Category Archives: Life & Style

Covid 19: How to make your ED recovery successful

Coronavirus is causing people a lot of additional stress and anxiety. For those people struggling with an eating disorder, or those looking after someone who has issues with such illnesses, the self-isolation process can negatively affect the recovery process.

According to the eating disorder charity Beat, around 125 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are complex mental health problems that can be caused by various different factors. Examples include biological factors, such as genetics and psychological factors such as low self-esteem, perfectionism, issues with bullying or simply issues at work, school or personal life.

When Boris Johnson announced the lockdown on March 23, those who have struggled or are still struggling with the eating problems did not expect it to have a major impact on the way they are coping.

28-year-old nurse Ann said that having to shop for food less often triggers her eating disorder she battled with while being a nursing student, because it requires bigger product quantities for a longer time.

“I simply cannot buy many products; a full trolley is making me anxious and I feel better while purchasing smaller quantities more often.” – said Ann.

She claims to feel pressured to “stock up”, which she is not used to do. For the majority struggling from eating disorders, one of the biggest challenges is shopping for food.

The patients tend to stick to certain products only, which are considered to be “safe.” There is no room for experimenting or trying new foods.

However, some of the patients are willingly stock-piling food. It is common for those struggling with the binge-purge behaviour. For those isolating alone with no one looking after them can trigger more binge episodes.

Even though the situation is extremely challenging, you will look back on these few months and will be proud of yourself for getting through this.

In order to succeed in your journey, we present five activities to take on when the bad thoughts visit.

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by: Monika Laimaite

(image source: Siora Photography. Unsplash.com)

Five corporations that are benefiting most due to coronavirus outbreak

The Coronavirus outbreak has had a massive impact on businesses. While many businesses have suffered tremendously due to the outbreak, with more than half a million companies reported to be in ‘significant distress’ within the UK alone, certain international corporations happen to be benefitting from the circumstances which the virus has brought. Here are five corporations which have particularly benefited from the lockdown:

Netflix

netflix
Image from Pexels.com

With the lockdown forcing many to stay home, digital streaming services such as Netflix has seen an increase in sign-ups.

Netflix has told the BBC that almost 16 million people created accounts during the first three months of the year, which is almost double the new sign-ups the firm saw in the last months of 2019.

It was reported that Europe, the Middle East and Africa were recorded to have the largest of new members with nearly 7 million new subscribers. The US and Canada were also known to jump with 2.3 million new members streaming the service, compared to only 550,000 within the last few months of 2019.

netflix graph
Data Source: Statista Netflix growth in the result of Covid-19 outbreak

Amazon

amazon 2
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Another corporation which is known to be doing pretty well despite the pandemic is Amazon.

Due to people having to remain inside more often, this has led to a boost in sales from the business.

According to The Guardian, the online retailer has been defined as a “clear winner” from the coronavirus predicament, with its share price rising by more than a third within a month, its clients are reported to be spending nearly $11,000 (£8,841) a second on its products and services and holder Jeff Bezos strengthening his position as the world’s wealthiest person owning $138 billion (£110 billion).

Uber Eats 

Uber_Eats
Image from Wikimedia Commons 

One thing that everybody is surely doing during lockdown is eating more, which leads to our next benefitted corporation being Uber Eats.

During the pandemic, people find themselves ordering takeout more often, and Uber Eats appears to be one of the winners from benefitting from the circumstances.

According to The Telegraph, data has shown that Uber’s food delivery business has exceeded its original car-booking service within the US for the first time ever.

An article by Forbes reports that Uber Eats has seen a 30% surge in clients who are registering to the service, as well as has received an arrival of new drivers.

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Data Source: The Telegraph graph – Uber Eats overtakes Uber Rides in the US

Apple

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Image from unsplash.com by Michał Kubalczyk

Next on our list is Apple, which despite the lockdown causing its stores to close down, it still saw growth during the first three months of 2020.

According to the BBC, sales by the corporation boosted up to $58.3 billion (£46.2 billion), up from $58 billion within the same time in 2019, and overthrowing expectations of $54.5 billion.

The boss of Apple, Tim Cook, said that the business saw a “record for streaming” as well as “phenomenal” growth in its online store.

Despite the lockdown affecting the supply of iPhone due to Chinese factories shutting, as well as a drop in demand for devices within China – a leading market for Apple – during the months of February and March, the firm’s boss told investors during a call: “I don’t think I can remember a quarter where I’ve been prouder of Apple.”

Apple’s wearables, home and accessories department, which produces the Apple Watch and AirPods, rose 22.5% to $6.3 billion (£5 billion), while subscription services such as Apple Music and Apple TV jumped 16.6% to $13.3 billion (£10.6 billion) equivalent.

Zoom

zoom
Image from Wikimedia Commons

As most people find themselves social distancing and working from home, this has led to video call services such as Zoom to increase in the number of users signing up.

According to The Guardian, there has been an increase in the demand for video-conferencing and downloads of video conferencing apps, as the lockdown has led a number of things including UK cabinet meeting to be moved online.

Zoom, which enables users to communicate to up to 99 other people at the same time has become one of the most popular apps being used during the lockdown, often being at the top of the download charts in Apple’s app store.

Although the company does not share daily download figures, app tracking company Apptosia stated that Zoom was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world on 23rdof March – the day lockdown was announced within the UK – up from 56,000 a day two months before.

By Gabriela Jimenez

Featured image source: Pexels.com

When will hairdressers reopen in the UK?

With several European countries including France, Germany, Spain and Portugal now easing their social distancing measures enough to allow hairdressers to reopen – the hashtags #CovidCut and #LockdownHaircut are going viral.

It is no surprise that residents of the UK are asking when our hairdressers will reopen, and what we can expect from salons when they finally open their doors again.

Here’s what we know about salons that have reopened in other countries while social distancing:

Germany

Salons in Germany opened on Monday this week. If you visit a salon here expect to see these restrictions being enforced

France

France announced their hairdressers will open on the 11th of May. They share the same restrictions as Germany, but customers will be required to provide their own face masks. 

Spain 

Spanish salons opened this week under Phase 0 of their lockdown lifting, alongside dental and physiotherapy clinics and restaurants with take-away services. The restrictions state that they can operate at 30% capacity by appointment only. 

Italy 

Italy’s hair salons remain closed until June 1st, with the country beginning to ease restrictions on Monday.

In the UK we may seek guidance from neighbouring Ireland who have announced that their barbers and hairdressers will be re-opening in late July as a part of their 5 step lockdown exit plan. 

The National Hairdressers’ Federation of Britain issued strict instructions to salons and freelance hairdressers that want to re-open before restrictions are lifted. “This would be against the government’s strict social distancing instructions which say you must stay at home apart from essential travel. We need to do all we can to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Also – please bear in mind that your insurance will probably not cover you if you normally work in a salon or barbershop.”

New NHS COVID-19 App launched

Residents of the Isle of Wight will today receive a link enabling them to download the new NHS COVID-19 App which it is hoped will help to ease lockdown restrictions.

Currently being tested and developed by NHSX, the app is designed to trace and track COVID-19 through identifying those who have the virus. 

However, this isn’t to be confused with the current NHS App, which offers a range of services including making appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and offering advice related to COVID-19. 

So how does it work?

NHSX.HNS.UK have stated that the contact-tracing app will use Bluetooth to connect with other users and track the spread of the virus. 

Once downloaded, the app logs your distance between other users and sends out alerts if you come into significant contact with someone who is infected. 

Users who fall ill can choose to let the app notify the NHS so alerts can be sent out and the necessary advice can be issued. 

The Chief Executive of NHSX, Matthew Gould stated: “By launching the NHS COVID-19 app we can reduce transmission of the virus by alerting people who may have been exposed, so they can take action to protect themselves, the people they care about and the NHS.”https://twitter.com/imcdnzl/status/1257996111266144256

So what about data protection? 

According to Gov.uk, data privacy is a top priority, with National Cyber Security Center involved in the app’s development. 

All data will be anonymous and the only personal information required is the first half of your postcode. 

The use of the app is voluntary and users can delete the app at any time. 

According to NHSX.NHS.UK: “Data will only ever be used for NHS care, management, evaluation and research.”

“This ground-breaking technology, combined with our heroic frontline health and social care staff, and both a nationwide contact tracing testing programme will ensure that we remain in the best position to move toward easing the lockdown,” Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said.

It’s unclear when the app will be made available to the rest of the UK.

To find out more about the NHS COVID-19 App visit the NHS COVID-19 App page.

(Image credit: Pexels)

Acts of Kindness: Is Coronavirus making us kinder?

During a time of uncertainty and vulnerability the question of discussion has become: is Covid-19 making us a kinder nation? Empty supermarket shelves have shown some people to be more selfish than others, but we haven’t all come to an ‘every man for himself’ mentality. Here are some of the most heart-warming acts of kindness to inspire you and lift your spirits.

(Image Source: Mohamed_Hassan (pixabay.com)

By Leah Trimmer

Looking for a new health & fitness coach? Here are 5 things to keep in mind

MORE ABOUT WORKING OUT AT HOME:

Self-isolation gave us some extra time to work on our summer bodies. However, with all “Abs In Two Weeks” or “Toned Legs In A Month” we are left with false hopes and a major risk of failing.

Not every online fitness ‘expert’ is trustworthy, which leads us to searching for someone, who will truly support us on a getting in your best shape journey.

We gathered five most important aspects to consider while looking for you one and only online coach.

Certifications

Fitness professionals must be certified to a Level 2 (Fitness/Gym Instructors) or Level 3 (Personal Trainers) qualification. Feel free to ask to see a copy of any certification.

Industry Memberships

It is not a legal requirement for fitness professionals to be members of industry memberships, such as REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals, an independent public register which recognises qualifications and expertise of health and fitness professionals in the UK) but it’s worth asking as it signifies that the coach has met nationally agreed standards and holds recognised and approved qualifications.

certificatesam

Unsplash/Robert Anasch

Measurement & Goals

You should have a discussion upfront and then continue about your goals and how to measure you are staying on track. This holds both the coach and you accountable.

Ask your coach how success will be measured. What are some key performance metrics that will be evaluated and how often those will be reviewed?

Care of Health & Safety

The number one goal for a health and fitness coach, should be to keep you safe and reduce risk to injury or harm. A health assessment or conversation should be done before you start to train together.

They should ask you some basic questions up front, then more if you decide to work together. Any injuries, medical conditions, pregnancies, disabilities etc. True health and fitness professional will conduct detailed health, fitness or lifestyle assessment before taking on a new client. This will help them create a personalised program, which is completely tailored to and mindful of your current health, fitness and lifestyle.

If these questions aren’t being asked, that should be an immediate red flag.

Referrals & Testimonials

Ask for previous success stories or client testimonials. Examples of how they have met goals for others and over what periods of time. Perhaps asking for before and after pictures, if the goals have been centred around transformations.

New coaches may not have client success stories to share, so it’s worth asking for 1 or 2 free sessions. This allows you to get a feel for the teaching style, so you can decide if you’d like to continue.

Don’t be afraid to ask what you can expect. A certified and quality fitness coach will share realistic expectations and also discuss with you what is required, both sides, to make that happen.

Relationship is the key…

Another very important thing to consider, which is not necessarily an upfront ‘checklist’ requirement, is the relationship between the coach and client. I use the ‘push/pull’ fitness term as an analogy. It should not feel that the coach is just pushing, and you are doing all the pulling.

The relationship needs to be balanced. Often, the above 5 check’s may have been done, but you just don’t have a healthy or natural chemistry with the trainer. Don’t be afraid to tell the coach that you are looking for something you feel you could just naturally work better with.

Your coach is there to inspire, motivate and support you. It should feel they are challenging you and holding you accountable. But the ‘push/pull’ factor should be 50/50 for it to be successful and potentially long-lasting.

fitness coach

Unsplash/Luis Quintero

by Sam Tabahriti

(Image source: Sam Tabahriti)

LIVE from lockdown

Has social distancing left you stuck inside feeling all types of lonely and melancholy? Well Instagram is looking like your best escape.

Mental health experts and many others have shamed Instagram in the past; describing it as a relentless emphasis on promoting ‘perfect’ lifestyles and the cause of low self-esteem issues.

However, in the case of entertainment during these stir-crazy times, its proven to be a sort of savour.

Everyone will be spending more time on social media than usual, as there’s nothing better to do. But celebrities and influencers are cooped up in their homes just like the rest of us.

To save their own sanity and provide their followers with some sort of entertainment, many have taken to Instagram LIVE to provide us with a much-needed laugh.

Singer Tory Lanez has remained active on his LIVE since coming out of prison.

On the 1st of April, he and Drake broke the record for the most Instagram LIVE viewers. The LIVE had over 300 thousand viewers.

The 27 year old singer was banned later that month from hosting Instagram LIVE’s after a twerking performance incorporated inappropriate antics with a sex toy.

On a lighter note, yesterday Tom Holland made a Marvel quiz via his Instagram LIVE.

The Spiderman star, 23, was joined by his brother, Harry, 21, and their family friend Harrison Osterfield, 23, which was hosted by his parents’ charity, The Brothers Trust.

The actor left his fans hysterical as he didn’t realise as he read the questions off of paper cards, the answers were revealed to his live viewers on the back.

He continued to do so even after his brother Harry rushed in and warned him previously.

View this post on Instagram

Enjoy!

A post shared by Tom Holland (@tomholland2013) on

Other influencers have taken a more serious approach with their lives. Such as content creator Nia the Light, who has consistently been on her Instagram LIVE with something different each day.

Actively putting content out in series on her page, such as #NiaTalkShow where she’ll collaborate with Influencers with similar platforms to her own.

Her LIVE’s usually consist of talks, general advice, hair care and demonstrations of at home exercises.

At the request of her audience, Nia also started a series called #TravelWithNia. Within this series she posts holiday trips she’s taken thought the years on her Instagram story.

Later saving them to her highlights, making them available for later viewing.

(image source: George Tinari of Iphone hacks)

Coronavirus: Free video games for NHS workers

Thousands of NHS staff are being given free access to video games as a way of saying thank you for their hard work during the pandemic.

Some of the biggest game companies like Konami, EA, Sega and Xbox are involved in the Games for Carers initiative.

The studios say the games can be used by NHS workers when they want to relax and get some down time or wish to provide relief for their families.

The Games for Carers initiative is supported by UK industry body Ukie, marketing firm Keymeiler and dozens of other video game publishers and developers.

The UK games industry has helped to share the government’s Stay Home, Save Lives messages in some of the most popular games like Fortnite and FIFA during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Digital and Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said:

“We have worked closely with games companies to help keep people safe and I am delighted the sector is continuing to support the NHS in such an innovative way.”

If NHS workers wish to get access to their free games, all they have to do is visit the Games for Carer website and enter their NHS email address – even though the site went down for a few hours because of the high level of interest.

The Games for Carers initiative was the idea of Scottish video game journalist Chris Scullion, who was inspired after being sent a free gaming code himself and then contacted Ukie in order to involve major game companies on a mass scale.

She also said she hopes this initiative goes some way to help NHS workers understand how respected and valued they are.

(Image source: courtesy of Canva)

Locked in for your protection, but just how safe are you?

Lockdown measures have been introduced over recent weeks to slow down the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), these same measures are putting one group more at risk.

Men, women and children who live with abusers have no way of escape from their abusers during quarantine. Activists from Brazil, Germany, Italy and China are already seeing a rise in abuse. Read more

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