Things to Consider with Open Enrollment

If you are planning to be enrolled in Medicare plans 2020, then you should already be familiar with open enrollment. Open enrollment is a time each which gives you the opportunity to adjust your employee benefits. It allows you to sign up for health insurance, add a child or make changes to other benefits. Many employers will slightly change their plans, and you may have to adjust accordingly to the plans that are being offered to you.

Some employers will also require action on your part or you may be unrolled from plans. It is important to carefully read the documents that are given to you so you can adjust it with you and your family’s needs.

Below are the things that you should keep in mind during the open enrollment:

  1. Your needs

First you need to determine if your needs have changed over the last year or if they will change in the course of next year. For example, if you are turning 26, then you have to get your own coverage. It is easier to sign up during open enrollment. There is no other way to sign up to a health insurance plan, unless if you have life-changing events.

open enrollment

  1. Changes

When you receive your open enrollment materials, you will need to look for changes in the plan that were being offered. You may see differences in more than just premiums for the plans, but also detailed differences in the co-insurance and co-payment amounts. You should also check to see if there is different deductible amount. Depending on the size of your employer, you may have several different plans to choose from.

It is important for you to consider all of our out of pocket costs for each year, and the likelihood that you will meet those maximums. This might change from year to year.

You need to also consider if there are changes in the providers of your benefits. Your employer may switch insurance companies depending on the overall cost for them for coverage. It there is a change in the insurance provider, your dentist or doctor may no longer be covered under your new provider. Therefore you need to check with your new provider’s list of hospitals and care networks that they are using.

Check about the procedures that are being used as well, because there are some companies that will require you to file for pre-approval.

  1. Insurance that you require

You need to consider the insurance that you need for coverage. If you do not have any family history of a certain disease, then you can skip that particular insurance. If you do not wear glasses, then you might not need any vision insurance.

You can also consider purchasing term life insurance in case if you are changing jobs so that you do not need to worry about not having any coverage during this time.

This work similarly if you are in your twenties or thirties, you may not need long term disability insurance.

Sound Therapy And Its Benefits

Sound therapy is a healing technique that uses the aspect of music to improve the emotional as well as physical health and also improve the well- being of a person. The person being treated partakes in sound healing frequencies with the help of a well-trained practitioner who understands how the frequencies works.

The sound healing involves things like listening to music, mediating, playing instruments, and moving up to the beat of the music. There are different types of this kind of therapy which includes vibrational sounds that provides vibration and it is believed that vibrational energy improves the waves of the brain. This type of therapy is believed to have its origin in Greece when music was used to help to treat mental disorders.

And throughout the centuries, music has been playing a great role in helping boost morale, help people work faster and raise the spirits when necessary. Having said that am sure you can agree with me when I say that sound therapy benefits are many and the following are some of them.

sound therapy

Source: Healthline

  • Relief from stress

One of the greatest benefit of sound therapy is the fact that it is an effective stress relieve. The soothing sound of music has been used for centuries for this purpose and science backs it up that music retune the brain and helps it to cope with stress better. This happens because music replenishes the brain through high frequency sounds.

  • Reduces headaches

Headaches are very common especially to the adults and I don’t think there is any adult out there who can go for a week without experiencing a headache. Painkillers might help but the perfect way of dealing with it is by trying out sound therapy. Sound therapy helps many get a relief to chronic headaches as well as migraines. It is also believed that it can address the root cause of the headache like high blood pressure and the common one, stress. A study that was conducted found that adults with symptoms of migraines got relief after 14 days of sound therapy.

  • Boosts confidence

Sound therapy creates new and positive pattern in the brain which can help bring about a boost in confidence. When you enjoy a sound therapy regularly, you will be able to take up the challenges that life brings to you with more confidence and believing that you can do it. This is something that we all need to help us keep pushing and if a sound therapy can help, then it is definitely worth a try.

  • Sound therapy gives you more focus

A session with a professional for sound therapy can help you regain the lost focus in your life. Sound therapy lowers the brain wave frequency and this is believed to help a person focus more. This will help you cope with day to day activities and it can also help athletes improve their performance.

  • More energy after a sound therapy

The truth is most things that you feel in your body is normally connected to your brain and it sends signals throughout the body. If your body is under stress, it normally feel tired and fatigued. A sound therapy is going to help relieve the stress and it can also help the brain to release latent energy.

  • Better relationships

One of the major causes of breakups in many relationship is too much stress. Stress can even lead to a divorce in a marriage that have been intact for many years. It is also a major contributor to poor work done which can lead to one being fired. Those are just but a few problems that stress can lead to. If you undergo a sound therapy, the stress levels will be lowered and you will be able to focus on building and strengthening your relationships.

  • It is a great relief to common ailments

There are a lot of ailments that we face in our day to day lives that are actually stress related. The old and the young all undergo stress in this modern age and the ailments related to it have increased drastically. Some of these ailments that sound therapy is going to help is depression, joint pains, and stomach pains and other stress related diseases. The sounds from the therapy creates a healing environment in the body and the body just starts healing itself.

Energy healing

If you are looking for an alternative way to improve your mental health, maybe you can try out energy healing. Energy medicine involves working with the energy within our bodies. It can be any type of therapy that uses the energy within the body of a person. Research shows that 10 minutes of energy healing has the same effect as the physical therapy.

Energy healing is being recognized by many health professionals as a good alternatives because of how it concentrates more on healing the whole body instead of just a part of the body. If you learn how to, it is something that you can do yourself from the comfort of your home.

There are many types of energy healing methods including shiatsu, polarity therapy and Qigong. Crystal healing, acupressure and acupuncture can also be included as methods of energy healing. But the common energy healing techniques which are, reiki healing and pranic healing.

Pranic healing uses prana the life force in the body to heal the processes of your body’s energy. The method utilizes the moon and sun among other natural resources and Master Choa Kok Sui (developer) claims that the body can heal itself if you work with your emotional energy.

Reiki healing on the other hand is believed to help many ailments like stomach ache, flu, common colds, and serious conditions like heart diseases. It is also very effective when it comes to dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. The technique works with the principle of bringing the body back to balance.

Personality disorders and how to know if someone has one?

Though they were invented a very long time ago, personality tests are something that the internet has made huge. If you want to find out the highlights of your personality you just need to look for free online personality tests on Google and you’ll get a thousand options. While they might not all be psychologically proven, they always tell us some facts about ourselves that end up making sense and giving us a fuller image of who we are and an explanation on why we really are the way we are. What many don’ consider is how personality tests are appealing because, in a world of uncertainty, they tell you how to behave. One of the things these tests can do is tell you if you happen to have a personality disorder. Here is something about personality disorders you might want to learn.

What is a personality disorder?

personality disorder

Credits: HealthyPlace

When we talk about personality disorders, you probably think about the movie “Split”, right? Wrong, well, not really, but they are much more common than you’d think, and they usually don’t transform you into a weird beast. A personality disorder is, indeed, a mental illness that can be triggered by environmental factors (such as experiences or upbringing), or can be more linked to genetics. Usually, it is both. There are different types of personality disorders, and you can take a free personality test to find out if you have any. In order for a disorder to be personality-related it has to affect at least two of the following areas:

  • Way of thinking about yourself and others
  • Way of controlling your behavior
  • Way of responding in an emotional sense
  • Way of relating to other people

Types of personality disorders

Antisocial disorder includes a pattern of not caring about, or even violating the rights of people around you. They are impulsive and have a disregard for social norms.

Avoidant disorder is a pattern of shyness, sensitivity to criticism, and being inadequate to the situations they face. There is a strong fear of rejection, which is why they usually don’t engage with others.

The Borderline disorder creates instability in emotional relations, as well as poor self-image, and impulsive behavior. Thy have a very strong fear of abandonment, to the point of threating with killing themselves.

Dependent personality disorder comes with a submissiveness and clinginess to those who have it. They can’t really make tough decisions without assurance and can’t quit take care of themselves.

Histrionic disorder involves excessive emotion and excessive attention seeking. They tend to try and draw attention to themselves, sometimes even with involuntary physical movements.

The narcissistic personality disorder might sound funny but it is a little more complicated than you’d think. People who suffer it have an intense lack of empathy, and give themselves utter importance. They are very entitled and try to take advantage of whoever they can.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a very famous one nowadays, but contrary to what they have made you think, it is not just putting your pencils by color. People who suffer from it are prone to seeking perfection and control, and have the intense need to comply with schedules.

The paranoid personality disorder involves the individual being constantly suspecting other of trying to harm them and sees everyone as mean to them. They are very difficult to obtain trust from and don’t usually let a lot of people close (emotionally and physically) to them.

The Schizoid personality disorder makes the person detached from social relationships and comes with a low expression of emotion in people. They tend to avoid close relationships.

Finally, the Schizotypal personality disorder, which includes patterns of uncomfortably with close relationships, eccentric behavior, and distorted thinking. They tend to develop odd beliefs and behaviors. They usually suffer from social anxiety.

How to know if I have a personality disorder?

There are many signs that might indicate you or someone close to you has a personality disorder, they might be extremely paranoid, have very focused beliefs, lack of interest for other, and many of the ones mentioned above. For some personality disorders, you can take free online personality tests that are psychologically approved and will help you determine if you suffer from it or not. For example, there is a 3-minute test that can accurately help you determine if you have Borderline Personality Disorder and is often used by psychologists to determine it.

How To Read And Memorize?

Reading a book or text and actually remembering what you read or learnt when you need it has always been a challenge; probably since books were made. Sometimes reading is not the problem, getting it to stay in the brain for the long term is. This is very common among students as they are faced with this issue irrespective of whether they are in a university or college. Even adults who read novels or articles at one point or the other no matter how much they enjoyed the reading the text at some point forget what they just read and sometimes have to fall back on the said novel or article.

There are a lot of interesting ways to read and memorize what you read and some of them will be discussed below:

  1. MEMORY PALACE

It is unbelievable what you can do with the memory palace! When I first heard about it, I was a little reluctant to try it out. This was when I learnt I had to use several real-life-places in my house as safes for the palace I was building in my brain; sounds funny right? But the truth is, it is one of the most powerful and effective ways of retaining what you read.

Read And Memorize

Thus, you need to learn how to use the memory palace;  you can easily do this by watching videos of professionals online that will put you through. Once you understand the logic behind using this method, you will really like it. The memory palace technique is a fun way of reading. After trying it out I can say that what makes it (memory palace) so effective especially for me is that I was able to attach the crucial information I needed into storage units near me i.e real physical locations my brain is already familiar with.

Note: It should be used for information you do not want to forget, not some random information as you will keep remembering that random thing!

PERUSE BEFORE READING

This is something most people are unfamiliar with. When you peruse the material you are about to read it gives you an idea of what the material is all about. It gives you an insight into the theme and key things to note so that when you start and finish the actual reading and digesting of the material, it will help you remember the important things.

TAKE NOTES AND SUMMARIZE WHEN READING

No matter how lengthy the definition of a particular keyword is or how bulky a particular topic looks, it has a particular point it is passing across and can easily be summarized when into a line. As long as you have the main idea in your memory, the rest is pretty simple.

Always ensure you read with at least a pencil if you cannot afford to write in ink inside your textbook. Always highlight and underline sentences that carry greater meanings.

ASK YOURSELF QUESTIONS

This is a very cogent point, it is what students are afraid of; what they face in exams. There is no better way to overcome this fear than by interacting with yourself and posing questions you think might be prepared for you in an examination.

READ TO YOURSELF OUT LOUD

The way the brain works is it gives more on to hearing (ear) than pictures (eyes). When you read, try to actually read out loud to yourself; it will help you understand and remember what you just read. This is because when you read out loud, the particular information or book you are reading takes shape and it makes it easier for your brain to remember you producing and hearing it than just reading it with your eyes.

ENGAGE IN GROUP DISCUSSION

The best way to successfully make a piece of information part of you is by using it as soon as you can. Your human brain tends to store key information that is raised by you better than when they are told to you. This implies that when you teach people what you have learned, your chances of remembering it is higher; and in cases, you find it difficult to discuss it with them, you will be able to go back and re-read as soon as you can.

Remember, you are about to read, make sure you are free from any distraction and calm your nerves. Clear your mind before you read, it will help!

The Ultimate Anti-Stress Guide for Students

Have you ever been so stressed that it’s hard to maintain focus on important goals?

Classes, exams, college admission, and homework, all can cause a lot of stress. While many students are struggling under big expectations of parents and peer pressure, there are some who bottle up their anxiety when it comes to exams. To meet everyone’s demands, students are spending every spare minute worrying too much and chasing after perfect grades. Yet, this constant quest for perfect grades can lead to high stress and mental health problems. According to 2013 survey by the Nightline Association, 65% of students feel stressful. Likewise, a poll conducted by American College Health Association in 2016 reported that 34.4% of college students were stress sufferers which affected their annual academic performance.

However, living a stress-free student life is possible. Scroll down for some useful strategies to beat the stress effectively so you can study better and achieve more.

stress-free student life

Healthy diet

Foods like fresh fruits are stress busters. Fresh fruit juices of orange and grapefruit are proven to boost immunity so you can manage to cope with stress. Omega-3 rich foods like salmon also keep the stress hormones at bay. As a student, you are more likely to get tired and exhausted. At this time, you would find junk food like pizza or ready-to-eat meal more tempting. However, consuming food that’s high in sugar or caffeine will only elevate the stress. This is why you should eat variety of healthy nutrients. This will help you stay relaxed as well as increase your brain power. Also, cooking from scratch is more curative and healthier.

Beat social media distractions

Do you keep looking at your phone thousands of times? Well, you need a digital detox. It can be hard to resist the urge of keeping in touch with social networks since technology seems to be part of everyone’s lives these days. However, while studying, it’s a good practice to keep the technology away. If you find switching off your phone a bit hard, delete the apps that are causing the distraction and install a website blocker so there’s no other way to view the sites that disturb you the most. For Mac users, there is a free Self Control app which enables users to block sites for a certain period of time.

Exercise

It doesn’t have to be an exhausting gym session. As a student, a daily brisk walk of 30 minutes or a bike ride is sufficient to improve mental awareness and concentration – these two facets are important to get success while studying.  A regular exercise can be immensely beneficial for both your body and mind.  Whether you practice a cardio workout or going outside for yoga, in every form of exercise, body will produce endorphins (stress-fighting hormone) that will help you reduce anxiety, and allow your mind to focus on positive things.

Try a Weighted blanket

Do you know the calming effects of weighted blankets? Well, they are good for stress-prone students. After whole day of struggle and mental load, you need a deep sleep to perform well and less anxious the next day. Weighted blankets may help you to unplug your thoughts, turnoff your mind completely and experience a more restful sleep.

Designed to be 10% of your body weight, weighted blankets naturally lessens the anxiety and increase relaxation through deep pressure stimulation. This deep pressure touch sensation has many positive effects from lifting the mood, to improving focus.

Fly a Drone

Do you want to switch off and relax? Well, you can take a break from your studies and stress by taking up a fun and relaxing hobby. There is an incredible surge in popularity of drones. From helping you create YouTube videos, to rescuing a missing person, drones are now used in all kinds of ways. Hovering drones is quite an anti-stress hobby. Flying drones can stop you thinking of your stressors, and can lead to a more calmed state. You don’t need a pilot’s license anymore to fly them. Get amused by flying drones indoors, outdoors or in backyards. But, make sure to register the drone legally for noncommercial (hobby) flights. Other than that, avoid flying over restricted areas. Since many drones come with video game controller, you are bound to have a fun experience.

Time Management

Do you want to study more effectively? Often students get stressed when they know they are running out of time to accomplish something. However, life gets easier when you become a pro at time management. It’s a good idea to make checklists, keep a schedule and plan ahead. Prioritize your study schedule into urgent and non-urgent basis. These techniques will help you stay more relaxed and focused.

Get a Pet

There are many social and health benefits of having a dog. Adopt a pet and reduce your anxiety level. Playing with animals can keep you more active and encourage social connection.

Laugh

Laughter is one of the effective stress relievers. A good bout of laughter can keep the muscles in your whole body relaxed for up to 45 minutes.  Laughing out loud also promotes blood flow and oxygen intake which, in turn, reduces the stress level. So, don’t take life too seriously. Have fun, crack few jokes and seek out more opportunities for humor and laughter. It’s always fun to have a good laugh. Besides being stress buster, it’s also a natural pain killer. How great is that?

Talk Out Your Study Stresses

Isolation or loneliness put a negative impact on your body. During exams, you feel more anxious and worried. Since you have so much to learn and study, doing it all alone can turn you into a ball of stress. To realize that you need someone’s help is the first step. Talk to your friends and family as they can understand what you are going through. Tell your concerns to them. Ask their take on it. Sharing issues can help boost your mood.

Conclusion

Are you stressed about grades or about getting admission in college? Should you be? It’s about time to realize that stress can’t help you achieve more. Whatever you focus on, just try to do the best of your ability. Be stress free. Follow above mentioned tips to deal with stress of studying.