7 Relaxation Techniques to Help Ease Tension

With all the stressful situations we face in our day to day lives, it’s good to have knowledge of relaxation responses to these stressors.

This will help you avoid negative effects of stress like insomnia, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue etc.

Jumia Travel shares 7 relaxation techniques to help you achieve this. You can sample several of them to see the one(s) that work(s) best for you.

1. Breathing Exercises

In this exercise, you take long, slow, deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing). As you breathe, disengage your mind from distracting and troubling thoughts and sensations, says Julie Corliss, Executive Editor of Harvard Heart Letter. You should let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as possible (without forcing it), and breathe out without pausing or holding your breath, just let it flow out gently.

Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Breathe in gently and regularly, and try counting from one to five in the process. It’s ok if you can’t; if counting is distracting you just focus on the exercise without counting. Try doing it for three to five minutes. However, this technique might not be appropriate for those with respiratory ailments or heart failure.

2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation

After a few minutes of breathing exercises, you follow up with progressive muscle relaxation. Here, you focus on one part of your body or a group of muscles per time, and mentally release any physical tension you feel there. Basically, you scan your body to identify physically tense areas, and consciously relax those areas (one after the other) to help ease tension. You can lie on your back or sit with your feet to the floor while doing this, start the body scan from your toes to your scalp, noticing how your body feels and relaxing at every point.

3. Guided Imagery

Here, you remember soothing scenes, memories, places or experiences to help you relax and ease tension. If you have intrusive thoughts or find it difficult to conjure up mental images, you can find and download free apps or online videos of calming and soothing scenes and imagery. You only have to ensure you personally find these scenes calming and soothing.

4. Talk to Someone

Talk to your loved ones, as reaching out to those in your social circle is one of the best ways to handle stress and tension. Share your burdens with them, and in the process get fresh and helpful perspectives on the things weighing you down.

5. Listen to Soothing Music

Research shows that listening to soothing music can actually lower your blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety. Create a playlist of calm and soothing music (consider adding some classical music to that playlist), listen to them and allow your mind focus on the different melodies, instruments or even on the singer’s voice.

6. Move Around

Exercise helps the brain release feel-good chemicals and this gives the body a chance to deal with stress and ease tension. Quick walks around short distances, leisurely walks around your area or environment, walking up and down a flight of stairs, or doing some stretching exercises are enough to help you deal with stress and ease tension.

7. Repetitive Prayer

Yes prayer, especially for those who find religion and spirituality meaningful. Harvard Health Letter advises the use of this technique as a relaxation response to potential stressors. Here, you silently repeat a short prayer or a phrase from a prayer while practicing breathing exercises.

8 WAYS TO DEAL WITH SWEATY ARMPITS

It can be very uncomfortable – even agitating – to get dressed, looking all smart and appealing, only for something as little as sweat under your arms to ruin it all.

There is something unarguably embarrassing about having the underarm of your dress, blouse or shirt drenched in sweat, and it gets worse if it’s the only sweat-stained part of your clothing.

Jumia Travel shares 8 ways to help you deal with sweaty armpits and avoid such uncomfortable situations.

1. Use the Appropriate Product for Your Problem

You can’t stop your body from perspiring because if your body stopped excreting sweat and toxins through the skin, you would die. You thus can only manage and try to control your bodily perspiration. One of the ways to do this is to use deodorants and topical anti-perspirants. Deodorants do little or nothing to stop underarm sweating; but they help to mask the odour. Deodorants that use gentle and natural ingredients will work well.

To avoid sweat stains, you can use commercial anti-perspirants that use aluminum chloride hexahydrate. They are effective in controlling the amount of sweat your armpits produce. Also, consider seeing a dermatologist to discuss possible prescription anti-perspirant products that can be advised for your use.

NOTE: It is important you apply these products properly for them to be effective. Deodorants or anti-perspirants should be applied to clean underarms, not already sweaty ones. It is best to apply these products first thing in the morning after your bath, and any other time after bathing. Always wash your underarms with clean water and soap (be thorough about it and dab with a towel until dry), then apply a thin layer of anti-perspirant or deodorant to your dry underarms. If you can’t wash your underarm with soap and water, alternate the use of a wet and dry cloth to clean your underarm until it’s dry.

2. Use Natural Remedies

Though there are all-natural commercial deodorants and anti-perspirant products at your disposal, you can create your own natural ones. One of such natural remedies is to mix equal parts of baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply the paste on both of armpits and let it sit for 20 – 30 minutes, before rinsing off the mixture.

Another remedy to consider is using apple vinegar, or other malt vinegar, on your armpits to neutralize the armpit’s natural odour-causing bacteria. This helps to create a drying effect in your underarm, which helps you sweat less and stay dry. A mixture of lemon juice and tomato pulp can also be considered. You mix them together until a paste is formed, then you apply the paste in your underarms and allow to sit for 15 minutes.

3. Practice Good Hygiene

Asides using products and remedies, managing and controlling underarm sweating require the practice of good body hygiene to aid the effectiveness of such products and remedies. It is important to shower regularly to keep your body clean and dry. You should shower your body, or at least your underarms, once or twice a day. If you are someone who remained active throughout the day, it is advisable to add to your morning shower and shower before bed so you can wash off the sweat produced during the day’s activities.

You should also shave your armpit hair regularly. This will help to prevent sweat from collecting in your armpits which helps to make sweat stains less pronounced and odours less prevalent. In addition, you should try to wash your shirts and dresses after every use or as often as possible. This will greatly help those dealing with underarm body odor. Washing your shirts and dresses often will keep bacteria from building over time and acting on the dried sweat to produce unpleasant odours.

4. Let Your Body Cool Down Before You Put Clothes On

It is important to let your body cool down before you put clothes on, if not you may immediately start sweating. Even after you have just had a bath, you should learn to relax and let your body cool down before you put on clothes. Regardless of where you are rushing to, remember that it is better to take a few seconds to calm yourself down than skip that step and rush to your destination with an unsightly underarm sweat stain.

5. Be Selective About Your Clothing

Go for clothing made of natural, more breathable fabrics like cotton, wool, hemp, silk or linen, because of their looser weaves. The fibers of these fabrics help to absorb moisture well, make it possible for accumulated moisture to evaporate easily and are less inclined to trap heat and make your body sweaty. Some man-made fabrics like banbook, lyocell, modal and some microfiber fabrics can be considered because they function similarly to natural fabrics.

6. Consider Changing Your Clothes Often

You can also consider changing your clothes often, or avoid wearing the clothes you intend to use for an outing around the house. You can keep a change of clothing handy from time to time.

7. Layer Your Clothes

You can consider layering your clothes so sweat won’t come through to your outer cloth easily. It is important to choose the right clothing material for this. Breathable fabrics are the best choice. You should also keep these inner wears washed and cleaned regularly to avoid unpleasant odours.

8. Manage Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety tend to lead to excessive sweating and effusive underarm sweating. Practicing relaxation techniques, deep breathing and meditation exercises can help produce the calming effect needed to manage this situation.

5 CAUSES AND REMEDIES FOR BACK PAIN

It is fortunate that episodes of back pain heal with time. However, back pain can be a temporary but recurrent pain that is indeed a very uncomfortable occurrence.

To help you, Jumia Travel shares 5 causes and remedies for back pain.

1. POOR POSTURE

This is one of the major causes of upper and lower back pain. This pain usually occurs along with neck pain or shoulder pain. Poor posture puts on strain on sensitized muscles and soft tissues leading to increased tension in the muscles which most times results in pain.

Remedy: The simple remedy for this is to correct your sitting and standing posture to help alleviate some of the muscle tension causing you back pain. Avoid slouching or hunching your back when sitting. Also try to do exercises that strengthen your core muscles, buttock muscles, check muscles, neck muscles, rear-shoulder muscles and back extensions (exercises like bridges, back extensions, side-lying stretches, planks etc.), this will help improve your posture.

When standing, balance your weight evenly on both feet (don’t lean on one leg), keep your shoulders and back relaxed, pull in your abdomen, keep your feet apart and straight but knees relaxed, and try not to tilt your head forward, backward or sideways.

2. STRENUOUS PHYSICAL WORK AND EXERCISE

Jobs that involve lifting, pushing, pulling or twisting with the low back can cause injury and back pain. These jobs especially affect the lower back and cause lower back pain.

Also, there are some physical exercises that contribute to back pains. Exercises like the ‘touch-your-toes’ hamstring stretch, hurdler’s stretch, leg raises, sit-ups, crunches and high impact aerobic exercises.

Remedy: For physically strenuous jobs, try to avoid heavy lifting, pushing, pulling or twisting your low back as much as you can. If you must do heavy lifting try to bend your legs and keep your back straight when lifting something heavy. Also, you should often do exercises to stretch and strengthen your core, back, neck, shoulder and buttock muscles.

For strenuous exercises, avoid strenuous physical exercises like the ones mentioned above and swap them for more back-friendly exercises like side-lying stretches, reverse curl-ups, swimming, walking etc.

3. MENTALLY STRESSFUL WORK

Mentally stressful work tends to cause stress and anxiety which are two of the most common causes of back pain. Stress and anxiety drastically increase muscle tension, which in turn increases pain. The back contains a variety of muscles that tense during stress and anxiety, which increases pain and leads to a mild or severe back pain in the upper and lower back.

In addition to this, anxiety and stress also cause changes in behaviors that lead to back pain. These include changes in posture (there is a tendency to slouch more, hunch your back etc.), inactivity (there is the tendency of decreased healthy physical activity and mobility) and hypersensitivity (stress and anxiety tends to make you more sensitive to physical sensations which makes them feel more severe and harder to ignore).

Remedy: Stretching your muscles regularly, watching your posture, occasional massages, exercising and being mobile can help reduce stress or anxiety-related pains in your back. But for a more permanent treatment, you should learn ways to cope with stress and anxiety. This can be done by identifying your stressors and what triggers your stress and anxiety, then finding ways to avoid it if you can or accept and adapt to it if you can’t. Taking breaks can also help, relaxation and meditation exercises also included. Try to eat a balanced diet, sleep well and limit caffeine or alcohol.

4. PREGNANCY

During a healthy pregnancy, women usually gain between 25 to 35 pounds which the spine has to support. This can lead to lower back pain for most women during pregnancy. Also, the weight of the baby and uterus puts pressure on blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back, which in turn increases pain and leads to back pain. In addition to these, posture changes, hormone changes, muscle separation and stress during pregnancy can also contribute to back pain during pregnancy.

Remedy: The good thing is that the back pain experienced during pregnancy gradually eases before birth, however things like safe exercises for pregnant women, applying heat and cold compress to your back at intervals, working on improving your posture during pregnancy, avoiding high-heeled shoes, and not sleeping on your back can help treat and alleviate the back pain.

5. SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE

A sedentary lifestyle tends to cause increased stiffness and weakened muscles which can cause or worsen back pain. Being sedentary keeps you inactive and makes you miss out on the benefits of regular physical activity which helps to nourish spinal discs, soft tissues and ligaments.

Remedy: Perform regular strengthening exercises, stretching and low-impact aerobic exercises for the muscle of the back and abdomen to help provide better support for your spine. Move around more and engage in healthy physical activities.

5 THINGS YOU DO THAT ENDANGER YOUR HEALTH

External factors like sickness and disease causing organisms in your environment are not the only things that can endanger your health.

Jumia Travel shares some tips on 5 things you do that endanger your health.

1. NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP

Depriving yourself daily of the appropriate hours of sleep, results in a weak immune system. A recent study by the University of Chicago found that men who slept 4 hours a night produced only half of the antibodies designed to fight off flu, compared to those who slept 7.5 – 8.5 hours per night.

Aside weakening your immune system, sleep deprivation also negatively affects your central nervous system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system and digestive system. It leaves the brain exhausted, makes it difficult for you to concentrate, learn new things and make decisions and impairs overall cognitive function. Most adult require 7 – 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. So, if you know you are going to wake up early, you shouldn’t go to bed late.

2. BEING PESSIMISTIC

If you are someone who always sees the cup as half empty, someone who always expects the worst to happen, you should know that you are endangering your health with such a mindset. Pessimistic people tend to live more stressful lives than optimistic people. They tend to have a lower T-cell count and a slower immune response.

Pessimistic and depressing thoughts depress your mind and, eventually, your body. You should work at re-orienting your thoughts, expectations and mindset to make them more positive. Learn not to expect the worst for yourself.

Being optimistic is not just about expecting things to go your way (realistically it isn’t possible for things to always go your way), but it’s about expecting good for yourself while preparing mentally and emotionally for the eventuality of an unfavorable result.

3. LACK OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

The body was created to move. That’s why there are so many joints in the body. Physical activity helps to boost your energy, helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently, improves your mood, combats health conditions and diseases, promotes better sleep and controls weight and prevents obesity.

Physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean doing high intensity exercises; it can just mean participating in simple activities that get your heart rate up daily. Go for leisurely walks, move around more at your place of work, walk instead of driving to destinations with a walkable distance, take stairs instead of elevators, basically stay moving as much as possible.

4. STOP TAKING SO MANY ANTIBIOTICS

The purpose of antibiotics is to fight serious infections and diseases. Taking antibiotics too often, especially when you have a slight illness or few symptoms can cause your body to develop a resistance to these antibiotics. This will therefore make you vulnerable to more serious cases of these infections.

Research has shown that those who consistently take antibiotics tend to have a suppressed immune system and are likely to get very sick in the future from diseases and infections. It is advisable to take antibiotics only when you have bacterial infections and only as much as you have been ordered to take by a doctor. You shouldn’t use antibiotics to prevent illnesses.

5. WORKING WITHOUT BREAKS

Occasional stress is a part of life, but being under stress day after day without giving yourself a break isn’t good for your health. Consistent stress weakens your central nervous and endocrine systems, makes you more likely to have heartburn or acid reflux, weakens your immune system, raises your blood pressure and increases your risk of hypertension.

Learn to relieve yourself of stress. Take a break, relax and do something that helps relieve you of stress on a regular basis. Your body will thank you for it.

4 WAYS TO GET RID OF MOUTH ODOUR

Mouth odour is an embarrassing condition caused by a group of anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria that breeds beneath the surface of the tongue and often in the throat and tonsil area.

Jumia Travel shares 4 ways you can solve and get rid of the issue of mouth odour. You should note that this condition is an easy one to solve, and nothing to worry about.

1. STIMULATE YOUR SALIVARY FLOW

A dry mouth gives the perfect environment for the group of anaerobic bacteria that causes mouth odour. Avoiding a dry mouth by stimulating the flow of saliva in your mouth will help you get rid of mouth odour. This can be done by chewing gum, lozenges or mints that are sugar free. The ones that contain Xylitol, a non-sucrose sweeter, are best because they help you avoid cavities.

You can also have a bottle of water handy to drink from time to time throughout the day, to keep your mouth from getting dry.

2. GOOD DENTAL HYGIENE

Brush your teeth at least twice a day (in the morning when you wake and at night before you sleep). It is very important you don’t neglect to brush your teeth at night because while you sleep little or no saliva is being produced, so anaerobic bacteria have the perfect environment to thrive throughout your eight hours of sleep. Brushing your mouth before you sleep will help remove any food and plaque in your mouth that the anaerobic bacteria can feed on while you’re asleep.

Fluoride toothpastes should be used, alongside brushes with soft (but not too soft) bristles (so you don’t damage your enamel and gum). You should also try to brush within the range of 1 – 2 minutes.

Mouthwashes (alcohol free) and dental flosses can also be used after meals, especially after meals that contain onion and garlic, dairy foods, meat, fish, refined and processed sugars, coffee and juices, and heavily processed foods that contain refined carbohydrates like cookies, cakes, sweets and ice cream which provide the ideal breeding environment for these bacteria.

3. FIBROUS FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Remember the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well in this case, we’ll modify it to, “An apple a day keeps the bad breath away”. Eating fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples, bananas, oranges, potatoes etc., help moisten the mouth and remove the bacteria in the mouth, thus helping you get rid of mouth odour.

4. CLEAN YOUR TONGUE (INCLUDING THE BACK OF YOUR TONGUE)

Over time, there is a coating that forms on your tongue that becomes the host for many smelly bacteria. It is thus important for you to remember to gently brush your tongue, including the back of your tongue, with your toothbrush.

If your brush is too big to reach the back of your tongue, you can get a smaller brush or something called a ‘scrapper’ to help you reach back there and properly clean the surface of your tongue, removing bacteria, food debris and dead cells that you might not have been able to remove by only brushing your teeth.

5 Things You Should Never Do If You Want a Decent Sleep At a Hotel

A hotel should be a home away from home. A place where you can relax and sleep without any disturbance especially at night. Of course, the hotels you book on jumia travel provides this kind of quiet and serene ambiance.

Jumia Travel shares 5 things you should never do to help you sleep better.

1. Sleeping in a room that is brightly lit

You may be tempted to leave the lights of your room on because you are not used to the hotel room you are sleeping. What you should do is to either dim the light or you simply switch it off.

2. Consuming caffeine

Recall when you were preparing for exams and you have a cup of coffee or tea on your table to prevent you from sleeping? This is actually true. Drinking tea or coffee which has quite a high amount of caffeine will never allow you sleep well. You will discover that you keep waking up in the Eko Garden Standard Room you booked at Eko Hotel and Suites.

3. Exercise

You wonder why someone should hit the gym before going to bed. Perhaps, he or she wants to desperately reduce cut some fat. Your exercise won’t have any effect. If you must exercise, you should do it at least two or three hours before going to bed.

4. Overeating

You are famished and probably due to your busy schedule, you couldn’t take breakfast and lunch. As a typical Nigerian executive, you order both breakfast and lunch as dinner. After the heavy dinner, you didn’t relax for a few minutes for the food to digest, you just went to bed. It means you don’t want to sleep. Normally, you should eat light healthy foods at night if don’t want to have difficulty sleeping in your hotel room.

5. Don’t use technology

This is one of the most common reasons why many of don’t get a good sleep whether we are lounging in a hotel or not. We surf the internet, chat, text, watch movies and other things with our phones. If you are serious about sleeping properly, you get rid of any technology around you. You can put your phone on silent.



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