If you’ve ever been out to sea, only to lose your lunch, you know the terrible suffering associated with sea sickness. Motion sickness can affect you on land, of course – in a car, on a train, on the merry-go-round – but few of us experience the relentless ups and downs of a cruise ship while on land. The motion of the sea never ceases, and that can leave even the most iron-stomached doubled over the cabin toilet on even the calmest of days.
But what about “sea legs”? Do people learn to handle the tossing of the waves and settle into a feeling of comfort while aboard an ocean craft? Thankfully, the answer is “yes.” Short of those suffering from a major inner ear disturbance, everyone will grow accustomed to life on water. There are even those who aren’t affected by sea sickness. Others will recover themselves in just a few hours, while others require a day or two before they feel like themselves. In all cases, those who recover can hardly imagine how they were ever that ill in the first place.
So is it possible to reduce the time spent violently ill? Is sea sickness avoidable? Let’s take a look at some of the most common sea sickness remedies and cures, so you can be prepared for your next time on an ocean voyage.
- Sea Sickness Pills – Motion sickness pills (sometimes sold as sea sickness pills) feature active ingredients such as Dramamine. This antihistamine can dull the body’s response to all kinds of unusual stimuli, and it’s mildly helpful if you’re suffering from motion sickness. There are more powerful sea sickness medicines that you can get from your doctor, but Dramamine may be the most effective pill available over the counter. The only downside is that these drugs will make you feel sleepy, which could make you miss your holiday just as you were trying to save it. If you’ve tried these pills before, and you find that they do help without making you too tired, then perhaps they should have a place in your luggage for the spring cruise.
- Ginger – Ginger is a traditional cure for stomach upset, and it’s available in many delicious forms. Ginger beer and other brews are commonly enjoyed in cultures all around the world, and they all got their starts as tonics. Ginger can also be eaten candied, pickled, or blended into smoothies and the like. Ginger is also a common spice, though its effect will be dampened this way (unless you happen to eat a whole lot of it). For our money, ginger chews (candied ginger that’s a little chewier than a Tootsie Roll) are the best bet. It’s minimally processed ginger that you can chew on for awhile, with fiber and nutrients for your stomach to grasp onto.
- Food – A common recommendation for sea sick people is simply to eat. This may be the last thing one wants to do while vomiting violently, but there are those who say it’s the best thing in the long run. Even if you can’t keep it down, there’s something about eating that helps the body acclimate to unfamiliar feelings like choppy water. If you can’t handle a whole meal, try eating fruit. It’s sweet and pleasant, even on an upset stomach, and some say that the vitamin C is a good thing for people suffering from motion sickness. This may not work perfectly for you, and you may not find choking down unwanted food to be worth it, especially when you’ll recover on your own. But this is a favorite method for some people, one which they feel brings them back into the action faster than would otherwise be possible.
We hope you spend some time on the water this spring and summer, and that you don’t suffer to badly from sea sickness as a result. Even if you do, try the above and cut your motion sickness short.
Some of us have natural green thumbs. Others are born with the black thumbs of death and we kill every house plant we’ve ever touched. If you’ve tried to grow houseplants, only to watch them wither and die despite your greatest efforts and purity of heart, you know how discouraging this can be. Fortunately, there are tried and true methods by which you can improve the outcomes for your leafy household friends. Here’s how even those with the worst gardening success can help their local flora thrive.
- Figure Out What Each Plant Needs – The most common reason that plants die is because they aren’t receiving what they need in terms of light, water, and nutrition. If you have several houseplants, you should treat them like you would treat different dogs or cats. Different kinds of animals have different food needs, different sleeping schedules, and different requirements for love and attention. Plants are simpler, but they still need individual care. Do a little research to find out when and how much to water, when to fertilize, and where to situate each plant to get the sun it needs from a nearby window.
- Make a Schedule – Don’t try to regulate each plant’s watering schedule by memory alone. You could create a schedule in a calendar app with daily reminders for what needs doing. An even easier method is to write each plant’s feeding schedule on a notecard, and place this right into the pot with the plant in question. Attach the card to a popsicle stick so that it stays elevated out of the dirt. This way, you have a constant visible reminder about what to do when. These cards work great if you ever need to have someone else take care of your plants while you are away; they’ll always have a visible reminder so that they can provide the same standard of care that you do.
- Don’t Forget to Fertilize, But Don’t Over-fertilize – Many people who have houseplants totally neglect to fertilize. Unfortunately, this will keep many plants from achieving their full potential. Plants take their nutrition straight from the soil they inhabit. Gradually, these nutrients and minerals are depleted and the plant starts to become malnourished. High quality liquid fertilizers give back to the soil so that your plant will be revived. However, don’t take it for granted that every plant needs fertilizing. Nasturtiums, for example, prefer to grow in very poor soil, and will quickly languish if transplanted into rich loam. Again, create a schedule for each plant’s individual needs, and follow it until it becomes second nature.
- Music? Talking? – Some people believe that speaking to plants or playing them gentle music helps them grow. While the jury is very much out about whether or not this tradition has a basis in observable reality, it surely doesn’t hurt to try. Some might say that when we treat plants (or any other living thing for that matter) with intentional care and gentleness, the outcome of that thing’s life improves. If music and gentle speech can be a practical expression of care toward a plant, this plant owner is likely to treat their plants well in other intangible ways. So if music and talking seems to work for your green leafy friends, we say go for it.
Having plants around the house or office can lift the mood, clean the air, and provide a sense of beauty and even companionship. However, most of us don’t have great results from early efforts to grow plants indoors. Take note of the methods listed above, and you and your household plants will be a lot happier in the weeks and months to come.
Baby, it’s cold outside. If you’re this writer, you’ll likely know that it’s 12 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and you’ll be cuddled up to your PC tapping out thoughts for hearts and minds. Meta-rambling aside, nobody likes to feel cold. Even when we’re inside with the warm from hearth or heating ducts, it’s still easy to feel frigid. Sometimes throwing on a sweater just isn’t enough. Fortunately, there are some delicious ways to warm up, even on the coldest days of the year.
- Herbal Tea is Your Friend. We think of tea as inherently warming, but you could be shooting yourself in the foot if you choose a caffeinated tea. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor. As far as your comfort is concerned, this means that your blood vessels narrow, resulting in less interior volume through which to carry warm blood to your numbing extremities. Opt for something herbal instead, and you’ll get all of the benefits of piping hot water in your belly, without the chemical chill of our favorite stimulant. The same goes for coffee. It might feel good going down, but it’ll ultimately work against your comfort level unless you opt for decaf.
- Soup…Thick, Dense Soup. There’s a reason they eat clam chowder in New England. Thick, stewy soups hold their temperature better than thin ones. This heat is then transferred from your mouth to your belly, where it works like coal in a furnace, warming you from the inside out. If you work in an office and don’t have access to piping hot soup (or hate using a microwave), invest in a thermos that will keep your soup hot as blue blazes until it’s time for lunch. There are hundreds of kinds of soup that will work for this purpose. Make a big ol’ batch and have it ready in your freezer for wintry days years from now.
- Don’t Fear Fat and Sugar. If you are prone to chill (and are otherwise fit and healthy), a reasonable amount of fat and sugar can do much to make you feel warm and toasty, even when seated for prolonged periods of time. Our bodies have to work extra hard to keep up our core temperatures when it’s cold outside. Without the fuel to burn for this extra metabolic labor, you’re likely to be shivering in no time. This is why drinks like creamy hot chocolate are emblematic of the wintertime. They’re sweet, for instant energy, and fatty with milk for a sustained energy boost.
- Don’t Overeat. Some say the best way to feast is to eat, not till you’re full, but till you’re sleepy. But have you ever noticed that overeating when it’s cold outside results in a feeling of overwhelming frigidity? There are different reasons for this, but one is that when we force our body to digest an enormous meal, extra blood supply is sent to our stomach. Working hard as it is on digestion duty, this blood can’t be routed to the hands and feet as it normally would, resulting in these extremities feeling even colder than normal. Eat healthy portions and you’ll keep your sense of temperature satisfaction very much in whack.
These tips will work with a wide variety of snacks and meals. Be conscious of how you eat this winter. It’s liable to be a long and blustery one, and you don’t want to spend it teeth a’chatter. Carefully consider the comfort costs of caloric consumables. Be they foodstuffs or libations, everything you put into your foodhole can be either fuel for warmth or a trigger for a terrible chill.