Archives for August, 2012

Partners In Wellness with Joan Winifred

Isaac Makes Landfall in Louisiana: Why The Facts Are Important

As diligent caregivers and Partners in Wellness, we need up-to-the minute, precise information which can impact our job for better or worse. Wrong information can cause wrong decision making, leading to disaster. We need truth!

Who can you count on for truth? Some, due to past experience, may have trust issues. Personally, I don't believe everything in print or online. It may sound good on the surface, but if you dig a little deeper and do research, good sometimes changes to in "bad" information or harmful if believed and acted upon.

So, that puts responsibility on me to be selective and smart about source. This causes me to take some things with a grain of salt. Don't get me wrong, I do like salt. Too much is dangerous to your health.
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Anxiety and Panic

Seeking Shelter from ISAAC: Storm Evacuations and Plans

Are you seeking shelter from ISAAC? The Tropical Storm (soon-to-be hurricane) sadly left some dead in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic! The death toll is relatively low, but just one death by storm is way too many!

Those who have suffered loss of a loved one (or belongings) deserve our help, support, comfort and disaster relief! Will you volunteer to help in your community or elsewhere? I know you care!

The Weather Channel has said: "After saturating Florida with rain and high winds, Tropical Storm Isaac marches toward the Gulf Coast, which has been issued hurricane warnings."

A Tropical Storm has winds 39-73 mph, which come before a hurricane and can be pretty strong and dangerous! Hurricane force winds are 74 mph and up...."hurricanes pack their strongest punch closest to shoreline, but damaging winds are not limited to a small area." ~"Making it Through the Storm Season Hurricane Guide 2012" from Wink News/The News-Press Media group.

Here's a Hurricane Pop Quiz: (Hey, quizzes pop up unexpectedly like storms. Always be prepared!)
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Partners In Wellness with Joan Winifred

CIA: Care-giving, Isaac & Anxiety – Helping Kids & Pets

Are you in anticipation or experiencing anxiety? Some are feeling both over Isaac. Who's Isaac? Not my Dad, but the tropical storm (or potential hurricane) with the same name whipping up in the Gulf of Mexico.

Even if you are not worried about Isaac, you may be feeling anxiety over how to prepare for storms or the unexpected in general and what to tell your kids or what to do for your pets.

(BTW: Did you know the name "Isaac" means LAUGHTER?! I really like that name. Though I doubt anybody is laughing over this storm!) Damage from storms is no laughing matter. However, a little laughter can help us all feel better and can help ease anxiety and care-giving. What makes you laugh? (My hubby, kids and goofy jokes.)

It's practical for care-givers, partners, parents and pet owners to have on hand a current Hurricane Guide. I've been reading over "Making it through the Storm: Season Hurricane Guide 2012 from Wink News." Please Read a Storm Guide over and make a Family Disaster Plan! It will help ease anxiety for everyone!


"If Emergency Management Officials issue a mandatory evacuation order, the best advice possible is to OBEY THE ORDER AND HEAD TO SAFER SURROUNDINGS!"

Here's a Summary of Practical Tips to help with kids and pets.
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Joan Winifred

Extreme Behavior Emergency Survival Kit

Extreme weather exists. So does extreme behavior. Sadly, many of us have been adversely affected by both.

It's hurricane season. When I say hurricane--which name comes to mind: Andrew, Katerina, Charley, Isaac?! When I say extreme there a name that comes to your mind as well? Have you survived both?

Congratulations and Keep on Surviving!
Are you prepared for the extreme? Blizzards, tropical storms, lightening storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis... Many of us are watching and alert for extreme behavior that could be likened to tough weather.

Forgiveness is a quality needed to weather an emotional storm.
Thanks for Reading "Part 2:Forgiveness Fixes," and coming back to continue our on-going "Forgiveness, Part 3" conversation...

Obviously, we know the benefits of preparedness for extreme weather. If it's hurricane season, you have to be ready, alert and watchful. Discerning as well. You need extra water, batteries, food, a generator...the list goes on. Please check out this list from the Weather Channel.

"Here are some of the most critical supplies to have on hand, well before a hurricane threatens:"

At least a 3-day and preferably a 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
Non-perishable food
Formula, diapers, and other baby supplies
Manual can opener
First aid kit
Prescription and non-prescription medicines
Cell phones and battery-powered cell phone chargers
Battery-powered radios and flashlights
Plenty of batteries
Extra cash
Blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games (especially if evacuating)

 The reality is: someone in the near future may hurt us in one way or another. Extreme behavior exists.
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Forgiveness Fixes: How to Let Go of the Negative and Repair Relationships

Thanks for reading Part 1: "It Stings, but BEE FORGIVING!" Let's pick up the conversation here with Part 2: "Forgiveness Fixes!"

Let's respect and acknowledge that getting past pain differs with each individual because we all have different thresholds for pain. We all have different tolerance levels.

Emotional and physical sickness can be the result of pent-up, negative emotions. Learning to successfully and positively manage negative, painful, damaging emotion is critical to well-being.

Do you freely forgive? How are you managing your negative emotion as a caregiver and partner?  Do you have a positive role-model in your life from whom you can learn effective stratagem? Find one fast.

Positive role-models are key to learning positive behavior.

Positive behavior brings happiness and peace! Exhibiting unselfish love is a positive behavior. What is my behavior? Is it positive or negative? What can I work on? (i have LOTS to work on!) How about you?

Broken relationships and broken communications result from a lack of forgiveness.
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I Forgive You – Do You Forgive Me?

It Stings, but BEE FORGIVING! 
Are you hurting?  Read this exercise below out loud:I forgive You.
I am letting my resentment go >->->->->->->- far away from me. I am keeping my inner peace close. I will not hold a grudge toward you and this difficult matter. By forgiving you, I am not condoning damaging, hurtful behavior! I am humbly acknowledging that I too am in need of forgiveness for the things I may have done in my life that hurt others knowingly or otherwise.

I am courageously choosing to not let your actions or attitudes control me and rob me of my inner joy and happiness. Resentment is a damaging emotion. I am not going to let resentment damage me or someone else. I am in control and am choosing peace both short-term and long-term. By forgiving you I am choosing wellness! 

Are you choosing wellness? I am working on it. As Caregivers and partners, FORGIVENESS is an essential quality to Mental health, happiness and peace! We all want happiness and peace, right?! Life is better with both.

All of us out there have been hurt by accident or on purpose by someone at some time. Let's admit it, each of us has been on the other end, too. We have all hurt someone in either a big or small ways, knowingly or unknowingly. What we choose to do about it will determine for us a healthy course of wellness or an unhealthy course of sickness!

Choose wellness by being forgiving.
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One Key to Happier Communication

Thoughts lead to words. Words lead to actions. Actions produce consequences: good or bad?  Happy or sad? Love or hate? Calm or chaos? War or peace? I'll take the peace, please--THANKS! Oh, and please add love, happy, calm and good while you're at it!

As an extreme extrovert, I really admire the quiet ones who have the amazing ability and self-control to hold dear and near, close and private their deepest thoughts, contemplations and meditations. Discretion and confidentiality are important in certain settings. Care-giving is one such setting.

Sssshhhh! Hush! Quiet please! (Will you shut up already?) The thinkers, deep thinkers, do they always need quiet to think? Are you a thinker? Talker? Or both? Do you think before you speak? I try (emphasis on "try"). No, really, I do...try! I didn't say succeed...yet?

Enjoying conversation, communication and sharing my thoughts, learning through verbal, outgoing expression and the written word has very strong appeal to me. It's my learning process, which can be risky and dangerous at times! Being friendly in an unfriendly environment, being open when others are closed, standing up when others sit down and asking questions when others don't want to answer invites harsh criticisms, misunderstandings, misinterpretations and miscommunications. To sum it up in one word: pain!! And a lot of it.
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Joan Winifred

2 Keys to Happier Relationships & Partnerships

 Love and Respect. Two keys to happier relationships and partnerships. Women want to be loved. Men want to be respected. Simple. Ya right? :)

That is how we are wired, or created, if you will. If you want to be loved, are you lovable? If you want respect, are you respectable? We cannot control how someone else acts or feels. We may influence, motivate, encourage, lead, push or pull them in the direction we would like them to go, but ultimately, they have to go there themselves. And to go there they have to want to.

Do you want to go there; move toward more love and more respect in your life?  I do! Do you?

Lead by example: What example am I personally setting in my life? Work? Friendships? Family? Partnerships? Care-giving? Am I loving? Kind? Helpful? Forgiving? Am I respectful?

Upon self-examination, I must take responsibility for my words, my actions and the effects, as well as reactions these may be producing in the lives of those around me. Positive effects or negative effects? It's not always everyone else's may be mine!
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Joan Winifred

Seeking Solitude and Avoiding Isolation

Seeking solitude but avoiding isolation is a tricky skill to balance. Solitude at times can be beneficial -- too much can be dangerous isolation. Especially if your partner or loved one is severely depressed and/or suicidal!

Of course, when one is not feeling well, who wants to be around tons of people? Usually, we seek quiet, solace and solitude. As a busy mom of four, I like to enjoy quiet, peaceful "moments" alone, which are rare! When something is rare, you tend to appreciate it more, right? When something is rare, you make the most of it.

Do you seek solitude or isolation?
"The limiting, controlling, or restricting of  something so that it becomes or remains moderate; reasonable limits, and never to excess."      

Too much of anything is not too good for you!

Time alone in moderation can help us recuperate as caregivers and partners, but too much retreating (not retweeting!) away from others may turn us self-absorbed and selfish. As caregivers and partners, selfishness does not help us interact well or care well. Are family relationships becoming fractured and are loved ones becoming alienated from one another because of too much isolation?
How many families, partners eat even one meal together daily/weekly/monthly/yearly?
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Suicide Prevention – Constant Vigilance and Ongoing Education

Please note: before publishing this I discussed the post with my husband to make sure he was okay/comfortable with me talking about his struggle with suicidal thinking. His response was positive.

As the constant advocate, he feels it will be therapeutic for me as well helpful to others to talk about this difficult topic. The issues of suicide and caregiving, and loving and living with a suicidal partner can be very distressing to say the least. Together, caregivers, partners, family and friends can help each other press on...choose life!
Suicidal Behavior Watch Signs  
My heart and thoughts go out to all the people who have lost a loved one to suicide! Whenever someone in the public eye dies unexpectedly of apparent suicide (like O. J. Murdock and others), it opens up difficult dialogue. As a Caregiver and partner, this is one aspect of my husband's illness that is very scarey! It just reminds me of the need for constant vigilance and on-going education.

My husband has been a mental health advocate for many years now. His advocacy started in Sarasota, Florida after suffering a major Bipolar episode leading to a suicide attempt and then hospitalization. He has talked about it many times, yet it still scares me.

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