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5 Things To Go The Extra Mile For When Spring Cleaning

Well cleaned home

After months of cold weather and harsh temperatures, March 20th finally marks the first day of spring. Chances are this warm weather is encouraging you to give your home the thorough cleaning it probably needs.

Though warm-weather cleaning might not be for everyone, thousands of Americans spend hours each spring scrubbing walls, sweeping floors, dusting furniture and much more. When you dig into spring cleaning this year, don’t skimp on these 5 essentials.

  • Don’t Neglect The “Top Zone”

The “top zone” or anything above your head is one of the first places you should clean. Ledges, tall windows, ceiling fans, light fixtures, air vents, and door frames all collect dust over the winter. By targeting these areas first, you can prevent dirt and debris from settling on freshly cleaned floors and furniture. You can also use this time as an opportunity to replace burnt-out light bulbs and deteriorated, ineffective filters.

  • The Three C’s

When cleaning your home, be sure not to neglect the three C’s: ceilings, corners, and closets.

Ceilings and corners are notorious for collecting cobwebs, dust, debris, and dirt and are easily overlooked when doing a quick vacuum clean during the winter. Also, be sure to open up your closets and give them a thorough clean. Take this opportunity to grease squeaky hinges and sliding tracks as well.

  • Concentrate On Eye Level Areas

After cleaning out the nooks, crannies, closets, and ceilings, take note to thoroughly clean everything at eye level. This includes windows, walls, bookshelves, and tall furniture. You should also consider the following:

  • Dust wall hangings like pictures, mirrors, clocks, etc.
  • Wash both sides of windows
  • Dusting bookshelves, tall lamps and other furniture
  • Washing, ironing and re-hanging curtains
  • Don’t Forget The Floor

Before giving your floors a thorough scrubbing, be sure to clean the baseboards, shake out and vacuum mats, runners and rugs. This is a good time to put away any floor coverings you won’t need in the summer months. Sweep and mop any hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors and be sure to wash any small area rugs, as these collect bacteria, dust, and debris over time. Also consider renting or hiring a professional carpet cleaner to give your treaded carpets a deep, effective clean.

  • Keep Your Kitchen In Mind

As the heart of our home, giving your kitchen a thorough clean is essential. And as a high-traffic, high-mess, and high-maintenance area, your kitchen is sure to need it. There are a few extra steps you need to take to thoroughly clean your kitchen.

  • Clean the inside of your fridge and freezer, stove and dishwasher
  • Clean countertop accessories like the toaster, teapot, microwave, coffee maker, etc.
  • Remove all items from the countertop and clean well, being sure to pay attention to the backsplash
  • Thoroughly go through each cupboard or shelf in your pantry and remove each item to clean in and around the area. When replacing them, consider organizing to make your life easier.
  • Clean and deodorize your garbage and recycling bins

For more tips on how to take great care of your home, and for information on how you can protect your home and the safety of your family, visit Heuer Insurance Agency.  As the leading home insurance agency in the Reno, Nevada area, Heuer Insurance has the resources necessary to find you the best solution for affordable, dependable home insurance. Contact us, today.

Run Yourself to Happiness

Harris Interactive third annual Work Stress Survey reported that eight out of every 10 American workers are stressed by their jobs. Last year, the report showed that a shocking 73 percent of Americans were stressed at work; this year that number has jumped by more than 10 percent, leaving just 17 percent of workers unaffected by the stresses of work.

 

This report highlights a critical epidemic in our society: stress is becoming our nation’s biggest deterrent of happiness and satisfaction. Every aspect of the human body is negatively effected by stress – from the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, to the central nervous system, to the digestive, reproductive and muscular systems, to the immune system and the brain – stress as the ability to completely override our bodies, which suppresses our pursuit of happiness and negatively effects our quality of life.

 

It’s time to put an end to the suffering of stress. Before you spend immense amounts of money on anti-stress measures like medications, therapy and more, consider investing in a pair of tennis shoes and a gym membership. That’s right – by making an effort to exercise on a regular basis, you will find yourself becoming less stressed, less anxious and happier. Here’s how it works:

1.     Dopamine: The Happy Chemical

Dopamine, or “The Happy Chemical: is a neurotransmitter in the brain that’s responsible for producing happy, pleasurable feelings. The older we get, the more dopamine we loose, making our brains more susceptible to feelings of stress and anxiety. However, exercises like running, lifting, jumping, playing, dancing and generally increasing your heart rate, triggers the release of dopamine in your brain – making you happier and less stressed.

2.     BDNF: The Positive Protein

When you’re stressed, your body experiences several different reactions: blood pressure rises, heartbeat increases, chest tightens, etc. As you begin to exercise, you experience very similar feelings, which tricks your brain into thinking that you’re either fighting stress, or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from this fight-or-flight concept, you release a protein called Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor, or BDNF. This protein has both protective and reparative effects on your memory neurons and acts essentially as a reset switch, which leaves us feeling calmer, clearer and happier after exercise.

3.     Endorphins: The Road to Euphoria

The other vital chemical in the fight against stress is called endorphins. This chemical is released to minimize the discomfort of exercise or block the feeling of pain. Endorphins are also heavily associated with feelings of euphoria, which bring sparks of intense happiness and ease to a stressed-out brain.

 

These chemicals and proteins play a big roll in what happens to our brain when we fight stress and unhappiness with exercise. It’s important to remember, however, that exercising more or exercising harder isn’t necessarily the key to happiness: it’s when you exercise that’s important.

 

A study from Penn State suggests that starting your day with 20 minutes of running or exercise will lead to the highest levels of happiness and productivity. With 20 minutes of exercise every morning, you reduce your risk of disease and other health issues, as well as your risk of stress and unhappiness.

 

Life is too short to struggle with sadness and stress, so what are you waiting for? Tie on those tennis shoes, turn up your music and get moving! Farewell stress, hello happiness.

 

 

Managing Stress at Work in 5 Easy Steps

work stress

Did you know that more than one third of American workers suffer from chronic work-related stress? Aside from being harmful to both your physical and emotional health, this stress is costing American businesses millions – even billions – of dollars per year in medical bills and hours lost of work.

 

Unfortunately, not all organizations provide sufficient resources to help you effectively manage your stress. Instead, you’re expected to do more with less, further adding to your list of current stressors. Other common factors that add to stress in the work place are:

 

  • Low salaries
  • Excessive workloads
  • Little chance of growth or advancement
  • Unchallenging work or assignments
  • Little social support
  • Little control over job-related decisions
  • Conflicting demands
  • Unclear performance expectations
  • Performance standards
  • More

 

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to deal with your work-related stress in healthy, effective ways. Here are the top five:

 

1. Schedule appropriately

Contrary to common belief, working tirelessly for eight to ten hours a day does not help you get things done. In fact, these only add to stress, lower productivity and steal energy that you could be spending with family or friends after work. Instead, take scheduled breaks throughout the day to clear built up stress, rejuvenate and refocus.

2. Deter Distractions

You’ve probably noticed that throughout the day, you’re bombarded with texts, emails, phone calls, unscheduled meetings, urgent deadlines and more. This adds an immense amount of distraction to our days, which inevitably leads to higher stress. Consider only answering emails or responding to texts during specific times throughout the day. Set up walk-in hours to your office and have “silent” hours during the day.

3. Know What You Can Control

There are some factors in our day that we simply cannot control. On the other hand, there are also several factors you can control. If you begin to feel angry, overwhelmed or stressed, take a moment for a few deep cooling breaths – through your mouth, out your nose – and think about how you’re responding to the current situation.

4. Have Priorities

Create a to-do list that focuses on the projects or deadlines that have the most impact on your current job tasks. It’s important to not over-load this list, however, as you’ll likely feel more stressed if you end the day having only achieved a fraction of your list. Be realistic with yourself and your work load and prioritize appropriately.

5. Change Your Mindset

It’s all too easy to be hard on our selves. In fact, with more than 60,000 thoughts streaming through our brains a day, it’s no wonder we internalize negativity and stress. Instead of being your own worst critic, try to be positive and pump yourself. If necessary, consider making a list at the end of every day of all the things you accomplished – this will motivate you in the days to follow and it will positively influence those around you.

 

If you’re suffering from chronic stress don’t let concerns over proper insurance coverage add to the load. Contact Heuer Insurance Agency today. They can create a personalized plan that will help ease life stressors and get you on the right path to stress-free living.

 

 

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3 Reasons To Invest In Life Insurance

life insurance

Life Insurance may not seem like a necessity or a priority, but here are three reasons you should invest in a life insurance policy as soon as possible.

1. Provide Yourself With Peace Of Mind

Life insurance benefits your loved ones after you’re gone, but it also benefits you while you’re living. Instead of spending your time and energy worrying about your family’s welfare, you’ll know that they are safe and protected if anything unfortunate happens to you.

2. Provide For Your Loved Ones In The Future

If your loved ones rely on you for financial support, or if you want to provide extra security for them in the future, life insurance is one of the best ways to protect them. It gives your family a sizable amount of money that they know they can rely on if necessary.

3. Start Saving

Many life insurance policies provide you with benefits while you’re still living. For example, a policy holder can borrow against the cash value of a policy or withdraw money. This allows you to save for an emergency while providing protection for your family.

How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?

The amount of life insurance you need will depend on your assets, your financial obligations, your health, the health of your family members, and your goals for the future. For example, someone with a young family, few assets, and many debts should carry a life insurance policy that provides a substantial amount of protection, while someone who owns their home, has grown children, and no debts, may need less. Contact an insurance agent if you need help determining how much life insurance is best for you.

 

4 Essential Financial Tips For Newlyweds

newlyweds

Being newly married is exciting, but the transition from single life to married bliss can be a bit stressful. Marriage means combining your life, home, and budget with another person—use the following financial tips to make the transition easier.

Communicate With Your Spouse

Communication is an essential part of financial success. You don’t have to get permission from your spouse every time you buy a cup of coffee, but you do need to communicate about your general finances.

  • Decide who will be responsible for paying bills like utilities, car payments, and rent. You don’t want to miss a due-date because you thought the other person was taking care of it.
  • Talk to your spouse before making major purchases like a new computer, sofa, or big-screen TV.
  • Have a conversation about your respective incomes and liabilities. Be completely honest.
  • Talk about your spending habits. If there are major differences, work on compromises together.
  • Set financial goals together. Talk about short term goals like paying off credit cards and long term goals like owning a home, retiring, or paying for your children’s education.

 

Evaluate Every-Day Expenses

Combining your lifestyles will change your every-day expenses. Don’t count on everything simply being double what you spent before. For at least a month, track your expenses closely. Pay attention to what you spend on groceries, fuel, entertainment, eating out, clothing, and household goods. At the end of the month, sit down together and evaluate your spending. This will help you set a budget and find places to reduce expenses.

Account For All Debts

It is important to stay on top of all your payments after you are married. Talk to your spouse about your debts and make sure you both know how much is owed, then decide on a payment plan. You may end up paying debts separately, or you may be able to consolidate some payments, but either way, it is important to account for everything.

Invest In Insurance

Don’t risk going without insurance. Unexpected accidents, emergencies, or illnesses can affect anyone. Talk to your spouse about medical insurance, car insurance, life insurance, and renter’s or home insurance. It is important to know what coverage you have as an individual and as a couple. You may be able to add a spouse to your health insurance to reduce costs, or you may find you need to increase your rental coverage to account for your additional property.

Keep the above tips in mind to avoid unneeded stress and conflict in your happy new union. Communication and planning can help you and your new spouse plan a path to financial success.

9 Tips to Living a Healthier Life, Starting Today

healthy lifestyle

There’s so much advice out there telling us how we can be thinner, happier, sexier, more productive, etc. Wouldn’t you prefer to cut through the irrelevant tips and tricks and find something simple and easy that you can apply to your life starting today?

Here are 9 basic, actionable tips that will help you live a healthier life for real.

1.     Get enough sleep at night

A healthy lifestyle begins with a full-night’s sleep. Without enough sleep, you could be left unfocused and unmotivated, not to mention at higher risk for many diseases.

2.     Drink lots of water

Water keeps you functioning—it comprises two thirds of your body after all. With enough water each day, you’ll be more alert and energetic.

3.     Don’t skip breakfast

You may just find that the benefits of eating breakfast far exceed the excuses you make for skipping the “most important meal of the day.”

4.     Go for walks

Improving your health can be as simple as walking up to 12 miles per week. Explore a nearby nature hike, take the stairs rather than the elevator, or go on a simple walk around the block to clear your mind; before you know it, those 12 miles will fly by.

5.     Make a new friend

Friends are there for you when you need them, but they are also good for your health.

6.     Enjoy the sunshine

Don’t get sunburned, but soak in some rays nonetheless to reap the benefits of vitamin D.

7.     Snack on healthy foods between meals

Those in-between meals can either be a boon to your health, or a contributor to your waistline. Swap out high-fat, high-sugar snacks for natural, raw fruits, berries, veggies, and nuts.

8.     Chew your food

By simply chewing your food longer, you’re actually aiding in your body’s digestive process. It will also make dinner more savory (as it should be).

9.     Explore a new hobby

Exploring new hobbies and activities is a great way to reduce stress (which, by the way, has many adverse health effects, both mental and physical).

These 9 tips are examples of the little things in life that, on their own, don’t seem like a big deal, but when you give them a shot they can have a huge benefit on your health and wellbeing!