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HOW THE SIMPLE ACT OF WRITING CAN HELP YOU OVERCOME THE BLUES MANY OF US ARE SUFFERING FROM AT THE MOMENT…

With everything that is going on in the world today it is no surprise than many people are feeling low. The dark short and sunless days just add to a feeling of lowness.

Photo by Matej on Pexels.com

Obviously, it is certainly no surprise to read that people who suffer from chronic pain can also suffer from feeling depressed at times which will be worse at this time of year.

According to Happiful Magazine many of us are worried about someone’s mental health this Christmas. Happiful say that according to a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults by the Mental Health Foundation, over half (54%) are worried about the mental health of someone they know this Christmas. As we enter the festive season, significant numbers of people are expressing their concern for the mental health of relatives (38%), friends (31%), partners/spouses (27%) and children (28%).

With news of a vaccine, there’s a taster of hope on the horizon; two in five (42%) said they are feeling happy, hopeful or excited about the season. Yet, despite this, nearly a third (31%) reported feeling anxious or stressed as we approach Christmas.

So, now is the time for giving kindness to someone else be it a phone call, text message or what I have found has really cheered me up this year, an old fashioned letter. Research shows that an act of kindness demonstrates our concern for another’s vulnerability. It can help someone feel appreciated and has the power to reduce stress, improve mood, self-esteem and happiness.

It was my other half’s special birthday yesterday and I wanted to make it special for him so I contacted everyone I could think of to tell them he was celebrating a big birthday and asked if they had time on Sunday to get into contact with him.

He was completely overwhelmed with all the constant messages coming through on his phone, FaceTimes with friends and lots of good wishes from people on Facebook for him. He said it was the best birthday he has ever had and loved the surprises I had arranged for him. That simple act of kindness from people he knew made it very very special for him.

But I am sure many of you, like myself have written notes in your Christmas cards this year. I have a slight tremor in my right hand which means my writing is far from neat so I typed my messages out and popped them in with the cards. One of my friends wrote back with a long and newsy letter and I found out more from that letter this year than I have found out over the past 10 years. It made me want to write back straight away to give her more of my news and thank her for the lovely letter.

The post is expensive but an email letter can be just as nice. You can dress up your email to make it look pretty if you think it looks a bit business-like. After going through all my contact list for my husband’s birthday messages I made a note of many of them I only hear from once a year with a Christmas card as I plan to write each and every one of them all my news from over the last 12 months. I have even had a few pictures of my granddaughter printed to pop into some of them as unless they have a Facebook page will never have seen a picture of her.

Think of someone you know or someone you know are low at the moment or on their own and contact them somehow to make their day.

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TWELVE TOP TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID AGGRAVATING YOUR BACK OVER THE FESTIVE PERIOD…

It’s easy at this time of year to forget the correct way to pick something up or the correct way to sit to avoid stirring up your back problem, so I’ve put some tips together to remind you. So, here are my twelve top tips to prevent you from aggravating your back over the festive period.

1.If your using public transport don’t forger your badge or stick as you should be offered a seat.

2. When brushing your teeth rinse with a cup of water, don’t bend, it’s a classic position to trigger low back pain.

3. If you have to have a bath as you have no shower, either bend your knees to the floor then fill up your bath or get someone else to fill the bath for you. I have pulled my back out twice while filling a bath. When you do have a shower remember to have your toiletries at the correct height so that you are not stretching or bending.

4. Always, always, always bend the knees when picking up anything or bending down. Use your legs when lifting. Bend at the knees and straighten your legs as you lift the object. This puts less strain on your back.

5, And for the women, do not carry your life around in your handbag.

6. And for the men, do not carry too much in your computer bag.

y. Another one for the women, don’t wear high heels all the time. The long term effect can not only effect your back but also your feet.

8. Standing incorrectly I suppose is an obvious one but they say that if you can avoid leaning while standing (against a wall or similar) and do not stand on one leg as this can create muscle imbalances.

9. If you stand for long periods of time, raise one foot on a box to lessen the strain on your back. Check your posture and try to maintain the natural curve in your spine. Take frequent breaks if possible.

10. If you must sit for long periods of time, get up every 30 minutes, walk around and do a few stretches.

11. If you work at a computer, adjust your chair so your elbows to wrists are parallel to the floor and the screen is at eye level.

12. If your going to stay with family over Christmas do pay attention to how you get in and out of the car. Sit down facing the door and swing both legs into the car together. Getting out is the reverse. It may look cumbersome but many a bad back is triggered by getting in or out of the car the wrong way. Ensure if you are driving any distance that you take regular breaks and have a walk around, and pop a cushion or towel behind your back.

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LOOKING AFTER YOUR LIVER OVER CHRISTMAS…

We all tend to over indulge over Christmas and with the year we have had this year we may be tempted to over do our drink and eating so I thought this handy guide from Veganicity might remind us to take it easy.

According to a report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, it’s thought that nearly double the amount of people in the UK drank “high-risk” amounts of alcohol in the first lockdown—that’s a whopping 8.4 million people—let alone what the stats will show from the second lockdown. Add this to the fact that liver disease is now the third biggest cause of death in those aged between 18 and 65 (despite 90% of the cases being preventable), and how alcohol already costs the NHS billions every year2, it’s no doubt that the UK is set to see big fallout health issues from COVID-19 long term.

Here, Simon Bandy of natural health specialists Veganicity, explains why the best gift you could give your liver this Christmas is some TLC, and offers his top tips to combat the festive (or all year in 2020’s case) indulgences:

  1. Try to reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet – the liver considers caffeine as one of the toxins it needs to deal with and remove from the body. If you really can’t live without your daily fix, try having it with food to give your body a better chance of breaking it down in the digestive process.
  1. Consider taking supplements – they are a good way of ensuring that your body and liver get good quality nutrients, that are essential for the repair process and may be lacking in the food we eat. Remember that nutritional products are a supplement to the diet and not a replacement. But always make sure products contain lots of antioxidant vitamins and minerals, flavonoids, B vitamins, and amino acids.
  1. Keep hydrated – it is the liver’s job to cleanse the body. An obvious but important tip is to drink water on a regular basis to help flush away waste and toxins. Adding a slice of lemon further helps enhance the liver detoxification process.
  1. Add variety into your diet – there are several foods that are great to eat to help your liver such as:
  • Beetroot: rich in plant flavonoids and beta carotene, which stimulate healthy liver function.
  • Turmeric: a source of curcumin, which helps cleanse carcinogens.
  • Garlic: rich in allicin to encourage liver enzyme activity.
  • Green Tea: rich in antioxidants contributing to a liver flushing function.
  • Grapefruit: high in the antioxidant vitamin c, take either as juice or fruit
  • Leafy Greens: spinach, kale and lettuce all help with bile production and are also rich in plant chlorophylls which naturally help liver detoxification.
  • Avocado: high in amino acids, especially glutathione for detoxification.
  • Artichoke: a fibrous plant, rich in Caffeoylquinic and Cynarin, both phenolic acid compounds which help maintain proper bile production and distribution, encouraging the removal of toxins and the repair of the liver.
  1. Take a break – the liver’s job is to detoxify alcohol and eliminate harmful waste products. The more alcohol that is in your system, the harder the liver has to work to keep you healthy. Excessive drinking can cause a build-up of triglycerides which can lead to fatty liver disease. If you give your body a break from the booze, the liver will repair itself, providing there is no permanent damage.

Simon said: “There is no question that 2020 has seen us all face exceptional circumstances and, as such, some of us have certainly upped our alcohol intake. Our concern is, with the public already drinking more than normal, and then Christmas naturally being a time for over-indulgence, what effect it will have on our bodies, and already strained NHS, long term. With just a few simple steps people can really help their bodies – the liver is an incredible organ that, in most circumstances, can repair itself, so a bit of TLC is the best gift we can give ourselves this year.”

Veganicity offers Liver Kind – a comprehensive unique vegan combination of key lipotropic nutrients, helping people safeguard their nutrient intake and protect the health of the liver. It’s high in vitamins, minerals, artichoke and key amino acids, which help detoxify the body and eliminate harmful chemicals. Products are available from www.veganicity.comwww.amazon.co.uk and all good independent health shops nationwide.