Health in Uncertain times - Part One
Posted on 6th November 2020 at 18:12
Times are tough, what you gonna do about it?
"circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself"
Are you well? I hope so, I wish I could make some intriguing point about which actions you should or should not be taking right now, but alas this citizen Scientist has no more inside information than anybody else with access to the internet.
It’s a complex picture, there aren’t any easy solutions and only time will tell what the best strategy is.
As we continue to adapt to a “new way of living”, and constantly evolving threats to our health and wellbeing, both from Covid 19 itself and from the measures taken to prevent the spread, I thought it best to express some health advice and personal thoughts which I hope will be of use to some of you.
Good health has never been so important, what exactly do I mean by health? Is it just a call to eat more salad or smash out some press ups?
According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, we must first satisfy the conditions essential for living before we can focus on self-fulfilment (the highest need).
I see this a lot, being obese is a serious threat to health, fat means heart attacks, higher risk of cancers, diabetes, injuries and shitty mental health.
But it's hard to tackle being overweight when your struggling to pay the bills, or half way through a bitter divorce battle, perhaps junk food and watching TV might be exactly the comfort needed, so nobody should judge themselves or others if this the choice they make.
And so it is with this current situation, everybody is in the middle of a storm, and yet some of us are sailing very different boats to others. I am aware of few people whose businesses have not been negatively affected in recent months, and I know even fewer people who haven't resorted to increased intake of junk food and/or alcohol.
If that's you, then you're not alone. I hope the suggestions in this series of articles may be of help to some of you, as usual I've tried to stay on the side of empirical evidence with a hint of anecdotal experience. Any positive step you can take towards improving your health, no matter how small, is a step in a better direction towards your future.
If you take nothing else from my suggestions, if you tell me I can fuck off, and curse me, and curse my children and my dog and my cat and send threatening letters with severed digits and unusual request, then that’s fine, but at least do this one thing.
It will seem ridiculous; it’ll seem stupid and embarrassing. But it works, it really works, and Science backs this up.
At least once a week, write a gratitude list. At least ten things you are grateful for.
We all have something to be thankful for, it could be big things, like just being alive, or having a roof over your head, or it could be the little things, like a new season of your favourite show on Netflix or the joy you take when you end your enemies life with a high powered Jackhammer.
Psychologist Dr.Robert Emmons from the university of California and Dr. Michael McCullogh from the University of Miami, ran a study for ten weeks where students where split into three groups.
Group one wrote about the things they were grateful for.
Group two wrote about the things which had pissed them off.
Group three just wrote about things which had affected them, with no emphasis on either positive or negative.
They did this every week for ten weeks, at the end of which, those who focussed on gratitude reported feeling much happier and optimistic, they even had less visits to the GP.
Try it, even if you just do it once a week, write at least five things you appreciate, no matter how silly it makes you feel just give it a go. It could make an incredibly positive impact on your wellbeing.
Here are five things to help get you started.
You’re probably more wealthy than you realize, in fact you are most likely richer than most of the World’s Population. Head on over to this site, input the country you live in, how much you earn in your household and how many adults and children you live with. You will most likely find that you are doing a lot better than most in people in the rest of the world, a minimum wage job in the UK puts you in the top twenty percent. Not that we should feel good that the rest of the World is living in poverty and we are the lucky few, but it should at least give us some perspective on reality when we think about our current situation.
Whales in Brazil have been filmed getting flirty with each other recently, the dirty cetacean bastards. Scientists think the reduced shipping and noise has helped them to find food easier. Here is a video of them, it’s adorable.
3. A new part of the coral reef bigger than the Eiffel Tower has recently been discovered in Australia, it seems to have escaped the bleaching effect and contains an array or Marine life.
4. We may actually come out of this pandemic with a greatly improved health service, in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid many surgeries have fast forwarded technologies to allow patients to get in touch online, make telephone or video call appointments and reduce waiting time and risk of infection in waiting rooms.
Other innovations we may see soon include a patch that monitors patients temperature 24 hours without the need for any medical staff contact, a copper infused face mask that destroy all traces of virus and innovations in home health care, disease diagnostics and long term treatments.
5. Engineers from the University of Sydney have pioneered a way to clean toxic water using electricity. Not only can this help dramatically clean up the waste from industry but it may help solve some of the predicted water shortages which will effect us all in the future as our population continues to grow.
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