Girl skin

Bad Skin? Here’s 7 Reasons Why, According to a Doctor

Girl skin

Have you ever wondered why your skin isn’t as clear and glowing as you’d like it to be? It turns out, there are several culprits that can throw your skin off balance and lead to issues such as acne, dryness, oiliness, uneven texture, or irritation. From your daily habits to the environment around you, we spoke to global skin doctor and founder of SkincarebyDrV, Dr Vanita Rattan, who shares 7 reasons why you could have bad skin. Her top tips will help you regain control over your skin’s health and keep it looking it’s best.

1. You don’t know your skin type.

Many people don’t have a clear understanding of their skin type, and this can cause them to use skincare products that are unsuitable. For example, individuals with oily skin might use skincare products containing oils, thinking it would reduce oiliness. Whereas individuals with dry skin might choose products that lack the essential ceramides and peptides to hydrate the skin, resulting in further discomfort.

Whilst deciphering whether your skin is oily, dry, combination or sensitive is crucial to form the basis of your skincare routine, it is also important to examine your skin tone. Darker skin tones are prone to hyperpigmentation due to overactive melanocytes, which can then manifest as dark spots, patches, or uneven pigmentation. As well as this, skin irritation is not always immediately visible in skin of colour as we experience less redness and facial flushing, so we need to be extra careful to avoid irritating the skin with drying alcohols, essential oils, and fragrance. 3-4% of the population get contact dermatitis from fragrance, and for skin of colour, this can lead to hyperpigmentation that can last for years. If you have skin of colour, I have formulated a complete daily range for cleansing, skin brightening, anti-ageing and anti-pigmentation.

2. You’re using too many products.

When it comes to skincare, less is more. Using too many different products or applying a high percentage of ingredients can do more harm than good, causing increased sensitivity, irritation, and damage to the skin’s barrier. It’s important to know what you’re doing with your skincare routine, ensuring each product works synergistically instead of overwhelming the skin. A basic skincare routine, suitable for all skin types typically involves washing your face with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser followed by moisturiser and SPF50. From there, you can expand your routine to address specific skin concerns. For example, if you have acne, you may want to incorporate a Trio Blemish Exfoliator 2-3 times a week to control sebum, help unclog pores and improve the appearance of acne.

3. You’re not protecting your skin enough.

Your skin, being a vital organ, requires proper protection that goes beyond aesthetics. Exposure to UV rays extends beyond achieving a temporary tan, and overlooking the protection of your skin from sun damage can elevate the risk of developing melanoma, a potentially severe form of skin cancer. Applying a broad-spectrum SPF50+ daily helps to mitigate this risk, as well as help prevent against premature ageing, uneven skin tone and dehydrated skin. I would advise to opt for mineral sunscreens over chemical sunscreens as they contain the anti-inflammatory compound Zinc Oxide. My go-to product is Inzincable SPF50, which doesn’t leave a white cast for skin of colour, and doesn’t enter the bloodstream for pregnant women. This will shield you from both UVA and UVB radiation, with the highest sun protection rating of PA++++.

4. You’re stressed.

Your body is an interconnected system, meaning the state of your skin is closely intertwined with your overall wellbeing. If you’re stress levels are high, the body releases the hormone ‘cortisol’ which can cause more breakouts due to an increase in oil production, a breakdown of elastin, and redness due to increased blood flow. Stress is also responsible for inflammation in our body, exacerbating pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea. As well as this, underlying chronic stress is often the cause of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety which can cause individuals to neglect their everyday routines, including skincare. To combat stress ageing and maintain a healthy

skincare routine, practice stress management techniques such as exercise, meditation and breathwork. As well as this, ensure you are getting 8 hours of sleep every day to give your skin, body, and mind time to rejuvenate.

5. You’re consuming too much sugar.

Consuming excessive amounts of sugar, often found in highly processed foods, can have a negative impact on your skin’s health. A high-sugar diet has very little nutrient value and can increase inflammation in the body, leading to worsened breakouts. As well as this, sugary foods can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, leading to an insulin release. Elevated insulin levels may stimulate the production of sebum, an oily substance that can clog pores and contribute to acne. With hyperglycaemia causing collagen damage, the skin can also appear dull, dry, and aged. Managing this involves reducing sugar intake and adopting an anti-inflammatory diet that includes oily fish, turmeric, flaxseed, ginger, garlic, green tea, and colourful vegetables.

6. Your showers are too hot.

Hot showers might feel amazing in the moment, but it can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. As well as this, the heat damages the keratin cells that make up the outer layer of the skin, weakening your skin’s ability to retain moisture. Not only can this damage your skin barrier, but this can result in flaky, dry patches on dehydrated skin. If you are prone to skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, hot showers can irritate the skin further, causing increased itchiness. Consider showering in lukewarm water or limiting your time spent in the hot shower, to help your skin retain its natural moisture. After showering, be sure to pat the skin dry instead of rubbing aggressively to prevent redness, itchiness or microtears. Finally, I would recommend applying a fatty moisturiser to lock in hydration.

7. You’re not consuming enough collagen.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, it gives structural integrity to the skin and is surrounded by water to support, smooth and firm the skin. It is also the main building block protein that forms your bones, skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The primary reason we tend to get superficial wrinkles is because of collagen loss. We lose 1% collagen every year from mid-20’s onwards, and this accelerates later in life, with women losing about 30% in the first five years of menopause and 2% every year afterwards.  Topical collagen is often used as a humectant (a water magnet), but it cannot penetrate the epidermis into the dermis to stimulate collagen. Essentially, it’s a bit of marketing gimmick when marketers say there’s a collagen cream- people believe this will actually stimulate their collagen, when it won’t. Instead of topical collagen, orally consume Type 1 Hydrolysed Marine Collagen, which is the highest bioavailability type of collagen powder on the market. Opt for 8g per serving, whether that’s blended in with your morning smoothie or a flavoured collagen with water.

Friends Yoga

10 Things You Can Do In Under 10 Minutes to Live Longer, According to a Fitness Expert

Friends Yoga

In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to underestimate the power of small, daily habits which can make a big difference to our health. This is partly because we’ve been conditioned to believe that improving our wellbeing demands too much time and effort. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Embracing micro habits involves adopting quick, easy actions that can contribute to a longer and healthier life. To learn more about these simple yet effective habits, we spoke to global fitness expert, Joanna Dase at Curves, who shares 10 things you can do in under 10 minutes to live longer.

1. Power nap to boost memory function.

Studies show that the ideal duration for a power nap is 10 minutes, as this can make a person feel refreshed and more awake afterwards. The problem is most people get too comfortable and are tempted to keep sleeping. Longer naps are not the best naps and can lead to sleep inertia- the feeling of grogginess when you wake up. If you can master power napping for only 10 minutes, it has been shown to improve alertness, boost mood, and enhance cognitive performance. Therefore, taking a short nap can be valuable for your productivity and allow a chance for your body to rest during the day.

2. Do a bodyweight circuit to improve strength.

Bodyweight exercises are a great option for a quick workout because they use your own body as resistance and don’t require any equipment, making them super convenient. In 10 minutes, you can do a short circuit of squats, lunges, push-ups, glute bridges, plank, and burpees to work multiple muscle groups at once and counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. For example, a glute bridge can alleviate tension in your back from sitting, whilst working the glutes and entire back of legs. When you sit down for too long, your muscles, tendons and ligaments can become stiff. Over time, this can result in reduced flexibility, posture problems and muscle imbalances.

Bodyweight exercises combat this by improving on your balance and co-ordination. Not to mention, the added benefit of burning calories and better weight management in the process. To target different muscle groups week by week, I would recommend following a fitness program for quick workouts online with a certified coach to guide your training.

3. Have a digital detox to reduce anxiety.

Allocating time for a digital detox, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, can allow for a mental reset. Whilst social media can serve as a positive platform to connect with family and friends, it can foster unrealistic comparisons between users and impact mental health. In fact, research shows that 40% of people on social media report feeling anxious or depressed after using it. Therefore, a brief break from your social media accounts can be restorative, promoting a healthier balance between the digital world and real-life experiences. 

4. Healthy snack prep to improve gut health.

When you’re feeling peckish, it’s easy to reach for the first available sugary or processed snack food. However, excessive sugar intake can disrupt gut health by promoting the growth of harmful bacteria and inflammation in the digestive system. To avoid this, when you have 10 minutes to spare, meal prep a few healthy snacks to last you throughout the day. These don’t have to be elaborate meals, but rather simple, nutrient-rich snacks to better your diet. Some examples of healthy snack prep could be apples with peanut butter, a vegetable smoothie, chia seed pudding, oats with eggs, or trail mix. If you want more substantial meals in 10 minutes or less, check out more recipes here.

5. Journal to prevent chronic stress.

Whether you’re dealing with work stress, burnout, or anxiety, journaling can help in many ways. This practice provides a space for self-reflection, allowing you to prioritise problems and pinpoint triggers to better manage life’s challenges. As well as this, investing a few minutes each day to jot down your feelings can help you recognise any negative or intrusive thoughts, and transform them into positive self-talk within the journal. Journals often include to-do list sections, providing a helpful organisational tool that eases the mental burden of keeping the day’s order in mind. So, spending just 10 minutes a day on journaling can be excellent for stress-reduction.

6. Call a friend to help combat loneliness.

Social connections are essential for our mental and emotional wellbeing. In fact, social isolation has been linked to increased risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and anxiety. Therefore, chronic loneliness can be crippling and extremely harmful. A short, 10-minute conversation can uplift spirits during a bad day and provide a sense of connection. If you’re struggling to meet new people, take 10 minutes out of your day to research and sign up for local hang outs in your area. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be beneficial in aiding new connections and developing a fulfilling social life.

7. Brisk walking can increase cardiovascular health.

If long workouts feel intimidating or you simply don’t have the time, try to commit to 10 minutes of daily brisk walking. Brisk walking can go a long way in improving your cardiovascular health, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke over time. As well as this, walking helps to drop blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, and lower cholesterol. The benefit of brisk walking is it’s an easy exercise option to fit into the middle of your day. Whether you’re running errands, having a ‘walk and talk’ work meeting or doing household chores, 10 minutes of daily exercise is realistic and an achievable goal to set.

8. Hydrate to prevent kidney stones and constipation.

If you have a spare 10 minutes, the easiest thing you can do for your health is drink a glass of water. Ensuring you stay hydrated throughout the day is one of the most important components of healthy living. Drinking enough water helps the kidneys flush out any excess waste materials to prevent kidney stones from forming. As well as this, a hydrated body ensures digestive regularity which eases discomfort caused in the bowel from constipation. Also, drinking plenty of water contributes to healthy skin, joint lubrication, and overall cellular function. I’d recommend women to drink 2 litres of water per day, and 2.6 litres for men as they need more fluid each day.

9. Meditate to regulate moods.

Meditating for 10 minutes without distractions isn’t easy and takes practice. However, over time, you’ll find that mindful meditation becomes easier, leading you into a state of relaxation. Daily meditation serves as a reminder to stay present and not get carried away by your thoughts. After 10 minutes of meditating, you’re likely to experience improved emotional well-being and enhanced mental clarity that lasts throughout the day. This awareness of the present moment reduces anxiety about the past and future, helping better regulate moods.

10. Daily stretches to ease muscle pain.

Stretching can help to increase your range of motion, keeping your body flexible and agile during your daily activities. Without it, your muscles gradually shorten and stiffen, which can cause pain and discomfort. It’s a simple yet effective practice that can be seamlessly integrated into your lifestyle as a well-deserved break at work, a morning ritual, or activities like yoga. As well as improving flexibility, regular stretching can improve musculoskeletal health to improve your posture over time. Also, it can aid blood circulation to promote better nutrient delivery to muscles and reduce recovery time after injury.

Dr Wafaa

7 Superfoods to Achieve Healthy Skin, According to a Doctor

Dr Wafaa

Ever wondered if what you eat could actually make your skin look better and help fight off the signs of ageing? Well, it turns out that the foods we eat play a big role in how our skin looks and how it ages. The foods we consume act as more than just fuel for our bodies; they serve as building blocks for the very foundation of our skin’s resilience and radiance. From antioxidant-rich options to essential fatty acids, our diet functions as a shield against the oxidative stress that contributes to premature ageing. That’s why we spoke to Dr Wafaa El-Mouhebb, advanced aesthetics practitioner at Dr Wafaa Clinic, who shares the 7 foods that can help with the appearance of skin and anti-ageing.

1. Seafood for antioxidants

When we think of anti-oxidants, we often think of brightly coloured veggies and fruit. However, the powerful carotenoid astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant predominantly found in seafood, such as salmon, lobster, krill, crayfish, brown crab meat and prawns. It’s naturally bright pink or red, which is what gives these foods their colour. Astaxanthin is an incredible naturally occurring nutrient that should get more attention for the skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties are great for protecting fatty membranes found deep within our skin, which helps to keep it hydrated, bouncy and dewy. Helping to keep skin hydrated is essential for

preventing premature signs of ageing, and discouraging wrinkle formation. Astaxanthin has even been found to be up to 6,000 times more potent than vitamin C for its antioxidant properties! As well as this, studies have found that it can help with UV induced skin deterioration or sun damage, possibly because of its powerful anti-oxidant activity.

2. Citrus fruits and leafy greens for Vitamin C

The skin is a hungry organ, needing a wide variety of nutrients to stay healthy. When it comes to collagen production, we need Vitamin C first and foremost, as it is an integral nutrient for collagen synthesis. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, helping to neutralise free radicals that can damage skin cells and contribute to premature ageing. To ensure we are getting enough Vitamin C in our diet, eat citrus fruits and plenty of leafy greens, such as spinach and kale. For better skin health, we should be aiming for 7-10 portions per day. Whilst Vitamin C can help promote collagen synthesis, it’s important to note oral collagen does not stimulate dermal collagen. This means that consuming collagen through food doesn’t directly increase the production of collagen within your skin’s dermis. The dermis is the deeper layer of skin where most of the collagen responsible for its structure and elasticity resides. The best way to boost collagen production in your skins is via collagen stimulating injections like Hyper-diluted radiesse or Sculptra. Make sure to see a reputable aesthetics practitioner for safe treatment, and book in for a skin consultation beforehand to get a detailed assessment of your skin and your skin’s health.

3. Poultry for Zinc

Immune booster, energiser, mood elevator, you name it; zinc tends to be involved with anything important in the body. The skin is no exception and uniquely, zinc seems to work to discourage spots coming by helping to balance hormones and normalise testosterone levels. Zinc is also essential for the production of collagen, which ultimately is what heals the skin after we have had spots. To get zinc from your diet, eat poultry varieties such as chicken, turkey, duck, or goose. If you’re a vegetarian, eating sunflower or pumpkin seeds can also be a good source of zinc. Often people complain that spots and small scars heal slowly, or leave discolouration or pigmentation and zinc can really help with this. However, healing scarring can take an incredibly long time, so I would recommend opting for a medium-depth medical-grade chemical peel that is suitable for all skin types. Look for ingredients such as kojic acid, glutathione and retinoic acid in your peel which can help neutralise melanin, reducing the visibility of sunspots, post acne hyperpigmentation, freckles, and melasma.

4. Eggs for Biotin

Biotin is a B vitamin, also known as vitamin B7. B vitamins are an important player in the production of energy molecules and the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.  B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they dissolve in water and are not stored for long-term use. Once your body has enough water-soluble vitamins, any excess is excreted through

urine. This characteristic makes it less likely for biotin toxicity to occur from dietary sources. Therefore, increasing biotin in your diet is generally considered safe. Biotin deficiency can lead to brittle nails and hair, scaly skin, dry eyes and more. To increase biotin through your diet, opt for eggs. Though eggs can be eaten in several different ways, one whole, cooked egg provides approximately 27 percent of the AI of biotin. Raw egg whites have an enzyme called avidin, which blocks the absorption of biotin. Eggs are also a good source of protein and provide a complete range of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids.

5. Avocados for Vitamin E

Avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, which help to moisturise and protect the skin by preventing water loss. By maintaining the skins natural moisture balance, this contributes to a smoother and softer skin. Vitamin E is also a potent antioxidant, helping to defend the skin against oxidative stress which occurs when our bodies produce high levels of potentially harmful molecules. Oxidative stress can lead to premature ageing, chronic inflammation and in worst cases, skin diseases such as cancer. By helping to neutralise free radicals in the skin, antioxidants like vitamin E found in avocados help protect the skin from these harmful effects.

6. Nuts for Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Redness, soreness, and itching skin is caused by inflammatory reactions in the skin, and prolonged problems can be a sign of systemic inflammation. Certain foods can make this worse with sugar, fatty and processed meats, dairy and white carbs being major culprits. Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, contain essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. As well as regulating the skins oil production, improving hydration, and minimising the appearance of fine lines, these healthy fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation in the gut and skin. Omega-3s can also help soften rough, dry skin, and have a soothing effect on irritation and dermatitis to support a healthy complexion. Consider adding nuts to salads, yogurt, smoothies, or consuming them as snacks to get more healthy fatty acids into your diet. Other food sources for these include salmon, chia seeds, soya beans and flaxseeds. If your skin is in need of a hydration boost, try Exosome Facial Rejuvenation which can significantly enhance your skin’s quality, making it look healthier and more youthful. It can immediately reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve skin texture, instead of having to rely on food sources, like nuts, for a long period of time.

7. Drink enough water for hydrated skin

Water is like fertiliser for your skin. When you drink enough, it’s like giving your skin cells a regular drink, keeping them plump and healthy. Hydrated skin prevents your skin from looking tired, dull, and grey. When skin lacks moisture, fine lines and wrinkles may appear more noticeable and dehydrated skin can develop rough, flaky patches. Drinking plenty of water helps the skin appear more supple and smooth, as well as support the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is a structural protein that provides support to the skin, helping it maintain its elasticity and firmness. As well as this, drinking enough water helps maintain blood circulation, ensuring that nutrients and oxygen reach the skin cells efficiently. To stay hydrated, I would recommend drinking between 8-10 glasses of water a day.

Man and woman lying down on massage beds at Asian wellness center

What’s Trending in the World of Wellness

Man and woman lying down on massage beds at Asian wellness center

2024 is the year to prioritise health and wellbeing, so here is a guide of what to expect in the world of wellness this year.

Portugal has a number of options to ensure you look and feel your best. The Algarve offers various healthcare facilities to choose from, allowing guests to relax and unwind, from treatments to wellness hotels. Similarly, Pine Cliffs, a Luxury Collection Resort in the Algarve offers the first CBD treatments in Portugal. Serenity – The Art of Wellbeing, a leading luxury spa and wellness brand, has a beautifully designed new spa at the Hyatt Regency Lisbon for an on-site spa and their signature Senses of Lisbon treatment has had rave reviews.

In other news from around the world, Heritage Resorts in Mauritius has launched a new wellness programme, ‘Wellness Bliss’, encouraging visitors to reconnect with the natural world. If spa treatments sound enticing, Cap Maison in St Lucia offers year-round wellness and daily spa treatments from the resorts newly refurbished Sothys Spa, whilst offering breathtaking views.

Here is a roundup of news featuring health and wellness from our clients for 2024.

Visit Algarve

Health tourism in the Algarve has progressed tremendously in recent years, with visitors able to choose from a wide range of modern healthcare facilities in award-winning resorts.

Health and Wellness – Longevity Health & Wellness Resort, set in western Algarve with panoramic views of the bay of Alvor is a ground-breaking adults’ only health and wellness resort.

Longevity offers a world class dedicated wellness and medical spa focused on therapies for optimal health and wellness including 100% natural products, dedicated detox and hammam treatment rooms, a detox sensation indoor pool, a relax heated dynamic indoor pool and rooftop infinity pool. Impactful programmes include light programmes for beginners including relax and spa or detox to intensive longer specialised programmes including around hormone optimisation and intense detox and reshape.

Duration: Prices differ depending on treatments. A five-day retreat starts from €1,367/£1168 per person sharing standard double room in low season. www.longevityalvor.com/en/

Relax and unwind – What better way to for guests to treat themselves than one of the wellness retreats at Vilalara Resort, an upscale resort overlooking the cliffs of Praia das Gaivotas along the North Atlantic Ocean. This resort is a lakeside haven of style, comfort and exclusivity, allowing them to take a break with a day spa, or a two-day retreat as you disconnect from the world and reconnect to themselves.

From massage treatments, thalassa treatments or body exfoliation to reflexology or medical consultation, the resort caters for everyone’s needs.

Duration: Prices differ depending on treatments. A 2-day retreat is from €405/£348 per person. Note: price does not include accommodation.www.vilalararesort.com/pt/thalassa-e-medical-spa/

Pine Cliffs Resort

Pine Cliffs Resort, a Luxury Collection Resort in the Algarve, offers an exceptional core range of treatments and therapies using some of the world’s leading spa products. Serenity SPA – The Art of Well Being at Pine Cliffs offers authentic signature treatments that draw inspiration from the indigenous cultures, healing traditions and ingredients of the Algarve, including the first CBD spa treatments in Portugal.

Choose from the ‘Body Calm’ massage for full CBD bliss, or opt for a CBD ‘Gold Age Restore’ facial to combat signs of ageing and soothe tired, irritated skin. Each CBD treatment is carefully choreographed by spa manager Maria D’Orey using full spectrum CBD products by Ila, handmade in the Cotswolds, England.

The CBD Body Calm massage lasts for 50 minutes and reconnects a positive flow of energy, restores balance and leaves one’s mind, body and spirit calm and soothed. This particular massage aids in the reduction of the level of anxiety, nausea and insomnia. It also activates the Solar Plexus and restore a natural vibrant energy.

Meanwhile, the Gold Age Restore Facial is a unique facial that combines the anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects of CBD with the effective techniques of ‘Nerve Point Therapy’ and ‘Polarity Balancing’. Lasting for 80 minutes, the facial improves healing and hydration of the face, reduces redness, and relieves stress and tension from the face.

Prices start from €130/£110 for the Body Calm massage, and €160/£135 for the Gold Age Restore facial. www.serenity-spa.com

Heritage Resorts

A newly launched wellness programme at Heritage Le Telfair in Mauritius redefines the standard for wellness offerings, inviting guests to embark on a journey of self-discovery while basking in the breathtaking natural beauty of Mauritius. With a UNESCO biosphere and stunning coastline on the doorstep, nature is at the core of Heritage Le Telfair’s wellness experience.

The new programme called ‘Wellness Bliss’ provides various ways to reconnect with the natural world during including forest bathing, coastal treks, and even tree-hugging. The energy and magic of the south of Mauritius are abundant, and Heritage Le Telfair’s extensive selection of outdoor adventures allows guests to mindfully connect with Mother Nature, tapping into her essence.

Crafted by the award-winning Seven Colours Spa, the program encompasses fitness activities, massage therapy, nutrition, mindfulness, and forest bathing in the Bel Ombre Nature Reserve, providing a holistic approach to well-being. Guests can craft their wellness journey, with the advice of the dedicated Wellness Ambassador, by choosing from a wide selection of activities or packages meticulously customized to meet specific well-being objectives, including detoxification, weight loss, chakra balancing, and improved sleep. The holistic program is designed and led by a team of experts, including a nutritionist, fitness coach, and therapist.

For further information visit www.heritageresorts.mu

Cap Maison

Cap Maison, the award-winning boutique resort & spa in Saint Lucia, offers the ultimate year-round wellness experience. Set atop a private ocean-front bluff, the hotel boasts unobstructed views that overlook Pigeon Island National Park and its neighboring island of Martinique with a glittering view of the Caribbean Sea in-between, providing the perfect setting in which to relax and rejuvenate.

Guests can enjoy a daily spa treatment at the resort’s very own newly refurbished Sothys branded Spa Maison. Signature treatments can also be experienced on a private wooden deck perched out at sea, Rock Maison or under a gazebo in the tranquil gardens. The resort’s location also offers the perfect setting for yoga and meditation sessions as part of their overall wellness experience.

For those looking to adopt a healthy eating plan during their stay, the diverse menus on offer at the Cliff at Cap restaurant and The Naked Fisherman have a range of healthy and nutritious options with daily fruit smoothies and refreshing Caribbean fruit available. Guests wanting to combine healthy eating with exercise, can also enjoy guided walks or runs around Cap Maison’s beautiful surroundings.

For further information, please visit: Cap Maison

Hyatt Regency

Serenity – The Art of Well Being, Portugal’s leading luxury spa and wellness brand, introduces guests to a new concept of wellness through Hyatt Regency Lisbon on site spa. Guests have access to a wide range of wellness activities and spa treatments tailored to meet their individual needs, creating a truly memorable and restorative escape. Guests can immerse themselves in a true sense of wellbeing with the ‘Senses of Lisbon’ signature treatment, a unique treatment which uses essential oils from the region to leave them feeling refreshed, as well as relaxing the mind and soul.

Guests can also choose to stay active with the state-of-the-art ACTIVE by Serenity facilities, including a fully equipped gym and two fitness studios for classes, featuring the latest Technogym equipment, perfect for maintaining a fitness routine while away from home.

Prices start from €200.00 per night excluding breakfast, based on two adults sharing a standard queen bedroom. Price based on a January 2024 stay.        

For further information, please visit:  Hyatt Regency Lisbon

Cancer

Cancer Caution: International Employers Must Beware of First-World Prevalence

Cancer

This World Cancer Day, Sunday 4 February, Towergate Health & Protection is warning of the prevalence of cancer in first-world countries when it comes to supporting the health and wellbeing of overseas employees.

Employers would be forgiven for thinking that it is low-income countries, with poorer healthcare and low sanitation, where employees face the greatest health risks, but one health threat in particular is actually more prevalent in high-income countries: cancer.

Cancer is reported as one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide, accounting for nearly one in six deaths. It tends to be more prevalent in high-income countries due to lifestyle factors. Indeed, around one in three deaths from cancer are due to tobacco use, high body mass index, alcohol consumption, low fruit and vegetable intake, and lack of physical activity.

The highest reported cancer rate is in Denmark, at 334.9 people per 100,000, followed by Ireland, Belgium, Hungary, France, The Netherlands, Australia, Norway, New Caledonia and Slovenia, all with over 300 cases per 100,000 people.

Sarah Dennis, head of international at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “Reported cancer rates are higher in high-income countries and so, typically, are treatment costs. So it is important that employers understand the implications and have health and wellbeing plans in place to support people.”

Detection

The survivability of cancer is closely linked to early detection. Screening plays a crucial role in early diagnosis and can help to detect cancers even before symptoms develop. With not all countries offering screening, employers can provide crucial access via their health and wellbeing programmes.

Global cost differences

Cancer treatments and the associated costs also differ around the globe. Even the costs of just the cancer drugs themselves vary hugely from country to country. Drug prices are generally highest in the US and average $8,694 per person, per month. This figure is $3,173 in China and $1,515 in India.

With treatment for individual cases of cancer potentially costing hundreds of thousands of pounds it is vital that employers of staff overseas have plans in place to ensure employees, wherever they’re based, will receive the appropriate care. As medical knowledge and technology may not be advanced in all regions, employers should also include options to go to a different region for treatment if needed. 

Sarah Dennis says: “Because of the significant differences in cancer risks, treatments and survival rates from country to country, it is important that employers take expert advice on what is needed where, and provide a broad range of support to all overseas employees.”

Prevention

Companies with overseas employees can play an important role in educating their workforce about cancer prevention and lifestyle choices. They can also put wellbeing benefits in place to assist a healthier lifestyle. These may include fitness trackers, nutrition advisers, gym membership, and smoking cessation assistance.

Communication and education

The final part of the puzzle is to ensure that the availability of screening and treatment is widely and regularly communicated. Employees overseas may benefit from education on the causes of cancer and what best they can do to lessen their risk. They also need to be aware of any support the company has made available, such as screening and the benefits this can have in improving outcomes.

Employee Mental Health

Good Mental Health Support Is Not Just for Blue Monday

Employee Mental Health

January is the time of year when many employees take stock and make important life and career decisions, which can impact mental wellbeing. According to GRiD the industry body for the group risk sector, Blue Monday is an opportunity for employers to demonstrate that they aware of this and to be proactive in supporting the mental wellbeing of their staff.

Career-based decisions that can come to the fore during a period of reflection over the Christmas break include seeking a change in role, working patterns or pay rise. In addition, deciding to change the status of a relationship, move house or start a family are additional out-of-work challenges that employees could be wrangling with. On top of this, debt, winter blues, seasonal affective disorder, broken resolutions, and a physical hangover from Christmas excesses can also exacerbate mental health issues.  

Providing meaningful mental wellbeing support is crucial as all of these decisions and issues over and above day-to-day work and life can put the mental health of employees under serious strain.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said: “Many employers begin the new year very much focussed on their renewed ambitions for the business itself. However, it’s important to understand that employees may have also used the festive period to reassess their own lives and may return to work with additional plans and burdens.

“Blue Monday is a good reminder that employers need to be aware of the mental wellbeing of staff, but it’s important to remember that mental health support should be continual and not just for Blue Monday.”

What does good mental health support look like?

Because mental health issues vary as much as physical conditions, and the acuteness of an illness will differ from employee to employee, it’s important to offer various types of support to meet the needs of those with mild anxiety through to more severe depression and psychosis. Support should comprise access to therapy, treatment and counselling with fast-track access to professional mental health support for those who require it.

How can employers access good mental health support?

Much mental health support is included within employee benefits, and particularly within group risk benefits (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness), where employers may well find they have access to an Employee Assistance Programme, fast-track access to talking therapies, apps for managing mental health and more to help their employees.

Why accessing mental health support via employee benefits is a no brainer

Accessing mental health support that is fully funded by existing employee benefits (such as group risk) saves costs for the employer in two ways: the employer does not need to use HR resources to source specific products or services based on the needs of multiple individual employees, nor do they need to fund these at an extra expense.

But more importantly, when support is already in place and the processes via which to access it are proven, it means employees and employers can access that support quickly, not only saving time but also potentially preventing an individual’s condition from deteriorating.

Katharine Moxham concluded: “Mental health is often discussed in a very socially acceptable manner but make no mistake, in the more severe cases, support is aimed at reducing the incidence of some very serious conditions. Not every employee will feel the pressure of Blue Monday or want to make significant changes to their lives in January, but employers need to be ready and waiting with meaningful support, for those who do.”

Employee Wellness

Wellbeing On a Budget: The Most Cost-Effective Ways to Support Employees

Employee Wellness

The cost-of-living crisis and financial constraints have been highlighted across the media for some time but more attention needs to be paid to the businesses which are also struggling with increased costs, and how they can support the health and wellbeing of their staff affordably, says Towergate Health & Protection. As employers across the country look at budgets for the year, it’s important that they’re aware of the most cost-effective support that’s available.

David Williams, head of group risk at Towergate Health & Protection, says: “When considering the best-value benefits to support employee health and wellbeing, I would certainly encourage employers to consider group life assurance – but not for the reasons you might think. It’s true that it’s generally one of the lowest cost benefits to offer, but with providers now including a whole host of added wellbeing benefits, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to get a whole benefits programme up and running for the price of a simple group life assurance policy. This can be particularly attractive to smaller and mid-sized companies.”

Added value benefits

Many of the group risk benefits – life assurance, income protection and critical illness – include embedded benefits. These make them really good value for money for employers. For example, many include an employee assistance programme (EAP) at no extra charge, which will offer a wide variety of support for employees, including counselling sessions and assistance with legal issues.

David Williams continues: “It is not uncommon for a company to have an EAP embedded in their group risk benefits but not be using it as they do not know it is available. If the added-value elements of group risk are utilised they can prove hugely valuable, to the point where the wellbeing support is the main employee benefit and the insurance element is almost a bonus.”

Standalone EAPs

For companies that do not have group risk benefits in place, it is a good idea to consider implementing an EAP on a standalone basis. These have very low monthly premiums and are charged on a ‘per employee’ basis, and can be a real support to a workforce.

Virtual GPs

Virtual GPs are proving an increasingly popular option as people struggle to make appointments with their GP. This is also often available as an added benefit at no extra cost within other benefits, including private medical insurance (PMI) or group risk. Not only are these low cost, they can also result in less time off work as employees do not have to visit the doctor in person and they can generally get an appointment more quickly.

Health cash plans

For a relatively small monthly premium, health cash plans allow employees to claim back the costs of everyday healthcare, such as routine dental, optical or physiotherapy treatment. Cash plans can be very low cost, depending on the benefits selected, and are often highly valued by employees as they can all make use of it. They can also come with an embedded EAP, virtual GP, or discount retail vouchers.

No-cost benefits

Voluntary and discount benefits can also be good choices for employers to consider, as both come at no cost to the employer. They allow employees to buy discounted products or services through their employer out of their own taxable pay or through a salary sacrifice scheme. The only cost to the employer is the time taken in the research, administration and communication of the options.

Williams concluded: “There is no such thing as a free lunch but there are increasingly lots of low-cost health and wellbeing benefits that also come with additional support at no extra charge, and it makes financial sense for employers to consider them. An adviser will be able to help an employer to navigate the system and find the right support for their employees, at the right cost.”

Blue Monday Woman

Beyond Blue Monday: Addressing Burnout and Crisis Fatigue in the Workplace

Blue Monday Woman

While Blue Monday traditionally signifies a peak in winter blues and shines a light on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the current global landscape is far more complex. The prolonged exposure to crises, economic uncertainties and climate anxieties are creating a sustained strain on individuals. Concerns regarding crisis fatigue and burnout among the global workforce are also prompting organisations to re-evaluate their mental health support strategies and to prioritise proactive mental health support for employees.

The International SOS Risk Outlook 2024 data identifies burnout, the cost-of-living crisis and mental health concerns as the top risks to organisational wellbeing this year. Mental health emerges as a critical concern, as the pressures of burnout and financial difficulty can manifest in emotional and psychological distress. The survey data also underlines a growing understanding of the direct link between employee wellbeing and organisational success. With 82% acknowledging the vital role of health and wellness policies in recruitment and retention and 77% see safeguarding employee wellbeing as a board-level priority1. The World Health Organization also highlights that globally, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety at a cost of US$ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity.2

Burnout rates among the global workforce have nearly doubled in just two years, soaring from 11-18% to 20-40%, with many reporting burnout levels as high as 50%1. This staggering data aligns with a recent McKinsey Health Institute study, revealing that 22% of employees across 30 countries are experiencing burnout symptoms at work.3 Despite a significant rise in global burnout rates, the perceived risk its impact will have in 2024 varies across regions. Globally, 80% of surveyed global senior risk professionals identifies employee burnout as the top threat to their organisation and workforce1. Notably, this concern is most pronounced across the Middle East (93%), Oceania (88%), Africa (84%) and Americas (84%), which are exceeding the global average.1

Dr Rodrigo Rodriguez-Fernandez, Global Health Advisor at International SOS said “The post-holiday return to work is known for its challenges and for many employees, this period can be a tipping point for exhaustion, chronic stress and burnout. Some may still be facing the lingering effects of the festive season, navigating financial pressures from rising bills after the holiday celebration. Heightened geopolitical uncertainties and ongoing global crises are also amplifying employee anxieties and creating a complex landscape for businesses navigating workforce wellbeing and productivity.

“Employee demands for strengthened mental health and wellbeing support within the workplace had been steadily increasing even before the recent succession of crises. This pre-existing trend has now acquired greater urgency amidst employee experiences of burnout and crisis fatigue. Blue Monday offers a timely opportunity for organisations to assess and strengthen workplace mental health initiatives. When employees feel supported and empowered to take care of their mental health, they are likely to be more engaged, focused and able to excel in their roles. Organisations that recognise this and prioritise on cultivating psychosocially safe work environments – from providing stress management workshops to flexible work arrangements, are not just doing the right thing, they are also making a strategic investment in their workforce’s potential.”

International SOS urges organisations to take action and implement proactive strategies to prevent burnout and combat crisis fatigue in the workplace:

  1. Create an emotionally open culture and encourage open communication: provide a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health and wellbeing. Encourage them to speak up if they are feeling overwhelmed or struggling.
  1. Provide flexibility and promote work-life balance: support flexible working arrangements that help employees to balance their work and personal lives. Promote regular breaks and empower employees to prioritise their wellbeing.
  1. Invest in emotional wellbeing: provide access to mindfulness sessions, and stress management training. Partner with certified mental health professionals to offer confidential counselling and support services.
  1. Offer employee assistance programmes (EAPs): consider providing support such as financial counselling services or benefits consultations to address anxieties surrounding economic uncertainties.
  1. Equip managers with mental health first-aid training: upskill managers to identify signs of distress and offer initial support to employees who may be struggling.
A woman battles depression and stress in her workplace

Blue Monday: 18 Million Days Lost at Work to Mental Health

A woman battles depression and stress in her workplace
  • New research reveals that 18 million days are lost at work on average to mental health conditions
  • The study looked at data from the Office for National Statistics to see which demographics are more likely to call in sick to work each year   
  • Minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, flu, and sickness were the most common reasons for calling in sick   
  • A personal injury expert offers advice on how to manage health while commuting to the office during flu season  

New research has revealed that 18 million days per year, on average, are lost at work to mental health conditions.

The research, conducted by personal injury experts claims.co.uk, analysed the Office for National Statistics’ sickness absence data from 2018 – 2022 to reveal which demographics are most likely to miss work, and identify the most common reasons for doing so.  

Every year, the UK workforce loses on average 146.6 million days due to sickness, which equates to approximately 4.5 days per worker – or almost a full working week.  

As January approaches, employers pay particular attention to absences as workers contend with flu season, as well as post-holiday blues and holiday-related illnesses.   

The study identified the main reasons workers call in sick – with minor illnesses like coughs and colds proving the main cause. An average of 33 million days is lost per year due to minor illnesses.   

With Blue Monday on the horizon, the data also found that 12% of the working days lost were due to mental health conditions such as stress, depression, and anxiety – making this 18 million days per year, on average.

On the other end of the scale, an average of 7.4 million days were lost with workers preferring not to give a reason. 

Reason Given For Sickness    Number of Days Lost     (Millions)Percentage of Days Lost  
Minor Illness                  33.0  22.5%  
Musculoskeletal                  24.8  17.2%  
Other                  30.5  20.3%  
Mental Health                  18.0  12.0%  
Gastrointestinal                    8.2  5.7%  
Respiratory                    8.4  5.5%  
Eye / Ear / Nose/    Mouth / Dental                    4.3  3.0%  
Genito-Urinary                    3.2  2.2%  
Heart, Blood Pressure, Circulation                    4.9  3.3%  
Headaches and Migraines                    3.9  2.7%  
No Reason Given                    7.4  5.1%  

The study also found that workers aged between 50 and 64 lose more days at work than any other age group, with an average of 56.3 million total days lost per year. Per worker, this works out to approximately 6.1 lost days annually.    

Interestingly, the 16 to 24 age group have only lost an estimated 10.2 million days per year – which is 65.2% lower than the average. This equals 2.7 days lost per worker each year.  

With regards to gender, women were found to call in sick for 2.6% of their working days a year – which is a 49.4% increase compared to men.        

And some regions are more likely to call in sick than others, the data shows, with workers in the North-East reporting the highest sickness absence rate.   

The region – which covers County Durham, Northumberland, Tyne-and-Wear, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, and Sunderland – loses an average of 5.1 days per worker annually. This equates to approximately 6.2 million days yearly – a 48% increase compared to 2018. 

The East Midlands is second most likely to call in sick, with 4.9 days lost per worker annually. This equates to 11.4 million days lost each year, with the region comprising Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and Rutland.  

Third is Yorkshire and The Humberside with an annual average of 4.8 days lost per worker. This area includes Bradford, Calderdale, Doncaster, Hull, Leeds, North Lincolnshire, Sheffield, Wakefield and York. This equates to a loss of 12.5 million days each year.   

Interestingly, workers in Wales took more days off than any other UK country. Wales loses approximately 5.9 days per worker each year, while Scotland (4.8), England (4.4), and Northern Ireland (4.4) lose considerably less.   

Speaking on the findings, a spokesperson for claims.co.uk said: “Sick days lost from work can have detrimental effects on both workers and the company. For employees, frequent absences due to illness can result in increased stress and workload upon return, negatively impacting their overall job satisfaction and well-being.   

“From the company’s perspective, a reduction in workforce attendance can lead to productivity losses and delayed project timelines. Given the contagious nature of minor illnesses, it’s no wonder they frequently lead to sick leave as they can spread quickly. Many are also left particularly vulnerable when commuting on public transport to work.”   

With that said, the experts offer five strategies to maintain health during winter commutes:  

  • Hand Hygiene: Carry a travel-size hand sanitiser and use it regularly, especially after touching surfaces on public transportation.  
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, which supports overall health and can help alleviate symptoms.  
  • Boost Immunity: Maintain a balanced diet with a focus on fruits, vegetables, and immune-boosting foods.  
  • Layer Clothing: Dress in layers to adjust to temperature changes during your commute, helping to prevent overheating or getting too cold.  
  • Maintain Personal Space: Be mindful of personal space in crowded areas and maintain a safe distance from others to minimise exposure to germs.  
Close-up of a man's shoes walking in snowy street, side view

Signs that Your Footwear Choices are Causing Long Term Damage

Close-up of a man's shoes walking in snowy street, side view

As the temperature bar plummets, many of us will be reaching for a chunky pair of boots to battle the elements.

A well-chosen pair of boots not only brings added warmth and grip but also sacrifices little in terms of style in the pursuit of comfort.

Now, Dr Hana Patel, NHS GP and GP Medico-Legal Expert Witness, has partnered with footwear retailer, schuh, to determine the comfiest pair of boots for your feet.

Considering all aspects of foot health – from heel heights to foot pressure – Dr Hana Patel reveals the boots that are really made for walking.

 

The importance of foot health

Foot health is arguably a much-overlooked aspect of health and can have far-ranging consequences over a person’s life span. In fact, there are 16,900 podiatrists operating in the UK today.

Dr Patel explains: “I think we should all be more aware of what our feet are telling us. Often, foot pressure can be a telltale sign our shoes aren’t right for us. While a normal ‘breaking in’ period is natural, ignoring excessive foot pressure can only worsen things and may lead to long-term complications down the line.

“As we age, our feet change and often broaden. This can lead to the development of foot health issues such as blisters or leg ulcers which can, in more serious cases, lead to falls as well as daily pain.”

“Choosing the correct footwear can combat this and future-proof your feet for decades to come.”

 

How far down the line might people see the impact of wearing uncomfortable shoes?

Correctly fitting footwear should have little to no impact on our general health, and ill-fitting shoes can cause damage to your feet almost immediately – from pins and needles caused by foot constriction to corns, nail problems and arch pain.

Dr Patel continues: “There isn’t much information on the duration of people’s foot problems; however, factors such as job role, working environment, activity levels, and body weight can all exacerbate problems. These should all be considered when buying new footwear.

“One thing that is for sure is that seemingly short-term problems can quickly turn into longer ones if left unaddressed, which can have mental, physical and emotional implications.

 

Do people need to sacrifice style for comfort?

In short, not necessarily. However, some shoe styles carry greater risks than others. High heels, for instance, long admired as an emblem of female style and sophistication, have demonstrably caused discomfort in some wearers when worn for longer durations.

Dr Patel said: “High-heeled shoes may affect how well our muscles work when we walk, and wearers often report that they experience discomfort and muscle fatigue. Long-term high heel use may increase the risk of injuries so it may be best to save for special occasion wear.

“However, with versatile shoes like Dr. Martens for Women, which can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, shoppers can stay fashion-forward while looking after their feet.”

 

The REAL science behind comfortable footwear

It’s certainly true that comfortable shoes have clear health benefits.

Dr Patel further explains the science: “The higher the heel of your shoe, the greater the pressure exerted on the soles of your feet under your toes while reducing the pressure in your big toe and heel.

“Try to limit high heel heights to more sporadic use, and if you are going to wear heels, shorter ‘kitten’ heels and those with a wider toe box will be kinder to your feet.

“A winter boot style, such as Dr. Martens, retains the height benefits of heels while being kinder to your feet. Once broken in, Docs provide generous support that keeps your feet in their correct posture. This can help prevent foot disorders such as plantar fasciitis, aching arches, corns and calluses.

“The same study also found that the material used to make the shoe can also affect how comfortable the wearer felt, especially on areas such as the top of the foot and back of the heel.

“By changing the height of the heel and material used to make the shoe, people can experience different levels of comfort. The quality, durable leather of Dr. Martens should suit here.”

 

Conclusion

So, there we have it, the iconic Dr. Marten remains not only super stylish but also one of the healthiest choices for your feet. Paired with a dress and a killer jacket for the party season or dressed down with baggy jeans for those brisk winter walks, the pair of Dr. Martens boots remains a winning choice for all occasions.

Kidney Disease And Diabetes: Navigating The Dual Challenge

Managing kidney disease alongside diabetes is a critical health challenge. Both conditions, when combined, can lead to a significant impact on an individual’s overall health and quality of life. Hence, understanding the intricate relationship between kidney disease and diabetes is essential for effectively managing and preventing further complications. 

This article sheds light on the dual challenge of kidney disease and diabetes, providing valuable insights and guidance for those facing this double health hurdle.

Understanding Kidney Disease And Diabetes

Kidney disease and diabetes are often interlinked, with diabetes being a leading cause of kidney disease. The kidneys, which are vital organs for filtering waste from the blood, can become damaged over time due to high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes. 

This condition, known as diabetic nephropathy, can progress to chronic kidney disease stage 3, where the kidneys begin to function moderately below normal. It is crucial to recognize this stage early to prevent further progression.

Chronic kidney disease often manifests subtly with symptoms that may be overlooked. These kidney disease symptoms can include fatigue, swelling in the extremities, and changes in urination patterns. Early detection and intervention are key to managing the disease effectively.

Managing Blood Sugar Levels

Effective management of blood sugar levels is paramount in controlling the progression of kidney disease in diabetic patients

Consistent monitoring and maintaining blood glucose within recommended ranges can significantly reduce the risk of kidney damage. Medications and lifestyle modifications play a vital role in this aspect of management.

Lifestyle adjustments, such as a balanced diet and regular physical activity, complement medical treatments. These changes help in stabilizing blood sugar levels and can improve kidney function. 

Individuals need to work closely with their healthcare providers to develop a personalized plan that addresses both diabetes and kidney health.

Diet And Nutrition

Dietary considerations are a cornerstone of managing both kidney disease and diabetes. A diet low in sodium, processed sugars, and unhealthy fats is beneficial for both conditions. In cases of kidney disease, additional dietary restrictions might be necessary to reduce the burden on the kidneys, such as limiting certain proteins and potassium-rich foods.

Nutritionists can provide tailored advice, considering individual dietary needs and preferences. Regular consultations and nutritional assessments ensure that the diet continues to support both kidney and diabetic health, adapting as needed based on the progression of the diseases.

Regular Monitoring And Testing

Regular monitoring and testing are essential in managing the dual challenge of kidney disease and diabetes. This involves routine blood tests to monitor kidney function and blood sugar levels, along with regular check-ups with healthcare providers. These tests help detect any changes early and adjust treatment plans accordingly.

Kidney disease symptoms such as swelling, changes in urination, and fatigue should prompt immediate medical attention. Early intervention can prevent further deterioration of kidney function and help in better managing diabetes.

Medication Management

Medication plays a crucial role in managing both kidney disease and diabetes. For diabetes, medications aim to maintain blood sugar levels within a healthy range. In the case of kidney disease, medications may be required to control blood pressure, reduce protein in urine, and address other related conditions.

It is important for patients to adhere to their medication regimen and communicate with their healthcare providers about any concerns or side effects. Adjustments in medication may be necessary as the diseases progress or as other health issues arise.

Lifestyle Modifications

Adopting a healthy lifestyle is crucial in managing kidney disease and diabetes. Regular physical activity, smoking cessation, and limiting alcohol intake are beneficial. Particularly, exercise helps control blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy weight, and improve overall kidney function.

Stress management is also an important aspect of lifestyle modification. Stress can adversely affect blood sugar levels and overall health. Engaging in activities like yoga, meditation, or any enjoyable hobbies can help reduce stress levels.

Support And Education

Education and support are vital for individuals dealing with kidney disease and diabetes. Understanding the diseases, treatment options, and lifestyle changes is essential for effective management. Additionally, support groups, educational workshops, and counseling can provide valuable assistance and motivation.

Involving family and friends in the educational process can also be beneficial. Their understanding and support can make a significant difference in managing the daily challenges of these conditions.

Takeaway

Navigating the dual challenge of kidney disease and diabetes requires a multifaceted approach, encompassing lifestyle changes, regular monitoring, and effective management of medications. Early detection is crucial for slowing the progression and improving outcomes. 

With the right knowledge, support, and healthcare guidance, individuals can effectively manage these conditions, leading to a better quality of life and overall health.

Emotional Landscape: Depression Faced by Single Mothers and the Healing Power of Counseling

The journey of single motherhood is one of resilience, strength, and unwavering determination. Yet, it’s essential to acknowledge that the path is not without its emotional challenges. Single mothers often grapple with various types of depression, each rooted in the unique circumstances they face. In this article, we explore these emotional nuances and shed light on how counseling can be a beacon of support and healing.

Postpartum Pangs:

For single mothers, the wave of postpartum depression can be particularly daunting. The hormonal roller coaster, coupled with the demands of solo parenting, can lead to a whirlwind of emotions. Counseling during this period can provide a safe space to navigate these feelings, offering coping strategies and emotional support.

Financial Strain Blues:

The weight of financial responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of many single mothers. The constant juggling act between work and childcare can lead to stress-induced depression. Counseling sessions can serve as a platform to explore effective financial management, reduce stress, and foster a positive mindset amid financial challenges.

Loneliness and the Echoing Silence:

Single mothers often grapple with feelings of isolation and loneliness. Without a partner to share the load, the journey can be emotionally taxing. Counseling provides a compassionate space to vocalize these feelings, offering strategies to build a support network and fostering connections to combat social isolation.

On comparing calm vs headspace meditation app features like sleep stories, sound frequencies etc. It demonstrates that practicing mindfulness and exploring these features can lead to positive outcomes by helping us relax and reduce stress. These applications simplify meditation by providing short practice sessions starting from as little as 3 minutes. It’s suggested that individuals curious about meditation explore various techniques initially to discover the approach that fits them best.” 

Stigma and the Battle Within:

Societal stigma surrounding single motherhood can cast a heavy shadow, contributing to feelings of inadequacy and shame. Counseling sessions act as a non-judgmental haven where single mothers can address and overcome these negative perceptions, empowering them to embrace their unique journey with confidence.

The Weight of Overwhelmed Motherhood:

Single mothers often find themselves engulfed in the demands of various roles—caregiver, breadwinner, emotional anchor. The overwhelming nature of these responsibilities can lead to what is colloquially known as “overwhelmed mother syndrome.” Counseling equips mothers with effective coping mechanisms, time-management strategies, and a space to express and process these emotions.

Grieving the Unplanned Change:

Life after divorce or the loss of a partner can usher in a profound sense of grief and loss. Single mothers may find themselves navigating uncharted emotional territory. Counseling becomes a crucial companion, providing a supportive environment to process these emotions, fostering acceptance, and helping rebuild a sense of self.

The Healing Touch of Counseling:

Counseling emerges as a beacon of hope in the emotional landscape of single motherhood. Professional therapists offer a confidential space where mothers can explore their feelings, gain insights into coping mechanisms, and develop strategies to navigate the complexities of their lives. Through regular counseling sessions, single mothers can cultivate resilience, foster self-care practices, and build a foundation for positive mental well-being.

In conclusion, while the journey of single motherhood may be fraught with emotional challenges, it is also marked by strength, love, and the capacity for growth. Counseling stands as a valuable resource, empowering single mothers to navigate the emotional terrain, fostering healing, and allowing them to embrace the full spectrum of their experiences with resilience and optimism.