Posted by Beverly on
August 24, 2008
As we age, it seems like we become more and more hard-pressed to fulfill those, yet unfulfilled, dreams. We’re working harder, having less fun and setting ourselves up for some medical issues down the road if we don’t slow down. Are you living on a street known as “Stressful Alley?”
Stress is predicted to be the biggest health problem in the 21st century and if stress is spoiling the quality of your life, then you need to take some necessary action to reduce stress naturally and find some much needed relief.
Feeling as if you’re trapped in a rut or that your life is going nowhere is another part of stressful illnesses and this feeling can trigger depression. Doing the same routines day in, day out isn’t good for us and although we do need some security, needing it too much can cause problems. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new. Start a fitness program, try a new sport, learn a musical instrument, go on a activity holiday or take up a new hobby. New experiences add to the pleasure you get from life and keep your spark alive.
When you’re suffering a stressful, depressive or anxious episode, a feeling that somehow, it’s your fault can creep in. In blaming yourself this way, guilty feelings arise and you feel even worse. But you’re not at fault in anyway, you didn’t suddenly decide to suffer from stress, depression or anxiety and I know you’d ditch them right now if you could! Stress, depression and anxiety have specific causes that certainly aren’t your fault. Never blame yourself and concentrate on treating the causes instead.
Burnout is an ever increasing problem in our society. As if a full working day isn’t enough, many people return home and have to do even more work to run the family home, prepare meals, time for the children and a multitude of other activities and people all clamouring for attention. So make “me time” a priority. Have at least one 20 minute break away from your work station where you can relax in peace. At home, schedule periods each day so you can rest and relax. These times are so important to both mental and physical health and they’ll help relieve stress, depression and anxiety.
It’s been said many times: What you focus on becomes your reality. It’s true and in life, little things can make a big difference. If you continually focus on problems, on little things that annoy you, on the irritating habits your loved ones have and on all of the inconveniences we all experience in daily living, your going to be unhappy. Instead, focus on the little things that make life worthwhile but that many of us take for granted: a sunrise, a smile, an act of kindness, a star filled sky, a hug from your children, a kiss from your lover or support from your friends and family. We all have many wonderful things we can focus on everyday instead of expecting them without regard and the more you focus on these little things, the happier you’ll feel.
Posted by Beverly on
July 27, 2008
1. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends. Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a “circadian clock” in our brain and the body’s need to balance both sleep time and wake time. A regular waking time in the morning strengthens the circadian function and can help with sleep onset at night. That is also why it is important to keep a regular bedtime and wake-time, even on the weekends when there is the temptation to sleep in.
2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music. A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep. Avoid arousing activities before bedtime like working, paying bills, engaging in competitive games or family problem-solving. Some studies suggest that soaking in hot water (such as a hot tub or bath) before retiring to bed can ease the transition into deeper sleep, but it should be done early enough that you are no longer sweating or over-heated. If you are unable to avoid tension and stress, it may be helpful to learn relaxation therapy from a trained professional. Finally, avoid exposure to bright before bedtime because it signals the neurons that help control the sleep-wake cycle that it is time to awaken, not to sleep.
3. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep — cool, quiet, dark, comfortable and free of interruptions. Also make your bedroom reflective of the value you place on sleep. Check your room for noise or other distractions, including a bed partner’s sleep disruptions such as snoring, light, and a dry or hot environment. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, “white noise,” humidifiers, fans and other devices.
4. Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine. For example, if looking at a bedroom clock makes you anxious about how much time you have before you must get up, move the clock out of sight. Do not engage in activities that cause you anxiety and prevent you from sleeping.
5. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime. Eating or drinking too much may make you less comfortable when settling down for bed. It is best to avoid a heavy meal too close to bedtime. Also, spicy foods may cause heartburn, which leads to difficulty falling asleep and discomfort during the night. Try to restrict fluids close to bedtime to prevent nighttime awakenings to go to the bathroom, though some people find milk or herbal, non-caffeinated teas to be soothing and a helpful part of a bedtime routine.
Posted by Beverly on
July 25, 2008
This is a special tribute to a fellow baby boomer who inspired me to treat each day as if it were my last. Randy Pausch became a celebrity, of sorts, when he found out he was dying of pancreatic cancer. His “Last Lecture” was conducted at Carnegie Mellon University where he was a computer science professor. He gave his last inspirational speech at the University this past May. If you haven’t seen it, please take a moment to do so:
Today Randy left us in the physical word, but his legacy will live on.
Best Quotes of Randy Pausch: October 23, 1960 – July 24, 2008
- Show gratitude. Gratitude is a simple but powerful thing.
- Find the best in everybody…. Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you. It might even take years, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting.
- Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted…. I probably got more from that dream [of playing professional football] and not accomplishing it than I got from any of the ones that I did accomplish.
- Better to fail spectacularly than do something mediocre.
- When there’s an elephant in the room introduce him
- Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people.
- We can’t change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. If I’m not as depressed as you think I should be, I’m sorry to disappoint you.
- Decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eyeore. I’m a Tigger.
- It is not about achieving your dreams but living your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.