Negative Feelings and Disasters

This past week, as I watched the disaster in Texas unfold and worried about my family living in and around the Houston area – I had periods of time when I felt anxious, anger, sadness, and guilt.  I felt the need to watch the stories of rescues and devastation.

I begin planning for my family to have an evacuation plan should we ever experience the need to evacuate with our pets.

The feelings I have experienced started to interfere with my sleep.  I would wake up at night worried, sad, and even fearful that my home could be lost like those in Texas.

As I tried to make sense of my feelings and fears, I realized that we can experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and posttraumatic stress (PTS) without ever leaving our homes.  These mental health disorders can occur from watching terrorism and natural disasters on television and social media.

Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and posttraumatic stress (PTS) include depression, anxiety, and stress reactions.  Some studies indicate that PTSD / PTS occurs in 61% of people who view disaster events on television.  Depression, fear, and anger occur in 16% of the population who watch disaster events on television.

So how do we move forward?
Limiting the time spent on social media will minimize what we feed our brains.  For me, I limited my social media to twice a day – I turned off Fox News.  I texted family members and asked them to keep me posted of any changes in their situations, this helped me stay off of social media.

I also prayed – I turned my negative feelings, anger, fear and anxiety over to a higher power.  There are some things in life I cannot control, and Mother Nature is one of them.  The one thing I can control is how I react.  We are not guaranteed our next breath, so wasting our time worrying about things we cannot control, is time we may never get to spend on something of meaning.

It is hard to move forward, even if my home was never flooded and my family was safe throughout the vent.  I still have an urge to head to Texas and volunteer.  I still want to buy a large enclosed trailer to move my animals.  But just like the recovery effort in Texas – my recovery will take time.

I would love to hear from you if you have experienced stress from watching Hurricane Harvey.

~ ConnieKayA ~
A Southern Girl sharing her passion for living an abundantly blessed life

Old Goals Become New Habits

Over the years I have tried to incorporate mediation and yoga into my health plan. But, consistency has been an issue.  See – I start things and soon other obligations get in the way and I let the focus on my health go on the back-burner.

This week I have made a commitment to get more sleep and to incorporate meditation into my daily schedule.   Sleep is easy – I spent the day in the recliner dozing.  My plan is to be in bed by 10:30 each night – this is two or more hours earlier than my normal bedtime.

Meditation is not as easy for me, to incorporate mediation into my life I have to create time and learn how to slow my hummingbird brain.   

To help me focus on not thinking I am using a program called, Calm  Calm is a mindfulness app that is simple to use and helps me focus on me and not the other hundred of things screaming for my attention.

Calm also allows me to track my progress. As a visual person who loves my planner and to-do-list, being able to track my progress is a bonus.

I would love to hear how you incorporate mediation into your life-
~ ConnieKayA ~
A Southern Girl sharing her passion for living an abundantly blessed life

Hard Work Will Not Kill You or Will It?

It has been said  “that that does not kills us makes us stronger.” So we assume hard work will not kill us, which can be true. If….you take care of yourself.

Karoshi is the Japaneses term for working yourself to death.
High stress levels at work can ruin your health goals. It causes your body to store more fat and makes it difficult to build and retain muscles. Excessive work will cause you to have less energy and a higher risk of mental illness, heart attack, and stroke. As karoshi suggests, you can literally overwork yourself to death, but it doesn’t have to be this way!

This has  been where I have been failing… I work, sleep (4-5 hours) and repeat six to seven days a week.   Recently, I have realized that my bad habit has also impacted my husband’s health.  His cholesterol is elevated, his blood glucose is out of control, and his weight has started to max out our scales..

My educated mind knows that with balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and proper rest and relaxation, can keep me motivated and help me deliver my best performance at work and home.

So, the Ash household is on a new mission.  Starting with new menus, decent bedtimes and exercise (funny I met the Big Man running, how did we ever get so far from where we were???- no time to dwell on the past).

I would love to hear how you have improved your health.
~ ConnieKayA ~
A Southern Girl sharing her passion for living an abundantly blessed life.


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What To Do When You Find Yourself Stressed

Stress is real.  According to some references stress is the basic cause of 60% of all humane illness and disease. Some references believe that up to three out of four doctor’s visits are for stress-related aliments.

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Aches, pains, tense muscles, muscle spasms
  • Nausea, heartburn and dizziness
  • Chest pain, palpitations, rapid heartbeat
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Clenched jaw and teeth grinding

What should you do when you recognize the signs and symptoms of stress?

  • Meditate
  • Breathe Deeply
  • Exercise
  • Laugh
  • Listen to Music
  • Be Grateful
  • Accept You Can’t Control Everything
  • Stay Positive
  • Do Something Fun

Life is short – learn to live stress-free.  I would love to hear how you manage stress.

~ ConnieKayA ~
A Southern Girl sharing her passion for living an abundantly blessed life.

How to Have Time for A Workout

Here are 10 Reasons Why You DO Have Time To Workout:

  1. You May Have to Get Up Early  – Many people tell themselves that they don’t have time in their day, yet they have the same amount of time as everyone else. You may have to use that time differently. It may require you to get up early to fit in your workout.
  2. First Thing in the Morning – The best time to workout is first thing in the morning. It gets your day moving. (Literally!) When you do your most important things first, it empowers you all day long. You will feel great starting your workday knowing that you have already done your workout.
  3. It Doesn’t Have to Be a Long Workout – Some use the excuse that working out takes too long. However, consistency is more important that duration when you are starting out. Short intense workouts are better than long effortless ones.
  4. Have a Workout Partner – Working out with a friend or workout buddy can be a great motivation factor. You are more likely to make it to the gym if you know that someone else is there waiting for you. You won’t just be letting yourself down, but your partner, as well.
  5. Time Shift Your Workout – If you want to save time hitting the gym, then don’t go during peak times. Just like avoiding rush hour, avoid the gym at peak times.
  6. Go the Extreme  – There is not one right time to go to the gym. You may have to go the extreme depending on your schedule or obligations. When I was on shift-work, I used to run at mid-night at a 24-that is where I met my husband, he was a local police officer who thought he needed to keep an eye on me late at night.
  7. Don’t Overdo It – Many people simply try to overdo it with their workouts. Limit your early efforts or your will burn out or injure yourself. Start small and build to greater achievements.
  8. Working Out Increases Your Productivity – Often, I hear the people use the excuse that if they workout, then they will be too tired for their day. Well, you may be hurting for a time, especially if you have not been exercising for a while. However, you will pass the point that your workouts actually energize and improve everything else in your day.
  9. You Don’t Have to Go to the Gym – There is definitely some value, motivation, and benefit to actually going to a gym. However, if your time or resources are limited, why not workout at home? Or simply go outside for a run or walk? Sometimes the simplest answer is best (and quickest.)
  10. Just Do It, Even When You Don’t Want To – The most important way to ensure you have time to workout, is to do it even when you don’t want to. Those are the days that you need to prove your willpower. You are stronger than you think. Push yourself, especially when you don’t feel like it.

Focusing On Consistency

If getting active and staying healthy were easy, everyone would do it…but we don’t. I come home after a long day of moving around the clinic followed by taking care of the kennels, I destress by sitting in chair, unable to summon the energy to take a walk or hit the gym. Sure, everyone says to “make time for what’s important to you,” but oversimplification doesn’t make the struggle easier.

When you lead a busy a life, finding time to stay healthy is running-shoestough. Exercising every day may also seem a bit daunting, but because the time commitment is so small it’ll be a lot easier than you think.  It is true that all we need is 20 minutes of exercise per day to be healthy.  A daily routine also coyoga-23824_960_720mes with the benefit of starting a good habit, and that will make it easier to continue your exercise routine as time goes on.

This is my week for starting over, 20 minutes of walking or yoga every day. How about you, can you find 20 minutes a day to exercise?
~ ConnieKayA ~
A Southern Girl sharing her passion for living an abundantly blessed life,

Comparison Is Not Always Bad

I have over the years fought the urge to compare myself to others. There was a time in my life when I survived on 600 calories a day, because I thought I was fat and unattractive.  During my time in the Army Nurse Reserves I would often compare myself to other nurses during PT and push myself to be better.

Comparing ourselves to others is not always bad, especially when it comes to health. Overtime research has proven that there are certain values, limits, ratios that will keep us healthy.

One action step that can help you recognize what you need to focus on is to: Compare Yourself with Recommended Benchmarks – Compare health status with benchmarks for things like Body Mass Index (BMI), physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, calories consumed, blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol values, or hours of rest.

Comparing yourself to standard benchmarks will give you an indication of whether or not your health is where it should be. While a good, balanced diet and exercise certainly helps you stay fit and healthy, so many things are at work in your body simultaneously, it is always a good idea to keep your eye on these important markers that can alert you to some health problems early enough to address them.

When is the last time you did a little comparison?  What is keeping you from making the comparisons?

~ Connie Kay A ~

Recognizing the need to change

During the month of October I will be sharing 31 actions steps to better health. The first action step towards a healthier you, is recognizing the need to change or modify an unhealthy behavior, or add a healthy behavior.  31
Making better choices takes work and an awareness that the every choice has an impact on our health. The vast knowledge we have to prevent cancer, heart disease, and other chronic diseases is staggering and overwhelming.  But, you cannot afford to ignore what is good for you.

What I learned from my research influences my countless daily decisiono-more-excuses-picture-quotens.  Every bite of food either increases or decreases my odds of spending a few more years with my family. Half an hour of exercise in the morning makes for better interactions all day.  A restful night of sleep gives me energy to tackle the next day.  I am more engaged and in-charge of my life when I recognize the choices and actions that lead to a healthier life.

So how about you, do you recognize an opportunity exist for you to have a healthier life?

31 Actions For a Healthier Life

Today is the first day of October and I  am starting a new challenge. I will be participating in the “Write 31 Days Challenge.
take-the-31-dday-challengeThis year I will be sharing with you 31 Actions for a healthier life.
I have three goals for this challenge:
1.  Complete the challenge – Write something daily to help you live a healthier life.
2. Spend the month of October focusing on a healthier lifestyle.
3. Challenge my readers to incorporate 1 or all of the 31 Actions for a life a healthier life.

31I would love to hear how you focus on living a healthy lifestyle. Please visit my site each day and let me know about your healthy lifestyle.

~ Connie Kay A ~
A Southern Girl sharing her passion for living an abundantly blessed life

  1. Recognize the need to change 
  2. Comparison is not always bad
  3. Focusing on Consistency
  4. How to Have Time for A Workout
  5. Spiritual Health Is Important