Relax, Don’t Do It….. To Your Body

In the modern age, it’s challenging to achieve any sort of relaxation. Instead of taking it easy during our evenings, most of us push to get the most out of every moment. We bring work home with us, or even use evenings to socialise or sign up for classes. In short; we’re always on the go, and few of us consider how that can impact our bodies.

Sadly, forever putting our fight or flight impulses to the test can prove a real problem for health. We aren’t programmed to be on the go all the time, and our bodies require relaxation to both function and repair. When you don’t provide that, your health may soon start falling foul to the following.

and breath sign

Feeling a little tense

Tension in the body is bad news, and it’s something which will build the longer you don’t allow yourself to relax. At the very least, tension can form knots and otherwise painful wear and tear which will make even basic tasks painful. And, all this comes about when extreme stress changes the body’s nervous system, causing blood vessels to constrict and reduce the blood flow to all-important soft tissues. Left unchecked, this can be a gateway for lifelong pains. And, it’s something you can relieve by taking the time to chill out.

The harmful hormone buildup

When you’re stressed, your body releases an excess of hormones like cortisol. This is a problem from both a mental and physical standpoint. For one, excesses of cortisol can leave you feeling wired and unable to sleep. In extreme cases, they could even leave you reaching for fast-acting stress relievers such as alcohol to get to sleep, which can cause it’s own damage and could even see you needing to increase stress further with a stint in an alcohol rehab centre. Cortisol also has physical impacts, with high levels linked to high blood pressure and minimal energy. Yet, it’s no surprise that cortisol goes crazy when you’re always on the go. Merely embarking on calming activities like meditation or yoga once a day can balance things out.

Taking its toll on your ticker

Lastly, it’s essential to mention the impact a lack of relaxation can have on your heart. This is vital given that heart health is of utmost importance for long life. The fact is that the flight impulse can soon cause some strain here. At the very least, issues like the high blood pressure which we’ve already mentioned can lead to unnecessary heart risks. Not to mention the sheer amount of pressure you put on your heart by continually pushing yourself. Over time, that pressure could lead to issues such as heart attacks or irregular beats, neither of which you want, and both of which you can avoid by sitting back and closing your eyes sometimes. 

It’s true that finding time to relax isn’t easy nowadays. But, as you can see from the risks you face when you’re forever on the go, it is well worth doing. 


Tips for a Smooth Recovery Following a Surgical Procedure

At certain points in all of our lives, it’s more or less inevitable that we will have to undergo various surgical procedures in order to maintain our health and keep our quality of life optimal.

The specific surgical procedures that you go through at any given point in your life will vary substantially based on your specific circumstances. It may be that you will have your tonsils taken out, or your appendix removed, or that you will book yourself in for a vasectomy, or that you may even require a major organ transplant.

doctors performing surgery

In any event,  recovering from a surgical procedure is rarely what most people would describe as “fun” or “up-lifting.” Instead, the recovery process tends to be at least somewhat painful, boring, irritating, and disheartening, among other things.

But, whether you are looking at a vasectomy recovery process, or a longer-term and weightier procedure and recovery process, there are certain things you can do in order to smooth the way ahead, and make your time spent convalescing as “positive” as possible.

Here are a few tips for a smooth recovery following a surgical procedure.

Be compassionate with yourself, and create as comfortable an environment as possible for the recovery process

If you ended up going to the hospital for your surgical procedure, only to return home shortly afterward to a completely cluttered, chaotic, messy, and inhospitable environment, it stands to reason that your recovery process is going to be unnecessarily difficult and disheartening.

Instead of approaching things in this careless sort of manner, exercise a bit of self compassion and forward planning, to the greatest extent possible, and try to create as comfortable an environment as possible at home, or for that matter in the hospital room if you are going to be spending some time recovering in the hospital itself.

Among other things, this can mean having some creature comforts waiting for you in your overnight bag, tidying up your home before going in for your procedure and stocking the fridge with tasty morsels, stocking up on your DVD or audio book collection in advance, or any number of other things.

Either way, you want to ensure that the environment you’re going to be in during your recovery phase is as comfortable as possible, and contains enough features that can bring a bit of joy, distraction, and pleasure to your life, as you can realistically manage.

patient in bed recovering from surgery

Plan ahead – consult with your specialist, and book enough time off work

Certain procedures – particularly elective procedures – are often packaged as having “no recovery time required” or allowing you to “go straight back to work” the next day. In some cases, this may be true, although in many other cases, you may well find yourself in for a nasty surprise if you have in fact failed to book enough time off work, only to then have to drag your miserable, suffering body into the office and attempt to be productive.

You should plan ahead cautiously, and always err on the side of booking more time off work then you think you’ll likely actually need, for your recovery phase.

You should also consult with your specialist and ask them as many questions as you feel inclined to, regarding the commonly reported experiences of the recovery process, and the potential complications and implications of it. You may, even then, not get an answer that is completely accurate to your own experience – but it’s certainly a place to start.

Recovery is the kind of thing that should happen in a state of more or less complete rest and relaxation – or at least, as close to such a state as you can manage. By trying to juggle too many of your normal everyday responsibilities, while your body is in a weakened state and needs all the resources it can muster to heal, you can directly sabotage the recovery process, and cause it to draw out for significantly longer than it should. You may even contribute to further complications, as a result.

It’s important to note, however, that whatever time you do book off work for the sake of recovery should actually be spent resting and recovering – and shouldn’t be used as a great excuse to do DIY projects around the house, or to go and meet friends in town. Create as much of a peaceful and low-obligation environment and situation for yourself as possible.

Set things up so that there is a light hobby or project you can work on during your recovery, if you feel up to it

While your recovery period should be spent recovering rather than being very active, it may nonetheless be the case that you find the idea of lying around in bed all day, for days at a stretch, extremely boring and stressful.

Feeling emotionally terrible in this way isn’t going to do any favours for your recovery, either. So, in order to offset this potentiality, try to set things up so that there is a light hobby or project you can work on during your recovery period, if you feel up to it. This could be something as simple as listening to lectures on audiobook, drawing some pictures, or cataloguing some stamps for a collection.

The key point is that you should have activities available to you that help to make you feel more engaged and positive, but that don’t cause an excessive amount of exertion, at the same time.

Try to arrange to have family or friends around you on a regular basis, during your recovery period

Longer recovery processes, in particular, can often be quite stressful, and can lead to very difficult feelings of social alienation, if you’re not able to resume your normal everyday life and routines in a hurry.

Of course, though, Regular social interaction with friends and family is essential for proper emotional regulation, and for enjoying a sense of well-being, in general.

Try to arrange to have family or friends around you on a regular basis, during your recovery period. This could mean inviting people over to watch movies with you at your house while you’re still convalescing, or it could even mean inviting someone you’re particularly close with to spend weekends living with you.

However you manage it, having your loved ones around you will certainly help to promote a smoother recovery process.


4 wonderful benefits of eating home grown & organic

We’re all told that we should eat more fruit and vegetables. We’re constantly reminded that we need to cut back on processed and prepackaged foods (and for the sake of budgeting it’s probably a good idea to cut down on the takeaways too). Yet while this is ostensibly good advice, it overlooks a fundamental truth. A lot of the veggies and fruits we see on the supermarket shelves are not as nutritious as they could be. Thankfully under EU regulations genetically modified (GMO) crops are largely kept off British plates although meat eaters may eat animals that have been raised on GMO crops like corn or soybeans. What’s more, this regulation may change after Brexit and result in an influx of genetically modified veggies.

home grown carrots

Nonetheless, the fact remains that many of the fruits and vegetables we see on supermarket shelves are grown for their marketable appearance rather than their nutritional content. They can be treated with harmful pesticides or grown with harsh chemical fertilisers and all these things can have a range of implications for your health. When you switch to home grown and organic veggies, you benefit in a number of big ways…

It can save you money in the long term

Growing your own veggies and fruits may require some initial outlay but even if you don’t have a garden you can still self grow. A window box is enough to grow herbs and some vegetables and if you feel like trying your hand at hydroponic vegetable growing visit Essex Hydro Gardens. A modest setup can see you grow all kinds of veggies for years, thereby saving you money in the long term.

It’s potentially more nutritious

Home grown and organic veggies have the potential to be way more nutritious than their counterparts which are bred for appearance over nutrition. Grown in contaminant free soil and without harmful pesticides, your home grown and organic food will provide much more nutritional content than supermarket produce, saving you money on vitamin supplements which simply aren’t necessary when you eat organic.

What’s more, the longer produce sits on the supermarket shelf, the more its nutritional content starts to dwindle. Growing your own produce allows you to pick it and serve it straight away for maximum freshness and nutritional value.

It’s way better for the environment

Growing your own produce or buying produce from organic farms that use sustainable methods is a more sustainable and responsible consumer choice. It’s a choice that takes money out of the coffers of industrialised farming and votes with your wallet for a more sustainable future. What’s more, growing your own produce is one of the most eco-friendly ways of feeding yourself there is.

It just tastes better

Finally, organic and home grown produce just tastes better. It’s the sensory equivalent of watching a film in 4K UHD as opposed to an old VHS with wonky tracking. Organic foods taste fresher and more vivid whether you eat them raw or use them in recipes. It’s the difference between eating your food and enjoying your food!