Mrs. Cynthia has been married for the past 10 years with no child. She has lost 3 pregnancies, all in the first trimester, to miscarriage in these 8 years, but that did not stop her and her very supportive husband from giving it another try.
If you can see clearly with the aid of glasses or contact lenses, you may assume you're doing everything right to protect your eyes.
But developing additional healthy habits to protect and fortify your vision is paramount.
As you get older, your risk of developing some of the most common causes of blindness, including cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, goes up.
Fortunately, there are measures that you can take to reduce your risks and fuel better vision as you grow older.
Get your vitamins
A number of vitamins and nutrients can help. They include:
Vitamin A. This antioxidant is essential to the vision process and helps protect the surface of the eyes. Vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness and, eventually, blindness. Many animal-based foods are high in vitamin A, including liver, oily fish and cheese, but your body can also produce vitamin A from carotenoids found in vegetables like sweet potato, leafy green vegetables and carrots.
Vitamin C. Found in many fruits and vegetables including broccoli, grapefruit, strawberries and oranges, this antioxidant helps lower the risk of developing cataracts.
Vitamin E. Studies have shown that vitamin E may slow vision damage from AMD. You can get it from sunflower seeds, nuts, avocado and plant oils.
Lutein. Lutein, found in high quantities in leafy green vegetables, is thought to filter harmful blue light that enters the eyes and limit damage to the retina.
Mind the sun
Excessive UV exposure can damage the front and back of the eyes and contribute to a number of problems that lead to vision loss, including cataracts, macular degeneration and eye cancers. Buy a quality pair of sunglasses that fully covers the eye area, and make sure the lenses provide 100% UV spectrum protection.
Follow the 20/20/20 rule
Staring at a television, computer, smartphone or tablet screen for hours and hours every day strains your eyes. It is recommended that you take breaks from being fixated at these screens.
This is to calm your eyes and get you blinking because we find that people that spend hours watching TV rarely blink as often as they should.
Blinking lubricates the eye, so not blinking can make your eyes feel dry.
See an eye doctor on the regular
Make a visit to an eye doctor part of your annual preventive care routine — and not just to find out whether your glasses prescription has changed. With a comprehensive eye exam, doctors can detect early signs of eye diseases like glaucoma and AMD that might not yet be causing you any symptoms. These conditions are better treated early to minimize or slow vision loss.
Plus, your eyes can hold clues about other aspects of your health. Sometimes, signs of serious health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can affect your eyes in ways that an optometrist or ophthalmologist can see during a routine eye exam.
So just because your eyes are 10/10 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for them. Apply these small steps now to manage your screen time, sun time and nutrition, and your eyes will be grateful in the long run.
You can never be too safe when it comes to breast cancer. Doing self-exams, having mammograms and keeping your eyes peeled for signs can be life saving.
Raising awareness and promoting breast health is a wonderful thing But it has also brought about
This article debunks some myths that have been heard from medical patients:
Myth 1: If a breast lump is movable, it’s not cancer.
Almost all breast cancers cases begin in a movable state. When they grow large and attach to something they stop being movable.
You should immediately inform your GP about any lump you feel in your breast.
During a breast self-exam, feel around your breasts for something hard that doesn’t belong there, it may feel smooth and very firm, like a marble.
Myth 2: Breast cancer doesn’t cause pain.
That’s true to some extent but fast-growing breast cancers can be painful. Breast pain in one particular spot, especially in older women, is a warning sign.
Most women experience general breast pain or soreness that comes and goes, that's not a sign of cancer, that’s usually caused by too much caffeine or hormone fluctuations
Myth 3: Women with lumpy breast tissue have dense breasts.
That’s false. Lumpy breast tissue has nothing to do with breast density, your breasts can feel lumpy but not appear dense on a mammogram.
Nearly one in two women have dense breast tissue, indicated by the amount of milk glands and ducts and supportive tissue, which appear solid white on a mammogram. Because cancer can appear the same way, women with dense breasts may choose to have 3D mammography for better cancer detection and fewer false positives.
Myth 4: Doctors can tell if a lump is cancer just by feeling it.
Wrong. Neither you nor your healthcare provider — no matter how good he or she is — can tell whether a lump is cancer without diagnostic imaging.
Women age 30 and older will have a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. An ultrasound helps evaluate a mass by assessing whether it is solid or fluid-filled. Women under age 30 will have only an ultrasound because younger, dense breasts are difficult to evaluate by mammogram.
Suspicious lumps should be biopsied. Typically, a sample of tissue is drawn through a needle. Then the tissue is studied under a microscope.
Myth 5: Nipple discharge is usually a sign of cancer.
No, the opposite is true. Many women have leftover milk in their ducts after breastfeeding, or they have debris that can cause greenish or even black discharge that can be squeezed out of the ducts.
You should be more worried about bloody or clear discharge that leaks out when you’re not squeezing. This type of discharge can be a sign of breast cancer about 10 percent of the time. Even with bloody nipple discharge, the cause is usually a benign condition inside the milk duct.
Ruling out cancer
Lumps, pain and other breast abnormalities affect almost every woman at some point. Usually they are not cancer, but getting them checked out is a must.
It’s not advisable to rule out breast cancer before you’ve had a proper evaluation.
“Oh C’mon a salad? Don’t be boring”
When you’re in the midst of your friends, faced with delicious but unhealthy food choices, peer pressure can make it difficult to stay committed to the healthy living lifestyle.
Whether you’re trying to make healthier choices or just want to march to the beat of your own drum, a little forethought is key.
Your family and friends influence your food choices, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself you have it all covered.
Eating is contagious, just like the flu.
We eat like others because we want to be the norm. We want to be like the people we are spending time with.
Studies have shown that people eating together even tend to chew at the same rate. They mirror the person they are hanging with.
That means if you hang with a bunch of foodies, you’re more likely to overeat in order to fit in. It works the other way, too — you’re more likely to pass on that piece of cake if your friends do.
“Whoever you’re eating with has a dramatic impact on what you eat and how much. But if you become mindful of yourself and your habits, it’s easier to stay your own healthy eating course and avoid following what everyone else is doing.
Mindful eating is key to opposing peer pressure. You can use internal instincts to make your food choices instead of following external social cues.
To be a mindful eater, set your intentions before you begin eating — and then follow through one bite at a time. Stay present. Focus on all the sensations eating involves: how food tastes and how it makes you feel. Mindfulness can help you feel more satisfied and in control.
To do it:
Decide how much you want to eat ahead of time. Be clear on your level of hunger and fullness.
Follow through on your decisions, and don’t apologize for or explain them.
Look at how fast others are eating, and try to chew more slowly. If you are aware of what you need, that’s going to make a big difference. Makes you feel more in control.
Practice makes perfect
If you have a hard time saying no to peer pressure, practice, practice, practice. Say, “No, thank you,” and, “I’m full.” Repeat them until you sound and feel confident.
Before you go to a restaurant, look at the menu and pick out what you want. Order first, because whoever orders first usually sets the tone for the rest. If you already know what you want, your choice is yours alone and not someone else’s.
It’s not an unusual question to ask,”Can men get breast cancer?” the plain answer is yes.
Male breast cancer is a relatively rare cancer but one that doctors often diagnose in the later stages. Knowing how to recognize the signs can help a person get early treatment.
Male breast cancer accounts for fewer than 1% of all cancer diagnoses worldwide.
In 2020, about 2,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed, and about 490 men will die from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Male breast cancers usually have excellent outlooks if the cancer is detected early. However, early diagnosis is not always possible.
One factor in diagnosis delay is a lack of awareness. Many women know what signs and changes that could indicate breast cancer, it’s not the same for men. Hence, making early diagnosis rarely occurring in men. There is less awareness among men which means they are less likely to seek help in the early stages.
Breast cancer can also affect males differently, as they have a small amount of breast tissue in comparison with females. This can make it easier to detect small lumps, but it also means that the cancer has less room to grow within the breast. As a result, it may spread more quickly to nearby tissues.
For these and other reasons, around 40% of men with breast cancer receive a diagnosis in stage 3 or 4, when the disease has already spread to other parts of the body. As a result, overall survival rates are lower for men than for women.
The most common symptoms of male breast cancer are:
- A lump or swelling that is usually, but not always, painless
- Skin dimpling or puckering
- Nipple retraction
- Redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin
- Discharge from the nipple
If cancer spreads, additional symptoms may include:
- swelling in the lymph glands, in or near the underarm area
- breast pain
- bone pain
One major risk factor that increases the risk of breast cancer for both men and women is aging. Generally, the risk of breast cancer for a man goes up as they age.
Family history is important, too, as breast cancer risk is higher if other members of the family have had the disease. About 20 percent of men with breast cancer have a family history of it.
It is essential to seek help as soon as a person notices changes. Early stage breast cancer responds well to treatment.
Breakfast is one very important meal you shouldn’t skip. But most of us aren’t sure whether we should eat eggs because of their saturated fat and cholesterol content.
On one hand, eggs are considered an excellent and inexpensive source of protein and various nutrients.
A sore point is there, but only for people with heart disease risk factors. Egg whites are a good source of protein. It is egg yolks that have the cholesterol and saturated fat you’re trying to avoid.
If you have a type of heart disease or high cholesterol, you should be watchful about the number of egg yolks you consume, and take into account all the other forms of saturated fat (red meat, beef, pork, veal and lamb, poultry skin, whole-milk dairy or full-fat cheese) in your diet.
To lower your LDL cholesterol, no more than 5 to 6% of your calories should come from saturated fat.
When you prepare eggs, you should also pay attention to the way you cook them, adding oil to fry contributes to the saturated fat you’re consuming for the day. Avoid putting salt on your eggs to keep the amount of sodium in your diet at the recommended level. One teaspoon of salt is all you need per day.
Whether it’s FIFA 20 or FORTNITE, you sit down turn it on and the hours start to go by. What was once a way to blow off steam and relax has transitioned into a pattern of behavior that’s downright addictive.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Gaming disorder was recently classified as a mental health disorder in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).
According to the WHO, to be diagnosed, the behavior must be severe enough to cause “significant detriment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other necessary aspects of functioning.
The disorder is extremely rare.
The disorder isn’t sudden, but rather is considered as a diagnosis when the negative behavior lasts for about a year and takes over the player’s entire life— often to the impairment of a healthy diet and physical fitness.
If players are not participating in other important behaviours, such as going to work, school or doing homework, then it’s starting to become a problem.
Why does gaming become addictive?
The addiction involved with video games isn’t the same as with alcohol or drug use.
Gambling and gaming addictions have more of the same characteristics, the reward isn’t constant and is very unpredictable. This keeps players actively seeking the good feeling that’s produced in the brain when they reach a new goal or successfully complete an objective.
Video game developers understand a great deal about what’s called “schedules of reinforcement.” Many games, especially massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), are designed to make players repeat behaviors in the quest of that gaming high. With virtual societies, money to earn and even spouses to be had, the draw to stay connected can become irresistible.
So who is at risk?
People who are prone to other mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, may rely on gaming to produce changes in brain chemistry that make them feel good temporarily.
Those at highest risk are adolescents and young adults, who may have greater difficulty judging the negative effects of gaming behavior.
Just as with gambling disorders, gaming disorder can still occur at nearly any age.
What aid can you get?
Putting some limits in place, for some people. In others, complete abstinence from gaming, might be required to treat addiction.
Parents may need to help their children set strict time limits adherence for gaming activities. But if video games are seriously impairing a person’s life, it may be best for them to cut out gaming altogether.
Like other compulsive or addictive behaviors, it’s often hard for individuals who’ve had problems with a specific behavior to develop greater control over it.
Proactively addressing the symptoms of gaming addiction may help individuals find their way to mental health providers who can offer accurate assistance for underlying or co-occurring conditions.
Mental health professionals will soon come to view other behaviors, such as excess use of social media, to be problematic as well.
You likely think of cervical cancer when you hear about the rising incidence of human papilloma virus (HPV). So you might be surprised to learn that this sexually-transmitted virus is also a leading cause of throat cancer (oropharyngeal cancer), and it spreads from person to person via oral sex.
Often times, oral cancers are linked to smoking but recent medical studies finds that HPV is directly related to some throat cancers. As a matter of fact, these cancers are becoming rampant, and soon will outpace new cervical cancer cases.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, there are 18,000 new cases of throat cancer diagnosed annually that are potentially related to HPV. About 10% of men and 4% of women have oral HPV, but only about 1% have the particular type associated with throat cancer: HPV 16.
Most of the time, HPV goes away all by itself and most people never know they have it. It’s not yet understood why HPV stays in others for decades, potentially causing throat cancer.
So what are the risks?
The All Time leading risk in contracting oral HPV and developing HPV-related throat cancer is having multiple oral sex partners. Having a higher number of partners increases the risk for both men and women.
Women experience less HPV-related throat cancer, researchers say, because they may have developed an immunological response to fight off cervical cancer. Men don’t possess the same immunity.
Smoking also raises the risk of developing throat cancer and decreases the response to treatment in patients that are diagnosed with HPV-related throat cancer.
How do you limit your risks?
There are five ways to significantly help you limit your risk of HPV-related throat cancer:
Don’t have many lifetime sexual partners: The increase in risk involved with greater numbers of sexual partners is even greater for oral sexual partners. Also, use condoms or dental dams consistently for some protection.
Get children and young adults vaccinated: For males and females between ages 9 and 45, a three-round HPV vaccine can ward off HPV infection and likely will lead to decreased risk of developing these HPV- related cancers.
Regular Screening & Checkup: Regular screening increases the chances you’ll catch a tumor early. Your doctor will feel your neck, examine your throat and inspect your mouth.
Visit your dentist. Get regular dental checkups because dentists are often the first practitioners to notice abnormalities with the tongue and tonsils.
Limit smoking and alcohol: Cut off smoking completely and reduce alcohol consumption to minimize your risk.
What symptoms should you watch for?
HPV-related throat cancer symptoms can often go unnoticed, because they’re difficult to discern by a non medical person. They could easily pass for a sore throat. If any of the symptoms lasts beyond two weeks, see your doctor or an ear, nose and throat specialist. The symptoms include:
Neck mass or swelling.
Painful swallowing (like something is stuck in the back of your throat.
Snoring (as a new issue, without sudden weight gain).
Vocal changes (hoarseness).
Enlarged lymph nodes.
Unexplained weight loss.
HPV oral cancers slow to develop, but quick to spread
HPV-related cancers spread quickly to the lymph nodes. It’s not that the tumors spread quickly due to issues with the immune system — they spread quickly for unknown reasons. However, they show up first as large swollen lymph nodes because the body has an immune response at the site of the lymph nodes once tumor reaches this area, causing swelling and a noticeable neck lump.
It can take up to 30 years for HPV-related throat cancer to appear, making it most common in adults between the ages of 40 and 60.
Know your risks and stay protected.
Get vaccinated. You can book an appointment with the Reliance Family Clinics for the HPV vaccine. It’s three shots and you’re protected for life.
Floating poop is not usually a cause for concern. And floating poop is something very common and usually not a sign of anything wrong. Gas, dietary changes and some minor infections may cause your poop to float. Though some underlying health conditions can also cause persistent floating stool.
Your poop can reveal a lot about your health and here are some possible reasons behind floating stools:
Consumption of dietary fibre
Your poop is less likely to float when it is dense. When you consume foods that are rich in fibre, especially insoluble fibre it can make the poop less dense, making it a little light causing it to float.
Fibre-rich foods including fruits, vegetables and whole grains form an important part of a healthy meal. So, floating poop can be a result of fibre consumption, which is actually a sign of good health.
Women between the age bracket (19 – 50) years should consume at least 25g of fibre per day, while men of the same age bracket need at least 38g of fibre per day.
Gas also makes your poop less dense, causing it to float. Many high-fibre foods can cause gas. Many people also develop gas when they change their diet. So, if your poop floats after you eat something different from the usual, it’s completely normal.
Infection in the gastrointestinal tract caused by E. coli can also cause the poop to float. The infection can cause gas and thus lower the density of poop.
Some stomach infections are temporary and go away without any treatment, usually after drinking plenty of fluids. However, if the symptoms persists you should see your doctor.
In some people, floating poop may be the first warning sign of gastrointestinal or bowel problem. When you have a floating stool along with other symptoms such as pain, diarrhoea, bloating or constipation, it can be a sign of an underlying gastrointestinal issue.
When the stool is fatty, it floats. The medical term for this condition is steatorrhea. It means your body is not adequately absorbing nutrients from foods you consume.
Some common conditions that may cause malabsorption include:
1. Lactose intolerance: It is a type of allergy to sugar that is found in milk and other dairy products.People who are lactose intolerant can experience diarrhoea and bloating when they consume dairy foods.
2. Small intestine disorders: As the name strongly indicates, it is a disorder that affects the small intestine and can lead to malabsorption. People who have had a small portion of their small intestine removed surgically to treat Crohn’s disease can also experience malabsorption ergo floating stool.
3. Liver and biliary disease: Our liver produces bile that helps the body digest food. When enough bile is not produced or it doesn’t reach the intestines, it may result in fatty stool. Liver disease such as blocked bile ducts and gallstones can also cause fatty and floating stool.
When you should see the doctor
1. If floating stool also looks greasy and the symptom persists for more than 3 days.
2. If you experience chronic constipation or diarrhoea.
3. When you start losing weight without a conscious effort.
4.Dark urine alongside floating poop.
Note: This article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician's take. Please consult your doctor if you're expeiencing any of the above stated.
Put your sight on these vision friendly path
The eyes flourish on nutritional diet, just as any other well functioning part of the body. Medical experts cited some particular foods that can help improve eyesight and prevent eye diseases and problems.
Take a close look at these six tips for nutrient-packed foods and drinks that may do your eyes some good:
This vegetable is loaded with two antioxidants: zeaxanthin and lutein. They may be linked to a lower risk of cataracts — a clouding of the eye’s lens — and age-related macular degeneration, which damages the central vision. These nutrients can be gotten from other leafy vegetables like Spinach.
Carrots. Eating carrots from time to time can improve your eyesight. Here’s why: The orange color in carrots indicates that they’re high in beta-carotene, which may help slow the progress of age related macular degeneration. Other orange-colored fruits and veggies — such as sweet potatoes and apricots are also pretty good for the eyes. Beta-carotene has a bonus night vision enhancing benefit. You’ve never seen a Rabbit wear glasses now, have you?
Certain fish — such as salmon, albacore tuna and sardines — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats help keep eyes healthy as we grow older. Omega-3s can be found in walnuts and chia seeds too.
Have more Citrus.
The vitamin C in citrus fruits — such as oranges and grapefruit — may help protect against cataracts and AMD. Other C-rich gems include cantaloupe, bell peppers, broccoli and strawberries.
Green tea contains catechins. Those are plant compounds that may help lower the risk of cataracts and AMD.
Legumes are not left out.
Peas, beans and other legumes contain a very essential mineral: Zinc. It may help protect the eyes from the damaging effects of bright lights. You can just snack on some peanuts, they’re zinc filled and easier to chew on.
What is Body Odour?
Body odor is the perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin break down sweat into acids.
Some say it is the smell of bacteria growing on the body, but it is actually the result of bacteria breaking down protein into certain acids.
Body Odor Causes
Certain medical conditions
Tips on preventing body odor
1. Always have a bath
Shower at least twice a day and you’ll wash away sweat as well as reduce the number of bacteria on your skin.
Sweat itself is odorless but when microscopic bacteria that dwell on your skin mix with sweat, they multiply quickly and give off a horrid smell
So washing thoroughly, especially areas prone to sweating, can reduce body odor.
Body odor is most likely to occur in the following places:
- pubic hair and other hair
- belly button
- behind the ears
2. Always wash up with antibacterial soap
Having a proper bath with an antibacterial soap will definitely take out the sweat, dirt as well as the bacteria count on your skin which in turn, gets rid of the odor.
3. Wipe Off Thoroughly
Once you’ve showered, be sure you dry yourself completely. Towel off and make sure you dry any areas where you sweat a lot.
It’s harder for bacteria to breed on dry skin.
4. Apply Deodorants or Antiperspirants
Using an over-the-counter (OTC) antiperspirant or deodorant (or a combination antiperspirant-deodorant) daily, after your shower, can help remedy armpit odor. Sometimes you need to try different kinds to see which one works best for you.
Stronger deodorants and antiperspirants are available without a prescription. Look for products that say on the label they are higher strength due to ingredients.
If you think you need even more help, you may want to ask your doctor about prescription antiperspirants.
Antiperspirants help to reduce the amount of sweat produced by temporarily blocking the pores that release sweat. .
5. Keep Your Wardrobe Clean
Change clothes often when you’re sweating heavily. Wear fresh clothes to help keep body odour down.
Be sure to change your socks as well, especially if you tend to have foot odour. Use deodorant powders in your shoes, replace insoles frequently, and go barefoot if possible.
Illness Anxiety Disorder (Hypochondriasis): When worrying about your health takes over your entire being
The new era has made it easy to overanalyze every ache and pain. Diagnosing yourself of cancer or the next chronic illness is only a google search and three swipes away. You feel your chest tighten a little and after a few searches and clicks, you’re now sure you need an emergency surgery to remove a rare tumor from your buttocks. This article was specially written for you.
Regular medical checkups are crucial to fostering your general health, as they offer you a thorough overview of your wellbeing.
Seeing that healthcare is set in place to help us keep track of our health, we need to understand the importance of healthcare and how it can impact our lives.
All you have to do is schedule a regular visit with your doctor, and the rest will be handled. This generally means twice a year or quarterly, depending on a number of factors and how convenient it is for you.
For example, if your family or lineage has a long history of scary health marks, or you suffer from chronic illnesses, then you need to frequently visit the doctors and have yourself examined, unlike someone free of these diseases. This will enable the doctor to keep a track of your progress and catch complications that might occur early on.
Here are five reasons why regular medical checkups are so important:
Cost of Healthcare
Yes, you might feel that regular medical checkups are kind of costly now. However, when you look at the bigger picture, you can understand how these regular checkups can actually help save a huge cost.
Finding out you’re sick at an early stage and getting right on the matter, or finding out a few months or years later when the risk and medical costs become higher? Note that this can jeopardize your health and financial stability as you won’t be able to work when you are being treated.
These regular medical checkups include a number of physical and mental checks, making sure that you are on the right track. This way the doctor will catch any potential risk, and help clear you off from a number of diseases that are in view.
Getting your blood tested every few months is key because it helps eliminate the risk of various potential diseases.
These are mostly the diseases associated with your blood, which can include but are not limited to high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood lipid, anemia, HIV, AIDS, and other diseases.
Regular healthcare checkups can help you keep a check on these diseases, as they are able to catch on even the slightest bit of change. Also, a blood test can evaluate the proper functioning of your organs.
These include the functions of your liver, heart, thyroid, and kidneys.
Stress is basically a part of our everyday lives as humans.
We’re stressed out about everything, from work, to relationships, to finances; which is why it is important that we keep ourselves in check. The only way to do so is by getting regular healthcare checkups.
This will allow you to steer clear of any stress-related problems, hormone imbalance, high blood pressure, etc.
The only way you can stay aware of what is going on in your life, is by making yourself more aware of your health.
Your healthcare provider can help run tests that will not only help you keep your life on track but also offers you peace of mind. Moreover, most people are able to keep up with a great prevention system that helps them steer clear of diseases that run in their family.
These are five important reasons that should push you towards booking a regular medical checkup. Remember, prevention is always better than cure!
As the years go by and your kids begin to grow, it can get hard to remember who you were before you started having children.
Being a parent is both all-enveloping and often times different and unconversant. It can be hard to figure out how to find a balance.
The first step is knowing that taking time out to figure out and cater for your needs is not selfish.
It’s like the flight attendant says before take-off: Place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping small children.
So also, you approach self care as a parent, without any sense of guilt.
Remind yourself that you’re doing something to strengthen your family — if you’re happier and healthier, then you can be a happier, more attentive parent. “Instead of running on stress fumes and being ill tempered, you’ll have more energy to take your kids on outings and do other fun things that they like to do.
5 ways to practice self-care as a parent
Because taking care of yourself is key to rediscovering your sense of self, it is recommended that your practice these five parent self-care tips:
Celebrate Thanksgiving every day. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to think about the good things in your life. It may sound cliché, but being thankful helps you focus on the present instead of on potential future anxieties. If things are spiraling out of control, focus on positive self-talk, such as, ‘I have these three beautiful and healthy children who are flourishing.
Exploit your inner yogi. Breathing deep from your diaphragm creates a relaxation response throughout your body. There are no special equipment required, and no one has to know you’re doing it. You can do it whenever, wherever. For example, during a visit from your mother-in-law or when you walk in your children being disastrous and misplacing all the household decorations. Deep breathing helps take the edge off, which means less yelling and guilt and more feelings that you’re rocking parenting.
Create schedules. Take time out for yourself, whether it’s for running or dinner with friends or simply sitting down to read. “If you have a partner, create a schedule together that involves alone time. If you want to go to that Saturday morning dance class, ring that out loud so your partner knows they’ve got the kids then.
Keep fueling your relationship. As parents, it’s easy to forget that your relationship needs some attention, too. Get a babysitter and prioritize date nights or outings where it’s just you and your significant other. It’s great for communication. It also helps re-establish what brought you together in the first place.
Revisit your old life. Revisit the things you enjoyed before driving your kids to school took over your life. Or find a new hobby to indulge. You need an outlet to reset and reflect without the constant din of “mommy” or “daddy” in your ear. Socializing with friends or even exercise can do the trick. “Exercise benefits you physically and mentally – the release of endorphins alone provides a boost. Exercise can also help you focus on personal achievements. For instance, if you set a goal of running a half mile and then you achieve it, it helps you feel good about yourself.
Even if you’re the oral hygiene MVP, you brush your teeth twice daily, floss regularly and conscientiously visit your dentist every six months, you may still be missing one step that could help keep your mouth fresh and healthy.
It’s your tongue! – that fleshy bulk of muscles that helps you speak, chew, taste and swallow. It’s covered in little bumps called papillae that aids tasting and feeling textures in your mouth. Downside is, your tongue can also accommodate bacteria.
While most of those bacteria are the “good kind” that foster a healthy environment in your mouth, other kinds can cause bad breath, tooth decay and gum infections.
So, cleaning your tongue is vital to keeping that bad bacteria away, as well as food debris and dead cells that may accumulate there and cause you trouble.
How to clean your tongue
Brushing your tongue gently a few times with a toothbrush and toothpaste is one way to clean it out but tongue scraping can do a better job at removing that plaque and bacteria off the tongue’s surface.
Indeed, studies suggest that tongue scraping can remove bacteria and improve bad breath more than brushing.
Tongue scraping devices made from plastic, copper or stainless steel are available at most drug stores and generally cost under N500.
Brush your teeth normally then scrape your tongue.
Here’s how to add tongue scraping to your routine in the morning and at night.
Brush your teeth, floss and rinse like you normally would. Then, stick your tongue out and use light pressure to run the scraper across the entire surface of your tongue once or twice, starting all the way at the back of the tongue and scraping toward the front. It shouldn’t hurt or do any damage to the tongue – if it does, use less pressure.
Rinse the scraper in warm water after each pass, and finish by rinsing it again and swishing your mouth out with water.
Taking these steps can help leave your mouth feeling squeaky clean.
PS: If you see any signs that your tongue is unhealthy — like white, black or red discoloration, or sores or pain that persists for more than two weeks – see your dentist.