Tag Archives: body

5 Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Blood Tests

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5 Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Blood Tests

Does the thought of having your blood taken make you feel sick? Would you put off a visit to the emergency room if you thought you may need a blood test? Well, you’re not alone, as millions of people suffer from a fear of needles (trypanophobia) or blood (hemophobia). Here are five things you can try to overcome your fear:

Separate your phobias:

When thinking about taking a blood test are you afraid of seeing your own blood, the needle used to draw it, or a combination of the two? Being able to identify what it is you fear can help you to create an action plan to overcome it. For example, if you fear the sight of blood, then you could ask the nurse to erect a screen between you whilst you have your blood taken. Or, if you fear the needle itself, then your phlebotomist may be able to use a smaller needle or draw blood from a part of your body where you feel less fearful.

Educate yourself:

Many people have found themselves able to overcome or at least lessen their phobia by facing them head-on and learning more about them. This enables them to confront their fears rationally and scientifically rather than letting their brains blow them out of proportion. Do some research on phlebotomy (the scientific name for drawing blood) and even consider getting some phlebotomy training to help you understand what is going on when you have your blood taken. By doing this, you will also be exposing yourself to images and descriptions of your phobia which can help to desensitize you to their exposure.

Communicate your fears:

Don’t suffer through your phobia in silence, instead, communicate it to your phlebotomist so that you can work through it together. Because the fear of blood tests is a common occurrence, the chances are that your phlebotomist has some tricks up their sleeve to help make the process less stressful. Tell your phlebotomist of your fear in advance of your session so that they can allow a little more time for your visit and not rush you.

Distract yourself:

Believe it or not, our brains struggle to process too many things at once which makes distraction one of the best ways to get through a blood test that you are fearful of. Try bringing a friend or relative into the room and have them start an engrossing conversation with you. You may also want to try tapping or touching another part of your body whilst the blood test is conducted to distract you from the sensation of your blood being drawn.

Seek phobia counseling:

If your phobia is very severe, then you may wish to seek phobia counseling to help you deal with the anxiety that your phobia will make you feel. During phobia counseling, your counselor may choose to offer you cognitive behavioral therapy, group counseling sessions, self-care treatments, or a combination of all three. These sessions aren’t designed to cure your phobia but can help you to approach and manage it in a rational way.

We all have thing that we fear and, if blood and needles are some of yours, use the tips above during your next visit to the doctor.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Accident Update

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Accident Update

Hellooo everyone! If you recall, in late September, my boyfriend and I were hit head on by a reckless driver and I was hospitalized. I was pretty banged up and went home with a catheter and a lot of pain. Since then, my shoulder area has never stopped hurting. There’s times when I wake up in the morning and I can’t even apply my makeup because I can’t lift my arm.

I assumed that this pain would go away on its own but, then, things began taking a scary turn when I was at work in mid October. My right arm went completely numb and my hand essentially stopped working. I couldn’t grip anything and was dropping stuff left and right. I immediately scheduled an appointment with an orthopedist and was given a cortisone shot with the hopes that that would help.

Unfortunately, a week later, the symptoms moved into my left arm as well as the right and my arms began feeling fuzzy and so heavy that lifting them was impossible. It just didn’t feel like my arms. I called the orthopedist back with the update and an MRI was scheduled and in the time of waiting for that to happen, the pain moved into my neck and collarbones.

The MRI results showed a lot of swelling in my right shoulder as well as an injury to the cervical spine and my doctor ordered physical therapy. I have to begin trying to strengthen these areas of my body for three weeks and if that doesn’t work, then I’m not really sure what happens next.

This whole situation has been extremely frustrating and inconvenient, to say the least, and I am just completely over it. Especially considering that it has been over two months now since the accident and I’m still experiencing symptoms that are quite scary. But, here’s to hoping that the physical therapy will help!

I have had so many people reaching out to check up on me and I appreciate it so much. Thank you all for the well wishes and I will update everyone once the physical therapy finishes up and I find out what happens next.

What have been your experiences with physical therapy? How do you stay positive during a difficult situation? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Warning! These Signs Show That You Need A Detox ASAP

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Warning! These Signs Show That You Need A Detox ASAP

The body is a tireless machine that works even while you sleep. It flushes out toxins or those chemicals and foreign elements you’ve picked up from the products you used, the pollution you’re exposed to, and the food and substances ingested. However, like any machine, the body can get overwhelmed, and its efficiency can go downhill with little to no support from you.

This is where detoxification comes in. It helps the body deal effectively with the toxin buildup that can result in health conditions. While detox is closely associated with fasting, losing weight, and doing a short-term diet, this act of cleansing can be a periodic activity and carried out as necessary.

Listen to your body and be attentive to your current physical condition. Do you feel older than your years? Do you have trouble fulfilling routine tasks? Think of these as signs that you need a detox. Take a look:

You Feel Tired:

Something’s off when you feel fatigued despite getting enough sleep and rest. This constant sluggishness can be a symptom of adrenal fatigue, which happens when the adrenal glands are unable to produce enough hormones, such as cortisol, which handles stress and other responsibilities.

Many reasons cause this adrenal burnout:

  • Lack of nutrients, like zinc, which supports adrenal health
  • Chemicals from food and drugs or materials that come in contact with the body
  • Excessive stress and unhealthy responses to them

You Have Not Been Sleeping Well:

A healthy person secretes cortisol in response to a fight-or-flight situation and switches this off. As the day wears on, the cortisol level is also expected to go down so you can sleep. The opposite occurs for some people who can’t sleep at night because of heightened alertness caused by high cortisol levels.

Aside from addressing any cortisol imbalance, as noted above, your lifestyle affects how you sleep. The usual suspects are the following:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Heavy meals before bedtime

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Unsplash Image

As you age, your liver is not in the optimal condition to break down the above substances and flush them out. Thus, alcohol takes longer to metabolize and hits you with hangovers.

You Are Beset with Digestive Issues:

The digestive system is among the first to suffer when harmful elements accumulate in the body. Some manifestations include diarrhea, constipation, gas pains, and the like. When your stomach is out of whack at the slightest provocation, then you probably need to carry out these things:

  • Do an elimination diet. It’s a method to confirm food intolerances that can irritate your stomach.
  • Add fiber to your meals. A diet rich in high-fiber sources like fruits and vegetables promotes a healthy gut. Dietary fiber enables regular bowel movements and stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the colon through probiotics.

Speaking of gut bacteria, another telltale sign for detox is when you always crave for sweets. According to research published on PBS.org, the sugar in these foods can impede the production of proteins critical to the growth of the good bacteria.

You Have Skin Problems:

What’s happening inside of your body is reflected in your skin. Rashes, pimples, blemishes, and skin discoloration are clear-as-day signs. To heal your skin and restore its health, you must start from within and work toward the outside:

  • Cleanse your liver, and support its health. Enrich your diet with garlic, carrots, green tea, avocado, apples, and walnuts.
  • Hydrate your skin. Water aids in digestion and replenishes fluids you lose through urine and sweat.
  • Care for your skin. Select toners, cleansers, and face masks with natural ingredients to clean your pores from the outside.

You Need to Pass a Critical Test

You may have consumed alcohol or taken certain recreational substances at some point. Whatever your reasons or motivations, the exposure is there, and you need to be clean for a job offer. A detox is clearly in order to eliminate toxins from your body and help you pass the test.

In doing this kind of detox and ensuring you have the right program, consider the following:

  • Level of exposure (i.e., the type of substance you took and the frequency)
  • Your body weight and height
  • Metabolism rate

As with any detoxification program, drink lots of water and eat high-fiber foods. Indeed, by going through this detox, not only are you preparing yourself for a significant career milestone, but you are also cleansing your body of harmful toxins.

Your body deserves a break. Give time and effort to help it cleanse, heal, and restore itself. Living in a toxin-free environment is impossible, but you have detoxification programs as necessary for your health and well-being.

Featured Image By: Unsplash

How To Bring More Balance Into Your Life

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How To Bring More Balance Into Your Life

There is so much pressure on people nowadays to work hard, earn loads of money, and meet the accepted norms of what success means in today’s society; it is little wonder that many people feel stressed. Feeling stressed is a common state of mind for many people. The pressure to look great, be popular, and have lots of money can weigh heavily on people. This is often amplified by social media and the images that people see on TV and in the press. The good news, is that it is possible to minimize the stress that you experience in your life. Taking control of the situation can help you to bring balance back into your life and make you feel a lot better. Here are some of the ways that you can beat stress and improve your overall well being:

Regain Your Perspective:

If you are constantly comparing yourself to others, then it is time to stop. If scrolling through your social media makes you feel that everyone else’s life is perfect, then you are mistaken. Don’t forget that what you see on social media is simply the edited highlights of someone’s life. People very rarely post the whole truth on social media platforms. Minimizing the amount of time that you spend on social media can help. When you are online, remember to keep your perspective and remind yourself that people only share what they want the world to see.

Beat Stress and Anxiety:

Chronic stress can harm both your physical and mental well being so it is important to find ways to manage it. Many people find practicing mindfulness helpful in reducing their stress. Mindfulness is a tool which enables people to focus their attention on the present moment. This helps to stop the mind from getting caught up in unhelpful thoughts about the past and future.

Being under prolonged stress or pressure can make you feel anxious. Anxiety is a condition that can significantly impact your life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, for example, before taking a test. However, chronic anxiety can leave you feeling anxious on a daily basis making everyday life much harder. Luckily, anxiety treatment is available to help you ease the feelings of anxiousness and provide you with help and support.

Take Care of Yourself:

If you are working hard and always rushing around, then chances are that you aren’t taking the best care of yourself. Stress and anxiety, coupled with long working hours, can take their toll on your well being. This makes it all the more important to practice self-care to regain balance in your life.

Try and get plenty of sleep so that your body has a chance to relax and recover. Getting enough sleep can also have a positive effect on your mood and help you to think more clearly. Make sure that you feed your body with the right fuel. Making healthy food choices will help nourish your body and mind and make you feel infinitely better.

Life is a balancing act and the tips above will help you find the right level to keep you happy and healthy.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Breakfast Of Champions

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Breakfast Of Champions

*Trigger Warning: This post contains references to eating disorders.

Hellooo everyone! Eating “normally” has always been something that I’ve struggled with. From eating too much to not eating at all and a battle with bulimia, food turned into my best friend and worst enemy. I still struggle with occasional spurts of not wanting to eat or a strong desire to have a binge and purge sesh and do my damnedest to fight the urge. And, I have to say, I have been doing a great job and I am proud of that.

One thing that has helped me with my food related issues has been trying to create a normal schedule for myself of when to eat. And, for once, this includes breakfast – something that I would avoid until around May of this year when I was settled into my apartment. For some reason, there was nothing more satisfying to me than waking up in my own place, opening my refrigerator to examine the food that I bought by myself, and making something tasty to eat.

Now, mind you, it’s never like I’m making some super gourmet breakfast extravaganza. Rather, I usually opt for something easy like my favorites of eggie in a basket or a bagel with a sunny side up egg and a slice of cheese on it. I also will go for just eggs and toast or a bagel with cream cheese. As a vegetarian and not a vegan, I am very mindful of where my eggs come from and always choose the cage free/free roaming option and these are a staple you can find in my fridge more often than not along with bagels and a grainy loaf of bread.

Eating breakfast was never important to me until I started realizing the impact it had on my day. It made me drive to work without dreading it, I would feel satisfied but not bursting at the seams, and I wasn’t obsessively counting down the minutes until lunch. My attitude seemed to improve tenfold and by the time lunch rolled around, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to indulge in a huge meal.

Of course, I value my beauty sleep and don’t always have the time to cook something for myself in the morning. But, I like that I have made this positive and healthy change in my life and have been keeping up with it. And, guess what? Adding an extra meal didn’t effect my weight in any way shape or form, which was my main concern.

Living as an eating disorder survivor is a difficult thing, because it’s always going to be a nagging little thought in the back of your mind. Very much how it is with my self harm struggles. But, the harder I work at making healthy choices when it comes to food, the weaker those voices become. And, maybe some day, I won’t ever have to deal with them at all.

What do you like to eat for breakfast? How do you make healthy choices when it comes to food? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

This Is How To Keep Your Feet Sweet!

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This Is How To Keep Your Feet Sweet!

Our poor old feet! They are so often overlooked when it comes to health and maintenance. In fact, many of us just forget all about them until summer comes around and we want to wear strappy shoes. Of course, our feet are actually a pretty important part of the body to look after! Fortunately doing this isn’t such a dirty job. In fact, by reading the post below, you can do plenty to keep your feet sweet!

Keep ’em clean!

First of all, if you are going to keep your feet sweet, you will need to make sure they are as clean as possible. Otherwise, you could be dealing with some rather unpleasant smells! For most of us, that means a quick wash while in the shower, followed by some clean socks.

However, sometimes, no matter how much effort we put into keeping them clean, there can still be an odor. Happily, this is not something that you or those that you live with need to put up with.

There are a lot of tactics you can use to eliminate the smell, including steering clear of plastic or manmade shoes. The reason being that these encourage sweat, which the odor-causing bacteria feed off. Also, using a deodorizing powder can help, and if all else fails isopropyl alcohol applied to the shoe can element any nasty bacteria, and will keep your feet smelling as sweet as possible.

Nail care!

Toenail care isn’t just about choosing the right shade of polish to compliment your outfit. (Although that is fun!). The trimming of our nails properly is important, as well. The reason for this is that if you don’t trim them correctly, they can turn into ingrown toenails which are very painful to walk on. If they are really bad, they can also become infected, and that can be a real risk to your overall health and well being.

If you do find that your nails are ingrown, you can get help to cure them. All you need to do is search for terms like: ‘Where is the top podiatrist in my area?‘ and you will be able to find a healthcare professional that will help you out. Something that will undoubtedly come as a major relief if you are suffering from feet that are less than sweet.

Choose the right shoes!

Picking the right type of footwear goes beyond just avoiding the smell. If you want to keep your feet healthy and free of pain, you must invest in good quality shoes. Now, for the most part, flats are the best option because they put a lot less pressure on the bones and muscles in the feet and will do less permanent damage.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can never wear heels (thank goodness). If you pick the ones that are supportive and have a platform like the ones you will find here, you should get a lot less trouble with your feet and be able to keep them sweet!

feet

Picture found at Pixabay – License CC0

Keep your feet perfectly sweet with the above tips and, if problems persist, be sure to seek help from your doctor!

Self Care & Me

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Self Care & Me

Helloooo everyone! Today, I thought that we would talk a little about my self care journey. And, believe me, it’s not an easy thing to do when you run two businesses and are constantly running around like a mad woman! At first, I used to consider “self care” as going shopping and having a spending spree… and, although that’s nice, it doesn’t get to the root of true self care, which I take to mean as doing something mentally or physically stimulating to help improve your mood.

I think the main thing that has helped me become more conscious of trying to incorporate self care into my life is my weekly skating practices. Being on the ice and riding that high of an invigorating work out and doing something that I’m good at always makes me feel my best. And, since I began weekly instead of biweekly practices, it has made me realize that I really don’t do enough for myself. So, I decided to change that.

When I began my career as a service provider for people with special needs, working evenings were just part of the deal. But, now that I’m more established, I thought that it was high time to treat myself to a normal schedule. And, come October, I will only be working one evening a week!

This is a change that I have been craving for a long time now and I’m looking forward to actually having time for myself when I get home from work. Whether that be practicing my languages, reading a book, binge watching a show, or taking a bath – I finally have that option now! And, maybe *just maybe*, I could start having a regular social life. Because, trust and believe, it’s hard fitting in hang outs, errands, and skating all in one weekend. This caused me to enter my work week feeling even more exhausted and it grew into a vicious cycle.

There are so many things that I plan on doing with my evenings off but, what I’m most looking forward to is finding an American Sign Language class to attend. Weirdly enough, there are no weekend classes at the centers for the deaf in my area but evening classes are available. So, that is definitely going to be on my agenda very soon! It feels good to do for me while still maintaining my caseload at work and lifewithlilred and I am ready for work free evenings to commence!

How do you practice self care? What do you do during your free time to relax? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah