The Truth About Appearances

woman with resting appearance

It’s a topic you’ve been hearing about your whole life, and yet it’s still alive and kicking like we haven’t talked it to death. People put a lot of stock in appearances and how they define a person. But, there has been a huge push against this with the growth of our feminist and LGBT movements.

Everyone has an opinion on this topic. This is because they each have at least one story about how appearances and judgments have hurt or helped them.  Or its affected someone they know in the regular ebb and flow of life. As much as we try to avoid it or ignore it, how you present yourself (and how you see others present themselves) has an impact on our communities.

Judging What You See

It’s easy to pass judgment on someone due to their disheveled hair or dirty nails, but we put more stock in those observations when we don’t know someone. What we see with a stranger is literally all we have to go off of, until we take a chance to speak to them. But our first impressions may prevent us from doing just that.

Whether it’s due to social constraints or personal safety, these cautious choices are still judgments of appearance.

We see it with political campaigns and celebrities, too. Because of the way someone is dressed or perceived, you may be more likely to interact with them, believing that they have admirable qualities because of that appearance. Often our interpretation of subliminal signs is correct, but this doesn’t justify our accepting them without further exploration.

Why Fit a Mold?

We are continually urged to “be ourselves”, yet any slight differences from the mainstream can have vast consequences. In the United States, where dental care is so important, anyone with slightly crooked teeth might suffer in social or career situations because of their smile.

So instead, they may seek to conquer the system. They’ll suffer through braces for the sake of fitting in–but it’s also an opportunity to beat the system. By conforming completely, they can master the system and use it to their advantage.

These characteristics honed over time, mainstream or not, can affect your success and your self-confidence. When its over–you’ve got the charisma, the suit, and the job–are you being the person you want to be?

Being Yourself

It can be difficult to be true to yourself while pursuing leadership roles if you don’t have that ideal leadership persona. The key is to learn the necessary leadership skills without rewriting who you are as a person. Your unique self is an important piece of how you move forward and interact with the world.

Let those new qualities function as tools that your personality wields rather than hiding who you are. Think of it this way: you may be held to a certain dress standard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your own spin on it.

Rewriting the Narrative

For now, it’s about that balance between satisfying the world’s expectations in small ways while exposing them to the wonderful, unique people who don’t conform. We can’t do our part in persuading the world to accept if we don’t practice the same acceptance for others.

In reality, humanity won’t stop making judgments on appearance; they influence what we eat, the media we consume, and how we protect ourselves in precarious situations. But we can seek to make non-invasive judgments that recognize and accept the differences in others rather than condemning them

4 Essential Oils You Can Use Every Day

benefits of essential oils

We are always looking for new ways to improve our health. This can include changing up workout routines or replacing activities to promote better joint health and longevity. You should also try new ways to prepare and cook food. You can even test out different products for cleaning your home and protecting your yard from pests.

With so much emphasis on what people can do without relying heavily on manufactured goods, essential oils have become a popular alternative.

A Bit About Essential Oils

Essential oils are derived from plants. This has been a better option for people that like the idea of homeopathic options. These remedies are preferred because they seem less harmful. They are extracted by distillation or pressing the leaves, peels, or resin.

There are several varieties of resins, from the synthetic kind found in everyday clothes to BioLogiQ’s sustainable plastic resins and natural resins that are manufactured to work with the environment. Resins can be powdered or liquefied to use as incense, such as Frankincense.

Essential oils come from many natural items that have been used for centuries to address health and other issues, so it’s no surprise that, when used correctly, there are some quick and easy ways to incorporate essential oils into your everyday life to give you a boost.

Peppermint

Peppermint is something we find in so many products we use every day, including toothpaste, gum, ice cream, and tea, and it’s no coincidence. Besides giving us a fresh, clean, cool feeling, it can help reduce the symptoms of some pretty annoying things.

Peppermint oil can be used in any of its forms. You can rub a couple drops into your temples to help relieve a headache, diffuse it to address respiratory problems or allergies, or put a drop or two in a glass of water to freshen your breath and alleviate digestive issues. Topically, it can also be added to water or your normal soaps for things like dandruff or bug repellent.

Lemon

Who doesn’t love a nice slice of lemon in their glass of water? Lemon is something else we find everywhere from sweet lemonade and cakes to tart pies and savory chicken. It always tastes refreshing, but that may be secondary to some of its other benefits.

Using lemon in oil form, it can work as an antimicrobial when added to your all-natural cleaning products, detox and calm your body when added to water. It’s easy to use to boost your immune system and fight illnesses like colds or nausea. Diffuse it or add a few drops of it and you can have an added in your home and body.

Tea Tree

Tea tree or melaleuca originates in Australia and is widely popular because of its disinfecting properties. Its leaves were used to make a tea that had healing properties.  It was used quite a bit until the invention of penicillin.

It’s great to use as part of your skincare regimen against acne and works as an antifungal, fighting infections ranging from MRSA to athlete’s foot as well. With a wide range of conditions to fight from head lice to skin irritations like scabies or dry scalp, this is definitely one essential oil to keep around.

Lavender

If you’ve ever walked past a lavender tree, you already understand the calming effects of this essential oil. Because of this relaxing effect on both body and mind, it’s a good natural sleep aid.

It can also calm topical conditions such as insect bites or bee stings, minor cuts or burns including sunburns, and cold sores. This is one where a few drops diffused or diluted and rubbed into the skin can do wonders.

What to Look for When Choosing a Therapist

seeking a therapist

If you need help with your life, turning to a therapist is a good solution. Sometimes, you can’t solve your problems by yourself, and someone who is qualified and knows how you tick can be the one to help. However, picking a therapist can be difficult. There may be so many options, and you wonder what the best therapist for the job will be.

There is no right answer. Different problems may require different therapists. However, you can be able to find the therapist that is right for you by searching around. Here are a few tips to help you out.

 

Ask About Therapists!

The best way to find a therapist is through recommendation. Asking your friends or family members about what therapists you use can help you make a choice. If your peers have not gone to a therapist, ask around local forums. If a certain name keeps popping up, investigate them and see if they’re right for you.

 

Talk to Them

A good therapist will be one who lets you talk to them before the session begins. This can break the ice before your first session, and help you determine if the therapist is right for you. Schedule a call or a visit. If the therapist makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t go with them. If you feel like there is some potential, schedule a session with them.

 

Know the Therapist’s Specialties

 You wouldn’t go to a therapist who specializes in couples counseling in order for you to learn how you can get a promotion at your job. When researching and talking to these therapists, do not be afraid to ask what they can help you with.

 

How Tough Do You Want it?

 Some people want a therapist who is going to be honest to them and tell them what they need to do to change their life. Other people will want a therapist who is gentler and helps ease them to solutions. Know your limits, and pick a therapist who can conform to said limits.

 

What is This Therapist’s Experience?

When choosing a therapist, one common sense rule you should follow is choosing one with a portfolio. A therapist who has had plenty of satisfied clients in the past should be able to help you with any of your problems. But there is more to it than just that. Sometimes, you should choose a therapist that is also educated. Therapists can be ordinary people, and that can be good at times. Sometimes, your therapist needs to be a person you can share a drink with. However, your therapist sometimes needs to be someone with qualifications. What is their educational background? How good is the school they wen to? Consider that when choosing a therapist.

 

Search Online for Therapists

 Sometimes, doing some online browsing can help you. You can see pictures of therapists and get a good first impression. The Internet has also made you able to pick a therapist from anywhere. You don’t need to necessarily seek someone local. You can do online therapy through chat, Skype, or any other option that allows for communication. To get started, click here.

Choosing a therapist can be difficult, and sometimes, it’s trial and error. A therapist may seem fine at first, but after a few sessions, you may realize they aren’t for you. On the other hand, the therapist may grow on you and you may have the best therapy session possible.

The point is that you shouldn’t settle for a therapist or rush the choosing process. Only go with a therapist who makes you comfortable and who can help you.

No Gym? No Problem 5 Easy Ways to Become More Active This Spring

bicycle

Going to the gym is a great form of exercise, but unfortunately, not all of us have access to one. Gym memberships can be expensive and not everyone has the means to afford one. Just because you’re not hitting the gym, doesn’t mean you can’t stay in great shape. The springtime is the perfect season to get outside and get moving. Here are five ways to become more active in the spring.

Run in a local park

The trees are blossoming with buds and bulbs are sprouting up from the ground. It’s the springtime, people! Find a park near your house and get running. It’s time for you to come out of hibernation and into civilization. If you’re into being social, you can take a running buddy with you! Having someone to go with is motivating and helps you get out. After you take your run, you can treat yourself to a smoothie or something refreshing as a reward for your hard work.

Walk home from work

If you live in a city or somewhere where you don’t have to drive everywhere, walking home from your job is a great way to get exercise and be productive. We’re suggesting walking home as opposed to walking to work because it’s more of a relaxing exercise. If you walk to work, you might be worried about being on time and everything you have to do for the day. Walking home from work, you can take your time.

Break out your bike

Remember your bicycle? It might be collecting dust after sitting there over the winter. It’s the springtime now, and it’s the perfect season to take a bike ride. Whether you live in a city, the suburbs, the mountains or a rural environment, you can use that bike. Enjoy the passing scenery, which could be skyscrapers, evergreen trees, the peak of the mountains or rolling green hills. You can take a break on the side of the road, sip some water or an energy drink and look at the world around you.

Do yoga outdoors

In the wintertime, you may have visited a yoga studio regularly. Your fellow students traded their coats, scarves, and sweaters in exchange for yoga gear in a cozy room with colorful mats. Now, it’s the springtime and you don’t want to be cooped up in a confined space. Take your tree pose outside into nature where it belongs. You can use mindfulness while you do some strength building poses.

Exercise using your kids

Do you have kids? Use them as a means to exercise! Play tag with them in the playground or lift your toddler in the air many times as he/she says “again!” This could be an informal way of weight training! People underestimate how much energy it takes to parent, so use that energy to stay in shape when the weather gets nicer.

Generally, the springtime is a wonderful season to get out and exercise, but for some of us, it’s not so easy to get motivated. If you find that you’re feeling down or having trouble getting out there, it’s okay to seek help. People with other mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder experience sleep disturbances or manic symptoms in the springtime. For any of these reasons and more, don’t be afraid to reach out to a counselor whether that’s in person or an online therapist. You deserve to be happy and getting out there enjoying the great weather!

Smartphones Affecting Psychological Well-being

Let’s face it, many people of the world can be described as being addicted to their iPhone or Android device and as unhealthy as it sounds, you’re probably reading this on your device as we speak. Smartphones have become our gateway to the world, but recent studies are indicating that it could be detrimental to your health, mentally.

About a year ago, the University of Illinois conducted a study that found high interaction with mobile technology is associated to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. In this study, more than 300 university students were surveyed. The goal was to seek out whether their engagement with their mobile devices affects their psychological wellness and turns out that students who identified as having addictive behaviors with their smartphones scored higher on the anxiety and depression spectrum, according to psychology professor Alejandro Llearas and honors student Tyana Panova.

There are many benefits to utilizing your mobile device. Many of us use it for connecting with others, placing orders, or passing time; however, too often users turn their device into something that barricades them from the rest of the world; which can hinder a healthy face-to-face interaction. With this being said, here are a few suggestions to help break the negative habit and strive for a healthier mental state of mind:

Take a Trip

Social media has made it easier than ever to share memories that last a lifetime and we often tend to like other’s post about an exotic trip or adventure. Instead of scrolling through your feed take advantage of the new year by saving for an affordable vacation. Consider asking a few friends to join in order to reconnect and even split the cost.

This is a great opportunity to break free from the cold and enjoy some warm weather somewhere else. It may even benefit you to consider taking a road trip instead of flying in order to spend more quality time with the people you care about. Again, if you decide to take a road trip, be sure to go unplugged. Countless people are hurt and even killed on the roadways due to distracted driving. Be sure to navigate your route before getting on the highway.

Go Unplugged

If your finances won’t allow you to take a trip, consider something more financially affordable. Consider turning your phone off for a few hours after work or if needed, leave your phone at home for the day and spend time with friends and family. Social interaction can be a healthy activity and gives you the opportunity to reconnect. Perhaps you could venture out into your own community and give back by volunteering or experience a new local attraction with your friends or family.

Reconnect with Yourself

Putting the phone down can also allow for the opportunity to connect with yourself. Over time we experience new things about ourselves that can elude to great discoveries. Perhaps you might find something that you really enjoy that sparks a new passion within you. Taking up a new hobby is a great way to reconnect with yourself. If you enjoy our alone time, this is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with activities that you’ve always been passionate about or discovering something you never knew you would like.

Mobile devices are great advances in technology and help us in so many ways, but we have to keep in mind that our mental and physical heath is a priority. Maintaining a healthy mental state of mind will allow you to be your best self.

7 Tips to Avoid Dangers While Walking this Winter

winter

Now that we’re in the dead of winter, ice on the ground is pretty common. Whether you have to shovel your driveway, walk the dog, walk from the parking lot into work, or go outside for any reason, slipping and falling on the ice is something that we all want to avoid this season.

Biddulph, Huntsman & Dalling Orthopedic Surgery in Idaho Falls put together this list of ways to help you avoid falling on the ice this winter.

Wear the Right Shoes

Wearing the right shoes in the winter is so important! For one, you don’t want your feet to freeze, and for two, you don’t want to fall because you wore the wrong shoes. Wear shoes that have traction on icy surfaces – like snow boots or tennis shoes. If you have to wear dress shoes for work, wear your snow boots or tennis shoes for the commute and then change into your dress shoes when you get into the building.

Watch the Floor/Ground

Watch wear you walk. When walking outside, watch the ground ahead of you as you’re walking so you can brace yourself for an ice patch and avoid falling, or walk around it altogether. When walking inside, keep in mind that the ground outside is wet so it’s likely that some water was trailed inside. Watch for wet patches on the ground and take care to walk around them in order to avoid slipping and falling.

Exercise

You can exercise to improve your balance, flexibility, and strength. Improving your balance will obviously help you stay on your feet and avoid falling. Improving your flexibility and strength will be helpful to you if you do fall because you can minimize the injury.

Avoid Carrying Things

We need our hands and arms for balance, or to catch ourselves if we do start to fall. Try to avoid carrying things when you’re walking into work or walking outside. If you do need to carry something, take a backpack or a purse to hold it in so your hands and arms are still free to help keep you balanced.

Use Handrails

This is when your hands are helpful. If there are handrails walking up the stairs into your building (or even inside the building wear the floor could be wet), use them. It’s always better to be cautious than to take the risk of injuring yourself. If you’re concerned about hygiene and sanitation, take hand sanitizer with your or wash your hands afterward.

Salt the Ground

Use salt to clear icy driveways and walkways. If you have a sidewalk in front of your home where people are often walking, or if there is a lot of traffic on your walkway or driveway, this is definitely something you should do. Many businesses in climates with icy winters are required to ice their parking lots and walkways as well.

Stay Inside

If you don’t have anything pressing you to go outside, then don’t. The safest place you can be during bad weather is in your own home.

5 Signs That You’re Addicted To Your Smartphone

It should come as no surprise that, according to recent studies, that U.S. smartphone users spend an average five hours on their phone each day. While that amount of time may seem steep, consider your own smartphone usage.

 

From the quick checks in the middle of the night or while brushing your teeth in the morning, how much time do you think you’re spending on your phone, in total? Have friends and loved ones accused you of being “addicted” to your smartphone?

 

Rather than getting defensive, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your smartphone usage and some of the signs that may point to a dependency on your phone.

Interferes With Productivity and Face to Face Relationships

 

Living in a tech-centric world, we often need to rely on our smartphone to “stay connected” at all times of the day and while on the go. While this might be crucial if you’re “on call” for work or are expecting a conference call, Facebook, Twitter, and other apps may be less important.

 

A common sign that may indicate that you are addicted to your smartphone is if the time you spend on your phone interferes with your work productivity or even strains your personal relationships. If you’re choosing your smartphone over work and people, you could soon be left without either.

You Have A Hard Time Putting It Down

 

Although smartphones are devices that are small and portable enough to stow away in a pocket or purse, how often do you put your phone down or let it out of your sight? Think about all the times you attend an event or go out to eat with friends. Do you put your phone away or do you leave it on the table so you can catch every notification that pops up?

 

If you can’t remember the last time you didn’t check your phone for a long period of time, it may indicate a dependency issue.

You’ve Had a Close Call or Received a Ticket While Driving

 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), thousands of accidents, resulting in fatalities and injuries, occur each year due to a distracted driver. Even though texting and driving is nearly banned in all states throughout the U.S., many drivers take the risk of getting in an accident just to send a quick message.

 

Have you caused an accident or almost rear-ended someone because you were looking at your phone? Have you received a ticket or warning for texting and driving? These are also clear indicators that you are dependent on your smartphone.

 

Don’t think that texting and driving is too distracting? Play “Cards of Distractibility,” a free online game that simulates texting and driving and tests your memory; it’s a lot harder than you might think.

You Feel Bored or Depressed When You’re Not Using Your Phone

 

Many smartphone addicts use their phones when they are bored or depressed, but if you feel bored or blue when you’re not using your phone, you may also be addicted to your device. The same goes for feelings of irritability and anxiety when you can’t use your phone.

You Hide Your Phone

 

Like many other types of addiction, an addict may hide what he or she is doing to avoid pressure or ridicule from others. If you hide your smartphone or go somewhere else to use it, you might need to reassess how much time you spend on your phone.

 

Helpful Halloween Hacks

Halloween is here and the festivities are about to begin. Witches, vampires, and Wonder Woman are just a few of the costumes to be seen roaming the night this year as they embark on their spooky journey for the festivities.

 

As the sun begins to fall for a crisp night, there are a few hacks to consider this year to keep your monster family safe from harm’s way. Here are a few to keep in mind:

 

Inspect Treats

 

One rule of thumb to keep in mind each year to ensure that your trick-or-treaters are safe is to inspect the candy at the end of the night. Before you or your children decide to dig in, remember to check to ensure that there are no open wrappers before enjoying you treats.

 

Reports in the past have raised caution due to injury so partaking in your due diligence before eating the candy can prevent any uncertainty. It would also be wise to ration the portions of Halloween candy so that your little monsters don’t eat all the sour gummy-worms and Snickers in one night.

 

Safe Commuting

 

One of the most important jobs of trick-or-treating is to know your route. Whether you’re taking the kids out for candy or you’re out enjoying the festivities with friends, it would be wise to consider the route to and from your destination.

 

Most neighborhoods are familiar with their surroundings; however, if you plan to venture our further, consider checking out the commute before getting behind the wheel at dark. Make sure that you’re familiar with your surroundings and the trick-or-treat stops.

 

Another factor to consider during your commute, especially if you’re in an area with higher foot traffic is to consider designated cross walks. Each year countless of pedestrians are injured by utilizing their designated cross walks. Consider wearing a costume that is bright in color or perhaps reflective gear to ensure that you are visible to other motorists.

 

It would also be wise to drive with extra caution on Halloween night to ensure that all the scary treat-or-treaters make it to their destination safety. Be sure to abide by the speed limit and drive with extra caution to avoid any injury to others.

 

Trunk-or-Treat

 

Staying in a well-lit area is a hack to remember. For many, this might mean taking advantage of local trunk-or-treats to ensure that all the candy is in one place surrounded by familiar faces in one parking lot. Remaining visible to your party at all times is a great way to stay safe and alleviates any uncertainties. Trunk-or-treating is a helpful way to stay within the realm of your community with others to help keep an eye on community members. Staying together is a helpful way to avoid becoming lost and staying within recognizable territory.

 

Halloween is a great time for friends and family to come together to enjoy a night full of thrills. This year remember these hacks for a night full of safety as well. Remember to abide by any curfew that your community might have in effect and to always keep safety a priority.

Preventing and Treating Gym-born Back Pain

One of the most common gym injuries is back pain. Whether you’re going hard on the elliptical or lifting some heavy weights, it can get you. But don’t let the fear of potentially hurting yourself keep you from working out, instead educate yourself on how you can prevent and treat back pain.

 

Preventing Back Pain

Working out, or keeping your back muscles strong, is actually one of the best things you can do to prevent back injuries. Back pain is more common in people who are not fit, so start exercising today. Of course, that doesn’t mean heavy lifting. Heavy lifting is a big cause of back injuries, so make sure you work your way up to it. Take it easy and listen to your body, and follow these tips to prevent back pain.

  • Core Exercise. As mentioned, working out can help you build up strong muscles in your back to prevent injury. Participate in some low-impact exercise like walking or ellipticals to increase blood flow to the spine.
  • A poor posture can lead to back pain. It’s important to pay attention to your posture throughout the day, especially if you work a desk job. Try to get up every hour or so and walk around. You can also set a timer on your phone to check your posture every once in a while throughout the day.
  • Lifting weights is not a bad thing and can increase the strength in your back muscles. But it’s important to know the proper way to lift weights to avoid injury. If you’re unsure of proper weight-lifting technique, ask the trainer at your gym for some pointers.
  • Overall health. Take care of your body and improve your overall physical health. Just as exercising is important, so are eating right and drinking plenty of water. Getting the nutrients that your body needs will help build up your strength too.

 

Treating Back Pain

Even if we do our best to prevent back injuries, they can still happen. Here’s a list of ways you can treat your back pain.

  • See a doctor. If your pain is severe enough that it’s difficult for you to walk, then it is best to get a professional diagnosis on the problem. A doctor is going to be the best source for a treatment plan to get your back healed quickly.
  • Rest is going to be your best friend when you have back pain (or worst enemy if you don’t like sitting still). Don’t keep working out or you’ll risk injuring your back further. Give your back a few days to rest and then start out slow, stopping if you feel any pain during exercise.
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods with plenty of fish oils. Avoid the grains and let your body focus it’s innate healing power on the real injury.
  • Massage therapist. See a massage therapist or chiropractor to help work out any aches in the muscles or to realign your back. They can also give you some good recommendations for at home treatment.
  • Icing your back can reduce pain, swelling and spasming, especially during the first 24 hours of injury. Apply ice for only 20 minutes at a time, and then wait an hour before reapplying.

If you’re ever in doubt about a back injury, the best practice is always to consult your doctor before trying to self-diagnose or treat. Take these tips into consideration and do what you can to prevent back pain from enjoying everyday life.

 

Healthy Teeth Hacks for Halloween

sugar

Are you concerned about keeping yourself and your children happy and healthy this Halloween? With walls of candy lining every store and the chance for kids to bring home mounds of free candy, we understand your concern.  But don’t fret, because all you need is a plan. A Sun City West dentist put together this list of tips to help you have a healthy Halloween.

Eat Candy with Meals

Eating your candy with meals can help reduce the risk of tooth decay. The nutrients from your food will help to balance the acid levels in your mouth from the sugary candy. Chewing also produces saliva, which will help to move the candy and sugar particles from your mouth quicker.

Avoid Sweet Snacks

Candy is everywhere right now, but try to keep it as a treat to have with meals. Don’t substitute healthy snacks for candy. Snacking on candy will only increase your risk of getting cavities. Keep snacking to the healthy choices, like fruits and veggies.

Choose Candy Wisely

Some candies are much stickier than others, like taffy and caramels. These will stay on your teeth much longer than other candies, increasing your risk for tooth decay. Another choice you might want to make with candy is the calorie intake. Choose candies with lower calories, and stick to fun-sized versus full candy bars.

Limit Your Stash

Don’t stock up on your Halloween candy early. It will be a constant temptation, especially if it’s a candy you enjoy. Limit the amount of candy you keep in your home to avoid this temptation of snacking on candy. When your kids bring home their bags of candy on Halloween, have them pick their favorites and get rid of the rest by donating it or saving it for food storage or a 72-hour kit.

Drink Water

Drinking water is so important, not only to maintain every healthy bodily function but to help prevent cavities too. Drink water, especially after consuming a sugary treat to help rinse the sugar off your teeth. When you send your children trick-or-treating, send them with a water bottle to help keep them hydrated and to drink after eating their candy early.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum will stimulate saliva production, which will help remove some of the sugar from your teeth. This could be a good item to hand out for trick-or-treaters if you want to give them something a little healthier this year.

Brush and Floss

This may be obvious, but always remember to brush and floss, especially when you’ve been eating candy. Food gets stuck between your teeth and sugar likes to cling to your teeth, so make sure you do your best to continue good brushing and flossing habits through Halloween. Help your children establish good dental hygiene habits to ensure healthy teeth when this sugar-filled holiday is over.

You can still enjoy this holiday and your favorite candies. Just make a plan to keep your family healthy through all of the candy-filled fun.