Monday, 1 August 2016

Holiday stress? There's an app for that...

relaxation, therapy, health
Ever wished you could just drift away from it all?
While the summer holidays bring a welcome chance for parents to spend more time with their kids, it can also be stressful as you try to combine childcare with your other commitments. As well as the opportunity to be outside in better weather, take a family trip and have fun - it's likely you'll also be dealing with bickering and boredom, re-jiging work schedules and other responsibilities and generally trying to please everyone, all of the time.

So it's no surprise then, that people will also find the long, school holidays difficult to manage. In fact you'd be forgiven for just wishing you could drift off alone to a desert island to relax and unwind. Which is exactly what you can do if you download the Feel Stress Free app from Thrive!

Yep, you can get your own little slice of paradise on your smartphone that offers quick activities and exercises developed by psychiatrists/psychologists that are ‘clinically proven’ to help you keep calm and carry on throughout the summer! So, plug in your headphones and head off to 'Calm Isle'...

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Sick of travelling this summer?

There's nothing worse than hearing the words 'I feel sick' from the back of the car as you head off on your holidays, and since motion sickness is more common in children aged three to 12, it's something parents often face during summer travels. 

travel, healthy, motion sickness
Don't 'drive' yourself crazy over motion sickness...
In fact travel - or motion sickness - can strike when travelling by car, ship, plane or train, which makes any sort of long journey pretty difficult. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea and - of course - vomiting. It's thought it is caused by the mismatch of what the eyes are seeing (the things outside your car window moving for example) and what your inner ears, which help with balance, sense (the fact you are actually sitting still). 

Either way it's awful to experience it - and it's awful to try and comfort a poorly child, clean up after a poorly child - and still continue to your destination. It can make trips to relatives tiresome, exciting holiday plans seem a whole lot less fun and put the kibosh on certain types of trips altogether (a Disney cruise say).

But there are several ways to ease symptoms and make your trip far happier. Here's my Top Ten of Travel Sickness tips...

Monday, 18 July 2016

Family biking - what are your options?

There are some things that you have to give up when you have kids (sleep comes to mind for starters!). But how about when it comes to your favourite active pursuits like biking? Thankfully your kids can come right along with you, provided you invest in the proper gear for every age.

When your kids are very small, there are different ways to tote them around on a bike. A front carrier is a good option, as are both rear-mounted seats and attachable trailers. Once your kids have graduated to nearly preschool age, they may be ready for a bike tag-a-long - a one-wheeled structure that attaches to the back of your bike - or even another option that connects their bike to yours.

Need some advice?


Any and all of these options come with their own weight and age restrictions and recommendations. And as your kids move from one piece of equipment to the next, it’s important they understand not only rules of the road, but exactly what is the right safety gear - especially when it comes to helmets.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Flower power!

flower therapy, emotional health, send flowers
As we head towards the school holidays, it's easy to feel frazzled by end of term chaos and upcoming changes in routine. For some children and parents it will herald the end of an era, as children move on to different stages in their lives - be that starting school, switching schools - or even leaving school for good. But there's an easy way to lift your mood, inspire creativity - and help you recover from dips in your health. A simple bunch of flowers! 

In fact, florist Flowers For Everyone have hit the nail on the head - a bouquet of blooms really can boost your health.

And here are just four of the ways foliage can make you feel good...

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

These boots are made for walking

health, healthy, workout, fitness
Put your best foot forward for fitness
If I told you there was a safe, easy and cheap way to lose weight and stay healthy that suits just about everyone you’d be interested right? Well, there is – and you can start this great workout right now by getting up from your desk, sofa or chair and going for a walk.

Yep, walking could just be the new cardio – with recent research suggesting walking might be just as good as gentle jogging – and potentially better for you than long-term strenuous endurance exercise. With national guidelines recommending 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week, walking is easy to start and even easier to incorporate it into daily life. 

But why is walking so good for you?

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

5 ways to get your kids to eat veggies & fruit

healthy eating, feeding kids
Let Connie Carrot capture your child's heart
Without doubt, if your kids develop a taste for fruit and veg while they are young, they will find it easier to eat healthily as they grow up. But it can be hard to convince a child to try new foods - and to ignore the many outside influences that push other less nutritious menu items. Here are five tried and tested ways to encourage a love of plant-based meals and snacks...

1. Lead by example


It's human nature to want what other people have - and this rule applies ten-fold to kids! If you visibly enjoy a plate of veggies they are bound to be curious and want to try your meal. The upside of seeing you enjoy fresh fruit and veg with your meals and as snacks, means you are consciously being healthy too! You can even try some reverse psychology and tell them it's probably a bit 'grown up' and too special for them...

Monday, 18 April 2016

Say no to nasties: Synthetic fragrance and 'parfum'

health, green, healthy living, ethics, additives
Exactly what's in your products?
Photo credit: Maya Picture at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

This is the third in my series that looks into common ingredients in everyday toiletries and cosmetics. I want to learn more about the risks I might be taking by regularly putting these additives on my face and body. I'll also showcase alternative brands that have moved away from using these synthetics - to provide a more natural and potentially healthier choice. This time I'm looking at synthetic fragrances and parfum.



You can read more about the other common additives Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS) and parabens.