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5 Quick and Simple Steps for a Happier Halloween

5 Quick and Simple Steps for a Happier Halloween
    Avoid getting spooked by Halloween. Follow these 5 quick and simple steps.

    Halloween has arrived.

    You’re prepared for the night and the kids are excited to head out the door and start trick-or-treating. But with all of the hustle and bustle (especially when Halloween falls on a weekday), a happy Halloween can quickly turn into a stressful evening for even the most prepared of families.

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    So, to make sure your Halloween is a happier one, here are 5 steps you will want to take to ensure that your kids do not fall down the slippery slope of sugar highs, tiredness and tantrums.

    Step 1: Have Dinner

    Have an easy, but healthy dinner prepared like soup and sandwiches along with raw veggies and dip. Eat earlier than usual to give yourselves more time to dress up and prepare for the evening. While eating, review how to call out “Trick or Treat” in a non-shouting voice and speak about trick-or-treating manners (saying “thank you”, being safe, etc.).

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    Step 2: Suit Up

    Get the kids dressed. If it’s cold outside, be sure they wear:

    • undershirts
    • stockings/extra socks
    • gloves (if they don’t have them as part of their costume)

    A hat might be a tough sell if it doesn’t go with the costume, but gloves generally don’t take anything away from a costume. Since they plan on being out there for as long as they can, so make sure they’re dressed for it.

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    Step 3: Head Out

    Start trick-or-treating! I suggest choosing 1-3 blocks of houses instead of a whole neighborhood. The fun is to get out, show your costume, see others and get some treats. It’s NOT to bulk up on 60 pounds of sugar.

    Step 4: Candy Check

    Check the candy when you get home. Each child should dump out their bag and either Mom or Dad should go through it to make sure all is safe. Homemade items, sadly enough, should be avoided as should candy that seems opened or half-opened. Do this now while you’re in the moment.

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    Step 5: Set “Sweet” Rules

    Make a rule that only two pieces of candy will be eaten a day, then let your kids choose the two items they’d like to enjoy that evening and the other two they’d like to enjoy at school the next day. Then, one of the parents should take the bag (or wherever the candy is now stored) and put it somewhere that is out of the reach of small hands.

    One more thing…

    Consider this a “bonus step”. Put the kids to bed at their normal bedtime (or as close to as possible) so that they are refreshed for school the next day. Then enjoy the rest of your Halloween night, made all the happier by simply following through on these quick and simple steps.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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