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Rogelio Tull

Is Poor Indoor Air Quality Dangerous?

How many times have you found yourself saying that you need some fresh air when you’re stressed out? The truth is, stepping outside to catch your breath is doing yourself some good not only mentally, but physically.

Beyond maybe just being in a stuffy room, poor indoor air quality can actually do some harm. While indoor air can have a negative impact on your health in some capacity, there are also simple ways to make sure that the air you’re breathing in at home or at work isn’t doing you damage.

Respiratory Health

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For people suffering from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory health issues, if your indoor air quality is poor, it’s putting someone at risk for suffering asthma symptoms, and those with pre-existing conditions are at even greater risk.

The introduction of outdoor air through natural ventilation can actually be beneficial to people with medical conditions. Something as simple as opening windows and doors can reduce pollutants. It can also help to remove odors around your household, as well as dangerous irritants. For example, cross ventilation is highly recommended while cooking to reduce the possibility of smoke inhalation. It’s also recommended for activities like painting, to prevent the intake of dangerous chemicals.

However, it can be hard to get that outdoor air in sometimes, like if you’re in an apartment building and unable to keep a door open for a prolonged period of time. This is where a UV light air purifier can come in handy. These units filter out the particulates that make life miserable for those who suffer from allergies and asthma, while also neutralizing odors.

Mold & Allergens

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Humidity may create an uncomfortable environment, but for mold and mildew, it provides a breeding ground. Mold spores can attach to just about anywhere, and is another common trigger for allergies. Mold can spread so extensively within a building that it’s an undeniable source of indoor air pollution that can render a home unlivable.

If you combine moisture with any restricted air circulation, mold may begin to grow. If you notice a musty odor that even air fresheners can’t cover-up, or even a black or white spot appearing on walls, it is time to consult a specialist to eliminate these potentially dangerous spores. Mold growth can trigger symptoms, from watery eyes to wheezing, asthma attacks, and even serious chronic respiratory illnesses.

Asthma attacks that are severe enough can warrant the need for emergency medical treatment. It is important to have an understanding of when such emergency situations arise. Understanding what to do during a medical emergency in the office or at home is a needed preparedness that could be a saving grace for someone. You could potentially avoid a trip to the ER with proper care for a family member who has asthma.

The Cleanliness of Your Home

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Cleaning your home can always seem like an uphill battle. While you will notice the immediate effects that bleach and other powerful cleaners will have on your home, it does impact the quality of the air inside. Be sure to properly ventilate after cleaning, as this is also a way of helping to combat things like pollen and dust from retaking your surfaces.

You may also want to consider an air purifier to filter these particles, drastically shortening how often you spend scrubbing and how many cleaning products you need to use.

While you may think air cleaners like Lysol are a quick fix, it is important to understand the power of some of these sprays. Table-top cleaners may not remove satisfactory amounts of pollutants. While these may be an effective way to deal with allergens, it is important to work in conjunction with ventilation to prevent somewhat of air pollution that can impact indoor air quality.

Common Triggers for Depression in 2020

There is no question that 2020 has been a tumultuous year. Even with no personal issues to contend with, nearly everyone you’ve encountered over the past twelve months has been dealing with distress, be it on a global or local level. From medical fears to stock market drops, the year has brought one challenge after another. For many people, this constant state of anxiety and uncertainty has led to another medical concern: symptoms of depression.

Medical Concerns

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With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to make headlines, it’s no surprise that medical concerns are a top trigger for depression symptoms in 2020. On a global scale, people are worried about contracting the virus, having their loved ones test positive, or how they’ll seek care for other issues amidst the crisis. But the fear of diagnosis isn’t the only cause for concern when it comes to health in the past year. Medical costs, particularly in America, are extensive. From affording your copay to awaiting your total at the pharmacy checkout, healthcare costs are a stressor that can literally be a matter of life or death.

While it can’t remedy more systemic issues associated with healthcare costs, RX discount coupons can help you get the lowest price on medicine and dread your trip to the pharmacy a little less. Before you visit your pharmacist, spend some time browsing the available coupons for whatever medicine has been prescribed to you. You’ll find that plenty of local pharmacies and chains like Walmart and Walgreens will accept a coupon or discount card for popular medications, making sure you’ll pay less than the retail price whenever you head to the pharmacy.

Financial Stress

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Pharmacy and medical costs haven’t been the only financial stressor to hit many people through 2020. In the United States alone, a crashing stock market, surging unemployment rate, and lacking government intervention have come together to form a recession that could distress anyone. Whether you watched as your net worth and portfolio sank or you struggled to afford essentials as grocery store shelves were wiped clean and medical costs rose, this year has been enough of a financial roller coaster to arouse symptoms of depression in anyone.

If you’re hoping to regain some financial security in the new year, an alternative investing platform like Yieldstreet can help. After your initial minimum investment, you’ll find high yields and ease of use go hand-in-hand with this investment opportunity, even if you’re new to the stock market. Whether you’re starting with one of the asset classes in the Yieldstreet Prism Fund or diving in with single asset offerings, you’ll find that Yieldstreet complaints are few and far between—and your annual return might help ease some of the depression symptoms caused by financial concerns.

Political Strife

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In the U.S. and abroad, politics have been at the forefront of 2020’s news cycle. From the divisive presidential election in the United States to global leaders’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, protests against inequality and police violence, and the ever-lurking climate change crisis, people around the world have watched headlines and debated popular issues over the dinner table.

While citizens can’t single-handedly revolutionize international relations and eliminate the stress of political uncertainty, they can take steps to make a difference, however small they might seem. Participating in demonstrations to support causes you believe in, donating to or volunteering with organizations making change, signing petitions, and sharing information to raise awareness are all steps you can take to feel a bit more in-control amongst a convulsive political climate.

Changes in Routine

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For those who thrive on routine, 2020 has been a direct line to depression symptoms and other distress. Daily commutes became a relic of the past for many workers while trips to the gym and weekly brunch dates or girls’ nights out faded into memories. People working from home found that the ritual of getting up and getting ready for the day fell to the wayside while those facing joblessness were faced with a loss of their former routine almost entirely. Even something as simple as going to a doctor’s appointment was a changed process.

While you can’t simply return to your former routines in most cases, you can work to create new ones. Give yourself a pseudo-commute by taking a walk around the block before signing into work. Sign up for a virtual class or schedule a non-negotiable home workout for yourself in place of your daily trip to the gym. Enjoy a warm cup of coffee in your favorite cozy spot after work each day. By regaining a sense of routine, however minor, you’ll decrease the sense of uncertainty that triggers many symptoms of depression.

Isolation

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Even if you’ve been isolating with a group of people, it’s hard been hard not to get a bit lonely throughout 2020. Holidays and events have passed without the pomp and circumstance you’ve been accustomed to. When you do see friends or loved ones, it’s from six feet apart and behind a mask, or through a screen. If you’ve been quarantined alone, you’re left with even less of a sense of connection.

While it doesn’t replicate face-to-face interactions perfectly, virtual gatherings can make a difference in your feelings of isolation or loneliness. Set up Zoom drinks with your friends or register for an online event—with so many people isolated, there’s no shortage of interesting experiences to attend, from poetry readings to trivia nights.

Grief

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For those who’ve lost loved ones to COVID-19 or due to other causes, 2020 has been a uniquely grief-laden year. Losing a friend or family member over the past year has been accentuated by isolation—funeral attendance is limited or virtual and many don’t get the chance to say goodbye. But death isn’t the only cause of grief that’s littered 2020. People are grieving on an international level: thinking of those who’ve been lost, the events that would have been, and the idea of their future that, for many, has been snatched away by furloughs or illness.

Whether you’re one of the many people dealing with depression from grief or other 2020 triggers, take the time you need to grieve your losses. As much as possible, try to preserve grieving rituals and seek out support from family members, friends, or support groups. If you’re dealing with especially negative feelings, consider talking to a therapist or psychiatrist to work through your feelings.

Whichever of 2020’s challenges triggered your mental health concerns, there is one piece of good news: seeking help from therapists for depression or other conditions has never been easier. Amidst the chaos, this year has also seen a rise in teletherapy and other forms of virtual medicine, making cognitive behavioral therapy and other treatments more accessible—and affordable—than ever before. If you’ve faced loss, loneliness, or other hardships in the past year, finding a good therapist is the first step to feeling better in the new year.

Whatever sorts of grief, medical or financial concerns, or other stressors 2020 has brought you, it might bring you some comfort to know that you aren’t the only one dealing with depression symptoms or more general despair. Perhaps the most reassuring aspect, though, is this: like every calendar year that’s come before, 2020 will come to an end.

4 Tips for Making Yourself Feel Better

Have you been feeling not quite like yourself lately? Maybe your energy levels are low, you aren’t sleeping well, or you are struggling with anxiety and depression. All of these symptoms can have a damaging impact on your confidence, your mood, and your productivity.

Or perhaps your back and shoulder pain has been increasingly worse and you’ve been struggling to keep your chronic pain under control. Whether you just need a good laugh and a change of routine or you are in need of a more serious shift in your routine or health care, here are a few tips that contribute to improving your well-being on a daily basis. From a clean diet and exercise to an updated look and self-love, always remember the importance of investing in yourself.

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1. Invest in your physical health.

When you’re feeling unwell, one of the first ways this manifests is in your physical wellness. Prioritizing physical health is something that can be highly beneficial. Although it can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise when you’re struggling with depression or feeling down, research has shown just how effective physical activity can be at easing anxiety. Regular exercise can help combat depression by releasing endorphins that enhance your positive mindset and by taking your mind off your worries. Whether you run, cycle, hike, do yoga, take a boxing class, dance, or even just go for a walk around the neighborhood, getting your body moving can contribute greatly to helping you feel better.

Another area you may consider exploring is a type of physical therapy. If you struggle with chronic pain or any sort of physical ailment, your day-to-day may be impacted. It can be exhausting to constantly be in pain. Explore various treatment options for your specific needs. Massage therapy or acupuncture may help relieve back pain or ease achy joints. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may consider a more rigorous course of treatment to address your back, spine, or neck pain. Consult an expert for medical advice, such as seeking neck, back, and spine care in Mount Laurel, NJ, for advice on the next best steps. By working with a specialist, you can come up with a treatment plan for pain management that will prioritize your health and improve your general well-being.

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2. Explore a natural diet and supplements.

If you’re feeling under the weather, either physically or mentally, you might consider changing your diet. What you put into your body has a great impact on your energy levels and your mood. Although each body requires a different diet, a general rule of thumb to follow is to focus on natural, unprocessed foods.

Think leafy greens, a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, seeds, whole grains, nuts, and healthy fats such as avocado and fish. Berries can help reduce inflammation and are rich in antioxidants, which are thought to combat stress and potentially lower depression. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, and sunflower, and pumpkin seeds not only are great sources of protein but also provide tryptophan, which produces mood-boosting serotonin. In addition to emphasizing a wholesome diet, natural supplements are beneficial to improving how you feel. From herbal capsules such as turmeric to vitamins like vitamin D and C, supplements can be a natural, chemical-free boost.

Depending on your needs, you might explore CBD products that can have a variety of benefits. Found in the hemp plant, CBD is a natural extract that is being increasingly explored as an alternative to alleviating achy joints and anxiousness. CBD comes in many forms, available as oil, creams, and edibles. Whether you are experiencing occasional nervousness or are struggling with a sore back, consider trying out miracle CBD gummies and incorporating them into your daily health routine. THC-free is made with all-natural ingredients and these gummies are a tasty and easy way to feel better both physically and mentally. Be sure and try out different strains to find the best CBD products for your needs.

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3. Change up your look and boost your confidence.

If you’re in need of a mood lifter, sometimes it can be as simple as changing your style. Although your self-worth should come from the inside, updating your wardrobe and changing your look can be a fantastic way to boost your confidence. You may want to just get a simple haircut or buy a new outfit. Or perhaps you want to make a more drastic change by trying out a new hair color or changing your style dramatically.

Updating your wardrobe can also be a fun and easy way to improve your mood. If you’re wanting to change your look entirely, flip through some look books, consult magazines and your favorite style gurus for some inspiration, or maybe even work with a stylist for some guidance. Figure out if you want to change your wardrobe for work, for every day, or for dressing up and going out. Invest in staple pieces, such as womens dresses, jumpsuits, and jackets, that can translate well from the office to the street to a dressy event.

Choose pieces that are comfortable, stylish, flattering, and timeless so you can wear them for multiple purposes and seasons. Sneakers are both comfortable and stylish and fall in line with classic street style. You can also never go wrong with a little black dress or maxi dress. And don’t be afraid to add in a statement piece to help define your own unique style.

4. Invest in your mental well-being.

At the core of making yourself feel better is learning to love yourself. This comes in many shapes and forms but ultimately boils down to investing in your mental and emotional well-being. There are many simple ways you can achieve this by incorporating small, positive changes into your daily life.

If you’re feeling like you’re in a rut, then it might be time to change your routine. This might be as simple as making an effort to spend time outside each day. Fresh air and connecting to nature are immensely healing and can improve your well-being for the long and short-term. Changing your routine also may involve a more drastic change, such as switching careers or moving cities (or even countries). By letting go of fear and embracing change as potential opportunities, you will have a much more positive mindset.

There is an abundance of other activities that can help shift your mindset and improve your well-being. Set aside time at least once a week just for yourself. Treat yourself to your favorite meal, a new book, or a spa day. Anything that brings you a small joy.

For the longer term, you may want to keep a gratitude journal, where you write down positive events that happened during your day or certain elements in your life that you are grateful for. Writing them down makes them more concrete and serves as a reminder of what you do have in your life as opposed to focusing on what you don’t have.

Meditation and breathwork can also be hugely transformational. These simple grounding activities help you to become present, connect to yourself, and become more in tune with your internal dialogue. By sharpening this awareness, you can start to recognize and move past negative thoughts and begin to shift your perspective towards a more positive one.

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