December 2017

How To Spot and Deal With An Alcoholic

If you know or have any sort of relationship with an alcoholic, you know how tough it can be to deal with and maintain a personal relationship with them. Alcoholics are never clear in their head, and this affects their choices, actions, the way that they communicate and the way that they hold relations. When they aren’t drunk, they’re probably thinking about their next drink and are never fully in the moment. When they are drunk, well, I don’t need to tell you how badly alcohol can disrupt somebody’s normal functionality. If you’re reading this, it might have something to do with a person in your life you may suspect, or know is having trouble dealing with alcohol or alcoholic denial. It’s very important to know the signs of an alcoholic, the correlation between alcohol addiction and mental health, how to approach the subject of a loved one’s excessive drinking, and how to get help for a family member with mental health issues. In this article, I’m going to elaborate on these topics and hopefully provide some insights into how we can get our loved ones help with alcohol.

Let’s start by talking about some ways you can spot an alcoholic. There’s usually no need for Sherlock Holmes, as it’s not challenging to notice some of these displays if you’re in the right situation. The first one is that they have an unusually high tolerance for alcohol. Granted they aren’t just a large person, if a person is continually slamming drinks and keeping up with the rest of the crowd without showing as many signs of inebriation, this is likely a cause for concern. Hiding alcohol and absence from school or work is another sign. If a loved one is hiding alcohol in places they know they aren’t supposed to have it, this shows that they can’t go very long without it and that they feel ashamed of themselves. Absence from normal tasks and commitments is almost always a huge warning sign, whether it is alcoholism, drug addiction, or depression. Another warning sign is irrational behavior and mood swings. If a loved one behaves in very negative manners, particularly in situations where booze is included, it can show the dysfunctional chemistry in the brain. Mood swings are also due to the imbalance of chemicals in the brain, and the alcoholic’s mood can change very abruptly.

The Link Between Alcoholism and Mental Health 

Something you may not have realized is that alcohol and mental health are very related. Alcohol directly affects the chemistry inside the brain. It is a depressant and disrupts the balance affecting our thoughts, feelings, and actions. In the short term, alcohol helps us feel more confident and less anxious because it depresses the part of the brain associated with inhibition. In the long run, repeated alcohol use can lead to any number of harmful side effects like depression, anxiety, and much more because of the repeated and near-permanent interference of neurotransmitters in our brains needed for good mental health. If you notice strange behaviors with loved ones, friends, or a spouse, associated with mental health and alcohol, it may be a good time to start thinking about how to approach the situation and get help for the loved one or spouse of an alcoholic. A lot of the time, breaking the cycle of alcoholism associated with mental health disorders requires help from a professional who specializes in dual diagnosis management and treatment.

Whether you’ve tried to approach a loved one about their alcohol use or not, it’s very important to know what to expect. Odds are, alcoholic denial is going to play a role in the first few steps. They may not realize they have an addiction, as alcoholics and drug addicts tend to trick themselves into believing their behavior is normal. It’s very important to recognize the signs of enablement, as you may or may not already do these things. Don’t turn a blind eye to the consequences of the alcoholism. It’s easy for a spouse or friend to get caught up in inadvertently allowing the behavior to continue, so knowing the signs is extremely important. Try having a talk with your loved one.

Try scheduling an intervention. You don’t have to deal with this on your own, if there are lots of people who care about the alcoholic, show them that. It’s easy to forget about people that love you when you let alcohol spin you out of control. Stage an intervention with your family and friends and let them know. It’s also perfectly acceptable to seek professional advice, counsel, and treatment. There are thousands of people who are very qualified to handle these situations, and they know what to do.

Never Too Late to Seek Treatment for Alcohol Abuse 

Alcohol and drug addiction is a tough thing to be a part of. If you sense that a loved one is struggling with either one of these, you’re probably not that far off from the truth. You have a right to care about the individual. After reading this, I truly hope I’ve provided new thoughts and ideas into spotting the signs of an alcoholic, knowing how mental health is wrapped up into addiction, and what to do if you notice these things. Try talking to them about things you notice, and how their behavior affects themselves, you, and everyone around them. But remember, do it out of love. You have a right to care, and caring might include calling upon an authority or medical professional. Good luck!

Maintaining Your Health In The Workplace

Do you work a career that requires you to sit at a desk? Stare at a computer for extended hours of the day? Type away through aches and pains on your keyboard? Odds are, you do. According to some studies, almost 86% of Americans have a job that requires them to sit down all day. These statistics are startling and have serious health implications. The results, as you may expect, include a larger percentage of unhealthy Americans and an increase in national obesity. It’s been shown that since 1960, jobs that require physical labor have plummeted from 50% to 20%. This fact is directly tied to the country’s average decline of about 130 calories of physical activity per day. If you can relate to this, please stick around as I am going to discuss the disadvantages and advantages of working in an office and tips for sustaining productivity and motivation.

While working 8-5 five days a week in an office inside a building may scare you, don’t be alarmed! While there are certain disadvantages, there are also many advantages people don’t always see. Time management, behavior, and interpersonal skills can all improve or benefit from working in an office.

Advantages of Having a Desk Job 

As an employee of a company, you’re expected to start and end your day at a certain time with a set number of breaks. This can work wonders for improving your discipline and time management. You have a set number of hours to get a certain amount of work done. Simple as that. Your behavior and interpersonal skills can increase, too, because you will be around coworkers all day. When surrounded by people, you automatically become more alert and conscious of your thoughts and actions. This is a good thing! Work to become a friendlier, more efficient, honest, hardworking employee, coworker, and friend.

 

Other advantages come from being close to the heart of your business, as well as building relationships with your coworkers. A great way to climb up the ladder is by making contacts and relationships with those you work with. If nothing comes out of it in terms of business, you’ve made new friends. You can also benefit from being close to your coworkers and boss by simply being able to ask them questions and get help when you need it.

On the Other Hand: Disadvantages to Any Office Job 

 While advantages to working in an office are certainly observable, there are plenty of disadvantages as well. Some of those advantages I discussed can double as disadvantages if proper precautions aren’t taken. While being expected to sit at an office a set number of hours a day can be beneficial for discipline, it can be detrimental to the workplace and mental health. Nobody loves being forced to do something, but we all make sacrifices for things that matter and… money.

The other advantage that can also be considered a disadvantage is the socially dynamic environment. Yes, it can be a good thing, but co-workers can also be distractions and things that get in the way of work. Other obvious disadvantages are injuries to employee health, strains to employee's eyes, and reduced creativity. According to the Health and Safety Commission, 30% of tripping and falling accidents belong to those working in offices. Eye discomfort and injury is an obvious one. Nothing great can come from staring at a computer screen all day and to make matters worse, most do the same thing when they get home. Strains on the eyes can cause serious discomfort, headaches, difficulty focusing, and blurred vision, dry or watering eyes. Toxic air from poorly ventilated buildings, increase in blood pressure from sitting too long, and poor eating habits are just a few other disadvantages that can result from office work.

Healthy Habits to Adopt for Any Employee 

 It’s obvious now that working a desk job in an office can have its downsides. If you didn’t realize it before reading this article, you should have by now. Luckily, there are things you can do to strengthen your mental health and stay true to yourself. First off, take breaks. And take breaks away from where you sit all day. Eat lunch outside, go somewhere, take your 15-minute breaks away from the office. The act of walking, however simple it may seem, can do wonders for your body. The change in scenery and fresh air can help revitalize your mind so you can be even more productive and focused when you come back from your break. Stretching frequently can also be a great way to stay focused at work. Take water breaks when feeling unfocused or bored. The cold water can help you focus and get things back on track. Another tip: avoid meetings! This isn’t me telling you to be disobedient, but maybe thinking of ways to not have to go. Some meetings, as we all know, are very pointless and you may be pleasantly surprised to learn you don’t always have to go.

However, this differs from office to office, so examine your own workplace culture to see if unnecessary meetings can be made more efficient. The last tip, and maybe the most important, is to get some sleep! Let your body and brain rest, and get rejuvenated for the next workday. Your energy levels will increase and your focus will be stronger and last longer.

Mental Health in The Workplace 

 When it comes down to it, office desk jobs are unavoidable in this day and age. The world is run on technology and we need people to control that for companies. This doesn’t mean your mental health has to suffer. Recognize the pros and cons of the job you have and take the smart, appropriate steps to reduce the cons. There are plenty of great resources and tips online, apart from the ones I have already shared with you. Thanks for reading and good luck!

 

Loving vs. Enabling

Whether you have experience with it or not, dealing with people who suffer from addiction can be a very tricky situation. No matter if those addicted are your family or friends, addicts make a lot of excuses and make a lot of decisions based on their drug fixes. They might manipulate you into thinking you’re helping when you’re really just enabling the behavior. To recognize the difference between support and enabling is extremely important, and not enough people are able to. In this paper, I’m going to discuss the difference between enabling and helping, how to spot signs of an enabler, and how enablement is particularly destructive in families with addicts. If you are looking for advice or information on situations like these, please continue reading.

Are You Helping or Enabling?

The difference between enabling and helping an addict is sometimes hard to define. What you should look for, though, are the consequences of the actions. For example, helping an addict pay bill or lending an addict your money is an example of enabling. You may think you’re just trying to be there for them and support them, but by paying their bills or lending them money you’re allowing bad behavior to continue. The consequence of this action is that their bills get paid so the next time they get ahold of some money, instead of using it to pay their (late) bills, they will use it on drugs.

Helping an addict may entail a number of things. Instead of giving an addict your money, maybe help him/her find a job. Recommend places that are hiring, send links to jobs, maybe even get an application for them. Remember, when you are just being supportive you are doing things for someone that they can’t do by themselves but when you’re enabling, you are doing things for people that they could and should do for themselves.

Spotting The Signs

From the outside, spotting signs of enabling is pretty easy to do. A lot of the times, based on the situation, it should be fairly obvious to the outside perspective. However, it’s not always the easiest when you’re wrapped up in it. A few signs you are enabling include putting your own needs aside to continually take care of the addict, feeling resentful for taking on unnecessary responsibilities, lying to yourself about the addict’s behavior, and spending lots of time and energy focusing on fixing the addict. If you receive comments from those on the outside of the situation, please don’t write them off. So many times parents think they are helping their children when they’re really just prolonging the situation and prolonging a solution.

How Enabling Affects a Family 

When a partner, child, or parent enables a family member, they shield the addict from the consequences of their actions. Most times, parents don’t really see this. They don’t understand the difference between loving vs. enabling. They don’t want to see their child spiral out of control or end up on the streets or in bad situations where they get kicked out of a home, and this is the main reason parents enable their children. Unfortunately, in lots of cases, these sorts of wake up calls are needed in order for the addict to take steps towards rectifying the situation. If not, things can really affect all of the family members. Finances can become tight if the enabler continues to fund the addict. Siblings get irritated or resentful, partners get mad, there’s a whole litany of struggles between everybody in the circle, and most of it is caused by the addict.

 We’ve only really touched and brushed the surface of what enabling is and what it includes. I touched on the basics of enabling and the most popular situations where enablement arises, but it’s everywhere. It can be between anybody, it can affect so many people, and it can destroy lives and even families. That’s why it’s very important to be able to spot the signs of enabling and to speak up in situations like this. I hope that you found this article insightful and gave you some ideas if you know anyone who is enabling an addict. Watch the signs and be alert! It could save a life.

Meditation and Aromatherapy: Tools to Combat Stress!

Sometimes life can get a little bit stressful. Jobs, relationships, family, and finances are just a sliver of things that are a part of our everyday lives. While we do our best to manage everything and still get some sleep at night, there’s nobody who doesn’t suffer from a little stress and anxiety in their life. Meditation and aromatherapy are a few great things you can easily insert into your life. They’ll give you a calmer mind, more peace, and a clearer head. In this paper I’ll be discussing meditation and a few different kind of aromatherapies. Also, there are a few essential oils you can use in this sort of holistic therapy, and I will be talking about the immense benefits of those as well. If you’re thinking that you don’t really need this or that you never struggle with stress and anxiety, that’s great! But even the most peaceful of people still make a point to practice these habits. And sometimes our routines feel inadequate, boring, or dull, and we need something to spice things up.

How to Practice Meditation and Aromatherapy

Meditation is a great way to start off the day in a calmer, more focused state of mind. I won’t touch too much on meditation, as there are plenty of fantastic resources online. Get into a comfortable position on the floor, ideally legs crossed, in a quiet room where there aren’t any distractions. Lower the lights or turn them off. Rest your hands in your lap and start to breathe deeply and slowly. At this point, there are multiple different types of meditation practices, each one focusing on serving a different purpose. I’m going to stop here, though. If we back up to before the meditation practice begins, there lies an opportunity to practice aromatherapy (you can practice after meditation too). Doing yoga can be considered a form of meditation, so if you are a practicing yogi, you can easily integrate mindfulness meditation the next time you practice. Booking yoga retreats online can help you meet other like-minded individuals who can encourate you to keep up with your yoga practice regularly.

Aromatherapy involves the use of essential oils and aromatic plant extracts for calming and healing purposes, usually by rubbing the oil into the skin or by dispersing it into the air. These five different oils each have healing and rejuvenating properties and may be a sold just as an oil, or in a lotion or salve. When I meditate, I usually light an incense stick. With thousands of different smells available, it may seem hard to find one or two that you really like, but they’re fairly cheap. I use Nag Champa brand incense. Breathing in the smell of the incense stick really helps me calm down and focus on relaxing during meditation.

Essentials of Aromatherapy

While burning incense smells good and is a good form of aromatherapy, there are some negative side effects. It may damage things in your room after an extended period of time, and it’s not great for your lungs to breathe in the smoke. If incense doesn’t seem right for you, using oils during your spiritual practice is definitely the right way to go. You can buy oils online or at a store that would sell this kind of stuff, and you can choose to buy an oil diffuser or just rub it on your skin. Pick your oil by smelling it. Whichever aroma you prefer, go with that. A diffuser is a good thing to buy if you want to just use it as a mist in your room, but if you just want to apply a few drops on your forehead no diffuser is needed. I would suggest trying each one out. Your body may react differently to the two methods.

While you may have heard of the most common essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, lemon, or vanilla, there are many more that can be used for its therapeutic benefits. Frankincense, which is extracted from trees in Africa and India, helps relieve stress and anxiety and promotes feelings of calmness. Neroli, derived from white blossoms in Asia, helps alleviate anxiety and heart palpitations. Myrrh, extracted from several tree species, has a very uplifting scent that promotes calmness and tranquility. Vetiver, from a perennial bunchgrass native to India, has a musty, earthy scent and helps promote inner strength and protection during meditation. The last one is sage. Sage is not only used in culinary recipes, it’s a fantastic essential oil that has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. It is believed to remove negative energy.

Go Make it a Habit

Now that you know a little bit more about the immense benefits of meditation and aromatherapy, I advise you go give it a shot! It’s tough to stick with it, but if you do, you’ll reap the rewards and become happier that you have such a small but productive task you can complete each day. When it comes to mindfulness and meditation practice, make sure to try out different methods and techniques, different oils and incenses, and different ideas for stress management, as we all need it from time to time.