Stress effects on the body - I didn’t know it could sneak up on me like that!

Stress effects on the body - I didn’t know it could sneak up on me like that!

Stressed out? I thought I had it all under control. I help people manage their stress, so my own couldn’t be an issue! 

But it was.  More about all of that in a bit, as well as a surprising way to protect yourself.

Stress is a common topic. Most of us are either stressed out, trying to destress, or know someone who is struggling with their stress.  But what is stress really, what are some of the common stress effects on the body, and what can we do about it?

What is stress?

According to Merriam-Webster, stress is “a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation”. Stressful situations are a normal part of life, but our reactions to them can be modified. 

Stress effects on the body

Stress can be either acute or chronic. 

Acute stress is generally helpful. It’s a response to a threat,...

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7 Pro Tips for Taking Charge of Your Health

7 Pro Tips for Taking Charge of Your Health

Maybe today’s topic isn’t commonly thought of as being self-care, but I believe that it is one of the most important ways that we can care for ourselves and in doing so, potentially care for those we love. I'm talking about wellness exams and routine appointments, sometimes called preventative health. As a registered nurse sometimes I assume everyone knows this, but not everyone does - and it's too important not to pass along.

1. Go for annual wellness exams (bonus tip: come prepared)

This week I went to my primary care physician for a wellness exam. I arrived prepared with a current list of my medications and supplements as well as questions and issues that I had so that I was able to maximize my time with him. I came away with a lab requisition, a medication order, a referral to a specialist, and a plan for some further testing. 

2. Have recommended lab and imaging screens.

I also had my yearly mammogram that same...

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Turn off the autopilot to live an intentional, amazing life.

Life is short, y'all. 

(I’m in Kentucky now, and I’ve found I like the word y’all even more here). 

I have had the pleasure of talking with an 80 something-year-old woman lately about her life and all of the great experiences she’s had. She's talked about the challenges she's faced, too, but most of it has been focused on the fact that her life has been good.

I believe a lot of that has to do with attitude and focus.  She could have chosen to focus on the awful (yes, there was quite a bit of awful), but instead, she focuses on the good parts. 

And that, along with working in hospice and being surrounded by death for years really brings home the fact that

we've got to make the most of this one chance we've got. 

I believe that we are all here for a purpose and that doesn't have to be a huge “change the world” kind of thing. It may be raising a family. It may be doing incredible work for a small company, doing something...

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I took a big risk and I’m so glad I did!

Risks and choices keep life exciting!

Today I am six months postop from my shoulder surgery. I have been cleared by my surgeon.  I am free!

But this is about so much more than my arm.

 

A lot has changed in the past six months.

I went from going to therapy for almost a year prior to surgery to deciding to have surgery during a pandemic for a variety of reasons.

First of all, we were not sure what would happen to my husband‘s job, and our insurance is through him.

Secondly, we were spending money on therapy to maintain my range of motion and function, so our deductible was met or close to met already. Due to the long-term therapy, my pain was well managed, and really so was my use of my arm, which happened to be my dominant arm.

But the bottom line was, It was not going to get any better without surgical intervention. As a matter of fact, it would continue to get worse, and could potentially have become suddenly much worse, leaving me in pain all the time.

Last but...

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34 ways to love yourself

What sparks joy for you or makes you feel loved?

When is the last time you did something really nice for yourself? How often do you take time to relax and indulge yourself a bit? 

Self-care isn't selfish. 

Now before you start thinking that you don’t have the time or the money for this, hear me out.  It does not have to be something big and elaborate. Chances are, you have a lot of the tools you need right there at home. And what if you want to kick it up a notch and buy something new for yourself? Great!

But first, take a few minutes to figure out what is it that really sparks joy for YOU. What makes you feel loved, supported, and pampered?
  1. Are there certain:
    • colors
    • scents
    • sounds that either make you feel relaxed or make you happy?
  2. What about certain fabrics? Is it the cool feel of silk? Or something more warm and cozy?
  3. Fuzzy socks
  4. Candlelight
  5. A good book
  6. A favorite movie
  7. Yoga or some leisurely stretching
  8. Fresh flowers 
  9. Rich...
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Consistent workouts are changing my life!

Consistent workouts are changing my life!

I have always been an intermittent exerciser.  I will do ok for a few days, then life gets in the way and I’ll walk once or twice every couple of weeks.  I was cruising along like that until a month ago today when I decided to really commit to becoming more active.  Since then I have had at least 30 minutes of intentional activity per day, and at least 10,000 steps daily.  I’ve had quite a few people ask me how I stay motivated, so I’ll share some of what has worked for me. 

One of the ways that I have found to stay active when that was not always my norm is to start off my morning that way. I wake up, use the bathroom brush my teeth, put my contacts in, and get started on my Bible in a year app and usually 2 other devotionals that I am doing.  Then depending on if it's my hospice week or not I may need to start a little bit later (I work every other week on-call 5p-830a, so I can’t get...

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