In the Interest of Awareness

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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.

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”

To Sleep or Not to Sleep?

I don’t know about you, but I have trouble sleeping (to put it mildly).  From the many stories about sleeping that are in pretty much every magazine I pick up, I’m not the only one.  It appears to be a significant problem for a lot of us.

I know that there are lots of reasons to account for it, but to me, it doesn’t matter what the reason is.  The fact that I’m still awake in the middle of the night is a problem.  I don’t know about you, but once I wake up, even just a little bit, it’s really hard to go back to sleep.  My mind starts working, I have all these brilliant ideas that I wish I had during the day, and I think about all the things I wish I had done or said differently.  So what do you do when the clock reads 1:36, 2:40, or 3:15 and you just want to sleep?

Well, I read a lot about sleep hygiene.  That always sounds funny to me; like you’re supposed to brush your teeth while you sleep.  They are actually ideas that you are supposed to incorporate to induce good quality sleep. Continue reading “To Sleep or Not to Sleep?”

Take 5

What can you do in just 5 minutes a day?

  • Write down 5 things that you’re grateful for.
  • Before bed, prioritize your to-do list for the next day (clear it from your mind).
  • Do some deep breathing.
  • Send a note, card, or email to a friend; let them know they’re important to you.
  • Write down your worries and throw them away.
  • Stretch!
  • Pet your dog or cat…JUST pet them; don’t do anything else.
  • Close your eyes and just be still!
  • Call or text somebody and tell them you’re thinking of them.
  • Check your calendar.
  • Bookmark a feel-good website and spend 5 minutes there.
  • Write down 10 things that you’re good at.
  • Practice visualization/imagery; picture yourself somewhere relaxing.

Anybody have anything else that works well?