Tag Archives: health

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

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!

Improving Your Health Within The Workplace

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Improving Your Health Within The Workplace

Depending on your job, you may not always have to be working in an office environment. However, a lot of us do work at a desk for most of the working day. Not being on your feet all the time can end up being a little unhealthy and, among other things, sometimes work can be a threat to your health. Here’s how to improve your health within the workplace:

Get HR To Do A Workplace Assessment:

The HR in your business should be doing this already, but if they’re not, it’s worth suggesting it. Everyone should really get a workplace assessment done to find out what areas of the working environment are a challenge for you and maybe causing you ill health. It’s mostly focused on the desk that you have and whether the chair is supportive enough and how far away your computer screen is in relation to where you’re sitting. After this assessment is completed, any notes where you’ve asked for things to be purchased should then be followed up with the person or persons responsible for doing the ordering of office furniture.

Improve Your Furniture And Desk Accessories:

After your workplace assessment, your furniture and desk accessories may need some improvement. Make sure that you get a chair that has good back support and if additional support is required, then there’s plenty of back cushions that you can get to provide that for you. If they acknowledge the assessment but they’re not getting you the furniture or equipment that you require, then if you end up later getting problems with your body, there’s always a worker’s compensation doctor that you can go to.

Take Regular Breaks From The Chair:

Sitting at your chair for a prolonged amount of time can be damaging to your spine, and that’s the last place that you want to do damage to. Try and take plenty of regular breaks from the chair. Stand up and stretch your legs and other muscles throughout your body. Go and make yourself a drink, take a brief walk outside so that you can take five or ten minutes away from your screen. A lot of us don’t do this nearly enough, and we don’t realize just how dangerous this can be to our bodies over a long period of time.

Do More Physical Exercise:

To reduce the risk of injuring your back, neck, or other body parts, it’s important to do physical exercise. This keeps the body moving, but certain exercise can also improve flexibility, among other things. Try to commit to a class or exercise once or twice a week and improve on that number when you can. The more exercise you can do, the better. This will help tackle the amount of time that is spent in your chair at work.

Improving your health within the workplace is something that is definitely worth looking at seriously, and the more we can do to avoid any future problems, the better.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

NJOYing Myself

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NJOYing Myself

Helloooo everyone! So, it’s no secret that I love me a good cigarette. I have been a smoker for longer than I care to admit and I really had no intention of quitting any time soon. But, once I was introduced to the NJOY vape pen by one of my girlfriends, I decided to give it a try. Now, I’m well aware that vaping is not much better than good old fashioned cigarette smoking but, hey, it’s an improvement and I’ll take it! Check it out:

I have been using my NJOY for about three weeks now and haven’t had a cigarette since. I admit, the device in itself is pretty lame looking but it was only a dollar at the gas station and a pack of two liquid pods was ten bucks. I have enjoyed the watermelon and mint cartridges and, as opposed to smoking a whole cigarette, I can hit this once or twice and then go about my day.

It’s not like I was a pack a day smoker or anything, I had three maximum on a longer work day and none to one on a day off. But, my NJOY has saved me money and it’s nice to be able to do it anywhere without disturbing anyone or making the room or car smell smokey. I am also thankful that I’m not experiencing any of the withdrawal symptoms that I would get if I quit cold turkey right away. The last time I quit smoking, I gained weight, which is a really sensitive thing for me and it made me never want to quit again.

I don’t plan on using the NJOY for forever and I’m quite confident in being able to kick this habit, too. In fact, I’ve noticed that the longer I’ve had it, the less I’ve been using it throughout the day. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good start and I’m happy with it!

How did you quit smoking? What is your favorite vape flavor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah