How to Cope with Tragic Events

In the aftermath of the recent terrorist attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, I felt it was important to provide some information on how to cope with tragic events.

When the unthinkable happens it is normal to have strong reactions. Of course, these reactions will vary depending upon how someone was personally impacted by the situation. There is no right or wrong way to feel or respond.

 

Critical incidents may include:

  • Natural disasters
  • Death of a loved one: friend, family member, co-worker, etc.
  • Serious accidents, injuries or illnesses
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Violent attacks
  • Robberies
  • Fires

When tragedies happen, people naturally try to gain control of the situation. They may deny their emotional reactions to maintain distance and “hold it all together.” Frequently, people try to keep the event from having any effect on their lives at all. While denial can help people cope in the short-term, remaining in the denial phase for too long can have negative consequences on a person’s overall health and well-being. People experience reactions on multiple levels: Emotional, Physical, Cognitive, and Behavioral.

Common reactions include:

Emotional Physical  Cognitive Behavioral
Anxiety Fatigue Confusion Isolation
Fear Twitching Forgetfulness Increased alcohol use
Numbness Nausea Distraction Increased drug use
Uncertainty Headaches/body aches Flashbacks Restlessness
Anger Sleep disruption Poor judgment Being jumpy or edgy
Guilt Sweating Poor concentration Relationship problems
Grief Dizziness Nightmares Appetite Changes
Disbelief Digestive problems Suspiciousness Decreased sex drive
Depression Breathing problems Shock/denial Decreased productivity

 

How to take care of yourself:

Generally, these reactions are temporary, and should pass within a few weeks. While they are a normal, expected response to a crisis, here are some things you can do to reduce their impact and restore normal feelings and functioning more quickly:
• Remember all these reactions are normal. What you are experiencing is an expected, temporary response to a traumatic event. Be patient with yourself and recognize that healing takes time.

• One of the most effective treatments for dealing with personal trauma is talking – to friends, loved ones, ministers or sometimes a counselor. Discussing the event repeatedly is a common, normal and helpful activity for many people who have undergone personal crises.

• If talking isn’t possible, try writing out your thoughts and feelings. You might want to write to someone who is special, or to pretend you are writing to that person. You might want to write out your feelings to yourself. What is written needn’t be sent or shared with anyone else; just putting words to feelings is often helpful in clarifying emotions and reducing your stress.

• Moderate physical exercise (walking, stretching, etc.), alternated with periods of relaxation, may be helpful, but consider seeing your doctor before starting any new exercise program to determine the frequency and type of exercise that is appropriate for you.

• Drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, should be avoided. Instead, substitute other stress- reducing activities. While drugs may temporarily ease the symptoms of stress, they also mask emotions and feelings, sometimes slowing normal recovery.

• If reactions to the crisis are excessive, short-term use of medication, prescribed by a physician specifically for you, may be helpful and appropriate. Consult with your doctor about this.

• Limit the amount of time you watch the news. The 24/7 news cycle constantly pumps tragic events into our homes, and more importantly into our minds. If it gets to be too much, turn off the television or change the channel.

• Be productive and make necessary decisions, but don’t make major life changes until you are sure the crisis has passed.

• Concentrate on what you can control in your life, and let go of those things you have no control over.

• Use your support system – your friends, family, pets, religion, hobbies, sports, etc. Most people want to help but do not always know how. Tell people what you need and want, as well as what you don’t.

• Pamper yourself. Get plenty of rest. Eat regular meals even if you don’t feel like it. Be as self-nurturing as you can—plan enjoyable and relaxing activities into your schedule.

• Spend time with others. Don’t isolate if it makes you feel uncomfortable, or if it is hampering the progress of your recovery.

Be patient with yourself as you go through the healing process. Recurring thoughts, flashbacks, restlessness, etc., will eventually fade away. Give yourself permission to recover at your own pace. Remember that you are having normal reactions to an abnormal, stressful event. Be as loving to yourself as you would be to someone you truly love. If your reactions persist for some time, seek professional help to aid you in your recovery.

Have a Plan to Get the Results You Want

You have finally decided that it is time to make some changes in your life. You know that the only way things are going to improve for you financially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically is if you get off your butt and take action.

So how exactly are you going to implement these changes? Do you have a plan?

An action plan is crucial to your success. Without a plan the changes you desire are merely thoughts that will never happen. However, when you add your thoughts to paper coupled with desire, and then proceed to do everything possible to achieve them, now you have a template for success.

A simple equation to use when creating a plan of action is: Desire + Action = Results.

Step one is to write down exactly what it is you desire: wealth, personal development, weight loss, a healthy relationship, or whatever it is that you so strongly desire that you simply can’t go without it any longer – write it all down. Make your desires realistic to start. For example, if your desire is to lose 20 pounds, it is unrealistic to believe you can lose 20 pounds in 3 days. However, it is possible to lose 20 pounds in 3 months with a proper plan of action. It’s important to note that there should also be a time frame with regards to your plan. Time frames are the milestones to marking your achievements.

Now that you know your specific desire(s), the next step it to list the ways in which you plan to achieve optimum results. How do I plan to lose the 20 pounds?  What do I have to do each day in order to achieve my goal?  What do I personally need to do to see this plan come to fruition?

Set up a schedule outlining each step that needs to be taken daily to achieve your weekly goals. Be specific. Create a daily “to do” list so at the end of the week you will be able to see how much you were able to accomplish. Congratulate yourself for each accomplishment.

Step three is to make a strong commitment to yourself. Work your plan and stay focused on the positive outcome. List all the reasons why you will be able to achieve your objective. Utilize the strengths you possess that will help you to complete your plan. Get into the emotion of how you will feel when you accomplish your goal. What will it be like? How will your life be different? How will you FEEL.

Prepare yourself for roadblocks.

Know and anticipate your weaknesses and make a concerted effort to overcome them. Incorporate both your strengths and weakness into your plan. Know your capabilities and your shortcomings.

Put a personal reward system in place. Know what each reward will be for each accomplishment that you have fulfilled throughout your plan. With every desired result you achieve there should be a reward for having done so. An incentive plan customized to your desires.

Do not allow yourself get disheartened or discouraged. If you have a temporary setback, acknowledge it and continue to move forward by taking action. Refocus on your plan. Your plan is your future. The life you want to create, so take time to nurture and understand it. Your success will not be achieved in one day. Success is a process and the process is something you have to plan for.

I get that it can be a drag to actually sit down to consider these things, and then to take the time to write out a customized plan. However, without a clear plan you have no direction, no roadmap, and you will not achieve your goals.

You and only you can determine if the reward is worth the price you will pay for the effort involved.

 

A Dose of Vitamin M

Motivation is the driving force behind life-enhancing change. It comes from knowing exactly what you want to do and having an insatiable, burning desire to do what’s necessary to accomplish it. Motivation is necessary to keep your dream on track. It’s the power that keeps you moving forward when the going gets tough.

 

Here are 5 top tips to help you supercharge your motivation:
 
1. Create a vision board and fill it with images of your desired goals. The car you want to own, the house you want to live in, the area where you want to live. Yes, these are the obvious ones. Others could be pictures of vacation destinations, trophies, first-class travel tickets, clothes you want to buy, fine restaurants you want to frequent. Or, perhaps it’s you completing a project that has a positive impact on the world – whatever you can think of that gets your pulse racing.
 
2. GET ANGRY. If you want to change your life for the better then get angry about it. Having a blasé attitude towards change isn’t what’s needed and it won’t create a strong enough desire within you. So ask yourself: “Why do I want to change?” Is it because you’re FED UP with being in debt? Is it because your job is DRIVING YOU CRAZY and you want OUT? Is your life DULL AND PREDICTABLE? Are you SICK AND TIRED of doing the same thing week in and week out? Are you BORED, BORED, BORED BEYOND BELIEF by all the dull, uninspiring, unhappy people you associate with? THEN GET ANGRY ABOUT IT! Write it all down – all of the frustrating, unrewarding, miserable things that make every day a drag. Is this how you want your life to remain until your final days? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? Remember the words of Albert Einstein:
 

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting different results.”
 
3. Speaking of your final days, start to appreciate the value of time. Time is one of the most precious resources you have and it is also a NON RENEWABLE resource. You can either use it fully or foolishly squander it. If you want to create change you’re going to have to invest a lot of time to make it happen. Start to reduce the time you waste on irrelevancies: Television, news media, weekends spent shopping, partying, dining out, visiting an endless line of relatives and friends – these won’t help you get what you want and all of them will rob you of time – valuable time that you can use much more effectively by investing it in YOU. Remember this: You have a finite amount of time here on Earth. You don’t know how much time you have – none of us do. However, it’s how you use the time you have that counts. So make your time count and that means starting from right NOW.
 

If not NOW, WHEN?
 
4. Conformity. Are you a mindless little sheep who’s way too timid to pursue your own path? Do you have to follow where everyone else goes, doing exactly what everyone else does and getting the same level of happiness as all the others? Seriously, does this describe YOU? Are you too frightened to be different because others won’t like it if you pursue a different direction? Do you dutifully follow the herd because if they’re doing it, then it must be right? Remember, if you do what everyone else does you’ll get what everyone else gets. Do you want to be a mindless, timid little sheep who blindly follows all the others? Or, do you want to be a leader, a warrior who possesses the courage to be uniquely you and to do what you want to do and make your dreams a reality? If so, then this means you have to be more like a tiger than a sheep. Besides, haven’t we got enough sheep already?
 
5. Conquer your fear. Fear is the force that is determined to stop you in your tracks and rob you of your dreams. But it can only do so if you let it. Are you going to let this cruel destructive charlatan trample on your dreams, steal your happiness, and crush your spirit? Imagine this thought haunting your final days: I didn’t do the things I wanted because I was too frightened to live. And by then, it’ll be far too late to conquer fear. Refuse to let fear spoil your life and start taking action – now!
 
The world is waiting for your unique talents and gifts. Why keep it waiting any longer?

 

Why It’s Time to Boost Your Well-Being

Your well-being should be the top priority in your life, yet so many of us place our health and wellness on the back burner, leaving it unattended until it boils over on us.

Health seems to be something that’s largely taken for granted. We feel invincible until it fails us. This is clearly the wrong attitude. If you take preventative action, you’ll not only feel better, but your body will thank you by adding years onto your life!

Improve your Health for the Right Reason

Nowadays many people struggle with their weight. As a result, more people than ever are trying to slim down. The problem is a lot of us aren’t trying to lose weight for the right reasons. If you need to lose weight, be sure to do it for yourself, not for anybody else.

Losing weight goes far beyond the superficial. Don’t lose weight only in order to look good, but for your overall health and wellness.

When you try to improve yourself for other people, you can lose sight of your motivation if your relationship changes. The motivation needs to be within you, not someone else. The deeper your commitment to your health, the more difficult it is to cheat on a diet or forego exercise.

It’s also important to realize that you must love yourself first before anyone else will. People are drawn to others who have self-confidence and self-respect. When you care about your well-being, not only will you take better care of yourself, but others will be more likely to do the same.

Here are some ways you can put yourself first and take better care of your health:

  1. See your doctor. If you haven’t been to see a doctor in a while or are in need of an annual checkup, start by making an appointment to get your health evaluated. This will give you a good foundation for what improvements you need to make.
  2. Find an exercise routine you can incorporate regularly into your lifestyle. It can be as easy as going for a walk. Just put on your shoes and get outdoors. The fresh air and the walk will do wonders for your health.
  3. Make changes in your diet. Try reducing red meat, refined sugars and alcohol for starters. Increase your fresh fruit and vegetable intake. Be sure to start off each day with a healthy breakfast and don’t skip meals. Drink plenty of water throughout the day as well.
  • When you eat poorly, you’re doing a huge disservice to your body. If you eat unhealthy foods, you’ll likely end up unhealthy with chronic health issues like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, just to name a few.                

  The healthier foods you eat, the better you’ll feel and the stronger you’ll become.  

      4.  Find time to relax. It’s also imperative to take care of your mental health by incorporating relaxation techniques into your lifestyle. Regular relaxation helps reduce stress and anxiety and recharges you so you can bring more energy and passion to all areas of your life.

  • Consider taking up yoga or meditation.
  • Find time to pursue hobbies you enjoy to help bring you contentment and happiness.
  • Spend time outdoors and be with nature.
  • Connect with your higher-self.

If you take good care of yourself, you’ll be able to enjoy your life to the fullest. Use these tips every day to improve your physical and mental health and put yourself first. Following a good wellness plan will help keep you fit, boost your energy, and allow you to experience more joy in your life!

5 Unique Ways to Find Work

Unfortunately, even though the economy has shown improvement, many people are still out there job hunting. They’re applying for every open position they can find, increasing the competition for available jobs.

 It’s important that you stand out from the crowd!

You have to prove to your prospective employer that hiring you would be adding an asset to their company.

These suggestions may make finding that job just a bit easier:

1.  Social Networking. Internet social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all the rage. Many people use these sites to chat with long lost friends or find old loves, but they’re also great networking places to find employment as well!

·   The idea behind social networks is to build a relationship. That means that you’ll want to show-off your value before asking desperately for a job.

·   It may not work overnight, but these sites have incredible word of mouth possibilities, so be diligent and keep networking and broadcasting that you’re available for work!

2.  Offer services for free. Okay, I know what you’re thinking: why should you offer services for free when you don’t even have a job? Aren’t you supposed to be making money with your skills and talents? Yes, but offering your services for free can actually work in your favor and set you apart from your competition.

·    For example, are you a talented cook who would love to work in a new restaurant in town? Offer to work for them for a day or two for free. If they’re pleased with your work, you may be hired on the spot, or at least when they have their first available opening.

·   The most important thing to remember is you have to be a top notch volunteer. You want them to discover what an asset you could be as a paid employee.

3.  Write to prospective employers. Compose a letter to businesses that you’re seriously interested in. In the letter, highlight how you’ll boost business for the company and discuss what you would bring to the table.

·   If you can convince them that they’re better off with you than without you, then you’ve won the battle. Make sure the letter is professional, grammatically correct, and confident.

·  Your goal is to make others understand why they need you as an employee, not to beg them for a job. There’s a big difference, but it’s very easy to cross that line, so use good judgment.

4.  Do it the old fashioned way. In this generation of faxes and emails, your resume can easily get lost in the shuffle. Something to consider is to dress professionally and hit the pavement.

·   Introduce yourself, shake hands, and hand them a well-prepared resume package.

·   Building a relationship with someone is an important part in standing above the crowd. It also allows a manager to put a face to a resume rather than just pick a resume up off the fax machine or out of their email inbox.

·  Though it may take a bit of footwork and perseverance, this may be your perfect way to make an impression when applying for a coveted job.

5.  For certain jobs, you can place an ad in the newspaper or online. When looking for a job, the first place we all tend to go is the help wanted section in the newspaper or on a classifieds website. We gaze over hundreds of ads and apply to as many as we possibly can.

·   Maybe you can turn the tables! This is where you can think outside the box. What about placing your own ad telling prospective employers that you’re free to work for them? Highlight your strengths and what position you’ll excel at.

·   Remember, you’re in control. You want prospective employers to pick up the phone and call you – not to skim your ad thinking, “There’s another desperate individual begging for work.”

Looking for a job today can be quite challenging. If you’ve been searching for a while without much success, then it might be time to change your approach. Thinking a bit differently than other job hunters may be all you need to get that position you’ve been hoping for. Stand out from your competition, and be the one who lands the job!

The Happiness Choice – Simple Ways to Find Joy Today!

Happiness is a choice. It‘s true. You can choose to let life’s circumstances get you down or you can choose to be happy no matter what challenges life brings.

Happiness is already within each of us and we are born to be naturally happy! So why is it that, as we get older, we forget where to find happiness within ourselves and, instead, allow outside forces to undermine our joy?

You can determine your own happiness by following these simple strategies:

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Cliché, I know, however it’s so true. You don’t have to let life’s troubles and problems get you down. Yes, there will sometimes

be troubles because life isn’t always perfect, but you can definitely choose your reaction to situations. Look at the positive side of things and work hard to see the good in people and circumstances.

Find something you love to do and do it. Do you have a lifelong passion, dream or desire? Mine is singing. Connect with activities that bring you joy, and make time for them. Taking small steps towards a dream or goal will help you feel like you’re accomplishing something. You’ll find drive and determination to reach your goal when it’s something you absolutely love to do.

• Do you have a gift or talent you’re not using? One reason so many people are unhappy is that they’re not doing what they’re called to do with their God-given talents. Each and every one of us has a purpose in life. You have natural gifts and talents to help you achieve your purpose, so use your gifts effectively!

When you’re feeling down, don’t wallow in your sorrows alone; do something about it. Seek out support. Call a friend who you know is positive and cheerful. Talk about your feelings and listen to their advice. So often, people allow themselves to go deeper and deeper into self-pity or depression because they think it has to be that way. If negative feelings persist, seek professional help. The truth is, you don’t have to be sad and you shouldn’t be. You can decide to be happy. You just have to make up your mind to do so.

Think about all the things you have to be thankful for. Often you may get so caught up in what’s wrong with your life that you forget to look at what’s right and good. Take a step back and reflect on your life. How far have you come from, say, six months ago?

~ Do you have family or friends to be thankful for? Yes, it’s true, they may not always be everything we’d like them to be, but imagine life without them. Now, be thankful that you have them in your life.

~ Do you have a job? Maybe it’s not your ideal job, but in today’s economy, those of us who have an income can be thankful for it. You can always make changes to find or do something new.

When you’re feeling down, journal your thoughts and feelings. Often you’ll find that just getting your feelings down on paper will allow you to work through them, helping you to feel better about yourself and your beautiful life!

If you’ve been prone to look at life negatively, then you’ll have to put more energy into seeing and choosing happiness. But don’t let that stop you from being happy! You, too, can learn to be happy.

Practice the steps above and train your mind to focus intently on the positives. When you feel a negative thought coming on, or your mind gravitates toward the negative, learn to recognize it, stop it in its tracks, and then start thinking happier thoughts. Pave the way to a happier and more joyful life.

Starting from this moment onward, make the conscious choice to be happy!

5 Quick Ways to Get Back into that Skimpy Swimsuit!

How many times have you heard someone say that they want to lose five pounds? And how many times have you heard that the diet starts tomorrow?

Tomorrow? Why not right now?

The truth is, losing a mere five pounds is very realistic and it can be a great kick-start to your metabolism and energy levels. Plus, it can help you fit into your favorite jeans, or skimpy swimsuit for that upcoming vacation. You have to make the commitment to start now, not tomorrow, not Monday, but right now!

Below is a healthy plan to help you shed 5 pounds quickly, easily and most importantly, the healthy way. As with all diets, check with your doctor before starting any weight loss or exercise plan.

1.     Begin by drinking more water. Your body requires water (especially in summer) to function properly and with the right amount of water, your digestive system will work more efficiently. Plus, by filling your stomach with water, you’ll eat less and feel full faster.

 ·     Water helps flush your body of toxins and water weight. Yes, more water actually helps your body get rid of excess water.

·      The daily minimum intake of water is 64 ounces (or almost 2 liters). If you’re like most people, your current intake of water is probably less than half of the recommended amount, so drink up!

2.     Get off the couch and get active. When you move your body you build muscle, which burns fat. There are so many activities that you can engage in that don’t cost money or require expensive gym equipment to help you get fit and lose weight.

Here are some ideas:

·      Walking around your neighborhood or in a local park

·      Biking

·      Hiking

·      Running

·      Swimming

·      Throwing a ball with your friends or partner

·      Frisbee

·      Volleyball

·      Tennis

3.     Make healthier food choices. To effectively boost your calorie and fat burning processes, eat healthier foods like leafy green vegetables, fruits and lean meats.

·   You’ll also want to limit your intake of red meat, high calorie and fat dressings, gravies and sauces and avoid sugary drinks, candy or other foods with lots of sugar.

·     Sugar causes you to put on weight, so when you eliminate sugar, you help eliminate weight gain. Also, try to choose natural or organic foods in order to avoid consuming chemicals that may actually cause you to retain weight.

4.     Use portion control to limit the amount of food you consume. Studies show that reducing the amount of food you eat actually produces the quickest weight loss. Obviously you want to do this in a healthy manner, not obsessively or out of control.

·     Eating 6 small meals a day, as opposed to the three larger meals you’re probably accustomed to, has been shown to be healthier, help reduce fat stores and to increase metabolism.

 ·     If you’re wondering what a healthy portion looks like, it’s all in the hands. In other words, a healthy portion or serving size is about the size of your fist, palm, or hand, depending on what food you’re eating.

 ·     Close your fist. That’s a healthy portion size for a serving of rice, pasta or other side dish.

·     Open your hand and look at the size of your palm. This is the perfect amount of chicken breast, pork or other types of meat. It should be about the size and thickness of a deck of cards.

 ·     The size of your entire open hand is the perfect size for veggies.

5.     Replace unhealthy snacks with nuts, raw veggies or fruit. Here are a few examples to help you choose healthier snack options:

·     When you’re craving chips or other salty, crunchy snacks, grab a handful of nuts instead. They are healthier for you and satisfy the craving for salt or crunchiness. Also, try to buy nuts with less salt. Natural or raw varieties will help to reduce your salt intake too.

·     When you want something sweet, grab a piece of fruit like an apple, banana, orange, or melon. The natural sugar is way better for you than eating a bowl of ice cream or a handful (or two) of cookies.

·     Have the munchies in general? Nibble on some raw carrots, celery or broccoli.

Losing 5 pounds can be fun and make you feel so much better about yourself. Probably the best part is that it can be done quickly, in as little time as a week or two, depending on your specific circumstances.

Whether it’s to kick-start your weight loss plan or to fit into your favorite jeans or skimpy swimsuit again, taking off 5 pounds is a step in the right direction to a healthier, more fit you. It begins now!

 

 

 

 

How to Move on in Your Love Life

You’ve been in your relationship for quite some time. Things have changed recently, and you’re beginning to doubt that it’s going to last much longer. You’re not even sure how you got to this point! What happened?

 Warning Signs

There are many warning signs that a relationship is breaking down. Think back over the last few months and you may recognize some of these signs:

 

Unnecessary criticism. Your partner blames you or attacks your character.
Contempt. Nearly everything your partner says is a complaint or an insult.
Avoidance. Your partner has begun ignoring or avoiding you.
Being defensive. You don’t listen to what your partner says for fear of being hurt or them lashing out at you again.

Two or more of these warning signs could signal that it’s time to move on, but how do you do that?

Moving On

First, realize that the end of any relationship is similar to dealing with a loss of a loved one. You may go through the grieving process: denial, anger, ambivalence, depression, and recovery. This is normal and to be expected.

Give yourself some time to grieve and you’ll come out a stronger person on the other side.

Here are the top ten ways to move on in your love life after the end of a relationship:

1. Recognize and accept that the relationship is over. Don’t hold on when there’s nothing to hold on to.

2. Remove everything in your home that reminds you of them. Don’t keep sentimental items; they’ll only make you miserable.

     •  Put away valuable items such as jewelry or other gifts rather than throwing them away. You may want those items in the future.

3. If seeing your ex hurts, make it a point to avoid them. Sometime in the future you may be able to be friends, but now is not the time to try.

4. Don’t make financial decisions right after a break up. Your emotions may cause you to make emotional decisions. It’s better to wait until you’re on emotionally stable footing.

5. Avoid rebound relationships. Give yourself time to heal from being hurt before opening your heart again.

6. Focus on yourself. You may have spent so much time investing in the other person that you’ve let your own needs go.

      •  Learn to find out about yourself again.
      •  What do you like to do that you haven’t been doing?
      •  Do something special just for you!

7. Take up a new hobby. Now is a great time to start something new. Renew your interests in hobbies that you like, and spend time exploring new creative outlets.

      •  Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn rock climbing, but your ex was afraid of heights. There’s no reason to wait any longer. Go find an instructor and hit that mountain!

8. Don’t stay cooped up at home. It’s important that you spend time with friends who can encourage you and help you feel good about yourself.

9. Be friendly with people you find attractive. Smile, say hello, and act interested. You may not be ready to jump right back into a relationship, but you can always leave the door open for future relationships.

10. Work your way back to dating slowly. You may want to start out by double dating with a friend. Be up front with your date so they know what to expect.

Breaking up from a long-term relationship is never easy. Let’s admit it, it hurts. You can move on in your love life after a break up if you recognize the end, and then follow the ten steps given above. Soon you’ll find that you’re over your last relationship and ready for someone new.

Top 10 Ways of Finding Closure in Your Relationship

As the song says, “Breaking up is hard to do.” Finding closure after the end of a relationship is often harder.

 “Closure” is a psychological term that simply means closing the door on something or someone.

Closure means you leave the past in the past rather than dragging it out into the present again. In relationships, this means learning how to let go of that relationship and move on to another, possibly better, relationship.

There are many ways to find closure. In fact, how you find closure will depend entirely upon your personality and particular situation.

Here are the top ten ways to find closure after a relationship ends: 

  1. Declare out loud to a close friend that you accept that the relationship is over. Choose someone who will support you and help you stay focused on the present and future rather than dwelling on the past.
  2. Call the person you’re letting go and release them. Acknowledge that you still have feelings for them, the relationship isn’t healthy, and they’re free. If it’s too painful to talk with them, write them a note.  
  3. Refocus on yourself. You may have let your own interests slide while you were involved with your prior relationship. Now’s the time to shift your focus back to yourself and what you want to do.
  4. Find a new hobby or activity to replace the time with your ex. If you always went out on Friday nights, invite some friends over, instead, and watch movies. Or you could volunteer for a worthwhile charity.
  5. When you start thinking about your ex, call a friend to bolster your resolve. Ask them to restate your reasons for letting them go.
  6. Create a mantra or saying that helps you refocus. Keep telling yourself this mantra and before too long you’ll start believing it. You’ll also start acting differently as well. “I am strong and I am over him.” could be all you need to say, but it may be something more detailed like “I’m a wonderful person who is worthy of love, respect and happiness.”  
  7. Remove things that remind you of your ex. At some point in the future you’ll be strong enough to look at these things with fondness rather than being tugged back to the past.
  • Take them off your speed dial.
  • Remove photos of the two of you.
  • Box up gifts they gave you.

       8. Take care of yourself. Eat better, take up a new exercise, and get plenty of rest. Hydration is important, too, so be sure you drink plenty of water.

       9. If you’re feeling particularly sad over the break up, don’t hold it in. It’s natural for you to feel upset about the end of the relationship. Go ahead and cry. You may even want to write in a journal how you feel so you can get the feelings out rather than holding them in.

      10. Try to figure out what went wrong in the relationship. Reflect on this after you’ve distanced yourself from it for a while.

  • If  there were things you did that could’ve damaged the relationship, admit them.
  • Try to determine the red flags that signaled the relationship was ending.
  • Decide to avoid similar mistakes in future relationships.

If you didn’t want the relationship to end, you may be tempted to leave the door open hoping to rekindle that lost love. It may be difficult to find closure, but the emotional price of holding out hope can be costly. For your own health and peace of mind, learn to let the relationship end. Let go of the past, close the door, and walk into a better future.

 

 

 

How to Maintain Healthy Eating Habits

Are you struggling to keep your resolution to eat healthy, nutritious foods? Once you’ve set a goal to maintain healthy eating habits, how do you actually go about achieving that goal?

The good news is that once you do something consistently for only a few weeks, it becomes a habit.

Here are some simple techniques to help you avoid those tempting junk foods, so you can make wise and healthy decisions in your daily routine.

Strategies to Avoid Temptation:

1. Am I hungry? Ask yourself if you’re really hungry or if  you’re eating out of convenience or emotion. Many times you probably aren’t as hungry as you think, so try to get involved in a different activity instead of snacking.

2. Water, water, and more water. Drink a lot of water each day. Not only is this good for your whole body (both inside and out), it can actually make you feel full. Also, oftentimes when you think you’re hungry, your body is actually thirsty, so keep yourself well hydrated.

3. Try chewing gum. Putting something in your mouth like gum or hard, sugar-free candy can help convince your brain that you’re eating!

4. Divert your energy. Instead of putting all your energy into making two grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon, try taking a walk or doing something that requires you to use your hands, like gardening or woodworking. It’s pretty hard to do these and eat at the same time.

5. Allow yourself snack time. Choose healthy snacks instead of chips and salsa or chocolate bars. For snack time, try eating carrots, popcorn without butter, fruits, or a make-your-own trail mix with raisins, nuts, and dried fruits. A good hint for snacking is to have healthy snacks readily available in your home, and unhealthy snacks completely out of the house; that way, the healthy stuff is easy to grab.

How to Choose Healthy Foods:

The next time you’re off to the grocery store, use these tips to help you choose the right foods and avoid the unhealthy stuff.

  1. Stay away from preservatives. You don’t need that Twinkie that can outlast any environmental disaster! When you learn to read nutrition labels and ingredient lists, you’ll find that there are many snacks that are full of preservatives. You probably shouldn’t buy the food when the ingredient
    list contains more than a handful of items. Plus, if the expiration date isn’t until two years from now, it’s being heavily preserved.
  2. Use the food pyramid. The recommended food pyramid from the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gears you toward whole foods and minimal sweets. Get a copy from the FDA and make your grocery list by following their guidelines.
  3. Buy lots of fresh vegetables that you can use to make up a quick and healthy stir-fry with chicken, brown rice, or even soy products. Buy easy to make salads where the lettuce and other veggies
    are already washed. These are easy, quick, healthy, and they taste good. The key is to choose vegetables that are dark green or orange in color.
  4. Buy fresh fruits and do some research on how to tell when fruits are at their freshest and when they’re in season. Try some of those exotic fruits you’ve always looked at but never purchased.        Make your own fruit drinks and smoothies for a healthy, delicious treat.

More Great Grocery Store Tips:

  1. Shop in a circle. Many nutritionists will tell you to shop the perimeter of the store. Grocery stores are usually set up with their fresh foods, fruits, vegetables, fish, and breads all around the
    perimeter. Preservative-laced foods are in the center and at the ends of each aisle.
  2. Go alone. If you have children, leave them in good hands and go to the grocery store alone. This way you can concentrate on getting only the healthy foods you desire without being pressured into buying junk food. Alternatively, if you do bring your children, be prepared to spend extra time teaching them
    how to spot healthy foods.
  3. Make a list! This technique is a tried and true method to avoid buying foods that aren’t healthy. Stick to your list and, for fun, seek out healthy foods you haven’t tried before to tempt your taste buds.

With some determination and strategies in place, you can achieve your goal to eat healthy! By incorporating healthy changes into your diet one by one, you’re slowly creating a new habit. Before long, you’ll be choosing healthy foods without a second thought, and those unhealthy foods you used to eat will no longer tempt you. Once you discover the benefits and better taste of fresh and healthy foods, you’ll never want to go back!