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Health Warning: 10 Mistakes Most People Make When Travelling

Health Warning: 10 Mistakes Most People Make When Travelling

Traveling is so much fun until something happens like sickness, getting bitten by something or just some very simple annoyance occurs which ruins your trip. One of the best things you can do is to learn what not to do and realise that a little prevention goes a long way. I have outlined 10 mistakes that most people make and how you can avoid a catastrophe by simply using preventive measures.

Hand Sanitizer

One thing I would never leave home without is hand sanitiser. You see, here is the thing: Most of our diseases come via our nose, mouth and eyes – so how does it get to there? From our hands! Most people never stop to think about being out and about, touching things, picking up things and inspecting them and then touching our face. You will not always have access to soap and water so pull out that hand sanitizer and put it to use! Remember this especially when shaking people’s hands, you never know where those hands have been! Just sayin’!!

Drink Bottled Water

I practice this the world over even in countries where they tell me that it is safe to drink tap water. One thing that it is always good to remember is that when you go abroad it is already a shock to the system so, drinking water that is clean and healthy is an absolute must! While you are drinking bottled water, do not forget that ice comes from tap water. So, if you like your ice, better to avoid it all costs when traveling as you never know what water was used to make it and it does have to melt! By the way, do drink a lot of water as it will help keep you from suffering with dehydration especially in places where it is very hot and humid.

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Wearing Shoes

Not only can you get a lot of diseases through your face via your hands, one of the big mistakes that people make is not wearing shoes, especially when visiting a beach town. Diseases also come up through your feet; walking in streets where people spit, animals urinate, and many other things I care not to imagine can cause ill health. One of the worst things you can do is to walk through water, even when it looks clean. Wear your shoes and you will avoid a lot of health risks.

Injections

I always make sure I know about any health risks of a country before traveling especially when going to areas which are heavily mosquito-populated. A shot only hurts a little while and then it is over and it could save you from getting seriously ill while traveling overseas. Mosquito bites bring on malaria in many cases and some people are allergic to them as well. As a matter of fact, some countries make it a requirement in order to enter the country. For example, my husband and I traveled to Ghana, Africa two years ago and we had to have a yellow fever injection two weeks before leaving our country of England. We even had to show the shot record upon arrival. Always check before entering a country.

First Aid Kit

An absolute must for every traveler. Different countries or even local cities may or may not carry things that you need in an emergency as it depends on where you are at the time. Having a kit packed with all of the essential such as, band-aids, scissors, tweezers for tick removal or any other insect necessary, gauze, and basic headache pills and antiseptics will put your mind at ease.

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Familiar Food

Having traveled all of my life, inevitably you will end up going somewhere where you do not really like the food. The first thing you are inclined to do is to refrain from eating and then you begin to dehydrate which can then lead to health issues. A very wise old traveler used to tell me from a young age, always carry something familiar with you from home to eat, like granola bars, health bars, fruit bars – even chocolate bars. This is because if you should get sick, this gives you an opportunity to eat something you are used to eating. After all, many times once you get to that point, what your body needs is nutrition from something that you will enjoy so you can start to recuperate.

Sunscreen

Some of the sickest people that I have seen are those who thought that it was perfectly fine to be out in the sun with no sunscreen. It really does not matter what skin colour you are, you can still burn and end up very sick. The first thing is to investigate how close a country is to the equator and if you are going to be on the coast, then you will know how heavily exposed to the sun you are going to be. You should use an SPF 15 or greater and always check the expiration date. The other thing to keep in mind is to not be out in the hottest part of the day which is between 11am – 3pm.

Street Food

Unless you are used to eating the food from this particular area or country, avoid eating out in the street at all costs. All of us have stomachs that adjust to the way we eat and how we feed it. If, for example, you are used to eating processed food and microwaveable food, eating lots of fresh produce, fruit and other ingredients can make you sick very much in the same way one can become very ill when the opposite occurs. In some countries, the health restrictions are not very strict, therefore, you could be eating food which has not been chilled properly, or not been cleaned properly. Even eating off of a plate or with silverware that has been washed in dirty water can greatly affect your health. Be smart and eat where you know exactly how the food was prepared (where and when).

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Emergency

What kind of health insurance do you have and can it be used overseas? The best thing you can do is to call and let them know where you will be going and find out what exactly will happen if there is a serious injury or accident. Find out if you will be transported back to your home country and/or what hospitals and doctors they work with in that country. What is the procedure when an emergency occurs? It is always good to know this so that you can relax and know that you will still be well taken care of.

Finally, Be Alert

The idea of traveling somewhere is to get away and be able to relax and enjoy yourself. It is very hard to do that if you are not aware of your surroundings. When we go into a place we always check out the area around our hotel or wherever we will be staying. We find out about any stores or restaurants and pharmacies. It is just smart to be alert and aware of what is going on around you and to have emergency numbers in your wallet or purse/handbag.

My husband and I personally love to travel and while we are never paranoid, we try to follow all of the above guidelines to ensure that we have a great time and a healthy time. Always be wise and then you can go and have a great time knowing all is well.

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Featured photo credit: https://picjumbo.com/girl-on-rialto-bridge-venice-italy/ via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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