How to Build Self-Belief and Reach Personal Goals Corinne Hammond I Thursday, July 7, 2022

Have you been feeling socially isolated from others in your area? Maybe the pandemic knocked your self-confidence so much that you're not sure how to get back on the road. You're not alone, and there are things you can do to re-enter the world and thrive. This short guide provides three solutions to overcoming a lack of self-confidence and developing ways of reaching your personal goals.

Treating Mental Health
Social isolation can be a cause of depression, a disorder that reveals itself in a variety of ways, including persistent sadness or anxiety. You should contact a licensed mental health professional to discuss your situation if you think you're affected, as a specialist should be able to identify the nature and severity of your condition and provide tailored and appropriate treatment. Although not suitable for everyone, some forms of depression can be treated by antidepressants. If this applies in your case, the mental health professional will monitor your progress and be alert to signs of side effects that may risk your safety and health. Over time, you'll become more confident about rejoining society.

Elevating Career Prospects
Developing a physical fitness routine and introducing healthy foods into your diet are well-known methods of improving mental health, but so too is educational development. School may feel like something from the past, but an online degree is an excellent way of increasing your knowledge and career prospects. Employers value online degrees, not just because they represent the candidate's intellectual capacity but also because they know the person simultaneously juggled their education with their work and home life, showing them to be committed, disciplined, and ambitious. Figures for the National Center for Education Statistics reveal employment levels in 2021 for people with bachelor's degrees was 86%, compared to only 68% for those with only high school diplomas.

Starting a Business
Maybe re-entering the world is your opportunity to be your own employer. Starting a business is challenging, but it can be very rewarding. Regardless of the type of business you have in mind, or whether you plan to stay small or become the biggest company in your area, you should develop a business plan that at least includes the following:

  • Executive summary. A short 360-degree description of your business tailored toward your intended reader (such as potential investors).
  • Business history. This is your background and experience, as well as your key objectives and growth forecasts.
  • Products and services. Describe what your business will do, in as much detail as possible.
  • Market analysis. Who is your ideal customer, and how will you tell them about your product/service?
  • List other businesses in your area you'll be competing with, and beyond, if applicable.
  • Organization and management. What's the structure of your business? Who are the employees and suppliers?
  • Financial projections. How much money will you need to start your business and see it over the early stage when revenue is low?

Re-entering Society With Confidence
Becoming more educated and starting a business are known to be good for mental health, as is getting the right treatments from the best health care professionals. If you're daunted by the plethora of options in your area, you needn't be. Contact Joyce of Encore Life Health who has experience helping people get the health care coverage they need.

Staying Healthy When You Have Diabetes: Comprehensive Tips Tina Martin I Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Have you been diagnosed with diabetes recently? Some lifestyle changes are on the cards. You must be extra careful with your health to avoid short-term and long-term complications, which range from mood changes and weakness to heart disease and strokes. The good news is diabetes can be managed—you can live a normal life with just a few minor changes.

Understand what having diabetes means
To get a handle on diabetes, make sure you understand the implications. Your body is producing more glucose than it can process. Said glucose can damage your body’s organs as well as blood vessels if left uncontrolled or unmanaged. Over time, it could cause problems in your heart, brain, kidneys, eyes, gums, and even your feet. The exact impact depends on your personal circumstances and the type of diabetes you have.

Your job is to keep blood glucose to a manageable level. This involves some common-sense stuff such as eating healthy, exercising, and taking medication. It also involves some less-obvious stuff—such as taking extra care of your mouth, skin, and feet, and being more vigilant than ever with your health.

Eat better
Avoid burdening your body with foods it has difficulty processing, especially sugary snacks. Instead, include foods that are high in fiber and nutrients and low in fat and salt. Plan out your meals and eat at the same time for the best results. Talk to your doctor or dietician for a personalized eating plan, which should cover food choices and quantities.

Get exercising and stay motivated long-term
Exercise is essential to maintaining your health, not to mention it’s your ticket to avoiding long-term complications. When you’re active, it automatically reduces your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels. Furthermore, it is good for your overall health. It puts you in a better mood, boosts your appetite, gives you more energy, and generally makes it easier to function.

Having goals and tracking your progress can help you stay motivated long-term. Find ways to get more movement into your workday. Develop an effective fitness routine with your physician’s help. Lastly, always monitor your health and blood pressure levels at all times—excess exercise can and does raise your blood sugar levels.

Investing in a fitness tracker or smartwatch gadget may be a good idea. Such gadgets not only allow you to track your workout progress but also come with blood pressure monitors and alarm functions to help keep you safe.

Limit alcohol and quit smoking
Drinking alcohol will cause your blood sugar to shoot up. Excessive alcohol consumption, on the other hand, may cause it to drop to an abnormal low. If you must drink, keep it to two servings a day. Smoking is potentially more harmful than alcohol. It increases blood pressure and heart rate, but constricts your blood vessels and increases the build-up of fats. This increases the chance of heart attacks and strokes—which was already a point of concern.

Find a doctor to schedule tests and keep an eye out for problems
Have regular tests and create a long-term health schedule with your doctor’s assistance. Tests will allow you to pick up problems early before they snowball out of control. Some important tests to do are blood pressure, blood glucose levels, cholesterol, kidney, eyes, feet, and oral.

Keep an eye out for potential diabetes-induced problems. Common possible complications and symptoms include:

  • Heart: Diabetes can lead to cardiovascular disease. Watch out for high blood pressure, excessive cholesterol build-up, and other symptoms of heart ailments.
  • Kidneys: Kidney disease (nephropathy) is especially tricky to spot early, as it doesn’t show symptoms early. You will need to undergo regular tests (urine and similar).
  • Feet: Diabetes can induce structural foot problems, reduced feeling, ulcers, and retardation in blood supply and nerve function. Check your feet every day. Look for cuts, blisters, corns, and similar changes (like lack of healing). Keep your feet moisturized. Visit a podiatrist regularly for checkups.
  • Oral: Tooth decay and gum infections can happen if the diabetes isn’t well-managed. If you spot inflamed, loose teeth, or have an infection, get it checked immediately. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft brush and floss once. Massage the gums to make them stronger.
  • Skin: Skin problems and disease may be a possibility. Dryness, cracks, yellow or brown patches, blisters, spots, and infections are symptoms you should watch for. Take care of your skin by maintaining your hygiene, avoiding harmful chemicals, using non-perfumed creams, and avoiding scalding water.
  • Sexual dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction or the inability to achieve or maintain an erection is commonly seen in men. Similar dysfunction is also reported in women (research is ongoing). Talk to your doctor for assistance.

In our fast-paced world, it's often difficult to find the time to see a doctor for routine care, let alone for an unexpected illness or injury. However, there's no need to put your health on hold. You can find your doctor online so you can get the care you need without leaving home. Online doctors offer a convenient and affordable way to receive high-quality medical care. You’ll also get access to a larger pool of medical professionals and quickly be able to fill and refill necessary prescriptions.

Look after your mental health
Managing diabetes can be a stressful, anxiety-inducing experience. The chemical imbalances in your body may exacerbate the problem. Be kind to yourself, practice positive thinking, and get help from a therapist if you feel depressed or anxious all the time.

Your immune system may be comprised
Diabetes leads to the retardation in the production of white blood cells (due to the heightened glucose). Also, as mentioned earlier, it affects blood flow and your nerves. All of these factors combined will make you more vulnerable to infection. Furthermore, it may sometimes compromise your immune system (but not always), according to the Chicago Tribune. Practice extra hygiene, if you can.

Take your meds
Your doctor may prescribe medication to help you manage your blood sugar levels. Make sure you take your medication on time every day (not everyone does this). If you do miss a medication, make sure you take the next dose and monitor your blood sugar levels in the meantime. Failure to take your medications consistently could cause long-term damage to your body.

Relax and get plenty of sleep
Last, but not least, learn to relax. Anxiety and stress will cause your blood pressure to shoot up. Listen to music, spend time in nature, and meditate to stay in good emotional shape. Get plenty of rest too. Not sleeping enough or sleeping at irregular times affects your glucose levels, which may make your problems worse.

Remember that you’re not alone. Talk to your family and friends if you feel down and ask for help when you need it. Try to build a solid support structure for yourself—having good people around you will keep you motivated and on track with all your health goals. Be responsible for yourself, make your health a priority, find a reputable doctor online, and you will have no trouble managing your condition.

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6 Tips To Help You Feel Better About Yourself and Start Your Life Corinne Hammond I Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Starting a new, healthy lifestyle is a great way to start over and re-enter the world. It doesn't have to happen overnight. You can begin by making a few small changes that collectively make you feel your best over time. Consider these six simple tips to help you get started.

1. Start a New Workout Routine
For some, exercise is an easy way to start feeling better, but not everyone loves the idea of grinding at the gym. You can find ways to exercise that suit your likes and your age. For instance, simply taking a walk outside can change how you feel. Research shows that regular exercise of any form actually improves your cognitive and physical performance overall. Find something you can enjoy so you will stick to it, and don't be afraid to change it up.

2. Learn More About Nutrition
What you eat has a significant impact on how you feel. If you want to feel better, the best place to start is to change the way you eat and get rid of unhealthy habits. Start by researching nutrition basics if you feel you know very little. This is especially important if you have a medical condition affected by diet. For example, a proper diet will look different for someone with diabetes than for someone with a heart condition. You can talk to your doctor or see an actual nutritionist for tips. Learn more about your insurance plan to see what wellness options you have available to you. And if you don’t have insurance or you’re looking to update your policy, make sure you connect with Encore Life Health to explore some different options.

3. Think About Changing Careers
Considering the vast amount of time spent on the job, it should come as no surprise that work can have a significant effect on your happiness. If you hate your job, you will find it difficult to enjoy your life. When work is standing between you and your fresh start, it may be time to make a career move. It may not happen overnight. Consider what you love to do and how you can turn it into a career. You can even go back to school.

4. Take Time for Yourself
When you're busy, often the first thing you neglect is time for yourself. When self-care falls to the wayside, motivation often follows. Remember to take the time to do the things you love. It can be as simple as going shopping every weekend or reading a book at night before bed. If you're an extrovert, prioritize time with your friends.

5. Share Your Progress With Others
Take to Instagram to share your progress with the people in your life. Encouragement is a great motivator. Use your Instagram stories to create a fun narrative about your goals. You can use this Instagram post maker to get creative. All you have to do is choose the template you like and customize it. You can personalize the font and color, upload photos, and resize designs.

6. Go on Vacation
One of the best ways to jump-start motivation and start feeling better about yourself is to take a vacation. If you prefer the company of others, go with friends, but don't underestimate the power of a great personalized experience. You'll learn more about yourself and the direction you want for your new life.

Once you feel renewed and refreshed, you can reintroduce yourself to the world with confidence. Remember to be kind to yourself when you fail and prepare to get back on track. When you invest in yourself, you invest in your future.

Teaching Kids Healthy Habits Tina Martin I Monday, May 23, 2022

If you want your children to develop healthy bodies and minds, it's essential to practice what you preach. Telling a child to eat vegetables won't make the same impression as your child observing you eating vegetables and enjoying them.

Children often imitate their parents and caregivers. It's never too early to start teaching kids to practice habits that promote a healthy body and mind.

Teach Your Kids to Love Healthy Foods
Research shows children mimic their parents' eating habits and food choices. During the formative years, children develop preferences for certain foods. Those who begin eating sweet, salty, or fatty foods early in life are likely to favor those foods. Therefore, as their children's first nutrition teachers, parents should focus primarily on eating and serving nutritious, healthy foods.

Picky Eaters
It's common for children to reject foods the first time they try them. Nutrition experts say it may take at least 10 to 15 exposures to a food before a child tries it. Some suggestions for getting your child to eat healthily include pairing a new food with familiar flavors and encouraging them to help with food preparation tasks like tearing lettuce for a salad.

Teach Your Kids to Practice Mindfulness
It's not unusual for children to experience stress. Peer pressure, problems in the home, and low self-esteem can take an emotional toll on children of all ages. Children who practice mindfulness can learn to relax and prevent stressful situations from becoming overwhelming.

Mindfulness is paying attention to what's happening within and around you. If your child becomes anxious before taking a test, they can practice a mindful moment by doing a simple breathing exercise of inhaling through the nose and exhaling slowly through the mouth a few times. This breathing exercise can have a calming effect whenever your child feels anxious. Teaching your child to think about the consequences of a decision is another way to help them be mindful.

Teach Your Kids the Value of Learning
Like good nutrition habits, a love for learning begins during the formative years. Reading with children and using curiosity as a teachable moment are some ways to encourage learning. Children love to ask, "Why?" Rather than becoming annoyed at their persistent questioning, use these curious inquiries as teaching opportunities. When a child attempts a task but doesn't do it perfectly, praise the effort.

Demonstrate the value of achieving educational goals. If you've been thinking about going back to school, share your desire to further your learning with your child and ask them what they think about it. You might consider getting an online degree that will allow you to study at home and provide opportunities for you and your child to work on your assignments simultaneously.

If you choose to study for a degree in education, you can help your child and teach other children. Your example shows your child it's never too late to pursue educational goals.

Healthy Habits Benefit Your Child for a Lifetime
Developing healthy habits as a child can carry over into adulthood. Eating well, making good decisions, and valuing learning are all important to a successful life.

We opened Encore Life Health back in 2018 although we’ve been in insurance for over 10 years. We wanted to make sure that each and every one of our clients had the right health and life insurance plans so that they are covered in the event of any emergency that might happen.

5 Tricks for Living a Frugal, Healthy Lifestyle Tina Martin I Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Are you hoping to make some healthier lifestyle changes? You might have held off on picking up some new habits because you’re worried that these changes will be costly. But prioritizing your health can actually help you save money! In many ways, frugal choices and healthy choices are often one and the same. If you’re interested in saving on health insurance costs, Encore Life Health can help. And if you want to cut down on costs and improve your health at the same time, try some of these tips!

Why Staying Healthy Helps You Save
Learning about how health and frugality can go hand in hand might make you feel more motivated to implement these beneficial lifestyle changes. For example, if you’re not commuting to work by car, you can save on gas. By exercising outside with a workout buddy rather than buying a gym membership, you can socialize and avoid adding another monthly expense. Cooking healthy meals at home is cheaper than eating out at restaurants, and in the long run, living a healthier lifestyle means lower insurance premiums.

Walk or Bike to Work
Do you live within a few miles of your workplace? Depending on the route you take to get to work, and the urban infrastructure in your area, you could consider walking or biking to work instead of driving. You’ll be able to get some exercise twice per day, and you won’t be spending any money on gas! If you’re nervous about biking to work, you could practice cycling on potential routes over the weekend so that you can get a feel for the journey.

Eat a Plant-Based Diet
Did you know that reducing the amount of meat you eat can help you save money and improve your overall physical fitness? By cooking plant-based meals, you can make a positive choice for your wallet and your health - in fact, Everyday Health states that canned vegetables in particular are a nutritious, budget-friendly choice. You don’t have to cut out meat entirely, but cooking vegetarian meals a few times per week could be a good idea.

Furthermore, if you want to start incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet, you can start gardening to save even more money. By growing some of your own produce, you’ll be able to save at the grocery store.

Exercise Outdoors With Friends
What if you can’t afford a gym membership right now? If you don’t have lots of space at home to work out, you could ask a friend to go jogging with you, do yoga in the park, or try another form of outdoor exercise! Not sure who to ask to be your workout buddy? Fitness Blender recommends asking one of your coworkers - since they likely have a similar schedule to yours, you’ll easily be able to find a time to exercise.

Start a Business
If you make these healthy changes permanent, you might even be able to monetize your lifestyle in some way! For instance, you could start a blog with an affiliate marketing system and share tips on your affordable wellness habits. If you want to try something more ambitious, you could open your very own yoga studio, sporting goods store, or another retail business, depending on where your interests lie. To advertise your business, you could hand out business cards that will leave a memorable impression! By using a business card maker, you can include the details you want in a premade template, like the text, images, and even color scheme you’d like.

It’s a misconception that healthy choices are expensive choices. In fact, making smart decisions for your health can actually help you cut down on unnecessary spending. By following these tips, you can spend less while going the extra mile for your health!

Searching for the right health plan? Find the guidance you need with Encore Life Health. Call us today at 253-221-3592 to get started.