How To Support Elderly Parents Living Independently.

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As you grow older, you may start to notice the role of parent and child starts to change. In the past, the parent provided the care and support to the child, but as the years pass, these roles can become reversed. If you are currently in this situation, you may be wondering how best you can support your elderly parents and help them to get the most out of life in their senior years.

Striking the right balance between being on-hand to help without interfering is challenging and can take some getting used to. It is perfectly natural to feel unsure about the best way to approach this new situation. Reaching a point where you feel comfortable you are providing your parents with the right level of assistance while respecting their wishes can take time to achieve. Here are some of the ways you can give extra support to your parents while they are living independently:

Keep Communicating

Keeping in regular contact with your parents is essential to ensure that you understand their needs and their wishes. If you are concerned about their health, communicating with them regularly will make it easier for you to spot any deterioration and give your parents the opportunity to discuss any aspects of their health that worry them. Making sure that you listen as well as talk is vital to ensure your parents feel their needs and wishes have been understood and are respected.

It is so essential to maintain your relationship with your parents. When they are more dependent on you, it is easy to fall into the trap of only talking about their care and no longer having any fun. So keeping that parent-child relationship alive by talking about everyday topics and taking them out and about is crucial.

Address Any Health Concerns

Finding the right level of support for your parent’s health issues can be challenging. Knowing whether or not they are able to continue living independently or whether they need to receive a greater level of care can be hard to determine. If your parents are adamant that they want to stay living independently within their own home, you may be concerned that they won’t get the best care. Choosing a specialist at-home care provider can help to alleviate these concerns and ensure they are getting the level of assistance that they need. Dementia home care is one specialist care service available that could help keep your ageing parents in their own home while receiving the appropriate level of support.

Make Life at Home Easier

Providing your parents with practical support is an excellent way to support them living independently. Carrying out everyday tasks on their behalf such as cleaning and getting their shopping can make life far easier for them. Making sure that your parent’s home is free from trip hazards and is clean and tidy will help to protect their health and wellbeing and provide you with the peace of mind that they are safe in their home.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains affiliate links.

Assisted Living: How to help your Elderly Parents find their perfect Care Home.

When you were a child, your parents always took care of you. But now that you’ve grown up and may have kids of your own, it’s time to take care of them. And when their health starts to deteriorate, and they become too ill for in-home care, the question becomes: how do we find a great assisted living facility?

While the idea of having to send loved ones to an assisted living facility isn’t always a nice one, it’s often the best choice. Not just for their health, but for our own too

In this article, we’ll walk you through each factor so that finding an assisted living facility feels like less of a daunting task.

Image by Matthias Zomer via Pexels

 

What Types Of Care Homes Are On Offer?

The world of assisted living facilities is an industry that has snowballed. It’s now booming, and there are many things to consider before you make your final decision. The first step is understanding the different types of senior homes available.

A Care Home

This type of facility covers the personal and day-to-day care of your loved ones. They’ll handle things like washing, dressing, and taking medications on time. Many of them also provide activities and days out. But the quality and amount of these extras are provided depends on the home. 

A Nursing Home

Nursing homes cover all the same things as care home, but it’s provided by qualified nurses. So they’re a great choice if your parents have health conditions that need a little extra attention. 

A Care Home With Dementia Care

This type of home is targeted towards elderly loved ones with dementia. It’s designed to make them feel comfortable and to keep them safe.

A Dual-Registered Care Home

This facility accepts residents who have personal and nursing care needs. These homes mean that residents who arrive just needing personal care but eventually need nursing care don’t have to change facilities. Instead, they can stay in comfort in the place that has come to be their home.  

Choosing a Care Home

One of the most important factors when looking for a senior living facility is the level of care. If your loved one needs special attention due to dementia or any other physical disability, you should find a facility with specialized services to have their needs met.

There’s plenty to consider when it comes to looking at care homes for your loved ones. Before you get into the nitty-gritty, it’s worth taking the time to make a list of what’s important to you in your chosen assisted living facility. That way, you can quickly sift through the homes on offer. Because there will be plenty to get through.  

The Staff

The staff at an assisted living facility goes a long way in determining the quality of life for its residents. They must be attentive, caring, and responsive to the needs of each individual. When you visit your prospective home, it’s essential to ask questions about their staff.

The Food

The food served at a senior home is also vital. If meals are not nutritious or flavourful, it can cause malnutrition, weight loss, and other health issues for seniors. Ask if they provide three meals a day or if that depends on what residents choose to eat. It’s important to note that while dietary restrictions can be accommodated at some homes, you may want to find one with more robust catering options and for diets such as kosher or halal.

The Amenities 

Another thing to consider when looking for a care home is what kind of environment and amenities it provides. Does it feel open and welcoming? Is there an opportunity for outdoor activities? Are there pets on-site? How big of a community is there? These questions will help you determine which type of environment would best suit your loved one’s needs.

Amenities on-site provide your parents with something to pass the time, stay engaged, and most of all, feel a strong sense of community. 

Image by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Always Involve Your Parent

When our elderly loved ones come to need further care that we can’t provide, it’s a challenging time. And while it’s difficult for us to come to terms with, it is just as difficult for them. For many elderly people entering care homes, it’s a massive change to their daily life. Some may not be aware of what it entails, so informing them if possible is important. 

Make sure that they’re a big part of choosing a facility. After all, they’re the ones that will be living there. While some health conditions may hamper their understanding of the situation, it’s essential to keep them as involved as possible. Making a list of what they want and then what they need can be helpful to find the best care home options available. 

So while finding a care home can be difficult, it ensures that the quality of your loved one of life remains high. When caring for them becomes too much for you to handle, assisted living facilities are there as a helping hand.

This article was written by a freelance writer and contains affiliate links.

A Guide to Life Insurance for those with Depression and Anxiety.

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According to research from mental health charity MIND, 1 in 6 adults suffer from depression or anxiety in any given week in England¹. 

The prevalence of mental health conditions in the UK is on the increase, not helped by the physiological and financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, this also means awareness is growing.

When it comes to life insurance, insurers now better understand the need to provide financial protection for those with less than perfect mental health. 

If you need to arrange life insurance to protect your loved ones’, but you suffer from depression or anxiety, you may wonder how this will affect your application. 

If so, continue reading as UK life insurance broker Reassured explain all in this 2021 guide…

What is life insurance?

Life insurance is simply an insurance policy that pays out a cash lump sum to your family should you pass away whilst the cover is in place.

The proceeds can be used to cover mortgage/rental payments, provide an inheritance, as well as meet family living costs. If you have dependents who rely on your income, then life insurance ensures that they would be financially secure if you were not around to provide. 

You pay a monthly fee, known as the premium, in order to benefit from the cover protection. Premiums start from approximately 20p a day for £200,000 of cover (or sum assured).

Can depression or anxiety affect your life insurance application?

Yes, if you have been diagnosed with depression or anxiety then this can affect your life insurance application. But do not worry, this does not mean you cannot secure cover or that you will definitely pay a higher premium.

The challenge is that you may need to answer some questions about your condition before your application is accepted. Your responses to these questions will help the insurer better understand your individual circumstances and provide you with a suitable quote.

If the insurer thinks you are more likely to make a claim on your policy due to your depression or anxiety, then they may increase the cost of your monthly premium to mitigate this perceived risk. 

Questions you may be asked include:

  • When were you diagnosed?
  • What treatment are you receiving?
  • What are the severity and frequency of your symptoms?
  • Have there been any instances of self-harm, attempted suicide or hospitalisation?

The only exception to this is over 50s plans. If you are aged 50-85 you can take out an over 50s plan; these policies guarantee acceptance and do not ask any medical questions during the application.

However, whereas standard cover (such as level term and decreasing term) can pay out up to £1,000,000, an over 50s plans maximum is £25,000. As a result they are commonly used to cover rising funeral costs and/or provide an inheritance (not cover larger debts such as a mortgage).

Does depression or anxiety affect the cover itself?

No, if you have been diagnosed with having depression or anxiety before taking out a life insurance policy, then this will not affect the cover itself.

Your policy will be the same as for anyone else who takes out the policy – the only difference being that you may pay a loading on your premium due to your condition. 

What will stop me from getting life insurance?

It is very unlikely that you will be declined life insurance due to depression or anxiety alone.

When sourcing quotes, you will also need to provide the insurers with other information about yourself such as your age, health, weight and smoking status.

These factors are more likely to impact your life insurance options than your mental health condition. Nonetheless, you may be declined life insurance if your depression or anxiety is deemed too high risk. For example, your diagnosis is recent or you’ve self harmed/been suicidal on more than one occasion.  

As someone with depression or anxiety, you may struggle with the process of applying for life insurance and therefore, put off getting a quote. This is understandable as you will need to discuss the details of your condition with a person you do not know. 

However, it is important to understand that insurers are very familiar with assessing applications for people with a mental health condition.

Once your life insurance is in place, you can have peace of mind that your family are financially protected if you are no longer around to provide.

How to get the cheapest premiums 

If you suffer from a mental health condition such as depression or anxiety, it is really important to compare multiple quotes before securing cover.

Every insurer will assess your application differently and therefore premiums will vary in cost, so shopping around will ensure you can get the best available price.

You can do the research yourself, use a comparison website or enlist the help of a specialist FCA-regulated broker.

Whichever method you choose to compare quotes, rest assured the vast majority of those suffering from a mental health condition can in fact secure affordable life insurance.

In fact, the most influential factor affecting the price of premiums is likely to be your age – so why not seize the day and secure your loved ones financial future?

Sources:

¹ https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/#:~:text=1 in 4 people will,week in England [2]

This article was written by a freelance writer.

8 Steps to help with Aging, Better Health and Wellbeing.

Getting older doesn’t mean that you will have many medical conditions or poor quality of life. However, it is very important to know what is expected when you get old and what is not. Growing old entails some changes in all aspects of life, from the mental, physical to social, sexual, emotional, and more.

Some of these changes can be regarded as constructive, while others are damaging. The vital thing to do is make the most of the good part of aging while also taking preventative measures to maintain good health and lessen the negative impacts.

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Fixing Your Personal Wear and Tear in Life

Wear and tear in life can be defined as the damage that occurs naturally and unavoidably due to normal aging. In simple words, the human body wears out because of use, and once they wear, they can no longer function as they did.

Besides, many people go through their lives without sufficiently restoring themselves, which can eventually lead to weariness during an extreme period of stress or even work. So, it doesn’t matter who or how old you are; fixing your personal stresses in life is one excellent way to make yourself feel great again. The following are some of the things you can do to achieve that.

Use the right skincare products

There are some key ingredients that you must consider when shopping for skincare products. Ensure that the product you buy has vitamin C, which can help brighten your skin, retinoid that increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen production, and an exfoliating element to remove the dead skin cells.

On the other hand, you can get rid of eczema, acne, or eye bags, by using CBD oil from places such as Simply CBD. This will make you look younger as this oil has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help you fix the wear and tear (lines and signs of aging) in your skin.

Get enough sleep

Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is crucial for good health. According to recent research, sleep disturbances can lead to an accumulation of a toxic protein called amyloid in the brain, especially in people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, other studies have shown that poor or inadequate sleep can put an individual at a higher risk of developing illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, cancer, obesity, and even premature death.

Therefore, you should aim at getting about seven hours of sleep. This is because when you sleep, your body gets the chance to release hormones that promote cell renewal and turnover. Use the sleeping time to your advantage by using good skincare products that will help your renew and revitalise your skin.

On the other hand, you can practice good sleep hygiene to better your sleep. Consider upgrading your mattresses, pillowcase and ensure that the bedroom is cool and quiet. Having a good quality pillowcase will ensure that your skin is not affected or irritated by the constant turning and tossing.

Dental care and repair

When thinking about aging, many people think of wrinkles or droopy eyelids. But, some might have yellowed teeth, sunken faces, and droopy eyelids. Usually, these problems can actually make you look older than you are.

Therefore, dental care and repair can help you improve your smile and radiance. Cosmetic procedures from a dentist are some of the proven and most worthwhile treatments you can get to repair your teeth. Remember that it takes into account your particular dental needs and repair goals for you to come out with a sense of beauty and pride in your expressiveness. So, regardless of how well you take care of your teeth, you might need some maintenance from time to time.

Massage and deep spa treatment

People are constantly talking about the health benefits of spa treatment and massage therapy in relation to various illnesses.  But did you know that massage can significantly reduce the effect of aging? Massage therapy is one of the ways to increase your general wellness, making you feel much younger.

Besides, going to a spa at the end of your workday can be an excellent way to unburden your stress and release all the tension you have on your shoulders. Other than that, massage therapy can increase your quality of sleep and improve blood circulation.

Drink plenty of water

Drinking enough water is excellent for your skin health. Besides, water is considered an excellent moisturiser that can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, helping you look younger and slimmer.

Failure to drink enough water can make your skin swollen and can lead to ballooning. Also, you can develop skin problems like dry skin, eczema, spots, wrinkles, and psoriasis. In addition, the first sign of dehydration is usually visible on the skin. Water is also known to eliminate toxins and waste products from the body leading to healthy life quality. It also helps get rid of headaches and leads to a happy life.

All of these things can help boost your wellbeing and mental health, and as you age, this is more important than ever,

Eat a well-balanced diet

As the saying goes, beauty comes from the inside, and just depending on skin creams and pricy potions for glowing skin is not enough. You can eat yourself to youthful and healthy skin. And since aging increases your risk of developing chronic conditions and heart illnesses, it is essential to consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Nutritional experts have recommended focusing on vegetables, fruits, and foods low in salt and sugar. Besides, there are certain types of food that you can eat to reduce the effects of aging. For instance, you can consume green tea rich in antioxidants that can protect your skin from harmful free radicals. Also, you can consume tomatoes, watermelon, bone broth, fatty fish, and dark chocolate. Also, ensure that you consume meals low in saturated fats, red meat, and sugar.

Stay socially and physically active

Staying connected to your friends and family can help delay the cognitive decline that comes with old age. Also, according to various reports, having pets can have many benefits as it helps seniors maintain social connections and improve their mental health.

On the other hand, it is crucial to stay physically active. Staying active can help you maintain a healthy weight and make you look younger. And according to many pieces of research, working out, especially high-intensity interval training, can slow down cellular aging by almost ten years.

The benefits don’t stop there; exercise can also increase blood flow to your brain and move critical nutrients throughout your body, resulting in a more youthful look. Besides, a regular workout is beneficial for maintaining strength and muscle mass which can add many years to your lifespan.

Reduce caffeine intake

Everyone loves coffee; in fact, older adults are shown to drink more coffee than any other age group. And while drinking coffee can positively affect your health, energy, and moods, consuming too much of it can have some adverse effects. Too much coffee can lead to poor sleep quality and dehydration.

According to Mayo Clinic, people who consume too much coffee experience restlessness, headaches, heart palpitations, and anxiety. Also, too much caffeine overstimulates the nervous system and leads to jitters, upset tummy, and sleep issues in older adults.

Also, too much caffeine can wreak havoc on your skin health, dehydrating your body and rob it of its vital nutrients. And unfortunately, some of these effects of caffeine are irreversible.

The Bottom Line

There are not enough substitutes when it comes to fixing your personal wear and tear, as your body will eventually show how you treat it. So try as much as possible to stay active, maintain a healthy work-life balance, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, limit the amount of caffeine you take, and, more importantly, eat a well-balanced diet.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

5 New Interior Design Ideas to Boost Wellbeing

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The Novelty Cave Design

The novelty cave design is a unique idea that will make your home more exciting and memorable. It’s not easy to find something like this because you have to create it, but the results are excellent. Decluttering to create the space can also increase feelings of wellbeing.

The novelty cave design creates an underground space that you can use as a bedroom, bathroom, or just any function you want. Naturally, therefore, it’d be necessary to declutter areas you wish to redesign ahead of time. Consider moving boxes or anything you deem clutter to a storage – learn more about reliable movers near you.

The main thing here is to create the illusion of being in a natural cave, and it’s not that hard at all. It can help to have a space where you feel cosy.

Sauna Style Design

When moving houses, you may experience overwhelming feelings but moving in a house with a sauna style design will instantly improve your mood with its timeless and functional beauty. It’s not only about being cosy but also getting many health benefits while enjoying some time with your family and friends.

You can also include some cosy elements in the bathroom – your home will become more beautiful than ever if you take care of the minor details. You want your home to feel calm.

Pod Styles for Specific Rooms 

With their drawers, shelves, and cabinets for storage or display, pod-style furniture pieces are a great addition to any room. They take up less space than traditional shelving units but still provide many options for displaying favourite items.

Pod styles work well in bathrooms, where they serve as both countertops and extra storage areas. If you’re looking to transform your master suite, consider a pod-style countertop to replace the standard vanity. It will add storage and create an elegant focal point. It can also help to promote feelings of calm in the space.

Twilight Lighting Design

It’s no secret that a well-lit room is essential for any interior design. However, what if you’re trying to create more of an atmospheric experience? If so, then twilight lighting might be the perfect fit. Twilight lighting works by adjusting your lights in such a way as to cast shadows across the floor and walls – resulting in an ethereal feeling room. This can boost wellbeing if it helps you to relax and switch off too.

Minimalistic Designs

If you like more natural-looking designs, then this might be the style for you. This design is great because no matter what kind of decor your living space features, it will look good with a minimalistic design. The most common thing that people do when they use a minimalist approach to interior design is use light colours such as grey and white throughout the space. This can feel more relaxing.

This is a great design idea for people trying to sell their homes because the neutral colour palette makes your house more attractive and appealing. The best way to make sure this style works well in your living room would be using a fireplace as an accent piece or adding one large focal point in the room.

Conclusion

Interior design possibilities are endless, and it is up to you how far you want to go with the designs to make them interactive, attractive, and timeless. Make sure you create a home with lots of space and light, so it feels calm and promotes feelings of wellness and cosiness.

This article was written by a freelance writer

How to Look After Yourself When You Care for a Loved One.

(image: Pixabay)

If you are a carer for a loved one, or perhaps have a carer as someone with a long-term illness or chronic health condition, you will know that while it can be enjoyable and rewarding, it can be tough. Being able to take care of the needs of someone else, as well as yourself, can be a juggle, and often feel overwhelming. If you need some help and advice when it comes to caring for a loved one, then read on. As the old saying goes, you can’t fill from an empty cup, so looking after yourself is important as well.

Make each day different

It can be tough, but if you are caring for a loved one who isn’t very mobile and getting out of the house can be hard, then getting out and about can be the last thing on your mind for the day. However, having a change of scenery and keeping as active as possible is important for the mind in terms of dementia, as well as for their mental health. It can be a good thing for you as a carer too, as fresh air can make such a difference to how you feel too.

Think about routines

It can be easy to let the person you care for slip into your routine. This can be especially true if you don’t live in and just pop in each day at certain times. However, it is a good idea to think about the routine that is going to work best for those that you are caring for. It should help them to feel comfortable and at ease. This could look like not interrupting them when you know their favourite show is on TV or waiting to serve their meal at a better time, not just one that is more convenient for you. There needs to be a degree of flexibility with this, of course, but having a rethink of what you currently do is important.

Get the support that you need

Talking of routine and seeing what fits in with you as well as what fits in with others is important. However, there will be times when some things just won’t work; you can’t put everything that you need to do on hold. This is where getting help comes in. It may be that you just need another family member to step in for one day or perhaps you need to seek out the support of a carer support services team. It might be that you need physical help one day if you have an injury and lifting someone could make it worse. Look to create a circle of people around you that you can call on when needed and who you can trust and confide in.

Although the person you are caring for will come first most of the time, much like a relationship with a parent and child, you do still need to care for yourself. Putting plans in place that will make things easier for you, and give you any downtime that you need, is important.

This article was written by a freelance writer

Alzheimers: How to help a loved one after their diagnosis: Guest blog by Hannah Boothe

Alone elderly man sitting on the wheelchair and holding a walking stick

(image: H Boothe)

The onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms in a loved one can bring one of the most challenging times of your life to you, as well as the one you love. How you handle this period will set the precedence for how your relationship with each other will continue as the symptoms get worse over time. Don’t let their diagnosis mean the end of your relationship. Find ways of helping along the way so you can draw closer to each other instead.

 

Help with Early Detection

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s can make all the difference when it comes to how severe it gets over time. If your loved one has not yet been diagnosed, you can urge them to have detection tests performed to catch the development of Alzheimer’s early. Some tests monitor the development of certain proteins, called prions, that are directly involved with the onset of Alzheimer’s.

These are proteins found in the brain that force other proteins to fold or bend abnormally. When this happens, this equates to varying degrees of brain damage, since the brain can no longer function as it once did. The higher the number of prions in the brain, the worse the damage to the brain is.

To measure the presence of prions in the brain, one of two kinds of tests can be conducted. The first is the B-Panel test. This is for patients who don’t show any signs of developing Alzheimer’s but are at risk of developing it. Those at risk include people with a family history of Alzheimer’s and those who have had multiple head injuries, among other risk factors.

C-Panel tests are for those individuals who already exhibit the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This is the test that provides the most accurate readings of the levels of prions present in the brain, and it’s the most trusted diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s.

 

Educate Yourself About Alzheimer’s Symptoms

One of the best things you can do for your loved one is to learn about the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s that are not so commonly known. For instance, hiding other’s things or being suspicious of others hiding their things is a symptom most people are not aware of until it happens and causes a great deal of strain to the relationship. They may also imagine things that are not there and insist they are, no matter how much you might try to convince them otherwise.

They may become violent when frustrated as well. This frustration is caused by their realisation that they are not in control of their minds and bodies the way they once were. They need your support and companionship now more than ever.

 

Avoiding Upsetting and Unsettling Situations

People with Alzheimer’s tend to be upset very easily, and this can range from mild to extreme depending on the individual and situation. For example, loud noises from the television or radio might upset them. You want to create an atmosphere of support and comfort around them to keep them from experiencing sadness, depression, and anxiety that overwhelms them. Having a daily routine can be crucial for those with Alzheimer’s. If you live with them, you should encourage this and support it. When there is a set routine, they are less likely to feel confused and helpless.

Do and say things to let them know that you are close by and are there to support them during this time. Never argue with them or try to convince them of anything they don’t want to believe. Remember that you are no longer dealing with a rational person at all times.

Remember this in your daily interactions with them. Only ask them one question at a time, and wait until they answer successfully before saying anything else. Don’t be afraid to use humor if you think they will respond positively. You can also use music, singing and dancing to improve their mood or distract them from themselves.

Above all, try not to let your anger or frustration show. The closer you were to them before the onset of Alzheimer’s, the more upsetting this will be to them. Instead of getting frustrated, walk away from them for a while and take some deep breaths before engaging again. Never forget that you might need this kind of help and companionship yourself one day.

 

This post is by freelance writer Hannah Boothe.

 

We will beat this, It will get better: Guest blog by Jenny Nguyen

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(image: Mercury News, Daphne Sashin -USA)

We are currently living in strange times, where the majority of people are practicing “Social Distancing”. This has become the norm for most people for a couple of weeks or months. Its only a few months of the first year of the new decade, and no one expected coronavirus to have such an impact of everyday life.

Many people out there are worried and anxious about what is happening, you are not alone. We are all in this together and we can beat this virus. My blog is all about me and my anxiety and how I been coping during these difficult times.

Let me start by saying that even before coronavirus, I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life. I am always constantly worried and stressed about what the future holds. It is the uncertainty that makes me so nervous. Sometimes I just want to stay in bed and not talk to anyone. 

It was when something in my life happened, I decided to take matters into my own hands in order to help deal with my anxiety. I decide to self-refer myself and attend CBT classes provided by the NHS. My counsellor has been so helpful in helping me to put things in perspective.  I learnt different ways to help me deal with the anxiety. During the week, I still continue with my CBT lessons, but it is done by telephone.

I really appreciate the work the NHS does. They work so hard to try and help people struggling through hard times and saves people’s lives. 

When I first heard about the coronavirus, it was okay but then when we started to get cases in UK, my anxiety levels started to kick in. I realised that I suffer from health anxiety too, where I would often check online the symptoms and some days, I convince myself that I have coronavirus.

Social media and the news are reporting about coronavirus and this made me more anxious about what the future holds and if I will be able to survive through this time. It started to get really bad after a few days, as cases in the UK kept increasing and we had deaths in the UK. 

Things started to get bad with my mental health as I started to develop symptoms of the virus. One Saturday evening, I started to develop a high fever and started panicking. I had so many thoughts running through my head and ended up calling NHS 111. All they said was ‘it’s a cold’. During that time, I was so scared and my anxiety levels was so high. That evening I found it hard to sleep but I drank a lot of water. The next day I was okay, but decided not to go in to work. It was the right decision to make. 

At work, the decision was made that everyone would work from home until further notice. During the first few days of working at home, it was good because it was great to have freedom of what I wanted to do at home, as we won’t have this much free time again. As time went on, I could feel my anxiety levels increasing and my mind kept wandering to the worst things that could happen to me and my family.

We are in tough times and it is affecting everyone mental health, even if you don’t admit it but this is the time we can work on ourselves and pick up a hobby we enjoy. I suffer from loneliness and I often need others to support me. This is the time you can reconnect with past friends. I recommend reaching out to an old friend and talking to them.

We all go through the same things and know that this bad situation will end very soon. We don’t know when, but we will beat it together.

In order to help with my anxiety levels in this situation, I focus on myself and try to find ways I can help others in this situation. I want to help others who are suffering and find ways to inspire them, that everything will be okay. Having fresh air when you are on lockdown is very important. I have a garden and once in a while I go out for a walk.

We need to protect our mental health. It is okay to be struggling. It’s okay to lose your footing and scramble to stay upright. It’s okay to be screaming on the inside or outside. It’s okay to be scared or anxious or depressed. You are not alone and people are here to support you.

We will get through this together and use this time to do something you always wanted to do. We will beat this! It will get better!

 

This blog was written by freelance writer Jenny Nguyen, in the UK.

The best employee benefits supporting Mental health: by Daniel Tannenbaum

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(image: Policy Bee)

 

In 2020, many startups and companies are implementing strategies or creating employee benefits that put mental health first. This is a welcome change that shows just how far attitudes towards mental health have changed in the past decade, becoming no longer a taboo.

Here are the firms that are supporting mental health amongst staff members best:

Equipsme

The London-based startup Equipsme has created an inexpensive employee benefit that means employees can benefit from comprehensive yet affordable health insurance policies. Whatever the size of the business, companies can insure staff with plans from as little as £7 per month per person.

Customers get 24//7 GP access, online health checks, nurse support and 3 physio sessions as standard with the option to upgrade to stress support for as little as £1.50 per person per month, optical and dental cover for £7.50 per person per month too.

Sweaty Betty

The hugely popular activewear brand strongly promotes to staff a healthy mind and body and keeping stress in the workplace to a minimum. How does the firm do this? Each week, it gives its employees the chance to join lunchtime yoga classes to help them relax. There is also the chance to join running clubs and start later in the day if they so wish, all with the aim of helping with stress management.

Ernst & Young (EY)

Ernst & Young makes mental health a big focus in its organisation, providing not only private healthcare, but also free online health assessments in a counselling service that can be used by not only staff members but also their families. It is completely confidential and available for 24-hours.

yulife

yulife is another exciting London startup that incentivises employees to look after their mental health by promoting healthier lifestyles. The company has radically shaken up the life insurance industry for the better with their insurance package.

For example, businesses who take up yulife insurance policies can reward their employees through earning yucoin. Yucoin is earned by engaging in a healthy lifestyle, tracked by staff in a daily app. This includes doing exercise and meditation.

By accumulating yucoin online, staff can then redeem these for real life rewards at shops, restaurants, and much more.

Innocent smoothies

The company is known for providing a range of employee benefits that puts the needs of its staff first. This is particularly the case when it comes to mental health. For example, the smoothie firm is dedicated to reducing work stresses through the inclusion of a free gym and breakfast to all staff. It also provides a yoga club to its employees and a 100% confidential 24 hour employee assistance programme that means they can talk to someone privately if they need to.

 

This blog was written by writer Daniel Tannenbaum.

Life under Lockdown: Keeping yourself busy at home: Guest blog by Chloe Walker

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(image: https://www.cottagesforcouples.com/)

As Covid-19 continues to spread and the world scrambles to stay a step ahead, many of us are finding ourselves isolating at home in unprecedented circumstances. All around the world governments are increasingly ramping up safety measures to protect both their medical staff and their most vulnerable citizens.

As we all adapt to a new and still rapidly changing world, there are challenges to our wellbeing, financial security and even mental health.

On the other hand, many people are now realising that life in lockdown offers many unique advantages. Just because you’re self-isolating or social distancing, it doesn’t mean that life has to be put on hold completely. In fact, now could well be the time to capitalise on the extra time spent at home to do things that otherwise would have taken the back seat.

Here are a few ideas for ways to make sure your time under quarantine is spent wisely.
Get your garden ready for spring

In the UK, the first glorious days of spring have appeared, reminding us all that there’s plenty to be grateful for. Warmer and brighter days lure us outside again after a long winter. If your garden needs some love, put on your wellies and know that a little outdoor work could do wonders for stress levels.

Gardeners know that work in the yard is never really finished. Still, avoid mowing your lawn too short for now. According to mowing specialists Mowers Online, “As the growing season starts selecting the blade height to 50mm will give optimum grass blade thickness which is crucial for growth. This height may seem rugged at first but remembering that grass blades are solar panels for the lawn and the more energy created, the more luscious the lawn.”

Finding time to garden during the Spring will keep you occupied, physically active and out there getting essential vitamin D.

Try some spring cleaning

In the same spirit, why not use the longer, brighter days to inspire you to clean up a little? If you’re now working from home, you may find yourself with extra time on your hands – and the opportunity to get around to all those deep cleaning jobs that have accumulated over the year.

This is also a great time to catch up on any maintenance jobs that you haven’t had time for. For instance, when was the last time you cleared out the gutters? Or checked everything was ok in the loft? These are both areas that can deteriorate quickly when not maintained and can result in pests making their way into the home. If this has already happened, then you’ll need to call some exterminators as soon as possible here is a great example of the sort of company to contact https://www.pestcontrolexperts.com/exterminator/louisiana/. The lockdown will end eventually, and you’ll really appreciate a bright and shiny home to see you through the challenges that will come with getting back to work again.

Bring a little of the outdoors indoors

It’s now well understood that nature has an incredible ability to relax us and boost mental wellbeing. As most of us try to manage the inevitable stresses the coronavirus has brought with it, we can turn to nature to recalibrate, de-stress and remind ourselves of what’s important.

Even if it’s gloomy outside, bring a little nature indoors to get the benefits. Stonehouse Furniture suggest ‘‘A window box on the outside is a great way to add a splash of colour to your day as you do mundane kitchen chores. Spring bulbs, miniature daffodils, polyanthus and summer bedding plants are a very cheap way to add nature and colour to your kitchen outlook.’’
Enjoy cooking
Now’s the time to get in touch with your domesticity! There’s more time now than ever to really relish the joys of preparing fresh, healthy, home-cooked meals for your family. With grocery shop orders being a little unpredictable, you likely have a stock of ingredients on hand anyway. Why not get creative and try some new recipes you were always too busy to attempt before, or concoct your own meals? Rope in the family for some quality time cooking together, and experiment with different daily routines.

Can’t find your usual ingredients in the store anymore? Accept the challenge and eat something a little more exciting and out of your culinary comfort zone. Have too much fresh food on your hands? Try batch cooking and then freeze the extra food for emergencies.

It may at first seem limiting to have to stay at home, but use your imagination and reframe staying at home as a great opportunity instead. Get stuck into that hobby you’ve always put off, or flex your creativity with painting, poetry, crafts or knitting. Stay fit indoors by doing yoga or YouTube workouts, enjoy your pets, or have your own mini party in the living room with your favourite music. Films, books and musical instruments are your friends right now.  Keep in touch with your literal friends online, or get out some board games to play with the family.

The coronavirus has challenged us all to prioritize what’s truly essential: our mental and physical wellbeing. Take this opportunity to reconnect with yourself, with nature, and with those you love, and you’ll soon wonder why you don’t spend more time at home!

This blog was written by freelance writer Chloe Walker, who is based in the UK.