Posted on 11 Comments

A Little Humor

Two small dogs, one seeming just from his bed with a cup of coffee for a zoom call with no video and the other well dressed and prepared to be on camera complete with his sunshades.
Image credit Facebook

My sister shared on Facebook and I thought it was funny!

I imagine it to be very true!!!

Hope it makes you smile.

Continue to be safe and well!

Posted on 19 Comments

A Good Friend

Two women laughing and covering each other's eyes.
Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

What does it mean to be a friend?

The dictionary defines friendship as — a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

I have never felt the need to cultivate many friends, just a select few. These ‘special’ ones, good friends, are the ones that stand the test of time. Most of my friends have been so for the better part of 20 or 30 years.

My best girl and I have been friends since kindergarten. We are now women of a certain age, so that’s been a looong friendship.

We each live our separate lives and come together whenever we need to without ever losing a beat.

She is perhaps the only person alive I feel I can tell “anything to and the message is received in the spirit it was intended. We really do understand each other. We never quarreled even during our teenage years!

We have a cool easy friendship that has stood the test of time.

I am a keeper of friends. I love people, loyal genuine folks. The type of friendships that thrives without being too demanding.

Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

What is the basis of a good friendship?

  1. Trust — the foundation upon which ALL relationships must be built. Otherwise, they will never stand the test of time.
  2. A kindred soul, one that is respectful, kind, generous, empathetic. Good friendship does not require that you share the same viewpoints on everything, but each must be willing to respect others’ points of view and work through any conflict towards a resolution.
  3. A keeper of secrets and a safe harbor to rest. Everyone needs a confidante. A friend you can trust with your secret is a boon.
  4. Honesty— this is non-negotiable! Without honesty, no relationship can grow or prosper. Lies, deceit, and betrayal will swiftly cause the demise of any budding friendship.
  5. A cheerleader — He/she encourages your dreams and aspirations and does all they can to help you achieve them.
  6. Maintain individuality— each person must own and maintain their separate spaces in which to pursue their own interests. Later they come together with fresh perspectives, hopes, dreams, and even failures.
  7. Generous with time — As with any relationship, great friendships must be nurtured. This requires carving out time for mutual interests and bonding.
  8. Provides a voice of reason, camaraderie, and belonging. Empower your friend with the freedom and to tell you when and if they think you are heading down a wrong path. Be willing to listen, hear them, and take time to see their point of view.

Photo by Liz Weddon on Unsplash

Final thoughts

If friendships are to survive, some ground rules must be set. A few of the necessary qualities are honesty, trust, compassion, and love.

A good friend is any person with whom you can let your hair down, so to speak. In their presence you feel safe, loved, welcomed, and most importantly you are free to be yourself. A great friend is one with whom there is no need for pretense.

If you should find such a friend, make time to nurture and cement that bond.

Finally, be as good a friend to them as you hope they will be for you.

Be safe, be well!!

Posted on 16 Comments

I Miss My WordPress Family!

two dogs, one black, one while sharing a chew toy
https://gph.is/g/ZWrvNAd

Hello my WP family. 

I have been  MIA here lately. I have gotten sooo busy.

My job

A healthcare worked extracting blood for lab tests
Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

 

It is the 4th quarter at work, our busiest time of the year. With the pandemic and beginning flu season, we have so much more to do than last year. More safety protocols to follow. More extra work.

My home

A young boy sitting in front a computer
Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Then when I am off from work, I have homeschooling that requires all-day commitments with young Snookums (8 years old). So during the times, he would be at school which would give me some free time to do my things, he is home ALL the time. So I never have a day off anymore really.

My 16-year-old is mostly self-sufficient and seldom requires a trip to school or to the store.

My 23-yr-old had a COVID scare at college, thank God it turned out to be negative!

My life goes like this:

  1. I work mostly Fri, Sat, and Sundays so that I can be there for online schooling. The online classroom requires that I/we constantly re-direct the wandering mind of a kid that thinks incessantly about building robots.
  2. The “kinks” pose some issues. Sometimes the screen goes dark. Or we log off because we cannot hear the teacher and she forgets to let us back in the zoom meeting. Then I have to call the school and ask the staff.
  3. So now I have the enviable titles of a full-time assistant teacher.

My days appear long and fleeting. I go out to work then I return to work at home. No rest in between…not complaining, I know many others have it worse than I.

I thank God I am well and all is well with us. I pray for everyone and we stand together in creating a path out of this nightmare that is 2020.

Do forgive me for not interacting as I normally would. 

Praying hands
http://gph.is/1dU4jBx

Be safe and be well!

Posted on 6 Comments

Thru Life’s Storms — A Lesson

 

Video credit-unknown

A friend sent this to me and it ministered to me. I pray that someone out there will get the encouragement they may need to keep driving through the storm and not to pull over by the roadside.

Times are tough right now, we have never faced such uncertainties in life as we do currently. Everywhere people seem to be dealing with so much turmoil. Thankfully we know we can turn to Jesus because He never changes.

Second Corinthians 12:9

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

I pray for the peace that passeth all understanding to flood our hearts and minds that we may know that God is always in charge, even as we pass through the storms of life!

Be blessed, be well!

 

 

Posted on 11 Comments

The Shoulders Upon Which We Stand

Video copied from Facebook

I found this profound, this phenomenal woman. 

Stated here and more eloquently than I ever could, are some of the reasons why we have to pay it forward.

I hope your take away is similar to mine.

Be blessed and be well!

Posted on 15 Comments

Summer’s End

Sad brown eyed dog laying on the colored leaves of fall in the outdoors.
Photo by Tereza Hošková on Unsplash

Melancholy moments

I don’t know why, but the end of each summer makes me feel melancholy. There is no specific triggering event that I can recall, no direct issues that I can associate them to, but that feeling happens each year.

This year, of course, is no different and a few days ago I realized that when I left for and arrived home from work it was suddenly dark where it had been light just the day before. The changes are so subtle as they unfold that they are almost imperceptible.

Image for post

Photo by Bernd Schulz on Unsplash

This morning on my way to work the waking world looked so quiet and beautiful.

I have always felt like I’ve lost something at the end of each summer. An awareness that I am one year older and that there are a finite number of summers left in my life.

This awareness for me is not one that I dwell on negatively but use as a means of appreciating the little things as well as the big ones and learning to let go of that which I deem to be inconsequential.

Image for post

Photo by Joshua Sazon on Unsplash

Each season as I become ‘more myself’, I learn what really matters and I am taking more time for self-care. Working towards a calmer me by removing myself from persons and situations that do not contribute to my growth or bring out my best.

I am learning to accept the me that I am and loving it flaws and all. I take joy in each day and in each experience, and I make every effort to learn the lessons each day teaches.

The metamorphosis continues…

Goodbye summer, I’ve grown a lot this past year and I look forward to our meeting again.

Until next time.

Be safe, be well, be blessed!

Posted on 10 Comments

Remembering God While We are Young

Image of 4 bananas in various life stages -- from green to old and dried up
Image credit: Jean Downer/Facebook

 

Ecclesiastes 12:1 — KJV
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

Good morning! A Facebook family of mine posted this image today. It struck me as being so apt for the stages of our lives and a reminder to me at least to remember to honor God while we are young.

Youth is fleeting, it seems like yesterday I was a girl of sixteen. Now my daughter is that age.

Thoughts to ponder…

Be safe, be well, be blessed!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on 26 Comments

Manage Your Stress

Image for post

Photo by Thao Le Hoang on Unsplash

Learn how to reclaim your emotions and your life

Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at different times in our lives. Our lives have without preamble been turned upside down. We could never have predicted the current situation that has become our ‘new normal”. Our stress levels are at an all time high! While some folks seem to have various methods of coping, others encounter varying degrees of difficulty in managing their stress levels.

Image for post

Image credit: clipart.com

Stress is often the result of mental or emotional pressures. You feel overwhelmed with life. The disconnect begins with a real or perceived demand placed on your brain or your physical body. The stress is compounded when multiple competing stressors are placed on us. Presently we are faced with many unpleasant stimuli and this may cause us to feel incapable of holding the reigns.

We try valiantly to hang on but may become unable to and just let go, retreating into ourselves.

A funny image of a man unable to keep a hold of the reigns to his horse.

Image credit: clipart.com

Stress can present in one of two ways:

  • Acute stress

or

  • Chronic stress

Acute stress:

Acute stress has its origins in the fight-or-flight response. It is the body’s signal of imminent danger that alerts us to the presence of a threat and prepares us to fight or to take flight. It is part of our built-in protective mechanism.

Chronic stress:

This type is more insidious, the stressor remains for longer periods of time, and will generally affect your health and your everyday lives. This ongoing stress produces symptoms, such as, shortness of breath, headaches and insomnia, etc. These chronic-stress responses are sneaky and subtle than those of the acute-stress response, but their effects are longer lasting and way more problematic.

Stress may also be triggered by sudden emotional changes, i.e., a loss or a change in your living situation, our health and our world, e.g., COVID-19.

A funny and utilitarian sign that states: Stress Relief at the next exit.

image credit: clipart.com

Some ways to manage are:

  • Get enough rest
  • Take deep breaths
  • Use guided imagery
  • Recognize factors that trigger your stress
  • Keep a diary, things seem much less threatening when you see it in writing
  • Try progressive relaxation
  • Laugh
  • Music / dance
  • Get a massage
  • Meditate
  • Get physical e.g., yoga, exercise
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Limit caffeine & alcohol
  • Avoid illicit drugs, they may make stress and anxiety worse
  • Get moving, change your scenery e.g., take a walk
  • Try medication therapy
  • Develop some hobbies

Deep breathing − Breathe in slowly through your nose. Hold your breath for about 3 seconds. Exhale slowly out your mouth. Close your eyes, if you can and concentrate on controlling and slowing down your breathing.

Guided imagery − Close your eyes and picture a safe, peaceful scene. Choose some place you love and where you feel safe. Concentrate on the details of the scene and remember how you feel when you are there.

Progressive relaxation − Sit or lie quietly. Start by making a group of muscles tense or tight and then relax them. Tense your muscles for at least 5 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat. Then, move to another group.

Laughter − Laughing helps lower stress. Try watching a comedy on television. Tell funny stories. Share jokes, books or laugh with a friend.

Music − If you love music like I do, this is a surefire way to allay feelings of stress and anxiety and help you to relax. If you play an instrument, now is a good time to give it a go.

Massage − We all know the joys and benefits of a good massage, get a back rub from someone you feel safe with just bask in the presence of their companionship.

Meditation − Do a familiar activity that calms you and helps you clear your mind. If a walk or a run helps you to feel calm, do so in a safe space.

Take a 10-second break − You may feel very stressed but not able to leave where you are. If so, close your eyes and breathe deeply for 10 seconds, e.g., on an airplane.

Yoga or other forms of martial arts− These slow and purposeful body movements coupled with deep breathing, serves to take your focus off the stressor and can help you feel better.

Limit/stop caffeine, alcohol and illicit street drugs — these substances can all cause/increase stress and anxiety, so avoid them when and if possible.

Finally medication therapy — talk to your healthcare provider about what medication / therapeutic options are available and may be effective for your particular situation. Together you can initiate therapy that still allows you to remain a productive member of society.

3 red puzzle interconnected pieces labelled laughter, yoga and connections.

image credit: clipart.com

With our lives are turned inside out and our current circumstances are extremely stressful, we hopefully have the support of family and friends. We should seek out resources to that offer assistance as well as use some of the techniques set out above in learning to cope and self de-stress for better mental health.

Reference:

Posted on 35 Comments

Good Morning

A beautiful pastel day image with the words good morning
Image credit: unknown

Today I was reluctant to get out of bed. Since my father passed away some two weeks or so ago I have not been sleeping very well. Each night I wake up and remain so for several hours. My mind races with the regret of what could have been.

Alas, God is the master planner.

I would not be the me that I am today without the sum total of all the life experiences, so this was the path He chose for me.

I am content, but the subconscious still feels regret and as such, insomnia has been a frequent visitor.

On a lighter note, these are the flowers blooming outside my window today and I always find such joy in the things of nature.

An array of lavender flowers
Image credit: justpene

This is a close-up of those tiny bits of joy.

A lavender flower
Image credit: justpene

Then the beauty below.

Lavender bloom
Image credit: justpene

The image below we called them cat-tails back in South America.

A bright fuscia cat-tail flower
Image credit: justpene

Do enjoy the rest of this day the Lord has made for us and be blessed!

Posted on 17 Comments

Lithium — More Than a Mood Stabilizer

A toddler, laughing in a field of red flowers.

A happy and laughing young woman.

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

A look at the many uses of this element and how it can improve your life

Happiness is the quest of every person alive.

 I believe we all desire and deserve to be happy. The dream however is an oft-elusive one for many. I have always measured happiness in terms of hills and valleys. Life seems to be a continuous cycle of being down in the valley followed by lapses atop the hills. Be sure to enjoy these lapses as you may soon find yourself free-falling into the abyss of another valley…

We are often blessed with moments of sublime happiness.

Recently I came across an interesting tidbit of information that set me on a path of investigation. Several areas in the state of Texas and the world were found to have Lithium present.

Lithium is a naturally occurring element that resides in the soils and leaches into the drinking water. This “accidental” consumption  provides a plethora of health benefits.

The National Library of Medicine states that Lithium found in the drinking water supply has a positive impact on the mental and physical health of those who benefit from the water supply. The element was found in varying quantities depending on seasons and uptake.

Although Lithium is not considered a micro-nutrient, according to science its loss has a profound effect similar to a deficit of sodium, potassium and magnesium, to name a few.

Lithium — what it is

The element Lithium(Li) was first discovered in 1817 as a naturally occurring metal within the earth’s crust. Noted as the least dense of all the elements, it has been used to treat disorders of mentation since 1949 and lauded for its normothymic effect.

Lithium is used primarily in treating bipolar disorder, manic episodes, suicide and schizophrenia.

A number of studies have shown that elemental Lithium found naturally in the soils and leached into the drinking water supply. Also found in some of the fruits and vegetables we consume. It has been proven to decrease the rates of suicides, depression, rapes and crimes of violence as well as numerous benefits on the physical well-beings such as; Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, muscles, heart, bone and cartilage repair.

Many colorful vegetables that contain lithium
Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

How is it used?

Lithium taken as Lithium orotate has greater ease of bioavailability and ease of transport across the cell layer by simple diffusion utilizing the sodium channels. Scientists believe that its similarity to sodium and magnesium affect its bio-availability and therapeutic levels. Blood level availability is also dependent upon various enzymes, hormones and vitamins. The management of Lithium in any disease process will need close and constant monitoring to titrate dose for maximum benefit per patient.

How does it benefit us?

Lithium has been known to increase density of the gray matter and increase the size of the amygdala and hippocampus (the emotional brain). It is known to stimulate the production of neural stem cells. Has protective effects against oxidative stress and its consequences. It modulates immune response.

Where can I find it?

A glass of clear drinking water known to contain lithium
Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

 

Lithium is present in the water supply of many countries and in many of the foods we eat. Some of the main sources of Lithium are; cereals, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage and some mineral waters. It is also present in some spices of nutmeg, coriander seeds, or cumin of course the amount present will depend on the soil in which they are grown.

Lithium is available as an over the counter(OTC) supplement and can also be prescribed by your physician for psychiatric disorders. Be sure to discuss with your primary care provider before  you  begin taking any new supplements or medications!

Contraindications:

Lithium is not the first line drug for persons with:

  1. Significant renal disease
  2. Cardiovascular disease
  3. Severe debilitation
  4. Severe dehydration
  5. On diuretic therapy
  6. Sodium depletion
  7. Pregnancy

The risk of toxicity is too high as the Lithium toxicity is closely related to serum therapeutic lithium levels. The care is best done under the care of a medical provider.

You should not attempt this on your own!


Conclusion:

Lithium appears to be the panacea for diseases of the psyche with added benefits to the physical body. It is water soluble and can be promptly bio-available for uptake by the cells. By its proven record it has the ability to influence the mood, depression and overall mental health of many.

It is naturally occurring in soil and as such is present in the drinking water supply of many. Lithium occurs naturally in many foods, albeit in varying degrees dependent upon its availability and uptake by plant life for use. It is touted as a micro-nutrient although the nomenclature does not reflect that at this time. It has proven to offer a number of health benefits, including some longevity.

Science continues to study the properties of Lithium as a first line of defense in the rising issue of mental and physical decline in the hopes that fortifying food with this element will become a strategy of primary prevention in mood disorders and pre-suicidal syndromes.

How much do I need?

Provisional recommended intakes set at 1000 μg/day for a 70-kg adult (14.3 μg/kg body weight).

References:

  1. https://www.researchgate.net
  2. https://www.psychiatryadvisor.com
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/journal/1879-1379_Journal_of_Psychiatric_Research

Click here to learn more about stress and how to cope.