Tag Archives: coronavirus

6 Everyday Essentials to Have in the New Normal

One of the things that should change for you in this so-called “new normal” is what you carry around in your bag or pocketbook. Now that you have to be careful about where you go and what you touch, it should reflect in the items you take with you. You should be equipped to go about your daily routine while staying safe, free of harmful germs, and ready to observe recommended health measures. 

Here are six items that you can have on your person or stock in your bag when you’re on the go. These should keep you clean, comfortable, and ready to go about your day in the new normal.  

Cloth Face Masks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) upholds that wearing cloth masks can help slow community transmission of the COVID-19 disease. Mask-wearing, when paired with proper hand hygiene and social distancing, can curb the spread of the virus from person to person. When you wear a cloth mask, you protect the people around you from coming in contact with your respiratory droplets. When they wear masks, they extend you the same courtesy. 

That said, you have a lot of freedom about the kind of cloth mask you can carry around with you. You can choose the size, style, and color for yourself. You can go for a unique pattern, or you can choose a mask with a more plain and discreet design. The latter may be good for keeping the people around you at ease—and not immediately reminded of a grim hospital setting. For best results, wear one mask when you go out and keep a spare in your bag. 

Cloth Hand Protector

If you already have masks, why use arm sleeves or cloth hand protectors as part of your “new normal” ensemble? The answer is, a cloth hand protector or arm sleeve can minimize your direct exposure to dirty surfaces that are possibly laden with harmful germs. It’s a good thing to have with you for when you need to touch handrails, supermarket cart handles, ATM buttons, and the like. 

Another benefit of using an arm sleeve is that it’s way more understated than using gloves. If you’re uncomfortable with any attention being placed on you for covering your hands, a cloth hand protector is the way to go. You can slip it right over your hand when you touch a potentially dirty surface, then pull it back over your wrist. You’ll be able to find arm sleeves with additional antimicrobial properties in cool, classy-looking designs. 

Hand Sanitizer

Another item that you should carry with you is your own bottle of hand sanitizer. At times when it’s not immediately possible to wash your hands, hand sanitizer will be useful in keeping pathogens off your hands. 

It’s recommended that you use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or ethyl alcohol. Don’t forget, however, to check the US Food and Drug Administration’s pointers on how to safely use hand sanitizer. 

Sanitizing Wipes

In addition to your own bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, it’s also a good idea to carry a pack of sanitizing wipes. These are for when you want to sanitize a surface before using it or placing one of your other belongings on it. 

When you buy a pack of sanitizing wet wipes for everyday use, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use them. The surface should stay wet with the sanitizing solution for a specific amount of time in order to kill pathogenic microorganisms. 

Mobile Device with Cashless Apps

Many businesses are now going the cashless route in consideration of customers who’d rather do contactless payments. Though it’s always good to have some cash on you, you should opt to pay through contactless methods when you can. And that means that all the apps you need to complete these payments should be in one place: your cellphone or tablet. 

Download all the payment apps you need and be ready to use them through your mobile device. You may also want to carry your own power bank so that you can charge your phone without needing to touch foreign sockets or plugs. 

Your Own Water Bottle and Cutlery

You’ll need to stay hydrated in order to stay healthy, and wearing a mask in particular may make you feel more parched than usual. To be assured of clean and uncontaminated water wherever you go, it’s also good for you to bring your own water bottle. 

In the same vein, you may also want to bring your own set of cutlery that you can wash and store yourself. That way, you’ll have more control over the implements that you use to safely consume food and drink. 

With these essentials in your everyday carry kit, you’ll be better prepared to face the new normal. Keep safe, healthy, and comfortable as you go about your day!

How to Identify Early Signs of Mental Health Illness

With much talk (rightly so) and focus on mental health, what’s even more important is the realization that one has mental health issues. Only after acceptance and recognition, one can choose to consult a professional for the resolution of such a problem.

Every one in four people experiences poor mental health at some point in life. Mental health issues do not unfold overnight. They are the result of changes gradually taking place in one’s life. Often these changes include genetic factors, biochemical imbalance or stressful events such as losing a job or a loved one, physical health issues, personal life problems, etc. 

Mental illness is a brain-oriented condition and affects a person as much as a physical illness. There are more than 200 defined forms of mental illness among which the common disorders are depression, anxiety, dementia, schizophrenia, etc.  Some people may visit a Psychiatry Clinic, but others may not seek treatment.

A person with such issues shows prominent instability in behavior. Mood disorders, changes in thinking patterns, vulnerability to external factors, social withdrawal, or a significant change in physical health are tell-tale signs of mental illness. 

These signs must be identified and intervened on time; this can potentially decrease the chances of mental health problem turning into a severe illness.  

There is ample information over the internet about the identification of mental health illness. Here, we are breaking it down for you in the simplest of terms.

  1. Analyze Thinking Patterns

It must ring as a warning when a person has difficulty staying focused or making decisions. A person feels disconnected from routine life tasks due to constantly changing behaviors and thinking patterns. With too much on one’s mind, there may also be an effect on one’s short-term and long-term memory.

  1. Major Mood Swings and Emotional Shifts

All of us have good and bad days. However, recurring and dramatic mood changes and emotional outbursts may indicate a mental health illness. For example, if you or a friend of yours have suddenly lost interest in a hobby, minor inconvenience can make you demotivated, and unexpected circumstances make you anxious and angry, then all of these call for professional help by a mental health expert. 

Northern Health Centers is a review-based directory on various health-based supplements and products and also covers product reviews on mental health. 

  1. Social Withdrawal and Isolation

There is nothing wrong with being on your own from time to time. We all need it to catch up on our lives at a private level. However, constantly excusing yourself out of social engagements, socially closing yourself off, and feeling disconnected from your loved ones could be a serious alarm of emotional and mental health issues.

  1. Lack of Self-Care

A person with a mental health issue often loses interest in their hygiene, eating habits, and sleep routine. They may engage in risky behaviors such as resorting to drug or substance abuse. Losing appetite when a person was formerly a healthy eater could dictate the onset of a mental issue. Human beings generally require 7-9 hours of sleep a day. A person facing a mental health issue often experiences difficulty in taking proper sleep due to insomnia and/or anxiety. 

  1. Feeling Hopelessness

Disturbed mental health often puts a person through feelings of guilt, worthiness, and hopelessness. They start blaming and criticizing themselves for every inconvenience in their life. This also leads to low self-esteem which in turn can be a driver for other mental health issues. Extreme despair could also make a person suicidal.

These indicative signs, especially when demonstrated together, call for urgent intervention and resolution. If you or your loved one are going through any of these signs, we urge you to take action and seek help from a professional counselor.