Conquering Fear – How To Fight Your Phobia

By Roz Jones

Being a caregiver can be a scary thing, especially when we are new to the field.  The guide shares a few ideas for conquering some of those fears and phobias when taking care of a loved one once and for all! Please note, the fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia) is used as an example – though the steps are applicable to any fear. 

1. Expose yourself to fear. 

If you have a phobia, you probably go out of your way to avoid the thing that causes you to feel afraid. In the claustrophobia example, you may refuse to use lifts, as they make you feel uncomfortable.  

Unfortunately, by avoiding the scenario you fear – the lift – you are actually increasing your overall fear. Avoidance does nothing but make a situation worse, and you need to face the fear before you can conquer it. That means getting into a lift, even if just for one floor. Make yourself do it.  

2. Positive reinforcement. 

After you have forced yourself to confront your fear once, you need to make it a positive experience. This can be having a dessert you enjoy following your ordeal, or buying something nice from your favorite store. Do this as soon as possible following your first attempt to confront the fear – in the example, you should dive into a cupcake the second you step out of the lift. As a caregiver, you should always show your support to your loved one as much as possible. Let them know you understand their fear, and that you are there to help them conquer it. If you are the one experiencing fear, let your loved one know and ask them for their love and support while you conquer it.

3. Rinse, and repeat. 

The way to conquer a phobia is to do the above, over and over again. As you do so, you will learn to manage the fear, and you will also learn that there really is no danger in what panicked you. By continuing to deliberately expose yourself to your fear, and then allowing a congratulatory moment when you succeed, over time, you will rid yourself of the fear forever. Be a team! The caregiver and the loved one receiving care can help each other conquer their fears, together.

Overcoming fear can be intimidating. In order to be the best caregiver you can be, conquering your fears are a must! If you need guidance on how to do this, you need to pre-order my new book, Lifted. It will include a workbook that will help you work through each step.

Are You Productive or Just Busy?

By Roz Jones

Have you ever observed someone who seems to be busy all the time, but doesn’t really get anything done?  Do you feel that sometimes you’re in the same boat?  How do you know if you’re productive or just busy? It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the everyday tasks when taking care of a loved one. As a caregiver it’s important that we manage our time efficiently, not only to give proper care to our loved one, but to also make the necessary time to take care of ourselves.

Do you have goals?  People who are productive generally have goals and focus all of their work on achieving those goals. Of course there are always going to be distractions and obstacles when taking care of a loved one but those distractions don’t take priority over the big picture.

Do you focus or multi-task?  People who multi-task often seem very busy.  They’re always doing something, but they’re rarely doing any one thing very well. Tackle each obstacle you face as a caregiver directly, you’ll be more productive if you focus on doing one thing at a time.

Do you delegate?  Sometimes you may take on tasks that would really be better to delegate to someone else. It can be easy to want to say yes to every task because you want to provide for your loved one. But you might be able to delegate personal tasks while keeping the focus on business tasks. This will improve the quality of care given to your loved one, and minimize the personal burnout you feel as a caregiver.

Do you say no?  People who are productive know how to say no to something that is going to take them away from their own important work.  It’s okay to say no when you really don’t have time to fit in one more thing. Don’t feel guilty when saying no to certain tasks related to your loved one. Instead, feel reassured knowing that this will benefit both of you in the long run.

Do you let some things go?  It may sound counterproductive to erase some tasks from your to-do list.  But you may find that you have given yourself tasks that really won’t move your vision forward and will take up extra time.  It’s okay to scratch something off the list and go a different way.

Do you have a schedule?  People who are productive tend to have a schedule for each day of what needs to be done and when.  If you’re not planning ahead, chances are you’re staying busy but not productive.

Do you complete projects?  You can be busy doing something all day long, every day and never get a project completed.  If you find you’re starting a lot of things without finishing them, it’s time to look at your priorities and become more productive.

Do you feel peace?  When you spend your time very busy but not accomplishing much you might feel a sense of anxiety. You may worry about all the things you need to do that aren’t getting done. Try as best as you can to remain present in each moment. Rather than expressing a sense of anxiety, this will help you express gratitude appreciating the time you get to spend with your loved one.

But when you’re productive, you can actually feel peace when it comes to work.  You know what’s important and you have a plan to get it done on time. 

It can be easy to get overwhelmed with the everyday tasks when taking care of a loved one. As a caregiver it’s crucial that we manage our time efficiently. Not only to provide the utmost of quality care to our loved one but to also make the necessary time to take care of ourselves. If you are struggling with how to manage your time, you need to pre-order my new book, Lifted. It will include a workbook that will help you work through each step!

Traits of Self-Disciplined People

By: Roz Jones

Whether you’re looking for a metric of how self-disciplined you are or you’re looking for some habits that you should form to be more self-disciplined, you should know that self-disciplined people have certain traits in common.

Not all self-disciplined people are the same and there are other traits that it wouldn’t hurt you to develop as you work toward your own self-discipline. Still, here are five of the most important traits of self-disciplined people.

  1. They Respect And Chase Their Passions

Self-discipline can be, well, a discipline. It doesn’t have to be, however. If you have something that you’re truly passionate about, you won’t have to push yourself to do it because you’ll want to do it and do it well.

If you have trouble keeping yourself working, it could just be that you aren’t truly passionate about what you’re doing. It could help to take a second look at what you’re doing. It must be important to someone, so maybe it can be important to you. Alternatively, it may just be time to keep your eyes open for opportunities to do something that you care more about.

  1. They Power Through

Even if you do something that you are passionate about, sometimes you just don’t feel productive. This is when better self-discipline can come in handy.

Another trait of self-disciplined people is that they are able to remain at work when they don’t feel productive. This may sound like all of self-discipline but it’s really just one aspect of it.

If you can’t work when you don’t feel productive, it can be hard to train yourself to it. Try to find things that make time more bearable for you, like focusing on what you’re doing instead of how long you’ve been doing it or have left to do it. Or, look at time in smaller blocks like working from now until your next break instead of from now until the end of the day. Having a cup of tea is a healthy snack or listening to music while you work can also help the time go by more pleasantly.

  1. They Manage Their Emotions

Self-discipline isn’t just about working, it’s also about how you carry yourself around others. If you think of someone who has no self-discipline, perhaps a spoiled child or an unruly rock star, you don’t think about how little they work, you think about how they behave.

Self-discipline is very much about not “acting out” your emotions. This can be important to prevent you from snapping at people you are mad at, but it can also prevent you from snapping out at people you aren’t mad at just because you’re mad.

Doing this can mean learning how to calm yourself down, learning how to vent your emotions in healthy ways, or at least learning how to communicate to people when you are in a bad mood so that they understand that you aren’t mad at them.

  1. They Understand Their Emotions

On that note, self-discipline is also very much about self-knowledge and self-control. In order to maintain your self-discipline, you need to understand how you act when you aren’t watching – so to speak.

For this reason, mindfulness meditation can be very helpful for self-disciplined people because it increases self-awareness by helping you to understand your feelings and thought processes.

  1. They Understand Their Environment

Finally, self-disciplined people are usually also very aware of those around them. Self-discipline is a very personal thing, but it is also very much about the way in which you interact with your environment. As a result, understanding and appreciating your environment can help you to practice self-discipline. If you don’t understand or care about your environment, why should you bother monitoring how you impact it?

Self-discipline is a scary term because we think of “discipline” as punishment. This is unfortunate because self-discipline doesn’t have to be painful and is more about awareness than it is about austerity. It’s also about developing your passion so that you are more excited to do your part.

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