Does exercise improve your mood?

Every one of us has probably heard countless times that exercise and a full body check-up is good for us in more than one ways.

Maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle is one of the most challenging tasks in our modern lives. There are so many pressures from our profession, social lives, personal, family issues and others.

These matters are something all of us have to deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes it can get difficult trying to find a good balance between all these equally important aspects of our lives. While others are good at finding a balance, some will struggle throughout their entire lives. 

For those who struggle a lot, there is the possibility of mental stress which may lead to mental health issues at a later stage in their lives. In dealing with this problem, many health professionals have recommended the use of exercising as a major mechanism for dealing with stressful life and ultimately improving your mental capacity in dealing with the pressures of life.

Exercising is onerous at times when we just don’t feel like it, but it has numerous benefits besides building muscles and burning fat because it can be the most effective way of eliminating stress and improving your mood. 

Making it a habit

Getting regular exercise can help your body produce brain chemicals called endorphins that are known to improve mood. You don't even need to participate in an intense exercise, a brisk 20-minute walk should be enough to help your body produce these feel-good chemicals.

The best way of making the most of exercise is to find one that you enjoy and that you will carry out regularly to help maintain your fitness levels as well as your mood. This will also improve your overall health, which is another thing to feel good about. 

Keeping a consistent exercising routine will help improve your mental health and will, in turn, increase your capacity to juggle between your profession, family, social and all the important activities that make life worth living.

While this benefit is quite obvious, many people do not have the discipline to carry it through for a consistent period of time.  Statistics made available by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that people suffering from mental problems such as depression, amounts to about 300 million.

That is a huge and shocking number by all standards.

Fortunately, this is a problem that can easily be avoided if people took matters into their own hands. (  By exercising, a person is able to improve his or her mood, reduce symptoms of stress, anger, and depression, and ease anxiety and reduce cognitive decline.

Endorphins are hormones in the body that help improve your mood when the body inactive. Exercises such as running, jogging or walking are a few routines that can help you increase your endorphins.  Another form of hormones that improve your mental alertness is neutrophils and monoamines. This is related to the white blood cells. The white blood cells improve on your immune system with assistance from the neutrophils and monoamines.

Mayfair, we care.


September is World Alzheimer’s Month 2018

World Alzheimer’s Month 2018 is September

Alzheimer’s disease affects over 50 million people worldwide and is ranked among the top ten leading causes of death that cannot be prevented or treated. Statistics further show that it is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. The theories that follow are yet to confirm whether the disease is associated with protein build-ups in the brain, known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles.

Alzheimer’s causes an erosion of neurons responsible for the transmission of messages within the brain. Although it may take many years for these changes to take effect, many symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease can be spotted earlier. 

Over the years there has been a lack of understanding and knowledge surrounding Alzheimer’s disease and people have failed to offer the type of support that other conditions attract.

It is in this regard we appreciate the works and hearts of those willing to honour the month of September which marks the 7th World Alzheimer’s Month.

A global campaign that began in 2012 it is aiming to raise awareness of the disease as well as challenge the stigma surrounding dementia.  World Alzheimer’s Month 2018 is an initiative sponsored by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) to unite people living with dementia, opinion leaders, families and caregivers, researchers, medical experts, including media.

How we can help

This September is an opportunity for you, including businesses and charities to hold events that raise awareness concerning the effects of dementia. Participants of this awareness campaign can join the rest of a global family by getting campaign materials from ADI.

For those who are unable to organize their own event, they can participate in events organized by their National Alzheimer’s Aid.    

How to participate

Share a message Social media especially Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram is with no doubt one of the most effective and easiest ways to share a message. This is an interactive option where you can raise awareness by posting a note that is informative and straight to the point.

You can write a note on a paper and take a photo to share an experience about a loved one, or an inspiring story you may have come across. Use hashtags to effectively pass the message out there, for example, #RememberMe or #WAM2018.

Make an audiovisual A picture speaks a thousand words, but an audiovisual speaks a million. A good number of previous videos used in Alzheimer’s disease campaign have gone viral. Having a short and simple video that puts the point across is important. Remember to use the hashtags to make it easier to increase your views on social platforms. Audiovisuals have also played a major role in raising funds for the awareness campaign. 

There’s plenty of information online and offline to educate your followers. Posting a fact-a-day about Alzheimer’s disease including other dementias is recommended.

Apart from postings, you can acknowledge the September occasion by wearing purple ribbons and wristbands.

As we continue to learn more about the disease and raise awareness, it is important to include regular exercise, healthy diet, healthy social relationships and challenging mental activities to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Mayfair, we care.


Vaping - force for good, or some hidden evils?


British lawmakers are pushing to moderate the strict vaping laws to encourage people to quit smoking.

Vaping, or using e-cigarettes, is estimated to be about 95% less toxic than smoking conventional cigarettes, and according to the British parliament, the science behind vaping shows great health benefits if regular smokers can be encouraged to switch.    

But this is happening in the backdrop of a fierce debate as to whether e-cigarettes present any long-term health risks. There have been several studies that suggest that e-cigarettes deliver some toxic chemicals on their own, though the toxicity levels are much lower than in cigarette smoke.      

For the most part, e-cigarette enthusiasts believe that the ban on smoking in public places should only apply to conventional cigarettes. And some people are acting on that belief - it's not unusual to see people lighting up their e-cigarette devices at train stations, restaurants, and other public places.      

And why not?

The argument that e-cigarettes are harmless is based on the fact that there is no combustion, and therefore no smoke. If there's no smoke, it means there's no second-hand smoke. Without the second-hand smoke, the non-smoking public who are in the vicinity can't be affected; right?    

For the longest time regular smokers have been relegated to standing outside in the cold or blistering heat to get their fix; but now as e-cigarettes continue to permeate conventional society, many more smokers will consider making the switch.     

But is there really no risk?    

There are a lot of conflicting studies about vaping and its long-term effects but real data is limited because the entire e-cig business is relatively new and a lot of studies are still ongoing. With that said, there are still genuine concerns about vaping and how increasing nicotine concentration in the air might generate compounds that have been linked to lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.      

One study published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health found that vaping pouted air quality and released harmful compounds like formaldehyde, nitrosamines, and lead. Further studies in Singapore have led them to ban vaping so there are obviously issues.       

But even with this kind of data, there's still a general argument that vaping is much safer than smoking actual cigarettes, and most health experts seem to agree. Much of what causes health damage in cigarettes occurs through combustion and since vaping eliminates smoke, then most of those carcinogens are avoided.    

At a time when smoking kills more people than any other preventable cause of death, it makes sense why lawmakers in Britain are in favour of amending legislation to make it easier for smokers to use e-cigarettes. Even though the long-term effects are still being investigated, most people agree that eliminating conventional cigarettes is better for everyone.    

Legislators have called for incentives to promote vaping; in the form of reduced taxation and a possible review of the approval system to prescribe them as valid quit-smoking products.

So, as the UK government finds ways to reduce smoking related deaths, for the moment non-smokers seem not to be the priority in this discussion. Also, we simply don't know enough about how vaping affects the non-smokers (who are the majority).  

For smokers who soon may be allowed to vape at public places, restaurants, and train stations, the effect on non-smokers is a lot like finding feet on seats. It’s just not pleasant for other people.      

Mayfair, we care


Sources:  2012-050859.abstract


The Threat of Disease X


For the people who study disease outbreaks, there's always a fear that a new infection or outbreak that nobody knows about will catch us unaware.

There are literally thousands of unknown viruses circulating around the globe, and dozens of incurable diseases for the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) to worry about. As if this weren't enough, we have labs around the world that experiment on biological agents to make them more deadly – all it takes is for one of these pathogens to find a human host and we have a real situation in our hands.   

The World Health Organisation recently put out a blueprint highlighting their research on priority diseases, and as you might expect there were a lot of known threats like Ebola; but they also added what they see as a new global threat: Disease X.       

What is disease X?    

It is the unknown.

All the other diseases on the list are known conditions like the haemorrhagic fever Ebola, or other recent cases like SARS or Zika, but the WHO has reason to be worried.

Bacteria and viruses often mutate and become deadlier and more infectious, and there's always a risk that new diseases could jump from their host to humans.

If a new pathogen appears and causes a pandemic, it’s likely that we won't know how to react to it.      Like we've seen with other pathogens such as the Zika virus, we're not prepared to handle a global pandemic, and if such a disease struck today the effects would be catastrophic.

What can we expect from disease X?  

According to the WHO, disease X could turn out to be a mutation of a disease we don't yet consider serious. It's not unusual for a non-threatening disease to mutate.

As we saw with coronaviruses like SARS and MERS, even the most innocuous virus can evolve into a serious pandemic that kills thousands. Just like the Zika virus, these were considered relatively safe until they mutated and killed people.     

A Mutated Flu    

Virologists and other experts warn of a looming global pandemic that could possibly come from a mutated version of a known pathogen.

One of the most genuine threats we face is that of a mutated flu, and as we count a hundred years since the 1918 influenza pandemic, some people believe the next pandemic is overdue.

According to George Poste, a member of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel that focuses on Biodefense, and a fellow of the Harvard Medical School, a pandemic is inevitable in our generation.      

Our factory farm system might turn out to be the perfect breeding ground for renegade bacteria and viruses. We have so many birds and pigs being reared in the same space, and its possible that a bird flu can acquire genes that allow it to infect mammals like pigs - and humans.

The viruses that come out of that could one day infect humans on a pandemic scale.   To keep these kinds of threats manageable, we probably need a number of disease-monitoring organizations that focus on emerging threats and bioterrorism.

Remember, a new outbreak is going to happen at some point; it’s how we respond to it that matters. For now, disease X is still a talking point, but the World Health Organisation is warning us to stay alert and informed, just in case a pandemic hits.

Mayfair, we care

What is Procrastination, and the dangers that accompany it?

Procrastination is a trap a lot of people find themselves in. Research suggests that 95% of us  procrastinate to different degrees. Often confused with laziness, procrastination is an active process.

Unlike laziness that incorporates inactivity, apathy, and unwillingness to do anything, procrastination is when you choose to do something other than the essential tasks you should be doing.

It is usually at deadline time that you start rushing to do those tasks, and more often than not, you will wonder why you left it so late and made things more problematical for yourself..

Procrastination involves avoiding unpleasant, but important tasks in favour of those more enjoyable, easier and maybe not important at all. These impulses, if not controlled, can have serious consequences.

Extreme Dangers of Procrastination

  • ·       Guilt
  • ·       Loss of precious time
  • ·       Reduced productivity
  • ·       Fatigue
  • ·       Anxiety
  • ·       Career setbacks
  • ·       Low self-esteem
  • ·       Low self-confidence
  • ·       A damaged reputation if you miss deadlines
  • ·       Additional stress with the pressure of last minute working
  • ·       Rushed decisions that might not be the best

The Most Effective Way to Overcome Procrastination

Yes, it is possible to overcome procrastination, but you have to take steps and ensure you turn them into habits.

Recognise That You Have a Problem That Needs to Be Addressed

If you realise that you are always in the habit of postponing things until the last minute, then you are procrastinating.

Track how long it takes you to do your work or the most important, albeit boring tasks. If you keep avoiding them, take longer than necessary to make decisions, do low-priority tasks, start the important task, but stop to get a drink, or even constantly wait for the “right time,” then you are a procrastinator.

Ask Yourself Why You Do It

Are you avoiding important tasks because they are boring?

In that case, do them fast and get them out of the way. This way, you will have time to do other tasks that you enjoy. The poor organisation could also be the reason behind your procrastination, so organise your work by priority or importance, create a to-do-list, make your schedule effective, then stick to it.

You might be procrastinating because you have doubts about your abilities, or even one of the most common reasons – a fear of success. Are you putting off following up a sales lead because of a fear of rejection? If this is the case, what’s the worst that can happen? If they say ‘no’, at least you know where you stand and can move on.

Use Anti-procrastination Strategies

Being a habit, you cannot overcome procrastination in a day. This means you need to adapt to strategies that will help you change those habits and create new ones. Some of them include:

  • ·       Committing to tasks
  • ·       Asking a co-worker to keep checking on you
  • ·       Acting as you go
  • ·       Rephrasing internal dialogs
  • ·       Minimizing distractions
  • ·       Start with the most unpleasant tasks
  • ·       Promise yourself a reward
  • ·       Keep a to-do-list
  • ·       Set reasonable, but time-bound goals

Use time management and task management applications

If your problem is finding your work overwhelming, then you can overcome it by breaking it down into more manageable chunks. The most important thing is that you start tackling those tasks, so don’t concentrate on finishing them. In case you think the reason why you keep putting things off is because making decisions is hard, surely not making decisions is worse?

Mayfair, we care.


Are you looking after yourself?


Self-care is not high on our list of priorities until something bad happens. We need to avoid this and to become more aware of the messages that our mind and body are sending to us all the time.


Here are three essential issues that you should watch out for:

You have trouble falling asleep

You’re exhausted but you can’t get to sleep. These problems often occur when your nervous system is not behaving itself and is a sign that all is not well. You will need to devote some time to try and rebalance your system


Concentration levels drop.

Deadlines are looming and you’re running out of time, but you simply can’t focus. You find yourself attending to unimportant issues and leaving more pressing tasks half done. The important ones don’t even get started! Why can’t you focus?


The truth might be that you need a break and complete rest from what you are doing.


Small things irritate you.

The slightest problem sets you off. The doorbell rings and your mobile phone goes at the same time and you just feel that you can’t cope.


This is a sign that you are not yourself and that your mind is overloaded.


What to do about it

Decide to take better care of yourself – now.

Choose one thing that you will do every day to assist the feelgood factor.


This could be getting regular exercise or going to bed early, meditation or socialising but whatever you choose, do it consistently.

Don’t be over ambitious

It is pointless to set yourself an exercise target that is unachievable.


Set achievable targets for yourself and the satisfaction when you accomplish these targets will be immense. The targets can be revised as necessary.


Take a break.

Taking a break makes you feel stronger, refreshed and re-energises you.


Start exercising in a way that you would enjoy. A jog or walk in the sunshine, a swim, your favourite sport – all of these things and many more will improve your mood.


In summary, there is only you that knows how you feel therefore it is your responsibility to take good care of yourself and hopefully these simple hints and tips will help.


Mayfair, we care.


Trouble sleeping at night?


Many of us struggle with both getting to sleep and staying asleep and we have probably tried every trick in the book including avoiding electronic screens before bedtime, avoiding caffeine before bedtime, and the deep breathing techniques / meditation.


Some work, some don’t so we offer some fairly surprising tips about getting to sleep that may be worth trying if you have issues in this area of your life which is having impact on other things.

 Try to stay awake!


Yes. As silly as it sounds, this reverse psychology stems from a Scottish study who told one group of insomniacs to lie in bed and stay awake with their eyes open, and told another group to try to fall asleep as they normally would.


After two weeks they found that the group which had been told to try and stay awake fell asleep more quickly and easily than the other group.

 Get up.


Yes, get up and out of bed, sit in a different environment and read a book or something equally calming.


This is particularly useful when you wake up during the middle of the night. Beds should be associated with sleep and not with lying awake, so by changing the environment you will break the association and when you’re feeling sleepy after a couple of chapters, go back to bed to sleep.

Change your body temperature.


The ideal body temperature for sleep is one that is cooling. Your body will naturally get sleepy as the temperature cools down in the evening.


To accelerate this, have a warm bath or shower before bed and try to keep your room around 18° C if you can.


Plunge your face into cold water!


This one is a real surprise and it sounds like totally the worst thing you could possibly do!


However, according to the Mammalian Dive Reflex plunging your face into cold water can help reset the nervous system and aid the sleep process. It may not sound logical but by doing this you will slow the heart rate and become more relaxed.

The Brain Dump


We have referred to this elsewhere and it is logical that if you go to bed with the events of the day and thoughts of tomorrow on your mind then you will find sleeping a challenge.


The brain dump involves a notebook and pen by your bedside and for you to write down all the issues that may be on your mind. When that done – light out and go to sleep safe in the knowledge that you will not forget important issues in the morning because they are recorded.


Good luck and if you have any tips that work for you, please let us know!

Mayfair, we care.

Don’t Be Hangry!


We have all been there.

You have a deadline to meet and you’ve missed lunch; you knew it wasn’t a great idea at the time but  you had no alternative because a client was insisting on having a proposal by 3pm and there was so much work involved.

You hit your deadline and it’s now mid-afternoon. You are irritable. You snap at your workmates over something trivial which is most out of character for you.

Is the reason that you are feeling ‘hangry’?

This is a word that has crept into the English language in recent times and is a blend of the words hungry and angry. But what a good description for the way that you feel when your blood glucose levels drop during that afternoon period when you have heard thing to eat.

Hangry remedy

The most effective way of putting this right is to have a carbohydrate hit!

Bread, dried fruit or a smoothie would do the job.

However, wouldn’t it be better not to get hungry in the first place? And wouldn’t it be better not to totally miss food at lunchtime?

We all use up energy when we are working and like our cars, we need fuel to keep us going.

The best advice would be to not only have a proper breakfast (say porridge) in the morning to set you up for the day, but to also keep some nutritious snacks available if you find yourself in a position whereby you have to miss a midday meal.

If you don’t look after yourself, no-one else will. The client doesn’t know that you missed lunch to hit his deadline so be prepared for each eventuality and avoid ‘hanger’.

Mayfair, we care