Herbal Remedies and Dietary Supplements

Some people find herbal remedies and dietary supplements useful in relieving the symptoms of depression. Herbs and supplements commonly used for this purpose include:

  • amino acids and their precursors
  • DHEA
  • folate or folic acid
  • SAMe
  • St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Scientific evidence supports the effectiveness of at least one herbal remedy (St. John’s wort) and two dietary supplements (DHEA and SAMe) for reduction of depressive symptoms. However, herbal remedies and dietary supplements do not help all people and in some cases, the effectiveness of these treatments has not been completely established.

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15 Simple Ways to De-stress

Hypnotize Yourself

Brow furrowed? Pulse galloping? Barely able to breathe? It’s time to relax. We’ve gathered easy strategies to keep tension from taking over.

Forget swaying pocket watches and deep trances. “Hypnosis is a state of highly focused attention,” says David Spiegel, the director of Stanford School of Medicine’s Center on Stress and Health. If done properly, hypnosis can clear your mind, lower your heart rate, and decrease muscle tension. Close your eyes and picture a movie screen with something stressful, like rush-hour traffic, on the left side. Now, visualize a solution playing out on the right, like discovering a new route with no traffic. Eventually, you’ll feel a moment of intense absorption, he explains, like when you’re so caught up in a good movie that you forget where you are. Try doing this for five minutes, three or four times a day.

(Really) Forgive Someone

Although it may be tempting to rehash the details of how your sister’s boyfriend snubbed you, letting go of negative feelings really does lower stress. “When our minds keep rehearsing troubling interactions, the body’s calming system becomes impaired,” says Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet, a psychologist at Hope College in Holland, Mich. A cursory hug won’t do, though. You have to sincerely replace your anger toward the wrongdoer with an attempt to understand the reasons behind his actions. “Forgiveness helps you see more of the truth, not less. When we are upset, our vision is limited in scope,” says Witvliet.

Open the Window

Just looking out your window can have a relaxing effect. In a study led by Peter Kahn, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle, participants in an office were shown one of three views: a natural setting, a digital display of the same scene, and no view. When stress levels were artificially increased, those looking at the real natural scene returned to their normal heart rate more quickly. Those who looked at the digital display did no better than those looking at a blank wall, suggesting the brain is not easily fooled. “We do best mentally and physically when we’re connected to nature,” says Kahn.

Send Yourself Flowers

“Without question, stress is mitigated by nature,” says Mehmet C. Oz, coauthor of “You: Stress Less” (Simon & Schuster). Scientists at Harvard University delivered flowers to one group of women and gave candles to a second group. Within a week, the first group felt less anxious and depressed, perhaps because humans are comforted by vegetation—a means of survival in caveman days. Oz suggests keeping a plant on your desk and cut flowers at the dinner table.

Pucker Up

A kiss (or two) a day can keep the stress away. You’ll feel less isolated, which is a common source of anxiety. According to Laura Berman, a professor of obstetrics-gynecology and psychiatry at Northwestern University, women in particular respond to locking lips by releasing endorphins. She recommends at least one ten-second kiss a day — deep and emotional, but not necessarily sexually arousing. “Just enjoy the physical connection,” she says.

Take a Time-Out

You don’t need to slip into bed to get the benefits of a good rest. Kate Hanley, author of “The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide: 77 Simple Strategies for Serenity” (Skirt!), suggests a simple exercise you can do at your desk that is just as refreshing as a nap:

  • Keeping both feet on the floor, stack your forearms on the edge of the table.
  • Scoot back in your chair so your spine is extended.
  • Rest your forehead on your arms for a minute or two.

This opens the neck and shoulders, where physical tension commonly builds up, and creates space in your rib cage for deep breathing. Visualize your next task going well, or simply focus on your heartbeat. Either way, this exercise gives you a break.

Take it Easy

Working out is a great way to take a bite out of tension—but think twice before you sign up for a boot camp. “When you are mentally tired, intense exercise adds to the stress you are feeling,” says Samuele M. Marcora, a physiologist at the University of Kent in England. After a draining day, he suggests a moderate-intensity workout, like walking or light running. “It won’t improve your fitness level, but it is good for the mood.”

Say ‘Om’

Yoga is a proven stress buster, but not all poses give the same relief. Inverted stances, such as back bends and headstands, may have a greater effect on your mood and anxiety, say researchers. The part of the nervous system that relaxes the body and mind may be stimulated when the spine is bent, explains Chris Streeter, a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.

Go Into the Light

“Stress can be triggered when our bodies don’t know what time it is,” says Julie Holland, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. “Exposing your retina to sunlight resets your circadian rhythm so your brain is on a schedule.” Take a walk outside without sunglasses for 20 minutes a day, three times a week. Phototherapy lamps and vitamin-D supplements also help.

Watch a Tearjerker

If you’re still crying your contacts out on your 100th viewing of “Blue Valentine,” try watching it a 101st time with a new outlook: A recent study suggests that thinking positively while watching a sad movie may help you cope with setbacks in the real world. Women who had experienced stress were shown sad scenes from movies such “I Am Sam” and “Fatal Attraction” and asked to come up with happy endings and good advice for the characters. Test subjects who were best at this showed fewer signs of depression than women who watched the movies passively, says Allison S. Troy, a researcher at the University of Denver. Solving other people’s problems is always easier, she says. Practicing as you make your way through your Netflix queue may sharpen your skills.

Treat Your Allergies

Itchy eyes and a runny nose aren’t the only plagues of allergy season: Stress may rise with the pollen count. Alvaro Guzman, a psychiatrist at the National Center for the Treatment of Phobias, Anxiety and Depression in Washington, D.C., says research shows that patients with seasonal allergies often report stress, mood dips, and depression when symptoms flare. “When we have an allergic reaction, chemicals are produced in our blood that can aggravate mood changes,” he says. If you notice your stress levels peaking when the weather is changing, Guzman suggests getting tested for allergies.

Drop an F-Bomb

Saying what you really think about the boss over a couple of martinis has its advantages. After observing groups in various workplaces, Yehuda Baruch, a professor of management at Rouen Business School in France, found that people swear as a coping mechanism to release stress. When upset with a difficult customer, one test subject pretended to carry on a conversation as if the client were still on the phone, but with profanity to describe exactly how she felt. In the real world, Baruch warns to use common sense. “Stay professional and never swear in front of someone who would be offended.”

Get Busy

You’re sitting on the couch watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reruns — just like last weekend. And instead of becoming absorbed, part of your brain stays focused on the looming deadlines that have been nagging at you at work. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, a professor of psychology at Yale University and the author of “Women Who Think Too Much” (Henry Holt), says, “Overthinking without being able to resolve anything draws us deeper into a feeling of being overwhelmed.” A pastime that requires you to pay attention or engage with other people—like tackling a new recipe, taking a foreign-language class, or playing tennis—lets you escape from your own spinning head and break the cycle.

Surround Yourself With Beauty

Admiring a photo of a model or a movie star just as you would a work of art could relieve tension. Half a group of people who viewed photos of females wearing makeup said they were less stressed afterward, according to a study at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. The other half did not report the same benefit, but they didn’t feel any worse, says Patrick Pössel, a professor of psychology who conducted the study.

Be a Pescatarian

Battling stress can be as simple as ordering fish at a restaurant. On “The Truth About Food,” a program on the Discovery Health Channel, researchers measured hormone levels in London cabdrivers, who have highly stressful jobs. When put on a diet of four portions a week of oily fish like mackerel, a source of omega-3 fatty acids, the drivers produced less of the stress hormone cortisol and more of DHEA, a hormone the body cranks out to combat stress. “When the body sees omega-3 fatty acids, it feels calm,” says Oz. Walnuts, flaxseeds, and tofu are other excellent sources.

95 Questions to Help You Find Meaning and Happiness

post written by: Marc

95 Questions to Help You Find Meaning and Happiness

Questions to Help You Find Meaning and Happiness

At the cusp of a new day, week, month or year, most of us take a little time to reflect on our lives by looking back over the past and ahead into the future.  We ponder the successes, failures and standout events that are slowly scripting our life’s story.  This process of self-reflection helps us maintain a conscious awareness of where we’ve been and where we intend to go.  It is pertinent to the organization and preservation of our long-term goals and happiness.

The questions below will help you with this process.  Because when it comes to finding meaning in life, asking the right questions is the answer.

  1. In one sentence, who are you?
  2. Why do you matter?
  3. What is your life motto?
  4. What’s something you have that everyone wants?
  5. What is missing in your life?
  6. What’s been on your mind most lately?
  7. Happiness is a ________?
  8. What stands between you and happiness?
  9. What do you need most right now?
  10. What does the child inside you long for?
  11. What is one thing right now that you are totally sure of?
  12. What’s been bothering you lately?
  13. What are you scared of?
  14. What has fear of failure stopped you from doing?
  15. What will you never give up on?
  16. What do you want to remember forever?
  17. What makes you feel secure?
  18. Which activities make you lose track of time?
  19. What’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever made?
  20. What’s the best decision you’ve ever made?
  21. What are you most grateful for?
  22. What is worth the pain?
  23. In order of importance, how would you rank: happiness, money, love, health, fame?
  24. What is something you’ve always wanted, but don’t yet have?
  25. What was the most defining moment in your life during this past year?
  26. What’s the number one change you need to make in your life in the next twelve months?
  27. What’s the number one thing you want to achieve in the next five years?
  28. What is the biggest motivator in your life right now?
  29. What will you never do?
  30. What’s something you said you’d never do, but have since done?
  31. What’s something new you recently learned about yourself?
  32. What do you sometimes pretend to understand that you really do not?
  33. In one sentence, what do you wish for your future self?
  34. What worries you most about the future?
  35. When you look into the past, what do you miss most?
  36. What’s something from the past that you don’t miss at all?
  37. What recently reminded you of how fast time flies?
  38. What is the biggest challenge you face right now?
  39. In one word, how would you describe your personality?
  40. What never fails to frustrate you?
  41. What are you known for by your friends and family?
  42. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
  43. What’s a common misconception people have about you?
  44. What’s something a lot of people do that you disagree with?
  45. What’s a belief you hold with which many people disagree?
  46. What’s something that’s harder for you than it is for most people?
  47. What are the top three qualities you look for in a friend?
  48. If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?
  49. When you think of ‘home,’ what, specifically, do you think of?
  50. What’s the most valuable thing you own?
  51. If you had to move 3000 miles away, what would you miss most?
  52. What would make you smile right now?
  53. What do you do when nothing else seems to make you happy?
  54. What do you wish did not exist in your life?
  55. What should you avoid to improve your life?
  56. What is something you would hate to go without for a day?
  57. What’s the biggest lie you once believed was true?
  58. What’s something bad that happened to you that made you stronger?
  59. What’s something nobody could ever steal from you?
  60. What’s something you disliked when you were younger that you truly enjoy today?
  61. What are you glad you quit?
  62. What do you need to spend more time doing?
  63. What are you naturally good at?
  64. What have you been counting or keeping track of recently?
  65. What has the little voice inside your head been saying lately?
  66. What’s something you should always be careful with?
  67. What should always be taken seriously?
  68. What should never be taken seriously?
  69. What are three things you can’t get enough of?
  70. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  71. What fascinates you?
  72. What’s the difference between being alive and truly living?
  73. What’s something you would do every day if you could?
  74. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
  75. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
  76. What makes you feel incomplete?
  77. When did you experience a major turning point in your life?
  78. What or who do you wish you lived closer to?
  79. If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?
  80. What’s something you know you can count on?
  81. What makes you feel comfortable?
  82. What’s something about you that has never changed?
  83. What will be different about your life in exactly one year?
  84. What mistakes do you make over and over again?
  85. What do you have a hard time saying “no” to?
  86. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
  87. What’s something that used to scare you, but no longer does?
  88. What promise to yourself do you still need to fulfill?
  89. What do you appreciate most about your current situation?
  90. What’s something simple that makes you smile?
  91. So far, what has been the primary focus of your life?
  92. How do you know when it’s time to move on?
  93. What’s something you wish you could do one more time?
  94. When you’re 90-years-old, what will matter to you the most?
  95. What would you regret not fully doing, being, or having in your life?

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.  And of course, check out our sister site, Thought Questions, for more thought-provoking questions like these.

Photo by: Hartwig HKD

7 Mental Mistakes That Stop You From Living a Life of Freedom and Peace

7 Mental Mistakes That Stop You From Living a Life of Freedom and Peace

How often do you lament the fact that you’re still not where you want to be?

  • There’s still something missing from your life that if you could get, you’d be happy.
  • Life doesn’t seem fair, and it never works out just the way you want it.

If you identify with any of these statements, then you’re most likely making mental mistakes that may hold you back for the rest of your life.  The good news is that since they are mental mistakes, they can be changed, and when changed, your whole life can be changed.

  1. Living in the Future Do you dream of a better future where you have more money to travel, more time to do what you want, or even a better job?  Then you’re falling into the first mental trap, which is giving your attention to a future projection that does not exist.
    The future cannot save you. The more you complain, the worse you will feel.
    The solution? Notice whenever you feel pulled to daydream and bring your attention back to your body. Be present with whatever is here and now, even if it feels negative.  In the beginning, it may be uncomfortable, because you are used to running away, and your mind is active, but if you truly want to live a joyful life, then this is one of the fastest paths there.
    This doesn’t mean you stop planning. It means you stop excessive future projection that leads to chronic dissatisfaction.
  2. Living in the Past Do you wish you could go back to the past and change something?  Or maybe you’re marveling in a memory that is sweet as cotton candy. It fills you with joy and excitement, but at the same time, it carries with it a sour aftertaste, because it’s only a memory.
    Remembering good times is all fine and good. The problem arises when it is done excessively.  Whenever you notice your attention drifting away either to the past or future, gently bring it back, and notice how you’re feeling right now.
  3. Saying No to the Here and Now Staying right here and now can be painful.  Stay vigilant of what is happening within you even as you read these words. Guard the temple that is your inner space.
    How deep or shallow is your breathing? What thoughts are arising?  Do you want to be somewhere else, do something else, have something better?  Is there a problem in this present moment unless you think about it?
  4. Going Nowhere Fast Are you constantly in a hurry?  You have a goal that you want to get to, because you think it will make your life better.  The best measuring stick for a good goal is to ask yourself if it is making your life better right now.
    If not, then drop the goal.
    Most people are constantly going somewhere else. They are never here. And when they reach that somewhere else, they set a new goal, and off they go, back on the hamster wheel.
    It is a never-ending journey that is full of suffering.
  5. External Solutions to Internal “Problems” Things do not give you peace, freedom, and fulfillment.  It is your reaction to them that gives you all the good feelings. The good feelings come from inside, not from outside.
    Beyond food, shelter, and a few basic needs, things do not dramatically increase your happiness, which is why you see so many miserable people swimming in material abundance.  They are trying to fix something internal with something external. It just doesn’t work.
    The only way to experience freedom and peace is to go inside.
  6. Avoidance Whenever you feel inner turmoil, negativity, suffering, or pain, sit with it, and be with it, without analyzing.  It is the running away and wanting it to go away that feeds the fire. Stop avoiding what you are experiencing, and simply be.
    Notice the chaos of your mind, and notice that you are not that. You are the presence behind your thoughts.  And if you want to take it further, notice what is aware of both your thoughts and the presence behind them.
  7. Feeding the Fire That Burns You We take so much so seriously, but everything that exists in our head are merely ideas.  It may not seem like that, but that is how it is.  If you believe that you shouldn’t do something, that’s an idea. If you believe you are better than others, that’s an idea. If you believe you are no good, that’s an idea.  If you think this article is full of baloney. That’s another idea that is constructed from other ideas you’ve learned in the past.
    Those are all ideas, and they hold power over you as long as you choose to identify with them.
    How do you not identify with them?  By allowing them to pass. Look at them, taste them, but do not put them in your pocket and call them yours.  You have ideas that you do not pay attention to, such as the color of flowers. You don’t get angry about them or try to change them. They just are the way they are.
    What if all your thoughts and ideas were like this?  What if it was okay to feel whatever you feel?  Just let it be. It is your constant wanting to change what is that stands between you and a life full of freedom and peace.

Are You Positive? How and Why Affirmations Work.

I was cleaning up my inbox and found this from Sophie, who had posted it on her blog a few days ago.

As they say “we are what we think we are”.

Today’s Inspiration: Thewellnesswarrior.com.au

“Until a few months ago I never really got into affirmations. However, after reading Louise Hay’s books  I started to understand the power of affirmations. I loved this article, written by Jessica, describes how affirmations work and why they are so powerful.”
~Sophie

 

“An affirmation opens the door. It’s a beginning point on the path to change.”
– Louise Hay

 

Are You Positive? How and Why Affirmations Work.


I talk to myself a lot. Most of the time I do it in my head, but some times I will do it out loud. The latter is usually only in the company of my dog. I’m not crazy. Not by clinical standards, anyway. I simply understand the power my words and thoughts have over my life. Constantly repeating positive affirmations has had a major effect on my life.

According to Dr Bruce Lipton, most of our beliefs are formed when we are children. Perhaps it was said that you are stupid, lazy, selfish, or shy. This affirmation would have left an imprint in your mind, during the years that are most formative. And then these unwholesome statements can stay with you in the conscious or unconscious mind, only to be reinforced throughout the rest of your life. Unless you do something about it. The core beliefs that we have in this moment are the results of our past experiences – things we heard, things we’ve seen, and things we were told. This doesn’t make them real though.

The unconscious mind cannot tell the difference between a real or imagined idea, so it responds to whatever suggestions you give it. So, if you’re constantly telling yourself that you are stupid, fat, lazy, or shy – that is the reality you are going to create for yourself.

The awesome and empowering part of this is that we can turn it all around. When we are aware of the mind’s powerful ability to create whatever it is we tell it to, we can go ahead and do just that.

By repeating positive affirmations you can actually retrain your mind to create a reality that matches your goals.

By changing your perception, you change your reality. It all starts with the thoughts you think. These thoughts become your feelings, these feelings become your vibration and your vibration ultimately becomes your life. It is your vibration that determines whether you are attracting what you want into your life or not. So, as simple as they are, affirmations can transform every aspect of our lives including our health, relationships and success.

 

Affirmations. Whether you think you can, or think you can't. You are always right.

 

How to make affirmations work

 

For affirmations to be effective they must be written in the first person, be in the present tense, be goal orientated and be written as though they have already been achieved. So don’t go around saying things like “I wish” or “I will” or “I want”. You need to act as if.

You affirmations must be followed through with some kind of supporting action. You need to walk your talk. There’s no point in affirming that you’re a Power Ranger if you’re not prepared to go out and hire a coloured suit and helmet.

 

Here are some of the affirmations I repeat every day:

• I have a perfectly healthy body and mind
• I am healing now
• I love and approve of myself
• Abundance flows into my life in surprising ways every day
• Life flows effortlessly
• All my relationships are harmonious

 

 

 

 

Add power to your positivity

 

Repeat your affirmations as often as possible. The more you repeat them, the deeper they will be ingrained into your mind, and the faster they will be implemented in your subconscious.

You can speak them out loud, repeat them to yourself, write them down over and over again in a journal and write them on post it notes and stick them all over your house. I have mine written on the mirror in my bathroom, inside my diary, on my computer screen saver, on my vision board, and I even set reminders on my phone throughout the day so I am randomly greeted with something telling me “You look beautiful today, Jessica!”

 

 

Happiness — Find out what makes you happy so you can keep it going.

Find Your Happy Place

Are you happy? It’s such an important question because happiness has such a huge impact on your health, from your arteries to your heart, from the glow in your skin to the pep in your step. Happy feelings influence your brain and body chemistry in ways that make you better able to cope with pain and stress and to fend off colds, flu, heart disease, and even cancer. Follow these steps to help make yourself happier, day in and day.

Believe in Yourself

Finding true happiness requires taking a good hard look at yourself. The goal is to identify any off-the-wall beliefs about your self-worth and adjust them. When you’re at ease with yourself and open to others, friendships seem to blossom naturally. Just acknowledging secret self-doubts may help you develop enough humor and compassion toward yourself to reach out to others, who, underneath, are probably just like you: sometimes unsure and shy.

Hang Out with Happy Friends

Having someone in your immediate social circle who is upbeat ups your chances of happiness by 15%. Why? It seems happy people have the power to spread their feel-good vibes far and wide the same way a ripple spreads through a pond. Not only do immediate friends matter, but friends of friends, too. So make plans to have lunch with a friend or go for a walk together. It could have far-reaching benefits for your mental health.

Make Time for Play

Swap your endless to-do list for some spontaneous playtime. It packs big benefits for your health, mood, mind, job, and even your relationships. When you’re floating free, happy, and totally absorbed, you’re taking a mini vacation from deadlines, bills, and your crazy-busy schedule. Anything counts, from enjoying a silly moment with your spouse to hosting an impromptu gathering, to cooking up a new recipe in the kitchen.

Squash Negativity

Is your inner voice quick to snap out things like, “How could you forget that, you idiot?” Sometimes the noise inside our own heads is our biggest stressor. When negative thoughts crop up, imagine a stop sign in your head, and tell yourself, “Stop!” To turn things around, trade in put-downs for positive thoughts and affirmations. For example, when you feel tired during a workout, think, “I am strong” or when you start work on a difficult task, think, “I can accomplish anything.” Empower yourself to think positive.

Connect with Others

Make every effort to talk — really talk — to people you care about. If they’re far away, stay in touch through e-mail, phone calls, video chat, and, when you can, face-to-face visits; you’ll all benefit by connecting. Get physical, too; hugs stimulate oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone,” spreading a feel-good boost. Lovemaking does, too, in steady relationships (those couples report the highest happiness levels). Plus, connecting with others may keep you healthier by providing a coping mechanism for stress.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Simply writing down what you’re thankful for makes you healthier, happier and more optimistic. Feeling thankful comes, in part, from counting your blessings each day. If you’re not sure how to journal, start by answering: What three things am I thankful for? You might find that journaling gives you a better, happier outlook for each day because you’re looking for moments to include in your journal each night.

Lend a Helping Hand

Volunteering at a nearby school or retirement residence, running to the pharmacy for a sick friend, or lending emotional support to a loved one can give your happiness quotient a big boost. How? Giving back and bonding with others inspires gratitude for what life has given you, and can help you define your purpose in life. The secret to being happy may be realizing that true happiness isn’t about being high on life all the time, but slowing down enough to share your natural gifts with others. Plus, find out how volunteering can help you live longer.  (I’m volunteering for Hospice.)

 

Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Spending time with awesome Mother Nature makes you feel alert, enthusiastic, energetic, and simply happy. Is it the fresh air, the sunshine, the greenery? No one knows for sure. But something about being al fresco appears to help people get even bigger benefits from their workouts and they’re also more likely to stick to their outdoor sports be it walking, bicycling, kayaking or an outdoor fitness class.

Turn On Some Tunes

If you want to feel happy, less stressed and more energetic, flip on your stereo. Whether you love Bach, Lady Gaga or The Beatles, music that makes you feel good increases your heart and breathing rates and makes your brain release dopamine, a lovely feel-good neurotransmitter. Plus, no matter whether you enjoy listening to your favorite music alone or with friends, it will more than likely give you the mood boost you’re looking for.

Meditate or Pray

For some, being spiritual means going to church. For others, it means finding a quiet place to meditate and think about life. No matter how you do it or what you call it, meditation and prayer can help slow breathing and brain activity, and reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Plus, when you do pray or meditate, you’re more likely to be filled with peace, joy, and other positive emotions that can also lead to positive physiological responses throughout your body.

My January Review

WOW this has been an awesome months.  It wasn’t one of my goals for 2012 to write a monthly review but maybe I should just to summarize what I did during the month, to get some perspective plus while I’m writing my monthly review I might as well plan my next months.

So during January I’ve been juggling my 3 jobs.  I’ve done pretty well meaning managing my three jobs so far. I wasn’t late or showed up at the wrong place.  Only once I went to the wrong event but I was an hour early so I had enough time to get to my correct location. However, I didn’t manage to set any time aside for Hospice, which I will have to do in February.

I did some spring cleaning and sorted out my closets.  I realized when it comes to big projects such as cleaning out garage, house, attic, closets etc.  you either need to have a good friend who helps you with making the decision of what needs to go, like Carrie in Sex in the City or you can do it like me with taking small steps at the time. I did ask a friend if she would want to help me clean out my garage in February.

I went to the Tiger Rescue, The Genghis Khan Exhibit, and a Cancer Fundraiser in addition to that my job sent me to and RV show and a Wedding show which both were fun events to work for and they came with a bunch of little perks.

I made my Wish Box.  It is a little blue box with a wizard painted on top.  Inside, lots of little pieces of papers with my wishes. Pink papers are for under $50.00 with things such as wanting to go to a certain restaurant, seeing a certain movie.  Basically these are all items which I can do with my friends or a friend can grant me one wish as a birthday present. As we go through life there is often the thought “oh I want to try this restaurant, see this movie, take this class; however, when your girlfriends asks us “hey what do you want for your birthday?” what do we say?   Now I’m going to have them pick out of the little box which one of my little wishes they want to grant me.  This way it’s still a surprise and it makes it all so much easier.

Then there are yellow and blue papers these are personal items and long term projects, they serve as a mental bridge. How many times have you been sitting around with your friends not know what to do, so you went to the mall or went back to the same restaurant you have gone over 50ty times.  Then the following week you think, last weekend was such a nice weekend and we went to the mall, I totally forgot I always wanted to go horseback riding with this particular friend.  Or you think, so we went back to this restaurant I totally forgot I always wanted to try this other restaurant.

In addition I painted a few more fun boxes to keep my makeup and jewelry organized. Now my bathroom counter is nicely organized and I’m not looking at a bunch of little jars of creams, makeup and jewelry every morning cluttering my bathroom counter.

I completed three paintings and spend time with some friends.

Finally, I bought a new set of glasses which I had been putting off since last summer.

Finally I got a new phone as well. Still not texting, I didn’t feel like paying an additional $20.00 a month so my friends can text useless information.  Many of them would do that if I would have texting.

I set up a savings plan. I also decided that the money from one of my part time jobs will be my lipstick money from now on.  The paycheck goes into a separate account out of which I pay for all my fun stuff, entertainment, dinners, clothes, trips glasses, contact lenses even dentist.  Everything which isn’t a bare essential is paid out of that account and from that job.  The other job will pay the essentials such as utilities, car, housing and the pay from my third job is savings and for my Mom.

Managed to do some yard work which has been way over do and I did manage to get some little workout in here and there.

I only read one book so I need to do better in February.

Overall I think I had a great productive month.  The days were short but the weeks were really long.