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 = Prevention

Let me put a thought in your mind...

"Self-care is a preventative approach."

Typically self-care is in reference to managing stress, dealing with depression and anxiety, lowering agitation, etc. Often it's used when someone is at their wits end, when they are burnt out and looking for a miracle relief, or they are in the throws of mental anguish and looking for relief.

Self-care should not be used when it's too late, when your 'cup is empty'. It should be used on a regular basis with the purpose to prevent such reactions from happening. Therefore, we recommend scheduling your self-care 'sessions' into your daily calendar. Is that 30 minutes when you get up, 15 minutes before you go to bed, or an hour at lunch - we recommend starting with 15 minutes at a time and working your way up to an hour a day. 

You may be saying to yourself, "Girl, you are crazy! I have so much going in my life - work, e-learning with my kids, a husband/wife, a dog, cooking, cleaning - I don't have time...

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Take Control

It's been our mission since day one to put non-pharmacological tools (or formerly known as coping skills) in the hands of healthcare providers, caregivers, and those with dementia and mental health concerns to help them manage the symptoms of these diseases. Often times you hear, "I just don't have time for that." Others say, "It's easier to just call the doctor." Not having time or only calling a doctor to secure your fate doesn't really seems to help the situation. Think about this...

Not having time means the next easier step may be to pop a pill. Did you know it takes about 30 minutes for that pill to start working? What are you doing during those 30 minutes? Couldn't you be using a non-pharmacological intervention or tool? It takes seconds to minutes for these kinds of tools to work. So if it works, then taking that pill was an unhealthy waste of time on your body or your resident's/patient's body. Why, because all medications have negative side effects. Now, we aren't to say...

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To Be or Not To Be

This pandemic has driven many down the road of negativity. Some will continue down that road but others may be sitting back and reflecting, saying, "I can't do this anymore. Something has to give." Perhaps vacillating between "I can either keep eating like this and continue to gain weight or get back to my healthy eating and exercise habits" or "I can keep drinking everyday or cut down or stop all together" or "I can keep miserating in my bed or get back up." Did you hear that...."GET BACK UP". That's the key.

Get back up to being healthy again. Get back up to being present for your family. Get back up to be able to enjoy work again. Whatever your story. Get back up, and get your life back!

You need to find what works for you. Perhaps you have things that have helped you in the past that you just simply need to brush the cobwebs off, like journaling or gardening. Or maybe there are new ways to cope that you have never tried but want to - have you tried brain exercises or using...

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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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