I don’t know if it is the same for everyone reading this but the lack of socializing and the amount of TV that has been watched over the last two weeks has driven us all a little crazy. If you’re sick of that “are you still watching” screen and find yourself un-enthused by reading further into the current pandemic, you may get a kick out of some of these 10 things to get creative at home.
No, we are not trying to sell you anything
Change up the vibe in your living room or bedroom
Take a look at your furniture, then take a piece of paper and draw out a few different floor plans for your living room or bedroom. Say if you have five new floor plans for your living room, pick one and try it out. Fresh vibes feel great!
Listen to one album start to finish every morning
We all have those artists we love and some we “kinda” like. Take the opportunity to play a full album and really appreciate the artist’s style. You may find a lot of songs that you personally like but didn’t have the highest plays or reach the top 100 in the country.
Start a blog or write for open forums
There are a lot of people out there writing blogs and creating content everyday in different ways. Keep in mind a lot of people have social media as their blog, such as a fashion stylist using Instagram to keep her followers aware of what she is up to on her journey. Whether or not you enjoy writing on paper, typing into a word document, enjoy taking photos or love editing videos, it’s never a bad time to keep friends updated on what you’re up to.
Open forums have received a bad rap in recent years from a small minority of insecure fools thinking that freedom to write anything means they can bash and insult. A large majority of the open forums these days have consistent moderation that track conversations closely. Thus providing higher quality discussion and opinions. One of my favorites is Quora. It allows you to ask and answer questions within a network of hundreds of thousands educated professionals.
Try out new clothing styles
Have you ever thought or even care about how you look in your current “looks”? Has it ever ran through your mind in the past that you can inspire others to be more creative in how they want to look? Going through what you like to wear and what looks good can be a nice boost of confidence.
Can’t hurt to take the time to go through your current wardrobe and lay some outfits out on your bed to see what could work differently. Make a list of your favorite brands and have a flick through their website or Lookbooks for upcoming seasons. Try matching colors, patterns, brands or even see how that denim suit looks on you.
Change up your diet
Let’s take a second to remember that this is not easy, especially when we are faced with boredom among an array of daily distractions. Adding a light structure to your day working from home or even how you manage your weekend will feel awesome after a week of consistency.
Whether or not you have an education in nutrition, have a personal training certification or just care about your weight, trying something new will give you that extra drive to reap the benefits. Crash juice diets, keto friendly food or going down the vegan route, why not give it a try for even one week! Take on the challenge and do right by yourself to tell your friends how your experience was from real practice.
Make a stretching routine to do every morning
We are talking about within the first 30 minutes of getting out of bed. Stretching can release endorphins, increase blood flow and give your body that extra boost for the day. Why not check out some stretching routines on Youtube and take from them what works for you? There is an endless amount of videos with experts demonstrating multiple movements. Here is a great article if you would like to learn more about the benefits of stretching in the morning.
An average electric kettle and even most Keurig brand coffee makers take approximately 2-3 minutes to boil and thus make a cup of coffee. Take that 2-3 minutes and see how many stretches you can fit in. Here’s an example of what you can get done in that amount of time – “3 Minute Stretch Routine”.
Find awesome podcasts, or start one
Most of us are aware of this new trend in digital content to consume. The crazy part is that this industry continues to grow. You can find a podcast relating to almost anything these days, whether or not you are trying to grow your skills in sales, learn about science, struggling with mental health, seeking out travel advice, want to hear some jokes…you name it, there is something out there. Were you aware that a lot of famous comedians have podcasts?
Podcasts have also been added to our music streaming platforms like Spotify or Apple Music. Why not have a flick through the categories and jump into some topics you are curious about, you may get hooked. Youtube is another great platform for podcasts listeners who preview a visual to keep their interest. One of my favorites is Joe Rogan’s podcast “PowerfulJRE” who has interviewed hundreds of guests with some well known names like Elon Musk and Neil Degrasse Tyson.
Physically write out your bucket list
Here is one that can prove difficult if you’re stuck standing there with two things on a page and scratching your head thinking they’re not crazy enough. A tip to getting a full list is not caring about the level of severity, how minuscule or how aspirational things can be to be on your bucket list.
Ever high fived a clown? Have you ever wanted to float down the bow river? Have you ever created a pyramid of cards? Have you ever wanted to drive a Lamborghini around Las Vegas? How hard is it to book a trip on a hot air balloon?
Dive deep and think about what you would like to have completed in your mind. Once that is done then having it physically written will begin that journey to making them all real.
Make a real itinerary for a trip for later in the year or next year
I personally enjoy doing this, taking a look at routes for road trips and exploring the options for hotels and campsites along the way. Why not get together with your other half or friends and bounce some ideas off each other for what types of places and trips interest you.
Then once you’ve made some clear direction then why not have some fun with building a travel itinerary together? Look at cities, flights, accommodation, prices, transportation, monuments, tourist attractions and travel advice. It can be very exciting once you start to zero in on a real plan. Make a budget, start saving and look forward to something that you feel confident in.
Go through old photos
There has to be a treasure trove of old photographs of you somewhere, maybe it’s a dusty box at your parents house or maybe you still have all your photos on Facebook from the last decade. Regardless it is always good to reflect on who you were in the past and who you have become to date.
If anything it will most likely give you a good laugh and a reason to reach out to some lost connections from your past. Nothing says “it’s been so long” then an embarrassing photo of you both together.
For more stories visit – Todayville Calgary
New app uses AI to help Calgary medical students practise interacting with patients
A Calgary medical student has developed a new app that allows future doctors to work on their diagnostic and communication skills before they set up their practices. Eddie Guo, seen in an undated handout photo, is a second-year student at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine. He says that one of the challenges in medical school is becoming better at interacting with patients. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Calgary
By Bill Graveland in Calgary
A Calgary medical student has developed an app that allows future doctors to work on their diagnostic and communication skills before they set up their practices.
Eddie Guo, a second-year student at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine, said one of the challenges beyond the book learning in medical school is becoming better at interacting with patients.
As a result, he’s turned to the rapidly growing area of artificial intelligence to create a number of virtual patients, with a variety of health conditions, that a student can talk to.
“It’s good to get more than just two or four hours of the practice we get in medical school to really be able understand what it’s like to communicate in a real-life scenario,” said Guo.
“We think it’s a good idea to have more than a few hours of practice before actually going out into the wild and seeing patients for the first time.”
Guo created a program, called OSCE-GPT, where the computer is the patient. Users choose the patient’s gender and can select a scenario or let the computer decide on one for them.
“I’m Ben Johnson and I’ve been having some really bad abdominal pains over the past two days. It’s in the right upper quadrant and it spreads to my back,” said the robotic male voice in the program.
“I’ve also been feeling nauseous and vomiting. I’m here in the emergency department because of the pain.”
The AI patient can answer questions about its condition and, after the conversation, provides feedback to the student along with a list of other questions that could have been asked.
Guo said until he is finally allowed on the medical wards, the only other interactions he gets are with standardized patients, professional actors who present with various conditions.
“As you can imagine, they’re really quite good at their job, but they’re also very expensive,” Guo said.
“We don’t get that much opportunity really to practise speaking with a patient, and so what this app was born out of was a lack of possibility to practise.”
Guo collaborated with medical resident Dr. Mehul Gupta. He said this kind of additional help will make for better doctors.
“One of the things we learn again and again in medical school, and that’s reinforced again in residency, is that the history you take from a patient is almost 99 per cent of the diagnosis that you make and the impression you make on a patient the first time you speak with them is long-lasting,” Gupta said.
“If you have the opportunity to practise to tailor your questions to see how you could have done better, you really do become a better doctor overall.”
Guo said the app is still being upgraded and at this point there is no image of a patient that shows up on the screen. He said he is hoping that things like a chest X-ray, a CT scan or a picture of someone’s skin could be incorporated into the program.
Within the first month of the app’s launch, more than 550 health-care trainees from Canada and across the world including Europe, India, Saudi Arabia and the United States signed on.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2023.
Officials say some patients showing ‘severe symptoms’ in Calgary daycare outbreak
The entrance to the emergency department at Peter Lougheed hospital is pictured in, Calgary on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. An Alberta health official says some of the 22 patients in hospital after an E. coli outbreak at several Calgary daycares have severe symptoms. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
By Bill Graveland in Calgary
An Alberta health official says some of the 22 patients in hospital after an E. coli outbreak at several Calgary daycares have severe symptoms.
Alberta Health Services says there are now 96 laboratory-confirmed cases due to the outbreak, which is up from 56 on Tuesday.
Dr. Francesco Rizzuti, medical officer of health for the Calgary Zone, said Wednesday that the number in hospital has risen from 15. He said 16 are at Alberta Children’s Hospital and six are at Peter Lougheed Centre.
“The majority of individuals that get sick from E. coli generally improve on their own and without specific treatment, typically within 10 days,” Rizzuti said.
“However, a small portion may develop more severe complications. Currently, we have a handful of children who are hospitalized with these more serious illnesses related to this outbreak.”
Rizzuti said that due to privacy concerns, he couldn’t say how many are suffering from severe symptoms. He also would not would confirm any of them have hemolytic uremic syndrome, also known has HUS, which affects the kidneys and causes blood clots.
“Hemolytic uremic syndrome can be a severe consequence. At this time, because we do have small numbers and I want to respect the privacy of the parents, I’m unable to speak to the exact numbers,” he said.
“But it is a small proportion of our laboratory-confirmed cases who do have severe illness and are in hospital at the moment.”
Rizzuti said it was his decision to close six Calgary Fueling Brains daycares and five others out of an abundance of caution after he received calls from city emergency wards.
He said it could take a while before the investigation into the source of the E. coli is found. Public health officers have already taken samples from the central kitchen shared by the daycares.
“They collected a number of food samples, both leftover foods as well as frozen foods, from the site and these are being tested in our laboratory. These do take some time,” Rizzuti said.
“Typically in outbreaks like this, we may not find a food source.”
Faisal Alimohd, co-founder and chairman of Fueling Brains, said he’s saddened that children are sick and immediately began working with AHS to investigate the outbreak.
“Though not all Fueling Brains child-care campuses are currently classified as being on outbreak status by AHS, we have proactively closed all potentially impacted locations as a precaution,” Alimohd said in a statement.
“The exact source of the outbreak has not been identified, but we will be reviewing our policies, procedures and sourcing related to food services for our facilities.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 6, 2023.
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