How Playing Games can Manage Stress and Anxiety

What is Stress and How can Gaming Reduce it?

With the current state of technology, we need to find ways to reduce the amount of stress we feel. Gaming is one option for reducing stress and is particularly popular with those who are prone to anxiety, depression and social phobias such as Autism.

The main benefit of gaming as a stress reliever is that it provides distraction from whatever causes us anxiety or causes us stress. We can also choose whatever form of gaming we like, be it mobile games on our phone or console games in front of a TV. All forms of gaming can provide hours worth of distraction from a stressful situation without any additional cost other than time. There are plenty of free gaming sites online you do not need a console just a tablet or desktop/ laptop pc. My Son loves Minecraft .

Gaming also has a secondary effect on our brains where it stimulates the brain’s reward system, which makes us feel good about ourselves and allows us to feel less stressed about

As a parent of teenagers many love technology and specifically gaming. We worry about screen time, we set rules and make them have screen downtime. However have you ever considered gaming might actually be a good thing sometimes.

My Son is autistic he has always preferred screens to people. It does not have to be a problem. Yes being autistic  means he is not always socialising . We encourage him to be social as much as possible. However this can sometimes become too much if you have ever been around a child/teenager in full meltdown mode . I am telling you now it is not fun its stressfull and challenging. An autistic child can suffer sensory overload being in busy social situations. Gaming can help reduce that anxiety and calm you down. Some  of my sons favourite games are Tetra Blocks and Pac Rat. He really loves retro gaming he still has and uses a PS1. In Pac Rat your Rat eats cheese but need to avoid the cats.

Gaming is a way to relieve stress.

It’s not just about playing video games. Playing any game can be good for your health, whether it be an app on your phone or a board game with friends. There are many ways to enjoy gaming and all of them could be considered as leisure activities. We love some of the games here. We also love that you get a little history about gaming. There are educational games too which my older teenage daughter liked.

One common misconception about gaming is that it’s all about violence and gore. That isn’t true at all; there are plenty of games out there that focus on the lighter side of life and even world peace.

The potential for gaming to promote mental health is a notion that is increasingly being explored. The video game industry has been trying to tackle the stereotypes of gamers being unhealthy and isolated. Even if you are over 40 you can still play games.

While no conclusive evidence can establish a direct link between gaming and mental health, there are certain aspects of gaming that have been shown to be beneficial to human psychology. So next time your child is displaying challengiing behaviour gaming might not be such a negative option.

The Frugal Way to Healthy Eating

The Frugal Way to a Healthy Diet

 

Food is a huge expense over your lifetime. Consider that once you start having to buy your own food, you’re generally stuck with that obligation for the rest of your life. If you buy your own food for 50 years, that’s £260,000 if you spend £100 per week.

 

Saving a little money each week adds up to a lot of money over 50+ years!

 

Of course, it’s also important to purchase and consume healthy food. Consider that nearly every cell in your body at this point is composed entirely of the foods you’ve eaten, the beverages you’ve drank, and the air you’ve breathed. You are made of the food you eat, so eat good food!

 

Eat well and save money at the same time with these techniques:

 

  1. Eat at home. The food in a restaurant is always more expensive than what you can prepare at home. Restaurants have to pay employees, utilities, rent or mortgage payments, taxes, maintain a parking lot, and make a profit.

 

  • It’s true that most restaurants might taste better than your meals prepared at home, but you can just take that as a challenge to increase your chef skills.

 

  • You can also use healthier ingredients than your local restaurants choose to use.

 

  1. Buy in bulk. A large bag of rice or potatoes costs less per pound than a smaller bag. Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club have a lot of great deals if you can handle larger quantities of food. Having a large freezer and pantry can certainly be helpful if you’re going to take advantage of this tip.

 

  1. Have a garden. A garden is practically free from a financial standpoint, but it does require some labor to prepare the soil and to plant the seeds or seedlings. A garden also requires time to deal with the weeds, water, fertilize, and harvest the food.

 

  • The advantages are great cost savings, access to high-quality food, and you’ll get some exercise, too. Children love gardens, too.

 

  1. Substitute other ingredients for meat. Meat is expensive, but there are other sources of protein than just meat. Beans, lentils, eggs, and some types of fish are considerably less expensive than most cuts of meat.

 

  1. Buy whole foods. A whole chicken costs less than all the parts cost separately. A block of cheese is less expensive than shredded cheese.

 

  1. Take advantage of sales. There’s always something on sale. The meat section often has meat with a reduced price of 50% or more because it needs to be sold the next day. Buy and cook it that night or put it in the freezer.

 

  • There’s always one type of apple or grape on sale. You never know what’s going to be on sale from week to week. Keep your eyes open and take advantage of those sales.

 

  1. Avoid highly processed foods. A can of soup has a lot of different ingredients, the contents have already been cooked, it has to be put into a can, and there are a lot of additives to keep the soup from spoiling. All of that isn’t inexpensive, and the additives make the soup less healthy.

 

The foods you eat have a huge impact on your health and your bank account. There are many ways to limit your grocery bill without compromising on the quality of the food you put into your body.

 

Inexpensive food can be healthy and satisfying, so avoid the belief that good food and enjoyment has to be costly. It can also improve your mental health.

A Parents Guide to Outdoor Play

A Parent’s Guide to Outdoor Play

Having an Autistic Son has meant we needed to help him socialise getting outdoors was crucial  to his social development.

Outdoor play has been declining for years, but maybe the pandemic can help turn things around. Children and adults are spending more time outside, where the risk of infection is lower compared to indoor spaces.

 

However, there are many more reasons than that to get your kids out of the house. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children play outside as much as possible. They even urge doctors to prescribe playtime as part of wellness visits.

 

Things may be headed in the right direction, but there’s a long way to go. Many families with preschool children don’t go outside to walk or play on a regular basis.

 

Help your family enjoy greater happiness and health. Learn more about the benefits of outdoor play and how to integrate it into your daily life.

 

Benefits of Outdoor Play:

 

  1. Increase physical activity. Children move faster and burn more calories when they’re outdoors. They also form habits that can help them manage their weight and reduce their risk for heart disease and other conditions linked to sedentary lifestyles. These habits can support strong health throughout their lifetime.

 

  1. Promote learning. Research shows that children are more attentive after recess. Playing outside sharpens thinking by providing sensory input that helps link body and mind.

 

  1. Connect with nature. Green spaces give us energy and brighten our mood. As your child builds their self-esteem and confidence, they may also become more interested in protecting the environment.

 

  1. Make friends. Any unstructured playtime is an opportunity for your child to practice their social skills and interact with their peers. They learn how to share and negotiate.

 

  1. Manage stress. Are you concerned about how the pandemic is affecting your child’s mental health? Outdoor activities can help them deal with confusion, fears, and loss.

 

Strategies for Increasing Outdoor Play:

 

  1. Limit screen time. Children aged 11 to 14 spend an average of 9 hours a day in front of a screen, according to the CDC. You’ll have more time for other things if you limit devices to 1 or 2 hours.

 

  1. Play games. Team sports provide many benefits, but kids need unstructured play too. Toss around a frisbee or jump rope.

 

  1. Create art. Set up an easel or give your child a sketch pad they can carry around. Assemble sculptures using sticks, rocks, and other natural objects.

 

  1. Grow plants. Start a vegetable or flower garden in your backyard. If you’re short on space, see if there’s an opening at your local community garden. Many churches also welcome volunteers to help tend their plants.

 

  1. Splash around. Visit a water park or create your own attractions. If you’re not ready for a pool, you can still run and dance under the spray from your sprinklers or a hose. Maybe you can even convince your kids that washing your car is fun.

 

  1. Pack a picnic. Dine on the grass. Pack a basket and blanket for your next trip to a state park. Serve takeout or your own cooking on your patio for a family meal.

 

  1. Walk your dog. If you need to be reminded to schedule time outdoors, you can count on your dog. For kids who are animal lovers but can’t have pets, you could try a bird feeder.

 

  1. Contact your school. Many schools have cut back on recess periods despite studies showing that this may lower academic achievement. Let your local officials know that you support safe opportunities for kids to take a break outside. 

 

Outdoor play is essential for your child’s physical, mental, and social development. Spend more time outdoors, where your family can connect with nature and each other.

The Mental Health Parent Halloween Giveaway

Enter this fun competition to win a luxury Marks and Spencer Halloween Hamper

The Bloggers Taking Part

Here is a list of all of the bloggers taking part in this giveaway – please show your support by visiting them.

Mum’s Guide to Life | Weddings and Wishes | The Heaton Family | Good Life & Mind | All Sort of Jazz | Foody Thoughts | Dharma Advise | Lula Grace | Kids on Roll | Cash Lee | Joyfull Bite | Earning by the Sea | Cosmic Box | Life Love & Everything in Between | Dad Fat Diary | Campingish | Ellis Denning | Fully Money | Our Life Interrupted | Crafting her Plans | Crafting her Scents | Travel Bugs | Discover Kent | My Tunbridge Wells | Lifestyle Saving Techniques | Doing the ImPCOSible | The Finance Fettler | Active Gardening | 911 Blog | Frugal and Fun | Family Frugal Ways | Have a Fab DayMrs Money Pot | Wake up it’s Monday | Birds and Lilies | Three Words News | Journalist Book | Giving is Glorious | Your Thrifty Lifestyle | All 4 Garden | The Motherly Insider | The Blog Crowd | Chasing my Sunshine | You Will Make Money | She’s Changing Lanes | Image Premiums | Fashion Shirt | FRMT | Bossy Girl | You Can Make Money on the Internet | On the Soap Box | Frugal Home Project | Lisa Cooking | Savvy Squirrel | A Friend Abroad | Cotswold Lifestyle | Blogging 101 | The Happy Piggy Bank | Curtain Pic | Fire Runner | Adjusting the Net | Trust NatureEasy Meals for Busy Mums | Balance the Budget | Life with more Sparkle | Your Perfect Christmas | Mum Making Money | Slimmed Cartree | Manifest with Loa | Making Money Mummy | The Green Purpose | Easy Keto | Lifestyle Saving Techniques | Blondarina | Master Money Multiplier | Save and Earn | Best 4 Mum | A Life of Lovely | Lydony | A Little Life of Lovely | Blogging Waves | Several Ways To | Pounds and Pennies | Life Changing Side Hustle | Buddina Community Garden | The Blog Lancer | Mumernity | Off White | Brig Knows Best | Ecoralive | InsequiralGuide to Health and Fitness | Money Money Money Online | Mud Pies and Rainbows | Blogger Creations | The Parenting Insider | Pale Girl Rambling | Crumpets and Cocktails | Skinny Spending | Discount Days Out | Gin and Gemini | Vegan Book | Moms the Wurd | Digital Frogs | Our Hand Made Home | Bay-Bee | Not a Clue | The Free From Mummy | Extreme Frugal Living | Binancially Inclined | Mortgages After 60 | Lock Down House | Travel Around Planet | All or Nothing Blog | Online Life Calendar | Two Hearts One Roof | Fox and Flora |Single Dad’s Guide to Life | Florence in Print | Being a Food Lover | Youtuber Life | Food Lover Recipes | Bubbly Nattie | Lofpo | Tranquil Dreamer | Boring Mother | Cool Kid Crafts | The Thrifty Princess | Bark and Bites | Bloor | SEO Gold | Freelancer Kit | Mental Health Parent | The Blogging Portal | Rhian Westbury | Petals and Planes | Budgeting and Saving | Weddings by Westy | Crafted With Perfection | Grandma Dave | Lifestyle of a Londoner

 

The prize

We are really pleased to be giving away a Halloween Spooky Night In A Box hamper from Marks and Spencer, worth £50.

This hamper includes:

  • Goulish Gingerbread biscuit kit (154g)
  • Sour Spiders (110g)
  • The ghoulish gang (55g)
  • Vampire’s fangs (110g)
  • Chocolate cake mix (500g)
  • Indulgent chocolate icing (400g)
  • 12 Cupcake cases and toppers
  • Skull mask
  • Cat Mask
  • Decorate your own skeleton felt bucket
  • Decorate your own pumpkin felt bucket
  • 7 piece pumpkin carving kit
  • Gift box

Please note that deliveries take place from 15th October 2021.

Terms and conditions

1. There is one top prize of the Halloween Spooky Night Hamper.
2. There are no runner up prizes.
3. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding all bloggers involved with running the giveaway
4. Closing date for entries is midnight on 22.09.21
5. The same Rafflecopter widget appears on all the blogs involved, but you only need to enter on one blog
6. Entrants must log in to the Rafflecopter widget, and complete one or more of the tasks – each completed task earns one entry in the prize draw
7. Tweeting about the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget will earn five bonus entries into the prize draw.
8. 1 winner will be chosen at random.
9. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date and will need to respond within 28 days with their delivery address, or a replacement winner will be chosen.
10. The winners’ names will be published in the Rafflecopter widget (unless the winner objects to this).
11. The prizes will be despatched within 14 days of the winner confirming their details.
12. The promoter is Drew Media LTD t/a www.MakeMoneyWithoutAJob.com
13. By participating in this prize draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions

Enter now

Simply complete any or all of the Rafflecopter entry widget options below to be entered. You can also tweet about the giveaway daily to earn bonus entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 Ways to Be A More Sustainable Parent

10 Ways to Change to a Sustainable Life

As a single parent of 2 teenagers I have become more aware of the waste we make and throw away. I have seen our food, energy, water and fuel bills rise dramatically over the past few years.

The world has a lot of big problems and often we feel like we can’t do much about them.  But there are lots of little changes we can make to our lives to help do our little bit towards making things better.  Living a more sustainable life with a constant view of our impact on the world is a great approach for this and here are 10 ideas how you can start doing this today.

  1. Cut back on animal products

This doesn’t mean you need to become a vegan (unless you want to) but by cutting back on animal products can help make you live a more sustainable life.  That’s because it takes a lot of resources to produce those animal products – one gallon of milk uses 2000 gallons of water due to the amount of feed that the cow needs.  Plus by eating a more balanced diet you may find yourself generally healthier and less needing of healthcare resources.

2.Filter your tap water and drink it

This doesn’t apply to all parts of the world but if you live somewhere that you can filter the tap water and drink it, then do this.  This saves money on buying bottled water and also cuts back on the waste – landfill sites are a huge problem so every item you don’t send to them is good.

3.Unplug unused appliances

Many appliances use a dribble of electricity when they are plugged in, even if they aren’t doing anything.  By unplugging them when not in use, you not only save a little money on your electricity bill but help cut back on the demand for fossil fuel created power resources.

4.Start car sharing

A car-sharing pool in your area can be a great way to cut down on costs around travel and can be fun as well.  Talk to people in your area to see where they work and if you can share cars with them or them with you.

5.Use public transport

In lots of places, public transport has seen cut back but there are still many areas with a good network, especially in the cities.  So if you can use public transport to get to work, the shops or anywhere else, try to do it.  This cuts back on car use and all the pollution and fossil fuel use associated with it.

6.Use those stairs

Using the stairs has a couple of benefits.  Not only does it get that extra little bit of exercise into your routine, but it also saves on the energy needed to run the escalator or elevator.  These take a lot of power to run and if people used them only when they needed to, this could save on electricity and therefore fossil fuel use.  Plus if you use the stairs a lot, you could save on a gym membership!

7.Turn off the water while brushing teeth

Water waste is a big problem and one of the top causes of wasted water is when we brush our teeth.  So when you have used the water and are doing the brushing, turn off the tap.  You can even catch some water in the sink if you need to refresh the brush.  Then turn it back on to rinse the brush and the sink.

8.Switch to LED light bulbs

Conventional light bulbs waste around 95% of the power that they use.  New LED light bulbs are more expensive to buy and also far more energy efficient.  They also last much longer – some as much as 25 years depending on how much you use them.

9.Try to buy second hand

There are some things we need to buy new but there are others where a good second-hand option can be more cost-effective.  Plus this helps with living a sustainable life because you are saving something from going to the landfill site.  Do the same when you are clearing out things – offer them to people on swap sites or Facebook groups rather than send them to the landfill.

10.Try a reel lawnmower

A reel lawnmower is one that doesn’t use any electricity or battery and is very simple to use.  They may need a little more effort than electric mowers so might not work for everyone but if you can, it can be worth considering it.  And they do a great job of cutting the lawn!

Conclusion

These are just 10 examples of ways you can live a sustainable life and cut back on the resources that you use.  If everyone put two into action, the difference on the planet would be huge.  So which two could you start with?

Easy and Fun Halloween Ideas for Kids

Easy and Fun Halloween Ideas for Kids

One of the most popular home decorating ideas for a Halloween party is to transform your door into a pumpkin by using an orange paper or fabric.

Another idea is to use spider web, bats, and black cats. Black cat silhouette decals are very popular nowadays.

Witches are usually associated with scary things so find ways to include them in your home decorating ideas for Halloween party.

Some people also hang small figurines on their porch or outside their house. And don’t forget about the lighting!

Have you ever hosted a Halloween party but couldn’t find the right decorations?

If so, this is the perfect post for you! We’ve compiled the most affordable and best decorations to buy for your next Halloween party.

1) Plastic spider webs: These are affordable and durable, making them perfect for outdoor parties.

2) Black tablecloth: This is a classic choice that has never gone out of style. You can use it to cover your table with ease. Use some fake cobwebs on top to make it look like they’re coming out of the cloth for an extra spooky effect!

3) Spooky Styrofoam head: This will make your living room look like Professor Quirrell’s laboratory in Harry Potter! They are super cheap, too.

A DIY project is a great way to create a halloween decoration on a budget. You can use things from around the house or browse through your local pound store for inexpensive decorations. With so many decorations available, it can be hard to find the best deal. Here are some tips for choosing the cheapest halloween decoration for your budget: Check more Halloween ideas and free printables.

 Consider what you need – if you’re looking for lights and just want something small, then there are many options that don’t have many other accessories included. If you want something that has more accessories, then you should double-check and make sure it comes with all of them in order to get the best effect.

We’ll start with homemade food gifts. These are perfect for people who love to cook or bake themselves, but you don’t have to be an expert chef to make these recipes. You can find them online or in your favorite cookbook.

Next we’ll cover items you can purchase at your local pound shop or charity shop which will also stretch your budget and give you plenty of options for different budgets and tastes.

Halloween is a time for kids to get excited and have some fun. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.

Halloween is a great holiday for kids and parents alike because it’s filled with creativity. You can make all sorts of spooky treats, decorate your house, and dress up in costume without having to spend too much money.

Some ideas:

– Pretzels dipped in chocolate and then decorated with sprinkles, M&Ms, or peanut butter cups – Cookies that look like jack o’lanterns – Melting chocolate chips either in the microwave or on the stovetop, then dipping marshmallows in them for spiderwebs