Archives for Hope
I am back from a small hiatus. It wasn't a planned hiatus - life just happened. Trust me, when it happened it happened up, down, around, and all over me. Have you ever had one those days, weeks, or months when those "life happens" moments just keep coming - one after another, after another, after another? Within a few weeks I had some health issues, some frustrations, computer issues, some disappointments, along with some genuine "are you serious?" moments. I have to admit, I temporarily lost my focus. All of those postive things I live by and write about went right out the window. Then I remembered that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
I was convinced I was dying. As a matter of fact, there was no way you could convince me otherwise. Oddly I accepted my fate and whispered to my husband "call 911, I'm dying". I was sweating profusely, I could feel my heartbeat in my neck and my pulse echoed in my ears. I couldn't breathe, my face felt weird, my hands were numb, and I was shaking like a leaf. EMS arrived and tried with all their might to convince me I wasn't dying, but I was convinced they just wanted me to die peacefully without a fight. After some deep breathing and close monitoring I realized I wasn't dying and was told I had an anxiety attack.
This week was filled with unexpected events. It started with a trip to urgent care after my daughter felt the appropriate place for a green bean was in her ear. It was followed by unexpected illnesses, crises at work, and another trip to urgent care after my daughter’s face lost a war with a mosquito lurking in our car on the ride home. As we all know,“life happens,” and this week it taught me the importance of remaining calm in stressful situations and dealing with the unexpected. It’s not that any of the events I mentioned were particularly anything to pull your hair out over. It was simply the culmination of events compounded by the fact that I had too many other things that needed to get done. The green bean incident was in the middle of preparation of dinner. The illnesses were during a time I couldn’t afford not to feel well, and the crises at work took place when I needed to catch up on paperwork. So what do you do when life presents those unexpected events during a time you have planned to get other things done? Well, you can roll with the punches. You choose to get up and push, or lie down and die. However, there are some things you can do to alleviate the stress of the unexpected.
What would you do if you absolutely had to make lemonade with no sugar? I thought about this earlier this week. Personally, I’d start by making sure I had some lemons. Then I’d consider all things sweet that could mimic the taste of sugar. I’m pretty sure I’d come up with something close, even if it wasn’t “lemonade.” I know this is a random thought and a random way to start a blog, but let me fill you in on where it originated. I remembered a conversation I had with my dad. Frustrated and irritated, I called him one day to vent, and he asked me the age-old question: “Well Donna, what do you do when life gives you lemons?” As I took a breath between crying I managed to respond, “I don’t have any sugar.” He laughed, I cried some more, and eventually laughed with him.
My last blog included information exploring the benefits of exercising for emotional health. This blog will explore the benefits of eating well for emotional health. Nearly two years ago I was blessed with the opportunity to be under the care of a wonderful naturopathic doctor. After years of trying conventional medicine to provide some relief from endometriosis pain, I decided to give the natural way a shot. My doctor placed me on a special, personalized, anti-inflammatory diet that really changed my life. The diet reduced my pain, but what I also found was that I felt better overall. Many people do not realize it, but you actually are what you eat. Eating healthy can drastically change your mood and improve your way of life. Scientific research shows there are many links between what you eat and your mood.
Yesterday I sat in awe, watching the adventures of my soon-to-be one year old daughter. I sat back and reflected on how much she has grown in the last year and how independent she’s become. It began with her morning feeding. I watched her feed herself and become frustrated with my efforts to help. That afternoon, we played with her blocks and as I’d build a tower, she’d knock it down and reconstruct it to her liking. Throughout the day, I watched her tackle her newest feat – running. I watched her take off with no fear; moving obstacles, running blindly around corners, and beaming in pride as she reached her destination. Later that night, much to my surprise and fear, I discovered she’d conquered the stairs. As I sat back and reflected on the day, it hit me… what if we had the courage of babies?
When assessing clients I often ask, “on a scale of 1 -10, where would you rate your self-confidence?” On average, most clients respond with a 6-7. I sometimes get very low responses, but very rarely will someone look me in the eye and say, “my self-confidence is a 10.” Whether we like to admit it or not, at some point we all feel like we could use a little boost in the self-confidence department. Below are a few suggestions that may help improve your self-confidence and have you feeling better about yourself.
Happiness for some may be hard to define, but we all know what it feels like. On the other hand, many of us also know what unhappiness feels like. So what do we do when we face those times when we can’t find our happy place? Here are a few suggestions to get you back on the happy train. Smile Everyone knows a smile is contagious. If you’re feeling down in the dumps, force a smile and keep smiling. If you don’t give into that feeling of wanting to smile, you will eventually get the giggles from looking so silly. Smell something that makes you happy The sense of smell is very powerful and can trigger several moods and reactions. Why not smell your way to happiness? Sniff your favorite flower, inhale your favorite fragrance, or indulge in the aromas of your favorite food. When I’m feeling down, I tend to smell lavender. I not only enjoy the smell, but it also has some calming and relaxing properties.
Chronic illness is defined as a condition that lasts for a year or longer. Examples of chronic illnesses include, but are not limited to: heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders and multiple sclerosis. PBS.org states that more than 125 million Americans have at least one chronic illness and estimates that by the year 2020, 157 million Americans will have a chronic illness. These illnesses can cause a drastic change in one’s lifestyle. They can interfere with employment, interpersonal relationships, and individuals independence, and just disrupt the “normalcy” of their lifestyle. Not only do individuals who suffer with chronic illnesses have to deal with the illness itself, they often have to deal with the feelings of having the illness, the effects of the illness, difficulties obtaining treatment due to the health care crisis, and the side effects of medications used to treat the illness. Individuals that suffer from chronic illnesses also are more likely to suffer from depression. The symptoms of depression are sometimes overlooked because they are overshadowed by the illness or dismissed as “normal feelings” of a person dealing with a chronic illness. Individuals dealing with chronic illness and depression should be evaluated to determine the source of the depression.