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Hangover Cure

Posted by Angelica on September - 15 - 2011

Quote of the day

Grease is the only cure for a hangover. Cameron Diaz

 

TGIF. It’s the crazy night out with the girls, or buddies are getting together for some massive party session. You just want to get wasted after a long week. What about the post party syndrome now? The head is aching like some little goblins are hammering it inside, and the neck hurts for the slightest movement after the previous night head banging. I certainly wouldn’t want to go on about the feet, ankles & tummy etc..

 

Drinking alcohol in moderation is fine for a once in a while treat. Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to various conditions such as heart & liver failure, high blood pressure, digestive disorder, stomach ulcer, brain damage, reduced fertility, and even death. Drink responsibly!

Liquor Types

Top Hangover Cure

  1. Lots & lots of Water! – This remedy starts as soon as you’re done drinking. Just before you hit the bed. Alcohol really dehydrates your body and it’s important to rehydrate back

    Lots & lots of Water!

     

  2. The big breakfast– try eggs, bacon, & toast. Eggs have been researched to have ‘cysteine’, which has detoxification properties on alcohol intake. Bacon is high in protein which helps the recovery of brain functioning, and carbohydrates in the toast will increase the sugar level while providing the energy you need to function

    The big breakfast

     

     

  3. Banana – this fruit is known for its high content of potassium & magnesium which are essential to be replaced as alcohol drains lots of vitamins and minerals from your body. The natural sugar or fructose in the banana helps to process the alcohol faster

    Banana

     

  4. Electrolyte drink – such as Gatorade or Coconut water will help treat the general loss of electrolytes & help to address the imbalance of potassium & sodium. It would also help in the rehydration process

    Coconut water

     

  5. Orange juice – helps with replacement of Vitamin C & potassium that is lost. Orange juice also takes away the alcohol feel from your mouth

    Orange juice

     

  6. Cheeseburger – this food will really boost your appetite to eat the morning after, plus it contains beef for the protein source, bread for instance energy & pickles to heighten your taste buds

    Cheeseburger

     

  7. Spicy soup or curry – the hotness of chili and other spices will help to incite your system and beat sluggishness. Try it with some carbohydrates such as pita bread or rice to give the instant energy boost

    Spicy soup or curry

     

  8. Vitamins – almost all types of vitamins are lost from alcohol consumption, thus its best to pop in a multivitamin pill the night before sleeping

    Vitamins - Pills for you

     

  9. Painkillers – if you’ve been mixing your drinks or downing up fast enough to give you an instant sting of joy to your head, you’re almost sure of the headache that is to follow. Aspirin works best but be sure to take it after food so it doesn’t hurt your stomach. To be taken the night before and morning after.

    Aspirin

     

  10. Sleep over it – rest is most important as the body needs time to clean up toxins. If you’re drinking on a workday late night, try taking some time-off to sleep through before going back to work

    Sleep over it

     

Tips to reduce health risk when drinking

  • Drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol as it slows alcohol absorption to the body. This way, you can make sure your intake is reasonable and you’ll not be over dehydrated
  • Fill your stomach before drinking to avoid gastrointestinal problems. Alcohol is a high acidity food that can damage your stomach lining
  • Stick to one type of drink. Mixing drinks increases your tendencies to drink more and having a worse hangover the morning after
  • Don’t drink when you’re on medications, antibiotics or other drugs. Alcohol is known to interact with other drugs and can cause serious health problems including death
  • Choose clear liquors such as vodka, gin or white wine over dark ones such as whiskey, brandy or rum. Clear liquors have less congeners(a toxic chemical)
  • Don’t leave your drinks unattended to avoid risk of your drinks being spiked
  • To avoid your excess heat in your body, take a cold shower in the morning after your drinking session. This would also help you feel sober faster
  • Get a non-drinking friend to drive or take cab home. Do not think you’d be able to drive when you can’t even walk straight
  • Know your limits of drinking. Stop immediately or take lots of water when you feel you’re not in control of yourself anymore. Moderation is the key to everything

    Be hangover free

Assertiveness – Building your Interpersonal Skills

Posted by Angelica on August - 31 - 2011

Quote of the day

The best defense against atrocious government is an assertive citizenry. – William F. Buckley, Jr.

 

The term assertive is defined in the Oxford Advanced Learners dictionary as “expressing opinions or desires strongly and with confidence, so that people take notice”. Communicating assertively is becoming one of the growing skills that is being learnt & thought in many developing nations. It’s a cognitive behavioral skill that has proven to help express messages across in an effective and affirmative way. Take the test on Mtstcil.org to see how assertive you are.

 

What is Assertiveness?

It’s being able to say “no” politely without feeling guilty about it because you genuinely didn’t have the time to help out. Assertiveness is a balance between submissive & aggressive to a request or question that comes up. It’s particularly important to have a clear assertiveness when disagreeing, confrontation, rejecting, requesting help, accept constructive feedback or standing up for your rights if you’ve been treated unfairly or unreasonably while maintaining a good relationship with the other party. Behaving assertively is not about overriding or offending others but rather about speaking out clearly and effectively.

 

The main characteristics of assertiveness

  1. Expressing yourself confidently & positively so that your message gets through effectively.
  2. Speaking directly or honestly rather than hinting or presuming other will make out your meaning. This encourages other to be open as well as they tend to respect your sincerity.
  3. Giving respect to others while representing your views while avoiding offensive behavior.
  4. Communicating distinctively to be heard & understood.
  5. Behaving openly & relaxed, keeping eye contact, proper respectful tone, participating rather than dominating, calm hand gestures, little blinking, smiling & laughing appropriately & using a neutral tone.
  6. Controlling emotions by remaining calm & confident so opinions & view and stated openly & effective.
  7. Benefits everyone who’s interacting with the assertive person by feeling good about the encounter & shares opinion with respect, won’t waste your time, points are clear, decision can be made thoroughly.
  8. Avoid judgments or exaggerations

 

Benefits of being assertive

  • Get what you want since you speak up and other will know your interest
  • Gain respect as you stick up for your rights, and have strong believes
  • Reduce stress as problems are easier to manage & and resolve
  • Solve problems efficiently as communication is clear and it’s easier to identify possible solutions
  • Improves productivity as a positive environment is created
  • Develops open & honest relationship & builds relationship based on mutual respect

Distinguishing assertiveness, aggressiveness & passiveness

 

Distinguishing assertiveness & aggressiveness

Below are the characteristics of aggressiveness that should not be perplexed with assertiveness:

  • Interrupts oftencharacteristics of aggressiveness
  • Rude & Inconsiderate
  • Glares & stares offensively
  • Crosses arms
  • Invades personal space
  • Speaks loudly for no reason
  • Gives an angry/annoyed facial expression
  • Manipulates or gossips to other to get their points across
  • Has an intimidating or dominating behavior
  • Often portrays a rigid posture, clenched jaw, sarcastic smile, feet’s up, a loud or harsh tone

     

Distinguishing Passiveness from assertiveness

Below are the characteristics of a passive person who fails to assert their thoughts:

  • Speak softly or doesn’t speak out at all
  • Doesn’t contribute much
  • Doesn’t observe eye contact
  • Accepts being pushed around
  • Avoid confrontation or embarrassment but feel frustrated in the long-run
  • Evasive, uncertain & indecisive
  • Doesn’t say no even when uncomfortable agreeing
  • Is Indirect & submissive
  • Shrugs, smiles nervously, hesitates, and depicts a slouching body language

characteristics of a passive personpassive person

 

How to ask for a raise or promotion

Here’s a step-by-step guidance on how to request for a pay raise by using the characteristics of assertiveness as mentioned in the top part of the article:

Step 1: Find out the Industry standard (applies rule #8)

Step 2: Conduct due diligence of your company to see if they can afford your raise or promotion (applies rule #3/7)

Step 3: Prepare yourself well by listing down & quantifying your accomplishment, skills, or improvements that you’ve shown in your employment (applies rule #1/2/4)

Step 4: Schedule a face to face session with your manager to show that you’re serious. This also gives the opportunity to apply confident body languages (applies rule #5)

Step 5: Have a plan B if your request gets turned down. You might decide to gracefully accept the rejection of continue to present other supporting documents like the industry pay scale or achievement which contributed to the departments or company’s growth or success (applies rule #6)

*Tip: Use “I” statement to take ownership of your request e.g.: “I think”, “I believe”, or “I deserve”.

 

How to be respectful when communicating

  • Start with positive statement before going confrontational
  • Show respect to positions or point of view and don’t belittle others approach
  • Present opinion/view in a neutral way without being harsh

 

What if assertiveness doesn’t work?

  1. Repeat to ensure understanding of the other party and give a second chance.
  2. Rephrase your statement as directive/commanding so the listener responds to your request.
  3. Add emotions to show your seriousness e.g.: “I truly hope you understand why I can’t present your case”.
  4. Communicating the consequences (not threat) if listener still doesn’t respond and then implementing when everything else fails.

 

How to Sleep Well

Posted by Angelica on August - 25 - 2011

Quote of the day

There is only one thing people like that is good for them; a good night’s sleep” – “Edgar Watson Howe”

A human spends almost 1/3 of their lives sleeping and this should already tell you why a proper sleep is imperative more than anything else. Studies show that those who sleep between 6 to 9 hours live the longest. This has been proven to be the ideal and optimal sleeping period which is needed by a person.

 

Why is a proper night of sleep important?

Everyone out there at one point or another would have gone through the sleepless nights when the body so badly needs its rest, but somehow the mind doesn’t stop functioning. Dozing off at this point of time might seem like the most impossible thing to do. It’s like someone telling you “Don’t think of pink elephants” and what’s the first thing that appears in your thought? Click the link below that directs you to the alertness test. This illustrates on how well you’ve rested for the day.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/sheep/

Contrary to this, some other people find that they sleep more than they should be. The cause of oversleeping is mainly due to the lack of sleep itself and other reasons such as disorientated sleeping patterns, habits, stress, or other medical conditions such as diabetes or heart diseases.

Anything more than 9 hours in a day leads to oversleeping which is linked to medical problems such as diabetes, obesity, back pain, heart disease, depression, and increased risk of death. Anything less than 6 hours in a day leads to sleep deprivation which is linked to even more problems such as fatigue, daytime sleepiness; clumsiness, weight loss/gain, trouble focusing, and it affects the brain & cognitive functions. Long-term total sleep deprivation can also cause death.

 

Sleepiness

 

The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and weight. Proper sleep is the most effortless activity which gives you this many benefits and a quality life.

 

The Sleep Cycle – the stages of sleep

There are two types of sleep which is Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) known as quiet sleep and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) known as active sleep. Below are the stages of sleep that takes place when a person hits the bed. The stages below are not necessarily in the order of 1-5.

 

Stages of sleep

The Secrets to a Good Nights’ sleep

Sleeping

 

  • Make sleep a priority
  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night
  • Maintain regular sleep schedule, even on weekends
  • Establish relaxing bedtime rituals such as reading, or having a warm bath
  • Make sure not to go to sleep when you’re angry
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, & alcohol in the evenings
  • Try to stay away from long naps of more than 2 hours during the day
  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible and avoid distraction of TV/Laptops
  • Listen to relaxing music’s like light Jazz, meditative music, classical piano, spa tunes, etc
  • Keep a miniature fountain by the bed. Flowing water sends relaxing signal to your brains
  • Try breathing techniques from Livestrong.com to help promote sleep
  • Stop working at least 1 hour before bedtime. Your brains need to calm down and relax to be able to fall asleep fast
  • Exercise during the early parts of the day to tire the muscles. This will result in easier dozing off at night as the body would automatically crave for its rest
  • If you don’t fall asleep within 15-30mins upon hitting the bed, get up and do some light activities like reading or listening to music until you feel sleepy again
  • Write down worrying thoughts in a piece of paper which you can review the next morning. Never go to bed with any bothering thoughts in your head.
  • Try warm milk with honey. It has proven to relax your mind and promote better sleep
  • Shop for a good eye mask & ear plugs if the bedroom seems bright or if you have a noisy neighborhood/ partner
  • Invest in a good pillow that helps promote sleep. Check out SleepingPillow.org for more tips on choosing the right pillow.

 

Herbal Remedies to Promote Sleep

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile Tea – sometimes referred to as pineapple weed, it helps to calm the nerves & soothes stomach. Taken in a hot tea form.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) – it’s a mild sedative herb that has been reported to help patients with insomnia & sleeping disorders. Its best taken in capsule form due to its strong smell.

PassionFlower (Passiflora incarnate) – safe sedative particularly helpful for insomnia caused by anxiety, worry or an overactive mind. Taken in capsule/ extract form

Kava root extract capsules (Piper methysticum) – a sedative that produces mild euphoria & works as muscle relaxer. Best to be taken in capsule form due to its pungent smell & taste

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) – Traditionally used to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain & discomfort from indigestion. Works better when combined with other herbs like valerian.

Try lemon balm as a topical use as the smell is believed to promote relaxation

Ashwagandha
(Withania somnifera) – also known as winter Cherry or Indian Ginseng, this herb carries a Latin name that literally means “sleep inducer”. It has tranquilizing effect that relieves anxiety, increases resistance to stress, uplifts mood and relaxes muscles. It’s taken as a supplement capsule form.

Other herbal products to aid sleep

 

What you need to know before purchasing herbal products:

  • Research if your herbal product can interact with other medications, food or medical conditions.
  • Talk to your doctor before trying an alternative approach and be sure to tell all your doctors what alternative treatments you are using.
  • If you experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, diarrhea or skin rashes, stop taking the herbal product and notify your doctor immediately.
  • Avoid preparations made with more than one herb unless it has been researched before & proven effective.
  • Beware of commercial claims of what herbal products can do. Look for scientific-based sources of information.
  • Select brands carefully. Only purchase brands that list the herb’s common and scientific name, the name and address of the manufacturer, a batch and lot number, expiration date, clear dosage guidelines and potential side effects.

 

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