Tips To Help Your Kids Stay Safe In The Sun

Now that the hot weather has arrived and, while we finally have the barbecue summer we’ve been promised here in the UK, it’s worth reminding ourselves of what we should be doing to help our kids to stay safe in the sun.

Below you’ll find quick tips to help the family make the most of the glorious weather and stay safe in the sun without succumbing to the dangers of sunburn and dehydration.  Yes, they are all basic but it’s easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when the sunshine hits.

If you’re like me, you haven’t been sleeping too well in the heat which I find tends to make me less than fastidious sometimes.  Incidentally, you’ll find my tips for helping your little ones to sleep in the heat here.

stay safe in the sun - little girl applying suncream to her face on a beach

Stay safe in the sun with these tips

Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day

There’s an old song which goes “mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun”.  I’m not sure that’s too politically correct any more but the NHS advises that in the UK you should avoid the sun between 11 am and 3 pm if possible.

Head for the shade, particularly with prams and pushchairs.

If you can’t avoid the sun then at least head for the shade.  Don’t leave tots in pushchairs out in the full glare of the sun, especially without sunscreen and a hat.

On the other hand, do not cover a pram or buggy with a blanket because it will restrict the flow of air and heat the pram up really fast. 

stay safe in the sun - two little girls playing in a rockpool on a beach

Photo by Brad Halcrow on Unsplash

Dress your kids to protect against the sun

Make sure your kids are properly covered and wearing a hat which is wide-brimmed enough to protect not only their face but their ears and neck too.

Invest in decent quality sunglasses for your children and make sure that they offer full UV protection.  Don’t forget that, over time, sun exposure can lead to cancer and cataracts. 

If you’re heading for the beach, consider UV swimsuits and beachwear.  These keep your little ones cool and protected from the sun both in the water and out.  Note that these are UV resistant so you’ll still need to apply the other precautions listed.

Use Sunscreen Properly

Get the right factor

When you buy your sunscreen, check the label carefully because it should not only have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB but also at least 4-star UVA protection.

Chuck out the old stuff

Don’t think you can just rely on that old bottle lurking in the bathroom cabinet either, because most sunscreens have a shelf life of two to three years.  I like to be safe by buying new sunscreen every year but it’s just not worth risking skin cancer caused by sun exposure.

Make sure you apply enough

Most of us don’t apply anywhere near enough sunscreen either.  Adults should be using two teaspoons of sunscreen for your head, arms and neck but two tablespoons for your whole body, particularly if you’re wearing swimwear.

There doesn’t seem to be a particular recommendation for children but make sure that all exposed areas are covered – for example, ears, tops of feet, backs of knees and hands.

Make sure you reapply frequently

Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before your child heads outside so that their skin has time to absorb it. Reapply at least every two hours, more frequently if your kids are swimming, playing in the water, or sweating.

You shouldn’t put sunscreen on children under 6 months due to the sensitivity of their skin.  This means you’ll have to use clothing to protect your baby. Keep them out of the sun as much as possible, use a stroller canopy; dress them in lightweight clothing to cover arms and legs and remember a hat!

Stay safe in the sun - two little children playing on the sand

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

When in the water …

If your kids are going swimming, the NHS advises that you reapply sunscreen straight after they come out of the water, even if the sunscreen is water-resistant – and also after towel drying which might rub it off.

And on the subject of swimming, if you are planning a beach holiday or are planning to spend lots of time around the pool, it’s worth investing in swimming lessons for your kids before you set off.  Every single year there are tragic cases of tots who lose their lives in pool-related or beach accidents.

Stay hydrated

You’ve probably read that if you’re thirsty you are already dehydrated and, of course, it’s very easy to succumb to dehydration in hot weather.

You should encourage your children to drink water before, during and after exercise.

You find advice on how much a child needs to drink in hot weather here.

If your child starts feeling dizzy, sick or weak, then bring them inside or find some shade. Give them a drink of water (a sports drink would also be OK) and cool them down with a warm shower or sponge bath.  If their symptoms worsen or last for more than an hour, seek immediate medical advice. Here’s what the NHS advises for heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Check your hose pipe water temperature before turning it on your kids

Hose pipes left out in the sun can get extremely hot and cause terrible burns.  Never turn the water on your kids without testing the temperature first.

Avoid bouncy castles

This is a personal choice but since there have been at least 2 recent cases of children losing their life through bouncy-castle related accidents, I’d avoid them.  There needs to be far greater regulation in place and formal safety procedures to ensure that cases like this never happen again.

On the road

If you’re travelling by car, it’s a good idea to apply sunscreen to exposed skin as the sun’s heat can be very concentrated through glass windows.

Make sure you have the sun shades on the children’s windows and that your car’s air conditioning is in working order before you set off.

Take regular breaks for drinks and light snacks.  Pure water is always best to keep hydrated rather than sugary sodas and energy drinks.

If carsickness is a problem – even worse to deal with in hot weather – try my tips here.

And I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this one – children should never be left in parked cars as the temperature can get dangerously high very quickly.

It is possible to stay safe in the sun and still enjoy yourself but, as with most things parenting-related, some advance planning and investing in the best sun products you can afford will make things a lot easier.

5 Ways You Might Be Journaling Wrong

If you read lots of books in the self-help genre or take courses about exploring your inner psyche, you have surely come across the recommendation to write in a journal.

Journaling is a wonderful practice that can help you find clarity, reach your goals, and find your next direction in life. But if you feel bored with it, don’t know what to write about, or find that you aren’t being completely open and honest, you may be doing it wrong.

While there are no rules with journaling, you could be unintentionally taking away from the many benefits it provides you.  Ultimately it should be a process that reduces your stress, not an activity that leaves you more stresses or beating yourself up (yet again) for not doing something right.

Here’s how to know that your journalling practice isn’t working

You Aren’t Enjoying the Process

Do you find journaling to be extremely tedious, boring, or just not beneficial to you at all? If so, this might come down to how you are journaling and what mindset you are in.

Take a few minutes to meditate or practise mindfulness before you pick up your pen and start to write. Consider how you are feeling at this moment, what you are struggling with, what part of your life you are enjoying, and what your plans are. Get into a mindset of gratefulness, positivity, and kindness before you start writing.

You Keep Using it Like a Diary

While many people do actually benefit from using their journal just to write about their day, this isn’t the best option for everyone. Look at how you are journaling, and determine whether or not you are actually digging deep or just using it like a diary, where you list what you did today, and didn’t actually get to your thoughts or emotions.

You Never Have Anything to Say

If you feel like every time you open up your journal, you have nothing to say, there are a few quick ways to remedy this. The first way to fix this problem is to use journaling prompts. These are questions or statements that give you a topic to write about in your journal. These often lead to other ideas in your head about what you want to say in your journal.

Another option when you feel you don’t have anything to say is to make a list each day. It can change by the day, such as today writing down 3 of your best moments, then tomorrow write 5 goals you have for the next week.

Your Stress Has Increased Since Journaling

Journaling should be helping your stress, not making it worse! If you find it to be super stressful or the act of journaling is actually making things worse for you, it’s time to try and figure out why that is. Consider what you have been writing about, and whether or not you are being kind to yourself. If every journal entry is a rant or negative, and you beat yourself up a lot, that is probably the cause. Try to write at least one positive thing about yourself and express gratitude in your journal.

You Find Yourself Holding Back a Lot

The reason you want to keep your journal to yourself is because holding back and not being open and honest with yourself really halts your progress. You need to be able to be candid if you want to find any sort of clarity. Journaling is a process and one that can do amazing things, but not if you find that you are filtering out certain parts of your life because you fear who might find it one day.

 

10 Ways To Teach Your Kids About Finance

There are a variety of important things that parents need to be able to teach their children. One of these things is how to deal with finances and look after their money. After all, the last thing you will want for them when they are adults is to find themselves struggling to manage their debt. But the best way to approach this is to share your knowledge with them about the financial facts of life whilst hopefully teaching them some fun money lessons at the same time.

fun money lessons - a piggy bank wearing a graduation hat in a library

The trouble is, so many parents simply do not know where to start when it comes to teaching your kids about finance.

So, to help, here are 10 ways that you can teach your children to help them have a secure financial future.

Show them that money doesn’t grow on trees

A common phrase is that money doesn’t grow on trees. Something that as an adult, we are only too aware of. However, chances are that our children simply don’t understand this concept, that money is not infinite and plucked out of the air.

A great way to demonstrate this is to show your children how you withdraw money from a cash machine, whilst carefully explaining to them that this money has come out of your bank account. You could even show older children the cash withdrawal transaction on your bank statement so that they can see the money leaving your account.

Teach them how to budget

It is important that your child learns how to budget. Kids need to understand that they are unlikely to have enough money to buy ALL the toys they want and will have to choose the one that they would prefer to buy the most.

Set an example for them by telling them about the different things that you would love to buy and why you can’t go out and buy each and every one.

Encourage them not to rush out and spend their money

If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll have very little patience. If they receive money, they will want to be straight off to the shops (or online!) to buy that toy that they have always had their eye on.

Instead, you should encourage them to temper their impatience a little and teach them the pleasures of delayed gratification.  Easier said than done, I know!

A great way to show them that you take a careful approach to your spending is to show them that you are thinking about a bigger purchase. Shop around with them, ask them to help you to compare the different deals that are out there.

Explain that saving a little more will help you buy something better, of higher quality, longer-lasting and more fun.

It’s the difference between blowing their cash on the latest collectable and having the money for an Xbox game or even a console.

Teach them that saving is cool

Saving can sometimes get a bad rap, especially when compared to spending. It is a good idea to teach your child that it is cool to be a saver. Especially when saving gives you a reward such as the ability to buy something nice for yourself.

Teach your kids that it’s often the little things that are bought on a daily basis can add up to a significant item of expenditure over a year. Curbing your occasional spending can really help you to budget for bigger ticket items.

A simple way to teach kids about the power of saving is to have a savings jar that you as a family pay into. Show your child how the money builds up over time, and let them know when you are using that money, such as for a holiday or a new TV.

Make a game of it.  Try the Penny Saving Challenge by saving the same number of pence each day that matches the number of the day in the year.  So on the 35th day of the year, you add 35p to the savings jar, all the way up to more than £3.50 in December.

This will give the family around £667 extra cash to spend at New Year. It’s one of those fun money lessons that really will make an impact.

Help them to keep track of their money

Being able to monitor your spending habits is an incredibly useful skill to have in later life, and this is something that you can encourage right from childhood.

If your child receives pocket money on a weekly or monthly basis, why not encourage them to make a chart? This could contain the pocket money that they receive each time, as well as what they spend it on. That way, they can keep an eye on where their money is going.

Get them to write a wish list of things that they want to buy

Having something in mind is a great way to achieve a goal. This is particularly true when it comes to saving.

If your child is struggling with the concept of putting away their money, then why not ask them to create a wish list of things that they want to buy?

You can write down how much these things are going to cost, as well as how many weeks pocket money that is, showing them how long it will take them to save for it.

Tech-savvy kids could create a wishlist on Amazon which will not only teach them how much things cost but is a great resource for relatives wondering what on earth to buy for their next birthday or Christmas present.

On the subject of presents for kids, the Monopoly board game is a great choice if you want to teach your kids about money and how a little bit of a strategy can make you a winner!

We also enjoy the Payday board game – go through the working month buying and selling items and see if you end up the richest player.

fun money lessons - a retro robot

Teach them about the importance of charity

Charity is important, no matter your generation. However, if a child doesn’t understand why charity is important, or how to donate to them, then this won’t carry on growing.

Encourage your child to give a portion of their savings or pocket money to charity, not all the time, just sometimes. That way, they have some awareness of what is going on in the world around them, and how some people are not lucky to have the same money as them.

Always have some boundaries

We all love spoiling our children, there are no two ways about it, after all, we love them. But spoiling them can have a negative impact later on in life.

You should try and set some boundaries on spending and what they can get, as this shows them that you are not always able to get what you want, and sometimes you simply have to wait for it.

Open a bank account for them

Having a bank account is something that we all need to have later in life, so why not introduce this concept to your child from an early age.

Go with them to the bank to open their own account, and encourage them to pay money into on a regular basis.

This means, that when the time comes to open an adult bank account, it won’t be quite as much of a novelty for them.

Let them make their own decisions

You may be tempted to take charge when your child wants to spend out on a particular item. However, it is better to let them make their own decisions.

If after a couple of days or weeks they decide that they have made a bad decision, then they will realise that they have wasted their money.

This will encourage them to think more carefully about the choices that they make in the future.

We all want the best for our kid’s future, and one of the aspects to think about is their financial stability. By teaching them everything that they need to know about money, you are giving them a great start that they can build on.

How do you teach your kids about money?

Fit For The Future – 3 Post-Pandemic Workouts

If you’ve largely spent lockdown inhaling pizzas, crisps and chocolate biscuits to the extent that you’re not too sure you can squeeze out of your front door, don’t panic, because, with restrictions easing, more facilities are reopening every day that can help you get back to your svelte self.

And although we’re all praying this is the last pandemic ever, with evidence that keeping your weight under control might improve outcomes for those afflicted by Covid-19, there’s more motivation than ever to get fighting fit.

But if you’ve never trained before, or at least for a while, it’s tough knowing what type of exercise will suit you.

So I’ve saved you some head-scratching by collating three post-pandemic workouts for you to compare – all of which will keep you fit for the future!

Martial Arts

Perhaps watching a rerun of The Karate Kid during lockdown got you wondering whether the mixture of philosophical and physical training inherent in martial arts might be right for you, or maybe you’re simply perplexed about how old its star Ralph Macchio actually was when it was filmed?

If it’s the latter, he was 22, despite playing a high school student. If it’s the former, then you’ll be glad to know that across the country, dojos like Chockdee Martial Arts Academy in York will soon be back open and welcoming students of all ages and stages to their Thai Boxing and Jiu-Jitsu classes. Look out for a similar establishment in your local area and you’ll soon be frighteningly fit and able to handle yourself – an awesome double whammy!

Gym

If you’re not too fussy about learning a certain sport or activity, joining a gym is a great way of maintaining your general fitness and controlling your weight – provided you don’t spend your entire session strolling around listening to music and munching your way through protein bars from the vending machines!

Plus, another great benefit of joining a national gym like PureGym is that membership also includes a range of amazing free classes, so you can enjoy a more structured and disciplined weights or HIIT workout alongside other members and under the watchful eyes of instructors. The other advantage of many of these types of gym chains is that they’re often open 24/7, meaning you can fit your exercise regime around your lifestyle.

Yoga

Yoga might be sniffed at by muscle-bound gym freaks, but this ancient practice has been around for thousands of years and might be better at keeping your mind and body in great shape than just about anything else.

Yoga enthusiasts enjoy great flexibility and energy, improved strength and muscle tone and dramatically reduced levels of tension and stress, so what’s not to love? Furthermore, you can be confident that as dedicated yoga centres like Embody Wellness in South London open back up to the public, social distancing measures mean you can train as safely as possible.

Pick whichever of these post-pandemic workout best meets your needs and you’ll soon be fit for the future.

How to Update an Old House on a Budget

Do you have an old house? Or perhaps you are looking to buy a new one. Whatever the case, the old house needs an update. But the problem is, many think that you will need to spend thousands to update an old house. The truth is, that may not necessarily be the case.

You can give your home a fresh new look, whether it’s ten years old or 100 years old, without spending a fortune. How? Some of the best ways to do it are to declutter, giving your old home a new colour scheme, upgrading light fixtures, and if you have some extra money, building a composite deck.

Declutter

One of the first things you should do is to declutter your home. Over time, the house may acquire a lot of decorations and furniture. While you can use some of them, most of these won’t likely go with today’s interior decorating styles.

So, the first thing you should do is to consider each of the furniture, decorations, and appliances in your old home. Think about whether you can still contribute to the style you’re aiming for. If not, don’t throw them right away. Find ways to upcycle them.

Why is decluttering crucial before decorating? First, it gives you a clear picture of what needs to be done. Another reason is that it may be hard to achieve a cohesive style if there’s too much clutter. And most importantly, you can make space for more necessary furniture and decorations.

Giving the House a New Color Palette

As the years go by, an old house’s colour palette may become mismatched due to the countless years of repainting and redecorating. As a result, some rooms will look and feel disconnected from the entire house. How can you fix it?

When painting your home, connect your home through painting the home in complementing colours. For the best results, you may want to go with neutral colours for a clean look. Aside from painting the house, you will also need to colour-coordinate your furniture with the walls and your flooring choices for a more cohesive look. If your interior walls need repainting, the outside walls likely need it as well.

Upgrading and Installing Light Fixtures

Another thing that you can do to update an old house is to update old light fixtures, including the switches, plates, and even the bulbs. Due to years of decoration, light switches may not look like it belongs to the room. Some of them may not even work anymore.

Another reason why you need to update your light fixtures is that it may not be as energy-efficient as modern lighting goes. Replace bulbs with LEDs. They are not only cheap, but you can also save money from your electric bills.

If you see some light fixtures that you can still use, you can repaint them to give them a fresh new look. You will also need to adjust the bulbs so that it goes well with the room. For instance, relaxation rooms and living areas will benefit from soft and dimmer light for a more calming ambience. Meanwhile, an energetic and lively atmosphere can be achieved by using brighter and harder lights.

A Perfect Outdoor Space

Aside from the inside, you will also need to update your old house on the outside. A beautiful backyard and an inviting front yard will significantly improve how your home looks. It may seem a big and expensive improvement. But the truth is, you don’t need a lot of money to do it.

Start by covering your lawn with grass. You can also set pavements and concrete slabs to create outdoor flooring. Not only will it give your outdoor a stable footing, but it will also decrease the space you’ll need to maintain. You will also want to place some plants and flowers. Go for perennials and evergreens, which are often cheap and easy to take care of. You can also go for wild plants and flowers native to your area.

If you have some extra budget, you can also consider home improvement with decking boards. If you have an old house, the deck will most likely be wood. If so, it may not have aged well. Replace it with composite decking. Despite the higher cost, composite decking is durable, low-maintenance, and long-lasting while retaining the aesthetic of wood. It can elevate an old outdoor setting into a livable outdoor space.

Have you ever renovated an old property?  What tips can you share?

How To Monitor Your Kids’ Internet Usage

These days, most kids and teenagers will spend a lot of their time on the internet. This can be at school but also at home, either playing games, watching movies or chatting with friends on social media. Whilst this may provide hard-working parents will some welcome reprieve from being nagged at, it can also become a potential problem if left unchecked.

Firstly let’s consider the dangers of kids spending too much time online. Research has shown that spending too much time online poses some health risks including high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, obesity and increased chance of becoming socially isolated. Kids can also become irritable and less likely to want to do more healthier activities if they are solely reliant on the internet for entertainment.

So – the next question is what can be done about all this considering the internet is an integral part of all our everyday lives? Below are some top tips to help parents manage their kids’ web browsing…

  • Don’t deprive them of the internet completely, instead agree certain times of the day or week they are allowed to spend online.
  • Make sure the time they are spending online is not being wasted waiting for stuff to load as your connection is too slow. If it is the case then it might be time to see if you can get a deal on your broadband and get a faster connection.
  • Set up up content filtering either via your ISP or by downloading an application such as NetNanny which will ensure they won’t be able to access harmful or unsuitable content.
  • Talk to them. Teach them good old fashioned advice, like not talking to strangers or disclosing personal data online.
  • Put the computer they want to use in a communal area where you can keep an eye on what they are looking at. Alarm bells should start to sound if your child or teen repeatedly wants to go online alone or is secretive with their devices.
  • If they want to make friends with someone online, make sure they actually know who the other person is.

Following the above advice should allow for sensible and controlled internet usage without having to sacrifice the benefits associated with letting kids use the web. Although it can be easy to caricature kids using the internet as just mindlessly playing games or watching inane TV shows, in reality, there are some positives that come from them being online. For example, social media can help them keep in touch more with their friends whilst playing games can help improve reaction times and promote problem-solving skills.

In summary, the ubiquitous nature of the internet means it will play an increasing part in kids and teenage lives for years to come. However, this should not be seen as a negative as there are many benefits to this increased connectivity. Parents merely need to have a plan in place to monitor and manage internet usage by their kids.

Surprising Tips and Tricks That Will Make Your House Cleaning Easier

Having a clean home could have various effects on your physical and mental health. House cleaning keeps the things inside the house organized and it also prevents germs and other bacteria from making you sick. The continuous routine of keeping your house clean has a lot of benefits. It can save you time from looking for things that get lost on your pile of stuff. Or it can also provide you peace of mind for not having to look at dirty or dusty surfaces around your house.

There are a lot of reasons why you must maintain the cleanliness of your house. It is very important so here are some of the cleaning tips that could help you.

Clean from Top to Bottom

You should not start by cleaning your floor if you are planning to clean the whole house. You must start at the top of the room because the dirt and dust that you will be wiping off is going to fall on the floor. Next, start cleaning the top areas. You can start at the bottom by beginning to clean on one side towards the other side. This can prevent you from darting around the room and missing some areas you are supposed to clean. Planning a strategy for your cleaning is efficient because roaming around the house without any plans on where to start is going to take all your time.

Let the Solution Sit for Some Time

The common mistake that most people do is how they use their cleaning solutions. Most people would spray their cleaning solutions all over the surface of the area they want to clean then wipe it off immediately. That is not how it works. The products are supposed to stay on the surface for a while. These products have cleaning agents that need to stay on the surface for an amount of time to properly soak the area and dissolve the dirt or stains. You usually use these cleaning products when cleaning the kitchen sink or the bathroom, so you need to make sure to rinse the whole area first then apply the cleaning solutions that you have. Reading the product label is helpful. The label would contain instructions on how to apply the product and it would likewise indicate the needed time for it to settle on surfaces.

Invest in Cleaning Products

Buying efficient cleaning machines is recommended if you are fond of doing the cleaning in your house. Products like vacuum cleaners, scrubbing machines, or cleaning mops are very useful in making your tasks easy. Investing in these things will not waste your money because you will use them for a long time. It is also important to take care of these tools. These machines will have a longer life when they are cleaned and stored properly.

Hire a Cleaning Service

Some people are too busy to have time for cleaning so they would often hire somebody to clean for them. Various companies offer affordable cleaning services that you can avail at any time. If you live in the East Midlands, a popular choice is https://www.well-polished.com/domestic-cleaning/east-midlands/. The company offers services for cleaning your home and they can also do household chores for you. They will send workers to check on the errand that you want them to do. The company will send a worker who will cater to your needs once the situation has been assessed. These house cleaning companies are also now in demand because of the current pandemic. They provide a thorough cleaning service that we need in times like this.

Clean Regularly

It is advisable to clean regularly to avoid the dust and dirt from piling up. Cleaning regularly saves you time compared to an exhausting long-hour of cleaning when you only do it once in a blue moon. This will also prevent stains from clinging to your sink and your bathroom surfaces. These stains can cause damage when they are left alone and not cleaned immediately.

Organize your things

Having organized furniture, appliances, or any household things can make cleaning easier. A house full of unnecessary stuff would be harder to clean because there will be too many objects hindering you from reaching the corners of your house that needs cleaning. Throw-out useless stuff, sort-out your things, and install your furniture and appliances on the proper places they should be. You should also avoid hoarding things that you do not need.

Cleaning is exhausting. However, it is very important because your surroundings could affect your health. The simple effort of cleaning could save you from diarrhoea, infections, or allergies. 

Easy Ways to Overcome Menstrual Pain When On Holiday

When you are due to set off on your holidays, the last thing you want to be thinking about is whether or not your ‘time of the month’ is going to affect your time away.

You want to be able to relax and feel good in your clothes, and instead, you are left worrying about whether you will be able to pack enough painkillers to overcome your discomfort as well as fighting the overriding angst which goes hand in hand with so many women’s experience of their periods.

These anxieties can ruin even the most relaxing break away; from stressing over whether you look bloated in your dress and unable to escape how much pain you are in, to worrying about whether or not you will be able to ‘get away’ with wearing a bikini or white skirt.

But what causes this pain and discomfort? The experts at Mayo Clinic, an international organization which works with over four thousand five hundred scientists, physicians and researchers in every medical speciality, explain it in this way:

A hormone-like substance known as prostaglandins causes the contractions of the uterus during your period.  This contracting movement helps to expel the womb lining which is the blood you release, but it is because of these prostaglandins that women experience pain during their monthly cycle, and unfortunately the higher the levels of prostaglandins, the worse the pain.

The NHS explains that as these contractions occur, the blood vessels within the womb lining are compressed.  This means that the blood supply to the womb is briefly and repeatedly cut off which results in another pain triggering chemical, alongside the prostaglandins, being released.

With one in ten women living with bouts of moderate to severe pain and cramping each month as part of their natural cycle, it is unsurprising that they have discovered and shared many natural remedies over the years.  But thankfully, science has also stepped in and found methods to ease and even delay your period, which could help you overcome menstrual pain when on holiday entirely! There are also tablets to stop periods.  Read on to learn more.

Ease The Pain Naturally

Even though you are most likely on holiday to relax, you may be surprised to hear that exercise can help to ease your pain.  As with any ache or pain, we can release a chemical in our brain which works as natural pain relief.

They are known as endorphins, and when partaking in any aerobic exercise, the additional pumping of blood around your body helps to release them.  They are known to counteract against the uncomfortable result of the aforementioned prostaglandins positively.

Any movement which gets your blood pumping faster around your body is fine, from a brisk swim or walk, to a light aerobic session on the beach, or even a few star jumps and lunges, depending on your current fitness level.

Reduce Monthly Worries

If you tend to book your holiday a year in advance and you have several months to prepare before you go away, then you could consider trying the combined contraceptive pill.

One result of this pill is that, over time, you will have lighter periods as the hormones in it thin the lining of the womb.  This leads to fewer contractions of the womb itself being required to shed each month and a lower amount of prostaglandin hormone being released.

It can be a highly effective way to learn to manage your monthly cycle before going away, and if the daily pill does not suit you or it feels like a significant responsibility to remember to take it each day, then, the contraceptive implant or injection may be a preferable option.

Pain Relief For Management

Depending on how badly you suffer from your monthly pain, over the counter pain relief options such as ibuprofen could help you to manage it over the week of your period, though they should not be taken if you suffer from kidney, stomach or liver issues, or asthma.

In this case, you could try paracetamol though this is has been shown to be less effective in reducing pain. If you require stronger relief, your doctor may prescribe higher strength painkillers such as codeine.

If you prefer, you can speak directly to the experts at Click Pharmacy on Skype or email.  They can advise you on some recommended next-steps such as which prescriptions or medications may be most beneficial to your monthly pain levels.  If in any doubt contact your GP.

A Warming Sensation

Since your muscles are contracting during your period, which is a form of squeezing and tightening, then it makes sense to try to relax them.  As such, applying heat to the area in the form of a hot bath, a hot water bottle, heat patches, or even warm water in a store-bought plastic drinking bottle can relax the squeezing, cramping pain which so many women suffer from.  Keep the heat on the area for as long as you feel it is helping you, or until the pain eases.

Delay Your Period

If you find that you are genuinely concerned about the pain you may experience from your period during your holiday then you could consider trying a prescription of Norethisterone, tablets to stop periods.

This medication, which you must start to take three days before jetting off, contains progesterone which causes the lining of the womb to be sustained until you stop taking the pills.  This means that your period will not begin until the additional progesterone has left your body, and you can use it for anywhere up to 17 days.

This kind of period control management could be the difference between you feeling uncomfortable and stressed out on your holiday and coming home feeling worse than when you left, and being able to let go and enjoy yourself.

To discuss trying Norethisterone before your next holiday, or to address any other pre-travel concerns about your period, ask your pharmacist who can help answer any questions you may have and give you the best advice on what to take to ease your pain.

If your tween or teen suffers from painful periods you will need to consult a GP for advice.

An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write

Journaling is a powerful self-help tool that is gaining popularity. You can purchase a variety of journals online from stores such as Amazon as well as in bookshops. Coaches and therapists also use journaling to help clients. It is also incredibly easy to journal on your own in just a plain notebook. However, all journaling has one thing in common and that is writing.

But how do you write a journal when you hate writing?

Draw Pictures

From simple to elaborate, any kind of picture that expresses your emotions and situation will help. After you’ve drawn the picture you can label and annotate it. If you leave a blank page opposite your drawing then you can come back and review it at a later date and jot down any additional thoughts, emotions and responses. Quite often this simple method will actually get you writing quickly.

Why not try using different types of pen or pencil to make your journaling more interesting and exciting?

Diagrams

If you are journaling about a problem, then you might consider using a diagram such as a mind map or decision tree. Diagrams are powerful because they are visual and help you to see patterns and connections more easily. If you are trying to make a decision, then you can illustrate the different outcomes and results to help you formulate the best decision. Adding in colour not only makes them more attractive but can highlight connections.

Use Prompts

Using a simple prompt such as a word or question can help break the blank page syndrome and inspire you to unburden yourself onto the empty page in front of you. It’s important that you don’t feel that you have to write a lot or even in full sentences. The journal and act of journaling have to relate to your needs at that moment in time and this will vary day to day.

You could consider purchasing a journal designed for the specific use you need. There are lots of weight loss, gratitude, happiness and other journals available. Many of these will include prompts and recording methods that don’t require lots of writing.

Create a Collage

Get some magazines or newspapers and cut out words, phrases, paragraphs or even articles that relate to your situation or emotions at that particular point. Add in pictures that you find that could demonstrate how you are feeling or want to feel. Again you can annotate it to make it truly personal. Leave a blank page so that you can revisit and review at a later time and add in additional journaling.

Speak It

While writing using a pen and paper is probably the most powerful method of journaling you can also use dictation software such as Dragon. You’ll need the software and a computer with a microphone to use this method. It may be easier to start your journaling journey by speaking to the computer and imagining you are talking to a friend or just yourself. The software will ‘write’ what you say and you can save the document so that you can review it later.

You may decide to keep your journal electronically in which case you can review it and add in later thoughts and feelings by typing or dictating through the speech recognition software. Or you may decide to print it out and keep it in a binder. If you do print it out, then you have the opportunity to embellish it or make additional notes on the hard copy.

Be Flexible

Journaling does not have to be undertaken every day for a set period of time if that does not suit you. Many people journal every day for 20 minutes as that is the method that suits them best. However, it may be that once a week is enough.

Alternatively, you may decide that you will journal when you feel you need it. Some days it may be that you choose to use a prompt or picture to kick-start your writing. Other days you may find that the words flow and you can write without stopping.

The important points to remember are that the journal is a personal document designed to help you and that it is designed to be used and revised. It’s a living document and there is no right or wrong way to create or use it.

Do you journal?

Natural Health Travel Health Essentials For Your Hand Luggage

Here are 3 small, but incredibly useful additions to your summer holiday medicine kit. They are all ideally sized to throw in your handbag as you rush out of the door after the kids on summer day trips too.

Headaches

First up is a product to soothe your headache – the Arkopharma Migrastick, an all-natural alternative to conventional painkillers which uses 100% pure and natural essential oils to help relieve pain caused by headaches and migraines.

Simply roll over temples, forehead or nape of the neck using circular massage movements.

The Migrastick with its rollerball

I was a little sceptical, I admit but it has a refreshing smell and is surprisingly cooling and long-lasting when applied to the temples.  I think it would certainly help soothe a brewing headache when you are miles away from a pharmacy.

A note of warning though,  you cannot use this product if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or if you suffer from epilepsy.  And, it’s not for use on children under the age of 12.

Migrastick is small enough to have on you at all times. It’s also reasonably priced at £6.29 and is available from Amazon, Holland & Barrett and selected independent pharmacies and health stores nationwide.

Nausea and travel sickness

If you suffer from traveller’s tummy or are feeling a bit nauseous from too much sun, try The Ginger People’s Gin Gins CARAMEL – Tasty ginger and caramel sweets. They contain a massive 30% ginger per sweet.

Working mainly in the digestive tract, ginger helps to boost digestive fluids and neutralize acids, making it an effective alternative to anti-nausea medication, without the possible unpleasant side effects. These are ideal travel sweets to keep in the car’s glove compartment to calm wobbly tummies without having to break out the travel sickness pills.

Gin Gins from The Ginger People

They taste like a zingy, ginger, more chewy version of Werther’s Originals and certainly have a kick to them. The ginger may also help mums to be fighting morning sickness. Gin Gins Caramel are available from Amazon and Holland & Barrett stores nationwide.

Mosquito Menace

Finally, there is Zap-It!  I don’t know about you but mosquitoes and midges seem to love biting me in the hot weather. They have a way of putting a real dampener on things when you’re outside, with their dive-bombing and blood-sucking antics.

So whether you’re backpacking through South America, camping at a festival, out for a run or just barbecuing in your back garden (guess which one I do the most of!), Zap-It! is a handy gadget in your armoury against those big, angry red bites.

It can be used as and when required by all the family, but not on babies less than 2 years of age.

Zap-It! will stop the itching and reduce the swelling of the bite (but note: it will not remove toxins or infection).  You simply place the flat end of the gadget on to the bite on your skin, hold the Zap-It! between your first 2 fingers and squeeze the button with your thumb.

Press the button quickly, 5 times or more as soon as possible after being bitten for fast relief.  The Zap-It! will also work through light fabrics.

Each Zap-It! will relieve up to 1,000 bites – enough for many years of bites or itches! It is available in different colours from selected health stores, pharmacies, garden centres, all Asda shops and Superdrug. Zap-It! is also available online from Amazon or www.ecobrands.co.uk.

Three cheap, simple items that are easy to throw in your bag.  What are your must-have travel health essentials?

How to Tell if Your Psychic Is Fake Or Legitimate

The idea of a psychic seems almost too good to be true. Because of the rarity of this ability, when individuals claim to have psychic powers, we may be a little bit sceptical. That is fine. We are allowed to express scepticism towards something that we do not personally experience. But regardless of whether or not you believe, psychics have been around for millennia.

In modern times, the psychic plays a fascinating role in our popular culture. Because of this, many of us have a skewed and distorted view of what a psychic is, does, and can do. Unfortunately, this lack of true, concrete knowledge and psychics create a market for fakes. This is both unethical and, for the person seeking comfort or solace, simply unkind. If you’re wondering whether or not a psychic is fake, here are some telltale signs.

Fantastical Stories

Fake psychics essentially make up stories. In order to adequately convince an individual into giving them money, they have to create an image based off of their own personal perception of what a psychic is. The thing is, that image is false. They usually have some complex and complicated backstory that explains how they either gained or realized they had a special power. Cases like these have been well documented. If you check out this article from Psychics4today.com, they explain it perfectly.

Fake psychics may have many travels to exotic lands that they love to speak about in detail. These are all part of the sales pitch. It is meant to keep you focused on the fantastical instead of the actual situation at hand — they’re conning you. This has been a strategy of con artists since the beginning. They pull you in with a whole bunch of anecdotes and give you all these mystical reasons to trust them. That’s the first clue that maybe the person you’re dealing with isn’t who they say they are.

Manipulation 

There’s a technique in psychology called neuro-linguistic programming. It’s a form of psychoanalysis that was initially meant to try and figure out what is going on in the subconscious mind of an individual as well as implant their own ideas. It can be used to exploit the power of suggestion.

When one is engaging in this kind of practice, there’s usually a portion of time where they’re asking a lot of questions that all tie into a single point. These leading questions are meant to string you into a narrative in which they control. This is pure manipulation. It’s been seen and toted online as a way to do everything, from selling stock to landing a date. This is meant to sniff out the vulnerable and input their own ideas into your head to make it seem like you came up with them.

They Give Absolutes 

Fake psychics deal in absolutes. They’re trying to give you what you concretely want to hear with absolute certainty. It’s a means to gain trust and power over the situation. If they find something, through their conversation tactics, that seems like a good point to draw conclusions on, they will. They will often wrap this up nicely in a mystical bow.

This is particularly sinister because individuals seeking guidance from a psychic are often there when they’re either lost or questioning. There’s a thirst for something concrete in a time when all they seem to get are more questions. The con artists use absolutes in order to coddle the individual and, hopefully, get them to cough up more money for more information.

Real Psychics

A real psychic has none of the qualities that are mentioned above. Psychics use a finely tuned intuition and connection with the energies most of us don’t pay much attention to in our daily lives. Good psychics guide based off of predilections and feelings they get from tapping into your energy and relating it to the fields abound. This is why psychic ability has been likened to both art and animal instinct. There are basic points that psychics may be able to perceive and some specifics if the energy is loud enough. But they are not there to tell you what to do. They can only give you potentials and warm empathy for you and the things you wish to know. From there, the next few moves are all on you.

Predatory psychics are all over the place. They often embody this image that you typically think a psychic should embody. They tell you the things that a psychic would tell you. But what they do not do is offer their sincere care and serve in your best interest. They’re only out to get your money. Be very careful.

How To Plan For The Greatest Holiday Possible

Just having a holiday is fantastic all on its own, but our time away can always be improved. Everyone knows and probably is familiar with how things can go wrong during a holiday, which is why we should plan our vacations as best we can. True, even the best of plans can still get ruined, but there are many ways in your hands to control how things will go. Excluding some unexpected events, here is what you can do to ensure that you have the best holiday possible.

Before you go

The best way to ruin a holiday is by worrying about things back home. Before you travel, make sure to tend to things like unpaid bills, urgent house repairs, home security, or what you plan to do with your vehicle while away. The whole point of a holiday is to get away from these responsibilities, not to take them along with you.

Vacation of a Lifetime

People love to dream about “the vacation of a lifetime.” Truth be told, you can make every vacation special and treat every holiday like the vacation of a lifetime; it doesn’t matter where you go, what you do, or how long you stay. A simple weekend getaway could be a once in a lifetime experience when you spend each day doing the things you love and make you happy.

Avoid Peak Times

Holidays are a notoriously busy time for travel. You’ll be lucky if you can even book an airline ticket. Even if you do, it might be during an inconvenient time for you, and you can expect cancellations or very long waits at most airports. To avoid having your trip ruined before it even starts, the BitLux team suggests you consider booking a private jet charter. These private charters can take you to almost any state and you can find several international options also.

You won’t have to fight tooth and nail to get a booking that suits your schedule, avoid the crowds and the unpredictability of airports, and get a free online quote. That way, you can kickstart your holiday early!

Do Something New

You will never know the benefits of trying something new until you try it. Lots of us are creatures of habit. We go on holiday once, have a great time at a particular location, and keep going back to the same location every year.

Understandably, you would want to repeat an amazing experience. However, there are tons of amazing experiences and places in this beautiful world of ours, so why limit yourself? Even if you have private reasons why you want to spend a holiday in a particular location each year, at the very least you can try different activities, stay at a different place, try different foods, and so on. Trying something new means learning something new and experiencing new feelings of happiness and contentment. Plus, you’ll have new things to tell everyone about when you get back.

Too Little vs. Too Much

We can all be perfectly happy just resting on holiday, free from obligations, and away from no-fun stuff. But, most likely, you’ll want to do some activities. If you have nothing to do, you’ll get bored, and if you include too many activities in your itinerary, you’ll be overwhelmed and exhausted. Moreover, unless you have a lot of time, you probably won’t be able to do all the things you have planned.

Strike a balance of the activities you want to do; don’t do too little nor too much because extremes aren’t good. Prioritize your activities and where you want to go. Go for quality over quantity. Create an itinerary but keep in mind that it has to be reasonable, so don’t get carried away.

Second Guess Reviews

There’s no doubt that we depend on reading reviews for everything and anything. We sometimes even read reviews on products or services that we have no intention of buying, at least not in the near future.

Reviews are good, but very subjective. What one person finds horrible another might find heavenly. That’s very confusing and leaves you shuffling back and forth trying to decide on where to stay, where to go, where to eat, where to go for the best entertainment, as well as all other aspects of your holiday. There’s a whole bunch of things you can find out about your destination spot from the locals, so take reviews with a pinch of salt.

For a super holiday, treat everyone like a once-in-a-lifetime event, and be open to all the wonderful moments you can have if you take the time to plan ahead. The effort you put in advance will surely pay off later. Even if your vacation has a bumpy start, make sure to end it on a positive note. When you do that, your holiday cheer will linger with you for quite some time.