Stay Positive

As we all navigate through our "new normal", changes continue as we struggle to stay present and positive. This past week brought a whole new meaning to that for me as a parent to a teenager. Quarantine has meant different changes for each, but this past week created quite a struggle to practice what I preach. 
 
My son's childhood friend committed suicide. An Instagram post stuck out as he scrolled on a lazy Sunday, as most teens are doing early afternoon. His face was awe struck as he reached out for me, like he did when he was little. I had no idea in that moment what a new reality I faced as a mom. A conversation that I had with countless students 20 years ago when I taught high school but not as a mom! I wanted to wish it all away, after all, had we not been discussing the mental state of our children with this quarantine; no school, no sports, no family, no friends....how are they supposed to survive without each other or their outlets?
 
I had a choice. I...
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The Road to Recovery - "Got Tools?"

“It’s going to be ok. I am here for you. You will be at peace. Hail Mary full of grace…” I’m examining her face. She has such a beautiful glow to her skin, as if she aged in reverse in a matter of hours. She appears at peace, but she has shallow breathing. Her mouth open; eyes open but focused on heaven. Although she has had dementia for several years, the coronavirus has chosen her. I wish her life didn’t have to end this way. I rub her hand with my plastic covered thumb as it’s cupped in hers. As she’s passing, there is nothing I can do, as these were her wishes. All of sudden, I wake up drenched in sweat, breathing heavy. Within a few seconds, I realized I was just dreaming, but was I really?

Working with individuals with dementia who have contracted COVID-19 has been rewarding yet incredibly challenging. After a few of these nightmares, I realized quite quickly, I don’t want to go down this road again. I experienced PTSD...

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Practicing Gratitude

Through all the loss that people have experienced recently (loved ones, jobs, money, etc.), at some point, if not frequently, you stop to think about what you're grateful for. Your mind wants to shift gears from being trapped in  the negativity, reaching for something more. 

I've talked in the past about one coping skill in my toolbox is practicing gratitude. Gratitude is a reflection on what you are thankful for, what you can and should appreciate, a moment for you to stop and be in the moment with your thoughts.

Practicing gratitude might look different for you than me, and that's ok. This is how I do it. Every morning, right after I wake up, I write down in my journal 5 things I'm grateful for. I then envision me practicing that gratitude by either thanking someone if that is what I am grateful for or giving back to what I am thankful for. Lastly, I carry out that act sometime that day or week. 

Notice that it's not just about writing it down but actually...

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The Pandemic: A Look at a Teenager's Experience and How He's Coping

My name is Kaiden, and I am 16 years old. These are my top 3 things to combat the blues these days. It has been pretty stressful being in quarantine at times. I am missing my friends and soccer. My family has done a great job at creating things to do. I really do enjoy being with them, but when I start to feel a little out of control, there are a couple of things that I go to.

One is soccer; I have nets and a field in my backyard, so being outside in the sun running off my energy or troubles is huge for me. I have SID and ADHD so moving around is the only option to release for me sometimes!

Second, whenever it is nice out, my mom always sends us out in the backyard, so it's natural for me to use that as a coping skill. The sunshine always makes me feel better.

Third, I have been using essential oils for 8 years now to control all kinds of issues. I am pretty good at remembering which oils are good for what, but my mom has an awesome reference book about our oils in the...

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Anxiety Has Nothing To Do About Today

Today I sit here, as the co-owner of NeuroEssence, having developed the symptoms of COVID-19. Many thoughts go through my head – how will I continue to care for my family, how can I continue to service our clients remotely, how is it possible to lead others when I’m sick myself. I even have had morbid thoughts, brief thoughts of worsening symptoms, having to move from my home, needing to be hospitalized and even ventilated. What if I die?

All these thoughts came to a screeching halt when I realized that my negative, swirling and spiraling thoughts aren’t helping my situation. They are making it worse, causing me to get up at 230AM and losing sleep.

My kids are worried about Mommy and will I ever get better; my husband is concerned about my health – his wife, mother of his children, and best friend. My family checks on me in fear of losing me, and my friends think about the what if. My colleagues worry about our future together.

My anxiety, and the anxiety of...

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