Melatonin

Melatonin is an essential hormone to regulate sleep and maintain the sleep-wake cycle. Your body makes this hormone. Sometimes we don’t get enough of this hormone for various reasons. So we have to get it in a supplement form. There two ways to get in: One is via a doctor’s prescription and the other is at a supplement store. We know that the supplement store ones are unregulated. This means that you may not get your money’s worth.

If you take too much melatonin supplement your body will depend on it more and more and there may be other side effects. The supplement is meant to be taken when you need to just like ibuprofen

What are some ways to increase melatonin?

  • Get enough vitamin D from sunlight and food
  • Stressless. In this day and age, we tend to stress more. Now with the Coronavirus going on its harder for most people to relax
  • Make sure that you keep regular hours of sleep each day. Sometimes that can be hard if you are a shift worker.
  • Don’t have too much caffeine, especially late in the day. If you are caffeine-addicted, its best to try and cut back if you can. You can try our 30-day challenge if you like.
  • Don’t try and do work on your laptop or your smartphone in the hour before bed. You could try and watch a little bit of TV to help you unwind.
  • If you do decide to take supplements do talk to your health professional first about taking them. They do make you drowsy so it is best to talk about the right dosage. Most professionals now offer telehealth service.

August Mental health project

We are still in lockdown and have been ever since March. But lockdown has gotten worse with the introduction of Stage four restrictions. That means not going more than 5km from your home, going out for an hour and limited social contact.

Exercise during this time was very rushed for me and I was always worried about coming back within the hour and not being fined. I did go a little bit over by say five minutes and it was only by accident.

During this time we worked on the cross-stitch to help us relax from all the coronavirus worries. During that month we got the highest number of Coronavirus cases and we did not relax knowing that the mental health impacts will be in sight. Already the amount of cases is increasing and that’s not good. In Britain alone, there will be 150000 deaths due to suicide. 

Most of these will be due to COVID19. By the end of this pandemic we predict that over 2 billion people will have some sort of mental illness.

By the end of the month there were many anti lockdown protests and people were just sick and tired of being in isolation. There were also many anti maskers. At that time we still had over 100 cases. People believed that there was no end in sight.

At the end of the month, we started our 14 day isolation from social media and we had a lot of fun from it.


My 30 days of less caffeine

Savoir flair talks about the fact that it is quite possible to quit caffeine. For a while I used to drink up to 2 tablespoons of that stuff in a day especially when we were busy throughout COVID19 serving people. In Melbourne, we saw 700+ cases throughout the day and lots of anxiety going on. There still is some anxiety going on there but not as much. Winston (2005) talks about having too much caffeine as a recipe for more anxiety, sleep problems, and increased hostility towards people.

I went really slowly to start off with and I plan to keep it that way.

Now I only have one tablespoon a day and some green tea. I usually have one to two days of no caffeine.

It’s easier during the COVID pandemic when we are not out as much to quit coffee. But I forgot about the challenge on RUOK day and I bought one coffee to show some support for the cafes that are doing it tough.

Yes, they say that caffeine has antioxidants in there, but it is possible to have too much of it which is bad for you. Too much caffeine can lead to jitters and the like. I also woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Now I hardly ever.

I also used to get very bad PMS and very heavy periods. Now it’s not so bad. 

When I didn’t sleep so well I was tempted to have too much coffee. But now I hardly ever.

Too much caffeine also leads to a lot more anxiety in people. 


Suicide Prevention Month

My Brain is not broken has inspired me to write about this month which is ever so important due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This month is held in the United States but it can also be held here in Australia. The WHO estimates that over 800,000 million people die from suicide alone each year.

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Suicides are preventable and the WHO aims to reduce the rate in which people are dying. They had hoped to reduce the rate of suicide by 10% by 2020, but it might not happen due to the Coronavirus pandemic which sees many people locked up in their homes.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US with 48,344 people died last year due to suicide.

Where to from here

The UK health service has released a paper in 2015 and they say that research is essential. I agree, more research is essential.

It has been suggested both in the Social Dilemma and other sources that people spend less time on Facebook and other social networks and more time doing things for others.

How can you be a good friend and a listener?

Don’t judge them. Let them talk about their feelings openheartedly. And if you can’t help them in any way, its ok. You can refer them to a psychiatrist or a mental health service in your area! Just be there for them and check in from time to time.

If you are a parent its important to seek help for your child as early as possible. Don’t wait until its too late.

You can call Lifeline or Beyond Blue to discuss mental health problems.


Coronavirus and healthcare

As the number of cases soars in the US and the world, healthcare workers are catching the virus as they are the last line of defense. In Melbourne, the number of healthcare workers that are catching it is rising. Even if they have PPE there is still a bit of a shortage and there is a risk in catching the virus. Particularly in the high settings.

What should we do to protect them?

We should do everything we can to protect these workers by just doing your bit and not complaining.

A number of parties and celebrations are being held in the US. This is not the time for those. These people are being too selfish. We should just try and stay at home as much as possible and if we do have to go out we need to wear and physical distance from other people. This is how we will get to the other side of this.

Governments around the world need to contain this virus just as Melbourne has done which is to close everything up for a little while, pass the peak of the period and then slowly reopen the economy. People can learn to appreciate buying everything online and click and collect.

Countries now are just starting to implement the mask rule. But there are many antimaskers out there that don’t want to do just that. They will cause a protest about it. But many companies are adapting to this rule by making fashionable masks for people to wear that is comfortable.


Vitamin D and mental Health

The Broglieblog has written about Vitamin D and I thought it could be useful here, now that we are experiencing Coronavirus and mental health. Vitamin D is a antidepressant vitamin. We also need it for bone health.

It is an important vitamin which many of your cells in the body require it to function properly.

What happens if you don’t get enough Vitamin D?

  • You could get sick or infected often. That would mean that you might be at a higher risk of COVID19. Your immune system would be weak.
  • You could become easily depressed. Depression and anxiety are common in people with low vitamin D
  • You have low brittle bones and back pain. Back pain is commonly associated here
  • Tiredness
  • Your wound would heal slowly
  • Bone and hair loss
  • Muscle soreness

So how would I go about increasing my Vitamin D?

What foods have Vitamin D in them?

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Codfish
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines

But if you don’t like fish or can’t eat fish you get it in a supplement form. Just ask your local naturopath to see which supplement works best for you.

Also getting enough sunlight is important too for bone health. Make sure that you get enough time in the sunshine each day. We should aim for about an hour. If you can go out in the sunshine during your lunch breaks or walk to work. A short walk can do wonders for your mind and body.


Social media use during COVID19

We talk about this alarming statistic of people spending too much time on social media. On average people are spending more than 2 hours a day on social media.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The usage of social media has gone up by about 50% on average during the pandemic with people staying at home. Smart Insights say that Facebook is the most popular one with 2063 million people using it in the month of July. Youtube too has been popular. The 25-34 year olds use Instagram the most.

Image courtesy of Smartinsights.com

Our biggest concern is that people are spending way too much time on social media and brands target those on social media. As such in the Social Bakers report ads to spend a lot on Instagram and Facebook stories to target people into buying their product.

What are the effects of doing too much social media?

The effects of using too much social media are self-harm as seen in Social Dilemma.

I did the 14 day detox and it went all fine. People need to just back away from social media for a while and then they will realize that the world will not go away.

What do parents need to look out for in their kids now that they are home?

Most kids are doing homeschooling these days, so parents should monitor their progress at home. Parents should find out from kids about what they need to do for school work and when it is due.

Parents should look out for kids who are

  • Depressed
  • Spending more time on social media rather than their schoolwork
  • Anxious
  • Wanting to harm themselves
  • Withdrawn from the family dinner table. I.e checking their phone rather than eating dinner as a family. Dinner time is family time and this is the time where you should bond over food.

Parents should set boundaries with their kids on social media. They should also discuss some of the things that they watch on Youtube (note: Youtube is social media) and the things that they get up to on Facebook

On Facebook there are tools to help you control your child’s account. 


Pasta Bolognaise with baked beans

Pasta Bolognaise is good as a winter dish as it is comfort food.

This video is from Kitchen Sanctuary. This recipe uses the Baked beans, pasta and canned tomato sauce from inside the Woolworths Basics box which you can buy online for $80. You still need red wine, mince and onion to make the Bolognaise sauce. The wine you can buy from BWS and the mince you can buy from your local butcher.

You can add the baked beans to the end if you like.


Are corporations taking advantage of the poor people

Now that the Coronavirus has hit and people have lost their jobs we wonder if corporations such as Amazon, Walmart, Coles, Woolworths are taking advantage of poor people.

Most people are on the US Food stamps program which is a government assistance program. It is like Centrelink in Australia. These companies have an online store where people can get their groceries delivered. But it is expensive and there is a delivery fee added to the total cost of groceries at the checkout. 

The US Food Stamps corporation has released this report about greedy corporations. Amazon and Walmart have online stores, the same way that Coles and Woolworths do. Food companies around the world benefit from these sorts of the program and therefore they drive prices up every year.

Every year many people are left without. Many of them do not have access to fresh food. I think what this Coronavirus recession has taught us is to drive fresh food prices down or make it free for people that cannot afford it. We have seen more and more people ask for food help online. America and Australia are both the same that their populations suffer from chronic diseases.

What we can do to help stop these greedy corporations from taking over

  • Donate to your local free pantry. Many of these people are struggling to get by and can do with some help.
  • Offer to buy the poor food if you have money and a car to deliver these items. With delivery, it’s recommended that you follow the Government guidelines with Coronavirus. Otherwise, you would get into trouble.
  • Write to your local MP about this issue
  • If you really feel passionate about this issue you could start a petition for cheaper groceries

 


Chinese Wontons

This is another Stay at home idea for a rainy day or a cold day. The Chinese love their wontons and they are cheap to do at home.

They are easy to do and you do either seafood, meat, or vegetarian wontons. You’ll need the wonton wrapper which you can find in Asian grocery stores, a food processor, and the things for your fillings.

On and to cook them you’ll need a wok and some way to drain off all the excess oil. 

You can also do soup wonton which is cooking them in the soup. This is good for a winter’s night. We got this recipe from Howcast on Youtube.