10 Quick and Easy Things You Can Do To Reduce Stress (and Stay Sane Throughout the Day) :-)

Woman drinking tea

Stress is everywhere and it’s easy to get stressed out these days, especially when you feel like you have a million things to do at once, and you’re pressed for time. So how do you reduce your stress level without taking up your whole day? Creating habits for yourself is important because it sets up a framework of consistency and organization in your life. It also helps you stay grounded and sane throughout the day. So let’s take a look at a few quick and easy things you can do each day to reduce your stress level.

When you’re stressed, it can feel like you have no time to add in healthy habits to reduce your stress level during the day. The good news is that there are some daily habits that can lower your stress in just a few minutes, and you can find time to fit them in. Reducing your stress level can make you feel more productive, and it can prevent serious health issues (in addition to just helping you feel better!). Here are a 10 daily habits that can help you manage your stress level. Choose one or two and commit to the ones you choose for a few weeks before adding in more habits.

  1. Take a Quick Walk. Walking helps clear your mind and helps get your blood and adrenaline flowing. A quick five-minute walk can go a long way, especially when you need to calm down after a particularly stressful situation at work.
  2. Exercise. Research has shown that even a short burst of activity can have important mental and physical benefits. In addition to, or as a substitute for, taking a quick five-minute walk, try a five-minute Pilates workout, or even a few minutes of stretching while you’re sitting at your desk.  
  3. Try Aromatherapy. Essential oils are a great way of reducing stress. Many people also use aromatherapy to help with anxiety and insomnia, and to help maintain their physical, psychological, and emotional health. Lavender, rose, sandlewood, and orange blossom are some great essential oils for aromatherapy to help you relieve stress.
  4. Drink a Quick Cup of Tea. Just stepping away to go make a cup of tea can be a relaxing experience. There are a lot of different stress-relieving teas out there that you can make, too, such as Chamomile, Peppermint, Passion Flower tea, or Green tea. Drinking a cup of tea only takes a few minutes and you’ll be rewarded for it in terms of reducing your stress level. 
  5. Chew Some Gum. Studies have shown that chewing gum actually relieves some stress. The harder and more aggressively you chew, the easier it is to relieve stress.
  6. Recognize Your Stress. When you’re stressed out, acknowledge that you’re stressed out. Accepting and acknowledging stress for what it is, is the first step in dealing with it.
  7. Meditate. A short meditation session to start or end your day might be a great defense against stress. Meditation can lower your stress levels, and it’s easy to do. Besides settling your mind, meditation can help you regulate your breathing, which can also help keep you calm for the rest of the day.
  8. Keep a Journal. Whether you prefer a more traditional journal detailing your experiences and emotions, or you want to try something new like a bullet journal or a sketch diary, the simple act of sitting down to write or draw for a few minutes can refocus your stress and bring some order to a chaotic day.
  9. Keep an adult coloring book. Adult coloring books are a trendy way to relax while indulging your inner child. If journaling feels like too much effort, try spending five minutes with an intricate coloring book and some coloring pencils.
  10. Try Meal Prepping. If you like cooking, try spending a few minutes prepping ingredients for the next day’s meals to help you relax. Prepping your meals beforehand also helps save you time the next morning. Chop fruit for your morning smoothie, dice vegetables for tonight’s dinner, or pre-pack your lunch so you can leave for work earlier the next morning.

There are many things that you can do to deal with your stress. Some things take more time than others, so these are just a few quick things you can do, that take only a few minutes each day, to manage your stress. The key is to make a few of these habits part of your daily routine to manage your stress levels more effectively throughout the day.

If you’re interested in managing stress from the perspective of the people that are in your life, some who may be causing you stress, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused By TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy. Click here for more information on this course.

Plate of healthy food

5 Health Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a New Diet

Plate of healthy food

You’ve heard about this great new diet, and it’s promising real results. You hope this diet will work, after having tried so many others before it, and you’re thinking about trying it out, just to see what it’s all about. Before you try out your new diet, one that may or may not work, ask yourself these 5 important questions to make sure that the diet is safe, and to make sure it’s the right diet for you.

1. Does your new diet eliminate certain food groups?

When you start to review the details of your new diet, ask yourself this question: Does the diet require you to eliminate a specific food group, or does it require you to add more of a certain food group? The majority of diets have you eliminating carbs and sugar. At first, this seems like a great solution and you might see quick results when you eliminate breads, sweets, cereals, etc. The problem is that, even after just one month, your body is going to start to react to this change and approach it’s nutrition like it’s in starvation mode. It’s going to take its store of sugars from your muscles and your liver and then it’s going to tell your digestive system to hold as much sugar as possible because you are depriving your body of this component. Now you will start to gain weight as your body starts making more fat. Instead, look for a diet that includes a well-rounded mix of the vital nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy.

2. Does your new diet promise that you only need to make a temporary change?

Does your new diet give you a way to change your eating plan for a short time, and then promises that you can return to your normal eating pattern after you lose the weight? You’ll have short-term “success” for about 6-8 weeks, and then when you go back to your normal way of eating, you will most likely gain all of the weight back, and possibly gain additional weight, as your body tries to adjust to the rapid changes. Instead, look for a diet that teaches you how to eat for life with healthy results. Consider a diet that includes more fruits and vegetables. To learn more about this type of diet, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!),

Listen to a sample lecture from this course. Click here to take the full course for only $19.99!

Lecture 12 from “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!)”

3. Is it one size fits all?

Most plans are designed for a woman approximately 5’4″ who does moderate exercise. If you don’t fall into this category (i.e., if you are taller or shorter, or if you do more or less exercise, or if you are a man, etc.), you may not achieve the results you want. Instead, look for a diet that teaches you how to modify the plan to fit your specific characteristics.

4. Can I dine out?

Does your new diet allow you to eat out and still make good food choices that will fit into the diet? If not, you have 2 options: a) don’t eat out anymore; or b) go off the diet each time you are going out to lunch or dinner. Neither answer is going to help you stay on the diet long term. Instead, look for a diet that teaches you the skills to choose foods on the menu that fit into your new diet permanently.

5. Do you have to buy special foods or special drinks to stay on the diet?

It may be easy to choose a diet that gives you exactly what you need to eat in the exact portions. You may get a shake that has everything you need to replace a meal, or you may get snacks and supplements to help you stay on the diet. Unless you are prepared to purchase these items for the rest of your life, you increase the chances of failing on your new diet and regaining the weight, when you try to go back to foods that you can buy on your own. Instead, look for a diet that uses a meal plan that you can shop for in your local supermarket.

Before you begin a new diet, ask your doctor for advice on choosing the right diet, especially if you have one or more medical conditions that may need to be closely monitored, or that may be affected by starting a new diet, especially a diet that requires you to eliminate or add certain food groups. By checking with your doctor first, you can develop a comfortable long-term eating plan that balances your unique medical and nutritional needs with a plan for long-term success in terms of taking the weight off and keeping it off. 

For more informative articles on many different healthcare subjects, visit the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

To take an online healthcare course, such as “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruits and Vegetables!),” visit Avidity Medical Design Academy.

hospital cybersecurity

3 Things Every Medical Professional Should Know About Cybersecurity

hospital cybersecurity

The healthcare industry faces unique and growing threats to cybersecurity, due to the amount of personal data stored on servers, and the relatively low level of cybersecurity in place for smaller healthcare facilities. The typical medical facility stores electronic health records (EHRs), employment data for thousands of individuals, and personal identity details for many healthcare employees and providers. Although larger healthcare facilities have taken additional steps to implement a multilayered security process to protect healthcare data at all levels of the organization, the abundance of information that needs to be protected, combined with less awareness of security risk in individual practices and smaller medical facilities, makes some healthcare facilities a prime target for cybercrime. If you work for a doctor’s office or a small to mid-size medical facility, or if you are thinking about pursing a career in healthcare, review the following three risks to understand how you can help your facility take steps to reduce security risk before it is too late.

The three risks that you should be aware of include:

  1. The risk of attack by ransomware.
  2. The risk of attack to medical devices.
  3. The risk of password violations and phishing attempts.

The Risk of Attack By Ransomware

Since any business can be crippled by a ransomware attack, a cyberattack that locks a medical facility out of its own records is putting patients’ lives at risk. One Ohio hospital found this out the hard way; Ohio Valley Medical Center had to turn emergency room patients away after a ransomware attack locked them out of their own systems. Because ransomware is a malicious software program that blocks users from accessing the data stored on their own computer until a “ransom,” or money is paid to unlock their computer and regain access to their own data, in the case of the Ohio Valley Medical Center security breach, ambulances were diverted and computer systems were taken offline to address the attack. This meant that if you were a patient, you would not have been able to get the care that you needed while the facility struggled to resolve the ransomware issue. Sadly, this is not an unusual occurrence, and criminals have figured out that disrupting care is the fastest way to a quick payday when it comes to ransomware. 

The Risk of Attack to Medical Devices

Many of the devices used in a standard hospital setting are equipped with IoT based technology. This type of technology allows healthcare providers to collect data easily and to monitor patients long distance. Since these devices are directly accessing the healthcare facility’s network, they increase the risk of a cyberattack. While the use of IV stands, insulin pumps and other devices save lives, medical professionals should be aware that they are putting themselves and their patients at greater risk when using these devices. Placing these devices on a dedicated, separate network can drastically reduce the risk of a security breach. Keeping an accurate inventory of medical devices and where they are located in your facility can also help reduce the risk of attacks to your medical devices.

The Risk of Password Violations and Phishing Attempts

Providers and staff members can inadvertently increase a facility’s risk of cyberattack. From poor password choices, including options like “PASSWORD” and “QWERTY”, to a lack of awareness about phishing, employees may accidentally increase the risk of cyberattack. Scheduling online training sessions that incorporate best practices for password use, and how to recognize phishing and ransomware attempts, can drastically reduce the likelihood of responding to these cyberattacks. The IT department can also take additional steps to help protect your facility and ensure that no one without the right to access sensitive patient or employee data can get into your computer network. 

Being aware of these three risks allows you to take steps to protect your facility, contact your manager and/or help desk if something looks suspicious in terms of information access, and safeguard the data of patients as well as managers and other employees in your healthcare facility.

For more informative articles on healthcare, visit the Avidity Medical Design Blog.

To take an online course in healthcare, visit Avidity Medical Design Academy