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.

6 Exercise Tips for Moms

Being a mom can be the most rewarding job but also the most exhausting. You are not only trying to balance your day to day routines, but you’re also making sure the family stays on schedule. As busy as you are, you may tend to think, how in the world are you going to fit an exercise routine when you can barely fit in the time to do laundry? With a little determination to incorporate physical health into your crazy routine and a few pointers to assist, all is possible, momma!

  1. Create a schedule. Keeping your family on a schedule also keeps you on a schedule. A daily schedule can prevent the feeling of frustration and overwhelming and can help form good habits all while prioritizing your time efficiently. Once you create a consistent routine that fits everyone’s needs, the easier it will be to squeeze in a workout.
  2. Prepare the night before, so you are not rushing in the morning. When rushing, you may forget items or tasks to do that may affect the remainder of your day. Key things to prepare could be your favorite smoothie, lunch for the family, and everyone’s clothes for the next day. Try pre-packing a workout bag, to eliminate one less worry before your workout session and reduce potentially wasted time.
  3. Workout before the day starts. This is the time to get away, energize and mentally prepare yourself for your long active day. In New York Times article, Heather Milton, an exercise psychologist for New York University’s performance lab, adds, “Morning workouts tend to be completed by those who prefer to check exercise off their list for the day before the rest of the daily to-do’s, children’s needs, busy gym or decrease in motivation hit them”.
  4. Don’t make your workouts long. When keeping your workouts to a minimum, your ability to stay on your morning schedule is effortless.Healthline.com explains that 30-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns more calories all while shortening your workout time. A physical health journal study from NSCA found that HIIT, “burned 25-30% more calories than other forms of exercise”.
  5. Include your kids, sometimes. Every parent’s daily routine is different; you may not have many opportunities or enough time to be apart from your children. A few workouts to consider could be outdoor walks or runs, workout groups or even mommy and me yoga. By having an interactive workout with your children, can establish new intimate bonding time. Another great benefit runners world article elaborated was on physical active mothers being an influence on their children to being more likely to be active, as well.
  6. Set goals that include incentives, not just for self, but also for your kid(s) too. As a parent, you tend to put your children’s needs before yours. To prevent a possible guilty conscience from just rewarding yourself, include your kids such a tasty treat to frozen yogurt.

Working out keeps you active, fit, energized, and increases your stamina. All beneficial aspects to having a productive day being the busy parent you are. These tips are designed to help, not just busy moms, but everyone in creating a healthful routine that best fits your personal life needs.

Aloe Vera is More Than a Plant, It’s everything!

Aloe Vera is one of the few plants with many talents! It is utilized and idolized in many industries such as beauty, health care, food, and toiletry. The Aloe Vera plant is easily identified by its long vibrant green leaves, and when the leaf is cut open, it contains slim-like watery gel. This is good stuff!

Aloe Vera is a high demand plant in the market estimating $13 billion a year in global trading according to an NCBI study. The plant is originated in South Africa, where it was discovered about 16 million years ago. Since then, its awareness of its uniqueness has been spread across the world.

If there’s a problem that needs fixing, aloe vera is your guy…well plant.

Aloe Benefits

  • Treats skin conditions – Aloe Vera gel is an excellent solution to healing sunburns, small open wounds, eczema, and even treating acne. The amusing and famous actress, Drew Barrymore, is a die-hard advocate for aloe Vera in her skincare. In a Women’s Health article, it elaborates over Barrymore’s social media post that received traffic after demonstrating how raw aloe Vera erased her red blemish in just a couple days! “The plant hormones auxin and gibberellins, for example, promote growth and play a role in wound-healing response” explains board-certified M.D., Lauren Fine, in the article.
  • Great source of antioxidants -Aloe Vera is filled with many vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E, folic acid and many other minerals. It is best to consume by drinking aloe vera juice. According to Healthline, “Aloe Vera is one of the only plant sources of vitamin B-12, too.” B-12 helps maintain healthy blood cells and restore energy, which can be difficult for people who are vegan or vegetarian because B-12 is usually consumed through animal-based foods.
  • Helps Regulate Digestive system – Aloe Vera is great for resolving complications with constipation, reflux, heartburn, &, etc. by promoting good bacteria in the gut and soothing skin tissue lining in the stomach and the esophagus. Medical News shares in its’ informative article that aloe vera is an established “natural laxative” and this effect come from the plants’ external compounds known as the anthraquinones.
  • Great for nourishing hair – Aloe Vera is great for treating a dry scalp such as dandruff. Simply message the aloe gel into the scalp or even cover all the hair like a mask. The plant is water-based, so it can be very hydrating for your hair.

When using aloe vera externally or internally, try to gravitate to fresh organic products. To receive all the great benefits the plant has to offer, it is ideal stray away from those that have added chemicals or are colored, as safety awareness. For additional facts or concerns for incorporating aloe vera into your routines, don’t hesitate to ask your trusted doctor for what’s best for your health.

Practicing Good Hygiene in Your Work Environment

Maintaining a clean and safe workplace can lead to a more productive environment for everyone. The last thing employees or guests want to question is if the facility is clean or feeling too uncomfortable to be present.

Hygiene Tips for Work

  • Wash hands with soap in between meeting clients and patients. Wash hands after using the bathroom facilities, before and after preparing food or drinks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of 20 seconds for cleansing your hands to ensure germs are significantly removed.
  • When coughing, yawing, or sneezing cover your mouth and nose with a Kleenex or turn into the inside of your arm. This way you are keeping germs to yourself instead of spreading them through the air or your hands.
  • Wipes down workspace at best once daily; this includes the mouse, keyboard, phones, and surface areas.
  • Keep hand sanitizer at your desk. For other reasons, you are not always able to access soap and water; CDC advocates using hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Fresh breath. Since you are not at home to brush your teeth after meals, carry gum or travel size mouth wash with you.
  • Wash work clothes before wearing them again to get rid of any germs or dirt, even if it’s not visible. The National Health Service UK acknowledges clothes as being one of the most common ways germs are spread. Bacteria naturally come from our own body then onto our clothes which can easily spread to others from small actions such as brushing against an object, sitting close or near a coworker.
  • Practice keeping public shared areas clean and sanitary after each use—bathrooms, breakrooms, conference rooms.
  • Report any symptoms or illness to your employer.

Many companies have their own work hygiene policies for employees to abide by, but it is always good to refresh good practice tips every so often. You may consider putting up reminders in public areas such as the bathrooms, break rooms or even coordinate mini staff meetings. By positively reinforcing good hygiene, you can mold employees into developing thoughtless cleanly habits.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In October, we wear pink! Each year, October is presented as breast cancer awareness month; an annual campaign to spread awareness of the disease. During this time, you might see a lot of companies, schools, sports games, flyers, events wearing pink or advertising breast cancer. The goal is to educate, celebrate, emphasize, and give support to all individuals who may or may not be affected by this particular cancer.

What is Breast Cancer?

With there being so many forms of breast cancer, in general, it is a disease caused by the overproduction of cell growth in the breast tissues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Each year in the United States, about 245,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,200 in men.” Though survival rates have increased over time, CDC still remains confident being that breast cancer is second-in-line a leading cause in death for women.

Common signs to beware of

Breast cancer is officially diagnosed by a medical professional after a breast screening. Symptoms can vary from each individual, though; sometimes they may or may not be detectable. The National Breast Cancer Foundation adds there are some signs you may still be able to recognize.

  • New lump(s) or tenderness around or in the breast
  • Enlarged pores on the breast skin
  • Change in breast size or shape without an explanation such as swelling or shrinkage
  • Change in breast or nipple color or texture
  • Skin dimpling
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Breast Cancer is one of the many diseases and sicknesses that have taken the lives of many people. This month sympathizes to the passing of those victims or grieving families from breast cancer, along with celebrating those still fighting or recovering from this disease. If you notice you or a loved one may have potential signs of breast cancer or any known history, please seek out to a doctor for a proper physical exam and screening

Happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

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!

Survival Guide: Night-Shift

For those of us that workdays, you can almost feel the sleepiness when thinking about taking on a night-shift. Though this particular shift may be challenging, there can be benefits. Here are some solutions that will encourage you to adjust and embrace it.

Survival Tips 

  • Stick to a routine. By setting a daily schedule, you are aiding your mind and body into expecting and preparing for what’s to come for a long night shift. Over time as you stay consistent, your body will reduce in feeling sluggish or overworked.
  • Incorporate a healthy diet. University of Nottingham article adds, “We consume at least a third of our daily calories whilst at work…” Consider what we put into our body reflects our performance and health at work. Try eating meals that keep you full and restore your energy. Pack healthy easy snacks and drink a lot of water. Hydrated muscles are very important when you are on the go.
  • Exercise keeps you fit and physically prepared for your active shift. Exercising before your night- shift also influences a positive mind, allows you to feel more alert and awake. The Mayo Clinic supports a daily exercise routine prior to work and suggests you intake “both carbohydrates and protein within two hours of exercise” for muscle recovery and to avoid fatigue.
  • Take your scheduled naps. If allowed, take advantage of your time to sleep. It is important not to burn your body out from exhaustion as it can affect your work performance. The National Sleep Foundation encourages employers to “nap strategically”. For night shift workers try breaking up your sleep in two’s, meaning sleep at home after work and again before you go back in. In doing this, you will be able to meet your essential hours of sleep. 
  • Build relationships with co-workers. Healthy friendly relationships can be beneficial as you can seek work advice, emotional support and a more exciting boost to going to work. 
  • Set small goals throughout the day. Goals are important because they can increase your work productivity and allow your shifts to feel swifter. By setting and achieving small goals, you’re more focused and excited about your work accomplishments than dwelling over the duration of your shift.

In reality, give yourself time to adjust to your new overnight position. Everyone’s body and way of coping are going to be different. It may take various trials and errors to figure out what works best for your body and mental wellness.

Why A Glass of Wine Is Essential

You come home from work after a busy day and you feel like your head has increased in size. You may investigate your medicine cabinet trying to find some pain relief medicine to release the stress in your brain. However, you should check your cabinet and pull out your favorite bottle of red wine.

Wine has wide list of health benefits such as protection from Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular health, dental, and weight loss. However, it’s all about how much you should consume. According to the American Heart Association “An average of one to two drinks per day and one drink for women.” Here are a few tips to encourage moderate consumption of wine. Remember to always drink responsibly.

Could Help Prevent Alzheimer’s – According to USC News, “A Swedish study that spanned 34 years found that wine protected women against developing Alzheimer’s disease, especially when their only alcohol was wine.” Everyone has precious moments in their life. Lower your risk of memory.

Healthy Heart – Consuming your favorite wine brings a happy heart. In addition, it can help prevent heart disease. Wide Open Eats explains “After 21 consecutive days of consumption was that blood vessel cell health was enhanced, improving the flow of blood.” Your heart requires blood to keep you moving. Therefore, consuming wine should help ease a pathway to your heart.

Dental – Drinking wine can fight some dental diseases. Polyphenols referred to like red wine and grape seeds can have the ability to lower bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Ask yourself, “how often do I visit the dentist?” Answers are not many visits. Stay ahead of the game and become your own dentist (not really) and combat diseases cavities and gum disease. You’d be surprised what the power of wine can do for your teeth.

Weight loss –Polyphenols can also regulate your weight. Entertaining Times present “Polyphenol converts white fat, which are larger cells that store energy and expand as we gain weight, into obesity-fighting beige fat and this fat is much easier to lose.” Could wine possibly be the next treadmill? Keep in mind that it’s how much you’re indulging.

It’s good to know that a glass of wine can help some people.  Of course, you know yourself and whether or not incorporating a glass can help you.  It’s most important to consume wine or any alcohol, responsibly.

An Introduction to Veganism

The Vegan Rise

Trying to figure out the evolution of veganism, too? I mean, is tofu really all that great?

According to The Vegan Society, since 2012, the vegan trends quadrupled surpassing vegetarian and gluten-free. People are rapidly converting to veganism and accepting that a plant-based diet isn’t a sacrifice, but can be beneficial, not to just their bodies, but the planet we live on.

There are many reasons why some people prefer a vegan diet, health is one of them. When following through with healthy vegan guidelines, you are receiving all nutritional body requirements. Oxford Martin School believes fruit and vegetable-based diet, “could save up to 8 million lives by 2050”. This carries on to the rising crisis of global warming. Food and agriculture organization of the United States (FAO) informs that the livestock sector contributes 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

Along with new rises in Vegan restaurants, existing restaurants are progressively altering their menu with vegan alternatives. Fast food giant, Burger King, introduced a new plant-based “impossible” burger. A veggie-based burger that tastes like a burger.

Vegan Influence

As veganism progresses, so does the variety of vegan influencers. Grey’s Anatomy actress, Ellen Pompeo, introduced her family to a happy vegan diet. She shares during her People interview, “I think we’re at a critical point for our planet and in the United States this health issue is out of control, the obesity, diabetes…” Pompeo believes, “The message of veganism is not one that they want to get out but not only will it help us, but it also helps the planet”.

Just last year, Beyoncé convinces fans to go vegan with her prior to her Coachella performance in 2018. She made it fun and initiated an incentive for free concert tickets to fans joining her vegan challenge!

Food for Thought

Being vegan is easier said than done. There are other alternatives and steps to creating a healthier eating lifestyle. Paul McCartney, a vegetarian since 1975, introduced Meat Free Monday. By encouraging one meat-less day during the week, McCartney’s campaign hopes to create awareness of the negative impacts of industrial fishing and animal agriculture. 

When it comes to different food trends, I have tried it all. I went through phases of being a hardcore juicer, calorie counter guru, and even a pescatarian lifestyle. Yet, even being surrounded by many vegan friends, I still couldn’t find the guts to go completely organic. I was oblivious to the various meal options vegans offer other than simply fruits and vegetables.

My favorite dish is vegan spaghetti! Super quick and easy, all you need is your favorite veggies!

Ingredients

  • Zucchini
  • Squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Kale
  • Wheat noodles
  • 1 tomato basil spaghetti sauce
  • 1 garlic spaghetti sauce
  • Gardein meatless crumbles