Every day we see the courageous stories of the people in Ukraine. Millions are either fleeing or fighting for their freedom. Many of us want to do something, yet uncertain where to start or who to trust. Here are some unique ways to give with confidence to help provide shelter, food, medicine for the Ukrainian people and their pets.
Top four questions to ask a charity before you donate.
1) How much of your donation will go to provide relief? 2) What is the charity’s experience with disaster relief? 3) Is that charity established in Ukraine? Are they working with “Partners,” and who are they? 4) Are they transparent with their financial health? Are they accountable and sustainable?
Once you decide which nonprofit has your heart, be smart with your money and avoid scam artists.
Here are four ways to avoid scams;
1) Independently go to that nonprofit website to donate to confirm your money went to the right place. I like to follow them on social media to get a sense of who they are and how they are working to help both people and animals. 2) No gift cards. 3) No wire transfers 4) Use a credit card as they have protective services.
Now that you have a strategy to help, what are some unique ways that you can help? To provide shelter or temporary housing, you may consider checking out Airbnb. To help pet shelters and zoos, you may want to check out these two articles, Today and Daily Paws. I’ve created a FREE PDF with these resources and more.
Finally, did you know that giving has health benefits? Giving fosters our social connection reduces our stress, and releases endorphins that promote tranquility and peace. Peace is the ultimate goal for everyone.
More and more people have been traveling with their pets since the pandemic. The Holiday season is no different. Travel during the holidays can be stressful enough with traffic, delays, or finding a place to stay. Here are tips to keep our pets safe, healthy, and happy when traveling with them.
Safety Download vaccination records on your phone. Call your veterinarian and ask them to email you your pet’s vaccination records. It’s good to have this with you if you need it, especially when traveling.
Pet ID Even if your pet is microchipped, it is helpful to have an ID on their collar. If they get lost, the general public will know that your pet is not a stray one and can help it locate its humans quicker. Here is what to look for with ID. Up to date with current, accurate information? Is the engraving or writing legible and easy to see? Does the tag show wear and tear? Is the tag securely in place on my pet’s collar? You are looking for durability. Features like aesthetics and tech are available for those who seek to add to the primary pet ID. The most important thing is to make sure the tag fits your dog’s lifestyle … dangle verse slide on.
Avoid retractable leashes. They can be dangerous for your pet and others. It’s tough to have control over your pet. Once your pet is curious and off to explore, the leash can drop out of your hands or pull you, causing you to drop your phone, harm your arm, shoulder, fall. Dogs, people, kids can trip or get tangled, causing rope burns, trips, or falls. Dogs can chase something into traffic or get in the space of another dog that isn’t as friendly; it’s harder to reign the dog back. Here is the solution. Get a standard six ft. leash when walking in the city, hotels, going out to restaurants, etc.
Retractable leashes do not teach good behavior for pets or their humans. It only takes a moment for someone to trip, fall, etc. Pet owners can prevent potential injury to their pet, themselves, and others by using a standard six foot leash.
Healthy Always travel with a dog water bottle for on-the-go hydration. Hydration is just as crucial for our pets as it is for humans. I personally use this dog water bottle because it will not leak and I can place Gibbs’ food or treats in the top without unpacking his food bowls. Bring healthy snacks and food. Once you get to your destination, please do not leave dog food in the car. Even if you are traveling to multiple destinations. Take it all inside with you. It can spoil, making your dog sick. Finally, pack body and paw wipes to keep paws clean from dirt, pollen, mud, etc.
Happy The best way to keep your pet happy when traveling over the Holidays is this; keep their daily routine, feeding times, bedtimes, potty times, socialize with them. Be considerate of others when traveling—people in hotels, hotel elevators, restaurants. Visit pet travel sites like Bring Fido or Find Blue Dog for places to go with your pet near your destination. Remember, you aren’t the only one who may want to escape Holiday chaos!
The heat is on! It’s on the street! The heat is on! Summer can be a dangerous season for your pet! Some of the most common health dangers include dehydration, heat exhaustion, and burnt paw pads. Here are some ways to keep your dog safe and healthy.
It’s best to exercise your dog earlier in the morning or later at night. If your dog is like mine, he needs a few additional potty breaks! As the temperature & humidity rise, so does the asphalt your dog walks on. Interesting fact, when it is 77F outside, asphalt can be 125F.
It’s not just sidewalks that are dangerous. Surfaces that get hot are boat docks, decks, bike paths, sand on beaches, the floor of a boat, or the back of a truck. Keep this in mind; skin destruction occurs in a fast 60 seconds!
So how do you know if the sidewalk or road is too hot for your dog’s paw pads? Take the 7-second test. I’ll place my hand on the sidewalk for 7 seconds. If it is too hot for me, it is too hot for Gibbs!
Your dog will let you know if their paw pads give them discomfort after a walk or exercise. Look for limping, excessive licking, or blisters following a walk on the pavement.
The first and most important type of gear you will need for your dog is a water bottle. Hydration, hydration, hydration! As NCIS special agent Gibbs says, “Grab your gear!”, you are going to do the very same thing to keep your dog safe during the summer heat. Your dog requires an ounce of water per lb of body weight. When out in the heat, be sure to provide a water stop at least once every 15-20 minutes. Gibbs uses Highwave Auto Dog Mug Leak-Tight Mini. We do have a partnership with them. Make sure to use promo code GIBBS 15. This water bottle won’t waste water like collapsable water trays, it fits easily into our auto cup holder, it won’t leak in my backpack or on me after using it, and it can double for a makeshift food tray when we are not home for dinner time. You know how our dogs can be around dinner time!
The second type of gear to check out for your dog is a cooling vest. Cool technology. Rinse the vest in cool water. If you can, place it in the freezer for about 2-3 minutes. Take it out and put it on your dog. As the water evaporates, it takes the body heat your dog is generating with it. It boosts the cooling by offering the maximum amount of shade and thermal protection. The material has a rating of 50+ UPF protection, which blocks 98% of the sun’s UV rays. Gibbs has the RuffWear cooling vest. I get almost 90 minutes outside for a walk with him wearing this gear. If you are hiking or somewhere that you will be out longer, saturate the vest in water to reactivate the technology.
If walking your dog on grass or surfaces is not possible, the last type of gear to consider is dog booties. Keep in mind that your dog has sweat glands in its paw pads, so don’t keep the booties on for longer than necessary when it’s hot out. You don’t want them to get overheated. Fitting is important. Measure the width of the paw pad accordingly before ordering. I bought Gibbs’ booties at Woof Gang St. Pete.
Finally, it’s crucial to be proactive and recognize if or when your dog is experiencing heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion happens when your pet’s body temperature rises above a healthy range, and the pet is unable to regulate its body heat.
Signs of heat exhaustion are: Excessive panting Confusion or disorientation Vomiting or diarrhea Discoloration of tongue and gums
Gibbs goes with us just about everywhere. In the summer, though, that is not always the case. Although I love taking him to restaurants or walking him on the pier in St. Pete, the concrete may be too hot for him. I love how he enjoys walking or playing on sandy beaches or with other dogs at dog bars or events, yet event with the summer gear, mentioned, it could lead to heat exhaustion. I have to know when to say NO for his health and safety. After all, I’m not the one wearing a fur coat in the heat and humidity that always sizzles in the summer.
Celebrate Dog Mom Day! Being a dog mom is an unconditional loving commitment for many years of your life. So what gifts may a dog mom LOVE that will fit EVERY budget?
Here are five ideas that are great to support our local and independent pet businesses!
1) Dog Grooming Certificate.
Dog grooming can be expensive. Our husky, Gibbs, may not need to go as often as his other fur friends. This time of year is a great time to go as many are shedding their winter coats! Gibbs loves his groomer, Britney, at Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming
2) Doggie Day Care Certificate.
Your hu-mom will love the options of either a half or full-day, a waterpark experience, or a package that combines them all!
In the video above, you will see me playing with my friends in a waterpark at Love My Dog Resort. The great thing about doggie daycare is it is also a mommy daycare! Our hu-moms get to enjoy a full day to do whatever they want without rushing back home to take us out to potty or wonder if we are getting into “things” from being alone for hours. Playing with friends is healthy for us, and it sure does tire us out. From what I hear, this is considered a bonus.
3) Membership Options.
In my special appearance on Bloom TV, you will see me enjoying the off-leash area at The Dog Bar. Here you can enjoy a yearly membership or a day pass! Bring your laptop or iPad and get some work done while dogs socialize and play in the off-leash area. It’s an awesome place to meet dog lovers! Evenings hold events and fundraisers that always give back to the community.
4) Dog Photographer or Artist.
Who doesn’t love a picture of their bestie? Schedule a session with a photographer specializing in working with pets or seeking out an artist who will create a paw-fect portrait that you will cherish for years!
5) Personalized Candles To Help With Pet Smells.
Yes, I said it. Sometimes, we can be stinky! Before purchasing any candle, let’s discuss scents, wicks, and wax. Both cats and dogs are not fond of citrus scents. Make sure the wick is lead-free too. Did you know that wick’s that contain lead, when burned, could damage your pet’s central nervous system? Yikes! To be safe, always look for cotton wicks. Get a soy wax or beeswax candle. Parrafin wax is derived from petroleum and has the potential to emit carcinogens when burning. The picture below is my personalized soy wax candle, complete with a cotton wick. You can find this at Bold Coast Candle Co.
Because dogs require daily exercising, a dog water bottle may be yet another perfect gift! Walking is one of the most common ways we get our exercise. With summer approaching, it is so vital to keep dogs hydrated! I have been using the AutoDogMug Leak Tight Mini for a few years. It is easy to carry on walks, travel-friendly, BPA free and doesn’t waste water as travel bowls do. I will use it to place my food in it when we are out at a restaurant and give me a drink! After a few years, I’m happy to share that Gibbs has partnered with them! Enjoy the promo code GIBBS15.
We’ve all seen it. Political posts that say if you are a part of this party, then I’ll unfriend you. What? What if I don’t share your faith? Do you like me less because I’m not a mom? You get the picture.
When so many work so hard to fight labels, when did it become okay to create labels in other lanes?
I know that some will say, so what? Keep on scrolling. It’s not so easy. What if this is a colleague with whom you collaborate on various projects? Or what if this colleague is someone you consider a mentor? Then what happens when you label a colleague who connects to another colleague and another and another? From what I’ve seen on social media, women struggle more emotionally with these posts than men.
So, how do you handle posts that make you anxious, sad, or stressed?
Pause! I bet you thought I was going to say breathe! I feel that pausing leads us to breathe. Now inhale, exhale, and release the urge to respond. Even if your intentions are good, move on. It may look like you are setting out to prove this colleague wrong with this kind of post. When has that ever been productive?
See the BIG picture. Ask yourself the following questions. Is this the person that you know? Do you believe they think you are who they refer to in their post? How would they treat you if they ran into you on the street or at a conference? Friendly? Have you collaborated with them in the past? How was that experience for you? What impact may their posts have on future collaborations with you? With this information, you now get to decide if you will sit out a few and collaborate at another time.
Words matter. Know the risks of posting political opinions. It creates division, labels, judgment, and risks. A good colleague of mine, who was also a sponsor, once enlightened me about a little thing called optics. Optics are risks. What’s the risk with political posts? Losing existing or new clients, sponsors, and colleagues, you collaborate on projects with friends and family.
Set healthy boundaries for your energy. Seeing judgemental posts give off a bad vibe, and for many women, it can wreck your morning! Don’t match that energy! Stay focused, and harness your exuberance!
That liveliness introduces you to your next comment, client call, zoom meeting, email, etc. Think of it as a part of your image!
Your energy is your most significant currency, so spend it wisely!
How much time do we spend on social media per day? Average users spend 2 hours and 24 minutes a day! That works out to approximately 16 hours per week, which could be considered a part-time job that you are not getting paid for! Makes you smack your head, right?
SAVE 14 hours each week, REDUCE stress & SHOW acts of kindness by setting healthy boundaries with your time on social media! Yes you can!
If you have visited my website lately, the healthy boundaries checklist will ask you which boundary you struggle with most? Is it time, emotions, or energy? Get your FREE checklist here! I have had several comments on setting healthy boundaries with time, so let’s do this!
In 15 minutes, you can show acts of kindness and get your social media fix! First, set your timer on your phone for 2 minutes. Write down who you have not checked in with, someone you know lost a loved one, etc. Second, set the timer for 3 minutes. DM those friends sharing a kind word or encouragement. Third, set the timer for 10 minutes. Intentionally go onto social platform feed or groups. Seek out friends to engage with to nurture the relationship. Emotionally charged engagement holds no value to you and will steal your time.
After a few weeks, you will notice that you can accomplish your 2-minute goal in 1 minute. You will complete your act of kindness time in 2 minutes. You now have two bonus minutes! Let’s discuss how to best maximize your 10 minutes on social. Select 1 or 2 groups per day and place that in your daily calendar. Look at your feed to engage, network, post, or be empowered. What can you do with a bonus of 2 minutes that you saved earlier? Whatever you like!
I’d love to know if this helped you to save time, reduce stress & share more kindness each week!
The Social Dilemma documentary on Netflix inspired this week’s video. It is mind-boggling to learn how we ARE the product! It now makes sense to me when my husky, Gibbs, shows his intervention skills! 🙂
I’ll show you how to reduce your screen time on selected social platforms & how to set healthy boundaries for your time, emotions & energy in 10 steps.
Swipe to the right and scroll down until you see Screen Time. You can also access it by going to Settings.
Click on it to view your daily average. Scroll down to decide whether you want to share this on all of your devices.
Scroll back up, just a little until you locate See All Activity. Click on that.
Look at the time that you have spent on your phone and notice what you accomplished. You will now see how much time you spend in the following categories, like networking, researching, or creating.
Scroll down to Pickups. This statistic shows you how often you pick up your phone AND which apps you use first after picking it up! Now you can recognize it is time to set healthy boundaries from social platforms.
Scroll to find the social media platform you want to set healthier boundaries for your time, emotions, and energy. For this example, I’ve chosen to show you how to do this for Facebook app. Select Facebook and click on it.
You will see your daily average on this platform. Scroll to the bottom to select Add Limit.
Choose the amount of time you want to spend on each social media platform.
Want more healthy boundaries? Select Customize Days. Every day of the week, you get to select how much time to spend on that particular app.
You will receive a notification 5 minutes before the time limit. Kind of like when our parents did with us when we were kids, right? Here though, you will get to choose to ignore the time limit, add a minute or add 15 minutes.
If seeing notifications is your trigger to pick up your phone, then stop them! Badges are the red dots on top of the icons. There is no need for them on your social apps. It will only take control of your time. What works for me are temporary banners.
I’m clearly not opposed to social media. It has become invasive in 3 areas, my time, emotions, and energy. Setting healthy & realistic boundaries on social platforms has allowed me to be fully present in my life. I deserve that and so do those with whom I spend time with.
Love to know your thoughts and if this was valuable to you!
Did you know 3x as many Americans met the criteria for a depression diagnosis during the pandemic than before it? We are all in a relationship with stress and chaos. We spend approximately 1/3 of our time at work, and it may be helpful to consider these proven resources to help decrease stress, reduce workplace burnout, increase focus, compassion & happiness. This week I’ll share tips for you to share with your teams. *Special edition this week for IgniteDDS*
Let’s look at what many of us may be experiencing daily.
1. Isolation & Loneliness
2. Cancellation of events
3. Supply chain anxiety
4. Travel restrictions
5. Getting the virus or having family sick (high risk)
6. Financial Stability
7. Employment Uncertainty
8. Domestic Violence
9. Struggle with emotional and mental health, anxiety & depression
It’s time to create a work culture that emphasizes; Connection, Compassion, and Communication. You help to develop work-life wellness. Forget balance. Balance is an even distribution of weight. Anything above sound balanced to you? Wellness is an actively pursued goal referring to being in good health!
How do you begin? SELFcare in healthcare.
1. Start a conversation with your team.
2. Encourage vulnerability as a leader and lead with it.
3. Listen with the purpose (everyone will have a different worry or symptom). Make sure that you are in a healthy, non-judgmental space to listen, not solve! You are not a therapist!
4. Find and offer resources. Set small goals for mindfulness at work. Happify AND Headspace offer easy, time-efficient, & effective tasks for each member of your team. These tasks do not take up all of your free time at lunch. Accomplishing these goals may recharge you.
Special note: These platforms may have free memberships during this pandemic. It’s worth it to check it out!
Stay calm and mask on! Many small businesses from restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries to dental practices are implementing safety policies and being assaulted for it. This is about ALL of us and who we serve. Employees will be the ones who will feel the heat, This will impact their emotions, energy, and productivity.
Get FIVE tips to handle customers and support your employees.
1. Inform those who you serve on social media, your website, have resources available so people who question your policy can view in real-time what is recommended per state and counties. Have colorful and simple signs (fewer the better ) to place onsite and with your marketing messages. Get some videos uploaded to show what to expect. YOU are placing healthy boundaries for the HEALTH of ALL!
2. Give masks away for free! Unite with those in your communities who are making hand sanitizers and give those away. No mask? No problem! We’ve got one for you!
3. Support employees who will be bearing the brunt of verbal or physical assault. Think of it like cool downtime. I like to say it is a self-care wellness check! (HINT: I talk about this in my upcoming ebook) Employees must decompress from stress! Check out these apps for your employees SuperBetter At Work, Happify, and TalkSpace.
4. Collaborate on a backup plan with your employees on what services or products can be contact-free. Maybe it is an online catalog, order food online, curbside service for coffee to Invisalign trays, etc.
5. Set the boundary where disrespect is not tolerated. You are a small business so you can choose how to convey this message. Have a sign No Mask No Service. I’d prefer … This Is An Assault Free Zone 🙂
Let me know if these tips were helpful to you in your small business!
Wearing a mask! It is a trending topic on social media that triggers some negativity! Don’t allow these posts to steal from your time, your emotions or your energy! Get 3 ways to set healthy boundaries when you see these posts on social media!
I used to be someone who did not set healthy boundaries. I was really bad at it! The result? Other people ran my life! I rode shotgun! I don’t do that anymore. I learned how to set healthy boundaries with my time, emotions, and energy.
Today I want to challenge you to setting healthy boundaries here … on social media. When you see a video or post regarding wearing a mask you will likely feel frustrated, angry or fearful. What’s the problem with wearing a mask?
After reading hundreds of comments on posts I found 4 common concerns.
1. Safety. Do your part to keep yourself and others safe.
2. They are uncomfortable to wear. I get it! I wore a mask for 25 years when I worked as a clinical dental hygienist!
3. Breathing is difficult.
4. It infringes on my rights.
Viewing or commenting on these posts will most likely trigger a negative emotion, deplete your energy and suck time from your day.
Here are 3 solutions;
1. Don’t respond. Stop, Pause and Scroll. Intentionally go to a person whose posts are positive or humorous. Reset your mind. Me? I go to Gibb’s fan page and check out other dog / pet posts as that makes me happy.
2. Respond to learn than to be right. So if a post states that someone has asthma and they share they can’t breathe wearing a mask, you could share … “I’m doing my part to wear a mask yet I’ve not thought about it that way before, thank you for helping me understand”
3. Delete / Unfriend / Unfollow THIS is total freedom from the bondage of social media stress.
Has this been helpful to you? Let me know! COMMENT or share!