Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!!
Have an Awesome Holiday Season. Enjoy your time with family and friends.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!!
Have an Awesome Holiday Season. Enjoy your time with family and friends.
“When you put your hand in a flowing stream, you touch the last that has gone before and the first of what is still to come.” – Leonardo DaVinci
Look forward to the greatness your future will bring!
What Motivates You To Be A Volunteer?
There are so many awesome and rewarding places to volunteer!! There are opportunities that take just a few hours while others offer valuable training that can last a lifetime.
One of the places I loved volunteering was a hospice. Individuals in hospice are expected to live less than 6 months. Some are young, some are old. At first it sounded like a terribly depressing place to volunteer, I only chose it because of a college project I was working on.
Once my project was done I didn’t want to leave so I continued for a couple more years!
The hospice provided us lists of individuals to choose from so we could be matched with people we had something in common with or with someone who really touched our hearts.
One of the women was especially memorable for me. She was so frail, simply skin and bones. She could no longer walk and completely depended on a wheelchair and assistance from the nurses. The site of her frail body is forever etched in my mind.
During my first few visits with her she was extremely mean. I already knew all of her children had abandoned her and she was no longer married. I also knew she never had visitors and that is why I chose her, but wow was I ready to be another one in her life that left!!
BUT, then I thought deeply on why I chose her. I couldn’t imagine being in her place! So weak, so lonely, so scared. Only odd memories fleeting through her head, ones that made little sense, some that shed light on how hard her life was.
So I stayed and found that meeting her during dinner was much more enjoyable. I could focus on helping her eat instead of being at her bedside trying desperately to find something to talk about.
At dinner I went along with her conversations, even though they made little sense. I started to see a little light in her eyes. She loved that someone took the time to listen to her. That positive feeling hit strongly for both of us. I no longer dreaded the days I had to meet her, I looked forward to them. I felt a loss when our meetings came to an end, but I was so glad to have provided her some much needed friendship. RIP.
Volunteering can be very rewarding and there are so many people that really need a little extra hand.
Do you wake up in the middle of the night with your heart pounding, do you have problems falling asleep? Does your brain feel jumbled and your stomach nauseous?
Have you ever tried to pin down what is causing the panic and can’t figure out what’s causing it? You are not alone!
Here are 5 ways to help rid yourself of Panic:
1 – Allow People to Help You. Let others into your life. Working on tasks together can lessen stress, allow the job to be done quicker, and even create a atmosphere of fun instead of stress! For all you party givers… spread the tasks. Ask your friends to help bring food, provide entertainment, even hire a house cleaner.
Don’t take all the stress on yourself.
2- Hug! Hug your friend, an acquaintance, your family member, your dog, or even a teddy bear! Hugs are awesome stress relievers!
An article in Psychological Science (referenced below), states “Our findings show that even touching an inanimate object — such as a teddy bear — can soothe existential fears,” notes Koole. “Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by another person may help to instill in people a sense of existential significance.”
Oxytocin is released during hugs. Oxytocin provides an anti-anxiety effect. It can help provide feelings of relaxation and trust. See the below referenced article from Medical News Today.
3- Listen to Uplifting Music. Find a place of your own, take deep breaths, and immerse yourself into the music.
4- Think positively. Your prospective on the world around you really matters. Two difference people can see the exact same situation in completely different manners. Remember this, and think to yourself, how can I see this situation in a Positive light? It can definitely take some practice.
Before you go to bed write down at least 5 positive things that happened during the day. At first you may be pressed to list basic needs such as I had a filling lunch today, my bed is warm. Continue to practice and you will see your list grow. Was the sun out, did you give someone a hug , did you read an inspiring story? You will find you have more positivity around you than you originally thought.
5- Practice One Mindfulness. It’s easy, can be done most anywhere, and can take just a few minutes if you are short on time.
What ways do you relieve panic in your life?
Koole, S.L., Sin, M.T.A., & Schneider, I.K. (2013). Embodied Terror Management. Psychological Science, A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
(2015). Oxytocin. What Is It? What Does It Do? Medical News Today.
Have you ever been involved in ROAD RAGE??
Road Rage Can Be Prevented
The NHTSA references a study showing 94% of car crashes are assigned to the driver. 41% of those due to recognition errors (inattention, distractions…), 33% to decision errors (driving too fast, illegal maneuvers…), and 11% to performance errors (over compensation…).
Engaging in road rage can kill you or your loved ones.
Winter roads, the stress of traveling to multiple holiday events, running late to work, road construction, children screaming, mental illness, a bad day at work all can equal Road Rage.
It’s easy for anyone to become stressed while driving. Even the calmer people of society can become aggravated while driving at some point.
Road rage is never acceptable, although way too common!
10 WAYS TO RELIEVE STRESS WHILE DRIVING
1-Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at your designation. That extra 15 minutes can greatly decrease your stress level.
2-Breathe. Don’t hold your breathe when driving becomes stressful. It sounds crazy, but when we are fearful we tend to hold our breath and tense our bodies. Not a good idea when driving! Deep breathes help you relax and are very easy to do while driving. Breathing also helps you focus on something positive.
3-Don’t fight with your spouse or children while driving. If an issue arises pull over and finish the discussion off the road!
4-Obvoiusly do not use your cell phone or eat while driving. You may think you are paying attention to the road, but your reaction time is lessened due to these extra activities. You are much more likely to be in an accident or cause road rage from the drivers around you.
5-Do not drive when you are tired. If you even start to become tired pull over and get out of your car. Take a quick walk, go into a near by store. Revive yourself. It only takes a few minutes but can save a life.
6-Do not engage with aggressive drivers. It’s not worth it! Even if they pulled in front of you or gave you a gesture, just ignore them. Keep a good distance in between you and them and do not antagonize the situation. Their negativity is not to be taken against you personally they are the ones out of control. If you antagonize someone already out of control you will never fix the situation. You will make it worse.
7-Remember people make mistakes. Just because someone tried to switch lanes and was too close to you, it doesn’t mean they did it on purpose. They may have just made a mistake. Forgive them and let it go. You make mistakes also.
8- Listen to the Radio. Focus on the music or words coming over the radio. Try listening to a book or podcast, this can help long drives seem more productive. Remember to also keep an eye on the road!
9-Never be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving. Being impaired decreases your attention to the road and the drivers around you. Have a friend drive you home, take a taxi, get a hotel.
10-Never be an aggressive driver. Cutting people off and slamming on your breaks will never get your point across and those actions may just cost a life.
How do you keep your cool while driving?
Peace be with you on the road!
Study Reference: US Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Facts, Crash Stats. Feb 2015
Beautiful day in Colorado today! Enjoy the snow and winter season!
Perfect day for some snowmen, warm fire and hot chocolate 🙂
This is such an exciting time of year… Ecstatic shoppers out and about with all their holiday cheer, laughing children, stars bright, Santa and his elves are giving out gifts, family gratefully enjoying time with one another!! WAIT…
OK, that’s what we think is happening in everyone’s lives, but let’s be real. Yes, there are some awesome things about the holidays, but for many people it’s a very draining and emotionally depressing time. And believe me, all the above holiday cheer is often times lost just hours later or even faked by some.
Think about all the happy people you see in the mall as you shop for your holiday cheer. You notice them, right? Look around though, you’ll also notice many tired, stress out faces. You’ll find people arguing and fighting with their families.
The reason I point that out is because you choose what you pick out. We pick out the happy people and get depressed because we are not them. We dismiss that fact we may have just caught their one and only happy thought in the last 6 months.
Holidays are busy, which alone can be stressful. Holidays can remind us of past devastating experiences that occurred during the holidays, lost loves ones that we wish were here with us…
Because we pick out what we want to I’ve tried to make it my mission to pick out happy activities and then focus on the activity itself. Let in the smell of holiday spices, listen to the wonderful sounds of music, enjoy the creativity of the holiday artists, feel the crisp air… one mindfulness.
Then as I create my own happy place I tend to let others into my life more AND have learned to enjoy the holidays a bit more.
Keep yourself involved in holiday gatherings and festivities but also give yourself some personal space.
If you are happy you will spread happiness to others, if you are sad or angry you will spread this to others. As you become happier you’ll notice the people near you tap into your mood.
Remember others. Depression is real for so many people, let people in and help them to feel love this season.
Allow yourself to feel happiness. You are not alone in your struggles.
How do you get rid of depression around the holidays?
Love sunsets!! This photo was taken a few days ago off the rocky coast just South of San Francisco. It was such a peaceful day, with a slight breeze, cool air, and the awesome sound of crashing waves.
Heart pounding, clammy palms, hands shaking, feeling nauseous, can’t sleep, can’t eat?? Does any of this sound familiar before you have to give a speech?
I definitely know the feeling! I used to be horrified to give speeches. I cannot even remember giving most of my speeches in my teenage years. I don’t even think I looked up at the class. Somehow I made it through each time, but my speeches were incredibly boring and monotone. I’m sure I even made my classmates nervous.
After high school I decided I had to get over this fear! I knew I was going to need to give speeches in college and in my job.
Am I perfect at it now? No, but I do actually think they are kind of fun… many many speeches later. It’s definitely taken a lot of practice.
I started out by forcing myself into situations that required speeches. I like to torture myself! I took classes in college that I knew would require multiple speeches just so I could practice.
Here are some helpful hints I have learned over time.
1- Make sure you really really know your stuff. Do not just memorize the words, but understand what you are going to talk about. Practice the speech in private numerous times so that you can ad lib much of it.
2- Try it out loud by yourself. Practice this several times. Get to where you are no longer staring at your paper or cards.
3- I use cards so that I can ad lib the majority of the speech and the cards are just reminders to keep me on track. Cards are especially good for specific stats or quotes you have to provide.
4- Practice giving the speech to a friend or family member. You can let them know about your fear. There is a good chance speeches are also hard for them.
5- Remember even confident speakers get nervous. They are just good at hiding their nerves.
6- Eat and Sleep well before the speech. This is more important then you may think. Eating healthy and sleeping well heals the body and makes it strong.
7- Take a couple deep breathes before entering the room to speak.
8- If you can, make a joke before you start your speech. Sometimes this helps, if it goes over well. I know if I can make the group laugh it definitely lessens my fears.
9- Very important, take breathes while your are doing your speech! Take a small pause, take a breathe, then start speaking again. Short pauses will help you breath better throughout the speech and calm your nerves. This will also help you slow down.
10- Fluctuate your voice, use eye contact, speak slowing, and use pauses. You’ll find your audience will stay more involved, which will in turn create more confidence in you.
11- If possible, use slides or other presentation tools. These tools take the focus off you and will help you relax.
12- Wear an outfit that you feel confident in.
Public speaking is quite hard for many people, so do not give up.
Concurring public speaking gives you a motivational boost. I’m so excited (and admittedly still a bit relieved) when I am done speaking. I no longer blank out, people seem interested in what I’m saying and ask questions, and I feel exhilarated when I’m done. Make public speaking fun!
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