4 Healthy Habits That Aren’t Just for New Years

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Getting healthy isn’t just a notion reserved for New Year’s resolutions. And there’s more to good health than dieting and exercise. Getting healthy is a lifestyle change, and it’s easier than you might think.

Daily Meditation

If you find that you’re anxious, tense, worried or stressed, spend a few minutes each day to restore your inner peace. The ancient practice of mediation can enhance your emotional and physical well-being. Emotional benefits include gaining a newfound perspective on life’s stressful situations, building new skills to cope with stress, increasing your self-awareness, focusing more on the present and reducing negative emotions. According to the Mayo Clinic, some research suggests that meditation can help manage symptoms of asthma, anxiety disorders, depression, pain and sleep problems. Popular forms of meditation include yoga, tai chi, mantra meditation, guided meditation and mindfulness meditation.

Meditation can be as formal or as informal as you choose, making it a realistic and healthy habit for anyone wishing to eliminate stress.

Annual Checkups

When’s the last time you had an appointment with your eye doctor? How about a visit with your dentist? Regular health exams and screenings help doctors find problems before they start or become problematic. Annual eye exams are especially important for contact lens wearers. Unfortunately, people sometimes delay their eye exams or order more contacts than they need to take them beyond their prescription expiration date. Don’t avoid an annual exam, even through you may avoid a visit to the doctor’s office by ordering online from a discount retailer like Vision Direct. If the problems are found early, the chances of treating and curing the illness is far greater.

Use a service like Zoc Doc to schedule and keep track of your appointments. The Zoc Doc app can be accessed with a mobile device or from a desktop, and you’ll receive notifications when it’s time for your visit.

Walking More

If you want to achieve better health, start walking. All you need to start is a pair of sturdy walking shoes and a pedometer if you plan to keep track of your steps. According to the American Heart Association, people who walk for 30 minutes a day can enhance their mental wellbeing while also reducing the risk of osteoporosis, colon and breast cancers, diabetes and coronary heart disease. Walking also helps improve blood sugar and blood pressure levels and lowers the risk of obesity.

Walking can be done alone or with a group and this activity costs next-to-nothing, making it a great way to get in shape and decompress from the day.

Eliminating Toxic Foods

Eating organically has been popular for nearly a decade; however, many people still purchase and consume non-organic foods that contain pesticides and harmful chemicals. Live a healthier lifestyle by making small modifications to your grocery list and eat a littler healthier with organic foods.

According to the Environmental Working Group, 99 percent of apples and 98 percent of peaches that were tested for pesticide residues in 2015 tested positive. These fruits are part of the “dirty dozen,” a list that also includes nectarines, grapes, strawberries, spinach, celery, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes and imported snap peas. EWG reports that avocados were the cleanest food tested. Avoid the consumption of pesticides and shop organic at local farmer’s markets or retail chains like Whole Foods.

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Self-Love

Self-love is one of my words for 2015.  So is faith, compassion and unconditional love.

I used to think that I would be happy after nursing school, then I graduated nursing school and I still did not feel one hundred percent happy.

Then, I thought I would be happy after I passed my boards, after I got my first job, after I landed my second job, and so on the cycle goes on…… I never felt totally happy.

It wasn’t until I had my heart broken two years ago that I stepped back and re-examined my life.  I noticed a pattern.  That was when I realized I needed to self-reflect to know what I really needed. I had forgotten to know what I even wanted. I had forgotten what I loved.  I had forgotten myself.  I needed to heal.

Spending time in solitude thinking about  my life, my mistakes, my decisions:  good and bad.  I finally realized that it was ME who can make ME happy!   Loving myself is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.

I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do.  I posted this poem five years ago and I still love to read it.

The Journey of Life

By:  Ann Onnemouse

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another.

Then we are frustrated that the kids are not old enough and we will be more content when they are.

After that, we are frustrated we have teenagers to deal with.

We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get  a nice car, are able to go on vacation, when we retire.

The truth is, there is no better time to be happy than right now.

If not now, when?

Your life will always be filled with challenges.

It is best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway.

One of my favorite quotes is from Alfred D. Souza.  He said, ”  For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life.”

But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid.

Then life would begin.  At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my “life”.

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness.

Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time…and remember that time waits for no one.

So, stop waiting until your finish school,

until you go back to school,

until you lose ten pounds,

until you gain ten pounds,

until you  have kids,

until your kids leave the house.

until you start work,

until you retire,

until you get married,

until you get divorced,

until Friday night,

until Sunday morning,

until you get a new car or home,

until your car or home is paid off,

until spring,

until summer,

until fall,

until winter,

until you are off welfare,

until the first or fifteenth,

until your song comes on,

until you’ve had a drink,

until you’ve sobered up,

until you die,

until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy.

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

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5 Ways to Treat Yourself on Valentine’s Day

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For the full-time work-from-home mom, your job is 24/7 and you don’t get holidays off. Christmas is more stressful than magical; birthdays become celebratory obligations merely monopolizing valuable work time. If you’re constantly in work mode during the most special times of the year, you may need to readjust your work-life priorities—starting with Valentine’s Day. Schedule a personal day and celebrate Valentine’s Day your way and without your phone or laptop in tow. Use the following ideas as inspiration to make it a day of romance, family fun or simply a day for yourself.

Me Time

If you’re flying solo, send the kids to Grandma’s and soak in the solitude. Make this Valentine’s Day a day to love (and treat) yourself. No kids; no responsibilities; no deadlines. If you’re a vino-phile, indulge in a bottle (or two) of Vanilla Puddin Chardonnay and let the sweet flavors of white chocolate with dollops of vanilla, butterscotch and caramelized apple delight your taste buds. Replace the phone with a wine glass and relax in a long bath with a heart-shaped bath bomb (for the sake of festivity) from Lush. Then, order takeout from your favorite restaurant and start a marathon of your guiltiest trash-TV pleasure.

Moms Night Out (Or In)

Are you the girlfriend of the group who perpetually declines? Is your Evite RSVP always the no (that is, if you even have time to respond at all)? Salvage your friendships, redeem your workaholic reputation and plan a Galentine’s Night Out. Remember, this is no playdate, so hire a babysitter. Hit the town with your friends for dinner or drinks or invite the girls over for a pink-and-gold party. Treat yourself to a blowout to match your sparkling party dress. Serve homemade raspberry cupcakes and cheers to champagne. You (and your other mom friends) deserve it.

Just Dessert

In the life of a busy working mom (and parents in general), your marriage can fall on the list of priorities. Bath time and late-night email catch-ups replace conversations and cuddling. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to reignite the flame with your spouse. With the kids away, make it a romantic dessert-themed affair. Chocolate is, by the way, a well-known aphrodisiac, turning on the brain’s pleasure sensors and creating a feel-good night. Give your guy mouthwatering Godiva chocolates or bake two molten lava cakes together. You can really set the mood with delicious chocolate-covered cherry sangria made with chocolate red wine.

Special Pho-ccasion

A maxed-out schedule leaves little room for cooking new and fun recipes. But since Valentine’s Day is a special occasion to spend with loved ones, you can leisurely cook incredible and eclectic fare—all day. Cosmopolitan Magazine recommends getting flirty in the kitchen and making ramen noodles from scratch. Earlier in the day, settle into the kitchen and make a batch of fresh ramen. Then you and yours can prepare a pot of homemade slow cooker Chicken Pho. The hours of cooking will fill the kitchen with mouthwatering aromas. When it comes time to enjoy it, each savory sip of soup will warm your hearts.

Pizzeria Party

Make Valentine’s Day into a pizza extravaganza with the fam. Kids love pizza, especially when they can help with the cooking. Turn your kitchen into a chef’s pizzeria, throw on aprons and cook up a fun pizza recipe like pepperoni pizza muffins, pepperoni roll-ups or just a traditional cheese pizza. Kids can choose toppings and decorate with silly faces or even use cookie cutters to turn homemade dough into fun mini pizzas. What’s for dessert? Sweeten Valentine’s Day even more with a gooey cookie dough pizza topped with melted hot fudge, caramel and cream cheese frosting.

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My Favorite Love Song

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Is Debt Crushing You? How to Deal With the Stress

Most of us have been there at one time or another—you lie awake at night worrying about how you are going to pay your mortgage, how you will put your kids through college, or even how to pay for this month’s bills.

According to a Gallup Poll in 2014, about 31 percent of Americans were concerned about not being able to pay housing costs such as rent or a mortgage; about 35 percent worried about not being able to pay for their children’s college education; and about 36 percent were concerned that they did not have enough money to pay the bills. Well over a third of the American public is under some form of financial pressure.

Peace of Mind Starts with a Plan

It is nice to know that you are not alone, but what can you actually do about it? Fortunately, peace of mind starts with a good financial strategy. For most people, it is the uncertainty of what to do about a situation that causes the most stress. While your financial problems are not going to go away overnight, setting up a plan to deal with them can help to ease your mind about the future.

Whether you are worried about this month’s bills, next month’s housing payment or helping your children avoid student loan debt, the steps toward improving your financial situation are remarkable similar.

Find Out Where You Stand

The first step can be pretty scary—you need the details of each debt owed. That means finding out what must be paid every month and what interest rate is being charged. Many people don’t even have a full understanding of their situation until this happens.

Now that you know what the extent of the debt is, you can start to set some financial goals. Take a look at the list of debts. Are there any small amounts that you can settle quickly within the next couple of months? If so, these are the debts that you should target first.

Paying off these small debts is easier and puts a mark in the win column for you. The motivation this provides often outweighs any financial gains you would make by paying off the highest-interest debt first, which is another popular strategy.

To start paying off your debt, you’ll need to find some extra money. For some people, that will mean finding a way to increase their income, while for others, it may mean reducing waste and cutting back on unnecessary expenses like cable and eating out.

Small Victories Lead to Big Victories

Once you pay off that first debt, it becomes a lot easier. Once that debt is gone, the installment for it is like “extra” income and you can put this amount towards the next debt on the list. From there, it is like a house of cards, your debt will start to topple and your financial situation will become more secure as time goes on.

Another great tool for taking control of your financial situation is a credit monitoring service, which can help to identify improvements in your credit rating and, at the same time, help you protect your hard-won improved credit status from being misused by fraudsters and identity thieves.

Having a plan in place can do wonders to alleviate anxiety when it comes to financial matters. For instance, if you notice something suspicious on your credit card statement, you can respond quickly to head off bigger problems.

Your financial future is your own hands; re-take control today for a better tomorrow!

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Diabetic Socks Promote Health without Compromising Style

Socks have been around forever. Most of us rely on them to keep our feet warm and toasty, but they offer additional benefits as well. For example, diabetes frequently affects a person’s feet. Diligent foot care — including having the best socks and shoes — is essential for keeping the feet as healthy as possible. Sturdy shoes that don’t irritate the feet are a good choice. But having the right diabetic socks is crucial to help protect the feet while reducing discomfort and sensitivity. Socks of all types also happen to be back in style, which is great news if you’re in the market for a new pair of diabetic socks.

Whether you suffer from diabetes or arthritis, finding the right pair of socks is essential to keep your feet comfortable and protected. It’s important to opt for diabetes-specific socks over regular varieties for several reasons. For example, traditional socks can reduce circulation, as they often fit too tightly for someone with diabetes. Additionally, traditional socks contain coarse seams that can irritate the skin of the feet, leading to blisters and calluses. You’ll want to slip on a pair of diabetic socks in cold temperature to prevent frostbite. Aside from offering maximum blood flow, most diabetic socks fit nicely inside of a variety of shoes.

There’s a wide selection of diabetic socks for men and women, both of which offer moisture reduction throughout the day along with lesser amounts of friction, wrinkling, and bunching. For females in particular, it’s important to look for diabetic socks for health-related needs that also have a fashionable appearance. You might instinctively think of knee-high socks when you picture diabetic socks, but that’s not always the case. If you just need a pair of socks for foot protection, for example, consider a pair of mini crew socks, which sit just above the ankle. Another option is socks that rise just above the ankle, providing essential cover to the lower leg and feet. Whether you opt for shorter socks or taller ones, you’ll be happy to know that you’re making a stylish choice.

Let’s face it — the words “stylish” and “socks” might seem like polar opposites. However, feet (and the socks that cover them) are making strides in the fashion world, making them an essential for men and women. This is true for just about any type of sock, including diabetic socks. In fact, sales sock sales have been booming in recent years. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, sock sales for the past year have risen 14 percent, and sock sales (including all types) have created a $2.8 billion industry.

Aside from rising sales, it seems like one main reason for the socks’ increasing popularity is the fact that people are buying them for a variety of occasions. It wasn’t too long ago that most people associated wearing socks with heading to the office for a day at work. Nowadays, socks of all types are in vogue, including compression socks that athletes frequently sport — the same type of sock that is recommended for diabetics and those with arthritis.

 

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Health Issues We Don’t Talk About, But Should

There’s a lot of stigma surrounding so-called “gross” body problems, such as warts or cold sores. Society suggests sufferers of these ailments are imperfect and even dirty, but that’s simply not true. These beauty woes can affect everyone, and hygiene does not play a role. In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn just how common these maladies are, and how they can be treated quickly.

It’s time to stop being embarrassed, and start loving your body, “warts and all.”

Skin Tags

Skin tags are growths that typically appear on eyelids, necks, armpits, in skin folds, and under breasts. They’re unsightly, but rarely dangerous.

No one wants to discover one of these small, fleshy bumps on their skin, but it’s unavoidable. MedicineNet.com reports that: “Almost everyone will develop a skin tag at some point in their life.” So, take a deep breath, realize it’s no big deal, and do what you can to remove it.

To treat the symptoms of a skin tag, you may want to use an all natural skin tag remover. A remover is safe and effective, and it won’t leave a scar. Do not listen to anyone who suggests tying string around it and waiting for it to fall off, or using duct tape to remove it. These methods are unsafe, and could result in pain and scarring.

Warts

Warts are small growths that typically appear on the hands, fingers, and feet. They’re not dangerous, but sometimes they can itch or hurt. They’re caused by the human papillomavirus; an extremely common virus that approximately “20 million Americans ages 15 to 49 currently have,” according to WomensHealth.gov. Moreover, it’s estimated that 25 percent of the population has a wart right now. So, if you have one, don’t fret because you’re not alone.

Although warts are easy to treat, it’s important to talk to a doctor because what you think is a wart could be something more serious. Only a doctor can diagnose warts. If it’s a wart, your doctor will likely suggest an over-the-counter medication. If the medicine does not treat the wart, he’ll suggest a strong medicine containing salicylic acid, and something to freeze it.

Cold Sores

Cold sores are blisters that appear on and around the mouth. They can be painful (sometimes extremely painful), and they’re definitely unsightly. For a few days, the blister will swell, and then it may break, leak, and scab. There’s nothing fun about cold sores, but they don’t last forever – typically a few days to around two weeks, according to WebMD.

WebMD also reports that everyone will have a cold sore at least once in their life, so there’s no reason to be embarrassed, or feel as though you have contagious mouth herpes. Although they are contagious, they’re only contagious when the blister is visible. Once it’s healed, feel free to kiss whomever you wish. Cold sores typically heal on their own, but you can pick up an over-the-counter medication, such as Abreva.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are extremely common. About 12 percent of the population receives treatment for hemorrhoids every year, and that’s only counting folks who see a doctor about the issue. A lot of people deny treating their hemorrhoids because they’re embarrassed, but with those numbers it’s clear there’s simply nothing to be embarrassed about. Hemorrhoids can be indicative of more serious issues, so if you’re experiencing them, seek out a physician’s consul right away.

Especially for women, it can be difficult to discuss the above mentioned maladies. It’s simply too embarrassing to admit to these ailments, but it’s important to note these are common issues. It’s time to face reality: there’s no shame in an embarrassing body issue, and admitting to said issues will only help promote overall awareness, and more effective treatments.

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