Tag Archives: mental health

Shake The Holiday Time Stress – Plan Ahead!

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Shake The Holiday Time Stress – Plan Ahead!

Hi! While the holiday season can be the most wonderful time of the year, it can also be the most stressful. All you have to do is visit a store in October to know that the countdown to the holidays are fast approaching because Christmas decorations have taken over. Some people may thrive on leaving holiday preparations to the last minute and that is okay! But it is so not me and if that doesn’t work for you, either, try the tips below to sail smoothly into the holiday season:

Start Shopping Now:

One of the best ways to shake the holiday stress is, of course, starting your shopping early. In fact, I know some people who start shopping for the next Christmas with the end of season sales in January! You don’t need to be this extreme but shopping a few months in advance is a must. This will eliminate any anxiety about if your packages will arrive before your celebrated holiday. It also provides for extra time to return damaged or not as good as you thought presents.

Shopping in advance doesn’t just ensure that all of your prezzies will get to their designated giftee in a timely manner – it is better on your wallet too. Breaking up your buying between several months will also get rid of the stress of a huge credit card bill come January first!

Sort Out The Spread:

Maybe your holiday stress stems from having to prepare a big meal for the family and your guests. Although you can’t buy your food way in advance, there are some things that you can do now. How about sending invites to your holiday dinner that people have to RSVP to? Don’t forget to ask about any allergies! This way, you will know who all will be in attendance so you don’t end up cooking way too much or too little.

Once you have a firm idea of who is joining your holiday dinner and their food preferences, you can plan out your spread accordingly. It might not hurt to have some back up recipes in place just in case you can’t get your hands on a ham or turkey at the grocery store.

Know When To Excuse Yourself:

If you have a strained relationship with a family member or guest at your Christmas gathering, this can be a HUGE stressor. Develop a plan now for what you can do to protect your mental health if this is the case for you and practice it. This could be sticking with the cool cousins for the gathering, arriving after a triggering person has left, or simply knowing when to step away to compose yourself. You have every right to an enjoyable time and having a plan thought out prior to the big day will add a sense of security since you won’t have to wing responses or reactions on the spot.

The holiday season is a joyous time but can it be stressful? Big time. Plan ahead now to eliminate the mad dash feel. Then, when everything is in place: Sit back and relax – you have earned it! ❤

What are your holiday season stressors? How do you prepare for a family gathering? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Cope With An Exercise Injury   

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How To Cope With An Exercise Injury   

The recovery process for sports injuries usually concentrates on physical rehab. But for athletes, it’s also important to incorporate sports psychology techniques to help them recover mentally. When you’re otherwise healthy and physically active, an injury can be frustrating. Resilience is needed both physically and psychologically to cope with injury stress.

Despite these feelings, it’s important to move forward and find more positive ways to overcome this setback. Athletes who can handle injuries gracefully will become more focused, flexible, and resilient. The following strategies can help:

Educate Yourself:

Ask your doctor, trainer, coach, or therapist the following questions to learn what you need to do to heal quickly and fully:

  • Do I have an injury (what type is it)?
  • How can I get treated?
  • Why am I receiving these treatments?
  • Can this be recovered in a reasonable amount of time?
  • During rehabilitation, what should I expect?
  • Are there any safe alternatives to traditional exercise?
  • If I get worse, what are the warning signs?

A second opinion may be necessary if you feel uncomfortable with the response from your care team.

Recovery Is Your Responsibility:

Your recovery can be impacted if you take responsibility for it. A greater sense of confidence can be found when you take control of your recovery process. The process also helps you recover faster than trying to return to the level of performance that you had before your injury. Making sure you have a first aid kit with medical ice packs is a start to taking responsibility and good care of yourself.

Stay Committed To Your Recovery Process:

Others may lose motivation and slack off on their therapy, while others may become discouraged and quit. To heal quickly, be committed to your treatment and listen to your doctor and/or athletic trainer. You can stay balanced as you achieve your healing goal by setting small daily or weekly goals that build momentum. You should also speak to yourself positively.

Stay focused on what you need to do and not what you will miss during your daily rehab. Work hard and maintain a positive attitude throughout it.

Get Support From Others:

Following an injury, it is common to isolate from teammates, coaches, and friends. You should keep in touch with others as you recover. They can offer advice or encouragement when you need to vent. Make sure that you are surrounded by strong, positive people who can encourage you during your recovery and boost your spirits when you are feeling discouraged. It can be very comforting to know that you are not alone when you suffer an injury.

These four tips should help you to look after yourself during recovery from an injury. Be good to you and get well soon!

Featured Image By: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Pearly Whites

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Pearly Whites

Hi! Ever since I had an oral surgery gone wrong close to three years ago, I have had a HUGE fear of the dentist. But, let’s be real, I’ve always been kind of afraid of it and instead of facing my fears, I just wouldn’t go. In the beginning of February 2020, I finally worked up the courage to see a periodontist and had a handful of appointments with him. Then, the worst of the pandemic hit and I hadn’t been back since.

Although I hadn’t been to see the periodontist, I worked hard to keep up my oral hygiene with an electric toothbrush and tried my best to at least keep my problems stable. However, going so long without having any type of check up brought me back to my ambivalence of ever returning. Which is why I am proud to say that I actually had my first appointment with my periodontist since the pandemic this past week! 😀

You guys have no idea how nervous I was for this appointment because of my phobia in general and I was extremely worried that my issues had worsened. Which is why I am even prouder to say that thanks to my improved oral hygiene, the problems that I went in for had remained stable!! My worst nightmare would have been hearing the professionals say “What happened?!” so to hear that I had been doing as good as I could have been was such a big relief.

While the issues with my gums are by no means great, I am so motivated to continue making it better after this appointment. I have cleanings scheduled with my regular dentist and my periodontist. I also purchased a waterpik as per their recommendation as soon as I returned home. I like to think that even if the appointment didn’t go well, I still would have done all of that but it would definitely have made it much scarier.

I was all but traumatized after my surgery gone wrong and I think anyone would have been if they couldn’t eat for a month. I still can’t look at a bottle of Ensure without having flashbacks! But I am so happy that I am on the right track to keep improving and I plan to stay on it, no matter what my fears are.

I think I will always be somewhat afraid to go to a dentist or periodontist but this is a great first step in, at least, lessening my phobia a little bit. In fact, I might even be a little excited to keep going back and I feel hopeful that I will continue to make improvements. GOOD FOR ME! 🙂

What are you afraid of? How do you face your fears? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Self Care Hobbies That Can Be Done From Home

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Self Care Hobbies That Can Be Done From Home

Hobbies that can be done from home are so much more likely to be practiced often. And if they are much more likely to happen, then it can be such a good thing for your self care and mental health. Looking after yourself and finding something that you love to do, outside of work or school is important. So with that in mind, here are some hobbies that you can try from home to help you relax. Which are you going to try first?

Knitting:

Knitting is a wonderful hobby to try. The reason being, is that it is not only a mindful and relaxing activity, but it also gives you an end result. Want to create a scarf or make something for your friend’s new baby? Then get knitting. Seeing that you have created something by yourself can be a real confidence boost.

Painting:

Painting is something that can be really relaxing and mindful, and you don’t need very much equipment to get you started. You can go wherever your imagination takes you or take inspiration from your favorite artist or pieces of artwork. You could look here for some inspiration: https://davidhartgalleries.com.au/pro-hart/. You could choose paint, acrylics, watercolors, chalks, or other mediums, it is all about being creative and making it up as you go.

Baking Bread:

Another hobby that is practical, as you get something good to eat at the end of it, but that is calming and relaxing at the same time. Baking bread in a traditional way, such as by kneading the dough by hand and waiting for it to rise can be therapeutic and so, so rewarding. You can get creative with the types of bread and the flavors like sourdough, which will need a starter, as stated here: https://feastingathome.com/sourdough-starter/. So there are a lot of options for you to play around with.

Reading:

If you don’t think that you have much time for reading, then you might not have been putting as much emphasis on it as you have in the past. Reading can be pure escapism, as well as a way to learn new things. If you want to read more, then block out the time in your schedule and it will make sure that it happens.

LEGO:

Building with LEGO is not just for kids! You can get proper sets and kits to create something as it is meant to be or you can use what you have to create anything else that you can imagine. Some kits can take a while to build, so it can be a real labor of love. The perfect solution when you’re looking for something to do to relax at the end of the day.

Everyone needs a hobby to enjoy so why not try some of these ideas? Have fun!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Taking Care Of You, Too

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Taking Care Of You, Too

Between work, cooking, maintaining your household, and social engagements, making time for you can feel impossible. This can lead to burnout, break downs, and even more stress! When you are starting to feel the side effects of a constantly on the go lifestyle, it’s important to take a step back rather than push yourself harder. Today, we are going to look at a few simple things that can be done to make sure you are taking care of you, too. Let’s get to it:

Beauty Sleep:

A restful night of sleep is so crucial in so many ways. Not only does getting your full eight hours give your body time to rest and heal, but you will feel so much more active and alert every morning. It’s nice to start your day with some pep in your step rather than dragging your feet just to get out of bed. What is preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep and what can you do to improve it? Perhaps, your bedroom needs to be a more soothing place to lay your head after a long day, which can be achieved with these ideas.

Schedule Appointments:

While scheduling appointments for various things like the eye doctor, dentist, and general practitioners isn’t the most fun thing, it will help keep you feeling your best and that’s what is important. A professional dental lab in your area is a great place to start and don’t forget to tend to your mental health, too. An appointment with a counselor or therapist can be especially beneficial if you have been feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and over stressed as of late.

What Does Self Care Mean To You?

Self care won’t look the same for everyone and that’s okay! I, personally, love doing a face mask after a long day at work to unwind but that might not work for you. So what does self care mean to you? Is it going to the gym? Going on a long hike? Buying yourself some beautiful flowers for your kitchen table? Once you narrow down what makes you destress, you will know what options are best to turn to when you are feeling some type of way.

Positivity, Please:

Thinking positive thoughts is so important even if you aren’t feeling very positive. Do you have a mantra that you like to repeat to yourself? What about some positive affirmations on sticky notes to look at throughout the day? What’s that old saying – fake it till you make it? Sometimes you just have to give yourself the mental push for good vibes and, eventually, your positive outlook will become second nature.

Doing for others is an amazing thing but don’t forget to do for yourself, too! ❤

Chilling Out

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Chilling Out

Hello! These past few weekends for Johnny and I have been nice and relaxing which is a welcome change of pace after several super busy weekends in a row. I definitely know that I was feeling the effects of being on the move nonstop because I felt so exhausted throughout my work week. My job is quite mentally demanding so this on top of tired made me feel drained.

While I love going out and about with Johnny, a lot of my favorite things can be done just Chilling Out in our apartment. Like the following:

Pampering Party:

Pampering myself after a long day at work always makes me feel better. This means bubble baths, face masks, getting my nails done, and painting my toe nails. Johnny also loves to have his nails painted so I’ll usually do his fingers and toes too while the nail polish is out. Nothing pleases me more than an evening at the nail salon or testing out a new skin care product and it is a great midweek refresher until the weekend rolls around. A Pampering Party is my favorite form of self care and it gives me something to look forward to for once I get home.

Fun & Games:

Super intense video games are not relaxing to me in the slightest even though I love them. However, Pokemon Snap and Animal Crossing never fail to put me in the chill zone. Both games for the Nintendo Switch are insanely cute, laid back, and fairly mindless. They are also games that Johnny and I enjoy a lot so we play them often when we need some time to unwind. Our new hobby has been listening to The Last Podcast On The Left together and we will normally play Pokemon Snap or Animal Crossing while we have an episode on.

Soak Up The Sun:

I have been making great use of the pool at my apartment community this summer and it feels nice to be in the water and catch some rays in the evening. It is also the best time to go since it is not as crowded which makes it even more relaxing! Our apartment gets incredibly hot in the summer so I love having a pool two minutes away to cool off in. It’s hard to get in a chill set of mind when you’re sweating profusely lol!

Book Club:

Despite pretty much only reading horror and thriller novels, reading always helps me to relax and I try to finish a book at least every three weeks. Right now, I have been working on Candide by Voltaire which I have really been enjoying. Next on deck is a suspense novel by Megan Miranda called Such A Quiet Place. Nothing is better than settling in with a good book and I get transported to the chill zone as soon as I read one page.

It’s important to know what helps you to relax when you are feeling tired or stressed and the above are all surefire ways to unwind for me. Talk about an instant chill pill!

How do you like to relax? What makes you feel stressed? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

4 Life Upgrades That Work Wonders

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4 Life Upgrades That Work Wonders

Learning to upgrade your life can take many different forms. You could learn how to improve your mindset or start exercising more. The general consensus is that if you want to upgrade your life, it’s all about building good habits and, more importantly, having the discipline to practice them every single day. So with this in mind, what does it take to upgrade your life using the right habits?

Take Pride in Your Surroundings:

Pride is something that doesn’t come before a fall, provided we take pride in the things we know we’ve worked hard on. For example, if you spent a long time working for your home, that notion of being proud is a great thing, and it is a reminder that you put your mind, body, and soul into something that will reap dividends in years to come. But if you don’t have pride in your surroundings, your home can do with simple upgrades. For example, having a Renewal by Andersen window replacement can give you a simple way to have a window to the world. The simple upgrades around the home can evoke that feeling of being house proud.

Get Outside:

One of the benefits of opening up the windows to the world is that you will get more sunlight, and getting outside is so important for many reasons. It can reset your circadian rhythm, give you that all-important Vitamin D, and it can also improve your focus and your mental health. When you are out in the sun breathing in the fresh air, it can help you to refocus your life and is one of the simplest ways for you to feel healthier almost instantly. If you double this up with an exercise routine outdoors, you are giving yourself additional benefits.

Managing Your Time:

Upgrading your life is not about setting a million challenges for yourself, but is about making sure that you meet each goal one day at a time. One of the best ways to upgrade your life is to set challenges but make sure that you learn to prioritize and allot the relevant time you need to complete everything necessary. We all feel like we do not have the time to do everything we want, especially when it comes to self-care. This is why learning to manage our time effectively is important, because it gives us the opportunity to complete the tasks we want and feel more accomplished.

Stop Fearing Failure:

Everybody fails, it is a fact of life. Failure is the key to success, and while failure feels terrible at the time, it is only fleeting. It gives us the greatest lesson of all, the lesson of resilience. And if you are looking to upgrade your life, you’ve got to look at the people you admire and see how many times they actually failed. They failed more than you think! As soon as you learn to embrace this failure, you will learn to keep working in spite of it which will guarantee you better results.

Ready, set, upgrade your life with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Level Up: Improve Your Lifestyle & Mindset In 2021

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Level Up: Improve Your Lifestyle & Mindset In 2021

Do you ever feel like you are stagnating in life? Do you want more out of your daily routine but don’t know where to start? It is time for a change. This blog post will help guide you through the process of improving your lifestyle and mindset as we draw closer to another new year:

Eliminate Instant Gratification:

The phrase ‘instant gratification’ is so prevalent in society that you don’t even recognize it, so you’re quick to want the short term payoff. But, what would happen if you slowed down, took your time with life, and savored every moment? Start living your life intentionally this year by being mindful of what matters to you the most in all areas- health, relationships, work, money. Don’t let instant gratification get the better of you. Instead, take time to think about all of the wonderful things in your life.

Reduce Codependency:

Codependency is a natural part of life and healthy relationships are full of it. But too much dependency can be damaging, especially if you get used to relying on others for everything in your life. The best way to avoid codependency is by taking care of you first, before thinking about others (or even worse, always putting them first). This shift will not only benefit you but your loved ones, as well.

Even if it’s just for a few minutes every day or week, spend some time alone. The time spent alone does not need to be boring; it can be fun and fulfilling. For example, you can care for your pet and give him his veterinarian prescriptions treatment. Afterwards, a trip to the park is definitely in order!

Exercise:

What is your exercise routine? What do you think it takes to be fit and healthy? Exercise has a significant impact on your quality of life. Exercise benefits include increased muscle tone, improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, and decreased stress levels. Exercising can also help improve your mood by releasing endorphins into the bloodstream.

Don’t Take Things Personally:

The first step to change your mindset is not taking things personally. It also helps to have a positive outlook on life, no matter what you face. To get there, start by not taking anything too seriously and avoid over-thinking everything that happens to you. Unfortunately, it’s so easy to take loved ones’ actions personally and get frustrated or even angry with them. However, learn how to let things go when this happens by detaching from your feelings and knowing that it isn’t about you.

Eliminate Distractions:

The first step to a better life is eliminating distractions. Frequently, you get so caught up in the day-to-day that you don’t notice how much time and effort your routine is costing you. To eliminate distractions, try minimizing your time on social media accounts. When you delete or limit these distractions from your life, you have more time to do other things like tending to your own self care.

Successful people don’t just reach their goals, they exceed them. So can you! Set higher standards for yourself and use the tips in this article to achieve those increased expectations. The last essential direction of succeeding is never to forget to have fun! You should enjoy life so go out there and take on the world!

Featured Image By: Los Muertos Crew from Pexels

Hang Ten

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Hang Ten

Hello! I have been in amazing spirits as of late thanks to a welcome change at work and have been all smiles every day when I return home. This past month has been such a game changer because not being in a bad mood once I get home has reignited my love for cooking and I have been having a lot of fun making dinner every night.

I feel like I have so much more energy now after my shift is over and I have been making plans with friends and family during the work week and weekend like crazy. This is also an awesome change of pace because, normally, I would be so drained that I would prefer spending time with my couch and television during the week. Then, the weekend would roll around and plans would seem exhausting rather than enjoyable. Needless to say, I was in a huge funk.

My new job has helped turn hanging out with people back into something that I look forward to and I am so thankful for that. I have been loving my weekly hang outs with my sister and niece most of all. This was a new addition to my work week since July and it is the definition of super happy fun times. My sister and I will alternate between who buys dinner and we’ll do a fun activity with her daughter. Last week, for example, we went swimming at the pool in my apartment community and had Taco Bell. It was perfect!

I have been taking so much more pleasure in going out and about and it feels so nice for it to not feel like a chore. I have been saying yes to every invitation I get which is a huge one eighty from maybe. This past weekend was an especially fun one as I went to a member’s night event at the Akron Zoo with my parents and niece. Johnny and I also had a fabulous date day on Saturday. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Meson. Then, we played video games and listened to music until one thirty in the morning. It was such a blast and we spent all of Sunday talking about how much of a blast it was lol.

As I look back on this past month of wonderful hang sessions and dinners, I can definitely see how depressed I was prior to making a change at work. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I was given because it, truly, has allowed my mental health to improve tenfold. I can’t wait for all of the good times that are ahead of me and my husband because I am now capable of enjoying them all to the highest capacity. ❤

Do you have any fun plans this summer? What is your favorite thing to do with your friends? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

What’s Cookin?

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What’s Cookin?

Hello! I have always enjoyed cooking and have fond memories of making anything and everything together with my mom. Cooking in the kitchen in my apartment is an entirely different story, though, because it’s so small and I don’t know about you guys, but I like having lots of room to spread out when I’m making food. I also don’t know about you guys, but I fell into a bit of a depression during the most extreme parts of the pandemic and that left me never feeling like even attempting to make home cooked meals.

The stress of working throughout the pandemic as well as a job that I wasn’t entirely thrilled with really contributed to my slump and it made it hard to do just about anything when I would return home from work. However, this past month has been a complete one eighty as I accepted a new position that I am in love with. Every day, I have come home so happy and both Johnny and I can’t remember the last time I would get off work in such an amazing mood.

Because of this, my love of cooking has definitely been reignited and I have been making meals several times a week for me and my husband to enjoy. Below are some of the favorite recipes that I have whipped up so far and it has felt great to have delicious meals to serve every night. Check it out:

This past month, I have made mac n’ cheese, veggie enchiladas, quesadillas, and pizza. I also used a super easy recipe for pepperoni bread for my non vegetarian husband that he is crazy about. When I began cooking again, I wanted to find simple recipes with limited ingredients as I only have one small counter space to work on in my kitchen. It has been a huge success and I feel proud of myself the entire time. In fact, I feel so happy that I normally will be singing or humming to myself as I chop veggies. This is a far cry from sitting on the couch in misery waiting for yet another air fried meal to cook!

Cooking dinner is a love language that I have learned from a young age from both my mom and grandma and I love being able to express that again. I really enjoy getting creative with the dinners I make now and while I’ll follow the basic recipes, I always try to doctor them up to make it even better. Our favorite recipe is, easily, the jalapeno popper quesadillas and it makes me feel wonderful when Johnny will request them every other night lol. 🙂

I am looking forward to all of the yummy meals that I plan on making and Johnny is looking forward to eating them. One of the last times I made dinner this past week, I told him that it feels good to feel like me again and I wake up every day now eager to go to work and come home to engage in one of my favorite hobbies again. Here’s to delicious meals for all! ❤

What are some of your favorite recipes? Who is the best cook in your family? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah