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HEALTH AWARENESS DAYS, WEEKS AND FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER…

It’s a relatively quiet December for Awareness campaigns but the ones listed are just as important as any other awareness day.

World Aids Day – December 1st 2022 – World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day.

Over 105,000 people are living with HIV in the UK. Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS related illnesses, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

World AIDS Day is an opportunity to show solidarity with the millions of people living with HIV worldwide. Most people do this by wearing an HIV awareness red ribbon on the day. You can order a red ribbon from our online shop, pick one up at selected branches of MAC Cosmetics in the UK, or add to a donation when shopping at MAC online.

National Grief Awareness Week – 2 – 8th December 2022 – The bereaved often have to hide their grief from others. Sometimes it is from their friends and family as they do not want to burden them. Sometimes it is from their colleagues at work. Please look out for them, check they are okay, in the early days and ongoing.  They may look alright, they may be going to work, but deep inside they could be struggling and just need your support and understanding.

We are often afraid to mention the person’s name who has died. We think we will upset our friend or family member, but it is generally the opposite. By saying their name, remembering them and talking about them, you are helping to share your love and affection for that person. This is very important and will help those grieving to know that you will help to keep their memory alive.

Grief does not discriminate. We will all be affected by a bereavement. Children, young people, the older generation, all faiths, all religions, all cultures, all sectors of our community will grieve.  We need to help all minority groups who are often stigmatised to #OpenUpToGrief and help to support anyone, anywhere who needs help.

There is a myth that you ‘get over’ grief. That you ‘move on’. You don’t. You move forward with your grief, but you may be affected by a bereavement throughout your whole life. Often after the funeral, people leave and things go ‘back to normal’. This is the time when the bereaved most need support, when they feel alone and isolated. We need to understand that there are triggers that may come from nowhere that will affect them in the weeks, months and years after the death.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities – December 3rd, 2022 – The estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation.

The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities falls on the 3rd of December each year, with the aim of promoting empowerment, and helping to create real opportunities for people with disabilities. This enhances their own capacities and supports them in setting their own priorities. Empowerment involves investing in people in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. When people are empowered they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities, they become agents of change and can more readily embrace their civic responsibilities.

Source: World Aids Day, The Good Grief Trust, United Nations

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HOW TO DRINK MORE WATER and KEEP YOURSELF FIT THIS WINTER…

Did you know that?… Water is the single largest additive of the human body, making up 50 to 80 per cent. It plays a major role in most bodily functions. Proper hydration is essential for your heart.

Your heart is pumping blood through your body over and over again. Beating on average 72 times a minute, it pumps around 7,600 litres every day. Staying well hydrated helps your heart do its job and more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to your muscles. This then helps your muscles work better.

If you are dehydrated, the amount of blood circulating through your body lowers. Your heart will then try to compensate by beating faster, which then increases your heart rate. This places strain on your heart as it needs to work harder than normal.

They say that drinking water may boost mental performance, boost your mood and may boost physical performance. So how much water should we drink every day? Each individual’s needs are individual to them and depend on their health, age, size and weight as well as activity levels, the type of job they do and the climate they live in. Drinking a little and often is the best way to stay hydrated. In the UK, the NHS Eatwell Guide informs you should aim for 6-8 glasses of water and other liquids each day to replace normal water loss – around 1.2 to 1.5 litres.

Water, milk, sugar-free drinks and tea and coffee all count, but remember that caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee can make the body produce urine much more quicker. Fruit juice and smoothies also count, but because they contain ‘free’ sugars (the type we are told to cut back on), you should limit these to a combined total of 150ml per day.

Basically, it should be controlled by your own thirst. Lengthy physical activity and exposure to heat can increase your fluid or water needs. It is all a case of balance. The more water you use or lose, the more you should replace it to be in water balance.

You should aim to drink one and a half times the fluid you lost while exercising, spread out over the following several hours. This is because you continue to lose fluid through sweating and urination for some time afterwards.

It is also possible to go the other way and drink too much water. Hyponatraemia is a condition caused by too much water which causes sodium levels to fall dangerously low. Athletes who take part in endurance events and take on too much fluid may be at risk of this condition.

A few tips on how to increase your water intake include –

  • Carry a water bottle with you or leave one at your desk/workspace.
  • Use an app to track your water intake.
  • Add freshly cut fruit to your water jug or bottle for some flavour.
  • Set reminders on your phone to have a glass of water.
  • Keep an easily accessible jug of water in your fridge.
  • Switch one of your tea/coffee breaks to water instead.
  • Tie it into a routine. Drink a glass of water every time you brush your teeth, eat a meal or use the bathroom
  • Drink one glass of water before each meal

Source: HRI NHS BBC GOOD FOOD

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GIVE YOURSELVES A BREAK EVERY DAY…

Give yourselves a break every day…