Make Your Home Your Biggest Source of Stress Relief

As we navigate the trials and tribulations of the COVID-19 lockdown, we’re all focusing our efforts on the home. After all, we’re spending virtually 23 hours a day indoors. Your home has become so much more than just your living space. It’s also your gym, your workplace, your restaurant, your cafe, your bar. It’s the new social hub around which you live your life. We may bemoan the restrictions that the lockdown places on our lifestyles or pine for the simple pleasures like going to the movies or sipping a latte in a coffee shop. But now more than ever it behooves us to light a candle instead of cursing the dark. With a little love and care, your home can be your refuge from the world’s woes. A haven of tranquility, calm and stress relief. Here are some tips to help your home ease your troubled mind and sleep easy every night…

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Let there be light… natural light

Artificial lighting costs money. Even if you’re using handy dandy energy saving bulbs. It can also have a detrimental effect on your mental health. Especially if you’re transitioning from a stressful day’s work right into having to deal with understimulated kids who finished all their schoolwork an hour ago. Artificial light can actually elevate your stress levels. So try and focus on maximizing your home’s natural light levels.

Investing in awning windows, making sure all windows in the home are sparkling clean and switching out heavy drapes for blinds can all help to flood your home with natural light. Not to mention helping to balance your household budget. And knowing you’re not wasting money is a great form of stress relief!

Plant power = positivity!

We need plants now more than ever. First of all, keeping plenty in your kitchen cupboards, freezer and refrigerator can help you to enjoy peak immune function throughout this crisis. A mostly (or entirely) wholefoods plant based diet is loaded with protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which can help to improve immune function, and boost your mood.

But it’s not just the plants you eat that can have mood boosting properties. House plants also help to reduce stress and elevate mood by bringing the outside indoors, oxygenating your space and creating a feeling of calm, wherever you put them.

They really are essential oils!

It isn’t just the things we see that can help us to combat stress. Our sense of smell actually has a profound effect on our mood. Invest in an essential oil diffuser and some oils and you’ll enjoy less stress at work and more restful nights. Use jasmine or lavender to help you sleep, cedar or sandlewood to help you relax in the living room and citrus or mint to help you concentrate in your home office.

Keep it natural, keep it neutral

Finally, try to use natural materials such as wood, stone and natural fabrics like cotton in your home decor. Synthetic materials like plastic, chrome and man made fibers can actually help us feel less comfortable and relaxed. Natural materials and a neutral color palette (with the odd splash of color) are far more helpful in helping you to feel calm… come what may!

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The Best Ideas To Get Your Household Budget Back On Track

It can be hard to handle the household financial budget. There are always bills leaving your account and unexpected spending that you need to do. Which is why we can all face problems and let our finances get a little out of control sometimes. However, with a few tips and savvy ideas implemented, you can get your household budget back on track. With that in mind, here are some suggestions to help you do it.

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Take a look at your current budgets

One of the main issues could be hiding in your current budgeting situation and the bills you pay. So take some time out to analyse your bank statements and look at what goes out each day and what comes in. You will be surprised by how many times you go to the food store, or even bills that you thought were canceled still leaving your account. Just doing this exercise alone can help you make some valuable savings to your income.

Are you entitled to any additional aid?

Some people are just not able to work as much as they would like, or simply can’t get in to do the job they once did due to a disability. These situations can often leave you struggling to make ends meet. There are often cases where people didn’t realise they are entitled to some financial aid, that could help you sort your finances out. This can also be researched and explored when it comes to debts. Getting help to enable you to clear things off and get more stability with your finances.

Could you save money by switching providers for your common bills

Sometimes we can find ourselves sticking with the same supplier of household bills for things like energy and insurance products. However, sticking with the same companies doesn’t always mean we are paying the best rates. Which is why switching them over to new companies could provide you with huge savings. This works with things like energy, buildings or contents insurance, or even mobile phone and broadband providers. You could also explore websites such as Prepaid Bill which could help you to see where a change of the way you make payments for certain bills like a phone bill could help you to make some savings. How much money could you save yourself each month?

Think about ways to save on your spending

Sometimes we have control over some of our outgoings like buying food, for example. However, this sort of spending can be reduced if you implement different habits such as meal planning, batch cooking, or simply writing a list before you head to the store. Other things that need to be bought can be children’s clothes or even spending for birthdays and Christmas. Consider using discount codes or coupons to reduce your outlay and bring the overall cost down.

Could you improve your situation in other ways?

Finally, there may be other ways to improve your situation financially. You could consider a different job role with better financial opportunity. You could even think about ways to make money online or in your spare time. There are many ways you can boost your income, but one of the biggest places to start is on your current habits and outgoings.

Let’s hope these tips help you to get your household budget back on track.

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5 Things to Consider Before Having a Baby

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Hoping to start a family soon? Here are some steps you could take before trying to conceive that will likely make things easier for you when the baby comes along.

Career and finances

Working around raising a family isn’t the easiest, high living costs means that families often need two working partners just to make ends meet. If you’re not big on the idea of putting your child into childcare every day then finding a flexible work-from-home career could be the best way to balance the both. Home based businesses, blogging and freelancing are all ideas of ways you can earn money from home, spend some time before starting a family getting yourself set up with this so you can continue earning this way later down the line.

Living arrangements

Is the place you live in right now suitable for raising a baby in? If you’re in a tiny apartment for example or have lots of stairs to go up with no elevator then getting a pram in and out will be close to impossible. Maybe you’d just like a bigger or nicer house with a garden before having a family. If you’re able to move and get settled before children come along then this will be much easier than moving later down the line.

Health

Getting your physical and mental health up to scratch before having a baby is no bad thing. Speak to your GP, have anything checked out that you’re not sure about and get yourself onto the right treatment and medication if there are any issues. You might want to lose weight, improve your fitness and give your diet a boost for a year before trying to put yourself in the best position possible. This will help both with conception and having a healthy pregnancy.

Relationship

Many people make the mistake of having a baby to save a failing relationship, this isn’t the right thing to do. Babies put pressure even on the strongest relationships, if you’re already having trouble then things will almost certainly get worse. Go to relationship counselling, or ask yourself if this is really the person you should be doing this with before you go ahead.

Other issues

Sometimes it can feel like it’s never the right time to have a baby, and admittedly things might never be ‘perfect’. But there are a few things that are worth waiting to resolve until bringing a child into the world, ideally. For example, if you’re in lots of debt you might want to pay that off first. If a loved one is very unwell then waiting until you feel less stressed about what’s going on might be an idea. Maybe you’re even working with a company like Wall & Wall Attorneys At Law PC to resolve legal or criminal issues- it’s best to wait until these kinds of things are resolved before trying. Have a think about whats going on in your life and ask yourself if it’s the right time.

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Here’s How To Get Ready For A Quick Home Sale

For some people, a quick sale of their home is what they need, but how do you go about getting ready for this? It’s not always easy to achieve, but there are some things that you can do to ensure that your home sells as quickly as possible. We are going to be looking at some of these things down below, so if you are interested in finding out more, keep reading.

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Find A Buyer

The first thing that you can do is find a buyer. Now, we know that this is easier said than done, especially if your home isn’t currently in perfect condition, but some people are willing to put down an offer despite this. So, if you are going to be looking for a quick sale, then put your house on the market right away, no matter if you’ve started getting ready or not. If the integrity of the house is good, then people are going to be willing to overlook all your stuff and if the house isn’t in pristine condition.

Alternatively, you can contact a company like Gem Homes, who purchase the homes of people who are looking for a quick sale. This isn’t going to be the solution that everyone chooses, but it’s certainly something to consider if you want to shift the property quickly.

Fix It Up

Depending on how long you have before you need your home to be sold, you need to start working on fixing up the place. Make those repairs that you thought you wouldn’t have to because a lot of people are more willing to purchase a property that they aren’t going to have to work on. So, if you have any burst pipes, holes in the walls or any other damage that needs tending to, get on this right away. Remember that most people are going to order a survey to be completed on the house, so don’t think that you can hide anything.

If there is something that you can’t fix, make sure that you are upfront and honest with potential buyers. People react to honesty, and you never know, it might be something they are willing to take on as long as it isn’t a huge issue.

Lower Your Asking Price

If you want your home to sell fast, then you might not get the best price for it. You have got to be willing to accept that you might not even get market value if you are desperate for a quick sale. So, come to a number that you are willing to accept if an offer is made and stick to it. Remember to be reasonable and keep it realistic. You don’t want to have high expectations because it’s likely they won’t be met. If you had more time, then this could happen. We’re not saying that your home isn’t worth a high price, but it can take time to find the right buyer who is willing to pay it, and that’s time you don’t have.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the ways that you can get ready for a quick home sale. Good luck.

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How To Plan The Perfect Family Day Trip

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One of the nicest parts of family life is being able to plan adventures and day trips to share together. It’s the best way to make memories, see a bit of your own country, and spend some time together away from gadgets and electronic distractions. But for a day trip to go as smoothly as possible, especially when small children are involved, one thing is absolutely essential – planning. The trip itself should be part of the fun, so try to build that into proceedings. And day trips are a really great way of spending time together if you can’t afford a vacation. If you can really get organised and use some great online tools and useful items, then you can really make the most of your day trip and just focus on having a great time together.

Set Your Schedule For The Day

Getting sorted with your ideas of what you want to do and where you want to go is the most fun part of any day trip. Hop onto your local destination website to research what attractions are in a reasonable radius of where you live to fit within a day trip – you’ll likely discover places on your doorstep that you never even considered before. It’s great to give kids an opportunity to contribute to this process and tell you where they’d like to go – it makes them much more involved. There might be seasonal events, special activities, farmers markets and other attractions happening at certain times of the year or week, so make sure to research the best day to go. Try to plan a schedule with parts that appeal to all parts of the family, from adults to kids, so everyone gets something out of the day.

Pack Your Essentials

A day trip checklist can be really useful for reminding you of what you want to take with you for your trip. Take account of weather conditions and make sure your family is dressed for whatever you may encounter, from packing bathing suits and space-saving microfibre towels, to ensuring that you have enough sun cream if it’s going to be hot. Make sure everyone is wearing comfortable shoes if you plan on doing some walking, take reusable shopping bags if you want to pick up some souvenirs, and give everyone a refillable metal water bottle to keep them hydrated. It’s also good to think about items such as a light down filled jacket to cope with any sudden temperature drop, a rucksack to hold essentials and a phone holster so that you can have your phone close to hand in order to capture some photos of your day.

Think About Refuelling

Plan your day around opportunities to eat and drink – either finding coupons for local restaurants or making sure that you pack a great picnic to enjoy together. Little children especially can quickly go into meltdown mode if they get hungry or thirsty, so stock up your bag with juice pouches, fruit and granola bars in case of any unexpected detours or delays. You’ll be glad that you did!

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Household Jobs That Need Warm Weather

There are plenty of tasks that you must complete in your home throughout the year, but there are only some jobs out there that need to have the warmer weather in the summer to be completed. Home maintenance needs to be done year-round, but you need to make a list. You have invested a considerable amount of money in your home, which means that you want to keep up the investment and ensure that your home stays in excellent condition.

With the warm weather approaching, check out the jobs below that you can earmark to do once the dry weather really does set in.

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Service The Air Conditioner

You know that the heat is going to really warm up the air in the house, so rather than go through an unbearable summer, get the repair guys into the house and get it service. Get them into the house and have your air conditioning system checked through. You want to ensure that you reduce the risks of breakdown and reduce the cost of running it in the first place.

Repair The Fly Screens

Your windows and doors need to be correctly fitted with fly screens to keep the bugs out. In the summer months, the bugs are more prevalent, and the worst thing to happen is that you end up with flies all over the house. The fly screens will keep the bugs out, and you’ll add a little extra value to your home when you go to sell up, too.

Install New Garage Doors

Weather can really affect your garage doors, and if you’ve had a particularly windy or stormy winter, you need to think about new overhead doors. Choose to get new garage doors entirely, and you can keep your garage as secure as possible this summer. You’ll also keep the cool air from the air conditioners in the house as there are no leaks through the garage.

Clear The Household Mould

There’s every chance that you have mould built up through the house due to dampness in the winter months. When you lock up the house for the winter, mould can develop, and it’s the root cause of most respiratory issues that occur in the home. So, use the best products for cleaning mould in the house, and you can get it cleared away.

Clean The Pool

If you have one, you need to think about calling in the maintenance guys to clean the whole pool. Any spas and pools in your home need to be cleaned, and the chemicals changed out so that you can keep them in excellent condition. Keep an eye on the level of water, too, and repair any broken pool fences.

Repaint The House

If you have peeling paint and need a touch-up, the summer is the best time to get it painted. You need to think about getting in the professionals for painting the upper floors if you don’t have a ladder. It’s the best time of year to decorate and gloss any wood on the house, and if you have a deck, it’s a great time to oil it.

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Does It Feel Like Your Home Is Against You?

If it feels like your home is against you, then we know exactly what you mean. Sometimes it can get to the point where you feel as though all you’re doing is having a constant battle with your home, and it seems to be winning. What’s worse, is that new issues usually come at a time where you feel like you don’t have the funds or finances to be able to do anything about it. So all you can do is hope and pray that nothing else goes wrong and that your home keeps on functioning. Functioning might not be the right word to use when you feel like your home is against you. Plodding along might be the right word to use. Don’t think that it’s just older homes that are going to have all of these issues. In fact, new build homes often have more issues than older homes because of how quickly they’re being put up. There is a race to finish jobs and build more homes, which leads to more problems than you can imagine. So, we’re going to talk you through some of the reasons why you might feel like your home is against you, and what we think you can do about it. All you have to do is take a few minutes to sit back and relax, and you might be able to find a solution through us.

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Jobs That Keep Piling Up

If you have a family and you work a full-time job, then we take our hats off to you. It’s so crazy to think that we go from having a life where we just care about ourselves and we come home to our parents making dinner, to rushing around for the school run in the morning, running into work late, and coming home to a house that still needs sorting. It’s enough to drive any parent mad, but there are some solutions that can help. One of them is using services just once or twice a week to get some of the jobs done for you. Even if it’s just taking two loads of washing a week to a dry cleaners service, you’ll be so much better off. Just using them once or twice a week isn’t’ going to make a difference to your monthly budget once you factor it in. But what it will do is take a little bit of the stress away from you. Another thing to do is start a rewards chart so that your children are getting in on the help. If they do daily chores, they can have daily treats. A simple trick like this can save you hours a week of having to find the time to do random jobs.

Weather-Related Issues You Can’t Help

In some parts of the world, homes are so susceptible to what the weather brings. Whether it be floods, fires, or storms big enough to bring your home down. Just a few storms a year can create structural damage that you might not be able to see. It’ll only be a few years down the line, and many storms later, that the cracks begin to show. So what you could do if you know you live in a storm-prone area, is use services such as the ones that you’ll find through this link https://www.insulatekansascity.com/blow-in-blanket-system-2/. What it will do is insulate your home and create a layer of protection that might not be there at the minute. It will also help to keep your home warmer for longer which should save on some bills later on in the year.

Money Issues That Just Won’t Go

Money issues that just won’t go is definitely something that homeowners around the world can relate to, especially when a family is involved. All of a sudden you have more mouths to feed, more electrical devices to fuel, and more errands to run. But often we forget that money management can solve all of that. All you have to do is be ready to change the way that you’re spending your money, and perhaps cut out a few of the luxuries that you might have. There are so many family discount packages that can be used with bills, trips away, and shopping that can save you a ton of money as well. Perhaps looking to bring in an extra income might also help. Look at blogging and other ways of making a lot of money rather than feeling like your money is going down the drain.

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3 Mistakes Great Parents Should Never Make

Parenting can become an emotional roller coaster with plenty of highs and lows. At one moment, everything may seem very peaceful and calm, and the next moment everyone may be on each other’s necks. How do you manage to control these strong emotions and get control over your family as a parent when your children appear to act out?

As a parent, you want your children to feel good about themselves. You may want your children to develop confidence, which makes them less anxious, create healthy relationships, and improve their school performance.

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There are strategies you can use to help nature your child’s confidence, including getting a primary care doctor. However, be careful about the approach you take. Some methods may instead rob off your child their faith and make them go through a vicious cycle where they struggle to discover who they are. Instead of waiting to regret when it is too late, here are some of the biggest mistakes you should never make as a parent.

Punishing your child rather than disciplining them

When your child makes a mistake, they should know that their actions lead to severe consequences. Instead of punishing them, you need to discipline them for their bad choices. When you punish a child, they will psychologically think that they are bad hence the punishment. But when you discipline them, they will know that it is as the result of their poor choices and will make an effort toward changing for the better.

Fighting your children’s Battles

A big part of growth is learning through experiences. But for most parents, they would rather have their children not experience anything that has a negative impact. Instead, they take on the fights of their children and deal with the consequences on their behalf.

But does this protect the child or damage them even more?

You will only get to learn once you have firsthand experience of the consequences of your mistakes. But when parents shield their children in this way, rather than offering protection, the road may lead to a less than desirable outcome. As your children grow to become adults, they need to make independent decisions, but this may only work if parents allow their children to face the consequences of their choices and actions.

Projecting your goals on children

As a parent, you may want what is best for your child. But under whose perspective does this ‘best’ lie? Is it on behalf of your child or your behalf? Some parents view their children as their second chance of success.

As such, they may push their children to pursue an item they wish they did while in their youth. In such a case, your child may not know what to do. When you are giving your child advice about their future life decision, you should always take a step back and put aside your own goals. Only when you are present for them to choose what they want can you say you are a good parent.

Your child may have to get professional help if they become emotionally scarred due to trauma from negative words that show disapproval, berating, and blaming. An emotional scar can negatively interfere with their daily life. Rather than raising your voice to your child, make your tone calm when speaking to them and praise them on noteworthy occasions. Ensure that you create a safe and healthy home where they can always feel comfortable to stay.

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Tips to Create a Safe and Healthy Home

The home is where we spend most of our lives. It is where we raise a family, socialise, and relax. A home is our sanctuary away from the crazy world. It is somewhere we can be ourselves and really let our hair down. However, did you know that the house has a major influence in many different ways on our health and wellbeing? If it is not properly looked after it can have a detrimental effect on our mental and physical health in a number of different ways. These can be from aesthetics to hidden dangers that you may not even be aware of. And if you are looking to raise a family, there are many things you should become aware of as some of these hidden dangers can have a devastating effect on the development of your children. Creating a safe and healthy home, suitable for all family members is a top priority, and with these tips, you will feel a lot better, safe in the knowledge that you have tackled all the main dangers.

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Become a dust buster

Dust is not just an irritating thing that feels nothing at accumulating on your mirrors and clean shelves. It can be an allergy-causing particle. Not only that but dust is not just harmless thing. It can be extremely health-damaging as some of the particles may well be toxic, containing harmless chemicals including lead, fire retardants, pesticides, etc. Anything that may have been used in that house at one time could now be lurking as a house dust particle. These harmful chemicals are especially dangerous to young children and babies as they are still growing and developing. If your house does have a bit of a dust problem, you may be wise to remove old carpets as they are accumulators of dust. You could replace them with a non-carpeted floor, lino, tiles, or wood, perhaps. Your other bet is to invest in a high strength, extra-dust busting vacuum cleaner, and ensure that you vacuum every inch of the carpet a couple of times a week. Also, keep windows open when possible to allow as much dust build-up to disappear out of the window and fly away.

Be safe and test your home

Due to the fact that there may be many different chemicals and toxins lying about, it may be a good idea to purchase a few test kits. You can usually pick them at a hardware store, or online. The main things to be concerned about are lead and radon. Both can cause many health conditions, and leas may be abundant in old paint in your home, as before 1978, it was used in paint. The problem is that as paint gets old and worn, it begins to flake off, and this flake, some of which are tiny, basically become part of the dust in the house. So, potentially you may have lead floating about in the air. This can be a particular problem if anyone is pregnant in the house, as lead poisoning can lead to brain damage in the unborn child. If you have young children, lead is an issue and should definitely be removed. If you have any flaking paint that is particularly thick, get is tested asap. As for radon gas, this could happen to any house of any age. It is colorless and odorless and can cause cancer, especially lung cancer. It comes out of the soil and rock under the ground as part of a natural geological process. If you are worried, you should invest in a radon gas test. It may also be in your best interest to test the water coming into the home, too, as that may contain some particles from old pipes. You could invest in a water filter, or purchase bottled water in the event you discover something.

Safety and security

Can you imagine waking in the middle of the night to the sound of an intruder? There is nothing more terrifying. It is definitely a good investment to purchase security lights and a burglar alarm. Think about your doors and windows. Do you have bolts on the door to slide shut while you are sleeping? Getting a decent front door is a must too, such as the Provia front door. They can also provide you with safe and secure patio doors and windows too. You cannot put too much emphasis on safety, and with burglaries on the rise, you should prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Use less chemical-based products

Many household products are filled with harmful chemicals, which in small doses may not cause too much of an issue, but as these things accumulate, they become more of a problem and can cause damage to you and your family. Inside the home, you should try and buy non-toxic cleaning products. There are so many alternatives to chemicals on the market now that there is no need to fill your home up with something that could be potentially harmful and dangerous. Also, outside in the garden, are you one for using pesticides to protect your beautiful flowers? Or if you have a rat and mouse issue, do you use poison? Both of these contain dangerous chemicals where overexposure can be particularly bad. Children are especially vulnerable to chemicals and toxins due to the fact they are still growing to toxins that can disrupt this process. Unfortunately, it happens all the time where children develop asthma from this sort of behavior. If a woman is pregnant, her unborn child may suffer even more as the fetus may develop learning disabilities or some other kind of brain impairment. This is a frightening thing, but true, It is far better to look for natural products, think organic. Alternatively, think of new ways to cope with some of these issues. For example, the aroma of beer is very attractive to slugs and snails, so you can use this to lure them away from your radishes and catch them in some sort of humane trap.

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Keeping Loved Ones Close to Your Heart.

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Even when your nearest and dearest are alive and well, it’s perfectly normal to have momento’s and pictures of them scattered around your home.

The sepia photo of aged Grandparents, and some kind of reminder of their cherished lives brings comfort to many, either when they live miles apart, or even if they live just around the corner.

Those school photos of gap toothed children and Grandchildren make you smile every time you look at them, and serve as a kind of growth chart. One year they had no front teeth, the next those gaps were filled. Faces filled out and they matured year on year.

And what about our animals. Indeed some people have more pictures of their animals than they do of their human relatives.

Yes we all like to keep relatives, and animals we love, close to our hearts, simply because they are so much a part of our family,history and heritage.

But what can we do when those same beloved people and pets are no longer with us, when they pass away through illness or natural causes, and we can’t reach out and touch them every day, how can we maintain some kind of closeness to them.

We will all lose a loved one at some point in our lives, and everyone has their own way of grieving. But to help bring comfort and closure, it is definitely wise to hold some kind of service to celebrate the deceased’s life, and for the mourners to gain some closure.

After death, the deceased can be buried in the graveyard attached to a church. A memorials.com stone can be erected with a small tribute engraved on it. This can be a comfort to relatives as they have a specific place to visit and to spend some time in reflection.

Some return to the grave often, taking flowers and chatting quietly to their loved ones. It’s a place to be peaceful and respectful.

For others, after a memorial service, a cremation takes place. Cremation is sometimes the only option depending on your faith and belief. After the cremation, the deceased person’s ashes can be returned to their families for safe keeping, or to be scattered in a special place at some time in the future. This could be in the sea, or somewhere that the family had enjoyed happy times together, and this then becomes the place that they can visit on the anniversary of a loved one’s death, to remember and reflect.

More and more people are now opting to preserve some of the ashes in some kind of casket which can be kept somewhere safe at home, so that the bereaved feels some kind of closeness.

For those that want to keep a permanent reminder necklaces and rings can now be made to contain a small amount of the loved one’s ashes, so that they can wear them on their body all the time.

There is no right or wrong way to deal with bereavement and preserving the ashes of a loved one is a very personal thing. But with so much choice available now, hopefully you can find the perfect solution for you which brings you comfort and solace.

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