Why You Could Have Mesothelioma Without Knowing

Why You Could Have Mesothelioma Without Knowing

Like many cancers that take significant time to develop, you could have mesothelioma without knowing. Symptoms can take decades to appear and often mimic other common health problems, which makes early detection challenging.

What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?

If you’re suffering from certain health issues that don’t seem to be getting better, talk to your doctor about the possibility of mesothelioma. Here are some of the symptoms that indicate you might have this form of cancer:

  • Chest pain
  • Pleural effusions (fluid build-up in the pleura)
  • Painful breathing
  • A persistent cough
  • Stomach pains
  • Ascites (fluid build-up in the peritoneum)
  • Weight loss with no explanation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pericardial effusion (fluid build-up in the pericardium)
  • Heart murmurs

These symptoms are shared by other, more common health issues like asthma, COPD, the flu, and pneumonia. If you experience any of these issues, it’s easy to think it’s caused by something else. Since the symptoms of mesothelioma can take decades to appear, by the time you notice these symptoms, you may not even remember being exposed to the culprit: asbestos.

Asbestos causes nearly all cases of mesothelioma

There are a few different types of this cancer, but all are almost exclusively caused by asbestos. You’ve probably heard of asbestos, but you might not know exactly what it is and why it’s so dangerous.

There are six main types of asbestos, and all pose a significant danger to human health. As a mineral, it’s composed of flexible fibers that are surprisingly heat-resistant and deflect electricity and corrosion. These qualities make asbestos quite useful and as such, it’s often used to make products like insulation, electrical parts, cement and building materials, and also auto parts.

Unfortunately, despite its usefulness, asbestos fibers tend to be jagged and sharp, and when inhaled, they become lodged inside of the lungs and trapped throughout the body in various places. This causes inflammation and scarring, which eventually leads to cancer.

The different types of mesothelioma

The most common form of this cancer is pleural mesothelioma, which makes up about 80% of all cases. This is caused when you inhale asbestos fibers that become embedded in the pleura (the lining of your lungs), which is made of mesothelial cells. As the fibers cause irritation, the tissue becomes thicker and fluid begins to build up around the lungs. As the lining thickens, the lungs are prevented from expanding completely, which makes breathing painful.

The next most common form is peritoneal mesothelioma. This accounts for about 20% of cases and comes from ingesting asbestos dust. When swallowed, the sharp asbestos fibers end up lodged in the peritoneum, where they cause the same irritation in the lining.

Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest type of this cancer and accounts for less than 1% of cases. Medical experts aren’t sure how it happens, but this form is caused by asbestos fibers making their way to the pericardium (the heart’s lining). An even rarer place for asbestos fibers to travel to is the testicles.

You may not know you’ve been exposed to asbestos

It’s common for people to be exposed without knowing they’ve come into contact with asbestos. Your chances of having been exposed are high if you’ve worked in construction or as an auto mechanic. However, many people have been exposed from their home.

Although asbestos is dangerous, it only becomes a problem when airborne. When it’s properly contained, it doesn’t pose much of a risk. Because of this, many homeowners become exposed when performing remodels on a home they haven’t had tested for asbestos.

The dilemma is that tenants and homeowners have no way to know if asbestos is present without having their home professionally tested, and sometimes landlords know about the problem, but fail to remedy the problem. Even though there are no state laws mandating disclosure, landlords can still be held liable for damages under the requirement to provide a habitable living space.

Have you been exposed to asbestos? Do you have symptoms?

If you have symptoms and know for sure that you’ve been exposed to asbestos, it’s important to find a doctor to examine you immediately. However, you can’t just go to your regular GP because you’ll risk getting misdiagnosed.

Most doctors aren’t trained to spot the difference between rare health conditions in patients who present with common symptoms. You need to see a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating mesothelioma. If you suspect your symptoms are related, don’t hesitate to find a specialist because it’s the only way you’ll get access to the treatment you need.

How to Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer

How to Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer

If you ever get into a car accident, slip or fall at work, or get injured due to a faulty product, you’ll want to contact a personal injury lawyer.

No one wants to envision a scenario where they get hurt, have to take time off work for treatment, and see their lives turned upside down if no income is coming in. It makes sense to call a personal injury attorney after an accident because the legal professional will examine the situation, let you know if you have a credible case, and then advise you from there.

But just like you’d never go with the first quote you get from a roofing company, homebuilder, or other professional, you can’t just select the first personal injury lawyer you see in a directory. Much is at stake. You’ll want a reputable lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Here are three things to look for in a personal injury attorney you can trust with your case.

1. Ask About Specialization

Find a personal injury lawyer who specializes in personal injury law. You don’t want someone who dabbles in various areas of the law. You must find an attorney who focuses on personal injury cases day in and day out. A personal injury case can drag on for years. You want help from someone who knows the process, can advise you, and can represent you.

Ask how many years the attorney has been practicing personal injury law and ask for examples of past clients whose situations were similar to yours. If you suffer a severe injury that requires extensive medical care, working with an experienced personal injury lawyer is vital. You’ll have someone on your side who knows how to work with insurers and medical care providers.

2. Ask About Potential Outcomes

When you go for a consultation with a personal injury lawyer, you’ll want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. You need to know about the potential outcomes you face. It’s also essential to get honest assessments of the likelihood of the possible outcomes.

If you are injured in a car accident, you’ll want to get resources to pay for medical care and to compensate you for time off work. You’ll want the lawyer to explain what you face. Knowing the potential outcomes will help you make informed decisions about your case.

3. Ask About the Planned Legal Strategy

You’ll also want to ask any lawyers you’re considering about their planned legal strategy for your case. It’s essential to hire a personal injury attorney who can explain their plan and let you know down the road if there’s a need to pivot based on changing circumstances.

Are the lawyers you’re considering willing to take your case to trial? While it’s usually best to work out a settlement, you don’t want to go that route if the offer is too low. Some lawyers will try to settle at all costs. A court case can be a lengthy affair and can be emotionally training. But that doesn’t mean you should have to accept a lowball offer. If the chances of success in a court trial are good, then going to court might be better. That’s especially true if the insurance company won’t negotiate in good faith.

These are some of the more critical things to look for in a personal injury lawyer. If your case drags on for months or years, you may be working with your lawyer for a long time. So, you’ll want to choose well.

Finding the help you need after an accident is essential. It’ll be hard enough dealing with the effects of the accident, let alone having to pay for treatment out of pocket. A reputable and experienced legal professional will help to achieve a successful resolution.

How to Effectively Screen Tenants

How to Effectively Screen Tenants

According to the Pew Research Center, renters make up about 36% of the nation’s 122.8 million households as of 2019. That’s over 44 million households that rent.

As a landlord looking for new tenants, you may have a large tenant pool to choose from—especially now that we’re in the least affordable homeownership market in nearly four decades.

To ensure you choose the best tenants and keep your cash flow strong, it’s important to have a robust tenant screening process in place. Otherwise, you may end up with problem tenants or need to process an eviction later down the line.

Whether you perform the screening process yourself or hire a property manager to do it for you, it should include these steps:

1. Understand fair housing laws

Before you start denying tenant applicants, you need to have a good understanding of fair housing laws.

For example, according to the federal Fair Housing Act, landlords are not allowed to discriminate against tenants based on their race, color, national origin, religion, disability, sex, or familial status.

Your state and city may have further prohibitions against discrimination. So do your homework to make sure you don’t accidentally violate the law.

2. Set minimum applicant requirements

With a sound understanding of fair housing laws, you can set minimum requirements that you want your tenant applicants to meet.

For example, you could require a certain household income level. The federal government generally defines affordable housing as housing for which an occupant pays no more than 30% of their income on housing costs, including utilities. So if you charge $1,000 for rent, you may want to require that applicants make at least $3,000 per month.

You may also want to require a minimum credit score. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and most landlords require tenant applicants to have a score somewhere above 600.

In addition, you should think about requiring a security deposit. This is money given to you upfront to demonstrate the applicant’s intent. It can be refundable or non-refundable and may also be used to pay for any damages or lost property caused by the tenant. Just make sure you follow your state and local security deposit laws.

Similarly, you can also choose to require the first month’s rent upfront.

Other minimum requirements you can consider are bans on pets or smoking. Both represent extra risk of damage to your property and may annoy neighboring tenants. If you do allow them, consider charging more for rent.

Ultimately, setting minimum applicant requirements helps set expectations upfront. Just know that the stricter your requirements are, the fewer qualified applicants you may get.

3. Prescreen tenants with your rental listing and application

Next, create a rental listing and a tenant application with information about the property as well as your tenant requirements. That way, applicants who don’t meet your criteria or don’t want to abide by your policies will know not to apply.

Make sure to include the monthly rent, security deposit amount, and any application, credit report, and background check fees.

In the application, ask for basic contact information, employment history, gross income, previous addresses and landlord contact information, personal references, and information about roommates and pets. The more information you have, the better.

4. Run a credit, rental history, and background check

Once you receive a completed rental application, check it to ensure that the applicant meets all your requirements.

From there, you can run a credit check (with the applicant’s consent). This indicates how financially responsible the applicant is. The higher the credit score, the better. Don’t forget to look at past financial problems on the credit report as well. These could include past bankruptcies, debts, and late payments.

You can also check an applicant’s rental history to figure out how long they typically stay in one place and if they tend to hop around a lot.

A background check can also reveal a tenant’s criminal record and whether they’ve ever been in jail or convicted.

5. Speak with the applicant’s current employer and landlord

It’s also a good idea to speak with the applicant’s current employer and landlord. This is a great way to verify that the information on the application is correct and to get their opinion about the applicant.

When speaking with the landlord, ask whether they would rent to the tenant again, if the tenant ever paid rent late, if they took good care of the property, and if they have any complaints about the tenant overall.

When speaking with the employer, ask about the applicant’s work ethic, reliability, and whether they would recommend them as a tenant.

6. Interview the applicant

At this point, it’s time to meet the applicant. While an in-person interview is ideal, a phone interview also works. During the interview, verify the information provided on the application, discuss any discrepancies, and allow the applicant to ask questions.

Be careful not to ask questions that would violate fair housing laws, such as where they are from or how many children they have. Instead, ask why they are moving, when they would like to move in, how long they plan to stay, and any other relevant questions that can help you get a better sense of the applicant.

7. Review all applicants and make a decision

Now it’s time to make a decision. Choose a qualified applicant who meets all of your minimum requirements. If you have more than one eligible applicant, consider following a first-come, first-served policy.

Whatever you do, don’t settle for a bad tenant. Stick to your original requirements, and don’t be afraid to deny an applicant if they fail to meet your standards. Just make sure that if you deny an applicant, you follow the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) laws.

That’s it! By the time you finish the above screening process, you’re more likely to find the right tenant for your rental. It may take some patience, but it’s definitely worth it.

What to Do if You Get Hurt at Work

What to Do if You Get Hurt at Work

Every year, about 2.8% of the working population suffers an injury that requires medical care. Although this doesn’t seem significant, statistically speaking, a worker with a 40-year career is more than 75% likely to be injured at some point.

There are some industries that are significantly more (and less) dangerous, but on average, workers have a good chance of being injured eventually.

If you get hurt at work, your focus will probably be on getting better. In the meantime, you should take the following steps to ensure that you are taken care of properly and that you get back to normal as soon as possible.

Seek medical treatment

As soon as you get hurt, seek medical treatment. This is important because it’s the only way to make sure that your injuries are documented and assessed by a professional doctor. If you don’t seek medical attention right away, it can be harder to prove how serious your injuries were, and therefore, harder for your employer to compensate you for them later.

Get a doctor’s note stating that you were injured at work that outlines any necessary treatments. Ideally, this document should also include recommendations regarding what activities should be avoided until healing has occurred or is close enough to no longer be at risk of re-injury from those activities being resumed too soon (like lifting heavy objects).

Tell your supervisor or HR representative about the injury

If you get hurt at work, tell your supervisor or HR representative as soon as possible. They’ll help you figure out what to do next and make sure that you get compensated.

If there are any witnesses to the accident, ask them to write down what happened in case there’s any dispute about what occurred. This can help prove that it was an accident and that it happened when and how you are claiming.

Finally, if possible, take photos of the scene where the accident took place to show proof of how serious the situation is and why compensation should be given out accordingly.

File for workers’ compensation.

Once you’ve made your work aware of the accident, file for workers’ compensation. It doesn’t matter if you are full-time, part-time, insured, or a seasonal worker. Every employee is entitled to workers’ compensation.

You can file the claim yourself or use an attorney. Most states allow injured workers to file their own claims with their employers’ insurance companies as long as they have all relevant documentation on hand. If things are really complicated, or if multiple doctors, therapists, and other parties are involved, it could be beneficial to hire an attorney.

Keep detailed notes about your medical care for your employer

You should keep a detailed record of your medical care and progress. Write down your doctors’ names, what they said and did, and how long it took to get an appointment. Also include information about medications you’re taking and any side effects. If you have health insurance or an HMO plan, keep track of when payments were made for each visit or procedure. Keep these records in one place where they can be found by anyone who might need them.


Nobody ever wants to get hurt at work, and hopefully, it never happens to you. But if it does, it is important that you take these steps to ensure that you are taken care of in the best way possible.

5 Reasons to Get an Outdoor Kitchen

5 Reasons to Get an Outdoor Kitchen

Do you want to get an outdoor kitchen for your property? Buying an outdoor kitchen means increasing your seating capacity and saving money on energy expenses. But there are other benefits you can unlock by repurposing your back deck into a more useable space.

One source says that outdoor kitchens ranked as the top kitchen trend of 2022. And once you learn how an outdoor kitchen can help you, you’ll likely want one for your backyard space.

Continue reading for five reasons why you need an outdoor kitchen if you don’t already have one.

1. Make the Most of Your Exterior Space

One reason you should consider installing an outdoor kitchen is that it’ll allow you to make the most of your home’s exterior space. It’ll almost be like adding to your home’s usable square footage. Many homeowners seek to create outdoor living spaces to enjoy every nook and cranny of their properties. Getting an online kitchen will help.

2. Enjoy the Benefits of Being Outdoors

Spending time outdoors has many benefits, including physical and mental wellness, since you can enjoy nature, which can lower stress, cortisol levels, heart rates, and muscle tension. Fresh air will also clean your lungs, boost your energy, and improve your digestion. So, there’s something to be said about spending as much outdoors as possible. An outdoor kitchen will provide the perfect time to spend with family and friends.

3. Provide Opportunities for Socializing

Another reason you’ll want to get an outdoor kitchen is that it’ll allow you to bring together family, friends, and neighbors. Perhaps you’re the sort of person who likes to have company. Whether you have the space inside your kitchen or not, gathering on the back deck can make a get-together even more fun. You can seat your guests on the back deck and then cook the meal in the outdoor kitchen. An outdoor kitchen can come equipped with whatever you want, such as a sink with running water, cabinets, countertops, a grill, and whatever else you fancy having.

It wasn’t that long ago that people were forced to stay home and avoid large gatherings. Now that those mandates are over, why not enjoy time outside with people you know and care about? Besides, meeting outside means you won’t be cooped up in your indoor kitchen.

4. Boost Valuation of Your Home

Yet another reason to get an outdoor kitchen is that you’ll boost the valuation of your home by so doing. How many homeowners do you know who have invested in equipping their outdoor living spaces with outdoor kitchens? While more and more people are going this route, that doesn’t mean every home has one. You can differentiate your property, make it more desirable to homebuyers, and increase its valuation by installing an outdoor kitchen. Whether you plan to sell or stay put, your residence will be worth more.

5. Keep the Cooking Smells Outside

Even if you cook the most mouth-watering meals, you don’t want the scents to linger for hours or even days after the meals. But that’s what you might face if you cook inside your kitchen. It’s one thing if it’s the aroma of fresh bread or oatmeal-and-raisin cookies. But it’s another thing if it’s the aroma of a garlic-heavy meal. You can avoid this if you cook in your outdoor kitchen. You won’t have to worry about lingering aromas that you don’t care to keep smelling after eating.

These are just a handful of reasons why it makes sense to have an outdoor kitchen. If you finally get one for your property, you’ll likely discover more benefits of having an outdoor kitchen.

Why Personal Notes Mean More Than Generic Cards

Why Personal Notes Mean More Than Generic Cards

It’s common practice to get someone a card from a store for a specific holiday, birthday, or special event. Some of these cards are funny, charming, or creative, but none of them will mean as much to your recipient as a handwritten, personal note.

What makes a personal note so impactful? And what steps can you take to make your notes mean more to your recipients?

There’s Nothing Wrong With a Card

First off, whether you’re sending flowers on Valentine’s Day or just telling someone special how much they mean to you, there’s nothing wrong with buying or sending a card. In fact, you can hypothetically get the best of both worlds by sending a card that includes a handwritten note as an extra. If you don’t have the energy or desire to include a handwritten note, it’s perfectly fine to give someone a generic card that’s otherwise empty, too.

This article isn’t meant to condemn card giving, or even giving gifts with the absence of a card or message. Instead, it’s only meant to highlight just how valuable a personal note can be.

The Power of a Note

Let’s take a look at why personal notes typically mean more than generic cards:

  • The message is unique. It’s human nature to like rare and unique things. It’s debatable as to why this is a feature of our collective minds. For example, it could be that this is an evolutionary trait that arose from our foraging nature. Early human beings were hunter-gatherers who scoured the forests for things to eat. A rare find is something exciting and unusual that triggers the reward centers of our brain and encourages us to keep looking for more; some vestige of this trait may be at play here. But regardless of the origin, people love unique messages – and generally prefer them over mass marketed ones.
  • The message shows your personality and style. Writing a personal note is an opportunity to show off your personality and individual style. Even if you don’t spend much thought or effort on your message, the message will naturally radiate with your best characteristics. This is true even if your message feels clumsy or awkward; in fact, your clumsiness or awkwardness might be the trait that this person loves most about you, making your message all that more special to them.
  • The message expresses your most important thoughts. And of course, writing a personal note means you’ll get the opportunity to express your most important thoughts. Instead of browsing a selection of cards and choosing the one that happens to be the closest fit to what you’re feeling, you can simply write what you’re feeling.

Writing Better Notes

So what steps can you take to write better personal notes to the most important people in your life?

  • Use your own handwriting if possible. We’ll start with an easy task; use your own handwriting if possible. Depending on the context, you might be tempted to send an email, type and print a note, or include your message in some other rigid format. But writing with pen or pencil on paper usually makes a more lasting impression.
  • Be honest and direct. Notes are powerful in part because of how sincere they are. It’s important to be honest and direct in your message, even if it makes you feel vulnerable. In fact, if you feel vulnerable while writing the message, it’s a sign you’re probably doing things right.
  • Exercise some creativity. Loosen up and exercise your creativity. There are dozens of little ways you can make your message more creative, more unique, and more enjoyable to the person receiving and reading it. Little touches, like including more exclamation points or tossing in a couple of tongue-in-cheek jokes could take your message to the next level.
  • Don’t sweat it if you don’t come up with something brilliant. Some people never write personal notes because they get stuck on the creation process. Instead of writing something down, they agonize over word choices and the overall direction of the message. But try not to sweat it if you don’t come up with something brilliant, even simple messages work.
  • Consider adding a doodle. If you want to add even more personality to the message, consider adding a simple doodle at the end. You don’t have to be a great artist; a little animal or geometric shape is plenty.
  • Include your signature. Signatures have historically been used as a unique identifier – and one that could prove the legitimacy of a given document because of how unique they are. Signing your message legitimizes it and makes it uniquely branded as yours.

Finally, remember that you don’t need a special occasion to send someone a handwritten note. You don’t have to wait until the next major holiday, nor do you have to give someone a gift with your note. Instead, if you’re thinking of someone special in your life, why not sit down and write them a nice letter right now? There’s no time like the present.

5 Things to Consider When Making an Emergency Preparedness Plan

5 Things to Consider When Making an Emergency Preparedness Plan

When considering the disastrous aftermaths of Hurricanes Fiona and Ian, you can appreciate the importance of business owners creating emergency preparedness plans. Failing to plan is, as the old saying goes, planning to fail. And that’s something no business can afford to do.

It’s better to be proactive and plan ahead than to be reactive and scramble for help after an emergency materializes. But how do you create an emergency preparedness plan as a business owner? Keep reading to learn about five things to consider when devising a plan.

1. Assign Duties for Managing Emergencies

If you run a small business with a low employee count, the responsibilities associated with managing emergencies will likely be on your plate. But if you have a larger enterprise, you’ll want to appoint someone you trust with responsibility for managing emergencies that arise.

The person should have crisis management skills and a cool head under pressure. While you’ll be the boss, the person you choose should have the authority to spearhead evacuations and dialogue with authorities like the police or the fire department.

While someone will head this initiative, that doesn’t mean that the responsibility of coming up with a plan is on one person. It’s a company-wide effort. But you’ll want someone to lead the initiative when it comes time to implement the emergency preparedness plan.

2. Determine Risks to Your Business

If you’re going to prepare your business in the event of emergencies, you need to know the potential threats your business faces. You’ll want to consider your region and any risks that are common to the area. That could include flooding, earthquakes, forest fires, and other things.

It’s also important to consider your company’s proximity to things like roadways or transportation infrastructure susceptible to problems due to weather systems and human error. Determine the likelihood of any problems occurring and the probable impact on your company.

3. Reduce Risks

The next step is to reduce any identified risks to the best of your ability. If it’s determined your business needs to take more steps to be ready in the event of a fire, a fire suppression system is worth getting. Smoke alarms are good. But a fire suppression system will help to extinguish fires to limit any damage to your place of business and to protect human life.

In addition to getting a fire suppression system, your business can relocate flammable materials to more appropriate areas. Reviewing and replacing electrical wiring, as needed, is also a good idea. You’ll also want to figure out what things you can do if there’s a real risk of flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, or other problems.

4. Develop Emergency Preparedness Plan

After completing the three steps above, you must move on to the development of an emergency preparedness plan. This will include arranging evacuation procedures that are practiced a couple of times per year. Everyone needs to know what exits to take and where to meet outside the office before an official count is made to account for all of the people working there.

Your company’s emergency plan should also include a list of emergency numbers. For instance, the list should have contact details for your insurer, internet service provider, fire department, crisis management team leader, and other relevant people and businesses.

When creating an emergency plan, don’t forget to account for your digital assets. It’s a good idea to have a plan in place to back up important files and documents.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

Once you create your plan, your company must ensure everyone knows about it and understands what to do when emergencies arise. It’s also important to remember that no emergency preparedness plan is a one-and-done deal. You will need to make changes to meet your business’ changing needs and requirements.

While no business wants to deal with a situation that warrants activating an emergency preparedness plan, the reality is that emergencies do happen. And your company needs to know what to do if the unthinkable becomes a reality.

Keep in mind the five steps above to create the emergency preparedness plan your business needs to stay in business.

What to Do When Your Dark Cloud Won’t Lift

What to Do When Your Dark Cloud Won’t Lift

No matter how hard you try, on some days things just don’t feel much better. That’s the trouble with the “dark cloud,” whether you have a diagnosed disorder or are going through a rough patch. And this lack of progress can only make you feel worse about yourself and your abilities. If today is one of those bad days, here are some ideas to help even if only for a bit.

1. Look Into Prescription Medication

Depression is unfortunately a common symptom of most mental illnesses and can also manifest on its own. In these cases, it’s often the result of a biological condition or a biological condition itself. In other words, it’s something that may not be able to be remedied through mindfulness practices alone.

This is where prescription medication comes in: it’s likely that medical depression treatment will be a more practical solution. If it’s one of those days where the idea of leaving your house seems like too much, consider online services. You can get a prescription online, and the medicine can be delivered straight to your door.

2. Find a Therapist

You may already be experienced with mindfulness practices and discover that medication is all you need. But if you are not, then consider looking for a therapist that can help you learn about grounding techniques and yourself. Having a licensed professional to talk to can make a huge difference in developing coping skills and new perspectives.

There are luckily numerous options for different types of therapy and therapists themselves. You can get online therapy for convenience’s sake or look for a professional that fits your personality. Don’t feel bad if the first therapist you talk to doesn’t seem like a match. Just like any relationship, finding someone you enjoy talking to is important, but it can be challenging.

3. Reach Out to Supportive Loved Ones

Mental health struggles are more difficult alone, and even just having a friend or family member to listen can help. It’s a good idea to surround yourself with supportive company, particularly if you struggle working through dark clouds on your own. Who do you know that will sit with you, whether to listen or just to spend time together, without judgment?

It’s important to note that not everybody has a developed support system, and that’s okay. You can always try browsing online communities of people helping each other through similar issues as well. One of the main reasons to have a support network is to remind yourself you’re not alone. Connecting with others online or in-person can be helpful.

4. Be Patient With Yourself

Remember that there is no true immediate fix to mental health struggles, and it’s okay to not be okay. You won’t be able to make progress every day or even every week, and that’s normal. You might feel like you’re putting a world of energy just into maintaining your mindset, and it’s not improving.

Understand that putting in effort, in itself, is a massive accomplishment — you are actively working to keep yourself afloat. It is YOU doing that, and nothing is more powerful. Don’t rush yourself as you navigate the situation.

5. Allow Yourself to Feel

Along with this self-acceptance, keep in mind that having bad moments, days, or weeks does not mean you aren’t progressing. Emotions are a fundamental part of human perception and, as a result, are important to let through. They can be rational or irrational and will not make sense to you at times, but that’s okay.

It’s better to let out confusing emotions than to bottle them up because they feel wrong or unrelated. The truth is, you deserve to feel those feelings, and you’ll be surprised how cathartic a nice cry can be. Remember your feelings are valid.

6. Practice Self-Care

Just because you’re experiencing discomfort inside doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable on the outside. A little bit of self-care can go a long way in creating a more comfortable environment. Self-care is essentially any bit of effort toward improving the moment — even if it’s a small change.

Set aside any preconceived notions of productivity or mindfulness and turn on the Xbox or go for a walk. Do whatever makes you feel good. These little things add up, and can make you feel better.

7. Add Predictability to Your Days

Maybe your work is unpredictable and gets in the way of you letting yourself be comfortable. A solid, predictable routine, even if only at home, can give you something to lean on in the meantime. A common example of this is to rewatch a TV show you really like or connect to. The predictability of it can be comforting, and you already know it’s something you will enjoy.

When you aren’t watching, you can look forward to doing so and use it as an anchor of your day. The same goes for any comforting activity you can depend on to provide a similar amount of occupation each day. The trick is to try to incorporate an activity into your daily routine that you enjoy.

During those periods when the dark cloud just won’t lift, you aren’t hopeless. Your confusion and struggles are valid, and you deserve to feel better. If you find yourself in need of support of any kind, here are some resources. There’s no shame in doing what’s best for you; in fact, just looking for solutions is incredibly brave.

3 Actions to Take Following an Injury

Unfortunately, unless you live in a giant bubble, injuries are just a part of life. Sometimes, these injuries are very obvious and need medical attention immediately. Other times, it may be a strained back that gets worse as the weeks and months go by. Many injuries will heal on their own, while others require surgery or intensive rehab services. 

While every injury is unique and will have its own recovery, there are some basic precautions and steps that everyone should take to make sure that the injury gets taken care of the correct and safe way. 

1. Take Notes

In a worst case scenario, an injury leads to long term medical visits and expenses. Oftentimes, these injuries don’t come from a drastic injury, but rather something as simple as a strained back, a rolled ankle, or a fall that seems to be something to brush off. 

When this kind of injury happens, take note of it. If it is work related, take a picture. It may not seem like much, but if you later need to apply for worker’s compensation or file a personal injury lawsuit, having that evidence is going to help your case and your attorney to help settle for the most money possible. 

Also, write down with a date what happened. If the pain continues to get worse, take note of that. If nothing else, it will help you when describing your situation to the doctor. 

2. Keep Moving (if possible)

Many injuries, especially around joints, leave the injured wanting to sit down, lay down, or just relax. While of course in serious situations this does need to happen, oftentimes, the best thing to do is to continue to move. 

If you’ve ever watched a football game, you’ve probably seen injured players hop onto a stationary bike. This is because the muscles and joints are already loose and forcing them to a quick stop can actually stiffen up those muscles and joints and lead to a much tougher recovery. 

The best kind of movement is non-bearing or non-balanced movement, or in other words, not putting 100% of the body’s weight where it hurts. Gradually doing this will oftentimes heal the issue, and if not, will at least make the recovery time much faster and easier. 

3. Check for Other Injuries

In some countries, a common practice for administering shots is to slap the arm or leg before injecting the needle in. While questionable and odd, the purpose makes sense. The sting of the slap makes it so that the shot feels relatively painless. Trading pain for pain is weird, but again the concept and execution works well. 

What does this have to do with injuries? Sometimes when an injury occurs, all of the person’s focus is on what hurts the most. For example, if hit by a car, the first injury that may get noticed is a broken arm or dislocated ribs, and for good reason. What may not get looked at is the pulled muscle in the shoulder that down the road won’t allow for heavy lifting. 

Having a full exam and focusing on everything that is not the way that it was before the injury is crucial. Again, if needing to file for a personal injury case or trying to get a claim from the insurance, having note and documentation of these scenarios will help out immensely. 

If all of these steps are taken, it is much more likely that following the short term effects of an injury, there will be a quick, full recovery. 

From Ancient to Modern Fireplaces: What You Need to Know

The fireplace was a must in early America. As the center of the house, it provided heat, housed numerous fires for cooking and baking, and served as the core of family gatherings. In the 1600s and early 1700s, the typical fireplace was a walk-in: a broad, deep, open break, generally with only the shortest view of a robe, or no cloak at all. Usually, the firebox was wider than it was long, especially in the homes of Dutch colonizers.

Fireplaces in English homes were smaller and more efficient. In New England and the Mid-Atlantic, colonial houses had central chimneys with numerous grooves, so that fires could be lit in two or more rooms on each floor. The central stone or brick mass also tended to keep the heat, keeping the house warmer in general. In the South, fire hearths were placed on the far reaches of the house to reduce the amount of heat, keeping the house cooler in summer.

In the early 19th century, around 1795, Mr. Benjamin Thompson, named Count Rumford, began fiddling with the firebox project. The result of his efforts is the basis for all open fire hearths today. Taller than it is wide and smaller and shallower than old styles, the Rumford fire hearth has sharp angles on both sides. The clever design throws more radiant heat into a room than its predecessors. Another key element is its narrow throat, which depletes both smoke and air at a higher speed, acting as a control against backdrafts.

The Georgian Era ( 1714-1837)

The fireplaces from this period were of large size and were usually designed a full focal point of the room. This view was achieved using cast iron grates and large fire baskets to create large openings for the chimney. These were accompanied by uncomplicatedly designed hardwood circles and marble chimneys. 

The Victorian Era (1837-1901)

This period is divided into the early and mid-Victorian fireplaces and the late Victorian fireplaces. Early and mid-Victorian chimneys are usually very decorated with uncomplicated designs focusing somewhat on a more floreal model in casting. This design has proven to become very popular in the fireplaces of modern-day reproduction, while they take their inspiration from these original antique chimney designs.

Art Nouveau (1880-1914)

This era in the history of design is such an important step and by many people, it is classified as the bridge between the historicalism of neo-classicalism and modernism. 

Our ancient cast iron fireplaces and ancient fire circles are a tribute to this era in time. We have professionally restored them to such a standard as to compliment this revolutionary movement in the history of design, and we take great pride in showing the work of these great designers in its truest form.

The Edwardian Era (1900-1920)

During the Edwardian era, another style became known as art and style crafts, which was mainly focused on using local materials for the fireplace and bringing them home.  The theme for art and art style was always natural and materials were locally sourced, where possible. A range of materials were used during this period, including mainly cast iron, bricks, and tiles, and in some of the higher-market houses, made to measure beaten copper hearths were a popular design.

While the overall shape of the modern fireplace has not changed much over time, the dimensions, uses and design options for today’s fireplaces are more diverse and creative than ever imagined. In the end, though, a couple of things remain constant. The unmistakable ability of a fireplace to provide warmth, comfort, and relaxation to those of us who love to sit in front of a crackling, enchanting fire and relax.