Author - mellisa

MAKING THE MOST OF MENOPAUSE

YES, YOU CAN!!! There is no getting away from the fact that most women will experience menopause during their lives. Some earlier than later, and a few lucky ones who escape it completely, like the “one that got away”. There has always been much negativity around this maturing phase, and understandably when calling to mind an array of unwelcome symptoms, amongst others:
  • Hot flushes
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbance
  • Thinning hair
The disheartening list is long but believe it or not, menopause can also have a positive impact on one’s life. Not all physical changes caused by the reduction of female hormones are negative.  Many of the emotional and social changes can be quite uplifting. Mommy Wellness thought it would be a refreshing approach to look at just some of the positives of one of life’s natural transitions. Let’s start with the obvious one first: GOODBYE MONTHLYS – and not a month too soon either! Marking the end of the menstrual cycle is a cause for celebration for many women in itself.  No more last-minute tampon or pad shopping, no more leaks and the end of menstrual cramps. The cessation of periods also puts an end to the guessing game of when your period will start and stop and for those women who are often restricted to their homes on ‘heavy’ days, it is liberating. And don’t forget, now being able to safely wear white again too! DID YOU MENTION PMS? Isn’t it amazing how unpopular we seem to become a week or two before a period is due to start?  Suddenly everyone seems to start hating us and we seem to start hating everyone just as much, if not more! PMS is very common and most irritating both for the sufferer and for those who suffer around the sufferer. As oestrogen levels rise and fall, PMS causes a host of physical and emotional symptoms, which include breast tenderness, headaches, food cravings and irritability. The good news is that PMS disappears after Menopause. KISSES AND CUDDLES:  NUDGE-NUDGE, WINK-WINK Well we know where this often leads and believe it or not, during menopause, women tend to be able to enjoy intimacy far more than before, without the obvious fear of having to think about a possible pregnancy. This makes a vast difference, according to a multisite, longitudinal study of the physical and psychosocial changes which women experience in midlife, including menopause.  Hooray! NO MORE HORMONAL HEADACHES – NO MORE EXCUSES Another study shows that women are affected by migraines three times more often than men.  About 70 percent of these women were found to suffer from menstrual migraines, which coincide with ovulation and menstruation. These headaches, like normal headaches, can cause a throbbing pain on one side of the head and are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and light or sound sensitivity.  During normal menstrual cycles, the migraines can be triggered by fluctuating levels of oestrogen and progesterone. After menopause, the two levels fall, and therefore, usually hormonal headaches decline too. Another positive for sufferers to look forward to, once on the other side of the menopausal transition. EVEN UTERINE FIBROIDS SHRINK A lot of women approaching their 50 ‘s develop uterine tumours.  They are almost always benign and usually grow when oestrogen levels are high, and during pregnancy, when oestrogen and progesterone levels increase.  They also present themselves sometimes during perimenopause, when oestrogen levels swing from low to high. Depending on whether fibroid symptoms present heavy menstrual bleeding, or if pressure on the bladder is severe, surgery may be recommended.  Luckily, fibroids usually stop growing or shrink considerably when menopause arrives, and when oestrogen levels decline. For those who have monitored fibroid growth trying to avoid surgery, or for those who have heavy periods due to fibroids, menopause is a welcome arrival and provides a much-needed break. PERFECT TIMING FOR A FRESH START After menopause women experience a rush of physical and psychological energy. This sudden burst encourages many women to take a look at their lives.  Many decide to take a fresh approach, looking into their relationships, their professions and their health. It could be interpreted as a ‘wakeup call’, inspiring women to grab a new lease on life with both hands and finding new ways of expending new-found energy. It allows women to re-assess themselves and make sure that they put their best foot forward, heading in the direction they wish to go, both personally and professionally. Spending meaningful time on one’s self is very important. A NEW YOU IS ON THE HORIZON Feeling even more empowered is not uncommon for postmenopausal women.  This is partly because of the biological changes which take place during menopause and partly because of the stage of life at which menopause takes place. The relief of not having your ‘monthlys’, no risk of pregnancy, mood swings and all that goes with PMS symptoms, are all factors which rejuvenate post-menopausal women. In the meantime, children are maturing, and this in itself allows a feeling of more freedom and provides more time to pursue professional and personal goals. Life experience after 50-plus years has included all sorts of ups and downs, from child-rearing, relationships, careers and the like. This is the perfect time for women to get out there and pursue what they want with an amazing sense of new confidence, and with no qualms about kicking butt on their new journey.
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Effects of Screen Time

Just how many times have we heard it, or mentioned it ourselves: “When we were kids, there was no such thing as constantly sitting in front of a screen, playing games or watching movies” Well quite honestly, there was NO SUCH THING!  We got on with proper toys which were usually educational, or riding bikes or climbing trees, until we were summoned to dinner. WHAT HAS CHANGED? The world has changed.  It has evolved, bringing with it the latest technology which now seems to play a massive role in how we conduct our everyday lives.  Our Youth sadly don’t really know what it would be like to play with miniature cars, Lego or Barbies, let alone climb a tree! Granted, new age technology and devices provide many options, including educational applications, but they provide a lot of other things too, which unfortunately can be less desirable when it comes to children, their leisure time, activities and SCREENS! So, what are the EFFECTS OF TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME:
  • Obesity: When children are inactive, they are not actively burning calories.  Exercise is required to maintain good health
  • Insomia: Being glued to a screen just before bed interrupts sleep.  This reportedly has to do with the light from digital devices causing eye strain.  Over-stimulation of the brain also has an effect on sleep patterns
  • Social Problems:  Children are vulnerable and too much screen time can affect their judgement.  They can become de-sensitised to violence and are often persuaded to re-enact what they see
  • Academic Issues:  The temptation of screen time is great and tends to distract children whilst they should be applying their minds to school-work
Adults are not exempt from abusing screen time.  Valuable family time is neglected whilst many parents engage on social media, or other applications which sometimes seem more attractive than family life. WHAT CONTROL MEASURES SHOULD BE CONSIDERED? IT’S TIME FOR A FAMILY MEETING Discuss the effects of excessive screen time as a family and allow each family member to suggest ideas as to what they feel would be fair as far as screen time is concerned. A few simple ideas could include:
  • Look at signing up Google Family or Family Sharing, available on Android or iOS devices. These apps not only allow you to share music, games but you can also keep better control over what your kids are getting involved in on their devices or even on your Smart TVS.
  • Ban any form of device during mealtimes. It is surprising how pleasant talking to one another, without outside distractions can be.
  • When out and about in the car, stop screen time. Kids should be looking at surroundings and not sitting head down looking at a screen.
  • Bathroom time is bathroom time, as is bedroom time. Electronic devices should not be allowed in either of these two rooms in the house
It’s not all DOOM AND GLOOM – there are many fun activities that can be done together as a family! Discuss ideas and activities that the whole family can enjoy together. Consider perhaps:
  • A camping weekend away where preferably there is little or no available Wi-Fi
  • Outdoor games in the garden or a nearby park
  • Board games
  • A visit to a water park or the beach for a bit of fun in the sun
Adding to the mix of ideas for ‘screen-free’ time-out, Mommy Wellness have awesome Spa packages for Lads and Dads and Pamper packages for Mothers and Daughters. A perfect way to unwind and relax, without a screen to be seen! Don’t wait till your children are all grown up and leave the nest. Get outside, get active or book a day at the Spa and make some special memories today!

But more importantly have fun while you do it!

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ADD A LITTLE BIT OF ‘SPICE’ THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

ADD A LITTLE BIT OF ‘SPICE’ THIS VALENTINE’S DAY No, we are not talking about dinner at your favourite Curry Restaurant (although it may be a good place to start, nor are we referring to being heavy-handed with the garlic)! Being a Mom on Valentine’s Day sometimes makes things a bit more challenging, especially if you have planned a lovely romantic dinner and just as you are about to serve your delicious meal, baby decides it’s time for a quick nappy change.   PROBABLY MORE THAN A WEE-WEE AWAITS What’s more, it’s probably not only going to be a wee-wee but guaranteed, we could escalate that to an impromptu baby bath, with duckies and all! Oh well, those are the joys of Motherhood, which we wouldn’t change for anything in the world!  Well, not until they become teenagers!   SUGAR AND SPICE Valentine’s Day can be really exciting - especially for new couples. For couples who are a little more ‘seasoned’ (oh no, not seasoning again!) it can sometimes feel that celebrations have become a little stale, boring or worse, even predictable! Regardless, adding a bit of spice goes a long way, so If you feel that this ‘day of love’ just doesn’t do it for you anymore, it’s definitely time to spice it up!   ONCE A YEAR IS NOT ENOUGH Couples need to show appreciation and affection to each other all year round and not just on Valentine’s Day.  Buying flowers or chocolates and going out for dinner is great, but that alone once a year, is not adequate to sustain a loving relationship.   LET’S HAVE SOME FUN
  • Book a getaway If the 14th of February happens to fall on an inconvenient day, choose a place together ON the 14th and go later in the year.  It will give you some time to arrange a babysitter and something to look forward to together
  • Hit the road Go for a nice drive.  Choose somewhere scenic but safe where you can spend special time together, chatting and focusing on each other.
  • Start All Over Again (This is cute) ‘Pick Each other up’.  Arrange a babysitter and leave home separately. Meet your partner at a bar or restaurant and go over and offer them a drink and let the games begin.  Stay up late, dance, laugh!  The kids will appreciate you even more when you get home!
  • Be different Get a few friends who know you both well and ask them to write down a few suggestions of something new that you can do together as a family.  A sure way to get everyone out of their little comfort zones
  • Re-create your first date This one depends on whether the first date was good or not.  Some first dates are disastrous!  But hey, you have managed to get this far together, so it couldn’t have been that bad.  If it was, now’s the time to remember those ‘butterflies’ and fix it!
  • Work towards a common goal Put together a list of ‘to do’s’ and pick something off the list to do this year.  Plan how you will accomplish it and start working together towards it. Working towards a common goal is exciting and lots of fun for the whole family
  • Create a fantasy bedroom So, for this one, you don’t even need to leave home.  Decorate your bedroom to set a romantic tone.  Dim the lights, light candles and play some romantic music.  Maybe even some rose petals sprinkled on the bed?
Hopefully, this time no nappy changes or impromptu baths will be needed!  

FEBRUARY IS THE MONTH OF LOVE

AND MOMMY WELLNESS LOOKS FORWARD TO WELCOMING THE WHOLE FAMILY!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY FROM ALL AT MOMMY WELLNESS

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ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A ‘REAL-LIFE MARY POPPINS’??

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A ‘REAL-LIFE MARY POPPINS’??  Guess what?  They do exist! Okay, okay, it was a choice actually between finding a Millionaire (so you needn’t have to go back to work), or a Mary Poppins. Mommy Wellness soon discovered that finding a millionaire is like looking for a needle in a haystack, so we opted for the easy route and looked into the aspect of Nanny Services. There are loads of them, offering a host of services and all aimed at making the working Mom’s life so much easier. Yes, it’s that time of the year again, when many young Moms will be faced with the daunting thought of having to return to work.  Maybe we should have looked a little harder in the haystack! But hey ho, hey ho, it’s off to work you go!  Let’s face it, it is one of the hardest decisions to make, when having to hand over your little one into someone else’s care.   And this is where Mary Poppins comes into the story. Concern, sadness, worry and sometimes even guilt, tug at the heartstrings and choosing someone to take your place during your working day seems an almost impossible task. So, Moms will obviously pull out every stop when it comes to handing their child over to someone that they can trust, who will have been carefully screened and referenced for security purposes. Fortunately, as the phenomenon of Moms returning to work has become almost a norm, there are various options and choices available and many reputable Nanny Agencies, which provide well-qualified and nurturing Nannies.   By the way  Whilst being pampered at any of the Mommy Wellness Day Spas, Moms and Dads can rest at ease that their little ones will be well cared for by one of our capable personnel. The children will be kept busy with neurological and sensory integration activities and through play, attention is given to physical, perceptual and creative development. This service needs to be pre-booked when planning a pamper session at a Mommy Wellness Day Spa.   So, back to Nanny Services - What’s the first step?  It is always a good idea firstly to think about your child.  Think about his or her temperament, personality and the way in which they handle change. Does he or she have any special needs?  Then work out how these aspects will affect your working schedule and finances. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer, as all families and routines are different.  Choosing the most suitable nanny to enhance your and your family’s lifestyle is most important.   TO EACH HIS OWN  As in all competitive businesses, every Nanny Service Agency has a different way of operating, striving to render the best and most professional services to their clients. Mommy Wellness looked at the general way in which Agencies work (without including all bells and whistles which the individual Agencies offer).   This is generally how it works, (but not limited to):
  • You approach the Nanny Service Agency with information regarding your and your child’s specific needs
  • The Agency conducts interviews and the initial screening of Nanny applicants
  • Information on applicants who are qualified for the position is supplied to the family by the Agency
  • The final choice and appointment is made by the family who is requiring Nanny services
  • A placement fee is paid by the family to the Agency
  • Salary and benefits are negotiated between the family and the Nanny chosen for the appointment
  • The Nanny’s salary is paid by the family
A reputable Agency will always conduct careful screening and base their selection on prospective Nannies who display common sense, good judgement, patience and energy. Obviously, this is a huge consideration, as the safety and security of your child is a top priority. The choice of Nanny should include their ability to stimulate your child with toys, games and outdoor activities, not forgetting meal and rest times. Depending on the negotiations with your new Nanny, some will even perform light housework and chores, particularly related to your child.  Ie. Laundry, bathing, etc.   THE ADVANTAGES OF NANNY SERVICES:
  • You have more control You are only working with one person and able to direct your Nanny as to what your child will do during the day.  It enables you to keep your child in a set routine when it comes to naps, snacks and playtime. Ask for detailed daily reports and have her send a few pics during the day so that you are still able to experience part of the fun. (And bonus, you won’t need to clean up the mess afterwards).
  • Nanny Cams For added peace of mind, it may be an idea to install a Nanny Cam, obviously with the Nanny’s knowledge.  Discuss your reasons for doing so and reassure her that it is also your way of being able to participate in your child’s daily activities from a distance.
  • Personal attention and no competition Nannies provide a single attachment figure.  This provides the child with the security needed, particularly those children who may have strong reactions to new situations and unfamiliar people. The Nanny focuses solely on the child’s needs and competing for attention will not be of any concern.
  • A little breathing space A child-free commute to work often allows that essential ‘ME-TIME’, during which to plan your day, prepare for an important meeting or just turn up the music volume. Yes, you are entitled to! It can be quite liberating when leaving home with a laptop instead of a nappy bag or toddler rucksack! Breathing space also means that should by chance you have forgotten to put the casserole in the oven, it’s easy to call home and ask your Nanny to help, or not having to take off work when you need a plumber, etc.  Depending on your arrangement, most Nannies will even assist with light housework, kids’ meals and laundry.
  • There is always a back-up plan Nannies also get ill.  Nannies also need leave.  When using the services of a reputable Nanny Agency, you will avoid having to find your own back-up plan. The Agency will usually be able to supply an appropriate ‘stand-in’ during your regular Nanny’s absence. You could discuss this option during your initial communication with the Agency.
Yes, it is going to be tough for the first few days, maybe even weeks.  Once settled and back in the swing of things, you will look back and think: “what was that all about”?  Given the opportunity, children adapt far quicker than parents. Mommy Wellness is sure that you will be pleasantly surprised!
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First Day Of School

THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

No matter how much it tugs at every heartstring, the first day of school is unavoidable - For kids AND Parents! “JUST ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL” The time has arrived.  Be it dread or relief for you as a parent, your baby is moving on! Parents have little to no choice when it comes to the responsibility of ensuring their child’s education. This could, of course, include home-schooling, which if the case, will probably also turn your household routine upside down.  At least though, you will be spared the trauma that goes with dropping your child off for the first day at school. Whether off to pre-school, Grade R or the first year of primary school, for some reason ‘GUILT’ always seems to be the first emotion Moms and Dads experience. As an example, now would not be the time to beat yourself up about the fact that you were not able to take your (now school-going) toddler or child for ice cream, whilst your new-born was screaming with colic! There will be plenty of ‘makeup’ time if you plan well and come to terms with the fact that this is just the next stage of your child’s progress. Separation Anxiety is something most if not everyone suffers when even thinking about leaving your ‘little darling’ in the care of someone unfamiliar and in a totally strange place for the first time. No, you won’t be there when they graze their knees, and worse, you won’t be there if they even just feel that need for your encouragement or loving touch.  These two thoughts alone already trigger that ugly feeling of guilt we mentioned earlier. Just remember, hundreds of thousands of kids and parents have been and will be going through these feelings, many at the exact time as what you will. The bottom line is that as a responsible parent, you merely and importantly are fulfilling your obligation of giving your child an education and the social grounding which is essential for development, progress and success in the big, competitive world that awaits.   Let’s talk a little about over-coming Separation Anxiety on the first day at school Preparing your child for the first day at school can greatly reduce Separation Anxiety, which you or your child or both, may experience when parting ways for the first time.   Ahead of time It may be worthwhile if possible, considering a few of the following suggestions:
  • Introduce your child to common school activities like drawing and storytelling
  • Plan a visit to the classroom once or twice to familiarise your child with the new environment and if possible, arrange a brief introduction with the Teacher. This will allow them to form an initial relationship and it will be apparent that you trust and are at ease with the Teacher taking care and control.
  • A really nice touch is to get your child a digital watch.  Not only will it make them feel all grown up, but will also give them reassurance when they check, that you will be fetching them soon!
  It's Time To Haul out Your 'Big Girl Broekies' For The Occasion As difficult as it may seem, it’s time to put on those ‘big girl broekies’ for the big day. You need to wear your bravest, calmest and happiest face, as the more confidence you display, the more confident your child will feel. Also, don’t be tempted to ‘sneak’ away if you see that your child is pre-occupied. ALWAYS say “goodbye” and offer reassurance by saying something like “see you later”.  This maintains trust. Once you have said your “goodbye”, don’t linger longer.  Leave promptly, as a long farewell will only reinforce their concern that school might be a bad place. Mommy Wellness understands that by the time you reach your car or arrive home, you will probably feel exhausted and as though you are falling apart. It’s perfectly understandable and hey, it’s okay to shed a few tears on this emotional day!
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Money Wise & Mommy Wellness. Budgeting for 2020.

Money Wise & Mommy Wellness Quite coincidental that Mommy Wellness shares the same initials on this important and interesting topic, don’t you think? Crackers and Water for the rest of January? PROBABLY! It is not unusual during the month of December to spend excessively, running up credit cards or spending money that we don’t really have at our disposal.  (We won’t dare mention that crackers and water may also be the answer to losing some of those unwanted kilos which seem to have piled on from nowhere), so that’s another topic for another month! January is never plain sailing for many or most households. Mommy Wellness thought it a good idea therefore, to share some ‘doable’ ideas on how to save cleverly during the year. Hopefully some will help avoid another dreaded January but just as importantly, help save enough as a family towards an awesome year-end holiday! Banking statistics show that although South Africans on the whole display a healthy appetite to save, the current economic situation in which we found ourselves is sadly suppressing the hunger pains. Alarmingly, household savings have declined tremendously since the 1980’s and South Africans are currently only able to save on average, 28 cents per disposable Rand available. Recently, certain banks have introduced an innovative idea to save ‘left over’ change when customers swipe or use debit cards at point of sale terminals, without ‘feeling the pinch’ and with no strings attached. What a great idea to encourage a renewed savings mentality! It generally works along these lines: Transactions are rounded up to the nearest R1,00, R2.00, R5,00, R10.00 or R20.00, depending on the client’s requirements. The purchase amount is then rounded up to the client’s specification and the difference is then transferred (usually free of charge), into a linked Savings Account. Transfers between the Savings and Cheque accounts are also permitted and are also usually free of bank charges. Let’s face it, how much easier or ‘pain-free’ can saving be? You will be totally amazed at how much you can save by applying this saving method with your bank. Little by Little and also 'Pain-Free' Some of us still prefer the old method of ‘under-the-mattress stashing’!  Okay, maybe not, but using a built-in safe at home perhaps, where you can keep a beady eye on what’s coming in and what’s going out. Take a look at day-to-day household expenses and try changing just a few habits (yes, they are habits), like switching off the lights when leaving a room as an example This simple method of saving has been tried and tested!  It WORKS!! Start off by ‘stealing’ R10 from your pay cheque once a week for the first month. Put it far away and out of reach! Increase it to R20 the next month to R30 the next month and so on. Every month, you increase the amount by R10 per week, which if you come to think about it, is truly not excessive.  (Start by excluding the chocolate or crisps from your weekly shopping). By starting in January with R10.00 per week and increasing it by R10.00 per week every month, you should have potentially saved R2 640 by the end of November. Come on, how easy is that?  And just in time for a little Christmas shopping expedition too! Just a few arbitrary ‘use or lose’ tips, especially at this time during these annoying power outages:
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Feel Good Suggestions

REFLECTIONS ON THE YEAR THAT WAS And yet another year comes to an end and possibly, you have already started reflecting on the year that was. For some it was the best year ever, for others the worst and then there are those whose year was just so-so. Irrespective of challenges and struggles, to start the new year ahead on a positive note, it is important that you get ready to put your best foot forward when saying “HELLO” to 2020”! Mommy Wellness has put together a few ‘Feel Good’ suggestions, preparing for the year ahead. Give them a try and see how they change the lives of those around you.
  • Reach out and touch (Don’t get carried away with this one) When next saying thank you to someone, reach out and touch their arm gently to portray your appreciation
  • Give Receiving an unexpected gift, no matter how small, always leaves one feeling warm and appreciated.  Give something to someone close, to show that they are special
  • Be generous When next buying in bulk packs (eg. Socks, underwear, tinned foods, etc.), remove an item or two and give it to someone less fortunate.  It will mean the world to them and do wonders for your well-being
  • Smile and the whole world smiles with you Remember a smile is contagious.  Be it a good or bad day you may be having, just smile and see how it encourages everyone around you
  • Volunteer Spend some time volunteering for a fund-raising organisation or soup kitchen and be grateful for your well-stocked fridge at home (Don’t forget to take your smile with you)
  • Pay It Forward People on the receiving end are left speechless with this one.  When next at your favourite drive-thru, pay for the guy’s milkshake or Quarter Pounder in the car behind you.  Don’t look back to see his reaction.  The warm feeling you experience will be a reward in itself
  • Little things count Write a thank you note to a co-worker, family member or even the refuse truck driver.  It is something that will take them by sheer surprise and guaranteed they will keep and cherish that note forever!
  • Live in the moment Switch off your phone and be PRESENT with the people in the room.  Pay attention, listen to them and respond to what they are saying
  • Don’t be complacent Be grateful for everything you have.  Instead of taking it for granted, grow it.  Complacency stunts growth.
  • Celebrate Never stop celebrating.  Celebrate life, health and those close to you.  Always count your Blessings!
  "Forget yesterday--it has already forgotten you. Don't sweat tomorrow--you haven't even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift--today." Steve Maraboli
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Mom, are we there yet? Holiday Roadtripping Planning & Tips

Mommy Wellness is brave enough to guarantee you that as a seasoned parent, most of you would have heard those words over and over again being uttered from the back seat, especially during long-distance road trips.

Little do they know that you are literally still only around the corner from home, with hundreds of kilometres ahead before reaching your destination!

Oh boy, it’s going to be a long, long trip!

Mommy Wellness has put together a few ‘road-tripping with kids’ ideas, hints and tips, in the hope that upon your return home, you will still have all your marbles intact.

START BY WRITING TO-DO LISTS (LOTS OF THEM)!

Besides sorting out your home, pet-sitters, paying monthly accounts, buying new clothing, Christmas shopping, continuing with everyday family life ……. oh gosh, the list just goes on and on, we are sure you get our drift when still having to prepare and pack for your long-awaited annual holiday.

Believe it or not, you are human and the only way you are going to cope is by writing everything down.  Tried, tested and a winning recipe for many years!

Create separate lists for household, kids, car, family members, etc.

Always remember to add servicing, tyres, oil, water, etc. and getting the battery checked to your vehicle list.

Include on the kids’ list what you will need to pack for them and another list of gifts to be purchased and wrapped before leaving.

Remember to pack a torch, your medical card and have a little extra cash on hand for possible contingencies.

ALWAYS PLAN YOUR ROUTE BEFORE-HAND

Regardless of how many times you may have made the same trip before, always plan your route ahead of time.  With today’s modern technology, it could save hours of traveling time by knowing the quickest routes, taking into consideration road works and possible traffic jams, particularly over the Festive period.

PACKING SNACKS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE

Regardless of how short the trip, it is amazing how suddenly the back-seat peanut gallery erupts the minute you think you are all strapped in, settled and ready to go.

Plan your snack pack so that there is something yummy for everyone.  The strip packs of dried fruit, nuts, raisins, etc. are really handy for this purpose.

For longer trips, cut off the lid of a larger box and fill it with a variety of goodies.  This allows for easy access, instead of rummaging around for whatever it is that someone is wanting, or more likely, for which they are screaming hysterically!

KEEP ESSENTIALS WITHIN EASY REACH

Handy ‘must-haves’ like sunscreen, drinking water, wet wipes, hand sanitizer and a change of clothing for younger kids should all be close at hand for those inevitable mishaps.  It is also a good idea to establish toll road fees before leaving and have the correct amount of cash available, just in case the card machine at the toll road is not functioning.

PLAN PACKING SPACE CAREFULLY

When packing the car, remember that there will probably be gifts that need to be packed too.  Allow enough space for these and hopefully even more for the return trip, as chances are that Granny, Aunty and Uncle So-and-So and all the cousins will be spoiling your family too.  Your return trip is bound to require more space.

BUY A FEW INEXPENSIVE TOYS AND GAMES

Kids love new toys and games and although they are sure to receive many when visiting family at Christmas time, those will only help on the return trip.  You still need to get there.  Keep whatever surprises you buy until you hit the road.

This is also a great way of keeping kids occupied other than with mobile phones, tablets or other technology.

STOP REGULARLY FOR WEE-WEE BREAKS

We all want to get to where we are going as soon as possible.  Long trips are tedious and although by stopping frequently it will take that little bit longer to get there, it is essential.

Stopping and getting out of the car restores concentration and allows everyone to stretch their legs.  Encourage youngsters to use the loo to avoid having to stop too soon again, or having to clean and dry a little ‘slip-up’.  (That’s the reason for the extra set of clothing).

TIME FOR ‘EYE SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE’!

Its that time of the year when roads become unavoidably congested.  There is no point in becoming impatient, as the flow of traffic is certainly something beyond your control, regardless of the impatient drivers you are bound to encounter.

Prepare your younger passengers and maybe even your partner, that there will be traffic, delays will happen and the best and safest way of handling them is to wait your turn.

Use the time for a family sing-along or a game of ‘eye spy with my little eye’!

EASIER SAID THAN DONE BUT TOTALLY POSSIBLE

Road trips with kids can often be very stressful.  It really is worth planning a stop-over for long-distance journeys.  There is nothing more distracting than tired, bored kids screaming at the back of the car.

Plan the stop-over as part of the journey.  Make it fun and the next morning you will once again be on your way, only now with a happy, content family and the prospects of a well-deserved restful holiday ahead.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ALL AT MOMMY WELLNESS

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Movember Is Here – Grow Your Mo! Prostate Cancer Awareness

BIN THE SHAVING CREAM AND UNDERLINE THOSE NOSES!

MOVEMBER IS HERE AND HAS THE FULL SUPPORT OF MOMMY WELLNESS!

November is the month during which eyes around all the world focus on men’s health issues.  Much attention is given in November to cancer and awareness is raised particularly around the prostate and testicular cancers, amongst others.

To show support and maintain the drive, men are encouraged internationally to “Grow A Mo”, starting with a clean-shaven face on 1 November.

Now the ladies naturally give the guys their full support, but remember, not all ladies like the idea of a Mo, so please remember that although your shaving cream is no longer, you still need to maintain your Mo by grooming and trimming regularly.  This will help keep you out of trouble!

As one of the most common types of cancer in men, prostate cancer usually grows slowly, confined initially to the prostate gland.  There are. However. more aggressive cancers which can spread very quickly and if detected early whilst still confined to the prostate gland, there is a much better chance of successful treatment.

It is still not clear what causes prostate cancer and alarmingly in its early stages, there may be no signs or symptoms that it is even prevalent.  However, advanced prostate cancer may present symptoms such as:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Decreased force in the stream of urine
  • Blood in semen
  • Discomfort in the pelvic area
  • Bone pain
  • Erectile dysfunction

PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE

Certain factors have been suggested in the attempt to reduce prostate cancer:

Diet
Choosing a healthy diet of fruit and vegetables is essential.  Try to avoid high-fat foods and focus on whole grains.

Although it needs yet to be proved that a healthy diet may prevent prostate cancer, vitamins and nutrients found in a variety of fruit and vegetables will contribute towards and improve your overall health.

Choose healthy foods over supplements
Always choose healthy/fresh foods before opting for supplements. Choose foods that are vitamin enriched and which contain minerals to maintain healthy levels of vitamins in the body.

Exercise most days of the week
Exercise helps improve overall health.  It also helps maintain weight and enhances moods. Some evidence shows that men who exercise are at a lower risk of contracting prostate cancer than men who don’t.

If you are new to exercising, start slowly and increase your exercises gradually over a period of time.  Try exercising as regularly as possible.

Maintain a healthy weight
If you are at an ideal weight, make sure to keep it constant by exercising as often as possible.  Should you need to lose a bit of weight, increase your exercise time and reduce calorie intake.  Your Doctor or Dietician will be able to assist with a healthy eating plan.

Talk to your doctor
Should you have any concerns about any risks of developing prostate cancer or notice any worrying signs or symptoms, contact your doctor sooner than later.

EARLY DETECTION AND TREATMENT SAVES LIVES!

The ladies especially are looking forward to seeing the unity of our men standing together and fighting to prevent this dreaded disease.

REMEMBER TO UNDERLINE THOSE NOSES!

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Teenage Stress & Acne

TEENAGE STRESS AND ACNE

‘ZIT WARRIORS’ - ON THE WARPATH!

IS IT A CASE OF “I HAVE ACNE BECAUSE I AM STRESSED”?  OR IS IT “I AM STRESSED BECAUSE I HAVE ACNE”?

Yes, it sucks!  And no, it is nothing like that one pimple that simply popped up on your lip that one time you landed up kissing some weirdo at a party!

This is a real struggle and acne at any age (including adults), can be quite traumatising.

Whether it is comforting or not to know that many people out there suffer from acne in one form or another, there are some who cannot even remember ever having clear skin at all.

With imminent Matric Farewells and as importantly, Preliminary Matric exams looming, stress, anxiety and excitement levels go through the roof.  Mommy Wellness decided it is a good time to provide a bit of background and hopefully, some helpful advice to our teenagers and parents about how teenage stress and acne often go hand in hand.

THE TEENAGE YEARS – STANDING THE TEST OF TIME 

As they say: “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”

Teenage years are a crucial phase in life.  This is the time when both emotional and physical changes are experienced, marking the start of puberty.

Skin matures gradually with the growth of a teenage body.  Unfortunately, maturing skin does not keep up with the process due to an excess production of sebum, which is an oily substance which lubricates the skin, often causing acne.

WELL ‘PICKING’ (PARDON THE PUN), IS OUT OF THE QUESTION AND SADLY SO IS ‘CHOOSING’

Acne takes on a few different forms and is certainly not fussy about its next victims.

When skin pores are clogged, whiteheads appear due to excess sebum and dead skin cells and those awful little (sometimes big), blackheads are caused through oxidization of debris inside open pores.

Another form of acne are papules, which occur after whiteheads, and after sebum and bacteria cause inflammation under the skin.

Cystic acne is more severe when dead skin cells and sebum clog the skin deep down and form an infected bump filled with pus.

HORMONES – THEY MOAN A LOT!

Often, ‘raging’ hormones (not what we want to hear, but there it is), can also be the cause of stress during teenage years, as can sweating.  Sweat is waste and contains fatty materials and salt which worsens the clogged pores, leading to acne breakouts.  Then even worse, bacteria start multiplying due to the heat which is produced during sweating.

Hygiene is of obvious and paramount importance and regular showering helps reduce the clogging of the pores.  Clean, clear water is always good when It comes to cleansing and clearing skin impurities.

As with all problematic issues, Mommy Wellness suggests seeking the advice of a Doctor if acne becomes a problem, particularly if stress-related, which often can be the case during teenage years.

Mommy Wellness has put together a few pointers which may be helpful:

Seeking advice from Skin Care specialists and support from parents can to a large degree, relieve overcoming the problem, making the whole process of dealing with acne much easier.

Treatments are available and a few precautionary measures can be put into place to help ease and sometimes even eliminate the problem.

Most important:  Always bear in mind the skin type.

  • KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR HIDDEN CAUSES OF ACNE
    Excessive consumption of processed food can lead to acne breakouts.  Donuts, ice-cream and cake etc. contain plenty of sugar and can cause inflammation.
  • A HEALTHY SKIN REGIME GOES WITHOUT SAYING
    Drawing up a healthy skin program and sticking to it, is the secret.  The most effective treatment is to wash your face twice a day – Immediately upon waking up and then just before going to bed. Always use sunscreen before any outdoor activities.  Oil-free sunscreens are readily available for acne-prone skin.
  • GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP IS HIGH ON THE LIST OF PRIORITIES
    Put down those phones and get off those tablets!
    Technology is often the reason why teenagers are sleep deprived.  Lack of sleep causes the secretion of more sebum, which in turn can cause acne.
    During sleep, rejuvenation of the body takes place, forming new cells and naturally resulting in skin looking healthier.
  • WATCH YOUR DIET!
    This can be quite tricky as everyone is different, and what triggers one may not necessarily trigger everyone.Certain foods like pasta, white bread and white rice are inclined to trigger insulin, causing oil glands in the skin to produce more oil, which in turn can induce acne.The good news is that foods which have been proved beneficial to the skin, such as baby marrows, un-processed fruits, veggies and whole grains contain a range of complex carbohydrates, which all help in the prevention of acne development.

    Unfortunately, the choice will be trial and error, as some foods agree with certain people, but can be the cause of an acne outbreak in others.

    When uncertain, it may be wise to consult with a Dietary Practitioner who will usually provide a general outline of do’s and don’ts, specifically formulated for the individual.

  • GENTLE EXFOLIATION AND MOISTURISING IS A MUST
    Bearing in mind that most teenage skins are rather sensitive, it is a good idea to explore the various options of natural exfoliation, which are gentle and not as harsh on the skin as the over-the-counter beauty products.  (Try a mixture of ground oatmeal and brown sugar).As the skin is already oily, it may seem strange that moisturising is imperative.  Moisturising stops the skin from producing more oil, which would mean more acne, and that’s the last thing we need.Always use a sunscreen that is at least SPF40.
  • GENES PLAY A PART TOO
    A genetic ‘acne background’ is often passed onto the next generation.  Genes play a major part in the development of acne as they determine sensitivity to hormones and other factors of the environment.
  • SORRY, BUT MAKE-UP IS NOT A BFF
    We are all fascinated by the amazing range of glamour and beauty products available, often believing that they are or could be a ‘quick fix’ to the acne problem.  Unfortunately, wearing makeup can come with its own problems and side effects, and when used with acne, can worsen the condition.Makeup is inclined to clog pores, encouraging blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.If you have the need to wear a little light makeup, always be aware of the ingredients.

Mommy Wellness has some amazing Teen packages which include stress release.

Take advantage of our 20% discount on advertised rates.  Go to http://mommywellness.co.za/urban-teen-wellness/, choose a suitable pampering session for your Teen and book an appointment.

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