In the Interest of Awareness

awareness

Every month, we are provided information about whatever that month’s “Awareness” campaign is about. How much time do you spend on that? I think it depends on what our interests are and if we know somebody that may be directly affected. If those things don’t apply to you, do you still spend any time looking at this information?

We are inundated daily with facts, suggestions, and ideas to digest. How, then, do we determine which ones we’re going to spend more time on? We only have a limited amount of time to spend on things that aren’t necessarily on our to-do list. I guess it’s what each of us considers to be interesting or enlightening. Where do the monthly “awareness” issues fall on that scale?

It’s obviously important if it affects you directly. It’s likely important enough if it affects a family member or good friend. What about the coworker or neighbor that might be impacted by whatever the awareness month is about? It might not hurt to learn just a little bit about each topic that comes along. It might even inspire a new passion or interest in something you hadn’t been aware of.

Each and every month there are new “awareness” topics. Obviously Breast Cancer awareness in October is a great example and one that most of us are familiar with. This awareness campaign has raised not only money, but interest, compassion and understanding surrounding this topic. Other campaigns have hopes of doing the same. Without awareness, there is no understanding or action.

Social media is hard to stay away from these days. It’s the quickest, easiest way to stay informed. It’s pretty easy to find as much or as little as you want to know about something. The “hot” topics or those most timely are readily available so you don’t have to look very hard to find it. Even if you only spend 15 minutes each month learning about something, you can learn enough to make a difference to somebody.

Please take a few moments each month to learn more about that month’s awareness topic. Your interest, your understanding, and your support can make a world of difference to somebody.

Cold and Flu Season

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As we’ve all been hearing in the news, this year’s flu season is just horrible! It’s widespread and it’s deadly. Be careful and be sure to follow all the recommended tips to both avoid and treat the flu. Here’s the link from the CDC talking about the flu. They provide tips on prevention, symptoms, and treatment. They also talk about the differences between a cold and the flu so that you can treat your symptoms correctly.

There are still lots of other viruses and infections out there that can affect us as well. Aside from seeing your doctor and taking medications when needed, what are some of the other things that you can do to make yourself feel better? Sometimes the only thing we can do is get through it and try to minimize the symptoms that we’re experiencing.

Many times, we don’t have much of an appetite but know that we have to stay hydrated and get nutrients to get better. Some of the popular methods of doing this are to drink water, ginger ale, or Gatorade. Sometimes we’re not able to tolerate much in the way of food so oatmeal, crackers or graham crackers, or soup is tolerated a little bit better.

Please see my post from last year on National Soup Day for more information on the benefits of soup and how to make your own!

What about some of the other things that you can do to just make you FEEL better, like cuddling in bed with your favorite soft blanket, a good book, headphones and music? Anything that makes you feel better at times like this is good for you!

I’m kind of old school and new school. I still believe in the power of Vicks VapoRub and NyQuil. I also use peppermint essential oil on my forehead and temples for headaches and eucalyptus and lavender to make me feel better. I grab my heating pad for muscle aches and an ice bag for head pain. When I have trouble concentrating on a book or television, I scroll through Pinterest or just listen to music. I’m also pretty convinced that chocolate makes it go away faster. What are some of the things that you do to get through this?

 

 

Lupus Awareness Month

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lupus awareness

I’d like to talk about something close to my heart this month.  As some of my readers are aware, I live with a few autoimmune diseases, as do many other people.  Most of these diseases are not easily diagnosed and they are not well-known to the majority of people.   I think most of us have heard the name lupus, but don’t know too much more than that.  This is one reason that it is so critically underfunded.  We need to raise awareness of the symptoms so that more people are diagnosed earlier and are able to seek medical help.  I’d like to have more of us become aware of the impact that lupus and other autoimmune diseases can have on our friends, our family, and our co-workers and how you can help to support them.  This is why I’d like to devote some of my posts this month to the issue.  You will find these (and previously posted) articles under the category of “Chronic Illness”.

There is no cure for lupus.  Many of the medications that are being used to treat the symptoms create significant problems in their own right.  We need awareness and support to find a cure and better treatment options.

By posting a few informational articles, I’m hoping to increase awareness, to inspire support, and to raise interest in the subject.  I am fully aware that this is just one of many causes that we’re all provided information on and we certainly can’t support everything.  In addition to lupus and others, I always support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the American Heart Association for personal reasons.  It is my hope that you will learn more about lupus and autoimmune disease in order to provide support as well as to help increase awareness.

Thank you for your understanding.

If you read any of the literature and would like to send me a personal question or comment, please contact me from the site (top right corner/contact me) or email me directly at debsordinarylife@gmail.com.

I always love hearing from you and appreciate the comments that you post!

Are You Wearing Red Today?

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National Wear Red Day

February is America’s Heart Month and today is the day that’s been designated to raise awareness for women’s risk of heart attacks and stroke. Be part of the “Go Red for Women” initiative today!

Many buildings and landmarks will be lit up red for the day and people everywhere are wearing red in honor of heart awareness.  Make sure that you take a few minutes sometime during your day to look into YOUR risk and actions that you may be able to take. Continue reading “Are You Wearing Red Today?”

Health Habits and Hindsight

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As a person with some health issues, I would really like to share some insights into the value of taking care of yourself.  Believe me, I completely understand that daily life and obligations can so easily take over our time and energy that it’s easy to put our health (both physical and emotional) on the back burner.  Take it from someone who has learned the hard way, it’s the one thing that you cannot undo.

When I was younger, I could do anything at all!  I was invincible.  I was married, had a job, had kids, had a 2nd job, took care of the house, kids’ school and sport activities, all the things that we do and take for granted.  What was the one thing that I neglected to do?  Yep, take care of myself in the process.  When I was younger, not as much emphasis was placed on physical activity or good-for-you foods, and we certainly didn’t make time for mental health (yoga, meditation, stress relief).

Just keeping up with our obligations and a few of the things that we really want to fit into our schedules can take up all 24 hours of our day, but I want to impress on you the importance of taking care of yourself in the process.  Continue reading “Health Habits and Hindsight”