Blog Maintaining Mental Health at Work

Maintaining Mental Health in Your Work Environment

Work can be like your second home. You spend most of your time during the day, if not all week, contributing to fulfilling your company’s goal and/or job requirements. Being that this may be your career choice, you should enjoy what you do and work should not take away from your happiness. With these few mental health advice, hopefully, you can get a push to train your mindset to enjoy your work environment for your own happiness and wellbeing.

Let’s start here…

  • Building relationships with your co-workers is important. This allows the workplace to feel comfortable and friendly. Healthy relationships establish an inviting atmosphere to share personal concerns and relate to others, who may have similar feelings that can build a support team with one another.
  • Getting fresh air or a little sun exposure can uplift your spirits. “Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin,” according to Health Line article; “Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused.” Try to incorporate small work breaks outside to restore your energy and refresh your day.
  • Get well-rested. Exhaustion can contribute to sadness, fatigue, loss of energy or lack of motivation. You should wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your day, not wishing you had an excuse just to fit in some extra hours of sleep! Read our Nova blog for great tips to achieving a good night’s rest.
  • Communicate effectively with your manager or employer. We are all human and might have some bad days or need a mental health day to ourselves. If you’re feeling down or not yourself, respectively, express to your boss about your concerns and take a day to restore your mental health. That way you can return to your daily responsibilities or job with refurbished positively thinking to be productive.
  • Try out different activities outside of work that will help or contribute to a healthy mind. Things such as yoga, establishing a new workout routine, walks outside, more time with loved ones or maybe pick up a painting or cooking class. Get involved with anything that you feel will make you make and feel great about yourself.

When you take care of yourself, not just physically but mentally too, you are able to treat loved ones or co-workers around you at your best capabilities and contribute to your work confidently without it feeling like a burden or it taking away from your peace of mind. If you feel like you may need extra guidance with restoring your mental wellness, reach out to a certified physician who will be happy to assist you with your needs and provide you with a proper plan. Health is Wealth!

oral care; healthcare; holiday tips

4 Oral Health Tips for the Holidays

Nothing like going to the dentist and leaving with fresh breath and cavity-free! To maintain those healthy teeth, your dentist might advise you to stay away from those surgery drinks and tasty treats. With the holidays approaching, that could sound like torture. Keep calm, with these few oral tips; you can indulge in all those holiday sweets without encouraging any new toothaches.

Don’t overindulge with the sweets. If you can help it, limit your intake of sugary foods and desserts. According to Healthline, “a select group of harmful bacteria produces acid in your mouth whenever they encounter and digest sugar”. This process is known as remineralization, unfortunately, the acid from those sugars is breaking down the tooth enamel. This is the outer layer of protection for your teeth; when this is broken down over time, you are prone to developing cavities. You don’t necessarily have to give up the sweets, just enjoy in moderation.

Drink water often with and in-between meals. Water is a great way to rinse and wash away let over food lingering in your mouth, around your gums and tongue. It may not be as effective as a mouth wash, but water doesn’t contribute to the harm of your teeth enamel as it is flushing away leftover particles before they stick.

Try to brush after each meal. It is recommended to brush your teeth at least twice daily. But, during the holiday season, it can be good to strive to brush more often given that you are in taking more food and beverages. In the New York Times, article, it is advised to wait at least 20-30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. Remineralization occurs after sugar enters your mouth and brushing your teeth too soon can speed up that process.

Floss often, if a toothbrush is not accessible at the moment. Of course, it is not likely to keep a toothbrush handy in your pocket, but it could be easier to travel with some floss. Along with drinking your water, floss also is a convenient option to remove leftover food trying to settle in-between your teeth. “More than 500 bacterial species can be found in plaque”, according to the American Dental Association; “Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to cavities or gum disease from the areas where a toothbrush can’t reach”.

Yes, it is possible to maintain a healthy smile during the holidays. You can happily give into sweet sugary temptation as long as you continue good dental hygiene practices. If you have any additional concerns or need more oral advice, reach out to your dentist for their expertise.

How to Make a Sore Throat Feel Minor with a Few Helpful Tips

A sore throat is, oftentimes, the first sign you notice that sickness is approaching. To some, this could be the worst part of being sick due to your throat hurting and being so sore that it is hard to eat or drink! With the insight of a few out many helpful remedies, you can avoid a sore throat from ruining or putting a halt to your day.

Sore Throat Remedies 

Humidifiers add moisture to the air, and with a sore throat, you may experience dryness which contributes to the pain and irritation when you swallow or talk. Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil can help enhance your benefits. If a humidifier isn’t at your convenience, you can prepare a hot shower; close the bathroom door and meditate in the steamy air.

Honey used for healing! Honey is one of many traditional methods of naturally treating sore throats. In the NCBI research article, results verify that honey is an exponential source to healing wounds; therefore the process of healing your sore throat can be increased as well. Honey can be added to your favorite tea, in hot water or even consumed by itself.

Peppermint Tea has many antiviral benefits to help treat and restore a healthful throat. Peppermint is great for adding a cooling effect to soothe inflamed throat tissue and reduce pain caused by swelling. You can either purchase packets off peppermint tea or boil peppermints in hot water.

Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated is key when experiencing a sore throat. Medicine Net notes that “staying hydrated can help ease congestion, thin mucus secretions, and keep the throat moist.” By consistently drinking water, you are preventing the feeling of itchiness and preventing your throat from drying and cracking.

Try to stray away from caffeinated and sugary drinks or foods until your symptoms are cured as these can promote dehydration.

Sleep till you can’t sleep anymore! According to the Chicago Tribune, sleep is when “your body can make more white blood cells that can attack viruses and bacteria that can hinder the healing process.” Sleeping is the time your body restores itself and works over-time to repair its health levels.

And with a sore throat, the less talking, the better!

Popsicles! Ice-cream! Having a sore throat doesn’t have to be the worst thing as you have the excuse to eat as much ice cream or popsicles as you want. This a great option to remaining hydrated and the super coldness helps numb the throat to soothe the pain.

If your sore throat does not improve after a few days, seek out to a doctor to suggest any different over-the-counter or prescribed medication to help target treat your symptoms. I hope everyone stays happy and healthy this fall!!

Healthful Perks from Both Coffee and Tea

Unfortunately, coffee, in this case, is always getting the short end of the stick when deciding what’s essentially ‘better’ for you. Often times, people tend to forget when you are enhancing your coffee or teas’ flavor with added sugars or creams, you are reducing the benefits from its organic state. So, why not both? Coffee and tea share very similar health benefits, the big deciding factor should be, ‘which one delights your taste buds?’

Energy

Both coffee and tea naturally stimulate energy from their high source of caffeine. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest research, despite the amount of caffeine consumed, high or low, the effects on the body are determined neutral. Healthline extents this conversation, elaborating that caffeine is consumed by many to become energized and alert. They mention, “80% of the world’s population consumes a caffeinated product each day…” and those products are commonly coffee, tea, energy drinks or soft drinks.

Comforting

Whether it’s coffee or tea, the smell, and feel of a hot beverage can be soothing, promote relaxation and positive energy. In the Guardian article, research results from the University of Colorado Boulder experiment predicted that “participants who briefly held a cup of hot coffee judged a target person as having a ‘warmer’ personality (generous, caring)”. This was a case study, which tested the idea of a hot drink is one of many solutions to peaceful restoration to your mood. Think of your drinking session as the time to get away from your active day or even to prepare for the energy and motivation soon to be provided from your tea or coffee. 

Promotes weight loss

As noted, both beverages contain amounts of caffeine; caffeine is a key ingredient in weight loss by increasing metabolism. An obesity research article was published on the Wiley online library; their theory was confirmed that “Weight loss was significantly higher (6.7 ± 1.4 kg) in the high caffeine intake groups than in the low caffeine intake groups…” These results were calculated over a month trial of subjects’ in-taking high amounts of caffeine and revealed signs of a reduction in weight, BMI, and waist size. Obviously, caffeine isn’t the only solution to losing significant weight, but it is definitely shown that it can be an encouragement.

Nutritional

It is evident that coffee and tea are made up of different things, so that means both give off great health benefits diversely. For example, Medical Daily highlights the stimulation released from caffeine can soothe the airways of the lungs for people with asthma and caffeine can also relax the brain’s blood vessels to reduce the side effects of migraines. Tea, on the other hand, consists of many antioxidants; one highlight is that tea can possibly prevent the development of cancer. The national cancer institute discusses the benefits of polyphenol a prominent antioxidant in green tea. It was noted that polyphenol “may protect cells from DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species.” Tea polyphenol can even limit that amount of damage from sun UV rays and blocking the expansion of tumor cells 

Overall, just try not to overthink what is not best for you, but what is better for you. Tea and coffee both share very similar healthful incentives; it’s just deciding what works or ‘taste’ better to you. In the end, we are all trying to either find a way to relax, regroup or get motivated during our lively days but with a little extra boost!

Health Benefits of an Avocado

Fun Fact!

Avocados are fruit, not a vegetable. It’s funny, a large part of the population mistaken avocados for a vegetable because it’s not juicy and sweet like a typical fruit! Avocado contains a large seed found in its core and is a part of the Persea belonging to the Lauraceae family.

Avocados were first planted in the U.S in Florida and California, from then, stated by the agricultural marketing resource center, “The value of the U.S. avocado production measured $392 million…” That is to show that avocados are loved by many; avocados provide many benefits from health to an extra great taste to food.

What’s it good for?

  • Avocados are high in good fats and low in carbs.
  • Vitamin source – contains vitamins C, E, K, and B-6
  • Helps with cholesterol – The mayo clinic encourages people to include an avocado day in their diet. They have monounsaturated fatty acid which can lower your cholesterol levels.
  • Skin – Avocado can be used as an oil to moisturize and nourish the skin with its richness in Vitamin E.
  • Eyesight – Antioxidants are provided for eye protection. Medical News Today discloses Avocados having lutein and zeaxanthin that are good for eye tissue health.
  • Encourages weight loss – Avocados allow you to feel fuller longer and increases your fat-burning rate.
  • Stress reliever – the vitamin B-6 helps improve your mood by strengthening your nerve cells. Cautioned by Harvard T.C. Chan, an extended B-6 deficiency can result in symptoms of confusion and depression.

A few ways to incorporate avocados in your diet

  • Avocado toast – for breakfast or a snack you can spread avocado on your favorite bread. It is super fulfilling and quick for on the go.
  • Avocados are great in smoothies; the fiber allows you to feel full and stay full longer
  • You can incorporate smashed avocados to your favorite meal as a topping. Add it on your burgers, nachos, salads, sandwiches just to add extra flavor and balance to the dish.
  • Guacamole is a fan favorite! The main ingredient is avocado, just season with some salsa, salt, pepper, lime, or whatever that delights your taste buds

Avocados are just one of the many foods that you can incorporate to promote a healthful diet and lifestyle. Eating better can be exciting and motivating when you know the great facts and how to prepare them tastefully in your nutrition make therapy.

Staph Infection Prevention

Staph is not the worst infection, but it is a common and unpleasant one to develop. Staph can be easily spread amongst patients and employees in and between hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities.

Risks

Staph infection comes from the bacteria strand, staphylococcus. Staph is an infection that affects the skin; the majority of the times it causes no severe problems and is considered a minor condition. It was documented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “more than 119,000 bloodstream staph infections occurred in 2017”. So, it is still important to seek treatment when the first symptoms are noticed. When staph is developed over time, it could result in severe complications once the infection penetrates deeper into your body.

Common symptoms vary from skin rashes, redness, or blisters on the skin. As infection prolongs, you may develop fevers, chills, diarrhea or even vomiting.

Treatment for staph is by doctor prescribed antibiotics.

Prevention. If you ever had a Staph infection, reoccurrences, or never want to experience it, here are some helpful prevention tips to practice.

  1. Clean hands at all times. Wash hands before eating, after using the restroom, and keep hand-sanitizer with you or at your desk.
  2. Keep open wounds clean, dry, and covered to prevent spreading infections to others and to other parts of your body.
  3. Try not to share. To prevent germ exchange, avoid sharing food, drinks, and any personal items.
  4. Clean your linen and towels in warm to hot water to kill germs.
  5. For health care facilities, CDC encourages practice in keeping all medical devices sterile before placing them into patients’ bodies.
  6. Contact precautions include proper disposal and renewing of patient-care equipment and protective wear—gloves and gowns.
  7. Make a habit of disinfecting your home, workplace, or any rooms you encounter.

Tips for a Good Night’s Rest

A productive day begins with a great positive mood, but to even achieve that starts with a good night’s rest. I get it, after a long day of work and adulting, your body can still be “on the go” mode and it can be difficult to relax your mind and body completely. Keep in mind, patterns of bad sleep can result in other prolonged sleep disorders and sleep deprivation.

The National Sleep Foundation shows studies of progressive bad sleep can contribute to hypertension, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, depression, and possibly other chronic diseases. It was researched that 50 to 70 million Americans were tested positive in showing signs of chronic sleep disorders and intermittent sleep problems.

Pills are an easy solution to sleep problems versus organic alternatives to healthy sleep. Pill usage, to fall asleep, is on the rise. The Addiction Center announces that between 2006 to 2011 a sleeping pill, Ambien, had approximately 38 million prescriptions. Though sleeping pills can be a great short-term fix to treating disorders like insomnia, there are some possible risks, such as dependency.

I know it sounds intimidating, but of course, this can be all hypothetical when finding sleep aids that can work for you. Here are a few tips to incorporate into your night routine or to even create a new one.

  1. Develop a routine, and stick to it!  Try to go to bed at the same time, every night, and wake up at the same time.  As routine progresses, our body’s systems naturally prepare for and anticipate events. Eventually, your body will recognize when it is time to relax and become sleepy prior to bedtime and become more alert in the morning.
  2. Take a hot shower before bed. This will relax your muscles so you sleep without the fatigue from your busy day.
  3. Aroma Therapy. Scents such as, commonly used, lavender serves a purpose to reduce stress, anxiety, generate calmness and wellness.
  4. Avoid drinks before bed. About an hour or two before bed, don’t intake any liquids. This way you can avoid or limit your trips to the bathroom during the night. Just in case, keep a small light in the bathroom.
  5. Adjust room temperature. Making sure your sleep environment is comfortable and cool will be effective, especially if you get hot and restless during the night.
  6. Minimize electronics. The usage of electronic devices can alter or delay your body’s internal clock. Your alertness at bedtime is going up when it should be reducing. Which means your release of melatonin is being suppressed, making it hard to fall asleep.
  7. Limit noise. The less noise during the night, the higher the chances your sleep not being disturbed.
  8. Keep your sleeping space dark. Melatonin is a chemical released to the body to allow us to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. So, even the slightest amount of light can interrupt this production.
  9. Don’t go to bed hungry. Who enjoys the feeling and hearing their stomach growl through the night?  Your sleep is enhanced when your stomach is satisfied.
  10. Exercise. Exercise increases body temperature, so your post-exercise temperature drop can trigger falling asleep faster. Exercise can even relieve symptoms of insomnia such as anxiety and depression.
  11. Possibly, see a doctor. After trials and errors trying to find the perfect way to sleep peacefully, reach out to doctor assistance in figuring out what could be keeping you up at night.

Houston Astros elite pitcher, Justin Verlander, gives his sleep expertise with the New York Times giving away his secret that more sleep is the key to a successful day. His methods include making sure he uses blackout blinds and preventing any cell phone distractions before bed.  “I just kinda do what makes me feel good,” Verlander says.  “Your body will tell you what to do.”

As your sleep improves, so can your days. Soon your work-place may start to get friendlier, your energy a little brighter, the sky looking quite clearer, and your heart feeling a lot happier.

Running apps

Every Shoe Has A Purpose

Biofoot-me states that “We must, therefore, wear comfortable footwear suitable for every occasion.” However, Shoes are built and worn specifically for every occasion. You wouldn’t want to run on a treadmill in vans or wear sneakers with a suit and tie. You must wear shoes that will provide the best functionality.

If you are someone who walks a lot, you should consider buying shoes that support your arch and back. Avoid wearing shoes that have a flat bottom like vans or converse. Look into shoes that have the appropriate sole that will ease your walks. Shoes like crocs, sketchers, or new balance are fantastic due to having a good sole, well-rounded build, and comfortability. Spectrum foot clinics gave an insight on crocs stating “They offer good arch support, but also have very cushioned insoles, making them a very comfortable choice for people experiencing this kind of pain.” They’re also cost-friendly, with shoes and crocs ranging from $30-$60.

Like most jobs, you are usually seated and not doing much walking or standing. This can give you some flexibility on what type of shoes to wear. You can wear classic flat bottoms, sandals, dress shoes, heels or athletic footwear. However, make sure that you fall in line with dress codes that your employers have set.

If you’re a physical therapist, trainer, or coach, it’s recommended to wear shoes that will be best suited for physical activities. Look into running shoes that have ridges at the bottom. These ridges help increase balance and grip for when you walk, run, and jump. Running shoes will not only bring out the most of physical activities but can bring out the most out of your wallet. Athletic shoes can be expensive, so be ready to commit to a hefty price tag. However, it will pay off in the long run.

Construction and warehouse workers must wear shoes that provide a sturdy base and padded protection. Look into shoes that have a strong cushion in the interior. This can help soften and ease the load on your feet when lifting or pushing objects. Also, look into lightweight work boots. A heavy shoe can increase pain at your ankles and bottom of your feet. Check out your local retailer to see which work boot would be economical.

If you’re unable to purchase a pair of shoes, you could look sole inserts. A sole insert can fit into almost any type of shoe and can make one of the most uncomfortable shoes feel like you have pillows on your feet.  If you have really flat feet, and I mean almost parallel to the floor just like me, visit your local doctor. Have your feet examined and listen to their expert opinion on what type of soles you should purchase.

Shoes come in various shapes and sizes but serve the same purpose. Make sure to buy the right shoes for your feet as it brings health a long way.

 

Written by, Julien Gonzalez

Calisthenics

Having to pay for a gym membership can get pretty pricey, especially if you’re not attending. What if you could just work out at home or the park? Well, I want to introduce you to calisthenics, a type of workout routine that uses your body as the weight. You can do this almost anywhere you have space, and it’s a lot easier than you think. One great advantage that Calisthenics have overweight lifting according to Shape.com is “Calisthenics involves using the entire body and not emphasizing certain muscles over others.” Here are some of the workouts you can do without lifting weights.

Upper body:

Push-ups – Push-ups are one of the most popular routines you can do. Push-ups involve being parallel to the floor, arms should width apart, and declining your body back to inclining to the rest position. Push-ups focus on the chest and shoulders. If you’re starting off, try doing 3X10 and as you get better, add 5 more pushups for every set. This will ensure you’re intensifying your routine as you get stronger.

Pull-ups – Pull-ups can be pretty tricky and are one of the hardest routines to perform. Although, this one of the best routines to build arm strength, stamina, and back. Check out your neighborhood park and find some monkey bars. If none available, you can buy a pull-up bar for your door for about $20. If you’re new to pull-ups try 3X3 and add 3 for every time you get better. Soon enough, you’ll be a pull-up master.

Triceps dip – Don’t forget those triceps! Tricep dips consist of an object, like your couch or chair. First, you face away from the object, take a few steps forward; set your hand on the object while declining your legs in front of you. You then bend your arms down and spring back up to the rest position. Perform 3X10 and add 5 as you get the jiffs of it.

Lower body:

Squats – Never skip leg day, never! Squats are a very effective way to gain strength in your quads and glutes and are very easy to perform. All you do is stand up straight, arms out in front of you, and bend your knees until you’re parallel to the floor, then back up. you can 3X15 if starting out then adding 5 more as you begin to progress.

Lunges – Lunges are quite simple to execute but they sure do pack a punch. To perform this routine, all you do is step one leg out in front of you, bend it and don’t let your knee from your other leg touch the floor. You then interchange each leg and repeat the process. Try doing 3X15 then add 5 as you improve. For more advanced lunges, you can also do it stepping backward.

ABS:

Sit-ups – The body part that the girls love the most, sit-ups, whether in the gym or not; is still one of the most effective ways to obtain a strong core. All you do is lie down on your back, bend your knees while our feet stay planted on the floor, and lift your v body up while placing your hands behind your head. The trick is to make sure you harden your tummy for better results. Do 3X10 and add 5 to intensify the workout.

Planks – Planks, an enemy for all of those who wish to have rock hard abs, is one of the toughest routines to achieve. However, don’t be feared. Practice and perseverance is the key to getting better. To begin, you lie down on your stomach, legs together, and lift up with your elbows and hold still for 30 seconds to a minute. Try doing three sets and rest for about 30 seconds in between. As you get better, add 10 seconds after every set and no time, you’ll have no shame taking your shirt off at the pool.

Bodyweight workouts are easy, cheap, and show results. If you’re looking to build mass though, then this might not be for you. However, if you want to build strength for your entire body, then this is perfect. Repetition and persistence are key for the best results of any workout. So since you’re knowledgeable about calisthenics, give it a try and see results.

Mosquitoes

You hear the silent buzz. You feel the urge to itch, and as you rub the itch, you feel another spot to itch. It’s annoying, aggravating, and frustrating. If you can infer of what I’m talking about, then you too know that all mosquitoes should be destroyed. Well, that’s physically impossible, but there are some ways to combat these pestering insects.

However, before we get to that, mosquitoes are important for our ecosystem and play a big part in our daily lives. Gizmodo points out “many other insects and small fish feed on them and the loss of that food source would cause their numbers to decline as well. Anything that feeds on them, such as game fish, raptorial birds, etc. would in turn suffer.” In short, mosquitoes feed us. However, according to national geographic “mosquito-borne disease causes millions of deaths worldwide every year with a disproportionate effect on children and the elderly in developing countries.” They must be minimized to all humans, and here’s how.

Mosquito spray – Invest in a good mosquito spray. This will create a barrier around your body that will force mosquitoes to stay away. The better the spray, the likelihood of not getting your blood sucked increases.

Mosquito repellant – Try surrounding the areas where you spend time outside with mosquito repellant. This will create a perimeter blocking mosquitoes from entering. The best type of repellent you want to look for is anything that contains the chemical N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET). Mosquito.org states that DEET “remains the standard by which all other repellents are judged.”

Natural repellant – There are certain plants you can plant outside your house that acts as a repellent from mosquitoes. These plants include citronella, basil, and lemongrass. You can fill up your garden or backyard with pretty plants and kill pest at the same time.

Water – Mosquitoes’ love water, so try moving any items that contain water. This includes flowerpots, containers, and hoses. This will send mosquitoes to a different direction rather than yourself.

Window screens – Place window screens to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside your home. Mosquitoes are tricky and hard to see; installing a window screen will stop any small bugs from entering without asking.

Bed net – The most annoying time a mosquito can pierce you is at night. A bed net that would hang over your bed is a great way to block any mosquito from entering and disturbing your sleep.

Stay inside during dusk – Mosquitoes are everywhere but are most active during the nighttime. If possible, try to stay inside during those times. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds, but it’s a good thing you have repellent and spray to give you extra protection while you’re outside.

Mosquitoes are pestering but there are ways to make them less annoying. Make sure to be cautious when going outside and take appropriate actions when dealing with mosquitoes.