The Benefits Of Spring Cleaning

The Benefits Of Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning offers many health benefits

The Benefits Of Spring Cleaning

By D. S. Mitchell

The first day of spring, is March 20, which means it is time for spring cleaning. Washing windows, moving furniture, organizing the pantry are all big projects, but such annual tasks provide big benefits. Spring cleaning is more than just picking up your space, or tidying up a bit; it is about improving overall well-being. Organization and cleanliness can provide unexpected health benefits; read on.

Turn On The Feel Good Hormones

There is a proven connection between cleanliness, organization, and mental health. Studies have shown that a clean home and tidy surroundings are directly correlated to happiness, and the all important ability to focus. Clutter causes anxiety to spike. Laundry piling up in the corner, papers, and mail, strewn carelessly about on the floor and various surfaces can be overwhelming. If you want a boost in your mood, clean up. Cleaning the clutter will turn on those hormones that improve mood, and general attitude.

Send Germs Packing

Cleaning items that are touched frequently is a good place to start. Cleaning and sanitizing on a regular basis, not just as spring arrives, is a proven way to reduce the spread of germs. Keeping household surfaces clean can help reduce the spread of viruses and illnesses. Doorknobs, refrigerator handles, light switches, countertops, and TV remotes, are all places that germs are hanging out waiting to spread infection. Wipe it down and stay healthy.

Breathe Better  

I’ve suffered with asthma all my life. Dust and pollen can trigger an attack; causing me to cough, wheeze and struggle to breathe.  With spring comes pollen that aggravates such allergies. Pollen, however, isn’t the only thing floating about causing breathing problems. The build up of dust and pet dander can also cause respiratory problems, particularly for the vulnerable. Spring is the time for ‘deep-cleaning’. Changing out your air filters, furnace filters, and vents will go a long way to improving your overall health.

Get Moving 

Get up off the couch and get to work. Just running the vacuum and picking up the surface clutter will make you feel better. With that goal in mind here are a few tips from the internet to help you with the spring cleaning tradition.

Room by Room: Skip the areas that you clean regularly and focus on areas that are generally ignored or neglected.  Create a cleaning checklist for each room to help you stay on track and remind you what areas need special attention.

Seasonal Projects: Many tasks are seasonal, such as boxing and storing winter clothing, bedding, skis,  sleds, and decor. As you are putting away the memories of winter you will be preparing for summer activities.  Clean the grill, sweep the patio, wash exterior windows. Unpack summer linens, open the drapes and invite the sunshine in.

Clear And Organize: Focus on getting rid of clutter. Leticia Almeida, on her website, suggested a 4-step approach. “Identify problem areas, analyze reasons for the clutter, determine solutions and implement them. Sorting your belongings into four categories-trash, give away, store, or put away. . . ” is highly effective.  Her number one suggestion is “move the clutter as soon as possible, whether it’s bringing a donation box to a charity or having a garage sale.” (www.thespruce.com)

Enlist The Family: Make the Spring Cleaning project, a family affair. Young kids can be fun and imaginative, and excellent helpers. Assign tasks, and make everyone feel included. Turn on the tunes and plan a dinner at your favorite restaurant as a reward when the work is done.

My Take

Several of the experts suggest you break up the spring cleaning tasks in to multiple days to ‘establish cleaning habits’ that will last the rest of the year, encouraging you to spend 10-15 minutes a day straightening up and de-cluttering year round. Sorry, experts, I cannot deal with the mess that comes with cleaning, to want to extend it into several weeks; enjoying it in small doses. For me, it is all or nothing. Plus. it is easier to get help for a full eight hours, one day, or maybe a second day, but never a dozen days for half an hour a shot.  So, figure out what you want done and when you want it done and get on the phone and ask for help if you need it.

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From AddictionIf you are experiencing side effects with your pharmaceuticals you might give cannabis a try

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

Editor: Cannabis and its usage by humans dates back at least 8,000 years. For millennia, the plant has been valued as fiber and rope, as food and medicine, and also for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use. Some have gone so far to declare it a ‘miracle’ plant.

 

By D. S. Mitchell

 

The Controlled Substance Act

In 1969, Richard Nixon, announced that Attorney General, John Mitchell was  preparing a comprehensive new measure to more effectively meet the narcotic and dangerous drug problems challenging the country. At the federal level, Mitchell devised the Controlled Substance Act. The Act combined all existing federal laws and expanded their scope into a single new statute. More importantly, the CSA changed the nature of federal drug law policies and expanded federal law enforcement authority over controlled substances.

Fear Of Success

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, established the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. Raymond Shafer, one of the bill’s sponsor’s fearing it’s restrictive nature, made this statement to Congress, “The criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior.”

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5 Finger Death Punch “Wrong Side of Heaven”

5 Finger Death Punch

“Wrong Side of Heaven”

5 Finger Death Punch

“Wrong Side of Heaven”

As we end 2021, we are for the first time in decades not in a declared war, anywhere in the world.  In 2013, while we were still embedded in Afghanistan, Five Finger Death Punch released this incredible single, off of their fourth album. Veterans then as now, are facing homelessness, drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, and mental illness. Awareness leads to solutions. With that thought in mind, here is the Calamity Politics Jukebox Choice of the Day. Sing along, lyrics below:

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Clutching My Teddy Bear

Clutching  My Teddy Bear

Teddy Bears can help you make it through tough times.

Clutching My Teddy Bear

By Dani Davis

2021 has been a tough year for me. Thankfully, it is almost over. 

Let There Be Light

My 2021 experience probably isn’t any worse than anyone else out there, but I have a place to talk about it; so I’m talking to you. First, let me tell you up front, the time between Thanksgiving and New Years is traditionally a bad time for me. I can’t really call it Seasonal Depression *(SAD) although it does occur at the same time every year. I do use light therapy and journaling, to help me get through. Maybe . . . it is undiagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder. Denial is not new to me. For about a decade I would drink my way through that 35 day period. Thankfully, I put a stop to all that nonsense many years ago; totally unproductive behavior, and certainly hard on relationships.

Online Shopping

I was on the internet shopping for a couple of winter solstice gifts when an ad for GUND teddy bears popped up. For some inexplicable reason I knew I needed to buy one. As it turned out, I bought four! One for a friend in an Alzheimer’s Memory Care unit, one for a friend with chronic depression, one for another friend suffering from severe anxiety, and one for myself. Each of the bears were significantly different. I didn’t want to worry about us mixing up our teddies.

Anxiously Awaiting Delivery

Just the thought of holding a teddy bear was reassuring. I wondered why I couldn’t remember when I had last seen my childhood teddy, with his missing eye and torn ear. We had shared so much, I wonder when I abandoned him, for other friends? Mostly, I remember how soft and crushable he was. The ad described the GUND bears as ‘plush’ ‘cuddly’ and ‘huggable’. Perfect. I could hardly wait for the box to show up at my doorstep. In fact, I went back several times to the Amazon site to look at the pictures, trying to decide which bear would go to which recipient.

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Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

Suicide Is Permanent, Please Stay

D. S. Mitchell

Just The Facts

If you are between 15-35, suicide is the second leading cause of death for your age group.  For all age groups, suicide is responsible for more deaths than murder and natural disasters, combined.  Men take their own lives four times as often as women. Many men sadly would rather be dead than seem ‘weak.’

Those Left Behind

As you can see, suicide is not a rare, or isolated event. It is very real and definitely permanent, and it leaves those who are left behind, in utter despair. For them the suicide event is plagued by stigma, guilt and self-recrimination. The most common question from those left behind is, “what could I have done differently?”

A Societal Contract

Suicide is like the tentacles of an octopus wrapping itself around all of us, casting doubt on hope, and future.  It tears at our social fabric and brings into question society’s compact with the individual.  Whether spoken or unspoken, we as people, are part of a greater society.  As a society, we have agreed to a collective future, a means to provide for our children, to continue our culture, to sustain our existence at all cost. Jennifer Michael Hecht wrote,  Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against it. And in her words,  “Either the universe is a cold dead place with solitary sentient beings, or we are all alive together, committed to persevere.”

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10 Ideas To Help Relieve Depression

10 Ideas To Help Relieve Depression

By David L. Jones

Depression Has Taken Over My Life

It’s Dave, here. I have for the last month been living at the bottom of a black hole. I have spent all day in bed with the comforter pulled tight over my head.  I won’t lie to you, depression has taken over my life.  Feelings of immeasurable sadness, hopelessness and utter emptiness are consuming me. This time of year is always a struggle for me, but this winter has been excruciatingly painful.

A Dark and Windowless Room

The only reason I have found the strength to pull the comforter off my head and pull up a chair to my computer and start writing, is that hopefully sharing my story, can help someone else that has found themselves trapped in a dark, door-less, window-less room.

Four Generations of Suffering

A friend of mine who also suffers from depression offered me some advice recently. She reports at least four generations of depression, alcoholism and suicide in her family. She told me that when she begins to experience depression she refuses to give herself permission to suffer.

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The Last Goodbye

The Last Goodbye

By D.S. Mitchell

As we hurry through life, we meet many people. Some are just a touch on the sleeve, quickly forgotten, while others become part of the fabric of our lives. Becoming enmeshed in the life of another person can be a good thing, but just as often it can be a bad thing.

When a once healthy relationship sours, whether after five years or forty, we are often left confused about what happened. In other cases, we know exactly what happened and wonder why we let ourselves continue a relationship that was not only unhealthy, but harmful to us, for as long as we did.

With the holidays coming at us like Richard Petty heading into a straight away, I am cleaning out my relationship closet. Sometimes the holidays magnify everything that you know is wrong with that broken friendship.

But for a thousand reasons, you keep fussing with it, nurturing it, feeding it; hoping it will surge back to life. Sometimes it does fire back to life, but usually the relationship is on life support by this time and is sputtering toward extinction. The end-time; being the only unknown.

Let me explain. I am a rescuer,  I mean, a rescuer on steroids. The worse the situation; the bigger my cape. I have spent most of my life working as an RN. Most of my nurse buddies have the same affliction.

I guess when I think about it, it makes sense. Nurses want to make everything and everybody better.  We’ll fluff and buff, arranging everything just so. That personality quirk might be okay in the hospital, but when carried into life it can be painfully unsuccessful.

In my case, the end came last weekend. After knowing Dave for 35 years I am finally done.  I have severed all communication. I cannot and will not resume the relationship. His illness has reached a point that I can no longer be of any help. In fact, my involvement may be contributing to his worsening symptoms.

I finally recognize he is worse for me than pneumonia. No tears, no anger, just acceptance and relief. When the burden of another person’s mental illness becomes too heavy to drag another inch you have to put the burden down. There should be no guilt. At this point, your only goal should be to preserve your own mental well-being.

The only reason I am sharing this with the world is that I thought it might help someone else who is struggling with mental illness in a relationship.  I know you hear it repeated, but there is a great deal of truth in being able to put yourself first.

Maybe not always, but at some point if you can’t be number one, you won’t be able to help him, or you. No matter that it is Christmas, somethings can’t wait to end. Sometimes the last goodbye is the sweetest, the most honest, and the most necessary.

**I have no safety concerns with Dave. He is  a non-violent person. That is not always the case with those suffering from a mental disorder. The assumption in my article is that the person you are separating from is under the care of a psychiatrist or nurse practitioner and has made no recent suicide threats, or threatened your life.

If the person in question has made recent threatening statements, please let the person’s mental health providers know about the situation and involve them immediately. And, yes, in some extreme circumstances the police may become involved. Don’t under any circumstances put your safety at risk.* *

Editorial: Teen Suicide Streaming

EDITORIAL:

Teen Suicide Streaming

By Trevor K. McNeil

Thirteen Reasons

There is often a debate about whether art is imitating life or life is imitating art. Then there are cases when the situation is clear. The thoroughly depressing Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why” is based on the Young Adult novel of the same name. The book, and now the series is a direct response to instances of teenagers, and even younger kids, posting social media videos that either directly detail their plans to commit suicide, or are released just before these  young people tragically take their own lives.

A Playlist on YouTube

So-called “suicide videos” have become so common they almost constitute a genre unto themselves. There are even playlists of them on YouTube. Let’s all just take a minute and reflect on that. Everybody thoroughly disgusted and disturbed? Good, then we’ll continue. While they came as something of a shock at first, suicide videos are really more of a natural side-effect of social media itself. Give people the ability to record and release anything and they will. For better or worse.

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Please Stay, Suicide Is Permanent

Please Stay, Suicide Is Permanent

Please Stay, Suicide Is Permanent

D. S. Mitchell

Just The Facts

If you are between 15-35, suicide is the second leading cause of death for your age group.  For all age groups, suicide is responsible for more deaths than murder and natural disasters, combined.  Men take their own lives four times as often as women. Many men sadly would rather be dead than seem ‘weak.’

Those Left Behind

As you can see, suicide is not a rare, or isolated event. It is very real and definitely permanent, and it leaves those who are left behind, in utter despair. For them the suicide event is plagued by stigma, guilt and self-recrimination. The most common question from those left behind is, “what could I have done differently?”

A Societal Contract

Suicide is like the tentacles of an octopus wrapping itself around all of us, casting doubt on hope, and future.  It tears at our social fabric and brings into question society’s compact with the individual.  Whether spoken or unspoken, we as people, are part of a greater society.  As a society, we have agreed to a collective future, a means to provide for our children, to continue our culture, to sustain our existence at all cost. Jennifer Michael Hecht wrote,  Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against it. And in her words,  “Either the universe is a cold dead place with solitary sentient beings, or we are all alive together, committed to persevere.”

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