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6 Things To Know Before Hiring Online Counselling Services

6 Things To Know Before Hiring Online Counselling Services

If you read the statistics on depression and unhappiness, you will find them really shocking. What is more shocking is the fact that most people never consider taking help either as counselling or medications to treat this potentially life threatening condition. A 2015 statistics published in Huffington Post suggests that globally, there are almost 350 Million people  who are affected by some form of depression and 11% of the population have depression disorder by the time people reach the age of 18.

To effectively deal with the depression and its symptoms, people resort to different practices: either they use medications, start meditation practices or take on individual counselling. Counselling however, can either be delivered through personal one to one coaching sessions or even through online sessions.

If you wish to explore online counselling services and want to hire an online coach, here is what you need to know:

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You need to search and find credible coaches and experts

Online world is full of fake experts- people with fake credentials can pose themselves as expert counsellors and coaches. You need to find credible and professional coaches who carry good repute and word-of-mouth. There are many online sources or directories where you can find local as well as international online counsellors.

You can even find coaches through coachme app which is now considered as one of the leading sources of online coaches offering services in different segments. Angie’s list can also be a great source for you to find some really good professionals in your local area or online. A quick search on yellow pages or even yelp can help you a great extent in this regard. Yelp is also good in the sense you can find professionals from other international cities also to whom you can contact also for Skype sessions.

Pricing of good counsellors will often be same

Finding an online coach can be great time saving activity but it may not save you cost when it comes to doing therapy sessions with well-known and qualified persons. You need to be sure about the cost and negotiate if you can, before you pay online. A call to the office of the counsellor may do wonders for you, before booking an online session. If you are seeking help through mutual exchange of emails (one of the cheapest methods of securing online help from a professional counsellor than it may cost you around $25 to $125 per email exchange. Normally, therapists will charge you on per minute or per hour basis also.

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Buying the right plan

Online booking for a counselling session is not as simple as it looks, there may be different pricing plans available. It is always extremely important that you call the person and understand the pricing plans before opting for any plan.

Normally, the pricing plans are tiered and are quoted on per session basis however; there can be further costs as you opt for per minute or per hour pricing. Your counselor generally knows how long the session will take, but if she is booking you for an unusually big session, it is most probably an attempt to get more money from you – so alway workout the pricing before you book.

Make sure you have the right equipment

To effectively utilise the online training session you need a high speed internet connection and a PC or a Smartphone. Most coaches offer Skype sessions therefore make sure you also have a headphone/earphone ready.

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If you are planning to take sessions through your tab or smartphone, make sure you are sitting somewhere and not running around or doing other stuff while taking the therapy session.

Your counsellor may not give you more time

One of the key reasons as to why counsellors prefer to serve clients online is to increase their client base. High levels of client base however, also means less time given to each client. When booking a professional counsellor, always makes sure she is ready to give you the required amount of time and as per the rates charged.

Always go local

Online counselling is a virtual world and you can encounter many experts at international level, however it is always great if you can find a local expert who is willing to offer you online sessions.

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Therapy sometimes requires one to one interaction in real-time environment, therefore you need to have access to a person who is approachable and local. But what is important is that you should not stop going for online counselling if you can’t find local providers. In most cases, remote providers may be the best option for you.

Finding an online counsellor is easy. The key is to find the one who is professional and offers you value for the money. You need to do your homework before opting for any external help. A quick tip or recommendation from your existing therapist can also do wonders for you.

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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