GUEST POST: How to Adapt to Major Life Changes During the Pandemic

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The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to deal with some pretty major life changes. We’ve had to adapt to remote work, learn to homeschool our children, get comfortable exercising outside of the gym, and find ways to fill our free time without leaving the house. By now, we’ve all settled into a new normal. While many states are starting to reopen, many of these changes are bound to stick around. Here are some tips to help you navigate pandemic challenges and cope with the changes in your own life.

Consider a Career Change

If the shutdown affected your ability to work, this could be a great opportunity to make a career change! There are all kinds of fun and fulfilling jobs you can do from home, whether you want to try freelancing or build your very own business. If you’re interested in becoming a freelancer, think about the type of work you would enjoy the most. You can offer nearly any service on a freelance basis, including web design, accounting, writing, translation, and admin support. Use job boards to browse freelance job categories and find the right choice for your remote career!

Maintain a Routine

A good routine is vital to success for anyone working from home. Not only will your routine help you stay on task and avoid household distractions, but it can also ground you to a kind of consistency during this time of unpredictable change. Start by developing a solid morning routine that will get you excited about waking up. Have a cup of coffee on the balcony, take your dog for a walk, or read a book. When you feel ready to start your day, jump into a work routine with scheduled breaks so you can avoid burnout. Finally, maintain a relaxing evening routine that can help you wind down and put those nagging thoughts to bed before your head hits the pillow.

Pick Up a New Hobby

Although lockdown restrictions are loosening, you may still be hesitant to return to all your old hobbies and pastimes. Ensure your days are still full of fulfilling and meaningful activities! Play around with some new hobbies until you find something that you can get really passionate about. Pick up a new instrument, learn another language, try baking bread, play around with crafts, or plant a garden in your backyard. Do something that makes you feel productive every day!

Keep Your Body Healthy

Maintaining your health is more important than ever right now, and not just so you can avoid illness. Long days spent in lockdown are bound to wreak havoc on your overall well being, especially if you’ve let your exercise routine slip or you’ve been snacking on all those tempting treats in the pantry. Keep your health in top shape so you have the energy you need to cope with the changes happening in your life right now. To enjoy optimal physical health, you need to focus on three main things—nutrition, exercise, and sleep. These three pillars support each other, so don’t neglect any one of them!

Protect Your Mental Health

The coronavirus pandemic may have caused you to lose the sense of control that you previously had over your life. As a result, you may be feeling anxious, sad, or even scared. This is completely normal, and many of us are going through the same emotions. Whether you’re worried that someone you love will get sick or you’re concerned about losing your job, these stressors can slowly chip away at your mental well-being.

Verywell Mind recommends keeping your mental health strong and resilient by taking good care of your body, developing healthy stress-reduction strategies, and maintaining your contact with supportive friends and family. It may also be a good idea to limit your exposure to negative news and sensational social media content that can only exacerbate your worries.

Humans are creatures of habit. This is why we hold onto the familiar and are resistant to change—especially when the outcome is wrought with uncertainty. Overcoming the numerous challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic likely means leaving your comfort zone, and you’ll come out of this a stronger person because of it!

About the author: Jennifer Scott is a single mom who writes about the ups and downs of her mental illness on SpiritFinder.org  The blog serves as both a source of information for people with mental illness and a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can come together to discuss their experiences.

GUEST POST: Type 1 Diabetes: Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity

It’s no secret to anyone living with diabetes: diet is key to managing your symptoms. This is true for everyone, from patients living active lifestyles with type 1 diabetes, to seniors who rely on long-term care.

Have you ever wondered why doctors place so much emphasis on diet for diabetic patients? Do you know how diet affects your insulin levels? If you’re curious about cutting-edge research on the link between diet and living a healthy life with diabetes, read on!

1. Why Do I Need to Be Concerned?

If patients with diabetes don’t take concrete steps to regulate their blood sugar, their symptoms may worsen. Wound healing is of particular concern for diabetics, as elevated levels of blood glucose makes it more difficult for wounds to heal.

What’s more, anyone with diabetes can develop diabetic foot ulcers, whether they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In fact, 15% of people with diabetes end up developing diabetic foot ulcers, and 85% of those patients end up with lower limb amputations. But don’t panic — those are only in extreme cases, when diabetes is left untreated.

2. What’s the best diet for type 1 diabetes?

You’ve probably heard that processed, sugary foods increase the inflammation associated with diabetes. But there’s even more reason to focus on fresh, high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables. A study from Monash University showed that fruits and vegetables sit for longer in the gut, creating fermentation and increasing your level of beneficial gut bacteria. This in turn reduces the inflammation associated with diabetes, and reduces the chance of pre-diabetic patients developing type 1 diabetes.

More recent studies have also explored the benefits of diets that incorporate some element of fasting. “Cycles of a fasting-mimicking diet and a normal diet essentially reprogrammed non-insulin-producing cells into insulin-producing cells,” says Valter Longo, the director of the Longevity Institute at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. But don’t just start skipping meals — it’s important to ask your physician what method of fasting you should try. There are fasting-mimicking diets that last only a short period of time, as well as special diet plans that allow you to reap the benefits of fasting without getting too hungry.

3. What Foods Should I Avoid?

Sugar is the most obvious culprit, but it’s not just sweets that contain loads of sugar. Anything processed is more likely to have more sugar, so stick with fresh foods wherever possible. High-fat foods can also make blood glucose levels spike — one study showed that pizza affects blood glucose levels for hours after consumption.

4. Besides Diet, What Else Can I Do?

Younger people with type 1 diabetes can also make sure to get a good amount of exercise to manage their symptoms. Studies have also shown that carefully choosing comfortable, cushioned footwear can help prevent diabetic foot ulcers — look out for anything that might chafe or cause a blister. Patients typically only notice these ulcers once they’ve formed a red sore of the bottom of the foot, and they can be quite uncomfortable.

By taking these healthy steps now, you can prepare for a long life of living a relatively symptom-free life with type 1 diabetes.

About the AUTHOR: Tracy Rairigh is a medical, business, and technical writer with a Writing in the Sciences Certificate from the University of Stanford Medical. She is also the owner of Rairigh Writing. With over 150 published articles in wound care, health and wellness and a degree in Engineering, she has a vast array of knowledge to pull from.

Guest Post: No Ordinary Habits for Seniors: 6 Ways to Boost Your Quality of Life

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Healthy Habits for Seniors: 6 Ways to Boost Your Quality of Life

Quality of life means something different to each of us. Essentially, quality of life refers to the level of comfort and satisfaction you feel about your life from your own subjective perspective. Though we tend to think quality of life declines as we get older, seniors actually report higher levels of life satisfaction than younger adults. If anything is getting in between you and your best life, take back control of your health with these simple habits. Continue reading “Guest Post: No Ordinary Habits for Seniors: 6 Ways to Boost Your Quality of Life”