All posts by Mary Knutson

Fitness Focus: Balancing Self-Improvement and Self-Care

Is your New Year’s resolution still going strong? Are you still spending every spare moment improving your health and fitness? If so, congratulations to you. It’s hard to keep up the progress toward self-improvement long-term. For many of us, there comes a point where we push a little too hard and become burnt out. Even if you feel like you could keep at this rate for weeks to come, your progress may stall. When will you decide you want to give up?

Developing a fitness routine has become a cornerstone in the lives of many. For some, exercise has been a saving grace—a way of coping for those suffering from depression, anxiety or addiction. It can help refocus their lives as they strive for recovery. But as with anything in life, the benefit is limited if we start to overdo it.

How We Burn Out on Fitness

In our efforts to become better people, we may push our minds and bodies to their limits. Self-improvement requires insight into ourselves to see if there is something wrong. Maybe it’s that we are overweight, can’t run as far as we’d like, or that we rely too heavily on an addictive substance that’s ruining our lives. When we see room for improvement, we set goals and start an action plan of what we think would help us meet those goals. We may spend more time at the gym, improve our diets, or change our lifestyles, all in the name of personal fitness.

Over time, as we see improvements, it fuels us to push a little harder. We push and push until one day we notice that for some unknown reason the scale begins to tick in the wrong direction, or something happens to cause discomfort. Even something small that could be gut-wrenching and upsetting. Suddenly, we may realize how much time and energy we’ve spent focused on losing weight or gaining muscle mass. That tired feeling we’ve been pushing off is back and we decide to maybe skip the gym today. This is what burning out can feel like. It can mark the end of our progress for better fitness and self-improvement.

The Importance of Balancing Fitness with Self-Care

So how do we avoid burn out and sustain a fitness routine for the rest of our lives? The answer lies ultimately in our ability to love ourselves and care for our needs. Self-care is about taking a moment to pause. Appreciate who we are and what we’ve acheived. Instead of always striving for self-improvement and always pushing to be better, we can decide to reward ourselves for simply being who we are. Personal acts of self-care may include taking a day to get a massage, lounge in the spa, sleep in on a weekend, or meditate. If you enjoy meditating, consider finding a quiet space in your home where you can create your own meditation room. These acts of treating ourselves reward us with rest and relaxation can be just as motivating as “sticking your nose to the grindstone” with your fitness routine.

The key to finding the right balance between your fitness routine and self-care activities is by setting aside time for both. Perhaps you’ve already discovered your physical and mental limitations when you pushed yourself to be fit. Decide to never push yourself to do more than you can handle. Whenever you feel strained or discouraged, allow yourself a day or even a weekend to indulge in self-care.

By scheduling some self-care days throughout your calendar, you give yourself small pauses in your procession of self-improvement to reflect and catch your breath. Knowing that you have an upcoming day for self-care will help motivate you to keep pushing yourself in your fitness routine and prevent you from burning out along the way.

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

Posted 10-5-18 Blog article by Guest Contributer Shiela Olson.

She has been a personal trainer for five years. She believes the best way to achieve physical fitness and good health is to set and tackle small goals. She encourages her clients to stay positive and incorporates mindfulness and practices for reducing negative talk into her sessions. She created FitSheila.com to spread the word about her fitness philosophy.

The Power of Self-Expression: Art and Music as Alternative Treatment Therapies

If you are someone you know is recovering from addiction, you may need a way to stop the cycle of negative thoughts and self-destructive behavioral patterns. Music and art therapy  are alternative approaches that can be part of successful treatment plan.  Creative expression has been used for years in either individual or group counseling formats, in rehab centers, hospitals, schools, and other settings. Many people who do not respond well to more traditional treatment strategies experience success with music and art therapy.

Communication and self-expression issues are common among people with substance abuse problems. Self-expression and communicating creatively can help people in recovery process thoughts and feelings in a positive way. Often, those who suffer from addiction have trouble making sense of their emotions and they struggle with how people respond to them. Creativity opens new avenues of understanding and helps people learn new thoughts, responses, and behavior patterns.

Benefits

People often deny the need for help and resist treatment Art therapy can help overcome this problem because expression through art therapy can motivate individuals to achieve a healthier lifestyle, boost self-confidence, and improve communication skills in personal and social settings. Music is often used to help overcome depression, stress, anxiety and rage issues, which are emotional responses that produce unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.

Listening to and playing music creates a distinctive response in the brain. It stimulates the neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes you feel good and generates an overall sense of well-being. Music can help people be more receptive to treatment and its benefits, and more likely to continue toward recovery. Music therapy can increase positive feelings and self-awareness which can help people cope with temptations and frustrations that come from addictions. When listening to their favorite music, people experience a stimulation of the auditory cortex in anticipation of their favorite musical passages, and the feeling of exultation at its peak has a powerfully healing impact. Sometimes our brain helps us experience music even when we’re not actually listening to it or performing it.

Self-discovery

Art and music therapy help you get in touch with your feelings, learn to accept yourself, and avoid persistent feelings of guilt and shame. The goal is to create a sense of happiness and hope through painting, sculpting, coloring, drawing, and collage artwork. Be very creative as you express every aspect of their emotional state, both positive and negative.

Continue art and music therapy even after formal treatment is completed. It can help you relieve stress, deal with depression, and fend off the temptation to use again. At your home, choose art and music that expresses your emotions and helps your mood. According to HomeAdvisor, “Everyone deserves to have their own space for their passion project, be it a crafting station or simply a place to journal. Look around your home with a creative eye, and you’ll realize that much of what you need to create your ideal hobby workshop is already nearby and can be easily converted.” Staying sober or free of addictions is an ongoing struggle, and it’s essential to find a way to cope with the emotional chaos and pressures that make recovery so difficult.

Guest article by Kim Thomas of US Health Corps posted 8-12-18.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com.

How to Explain Addiction to Children

Ways to Protect and Educate Kids About the Dangers of Drugs

Image Courtesy of Unsplash

Parents want their children to be unaffected by addiction issues. So, addiction may not be a hot topic within your family. However, at some point, all children will probably face peer pressure or witness someone who is struggling with a substance abuse disorder. As your child grows, you can help her understand and develop skills that prevent her from going down the path of addiction.

Avoid Assumptions

Don’t assume that your child knows about addiction and related issues. According to kidshealth.org, opening up to your child about the dangers of substance abuse makes it more likely she’ll come to you for help when she faces a problem or encounters peer pressure.

Don’t assume your child already knows the dangers of drug and alcohol use and abuse, or that she could never fall victim. Though schools may teach students about dealing with peer pressure, it’s up to you to guide her in the right direction. You can do so by modeling behavior and keeping the lines of communication open. It’s also essential to understand the signs of addiction and substance use, and to watch your children closely for changes.

Discuss Family Addiction Problems Openly

If you or your partner is facing an addiction, start a conversation that validates your child’s feelings. Let her know she will always be loved and discuss what steps are being taken for recovery. Customize your discussion for her age group. If a child does not understand what addiction is, you could say that strong cravings can happen over and over throughout the day and night. It is very hard to resist the urge to do what it says. You could compare it to having an annoying song in your head that keeps coming back over and over again.

Acquire Knowledge

 Because it’s not easy to explain addiction to a child, your best bet is to acquire as much information as you can. Be ready to answer any awkward questions that could come up. According to Psych Central, while it’s not a good idea to lie to your child, you may want to be careful to protect young children from the grittier details.

Be as straightforward as possible if your child has questions. If she asks about your own experience with drugs or other addictions, it is best to tell the truth. Real stories can help her learn about consequences. Telling the truth about your imperfections  also establishes a safety net so your child is more likely to talk to you about her struggles.  By sharing information with your child you also reassure her that in life we have choices. Some of her choices could lead to problems, but making the right decisions will likely lead down a healthier path.

Tell Your Child That It’s Not Her Fault

Personality disorders often develop in people with an addiction, spurring them to say irrational things or lash out and blame others. Although addiction is no one’s fault, the addicted person is still responsible for their own behavior, and is the only person who can make recovery successful.  If an addict tells a child that she is the cause of the substance abuse, it is not true and it probably isn’t even how the addict really feels. Help your child understand that she shouldn’t carry a burden of guilt when loving someone with an addiction.

A support system is crucial in maintaining a sense of normalcy and stability in families. This may include a support group, friends, family and an accountability partner. Parents often face high levels of stress and need to make tough choices that will mold their child’s life. Parents need to seek support for themselves as well as for their children.

Addiction can affect everyone involved, especially a child who doesn’t fully grasp the concept of addiction. Offer support and protection to your child, repeating the fact that you love her. By talking openly about addiction, you can help her to grow up with the knowledge and confidence to just say no.

Blog  by guest contributor, Jackie Cortez of ThePreventionCoalition.org posted for Healthvista  February 20, 2018.

Finding New Friends in Addiction Recovery

For most people, choosing to get sober means leaving behind an old way of life, substance abusing friends included. While ending friendships is a part of the recovery process for many addicts, sobriety isn’t a journey that must be faced alone. Here’s how you can part ways with toxic people and find new friendship in recovery.

Ending Toxic Friendships

If your friendships have drifted apart since getting sober, you’re not alone. It’s normal for addicts in recovery to realize they don’t have all that much in common with their old friends. While some relationships that revolved around drinking or using start to fade away, others must be left behind for the addict’s own good. After all, not everyone will be supportive of your sobriety. Some friends might outright tempt you with substances, while others indirectly enable your substance abuse.

Addicts must learn to identify not only the behaviors that are directly harmful, but also those that subtly threaten their recovery. People who deny or minimize your problem, discourage treatment, demean your recovery efforts, or otherwise surround you with negativity can be just as detrimental to your sobriety as people who overtly try to sabotage your recovery.

However, ending friendships is difficult, even when they’re toxic. Don’t feel like you need to justify ending a friendship; your sobriety is what’s important, and you should do what’s necessary to protect it. Besides, it’s a waste of energy to justify, argue, defend, or explain yourself to someone who’s toxic. You can state you don’t want to continue a friendship and leave it at that. If someone fails to accept your decision, blocking their phone number and social media accounts protects you from bullying.

Meeting New People

Often, we cling onto friendships that we know are unhealthy because we’re afraid of having no friends at all. While making new friends in recovery can be hard, it’s far from impossible. In fact, meeting people is an important part of the recovery process. Healthy Place identifies loneliness as a major trigger for substance abuse. Being alone give addicts ample time to ruminate and obsess over cravings, and it deprives them of the support they need to stay sober. With friends, you can keep occupied when your brain is working against you and find support when your willpower runs low.

Not every friend you make in addiction recovery needs to be a sober friend. While it’s important to have peer friends who understand what you’re going through, there’s no need to cut out supportive people just because they drink. However, friends should encourage your sobriety and not have a problem abstaining around you.

One struggle recovering addicts tend to face is not knowing where to meet people. After you stop frequenting old haunts, it’s hard to identify places that won’t threaten your sobriety. For many addicts, this requires changing the way they think about a social life. Before, outings were at bars and parties. Today, they could be at a fitness class, a film club, a music festival, or a dancing lesson. Try using websites like Meetup to find people who share your interests. If you’re not ready to hit the town, invite new friends to your house for an alcohol-free evening of food and games.

It requires strength and determination to overhaul your social life in the midst of addiction recovery, but doing so is an important step in your commitment to stay sober. With only supportive people surrounding you, you can stay firm in your resolve to create a better life.

Image via Unsplash

Blog  by guest contributor, Jackie Cortez of ThePreventionCoalition.org posted for Healthvista  10-15-17

3 Stress Relievers for Parents in Addiction Recovery

Being a parent is far from easy, especially if you are a single parent who also is in addiction recovery. From balancing meetings and therapy sessions with kids’ schedules and routines to making all the decisions and being the breadwinner, you face loads of stress each and every day. Stress takes its toll on parents in addiction recovery, and you need to find ways to relieve your stress in healthy ways to avoid a relapse. Our X stress relievers will help.

  1. Stick to a Daily Routine

While it may sound impossible to establish and stick to a daily routine, you need to make every effort to do so. A routine will help you keep track of where you need to be and when, and it will set a structured schedule for your children. Schedules and routines make children feel safe and secure, and they help you relieve stress by knowing your responsibilities ahead of time. Daily routines also signify to your kids know that you are reliable and accountable, which helps repair relationships with older children who may have been hurt emotionally by your addiction.

That’s not to say that your daily routine has to be rigid. You must allow for some flexibility because rigid schedules can be too demanding and often cause more stress. Kids also enjoy surprises every once in awhile, so allow for special events on the weekend or a special treat after dinner to reward academic or behavior improvements. You also may need to change your daily routine at certain times throughout the year, such as when school begins or ends, when kids start athletic or music lessons or programs, or when you join a support group.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Parents in addiction recovery often don’t prioritize their own health and well-being because they feel guilty for being an addict and impacting their children with their previous self-destructive decisions and actions. However, stress takes a tremendous toll, especially on single parents’ health and must be managed if parents will be able to take care of their children properly.

Taking care of yourself should include eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising regularly. You can include your children in healthy eating by looking for and experimenting with recipes you find online. Cooking together teaches your children a new skill and provides you with quality time that will reduce your stress level. You also can exercise with your children by playing football or baseball or basketball, going for a family walk or bike ride, taking a hike, or kayaking and fishing.

  1. Enjoy Yourself Safely

Being a parent in addiction recovery does not mean that you cannot enjoy a night with friends or a social gathering to relieve some stress and have some fun. It does, however, mean that you need to be smart about your choices and have a plan in place for maintaining your sobriety in tempting situations. If you are invited to a party that will put your sobriety at risk, take your own water or sparkling cider with you. Invite a friend who will keep you in check and who will not mind staying sober for the night with you. If you are concerned about being pressured to drink, tell people that you are a designated driver or that you don’t drink because you need to be available for your children.

It’s also a good idea to plan for a party or other tempting social situation by getting support ahead of time. If you are comfortable enough to do so, tell the party host that you are in recovery and ask whether nonalcoholic beverages will be served. You also can attend an extra meeting prior to the event or alert your sponsor to the event and make sure she will be available if you need her at the spur of the moment.

Parents in addiction recovery must manage their stress levels in healthy ways to maintain sobriety. Sticking to a daily routine, prioritizing self-care, and enjoying yourself safely are three great ways to relieve stress without putting your sobriety in jeopardy.

Blog  by guest contributor, Jackie Cortez of ThePreventionCoalition.org posted for Healthvista  8-5-17

Anxiety: The Other Stage of Grief

Sadness and anxiety often happen togetherIt’s common to feel anxiety after the death of a loved one, but not much attention is given to this side of grief. When you’ve experienced a major loss, it’s easy to feel like you’ve lost control and like the world is no longer the safe and normal place you once knew. When you pair these strong emotions of grief with feelings of helplessness, it’s easy for anxiety to grow.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety starts as extra worrying that interferes with your everyday life. You may feel a sense of dread or distress for no apparent reason, struggle with concentration, be irritable and on edge, and have trouble eating and sleeping. When anxiety is related to grief, it’s especially common to find yourself having obsessive thoughts about bad things happening to you or your loved ones. You may even face panic attacks where you have feelings of extreme fear paired with an increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, and dizziness.

Why Does Grief Cause Anxiety?

When you lose someone close to you, especially if that loss is unexpected, your sense of safety in the world can be shaken to its core. Suddenly you feel powerless and aware of how fragile life is in a way you’ve never thought of before. You may develop an intense fear of your own death, or begin to worry about how you will manage without your loved one. These feelings can be incredibly stressful, especially when paired with the usual symptoms of grief. You may even have anxiety triggered by a fear of your own grief emotions or a feeling that you’re not able to cope with your grief.

How to Cope?

Dealing with anxiety isn’t easy. Anxiety often comes on unexpectedly and it can be hard to figure out the cause, making it difficult to prepare for or avoid. However, there are some things you can do to cope with anxiety when it hits.

When you feel anxiety coming on, try practicing deep belly breathing. Breathe in slowly, letting your chest and stomach rise as your lungs fill with air, and then breathe out slowly. Breathing deeply and focusing on your breath can help tone down your body’s stress response, heading off an anxiety attack before it starts.

If you find yourself unable to sleep because you can’t turn off your racing thoughts, try playing guided imagery recordings at night. By guiding your thoughts toward positive imagery and away from unwanted thoughts, guided imagery can help you relax and clear your mind.

Try creating an anchor thought. An anchor thought can help you manage your anxiety when it creeps in. It’s called an “anchor thought” because it helps anchor you to reality and keeps your mind from spiraling into anxious thinking. An anchor thought might involve recalling a happy memory and the positive feelings associated with it, or it might be a breathing exercise or mantra you repeat until you’re feeling better.

If your anxiety doesn’t get better as your grief fades, or if it’s interfering with your everyday life, it’s important to seek treatment from a mental health professional. You may choose to talk to a grief counselor, join a support group, seek medication from a psychiatrist, or all three. No matter what you choose, getting help for your anxiety is an important step you can take toward managing your grief.

Anxiety is a normal part of grief. Grief pushes you into a world of intense emotions where nothing feels certain except, perhaps, uncertainty itself. While grieving a loved one can be an incredibly isolating experience, it’s important to remember that intense reactions like anxiety and even depression are normal, and there are experienced professionals who know how to help.

Image via Pixabay by Unsplash

Blog by Jennifer Scott, guest contributor to Health Vista posted  3-13-17

Healing so Your Inner Child can be Free

Encourage Your Inner Child to be Free

football jersey girl

Healing, recovery, and coping involves taking care of ourselves and our “inner child”. Each of us has the desire to be cared for, loved and nurtured. That little child inside of you, (even when you are an adult), is called your “inner child.” Many people try to control their inner child, keeping them from truly being free to be themselves.  They hide their inner child and make him or her invisible by:

Wearing one of these “masks”

  • “Fashion Show Plate” – Dressing up extremely fancy or carefully
  • “Make-up Artist” – Wearing too much make-up
  • “Body Perfect – Too much work on body shape and exercise
  • “Miss Manners” – Too much politeness
  • “The Blob” – Too much weight (obesity)
  • “The Glumstress” – Wearing drab colors
  • “The Overachiever” – Taking on all challenges
  • “The Daredevil”- Too much risk taking
  • “The Perfectionist” – Being obsessive or fixated on details

People Pleasing –Always giving people what they want to please them, gain approval, and avoid conflict

Entertaining – Being the “life of the party” by making jokes, being a clown, and making other people happy without being sensitive to your own needs or feelings

Withdrawal, pulling in or nonfeeling – Holding back any emotional responses to make sure no one gets to know how you feel

Looking good – Being sure to look good by overachieving, being perfect, and doing only what seems to be the right thing

Enabling, or rescuing– By always focusing your attention and energies on the needs of others, you keep the focus off of yourself to the point that you can’t identify anything you need to work on yourself – You are out of touch with who you are.

Passive aggressive – Agreeing to go along with requests or orders when you disagree and have no plan to follow through

Jumping to negative assumptions – Assuming the worst about what others think and plan to do, you give other people power over you. Many people who have negative thinking hide their true selves to avoid conflict

Acting out, troubled person – Being a person who draws attention to your negative behaviors, you try to hide your real self who is sensitive and needy

Healing to overcome “invisibility” and become free to be yourself:

  • Believe that you and your inner child deserve respect.
  • Give yourself the nurturing, caring, love, forgiveness, and respect needed to heal.
  • Let go of self-pity over being neglected or abused as a child, and take charge of your life.
  • Create a bond between the adult you, and your inner child (to give you a sense of security and self-confidence).
  • Like your inner child, you may think, “All I want is to have someone hug me and tell me they are proud of me. Why can’t it happen?”
  • Instead, give yourself a hug every day, know your strengths, and be kind to yourself.
  • Say, “I am proud of me!”

Revised from Messina, J. J. & Messina, C. (2010). Growing down: Tools for healing the inner child. Retrieved from http://jamesjmessina.com/growingdowninnerchild/innerchild.html

Blog #11 written 1-23-16 by Mary Knutson RN for Health Vista, Inc.

Nurturing and Healing Your Inner Child

At the side of a creek
Play with your inner child at the side of a creek

Every child deserves  nurturing and security, but some children don’t have it.  Each of us has the desire to be cared for, loved and nurtured. That little child inside of you, (even when you are an adult), is called your “inner child” or your inner spirit.  Sometimes, the people who raised you aren’t capable of giving the love and support that you deserved. Healing can happen if you direct caring thoughts and behaviors inward toward the child inside of you.

Your inner child is a free spirit that is emotional, sensitive, fun-loving, joyful, imaginative, and creative.

  • Your childhood spirit may have been tamed, lost, or forgotten, but it is still somewhere inside you.
  • It can influence our decisions, even when we are unaware, because our inner child is part of our beliefs about ourselves.
  • That inner child may need healing and support if it was hurt, neglected, frustrated, or abused during childhood. Even if you have masked, or hidden the inner child, it may be causing you to be worried and fearful of being treated badly.
  • People often ignore their inner child if they have felt guilty or “not good enough.”
  • Our inner child may be hidden if we had to pretend our family was happy and healthy, even when it wasn’t.
  • Sometimes when we dream or daydream, we can picture what the little child is like.

We know our inner child is active when we:

  • Lose ourselves in fun
  • Enjoy playing with games, toys, or pets
  • Get emotional looking at old photo albums, scrapbooks or home movies about our childhood
  • Still think as a child does, seeking to please parents or extended families

Many people hid their inner child and make him or her invisible by:

  • Wearing one of these “masks”
    • “Fashion Show Plate” – Dressing up extremely fancy or carefully
    • “Make-up Artist” – Wearing too much make-up
    • “Body Perfect – Too much work on body shape and exercise
    • “Miss Manners” – Too much politeness
    • “The Blob” – Too much weight (obesity)
    • “The Glumstress” – Wearing drab colors
    • “The Overachiever” – Taking on all challenges
    • “The Daredevil”- Too much risk taking
    • “The Perfectionist” – Being obsessive or fixated on details

Nurturing to overcome “Invisibility”

  • Believe that you and your inner child deserve respect.
  • Give yourself the nurturing, caring, love, forgiveness, and respect needed to heal.
  • Let go of self-pity over being neglected or abused as a child, and take charge of your life.
  • Create a bond between the adult you, and your inner child (to give you a sense of security and self-confidence).
  • Like your inner child, you may think, “All I want is to have someone hug me and tell me they are proud of me. Why can’t it happen?”
  • Instead, give yourself a hug every day, know your strengths, and be kind to yourself.
  • Say, “I am proud of me!”

Revised from Messina, J. J. & Messina, C. (2010). Growing down: Tools for healing the inner child,  Retrieved from http://jamesjmessina.com/growingdowninnerchild/innerchild.html

 

Blog # 10  by Mary Knutson 1-18-16 for Health Vista, Inc.

Emotional Eating

angry toast

Emotional Eating

After the holiday season many of us find our pants fitting a little tighter and our bellies looking a little rounder. The holidays are an amazing time filled with family, fun, friends and of course food (especially the kind that we try to avoid all the other times of the year).  Once the holidays are over and reality kicks back in we can take a step back and work harder to avoid overeating. Start fresh as you leave behind the holidays and the emotions that they bring.

Food and feelings go together. We tend to link food with enjoyment, affection, and nurturing. Food is usually part of emotion-filled events, either happy or unhappy ones. Eating for comfort is a common behavior that comes from a deep connection within us. Some people eat in response to emotions rather than hunger. If you are overweight, ask yourself if emotional eating is an issue for you.

Mind skills and the way that you think can help limit emotional eating. Cope better with the ups and downs of daily life and don’t think that everything needs to be perfect. Learn how to eat healthier to improve your well-being and your mood. Recognize and avoid any “triggers” you have. A trigger food can set off a “binge” of eating, no matter what your mood is. Examples include ice cream, cookies, nuts, potato chips.

We often respond to the sight of food with the impulse to devour it – whether or not we are actually hungry. We miss the subtle feelings of fullness if we don’t slow down to finish chewing and swallowing before we pick up the next bite. It takes 20 minutes for your body to signal its fullness. By eating fast, you are likely to overeat. Try eating mindfully by savoring the sight, smell, texture, and color of the food. Think about the connection to the outside world, the taste and feel of the food as you eat it slowly.

Work to understand the connection between emotions and eating, to help you succeed in maintaining a healthy weight.

Blog #9 by Mary B. Knutson of Health Vista, Inc.

Coping with the Holidays

Christmas tree

The holidays can be a stressful and hectic time of year.  It is important to find ways of coping and surviving the holidays. They seem to come so fast and it can seem like a letdown when they are over.

Ways of Coping

I have been trying to manage during the holiday season by being be more mindful and grateful.  So far, it is helping. I also realize that I am not perfect and my family gatherings won’t be either. I have been using candles and scents more. Making efforts to add relaxation to my days or evenings has also been helpful for me.

On my website, www.healthvista.net,  I have several engaging Powerpoints written by Shari Cavadini, a registered nurse I used to work with.

One of those presentations can be helpful this time of year. It is called 12 Ways to Cope with the Holidays.  You can find it at the link below.

As you use your own (both old and new) ways of coping, I hope you can feel the peace and joy of the season.

http://www.healthvista.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/12WaystoCopewiththeHolidays.pdf

 

Blog #8 12/10/15 by Mary Knutson of Health Vista, Inc.