Mental Illness: Knowing the Warning Signs and Symptoms

Mental illness comes in many shapes and sizes, and every iteration comes with its own laundry list of symptoms. Still, there are some red flags that stand out across the board as being signs of mental illness more generally. If you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one experiencing symptoms of mental illness, a therapist or other healthcare provider can help in diagnosis and treatment.

Erratic or Excessive Changes in Mood


Some of the most common symptoms of mental illness manifest through emotions, such as feeling sad or generally “low,” or worrying about a situation to a greater degree than it typically warrants. Even a natural optimist might find themself feeling down more often than not. Conversely, this can also include “high” feelings, such as euphoria or bursts of productivity and enthusiasm without an apparent cause. Suddenly swinging between various emotions, too, can be a sign of potential mental illnesses.

Altered Interests

You might notice that you or your loved one no longer seem to enjoy the hobbies or other activities they once loved. There’s no doubt that life sometimes just gets in the way, but if you find yourself with no desire to pick up your guitar or work on your painting, there might be a mental health condition or similar issue at play. In turn, a lack of interest in things you typically enjoy can worsen symptoms of mental illnesses like depression by giving you fewer creative outlets or distractions.

Changes in Habits

Two of the most common habits that are often impacted by mental illness are sleeping and eating (which may go hand-in-hand with some of the physical symptoms described below). These could fall on either end of each spectrum, from overeating and oversleeping to a lack of hunger and difficulty sleeping. New habits might also appear due to mental illness, including substance abuse, picking at skin or hair, or other forms of self-harm, to name a few.

Trouble Concentrating


You might also find that your ability to concentrate and think clearly is being negatively affected. You may find yourself struggling with comprehension or focus while at work or in school. Tasks that should be simple might seem to be more difficult than you’d expect. Consciously, you might be too focused on worries or other triggers to concentrate on the task at hand or, subconsciously, your brain might be desperate for a break.

Physical Impacts

Despite the name, mental illness isn’t “all in your head;” actually, there are many physical symptoms! For example, you might experience fatigue or tiredness, changes in appetite, headaches, the tension in the neck and shoulders, more generalized pain, or stomachaches. Often, these signs will appear without an obvious physical cause (such as an injury or physical illness).

Social Withdrawal

Wanting to skip out on a party in favor of Netflix in bed once in a while is one thing, but if you find yourself consistently avoiding friends and social engagements, mental illness might be a factor.

Suicidal Ideation or Attempts

One of the most alarming signs of mental illness, considering or attempting suicide is probably one of those signs that come to mind most quickly, too. You might even have brushed off other symptoms as not being bad enough to warrant seeking help if you aren’t experiencing this. If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts, reach out to a friend, doctor, or even a suicide hotline or online chat.

If you’re recognizing some of these warning signs in yourself, consider talking to your doctor or a mental health professional about your concerns. If its a loved one showing these symptoms, it’s important to be supportive—you can’t force them to see a doctor or otherwise seek professional help, but you can let them know about some of the options that are available. Most importantly, you can show them that you care.

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Does Your Toddler Need a Multivitamin?

It seems like with each passing day, parents are getting different information about what’s best for their child. While doctors can agree that it’s important to get your children vaccinated, there’s less consensus about whether or not your child should be taking a multivitamin. Most of us grew up eating Flinstones vitamins or a similar, child-friendly vitamin each morning, so we probably haven’t given it a second thought when it comes to our own offspring. That being said, there are a few reasons that it’s worth pausing to consider whether or not your toddler truly needs a multivitamin. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when considering whether to give your pre-school aged son or daughter a multivitamin.

Does your toddler take other medications?

If your toddler is on medications for a condition or other illness, it may be inadvisable to also give them a multivitamin. This is because some ingredients in multivitamins can interact with medications in adverse ways. Whether it’s causing an unwanted side effect or decreasing the efficacy or potency of their medication, these kinds of side effects can actually make your toddler’s health worse. If you want to give your toddler a multivitamin, just to be safe you should make sure that none of the minerals or ingredients in the multivitamin you give them interact with existing medications.

Is your toddler otherwise healthy?

For adults, vitamins are generally recommended if you aren’t getting enough of a certain vitamin. For example, since many individuals are now spending more time inside than outdoors, vitamin D is often prescribed since you might not be getting enough from the sun’s rays. Even so, for toddlers, children, and adults, it’s advisable to get most of your vitamins from whole foods like fruits and vegetables.

Even if your child is a picky eater, they may still be getting more vitamins naturally than you’d expect. For example, many kinds of cereal are high in folic acid, as well as B vitamins and iron. Calcium is also frequently found in breakfast cereals and is also used to fortify orange juice and milk. All of this means that the chances are high that your child already gets more necessary nutrients and vitamins than you’d expect just by eating breakfast.

If, on the other hand, your child has a restrictive diet because of other health issues, or has allergies to foods otherwise high in vitamins and nutrients, it may be worth talking to your doctor about a multivitamin. Sometimes, developmental delays are also caused by a lack of appropriate vitamins, in which case increasing your toddler’s consumption of those vitamins can be a good idea, too.

Is there a risk for your toddler if they take too high of a dosage?

One other thing to note is that there can be a risk of toxicity involved in taking doses of certain vitamins and minerals that are too high. If you want to give your child a multivitamin, it’s recommended that the dosage not exceed their daily value of 100 percent of any of the vitamins and minerals included in it. Make sure your child understands that vitamins aren’t candy, too, so you can keep them from accidentally overdosing on them.

While many parenting decisions come down to you and your spouse’s values and personal preferences, making medical decisions for your child becomes a bit more of a grey area. If you’ve answered the above questions and still aren’t sure whether or not there’d be a benefit or risk to giving your toddler a multivitamin, it’s prudent to check with their pediatrician. Getting information from your doctor is one of the best ways to get health guidance as a parent, and can ensure that you’re raising your child in accordance with medical and scientific recommendations.

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Getting Your Vitamins and Minerals Through Diet: Best Foods to Eat to Stay Healthy

It can be frustrating and overwhelming, to know you need to maintain a healthy diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle but see at all the options of vitamins and supplements that are being offered, and not know the best choice. We live in a time where we are given ample choices, but we cannot often decipher how these choices differ from one another or how an individual option will benefit us the most.

This gap in consumer understanding not unfounded since many, if not all, dietary supplements and vitamins are not reviewed for safety nor effectiveness by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).Whether you seek supplementation or not, rest assured knowing that you can achieve the healthiest diet by just eating the correct kinds of foods, in the correct amounts, and achieve all of your daily vitamin and mineral intake needs.


The body needs a variety of what are called trace minerals and macrominerals. Minerals are compounds that are essentially found on the periodic table of elements. Some trace minerals include copper, iodine, and iron; these are only needed in small, or trace, amounts in your diet. Macrominerals are needed in larger amounts for your body to function properly and these include calcium, potassium, and sodium.

One of the most important minerals is calcium. It is involved with bone and teeth development and density, nerve conduction, and muscle contraction. We have often heard our mothers say, “Drink your milk to become big and strong”, and this phrase is supported with a lot of evidence! One of the best ways to ensure you get calcium through your diet is by eating dairy (like milk, yogurt, and cheese) and leafy green vegetables (like broccoli or kale).

Iron is also essential for our health as it helps our red blood cells bind oxygen and transport it across our body to every cell. Getting enough of this mineral is easy though because there are so many sources that it can be found in. One of the most obvious is red meat, but vegetarians fret not, because iron is also found in fruits like strawberries and watermelon, veggies like spinach and peas, as well as tofu and beans. The great thing about many of these food options is that they contain many other minerals and nutrients in them as well, so it is easy to reach your daily requirement of trace and macrominerals if you eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and protein sources.


Vitamins are not elemental compounds like minerals because they are made up of different compounds and organic particles. However, they play just as important of a role as minerals in your body. The 13 essential vitamins vary widely in their functions such as hair growth, reproduction, and vision.

Vitamin A is important for its role in vision, and also its lesser-known roles in bone growth and immune response. Foods that are rich in vitamin A include dairy products like cheese, fish, sweet potatoes, and carrots. A diet rich in these kinds of foods can help prevent cataracts as well as a lower lung cancer risk.


Vitamin B has many subcategories such as B2, B3, B5, etc. It can get confusing trying to keep these untangled but luckily, many foods can provide us with the variety of vitamin B (and others) that we need. Very common foods we see vitamin B’s in our meats, poultry, whole grains, avocado, and broccoli. We often get enough vitamins in our daily diet without thinking about it because healthy food choices that are not over-processed often contain nutrients we need daily.

Many resources will guide you in your journey to understanding nutritional information about the food we eat as well as what your individual needs are. However, if you prefer, you can stick to the World Health Organization’s guideline that states the average adult should eat 400g or five servings of fruits and vegetables a day to ensure a diet that is fully balanced in vitamins and minerals (without the need for supplementation).

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Vitamins You Need as You Age

Vitamins are among the most essential nutrients your body needs to survive. They help you maintain strong bones, heal wounds, convert food into energy, boost your immune system, and more. While some people can get all the vitamins they need from their diet, this may not be possible for everyone. Others may have difficulty planning such a complete diet. This is one of many factors that has contributed to the popularity of dietary supplements. Vitamin/mineral supplements are the most popular of these, and they can be a great alternative if you aren’t meeting all your health needs through diet alone.

As you age, you generally need fewer calories, and you may stop eating as much as you used to. Unfortunately, your nutritional needs generally remain as high as they ever were. You may even need more of certain nutrients as you get older. For example, getting plenty of protein can help reduce muscle loss, and eating more fiber can reduce constipation, which is a common problem in many aging people. You may need to alter some behaviors to get all the vitamins you need as well. Here are some of the most important ones to keep in mind while aging.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning you’ll need more than just water for your body to absorb it properly. As the name implies, these vitamins are absorbed in fat, so they should be taken with meals including fatty foods. Vitamin D is rarely found in food, although milk and dairy products are considered good sources of it. It can also be obtained through sunlight and vitamin supplements. It has a couple of important roles in the body, including boosting the immune system. Its main role, however, is helping your body absorb calcium, which is used by nearly every part of your body. Most notably, calcium helps build and maintain strong bones, which are in danger of becoming brittle as you age.

A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to higher risks of bone fractures, weakened muscles, fatigue, and even depression. While it is extremely rare to have too much calcium in your blood, consequences can include damage to the heart and kidneys, high blood pressure, and weight loss. It’s important to only take the daily recommended amounts of vitamins and nutrients.

Vitamin B12

This is among the most common vitamins to be recommended as a supplement, especially for those over 50. It’s water-soluble and can be found in a variety of foods, so it’s easy to take into the body. B12 is important to promote the formation of red blood cells, and it also plays a role in nerve function and the production of DNA. B12 is present in many meats and dairy products, so extreme deficiencies tend to be rare. Even so, deficiency symptoms can include poor balance, fatigue, numbness, and memory issues. Deficiencies are often treated with shots of the vitamin followed by supplements. Your body doesn’t store B12 for long, so you’ll need to take more on a regular basis.


While not strictly vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for cardiovascular health and become even more important as you get older due to the increased risks of heart disease associated with aging. Omega-3 can be found primarily in foods like fish and shellfish, as well as some plants. Omega-3 supplements are common, and these fatty acids help with functions like muscle development, blood clotting, and cell growth. They can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure, making them great tools to battle heart disease. Signs of Omega-3 deficiencies can include dry skin and hair, joint discomfort, and mood swings.

Of course, there are plenty of other nutrients you’ll need to keep up with as well including Magnesium and Zinc. Visit your doctor to make sure you’re meeting all your nutritional needs.

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How Often Should You Get a Pedicure?

Responsible for nearly a quarter of our body’s muscles, joints and bones, it’s crucial to take good care of our feet. We’re constantly on our feet, and the foot faces its fair share of problems: athlete’s foot, corns and calluses, fractures, sprains, and more issues. In addition to wearing comfortable shoes and participating in physical activities, getting pedicures are wonderful for increasing your foot’s health!

Here are a few benefits of getting pedicures:

Keeps Feet Clean

Your foot is exposed to more dust and dirt than you would expect; the risk of getting an infection or fungus is a scary idea, but incredibly realistic! When you’re getting a pedicure, safe, sterilized tools are used to properly clean your toes, heels, and feet. Not only are they getting a cleaning treatment, but they’re also getting exfoliated for ultimate moisture. Dry skin is never ideal to have, and that’s especially true with your feet!


Improves Blood Circulation

The massage that comes with the pedicure is wonderful for relieving built-up tension in your feet. By improving the blood circulation, heat is able to be spread not only through your feet, but the rest of your body! It’s always a win-win for reducing overall pain.


Reduces Stress Levels

The best part about getting a pedicure is honestly having the chance to sit back, relax and chill out while you enjoy the service! Pedicures can be very therapeutic. When your skin feels good, you can’t help but feel a little bit perkier; there’s a glow you receive from indulging in a spa-like treatment!

So now that we’re all schooled on the amazing benefits of pedicures, you’re probably wondering, “Well how often should I treat myself?” Dermatologist Dr. Dana Stern recommends that you get a pedicure once a month during the colder seasons. If you’re wearing your feet out more often in the spring and summer seasons, consider getting more frequently (every two to three weeks).

Understandably, going to a nail salon, spa or any other professional service so often can be tough on your pockets: as of 2019, the average price for a pedicure is $35.46. While it is fun to splurge on yourself every once in a while, it’s also extremely helpful to turn to the alternative option: DIY!


DIY is a great way to stick to a budget and to be as creative as you want to! To give yourself a pedicure at home, first, start with collecting these essential items:

  • Towel
  • Nail Clipper, Buffer, Nipper, and File
  • Cuticle Oil and Remover
  • Foot File/Pumice Stone
  • Epsom salt
  • Exfoliation Scrub and Foot Lotion
  • Nail Polish and Toe Separators (optional)

Be sure to have those items on deck for a nice, clean soak. Looking to dazzle it up and really create an at-home spa? Consider investing in a small but luxurious foot spa to give you that great familiar sensation of being at the salon. Purchase a couple of essential foot bombs to enlighten your soak, or look through a couple of DIY recipes to craft your own. Once you’re finished with your pedicure, look into slipping into a pair of moisturizing socks just to get it that extra oomph!

Whether you’re prepared to do the treatment at home or if you’re skipping to your favorite salon, be sure to make time to show your feet some major love. The foundation you stand on is supposed to be supportive and sturdy; in a literal sense, your feet is that foundation supporting you! Taking excellent care of your feet is as essential as taking care of your skin overall. If you can’t remember the last time you’ve had a pedicure, now is a great time to treat yourself.

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5 Potential Treatments for Depression That Don’t Include Medication

Stress can commonly lead to anxiety and depression. Lowering your mental and physical stress can improve your overall health and well-being. Oftentimes anti-depressants are the immediate solution for treatment, which may suppress symptoms but come with other side effects and don’t necessarily address the root of the problem.

There are many alternatives, less invasive treatments that are more integrative in their approach. From CBD products and herbal supplements to exercise, yoga, and guided relaxation therapy, there are many different practices that can help reduce symptoms of depression and boost your overall well-being. Seek medical advice first to see which treatment plan works best for you.

1. CBD products

CBD has emerged in the past few years as an increasingly popular treatment for mental and physical ailments. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. Most CBD products have such low levels of THC that there is no high from using them, maximizing the benefits of CBD. Although there is still growing research around CBD, some research is beginning to suggest that CBD oil and other CBD products can be beneficial in alleviating symptoms of depression. CBD is linked to reducing anxiety and stress levels, which may in turn reduce depression.

CBD comes in many forms. If you are looking to take CBD as a daily supplement, organic CBD gummies are one of your best choices. These gummy bears contain natural ingredients, including CBD hemp extract, and taste delicious too! If it is your first time using CBD edibles, do a little research on the types of gummy bears and try a few types of these fruity CBD gummies to see which works best for you.

2. Therapy and Counseling

Depression is complicated and comes in many shapes and forms. Talking with a professional can be a highly effective way of understanding the type of depression you struggle with, which ultimately leads to a more effective treatment. At a treatment center, you can find many types of therapy individualized to your needs. Rather than suppressing symptoms with medication, a trained professional can help you to understand the root causes of and triggers to your depression and work through past traumas that may be impacting your mental health. Centers for depression treatment Los Angeles offer integrative programs that also offer services like life coaching to help you build mental and emotional strength.

3. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese form of medicine that cures illnesses by sticking fine needles into specific points in the body. The needles stimulate areas of the body and help it to overcome imbalances, which encourages healing. Although it is not fully understood how it works, acupuncture has proven to be a successful and non-invasive way to treat physical ailments such as chronic pain and mental illnesses like depression. In a recent clinical study, acupuncture showed to be effective at reducing depression after three months of treatment.

4. Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation help you become more connected to yourself. Both practices teach you breathing techniques. Your breath connects your mind and body and can both energize and calm you down, depending on which effect you are seeking. The postures and movement in yoga strengthen you and open up your body, while meditation helps you to clear your mind and detach yourself from your emotions. When practiced regularly, the combination of yoga and meditation can be a powerful way to improve your overall well-being and everyday life by bringing you into the present.


5. Massage

Massage promotes relaxation through touch, while also relieving stress. Different types of massage like Swedish and deep tissue help relax muscles, which in turn release tension. The body releases dopamine and serotonin during a massage, which can improve sleep and symptoms of depression. An hour-long massage also lowers cortisol, which the body produces in response to stress. Finally, a massage creates an emotional balance by providing a nurturing environment for you to relax and find a mind-body connection, which might be just the cure for your mental health needs.

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Essential Oils for Cancer: Everything You Need to Know

Cancer is a battle of the body and mind. A diagnosis has life-altering implications not just for a patient, but for their family and friends.

Step by step, day by day, cancer patients work through treatment and additional care in the hopes of being able to have conquered the beast. Those treatments, as beneficial as they may be in fighting the disease, come with some difficult side effects. Regional Cancer Care Associates, a leader in cancer treatment in Freehold, NJ, have worked hard to assure the quality of life for cancer patients by going beyond standard radiation therapy or chemotherapy, expanding into therapeutic counseling and clinical trials.

Through testing, it’s been discovered that some essential oils, like coconut oil and jojoba oil, showed healing capabilities through antioxidant compounds. Perhaps most notably, rose oil has become the leading amongst these essential oils to show properties beneficial to cancer patients,.


Benefits of Rose Oil

There are many benefits of rose oil to consider. Rose oil is considered one of the most exquisite and therapeutic essential oils in the world, as it delivers amazing anti-aging benefits for the skin, as well as important natural skin nourishment and hormone balance.

Visagenics, a leading purveyor in pure essential oils, has marketed products that are exclusively 100% pure and natural. Visagenics bases their manufacturing out of Bulgaria’s “Rose Valley,” a locale whose unique combination of clean air, rich soil, and unique climate. This environment is peak for the production of rose essential oil.

Rose oil, or rose otto, is steam distilled from the fresh petals of Rosa damascena in a highly elaborate and delicate process. It takes about two tons of rose petals to produce just two pounds of rose oil, making it extremely precious. Even more precious, the benefits that rose oil has for the skin.

Promising News for Cancer Patients

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy leads to several significant side effects for patients from fatigue and dry skin to digestive issues and depression. Rose oil has shown to be beneficial in helping curb some of these after effects on cancer treatment.

Bulgarian rose oil has been shown to increase the skin’s permeability, meaning when it is added to a regular skin care routine, it opens the skin up to absorb more nutrients. With anti-bacterial properties and non-toxic ingredients, rose oil promotes healthy skin circulation, while preventing dehydration and skin infections.

Those anti-microbial properties have also been shown to aid gut health, without damaging beneficial bacteria. Rose oil, when combined with herbs like thyme, can help combat digestive problems like diarrhea.

Plus, the aromatherapeutic qualities of rose oil have been known to create a level of calmness. Patients have been known to dab diluted rose oil onto their wrists and neck, like a perfume, to provide a scent that soothes and eases anxiety and depression wrought on by treatments.


More essential than ever

Salons, beauty shops, and other enterprises are now pushing to stock up on essential oils more than ever, noting the hidden gems found in a natural environment.

Visagenics works to create unmatched premier products to corporate buyers around the world. Their website offers immediate quotes on each of their products, including their Bulgarian rose essential oil. Visagenics also is transparent with the makeup of these products, assuring all-natural qualities paramount to essential oils.

Visagenics’ rose oil is non-GMO, undiluted, and meets several certifications including MDSD, CoA, and BIO/ORGANIC. Visagenics can also ship sizable amounts, ranging to as much as 720 kilograms of the product at a given time.

They also rigorously test every batch of rose oil with a two steps process. Visagenics first tests their production batches in their own in-house laboratory located at their refinery. The next samples from those batches are then sent to the highly-regarded Phytochemia laboratory in Canada for independent testing, making sure only the best of their product gets to you the consumer.

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5 Reasons Why Choosing a Career in the Beauty Industry Will Be the Best Thing You Do This Year

The beauty industry is thriving right now. With social media influencers promoting products and providing tutorials, the world of beauty has never been so accessible. With the tap of a finger on a smartphone, people all over the world can learn how to look like celebrities—or maybe even better. If the industry interests you, now is the time to really go for it! The pandemic has uprooted regular businesses and put a lot of lives on hold. Do yourself a favor and take this downtime to follow your dreams. Here are five reasons why choosing a career in the beauty industry will be the best thing you do this year.

You can be ahead of the curve

Staying on top of trends is so important in both the beauty and fashion industries. With a career in the beauty industry, you know what’s hot and what’s not better than anyone else. You may even try cutting edge techniques that are revolutionizing the way people apply makeup before they’re popular.

For example, eyelash glue has been the bane of many fashionistas’ existence since its invention and popularization by Hollywood actresses in the 1920s. Nowadays, people are starting to ditch the glue, and a new kind of false lash is gaining popularity.

Magnetic faux mink lashes are much easier to apply and are far more reliable. All you have to do is put the magnetic eyeliner on like you would any other eyeliner and the small magnets on the lashes adhere perfectly, creating a flawless look that even Kim K would envy. No matter how you introduce magnetic lashes to your clients, whether as a beautician or an influencer, you’re sure to make a positive, revolutionary impact on their beauty routine.

Working from home can be your new normal

Post-pandemic, more people are going to be working from home and skipping the commute entirely. If you choose to be an online beauty influencer as your career, you never have to leave your house again. Save some money so you can start testing products and pay attention to when brands are looking for influencers to review their makeup, hair, or skin products. Start with brands you already believe in if it makes you more comfortable. You can even pay a little extra to boost your content on social media platforms, so you can accumulate more followers, gain popularity, and get sponsored.

Make money with your extroverted personality

If being cooped up in your house any longer sounds like torment, you might have an extroverted personality and need to be around people. Choosing a career path in the beauty industry that’s more hands-on could be perfect for you. According to SimplyHired, the average salary of someone in the beauty industry is around 74,000 dollars, making it a lucrative career choice. Depending on your strengths, consider applying to a marketing position at one of your favorite beauty brands. If you’re super innovative, maybe try to be on the ground floor, creating the new ideas they’ll sell to the world.

Get sponsored! Get paid!

If you’re following the social media influencer route, eventually, you can pursue your passion, make money, and get to try new products for free! Ever wonder what it was like to get an Urban Decay palette for free? Find a sponsor, and you’ll find out!

You can make a real difference in people’s lives

Think about what got you interested in the beauty industry. Beyond making you look incredible, was it because the products you’ve tried gave you more confidence? Did going to a salon provide you with some much-deserved self-care? You can make a real difference in people’s lives by encouraging them to create their own beauty routines.

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Starting a Supplement Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

When you’re looking to launch any new business, it’s important to pay attention to the market and what industries are gaining in popularity. Especially during 2020, the health and wellness industry is booming. People are spending more time on social media these days, which means they’re more interested in looking their best. At the same time, a global pandemic and many people sheltering-in-place means that people have more time on their hands to achieve their fitness and wellness goals, as well as a greater incentive to get healthier and boost their immunity. If you’re looking to cash in on this increase in interest, starting your own supplements business can be a great option. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to follow if you’re truly serious about making money selling supplements.

Pick a niche and build a brand

Once you’ve decided to get into the health and wellness industry, it’s crucial that you pick a particular niche and build a brand around that niche. It’s hard to compete with major suppliers right off the bat, and picking one area of focus to start off can be a major advantage as you go to market and look to start racking up sales. Maybe you want to focus on CBD or hemp products as a way of helping people with inflammation and anxiety, or perhaps you’re looking to sell supplements aimed at pre and post-workout recovery for athletes or bodybuilders. Whatever choice you make, be sure to craft a brand that enables you to appeal to potential customers by leveraging your unique niche. Especially in an age of social media, having a distinct brand and niche can really help set you apart online.

Find a supplier you can trust

Once you’ve determined what your niche is and how your brand can help you reach more customers, you’ll need to find a supplier who can really meet your needs. If you don’t have a high-quality source of pharmaceutical-grade softgels, you’ll likely fail at attracting repeat customers. As such, it’s crucial to find a softgel manufacturing company that you can rely upon through thick and thin.

One of the most important aspects of any softgel manufacturer is communication. Don’t forget that manufacturing supplements can be incredibly complex, so having a manufacturer that is able to stay responsive and update you on changes to the industry and their production supply line. Having an account executive that you can connect to and who keeps you in the loop can be just as important to your success as helping you with research, development, and formulation. A company like Superior Supplements can deliver just this kind of service, all well helping you manage the supply chain at scale, no matter how large the number of units you need is. Best of all, as a private label manufacturer, Superior Supplements can help you regardless of your niche, whether that’s weight loss supplements, multivitamins, sports nutrition, or any other category you’re after.

Keep pushing yourself by holding yourself accountable to specific goals

As you work to build your business, it’s important to have goals, otherwise, it’s easy to find yourself stagnant or plateauing. One of the best ways to set goals is to use a specific framework, such as the OKR process, which stands for objectives and key results. This is a process that clearly sets up the goals you have and also includes measurable outcomes that will indicate success. It focuses your work on a quarterly basis so that you can ensure that your to-do list is aligned to your major goals. If you need a software solution to help you with your use of OKRs and to add analytics to your OKR process, Workboard has a great solution.

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3 Reasons Why Reusable Bags Are Better Than Plastic

With the recent debate regarding plastic versus reusable grocery bags and reusable produce bags, a lot of us have questions and concerns. It’s no secret that plastic is bad for the environment, but does that justify the cost and hassle of investing in reusable bags? Decide for yourself.

According to Waste Management (WM), roughly 14 billion plastic grocery bags are used in the United States each year with only one measly percent of these bags ever being returned to the grocery stores for recycling. Where does the rest go? Most of them end up in landfills, but others will end up killing an estimated 100,000 marine animals annually, according to WM.

Need more convincing? Check out these three reasons why reusable bags are better than plastic:

They Will Save You Money

According to the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL), grocery stores and some retail stores in certain states are now charging as much at five to ten cents per bag for paper or plastic bags. Over time, this can quickly add up. By using cotton bags and reusable produce bags when you shop, you can save quite a bit of money over time while simultaneously being environmentally friendly.

With a set of reusable produce bags, you can bring home fresh produce in sturdier bags that won’t rip causing all of your just purchased fruits and vegetables to fall all over the floor to be bruised, dirtied, and potentially ruined. This means you will save money on not having to re-purchase damaged produce and you will save money on other products not being damaged as well using reusable cotton bags.

For reusable produce bags, these mesh bags really could be the best option as they come in different sizes to fit all of your produce needs (from the large size for hardy heads of romaine lettuce to the medium size for delicate fresh fruits to the small size for little amounts of fresh garlic for seasoning). Plus, these eco-friendly cotton bags will make you feel good about your contribution to the earth every time you shop. Unlike Amazon reviews of similar products, these mesh bags have a plethora of 5-star ratings!

The Act of Reusing Benefits the Environment

According to an article published in the Huff Post last year, reusable bags received some skepticism after a Denmark study found that manufacturing of plastic grocery bags is actually less detrimental to the environment compared to the manufacturing of cotton bags or paper bags. However, the Huff Post author notes that since this study only focused on how the manufacturing of these products effects’ things like climate change, pollution, ozone depletion, water use, and the release of toxins; it fails to address what happens to plastic AFTER it’s in the consumer’s hands.

According to Eric Goldstein (senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council), who was interviewed for the aforementioned Huff Post piece, plastic bags are a huge source of marine litter and end up littering our streets as well by ending up in trees, clogging storm drains, and ultimately, killing birds and marine life (100,000 marine animals alone, in fact). Even Anne Aittomaki (director of systematic change for the organization Plastic Change) notes how “unfortunate” it is that the Denmark study has become a reference point to the plastic discussion as it has “flawed analyses within it”, according to the Huff Post piece.

The bottom line? Using reusable bags helps protect marine life, keeps our oceans cleaner, and, in the long run, helps conserve human life as well. According to the Marine Conservation Institute, our very survival could depend on healthy oceans. Since half of the oxygen we breathe is generated by the ocean, 97 percent of the worlds water supply comes from the oceans, roughly one-sixth of the animal protein we consume comes from the ocean, and “living oceans” help reduce the effects of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Talk about eco-friendly!

They Will Make Life Easier for You

While making the switch to reusable bags can be difficult at first (anything that goes outside of a normal routine can be), once you get used to the process of reusable bags, you will start to see how they make life easier.

For example, people who advocate for the use of cotton bags often note how great it is to no longer have the mess of plastic bags scattered around their homes and cars. These bags tend to be way more durable as well, so they make the trips easier and more efficient. Plus, the sense of purpose you will receive from knowing you’re contributing to clean oceans and saving precious wildlife can make life that much sweeter.

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Feeling Sluggish? Here Are 6 Ways to Jumpstart Healthy Change in Your Life

Nothing is worse than not feeling like yourself. You know somethings off and can’t accurately pinpoint the disturbance in the force. In essence, groggy mornings and restless nights don’t make sense as coexisting punishments. You’d prefer to have energy when you need it, in the mornings and you’d like to rest in the evenings. There could be any number of factors causing these negative impacts. If you’re feeling sluggish, here are six ways to jumpstart a healthy change in your life.


Perform a personal wellness check-up

A personal wellness check-up is a step in the self-care process when you check in with yourself and take an inventory of habits and behaviors that might be contributing to your sluggish energy. Is there some prevailing thought that is causing stress to be stored up and affecting your sleep patterns and chemical equilibriums? Perhaps, a project at work? Weight gain? Weight loss? Whatever the causes, whether its too much sugar, or procrastination anxiety, or the isolation of social distancing, once you’ve identified the issue, you can begin to address your needs strategically.

If your wellness check-up proves that you are suffering from anxiety, consider Plain Jane, experts in the CBD industry. Their joint packs can be a great way to calm you down and may help you handle mental illness. If you don’t want to get the feeling of being high from marijuana but have anxiety, the lower levels of THC in hemp and CBD products present great alternatives.


Consult your physician

If you find that your symptoms are to difficult to manage on your own, then consult your physician immediately. It’s easy for a go-getter like you to focus on the tasks while putting off self-care. Break this habit and learn to take care of yourself well. Sluggishness could be a sign of more complicated mental illness, respiratory conditions, or any host of medical conditions in both men and women. Take no symptom lightly, especially amidst the global pandemic resulting from the Covid-19 virus.

Troubleshooting: Change your diet

If you determine whether or not food is right for you only by how it tastes, then you might be self-sabotaging your high-octane nature. If you find yourself vibrating at a real low frequency, try infusing some color into your diet. A fruit salad with pineapples, mandarin oranges, and baby spinach leaves is nutritional and aesthetically pleasing. The colors and perfumes of the fruits and other such foods instantly boost your attitude outwardly.

At the same time, the nutrients go to work inside, boosting your immune system and raising energy levels. You can infuse color into your diet in different ways, but the easiest and healthiest way is with fruits and veggies. Vitamins also provide essential immune support. Check out the Calerie blog as industry leaders pertaining to NAD and NMN supplements.

Get more exercise

Your body and mind are vehicles. By design, they work together and separately, depending on the task to get you where you want to go—walking somewhere? Your mind has the directions, and your legs get you there. This tandem likes to operate in this capacity, and by integrating a regular exercise regimen into your schedule, you give them something to look forward to regularly. An increase in activity reinvigorates your body’s energy centers.

If you’re feeling down and you’ve experienced a long bout with inactivity, start by taking walks. You’ll find that not only the walking, but the exposure to nature and the absorption of the Sun’s vitamin D, will support an increase in energy as well. Most times, you’ll feel the positive effects of the Sun on your mood almost immediately upon opening a window or going outside.


Try meditation and prayer

Meditation and prayer. Meditation or prayer. The decision is yours, as with anything in your life. Both of these spiritually grounding practices have well-documented traditions of restoring people’s perspectives during tough times and empowering them with confident hope. Try keeping a stress diary and tracking the stressful events that contribute to your restlessness and low energy. Then review your experiences and pray about them or contemplate them and possible solutions in mediation.

Afford yourself the peace and serenity of a quiet place and alone time to confront yourself and your needs in solemn prayer or peaceful meditation. You can also use guided meditation and prayer, as provided by various spiritual leaders and gurus.

Learn something new online

Online learning is an effective use of your time that can allow you to advance your skill-set during these times of layoffs and lockdowns. As we alluded to before, the mind is one effective means for activating the body. Stimulate your brain by exploring new material and taking online courses that yield great opportunities in remote work.

Certificate courses in digital marketing and web development are a great way to challenge yourself and set yourself up to do well when quarantine is over. Obtaining a positive outlook for the future by requiring hard work of yourself now is an excellent means to overcome the circumstances that are getting you down and affecting your health.

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Tips for Improving Your Mental Health

Let’s face it: we all tend to neglect our mental health from time to time. We may try to look into options that can be a quick fix, but at the end of the day, the underlying difficulties are still there.

According to the Therapy Group of NYC, a New York psychotherapist group, getting to feeling great is deceptively simple and powerful, and the right psychotherapy can make you feel better than “normal.” The key to treatment is a mutual collaboration between the patient and psychotherapist, an essential factor to good outcomes. This not only allows a patient to find the right therapist, but to create a personalized plan through scientifically developed methods.

Therapy Group of NYC looks to focus on a patient’s ability to recognize their own strengths and self-worth, but with a therapeutic process that is not a mystery and that allows a client to reach those plateaus on their own terms. It’s important in the eyes of clinical psychologists to invest in building a warm, respectful, and trusting relationship with clients. Counseling provides new ways to venture into just what causes our behavior, regardless of our years of experience in dealing with therapists, psychiatrists, or psychologists.

Experts are looking to challenge traditional definitions of therapy. Therapy Group of NYC makes certain the goal is not instituting a temporary fix and then sending the patient out into the world. Their private practice acts as an enduring and readily available resource for a wide range of clients based on their own road ahead. The hope is that by the end of individual therapy, symptoms will have mostly gone away and a patient will have developed an enduring appreciation for themselves.

Beyond one-on-one mental health counseling, there are several other steps that one can take on a daily basis to improve their outlook. This can also help to combat anxiety, depression, stress, and other issues:

  1. Tell yourself something positive.
  2. Write down something you are grateful for.
  3. Focus on one thing (in that moment).
  4. Exercise.
  5. Eat a nutritious and fulfilling meal.
  6. Open up to someone you feel you can confide in.
  7. Do something for someone else.
  8. Take a break.
  9. Get plenty of rest.

It is important to make your mental health a priority and not wait to reach a crisis point. It’s easier to form new habits while you’re in a stronger mindset. Picking one of the above-suggested topics that resonates with you is the first step. From there, slowly putting into place routines and regular patterns can help you to develop gradual change and ease into self-improvement.

When it comes to resolving mental health issues, there can sometimes be a deeper need for more clarity. Some can find sanctuary in religious practice to guide them through uncertainty. Cokesbury is the retail arm that serves the United Methodist Church, building a broad audience representing numerous religious denominations and independent churches. Cokesbury offers more than 300 thousand unique products including books, Bibles, curriculum, worship resources, and church supplies.

Cokesbury also provides Vacation Bible School, or VBS, programs that invite users to foster a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and find strength in his power by exploring different creative approaches. Through various missions, users can learn through exploratory and in-depth ties to Bible stories. It creates familiarity within the stories and the church, and how that can tie into a personalized treatment plan for a brighter outlook.

These VBS starter kits are provided through DVDs and CD-ROMs, complete with media guidelines and additional information. In some cases for younger users, decorating guides, murals, and other equipment are provided to further expand their horizons and create an in-depth experience.

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