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Finding Your Work-Life Balance

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work life balance

Everyone deserves a break now and again. We are all human and we can only complete a certain amount of work before we crash and begin to suffer physically and mentally. This is why it is incredibly crucial for all of us to find a healthy work-life balance which we can maintain through our lives.

It might be that we take a day off work once a month to give us something to look forward to, we stay away from overtime at certain times in the year to spend time with family, or even just switching that laptop off at a reasonable time before we go to bed to give us plenty of time to relax and reset for a good night’s sleep.

It can be difficult to switch off from work when you are trying provide for your family and you are also faced with a huge amount of responsibility- however it is something which we need to do for our own health. If you are wondering how to find your personal work- life balance, read ahead…

  1. Turn off your email

It is just typical on a working day that the moment you decide to call it a day and switch off, you end up getting an email from a colleague asking you to do something. The problem with this is that you end up reading the email, thinking it will be a 5 minute job, and then an hour later you’ve still not switched off. Believe it or not this was a part of work which France has put laws in to stop. No one is allowed to check work emails after 6 pm in France, instead people have to go home, spend time with their loved ones and relax. The idea of this is the idea of knowing when to stop and let work thoughts fade away. If you are constantly doing work, your brain ends up having no room for anything else. This is a huge issue and is one which needs to be addressed. So, take France’s lead and turn off for the evening at 6 pm.

  1. Say no

You might think that the best way to get ahead in your career is to always be available for your employers and to always say yes to every request, however this can increasingly turn into stupid demands until it gets to a point where you are working your butt off for an employer who wants you to pick up their dry cleaning, look after their cat and iron their shirt. It can get to a point where you are walked over to a point that you are essentially a slave.

The only way to combat this is to learn how to say no now and again. If you don’t learn to say no you will always be picked on. The next time your boss asks you to cover a school holiday or an extra day, say no. You might feel guilty but at the end of the day your employer needs to realise that you are a human being and you have your own life, responsibility and family. Don’t feel as if you have to give a reason, because you don’t. You are completely entitled to decline and it won’t reflect badly on you.

  1. Work smarter, not harder

The classic way of thinking is that more work brings in more results. It has been the way people have ran society for hundreds of years, but it is not the absolute truth. In the last 20 years with the rise of computer technology, we have built ourselves new ways to make time consuming tasks much more easy. Such as GetSling for scheduling work, Canva for creating graphic design and Grammar,y for checking the grammar on our content.

We as a species strive to find more efficient ways to complete tasks, and often this will mean finding ways to make them take less time and effort. So while it is true that more work may equal more successful, it does not mean in this day and age that you spend 12 hours in the office. There is an interesting book called the 4 hour workweek which discusses this idea, and it is an intriguing read. You need to realise that our time on this planet is very limited, which is why we need to take the chance to live life to its peak while we can. This means finding ways to work less, be more productive and feel alive. It is much better for us to find ways to make work smarter rather than bend over backwards and work until we can no longer function.

  1. What goes on at work stays at work

This is an important one. Finding the separation between work and home is very possibly the most difficult aspect of your work and life balance. We may sometimes find ourselves looking back and thinking about things we need to do at work even when we are at home with our family. The issue with this nips not allowing the brain to switch off and focus on something else for a while. Once you’ve left work for the day, don’t check your email, don’t look at your phone and don’t think about what you need to do the next day. Have fun in the moment and enjoy the time you have to be yourself.

  1. Forget random tasks

There is a temptation sometimes as we leave work and realise we still need to do something to just sit back down and get it done, but this is precisely what you want to avoid. Once you have finished for the day, don’t think about the things you haven’t quite finished. Your shift has now ended so you can go home and enjoy the company of the people you work so hard to provide for. So what if you haven’t sent that email yet? In a few hours you’ll be back in the office and you can get it done then.

6. Stop trying to be the hero

Although the sense of pride you feel by being able to say it was your work that out the company on the map and made those profits. But to be honest, it isn’t anything compared to your actual life at home. Stop trying to be THAT person and focus on being the hero of your own life instead. It will be much more rewarding than a pat on the back from your manager.

  1. Ease off the adrenaline

Whether you love the rush you get from a run, skydiving or a hard day at work- our body can only handle so much adrenaline so be careful with your body.  It will get to a point where you rely on adrenaline so much that you crash without it.

  1. Should you retire?

Some people love work just that bit too much, and it can become such a huge part of your life that you forget how to do anything else. The problem is that eventually you will need to leave work and be free, and you will want to have a few hobbies to keep you busy. Rather than focusing on work for your entertainment needs, think about finding a new hobby you can enjoy. If you don’t have a hobby and you are at work 99% of the time, you may want to consider quitting and pursuing something new. Don’t leave yourself trapped in one place for your whole life.

  1. Don’t be too fast

One of the best tips you will ever receive is this: the first time you do something, don’t do it too fast. This is because every time after that, you will be expected to complete a task in that same amount of time. Take your time, make sure you’ve got it right and enjoy the task. It will mean that your employer doesn’t expect you to do too much when you already have a lot of work on your plate. Manage their expectations of you.

  1. Set your own rules

When it comes down to the final crunch: you are the master of your own life. You cannot take orders from anyone else on how you choose to lead your life. Who you choose to be with and what you choose to do. Make sure that you maintain this level of control throughout the years and let everyone know that you are your own boss.

Manage your own working hours, decide when it is the most convenient for you to complete tasks and when or when not you want to work extra hours for your employer. Make your own work schedule for the week to keep you on track, keep your head held high and make sure that everyone knows you are confident in yourself and your life.

At the end of the day, switch off from work, relax and enjoy the time you have with your loved ones. It doesn’t matter whether you are traveling the world, relaxing in front of the TV or doing nothing at all. Your life is your life: live it, own it, and balance it.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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What Fuels Addiction?

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Millions of people suffer from an addiction of some kind. For many, it’s illegal drugs and narcotics which are incredibly powerful. Others, however, are addicted to substances which are available to buy over the counter. From cigarettes to alcohol, the numbers of people who abuse legal drugs are astounding. Even coffee is exploited with an estimated 90% of Americans consuming caffeine on a daily basis. Everyone’s path is different, yet the result is always the same. So, what causes people from varying backgrounds and cultures develop a craving that is too strong to shake? Here’s what the experts believe.

The Dopamine Effect

Dopamine is the chemical in the brain which is released when people take drugs. What’s dangerous about this substance is how it relates to feelings of happiness and pleasure. In simple terms, it makes a person experience emotions which they have never been familiar with before. And, it’s as if they are heightened and timed by ten. This goes for every substance from heroin to cigarettes. Although certain drugs are further up the pleasure scale, they all encourage the brain to release dopamine. Yes, that goes for sex and food, too.

Susceptibility

In short, chemicals are what cause the addiction to take hold in the first place. However, everyone has a threshold, just like pain. Some people can stand a small shot of dopamine without the neurobiological changes impacting the brain. They are the individuals that can use drugs recreationally without developing a severe addiction. Others aren’t as lucky and one hit can be enough for the brain to adapt to the point where it needs a shot of dopamine. The men and women that have a low threshold are more likely to be victims of addiction, and that is a genetic lottery.

Lack Of Consequences

No one can click their fingers and recover within a matter of seconds. Addiction takes a lifetime to overcome. Still, some people don’t have the means to quit because there are zero consequences. At least, they aren’t powerful enough to make an individual want to stop. Smoking is a prime example. Employers don’t issue a probation drug test on a Monday morning, so consuming nicotine isn’t a life wrecker. Sure, smoking can be deadly and cause cancer, yet smokers can’t see the changes so don’t care. Food and alcohol are two other addictions which lack consequences.

Peer Pressure

It’s cliché but it’s one that is true. Friends can be a bad influence on a person, especially if the individual wants to be liked. Not taking a hit can highlight people as not cool and square, and guys and girls take it to heart. As a result, they experiment with a range of drugs and get hooked in the process. Peer pressure is also a factor in gateway addiction. First, it’s beer, cigarettes or marijuana, and next, it’s cocaine or ecstasy. Before long, it’s something incredibly powerful and potent.

Finally, there are the circumstances of the individual. Lots of addicts have a similar background because homelessness or poverty can force their hand.

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How To Deal With A Family Crisis

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It’s something that we don’t like to talk about – and understandably so. But if disaster and tragedy strike your family, the sense of shock and unreality can threaten to derail everything in your life. From bankruptcy to wrongful death and from natural disaster to serious injury or illness – of course we don’t want to talk about them. If your worst nightmare does actually come true- who do you turn to? How do you process it? And what do you do to begin some kind of recovery?

Acknowledge That The Worst Happened

It’s perfectly normal to struggle to process your feelings after something unimaginable happens. And many of us want to bury our heads in the sand- but that’s one of the worst things we can do. If we don’t acknowledge we’re under incredible stress, we can’t begin to practise stress management techniques, which can be seriously harmful to our mental and physical health.

Talk About It

Approaching a tragic or difficult topic can be hard, especially if you want to speak to someone who hasn’t had experience of anything similar themselves. There are no hard and fast rules about this, but talking about it will help you process what’s happening. Support groups can offer a lifeline in connecting you with other individuals in similar situations.

Take Care Of Yourself

Self-care can feel trivial, irreverent and even too self-indulgent in the wake of a huge impactful event. However, it’s important to still take care of the basics – exercise, a reasonably healthy diet and not falling into the traps of drugs and alcohol as a false escape to your problems. Try to limit nicotine and caffeine, which can exacerbate stress. Your health may be fragile so taking time to take care of yourself is warding off further problems at a difficult time.

Access The Right Support

If you need legal counsel, make sure you do your homework. Don’t be pressured to rush into a decision, but find a firm with a track record in the kind of specialist representation you need, such as GJEL who are experienced in wrongful death suits. Choosing the wrong people to work with can mean further stress at exactly the wrong time.

Do Something Positive

At a time when the world appears to have been unspeakably cruel to you, you have two choices. Either react with hate and bitterness, and you get sucked into a negative cycle which can quite literally destroy you. Or make the choice to give out something positive, no matter how small. Taking positive steps can restore a feeling of control for you and make you feel that the world isn’t such a hostile place. Look at volunteering opportunities, or do something such as giving blood. Little things can make a big difference to your mindset.

Ask For Help

Don’t feel it’s wrong or shameful to ask for help when you need it- it’s actually a sign of great strength. Find a mental health professional if you feel that you need support to move on from devastating events. Friends, relatives or spiritual leaders can also be very important at this time – remember that you don’t have to cope alone.

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Culture and Lifestyle

Medicine: From The Study Of Gods To Healing Robots

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V0018149 An invocation to I-em-hetep, the Egyptian deity of medicine.
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
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http://wellcomeimages.org
An invocation to I-em-hetep, the Egyptian deity of medicine. Oil painting by Ernest Board.
By: Ernest BoardPublished: –
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Throughout history, civilizations all over the world have sought to fight disease, postpone death and relieve suffering. After all, as being healthy is by far the best and only way to enjoy a longer life, it appears evident that doctors would have developed fascinating medical approaches and knowledge throughout time. The history of medicine, however, is a tale of mankind evolution, knowledge and, more often than not, a tale of beliefs. It is because today modern doctors believe that science has most answers — and will one day have all answers — that the role of the healer has changed from a holy figure to an experienced scientist. While there have been many eureka moments, the story of healing the body is not only a story of unsung medical heroes, but also a portrait of how human beings perceive their world.

The Gods made me sick

The earliest documented doctors that archaeology has revealed were Egyptian physicians 5,000 years ago. While there might have been doctors before that time in other countries, Egyptian papyri are for now the earliest evidence of medical knowledge. However, these writings attribute the responsibility of the health of the people to the pharaoh. In those times, healing methods were groups in sacred centres and consisted mainly of religious rites and ceremonies designed to ask the Gods for health. Another belief of the time was that diseases were the result of an angry deity. Consequently, the ceremonies needed to appeal to the Gods and offer a sacred apology for the offence. The belief that the divine could influence human health lasted for centuries, as even in the Middle Age, healing sacrifices were still encouraged in Pagan communities.

Studying the cure

Nowadays the approach to finding a cure has changed greatly. Scientists, and especially lab scientists, rely primarily on the observational study of patients in the retrospective of existing data as well as the investigation outside of clinical trials to find evidence of a cure’s success. This scientific process is relatively new in the world of medicine and dates back from the Industrial Revolution. In fact, people invented the steam engine before they understood how to diagnose and make more effective medications! But with the evolution of the observational field, more and more medical professions dive into the complex relations between the body and the mind, from a standard GP to a specialist neurologist.

Can robots heal us?

Finally, the evolution of medicine isn’t over yet. There is still a lot that doctors don’t understand, and a lot that they can’t treat. Consequently, new healing methods are discussed all over the world. Doctors have stopped waiting for a divine answer. Instead, they have been building nanobots, which will be able to navigate the body to repair internal damage locally. What sounds still like a sci-fi story is expected to happen by 2030. Will the human health be in the hands of robots? As surgeons already rely on robotic technology in the operating room, internal bots could be the next big heal!

In the end, the story of medicine is still to be continued. But it remains, for now, a story that highlights the resourcefulness of mankind and its desire to understand and manage the cause of all diseases and maybe, one day, defeat death too.

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