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Is your home in need of a bit of attention? Paintwork looking marked and faded, décor a little tired? Maybe you’re just bored living in the same environment after a few years and feel like a change. Or perhaps you’re considering putting the house up for sale and want to present it at its best. There are many reasons why you might be thinking about home improvement projects, but you need to think carefully about what is important and what you wish to achieve. Home improvements can be a costly business, so prioritizing the work you have in mind and looking for low-cost alternatives is a good place to start.

Selecting your project if you’re thinking of selling

The kind of project you want to take on will depend on what you are looking to achieve. If you’re thinking of boosting the sales potential and asking price of your house, then decorating right through in neutral colors is the best way to begin. Tidying, cleaning, and generally smartening up every room is the best way to maximize your return when you sell. If you’re thinking of major projects like a new kitchen or bathroom, don’t assume that the cost of the work will be reflected in the asking price. Such projects may add value, they may make no difference, or they may cost you a considerable amount without giving any return. You need to ask for some advice from realtors who know the local market as to what projects are worth undertaking.

Selecting your project if you’re not selling

Adding value to your home may not be such a priority as when you are selling, but it’s still something to consider. If your plans are going to cost considerably more than any value they might add, you need to be sure that the benefits to you in other forms will be at a sufficient level to offset any financial losses. If you will improve your lifestyle and the quality of your home life significantly, then the investment is worthwhile. Home improvement projects can take many forms, from simply redecorating and/or furnishing, to changing what a room is used for, or even enlarging and adding rooms. Open plan living areas have many advantages, and if this concept appeals to you, your project will involve an element of demolition and a rethink of the layout to make the new open space work well and look good.

How good are your DIY skills?

When it comes to costing your project, you might be considering doing some or all of the work yourself. This can be a cheaper option than getting tradespeople in, but the savings you make will only be worthwhile if you have the skills required. If you make a mistake when working on your project, you could end up having to get a professional in any way, or at the very least end up with a job that isn’t as well-done as it could have been. There are some tasks that most people can master with a little tuition and practice, such as painting and decorating. You don’t need to be a master craftsman to sand down floorboards or put up shelves for instance. Other tasks are much harder to do well, like plastering walls, and some are potentially dangerous – it’s not a good idea to interfere with your electrical systems if you’re not an electrician for example. 

DIY versus professional

Your best bet is to make an honest appraisal of your skills, and see what you could realistically do within your skill set and the time you have available. Missing out on extra work or overtime because you’re struggling with tiling the bathroom isn’t a very cost-effective approach to home improvement. You could well be better off earning the extra money and paying for a skilled tiler to come in and do the bathroom for you. Once you’ve determined what you are capable of and want to do yourself, you need to draw up an outline plan listing what needs to be done, when and by whom. You can then look at getting quotes for the professional work you need doing, and will be able to give the businesses a better idea of the timeframe and when you will need them. If the cost of employing tradespeople will take you over your available budget, then a home loan could be the answer. You can find out more about loan options for home improvements by searching online for the deals that will work best for your situation.

Making a plan for your project

It’s always best to make a plan before starting work so that you won’t get any surprises along the way. First of all, you need to be decided on what you want the room to look like; the color scheme, the purpose of the room and how that is changing, the layout of the furniture, and whether you want any new items to be added in. There are also practical actions to take into account, for example where you will put the contents of the room you’re making over, and when your tradespeople are able to fit you in. You’ll need to purchase all your materials in preparation, and you may need to book time off work – or at least check your diary to see what availability you have, so you can accurately predict how long the project will take. 

Completing the project

The plan you’ve made should include a realistic time schedule, which you should try and stick to and revise if necessary as you progress. Sometimes projects can be started with great enthusiasm, only for work to tail off for various reasons. The room then doesn’t get finished, and you will be trying to work around the disarray engendered by the start of the project. Get all the family members involved and lending a hand, in any way that suits them. The more help you get at the right time, the quicker the project will be completed.

Home makeovers can be a lot of fun if you stick to these golden rules and get everything ready before you start your project.

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Dr. Colville

With summer just around the corner, countless women are focused on slimming down and looking their best. While nothing can replace traditional diet and exercise, there are a few treatments and procedures that can help you get the body you’ve always wanted just in time to start wearing your summer wardrobe as the weather heats up.

Breast Augmentation 

Breast augmentation is the number 1 cosmetic procedure in the United States. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 300,000 breast augmentations were performed in 2017 alone, which is understandable because of its many benefits. Some of the most notable results of breast augmentation include:

Creating asymmetry: All women have some degree of asymmetry in their breasts. For some women, the size or shape difference is not noticeable, but for women with significant size discrepancy, a breast augmentation is a great way to create an even look. For example, women with noticeable asymmetry often have difficulty finding new bathing suits or bras that fit well, which can be disheartening over time. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Craig Colville explains that to correct asymmetry, he carefully selects different size implants for his breast augmentation patients in Toledo. This type of careful attention to detail allows a surgeon to even out the size and enhance the shape of both breasts. 

Add volume: Many women are simply unhappy with the size of their breasts. With a breast augmentation, you can get the figure you’ve always wanted. You’ll finally be able to wear the tops and bikinis that never fit quite right before. During consultation, your plastic surgeon will discuss your desired results and your lifestyle. Then, he or she will evaluate your body type and current breast size so as to recommend an implant that fits your needs. 

Boost confidence: Breast asymmetry or size can cause many women to feel insecure about their physical image. Increasing self-confidence is one of the most common reasons women pursue a breast augmentation, because the procedure has the potential to help you look and feel your best. In fact, according to RealSelf, 97% of breast augmentation patients think the procedure is worth it. However, it is important to remember that this procedure is something you should do only for yourself. It is normal to ask for the opinion of your close friends and family, but it is ultimately your decision.  

Liposuction 

For women who have tried strict diets and frequent exercise and are still left with stubborn pockets of fat, liposuction provides a way to achieve their aesthetic goals. Liposuction removes excess fat through tiny suction tubes called cannulas. It is important to note that liposuction is not a weight loss measure and is particularly effective when used as a finishing touch to an already healthy lifestyle. This versatile procedure can enhance a number of areas, including: 

  • Abdomen 
  • Flanks
  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Upper arms
  • Upper back
  • Neck and jawline 

Liposuction is a good option for patients who want to get their bodies ready for summer because it leaves minimal scarring. For example, modern techniques usually result in scars that are only a few millimeters in length and are made in discreet locations. With good post-treatment care, liposuction scars can fade and become nearly indiscernible. 

CoolSculpting 

One reason this non-surgical body contouring option is so popular is that it does not require downtime. Additionally, CoolSculpting does not use anesthetic, incisions, or needles, which are all major selling points for people who do not want to undergo surgery. This procedure uses precise cooling temperatures to eliminate pinchable areas of fat on places such as the abdomen, double chin, flanks, and thighs. 

During a treatment session, the CoolSculpting device gently pulls the treatment area between 2 cooling panels that freeze the fat. Patients describe the feeling as an intense cold sensation that quickly subsides once the area becomes numb. Patients often read, check email, or even nap during their appointments. CoolSculpting is great for busy moms who don’t have time for surgery, especially with the kids out of school during summer. There is no long recovery period, and the treatment itself only lasts about an hour.

The results develop over the course of 3 months following the procedure. Most patients are happy with the results after just one treatment, but some opt for follow-up sessions to reach optimal results. 

If you are interested with any of these procedures, contact your local board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

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Gardening is rewarding both as a hobby and an economic activity. If you are looking to pick up gardening because you need an activity to decompress over the weekends after a hectic week or to add to the aesthetics of your home or feed your family fresh organic produce without the associated high costs, you are in the right place.

You don’t need to have an enormous space to start gardening. You can start your garden in pots and containers. As a beginner you need to gather as much information as you can about gardening from books and online resources like My Gardening Network. This helps you make an informed choice on which type of garden to have and the plants to grow depending on your needs and lifestyle.

Here are other gardening tips that beginners need to know.

Planning

In the planning phase you gather all the materials you need to set up your garden. This is information you can get on the web or from local government agencies.

The information you need to know include the weather patterns of your region, the garden plants that thrive under such conditions and possible risks for your plants.

You also need to come up with a budget since the seeds, gardening tools and inputs cost money.

Site selection

The site for your garden should somewhere exposed to the sunlight. This is because most plants need between 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily in order to grow and stay healthy.

In this regard, avoid places near trees where besides fighting for nutrients with your garden plants, the trees provide a shade cover hindering sunlight from getting to your plants. On the same breathe, also avoid to the blind side of your house where the shadow falls.

Since you will need to water your plants during the dry months, the ideal site should be near a water supply to make your work easier.

Soil

Sandy and clay soil are unsuitable for gardening because they have poor drainage which affects the health of your plants. The best type of soil is loam soil with a good drainage and sufficient nutrients to support plant growth. The soil should be rich in organic matter.

Garden plants

Different plants need different conditions to grow. As such, your choice of garden plants is determined the climate of the place you stay. This is true regardless of whether you are planting a flower garden or vegetable garden.

Find out which plants grow best in your area from your neighbors or the agricultural department. If you are given a list, don’t plant everything therein. Instead go for one or two that tickle your fancy and you can always increase the size of your garden and number of your plants as you get the hang of it.

 Pest and weed control

Space your plants well to avoid pests and diseases. The right watering technique is also important in preventing the spread of diseases in your garden.

Mulch your garden to help in soil temperature regulation as well as preventing the growth of weeds.

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When you hold your fuzzy friends tight, don’t you just want to give them all the fancy things you wish for yourself?  There are so many ways to celebrate the special bond between you and your four-legged family members.  See if any of these are suitable for you.

Customized Crafts

Your pet likely already has their own bed, toys, and blankets.  How about taking it to the next level by customizing it just for them?  Monogramming their name on their bedding and food bowls is a fine way to set their things apart.  While they may not be able to read, they will know you care. They may be able to recognize themselves in pictures, so your legged friends may enjoy having their face printed on a shirt that you wear or throw pillow for the couch they love sitting on.  Portraits of your pretty pet to hang in your home are a classic choice if wearing your pet’s face seems too co-dependent.  Even if you are a crazy cat lady, not everyone has to know it.

Four-Legged Foodies

Chowhounds unite!  Gourmet treats for pets are becoming more popular with pet bakeries offering dog cupcakes and cat cookies. They look good enough to even tempt the humans and are a great way to spoil your hound or feline. If you don’t have a pet-friendly bakery in your area, the ubiquitous Starbucks offers your canine pal a puppachino, with no caffeine kick but plenty of whip cream.

Home-made treats are also a great idea. Make human recipes for the doggo by following the canine-friendly substitutions grated carrots for sugar or peanut butter.  No chocolate, but shredded beef is a better choice to add flavor.  Dogs can eat many of the same grains and vegetables that we do, cats not so much.  Notoriously finicky, treat your cat to the freshest seafood experience. See if they turn their little-whiskered noses up at sashimi grade raw fish. If you expect more for your pet, they can become foodies with a taste as refined as their owner. Read more articles on Your Pet Land if you want to learn more.

Quality Time Together

Simply being with you is a treat for your pet, so why not do something special together?  Try doing yoga together.  As a quadruped, your pet has a natural ability do to moves that are more difficult for us humans. We have much to learn from our four-legged friends. They don’t call it a downward dog for nothing! Treat your furry friend to a spa day with aromatherapy and massage.  Hire a specially trained animal masseuse to use similar relaxing techniques as on a human or go slow and gentle working those movies yourself.

Our pets do so much for us.  Dogs love to follow us and it’s only natural to spoil them.  Cats already know they deserve superior treatment.   Show your care with customized gifts, tasty treats or quality time and your animal will know they’re special.

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As every woman out there can attest, nothing can beat a strong female friendship. You can be closer than sisters, and you support each other through your ups and downs. Celebrating together, of course, is one of the highlights of your friendship, which is why you should do all you can to surprise your best friend this year with her best birthday bash yet. Follow these tips, and you can be the ultimate party planner in no time:

Coordinate with Her Friends

Unless the plan from the start is to have a celebration between just the two of you, it will always be nice to coordinate with her other friends. If you are all in the same friendship circle this will be easy, but it doesn’t have to be limited to only the people you are friends with as well. Contact her work friends or her old school friends and get them involved as well. That way not only can you surprise her with a big birthday bash, you can also surprise her with everyone that loves her.

Budget with Everyone

By budgeting with everyone who is attending you can work out what you can do to make her birthday a surprise. At the very least try to get everyone to pitch in enough or to agree to splitting the bill for the birthday girl, so that she can enjoy the day and not worry about anything. This could mean paying for her meal, or it could mean pitching in together to book a fun event. Either way, it is important to talk about this before the party so that no one feels sour when the bill comes up.

Be Creative

The biggest surprise of course would be to organize a party around something she loves, but has never thought of herself. This could be something as classic as, say, afternoon tea at a hotel, or it could be booking a slot at Escape Room Oklahoma City. The point is to surprise her with an activity that suits her perfectly that she has never done before. That way you can give her the gift of a new experience on top of whatever you wrap up.

Tips on Documenting the Big Day

We all love taking pictures. A great photo of ourselves makes us feel better in the moment, but more importantly pictures can capture moments in time. This means that even though our memories fade over time, we can simply look back over a photo and be instantly returned to the time when we first took it. That is why photos are so important, but you should aim to do more than simply take posed photos together. Take candid shots and videos and open a shared folder on Facebook or even simply through iCloud and share all your photos together. Try to balance being in the moment and capturing it.

Party planning is easy, what is more difficult is choosing the right theme. The specific event choices you make should depend on what your best friend loves, but by coordinating with her friends, budgeting in advance, and by being creative with what you choose you can throw her the best birthday yet.

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Whether you’re decorating a new space or trying to refresh outdated décor, you want to create a look that goes beyond your basic model home and says something about who you are. A great way to make an impact in any room is to add a statement piece that highlights your personality and design aesthetic. Here are five that will transform your home.

1. Chandelier

You may think of a chandelier adorning a grand entryway or illuminating a dining room table, but the right chandelier can make a statement in any room. Chandeliers are fixtures that hang down from the ceiling with lights that face upward (as opposed to pendant lights that face down), and can provide good general lighting in most rooms. Whether your style is rustic or modern, classic or eclectic, there is a chandelier that will fit your design scheme. To make a real statement, hang a chandelier in an unexpected place, like the bathroom, a baby’s nursery or reading nook.

2. Art

An oversized piece of art is a great way to display what you find beautiful or interesting, but the scale of the art will become a focal point of the room. Draw inspiration from the colors or shapes in the piece to choose the rest of the fabrics and textures in the room. If an original work of art is out of your budget, look for a framed print that speaks to you, or buy a large canvas and create something simple yourself. Not ready to commit to a work of art? An oversized, decorative mirror will have a similar effect, but with the added bonus of making a room look bigger and lighter.

3. Floor to ceiling built-in bookshelves

There is something both dramatic and warm about a wall filled with books. Beyond a library or office space, built-in bookshelves make a statement when surrounding a picture window, television, child’s room or arched doorway. Place books randomly, by color or interspersed with interesting objects.

4. Furniture

When it comes to decorating your home, there is nothing more fun than a really dramatic or unexpected piece of furniture — whether it’s a vintage coffee table; high-gloss, brightly colored dining room table; plush headboard; or a funky occasional chair. But when the statement piece you want to use is furniture, you also have to consider the other furniture in that room, so that you are complementing rather than detracting from the statement piece’s impact.

5. Wallpaper

Wallpaper can make a big impact in any room. Forget the dull flower patterns of the 80’s and check out the bold, beautiful prints of today that will catch the eye and make a statement. Wallpaper can make a statement through design, like big contrasting stripes or gorgeous leaf patterns, colors, like metallics or neons, or texture, like beading and fabric. Use wallpaper sparingly so as not to overwhelm a room or make a small room feel smaller.

The key to making a statement with your home décor is to choose one or two things in each room to highlight. Don’t be afraid to go bold with a statement piece like a chandelier, art, bookshelves, furniture or wallpaper, and create a home that speaks to you.

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The line between technology and the media is becoming more blurred all the time. From ten or twenty years ago when the media was restricted to the television and the newspapers, it has now become part of our daily lives. You can’t use Twitter or Facebook without a company trying to sell you something or tell you about an important news story. With all of this increased exposure, also comes a growing need for you to be aware of your data and where it’s going. 

Be Aware of New Trends

The best way to stay aware of new trends in technology and the digital world is to read one of the many popular websites that cover and review new technology. The more mainstream sites will give you a consumer’s eye view of new products such as cell phones and laptops. These sites are great if you want to know what new gadget you should be looking for, or if you want to know which phone upgrade to accept. They can also sometimes draw attention to new security features that can make your phone or laptop more secure. 

Take Note of New Scams

When it comes to the internet and social media, there are always sites or advertising that look official or legitimate but are there to scam innocent people. Many of these scams work hard to look like something else to give them credibility, though you will soon find accounts of people becoming affected by them. If you see an ad or a webpage that is asking for your personal information, you need to ensure that it is a legitimate site. Any site asking for personal details should use an encrypted way to store your data. If you have any doubts about it, then try searching the internet for that company. You may find accounts of others that have been the victim of their scam. 

Monitor for Viruses

There has been a lot of news and advice on the internet about protecting your data by securing your phone and computer from viruses. New viruses are developed all the time, and they are finding their way into almost all technology. It is important that you are aware of where viruses can potentially come from and have adequate protection from them. The most common way to get a virus at home is through your emails; if you find an email that you don’t recognize, it is best not to open it or any attachment that is sent with it. 

Recovering Your Lost Data

In some cases, your computer can be affected by a virus without you knowing where it originated. If you do find that you have lost data as a result of a virus, then there are ways that you can recover the data with companies like Secure Data Recovery Services. It is important to remove the virus beforehand from your computer using your anti-virus software, or your data will still be at risk. 

By staying in touch with trends on the internet and technology, you can try to protect yourself from any adverse effects.  

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Ambition is alive and well in Cincinnati. Women own 40% of businesses in “The Queen City”, and greatly contribute to the thriving economic growth. If you are setting up your own business, networking with other women in the area can help expand your company and boost profits. You canshare advice and experiencewith other business owners and get to know other female entrepreneurs in the community.

Opportunities to expand your business

Making a profit means opening up your business to new opportunities. You need to be forward-thinking in running your business and networking can help this. These opportunities might come in the form of being able to have joint ventures, meeting potential new clients, speaking opportunities at business meetings, and the sale of assets. When you’re starting a business, financing opportunities are particularly important. Networking can give you the confidence to go out and ask for what you need in order to expand and grow.

Advice on setting your company up

Making your business run in a professional manner is paramount. When you are looking at how to start an LLC, it is important that it is done correctly as the state tax laws are different in Ohio than in other states.  Networking with other women in business can help you understand how they have set up their companies and chosen a statutory agent. Cincinnati is known for business and enterprise. There are nine Fortune 500 businesses in the city, staffed and run by women. Understanding who these companies have been set up will help your own business model.

Help people to know you

Raising your profile, and advertising your services is essential to a business. Networking with other women can help them to know and understand what your work is about. This will not only help you to boost your profile in the community, but help you to build a good reputation. A good entrepreneur is open and transparent with how their business operates. Showing that you are supportive and reliable to other women in the industry will have a great positive influence. It will help people remember who you are, and why they should go to you in the future. You can demonstrate that you are a professional.

Women’s Business Networking isn’t just about who you know, it’s about supporting your community. You can make new friends with a wealth of experience. Networking is about helping other women to get a step onto the business ladder, and make the most of every opportunity.

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While some people live to travel, others have the desire to but have are nervous and anxious about it. There are many reasons why someone may feel anxious about leaving their home and going to a new place, however, you should allow these feelings of unease to deter you from how you want to live your life.

If this is you, you’re not alone, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. All you can do is continue to learn more about traveling and start to put yourself in situations that allow you more experiences away from home. There are actions you can take that will help you feel more at ease. See four pieces of advice for the apprehensive traveler.

Plan & Prepare

Do your homework and plan ahead. The more prepared you are, the better you’ll feel about traveling. There’s a lot of information on the Internet for you to soak up, and answers to just about any questions you have regarding general travel and specific destinations. Knowing where you’re going, and what you’re doing ahead of time, will help settle any racing thoughts. Read reviews and see what other people are saying about the destination and hotel you’re going to, so you have reassurance from others that you’ll have a great time.

Additionally, make a list specifying what you need to take; especially if you have special requirements. Pack medication, whether it’s your pills or if you have special shampoo for thinning hair. If you have a prescription, then speak to your doctor. Prepare for the weather, and pack clothes appropriate to climates and cultures. If you’re unsure, always spend time researching.

Pack Light

There’s no need to overdo it when it comes to packing. Try to get your belongings in a carry-on, so you don’t have to check it or worry about losing it. It’s also easier to pull around than a large bag. Only pack the essentials, like a few items of clothing, a swimming suit and your most important toiletries, such as your shampoo and toothbrush. You can always buy any other items you forget or decide you want later.

Explore & Embrace Adventure

Even though you’re apprehensive about traveling, it’s in your best interest to let go and embrace adventure. Stay in the present moment and appreciate all of the beauty that’s around you when you arrive at your destination. Talk to the locals, eat exotic foods and go on excursions that you can’t do back home. This is your chance to get out of your comfort zone and rack up a long list of new life experiences; travel with friends or family members if it makes you feel more stress-free.

Relax & Have Fun

The most important task for you to do is to relax and have fun. After all of the planning and preparation is done, it’s time for you to enjoy your journey. Snap pictures to document your favorite moments and put a smile on your face as you explore and take in your surroundings. You’ll regret not letting yourself enjoy your travel experience if you spend the entire time worried and upset over nothing. Remain flexible, because you can’t control every occurrence.

Conclusion

There’s nothing to feel bad about if you’re someone who doesn’t travel a lot. If you want to give it a try, then use these tips to help you feel better about the experience. These are four pieces of advice for the apprehensive traveler.

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Health problems are common and trying to find the right support can be troublesome. You’re not the only one who’s dealing with an issue or illness, and you shouldn’t feel alone. There are people and resources out there to help you through your difficult time.

You have to keep optimistic and not feel sorry for yourself. Rather than spiral into pessimism and let your bad health affect your quality of life, you need to reach out and find help. If you don’t, then you’re never going to get better. Take charge and put your time and energy into finding ways to heal. See what to do when your health is suffering.

Talk to A Doctor

Start by making a doctor’s appointment and speaking with a health professional who can run tests and offer their best advice. It’s possible you haven’t made it to the doctor in years and are nervous. Try to overcome your fear and know that going and talking to a doctor is in your best interest. This way you can know for sure if there’s anything wrong and create a course of action to deal with what you’re facing. Medication or prescribed exercise or rehabilitation may be all it takes to improve your health and lifestyle.

Get Help

Seeing a doctor is a good first step, but it may not be the solution. You’re going to have to make decisions based on feedback from your appointment. If you’re dealing with alcohol abuse issues, then it’s in your best interest to find an excellent center to help you get clean, like the Luminance alcohol detox Orange County. When you choose Luminance Recovery, they can answer your questions and set up a personalized treatment plan to meet your unique circumstances and needs. Your choice to restore hope and empower change in yourself is courageous and will get you a step closer toward recovery.

Manage your Stress

Dealing with health issues or an illness is the perfect time to start managing your stress. If you’re in a bad job that doesn’t support your new lifestyle, then it’s time to move on and find a new one. Exercise, eat right and meditate to slow racing thoughts. Dealing with poor health is stressful enough, so don’t make it harder on yourself by refusing to take care of yourself and practice self-care. The better you can manage your worry and anxiety, the more energy you’ll have to live your life and focus on working toward a solution.

Stay Positive

There’s no room for negativity when your health is suffering. You need all of the positive vibes you can get. Read inspirational stories and connect with other people who can relate to what you’re going through. Talk through your problems and always stay focused on the positives. Practice gratitude for what you do have and keep a journal where you can release emotions and feelings that come and go throughout the process.

Conclusion

Whatever you do, don’t give up on yourself. Keep your thoughts positive and always be open to new treaments or lifestyle changes. This is what to do when your health is suffering.

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