Effective Ways to Beat Summer Allergies

having allergies

High temperatures aren’t the only threat to your well-being when summer comes. There’s also the issue of allergies. Summer is when grass and weeds give off a lot of pollen that triggers allergies. The high humidity during summer further contributes to their spread. Higher humidity levels also make it easier for mold spores to grow and spread. Here are ways to defeat allergies that accompany the hot summer months.

Do Nasal Irrigation

Nasal irrigation is a type of therapy that uses a solution made from salt and water to flush out nasal passages. You can use a sinus rinse bottle or neti pot. Both items can be purchased at a pharmacy. You can use a store-bought saline solution or make your own by mixing a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda to a pint of distilled or purified water. During summer, the best times to flush out your nasal passages with a saline solution are in the morning and before going to bed. Irrigating your nasal passages can remove any pollen or other minute particles before they enter your bloodstream and cause an allergy.

Keep Indoor Air Clean & Pure

Homes should use an indoor air purifier to filter out pollen. Air purifiers are especially needed when it’s hot, as you will likely use your air-conditioning unit, which can further spread dust and pollen throughout your home. Also, keep your windows closed to prevent more pollen and mold spores from getting in.

If you think there’s mold in any part of your home, consult a mold removal specialist. To further aid in purifying indoor air, place houseplants that work as natural air purifiers in your kitchen, living room, and bedrooms. These plants will help absorb toxins and give off fresh oxygen.

Change Your Laundry Process

While hanging out your laundry to dry in summer is a good idea, the downside is that pollen can stick to them. Dry your laundry indoors in a room that lets the sun in, instead. Apart from pollen attaching to clothes, harsh chemicals or strong scents in laundry detergent, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets can trigger allergies. Switch to natural, unscented laundry detergents, especially if you have family members with asthma.

Eat Healthily

eating healthy

What you eat can trigger food allergies or worsen other allergies. This applies to junk food or fast food that’s full of artificial coloring, preservatives, and other chemical additives. Unhealthy food like these can give your body a hard time breaking down these chemicals, causing inflammation. Couple this with an allergic reaction to mold or pollen, and you could feel much worse. Avoid fast food and other highly-processed foods, like chips or candy, and consume more leafy greens and fruits, particularly those high in Vitamin C and E. Food high in these vitamins can ease swelling in your airways.

The top triggers of summer allergies are mold and pollen, but other triggers like common household chemicals and eating junk food should not be ignored. To beat summer allergies, adopt a holistic approach. Minimize going outdoors, keep your house clean, shut your windows, use an air purifier, use organic cleaning products, and watch what you eat.

The Vegan Shopping List: How to Know That What You’re Buying Is 100% Vegan


Whether you are a starting vegan, want to know about veganism, or are an expert vegan, it helps to be armed with information vital to this lifestyle. It is not particularly hard to be a vegan. The point of veganism is never to consume products with ingredients and materials coming from animals. Vegans do not see animals and their by-products as things we can consume. With around 32,000 (as of 2019) products registered as vegan, it is not exactly impossible to find a product that complements this lifestyle. Still, it pays to be well-informed about the products you’re buying.

If you’re a vegan, shopping online seems to be impossible because you cannot check the labels and the allergen information. With a little bit of effort, you can make this tactic work. Why should shopping for vegan items be any different than shopping for regular products? You can ask the seller to send you more information about the products. Or you can research the products on the Internet and read reviews about its vegan quality.


The easiest way to tell if a product is vegan is to read the labels. There should be “suitable for vegans” or “certified vegan” labels on the product’s packaging. If you’re a vegetarian and a vegan, look for the “cruelty-free and vegan” label. Because followers of vegan diets are increasing, these labels are appearing more in your grocery aisles.

Allergen Information

The law requires food manufacturers to put a label on the products indicating if it contains common allergens such as dairy and nuts. Moreover, they are required to put the label on bold letters so that the buyers won’t miss it. The allergen information usually looks like this: “May contain traces of nuts, eggs, or milk” or “This product is processed in a facility that also processes eggs, nuts, and milk.” The allergen information might miss ingredients such as honey and egg lecithin, but for the most part, it covers the usual suspects.


checking for ingredients

This is when it gets hard. The list of ingredients is confusing for most people. What’s in a gelatin or whey powder, for example? Gelatin comes from animal bones, and whey powder is from milk. These are not vegan ingredients. You have to research more about the ingredients. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) lists down animal ingredients on their website to guide vegans.


Another characteristic of vegan products is whether they are cruelty-fee. So the products may not include animal-derived ingredients, but they could have undergone animal testing. This is particularly for those who want to use only vegan cosmetics. Animal testing is not being advertised on the packaging. Before you buy a blush-on, an eyeliner, or a lipstick, make sure to check the Internet if these were tested on animals.

When looking for vegan products to buy, shop only in vegan establishments and look for products trademarked by vegan organizations. You should also ask your vegan friends for recommendations. Google is also the best place to know about vegan products and ingredients that you should stay clear of.

Stressed Out: Reduce Stress without Pharmaceuticals

stressed working man

Stress is everywhere. In the UK, more than 75 percent of the nation has experienced overwhelming stress over a year, and politics isn’t entirely to blame. While the ongoing debacle over Brexit and the recent elections were undoubtedly stressful for some, most people are more concerned about work issues, their health, and their financial situation. Stress can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to turn to pharmaceuticals to get relief.

Sleep Right

A night of sleeping is your body’s way of recovering from the physical, emotional, and mental stress accumulated throughout the day. Too little sleep puts pressure on your body and mind, reducing your efficiency, whether performing physical tasks or mental calculations. A good night’s sleep makes you feel refreshed and capable of overcoming the obstacles of the day, but getting one can be a bit difficult. Artificial light from light bulbs, the television, laptops, and smartphones mess up your body’s biological clock and keep you up at night. Caffeine also plays a significant factor, especially if you drink sodas, tea, or coffee late in the afternoon, as the effects of caffeine can last for more than 6 hours. Stick to water, wine, or milk before going to bed.

Get Some Sun

Sunlight makes everyone happy; it brightens up your day. A little bit of sun during the morning will stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that balances your mood and lifts your spirits. Regular exposure to early morning sunlight resets and fortifies your body’s natural circadian rhythm, giving you more energy and boosting your thought processes. Take short walks in the mornings and soak in the sunlight. Just 10 minutes of sun exposure every day can keep your bones healthy, lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk of Type II diabetes, and fortify your immune system. Just don’t soak in too much sun as too much ultraviolet radiation can be harmful.


meditation with butterfly

Do some yoga and practice a few breathing exercises. It might surprise you that just breathing properly can significantly reduce stress. Take short sessions to reflect on your life and your goals. Meditation is about finding your center or your self and maybe making it better. Grasp your prayer beads and chant a few life-affirming mantras. You don’t have to be religious; focus on your goals, and believe you can succeed. Meditation can help you deal with anxiety and depression or give you a clear mind for a relaxing rest. A few minutes of meditation a day will increase your ability to concentrate and promote your self-esteem.


Meet up with people you care about. Subconsciously affirming connections and strengthening bonds produces the hormone oxytocin. Given the moniker “the love hormone,” oxytocin produces the overwhelming feelings of being accepted and loved. Actual proximity and physical contact prompt the production of oxytocin, reducing or eliminating feelings of doubt, depression, and loneliness.

Stress is a reality of life, but you don’t have to let it consume you. Take the time to focus on yourself and allow your mind and body to relax and recover.

How Origami Helps in Mental Development

Orgami paper cranes

Origami is one of the oldest forms of papercrafting, dating well beyond any of our smartphones and current technologies. While each region around the world has come up with their own versions, it is the Japanese art of paper folding that continues to hold sway over most folders today.

However, studies have shown that this art can produce more than just aesthetic results. If applied properly in an education and development setting, it can help develop one of the most crucial parts of how people view and interact with the world: spatial thinking or reasoning.

Welcome to the world

Spatial ability is broadly defined as a type of intelligence that allows us to see a two or three-dimensional image and then mentally manipulate it. The video game Tetris is one of the classic examples of spatial reasoning—using a two-dimensional shape (the blocks), players must figure out how they can rotate and move the piece to fit with the pile (and achieve the Tetris) without making mistakes along the way.

This type of intelligence is often developed quite early in the stage of human life, as babies learn to orient themselves to their surroundings and explore the objects in their environment. Further activities growing up such as sports can help enhance this type of intelligence, allowing the growth of a well-rounded individual.

Why is it so important?

Spatial reasoning is crucial for many of the unconscious tasks that we do in our daily lives. For example, finding our way around a building we don’t know from basing our location on a map requires spatial reasoning or if you happen to be packing something and need to choose the proper container for it without having a need to package the item to be sure.

Spatial reasoning is also critical to many fields of study that make our world work the way it is. Mathematics, engineering, economics, and architecture use some form of spatial reasoning, as individuals in these fields would often need to mentally construct some form of the project they’re working on, and build a concrete form of this mental image.

How does origami specifically help?

Woman writing on paper

The process of doing origami—in particular, the need to understand the processes that should be followed in order to fold the figure into shape—is an effective way of understanding and developing spatial reasoning. While the object of the exercise can be held and manipulated, a degree of spatial reasoning is required to accurately implement the steps needed to proceed to the next part of the folding process.

This training is even more effective if the person is encouraged to free fold: an origami exercise that doesn’t follow pre-established folding patterns. This type of exercise not only encourages the use and development of spatial reasoning but also trains deductive skills and creative thinking. As any final origami figure requires a mental projection of the folded product and the steps to get there, it’s an excellent way to practice spatial reasoning.

The best thing about origami is that it’s relatively simple to use to develop spatial reasoning. It’s accessible to almost all people and the tools required cost very little. Given all of these factors, it’s not far to see that origami should be used as a viable education tool for developing soft skills or other types of intelligence.

Dementia Management: A Guide to Choosing Memory Care Services

senior care

A person with dementia will go through changes in behavior. They may become anxious, irritable, or withdrawn. Most will have difficulty with memory, concentration, and visuospatial skills. These changes will mean deep understanding on your part as you live with a loved one who is showing these symptoms.

Other than patience and extra love, people with dementia will need specialized services. Memory care facilities would be a good option because they provide programs that enable patients to manage their condition. But not all facilities offer the same services. For example, memory care services in Layton might come with spiritual services, entertainment programs, and fitness classes while a similar facility in Salt Lake City might offer digital programs, physical exercises, and social activities.

Your choice for memory care services will be crucial to the quality of life your loved one will have as they struggle with a cognitive condition.;So how do you choose?

Determine Their Needs


Whether you’re looking after your parent or spouse, you need to first figure out their needs. It may help you to go through a list of questions.

For example:

  • Does your parent or spouse need special medical care for a condition, e.g., diabetes, hypertension, colostomy care, etc.?
  • Does he or she need 24/7 care?
  • Does he or she exhibit aggression or any extreme behavior?
  • Does he or she have mobility issues?
  • Does he or she need assistance when eating?

When you have the answers to these concerns, then you’ll be able to narrow down your choice for a memory care facility.

Evaluate the Facility’s Services

The next step is to learn more about the memory care facility’s services. Ask about the daily activities and the typical routine for patients or residents. Some facilities may offer the following activities as a way to stimulate the mind, engage the senses, and restore movement.

  • Easy cleaning activities (e.g., sweeping, wiping the table, folding towels, and other light cleaning activities)
  • Looking at books (like picture books or old favorites of the patient)
  • Visiting the garden or planting flowers and herbs
  • Arts and Crafts projects, like basic painting and knitting
  • Cooking and baking simple recipes
  • Organizing a few office or household items
  • Watching funny videos
  • Reading the newspaper
  • Singing to the music
  • Solving easy puzzles

You may also want to look into facilities that include pet therapy. Dogs, cats, and other pets can be beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Time with pets can trigger pleasant memories;and potentially alleviate anxiety or depression.

Talk to the Staff

All facilities rely on the training and professionalism of its staff. Where seniors with dementia are concerned, it is especially crucial to consider personnel who are passionate about their work and care for their patients. You’ll want to make sure that your parent or spouse is in good hands. ; In addition, check if the facility has sufficient staffing for its patients. How many patients or residents does one employee take care? What is the staffing like during the day and at night? You can spend some time with the staff as you take a tour of the memory care place. You can also observe how they handle the residents. Overall, be finicky about the people who will manage your loved one’s condition. Dementia is a difficult condition. Its effects can extend to the family. But with the right support, you and your loved one can get through this challenging time in your lives.

6 Healthy Habits You Need to Start Doing Today

Woman doing a yoga exercise

Having a 9-to-5 job while maintaining an active social life and keeping a healthy lifestyle is not easy. Some people reason out that they don’t have enough time in the week to even bother going to the gym, cooking their own food, and seeing some friends to catch up. However, it has always been proven that creating a healthy and balanced lifestyle has long-term benefits that you will be thankful for one day.

To help you kick-start the journey toward healthy living, here are some useful tips:

1. Adopt a certain workout that you can do every day

Whether it’s yoga, boxing, dancing, or running, the goal is to develop a kind of exercise routine that you can do every day. Some people hire a one-on-one personal trainer to get them started properly, and that helps them slowly get used to working out. Apart from keeping you fit, working out also releases endorphins, also called “happy hormones,” which help you start your day in a more positive way.

2. Keep a journal

With the various advancements in technology today, people have now relied on technology to journal. They use social media to post about how their day has gone. However, there is something special about sitting down and taking the time to write down your thoughts.

3. Consider going minimalistic

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to live in an almost emptied apartment. Going minimal means that you keep only the things that serve a purpose and dispose of clutter and things that you don’t really need. In doing so, you will realize how helpful this method is in clearing your mind and even reducing stress.

4. Schedule your day

Woman checking calendar

Sometimes, you reach the end of your day and realize that you haven’t accomplished anything productive. To help you with this, you can list down a couple of things that you need to do in the morning before you start your day. Enumerate what you should be doing at certain times of the day and keep track whether you are following through.

5. Prepack your meals

It only takes about an hour and a half every Sunday night to make sure that your lunches are set for the whole week. There are a lot of recipes out on the Internet that you can try, so there really is no excuse why you can’t start a habit of eating healthy. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to save up your lunch money.

6. Turn off your screen

People spend countless hours every day and every night staring at their phones, playing games, and being on social media. It’s important that you keep track of how much time you spend on your phone and make sure that you turn off your screen before you head to bed. You want your body and brain to go on relaxation mode to get a good night’s sleep.

They say that it takes a couple of months to develop a habit. Although it may seem like a long time, and the struggle to start can be quite tricky, the rewards of finally adopting a healthy lifestyle can really develop positive and lasting changes.