Depression is a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness and lack of interest. Unsurprisingly, it can be devastating for the person with the disorder. However, friends and family members may also be impacted. If someone you love is suffering from depression, keep these four things in mind.
1. Don’t take symptoms personally
Depression makes it difficult to connect with people, even loved ones. If a person with depression lashes out at you or says hurtful things, remember that it’s the illness talking.
2. Be a compassionate listener
Many people worry about discussing their depression for fear of stigmatization or being hospitalized. However, talking openly with a non-judgmental listener has been shown to be beneficial.
3. Guide them toward professional help
Encourage your loved one to find a therapist or psychiatrist and consider treatment options like medication. Offer to go with them to the first appointment or help prepare a list of symptoms to discuss with a professional.
4. Don’t try to fix them
Do what you can to guide a person with depression toward the right resources, but remember that it’s not up to you to cure them. Recovery is ultimately their own responsibility. Focus instead on being a positive presence in their life.
Finally, make sure to look after your own health when caring for someone with depression. It may be helpful to talk with a family member, friend or mental health professional about what you’re going through.
5 ways to remember to take your medication
Do you find yourself forgetting to take your medication from time to time? These five tips will help you stay on top of your treatments.
1. Use a pill organizer. This accessory allows you to keep track of what pills you’ve taken and when. Plus, using a pill organizer makes it easier to track medication you only take a few times a week as opposed to daily. Ask your pharmacist for help choosing a model that works for you.
2. Mark a calendar. Prepare an agenda or calendar to track the medications you take every day. If you’re the type who goes out a lot, you can get a small one that’ll fit in your pocket.
3. Set an alarm. Use an alarm on your watch or cellphone to keep track of when you need to take each medication. Cellphones allow you to set multiple recurring alarms so you don’t need to remember to program them every day.
4. Use memory prompts. Store your medications in places where you’ll see them. This will make it easier to remember to take them. For example, you could put morning pills next to the coffee maker and leave your evening pills next to your toothbrush.
5. Download an app. Medisafe and Med Minder are among the many apps specifically designed to help you remember which pills to take and when.
Remembering to take your medications can be difficult but using one or more of the above strategies is bound to help.
A tough pill to swallow? Some tablets can be cut or crushed if you’re having trouble swallowing them. Talk to your pharmacist to know which of your medications can be taken this way.
Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that can result in unusual discharge, itching and pain. It’s caused by a change in the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina, which can be due to bacterial or yeast infections, various irritants or trichomoniasis (a sexually transmitted parasitic infection).
It’s estimated that 75 percent of women will suffer from vaginitis at least once over the course of their lifetime. While the condition is usually easy to treat with over-the-counter medication, you can save yourself the inconvenience by following these prevention tips.
• Good hygiene is key, but avoid strong-scented and antibacterial soaps. Make sure to dry your outer genital area well, as excess moisture can cause fungal infections.
• Avoid products like vaginal douches, bubble baths, scented pads and tampons and deodorants. These can cause irritation and throw off the normal balance of bacteria in your vagina.
• Opt for white cotton underwear. Synthetic dyes and fibers can cause irritation.
• Don’t wear overly tight pants. Tight garments can increase moisture and yeast thrives in damp environments.
• Don’t wait too long to remove a wet swimsuit after using the pool.
• Avoid spreading fecal bacteria to your vagina by wiping from front to back after using the toilet.
In addition to the above, using latex condoms is a good way to prevent trichomoniasis and other sexually transmitted infections that can lead to vaginitis.
How to get back into running
Even the most avid runner takes a break now and then. However, it can be challenging to get back into the habit if you haven’t run for an extended period of time. Here’s how to hit your stride again, no matter how long it’s been.
After a prolonged break, your body will become deconditioned. Be sure to start with slow, short runs and gradually work your way back up to your previous abilities.
Engaging in other types of exercise will increase your endurance and strength and make running easier. Swimming, cycling, lifting weights and yoga are all great ways to rebuild your muscles and get back into shape.
If you need help motivating yourself to keep running, consider joining a running group or signing up for a short race. Either or both of these things will encourage you to keep going.
Rhubarb has a surprising number of health benefits. Here’s why you should grab some the next time you go grocery shopping, even if you’re not planning on baking a pie.
It’s rich in antioxidants
Cooked rhubarb is packed with antioxidants. In fact, it has many of the same beneficial compounds as kale does. Its red color is caused by the presence of lycopene and anthocyanin, both of which can help prevent heart disease and some cancers.
It keeps your bones healthy
It keeps you regular
The high fiber content of rhubarb stalks can help reduce gas and bloating and make your bathroom trips a bit more comfortable. Another benefit of dietary fiber is that it can lower cholesterol levels, although a cup of rhubarb only provides nine per cent of your recommended daily intake.
As a bonus, rhubarb is mostly water, so it’s a good choice for calorie-counting diners.
What is the paleo diet?
The paleo diet dates back to a 1985 medical paper defending the idea that modern dietary habits are less healthy and less natural than those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. However, the diet only became the full-on fad it is today after the book The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain was published in 2002.
A paleo diet emphasizes foods that would have been available before the development of agriculture, such as lean meats, fish, nuts and vegetables. Anything relying on agriculture is eliminated from the diet. This includes dairy, cereals, legumes and sugary foods.
Proponents of the paleo diet tout that it improves intellectual and athletic performance and promotes weight loss. It’s also believed to help individuals gain muscle mass, reduce fatigue, stave off digestive irregularities and prevent conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.
Despite these claims, however, the health benefits of the diet haven’t been strongly established. Additionally, while eating more vegetables and cutting out processed foods and sugar is definitely a good idea, there are risks associated with the diet.
For starters, eliminating entire food groups can lead to nutritional deficiencies. More¬over, the diet is high in red meat. Heavy consumption of red meat has been associated with increased risks of digestive cancers, heart disease and stroke. In addition, while fish is a healthy source of protein, varieties like tuna and northern pike may contain high amounts of mercury, which is toxic.
In sum, while the paleo diet offers some benefits, following it also comes with a fair amount of risk. If you’re interested in changing your diet, be sure to consult with a health care professional to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
Hot or cold: what to wear when running
When the weather is temperate, deciding what to wear for a run is fairly straightforward. But how should you dress under more extreme conditions? Here are some guidelines.
Hot weather running
When it’s hot, the fewer layers you have on the better. Choose clothes that are made of synthetic, moisture-wicking materials that’ll keep you cooler than natural fibers like cotton. In addition, it’s best to select loose fitting, light-colored apparel.
During the summer, some women are comfortable running in just a sports bra or crop top and some men forgo shirts altogether. If you prefer to cover up, choose a tank top instead of a T-shirt.
In extremely hot weather, it’s best to avoid being active when the sun is at its strongest. Opt to run in the morning or at night instead.
Cold weather running
In cold weather, it’s better to be a little chilly and dry than overly hot and sweaty. Dress in layers that you can remove if you get hot.
Wear running pants or tights and a long-sleeved top made of a moisture-wicking material. Cover your ears with a headband and your hands with lightweight wool gloves. If necessary, put on a fleece sweater or vest. On windy or wet days, wear a waterproof windbreaker.
No matter when you’re running, remember to protect yourself from the sun. Wear a hat or visor and a pair of sunglasses. Never neglect to wear sunscreen, even if it’s cloudy.