10 Depression Signs And Symptoms

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Highlights

Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood throughout the day

You are constantly having feelings of hopelessness or despair

You are having Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, even sex

Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling "slowed down"

Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

Appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain

Restlessness or irritability

Thoughts of death or suicide or actual suicide attempts

 

We often misunderstand depression with just temporary negative emotions. I want to clear that depression is not an emotion, it's an illness. Back in the day, an outcast was one who was not part of a society for breaking a certain law. Someone like Robin Hood, who was celebrated. But now we are in the 21st century, and a depressed person is an outcast. On the one hand, a person crawling through shadows hiding what they feel are portrayed as people with "ideal behaviour"

And if you live in an Indian society, then there is added pressure on your head. I remember when I was 16 years old, and I went to my parents and said that I think I have depression. You can see I was still in denial. I said "I think". And this is how they reacted exactly: "Are you mad? You don't even know what depression is. You have everything in life." And just then, I thought I could not afford to get depressed, or it will break my family. This is the kind of denial we live in throughout our lives. My parents thought that I have food in my mouth and a warm bed to sleep in the night, how could I have depression? Depression was only for the less privileged.

But I want to tell you that our life is not a bed of roses. And our thinking is so Hollywood. Just as in Hollywood films, aliens always attack western countries, they never come to India. This is exactly how we treat depression. Only a first-world country could have depression. It's as if we're not "qualified" to have it.

But I'm here to tell you that now is the time you come out of your shell of denial and accept it as you are. This is not the time or era to lie to yourself. There are some basic human emotions that you can feel from time to time, like- feeling unloved or hopeless sometimes. It is a normal part of the human experience, and there is nothing wrong with it. Death can cause it in your family or friends, or a romantic break up or getting a poor grade or not getting a promotion at work. So keep a clear line between these emotions and the signs I am going to point out below.

I want to point out 10 important signs of depression. While you are reading this, try to analyse the difference between temporary sadness caused due to an event and the signs listed down below:

Following are the 10 signs of depression-

  1. A Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood throughout the day.
  2. You constantly have feelings of hopelessness or despair- when you always see the negative aspect of everything and thinking of the worst of every event of your life.
  3. You constantly have feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness- when you always feel guilty for your actions. You think that you are not made for anything in your life, and you feel like you have hit rock bottom.
  4. Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, even sex- When you lose interest in any activity in your life, and you want to lock yourself in your room and want to go away from everything.
  5. Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling "slowed down" - when you always feel tired, and sense exhaustion as if your mind will explode at any moment.
  6. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions- When you cannot remember the most natural things, and you find it so difficult to make any decision on your own for the smallest things like what you want to eat for dinner.
  7. Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping- When you are just rolling on your bed the whole night and you cannot sleep. Or sometimes when you sleep you sleep for a long time. If you are experience disturbed sleep or tend to wake up very early in the morning, it might be a problem.
  8. Appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain- When you don't feel like eating at all or when you eat, you eat like this is the last day of your life. And this leads to weight gain or weight loss.
  9. Restlessness or irritability - when your mind and body are always in an anxious state, which leads to irritability.
  10. Thoughts of death or suicide or actual suicide attempts- If you are having suicidal thoughts, then this is a warning sign, and now is the time to get help from the professionals.

Why You Should Care?

World health organization reports that India is the most depressed country in the world. One in six Indian suffers from depression. The most number of deaths between 15 to 24 years of age is not due to road accidents but due to suicide. Isn't it alarming that we are losing our bright minds to depression? We are one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and imagine what we can do if we are able to save these brilliant minds. So if you want to help such people then dont hesitate to talk to them. Because together, we can.

Now you have read, and you can evaluate what kind of thoughts or feelings you are having. Now you have a clear outline of what state you are in. Don't ever hesitate to talk about it. But know whom to talk to. Only open to people who support you as you are without distorting your thoughts or emotions and are accepting of all kinds of behaviour - no judgements.

In the next article, I will talk about the reasons and how you can overcome this illness. And believe me, it's not difficult. With a good support system and determination, you can do it as I have done it.

So feel free to tell me how you feel and what types of thoughts or feelings you are having. You can leave your comment in the comment section.

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5 signs you are infatuated with someone

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There is a thin line between love and infatuation. Because infatuation is a shadow image of love. So even if you are infatuated with someone, it feels like love. In the beginning, it is very hard to differentiate between infatuation and love while you are experiencing it. Because your mind will keep giving you shadow signs that it is love. You can only recognize it when you are away from it. We all experience it from time to time and especially during the early stages of life, when we all start our love lives with infatuation.

I am not going to say that you will avoid it in the first go. Because a lot of stable relationships start with infatuation. But if it is not love, then you will realize that the person is not what you expected as time passes away. You will try to make yourself believe again and again that it is love. But here I will give you key 5 signs which if you will keep in mind, you might not have to repeat again and you might just have a clear cut shot at love.

  1. When you are living in a fantasy world- When you are infatuated with someone then you keep daydreaming about you and your partner. You are always in your fantasy world thinking how perfect and awesome you guys are. But this headspace game is not healthy for a long term relationship. Because at some point you will have to come to the real world and face the real person in front of you. Then all your dreams will be shattered in seconds. And the irony is that some people stay in such dreams for so long that they get comfortable with the ideas of their relationships. So its best if you snap out of your dream world, see the person in front of you for who they are, and then judge your feelings for them.
  2. All you want to do is flirt and be physical with them- One of the strongest signs of infatuation is to be physical with the person apart and not be inclined to do other things with them. It is normal for new couples to be physical and passionate. But if there is only sex and no deeper emotions/ intellectual experiences then it is not love. Because the other half is missing and with time the physical attraction WILL fade away. You cannot escape this captivity with flirting all the time because at some point you will need to have a real conversation someone who will feed your soul.
  3. When you get really jealous- When you are infatuated with someone, you get extremely possessive of that person. You go a great length to defend that person. Even if someone is looking at your partner, you think that he or she is going to take your partner away from you. So if you are experiencing such signs then it is clearly infatuation.
  4. When lust overpowers all emotions- When you look at your partner what do you feel first, love or lust? People always try to justify that lust is common if there is love. That is correct but what if there is only lust? When you are with your partner, are you always looking for a hideout place so that you can make out with him or her? If there is only lust, then it is most definitely infatuation.
  5. You are only focused on your needs- when you only care about what you want and you don’t care what the other person wants, then you are clearly infatuated. Because, love is all about caring for the well being of another person. So when you are not considering the needs of your partner and if the other person is also doing the same then you are clearly infatuated with one another.

It is important to learn how to differentiate between infatuation and love. If you keep the above-discussed points in your mind, you will be able to differentiate between them and it will save you a lot of time and trouble.

In present times, breaking up and moving on to the next relationship is a daily affair. These short-lived relationships are based on feelings that are not real. An infatuation can last up to as short as 30 minutes and it can even continue for over a year. You can decide for yourself what you want from a relationship. If you are comfortable with infatuation then you can go with the flow. Or you can break the barrier and embark on a love forever journey. The choice is yours.

Tell us how your first infatuation experience was, feel free to drop a comment.

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7 Ways How Pets Can Help Your Mental Health

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Nothing can beat the joy of coming home and snuggling with your pets. No matter how hard your day was and one glimpse of your pet and all the stress starts to go away. Because we don’t need to tell our pets how we are feeling, as soon as you enter the house your pet is ready to encounter your distress. Studies say that animals have a strong sense and understanding of emotions. So you don’t need to explain to them as you explain it to your human counterpart.

They help with your mental health as well as physical health. Even if you want to just get in your pajamas and stay in your bed while sipping your coffee. Your pets take you out on walking or hiking.

I have owned pets from my childhood, ranging from dogs, cats, cows, rabbits, horses and so on. Here are 7 key findings on how they keep your mental and physical health and helps you overcome emotional distress.

  1. They help you overcome your loneliness- Either you are having a bad day or you are just feeling lonely in general. Your pets are always there to calm you down and cheer you up. I remember my school days when I had my first breakup and I was feeling lonely as the whole world had turned on me. I was just lying in my bed and my pets (especially dogs, cats and rabbits) would come to my bed from time to time snuggle with me and push me out of bed and show me that this is not the end there is much more to come. And believe me, they didn’t leave me for a minute until I was feeling okay.
  2. They help you stay in the moment- Pets’ lives are always in the moment. Like humans, they never care what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. In other words, they help you become more mindful. In the psychological term, they bring one’s attention to the present moment, i.e. Mindfulness. Pets also help distract youngsters and teenagers from what’s bothering them. And spending time with a pet helps them to learn how to be cheerful and be in the moment.
  3. Pets love us unconditionally- Pets love their owners unconditionally. For example, no matter how bad you did in your exams or how your athletic or social skills are. They don’t need such man made reasons to love you. They are just happy and cheerful to spend time with you. Studies say that such unconditional love is very good for mental health as it stimulates the brain to release the chemical, dopamine. Basically, it helps you sense pleasure.
  4. They keep your heart strong- Not to brag but this is true that they just don’t help with your stress but also with your physical health. Studies have proved that pets help you lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Means with all this combined effect you are less prone to experience a heart attack or stroke. Even if you are recovering from such an incident then your recovery rate is much higher if you have a pet to help you recover.
  5. Pets provide a sense of purpose- A pet provides you with a sense of purpose and responsibility. Because when you own a pet, you are never alone and you have to look after them. Which helps you organize your daily routine and also fills you with responsibility. It helps improve your mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Taking responsibility for your pet also helps improve your social skills. Which improves your relationships with your human counterparts.
  6. Pets offer empathy- I remember when one of my family members died when I was very young. We were having a hard time coping with it. So if someone would start crying or having an anxiety attack. Our pets would gather around and will start distracting us with putting their paws on our feet. Or they used to come and sit in our laps and cuddle. And it really helped people from going into severe depression. So always have a pet around, you never know when you might need them.
  7. Pets help you make more friends- Pets are an excellent way to improve your social interactions. As an adult, it is always hard to make friends. But if you have a pet with you then it is like an icebreaker and he or she is like your wingman. Suppose you are walking with your pet and someone just stops to pet your dog or cat. And just like this, you have a common topic to ta;k about. You will get easily comfortable with other pet owners. So for even introverts, pets are like a knight in shining armor, to help you interact with strangers. Studies also show that a pet owner is more likely to know his or her neighborhood better.

So if you have a fuzzy friend already then it is time to get too close to them and appreciate them more. If you don’t own one then you can just walk to a shelter near your home and bring one this new year. As a parent, if you do not want a pet at home, then you can take your kids to shelter from time to time so that they can encounter compassion and unconditional love. So from now on whenever you will walk to your pets never forget to thank them.

Feel free to drop a comment on how your pets help you with your tough times.

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10 Toxic Relationship Signs - What You Need To Watch Out For!

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Relationships are not like a fairy tale you read in a book or see it in a movie. No relationship is perfect, it has its ups and downs. But you should also be able to identify if you are in a good relationship or you are in a toxic relationship. Every relationship starts at a good point. Where there is passion, compassion, and love. But as soon as you start to go deeper in a relationship then the true color emerges of your partner and then you are in a dilemma, is it good or bad? Because this is the same man or woman I loved.

It is not necessary that a weak person only ends up in a toxic relationship. Strong and independent people also end up in a toxic relationship. And some even continue to stay in one for years just hoping that things will change. But always remember that you cannot expect mango from a guava tree. If your relationship makes you feel cared for, respected, loved and free to be yourself then you are in a good relationship. On the other hand, if your relationship makes you feel drained, neglected and left out as your self-pride is being stripped down then you are in a toxic relationship.

Here are 10 signs to show you that you are in a toxic relationship and it is time to let go

  1. All take no give- when you feel like you are the driving force of the relationship and your partner is not putting any effort into it. Even after pointing it out multiple times, your partner is not ready to change then it is time to let go. Because it will only drain your energy and fill your mind with negative energy.
  2. Controlling and excessively jealous- When your partner doesn’t let you be yourself. They are always controlling your daily life. Even the sight of you hanging out with friends or staying online till late night makes your partner furious then you need to rethink your relationship.your privacy matters and just because there is a new person in your life. That doesn’t mean that you have to let go of your old life. It is like just being in a prison. It will slowly kill the essence of your soul.
  3. When there is no privacy- self-love and self-care is the driving force of a soul. And every person has its own environment where he or she feels comfortable in that structure by themselves. If your partner keeps evading your privacy, going through your phone or text history, reading your social media chats. Your partner gets mad just because you liked someone’s pictures on social media. Then it is a toxic behavior. You are an adult and you don’t need 24/7 supervision.
  4. Constant judgment- everyone wants a person who brings out the best in them. But if your partner is always criticizing your every action in the relationship even when it is not needed. Because when you defend yourself then they get offended and try to explain that they are just trying to help. So always beware of such control freaks who play nice but in reality, they are tearing you down.
  5. Lack of communication- when there is too much lack of communication in a relationship. Whenever you are trying to talk on some matters and your partner just shuts you out or they become silent. Then it is a toxic relationship. Because without communication there is no relationship.
  6. Mutual avoidance- when you are your partner keeps avoiding each other. For example, you are eating together and you both are just pretending to be busy on your phones. so you would not need to engage in a conversation. Then your relationship needs an evaluation.
  7. When you are not able to say “NO”- saying ‘no’ in a relationship is a healthy practice because you cannot agree on every point your partner says. And a loving partner will respect your ‘no’ and appreciate you for it. If you are accepted in a relationship for just saying yes to everything. Then it is time for you to say NO to the relationship itself.
  8. When you feel very insecure- In a loving relationship, partners always appreciate each other, make each other feel loved, complementing each other. But when you are in a toxic relationship you always feel insecure around your person then it is time to let go.
  9. Physical or verbal abuse- if there is any kind of physical or verbal abuse in the relationship. Then you should now that it is the end of the line and it is time to break the ice. And run away from the relationship as it will bring severe mental problems.
  10. When there is no trust, only lies- Trust is a key factor of any relationship, if there is no trust then there is no pint of relationship. Lying just takes away the trust of the relationship. And mistrust in a relationship can turn even healthy people in toxic people. So when you feel it is enough and it cannot be reversed then it is time to break the relationship. Or it will break you.

So these are the important signs to evaluate yourself if you are in a toxic relationship.

There might be an endless reason if you end up in a toxic relationship. Love and happiness always don’t go together. There are times when you have to make sacrifices in a relationship. But if those sacrifices eat away your self-respect happiness and pride, then you are not in a healthy relationship. Because a loving relationship brings a better version of yourself. If you are with a person who makes you feel suffocated then it is time to let go. Because you deserve to feel safe and happy in a relationship.

Feel free to share your experience if you have ever been in a toxic relationship.

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Eating disorders and mental health in teenagers

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Eating disorder and mental health are two sides of the same coin. Depression leads to eating disorders and vice versa. Eating disorders among teenagers are very common. For instance, take Rache. She is a 14 years old girl. She finished her lunch in the school cafeteria. She is so upset with sudden weight gain that she went to the bathroom and forced herself to throw up. It might seem normal for starters that sometimes we throw up after eating food, but after doing for 5 to 10 times, and now it is a daily ritual for Rachel. And in the future, it will lead to serious health concerns, even death.

Jack is 16 years boy, and he was a chubby kid growing up, so he became obsessed to have an athletic body. So he started only eating salad and started running miles every day. After some time, jack became tall and thin, but he always felt tired and exhausted. One night he became severely ill with stomach pain and cramps. He was admitted to hospital and now undergoing various tests for his mystery illness.

Nowadays, millions of teenagers are affected by eating disorders, and most of them are girls. One out of every 7 girls are or were struggling with eating disorders. Of all the eating disorders cases, 90% of them are girls. Weight obsession is the main reason for this as all teenagers these days are obsessed with the perfect body.

Eating disorders can happen in many ways; some people don’t like to eat all then some do binge eating. Mainly, There are three types of eating disorders.

  1. Anorexia Nervosa - People having anorexia nervosa avoid food or eat very less amount of food. Even if they eat, they are very restrictive and selective of their food choices. Even if they are underweight, they consider themselves overweight.

Symptoms- Here are some signs and what it will lead to over a period of time.

  • Extremely restricted eating and in some cases intensive and excessive exercise
  • Extreme thinness
  • A never-ending pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a healthy and normal weight.
  • Intense fear of weight gain
  • Poor body image, a self-esteem that is heavily influenced and shaped by perceptions and projection of body weight and shape

And these symptoms over time can develop in worse cases like-

  • Thinning of the bones (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
  • Mild anaemia and muscle wasting and weakness
  • Brittle hair and nails, dry and yellowish skin, Growth of fine hair all over the body
  • Severe constipation, Low blood pressure, slowed breathing and pulse
  • Damage to the structure and function of the heart
  • Drop-in internal body temperature, causing a person to feel cold all the time
  • Lethargy, sluggishness, or feeling tired all the time
  • Irregular periods delayed puberty and slow growth
  • Infertility, Brain damage, and multiorgan failure

Anorexia is a fatal eating disorder, and it can lead to sudden death. It has the most mortality rate among all eating disorders. People with anorexia often have a hard time remembering things. The thoughts and emotions they go through daily are- feeling alone, sad, or depressed, anxiety, fears about gaining weight and thoughts of hurting themselves.

  1. Bulimia Nervosa- People with bulimia often have a habit of overeating and then feeling guilty about it. After they go through with intense fasting or exercise or depends on pills. Their thought is that they are compensating for overeating. People with bulimia can be of normal weight or overweight.

Symptoms- Physical symptoms because of bulimia may include-

  • Low blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Feeling tired, weak, dizzy, or faint
  • Blood in vomit or stool
  • Tooth erosion and cavities
  • Swollen cheeks

The person having bulimia usually have emotions as -

  • low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression
  • alcohol or drug problems
  • Thoughts of hurting themselves
  1. Binge-Eating- People having binge eating disorder have no control over their eating, and they feel guilty about it. Still, they do not do anything like exercising or fasting to compensate for it, as people with bulimia do. That is why people with bulimia are overweight.

Symptoms include-

  • Eating unusually large amounts of food in a specific amount of time, like 2 to 3 hours.
  • Eating fast and eating even when full or not hungry
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Eating alone or in secret to avoid embarrassment
  • Feeling distressed, ashamed, or guilty about eating

These symptoms lead to physical problems such as-

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Fatty liver

People with binge eating disorder suffer from low self esteem and anxiety and depression. They have difficulties coping with strong emotions and to get away from that they just take it out by eating in bulk.

Cause of eating disorders-

There is no defined cause of eating disorders, As I would like to point out that there are many various factors which are responsible for it.

For example- The society where we grow up, from morning to evening we encounter things which flaunt perfect body image, but we don’t think for a second that it is real or not, and our kids get caught up in it. So it is influenced by the environment we live in. If we as responsible adults just pay a little attention to eat and teach our kids that they are perfect the way they are. So if you have a kid or any person who is around you and you feel that they are going through the same then don’t hesitate to talk to them.

Because if it is treated early, there are more chances to recover from it.

Diagnosis- Mental professionals first assess the problems and severity of it that how early or late it is. So they can prepare a meal plan with the help of a dietician and proper mental counseling.

So if you feel that you have any of the eating disorders discussed above then feel free to talk to elders, you trust and consult a doctor. It is not that difficult if you have a good support system, then it will be effortless for you to develop your self-confidence. Once you feel good in the state, you are and show love for the body you have. There is nothing in this universe that can pull you down.

Feel free to drop your suggestions and views in the comment section.

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8 Myths about period every woman has to face

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Hey! Aren’t you on your period? Then how can you…? Yes! We’ve all heard a lot of these from our parents, relatives and friends. Periods, the name itself has a lot of taboos and myths surrounding it. Let’s take it from the start, periods are a very natural phenomenon that most of us are very hesitant to talk about. Many of us don’t openly talk about periods and that is exactly where the problem lies. We believe the myths surrounding them which aren’t even true and keep passing them on to the generations down the line. So, let us bust a few myths for you today:

  • Periods is only a woman’s thing:

Menstruation is mostly considered as something that only a woman goes through, but here is something that we all don’t know. Menstruation doesn’t only happen to women; transgender and intersex individuals also experience periods. This is something that not many people know including women themselves, so the next time we’re talking about periods it’s not only a woman’s thing.

  • Having sex during periods prevents pregnancy:

Most of us think that having sex while we’re on our periods reduces the risk of becoming pregnant. NO! This is a huge myth; it depends on the menstrual cycle of each woman. Sometimes women are least fertile when they are on their period but sometimes it can be the opposite and they could be ovulating at the same time of their period. This mostly depends on the length of the menstrual cycle which varies from individual to individual because each woman is unique in her own way Hence, the next time you want to have sex, it is best to use protection and not your period.

  • Having a bath causes problem in your bleeding:

Who doesn’t love having a hot shower or a long bath in the tub? but having bath while you’re on your periods is bad because the hot water stimulates the blood flow and has ill effects on your health? Who-ever came up with this has no idea how relieving it is to have a hot water bath especially when you are on your periods and just need to relax yourself. There is no such thing that a hot water bath can cause, it is completely fine to have bath during periods, having mild fragrances and essences also help lighten the mood and obviously release your stress.

  • Syncing periods:

Hey, you guys live together right? So, does that mean you both get your periods at the same time? In what world does living together mean getting periods at the same time? The concept of period synchrony- “synching of woman’s periods” first appeared as a scientific idea and was written in an article that women who live together or spend more time together tend have their periods synchronized. Initially they believed this happened because the woman who lived together exchanged Pheromones over time which led to this phenomenon, but later, studies were conducted again and this time the scientist failed to gather evidence for period synchrony and hence this became a myth.

  • Exercising during periods:

How can you exercise when you are on your period? Doesn’t it increase the blood flow? Yes ladies! Periods can make us as hyper as a kid and can also make us a couch potato. Exercising while you’re on your periods have a lot of health benefits, it not only makes our body active but also helps in relieving the menstrual cramps and stress. We all assume that exercising on our periods can cause more cramps, but mild exercises and certain kinds of exercises helps to reduce the cramps. Exercising is good, but not straining your body through exercises because that might have a direct impact on your health. So, the next time you’re on your period make sure to exercise and most importantly relieve your cramps.

  • Tampon causes loss of virginity:

Tampons definitely have a lot of myths surrounding it and one of the first and biggest one being that tampons will lose your virginity. The breaking of your hymen marks “loss of virginity”, and many people assume that by inserting a tampon can break the hymen. If that was the case, then we wouldn’t be menstruating in the first place because the hymen would block the blood from flowing, many of us don’t know that hymen is actually a thin membrane between the opening lines of the vagina. Tampons in anyway do not affect the hymen as it is very small and something that can be easily put inside for which you needn’t lose your virginity. To, All the ladies out there worrying about losing your virginity, ditch your pads and go for it.

  • You can’t swim during your periods:

Going swimming during your period? Have you lost it? We all girls think about how awkward it is to go swimming because of the blood flow and release of bodily fluids in the water. Here is a thing that not many of us know, when we enter the pool or water it is likely to bleed especially because of the pressure in the water which acts as a barrier and stops the menstrual flow. Other than that, tampons and menstrual cups are preferred while entering the pool because it is also designed in such a way and it is also very comfortable. On the other hand, entering with a sanitary pad is something that you might want to re-consider. The next time someone questions you entering the pool while you’re on your period, Just Dive In!

  • PMS isn’t a real thing:

For all you men or women out there who think PMS isn’t a real thing, you really haven’t been stabbed internally by your uterus every month! The pain is definitely real and we know how that feels girls. PMS, mostly known as the Pre-Menstrual Syndrome that happens to women before their periods and one of their common symptoms is bloating of the stomach and cramps. The cramps usually make women very cranky and moody throughout the day. Craving for an ooey gooey chocolate cake and in the next minute craving for a spicy biryani, we can be as happy as a little kid jumping around out of joy and within minutes feel like stabbing every next person we see. The cravings, the mood swings, the cramps are all PMS and VERY REAL. So, to everyone who think PMS is not real, No Uterus- No opinion!

Most of us would have heard or read about these things somewhere or the other, but the important factor lies in the part where you stop believing these myths. Periods are natural, it is a way a woman’s body functions and most importantly is a journey from a girl to a woman. So, the next time you hear anyone say things like this, try busting these myths from our side and enjoy their reactions to these myths as much as we enjoyed yours. Do write your reactions and any other myths that we’ve missed out which you want share with us right here in the comment section below.

Let’s keep it Glo-ing !

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8 Ways to stay positive and motivated during this pandemic

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If you are like me, you are probably experiencing more stress that usual. Work is different, the Wi-Fi is acting up, and your social life has come to a halt. Stability and predictability are two words that we are unable to resonate with anymore. After a certain point, all of this can get to you. Fear can make you feel powerless. While you cannot control your feelings, thoughts and the Wi-Fi, you definitely can shift your attention towards the things you can control and help restore your sense of confidence.

Make a list of things that you think are in your control (They could be uneventful or extraordinary) and work on them, every single day. I would like to share with you, my list:

  1. Start a virtual book/movie club: Start your own book club on WhatsApp. Add all the bibliophiles on your contact list. Or if you’re a movie buff, create a group to watch and discuss movies.
  2. Enhance your skills: Work on advancing your skill! It could be something as mundane as taking up an excel course or something fun like baking. Try to complete at least two online courses this quarantine!
  3. Work out: You probably saw this coming. But one cannot stress how important it is to work out especially during uncertain times like these, when your anxiety is at its peak and your thoughts don’t let you sleep. Learn new home workouts every day and let the endorphins and serotonin flow into your body.
  4. Interact (virtually) with your long lost friends and family: Life can get really busy and to be honest it has been. Until now. And we are unable to cope with all the time we have. Talk to all those people you lost touch with and wished you hadn’t (This does not include you ex. DO NOT TEXT THEM!).
  5. Learn a new make-up routine: I personally feel like, the time I spend wearing make-up is all for me. It is the time I have chosen for myself. It could take you fifty minutes or fifteen minutes. That is YOUR time, you are looking in the mirror and focusing on yourself. So create a new look and wear some mascara because, why not?
  6. Write a blog on Glo Community: You probably did not see this one coming. But really, put all your thoughts (happy or sad) into words, not only will it help you learn a lot about yourself, but also help you gain awareness of your reality. You will be helping contribute to the WHO Covid-19 fund!
  7. Limit your news intake: While it is good to be informed at all times, the amount of information can be a double edged sword. So be aware, but also learn to disconnect.
  8. Do your bit: Last but not the least, everybody reading this is probably doing their part by washing hands regularly and staying home unless absolutely necessary. Every small effort is going to add up and will have a huge impact.

Do not lose hope. Stay positive, stay motivated and please be safe. We are all in this together. 😊

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My story of self isolation.

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I traveled back from London on 16th March and I was placed under strict self Isolation at home for 14 days. In the beginning it was pretty hard and getting stressful. I started becoming restless. But when the nation was placed under a lockdown it made it easier for me to cope up with the situation. I made it safely without showing any symptoms and I am glad I followed the rules to be a responsible citizen. My point being to the people out there feeling lonely that they are not alone. Stay strong. ✌️

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Yoga Poses To Help You Sleep Better

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Yoga can do wonders to your body and mind, but you probably already know that. I’ve been practicing for close to two years now, and I think it’s safe to say that it has changed my life. Yoga has SO many benefits and decoding each pose to know how they help your body lead to simpler goal-setting. 

With broken work schedules and irregular sleep cycles having affected a whole lot of people in this quarantine period, you might feel the need to get on track and make the most of each day if you’re anything like me. This article highlights 10 yoga poses that you can practice while at home, either first thing in the morning or at least 2-3 hours after a meal. The article merely consists of the poses to be practiced in order to sleep better/longer. If you're a beginner, you can head to theyogajournal to know step by step instructions to achieve all of the aformentioned poses. 

10 easy-to-do Yoga Poses that help you sleep better: 

1. Cat Pose  

 

2. Cow Pose

3. Bridge Pose

4. Big Toe Pose 

5. Corpse Pose 

6. Dolphin Pose

7. Downward-Facing Dog

8. Extended Puppy Pose

9. Plow Pose

10. Standing Forward Bend



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4 Work From Home Tips And Tools To Make You More Efficient

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Lockdown amidst this global pandemic of coronavirus making you lose out on productivity? Check out these 5 apps that help you do better.

  1. Down Dog

Working from home means slouchy, unsupervised postures that can lead to serious spinal issues later on. It’s all fun and games with your PJs on, bra off and your hair rounded in a bun, until it’s not anymore. The weighing scale goes up, you start having issues with sleeping patterns and what not.

Enter: Down Dog. As the name suggests, the app provides a studio-like experience to kickstart your yoga journey to help you lead a fitter, healthier and bendier life. Having appeared in the editor’s choice section of Google Play store, the Down Dog app has announced all of their workouts - Yoga, HIIT, Barre and short 7 minute circuits to be absolutely free for all till the lockdown ends. Need we say more? The app is available on android as well as iOS platforms. 

  1. Recipe Book

Another aspect of your routine that is likely to go downhill if you suddenly start to work from home is your diet. A constant need to snack every now and then is only a few days away from haunting you and this could prove to be a not-so-friendly habit for your body. 

Recipe book is a recipe discovery app that curates various recipes from almost all popular cuisines such as Indian, Italian, Mexican, Korean, Thai, Malaysian - even Arabiana and German. Sure, many recipe apps have been around for a while but the apps search facility and the offering of enabling offline saved recipes makes it super user-friendly. There’s a “follow your interests” feature that allows you to follow cuisines, your favorite chefs and blogs. The best part is that the app helps you search for recipes according to the ingredients you enter (In the form of text or images). So you can scout for dishes that can be made off the ingredients lying in your own refrigerator! 

  1. ToDoist 

Let’s face it, writing up lists on your tiny diary and misplacing them can be a real problem sometimes. Even if you somehow manage a great journal, you need reminders to help you stay on track and stay motivated to accomplish your daily tasks.

ToDoist acts as the ultimate todo list organiser and has helped millions gain control over their lives. Its intelligent software does more than just help you create timely tasks. It helps categorise each of your tasks under sections and schedule reminders for your tasks/meetings as well. 

  1. Insight Timer 

Another reason for lack of productivity or motivation during this period of quarantine could be stress, anxiety and restlessness. Simply allotting a couple of minutes a day specifically to calming your nerves can really help you take on each day a whole lot better.

Insight Timer is a free meditation app that helps you sleep better, reduces anxiety and even helps manage stress. Its simple mantra is to improve happiness and let's face it, we could all use some “happy” right about now. There are over 24,000 guided as well as unguided meditation routines that are suitable for all starting from beginners to advanced practitioners. They have material from renowned artists, experts and professors from Stanford, Harvard and University of Oxford too. We're sold!

Hope these suggestions do much to help your productive graph go up. Stay home, Stay safe.




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Lockdown On Domestic Violence

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A crisis within a crisis, domestic abuse cases are surging around the world, spreading in homes like an infection, of sorts. But was this bound to happen? 

Sociologists and experts who have studied abusive relationships say that there is every reason to believe that the lockdown imposed by nations worldwide would have such an effect on public health considering the domestic violence rates go up whenever families tend to spend more time with each other during holiday seasons like summer vacation or even Diwali and Christmas. 

Here are two heart-breaking stories to give you some context:

In China during the lockdown, a 26 y/o woman Lele found herself entangled in multiple arguments with her husband that now seemed to blow way out of proportion after spending much time in the same house. On March 1st, her husband began to brutally beat her up with a high metal chair while she held her 11-month old baby in her arms. She posted pictures of herself where two of the metal legs of the chair had snapped off and every inch of her leg was covered in bruises. 

In Spain, upon being contacted by the New York Times, a victim Ana who shares an apartment with her partner reported that she was regularly being abused. He insisted on watching her all the time. If she locked herself in the room or bathroom, he would kick the door until she opened it. 

India too has seen a drastic increase in the number of daily domestic violence cases being reported. 

But what about these reported cases? 

Lockdown on Domestic Violence is an initiative by Akshara Centre, in collaboration with Special Cell for Women and Children. It is supported by the Maharashtra government and Maharashtra police. The initiative urges people who are victims/witnesses of victims of domestic abuse to step forward and register a complaint. 

In a recent trending video featuring celebrities Karan Johar, Anushka Sharma, Virat Kohli, Madhuri Dixit, and a few others, they request people to leverage Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s initiative and DIAL 100. 

But doesn’t this seem like the obvious thing to do? The answer is NO. People across India are likely to have an assumption that the lockdown may not deem domestic violence cases as top priority and hence hesitate to even make this call. Such people NEED a nudge to step forward and with the help of the #LockdownOnDomesticAbuse initiative, this is now a solid possibility. 






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All You Need To Know About Health & Fitness Week

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Glo.community has officially announced the commencement of #HealthAndWellnessWeek starting the 27th of April in response to a lot of people’s interest in the same. Did you know that while the lockdown has several benefits to your health, a lot of adverse effects can easily be witnessed as soon as you step out of your homes once the lockdown is officially lifted?

This is the sole reason for experts urging you to build up your immunity while you’re at home. Besides, sitting at home can really take a negative toll on your food habits, eating and sleeping patterns, and everyone’s current nightmare (well, besides the novel coronavirus, of course) - submitting to the lifestyle of a “couch potato”. 

For all of these reasons and more, Glo has decided to bring to you: The Health & Wellness Week.

We have some very interesting conversations with health experts going live on our Instagram and a bundle of tips, titbits and articles launched each day to keep you up-to-date and answer all your health and wellness related questions. 

Some of the topics covered in these questions would be: At home workouts, tackling stress and anxiety, dealing with a lack of motivation to do things, mental health and women, eating disorders, the importance of healthy eating, and lot more.

If you wish to publish an article of your own, make sure to do so on our website

Until then, here’s some grandma verified gyaan on how to build immunity, that has seemed to work for a lot of people we know: 

  1. Garlic. Tastes disgusting but garlic bread is great, right?
  2. “Haldi Doodh” AKA turmeric milk never goes out of style
  3. Exercise, every day. Mopping floors has seemed to work for me
  4. Drink pomegranate juice
  5. Sleep for 7/8 hours - not more nor less

We hope you folks are staying home and keeping safe. 

 



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6 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown

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With a lack of essential vitamins, stress caused by uncertainty and staying indoors all day rises the need for a boost in one's immunity. Here are 6 ways you can aim to boost yours in this lockdown:

1. Cold Showers
The ample benefits that cold showers have on your skin are all highlighted enough across the internet. Supermodels even go to the extent of dipping themselves in ice buckets to have glowing skin before important photoshoots. But what is not widely known is that cold showers have the capabilities of boosting one’s immune system. Wim Hof, a guru of all things cold explains that benefits of cold baths included speeding metabolism, reducing inflammation, improved sleep, and also improved a person’s immune response. Besides, it is summer after all, so this should be quite an easy step to follow this lockdown period. 

2. Sweat (or stretch) It Out
Most people are well-aware of the link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. Regular exercise improves your mood, reduces stress, and also contributes to general well being overall. The benefits of yoga too, are understated, to be honest. With millions of free workout videos available to you and also made convenient by many apps, you must choose to incorporate at least 30 minutes of ANY exercise (Dance, Yoga, Jump Rope or Other workouts) in your daily quarantine routine.

3. Eat To Boost Immunity 
Your diet is an integral part of how you feel. How strong you are highly depending on the food you consume every day. Even with easily available ingredients, you can achieve a boost in your immunity if you choose to do so. Some foods that promote immunity: 
1. Garlic
2. Turmeric (Haldi)
3. Spinach (Popeye was onto something after all!)

4. Citrus Fruits like oranges, gooseberries, lemons, grapefruit, and mandarins

In addition to this, you must aim to cut down on alcohol, caffeine, and smoking, and eat a diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables, oily fish and nuts. It might sound like the obvious thing to do but most people struggle to even get these basics right sometimes. 

5. Fermented Food/Probiotics Are Your Friends
Food like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, dhoklas, and kefir are fermented foods that are rich in beneficial bacteria. A flourishing network of good bacteria in your gut helps your immune cells better differentiate between healthy cells and harmful invaders which decreases the likelihood of infectious diseases. 
If due to unavailability or other reasons, you don't wish to consume probiotic foods, you can always resort to probiotic supplements that are equally beneficial, if not more. 

6. Ditch Sugar For A While 
Research suggests that refined sugars and carbs could lead one to the path of obesity. How is this relevant to your immune system? According to a study, people with obesity who received the flu vaccine were still likely to get the flu, unlike people without obesity who received the same vaccine. Something to worry about, especially in this time of a world pandemic where health should be your number one priority. Although, natural sugars (found in fruit, honey, for example) and whole carbs can still be consumed in moderation. 

7. Stay Hydrated
Although hydration doesn’t necessarily protect you from a virus as such, preventing dehydration is very important for overall health. Not drinking enough water (At least 2 litres a day) can cause headaches, negatively impact digestion, mood and kidney function and it is these complications that could potentially increase susceptibility to illness. So you must stay hydrated! 

Besides physical health, the lockdown can cause some people to have unusual stress and anxiety and this is as much of a concern to your immune system as your physical health. Practice meditation, get adequate sleep, laugh without reason, draw, doodle or do some yoga to help your mind relax. This too shall pass. 

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Why Vitamin D Is Important During The Lockdown

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First things first. Why does your body need Vitamin D? 

  1. Healthy bones

Vitamin D plays an essential role in maintaining calcium as well as phosphorus levels in the blood. This, in turn, contributes to strong, healthy bones. You NEED vitamin D for your intestines to absorb as well as retain calcium and without it, one would be at risk of causing their bones to soften. In simple words, without sufficient amounts of this Vitamin, you could have poor bone density and weak muscles. 

  1. Promotes Immune System Health

Studies show that Vitamin D has a protective effect against the influenza virus. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) also suggests that there exists evidence pointing towards a connection between low vitamin D and an increased risk of allergic sensitization. Besides this, regular sources of Vitamin D also have anti-inflammatory benefits to your body. 

  1. Supports Brain and Nervous System

There is a correlation between winter and negative moods for a reason. The lack of sufficient Vitamin D from sunlight causes people to have increased sleepiness and sleep difficulties. This is primarily because Vitamin D helps enhance mood, and also promotes nervous system health. 

  1. Respiration and Cardiovascular Health

One of the biggest roles of Vitamin D is regulating the immune system. In doing so, the body is less susceptible to immunity-related conditions like acute or chronic respiratory complications. Respiration: the highest prioritized consideration of the human body requires Vitamin D. It basically helps you breathe better. Need we say more? 

What are some common symptoms of a Vitamin D Deficiency? 

  • Repeated infection or allergies
  • fatigue
  • bone/ back pain
  • bad mood (that occurs often)
  • impaired wound healing
  • hair loss
  • muscle pain

Sensible sun exposure on bare skin for around 5–10 minutes, 2–3 times per week, allows most people to produce sufficient vitamin D. However, vitamin D breaks down quite quickly, meaning that stores can run low, especially in winter.

It is natural that during the course of this nationwide lockdown, you can't get enough sunlight to get your daily dose of vitamin D like you normally would. Vitamin D deficiency can take a serious toll on your health. 

What can you do to fight a Vitamin D Deficiency? (Besides getting natural sunlight)

A list of foods that help boost Vitamin D are:

  • fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna
  • egg yolks
  • cheese
  • beef liver
  • mushrooms
  • fortified milk
  • fortified cereals and juices

Below are some general guidelines for how much Vitamin D your body needs:

Vitamin D Recommendations

IOM

FDA

Endocrine Society

 

(RDA)

(RDI)

(Daily Allowance)

Infants

     

0-6 months

 

400 IU

400-1000 IU

6-12 months

 

400 IU

400-1000 IU

Children

     

1-3 years

600 IU

600 IU

600-1000 IU

4-8 years

600 IU

800 IU

600-1000 IU

Adults

     

9-18 years

600 IU

800 IU

600-1000 IU

19-70 years

600 IU

800 IU

1500-2000 IU

>70 years

800 IU

800 IU

1500-2000 IU

Pregnancy

     

14-18 years

600 IU

600 IU

600-1000 IU

19-50 years

600 IU

600 IU

1500-2000 IU

Lactation*

     

14-18 years

600 IU

600 IU

600-1000 IU

19-50 years

600 IU

600 IU

1500-2000 IU

Besides the consumption of Vitamin D rich foods, you can even resort to supplements if necessary: 

Two forms of vitamin D are available for supplementation: vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. Although they differ in structure and source, both are converted, by the liver, into the same form of vitamin D that is measured in the blood to determine a person’s vitamin D status. 

Vegans and others who prefer a plant-based source of vitamin D typically choose to supplement with vitamin D2, compared to animal-based vitamin D3 sources. 

Multivitamins, on the other hand, include either 400, 500, or 1000 IU vitamin D in the form of D2 or D3 or a combination of both. 

What every source you choose, ensure you don't go overboard fueled by the lack of sunlight. Vitamin D is important, yes, but it's imperative that the supply is in prescribed amounts only. 

We hope this was helpful. 

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Why Mental Health Is Important Especially During Isolation

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Empty shelves at the store, the exhaustion of self-isolating (especially for extroverts), and the very fear of contracting the disease, this pandemic has caused a lot of people to feel quite abnormal, so to say. Although it’s difficult for people to recognize their feelings and state of mind in such a situation, the center of it is mostly stress, anxiety, and in some cases, even depression.

Although altering the sudden external changes around you may seem like an impossible thing to do, there is in fact much you can do to cope up with the change. 

5 tips to take care of your mental health during this COVID-19 pandemic: 

  1. Reverse Your Approach towards things

Someone wise has once said, “It’s all in the head”. Now while this might not seem to be true for everything, this rule most certainly does apply to the circle of motivation. To stay motivated, you have to ditch an attitude that says “I’m stuck here” and use a rather different approach like saying “I finally have all this time on my plate”. Doing things that you have been setting aside for a long time is a great way to feel positive. Do one important task that is beneficial to your long term goals every single day, and you will feel more and more positivity in your thoughts each day. 

  1. Go on an “Anti-depression Diet”

All those diets you’ve been meaning to try out that do nothing but harm your body in the long run? Ditch them all. Go on a happy diet. There are certain foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and are also known to increase the levels of serotonin in your brain. These include eggs, cheese, nuts, whole grains, pineapple, tofu, salmon, berries and green leafy vegetables. Ensure you include at least some of these, if not all, in your diet to contribute to a healthy gut. After all, a healthy gut is the key to a healthy mind.

  1. Tidy-up your home (and your work ethic) 

We understand that it can be difficult to set routines and stick to them, especially while working from home. But a lot of people do it even without being forced to. Working from home and freelancing are not new concepts to have risen in various parts of the world. How do these people do it? It’s not easy, but it is simple. You need to have set stations for various activities. Don't eat in your bed, Don’t workout in your kitchen and do not work on your couch. Also, ensure that you’re home is organized and tidy or you’re just going to feel claustrophobic and unmotivated. 

  1. Therapeutic Sleep

A major cause of feeling depressed or anxious is a lack of sleep or irregular sleeping patterns. Try to get a full 8 hours of sleep and wake up at approximately the same time every day. Get some sunlight on your balcony/terrace first thing in the morning after waking up. To increase the quality of your sleep, you can also resort to cutting off screen-time at least 2 hours before you sleep. A good nights’ sleep goes a long way in helping you deal with any kind of stress-induced emotion. 

  1. Use the Exercise pill

A lot of clinical studies show that regular exercise produces chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine in your brain that act as effective antidepressants or psychotherapy to treat milder cases of depression. Since most of you might not have access to a gym, given the current circumstances, create your own home workout routine. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise at least 4 days of the week. If you do suffer from clinical depression, it can be hard to want to exercise, so start small. You could aim to begin with about 10 minutes of moderate exercise a day and then build your way up from there. 



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