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5 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Sight

5 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Sight

Sight is your most important sense. You use your eyes for everything from driving to flirting with that cute new guy across the room. Unfortunately most people put more thought into which toilet paper to buy than their eye health. We are all guilty of taking our eyes for granted but there are a few easy ways you can protect your peepers.

1. Eat Like A Rabbit

According to optometrists, certain foods can have a big impact on your eyes. Anything that is high in vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids and zinc can help your eyes.

Berries oranges and other citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C. Eating these will help lower your risk of macular degeneration plus they taste great. The vitamin C in these fruits works to keep the cells in your eyes healthy and maintain connective tissue.

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Leafy greens like kale are high in lutein and zeaxanthin which are antioxidants. These can help protect against macular degeneration and a number of different cancers.

Nuts and legumes are high in vitamin E. Most people know about vitamin E because it is good for your skin but it can also help prevent cataracts.

Fatty fish like salmon and trout are high in omega 3 fatty acids which are good for your overall health and protect against dry eye syndrome.

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Oysters are often cited as being an aphrodisiac but they are also good for your eyes. These little shellfish are absolutely packed with zinc which is used by the body to process vitamin A and make melanin. This can protect you from light toxicity and help night vision.

2. Don’t Smoke

By now everyone knows that smoking is bad for you but most people do not realize that smoking can do serious damage to your eyes. Even a light smoker is playing with fire. Smoking makes you four times more likely to develop macular degeneration and heavy smokers are three times more likely to develop cataracts.

Smoking also leads to higher blood pressure which actually increases your risk of diabetes and glaucoma, both of which can have terrible effects on your eyes. Glaucoma increases the pressure inside your eye and can lead to sight loss. Diabetes can actually increase the acidity of your blood which can damage the tiny blood vessels in your eyes and even lead to blindness.

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3. Look Cool, Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement; they are an essential part of eye health. The sun is constantly throwing out ultraviolet rays. The ones you need to worry about are UV-A and UV-B radiation. These can damage your eyes plus squinting gives your crow’s feet.

The solution is simple, find a nice pair of shades that filter out 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays. Remember that sunglasses are not just for sunny summer days. UV rays are just as damaging in winter. If you are on the water or playing in the snow, sunglasses will also protect you from glare and sun burning your eyes.

4. Get Regular Eye Exams

I will be the first to admit, getting your eyes examined is not the most fun. Someone sits really close to your face, they dilate your eyes and then you have to keep your eyes open while they blow a little puff of air on them. All in all I would prefer a day at the beach but these exams are essential. Even if you think your vision is perfect you still need to get your eyes tested.

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Regular eye exams can catch nasty diseases early. This minimize damage and make them easier to treat. Eye tests can also help you better understand your vision. You may be able to see without glasses but often people do not realize their site is deteriorating.

5. Protect Your Peepers, Wear eye protection

Safety glasses are cheap; going to the emergency room to get something removed from your eye is not. If you are using power tools, playing a sport or using firearms, safety glasses are a must. They are great for protecting your eyes plus they come in all shapes and sizes. You can get safety sunglasses, safety ski goggles and even safety glasses designed to increase contrast for shooting.

If you want to know more about your eyes, speak to an optometrist or book an eye test. Remember, if you follow these tips you can drastically reduce your risk of eye injury and disease. Plus you will be healthier overall and look super cool in your new sunglasses.

Featured photo credit: tezmall via tezmall.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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