5 Tips for Taking the Stress out of Summer Vacations

Summerkids are off school, adults have vacation time, the weather is beautiful, and it’s the perfect time to take a much-deserved vacation. Yet, unfortunately, many people’s fantasy of a relaxing vacation (sitting on a white sand beach with a drink in hand) doesn’t always work out as planned.

That’s right.

Screaming kids, forgetting to pack your swimsuit, or not being able to find an affordable plane ticket are all things that can easily ruin a vacation. Yikes!

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we know how important it is for you (and your family) to rest, relax, and recharge. Which is why we’ve put together 5 tips that we hope will help you take the stress out of your vacation this year.

Check them out now…

Create a Packing List

Every travel destination comes with different packing needs. This is why it’s so important to take time to create a packing list to ensure you pack the appropriate attire.

Trust us, you wouldn’t want to make it all the way to Alaska and realize that you forgot your winter coat—Yes! Even in the summer months!

And just as every travel destination has different packing needs, so does every member of your family if you’re traveling with your significant other and/or children.

Heaven forbid you forget to bring your 3-year-old’s teddy bear for nighttime, and he doesn’t sleep the entire vacation. That’s stressful and no fun for anyone!

Ensure you don’t forget the essentials, and create a packing list. Review the list with whomever you are traveling with, and then check off each item on the list as you put it into your suitcase.

Invite an Extra Set of Hands to Help You on Your Trip

Inviting a friend or family member to go on your vacation to help if you have small children is a wonderful idea for many reasons.

Reason 1: If you have multiple small children, you already know how challenging traveling can be. When you have a second set of hands, you’ll have someone to sit in the backseat with child #1 when he needs help starting a movie on his iPad so you can drive in peace.

Reason 2: Safety. Parking lots, large crowds, pools/beaches, etc., are all dangerous for children. And if you have more than one child, it can be hard to keep an eye on everything to ensure everyone is safe and sound. Having a second set of eyes is a good way to keep everyone safe and happy so you can enjoy your vacation.

Reason 3: It’s nice to have the company of another adult. If you’re a single parent or are just traveling alone with your children, you know how mind-numbing constant conversations about your child’s favorite cartoon show can be. Bringing someone along with you makes it easier to have enjoyable adult conversations, whether you’re driving in the car, on a plane, or sitting at the beach.

Plan Ahead

Some people say spontaneity is the spice of life. Yet, those who went to NYC to see Hamilton without purchasing tickets in advance and missed the show would probably disagree.

If you know for sure that you want to do a specific activity, see a certain show, or go out to a special dinner, be sure to book everything in advance.

This not only takes the stress out of having to book everything last minute while you’re trying to enjoy your vacation, but it also helps ensure that you get to do the things you want to do while on vacation.

Booking ahead is also a great idea for hotels and airlines. When you plan in advance, you can watch rates and will most likely get a better deal on the cost of lodging or transportation instead of waiting to the last minute.

Provide Adequate Sleep/Rest Time

On vacation, people tend to get thrown off their normal schedules. And while adults can get moody if they don’t get enough sleep, lack of rest can be extremely detrimental for kids. We all know how stressful crying, screaming kids can be!

The good news is that there’s a simple solution to this problem. All you’ve got to do is schedule rest breaks into your day to avoid crankiness or meltdowns.

A simple hour nap or quiet break in the middle of the day can do wonders for children. You may also find, that as an adult, you also this break to relax amidst the hustle and bustle of your vacation as well.

Go into Your Vacation with the Right Mindset

It’s so easy to fantasize about the perfect vacation. After all, you’ve work so hard all year, and you clearly deserve the best vacation ever.

While it’s ok to expect the best out of your next vacation, it’s also important to have the right mindset. Not every vacation will be perfect. It may rain on your beach day. Tickets might be sold out to the dinner show you want to see. You may get a tummy ache from eating too much ice cream and have to cancel your fancy dinner reservations.

Stuff happens…and some people let the minor hiccups in a vacation ruin their entire trip. Don’t let this happen to you.

Go into your vacation with the mindset that you’re going to make the best of whatever happens on your trip. If it rains on your beach day, maybe it’s a good day to learn something new at a museum. And if you get a stomach ache from eating too much ice cream, that stinks—but at least you got to eat dessert for lunch that day! Score!

The key is flexibility. If one plan doesn’t work, have a plan B and try something different. Who knows, you might end up trying a new activity or seeing a new sight that becomes the highlight of your trip!

Go into your vacation with a mindset that you’re going to enjoy yourself no matter what happens. Travel delays, bad weather, cranky kids, etc., can wreak havoc on your trip, unless you are willing to roll with the punches and resort to a plan B if necessary. Flexibility is key.

Do you have any tips for taking the stress out of summer vacations? Share them with us in the comments below!

 

Summer Safety Tips for Kids and Adults

Between swimming, vacations, and being able to spend time enjoying outdoor activities, the summer months are fun for everyone! We certainly hope that you take some time this year to get out and enjoy them with your friends and family.

That being said, the summer months also come with certain risks–sunburns, dehydration, or suffering from an injury while enjoying an outdoor activity.

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we want your family to stay safe, healthy, and happy. For that reason, we encourage you to check out some of our summer safety tips.

Water Safety

Family time at the pool, beach, lake, or water park should be fun.

Unfortunately, while water activities are a lot of fun, they can also be dangerous. Here are a few ways to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe around water.

Take swimming lessons—Swimming doesn’t come naturally to everyone and it’s certainly a skill that little ones should learn before diving headfirst into a pool, lake, or ocean. Community pools and places like the YMCA often offer swimming lessons. Join a class and brush up on your skills. And if you have kids, this is a great opportunity for them to learn water safety and how to swim.

Wear life jackets–Even the strongest swimmers should wear a life jacket when enjoying water activities such as boating, jet skiing, or tubing. Accidents can happen anytime. And, if for some reason, you ended up injured or exhausted and became unable to swim, a lifejacket would save your life.

Life jackets for small children are also a must…even if you’re just hanging out around the pool deck or dock at the lake. Drowning can occur in a blink of an eye. Protect your little one with a life jacket.

Don’t swim alone—Always enjoy water sports or a dip in the pool, lake, or ocean with a buddy. It’s important to have someone around in case you suddenly need help in the water.

Sun Safety

While the hot sun may feel good on our skin, it unfortunately has the potential to damage skin and even cause cancer.

Here are a few things you can do to keep your skin safe

Apply sunscreen—Anytime you go outside for an extended period of time, be sure to lather up with some sunscreen. If you’re sweaty or have been submersed in water, apply sunscreen more frequently as it can easily wash off—yes, even the waterproof sunscreens!

Wear a hat–Wearing a hat is an easy way to keep your face, scalp, and neck from burning. The skin on your face is particularly delicate, so it’s important to keep it safe and out of direct sunlight.

Limit your time outside—It’s important to take breaks during the day to get out of the sun. Keep watch of how much time you’re spending outside, and be sure to come in for cooldown breaks throughout the day.

Play Safety

There’s nothing better than a day of bike riding, hiking, or playing in the yard. But there are precautions you should take, even in the safety of your own neighborhood to ensure your kids stay safe while at play.

Wear helmets/safety gear—Every year people fall off bikes, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, etc., and end up with broken bones, head injuries, and bumps and bruises. To prevent serious injuries, always hear helmets and other safety gear like knee pads.

Stay hydrated—An intense game of basketball or tag in the hot summer sun is enough to dehydrate you. Make sure you and your kids drink a glass of water every hour or so to stay hydrated and healthy.

Avoid heat stroke—Heat exhaustion can be very serious. Before you end up getting sick or passing out, make sure you take rest breaks in the shade, cool off inside, and drink plenty of water.

Do you have any summer safety tips? Share them in the comments below!

Summer Surgery Tips and Suggestions from Nurse Chris

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Chris in Ireland

Our nurse, Chris Murakami, just returned from a wonderful vacation in Ireland and wanted to share some tips about sun and surgery with our readers!

Planning surgery during the summer months?

Here are some things to remember during vacations, trips to the beach, boating, or simply working in the yard.

It is very important to avoid becoming sunburned before surgery. It is quite possible you could be asked to postpone your surgery depending on the nature of the procedure and the degree of sunburn.  Many of our patients put a great deal of research and planning into scheduling surgery.  Making travel plans, arranging time off of work, and obtaining care givers is no easy task!  We’re here to help you keep your surgery plan on track.

Avoiding sun exposure immediately after surgery is equally important.  You are more likely to burn during that time period especially in areas that blood flow has been disrupted. Keep in mind your sensitivity to heat can be diminished so you might not realize that you are getting burned.

Submerging your body in standing water should not be done until all incisions are completely healed.  This typically takes as long as three to four weeks, but be sure that there is no open or draining area nor any remaining sutures before considering that summer swim.   There are micro-organisms out there that can cause infections and your intact skin normally provides a natural barrier.   You should always avoid the ocean, lakes, rivers, pools, hot tubs etc. whenever you have open wounds – surgical or traumatic.

As far as long term care, try to avoid sun exposure to both your incision lines and any bruised areas. The sun can turn your scars and skin dark if they are exposed before they completely heal or mature. This process typically takes about a year to happen for the surgical scar.  A good guideline is to wait until the scar is no longer pink before considering sun exposure.

Having surgery does not mean that you can’t enjoy the remainder of your summer!   Just be prepared. Stay in the shade as much as possible.  Hats, umbrellas, and sunblock are a must during pre and post-surgical weeks.  And remember, when you are out in the sun and heat, always stay well hydrated! – Have a great Summer! – Chris

Do you have a summer surgery tip to share with our readers?

Ways to Stay Hydrated this Summer

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Photo credit: Ryan Hyde

According to the Mayo Clinic, severe dehydration can cause serious health effects such as dizziness, confusion, and low blood pressure.

When temperatures are at an all-time high, it’s vital to be sure you’re getting the fluids you need.

This is easier said than done.

From a crazy day at work to running the kids around, we can get so preoccupied that we forget to drink the proper amount of water.

We’re listing a few solutions that will help you easily incorporate more H20 into your daily routine.

Bring a water bottle with you everywhere you go

If it’s there, you’ll drink it! Take a bottle of water with you in the car, into meetings, in the grocery store, and you’ll be unconsciously taking sips throughout your day.

If it’s easier, have a designated water bottle for your home, a separate one at your office, and one for your purse. This way you won’t keep leaving it places, and you’ll always have one at arm’s reach.

Pre-portion your water

Having trouble getting enough water throughout the day? Purchase a large water bottle that contains your water goal for the day. That way you can easily track how much water you’ve had to drink—plus you don’t have to be constantly filling your water bottle up!

Warm water with lemon

Is water not your absolute favorite thing to drink? Try heating it up, adding a slice of lemon, and sipping it like tea. This is easy to incorporate while watching TV or reading a book at night. If you’re looking to cut out caffeine, we recommend replacing your usual cup of Joe with warm water and lemon.

Add fruit and herbs

Take your hydration to the next level by adding fruits and herbs to your cup or bottle! Infused water helps cleanse your body of toxins, flush fat, support liver and kidney health, and jump-start your metabolism.

Check out our favorite recipes here.

Always order a glass of water

Whenever you’re at a restaurant, always order a glass of water. Even if you are ordering a separate beverage, you’ll be able to also sip on some water throughout your meal. These little tricks will help you stay hydrated, without much change to your daily routine!

We’d love to hear how you’re staying hydrated this summer in the comments below!

Simple Summer Makeup Tips

With summer’s heat in full swing, it’s a good time to shakeup your daily routine—your makeup routine, that is! Embrace the heat and look divine with these tips that make your face as vibrant as the day is bright.

Get naked: Well, not literally. But who wants gobs of foundation melting off the tip of your nose in this record-breaking heat? Instead, try setting your face first with a little bit of lotion (SPF is your friend!), and only use a touch of concealer under your eyes (pro-tip: make sure to use a concealer that is slightly lighter than your skin color if you are prone to bags under the eyes). Finish your base with a loose powder, like MAC’s Select Sheer Loose Powder. A loose powder absorbs sweat and shine, but gives your skin the airy look of bare skin.

  • Glow: Summer is the perfect excuse to try out the bronzer that’s intimidated you all winter. Instead of using blush, sweep a little bit of bronzer just under your cheekbones (this will make them look extraordinarily pronounced!). Next, use a bronzer that’s slightly lighter to highlight the actual cheekbone and make them pop, all while giving your skin a radiant glow.
  • Go au natural: As for the eyes, less is more in the summer. Choose a light, matte shadow to brush all over the eyes, from lash line to brow-base. Next, dab a warm chocolate shade in the crease and blend. (Color tip: we especially love Nars Cosmetics Eye Shadow Duo in Key Largo).
  • Lash out: Spare no expense when it comes to coating those lashes. One of summer’s sexiest looks is a dramatic lash. Give Maybelline’s Illegal Length mascara a try. This mascara noticeably lengthens lashes thanks to its fiber extensions, and it builds well. Don’t forget the bottom lashes!
  • Kiss: Forget about lipstick—grab your favorite shade in Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm and apply generously. It keeps your lips healthy, moist, and lends just enough color to complete your gorgeous summer look.

What are your best-kept summer makeup secrets?

 

The Perfect DIY Pedicure

Sandal season is here! At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we keep seeing strut-worthy pedicures all around. So what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite polish and arm yourself with these pro-tips for the perfect pedicure. Your piggies will thank you!

Trim and File

After you’ve removed your nail polish, cut the nails straight across just above your skin (only a sliver of nail-white should remain). Afterward, take an emery board and file the edges into a nice curve. As for choosing an emery file, the fine-grain boards are for smoothing, and the coarser ones are for shaping the nail.

Soak ‘Em

Fill a large bowl or partially fill your bathtub with warm water. Add a few drops of your favorite aromatherapy oil and rest your feet in the water for 10 minutes.

No aromatherapy oil, you say? Follow this simple recipe for your footbath. It softens those puppies and removes dead skin:
1 C. Buttermilk (slightly warmed)
½ C. Sugar
6-7 C. Hot water

Clip

After you’ve dried your feet, apply a basic cuticle remover to the base of each nail and rub in the solution. Wipe the excess away, and then use an orangewood stick to gently push back where skin meets the nail (including the sides). If you have a light hand and won’t nick yourself, you can use cuticle nippers to trim any loose skin.

Exfoliate

Introduce your feet to the magic of a wet pumice stone. You can buy these pretty much anywhere and they work brilliantly to slough away dead skin on your heels and the balls of your feet. Remember the objective is to smooth out the skin, so scrub gently.

Moisturize

Moisturizing is the key to healthy skin and pretty feet. Take any thick, creamy lotion and rub it into your feet thoroughly. (Expert tip: lotion with shea butter is excellent for dry skin). Take your time with this step—you’ve worked diligently to get here, and the massage goes a long way to relieving tension.

Paint and Appreciate

Apply a thin base coat using three strokes, one down the middle and one on each side. Don’t paint the cuticle. Wait a minute before adding two coats of your favorite polish, then finish with a thin top coat. For a summery color choice, opt for anything in the blue-green family—teal is the it-color this season.

Now all that’s left is to decide where you’re going to show off your pretty peds!

What is your favorite place to show off a new pedicure?