Most people don’t always get along all of the time, and families are no exception. The holidays (with their own emotional roller coaster of demands and deadlines) just seem to bring out those conflicts more than any other time of the year. Minor slights, disappointments, and differences of opinion can get amplified, even before that first slice of turkey hits the plate. (In other words, football isn’t the only sporting event that draws a crowd!) Dealing with the drama diplomatically and effectively can mean the difference between making happy memories (actually wanting to see each other again), and dreading the next encounter. Continue reading
Parents are the touch stones of our lives. Warm memories of learning to ride a bike, toss a baseball, or swim for the first time, not only bring us back to a moment in time growing up. They also take a vivid picture of parents at a much younger age, when they were likely more active and energetic. While many now-much older parents may still remain active, healthy, and social well into their later years, there are those seniors who may be losing a bit off of their “fast ball” and slowing down a bit in a number of ways. It’s a challenge that both aging parents and their adult children face. Continue reading
Winter means shorter daylight hours, along with colder temperatures. While extremes depend upon what area of the country you live in, that change can be a bear for those craving longer, sunlit days to extend activities into the evening. Those “winter blues” can start to creep in early, with feelings of wanting to hibernate until spring. They can also make you feel cranky, moody, unfocused, and craving carbs.
A CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) sampling of five to 17 year-olds showed that almost 60 percent of children that were overweight had at least one risk factor for heart disease, and 25 percent had two or more risk factors.
Often we think of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as it relates to soldiers in combat. (According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 11 to 20 percent of veterans who served in the most recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD any given year.) But PTSD isn’t only a remnant from war; the condition can wage a battle within anyone, at any age as a result of a recent or past traumatic event.
In the beloved Peanuts comic strip, even moody Lucy got it right when she said, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” Why? Because research shows that dogs (as well as cats) are proven effective stress relievers that can provide therapeutic, emotional support on a daily basis, or in trying times.
Holiday time often veers us toward excess. From food to gifts, the pressure to purchase is all around us, whether it’s hyped in the media (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) or in the stores themselves (who among us hasn’t been assaulted by the “Fragrance Police”?).
Everyone gets “down” or “blue” at one time or another. Life happens — and so do life’s daily stresses. Maybe it’s a break-up, or loss of a beloved pet. Perhaps it’s a financial issue or other frustration keeping you from taking that long-awaited vacation. It could just be a “bad day” when nothing goes right.
Substance use and mental illness can be uncomfortable topics to discuss. That’s why National Recovery Month is a great way to get the conversation going. Millions of people across the nation have turned their lives around with treatment, and that’s not something to hide.