Healthcare, insurance and a senior woman patient and nurse consulting during a checkup in a retirement home.

The Most in-Demand Healthcare Jobs in the UK

Unquestionably, it has been a challenging couple of years for the healthcare industry as the country faced the largest public health crisis in living memory.

In response, the industry has swelled. During the last 12 months for instance, new analysis shows that recruitment appears high on the agenda with a 37% increase in the number of people hired by the sector in 2022.

Recruitment software company Occupop has crunched the numbers from key job application channels such as Indeed, Careers Page and LinkedIn, and has also found a 36% increase in the number of job applications in the industry.

The healthcare sector has assumed high priority in the public’s job-hunting collective consciousness. But what are the most in-demand healthcare jobs in the UK and what do these entail? We explore the subject further.

 

Healthcare Assistants

With an impressive 59% of applicants, healthcare assistant roles made up the bulk of job searches. Healthcare assistants (HCAs) are often an entry-level health job which doesn’t require a degree in a specific field. Despite this, HCA roles offer candidates the chance to acquire some good patient-facing experience and can work in a variety of healthcare settings from A&E to outpatients and maternity wards.

 

Healthcare Administrator

Not all healthcare applicants however will work in medical roles. For instance, 14% of jobseekers sought admin jobs. Again, in most cases, no formal qualifications are needed, although excellent communication and organisation skills will be preferred. Healthcare admins can work across hospitals, clinics, general practices and trust headquarters and will support medical colleagues by arranging appointments, creating patient documents and updating records.

 

Nursing and Midwifery

Nursing and midwifery roles also witnessed a spike with a 7% increase and offer candidates a life-changing, rewarding career. This rise could be explained with a nationwide drive by government to recruit more nurses with tens of thousands of vacancies across the country in recent years. Nursing offers a range of roles and responsibilities with areas of work spanning clinical, critical care, mental health and midwifery to name but a few.

 

Social Care Worker

1.54 million people are currently employed by the social care sector and this is expected to rise with a 7% increase in demand. As more older people live longer, the need for care increases which can explain the rise, in addition to younger disabled people living longer than ever before. Social care workers provide practical and emotional support to a wide range of people and can assist with tasks to enhance their quality of life.  

 

Allied Health Professionals

Allied Health professionals also made a demonstrable rise with a 5% increase. Allied Health is a broad term used to describe a range of medical professionals who are not doctors or nurses but still perform specialist tasks. Often these can be in distinct areas who work alongside multi-disciplinary doctors. Professions can include roles such as chiropractors, dietitians, osteopaths, pharmacists and radiographers.  

Elsewhere in the survey, the month with the most applications was revealed to be July, demonstrating a summertime spike in job-hunting, while March was the month with the most hires as firms look to increase their headcount ahead of the new financial year.

Jobs search engine Indeed proved the most lucrative source of hires attracting 40% of applicants while Careers Page received 29%, LinkedIn 11% and Facebook 7%.

One thing that is for certain, health is wealth for UK job seekers.

9 Tips You Need to Get Pregnant

Getting pregnant is an exciting time, but it can also be a stressful one. It may take time to conceive, and there are no guarantees. But primarily, preparing for this huge change in your life and realizing it is a joy that no amount of money can buy.

The joys of getting pregnant are a unique experience that can bring immense joy and happiness to a family. Many women view pregnancy as a time full of growth and change, and while it can be challenging, it is also incredibly rewarding.

From tracking your ovulation cycle to avoiding alcohol and smoking, these tips can help make your journey to conception successful.

1. Track Your Ovulation Cycle

Knowing when ovulating is key to getting pregnant. Using a fertility monitor or tracking your body’s signs of ovulation can help you determine when the best time to conceive.

2. Have Regular Intercourse

Timing is important for conception, and having regular intercourse two to three times a week can help you increase your chances of getting pregnant.

3. Eat Healthy Foods

Eating nutrient-rich foods is important for your reproductive health and can help you conceive. Load up on fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, and limit your intake of processed and junk foods.

4. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

Both alcohol and smoking can affect fertility and increase the risk of miscarriage. Avoiding these substances entirely is the best way to increase your chances of conceiving.

5. Get Regular Exercise

Being active can help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve your fertility. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day and focus on activities that are low impact, such as walking, swimming, and yoga.

6. Get Enough Rest

Resting and getting enough sleep can help your reproductive system function better, so try to get at least eight hours of sleep each night.

7. Take Supplements

Taking supplements like folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids can help improve fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant. Talk to your doctor about the proper dosage and type of supplements for you.

8. Reduce Stress

Stress can affect your fertility, so it’s important to manage stress in healthy ways. Practicing relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation can help reduce stress and improve your chances of conceiving.

9. Visit Your Doctor

If you’ve been trying to conceive for more than a year without success, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor. They can help you identify any underlying issues and help you find solutions.

Key Takeaway

When it comes to getting pregnant, knowing when to take a pregnancy test can be an important part of the process. Generally, it’s best to wait until your period is a few days late before taking a test. This will ensure that the test is more accurate. However, you may want to take a test earlier if you have irregular periods. If you’re still unsure, it’s best to contact your doctor for advice.

If you are planning to become pregnant, it is important to take good care of your health. Make sure to eat a balanced and nutritious diet, get regular physical activity, and take any vitamins or supplements prescribed by your doctor. Maintaining regular gynaecological check-ups and screenings is essential to ensure your reproductive health is in good shape. Finally, talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns about your health and fertility.

Getting pregnant is a process, and it can take time. However, following these tips can help you increase your chances of success. Remember to be patient and take care of yourself during this exciting time.

When Less Is More… It’s Not the Number of CBD Milligrams, but the Kind and Quality That Matter.

Imbue Botanics have spent time researching a variety of types of CBD and have found the following results…

‘I had a call the other day from a customer who had been using our tincture until a family member convinced him that “it was about the milligrams” and had him switch to a 3000 mg tincture. The reason he called? The 3000 mg tincture wasn’t working and was making him “feel sick”.’

Like so many products on the market today, this high milligram tincture wasn’t full spectrum whole plant like Imbue. It was ISOLATE!

For those not familiar with the term, much of the CBD in the market today is in the form of what we call ISOLATE, which is a purified, powdered form without the other cannabinoids or terpenes. This isolate is then mixed with carrier oils, etc., to formulate products. And it’s not that they are all bad, or don’t work at all, they just don’t work anywhere near as well. They’re cheaper to make, and easier to hype by convincing people that “more must be better.”

For those of you who’ve followed Imbue Botanicals from the very start, you know how passionate we are about using the terms “whole plant” and “full spectrum” to describe our products. Everything we make, everything we sell can be defined by those terms. And it’s not by accident. And they aren’t just clever catch phrases we use to market our products. Rather, they are a reference to a very important concept with respect to cannabinoids and CBD. For some time now, researchers and practitioners have believed that a more unrefined extract taken from the plant itself provided more benefits due to what’s called the entourage effect.

First described in 1998 by Israeli scientists Shimon Ben-Shabat and Raphael Mechoulam, the entourage effect supposes that the multiple cannabinoids and terpenes found within Cannabis Sativa actually work in unison and harmony to produce a better outcome than if they were employed solo. In other words, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” when it comes to cannabis.

A presentation given at the International Cannabinoid Research Society Symposium in Montreal in 2017, seems to leave little room for doubt that this is the case. Dr. Fabricio A. Pamplona, Scientific Director of Entourage Phytolab in Sao Paulo, Brazil compared studies of epileptic patients between 2013-2016 that had used either CBD rich extracts or a purified CBD isolate. What he found was that CBD isolates showed a 43% efficacy in reducing seizures, while CBD rich extracts almost doubled this at 78%. He also discovered that almost 3 times the amount of purified CBD isolate was needed for seizure reduction compared with CBD rich extracts, and that herbal CBD had less than half the amount of reported side effects compared to its isolated alternative. Like I said, CBD isolates just don’t work as well!

But it’s not just companies like Imbue that are raising the alarm over isolate. I ran across this the other day from a well-known physician and expert in the cannabis space:

My Biggest Concern…Very concentrated isolate preparations are sold in local markets for every conceivable medical condition. I despise seeing these “profit only” efforts.

I stand by my belief that whole-plant CBD is incomparable, unparalleled, and clearly the far superior medicament. I am very concerned that as higher and higher doses of distillates/isolates are used, we will begin seeing more drug interactions. If this happens, what sort of risk does this pose for the future of medical cannabis?

When the dust settles, I want to be on the side of the “smelly cannabis plants.” I want to be on the side of “whole plant medicine.” If you love the plant as I do, please don’t isolate it. Use the whole plant. – Allan Frankel, MD

So that’s why we make our product using whole plant, full spectrum extract from the aerial parts of organically-grown hemp plants. But we don’t stop there. We extract using our proprietary low-temperature, low-pressure technique that preserves the cannabinoids and terpenes in a way other processing methods don’t. We formulate them for the most effective levels of CBD. And what we end up with isn’t run-of-the-mill CBD; we end up with the finest CBD products available. And if you’re using them, we think you’ll agree.

skogafoss waterfall in Iceland

How Getting into Blue Spaces can Improve your Well-Being

From seas to rivers, canals and even fountains, a blue space is defined as any place where you are close to an area of water.

We tend to hear a lot about green spaces and how they can benefit our well-being – but what about blue spaces? There’s growing evidence and ongoing research discovering the lesser-known but powerful benefits of what’s known as blue therapy. For example, one recent study concluded that people who had grown up having spent time around blue spaces reposted better mental health as adults. In fact, being around blue spaces may be even more beneficial than green spaces.

 So, let’s take a dip into what makes blue spaces so good for our well-being.

 

1. Water quietens your mind

If you’ve ever felt soothed by the gentle crashing of waves or the trickle of a stream, it could be because the sound of water is an example of what’s known as pink noise. You’ve probably heard of white noise before, and pink noise can have a similar effect.

The main difference is that pink noise has a lower pitch than white noise, so it’s less of a static sound and more of a steady background hum. It’s sometimes known as ‘ambient noise’, which can include a lot of natural sounds such as water. The lower frequencies filter out higher-pitched sounds, and as such, pink noise is said to have a much more relaxing effect. Just imagine the low rumbles of waves crashing against the shore.

The repetitive dips and swirls of flowing water can also be quite meditative to watch, whether you’re at the beach, taking a break next to a gently moving river, or sitting by the edge of a fountain.

 

2. It lifts your mood

In part because of the soothing effect of water, being in a blue space can help to lift your mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Physically being in the water can have an even greater benefit than observing it alone. It can cause our bodies to go into a more relaxed state where our heart rate slows down, and our blood pressure lowers.

The colour blue itself is also known for being a colour that helps you to unwind and feel calm. So even if you only get a chance to sit and watch the water, you can still experience the peace and stillness that it brings. Being battered by wind and rain, however, is not quite as relaxing, and seas can be especially rough during the winter months. If you’re planning on venturing to the coastline, remember to wrap up and carry a windproof umbrella to keep you sheltered from any gales.

 

3. Water can encourage exercise

Standing in front of a body of water, it can be pretty tempting to dip your toes in. It’s true that water facilitates lots of different kinds of exercise and activities, which can have a huge positive impact on your well-being. Exercise encourages the release of feel-good hormones, which elevates your mood – not to mention the benefit it has on your physical health, which can reduce your risk of developing certain health conditions.

Swimming, sailing, paddleboarding – or even surfing and diving if you’re feeling more adventurous – can give you all the benefits of exercising while you’re also soaking up the calming, rejuvenating effect of water.

 

4. Builds your connection to the environment

Spending quality time around natural sources of water can also help to build your connection to the natural environment. Quality time is not just about being near water, it’s about appreciating the blue space and paying attention to the sights and sounds.

Deepening this connection has been shown to have a positive impact on your well-being, as well as building your respect for the natural world. All the benefits mentioned so far in this article can depend on the quality of the blue space. A murky canal or a beach covered in litter probably won’t have the same calming effect as crystal clear waters and sandy beaches.

You’ll find many local initiatives to get involved with that aim to revive some of the UK’s blue spaces. They’re not only great for supporting blue spaces but also give you a chance to meet new people.

We’re lucky to live on an island such as the UK, where we’re literally surrounded by vastly different blue spaces. From the tranquil lochs in Scotland and the rugged coasts of Northern Ireland to the surfing paradise that is Cornwall’s beaches. Even in land-locked towns and cities, you’ll probably be able to find an urban blue space – whether that’s a canal, fountain, or swimming pool.

You’re never too far away from the relaxing power of blue spaces. So, once in a while, remember to take some time away from your usual hectic lifestyle to find peace and calm and let the water work its magic on you.

Knee Repair Without Surgery?

Knee pain can drastically deteriorate your quality of life, making it difficult to do basic activities, such as walking or standing comfortably. As a result, many opt for knee surgery as the first solution to treat this pain.

Unfortunately, surgical knee repair can be expensive and cause various complications, including infection and prolonged recovery.

The good news is that you can find other knee repair options that don’t involve going under the knife. Below are some non-surgical solutions you may want to consider if you are struggling with knee pain.

Stem Cell Transplantation

Stem cells are unique cells in the body that can develop into other types of cells, including those found in the musculoskeletal system. After a knee injury, these cells may be damaged, leading to reduced mobility and function.

However, through stem cell transplantation, a doctor can help you regain mobility and eliminate joint pain. This non-surgical knee repair procedure involves harvesting stem cells from another body part and reinjecting them into the affected joint. This not only slows down inflammation but also helps to heal the damaged tissues in your knee.

Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy (PRP)

PRP treatment utilises your body’s platelets to help reduce inflammation and improve the function of your injured knee joints. During this therapy, your doctor will draw a sample of your blood from the arm and place it in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from other blood components.

The collected platelets will then be injected into the affected knee area.

Depending on your condition, you may undergo between 1 to 2 PRP treatments. These sessions are usually 6 to 8 weeks apart. After this period, you should start to feel improvement in your pain and regain normal joint movement.

Physical Therapy

When you have knee pain, you tend to avoid using the affected leg as much as possible. This is known as compensation, and it tends to weaken your knee joints over time, causing pain and stiffness.

Physical therapy can help strengthen the muscles around your painful joints and correct your posture. Your physical therapist may recommend a specific exercise program to restore a normal range of motion and promote overall muscle strength and flexibility.

Joint Fluid Therapy

Also known as viscosupplementation, this non-surgical knee repair procedure treats osteoarthritis of the knee. It helps relieve pain and improve flexibility by lubricating and cushioning the affected joint.

During a joint fluid injection, a healthcare professional will give you a series of injections directly into the joint. These injections contain hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that helps promote smooth joint movement and ease the pain.

Acupuncture

Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners have been using acupuncture to treat many conditions for thousands of years. Today, healthcare providers use this technique as a complementary treatment for many musculoskeletal disorders, including knee pain.

Acupuncture entails the insertion of tiny needles into specific points of the body, known as meridians, to relieve tension, boost blood flow, and encourage natural healing. Several studies have shown that this ancient therapy can effectively improve the quality of life for patients with chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis.

Knee-Braces

A knee brace is a device that provides support and compression to the knee joint. Doctors commonly use it to treat joint pain resulting from ligament injuries and repetitive stress injuries.

Typically made from plastic or neoprene, knee braces are designed to relieve pressure on the kneecap and surrounding tissues. They also help to increase mobility and improve your gait.

The Bottomline

It is possible to recover from knee pain without surgery using any of the above methods. The best thing about these non-invasive knee repair procedures is that they result in less pain and a relatively shorter recovery period. Better still, there is little chance that these treatments may lead to more health complications.

The Importance of Accessibility and Accommodations for Disabled Workers

Accessibility means making sure not only people with disabilities but everyone can access the workplace and every other facility equally. Ability is not only restricted to physical restraints and it goes beyond that. Globally, every 1 in 7 people has some form of disability. One can even acquire a disability in the later parts of life due to an accident, illness, tragedy, trauma, natural disaster, shock, or other innumerable reasons. This just tells us that disability is not as rare as it seems. Well, if you have not met as many people with disabilities, there may be certain barriers between them that keep them away.

People with disabilities are always treated differently. This makes them feel unfair and undeserving of whatever they get. Even at workplaces or any other places outdoors, instead of treating them differently, we must make sure they are treated equally and right. atWork Australia provides equal opportunity to people with disabilities and instead of treating them differently, they are treated based on the skills they possess and the value they create for themselves.

Importance of Accessibility and Accommodation for Disabled Workers

Developing accessibility and accommodation for everyone equally gives you the chance to work with people with different styles, attitudes, ideologies, and ways of working. As an employer, it opens the doors for you to access and retain astonishing talent that gets ignored because of some baseless physical deformity that you have no control over. When talking about accessibility, it’s not only limited to accessibility in the workplace, but convenience, structure, communication, technology, and accommodation.

Adapting to Changes

If you haven’t yet considered making changes and making your workplace disabled-friendly, then the idea of suddenly changing everything will put you and your whole office in a situation where you might find it difficult to steer your way out of. You will have no idea of how the reactions will be, and along with it, how to handle them as well. It is very important to fully equip and prepare yourself with a basic understanding of why the changes are necessary. Also, initially during the changes take place or even before that, this idea may seem like a drastic change but you can be worry-free about it and as it goes on, then you will realize it is not much of a change.

People with disabilities must never be looked down upon and always be given equal opportunity to put themselves in the front along with the rest of the workforce. They must be given the respect they deserve just like any other individual and their work should be appreciated and valued for what it is. Discrimination, gossiping, making them feel excluded, and undermining them upsets them and they lose confidence. Tolerance, accommodation, and friendly spirits must be the priority. Here are some proven ways that will help you bridge the gap as an employer and create a healthy workplace for the disabled and differently-abled people working in your office.

Equal Opportunity Policy

Set a guideline that has a stringent set of do’s and don’ts and makes sure every employee knows it, remembers every policy, and abides by them. It will act as a guideline and prevent any unruliness or biased behaviour with any of your employees.

Train your Staff

Your staff is the major part of your office and they will be the people who are going to interact the most with disabled people in your workplace. Make sure you train your staff to be sensitive but respectful of them. You can even partner up with any organization that trains people on how to make a safe space and treat differently-abled people the way they want to and make them feel understood and respected.

Create a Safe Working Environment

It is easier for people with disabilities to fall vulnerable and become prey to an unsafe or unfavourable working space. Create accessible places for people to move around, keep the aisles clear, and have ramps at the entrances for wheelchairs to get in with ease.

Conclusion

Creating an accessible workplace will have a long-term impact on your workplace. The changes will be hassle-free and require minimum planning. The only problem will be the attitude towards them. Taking care of them is the only thing that will require some patience and hard work but once done, there is nothing else you need to do to create a safe environment for disabled people.

Young woman showing dance exercises to the people during classes in gym

Experts Explain How Dance Can Improve Your Mental Health

Did you know that dancing lowers the risk of developing dementia and other mental illnesses by as much as 76%. White matter deteriorates with age, but research shows that dancing is a great way to slow this process.

The worlds leading dancewear retailer BLOCH has collaborated with industry professionals to share the top ways dancing can positively affect mental health. With dancing being such a fun and widely accessible activity, we’ve worked with health experts to show the how the benefits are sure to motivate you to try and get moving on your favourite songs a bit more often.

 

1. Dancing is a foundation for mindfulness

Christine Nowicki, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and former ballet dancer, describes dancing as a great way to practice mindfulness. “Dance is an immersive training in body awareness. Dancers know exactly how to check in and notice where their bodies are in space, what their posture is like, where they are holding tension, where they are collapsed…the list goes on. This is a huge asset when it comes to learning mindfulness.” The awareness of thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations is often practiced within meditation tactics, which further highlights the impacts of dance on mental wellbeing. 

 

2. It’s a mood-booster activity

Studies over the years have proved that dancing not only reduces stress and helps with self-esteem but also significantly improves one’s mood. Raven Gibbs, psychotherapist and professional dancer comments: “When you dance, the brain also begins to release dopamine and endorphins. The release of dopamine is a natural mood boost while the release of endorphins helps to relieve feelings of pain and distress, which helps you to relax. Releasing endorphins also helps us as humans to feel closer to and bond with others. This support helps to reduce feelings of worthlessness which further works to increase the quality of life”.

 

3. Dancing allows you to focus and escape

Many dancers would say that dancing makes them escape reality. However, that might also be true of the increased focus and attention a dance routine implies. Colleen Wenner, Clinical Director explains: “As you practice and master different steps and routines, your memory, focus, and attention improve. Pattern recognition skills also increase when you learn new dances and help you concentrate better. Dance is ultimately about the joy of movement and you’ll find your life becomes more fulfilling when you’re able to only focus on the present moment but also move your body in ways that make you feel happy”.

 

4. It provides a sense of togetherness

Particularly if you decide to join dance classes or simply dance with your friends at a party, dancing often promotes a sense of community and togetherness. Dr. Harold Hong, a board-certified psychiatrist at New Waters Recovery says: “Even if just for a few hours, social dances like jazz help reduce isolation and loneliness, two major risk factors for mental illnesses”.

 

5. The dance endorphins improve your sleep

Physical activity has well-documented mental health benefits, and dance is a great way to get moving. As a result of the endorphins released when dancing, your heart rate increases. After the practice you feel tired and relaxed, which ultimately improves your sleep quality as well. 

 

6. Dancing is an unapologetic way of self-expression

Finally, dancing provides an outlet for self-expression! When people suffer from mental health problems, they often have a wide range of emotions they don’t know how to articulate or let out. Having a non-verbal language to channel your emotions and experiences into can be extremely liberating. There are some things words can’t express quite so well, but dance can often help with that. 

Healthy athletic man and woman wearing VR glasses workout exercise on cycling machine in virtual reality cyberspace at fitness gym.

VR and Jazzercise: Five Fitness trends to Watch Out For in 2023

  • Jazzercise is set to make a comeback in 2023
  • Dance experts reveal five fitness trends to look out for in 2023, including virtual reality workouts

 

Jazzercise is expected to be make a comeback as one of the biggest fitness crazes of 2023, with searches for the dance party workout up a massive 238% in 2022.

Other fitness trends that are experiencing a surge in interest are Pilates, barre and even VR fitness.

Dance experts at BLOCH have highlighted five workouts that are set to be huge in 2023.

 

Jazzercise

Experiencing record of levels of interest in the UK, Jazzercise looks like it will be making a big comeback in 2023.

First invented in 1969 in Illinois by student, Judi Sheppard Missett, it blends jazz dance, Pilates, kickboxing, resistance training and yoga in fast-paced, energetic routines that are designed to improve endurance, strength and flexibility.

 

Pilates

Search interest for Pilates peaked in 2022, the highest search interest since 2010, almost doubling since the start of the year (up 92%). First invented by German personal trainer, Joseph Pilates, in the early 20th century, it is now practiced all over the world.

 

VR fitness

Currently taking off across the US, with search interest increasing by a whopping 317% in 2022, virtual reality workouts could take off in 2023.

A very new age way to get fit, users with a virtual reality headset, such as the Meta Quest 2, can download various fitness apps to play games and do workouts from the comfort of their own home.

 

Barre

Brits searching for Barre fitness has gone up by 134% in 2022, showing this low impact, strengthening workout is growing in popularity.

Barre workouts are a blend of yoga, Pilates, and ballet, with many health and wellbeing benefits, such as increased strength, balance and posture, as well as helping to alleviate stress.

 

Zumba

Whilst Zumba isn’t a new trend, it is experiencing a significant peak in search interest in the UK, up by 200% in 2022.

This dance workout involves cardio and Latin inspired dance, having been founded in 2001 by Colombian dancer and choreographer, Beto Pérez. By 2019, it had 15 million weekly participants across 180 countries, which could well go up in 2023.

 

Cathy Radovan, COO at BLOCH, commented:

‘”Over the last year, we’ve seen a huge increase in adults looking for different ways to stay healthy. It’s great to see dance fitness, such as Jazzercise, experiencing such a big interest across the UK. You don’t need to be an expert to get started with dance fitness; it’s simply about moving your body and having fun – all while getting fit!”

To find out more about BLOCH. please visit: https://uk.blochworld.com/

digital detox and leisure concept - close up of gadgets in basket on table and woman reading book at home

Why You Should Ditch the Digital for a Detox Escape

Deciding to ditch the digital world for a while and reconnect with nature is a great way to detox yourself from the stress of everyday life. Whether you are looking to run into the Alps or swim in the ocean, leaving your devices behind can be the best thing for your well-being.

With most of us using multiple devices daily and nearly 70% of people still working while on holiday, it is more important than ever to put down your devices and step away from your screens.

Here, we will explore the benefits of a digital detox and ways you can achieve this.

 

Benefits of a digital detox

 

Reconnect

Detoxing yourself from digital technology won’t only help you reconnect with friends and family, but it can also help you reconnect with nature and yourself. By spending time away from social media, emails, and other daily life stressors, you can begin to prioritize your own mental and physical well-being.

 

Sleep better

Staying away from technology can also help improve your sleeping pattern and quality of sleep. Blue light, which you are exposed to through your phone, can disrupt your sleep and affect your melatonin production. And this is not only from using your technology before bed; exposure to it throughout the day can produce the same effect.

 

Improve mental health

Reducing your screen time can also help boost your mental health. It is no secret that social media can negatively influence mental well-being; from the stress of appearing perfect to comparing yourself to others, it is manipulating emotions to maintain engagement. Removing yourself from constant engagement can benefit you mentally and physically as you remove the negative impacts driven by technology.

 

Increase attention

A digital detox can also benefit your attention span, making it easier to concentrate on tasks. Devices are increasingly made for efficiency and speed, dragging our attention spans and patience with them. By removing yourself from technology, you can concentrate for extended periods and have a sharper focus and attention to detail. This will not only improve your quality of life and relaxation, as you notice more in your immediate vicinity, but you might also benefit from a better quality of work when you return from your holidays.

 

How to achieve a digital detox

 

Try new hobbies and activities

A digital detox doesn’t mean boredom. You can use this time to experiment with new activities and hobbies, whether painting, mushroom foraging, or learning a new language. Alongside the increased attention span, you might find it easier to enjoy new hobbies and learn new skills.

 

Explore nature

With no need for signal or Wi-Fi, you can explore even more remote areas you might not have considered before. Using this time to explore nature can help your mindfulness and connection with your emotions. Spending time in nature can help reduce ruminations, making you less stressed and more likely to find calmness during your time off than if you were to spend the time indoors.

 

Gather with friends and family

Use this time away from your technology to reconnect with friends and family. Rather than receiving updates on their lives and celebrating through social media, make sure to group your nearest and dearest for a technology-free occasion. This could be at your home or, if the temptation of technology is too much, out in nature, such as at the beach or in the woods.

Organise a day without your phones, and make sure you plan thoroughly. You may want to buy some meat and gas for BBQs to host a fantastic meal at a campsite, or you could spend the day hiking through your nearest nature reserve with only a map and written directions.

 

Go on a digital detox holiday

And if you feel a self-imposed digital detox might be too challenging to start with, plenty of locations can help. Finding a digital detox hotel or spa retreat can encourage you to step away from the screens and focus more on yourself. These locations often have a variety of activities, too, helping you learn new foods and cultures without needing your phone.

Give yourself time to “switch off” and remove yourself from the digital landscape. Instead, find yourself exploring nature, reconnecting with friends, and finding new hobbies. By embracing a digital detox, you can learn more about yourself, reset your mindset away from the stressors of work and daily life, and improve your mental and physical well-being in time to return to work. Whether you enjoy BBQs on a beach with friends to reflect on memories or you try your hand at bird watching in the Algarve, by leaving your devices behind, you can begin to experience life more.

Exercises That help You Stay Calm

When you’re under pressure, do you find it hard to stay calm? Our life can be overwrought, with deadlines looming and essential tasks waiting for us. This can lead to nervy and anxious moments.

Relaxation techniques can be used to take a break from the hectic world around us and help us reconnect with our inner selves. Many exercises can be performed to relax the muscles, including breathing, meditation, and yoga.

They can also include visualisation, aromatherapy, and music and art therapy. Each exercise has its own unique benefits, and many of these techniques can be done quickly and easily, making them an excellent way to stay calm and relaxed.

Here are six exercises that can help you stay calm and centered.

1. Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises can be used to help relax the body and mind. You can perform a deep breathing exercise by lying on the ground or sitting quietly in a comfortable space. Close your eyes if you’re comfortable doing so, and take slow, deep breaths by focusing on the sensation of air entering and leaving your body.

Inhale deeply through your nose for 4-7 seconds, hold it for a few moments, then exhale slowly through the mouth. Observe how each breath feels as you take it several times.

2. Swimming

Swimming and other types of exercises in the water can help improve relaxation. In addition, participating in activities like swimming, yoga, aerobics pool classes, or doing a floating exercise can be very helpful for managing stress levels.

Being submerged in water stimulates the body’s parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation response) to reduce stress hormones and anxiety. Additionally, being in the water encourages using all major muscle groups, which can help improve mood.

3. Dancing

The act of dancing is an excellent method of reducing stress and anxiety, as well as staying calm. Endorphins are naturally released during dancing and help reduce stress and improve focus.

Cardio exercises are essential for improving dancing skills and increasing heart rate and blood flow. Although most cardio exercise doesn’t require heavy equipment, but some do. If you need gear for cardio exercise, check out reliable online stores such as Cardioonline.

4. Meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice that is known to help reduce stress. Meditation involves focusing your attention on your feelings and the present moment. This type of mindfulness practice can help with symptoms such as anxiety, depression, irritability, and restlessness.

You can practice meditation in a variety of ways, such as breathing exercises, walking meditation, and guided meditation. Regular practice can help you stay calm during stressful times, and practices such as yoga and tai chi also combine meditation techniques with physical activities to further reduce stress levels.

5. Walking

Walking is great for when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. Walking involves being mindful of your body and aware of where you are as you move. This type of exercise can be performed indoors as well as outdoors.

When walking, take notice of the sensations in your feet and your legs as you move. Maintain a steady pace and concentrate on each step. Avoid getting stuck in perfectionism, and let yourself enjoy the process.

6. Stretch Your Muscles and Limbs

The benefits of stretching include reducing stress and relaxing tense muscles. Take a few deep breaths before beginning, and find a comfortable position.

Start by rolling your neck and shoulders, then move down your arms flexing your wrists as far as you can, and stretch out each of your fingers.

Next, slowly bring one of your legs up and hold it in place for 10 seconds before slowly releasing it. Repeat this with the other leg, then complete the exercise by twisting your torso and reaching up toward the sky.

Conclusion

Exercise in almost any form can help you both physically and mentally. From deep breathing and physical exercise to improved listening skills and boxing, plenty of exercises are available to help you stay calm and find better ways to manage your stress.

Why We Need To Talk About Uncomfortable Health Topics

It’s not always easy to talk about what’s bothering you but keeping it bottled up is always going to end in grief, particularly when it’s a health issue that has you worried. Talking about uncomfortable health issues, whether physical or mental, is painful but essential because it not only provides the sufferer with potential help but removes the stigma around them.

If you’re suffering from something then chances are someone around you will have or will know someone else who has suffered. In fact, it’s probably a lot more common than you’d think. For example, more than half of all men will need treatment for erectile dysfunction at some point in their life so if you’re worried about talking to your friends about it, it’s more than likely they’ve struggled with it too.

Of course, it’s not something you should be too cavalier about but with the right guidance, to the right people and in the right environment, sometimes talking about it can feel like lifting a weight off your chest. With that in mind, here are a few ways you might want to broach the subject.

Vent to a friend

Sometimes you just need to let it all out. Speaking to your friends about a health problem can help you to feel like you’re not so alone and friends are going to be less overly invested in your problems than your family. You could also perhaps find a more relaxed time to discuss it. Maybe when you’re sharing a few beers at the pub or on the way home from work on a Friday when everyone is feeling relaxed and open. Just try to only share with friends that you know and trust. Not the office blabbermouth.

Talk to your family

If you are very close to your family and have a healthy relationship with them, it’s best to be open with them about what you’re going through. If you’re suffering from something such as alcohol dependency, for example, a strong support system can be vital to your recovery.

Bring it up with your partner

It could be an issue that affects your other half too and they may not have noticed how it is affecting your life or may not have even realised you’ve noticed. If they have noticed, they might even feel as though you’re not comfortable sharing with them. So always keep them in the loop, if you can and you feel safe with them.

Speak to a health professional

Whether it’s a doctor, a therapist or even a nutritionist, a health professional could be able to prescribe something to help with the problem. Or to provide you with a note for your work if you need time off. They will also be able to provide legitimate and considered health advice regarding how best to proceed and will do so in a completely professional and non-judgmental capacity.

If you do decide to talk to a doctor. Make sure you’re prepared.

Make a list of things you need to talk about beforehand, so you don’t forget.

Have an appointment with a doctor of the same sex if that makes you feel better.

Be specific and to the point, they deal with this daily, remember.

Tell them you feel nervous, and they will probably make it easier for you. They are only human, after all.

Patient couple having doctor consulting on marriage counseling on fertility treatment for infertility

How to Improve Your Fertility in 2023

You may be finding it harder than planned to get pregnant or want to ensure you have the best chance of getting pregnant.

Changes to your lifestyle could help you to boost your fertility. TFP Fertility Group, one of the leading IVF and fertility specialists with clinics across the UK and Europe, offer some key information about the kind of changes you should consider.

 

A healthy lifestyle


At TFP Fertility, we understand that everyone is unique and therefore so is their fertility.

There could be many reasons why it’s taking you longer than you thought to get pregnant, but there are a number of things you can do to help things along and make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance.

Ensuring your lifestyle is as healthy as possible before starting a family will help you mentally as well as physically.

Take care of yourself by eating well, exercising regularly, taking some key supplements, and addressing unhealthy habits.

If you’re concerned about your lifestyle and the impact on your fertility, a fertility assessment with TFP Fertility UK could be a good first step to help you identify ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

In the assessment, as well tests to accurately measure your fertility and a consultation about your options, the team can give you advice on nutrition, exercise, and managing stress, all of which can have an impact on fertility.

 

Factors affecting fertility

Diet

What you eat may affect your fertility. Ideally you should include a variety of fresh, healthy foods in your diet, and avoid highly processed or sugary food.

Here’s a list of good foods to include in your diet:

  • Wholegrain high fibre foods such as bread with seeds, brown rice, and pasta
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Lentils and beans as these have antioxidant properties which protect against oxidative stress, which can be harmful to eggs and sperm
  • Unsaturated fats such as avocados, nuts, oily fish, and seeds
  • Full fat dairy such as milk or yoghurt can help to improve egg quality

 

Vitamins and supplements

There are some key vitamins that may help increase fertility. You can buy these over the counter at chemists, supermarkets, and health stores.

  • Folic acid (women)

The advice is to take a 400mg supplement of folic acid every day before you get pregnant and every day afterwards, up until you’re 12 weeks pregnant. This reduces the risk of developmental abnormalities.

 

  • Well-woman or well-man supplements

Including antioxidants, Omega 3, zinc, and selenium. This is particularly important in cases of low sperm production.

 

Weight and BMI

Being overweight or underweight, and having a correspondingly high or low BMI (body mass index), can impact your fertility.

BMI is a measure of height vs weight to identify if your weight is in a healthy range.

A higher BMI can have an impact on hormonal imbalances, pregnancy risks, and the number of drugs required for fertility treatments in women.

In men, a higher BMI can affect the quality and quantity of your sperm.

If your fertility treatment is NHS-funded, your BMI must be no more than 30.

You can find out your BMI by using the NHS BMI calculator.

 

Exercise

As well as the obvious health benefits, regular moderate exercise can help boost fertility through improved enzyme activity.

Male fertility can be improved by avoiding intense exercise, tight underwear, and other potential sources of excessive heat such as saunas or hot baths.

If you take any supplements as part of your exercise regime, ask your GP for advice about the impact these may have on your fertility.

 

Smoking

If you smoke, it’s very likely it will take you longer to get pregnant.

Cigarette smoke contains toxins, including cadmium and cotinine, that can reduce sperm quality and AMH levels, so impacting egg production.

Smoking can also cause increased sperm DNA damage, as well as reduced fertilisation and development potential, which leads to lower pregnancy rates.

Female fertility should start to improve three months after quitting smoking.

There’s limited evidence to date but, as with smoking, vaping is also thought to have a negative impact on fertility.

 

Alcohol

It’s better not to drink alcohol at all if you’re trying to conceive. Alcohol can reduce your fertility in many ways, in particular the way it affects hormonal balance in both men and women.

In women, oestrogen levels are altered which can have a negative impact on ovulation, and also on number of eggs, or ovarian reserve.

In men, alcohol can reduce testosterone, affecting the quality and quantity of sperm.

On a positive note, improvements can be seen soon after reducing your alcohol intake.

 

Caffeine

Excessive consumption of caffeine has been linked to low birth weight and a higher risk of miscarriage.

And research has shown that too much caffeine may negatively affect male fertility, possibly due to sperm DNA damage.

Guidance can vary but the consensus is that you should aim to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 200mg of caffeine a day, which is equivalent to two cups of coffee.

As well as coffee and tea, caffeine can also be found in energy drinks, chocolate, and cola.

 

Medication

Some medications can impact your fertility and are not suitable to take if you’re trying to get pregnant.

If you regularly take prescription or over-the-counter medication, check with your pharmacist or GP.

 

Stress

There’s no proven evidence that stress and anxiety can impact fertility, but they may affect some of the lifestyle factors that do.

For example, if you’re stressed you may find it harder to eat healthily or exercise regularly.

It’s therefore important to focus on your overall physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Talking to friends and family about your thoughts and feelings may help.

Our fertility counsellors are also available to support you at any stage or reach out to a support network such as Fertility Network UK.

 

Here to support you

We understand that changing your lifestyle can be challenging, but once you have made the decision to start your fertility journey with TFP Fertility, we will be here to support you with advice about diet, supplements, and managing your weight.

If you’ve got any questions or would like to book an appointment at your local TFP Fertility clinic, please contact us.