Monday, July 26, 2021

How Stress Affects the Immune System

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As humans, we cannot survive without stress, no more than we can survive without each other. Stress is necessary because it helps us to cope with everyday life's situations. 

You can say the COVID-19 pandemic probably added more stress to our lives than we care to admit when it comes to our immune system, whose job is to fight disease-causing germs like viruses, and bacteria and to remove those pathogens from the body.   A weak immune system can lead to serious illnesses. However, many people do not know that stress is a major factor that can lead to an exhausted immune system.

Since more of us are vaccinated and getting back to normal activities, it is more important than ever to start doing more to lessen the stress in our lives.

Stress is pressures, strains, or changes placed on the body, which can affect your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. However, too much stress can seriously affect your psychological and spiritual well-being if you do not know how to handle or cope with these demands. When you are under too much stress, it is important to recognize it and do something about it. Unmanageable tension can lead to illnesses and chronic diseases. However, you can improve your resistance to too much worry by learning how to manage and control your life.

It is important to remember there are some occurrences in life that are just out of your control. There are many experiences in life you can learn to handle by identifying the stressors: actions that make you feel anxious and concerned. Here are some recommended ways to deal with stress:

Most of us do not realize that stress affects the digestive system and can lead to ulcers. Stressful responses increase strain on the circulatory system, which increases the heart rate. Moreover, stress affects the immune system by raising blood pressure, which leads to a myriad of illnesses and conditions. The long-term activation of stress leads to overexposure to cortisol and other hormones. As a result, there is a greater risk of developing heart disease, digestive problems, headaches, sleep deprivation issues, weight gain, and memory loss – not to mention anxiety and depression.

Unfortunately, stress is a part of life. It is not something you can control when it comes your way. However, you can take steps to manage how stress affects the immune system.

Some stress-fighting strategies include eating a healthy and well-balanced meal. When you are under additional stress, make certain you eat more foods high in B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Zinc. These foods would include whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, nuts, legumes, and lean meats, respectively.

Getting enough sleep and regular exercise helps. Walking is one of the best forms of exercising because it strengthens the heart. You can also practice relaxation techniques, like yoga, which may enhance your libido. Meditate. Read a book or listen to music. You can dance away the stress, too!

Avoid self-medication. Even though you can use drugs to relieve stress temporarily, drugs will never remove the condition that causes the strain in the first place. Some medications may become habit-forming, and create more problems. Pills should only be taken on the advice of your physician.

Having a sense of humor does not hurt, either. Laughter is known to reduce stress. Add some TV sitcoms, comedies, and movies to your ‘what to watch list.’ The overall point is that learning to manage stress can lead to a longer and healthier life.

Stressed spelled backward is desserts. Researchers found that chocolate takes a bite out of stress. Dark chocolate specifically reduces the stress hormone cortisol.

Have you ever wondered why you reach for a chocolate bar when under a lot of stress? It may not just be a coincidence. Maybe your body is truly telling you something important.

But most of all, share your anxieties with friends, relatives, a lover, or a spouse by talking about your concerns or worries. Maintaining a strong immune system should be your number one priority. As someone once said, “Whatever is causing you bad stress, eliminate it.”


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Monday, July 19, 2021

News for Travelers

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The Inside Scoop From Harriet Lewis - From camping under the stars in the Sahara Desert to cruising the Turquoise Coast in a traditional yacht, our most popular adventures in North Africa and Turkey offer a feast for the senses—and most will begin operating in August-September of 2021. 


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Whether your meal comes from a restaurant, a street cart, or a family table, local cuisine always tells a story—of cultural influences, resourcefulness, and togetherness. From Sicily’s famous arancini to Turkey’s answer to pizza, here are five of our most delicious adventures—all of which we plan to operate in 2021.

 

You can count on Travel Noire to keep you aware of the best spots in any city. If you are making your way to Miami, check out their recommendations for the best of the best in the coastal city by clicking here

 

Photo by Tim Samuel from Pexels

How To Spend 48-Hours In Black-Owned New York City - Are you heading to New York City and want to experience time exploring and supporting Black-owned businesses, but short on time? Here is a guide to seeing the real side of the city in 48-hours, while also patronizing Black-owned New York City. For more details, click here.

 


Ten Budget-Friendly Destinations To Consider For Summer Travel Plans
 - Are you planning a summer to remember? If so, you are not the only one. Travel is once again in high demand, which typically means that ticket prices will skyrocket. However, that does not mean budget-friendly options are not available. For additional information, click here

 

When in Rome: Why You Should Always Respect the Host Culture - Wherever your wanderlust takes you, it is important to respect the rules and customs. Just as you would not put your feet up on the furniture, or raid the refrigerator when you are visiting somebody's home, honor the space and its rules. For more details, click here.

 

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How To Enjoy The Perfect Solo Daycation In Maui, Hawaii - If you are a resident of the Hawaiian Islands or neighboring states like California, and in need of a solo daycation, Maui is the perfect place. Here is a guide to the perfect daycation with you, yourself, and well, you! Learn more →  



These US Cities Will Pay You To Relocate As A Remote Worker - Many cities right here in the US are offering paid incentives and relocation fees to remote workers in hopes to boost their city's economy. Here are a few that we found, so if you are a remoter worker, hop on them. Learn More→


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Monday, July 12, 2021

Be Successful at Virtual Dating with Body Language - Tips from a Former FBI Agent

 

                                                         

Photo by Gabby K from Pexels


If you are into your date, mirroring his or her body language shows you are interested, former FBI special agent Joe Navarro explained. Virtual dating is hard. It can seem nearly impossible to make a genuine connection while constrained to the flat rectangle of a video screen, but there is still a lot that people can gather from a person's body language.

 

Photo by Marcus Aurelius from Pexels

When on a video call, a person's body language changes tremendously compared to in-person interactions, said Joe Navarro, a retired FBI special agent and author of Be Exceptional: Master the Five Traits That Set Extraordinary People Apart.

 

Body language experts say a clean, well-lit video can help you make a good first impression on your virtual date. 


“People are used to seeing each other in a more nuanced way, such as seeing all of the body including hand movement and changes in skin and lip color. You don't normally focus on those things because they happen naturally, but the absence of that leaves us lacking, however, there are ways to read your date's body language over video call and put your best foot forward for a successful virtual date,” said Navarro.

 

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels


Making a Good First Impression 

According to Navarro, one of the first steps to starting a date on a positive note is to show your hands throughout the video call. Humans have a primal necessity to see each other's hands, so include hand gestures when talking.


For a Video Call 


Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels
Navarro recommended bringing your hand motions closer to your body so they appear on the screen and slowing them down so they do not look like a blur. If you are interested in your date, mirroring the person's body language shows that you are interested, Navarro explained. Some common examples of mirroring include sitting in the same way and copying body language like nodding. 

Be genuine and make sure you are interested in the other person instead of being interesting, said Lillian Glass, a body communication and body language expert based in Beverly Hills, California. "This is your chance to be real and not play games and not waste time so that you can find the perfect person who's good for you," she said. It is also important to hold the video call in a well-lit room with a clean background because it allows the other person to see you better, Glass added. If the lighting where you live is not the best, she recommended investing in a ring light or other portable lighting device.

 

Signs Your Date Likes You 

 

You can read your date's body language to decipher if he or she is interested in you, Navarro said. According to Navarro, someone who is entranced by another person will tilt his or her head toward him or her. "We only expose our necks to people we're really comfortable with," he said. 


Some people may lean their whole bodies toward the camera, Glass said. Frequent and lasting smiles also show your date is off to a good start, she said. 


People who are interested in each other are more likely to preen, according to Navarro. Preening behaviors include fixing your appearance like touching your hair and straightening out your clothes.

 

Signs Your Date is Not That into You  

 

Not all virtual meet-ups end with your date falling madly in love with you and that is all right. One sign a person is not feeling the love is if he furrows the glabella (the spot between the eyebrows) more, Navarro said. "This will happen, especially if the other person is saying something that's really dumb or stupid that's not attractive to you," he said. 

 

Your date also might not be attracted to you if you see she is pulling away from the camera, or if she is moving a lot, Glass said. If your date is looking away frequently or appears distracted, that is another warning sign, she stressed. “Over a video call, people should take reading eye contact with a grain of salt, because it is normal for people not to know where to look or to look away periodically,” said Glass.

 

Navarro said, “Some people may also have more tension in their lips and even shift their jaw if they are not interested in the other person.” 

 

Red Flags to Look Out For  

 

There is no single behavior indicative of deception, said Navarro. Some behaviors indicate stress and anxiety. That can leave hints about whether your date is being truthful or not. When bothered, people often touch the suprasternal notch, the little notch above the sternum, he noted. When a woman is bothered by something, her hands move up there, and if a man is bothered, he tends to grab his neck, according to Navarro. "If I was asking somebody 'Are you dating somebody at the moment?' and they're touching this area, I'd have to wonder why," he said. 

 

Fidgeting can also be a sign someone is not being honest, said Glass. "If they go on and on and they go off on a tangent, that may give you a red flag as to whether or not they're telling you the truth," she added.


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Monday, July 05, 2021

Getting through HARD times | Motivation to Stay MARRIED!

Best selling romance author Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku will share some practical tips to get you through the hard times in your relationship! Please subscribe to her YouTube page, so you do not miss any of her future videos. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

How to Protect Yourself from Common COVID-19 Swindles by Vivienne Diane Neal

Whenever an epidemic strikes, you can be sure some people will create ways to steal your money or personal information through a phone call or an email.

 

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Not a day goes by where I do not receive a phone call from someone claiming that my warranty on my car has expired. The funny thing is I have never owned a car nor can I drive. Then there is a call from a so-called police association asking for a donation. To cut down on these calls, I will leave my answering machine on. If the caller does not leave a message, chances are it is a fraud.

 

Scammers can make it look as though they are calling from a genuine business. I received a call from a person pretending to be a major retailer, indicating that there were suspicious acts on my account. However, it does not end here. There are emails that I have received telling me that my vendor’s order was charged to my account and will be delivered shortly; if you have any questions, click on this link. Again, I do not have a vendor’s account at this particular company but if I did click on that link, my data and pertinent information would be at their disposal.

 

During times like this, you must stay vigilant. Protect yourself with the following tips:

 

·       Offers that appear to be too good to be true.

·       Suspicious websites, emails, or advertisements offering items and/or opportunities at impractical discounts.

·       Social media accounts that appear to offer vouchers or gift cards. Some may appear as seasonal promotions or contests.

·       Charity swindles where criminals set up false charities and profit from individuals who donate.

·       Online retailers that do not provide adequate information on privacy, terms and dispute resolution, or contact details.

·       Overseas sellers that force you to use your debit card instead of secure payment services like PayPal or credit cards.

 

If you think you have been a victim of a scam or identity theft, please visit  https://www.identitytheft.gov to file a report through the Federal Trade Commission.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Five Offbeat Honeymoon Destinations to Visit

Are you someone who loves exploring unexplored places with your soul mate? If the answer is yes, then some offbeat places will never let you come back from your honeymoon. Without giving a single thought, venture into these spectacular places and spend some of the best time of your honeymoon! 


 Nihi Sumba Island (Indonesia) 


Image by 
David Mark from Pixabay

You must have heard about Bali, Jakarta, and Ubud in Indonesia, but there is the exotic island ‘NIHI SUMBA’ full of romance in the air. Nihi Sumba is one of the lesser-known places in the list of honeymoon destinations, but no other place can give you an aura of romance better than this exotic island. The island is also known as Horses Paradise because of the retired racehorses that are now a guardian angel of this island. It is a hidden paradise for spending some of the best quality time together.


 Bermuda (North America

Known for its pink beach and rich history, Bermuda is one of a kind for a honeymoon getaway. Beautiful Bermuda will steal away your heart with its pristine beauty, uncrowded roads, and pink beaches that you will surely remember until your last breath. Situated on the east coast of North America, this 21 square mile island is an ideal destination for stunning sunsets. Gone are the days when you plan a candlelight dinner on a normal beach. Plan a special day with your partner on the alluring and captivating pink beach and feel the essence of love.


Cappadocia (Turkey)

Image by Timur Kozmenko from Pixabay

Think about a world full of hot air balloons. Cappadocia is one such place. Located in central Turkey, Cappadocia is full of Bronze Age homes that will give you the feel of walking amid a prehistoric period. Known for hot air balloon rides, this place is a romantic getaway for a newlywed couple. If you and your partner are interested in visiting churches, then this is the best place for you. Cappadocia is regarded as one of the most alluring UNESCO world heritage sites with plentiful rock-face churches.


Dingle (Ireland)


Image by 
Pexels from Pixabay

Dingle is a small town in Ireland famously known for beauty spas and treatments. Located on the spectacular dingle peninsula, this place will take you in the lap of artistry and the exquisiteness of natural beauty. Dingle is the most romantic destination in Ireland for a romantic walk and many scenic views that are worth giving a shot. The best way to explore Dingle is to rent a car and leave for a long romantic drive with your partner.

Woodstock (Vermont)


Image by 
usmc0491 from Pixabay

If you are looking for a remote, hidden, and honeymoon place, then Woodstock in Vermont is exactly what you are looking for. There are various sports activities, such as snowboarding, skiing, and ice climbing that you and your partner can indulge in and spend some adventurous time together. Woodstock is full of bewitching downtown and alluring outdoor views that will prove to be a whimsical experience for you two.

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Monday, June 14, 2021

Does The Engagement Ring Size Matter? | Red Flags Warning | Singles Dilemmas


Image by Pexels from Pixabay


International Bestselling Author Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku offers advice on ring size, and warning signs that singles should be aware of.

 

Enjoy and do not forget to subscribe to her YouTube Channel.

Monday, June 07, 2021

An Announcement from Overseas Adventure Travel™ - Vaccination Requirements and Updated Health & Safety Protocols on Land Adventures—and Resuming 2021 Travel

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The safety of our travelers is always our #1 priority. We have updated our health and safety protocols for our Small Group Adventures on land. In addition, all travelers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days before departure, and all staff will be vaccinated as well. With these guidelines in place, we will resume travel on more than 25 adventures in 2021—see them all here.

Monday, May 31, 2021

How to Combat Social Isolation During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Even before COVID-19 limited social contact with friends, family, and colleagues, many adults experienced loneliness and depression due to limited contact with others.

 

Now, a year after the pandemic forced many people into even greater levels of isolation, the issue of social isolation is especially prevalent in Americans over the age of 50. Despite the physical implications of a global pandemic, research shows the mental health stakes are high, too. A nationwide survey, commissioned by Barclays, found that half of Americans over the age of 50 said the isolation from their friends and family has been more challenging than concerns over health risks they may face.

 

Social isolation has provided plenty of time for Americans to reflect on their priorities. The majority of Americans surveyed (90%) have re-evaluated their post-age-50 goals and put spending more time with family at the top of their lists. The most common first thing 50-plus Americans will do once COVID-19 is over is to see and spend time with their families (41%).

 

“While restrictions are beginning to ease, many older adults are still isolated from friends and family, and that takes a toll on their mental well-being,” said Lisa Marsh Ryerson, president of the AARP Foundation. “We must do all we can to help older adults, who have suffered greatly during COVID-19, strengthen the social connections that are so essential to their ability to lead longer, healthier lives.”

Photo by Alex Green from Pexels

For example, AARP Foundation’s Connect2Affect platform equips older adults with the tools they need to stay physically and mentally healthy and connected to their communities.


The AARP Essential Rewards MasterCard from Barclays is helping fund the foundation’s work to increase social connection with donations based on new accounts and eligible purchases, up to $1 million annually.

 

A little creativity and a commitment to filling time productively can help reduce the strain of being alone until it is safer to resume social activities.

 

Use technology to connect with loved ones. Video chats and traditional phone calls can help you feel connected even when you cannot be together in person. While a drop-in call can be fun, consider arranging regular visits with kids and grandkids. If you schedule calls throughout the week, you will have something regular to look forward to and can benefit from a check-in that affirms everyone is healthy and safe.

 

Make time for physical activity. Staying closer to home may mean you are not getting the exercise you once did, but your health needs to stay active. Regularly using your muscles helps keep your body strong, and even light physical activity a few times each week can help keep your cardiovascular system fit for better heart health. Regular exercise can also provide a range of positive mental health outcomes, including reduced stress, anxiety and depression, and improved memory.

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Volunteer in your community or consider virtual volunteering. Helping others is a way to release feel-good endorphins for you. While your limited social calendar may afford you some extra time, inquire with local nonprofits about how you can contribute to their causes. Especially as funding for charitable organizations has dropped, volunteers are still essential to most nonprofit organizations, whether the help comes in person or virtually. Even from a distance, you may be able to help with tasks like making calls to donors, assisting with mailings, or planning fundraising campaigns.

 

Learn a new hobby or skill. Another way to fill your free time, and reap some positive energy, is to explore a new hobby or skill. The personal satisfaction of learning and focusing your mental energy on something that interests you can help offset the disappointment of being away from those you love.

 

To find more resources that support older adults, go to connect2affect.org.