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19 Jul

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Marriage and Family Therapist joined us live with 5 Ways to Manage Your Mental Health D.A.I.L.Y

For more info on Kiaundra, you can go to the KW Essential Services website or follow Kiaundra on social media.

 

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19 Jul

In the middle of a work project at a global corporate consulting firm, Katherine Switz was gripped with a debilitating bout of anxiety. Her body froze, her heart raced, her chest tightened, and her mind went blank, which made it nearly impossible for her to concentrate on a computer screen and do her work.

The anxiety lasted three months, likely related to her bipolar disorder. During that time, she felt unable to ask for help from her employers or co-workers, afraid that her poor performance would get her fired or passed over for promotion.

“I didn’t know how to ask for help. I didn’t know what to do,” said Switz, 48, who was working as an associate business consultant in Washington, D.C., when the episode occurred.

While a diagnosis of cancer might garner sympathy at work and a casserole to take home to the family, an admission of a psychotic disorder might elicit judgment, fear and avoidance among co-workers. And even if such illnesses are not talked about much, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. have a mental health disorder, and 1 in 22 adults live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The American Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, which includes certain mental health conditions, and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to help them get their jobs done. Some employers also offer mental health support for employees through employee assistance programs, known as EAPs, which provide services such as short-term counseling and referrals to treatment for substance use.

Even with those federal protections and existing employer programs, some employees can be reluctant to ask for help at work. An estimated 8 in 10 workers with a mental health condition don’t get treatment because of the shame and stigma associated with it, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

As a result, the pressure is growing on employers to adopt better strategies for dealing with mental health.

California has taken notice and last year passed legislation that makes it the first state to establish voluntary standards for workplace mental health.

Under the law, the state will create guidelines to help companies strengthen access to mental health care for their employees and reduce the stigma associated with it.

The measure aims to normalize workplace mental health in the same ways that employers already promote physical health, so that an employee having severe mental health symptoms feels comfortable taking medical leave, for example, just as a person with cancer might during periods of treatment and recovery.

The law was inspired by the California nonprofit group One Mind at Work. The organization had developed a charter of mental health principles to guide companies. But because the law doesn’t have any regulatory teeth, some companies may not see how investing in mental health will make them more competitive in the marketplace.

One Mind at Work offers an online calculator tool to estimate how much money they’re losing by not addressing mental health. The estimated annual loss of earnings tied to mental health conditions is at least $190 billion nationwide because of absenteeism and lost productivity.

“We want to show tangible economic proof that improving mental health in the workplace is good for business,” said One Mind at Work co-founder Garen Staglin, who is also a private equity investor.

The approach is working.

Sutter Health, Bank of America, Walgreens, Levi Strauss & Co. and the state of California are among the employers that have signed onto One Mind’s charter and have begun to include strategies to address mental wellness.

Some companies provide health coaches, mental health awareness training for managers and peer support groups in the workplace, hoping to build an atmosphere of understanding, so people feel comfortable talking about their conditions and asking for help. Some even have on-site meditation services and wellness centers to help employees access mental health resources, such as free counseling sessions, financial counseling and mobile apps that teach stress-management techniques.

San Francisco-based Levi Strauss & Co. has recently given employees access to counseling immediately after emergencies at work. And Sutter Health is creating an online mental health awareness course for all employees that will highlight what it is like to live with a mental illness.

Another way companies have been working to support employees is by pressuring their insurers to offer a more robust array of mental health benefits.

“Employers can often feel that they’re at the mercy of health plans. But employers have the power of the pocketbook,” said Angela Kimball, acting CEO of the National Alliance on Mental Health. “They have an enormous ability to change the market by simply demanding better.”

Switz now lives in Seattle and is executive director of the Stability Network, a nonprofit organization she founded to reduce mental health stigma in the workplace. The network is made up of a group of educated professionals who speak publicly about what it is like living and working with mental illness.

During Switz’s three-month bout with anxiety, she got a poor performance review and nearly lost her job. She was given three months to turn things around.

She was assigned to a more focused project that made it easier to manage her anxiety, plus the symptoms began to wane on their own, allowing her to perform like her old high-functioning self.

She said she knows that other people with mental conditions aren’t as fortunate as she was and get fired because they don’t get the help they need.

“People need to ask for accommodations to get better at times,” she said. “And that, I think, is a scary thing for people.”

This KHN story first published on California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.




This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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15 Jul

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15 Jul

You’ve just had dinner, it’s only 19:00 and you’re already thinking about going to sleep. You might struggle to eventually fall into a deep slumber, but you know you’ll definitely struggle to get out of it. That’s just how it is in winter, right? Wrong.

Sleeping in winter needs you to be a bit more deliberate about your efforts. (Check out the Granny Goose Sleep Lab: a master class in how to sleep better and the power of digital detox.)

Getting quality sleep in winter is essential for feeling rested, refreshed and ready to tackle the next day. That’s why we asked Sleep Disorder Specialist from the Sandton Sleep Clinic, Neera Bhikha, to share some of her top tips for getting the best sleep this winter.

1/ Invest in an external humidifier

We often have the aircon or a heater on in the house during winter and this tends to dry out the air. This can cause unnecessary congestion and general discomfort during sleep, which is why it’s a good idea to invest in an external humidifier.

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“A humidifier will create the right atmosphere and breathing air for better sleep,” Bhikha says.

READ MORE: 9 Things You’re Doing In Your Sleep That Signal A Bigger Health Problem

2/ Regulate the temperature in your room

Many of us try to get our homes as warm (read: blazing hot) as possible. We put on our warmest pyjamas and throw our thickest gowns over them, but this might be counterproductive. Bhikha explains that hot temperatures are not the most conducive for sleeping particularly because our body temperatures drop as soon as our bodies prepare for sleep.

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“Ideally, you want your room’s temperature to be anything between 22 and 23 degrees Celsius as this is the most conducive temperature for the body to make a smooth transition from wakefulness to sleep,” Bhikha explains.

3/ Diet is everything

It’s no secret that cravings can get quite wild in this colder season. While you’re daydreaming about the lamb stew you’re planning on making tonight, you’re already on your way to get hot-wings for lunch. But large meals, excessive sugar, excessive alcohol consumption and excessive tobacco use can have a negative impact on your sleep quality. Try to keep your diet as clean as possible, don’t overindulge in anything and stay hydrated throughout the day.

READ MORE: This Might Just Be The Best Pillow For Every Type Of Sleeper

4/ Exercise is key

I think we can all agree that the motivation to exercise in winter can be difficult to summon – what with the early nights and late mornings. But exercise has really good benefits for your sleep, and if you can just work in 30 minutes of focused movement a day, you’ll be good to go.

“Exercise improves sleep patterns. Countless research has found that people who exercise regularly experience better quality of sleep,” Bhikha says.

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

READ MORE ON: Health Health Advice Sleep


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12 Jul

Samuel Henderson

I photoshopped a picture of myself once. Okay, maybe more than once.

I’m not talking about adding filters or erasing stains from my shirt. I’m talking vacuuming away parts of my stomach, arms, and even a little thigh. When I gave my husband a virtual tummy tuck, he finally forced me to check myself.

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“You can’t talk about self-love and authenticity and then use photoshop!” He was horrified. And then I was, too.

I whole-heartedly believe we’re each put on this earth in our own unique bodies to express our true Selves. And through platforms such as teaching yoga, writing, and using social media, part of my job is to help people realize this. I teach the self-acceptance and body positivity—but I wasn’t always practicing it.

What the bleep was I doing erasing a few pounds with the swipe of my finger?

For the honest answer, we must take a little trip back in time.

I have been dieting since I was 9 years old. Even now, while I may no longer count calories or weigh my broccoli, I still watch every morsel I put in my mouth. I was a child of the early nineties—the era of the supermodel. Pictures of Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford lined the walls of my room. My mum modeled, too (along with her many other careers), and I coveted her air-brushed headshots, just as I did every single page of Vogue.

I wish I looked like that.

Wow, she’s so beautiful.

Why am I so ugly?

These were the lyrics that played on repeat in my head. Not exactly the anthems we want for our children.

The pressure of perfection is a force so strong it can flatten us, if we let it. Literally. It will drain out our color, wash away our texture, and suck us down to some sort of washed-out, skeletal, carbon copy of a Barbie doll.

Under ever photoshopped picture is a human being. A real person, who’s every pore, every wrinkle, every scar, every pound, tells a unique story.

Unfortunately, these are the stories the media does not want us to hear. If we did, we might never buy another beauty product again. Instead, corporate interest spins a golden yarn of the unattainable: the “perfect” woman, the “perfect” man. And the messaging is so loud and pervasive that we absorb it without even trying. Like a top 20 hit you’ve somehow memorized without ever intentionally listening to the song.


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10 Jul

If you haven’t already been booked off sick, you’re probably staring down your snotty coughing colleague hoping they won’t sneeze on you (again).  A recent survey done by Pharma Dynamics shows that South Africans are very ill-prepared for these times, also evidenced by the number of days of work lost due to sickness.

The survey, which aimed to determine how “prepped” South Africans are for the 2019 colds and flu season, found that a staggering 64% couldn’t be bothered to eat more healthily by increasing their intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, 80% haven’t gone for the flu-jab and 6 out of 10 people don’t implement proper hygiene practices, such as regular hand washing.

Of the 1 800 South Africans that participated in the online poll, three quarters won’t be going to bed earlier to get in their 8-hours of rest and less than half are boosting their immunity with multivitamins and health tonics.

Here are simple ways to boost your immune system and dodge the flu…

Rest

We’ve all fallen to one of the classic blunders: we forgo sleep for cramming for an exam, working or just staying up late for all the good times. Annemarie Blackmore, Antimicrobial Manager of Pharma Dynamics, says that people who don’t get enough sleep are more susceptible to colds.

Try getting into a routine of ‘winding down’ earlier and getting to sleep earlier. We are big tea drinkers at WH HQ and can recommend these teas to help you sleep better. Also, try to eat earlier and give yourself some space from tech and TV. Rather listen to a bedtime story on the CALM app or read a big (no bright screens), to help you wind down.

READ MORE: 3 Questions Everyone Should Ask Their Doc Before Accepting An Antibiotic

Drink water

Just because it’s colder does not mean you should lessen the amount of liquids you drink. We know it’s tough! This is where herbal teas come in. Buchu and rooibos are our faves and they’re both caffeine-free and packed with immune-boosting properties. (Just don’t load up on sugar and milk).

If you happen to get sick, know this: you lose a lot of fluids! Drinking water is important when recovering from an illness.

Exercise

Exercising throughout the winter will improve your overall fitness which in turn will boost your immune system. A boosted immune system will combat colds much easier! Exercise with friends, whether it’s going for a jog or playing football at the park. You’ll feel healthier while also staying in good physical condition.

Been sick and thinking of exercising again? Dr Christine Kriel warns to not exercise within 24 hours of fever and tiredness. So if you’re feeling like you’re getting sick or you’re not 100% better yet, just be careful. You can always consult your doctor if you’re unsure. Remember that exercising when you’re sick can put strain on your heart.

READ MORE: 9 Flu Shot Side Effects You Should Know About

Stock up on meds

61% of participants in the survey conducted by Pharma Dynamics said they would not buy any cold or flu medication in preparation of the cold and flu season. However, there are some really affordable and handy over-the-counter meds that you can get your hands on that just might help you nip a cold before it turns into a secondary infection.

Dr Kriel recommends stocking up on nasal spray and decongestants for symptoms, mucolytic for phlegm and paracetamol and ibuprofen for fever and pain. Really handy if you happen to get home from work and start experiencing one of the above symptoms at night.

Healthy food and supplements

Vitamin C can shorten the duration of an illness says Dr Kriel. It’s easily accessible through citrus fruits (oranges, orange juice, lemon), broccoli and tomatoes. You can also boost your dose with supplements like Berocca or Vital vitamins.

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READ MORE ON: Colds and Flu Health Health Advice


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09 Jul

Sometimes, shaping up your lifestyle and losing weight isn’t as simple as they make it seem on television. For some, choosing the healthy food over the greasy option isn’t an easy task – and neither is restricting portions and spending time at the fitness center. There are ways, however, to fight the unhealthy habits and trick yourself into following a more wholesome, fulfilling lifestyle. In this article, we’ve offered a few suggestions that can steer you on the right path to success and overall wellness. Here are a few tips for fighting the unhealthy habits – and hopefully beating them for good:

1. Train Your Brain
No more excuses. Start by eliminating all unhealthy, processed food from your pantry and stick to purchasing fresh produce instead. Then, create a weekly menu of delicious meals made from only wholesome foods. By planning out your meals ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to go out of your way for an unhealthy option – otherwise you’ll have wasted your time, money and effort. 

2. Avoid Fast Food Routes
Speaking of unhealthy options, do your best to avoid fast food restaurants on your route to work and back. It’s easy to stop and grab something when it’s on the way home – it’s a different story when it’s out of the way.

Avoid routes that take you near fast food restaurants.Avoid routes that take you near fast food restaurants.Avoid routes that take you near fast food restaurants.

3. Start a Fitness Regimen
Beyond making healthier food choices, you may consider starting a workout plan. Not only will this help your body feel better, but it can boost confidence when you start to see results. Plus, once you see that your hard work is paying off, you’ll be less likely to negate that progress by binge eating. Head to your local gym and sign up to meet with a personal trainer if you need help getting started.

4. Consider a Helping Hand
We at Hallelujah Acres have a wealth of knowledge about the havoc processed foods can wreak on the body. If you’re interested in learning about how harmful these foods really are, you can learn more on our website, or read one of our recommended books. Additionally, we’d love to share information on our primarily raw, plant-based diet and how it can aid weight loss, improve digestion, promote mental clarity and more. For those who are ready to kick-start this new lifestyle, consider our Get Started Kit. You’ll receive the supplements and assistance you need to jump on the path to better health and beat bad habits for good.


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09 Jul

Just can’t seem to walk past that shop window without suddenly finding yourself teleported inside, purse open at the check-out grasping an item you totally don’t need? Yeah, us too. Here’s how to get a handle on that problem… and debt in general.

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1/Debt-onate the problem

“There’s no debt problem that can’t be resolved,” says Helen Undy, chief executive at the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute in the UK. If you’re unsure of how to get yourself out of debt, call on the expertise of a professional debt counsellor. Visit NationalDebtline.za.com for free debt advise or call 087 805 9590.

READ MORE : 5 Genius Money Saving Hacks that’ll Have You Retired Way Early

2/Keep a money journal

You have to get a handle on how you use money before you can understand what to change,’ says Jeannette Bajalia, author of Wi$e Up Women. For 30 days, write down every single thing you buy – whether it costs R1 or R100 – then analyse what spending was actually essential. “My clients say this is the most helpful exercise,” adds Bajalia.

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3/Save at the start of the month

Once you’ve worked out what you can afford to put aside, set up a standing order to move that amount into a tax-free savings account as soon as you’ve been paid to avoid the temptation of spending it. Speak to an independent financial advisor to make sure you find the best one for your needs with the lowest fees.

4/Substitute your subscriptions

Meal kits? Gym memberships? “If you’re not using it, cancel it,” urges chartered psychologist Fiona Murden. “If subscriptions make you feel like part of a community, could you fill that gap for free somewhere online, or can you get the same feeling from meeting with friends?”

READ MORE: “4 Habits I’m Changing To Curb My Spending In 2019”

5/Keep it moving

The more money sitting in an account, the more likely you are to dip in with wild abandon. It’s better to distribute your salary across lots of different pots. Use weekly direct debits to scoop small sums into other accounts, like a joint account or a holiday fund. Without one big chunk available, you won’t blow it all two weeks after payday.

6/Try a 5:2 cleanse

For two days a week, practise the discipline of sticking to only two expenses – transport and food. There’s something smug – and savings-enhancing – about a zero extra-spend day. If restraint doesn’t come easily (or at all), leave your debit card at home and use cash (like actual notes and coins) for essentials.

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

READ MORE ON: Life Life Advice


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08 Jul

For those who live with chronic migraines – or shudder through a harsh headache every once in awhile – you know that the pain has the strength to throw off your entire day. It’s easy to reach for an over-the-counter painkiller, but non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs come with harmful side effects that can induce cardiovascular problems, hearing loss, gastrointestinal complications, allergic reactions and even heart failure, according to Dr. Mercola. Who would want to treat a migraine in exchange for developing a possible fatal disease?

Thankfully, those concerned about taking drugs for headache relief have other options. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common symptoms of migraines, plus some natural ways to reduce the pain:

Common Symptoms of Migraines
Though many confuse mild headaches with migraines, there are a few harsh symptoms that differentiate the two. Those include, according to Migraine.com:

  • Throbbing pain.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Sensitivity to sound.
  • Nausea.
  • Pain on one side of the head.
  • Blurred vision, or aura.
  • Vomiting.

Natural Ways to Reduce Symptoms of Migraines
Those looking to avoid the harmful risks of taking pain medication may consider a natural approach. Here are a few ways to reduce symptoms of migraines, without the fear of harsh side effects:

1. Exercise
According to Dr. Mercola, working out may reduce migraine pain because it triggers the release of pain-reducing neurotransmitters. Of course, you likely won’t find comfort in jogging or running to cope with a bad headache – but you can try low-impact exercises like weight lifting or yoga. Even a simple power walk around the block can help ease the pain.

“Inadequate sleep is one of the biggest migraine inducers.”

2. A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Inadequate sleep is one of the biggest migraine inducers. To avoid the harsh feelings and wake up with a clear mind, make sure you’re following a normal sleep schedule. Not only does the consistency reduce your chance of developing a migraine, but it also makes you more naturally alert when you wake up, ready to take on the day. Remember: A consistent sleep schedule is only the first step. You also need to ensure you’re setting aside enough time to rest. Make sure you’re getting the seven to nine hours each night, as the National Sleep Foundation recommends. 

3. Healthy Eating
Have you considered your current diet as the reason you’re living with migraines? According to Dr. Mercola, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, aged cheeses, artificial sweeteners and cured, processed meats are most likely to induce a migraine. However, healthy foods rich in magnesium and riboflavin may reduce headaches. Add more dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, bananas, spinach, beet greens and asparagus to your diet.

4. Consider a Magnesium Supplement
Many people who suffer from migraine headaches are actually deficient in magnesium. In addition to including the magnesium-rich foods mentioned above, a high-quality magnesium supplement may help balance your body so you don’t get migraines anymore.

5. Hormonal Supplements for Women
If your migraines seem to be hormonally related, perhaps you need extra help in balancing your hormones.  Excess estrogens and low progesterone levels can trigger migraines. We have had some success balancing hormones in women with migraines using the Luminology line of supplements. Our progesterone cream, Balanced Woman Cream, also helps balance hormones for women suffering with migraines.

There may be other causes for your symptoms that haven’t been covered in our suggestions.Try to track what the triggers are for your symptoms. The foundation of good health is still a primarily raw, plant-based diet, so it is the place to start to remove these chronic migraines from your life.


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04 Jul

Reaching for an energy drink or third cup of coffee might seem like the perfect solution for those midday drowsy feelings, but your health thinks otherwise. According to AARP, drinking excessive caffeine to boost your energy can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and osteoporosis. Additionally, it can worsen insomnia, exacerbate heartburn, increase anxiety and more. Detrimental health in exchange for a quick, short-lived energy boost that follows with an unnecessary crash? There has to be a better solution.

Picture this instead: Elevated energy levels, in addition to optimal overall health and wellness. But how do you get there? It’s simple. Just consider our five tips for boosting your energy naturally:

1. Follow an Energy-Boosting Diet
One of the healthiest, most natural and efficient ways to boost your energy is by making the right food choices. Following a primarily raw, plant-based diet that prioritizes vegetables and fruits, such as the Hallelujah Diet, can raise your energy levels, all while optimizing overall health and promoting longevity. To increase your energy while burning fat, Dr. Mercola suggested eating the following foods:

  • Olives and olive oil.
  • Raw nuts.
  • Coconuts and coconut oil.
  • Avocados.
Boost your energy levels naturally by consuming whole foods.Boost your energy levels naturally by consuming whole foods.Boost your energy levels naturally by consuming whole foods.

2. Curb your Stress
Feeling overly stressed can take a toll on your energy level. To feel more energized, try a therapeutic activity or task that helps you alleviate feelings of anxiety! Exercising, spending time with your family and friends, preparing delicious raw meals for your loved ones or pursuing a hobby you enjoy can distract you from stressful feelings and improve your mood overall. Dedicating time to something you love is excellent for mental health, and can keep you from feeling exhausted all of the time. And remember to trust God for those things that are beyond your control.

3. Exercise Regularly
Speaking of exercise, that’s another beneficial way to increase your energy levels while ridding stress, boosting your metabolism, maintaining a healthy weight and improving your bones and muscles. According to Harvard Health Publications, working out causes the body to produce epinephrine and norepinephrine, two stress hormones that can curb fatigue and improve your energy level. Adults are suggested to spend at least 150 minutes per week dedicated to moderate aerobic activity, so consider going on regular walks, biking or heading to the local fitness center a few days a week.

“Find balance and follow a regular, fulfilling sleep schedule.”

4. Prioritize a Normal Sleep Schedule
Perhaps you’re feeling drained because you’re not getting enough sleep at night. Or, maybe you’re oversleeping, which can be equally exhausting. The key is to find balance and follow a regular, fulfilling sleep schedule. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between the ages of 26 and 64 need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Adults aged 65 and older should aim for seven to eight hours.

5. Consider a Natural Supplement
For an additional boost of energy beyond making better lifestyle choices, consider our best-selling BarleyMax supplements. Its 100 percent organic barley formula was harvested at its nutritional peak and processed to minimize the damage to enzymes, ultimately to provide the most nutritionally dense product possible. By simply mixing and consuming BarleyMax with water or your favorite juice, you’ll notice increased energy levels, a stronger immune system, balanced blood sugar levels and much more. Let our BarleyMax Juice Powders or capsules curb your fatigue and improve your overall health!


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