Three ways to overcome addiction

  Since I’ve become an advocate of erasing the stigma of mental illness and suicide prevention I like to host writers who have healing ideas that could help people at risk. Jennifer McGregor has been my guest before – you can read her previous article here. I’m delighted to have her back. Her words make a lot of sense to me. Please join me in welcoming Jennifer to my website, Choices.  Three Mood-Boosting Activities for Those Overcoming Addictions by Jennifer McGregor Many people with mental illness find themselves self-medicating. Acquiring mental health care is very difficult for a number of people thanks to the ongoing stigma against mental illness. Whether a person goes undiagnosed or simply cannot afford care, self-medication is a rampant problem among those with mental illnesses. Self-medication, unfortunately, often leads to addiction, worsened symptoms of mental illness, and suicide. Preventing suicide is a crucial component to addiction recovery. So, if you … [Read more...]

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My stress meter

I have a built-in stress meter. I can tell how stressed I am by how loud my tinnitus sounds. When I feel relatively balanced, I hear very low wave-like sounds that seem to come from one ear. When I’m stressed the tinnitus sounds like crashing swells blowing through my head from both sides. So I was interested to read a recent New York Times article titled “How Exercise May Protect Against Depression,” given that “even mild, repeated stress can contribute to the development of depression and other mood disorders in animals and people.” Mood disorders, mania, and depression run in my family, so I need to actively make sure I lower my stress level. I’ve been exercising almost all my life, and I do it every day – first thing in the morning. Exercise was especially useful after my son Paul’s death fifteen years ago. That outlet kept me sane then, and it still does. That is, at least for a while. For example, I exercised this morning – sixty minutes of cardio followed by a little iro … [Read more...]

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Support ALS research

This morning I took a Spinning class for two reasons - to workout my body and to help fund amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease) research. I am particularly motivated to support this annual fundraiser at my gym (Spectrum Club in El Segundo CA) because two people in my life were diagnosed with and later died of ALS. Our event, Getting' Down with Toni Brown, supports Augie's quest, a fundraiser focused on finding treatments and cures by the ALS Therapy Development Institute, the world's largest drug development program devoted entirely to ALS. Toni Brown was a Spinning instructor and then diagnosed with ALS in 2011. Please watch this video to see how Toni is doing now. Participation in the group fitness sessions today - classes include Spinning, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga and others - cost a minimum donation of $25. I counted about thirty people in my class - the first class of the day - this morning. So we raised at least $750.00. A great start in meeting our goal … [Read more...]

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Writing to heal and survive

This is a repost (with changes) from one I wrote last year at this time - near the time of our son Paul's December 31st birthday.  I’ve written about writing to heal, I’ve talked about it in front of groups, and I must say, I’m still doing it. I journal, I write pieces for other websites and here about writing to heal from our tragedies, and I’m still reaping its benefits. I suggest, even if you’ve never written a word in your life, start journaling. You don’t have to show what you write to anyone, so you’re free to write down anything you want any way you want. And then you may be surprised. You may want to go public with your writing. Sharing our stories can be very healing to others. Writing has been part of my life since I was in grade school. However, when my son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and after his suicide I needed to write down my feelings daily. Writing in my journal became an obsession and a balm. It gave me a way to organize my fears, pain, and thoughts. … [Read more...]

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Megaformer – the new improved Pilates?

I took a Megaformer class last night, invited by a friend. She told me she loves it. She goes four or five times a week, so I had to find out what it was all about. Megaformer - works with spring resistance like the Pilates reformer Well one thing is for sure – it’s tough. Forty-five minutes of constant motion - moving that Megaformer up and back while leaning on our hands or elbows. And although the moves looked similar to some of my normal Pilates exercises and even like some Yoga positions, the class was a combination of cardio and resistance that really got my heart racing and the sweat pouring out. Although I felt I could keep up reasonably well, I don’t recommend it to someone who is just starting an exercise program. The advertisement that the class is for all levels is misleading. One has to be fit to gain the advantages of working with the Megaformer. Otherwise it will be hard to stay with the class. Lots of planks Now, the question is: will I ever go again? Knowi … [Read more...]

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A change of pace

I've decided to lighten up on the subject today and write about my exercise program. Sometimes I get to thinking it's a heavy subject because I'm so obsessed about exercising (I do some form of exercise everyday), but it really doesn't comes close to some of the other subjects I've been writing about lately. On December 13, 2007 I posted about the Health Miles program that I particpate in at my gym. (http://us.virginhealthmiles.com/pages/home.aspx) So if you care to read more information about the program please go there. The main thing I want to say about it now is that I've re-upped again into the Health Miles program for another year. My reup date was January 17, and since that date came and went and I'm still participating, it means that for the next year I'll be exercising at my usual pace yet again. Every year I go through the same thoughts. Should I keep going or should I give myself a break? In 2007 I posed the same question and that was after being in the program for … [Read more...]

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