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Take Mental Health Day

6 Reasons Why You Should Take A Mental Health Day

by Adam Durnham

What Is a Mental Health Day?

Although there is a formal Mental Health Day celebrated every October 10 to bring awareness to the spectrum of mental health conditions, you can have your own special day devoted to healing your mental state.

Just as sleep refreshes the physical body, our minds need to take a rest, too. A mental health day could simply mean a regular day of rest, freeing yourself from stressors, and refocusing on or seeking your purpose in life. By taking your own mental health day, you can rejuvenate your mind and care for it like you would any other part of your body.

Why Should You Take a Mental Health Day?

1. It helps improve your thinking.

Anything you think about—responsibilities at work, home, or school—can take a toll on your mind. Like small blocks, they can that pile up in a haphazard fashion and tumble down when not managed. Studies show that people under acute stress tend to make “risk-taking decisions even with disadvantageous outcomes”. This is why taking a mental health day can be so important.

A mental rest can help improve your thoughts and mood. From being pessimistic and paranoid, you may become calm and intentional. Thoughts that promote anxiety also tend to prevent you from making rational decisions on a daily basis. A peaceful setting can revive your mind from a chaotic state to one where you think better and make better choices.

2. It gives you a clear picture of what truly matters.

You can get so caught up with the nonstop demands of your everyday life that you lose sight of the big picture, of what truly matters to you. When everything else is stripped away, what are the things you cannot live without? Perhaps it’s your loved ones, a hobby, or even spirituality.

Taking a mental health day helps clear your mind and ruminate about the true priorities in your life. You may realize that the things you spend most of your time on aren’t what you love, but what society has pressured you to do. Through having regular days of mental rest, you can discover your true life’s purpose and dedicate your remaining days to the things and people that truly matter.

3. It can restore your health.

We live in a society where being busy is glorified, and suffering is a virtue. Although being busy and sacrificing for others is sometimes admirable, too much of it can be damaging not only to your mental state but also to your physical health.

Constant stress is a risk factor for degenerative diseases such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Stress causes many biological reactions to the body such as high blood pressure, increased blood sugar levels, tensed muscles, and sleep deprivation. When we don’t take time to restore our mental health, we also run the risk of harming the other parts of our body.

4. It lessens symptoms of mental health disorders.

By taking the time to restore your mental health, you are avoiding triggers that can harm you and, by extension, your loved ones. For example, some common depression triggers include being overwhelmed, losing your job, money problems, the death of a loved one or your relationship. These triggers can be minimized or avoided when you take steps to improve your mental health. Try a change of environment, a new hobby, journaling or meditating. Taking a mental health day can help you make time for these activities.

5. It can help you find support.

Among the most common obstacles to people seeking help for their recurrent mental health issues is that they’re afraid of the stigma or that they don’t have time to seek help. A mental health day allows you the time to reach out to others and find a community that can help you deal with your problems in a healthy manner.

Whether from a therapist, counselor, a spiritual leader, or a peer support group, there are different ways to get emotional help for the things that you’re going through. You are never alone, and there is always someone who walks through a similar journey as you do.

6. It can aid in better performance.

It may sound counterintuitive but resting now can give you the top performance that you need later.

 Some scientists suggest that without proper mental rest, the brain shrinks, affecting your speech, your memory, and even the way you interact with others.

 If you have to accomplish a big task, deal with a tough client, or finish a complicated project, studies show that taking your mind off these things for a bit can improve your mind’s performance.

Start Your Own Mental Health Day–Now!

The key to looking great, feeling great, and living your life well is through caring for your body holistically, including your brain. Start by setting up your own mental health day. Your mind will thank you for it.

4 Positive, Simple Ways to Improve Your Health and Well-Being

4 Positive, Simple Ways to Improve Your Health and Well-Being

Brad Krause

Practicing positivity can take some effort. But one of the best ways to spark positivity in your life is to take more control of your health. Thankfully, there are many simple head-to-toe habits you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Here are some great health tips that can help you make the most of your health and this gift we call life.

 

Use the Right Filters to Clean Your Home’s Air

 

The simple act of breathing can bring you peace, but only if the air you breathe is actually clean. While there’s not a lot you can do to prevent pollution outside, you do have the power to reduce irritants inside your own home. Change out the filters in your furnace or HVAC system and opt for MERV 8-rated filters when doing so. These highly rated filters have been shown to reduce up to 90 percent of toxins and pollutants, including mold, dust mites and even pollen. To add even more air purity to your home, and a touch of natural beauty, consider adding some air-cleaning plants to your home as well. Snake plants, ferns, and peace lilies are lovely options.

 

Use Wholesome Food Habits to Nourish Your Body

 

We don’t often stop to appreciate the simple act of eating. However, more than any other health step, the foods we eat can do so much to preserve our minds, bodies and overall well-being. In fact, whole, natural foods like oatmeal, leafy vegetables, and even healthy sources of fat can be more effective in combating disease than most prescriptions. What you eat matter, as well as how you eat, can have an major impact as well. Being grateful for food can help you appreciate the small miracles that make your meals possible and help you be more thankful for what you do have in your life. So often, we tend to get so wrapped up in what we don’t have that we forget this important step. Having access to necessities, such as food, is something we should all stop taking for granted, especially when so many are going without.

 

Practice Gratitude in Other Areas of Your Life Too

 

Being thankful for your food can be such a powerful step toward positivity. But gratitude, when practiced on a regular basis, can have even more power of your quality of life. Getting into the habit of being thankful, however, can be much harder than it seems. You can get off to a positive start by making gratitude a daily habit. There are many tiny little steps that can help you feel happier, but try taking a few moments each morning to be thankful for someone or something in your life. Maybe you can appreciate the health of your children or the blessing of your home. Nothing is too trivial to be thankful for in your everyday life. For an even bigger impact, write these notes of gratitude in a journal to really drive the positivity home.

 

Chase Daily Stress Away With Some Simple Self-Care

 

We all have stress in our lives, but not all stress is bad. Activities that may stress you out can actually have a positive payout in the end. However, when even good stress becomes overwhelming, you become more vulnerable to chronic stress reactions. When you experience stress, your brain and body responds in a natural way designed to help you react and escape potentially dangerous situations. When this response is constantly triggered, however, it begins to take a toll on your mental and physical health. This is why it is essential to include plenty of balancing self-care, like journaling and deep breathing, in your  health and wellness routine.

 

When you stop to think about it, you will find that there’s so much to already be thankful for in your life. By taking steps to manage your physical and emotional health, you can can boost your well-being even more. Because at the end of the day, your health and wellness really is something to be treasured. So, start taking better steps to take better care of yourself.

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

 

Changing your life

I am all about making changes in my life.  I have tons of great ideas about things I want to do to change my life.  I may not be so great with the follow through, but that’s a blog for another day.  Anyhow, back to changing your life.  We all have different vehicles we use to bring about change in our lives.  This website is one of mine.  But I recently read an amazing article about changing your life.  It’s written by Kathleen McGovern, and it’s called.  How To Change Your Life With One Word.  Ms. McGovern says a lot of great things in her article, but this stands out for me….you need clarity and sustained focus over time.

The whole article is great, and I encourage you to read it here, but that one phrase really resonates.  You can’t exercise once and then be healthy or cut back on the junk food for a day and be skinny (oh how I wish that were true).  Nor can you pick up a book and look at it once and think you’ll be prepared for a test the next day. Changing your life takes time and focus, but there are some things you can do to really help you along your way.

Check out the article and let me know what you took away from it, because I truly loved it!

Aging Gracefully: Health and Safety Tips for Seniors

 

 

 

 

 

Photo via Pixabay by Congerdesign

 

Aging Gracefully: Health and Safety Tips for Seniors

by Maria Cannon

Aging gracefully involves many things; staying healthy is a priority, but safety is also a crucial part of getting older. For many seniors, making sure their home and lifestyle are in line with those imperatives can be difficult. You may have a disability that makes things a bit more challenging, or you might be on a budget that requires you to limit the amount of money you spend on improving your home to make sure it’s safe and accessible. Many seniors find it hard to get used to a different diet when they’re focusing on their health, especially if they’re living with diabetes or other conditions that require big changes.

 

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to boost your health and safety no matter your age or lifestyle,starting with maintaining or adopting the right mindset. Everything that’s going on in the world, combined with the challenges we all face on any given day, can make it easy to focus on the negative. But positive thinking can help improve your health and help you live longer. The key is to be intentional with your thoughts and reactions, focus on what’s good in your life, practice gratitude, and surround yourself with positivity.

 

Once you have your mind right, you can move on to more specific goals. For example, you might consider looking for a grant that will help you pay for modifications to your home, or working out a spending budget for the week that will allow you to cook healthy meals at home. With so many ways to stay healthy, you have plenty of viable options. Keep reading for some wonderful tips on how to get started.

 

 

 

 

Look Over Your Medicare Plan

 

Medicare is crucial for most seniors, but it doesn’t always cover everything you need. Supplemental insurance, such as a Medicare Advantage Plan, can help pay for extras such as dental and vision insurance and prescription medications. This is a huge benefit for seniors who are on a budget but have health issues they need to prioritize. Look at the website to learn more about this type of plan and how it can help you save money, but take special note of the open enrollment period, which runs between October 15 and December 7 every year.

 

Pick Up a Hobby

 

Hobbies can be invaluable for many seniors; not only does it provide relief for stress and anxiety, but it can also help you stay social and boost your mental and physical health. Think about the things you enjoy doing the most and work them into your routine. Whether it’s gardening, reading, or playing a sport, practicing a hobby you enjoy can help you feel good about yourself and can even help keep you happy. Hobbies that include friends or loved ones are even better.

 

Modify Your Home

 

Because your home should be a safe and comfortable place, it’s important for you to go through each room and take a look at how accessible everything is. Would a grab-bar or seat make showering easier? Would changing the flooring prevent slips and falls? Home modifications are common for seniors and individuals with disabilities, but they can be costly if you don’t have a good plan. Look online for information about grants that may be available in your state.

 

Get Enough Rest

 

Many seniors find it difficult to get adequate rest, either because of a physical ailment that makes sleep elusive or because of stress. You can prioritize good rest by making sure your bedding is comfortable, that your diet contributes to a healthy sleep routine (cutting out caffeine and eating foods like turkey and yogurt can help significantly), and exercising daily. With better sleep comes an improved ability to cope with stress, which will help with your overall well-being.

 

Staying healthy and safe well into your golden years can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful undertaking. Start a new plan for your lifestyle, and look for small ways you can change to avoid becoming overwhelmed. With some preparation, you can ensure that your mind and body stay healthy for years to come.

Alternative Treatment Therapies for Stress and Depression

Alternative Treatment Therapies for Stress and Depression

It is projected that 40 million American adults suffer from some form of anxiety problem — that’s just under 20 percent of the population. It’s an alarming statistic, but perhaps more concerning is the fact that many who have an anxiety disorder do not seek treatment out of fear, shame, or because they’ve had a negative treatment experience in the past. Traditional therapeutic approaches sometimes do not meet the needs of patients who require treatment, leaving many to look for alternative methods. Some of these may seem offbeat or even radical, but the essential goal remains the same: to get better with few or no side effects.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation therapy teaches patients with anxiety or depression to focus their thoughts and feelings away from negative concerns using a variety of techniques. Meditation therapy relaxes the body and the mind by focusing on breathing, which lowers the blood pressure, reduces stressful feelings, and helps eliminate panic attacks. Breathing therapy pulls more oxygen into the body, which relieves tension and improves your sense of well-being.

Supplement Therapy

The ability of herbal supplements to alleviate anxiety and depression is also under study by scientists, though researchers have discovered positive links between the use of specific herbs and the reduction of some anxiety symptoms. Some of the more common supplement remedies involve vitamin B-12, which can affect the central nervous system, and chamomile, which has a soothing effect on people suffering from symptoms of anxiety. Supplements such as inositol and valerian can also reduce feelings of anxiety. CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical found in hemp that has a number of medical benefits, including pain relief and the ability to reduce inflammation in the brain. Keep in mind that you should always consult with a physician before taking herbal supplements.

Yoga

Yoga is a meditative discipline that seeks to develop a healthy connection between mind and body through a series of poses. In addition to reducing depression and anxiety, yoga improves flexibility and alleviates joint pain. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, yoga is one of the top 10 alternatives for treating a range of mental disorders. It’s an especially popular alternative to more commonplace methods because learning to relax through yoga can help in other aspects of daily life.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is another possible treatment, but it can be a hard sell for people who have a problem with needles, even though it is a centuries-old Chinese discipline known to be effective at treating depression and anxiety as well as many physical ailments. Thin, sharp needles are inserted into the patient’s upper skin layers at points of the body associated with specific organs. Acupuncture’s effectiveness continues to be a source of scientific study, including its ability to engage the body’s natural painkilling chemicals.

Art Therapy

Creative pursuits such as dance, drama, music, and the visual arts help patients become mindful of their feelings through self-expression. The art you create provides a means of creating art that helps you better understand yourself and your responses to external stimuli.

Ecotherapy

People struggling with anxiety or depression sometimes respond positively to spending time in nature on a regular basis. This method may include taking long walks in the woods, growing your own food in the backyard, or spending time around animals.

With 40 million Americans suffering from anxiety or depression, there’s currently a great need for successful treatment therapies, whether they’re considered traditional or alternative. It’s worth considering that more people might seek help if so-called “alternative” therapeutic approaches were more readily available to them.

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

I Need Your Opinions Please

Opinions Needed

Hi Everyone – I need your opinions please.  As you know, I recently published my little book.  I’m really excited that I did that, and I’m really proud of myself for reaching a goal and living a dream.  Reaching for your goals and achieving your dreams is something I truly believe in.  The book I wrote is called Thinking Positive Take the Journey into Positivity and it’s available on Amazon.

Now here’s where you come in.  I’m working on another book, fiction this time, which may or may not ever get finished.  Well not any time soon because my position in my school has changed and I have a much larger case load now with kids I know nothing about.  There is a large learning curve going on.  Added to that, I’m currently taking two classes online to get another teaching certification.

If anybody knows anything about macroeconomics, drop me a line because this class is  struggle for me.

Okay on to the opinion portion of our program.  I came up with an idea for a companion to my Thinking Positive book.  I’d like to make a companion journal with prompts and such to help people increase their own positive thoughts.  What do you think? Is this a good idea?  Sound off in the comments, or shoot me an email to thinkpos30@gmail.com.  I really do want to know what you think.  You all have been with me from the beginning and your thoughts and opinions matter to me.

Perspective is Amazing

I was on facebook this morning and someone shared a link to an article about teachers becoming digital panhandlers because we have campaigns on sites like DonorsChoose or gofundme to get supplies for our classrooms.  The person who shared the link was offended by the article title.  He found it to be incredibly demeaning to his wife who is a teacher and to teachers as a whole.  That was his perspective.

I read the article, and my perspective is entirely different.  Yes, he did call teachers digital panhandlers, but the article was not offensive or derogatory.  Instead it laid the facts out very clearly, and drew attention to the lack of school funding.  If schools were adequately funded, teachers wouldn’t need to resort to this “digital panhandling” to fund their classrooms.

The gentleman and I went back and forth essentially agreeing to disagree, but it really got me thinking about perspective.  It’s amazing how people see things differently, and we would all do well to remember that our view isn’t the only view.

Another woman commented that she donates her stipend checks right back to the school.  Stipends are checks people get for doing extra things like coaching.  I commented to her that I thought that was great, but I had to use mine to live on.  She immediately thought I was attacking her and thinking that she was independently wealthy, and she quickly disabused me of that notion.  Again perspective, I was honestly complimenting her for being able to do that, but from her perspective, I was attacking or judging her.  I think most of you know that’s not my style.  I was just impressed that she could do that, and sharing my own donorschoose campaign for people to see.

How we see things is influenced by our past experiences.  How other people see things is influenced by their past experiences, and we would all do well to remember that.

 

How to Turn Your Hobby into a Profitable Business

 

How to Turn a Hobby into a Legitimate Business

Maria Cannon

For many, the idea of starting a small business holds a certain appeal, but the hurdles to actually doing it seem too much to overcome. One of the main hurdles is the question what would I even do? Well, it is possible to do something you enjoy and make money. Turning a hobby into a legitimate business could be just what you need. Here’s how to get yourself set up to succeed.

 

Decide if it’s feasible to even try

Yes, the first step may sound discouraging. But it’s not – it’s just smart. Do the math. Take a deep dive into your finances and see if it is feasible to start a new business from the ground up. If you need some help, then get some help. Do not forget to include your partner/significant other in these discussions. It’s not just you that will be affected by the work that comes with starting a new business.

 

Know what your business truly does for people

If you don’t know what your business does, nobody else will either. The first thing you have to do if you are serious about turning a hobby into a business is find its main focus. If you make something and sell it, what is that product exactly? Why should people want to buy it? If you are offering your services in some other way, then what are those services – specifically? Why are you more qualified to dole them out than someone else? I’m just going to sell stuff on the Internet isn’t focused. I’m going to be a life coach sounds nice, but what services are you really offering?

If you are unsure and lack focus, some tried-and-true business ideas include selling hot items such as wireless earphones, phone cases and backpacks for men and women.

 

Plan before action

Do you have a strategy for one week out? One month out? How about next year? Without a clear plan for business growth, you’re not really starting a business – you’re just charging people for something you do as a hobby. Ask yourself what you want to do, how you’re going to do it, and when you’re going to do it. Time is important. As a post on Forbes suggests, “to ensure your strategies are brought to life, there needs to be specific action plans … and the necessary steps to get you there in an agreed time frame.”

Write out a business plan. Really – write it out.

 

Think positively

While you can’t simply will success into being you can certainly increase its chances of occurring by harnessing the power of positive thinking. Research has shown that those with a positive outlook in business tend to have more energy, better problem solve, and better bounce back from hardships (resiliency). The good news is that positive thinking can be learned and trained. That positivity will show through to your future clients and customers.

Most importantly, treat your hobby like a real job. If you treat it like a side project, that is all it will ever be. Consult experts in your field. Grow an online presence. Set work hours each day and grind. You really can make money doing what you love, but it won’t come easy.

 

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Enter the Drawing

Don’t forget to enter the drawing to win a free Kindle copy of my new book!  And just a quick note- Kindle put through an update to fix some formatting errors, so if you downloaded it previously, please get the updated version at no cost to you.

More Awesome Happy News

Hey Everyone I have more awesome happy news.

First there were some formatting errors with the original kindle publication.  I’ve fixed hem and emailed the nice Amazon people and hopefully they’ll let people update their copies.

Second, and here is where he awesome happy news comes in, when I was uploading the corrections, I decided to take Amazon up on their print copy offer.  So if you’re not a kindle person, and you want a physical copy, you can get it through Amazon.  Just click on the book and it will bring you to the hard copy page. Yes, I realize the cover is a bit different.  What can I say, I don’t know what I’m doing 🙂

awesome happy news

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