Category: Health & Fitness

Take a Load Off: How to Plan a Soothing & Therapeutic Spa Day

Are you tired?

Statistics show that 1 in 5 employees are at risk of burnout. 

In today’s world, pushing yourself to get more and more done in a day has become a part of normal life.

Maybe you’ve been working extra hours or carting your kids around to all their games and dance classes. It’s exhausting trying to keep everyone happy and your home life in order.

If you’re not setting aside time for yourself, you’re missing out on a well-deserved spa day experience.

Think about it.

If you’re not setting aside pamper days, then eventually you’re going to burn out — if you haven’t already. Studies show that burn out is on the rise, and this can lead to all kinds of health problems. 

And if you’re not performing at your best, how will you be able to help the ones you love?

So take the time you need to rest and reset with a special day just for you. Or invite someone special too!

Here’s a list of the best ways to plan your absolutely unforgettable therapeutic spa day for yourself.

Where Will Your Spa Day Take You?

If you’re not financially in a place where you can take a vacation or even schedule a visit to your local spa, then you can still create one in the comfort of your own home.

Set aside time where you can focus on self-care.

You can set aside time to be alone, or plan the spa day with someone you love. To make it special, you can purchase soft robes and towels, light candles for ambiance, and purchase special bath salts or a luxury bath bomb to add to your evening.

If you’re ready to truly unplug, then maybe it’s time for a weekend getaway to a hotel and spa.

Spa Day Ideas and Tips

Whether you’re planning a spa day in your town or a getaway on a vacation, take advantage of coupons or buy one, get one free deals. These are common offers in the spa world.

If you’re taking the time and money to get away, then why not make it special? You’ll probably want to plan multiple spa activities throughout your day to get the complete experience.

These spa day activities could include a mani/pedi, facial, massage, body treatment, or even reflexology for your feet. 

Some spas will offer other beauty services such as waxing or lash extensions. 

Keep in mind, the order counts! It’s best to schedule your massage or anything that is relaxing towards the end of your spa day. This is because you prefer to rest afterward.

It is also recommended to have a facial after a massage, because of the oils typically used during the massage. Usually, the spa’s employees can offer recommendations for the perfect schedule.

This page can help you start the process.

Avoid Work and Social Media

To really make this day worthwhile, try to leave your phone on silent during your schedule. You don’t want outside stresses to ruin all the great relaxation you’re gaining.

Also, try not to schedule anything stressful too close after your spa day. You’ll want to ease back into your regular life after allowing yourself to unwind.

Plus, don’t forget to keep the pampering going strong with a healthy, light breakfast and maybe some chocolate and wine waiting for you in the hotel room. Or bring a book to read that you’ve been dying to catch up on!

Don’t Forget to Schedule More Pamper Days

Make it a routine to schedule spa days as often as you can! Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily routine, that we forget we need days off too.

Not just from work, but from the hustle and bustle of life.

So take that spa day and make it special! You deserve it.

Looking for more getaway opportunities? We’ve got the best options for your needs in one place. Plus new ways to pamper yourself in the new year.

Save Money on Your Smile: 5 Ways to Save Money on Dental Implants

Dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular choice for people with tooth loss, and with good reason!

They look great, are long-lasting and protect the bone and teeth that are already there. The only drawback is, they can be taxing on the wallet.

But you know, there are some ways around that. We’re here to help you get the smile you want, but make sure your bank statement doesn’t wipe it off your face.

Read on for 5 ways to save money on dental implants.

1. Check Your Insurance

OK, this may seem like an obvious one. But there are lots of insurers who will meet you part way on the cost of dental implants, and it’s well worth checking out your options.

Sometimes they will have a recommended dentist they prefer you to go to. They may even be willing to cover a larger amount of the cost if you go this way.

2. Work With Your Dentist

Dentists understand that needed dental work can be costly. Most are willing to discuss options that will help you get the dental implants you need and not go bankrupt in the process.

Ask them whether there are discount programs available. Are they willing to offer a payment plan?

Rest assured, you won’t be the first to ask! They may have a few options available that can help to make your surgery more affordable.

3. Shop Around

It’s always possible that your regular dentist is not the cheapest option for this procedure.

Armed with complete information about exactly what procedure you need, you’re in a position to visit or call other local dentists to see what they can do for you.

4. Check Out Dental Schools

If you’d like cheaper dental care and to contribute something to the next generation of dental professionals then using a dental school can be a great route to affordable dental implants.

The best thing is that they always have a professional dentist on hand. Although the students perform the procedures they are fully supervised and well trained.

5. Consider Dental Tourism

This might seem like an extreme option, but there are many countries overseas that offer high-quality dental work at much lower prices than back home.

As with all things, do your research. If you’re making it part of a vacation, then you may be able to combine it with your vacation budget. If not, make sure the cost of travel and hotels doesn’t outweigh the benefits.

Also, undertake thorough research into the dental clinic you’re thinking of using. Make personal contact with former patients from your country who had similar procedures if possible.

The Takeaway: How to Save Money on Dental Implants

Dental implants can make a huge difference in your quality of life. Don’t miss out because of fear of the cost!

Just follow our 5 simple tips and you’ll be able to find an option that’s right for you – whether it means a couple of weeks in Mexico or a trip down the road to a dental school!

For more great tips on saving money at the dentist, click here to read our blog on 5 Tips for finding affordable dental care for you and your family.

More Money Fewer Cavities? Are Electric Toothbrushes Better or Just More Expensive?

Did you know that children smile up to an astonishing 400 times each day? As we grow older, we tend to smile less, especially if we aren’t happy with the condition of our teeth. You may have wondered if using an electric toothbrush would help your whites to look a little pearlier.

Are electric toothbrushes better at cleaning teeth and sprucing up our smile? Wonder no more! Read on for a breakdown of electric toothbrushes vs. manual ones.

First, One Caveat

Let’s get one thing straight: according to the American Dental Association, you can do a perfectly respectable job of brushing your teeth using a regular old toothbrush. It doesn’t need to have fancy bristles or an ergonomic shape. Nor does it need to vibrate!

The important thing that you need to remember is to brush a minimum of two times per day, for two minutes each time. Also, it’s important to replace your toothbrush every three to four months, when the bristles are visibly frayed or damaged, or after you have had a cold.

Oh, and don’t forget to visit your dentist for regular cleanings!

The Advantages of Using an Electric Toothbrush

Using an electric toothbrush does come with a few advantages. One review of existing studies crunched the numbers and found that electric toothbrushes have been found to remove more plaque from teeth.

Remember that plaque is that sticky, bacteria-ridden film that can remain on your teeth after eating and drinking. Unless it is properly and adequately brushed away, plaque can result in gingivitis. That’s an inflammation of the gums that can lead to additional dental problems.

Gingivitis has also been linked to a increased risk of cardiovascular issues, so it’s important to get rid of plaque. And there’s evidence that electric toothbrushes can help people do this more effectively.

Toothbrushes with Built-In Timers

That two-minute duration we talked about earlier? Two minutes might not sound like a long time, but it’s longer than you might think.

The next time you brush your teeth, set a timer on your phone to see how long you usually brush. If you are ready to stop brushing before that two-minute mark, chances are you’re doing your oral hygiene a disservice!

One great advantage of electric toothbrushes is that they often come with built-in timers. You don’t have to keep track yourself, and you’re still getting the most thorough brushing sesh.

Electric Toothbrushes Are User Friendly

Since they do most of the work themselves, it can be easier for some people to use this type of brush. That’s especially true for:

  • People with developmental disabilities
  • Arthritis sufferers
  • Those with carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Individuals who wear braces

With a manual toothbrush, it’s easy to brush your teeth too vigorously. That can actually cause more harm than good!

So…Are Electric Toothbrushes Better?

Well, it depends. Some people don’t like the vibrating feeling, or the fact that electric brushes can create more saliva. And these brushes can be pricey.

For those who have difficulties brushing their own teeth, or who aren’t sure they remove as much plaque as possible on their own, the answer to “Are electric toothbrushes better” is often a resounding “yes”!

If you use an electric toothbrush, we’d love to hear about your experience. Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Cheap Therapy: 8 Ways to Get Cheaper Mental Health Care

Are you part of the 44.7 million Americans who suffer from mental health issues? Whether you have anxiety, depression, or one of the other numerous conditions that can affect your mind, you’re clearly not alone.

If you’ve ever confided in friends and family members, you’ve probably heard the same response over and over again: “Maybe you should go see a therapist.” But for many, this is easier said than done.

The average therapy session costs $75-150 an hour. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to not live in a place like New York City, where the average cost is upwards of $300 per hour!

Of course, that $75 isn’t a once and done cost. You’ll likely need to attend multiple sessions before you even feel a difference. So, what can you do when you just can’t afford those prices?

Luckily, cheaper therapy is available across the country. Keep reading to learn how you can find it.

1. Talk to Your Insurance Provider

Do you know what your insurance covers? Let’s face it, the terminology and fine print can make it so hard to understand what you’re actually covered for.

Your first step will be to research your insurance policy. Don’t be afraid to call your insurance provider and ask them for clarification. You may already have mental health covered under your insurance.

If that’s the case, you’ll likely only have to pay a small copay up front.

If you’re on Medicare, you may notice there are some gaps in your coverage. These gaps (including mental health care) can be filled by purchasing a Medigap coverage plan. It’ll likely still be cheaper than paying for therapy out of pocket.

2. Find a Sliding Scale Therapist

If your insurance doesn’t cover mental health services, there are still plenty of other options for you. Many therapists understand how difficult it can be to pay for services, so they offer what’s called a “sliding scale”.

This means they’ll work with you to offer a rate you can afford. Call around to therapists in your area and ask if any work on a sliding scale —y ou may be surprised how many options you have.

3. Hit Your Local Graduate School

Therapists have to be trained somewhere, right? Just like doctors and dentists in training need someone to practice on, so do future therapists.

Visit your local graduate school or a teaching hospital that offers therapy services. You’ll get huge discounts and the session will be supervised by a licensed therapist, so you know you’ll still get quality care.

4. Ask About Student Discounts

That’s right — your student ID can do more than getting you a discount at the movie theater. If you’re a current student or recent graduate, you can actually get discounts on mental health services.

There are a lot of therapists that understand the pressure of being a student or a recent grad looking for work. For this reason, they may offer their services at a cheaper rate.

You likely have a better chance of finding these discounts at therapist offices near a university, so start your search there. Of course, you never know who is willing to give discounted rates, so it doesn’t hurt to ask around even if you’re not near a school.

5. Ask If They’ll Do Pro Bono

Are you in a real financial bind? When you have trouble paying your rent or putting food on the table, paying any amount for mental health care may be impossible.

Luckily, you can still get help even if you don’t have anything to spare. Call up your local therapists and ask if any will work pro bono.

This may seem like it’s too good to be true, but many therapists are willing to donate their time for those in need.  

6. Look into Community Clinics

Many cities across the country have community clinics. They are staffed with licensed psychologists, counselors, and social workers who can help with a variety of conditions, from schizophrenia to drug addiction.

These clinics are funded by the government, so they can offer services at a lower cost to you. Some are even free!

7. Consider Rapid Transformational Therapy

One reason why therapy is so expensive is that you need to continue coming back. For some, weekly appointments for a few months may be enough, while others need to continue for years.

One way to find more affordable mental health care is to opt for Rapid Transformational Therapy. This is a special type of mental health care that blends psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, NLP and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Patients can see results in as little as 1-5 sessions.

8. Research Group Therapy

While many people think of group therapy as a way to aid in drug rehabilitation, there are group therapy and support groups available to help with mental health too.

You can likely find them catered towards a specific mental health concern, such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, or depression. There are also groups for those struggling with a disease, such as cancer or HIV/AIDS, in which you could discuss the effects the disease has on your physical and mental health.

Group therapy sessions are anonymous and held regularly. They are far cheaper than traditional one-on-one therapy sessions and are sometimes even free.

How to Find Cheaper Therapy Options

Don’t neglect your mental health just because you can’t afford the average therapist fee. From taking a second look at your insurance to visiting community clinics, there are plenty of cheaper therapy options that will let you get the help you need without costing you an arm and a leg.

Are you looking for more ways to save money in your daily life? Then check out our frugal health and fitness blog page today.

Life After Addiction: 4 Ways Women Can Rebuild Their Lives

There are over 21 million American adults who struggle with addiction. If you have been among those numbers, but have recently become sober — congratulations!

Even after receiving treatment for an addiction, however, addicts can have a tough time reintegrating into society as a sober person. 

Life after addiction can be more rewarding and fulfilling than you ever thought possible. Read on to discover some of the paths you can take toward reclaiming your best life.

Rebuild Relationships

It’s likely that when you were using drugs or drinking to excess, you were running with a less-than-savory crowd. Now that you’re sober, you’re going to have to distance yourself from people who still use. That doesn’t mean you need to turn your back on them entirely, but it’s time to cultivate some healthy relationships.

Family members and friends who encouraged you to get treatment are going to be your allies now that you’re sober. Rely on them. You may need to work to regain their trust, but chances are that they’ll be happy to have the new, sober you back in their lives.

Find a New Job

If you can return to your previous career after treatment, great! If not, or if you didn’t have much of a career during your days as an addict, it’s time to find a new way to make a living.

Look at job boards specifically geared toward people in recovery or people with a criminal history. America In Recovery is one such resource, but there are others. Networking can also help you find opportunities.

Remember that employers cannot discriminate against you for being a recovering addict if you do disclose your status. 

Go Back to School

This is the perfect time to go back to school. After all, you are reinventing yourself as a person in recovery, so why not give your life a total makeover? Learn new skills that you have always wanted to develop, or begin an educational program that will end in a fulfilling job.

There are lots of scholarships, grants, and loans available to help you through school if finances are an issue. In other words, don’t hesitate to follow your dreams, even if you think it may not be feasible. 

Take Up a Hobby

When you were abusing drugs or alcohol, just being an addict likely took up a lot of your time. Scrounging up the money for drugs, then acquiring them, was probably time-consuming. Now that you no longer have to worry about finding money for drugs or the drugs themselves, you have a lot of time on your hands.

Why not explore a new hobby? Artistic pursuits such as drawing, painting, or sculpting, or crafty hobbies like knitting or sewing, are a wonderful way to channel your energies.

Also rewarding is volunteer work. Choose a charity or organization that needs help and offer up your time. This is a great way to meet people, too!

Another way to use your time is to teach yourself everything there is to know about one particular topic. Whether you’re a history buff, enjoy reading about philosophy, or are interested in learning about CBD, learning can be pretty addictive itself. This article can help you get started.

Final Thoughts on Life After Addiction

Life after addiction doesn’t have to be all ice water and white-knuckling. You can have fun as a sober person! You can also make your career or educational dreams come true.

Do you have any tips for living a successful sober life? Or are you nervous about a particular aspect of life as a recovering addict? Start a conversation in the comment section below.

Daylight Savings: 10 Ways DST Affects Your Health

On March 9th, 1918, the United States Congress enacted the very first daylight saving time law. Also known as “Summer Time” in many places around the world, daylight saving time (DST) has been a topic of debate since the very beginning.

While many around the world argue the positives of DST, there is great controversy surrounding it.

One of the biggest reasons for this controversy: The DST health effects on individuals.

Here are 10 fascinating connections with your health and daylight saving time.

1. More Depressive Episodes

It’s yet to be seen if the time change in the spring has an impact on depressive feelings.

However, the “fall-back” change that occurs in autumn has a proven track record for creating higher rates of patients with depressive episodes. 

One study in Denmark using records from over 185,000 patients showed an 11% increase in depressive episodes. The episodes lasted around 10 weeks right after the time change.

The records were reviewed from 1995 to 2012. Researchers found this trend for unipolar depressive episodes increasing in the fall, but not in the spring.

2. More Car Accidents

Another fascinating health consequence is the increase of car accidents in the United States and British Columbia right after fall DST.

This could be caused by more people driving in the dark, or because of drivers who have had fewer hours of sleep.

A review of 21 years of deadly car accidents in the U.S. showed a huge increase in the number of accidents happening the Sunday after the fall time change. 

According to the British Columbian Ministry of Transportation, a 10% increase in the number of car crashes occurs the day after the change.

3. It’s Harder to Wake and Fall Asleep

One of the more obvious DST health impacts is the influence it has on your body’s internal clock. This clock is also known as your circadian rhythm.

All cells in your body have their own rhythm.

If sudden changes related to time, like DST, extended travel, or jet lag occur, your body’s normal functions can be affected.

This means it can become harder for you to fall asleep at night. You may also struggle to feel refreshed and wake up in the morning.

4. Increase in Strokes

Did you know that daylight saving time is also associated with an increased number of stroke-related hospitalizations? 

Sadly, it’s true. Patients hospitalized for stroke increase directly following the time change.

Oddly enough, the time changes tend to cause more strokes in women than men. Reports show an 8% rise in stroke-related hospital visits in the 2 days after the change.

People older than 65 years and cancer patients are also known to have higher risks of stroke directly following the changes.

5. More Wasted Time

Ever heard of “cyberloafing”?

This may be one of the more unusual DST health effects. Interestingly, the Journal of Applied Psychology states that what is known as “cyberloafing” increases soon after daylight saving time.

This means people tend to spend more unproductive time online while at work.

The problem with this is obvious. Following a time change, productivity, efficiency, and honesty decrease at work. 

Not to mention the potential for angering your boss rises. Nobody wants that…

6. The Elderly are More Affected 

The New England Journal of Medicine published several studies on the negative health impacts of DST. 

One study indicates that DST health problems are more likely to happen in people over 65 years old.

This might be from a lack of sleep or a number of other factors. Either way, daylight savings is known to be slightly harder for those nearing retirement age.

7. Poor Diet and Increased Appetite

Sleep is widely known to greatly influence the hormones in your body.

Americans cut out an average of 40 minutes of sleep during DST. This means you’re bound to have some hormone changes.

Unfortunately, changes in hormones can also lead to increased cravings and appetite.

This means weight gain. A lack of sleep also leads to increases in insulin resistance.

In layman’s terms, that means your body stores more fat. Yikes.

8. A Rise in Male Suicide Rates

The Sleep and Biological Rhythms Journal published an Australian study showing a correlation between a rise in men’s suicide rates and spring daylight saving time.

The researchers in the study suggest that this correlation is because of hormone changes in people already vulnerable to depression. Those already struggling with depression who have their biological rhythms being thrown off are at greatest risk.

This resource and others aim to put an end to these and other negative DST health effects by ending daylight saving time.

9. An Increase in Headaches

Headaches are also shown to increase after daylight saving time. This is likely related to less sleep, at least in part.

But that’s not all. Not only do headaches increase following daylight saving, but they are also known to happen closer together. This is called “cluster headaches.” 

These painful episodes can leave already tired people even more exhausted as they struggle even more to fall asleep.

Lack of sleep and increased headaches can also lead to memory problems. Luckily, there are ways to help boost your memory despite the lack of sleep.

10. Higher Miscarriage Rates

This sad DST health effect is only known to be related to the time change in the spring. 

Boston University Medical Center published a study on miscarriage rates right after DST. It showed many more miscarriages in the three weeks after daylight saving time.

However, these miscarriages were more common for women who had undergone invitro-fertilization or experienced a previous miscarriage.

This study, (which was published in Chronobiology International), showed no difference in the number of miscarriages after the time change in the fall.

DST Health Helps

Ways to beat DST health problems include being sure to hit the hay an extra hour early during the notorious “spring forward” season. Using a good skin treatment can also help with that “exhausted” look.

At the end of the day, knowing your own personal limits can be the biggest help when it comes to sleep deprivation. 

For more great health tips and advice, check out the health and fitness portion of our blog. 

Mind the Gap: 5 Ways to Save Money on Medigap Coverage

More and more people are enrolling in Medigap programs, supplemental insurance for Medicare. In fact, enrollment has jumped by nearly 3 million enrollees in recent years. 

But finding the best Medigap coverage can be tricky. 

Let’s face it: picking policies and keeping up on insurance lingo isn’t always the easiest. And that can cost you.

Breathe easy. We’ve got you covered when it comes to healthcare finances. Here are five easy tips to save you money on your Medigap plan. 

Why Pick Medigap Coverage?

Medicare doesn’t always cover everything when it comes to medical coverage. And out of pocket costs can rack up fast. 

That’s where Medigap comes in. It’s meant to fill the gap, so you don’t have to. 

It usually covers things like deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.

These extra plans are offered by private groups. There are generally 10 Medigap plans, designated by a letter, A through N. But they aren’t all always available everywhere. 

And there are several ways to get the most out of Medigap coverage.

1. Don’t Rush on Picking Your Plan

You can save a good amount of money by considering what each plan offers before jumping into a plan.

The majority of people rush to Plan F. But it isn’t the best plan for everyone.

Plans a step or two down the line from Plan F have a lot of the same benefits. It might be better to grab a solid plan that cuts out added frills you won’t need.

2. Pay Attention to Where Your Plan Lives

Things like underwriting can be a headache. But different states have different rules when it comes to switching plans. 

You might be able to jump to a new plan and skip underwriting at certain times during the year. And if you’re mobile, some states might have lower premiums than other.

Getting in touch with Medigap coverage experts can make a big difference. They can answer questions about specific state rules and shed light on options.

3. Don’t Miss Your Free Medical Consultation

You can get an annual checkup through Medicare. Use it. 

Wellness exams can help you figure out what you need or don’t need to determine your best Medigap plans. They’re also a great chance to identify health problems and minimize future costs.

4. Forget What’s on the Label

It’s easy to be attracted to popular brands or insurance companies. But knowing what’s in the plan rather than what’s on the label can save big money.

Instead, focus on plans, what’s covered, and the cost that fits your specific needs.

5. Connect with an Expert

Picking a solid broker can clear up plans and keep you in the loop if policies change. This can help you avoid upped charges.

They can also help you find ways to lower costs or cut out options you don’t need.

Savings Shouldn’t Stop at Medigap

You can cut Medigap costs through these simple tips. But we’ve pinpointed more ways you can save cash through budgeting, investments, and cost-cutting.

Check out our blog here for ways to get the most out of your personal finances.