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Break Up with Social Media on an Adventure Holiday

In recent time, spending more time online has become the norm. Being able to meet people and needing to work from home due to the pandemic is now more normal than ever. But this can cause problems when we really need to switch off, especially from social media. Social media can cause us additional stress and anxiety in our lives, so it is important to have time away from it. A great way to do this is with an adventure holiday.

In this article, we will show you some great ideas for adventure holidays you can go on and how a social media detox during this holiday will benefit you.

Skiing

The snowy scenery would make the perfect environment for a holiday away from the world. Ski trainer holidays are becoming more popular, and they’re perfect for the thrill-seekers amongst us. After the monotony of the past year, it’s a great way to add some excitement back into your life.

Spending time skiing or snowboarding down the slopes can take your mind off the world. Ski sports can also have a great effect on your health with only an hour’s worth of activity burning up to 600 calories.

This would be a great trip for the whole family to turn their phones off and enjoy the snow. Reconnect with the family by hiring a chalet and sit and have family meals in front of a roaring fire.

Scuba diving

For those of us who are dreaming of the sun, scuba diving would be the perfect activity holiday for you. Scuba diving can bring you various mental and physical health benefits all while enjoying the beautiful flora and fauna of the deep blue sea. The water can be a great adventurous activity if you struggle with your joints too, as the water helps strengthen your muscles without the stress physical activity can sometimes cause on the joints.

Rock climbing

Rock climbing is an exhilarating activity that is not for the faint-hearted. It can be done all over the world, so the destination is really up to you! Usually, the climbing will be done on either a mountainside or a natural rock-climbing location. Surprisingly, rock climbing can be a great way to relax your muscles. You might be tense at first, but after some practise you will realise that your muscles need to be relaxed in order to improve your technique. It is also a great way to concentrate the mind, as you have to be aware of what is around you and what your next move is – you don’t have time to stress out factors in the outside world.

Cycling

If you want to have an adventurous holiday but also take in the sights and cultures of a region or country, a cycling holiday is a great way to do this. Whether you fancy yourself as the next Bradley Wiggins or you are just a weekend cycler, these holidays can be a great way to bond with friends and family as you explore a new area.

Cycling builds up your stamina and improves your heart health as it gets the blood pumping around the body. However, something you may have not known is that cycling has been shown to produce certain hormones in the brain which cause happiness and positive thoughts. It’s the perfect offline way to counter any online blues!

Taking a break from your phone

Putting your phone down, turning off your notifications and getting outside can be one of the best things you can do in this day and age. Not only does it help your mental health it, but it can allow you to take more notice of the world around you, whether this is making memories with the kids on one of these activity holidays mentioned or reconnecting with your partner.

Getting out of the cycle of constantly checking social media can break a vicious cycle of comparing yourself to everyone else online, which is silently damaging your mental health.

On average, a person spends more than two hours a day on social media. Imagine what else you could be doing in that time? More sporting activities, maybe?

Sources

https://www.alpineelements.co.uk/blog/5-reasons-to-take-your-family-on-a-ski-holiday#:~:text=The%20first%20piece%20of%20good,building%20up%20core%20strength%20too.

https://www.peak.co.uk/The-benefits-of-rock-climbing/

https://www.freewheelholidays.co.uk/five-amazing-health-benefits-of-cycling-Holidays

Indoor Gardening: The Secrets Nobody Tells You About Houseplants

Fed by Instagram trends, millennials, and the recent lockdown, indoor gardening has been enjoying a major boost in popularity. Whilst we know how much character they can add to a room, many don’t realise that houseplants provide various other benefits, including a boost to our mental health.

Here are five great reasons why houseplants should be a permanent part of every home.

An improved mood

The colour green is thought to promote healing, so simply having more greenery around you to look at is a natural mood booster and sure to soothe an anxious mind. Plants including aloe vera and lavender are proven to reduce stress levels and help both your physical and mental well-being.

A study also found that people who spend time around nature for at least two hours a week have the highest levels of health and well-being. With the colder months slowly approaching, we’ll likely be spending more time in our homes.

Boost productivity levels

Research consistently finds that adding plants to the workplace increases productivity by up to 15%, as proven by a recent study. They’re a great addition to any office and help replenish focus.

Invest in a snake plant or peace lily to create a working oasis. Just looking at nature can shift the brain into a different processing mode, making employees feel more relaxed and better able to concentrate.

Cleanse the air

During the day, whilst they are performing photosynthesis, good indoor plants reliably reduce VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and increase oxygen to carbon dioxide ratios. Although they aren’t fully proven to rid all contaminants around us, there are a range of potted plants that contribute to improving air quality.

A Barberton daisy or English ivywill cleanse the home of toxins found in a range of household materials, including paint and furniture. To fully take advantage of this, place the plant in a room with plenty of natural light and keep the soil moist and well-drained.

Interior must-have

For those looking for low-maintenance plants – such as tiny succulents and small trees – you can place these in any room for a pop of colour thanks to the influence of social media platforms Instagram and Pinterest.

There is a wide array of species that are perfectly suited for surviving indoors without direct sunlight and are easy to care for, such as a jade or a wax plant.

Alternatively, one of the fastest ways to instantly beautify your living space is by incorporating a set of artificial plants. Although they’ve had a shaky reputation in the past in terms of looking obviously fake, today’s faux plants are crafted with the express purpose of looking realistic. One particular trendy piece of greenery is pampas grass.

A better night’s sleep

Getting enough sleep has a number of benefits – for example, you’re more alert and focused during the day. You can deploy plants to help achieve this too! A bamboo palm or gardenia gives a warm and clean feel to your entire bedroom. These plants emit a fresh smell that reduces stress and induces sleep.

According to a study, interacting with plants before going to sleep can help improve sleep quality for people living in small, isolated environments such as a flat or apartment. Astronauts have also benefited from this whilst up in space.

So whether it’s watering a little desk plant, creating an outdoor garden of your own, or simply taking more walks through nature, you can benefit from the plants around you.

Don’t forget, after a year or two, plants may need repotting with compost to maintain healthy growth. A multipurpose compost, houseplant compost, or loam-based compost is suitable for most indoor plants so that you can continue to enjoy these great benefits for much longer.

Sources:

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/houseplants-dont-purify-indoor-air#:~:text=It’s%20a%20myth%20you%20almost,study%20the%20air%20we%20breathe.&text=The%20studies%2C%20which%20concluded%20that,toxins%2C%20were%20conducted%20in%20labs.

https://www.lung.org/blog/do-houseplants-really-improve-air-quality

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50382388

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=949

Your Best Guide to the Real Effects and Advantages of Anti-Wrinkle Injection Treatments

Ageing is a natural process, and we all have to face it sooner or later. But whilst it’s good to gain more wisdom and experience as we get older, some of us may be reluctant to deal with the other results of ageing – namely, the formation of wrinkles and fine lines, especially on the face. Our face, after all, is the first thing people see, and it’s normal for us to want to look appealing and attractive. However, fine lines and wrinkles can be dealt with, and treatments like anti-wrinkle injections may be just what you need to look (and feel) better. But what can you expect with anti-wrinkle injections, and what are their benefits? Here’s your best guide to the actual effects and advantages of anti-wrinkle injection treatments.

  • They are preventative

You don’t have to have a lot of wrinkles or fine lines to know that you don’t like them. Whilst the primary purpose of anti-wrinkle injections is to temporarily do away with or improve the appearance of existing wrinkles and lines, you can also use them as a preventative treatment so you can soften the expression of your face. This is because as we get older, we are more likely to develop small lines on our face through our facial movements and the expressions we make, and with anti-wrinkle injections, you can ‘pause’ the development of such lines.

Some people have very expressive faces, and whilst this can enhance our charm, over time, it can also lead to the development of wrinkles even when you have a ‘resting’ face. So if you aren’t looking forward to dealing with lines and wrinkles as you get older, anti-wrinkle injections can be a valuable and effective preventative form of treatment.

  • You will look calmer and more youthful

As mentioned, anti-wrinkle injection treatment can soften your facial lines and make your face look more restful and peaceful. You will appear calmer because the lines that develop and show even when you are at rest can smoothen out. The repeated movement of the muscles can cause lines to settle, and it’s those static lines and wrinkles that can make you look fatigued and worn out. But when anti-wrinkle injections soften lines and wrinkles, your face will look fresher, more relaxed, and more youthful.

  • They aid in establishing symmetry and shape

There are other effects you can expect from anti-wrinkle injections that aren’t widely known – they can aid in establishing symmetry and shape. In addition, of course, they can decrease the appearance of wrinkles and lines, and we already know this. But anti-wrinkle injections can also serve to ‘lift’ some parts of your face as well as balance out any asymmetrical features.

For instance, you can make use of anti-wrinkle injections to lift heavy eyebrows that make eyes look smaller, and you can also use them to soften a pronounced or jutting jaw. It can also slim the face and correct a smile that looks gummy. If you have a thin mouth, anti-wrinkle injections can make your lips appear fuller, too.

  • The results are semi-permanent

One thing that makes cosmetic surgery such as facelifts sound too extreme is that the results are permanent. This makes anti-wrinkle injections less intimidating because even if you end up dissatisfied, you have to wait for the effects to wear out or go for a follow-up treatment to improve it.

How You Can Properly Determine if You Need an Accountant: Your Detailed Guide

You have to contend with a lot, even if you are self-employed. Not only do you have to handle your tax returns, but you also have to deal with profits and losses, invoicing, and more. It can be too much, especially as your opportunities get bigger and you have more to do. But fortunately, there is something you can do to help you with your finances, and this is to rely on an accountant. If you have just begun your business or have decided to become self-employed, an accountant may be just what you need to help you along. But do you really need one? Here’s how you can adequately determine if you need an accountant: your detailed guide.

What they are and what they do

First of all, it is good to find out exactly what they are – and, more importantly, what they do. Accountants are skilled and qualified professionals who have had ample training in bookkeeping and financial analysis. Their duties will involve preparing financial reports, settling and filing tax returns, and assisting with budgeting and planning for the future.

The amount of work and responsibilities your accountant will take charge of will depend on what you require. Some will only confer with their accountant when it’s time to do their taxes, whilst others want to engage as regularly as possible. But even if you consult with your accountant during tax time, they will still keep an eye on your financial books and records throughout the year.

How to determine if you need one

  • If you are not sure about how to do your taxes

Taxes are a challenge. As confirmed by the central London accountants at GSM & Co, you have to fill out lengthy and complex forms and may even have to face hefty penalties for late submissions and errors, as confirmed by the central London accountants at GSM & Co. In fact, many people don’t much know about the difference between an IR35 from an R40, not to mention other terms and codes. However, your accountant can handle it if you are unsure how to do your taxes (and how to do it right). They will not only make sure you can avoid fines – they can make sure you save money in regards to the right amount of taxes to settle.

  • If you don’t have enough time

A lot of us have enough difficulty trying to fit in 24 hours in a day – what more if you have to take care of your finances on top of that? If you are operating a full-time business, it will take up a big chunk of your time, and outside your usual hours of business, you may still have to do other tasks such as order stock, meet clients, or deal with your website. Additionally, you may also have to take care of your personal life, and establishing a proper work-life balance can be a definite impossibility. But if you have an accountant, you can save yourself time as they sort out your taxes and keep your books in order, amongst other essential duties.

  • If you need help with planning your finances

Your accountant can also help you plan your finances, as they understand your financial situation more than most. Budgeting and planning are crucial for any entrepreneur, and your accountant can assist you with the proper decisions to help your business’ growth.

Things to Do When You Feel Like You’re Getting Sick

There are times when you feel like you’re getting ill, and you begin to show symptoms. But, before things worsen, you must do something about it. These tips will help.

Take a rest

It doesn’t matter how busy you are. If your body says you should rest, you must do it. Sometimes, being tired causes these symptoms. But, with a good amount of rest, your body will recover. Besides, it’s better to take a day or two off than spend a week recovering from a severe illness.

Consult your doctor

As soon as you begin feeling the symptoms, you must meet with your physician. If you have to get tested, you must do it. Your doctor will also prescribe medicines to help you recover quickly. Who knows? You might have simple problems only like fungal nail infections that you may confuse with other medical issues. Taking fungal nail tablets is enough to help you recover. You can even buy the medicines online, and you will receive the order at your place.

Don’t panic

The first thing to do is see your doctor and get diagnosed. If you can’t do it yet, stay at home and rest. Don’t overthink the problem. Panicking doesn’t help. Apart from just having physical illnesses, you might also have mental health problems.

Avoid reading health articles online

You might feel tempted to self-medicate because you want to get rid of your health issue. While you can find helpful information, you might also get misled. Instead of recovering quickly, you end up spending more time being sick. The problem is that it’s easy to write anonymously online. Many people can pretend to be medical experts when they’re not. You believe in ideas to help you recover, but they could only damage your health. Another reason to avoid trusting whatever you find online is you might misdiagnose yourself. You can check all the boxes that lead to an incorrect diagnosis. You might panic even more. Trust your doctor to help you.

Stay optimistic

You can’t feel down when you start to feel sick. It will affect your overall health. Think about recovering quickly and doing the things you love. Being sick might set you back for a while, but you will get through it soon.

Take first aid remedies

If you have symptoms that over-the-counter medicines can resolve, give them a shot. There’s nothing wrong with trying them out as long as you don’t go beyond your limits. Don’t expect immediate results too. First aid remedies are helpful until you can get an official diagnosis and appropriate prescriptions.

You can get sick for whatever reason. However, with the proper care, you will recover. Learn from what happened and avoid getting ill for the same reason in the future. If you have to go to the hospital for a few days to receive medical care, don’t hesitate to do it. You would rather entrust yourself to medical professionals than expect an immediate recovery at home. Your doctor will suggest hospitalization if need be.

How to Choose the best Loan Comparison Sites

Introduction

A loan is a form of credit, usually a lump sum of money that’s borrowed and is supposed to be repaid over a certain period with interest. When you’re trying to keep your financial objectives in motion, getting an extra boost could make all the difference. A loan comes in handy when you want to attain a certain objective – it could be renovating your house, settling some existing debts, or purchasing a new vehicle.

However, a loan can be of importance if it is used in the right way. This means that you have to make sure that you are comfortable with the monthly instalments. To apply for small loans that are appropriate for you, use an effective loan comparison lainavertailu site and you will get the best loan deals. This article will discuss how you can choose the best loan comparison site and what you stand to save when you use one.

What Can You do With a Loan?

Loans can be used for a wide variety of purposes such as:

  • Home renovations. Are you intending to make some improvements to your existing house? Whether it is a new bathroom or a new kitchen, taking a home improvement loan could be handy in funding the costs of the home renovation project.
  • Spreading the cost of purchasing a car. Have you found your ideal car but your savings are not enough to purchase it outright? A loan can help you divide the cost of the vehicle into manageable instalments: thus, you will get to enjoy your new wheels!
  • Funding a wedding. To many, weddings are crucial and could be the best day of their lives. However, it can also be expensive. Taking a wedding loan can assist you in reducing your financial worries and manage the cost of your special day.
  • Consolidating the existing debts. You can choose to secure one loan that has a low rate of interest to sort all your debts. This can help you relax knowing that instead of dealing with various loans and cards, you will only deal with a single payment.

Types of Loan

There are three main types of loans – unsecured, secured, and guarantor loans.

  • Personal or unsecured loans. This type of loan means that you do not have to use anything as collateral in case your loan defaults. The lender will consider your financial history and assess the amount of loan that you’re qualified for. Having a great credit score will be of significance.
  • Homeowner or secured loans. With this type of loan, you will have to put up your asset as security. Usually, the asset is either a property that you own or one that you pay your mortgage on. This means that if you fail to keep with the instalments, the lender could seize that asset.
  • Guarantor loans. Guarantor loans are loans that you can be given if you have a limited or poor credit score. They operate as regular loans only that you need to indicate a guarantor at the time of application. This is usually a close person like a family member who promises to fulfil your repayments should you fail to.

How Much Will the Loan Cost?

Before deciding to take a loan, you must compare what the loan will cost you in terms of instalments. That is where loan comparison sites come in. Use a loan comparison site to see the best loan deals that are available to you. Loan comparison sites offer you a loan calculator to calculate the amount you can afford to borrow, the rate of interest, and the duration you can afford to pay that sum. Bear in mind that smaller loans tend to have greater rates of interest which can have an impact on your affordability of the loan.

How to meet great love?

To be able to have a happy family, you have to understand how Indianapolis singles become happy couples. It’s time to talk about the good already. What strengthens the couple, what can open a new breath in a couple, unite, make the relationship closer. Let’s dispel a couple of misconceptions and feed on the fruits of science.

In a biological sense, the stronger and more powerful the release of oxytocin, the greater the feeling of love. That is, if you look at your husband or wife, and the emotions are not the same, then oxytocin is no longer released in the same quantities as in the old days. Therefore, the period of falling in love is so pleasant. Everything in the beloved seems to be the best and most beautiful. I want to be around, I want to surprise, care and cajole in every possible way.

In couples, the fastest and most powerful release of oxytocin occurs during sexual intercourse, and this is why some couples practice reconciliation in bed. However, science has been able to figure out the algorithms of love as much as possible. And in this post I want to talk about a study that is widely known around the world.

American researcher and psychologist John Gottman, author of the bestselling books in the field of love and marriage, conducted a study of more than 700 couples, which involved observing a couple at different stages of marriage. For 16 years, he studied how couples interact, how they communicate, how they fight, how they reconcile, and deduced seven principles of emotional-intellectual marriage. Yes, yes, emotional intelligence is critical to successful and happy marriages.

As a result, he developed the ability to determine in 5 minutes whether the marriage will be strong, or his chances are small. His method determines the outcome up to 91%. 

Happy couples quarrel, get angry with each other and argue. It is absolutely wrong to think that there are no conflicts in happy marriages. But in the words of Gottman, in the dynamics of the couple’s relationship there is a “dominance of a positive attitude.” In other words, safety and friendliness. Everything that I write about without stopping almost everywhere and speak even more often.

I will give just a few habits of couples who have lived happily with each other for many years. It’s not even worth calling it habits, but rather a culture of relationships.

These couples love to spend time with each other, they are friends! They are very interested in being together, they always exchange news and keep in touch during the day, even if they are working.

There is a lot of tactile contact in such pairs. Physicality is the first key to oxytocin. Remember, the more there is, the stronger the feeling of love. And you can get it through touch, hugs, tenderness and kisses. Rejoice hug lovers and share your lovers with an article to prove that you are staring at the root! 

Small, seemingly insignificant care turns out to be insanely important. When happy spouses are far from each other, they keep in touch, correspond, call and worry when one of the partners has a turn to see a doctor. By the way, pregnant wives often complain that their husbands do not go to the doctor’s appointments, believing that the appointment is the reception. And this expression of concern and desire to share the emotions of a partner is insanely important in relationships, not only during pregnancy.

If you are still like Indianapolis single women we will give you important principles of a happy marriage. 

Significant other

“If I found a second one – someone like me, then I would definitely get him at home.” In a partner, we want to see our reflection, even if we are not aware of it. We find people with similar interests and worldviews. This means that if something does not suit you in a loved one, then it would be nice to pay attention to yourself. Change for the better, then there will be worthy people around you.

Let’s get what you want

“As it comes around, it will respond,” says popular wisdom. Everything is simple here: treat the person as you would like him to treat you. Believe me, you shouldn’t expect attention and care from your husband if you have been “nagging” him all evening before.

Any person wants to be loved, cared for, generous and gentle with him. The more you give, the more you get in return. By showing jealousy, reproaching, manipulating your partner, you will receive the same treatment.

Do not offend loved ones

It happens that in the heat of the moment you said a lot of unpleasant things to a person. You let off steam and forgot, but a wound remains in your partner’s soul. How long? It all depends on the specific case. Sometimes a word can and mortally offend.

Do not skimp on praise and compliments, support and approval. Tell your partner how you value and trust him. Never be afraid to say the three magic words: “I love you.”

Love is work

Relationships are never smooth and stable. Ideal love and a long, cloudless family life are found only in women’s novels. In fact, love is daily work on yourself, on your worldview. You will have to learn to make compromises and concessions, to remain silent when necessary, to forget about your ego.

Give a hug

A person needs tactile sensations from a very early age. In the arms of our mother, we feel protected from this world. Growing up, we also need protection, approval, reassurance – that is, the touch of loved ones.

Scientists have found that during a gentle touch, the amount of stress hormones in a person decreases, the nervous system relaxes, the state of the immune system improves, and emotions stabilize. Hug your loved one more often just like that, without a sexual motive, hold hands. Thus, you will become closer, and the relationship between you will be trusting and sincere.

Data finds white is the world’s favourite taxi colour

·       White taxis are most common global taxi colour, followed by yellow, and black.

·       Yellow is the world’s favourite single taxi colour, prized for its safety

·       Morocco and Thailand have the most diverse taxi colour schemes

·       Popular visitor destination, Greece, has one of the most confusing taxi colour schemes for British travellers 

31st August 2021.

White taxis are the most common – and therefore most recognisable and trusted – taxi colour for Brits travelling around the world in 2021, new data finds. 

https://www.thetaxicentre.com/news/taxi-colours-from-around-the-world/ 

White taxis feature as the standard colour in 73 per cent of the countries analysed, closely followed by yellow (53.3 per cent) and black (48.3 per cent). These three taxi colours are most common in Europe and Asia. Most common taxi colours around the world:

The data by The Taxi Centre finds that when there is just one national taxi colour for a country, however, yellow is the most popular, as these are often viewed as the safest colour in terms of accident prevention. 

Purple (3.3 per cent), pink (5 per cent) and tan/beige (8.3 per cent) are the least common taxi colours, although they are most frequently spotted in North American and Southeast Asian countries.  

Generally, the further south you travel in Asia (such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam) and North America (Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic), the more chance you have of hailing a fluorescent cab. If we are to follow the geography, more exotic climates have the boldest taxi colour schemes. 

Unlike other exotic countries in the analysis, however, the data finds the most common taxi colours in Africa are all pale and bright. White, yellow, and silver are the preferred trio in this equatorial continent, three colours that better reflect the sun, keeping cabs cooler. Morocco and Thailand have the most diverse taxi colour schemes of all the UK’s favourite destinations with nine different national taxi colours apiece. 

Frequently visited European destinations such as France, Spain, Germany and Turkey follow very standard colour conventions (black, white, beige, and grey are the single national taxi colour across the countries, respectively). 

However, other popular European destinations like Greece and Croatia have more of a patchwork of colours which can make finding a standard cab more difficult to spot in these locations. A Taxi Centre spokesperson commented: 

“For many, it has been a long while since we Brits ventured overseas, leaving the car at home and instead opting for the humble taxi as our primary mode of transport. “But with so much time having passed, it’s no wonder people are reporting travel anxiety and not feeling 100% confident when they finally start to consider leaving home soil.  

“Knowing what to expect is always our number one recommendation before travelling. For instance, our research helpfully points that, while some countries make it easier to feel safe abroad with their standardised taxi colour conventions, others are a little more hodgepodge.  

“As such, it’s important that any nervous traveller takes the time to gather vital information, like a country’s taxi colours, before hopping on a plane this year.”

Taxi travel abroad:

The Taxi Centre’s top tips 

1.     Be vigilant –        Always look out for cabs that have a metre, a radio and a badge on display (this should indicate that the driver has a taxi licence). 

2.     Try to book taxis in advance from reputable firms –        Your hotel should usually manage this for you if you’re going to and from your accommodation. If you have no other option but to hail a cab (perhaps you’re in an area with no phone service) then always check the advice above (metre, radio, and badge) before getting inside the taxi to be safe. 

3.     Research local taxi fares before travelling –        To double down on your efforts, agree upon a price before getting in the cab. In some countries, you will find pre-paid taxi stands at the airport to help first-time tourists avoid paying over the odds for cab fares. 

For further insights about The Taxi Centre’s research, visit the Taxi Centre blog

-ENDS- 

Notes to editors  

The Taxi Centre identified the most popular holiday destinations for Brits using Finder and TUI. As such, not all countries in each continent have been picked for our research; the data is only representative of the most visited travel destinations by Brits. Most common taxi colours are sourced from Wikipedia and respective tourist sites. Only national livery is included in the analysis, and no private hire vehicle colours have been noted in the data. 

For further press information, please contact: 

Carly Trigg
carly.trigg@mediacom.com


About The Taxi Centre  

The Taxi Centre have been supplying cars to the taxi and private hire industry since 2001. Over the years, they have introduced many cars which have become synonymous with the trade such as the SEAT Toledo, Skoda Octavia, Skoda Superb and Citroen Berlingo. They have hundreds of vehicles held in stock over 100+ Taxi Centre dealerships, and most cars can be delivered within a week anywhere on the UK mainland free of charge. Alternatively, taxi drivers can visit their head office at Glasgow Airport to collect their car in person.

Painting, safety, and health hazards: How to make your art studio safe

If you are an avid artist, you can likely attest as to how fun it is to create art. However, it’s obviously not going to be as fun if you accidentally make someone ill by not being sufficiently careful with how you either maintain your art studio or produce art in it.

Here are a few tips and tricks you can follow to help keep your studio safe – for both yourself and anyone else who may have access to it – as you get to work on that next masterpiece.

Keep as much of your skin covered as possible

When painting with traditional and water-soluble oils, you shouldn’t simply leave your hands and arms exposed to potential splatters from the paints.

As an Artists Network article warns, skin absorbs substances – and, if you use a solvent-soaked paper towel in an attempt to remove paint from your skin, that paint could enter your body. Hence, when painting, you should wear disposable gloves.

Make sure your studio is properly ventilated

When working with oils or acrylics, “properly ventilated” would mean having – if possible – multiple windows open as well as using a strong fan to draw clean air into the studio.

Meanwhile, if you intend to use any fixatives or spray-on solutions, it would be crucial to do so outside, as no amount of ventilation indoors is likely to suffice for protecting your health from the resulting fumes.

Don’t leave work containers near food/drink containers

You probably don’t need to be told that leaving, say, diluting or rinsing water near water intended for drinking is almost a disaster waiting to happen. So, it would be wise to use narrow-mouth containers for rinsing brushes – and, if pets have access to your studio, cover the water when you aren’t using it.

To help guard against cross-contamination, you should also reserve specific cups, plates, trays and the like for painting purposes – and store them separately to your regular dishes.

Follow any safety instructions provided with your materials

Those instructions were put on the materials for a good reason: to help guide people who might be genuinely unsure how to safely handle them.

So, if you don’t know – for example – how to dispose of certain materials without imperilling your health and safety, don’t hesitate to carefully check what’s printed on those materials’ packaging.

Prevent anyone from touching your artwork while it’s drying

While you might have designed your studio as something of a shared space, you should still reserve part of it for keeping your freshly-finished art away from where other people could touch it – and thus potentially damage it as well as their own health.

Artist Niki Hilsabeck writes for EmptyEasel.com: “I have a white cat who loves to rub on my pastels, and as funny as it is to see a pink or blue cat, I don’t want him ingesting the pastel when he cleans himself”. Keeping your art pristine could also eventually enable you to sell it to a prestigious collector like Charles Saatchi. Hey, you never know…

What can be done to reduce homelessness?

People who are homeless are not social inadequates. They are people without homes,’ activist Shelagh McKechnie

Homelessness is on the rise.

The drive to take people off the streets during lockdown may have led to a 37 per cent decrease in the number of rough sleepers, but those figures are an anomaly.

During the past decade, there has been a steady rise in homelessness as more and more people find themselves priced out of the housing market.

Figures for London show rough sleeping has increased by 94 per cent in the past 10 years and other cities are following suit.

In the UK there are even people with jobs who are forced to sleep rough – the so-called ‘working homeless’ or ‘cardboard economy’ – simply because they can’t raise enough cash for deposits and rents.

Current figures illustrate that around 75,000, or a quarter of households, in England who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless are also managing to work.

With that in mind, what can be done to reduce the level of homelessness in the UK?

The government’s ‘Everyone In’ strategy during the pandemic provides proof that there are solutions to homelessness, and that if we act together we can bring about change.

However, it is prevention that is being seen as key to a future without homelessness.

This involves:

  • Building homes that are truly affordable
  • Investing in support, whether that’s treatment for mental health issues or substance abuse, or offering training in essential life skills
  • Greater support for non-UK nationals at risk of being homeless
  • A cross government strategy for tackling homelessness

The pandemic in 2020 resulted in a huge collaboration between the Government, councils and charities to ensure that people without a home, or those who were in danger of becoming homeless, were brought inside.

More than 33,000 were rapidly found emergency accommodation and 23,000 were helped to find longer term accommodation – proving what is possible when people work together.

Creating affordable accommodation for homeless people is essential if the homeless crisis is to be resolved, but homelessness is a complex situation for many people and a more holistic approach is needed to make a real difference.

That’s why homeless charities not only provide accommodation; they give advice, support people facing eviction, work on campaigns and strategies, and raise awareness within communities.

For example Cambridge City Council has a strategy built on prevention and action, while Shelter has been at the forefront of efforts to protect people experiencing homelessness throughout the pandemic by lobbying the Government to fund the ‘Everyone In’ scheme and ban evictions..

The Government has also upped its game by pledging an overall investment of more than £750 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping for 2021.

However, the situation demands a radical approach, one like the Centrepoint charity has taken by pledging to end youth homelessness in 2037.

Centrepoint not only works with young people to find them accommodation, but also focuses on areas of policy including housing, family and health.

It provides support for those with substance abuse and mental health problems, advises on nutrition and how to build healthy relationships.

It helps young people reach their potential by coaching them for job interviews, getting them into apprenticeships and funding higher education, teaching them life skills, and finally supporting them as they move on.

But it is the critical lack of social housing which has been at the heart of the homelessness crisis.

Young people may be in low-paid apprenticeships or jobs, but that means struggling to find affordable accommodation – a fact that is at the heart of Centrepoint’s strategy.

To address this it is building 33 single occupancy modular homes for young people, a scheme recently given the green light by Southwark Council and which will be rolled out to other areas in the UK.

This example is the first of what will become permanent long-term solutions being sought to address the homeless crisis.

And, once a young person makes the move from temporary accommodation at Centrepoint into their own home, the space that they were occupying will be freed up for someone on the streets to take their place.

Centrepoint has also appointed two new board members; British entrepreneur and investor, Javad Marandi OBE, and financier Jamie Reuben, to raise the charity’s profile and offer their creative thinking and expertise.

Their support, together with that of others like them, is another essential part of the strategy and will most certainly be essential to its success going forward.

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