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First Day of Spring

beautiful bloom blooming blossom

3/20/2019

FIRST DAY OF SPRING!

Charming Spring

by Patricia L. Cisco

Reminiscent melodies
serenade the morning breeze.

Feathered creatures nest with care
in cherry blossoms pink and fair.

Perfumed scent of roses flow.
Tiny blades of green grass grow.

Misty showers soak the earth,
glorious colors come to birth.

Gathering clouds come and go,
rain, sun, and vibrant bow.

Dainty petals, fancy flair,
dancing in the warm, sweet air.

Violets, yellows, purest white,
graceful, gentle, welcomed sight.

Thank you, oh sweet lovely Spring,
patiently waiting the charms you bring!

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The weather is changing outside. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and the sun is shining. Despite this pleasant change in weather, historically, many people experience mental health issues during the springtime. It is possible that part of this could be connected to seasonal pollen allergies, as they affect over 36 million people.1

For more information, you can read futher at https://lakesidebhs.com/mental-health/seasonal-changes-affect-mental-health-yes-even-spring-and-summer/

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Daylight Savings

antique architecture classic clock

 

3/10/2019

Turn that clock back!

2 AM Time Shifts to 1 hour forward!  Don’t forget to change those clocks!

A little history on WHY we turn back time.

The idea of changing clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in an essay published in the Journal de Paris in 1784.

Many other countries change their clocks when adjusting to summer time, but the United States only began doing so towards the end of World War I in an attempt to conserve energy.  But it wasn’t recognized until 1918 by House of Representatives but there was a huge discord with the public who disliked the government interfering.  Again around World War II it was reinstituted but left to the states to enforce.

Congress finally made a law, Uniform Time Act of 1966 to change it to cover the US uniformly.

So you can thank Benjamin Franklin…

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UNPLUG and RELAX

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3/01/2019

National Day of Unplugging!

National Day of Unplugging

Starting on March 1st for 24 hours straight!
A 24 hour global respite from technology.
It highlights the value of disconnecting from digital devices to connect with ourselves,
our loved ones and our communities in real time.
Continue reading “UNPLUG and RELAX”

(=^◡^=) Love Your Pet Day ▼(´ᴥ`)▼

2/20/2019

February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day!

6 Ways Pets Relieve Depression

By Therese J. Borchard 

6 Ways Pets Relieve Depression

The day I returned from inpatient therapy, my Lab-Chow mix cuddled up to me on the bed as I cried. She looked into my defeated gaze and licked my tears.

I was astounded that this creature was capable of the empathy that I so craved in my closest friends and relatives. It was like she could read the pathetic and sad thoughts that disabled me and wanted me to know I was lovable in the midst of my suffering.

She continues to be a supportive presence in my life, especially on the days that I grow weary of trying on — and throwing out — every mindful exercise and cognitive behavioral strategy… the hours where staying positive seems impossible. She gets it. I know she does.

Every week I hear tales of four-legged creatures becoming angels in times of terrifying darkness. Indeed, a substantial body of research indicates that pets improve our mental health.

How? Here are a few ways.

1. Pets offer a soothing presence.

Studies indicate that merely watching fish lowers blood pressure and muscle tension in people about to undergo oral surgery. That’s why all the aquariums in dentists’ offices! Think of the behavior Darla in Disney Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” would have exhibited without the fish tank.

Other research shows that pet owners have significantly lower blood pressure and heart rate both before and while performing stressful mental tasks — like, say, performing a family intervention or supervising kids’ homework. Finally, persons recovering from heart attacks recover more quickly and survive longer when there is a pet at home. It seems as though their mere presence is beneficial.

2. Pets offer unconditional love and acceptance.

As far as we know, pets are without opinions, critiques, and verdicts. Even if you smell like their poop, they will snuggle up next to you. In a Johns Hopkins Depression & Anxiety Bulletin, Karen Swartz, M.D. mentions a recent study where nursing home residents in St. Louis felt less lonely with some quiet time with a dog alone than a visit with both a dog and other residents.

The study enrolled 37 nursing home residents who scored high on a loneliness scale and who were interested in receiving weekly half-hour visits from dogs. Half of the residents had quiet time alone with the pooches. The other half shared the dog with other nursing home residents. Both groups said they felt less lonely after the visit, but the decrease in loneliness was much more significant among the residents that had the dogs all to themselves. In other words, at times we prefer our four-legged friends to our mouthy pals because we can divulge our innermost thoughts and not be judged.

3. Pets alter our behavior.

Here’s a typical scenario. I come through the door in the evening and I’m annoyed. At what, I don’t know. A million little snafus that happened throughout the day. I am dangerously close to taking it out on someone. However, before I can do that, my Lab-Chow walks up to me and pats me, wanting some attention. So I kneel down and pet her. She licks my face, and I smile. Voila! She altered my behavior. I am only agitated a little now and chances are much better that someone will not become a casualty of my frustrations. We calm down when we are with our dogs, cats, lizards, and pigs. We slow our breath, our speech, our minds. We don’t hit as many people or use as many four-lettered words.

4. Pets distract.

Pets are like riveting movies and books. They take us out of our heads and into another reality – one that only involves food, water, affection, and maybe an animal butt – for as long as we can allow. I’ve found distraction to be the only effective therapy when you’ve hit a point where there is no getting your head back. It’s tough to ruminate about how awful you feel and will feel forever when your dog is breathing in your face.

5. Pets promote touch.

The healing power of touch is undisputed. Research indicates a 45-minute massage can decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol and optimize your immune system by building white blood cells. Hugging floods our bodies with oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress, and lowers blood pressure and heart rates. And, according to a University of Virginia study, holding hands can reduce the stress-related activity in the hypothalamus region of the brain, part of our emotional center. The touch can actually stop certain regions of the brain from responding to threat clues. It’s not surprising, then, that stroking a dog or cat can lower blood pressure and heart rate and boost levels of serotonin and dopamine.

6. Pets make us responsible.

With pets come great responsibility, and responsibility — according to depression research — promotes mental health. Positive psychologists assert that we build our self-esteem by taking ownership of a task, by applying our skills to a job. When we succeed — i.e., the pet is still alive the next day — we reinforce to ourselves that we are capable of caring for another creature as well as ourselves. That’s why chores are so important in teaching adolescents self-mastery and independence.

Taking care of a pet also brings structure to our day. Sleeping until noon is no longer a possibility unless you want to spend an hour cleaning up the next day. Staying out all night needs some preparation and forethought.

Person Petting Orange Tabby Cat

In this article by NAMI, Allison White discusses the Power of Pet Therapy.

https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/November-2016/The-Power-of-Pet-Therapy

Pet Therapy Dog Visiting Senior Male Patient

If you’re not in a position to be owned by a pet, there are many ways to still enjoy the wonders of a pet relationship. Volunteering at a local animal shelter or working with  rescue group for animals who are lacking for companionship and attention would benefit both you and the animals.

A local animal therapy program here in the Midlands is PAALS (Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services.  

http://www.paals.org OR  803-788-7063 for more information

 

 

http://www.workinprogresscolumbia.com

@wipcolumbia

 

 

This Sunday is National Random Acts of Kindness Day

Our days are happier when we give people a piece of our heart rather than a piece of our mind Unknown

2/17/2019

NATIONAL RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS DAY

Observed on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year.  It is celebrated by individuals, groups and organizations nationwide to encourage acts of kindness.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. Dr. Seuss

Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness

  • Wheel out your neighbor’s trash can or cut their grass.
  • Write positive notes to people to make them smile.
  • Plant a tree or flower for someone.
  • Adopt~ Don’t shop!
  • Compliment a parent on their child’s behavior.
  • Send an encouraging email or text.
  • Drink more water for yourself.
  • Put in extra quarters for dryers at laundromats.
  • Recycle your papers, plastics and glass.
  • Make a get well package for a coworker or friend.

 

So on Valentine’s day you are reminded to tell yourself and your loved ones that they are special.

On Random Acts of Kindness day, lets show lots of others they are special as well.

Kindness is free; let's pass it on Unknown

 

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@wipcolumbia

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy-Valentines-Day-Gif-2019

2/14/2019

Valentine’s Day is usually depicted with flowers, candy and stuffed bears for your sweetheart.  Pictures of date nights, roses and rings are all you see on television and the internet.  There is someone missing in these depictions of showing the epic love story.  Its the story of self love.

In the article written by Sahar Aker for Mental Health America.          http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/blog/10-ways-show-yourself-some-love-valentine%E2%80%99s-day

(Her blog on http://www.ichoosebeauty.org is about how she is overcoming clinical depression day by day.)

It shows 10 ways to show yourself some love on Valentine’s day.

10 Ways to Show Yourself Some Love on Valentine’s Day

By Sahar Aker, Founder of I Choose Beauty

I didn’t get married until I was 42, and trust me when I say I had plenty of years before then that I was single on Valentine’s Day.

Seeing my friends and co-workers get roses and boxes of chocolate from their significant others made me question why this holiday should even exist.

But, since Valentine’s Day isn’t going anywhere, why not take advantage of the lovefest in a different way?

No partner? No problem.

Try these ideas to spread lots of love…to yourself.

1. Make yourself a care package.

Fill a pretty box or basket with a few of your favorite things to enjoy on Valentine’s Day. Mine would definitely include dark chocolate, herbal tea, and some lavender essential oil.

2. Go shopping.

Give yourself permission to splurge a little. You deserve it. Buy yourself a special little something.

3. Plan a fun night with friends.

Rally your single pals and make the holiday about hanging out together – kind of like Friendsgiving with a Valentine’s Day twist. Make dinner reservations for an evening out with your group or have a cozy night in and enjoy each other’s company.

4. Make a list of at least 3 things you love about yourself.

Whether it’s a part of your body, something about your personality, or a special talent you have—write it down and show yourself some love.

5. Spa night.

Indulge in some self-care at home with a face mask, bubble bath, and candles. It’s probably been way too long since you took some time out for yourself.

6. Get pampered.

Schedule a massage, mani/pedi, or maybe a blowout. Relax, and let someone else take care of you.

7. Be selfish.

Do something that makes you happy. Maybe that’s a yoga class, dancing to loud music, or baking. You do you.

8. Wear someting that makes you feel good.

Strut your stuff today in your favorite jeans, shoes, or adorned with that necklace that always makes you smile.

9. Take some down time.

Binge-watch Netflix, browse through your favorite magazines, or do some deep breathing. Inhale self-love, exhale self-doubt.

10. Buy your own darn chocolate and flowers, if that’s your thing.

Who says you have to wait for someone else to do it for you? Pick up some fresh flowers from the grocery store or Farmers Market and go to that chocolate shop and get yourself a few special seasonal treats.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just be about the love of a partner.

In my book, it’s all about love. Period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.workinprogresscolumbia.com
@wipcolumbia

 

 

 

GET PSYCHED with MTC 2019

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02/01/2019

Art, Presentations, Talks and Seminars all in one location!

February 1st – 13th at the Airport campus of Midlands Technical College

Two-week conference will explore the challenges of the mentally ill, address how to reduce stigma around mental illness, and promote the mental health of the community.
Interdisciplinary seminars and training will be offered throughout the conference to engage students, faculty, and the community.
The signature event of the conference is Fine Line: Mental Health/Mental Illness – a documentary of voices, stories, and portraits by award-winning photo-journalist Michael Nye.
Facebook event for Get Psyched
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