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16 Budget-Friendly Home Decor Hacks

16 Budget-Friendly Home Decor Hacks

How many times do you secretly love sending your guests’ jaws to the floor as they admire your creative brilliance – and your professional home fashion sense? Playing it off like it was just “something you came up with on the spot.” A lot, right? Shhh, I do too. Makes me feel good to be the envy of friends and family who stop by for a visit. And, it makes me proud of myself – and I, ultimately, was glad I took the leap and just got down to it.

You know hacks, we know hacks. They make life easier. Sometimes, something so simple can end up changing the way you do things, which has an ever-lasting effect.

Especially when you’re decorating a property for rent, and want to make it as inviting and homely for your tenants as possible. But want to do it on the cheap, without letting them know. Home decor DIY hacks are awesome for “covering up the warts” (or flaunting them, if that’s what you’re going for) of old stuff that would’ve been thrown out into new items that make your home exciting (and actually fun) to be in.

Whatever you’re designing, it’s crucial to pick out exciting decor that spruces up any room you desire. No matter the room. A lot of the creative ideas you’re about to sift through put action into your home or rental unit. Doing away with the boring “matching sets” of some items… And are ideas I’m personally going to try out myself!

1. Paint, Paint, Paint

Some sweet-looking kitchen furniture, for a matching set, can be way outside your budget. Which is a shame… Because there are some really cool ones out there.

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Nevermore! Now, to save tens (or hundreds) of dollars – simply head to your favourite thrift or second-hand store, pick out cheap chairs (that satisfy you)… and a bucket of paint of your favourite colour. And get to work! Voila. A beautiful set of mix-matched chairs that spruces up your home. Who doesn’t love colour?

2. Hide Wires

Tired of having wires and cables run along your home? One thing you can do is buy small plastic “boards” shaped like fences. Then line them against your wall, and fit your cables behind them. Cute design and perfect function. Win win.

3. Tape Your Walls

Do you have kids who are at the age of “I’m a masterpiece artist!” Give your walls their artistic touch without the messy scribbling by letting them design their hearts out using neon masking tape. It pulls off easy and leaves no messy residue. All kinds of shapes can be made!

4. Candle Holders

Have a few Votive candles but no candle-holder for them? Flip over a wine glass on its rim and put the candle smack-dab in the middle.

5. “Tacky Art”

Grab a blank canvas and stick thumbtacks in it for literally endless designs. Use your imagination!

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6. Pack Up Your Towels

This sweet idea comes courtesy of WooHome. Grab an old suitcase nobody’s using anymore and hammer the inside of it to your bathroom wall. Now you have a “cupboard” for all your towels.

7. Hanging End Table

Grab a thick piece of wood, any kind of wood you enjoy. Then, simply use it as the base for a swing. Hang it up in a corner as a nifty little end table!

8. Swing, Swing, Swing

Have a wooden chair with broken legs, or which just doesn’t serve a purpose anymore? Give it a purpose by turning it into an outdoor swing with nothing more than lots of rope.

9. DIY Braided Rug

Tired of buying ten different rugs in a year? A Beautiful Mess lists a budget-friendly way to make your own braided rug that lasts for ages.

10. Plants and Ladders!

Some shelves are massive things that take up a lot of space. And can be expensive. Even if you find one that’s budget-friendly, chances are it doesn’t match the look you’re going for. That’s why old, rusty ladders that no longer serve their purpose are an absolute haven!

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Here’s why: Grab a wooden ladder you’re not using anymore, hammer in some two-by-fours (or whatever board is wide enough to hold your potted plants). And rest your favourite potted friends on the shelves. Presto!

11. Paint Your Cutting Board

Sick of looking at a thick, plain cutting board? Head to the stores and pick out non-toxic craft paint in your favourite colours and get to work! For best results, use 3 coats around each edge to make it pop even more. Just be sure not to use light-coloured paint. Overtime they’ll turn yellow. Unless that’s what you’re going for.

12. Put Your Pennies To Use

This tip comes courtesy of Lushome. In this article they show you 25 different creative ways to put your pennies to use. I mean, really. Who doesn’t have a thousand pounds of pennies that stores don’t take anymore?

One idea that punched me in the face was the “Penny Vase”. Simply grab a blank vase (bought for cheap at your favourite thrift shop)or a vase that’s too ugly to put on show in your home. And superglue each and every individual penny you have to the vase. Easy!

Check out Lushome for some really jaw-dropping ideas of what you can do with those pennies.

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13. Ribbon Chandelier

Chandeliers are classy. Here’s how you make your own using good ol’ fashioned ribbon! Wrap ribbon around a 12-inch wreath form. Using three colours of ribbon – cut lengths of 16 inches. Create a pattern by knotting the cut pieces of ribbon around the wreath at midpoints. You can attach it (using string) to another chandelier or hang it anywhere in the house!

14. Turn a Dinner Plate Charger Into A Mirror

  • Put adhesive on the back of your mirror.
  • Gently press the mirror to the center of the charger.
  • Let the adhesive dry.
  • Flip the charger/mirror over and hot-glue a sawtooth hanger on the back.
  • Hang up your new mirror!

15. Hold More Salt & Pepper!

Find any fifth of vodka, bourbon, or whatever you happen to find. Jack Daniels’ bottles work. Just make sure it’s a bottle of fifth. Bleach them, rinse them out, run them through the dishwasher. Voila! New containers for your salt and pepper.

16. Tape Your Hangers

Rather than going out and buying new, whacky, and fun hangers that cost about 2 or 3 bucks a pop (around here, anyway), why not grab some cheap, colourful masking tape and go to town? Seriously! Be done with the plain stainless steel hangers that look so sad, old, and tired in your closet. Grab some masking tape and just let loose.

Final Thoughts

There is no reason, no reason at all you should settle with what you have. What good is being alive at this point in life if you aren’t out there. Trying new things. Spicying things up a bit. Starting with your home! Far for me to suggest you try and shake things up, but nobody ever died from letting their freak flag fly. Just a wee bit.

I hope these hacks have helped you.

Featured photo credit: Kmart – Online Shopping Australia via kmart.com.au

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

Burnout at work is an issue that most people who suffer from it, suffer unknowingly.

Have you ever felt that you can’t start an assignment, have an immense urge to Netflix binge, or couldn’t get yourself to wake up on time even though you have a lot on your plate? The cause for these might be burnout.

According to Deloitte’s report, “many companies may not be doing enough to minimize burnout.” This is to say that the responsibility is not only on the employee. According to that report, nearly 70 percent of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout within their organization, and they definitely should.[1]

Too many companies don’t invest enough in creating a positive environment. One out of five (21%) said that their company does not offer any programs or initiatives to prevent or alleviate burnout. It is the culture, not the fancy well-being programs that would probably do the best work.

This is a significant problem for individuals and companies, and it’s also an issue on a macro level. A Stanford University research found that more than 120,000 deaths per year, and approximately 5%–8% of annual healthcare costs, are associated with the way U.S. companies manage their workforces.[2]

It is both the employee and the employer’s responsibility—and the latter can certainly take more responsibility.

In this article, I’ll guide you on how to know if you suffer from burnout and, more importantly, what you can do about it.

Who Are Prone to Burning Out?

For starters, it is a good thing to know that you’re in good company. According to a Gallup poll, 23% (of 7,500 surveyed) expressed burnout more often than not. Additionally, 44% felt it sometimes. Nearly 50% of social entrepreneurs who attended the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in 2018 reported having struggled with burnout and depression at some point.[3]

According to Statista (2017), 13% of adults reported having problems unwinding in the evenings and weekends. According to a Deloitte survey (consisting of 1,000 full-time U.S. employees), 77% of respondents said that they have experienced employee burnout at their current job.[4]

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Burnout is not only an issue of the spoiled first-world. Rather, it is a serious matter that must be taken care of appropriately. It affects so many people, and its impacts are just too significant to be ignored.

Some occupations are more prone to burnout, such as people who deeply care about their jobs more than others. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Passion-driven and caregiving roles such as doctors and nurses are some of the most susceptible to burnout.”

The consequences can have life or death ramifications as “suicide rates among caregivers are dramatically higher than that of the general public—40% higher for men and 130% higher for women”. It is also the case for teachers, non-profit workers, and leaders of all kinds.[5]

Deloitte’s survey also found that 91% say that they have an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration. Heck, 83% even say that it can negatively impact their relationships. Millennials are slightly more impacted by burnout (84% of Gen Y vs. 77% in other generations).

What Is Burnout Syndrome?

So, what is it, exactly? Burnout was officially included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and is an occupational phenomenon.

According to the World Health Organization, burnout includes three dimensions:[6]

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
  3. Reduced professional efficacy.

The 5 Stages of Burnout

At this point, you must have a clue if you’re at risk of burnout. There are different methods for understanding where you are on the burnout syndrome scale, and one of the most common ones is the “five stages method.”

1. Honeymoon Phase

As you may remember If you’ve gotten married, there’s always the honeymoon phase. You’re so happy and feel almost invincible. You love your spouse and at this stage, you’re very excited about everything. It’s the same when it comes to taking on a new job or role or starting a new business.

At first, most of the time, you’re hyper-motivated. Although you might be able to notice signs of potential future burnout, in most cases, you might ignore them. You’re highly productive, super motivated, creative, and accept (and take) responsibility.

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The honeymoon phase is critical because if you plant the seeds of good mental health and coping strategies, you can stay at this phase for extended periods.

2. Onset of Stress

Let’s continue with the wedding metaphor. Now that you’re happily married for some time, you might start noticing certain issues with your spouse that you don’t like. You might have seen them before, but now they take up more space in your life.

You might be less optimistic and feel signs of stress or minor symptoms of physical or emotional fatigue at work. Your productivity reduces, and you think that your motivation is lower.

3. Chronic Stress

Let’s hope you don’t get there in your marriage, but unfortunately, some people get there. At this stage, your stress level is consistently high, and the other symptoms of stage 2 persist.

At this point, you start missing deadlines, your sleep quality is low, and you’re resentful and cynical. Your caffeine consumption might be higher, and you’re increasingly unsatisfied.

4. Burnout

This is the point where you can’t go on unless there is a significant change in your workspace environment. You have a strong desire to move to another place, and clinical intervention is sometimes required.

You feel neglected, your physical symptoms are increasing, and you get to a place where your stomach hurts daily. You might obsess over problems in your life or work and, generally speaking, you should treat yourself.

5. Habitual Burnout

This is the phase in which burnout is embedded in your life. You might experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, outbursts of anger or apathy, and physical symptoms of chronic fatigue.

The Causes of Burnout

So, now that we know how to identify our stage of burnout, we can move on to tackling its leading causes. According to the Gallup survey, the top burnout reasons are:[7]

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  1. Getting unfair treatment at work – This is not always something that you can fully control. At the same time, you should remember that even if you’re not calling the shots, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept unfair treatment. The consequences mentioned above are just not worth it in most cases.
  2. Workload – Another leading cause of stress according to dozens of interviews conducted before writing the article. According to Statista, in 2017, 39% of workers said a heavy workload was their leading cause of stress. We live in a busy work environment, and we will share some tips on how to manage that.
  3. Not knowing your role – While not something you can fully control, you can, and probably should, take action to better define it with your boss.
  4. Inadequate communication and support from your manager – Like the others above, you can’t fully control that, but as we’ll soon share, you can take action to be in better control.
  5. Time pressure – As mentioned, motivated, passionate workers are more in danger of experiencing burnout. One of the reasons is that they’re pressuring themselves to do more, sometimes at the expense of their mental health. We’ll address how to work on that as well.

How to Overcome a Burnout

After going over the stages of burnout and the leading causes of becoming burned out, it might be a good time to let you know that there is a lot you can do to fight it head-on.

However, let’s start with what you should not do. Burnout cannot be fixed by going on a vacation. It should be a long-term solution, implemented daily.

According to Clockify (2019), these are the popular ways to avoid burnout:

  1. Focus on your family life – 60% of adults said that stable family life is key to avoiding burnout. Maintaining meaningful relationships in your life is proven to reduce stress (instead of having many unmeaningful relationships).
  2. Exercising comes in second, with 58% reporting that jogging, running, or doing any exercise significantly relieves stress. Even a relatively short walk might improve your body’s resilience to stress.
  3. Seek professional advice – 55% say they would turn to a professional. There are online websites where you can speak with professionals at reduced costs.

Aside from the three most popular ways of avoiding burnout, you can also try the following:

1. Improve Time Management

Try understanding how you can use your time better and leave more time for relaxation. That’s easy to say (or write) but more challenging to implement. It would help if you started by prioritizing yourself. Understanding the connection between your values and your everyday tasks is a tremendous help. You can use proven methods to improve the relationship between your vision and goals to your daily life tasks’ lists. Check out the Horizons of Focus or V2MOM methods to get started.

2. Use the P.L.E.A.S.E. Method

The P.L.E.A.S.E. is a combination of things you should do to be at your best physically. It means Physical Illness (P.L.) prevention, Eat healthy (E), Avoid mood-altering drugs (A), Sleep well (S), and Exercise (E).

3. Prioritize

You don’t have to say yes to everything that comes across your way at work (or in other aspects of life). You’d be surprised how easy it can become once you start saying no. Some might even describe it as exhilarating.

4. Let Your Brain rest

Culturally, most of us are already wired to think that hard work is essential, and while that’s true in most cases, we sometimes forget that our brain needs to rest for it to recharge. Seven hours of sleep are essential (depending on your age). Meditation might be helpful, too.

5. Pay Attention to Positive Events

According to Therapistaid.com, we tend to focus on the bad things in our lives. However, by focusing on positive things, we can change our mindset. One way to practice this daily is by writing three good things about your life every morning or evening. It’s been scientifically proven that doing so for a few months can help rewire your brain.

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6. Take Some “You” Time

A Netflix binge is not always good for you, but it might be in some cases. The better the leisure time is, the better you’ll feel in the long term. It’s usually better to read a book or start a new hobby that requires more cognitive skills than just lying on the couch. But as long as you feel good watching a movie, that might be a good start.

7. New Technologies Might Be Helpful

There are tons of self-help apps such as Fabulous, Headspace (meditation), Noom (diet and exercise), and others. They’re good to use, but you should also be careful not to run away from your problems only to watch social media for hours. It’s not real, and no one’s life is perfect (even if their Facebook or Instagram feeds might seem so). You should also be aware not to be in an “always-on” mindset.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re at the first or the fifth stage of the burnout phases, the goal of this article is to show you that there are always ways to fight it. The first thing is self-awareness—knowing that there’s a problem. The second step is to decide what to do about it.

You can also consider using Lifehack’s community. You’re more than welcome to share your burnout story on our Facebook page.

Bonus: Rebound from Burnout in 8 Hours

Watch what you can do to rebound from burnout quickly in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

https://youtu.be/MNnyqQWK_zg

Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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