byNerida 2013

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Why Grandparents are important!

As most of you know I have become a Granny to two beautiful grandsons in the last 7 months. The experiences I am having as this two little people grow and capture my heart, has brought a whole new meaning to my life. But I also realise I am important to their lives.

Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren, though it is often indirect. Most of their significance to children is seen through the support and help they give to their parents. Grandparents are often seen as 'stress buffers', family 'watchdogs', 'roots', 'arbitrators', and 'supporters'.

Research suggests that children find unique acceptance in their relationships with grandparents, which benefits them emotionally and mentally. Grandparents can be a major support during family disruptions. Sometimes they're playmates for their grandchildren. They're very often role models and mentors for younger generations. They are also historians -- teaching values, instilling ethnic heritage, and passing on family traditions.

If for whatever reason you don’t have grandchildren, you can always find some little people who would love for you to adopt them as your own.

 

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Happy New Year!

Have you made a resolution for 2014?

Has it failed already?

The secret to making successful resolutions is to try and change a small aspect of your life. If you say I want to lose 20kgs in 2014 but don’t plan who you are going to do this it will probably not happen. In 2013 I resolved to do my ironing the day I took the clothes off the line and with only one exception I achieved my goal. It is now an entrenched habit of mine. I intend my 2014 resolution to succeed as well.

Do you need help to keep your 2014 resolution? Contact me now.

 

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This Christmas extend an invitation to another person or couple who otherwise would spend the day on their own. This important holiday can become very depressing for someone who has no one to share the day with….you including them in your family lunch or dinner will make a world of difference to their day.

As this will be my last tip for 2013 I would also like to share with you an old wives tale passed down through the females in my family. Ladies if you work on New Year’s Day, you will work hard every day for the rest of the year. I know what I won’t be doing on January 1.

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a safe and happy 2014.

 

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Often in our lives circumstances change and we need to make new friends. It could be because we are recently widowed or divorced, we have changed job or retired or we have relocated to a new place. Whatever the cause, these are all times that require us to make new friends. If we don’t, we can become very lonely.

This week I meet someone new who had lived in the area for 8 years and had been widowed 5 years ago and confessed to being very lonely and found it hard to make new friends. Their thought was to move to a new area and it would be different.

I disagree. If you have lived in a place this long and are lonely it is because you have forgotten the art of making new friends or maybe previously you did not need to as your partner made them for you.

If you have forgotten the art of making friends or know your circumstances are about to change contact me to discuss various ways you can help prevent loneliness.

 

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Are all forms of happiness equally good for your health?

A study, which was conducted by Barbara Fredrickson of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Steven W. Cole of the ULCA School of Medicine, assessed 80 adults for either “eudaimonic” well-being—the kind that arises from a sense of purpose or service—or “hedonic” well-being, which we get from a good time.

If, for example, study participants often described themselves as “happy” or “satisfied,” the researchers characterized their happiness as hedonic. But if, on the other hand, participants said their lives “had a sense of direction and meaning” or “had something to contribute to society,” their brand of happiness and well-being was deemed eudaimonic.

Results of the study show that, while both types of happiness correlated with lower depression levels, only those people with high levels of eudaimonic happiness had a low CTRA or a better immune response profile. In contrast, those with high levels of hedonic happiness had a high CTRA profile. 

In other words, happiness derived from leading a life full of purpose and meaning seemed to protect health at the cellular level, while happiness derived from pleasure or self-gratification did not.

It might seem surprising that our immune cells could distinguish between types of happiness. But, according to Fredrickson, the CTRA is designed to anticipate and prepare for the kinds of microbial threats we are most likely to encounter based on our recent past experience, and eudaimonic happiness may somehow signal to the body that we are in a better position to defend ourselves from disease.

(Source: Happiness Institute).

 

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...life can be sweeter!!

In March 2011 I made a decision it was time to retire, make a move to relocate and start the next phase of my life. I will admit there was a little angst on my part as to whether I was making the right decision.

I had watched friends relocate successfully to the south coast. I knew I needed to make the move before I turned 60. I wanted the weather to be warmer, I wanted to be closer to my Mum and I wanted to live within 30 minutes of an airport so I could stay connected with family and friends.

I had a belief that if I took my strong networks of church and Rotary, I could make a new life for myself any where I chose.

Last week the article below was published in a local newspaper and since than I have had three phone calls about being a life coach.

http://www.mydailynews.com.au/news/weighing-all-options/2070946/

Life is sweet!

 

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Today as I write this message to you I am celebrating my birthday. For me, and I know many others, this special day each year is an important one when our family and friends make contact with us. In these times of social media there are many different ways to contact them to send best wishes. Besides snail mail (most people I know still love to get a card in the letter box especially those who are older and don’t access social media), phone, texts, Facebook, Twitter, instagram, Skype…… the list is endless.

But the bottom line is no matter how you say happy birthday it is the thought that counts. Take the time to make your friends and family feel special on their special day! They will love you for thinking about them.

 

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With about only 7 weeks until Christmas, some organised people are already making cakes and puddings and are thinking about cards and presents. While these material items are important to our traditions, it should also be a time for us to reflect on family and friends.

Should there be an extra place set at your Christmas table for someone who would otherwise spend the day alone?

Would a gift of homemade goodies (cakes, puddings, mince pies, white Christmas or toffee nuts) be more appealing than a shop purchase that has been manufactured overseas.

Should you this year find the time to do Christmas cards so family and friends who are elderly or live far away have the enjoyment of receiving snail mail. Cards standing around the room bring more enjoyment than an email which sits hidden in that box (ie the computer)!

Whatever you decide, the fact that you actually spend the time to think about what you will do improves your well-being.

 

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With the news this week of a serious measles out break in Byron Bay I was reminded of the story in my youth of the devastation these childhood diseases create. One of the severe measles case is to the 7 year old son of a registered vaccination objector, I pray in future years that her child does not face the complications the virus can cause to teenagers. Unfortunately a few years ago I attended the funeral of my wonderful paper boy Glenn, who lived for 5 years in a coma as a result of having measles as a child, before tragically dying at 18.

With immunisation rates in Mullumbimby at only 42% for two year olds, the herd protection is no longer there. These well meaning but misguided parents obviously were not old enough to know men that were sterile because they caught mumps after puberty, they don’t know people born deaf because their mothers were exposed to German measles during pregnancy, or know any polio suffers who in their senior years are faced with a variety of illnesses due to the polio virus.

They probably didn’t bury their grandfather from tetanus as a very fit 72 year old.

Please make sure you speak to your GP when you next visit as your immunisations may now also be out of date.

 

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There is that wonderful old poem about friendships being for a reason or a season. It has now been a year since I have moved to Kingscliff and I have made new friends but still maintain my old friendships with visits, phone calls, emails, facebook and Friday Funnies! In the last few weeks I have taken the time to think more deeply about what friendships are? Why are they so important? What value do they bring to our lives etc?

Only yesterday as I sat in my favourite café talking to some people from church, I was really lifted as new friends that I have meet waved, smiled or said a quick hello as they walked past.

As a widow I would be a very lonely person without my family and friends. Take the time in your busy life to nurture your friendships. If you feel that this is a part of your life that is not 100% contact me… I might be able to help you improve your friendships or even make new friends!

 

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Every year on 10th of October, The World Health Organization joins in celebrating the World Mental Health Day. The day is celebrated at the initiative of the World Federation of Mental Health and WHO supports this initiative through raising awareness on mental health issues using its strong relationships with the Ministries of health and civil society organizations across the globe. WHO also develops technical and communication material and provides technical assistance to the countries for advocacy campaigns around the World Mental Health Day.

The theme of World Mental Health Day in 2013 is “Mental health and older adults”.

Australian Rotary Health sponsor’s a Hat Day every year to raise awareness in the community about mental health. If you see people out in the community wearing silly hats and collecting money please give generously. Australian Rotary health is the largest non government funder of mental health research in Australia. To learn more about what they do go to: http://www.australianrotaryhealth.org.au/

 

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Last week I was able to assist a lady and her puppy that were being stalked by a big German Shepherd. I have to say the warm, fuzzy feeling of having been able to help someone in need, stayed with me for most of the day. Later in the afternoon my son found a thank you card in the mail box. Although it was nice to receive thanks, I realised it only gave me validation that I had made someone’s day and was for me not nearly as important as the act of kindness itself.

Sometime we give, and sometimes we receive, and these need to be in a balance in our lives. If you need to learn more about giving and receiving contact me.

 

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Spring has always been considered a time to clean the house top to bottom. Rotate your wardrobe from winter to summer and plant flowering annuals to make your garden bright and colourful.

It should also be a time to spring clean your life.

What part of your life needs to be changed? Is it time to start to think about retiring? Maybe you have been too long in your current employment and you have become stale!  What other positions are available at your work place or is it time for a fresh new career?

Do you need to increase your exercise now that you have come out of winter hibernation?  Are last summers skirts or shirts a little to snug? Does your diet need to be addressed?

If you say yes to any of the above but don’t know where to start, contact me, I might be able to assist you!

 

What does having fun mean to you? Is it outdoor activities like bike riding, roller blading, swimming or surfing? Or is it catching up with friends for coffee, a meal or a visit to the theatre? Is it participating in a hobby like scrap booking, flying model planes or attending a book club? Is it spending quality time with family and friends?

Maybe it is just having a good old belly laugh!

It is important for our well being to have some good times when we are happy and having fun BUT beware some fun has serious consequences.

Every year some 12000 Australians are hospitalised after enjoying fun activities like climbing equipment in playgrounds, skating, skiing and scootering. So while enjoy having fun and adventure take care that you don’t cause yourself an injury.

 

Are you allowing technology to define your daily life? 

Do you feel something is missing if your mobile phone is not on your person or if it does not have reception?

Do you have withdrawals if you can’t access your emails, facebook, twitter or other accounts?

Maybe it is time for you to take back control of technology and spend a greater part of each day technology FREE!

More and more both in our work and personal lives technology is dictating what we do. Recently I read where a senior manager of a group of businesses calculated that 60% of his email traffic was from 5 people in his work environment who sat within walking distance of his office. Writing and responding to emails with them was taking up a considerable part of his day. They banned all work emails and he believes it freed up 40% of his working day. It gave him more time to be productive to get on with what he needed to do in his job and stopped the feeling of overwhelm that had been a constant part of his life.

Try limiting the time you respond to emails, texts, phone messages etc to a set time each day and see how more efficient you become.

Limiting technology in your personal life with allow you to spend more quality time with your family and friends. Try it and see how happy you feel.

Have a great day!

 

It is important to drink water each day so our bodies stay hydrated. There are many good reasons to consume water:

a) Weight loss: Water is a great appetite suppressant and also can replace high calorie drinks from our diet like alcohol, fruit juices and carbonated drinks.

b) Energy: If you are dehydrated you will feel fatigued and lack the urge to be productive in your daily life.

c) Headache cure: Many headaches are a result of dehydration especially in summer or when in over heated environments.

d) Heart health: 5 glasses of water per day can reduce death from heart attacks by 41%

e) Healthy skin: A week of drinking sufficient water will put a health glow on your skin.

f) Cleansing: Water flushes toxins and waste from your body.

g) Reduced cancer risks: Dehydration increases your risk of colon and bladder cancer.

How much water you need depends on many factors such as your weight, how much you have exercised, your health, as well as the amount of water in the food you have eaten.

Drink so you are not thirsty!

 

New Australian research has shown that women that follow a Low GI diet during pregnancy help reduce the chances of their child becoming extremely fat or suffering diabetes later in life.

(Daily Telegraph 7 August 2013)

I have lost 39kgs in the last 3 years and kept it off for over 18 months by following a Low GI diet. If you need help with what constitutes a Low GI diet or support to follow a Low GI eating program contact me today!

 

The Cancer council runs this valuable program to encourage parents of primary school age children to eat more vegetables and fruit to help prevent cancer.

Most people do not know how much vegetables and fruit they need to eat and often lack the knowledge of what constitutes a serve.

Contact me for more information about what you need in your diet to maintain a healthy eating program.

 

Recently I was listening to North Coast ABC radio as they were discussing how Australia, once again, has been judged internationally as the No1 country for population happiness. It appears that where we stand alone in the world is the amount of volunteering that occurs in our communities. This week I read that 4 out of 5 Australian's over 50 volunteer, an amazing statistic.

So do you volunteer? If not, you should give it some consideration, as it seems that simply by volunteering you can increase your level of happiness. Awesome!

If you are struggling with finding the right fit for you, contact me for some helpful suggestions.

 

It is so important that we view our approach to mental health as we would our physical health. If we are unwell we seek the help of our GP in the first instances and ask to be referred to a specialist according to our needs. If we know or suspect a friend is suffering we encourage them to seek help. Far too many people hide their struggle with mental health and the consequences for them and their family and friends is often tragic.

There is an enormous amount of help online. From my association with Australian Rotary Health Fund, I can highly recommend the following site:

MoodGYM: Welcome
https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/
A free self help program to teach cognitive behaviour therapy skills to people vulnerable to depression and anxiety.

I dedicate this week ’s message to my good friend Ray, may he Rest in Peace.

 

It is very important that we are happy in our physical environment.

Is it time for a declutter?

We usually do a recycle of our clothes each winter and summer but what about the rest of our home? How long has it been since you cleaned our you pantry (last year I found herbs best before 1996), your linen press, the garage, kitchen cup boards and that filing cabinet that you can no longer close?

A clean, tidy and minimalist home environment will make most people feel uplifted!

 

Our spiritual health is equally important to our well being as is our physical and mental health. Whether your belief is a main stream religion, a philosophy of life, a moral code, reincarnation, or an understanding of your inner soul, if you don’t practice what you preach you will be ill at ease.

It is our spiritual self that guides us at times of loss, that consoles us when we are down, that rejoices when we are up and keeps us believing in life itself.

Like all health, our spiritual health needs to be nurtured for our personal well being.

 

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There is a wonderful old saying that no one on their death bed wishes they had spent more time at work.  It does make food for thought. Why do we go to work? Income is necessary to buy food, shelter and clothes as well as other things we desire. But how much do we really need to earn?

Work is also important as it provides us with social interaction and a routine in our lives.

However if your work defines who you are, by who you work for and what position of authority you hold, then just maybe, you need to spend some time analysing just what are your priorities.

Do you place work’s demands ahead of your partner, your children, your parents, your friends, your hobbies, your health and fitness and your overall well being?

If you answer yes than it is time for you to reassess!

 

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Strong relationships with both family and friends are vital for our well being.  Research shows that women are better than men at making and maintaining friendships with their peers and this contributes enormously to their happiness. Friendships are a great way to talk about the dilemmas in our lives and gives an opportunity to obtain a range of tips as how we can best cope at these times. Relationships need nurturing and will wither and die if they are not maintained. This could be as easy as a phone call, an email, a coffee date or better still a long lunch.

Is it time that you made contact with someone special in your life?

 

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How much money do we need? Australia recently was listed as the happiest country in the world. I was listening to a researcher describing how that status was arrived at and I was struck by his comment on finance. He said they found that in Australia if the combined household income was $100K per year, then no further happiness could be attained by earning more income. Have we become slaves to the money lenders with continually up grading our homes, moving to the right suburb and sending our children to the right school? However, on the flip side, we are losing out on family time, catching up with friends and participating in activities that give us great joy just because we are time poor due to the need to earn more money.

Is it time to take stock of how much income you really need?

 

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Socialising with family and friends lifts your spirits as well being food for your minds. One reason people often age quickly when they leave the workforce is because they haven’t replaced their daily people interaction in their retirement. This is especially important for extroverts who are energised by other people.

Take the time to maintain your friendships. Emails and facebook comments do not substitute for face to face contact or a lively phone call. Make sure the friendships you nurture are those that make you happy, make you laugh and leave your filling fulfilled. Avoid contact with people who leave you feeling demotivated or depressed.

Remember laughter is the BEST medicine!

 

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A healthy diet is a must if you want to not only live a long life, BUT you want to remain active and mentally alert as you age. Medical research tells us to give up smoking, drink alcohol moderately and consume a diet that is abundant in fresh vegetables and fruit. It is also important that we consume protein and good fats each day.

Throw out pre packaged food and go back to basic when preparing your daily menus. Look for healthy alternatives for mid morning, afternoon and supper snacks. Fruit, raw nuts and yoghurts (not ones full of sugar) make healthy snacks.

Be mindful of your portion sizes.  Use smaller plates, eat slowly and it is OK to leave food on the plate if you are full. You need to care more about your weight and waist size than the staving children of Africa.

 

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To avoid poor health outcomes especially as we age we need to be exercising at least 30 minutes per day. If you are walking you should be walking at, at least 5 kilometres per hour. If you have problems with knees cycling is better and swimming is best for people with obesity/ physical problems with hips, knees and ankles.

Also as we age we need to under take weight bearing exercise. Try carrying your groceries further, carrying light weighs when walking, or enrolling in a gym class. Besides sport house work, car washing and gardening are all good free ways of exercising.

 

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Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

We all need 6-8 hours sleep a night. More than 3 consecutive nights with less than 4 hours will set you on the path to the above health risks.

Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight.

When it comes to body weight, it may be that if you snooze, you lose. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.

Recent research has focused on the link between sleep and the peptides that regulate appetite. “Ghrelin stimulates hunger and leptin signals satiety to the brain and suppresses appetite,” says Siebern. “Shortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin.”

Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Ongoing studies are considering whether adequate sleep should be a standard part of weight loss programs.

(Source: WEBMD)

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Are you happy?

If your answer was YES, keep smiling and enjoy your day. I will talk to you next week.

If you answer was NO, keep reading.

How can you change this state you are in? Do you really want to be unhappy? Would you suggest unhappiness is a wonderful place, for others to be? How about we make some changes to your feelings? I could help you make these changes to your life.

In the meantime before we speak personally I would like to recommend a website that has given me causes to smile over the years. They also have a mailing list that you can subscribe to: http://www.thehappinessinstitute.com.au

 

 

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