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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.

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.

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

4 Ways to Stay Strong and Positive in Times of Sickness

4 Ways to Stay Strong and Positive in Times of Sickness

In times of sickness, it can be hard to keep your morale high. Medical conditions can make it difficult to get on with your normal routine. No wonder people undergoing any sort of treatment have to look for ways to keep them busy in order to enjoy their time. A positive attitude and motivation are necessary to get on with your life and stay calm.

Even though stress and painful treatments might seem as though they are taking a toll on your life, keeping yourself occupied with anything that your physician allows can help you stay motivated and lessen the amount of stress. This can be anything from meditation and easy yoga poses to reading a long overdue book. Sickness has a deep impact on the psyche of a human being. The recovery greatly depends on how motivated you are to put a brave front in times of hardship, be it any ailment that time and again causes pain or any sudden deterioration of health.

So, what are the things that you can indulge in during times of sickness to keep your motivation levels intact? Here are the activities that can cheer you up and help you cope with any situation:

1. Read a book or watch overdue series/movies

The more you keep yourself engaged, the better you can take your mind off the treatment. Being constantly reminded of your sickness because of your routine will make you feel isolated. So, let the doctors worry about your medicinal schedule while you can read a book or two with timely rest.

If the medical condition permits, movies are great to brighten the mood and stay connected with the outside world. Laughter is the best medicine and a comedy series or movie will only make you feel good.

2. Do not spend your time in isolation

While it is necessary that you take sufficient rest, do not avoid the company of your friends or family members. Do not hesitate to talk about your feelings. They know how difficult the phase is for you. Talk to them instead of feeling lonely. Your friends will make sure that, when they leave, you’ll have a smile on your face. They know you inside out, especially what makes you happy. You can rest assured that their company will brighten your mood and be just the distraction you need to keep your stress at bay.

It is the hardships that bring a family together and, with their support and encouragement, you are sure not to feel lonely.

3. Make your health your top priority

The only way you can recover fast is to make your health your number one priority. Your professional life and other commitments can take a back seat. This is the time to eat healthy foods. Even if you don’t feel much improvement in your overall health, it is necessary that you consult with your doctor and continue with a healthy diet. The important thing is to take rest and give your body time to recover.

4. Go out for walk and stay positive

You are either holed up in your room or are lying on your bed all day. Yes, you are sick but that does not mean that you will stop going out. Ask your doctor if you can go out for a walk. Even if it is hard to walk, see if you can go visit a park with the help of your loved ones. It will get out you out of sickness mode and help you relax amidst fresh environment.

Most importantly, you cannot let the situation get the better of you. It is just a phase that will eventually pass. You have to stay strong and positive to ensure your speedy recovery, even if that means reading motivational books or browsing through the Internet to read the experiences of other people who have gone through the same disease.

Motivation is all about mental toughness. How an individual can go through the entire medical procedure and still not lose hope is key to the respective person’s mental toughness. It is important to stay positive and indulge in something that helps to relax and get distracted. Be it reading a book or adopting a healthy lifestyle, it is essential to stay strong and positive and not lose your motivation.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Suzanne Winchester

Suzanne is a chief editor at The General Post, and an independent healthcare industry analyst, speaker and entrepreneur, she is also a contributor writer for Bookyogaretreats.com.  Having hands-on experience in the health segment, she has answers to many health-related queries.

 

 

Visualize and it Will Materialize

Originally posted at Success.com

Visualize and it Will Materialize
by Steve Rizzo

Visualization is a common sense success strategy that can keep you motivated and focused to achieve your goals throughout the day. As I’ve often said, “Visualize and it will materialize.”

Visualization is the applying of your given gift of imagination to your faith and confidence. You can use it to discover ways to work through tough times, to rise above your problems and see the possibilities of a solution. It can also be used in the process of healing or to manifest a particular desire.

You can read the rest of the article here

Break the Cycle of Emotional Eating

I am an emotional eater.  I eat when I’m happy, I eat when I’m sad, I eat when I’m angry and I eat when I’m bored.  In case you’re not quite catching what I’m saying, I eat.  Now eating is not a bad thing, heck, we need to do it to survive, but eating your emotions, that’s not such a great thing.  But I’m putting a stop to all that.  I’ve tried things like Weight Watchers, Nutri System, Atkins and Keto.  They’re all great in teaching me how to eat, but nothing has helped me come to grips with why I eat.  Now, with help, I’m going to stop allowing my mind to bully my body! If you’re stuck in the same cycle I am, then I suggest you check out this amazing class offered by Karen Salmansohn,  that will help to retrain your brain.

In it, you’ll learn:

  • why you binge eat – the emotional root of your food issues

  • how to stop obsessive thoughts around food – in a lasting way

  • how to stop using food as a distraction or to deal with uncomfortable feelings like anger, stress, fear, grief and self-loathing.

  • how to enjoy a more loving relationship with food – and yourself – whether you’re trying to lose 10 pounds, 35 pounds, or over 100 pounds

If  you’re ready to make a change, check out this great program that will help you break the cycle of emotional eating.

Well Color Me A Bit Contemplative

CrossPosted from Well Color Me

I was watching a lame movie today and in it, one of the characters said, “I’m a man, and men don’t hurt the people they love.” If you take it a step further, I’d say I’m an adult and adults don’t hurt the people the love.  But they do, all the time.  Most of the time, it’s not on purpose, but some times it is.  And it got me thinking why people do that.  Why do they say or do things that they know are going to hurt someone they care about

It can be romantic relationship wise, sibling wise, or friend wise.  It doesn’t matter what the relationship is, what matters is that it happened.  I know I’ve done it, and I usually immediately regret it.  But I’ve known some people who have said incredibly hurtful things to people and have never regretted it.  Your actions speak volumes as well, and if you don’t walk your talk, what you say doesn’t matter.  Think before you speak and think before you act.

I’m going to try to be a better person and think before I speak and before I act.  More importantly I’m going to work to not hurt the people that I love, and to just be a better person all around.

The Good Morning Goddess Ritual of Self-Love

The Good Morning Goddess Ritual of Self-Love

Self-love, the Saint-Graal of our modern society. Everyday, we get hammered by advertising messages asking us to take care of ourselves, to follow our dreams, to take that holiday, or leave that job. They ask us to do it, but it is always through the acquisition of a thing.

I say that it all starts with self-love. Loving the person we are, as we are, is the basis of a healthy and balanced life. How can you pursue your dreams, love others, build a life you absolutely love, if you don’t love the person you will be doing this with: yourself?

The yoga practice is a beautiful way to cultivate self-love, through small actions. It is you reminding yourself to breathe during that challenging pose. It is knowing when to stop before you hurt. It is allowing your body to feel the way it feels, every day. It is accepting that one day you are flying in Bakasana (Crow pose) and the following day, you are collapsing in that same pose.

In addition to the practice on the mat, I have created a ritual to include self-love in my daily life. As for meditation, and yoga, think of self-love as a muscle that needs to be constantly trained. It is a life practice.

I developed this routine when in Bali, where I spent 2 months to reconnect to myself, and work on personal development, including self-love.

Reconnection to your feminine side

For me, it all started with reconnecting to my femininity.

As a Yogipreneur, Vinyasa teacher and writer, hustling is part of my daily life. I have to go for my dreams, otherwise no one will serve them to me on a silver platter.

Being in Bali, which is such a smooth and sensual land, I realised I had let my masculine side take over my overall energy. Everything I did in the sphere of work was moved from a place of power, strength, pushing and pushing. My perception of power and the way I conceived it was to be like men.

Bali, and an extensive practice of Kundalini Yoga, showed me otherwise. Being a woman and denying my femininity caused an imbalance in my capacity to love myself for what I was.

The more I reconnected with my feminine side, through practices like dancing, drawing, singing, the more I felt comfortable with myself. I felt good with my body, and I started to let it express itself authentically – wearing no bra was the best discovery!

Practices that cultivate creativity, whatever the medium, are excellent ways to reconnect with our feminine side. Kundalini, through its kriyas, is also an amazing practice to tap into our inner force, which is feminine – the snake coiled at the base of our spine is a she!

We are all Goddesses

The kundalini practice, as well as long discussions with inspiring women, led me to the conclusion that shifted the paradigm I previously lived with: every woman is a Goddess.

We are all Goddesses, both Shakti and Kali, we are powerful and without us, the World would technically be nothing. Yes, this is being feminist. No, this does not mean we, women, are here to despise men.

Being a Goddess means that we know our value, we know that we are beautiful divine creatures. We know that there is enough power in us to take care of our faith and be the heroes of our lives.

Following this principle, I decided to meet my inner Goddess. It started with sporadic acts like smiling to myself in the mirror, and looking at my body from a place of love instead of the good old judgement we tend to have. I wore clothes that made me feel flowy and sensual.

I then decided to formalise it into a morning ritual.

“Good morning Goddess”

 

 

 

 

 

Each morning, I wake-up to my Goddess ritual.

I open my eyes, I put some music on. No checking messages, yet! As soon as the music is on, I start touching the skin of my entire body, starting with my legs. It is, for me, a way to greet myself into a new day, and acknowledge the beauty of this divine body of mine. I touch my feet, my legs, my tummy, my chest, my shoulders, my arms, I let my hands softly greet my entire body. I finish with my face, my hair.

Then, I step into my bathroom, and when I look into the mirror, I greet the Goddess by a “Good morning, Goddess” and a smile.

This might seem simple, so simple. And it truly is. But it has changed so much in my relationship to myself.

They say, the way you start your day defines the rest of it.

Starting the day with the positive feeling of greeting your inner Goddess, that is some powerful start.

And, yes, in the beginning, it will probably seem weird, and you will probably have to fake it. The first days, I found it so difficult to linger in bed, touching my skin. And, how hard was it to look at myself in the mirror without my gaze going straight to my muffin top and judgemental thoughts arising! But it came, slowly and steadily, as it does with any practice.

Today, I cannot start a day without my self-love morning routine. I feel amazing after doing it. And the best thing is that it starts to span over my day – I notice that the way I look at myself in the mirror during the day is starting to be filled with the same benevolence and self-love it has in the morning.

That, for me, is the most beautiful gift to myself. With this, I feel empowered to face life and realise my visions and dreams. Because I know I am at peace with my co-pilot: myself.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

 

 

Oumnia El Khazzani

Oumnia El Khazzani is a Yoga teacher and a writer. When she is not teaching flowy vinyasa classes, she writes novels, as well as blog posts, for herself or for others as a freelancer. She is also a contributor writer for www.bookyogaretreats.com.

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