Signs of Depression

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances, such as:

  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia) is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered persistent depressive disorder.
  • Perinatal depression is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with perinatal depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany perinatal depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies.
  • Psychotic depression occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
  • Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
  • Bipolar disorder is different from depression, but it is included in this list is because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called “bipolar depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”

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Reduce Stress at Work

Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming — and harmful to both physical and emotional health.

Unfortunately such long-term stress is all too common. In 2012, 65 percent of Americans cited work as a top source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) annual Stress in America Survey. Only 37 percent of Americans surveyed said they were doing an excellent or very good job managing stress.

A 2013 survey by APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence also found that job-related stress is a serious issue. More than one-third of working Americans reported experiencing chronic work stress and just 36 percent said their organizations provide sufficient resources to help them manage that stress.

You can’t always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take steps to manage work-related stress.

Common Sources of Work Stress

Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. Some common workplace stressors are:

  • Low salaries.
  • Excessive workloads.
  • Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
  • Work that isn’t engaging or challenging.
  • Lack of social support.
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions.
  • Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations.

Effects of Uncontrolled Stress

Unfortunately, work-related stress doesn’t just disappear when you head home for the day. When stress persists, it can take a toll on your health and well-being.

In the short term, a stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity and heart disease. Compounding the problem, people who experience excessive stress often deal with it in unhealthy ways such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes or abusing drugs and alcohol.

Taking Steps to Manage Stress

  • Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts, feelings and information about the environment, including the people and circumstances involved, the physical setting and how you reacted. Did you raise your voice? Get a snack from the vending machine? Go for a walk? Taking notes can help you find patterns among your stressors and your reactions to them.
  • Develop healthy responses. Instead of attempting to fight stress with fast food or alcohol, do your best to make healthy choices when you feel the tension rise. Exercise is a great stress-buster. Yoga can be an excellent choice, but any form of physical activity is beneficial. Also make time for hobbies and favorite activities. Whether it’s reading a novel, going to concerts or playing games with your family, make sure to set aside time for the things that bring you pleasure. Getting enough good-quality sleep is also important for effective stress management. Build healthy sleep habits by limiting your caffeine intake late in the day and minimizing stimulating activities, such as computer and television use, at night.
  • Establish boundaries. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day. Establish some work-life boundaries for yourself. That might mean making a rule not to check email from home in the evening, or not answering the phone during dinner. Although people have different preferences when it comes to how much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes with it.
  • Take time to recharge. To avoid the negative effects of chronic stress and burnout, we need time to replenish and return to our pre-stress level of functioning. This recovery process requires “switching off” from work by having periods of time when you are neither engaging in work-related activities, nor thinking about work. That’s why it’s critical that you disconnect from time to time, in a way that fits your needs and preferences. Don’t let your vacation days go to waste. When possible, take time off to relax and unwind, so you come back to work feeling reinvigorated and ready to perform at your best. When you’re not able to take time off, get a quick boost by turning off your smartphone and focusing your attention on non-work activities for a while.
  • Learn how to relax. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experiences and thoughts without judging them) can help melt away stress. Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking or enjoying a meal. The skill of being able to focus purposefully on a single activity without distraction will get stronger with practice and you’ll find that you can apply it to many different aspects of your life.
  • Talk to your supervisor. Healthy employees are typically more productive, so your boss has an incentive to create a work environment that promotes employee well-being. Start by having an open conversation with your supervisor. The purpose of this isn’t to lay out a list of complaints, but rather to come up with an effective plan for managing the stressors you’ve identified, so you can perform at your best on the job. While some parts of the plan may be designed to help you improve your skills in areas such as time management, other elements might include identifying employer-sponsored wellness resources you can tap into, clarifying what’s expected of you, getting necessary resources or support from colleagues, enriching your job to include more challenging or meaningful tasks, or making changes to your physical workspace to make it more comfortable and reduce strain.
  • Get some support. Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources available through an employee assistance program (EAP), including online information, available counseling and referral to mental health professionals, if needed. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist, who can help you better manage stress and change unhealthy behavior. Article from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/work-stress.aspx

 

My name is Heather Pincelli, I own a Counseling practice in Florida with offices in Orlando and Brevard County.  To schedule an appointment contact me at: hmpincelli@gmail.com or 863-640-5493

9 Ways to Reduce Anxiety

First let’s talk about what is anxiety?

Anxiety is NOT a random, unknown, or uncontrollable disease or illness that you develop, inherit, or contract. Anxiety results from a certain style of behavior.

More specifically, we create the physiological, psychological, and emotional state of being anxious when we behave in an apprehensive manner, such as being worried, fretful, and/or concerned.

Anxiety is a result of a behavior. Anxiety is not an “it,” disease, or illness.

Everyone experiences anxiety to some degree. And most people have panic attacks at some point in their lives. So anxiety is not bad. It’s just a physiological, psychological, and emotional outcome when we behave in an apprehensive manner.

For example, Webster’s dictionary defines anxiety as:

  • A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties.
  • A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.

Once again, anxiety is NOT a disease or illness. It’s a physiological, psychological, and emotional state that results when we behave apprehensively.

So, what can you do for anxiety? 

There are many ways to treat and help reduce anxiety BUT let’s start with these 9!!

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What is positive parenting?

As a parent of 3 who happens to be a positive discipline educator and a therapist– my opinion of child rearing practices is obviously very biased.

Don’t take my word for it though! Research positive parenting and try it out for yourself.

Positive parenting — sometimes called positive discipline, gentle guidance, or loving guidance — is simply guidance that keeps our kids on the right path, offered in a positive way that resists any temptation to be punitive.

There are many benefits of positive parenting. Most importantly is the secure attachment between parent and child, which encourages healthy development. Secure attachment builds resilience, paves the way for how well your child will function as an adult in a relationship, and have a positive impact on brain development, just to name a few.There are many benefits of positive parenting.

Most importantly is the secure attachment between parent and child, which encourages healthy development. Secure attachment builds resilience, paves the way for how well your child will function as an adult in a relationship, and have a positive impact on brain development, just to name a few.

In a nut shell the premise is that you treat your children with respect as you are teaching them to treat you with respect. It is “mutual respect”.

POP UP Camper Conclusion..finally

Wowsers… summer flew by. I didn’t intend to take so long to post a pop up camper rv living update conclusion–but such is life and well here it is now.

Let’s start with the good things about our pop up experience. As a reminder, we closed on our old house and had about 2 months of time before we would close on our new house. So we had this small window of time and well I decided let’s do it!! Let’s do this full time rving thing —on a small scale. I am totally the person that would love to sell everything, pack the kids into an RV and hit the road.  To me that is living life. Literally living it.  Going where we want, how we want, when we want. I have a teen that isn’t on board with living in a RV during the school year otherwise I am fairly confident I’d be blogging via RV right now 🙂

So the positive:

  1. Talk about connection and quality time with your kids! Words can’t even describe it. Our pop up didn’t have a tv, well we put a small one in but you could only watch movies on it and it was sort of a pain so we didn’t use it much.  This equated to loads of quality time and true interaction.
  2. Life experience.  I still to this day (granted only about 2 months out) but each day I hear a story about the pop up living from my kids. Whether it is the rain, frogs, food, etc. I hear a story about us living in the pop up everyday and I love it!!
  3. Met some incredible people!! Not only the “locals”/temporary residents but the long term full time rving families that were there. All there for different reasons too. One family was a doctor family who moved from their 400K house and wanted to just downgrade and take time to decide what their next move was. Another came as a temporary thing while they were in between housing and a job loss and some 7 years later are still there with their 3 kids.
  4. Having the kids realize that they don’t need “stuff” to live or be happy or do things. Literally all summer no tv, no internet, no stuff to occupy their times. It was them, their few toys we had (ie bikes and roller blades), swimming pool, frogs, bug catching tools, etc. It was neat to see them sort of band together and make new friends and just be kids. Wet, muddy, dirty, no shoes on, holding different bugs and critters each day and smiling all day about it.
  5. Besides the cliche obvious things like it put a roof over our head etc. I truly enjoyed my time in the pop up and am now more confident then ever that the rv life is totally “me”.
  6. I have now learned and proven first hand you don’t need a giant pantry full of shit that is going to sit in there for months, you don’t need a huge freezer full of food that again will sit there for who knows how long, and you don’t need a fridge full of an entire weeks++ worth of food! Seriously! Yet, what is the one thing I did when I closed on my new house and moved in…packed the fridge, pantry, and freezer…oye vey! LOL

The not so positive:

  1.  It isn’t as cheap as one would think.  Especially since our fridge was smallll and that meant regular trips to the grocery store. The meal portion of this RV living added up quick especially because I don’t eat meat and well see #2 :), so these made it a little tricky and since I wasn’t overly prepared for this aspect my food bill was more then I would have liked.
  2. STOVE, we had a small stove in the camper but since space was already an issue and I have little hands in the camper I didn’t want to turn the stove that is propane fueled on.  So the only cooking ability was outside on the grill. It made it a little tricky and the constant rain didn’t help either.
  3. THE RAIN!! There was a lot of rain…. a lot… so being in a campground that didn’t handle rain very well and in a pop up with no tv, no cooking, etc it was a patience testing process at times. Or maybe a sanity testing process is a better way to describe it 🙂
  4. OMG let me not forget the laundry!!! Hands down my single biggest failure to be prepared for was laundry!! Having to cart my stuff to a laundry mat. It was not a huge thing but I wasn’t prepared for it at all so it totally caught me off guard and made me really forget how FANTASTIC having a washer and dryer in your own home is. 🙂
  5. The pop up was fine for a short 60 day stint-not ideal for that length but doable and we made it work BUT truly a smaller travel trailer would have been even more ideal.  We could have used just a few more sq ft of space and storage compartment for some of our stuff underneath the rv woudl have been great.
  6. ISOLATION… if you aren’t careful and don’t make it a point to get out, get around people, socialize … it is super easy to find yourself lonely and isolated. I did pretty good at this, it helped having 3 kids to cart around but being new to the town and knowing no one and being in the pop up. It was a bit of a fine balance of socializing versus isolation.

These are a few of my biggest takeaways. Overall I can say I am so glad I did this! It was a blast. Great memories. Great adventure. I wish we could have moved campgrounds more but given the circumstances that wasn’t how our trip was this summer.

Here’s what I can tell you!!! I am already planning on another summertime excursion for the next summer.  YEP you read it here!! I just announced over the weekend to friends and family that this summer I will be planning a 4-6 week excursion across country. I have a few goals this time

  1. Trade in my pop up and get a small light weight travel trailer!
  2. More campgrounds!! I am hoping to start in Florida and travel all the way to the Seattle/Portland areas! Stopping at many many locations in between!!! CRAZY EXCITED.
  3. Putting more of our adventures on the blog this time!

I receive many behind the scenes comments on my blog! Thank you! I love your feedback and comments whether it is on the blog or off the blog. I am going to start researching the best travel trailer for my needs and routes/places to stop. If you have any favorites feel free to shoot them over to me!!

 

 

Running with big boobs

One of the first questions I get from people when they see or hear I’m a runner is about my boobs.  I’ve got 32ddd boobs and the next answer is yes they are real. 🙂

People have such a common misconception about running and big boobs.  So let’s clear it up a bit. 

Ladies… it is important to have a properly fitted sports bra.  Your girls, boobs, knockers whatever you want to call them shouldn’t be bouncing and flopping all over the place.  If you are wearing the right sports bra those puppies are going to be held right in place nice and snug. 

AND NO you don’t need to wear a dozen sports bras to achieve this.  In fact one sports bra is all you need.  If you are using more then one … go see your local running store and have them fit you for a properly fitted sports bra.  You may need to visit more then one store depending on what their selection looks like. 

Look I’ll repeat.  I’ve got larger boobs.  I wear one sports bra.  My boobies stay put.  They aren’t flopping all over. They aren’t bouncing up to my throat or hitting me in the eye like so many people joke and yours shouldn’t be either. 

I use and swear by the motion comfort Fiona sports bra with the adjustable velcro straps.  I like it because I can really tighten the straps down and have control over how snug the boobs are in the bra. 

So ladies.  If you are constantly having to adjust, bouncing all over, etc get a better sports bra.  🙂

Another question I often get asked is what running gear do I use.  So here’s a pic. 
1. Garmin watch. I don’t bring a Phone with me so I use my Garmin for my time and distance.
2. My iPod nano for music.  Again I don’t bring my phone so I have a separate music player.
3. My waist pouch for water and salt packs etc for longer runs.  I don’t like carrying things in my hand when I run so I use the waist style water holder. 
4. The normal shoes, bra, shorts etc. I typically skip underwear with my shorts especially if the shorts have the built in liner.  I’ve found that too much layering down there sets me up for friction and rubbage issues. 
5. Some sort of id. I like the tags that go in your shoe laces.  Just in case something happens.  Especially since I don’t carry a phone on me.  The tag has my emergency contact info on it.  Otherwise stash the tag in your running pouch ie your water pouch. 

Til next time. Safe running.  🙂

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