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It’s Time We Talked About Hygiene

It’s Time We Talked About Hygiene

There are around two million people who die each year from hygiene-related problems. What makes this even more unacceptable is that 9 out of 10 of them are children. There are too many people who don’t have access to basic hygiene options.

Everyone suffers when people don’t have the clean water they need to wash their hands, or some cultural taboo or stereotype says that they aren’t able to properly take part in society. It causes problems and people end up further apart rather than coming together. Society as a whole is being prevented from reaching its potential.

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Don’t think that this issue only affects the developing world either. The SCA and the UN Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) recently published a global study that shows over a third of women in the U.S. feel uncomfortable being a part of social situations when on their period. This percentage was one of the highest in the world. Flint, Michigan is a place where the water has been contaminated for a few years now, and it’s also a place where CNN is reporting that some residents no longer bathe or wash their hands. Instead they use baby wipes to clean themselves rather than soap, which is better for cleaning the body.

These issues have been the focus of the SCA for decades now. The SCA teamed up with the WSSCC a few years ago to spread awareness about the link between health, hygiene, and overall well-being. They also wanted to break the taboos surrounding menstruation. They are working together again this year to improve hygiene practices over the world as part of the Hygiene Matters initiative SCA is running. This initiative is designed to get people all over the world talking about hygiene standards, educating people about hygiene, and giving policymakers recommendations on how to address the systemic hygiene problems around the world. They are also looking to inspire other organisations to join in and help in the fight against poor hygiene around the world.

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Improving hygiene solutions and practices also comes with a reduction in business and healthcare costs. The UN is still collecting and analyzing data that will help them offer opportunities to create customized care systems, as well as customize products and services to handle specific hygiene problems. Simple solutions and products like Myrrh oil, which can be used for its cleansing properties for mouth and throat, have been on the agenda. One part of this is helping revolutionize the way that hundreds of nursing homes handle incontinence, which led to an improved quality of life for these patients while also reducing the costs for the managers of these facilities. They are continuing to develop away-from-home products and other smart solutions for washrooms to ensure that public restrooms have plenty of hygiene products, making sanitation workers more efficient.

As strange as it sounds, there are some parts of the world where women and young girls are forbidden to go to school or work while on their period. By educating these people about menstruation and helping men and women handle their incontinence, my hope is to improve workplace productivity. Female factory workers in Pakistan can end up missing out on three days of work a month due to being on their period. There are programs out there that are used to educate people on hygiene and provide women with menstruation products. These programs have proven effective and have reduced work absenteeism by up to 46%.

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Of course, it’s impossible to solve every problem in the world, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t raise our voice to make a difference and create new ideas and solutions. We need to invest in hygiene education and share our knowledge and data to transform the attitudes people have towards hygiene along with their practices.

The SCA is calling on everyone, everywhere, to come together and ask what they could do to advocate and advance proper hygiene and sanitation. If we work together then we really can improve the lives of millions of people around the world. We can promote better health and well-being. If we all come together we really could create a significant change in the world. How does that old saying go? “Become the change you wish to see in the world.”

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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