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Why everyone experiences the five stages of grief differently

<p><strong><em>Nick Haslam is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Melbourne. </em></strong></p> <p>Grief can seem desolate for those in the thick of it who often feel unable to imagine a way out of their suffering. But, as time passes, the pain usually dampens or becomes more fleeting.</p> <p>Understanding the normal trajectory of grief matters for the person experiencing the grief and those treating them. Attempts to provide a map of the bereavement process have typically proposed a sequence of stages. The “five stages” model is the best known, with the stages being denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.</p> <p>While there is some evidence for these stages, the experience of grief is highly individualised and not well captured by their fixed sequence. Some of the five stages may be absent, their order may be jumbled, certain experiences may rise to prominence more than once and the progression of stages may stall. The age of the bereaved person and the cause of death may also shape the grief process.</p> <p><strong>Stages of grief</strong></p> <p>The first major attempt to outline the stages of grief was made by British psychiatrist <u><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Bowlby">John Bowlby</a></u>, father of <u><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_theory">attachment theory</a></u>, an influential account of how infants and children form close bonds to their caregivers. Bowlby and his colleague <u><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Murray_Parkes">Colin Parkes</a></u> proposed four stages of grieving.</p> <p>The first is of <em>numbness and shock</em>, when the loss is not accepted or seen as not real. The second stage of <em>yearning and searching</em> is marked by a sense of emptiness. The mourner is preoccupied with the person who has been lost, seeking reminders and reliving memories.</p> <p>In the third stage, <em>despair and disorganisation</em> set in. This is a sense of hopelessness and sometimes anger where the bereaved person may withdraw into depression. Finally, in the <em>re-organisation and recovery</em> stage, hope rekindles and there is a gradual return to the rhythms of daily life.</p> <p>Bowlby and Parkes’s model, first proposed in the early 1960s, may have been the first. However, it’s Swiss-American psychiatrist <span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_K%C3%BCbler-Ross">Elisabeth Kübler-Ross</a></span>’s model coined in 1969 that has become the most widely known. Her five stages of grief – originally developed to map patient responses to terminal illness – have become famous. They have been applied not only to responses to death but also to a variety of other losses.</p> <p>Kübler-Ross’s first stage, <em>denial</em>, resembles what Bowlby and Parkes labelled numbness and shock, but her second, <em>anger</em>, departs from their scheme. The affected person demands to understand why the loss or illness has taken place, and why it has happened to them.</p> <p>In the third stage, <em>bargaining</em>, the person may be consumed with “if only”, guiltily wishing they could go back in time and undo whatever may have led to the illness, or death.</p> <p>Stages four and five involve <em>depression</em> and <em>acceptance</em>. Despair and withdrawal gradually give way to a sense of fully acknowledging and making peace with the loss.</p> <p><strong>Evidence for the five stages</strong></p> <p>Kübler-Ross’s stages emerged from her clinical work with dying patients rather than systematic research. Empirical support for the existence of the proposed sequence of stages has been scant but intriguing.</p> <p>One study followed <span><a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/205661">233 older adults</a></span> over a 24-month period after the death of a loved one from natural causes. It assessed them on experiences associated with a modified version of Kübler-Ross’s stages. In accord with her theory, each of the five experiences peaked in the predicted order.</p> <p>Disbelief was highest immediately after the loss and declined gradually thereafter. Yearning, anger and depression peaked at four, five and six months respectively before declining. Acceptance of the loss rose steadily over the two-year period.</p> <p><strong>Problems with the stage model</strong></p> <p>Although the sequence of peaks matched Kübler-Ross’s model, some aspects of this research also challenged it.</p> <p>First, although disbelief was at its highest immediately after the loss, it was always less prominent than acceptance. Acceptance is not a late stage of resolution for people who are grieving, but an experience that prevails from the start and continues to grow.</p> <p>Second, yearning was the most prominent negative experience, despite being omitted from the most well-known version of Kübler-Ross’s five stages. This points to the limitations of framing grief in the clinical terms of depression, which study participants experienced less frequently than longing.</p> <p>But the study’s findings can’t necessarily be generalised as it looked only at older adults and natural causes of death. Another major study found the <span><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jason_Holland4/publication/45658453_An_Examination_of_Stage_Theory_of_Grief_among_Individuals_Bereaved_by_Natural_and_Violent_Causes_A_Meaning-Oriented_Contribution/links/0fcfd512649d0b2fd2000000.pdf">typical pattern of grieving</a></span> among young adults was substantially different.</p> <p>Yearning peaked before disbelief, and depression remained constant without resolving over two years. In addition, yearning, anger and disbelief returned with a second peak near the two-year mark, when acceptance also declined.</p> <p>Moreover, young adults whose loved ones died by violent causes differed from the typical pattern. For them, disbelief dominated their first months, and depression initially declined but then rose again as the second anniversary of the death approached.</p> <p>All these findings represent the average responses of a sample rather than the trajectories of individual participants. Even if the Kübler-Ross’s stages partially reflect the statistical tendencies of the whole sample, they might fail to capture how individuals’ experiences of grief unfold.</p> <p>That is the <span><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Randolph_Nesse/publication/11048741_Resilience_to_loss_and_chronic_grief_A_prospective_study_from_preloss_to_18-months_postloss/links/0912f507ecd34bc8c0000000/Resilience-to-loss-and-chronic-grief-A-prospective-study-from-preloss-to-18-months-postloss.pdf">conclusion of a study</a></span> that followed 205 adults over an 18-month period following the loss of a spouse. These adults had been interviewed for a related study prior to the loss.</p> <p>The researchers found evidence of five distinct trajectories, with some people being depressed before the loss, and recovering afterwards. Some fell into a long-lasting depression, while others were fairly resilient and had experienced low levels of depression throughout.</p> <p><strong>States of grief</strong></p> <p>Kübler-Ross came to acknowledge the reality that her stages compose an appealing narrative of recovery rather than an accurate sequencing of grief. Experts now place less emphasis on her stages as a series of steps on the bereavement journey, much as they have tended to lose faith in other <span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_stage_theories">stage theories</a></span> of human behaviour.</p> <p>For all its limitations, Kübler-Ross’s analysis still has value. The supposed stages of grief may be better understood as <em><u><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Holly_Prigerson/publication/23556103_Grief_and_acceptance_as_opposite_sides_of_the_same_coin_Setting_a_research_agenda_to_study_peaceful_acceptance_of_loss/links/00b7d5229f94b88a8d000000/Grief-and-acceptance-as-opposite-sides-of-the-same-coin-Setting-a-research-agenda-to-study-peaceful-acceptance-of-loss.pdf">states of grief</a></u></em>: recognisable experiences that rise to the surface in distinctive ways in each person’s sorrowful passage through loss.</p> <p><em>Written by Nick Haslam. Republished with permission of <strong><u><a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a>. </u></strong></em></p> <p>&lt;img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/96111/count.gif?distributor=</p>

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How does household mould affect your health?

<p><strong><em>Jeroen Douwes is a Professor of Public Health at the Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University. </em></strong></p> <p>Exposure to harmful agents inside the home can have profound effects on our health. After all, we spend an average of<span> </span><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16078638">16 hours a day</a><span> </span>at home – and even more when aged under seven and over 64.</p> <p>Mould accumulates in damp and poorly ventilated buildings. Inhaling mould fragments or spores can inflame the airways, causing nasal congestion, wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and throat irritation.</p> <p>Prolonged exposure to high levels of indoor dampness<span> </span><a href="http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1002410/">can reduce lung function</a><span> </span>and cause chronic health problems such as asthma. Those who already suffer from asthma and allergies are more likely to have<span> </span><a href="http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1002410/">more severe symptoms</a><span> </span>when exposed.</p> <p>According to the World Health Organization (<a href="http://www.who.int/en/">WHO</a>), a<span> </span><a href="http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/142077/e95004.pdf">considerable proportion</a><span> </span>of the world’s<span> </span><a href="http://journal.publications.chestnet.org/article.aspx?articleid=1210781">300 million cases</a><span> </span>of childhood asthma is attributable to exposure to indoor dampness and mould.</p> <p>People who live in damp and mouldy homes are also at increased risk of<span> </span><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1994167/">depression</a><span> </span>which, in turn, may<span> </span><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21532014">increase the risk</a><span> </span>of respiratory symptoms and<span> </span><a href="http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1002410/">asthma</a>.</p> <p>The most infamous type of mould is “black mould” (<em>Stachybotrys chartarum</em>), which can grow on water-damaged building materials and produce toxic spores. In 1994, it was linked to a<span> </span><a href="http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=192616">serious respiratory illness</a><span> </span>after ten children experienced idiopathic pulmonary haemosiderosis (bleeding from the lung) and one subsequently died.</p> <p>But despite significant media interest and public concern, a causal link was<span> </span><a href="http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm#Q8">never established</a>.</p> <p><strong>Who is at risk?</strong></p> <p>It’s commonly assumed that mould causes the health problems described above, though the evidence for this is generally weaker than for dampness itself. This may be related to the fact that scientists are still struggling to accurately measure indoor mould exposures.</p> <p>The WHO<span> </span><a href="http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/142077/e95004.pdf">estimates</a><span> </span>that in cold climates, 15% of dwellings have signs of dampness and 5% have signs of mould problems. In warm climates, the estimates are 20% for dampness and 25% for mould.</p> <p>Since dampness is more likely to occur in houses that are overcrowded and lack appropriate heating, ventilation and insulation, the prevalence of damp indoor problems in low-income communities and rental accommodation can be substantially higher.</p> <p>Climate change and its effects on the weather (storms, heavy rainfall and floods) are likely to<span> </span><a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499913/">further increase</a><span> </span>the proportion of buildings with damp problems.</p> <p><strong>What can you do?</strong></p> <p>In addition to visible mould, other signs of damp problems may include: mould odour, water stains, frequent condensation, peeling or cracked paint or wall paper, damp basement, and standing water under or around the house.</p> <p>No safe levels of indoor dampness and or mould have been defined. So health-based standards or guidelines do not exist.</p> <p>Nonetheless, there are several practicable measures you can take to prevent or minimise indoor mould. These include adequately heating and, in colder climates, insulating your home to reduce air humidity levels and condensation.</p> <p>Install and use appropriate ventilation, particularly in wet areas or areas where water vapour may be emitted, such as bathrooms, laundries and kitchen areas.</p> <p>It’s also critical to avoid water leaks by controlling and maintaining rain and surface water drainage. Where holes are created in the roof or walls to allow skylights, windows, doors, pipes or other structures to be fitted, make sure these are watertight.</p> <p>If you find visible mould in your home, remove the mould and identify and address the cause of the excess moisture. Clean hard surfaces using soap and water or, if mould growth is persistent, a bleach solution could be used. You may need to throw away absorbent materials such as carpets, depending on the level of contamination.</p> <p>In case of extensive mould damage, you may need to call on commercial mould remediation services.</p> <p>Although those with pre-existing allergies or asthma are at greater risks, mould can also cause health effects in otherwise healthy people. So measures to prevent or reduce mould exposure are important to everyone.</p> <p>Some regions may require stricter regulations and building codes to prevent dampness and mould.</p> <p>Damp problems are particularly prevalent in rental houses, often due to poor maintenance. So regulators should also consider a periodic inspection system (or “warrant of fitness”) to ensure minimal housing standards are met.</p> <p><em>Written by Jeroen Douwes. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The Conversation</strong></span></a>. </em></p> <p><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/48341/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p>

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The truth behind broken heart syndrome

<p><strong><em>Nelson Chong is a senior lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of Westminster.</em></strong></p> <p>A stressful event, such as the death of a loved one, really can break your heart. In medicine, the condition is known as broken heart syndrome or takotsubo syndrome. It is characterised by a temporary disruption of the heart’s normal pumping function, which puts the sufferer at increased risk of death. It’s believed to be the reason many elderly couples die within a <span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/30/well/live/how-emotions-can-affect-the-heart.html">short time of each other</a></span>.</p> <p>Broken heart syndrome has similar symptoms to a heart attack, including chest pain and difficulty breathing. During an attack, which can be triggered by a bereavement, divorce, surgery or other stressful event, the heart muscle weakens to the extent that it can no longer pump blood effectively.</p> <p>In about one in 10 cases, people with broken heart syndrome develop a condition called <u><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26474843">cardiogenic shock</a></u> where the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This can result in death.</p> <p><strong>Physical damage</strong></p> <p>It has long been thought that, unlike a heart attack, damage caused by broken heart syndrome was temporary, lasting days or weeks, but recent research suggest that this is not the case.</p> <p>A <u><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28599831">study</a></u> by researchers at the University of Aberdeen provided the first evidence that broken heart syndrome results in permanent physiological changes to the heart. The researchers followed 52 patients with the condition for four months, using ultrasound and cardiac imaging scans to look at how the patients’ hearts were functioning in minute detail. They discovered that the disease permanently affected the heart’s pumping motion. They also found that parts of the heart muscle were replaced by fine scars, which reduced the elasticity of the heart and prevented it from contracting properly.</p> <p>In a recent follow-up <u><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29128863">study</a></u>, the same research team reported that people with broken heart syndrome have persistent impaired heart function and reduced exercise capacity, resembling heart failure, for more than 12 months after being discharged from hospital.</p> <p class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5f2Ga5O55k8" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>Long-term risk</strong></p> <p>A <span><a href="https://newsroom.heart.org/news/complication-of-broken-heart-syndrome-associated-with-both-short-and-long-term-risk-of-death?preview=9f46">new study on the condition</a></span>, published in Circulation, now shows that the risk of death remains high for many years after the initial attack.</p> <p>In this study, researchers in Switzerland compared 198 patients with broken heart syndrome who developed cardiogenic shock with 1,880 patients who did not. They found that patients who experienced cardiogenic shock were more likely to have had the syndrome triggered by physical stress, such as surgery or an asthma attack, and they were also significantly more likely to have died five years after the initial event.</p> <p>People with major heart disease risk factors, such as diabetes and smoking, were also much more likely to experience cardiogenic shock, as were people with <span><a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/atrial-fibrillation/">atrial fibrillation</a></span> (a type of heart arrythmia).</p> <p>A second <span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213177918303925">study</a></span> from Spain found similar results among 711 people with broken heart syndrome, 11% of whom developed cardiogenic shock. Over the course of a year, cardiogenic shock was the strongest predictor of death in this group of patients.</p> <p>These studies show that cardiogenic shock is not an uncommon risk factor in broken heart syndrome patients, and it is a strong predictor of death. They shed light on a condition that was previously thought to be less serious than it is.</p> <p>The evidence now clearly shows that the condition is not temporary, and it highlights an urgent need to establish new and more effective treatments and careful monitoring of people with this condition.</p> <p><em>Written by Nelson Chong. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.theconversation.com"><strong><u>The Conversation.</u></strong> </a></em></p> <p><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/106033/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p>

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The silent heartbreak behind this family photo

<p>Only four months ago, father-of-two Dominic Byrne decided to make his family life public through his and his wife<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://louisedecelis.me/" target="_blank">Louise’s blog</a>.</p> <p>And the decision wasn’t meant for publicity, but rather, his wife’s triple negative breast cancer that she was diagnosed with over a year ago.</p> <p>It was since that moment, that the lives of the couple took a dramatic turn. On an average day, Dominic would be seen riding his dirt bike in the hopes to get his heart racing, but now, he spends that time trying to find a cure to keep “the mother of my adorable little tin-lids alive and happy.”</p> <p>The blog features over 30 blog posts – each written from the heart. When they laugh, we laugh, when they cry, we cry. But it was Dominic’s video entry that really grabbed everyone’s attention.</p> <p>“Lou went back into hospital this afternoon. She didn’t want to go back in …”, he said as the exhaustion was visible on his face.</p> <p>“I’m not sure where this puts us for her chemo round on Monday. We’ll see what the doctors say come Sunday … I mean they might as well put her in a torture chamber. It’s pretty much the same, same but different.”</p> <p>Louise, who at the time was a 39-year-old mother to her two children, Noah and Evie, was diagnosed with the killer disease in June 2017. Then one month later, her chemotherapy sessions began, as everyone around her prayed that she would get better.</p> <p>While the initial three rounds of chemotherapy reduced the size of the tumour in her left breast, it ended up fighting back as it grew in the next three rounds.</p> <p>The Louise today has endured countless surprise trips to the hospital, a mastectomy, 24 sessions of radiotherapy and six sessions of oral chemotherapy, only for her to hear that none of the treatments proved to be effective.</p> <p>It didn’t take long for her stage one cancer to grow to a stage four, and according to doctors, the cancer had spread throughout her body and to her bones.</p> <p>Speaking to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.9news.com.au/2018/11/06/20/01/sydney-couple-take-terminal-cancer-fight-public-to-help-others" target="_blank">nine.com.au</a></em>, Louise spoke about the moment she realised the treatment was failing her: “(It was) completely gut wrenchingly terrifying.</p> <p>“Every time one fails, we get closer to the unimaginable. Plus, you know how much you have suffered through the treatments so that’s hard to get your hand around.”</p> <p>But despite still undergoing chemotherapy, husband Dominic and Louise’s sister are currently on the hunt for answers overseas. Their first choice is US cancer expert Steven Rosenberg, alongside researching their options in Germany.</p> <p>“I’ve never seen fighting as an option, it’s always just been a given that I need to do this and keep doing it until I am well,” said Louise.</p> <p>“I am a genuinely positive person with a huge amount of energy, so that also helps both mentally and physically. I've found my ability to bounce backs is far greater than many. But as the disease progresses that gets harder.  There is also somewhere deep inside me that knows that it's not my time for cancer to take me yet.”</p> <p>Now, Louise wants to pass over her inspiring attitude to other women who are dealing with cancer by starting a wellness movement called iCan which acts like an online community to help support women who are in the same situation as her.</p> <p>“From diagnosis and beyond I want to share simple advice for living your best life after cancer,” she said.</p> <p>“That begins with access to fitness, eating and getting their glow back. No bikini bodies and no depressing pamphlets and chat rooms. I want to create a new dialogue that your life is not over when you are living with cancer.”</p> <p>But while it’s important to remain positive in such hard times, it isn’t enough, as now Louise and Dominic require financial assistance to help Louise live longer.</p> <p>The couple have decided to run a<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://louisedecelis.me/buy-tickets/" target="_blank">fundraising night</a><span> </span>where proceeds will go directly into Louise’s treatment and daily expenses for the kids and Dominic. They also currently have a<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://louisedecelis.me/donate-now/" target="_blank">crowdfunding</a><span> </span>page going if you’re wanting to donate.</p> <p>“Asking for money is something we'd never thought we would have to do but when friends realised the severity of our situation the decision was practically made for us,” Dominic said.</p> <p>“Overseas treatment is our next move to keep Lou alive, the cost of this is upwards of $16,000 a week, let alone travel, relocation or living expenses. I'll sell all our belongings and homeschool the kids if it means they'll have their mother for another day.”</p> <p><em>Visit Louise and Dominic’s blog <a rel="noopener" href="https://louisedecelis.me/" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p>

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5 lifestyle changes to enhance your mood and mental health

<p><strong><em>Jerome Sarris is a professor, NHMRC Clinical Research Fellow and NICM Health Research Institute Deputy Director at the Western Sydney University. Joe Firth is a Senior Research Fellow at NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University.</em></strong></p> <p>When someone is diagnosed with a mental health disorder such as depression or anxiety, <span><a href="https://theconversation.com/youve-been-diagnosed-with-depression-now-what-44976">first line treatments</a></span> usually include psychological therapies and medication. What’s not always discussed are the changeable lifestyle factors that influence our mental health.</p> <p>Even those who don’t have a mental health condition may still be looking for ways to further improve their mood, reduce stress and manage their day-to-day mental health.</p> <p>It can be empowering to make positive life changes. While time restrictions and financial limitations may affect some people’s ability to make such changes, we all have the ability to make small meaningful changes.</p> <p>Here are five lifestyle changes to get you started:</p> <p><strong>1. Improve your diet and star moving </strong></p> <p>Wholefoods such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, wholegrains, lean red meat and seafood provide nutrients that are <u><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-018-0237-8">important for optimal brain function</a></u>. These foods contain magnesium, folate, zinc and essential fatty acids.</p> <p>Foods rich in polyphenols, such as berries, tea, dark chocolate, wine and certain herbs, also <u><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22334236">play an important role in brain function</a></u>.</p> <p>In terms exercise, many types of fitness activities are potentially beneficial – from <span><a href="https://blackdoginstitute.org.au/docs/default-source/factsheets/exercise_depression.pdf">swimming to jogging to lifting weights or playing sports</a></span>. Even just getting the body moving by taking a brisk walk or doing active housework is a positive step.</p> <p>Activities which also involve social interaction and exposure to nature can potentially <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22616429">increase mental wellbeing even further</a></span>.</p> <p><span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21694556">General exercise guidelines</a></span> recommend getting at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days during the week (about 150 minutes total over the week). But even short bouts of activity <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23795769">can provide an immediate elevation of mood</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>2. Reduce your vices</strong></p> <p>Managing problem-drinking or substance misuse is an obvious health recommendation. People with alcohol and drug problems have a greater likelihood than average of having a mental illness and have <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26277044">far poorer health outcomes</a></span>.</p> <p><span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23988010">Some research has shown</a></span> that a little alcohol consumption (in particular wine) may have beneficial effects on preventing depression. Other recent data, however, has revealed that light alcohol consumption <span><a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j2353">does not provide any beneficial effects on brain function</a></span>.</p> <p>Stopping smoking is also an important step, as nicotine-addicted people are constantly at the mercy of a withdrawal-craving cycle, which profoundly affects mood. It may take time to address the initial symptoms of stopping nicotine, but the brain chemistry will adapt in time.</p> <p>Quitting smoking is <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3923980/">associated with better mood and reduced anxiety</a></span>.</p> <p><strong>3. Prioritise rest and sleep</strong></p> <p><span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25454674">Sleep hygiene techniques</a></span> aim to improve sleep quality and help treat insomnia. They include adjusting caffeine use, limiting exposure to the bed (regulating your sleep time and having a limited time to sleep), and making sure you get up at a similar time in the morning.</p> <p>Some people are genetically wired towards being more of a morning or evening person, so we need to ideally have some flexibility in this regard (especially with work schedules).</p> <p>It’s also important not to force sleep – if you can’t get to sleep within around 20 minutes, it may be best to get up and focus the mind on an activity (with minimal light and stimulation) until you feel tired.</p> <p>The other mainstay of better sleep is to <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Chronotherapeutics+and+psychiatry%3A+setting+the+clock+to+relieve+the+symptoms">reduce exposure to light</a></span> – especially blue light from laptops and smartphones – prior to sleep. This will increase the secretion of melatonin, which helps you get to sleep.</p> <p>Getting enough time for relaxation and leisure activities is <span><a href="https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/29550608">important for regulating stress</a></span>. Hobbies can also enhance mental health, particularly if they involve physical activity.</p> <p><strong>4. Get a dose of nature</strong></p> <p>When the sun is shining, many of us seem to feel happier. Adequate exposure to sunshine <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12480364">helps levels of the mood-maintaining chemical</a></span> serotonin. It also boosts vitamin D levels, which also <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26680471">has an effect on mental health</a></span>, and helps at the appropriate time to regulate our sleep-wake cycle.</p> <p>The benefits of sun exposure need to be balanced with the risk of skin cancer, so take into account the <span><a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-protect-your-skin-while-getting-enough-vitamin-d-34143">recommendations for sun exposure</a></span> based on the time of day/year and your skin colour.</p> <p>You might also consider limiting your exposure to <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25242804">environmental toxins</a></span>, chemicals and pollutants, including “noise” pollution, and <span><a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318230.php">cutting down</a></span> on your mobile phone, computer and TV use if they’re excessive.</p> <p>An antidote to this can be simply spending time in nature. <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29093955">Studies show</a></span> time in the wilderness can improve self-esteem and mood. In some parts of Asia, spending time in a forest (known as forest bathing) is <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28788101">considered a mental health prescription</a></span>.</p> <p>A natural extension of spending time in flora is also the positive effect that animals have on us. <span><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27541053">Research suggests</a></span> having a pet has many positive effects, and animal-assisted therapy (with horses, cats, dogs and even dolphins) may also boost feelings of wellbeing.</p> <p><strong>5. Reach out when you need help</strong></p> <p>Positive lifestyle changes aren’t a replacement for medication or psychological therapy but, rather, as something people can undertake themselves on top of their treatment.</p> <p>While many lifestyle changes can be positive, some changes (such as avoiding junk foods, alcohol or giving up smoking) may be challenging if being used as a psychological crutch. They might need to be handled delicately and with professional support.</p> <p>Strict advice promoting abstinence, or a demanding diet or exercise regime, may cause added suffering, potentially provoking guilt if you can’t meet these expectations. So, go easy on yourself.</p> <p>That said, take a moment to reflect how you feel mentally after a nutritious wholefood meal, a good night’s sleep (free of alcohol), or a walk in nature with a friend.</p> <p><em>Written by Jerome Sarris and Joe Firth. Republished with permission of <a href="http://www.theconversation.com"><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The Conversation. </strong></span></a></em></p> <p><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/102650/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-advanced" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /></p>

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“This is what bullying does”: Mum shares heartbreaking photo of 6-year-old daughter

<p>A distressed mother has taken to social media to share a photo of her six-year-old daughter after constant bullying led the young child to be admitted into hospital.</p> <p>Carrie Golledge explained how a number of bullying incidents involving other children and even their parents, have caused the young schoolgirl to vomit up to 20 times an hour, along with finding it hard to fall asleep, as she deals with extreme anxiety.</p> <p>Ms Golledge had to rush her daughter to hospital in Tiverton, Devon, on Monday after her health was rapidly declining.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fcarrie.nicholls3%2Fposts%2F10157059725978598&amp;width=500" width="500" height="510" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>“This is my child who has been in and out of hospital for countless trips due to being so sick with anxiety,” she wrote.</p> <p>“This is my child who was told off for ‘telling tales at school’.</p> <p>“This is my child who has been mocked on social media by the bullies’ parents for just having such a pure heart.</p> <p>“This is my child who when addressing the issues with her school we were told ‘it’s just 6-year old’s being 6-year old’s’.</p> <p>“This is my child who was told by the school she should be the one feeling ashamed and be snuck in through the side door every morning.”</p> <p>The mother hopes that her post will shed light on the consequences of bullying as she doesn’t want any other child or parent to face what they are currently going through. </p> <p>Have you, your children or grandchildren ever been bullied? Share your story with us in the comments below. </p> <p><em>If you are troubled by this article, experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide, you can call the Depression Helpline at 0800 111 757 or visit<span> </span><a href="http://depression.org.nz/">depression.org.nz</a>.</em></p>

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The heartwarming moment Novak Djokovic pauses match to help distressed fan

<p>Novak Djokovic has been praised by fans for stopping a tennis match in Paris to help a distressed fan in the crowd.</p> <p>The Serbian tennis star was competing against Joao Sousa in the second round of Paris Masters on Wednesday when he made the thoughtful gesture.</p> <p>Serving for the match at 5-1, Djokovic stopped to hand a towel to a spectator who seemed unwell and who wiped his forehead with it.</p> <p>“It seemed he was sweating and he seemed dizzy, so he just needed help,” Djokovic said.</p> <p>“I just gave him the towel.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">The fans look after Novak, Novak looks after the fans ❤️<a href="https://twitter.com/DjokerNole?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DjokerNole</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RolexParisMasters?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RolexParisMasters</a> <a href="https://t.co/LOXzwiKO63">pic.twitter.com/LOXzwiKO63</a></p> — Tennis TV (@TennisTV) <a href="https://twitter.com/TennisTV/status/1057385897354772480?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 30, 2018</a></blockquote> <p>Despite Djokovic taking the victory for the match with a 7-5, 6-1 win against Sousa, the second-ranked Serb revealed that he was also not feeling very well on the court.</p> <p>“I wasn’t,” he said. “I don’t want to get into details but I think it’s a minor thing.”</p> <p>Djokovic set up match point with an ace and sealed victory on his third match point when Sousa returned a second serve long.</p> <p>The tennis champ has won four of the last five tournaments he has entered, including Wimbledon, the US Open and the Shanghai Masters.</p> <p>Djokovic is seeking to reclaim the top ranking from Rafael Nadal and take home a record-extending fifth Paris Masters title.</p> <p>Djokovic's next match will be against Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur.</p>

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The touching moment Prince Harry comforts grieving 6-year-old boy: "Everything will be fine"

<p>Losing a parent is never easy regardless of how old you are, and in Prince Harry’s case, the death of his mother was a public affair.</p> <p>Which is why, when he met a six-year-old boy on Tuesday who also lost his mother, he offered his condolences and told him that “life will be alright”.</p> <p>It started out as a standard royal walkabout. Meeting and greeting fans with eager royalists lined up along the barriers to get a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess.</p> <p>But it was then that Harry met six-year-old schoolboy Otia Nante and his grandmother Te Nante, 52, who then handed a letter to the Duke that her grandson had written himself.</p> <p>She told him: “He really looks up to you because he actually lost his mummy too.”</p> <p>In what can only be described as a moment of heartfelt kindness, Harry proceeded to take the little boy’s arm before he asked how old he was when she passed away.</p> <p>The little boy responded by saying, “Nearly one”.</p> <p>Harry then said, “Don’t worry about having just one parent, where’s your dad?” </p> <p>To which his grandmother revealed that she was responsible for raising the young boy.</p> <p>Harry then looked at Otia in the eyes and said: “Life will always be alright, you know that?</p> <p>“I made it to 34 years old and life is great. I have a beautiful wife and a baby on the way, your life is going to be sorted, don’t you worry about that.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Me too I lost my mother when I was 9 <br /><br />Picture and Story Credit -Daily Mail<br /><br />Prince Harry comforted six-year-old Otia Nante during his walkabout at the viaduct in Auckland on Tuesday after he learned that the schoolboy called Otia had lost his mother before the age of one. <a href="https://t.co/XHeO8nluNT">pic.twitter.com/XHeO8nluNT</a></p> — Muzvare Betty Makoni (@Betty_Makoni) <a href="https://twitter.com/Betty_Makoni/status/1057383471319015425?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">30 October 2018</a></blockquote> <p>After offering his advice, the Prince took a selfie with Otia, who was ecstatic with joy.</p> <p><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/royals/royal-tour-day-15-harry-and-meghan-tour-new-zealand/news-story/3efff298cb3af85d6bbd8cb331b583df" target="_blank">News.com.au</a> </em>reported that Otia’s mother had committed suicide and upon hearing the news, the Duke praised his grandmother for her commitment to raising him.</p> <p>He said to her, “You’re doing a great job, Nan. Nans are so important in our lives.”</p> <p>Speaking to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/royal-tour-meghan-markle-and-prince-harry-charm-new-zealand/news-story/e45f0b2705c85d0077a2adf51dc2b5a4?memtype=anonymous" target="_blank">The Daily Telegraph</a></em>, the grandmother revealed the conversation she had with the royal and said, “Harry just said, ‘Everything will be fine, you will grow up to be strong and positive.'”</p>

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These simple tests will reveal how well you're ageing

<p>Staying healthy and fit is important regardless of what age bracket you fall under, but when you’re in your 50s and 60s, it’s especially crucial to understand your body’s needs so you have an understanding of how well you’re ageing. Follow this simple guide to see if you’re in shape, or if you need more improvement:</p> <p><strong>1. Getting up from a chair with no hands</strong></p> <p>The ability of placing your feet firmly on the ground and getting off a chair may seem like a simple task, but many fail at completing it.</p> <p>Talking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://coach.nine.com.au/2018/10/26/13/21/ageing-well-tests" target="_blank"><em>Coach</em></a>, Wendi Carroll, an over 50s exercise specialist who runs Voome’s 50 Fit and Firing program, says that this activity will let you know how much strength you have in your quads and thighs.</p> <p>“A lot of physios use a sit-to-stand test [with] hands across the chest to stand up,” she said.</p> <p>“If you can’t do that, you’re not going to be able to sit on a toilet and get off a toilet or get out of a bed or into a car.”</p> <p><strong>2. Standing on one leg</strong></p> <p>Did you know that those over 70 are three times more at risk of dying after a ground level fall than those who are under 70? So, don’t take tripping lightly, because as we age, our bodies become more fragile and falling can cause serious damage. Which is why standing on one leg is a good indicator of how well you are able to balance yourself.</p> <p>“Can you stand on one foot and hold the other foot off the ground for a count of 10 or longer without holding onto anything?” Carroll asks.</p> <p>“If you can’t do that, there’s weakness in your legs and core control. You don’t want to get to the point where you have a fall – you’d rather be stronger and not have the fall or have the power to catch yourself before you fall.”</p> <p><strong>3. Getting up off the floor</strong></p> <p>If you have grandchildren then you know how many times you’re going to be expected to be on the floor with your grandchildren when they’re playing games – and believe it or not, your grandchildren are unknowingly creating healthier habits for you.</p> <p>“Old people say to me, ‘I can’t get up off the floor!’ because they have lost leg strength and agility,” Carroll says.</p> <p>“You need to keep practising getting on and off the floor. Watch how toddlers stand up and sit down with their legs apart, using their thighs. You’ve got to keep doing it, so you won’t be scared of doing it.”</p> <p><strong>4. Climbing a flight of stairs</strong></p> <p>Going up and down the stairs is a perfect indication of how in shape you are and is a method of indication doctors use when they conduct frailty predictor tests.</p> <p>“Start by gradually increasing daily incidental physical activity, such as the distance you walk between shops and home, climbing a flight of stairs with fast, purposeful steps and standing to break up long sitting times,” says exercise physiologist Michael Inskip to <a rel="noopener" href="https://coach.nine.com.au/2018/10/26/13/21/ageing-well-tests" target="_blank"><em>Coach</em></a>.</p> <p><strong>5. Have you gained weight?</strong></p> <p>It’s funny because the idea of losing weight is drilled into our minds since a young age, but when we’re older, having a bit of extra weight is a good thing as it provides a layer of protection. Weight loss is also attributed to sickness and will result to loss of muscle in the body as well.</p> <p>Studies show that falling into the “overweight” category in the body mass index leads to a longer life if you’re in your older years.</p> <p>“Frailty questionnaires ask simple questions, such as, ‘Have you lost more than 5 per cent of your weight unintentionally in the last six months?’” Inskip said.</p> <p><strong>6. Have a look at your medical tests</strong></p> <p>Frailty isn’t a condition that’s just related to muscle strength but can also include poor cognition and health and mental wellbeing. According to Inskip, there are a number of common diseases that can increase our chances of frailty.</p> <p>“Large studies have correlated high cholesterol, blood pressure and obesity in mid-life to physical frailty in later life,” he says.</p> <p><strong>7. Lifting weights</strong></p> <p>Yes, cardiovascular activities are important the older you get, but strength training can also visibly increase your health and reduce the risk of many chronic conditions.</p> <p>“Generally speaking, individuals should aim to reach a weekly total of 150 minutes of [at least] moderate intensity aerobic exercise each week and perform two to three moderate to high intensity strength training sessions,” Inskip says.</p> <p>“Strength training is important for preventing sarcopenia [muscle loss] and loss of physical function.”</p> <p>Affective strength programs will target different areas of the body such as the thighs, buttocks, hips, ankles, calves and upper arms.</p> <p>“These muscles are strongly associated with maintaining independence [because] when weak, they contribute to loss of balance and falls,” said Inskip.</p> <p>“It is important to have adequate support and supervision while performing these tasks to ensure your safety and allow you to challenge yourself in order to improve your balance.”</p> <p><strong>8. Are you ready to make a change?</strong></p> <p>Regardless of what age bracket you fall under, it’s never too late to start focusing on your health.</p> <p>“Even nursing home residents in their 90s who have done no prior strength training can improve their strength by over 100 per cent in three months with robust resistance training and additional calorie intake,” explains Inskip.</p> <p>“Keeping our health in our middle age strong and robust reduces the risk of experiencing a significant medical episode in later life, such as a heart attack, stroke, fall-related fracture or incident dementia.”</p> <p>After reading this guide, how healthy are you? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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"Cancer-causing” weed killer found in popular cereals

<p>A staggering 26 different cereals and snack bars have been found to contain an “unsafe” level of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, which is the most common agricultural suicide, and the most popular weed killer. </p> <p>The brands containing the potentially cancer-causing chemical include Honey Nut Cheerios and Quaker Oats.</p> <p>The findings come from a new report from the US by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), that tested 28 oat-based cereal products, 26 of which had “harmful” levels of glyphosate, reports the <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6311997/Cancer-causing-weed-killer-DOZENS-breakfast-cereals.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a>.</p> <p>It comes after the recent <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/home-garden/cancer-council-calls-for-review-into-world-s-most-popular-weed-killer" target="_blank">US court case </a>against Monsanto, which originally introduced the chemical four decades ago. Dewayne Johnson, a groundskeeper, won $US289 million in damages with the jury finding that the weed killer was the cause of his terminal cancer. While a judge upheld the verdict, he reduced the sum to $US78 million on Monday.</p> <p>The EWG said that its findings should concern consumers, particularly as the cereals are widely consumed by children every day. After a study in August by the organisation into big cereal brands, including Kellogg’s and General Mills, found high levels of glyphosate in 45 cereals, the EWG has narrowed its investigation to variations of Quaker Oats and Cheerios. These cereals are some of the most popular and had high levels of the chemical.</p> <p>The EWG found that 26 of the 28 cereals tested had “unsafe” levels of glyphosate, particularly in Quaker Oatmeal Squares – Honey Nut which had almost 18 times the level of EWG’s benchmark for how much is safe to consume.</p> <p>The manufacturers of the cereals have released statements saying their products are safe and attempting to allay the fears of consumers.</p> <p>In a statement provided to the Daily Mail, Quaker accused the EWG of “artificially” creating a “safe level” of glyphosate in order to “grab headlines". Quaker argued that the EWG’s benchmark was far more conservative than regulatory bodies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).</p> <p>“We believe EWG's approach is invalid, and we stand behind our statement that the Quaker products tested by EWG are safe,” read the statement.</p> <p>The manufacturer of Cheerios also criticised the EWG’s benchmark, telling CNN: <span>“The extremely low levels of pesticide residue cited in recent news reports is a tiny fraction of the amount the government allows." </span></p> <p>Meanwhile, the EPA has told consumers not to be alarmed by the report and Monsanto said that Roundup is stringently tested and glyphosate is safe.</p> <p>But the World Health Organisation made the finding in 2015 that the <span>the herbicide is “probably carcinogenic to humans".</span></p> <p>Dr Alexis Temkin, an EWG toxicologist who contributed to the report, argued that that just because glyphosate is legal, telling the Daily Mail it “doesn't mean it's safe or that it provides that extra level of protection for children". </p> <p>“The report shows that breakfast cereals are not a place for pesticides linked to cancer," Temkin added. </p> <p>“What we show here is that there are detectable levels in common foods that children are exposed to every day. Over a long period of time, that can be dangerous.”</p> <p>The Cancer Council Australia has called for an independent review of Roundup, with glyphosate not having been formally reviewed in Australian for two decades.</p>

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The worrying link between blood pressure medication and lung cancer

<p>A new study has found that popular blood pressure pills taken by millions over the world could increase the risk of lung cancer.</p> <p>The research has shone a spotlight on how ACE inhibitors are more likely to develop cancer than other types of drugs.</p> <p>The study, conducted by researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, said the risk of the medication increased the longer patients were taking it.</p> <p>Those taking the drug for five years were 22 per cent more likely to get lung cancer, while those who had been on it for 10 years were 31 per cent more likely.</p> <p>Scientists believe the drug causes the accumulation of chemicals called bradykinin on the lung, which can cause cancer.</p> <p>However, other experts have cast doubt on the shock findings, saying that the lung cancer could instead be caused by patients smoking at the same time as the drugs.</p> <p>Up to five million patients in the UK take ACE inhibitors, with most patients being prescribed the medication for high blood pressure or following a heart attack.</p> <p>It is branded as Tritace in the UK but sold as Altace in the US.</p> <p>Other common names for the drug include captopril, cilazapril, ramipril and enalapril.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7821634/image_.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/22c827b8509a4ceca6b6dc849dd73dcf" /></p> <p>The medication works by reducing the activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE).</p> <p>After this enzyme is blocked, the blood vessels relax and widen, thus lowering the blood pressure.</p> <p>The study was published in the BMJ and analysed data from 992,000 adults who were prescribed blood pressure drugs in the UK between 1995 and 2015.</p> <p>Patients were either taking ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers, which lower blood pressure in a different way.</p> <p>Compared to patients on angiotensin, those on ACE inhibitors were 14 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer over a six-year period.</p> <p>The researchers have called for “additional studies, with long term follow-up, to investigate the effects of these drugs on incidence of lung cancer”.</p> <p>Although a 14 per cent increased risk might not appear to be much, “small relative effects could translate into large absolute numbers of patients at risk for lung cancer”.</p> <p>The researchers added: “Given the potential impact of our findings, they need to be replicated in other settings, particularly among patients exposed for longer durations.”</p> <p>However, Professor Stephen Evans, an expert on the effects of drugs at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it was unlikely the drugs were causing lung cancer.</p> <p>“Drawing strong conclusions and talking about public health impact in this situation seems premature,” he said.</p> <p>Do you take blood pressure tablets? Let us know in the comments below.</p>

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The Queen's simple $6 hack for getting a good night's sleep

<div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>There are few things more frustrating than not being able to get to sleep – and stay asleep. But there could be a very majestic, and simple, way to help you nod off.</p> <p>Queen Elizabeth II’s method of choice is very reasonably priced, not to mention very comforting, even by its very mention. She uses a hot water bottle for a good night’s sleep, placed between the sheets to make her bed nice and cosy, according to <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://homes.nine.com.au/2018/10/19/11/59/queen-elizabeth-sleeping-hack?app=applenews" target="_blank">9Honey</a></em>.</p> <p>She may not need to carry a passport, but this sleep hack is a must-have in her luggage while travelling, wrote historian Robert K. Massie in a <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/1992/10/queen-elizabeth-199210" target="_blank">Vanity Fair</a></em> profile on Queen Elizabeth, as are other comforts like her feather pillow, favourite china tea set, and even her own white kid toilet seat.</p> <p>And at just $6 at Kmart, it’s an affordable way to see if a hot water bottle could help you if you have trouble sleeping.</p> <p><img style="width: 480px; height: 480px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/media/7821498/water-bottle.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/0cb88f355ec54afbb928e3e10f8ce7e7" /></p> <p>But take care when using one, says the <a href="https://productsafety.tradingstandards.govt.nz/for-consumers/safety-with-specific-products/hot-water-bottles/" title="Product Safety">Product Safety</a> site, to avoid burns. Don't pour boiling water directly from a kettle as it can damage and weaken the rubber the bottle is made of. Also, be sure to cover the bottle with a towel or fitted covering, use it to heat the bed and remove it when you get in, and buy a new water bottle each year. </p> <p>The royal water bottle is such a necessity for a comfy sleep for the Queen that she’s even been known to fill it herself when a housemaid neglected to do so, according to the <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2624790/The-Queens-missing-hot-water-bottle-knives-minder-Scouse-dockers-daughters-growing-power-sparked-mutiny-stairs.html" target="_blank">Daily Mail</a></em>. </p> <p>So if this sleep hack helps you have a restful night, you can thank Her Majesty for that.</p> <p>What remedies help you sleep? Let us know in the comment section below.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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Woman's touching act of kindness for stranger after losing baby

<p>A US supermarket employee has told of a moving encounter he had with a customer, posting about the experience on Facebook, which has drawn an emotional response from users of the platform.</p> <p>Nick DeClemente was working at Publix supermarket in Jacksonville, Florida, when a woman approached him at the bakery counter.</p> <p>“A lady just came up to the bakery counter and asked if we had any 1st birthday cakes on order for Saturday or Sunday. She said she wanted to pay for one,” he wrote in his post.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fnick.declemente%2Fposts%2F1849337795163510&amp;width=500" width="500" height="530" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe></p> <p>But the cake was for someone else, a complete stranger she may never meet. The woman had had a stillborn baby boy a year ago, and wanted to make a tribute to him in his memory. She wanted to pay for the cake anonymously.</p> <p>“I asked what the customer name was, thinking she was paying for a specific person,” wrote DeClemente. “She then started to tear up and tell me that she had a stillborn child a year ago and in tribute to him she wanted to pay for someone else's cake.”</p> <p>On Facebook, DeClemente posted an order form for a Sesame Street “smash cake” for a 1st birthday that he chose for the woman to buy. Beside it is a receipt for $US33 ($AU46).</p> <p>“She told me thank you and appreciated that I let her do this,” he said. “It was probably one of the most touching things I've seen in all my years working in retail.”</p> <p>DeClemente’s post provoked some heart-warming comments from Facebook users.</p> <p>“Speechless and teary-eyed!” wrote one person.</p> <p>And this from another, “Wow. As a momma to three miscarriage angels, this both warms my heart and breaks it at the same time. Sending her all the love and prayers in the world.”</p> <p>DeClemente said he hoped the stranger’s act of kindness would prove cathartic for her.</p> <p>“I hope that this lady finds peace through this tribute and that the customer receiving this gift will, if nothing else, pay it forward,” he wrote.</p> <p>What acts of kindness have you witnessed? Let us know in the comments section.</p>

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Should you let your cat sleep in your bed?

<p><strong><em>Dr. Bethany Richards is a cat lover working at </em></strong><span><strong><em><a href="https://southerncrossvet.com.au/">Southern Cross Vet</a></em></strong></span><strong><em> and the principal vet for </em></strong><span><strong><em><a href="http://lions-den.com.au/">The Lion’s Den</a></em></strong></span><strong><em>. In her spare time, Beth cares for her foster kittens Gracie &amp; Neko and her Golden Retriever, Archie.</em></strong></p> <p>Cats love sleeping in beds. Beds contain two things that cats love – warmth and their owner. Deciding whether or not your cat will sleep on the bed should be done before you get the cat. Once your cat has started sleeping in your bed it will be almost impossible to break the habit.</p> <p><strong>Risks of letting your cat sleep in your bed</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Disrupted sleep:</strong> Sleep is a hot commodity in the modern world. Cats will sleep for 15 hours a day, but unlike humans they aren’t fussy about when this sleep is. Some cats are night owls and might decide to move around on the bed in the night, waking you up.</p> <p><strong>2. Parasites: </strong>Fleas and mites do not live long on humans but can still bite us and cause irritation. Before you decide to let your cat sleep in your bed, make sure he/she is on regular flea control.</p> <p><strong>3. Bacterial and fungal Infection:</strong> Prolonged exposure to bacteria and fungi on cats can put some people at risk of bacterial and fungal skin infection. Those people most at risk are those with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, the very young or those undergoing cancer treatment. Ringworm is a fungal skin infection that can affect both cats and healthy people. Most cats do not have ringworm, but if your cat is diagnosed with this condition then you should not sleep with them in the bed.</p> <p><strong>4. Cat allergies</strong>: People who are allergic to cats should not sleep with cats.</p> <p><strong>5. Harm to or from young children:</strong> Very young children or babies can be at risk of accidental smothering if a cat is allowed in the crib. Young children should never be left unsupervised with cats as they can be too rough with the cat, possibly leading to bites and scratches.</p> <p><strong>Risks of NOT letting your cat sleep in your bed</strong></p> <p><strong>1. A disappointed cat banging on the door:</strong> Not letting a determined cat sleep on the bed might be more trouble than it is worth. Your cat might make a lot of noise in the night attempting to get into your room, which can disrupt your sleep.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><img src="/media/7820386/1_500x500.jpg" alt="1 (195)" width="500" height="500" /></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Dr. Beth's cat Gracie sleeps on her bed</em></p> <p><strong>2. Cold bed</strong>: Cats are warm and make perfect soft hot water bottles in winter.</p> <p>At the end of the day, the decision of whether or not the cat sleeps in the bed is often not made by the owner, but by the cat</p>

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Prince Frederik of Denmark hospitalised

<p>Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark has been forced to cancel his upcoming engagements after undergoing back surgery on Sunday.</p> <p>The Danish palace released a statement confirming that Frederik had an operation to correct a slipped disc. The operation was successful, and he was discharged from the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen on Monday.</p> <p>The future king of Denmark was due to mark Nature Day on Monday and take part in an army-related engagement on Wednesday. His trip to Finland, scheduled for next week, has also been postponed.</p> <p>He is now recovering at home and will resume his royal duties in the coming weeks.</p> <p>Frederik was most recently pictured in public last Wednesday during French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to Denmark.</p> <p>The father-of-four has previously spoken up about his back pain. Prince Frederik, who celebrated turning 50 by participating in the <em>Royal Run</em>, said in May: "I have had a few back problems lately which have stopped me from going running as I would like to."</p> <p>The news come just days after it was revealed that Frederik and his Aussie-born wife Princess Mary will be coming to Australia for the upcoming Invictus Games.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/prince-harry-and-duchess-meghan-aren-t-the-only-royals-visiting-australia-next-month">Frederik and Mary will join British royals Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan</a></span></strong> in Sydney for the Invictus Games, which will run from October 20 to 27.</p>

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Four-year-old fighting for her life after trying on new shoes

<p>A four-year-old girl from Wales in the UK is suffering from a life-threatening condition after contracting deadly sepsis from trying on new shoes.</p> <p>A day after trying on different sized shoes on bare feet, Sienna Rasul fell seriously ill. She was later diagnosed with sepsis – a life-threatening disease that can develop due to an infection.</p> <p>As reported by <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/7125547/girl-fighting-sepsis-infection-new-school-shoes-shop/" target="_blank">The Sun</a></em>, doctors believe the infection was present on the shoes that she tried on, and that there is a possibility that Sienna had a cut or graze on her foot that allowed the bacteria to enter her body.</p> <p>As a result, Sienna spent five days in hospital with a drip attached to her at all times. Her mother, Jodie Thomas, was by her side during the ordeal.</p> <p>“I was really shocked when the doctors said it was from trying on new shoes,” she said.</p> <p>“I’ve been worried sick. They’ve had to drain all the poison from her leg.</p> <p>“Normally she would have socks on but it’s the summertime, so she was wearing sandals.</p> <p>“The shoes she liked had been tried on by other little girls and that’s how Sienna picked up the infection.”</p> <p>Jodie knew something was wrong with her daughter when Sienna was constantly crying in pain after the shopping trip.</p> <p>When doctors noticed the infection, they used a pen to outline exactly where it had spread.</p> <p>“By the next day it had spread up her leg and her temperature was raging,” said Jodie.</p> <p>“I drove her straight to the hospital. She was shaking and twitching – it was horrible to see my little girl like that.</p> <p>“They said it was sepsis and thought they would have to operate.</p> <p>“But the doctors have managed to drain all the pus from her leg and say the antibiotic drip will do the job.”</p> <p>Sienna has been released from the children’s ward at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, but is still being closely monitored.</p> <p>After going through the horrifying ordeal, Jodie is now reminding parents of the importance of children wearing socks when trying on shoes.</p> <p>“I knew you risk getting things like athlete’s foot from trying on shoes, but blood poisoning is far more serious,” she said.</p> <p>“You don’t know whose feet have been in the shoes before you.</p> <p>“Sienna has been really ill. The infection was moving up her leg and spreading to the rest of her body.</p> <p>“I’m so glad I got her to the hospital quickly."</p> <p>When shopping for new children's shoes, Jodie advised mums and dads "to take a spare pair of socks with them".</p> <p>Chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust Dr Ron Daniels said that: “This frightening case shows us that sepsis strikes indiscriminately and can affect anyone at any time.</p> <p>“Whenever there are signs of infection, it’s crucial that members of the public seek medical attention urgently and just ask: ‘Could it be sepsis?’” he added.</p> <p>“Better awareness could save thousands of lives every year.”</p>

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