Home Remedies For Bartholin’s Cysts or Abscesses

In my post “Bartholin’s Cysts – The Rarely Discussed Nightmare“, I talk about my experience with one of the most uncomfortable vaginal problems, along with some of the self help remedies I, and others have tried.

There seems to be a huge lack of knowledge about these cysts which, when they abscess cause great pain and require immediate surgery to deal with them – unless you are brave enough to try to burst and drain them yourself at home.

Let’s just remind ourselves of what we are dealing with here.

The Bartholin’s Glands

Here’s what the NHS says:

The Bartholin’s glands are a pair of pea-sized glands found just behind and either side of the lips that surround the entrance to the vagina. The glands are not usually noticeable because they’re rarely larger than 1cm (0.4 inches) across. The Bartholin’s glands secrete fluid that acts as a lubricant during sex. The Bartholin’s Glands.  (Source).

Bartholin’s Cysts

Sometimes the openings of these glands become obstructed, causing fluid to back up into the gland. The result is relatively painless swelling called a Bartholin’s cyst. If the fluid within the cyst becomes infected, you may develop a collection of pus surrounded by inflamed tissue (abscess).

When these glands become blocked – and nobody seems to know quite why this happens – fluid backs up into the gland creating a painless swelling called a Bartholin’s cyst.

In my experience you can have a cyst for years without it interfering in your life particularly (including your sex life) or any pain or discomfort.

Bartholin’s Abscess

BUT if the cyst grows and becomes painful, in all likelihood it has become an abscess (or is infected)and will need medical treatment – antibiotics in the first instance and if it continues either marsupialisation or the insertion of a word catheter to help it drain.

I had a marsupialisation of a large Bartholin’s abscess about 10 years ago.

For those suffering persistent Bartholin’s cysts / abscesses, the last step is removal of the actual Bartholin’s Glands themselves.

What do you do if you have a cyst?

The problem for sufferers is knowing how their cyst is going to behave and whether it will develop into an abscess.

My GP prescribes antibiotics at the first twinge which seem to have prevented, if not swollen glands, then certainly another abscess.

Constantly taking antibiotics is not ideal so many sufferers try home remedies such as Phoebe’s Cure and a combination of sitz baths and various supplements.

I thought it would be useful to list some of the treatments that are used in case you would like to try them for yourself.

These are, of course, no substitute for seeking qualified medical advice but if you can head one of these evil things off at the pass, so to speak, that can only be a good thing.

Note, however, that if you have a temperature, are in pain or feel in any way unwell then you must seek medical advice.   I should also point out that these home remedies are undertaken at your own risk.

Home remedies for Bartholin’s Cysts and Abscesses

Before trying these, you need to decide whether, in the case of a small cyst that is not otherwise bothering you, it is better to leave it alone.  The vulval and vaginal skin is very delicate and applying things such as Tea Tree Oil may cause you some discomfort.  Proceed with caution.

Phoebe’s Cure

You’ll need:-

  • 1 oz calamine lotion
  • 1 tsp tea tree oil
  • 1 tsp witch hazel

Put all these on a cotton pad or gauze and apply for one hour (or longer).  Other sufferers have had better results by increasing the ingredients to, for example, 6 oz of calamine and 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil and witch hazel.  You may need to play around with the ‘recipe’ to find what works best for you.

Sitz Bath

You can buy sitz baths from Amazon – a plastic bowl which fits over your toilet and allows you to ‘sit’ in it to bathe your nether regions in warm water. Otherwise just fill your bath tub with water up to your hips. Try adding Epsom Salts or some sea salt if you don’t have anything else to hand.  Soak for around 20 minutes 3-4 times a day – depending on how painful your cyst or abscess is.

Hot water bottle

You could try getting the cyst to ‘pop’ by sitting on a hot water bottle but make sure it is wrapped in a muslin cloth or tea towel to avoid burning yourself.

Hot compress

Alternatively, you could use a washcloth dipped in hot water and carefully wrung out. Apply the compress for 10 minutes and repeat 4 times each day.

Tea Tree Oil or Witch Hazel

Add a couple of drops to a cotton pad and apply.  Check first whether you need to dilute it.

Prid

This is a homoeopathic drawing salve that claims to ‘draw out’ the pus and infection. Its main ingredients are: carbolic acid, arnica, calendula, echinacea and sulphur in an ointment of beeswax, petrolatum and parabens.  Apply direct or on a gauze pad.

A much cheaper alternative would be Magnesium Sulphate Paste, a topical treatment for skin infections such as boils and carbuncles (so roughly similar). Prid is a US product which you may not be able to get hold of so easily in the UK.

Silica supplement

Silica is a trace mineral which is only required by the body in small amounts.  It is said to support joint structures, hair, skin and nail health whilst its efficacy for Bartholin’s Cysts seems to be anecdotal.

Silicea 10 homoeopathic remedy

There seems to be some confusion between silica and silicea 10, a homoeopathic remedy for cysts.  I have tried the latter on numerous occasions.  These are little sugar pills you place beneath your tongue until they dissolve.

Serrapeptase supplement

Serrapeptase is an enzyme which acts as an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic.  It is said to boost antibiotic activity and tackle bacterial resistance.  There are huge claims made for Serrapeptase but again, its reputation seems to be based on hearsay.  I have taken this supplement on many occasions but am not sure whether it made much difference.  You are advised to take these on an empty stomach so watch the dose as the stronger ones can upset your stomach a little.

Caster Oil

Caster Oil may help cysts in the same way as apple cider vinegar or tea tree. Research shows that this oil is antimicrobial making it effective at killing bacteria that live in the skin (causing, for example, cysts and acne).  Apply directly to the cyst on a gauze or cotton pad.

Calamine Lotion

The stuff we were slathered in as kids to treat chickenpox –  it helps to dry out oozing skin irritations and is one of the key ingredients in Phoebe’s Cure (see above).

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has confirmed anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and both may help with pain and irritation in cysts. It may also help reduce the appearance or get rid of certain cysts caused by bacteria or other pathogens.  You can find an aloe vera gel in your local pharmacy or online.

Those unfortunate enough to suffer these blighters repeatedly may use one or several of these remedies whilst waiting to get to their doctor.  It is a matter of trial and error.

When the abscess ‘pops’

Sufferers report that when their abscesses burst there will be quite a lot of unpleasant liquid which seeps from the cyst.  You may need to wear a sanitary pad.  The site of the cyst and the surrounding skin may be tender so you should make sure you gently wash it and then call your GP for a check up.

Have you suffered from a Bartholin’s Cyst or abscess?  What has worked for you?

 

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.

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.

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?

Lead Poisoning: Could It Be The Pipes Used For Your Plumbing?

If someone was to tell you that there are a lot of the things that we used to do in the past that have since been proven to be vastly unhealthy for our health, you may not be all too surprised. If on the other hand you were being told that you could be exposing yourself and your family to various types of danger simply by turning on the tap water, then that could possibly come as a surprise to you.

You may have likely heard about the fact that Flint in the US went through a massive water crisis that was making a bunch of people sick, as it was revealed that the water contained very dangerous levels of lead. 

However, did you know that your water could also be contaminated in your house, even if your city has taken various measures to filtrate it on their end? The reality is that it may in fact not be at the city level that there is an issue, but rather closer to your home and family, and that that is where the problem lies. Yes, it could very well be that the type of plumbing pipes that your house is currently using is, in fact, causing you to be exposed to elevated levels of lead, and there is a good reason for it. While lead may have a bunch of good things that it does when its particles are being added to various products and manufacturing processes, it also has the significant potential to cause harm to people’s health.

Companies such as Check4Lead are on a mission to help protect consumers against the various dangers that arise from the ingestion of large amounts of lead, and in this article, we’ll talk about some of the measures that you may take, but we’ll also talk about the different types of plumbing pipes, and give you a little bit of perspective on the topic. 

While lead is luckily on the decline, there is no hiding that there are still millions of homes across the US and UK where the risk of exposure is rather significant, and lead was in fact used throughout history for a myriad of things, including making pipes out of the material up until WW2, and while we started understanding that long term exposure to the material can have significant consequences on people’s health, there are still places where there is still old lead piping that supposedly potable water is running through. For as long as the water stays in constant motion, it may not have enough time to actually absorb large quantities of the dangerous metal, but if the water sits still in the pipes for a long time, the lead starts going into the water, and that is when it really becomes an issue. 

Throughout time, the different types of materials that have been used for plumbing and the pipes has been ever evolving, and luckily it happened that after WW2, galvanized steel started being used in a lot more instances over the use of lead, providing a better option for carrying potable water inside the home. In the 70s, both copper and polybutylene were introduced and largely used, although polybutylene has been largely restricted.

Luckily, gone are the days when new lead pipes are being installed as we now know and prohibit their use, but for a long time, these pipes were installed and have led to the poisoning of many people, both children and adults.

In children, the various consequences of the exposure include everything from hearing loss to developmental delay and will continue to haunt the child through the entirety of their lives as the material accumulates in the body. 

When old pipes corrode and lead particles are being mixed with the water, that is when you have the risk of long term exposure among the people living in the house, why the CDC in the US even has a specific page on the topic as it relates to lead in drinking water. Among other things, there are certain conditions such as the water temperature and the amount of wear in the pipes that will determine how much of the heavy metal actually ends up leaking into the water. As mentioned, how long the water stays in the pipes, meaning stagnant water will end up accumulating more lead, is a reality. We very much so encourage you to do your own research on the topic to better understand the dangers that this poses to you and your family. While Flint helped bring a lot of attention to the matter, it is not like it is a risk that you can simply ignore. 

The dangerous thing is also that you can’t simply detect the presence of lead by taste, which means you may easily be consuming lots of it without even knowing the dangers. The same way you can have paint tested, it is also possible to have water tested, and depending on where you live, you may either be able to get the water provider to test it for you, or your landlord. However, there are also various tests that you yourself can use in order to gain a better understanding of what exactly is in the water that you are drinking. 

While you may be going through vast regimens in order to take good care of your skin, are you really making sure that you and your family aren’t consuming anything that will lead to nasty side effects through the tap? 

An interesting, and scary (!), fact is that there are in fact millions of homes across the US that contain various levels of lead paint causing unnecessary exposure and harm to the families living in them when the paint starts to deteriorate, and more worryingly, the use of lead paint was in fact banned significantly later in the UK, where it wasn’t up until 1992 that this type of paint was banned for the general public. 

Whether you are a person living in the US or the UK, or any other country for that matter, we strongly urge you to take the same precautions in ensuring the safety of your family by simply having your water tested as you would with so many other things. These tests won’t set you back a fortune and they will make you able to sleep better at night.

Whereas the US has a fairly good idea about the extent of the issue, the reality of the matter is that it is very hard to come by reliable data in the UK on the topic, and given that its use was phased out at a later time than it was in the US, and it has been documented to be a significant issue in the US, we really urge you to take this matter seriously. While there are studies that try and quantify the issue, reliable data is hard to come by. 

Eat Your Stress Goodbye With The Stress Reducing Diet

When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re turning to are most likely going to be traditional ‘comfort’ foods – think big meals, take-out, fatty foods, sweet foods, and alcohol. Let’s face it – we’ve all found some comfort in a tasty meal and a bottle of beer or glass of wine when we’ve been stressed out or upset about something. However, this isn’t a good permanent solution.

When you’re turning to unhealthy foods you can feel better temporarily, but in the long run, you will feel worse. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases less able to concentrate and focus. All of this can lead to even more stress.

Foods that Fight Stress

If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.

Filling up on foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix.

Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:

  • Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. These nutrient-dense fruits have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content which specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.
  • Blueberries – If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the snacks, swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best superfoods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially anthocyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
  • Chamomile Tea – Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress; what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you’re feeling. Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

  • Chocolate – Although it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can actually make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate bars every time you’re stressed out – chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Dark chocolate, in particular, is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.
  • Beef – Grass-fed beef is not only kinder to the planet and to animals, but it’s also good for people, too. Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vitamins C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety. If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef whilst being higher in omega-3.
  • Oatmeal – Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food, but also has a large number of healthy properties to actually make you feel better from the inside out. A complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed. Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning in school compared to kids who had alternative morning meals.
  • Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads, or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.
  • Pistachios – another food which is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios. Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example, spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.
  • Fermented foods – last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yoghurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually, in turn, will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods such as yoghurt actually have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behaviour regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.

Putting Together Your Diet Plan

Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.

When you’re feeling stressed, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ – usually foods which are laden with sugar, very starchy, or greasy. However, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will actually make you feel worse in the long run.

Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yoghurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it can help you to feel better in both the short and long term when it comes to stress. When it comes to combating and dealing with stress in the long run, it’s important to make sure that for the most part, you are eating a diet which is healthy and balanced.

In order to stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for your week and plan ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen to make meals and snacks from when you’re feeling like stress-eating. Making sure that the majority of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will not only make you feel healthier overall but can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.

A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries

Mid-morning snack: Natural yoghurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts

Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens

Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate

Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables

Before bed: Chamomile tea

Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a good idea! Remember to exercise good portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yoghurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.

Disclaimer:

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

What to Look For When Choosing CBD Capsules

CBD products have become very popular in recent years. At least 30 million American adults report using CBD.

Many people prefer using CBD capsules over CBD oil.CBD capsules can be taken more discreetly. Another benefit is that they don’t tend to leak or lose quality as quickly. If you are looking to start using CBD, then there are a number of manufacturers worth looking into. They sell different types of CBD capsules to help with various medical issues.

Are you looking into purchasing CBD capsules? You are going to need to do your due diligence. There are a lot of options as the number of CBD companies continues to grow. Fortunately, you will have an easier time finding the best CBD capsules if you follow the right purchasing process.

Since there are so many different types of CBD capsules, it can be tricky to choose the ones that are best for you. Fortunately, the shopping process will be easier if you know what to look for. You should follow the guidelines listed below to choose the best CBD capsules.

Pay close attention to the strength

How much CBD will you need to take to treat your condition? There is, unfortunately, no universal answer to this question. Some people might only need 10 mg of CBD a day, while others might need up to 150 mg.

One of the most important factors to consider is the strength of the CBD capsules that you will be taking. The strength must align with your dosage requirements. If you have a more severe condition, then you will probably need to take a stronger dose to treat it. The dose that you will need to take will also be determined by your bodyweight.

Other factors might come in to play as well, such as your metabolism and tolerance for CBD. However, you can follow a couple of simple guidelines to determine the ideal long-term dose that you will need to take. Here are some general rules of thumb to help you choose the right dose:

  • Someone that weighs 100 pounds and only needs a low strength treatment plan might only need 10 mg of CBD. They would need 30 mg a day if they needed a more moderate strength dose and 60 mg if they needed a higher strength dose.
  • Someone that weighs 150 mg and needs a low dose will need approximately 15 mg of CBD. On the other hand, the same individual would need roughly 45 mg of CBD if they needed a moderate-strength treatment and 90 mg if they decided that they needed a high strength dose.
  • An individual that weighs 225 pounds would most likely need 67 mg of CBD if they required a moderate strength dose. If they needed a low strength dose, then they would only need 22 mg. However, the same individual would need 135 mg of CBD a day if they needed a stronger dose.

You will need to find out how much CBD is in every capsule before taking them. You can find some capsules with as little as 5 mg of CBD, while other capsules have much higher doses. You need to calculate how many capsules you will need to consume in order to meet your therapeutic dosage.

Determine the quality and safety of the manufacturer before purchasing them

It is important to research the details of individual CBD capsules because they can differ even if they are made by the same manufacturer. However, it is also important to do your due diligence before choosing a manufacturer as well.

There are a couple of things that you should do when assessing the reputation of an individual manufacturer.

 

Make sure that their CBD capsules have been third-party tested

Any unverified claims from CBD manufacturers should be taken with a grain of salt. Even scrupulous manufacturers might unintentionally use inaccurate testing methodologies to determine the quality of their products. There are also some sketchy companies that misrepresent the safety and quality of CBD capsules that they produce.

You should look for companies that use third-party testing. You will have greater peace of mind knowing that the product claims are accurate.

Find out where the hemp was produced

You should pay close attention to the source of the hemp that was used to make CBD capsules. It is safest to purchase CBD capsules that were derived from hemp that was grown in the United States or Canada. Around 70% of the world’s hemp is grown in China, but we don’t have enough information on their regulations to assess its safety. A lot of other hemp products are imported from other countries with subpar safety regulations. This hemp might contain high levels of mercury and other harmful toxins.

The company should mention whether the CBD was produced with locally grown hemp. If the manufacturer is well established, then you can usually take their word for this. However, if the manufacturer is newer and you aren’t sure whether you should trust the website they use to sell their products, then you should try to get a Certificate of Analysis to authenticate their claim that the product originates in the United States.

Read consumer and expert reviews carefully

It is prudent to read consumer reviews before purchasing any product that is going to impact your health. Mainstream review sites such as consumer reviews and Healthline regularly review CBD products. You can also look at reviews on sites that specialize in analyzing CBD products, such as CBD Insider.

Look for CBD capsules with a reasonable return policy

Quality manufacturers offer a return policy for customers that are not satisfied with their purchase. Penguin offers a 30-day return policy to all customers. This is a sign that the company is dedicated to customer satisfaction.

Research your options carefully before choosing CBD capsules

There is no shortage of CBD capsules on the market. Unfortunately, not all CBD products are going to live up to your expectations. You will want to review your options carefully before making a purchase.

Dangerous Everyday Items That Can Damage Your Eyes

When going about your day to day routine, it’s so easy to become complacent about protecting yourself. Many of us deal with dangerous daily tasks that, if they went wrong, could lead to injuries to our bodies, faces, and even eyes. In fact, are you aware of just how many dangerous everyday items there are that could injure your eyes and leave them damaged?

It’s a good idea to take a look at the items you probably use every day without thinking that could permanently damage your eyes.  As ever, eye education is essential and so, based on research from www.contactlenses.co.uk, these are the things you should be cautious around:

6 everyday things that could damage your eyes

1.      Cleaning products

Ever noticed how many cleaning products you use in the course of your housework?  I have a cupboard full of sprays, creams and cloths. Whilst we all need to keep our homes clean, you need to make sure that none of that cleaning product goes in your eye. Always be mindful about what you are using and ensure that you are using cleaning products in an area that is well-ventilated. If possible, wear something to protect your eyes from physical damage.

Goggles can help to keep cleaning products away from your eyes, ensuring that they aren’t going to become as irritated by the presence of the numerous chemicals lingering in the air today.  Even better, investigate some eco-friendly cleaning products that you can make in your own home  – for example, lemon juice and white vinegar – but even then you still need to be careful.

2.      DIY tools

From hammers and screwdrivers to drills and saws, you need to be very wary when using these everyday items. It’s so easy to send debris flying into your eye so even if you’re just removing a few nails from the wall, you should wear something to protect your eyes and mouth.

The same applies to gardening jobs like hedge trimming and strimming overgrown grass and weeds.

Eye injuries from DIY are commonplace, so make sure you protect as much of your face as you can so that you can work freely without risking an injury.

3.      Kids toys

You should be mindful about the toys that your kids play with too. From Nerf guns to various little toys that come apart, especially if springs are involved, you need to stay alert to the potential risk to your kids’ health. Even basic household items your kids play with every day could pose a potential threat to their eyes.

It’s worth going through the kids’ toy box to see if you can identify any potentially dangerous toys and games. From things like the straws in that game of Kerplunk to the marbles in Hungry Hippo, there are plenty of toys you need to be cautious of letting your kids have without supervision. Do this and you’ll feel much safer – both for yourself and your child!

4.      Deodorant

Many of us use aerosols around the home and also where personal hygiene is concerned – for example, deodorants, body sprays and perfumes. If you tend to be rather liberal with these and use quite a bit when spraying, make sure you look away from the spray and close your eyes when spraying. Many people wind up with eye irritation and annoyance purely because they don’t pay attention to the deodorant and how strong it is.

This is why you should always look to spray deodorant in a well-ventilated room where you have enough room to make sure your eyes won’t be impacted.

5.      Eye drops

While using eye drops can be useful to help keep your eyes moist and comfortable, using them too much could create a problem for you. It’s best to avoid prolonged use of eye drops because your eyes can actually become dependent on them.

Obviously, you want to minimise the risk of any damage to your eyes as much as you can. A bit of vigilance goes a long way to make sure that, while you’re soothing the irritation, your eyes aren’t becoming dependent on drops.

6.      Your phone screen

While you might not like to hear it, excessive screen time on your TV, laptop, tablet and phone will lead to eye damage sooner rather than later – particularly where young eyes are concerned. This is known as ‘digital eye strain’ which can leave your eyes feeling burnt out and damaged. It’s a really debilitating problem and our screens are one of the most dangerous items we use every day without really thinking about this.

With people spending more time than ever looking at digital screens, it’s essential you remember to take 10-20 minute breaks regularly to protect your eyes.

Which of these common household products and issues might you be most used to dealing with?

5 Things People With Tinnitus Want You To Know

My ears are buzzing. My tinnitus is back and it’s so ridiculous.  The trigger for this latest tinnitus spike? A hand-drier in a toilet yesterday lunchtime.  Whether or not it affected the volume of my tinnitus cannot be proved;  what it did do was focus my attention on sounds I try hard to ignore on a daily basis.

Solitary man high up on rock

5 Things People With Tinnitus Want You To Know

I put my hearing aids in today (I have a mild hearing loss).  I have been told that I need to wear them so that my brain gets used to full-on sound again, with the bonus that the increase in background noise may drown out the tinnitus – or at least change my focus. And, honestly?  It did make a difference.

Depressingly though, I take them out and wheeeee it’s back.  Yes I know I will need to wear them for months.  To retrain my ears but it’s the emotional impact that is often hard to deal with.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, tinnitus can be described as sounds a person can hear from inside their body rather than from an outside source.

Although it is often described as ‘ringing in the ears’, sounds can take the form of buzzing, humming, grinding, hissing, whistling or sizzling. Some people describe it as sounding like chirping crickets. Sometimes, the noise associated with tinnitus beats in time with a person’s pulse. This is known as pulsatile tinnitus.

Tinnitus can often have a significant impact on day-to-day life, such as affecting concentration and cause sleeping problems and depression.

If you think tinnitus is some airy-fairy, minor physical niggle, take a look at the tinnitus groups on Facebook and you will be staggered by both the degree of suffering endured and the immense spirit that some sufferers manage to find.

Here’s what I suspect many of them would like to say to you.

These sounds are not ‘in our imagination’

Focusing on something else is a skill that has to be learned.  We cannot just “do something to take our mind off it”.

We may not sleep well

This will make us tired, grumpy and irritable.  Some of us love to sleep because it’s the only break we get.  For others, the quiet of a bedroom makes things infinitely worse.

We miss silence

Oh boy, do we miss silence.  Sometimes sufferers report that their tinnitus may vanish for random periods of time (although it generally returns) and they get a glimpse of the silent bliss now denied them.

We don’t care if it sounds like quackery

We will try anything to get some peace. Obviously, this makes us a ripe old target for scammers and snake-oil merchants but it’s known that the placebo effect is immensely strong.  If we think Gingko Biloba, acupuncture, magnesium baths, vitamin B6, Homeopathy or anything else might help, support us.

Don’t tell us “it’s just stress”

No, it isn’t. We’re stressed because we have tinnitus, not necessarily the other way round.

Thankfully we have organisations like the British Tinnitus Association to offer support and guidance but the feedback I generally glean from the various forums is that tinnitus is rarely understood and frequently treated with a complete lack of sympathy from ENT Departments and GPs alike.

It is even harder for the loved ones of sufferers to understand and deal with.  The Husband is as sympathetic as he can be but his approach is to focus on something else – so, so difficult.

I guess sufferers feel like I do, that tinnitus is a curse.  Why me?  must be the silent (ah the irony) refrain of many.  We search to understand what caused it and any sniff of a cure, however flaky, makes us light up like beacons with long-suppressed hope.

There are so many people suffering from this now, not least those returning from military service, those who have had car accidents, those who have had industrial injuries and those who suffer from hearing loss.

Yes.  Tinnitus is not fatal but the misery it causes sometimes is.  On that basis alone, tinnitus sufferers need to band together and demand more research and push for solutions that are clinically tried and have proven efficacy.

I understand that such studies are underway, however, I hope the results and any cure follow swiftly behind.

Read more about my battle with Tinnitus in the posts below:-

The Misery Of Tinnitus – Ring Any Bells?

I’m Buzzing – My Tinnitus Is Back!

If You Have Tinnitus, You Need To Make Friends With Spike

Let The Bells Ring Out For Christmas – Except If You Have Tinnitus

Tinnitus Sufferers Long To Hear The Sound Of Silence

Tinnitus Sufferers Are You Struggling To Get A Diagnosis?

So Now I’m Choosing Restaurants By Noise Level

Are you kept awake at night by the hum?

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7 Tips for You and Your Family to Stay Protected from Viral Infections

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m sure that keeping your family safe from viral infections is at the forefront of many people’s minds, especially when it comes to caring for the elderly, the infirm and anyone who has had to shield themselves away from a disease which could be fatal.

Keeping everyone safe, however, is easier said than done when you are not a trained medical or health care worker and you don’t understand how viral illnesses can spread. In this post, you’ll find some basic, yet crucial tips, to help protect your family against viral infections. 

1. Observe proper respiratory hygiene

If you do not have a tissue, use your elbow to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. If you use your hands for cover, do not forget to wash them thoroughly using soap and water.

Wear your face mask all the time especially when you’re in a public place. You do not need to wear N-95 masks especially if you are not a health or medical worker. You can use cloth masks that you made on your own or you can view masks online and see which one will best suit your needs. However, keep in mind that a face mask does not serve as a substitute for physical distancing. 

2. Get everyone informed

As yet, while there is still no approved vaccine against Coronavirus, everyone is at risk.  It is important that everyone in the family understands how COVID-19 can be contracted – and how quickly it can spread. Your loved ones need to know what they should do to protect themselves – and others- from infection.

If you have young kids in the family, make sure that they understand the dangers of viral infections but make sure that you use words appropriate for their age when you talk to them and try not to scare them.

3. Practice frequent and proper handwashing

Everyone in the family must be encouraged to practise frequent and proper handwashing. Washing the hands should be done before eating, handling food in the kitchen, after using the lavatory and after having been in a public place.

Hand-washing should last for at least 20 seconds. Use soap and clean water and see to it that every part of the hands is washed thoroughly – including the backs of the hands and in between the fingers.

In the absence of soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Pour enough amount of sanitizer across all surfaces of your hands and then rub thoroughly until your hands no longer feel wet. You may find your hands benefit from a hand cream if they become dry and sore from over-washing.

4. Improve everybody’s immune system

Boosting the immune system gives an individual a better fighting chance against viral infections, but this won’t necessarily give you 100% immunity from catching a virus. It does mean, though, that your body may be better placed to fight it off.

Good foods to boost your immunity include almonds, ginger, garlic, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, and yoghurt. Add exercise into your fitness regimen and steer clear of vices such as smoking and drinking too many alcoholic beverages as these may only weaken your body’s ability to fight off viral illnesses. 

5. Encourage physical distancing

Social distancing is a new phrase in everyone’s vocabulary now, isn’t it?  Observing social distancing rules in public, whether 2 metres apart or possibly 1 metre in the near future is going to be vital if we are to resume ‘normal’ living and get our beleaguered industries (for example the hospitality industry) off the ground again.

Physical distancing in public should be observed at all times and we should remember that a viral disease can easily be transmitted through respiratory droplets when a person sneezes, coughs, or talks. So, observing at least 2 metres (6 feet) of distance from other people makes sense.

We should also stay away from places that are known to be crowded and also avoid partying and engaging in public gatherings as much as possible. When you need to go out to shop or buy some essentials, it is best to wear a face mask and bring your hand sanitizer or alcohol with you so you can disinfect your hands as often as needed. 

6. Make it a habit to clean and disinfect 

Protecting your family against viral infections also involves regular cleaning and disinfecting at home. High-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, electronic devices, countertops, desks, handles, sinks, faucets, light switches, etc. should be given extra attention. Use proper disinfectants for electronic devices. Consider the type of material for each surface that will be cleaned and disinfected to ensure that you will be able to use the right disinfectants. 

7. Regularly monitor your health 

This is important for all of us, not just those who are known to be highly vulnerable to viral infections such as the elderly, infants, and those with weakened and compromised immune systems. Even if you think you are healthy, you still need to monitor your health on a regular basis – whether that means a checkup or vaccination against viral infections – for example the flu jab.

Note that some viral diseases do not have obvious symptoms at all. The best thing you can do is to have yourself checked by a doctor. The earlier your viral disease gets spotted, the easier it will be for your doctor to find the most appropriate treatment. 

Remember that it is better to err on the side of caution and, besides, it never hurts to be prepared for every eventuality. In the midst of this global pandemic, every step you take to protect your family will increase your chances of staying fit and well and help everyone else to stay safe too.

Types Of PPE And When To Use Them

With coronavirus still in the news daily, I am sure you have heard about personal protective equipment (PPE) over and over again. You know it’s important for protection and safety, but what is it exactly and when to use it?

As this article on Health mentions, PPE “stands for personal protective equipment, and it’s one crucial way to both stop the spread of COVID-19.” This type of equipment works as a barrier between a person’s skin, mouth, nose or eyes and viral and bacterial infections.

If you are looking for personal protective equipment to keep you and others safe, Aviation Spares & Repairs has a whole range of COVID-19 PPE available. You might even be looking to open your doors to the public soon and will need to be appropriately equipped, so head on over there to see what would be best suited for you and your business.

PPE equipment can include face protection, body protection, hand protection and foot protection equipment.

Face Protection

Items such as face masks, safety goggles and face shields will protect the wearer by catching airborne bacteria, dust and virus particles from entering their mouth and nose. Face masks and face coverings are recommended to be used in closed spaces and public transport.

Body Protection

From disposable aprons which can be used for a variety of applications, such as kitchen work and hairdressers, to full-body protective coveralls that are designed for healthcare workers.

Hand Protection

Safety work gloves, such as disposable gloves or chemical resistant gloves, are used in the workplace to protect the wearer’s hands from scratches, lacerations, blisters, contact with dirt and more.

Foot Protection

Footwear that protects the wearer from the hazards of the workplace. This includes waterproof shoes, winter boots and disposable shoe covers.

Personal protective equipment is essential for both personal and public health. For more information about the government’s guidelines regarding the use of PPE during the coronavirus outbreak, visit https://www.gov.uk.

This article was written by Carolina Neves, lead copywriter at eCommerce Magento website designers Ad Lab.

Living Life Ready – Calm Your Anxiety Naturally With Kalms Lavender

Here’s an interesting question for you.  Did you know that lavender can help to manage your anxiety? Do you know the difference between stress and anxiety? We tend to use these terms interchangeably, but there are definite differences between the two.

We experience stress when our feelings threaten to overwhelm us in situations where the demands made on us are greater than our ability to manage. We often know exactly what the source of our stress is too – for example starting a new job, sitting an exam or attending an interview.

Anxiety, on the other hand, is an unease about something with an uncertain outcome. Anxiety can exist even when the cause of the worry is gone.  I’m frequently told, “it’s all in your head”!

Did you know that almost one in five people say they feel anxious a lot or all of the time? Anxiety has become a common problem in our daily lives.

Symptoms of anxiety include feelings of worry, apprehension and uncertainty.

We feel we are worrying all the time, perhaps about things that are a regular part of everyday life or things that are unlikely to happen.  Some of us even worry about worrying.

But anxiety and especially prolonged anxiety can have a negative effect on the body.  We may suffer a racing heartbeat, nausea, headaches, and muscle tension.

There is no doubt that long-term, anxiety can impact on the quality of life and wellbeing. So what can we do to better manage these feelings?

If your anxiety is severe, you should talk to your GP or perhaps ring a helpline best suited to the nature of your problem.

If, however, your anxiety is mild there are plenty of ways you can help yourself to manage your fears and take better care of yourself in order to cope.

Whilst you are taking steps to make your life more manageable, you could also try a new supplement to help relieve the symptoms of mild anxiety.

Kalms Lavender One-A-Day packaging

Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules are a traditional herbal medicinal product which contains uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil.

The product is used for the temporary relief of the symptoms of mild anxiety such as stress and nervousness, exclusively based on the long-standing use of lavender as a traditional herbal remedy.

You see when we are anxious we may suffer from an “Anxiety Imbalance” where the nerve cells in the brain become over-stimulated, due to the excessive release of neurotransmitters – the brains chemical messengers – such as dopamine and adrenaline.

This leads to hyperactive nerves which are excessively ‘switched on’ – an imbalance which can result in symptoms of anxiety.

The results of over 15 clinical trials have shown that a daily capsule of lavender oil can noticeably relieve the symptoms of anxiety in just one to two weeks – and those benefits are comparable to commonly used anti-anxiety medications.

One study found that symptoms in 70% of those taking the lavender oil capsules were rated as ‘much’ or ‘very much’ improved when reassessed by researchers at the end of treatment.

Lavender Oil is the active ingredient found only in Kalms Lavender One-A-Day Capsules in the UK- and the research suggests that it can reduce the overstimulation of nerve cells leading to an improvement in symptoms of anxiety. Kalms want us to enjoy our days to the full no matter what symptoms anxiety may throw at us!

It’s surprising how it’s often the little things that set us worrying.  These are some of the things I worried about this week.

– Mathew flying to Canada for work – I am always worried about plane crashes!

– St. David’s Day – do you think I could find safety pins to pin Caitlin’s Welsh Lady shawl?

– World Book Day – I can’t sew for toffee and we are always scrabbling about to get some sort of costume together at the last minute.

– Cooking – or more specifically what to have for tea.

– The kids actually eating the tea I’ve cooked.

– My glasses not fitting (readers of this blog will know just how much stress this gives me!)

– The constant hissing in my ears – thanks Tinnitus!

My usual coping mechanisms involve hot baths, early nights, reading a good book and a glass of wine – like many parents across the land, and you can find more of my suggestions for managing your anxiety in this post.

Manage your anxiety with these tips

Here are some more brilliant tips from Kalms to help you manage your anxiety.

1. Slow and steady

If you’re feeling anxious, try taking slow deep breaths; calmly inhaling for 4 seconds through your nose, then exhaling for the same via your mouth. Studies show practising a breathing technique can stimulate the part of the nervous system responsible for relaxation, helpful in reducing anxiety.

2. Take a mindful moment

Mindfulness – the practice of being present in the moment and noticing our feelings, body, thoughts and environment – has been found to improve mental wellbeing and be beneficial for anxiety. Being mindful can be as simple as paying more attention to things we touch, see, smell and hear, like savouring our morning cup of coffee, rather than being caught up in our whirring thoughts. Visit NHS Choices for an introduction to Mindfulness.

3. Know your triggers

Knowing what exacerbates your anxiety is an important step in addressing the issue. Often we avoid situations that make us feel anxious – but this is counterproductive and can make our fears worse. Facing what we’re worried about can help alleviate the anxious feelings – whether it’s been making that phone call you’ve been putting off, replying to an email or even tidying the house.

4. Time to talk

Sharing your worries with a trusted family member or friend can make them seem less daunting, and voicing your fears out loud may help you put them into perspective. You can also turn to anxiety support organisations for advice in times of need.

5. Write it down

Try taking some time at the end of each day to write your worries down. Offloading thoughts in this way may help you slow down your thinking, step away from a continuous cycle of worry and clear the mind.

Writing a to-do list also allows you to commit to paper all the tasks you still need to complete – without spending excessive time thinking about, and trying to remember them.

In order to get a bit better at living life ready, I have been trying Kalms Lavender One-A-Day and after just one capsule I felt noticeably calmer and more relaxed.  In fact, I felt so calm I could have taken a nap!

These do seem to help.  Just take one capsule with a glass of water.

The packaging does state clearly that the product may impair your ability to drive or use machines so make sure you read the label.

The product is not suitable for the under 18s, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or are allergic to the product ingredients.

I would say that for periods of mild anxiety Kalms Lavender One-A-Day capsules are certainly worth a try but if your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks you need to see your GP.

Find out more about the Kalms Lavender range at www.kalmsrange.com and find more tips like this in my guide to holistic living.

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