9 Ways to Sabotage your Wellness

  • Make a mountain out of a molehill – I used to come home at night and talk to my husband about all those little things that had gone wrong during the day.  It might just be one little thing, but I managed to make an evening’s conversation out of it.  Not so good for personal wellness.  The only thing this accomplished was to make me dread going to work the next day!

  • Lose sleep by worrying excessively! This is a habit I learned from my mom (I know there’s a gene for eye color and other physical traits; is there one for worrying, too?) Tossing and turning over work stuff, teenage daughter issues, and of course, my all time favorite, money, or what I perceived as a lack of it. (Yet God has always provided – go figure!)

  • Let pessimism clutter your mind – This is easy to do when I watch too much television news.  So I avoid watching the news channels, which are always filled with all the dark side of life. (By the way, did you know that there’s actually a Good News Network on the Internet? I just found it tonight and popped it into my AOL favorites)

  • Think “can’t do,” rather than “can do.” Since I’ve started writing this blog, there have been many times that I’ve been filled with self-doubt and fear (two of the worst enemies of our well-being). When I allow myself to dwell on these enemies, I end up living “inside the box,” rather than moving forward with my life.

  • Compare yourself to others, with envy – Envy is self-defeating. If I find myself feeling envious of others, I channel that feeling by motivating myself to change my own life circumstances in some way.

  • Cling to anger and resentment over your past – My dad was an alcoholic. For many years, I resented his actions. As I grew older, however, I realized that he had serious issues, depression being one of them. He lived in emotional pain that never ended. When he died, I actually wrote a eulogy for him – and in the process, I discovered the gifts that he had given me during his lifetime.

  • Live with the “victim” mentality.  I used to get angry at my mom when I was a teen and she’d say, “Don’t forget to send your dad a card for Father’s Day, or he might start drinking.” If he could blame me for his actions, he could avoid looking inside himself for real answers to his problems. And he could avoid taking responsibility for his life.

  • Be a crabby grouch – Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a bad mood and you take it out on the cashier at the gas station, or the clerk at the grocery store, you get the same crabbiness in return? I have. But when I’m kind and empathetic toward others, I tend to get the same good stuff in return.  

  • Take yourself so seriously that you forget how to laugh at yourself.  In middle and high school, I was often embarassed about myself because I just didn’t “fit in.” What’s great now is that I’ve used those bad experiences in this blog and find them to be pretty darn funny.  Even now, at the age of 53, I know I sometimes do goofy things, or make silly mistakes.  So what?  The ability to laugh at our own goofiness is key to surviving the craziness of this world.  And, laughter is good for our health.

I tried to think of a 10th way to sabotage your wellness, but ran out of ideas. Maybe you can help me. Can you think of ways that we mess up our emotional wellness?

Help Kids Today!

Yikes! Back-to-school time is just around the corner! Want to help out the kids at your local school? Check out Create the Good “Equipped to learn” program.

Want to help out a needy family feed their kids so they’re ready to face those daily school tasks and challenges? You can Help Feed America!

Do you know a family who needs the help of a local food bank? Help them find one here.

Want to help a kid reach their potential in life?

Become a mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Our country is still facing a crisis – poor and middle class families are suffering on a daily basis.  We can let this recession overwhelm us.  Or we can each take a small step to making a difference.  All it takes is that first step.  Kids need a future. Our country needs a future. Let’s help them get it. 

Do you have any other ideas about how to help kids and families? I’d love to hear about them.

Need Help Sleeping? Check Out the Warm Milk Journal

Fellow blogger, Debra, is the creator of the Warm Milk Journal.

She started this blog to help people who want to sleep better, and also for people looking for a little inspiration in life. Like me, Debra is a person who is sharing her experiences and who doesn’t claim to be an “expert.” She’s simply passing along what she’s learned in her life, and hoping people will find value in her words.

Recently, she wrote a good post about how empowering a good sleep can be. You can check it out here.

If you’re like me, you may feel guilty if you’re not being “productive.” However, Debra points out that it’s a good to just permit yourself to be lazy once in awhile!

I also like the ideas she presents in this post, in which she talks about some keys to having a life of quality. She points out that if we want to maintain a youthful outlook, we need to challenge ourselves and contribute something of value to the world.

Thanks, Debra, for the inspiration

Benefits of Exercising in the Great Outdoors

Recently, I’ve been reading about the benefits of outdoor exercise, which, among other things, includes getting a daily dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, among other benefits. A deficiency of vitamin D can be linked to a variety of health problems, as shown in this article.
Some studies have shown that outdoor exercise is a mood booster.

I have to admit that in the past year or so, I haven’t done much exercising in the great outdoors. Lately, however, I’ve been trying to take our dog, Desi, on regular walks, which gives me some time to appreciate “Ma” Nature. And good old Desi, the dog who can spell,  would go on walks every 10 minutes if he could.

And now that the very hot and humid August days have given way to more tolerable temperatures, I’d like to start riding my bike again. There’s something that I really love about breaking out my bike on that perfect day when the wind is just right, and the sun and blue skies beckon me to come out and play. And of course, bicycling benefits our health and fitness.

 

How about you, readers?  Do you have any favorite outdoor activities that boost your health and wellness?

For further reading:

 

Just do good!

I just read about a very awesome way someone chose to spread “social wellness.” And the best part is that the person remained anonymous. Giving for the sake of giving, not for the attention it may bring you. I like that.
Check it out:
Winning lottery ticket donated to hospital.

Quote of the day:

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. (John Wesley)

 

Fitness is fundamental!

The following is a public service announcement from Bea Boomer.

Bea’s philosophy is that fitness should be a fundamental part of our lives. Just think about it: Why in the heck would we be given all these bones (206) and muscles (over 600!) if we were meant to just sit around and watch “reality” television?

Family watching television, c. 1958Image via Wikipedia
People! Get a life, would ya??

Reality is not on TV, folks, it’s outside, in the unscripted real world.

Taking a bike ride on a wooded trail in your local park, hiking with your kids on a walking path, or just in the neighborhood, taking a class at a fitness center, going to the library and checking out a fitness DVD – fun fitness options are simply endless.

Oh yea, and if you really want to enjoy yourself, leave the cell phone at home.

For Further Reading:

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Complainer? Me? No Way

For about a month now, I’ve been trying to live a complaint-free life. I got motivated to do this when I was going through my bookshelf for a good book to read. I ran across “A Complaint Free World,” by Will Bowen, a minister at the One Community Spiritual Center in Kansas City, Missouri. 

I bought this book back in 2008, when I began to change my inner life and become happier and more optimistic. The book has been collecting dust ever since.

“Well,” I thought to myself as I blew the dust off the book cover, “I’m really not much of a complainer (yea, right), but what the heck – maybe I’ll take the 21-day challenge.” For 21 days, I can’t complain, criticize, or gossip. (On second though, what am I getting myself into?? I won’t be able to talk at all!)

Now who’s with me on this? 

Here’s the drill: 
(1) You order a purple bracelet from the complaint free world website (in 2008, those bracelets were free; now they cost $10 for a box – but I’m not complaining, mind you; just letting you know)
If you don’t want to pay the ten bucks, simply start the day by putting a rubber band on one of your wrists.

(2)  When you catch yourself doing one of the bad things: complaining, criticizing, or gossiping, you switch that rubber band to your other wrist.  Then start the process again.  Believe you me, that first day you’ll be switching so much your head will spin!

(3) You keep doing this until you reach 21 consecutive days without complaining, criticizing, or gossiping.  According to Will Bowen, you’ve now developed a new habit – a habit of a complaint-free life. 

Then, life will be hunky-dory for you.  Things will be swell.  You’ll find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. 

Okay, that probably won’t happen. 

However, according to Pastor Bowen, and the 21-Day champions who he writes about in his book, your life will be happier.  You won’t spend time moaning about silly things that just aren’t all that important anyway!  You will become more optimistic and enthusiastic about life.  You’ll gain a sense of contentment.

So anyhow, I’m going to keep on working toward that 21 days of complaint-free living. I want to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be and if it’s not, I’m going to write Pastor Bowen and give him a piece of my mind. And I’m not going to pay for a $10 box of bracelets.  No way.  That’s just ridiculous.  Oh my gosh, I’m complaining! Got to stop that, right now!

I’m never gonna make it 21 days.

Face Life’s Challenges with HelpGuide

Need a top-notch resource to help you, a family member, or a friend face life’s daily challenges?  HelpGuide, a non-profit website established in 1999, is your answer. 

The loss of their daughter led Robert and Jeanne Segal’s life led them to start HelpGuide. Rather than be defeated by Morgan’s suicide, they decided to help others by providing unbiased, expert knowledge about  mental health issues, aging, family and relationships, and more.  You can read more about the Segals and their team of experts here.

I read “How to stop worrying” with interest, since I inherited my mom’s “worrywart” gene and over the years, have had to learn how to relax and take care of myself emotionally. 

Quick stress relief” talks about how to recognize stress and your body’s response to it, as well as how to relieve stress in simple yet effective ways.

I was relieved to discover that my occasional memory lapses are simply a part of aging, not Alzheimer’s, and that I can actually help keep those memory cells alive. Give me wrinkles, let my body sag, Lord, but please don’t let me lose my mind!

  • If you’re a parent, you may want to check out the childhood challenges link – which has articles about autism, learning disabilities, ADHD, and more. 
  • Coping with a death of a loved one or the break-up of your marriage?  Take a look at the topics under the grief and loss link.
  • If you’re a caregiver, the caregiving and support  topics can help you choose senior housing for your loved one and  cope with caretaker burnout or end-of-life care.

This is just a small sample of the types of guidance you’ll find at HelpGuide. 

Life can be tough – most of the time, there are no “Hollywood endings,” and life certainly doesn’t follow a script.  It’s good to have a place to go to get the knowledge and expert advice you need to cope with life’s challenges.  HelpGuide is one of those places. 

Helping Detroit area families: The Double Up Food Bucks Program

Fruits and vegetables from a farmers market. c...Image via Wikipedia

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is a great way to enhance our health, by helping prevent obesity and ward off conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and more.

If your family has been hit hard by the recession, however, providing healthy meals can be an expensive task.

In Detroit, Michigan,  the Fair Food Network, “dedicated to building a more just and sustainable food system,” is working to solve this problem. The Double Up Food Bucks program is one of the ways in which it accomplishes it goal.

This program is a “win-win” option for low-income families who are receiving food assistance benefits and the farmers who sell their produce in farmers’ markets, such as Eastern Market, and five others in the Detroit area. Heck, it also enhances Michigan’s economy! What’s not to like about this program?

It works in this way:

When someone uses his or her Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) bridge card to buy foods at the participating farmers’ markets, the amount he or she spends is matched the bonus tokens that can be exchanged for locally-grown fruits and veggies. You can read more about the process here.

This program begins today, August 14th , and continues until October of this year.

So if you know a Detroit area mom or dad who uses a bridge card to buy food, please, help them out! Let them know about Double Up Food Bucks, which can provide their families better health and nutrition.

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Why Quit?

My friend Karen, who writes the blog “Fitnesss, A Journey, Not A Destination,” wrote a very moving post about both her Dad’s and her brother’s battles with lung cancer due to smoking. Her dad suffered and died from this horrendous disease many years ago, and her brother was diagnosed last October, at the age of 49.  Reading about his suffering and physical deterioration brought me to tears. 

Please, take the time to read Karen’s post.  If you smoke it just may convince you to give quitting another try. If someone you love smokes, passing this post along may just give them the push they need to quit. 

Thank you.

Further reading: