, physical presence is necessary. However, both parties could observe social distancing by choosing a favorable location for the closing. This could be a conference room, with plenty of room for sufficient air circulation. Alternatively, the parties can occupy different rooms or use personal vehicles as an office. Signing often takes very little time, which reduces exposure time significantly.

Final Thoughts

As things slowly move back to normalcy, more buyers are exploring the market for homes. Therefore, there is an influx of buyers in the market. When you come across a good deal, move fast and close as you are up against a vast competition. Also, do not rush into sales to keep up with the market. Remember that your health is of paramount importance. Avoid unnecessary meetings and take all necessary precautions to protect yourself.

Recognizing a Successful Real Estate Agent

Recognizing a Successful Real Estate Agent

Finding the right person to list your home or help you on a search to buy a new one can be daunting. There are dozens of real estate agents in any community, and since your decision to buy and sell can be lifechanging, you definitely need to pick the right agent for the job. Here are some hallmark identifiers of a successful real estate agent.

Local Experience and Knowledge

If someone is new to town, they aren’t going to know all about the school districts or where the closest communities are to transportation hubs. You don’t want a beginner helping you find your dream home. A local agent will experience may grab your attention through real estate prospecting postcards. This local form of advertising may be worth a second look.

Strong Organizational Skills

When you speak to an agent, you want to know that they are truly listening to what you say. They could drag you around from house to house, but if none of these homes have the details or designs that you are looking for, it is nothing more than a waste of time. A successful real estate agent will note the wants and needs of the client when looking at properties, sorting them into priorities and affordability.

Reliable Connections

When you fall in love with a home, you want to know that your agent is going to get the job done. Whether it be the negotiations with the listing agent or arranging for signing at a title company, your agent should have reliable connections and a strong reputation in the field among his or her peers. Agents that can work well with others get the job done faster and with less headache.

Don’t launch your dreams of a perfect home to a real estate agent without checking them out beforehand. You want a partner in the process, not a stressor.

When It Comes To School Reopening, “There’s An App For That”

When It Comes To School Reopening, “There’s An App For That”

With the incidence of new COVID-19 cases growing by the day, healthcare stakeholders are continuing to search for tools and medications to help stem the tide. We have seen the digital health community release a slew of new tools aiming to monitor the spread of the disease and facilitate better treatment. And it sounds as if there’s still more to come, as tech giants Facebook, Amazon and Google sat down with the World Health Organization (WHO) to talk about their role in combating the spread of disease, as well as misinformation. 

As of this morning there were over 4.8 million laboratory-confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. The medical community has rushed to search for solutions to the spread of the disease with a big push for vaccine and medicine research. 

In lieu of a vaccine or therapy for COVID-19, the idea is to provide evidence-based guidance to businesses and schools that otherwise don’t know how to go about developing a return-to-work plan. In the absence of clear leadership here or clear guidance from the government, a lot of employers and educators feel like they’re having to play armchair epidemiologist — and very few employers or teachers are really positioned to do that.

Technology has a history of helping the medical industry track and treat viruses. Among more recent examples is flu tracking. In 2018 the US experienced a particularly severe flu season. During this time aggregated user data collected through Kinsa’s smart connected thermometers indicated illness spikes across the country.

Even more recently, a Scripps Research Translational Institute study published in The Lancet Digital Health found that resting-heart-rate and sleep-duration data collected from Fitbit devices could help inform timely and accurate models of population-level influenza trends.

And now, as schools grapple with how to safely reopen this fall, DrOwl is offering their groundbreaking new platform to schools for free. Neither students nor teachers are likely to return to school if they fear infection, so there needs to be some way to separate the sick from the. DrOwl’s technology is helping schools make their activities safer for staff, students, and guests, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health screening and contact tracing are a large part of reducing the potential spread of COVID-19 in schools. DrOwl does both of these things.

As a technology company, we are thrilled to use our skills and expertise to help during this crisis.  We understand the importance of a solid screening process and that it is one of the things that is helping get us get back to school in a safe, well-thought manner,” said Arvind Raichur, CEO, and Co-Founder of DrOwl. “Our screening tool is a game-changer for schools, businesses, and so many other organizations throughout the world.”

The digital tools go far beyond the infrared thermometers and temperature checks that have dominated the conversation around safely reopening. The new wave of software products allows employers and schools to direct their workers and students to get a Covid-19 test, clear them to return to work or school, track their symptoms, and trace the contacts of anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus.

The rollouts are forcing digital health vendors and their customers to navigate a range of unprecedented legal, cultural, and financial questions. Among them: What kinds of surveillance can employers require their workers to submit to — and will employees actually use these tools? Just as 9/11 led to more invasive security in airports and other vulnerable spaces, most indications are the pandemic will lead to more pervasive health surveillance abetted by new digital tools.

Civil liberties experts say it is important for any virus-tracking of employees or students to be voluntary. Otherwise, by linking identification technologies like facial recognition to employees’ or students’ health status, businesses and schools could usher in an authoritarian, China-like system of surveillance and social control at workplaces and schools.

We are accepting encroachments on privacy here that we would not normally accept,” said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union. “We need to be vigilant to make sure that they don’t outlast this crisis.” Four Republican senators said in May they would introduce a Covid-19 privacy bill to hold businesses accountable when they use people’s health information to fight the pandemic. Some of the reopening tools may raise questions about whether employers or schools are invading their workers’ or students’ privacy — and so digital health vendors pitching pandemic-related services are taking steps to try to steer clear of such concerns. As least for now, increased tracking and screening seem poised to become a fact of daily life for workers, students, and consumers.

Effective Marketing In A Remote, COVID-19 World

Effective Marketing In A Remote, COVID-19 World

The start of 2020 not only brought a new decade, but it also brought a new mysterious pneumonia-like virus outbreak known as the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). With the number of cases continuously increasing daily, the World Health Organization declared the novel COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. Millions of people worldwide have been affected in one way or another by this outbreak. With over 4.2 million+ confirmed cases around the globe, it’s apparent that the outbreak is moving quickly and spreading rapidly. 

Some countries are currently experiencing a rapid rise in new cases. Meanwhile, in others, the rate of growth has slowed after leaders have instituted nationwide lockdowns, leading to a battered world economy. As a result, many businesses around the world were forced to change their working conditions and some even had to shut down. However, that doesn’t mean things will be like this forever and it doesn’t mean your marketing and creative engine has to grind to a hault.  By engaging a company to help with your work on an outsourced basis, you save financially while consistently moving your marketing engine forward.  Flocksy is the premier outsource creative, content and marketing platform, that engages only professional creatives. With this service, you can not only create a game plan, and utilize various marketing strategies, but also support your business while it is in a transition of any kind.  Re-opening takes planning, time, effort, and the proper deployment of both inbound and outbound marketing.  By utilizing a custom service on a retainer-basis, you can engineer your growth, remain consistent with your customers, and reap the rewards from your hard work. 

The main goals of a successful re-opening digital marketing strategy should be to build consumer confidence through clear communications that set and manage expectations related to your business operations. Best customer communications practices include:

  • Use multiple communication channels to ensure your message is widely received and reinforced.
  • Create and share a FAQ document to address the most common questions regarding your health and safety practices and other important changes to your daily operations.
  • Be prepared to listen and respond to customer comments and inquiries quickly.

Develop a reopening digital marketing strategy that addresses each of your online channels such as your website, your social media, online advertising, and your Google My Business profile(s).

Step 1: Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

Over 5 billion search queries are performed daily on Google search. Google specifically built its Google My Business platform to help local businesses attract customers. A properly optimized Google My Business profile is proven to help achieve a top Google search rankings and directly attract customers. Therefore, optimizing and maintaining your Google My Business profile should be pivotal part of your re-opening strategy.

Step 2: Update Your Website in Key Places

After seeing your Google My Business page and your recent Google Posts, your customers should have the confidence that your website has the same information to match. On your website, you can offer expanded content pinpointing specific operational shifts your customers may expect.

For critical operational updates or promotional offers, consider adding copy where it’s most likely to be seen. Review heatmap or clickmap data to determine what sections of your website maximize exposure of your message. Consider adding a pop-up message to capture attention and eliminate confusion. It may mean the difference between more revenue or less.

Finally, if you have specific and developing information about your business, whether this is health and safety-related or new reopening guidelines, an important digital marketing strategy tip is to create a separate page or section on your website and direct visitors to it.

This can be accomplished through a pop-up, a link on your main navigation, or a link or banner from critical pages. This grabs customers’ interest and makes sure they know all the details when it comes to your reopening. If the information is health and safety-related, this gives you the chance to make your customers feel comfortable about returning to your business as you reopen.

Step 3: Update Your Social Profiles

Today, customers expect a business’ social media to be the most accurate and up-to-date resource for operational changes. Your social media profiles may very well be the “front door” for customers online because each channel serves content in a chronological timeline. The date of your most recent update shows your level of activity to keep customers informed through your reopening.

To implement a strong digital marketing strategy, first, audit your social profiles – make sure you know what profiles represent your business online. Consider:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Yelp

Not only is it important to be prepared, but it’s also important to learn how to adapt and make changes where necessary. As a business owner, you need to be able to respond and adjust your strategy accordingly. Flocksy can help you update your digital marketing materials quickly and affordably. They offer web development, graphic design, copywriting and video production.

Normalcy is not going to happen overnight. In fact, “normal” for you moving forward may look very different from what it looked like before the coronavirus pandemic. Your journey back to the volume of customers you had before may take time, but all your business can do is keep learning, growing, and evolving as new information becomes available. It’s important to continuously research, learn, and adapt so that your business can be the best it can be.

Why is Access to Healthy Foods Important?

Why is Access to Healthy Foods Important?

Healthy foods provide us with the nutrition our bodies need. Without this nutrition, our bodies break down leading to future health issues.

For some of us, eating healthy food is not much of an issue. For others, it can be a matter of life and death.

If you look in your grocery stores, you may notice that healthy foods are often more expensive than “not as healthy” food products. When you compare organic to non-organic, organic will always have a higher price tag. Lower fats and non-fat foods also tend to be more expensive than foods with a high fat content.

Because healthy foods are more expensive, lower income people may not be able to afford them. As a result, grocery stores in lower income neighborhoods may not carry these foods at all.

But the problems don’t stop there.

Data from 2012-2013 shows that the average person lived 2.19 miles from a supermarket. While that is not very far for those who have a car, it is impossible to walk this distance with a week’s worth of groceries, and carrying them on public transportation isn’t much easier.

Then there are the food deserts. Food deserts are areas where food resources are limited which is often the case in low income areas. As a result, convenience stores and small food markets may be the only way for these people to access food. Unfortunately, these smaller businesses tend not to offer a lot of healthy food options.

Why is Access to Healthy Foods Important?

If you are wondering, why is access to healthy foods important, read on to find out.

Those who do not have access to healthy foods are likely to experience health problems in the future. Diabetes and obesity are two health issues that are quite common in low-income neighborhoods where people do not have access to the healthy foods they need.

What is Being Done?

Fortunately, the issue of a lack of access to healthy foods has not gone unnoticed. As a result, several strategies have been implemented to “improve diets by altering food environments.” For instance, Supplemental Nutrition Access Programs have helped low income individuals afford the healthy food they need.

Other strategies include opening supermarkets in underserved neighborhoods, lowering the prices of healthy foods and limiting the number of fast food restaurants in communities.

It Starts with You

Healthy foods are important but to really make sure you are getting the nutrition you need, supplements are recommended.

Garden of Life is a brand that is dedicated to creating a world where obesity and diabetes are a thing of the past. They manufacture whole foods nutritional supplements that they believe will help make that dream a reality. Products like their Omega 3 Fish Oil, their Woman’s Once Daily, and their FucoThin Fat Burner are just some Garden of Life products designed to boost health and wellness.

The question is not really, “Why is access to healthy foods important?” Rather, it’s “What do we need to do to make healthy foods more accessible?” Fortunately, programs are underway to help people get the nutritious foods they need. Hopefully this will make a change in promoting better health throughout the world.