chronic pain, Empower, Family, mental health, Mental Wellness, Self-care, wellness, wellness tips, womenbloggers

Chronic Pain and Depression: How can we help Dad manage his pain?

What is considered chronic pain?

According to an article I recently read, chronic pain is when a person experiences pain for a long period of time. The article said, you have to feel the sensation for six months or longer before it is considered chronic pain. However, living with a person who has been in chronic pain for 4 years or more, I would say chronic pain should be defined as pain that never stops! My dad had two back surgeries that did not go as planned! There was a machine malfunction, he woke up on the table, and nearly died. A lot of trauma! Having said all that…

How does my dad manage chronic pain and trauma?

My dad uses a variety of ways to manage his pain. He experiences a lot of burning in his legs and lower back. He said the pain is excruciating at times. Sometimes he will build a tent around his legs, so that the blankets don’t touch his skin, in bed! He can barely make it around the grocery store without his prescriptions, determination, and a lot of rest afterwards. He loves to take baths and listen to the radio! You should hear my dad say, at the top of his lungs, while in the tub, “Alright Google, play me some country music!”

I try to make the best of it, but it is really sad. It is sad to see the strongest man I know, who takes care of everybody and their momma, be in constant pain!

He hates the way the prescription drugs make him feel. He has always lived a sober lifestyle, aside from a few drinks here and there. He doesn’t feel comfortable, many days, driving a car. Recently, dad started acupuncture. We are all hopeful it will give him some relief!

 

How does chronic pain cause depression?

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I don’t think it is complicated to see how chronic pain can make someone very depressed, fast! We have been doing everything we can to keep my dad in a good mindset! It’s depressing! People who are dealing with chronic pain are more likely to commit suicide. It is really scary!

What do I think has helped my dad stay somewhat happy while managing chronic pain?

Family! We surround him with lots of grand-kids! They make everyone smile. He loves it! His business makes him happy. He has built a small, family-owned, construction business. My mom and sisters have now taken over the company, mostly, since his condition has worsened! However, he still gets to enjoy the business! Also, he has faith, and hopes that someone or something will be able to help him one day! I also think all the small things that he is doing and his mindset, helps a lot! So, we keep him as comfortable as possible, and try to encourage him to try the latest trends, such as acupuncture and CBD creams!

If you have any tips or advice, please reach out! Thanks!

Love,

Priscilla

P.S. Top picture was taken in Homer, Alaska! Baby picture was taken on the kitchen table! 🙂

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When is Enough, ENUF?

When should I call it quits?

The first thing people think about ending, is probably a relationship! However, this article is about eliminating toxins from your environment. So, relationships are most definitely the problem most of the time; but, don’t forget about substance abuse, mental abuse, and self-neglect!

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I am not an expert or clinical physiologist! But, I have been around a lot of people! What I know for sure is that, happy people take their happiness and sanity very seriously. They guard their happiness the same way I would guard my daughter if someone tried to hurt her! You have to do the same for yourself!

So, when is enough, ENUF?

You are the only person who has the potential to change your situation. So, no one can answer that question for you. However, if the person, substance, mental illness, etc. is causing you harm…. you need to seek help, run, get out! Do whatever you need to do to protect your happiness!

What is your goal? Do you want true happiness?

I once read, to get where you want to go in life, sometimes, you have to leave some people behind along the way! Sometimes you want to grow to become a better person but, your environment does not want to do the same. Remove yourself! A garden needs to be weeded so that the healthy plants will have the room and resources they need to grow healthy and beautiful. The same exact philosophy should be applied to your life! You deserve it! You will find those people who want to grow with you! Develop healthy self-love habits, fail forward, and protect your happiness along the way!

Love,

Priscilla

P.S. The photo was taken on a stroll in Anchorage, Alaska!

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Why is the “comfort zone” NOT your friend?

Why do people stay in their “comfort zone?”

Most people stay in their “comfort zone” because it is the easy thing to do! I get it. We get stuck in the rut of everyday life. I am not saying that your life is not a beautiful everyday rut. But, we all do it. Comfortable is nice. It’s cozy! It’s the opposite of scary. Which, most of us hate! Staying in your “comfort zone” will not help you grow as a person! Read that twice!

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I was recently asked by a coaching coach, or something similar, are you okay with getting outside of your “comfort zone”?

I bet you are wondering what I said!

I said, “I am not the stay in your “comfort zone” kinda’ gal.”

For example, I moved from South Carolina to Alaska with my husband, two dogs, a small trailer full of stuff, and the belief in myself. I knew we would be fine! I am an educated, hard-working, independent woman who is capable of doing great things. It was one of the scariest, but best, decisions we ever made. I have grown so much. I have learned so much about other cultures and have seen most of the United States and Canada via road-trip.

I read somewhere, more people are afraid of public speaking than are afraid of dying. I love speaking in public. Are you kidding me? Just picture them naked!

It is a very valuable skill that is in high demand. Yes, the first couple of times I spoke in front of a crowd, I was nervous. But, working as a teacher and educator, it became normal! It became less scary!

The reason I am ranting about public speaking is, I could have stayed in my comfort zone. I could have gotten out of public speaking most of the times I have spoke. Except for the dreaded public speaking class. I definitely could not have gotten out of that one! However, I pushed myself. I wanted to get better. Now, I can use this skill to provide for my family and inspire others.

So, long story short, get out of your “comfort zone!” Try something new this year! Eat something new every Sunday. That’s what we do, as a family. Live a little!

Love,

Priscilla

P.S. Picture is from Homer, Alaska!

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What is Growth Mindset?

What is Growth Mindset all about?

I am a believer in “growth mindset”. The term is frequently referenced within the education profession. But, in the real world, the term is not thrown around, as often. In my opinion every person, in the world, should be practicing this technique, and sharing it with everyone they know.

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What is Growth Mindset?

Growth mindset is a way of thinking. It is used in the education profession to encourage students to change their attitudes towards learning. Many students want to quit, or have doubts with their ability level. Sometimes, public education puts a spotlight on students with “learning disabilities.” But, that is an entirely different blog post. A person, who practices a growth mindset, turns I can’t into I can find a way, even if I have to use a resource, or tool to help me!

How can a Growth Mindset help you?

Firstly, self-confidence is attractive. Potential partners, friends, and employers want someone who is confident! Have you ever seen someone walk into a room, who is noticeably confident? It’s a good look. Being confident takes a certain mindset. Someone who is practicing a growth mindset has confidence. They are confident that they can do anything, within reason, and aren’t afraid of the speed bumps along the way.

How can I get a Growth Mindset?

It’s practiced like yoga, and all of the other self-care techniques out there. You have to practice each day. You have to wake up with the intent to climb the mountain, and enjoy every second of it. You have to wake up and say, “I’m not perfect; but, I’m pretty great. I’m all I’m going to get, and let’s grow today, into a better human!” Then, add something in your pep talk about self-care, and the reward for your hard work!

How has Growth Mindset worked for me?

I have been practicing this technique for a long time, even before it was a thing. I was obsessed with Oprah as a child. Her motivational and self-help shows were so educational and inspiring. I’m an old soul. I used to come home from middle school, watch Oprah, and have a snack.

I am always reading a self-care or personal improvement books, most of the time. Then, I ran across a documentary called, The Secret, at a really young age. All of these motivational materials influenced me as a really young adult. I believe setting goals and reaching them is possible. Using this philosophy, I have reached every realistic goal I have set for myself. I told my parents I wanted to be the first female president, in middle school! I have decided to pursue a different path, currently. But, that is too funny!

You have to believe in you more than anyone else. You have to push yourself harder than anyone else will. The practice seems so simple, but the most simplistic habit can be hard to break or implement into a routine! Try it! Set a daily alarm with inspirational quotes to remind you to grow a little each day in some area of your life. I am rooting for you and me! 😉 Need help reaching your goals, reach out to me on social media, or on my site using the contact page!

 

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Do You Like to Exercise? I Like to Eat!

How much work are you willing to put in?

I think when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the first thing you have to do is get to know yourself a little better. What are you really going to do each day? What type of lifestyle do you have now? How much are you willing to change to get where you want to be? What can you really commit to?

Diets don’t work. Some of us don’t want to exercise everyday, but we still want to be healthy. So, what should I do to live healthier?

I figured out a long time ago that I am not the athletic type. I have had the trainer and I educate others about nutrition. I like to read, write, travel, do outdoor stuff, cook, educate, and spend time with family and friends.

I dislike exercise. I hate doing it. I like doing stuff like hiking, biking, walking, yoga, etc. But, I’m not the “go to the gym every day”, “diet all the time” type. However, I consider myself pretty healthy overall.

What do I do to stay healthy? What would I recommend you do, if you would rather eat than exercise, like me?

  • Move every day, find something fun
  • Go outside to increase moral
  • Eat better. Less meat and wheat!
  • Everything in moderation
  • Don’t eliminate any food groups from your diet
  • Don’t compare your “healthy” body type with others
  • Be confident in your body
  • Educate yourself about nutrition for fuel
  • Eat more colorful stuff
  • Move, instead of eat, when emotional
  • Pay attention to serving sizes
  • Read, read, read the labels

Basically, make choices to live healthier without obsessing about one thing or another! Everything is fine in moderation. Always try to make the healthier choice. If you eat a cheeseburger for lunch, have a salad for dinner.

Why should you believe me?

First, because Dr. Oz would probably agree with me!

And secondly, because I have never had a weight problem. I eat whatever I want using the plan above. I have tried one diet 10 years ago. I knew then, eating only protein, eliminating food groups, or obsessing about the numbers could not be healthy.

I decided that I know my body and the lifestyle I am willing to maintain better than anyone or any diet plan. I knew it was a simple formula for me to live healthier: move more, everything in moderation, make better choices, and be happy with my body!

Take care of yourself!

Love,

Priscilla