Friday, January 19, 2018

Feeling Down? Make Some Lists!

We all have days when we are feeling a little sad. And it's okay to be in that mood sometimes, but not for too long. This is the time of year a lot of people may get into the doldrums. Thank the long, cold winter or hot, sweltering summer - depending on where you are in the world. You might not have noticed, but in the northern hemisphere, the days ARE getting longer; and shorter, cooler days are really coming in the southern hemisphere.

There's a little trick that can help. When you're feeling blue, make a list. Yes, you read that right - make a list! Don't make a "to do" list. Instead, think of all the things that you like, even love. Your favourite things. Make lists of them - they can remind you of good things and better days, and even motivate you to do something positive to get that little cloud lifting.

Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.

Your Favourite Things
Favourite songs of all time
Funniest jokes you've ever heard
Best movies ever made
Best loved books
Favourite foods
Favourite quotes
Scents you love

Your People
People you love
People who love you
People who inspire you
How you met your favourite people
Favourite authors and/or actors
Three people, past or present, you would love to visit with you

Your Accomplishments
Things you are proud of
Scariest things you have done
All the things you are good at
The last time you "paid it forward"
Things you are grateful for
Something new you learned
Someone you helped

Images Source: Pixabay


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Humpday Hint: Tips for Modifying Resolutions

Contributing Author: Gentle Heron

Most of us are about ready for Ditch Your Resolutions Day, which is January 17. If you change your resolutions using these tips, you will be more likely to be able to stick with them and accomplish your goals.
  1. Start slow and gradual.
    instead of a fitness goal of exercising every day, aim for twice a week. It’s a more attainable goal.
    You don’t have to implement all your resolutions at the same time. Stagger their start dates so you’re only making one change at a time.
  2. Set attainable goals.
    Start yourself off with a small success. You’re more likely to stick with that goal. Change a long-term weight loss amount resolution (“I will lose 25 pounds by summer.”) into a weekly behavior change goal (“I won’t eat while watching TV.” or “I will have a fruit or vegetable at every meal this week.”)
  3. Allow for exceptions.
    You don’t need to go “all or nothing” on most life changes. For instance, don’t outlaw all carbs. They are a source of food energy, and many are healthy and contain fiber.
    Don’t deny yourself all sweets. A piece of fruit is healthy. And one candy bar once in a while isn’t likely to derail your whole diet improvement plan. Forgive yourself and move on.
  4. Avoid the trends.
    You don’t need fancy diet foods, fad diets or the newest fitness program at the gym. Use common everyday items and activities to reach your long range goals.
  5. Don’t try to go “cold turkey.”
    Gradually changing long-held habits generally works best. Find healthy alternatives and add them slowly to your routine.

Image sources: Public Domain Pictures and Pixabay

Friday, January 12, 2018

How Can Your Pharmacist Help You?

Contributing Author: Gentle Heron

Your health care team probably includes a pharmacist. Most people know that a pharmacist is a licensed medical professional who distributes medications and drugs prescribed by physicians to patients. Pharmacists in the US have a graduate level university degree, and must also have passed a series of examinations of their pharmacy skills and knowledge. All US pharmacists are required to have a certain number of hours of supervised experience before they can acquire their license.

But do you know what else your pharmacist can do to help you maintain your health and wellness?

You can ask your pharmacist questions about any of your prescriptions, the proper way to take them, potential side effects, and possible interactions with other prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking. Pharmacists can offer advice about the selection, dosage, interactions and side effects of any medication to patients and to doctors and other medical professionals.

Your pharmacist can offer advice about general health topics, including diet, exercise and stress management. He can offer specific advise about conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes, or about wellness goals such as smoking cessation.

Your pharmacist can also advise you on general health products carried in the pharmacy, including durable medical equipment and home healthcare supplies that may or may not be prescribed. She may complete third-party insurance forms and other paperwork. Many pharmacists now are trained to administer vaccinations, such as the flu shot.

Did you know...

...That pharmacists save patients time, and save the government money?

For an excellent visual explanation of evidence-based statements about what pharmacists do in the US, please see this website: http://whatpharmacistsdo.org/

For information about pharmacists in the UK: https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/

To learn about pharmacists in Canada: https://www.pharmacists.ca/pharmacy-in-canada/pharmacists-in-canada/

Interested in a career in pharmacy in Australia? Check out this site: http://www.psa.org.au/about/pharmacy-as-a-career/what-pharmacists-do-and-where-they-work

Image Source: Pixabay

Monday, January 8, 2018

Avoiding the Flu When Away From Home

Influenza, often nicknamed "the flu", is a viral disease that can have mild symptoms such as sniffles, sore throat and feeling tired, or it can develop into severe complications such as viral pneumonia and heart failure.

The 2017-2018 flu season has seen a worrisome spread of this illness. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publishes a weekly report on the spread of influenza in the United States. The World Health Organisation (WHO) also monitors the spread of influenza across the world.

What can YOU do to protect yourself and loved ones?

The CDC shares three key things you can do.

First, get vaccinated. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated every year (with some rare exceptions). Again, if you can, GET VACCINATED.

Second, the following actions will help you to stop the spread of germs:
  • Wash your hands! Always wash your hands after using the restroom; after sneezing or coughing or blowing your nose; and before and after eating. Wash your hands after touching surfaces touched by other people, such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, cart handles, counter tops. Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before rinsing.
  • Carry tissues and hand sanitizer. Use the tissues to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, then immediately dispose of the used tissue. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) when you can’t wash your hands. Offer to share the sanitizer with others.
  • Don’t touch your face. If you do have flu germs on your hands, they are easily transferred through your eyes, nose and mouth into your body.
  • Don’t share items such as phones and computer keyboards with others. Disinfect hard surfaces after others have touched them.
  • Stay away from people with symptoms. And do others a favor and stay home when you are ill.

Third, if your doctor prescribes them, take antiviral drugs. The sooner they are taken, the better. Those at high risk for flu complications like pneumonia especially are encouraged to stay in contact with their doctors if they become ill.

While anyone can get the flu, young children and adults over age 65 are considered vulnerable. A little common sense and use of preventive measures will help to lower the risk for yourself and everyone around you.

Images source: Pixabay, keyword "flu"