Holiday Season v/s Cold Season – How to win the fight!

Around the office we’re all sniffling and it’s that time of year again when everyone you meet is sniffling.  As we travel or shop for the holidays we are exposed to more people than usual and, unfortunately, more colds.

It’s the worst time of year to get sick! Who has time for it? And who even has time to see a doctor?

Here’s some of our favorite home remedies to get you back into the holiday spirit and help you win the fight against the common cold:

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  • Have a nice, hot cup of black or green tea spiked with fresh lemon juice and honey.  Try to get local lemons and honey for this if possible.  And if you can handle it, top it off with red pepper to really kick off any sore throat symptoms or lack of energy.
  • Homemade chicken soup has always been the cure all but it’s not always easy to whip up a batch of soup when you’re sick.  If you can do it, try to do so using only organic chicken and veggies for higher anti-oxidants.  If you can’t pull it off, the top 3 recommended brands of canned soup are: Cambell’s, Progresso and Wolfgang Puck’s.  Or, if you have a favorite homestyle restaurant in your area order a batch to-go!
  • Black pepper is more than just a common household spice – it also contains capsaicin which helps relieve cold symptoms by thinning mucus and relieves congestion and turmeric which is an anti-inflammatory.  So add pepper to your meals and if you can handle it try gargling with a bit of black pepper in warm water.
  • Red onions can boost your immunity through your stomach! Did you know that red onions are a prebiotic which means they aid in the production of ‘good’ bacteria in your tummy that helps develop a healthy microbiome? Yep! And that’s roughly 70% of where your immune system lives. So add onions to your food or just snack on one if you plan to avoid the mistletoe!
  • White onions have a different effect on colds and we’re not talking about eating them either! Ever heard that old wive’s tale about slicing a white onion in half & putting it in a bowl in the room where a sick person sleeps? It’s a remedy that’s centuries old but many swear by it so why not try it? Others have even suggested placing sliced white onions on the bottom of your feet and securing them with socks as a remedy while you sleep.
  • Baking soda may be an easier way to battle the common cold by simply adding 1/2 teaspoon to a cold cup of water and sipping it 6 times per day. Reduce the amount you drink as symptoms subside.  Baking soda is known to balance the PH levels in your blood which is another powerful way to boost your immunity.
  • Raw honey is useful for sore throats and allergies.  If you can purchase locally produced honey this is the best cure for allergies, but if not just find the best organic honey from your grocer. Remember that your honey should be organic and unfiltered because processed honey has been heated to high temperatures and stripped of it’s natural healing properties.  Enjoy your honey by the spoonful or added to hot teas, smoothies or snacks.
  • Did you know ginger root has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral and expectorant bioactive compounds that may be helpful for getting over a cold quickly? Ginger also can settle an upset stomach. Add ginger to your tea or meals or simply snack on ginger for an energy boost as well as a healing boost. Also, you can purchase ginger supplements at most health food stores.
  • Garlic is another potent root vegetable that has antiviral and antibacterial properties useful for kicking the common cold. It has been shown to boost the immune system, open up respiratory passages, and flush toxins from the body. Garlic can be eaten raw or, to help improve the flavor of eating fresh garlic, mix together one crushed garlic clove with two teaspoons lemon juice, some raw honey, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Fresh, organic lemon is packed with germ killing antibacterial properties and is high in vitamin C.  With it’s potent blood purifier qualities, the lemon can be your best friend when battling a cold. Add lemon to your hot tea or just suck on a lemon slice to reduce symptoms and battle your cold.

Hopefully you have avoided the inevitable winter cold, but if you haven’t give these remedies a try and let us know which worked best for you! Do you have any home remedies you’d like to share? 

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Protect your Home for the Holidays!

Wether you’re traveling this Holiday Season or simply going to work, this is the time of year when burglars strike most! 

Recent news reports have shown a spike in package theft and identity theft this season starting on Black Friday.

In our last blog we discussed protecting yourself from Identity Theft and online shopping safety.  If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check it out here!

Here are some great tips to protect your home and property:

  • LOCK UP TIGHT 
    Even if you think you live in a safe, secluded neighborhood this time of year draws strangers to all areas who are seeking to steal packages, property, and even your identity by going through your mail and trash.  
    While you are likely to always lock the entry ways to your home, now is the time to be vigilant in checking all windows, doors and gateways are secured as well as making sure to always lock your vehicle. 
  • MAINTAIN YOUR PROPERTY
    Is your landscaping creating a safe haven for burglars to hide? Be sure to keep hedges and bushes trimmed back and visible from multiple angles.
    Be sure there are no ladders, equipment or firewood out in the open that can be used to aid burglars in breaking into your home. 
    Do not keep keys hidden outdoors.  
  • KEEP YOUR PROPERTY WELL LIT
    Burglars use the convenience of darkness to sneak around your property.  Keep your property well lit with motion sensitive lighting making sure they illuminate all angles of your property.  Motion lighting will save energy and only light up when movement is detected. 
  • BE MINDFUL OF YOUR TRASH
    What you throw away can make you a target for identity theft or burglars.  Never dispose of credit offers addressed to you, credit card bills, or any documents that provide your full name and additional personal info.  Gather such documents to belabimg_870_43966bb0a6b78657d0af5a5cb2a65afa.jpg shredded professionally at a local office supply store or using your own shredder if you have one. 
    Do not leave packages outside that clearly display product photos of expensive items such as TVs or computers recently purchased.  Break down these boxes and dispose of them away from your home.
  • MAKE YOUR HOME LOOK OCCUPIED
    If you will be away for a few days, be sure your home appears occupied by setting timers on lights and having a friend pick up your mail for you so that it doesn’t pile up. 
  • TAKE INVENTORY AND LABEL YOUR PROPERTIES
    This is something you should do on a regular basis: Make a video inventory of your valuables and email it to yourself.  Each time you add a valuable item to your household, take an additional video.  Make a detailed note of each item’s serial number, model number, and manufacturer as well. Include full descriptions of these items and dates of purchase. 
    Use an engraver to mark your valuables with your last name and telephone number. 
  • BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR
    If you spot suspicious activity at a neighbor’s home, be sure to call your local police department and advise them.  This not only helps your neighbors, but it also protects you by letting these people know neighborhood watch is in effect!

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The Close Range Safety Training Academy team wishes all of our friends and family a joyous and safe Holiday Season.  Thank you for joining us throughout the year for health and safety tips. Please be sure to stay with us in 2018 for more useful information and share it with your loved ones. 

❄😔Holiday Blues got You Down? Try These Prevention & Survival Tips for a Happier & Healthier Winter Season😔❄

Holiday blues are a pretty common problem despite the fact that as a society, we see the holidays as a joyous time,” says Rakesh Jain, MD, director of psychiatric drug research at the R/D Clinical Research Center in Lake Jackson, Texas. “Many people feel depressed, which can be due to the increased stress that comes with the need to shop and the decreased time to exercise which gets put on the back burner during the holidays.”

While people with clinical depression should seek professional help, those with a touch of the holiday blues can try these strategies recommended by experts to assure a merry holiday and a happy new year:

  • Avoid setting up unrealistic expectations for yourself such as taking on hosting responsibilities for events or trying to be the peace keeper in family conflicts.
  • Plan ahead by creating prevention routines for yourself and doing your best to follow your schedule. Set up a calendar of to do lists for positive actions for yourself.
  • Remember it’s ok to grieve. If you’ve suffered a loss and this season is a painful reminder of that, don’t be ashamed to grieve that loss. Feelings are a sign that you’re human and reflect where you are in your healing process.
  • Don’t rob yourself of proper rest! Sleep and rest are important to everyone. Studies have proven that sleep deprivation is directly connected to depression. Do not cut back on your sleep in order to get more done during this busy season. Create a sleep schedule and stick to it.
  • Avoid binging on food and alcohol. What feels good at the moment will have you facing regrets later on. Know your limits and stick to them at all times. In the moment binging may seem like a solution, but in actuality it creates more problems.

If your feelings of sadness during the holidays are accompanied by suicidal thoughts, do one of the following immediately: 1. Call 911  2. Go immediately to a hospital emergency room. 3. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).


Could I be Suffering from Depression?

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Here are some symptoms to help identify depression in yourself or in a loved one:

  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Struggling with concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Overwhelming and uncontrollable negative thoughts
  • Loss of appetite or significant increase in appetite
  • Escalating irritability, aggression, or anger
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities previously enjoyed
  • Developing an increase in alcohol consumption or reckless (acting out) behavior
  • Thoughts that your life is not worth living or thoughts of death or suicide
  • Fatigue, exhaustion, lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Pessimism, indifference
  • Unexplained aches and pains

If you are experiencing these symptoms you should seek professional help immediately. If you observe these symptoms in a loved one, gently encourage them to consider professional help.

For a listing of depression support groups, please visit the DBSA online


For Family and Friends

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Keep in mind that a mood disorder such as Depression is a physical, treatable illness that effects a person’s brain. It is a real illness, as real as diabetes or asthma. It is not a character flaw or personal weakness, and it is not caused by anything you or your loved one did.

A “tough love” approach is widely considered  unhelpful in terms of aiding someone with depression.


What to do in Crisis Situation

If you believe your loved one is at an immediate risk for suicide, do NOT leave the person alone.

In the U.S., dial 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK