20 Life-Changing Tips

1. Seize the Day Early
It’s tempting to keep pressing snooze until you absolutely have to get out of bed, but why not get up early so you actually have time to enjoy your morning before heading off to work? By preventing yourself from rushing around, you can keep your stress levels down and have a second to relax before your day actually begins.

2. Take Your Vitamins
Vitamins are a must at any age, even if you think you’re hitting all your bases with what you’re eating. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s good to look at those daily pills as an insurance policy against an imperfect diet: You’ll get everything you need to protect your body with minimal effort.

3. Always Eat Breakfast
Most days it might be easier skipping breakfast than taking the time to make it, but it’s one habit you should stick to: Many studies have shown that first meal is important for your well-being, and 2014 research published in Nutrition Journal even discovered it can play a big role in controlling your cravings throughout the day, helping with weight loss or simply being healthier overall.

4. Drink Lemon Water After You Wake Up
It takes about 5 seconds to make a glass of lemon water – and starting your day with it has plenty of benefits. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it aids digestion, protects your body against disease, and gives you a powerful dose of vitamin C and potassium.

5. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
By now you know working out is good for your body – and there are many reasons you should make it a daily habit. Aside from helping you stay in shape, it can also help you feel younger: One 2017 study published in the journal Preventive Medicine found people who have high levels of activity actually have younger cells than those who don’t – by a whopping nine years.

6. Have Sex
Why not make sex a part of you daily routine? Experts say making love not only helps you look young, but it makes you feel really good, too: Because of the endorphins that are released, you’ll have a natural way to bust stress, anxiety and help you sleep like a baby all night long.

7. Set Aside Time to Meditate
Meditation has been shown time and time again to do wonders for your well-being. All you need is 10 to 15 minutes a day – maybe in the morning before work or before you go to bed at night – to calm down your nerves. According to the Mayo Clinic, that can result in everything from less anxiety and stress to better sleep and feeling happier overall. Bonus: meditating is also a great body clock hack you can use to maximize your day.

8. Avoid Processed Foods
We eat a lot of processed food – and you’ve probably noticed just how crappy you feel after eating one too many packages of pasta or cans of soup. Make it a habit to eat less from boxes and more plants: When you get those additives, preservatives and sugars out of your life, you’ll feel more energized, lively and youthful.

9. Wear Sunscreen
You’ve made washing your face and brushing your teeth every morning a habit, and applying sunscreen belongs in your routine as well – no matter what season it is or what the weather is like outside. By taking some extra time to protect your skin, you’ll prevent wrinkles and dark spots down the road.

10. Take a Relaxing Bath
Everyone needs to make time for self-care, and a bath way is a great way to unwind after a long day of work. Grab your favorite bubbles or bath bomb, light some candles and spend some time lounging in warm water to calm your nerves and ease anxiety.

11. Write Down What You’re Grateful For
This might seem like a pointless habit – you probably already know what you’re grateful for, but there’s something special about writing it down. Every night before you go to bed, grab your notebook and jot down three things you’re thankful for – and you’ll go to sleep feeling very loved and at ease. Being thankful will change your life.

12. Get Some Sun
Everyone says to stay out of the sun, but there are some perks to getting a little vitamin D. It can be tricky getting the vitamin through foods since it’s not found naturally in many options, but spending a little time soaking up daylight can give you your fix. The Cleveland Clinic says that time outside will also make you feel good, giving you a boost of happiness and energy.

13. Take the Stairs
It’s always super tempting to take the elevator, but taking the stairs is a habit that can help you out in the long run. Just think: You’ll not only be hitting your daily step goals, but you’ll also build up some muscle over time that you might not have otherwise.

14. Spend Time Doing a Hobby
When you spend all day working for someone else, it’s nice to devote some time each day to yourself. Whether that’s doing some painting or knitting or maybe reading or doing a crossword, the choice is yours: Just focus on whatever makes you happy and helps you de-stress.

15. Start Your Day with an Affirmation
Saying “you are powerful” or “you are beautiful” to yourself in the mirror every morning before work might feel funny, but it can do some good. People swear affirmations give them a boost of self-confidence or make them feel more energized and ready to take on the day, so why not give it a try?

16. Go On a Walk in Nature
Nature has some serious healing powers, and making it a habit to get even 10 minutes outside each day can do you some good. An older study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found a quick outing – whether it’s during your lunch break or when you wake up – can give your energy a boost for up to two hours. And just think if you take a few walk breaks a day.

17. Drink Water Before Each Meal
Drinking water doesn’t just help you stay hydrated – it’s also great for keeping your hunger levels in check. By drinking a glass of water before every meal, you’ll help your body digest your food better – and make sure you don’t overeat.

18. Avoid Sugar as Much as Possible
Maybe it’s the sugar you add into your coffee or all the sweet stuff in your granola. Either way, sugar is everywhere and cutting down is a great habit to get into. The Cleveland Clinic says experts only recommend 5 teaspoons a day for women and 9 for men – which is a lot less than the 22 daily teaspoons most adults consume. And when you cut it out, you could also reduce everything from acid reflux and migraines to fatigue and anxiety in the process.

19. Call Someone You Love
Be honest – how many times a week do you actually call your mom? Whether it’s while you’re walking to work or when lounging at home at night, make it a habit to text or call your family to ask them how they’re doing – and let them know you care. The happiness that comes from connecting is a great mental health boost for both parties.

20. Light Some Candles
Is there anything more relaxing than lighting your favorite candle? Once you get home for the night, let the flicker and aroma from your candle send you straight into relaxation-mode, making you forget about everything negative that happened during the day and help you focus on all the positives.

Where Do Burglars Look?

Under the mattress. Burglars will make a beeline to the room with the most valuables. “The good stop is always going to be in the master bedroom,” says Chris McGoey, president of McGoey Security Consulting. “That’s where you have your clothes, your jewelry, your extra cash, your weapons, your prescriptions – anything of value.” Hiding things under the mattress is one of the oldest tricks in the book, so a thief will likely check there for hidden treasures, he says.

Bedroom closet. A thief might rummage through your entire closet – pockets and all – looking for cash or other valuables. If you do decide to store valuables in your closet, leave them in a box purposely mislabeled with a boring name (think: ‘college textbooks 1980’ or ‘baby clothes’) to keep sticky fingers out, suggests McGoey.

Dresser drawers. While burglars are in your bedroom, a jewelry box on top of the dresser is a hot commodity. Even you don’t store your jewelry in plain sight, a thief will probably hunt around in dresser drawers for a shoebox or other unique box that could be filled with watches, jewels and other valuables, says Robert Siciliano, security analyst with Hotspot Shield. Instead of putting your high-value belongings in an obvious box, ball them up in a sock, he suggests. Pick a pair with a bright pattern that will stand out to you but won’t look fishy to a crook.

Portable safe. You probably want to keep your precious items locked away, but it won’t do much good if the safe isn’t attached to the floor or a wall. “If it’s closed and locked, it implies there are things of value in there,” says McGoey. “If it’s small and portable, they’ll take the whole thing.” On the other hand, burglars are generally trying to get in and out as quickly as possible. They won’t bother using a stethoscope to crack the combination, so a heavy safe they can’t lift is your best bet, he says.

Medicine cabinet. Crooks want to make quick cash off your belongings, so they’ll be sure to browse your medicine cabinet for prescription pills they can sell. The pills might not be a concern because you can get a refill easily, but be careful what you store nearby. ‘”ou want to avoid putting anything of significant value around medication of any kind,” says Siciliano. For instance, using an old pill container as a hiding spot for jewels could actually make them a target.

Freezer. If you’ve thought of the freezer as a sneaky hiding spot, chances are a robber has, too. A burglar won’t rummage through your entire stack of frozen peas and fish sticks, but if you leave your treasures in something out-of-place, such as a sock, the thief will be onto you. “If you’re going to put something in the freezer, you want to put it in with something that looks legit, like wrapping it in a bag that used to have blueberries in it,” says Siciliano. Use the same rule of thumb if hiding anything in a pantry. Just give a loved one a heads up so that if anything happens, your valuables won’t be trashed with the rest of your food.

Office drawers. Think twice before stashing important papers like birth certificates or passports in your office drawers. “People want to be convenient. They have a file labeled,” says McGoey. Unfortunately, that also means you’re leading burglars straight to everything they need to steal your identity. Use a locked drawer to keep sensitive data safe, recommends Siciliano.

Vase. An empty vase could act as a hiding place for valuables, but swindlers are onto your tricks. They’ll likely tip the vase over or even break it, hoping to find goods inside. “Have something additional in it, like flowers, that would obscure somebody looking in it,” he says. They’ll also be less likely to empty your vase if it means dropping flowers all over the floor.

Liquor cabinet. A liquor cabinet might not seem like an obvious spot for thieves to hunt for valuables, but that doesn’t mean they’re safe. “It’s a target for kids looking for alcohol,” says Siciliano. You might not be devastated if your whiskey goes missing, but you don’t want to lose an heirloom along with it.

Suitcase. Your luggage might seem like a waste of valuable storage space when you’re not traveling, but don’t keep anything irreplaceable inside. “Suitcases are common things people use as a safe even though it’s not a safe,” says McGoey. Criminals will open a suitcase if they find one in your closet, he says.

Friendliest Cities in The World

There’s nothing quite like a vacation to lift one’s spirits. For many, jetting off to new and exciting locales is one of life’s greatest pleasures – but it’s important to do your research before you pick a destination for your next hard-earned vacation. It’s easy to research common factors like popular tourist attractions, weather or exchange rates, but one much less covered (but equally important) factor can be how friendly the people are.

Last year, Travelbird compiled a list of the 100 friendliest cities in the world. The travel site analyzed the top 500 global tourist destinations, paying special attention to factors that make tourists feel welcome. They ranked the top 100 cities by creating a combined score that took into account whether or not a city had a welcoming port of entry (like an accessible airport or train station), the happiness of its citizens, their openness to hosting tourists in their homes, English language proficiency and the amount of over-tourism each locale has to contend with during the year. Travelbird then combined their own data with a poll of 15,000 travel journalists who weighed in on how welcoming they found each city from their own experiences.

The end result? A well-researched list of the 100 most welcoming destinations for tourists.

From that lengthy list, here are the 10 most welcoming cities in the world:
1. Singapore, Singapore
2. Stockholm, Sweden
3. Helsinki, Finland
4. San Francisco, Calif., USA
5. Rotterdam, Netherlands
6. Lisbon, Portugal
7. Tokyo, Japan
8. Oslo, Norway
9. Zurich, Switzerland
10. Orlando, Florida, USA

Apartment Crisis Looming

Scan the downtowns of America’s largest cities, and you are likely to see a staggering array of cranes. Most of them are helping to build luxury apartment buildings. In fact, multifamily construction is now at a 40-year high; the trouble is, developers are putting up the wrong kinds of buildings.

The luxury market is largely overbuilt, while there is a shortage of affordable rental housing, and developers are hamstrung by the now record-high cost of construction.

Apartment completions in the 150 largest U.S. cities jumped to 395,775 units in 2017, beating 2016 production by a staggering 46 percent and more than doubling the long-term average, according to RealPage, an apartment management software and data company. Luxury, upscale buildings accounted for between 75 and 80 percent of the new supply in the current cycle.

“It’s really tough to deliver product at those lower price points. The cost of land, the cost of building materials, the cost of labor. It’s really about the same regardless of what product you’re doing and it’s just tough to make a deal work financially if you’re going toward that middle market price,” said Greg Willett, chief economist at RealPage.

Demand for luxury apartments is strong – by choice, not necessity. Tenants in luxury buildings are often renting a second or third home or perhaps downsizing from a larger suburban home. They are not struggling to afford the monthly payments.

“In our portfolio, which represents 70,000 units mostly in the luxury space, we’re seeing that our renters are spending a relatively low amount of their income on rent despite rents being perceptively high,” said Toby Bozzuto, president and CEO of The Bozzuto Group, a multifamily management and development company operating in the northeast and mid-Atlantic. “That being said, it is a tale of two cities. In the middle income and the lower income markets, people are spending proportionally more on their rent – so much so I believe there’s an acute crisis headed our way.”

Despite rising incomes, nearly half (47 percent) of all renter households (21 million) pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing, including 11 million households paying more than 50 percent of their income for housing, according to a late 2017 report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“While the market has responded to rental housing needs for higher-income households, there are alarming trends that suggest a growing inability to supply housing that is affordable for middle- and working-class renters, let alone those with very low incomes,” said Christopher Herbert, the Joint Center’s managing director.

Rents on the high end flattened in the last year, and landlords are starting to offer concessions, like high-end amenity packages or a month’s free rent. That is not happening outside the luxury market, where rent increases are still strong due to low supply. Developers say they simply can’t afford to add anything but luxury.

“The two-by-four doesn’t care whether it’s in a luxury building or in an affordable building. It costs the same,” said Bozzuto. “The differential of course, is the rent and there’s a huge disparity in high end rent versus low end rent. So the issue is for us to develop an economically viable, feasible project, it has to be, by its very nature, high end. The rents have to be high to support the cost.”

Two-by-fours are now at a record high cost. Other products like steel and concrete are more expensive, but the real cost spikes are in land and labor. Skilled construction labor is not only expensive, it is extremely difficult to find.

Investors, Bozzuto said, are moving away from new construction and instead rehabbing older rental stock. These so-called “value-add” projects just raise the rents on current tenants even more.

There are some government programs that offer developers financial incentives to build lower-income housing, but they don’t meet the needs. “Those are finite and many, many of us are competing for those very finite resources,” Bozzuto said, adding that the luxury market is, “on the precipice of oversupply, but I think macroeconomic conditions are actually going to keep us this year from developing much further. Costs in particular, land costs, hard costs mostly driven by labor, will ultimately make it harder to build new buildings.”