Planning a Road Trip For Your Mental Health

Road trips are often associated with families looking to get away for the summer, or college students packing up an old van with as much gear as possible and trekking across the country.

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However, this kind of travel can be beneficial for everyone – especially if you’re an older adult and adjusting to a new lifestyle. Whether you’ve still got kids at home, you’re recently retired, or you just became an empty-nester, planning a road trip can be great for your mental health and give you a new perspective on life.

Plus, taking a road trip with the ones you love is one of the best ways to create lasting memories.

Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of planning a road trip, and how you can make the most of one by staying safe and embracing something new.

Travel and Your Mental Health

Maybe you’ve had the travel bug your whole life but haven’t had many opportunities to go places. Or, maybe you’ve been somewhat of a homebody and you’re ready for something new. If you’re considering a road trip, it’s important to know how beneficial it can be for your mental well-being.

Traveling can boost your creativity and mental power, reduce stress, and give your mind and body an opportunity to “reset” if you’re experiencing a lot of tension or frustration from your everyday routine.

You’ll also be able to see the world from a different perspective. Even if you’re just traveling to a different state, you’ll experience new cultures and customs, which can make you more appreciative of your surroundings.

Traveling also helps to take your mind off things. As you get older, life changes. Most women are quick to recognize the symptoms of menopause, including

  • Hot flashes
  • Chills
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes

Taking a trip won’t slow down the hands of time or keep these changes from happening, but it can make it easier to manage your symptoms and keep a positive attitude. Keep in mind that your spouse might be dealing with similar changes. Men experience a drop in testosterone after age 40. Between that drop and certain lifestyle choices, they can experience male menopause, which comes with many of the same symptoms. Traveling together can help you both accept these changes and serve as a support system for one another.

How to Plan the Perfect Road Trip

If you’ve decided to hit the road, the next step is planning out your trip so you can make the most of it. Traveling can increase confidence in those over the age of 50, and it can keep your stress levels low long after your vacation ends. Keep that in mind as you go through your planning, and remind yourself why you’re taking this trip.

It shouldn’t be a stressful event to plan. Rather, it needs to be something you’re looking forward to.

With that in mind, there are a few tips you should consider to make sure you’re prepared for any road trip challenges. Consider some of the following planning tips to make your experience easier and less overwhelming.

  • Choose a destination that is interesting and easy to get to, especially if it’s your first time traveling.
  • Travel with your spouse, a group of friends, or other family members.
  • Give yourself enough time to enjoy the scenery without having to rush from destination to destination.
  • If you require special accommodations, take them into consideration while planning your routes.

The “perfect” road trip depends on what you’re hoping to experience and the memories you want to make. While planning ahead is important to make sure things go smoothly, the most important thing you can plan for is how to make the most out of your trip and everything you want to experience along the way.

Keeping Yourself Safe

Another important aspect of planning is ensuring your safety long before you hit the road.

You’re not going to be able to predict everything. Things like flat tires and car trouble can happen. However, you can reduce that risk by making sure your car is properly maintained before you go. Visit a trusted mechanic for a tune-up to make sure your vehicle is in good shape.

If it is, continue to plan ahead with safety in mind by being a precautionary packer. Pack plenty of snacks and drinks for yourself and your passengers. This will keep everyone’s energy levels up, and prevent you from having to make such frequent stops.

There are also a few essentials you should have in your vehicle in case of an emergency, including a first aid kit, extra clothes, blankets, and nonperishable food.

The more you start to take road trips, the easier it will be to learn the basic “rules” of safety, including not sleeping in your car, and knowing the local laws of your destination(s).

If you’ve been wanting to travel for a while, planning a road trip is the perfect way to see the country and experience lasting mental health benefits. You’ll be able to enjoy your freedom at this stage of life while managing your stress levels, boosting your self-esteem, and finding more happiness and joy in experiencing new things.

8 Ways Helping Others Can Benefit Your Health

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Many people are unsure when it comes to volunteering as they don’t really see how they can help others. However, you oftentimes don’t need any special skills to be of assistance, as many things can be learned along the way and people in need are more than welcome to receive any kind of help you are able to offer. Volunteering opportunities abound and you can choose from helping people, animals, and the environment. Whether you decide to build houses, teach kids, help with medical issues, rehabilitate animals, or something else, you will not only be helping others but yourself as well. Here are some amazing benefits of volunteering.

You will get a new perspective on life

First and foremost, aiding others that are in need can help you gain a better perspective on life. For instance, maybe you think your current circumstances are really bad and you don’t know how you will get out of it, be it the fact that you’re not happy with your job, can’t find a partner, or something else. However, once you see other people who are struggling with much bigger issues, it can put things into perspective for you. Perhaps you are completely healthy, have a roof over your head, and have plenty of friends. People that you will spend time with while volunteering might not have any of those things. Individuals from all lines of life are fighting their own fight and you might realize that your problems are nothing compared to what others are dealing with. That is not to minimize your experiences but simply to show you how lucky you might be without even realizing it.

You will feel like you belong somewhere

In addition to changing the way you think about your life, volunteering can also help you feel like you belong somewhere. If you’ve always felt out of place or couldn’t make friends easily, perhaps this is what you were always meant to be doing. When helping others, you might work in a group of people that have similar interests, which means that you might have plenty to talk about and end up with life-long friends. Even if you make just one friend, it would be worth it, don’t you think? Moreover, perhaps teaching kids will show you that education is the right career path for you and fundamentally change your life.

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You will be less lonely

Opting for volunteering alternatives that aim to help other people means that you will not be on your own. If you often feel lonely, choosing to help those in need can help you alleviate your loneliness. From working with kids and witnessing how happy and carefree they can be to being a part of a team that builds homes for the underprivileged and talking to other volunteers, there are different ways how assisting others will get your social needs up and prevent you from isolating yourself. Even if you care for someone on your own, having these face-to-face interactions means that you will not be by yourself all day long.

You will experience mental health improvements

Being around people can also improve your mental health in various ways. For starters, not being on your own all day long means that you are less prone to loneliness and depression. Developing strong bonds with others lowers your risk of being depressed too. This is also a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. Besides helping people, helping animals can have a positive effect on your mood as well. Research shows that taking part in various volunteering activities releases feel-good hormones that increase our happiness levels.

You can feel satisfied and accomplished

Volunteering with people and animals is a great way to feel more satisfied with your life. If it seems like your life has no purpose, helping others will show you that what you do matters. Fortunately, there are countless places where you can volunteer abroad and learn more about different cultures while helping those in need. Regardless of whether you’re providing someone with medical help, building them a home, or teaching them a new language, you are making a difference. This feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment can go a long way in making you feel good about yourself.

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You can lower your blood pressure

Helping others can also have benefits for your physical health. For example, research suggests that people that provide other individuals with social support tend to have lower blood pressure. What is more, interacting with people and supporting them also helps with recovery from coronary-related issues.

You can live longer

Some studies have also found that people who volunteered for a few charities were more likely to live longer than those that were not involved in volunteering, even after taking into account factors like age, general health, and bad habits. Furthermore, even the elderly that cared for their partners, friends, and relatives had a longer life expectancy than those that didn’t.

You will help make the world a better place

Finally, you can take comfort in knowing that by volunteering you are making the world a better place. No matter if you choose to build homes and schools, teach kids and adults, help those will low mobility, provide food and clothes for people, work with animals, or do your part in environmental conservation efforts, you are making a change in the world that will not be overlooked.

As you can see, there are various ways how you can volunteer all over the world. By doing so, you will not only be helping others but experiencing various benefits yourself.

How To Stay Fit And Healthy In Your Thirties

What if I told you that two-thirds of adult Australians are overweight or obese? If you’re a man whose waist circumference is more than 98.0cm, or more than 87.9cm for a woman, you might be one of them. In your thirties, the issue might become less solvable if you ignore it. The metabolism becomes slowlier as years pass by. Let’s see how you can stay fit and healthy in your thirties and fit into the good part of the statistics. 

  1. Determine your ideal BMI and try to maintain it

The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to most adult men and women. It is a number calculated from the individual’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters. The BMI can be used to indicate whether someone is overweight or obese. The World Health Organization defines “overweight” as a BMI greater than or equal to 25, and “obese” as a BMI greater than or equal to 30.

It is important for people who are overweight or obese to try to maintain their weight because they are at an increased risk for developing many diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

  1. Have a healthy diet plan and stick to it

A good diet plan includes a variety of foods and encourages you to eat healthily. Eating healthy will help you maintain your weight and improve your health in the long run. Here are some healthy diet plans for people in their thirties.

  • Paleo Diet: A diet that focuses on unprocessed, natural foods like meat from animals you hunted yourself or plants that you have processed yourself. If you want to avoid gluten, dairy, and refined sugars, this is the right diet for you.
  • Mediterranean Diet: A diet that focuses on healthy eating habits from countries where the food is mostly plant-based with a small amount of fish and poultry and a fair amount of fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and nuts. The Mediterranean diet is good for people who want to limit their intake of sugar and saturated fat.
  • DASH Diet: A diet plan created by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute that focuses on eating healthy amounts of food groups like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish low in both sodium and saturated fat and low in cholesterol.

There are many diets, so make sure you consult with a nutritionist about this. 

  1. Always warm-up before exercising and have a rest day

It is important to always warm-up before exercising. It helps your muscles get prepared for the workout. You can do a light jog, some light stretching, or perform some exercises that are less intense than the ones you will be doing for the rest of your workout.

A rest day is also important to have every once in a while so that you can recover from all the physical work and exercise you have been doing. This day should not be a full day of rest instead it should just be an active recovery day.

  1. In case of injuries see a physio

Exercise is an important part of your life and it can help you stay fit. But if you have an injury, it is better to see a physio. If you don’t go for a physio appointment, the injury will get worse and your recovery will be slower.

One of the most common reasons for people to avoid seeing a physio is that they are worried about the cost. But in reality, it’s worth spending that money on your health. Physio Canberra center offers different recovery programs for every wallet.

  1. Check your overall health at least once a year

It is important to check your health at least once a year. This will help you catch any illnesses or diseases early on and prevent them from developing into something more serious.

It is recommended to get screened for different types of cancers, such as breast cancer and colon cancer. You should also get tested for blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and other health markers that can help you live a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Balance private and professional life

 You should stay in touch with your friends and family, work on your hobbies, and try not to stress too much at work.

Having a good social life can help you maintain better mental health, keep your stress levels down, and even improve your performance at work.

Doing hobbies can be a great way to take some time out of the day for yourself while also improving your creative thinking skills.

There are so many ways of staying healthy and fit in your thirties and we only presented some of them. We are all constantly learning and improving ourselves, so never think that once you’re an adult with a stable job, you stop living life to its fullest.

Covid-19 Is Inspiring People To Reinvent Themselves: Here’s How to Start

Covid-19 Is Inspiring People To Reinvent Themselves: Here’s How to Start

There’s nothing quite like spending a year in physical and social isolation to foster introspective thoughts. On top of that, the dramatic shift to remote work, virtual school, and long-distance relationships has challenged the way that most people go about their daily lives.

With so much change in the air and deep internal processing taking place everywhere, it should come as no surprise that many people are using the ongoing situation as a source of inspiration to reinvent themselves. If you find yourself amongst the ranks of those itching for a new beginning, here are a few suggestions for ways to get the journey started.

Slow Down …On Purpose

It’s difficult to slow down on your own. There are even fewer times when life actually slows down for you. Rather than kicking and screaming against the inevitable, use the pandemic as a chance to accept where you currently are: at a standstill.

Being in the moment is extremely hard, but it can yield some powerful benefits. For instance, it gives you a chance to focus on what’s going on around you. It also helps you disconnect from obsessing over future anxieties and ambitions.

Being in the moment can feel uncomfortable and even a little scary. However, getting out of your comfort zone in this manner is a great way to gain some perspective and begin the process of reorienting yourself for the future.

Re-evaluate Your Goals and Priorities

Once you’ve slowed down and focused on the present, you can begin the process of unpacking who you are, what you need, and how you can go into the future with a positive and productive mindset.

This starts with re-evaluating the current state of your goals and priorities. Ask yourself basic questions, such as:

  • Have you lost sight of larger long-term goals? It’s easy to let long-term goals slip in the day-to-day bustle. Did you ever start saving for a downpayment on a dream house? Do you need to go back to school to get an MBA degree so you can finally start your own business?
  • Do you need to spend more time with your family? It’s easy to get distracted by work. Do you need to schedule family time or establish some new family-focused hobbies to do together?
  • What do you want to get out of life? Sometimes who you want to be and what you actually do look very different. Have your desires and your activities drifted apart lately?
  • Do you need a new infusion into your personal style? Sometimes something as simple as a style change is all you need to get a fresh start. Do you need a wardrobe refresher or even a new pair of glasses?

Ask yourself the tough questions. Challenge the status quo. Resist the urge to take the easy way out. This is how you can begin to peel back the layers and remember what it is that drives you underneath the surface.

Consider Your Responsibilities

While desires and goals are a good start, it’s also important to consider your current responsibilities. This doesn’t mean you have to feel trapped by them, though. Instead, review any and every personal duty that you currently have and prioritize them.

For instance, taking care of your children’s safety and basic needs is a high priority. So is making an income. However, working in a specific field or industry may not be as important. Perhaps a shift in your career is in order.

The pandemic offers a perfect time to sort through and prioritize your responsibilities. It also offers the perfect opportunity to weed out minor duties and commitments, even if it’s something as simple as changing up your social hobbies during a time when events are canceled and you won’t feel peer pressure for doing so.

Assess Your Skills

Skills are another area that should be considered as you go about looking for a fresh start.

For example, if you’ve lost your job or found yourself working remotely when you didn’t want to, it’s a perfect opportunity to review your skills and consider if you’re working in a profession that utilizes your strengths.

Even if it isn’t career-related, there are many other ways that you can re-evaluate your approach to life. For example, spending time at home may have pushed you to tackle some home improvement projects that may be better left to professionals. If that garage door still isn’t working or the molding that you installed is out of whack, take that as a sign that you should focus on other areas in your life where utilizing your skills lead to better results.

Share with Others

Finally, remember to seek out others as you go about planning how to reinvent yourself. The lack of social interactions can make this difficult, but try to do so via video chat, phone, or text if you can.

Seeking guidance and wisdom from those who are older and more experienced than you is always smart. Running your plans by a peer that you respect is also a good way to process and get feedback.

Reinventing Yourself for the Future

There has never been a better time to plan for the future and reinvent yourself. So take advantage of the situation. Consider who you are and where you are right now. Then look for ways that you can tailor your current lifestyle to help it better line up with whoever it is that you truly want to be.

Sneezing: What You Must Know

Sneezing is essential, which is the involuntary ejection of air from your lungs through your mouth or nose. It occurs when irritants affect the nasal mucus. Sneezing helps in cleaning out your throat and nose when these irritants found in the nasal passage. We all should sneeze often at night. However, the human body stifles sneezing tendencies via a process called rapid-eye-movement or REM atonia. It occurs during phases of sleep.

According to an article published on https://www.bbc.com, there are many myths surrounding sneezing, one of which is that you will not sneeze during sleep. Then, you can move in and move out of REM and still can sneeze. Read on to learn more.

Causes of sneezing

The common causes are:

  • Allergens like dirt, dust, as well as pollen
  • When you are ill and plagued with conditions like common cold and influenza
  • There are non-allergen elements that still aggravate your nasal cavity
  • Snatiation, which is a comparatively uncommon genetic problem that sets off sneezing during the digestion process, usually after heavy meals.
  • During abrupt contact with bright light when you leave a darkened building or taking a walk outside in bright sunshine, you can sneeze. The phenomenon is called the photic sneeze reflex. It affects at least 35 percent of people.

Sneezing is not dangerous

Sneezing is hardly ever hazardous. Then, the throwing out process could create up to 40,000 aerosol droplets that could lead to communicable ailments. That is the reason why doctors advise people to cover up their nose and mouth while sneezing, as well as to sanitize their hands with hand wash liquids and water thoroughly once the sneezing stops. Again, if someone asks you, “Can you sneeze while sleeping?” the answer is a yes.

Tips to prevent sneezing during night

There are many ways to check sneezing impulses during bedtime. These are:

Make sure to keep your bedroom dirt-free. You should vacuum regularly to get rid of dust, dirt, pollen, and allergen particles.

Avoid keeping clothing on the bed. That is because dirt, dust, pollen particles, many of these allergens might cling to your clothes.

Do not read bound books in bed. That is because these are frequently nesting grounds for mold. It is better to use e-readers and iPads when reading in bed. Then, a couple of studies indicate that the blue light from these devices emitted could negatively take a toll on your sleep at night.

Clean your pillows regularly including pillowcases, bed sheets, and interior fill. These could be breeding grounds for dust mites. You can think of freezing the pillows for approximately 12 hours twice or four times every month.

If your pet cat or dog sleeps in your bed with you, make sure you clean all your sheets, beddings, pillows and pillowcases twice every week. We recommend that you let your pup or kitten sleep on separate pet beds. It is safe and healthy, especially if you have kids around the house.

Conclusion

Now you know about sneezing, try to control it during the night. Keep these tips and tricks in mind. Keep your beddings clean.