Five Signs That You are Not Deserving

By: Roz Jones

Everyone deserves to enjoy a fulfilling life. This statement rings true no matter what circumstances, and this article is not one that is going to agree that a person exists who does not deserve to be fulfilled. Rather, this article is a guide to recognizing a negative mental state. Someone who does not feel that they deserve to find joy is someone who is suffering. If these five signs describe you, then it is time to change your outlook on life. Read on to discover the five signs that you may be struggling with your self-worth. 

You Tend to Be Negative and Ungrateful

People who struggling to believe that they deserve the best in life tend to be fairly pessimistic. They fail to acknowledge positives in their lives, instead choosing to focus on everything that goes wrong. This cyclical thinking quickly derails an ability to appreciate the success in your life. 

If this describes you, then I urge you to start by finding one positive aspect of each day and focus on that aspect. Over time, try to find two things and then three. Ultimately, I challenge you to replace your negative thinking with grateful thinking. Changing your mindset is possible, even if done through baby steps. 

You Have No Boundaries

Often, people who struggle with self-worth struggle with sticking to boundaries. If you find that other people run over you then you may need to set up some boundaries. People will only treat you as well as you teach them to treat you. 

By setting up boundaries, you are setting up relationships for success. Do not let others talk down to you, remember, you are worth something. You deserve happiness and joy. Letting others run over you is not going to bring you closer to joy. 

You Do Not Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is hard. Many of us spend far too much time taking care of others and we lose sight of ourselves in the process. You have to take care of yourself in order to be the best version of you. 

This starts with eating right and getting exercise. You do not have to join a gym and count calories to do these things. Start by being just a little more mindful of your choices and see how that makes you feel. You may find that you like fueling your body just a tad bit more healthfully. 

Also, make sure that you are doing what you need to do in the mental health department. Remember, you are not alone if you are struggling with your self-worth, isolation, anxiety, or depression. These are common. Talk to someone about them. 

You Apologize Too Much

If you find yourself apologizing for things that you know are absolutely not your fault, then you may be struggling with your self-worth. Stop apologizing for things that are not your fault. Remember, people will only treat you as well as you teach them to treat you. 

You Are Isolated or Push People Away

If you have isolated yourself from your friends or family members, then this is a good sign that you are sabotaging your own happiness. This is a common occurrence for people who are struggling to believe that they deserve good things. All of these doubts, though, are coming from you. 

More likely than not, your family and friends want to be close to you again. They care about how you are doing and they want to help you through this. Reach out to one of them through text. Invite them for coffee or out to see a movie. 

Your friendships are an important part of your emotional health. Having friends to lean on can make a major difference in your self-esteem.

Can Exercise Improve Your Focus & Concentration?

By: Roz Jones

As caregivers it is easy to forget or remain focused when you are taking care of a loved one.  So how can you get back on track. Simply put, physical exercise is beneficial to just about every aspect of the body. Everything from improved heart health, weight management, increased vitality and, of course, looking better in the mirror are all side effects of a consistent exercise routine. 

However, the benefits available through exercise go much further than skin deep. Challenging your body physically also has the ability to greatly improve your cognitive function and brain health. 

If you tend to struggle with focus and concentration, you are certainly not alone. Today’s society is more distracted than ever before. Every waking hour of the day (and even while you sleep), there are phone notifications, noisy neighbors and a long list of other distractions all competing for your attention. 

While you may never have considered exercise as a viable method of improving your ability to focus, this article will support this notion with several research studies that should change your mind. 

In a study performed on a group of Dutch students, researchers used objective measures to gauge the attention span of students after dividing them into three groups. One group of students performed two twenty-minute bouts of moderate exercise intermittently during their morning lessons, another group was allowed one twenty minute exercise session, while the third group remained seated throughout the same time period. 

As you can probably guess, the groups that were allowed to exercise scored significantly higher on attention span assessments, with the first group scoring even higher than the students exercising for only one session. 

Another study supporting the use of exercise to improve focus and concentration was conducted in 2007 using students in Massachusetts. For the sake of brevity, this study concluded that students receiving at least 56 hours of physical exercise each school year scored higher than their peers who only performed 28 hours of exercise. 

This is an interesting proponent of the idea that physical exercise should remain an integral part of the education system. Usually, supporters of this idea state the rising levels of obesity and diabetes in school-aged individuals is the primary reason for including physical activity throughout the school year. While this is certainly an issue, the cognitive benefits available to students who exercise more is a strong argument as well. 

The website, Positive Psychology, describes how physical activity triggers a biological response in the brain that improves focus and concentration. During exercise, the brain releases a chemical known as BDNF, which is known to be responsible for nourishing brain cells and allowing new neural pathways to form inside the brain.

Furthermore, regular exercise increases a neurotransmitter known as norepinephrine. This results in a heightened sense of alertness, energy, and concentration. 

In conclusion, the human body is designed to remain in motion. The term, “use it or lose it,” is an extremely applicable way to describe how without exercise, many important aspects of our anatomy suffer. 

While the purpose of this article is to illustrate the fact that you can certainly improve your focus and concentration by dedicating some time in your schedule to get moving, the benefits of physical activity are critical to your quality of life as a whole. 

If you are looking for a great way to overcome the never-ending flurry of distractions present in your life that can also nourish your body as a whole, get into the habit of giving your body the physical activity that it requires. 

Works Cited 

10 Neurological Benefits of Exercise. (2020, April 16). Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/exercise-neurological-benefits/ 

Can You Improve Concentration Through Exercise? – EuroPace. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.europace.org/can-you-improve-concentration-through-exercise/ 

How physical exercise makes your brain work better. (2016, June 18). Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jun/18/how-physical-exercise-makes-your-brain-work-better 

5 Key Tenets of Self-Care

By: Roz Jones

As a caregiver are you at practicing self-care? Self-care entails taking the time to manage our individual physical, mental and emotional wellness. Good self-care habits are essential in terms of how we view ourselves and our ability to interact with others. 

You may be very good at taking care of others but how good are you at caring for yourself? Self-care is a component of our physical and mental wellness that we do not discuss enough. It requires us to be quite deliberate in how we go about taking care of yourself which can feel selfish and, on some levels, overwhelming. 

When was the last time you took a day or even a week off to decompress and explore the meaning of life? We often store our days and guard them like gold, preserving them for times of illness or family vacation days. Self-care practitioners challenge themselves on this philosophy. They focus on finding a healthy balance that allows for self-preservation without sacrificing all of the other things they hold as being equally important such as family, career, and community. 

Practicing self-care allows us to be there in the way they want to be for others. 

How Do You Know if Your Failing at Self-Care

Some tell-tale signs that you might be failing in the self-care department include feelings of being stressed, feeling burned out and poor physical health. Illnesses are often taxing on your body to the point you are forced to take time away from work, and it can take quite a while to recharge after such an event. 

Another sign that you may be failing in the realm of self-care is if you rarely allow others to do something for you. Self-care can also mean having the skillset to enable others to take the reins of a situation while you take a break or focus on other tasks that need your attention. 

Tenets of Self-Care

According to Psychology Today, proper self-care can create a pathway to you better managing your stress and ultimately living your best life. It can serve as armor that protects the energy that is necessary for your survival. 

Here are five tenets to put you on course to practicing better self-care. 

Know When Just to Say ‘No’

As humans, we all have limits in our capabilities. Taking on more than we can do for an extended period can wear you down, draining you, robbing you of your ability to be creative and effective in other ways ranging from the workplace to your home life. 

Practicing self-care requires you to establish clear boundaries on behalf of yourself with others who may or may not have your best interests at heart. 

Schedule Self-Care Activities

Self-care does not just happen spontaneously. You have to schedule the time and actively commit to seeing those plans through to the end. Additionally, you may have to ensure others are aware of your plans to ensure they don’t unknowingly push you to put their needs ahead of yours.

Make Sleep and Rest a Priority

Sleep may not seem like a stand-alone tenet, but you should not underestimate the necessity of recharging your body. Sleep, rest, relaxation, and meditation can all contribute to replenishing your body and giving it a much-needed restoration period. 

Additionally, it helps to keep your mind sharp and can also aid in allowing you to sustain a healthy mood and outlook on life and interacting with others. 

Find Fitness

If fitness is not your strong point, look for ways to naturally incorporate some form of fitness into your day. Challenge yourself to find something you find joy in doing whether it’s going for walks, swimming, kickboxing, dancing around your home solo or finding a Zumba class to get you moving. Self-care is not only about getting adequate rest, taking a day off or keeping your doctor’s appointments. It’s also about helping your body to stay fit. 

Socialize with Others

Socialize with others. Self-care can also be about tending to those relationships that make us feel good. Healthy relationships are essential for our emotional and physical well-being. We all get busy from time to time and incorporating our friends and family into our busy schedule can seem impossible. However, our connections are a must-have. Look for ways to nurture those relationships –even if it means becoming the organizer of those get-togethers. 

Take the time today to assess your life and whether or not you are practicing self-care. You don’t have to make sweeping changes all at once if you find a few areas are lacking. Target a single area at a time and make small adjustments. You will be amazed by the overall improvement that begins to take hold of your life. 

5 Fun Things To Do To Get Your and Your Family’s Mind Off Your Troubles

By: Roz Jones

There are a lot of troubles facing the world today. With Covid and pandemic anxiety causing upheaval in our lives we can easily get lost in all the fear and negativity. This does not help our peace of mind nor does it promote serenity and inner peace. 

For those with kids forced to learn remotely due to the pandemic, this year’s back to school certainly looks much different than ever before. Your kids are likely anxious too and uneasy because their routine is no longer routine. 

It is okay to take your mind off all the bad news. It is okay to not watch the news this week. AND it is okay to take some time for yourself and do something fun!

Here are some ideas for 5 fun things you can do to get your and your family’s mind off your troubles.

  1. Comedy movie night with your family. Grab the popcorn, get a hilarious DVD, or find one on your favorite movie streaming service and just laugh. Laughter is a known healer. According to Mayo Clinic, “Whether you’re guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that’s no joke.”

According to Help Guide, “With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.”

  1. Game night. Games are fun to play in groups, and there are many to choose from, including the good ole tried and true charades. Gather your family or a couple of friends (keep it at 2 or 3 max maintain pandemic safety) and have a ball. 
  1. Create a hiking treasure hunt. Find a nature spot near your home and go and hide some stuff out there. Create hints for those you invite to find the stuff and give a prize to the first person to gather everything on the list. This is a great activity that you can do with your kids, family members and friends. It also gets you outdoors where nature can help clear your mind and reduce stress.

    According to Stress.org, “A study by Science Direct found that spending time outdoors can help improve mental health. According to their research, nature excursions can help alleviate feelings of time pressure and mental stress.”
  1. Cook a gourmet meal and have a family formal dinner party. If you like to cook but never had the time, now is a great time to make that gourmet meal. Gather the recipes, go shop and get cooking. Have your family including the kids engage in the cooking and set up process. Get out the fine china and have a formal dinner party with formal attire and all. This is a great experience for the kids to have and something they are not usually exposed to. If you are single, do the same by inviting a couple of friends over. 
  1. Disco Saturday Night. You likely can’t go to a nightclub right now, but you can create one at home. If you can swing the cost buy a cheap disco ball on eBay, or just get some blue and red light bulbs for your living room. Create a playlist, or perhaps you have some old disco CD’s laying around (don’t worry we won’t tell anyone). Set up a bar and make drinks, turn out the lights, and let the music take you to fun zone! 

Don’t wallow in your troubles, distract your mind, and have some fun! It’s good your mind, body, and spirit!

Using Hospice Services for Dying at Home

Preparing for end of life means coming to terms with the fact that death is part of living. How you die may not be something you decide but sometimes where you die is in your control. Hospice services can help. 

Hospice Care is a type of health care that serves to relieve pain without treating the cause for the pain. The focus of a hospice team is to provide medical, emotional, and spiritual support to families with a terminal patient – generally in their own home. 

Some of the benefits of hospice care are:

  • Ability to die at home
  • Pain management 
  • Help with ancillary medical needs 
  • Provide education
  • Offer emotional support 

Being able to be at home during the final days of life can be a helpful and comfortable thing for entire families. Being in familiar surroundings with loved ones, pets, and personal belongings can make transitioning easier than being isolated in a sterile and noisy environment like a hospital. Most everyone prefers the idea of being home rather than away when they die.

If you or a loved one has a terminal diagnosis, you are likely a candidate for palliative care and eventually hospice. Your medical provider can help you connect with a hospice team where you will create a plan and set goals for your experience. This may include things like:

  • Comfort needs
  • Direct care needs
  • Choices during transition
  • Direct support for emotional and spiritual needs 

Hospice isn’t just about direct care when you are actively dying. It begins with a terminal diagnosis. Palliative care – while not considered hospice care – is a form of treating pain and making plans before hospice takes over providing final care. You do not have to be bed ridden to get support. Your medical team will include palliative care as part of your treatment plan.  

As things progress your hospice nurse will provide assistance to you and your family to help make things less scary and as comfortable as possible. Knowing someone is there who can help and that you can be at home at such an important time makes such big difference in your peace of mind and comfort during this process. Even after you pass, your hospice support team will help your family contact your mortuary and help ready your remains for your pre-planned funeral process.