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8 Effective Methods for Combating Seasonal Depression

8 Effective Methods for Combating Seasonal Depression

It’s coming up to the time of year where the weather starts to get rainy and windy, the days are getting darker and shorter and the atmosphere is less happy than it was in the summer. Seasonal depression is very common and it definitely isn’t something to be ashamed of, around 6% of people suffer from seasonal depression from mild cases to extreme. Some of the most common symptoms of seasonal depression are feeling depresses, having a lack of energy, losing interest in things you previously enjoyed and a change in your sleeping and eating patterns. If this sounds like something you suffer from then keep reading to find some great methods to help combat it this year.

Should I talk to a doctor?

As seasonal depression is a seasonal thing, many people don’t think that they need professional help as they don’t see it as real depression, but it very much is so. By speaking to your doctor you’ll be able to get a diagnosis, this is usually done by answering some general questions about you, your thoughts and your lifestyle. Once you have a diagnosis your doctor will be aware of your condition and be able to offer you support.

Should I prepare in advance?

Preparing in advance is a great idea, if you know that you’re likely to suffer from seasonal depression, one of the best ways to combat it is by being aware of it and starting to take action in the autumn. If you continue to take part in activities that you enjoy during the autumn then you’ll be setting yourself up nicely to carry this over into the winter months too. It is much easier to try and carry-on doing activities you enjoy than starting over once seasonal depression sinks in.

Is exercise as effective as people claim?

Yes! Exercise is one of the highest rated methods for combatting seasonal depression. When you exercise your body releases a lot of endorphins, these make you feel good. If you’ve ever heard of runners high, this is a real thing that it caused by your body releasing hormones. On top of this, it gives you goals, whether you climb and want to break a grade barrier or if you run or cycle and want to improve your time or distance, having something to work towards will keep you motivated and feeling happier.

Is it ok to take anti-depressants?

Luckily, we are now living in a time where most of the stigma associated with mental health no longer exists. So many people suffer from various mental health conditions that it is more common than ever for people to take anti-depressants. There is nothing shameful about taking anti-depressants, it is no different to taking anti-biotics to fix a physical health problem. A psychologist will be able to speak to you and prescribe you the right medicine with the right dosage. Or you can try over the counter anti-depressants such as St Johns Wort of 5-htp.

What is CBD and does it help?

CBD is one of the active ingredients in cannabis, but tch is the ingredient that causes psychoactive affects. CBD is known to reduce levels of anxiety and depression and it has become a very popular at home treatment for dealing with mental health issues. It comes in several forms from CBD vapes, to oil to gummies. If this is something that interests you we would recommend the gummies as it is easier to control your dose and there will definitely be a great place to buy CBD gummies online.

Is light therapy effective?

Light therapy is a newer form of therapy being tested to try and combat seasonal depression, so far studies have shown that it has been really effective in some people but made little to no difference in others. If you’re wanting to try it the best thing to do is buy a dawn simulator, they’re alarm clocks that gradually produce light to mimic the rising of the sun in the morning. More research is needed on these but this type of therapy has worked best for those with only mild symptoms of seasonal depression.

Is aromatherapy effective?

If light therapy hasn’t worked for you then another at home therapy to try is aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses essential oils as they have therapeutic purposes which some studies have shown lessen symptoms of seasonal depression. This is because the oils are said to influence the areas of your brain that control things like your mood, sleep and appetite, all common symptoms of seasonal depression. Again, this is another therapy that works really well for some people and not at all for others so it will be a case of trial and error to see what helps you most.

Should I stop drinking?

Many people increase how much alcohol they consume during winter due to this increased feeling of sadness and anxiety. However, this is one of the worst things that you can do if you’re suffering from seasonal depression. Alcohol as a substance is a depressant, so although it may make you feel better whilst your drunk, when you wake up the next morning it will leave you feeling much worse. Try to stick to the recommended daily limit of how much alcohol you should consume to prevent slipping deeper into seasonal depression.


How to Gain or Lose Weight without Resorting to Extremes

Many people are unhappy with their weight, whether they want to lose or gain most people want to make changes. Many people want to lose or gain weight because they’re unhappy with their appearance, whether they think they have too much fat and want to lose some weight or if they think they’re too skinny and want to gain weight and muscle a lot of people want to look different. Some people want to lose weight because having excess weight is related to an increased risk of many health problems including high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure. Many people want to gain weight not just for what they look like but because being underweight also has many negative effects on your health including malnutrition, fertility issues, and decreased immune functions. If people are unhappy with the way, they look then this can cause mental health problems, and be underweight or obese can cause physical health problems so it’s important to try and stay at a healthy weight. As people are aware of this, there have been various fad diets and fake products over the years that claim to promote weight loss or weight gain and either don’t work or do more harm than good. If you’re wanting to gain or lose weight you should avoid these extremes and instead follow the simple tips, we’ve laid out for you here. 

 

Set Goals

If you struggle with consistency then setting goals will be one of the best things that you can do to help yourself on your weight loss/gain journey. However, you need to make sure that you’re setting yourself reasonable goals. You should take everything either a couple of weeks or a month at a time and really sit down and think about where you want to be a month from now, think about what you can do to get there, and make sure that you do it. If you aim too high and set yourself ridiculous goals then you will become disheartened and you’ll be more likely to give up. Losing or gaining weight doesn’t happen overnight, like many things it is a marathon, not a sprint so set realistic goals and be proud of your achievements each month. Many diets and products will have adverts saying that you can gain 10 pounds in 2 weeks, most of the time this isn’t true but in the cases that it is even though it may help you lose 10 pounds, the weight won’t stay off. Losing and gaining weight is all about consistency so ditch the products, make yourself a plan, and stick to it.  

 

Healthy Meals

You might have heard the saying that a six-pack is made in the kitchen, not the gym, this is something that surprises many people as they solely focus on exercise when trying to lose or gain weight when the food you’re eating is just as important. You could spend hours at the gym every day to try and lose weight but if you come home and eat too much then you’ll never see any changes as you can’t outrun a bad diet. Luckily, you don’t have to go to the extremes of tracking every calorie that you consume and weighing out your food but it would help to know what foods you should be eating and what a healthy diet looks like. You should try to include all the food groups into your meals and every meal should have protein, carbohydrates, and fat in it as this is a balanced diet and will help you to achieve your goals. One of the easiest and most popular healthy meals is chicken, rice, and veg as this has everything you need. If you’re vegetarian it can often be harder to get enough protein as you can’t get it from meat but you can try substitutes like leanbean, chickpeas, or black beans. If you’re trying to gain weight then you need to be eating more calories than you’re burning off in the gym and if you’re trying to lose weight you need to be eating fewer calories than you’re burning, keep this in mind when figuring out your goals. 

 

Find a Friend

If you have similar goals to any of your friends, family, or your partner then one of the best things you can do is ask them to make a plan with you, and both stick to it. This is great for many reasons, firstly some people feel nervous when they’re a newbie at the gym, so having someone to go with will make this experience much less intimidating as you can figure out what you’re doing together. It also adds a sense of accountability, if you go to the gym alone and you wake up and decide you don’t want to go chances are you won’t, but if you’re meeting someone there, you’re much more likely to turn up as you’d be letting them down too. Finally, doing things with people you love makes them much more fun so it will make the experience much more fun making you much more likely to go consistently. 

 

Plan Ahead

No one wants to give up their social life to reach their goals and we recommend against this as even when you have a plan you should still enjoy yourself and go out for food and drinks with friends. If you know that you have events coming up where you’re likely to eat much more than you usually would, this is fine as you can make a few changes in the week leading up to it so that it won’t hinder your progress. If you’re going out on a Saturday night then you can ‘save’ up your calories from the week, by eating a couple hundred less each day then you’ll have saved enough calories to have a delicious meal on a Saturday. You can also schedule additional workouts to burn some extra calories around busy times in your social life 

How Video Games Can be Good for your Health

Playing video games is one of the most popular activities that both children and adults enjoy in their free time and it is the most popular part of the entertainment industry. Playing video games has become an important part of many people’s lives and because of this there is a massive section of the internet dedicated to video games from valorant hacks to how to unlock all the characters in Mario Kart there is discussions for every game online. Many parents worry about their child’s health when their child plays video games and many adult gamers worry for themselves. It is not widely known, but video games aren’t all bad, they can actually be great for your health. 

 

Can Improve Manual Dexterity

It makes sense that playing video games would result in an improvement in your manual dexterity as gaming requires you to use your hands without looking and it required accuracy. A study on a group of surgeons found that the surgeons who were frequent video game players were much quicker at performing surgeries than their colleagues who didn’t play video games. Not only were their surgeries faster, but they were also 37% more accurate and it is likely this is due to all the time they spent playing video games. 

 

Increase Grey Matter

Grey matter is one of the most important chemicals inside the human brain. Grey matter is associated with many important things like your body’s muscle control, your memory, and your perception. It has been found that video games act as a workout for your brain and if you play regularly it is possible they will increase the amount of grey matter in your brain. This is great for boosting your brain connectivity and will help anything else that grey matter is associated with. 

 

Social Skills

One of the most incorrect stereotypes is that those who frequently play video games are socially awkward. Those who play video games are usually some of the most social individuals and don’t fit into that stereotype at all. Gaming is a very social thing and studies have shown that those who have played video games from childhood often have better social skills, closer relationships, and even perform better academically than those who don’t.  

 

 

Physical Health

As gaming keeps on developing, one great way in which video games can improve your health is by playing games that have a physical aspect to them. Gaming is no longer just played from the couch and this is going to become even more physical when VR is developed further. One of the most popular games that got people outside and moving was Pokémon Go, which required players to go outside and walk around. They had to discover their real-world to play in the virtual world and as there are so many hardcore Pokémon fans millions of people spent the summer exploring outside to try and complete the Pokedex.  

 

Mental Health

Video games are also a great way to improve your mental health and when many people are having a hard time or a difficult day, they use video games as an escape. If people enjoy video games, then by playing video games their mood can be instantly boosted and there has even been a correlation between video games and better heart rhythms which indicates that video games relieve stress. It is widely believed that video games can reduce stress which has led to video games being used as a form of therapy. 

The Doctors Guide to Finally Quit Smoking

Taking the necessary steps to quit smoking and start leading a healthier lifestyle can be very hard, dealing with your nicotine addiction and tacking those pesky cravings may be something that takes a lot of time but is definitely worth it if it means that you can prolong your life and reserve more time to be spent with your loved ones. There are a variety of ways that you can help make the process of quitting smoking easier so I would highly recommend that you do some research into the best cigarette replacement products on the market.  

Nicotine Gum and Other Tobacco Replacement Products

One of the most effective ways to quit smoking would be to replace your cigarettes with a  product that is designed to help satisfy your craving to stop you from turning to smoking. There are a number of different ways to take these kinds of products including chewing gum, patches, small vapor inhalers so you can be sure to find something to suit your needs and preference. Some people say that these products completely satisfy any cigarette cravings and help to quit smoking altogether. If these products are not enough especially when you first start trying to quit then you may want to increase the products nicotine strength until it starts to get easier or look at an alternative method, as you progress and your cravings start to die down it would be a good idea to keep a hold of some of these products in case of a craving returns in the future.  

Vaping and Electronic Cigarettes

 If you feel that the commercial smoking replacement products are not going to be enough to satisfy your nicotine cravings and help you quit smoking then it may be a good idea to invest in an E-cigarette. The great thing about quitting smoking is that you can tailor the products you use to the way you feel at a given time, at times where your cravings are heightened you can use the stronger vaping products, and in times where they are more subtle you could use a product that is not as strong to help ease you off nicotine eventually for good. Vaping is considered to be much less harmful than normal cigarettes due to the fact that many of the E liquids that are available contain less harmful chemicals.  

E-cigarettes work by taking nicotine-infused liquid and vaporizing it for inhalation, make no mistake that these products are still very addictive and can damage the body. The main benefit of using E-cigarettes to vape is that you are reducing the damage that is being caused to your body. If you are in the market for a new electronic cigarette then you will be glad to know that there are many models to choose from. The newest and most popular release would be the pod vapes that feature many flavours and the replacement pods for vuse alto are actually very affordable. 

Dealing With Cravings Naturally

Using a huge amount of chemical-filled products to help you quit smoking is not for everyone, some people prefer to use natural tactics to help them ease off of cigarettes without having to use other nicotine substitutions. Keeping yourself distracted is a great way to keep your mind off smoking and ensure that you do not crack and start again, and other people have said that drinking a nice hot cup of tea or coffee during the time of craving is very effective at easing the effect and distracting yourself.  

 

What to do if You Fail

In the unfortunate event that you find yourself smoking again for whatever reason, it is important not to feel defeated. Just because you have given in to your cravings in a single moment doesn’t mean that your hard work has been wasted. When you feel ready you should attempt to quit again and use the motivation to not relapse once more to help fuel you, if you are still struggling with this then I would urge you to switch up the products that you are using to help you or increase the nicotine strength during the period that you are feeling susceptible to your cravings.  

What is a Pharmacist and How do you Become One

Pharmacists are some of the most important people in our society as by doing their jobs they keep their local communities and all of wider society safe. There are many important roles within the medical field, all of which are difficult to get a career in as it depends on a lot of motivation and intelligence and a pharmacist is one of the most important. Thousands of people visit their pharmacists every single day for various different reasons, but many people aren’t aware of the extent of their job responsibilities or how difficult it is to get a job as a pharmacist.  

What is a pharmacist?

pharmacist’s main responsibility is to be a health advisor. Their jobs are based on providing patients with the best care and advice that they possibly can. Like other professionals in the medical field, they are well trained in medicine and have a lot of medical expertise. To be successful as a pharmacist you need to be skilled and undergo a lot of training to ensure you properly dispense medicine to those who are ill and correctly identify any illnesses. As it can be so difficult to get an appointment with your GP pharmacists, many, have become the preliminary person to consult for any issues they’re experiencing. There are now online pharmacists too for those who need medicine but have accessibility problems, this is a great place to find legal steroids online as well as any other medicine you may need. Pharmacists are so important that they are now celebrated on their own specific day, the first world pharmacist day was held in Turkey back in 2009 to show pharmacists the appreciation we have for them. 

Pharmacists work in several different environments which is why they have so many different roles and responsibilities. Their main work environments are local community pharmacies, in the pharmaceutical industry in sales and in places such as prisons, the military, and teaching in universities. Based on all these different work environments pharmacists have a lot of responsibilities, the most important ones are: checking the quality of any medicines they’re supplying to patients and ensuring that they are legal and the correct medicine for the purpose. They also must be able to advise patients about all the available treatments, how to take them, and have the knowledge to answer any questions that patients may have.  

What education do you need to become a pharmacist?

Becoming a pharmacist is a very long journey that takes years of studying and hard work to achieve. Many people think that they want to become a pharmacist but it requires so much motivation and time that lots of pharmacy students drop out very early on as it is too demanding. Most pharmacists start to excel and stand out whilst they’re still in high school, they achieve high grades in every subject as they can balance a heavy workload but they tend to do particularly well in subjects like biology. By achieving high grades at high school puts you on the right path to start your pharmacist training as it will allow you to get onto a great course. 

You’ll have to complete a degree as the next step in becoming a pharmacist. There are 2 ways that you can do this, you can go straight from high school to doing a dual degree program. This will be a subject like biology in which you’ll earn a bachelor’s degree and you’ll study for your PharmD alongside this, this type, of course, takes 5-6 years. The other option is to complete a bachelor’s degree in a related subject which takes 3 or 4 years and then you can apply for doctorate-level training in pharmacology. If you’re going down the 2nd route, the doctorate level has tough standards for admissions so any experience you can get whilst complete your bachelor will massively increase your chances.  

Once you’ve decided which route you want to go down you’ll have to start preparing for the pharmacy college admission test, every pharmacy school’s test will differ slightly in how difficult it is, but none of them are easy. There are several sections to prepare for including multiple-choice questions and essay-style questions. 

What to do after completing your degree?

After those long 7 years, it may seem like the hardest part if the journey is over but there’s still 1 more difficult step. As the job of a pharmacist is so important there are additional exams you’re required to take once completing your degree to become fully qualified. There are 2 exams that you’ll have to pass, these are the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam. Once you’ve completed these exams then in most states you’ll be able to apply for your license and will finally be a pharmacist. In some states, there are additional things that are required like a background check, proof of internship, and additional tests and training. 

Should you become a pharmacist?

After reading this article you’ll realize how difficult it is to become a pharmacist. However, if it’s something you’re passionate about and willing to put the work in for then there’s no reason why you couldn’t become a pharmacist. It’s a very rewarding career and as long as you follow these steps you’re bound to be a success. 

7 Great Ways to Help you Quit Smoking

A habit many want to kick, smoking is not only expensive but is known to cause lung, throat, mouth, and other kinds of cancers. But quitting is hard, with the daily stress and the craving for nicotine the first thing seasoned smokers reach for is cigarettes. However, there are numerous products on the market designed for helping people to quit the habit for good.

E-Cigs and Vapes

There are many options regarding e-cigs and vapes available. The favored of the two seem to be the vapes that come with a variety of flavored oils and liquids that are fairly cheap to get and last a while. Also available are CBD vapes, and CBD oil is known to have many health benefits, helping with joint pain and can reduce anxiety and depression. For a device that lasts a while, choosing a good CBD vape pen is essential and research is a good way to find out what works for you.

Nicotine Gum

The idea of nicotine gum is to have a piece whenever a craving hits. There are different levels of nicotine in the gum so you can start with a higher dosage and wean yourself to a lower one over time. They are also good for those at work as certain brands aren’t designed to be chewed for prolonged periods, instead, they are chewed to break the shell and then the gum is pressed against the back of the mouth to absorb the nicotine over time.

Nicotine Patches

Like gum, nicotine patches are easy to find and are designed to release nicotine into your system over a period of time. You can also pair patches with gums or other products such as sprays and lozenges to help with cravings. They come in doses of up to 24 hours and one can be worn immediately after removing another, meaning you are always getting your nicotine dose.

Hypnotherapy

While an expensive option, many reports that hypnotherapy has completely gotten rid of all cravings for cigarettes after a session or two. However, it is important to note that many believe hypnotherapy doesn’t work as some people are susceptible to it while others aren’t. While not an option for everyone, it’s certainly one to consider.

Apps and Support Groups

Often, people struggle to quit smoking because they don’t have a support bubble, as an ex-smoker myself, I know the struggle when people don’t believe you can do it, or when friends and family are offering you cigarettes regularly. However, apps and support groups are available to those who need them, with like-minded people to help you on your journey. Such Apps include Quitters Circle and TXTSmokefree.

Prescription Medication

There is medication available that reduces cravings, however many of them work as medications for other ailments therefore doctors are hesitant to give them out for the purposes of quitting smoking. It may be worth asking your GP about regardless as you may be able to get them if you meet the requirements. Chantix is a prescription medication designed specifically to help you quit smoking and isn’t used for anything but that.

Cold Turkey

No, I don’t mean the bird. Going cold turkey one day and stopping smoking without the aids of other things is the way many people choose to quit. From personal experience, I stopped having regular cravings after 2 weeks of going cold turkey and while I do occasionally want to smoke, the cravings aren’t as bad as they used to be and easily ignored. Of course, this method isn’t for everyone and it’s important to do what works for you.

How British Columbia is Battling Increased Mental Health Issues

It is said that British Columbia is one of the most affected areas of Canada when it comes to mental health issues, through many recent societal changes it is great to see that the community is coming together in many different ways to help increase the amount of support on offer for mental health sufferers. Many people who suffer from mental health problems find that the lack of advertisement for the support systems in place causes them to put off going, for someone who suffers from a condition like this sometimes the only way to get help is to have it clearly shown that there is a way to find treatment and advice that could make all the difference.

 

Increased Resources

One of the biggest reasons that there was a lack of resources in regards to providing high-quality mental health support, treatment, and therapy would have to be the lack of resources and funding that was being provided. The people in the local community decided that it was time to make a change with an appeal to the government for extra support and resources, as well as this campaign which received over twenty thousand signatures. We have seen a huge increase in the number of charity events which have contributed significantly to the increase in funding.

Now that resources are not an issue we should start to see a huge drive in the number of campaigns there are spreading awareness of the support that is in place. It is nice to see that so many people are showing their compassionate sides and taking time out of their day to help this amazing cause. Mental health is an issue that is so commonly faced by many people all over the world, it is not something that will go away if you ignore it which is what our government has arguably tried to do. Now that so many members of the community have stood up for themselves and demanded extra support from our government we have shown that a lack of support is not something that our community is going to put up with.

 

Funding and Charity Work

Thanks to the hard work of so many members of our community each taking part in or coming up with their own innovative ways to raise money the funding is now available to offer the very best of support to those who face mental health issues. Beforehand we saw many of the charity organizations we had in place fail and break down due to the simple fact that they were not receiving enough donations, however, the generosity of the public has saved the organizations we do have left by splitting the total amount of money raised between five of the charities that were in the most trouble.

Now that funding is no longer an issue we have seen a significant turn around in the appearance and the quality of service that is now offered by our charities; their buildings have also received an upgrade so that the best environment can be created with a calm atmosphere suitable for therapy sessions. For so long those who sadly suffer from issues of this nature found themselves secluded from the public with nowhere to go where they can talk about their issues.

 

New Treatments And The Legalisation of Cannabis in Canada

Another way that Canada has begun to battle increased mental health issues would have to be the recent legalization of both recreational and medical cannabis use, now that cannabis is safe, regulated, and accessible we can look to see how this versatile drug could impact a person who suffers from mental health issues. THC and its relaxing properties on both the body and mind have been scientifically proven to relieve and reduce panic and anxiety attacks. If you are yet to find a treatment that works for you in this area then I would urge you to at least do some research or speak to a medical professional about the possibilities of using THC to help make your life a little easier. Of course, you should be of legal age and in a legal state, and if you are unsure, I would start using this drug in very small amounts to test the waters and see if it could work within your lifestyle.

There is no harm in trying something new and you shouldn’t let the reputation of using this substance deter you from giving it a go as a means to help relieve anxiety and symptoms of mental health issues. If you are interested in finding a specific strain of cannabis that has an effect that will help anxiety then you should check out your local retailer or topshelfbc in British Columbia, where you can speak to a professional about personalized strains and how to get started in using medical marijuana,