health

How to Manage Seasonal Allergies

Spring and summer are the highlights of many people’s year. Feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin and seeing the vibrant colours of newly blossoming flowers is guaranteed to lighten your mood and make you feel better. As well as being a favourite time of year for many people, the warmer seasons can have a downside, which is allergies. Seasonal allergies affect many people every year and can disrupt their enjoyment of spring and summer. 

tree trunk with flowers and sun in the background. The time that seasonal allergies begin.

Image Pixabay CC0 License

Allergic rhinitis, aka hay fever, is a seasonal allergy that is especially common in the UK. Research suggests that between 10% and 30% of adults suffer from hay fever, and the condition affects up to 40% of children. Many people rely on antihistamines to relieve their allergy symptoms, but there are some other ways that you can help to reduce the chances of hay fever ruining your spring and summer. Here we will look at some practical ways to reduce the severity of this often frustrating condition.

Create a Barrier

Unfortunately, pollen and other allergens are everywhere. It is not possible to avoid contact with all allergens completely, so the next best solution is to minimise your contact with them. There are a few ways that you can help reduce the likelihood of allergens causing you issues. Firstly, you can create a barrier by wearing sunglasses when you are outside, as this will prevent your eyes from being exposed to allergens. Some people find it helpful to dab some petroleum jelly or buy a specific hay fever pollen balm that helps to trap pollen before it is inhaled through your nostrils.

As well as protecting your eyes and nose from pollen, you may also want to try and prevent pollen from entering your home. Even gentle summer breezes can send pollen into your home through open windows and doors. Keeping your windows closed where possible should help to reduce the amount of pollen that enters your home.

Take Care of Your Skin

People that suffer from hay fever often experience other allergy-related conditions, such as eczema. If this is the case for you, you may find that your skin flares up during the summer due to the combination of pollen and heat aggravating it and causing irritation. It is vital to take care of your skin to prevent eczema from worsening and becoming more uncomfortable. Trying to avoid scratching at the skin is the first step, but you may also want to take extra care when choosing skincare products. Organic Body Washes for Sensitive Skin can provide the perfect solution to soothing your skin and preventing further irritation from occurring. Looking at the ingredients contained in your products before you buy them will ensure that you avoid any hidden nasties that could upset your skin. 

Finding the best ways to manage your seasonal allergies can help you get far more enjoyment from the warmer months. However, you may find that it takes a combination of the above methods to keep allergies under control.

Do you have allergies? How do you manage them?

*This is a collaborative post

A Place to Reflect, health

Self-Care During a Pandemic

The importance of Self-care during a pandemic.

You know when you’re on a plane and the flight attendant is going through the safety video with you? There is always mention of fixing your own mask, before helping others. This is important in a stressful situation or extreme turbulence on a plane, as well as in other areas of our life when we hit different kinds of turbulence. We need to look after ourselves first.

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have all hit a different kind of turbulence. As a result, we need to make sure that we are all taking care of ourselves first, making sure that our minds and bodies are healthy and happy. No matter what your current situation is, whether you’re a healthcare worker on the front like, an essential worker, working from home, or homeschooling children, it is all such a stressful time that none of us are used to. It can feel like too much to cope with sometimes. 

So to avoid slipping into bad habits and relying on unhealthy things to help us cope, we need to focus on the positive and healthy changes that we can make. Instead of looking for substance abuse rehabilitation when all of this is over, wouldn’t you rather come out of it smiling and happy? Here are some of the things that you can do to look after yourself and out yourself first in a pandemic.

photo of pretty flowers, on a white table

image

Food is fuel

We all like to have treats, but they should be just that, only used occasionally as a treat. Constantly having junk food will not be good for our bodies and can make you feel low, sluggish, unwell, and lacking in energy. During a pandemic, especially if you’re at home all of the time, you need to think of choosing foods that will fuel your body and mind. Look for unprocessed foods, foods that are low in sugar, and foods that will help to give you a good balance of energy.

Sleep is a priority for Self-Care

This can be one of the most stressful times that you have ever dealt with. You might have lost a job and have money worries. You might have concerns about the health of your children and worrying about their gaps in education. You might be a frontline worker who just feels stressed with all that you have to do. So whatever you are feeling, you will need to get the rest that you need. Make sure that you create a comfortable sleep environment for yourself and prioritise sleep as much as you can.

Find ways to ease stress

If you can find some ways to ease stress that work for you, then it will really help you through this time. It might be meeting a friend for a socially-distanced walk. You might talk on the phone or FaceTime. You might find exercise helps you the best or cooking yourself a new recipe. Reading a book, taking a bath, or listening to a podcast are all ideas that could help. Find something that works for you and then do it as often as you can.

*This is a collaborative post

A Place to Reflect, health

How Anyone Can Have More Energy

If you’re going to be at your brilliant best when you go out into the world, then you need to have energy. There’s just how it is! Without it, you’ll find that everything is an uphill battle. And if you have a job and a house and kids to look after, then you’ll already be facing an uphill battle. By working to give your energy a nudge in the right direction, you’ll find that you’re able to handle all that life throws at you much more easily. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the key ways to improve your energy levels. 

cat relaxing in a snuggly cat bed, lacking in energy.

Pexels – CC0 Licence

Get Exercising

It sounds counterproductive to say that to have more energy, you first must expel some energy, but that’s how it works. For reasons that we won’t go into here, exercising is one of the best methods for giving yourself more energy. If you ever wake up a little tired, then one of the best ways to make yourself feel more alert is to put on some running shoes and go for a jog. You’ll find that when you’re back, you’ll be a lot more energized, and especially so if you top off the run with a cold shower.

Rest Well

You’ll find that unless you’re consistently getting a full night of sleep, then you’re always battling with your energy levels. It’s just a lot more difficult to muster up the energy to do anything when we haven’t slept well. Luckily, sleep is one of those things that can easily be improved. It doesn’t feel like one of those things, but it is. It’s all about knowing what will help you to sleep well. If you’re avoiding screen time, taking CBD gummies or drinking a relaxing tea, and meditating before you hit the hay, then you’ll be much more likely to have a full night of sleep. Don’t accept that you’re destined to always sleep poorly — it’s just not true!

What’s Holding It Back?

As well as doing things to push your energy forward, it’s often a good idea to cut out the things that could be holding it back. For example, are you working too many hours? Are you drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes? Our lifestyles will have a huge impact on how much energy we have. If you can see where your energy might be going, then you’ll be able to wrestle back some control. 

Reduce Stress/Boost Happiness

Researchers have found that there’s a strong link between our stress and happiness levels and how much energy we have. It could be that the weight of the stress takes up all our energy. Whatever it is, it’s something that’s worth looking at. When we’re in the middle of stress, it can often feel like we just have to accept it, but that’s not true. There are many proven ways to reduce stress, including meditating, exercising, yoga, and talking with friends. If you’re constantly feeling tired, then focus on improving your happiness. It will make a difference. 

This is a collaborative post

A Place to Reflect, Chronic Illness

6 Ways to Take Better Care of Your Health

take care of your health,

Pexels – CCO Licence

Now, more than ever, it is important that we are all doing as much as we can to take the best possible care of our health. Whether you have a chronic illness, a short term illness, or no illness at all, the threat of coronavirus is very real, and anything you can do to improve your health right now will help you to stay as safe as possible. 

With that in mind, here are a few things we can all do to take better care of our health right now:

Be proactive in your health care

When it comes to your health, you need to be proactive. You need to take immediate action as soon as you’re experiencing a worrying symptom, whether that means speaking to the pharmacist or booking an appointment with the doctor. You need to make sure that you order your repeat prescriptions on time so that you aren’t left without medication and you need find ways to relax when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed. What you do not need to do is ignore the symptoms, put off seeing the doctor, lead your stress to fester until it’s out of control. You need to be proactive so that your issues can be dealt with before they become even more difficult to deal with.

Lead a healthy lifestyle

A lot of people, especially those with a chronic illness, often feel like a healthy lifestyle is beyond them, but there are a lot of things we can all do to be healthier from whatever starting point we’re at. For example, most of us could eat a healthy diet that’s high in whole foods or take up meditation to give us some headspace and help us deal better with our mental health. Most of us could even move a little more even if only by doing a few seated stretches. The key is to work out what is possible for you and what would make the most difference in giving you a healthier lifestyle and then taking it from there, using baby steps to ensure you stay safe and don’t get overwhelmed as you get healthy.

take care of your health, image shows lady in a yoga position

Pixabay – CCO Licence

Don’t do too much

On the flip side, it’s important that you don’t try to do too much. Whether you have a chronic illness or not, doing too much could lead to disaster. Not only can overexercising strain the body and cause fatigue and injuries, but it can also lead to stress and burnout which can be tough to deal with mentally. Ideally, you should do enough to stay healthy and happy and not too much to overwhelm you. There’s nothing selfish about taking time out to relax and practice self-care – it’s a sensible measure that could keep you out of the doctor’s surgery and more able to look after yourself and support those around you. Know your limits and protect them fiercely.

Make sleep a priority

Sleep is so important for our physical and mental health. A lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, worsening symptoms of illness, stress, depression, weight gain and even an increased risk of heart disease and stroke amongst other things. So, it’s fair to say that getting between 7 and 9 hours a night should be a priority.

Of course, for some of us sleep can prove elusive. If that’s the case, try turning off electronics an hour before bed. You may also want to try herbal sleep remedies, chamomile tea or evening meditation. If nothing seems to work, you may need to talk to your doctor about potentially trying some prescription medication. Your body needs sleep more than almost anything else, so do what you can to get it.

Practice good hygiene

Good hygiene, like regular hand washing and cleaning your home, is vital for keeping nasty bugs and viruses at bay. It won’t stop you from picking up everything, but it will lower your chances of succumbing and right now when coronavirus is such a threat, it’s just a really important thing for us all to do.

hands under the tap

Pixabay – CCO Licence

Stay connected

Staying connected with friends and family is a little more difficult right now, but it’s important you make the effort, even if you are only able to see them on Zoom. Why? Because connection is a vital building block of good mental health. It can help to stave off depression and anxiety and keep our minds feeling healthy. It also stops us from feeling so alone at a time when being alone is really tough.

Do as many of these things as you can and your health will benefit as a result. 

collaborated post

Chronic Illness

Getting Tested At Home

With a pandemic going on, despite a lot of things starting to return, it can still be difficult to get GP or hospital appointment. Maybe you have a health problem that you’d like to get sorted sooner. Maybe you want to rule out certain conditions. Getting tested at home maybe the answer.

LetsGetChecked

Letsgetchecked is a testing company which provides tests and advice for all sorts of conditions. I am an affiliate for Lets Get Checked and I’ve done a review on my test on my other blog. This means that my links will be affiliate links which will make no difference to you but may earn me some money if you go ahead an purchase a test.

The tests fall into four categories;

  • Sexual Health
  • Women’s Health
  • Men’s Health
  • Wellness

Some of them crossover, for example, Wellness can cover women and men’s problems.

Just a few examples You Might wish to get tested for:

Maybe you are worried about your fertility. If you are young and healthy then it will be about a year before your GP will refer you for tests, if you are older then it it’s generally six months. Sometimes this can seem like a lifetime, but it’s very possible you will fall pregnant during this time. If you want to know quicker then you can order a quick discreet test from LetsGetChecked. There are three tests available that will give you an idea if you need more help.

Or maybe you’ve been having symptoms which point to a kidney problem, for example

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Urinating less frequently or producing a reduced volume of urine
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Fluid retention
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet
  • Chest pain

LetsGetChecked can offer a quick and easy Kidney function test with online results in 5 days.

Many people have problems which are related to a lack of certain vitamins. For a brief example because there are many more symptoms related to vitamin deficiency:

  • Bone and Back Pain. …
  • Depression. …
  • Impaired Wound Healing. …
  • Bone Loss. …
  • Hair Loss. …
  • Muscle Pain.

LetsGetChecked offer three tests, vitamin B12, Vitamin D and the Essential Vitamin Test which included both B12, Vitamin D and Folate Serum.

Do you have a health issue that you’d like to find out more about? Home testing with LetsGetChecked is easy, discreet and very quick.

This is an affiliate post.