Monthly Archives: April 2018

Stress Awareness Month

Relax! April is Stress Awareness Month

Believe it or not, the average stress level of Americans has dropped since 2007, according to the American Psychological Association (APA).

But, we here at Knight Magee Insurance understand if you don’t exactly feel that way.

Even though things have improved, the APA’s most recent Stress in America™ survey indicates that Americans are still living with stress levels higher than what’s considered healthy. And nearly one-quarter of respondents say they aren’t doing enough to manage it.

It’s a good thing, then, that Stress Awareness Month is here. Held every April since 1992 and sponsored by the nonprofit Health Resource Network, Stress Awareness Month is a “national, cooperative effort to inform people about the dangers of stress, successful coping strategies and harmful misconceptions about stress that are prevalent in our society.”

Stress management doesn’t just help you feel calmer and more focused. It’s important to your overall health. Constant exposure to stress can trigger your brain’s alarm system to remain in alert mode, flooding your system with the hormones you need to take flight or fight when facing danger, according to the Mayo Clinic. This causes more stress in and of itself. And, all that stress can cause problems with your health, your relationships and your overall quality of life.

So, reducing your stress is well worth your while, and, if you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. These tips from the Mayo Clinic and WebMD will get you headed in the right direction:

  • Make stress management a goal — and make a commitment to that goal. Simply saying, “I want to reduce stress” isn’t enough. You’ve got to learn to identify problems and implement solutions, which takes work.
  • Identify your triggers. What situations cause you to experience stress? Work? Relationships? Thinking about money? Don’t overlook everyday tasks, such as commuting, or even positive events, such as starting a new job.
  • Consider strategies to deal with those specific triggers. For example, creating a budget plan or talking to a financial adviser could help ease your worries about finances. Changing your hours at work could potentially improve your commute.
  • Practice relaxation techniques and live a healthy lifestyle. Here are just a few tools that people use to help alleviate stress:
  • Deep breathing, yoga or tai chi
  • Meditation and guided imagery — imagining yourself in a place of relaxation
  • Writing or talking to someone about your feelings
  • Exercise (even simple stretching or housework) and outdoor recreation
  • Art and other creative projects
  • Ask for help. Many people you know have probably experienced similar stresses to your own. Find out how they have solved problems and relieved stress. And, if they are still having trouble, you can work on managing issues together. 

April in RVA is a great time to try to reduce stress and live a healthier life. So, what are you waiting for? At the end of the month, see how you feel. Keep doing the things that worked for you; stop doing the things that didn’t.

Remember, when you make stress management a bigger part of your life, you leave less room for the stress itself.


Earth Day

Take part in an Earth Day event — or celebrate in your own way 

People are thinking more and more about the environment — whether it’s something that affects the quality of life here in RVA or global issues such as climate change and extreme weather.

But more importantly, people aren’t content with simply thinking about these things any more. They’re focused on taking action.

Earth Day, which is celebrated April 22, is the perfect time to take action, whether you are looking to take part in a community event or organize your own. Here are some tips to help you get involved — and think about our planet Earth all through the year.

Find an event

It’s easy to find Earth Day events, whether you live in the city or a surrounding county. City and town Facebook pages are a great place to start, along with the websites of local environmental organizations. Newspapers, radio and TV often publicize events as well.

The Environmental Protection Agency website lists major Earth Day activities at: https://www.epa.gov/earthday/index.html.

What can I do?

There are all kinds of Earth Day activities, even some you can easily complete by yourself or with your family. Examples include:

  • Planting trees
  • Cleaning up litter from a natural area or park
  • Adopting a road for litter control
  • Talking about Earth Day and helping to educate others
  • Using alternate transportation, instead of taking your car
  • Holding a garage sale or clothing swap, rather than throwing out unwanted items
  • Learning more about actions you can take to reduce your environmental impact

What if I want to organize an event?

Hosting an event doesn’t have to be a Herculean task, particularly if you keep it small. Any of the ideas above could be turned into your own event — just get the word out via social media, friends and family or even local print and broadcast media. But if you do want to organize a full-scale event, go for it!

Make it more than a day

Of course, one of the best ways to have an impact is to make every day your own Earth Day. You can take part in earth-friendly activities at any time! So in addition to celebrating once a year, make this April 22 just the beginning of something special. Whether you find an event or create your own, the important thing is getting involved!

 


Spring Home Maintenance

Spring Maintenance for Your Home 

When springtime rolls around in RVA, almost everyone thinks of cleaning. That’s fine (we probably all need to do a little more of that, after all), but there’s something even more important to keep in mind: home maintenance.

So, when it’s time to set your clocks ahead for daylight-saving time and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, give your home a checkup, too. Here are some suggestions from the Department of Housing and Urban Development:

Interior and appliances

  • Check the basement and/or crawlspace for any signs of standing water or dripping.
  • Pull your dryer out and clean the exhaust hose and vent (lint found here is a common cause of house fires).
  • Vacuum refrigerator/freezer coils for efficiency.
  • Clean exhaust fan outlets and screens.
  • Check all air filters and replace, if necessary.

 

 Roof, siding, windows

  • Check for damage to your roof and have a professional inspection, if necessary.
  • Go into the attic. If there is visible moisture or discoloration, your roof might be leaking.
  • Examine the paint on your siding and trim. If it is peeling, you might need new paint to protect against the effects of weather.
  • Check for leaks around window and door sills. Improving your seals can lower your energy bills.

 

Yard and exterior

  • Check for signs of rodents and other pests.
  • Clean debris from gutters and downspouts, and make sure they are draining away from the home.
  • Trim overhanging tree branches and shrubs.

Remember, winter weather can cause significant damage that is easy to spot, but it often results in wear and tear that homeowners can miss if they aren’t looking closely. It’s well worth it to spend a little time on home maintenance this spring, so that wear and tear doesn’t turn into something more serious.

For further questions and assistance, please contact Knight Magee Insurance at (804) 320-0129 or myagent@kmicoverage.com

 

 

 


Spring Break

Taking a spring break? Keep your home safe while you’re away!

For many, the winter months are a welcome time to escape the short days and chilly temperatures by heading on vacation. And is there a better way to celebrate the end of winter than to take a spring break? We visited Cape Charles last year for the first time and are really excited to go back for part of Spring Break.

Whether you’re going to hang out locally in RVA, bask on a sunny, white-sand beach in the Caribbean or hit the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding, you have to take precautions to ensure your home stays safe while you’re away. After all, what could be worse than returning from a relaxing break or an active adventure to find a disaster has occurred, such as a break-in, or water or fire damage?

To ensure your vacation doesn’t end in tragedy, follow these tips before you go.

  • Check for any leaks and fix them. For example, ensure your refrigerator ice maker is not leaking!
  • Set your heater at approximately 50 degrees to ensure pipes and appliances don’t freeze. But if you have pets and they are going to be in the house, set it closer to 72 degrees.
  • If you have pets, make arrangements for their comfort and safety: either board them or have a friend come over daily to care for them.
  • Turn furnace and hot water heaters down.
  • Unplug all appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters and exercise equipment.
  • Leave a light or two on so the house doesn’t appear deserted at night.
  • Lower blinds and close curtains so that passers-by can’t view your valuables.
  • Leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbor so they can enter the home in case of emergency.
  • Have a friend or neighbor bring in newspapers and mail or cancel delivery for both during the time when you’ll be away.

If you have the opportunity to get away the Spring Break, we wish you happy trails, and hope you come home to a safe and welcoming home!

Contact Us! 

At Knight Magee Insurance, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 804-320-0129 or send us a note at myagent@kmicoverage.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

Here’s what customers are saying about Knight Magee Insurance

“KMI Solutions is the BEST! Above and beyond service!!”

KMI Insurance is top notch! I recently acquired both a homeowners and car policy through them. Besides the fact that I was able to secure great quotes, they went above and beyond to make sure that I understood all the details about my policies and answered all of my questions very clearly. When the day comes that I need to use my insurance, I feel confident that I choose a wonderful company to work with. I will always have them as a resource and would highly recommend them to everyone!”

“Knight Magee Insurance is hands down the best insurance company I have ever worked with in many years.”

“Saved us money but exceeded any other customer service I’ve received with another l agency. Sierra and Kate and wonderful.”

 


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