'I was having a conversation with a friend the other day. This friend was giving me advice on avoiding covid and the fall flu and any number of afflictions. It reminded me a lot of advice given to me by a teacher long ago.
The friend's solution to my ills, or future ills, was along the line of a herbal remedy though it involved a few supplements and essential oils. Essentially this routine/activity would assist in fighting off disease, but also help me get over it as well. Bottom line was that IT WORKED. I wasn't aware of this remedy and was pretty sure that people were doing stuff like this BEFORE covid (and regardless for what needed to be cured). Naturally I wondered if the CDC or FDA had heard of something this potent before, but I was more inclined to think of my mentor. She referred to the phenomena as the "blue dot test". I am pretty sure there are variations of this example everywhere, but I'll run with the one I remember most fondly.
So the way it goes is essentially you put a blue dot with a magic marker on your wrist as a wellness action for past, future or current maladies. If you were presently ill (or whatever) and got better, well, the blue dot healed you. If no illness (or whatever) was troubling you and you remained healthy, the blue dot kept you from getting sick. If you were not sick, but got sick AFTER the blue dot was put on, you didn't put it on soon enough (but it would now help you get better). And so on . . .
So rather than bothering with trying to navigate all of the mental gyrations needed to untangle the logic kerfuffle I would soon be bogged down in, I gave up in my head just asked if the government or health industry knew about it. My friends response was something along the lines of "they are trying to keep it from the public" for any number of reasons. At that point I simply expressed gratitude for the advice, made sure I had the ritual/practice down in case I was asked again, and changed the subject.
So I guess its fair to ask people to just wonder if the solutions are just blue dots on a wrist or something more meaningful.
The first thing to go when I am getting overwhelmed with the stresses of life is my personal hygiene. You would be surprised how common this is. I know everybody has this belief that any responsible adult showers everyday, if not multiple times a day. Along with believing that girls do not shit or fart, this is a misconception that you need to abandon.
If I could break a depressive episode down into stages, I would have to say the first stage is me not showering regularly or brushing my teeth. As soon and I stop showering on a regular basis, this throws a red flag (and a stench) up for my girlfriend and she asks me when I showered last. Having an accountability partner is very important. Make sure you have somebody that you live with or someone that checks on you that asks if you have showered recently
I do not find this as an insult that I am irresponsible or something other than it is. The person asking you this question sincerely cares about you and wants to see you well. Sometimes these things happen and I am so consumed with my stress and the current moment that I have not given myself time to notice that my office has a mountain of clothes piling up, and I have not showered in several days.
Are you going to feel like showering? Most likely not. If you are starting to slip into a depressive episode, almost all of your energy goes into simply surviving which is exhausting in itself. I have to be reminded several times before I finally do the deed. Once I finish showering, I start to notice other things that I have been neglecting that I would like to get done. Sometimes this helps me get back in my groove and sometimes it lets me know that I am depressed and I need to be aware of what I’m feeling before I let it get any worse.
Do not let anyone fool you into thinking that you can somehow control your mood with positive thinking or praying. You were made this way for a reason, and in some ways it makes you stronger. The routines, herbal supplements, and medications are simply tools to help prevent another depressive episode or at least lighten the depth of the next one you have. Try not to make any rash decisions when faced with the reality that this might be a life long struggle for you. It is hard, but if you try your best to surround yourself with a circle of support and make healthy life choices as often as possible, you can make life enjoyable.
(re-post from personal blog)
The mask wearing kerfuffle: does it really even have to be so hostile? A recent conversation with a friend was inspiring. Essentially the discussion revolved around just how little effort it was to wear a mask, so who really cares if we are asked too. We were looking at different aspects of mask wearing and subtracting things like politics, rights, science (yes, science is clear, but so many reject it anyway), and self-promotion.
Then, in a very empathetic way, he brought up a scenario. We know there is a pandemic and we know it can be deadly. We can argue all we want as to how effective masks are or just how deadly the virus really is. That's fine, there are "arguments", you can agree or disagree all you want, and your belief system can be what it is. The hostility thing is just unreasonable, regardless, but lets step away from the crazy a moment.
He pointed out that people are terrified. No, not all people, granted, but there are many. We all know or recognize these people; and if we don't personally know them, you can certainly see it on the news or social media. These are people that are afraid (and again, there are MANY of these people).
He wondered a bit as to why don't we just wear masks only to alleviate that fear a little bit. Let others know we care about them. When an anxious person sees others rejecting the current standards of mask wearing or distancing, it causes anxiety. Keeping your distance and wearing a mask is a really simple step for people such as these in just helping with the fear. This is kind. This is being considerate and courteous to people suffering from anxiety.
The bottom line is that wearing a mask, regardless of your political bent, beliefs, science, anger, or need for self expression, is really just a act of kindness for many, many people. You are helping people to "not be afraid". Why reject this easy opportunity to be kind to others?
The answer really comes down to a few basics. I am not sure that the ones we list here DON'T cover all the bases. Regardless, what would make a good foundation for wellness? Some sort of starting point is always advisable and the foundation should be something that, generally speaking, people just won't argue with too much. After all, these are just starting points. Here is the challenge: do a google or general search engine inquiry on the below topics. I'll offer some ideas to submit through the search form; but over all, have at it as long as you legitimately follow the subjects at their basic level. Try to stay AWAY from branding! Look for higher education, government or vetted resources. (No . . . no . . . no, its unlikely the good scientists that put together the info at places like FDA.GOV are out to mislead you . . .).
Anyway . . . five items . . . we will always return back to these topics, so no need to fully discuss every subject in detail right now.
1. Sleep well.
Just do a broad search of sleep studies, how much sleep you should get enough information to discover that getting about seven to ten hours of quality sleep per night is advisable. It just is what it is. Its almost universally validated. So START with that and begin learning how to get some quality zzz's.
2. Eat well.
Simply put, follow standard guidelines for nutrition. A great place to START is a site like health.gov. You know . . . its really a great resource for what the body needs nutrition-wise. Its also totally amazing what portion control will do for you.
3. Move well.
START with basic anatomy. If you learn this, you learn how the body moves. Exercise programs vary, but anatomy pretty much stays the same. Don't go looking for differences . . . note the similarities between all of us. Learn the mechanics. A place to begin might be the American Association for Anatomy. but many universities have some sort of accessible database.
4. Breathe well.
Of all the things you don't want to be terrible at, this ranks up near the top. A good place to START would be a broad search for "paradoxical breathing". Learn what that is all about and expand your knowledge about breathing quickly. Or simply discover what the diaphragm and lungs actually "do" when breathing well.
5. Think well.
Fine tune your brain. Learning to think critically. Learn to evaluate situations and subject matter. START with a search for "rhetorical fallacies". Understanding these are as good a foundation as any towards critical thinking. This also happens to be one of those basics that if you can't get right, you may be at a disadvantage with the others.
None-the-less, more on these later.