Monday, March 18, 2019

Self-Care Tips That Will Boost Your Mental Health



Guest writer  Brad Krause

Mental health concerns should always be a priority, but in today’s busy world, it can be difficult to stop and take a break even when stress and anxiety reach their peak. There’s always something else to take care of or worry about, it seems, especially if you are a parent or a busy professional (or both). Without those breaks, however, life can feel overwhelming and tiresome, and you may begin to feel the effects of depression creep in, which can make taking care of daily responsibilities even more difficult.

The key is to recognize when you are feeling overwhelmed, learn how to take steps to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and to cope with those feelings once they show up. This will help you feel better, and it will also improve your relationships, work performance, and overall well-being. Think of some activities that make you happy -- such as gardening or drawing -- and work them into your day. Making time for hobbies and doing things that make you feel happy and relaxed will help keep you focused and energized.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to boost your mental health with self-care.

Reduce Stress When You Can
Though it’s not always easy to do, reducing stress can help you feel more in control and boost your self-confidence. Think about the areas of your life that hold the most stress. Are you overworked? Is it hard for you to find time to clean your house? Are there financial worries? Try to pinpoint exactly what’s causing you to feel overwhelmed so you can come up with a plan of action to tackle it. Talk to your boss about getting some help for your workload, hire a cleaning service or start a chore chart for the kids to complete, and create a budget that will help you tighten things up and get back on track. Reducing these stresses will allow you to relax a bit more and find happiness even on the busiest of days.

Find a Hobby
Hobbies are wonderful for reducing stress; they can raise self-esteem and help you relax. Set up a meditation space in your home where you can take a few minutes away several times a day. Incorporate calming colors and mood lighting to help keep you focused. A hobby can even help you make extra money. For instance, if your hobby is to create handmade items, you can sell them in an online storefront. Outdoor hobbies like gardening may help you reap even more benefits. Just being outside has calming and stress-reducing qualities of its own.

Change Up Your Workout Routine
Everyone needs a good diet and exercise routine in their lives, and a good workout can help you feel energized and ready to take on anything. If you haven’t changed up your workout in a while -- or if you haven’t been able to make time to get active lately -- think of some fun ways to work exercise into your day. Go for a bike ride, take the dog to the park and go for a run with him, or have a swim at the local YMCA. Think outside the box a bit and make your workout fun for a chance to really boost your mental health after a long day.

Get Good Rest
It’s nearly impossible to feel fulfilled and on top of things when you haven’t had good sleep, yet so many Americans either don’t sleep long enough or find that they can’t get adequate rest, which leaves them feeling groggy and irritable the next day. Over a period of time, this can seriously damage your physical and mental health, so it’s important to do what you can to rest easy. Start a bedtime routine that will help you wind down for the day -- such as turning off all screens, reading a book, and taking a hot shower.  Filling your diet with superfoods like almonds, edamame or a night time ritual of a cup of tea also can help promote healthy sleep.

Taking care of your mental health can help you feel better, and it can allow you to take control of your life as well. When you reduce stress and anxiety, you’re also telling yourself that you are worth much more than those feelings and that you deserve happiness.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

CAPABLE Program Summary | NCOA

CAPABLE Program Summary | NCOA: Capable is a five-month program to decrease fall risk, improve safe mobility, & improve ability to safely accomplish daily tasks.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A Cluttered Life = A Chaotic Life

When you fill your life with clutter (unneeded) things you block the way for abundance which can lead to fulfillment of goals and a life of serenity. Just recently I decided it was time to "size down"  my life and to my amazement I have already packed up 20 boxes of STUFF that no longer hold a place of significance in my life. You may be wondering what was contained in those 20 boxes. Well there were clothes I had not worn in over 10 years, nick knacks from as far back as childhood, an old toaster, glassware,etc...I could go on and on but you probably get the drift. STUFF that was just taking up space and until I started the project, I had not thought about in years. Just getting rid of clothing I never wear made it so much easier to pick out something to wear without rummaging through what I now call dead pieces.
 Let's examine a few good reason to declutter our homes, our workplace, our calendars, our emails, literally every aspect of our lives.

1. Clutter has a negative impact on our well-being
Your home should be your castle and when there is an array of "UNNEEDED THINGS" it can leave you with a feeling of wanting to retreat. You can come to the point where you feel your home is the enemy because in it you feel a sense of being unsettled. Instead of being your sanctuary it becomes a major contributor to ones stress where your mind literally never has a chance to shut down but stays in a constant state of thinking. The unquiet mind equals countless nights of unrest.

 2. Clutter can lead to unhealthy eating
Do you find you tend to eat more unhealthy snacks when your environment is clutter. Enter into a kitchen with the counters full from one side to the other your brain can actually short circuit leading you to a world of chaos and stress. An Australian study found in an experimental kitchen that was disorganized and messy the test subjects ate twice as many cookies than those in a kitchen that was organized. They concluded that you can feel totally out of control and reach for more sweets in the cluttered environment.

3. Clutter has an impact on visual/mental processing
 It is more difficult to interpret feelings if your visual surrounding are filled with random stimuli. I can site a personal experience from visiting the home of a family member with a hoarding problem. I had seen on television homes of individuals that were hoarders but nothing could have prepared me for walking into a space where there were things all around me from the floor to the ceiling with only a narrow pathway to walk through. To this day I struggle with that experience and it has taken great effort to continue to interact with that family member to try to make sense of how someone can exist in that environment.

When you can’t find things, you feel frustrated, angry, and unproductive. Set a goal for yourself and start one area at a time. My first one was my closets and basement storage area. With that completed, I moved this morning to a big one...EMAILS. Think of the amount of time you spend sifting through useless emails. I began the process of unsubscribing from most in the promotional folder...that has taken 2 hours so far and I will move on until I have them all completed. I realize it may take several attempts to get rid of promotional emails, because they want you to spend $$$$, but I envision the morning where I go to my inbox and all that is there are emails relevant to what I WANT or NEED.

If you find the task of decluttering is too much to handle consider reading "How to Declutter Your Life-Creating a Game Plan" or enlist the service of a professional organizer. Whatever it takes, you will find the chore is well worth the reward.


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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Drop Those Resolutions and Instead Set Your 2019 Goals

No matter the year, almost every January 1 folks vow to take an action which they perceive to be aimed at "becoming better" or fixing something that they feel was a negative influence the year before. You heard it..."this year I am going to exercise more, this year I am going to eat more vegetables, this year I am going to...___________________ you fill in the blank. 
My problem with resolutions are they are almost always aimed to address things you feel sucked about your life the year before. Take for example focusing on your weight. You feel you are fat so your solution to the problem is to get a membership at the gym. Somehow you want to believe that having that membership is the magic solution for weight loss. We all know that as the the month goes on your commitment to trips to that gym dwindles and dwindles till you are paying for a membership that is never used after March.
Instead of making a resolution it is better for you to set goals. First consider how does your excess weight make you feel. Are you exhausted after walking up several flights of stairs? Do you constantly feel tired no matter how much sleep you get? By asking yourself questions you can now develop a plan and set some realistic goals for yourself that ultimately will not only help you lose weight but also help you feel better. Change based on how you look is so much different than putting the focus on how do you want to feel.  It will help you look at things from a different perspective. You can become complacent with how you look but we all desire to FEEL good.
So over the next week or so begin to take a look at your life overall...your health, your job/s, your relationships, your finances, your social interactions and set achievable goals which you can map out a realistic strategy which will serve as your pathway to change in those areas of your life you FEEL could use change. 
Be sure to to celebrate your small wins. They will give you a sense of accomplishment as well as be the motivation to keep going. The good thing about a goal is if you do not feel you are progressing, you can always go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate and re-structure your strategy.
Goals require commitment, planning, preparing, and taking REALISTIC action. No matter the hurdles that life throws at you...everything is possible when you believe.
Take time to share what you see as your hot goal for 2019 is...mine is to declutter. I must move from the 12 inch plate of my to do list and slim it down to an 8 inch one.