Connect with us

Health

How Self-Care Can Help You Through Hard Times

Published

on

How Self-care Can Help You Through Hard Times

When you’re dealing with serious trauma or events that throw your whole life out of balance, well-meaning people will often tell you to take care of yourself – but what does that mean? At times like this, you might struggle to figure out what it is that you need, or what can actually help, and making it happen is even harder. Relax. This simple guide will help you to get self-care in perspective and make the adjustments that will get you through to a point where you are able to breathe a little more easily.

Putting Yourself First

Most of us, and especially women, are conditioned through much of our lives to prioritize the needs of others. Getting out of this habit can be difficult but when your emotional resources are under strain, you really need to put yourself first. If you worry about being selfish, remember this: by prioritizing your own needs, you can more effectively get back to a point where you’re able to help others.

Making this change means that you may need to cut some people out of your life, either temporarily or permanently. Doing so doesn’t make you a bad person. If people are draining your energy and giving you nothing in return, or if they’re actively making you feel worse, they have to go. Don’t put yourself out by doing favors for others. Don’t take on more work than you can cope with, in any context. Your emotional health matters more.

Establishing Priorities

When you don’t have the emotional energy to do everything, you need to be more selective about how you organize your life. Work out what absolutely has to be done day to day and cut out as much of the rest as you can. If the difficulties you’re facing are not likely to last long, or if you’ve been advised that you should start to do better in a few weeks or months, you may be able to put some things off accordingly.

When you’re going through this process, don’t be afraid to ask family members, friends or work colleagues if they can step in to reduce your burden. Even landlords, fuel companies, etc., will sometimes be open to giving you extra time to deal with payments if you can’t keep up with them as usual.

Getting the Right Support

It’s important to have people to talk to when you’re going through something like this, or even just people you can sit quietly with when it’s too difficult to be alone. Don’t be shy about letting your friends and family members know what you need from them – and what you don’t need. Sometimes gestures of support can be overwhelming. It’s okay to say no – people who really care will understand.

Seeing you upset can be hard on those close to you, and you may have concerns you don’t feel able to discuss with them, so it’s also worth considering therapy. Everyone needs something slightly different from this, so take the time you need to find the best online therapy for you.

Physical and Mental

When you’re concerned about your mental health, don’t forget the physical. Eating healthily and staying well hydrated helps your body to process stress and will aid your overall recovery. If you experience periods when your emotions are overwhelming, or you can’t stop thinking about the source of your trauma, hard physical exercise can do a lot to bring relief.

One thing that your body really needs at times like this is sleep. Don’t feel bad about indulging yourself where this is concerned. Lying in can actually make you feel worse, but naps are great, as are early night with long hot baths to help you relax beforehand.

Believing in a Better Future

When you’re going through something awful, it can be difficult to imagine that life will treat you kindlier in the future. We all build up expectations based on experience. Imagining something better is really important, however, to keeping you from getting into a cycle of depression or anxiety.

If it’s hard to think positively about reality, let yourself fantasize. It doesn’t matter how unlikely it is – it will have immediate emotional benefits. Even if it’s hard to stop imagining bad things, you can counter that by thinking about the best ways that events could develop and focusing on the good things in your life, however small they may be. Open yourself up to the possibility of things getting better and you’ll be amazed by what a big improvement small positive changes can make.

Things will be better for you in the future than they are now, even if they never go back to the way they were. Practicing self-care will help you to believe in yourself again.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Health

Healthcare Professionals: Three Time Management Tips

Published

on

Time-Management-Tips-for-Healthcare-Professionals

Time management is vital regardless of the type of profession. But when it comes to a healthcare professional, the importance of time management increases manifolds. As a professional, you need to strike the right balance between fulfilling your duties as professional and other responsibilities in daily life.

Failing at this skill may imply giving less attention to your patients or not making them understand the diagnosis. Finally, as a last resort, you might also start neglecting your health and family in the race of fulfilling your professional duties. Some of you might also be working and at the same time pursuing education as well.

Juggling with Studies as a Healthcare Professional

As a working professional, it might become challenging to give your job time, be present with your family, and fulfill the studies. So, what can you do?

The easiest way is to take an online degree. The flexible timing offered by online education helps a working professional manage time while not neglecting the family. Many healthcare practitioners are already opting for online courses.

An increasing number of enrollments are manifesting this trend. Parallel to taking online courses, there is another trend going on; looking for degree courses that do not require enrollment exams such as GRE or GMAT.

Preparing for this exam, along with a job, can be extremely daunting. Thus, many of you might have been postponing the idea of taking a Master’s degree for this reason. But online and distance learning programs are increasingly responding to these issues of healthcare professionals. 

Many universities and institutions have eliminated this requirement. You can enroll in their masters in public health online no gre programs. As a healthcare professional, they offer you the most flexible programs with multiple specialization options. These programs can help you manage your time more prudently. There are few other time management skills to help you fulfill your duties without compromising your work quality.

Three Time Management Tips for a Healthcare Professional

1. Define goals

When you are short of time with piles of responsibilities, the last thing you want to do is handle your duties like a hot potato in your hand. Juggling between different jobs and responsibilities is essential, but not one at the cost of the other. Thus, defining your goals will help you streamline your work according to the time you have.

Work to establish both long- and short-term goals and try to achieve them. Many healthcare professionals fall prey to a living-in-today-only mindset. Thus, they lose sight of what is going to happen in a few months from the present. For instance, you have to plan what time of the year you get the most significant number of patients and plan your activities accordingly.

Likewise, if you plan to enroll in an online degree, discuss with your supervisor and them onboard. Additionally, you might also need to make weekly goals. An essential component lined to defining goals is sticking to them. Otherwise, your milestones will not help you in your time management.

2. Manage appointments

Many of you might have fallen victim to a patient’s visit at the last minute of your workday. As much as you have to attend to those patients, your health and family are also important. Managing your appointments and giving them time slots can help you escape this hassle.

When giving appointments, ask the general questions, know your patients, and understand their concerns. This way, you can manage the slot for the next patient according to requirements.

You would never want your patient to feel that you are trying to get rid of them in haste. Making time slots this way can help you plan your workday with no surprise visits at the eleventh hour.  At the same time, you can give proper attention to each patient.

3. Use appropriate body language

You might have experienced some patients coming with a long list of issues. Most of them are related to finding solace in the fact that somebody is listening to them. But with a long line of patients, you can’t listen to them and their stories. It will help if you listen to the most important concerns related to diagnosis and treatment. Still, you cannot act as a listening ear. Abruptly cutting them short is not only rude but can discomfort for the patient as well.

The best strategy is to use your body language to convey non-verbal cues and a subtle urgency message. As you judge, the patient has already discussed the primary concern, stand up towards the end of your conversation. This way, you are sending cues that other patients need your attention. You may also start wrapping the conversation and offer to escort the patient to the door, signaling the end of the appointment.

Conclusion

Let it be healthcare or any other profession, time management is essential for any career. It becomes even more critical for healthcare professionals because they are working in a very responsible industry.

However, as a healthcare professional, neglecting your health and rest seems paradoxical. However, your busy schedule might make you feel that you don’t have enough time for other life activities. Following these time management skills can do wonders for you.

You can try using the tips mentioned above to see what works best for you. These tips might not be a panacea that works for all, but following them can help you find your perfect mix.

Continue Reading

Health

Planning to Get an Invisalign- 11 Things to Know

Published

on

11-things-about-Invisalign

You might have done your homework about Invisalign but these 11 tips will help you to go about the treatment with confidence. Invisalign is an orthodontic treatment that straightens teeth without metal braces. Invisalign trays are an invisible, transparent, and plastic form of braces.  In this article, I am trying to give you few tips that will improve your perception of Invisalign.

Speech Impediments

Wearing Invisalign may not cause speech impediments. However, people who wore Invisalign experienced a slight lisp, but as they spoke more, they tend to become more comfortable with the speech with tray.

You May Experience Pain

Some patients experienced mild pain along with Invisalign treatment, whereas others had severe pain. In case of severe pain, you should immediately report it to your orthodontist. She/he covers the sharp edges with the wax.  By reporting to an orthodontist early, you will save yourself from a lot of pain.

How long Do I Need to Wear the Invisalign Braces

The duration of the treatment is dependent on the severity of the cases, severely crooked and complicated teeth require more time compared to mild cases. According to Invisalign, the average duration for straightening teeth is 12 months. However, you may notice the improvement from 3-4 months. Dr. Hana from the German Dental clinic (Invisalign Platinum elite provider) says the treatment prolongs because the patient doesn’t wear the aligner 22 hours a day. The more time you wear the aligner, the better the results are, says Dr.Hana. In some instances, the patient hasn’t worn the Invisalign as prescribed, cause the teeth to shift back to their original position.

Cost of Invisalign

Generally, two factors that influence the cost of Invisalign, complexity, and location, are the two major factors that impact the cost of your treatment. The complex cases require more aligners and dental consultation, different location has different prices, depending on the area of your living cost of the treatment. Apart from location and complexity factors such as an orthodontist’s experience, retainers you require also play an important role in deciding the cost of treatment.

Check if the Treatment Is Right for You

Invisalign is best designed for treating mild teeth alignment issues. The complex issues are best treated with braces.

Here are the following issues that Invisalign can fix given they are not severe.

1) Overcrowding

2) Gapped teeth

3) Underbite

4) Crossbite

5) Overbite

The Invisalign Diet

Eating with Invisalign causes discoloration of the aligners that make your aligners visible on your mouth. Experts advise taking off the aligner while eating. Eating with Invisalign not only discolor the aligners but also destroy them as Invisalign trays are not designed to take the pressure exerted on them while eating. One may consider taking off the aligner while eating and drinking (except water) for the effective usage of aligners.

After Invisalign Treatment

You are supposed to wear the retainers after Invisalign treatment. Which helps to prevent teeth from shifting back to their original position. Wear your retainers round the clock for the first 6 months then, night-time forever.

How Do I Choose Invisalign Provider

Invisalign provides designation to its providers based on the number of patients treated with Invisalign. The five Invisalisation providers are General, Premier, Preferred, Elite, and Top 1%.

What Is the Best Age for Invisalign

Invisalign treatment is available to different age groups, these age groups include young children, teenagers, and adults of all ages.

 Invisalign for young children: while young children can start the orthodontic treatment from the age of 6-10, known as phase 1 and the phase 1 treatment can effectively prevent a pre-existing bite problem from worsening.

Invisalign for teens: Invisalign treatment is highly effective in teenagers because their teeth are not affixed in position as an elderly person. However, to get the best effective results in a short period, the patient needs to wear the aligner for 20 hours at least, preferably 22 hours.

Invisalign for adults: the success of Invisalign treatment depends on the patient’s bone density, so many people had experienced life-changing results, thanks to Invisalign. Your orthodontist can tell you the success rate of Invisalign treatment in your case.

Teeth Whitening for Invisalign Patients

As an orthodontist, many patients ask me “when shall we do teeth whitening” I always recommend patients do teeth whitening after they remove braces.  Always consult your orthodontist before teeth whitening says, Dr. Hana.

Cleaning of Your Invisalign

Cleaning your Invisalign is very important, uncleaned Invisalign not only makes a bad odor it also makes the treatment ineffective. Following are the basic cleaning process:

  1. Make sure you rinse your aligner before you sleep.
  2. Ensure the retainers are stored in protective case whenever it is not in use.
  3. Rush your aligner every day before you go to bed and even when you wake up.

Continue Reading

Growth

How To Get Fit And Grow As A Man After 50

Published

on

How To Get Fit And Grow As A Man After 50

Among the hundreds of other things that the pandemic has taught us is the fact that we all need support.

Not just physical and financial, but also emotional.

But even before the health crisis struck, there was increasing awareness of the pressure that men faced. The world was experiencing unemployment, suicide rates, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual violence, domestic abuse and depression on an unprecedented scale, with men bearing a large part of this burden.

What men also face is the pressure of having to conform to cultural and social stereotypes of what it is to be a “Man”.

There is a growing trend of men’s support groups emerging across the world to deal with the issues that men face.

Let’s look at some of these typical gender-related attitudes that society holds across geographies and cultures:

  • Women are more “emotional” and express their feelings more frequently and more intensely than men
  • Crying is more associated with women and “weakness”
  • Expressing feelings is encouraged in girls while boys are taught to hold their feelings in
  • Women share their feelings freely especially with other women
  • Men are supposed to maintain a stoic silence when they face problems
  • Women express a wider range of different emotions and nuanced feelings that men don’t understand
  • Men are restricted from expressing or disclosing their intimate, innermost feelings
  • Men are allowed to express anger, contempt and happiness, but not fear, anxiety or dependence

Given the restrictive and constrictive nature of the Mars and Venus stereotypes that society imposes on us, across different cultures, the social and emotional training of a male child begins at a very young age.

Emotion Expressions Are Learned in Childhood

Children are keen observers of the world around them, and learn to model or imitate behaviors according to what the adults encourage or discourage.

Though gender differences are absent in infancy, the social training is imbibed during the toddler or pre-schooler stage.

In Western cultures, especially, parents tend to discuss more emotional topics with their daughters rather than their sons.

Women are allowed to express anger and contempt mainly through words and facial expressions, while men can express these in physical terms.

As children grow, they carry these learnings into their adult lives and their interactions with peers.

The concepts of “masculinity” and “femininity” are socially learned and defined constructs. Gender responses are mainly normalized through social structures, parental attitudes, culture, interactions, context, and peer relationships.

The Man Box

Researcher Mark Greene and others have defined a dominant type of over emphasized masculinity as the “Man Box”

It describes behaviors, expectations and perceptions that are rigidly imposed by the social environment to define what is and what is not “manly behavior”.

Attributes that are considered “masculine” and worthy of the Man Box are:

  • Authority
  • Virile
  • Stoic
  • Athletic
  • Competitive
  • Rational
  • Successful
  • Strong
  • Responsible

This gives men the license to indulge in behaviors such as flirting, being tough, drinking to excessive, disruptive and aggressive behaviors, rule breaking, speeding, risky behaviors etc.

Any differences and violation of these perceptions of “manliness” are strictly policed by the peer group, and society in general, with mockery “Acting like a girl” “Manning Up” or “Not being man enough”.

There is also homophobia related policing of male emotional expression, along with racism and misogyny which are enforced through bullying and shaming.

In its extreme form, the Man Box exists to perpetuate the domination, exploitation and marginalization of women, transgenders and alternate sexual choices.

While a large number of men face the pressure to behave, think and feel in certain prescribed ways, the tide is slowly but surely turning in favor of becoming “human” rather than a gender stereotype.

From the Man Box to the emergence of men’s support groups has been a long, challenging and ultimately rewarding journey.

Getting Fit and Growing as a Man after 50

Men are trained from early childhood to follow habits of competition, ambition, opposing, rough and tough behaviors. These faulty and often toxic beliefs are destructive and emotionally repressive, leading to relationship breakdowns, loneliness, stress and depression in men.

As men cross the age of 50, there is a drop in testosterone levels. Some experts have termed this phase “male menopause”.

While this doesn’t strictly follow the pattern of the female menopausal changes, there are several similarities. Many men may experience:

  • Energy drop
  • Sadness and depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Reduced libido
  • Weight increase
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Low self-esteem/confidence
  • Lower bone density
  • Low motivation

Maintaining fitness during this period can be challenging. Men are often at the peak of their careers at this stage. According to research, college educated, full-time working men’s wages continue to grow in their forties and usually peak in their 50s.

This leaves little time or inclination for health and fitness. However, this is also the stage when there are significant body changes. There is reduced muscle movement, and muscles begin to become less elastic, with decreased tone and mass.

As the body ages, the water content in the cells reduces from about 65% to 54% as you cross age 50.

Memory loss, higher levels of anxiety and stress may also begin to make their appearance.

Men at 50 may also be at risk of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and certain types of cancer.

Staying fit at this age involves:

  • Paying attention to your diet
  • Getting regular health exams done
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking if you do
  • Ensuring that you get your full 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Taking alcohol in moderation
  • Developing a convenient, enjoyable and effective exercise routine
  • Staying socially active
  • Ensuring that you take your routine vaccinations and immunization procedures

Emotional and Psychological Support

Physical fitness and health are a major determiner of emotional health. However, while crossing the 40s and entering the 50s, there could be certain emotional and psychological issues that crop up.

Studies show that “gray divorce” (involving couples in their 50s) is on the rise in America and has almost doubled over the last decade.  For those aged 65 and above, the rates have tripled. Aging Baby Boomers who have been married before face increasing marital instability in their subsequent relationships.

Gray divorces come with their own set of issues such as increased financial instability, and a deterioration in social life.

While both men and women seek professional help in terms of counseling and therapy, the numbers on the ground show that men tend to avoid counseling for emotional problems. More than 70% women opt for counseling for depression while the numbers for men stand at 60%.

Men are also less likely to take prescription medications for such issues. They avoid asking for professional help till it reaches crisis stage. The results can be devastating, ending in suicide or major mental health problems. Suicides among men is 3.5 times higher than women. Substance abuse is also more common among distressed males.

The main problem is that society expects men to be tougher, and more resilient. They develop higher tolerance for emotional distress, but since the issues are not dealt with, they’re merely suppressed or hidden.

Men are out of touch with their emotions and lack the vocabulary to express them freely. They may not be aware of the depth and extent of their grief, anxiety, stress, etc.

Boys are also taught that it’s important to be independent and not cling to others for help. Another issue is that of trust. Some studies have shown that men are less prone to trust than women. This means that men find it difficult to confide in others or even in their therapists.

Traditionally men (especially white) have always benefited from the political, social and economic order. But this also means increased competition, isolation and anxiety to “man up”.

With the rise of feminism, men feel threatened, unable to express themselves in the ways they’re used to, and are plagued by the feeling that they’ve lost the “privileges” they once had.

Support and Growth in the Golden Years

Many men find it embarrassing and humiliating to share the fact that they find themselves emotionally vulnerable.

In times of stress, anxiety and existential crisis, men’s deep-rooted social training kicks in and they prefer to either bottle it all up or express it in inappropriate ways such as anger, aggressiveness or substance abuse. Faulty social beliefs have made it difficult for men to openly seek emotional help.

Loneliness and isolation are becoming a serious issue in the developed world, with one study showing that more than 40% of men feel that they’re unable to confide in their friends about problems, and nearly 33% of men confessing that they have no friends at all.

In the typical male, there is a “Get over it” or “Deal with it” attitude that prevents a real analysis of the problem. Men quickly learn that displaying emotions in public tends to be viewed with mockery, contempt and shaming. Repressing emotions is considered noble, tough and more acceptable.

Therapy can also be quite an expensive proposition, with uncertain outcomes. There could be a long waiting list to get an appointment with a counselor or psychiatrist.

When there is a need for immediate help, men seldom want to burden their families, friends or co-workers. Men are also trained to be problem-solvers and there is immense pressure on them to handle problems quickly and effectively, and to eliminate problems.

This is where men’s support groups come in.

What Are Men’s Support Groups?

Typical men’s support groups comprise between 7-10 men who gather at regular intervals to share events of their daily lives, their emotions, apprehensions, positive feelings and innermost thoughts in a non-judgmental space.

They provide men with the opportunity to freely express themselves, and get support, advice, education, and take up new challenges for personal growth.

These groups may address issues such as

  • Relationship
  • Trauma
  • Family issues
  • Job and Career related problems
  • Parenting
  • Death, Grief
  • Anger management
  • Sexual issues
  • Domestic abuse
  • Alcoholism/Drug addiction
  • Health and fitness
  • Lifestyle diseases, Cancer or Serious illnesses

Important guidelines for these groups include:

  • Commitment and regular attendance
  • Respect for privacy and confidentiality
  • Taking ownership/responsibility for feelings
  • Attentive listening in the group
  • Non-judgmental acknowledgment of another person’s expression
  • Permission to pass or indicate unwillingness/lack of comfort in participate in the discussion
  • Staying away from passing judgment and advise-giving
  • Avoiding confrontational questioning
  • Emotional honesty
  • Providing a safe space for emotional expression

Benefits of Men’s Support Groups

Online discussion and support groups are also gaining ground and men can avail of the benefits from the privacy and comfort of their own homes.

A small-sized support group usually comprises people with similar backgrounds and life experiences. This means that they share the same kind of issues, anxieties, worries, problems of living and decision-making. They gain more self-acceptance, autonomy and control over their social environment. Often, men find a new purpose in life and gain new, valuable friendships.

A support group helps men to find a space where they can truly learn about themselves and how to be themselves.

It can be a place of rest, wellness and safety.

 A men’s support group offers several important benefits:

  • It reduces the feelings of isolation and loneliness
  • Secure space to express inner feelings
  • Group members stop feeling judged
  • They learn to be more open and honest about their emotions
  • They gain different perspectives and points of view about their problems
  • Helps them to improve their anger management
  • Improves coping skills
  • Helps them feel more empowered
  • Opens them up to newer ideas on education, society, culture
  • Ensures privacy and boosts trust
  • Develops mutually beneficial relationships
  • Prevents the need for hasty and immediate problem solving

Finding the Right Support Group

On your part, it’s important to ask yourself whether you’re willing to be honest and open, and genuinely express your feelings, while ensuring that you’re not judgmental about others.

Look for groups located near you, so that you don’t miss meetings.

It’s wiser to choose a group that doesn’t charge fees.

Check out a group across a few meetings before you commit.

Avoid groups that are confrontational or encourage violence, abuse and anger in the name of openness.

Check if the group is affiliated/sponsored by a corporate.

Ensure that privacy and confidentiality are prioritized.

Continue Reading

Trending