Hug Yourself…We All Need Some Self-Love

Editor’s Note: When I picked up Wes and Anna’s article on self-love I knew they were sending it to me personally. Anna has been aware of some upending events in my personal life recently and she sent this unsolicited piece to remind me that sometimes you need to check out of the chaos and just be kind to yourself. Thanks Anna and Wes for knowing how to support a friend. Sending hugs your way.

 

Hug Yourself….We All Need Some Self-Love

Be kind to yourself 

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

You Only Have One You

In tumultuous times, self care, self love, and choosing to be comfortable in our own skin are as important as ever.  Here are some ways to stay positive and upbeat in a negative world:

  1. Remember that Joe Biden, not Donald Trump, is President.
  2. Reading relaxes – curl up with a good book, the Good Book perhaps; read a newspaper or magazine, read blogs (especially this one).
  3. Comfort foods are comforting in moderation and fruits and veggies will keep you healthy.
  4. Exercise: it gives you endorphins, and endorphins sure do make you happy.
  5. That glass of wine, margarita, martini, or Kahlua can be a comfort but do not over do.
  6. Prayers and meditation are a healing balm to a weary soul.
  7. Get a manicure, pedicure, facial, massage, or body wrap – think of it as an investment in yourself.
  8. Use a facemask, take a bubble bath, or a hot shower.
  9. Look at art, it is calming and thought provoking – in a gallery or museum can add to the impact.
  10. Cook or bake a new or old favorite recipe, and then actually eat it, or share it with others.

Let It Out

  1. Light some scented candles, just not so many that you burn the place down, because only a fire in a fireplace or grill is comforting. Opt to meet your fire department at their next open house, not before.
  2. Smile – it takes less muscles to grin versus frowning.
  3. Realize it’s okay to not be okay. God gave us emotions for a reason – controlling them is not always for the best.
  4. Embrace the sadness as you work through the pain – God has your back.
  5. Take a dip in a pool – as long as it’s actually open.
  6. Enjoy a sauna or whirlpool – ditto.
  7. Contact a friend; real friends don’t judge – they encourage, commiserate, and help you to see humor, if there is any, in a given situation.
  8. Call clergy or a help line if things get too difficult for you to deal with on your own.
  9. Scream loud, it actually helps – just do it in an appropriate place; in line at the grocery store, the dry cleaners, a church, theater, or at the department of motor vehicles (tempting though it may be) are not on the list of appropriate places.
  10. Listen to music, it soothes the soul and the savage beast – or is that breast?

You’re Worth It

  1. Hear children’s laughter.
  2. Laugh at something funny or silly – laughter really is the best medicine, after all.
  3. Binge watch favorite shows, take in a movie, find new favorite shows, or watch your favorite film (mine is Legally Blonde but there are many more movies that I love). Give me a chick flick anyday.
  4. Take a break from social media drama – yes, this means you, Facebook.
  5. Do an act of kindness for someone, because being nice never goes out of style.
  6. Compliment someone.
  7. Clean out that closet, and donate what you don’t need – one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Let’s not fill up those landfills.
  8. Dance and don’t care who is watching.
  9. Sing your favorite song loud, even if it is off key.
  10. Take a class – it shows you have some.

Try Something

  1. Go for a walk or a drive, nature can comfort even the most frazzled nerves, but always on designated paths or roads, unless you’re the off-road type.
  2. Turn everything off.
  3. Talk to Alexa – her and I have had some wonderful conversations.
  4. Have a date night – if you don’t have a significant other, date yourself.
  5. Pet an animal – ‘fur-babies’ are an uplifting lot.
  6. Play a board game with friends, but don’t argue over what Free Parking is for, or who gets the dog or the top hat.
  7. Get dressed up, wear a silly hat, or some Betsey Johnson boots.
  8. Play in the snow or the sand.
  9. Redecorate – do something different to spice up your decor. I, however, do not recommend painting multiple color stripes on the walls.
  10. Deep clean the whole house – spring cleaning isn’t just for spring.

Get Out And Get Going…

  1. Window shop, and maybe even stop in to buy something special.
  2. Go to the grocery store on free sample day. Costco has samples everyday.
  3. Volunteer – it helps you and someone else.
  4. Watch a Little League baseball, or pee wee football game, go to your local high school musical, or attend a dance or piano recital, just not as one of those parents.
  5. Drink a glass of champagne while wearing your best outfit – celebrate you.
  6. Stomp your feet, it’s fun – just make sure the surface you’re doing it on can withstand it.
  7. Ride a bike, motorcycle, or snowmobile. How about a Qubi?
  8. Go horseback riding.
  9. Do yoga, water aerobics, barre, spin class, Pilates, or another group exercise – twitch those hips (not twerk)
  10. Take a dance class – ballet, ballroom, and belly dancing are always fun and great exercise; work those endorphins as per Elle Woods.

Prescribe Yourself a Chill Pill

  1. Take a deep breath and exhale.
  2. Watch a sunrise or sunset. How about both?
  3. Stretch – physically or emotionally.
  4. Do something out of your comfort zone but keep it within reason. Getting arrested is not what I’m suggesting here; but maybe try a Karaoke night out.
  5. Visit your place of worship, local library, or neighborhood park.
  6. Attend an online or live event, such as a concert, lecture, or play.
  7. Challenge someone to a short race. It doesn’t matter who wins – you’re in the running.
  8. Walk, dance, or sing in the rain – umbrella or rain slicker optional.
  9. Clear out the kitchen cabinets and donate to a food pantry.
  10. Visit an elderly person – it will make their day and they may just share their wisdom with you.

It’s The Little Things

  1. Count your blessings, even when things are rough – sadness and difficult circumstances will not last forever; this too shall pass.
  2. Thank heaven for being alive.
  3. Smell a bouquet of flowers or your favorite fragrance.
  4. Laugh at yourself, that’s okay to do.
  5. Go to a planetarium, zoo, or aquarium – kiss a dolphin.
  6. HUG! If no one else is available, just wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze – you deserve it.
  7. Write a letter, article, or essay.
  8. Paint something but make sure you own what you chose to paint.
  9. A walk around the block can cure the blues, especially with a dog, friend, or significant other. I don’t recommend walking the cat – just give them a pat on the way out the door.
  10. Wash and wax the car – maybe vacuum it, too.

And Now For Something Completely Different…

  1. Watch cats stretch.
  2. Watch puppies or kittens play.
  3. Order take out, wear your jammies, and watch a black and white show or film.
  4. Look at your high school yearbook and smile at your hair style, then recreate that do. Try on your high school cheerleading outfit, letter jacket, bell-bottom jeans, or other apparel of years gone by.  I certainly don’t mean to boast but the earrings I wore to prom I can still fit in.
  5. Prepare something from a basket of strange ingredients and pretend you are a “Chopped” competitor.
  6. Be silly, not stupid.
  7. Stand up to someone that irritates you, but do so with dignity and class.
  8. Get naked but not in public.
  9. Check out some fun vintage things – a trip down memory lane is good for the spirit.
  10. Do your old high school or college cheer, even if the uniform no longer fits (see # 74).

Do For You And Others

  1. Throw your bathroom scale in the dumpster.
  2. Donate clothes or personal care items to a shelter, clothing closet, or pantry.
  3. Adopt a senior pet.
  4. Become a foster family.
  5. Walk barefoot in the grass or on the beach; you’ve never seen a “Do not walk on the sand sign”, right?
  6. See live theater and enjoy the magic from the stage.
  7. Eat the cookie.
  8. Try a new hairstyle, a different shade of lipstick, or tie a pretty scarf around your neck.
  9. Remember we have a female Vice President – be very cautious where you walk, because that ceiling has been shattered, and there’s glass everywhere. I just have to recall Kamala Harris stating, “So help me, God”, on inauguration day when I need a boost of confidence.
  10. Collect items for Ukrainian refugees, donate to the cause, and keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Just Breathe…

  1. Invite your in-laws to lunch, you’re in a bad mood anyway.
  2. Go out to brunch with your besties, and drink mimosas or morning glows (mimosas made with wine, my signature cocktail)
  3. Visit your local park district or recreation department, and sign up for classes or events.
  4. Go to a farmers market – spend some time browsing and shopping.
  5. Go boutique hopping with a group of friends – it’s much more productive than bar hopping.
  6. Check into a hotel and be a guest.
  7. Jump in the pile of leaves or snow.
  8. Build a snowman or a sandcastle, or make a snow angel.
  9. Play with dolls, balls, or jump ropes – be a kid again.
  10. Hop on one foot – brush yourself off and start all over again when you fall down.
  11. Just breathe and feel the energy of God’s universe.
  12. Put up a Donald Trump dartboard, and get that pitching arm ready…

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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OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

Family gatherings often result in anger and hurt feelings.

Minding the Gap

OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

The pain of family dysfunction is frequently on display over the holidays

By Megan Wallin

Farewell Patience

Despite the cries of “holiday cheer,” the truth is holidays can drain you of every ounce of patience and good humor you possess. The dark underbelly of family gatherings is that they often culminate in contentious  counter viewpoints. These instances can be quite grating for all parties, especially where generational gaps are involved. While it’s easy to dismiss such disagreements as being a result of an ageist culture, one that neither admires nor protects its most experienced members, I sense there’s more to it than that.

Times Change

Often, the mindset that genuinely worked for one time in history does not work when applied to another. During times of war, hardship and economic depression, children grew up fast. They often skipped the phase that allowed them to develop as individuals and instead adopted a more collectivist perspective, with an absolute respect for authority. Case in point: The idea that children are to obey all adults—absolutely and without question—is a concept that has actually led to insanely corrupt and egregious cover ups of child predators.

A Shift in Parenting Priorities

Now, armed with this knowledge, parents no longer tell their children to trust all adults or do as they’re told without a prior relationship established. Perhaps as a result, we have more self-aware young people and more challenging behaviors at times as today’s kids test boundaries with their parents, teachers, and older family members. Gone are the days of “Because I told you so,” as we usher in the new era of, “I understand that you’re upset, but you cannot do that because . . . .” We are demanding accountability from parents as well as children, and while it may be an exhausting way to parent, it’s by far the preferred method for newer generations.

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The Shift From Pet To Family Member

The Shift From Pet To Family Member

Pets have gone from family service to family member.

The Shift From Pet to Family Member

The Changing Landscape of Pet Ownership in the United States

By Megan Wallin

Holiday Photos

Everyone knows that couple whose dog or cat is their “baby,” and to suggest otherwise might get you kicked to the curb—literally or figuratively. It used to be rare, or even laughable, to meet people like that, but now the family pet is just that: a true member of the family. We include them in our family photos, holiday cards, wedding celebrations, birth announcements and more. American pet owners spend an average of $1,480 per year on their dogs and a little over $900 on their cats, according to an article from Fortunly.com. To put that in perspective, some American parents—namely those who can forgo daycare and babysitters—actually spend less on their human children.

The Shift from Pet to Family Member

Perhaps it’s a demonstration of our shift from utilitarian view of pets to a relationship view. We now have behavioral specialists and animal psychologists for dogs. Professionals specially trained to seek out what could be causing Spot’s sudden loss of interest in his favorite toy or his penchant for nipping ankles whenever guests wear funny socks. (Well, maybe that’s not the exact purpose, but you get the idea.) The point is that we’ve expanded our view; from seeing animals as useful contributors to a system, such as the family guard dog or cat who functions as the barnyard mouser, to a loving, sharing, participant in family life. One look at most people’s social media accounts will tell you that pets are now bonified family members. We carefully interview potential pet sitters. We celebrate pet birthdays, and “gotcha” (adoption) days. There seems no awareness that some of our sentimentality might be displaced, because it doesn’t feel at all unnatural.

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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 Plus Tips To Cope With Anxiety

Got Holiday Anxiety?

With Thanksgiving comes tension for some. . .

10 Plus Tips To Cope


Don’t Let Anxiety Ruin Your Holidays

By D. S. Mitchell 

Turkey and Pumpkin Pie 

The holidays are right around the corner. Some are excited about turkey and gravy, and fancy wrapped presents, but others see only stress and anxiety on the horizon. If you are hosting parties, the stress level is on steroids; fancy china, excited young ones, guests, surprise and otherwise. It can seem overwhelming. Read on if you are looking for some tips on how to get you through the holidays as anxiety free as possible.

Be Ready

Stay rested and recharged, ahead of the holidays. Take time for yourself.  Get enough sleep, engage in activities that you enjoy and make you feel good. Don’t skip self care routines under the pressure of the approaching holidays. Don’t do it-skipping health care routines will cost in the long run. You need that 30 minutes of cardio and any other health activities you are engaged in. These activities will keep you balanced and ready to face the upcoming holiday challenges. It just might be yoga, biking, stretching, Tai Chi, or  aqua aerobics, that  saves your sanity.

Everyone has different triggers, and identifying them is one of the most important steps to coping and managing anxiety attacks. Common ones, your first day at a new job, heading an important meeting, meeting your SO’s parents. Time and reflection will be required to identify your triggers. In the meantime, there are things you can do to try to help calm or quiet your anxious mind.

4.) Use aromatherapy

Whether they’re in oil form, incense, or a candle, scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood are soothing. Certain receptors in your brain are activated by aromatherapy.

5.) Walking or Yoga

Just walk away if the situation is causing anxiety. It might be time to focus on  your body and not your mind to relieve your anxiety. Just move. Whether it’s the pool or the yoga mat, move your butt, it helps reduce stress. Try stretching, it can be incredibly beneficial.

6.) Write down your thoughts

Many mental health therapists suggest a client write down what’s causing their anxiety. Writing it down, gets it out of your head and can make it less daunting. My mother used this one, on a regular basis. She would write letters to the offenders and put them in envelopes addressed to whoever was causing her frustration and then stick it in a file, never sending it.

Not All Anxiety Is The Same
The previous suggestions are helpful if your symptoms are situational or sporadic. If anxiety is an on-going, persistent part of you life you may need more serious interventions and coping strategies.
Five Strategies For Coping With Long-Term Illness 

If anxiety is a regular part of your life, not just around the holidays, it’s important to find treatment strategies to help you manage it. There might be a combination of things, like talk therapy and meditation, or perhaps cutting out or resolving your anxiety trigger. Confused, as to where to start? It is always helpful to discuss options with a mental health professional who might suggest something you hadn’t thought of before moving ahead with your plan.

Some Well-Known Triggers:
  • debt
  • a stressful work environment
  • traveling
  • driving
  • DNA-genetics — anxiety, depression, alcoholism can run in families
  • drug withdrawal
  • medication side effects
  • trauma
  • phobias, such as agoraphobia (fear of crowded or open spaces) and claustrophobia (fear of small spaces)
  • some chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, or asthma
  • chronic pain
  • multiple mental illness diagnoses (such as depression, OCDC, anxiety)
  • caffeine
  • alcohol
Managing Those Triggers

Sometimes triggers can be obvious, such as caffeine, alcohol consumption, and drug use. Other times triggers are less obvious and we may need a therapist to help us isolate those triggers. Long-term stress, such as financial or work-related situations, can be more difficult— is it a due date, a person, or the situation? At this point you may need some extra support, through therapy or with some trusted friends.

Then What?

Once you do figure out your trigger(s), you should try to limit your exposure to them if you can. If you can’t limit it — say because it is due to a stressful work environment that you can’t currently change — using other coping techniques may help.

1.) Try Meditation

A successful meditation regime will take time and practice.  When done regularly, you can train your brain to dismiss anxious thoughts when they arise. If sitting still and concentrating is difficult, try starting your exercise routine with more active physical exertion and then start your yoga routine.

2.) Adopt Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps people learn different ways of thinking about and reacting to anxiety-causing situations. A therapist can help you develop ways to change negative thought patterns and behaviors before they spiral into a panic attack.

3.) Healthy Diet, Regular Exercise, Embrace Life 

Exercise regularly. Eat balanced meals. Get enough sleep. Stay connected to people who care about you. You may want to talk to your psychiatrist about adding supplements or nutrients to your long-term strategy.

4.) Consider Adding Supplements

Research shows certain supplements or nutrients help reduce anxiety symptoms. Some of these include:

  • lemon balm
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • green tea
  • valerian root
  • dark chocolate (in moderation)

It can take up to three months before your body is actually using the nutrition these herbs and foods provide. If you’re taking other medications, make sure to discuss herbal remedies with your doctor. I’ve said that twice. I cannot say it enough. Different medications interact with one another whether OTC  or prescription. Talk to your doc.

5.) Prescription Medications

If your anxiety is severe enough that your mental health practitioner believes you’d benefit from psychotropic medication, there are a number of directions to go, depending on your symptoms. Discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Is My Anxiety Harmful?

Identifying what variety of anxiety you’re dealing with can be challenging-mainly because everyone’s body reacts to danger in entirely different ways. I’m sure you have heard “anxiety” used as a general term for feeling worry, uneasiness, or nervousness. It is often situational, a big dance, a speech, a tryout; it is often a feeling grown in response to an upcoming event that has an uncertain outcome. Every human being deals with such emotions-at some time in their life. It is part of how we are wired, our brains respond to perceived danger, even if there is no real danger.

Things Can Get Dark

There are times anxiety can get serious and turn into anxiety attacks that may begin slowly and initially feel manageable, but build up over a few hours. (Panic attacks are different. A panic attack comes out of the blue and then subsides.)

Signs and Symptoms of an anxiety attack

These are some of the more common mental and physical symptoms of anxiety:

  • feelings of danger, panic, or dread
  • nervousness/restlessness
  • rapid heart rate
  • sweating
  • trembling/chills
  • tiredness/weakness
  • gastric problems
  • difficulty focusing
  • rapid breathing, hyperventilating

It is possible to have both an anxiety and panic attack simultaneously. The quick coping strategies mentioned above may also help with a panic attack.

Try focusing on an object, repeating a mantra, closing your eyes, and going to your happy place.

Signs and Symptoms of a Panic Attack
Causes of Anxiety

If you notice that quick tips haven’t been working, you may want to consider seeing a professional for help. Especially if you believe you have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and the symptoms are interfering with your daily routine and physical symptoms. A mental health professional can help with identifying your triggers, maintaining long-term strategies through behavioral therapy, medications, and more.

Living With Anxiety 

If your anxiety stems from a past trauma, it can be helpful to work through those issues with a licensed therapist. On the other hand, if your brain chemistry predisposes you to persistent, chronic anxiety, you may need to go on medication to manage it. Anxiety is likely to continue to be part of your life, but it doesn’t need to take over your life.  Treatment is available to help control those painful symptoms and make those holidays at least tolerable.

BASIC NEEDS: When Self-Isolating

BASIC NEEDS:

When Self-Isolating

By Trevor K. McNeil

Priorities

I am self-isolating. I have to admit I am rethinking some old assumptions. Such as, what is important? What is not important? Since I was a kid, adults have told me to “sort out your priorities.” Something that is usually easier said than done. Not least because the reasons for my priorities tend to be individualized to me. What I want, and what my mother, or my neighbor, for that matter, are not the same. Certainly the individualization of priorities makes the notion of shared or “fundamental” values, as applies to the human race, something of an absurdity.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The closest thing to a ranking of needs or priorities, is Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”.  Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist, who wrote about human needs.  In 1943 he wrote, “Theory of Human Motivation”.   He admitted some of his work and writings were based on observation and some good old-fashioned guess work.  Maslow believed people are motivated to fulfill a certain set of basic needs. Maslow used a five tier pyramid to depict those needs.The base of the pyramid is physiological, the most basic of needs: air, food, water, excrement and sex.

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Switching Gears

Switching Gears

I thumbed through Stephen Shapiro's classic while sitting alone on the beach.

I sat on a deserted beach in front of my vacation home and reread “Goal Free Living: How To Have The Life You Want Now” by Stephen Shapiro.

Switching Gears

D. S. Mitchell

A Box Of Books

While pawing through a box of books I found Stephen Shapiro's classic,

I found several boxes of books in the garage.

Yesterday, I was pawing through a box of books I had stored in the garage.  I have looked around the house, searching for some “keep me busy” tasks to occupy my time during this “stay home, stay safe” order. As I looked at the books I was trying to decide if they were something I should drop off at The Salvation Army when the pandemic passes. Or, should I bring them into the house and find space for them on one of several bookcases.

Self Help

As I was trying to decide, whether it was time to part with the books or find space for them, I came upon Stephen Shapiro’s 2006 self-help gem, “Goal Free Living: How To Have The Life You Want Now.”  It has been more than a decade since I read the book. As I slowly flipped through the pages I remembered it distinctly, and wondered how I had allowed this little treasure to end up in a box in the garage. Standing there, in PJ’s and slippers, I thought the lessons from Mr. Shapiro’s book were so valuable that I should share them with  my Calamity Politics readers.

It’s Okay

Creating lists and setting goals is a typically American mind set.

Setting goals is a near religion in America.

Stephen Shapiro is the first person in my memory who gave me permission to reject the religion of goal setting that permeates the American culture.  His book encourages readers to live without the restrictions, structure and confining limits of a set of goals. His promise is that when you jettison the goal setting, you can find happiness.

If You Can Visualize It

I have been told since I was a kid, that goals of all kinds, big, small, wildly ambitious were all within my reach. I just had to want them bad enough. The rule was, if you can visualize it, you can have it; if you don’t know what you want (can’t visualize it), you might as well be lost at sea without a life-preserver. It was essential to develop a five-year-plan, kind of like China under Mao.

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Insomnia Examined

Getting to sleep is often more difficult than it should be.

Thirty per cent of the population complain of insomnia.

Insomnia Examined

By D. S. Mitchell

PJ’s And A Pillow

Are you having problems sleeping? Well you are not alone. Thirty per cent of the general population complains of regular sleep disruption. Insomnia saps energy and affects mood. Sleeplessness can put your health and work performance at risk. Common symptoms include difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, waking up too early, daytime tiredness, difficulty focusing, irritability, depression and anxiety. Sleep, seems like such a normal thing. You put on your PJ’s, hop in bed, and off to na-na land you go. However, for many people, sleep is as elusive as a hole-in-one. Poor or inadequate sleep is the cause of a long list of health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Simple adjustment in lifestyle and routine can often be helpful.

Caffeine Consumption

Stop drinking coffee in the afternoon

Stop drinking coffee in the afternoon.

Obviously a cup of coffee as a late afternoon pick-up may cause insomnia later that night. Everyone metabolizes caffeine at a different rate, so the cut off time for caffeine ingestion is different for each person. Often it isn’t a cup of coffee, but other caffeine laden products we don’t even think about when we eat or drink them. Examples; iced tea, chocolate, hot cocoa, yogurt, headache remedies, ice cream and breakfast cereals.  If you are having trouble sleeping, cut out coffee after lunch. But, don’t stop there; read labels and eliminate those items that contain caffeine.

Schedule It

Seniors often experience increased insomnia. After retirement schedules often go out the window. Often seniors feel schedules are a thing they left behind when they took that gold watch. It may seem as if bed time or wake up time is no longer important, since there is no job to go to.  But in fact, schedules are important whether you are old or young. It is important to promote as regular a schedule as possible, even on weekends. These times affect the release of melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep–wake cycle. Typically, melatonin levels start to rise in the mid-to-late evening, after the sun has set. They stay elevated for most of the night while you’re in the dark. Then, they drop in the early morning as the sun rises, causing you to wake up.

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