Measuring and Managing Stress
Whether it’s mental stress reactions like anxiety and panic or withdrawal and apathy, or physical stress reactions like increased heart rate and sweat levels, managing stress requires a trained sense of mindfulness. And while some stress is good, like a motivating work deadline, most stress can be taxing. Paired with the global pandemic and general uncertainties about the future, stress is ultimately unavoidable. But regardless of stress type, as Hans Selye pointed out, in order to live long, healthy lives, we need to monitor how we perceive, react to, and manage stress. Fitbit has the findings of a recent study to help keep us all at peace...
Whether it’s mental stress reactions like anxiety and panic or withdrawal and apathy, or physical stress reactions like increased heart rate and sweat levels, managing stress requires a trained sense of mindfulness.".
In the world before we knew what the term 'lockdown' even meant, we all suffered from the usual 'burnt out' moments in life. Feeling depleted during your commute became a normal thing; heading from work to a networking thing and arranging dates with three lots of mates into a single weekend are now as much relics as phones with cords and going to HMV. But burnout in lockdown, anecdotally, at least, seems to be one issue arising from the coronavirus crisis.
Runner's World has a rundown of the signs that show you're dealing with yet another lockdown!...
Judging whether a food or beverage is remotely good for you isn’t always easy. You can spot the obvious junk fare like cookies, chips, and ice cream, but everything else seems to have some sort of healthy-ish sounding claim slapped on the package (Grain-free! Natural! Heart healthy!). Unfortunately, so many of these claims are just fluff. That’s why scanning the nutrition label is essential for making smart supermarket picks — and lucky for all of us, it just got its first makeover in 27 years.
In 2020, thanks to a requirement from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), all food and non-alcoholic drink manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual sales started using a revamped nutrition facts label on their products. (Manufacturers with lower annual sales have an additional year to comply.)
You can read about the changes to the new label features over at Pyure...
By now, you know the importance of breaking up with refined carbohydrates (which include added sugars) in your diet. After all, excessive consumption of refined carbs has been linked to everything from weight gain and Type 2 diabetes to heart disease and poor mental health.
So, scaling back is smart. But simply making sure you’re stocked up on nutrient-rich whole foods isn’t always enough — after all, how many times have you come home to a fully loaded kitchen after a long day and still called for takeout?
That’s because, while about half of making sure you eat well is buying the right foods, the other half is preparation — and devoting a couple of hours every weekend to meal prep is the key to making healthy dietary changes stick. You can find out more about the low-sugar and low-carb Sunday meal prep guide over at Pyure...
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives, and one of the unfortunate results of the stress caused by the disease has been a decline in mental health among both the young and the old.
To help people cope with the issues that have arisen due to the pandemic and the lockdown, Public Health England is running the Every Mind Matters campaign. You can read more over in Coach magazine...
Plenty of people are feeling the strain of the pandemic, but you can take action to protect your mental health. Even if you haven't experienced any major signs of anxiety during the Covid-19 pandemic, there's every chance something is bubbling away under the surface. That's why it's wise to take steps to looks after your mental health. The NHS's Every Mind Matters campaign is designed to help on that front, providing guidance on maintaining your general mental health, as well as specific advice if you are suffering from anxiety. You can read mover over in Coach magazine...
What Does Vitamin D Actually Do?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble that is naturally present in certain foods and is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight land on the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. The body producing vitamin D in response to sun exposure is why vitamin D is nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin”. Vitamin D has many important functions in the body, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth through calcium absorption, promoting bone growth, protecting against diseases and conditions, and reducing inflammation.
Vitamin D and Depression
Research has connected a link between people with depression and vitamin D deficiency. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and spikes in colder months, known as seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is not considered a separate condition, but a type of depression with a seasonal pattern. Weather affects people’s moods. Dull, cold, rainy days make us feel gloomy and unmotivated, while sunlight breaking through the clouds can lift our spirits and give us a little feeling of hope. In fact, the vitamin D receptors in our brain are in the same locations in the brain associated with depression (i.e. the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, thalamus, hypothalamus, and substantia nigra)
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
Sunlight can be an individual’s primary source of vitamin D. During colder, darker months there is less access to the sun’s ultraviolet rays to trigger the vitamin d synthesis in the body.
There are actually very few foods that have high amounts of vitamin D. Without adding any of these foods into your diet there is a high chance that you are not getting proper amounts of vitamin D in your meals.
Older adults have an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency because the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D declines with age.
Greater Amounts of Melanin
Greater amounts of the pigment melanin in the skin reduces the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.
Obesity does not actually affect the body’s ability to produce vitamin D, but the higher levels of body mass and fat sequestered requires higher levels of vitamin D for the vitamin to work properly.
Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, conditions that affect fat absorption also affect the production of vitamin D. For example, conditions such as liver disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease all have a negative effect on vitamin D.
Signs of Deficiency:
Signs of Depression:
Reach out to a doctor if you are having signs of depression. If you or anyone you know are having thoughts of suicide here are some support resources:
Solving Vitamin D DeficiencyTo treat your vitamin D deficiency the obvious answer is to increase your intake of vitamin D, but how? Ways to increase your intake are:
Helpful Tips for Combating Winter Blues
If the lack of sunlight and lack of vitamin D is affecting your mental health and causing symptoms of depression, the first (and best) thing to do is always talk to a doctor and seek professional help. Outside of that, here are some self-care tips during the colder months especially that can help combat the winter blues:
All in All:Vitamin D and depression have been linked through various studies, making vitamin D essential for not only your physical health but mental health as well. Getting the proper amounts of vitamin D can be hard, especially in the colder, darker months, but making efforts to include vitamin D in your diet or through supplements will help prevent a vitamin D deficiency. The winter blues can get the best of us, but if we take care of our bodies and our minds we can make it through the gloomy days and get back to the sunshine!
Remember to please seek professional advice or help if you are experiencing any symptoms of depression.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com.
Hitting the daily step goal is a big part of most people’s smart watch experience. The number is front and center when you look at the mobile app dashboard and it’s easily viewed on most devices, making it super easy to check your progress throughout the day. But coming up with a step goal and reaching it are two different things.
For most people, it takes effort to hit a step goal every day, Fitbit has some tips to help you reach your step goal over...
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live