Almost everyone experiences anxiety once in their lifetimes. If we boiled it down to the fundamentals, anxiety is a natural reaction when the body is overcome with overstimulation, cognitive incongruity and response unavailability. Once triggered by big stresses or an accumulation of various small ones, these anxiety symptoms work to help you cope and work through such difficult situations.
Whilst they may be normal, there may come a time wherein these anxiety symptoms are tough to handle and may even, linger despite the stressful event being long gone. In such cases, these anxiety symptoms will cease to help you through the overwhelming event and instead start to interfere with your daily life. If so, you may be dealing with an anxiety disorder. Recognising such symptoms is the first step to recovery, and as such, here are 5 signs you should look out for.
1. Excessive Worrying
The primary telltale sign of an anxiety disorder is chronic worrying. Excessive worrying refers to the disproportionate degree in which your worries affect you, in comparison to the magnitude of the stressful or everyday encounters. It’s often the proliferation of ‘what ifs’ over which you have absolutely no control over, and there is no effective and productive action that will lead to a tangible solution.
This constant worry and fear can often last throughout the day. An individual will be diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) if the symptoms persist for six months. Those at a higher risk of GAD are those below the age of 65, single, have a low socioeconomic status, and have numerous life stressors.
Perhaps you’ve been feeling on edge, or maybe, you’re finding it more difficult to unwind at the end of the day. This feeling of restlessness is no stranger to those diagnosed with anxiety. When an individual experiences anxiety, their nervous system has no sense of moderation and their ‘flight or fight’ reflexes are always switched on. Their body is geared up for a life or death situation even if all they ever did was sit at their desk, typing away on their computer.
Unfortunately, these feelings of alertness and hyper-vigilance are prevalent amongst teens and children. It was found that 74% of 128 children diagnosed with an anxiety disorder reported restlessness as one of their primary symptoms. If you experience restlessness almost every day for over six months, it might be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
3. Anxiety Attacks
Very similar to panic attacks, anxiety attacks involve intense and often overwhelming fear. This fear is accompanied by physical symptoms, such as shaking, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea and chest tightness. However, since anxiety attacks aren’t formally recognised under the DSM-5 (the standard classification of mental disorders), the signs and symptoms are open to interpretation. Any two individuals may describe having an ‘anxiety attack’ and experience two or more very different symptoms.
Anxiety attacks usually peak within 10 minutes, and rarely last more than 30 minutes. However, during that short time, you may experience terror so severe that you may feel like you’re going to lose control and even die. In such situations, ensure that you’re in a safe environment and best to get somebody to accompany you through the attack.
4. Trouble Falling Asleep
If you’re suffering from constant worrying and overwhelming fear, chances are, you’ll experience sleep disturbances. You’ll find yourself having difficulty falling asleep or/and waking up in the middle of the night. Research also suggests that developing insomnia during childhood may positively correlate to having anxiety later in life.
5. Avoiding Social Situations
As with many other mental health disorders, common everyday experiences may be hard to endure when you have an anxiety disorder. The worry and stress over the possibility of getting scrutinised and judged by those around you may debilitate your social life, and in the worst-case scenario, you’ll go out of your way to avoid any form of social contact altogether.
Social anxiety is prevalent and tends to develop in the early stages of life. It also comes in varying degrees, and symptoms vary from one person to the next. There are people with social anxiety that may come off as shy or quiet, whilst some may even handle social situations with ease. But social anxiety mostly boils down to high self-criticism, depression and low self-esteem.
If you have displayed signs of the above symptoms of anxiety disorder, you can now seek professional help easily from our virtual doctors in Singapore through our myCLNQ app for an elevated telehealth experience, giving you access to an online medical consultation with great ease.
As a child, we’ve been taught that eating healthily contributes largely to how good we look and feel. Unfortunately, the same emphasis is not placed on how good nutrition heavily affects our mental health significantly as well. An inadequate and unhealthy diet can result in impaired decision-making, fatigue, and even slow reaction time. In fact, poor diets can potentially aggravate, which leads to depression and stress.
A healthy and well-balanced diet, on the other hand, helps us feel more alert and think more clearly, improving overall attention span and concentration. We’ve compiled a list of foods that you should consume to feed your brain and of course, boost your mental health and well-being.
1. Fish Oil
It comes as no surprise to see fish oil on this list. Fish oil has a long withstanding position as one of the superfoods in the market – and it’s no wonder why. The Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil contain both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EHA) essential in preventing and managing heart diseases. Moreover, they also improve short and long-term memory, which contributes to optimum brain health. A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids also reduces anxiety levels and boosts optimistic feelings of mental health.
Fishes high in Omega-3 include salmon, sardine, herring and cod. If you’re not particularly a fan of seafood, you can turn to fish oil supplements.
If you’re sourcing for the perfect healthy snack for your antioxidant fix, berries will do just the trick. Regardless of the type, berries carry antioxidants that can aid in cell repairments and combat inflammation caused by free radical damage.
Unfortunately, free radicals are highly prevalent, especially if you’re living in a metropolitan area. They can be found in things such as cigarette smoke and pollutants. By fighting inflammation, antioxidants can help improve symptoms that are often associated with depression and anxiety. On top of that, berries also contain polyphenols which are proven to enhance memory, and both attention and concentration span.
3. Leafy Green Vegetables
Having a significant placement in the food pyramid, leafy green vegetables are highly encouraged in each and every meal. According to a study published, those who consume leafy greens like kale and spinach on a daily basis have a much slower rate of cognitive decline than those who frequently avoid the leafy greens on their plates.
4. Whole Grains
Carbs are indeed delightful and should take the front seat in your daily diet. Studies have found that whole grains contain a high amount of tryptophan, an amino acid that produces the hormone responsible for making you feel good, serotonin. Serotonin also helps you maintain a regular sleep cycle, calming your mind and boosting your mood. Examples of whole grains include brown rice, barley, oatmeal and whole-wheat bread.
As one of the top food choices for both a healthy and happy brain, beans are filled with antioxidants and fibre to hamper age-related cognitive decline and brain diseases. Beans also contain the vitamin, thiamine, which is required for the production of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter crucial for memory.
For any problems regarding your mental health, you may visit our proficient virtual doctors in Singapore via our MyCLNQ app that amplifies your telehealth experience, giving you the opportunity to arrange for a consultation to see a doctor online, book a private ambulance service and much more.
Many have the misconception that they should only see a doctor when they are feeling unwell. But doctors have suggested that regular check-ups are needed to keep a record of one’s health.
As the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.” Health screening is something that shouldn’t be avoided as it can decrease the chances of complications occurring. We explore below on why regular health screenings are so important to help you stay on top of your health.
What is health screening?
Health screening involves the usage of tests, physical examinations, and other procedures to detect any medical conditions or identify potential problems at an early stage. For instance, it can include a blood glucose test, blood pressure test, and other add-ons like ECG and urine analysis.
Starting from your 20s, going for health screening is essential for everybody as it can detect diseases in patients who do not have any signs or symptoms. If your immediate family has a history of a certain disease or illness, it is recommended to get tested for it as the condition can be hereditary.
Why should I go for health screening?
On top of having a balanced diet and exercising regularly, going for regular health screenings is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Medical experts suggest that a full-body screening is vital for everyone, regardless of your age. There are many benefits to attending regular health screenings, highlighted below:
1.Lower healthcare costs
Some people skip health screenings because they might think it is unnecessary and they can save on costs. But if you look at the bigger picture, regular health screenings can save you a lot of money in the long run. With early detection, this will significantly lower the chances of needing surgery and other medical expenses. Treating a condition at a later stage may mean spending more money and time.
2.Eliminates further growth of diseases
Regular screenings can detect a disease before it advances to a more serious problem. Some diseases develop gradually, and their progression cannot be tracked unless the patient has frequent health screenings. Early detection, followed by treatments and knowledge of how to control the condition, can result in much better outcomes. Your doctor can also advise on proper management of the disease so you can take maintain your quality of life. Hence, it is essential to get yourself screened, even if you feel well today.
3.Identifies stress-related diseases
In our fast-moving world, many of us may experience stress and anxiety that are related to several diseases such as high blood pressure, hypertension and mental disorders. Regular medical screenings can ensure that these conditions are detected and managed before they become severe. At the same time, you will be better aware of your stress levels and learn how to manage it so it doesn’t worsen your physical and mental health.
What are the types of health screening available?
In Singapore, there are 2 types of health screenings – basic and specific health screening. Basic health screenings are suitable for the general population and have been proven to be clinically effective and cost-effective. It consists of a physical check-up and screenings for common medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
Specific health screening is used to diagnose specific diseases. It is done based on the patient’s specific health needs, for example, family history or chronic diseases. The frequency of going for a health screening depends on 3 things: your age, health and family history.
Besides early detection, doctors can also advise patients on how they can work towards preventing any impending health problems because of their lifestyle. As such, it’s wise to consult with a doctor and schedule for your next health screening soon!
As the leading healthcare app to help you manage your medical needs, download our MyCLNQ mobile app to connect you to a host of digital healthcare services! Through our telehealth platform, you can see a doctor online for your routine check-up and get advice on which health screening is recommended for you. You can also book a private ambulance service easily through the app to medically transport you from home to the clinic without much fuss!
The rapid spread of COVID-19 around the globe has impacted the way we receive and view healthcare. Measures were taken to minimise staff exposure to the virus and ill persons. Healthcare systems had to rethink the way they provide for patients through methods that don’t require an in-person visit. All this is done in an attempt to curb the virus from spreading even further.
Even though the concept of online doctors and telehealth apps aren’t entirely new, COVID-19 brought about a surge in its usage. It eased most patients’ access to healthcare, on top of promoting its use to offer minor, chronic, speciality care and more. Telehealth plays a vital role as the healthcare sector navigates its way through this uncertain time. Here are some reasons why.
1. Reduces the risk of virus transmission through virtual care
Consulting with a virtual doctor allow physicians to care for a more significant number of patients without the chances of being near someone who might carry the virus.
When patients come over for their appointment, they’ll have to make the trip down before situating themselves in the waiting area, which usually takes a while. Throughout this time, they’re continually being exposed to other people, which can be of significant risk in the transmission of the virus.
Shifting regular consultations to the digital landscape is a safer option for both health providers and patients.
2. Makes the most out of the workforce
Aside from minimising the risk of catching the virus, telehealth apps allow for maximised care for a wide range of patients. Whether it is to help monitor chronic health conditions or to screen patients who might show COVID-19 symptoms before referring them elsewhere, doctors can provide basic care to patients without being with them physically.
In fact, our MyCLNQ mobile app allows providers to meet with a broader audience. By helping users find and book an appointment at clinics around their area, we help providers to achieve geographic load balancing. Patients have the option to see a doctor virtually to seek treatment. And if the situation calls for it, they can book for a private ambulance service for the smooth transportation to and from hospitals – all through the app.
3. Able to minimise cancellation of appointments
When Circuit Breaker was first introduced, hospitals were scrambling to postpone out-patient appointments to after 4 April. Upon the extension to 1 June, the same process happened again.
Circuit Breaker brought about a series of tighter measures, and Singaporeans were advised to only leave their homes for essential purposes. However, this affected the healthcare sector’s stream of revenue since most appointments were delayed. But with telehealth apps, hospitals can operate in the ‘new normal’ through delivering care virtually. This way, the industry can reduce the rate of deferred appointments as providers continue treating patients through online medical consultations in Singapore.
Even during this unprecedented time, telehealth apps paved the way for the healthcare industry to thrive through many benefits, such as the three factors mentioned above. Not only will it enable physicians to continue treating patients, but it’ll also help maintain the stream of revenue for the healthcare sector.
During the Circuit Breaker period, most parents have been adapting to new routines in an attempt to keep their children entertained and occupied while working from home. After having the June holidays brought forward, preschoolers and primary school students found themselves returning to school – to an entirely new environment.
For example, assigned seating areas, the compulsory wearing of masks, and alternating between home-based learning and going to school. Of course, practicing good sanitary habits are just as crucial for your children to stay healthy and safe. But as parents, what can we do to ensure that our children remain happy and healthy?
Talk to your child about COVID-19
If you feel worried about how they are taking the pandemic, why not start with their understanding instead? Ask them questions on what they know and if they have any concerns. From there, you can correct any misconceptions they have or clarify their uncertainties. And if you don’t know the answer to any of their questions, be honest about it.
Throughout the pandemic, talk to them frequently about how they’re coping and feeling. At the same time, keep your child up to date about COVID-19 while encouraging them to ask you if they have any questions!
If you’re wondering how exactly to approach the conversation, here is a guide for you to follow! Feel free to edit it accordingly, based on your child’s understanding:
- Definition: COVID-19 is a virus that can make you sick. Those with COVID-19 can experience cough, fever and trouble breathing! For some kids, they might not show any apparent symptoms or only mild signs like a runny nose.
- Why it’s contagious: The germs from COVID-19 can remain on your hands. That’s why, if you touch your nose, ears or mouth with uncleaned hands, the bacteria can easily enter your body. Since the virus is so tiny to the naked eye, it’s essential for you always to wash your hands with soap or use a hand-sanitiser to disinfect and stay clean! And if an infected person standing very near you coughs or sneezes without a mask on, then that can also spread the virus.
- Precautions: There’s much news surrounding COVID-19, and that’s because it’s an entirely new virus that we’ve never seen before. Thus, this why there are so many experts around the world doing their best to learn about the virus for us to be safe! In Singapore, one example is how it is a must to keep our masks on all the time when we’re out in public unless we’re eating or exercising.
Stay alert for any signs of COVID-19 in your child
A quick look up at the Ministry of Health website can illustrate the common signs of COVID-19 in adults, but it’s also important to know how the virus looks like in children. Some of the most telling symptoms are:
- Dry cough
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Abdominal pain
Unlike most adults, a substantial number of children won’t develop pneumonia. Instead, their symptoms are similar to typical childhood viral illnesses! Sometimes, they might not even have any signs indicating the virus.
But if your child is feeling unwell and experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above, you can talk to a virtual doctor in Singapore for an online consultation through our mobile app: MyCLNQ. And depending on the doctor’s diagnosis, you can immediately call for a private ambulance that is accompanied with medically-trained escorts for a seamless transfer to a nearby hospital or clinic.
Help them feel like they’re in control
Teach your child that their actions have consequences, but they have the power to control it. Explain to them that something as simple as washing their hands regularly helps curb the spread of viruses to others. Of course, if you lead by example, then they’re more likely to follow!
Keep in contact with loved ones
Encourage your children to reach out to their loved ones through phone or video calls. You can engage in old-school ways with handwritten letters, also known as snail mail! This way, they can unleash their creativity by drawing and writing.
Be sensitive to their emotions
During this unprecedented time, many adults may experience higher levels of anxiety and stress. Without you noticing, your children might be facing battles of their own. Since not all children respond to stress the same way, you can look out for increased feelings of sadness or worry, unhealthy eating and sleeping habits and if they’re facing difficulty concentrating.
Alleviate their worries by talking to them. Let them know that you’re always ready with your listening ears. By doing so, you’re encouraging them to verbalise their emotions. During this process, it allows them to reflect on their experiences.
Encourage them to stay active
With more pockets of free time, do you feel more motivated to workout rather than staying sedentary at home? Invite your kids with you! There are many videos on YouTube with workouts and yoga exercises that are both family-friendly and kid-friendly. Check out “Big W” and “Cosmic Kids Yoga” on YouTube, as you and your child stretch into a healthier lifestyle! This can also help to raise mood levels.
There’s plenty to be done. As parents, we must come up with a flexible routine that we’re comfortable with to facilitate the learning process in our children. However, caring for yourself is just as important! The stress and anxiety of the current pandemic can take its toll on you. Be aware of your feelings and turn to your loved ones for a listening ear or speak with a medical professional.
Through the accessibility of telehealth services through MyCLNQ, there’s no need to go through the hassle of scheduling an appointment and waiting through endless queue numbers to speak to a doctor! Now, you can choose to consult a doctor online instead and reduce the risk of being in close physical proximity with others.
When the Circuit Breaker measure was first announced in Singapore, schools had to transition to home-based learning and most offices operated from home. Now that we’re in Phase 2, most non-essential businesses remain physically closed as work from home continues, while students abide by a different set of schooling arrangements.
Throughout this period, we’ve seen many trends from getting creative in the kitchen to taking regular walks outside the park. It seems like the new normal is granting us the luxury of time for us to dabble in new hobbies or do the things we’ve always wanted but never had the chance to.
You might have kickstarted your Circuit Breaker by coming up with a list of activities you want to accomplish. However, not everyone is in the position to use this period as a means to upgrade themselves. In contrast, you might have felt unproductive instead. Here’s why we think unproductivity is completely normal during this crisis.
1. Increased workload
Just because you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean that you automatically have pockets of free time on your hands. In fact, it can be the exact opposite. You might have struggled with adapting to work-from-home arrangements. With entertainment options and family members around you, it might feel counterproductive instead. And once you can finally go back to doing work after some interruptions, you’ll need to put in additional effort to settle in the right mood.
2. Worries about the virus
The COVID-19 pandemic took us by surprise. Even now, scientists, researchers and healthcare professionals are still trying their very best to find a cure or vaccination for the virus. As time goes by, the news outlets are continually reporting on new cases cropping up in Singapore. It’s inevitable to feel stressed out over something that could potentially harm us, yet we have no control over. In turn, it affects our focus and in turn, our productivity to get things done.
3. Productivity is not the same for everyone
With the prominent presence of social media in our lives, we can’t help but compare our progress to others. Meanwhile, we need to remind ourselves that the content we see on social media is mostly curated. Of course, people will be more likely to show their happiest, joyful moments rather than sad ones.
Beat the unproductive bug
Your feelings and experiences are valid. But at the same time, staying in a slump for a prolonged period isn’t healthy for your mental health as it can bring about feelings of anxiety and stress. Adding on, it can lead to decreased motivation when working on your tasks. So, if you want to get back on track, here are some tips.
- Evaluate existing unproductive habits
Over time, we might have picked up on certain unproductive habits without us realising. However, you are in control of what you feel and think! So, you must be aware of them and how they affect your day. For example, if you’re worrying too much about the remembering the simplest of things, write down your tasks, ideas and thoughts. You can use your brainpower to something more useful like solving problems to help you in your work.
- Engage in your hobbies
Often, we tend to forget to take breaks. And when we fall into a daily routine, it can lead to us feeling burnt out. To boost productivity, try engaging in your favourite activities for one to three hours during your rest days. It can help you to feel more energised and rejuvenated, so you can focus your energy doing your daily work task on working days.
- Talk to someone
Instead of bottling up all your feelings, it’s good to say them out loud so you can acknowledge and validate your emotions. Sometimes, you may also get a personal advice that may be helpful to your situation. However, if you feel uncomfortable to share your problems with someone in your life, reach out to a professional. They can provide a listening ear and guide you through the process of working out your feelings and how you can navigate the problem.
Feeling unproductive is a normal experience, but we shouldn’t take a long time to complete what we have to finish; otherwise, our tasks would end up snowballing. Instead, work on acknowledging your feelings before taking a break, and then getting back to your task!
If you’re feeling the stress and blues of working from home and staying indoors during this COVID-19 period, and are having a hard time managing it, there are telehealth services available for virtual consultations with a professional. Check out our MyCLNQ mobile app, available on Google Play store and the App Store, to help you consult a doctor online from the comfort of your own home. Without the trouble of waiting through long queue systems or traveling a distance to the clinic, you can talk to an online doctor conveniently through video, Tele or chat via your mobile phone.
Alternatively, you can also turn to these helplines to get the help you need for your emotional or psychological well-being during these stressful times.
National Care Hotline: 1800-202-6868
TOUCHline (Counselling): 1800 377 2252
Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222
Long before we get professionally diagnosed with an illness, our body actually gives us warning signs! As they may be rather subtle, it can be quite natural for us to overlook them and move on with our daily routine.
However, some minor symptoms can be indicators of severe medical conditions. Hence, it’s imperative for you to know what exactly to look out for so you can notice the early signs before the sickness further develops. In some cases, such as a stroke, it can be a matter of life and death.
Here are some signs of underlying health issues that you definitely shouldn’t ignore.
Anytime you experience a burning sensation in your chest after a meal or at night, your mother would probably be the first to tell you that your body is feeling “heaty”. This is also known as heartburn. If you’re lying down on the bed, then the pain can be so intense that you’d have to sit up in an attempt for it to subside.
On an occasional basis, there’s no need to get worried over heartburn. The pain can typically be relieved with over-the-counter medications and changes in your lifestyle. But when it occurs for up to twice a week, despite taking medication, then it can be a sign for you to seek medical care.
Numbness, mainly if it only occurs exclusively on one side of the body, can be a severe indicator of stroke. Alternatively, it can also be associated with other diseases like diabetes. No matter what, you should always get it investigated every time you experience a numbing sensation.
3. Bad breath
Many factors lead to bad breath. It could be the food you eat, poor oral health habits or smoking cigarettes. But did you know that it can also be a sign of other health issues?
When your bad breath is persistent, or if there’s always a bad taste in your mouth, then it could be a red flag signalling gum disease, which is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth. If gum disease is left untreated, it could lead to damage in both the gums and jawbone. Bad breath can also be due to cavities, bronchitis and many other diseases and illnesses.
4. Chapped lips
In our sunny Singapore, dry lips may seem like a norm, but it’s nothing that can’t be solved with lip balm. But when your lips continue to appear all dried up and cracked despite taking preventive measures, then you can consider a visit to the dermatologist.
Sometimes, it can be because of dehydration or malnutrition, which requires serious attention from a doctor. Notably, it signals the lack of B vitamins in your system, which puts you at risk of anaemia.
If you urgently require medic services, you can quickly request for a private ambulance in Singapore through MyCLNQ, a mobile application with an array of digital telehealth services for your healthcare needs!
Even though we’ve transitioned to Phase 2 of post-Circuit Breaker, some people are still wary of leaving their house to stay safe. Instead of scheduling an in-person appointment, you now have the option of seeing a doctor online, directly through your mobile phone! While it is important to keep vigilant on any COVID-19 symptoms, it is also crucial to pay attention to your overall health and check for other worrying signs that may indicate a health concern.
Our free mobile app is available on both Google and Apple
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If you want to eat more, it is simple! be mindful of your choices. People tend to eat more because their choices of food are NOT nutritious.
Take a look at that example; for just a cheeseburger and coke the calories is still higher than consuming 5 nutritious food. This is why when people who love eating fast food are hungry all the time. The food is not nutritious but the calories content is very high. This is also the reason for weight gain.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHAT TO EAT?
Download a helpful app that allows you to track your nutrients intake including calories goals. For example, MyFitnessPal is great for you to track your meals.
Always be mindful of carbs.
-Switch your white rice to cauliflower rice
-Switch your potatoes to pumpkin
– Instead of deep-frying your fries, air-fry it and don’t add salt
We should all strive to eat better but do not starve yourself. You can still enjoy food without getting fat or unhealthy. Start being mindful to the things you put inside your body. These are precautions you can take to not fall sick and live a long and healthy life.