Start 2021 Focusing on You, including Your Career

Well, I am not afraid to say that I am grateful that 2020 is in the rearview! I have not quite come to terms with all of the events of 2020, but I do believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The thing that I am going to share with you is that I turned on that light. I do not have time to seek out opportunities, rather, I must make them! It's my personality....I do know that. I am impatient. So, rather than wait around for an opportunity, I usually create things to do and be a part of. This year will be no different. 

 

What I meant by I turned the light on is that I have the need to keep busy right now. I am sad over the loss of my father-in-law to Covid on December 9. It is so raw. He was a wonderful man, father, husband, and most importantly, Papa. Sometimes, we need to turn a light on in the darkness, rather than become a part of it. I am focusing on the beauty of his woodworking, enjoying the little things (as we usually do not as it is so...

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24 Hours in a Day

There are 24 hours in a day. How do you spend them? You might be thinking, especially now with more people being home or more time on the frontlines, "I work", "I take care of my kids", "I help my child with e-learning", "I'm taking care of my parents"...where do you fall into this? You, yes YOU, are the common denominator to make all this happen. Who takes care of you, so you can do all of this? When do you take care of you, so you can do all of this? 

Here's the long of the short of it...you are in charge of your self-care. You choose how you spend the 24 hours that are in the day. Let's break this down. Generally speaking and in line with health standards, people get 6-8 hours of sleep a night. That leaves you with 16-18 hours left. If you work, you may work 8-10 hour days (give or take). Now, that leaves you with 6-8 hours. You then may need to assist your kids with homework or the aftermath of e-learning; let's say that's about 2-4 hours. You now have about 4-6 hours....

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What Would Life Be Like Without COVID

As we've all experienced, COVID has brought much angst, potential sadness or depression, anxiety, and loss in many ways. However, what else has COVID brought us...aspects that have been more positive...and what would life be like without it. 

Sure, we can certainly focus on if COVID was not part of our lives then we would not be trapped in our houses most of the time, be able to eat out at restaurants or go out and do more sociable activities, our kids would be in school full time and wouldn't be behind in their studies, our mood would be better, and most importantly many people would not have suffered the unthinkable losses of lives.

But we can't change that COVID happened and is still here.

So I choose, with my glass 1/2 full, to focus on what positive things I would be losing out on if COVID didn't happen. If COVID didn't happen to me, I would:

1. only be spending time with my kids primarily on the weekends.

2. not have discovered new tools for my self-care regimen in...

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Self-Care Promotes Brain Health

Self-care activities are something talked about a lot but often times we preach about using them for others or we recommend others to use them. Well, what about us? We are just as important to that puzzle as the person we are preaching to about using them. 

Picture yourself on an airplane. Before every departure, a flight attendant walks you through the safety features and rules of the airplane. One of those instructions are about the oxygen masks that may drop down if the cabin loses air pressure. The instructions explicitly say, "Secure your mask before securing others." Let's apply that to life, folks!

"If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to show up for others," says Dr. Stelter. Self-care activities allow you to replenish, unwind, recharge...all of the above. Popular self-care activities include journaling, using essential oils, exercising, gardening, cooking, deep breathing techniques, and meditation. Which ones help relieve your stress, anxiety,...

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The Power of Coping Skills and Non-pharmacological Techniques

The obvious about using coping tools and non-pharmacological techniques for mood issues or behavioral concerns is that the person receiving these are not faced with experiencing many side effects with the potential to cause more problems when taking medications instead. For example, if I'm anxious and I take an anti-anxiety medication, sure I might feel less anxious, however, I may also become unproductive that day, sleep more than usual, and then feel irritable and even more anxious as it wears off. Reason being, I haven't actually dealt with what caused my anxiety in the first place! Now, in the event the person is taking medications, even reaching for coping tools or the caregiver using non-pharmacological approaches will reduce the amount of or chances for side effects if PRN, or as needed, medication was being used on top of their routine medication regimen.

However, there are two other bonuses to regularly using coping tools and non-pharmacological techniques:

1. It...

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Everyone Wins when Healing Clean

Using non-pharmacological techniques, whether in dementia care, mental health treatment, or practicing self-care, is a step to thinking, feeling, treating, and eventually healing clean. When we heal clean, everyone wins on both sides of those non-pharmacological techniques. How does that happen?

When using non-pharmacological techniques, we have control of what we are doing, when we do it, and how we do it. The 'what' is important to know that the things we are using are healthy for us or with whom we are treating; that we aren't filling our bodies, minds, and brains with toxins, minute killers, carcinogens, or contamination or that we won't have to deal with all these negative side effects. Actually, often times when we use non-pharmacological techniques, there are side benefits to the 'what' we are using. For example, maybe filling out crossword puzzles is stimulating and invigorating, leaving you feeling productive and ready to start the day. But a side benefit is that it is also...

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Clean Dementia Care

In the effort to think, feel, treat, and heal clean, how does this apply to dementia care. It's pretty typical that as part of the disease process, those with dementia will display a number of behavioral symptoms as a way to communicate. These behavioral symptoms mean something. The individual may be hungry, thirsty, tired, in pain, or needs to use the bathroom. Or the individual might be anxious, sad, angry, scared, or bored. However, sometimes these behavioral symptoms put the individual and their care partners at risk for injury. It's important as care providers that we help to anticipate what the individuals in our care need so they don't have to act out to show us they need something. However, when the individual with dementia does act out we need to recognize what's happening and intervene.

Unfortunately, often times an as needed psychotropic medication is used immediately at hopes to stop the behavior. Essentially it slows down the individual and sometimes even makes them...

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Is Your Community CLEAN?

As time progresses, we think it is safe to say that we are maneuvering under a strict cleanliness guide. At the very least, it is the one thing we know for sure.

Unfortunately, COVID has presented challenges in communities that have been difficult to navigate. Each day, we struggle with deciding our next steps as the unknown is great. Emotionally and physically, we are challenged as each day passes to create a safe environment. Statistically, the vintage folks are at a much higher risk, but we believe that natural solutions can be quite effective and consoling.

We have been extremely impressed with some implementations that have been occurring in communities and facilities. Essential oils and aromatherapy have been used for thousands of years and can be added to aid in cleanliness. This tool is popping up more and more in the medical community as a way to aid them for their patient care. It is such a positive step in the direction to supporting the body and brain at being...
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