Atticus Home Care

Atticus Health is excited to announce that we will be branching out into a Home Care service. Due to patient needs, we will be providing a service of home-visiting nurses and doctors.

We understand that not every patient can make it into a clinic as often as they may need, so we are offering this linking service to help combine care while living independently. Our team of clinical professionals are committed to bringing you the same impeccable level of care that you have come to depend on from Atticus Health.

With our cutting-edge 24-hour monitoring technology our team works together to provide well-communicated, well-informed care, bringing peace of mind to you and your loved ones.

The service will initially be offered in the Bayside City area, including Carrum and its surrounds.

To receive your free initial comprehensive home assessment, ensure you book in before 30th September 2019.

For more information call 1800 ATTICUS (1800 288 4287) or email Clare at cwestlow@atticushealth.com.au

Stronger Together.

Diabetes Week 2019 – Take Diabetes 2 Heart

Australian National Diabetes Week this year is from the 13th to the 20th July. The theme for Diabetes Week 2019 is “Take Diabetes 2 Heart“, focusing on the relationship between type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia. Those with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease in their lives. The Take Diabetes 2 Heart campaign is encouraging Australians living with type 2 diabetes to work towards good heart habits.

Those at higher risk

  • People with family history of diabetes
  • Those over 55 years of age
  • Anyone over 45 and overweight or with high blood pressure
  • Those over 35 and of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
  • Women who have experienced gestational diabetes, or had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

If you are aged between 40 and 45 and believe you are at risk, you can book in with our clinic nurse to receive a diabetes assessment.

Diabetes Australia offers an online risk calculator, for determining your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You can click here to find out your risk.

Ways to improve cardiovascular health

  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Ensuring you get plenty of regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Keeping track of your blood pressure
  • Not smoking
  • Managing your cholesterol levels

 

State Prevention Programs

The Victorian government is running Life! which is a free healthy lifestyle program that aims to assist in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Expert health professionals are offering this program through a group course, or through a telephone health coaching service, to accommodate various needs. Additionally, the website offers tips and recipes for supporting a healthy lifestyle.

 

If you have diabetes and believe you need assistance maintaining a good relationship with your heart health, book now to speak to your GP. You may be eligible for an exercise plan with Nikki, our exercise physiologist, who works at both our Hastings and Carrum clinics. Alternatively, you can sign up for membership at our Hastings or Carrum on-site gyms for full access and discounted group and private sessions.

 

Dry July

For over 10 years, Australians have been going alcohol-free for the month of July as a way to raise funds and awareness for people affected by cancer. Since it began in 2008, more than 160,000 have abstained from alcohol in July, and collectively raised upwards of $37 million for various cancer organisations.

Why Go Dry in July?

By going dry for July, you can help raise awareness for those affected by cancer. That includes those who are diagnosed, as well as all their friends and family. Cancer is Australia’s leading cause of death, with 1 in 2 men and women having a diagnosis by the time they turn 85. The Cancer Council estimates approximately 50,000 cancer-related deaths for 2019.

While these figures are shocking, the survival rate for cancers can be as high as 90%, according to the Cancer Council. Many awareness organisations offer personal stories from survivors, such as the National Breast Cancer Network Australia. Continuing to raise both awareness and funds offers the opportunity to further research and to assist those coping with diagnoses.

Abstaining from alcohol can also provide many personal health benefits. Medical News Today conducted a study into the effects of participants who went without alcohol for one month and found that the participants felt a higher awareness of their relationship with alcohol, and an increased ability to control their future drinking. They also experienced higher energy levels, weight loss and a better quality of sleep. The Sleep Foundation confirms that affect that alcohol has on the quantity and quality of a person’s sleep.

Who Will You Be Supporting?

The organisations involved in Dry July include:

Each state also has local organisations involved. Some of Victoria’s local participants are:

  • Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre – a centre focused on developing innovative cancer therapies and international research programs, with the best of patient-centred care and medical treatment.
  • Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre – a world-class cancer centre providing care, treatment and research for the people of the Grampians Region of Victoria.
  • The Alfred Hospital – Alfred Health provides the most comprehensive range of healthcare services in Victoria through their 3 hospital campuses, large network of community programs and 14 statewide services.

For full information on the organisations involved in Dry July, visit the beneficiaries section of their website.

How Can You Help?

If you think Dry July sounds like the challenge for you, get started right away. Sign up on the Dry July web page as an individual or a team. Once you have committed yourself, begin spreading the word. Chase up friends, family and colleagues who you think would be up for it, and encourage them to join you on the journey.

To begin fundraising, Dry July offers assistance to help you reach out across various platforms. They provide social media images, pre-written emails, posters and more to help you seek support. For additional resources and fundraising tips, head to the fundraising section of the website.

If you are having reservations about being unable to abstain from drinking for the whole month of June, there is a way to make Dry July work for you. Dry July offers participants to purchase ‘Golden Tickets’ as a way to buy a night or day of drinking. For example, if you have a special occasion that falls directly in the middle of July, but still want to participate in Dry July, you can buy yourself one of these Golden Tickets, and add to your fundraising pool for a night free of obligations.

Need Some Further Motivation?

To get you started, here are some  scrumptious non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy while you commence your month without alcohol:

Caramel Apple Pie Mocktail

Sparkling Berry and Pomegranate Mocktail

Carrot Cake Smoothie

Classic Banana Smoothie

Healthy Breakfast Juice

If you or someone you know is dealing with issues from alcohol addiction, visit Reach Out for information and support.

Autumn is for Apples!

It’s that time of year to get orchard-fresh apples. The Mornington Peninsula has some brilliant local orchards to meet all of your apple needs!

If you’re after a great variety of local apples, family-run business Staples Apples in Main Ridge has what you need. The Staples family has operated the business for more than sixty years, providing scrumptious seasonal products from their orchard to the residents of the Mornington Peninsula. They grow every apple from Fuji to Pink Lady, and believe that their products speak for themselves, with sampling being an important part of their sales.

Staples also sells delicious cherries in December and January – perfect for your Christmas lunch! The sweet treats are well worth the hinterland drive.

http://staplesapples.com.au/about-us/

For a unique cider experience, I have to recommend the Mock cidery in Red Hill. They have an array of apple and pear ciders on offer, in a quaint farm setting. You can enjoy a tasting paddle of ciders made from freshly grown apples, either inside the rustic building with a crackling fire, or in the courtyard with chickens bustling around. They are open 7 days, and offer a large selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ciders and juices.

The Mock orchards also produce my family’s favourite apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is also made using their certified biodynamic apples. Perfect for dressing salads or pickling your own vegetables at home.

http://mockredhill.com.au/about-us

 

If you find yourself with too many apples to eat, what better use for them than in the perfect autumn dessert – apple crumble! Here’s a tasty recipe to try, recommended by our Atticus GP Clinics experts  .

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 lady williams apples, peeled, cored, halved, thinly sliced
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sweetener (Hermesetas Gold brand)
  • 55g (1/2 cup) hazelnut meal
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 x 200g carton no-fat vanilla yoghurt

METHOD

  • Step 1

Preheat grill to medium. Place the apple, apple juice, nutmeg and half the sweetener in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the apple softens. Spoon apple mixture into a round 20cm (base measurement) ovenproof dish.

  • Step 2

Meanwhile, combine the hazelnut meal, flour and remaining sweetener in a bowl. Add the water and stir until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture.

  • Step 3

Cook under preheated grill, about 7cm from the heat source, for 2 minutes or until golden. Serve with yoghurt.

https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/apple-crumble-3/62a94be9-731f-4c30-a80e-8510d874e215

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Classic

Mother’s Day is approaching, and what better way to celebrate than to take your mum on a fun run raising money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation? The event is held in many locations and offers different participation options to accommodate for varying fitness levels.

https://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/

The Mother’s Day Classic is a fitness and fundraising event that has been ongoing for 22 years and so far has raised over $35 million for the NBCF. What a wonderful thing to be a part of!

You can forms teams with your friends, family, workmates or other groups. Fundraising is encouraged, and there is merchandise available online. One of the most important things to do is dress up in as much pink as you can find! There is just something about seeing hundred of men, women and children embracing the spirit of the event that makes you really feel a part of something special.

The Balnarring-Somers event begins at the Coolart Wetlands and Homestead and offers a 4km walk, a 4km run and an 8km run. The walk goes through the wetlands and park and is suitable for most fitness levels. Both runs will go through the surrounding roads and the paddocks in the homestead. My team and I will be splitting between the 4km walk and the 4km run and meeting up again at the end.

The Flinders event departs from the Flinders Yacht Club and has the option of 4.5km walk, 4.5km run or 9km run. The Flinders walk and runs both follow a course that wind above the cliffs of Flinders, offering spectacular views of the ocean.

For those wanting to support the cause, but unable to attend the event, you can either sponsor a participating friend or family member, or else donate directly to the NBCF through this link:

https://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/how-to-donate/

I hope to see some of you at the Balnarring-Somers event! Send us any fun photos from the event, wherever you participate.

Environmental Health

At Atticus Health we are focused on providing all of our patients with a full and comprehensive health care, which includes environmental health.

What is Environmental Health?

Environmental health involves those aspects of public health influenced by the factors, circumstances, and conditions in the environment or surroundings of humans that can exert an influence on health and well-being. Environmental health provides the basis of public health

Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. This definition excludes behaviour not related to environment, as well as behaviour related to the social and cultural environment, and genetics.

Smog/Pollution Levels in air

A classic example of how the environment impacts our health is smog/ pollution levels in the air.  Luckily for the most part, Australia remains a pretty clean place.  But, if we don’t care – it will change.  We don’t need to be fearful, however it is important that we all do our part, and put in place strategies that are in our control to assist in improving our environmental health.These changes need to be put into effect now rather than in 50 years.  In some countries, you can get extremely sick if you don’t use a mask over your nose & mouth outside.  Not to mention, that you can’t even see very far at all because of the smog.  So, you don’t have to be a tree hugger to see that the problem is REAL.

The website linked below can assist you in tracking the level of air pollution around the world.

https://waqi.info/

Tree Planting

A beautiful and simple way of improving air quality, is planting trees.

For millions of years trees have been critical in maintaining safe levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide on our planet. Trees are the world’s single largest source of breathable oxygen and play a vital role in addressing climate change. They filter air and provide oxygen, conserve soil and water, prevent desertification and protect and stabilise ground cover.

Native trees also assist our agricultural areas to be more sustainable, prevent salinity and soil erosion, provide shade, shelter, food and habitat to native animals. They provide sources of timber for fuel, wood, food, fodder, essential oils, gums, resins and latex, medicines and shade. In other words, the importance of trees can’t be understated.

At our Hastings clinic we were very aware of the need to support environmental health factors from conception. We planted native trees throughout the flowerbeds that surround the clinic. Some of Floyd’s favourite trees planted there are Eucalyptus gungurru, Eucalyptus woodwardii, Eucalyptus sideroxylon (ironbark), Eucalyptus ficifolia (flowering gum), Brachychiton (Illawarra flame tree), Banksia Integrifolia (coastal banksia)

 

As well as this Atticus Health actively avoids the use of paper, where possible in our clinics and gravitate towards a paperless system.

How can you improve your environmental health?

Everyone’s lifestyle is different and complex, so you need to establish what steps work for you. Based on your needs, consumption, free-time and capabilities. The same solution isn’t always going to be applicable for everyone, however. Below are some common suggestions that people feel are relatively easy swaps and changes to make. Figure out which ones suit you and go from there, baby steps. To help improve environmental health, “we don’t need a handful of people doing it perfectly, we need the whole world doing it imperfectly”.

You can assist in improving your own environmental health by selecting products with minimal waste, picking up waste you see when out in nature and recycling/disposing of it appropriately, bulk buying, getting involved with environmental charities by donating or volunteering, choosing locally produced produce, even purchasing products from companies that care about the what the materials are in your products, where they come from and how to dispose of them – https://www.biome.com.au/ is a website from which you can make more environmentally everyday purchases to assist in improving overall environmental health. Here are a few more things you can read about improving your environmental health.

You can purchase a bracelet from 4Ocean, a charity that pulls a pound of plastic from the ocean for every purchase, read more about it here.

You can also plant trees in your own home, or if you don’t have a garden there are several charities you can donate money to, to plant trees to improve Australia’s air quality. Here is a link to a charity you can donate money to plant trees to help improve environmental health.

Is There a Magic Energy Pill, Doc?

Is There a Magic Energy Pill Doc?

Not too long ago I was asked by a nurse, “I’m feeling tired all the time Floyd, is there a pill I can take that’ll help me?” I pondered this.

There are many medical causes of “fatigue”.  Yet, often times no medical cause is found.  The conclusions I discuss below are relevant to that scenario.  If you’re excessively tired, then it may well be worthwhile seeing your Doctor to check if there’s something medical at play, or whether it’s a symptom of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.  However, if nothing comes up, then consider these contributions to boost your energy.

 

The first thing I’m going to say is that most of these things are to do with your mind.  A well geared mind does increase energy – that’s my finding.  So these are a few tips to increase your mental energy, which generally flows on to increased physical energy.

 

  1. Let go of being defensive. This can be tough.  Being defensive comes naturally as a response at times.  But, it can really eat people up during the day.  Being defensive at work, on the road, with family.  Man, that’s tiring.  Observe what people say or do, and see if you can look beyond being defensive to look at the facts, and simply choose an appropriate response, without the emotional storm of “defensiveness” coming into play.  Move on.  Change if you have to.  Or, assert your case (which is different to an emotional backlash).  Don’t let your heart rate get too fast, or teeth start to clench.  Relax, judge things on their merits and keep moving.

 

  1. Treat people around you as your equal. There is a rise of tribalism out there. I’ve read about it, I’ve heard about it, I’ve seen it.  The question is – who is your tribe?  Your family, your sports team? Your state, your country, your religion, your ethnicity, rich people, poor people, well dressed people, humbly dressed people?  When you look at people around you – on the street, on a bus, have fun with the notion of tribe, for sure.  But don’t take it too seriously.  If you can walk around during your day and see yourself in the eyes of another, on the bus, at that café, and it brings a smile to your face, which you share – a genuine moment – that exchange will in itself increase your energy, as your very being reminds you that that’s true – your real tribe is humanity and to go further – life itself.  That’s reality.  Promoting equality then, although at first an idea that may sound requiring of effort, is natural for your soul, and the practice of it – finding similarities in everyone around you, and seeing yourself in the eyes of another – will not only make your day degrees more enjoyable, it WILL increase your energy.  Likely, if we all do this, it will raise the collective energy level of our society.

 

  1. Perhaps a more obvious thing to say.  If you have a purpose, you’ll generally have more energy.  Connect with the things which you’re doing in the present, be it your job or family or any other pursuit.  That true connection and alignment with your having and being, will give you a drive you wouldn’t exist otherwise.  Think about what’s important to you and spend your time doing that thing.  Find purpose.

 

  1. Realise your fears and work to minimise them. A long time ago I read Napolean Hill’s famous book (or at least listened to the audiobook) – Think, and Grow Rich.  The title’s a bit harsh or greedy sounding, but the basic lesson is valid.  Your ultimate success or fate, hinges on your ability to carry through your belief and will.  Along the way, the book implores the reader to recognise their own fears, face them, and resolve to minimise them.  These fears are:
    • The fear of death
    • The fear of ill health
    • The fear of criticism
    • The fear of poverty
    • Fear of old age
    • Fear of loss of love

Now it’s rather tough for me to comment on all of them, even the importance of them.  But I think one thing is true.  Fear does sap energy.  Fear and worry.  Worry leading to procrastination and mental baggage of all sorts, reflecting indecision in the minds of people.  If you can keep deciding things during your day to “clear your head”, rather than leave things on a to do pile, and indeed, avoid basing your decisions on any particular fear – you’ll have more energy at the end of the day – for sure.

So there you have it.  I hope I haven’t sounded condescending or flippant.  And again, if you’re unduly tired, it may well be worthwhile seeing your doctor, to be sure.  However, the fact remains there – often your state of mind either increases your energy level, or robs it.  May this little article help your personal energy level rise!

How are you going with your New Year’s Resolutions?

NYE Resolutions

Its nearing mid January, and that has all of us here at Atticus Health considering our New Year’s resolutions. The ones we made and have kept, the ones we have already broken, and the ones we wish we started but really never thought we would, no matter how pure our intentions were.

New Year’s resolutions are great in theory, but at the end of the day don’t they really just make people feel bad about what they didn’t do? Rather than good about what they did?

What were your New Year’s resolutions?

We have come up with some that we think are the only ones that really matter and are actually doable!

  1. To enjoy life more.

We all deserve to be happy. But what does that mean to you? Taking more trips? Trying new things? Spending time with friends and family? Be clear about what you want to do and go from there. Some of us have decided to just try make some more time for ourselves. Be it a relaxing bath once a month, 30 minutes a week where you finally get to read that book you’ve been thinking about for ages. Making that long overdue phone call to a dear old friend. Do what makes you happy and DO MORE OF IT! If you need help reducing stress so that you can relax and focus on the things that matter, book in with your Atticus Health GP and we’ll get you started on a plan for you to ENJOY your life more, you deserve it.

  1. To eat better and exercise more.

Let’s be realistic for a second: you’re probably not going to go to the gym every day and eat only vegetables. Not only is that setting the bar a bit high, but it’s unnecessary. Start with something a bit easier, a walk every other day instead of the bus, or instead of meeting friends for a coffee, go for a walk instead? When choosing your food, just try and maintain a healthy balance, and not overdo the sugary stuff. You feel better when you eat better, and you’ll eat better when you feel better. Make one good choice every day and it will get easier each day. Just look after your health, and if you decide you want some help along the way, book in with our GP and our exercise physiologist, we believe in you, its time for you to believe in yourself too.

  1. To learn something new.

Choose something different, something you’ve had your eye on FOR AGES, or something that’s just a little bit out of your comfort zone. Set aside some time each week to work on it, and remember that learning something new is a gradual process. Even if you try it, and a few weeks in, you realise its not for you? Amazing! You tried it and you now know, rather than always wondering! Now you can try the next thing with no regrets. Or maybe there was an element of a new hobby you like, but not the whole concept of it, so just take pieces of it that you want to continue with and work them into your life slowly, just make sure to enjoy yourself.

  1. To quit smoking.

Something A LOT of the doctors here would be happy to hear you getting on board with., you want There are lots of ways to go about it. Find out what works for you and put some systems in place to help you give this habit the flick. It can take a while to quit successfully, so don’t feel too bad if your first attempts don’t work; just stick at it. You can ask your Atticus Health GP to help you quit smoking and you can work out a plan together. Good Luck!

  1. To manage money better.

It can be so hard to keep tabs on your hard-earned cash. One minute it’s there, the next it’s gone. Try out apps that track your cash, so you can see where it is you’re spending the majority of your money, and figure out ways you might be able to cut back on that.

These are just some of the things we’re keeping in mind for the continuing months, so feel free to hop on the bandwagon with us! Just DON’T be too hard on yourself if you don’t stick to them, we’re all only human. Just take a break and try again, tomorrow is always a new day, you do not need a new year for a fresh start.

The below are some amazing snippets from a GREAT New York Times article:
Click here to read the article in full https://www.nytimes.com/guides/smarterliving/resolution-ideas

“A lot of resolutions fail because they’re not the right resolutions. And a resolution may be wrong for one of three main reasons:

  • It’s a resolution created based on what someone else (or society) is telling you to change.
  • It’s too vague.
  • You don’t have a realistic plan for achieving your resolution.

Your goals should be smart — and SMART. An acronym coined in the journal Management Review in 1981 for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. It may work for management, but it can also work in setting your resolutions, too.

  • Specific. Your resolution should be absolutely clear. “Making a concrete goal is really important rather than just vaguely saying ‘I want to lose weight.’ You want to have a goal: How much weight do you want to lose and at what time interval?” said Katherine L. Milkman, an associate professor of operations information and decisions at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Five pounds in the next two months — that’s going to be more effective.”
  • Measurable. This may seem obvious if your goal is a fitness or weight loss related one, but it’s also important if you’re trying to cut back on something, too. If, for example, you want to stop biting your nails, take pictures of your nails over time so you can track your progress in how those nails grow back out, said Jeffrey Gardere, a psychologist and professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. Logging progress into a journal or making notes on your phone or in an app designed to help you track behaviours can reinforce the progress, no matter what your resolution may be.
  • Achievable. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have big stretch goals. But trying to take too big a step too fast can leave you frustrated, or affect other areas of your life to the point that your resolution takes over your life — and both you and your friends and family flail. So, for example, resolving to save enough money to retire in five years when you’re 30 years old is probably not realistic, but saving an extra $100 a month may be. (And if that’s easy, you can slide that number up to an extra $200, $300 or $400 a month).
  • Relevant. Is this a goal that really matters to you, and are you making it for the right reasons? “If you do it out of the sense of self-hate or remorse or a strong passion in that moment, it doesn’t usually last long,” said Dr. Michael Bennett, a psychiatrist and co-author of two self-help books. “But if you build up a process where you’re thinking harder about what’s good for you, you’re changing the structure of your life, you’re bringing people into your life who will reinforce that resolution, then I think you have a fighting chance.”
  • Time-bound. Like “achievable,” the timeline toward reaching your goal should be realistic, too. That means giving yourself enough time to do it with lots of smaller intermediate goals set up along the way. “Focus on these small wins so you can make gradual progress,” Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit” and a former New York Times writer, said. “If you’re building a habit, you’re planning for the next decade, not the next couple of months.”

If you’re trying to form or break a habit, Mr. Duhigg suggested breaking down that habit into its three parts: a cue, a routine and a reward.

 

For example:

Bad Habit: I check Twitter too often.

Cue: I feel isolated.

Routine: I check Twitter.

Reward: I feel connected.

Way to change the behaviour: Instead of checking Twitter, get up and talk to a colleague.

 

Bad Habit: I smoke.

Cue: I’m tired.

Routine: I smoke a cigarette.

Reward: I’m stimulated.

Way to change the behaviour: Instead of smoking a cigarette, replace the stimulus with something else, like coffee.

 

Bad Habit: I don’t get enough sleep at night.

Cue: I feel like I need time to myself in the evening.

Routine: I stay up too late watching TV.

Reward: I’m entertained.

Way to change the behaviour: Instead of staying up late to watch TV, carve out special time each day to spend by yourself, even if that may mean asking for help with your children or taking a break from work each day.

 

But while your plan should be realistic and encouraging, it should also allow for inevitable hurdles that are going to crop up. Pauline Wallin, a psychologist and author of “Taming Your Inner Brat,” said any resolution plan should include room for mistakes. “You’re there for the long haul. You have to expect slip ups,” she said. “There will be times when you will say, ‘I’ll make a mess of things and I’m just going to start again tomorrow.’ Don’t berate yourself. Focus on what you’re doing good for yourself rather than what mistake you made,” she said.

So before hurdles get in your way, make sure you have a plan to jump over them. Here are a few common problems people face in achieving their goals:

It’s too much and I have so far to go. A perceived lack of progress can be frustrating. Dr. Wallin suggested focusing on whatever the smaller number it is: your progress, or how much you have left to do.

This “small number” technique is based on a 2012 study published in The Journal of Consumer Research that found that focusing on the smaller number in reaching a goal kept people more motivated. So, for example, if you want to run five miles, which of the following thoughts is more likely to keep you going?

  • I’ve already run one mile and in another mile I’ll double it
  • I’ve run just one mile and I still have four more to go

Try to be positive, but realistic. Yes, imagine the goal or positive fantasy, but then look at what obstacles are in the way and how to get over them. Dr. Oettingen calls this technique W.O.O.P. — Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.

  • Wish: What do you want?
  • Outcome: What would the ideal outcome be? What will your life look like when you hit your goal?
  • Obstacle: You know yourself. What will try to stop you? What has sidelined you before?
  • Plan: How will you get around it?

FIND LIKE-MINDED RESOLVERS

You may find online support groups and forums (on Facebook or not) full of people who are reaching for the same goal. But real life groups can help too. Mr. Duhigg said that one reason Alcoholics Anonymous (and other Anonymous groups) works for a lot of people is, first because it’s a community, but also because there’s a belief in something else that isn’t necessarily God. For example, people have used a belief in a general higher power, even in nature, to help them achieve their goals.

“Belief is a metaphorical muscle that with practice gets strong and easier to use,” he said. “Ultimately people who are looking to change a really alluring and destructive behaviour like alcoholism need to believe in the capacity to change.” Support groups can help because it’s a group setting with a lot of social reinforcement and features examples of people who have changed.

FEEL FREE TO START FRESH

Want to try again? Remember, a resolution doesn’t need to be tied to New Year’s. “It can be following a weekend, following a birthday,” she said. So if you missed your New Year’s goal, you can start again tomorrow, on a Monday, after Valentine’s Day or any marker that means something to you, just as long as you’re ready to give it another go. It won’t guarantee success, but you don’t need to wait until another year comes around on the calendar to give it another go.

And be kind to yourself. “We talk in much harsher tones to ourselves than we would to other people,” said Dr. Wallin. “We wouldn’t say to a kid trying to learn something ‘that’s so stupid’ but that’s how we talk to ourselves.”

When resolutions run off the rails or fall apart but you still want to try again, talk to yourself like “a child who’s feeling discouraged. You wouldn’t say ‘that’s because you’re an idiot.’ You would say ‘come on you can do it.’”

Best of luck with all of your New Year’s resolutions that you still have going and those you still have a chance to make. REMEMBER IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE A NEW YEAR TO MAKE A CHANGE. You can do this, just look after your health, and be happy.

Love,
Atticus

How to be sun smart?

Summer is coming, and we have already experienced a blissful tease of what is yet to come weather wise, including all the fun, events and experiences that warmer weather brings with it. To make sure you get to make the most of the upcoming summer ensure you’re up to date on your sun safety knowledge and protecting yourself and your loved ones against harmful rays!

As the past four years have been the hottest four on record around the globe. The heat across the globe in 2018 has already set all kinds of records, including the hottest temperature ever measured in Africa and the hottest overnight temperature ever recorded. Unfortunately, this temperature increase is expected to continue.

Extreme heat isn’t just uncomfortable, it can also have serious effects on our physical health, mental well-being, and cognitive ability. A number of studies show that as temperatures climb, we perform more slowly and more inaccurately on cognitive tests. This phenomenon affects everyone from students taking standardized tests to office workers trying to get through the day.

What To Look Out For:

Heat Exhaustion – Increasing body temperature
Symptoms: Heavy sweating, clammy skin, dehydration, tiredness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, cramps and a quick, weak pulse.
Solution: Move to a cool location, sip water, take a cool bath or put a cool wet towel over your body. If these symptoms persist for more than an hour, or worsen and include vomiting, seek medical assistance.

Heat Stroke – When a body temperature reaches 40 degrees or higher,
Symptoms: Similar to heat exhaustion, yet may have a fast, strong pulse, feel confusion, may be losing consciousness, and may stop sweating
Solution:
Move to a cool place, put cool towels over them or in a cool bath and seek emergency medical assistance.

Skin Damage: UVA causes damage to the skin, contributes to sunburn, and increases the chance of skin cancers. UVB rays trigger sunburn, and play a key role in the development of skin cancer.

Symptoms: Sunburn, Actinic Keratoses, Actinic Cheilitis, Age Spots, Moles, Rosacea, Wrinkles, Poikiloderma of Civatte

Solution: Protecting yourself with sun safety methods and always using SPF that protects against UVA & UVB, the Skin Cancer Foundation notes that you should look for the words “broad spectrum” on sunscreen labels, which means the cream/spray/lotion covers a range of UV wavelengths, SPF 50 is a good choice, reapply every two hours, and immediately after you sweat or swim.

 

Skin Cancer: Abnormal growth of skin cells
Symptoms:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
    Beginning in the basal cells in the outer layer of skin, basal cell carcinomas may appear as a pearly or waxy bump, as well as a flat, flesh-coloured or brown scar-like lesion.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
    Also in the outer layer of skin, this type of skin cancer forms in squamous cells. It often appears as a firm, red nodule or a flat lesion with a scaly, crusty surface.
  • Melanoma
    Melanoma makes up a small fraction of skin cancers, but it’s also the most deadly. Symptoms of melanoma include a large brown spot with darker speckles; a mole that changes in colour, size or feel, or that bleeds. A small lesion with an abnormal border and sections that appear red, white, blue or bluish-black; and dark lesions on your palms, soles, fingertips or toes, or on mucous membranes lining your nose, mouth, vagina or anus.

Recommendations For Avoiding Skin Cancer:

  • Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    These are the peak hours of sun strength ─ even in the winter and on cloudy days.
  • Wear sunscreen — at least sun protection factor 15 — throughout the entire year
    Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.
  • Wear protective clothing
    Hats with wide brims and clothing that covers your arms and legs are helpful. Sunscreen doesn’t block all UV rays, which cause skin cancer.
  • Self-check your skin
    If you notice differences, consult your healthcare provider.

“Anyone can get skin cancer, but those at a higher risk include individuals who have a heavy exposure to UV rays, lighter skin, family history of skin cancer, prevalent moles, numerous severe sunburns in the past, weakened immune system and those who live in sunny or high-altitude climates,” states Dr. Cockerill , Mayo Clinic Oncologist, “Skin cancer is treatable

How To Use Sunscreen Effectively?

  • Always choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen for UVA and UVB protection
  • Use Sunscreen alongside protective clothing, such as wide brimmed hats and shading
  • Higher SPF will only provide a slight increase in UV protection, yet you will have to apply it more often
  • Apply generously, thoroughly and thickly
  • Apply even when cloudy, all year round
  • Always apply sunscreen generously, thickly and evenly to children 6 months +, alongside sun protection clothing. Always keep children under 6 months away from the sun.
  • Re-apply every 2 hours, as well as immediately after swimming and heavily sweating
  • Water resistant means that the SPF is maintained for up to 40 minutes while swimming or sweating, very water resistant means the SPF is maintained for 80 minutes – always reapply after swimming or heavily sweating
  • If using a sunscreen with insect repellent, only reapply every 6 hours, using a sunscreen without insect repellent every 2 hours or after swimming or heavily sweating
  • Creams are useful if you have dry skin — especially for your face. Lotions are often preferred for application on large areas. Lotions tend to be thinner and less greasy than creams. Gels work best in hairy areas, such as the scalp and a man’s chest or legs. Sticks are useful when applying sunscreen around the eyes. Sprays are easy to apply yet hard to know how effective your coverage is, so apply generously and evenly, potentially use a cream first and a spray later on to reapply

Points to remember:

  • Use sunscreen effectively as described above
  • Avoid burning
  • Be cautious of sun reflective surfaces
  • Wear protective clothing & sunglasses
  • Plan outdoor activities for less sunnier times of day
  • Avoid sun from 10am-4pm
  • Seek shade when outside and avoid direct sunlight
  • Use sunscreen on
  • Get regular annual skin checks done by your healthcare practitioner and self-check your body once a month. Seek medical advice should you notice any abnormalities.
  • Drink more water and stay hydrated as well as eating regularly and sufficiently

How a Daily 30 min Walk Can Boost Your Wellbeing

  1. 30 minutes isn’t a long time – most of us spend that much time on Facebook or Snapchat, just doing nothing anyway. There’s something really simple we can all do to give our energy levels and our overall physical and mental well being a much needed boost – walking! All you need is your body and some shoes and you’re good to go.
    • Weight Loss + Stronger Muscles
      Walking for 30 mins burns about 150 calories (it may be more depending on your weight), about that of a muffin. Regular walking can help improve your body’s response to insulin and boost your metabolism, which can help reduce belly fat. It also strengthens the muscles in your upper legs and calves – this is great especially if you’ve been sitting down for a while. When it comes to muscles, the saying  goes: “use it or lose it”
    • Improved mood
      Research shows that regular walking actually modifies your nervous system so much that you’ll experience a decrease in anger and hostility. Exercise releases endorphins which make you feel calmer and happier. If you’re walking outside, being exposed to the sun helps to stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder (the winter blues) and may even help you sleep better at night by encouraging melatonin production.
    • Healthy Digestion
      After eating a heavy meal, don’t flop down on the couch in front of the TV. Two different studies have shown that a post-meal walk can aid in digestion. One study in 2008 showed that walking sped up the rate at which food moved through the stomach. Other studies have shown that walking also decreases blood sugar after meals, which decreases your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A 30-minute walk will help clear that excess glucose and get things moving in the GI system.
    • It’s Great for Varicose Veins
      A 30 minute walk is the perfect exercise for people with varicose veins because it’s extremely low impact. It may also help to improve the appearance and pain of existing veins by increasing circulation in the legs.

    Everyone should be getting outside at least once per day, according to our expert at Atticus GP clinics. A 30 minute walk is also a great chance to be social and catch up with friends and family – either on the phone or in person. Also, even if you do nothing else that’s productive that day, you can still feel a little better at the end of it 🙂

    Clara