Sleep and your career

Writing and The Written Word

Sleep Management

In this age of technology and advancement, we belong to a hyper-connected culture but there is one thing we cannot get enough of and that is sleep. Thanks to the long working hours and the electronic devices our brain fails to power down and that disturbs our natural sleep-wake cycle.

Most of the individuals stay up all night and they cannot get the required 7 to 8 hours of sleep. 50 to 70 million people are suffering from a sleep disorder and sleep deprivation has turned into an epidemic. Lack of sleep not only affects our health and relationship but also our career.

Sleep and Ceridian rhythms

Sleep is an important part of life and it is important to keep our energy levels high and to help us feel better. Just like hunger makes us eat, tiredness makes us want to get…

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How to Start Garden Vegetable Seeds Indoors for Transplanting

Ask any gardener what his favorite gardening job is, and the chances are he will say propagating from seed. There is something magical about sowing your seed and then peering into the container, looking for the first signs of life popping through the soil that you prepared. In just a few days, you can be watching the tiny green leaves make their appearance. It feels like you have created life itself.

Why Grow from Seed?

Why grow from seed,  is a fair question, given that many nurseries will now sell you ready to plant seedlings. You can save time, and you can eliminate the risk of your seeds not taking or succumbing to some fatal disease during that vulnerable early stage in life.

Well, there are many good reasons to grow those seedlings yourself. First, a packet of seeds is always cheaper, sometimes way cheaper than a tray of seedlings. Secondly, you will often end up with far more seedlings if you grow them yourself. This may seem a waste but as every gardener knows, sharing seedlings with other gardeners is a good investment. It inevitably leads to them giving you some of their excesses, and pretty soon, you have a much wider array of varieties and different plants. Some of the excess plants can be held back and planted later so that you have a succession of ripening dates and, therefore, a longer crop availability time.

The third reason is that growing from seed is just so much fun. During those cold winter months, you can sit down indoors with a cup of coffee and page through those seed catalogs to decide what you will be experimenting with the following spring. In the gardening world, this is known as seed porn. You also get to use seed that you harvested yourself, and there is something special about having controlled a process from start to finish.

A Little about Seeds

Although each plant produces seed with different characteristics, there are certain characteristics that are common to most seed.

  • Testa: This normally hard outer layer is mainly to protect the inside of the seed.
  • Hilum: The small mark or scar where the seed was attached to the parent plant.
  • Micropyle: You may just be able to make out a tiny hole near the Hilum, which is there to allow water to penetrate the seed after sowing.
  • Cotyledon: Inside the seed is a food reserve composed of starch and which will provide enough food to help the seed germinate and make it through the soil to the light.
  • Radicule: This is the embryonic root that is normally the first thing to emerge from the seed.
  • Plumule: The embryonic shoot that will start pushing outwards and upwards as the seed begins to grow.

Common Germination Requirements

Germinating seed requires three things: water, warmth, and light. The trick lies in knowing which quantities of each to supply. Don’t worry. There are common rules that we will look at a little later. Once the moisture penetrates the seed, it dissolves enzymes that trigger the growing process and supply the first food. The Taproot normally emerges first and pushes downwards, and soon after that, the first shoot will begin pushing upward in search of light.

A gardener must provide the correct growing medium in which all of this can happen and the ideal temperature. One of the main reasons for planting your seeds in trays indoors is that the extra warmth will encourage the seeds to germinate earlier than they would if they were outdoors and thus to extend the growing season.

The Growing Medium

The growing medium is the mixture into which the seeds will initially be sown and where they will quickly germinate. One might think that seeds could just be planted into ordinary potting soil or even garden soil, but seeds can be fragile. The nutrients and acids that exist in these products could damage the seeds and cause rotting, so they are planted into seed compost instead. This is a fine growing medium that is chemically neutral and has been sterilized. Although it contains no nutrients, remember that your seed already contains those starch reserves by way of the cotyledon, and these are ideally suited to getting those seeds off to a good start. Only once the first true leaves appear will you have to start thinking about feeding your plants.

You can place your seed compost into trays, pots, or even ice cream cartons. Just make sure that there are plenty of holes in the bottom to allow drainage. Fill the tray or chosen container and then gently press down to firm the medium but do not compact it. Make sure there are no big gaps in the soil but that there is still some air. You should water before planting as this will stop the pressure of the falling water from moving or uncovering the seed. Prepared soil should be damp but not wet.

Sowing Options

Now that your trays or containers are prepared, it is time to sow the seed. Your options vary mainly due to the size of the seed itself. For larger seed, you can make drills. This is a fancy term for rows, and you can make these using the back of a pencil or the side of a small trowel and drawing it through the soil.

The accepted rule is to plant your seed at twice the depth of its diameter. With large seed, this is easy because you can pick them up with your fingers and place them in the drill as you want them. Most seed packets give you a standard depth at which they recommend you plant, and it is almost inevitable you will have more seed than you require actual plants. It is better to plant too much than too little. That way, you can thin out weak or spindly plants or give away extra seedlings. Many seeds deteriorate over time, so rather plant too many and share than have too few plants.

Once the seed is in the drills, cover with soil and firm down lightly. You can now cover your seed tray with clear plastic or a sheet of glass and place it on a sunny windowsill. Within a few days, the first signs of life will start to appear. You can purchase an electric propagator that warms the trays from underneath, and this speeds the germination process. If you are keeping the seed trays in a heated house, then it probably won’t be necessary, but it is handy if you are leaving them in a cold potting shed.

Smaller Seed

Some seeds are tiny, and you won’t be able to pick them up individually. These you can sprinkle across the surface of the growing medium by rubbing between thumb and forefinger. Really tiny seed should first be mixed with some fine sand to make the spreading process easier and to keep spread as evenly as possible. After that, place some of the growing medium in a sieve and gently shake it over the seed until it is lightly covered. Remember that seed is better off being planted too shallow rather than too deep because they contain a limited amount of food, and you don’t want your seedlings to use all of their available energy just getting to the surface of the soil.

An important note here is that you should label the seed trays with whatever it is you have planted. Some seedlings might look different from others, but when you are growing different cultivars of the same plant, it can be all too easy to forget what you planted where.

Thinning Seedlings

Your seeds will start to sprout their first two leaves after they appear through the soil. The timing for this will vary depending on the conditions and mainly on the crop. These first two leaves are not true leaves but are what we call cotyledon or seed leaves. These are actually part of the original seed and provide the first food for the young plant. Now, you can remove the plastic or glass covering. You need air to circulate freely now, and excess humidity can lead to a disease known as damping off, which we will look at later.

If you have just sprinkled the seeds, then things will start to get too crowded and you may need to do some thinning. As they grow, the next leaves to appear will be the first true leaves. You can now gently removing excess plants by tugging them out by pulling one of those two true leaves. Keep the healthier plants and thin those that are weaker. Don’t be tempted to pull on the stem but stick to pulling the leaves. The stems are very fragile at this point, and if damaged, the plant will die. The excess seedlings can be planted into containers as reserves for unforeseen casualties later in the season, or as giveaways. You don’t want to leave the thinning process too late. Otherwise, the roots will get established, and they will interfere with the plants you want to keep as you tug them out.

Your seedlings should end up evenly spaced and looking healthy. They can continue to grow indoors until they are bigger. It is important to make sure that the soil remains damp but not too wet. If you suspect that things are starting to get dry, then water by standing the tray in a sink of water and allowing it to absorb from the base, always allow the tray to drain well after doing this.

With the appearance of the first two proper leaves, the plant will start to photosynthesize, and light becomes more important. If they are on a bright windowsill, then that will be sufficient, but if they are somewhere else indoors, they will need artificial light either from a grow lamp or a neon light source. Aim to provide twelve to sixteen hours of light per day.

Potting Up

Smaller plants will be happy to remain in the seed tray they were planted in until you are able to plant them outdoors. Larger plants will need to be put into individual pots so that they have room and depth to continue their rapid growth. Potting up is performed when the seedling has developed several leaves and is starting to look a little bushier. The plants can be potted up into pots individually or in twos and threes.

Fill the pot with potting soil and plant the seedlings into their new temporary home at the same level as the top of the soil at the base of the plant from the seedling tray. If more than one plant goes into a pot, then keep them far enough apart that their roots don’t become entangled as they continue to grow. The potting soil will contain nutrients because the plants will no longer have any reserves from the seed, and the first soil was nutrient-free. Those that remain in their initial trays will need to be fed with a lite general-purpose fertilizer.

Hardening Off

Once you decide that your seedlings are sturdy and large enough to be planted out into their beds, there is one more crucial step that you must take. Your seedlings have been getting mommy coddled in their nice warm environment. If you transfer them outdoors without giving them time to adapt, there is a strong possibility that the sudden change in the environment will kill or damage them. You can avoid this by placing the trays outdoors during the day and then bringing them back in at night for three or four days. This process, called hardening off, makes the adaption process more tolerable. When outside, place the trays in a semi-shaded position so that they are spared the shock of sudden exposure to bright outdoor light.

Planting Out

After several days of hardening off, your plants are finally ready to be planted into the bed, which should be their final home. Before planting the bed and or the pots should be watered. Congratulations, you have just successfully propagated your first vegetables.

Possible Problems

Nature is incredibly robust, and seeds are no exception. There is one problem that may face you, and that is a disease called damping off. This is a collective name for several different fungal diseases that can affect small seedlings. It often happens overnight. One day the plants are looking fine and healthy, and the next day they are dead. Because this is not caused by one particular problem, it is difficult to isolate it or to cure it. Sometimes the initial problem starts in the root and in other instances in the stem. If you look at the plants and see that some of them have gone over, immediately remove any dead material to try to prevent contamination of the remaining plants.

The best way to avoid damping-off is through good hygiene.

  • Use a sterilized planting mix with no nutrients. You can steam your soil by placing it in a covered container in a microwave for around seven or eight minutes. In small quantities, this is doable, but it is too much effort for anything more than that.
  • Clean trays and pots well so that no disease can be introduced. Bleach is a good disinfectant if reusing old pots and planters.
  • Make sure that air can circulate. Fungal diseases thrive in conditions of damp humidity.
  • Water from the bottom up and always allow excess water to drain away. Don’t leave the trays standing in water for too long.
  • Don’t overwater. One of the most common ways of killing plants is by giving them too much water.
  • If you spot dead plants, then act quickly to get rid of the dead material.

The only good news about damping off is that it only attacks small and vulnerable seedlings. If you can get them through that fragile stage, then you won’t have any more problems with this one. Obviously, the quicker you can get them past the vulnerable stage, the better. You do this by ensuring they have ideal growing conditions and as much light and air circulation as possible.

There are chemical fungicides on the market, but I would suggest that you avoid these. The disease strikes so fast that by the time you apply them, the plants are likely to have either recovered or died. They are expensive, and most importantly, they diminish any organic advantage you were hoping to gain by growing your plants.

Some people apply biological treatments such as sprinkling with cinnamon, but in most situations, it should be early enough in the season to replant and start the process again. 

So there you have it. Starting your seeds indoors is an exciting adventure for all gardeners.  There’s nothing more rewarding than watching the entire process of going from soil to seeds to plants.

Organic Gardening – Posthole Composting

Are you an avid gardener? Are you dedicated to producing quality produce or an enviable garden? Studies have shown that not only is composting an excellent way to help the environment to reduce the carbon surplus that the earth experiences, but on a local level, it is an easy and affordable way to enrich the soil in your garden or yard. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “food scraps and yard waste currently make up more than 28% of what we throw away.”[i] Of course, while not all of that material can be reused in a compost, imagine what a reduction in even a small percentage of that number could do for our planet and for the soil!

As interest in preserving the environment grows, more people have become interested in how they can do their part. One of the many ways is through composting, or more specifically, posthole composting, which is more than a simple solution for waste reduction.

While you may have heard of the process of collecting organic material and allowing the organic material to decompose, which is known as composting naturally, this much simpler form of recycling is less well-known. Posthole composting is the process of using common kitchen scraps to fertilize and enrich a small area of land or dirt and to encourage nature’s workers to convert organic material into usable soil. It is simple, cost-effective, and provides your garden with invaluable nutrients.

Advantages Of Posthole Composting

Although it may not be the right option for everyone, posthole composting has many amazing advantages:

Traditional composting requires the use of a compost bin or pile. When you think about composting, you may think of a yard with a large pile of leaves, a compost tumbler or bin, or even a 55-gallon barrel requiring constant turning, maintenance, and feeding. On the other hand, posthole composting can be as expansive or scaled-down as you want it to be. No bin or pile is required. All you need is a small bucket to store your organic kitchen scraps such as fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells, and even coffee grounds.

Posthole composting does not require any special containers, location, or a large amount of space. You can compost wherever you expect to plant trees, shrubs, flowers, or vegetable plants. Even raised beds are a good place for posthole composting. All you need is a shovel and your kitchen scraps.

Composting requires the right environment: right temperature, an appropriate amount of moisture, the right organic material, and aeration. This last one may be a stretch for your mind, but a compost pile needs to be regularly disturbed and turned to speed up the decomposition process. When posthole composting, no maintenance or special conditions are required.

Earthworms, although seldom thought of, play a vital role in the world’s ecosystem. Earthworms add value to the composting process and help to speed up decomposition. Earthworms are attracted to the organic material in your compost hole and will flock to the soil in your garden. As they digest the organic material, they also leave behind feces, which provides additional fertilization. They also help to aerate and turn over the soil as they travel along. By digging your posthole 8 to 12 inches deep, you are placing the organic material right in the middle of the worms’ habitat. They will love you for it, and more importantly, the soil will receive the valuable nutrients produced through the process.

Does the cost of keeping your garden beautiful and lush keep you from doing it? Store-bought fertilizers can be expensive and, in some cases, harmful to the environment. Posthole composting is not only inexpensive but more importantly, it’s FREE. In theory, you are recycling waste from things that you already purchased and consumed.

Composting is also a great way to save on the cost of trash collection and space in landfills. By recycling household waste, you are reducing the amount of trash that will now be sent off to a landfill to rot amongst the old tires, cell phones, and water bottles.

Are you concerned about global warming? As the earth’s landfills reach capacity, overflowing into streams, rivers, and the ocean, more and more methane gases are released into the air at an alarming rate. By reducing the amount of organic material from the landfill by composting, you not only reduce the amount of space required in a landfill, as mentioned earlier, but it has the added benefit of reducing the volume of gases that seep into the atmosphere. Aside from the benefits to the soil in your yard, imagine how much you can reduce your carbon footprint by following this simple process.

Let’s be honest. You are very busy, and gardening can be time-consuming in and of itself. You may not have the time to be constantly turning, maintaining, and feeding your compost pile. It takes work! The beauty of the posthole compost is that all it takes is a few scraps from the kitchen and something to dig with. Nothing fancy required and no large time commitment. Just cover up your hole with soil, and you are finished! During the spring and summer, when the ground is not frozen, the entire process should require no more than 5 minutes yet provide substantial value to your garden or yard.

Water is, of course, a critical factor in how your garden or flower beds will grow. Compost helps the soil to retain water so that it can be used when external sources of water may not be available. The organic materials absorb the water and allow the plants to draw from it in between rainfall or watering.

Another advantage to posthole composting is that because of the relatively small amount of organic materials that you are using and assuming the right conditions, and your compost should decompose in a relatively short amount of time, from several weeks to just a few months. Within no time at all, the fruit of your efforts will be enriching the soil and providing valuable nutrients to your plants.

Sometimes referred to as the Dig and Drop Method, posthole composting is very simple. As the title suggests, ‘dig’ a hole wherever you want to place your garden, plants or trees, ‘drop’ in your organic material such as potato skins and eggshells, and top it with soil!

Lastly, vital nutrients are delivered directly to the roots of your plants. What better method of fertilizing your plants than from the source, from the ground up!

Words of Caution For Posthole Composting

While there are a vast number of advantages to posthole composting, I will also caution you about several things to avoid doing in the process.

  1. Be sure to dig your hole at least 8 inches deep but no more than 18 inches to prevent animals from catching the scent of the decomposing materials and dig it up. The deeper the hole, the more likely that the nutrients will simply seep into the groundwater, not providing your plants with any of their life-giving value. The best place for your scraps is in this area between 8 and 18 inches below ground level, where it will still receive water, yet the valuable nutrients will not be in jeopardy of being washed away.
  2. It is not recommended that meat or dairy products be included in your scrap bucket to be composted as the strong scent of rotting meat will draw rodents and dogs to your compost hole. Besides the fact, the odor will be highly unpleasant to you and your neighbors!
  3. Be sure to chop up kitchen scraps into small pieces to promote the decomposition process. Onions and potatoes, in particular, tend to sprout new shoots before they begin to decompose. Even the onion skins may be a bit tough on the process, so be sure that they are wet before putting them into your posthole.

We have briefly mentioned the types of things to add to your compost hole, but let’s look at it a little “deeper.” Meat and dairy products should not be included in your compost mix nor grease and bones. Not only would animals be attracted to your yard and potentially dig up your flower beds, but these materials require a much longer time to decompose.

Compostable Items To Posthole Compost

So, what exactly should you be putting into your kitchen scraps bucket? If you are like me, you have a small bucket the size of a children’s sand toy neatly stashed in your kitchen. As you go about your daily routine, cutting, chopping, consuming, you can toss the scraps into this bucket, allowing for easy, small quantity composting. In other words, one bucket, one posthole. You should chop or break up any large pieces to ensure that they break down quickly and easily. For example, crush eggshells to speed up the process.

What do I include?

  • Vegetable and fruit skins, rind and core
  • Leafy greens
  • Coffee grounds (toss the filter in there too!)
  • Corncobs/husks
  • Old bread
  • Peanut shells
  • Tea leaves
  • Eggshells
  • Cut flowers        

You may also want to include other household waste, such as:

  • Black and White newspaper (color or glossy newspapers will not break down the same way)
  • Pet and human hair
  • Cardboard cut into small pieces (remove any shiny material or plastic/tape as this is not biodegradable)
  • Ash (wood only)

How-to Posthole Compost

Posthole composting is an amazing, environmentally friendly way of enriching your garden and yard. To supplement the organic material, you can also add small amounts of organic fertilizer, such as alfalfa pellets, to speed up the decomposition process. When filling your posthole, be sure to casually toss in the organic material rather than compact it down. Space allows it to breathe and encourages microorganisms to congregate. Before covering the kitchen scraps with the soil that you removed, consider placing the grass or weeds that you removed when digging the hole on top, upside down, adding their nutrients and organisms to the composting process.

In my list of compostables above, you will see, pet and human hair. Although this is not necessarily a “kitchen scrap,” it does provide several added benefits in your posthole compost; hair helps to deter rodents from trying to gobble up the rotting delicacies that you have buried, and it slowly releases nitrogen, which is a crucial ingredient in turning your discarded food into nutrient-rich soil.

To the seasoned home gardener, posthole composting may seem inferior to traditional composting. However, the result is the same, an organic mixture that not only enriches and fertilizes the soil but also helps to save our planet, mother Earth, for future generations. Whether you plant right away on top of the organic material or you wait until it has decomposed, the composting process will certainly enrich the quality and beauty of your garden or produce.

“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” is the EPA’s promotion phrase to save money, energy, and natural resources. If every one of us were to attempt to follow this simple slogan, we could make a dramatic difference in the environment, the quality of our soil and those things which it produces and certainly, improve the quality of life for all of us. Composting is each person’s small contribution to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Posthole Composting A Summary

Posthole composting is not only inexpensive and ecologically sound, posthole composting may be the perfect option for gardeners but may have limited space, time, resources, and energy! There is no right or wrong in posthole composting, but rather it is simply part of nature’s recycling program. Posthole composting’s creates homemade fertilizer, which provides your garden with the nutrients needed to thrive and grow. You are just facilitating the decomposition process. Happy composting!

Effect Of Exercise On Memory As We Age

Exercise And Memory
Exercise And Memory

It has been proved through various researches that one should be physically active for a number of positive reasons like reducing the risk of certain major health problems like stroke, diabetes, and heart problem, etc. People of all age groups also do exercise to lower their blood pressure, lose weight, look healthy and prevent depression, etc. However, some of the aging people do exercises regularly to protect their thinking power and memory.

Research-Based Results

The researchers of the British Columbia University have found in a study that your sweat glands and heart start pumping when aerobic exercises are done regularly. It also increases the size of the area of the brain involved in verbal learning and memory, the hippocampus. But one cannot expect similar results with muscle toning and balancing as well as resistance training exercises.

According to researchers, every four seconds, you can find a new case of dementia throughout the world. As per their estimate, there can be over 115 million dementia patients all over the world by the year 2050.

The Brain and Exercise

Various studies have proven that exercise can help in improving your thinking skills and memory directly as well as indirectly.

The direct benefits of exercise are experienced by reducing inflammation, resistance to insulin and increasing the release of the factors that help in overall growth like chemicals found in the brain that can affect the growth of brain’s new blood vessels, the health of brain cells and survival of large number of new cells in the brain.

The indirect effect of exercise can be experienced in terms of reduction in anxiety and stress as well as improvement in sleep and mood. One can experience cognitive impairment if any problem is frequently experienced in these areas.

Various researchers believe that the volume of the parts of the brain that control memory and thinking is larger in the people doing exercises regularly than those who do not exercise. Researchers were more excited to find that the increase in the volume of certain parts of the brain can be linked to be engaged in an exercising program with a moderate level of intensity for 6-12 months.

How Exercise Can Improve Your Memory

A number of ways are developed by your brain to recall and process information fast to solve the problems familiar to you as well as implement the tasks by making minimum efforts form your brain as you grow old. But you cannot stimulate your brain to develop and grow more if you do not depend only on the ways you have developed so far to remember things. So it is important for you to do some exercises infrequently to keep your body and brain active.

You can improve your memory if you use it regularly; otherwise, you can lose it like your muscle power. Your brain can remember and process the information more efficiently if you regularly do some brain exercises. The best way to work out with your brain is to find new ways to use your brain by accepting challenges by going out of routine.

How Much Exercise Is Required To Improve Memory?

In a study, the participants were directed to walk briskly twice a week for one hour each time. So, the walk of 120 minutes in a week is an exercise of reasonable intensity. Normally it is advised to do physical activities of modest intensity for at least half an hour daily or weekly 150 minutes. If it is not possible for you then you can start exercising for a few minutes and goon increasing its time by 5-10 minutes per week unless you achieve the target of workout for 150 minutes per week.

Aging people can do aerobic exercises to improve their memory and thinking ability like swimming, walking, tennis, stair climbing, dancing or squash, etc. but their intensity should be reasonable. You can also focus on some household activities for this purpose like mopping the floor, gather leaves form the garden, or anything else which can sweat you lightly and pump your heart a bit faster.

If you cannot exercise regularly on your own, then either you can work out with your friends or join a class so that you can be accountable for whatever you do. In order to encourage you to achieve your target, you should keep a track record of your physical activities. You can also hire a trainer if your budget allows you to keep you on track.

Conclusion

You can easily improve your memory with your increasing age by doing exercises of moderate-intensity regularly. A schedule of the regular workout will work as medicine to improve your mental power.

Related References

Retaining And Improving your memory as you age

Age takes a toll on all of us. You get to a point where your memory simply isn’t what it used to be. Things that would previously come as second nature start slowly slipping away into the distant recesses of your mind, and it only gets progressively worse. While there is precious little you can do about aging, there is so much you can do to keep your memory fresh even as you age. It’s all about the simple things you do every day, and below is a look at some;

1. Make life a learning process

People become rusty because they simply stop learning. Remember that you haven’t been in school for decades, so forgetting the core concepts of life and living is okay. However, you can roll back the years by keeping an active reading schedule. Decide on what you want to read every week, whether you are exploring new information or rereading old books to remind yourself of specific facts.

You should try to learn new things regularly as it is not good for your brain if you go on doing what you used to do in routine. You must do some unusual and new activities in which you are not comfortable already. So, you should learn new things and develop new skills to make your brain stronger.

2. Have a schedule

Our lives slip into a casual stream of forgetfulness because we do not have a plan to live from day-to-day. If you establish a routine for each day and occupy each hour of your life with simple activities, your mind will stay sharp. You won’t forget where you kept your reading glasses or the last book you were reading if you have planners and organizers around the home. Calendars are one way of keeping track of things. Planning apps are also a great bet. When you have a schedule, you are forced to remember what you need to be doing at specific times, and your mind stays sharp and focused.

3. Use your 6 senses

Challenge your senses into interpreting everything around you. For example, when you hear a smell, try to remember what that smell is associated with and what it means. If you taste something, think about the things that taste like what is in your mouth and jog your mind into remembering everything you associate with that taste. Exercising your senses allow you to tap into a wealth of information, you never knew you could remember, and that keeps you sharp.

4. Adopt a healthy routine

A healthy routine and your clarity of mind. To stay sharp, fall into a routine. Do specific things at specific times in the day. If you start jogging at 8 in the morning every day, make it a habit and do it every day at the same time. Take a short nap each afternoon and get the right amount of sleep every night. Make your sleeping hours consistent from day-to-day.

5. Eat lots of brain food

Turmeric, salmon, cauliflower, chocolate, berries, and broccoli are just a few of the so-called brain foods. This class of foods is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, and these ingredients work to keep your mind fresh and clear.

6. Write it down

Writing is a great exercise of the mind. Keep a notebook and scribble nuggets of information from time to time. The act of writing actually helps imprint some ideas onto your brain, and that promotes memory and retention. Keep a notebook also has the added advantage that you can always go back to your notes and remind yourself of something you forgot.

7. Get out there and socialize

Experts believe that as we age, the stress and depression we go through becomes a cause for memory loss. As you age, you may find yourself becoming increasingly isolated, and this is how depression sets in. Ward this off by interacting with people in public places and meetings. Find opportunities to be together with the people you love and stay active in your community.

8. Do New Things

When you seek out new challenges, your brain will have to focus on these activities, which build more neurons and reactivate neurons where they overlap with existing knowledge. However, you will have to do new things regularly to keep your brain busy. So, when you try to learn new things and do mentally challenging things regularly, this will help in improving your memory.

Conclusion

Age-related memory loss is a huge problem among senior citizens. This is compounded by the fact that most of us really don’t take the initiative to stave the slide. The good news, however, is that with a few simple and creative changes in the way you live and function, things can turn around. Always remember to keep those you love around you, and invest in the pursuit of knowledge even as you age.

Protecting the bees – A Brief Guide

There is a whopping 90 percent of the plants that rely on pollinators for the purpose of reproduction and fertilization. And of all the pollinators that exist in the world, Bees are in fact, the most important of all these pollinators. But these most important pollinators are in trouble, and these troublemakers are none other than we humans. As a result of widespread urbanization and deforestation, their natural habitats have been destroyed. Not only has the cutting of trees and plants destroyed habitats, but the modern plantation patterns have also changed and have impacted their habitats in a big way as well. The cultivation of mono-crops such as maize, soy, etc. have made our soils full of poisonous chemicals.

Since the pollinators play a very important role in the cultivation and spread of plant vegetation, it is important to protect these pollinators. There are several ways of protecting the Pollinators, which we will discuss in the next section.

Some Suggestions You Could Use

Pollinators are absolutely necessary for the cultivation and growth of winter squash crops – the honeybees are the most required and necessary among them. Since there had been a decrease in the quality of pollination, the overall yields and productions have decreased substantially. Of late, there has been a drastic decline in the population of honeybees. But thankfully, there are steps and measures to protect these pollinators. Listed below are a few suggestions and ways of protecting pollinators. These include:

1. Plant a mix of other herbs and flowers to attract pollinators

It is advised to plant a variety of herbs and flowers in and around the garden so that these flowers and herbs attract a lot of other types of pollinators. This is to ensure that the bees and other pollinating agents are attracted to these plants so that they are available in ample amounts.

2. Use pesticides judiciously

Make sure that the pesticides are used very sparingly and only when it is absolutely required. Using pesticides when bees and other pollinating agents are not so active ensures that they do not get harmed. And they keep coming to your gardens more often.

3. Maintain and keep the garden well-kept

Make sure that your garden is kept well and groomed well so that the flowers keep blooming throughout the garden, attracting more pollinators to your garden. It is a well-known fact that the bees get attracted to the flowers. So keep the flowers blooming and fill your garden with pollinators.

4. Plant various perennial plants

Ensure that you plant a combination of perennial plants such as shrubs, bushes, alliums, trees, alliums, herbs, flowers, etc. These types of plants flower throughout the year in all seasons, and that keeps the bees thronging your garden at all times in every season. So for all those buzzing bees in your garden, consider planting these plants in your gardens.

5. Do not use herbicides

Using herbicides will kill the herbs that are growing in your garden. Try to achieve a meadow look for your lawns by planting a wide range of flowering plants such as alfalfa along with the perennial clover plants.

 Provide bee houses in your yard
Provide bee houses in your yard

6. Provide bee houses in your yard

You can take this additional step to construct bee houses at various portions of your lawn. This could be on a tree just above the stretch where there are flowers in your lawn. Or you can decide to place them across the lawn. This would ensure that they stick around on your lawn. Providing them with a proper shelter also ensures the bees and other pollinators are protected from predators such as birds, reptiles, etc.

7. Arrange for safe feeders for the bees

During the drought season, if the bees and other pollinators do not get ample food, they will have to go to other places in search of food. So, make sure that you provide your bees with food that they are otherwise looking for outside. Provide them with sugar, water, and nectar as food, that they can have their food when they want. Arrange for a safe feeder and provide them with the food. This would ensure that the bees do not go anywhere and are right there in your lawns.

The Conclusion

Pollinators are undoubtedly the most important agents in the cultivation of many crops and plantations, and as such, there is a need to preserve these pollinators.

Using this brief guide, you sure can save and attract pollinators to your lawns and gardens and help in the preservation and protection of the environment. Try these suggestions today and watch your landscapes getting better and beautiful.

Northern Meteorological Seasons – Everything You Should Know

The classification of the calendar in four groups of three months based on the prevailing temperature conditions is said called Meteorological seasons. This is a more precise way of segmenting the year.

So what are these seasons, and why are these seasons important? In this piece, we will try finding some answers to those questions. According to meteorological studies, all the seasons start on the first day of all months that either includes a solstice or an equinox. Based on the above, the seasons are grouped as:

  • The Spring season starts from March 1st to May 31st.
  • The summer season starts from June 1st to August 31st.
  • The Fall or Autumn starts from September 1st to November 30th.
  • The Winter that runs from December 1st to February 28th or 29th.

Let’s have a closer look at these four seasons.

Spring Season (March 1st to May 31st)

After the dreadful and cold winter season, this is the most sought after time of the year. When the flowers start blooming, and the sun is out with its subtle brightness – this season truly marks the beginning of a beautiful Season. This is the season when the entire landscape comes back to life. The sunlight is strong, and the temperatures begin to rise slightly and the days start to get longer. The weather can change from sunny to dry to wet in a moment during this season. This season is truly the season that catches every romantics’ attention.

In this season, you will find some trees blossoming and many low growing plants full of beautiful flowers. This is the time when all animals that had gone into their winter hibernation come out of their hideouts to enjoy the season. Many other animals and birds return home from their winter venues and start their breeding. Overall the weather is extremely pleasant, and there are glistening greenery and colorful blossoms and flowers all around.

Summer Season (June 1st to August 31st)

After the Spring follows the summers. Summer is the hottest time of the year when temperatures soar and can become uncomfortable. The temperatures may not drop much even after the sun goes down. The sky is clear, the sun is shining bright and hot, and it becomes difficult to stay out in the hot sun for long. This is, however, that time of the year when most of the game seasons are planned and played as the weather is clear. So, it is one of the high octane times of the year.

This is that time of the year when the trees are full of loads of leaves, and every plant is full of flowers. People spend most of their time outdoors enjoying the sunny days outside. You will see tourists flocking to many beach cities to catch some sunlight.

Fall or Autumn Season (September 1st to November 30th)

This is the season when the temperatures start falling again. You will see increased rainfall in some areas. This is the season when the trees start shedding their leaves. Many high altitude animals start growing fur as a preparation for the upcoming winter season, and many gain weight before they can get into a long winter season sleep called hibernation.

In this season, plants become less active and get dormant. This season witnesses some cultural harvest festivals, and in America, Thanksgiving is an important homecoming festival celebrated in this season.

Winter Season (December 1st to February 29th)

Here comes the season of chills. This is the coldest season characterized by short days and long cold nights. Trees lose their leaves and get inactive and dormant during the winter. Many animals enter a state of hibernation and start their deep sleep. Other animals move or migrate to warmer regions. People need to wear thick clothes to keep themselves warm. The winds are freezing and brings ice and snow or even cold rains at times.

This is that phase and time of the year when every creature – animal, plants, life takes a backseat. The landscape and the scenery go in a state of slumber, and many places get covered with snow or ice.

Conclusion

Knowing about these seasons is extremely important for many aspects of human lives. Knowing about the weather and its patterns beforehand helps in planning crops and their harvesting, horticulture, and garden planning, and to stay prepared for storms and bad weather or any eventualities.

So now that you are aware of these four weather seasons, you will now be able to plan things better based on the season. So next time when you plan a holiday or want to go to watch a game, you would know when to plan one.