Dealing with the loss of a loved one

Losing a loved one can make your shatter like the sky coming down on you. Grieving is a natural response to loss, many of us fail to understand how it can affect lives.

The loss of a loved one can make irreparable damage to what we say the foundations of our lives. This damage is prone to affecting both the mins and body.

Preoccupied with thoughts, memories and images of the loved one, having difficulty in accepting the reality that they’re gone, waves of sadness and yearning about them is all part of the grieving process.

It’s been six months since my mom passed away, but i still find it difficult to come to terms that she’s gone. Waiting for her to open the door while I knock, checking on me if I had my meal not just once every meal of the day, checking if I’ve taken medicines, that tender love and care when I’m sick, those gossips during coffee, lying down on the lap, falling asleep on her shoulders during TV time is all something that I yearn for now.

I know that won’t happen now, but still my heart fails to accept and makes me ask the supreme ‘ please just one more time’. There are days I feel absolutely normal, and days I cry like a baby. Not just a metaphor I really do. Somedays I find it very difficult.

My sleep cycle has gone for a toss. Blame my photographic memory, not sure if it’s a boon or a bane, I keep getting visuals of mom’s last few days with me on repeat. Which makes me not shut my eyes. But there are days I fall asleep unknowingly.

I am still trying my best to deal with her loss. Began to focus on reading how to process grief and deal with it. I thought why not share it here, might help someone who is on the same phase like me.

Grief can be classified into acute and persistent grief.

The first six to twelve months after the loss of someone we experience acute grief.

If it lasts over 12 months, it is termed persistent grief.

Chronic stress is commonly experienced during acute grief, it can lead to a lot of physical and emotional issues like anger, anxiety, pains, sleep issues amd depression. But if the person is old these signs shouldn’t be ignored.

People with persistent grief need to take therapy or counselling to deal with it by taking up cognitive behavioral therapy. But for acute grief there are certain ways that can help you ease.

Take new responsibility

Losing a loved one will also lead to you taking up new responsibility. Say like cooking, households chores. This can probably add to your stress but can be a mood uplifted experience if you take it in a positive way. Focusing on task can help you divert from grief.

Healthy diet

When you are under stress it acts as a trigger and makes you crave sugar and fat. Feel good, high calorie and high fat foods is what people reach out to make them feel better. But it can worsen your condition. Planning to take a well balanced diet will definitely help you maintain good health.

Sleep cycle

When you deal with grief your sleep cycles get affected. You might find it difficult to fall asleep, wake up a number of times and not having sound sleep. But following a sleep routine on a regular basis , avoiding screens close to bed time, avoiding caffeine and alcohol can help for a sound sleep.

Move your body

A daily walk can help in easing depression, agitation and sorrow related to grief. We find ourselves less motivated to go and workout. In that case a workout partner or a group ca help you sort this out.

Look after your health

Our general health gets ignored when we are going through grief. But dont take it lightly. Set reminders for any tests that you should be taking, tablets or medications. A little help from a family member to remind you doesn’t hurt.

Reach out to people

It’s most painful to see people and the outside world but also important to not miss the connections. This would serve as a reminder that you are not alone and when you feel isolated you have family and friends to help you out and be the supportive hand. Go out for a coffee, invite people for lunch. If not be in touch with someone over mail Or call.

Grief affects mental and physical health to a great extent. Reaching out to help and help make a betterment in your mental health is not something to feel shy or to be hesitant to ask of.

This post is part of Blogchatter’s CauseAChatter.”

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva andNoor Anand Chawla.’

Why online shopping is popular? #ecommercebuildseconomy

Shopping is a therapy to many. Checking out the aisles of stuff going round trying to see if you could pick up something, look at what others choose to shop are all various events that one would notice when you set out to shop. They could also be disadvantageous to few.
When the pandemic hit, we were all holed up at our homes. Shops big or small were all closed up. The world of offline shopping didn’t expect to see itself going into a black hole which was taking it to darkness for an infinite period. And for those whom I mentioned that shopping was a therapy it was a total crash landing.


Ecommerce even way before pandemic was well established. In fact, there were a sect of people who stopped doing offline shopping and only stuck to shopping online. I myself belong to that category. I found that it made my way of shopping much easier and whenever I want to.


The pandemic was also the time when businesses decided that they will have to shift to the online paradigm. They knew that was the only way that the Business would continue to see the light until the pandemic ends.


Online shopping through e-commerce saw a drastic rise in purchasing capabilities thanks to the pandemic. Vendors continued to move ahead with their business collaborating by onboarding their business with already existing ecommerce majors or sought to make a standalone website.


While we still reel under the pandemic wave, ecommerce still continues to boom even if shops open up online because some of the recent users felt that the choice, they made to shop online convinced them that this could make it easier for them.


Vendors in the tier 2 cities also saw through vast expansion in their reach through the online venture that they decided to go on with it even if the pandemic is gone forever. If it is boosting your economy why not continue to do it was what they thought.


The steady rise in the shopping trend also contributed to the economy. Be it whatever category that is being shopped the country is benefited through the taxes. So this helps boost the economy of the nation as well.

So why would people continue to shop online or why does online shopping remain popular trend?


Ease of shopping.


Ecommerce brought in the comfort of shopping from home. I needn’t get squished in the crowds or wait for the sales person to show me other options similar. I can shop while cooking, reading or even while lying down on the bed.

Everything within few clicks


The technology in ecommerce is so very advanced that within a few clicks and scrolls I could shop for the entire family. Right from choosing to making the payment it is all very simplified.

Options to share


Say I’m shopping for my mom, I don’t have to drag her to the shop, make her wait and patiently check on what she chooses. With the apps available on phones, we could check and share across, get to know the choice, make payment and get it delivered. Especially a savior if you stay away from home. Also makes both of you happy, doesn’t it?


Unlimited choices


The ecommerce website algorithm is so well versed in understanding the human actions because while you keep shopping, we are also shown similar interests or even options that would go well with the commodity that we are about to buy. This makes our planning much easier. Say I’m buying an attire, I also get suggestions on the accessories that would go well with the look. I needn’t go look for it separately that I just hit one click buy this combo and my job is done.

Ease of payments


The biggest problems when it comes to offline shopping is the big queues at the billing desk. The change for the currency and the working condition of card swiping machine. It really makes you go nuts when you’re almost about to get your cart billed, the card machine stops working or there is no proper change.
Online shopping has hassle free payment methods like using debit cards, credit cards, net banking, UPI and digital wallets. Added to that you get amazing discounts if you’re using any particular type of cards.
You also get the option to choose COD(Cash on Delivery), I don’t think that would even be possible when you do offline shopping.

There is no worry of theft in case of shopping in a crowded place, the payment you make is secure.


Cashbacks


Online shopping payments methods also offer various cashbacks which is great to lure in customers. Who wouldn’t want to save some money?

Augmented reality and virtual reality

This has made it easy especially when it comes to trials in case of apparels and accessories and the order of placement when it comes to furniture or home décor. I cannot really imagine how the piece of décor or furniture would suit my space by imagining it over in my head rather than getting to see a real image of how it would actually look on my screen.


Reviews and comparisons


Reviews and comparisons between different brands is made clear when you shop online. You get to know what you actually buy is going to be genuine and worth the investment that you are going to make. This won’t be possible in offline shopping.

Online shopping has way more advantages than its disadvantages. The ecommerce industry is continuing to see steady rise as we speak as the word of mouth and even digitization spreads its benefits. As long as people continue to shop online, they would be seen as one of the main contributors to the country’s economy.

This post is Written as part of Blogchatter’s campaign #ECommerceBuildsEconomy

Why reading books is important? How to read mindfully?

Reading books take you to another world. It’s a noisy world out there and I tell you reading a book is one kind of meditation. A turn of a page can make your brain network calm and free you from the chatter that you’re currently present in. It helps boost dopamine making you empathize over people, providing ways to socialize and broaden our perspectives.


The power of reading helps in healing trauma, virtually transport you to another world or even help you build new qualities. There is no better teacher than a good book. Books can be an escape from the reality, the mundane day to day demands in front of us. All avid readers would agree with me that reading books is self-medicating and it is no surprise that reading books offer many more benefits.


A survey by the NPD revealed that the book sales went up in 2020, increasing print volumes much higher post 2004. While this was the trend it was also noticed that they were buying more but took much more time to complete because they were doing it slowly. The reason being they were distracted.


The mind doesn’t stay calm, holding a book in hand and screaming out ‘can’t you see I’m busy’ would show that you are not completely into reading. The lack of concentration in turn made it harder for them to proceed with reading. The anxiety in us that makes the brain constantly scan for threats around is becoming a roadblock to the reading. It releases stress hormones that is consuming more energy that people find it hard to concentrate on reading.


Here is how you can practice mindful reading. These habits will ensure that reading benefits you.


Begin with a short read


Our brain loves it and releases happy hormones when it is given a reward. And finishing a book that you started with is definitely rewarding that your brain wants to continue doing it. So pick up a short engaging read that you can finish sooner.

Meditate before reading


Reading needs a calm mind for it to happen naturally. Sit down and clear your mind away from thoughts. Close your eyes and do a deep breathe or even meditate with a prayer.

Reading to relevancy


Sometimes reading about what’s happening around you or what’s happening with you an make you stay glued. It will make you more attentive to what you read. Reading fiction, memoire also helps in making you show empathy on others.

Familiarity


Uncertain times can be handled when you return to something familiar that gives you solace. There are two types of readers: One who wants to keep reading to discover and learn about new things, and one who rereads just to comfort themselves and give them stability.

Read first thing in the morning


It is a great thing to start the day with. It can in putting your phone away and spend more energy on reading.


Put your phone away


Phones are a main distraction especially when it comes to reading. Give it to someone who wouldn’t give in for your please or in another room. The best would be even kept it in another floor.


Make it a habit


Relax yourselves in a comfortable spot, make yourself a hot cup of chocolate or your favorite beverage and try reading at the same time every day.

Read like a child


Read under the blanket, under the bed or a cozy corner like how we used to when we were kids. It gives a whole new perspective to the reading habit.

Stop reading if you cannot concentrate


Life has uncertainties that make you stress and let reading not be one. So, whenever you feel like that thought creeping in put down your book.


Listen to audiobooks


During solitary times it is comforting to hear a voice is your mind that is not yours. GO for an audiobook if you cannot read yourself and let the narrator take the stage while you relax.


Be prepared for the next.


Once you finish a book or you are almost going to complete it, keep another one ready so that you will continue to read. Do not give a long pause.


Here are reasons why reading can be a therapy. It’s called bibliotherapy.

  • Sometimes stories can hold deeper meanings in us than the real situations we live in.
  • Rekindling the interest in reading can make you feel connected and alive.
  • Switching of the stress buttons, giving yourself some me-time and helping you relieve from stress.
  • It will make you feel that you are not alone and there are people going through similar situations.
  • It gives you a sense of creativity and even make you start writing probably a journal which might further help to understand what you are going through.

I hope these benefits will definitely give you that positive push to get back to reading. But a reading challenge can even push you further to make it more interesting when you have a goal set for the number of books that you look forward to complete. I am taking part in blogchatter’s #TBRChallenge and aimed at completing 30 books this year. If you would want to know more and like to participate you could check here and sign up.

Review of Young blood

BLURB:


Bored roommates use a planchette to contact a legendary ghost that haunts Pune University. Will she answer?
Is the abandoned Khairatabad Science College in Hyderabad really haunted? A gang of students break inside to investigate.
Nirav and Pavi love each other . . . most of the time. Will exploring a forbidden place inside IIT Kharagpur bring them closer?
From strange sightings to urban legends, from haunted buildings to not-so-friendly ghosts, colleges in India have their fair share of spine-tingling tales, be it Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, St. Bede’s College in Shimla or Delhi University. Young Blood is a collection of ten tales that reimagine college urban legends and true first-person accounts, that promises to terrify even die-hard fans of horror.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chandrima Das has a B.Tech in Computer Science from NIT Durgapur and an MBA from IIM Calcutta. After a decade-long career in management consulting, she followed her passion for writing. Her digital debut The Talking Dead was a bestseller in the horror category. She’s performed live at storytelling events with Tall Tales and Kommune, and was published in The Best Of Tall Tales. 

MY REVIEW:


I enjoy horror as a genre in both watching movies and reading books. Though many would disagree that horror books do not give you the same vibe when you read them as much as you watch movies in that genre. But individuals differ and its all in the reader’s mind I would say.


So, when I knew there was this chance to review the book, I knew I should definitely not miss the chance of reading book in my favourite genre. The blurb intrigued me further because not long enough my husband and I were discussing about planchette and was coincidentally mentioned in the blurb as well.
The book has ten stories from different institutions across the country and involves the various tales that haunt the campuses. The stories gave me chills at certain points. I wantedly chose to read them at nights so that it adds to the thrill and the author sure didn’t disappoint me.

Each story sets a different stage and addresses a social issue pertaining to the modern age. I loved the way how the author connected the tale and the social issues. The nature of how each story was narrated is one of the biggest pluses that does not let you keep the book down once you start reading.


The author through her writing makes you feel that you are in the tale experiencing the horrific events when you are just right there on your bed reading the book. That is a win-win for any author to make the reader transport to the bookish world.


The stories and the notes at the end made a well-connected read. I’d suggest not to read notes at last but as and when you finish a story for a much greater reading experience.

The book is a must read for those who love horror and who would want to try the genre too.

Buy the book here.

This book review is part of blogchatter’s bookchatter.

Going digital for your Business


If you’re thinking that the online space is only for big or mid-sized companies, you might need to rethink again before you are sure of it next time. A variable increase in the number of traditional, small businesses is now adopting the digital way to a varying extent and for good reason.


Going digital should not be seen as a way to build an image but has several other leveraging advantages.
In today’s world, you will find yourself in the online space on a beneficial need. No matter what sort of business you do, the type of customers you handle, the model that you follow or create for you, what category of Business it comes under, you make it a necessity to mark your presence in the online world.


Choosing to establish a digital presence sure does have value in it. A quick google search would land you any business sure does have a mark on the digital space or in simpler terms have an online footprint.


Today even if you are having a hardware or a supplies business, you could say that even if not a giant, you do have an identification on the online space. With a simple receipt of money from accepting cards, UPI, or e-wallets which are something like mobile application-based payment, congratulations you have made good progress.


There is always scope for improvement similarly, if you are already into the digital world, there is still a possibility to expand the digital footprint to magnify your presence.


Digital trends impacting MSME


Increased number of small businesses moving online.


A recent study that was conducted indicated that 63% of MSMEs wanted to go digital but only 5% went in the real digital world. A majority of MSMEs reported positive responses to post moving into the digital world. One more study mentioned that businesses that opted for the digital way doubled their growth in a quicker span than their offline counterparts which is a seemingly big achievement. SO on the whole considering both the case study above it is evident that small businesses are continually moving towards digitization.


Adopting cloud technology


Several small businesses adopted cloud technology to improvise their way of working. This included solutions that help in password management, mailing lists, and handling customer relationships. This helps organizations achieve productivity and make a competitive achievement. This was agreed by a majority of MSMEs where the results were proven to be positive. The cloud-based technology solutions that were opted for by the organizations are affordable and could be tailored to suit any business scenario.


Encouragement from the Government to adopt a cloud strategy


To raise the contribution of MSMEs GDP to 50% in the next 5 years the Government has placed the adoption of cloud-based solutions as one of the priorities. !8 tool rooms have been set up to assist the MSMEs in the cloud-based solution adoption which is expected to be increased to over 150 training centers.


Understanding and adjusting to the millennials


In terms of the sheer number and purchase power, the millennials rule the online world. So to get your business on their radar the small businesses must adapt video content for promotion, influencer marketing, and usage of social media.


Power of social media and its dominance


In terms of reach, impact, and conversion to sales social media dominate the marketing strategy. Facebook and Instagram in particular are the key players to focus on.


Chatbots for customer service


Better customer service is the key to financial growth. Given limited resources, automating customer service and response to customer queries help in streamlining the process. The quicker the turnaround for a customer query the more you get to score in terms of valuable service and definitely, that paves way for word of mouth growth, which in turn means more number of customers and could be possible conversion to sales.

How can it serve to be a springboard to success?


Adopting digital methods or digitization is served to be a springboard and bring in exponential growth


A representative of business transformation


Adopting cloud-based solutions helps to streamline the operating process and helps in improving growth and productivity. The most powerful effect on Business would be from adopting digitization.


Versatile and dominant medium of business


High impact branding and communication in the form of text, audio, and video is possible and thereby bringing in unprecedented reach. Helps enable real-time two-way communication through dedicated brand platforms that help in driving interaction and engagement.


The ultimate path for sales


With e-commerce raising the curtain for the show of online shopping from the comfort of homes and at suitable times, the products are available at ease, and payments are also made hassle-free.


A deeper insight into above-sighted advantages is below.


Triggering business transformation


These cloud-based solutions are plug and play which in other words mean they can be tailored to suit your business needs. With Big- data analytics-enabled it helps access patterns and insights and enabled to choose business decisions accordingly. From manufacturing to supply chain to CRMs they are tailored accordingly.
Mailing Management – MS Outlook ,Gmail
Storage management – One drive and Google Drive,
Accounting software – Intuit QuickBooks Online,
CRM software – Apptivo
Though it requires time and effort to choose the best that suits your needs, the return on investment is exponential.


Versatile cost-effective medium


To reach out to prospects nationwide and worldwide is the best means. Another added advantage being the ability to effectively narrow down the target prospects based on purchase power, demography, and many such factors.
Online videos on Youtube, are a great way to capture the eyeballs and register your brand to the target audience.
A key performance metric is an engagement that decides the success rate. The prospects’ progress journey that lands on sales are the result every business looks out for. This can be achieved by content creating that is compelling and interactive enough to initiate engagement.


Sales enablement


An eCommerce platform could either be your own or can be chosen to be a part of eCommerce aggregator platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, snapdeal, and Shopclues.


The deeper you go into digital, the number of benefits it would reap you. But the ultimate choice of what solutions you select should take your business to the next level. This should be the ultimate goal. The digital space has a lot of aspects to offer so choose wisely. If done appropriately, it can propel growth to greater heights. But bad customer experiences could get blown out of proportion so that needs to be taken care of.


Double or triple check before you dive into a digital initiative. So make wise choices and keep testing for loopholes that need attention. Investments into these solutions could be counted as risks, but if you have everything in place and confident about what lies ahead then definitely the results would overshadow the risks that you take.

Written as part of Blogchatter’s campaign #ECommerceInnovation. Read more posts in the campaign here.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

Role of MSME in Indian economy

The Government of India introduced Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in agreement with the Micro, Small and Medium enterprises development act of 2006. Predominantly these enterprises engage in producing, manufacturing, processing, and preserving goods and commodities.


Also referred to as the backbone of the country next to agriculture. They play a dominant role in contributing to the country’s GDP, manufacturing output, and the country’s exports.


The enterprises generate a lot of employment opportunities thereby helping bridge the gap between unemployment and poverty; also paving the way for the development of the rural areas in the country.

They have helped industrialization in these areas with low capital cost compared to large industries. In complementary to the large business sectors, MSMEs have a major part in the country’s economy, thereby helping in the socio-economic development of the nation.


They produce and manufacture both for domestic and international markets. So much advancement and product improvement has been seen in the khadi and coir industries. The upbringing of rural areas has been one of the major outcomes of the MSMEs collaboration with the various ministries and State Governments.
To be precise the 6.3 crore MSMEs are not only contributing one-third to the nation’s GDP but also help in the employment of the population in the non-formal sector.


The MSMEs play a major role in the transformation of India from an emergent power to a reputable financial center. Not wrong in saying that the MSMEs will be the gear in the wheel for this journey.


Importance of MSME for the economy


Throughout the world, the MSMEs have been accepted to be a major means of economic growth and for the promotion of justifiable development. The rate of growth in the highest rate is from the MSMEs.

Requiring Low investment for setting up, flexible operation, and the ability to develop the native technology accordingly are few major reasons that MSMEs have for having taken India to greater heights.
The second-largest employment generating sector next to agriculture, employing about approximately 120 million people.


MSME ministry targets to increase the GDP to 50% due to their contribution by the year 2025, as India moves ahead to become a $5 trillion economy.


At present, they contribute about one-third of the GDP which is 6.11% from manufacturing, and about 24.63 from the MSME service activities of the 45 lac units across the nation.


MSMEs contribute about 45% of the overall exports.
By specifically employing the people in weaker sections of the rural society, the MSMEs promote all-round development through the provision of employment opportunities.


Opportunities to utilize banking services and products are encouraged to be used by MSMEs in tier 2 and tier 3 cities thereby an additional way wherein the amount can be used in the inclusion of the final economy contribution.


MSMEs encourage innovation in budding entrepreneurs to build new products thereby boosting the growth and help in fueling the economy.


COVID-19 and its impact


MSME’s play a crucial role in realizing the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar’ or self-reliant India. It was also one of the hardest-hit sectors due to the COVID -19 pandemic as the supply chains in world trade took a major jolt and came to a standstill. The government has been lending helping hands to regain the momentum in these sectors, knowing that prioritizing the development of these sectors is critical to the overall development of the Nation. As much as the Government provides support to these sectors, the benefits can be utilized only if the Business is registered as MSME under the MSME act.
An economic package was proposed to regain the momentum, about 20 lac crores almost 10% of the GDP was brought in to help all sectors including the farmers, middle-class people, industrial units, and MSMEs.


LOAN TO MSME

  • Around two lakh MSMEs would be benefited from the 20,000 crore subordinated debts announced for MSMEs.
  • A collateral loan of three lac was provided with a tenure of four years.
  • The definition of MSMEs was changed which now included turnover as one of the parameters in addition to investment. Micro units can have a 5 crore turnover, with no global tender for up to 200 crores and any pending payment to the MSMEs to be made in 45 days.
  • A 12month moratorium on the loans and a 100% credit guarantee cover to be provided as well. These loans were provided until October 31st this year. Close to 45 lac MSMEs were supposed to be benefitted from this.
  • Global tenders up to 200 crores were banned in any Government venture, as foreign companies are bright competitors and use unfair practices to procure the opportunities. The result of which Indian MSMEs falling prey to such international giants. Banning these will help enhance the vision of a self-reliant India and also enable ‘make in India’ to come true sooner.

As the Government now highlights the role of MSMEs in enhancing exports and thereby making our country self-reliant, the need to import from China will stop. These were the Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari’s thoughts that echoed in his meeting .

Being self-reliant already being implemented in industries such as automobile and agriculture, solutions have been seemingly found and the need to import from China has certainly not been seen as a necessity. The results of which were seen sooner as India was now observed to export a lot than importing.


He also said that as far as Indian policies are concerned, our way of technology acceptance, reducing the production cost and providing products of good quality, the young talented manpower in the country is no doubt the strength behind the achievement of self-reliant India.


With the majority of countries not interested to be dealing with China currently, rather providing an advantageous situation for us; as they are rather interested in doing business with India. A great opportunity for the manufacturing sectors to scale up capabilities to boost exports and thereby contributing to the increase in the economy.


With positive trends showing lesser imports from China and greater exports, the minister added that MSMEs are doing a great job despite facing an economic crisis. He also added that the Government had sanction 93 schemes and over 100 schemes are in pipeline would be cleared sooner to pave the way development of MSMEs.


Certain areas that could boost the development of MSMEs at a quicker rate would be below

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Robotics
  • Using the waste to make something useful (in short waste to wealth)
  • Sustainability
  • Virtual reality-based solutions
  • E-mobility
  • Development of smart villages.


If we see notable developments in the above areas that could be an added advantage for us.


A lot of collaborative projects like centers of excellence are being set up across the nation. These projects are being set up across the IITs and NIITS which are one of the premier educational and research institutes. This would help ignite younger minds and also pave way for numerous budding entrepreneurs.

Growth Matters Forum is a community for business owners to explore ideas, streamline growth and create an impact. Join the community here.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

Here’s what my doctor told me about flu vaccines

Parenting always comes with a major responsibility of keeping children safe. As a parent we are not only responsible for bringing them up as good human beings but also responsible for raising a healthy child. This cannot be seen as duty, rather it comes out of parental love and impulse to keep the kids safe from physical harm and diseases.

In the growing years, it is necessary to keep an eye on the child’s growth. Also important is strong immunity. That’s why doctors ask about any kind of symptoms and other health conditions during regular visits.

Immunity in children is another area of concern. Children easily contract infections from elders and can pass on the infection to senior citizens. Since we are already battling a pandemic for which we have the vaccination drive ongoing, here’s what my doctor told me about flu vaccines.

Influenza can lead to dangerous complications and children in the age group of 6 months to 8 years are especially vulnerable. The elderly too are at a risk. Keeping them all safe is a priority and the best way to be protected is to get the flu shot.

The flu has symptoms similar to common cold. Battling flu along with covid-19 is a disastrous situation, which is why the doctors, on flu vaccines in India stress that the flu shot should be taken during the monsoons as India falls in the SH region.

When the pandemic hit us, it took some time before a vaccine was available. However, that is not the case with flu since we already have the vaccine handy. It is just that people need to be made aware of the importance of administering the shots, as well as educated about the right vaccine and the time when they should take it. The flu shot is crucial for 360° protection.

Best time to get your flu shot

The WHO has recommended that the Southern Hemisphere (SH) vaccine is the ideal vaccine for India. Influenza vaccination is most effective when local circulating viruses are well-matched with vaccine antigens for SH. Since the peak season of flu in the larger part of the country starts between mid-summer to monsoons, now is the right time to vaccinate against flu for effective protection.

Flu vaccine should be taken annually. However, getting vaccinated early for subsequent seasons is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults says CDC. Protection fades over time, so not getting vaccinated with the vaccine containing the right seasonal strains may leave one more vulnerable. Vaccination can be done throughout the SH flu season, into September or later.

We did see a lot of pediatric cases during the second wave of covid-19, so it is much needed for us as parents to keep ourselves updated on the vaccine schedules for the kids. For diseases like influenza, it is very much a necessity that the entire family is vaccinated. The responsibility lies with us parents to make all the members of the family aware of the consequences and therefore as a proactive measure it is a must to take the flu shot.

Do remember if the adults in the family have recently taken the covid vaccine, there can be a gap of 14 days before they take the flu shot.

Though maintaining good hygiene is a great way to keep away from flu, getting vaccinated gives you an upper hand to prevent getting infected.

CDC recommends getting the flu vaccine, which will help in reducing the additional burden to the healthcare services who strive to keep our population safe.

AS per CDC, below are the benefits of the flu vaccine:

  • Flu vaccination helps you to keep away from becoming sick due to flu.
  • Flu-associated hospitalization is greatly reduced for kids and adults when the flu vaccine is administered.
  • The flu vaccination could be an important preventive tool for adults with chronic illnesses.
  • Women during and after pregnancy are protected if the flu vaccine is taken.
  • Reduction in severity of illnesses is proved by various studies wherein people who got infected in spite of taking the flu vaccine.
  • When you get vaccinated you are not only protecting yourself but also people around you.

Let us not skip or postpone vaccinations just because we are all grounded in our homes. Talk to your doctor, get the flu shot and stay healthy!

We must #PreventWhatCanBePrevented because flu is preventable with vaccination.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccine-benefits.htm
https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/influenza-are-we-ready/5-myths-about-the-flu-vaccine
https://www.hindustantimes.com/brand-stories/three-steps-to-fight-flu-this-monsoon-101631877277522.html
https://www.hindustantimes.com/brand-stories/have-you-got-your-flu-shot-find-out-the-right-time-for-india-101632831201860.html
https://www.hindustantimes.com/brand-post/how-to-safeguard-your-family-from-seasonal-infections-in-the-pandemic-101626856896522.html

Beginners guide to niacinamide #MyFriendAlexa

Lately, you could see the whole skincare world talking a lot about active ingredients. The most commonly talked about is Niacinamide.



Niacinamide also known as nicotinamide is a form of vitamin B3. An essential nutrient whose deficiency could lead to disorders of skin,kidney and brain. Taking niacinamide can prevent the deficiency.


The ingredient has much more to offer when it is used in the general skin department. Applying niacinamide topically is proven to help in treating skin conditions like eczema and acne.



Benefits of niacinamide


Niacinamide is mainly recommended for people who have puffy skin and rosacea. The anti-inflammatory properties aid in reducing the redness.
Skin immunity can be boosted as niacinamide helps in building keratin, the protein that keeps skin firm and healthy.

The lipid barrier that niacinamide helps in building aids in retaining moisture of the skin. This is much beneficial for people who have eczema or mature skin.

When you skin is smooth and moisturized due to topical application of niacinamide it helps in minimizing the pores.

Retention of moisture isn’t beneficial only when the skin is dry. Regulation of the amount of oil that the sebaceous glands produce is one of the most important benefits of using niacinamide.

Concurrent rebuilding of healthy skin cells and also protecting skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation is a benefit of niacinamide as well.



5% concentration of niacinamide in application can help in treating pigmentation and also fight against signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles. The application also helped in fading dark spots. The results cannot be visible instantaneously but over a period of four weeks.



Niacinamide helps in treating aggressive acne conditions like pustules. The application over a period of time helps in improving skin texture and lesser number of lesions on the skin.



Niacinamide helps protect skin against environmental stresses like dust, pollution and sun damage. It also offers protection to regenerate the healthy skin cells.




FOOD over supplements



Instead of directly taking a supplement to lessen the deficiency it is always best to try improving intake of vitamins through food. Some sources of vitamin B3 are eggs,fish , milk and green vegetables. So next time don’t reject when your offered an extra portion of any of these over the table.


Ingredients that you can include in skincare routine along with niacinamide



Vitamin C, Kojic acid and hyaluronic acid are ingredients that can be paired with niacinamide in your skincare routine for clear skin.



How to use ?



Niacinamide can work wonders on your skin post cleansing, cause that is when your skin is free of impurities and oil.

Post that you can apply moisturizer and sunscreen before heading out.

The ingredient niacinamide can be included in your AM and PM skincare routine.



Here are some of my tried and tested niacinamide products


NYKAA SKINRX 10% niacinamide



This is mainly used for spot correction. The serum is composed of 10% niacinamide, 1% zinc and 1% alpha arbutin for spot correction of dark spots, blemishes and pigmentation.

The serum can be used in AM and PM routine.

Price: 799 quantity: 30 ml

Click here to buy



Minimalist 10% NIACINAMIDE serum



The serum is oil free and also has aloe vera juice as one of its ingredients for additional benefits. This serum is comparatively light weight and does not leave an oily residue post application.

Price: 599 quantity: 30 ml

Click here to buy :



Dot and key 10 % niacinamide spot corrector skin clearing serum



This formulation has 10% niacinamide, 1 % zinc and 1% hyaluronic acid. The serum also has sunflower seed extracts, pomegranate extracts and wheatgerm oil for additional benefits.

Price: 565 quantity : 15 ml

Click here to buy:



Few other popular niacinamide serums are listed below. I haven’t personally tried them out.



Mamaearth skin correct face serum with niacinamide and ginger extract

Click here to buy



The derma co 10 % niacinamide serum for acne marks

Click here to buy



Plum 10% niacinamide face serum with rice water.

Click here to buy

I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s My Friend Alexa.

Nature’s role in healing mental health

Nature can play a major role to leave a profound effect or impact on our brain. This in turn influences our behaviour helping us to alleviate stress and anxiety. Increase in attention , creative thinking and social connections are also being observed as nature’s touch to leeaad a good mental health. We’re still in the beginning stage to find more and more evidences to prove the above.

Nature helps to heal

Spending time in a greener and nature dense environment had its effects on improving self-esteem and alleviating depressive symptoms on those suffering from mental health issues.

Not only improvisation of mental health but also significant progres in physical well-being, reduction in muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure is also observed to be some of the benefits to indulge in nature therapy.

The multiple incoming sensory signals is caused by soothing effect of nature. Lush greenery, mild natural sounds and nice fragrance also have their place in contributing to good mental health. The sight of flowers or even the scent of roses can leave a relaxed effect.

There are numerous ways to enjoy nature right from the comfort of your home. Tending a garden, working from the outdoors, meditation outdoors than doing them inside is a great change. Working or doing your daily tasks with natural light from the sun and sky is also a great way to enjoy nature indoors.

The sight of an unpleasant environment on the other hand can reverse the healing effect. Regardless of age people find nature to be soothing and pleasing. ‘ Healing Gardens ‘ is a book that cites over two-thirds of people choose natural sights to resort to when being stressed.

A recent research also proves that having a small plant indoors in offices, hospitals and at work or school can have an lessening effect on stress and anxiety.

Nature’s help in soothing

In addition to above effects of nature to heal we often resort to nature when experiencing pain and discomfort.

Our bodies are genetically engineered to look out for trees, water and natural elements and when we absorb the natural scenes we get distracted from pain and discomfort.

This was evidently seen when two sets of people post surgery where made to stay in rooms facing trees and the other group facing wall. It was fascinating to know people who see natural scenary showed better pain management than people who were made to see the wall.

Nature helps in restoring

Nature also helps to aid better general wellbeing. Almost 95% of people would assure that they felt relieved from being depressed or stressed after spending time outdoors. It also helps calm anxious mind keeping it more balanced.When you’re in a positive mood and good psychological well-being it in turn improves vitality and meaningfulness.
The ability to stay more focused or pay attention also improves when we spend time looking at nature. Nature is inherently interesting to us humans that we tend to focus naturally on what we are currently experiencing. So this serves to calm down the overactive mind and keep it refreshed for the upcoming tasks.

Research also shows that children with ADHD shower improved attention span after spending time in nature.

Nature helps in making connections


When people spend time in nature it helps them connect to one another and also to the world outside.It is also said that people who surrounded their houses with trees and greenery ended up knowing more people,have more concern with helping out each other and have strong sense of belonging than tenants who do not have trees around. They also have increased feelings unity towards their neighbours.


These people show better capacity to deal with life demands ,less violence and aggression between domestic partners.

When brain activity during nature exposure is studied it was evident that the parts of brain that are associated with empathy and love lit up and it ignited the fear and anxiety in urban scenaries.

Deadly screen time

Too much of time spent before screens lacking time to enjoy nature is said to increase depressive symptoms and isolation. In the worst case it can also lead to loss of empathy and altruism.

Nurture children with nature

So it is advisable if we bring up the younger generation to spend very less time in front of the screen and to engage with nature. They could take a walk around the block, read by the window or play outdoor games.

This post is part of blogchatter’s #causeachatter.

Lessons from As a man thinketh

I’m still dumbstruck that books published long long ago still hold good when it comes to giving us life lessons. Published in a period where there was not much importance to trends and fads these books convey the lessons of leading life in a fulfilling manner.

As a man thinketh was published in 1902 by James Allen. Self-help books are usually deemed very long but on the contrary this book gives you the lessons in almost an hour.

Known as one of the self-help classics the books is centred predominantly on the theme that harnessing the power of thoughts helps you to master life. Did you know that James Allen was a pioneer in the self-help movement?

You become what you think

The person who you are now, us because of the thoughts that you previously had or having now. If you’d want to incorporate a change start changing the thoughts .

The hidden seeds of thoughts give rise to all actions of a person.

Good thoughts and results can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.

Divine perfection is achieved with choosing and applying good thoughts. But on the other side, choosing and applying wrong thoughts can make him stoop below the level of beast.

If it is time to weed out bad thoughts it is today. Choose this day to not accept the negative thoughts and fight back. To take control of life, take control of your mind.

Mind is like a garden

The mind is a garden thay can be cultivated in a wise manner or if let loose can grow wild. It is upto you to sow the seeds of beautiful flowers, if not you will see useless weeds.

Think of you as the gardener who pulls out unnecessary weeds and chooses the right seed to sow, nurture and yield beautiful flowers. Choosing to showcase your mind with beautiful flowers or useless weeds depends upon your thoughts.

Life is beautiful when you make the right choices if not the mind is consumed by useless weeds.

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild.”

The beautiful thoughts can be a skill, or a life changing decision so start making the right choices.

Thoughts can not only mentally affect you, it can physically too

Your thoughts which include the how and what can influence not only your mental health but also the body physically.

Being healthy is not only about the body, it also includes the mind. So people who constantly fear of contracting diseases are often the ones who suffer.

The body is the mind’s servant so it choses to obey the signals it receives.

Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts.

The way of thinking also affects the way people age. People in nineties are bright and always smiling but whereas the one’s in mid thirty to forties are still seen with inharmonious contours.

Anxiety quickly demoralizes the whole body, and lays it open to the, entrance of disease.

What you think can have an impact on your sleep cycle, heart rate and chronic illness. You can think your way to wrinkly skin. Whereas happy and cheerful thoughts can make you beam with youthfulness.

You being shaped doesn’t rely on your circumstances

Just because you’re from a different background or an environment that is unsupportive doesn’t mean that you cannot get what you want. The outer world of circumstances shapes your inner world of thoughts so your circumstances don’t stand the chance to decide what you cannot achieve.

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they, therefore, remain bound

You are free to choose the way to respond to any circumstance. And do you know what’s the best way? To focus the area where you have control. You win life if you choose to focus on areas which have your control and ways to improvise.

Thoughts and actions go hand in hand

Most self-help preachers say that you can achieve if you believe in something. Known as the law of attraction.

However, James on the other hand says that the thoughts on your mind will only be the starting point. If the thoughts are not supported by right actions, you can never achieve what you wished for.

Stepping out, taking action and achieving what you want gets you to your dream. Just sitting and waiting for it to come to you will do no good.

Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions.
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This post is part of Blogchatter’s half marathon.