Students At Home

For Everyone Who Learns at Home

Feeling Tired? Try 9 Quick Energy Boosts!

I don’t know about you, but I get tired every afternoon! My energy level drops, I have trouble concentrating and I just want a nap. But my kids come home from school around 3 every day, and I have to be alert and focused! Usually, I grab a cup of coffee and a cookie, but I know this solution isn’t the healthiest option for me. After doing some research, I found these quick energy boosts.

Eat the right lunch. Ideally, it should be packed with fiber and protein. This combo keeps blood sugar levels – and energy – steady so you can stay focused all afternoon.

Take lots of short breaks. I have tight deadlines on my job, and I’m always tempted to work for long stretches without taking a break. However, several short breaks actually give your body and brain a chance to reboot. I’m going to set a timer and take a five-minute break every hour to stretch, fold laundry, text a friend, clear clutter off a counter or get dinner started.

Go for a walk. Fresh air boosts your concentration and mood. Sounds like a perfect excuse to walk to the mailbox, around the block or through the woods (below is a pic from my morning walk yesterday at Mt. Gretna)! Can’t get outside? Dance, jump rope or vacuum.

june 19 mt gretna

Change the way you snack. My coffee and chocolate snack tastes good and spikes my blood sugar so I feel more energetic right away. But it actually makes me feel more tired in the long run. A smarter snack is high in fiber and  protein like an apple or banana with peanut butter, a handful of nuts with fruit or whole-grain crackers with cheese.

Meditate. Spend five minutes meditating, and you’ll feel more awake and less stressed.

Drink water. When you’re dehydrated, the oxygen levels in your body drop. It’s time to get drinking! Make your water tasty and refreshing with fruit juice, crushed berries or lemon (my favorite water additive!), lime or cucumber slices. (photo courtesy VisitPlano)

water pitcher visitplano

Breathe deeply. A few deep breaths – in through your nose, out through your mouth – slow your heart rate, decrease your blood pressure, increase oxygen in your blood and relax tense muscles. Your brain needs this boost, so relax and breathe.

Brush your hair. Repetitive movements relieve tension and help you relax. Even better, stimulating your scalp boosts your energy and alertness!

Laugh. Your muscles relax and you feel more energized when you laugh. I like listening to comediennes on YouTube, or you can read through a joke book or recall a funny memory. (photo credit unknown)

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These tips boost energy and fight fatigue. What other tricks work for you to keep you alert when you’re tired?

 

 

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6 Tips for Finding a Cheap Bike

Summer vacation has officially started. So far, my kids have had plenty of activities to keep them busy, including riding bikes. They like to race each other around our neighborhood, and my teenager is finally allowed to ride down the street to her friend’s house.

Luckily, we have a collection of bikes in all sizes, thanks to my son’s bike repair business from a few years ago.

bikesHowever, what if your child – or you – need a new bike? Find a cheap one with these six tips.

1.Thrift Stores or Consignment Shops

Check your local thrift or consignment stores for gently used bikes. Inventory changes often, so you’ll have to keep checking. Or ask the clerk to notify you when someone brings in the type of bike you’re looking for (our local consignment store did this for me when I wanted a double stroller for my toddlers!).

2. Police Auctions

Does your town have a police auction where they auction off items they’ve confiscated throughout the year? If so, you might be able to buy a nice bike for way less than retail.

3. Online Yard Sale Sites

I’m a member of several online yard sale sites. Almost every day, I see posts from people selling bikes their children have outgrown. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, post an “In Search Of”!

4. Craigslist

Remember to check Craigslist for used bikes. You can even set up an alert and receive an email every time someone lists a bike for sale.

5. Bike Shops

Two years ago, I visited a local bike shop with a friend. They had dozens of new bikes for sale, but I also noticed a row of used bikes. Yes, they cost more than yard sale prices, but each used bike for sale was recently tuned with new parts, reliable and ready to ride!

6. Word of Mouth

Ask your friends, family, neighbors and everyone you know if they have a bike for sale. You never know who’s cleaning out their garage, ready to upgrade or otherwise looking to get rid of gently used bikes!

When your kids are ready for new bikes, use these tips to find quality bikes at an affordable price. What other tips would you suggest?

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Five Easy Security Tips for Your New Home

Whether you’re moving out on your own for the very first time, finally found your dream home or are downsizing for retirement, security in your new home is important. I’ve moved a few times over the years, and security is always one of the first things on my mind. That’s why I compiled these top security tips. Don’t worry – they’re easy!

1. Close your blinds. Burglars like looking through windows to see what valuables you own, and they easily gain access through first floor windows. Keep your blinds closed to deter anyone from looking into your home!

2. Replace the door hinge screws. Did you know that most door hinge screws are super tiny? They’re easy to bust off during a break-in, so replace them with long screws.

door hinge screws

3. Watch your trash. Believe it or not, your trash reveals a lot about your home’s contents! Packing materials advertise that you’ve just moved in, and television or electronics boxes tell thieves that you own expensive stuff that’s easy to sell. Take any revealing items or boxes like these directly to the recycling center or landfill as you protect your home.

4. Change the locks. In a few minutes, you can change the door knobs and locks. Bonus tips: if you live in a dorm and can’t change the locks, ask for a new lock right away, and don’t give anyone a copy of your key!

5. Install fake cameras. Even if you don’t connect it – or it’s broken! – hang a surveillance camera near your home’s entrances and deter burglars.

These are my five easy security tips for a new home. What other security tips do you recommend?

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