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    Is DNA damage repair possible? Find out from this Dubai-based expert

    Dr. Sladana Pavlovic, Specialist, Internal Medicine, Medcare Medical Center shares more about the intricacies of DNA Testing and how we can fix defects.What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?My morning routine typically begins with a peaceful moment of reflection or meditation to set the tone for the upcoming day. I prioritise hydration with a glass of water and a moderate resistance workout to awaken my body. After a nutritious breakfast, I opt to walk to the clinic to amp up on my vitamin D and get my steps count.Talk us through the process of DNA testing and how does it work?Overall, there are several types of DNA or genetic testing. We differentiate between diagnostic DNA testing to identify a suspected mutation causing a specific disease and predictive DNA testing which can comprise prenatal or carrier testing. The process involves a systematic procedure, starting with the collection of biological samples such as blood, saliva or tissue. Extracting DNA entails breaking down cells using specialized chemicals and enzymes, ensuring purification for pristine samples. After nucleic acid isolation, one of the challenges to genomic sequencing methods is the identification of DNA fragments with the same sequence, due to initial preparation of many millions of different sequences with many different DNA pieces. To overcome this problem, the nucleic acid sample is prepared into a “library”—a collection of DNA fragments each with common sequences. During analysis by bioinformatics there is a comparison of the fragments with databases or genetic markers to detect variations or mutations and hence allow interpretation of results, uncover relationships, predispositions or origins. These findings compile into detailed reports, pivotal for forensics, diagnostics, ancestry, and personalided medicine. DNA testing’s advancements have revolutionised genetic understanding, providing critical insights into heritage and health across diverse fields.Stress can increase your biological age – are there any tips to reverse it?Stress significantly accelerates biological aging, impacting both physical and mental health. Yet, lifestyle adjustments offer a potent counterbalance. Mindfulness practices like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing show promise in reducing stress hormones and hence slowing ageing. Simultaneously, regular physical activity not only lowers stress levels but also nurtures cellular health, metabolism, and mental well-being through mood-boosting endorphins. A balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and essential nutrients becomes a vital defence against stress-induced free radicals, supporting cellular health and potentially reversing aging effects. Additionally we can add antioxidants in the form of supplements to enhance our dietary intake. Prioritising restful sleep aids cellular repair, countering stress-related wear and tear. Integrating stress management techniques and seeking professional guidance equips individuals with coping strategies, mitigating stress’s impact on biological age and overall well-being.There are millions of DNA pieces in a single drop of blood – tell us more.In a mere droplet of blood, there exist millions of distinct DNA fragments. These microscopic segments encapsulate an individual’s genetic blueprint, offering an expansive reservoir of biological information. Each fragment carries a unique code, contributing to the comprehensive understanding of an individual’s genetic makeup and inherent characteristics. The abundance of these DNA pieces within a single drop of blood facilitates profound analysis, unravelling the complexities and nuances of one’s genetic composition and providing invaluable insights into their traits and predispositions.Dr. Sladana Pavlovic, Specialist, Internal Medicine, Medcare Medical CenterPrime editing is the latest advance in the field of gene editing, which is developing at an incredible pace. – Can this edit DNA?Prime editing, a cutting-edge breakthrough in gene editing, represents a “search and replace” technology with a rapid evolution in the field. This method enables highly precise modifications in genome editing technology that can perform all 12 possible base-to-base conversions, insertions, and deletions by employing a customized Cas9 enzyme coupled with a reverse transcriptase. Its refined approach holds immense promise in rectifying genetic mutations, presenting novel opportunities for addressing a spectrum of genetic disorders and diseases with exceptional precision and efficacy. However, it is a fairly new method which definitely required further scientific research and studies for optimization.Is it possible to fix the DNA damage effects? – tell us more.Repairing DNA damage is feasible through intricate cellular mechanisms like DNA repair pathways. Yet, certain factors affect the effectiveness of repair. The extent and type of damage, environmental exposures (radiation, toxins), and an individual’s age or genetic predisposition influence repair capabilities. Repair mechanisms might fail if overwhelmed by extensive damage or impaired due to aging or genetic mutations. However, advancements in research and technology continually unveil new strategies to enhance repair processes. Understanding these factors and exploring innovative interventions holds promise in improving DNA damage repair, potentially mitigating its effects on genetic stability, and preventing associated health issues.Spending a day in the sun can cause 100,000 DNA defects in each exposed skin cell – what’s the best way to take precaution?Shielding skin from excessive UV light exposure is crucial. Employing broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF with two hourly reapplication is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent sun damage. Protective clothing and avoidance of high UV exposure during peak sun hours are additional measures generally recommended. Regular and sufficient hydration is also considered very effective to aid skin health. Seeing a dermatologist annually for a skin check-up is a major factor in preventing malignant course of skin changes and early skin cancer detection. A combination of these precautions significantly reduces DNA damage risks caused by sun exposure, safeguarding skin cells from the harmful effects of UV radiation and decreasing the likelihood of long-term skin damage and mutations.What are the innovations in DNA testing – how has this grown over the years?Innovations in DNA testing have surged, evolving from early techniques like PCR to advanced methods such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) and CRISPR-based technologies. NGS enables faster, cost-effective whole-genome sequencing, revolutionizing research, and diagnostics. CRISPR offers precise gene editing, promising therapeutic breakthroughs. Miniaturization and automation streamline processes, enhancing efficiency. Moreover, AI integration expedites data analysis. Over the years, DNA testing has transcended boundaries, expanding applications in medicine, forensics, agriculture, and personalised health, fostering a profound impact on diverse fields, and shaping the future of genetic exploration.Are more people in the UAE testing their DNA – how has the curiosity grown over the years.The interest in DNA testing has seen a notable rise in the UAE over the years. Factors like increased awareness, advancements in technology, increased focus on health and a growing curiosity about ancestry have propelled this trend. The availability of direct-to-consumer DNA testing kits has made it more accessible to individuals, fostering curiosity about genetic heritage, predispositions to diseases, and personalized health insights.This is ‘The Tech Issue’ – how does technology help you improve your daily life?Technology enhances daily life through connectivity, efficiency, and convenience. Communication tools like smartphones and social media foster instant connections worldwide. The biggest advantage undeniably is the access to infinity learning platforms and access to vast information. Being a doctor I would like to emphasize telemedicine which has offered us an opportunity to monitor patients in remote areas, adjust therapy plans and hence reduce hospitalisation rates. Overall, technology catalyses convenience, connectivity, and productivity, transforming routines and enabling a more connected, efficient, and versatile lifestyle for individuals across diverse spheres of daily life.February’s – The Tech Issue with Christiana Maxion  – Download Now– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied More

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    Don’t know how to manage stress? 8 effective techniques to help

    Lifeby Ruman Baig2 hours ago Looking to start 2024 on a positive note? Practice these 9 stress reduction techniques to kick-start your wellness journey.Deep BreathingPractise diaphragmatic breathing to reduce stress. Deep breaths increase oxygen flow, promoting skin cell regeneration and improving overall skin health. Try breathing in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 6 to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.MeditationEngage in mindfulness meditation to calm the mind. Reduced stress levels can prevent skin issues like acne and eczema, promoting a healthier complexion. An app such as Calm or Superhuman will help guide you.YogaIncorporate yoga into your routine for physical and mental relaxation. Poses such as a Child’s Pose enhance blood circulation, aiding nutrient delivery to the skin.HydrationStay adequately hydrated as it supports skin elasticity and texture. Dehydration can contribute to stress, impacting skin health negatively. Electrolytes play a huge part in keeping you hydrated, we love Humantra.Nature WalksSpend time in nature to reduce cortisol levels. Fresh air and green surroundings contribute to a sense of calm, positively impacting skin health.Sleep QualityPrioritise quality sleep for skin rejuvenation. During deep sleep, the body repairs and regenerates cells, contributing to a radiant complexion and overall wellbeing.Try to stick to the same bed time and wake time as this supports an optimal circadian rhythm. Morning light is also important as is not eating before bed and having 30 minutes to 1 our without screentime before you go to bed.AromatherapyUse calming scents like lavender or chamomile to relax. Aromatherapy can reduce stress-related skin issues and promote a soothing environment, try Aromatherapy Associates.Digital DetoxLimit screen time to mitigate stress. Constant exposure to screens can contribute to skin problems, taking breaks and limiting social media fosters relaxation.Art & CreativityEngage in artistic activities as a form of expression. Creating art can be therapeutic, reducing stress and promoting a healthy mindset that reflects on the skin.December – The Winter Escape Issue with Rolls Royce  – Download Now– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied More

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    This UK-based expert shares her top tips to overcome stress in 2024

    Lifeby Sarah Joseph50 mins ago Maryam Meddin, founder of The Soke, a mental health and wellness clinic in London shares her tips on how to overcome stress in 2024.What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine look like?My alarm usually rings at 5am, after which I take a shower, fuel my system with coffee and ready to be out of the house by 6am. Unless there’s something that’s pressing on my mind, that hour would have been all about catching up with the news from around the world and I’ll have tried not to think about work.Talk us through your background.I was born in Iran but have spent most of my life in the UK, so I feel that I have the privilege of being enriched by two prominent cultures. There’s also been diversity in my professional life – I studied law, however later built a career in branding. When that was going well, I decided to explore my mental health through psychotherapy, which then led me to train as a psychotherapist, and finally towards the launch of The Soke.What inspired you to launch The Soke?There was a lot of loss in the first 25 years of my life, including the loss of my father and brother so, from a purely personal perspective, The Soke is really dedicated to them. I was around 40 when I decided to try therapy and it was a defining experience for me. Ultimately it was through this process of both being a user and a provider of mental health services that I was able to identify shortcomings on both sides and wanted to create a service that tried to address them.Tell us about the concept and what services does the clinic offer?We’re a private mental health centre with the full spectrum of services offered by psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and coaches. It was designed to enable individuals with everyday issues (anxiety, depression, ADHD and more) to get the services they needed from a place that would treat them as clients, not patients. People don’t necessarily always know how to find the most appropriate solution for their emotional or psychological problems, so I wanted The Soke to provide all the options under the same roof and to have a strong service element that would help clients navigate the pathway that would serve them best. We satisfy their curiosity and support them so that they can make their own informed choices. You cannot overestimate the value of providing these sorts of tangential services around mental health, especially to parents who feel incredibly vulnerable when trying to make decisions around the care of their children. I believe that by making people feel empowered around their psychological health they’ll start engaging with their thoughts and emotions in a way that’s conducive to improving their wellness and therefore their quality of life. It’s no different to working with a personal trainer for your physical health: you fix the problem areas; you build strength and develop resilience in order to feel better overall.The clinic offers best-in-class psychotherapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors and leadership development specialists – tell us more.Our practitioners cover a range of specialties, from depression to ADHD to compulsive behaviours and everything in between. They’re all chosen based on their expertise and experience, as well as their appetite to collaborate with their peers to ensure that clients get the benefit of their pooled knowledge through a daily Multi-disciplinary Team Meeting. Paying practitioners to spend time quite simply talking to each other and sharing their insights is a model that doesn’t really exist in the private outpatient world, and this sort of collaborative ethos is why we’ve been lucky enough to draw some of the leading names in our field. Increasingly our clients are based outside the UK, and they come to us because our Multidisciplinary clinical model combined with the service element doesn’t really exist where they’re based.What are some of the major concerns that clients talk about?We’re inundated by calls requesting assessments: from ADHD to Educational Psychology and Autism – our primary responsibility is to make sure that concerns are reasonable, rather than say yes to everyone who wants to be tested. After that, it’s the ‘usual suspects’ of depression and anxiety – although we’re seeing much more of it in children than we used to. On the corporate side, workplace culture is playing an ever-growing role in the sustainability of organisations and so we work with a lot with leaders who are striving to strike the balance between being a leader that performs (from a business perspective) and one that transforms (from a cultural perspective). It demands a thoughtful type of leadership that allows consistency and change to co-exist and increasingly modern leaders are recognising the need to have a ‘safe space’ to ruminate and develop their thoughts.“I think that everyone should try to find that one space in their head, where going to it can bring them down from 100 to zero in a matter of minutes.”With stress levels constantly on the rise – what can help lower them?Naturally, I’m an advocate for talking – ideally to someone who doesn’t have a stake in your life and can help you to explore your anxieties without judgement or repercussion. Separate from that, I think that everyone should try to find that one space in their head, where going to it can bring them down from 100 to zero in a matter of minutes.How can employers create a working culture that boosts business resilience and growth?People in leadership positions need to lead by example: show strength in compassion and demonstrate a concerted effort to be a force for the good of the company’s people as well as its other stakeholders. The star players in any sector will want to work for those who can inspire them to succeed and grow as individuals as well as professionals – attracting and retaining talent is always an excellent starting point for longevity.What advice would you give to anyone who wishes to start therapy?A productive therapeutic process relies on the relationship of trust that exists between the client and practitioner – and that doesn’t come overnight, so after you’ve found someone with the right credentials, allow a couple of sessions to see if they feel right for you and whether you can envisage fully trusting this person at some point. That’s when the real work starts between you. Therapy isn’t designed to be fun – if you’re enjoying it because it’s easy then one of you isn’t doing your job right.We all want to start the year on a positive note – what would you recommend?Find that one thing to do or that one place in your head that gives you peace and visit it frequently.This is ‘The Alignment issue’ – what activities ensure you feel aligned daily?My alignment generally comes at the end of the day. I try to spend some time alone with my own thoughts to process and be ready for whatever’s coming next. The Soke’s core value is Generosity – to exercise it as frequently as opportunity allows, whether it’s with time, knowledge, kindness, humour or something tangible. I chose generosity not just because it’s such a positive attribute, but because it’s measurable. I can reflect on my day and examine whether I’ve lived by the value I espouse for my company. If the answer is yes, then I’m sufficiently aligned to fall asleep with a good conscience.January’s – The Alignment Issue with FitnGlam  – Download Now– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied & Feature Image: Pexels @Anete Lusina  More

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    9 stress reduction techniques for optimal health in 2024

    Lifeby Ruman Baig2 hours ago Looking to start 2024 on a positive note? Practice these 9 stress reduction techniques to kick-start your wellness journey.Deep BreathingPractise diaphragmatic breathing to reduce stress. Deep breaths increase oxygen flow, promoting skin cell regeneration and improving overall skin health. Try breathing in for a count of 4 and out for a count of 6 to activate the parasympathetic nervous system.MeditationEngage in mindfulness meditation to calm the mind. Reduced stress levels can prevent skin issues like acne and eczema, promoting a healthier complexion. An app such as Calm or Superhuman will help guide you.YogaIncorporate yoga into your routine for physical and mental relaxation. Poses such as a Child’s Pose enhance blood circulation, aiding nutrient delivery to the skin.HydrationStay adequately hydrated as it supports skin elasticity and texture. Dehydration can contribute to stress, impacting skin health negatively. Electrolytes play a huge part in keeping you hydrated, we love Humantra.Nature WalksSpend time in nature to reduce cortisol levels. Fresh air and green surroundings contribute to a sense of calm, positively impacting skin health.Sleep QualityPrioritise quality sleep for skin rejuvenation. During deep sleep, the body repairs and regenerates cells, contributing to a radiant complexion and overall wellbeing.Try to stick to the same bed time and wake time as this supports an optimal circadian rhythm. Morning light is also important as is not eating before bed and having 30 minutes to 1 our without screentime before you go to bed.AromatherapyUse calming scents like lavender or chamomile to relax. Aromatherapy can reduce stress-related skin issues and promote a soothing environment, try Aromatherapy Associates.Digital DetoxLimit screen time to mitigate stress. Constant exposure to screens can contribute to skin problems, taking breaks and limiting social media fosters relaxation.Art & CreativityEngage in artistic activities as a form of expression. Creating art can be therapeutic, reducing stress and promoting a healthy mindset that reflects on the skin.December – The Winter Escape Issue with Rolls Royce  – Download Now– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied More

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    If The Festive Season Stresses You Out, Try These Psychologist-Backed Coping Strategies

    It’s the end of the year and that means summer holidays, late nights, family gatherings — you know the drill. And it can all feel pretty overwhelming, right? Know first, that you’re not alone. Per Harvard Medical School, 62% of survey respondents felt somewhat stressed or experienced elevated stress levels over the festive season.

    Noa Belling, somatic psychologist and best-selling author of The Mindful Body has simple, smart strategies to help you make it through festive season stress, emotionally and physically unscathed.

    Scenario: The Office Party

    You feel: Overwhelmed. 

    It’s loud. It’s crowded. You’re tired and overwhelmed. Belling suggests you go for a brief mindful walk. “The movement can be calming and will help you reconnect with yourself. This works because when you drop attention down into your body and away from your thoughts of being overwhelmed, you ground and centre yourself,” she explains.

    As you walk, take a few deep breaths and let go of thoughts of the party and people. Massage any tense areas in your body and do a few stretches to loosen up. “Dropping attention into our bodies in a supportive, nurturing kind of way can promote feel-good hormones to help you feel more comfortable. It can also free your brain to think more clearly,” says Noa.

    READ MORE: It’s Official: Stress Makes Us Crave Junk Food

    Scenario: A Family Gathering

    You feel: Defensive.

    Family gatherings can be stressful, especially when there’s unresolved tension, but remember compassion: to yourself and your family. “Pause to use self-supportive touch, such as placing a hand or even just a couple of fingers on your chest or over your heart. This can be a tangible reminder of compassion that you can direct as you choose. Assisted by the release of oxytocin through touch, which ignites feelings of nurturing and care, you can be reminded to take care of yourself. You might even feel inclined to extend kindness and care to others too because oxytocin also inspires this,” explains Belling.

    Scenario: You Over-Indulged

    You feel: Guilty.

    There’s food everywhere!? It’s hard not to overindulge. And if you did, you need to let the feelings of guilt and shame go. “Feelings of shame, self-criticism, inadequacy and guilt can have the same effect on us as trauma. They can cause us to freeze up inside. This can make us really anxious or we can succumb to feeling down, helpless and hopeless. The effect on our brains is to cut us off from our ability to see a bigger picture and to access higher-level thinking like rationality, creativity and insight,” says Belling.

    Basically, you start to feel stuck when you dwell on the negative. Best way to get past this? Exercise. “Moving our bodies gets oxygen and blood flowing to wake up and energise body and mind,” says Belling. “Make time for a walk, run, swim, cycle, yoga class or whatever you prefer. This can build your sense of personal strength with a boost of feel-good motivation. Reaching out to someone who cares for support and to talk some sense into you can also help.”

    READ MORE: 10 Best Essential Oils To Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

    Scenario: There’s Activity Overload

    You feel: Exhausted.

    With festive season stress, you might feel run down and out of touch with yourself from all the socialising and attending to others’ needs. To combat this, take some time out for yourself. “Focus on doing something you love and something your body needs, whether that’s activity or rest,” says Belling. “Make a priority of going to the gym, a yoga class, reading in your favourite quiet place, meditating, gardening, being creative in your own way or whatever feeds you.” More

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    This Is Why You’re Starving After An Intense Day At The Office

    Can you barely make it through the door after a day at work without nose-diving into a bowl of hummus? You may think it’s boredom or stress levels making your appetite surge after an intense day in the office, but research shows that mental exhaustion can be just as appetite-inducing as physical work.

    Studies, such as a paper from 2022 published in Current Biology, show when we’re focussing on a mentally straining task our brain not only gets fatigued but also becomes hungry.

    Every cell in our body needs the energy to function, says Nuna Kamhawi, a registered nutritionist and coach – and that includes our brain.

    ‘Our digestive system, our muscles and even our brain is using up energy in those moments of complete relaxation. So it’s no surprise that when our organs work harder, they require more energy to function – and that’s not just true of our muscles when we exercise, but also of our brains when we go into deep focus.’
    Nuna Kamhawi

    Enter glutamate

    The same paper found that when we’re focused and concentrating on a mentally exhausting task (we hear you with those end-of-month reports) it can cause, potentially, a toxic by-product to build up in the front part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. This by-product, called glutamate, Kamhawi explains, may ‘also be the reason for the signs of fatigue we experience after a long day of deep work.’

    But, how come it makes us grab for a snack, to suppress our appetite? ‘Intense thinking requires more energy from calories, which is the reason why stress and anxiety can cause an increase in appetite in some individuals,’ says Kamhawi.

    READ MORE: Um, People On TikTok Are Eating The Peels Of Fruit & Veggies – And They’re So Good

    And although the build-up of glutamate is more centred around fatigue, when we’re tired our stress hormones means our appetite will also change. So, if we’re regularly pulling late nights trying to meet deadlines, and you’re trying to quit sugar, how can you fuel your hungry brain on healthy options?

    Kamhawi explains, ‘It’s really important to ensure you have a balanced diet, full of variety, colour, taste and textures so that you don’t miss out on any of the essential macro and micronutrients.’

    Here are the three food groups you should include:

    Complex carbohydrates

    ‘Our brain’s main source of fuel is glucose, which means it’s crucial to include ample carbohydrates in your diet,’ explains Kamhawi. Switch simple carbs like sugary snacks and white rice or bread for complex carbs like wholemeal bread, brown rice and brown pasta. Also, pair them with a good source of protein (meat, fish, beans, pulses) and healthy fats (like olive oil or avocado) to reduce the blood sugar spike and crash and have energy that lasts longer.

    READ MORE: 4 Natural Sweeteners That Are Better Than Sugar, According To A Dietician

    Omega-3

    ‘This is a major building block of the brain and plays an important role in memory and cognition. To get your daily dose add oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel or fresh tuna to your diet, or other foods such as walnuts, chia seeds or food supplements,’ Kamhawi adds.

    Anti-oxidants

    ‘These protect the brain from oxidative stress, which causes cognitive decline. Stick to brightly coloured fruits and vegetables- the brighter the colour, the higher the concentration of antioxidants. Choose vegetables full of beta-carotene, like carrots, Lycopene is also found in tomatoes, while anthocyanins are found in blueberries,’ says Kamhawi.

    This article was originally published by Sarah Finley on Women’s Health UK. More

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    Here’s Why Burnout Among Women Is A Bigger Issue Than You’d Think

    Burnout is incredibly common and even more so the further along the year goes. And women bear the brunt of burnout rates, according to studies. The issue is larger than you’d think and affects women differently than it does men. That’s because women shoulder responsibilities at home and at work, taking on roles that can be emotionally and physically draining.

    What is burnout?

    Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion resulting from prolonged stress. Globally, just over 42% of women report being burned out. Women are delivering performance and business results but at a great personal toll.

    How burnout manifests among women

    International studies have shown that women in senior management roles do more to help their employees navigate work-life challenges relative to their male peers. Women spend more time helping manage workloads and are 60% more likely to be focusing on emotional support. This is important, as it helps employees feel good about themselves. But employees have reported that when they receive additional support, they are happier in their job and less likely to move.

    Women take on work at home, too

    One in three women and 60% of mothers with young children spend five or more hours a day on housework, homework and caregiving. Five hours a day is equivalent to a half-time job.

    “Burnout arises when individuals cannot access enough recovery between stressors,” explains Kerry Rudman from Brain Harmonics, a Neurofeedback organisation specialising in retraining brains.

    “We see this particularly with employed parents who face a higher number of and longer exposure to stressors from the multiple roles they play. This is compared with non-parents. And they have less ability to access periods of recovery as a result. Employed parents report several stressors. In particular, a lack of work-life balance, increased responsibilities at both work and home, greater concern for safety at work and for their kids at school, a loss of social support and isolation.”

    In collective studies conducted around the world, employed parents have reported the following in comparison to non-parents.

    Women are worn-out after work

    The compounded pressure of working while parenting, including remote schooling and working, has left many with feelings of apathy and fatigue. They feel that they are failing to live up to their own expectations across their multiple social roles. There are also indications that parents are not finding support or help from their employees.

    “Of the parents who report burnout – 90% believe their management considers productivity to be more important than mental health,” says Rudman. “Because of this, a lot of people will never discuss any issues that they are experiencing with their management or co-workers. People don’t want to be seen as incompetent or be at risk of being replaced. There is an assumption that people should be glad that they have a job right now and everyone just needs to do the extra work demanded of them as they could easily be replaced.”

    Employed parents report a range of stressors that have deteriorated their mental health. The level of household responsibilities is a particular problem. “In a survey conducted by Brain Harmonics, parents experiencing symptoms of burnout are more often responsible for all household duties. That’s compared with parents not experiencing symptoms of burnout (57 percent versus 41 percent),” says Rudman.

    In fact, the majority of parents responsible for all household duties report symptoms of burnout. These responsibilities, including caring for older adult family members in addition to children, most often fall to women. They have also been more likely to cut back on paid work during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to provide childcare. For these women, reduced paid time at work could also exacerbate the symptoms of burnout, if their responsibilities at work do not also decrease.

    Moms are worried about their kids

    Four in five employed parents say that they feel concerned about their child’s mental health. And more than one-third rate this concern as extreme.

    In a McKinsey and Co survey, parents are more likely than non-parents to report missing days of work because of burnout. They are also more likely to use leaves of absence and supported employment.

    Employed parents are more likely than non-parents to see themselves staying at their employer in two years’ time. But burnout correlates to employed parents’ likelihood of not recommending their place of work to others.

    “What’s more, stress and burnout, are the main reasons that cause people to consider leaving their jobs,” says Rudman.

    Alleviating the symptoms of burnout

    If you think you’re burnt out, or heading in that direction, therapy is a powerful tool. It’s a way to verbalise and let go of stressors while creating lasting, sustainable habits that can support a well-rounded lifestyle. Neurofeedback is another option: a non-invasive tool that can improve mental health and the feelings of physical burnout. It measures brain waves and provides a feedback signal to the brain so that new, healthier neuropathways are formed. For more information about neurofeedback training, check out Brain Harmonics.

    As with anything, burnout is a condition that needs to be treated with expertise. Chat with your doctor and a therapist to get the help you need. More

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    10 Best Essential Oils To Help Relieve Anxiety and Stress

    You may associate essential oils with aromatherapy products and fancy day spas. But certain varieties of these essential oils may have legit benefits when it comes to relieving anxiety and stress?

    According to Dr Yufang Lin, an integrative medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Integrative Medicine, essential oils work through inhalation or through topical application and have mind-body benefits. For inhalation, use essential oils as a room spray or via a diffuser. A few drops on a pendant worn close to the skin also allow for a slow release over time.

    Apply essential oils topically to a carrier oil and use as a perfume, massage oil, cream, or salves. Adding essential oil to your bath is a wonderful way to relax at the end of the day, says Dr Lin.

    “The quickest way to change one’s mood is through smell, thus essential oil is an excellent way to reduce anxiety and support relaxation,” says Dr Lin. “However, it takes a lot of herbs to make a small amount of essential oil, which makes it a strong medicine that should be used judiciously.”

    While research on essential oils for mental health benefits is still expanding, there is some info to suggest that certain oils may work for things like stress relief, better sleep, and more. Plus, some studies suggest essential oils can influence blood pressure and heart rate. That’s likely because when you inhale an essential oil, they go straight through your olfactory nerves (the ones for scent) and travel to the amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain, impacting mood.

    The thing is, though, even if one study shows that a particular scent is great for, say, reducing anxious feelings, it may not work for every single person. If you don’t enjoy a scent, you probably won’t feel much better after sniffing it, for instance.

    Which essential oils help with anxiety?

    These essential oils below reduce anxiety in human studies, says Dr Lin. Other scents are also commonly used to reduce anxiety and support relaxation. But we need research beyond animal studies to know if they have real benefits for people.

    Lavender

    Bergamot

    Orange

    Sweet marjoram

    CBD

    Faithful to Nature De-Stress Organic Essential Oil

    This blend of essential oils, with lavender and ylang ylang will have you zen out.

    The Body Shop Sleep Essential Oil

    Let lavender and vetiver help you drift off into sweet repose.

    Wellness Calm Organic Essential Oil

    Lemon, cedarwood, lavender and ylang ylang blend to ease stress and anxiety away.

    The essential oils ahead have been shown to help people feel calmer and more relaxed, says Dr Lin. One potential caveat is that most people have scent memory. For instance, if a person has a negative memory associated with a particular scent, they may not feel relaxed when they smell that scent, she explains.

    Lavender

    Bergamot

    Sweet orange

    Peppermint

    Frankincense

    Myrrh

    Rose

    home.life Luxury Scented Candle

    Lavender promotes relaxation while peppermint adds some pep.

    Soylites Serenity Candle

    GM-free soya creates a nourishing massage oil, combined with calming and relaxing lavender and chamomile.

    L’Occitane Relaxing Candle

    Take a moment, destress and relax with this lavender, geranium and orange blossom-infused candle. Aaah.

    What are the potential side effects of essential oils?

    It’s important to remember potential side effects, as they can be mild to severe. For one thing, certain essential oils (citrus in particular) can cause photosensitivity — meaning you can get a sunburn more easily after using an orange essential oil on the skin, says Dr Lin. (This is why it’s a common recommendation to dilute oils before applying them topically, just to be extra cautious.)

    Additionally, some essential oils are safe in small amounts but can be dangerous in higher doses. “Tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils are commonly used for their antimicrobial benefits. But in excess, can cause nerve and liver damage,” says Dr Lin. “Some essential oils are toxic in general and should not be used — arnica, parsley, rue, and tansy are a few that fall into this category.”

    Finally, do not ingest essential oil without supervision from a trained herbalist. Be extra cautious using essential oils around young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and small pets because they are most at risk for toxicity and side effects, she says.

    The bottom line: Research on using essential oils to ease anxiety or reduce stress is growing, but remains limited. But if you’re a healthy adult and are using essential oils safely and at the guidance of your doctor, there is little harm in testing some oils out to see which ones help you feel mentally better.

    This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com More