We wish you and yours a safe and prosperous new year – from all of us at Scurich Insurance Services!
Although you might not be aware of it, there are far-reaching benefits to positive thinking that can improve your health and help you with stress management. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies show that the personality traits of optimism and pessimism can have a direct impact on your well-being.
The good news is that, even if you are a pessimist by nature, you can take steps to improve positive thinking techniques in your life, and reap the resulting health and well-being benefits. Health Benefits of Positive Thinking. Over time, researchers have explored the effects of optimistic thinking on health, and have found many correlations between well being and positive thought processes. These include:
- Longer life span
- Better resistance to the common cold
- Lower rates of depression
- Reduced rates of cardiovascular disease
- Improved coping skills during times of stress and hardship
- Better physical and psychological well-being
Get on the Road to Positive Thought Processes.
There are some simple steps to take to move away from negative thinking, and create a new habit of positive self-talk. Monitor yourself: During the day, stop and take note of your thoughts. If thoughts are mainly negative, make a conscious effort to put a positive spin on things.
Be open to good humor: Give yourself permission to be happy, to smile, and to laugh, even when the chips are down. Seek humor in everyday events.
Lead a healthy lifestyle: Follow a healthy diet and exercise at least three times per week. Eating right and exercising both have positive effects on mood and stress management.
Surround yourself with people who focus on the positive: Choose to spend time with family and friends who are cheerful, supportive, and offer helpful feedback. Avoid spending time with negative people who have a “glass half empty” attitude.
Practice positive self talk: Be gentle and encouraging with yourself, and never tell yourself something that you would not say to another person. If a negative thought enters your mind, try to think about it rationally, and follow up with positive affirmations about yourself and your circumstances.
Practice Every Day!
If you have had a past tendency to have a negative outlook on life, don’t despair. While you may not become an optimist overnight, with everyday practice, you will begin to replace negativity with productive, positive thoughts.
You may find that you become, not only less critical of yourself, but more accepting of the world around you. As your general attitude improves, you will begin to reap the physical and emotional benefits of a positive outlook on life!
10 months ago ·
by Erin Carlson ·
If you’ve been working with your hands for any length of time, then you know that the difference between a professional job and a DIY project isn’t binary, it’s a spectrum. On one end, you’re taking your team out to build a house on a client’s property, and on the other end, you’re building a birdhouse in your garage just because it seemed like a fun way to kill an afternoon. In the middle, you’ve got storage sheds, home repairs, additional rooms, doghouses and so on. At some point along that spectrum, insuring your project becomes a necessity, either for legal or pragmatic reasons. But where exactly is that point? What kind of DIY projects do you need to get insured, and which ones can you afford to not worry about?
You have a few main concerns, here:
- Are you investing more than you can afford to lose?
- Is liability a concern?
- Will this affect any existing insurance policies you hold?
Take, for instance, building an additional room onto your home. This is going to have an effect on your existing homeowner’s policy, and if you don’t inform your insurer about your project, you may wind up invalidating that policy altogether.
On the other hand, spending a weekend erecting a doghouse in your backyard probably won’t affect your homeowner’s policy at all, and you’re probably not spending more than a hundred dollars on lumber and other materials. You may even be piecing it together from scrap wood left over from another project. The only concern here is liability, which might or might not be covered by your current homeowner’s policy. To play it safe you can always build a doghouse in the garage and wheel it out to the yard on a dolly to make sure you don’t wind up with barbecue guests stepping on a nail or something, but it’s generally worth checking your policy before starting any such project, just to be sure.
There are projects that may be covered by your homeowner’s policy in terms of liability, but wind up costing a little more than piecing a doghouse together out of scrap lumber. A shed, for instance, or costly home improvements. In these instances it’s down to peace of mind. Are you comfortable working without insurance, or would you like to have a safety net just in case?
If you’re bringing other people onto a project, then of course you’re probably going to want some basic liability coverage, but for more DIY projects than not, the rule of thumb is not to worry about insurance unless you feel uncomfortable without it, it’s required by law as with larger structures like guest homes, or it’s affecting a policy you already hold.
February is the month of love. Millions of couples will get engaged on Valentine’s Day or get married this month, and couples spend an average of $260 on cards, flowers, jewelry and other gifts. Those gifts could include life insurance. It’s not the first gift you think of when you consider romance, but it’s a good way to express your love to the important people in your life. In fact, you could think of life insurance as love insurance. Seventy-five percent of life insurance purchasers buy a policy because of love. This February, show your love with a life insurance policy, too.
Life Insurance for Yourself
When you buy a life insurance policy for yourself, you give your loved ones financial security and peace of mind. While life insurance benefits don’t replace you, they are a small way you can continue to provide for your loved ones after you’re gone. Your beneficiaries can use the money for miscellaneous purposes, including daily living expenses, an emergency fund for the future, debt repayment, school tuition or retirement account funding.
Life Insurance for Your Fiancé or Spouse
Maybe you won’t give your fiancé a life insurance policy along with the engagement ring, and a policy is probably not the first thing you buy together as a newly married couple. However, life insurance is an expression of your love and care. Your partner can choose the beneficiary and provide financial assistance to children or aging parents. The policy payout could also repay your partner’s outstanding debts, fund a favorite charity, cover end of life expenses or boost your retirement savings.
Life Insurance for Your Children
Kids have their whole lives in front of them, but they aren’t immune to birth defects, accidents and diseases like cancer. You can’t protect your kids from everything, but you can give them life insurance. A child’s life insurance policy can pay for medical expenses, funeral expenses and other end of life arrangements. It can also be donated in your child memory to his or her favorite charity or be used for the educational costs of surviving siblings. Whole life insurance policies also grow with your child. When they turn 21, they take over the policy and keep the same coverage or purchase additional insurance for their future.
This February, purchase life Insurance for your loved ones. A policy can cost less per day than your daily coffee, and it provides peace of mind. It’s a loving gift that keeps on giving. Discuss available policies with your insurance agent today.
December holiday celebrations often include an obligatory office party. Before you automatically throw a holiday party for your employees, though, consider the pros and cons.
Pros of a Holiday Office Party
- Reinforce the company culture – A fun party reminds employees that your organization prioritizes teamwork and is a fun place to work.
- Improve employee engagement – Help employees feel included and engaged with co-workers, two factors that contribute to higher job performance and company loyalty.
- Demonstrate the company’s health – A holiday party is one way to show employees that your company is stable, prosperous and committed to ongoing job security.
- Thank employees – Use a holiday party to thank employees for their hard work over the last year.
Cons of a Holiday Office Party
- Diversity could suffer – Most employees hang out with the colleagues they know during social events. That means your holiday office party probably won’t help employees mingle or build stronger relationships with colleagues they don’t know well.
- Employees could engage in unprofessional behavior – A holiday office party is considered a workplace event, but employees may act in an unprofessional manner. They could let down their guard and drink too much, make unwanted sexual comments or advances, and otherwise act in inappropriate ways.
- You could face liability challenges – Forcing employees to attend the holiday office party, excluding employees of a certain religion, gender or other protected status, or allowing employees to drink too much could result in a lawsuit. Even though you have commercial liability insurance, this or a similar legal challenge could affect your company into the future.
- Productive work time decreases – The holiday party may only last a few hours, but carefully consider if your company can afford the downtime.
How to Decide if you Should Host a Party
While you can use this list of pros and cons to help you decide if you should host a holiday office party, you can also consider several additional factors.
Do employees really want a party? Despite the benefits, your employees may prefer not to attend an obligatory holiday office party.
Should you serve alcohol? To reduce liability and promote a safer party, consider giving each employee a drink ticket and hire a bartender who can monitor alcohol consumption. Or nix the alcohol and serve an interesting non-alcoholic beverage instead.
What’s the best way to show appreciation to your employees? An afternoon off, sporting event tickets or cash bonus might be a more appreciated way of demonstrating your gratitude to employees.
A holiday office party has several advantages and disadvantages. Weigh the pros and cons as you decide whether or not to host one this year.
Whether you are outdoors — on the job or at play this summer — or working indoors in a hot environment, you need to know how to cope with hot and humid conditions that can pose serious dangers to health that the heat brings.
The human “cooling system” uses perspiration and blood vessels to regulate body temperature. However, when someone is working hard in the heat, especially when it’s also humid, this system can break down, raising the person’s temperature and heart rate. Although people who are past middle age or have health problems are especially vulnerable, the young and healthy can also suffer from heat-related conditions.
Overheating also affects the brain. A temperature hike as little as 2 degrees can impair mental functioning, which makes heat an underlying cause of job accidents, as diminished ability can lead workers to overlook hazards and make mistakes.
In order of seriousness, heat hazards — and their remedies — include:
- Heat rash — Can be irritating: Take a shower and use a little talcum powder.
- Heat stress — Symptoms include thirst, vision problems and/or feeling woozy or tired: Drink a cool, non-alcoholic beverage in a shady place.
- Heat cramp — Involves pain from twitching muscles caused by losing salt from perspiration: Get into the shade and take cool fluids.
- Heat exhaustion — Look for heavy perspiration, fatigue, queasy stomach, and chilly, clammy skin: Put the person in the shade, with their feet slightly elevated, provide a cooling beverage (unless the victim is nauseated), and be prepared to seek medical assistance.
- Heatstroke — Can be a fatal condition, characterized by a lack of sweating, a temperature elevated by up to five degrees, hot skin, mental confusion, and loss of coordination: Call paramedics immediately — and then get the victim to a shaded spot and keep him or her cooling down with cold water sponges or ice packs until help arrives.
To help keep you, your family and your co-workers protected from the heat, we’d recommend that you advise everyone to:
- Wear sunglasses for protection against exposure to UV rays;
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more to minimize the risk of cancer or sunburn:
- Keep hydrated with plenty of cool — not cold — water and beverages free of alcohol or caffeine;
- Minimize exposure to the sun by going indoors or staying in the shade during the heat of the day; and
- Eat light meals with small servings of fruits and vegetables (which are rich in fluids).
For valuable information on dealing with heat-related issues, check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) web page, Heat: A Major Killer.
Now that winters’ over (and Pandemic restrictions are easing), you’re probably ready to take a break and hit the open road.
Is your vehicle ready for spring break travel? It will be when you follow this checklist of six helpful tips.
1. Fill the Fluids
Windshield wiper fluid, coolant, oil and transmission fluid deplete quickly over winter. Fill them to the recommended level for your vehicle as you prepare the engine to operate properly in warmer weather.
2. Check the Tires
After carrying your vehicle over rough winter roads, your tires need some tender loving care. Check the tread and make sure it’s sufficient to handle the wet roads you’ll encounter this spring. Then inflate the tires to the proper pressure as recommended for your specific vehicle. Consider a wheel alignment,
too, as you ensure your tires are ready to work hard all season.
3. Replace the Wiper Blades
The wiper blades work extra hard all winter as they remove ice and snow from your windshield. Protect your view and safety when you replace the wiper
4. Wash the Exterior
Salt and grime build up on your vehicle’s exterior and can cause corrosion, rust and damage. Wash off winter dirt with a high-powered hose at home or at
the car wash. Reach the underbody, lower doors, roof and all exterior surfaces.
5. Clean Out the Interior
Food wrappers, mud and a dirty windshield create an untidy interior. Plus, salt residue can destroy the fabric on your vehicle’s floors and seats. Grab a trash
can, steam cleaner and wash cloth as you clean out the inside of your vehicle
6. Update Your Auto Insurance
Insurance requirements don’t change with the seasons, but double check your coverage as part of your prep for spring break travel. Make sure your coverage
meets your needs and renew your policy if necessary. With the right insurance coverage, you have peace of mind wherever the road takes you.
Where are you traveling this spring? Make sure your vehicle is ready when you follow these six tips.