Healthy Living

Work and the Flu – What Should You Do?

After weeks of widespread activity, it looks like we’re finally seeing a light at the end of the influenza tunnel. The CDC now says the flu season has peaked for the year. But it’s still not time to sound the all clear. Flu activity remains high in 21 states, with 15 states reporting moderate levels of the flu.

Work and the Flu – What Should You Do?
Germs at work (image)

So, even though it looks like the worst is over, it’s not time to let your guard down, especially for the nation’s businesses. Sick employees remain a major concern this time of year.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu can be a significant burden for businesses. In a typical year, in between employee sick days and lost productivity, the estimated cost of the flu is a staggering $7 billion.

Maintaining a healthier workforce can lower direct costs such as insurance premiums and worker’s compensation claims. It will also positively impact many indirect costs such as absenteeism and worker productivity.

You can also take precautions to avoid getting infected as you make your way to the office. For starters, don’t be a contagious commuter. If you use public transportation, frequently-touched surfaces can harbor the flu virus, like handrails, grab handles and straps.  After touching these areas, avoid touching your face, eyes, or nose to prevent infection. For car commuters, the gas station is laden with risks. The buttons on the ATM machine and gas pump handles are particularly germy. So play it safe and wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after you touch any contaminated objects.

Once you’ve dodged the influenza virus on the way to the office, make sure to keep up the good work at the workplace. Personal steps you can take include disinfecting commonly shared areas –for example, if you share a desk, a tablet or a phone, wipe them down with sanitizer.  If you shake hands with someone, wash your hands immediately afterwards. And if a co-worker in your office is coughing or sneezing, steer clear!  Better yet, encourage your fellow employee to take a sick day to prevent spreading the illness to others.

Employers can also do their part to foster a healthy workplace by providing employees with hand sanitizer and tissues, and having the cleaning crews regularly wipe down commonly shared surfaces.

BUT – as mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series — do your office a favor this flu season – if you think you’re getting sick, stay at home!

Of course, the best way to be a team player this flu season is to get the flu shot – it’s the single, most effective way to avoid getting sick.  Families Fighting Flu wants to remind the public that the flu is a serious illness, and if the sobering news headlines spotlighting the extent of influenza-related deaths this season were not enough to make you take precautions, you’ll want to check out the video below for more reasons on why it’s critical to get vaccinated, even this late in the season.

A few fast flu facts….

Did you know that influenza virus can remain on surfaces for up to 48 hours? And did you know that people can remain infectious for 5 to 7 days after getting sick? In fact, you can spread the flu virus 1 day before you even start to feel sick.

So, if you do get the flu, take one for the team and do the right thing by staying home until at least 24-hours after your fever ends. To learn more about flu and how to protect yourself and your co-workers, visit www.familiesfightingflu.org.

Healthy Living

Serious Questions To Ask Yourself When Your Life Is Stuck In A Rut

Is this you today? (image)

No matter how busy our lives, we can all get stuck in a rut sometimes. You probably know the feeling yourself. For example, have you ever…

– Thought back to how life used to be, with all your hopes and dreams. And then realized your life hasn’t quite shaped up the way you wanted it to.

– Realized today was the same as yesterday, which was the same as the day before, and so on and so on. It’s like Groundhog Day but without the comedy.

– Done something that doesn’t particularly interest you, but hey, anything is better than spending the day doing the exact same thing you did yesterday.

– Lived on autopilot… you wake up, brush your teeth, get the kids to school, do the chores, watch tv, make dinner… ad infinitum… and then realized you just can’t take this anymore. Surely life has to be more exciting than this?

– Stared out of the window, decided your neighbours have a far more exciting life than yourself – look, there goes Mrs. Jones again after another weekend jet-setting – and wished you could have a piece of what they are having!

– Looked at your weekly planner and realised there is absolutely nothing on it at all that makes you feel excited or passionate. And the same goes for the next week, and the next…meh!

If you have ever been through any of those feelings, then yes, your life is probably stuck in a rut. That’s nothing to feel guilty about, however. You are living a life that many of us lead; unlike Mrs Jones and her jet setting lifestyle, which, let’s be honest, is out of the realms of possibility for most of us. Life trundles along, but it doesn’t mean we are unhappy. We get to that point of ‘this is where we are supposed to be,’ or ‘this is how my life has ended up.’ You feel stuck, but you almost resign yourself to that fact. Such is life.

Of course, if you aren’t happy, or you are sure there must be something else out there for you, then there are ways to get out of the hole you have fallen into. If you are tired of being stuck in a rut and are unsure what to do, ask yourself the following questions. They may just help you find your passion again.

  1. What makes you happy?

Look at areas of your life right now. Which things make you feel the happiest? Chances are, you will come up with answers familiar to many of us – family, work, faith, friendships, your home – but list the items that take priority for you. Be thankful for those things, even if elements of them have become routine. Sometimes being stuck in a rut is a state of mind, and when we

practice gratitude for what we do hold dear in life, we may not feel so bad after all.

  1. What were your childhood dreams?
Dreaming of a life outside the fence (image)

Life may not be how you imagined it to be, so go back to your childhood dreams. Where did you see your life heading? What could you imagine yourself doing? Chances are, some of these will be a tad fantastical – your dreams of flying to Mars or owning a mansion may be a little out of the realms of possibility – but there may be ideas you had that could actually be within your grasp. Think about them, and consider how you could make some of those dreams come true.

  1. What skills do you possess?

We all have skills, yet many of them go unfulfilled because we don’t get the chance to use them. On the other hand, some of those skills will get used, but they may not be in the things we enjoy doing. So consider what you are good at and look at where you could use them in a pursuit that you will enjoy. Perhaps you could follow a new passion – Good at writing? Start that novel you have always been meaning to write. Enjoy baking? Perhaps start your own business. There are many avenues where your skills could be used, so list them and think about the possibilities.

  1. What is holding you back in life?

You may have ideas, but your life may be full of things that are keeping you stuck in that rut. Some of these things will be inevitable, and you may have to wait awhile before you can spread your wings a little more. For example, if you have a young family, you will have to prioritise some of your time. You might also have a full-time job that you need to keep going to bring the money in. Still, they don’t have to restrict your entire life. Get a childminder once in a while and find time in the week to do things that don’t always revolve around your children. Look for other work if your current job is taking you nowhere. Study at home with an online course in something that can improve your future; an msw degree for example. You may have commitments in your day-to-day life, but they shouldn’t restrict your entire life.

  1. Are you holding yourself back?

Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy. “Oh, I couldn’t possibly do that, I’m not good enough,” you might say, or “I would do that but I have this to do and that to do and blah blah blah.” Often, we formulate excuses in our head that are limiting our life. When stuck in a rut, we can become too comfortable in that position, even though we hate it. The idea of doing something else causes us feelings of doubt and fear. We may have become lazy within our routine and trying to improve matters may be more effort than we are willing to put in. You might want to follow your dreams, but other people may have put negative thoughts in your head that have caused you to stop fighting for what you really want. You could do something else, but your unhelpful thinking tells you otherwise. So sort your head out, ask for help if you need confidence, don’t listen to the negative patter of others, know that you are better than you think, and move forwards.

  1. Where do you want to be in the next five years?
Think outside of the box (image)

We could have asked you where you want to be tomorrow, but if it involves making life-changing decisions, you should probably think about the longer term. So figure out what you want your life to look like in several years time. Do you want to feel the way you do now? If not, what can be changed? Write down your hopes for the future, and include those things that are realistic to achieve. Perhaps you want a change in your career. You may want a bigger friendship group. Maybe you want to move out of your home. Then include things that seem unrealistic, but you wish could happen anyway. In both cases, work out what you could do to make those things happen. If you have a faith, pray that your hopes come true. Talk to others and see if they can help you achieve what you want. If you really don’t want to be in the same place five years from now, take those steps to better your life chances.

  1. How many days/weeks/months/years are you off from old age?

It’s time for a dose of reality. When we say old age, it is subjective, but for the sake of argument, let’s say 90 years old. Life is short, and you will be old before you know it. When you get to that age, will you look back on your life and feel proud and content? Will you have achieved all that you set out to do? Have you left a legacy for others to follow? Or will you, at the age of 90, still be in exactly the same place you are today, except with a few more wrinkle lines. Old age is a hard pill to swallow (and you will probably be swallowing a few hard pills when you get to old age), and you don’t want to look back with any regrets. “I could have done this” or “I should have tried harder” are some of the things you may say to yourself. So consider your life, and make every effort not to waste another moment, whatever that means for you.

Final word

If you are happy with where you are, then that’s completely fine. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. On the other hand, if any of what we said has resonated with you, and you are stuck in a rut you want to get out of, now is the time to start thinking about a change. There are people out there to help you, from counselling professionals to your friends and family, so seek advice and assistance where you need it. In short, what we are saying is this. Start thinking about your life today to give you a brighter tomorrow. You only have one life, and it would be a shame if you didn’t grasp a few of the possibilities that are available to you. We wish you every success.

Healthy Living

Reducing Allergy Symptoms with NasalGuard – Video Review

I have partnered with NasalGuard for feature

Well, in a house of 3 we are 3:3 in seasonal allergy sufferers. Now you can add in my husbands frequent work traveling on airplanes to add contaminated air and a dog in the house and we are constantly breathing in everything that is trying to make us suffer. There are some options that treat the symptoms or systematically fight off allergens but those never work fast enough. Now there is a topical protection. Sounds too simple to be true, right? Not if you take a step back to science class…..

The allergen we breath in are particles, pollen, dander, dust, viruses are all tiny particles small enough yo enter our airway and cause us to react. What if we could walk around with an invisible mask that would keep us from breathing in those particles in the first place? NasalGuard is that “invisible mask”. I explain how it works in the video below….

NasalGuard lasts for 150 uses and 6 hours at a time so this little tube should easily last you all month if you were to use it everyday. At about $15 a tube that you can order at their website or on Amazon, that equates to about .50 cents a day!

It is easy to apply and is clear. We have had no reaction at all! Get yours today!

Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Healthy Living, Parenting

Tips For Your Teen To Sleep Better – Nectar Mattress Giveaway

I have partnered with Nectar Mattress for this feature

Tips For Your Teen To Sleep Better - Nectar Mattress Giveaway

Teens and sleep? Can we ever get it right? They have their cell phones and music. We tell them they need good sleep, but do they listen? Do they turn off their phones and headphones? We can all assume they don’t. I can tell you how much sleep a teen needs and you can relay that all you want but it won’t get taken seriously. The best we can do is set them up for a good and best sleep possible for when they do finally drift off. We just had a Nectar mattress delivered for our 10 year old and I feel a lot better about him getting proper sleep with a proper mattress combined with the right bedding, temperature and lighting. Those are things I do have control over.

The Nectar mattress fits right in the middle between soft and firm and those growing bodies need the support. You get all that is needed for a comfortable sleep within this mattress with its 5 layers:

  1. The top Layer is Tencel Cooling that works to circulate air and wick away heat as you sleep. This layer is bedbug resistant
  2. Quilted Gel Memory Foam contours your body so well and the gel cooling foam is quilted together for added comfort
  3. Gel Memory Foam. Yes! Another memory foam layer that distributes your weight for relief of pressure on your body
  4. Adaptive Hi Core Memory Foam gives the crucial rebound and bounce for the ultimate body support
  5. Breathable Base Layer is the bottom layer is the stability that reinforces the contouring of your body

nectar mattess

It arrives very well packaged and is ready to sleep in very quickly! See our unboxing video below:

Tips For Your Teen To Sleep Better

  • Even if we can’t make them fall asleep, give them that quiet time so they are in bed at least 8-9 hours before wake up time. This means guiding them to finish homework and any chores earlier in the afternoon. Once they begin to find jobs, try to lead them to not volunteer for any late shifts on school nights. Training them to start ‘turning off’ at a certain time is sometimes the best we can do to guide them to a good sleep time.
  • Invest in proper bedding. Especially the athletic child, they need the best support to relieve stress and battle pain areas while they sleep. Having a mattress and pillows that are quality really is the difference between comfortable and OK sleep.
  • Do a quick room check each season. If their room gets hot in the summer, get them quality fans or small AC units. Even a ceiling fan can be quickly installed for proper circulation in a poorly vented room. Make sure they have dim lighting near their bed access so they don’t resort to having the room light on for their needs. If you keep a lamp by their bed they will most likely use that so make sure the bulb inside is dim.
  • The right bedding can make all the difference. There are a lot of options for cooling sheets that work to wick heat away from the body. Teens seem to just sleep hot so there is affordable bedding out there that will fight that for them as they sleep.

Nectar Mattress Sale

Visit Nectar Sleep for the latest deals! Already own a Nectar? Share your review to win Apple products through 4/9/2018. Visit for details.

Nectar Mattress Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a Nectar mattress of your own (size of choice). Open to US and ends on 3/30! Good luck.

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Healthy Living, Parenting

Here Is What Flu Season Can Teach Your Children

Flu season has been particularly devastating this year. Officials and experts all agree that this has been the worst flu season in nearly a decade. Two different strains of influenza were making the rounds. And to make matters worse, it is possible to catch both in the space of a single flu season.

Here Is What Flu Season Can Teach Your Children

To add to all that, a primary reason for the severity this year has to do with the vaccine. This year’s vaccine has been shown to be only 25 percent effective in inoculating against the flu strain.

People who are very susceptible during flu season are the young and the elderly. Kindergartens and nurseries should have plans in place for combating the flu. As should senior living centers and communities. For senior communities, sites like Elderwise (Visit now) allow you to see reviews of how these centers are handling various issues.

News outlets are stating that flu season has peaked and should be winding down. Even so, use this time to teach your children the following valuable lessons.

Hand washing can save lives.

The CDC puts it this way, “Clean hands save lives.” And the sooner children learn this habit, the more protected your family will be from garden-variety colds and sicknesses.

One of the most common and prevalent ways that germs and bacteria spread is through hand contact with infected items. Unwashed fingers are then put in the mouth, eyes, or nose, and sickness spreads. Studies show that people touch their face 25 times in a single hour!

Teach your children to wash their hands before every meal and before touching their face. After using the bathroom, hands should also be washed. Additionally, children should wash their hands when coming home from school or from being outside. A quick wetting of the hands won’t do the trick and will only waste water. Give your child a lesson on how to thoroughly wash their hands. The CDC recommends the following approach. Wet. Lather. Scrub. Rinse. And dry.

Create a handwashing chart with a reward for a week of remembering to wash their hands. Having waterproof toys in the sink can help make hand washing an attractive opportunity. Fun soap dispensers will also make hand washing more of an “event.” Lastly, set a good example of handwashing. If you aren’t washing your hands, your child has less of a chance of establishing this as a habit.

Sleep keeps the immune system powered up

During flu season, as well as throughout the year, quality sleep time will keep your immune system in peak condition.

Discuss the benefits of sleep with your children in helping them stay healthy. Not only will quality sleep help your kids be less likely to catch whatever is floating around. But they will be in a better mood, do better at school, and be less prone to accidents.

Coughing and flu etiquette keep the flu from spreading

If your kid should get sick, this is an opportunity for parents to teach general guidelines of how to behave when sick. The first of which involves reducing the risk of spreading the flu to others. This means that if your child has a cough, he or she learns to cover his or her mouth with a tissue or a mask when coughing. And then to disinfect his or her hands directly after.

Additionally, children can learn that when they are sick, they become carriers for the germ, which can spread to others. To curb the spread of the sickness and to keep their friends from getting sick, those with the flu should stay close to home and limit contact with others.

If your child is the healthy one, and he or she notices that one of their friends looks sick, he or she should tell their parent or the supervising grown up.

Sugar lowers your defenses against sickness

Bolstering your child’s diet during flu season can be a challenge. Particularly when that child wants a soda, juice, or another snack that they used to indulge in before. So if you are replacing foods with more nutritious alternatives, make sure to explain your reasons. Each time we consume sugar, our body’s ability to fight off bacteria is lowered for a couple of hours afterward.

Get your child on your side by reading books and watching documentaries that explain how the immune system works. And the role sugar plays in weakening one’s defenses. And then make changes to your own diet to show that you are doing your part, too.

Healthy Living

Baby Boomers and the Role of Home Care Services in Modern Society

There is no denying that baby boomers are one of the fastest growing demographics in the United States and as per a report furnished by Euromonitor International, Boomers enjoy a collective purchasing power of no less than fifteen trillion dollars. It is important to shift our attention and focus on not only the well-being and care of this section of our society but to the impact that they can necessarily hold on our economy as a whole.

baby boomers
Photo Source

Baby Boomers and Purchasing Power

According to Caringpeopleinc.com, it is virtually impossible to overlook the business opportunities that come along with servicing this population in the area such as consumer products, technology, healthcare, leisure, travel and financial services among several others.

Moreover, this generation represents a sentimental time of ‘bygone days.’ Paradoxically, it shall be no wrong in looking upon that time as the one attached to mayhem and peace. These are some of the chief reasons which make the topic related to baby boomers and home care worth-discussing.

Preventing Common Diseases

Ensuring proper and adequate care of your aging baby boomer is not an easy task. The three prominent health conditions which this generation necessarily suffers from are diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. These diseases, of course, are preventable but the baby boomer generation is more susceptible to them. There are many causes which shall determine if someone shall be affected with a similar form of an ailment or not.

Exercising and a Balanced Diet

Focusing on the right amount of exercise and adhering to a balanced diet too can help prolong health. Some foods which are higher in sugar content and should stay away from are – flavored coffees, BBQ sauce, sports drinks, chocolate milk, fruit smoothies and maple syrup, just to name a few. These are the food items which contain a high amount sugar. If you are vulnerable to diabetes, then it is judicious to stay away from all of these. Home care professionals can help ensure that the baby boomer in your life is receiving the right amount of exercise and eating a balanced diet.

Caring People has listed some of the other food items and has suggested as to what a balanced diet can most necessarily comprise. Baby boomers in an aging population should always try and remain active as much as possible. This is suggested as remaining active is a great way of staying healthy and limiting the chances of acquiring one of those critical medical conditions. Remember, it is not always necessary to remain super fit to remain healthy. All it requires on your part is participating in some physical activity of only 30 minutes, and this can let you enjoy the best lifestyle you could have necessarily hoped for.