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. 

6 Constructive Ways To Deal With A Challenge

By Roz Jones

Life would be boring without challenges, even if you wish for just a day without some type of complication. However, just because you face difficult times doesn’t mean you won’t overcome them. 

It doesn’t matter whether you face challenges in your personal life, relationships or in your career, it’s common to plunge into a fight or flight and run in the opposite direction. 

It’s normal to feel compelled to run from problems instead of dealing with them head-on. The worst possible way to deal with challenges is to run, you have to face them. Luckily, we have six constructive ways for you to deal with a challenge. 

  1. Accept Reality 

You cannot control or change people. There are also things in life that you cannot control. You don’t need to understand why, all that matters is that you accept the reality that you can’t change anyone. You might see this challenge and think it’s your job to change it, but that just isn’t the case. You are more likely to progress the situation if you are able to accept the reality of it and deal with the challenges accordingly. 

  1. Don’t Lay Blame

It’s easy to paint yourself as the victim and blame everyone else but it is much more productive to take responsibility for the actions you take, the words you speak, and the decisions that you make. When you blame others for your challenges, you make yourself unlikeable, and simply make the challenge more difficult to overcome. Don’t point fingers, problem solve. 

  1. Detachment

It won’t be easy to do but detach yourself from the outcome. This allows you to analyze a situation from a more objective standpoint. It’s difficult to make the right decisions when you are attached to a particular result. 

For example, imagine that your challenge is the nerves you feel ahead of a public speaking appointment. How does this relate? You’re nervous and you are afraid of how people will react to you and your content. 

The fact of the matter is that not everyone will appreciate what you have to say. That doesn’t matter – you can’t allow yourself to get worked up over that, your job is to deliver the speech in the best way you can. The most efficient way to do so is to detach yourself from the situation. 

  1. Don’t Over-analyze

Overthinking is the worst possible thing you can do in any challenging situation. When you allow yourself to think about it too much you give doubt too much say. Over-analyzing in any situation makes it more difficult for you to accept the reality of it all, you will just increase that little voice that’s whispering that something isn’t right. It’s going to take you away from reaching your goal and just increase your frustration. 

  1. Embrace Change

Change happens all of the time, and challenges are a daily occurrence for so many people. No one really likes change, and while there are people who just get on with it, others can’t help but resist it at every turn. Often, the reason for this is that change forces people to live outside their comfort zone. You may be unhappy about change, but it’s not a permanent state and that’s what’s important to remember. You have to learn to accept change.

  1. No Comparisons

Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing – don’t worry about how they overcome challenges. This will just result in more frustration and you will always feel like you’re second (or third) best. You are responsible for creating your own success, you write your story – remember that when you find yourself facing a challenge.

One of the biggest reactions to dealing with challenges is overreacting – if you don’t learn how to control your emotions you will make decisions you later regret. Remember that when you next face a challenge.

Managing Adversity: The Resilience Mindset

By Roz Jones

In order to move from a place of simply surviving in life to a place of thriving, resilience is a necessary trait. At a basic level resilience is our ability to bounce back from tragedies and difficulties we encounter in life. 

At a more complex level, the resilience mindset embraces the idea that true resilience is our ability to navigate life, adapt to change, learn through adversity, and understand our feelings and emotional responses to situations. In order for this to be achieved, there must be a high level of personal awareness and insight which leads to a deep understanding of self (O’Keeffe, 2019). 

Resilience is an asset when it comes to managing adversity and taking on the role of a caregiver because it helps us to overcome it. Rather than crumbling under the pressure and weight of every challenge we encounter, we become able to assess the challenge, learn and grow from it as we go through it, and then move forward with the lessons we’ve been taught (O’Keeffe, 2019). It is resilience that empowers us to continue moving forward, learning, and growing, and building on the things we are learning in life. 

Keys to Developing a Resilient Mindset

In order to develop a resilient mindset, there are several qualities and practices that can be implemented. The following outlines several of those qualities and practices and their relation to the development of resilience. 

  • Optimism: A strong trait of those with a resilient mindset is an intentional optimistic outlook when approaching challenging situations. The way a person views a situation shapes the approach they take when dealing with the situation. 

A more positive outlook tends to yield a more positive outcome because individuals see opportunities as opposed to obstacles, and thus enthusiastically address issues versus hesitantly avoiding them (Mind Tools, 2020). Leading psychologist Martin Seligman explains that optimism is linked to resilience in that it helps people’s views on permanence, pervasiveness, and the personalization of hardships. 


Optimism leads people to see bad events as temporary rather than permanent, to prevent setbacks from impacting unrelated areas of their lives, and to not blame themselves when bad events occur. Thus, people can better pivot ad recover from challenges they experience (Mind Tools, 2020). 

  • Focus on What You Can Control: Learning to focus on what is within your control and releasing those things that are not is an important part of developing resilience. It is only those things within our control we have the ability to influence, thus exerting physical or mental and emotional energy on things outside of our control is mismanagement of time and energy (Miller, 2020). Individuals who spend their time and energy on what they can control become more resilient because they put their efforts towards those things that will have the greatest impact and produce the most results. This allows them to actually be effective and respond better to situations that arise (Mind Tools, 2020). 
  • Self-Awareness: Self-awareness is critical to the development of a resilient mindset. Self-awareness helps us to assess areas of ourselves and our lives where we need to improve and areas of our lives that are producing favorable results.

Self-awareness offers us key insights about ourselves that we can use to change, adapt, grow, or alter ourselves, our environment, or other elements. This ultimately contributes to resilience by helping us keep patterns and habits that help us adapt and respond to challenges while becoming aware of and purging patterns and habits that work against our goals and pursuits. 

If we can cultivate a resilient mindset our ability to cope with challenges in our lives will be strengthened. Rather than being overcome by negative situations and circumstances we will become empowered to overcome those situations and circumstances. By implementing the practices mentioned and others like it, we’ll be one step closer to better navigating the difficulties we encounter. 

References:

Miller, K. (2020). 5+ ways to develop a growth mindset using grit and resilience. PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/5-ways-develop-grit-resilience/

Mind Tools. (2020). Developing resilience: Overcoming and growing from setbacks. https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/resilience.htm

O’Keeffe, S. (2019, March 11). 4 aspects of a resilient mindset. https://thriveglobal.com/stories/4-aspects-of-a-resilient-mindset/