5 Holiday Traps That Endanger Your Mental Health

As the year draws to a close, many Americans are starting to look forward to the holidays and their promise of good cheer with one’s family and community. Historically, however, the holidays are among the times Americans are most likely to be confronted with serious mental health issues.

Existing problems related to substance use disorder (SUD; formerly known as addiction), post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression are highly likely to manifest during the holidays. Boston rehabilitation centers and emergency rooms tend to be especially busy during the holidays, a pattern that largely holds true for the rest of the United States.

Below are just some of the many mental health risks that are prevalent during the holiday season.

Holiday Traps

1.) Traumatic Memories

According to the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the holidays can be especially rough on people who have had traumatic experiences. The holiday season’s emphasis on family, materialism, and community can be triggering for those who’ve experienced violence at the hands of family members, individuals with financial insecurity, and people who are already feeling socially isolated for one reason or another.

These trauma triggers have been associated with a rise in drug and alcohol misuse during the holiday season, as well as associated instances of suicide and self-harm. Even just remembering and re-experiencing a certain date can be enough to cause traumas to rise to the surface. 

 

2.) Binge Drinking and Drug Use

The holidays can provide some people the necessary excuse they need to misuse different substances, particularly alcohol. While the use of most drugs goes up during the holidays, alcohol is the substance with the biggest societal cost.

Emergency rooms are almost always busy during the holidays due to alcohol and drug-related mishaps. However, physical injuries are not the only ones that get inflicted during the season. 

People in rehab programs tend to report at least a few bad experiences that have occurred to them because of drinking or drug use during the holidays. Family members of people who binge drink or use drugs during the holidays are also more likely to be victims of violence during this time, often suffering lifelong traumatic experiences tied to the holiday as a result.

 

3.) Depression

Depression tends to rise during the holidays not only because of the aforementioned reasons like trauma and reminders of financial insecurity but also partly due to the seasonal weather conditions. Oppressively hot or cold weather conditions can trigger seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that is caused by weather changes.

SAD can have a very real compounding negative effect on a person’s mental state. In the US, SAD is often associated with the cold, gloomy weather that accompanies Halloween through the New Year. However, it can also accompany hot weather, which can be relevant during the summer and holidays like the Fourth of July. 

With the world experiencing serious climate change, SAD can become an even more serious factor in more peoples’ mental health in the future.

 

4.) Stress and Anxiety

The holidays are often accompanied by stress and anxiety, which can often turn into full-blown panic attacks. Turning in work obligations before the holidays, potential money problems, meeting certain family members, and challenges of meeting holiday expectations can be enough to put many people over the edge. 

Stress and anxiety, are extremely common causes of other more serious mental health issues. The rise in binge drinking and drug use during the holidays can partly be credited to people using substances to cope with the stresses of the season, and this can also lead to other mental health problems.

 

5.) Being Isolated

As you will have undoubtedly noticed during the pandemic, reduced social contact can lead to a serious toll on one’s mental health. Existing issues with isolation can be further intensified during the holidays. 

People who are unable to meet family members or people they love can be at risk of developing depression or indulging in unhealthy coping strategies. Those who are already feeling “othered” and separated from their community, such as economically disadvantaged people, foreign students, migrants, and the differently-abled can feel this othering even more acutely as well.

 

 

Take Care of Your Mental Health Before It’s Too Late

While holiday mental health hazards are seasonal, it’s important to establish a baseline level of hygiene for your psychological well being all-year-round. Seeking professional help for one’s mental health should be done early on and mental health checkups should be at least as frequent as visits to the dentist. 

 

Having a good daily mental health routine that involves learning how to identify and deal with emotions, physical and mental exercise, using gratitude and empathy, and other critical self-care activities can help you be more resilient to the worst challenges you might expect during the holiday season.

 

 

Things to Know Before Having a Vasectomy

Vasectomy, or what you call permanent contraception, is a route that quite a few people have taken. While it is still something that not everyone trusts, people have started researching it and think that it can solve quite a lot of problems.

Vasectomy also became something more people preferred due to its apparently lesser side effects than female contraception and abortion that is harmful to the female body and is seen as taking life in many parts of the world. Quite a few states have also made abortion illegal, and at the same time, the peril that female contraception brings did make room for another alternative for people who were not yet ready to have kids. 

 

What does a vasectomy entail?

Vasectomy should not overall have any worst effects on your body. The male body can still ejaculate, but the semen does not contain any sperm; thus, it does not and cannot impregnate anyone. During the surgery, the two tubes, namely vas deferens, are cut and sealed. These tubes are actually responsible for carrying sperms from testicles to male urethra; thus, this connection is terminated.

On a side note: there is also a thing knows as reversible vasectomy, so even if you think that it would be a decision not worth it, you can always have that reversed. Do it whenever you think you are ready to become a parent, but you can be sure that you are safe until then. However, you always need to evaluate when you want to get this reversed because after a decade has passed, the success rate declines heavily.

 

Vasectomy has its pros and cons

Vasectomy Renton WA is a form of permanent contraception. After that, it is no longer necessary to use other forms of contraception. However, a vasectomy does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – important if you are not in a monogamous relationship. As with any surgical procedure, there is little chance of complications. Talk to your doctor about these risks. Most importantly, as it is permanent, take the time to make an informed decision.

 

Vasectomy does not reduce sexual pleasure

You will continue to ejaculate after the vasectomy, but the sperm will not contain any semen. In fact, sperm has only a very small part of the sperm volume – you will not notice any change. A vasectomy does not affect one’s libido, the capacity to get an erection, or the way you feel when you orgasm. You can also enjoy more sex knowing your partner can’t get pregnant. Unless you are in a monogamous relationship, be sure to practice safe sex with a barrier method, such as a condom, to prevent STDs.

 

Reversing a vasectomy is possible but complicated

Since the vasectomy is permanent, it is a crucial life decision. The urologist may be able to reverse the vasectomy by reattaching the ends of the tubes. However, a reverse vasectomy is much more complicated than a vasectomy and may not be successful. This is also expensive. When deciding whether to undergo a vasectomy, it is important to consider the likelihood that you or your partner will want to reverse this in the future.

 

Use other forms of contraception while a vasectomy is becoming effective

The effectiveness of a vasectomy can take 12 weeks or more. If you have sex during this time, you or your partner will need to use another form of contraception. After three months, the doctor will examine the semen sample for sperm. Once the doctor’s office confirms that you have no semen in your sperm, you can have sex without worrying about conceiving a baby.

 

Urologists perform most vasectomies

If you are interested in a vasectomy, ask your GP or local public health department to perform them on-site. Urologists regularly perform vasectomies, usually in an outpatient surgery center or doctor’s office. Some general surgeons and family doctors also perform vasectomies. The cost ranges from around $ 350 to $ 1,000, and your health insurance can cover it.

 

Expect some discomfort after the vasectomy

While it would not affect your health, it is bound to cause you discomfort. Local anesthesia will prevent you from experiencing pain during the procedure; you will probably feel only a slight pinch from the anesthesia injection. During a vasectomy, you may experience a slight pulling or pulling sensation. Your scrotum can be painful for several days. Wearing tight underwear, applying ice to the area, and taking over-the-counter pain medications can help relieve discomfort.

 

What are the common misconceptions about vasectomy?

Misconceptions about vasectomy can unnecessarily increase anxiety. A vasectomy is simply the disconnection of the vas deferens, the tubes that supply sperm from semen to semen or sperm during intercourse. Vasectomy does not involve removing the testicles. Concerns about erectile dysfunction are also unfounded. After a vasectomy, the testes will still produce sperm, but the sperm dies and is absorbed by the body. Sexual health does not change: Testosterone levels remain the same, and the ability to achieve an erection is not compromised.

 

How is the recovery period supposed to be?

Patients can be sent home with a prescription for pain medication, although Tylenol may be all that is needed to relieve the discomfort. The most important part of recovering after a vasectomy is easy. Physical activity during the first two days should be limited to relaxing on the sofa and watching television. On the first day of recovery, men will also need to hold an ice pack on their scrotum for 20 minutes every hour until they fall asleep. One can expect to return to work within 24-48 hours of progress. During the first week after the procedure, you should avoid routine exercises that include strenuous activity, weight lifting, or swimming.

 

Bottom line

While vasectomy may look like the best solution to you, it may not be the thing you should get done if you only temporarily feel that you do not want to have a child and would have a tendency to question this decision in the future or think that you would more partners in the future. While this decision may be sitting well with your current partner, it may not be something that your future partner might like.

Four Elements That Ensure An Ideal Patient-Practitioner Relationship

The primary reason most people choose medicine is because of the honest and sincere intention to help people. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most honorable and respectful professions. Whether healthcare practitioners work in hospitals or private practice, they restore health and bring a real difference in people’s lives.

The concept of a patient-practitioner relationship isn’t something new. It’s a critically important element for a successful and sustainable healthcare system. However, the evaluation of the factors that significantly influence this relationship is still in its initial stage.

Due to this, another crucial perspective gets overlooked, which is equally important, if not more, i.e., about patients. The distinctive characteristics and qualities of healthcare practitioners greatly influence the clinical experience of the patients. Unfortunately, this is something patients fail to realize.

Aren’t they the reason why healthcare workers practice in the first place? Why not value their viewpoints and listen to what they expect from the healthcare system?

There are countless benefits of a healthy patient-healthcare worker relationship. A few of them include increased patient satisfaction, improved diagnosis, more compliance to the treatment schedule, and positive results. However, it’s pretty challenging to overcome the barriers that impede the path of a constructive relationship.

The article reveals some of the crucial elements that strengthen the patient-practitioner relationship:

 

1. Deliverance of optimum care

The idea of continuity of care is paramount to establish a relationship of trust. Continuity of care is a process that involves both the patients and the healthcare workers to ensure the deliverance of the highest quality care.

Often, patients encounter several professionals in the healthcare facility for different purposes. And this raises concerns for fragmentation of care. Since nurses are an integral part of the healthcare system, they serve as mediators between patients and other health teams.

Although continuity of care nursing is complex, nurses should use their critical thinking skills and technical knowledge to provide holistic care and cater to patients’ needs. In addition, they must advocate for the patient’s concerns and communicate them to other healthcare members.

That way, patients can receive quality care at the right time, and healthcare workers can provide strong rapport.

 

2. Strong communication

Communication is a two-way road. Patients and healthcare professionals should practice excellent communication skills to get on the same page. Providers should convey complex medical information and instructions in simple terms that are understandable and sounds reasonable to the patients.

Moreover, good communication doesn’t restrict to speaking only; it also involves active listening. Healthcare professionals should listen intently, understand patients’ concerns and repeat what they say to show their immersion in the conversation.

Also, it’s imperative to use non-verbal cues such as nodding the head, constant eye contact, and leaning forward to show interest. Through these signs, patients feel a sense of acknowledgment, security, and comfort.

Likewise, patients should be honest about their condition when talking to their practitioners. Not sharing accurate information and only disclosing the brief details might affect the treatment process and care delivery. Instead of feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable, patients should be as candid as possible.

 

3. Mutual decision-making

The key to thriving in the healthcare career depends on the relationship with the patients. The more healthy a relationship is, the more likely patients are to cooperate with the healthcare workers. Thus, to strengthen the bond, it’s indispensable that healthcare professionals keep the patients in the loop and go for shared decision-making.

Shared or mutual decision-making refers to a multi-pronged approach in which the practitioners and patients work collaboratively to map out a treatment plan. Instead of making their own decisions, providers should indulge the patients in conversations.

After complete assessment and diagnosis of the patient, healthcare workers should first discuss various treatment choices available. Once the patient settles on a particular option, the provider must point out and explicitly explain the pros and cons of that treatment plan.

That way, patients will feel independent and in control and probably comply with the treatment plan, thereby enhancing outcomes.

 

4. Empathy

The institution of a constructive patient-practitioner relationship lies on the golden rule of empathy. When treated with empathetic clinicians, patients feel more at ease and feel contented. Therefore, healthcare professionals who wish to break the code of high patient satisfaction should also practice empathy during practice.

When healthcare professionals put themselves in patients’ shoes, only then it’s possible to understand their feelings and concerns. While the practitioner might not be in the exact situation as the patient, still, they must think of an incident when they were at the receiving end of diagnosis.

Healthcare workers who showcase compassion can relate with the patients differently and make them feel valued. Therefore, if they have some heart-shattering news to share, use positive words and consider the patient’s feelings. Or providers can share their own stories to strengthen the connection.

To sum it all, the positive patient-provider relationship is utterly impossible if there is no involvement of empathy from the beginning.

 

Final Words

To say that a lasting patient-practitioner relationship only requires mutual understanding would be a bit of an understatement. It takes a great deal of time and endeavor from both sides to forge a healthy relationship and encourage good health practices.

While it is beyond doubt that healthcare professionals have never ceased to provide quality care. Unfortunately, during this fast-paced and time-crunched work settings, it’s easy to push the thought of a valuable patient-practitioner at the back of the mind.

Why Your Children Should Have an ID

As a parent, you do everything you can to keep your family happy, healthy, and safe. You plan fun activities for the weekend, cook healthy meals, and prepare against any harm. One way you can prepare your family is by having an ID for your children. Life can throw unexpected twists our way, and it’s best to try and have a plan beforehand. An ID for your children may not be top of mind, but we’ll show you three reasons why you should get an ID for each of your children.

 

You Can Be Separated

Getting separated from your child is not uncommon, unfortunately. According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, over 600,000 individuals go missing every year. It may happen because they wander off at the grocery store, or maybe they run to a friend without telling you. We sometimes become distracted with the task at hand or focus on the environment around us, leading to an accidental separation.

If you become separated from your child, it’s critical that you seek help immediately. You’ll likely need to provide details about your child, including their full name, height, weight, eye color, hair color, and other identifying information. You may experience a high amount of stress and anxiety during this time, making it difficult for you to recall such details. Having an ID for your child would make it easy for you to provide all the necessary information as quickly as possible.

 

Medical Emergencies

Children like to play, but sometimes they may play a little too hard. Or perhaps they’re accidentally exposed to an allergen. Accidents happen every day, and some are more serious than others and may require immediate medical attention. Having an ID for your child can provide helpful information like height, weight, emergency contact, and other important information, like allergies, medical considerations. Providing this valuable information makes it easier for doctors to assess the situation,  provide treatment more efficiently, and contact you as necessary. Not having an ID on hand could mean the doctors would need to gather more background information, taking longer to treat the issue.

 

Immediate Action In Case of Abduction

Child abductions are a tragedy and are devastating to any family. Nonfamily and family abductions are serious emergencies that require immediate action. In these situations, every second counts. You may be familiar with AMBER alerts. These are messages sent out to a community with information about a missing from law enforcement. Being able to forward your child’s ID allows law enforcement to get the message out as soon as possible. The faster you respond with your child’s identifying information, the better the chances of survival and law enforcement reuniting your family.

As we mentioned earlier in this post, when you’re separated from your child, you’re likely to be highly anxious, stressed out, and can forget details at the moment. Your child’s ID will provide the information needed by law enforcement. Providing local law enforcement with identifying information and characteristics is recommended by both the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as some of the first steps you should take You can also share your child’s ID on social media with friends, family, and other outlets to create widespread community awareness.

 

Conclusion

The safety and wellbeing of our children are always on our minds as parents. We try our best to provide an excellent home for our families and keep our children safe. Having an ID for your child is just one way to help you be prepared for emergencies and keep your children safe.

7 Exciting Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained at Home

Some parts of the world are opening up, but kids are still not allowed to go out of their homes for their safety. It can get boring for your kids having to spend their childhoods stuck at home. Therefore, you might want to create more fruitful memories for them despite being stuck at home. 

If you want to get your kids excited, here are some different ideas that you can use to entertain your kids, even at home. 

 

Online learning activities 

When your kids are stuck at home, you can give them opportunities to entertain themselves while also learning something new. For that purpose, the Internet can be a valuable tool with its myriad of devices, websites, and apps that are helpful both for education and entertainment. You need to look for these sites and apps. 

Nowadays, you can choose the educational website of your choice based on the learning activity that you want your child to commit to. There are plenty available online out there. You can also use educational apps, which can be more convenient. 

These online learning activities are convenient because you can access them anywhere if you are connected to the Internet. 

 

Virtual museum tour 

It might not be a good idea to visit a local museum if you want to keep your kids as safe as possible. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a museum tour at all. Even when your kids are stuck at home, you can still enjoy virtual museum tours, given the efforts of thousands of galleries and museums from all over the world. 

When doing a virtual museum tour, you should stay with your kids to explain each piece to them when you can. It’s an excellent way to introduce your kids to art, history, and culture worldwide all at the same time. Plus, you don’t have to leave the house to do so too, it’s convenient and safe. 

 

Podcast listening 

Podcasts are usually associated with adults. However, podcast creators also cater to kids, so why not try and see if your kids would enjoy those? Podcasts can help your kids reduce their time looking at screens all day. At the same time, it can help entertain them by listening to stories. 

Podcasts are also an excellent way to bond with your kids to have something to talk about as well. 

 

Journal writing 

Journal writing is a beloved activity that your kids can also enjoy. It would be a fun keepsake for them when they grow up and look back at all their thoughts and everyday experiences during those times. At the same time, it helps teach kids how to verbalize their thoughts in some way. 

You can help them choose their journals and give them those journals with built-in locks to keep their secrets private. Don’t forget to remind them to write the dates in their diaries. 

 

Board games 

It’s always fun to have a family game night, but given the easy access to video games and games on mobile phones through apps, it might seem nothing new to your kids. Instead of getting glued to the TV screen, why not get board games? Board games provide a different type of gaming fun that your kids will want.   

It’s also a chance to bond with them and enjoy each others’ company. You can even build a collection eventually and give your kids a life-long hobby. 

 

Family movie night 

Aside from family game night, family movie night is another exciting way to keep your kids entertained at home. You can turn it into a whole experience by making homemade popcorn and getting a projector that can project the movie onto a blank wall or even a white blanket. You can also make fake tickets to sell the moment. 

If you have multiple kids, get them to alternate each week with what movie they want to watch so that everyone gets the chance to watch what they want. 

 

Backyard camping 

You don’t have to head to the great outdoors to enjoy a bit of camping. Your backyard still counts as the outdoors, so if you want a change of pace, why not try backyard camping with your kids? It’s a great way to teach them camping tips so that they know what to do when you do the real thing one day. 

Smores, campfire stories, and sleeping in sleeping bags can be a memorable experience for your kids that they’ll remember for a long time. 

 

Over to You 

There are many ways you can entertain your kids these days, but the ones on this list ensure that you engage your kids in a way that will be fruitful or heartwarming, and memorable. Try these out to spice the days up for your kids to not think they are stuck at home. Instead, they’ll remember these fun experiences when they were at home. 

 

New Moms: How to Raise a Healthy, Happy Baby

Becoming a mom for the first time is exciting and daunting all at the same time. You’ll have so many questions, and probably wonder each and every day if you’re doing a good job. If that’s something you’re concerned about, you’re probably doing great!

 

Any mom who cares and worries is a mom who loves their baby and that is the first and most important step in raising a happy and healthy baby. We’ve rounded up a few key things to think about and focus your attention on when you have your first baby.

 

Nutrition

The nutrients your child takes in in their early stages of development play a major role in their growth, health and development in the long term. Taking this seriously will set a good foundation that will impact their health and happiness for years to come. Breastfeeding your baby is often considered the best possible nutrition, especially for a newborn. However, this isn’t always achievable for all moms. Alula S-26 gold formula milk is designed to provide optimised nutrition for your newborn and is a great alternative (or supplement) to breastmilk.

 

Play

Keeping your baby’s mind occupied and stimulated is very important, both for their happiness and for their learning. Babies learn from their environments and from you – the parents and caretakers – and how you interact with them.

 

Being actively involved in play and learning will help to ensure that your little one experiences learning as fun and develop their early skills. Educational toys with loads of bright colours and different shapes and textures will contribute to their development. Reading them stories and talking to them will not only help them learn how to speak but will make them feel loved and comforted by your presence.

 

Sleep

This is obviously a tricky one. All babies are different when it comes to sleep. Some tend to need a lot of sleep, some struggle with sleep, and if you’re lucky your baby will be somewhere in the middle. However, this isn’t often the case! Monitoring your baby’s sleeping patterns and habits will help you to ensure that they’re getting enough (but not too much) rest and can also help to ensure some down time for mom and dad, which is just as important.

 

Learn

This one is for you, mom and dad, and not so much for the baby. It’s important that you pay attention to your baby and learn along this journey. Learn from mistakes, learn how to handle certain situations, and learn your baby’s cues. Understanding your baby’s needs comes with time and practice, but you’ll soon start to notice when they’re trying to tell you something.

Parenting is a journey that goes on for years. Each new stage of development brings new challenges and new joys too! Learning as you go along is the most important thing to do, and keep in mind that if you have a second baby, you’ll be learning all over again.