This winter, there has been a dominant story across the media: the National Health Service (NHS) is in trouble. Whatever your personal feelings regarding the reasons for the NHS’ struggle, it is undeniable that the health system that cares for the nation is facing very testing times.

GP Appointment

For those who have tried to obtain a doctor’s appointment, the above will come as little surprise. Obtaining a standard GP appointment is, sadly, incredibly difficult. Though the problems vary between regions, for the most part, people struggle to see a GP. This is due to lack of availability of GPs and restrictive appointment times that aren’t conducive to modern working patterns– a fairly potent mix that has no simple solution.

So, given the fact the NHS is going through such a rough time, what should you do when you want to see your GP but can’t obtain the appointment you require? Here are a few ideas…

Go to a pharmacy

For minor conditions, a pharmacist will be able to prescribe you treatment just like a doctor would. The list of conditions that pharmacists can treat for is limited, but for issues such as allergies or eye infections, they will likely be your best port of call. Not all pharmacies offer the consultation service, however; you’re best to look for big brands rather than small, independent pharmacies.

Contact an online doctor

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you can now talk to a qualified, registered medical professional via an online Dr app. The app will allow for a full face-to-face (well, screen-to-screen) conversation, where you can detail any issues you are experiencing and even obtain a prescription. Just remember to update your doctor of using this consultation when you next see them, especially if you are prescribed medication.

Walk-in clinics

Many hospitals operate a walk-in service, which is sometimes called Urgent Care. This can be used if you can’t see a doctor and you don’t feel like the problem can wait. However, do be warned that you’re likely to experience delays– many other patients are attending Urgent Care clinics because of a lack of GP appointments, so you might be in for a long wait. If possible, attend during the day, as the attendance levels tend to pick up in the evening. An Urgent Care doctor can’t refer you for scans or tests like a normal GP, but they can issue prescriptions for immediate complaints that you need relief from in the moment.

A warning note

It is not advisable to go to Accident and Emergency for issues that are anything other than, well, accidents and emergencies. There is every chance you will be turned away, so try all the other alternatives if your issue is not urgent.

If you have an underlying health condition, are pregnant, or caring for a young baby, then you will always be best calling your GP and asking for an urgent appointment. For anyone else, if you have concerns about your health, you can always call the NHS’ 111 phone number for further assistance.

Good luck!

3 Little Buttons

Turning up to work on time is generally seen as professional in most work environments. Often, starting and finishing times are enshrined in your contract of employment. I remember my fascination as a child in watching people on the television clock in and out. I remember asking about it and my parents saying that boss needed a way to tell his employees were in work on time and also that they did not leave early.

I have worked in environments such as advice agencies where members of the public expected a service at certain times of day. If you did not turn up on time, you really were letting your clients down as well as your employer. Your time and attendance records were one way of assessing whether you were professional or not.

However, I have also worked in environments doing management, promotional and administrative roles where I really did question why there could not be more flexibility in working hours. We presumably all have our own individual body clocks so in some roles, I feel it would be better to work to those to enhance employee morale.

I was relatively OK at managing the 9-5 routine until I became a parent. Then it became more challenging. Although the 9-5 may be OK with most nursery hours, it certainly bears little relation to school hours never mind all the events your child would like you to be at such as the Nativity Play and Sports Day.

I think the challenges of trying to be all things to all people leads to many mums giving up work, freelancing or going part-time. Juggling it all can mean that time and attendance goes badly wrong leading to stress for the employee and potentially adverse impacts on the business and its stakeholders.

Although there will always be people who want to play the system and get away with things, I really did want to do the best by my employers. When I realised I could no longer do that due to the demands of parenting and caring, I became a stay at home mum and then a blogger. We don’t have to clock in as bloggers although ironically lots of us end up working harder than we ever have and longer hours too. Having said that, they are the hours we choose so there is more flexibility when the school holidays arrive or little Daniel is poorly and needs a duvet day.

Are you good at turning up to work on time?

Did you find this more challenging when you became a parent?

When you’re young, full of ideas, and bursting with energy, it can be very easy to feel as though the government leading you is doing a lot of negative things. Normal laws can seem designed to hold you back, and changes going into the future can seem far too hastily chosen. Of course, though, in reality, this body is almost always acting in the interest of the largest portion of people, and most will come to understand this as they get older.

Government

(Image Source)

Once you reach this point, the real issues which come with a government can come to light and will be especially prevalent if you ever have to deal with them. Mistakes can be made when so many people are being managed, often leading to issues for citizens. To get around this, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to open a dispute with your government, along with the methods which can be used to give yourself an upper hand.

  • Collecting Evidence

 

Going into any sort of dispute, having a clear set of evidence to back you up will always be better than going at it unprepared. At this stage, it is likely that you have had to have some phone conversations surrounding your issue, and a record of these could prove to be incredibly useful. Most mobile phones have apps available which enable you to create copies of the calls you have. Coupled with the screenshots, letters, and other details you have, using your phone time will be a great way to collect hard proof of your argument.

  • Getting Support

 

When getting started with a process like this, it can feel very tempting to rush and follow your instinct when you’re taking action to fix it. In reality, though, this will often result in issues down the line, and you could make a big mistake if you take this approach. Instead, before making any choices, it’s vital that you do plenty of research to ensure that you’re going down the right route. There are loads of websites out there to help you with this, including a massive host of blogs, forums, and other places to get feedback from other users.

In some cases, the dispute you find yourself in could be a lot bigger than one which you can handle without some help. Nowadays, though, there are loads of ways to get help with your money, even when the government is on your back. Using services like tax fraud investigation, you can make sure to find any issues before your leaders do, giving yourself the chance to put it right before someone else notices. This sort of approach could end up saving you a small fortune.

  • Your Approach

 

Finding yourself in the midst of a battle with your government is never a nice idea. During something like this, you are likely going to have to do loads of work, determining your success at the end. Of course, at each stage, people will play a large role in helping you through this, and this is where your approach will make all the difference. Being as helpful as possible will show that you are a good person, and that you want to get things resolved as soon as possible. It will be hard to march to the beat of someone else’s drum for a little bit, though it will be worth it once you’re able to reap the benefits.

Along with making sure that you are making the process smooth, it can also be worth taking it seriously. In most cases, being in trouble with an organization like this will mean that you have done something wrong. Whether this is something small or large, though, the impact that it could have on your life is enough to warrant putting some of your spare time into it. Once the dispute process has begun, you need to be on time with everything you do, while also working hard to remain professional with those you speak to.

Hopefully, with all of this in mind, it will be a lot easier to start working harder on the time you put into any government disputes you might get into. In a lot of cases, issues like this are the result of computer malfunctions or human error, and can be solved with a couple of phone calls. Sometimes, though, you might have to take the fight further, and this could mean a couple of years of work to make sure that you’re fairly treated and represented.

Hawaii has always conjured up a sense of luxury to me and as a child seemed totally out of reach much like a trip to Disneyland. I had no idea what properties were available on Hawaii and certainly no concept of houses for rent in Hawaii at all.

Hawaii

I have already via my blogging career visited Disneyland and in a year where I am making my dreams come true, perhaps I should plan a trip to Hawaii.

It’s all perfectly achievable and I have enjoyed looking at houses for rent in Hawaii.

So what tempts me to see Hawaii apart from the well-known warmth of the people?

1. Food

Any description of Hawaii culinary treats is so tempting to the taste buds.

The Pacific Ocean provides a wonderful catch of sashimi-grade fish whilst the fertile land provides a rich source of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Hawaii has seen many immigrants over the years from around the world all having their own influence on the cuisine so there really is something for everybody to savour.

Street food is out of this world for sure served on a paper plate and featuring everything from teriyaki beef with rice to the Japanese hybrid, spam musubi. You could also try loco moco breakfasts which is made up of white rice topped with a hamburger, fried egg and brown gravy. I am not sure what I think of that one but when in Hawaii …

I absolutely love how farmers markets are referred to as “Sunshine Markets” and the fertile volcanic soil makes for some amazing produce ready to purchase at a farm stand or market.

Relish the sight of colourful fresh fruits, flowers and vegetables. You will also find Hawaii-grown coffee, local jams and baked goods, macadamia nuts and pop-up restaurants too.

Be tempted by hulihuli chicken, gigantic papayas and avocados, coconuts, passion fruit and freshly-squeezed juices. Hawaii is a food-lovers dream destination.

One thing is certain, when you are in Hawaii you wil be saying “ono!” for all the right reasons as it means “delicious”.

 

2. Culture

Native Hawaiian culture is a big attraction. Island communities always have a unique way of doing things and Hawaii is no different. I might even try to learn a little of the native Hawaiian language and attempt to match the warmth of the  local community.

What I love about Hawaiian culture is how very rich it is as so many nations have contributed to it. It also has a lovely feel about it with the kissing on the cheek on meeting and the taking off of shoes when entering homes. I want to experience the “Aloha Spirit” up close and personal. This is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. That seems a pretty good way to run a life to me!

3. Events

The famous Prince Kuhio is honoured in March with special celebrations marking his impact on the island.

The following month, you can enjoy the Merrie Monarch Festive. This sounds a lot of fun as it promotes the art of the hula amongst other things.

From Spring right through to the start of Summer, the Mele Mei and Na Hoku Hanohano awards are held celebrating traditional music and dance.

Don’t think it ends there. In June, Hawaii’s first monarch King Kamehameda is celebrated.

The next month the Prince Lot Hula Festival makes a big deal of all things hula but in a non-competitive event that attracts people from overseas

In August right through to October all the major islands take part in the Aloha Festivals.

4. Natural beauty

As someone who loves nature, Hawaii has so much to recommend it. It’s an Instagrammer’s dream location. There are beautiful beaches with a diverse range of colours of sand, hidden sea caves along the Napali Coast and volcanic landscapes all of which are awe-inspiring sights.

I also want to explore at least a few of Hawaii’s 50 state parks perhaps  putting the Volcanoes National Park and the Kalaupapa Historial Park top of my list. Did you know that 90% of the 1,000 species found in Hawaii’s parks are found nowhere else on earth?

Adventure

Or course, I would be perfectly happy eating and exploring natural beauty but my family may want a little more adventure. Fortunately, this is also in plentiful supply. I can see my youngest son loving to try out surfing, scuba-diving and snorkelling. He is an adrenaline junkie and I think my teenage boy might also have a go. He recently expressed an interest in water sports which took me totally by surprise. My daughter may just be tempted to try paddle-boarding. By the way, if you have not read about Hawaii and the history of surfing, you should as I found it quite fascinating.

The really good news for someone who is not particularly sporty like myself is that there are readily-available lessons in these activities so you can be sure your children are safe and know what they are doing.

When it comes to adventures, I may well be tempted by a boat trip to watch the whales. I have always fancied that so it is high time it got ticked off the bucket list.

Conclusion

The more I read about Hawaii the  more I want to get there and enjoy that lovely culture whilst discovering the history of the islands too. I just need to work out which luxury retreat appeals to me most as the place to savour all those fine views and gorgeous food.

Stress most likely isn’t an uncommon word if you’re an adult who is trying to juggle work and life and find some equilibrium. The number of tasks, activities, and demands that fill your daily life can often be the very source of your stress. Learning how to take the time out to do things that make you feel good and relaxed, however, is a way to balance out that stress. It can seem difficult to find the time in your busy schedule to look after yourself, but it’s necessary to do so for your well-being. Here are four relaxing things that you can do to help you achieve a better work-life balance.

 

Music

Listening to music is a great way to relax, especially if you listen to a song or genre that you love. Research has shown that music can prevent anxiety-induced increases in the heart rate and systolic blood pressure, which happen to be markers of stress. Seeing as music is proven to be effective in helping people relax, why not put together a playlist and create a serene environment where you can unwind regularly. On the other hand, if watching music performed live makes you feel relaxed, try going to a bar where there’s music or visit ticket sales to see if any of your favourite artists will be in concert soon. It is a great way to get positive vibrations pulsating through your body and give you the much-needed relaxation you need.

 

Massage

If you enjoy physical touch, then receiving a massage may be an ideal form of relaxation. Studies have discovered that people who get regular massages are more likely to spend more time in deep sleep, which is the restorative stage of the sleep cycle. If you’re struggling with insomnia or find it difficult to fall asleep, then receiving a massage may be the solution to your problem. Aside from helping with sleep, massages also have the capability of helping to boost your productivity, relieve pain, reduce stress and boost your immune system.

 

Exercise

It probably isn’t news to you that exercise can be a great way to unwind, relieve stress and feel good generally. If you already do so, you’ve probably experienced the positive benefits. Whether you enjoy fitness or not, there are several types of workouts you can choose from that are suitable for your needs. For instance, you can try yoga if you want to clear your mind through meditation or try kickboxing, dancing or martial arts if you want something more upbeat.

 

Pick up a Hobby

Find something you enjoy doing just for the fun of it, and do it during your free time. It could be anything from painting to fishing or knitting. The primary objective should be to look for something that you derive pleasure from and makes you happy. This way, when you’re not dealing with the stress that often accompanies work, you’re doing something that truly brings you a sense of joy.

 

Often we know what makes us feel relaxed, but sometimes we’re not sure exactly what we enjoy doing. If you happen to be one of those people, explore different things and try engaging in different activities. What you discover just might be the missing puzzle in your work-life balance.