We Can Bounce Back

Someone that I loved died in January. I was already disillusioned with our healthcare system and the experience that my loved one went through made the disappointment even worse.

A few weeks after the death, I did some digging about a controversial health issue that had bothered me for awhile and what I found left me a little traumatized. So, when this current global crisis came about, I was already angry at our healthcare system, media, and the world in general. I regressed back to a familiar state of negativity and cynicism.

After listening to some uplifting podcasts and discussions with friends, I snapped out of it. I have always known that the world is a dark place. But the truth is that it is not all dark. And the question that I need to ask myself is, what can I do to bring light into the darkness? Do I want my kids to grow up with a mom who is angry at the whole world? So, a few days ago, I decided not to wallow anymore. I will pray. I will try my best to look for the good. I will look for ways to help others. I will try to be a good role model for my kids. If nothing else, I will try to be kind.

Friend, if you are reading this and are in urgent need of something, please seek help. Know that you are resilient. You can bounce back from this.

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Health Success with Health Supplements

Three pregnancies, almost six years of breastfeeding, and a prolonged lack of self-care contributed to nutritional deficiencies and a decline in my health. I don’t know what I would have done if health supplements didn’t exist. If I did not have them, I would have major fatigue, numbness in my arms, pain in my hands, severe psoriasis all over my skin, major depression, and a very weak immune system. Here are some of my views on health supplements!

The best health supplements come from food-based sources and are from reputable brands.

Why food-based? Unlike synthetic fillers and chemicals, the body knows how to metabolize food. Also, because health supplements are not regulated the way that medications are, it is imperative that you buy from a brand that you can trust. I would rather go without health supplements than buy them from a brand that I know nothing about.

Health supplements are beneficial for optimal health because the conventional food in the U.S. does not provide enough of the vital nutrients that the body needs.

Even if you are a Health Nut that chooses foods packed with nutrients, much of the American soil lacks nutrients that it once had. Much of our food supply has been negatively affected by GMOs, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals. You should try to get all your necessary nutrition from food, but health supplements can help fill your inevitable nutritional gaps.

Health supplements can help prevent health decline and can help your body recover from some serious ailments.

For instance, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with cavities, cancers, autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders, infections, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. This is why I am always asking everyone if they consume enough vitamin D!

I have had so much success with health supplements. Fish oil helped me immensely with my hand pain. B vitamins provide support with my postpartum numbness and psoriasis. My gut is healthier with magnesium, probiotics, and multi-collagen protein.

I recently came across a couple of articles on Pub Med related to certain vitamin deficiencies in people that have epilepsy and Parkinson’s Disease. As time goes on, I believe that there will be even more research that supports that many health issues can be resolved when nutritional deficiencies are corrected.

Reference

Holick, M.F. The vitamin D deficiency pandemic: Approaches for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 18, 153–165 (2017).

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Essential Oils Can Uplift Your Mood

A few weeks ago, everyone in my house (all five of us) were attacked by the stomach bug. The first couple of days were spent nursing the kids back to health and cleaning up after them. The third day was the worst because that was the day that both my husband and I developed symptoms. When the fourth day rolled around, my stomach was recovering, but breastfeeding my four-month month old baby left me further depleted and malnourished. The malnourishment and nausea eventually fostered feelings of depression. I knew that my body was starting to recover, but everything in my house smelled disgusting and made me nauseous. So, that night, I opened my box of essential oils and pulled out clove, geranium, grapefruit and juniper berry. I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes. After a few minutes, the soothing aroma slowly melted my nausea and sadness away. The enchanting fragrances of plants and flowers gently transformed my bedroom into a welcoming, comforting haven. Continue reading to learn more about these precious plant oils!

Clove

When I open a bottle of clove oil, I imagine exotic, luscious desserts originating from the fairytale world of Hansel and Gretel. Not only does clove oil smell delicious, it can also be used for cleaning teeth and gums.

Geranium

The lovely, floral scent of geranium evokes feelings of peace. Like the Egyptians in ancient times, our current culture uses geranium oil to beautify the skin and hair.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit oil has a sweet, fruity, inviting aroma. In addition to uplifting the emotions, grapefruit has been known to promote healthy metabolism and healthy skin.

Juniper Berry

The fresh, energizing scent of juniper berry can be used to purify the air. When used internally, juniper berry can support the urinary tract and kidneys. When used topically, this oil can be used to clear skin blemishes.

What are some of your favorite essential oils?

This post was originally published on March 2, 2019. It was updated on December 9, 2019.

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Side Effects of Social Media

Are you depressed, anxious, or feeling isolated? Are you suffering from low self-esteem? Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you feel unproductive? Do you feel the need to check your social media feeds several times throughout the day? If you answered “Yes” to some of these questions, then you might be experiencing some side effects of social media use.

1. Poor Performance

Research shows that social media use worsens your ability to multi-task (truthfully, we are not very good at multi-tasking to begin with).

Possible Remedies:

Log off of social media whenever you are trying to get a task done quickly. You might want to refrain from social media use during working hours.

Create a vision board or set goals for the future. If you have concrete goals, you will be more productive and less inclined to use social media as frequently.

2. Insomnia

Any kind of light can alter the level of melatonin in your brain and interfere with the quality of your sleep. Because a lighted screen is required for social media, social media use at night may be an indirect cause of your insomnia.

Possible Remedy:

Turn off social media (and electronics) two hours before bedtime.

3. Loss of time

Does this sound like a familiar scenario? It’s 4:30 pm. In five minutes, I need to start making dinner, but I have to check my e-mail first. Oh, okay, I have 12 notifications. Cindy posted a new picture of her baby. Oh my! What a cutie! I forgot to send her a gift. Uh-oh, Carolyn changed her relationship status to single? I should call her to see if she is okay. Hmmm…Uncle Jarvis posted another political meme. That’s annoying. Oh man, what is the world coming to? Another school shooting? “Mama, I’m hungry!” Just a second…what in the world? It’s 6:30 pm already?!

Possible Remedies:

Set a time limit. Give yourself a limited amount of time to spend on social media each day. After you have met the time limit, close the app for the rest of the day.

Turn off social media notifications or remove social media apps from your phone. You will be less inclined to check your social media feeds throughout the day.

Only use social media when you need to. For example, only use social media for looking up someone’s contact information or for grabbing a good deal on a company page.

4. Strained Relationships

When you ask teenagers, ‘What’s the one thing you wish you could change in your relationship with your parents?’ The most common answer teenagers give to that question is, ‘I wish my parents weren’t on their devices so much and would actually listen to me.’

Andy Crouch, author of “The Tech-Wise Family”

Because I work from home and am a mother of three small children, I do not get out that much. So, whenever I am around someone that is constantly looking at the phone, I (like the teenagers in the above quote) become frustrated. Excessive social media use can affect marriages and other relationships as well.

Possible Remedies:

Eye contact. When someone is speaking to you, look up from your device and give them your attention.

Quality time should be quality time. When spending quality time with loved ones, do not log onto social media.

5. Anxiety, Depression and Low Self-Esteem

Research shows that people that spend more time on social media are more depressed and have lower self-esteem because they start to compare themselves to other “friends” on social media.

Possible Remedies:

Remember what’s real. Social media can fool you into thinking that all of your other digital “friends” are richer, better-looking, more exciting, more capable, more put together, etc. Don’t be fooled. Remember that most people only post their most exciting, polished, attractive selves on social media. Remember that scars, cellulite, emotional baggage, daily monotony, and extra padding are often omitted.

Focus on the good.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Philippians 4:8

Even if you do not believe in the Bible, this is good advice. Instead of wishing for more money, a thinner body, a more creative mind, or a more powerful job, be grateful for what you have. Focus on the good.

Unfollow people that are toxic to you. On Facebook, you can remove someone from your newsfeed without unfriending them (and they won’t even know about it). This might be a good idea if your Facebook friend is posting things that make you upset.

Before logging into social media accounts, do something else that you love to do. Go outside, exercise, plant some flowers in the backyard, call a friend, meetup with a friend for coffee, play some sports, crochet a blanket for a baby, read, fly a kite, get your nails done, write in a journal, send a letter by snail mail, teach your nephew how to shoot pool, play some music, or do a jigsaw puzzle. You could also pick up a new hobby.

Ask for help. I believe that everyone can benefit from professional counseling.

6. Addiction

Social media can cause your brain to crave more “likes”, “friends”, instant responses, and more excitement from social media.

Possible Remedies:

Take breaks from social media. Don’t go on any of your social media accounts for half a day, a day, a week, a month, or a year.

Accountability. Tell someone that you want to cut back on social media use and ask them to keep you accountable.

Delete your accounts. A few years ago, I didn’t need any social media accounts for work, so I deleted my accounts for a few years. If social media is affecting your health, this might be worth considering.

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Recommended Resource

Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane

References

Beres, Damon. 10 Weird Negative Effects of Social Media on Your Brain. Retrieved from https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/negative-effects-of-social-media/

Woods, H.C. & Scott, H. (2016). #Sleepyteens: Social media use in adolescence is associated with poor sleep quality, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem. Journal of Adolescence, 51, 41-49. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27294324