Category Archives: Mental Health

Connecting Health & Self Esteem To Improve Both

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Connecting Health & Self Esteem To Improve Both

For one reason or another, we can all find ourselves in stressful circumstances in life. Sometimes, we can handle them. But sometimes, they stick – and that’s when it hits us hard. When you’re dealing with stress, not only can your health suffer, but your self-esteem can, too. At times like this, you feel like you’re never going to be able to make things work and feel good about yourself again. But you can. There are so many different ways that health and self-esteem are connected, you just need to find them.

You do have the option to tackle your health and self-esteem separately, but you might find that you enjoy it better if you create a connection between them both and hit them head on. When your health suffers, it can harm your energy levels, your mood, and then eventually your self-esteem. Likewise, when you’re suffering from low self-esteem, you may find that other areas of your physical and mental health start to deteriorate. So, you’re going to want to work on boosting your health and well-being in a range of different ways to improve how you feel in life:

It’s A Mental Thing: First of all, it’s going to help you to acknowledge that your current concerns about your self-esteem are a mental issue. Your worries may not be anything to worry about, but by acknowledging them, you’re going to get yourself one step closer to feeling better. When you ignore your thoughts and try to avoid them, you’re not solving them. To push past the negativity that you’re dealing with in your own mind, you need to be able to acknowledge it first and then work past it.

Trying Out Yoga: To work on boosting both your health and your self-esteem, you should seriously consider trying out yoga. It’s a great workout, of course, but it is also amazing for your mind. There are so many benefits to yoga, that you’ll definitely be working on improving things like your flexibility and posture, but you’ll also be clearing your mind and relaxing at the same time.

Drinking More Water: Our bodies are made up of a huge percentage of water, so we need to be able to stay on top of that in order to improve your health. When you do start to drink more water, your body will be able to function better and that, in turn, will boost your mind. You’ll notice that you have a bit more energy and the more energy you have, the more positive you’re likely to feel.

Eating A Balanced Diet: Next up, you’re going to want to start prioritizing your nutrition. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while, but when you eat a lot of junk food, you may find that it makes you feel worse. There’s a lot to say for mood food because what you eat does impact how you feel about yourself. When your body feels sluggish, you will feel sluggish. And who wants to do anything when they’re feeling lethargic? The answer is nobody.

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Yummmm

Getting More Fresh Air: When you’re cooped up inside all day or you find yourself always heading from the office to your house and back again, you’re probably exhausted. Your mind will always be running with the things that you have to do. So, take a break. Getting enough fresh air is always good for your mind and your body. Going for walks or just sitting outside to remove yourself from stress can really clear your mind and help to keep you calm.

Accepting & Improving: Sometimes, you won’t start to feel a change in the way you feel until you encourage that change to come about. You can do that in two ways. First, it’s to work on improving whatever it is that is getting you down. Whether you need to lose weight and decide to see a fitness expert to feel happier in yourself or you want to improve your teeth with professionals like the Harrell Dental Implant Center so that you can confidently smile again, take action. Your other option is to accept who you are and what you look like, and be happy in your own skin. Either way, accepting or improving will help you to take a huge step forwards.

Committing To Exercise: Exercise is a great way to boost your mood and get healthy. No matter what it is, whether it’s a fun dance class or running on the track, by doing something, you will start to do something about how you look and feel. When you work out, you will find that you have more energy and will start to feel more positive and confident in yourself.

Trying Out Mantras: When you struggle to accept the skin that you’re in, you may need to take an additional step towards making that happen. Even if the idea makes you feel silly, you should try out positive affirmations. They can often boost your self-esteem and even train you into positive thinking. Either way, you will find that the effects work in a positive way towards your general levels of health.

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Think she’s thinking her mantra?

Switch Off & Step Back: Sometimes, you might find that your obsession with being on all of the time is holding you back. It’s something that we all struggle with at some point or another. But, the negative effects of social media are real. They can change the way you feel about yourself and your life, and drastically lower your self-esteem. So take a step back and learn to switch off. A social media hiatus might be just what you need to start focusing on yourself instead of others.

Put Yourself First: And above all else, you’re going to need to learn to prioritize your health and happiness in order to feel better. Doing the right things to boost your health will be good for your mind. Vice versa, doing things for your mind will positively effect your body. So rekindle that love you once had with a hobby and allow yourself a slice of happiness – for your body and mind’s sake.

Happy Friday!!!

Featured Image By: Pexels

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Proceed With Confidence! Tips To Overcome Procedural Anxiety

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Proceed With Confidence! Tips To Overcome Procedural Anxiety

For one reason or another, most of us in our lives will have a surgical procedure at some point. Some may be prophylactic, designed to prevent or reduce the chances of a serious medical condition, while others may be to treat an existing condition. Whatever the cause, the prospect of undergoing a surgical procedure can be extremely daunting, particularly if we’re doing it for the first time. Procedural anxiety is a very real psychological condition, which can have incredibly damaging physical effects. In some worst case scenarios, patients have been known to refuse potentially life-saving surgery because they were so crippled by the prospect of going ‘under the knife’.

Fear of the unknown is one of the defining traits of human psychology. It’s the reason why we have learned to hide in our caves and not to tangle with saber toothed tigers. But in today’s world, our anxiety can take many forms that can be damaging to us, especially when our health is concerned. Let’s examine the anxieties that accompany surgical procedures and what you can do to combat them:

Do I Have Procedural Anxiety? Like many forms of anxiety, procedural anxiety can take many forms. While there are recognizable symptoms, they manifest differently in different people. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms when considering surgery, or in a dialogue with your doctor about surgery, then chances are you are affected by procedural anxiety:

  • Breathlessness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or stomach upset
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritability
  • Shaking/trembling
  • Heart palpitations or accelerating heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to think clearly or speak intelligibly
  • A sensation of detachment from reality
  • Fainting or fear of fainting
  • Fear of losing control.

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Yikes!

These symptoms can be brought on by certain triggers. Most of us don’t even have to be in a hospital to start feeling them. In some cases, just the sight of blood or injury in television or movies is enough to make us feel nauseous. These kinds of anxiety are perfectly natural and more common than we may think. They affect us because of three key factors:

Loss of Control: It’s no small feat to entrust the care of our body to someone else if we are unconscious or otherwise anesthetized. This degree of trust in your surgeon is at odds with our every primal instinct to protect ourselves.

The Stakes: Surgery can lead to a better life that is free of whatever impediment the surgery is designed to treat. Often physical conditions or injuries can throw a wrench in the works of our plans for life, and surgery represents a chance to overcome that hurdle. With that in mind, it’s perfectly understandable that we’d invest our hopes in the procedure and the prospect of something going wrong or the procedure failing, which would be devastating.

Mortality: As we live our lives, we become so caught up in the minutes of our day-to-day lives that we subliminally assume that they’ll go on forever. Surgical procedures can be a stark reminder of our own mortality and make us feel fragile and vulnerable.

There’s no denying that procedural anxiety is a biggie, but that’s no reason to let it get the better of you. Here are some things that you can do to stifle your fears and go into a procedure with confidence:

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First, remember that you are not alone: Whatever happens, you have support every step of the way. Make sure that you make the most if it. Bring your partner, a close friend, or a family member with you whenever you feel you need some extra love. The medical staff will be there to help you and answer any questions that you may have, so voice anything that’s troubling you. If you’re worried about the prospect of something going wrong with the procedure, the surgeon, or the tools then rest assured that it’s relatively easy and risk free to get an attorney to help you.

Get to know your doctor: There can be no better way to squash the fear of the unknown than by familiarizing yourself with your doctor, medical staff, and the attending physician. Get them to describe the procedure to you in as much detail as possible (if you can stomach it). This will remind your subconscious that you are entrusting your body to a skilled, competent, and experienced professional.

Be as open with them as possible about your anxieties. You’d be astonished how understanding they’ll be. In many cases, they will work collaboratively with you, enabling you to make decisions for yourself when possible.

Educate Yourself: Knowing is half the battle, and nowhere is this more relevant than when discussing procedural anxiety. For some, having the procedure explained by a professional isn’t nearly enough and there’s no such thing as too much knowledge. Researching the procedure is one of the surest ways to rid yourself of fear of it. If possible, try and make contact with friends and family who’ve undergone similar procedures. Some people who’ve undergone surgical procedures write blogs to reassure others. Reading these can be a great reminder of what you have to gain and look forward to after the procedure.

However prepared we are, we often find ourselves overcome by fear and anxiety at times so here are some coping strategies that you may find useful:

Distraction: If you feel your mind dwelling, then it can be very counter productive. Listen to music or read a book or article in a magazine or online. Even focusing on the tiny details of a painting on the wall can give your mind a break from itself.

Challenge Negative Thoughts: We have a tendency to jump to the worst case scenario and it’s important to catch these thoughts and nip them in the bud as soon as they crop up. Use your newfound knowledge to assure yourself that the facts and logic outweigh your worst case superstitions.

Visualize: Many find it helpful to create a positive visualization to calm your anxious mind. Take yourself back to a time when you were carefree and happy and try and transpose that feeling to your future, to a time that you can look forward to after the procedure.

Remember that your anxieties are perfectly understandable and natural, but hopefully using these techniques will prevent you from letting it be the boss of you so that you can proceed with confidence!

High Tension: How To Deal With Stress More Effectively

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High Tension: How To Deal With Stress More Effectively

There are few people in the world who would deny that life can be pretty stressful at times. Between work, family, socializing, and all of the other aspects of life that you find yourself coming into constant contact with, even the good parts of it can make you a bit frazzled. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, these stress levels can get to be entirely too much. While a little bit of stress here and there isn’t really going to do anyone much harm, it’s surprisingly easy for it to build up into something much more dangerous. Stress can easily go from an inconvenience to something that causes problems for your personal relationships, your work life, and your health. There are plenty of people for whom stress becomes so serious that it can lead to long-lasting consequences.

The question, then, is how to deal with it. How can you prevent stress from taking over your life and well being? Well, there’s no single answer, and every person’s experience is different. Here are some of the best ways that you can go about beating stress and preventing it from wreaking havoc in your world:

Change Your Perspective: A lot of the time, the only difference between a minor inconvenience and a major source of stress is your attitude towards it. If you respond to every problem in your life with anger, worry, and tension, then those problems are going to start to seem far bigger and more complicated than they really are. There are plenty of ways to adjust your perspective on things. A change in your lifestyle or the addition of a mood support supplement can allow you to feel much more emotionally in control, which can make daily problems less scary. By being able to take a step back and observe the problems in your life from a more honest, objective perspective, you’re in a much better position to figure out how best to deal with them in the future.

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This reminds me of the movie, Labyrinth! :*)

Get Organized: One of the worst things that you can do when it comes to stress is to hide your head in the sand. While it might seem like a good option at first, all it’s going to do is turn a small problem into a big problem very quickly. If you want to deal with stress, then the best thing to do is to get organized. Organizing yourself and prioritizing things that need dealing with will make it less likely that you end up in a position where you feel out of control. Give yourself to do lists and deadlines to deal with certain causes of stress. By avoiding letting yourself make excuses for why you’re not dealing with things, you get them out of the way much faster and more conveniently, which can be a huge weight off of your shoulders.

Ask For Help: There’s an old saying that goes “no man is an island”. This means that no matter what your gender is, you can’t face every problem all by yourself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with needing to ask for help from people around you. This might be needing the help of a co-worker to finish a difficult task. It might be reaching out to a family member or friend for emotional or even financial support. If you’re feeling especially overwhelmed, you may even want to reach out to a qualified professional who can help you figure out the best possible way to handle the stress that you’re dealing with.

While many people mistakenly believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of true strength because it shows that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to deal with the stress and problems that are getting you down. Eventually, you’ll be in a position where you can deal with many causes of stress yourself. But by reaching out to other people, you can often lighten the load enough to get back on your feet.

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Friends don’t let friends get stressed out!

Of course, there are always going to be causes of stress in your life no matter what you do, that’s just something everyone has to come to terms with. However, with this advice, you can avoid that stress from becoming so serious that it actually starts to have a negative impact on your life as a whole. Then, you’ll be able to carry on with your life, free from the kind of tension and pressure that far too many people deal with every single day.

A Parents And Teacher’s Guide To Teenage Depression

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A Parents And Teacher’s Guide To Teenage Depression

As a parent or teacher, we know that it is normal for teenagers to be moody and sullen. However, it is important to understand when this becomes something more serious. It is a sad fact that the suicide rate in young people is growing, so as a concerned adult you need to recognize the symptoms of depression and understand the pressures your children might be facing.

It may be that you already work in the field of mental health, are considering a career in doing so, or taking one of the masters in clinical mental health counseling programs. Parents, teachers, and counselors are on the front line when it comes to caring for children, and it is vitally important that you know how to help when they are suffering inside. Depression sucks, and here’s a few of the reasons of what might be causing it in your children, students, or friends:

Causes of Depression: Medically speaking, there is still no real evidence as to what causes depression. Genetics may play a part, as is a chemical imbalance in the brain. For the teenager, there are certain factors that can contribute. These include:

Self-Image: Every day, children are bombarded with messages from the media, peers, and social networking on how they should look, feel, and conform. Many young people suffer from body issues when they unrealistically compare themselves to the airbrushed models in magazines and online. If they are not the right weight or don’t have the right clothing, this can be a great source of stress for the teenager, especially when they face bullying because of it.

School: We all know how hard school can be (as if we needed reminding!). It is supposed to be a place of learning and growth, however, for some young people, the only knowledge they are getting is that they are not good enough. Fitting in with peers, broken relationships, dealing with too much homework, studying for tests and exams, and preparing for colleges can add a huge amount of stress into your child’s life.

Bullying is a major issue that can affect children physically and mentally. With the rise of social media, so much bullying is done online, with vile private messages and the posting of personal pictures, which the child has no control over. This can give off the illusion of nowhere being safe for the child.

What can you do? For starters, be there to offer support. They may not tell you how they are feeling, but encourage them to talk when appropriate. Symptoms of depression include moodiness, withdrawal from family and friends, lack of passion in things that they normally enjoyed doing, and mood swings. Some of these are normal for a teenager as their bodies change, but they could also be warning signs.

When you talk to your child or student, be open and listen to what they have to say. Do not judge or say something glib, such as ‘snap out of it’ (smh!!). Share your concerns with a doctor and other mental health professionals to ensure that the child receives the help that they need to get them back on track and smiling again.

Featured Image By: Vimeo

13 Reasons Why I’m Happy Challenge

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13 Reasons Why I’m Happy Challenge

Hey everyone and happy weekend! So my friend Charlie girl over at CharlieeStar tagged me in the 13 Reasons Why I’m Happy Challenge and I love these little awards and tags posts so I figured why not. Charlie is going to be featured during my Salute To Summer guest bloggers series so be on the look out for her! But until then, make sure to check out her wonderful blog! Okay, here we go. 13 Reasons Why I’m Happy in no particular order:

  1. I’m waiting for my pot of coffee to cool down to make some iced coffee and I’m really excited about it because I got a new creamer to try last night.
  2. I just walked my two rescue dogs, Gem and Ollie, with my mom and the weather in Ohio is actually acceptable to walk in, as it’s been raining here ALL WEEK.
  3. I’m talking to this really cute guy who’s coming up from North Carolina at the end of the month for my birthday.
  4. My mental health is finally in check, so that’s nice.
  5. There’s a Taco Bell within a mile of my home so that’s a blessing.
  6. I graduated college in December and I’m still happy about that!!
  7. I have a handful of really good friends who I love dearly. Quality over quantity and whatever.
  8. My family, obvs.
  9. All of the wonderful friends that I’ve made through lifewithlilred. I always get so happy every time I think about that!
  10. Bubble baths, face masks, and moscato.
  11. My background as a competitive figure skater has given me some rock solid legs, which is also a blessing haha.
  12. Whenever I’m writing my talon nails click away on the keyboard and I love that.
  13. My personal style. I have a closet full of beautiful clothes, shoes, and accessories. Wonderful makeup, bright red hair, long acrylic nails, piercings, and tattoos and I love it all.

Well that was fun! I thought that this list would be a bit harder to make but I actually feel like I could have kept going, which is a pleasant surprise. I’m not going to tag anyone in this because it’s more up to you if you want to participate in the 13 Reasons Why I’m Happy Challenge, but it was most enjoyable!

Thanks again to my Charlie girl for the tag, you’re a doll! What makes you happy? What bums you out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

To The Man At Oil Change Place

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To The Man At Oil Change Place

Okay, so if you’re following me on Facebook, then I’m sure you have seen some of my posts regarding Man At Oil Change Place – AKA, Don. This guy is awesome. He’s so funny and kind and his first words to me were “you could scratch my back from across the street with those nails” because of my long ass talons, lol. Not only is he someone who makes killing time at the auto body shop enjoyable, but he is also my windshield wiper guardian angel because he gave me free windshield wipers after I told him that my torn and old as dirt wipers were okay. He had them installed without me knowing and it was only when I was driving home in the rain that I realized what he did (and you better believe I called him to thank him!).

Anyways, my dad just got off the phone with the shop to schedule an oil change for my mom and apparently he spoke with Don. Their conversation went as follows:

  • Don: Is this Sarah with an H’s dad?
  • Dad: Yeah.
  • Don: You have some daughter.
  • Dad: Yeah, she’s something!

And I’m not sure why but as soon as my dad told me about this, I started to cry. The thing is, is that this man who works at the shop has literally only seen me looking a hot mess. The three times that I’ve been in the shop have been no makeup days and I essentially look like I’ve just rolled out of bed. So, to me, this means that this employee genuinely enjoys my company and conversation rather than just the way I look.

I know it sounds cocky, but sometimes I feel like the only reason why people even give me the time of day is because of my outer appearance. Sometimes, I feel like no one ever cares to get to know the actual person behind the red hair, red lips, talon nails, and piercings. So, to have someone compliment my father on who his daughter is as a person and not an object felt really good because that’s something that just never happens.

Don took what little information he knows about my life, job, etc. and pieced together that I was somebody worth getting to know even though he has never seen me looking dolled up before. He used our witty banter and chats that had nothing to do with anything, like trading in the waiting room Keurig for a margarita machine as grounds for reason that I’m an okay person. Like I said, this rarely happens and, for once, somebody gave me the time of day without any alterations to my outer appearance and they liked what they saw. I can’t get over how good this made me feel and all I want to do is drive to the shop and hug the guy and he would probably have no idea how happy his remarks made me feel.

Yes, it’s a little thing, but Don remembered me enough to point out to my dad that he has a cool daughter. And after the week that I’ve been having, I really really needed that. So, here’s to you, Don. Can’t wait to see you next time the Little Red Love Machine needs some work done! I LOVE YOU!

Has anyone ever had their day turned around by a kind word? What would you say to the person who helped make you feel better? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

7 Things That Make YOU Feel Special in 2017

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Hi everyone and happy Hump Day! The following is brought to you by my friend, Eve, at Garage Gym Planner. With almost three months of 2017 solidly behind us, it might be easy to fall into a bit of a mid season slump. So, read this article, take some you time, and come back to tackle the rest of your week with a vengeance!

7 Things That Make YOU Feel Special in 2017

In the modern world, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture and forget about all of the good things in life. Everyone has periods when they feel unwanted, unneeded, and begin to wonder what they are doing with themselves. Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to make yourself feel special. Sometimes a small switch up or treat is all it takes to change your life for the better, like the following:

  1. Develop Self Care Rituals

Often, this is the simplest way to make you feel good about yourself. It is the small things that you do which count, and developing self care rituals is one of the most important parts of staying mentally healthy and making yourself feel special. Having a small, routine thing in your every day life that is designed to reinforce you and build you up can be extremely beneficial. It doesn’t matter what it involves or how you go about it: what matters is that you use it as a way to look after yourself and stay mentally healthy, no matter what.

  1. Exercise

Exercise is very closely linked to mental health. Beginning a good exercise program and exercising regularly is one of the best ways to make you feel special. One of the simplest exercises is squats. They can be completed almost anywhere, with minimal equipment, and by anyone.

The benefits of squats are huge and can include:

  • Great legs which you had previously only dreamed of having!
  • An increased blood flow to your brain, keeping you more alert and mentally healthy.
  • The generally fitter and healthier look which you have always strived for.
  1. Say No To Negativity

Feeling bad about yourself is the exact opposite of feeling special. Saying no to the things that make you feel bad is a big step on the pathway to self-development and to feeling comfortable with who you are. Unfortunately, one of the most common sources of this kind of degradation is your ‘friends’. Yes, I’m sure that you have some real friends who care about you and want to see you be successful. However, there is a high chance that you also have people around you who put you down and who make you feel like you aren’t good enough, which is a major problem.

  1. Do Something That You’re Good At

Being good at something can make you feel special and build your confidence. One of the best ways to get good at something is to get out there and try! Everyone has talents: if you don’t know what yours are, then you need to find out this year. Participating in an activity that you are good at is one of the best ways to boost your self confidence and self love.

  1. Read A Book

Reading allows you to explore worlds other than your own. You have an imagination, so use it! When you are feeling down, crack open a book and conjure a world in which you are the hero. Immerse yourself in a good book and let yourself become the main character, feeling their emotions, taking pride in their achievements, and letting this boost your morale.

  1. Dare To Be Different

Don’t conform to society’s expectations and become just another mindless business person wandering through their meaningless zombie-like life. Dare to be different and be proud of your differences. Doing so will allow you to feel special about who you are and what you are doing. Get out there and chase your dreams. Don’t get stuck in a life that you don’t enjoy. Do something that you really find fun in 2017 – even if it is a bit different.

  1. Go On An Adventure!

Who says that adventures are for kids! Your adventure can be big or small. From taking a hike on a nearby trail to going on a cross country road trip, let yourself explore. Adventures are all about getting out of your comfort zone and experiencing something new. Where can you go and what can you do to tune in to your adventurous spirit?

Thanks again to Eve at Garage Gym Planner for these seven tricks and tips to get yourself feeling special in 2017! What do you do to increase your self worth? Where is your dream place to have an adventure? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah