Why Taking Time to Stretch Daily is Important

Stretching is most often associated as an activity performed before any type of work out. However, stretching is something that should be implemented as part of our daily routine, especially as you get older.

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Happy Stretching!

The Power of Cucumber

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I’ve always had a great respect for cucumber and have always recommended eating them daily. My daughter thinks they’re a tasteless, bland, and boring fruit. In reality they’re a godsend and I especially have a greater respect for cucumbers now that i’m 37.

Why?

Reason #1

CUCUMBERS HAVE ANTI-AGING POWER

As a kid, I used to always wonder why women in spas placed cucumbers over their eyes.

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Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

As an adult, I realize the anti-aging power in cucumbers and always try my  best to include cucumbers in my diet (with the skin on).

Cucumbers keep the elasticity in your skin TIGHT!

Copper promotes collagen production and aids elastin. Cucumbers are packed with copper and antioxidants such as vitamin A & C. These vitamins regenerates collagen, prevents wrinkles & sagging, fights acne, and reduces the risk of skin cancer. They also hep lighten and brighten skin.

Cucumbers also contain vitamin B-12, B-5, & K.

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Reason #2
CUCUMBERS AID IN WEIGHT LOSS

It should go without saying that cucumbers are low  in calories. Because they’re high in water (95% water) and low in calories, research shows that they’re one of the best vegetables to add to your diet when trying to shed some weight.


 Weight loss and the anti-aging  benefits are my main reasons for respecting the fruit. Check out the video below to discover the many more health benefits and power of

Cucumber


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References:
https://www.herbaldynamicsbeauty.com/blogs/herbal-dynamics-beauty/cucumbers-anti-aging-power-for-skin
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-cucumber#section4

Sugar: Toxic and More Addictive than Cocaine?

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If you’ve read my scifi book, Negus, you may have remembered a short story about aliens secretly conducting research on earthlings. In the below passage, the aliens provide feedback on sugar in a letter to other reseachers back home:

“There was one sandy textured ingredient in many of the food that we learned was called refined sugar. It is the most detrimental of all so far. We believe this is the main aggressor and contributor to the progressive aging and cell damage. The beings do not seem to be aware of this, as they feed their offspring this poison. It must also be noted that almost every single “food” here has this poison.

However, the chemicals have a very delightful taste! We have found in an unfortunate way, that some components of the additives are for addictive purposes. You see, after having sampled a few processed foods under the category of what they refer to as “sweets”, we began to experience a deep yearning for more. We have finally weaned off of the poison for good after numerous fails, with no intentions of ever consuming it again.” – Excerpt from my scifibook, Negus.


Virtually every processed food has sugar, including foods that most wouldnt classify as sweets (bread, pasta, pizza, etc). This may be one reason why processed food/comfort food is so addictive. There are other addictive additive in processed foods that also also accounts fot this. However, on this post, sugar will be our primary focus.


Why Sugar is so Satisfying

Hedonic Value:
According to verywellmind.com, “The hedonic value of sugary foods is the intensity of pleasure experienced by the person eating it. The point at which sweet beverages are most pleasurable has been identified at 10 percent. This is known as the “bliss point.” Food retailers keep their foods as close to the bliss point as possible to stimulate people’s desire to re-experience the bliss point by eating that food again and again.”
Dopamine:
Like drugs, sugar also releaeses dopamine, which is the brain’s reward system.


I also recommend everyone read or own a copy of The Brain Bible by John Arden, which explains in detail the physical affects of sugar on the brain.

An excerpt fromt The Brain Bible:
“Sugar is potentially destructive to the body, especially the brain. High levels of sugar contribute to premature aging, and aging makes you less tolerant to sugar in your blood.”
“Sugar stiffens protein molecules by creating pigments called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs act like a chemical glue that fuses molecules, causing a process called cross-linking. Consider what happens to a piece of meat when you leave it too long on the grill. Not only do you brown the skin, you toughen in. Overcooked meat is cross-linked, making it difficult to cut ot chew. When your cells have cross-linked, many processes become impaired.”

 


Just How Toxic is Sugar?


Beating Sugar Addiction

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References:
https://www.verywellmind.com/sugar-addiction-22149
http://theconversation.com/fact-or-fiction-is-sugar-addictive-73340

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Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

Alas, the one post I’ve been dragging my feet on posting about

BPD

(also known as Emotional Dysregulation Disorder)

(Not to be confused with Bipolar Disorder, which is NOT a personality disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder.)

I want to apologize in advance on the multiple videos posted below. I wanted to include as many educational resources and references about the topic at hand.


What exactly is Borderline Personality Disoder?

I recommend listening to at least the first 10 minutes of the below video. Out of all the videos, I ‘ve found that Dr Ramani breaks down the traits and characteristics the best.

It is important to remember that not everyone suffering from BPD have the same characteristics or traits, as there is a spectrum. Not every individual with this disorder is “crazy”, violent, and obsessive as portrayed in media. Therefore not everyone with BPD are exactly alike. Also, only FIVE of the 9 criteria must be met to be diagnosed, which means not all suffering with BPD are suicidal or etc.

As always, it is recommended to not self-diagnose. Please seek a professional for a proper diagnosis.

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The Stigma of BPD

1. STIGMA ONLINE:

Borderline folks catch a lot of flack online. Just look through the many videos and comments on YouTube from disgruntled exes.

Men and women with BPD are often thought of as toxic, manipulative, and attention-seeking by some, when in fact, those with BPD feel love intensely and most have a fear of abandonment. Alot of times theyfeel a great sense of guilt whenever they do cause disruption. I wil admit that it does take a very patient person to be able to involve themselves romantically with someone with BPD. Of course this also depends on where the person with BPD falls on the spectrum and the traits they possess, as not all individuals are the same.

2. STIGMA IN HEALTHCARE SETTINGS

And if that isn’t bad enough, people with BPD are also discriminated against by mental health professionals

This is because they (people with BPD) are one of the hardest to treat because the disorder often misunderstood. In fact, not all therapist are willing to treat or understand enough about BPD. Those with BPD are often dropped as patients (see The Stigma Associated With Borderline Personality Disorder and Why Do Therapists Stigmatize People with Borderline? )

3. STIGMA IN HOLLYWOOD/FILMS

I’ve come to notice that alot of films based on a character with BPD are often exaggerated and doesn’t help the stigma already attached with BPD.

Such as:

Single White Female

Welcome to Me

A Thin Line Between Love & Hate

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

As stated, not all individuals with the disorder have the same traits. Many cannot work and receive disability, while others are high-functioning.

The lack of knowledge is one reason why I recently published a fictional short story of a woman dating while secretly dealing with BPD. The story was written to help education and bring awareness.

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(Click here to hear a sample of the audiobook)


Common BPD jargon:

SPLITTING:

when someone sees someone as all good or all bad and no in between. Its the reason why people with BPD tend to idealize others or demonize other people out of the slightest of things.

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“FP”: FAVORITE PERSON

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TREATMENT

1. PSYCHOTHERAPY (Talk Therapy).….Seeking a mental health professional is recommended. Most professionals will suggest group therapy with others with BPD. Individual therapy is often long-term.

2. MEDICATION.....Depending on the severity/circumstances, medication can also be prescribed for emotion regulation.

3. AGING/TIME....For some, BPD may not a life-long disorder. Some are only affected for just several years, with the symptoms decreasing in intensity as they get older. The disorder mostly affects young women, but there are older men and women who are affected.

4. DBT Workbook (Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook). DBT is considered one of the most effective methods for treating BPD. Some professionals use it for group therapy but the workbooks is also recommended for individual use and can be found at online retail stores like Amazon.


CONCLUSION

There is so much more that can be said about BPD that i’m sure was missed in this post such as mood swings, impulsiveness, dissociation, and etc.

If you or someone you know may be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, the best thing you can do is research. There are also online support groups on Facebook for not only those with BPD, but for loved ones of those with BPD, as loved ones are also often greatly affected. Some have admitted that being around those with BPD is like always walking on eggshells.

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Writer’s Guilt

A few weeks back I wrote about Writer’s Depression and how a surplus of writer’s suffer from depression. Well there’s another thing that I recently found out that writers also deal with regularly: Writer’s Guilt.

I have suffered from writer’s guilt for years now. Before I go further into detail about how it’s affected me, I must clarify that there are two forms of writer’s guilt.

  • Writer’s Guilt#1: Guilt of spending majority of your time writing. I think this is a good problem to have. Many people who have yet to pulish a book or finish writing haven’t done so because they don’t make the time or simply just procrastinate. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to get your ass up and write your book, blog, essay, or etc. It’s simply procrastination and lack of focus. Well, these writers with this form of writer’s guilt are the exact opposite. They believe they are overly-focused and heavily motivated. They usually feel guilt because they feel that they don’t spend enough time with family and friends or doing other things. (Click here to read more about this type of guilt)

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  • Writer’s Guilt#2: Guilt of not writing. This is the guilt that most writers feel. This is the guilt that has been plaguing me over these past couple of weeks. I have not posted a blog in weeks, nor have I worked on my new book in days. (The Other Woman, coming soon!) I don’t know where this sense of guilt comes from. Even when I vowed to quit writing in the past (I’ve vowed to quit at least seven or eight times), I could never quit. It’s like a habit that I can’t shake. The longest I have ever gone without writing was about five or six months and whenever someone would ask about future projects or how my writing was going, a deep sense of guilt would seep in. I would feel like I just betrayed someone. I still feel that way when it’s been just a couple days. Maybe it is betrayal. Betrayal to my higher self, to God-who gifted me with this skill, or betrayal to the craft itself. I’m not sure. I do know that it’s like a pang of guilt that sits at my subconsious until I get to writing. Hell, maybe it’s my spirit guides urging/enouraging me to fulfill my passion/life work/calling. I don’t know.

Either way, below are a few links to help get you out of that Writer’s Guilt. Whether it’s guilt from writing too little or from writing too much.

1. How to Ditch Writer’s Guilt

2. Six Tips for Working Through Writer’s Guilt

3. Why Writers Feel Guilty and How to Overcome It

4. 10 Ways to Kick Writer’s Guilt to the Curb

I would also like to add that joining and participating in a writing group is also helpful. I am a member of writing group on Facebook, where writing challenges are posted each day. This helps in getting out of that non-writing funk.

You can also purchase creative writing journals under $10 on Amazon. Here are 3:

300 Writing Prompts

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Have you ever been a victim of Writer’s Guilt? Have you ever heard of it? Any suggestions on dealing with it? Comment below.

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Writer’s Depression is REAL

We’ve all heard or read how the infamous Sylvia Plath stuck her head in an oven and committted suicide at the young age of thirty. (If you haven’t, click here) Plath suffered from clinical depression. We’ve also heard about other writers and creatives who suffer from depression. Many writers forget or may not even be aware that we’re more prone to writer’s depression.

My aim in blogging about this today is to ease and help cope with my own depressive state at this very moment.

Out of all creatives, those who write are more prone than any other type of creatives.

 

 

If you’re not a writer but know someone who is, check in on them from time to time. Even if they seem happy. A mental health check is pertinent to that writer because we tend to isolate ourselve for hours to day to weeks or months when creating. We’re also our own worse critic and even the slightest bad review on our work can set off doubt and self-loathing within ourself. 

The best advice I’ve ever received as a writer is to write in a public setting around other people, such as a library.

This helps with the isolation aspect of it. I personally tried this and agree that this does help with feeling isolated as well as my overeating.

So check on your fellow creatives..especially our young and teen writers.

If you or anyone you know are having thoughts of suidicide, there is help:

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

You call or chat with someone using the above link.

Deaf or hard of hearing? tel:1-800-799-4889


Recommended read:

Amazon.com Review

In 1985 William Styron fell victim to a crippling and almost suicidal depression, the same illness that took the lives of Randall Jarrell, Primo Levi and Virginia Woolf. That Styron survived his descent into madness is something of a miracle. That he manages to convey its tortuous progression and his eventual recovery with such candor and precision makes Darkness Visible a rare feat of literature, a book that will arouse a shock of recognition even in those readers who have been spared the suffering it describes


This blog post is dedicated to the late Haitian blogger and writer, Kreyolicious.


References:
https://thoughtcatalog.com/cody-delistraty/2014/03/the-neurological-similarities-between-successful-writers-and-the-mentally-ill/

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Mental Health Break

It’s important to slow down once in a while and just be still and reflect. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, napping, journaling, reading, and even coloring, put away all of the distracting technology for a minute and just be.

A lot of time we surpress toxic habits or worrying thoughts and they manifest in a different way. For me it’s binge eating and also trichotillmania, which is the impulse of pulling out one’s hair.

Smoking, excessive drinking,frivolous spending, and promiscuity may also be ways in which stress manifests itself.

Shut off all technnology, light some incense, and just be still. I recommend meditation.

For deeper issues, seeking a mental health professional is highly advised.

Your employer or insurance may cover therapy. Also, there are government programs that assist in free or low-cost therapy.

Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress and is a method I have been using, albeit not consistently. Also cooking more, instead of eating out, is another way for me to enjoy being in the moment and perfect my cooking skills.

Kicking back with friends to let your hair down is also important as isolation can often lead to depression. Having someone to talk to is encouraged rather than staying alone with your thoughts.

Whatever it is you enjoy or prefer…do it and do it often.

You deserve it.


Check out Me Time Meditation and Me Time Bedtime Journaling by clicking here