Just alright?

I was at the gym this morning doing balancing exercises (I had a stroke and recently stopped using my cane, I have neurology and balance issues); I am supposed to do them for 30-60 seconds. I reached 60, stopped and thought, “Do I want to be alright or do I want to be great?”; so I did another 60. It is the same for everything in our lives :mental, physical, social; doing the minimum or average is fine… if you want minimum or average results. It is tough to go beyond the basic (no one said it is easy) but, if done, you will get better results than otherwise. Try to push beyond, just ask yourself “Do I want to be average or AWESOME!?”

Mental: If you are having problems in this area, if you are gloom and doom or using negative self talk…TALK TO SOMEONE!!! Do not stuff it down and carry that burden alone. As it relates to pushing yourself; if you see the glass as half empty, and tell yourself you cannot do something, you won’t try.  Other people can carry you, push you, in the right direction.

Physical: Don’t stop at the minimum; push yourself. You do not improve by half assing  it or staying in the same place. Think of your goal; now think of how fantastic it would be to exceed it. Do  not put limitations on your physicality; I know if I did I would be very far behind. YOU make your physical situation up to you; do the best you can with what you have. People have issues that might impede them; even non-disabled individuals (injuries, health problems, etc.), but even this (with medical guidance) cannot stop you from doing your best possible.

Social: Use society to lift you up, not drag you down. Yes, there are things wrong with the world; it’s impossible to view the news without hearing of the woes of the world; you rarely hear good news. The world likes to pull on your fiery side and get you riled up, but (believe me) there is good in the world, often you have to seek it out. There is a good program on CNN, called Heroes; it airs at Thanksgiving, but if you don’t have cable, you can probably get it online or see snippets at YouTube; and I will give a link to the website. Even if you don’t agree with CNN as a news station, this program allows you to see truly inspirational  people, from all walks of life, appreciated for their contributions to society.CNN Heroes

Last years nominees

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Me

I suppose in a way I am telling on myself. I have bipolar disorder; so did my father and he committed suicide (today is his birthday).This is something I have eluded to, but not openly discussed. I feel it is pertinent to do so, however, as the season for SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is upon us (in the US). I know  my disorder (especially the depression) gets worse in the fall and winter months due to many factors. It is important to look at your history and be honest with yourself; is this something that effects me and I need to be concerned about. In the past my past eating disorders, addictions, and depression and depression have run rampant this time of year; I am now proactive. I will give you some practical everyday tips that I have found helpful. This is NOT medical advice! And, FYI nothing is an instant fix;give things time to work. Also I have found that your mindset helps; rather than be pessimistic and constantly telling yourself “This is pointless it will never help”, try telling yourself “This might work for me!”.

Mental: Even when things seem like they can’t get any worse, DO NOT GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is always darkest before the dawn they say. Unfortunately sometimes you cannot see the light of dawn. It is important for me to tell people I care about to keep an eye on me (especially this time of year); not overprotective, but just to notice if I start to act strange or isolate. This is a good resource for mental illness; it has alot of areas to explore :National Alliance on Mental Illness

Physical: There are many things you can do to help depression; namely do not isolate and force yourself to do things; do not let yourself slack; little by little, things will add up and you’ll find yourself in a hole. This is not only true of actions around depression, but life in general. Because I am frugal,and am also aware everyone does not have unlimited funds at their disposal, here are some free (but useful) tips. Get an adequate amount of sunlight;  a lack of vitamin D (found in sunlight) can lead to an increase in myriad of physical symptoms ( obesity, mineral loss,etc.) but also causes a great increase in depression; this primarily why we get SAD. As the sunlight gets low, as we are outside less, we receive less vitamin D, which makes us more physically vulnerable:Information on vitamin D deficiency and depression. If you are concerned about skin cancer, wear sunscreen to block harmful UV rays. Another area I’ve found helpful is staying physically active, namely exercise; this will increase the serotonin in your brain (the chemical that keeps you “happy”) and increase endorphins which will give you more energy. This is particularly helpful if your depression includes anxietyInformation on mood-exercise relationship. If you have trouble with the cold weather, research an exercise program that can be performed indoors. If you are older and/or have muscle, joint,or other health problems; talk to your doctor. Ask for their input on a safe but effective program suitable for you to perform.

Social: Like I said, it helps me to let others in my social  circles to keep  an eye on  me. This way, I am proactive about my mental state.

Trust me, there is a large portion of my past when,as positive as I am now, I was that much negative. We are where we are in life. There is no correct path for EVERYONE. I just know what works for me!

be awesome

Be the best you

Someone I respect said something yesterday that  makes sense to me; that is the concept that perfection is (totally) elusive, yet we can still change ourselves for the better. If you keep doing the same thing over and over again,you don’t learn…don’t change positively…well nothing will change. Things will stay stagnant and you’ll deal with the same results. If you’re content with them..great! If you’re not, maybe you should think of “stepping up your game”. Putting a little oomph in your actions (good oomph) can have a large impact.

Mental:Sometimes even changing a simple thought makes a difference. For example, I have a small apartment; I would like to live somewhere bigger. Hell though, I have somewhere to live (and it’s climate controlled!) Often times we take things for granted (physically,mentally,financially,etc.) Try looking at the glass as half full instead of half empty, at what you have rather than what you don’t. It can have a huge impact on you life perception.

Physical: Remember some stories  from your childhood, like the Little Engine telling himself he could do it? Sometimes when we get older and gunked up with societal “stuff”, we tend to forget the simplicity of such ideas. It is easy to succumb to the idea that we don’t have time or we’re tired (although sometimes legitimate!) But excuses should not occur regularly. Sometimes you have to put your physical wellbeing first. I  am fortunate I have the time to write this. As important as this is to me, you better BELIEVE that my wellbeing comes first.I.E. If I did not exercise, I couldn’t walk. If I didn’t practice PT and work on motor  skills, I couldn’t type. If I didn’t take eat a balanced and healthy diet,my body would not work well. Ad infinitum. Therefore, if I am to be a healthy functioning person,  I must put my basic needs first. This sounds selfish, but is really not; it’s like on an airplane. You put the oxygen mask on yourself before the child; what good is it if you’re not well? You can’t be helpful to someone else.

Social: When you’re in public and social situations,try smiling a little more. I wondered why people were not so receptive to me in the past. DUH, it was because I had a scowl on my face and physically said “Do not interact with me!” As I started being more pleasant to others, a funny thing happened. Others returned the pleasantries;simple yet awesome.

grateful

Thanks

Ok, today’s lesson…just kidding! You all,my peers,etc. help ME!!! So thanks to you all for sharing everything with me. Advice, support, the good, the bad; it all makes a difference. I garner my strength from other’s experiences. Trust me, it would have been a piece of cake to give up long ago,but people encouraged me to wait it out,not to give up, and sometimes you just have to put one foot in front of the other and act as if; but important: do not throw in the towel. I listen to other people (truly listen), read blogs, research,etc. I know if I do not stay attentive and curious, I could very well miss out on something. As to paying attention to people, well like I said, the people in my life are very important to me so it is obviously pertinent to me every joy and pain they deal with.

Mental: Sometimes you just have to “walk” through things; it may be very hard, but it will feel great on the other side. The saying says “It’s always darkest before the dawn”. Often in that dark, it seems like  there will be no dawn; usually we want results quickly and do not want to wait. At times, progress takes time; but do not give up, who knows. The outcome might be even better than you expect!

Physical: Fight through it! I do not mean if you have a real medical situation! But if you are just tired or don’t “feel like it”, don’t stop. Just like the mental, it is difficult to stay motivated when you’re frustrated by not seeing instantanious results, but such results take hard work and dedication; you will get there you just have to stick with it.

Social: Remain open to the world around you; absorb your environment and the people/world around you. Think:you are the result of your experiences, these obviously have a huge impact. Therefore, it would make sense that negative makes for negative and positive for POSITIVE! Tips on this idea. Law of attraction

law of attraction

Intertwined

One of the reasons I’m so intent on holistic well-being is that I have found they have a symbiotic relationship, and each area effects the other. Ex: if you are depressed this can cause physical lethargy, bad social situations can cause a sense of hopelessness which can effect your mental state, physical inactivity leads to drops in “happy” producing chemicals in the brain which can trigger negative thoughts. You see mental, physical, and social states (I find) play off each other. It is best to find a homeostatic balance, otherwise you may find overcompensation in one area, where another might be lacking. Balance (for me at least) plays a key roll in life.

Mental: Don’t feel like you have to think like the majority(and if you don’t, you’re not an acceptable person). There is nothing wrong with being yourself. For years, I was in a social situation where I felt this  way. I felt “not part of” and “weird”. This way of thinking literally almost killed me. Yes, there are certain parameters that we should follow, but don’t feel awkward if you don’t conform to certain standards.

Physical: Like I said, this can effect your mental state. You don’t have to work out excessively! Even small tasks add up.A few tips on exercise and the mental/physical connection. Exercise make ME feel better,gives me more energy mentally and physically; it effects my life for the better, in all areas.

Social: I will refer to mental. Don’t give others in society the power to make you feel less than. Do not give into the hype that you have to look perfect or purchase the latest trendy items. Often, people admire people who choose their own path. There is NOTHING wrong with being different.

weird1

 

Continuation

A question was posed to me. What exactly did I mean by external “things”? I believe it is the great illusion of  bigger and more is better. A nicer car,house,more charisma, fancier “toys”, being more attractive. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with aspiring for these things. The problem arises when you use them to determine self-worth. These things will come and go(the physical) but what remains constant is your internal self. It strikes me that you will receive more for having a good spirit than the fact that you had a nice IPod for a few years.

Mental: Take pride in small accomplishments you make. This is NOT the same as having a huge ego. Reflect on and thank others that gave you advice and helped you reach your goals.

Physical: A word of advice… strengthen your core.This isn’t a big fitness thing you have to do,but it will help some with some problems like just being more stable during everyday stuff. I know it has helped me ALOT with mobility. Maybe it can help you!Core explanation/exercises

Social: Give thanks to those friends/family/peers who have helped you along your journey. Not necessarily verbally and openly, but appreciate others. And if you feel someone has truly made a difference, let them know. It will probably make them feel very good. And you will feel good, too. It’s a win-win. BUT be sincere and don’t do anything for the simple reason it will puff your ego up. Do not go into this realm expected much more than a thank you. Sometimes you will get more, but DON’T be upset if you don’t get much back.

what are YOU doing

 

Lessons

So my cat is teaching me a lesson and is taking me back to my youth. There is alot children and babies can teach us. My cat has many toys and “fancy” things that  I have paid handsomely for. Ironically when I buy these things, he’s most impressed with the bag it came in.I remember when I was young,  being enthralled with the wrapping paper on presents, rather than the gift itself. As I got older, I slowly became more concerned with the actual gift. If I was hungry, I needed food, I wasn’t concerned with how fancy it was. As I became an adult, it became a learned behavior to need extra “things” to make me happy. I am trying to not think in this way, but it has been learned over 34 years. I am working on it!

Mental: When you do (or do not  do) something difficult or don’t “give in”, be PROUD of yourself. Sometimes even things that may, on the surface, seem an obvious decision, can be VERY hard. Do not take small victories lightly,for if thproud1

Hey!

 Sorry all..have been doing work all morning. I’m learning a lot. Call me a dork…I love to learn about everything I can! And yes,I do love to read 🙂 Thanks for remembering! My head is swimming with bits and pieces of new terms. I think I need to bring out my thinking cap and study habits!

Mental: Regression is no excuse to give up. Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t do your best. Just learn from whatever you did and try to do better next time. I know I stayed stuck in this cycle for a very long time. It can cause one to stay stuck on a “woe is me” and “doomed” setting. Do NOT give up if you falter. Get on the horse and keep going!

Physical: This is mental and physical. Let your mind push you. Stay positive, instead of saying “this is too hard,I don’t want to even try” try saying to yourself “this is a CHALLENGE. It’ll be hard and scary, but I know I’ll feel GREAT and ACCOMPLISHED when it’s over.”

Social: Try not to get dragged into futile things. The world is yin and yang. Positive and negative. It is so EASY to get sucked into negativity without even realizing it. I am constantly having to pull myself back. Do not think something’s wrong with you if you find yourself in a negative situation. I try to just think of how bad it feels and of how I got there and try my hardest not to “go there” again.

What you allow

From gym

I’m writing this from my gym, because they have a cool-ass computer! I start school today to get my CPT 🙂 I’m so excited! Guess what, one of the trainers here was my friend and co-worker 15 years ago and I looked so different, and him too, we didn’t even know each other.

Mental: Accept love and kindness. As we speak, I am having a side conversation with a nice older gentleman having coffee while waiting….

sorry that was at 1:00, short break!

…for his wife to finish in the pool. It was nice to just be in the presence of kindness, and be open to it. I don’t know that a few years ago I would have even made contact with him. And I would have missed out.

Physical: Something that helps me alot is spilling my guts about this. How can I recommend pushing yourself and then not do it? I was feeling tired at the gym and like cutting things short, but I thought “Put your money where your mouth is,chica!” I can’t talk a big game and not do it myself. Don’t cheat yourself. Just because no one is watching at the time, doesn’t mean someone won’t notice results at some point. You just do it in the moment for the results you will achieve! 

Social: Maybe this goes back to the mental,but I am encouraged by seeing others’ tenacity and love and strength. If I remain stubborn, stuck in my ways, and not open socially, I will miss out on the people and world around me.

Hi Steve!!!!!!!!!! I’m BAAAAAAAAAAACK!

spread love

8k

SO, the things I witnessed this morning were,well,incredible.

I volunteered at an 8k race near where I live. 1200 people partcipated.

There was a group of wounded veterans using handbikes, which was cool enough. But then one of them came in 1st out of EVERYONE and they all finished in the front 🙂 And everyone came to the finish line and was screaming and clapping and encouraging and running with the woman who was last. It was AWESOME. I am so proud of everyone that did this today!

Mental: Tell yourself you can do it. I’m sure alot of those people wanted to give up. But they didn’t. Mind prevailed.

Physical: When I’m sure their bodies where saying AAAAHHH! they set the goal of reaching the finish line and did it. Some before others/vice versa, but they did it. Sometimes you have to set small goals. I know I thought I had to “be better” instantly. It didn’t work for me until I took steps towards improving.

Social: If you give positive vibes off they’ll probably eventually get returned. This woman today, who came in last gave off positive energy and showed she was trying hard, and she received an outpouring of love and admiration. Usually one will find that if they project good things, those things will come back to them.

Bay Days 8khandbikes