Calm in the Storm

 

As the state of Florida braced themselves for Hurricane Irma, I had a calm and peace that even some of my closest friends did not understand. After all I have been through since January 1996, I have come to learn how to be calm in the storm. The serenity prayer has recently been reintroduced to me and it is a short and simple reminder to trust. 

  • God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference

I am blessed that my area of Florida only had some wind and a light drizzle from the storm. I wonder if we got some grace having lived through the devastating Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Dennis in 2005. My heart goes out to everyone impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Natural disasters bring the community together. I hope our communities remain united even after recovery from the storms. Peace and Shalom to all!

How Yoga Helps Me

"yoga"by sippakorn

"yoga"by sippakorn

I was introduced to the practice of yoga in April.  I discovered first-hand that yoga not only helps exercise the body but it helps clear the mind too. 

In recent months I have had unexpected stress and yoga helped me stay focused on the present.  I found the physical movement of yoga helps clear the mind.  When I do yoga, my mind is concentrating on the movement of my body so it enables me to not think about anything else. 

Although I am a novice when it comes to yoga, the benefits are already felt.  Thankfully I have the opportunity to participate in a yoga class twice a week.  I can do more often with a DVD that I have.  My goal is to practice yoga weekly so I can continue to maintain a lower stress level.  I highly recommend the practice of yoga for anyone who is in need of stress relief.

Still Waiting on Google Tech Support

Unfortunately, I am still waiting for a human to contact me regarding my google paid webmail account security issues.  I have been working on since end of January.  Latest update is that on March 19th my support ticket has been noted that I need to speak directly to a support technician.  I am told California does not make any telephone calls so Canada/North America technician request is pending.  I have heard nothing since so still waiting.

Thankfully, this is occurring at a time that I am addressing some medical challenges so my online access is limited anyway.  I appreciate in advance your patience.   Not sure when Google will respond but I am patiently waiting.   As soon as able, most likely the end of April or beginning of May, I will have situation resolved.

Hope everyone has a blessed spring season.

 

 

 

How Do You Find a Human at Google?

Business lady biting Laptop by Ambro

Business lady biting Laptop by Ambro

Lots has been happening in my world since my last blog the beginning of January.  Most of it not good.  The worst is grieving a dear friend of mine.  It has just been a little over a month since her passing.  We all need to take time to grieve and focus on the priorities of life during a mourning period.

Another unexpected and frustrating situation has been the hacking of my email and other internet issues.  We have become so dependent on technology that when life throws us a curve ball, we need to be prepared.  Thankfully, my college degree is in marketing BEFORE the internet was even more than a concept (not showing my age:) 

Apparently, even as a paid customer, finding help at Google is a challenge.  It took me more than 10 days to find a way to get to a human without having access to the internet.  THEN I was taken to support all over the globe even though the headquarters is in California.  I finally got a person to call me back after spending almost an entire day on the telephone.  BUT I am waiting for my patience to build back up before calling them back.

So please be patient with me and if any strange emails from me have come into your inbox, please let me know.  I will hopefully have the situation all resolved before the beginning of next month so can blog about something related to my mission.

Blessings!

Jennifer

Remembering the Challenge

It was a year ago that I was recovering from a fractured ankle.  I remember how challenging that period of time was in my life.  I had never had a physical challenge previously so it was a new experience for me.  The restrictions I had and the inability to drive (it was my right ankle) gave me a perspective that I had not had before.  I learned much from my experience with a physical challenge despite having an invisible challenge for years.

In January 2016, I was honored to write a post for The Mighty.  I recently reviewed the post and it reminded me of how differently an individual with a visible challenge is treated compared to an individual with an invisible challenge.  The insights I learned helps motivate me to continue to strive to decrease the stigma and discrimination that so often is directed towards those with an invisible challenge.  I share the link to the blog post below.  May it bring insight and awareness to others.  Many blessings to you in 2017.

What Hurting My Ankle Made Me Realize About Having an Invisible Illness

Enjoying the Simple Things

Dog 2016.jpg

Over the past month, my life has needed to become more simplified.  The reason it has had to is because of a sweet dog that needed a home.  It is almost 3 years since our family dog passed away.  Never thought of getting another dog until this past year.  I was open to it but my husband was not so I put the idea aside.  Unexpectedly, about eight weeks ago my husband learned of a dog needing a new home because his owners were moving and could not take him with them.  I was surprised and unprepared but excited to welcome a dog into our home.

Although he is a wonderful dog that is bringing fun and joy to our family,  it has been an adjustment having a dog again.  I had to adapt my schedule accordingly.  Life can get hectic and complicated so taking a step back to focus on simple things is a nice change.  It is a privilege to own a dog and being able to spend time with him is important.   As he has been getting comfortable in his new home, I have been able to take time to appreciate and enjoy a less hectic schedule.  Often life becomes overwhelming and we miss taking time to take a step back to remember what is important.  I am blessed to be able to have the opportunity.  I hope this holiday season, you can take time to enjoy the simple things as well.  . 

Honored to attend the 2nd Annual Warrior Mom Conference

I am honored to have been able to attend the recent Warrior Mom conference held by Postpartum Progress in Atlanta, Georgia.  The conference brought together moms, who have been touched by a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder.  The conference experience was one of warmth, love and acceptance.  The two day event provided information on support, advocacy and much needed self-care.  I highly recommend that moms consider attending a future conference.  By providing support, encouragement and love to each other, we can be healthier, while building stronger families and communities.  Thank you, Postpartum Progress, for all you do to support moms.

 

 

National Suicide Prevention Week Blog Post

Is Suicide Always Planned in Advance?

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.  As a result, I would like to share my personal perspective on whether or not suicide is always planned in advance.  It is often assumed that it is but my own experience reveals that it is not.  Although this is my personal experience and in my own words, I must alert the readers that if you or a loved one has had a direct experience with suicide, reading about the details of such a story may trigger difficult emotions and feelings.  Of course, it is an option for you to read no further.  If you do read further and you find this to be the case, I encourage you to turn to a trained professional that can help you process your feelings.

In reviewing my weekly planner during the spring of 1997, there was nothing in it that seemed unusual.  I had both personal and work-related activities and events scheduled.  I had even marked some holidays and special events in joyful participation.  Looking back at my journal, during that period of time, I wrote how much better I was feeling since the onset of postpartum psychosis in early 1996.  So what happened next was completely unexpected. 

One morning in April 1997, my son vomited.  I remember always feeling troubled when my son got sick. He did not seem to have any other signs of sickness and it did not seem serious so I took him to day care. Looking back, I have no memory of driving my son to the day care center.  But I did.  I have no memory of driving myself back home.  Yet, I did. 

What I do remember on that day was the feeling of dreadful worry.  My mind and heart were racing.  I was in a state of panic.  Why?  I did not know.  I couldn’t stop the tension I was feeling nor could I relax.  At that moment I was unable to remember how happy and positive my life was and had been before I was struck with postpartum psychosis.   

The fear was gripping me so strongly that I began to feel panic like I never had before. It was gripping and consuming.  There was nowhere to hide or escape.  I felt sheer terror!  I physically felt as if I was jumping out of my skin.  The fear invaded me completely consuming my body, mind and spirit. 

I had a passing thought that if I could get some sleep, things would be better.  I felt I had to escape from whatever “it” was that was consuming my mind with fear.  I no longer consciously thought or acted on my own.  I could no longer make rational decisions. I reached up on top of the refrigerator.  I grabbed one of the bottles of the medicine my doctor prescribed me.  I reached in the refrigerator for a wine cooler that had been in there since before I was pregnant.  I popped the pills in my mouth and drank the wine cooler.  Although I remember what I did, it was as if my physical actions were detached from the rest of me.  I was no longer able to process my thoughts. 

After a short time, the telephone rang.  I hear my husband’s voice on the other end.  He asks if everything is okay.  I told him very matter-of-factually what I had done.  That is the last memory I have of that day.  If it was not for my husband having a strong urge to contact me at that moment, I most likely would not have survived. I am thankful every day for my life being spared.

I do not have all the answers as to why I survived when so many others do not survive.  I only know that as a result of my experience, I am compelled to share hope with others.  In my case, what happened on that day in April 1997 was not planned in advance, there were no warning signs and there was no explanation or justification for my actions.  It came on suddenly and out of nowhere.  Although every experience and journey is unique, in my humble opinion, I believe many of those who attempt suicide or take their own life, experience the consuming panic and fear similar to what I did.

My hope is that by sharing a part of my own journey it provides better understanding, lessens feelings of guilt and shame, prevents the casting of blame and brings some measure of comfort wherever the journey has taken you or your loved ones.

Always remember there is hope even when it may seem hopeless.  Help is available when you or a loved one is in crisis.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Resource Page

Suicide Awareness and Prevention Event Held in Okaloosa County, Florida

Audience listing to Lia’s Story

Audience listing to Lia’s Story

Lia Wolfe, a 19 year old graduate student at Florida State University, hates what depression has caused in her life but because of her pain she now has hope and joy in the littlest things in life.  Lia was compelled to organize the Suicide Prevention Project Event that was held on Saturday, August 6th, 2016 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  The event began with a workshop at the Fort Walton Beach Library, where Lia shared her powerful story.  The event ended with a silent memorial walk around Fort Walton Beach Landing.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is currently the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.  In fact, in the United States, a person dies by suicide approximately every 18 minutes and a suicide attempt is made once every minute. Suicide seems to attack our youth the hardest.  The Foundation states that suicide is the 5th leading cause of death among 5 to 14 year olds and the 3rd leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds.  Suicide also targets our military with 22 veterans dying by suicide every day.

Lia has a powerful story to share and wants to “shatter the silence and end the stigma against mental illness and suicide.”  She believes that “one way we can make a difference is to stop saying people committed suicide.  People commit crimes and murder, but no one has committed suicide since the early 1970’s when suicide was decriminalized.”  Suicide is a public health concern, not a law enforcement issue.  90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable mental illness at the time of their death.  With Florida being ranked last in the country in access to care, we need to do more than talk about mental illness and suicide.  We need to proactively address.  Lia believes we can be a part of the change by seeking help.  Some of the risk factors for suicide are psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, previous suicide attempts, social isolation and suicidal thoughts.

Suicide greatly impacts family and friends as well.  Lia’s father, Jerry, says the “hardest time of my life was responding to the telephone call from the emergency department, where Lia was getting her stomach pumped.”  Lia’s friend, Sara, who supported Lia through it all, says “Lia inspires me and I am proud of who she has become and I am thankful to call her my friend.”  Imagine the pain of a mother, who almost lost her daughter to suicide.  Lia’s mother, Anita, says “It is a miracle she is alive.”

Warning signs of suicide include, talking about wanting to die or kill themselves, talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live, increasing the use of alcohol or drugs, sleeping too little or too much, and isolating oneself. If you see the warning signs of suicide, begin by talking about it and asking questions, such as do you ever feel so badly that you think about suicide?  Do you have a plan to commit suicide or take your life? 

 

The start of the Memorial Walk

 

Although Lia knows first-hand the darkness of suicide, it is not her identity.  She now encourages others to seek help.  “There is nothing weak about seeking help.  If you break your arm, you don’t hesitate to go to the doctor to get a cast, and have everyone sign it.  So why do we hesitate to seek help if our mind needs healing.”  If you are experiencing symptoms of suicide, do not keep a plan for suicide a secret; don’t feel shameful or afraid to seek help.  Help is available. With proper treatment, you can get your life back.  Keep in mind, Lia’s powerful words, “The only way we are going to beat a problem so many people are facing alone is by standing strong together, because when I is replaced with we even illness becomes wellness.”

If in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.  Learn more by visiting www.save.org or www.afsp.org.  For local information, contact Mental Health Association of Okaloosa/Walton Counties at 850-244-1040 or NAMI Pensacola at (850) 208-1609

 

Honored to Now Be a WRAP® Facilitator

Me and the 2 wonderful instructors

Me and the 2 wonderful instructors

I first learned about WRAP® (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) at a peer conference back in 2012.  Several years prior to then my world was falling apart.  I was close to being homeless and my family was falling apart but during that time, I never gave up hope.  By holding on to hope, I knew things would get better and there was always something to be thankful for along the road back to wellness and recovery. 

When I reflect back on those dark and difficult days in my journey, I am grateful.  I know it is possible to make a difference and make changes that empower not only myself but others.  As I learned and changed, others around me changed as well.  I educated myself on wellness and recovery long before I knew what WRAP® was but once I learned about WRAP®, it helped to formalize the concept.  With WRAP®, I could now make it concrete and practical. 

Having a WRAP® does not prevent challenges from happening but it can help change the outcome.  I know first hand.  I had a crisis when traveling and thankfully, one of my supporters was able to contact one of my providers. who had a copy of the plan.  The provider was able to fax the plan to the hospital so it was on record.  The plan helped with the hospital experience as well as helped me come out of the crisis more quickly and successfully.  I have found when a crisis happens it is a time to learn and grow.  I adjust my WRAP® as needed. 

As a mother, I often have put my needs below others but through WRAP®, I have specifically identified wellness tools that help me to take care of myself so I am able to help others.  One thing I have learned is that I can't be on my journey alone.  Over the years, I have needed support from family, friends and others.  Sometimes the support has been helpful and sometimes it has been detrimental.  It is important to be able to put in writing what I need and don't need from my supporters.  The WRAP® has enabled me to do that as well as better equip me to manage my life challenges.  Where ever you are on your own journey, know that there is help, there is hope and you can achieve wellness and recovery.  To learn more about WRAP®, visit http://mentalhealthrecovery.com/

I am so honored to now be a group facilitator. If you would like to bring a WRAP® group to your area, please contact me.

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Event Held in Mary Esther, Florida

The Perinatal Mental Health Task Force of the Emerald Coast hosted a screening of the movie documentary, Dark Side of the Full Moon, at the UA Santa Rosa Theater in Mary Esther, Florida, on Tuesday, May 31st at 6:30 pm. 

Audience watching the movie

Audience watching the movie

The feature-length documentary depicted the stories of several moms, who experienced maternal mental health complications.  Maternal mental illness is one of the most common complications of childbirth affecting more than 1.3 million mothers each year in the United States.  The film addressed the failures of the mental health system, the lack of maternal mental health training of providers as well the fact that screening of moms for depression and anxiety is not the norm.

A viewer of the film, Marcia Baris-Sanders, said “the film was eye-opening, informative and inspiring.” The film discusses the demands placed on mothers today and the lack of support available and David, another viewer of the film, said “It’s sad realizing that our society treats motherhood as a hobby.”  Jodi, a local mom, who personally experienced mental health complications after her second child, says “The film was excellent, a true must see if you are a mother, thinking of becoming a mother, or have had a mother.”

Panel Members

Panel Members

After the movie, there was a thought-provoking Q&A discussion with a distinguished panel.  Panel members included Dr. Lynn Keefe, a pediatrician from Niceville, Susan Michaels, a Healthy Start Nurse from Santa Rosa County, Don Harrison, a licensed Mental Health Counselor and current President of NAMI Emerald Coast (the local chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness), Carolyn Ketchel, a social worker and Okaloosa County Commissioner, and Jennifer Moyer, a mental health advocate and author of the book, A Mother’s Climb Out of Darkness: A Story About Overcoming Postpartum PsychosisThe issues discussed included the need for additional mental health services in the community as well as the importance of moms receiving empathetic and understanding help and support when faced with a mental health complication related to childbearing.

The event was also a fundraiser for the Emerald Coast chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).  According to Don Harrison, President of NAMI Emerald Coast, “NAMI, as the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.  Bringing awareness about mental health issues such as Perinatal Mental Health helps reduce stigma, and promotes the development of services in areas that may be lacking in our community.  In addition to events like this, NAMI offers support groups and classes for persons affected by mental health issues including their families.  You can find out more by contacting NAMI.   Here is link to find your local NAMI: http://www.nami.org/Find-Your-Local-NAMI

 

Let's Not Forget About the Dads!

"Bottle Feeding" by patrisyu

"Bottle Feeding" by patrisyu

Many people are familiar with postpartum depression in women but postpartum depression in men is hardly ever talked about.  A new baby is a wonderful blessing but the demands of parenthood are very stressful and can be overwhelming to both parents.  Mothers and fathers share many of the same stresses.

According to one of the few studies in the area of paternal depression, in general, 14% of American men develop depression either during their partner’s pregnancy or during the first year postpartum. About 8% of fathers in other countries develop paternal depression.  The problem seems to heighten when babies are 3 to 6 months old.  During this time, 25% of new fathers and 42% of mothers report depression.  If a mother experiences postpartum depression, the father is at much greater risk of experiencing depression as well.

Sleep deprivation is a strong contributor to depression.  Research shows that any healthy adult that goes without good sleep for a month, is at increased risk for experiencing depression.  In addition, the hormonal changes that occur after childbirth can cause depression in both women and men.  Women experience a sharp decline in progesterone and estrogen but men also experience a decline in testosterone.

Unfortunately, fathers experiencing depression are less likely to seek help then mothers.  Mainly because, in general, men avoid treatment for mental health.  Also men experiencing depression often have symptoms that are unique from women.  Some of the symptoms of depression in men may include:

  • Increased anger and conflict with others
  • Increased use of alcohol or other drugs
  • Frustration or irritability
  • Violent behavior
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Being easily stressed
  • Impulsiveness and taking risks, like reckless driving and extramarital sex
  • Feeling discouraged
  • Increases in complaints about physical problems
  • Ongoing physical symptoms, like headaches, digestion problems or pain
  • Problems with concentration and motivation
  • Loss of interest in work, hobbies and sex
  • Working constantly
  • Frustration or irritability
  • Misuse of prescription medication
  • Increased concerns about productivity and functioning at school or work
  • Fatigue
  • Experiencing conflict between how you think you should be as a man and how you actually are
  • Thoughts of suicide

Some men may only experience a few symptoms and others may experience many.  What ever the case, it is important to know that the symptoms are treatable and help is available.  For more information see the links below.

Sources and Additional Links:

Postpartum Depression Hits as Many Dads as Moms

Prenatal and Postpartum Depression in Fathers and Its Association With Maternal Depression

Helping Men Beat the Baby Blues and Overcome Depression

Postpartum Depression in Men | Video – ABC News

Postpartum Depression in Men: It’s Real

Postpartum Depression Strikes New Fathers, Too

Resources for Fathers

Postpartummen.com

Resources

Information on this web site is for educational purposes only.  It should not substitute for a comprehensive evaluation by a licensed mental health professional.

From Crisis to Contribution

It is hard to believe that it is over 20 years since my perinatal mental health crisis began.  My life forever changed back in early 1996 when I was struck with postpartum psychosis.  Not only did my life change but so did the lives of my family members.  My experience has brought an understanding of mental health related to childbearing that I would not have otherwise.  I am truly blessed to have been able to turn such a horrific experience into a way to give back and contribute to making changes in a positive way.

Back in November 2015, I had the opportunity to speak before house and senate committees in the state in which I reside.  My goal was to get the attention of lawmakers so they would recognize the importance of addressing perinatal mental health.  It was a new experience for me but I knew it was time to share a piece of my story with the legislators.  I believe it opened the door for the discussion and enabled some of my fellow perinatal mental health advocates to make strides as well.  A proclamation was submitted back in March to our Governor to make May Perinatal Mental Health Awareness month.  Although still waiting a decision, our state's perinatal mental health advocates are hopeful that it will be signed by the Governor. 

Regardless of the outcome, the perinatal mental health advocates in my state will continue efforts to increase awareness and change outcomes in the area of mental health related to childbearing.  I am honored to be a part of the movement.

We Can't Forget About Postpartum Psychosis When Talking About PPD

"Pregnant Woman" By duron123

"Pregnant Woman" By duron123

There has been much attention given to postpartum depression recently since the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force is now recommending screening of all pregnant women for postpartum depression both prenatally and postpartum.  This is great news and a great stride in bringing much needed attention to an under-addressed public health crisis.  That being said, when the general term of postpartum depression (PPD) is used, it can be misleading and the spectrum of perinatal mood & anxiety disorders can be overlooked.

Although postpartum psychosis may be considered a rare perinatal mood & anxiety disorder, it affects many women and families worldwide.  More awareness, education and research are needed in the area of postpartum psychosis as well as properly identifying and diagnosis the illness.  As things move forward in addressing the public health crisis of perinatal mental health, it is important that postpartum psychosis not be forgotten. 

Of course, many of you know that my efforts are to increase the awareness and understanding of postpartum psychosis.  I know many others are striving to do the same.  Some of us are already joining each other in our efforts.  If any others are interested in getting more involved in addressing postpartum psychosis, particularly in the United States, please let me know. 

I know the year 2016 is going to be a good year in moving forward in addressing perinatal mental health.

 

 

 

Guest Appearance on Motherhood on Webtalkradio.net

"On the Air" by digitalart

"On the Air" by digitalart

I am honored to have had a guest appearance on the Motherhood program hosted by Dr. Christina Hibbert on Webtalkradio.net

Here is the link to the program:  Motherhood – Mom Mental Health Crisis! How to Cope, Heal, & (Eventually) Use it for Good

Hope you take the time to listen to the program.  Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences as well.

 

The Cast is Off!

20160124_144135-1.jpg

The cast on my ankle came off this week.  After 10 weeks of physical limitations and no driving, I am grateful to have it off.  Being in the situation that I was, I have a better understanding of how hard it is when you are physically limited.  I can now empathize better and recognize the importance of getting practical support.  I am very appreciative of my family and friends that were able to assist me.  Now with the cast off, the work on rehabilitating my ankle has just begun. 

One thing my recent experience has revealed to me is that having a visible challenge seems more accepted than having an invisible challenge.  The level of outreach and support I received was much greater for my visible disability than for my invisible disability.  Regardless of this, I have learned to always have an attitude of hope and gratitude.  The more that individuals speak out about life challenges, the better understanding there will be.  So I continue to speak out and share my experiences.  I hope you will too.

My Little Christmas

As I reflect on this holiday season, I appreciate the simple things.  Having a fractured ankle and being on crutches and not being able to drive helps me be reminded of my blessings.  As an advocate for mental health, I had never experienced what it was like to have a visible challenge.  I am finding there is much more compassion when you have a visible disability as opposed to an invisible disability.

So as I celebrate this holiday season, I am having a simple Christmas. It is good to go back to the basics.  My heart goes out to those that are experiencing life challenges and do not have any support.  My new experience is helping me to have a new perspective and motivates me more to continue my advocacy efforts.

No matter what the situation, remember each day is a new day.  May you all have a Merry Little Christmas!

An Attitude of Gratitude

11012503_10207484257205139_1702779059222418212_n.jpg

Having an attitude of gratitude can be very hard at times but over the years I have learned to look at a glass half full instead of glass half empty.  It has been difficult but in the end I am grateful to be living and breathing and trying to make a positive difference in the world. During this time of year, keep in mind the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich."

A Time to Fall Back

It is that time of year again when the Fall season begins.  Here in the USA most states turn the clocks back an hour for the end of daylight savings (not sure why we still do it since, sadly, farming is a dying industry here).  But the other thing that warms my heart this season is the changing leaves in the Northern states.  Since I live in a Southern state I don't get to see to many trees that change but growing up in Pennsylvania, we used to rake leaves into piles and have such fun. The most special memory I have about the fall season is that my wonderful son was born 20 years ago during this month.  One of the best things that ever happened to me.

So I have a new event that has happened this fall but this memory won't be so pleasant.  I have a fractured ankle.  The first time ever in my life that I have to use crutches.   Sadly, I am still waiting for an orthopedic referral after more than 10 days since the "fall.". Because I had to request that the emergency room doctor take X-Rays, I am not so confident in the emergency care I received.  I learned once again that when your medical history becomes apparent and you have a brain disorder (or more widely known as a mental illness), your treatment often takes a different path.

Despite my recent experience, I am truly blessed to be alive and well and "kicking" with at least one leg. LOL.  My photo is a reflection of my fall status, a casted ankle and an uncommon fall leaf that I discovered while in a very Southern climate.  Would love to hear from others who have had good/bad experience with emergency care treatment.

Fall Blessings to You All!

Jennifer

My Weekly Therapy Event

Many of you have probably seen the beautiful beach pictures I post on Facebook and Twitter. If you haven't liked my page on Facebook, please do at https://www.facebook.com/jenniferhmoyer.  You can also follow me on Twitter @MoyerJennifer 

I am blessed to live in a beautiful coastal community so every Wednesday, I do my best to walk on the beach.  This is my weekly therapy event.  During the summer, I had limited opportunity to incorporate my "therapy event" but the past several weeks, I tried to make it a priority to walk as I was more stressed due to the graduate class I was taking.  By the way, for those of you that read my last blog: Time Management and Managing Stress, I got an A- for my final grade in the class.  So the hard work was rewarded :)

I have found that taking that weekly walk grounds me and clears my perspective no matter what is going on in my life.  I encourage you to find something similar in your life.  The benefits of exercise for our mental health are tremendous.  Hiking, walking, running, swimming or another physical activity are all great ways to clear your mind and help manage stress.  I am feeling the difference in my life by getting back to my weekly walks on the beach.  No matter what the season, there is something about the beauty of nature that helps me maintain a fresh and grateful perspective.  What do you do to help maintain a healthy perspective and manage stress in your life?