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You’re not the only one feeling helpless: Eco-anxiety can reach far beyond bushfire communities

<p>You’re scrolling through your phone and transfixed by yet more images of streets reduced to burnt debris, injured wildlife, and maps showing the scale of the fires continuing to burn. On the television in the background, a woman who has lost her home breaks down, while news of another life lost flashes across the screen.</p> <p>You can’t bear to watch anymore, but at the same time, you can’t tear yourself away. Sound familiar?</p> <p>We’ve now been confronted with these tragic images and stories for months. Even if you haven’t been directly affected by the bushfires, it’s completely normal to feel sad, helpless, and even anxious.</p> <p>Beyond despairing about the devastation so many Australians are facing, some of these emotions are likely to be symptoms of “<a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/b2e7ee32-ad28-4ec4-89aa-a8b8c98f95a5">eco-anxiety</a>”.</p> <p><strong>If you’re feeling down, you’re not alone</strong></p> <p>Research on <a href="https://pursuit.unimelb.edu.au/articles/black-saturday-the-hidden-costs">previous bushfire disasters</a> shows people directly affected are more likely to suffer mental health consequences than those who have not been directly affected.</p> <p>After Black Saturday, about one in five people living in highly affected communities experienced persistent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression or psychological distress.</p> <p>Recognising this as a critical issue, the Australian government has announced funding to deliver <a href="https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/emergency-health-management/bushfire-information-and-support/australian-government-mental-health-response-to-bushfire-trauma">mental health support</a> to affected people and communities.</p> <p>Government of Victoria</p> <p>But living in an unaffected area doesn’t mean you’re immune. In addition to contending with rolling images and stories of devastation, we’ve seen flow-on effects of the bushfires reach far beyond affected areas.</p> <p>For example, schools and workplaces have been closed, people have been forced to cancel their summer holidays, and sports matches and community events have been called off. This disruption to normal activities can result in uncertainty and distress, particularly for children and young people.</p> <p><strong>What is eco-anxiety?</strong></p> <p>Distress around the current fires may be compounded by – and intertwined with – a pervasive sense of fear and anxiety in relation to climate change-related events.</p> <p>The American Psychological Association defines <a href="https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/03/mental-health-climate.pdf">eco-anxiety</a> as “a chronic fear of environmental doom”.</p> <p>While concern and anxiety around climate change are normal, eco-anxiety describes a state of being overwhelmed by the sheer scale, complexity and seriousness of the problems we’re facing. It can be accompanied by guilt for personal contributions to the problem.</p> <p>The Australian bushfires may have signalled a “tipping point” for many people who held a passive attitude towards climate change, and even many who have held a more active view of climate denialism. In the face of current circumstances, the crisis of climate change now becomes almost impossible to ignore.</p> <p>While eco-anxiety is not a diagnosable mental disorder, it can have significant impacts on a person’s well-being.</p> <p>Whether you think you’re suffering from eco-anxiety or more general stress and depression about the bushfires, here are some things you can do.</p> <p><strong>We’re pretty resilient, but support helps</strong></p> <p>We’re now living with the environmental consequences of a changing climate, and this requires people to adapt. Fortunately, <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0004867417714337">most of us are innately resilient</a>and are able to overcome stress and losses and to live with uncertainty.</p> <p>We can enhance this resilience by connecting with friends and family and positively engaging in our communities. Making healthy choices around things like diet, exercise and sleep can also help.</p> <p>Further, supporting those who are vulnerable has benefits for both the person giving and receiving assistance. For example, parents have a critical role in listening to their children’s concerns and providing appropriate guidance.</p> <p><strong>Become part of the solution</strong></p> <p>Seeking to reduce your own carbon footprint can help alleviate feelings of guilt and helplessness – in addition to the positive difference these small actions make to the environment.</p> <p>This might include walking, cycling and taking public transport to get around, and making sustainability a factor in day-to-day decisions like what you buy and what you eat.</p> <p>Joining one of the many groups advocating for the environment also provides a voice for people concerned about the changing climate.</p> <p>Finally, there are many ways you can provide assistance to bushfire relief efforts. The generosity shown by Australians and others internationally has provided a sense of hope at a time when many are facing enormous hardship.</p> <p><strong>Seeking professional help</strong></p> <p>Some people, particularly those living with unrelated psychological distress, will find it harder to adapt to increased stress. Where their emotional resources are already depleted, it becomes more difficult to accommodate change.</p> <p>Although we don’t yet have research on this, it’s likely people with pre-existing mental health problems will be more vulnerable to eco-anxiety.</p> <p>If this is you, it’s worthwhile seeking professional help if you feel your mental health is deteriorating at this time.</p> <p>Whether or not you have a pre-existing mental health disorder, if you’re feeling depressed or anxious to a degree it’s affecting your work, education or social functioning, you should seek advice from a health professional.</p> <p>Evidence-based psychological interventions like cognitive behavioural therapy <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23870719">reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression</a>, improving mental health and well-being.</p> <p><em>If this article has raised issues for you, or if you’re concerned about someone you know, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.</em></p> <p><em>Written by Fiona Charlson and James Graham Scott. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/youre-not-the-only-one-feeling-helpless-eco-anxiety-can-reach-far-beyond-bushfire-communities-129453"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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What you should do before bed so you get ahead in life

<p><strong>Make a prioritised to-do list</strong></p> <p>Writing out a to-do list each night is a great way to streamline your morning and get you off to a good start, but you can supercharge your to-do list by making one little tweak, according to Jeff Petro, CEO of Cool Beauty Consulting. “Each night, I draft a to-do list for the next morning, and then I prioritise the top three items that must get done,” he says. “This keeps me focused on what’s really important without getting side-tracked by smaller tasks.” And resist the urge to mark everything as a top priority. Sticking to just three will help keep you from getting overwhelmed, and you’ll still feel like you’ve accomplished a lot at the end of the day.</p> <p><strong>Take some deep breaths</strong></p> <p>Bedtime meditation has a slew of powerful health benefits, including better sleep – so it’s no surprise that it’s a habit practised not just by CEOs but also professional athletes, celebrities, scientists and other people at the top of their fields. But it’s all too easy to forget or to brush off at the end of a long day, which is why Keith Cushner, CEO of Tuck, keeps his meditation practical and simple. “I spend 10 to 20 minutes using one of a few different meditation techniques, including guided meditations and breathing exercises on my own,” he says. “Using apps like Headspace and Buddhify make it easy. I just have to follow the directions.”</p> <p><strong>Spend one-on-one time with their partner</strong></p> <p>Raise your hand if you’ve ever laid in bed with your partner, playing on your phones or watching movies, side-by-side but not interacting? (That’s everyone, right?) You’ll sleep better and have a better relationship if you follow the lead of Rachel Pedersen, CEO of the Viral Touch. “Every night before bed, I make sure to have a little flirty time with my husband,” she says. This could mean talking about your day, snuggling, or any other activity (ahem) that helps you bond. “This keeps us connected daily throughout the challenges of our work and personal lives,” she adds.</p> <p><strong>Use a smart plug to shut off all screens</strong></p> <p> “I shut down my phone, laptop, TV and tablet at least two hours before bed, which is tough when you have a lot to do or are in the habit of checking email and other notifications,” says Michael Alexis, CEO of Team Building Hero. “My pro tip for making the no-screens effort easier: I have my Wi-Fi router connected to a smart plug that shuts off at 10pm and turns itself back on at 8am when I wake up. When the Wi-Fi stops, so does my access to the Internet.”</p> <p><strong>Block out all noise and light</strong></p> <p>You never realise how loud your refrigerator is or how bright your neighbour’s porch light is until you’re trying to fall asleep. Eliminate these distractions simply by using ear plugs and a sleep mask, like Alexis does. “This combination is, of course, helpful for blocking out light and noise, but I find it helpful even in quiet dark rooms,” he explains. “Putting the sleep mask on feels like a trigger to go to sleep, and I usually fall asleep within five minutes or so.”</p> <p><em>Written by Charlotte Hilton Anderson. This article first appeared in </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/sleep/16-things-ceos-always-do-before-bed?pages=2">Reader’s Digest.</a> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p>

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The essential guide to a deeper and better sleep

<p>You’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. You pour your last cup of coffee for the day approximately five minutes after you get up in the morning, and your bedtime routine is so calming, it could put a wired four year old into a coma. You banish worries by writing them down in a special notebook you keep by the bed, right next to your warm milk and drug-free, homeopathic, fragrance-based sleep aids. So why do you still find yourself staring at the ceiling?</p> <p>It’s time to listen to what some unexpected experts have to say. Their jobs don’t necessarily include long hours in a laboratory studying sleep problems, but what they know about a multitude of other irritants – stomach ills and back pain and windows in need of shades – just might put you out for the night.</p> <p><strong>Learn to share</strong></p> <p> “If you like a firmer mattress and [your partner] likes a softer one, you don’t have to compromise. Get two singles, push them together, and use king sheets. Or you can buy a strap that attaches the mattresses to each other.”</p> <p><em>Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics</em></p> <p>“One of the biggest disrupters of sleep is the pulling and tugging of sheets and blankets. I tell couples that each person should have a sheet and blanket. If you pull a big comforter or duvet over the top when you make the bed, you really can’t tell. Couples call me after I suggest that and say, ‘Wow – you changed our marriage.’”</p> <p><em>Chiropractor and sleep expert Robert Oexman</em></p> <p><strong>Go to bed angry</strong></p> <p> “The classic line is that you shouldn’t go to bed angry, but that’s sometimes impossible. If you’re lying in the same bed but mentally throwing darts at each other, go to sleep on the couch.”</p> <p><em>Psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber</em></p> <p><strong>Nod off with the right scent</strong></p> <p> “My research has found that any new smell, even one associated with relaxation, such as lavender, can make you feel more alert and vigilant. You’re better off with a scent that makes you feel safe and comfortable. There really is something to cuddling up with your spouse’s undershirt.”</p> <p>Pamela Dalton, odour-perception expert and sensory psychologist</p> <p><strong>Be smart about allergies</strong></p> <p>“Pillows and bed coverings advertised as ‘hypoallergenic’ aren’t necessarily worth buying. That just means a product is made out of a substance you can’t be allergic to, not that it prevents allergies. Instead, get dustmite-proof covers for your pillow, mattress, and box spring.”</p> <p><em>Allergist Dr Jacqueline Eghari-Sabet</em></p> <p><strong>Heat up to keep your cool</strong></p> <p> “A hot bath will increase your skin temperature, which eventually decreases your core body temperature. Do the same thing for yourself that you’d do for a young child – make sure you take a bath a half hour or so before bed time.”</p> <p><em>Robert Oexman</em></p> <p><strong>Tamp down hot flashes</strong></p> <p> “If you wake up with hot flashes, of course you should keep the room cool and wear layered sleep clothing. But also keep a glass of ice water by the bed; sipping it will help lower your body temperature so you can get back to sleep.”</p> <p><em>Dr Becky Wang-Cheng, coeditor of Menopause</em></p> <p><strong>Reduce use of technology</strong></p> <p> “The cooler white and blue light emitted by a computer monitor stimulates brain activity and makes it difficult for your brain to wind down. Download the software at stereopsis.com/flux. It gradually dims your screen at sundown, shifting your monitor’s colours to warmer red hues.”</p> <p><em>Time-management coach Colin Grey</em></p> <p>“Watching TV at night may seem relaxing, but it beams light into your eyes, which is an ‘alert’ signal for the brain. Read a book before bed instead.”</p> <p><em>Psychiatrist Dr Tara Brass</em></p> <p><strong>Avoid ‘anti-sleeping’ pills containing caffeine</strong></p> <p> “A lot of people take bedtime pain relievers that contain caffeine and don’t even realise it. Check the label: caffeine is always listed as an active ingredient.”</p> <p>Jan Engle, professor of pharmacy</p> <p>“An oral decongestant might help you breathe better, but it can increase your heart rate, which makes it hard to sleep. A nasal decongestant can rev you up too. At night, try a saline spray or wash instead.”</p> <p><em>Pharmacist Eric Alvarez</em></p> <p><em>This article first appeared in </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/news-articles/the-essential-guide-to-a-deeper-sleep">Reader’s Digest.</a> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine,<span>, </span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></em></p>

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5 things CEOs always do before bed

<p><strong>Start tomorrow right – tonight!</strong></p> <p>Anyone who has ever had to help a child with a school project at midnight or found themselves binge-watching Netflix until the wee hours of the morning knows that what you do at bedtime can have a huge impact on how the next day goes. Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health, yet for too many of us, sleep is the first thing that’s sacrificed when life gets crazy. The second thing to go? Good bedtime habits. Even CEOs have to fight this temptation, but some of them have figured out how to do it successfully and consistently. We asked them to share the surprisingly simple night time tricks that help them have a happy, productive day.</p> <p><strong>Set an alarm for bedtime instead of wake time</strong></p> <p>Half the battle of getting a good night’s sleep is getting yourself to bed on time. Douglas Smith, CEO of True Nutrition, has discovered a great hack for making sure he’s consistent with his bedtime. “Most people set an alarm for waking up, but I’ve discovered it should be the other way around,” he says. “I set my alarm for 30 minutes before I should be in bed, and I stick to it. This helps me get to sleep at the same time every night. Once my body adjusted to it, I’ve found that I sleep better and I don’t even need an alarm to wake up. I wake up on my own, feeling well-rested.”</p> <p><strong>Use a light-filtering app</strong></p> <p>Blue light from screens interferes with your natural circadian rhythms, tricking your brain into thinking it’s morning instead of bedtime. Jason McCarthy, CEO of DigiNo, combats this by using apps that moderate the light from device screens. “I use the F.lux app. It gradually decreases the brightness and white light from the screen as bedtime draws closer,” he says. “This leads to much healthier and easier sleep. Plus, it reminds me not to keep working too late!”</p> <p><strong>Sip some vinegar and honey</strong></p> <p>Have trouble falling asleep? McCarthy swears by this bedtime tip courtesy of Tim Ferriss’ <em>The 4-Hour Workweek</em>. “He recommends drinking hot water with a spoonful of organic apple cider vinegar and natural honey as a sleep aid,” McCarthy explains. “No matter how busy my mind is from a stressful day at work, this drink manages to knock me out for a soothing sleep within 20 minutes. And it tastes better than you think it will!”</p> <p><strong>Utilise a “mail butler”</strong></p> <p>Managing email can feel like a full-time job for anyone, CEO or otherwise. And going to bed with a full inbox can make it hard to sleep, thanks to constant notifications or worries about missed items. This is why Billy Goldberg, CEO of the Buckeye Group, swears by Mailbutler, an extension for your email that automates certain tasks. “After dinner but before bedtime, I tidy up my inbox and get it down to zero. I use Mailbutler to ‘snooze’ emails and remind me of them at a set time in the future when I’ll need the information or need to follow up with someone,” he explains. “I use the extra time to hang out with my teenage daughters if they are into me at that moment.”</p> <p><strong>Have a nutritious bedtime snack</strong></p> <p>It’s hard to sleep if your stomach is grumbling, but a full tummy can also cause insomnia. In fact, overeating is one of the common mistakes insomniacs make. For Goldberg, the perfect compromise is a small snack high in fibre and healthy fats. “This may sound strange, but eating a spoonful of almond butter right before bed is the key to getting a good night’s sleep,” Goldberg says. “I wake up energised, and my blood sugar is maintained. Honestly, it’s been a game-changer for me!”</p> <p><strong>Pack a gym bag</strong></p> <p>Exercise can help improve your mood, increase your energy and even make you more creative, helping to set you up for a productive day. The only downside is that it can be hard to remember all of that when you’re dragging yourself out of a warm bed before the sun’s even up. For Joyce Shulman, CEO of Macaroni Kid, the trick is to prep the night before. “I set out my clothes for my morning workout in the bathroom, so when I get up at 5 am., I have no decisions to make – I just do it,” she says. “I also set up my coffee the night before because, well, coffee.”</p> <p><em>Written by Charlotte Hilton Anderson. This article first appeared in<a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/sleep/16-things-ceos-always-do-before-bed?slide=all"> Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p>

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How do magpies detect worms and other food underground?

<p><strong>How do magpies detect worms and other food sources underground? I often see them look or listen, then rapidly hop across the ground and start digging with their beak and extract a worm or bug from the earth – Catherine, age 10, Perth.</strong></p> <p>You have posed a very good question.</p> <p>Foraging for food can involve sight, hearing and even smell. In almost all cases learning is involved. Magpies are ground foragers, setting one foot before the other looking for food while walking, called <a href="http://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7677/" title="Biology and Behaviour of an Unusual Songbird">walk-foraging</a>. It looks like this:</p> <p>Finding food on the ground, such as beetles and other insects, is not as easy as it may sound. The ground can be uneven and covered with leaves, grasses and rocks. Insects may be hiding, camouflaged, or staying so still it is hard for a magpie to notice them.</p> <p>Detecting a small object on the ground requires keen vision and experience, to discriminate between the parts that are important and those that are not.</p> <p>Magpie eyes, as for most birds, are on the side of the head (humans and other birds of prey, by contrast, have eyes that face forward).</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/305806/original/file-20191209-90592-eed4d5.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/305806/original/file-20191209-90592-eed4d5.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">A magpie’s eyes are at the side of its head and it can only see something with both eyes if that is straight in front of the bird.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Shutterstock/Webb Photography</span></span></em></p> <p>To see a small area in front of them, close to the ground, birds use both eyes together (scientists call this binocular vision). But birds mostly see via the eyes looking out to the side (which is called monocular vision).</p> <p>This picture gives you an idea of what a magpie can see with its left eye, what it can see with its right eye and what area it can see with both eyes working together (binocular vision).</p> <p>You asked about underground foraging. Some of that foraging can also be done by sight. Worms, for instance, may leave a small mound (called a cast) on the surface and, to the experienced bird, this indicates that a worm is just below.</p> <p>Magpies can also go a huge step further. They can identify big scarab larvae underground without any visual help at all.</p> <p>Scarab larvae look like grubs. They munch on grassroots and can kill entire grazing fields. Once they transform into beetles (commonly called Christmas beetles) they can do even more damage by eating all the leaves off eucalyptus trees.</p> <p>Here is the secret: magpies have such good hearing, they can hear the very faint sound of grass roots being chewed.</p> <p>We know this from <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347281801121" title="Localization of soil dwelling scarab larvae by the black-backed magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen (Latham)">experiments</a> using small speakers under the soil playing back recorded sounds of scarab beetle larvae. Magpies located the speaker every time and dug it up.<span class="attribution"><a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/" class="license"></a></span></p> <p>So how do they do it? Several movements are involved.</p> <p>To make certain that a jab with its beak will hit the exact spot where the juicy grub is, the magpie first walks slowly and scans the ground. It then stops and looks closely at the ground – seemingly with both eyes working together.</p> <p>Then, holding absolutely still, the magpie turns its head so the left side of the head and ear is close to the ground for a final confirming <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318003665_Audition_and_Hemispheric_Specialization_in_Songbirds_and_New_Evidence_from_Australian_Magpies">listen</a>.</p> <p>Finally, the bird straightens up, then executes a powerful jab into the ground before retrieving the grub.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/305292/original/file-20191205-70133-1fvy04l.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/305292/original/file-20191205-70133-1fvy04l.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">An Australian magpie digging for food gets a grub.</span> <span class="attribution"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Australian_Magpie_Digging_Grub.jpg" class="source">Wikimedia/Toby Hudson</a>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/" class="license">CC BY-SA</a></span></p> <p>That is very clever of the magpies. Very few animals can extract food they can’t see. Only great apes and humans were thought to have this ability. Clever magpies indeed. And farmers love them for <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347281801121" title="Localization of soil dwelling scarab larvae by the black-backed magpie, Gymnorhina tibicen (Latham)">keeping a major pest under control</a>.</p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/gisela-kaplan-2401">Gisela Kaplan</a>, Emeritus Professor in Animal Behaviour, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-how-do-magpies-detect-worms-and-other-food-underground-125713">original article</a>.</em></p>

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8 expert-approved home remedies for back pain

<p>Back pain is one of the most common complaints that bring patients into doctors’ offices. Although you should always see a doctor if your pain is severe, there are ways to relieve back pain at home.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: cold</strong></p> <p>Icing is key when you are experiencing lower back soreness and/or pain, shares Dr Jennifer L. Solomon. “It is also critical post-exercise to reduce inflammation and promote pain control.”  If you are experiencing radiating pain into the lower extremities, continue to ice the lower back rather than the legs, she says.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: heat</strong></p> <p>Heat should be your go-to after a weekend warrior move gone wrong, such as over-aggressive mulching in your garden or an injury from moving furniture, says orthopaedic spine surgeon, Dr Justin J. Park. “Strains and pulls respond better to heat.” Heat helps to ease the strained muscle and reduce tension and can help to increase range of motion and reduce pain.  Don’t let the heating pad get too hot and don’t use it for more than an hour or so at a time.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: over-the-counter medications</strong></p> <p>Other back pain remedies that work fast are over-the-counter pain medication, Dr Park says.  Paracetamol, or acetaminophen, is really not recommended for muscular strains and sprains. If you’ve hurt your back, the best remedy is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, or NSAID. Common NSAIDs include Advil (ibuprofen) and Aleve (naproxen). These medications help to stem the tide of the blood flow to the area to reduce pain. By keeping inflammation low, your pain is decreased, and you are better able to move.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: rest</strong></p> <p>Rest is vital when you are trying to relieve back pain naturally. “We aren’t talking about bed rest though,” Dr Park says. Take two or three days off from your usual activities such as going to the gym, which could make the pain worse and lead to further injury of the musculature of the back.  But gentle stretching and light walking should be okay, he adds. In fact, exercise is thought to be beneficial in terms of preventing and relieving chronic low back pain. For example, a 2018 review of randomised controlled trials, which was published in the <em>American Journal of Epidemiology</em>, found that people who exercised had a 33 per cent lower risk of back pain than those who did not. And in people who did get lower back pain, exercise reduced the severity and disability associated with it. The researchers recommended strengthening with either stretching or aerobic exercise 2 to 3 days per week.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: muscle creams and patches</strong></p> <p>Another way to cure back pain at home is to use muscle creams and patches. Many different companies make these products. The medication in the patch or cream works to “confuse” the nerve endings in your back muscles. By making them feel hot or cold, they are distracted from the pain of the muscle tissue. In addition, the heat from these patches goes a long way toward soothing the muscles that have been strained or sprained. Large patches are probably more convenient, but creams may work better if your muscles are strained higher up on the back, to the side, or over a large area.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: try a rub</strong></p> <p>There are a host of over-the-counter and prescription pain relieving gels, Dr Park says.  “Over-the-counter rubs provide relief, and prescription strength anti-inflammatory creams are great for people who can’t tolerate taking them by mouth,” he says. Ask a loved one to massage the cream into your back if you can’t reach the sore spot.</p> <p><strong>Home remedies for back pain: know when to call in the doctor</strong></p> <p>Self-treating with home remedies for back pain makes sense to a point, says Dr Park. “Give it a week or two but if after a few weeks, your pain is not getting better, getting worse or is severe at night, see a doctor to find out what else may help.”</p> <p><em>Written by Lynda Lampert. This article first appeared in </em><em><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/back/8-expert-approved-home-remedies-for-back-pain?slide=all">Reader’s Digest.</a> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA87V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a><span><em> , </em></span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></p>

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Prince William and Duchess Kate launch global prize to “repair the Earth”

<p>The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced a global prize to tackle the world’s biggest climate issues.</p> <p>Prince William and Kate launched the Earthshot Prize on New Year’s Eve, pledging a “decade of action to repair the Earth.”</p> <p>It is being hailed as “the most prestigious environment prize in history.”</p> <p>Prince William said: “The earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve”.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6vCzi4lF0X/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6vCzi4lF0X/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">"The earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve. • Remember the awe inspiring civilisations that we have built, the life-saving technology we have created, the fact that we have put a man on the moon. • People can achieve great things. And the next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests - a decade of action to repair the Earth.” • Led by Prince William and a global alliance, the @EarthshotPrize will inspire the the planet’s greatest problem solvers to solve Earth’s greatest problems: the emergencies facing our natural world. Take a look at our previous post to see the launch film, and follow @EarthshotPrize to stay updated. Photo 📷 by The Duchess of Cambridge, taken at a glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range, situated in the Chitral District of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkwa Province.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kensingtonroyal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kensington Palace</a> (@kensingtonroyal) on Dec 31, 2019 at 3:25am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The Earthshot Prize will be awarded five times each year between 2021 and 2030, to those individuals or organisations that manage to come up with effective solutions to environmental problems.</p> <p>Kensington Palace shared a photo of the Duke of Cambridge, which was taken by the Duchess, at a melting glacier in the Hindu Kush mountain range during their recent tour of Pakistan.</p> <p>It was posted alongside a video message narrated by naturalist Sir David Attenborough who said the prize would go to “visionaries rewarded over the next decade for responding to the great challengers of our time” warning “we can no longer take life as we know it for granted.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6u_5AyFJqU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6u_5AyFJqU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Who is ready to lead as we make the 2020s a decade of action to repair our planet? Introducing the @EarthshotPrize 🌍 the most prestigious environment prize in history. Led by Prince William and a global alliance, the Earthshot Prize will inspire the the planet’s greatest problem solvers to solve Earth’s greatest problems: the emergencies facing our natural world. Follow @EarthshotPrize to find out more and see the full launch film, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/kensingtonroyal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kensington Palace</a> (@kensingtonroyal) on Dec 31, 2019 at 3:00am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Hillary Clinton has also backed the prize, tweeting: “With Australia on fire and the Arctic in meltdown, it’s clear we’re in a climate emergency. I’m proud to support @EarthshotPrize from @KensingtonRoyal, a new effort to inspire Earth’s greatest problem solvers to repair the natural world.”</p> <p>A number of challenges will be announced in the upcoming months, aimed at finding at least 50 solutions to the “world’s greatest problems” including “climate and energy, nature and biodiversity, oceans, air pollution, and fresh water”.</p> <p>The prize is being led by Prince William and multiple others from around the world including philanthropists and organisations.</p>

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"That is the most incredibly generous thing to do for me": Olivia Newton-John blown away by fan's gesture

<p>Olivia Newton-John has been left stunned after the leather jacket that she wore in Grease was purchased at an auction and returned to her.</p> <p>The jacket was bought at auction for $243,000 and the anonymous buyer has now handed it back.</p> <p>He said: "It should not sit in a billionaire's closet for country-club bragging rights."</p> <p>"The odds of beating a recurring cancer using the newest emerging therapies is a thousandfold greater than someone appearing out of the blue, buying your most famous and cherished icon, and returning it to you."</p> <p>A tearful Newton-John, 71, was in shock once she realised what was in the bright pink gift wrapped box</p> <p>"Are you serious?" she said before giving the man a huge hug. "That is the sweetest thing."</p> <p>"That is the most incredibly generous thing to do for me. I'm so grateful and I'm just blown away."</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FJuliensAuctions%2Fvideos%2F810667592737412%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="308" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>The buyer of the jacket wanted to remain anonymous, but Julien’s Auction House said that he is a doctor and a medical technology entrepreneur.</p> <p>The black leather jacket was worn in the final scenes of the 1978 film where she and John Travolta perform, You’re the One That I Want and We Go Together.</p> <p>The skin-tight pants from the outfit were sold separately for more than double their estimate and together, the jacket and pants raised $405,700 for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research and Wellness Centre in Australia.</p> <p>"You're the best, you're the best! I'm so grateful," Newton-John said, while hugging the jacket and then the buyer. "This is the most beautiful present, but mainly it's your heart that I'm grateful for."</p> <p>The anonymous man asked if she would put the jacket on display in the cancer centre.</p> <p>"Yes, it was always my dream to do that, so yes!" Newton-John said, according to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/olivia-newton-john-grease-jacket-gift-trnd/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a>.</p> <p>The auction sold off more than 500 items from John’s career, including costumes, awards, jewellery and other iconic outfits.</p> <p>The sale raised a total of $2.4 million, according to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="http://www.juliensauctions.com/about-auction?id=294" target="_blank">auction house</a>.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see what was sold in the auction.</p>

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What to do with your Christmas leftovers?

<p>After a huge Christmas lunch or dinner, most of us don't even want to think about eating or cooking the next day! But, as we all know hunger will once again catch up with us and if you have some leftovers, we've got some tasty and easy recipe ideas below, that will help you use up your leftover meats and vegetables.  </p> <p><strong>Speedy spicy turkey &amp; ham fried rice</strong></p> <p>Let's face it - the last thing you want to do on Boxing Day is cook more. This super fast egg-fried rice makes is the perfect dish for using up some of your leftover ham and turkey. And if you're really thinking in advance, why not cook the rice the day before? Recipe <a href="http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/884647/speedy-spicy-turkey-rice">here</a></p> <p><strong>Chicken and Mango noodle salad</strong></p> <p>Take the heat out of summer with this low fuss, no cook chicken salad. It can be made without mangos, but if you have any leftover from your Christmas feast, they add a nice, sweet kick to the dish. Recipe<a href="http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/28522/chicken+and+mango+noodle+salad?ref=collections,christmas-leftovers"> here </a></p> <p><strong>Roast vegetable slice</strong></p> <p>A light and easy dinner meal if you're looking to use up leftover roast vegetables - and if you happen to be looking after the grandkids it's a great way to get them to eat vegetables too! Recipe <a href="http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/roast-vegetable-slice-L6678.html">here </a>. </p> <p><strong>Christmas Club Sandwich </strong></p> <p>Make a scrumptious cafe style sandwich filled with leftover roast meat, stuffing and salad for an easy-peasy lunch time filler.<strong> </strong>Recipe <a href="http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/508899/christmas-club-sandwich">here </a></p> <p><strong>Pytt y panna (little pieces in a pan)</strong></p> <p>This fabulous recipe is from Jamie Oliver and is an easy, brilliant every day dish, perfect for when you have leftover meats and vegetables. All you need is a frying pan and some oil and viola! Your next meal is served. <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/pytt-y-panna-little-pieces-in-a-pan/">Recipe here.</a></p> <p><strong>Boxing Day Bubble and Squeak <br /><br /></strong>Christmas leftovers are perfect for this English dish. You'll need leftover vegetables including carrots and potatoes and the great thing about this recipe is it holds the same amount of calories as a large blueberry muffin - but is far more nutritious!<a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pork-recipes/boxing-day-bubble-and-squeak/"> Find the recipe here. </a></p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/food-and-wine/what-to-do-with-your-christmas-leftovers.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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How to make Jamie Oliver's bay salt prawn skewers with summer veg

<p>Time to prepare 25 mins | Serves 4</p> <p>Warmer weather brings memories of sun, seafood and barbeques - so why not combine them all? This recipe from Jamie Oliver puts a yummy twist on the good ol' shrimp. The bay salt flavour is unconventional but that's what makes this BBQ prawn recipe taste so delicious.</p> <p>Recipe from <a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes">jamieoliver.com/recipes</a></p> <p><strong>Ingredients</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>20 raw king prawns, from sustainable sources (ask your fishmonger), peeled and black veins removed</li> <li>4 small courgettes</li> <li>10 bay leaves</li> <li>1 tablespoon sea salt</li> <li>3 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil</li> <li>Juice of ½ lemon</li> <li>2 large handfuls freshly podded peas</li> <li>2 large handfuls freshly podded broad beans</li> <li>1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked\</li> <li>A few chive flowers, optional</li> <li>Sea salt</li> <li>Freshly ground black pepper</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <p>1. First of all, get your barbecue good and hot. If you're using wooden skewers, soak four of them in some cold water for 10 minutes, so they don't burn when you put them on the barbie later. Thread 5 prawns on to each skewer, make sure you poke through the fat and the thin part of each prawn. Slice the courgettes into ribbons with a speed peeler or a mandolin.</p> <p>2. To make the bay salt, crumble the bay leaves into a pestle and mortar and add the salt. Bash up the bay leaves until you have a vibrant green salt and all the bay leaves have broken down and released their natural oils.</p> <p>3. Sprinkle each of the prawn kebabs with a good pinch of the bay salt. Drizzle them with a little olive oil and pat and rub everything in. Place the skewers on the hot barbecue for a couple of minutes on each side. Fill the rest of the barbecue with the courgette slices – as they are so thin, they'll only need cooking on one side. After 2 minutes, turn over the skewers and cook for a further 2 minutes while you start taking off the courgettes.</p> <p>4. Pour 3 tablespoons of good olive oil into a large bowl. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the peas, broad beans and grilled courgettes. Tear over the mint leaves and the chive flowers, if using. Season with a little salt and pepper and gently mix everything together.</p> <p>5. Serve the vegetables in a big bowl in the middle of the table with the skewers on a wooden board next to it. Perfect light, healthy summer eating.</p> <p><strong>Tips </strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/seafood-recipes/bay-salt-prawn-skewers-with-summer-veg/"><em>Jamie says</em>: </a>The combination of bay leaves and prawns is quite an unconventional one, but I think it's a winner. This recipe will make enough for a decent batch of bay salt – you can use it instead of normal salt. You won't need as much as you would normally use though, as the bay gives it extra flavour. Bay salt is great if sprinkled over a shoulder of lamb, a chicken or a piece of pork before roasting. You can keep it in a container for a couple of months if you dry it out first.</p> <p><em>Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/recipes/bay-salt-prawn-skewers-with-summer-veg.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Why social interaction improves your health as you age

<p>Social isolation is an increasingly prevalent problem in Australia today. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates that one-quarter of people over the age of 65 live alone. This figure is expected to rise by at least 52 per cent by 2021.</p> <p>Living alone can leave older Australians vulnerable. A recent report on the effects of social isolation by The Council on the Ageing (COTA) found that chronic loneliness can create a persistent self-reinforcing loop of negative thoughts, sensations and behaviours that can have a serious impact on a person’s mental health and wellbeing.</p> <p>A review of how social isolation can affect our physical health was carried out by The Journal of Primary Prevention in 2012. The review found social isolation to be associated with increased risk factors for stroke, heart disease, dementia, falls and chronic mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.</p> <p>Those that are socially isolated were also found to be four to five times more likely to require hospitalisation.</p> <p>On the other hand, studies show that people who are socially active as they age have better psychological and physical health and increased quality of life.<br /><br />A review of 148 different studies shows that people who have strong social relationships have a 50 per cent better chance of surviving chronic health conditions than people with little or no social interaction. <br /><br />Counsellor and psychotherapist, Dr Karen Phillip, says interacting with others is an innate human need that can help older people stay healthier and live for longer in their own homes.<br /><br />“We are social creatures. We are designed to connect with others, to share our feelings and opinions. Social interaction stimulates our brains, it gives us the opportunity to stay mentally active because we’re using our brains and to stay physically active because it forces us to get out and do things and remain independent,” says Phillip. <br /><br />Here Dr Phillip shares her top tips to staying socially engaged and making full use of the powerful psychological and physiological benefits that being socially active bestows. <br /><br /><strong>Five ways to invigorate your social life as you get older</strong></p> <p><strong>Tip 1: Connect with social media</strong><br />Learning how to use social media can open up a world of social possibilities where we can connect with people who share our views, opinions and feelings, says Phillip. <br /><br />“Older people who use social media have improved brain function and better physical and emotional outcomes,” she says. Phillip recommends asking a carer or a family member to show you how to use Skype, Facebook or Instagram to connect with the world around you from the safety and privacy of your own home.<br /><br /><strong>Tip 2: Volunteer and share your knowledge or experience</strong><br />As an ‘elder of the tribe’, you have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can share by connecting with your local community. “Chances are you have a skill, trade, or knowledge and can offer advice or undertake other helpful activities that will prove invaluable to your community,” says Phillip. <br /><br /><strong>Tip 3: Join a seniors group</strong> <br />No matter whether you’re into sport, religion or have a hobby, there is bound to be a senior citizen’s group that would consider itself very lucky to have you as an active member, says Phillip.</p> <p><strong>Tip 4: See a psychotherapist</strong><br />The right psychotherapist can be your emotional rock, but also a practical help too, says Phillip. “Not only will they work you through the issue of loneliness, they can also become your case worker helping you connect with senior citizen’s groups and community groups and helping you connect with your family or a doctor,” says Phillip. <br /><br /><strong>Tip 5: Connect face to face in your own home</strong><br />Carers and community groups can often make house calls and this can sometimes make all the difference for people who are immobile or suffering from illness, says Phillip. “We are better off with face-to-face interaction when we can get it,” says Phillip. She recommends some form of social interaction every day for the best results. “All positive social interaction is beneficial no matter how small, even as small as a quick coffee with a friend,” she says.</p> <p><em>Written by Dominic Bayley. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/why-social-interaction-improves-your-health-as-you-age.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Love the second time round

<p>The heart wants what it wants, wrote Emily Dickinson in 1862. And it seems the hermit-like poet is still right a century and a half later: the heart wants what it wants even when it’s older and creakier and a bit battle-scarred to boot.</p> <p>Challenges to love the second time around could be numerous. The jaded singletons in your social set may be genuinely aghast over your hot-to-trot new romance. Your ex may be quietly heartbroken (or exultant). And your kids might say you’re bonkers (but probably from a terror that you’ll get married again and, in a fit of lust and folly, redistribute their inheritance).</p> <p>But outspoken kids and battle-scarred hearts aside, there are LOTS of great things about falling in love the second time around.</p> <p>Firstly, there’s probably a high chance that a hairy divorce has brought you here. Statistics show the over 50s are serving each other papers like nobody’s business (and while it IS nobody’s business, there’s something to be said for not living out the final 30-40 years of your life in a crappy marriage). Even so, the Big D has a way of upending your existence and identity for a while so the fact you’ve found new love after this cataclysmic life event is cause for the popping of at least a few champagne corks.</p> <p>Secondly, you’re older and wiser and probably a curious mixture of caution and wild abandon. Life has thrown you some curve balls and half a century-plus of wisdom means you can still be incredibly prudent about what you do, how fast you move, where you live… while also deciding a trip across the Nullarbor in a rickety old campervan with your new paramour for company is the best idea ever. Love the second time around is all about that. Ridiculous fun, with a side dish of caution. (No trip across the Nullarbor would be possible without your expensive satellite phone, after all.)</p> <p>Thirdly, the whole kids thing. There is no whole kids thing! You can actually have a love affair that, going forward, is all about the two of you. Travel and dinners and sleep-ins and me-me-me-me time.</p> <p>Of course, the exception to the rule may be any existing adult kids you have and their irritating failure to launch, but look on the bright side: with a new lover you’ll hopefully have access to two houses and somewhere to escape to if necessary. (If you’re both plagued by kids who refuse to leave home, suggest the young’uns all bunk in together at one house while you love birds take the other one.)</p> <p>Fourth, you’re old enough and ugly enough to have the whole ‘who am I and what makes me happy’ questions sussed, which imbues any love affair with a delicious simplicity.</p> <p>Your answers to said questions may boil down to your hatred of structured travel where everyone wears name tags and matching khakis; the knowledge that small talk bores you silly and the fact that your gammy knee dictates sex must take place in a comfy bed rather than in the shower / on a hardwood floor / kitchen table / back of the car.</p> <p>The great news is, you’re not afraid to speak up about these things for fear of being labelled a bore. You are who you are, you couldn’t give a rats’ what anyone thinks, and it’s amazingly peaceful not having to pretend.</p> <p>Your new love will have to accept you – warts, gammy knee and all. (He or she no doubt has a similar list of non-negotiables and lumps and bumps requiring unconditional acceptance.)</p> <p>Yep, love the second time around has a lot going for it. It may be a little creakier, but it’s also probably a little simpler and a totally different kind of fun.</p> <p>So if you’re in (or on) the market for it, ignore the naysayers and let it happen. You never know – it could end up being the best 30-40 years of your whole damn life.</p> <p><em>Written by Rachel Smith. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/in-praise-of/in-praise-of-love-the-second-time-around.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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How adapting 4 easy self-defence tips can keep you safer

<p>Taking on a few simple concepts to help protect yourself will help you feel confident in every area of your life. Start today!</p> <p>Most of us think of learning self-defence to fight off an actual attack. However, there is much more to it than that. If you think about it, it is much easier to deal with an attack before it actually happens by preparing a safety strategy.</p> <p>Almost all people who fall victim to an attack, say they ‘felt’ that something was wrong sometimes long before anything really happened. Trust your feelings and act on them. And always put safely before ‘being polite’. Self-defence has a huge amount to do with confidence, assertiveness and taking action. The more you apply these principles in everyday life, the safer and happier you will be.</p> <p><strong>Tip 1: ABC of healthy habits</strong><br />a) When you are walking to your car have your mobile phone in your hand but don’t be on the phone speaking with someone or browsing the internet. Don't be paranoid or distracted, just be aware.</p> <ol> <li>b) Get into the habit of carrying your car and house keys in your hand so you can get inside quickly. And you can also use it as a ‘weapon' if needed.</li> <li>c) If you are feeling overly tired then give yourself a night off and stay in.</li> <li>d) If you come across someone in need who you don’t know then don’t feel embarrassed to keep your car door locked and instead phone for immediate assistance.</li> <li>e) Keep financial matters private and consider having a trusted locksmith install a deadbolt lock. Review your home safety and ensure there are no easily accessible points in your home such as windows.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Tip 2: Create a safety plan</strong><br />Start by thinking about easy ways you can stay safe such as taking the main street home in well-lit areas instead of the short cut. Or it may mean that you have someone pick you up after a night out or get a cab. Confidence is important so consider taking a short self defence course or taking up a regular exercise habit to strengthen you physically. Light weights are a great option. Speak to your health professional.</p> <p>It is important to remember that most people who are on the attack don't actually want to struggle. They don't want to fight. They want an easy ‘victim’. If you look like you'll put up a fight, in most cases, they will look elsewhere. Confidence, or the way you carry yourself is your first line of defence against an attack.</p> <p><strong>Tip 3: Trust your intuition</strong><br />We all have a very reliable ‘inbuilt alarm system’ that warns you of danger. It will tell you if you should be wary of your co-workers inappropriate remarks, or if they are harmless. To some degree it will let you know if it is safe to walk down this path or if you should consider crossing the street at the lights where there are plenty of people around. It tells you this by the way you feel. We all have it, but many of us have learned to override it because we learned to be ‘nice’ and we don’t want to be paranoid for seemingly no reason. It’s called intuition.</p> <p>An intuition is a feeling such as a hunch, a suspicion or even fear. It is a subconscious warning signal that tells us to investigate further, but without the logic or reasons behind it. It is there for a reason so don’t discard it blindly because someone ‘seems’ nice superficially.</p> <p>The huge benefit of an intuition is, that it gives us the opportunity to deal with a situation before it really becomes dangerous. Therefore, if you get a hunch that something is wrong, don’t just hope for the best, do something and protect yourself.</p> <p><strong>Tip 4: Put your safety ahead of ‘being polite’</strong><br />You need to be willing to make it clear that you are not a victim, that you will stand up for yourself and if necessary fight. If someone approaches you and you have a bad feeling about them you need to stand your ground. The earlier and the more convincingly you do this, the easier this will be. Don’t be embarrassed to get as loud and aggressive as you have to be or to get help from a helpful stranger. This still gives you a chance to defuse the situation early.</p> <p>Written by Otto Heutling. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/wyza-life/how-adapting-4-easy-self-defence-tips-can-keep-you-safer.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></p>

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How I shop for our family's traditional Christmas feast

<p>When I was a child my grandmother made a plum pudding in November and hung it in the laundry of her cottage in Melbourne. For us kids, the appearance of the pudding was the harbinger of exciting festive things to come.</p> <p>With the family jam-packed into my grandparents' little house, Christmas morning saw my Nana, my mother and assorted aunts stuffing a turkey and scrubbing potatoes, to be crammed into an old-fashioned stove in Nana's petite kitchen.</p> <p>I don't know how my Nana managed to serve a hot Christmas dinner for 15 or more people with such limited culinary resources.</p> <p>I recall one year, as we poured gravy onto the turkey in high heat, an uncle suggesting that the following year we picnic at the beach instead. It was the early 1960s, and everyone looked at him as though he was mad.</p> <p>Now, times have changed and people celebrate Christmas Day dining in all sorts of ways – barbecues, picnics, yum cha and Middle Eastern feasts to name a few. </p> <p>But for many of us, childhood traditions die hard. Every year our family decides on a picnic or a barbecue Christmas lunch. But in the end we never do; for some reason we always hark back to a semi-traditional Christmas lunch.</p> <p>In lean years, and there have been many, the cost of Christmas dining seemed overwhelming – as we all know the turkey, the ham, the seafood - the lot - can set you back hundreds of dollars if you're catering for a crowd.</p> <p>My kids and I devised a way to reduce costs many years ago, and continue this practice today.</p> <p>What we do is hit the market and supermarket late afternoon on Christmas Eve. At this time you can pretty much guarantee that turkeys, ducks, seafood and high-end fruit and veggies will be drastically reduced.</p> <p>For some it might seem odd not knowing what you'll be cooking for Christmas lunch. But the challenge of creating culinary Christmas magic with what you have foraged at the last minute has become part of the Yuletide fun in our family of passionate cooks.</p> <p>We don't care if we dine on turkey, chicken, duck - or all of the above – it depends on what's been reduced on Christmas Eve.</p> <p>I make a cranberry and pistachio nut stuffing in preparation for the bargains we might snare, which works just as well with turkey as with chicken (in the rare event we don't bag a half-price turkey), and have oranges and plenty of spices on hand for the happy occasions there's a plump duck on offer at up to 60 per cent off.</p> <p>We've often uncovered low-priced ham, too, which might be doused in a maple, honey and mustard glaze for the Christmas table.</p> <p>Seafood finds can be a real bargain-hunters extravaganza on Christmas Eve: why, last year alone we discovered big, succulent prawns slashed to 50 per cent off. As they were being wrapped I spied a crayfish, also heavily discounted, which was included in a simple prawn and avocado salad I served as a luncheon entree the next day.</p> <p>Our family might continue to celebrate Christmas with a semi-traditional lunch, but one custom that has fallen by the wayside is Nana's plum pud.</p> <p>Perhaps it's because it's no fun without the sixpences, or maybe because the next generation aren't fond of a heavy fruit pudding on a hot Christmas Day.</p> <p>Instead we opt for light, summery desserts, including the classic Aussie favourite, pavlova.</p> <p>The berries alone for the Christmas pav can set you back a packet – we like ours with a pile of summer berries, including raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. And fresh mangoes, rather than tinned, are the preferred option for another favourite Christmas dessert, Mango Tiramisu. </p> <p>While Christmas foodie foraging might not suit everyone, the last-minute hunt for the finest ingredients has become part of the festive fun for our family.</p> <p>We've often wondered what we'd dine on if we found the fridges and shelves empty by the time we hit the shops - a Christmas Day sandwich? But over the past 25 years, it hasn't happened once.</p> <p><em>Written by Sandy Guy. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/lifestyle/food-and-wine/how-i-shop-for-our-familys-traditional-christmas-feast.aspx">Wyza.com.au.</a></em></p>

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Couple dies 33 hours apart after being married for 68 years

<p>A husband and wife who had been married for 68 years have passed away within hours of each other.</p> <p>Minneapolis couple Robert and Corinne Johnson were laid to rest together after dying 33 hours apart, <em><a href="https://www.kare11.com/article/life/married-68-years-husband-and-wife-die-one-day-apart/89-fba881e6-5178-4e9a-9c0d-c9838523c1b4">KARE11</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>Corinne died on November 24 at the age of 87 from congestive heart failure. Her husband Robert, 85, followed soon on November 25 after months of battle with cancer.</p> <p>The couple’s youngest son Brent Johnson said his parents passed “on their own terms”.</p> <p>He said his father was known for his chivalrous acts, including letting others ahead through doors or buffet lines. “So it was only fitting that in the end he waited for mother to go first and then he passed away,” he told <em><a href="https://www.kare11.com/article/life/married-68-years-husband-and-wife-die-one-day-apart/89-fba881e6-5178-4e9a-9c0d-c9838523c1b4">KARE11</a></em>.</p> <p>Brent said it was not a coincidence that his father’s death came shortly after his mother’s. “When I asked him what his wishes were if mom passed away, he said he couldn’t imagine life without her. And in the end, he was right,” Brent told <em><a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/04/us/minneapolis-couple-married-68-years-dies-day-apart-trnd/index.html">CNN</a></em>.</p> <p>The pair’s other son Bruce Johnson, <a href="https://people.com/human-interest/minnesota-couple-die-33-hours-apart/">who works as a doctor that specialises in cancer</a>, said he thought his father had more time.</p> <p>“I sort of thought he looked like he could go for weeks,” Bruce said. “As soon as mom died, he went downhill and died in a day. It’s hard to imagine it’s a coincidence.”</p> <p>Robert and Corinne’s relationship began when they grew up beside each other on a farm in Nicollet County, according to their obituaries.</p> <p>The pair tied the knot in October 1951 and raised seven children together. They also shared 14 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.</p> <p>The secret to the couple’s long-lasting marriage was strong faith and commitment, Brent said.</p> <p>“Dad would say, if mom isn’t happy, no one’s happy,” he said. “He understood what it took to make a marriage work.”</p>

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How a photo taken of two strangers struck hearts around Australia

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The parents of a teenage girl have received praise online after a photo surfaced of their daughter with an older woman. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A thoughtful onlooker snuck a picture of a “gorgeous red head girl” she spotted sprinting up to a senior lady in Sydney’s east, who was carrying several grocery bags on her own. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Without hesitating, the girl who appeared to be in a school uniform, offered to carry one of the lady’s bag to help lighten her hefty load. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Whoever owns this gorgeous red head girl walking down Brisbane Street, Bondi Junction, carrying this lady’s heavy bags for her, take a bow,” the excited observer said in a post to Facebook on Friday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“You did something right. She sprinted up to the lady asking if she could help.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The image appeared to inspire a number of Facebook users who joined in on praising the people who are responsible for caring for her. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This would be amazing if it reached her parents. Well done,” one impressed user wrote in a comment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Parenting inspiration for those hard days,” another said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Love this,” a third added.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Image credit: Facebook</span></em></p>

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Why is my poo green?

<p>It’s happened to many of us at some point in our lives: we finish our bowel movement, look down in the bowl and have a moment of panic when we see an unusual colour.</p> <p>Poo can be found in many colours other than brown, with green poo often eliciting concern. But it’s surprisingly common and is usually no reason to be alarmed.</p> <p><strong>Why poo is usually brown</strong></p> <p>The brown colour of poo initially comes from the red of blood. Haemoglobin is the red protein in blood that transports oxygen around the body. It’s eventually broken down into a substance called bilirubin.</p> <p>In the liver, bilirubin is used to form bile and is released into the small bowel to help digest food. Bile then passes into the colon and the bilirubin is broken down by bacteria.</p> <p>The final stage in the process is the addition of a substance called stercobilin, which gives poo its brown colour.</p> <p>All shades of brown are considered normal.</p> <p><strong>Green poo in adults</strong></p> <p>Stool colour is very heavily influenced by the substances in the gut that digest food and what you eat.</p> <p>Green stools contain <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2305176">significantly more bile acids</a> than brown stools. If food is moving through the bowel very quickly – if you have diarrhoea, for instance – there isn’t enough time for the green bile to break down completely, giving stools a green colour.</p> <p><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2004.tb09947.x">Green leafy vegetables</a> such as spinach and lettuce contain large amounts of chlorophyll (green pigment) bound to magnesium. This can lead to stools turning green.</p> <p>Some green food dyes such as <a href="https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Natural-green-3">natural green 3</a> contain chlorophyll (green pigment) bound to copper which can <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/98/25/14601">turn stools a dark green</a>.</p> <p><strong>Why do babies have green poo?</strong></p> <p>A newborn’s first stool, called meconium, is very often dark green.</p> <p><a href="https://fn.bmj.com/content/97/6/F465.long">Green stools in formula-fed infants</a> are often due to formulas containing <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3876420">high amounts of iron</a>.</p> <p>But even for breastfed infants it’s <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12318490">normal</a> to have yellow-green or green poo.</p> <p>In fact, it’s normal for babies’ poo to be many different colours. <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/col.21919">One study</a> found pale stools were caused by partially digested milk fats, yellow stools were due to stercobilin (which is also involved in making poo brown) and other similar compounds, and dark stools due to bilirubin or the presence of meconium.</p> <p><strong>What about other colours of poo?</strong></p> <p><strong>Blue</strong></p> <p>Some food dyes, food additives and naturally occurring colours are unable to be completely broken down in the gut and this can distinctly colour poo. Children who have consumed a lot of blue-coloured drinks, for instance, often poo blue.</p> <p>Blueberries can also turn poo blue because of a type of antioxidant called anthrocyanin. Most anthrocyanins in blue berries are <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/03602532.2014.978080">broken down</a> by the time they reach the colon, so kids with blue poo will either have consumed quite a lot or the berries are moving quickly through the gut.</p> <p>Children with diarrhoea have a very rapid gut transit and stools often come out the same colour as the food that went in.</p> <p><strong>Orange</strong></p> <p>Orange stools can be due to beta carotene, a compound found in particular vegetables such as carrots and butternut pumpkin.</p> <p>Poo can also be <a href="https://health.ucsd.edu/news/features/Pages/2018-05-11-listicle-what-color-is-your-poop.aspx">orange</a> because of the effects of antacids containing aluminium hydroxide, a naturally occurring salt.</p> <p><strong>Yellow</strong></p> <p>Yellow-coloured poo is often normal but a greasy, foul-smelling yellow stool that floats on the toilet water can mean it contains an excess of fat.</p> <p>Occasionally, this can arise from conditions such as undiagnosed coeliac disease, where the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten and the small bowel doesn’t properly absorb fat.</p> <p><strong>Pale, cream or clay-cloured</strong></p> <p>Abnormally pale or clay-coloured stools can indicate a blockage of bile from the liver to the small intestine. This means it doesn’t go through the last stage of getting its brown colour, through the addition of stercobilin. This results in poo having a very distinct pale cream appearance.</p> <p><a href="https://adc.bmj.com/content/archdischild/52/5/360.full.pdf">One in 14,000 Australian babies</a> are born with a condition called biliary atresia, where the bile ducts outside and inside the liver are scarred and blocked. Bile is unable to flow out of the liver, which can lead to liver scarring. Biliary atresia can be treated with surgery but early diagnosis is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22933100">important</a>.</p> <p>Pale coloured poo may also indicate the presence of an intestinal <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19825279">parasite</a> or <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6013661/">bacteria</a>.</p> <p><strong>Red</strong></p> <p>Red poo could be due to red food colouring, tomato juice and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/713000">beetroot</a>.</p> <p>However, bright red blood in the poo usually means internal bleeding from the bowel.</p> <p>Causes of red blood in the poo can include conditions such as haemorrhoids and anal fissures (small, thin tears) but may be the sign of a more sinister bowel cancer.</p> <p><strong>Black</strong></p> <p>There can be a number of harmless causes for black poo such as eating black licorice.</p> <p>Medications are another reason. Iron tablets and many antibiotics can turn poo black. (Antibiotics are also known to turn poo into <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736790/">different shades</a> of green, white, pink and orange.)</p> <p>Black, tar-like poo can indicate bleeding from higher up in the digestive tract, such as from an oesophageal or stomach ulcer.</p> <p><strong>Should you be worried?</strong></p> <p>Changes to the colour of your poo are usually temporary. Getting rid of the culprit – by finishing the medication or removing the responsible food from the diet, for instance – should be able to return poo colour to its normal shade of brown.</p> <p>If the odd colour persists, it may signify an underlying medical condition and warrant further investigation.</p> <p>Black, red and very pale poo are the more concerning colours and should be checked out by your GP.</p> <p><em>Written by Vincent Ho. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-is-my-poo-green-120975">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan urge royal fans in heartfelt message

<p>Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have urged their Instagram fans to think about the “lonely, hungry and homeless” this Christmas.</p> <p>The heartfelt message included photos of charitable accounts inspired by the “12 Days of Christmas” an reached out to their 9.9 million followers.</p> <p>Homelessness charity shelters including the Salvation Army and the Los Angeles Mission were named on their list.</p> <p>The post contained pictures of charity workers from projects they have been inspired by, called on fans to think of others at this time of year.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5ihH2NlqvN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B5ihH2NlqvN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal)</a> on Dec 1, 2019 at 10:09am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“With festive holiday season upon us, it's also a reminder to reflect on those in need - those who may feel lonely, hungry, homeless, or may be experiencing the holidays for the first time without loved ones,” the couple said.</p> <p>“It's an important time of year to help those around you who may be less fortunate, or who would appreciate even the smallest act of kindness.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4qVHKjJDdc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4qVHKjJDdc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal)</a> on Nov 9, 2019 at 2:26pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Continuing our monthly tradition of highlighting accounts that do good, and inspired by the ‘twelve days of Christmas’ - we have selected twelve organisations caring for those in need - especially at this time of year.</p> <p>“There are, thankfully, so many organisations around the world doing good on global and grassroots levels, many of which are not on Instagram.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3p1a43FvaJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3p1a43FvaJ/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal)</a> on Oct 15, 2019 at 2:18pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Check out the accounts we have chosen and please share those in your own communities that are making a difference.</p> <p>“We would love to hear about the ones that inspire you - so please tell us and add your country's flag”</p>

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5 extraordinary uses for paper bags

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Paper bags are very to handy to have around the home. While they are standardly use to carry food, they have other incredible uses.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are five extraordinary ways you can use paper bags.</span></p> <p><strong>1. Dry herbs</strong></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wash and thoroughly dry several bunches of herbs and place them upside down in a paper bag.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tie the bag at the stems, punch in a few holes and put it in a warm, dry place for two weeks.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Grind the herbs, then store. </span></li> </ul> <p><strong>2. Boost compost</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">A great addition to any compost heap, brown paper bags contain less ink and pigment than newspaper, and attract more worms.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">First shred and wet the bags, then mix into the compost well so they don’t dry out and blow away.</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>3. Prepare vegetables</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rip open one or two paper bags and spread them over your benchtop when peeling vegetables, shelling peas, or doing any other messy job.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">When you’re done, simply fold the paper and throw it all into the compost.</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>4. Catch dust</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Remove dust from a mop by placing a paper bag over the head, then use string or a rubber band to stop it slipping.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Shake and gently bump the mop so the dust falls into the bag, let the dust settle, then take off the bag.</span></li> </ul> <p><strong>5. Spray stuff</strong></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">You don’t have to make a mess when spray-painting small items.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Just place what you’re painting inside a large paper bag and it will contain the excess spray.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Once the item has dried, remove it and throw the bag away.</span></li> </ul> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Republished with permission of</span><a href="https://www.handyman.net.au/5-extraordinary-uses-paper-bags?slide=all"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Handyman.net.au.</span></a></em></p>

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