Ways To Cope With Stress

~Happy Friday Y’all~

Unfortunately, I was not able to do as much as I would have liked to have done about stress awareness month because of my tooth issues, but I am going to try not to stress about it. Stress is honestly an issue that plagues my life, but I am trying to get better with it. Logically, I do completely understand that stress causes more harm than it does good, but I have always been a worrier. We have all heard that old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, but I am trying to teach my brain to stop!

Chronic stress creates a great deal of physical damage. Stress is also known to accelerate the aging process, raise blood pressure, and the risk of a stroke. This is not to increase your stress, but to bring this issue to a brighter light that cannot be ignored. The good news is there are ways we can train our brain to cope and handle stress better we are faced with it. I hope you will find the following three tips helpful with dealing with stress.

Savor the moment:

Our brain is influenced and absorbs negative experiences far more than positive experiences. With that said, we need to find ways to extend our positive experiences. A few ways you can savor the moment are to take a few extra minutes to enjoy your favorite meal or the snack you love but try avoiding it because of those extra calories. In time we will learn to slow down and appreciate the little things in life, instead of dwelling or focusing on our thoughts and or worries.

Reevaluate your thoughts-

One successful way to combat negative thoughts that arise from an unpleasant experience is to knowingly challenge them by considering alternative causes for the event that occurred. Consider one particular and troubling issue that has been stressing you lately. Instead of dwelling on this issue, reevaluate it by determining a few ways it could benefit you in some way. Maybe this issue has the potential of making you stronger and wiser.

Get out into nature-

Science has shown proof that getting out into nature reduces stress and helps people feel more energetic. This does not mean you need to go find the closest national forest to gain the benefits but could be just adding some “green” time to your day. Maybe get up a little earlier to take a short walk or meditate, or you could take your lunch outside.

I hope you found this information helpful, and it assists in reduces your stress. If you are anything like me, I have lived with stress for almost 40 years and I know it is causing severe issues to my body and health. The only thing stress does for us is create many more problems, which will, in turn, cause additional stress. This will be my last post talking about stress, so I am looking forward to reading your comments and I promise to respond as quickly as I can! This picture is one I printed out so I can see it daily and it makes me laugh! It is the simple things in life!

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you had a great week, and you have a lovely, and safe weekend! Whatever you decide to do this weekend please do all you can to stay safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Random acts of violence

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to hear about violence taking place in the United States. Anytime we turn on the TV there is at least one, if not more awful things happening. We are constantly hearing about mass shootings, cops killing unarmed people (most often black men), or other acts of violence where innocent people are dying Some people have become desensitized to the various amount of hate-filled violence that occurs, which these acts cause others vast levels of distress and despair.

When you combine isolation due to COVID and feelings of despair from the violence taking place, the emotional impact can be extremely intense. Of course, working from home is great, but I do feel very isolated and like I am on house arrest a lot. Situations like what happened with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others murdered by those that are “supposed” to protect and serve, the police cause me to feel anxious and angry and I am not an angry person. The case against Derek Chauvin, the police officer who murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis had me on edge. When I watched the verdict being read it did give me a glimmer of hope, but there is still a lot that needs to be done.

The recent and senseless mass shootings that have occurred in the United States are heart-wrenching. The one on March 16, in Atlanta GA at 3 spas left 8 people dead, 6 of which were women of Asian descent. It has been stated this murder rampage was due to anti-Asian racism, which does not make any sense to me. These women were innocent and simply doing their job to take care of their families. Atlanta, GA is only about two and a half hours from where I live, but these acts can happen anywhere because the levels of hate and racist behavior are exceedingly high. I do not understand why some many Americans have any issue with people of Asian descent because these people are NOT doing anything wrong or causing any harm to anyone else.

Only six days later, on March 22 in Boulder, CO another gunman went on a shooting rampage at a supermarket. This incident left 10 innocent people who were at a grocery store picking up items needed dead. People that knew this 21-year-old gunman said he was prone to anger problems and his arrest record showed where he assaulted a classmate in 2017. It was obvious this person had issues, so why was something not done to help him?

Less than a month later on April 15 in Indianapolis, IN at a FedEx facility a gunman started shooting people in the parking lot before he continued his shooting spree inside the building. This mass shooting left 8 innocent people dead before the gunman turned the gun onto himself. Not to sound insensitive, but if the end result was taking his own life, why did he not just do that in the beginning and leave the innocent people he killed alive?

There are no motives to make sense of these tragic deaths or to make it easier for the 26 families that lost a loved one. Even though there is not anything we can do for those affected by these events, there are ways we can help ourselves to cope better.

We have all been dealing with the pandemic for over a year now, often fearing for our safety, as well as for those we love because this virus is deadly. Then adding mass amounts of violence can shake communities to their foundations. Whether you live in the United States or another country, how do these situations make you feel? Some of us may feel like we are in danger if we just go to the grocery store or other normal activities outside the home. Other common reactions may include numbness and shock, difficulty making decisions, anger, inability to turn off the images seen on the news, tension, anxiety, loss of appetite, headaches, disturbed sleep and bad dreams, and or worry about future mass violence events.

Just knowing about these traumatic situations can be emotionally draining and cause you to feel unstable with typical life challenges. Issues with work, ongoing issues with the pandemic, financial struggles, or just staying on top of our daily activities can feel overwhelming and stressful. Try being kinder, patient, and more understanding with yourself because you are not alone.

Urgent do not forget to take care of yourself. Everyone reacts to these situations differently. It does not matter if an act of violence occurred where you live or on the other side of the world because our mind and body can react as if it were much closer. The following eight tips are ways we can practice self-care.

1. Safeguard your body’s needs by focusing on eating healthy, get proper amounts of sleep, and spending time outdoors.

2. Stay active in ways you are comfortable with. There is no need to push yourself too far and causing any extra stress on your body.

3. Embrace relaxation exercises such as meditation and relaxing breathing techniques.

4. Maintain a consistent bedtime routine to help you relax at night.

5. Collect information regarding the available mental health services and support.

6. Avoid using alcohol and drugs to help you cope.

7. Take the necessary breaks from watching the news on TV and or social media.

8. Give your attention to things you enjoy such as listening to music, walking, writing, other types of arts and crafts.

I know this post was not very uplifting or positive, but these are real issues the world is facing, and they are upsetting me tremendously. I do not like being negative or angry but wanted to bring these issues to everyone’s attention. This was not to upset anyone or ruin your day, so please forgive me.

I want to thank you for visiting my site today and reading this post. I hope you are having a good week and continuing to stay safe! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Adoption story

~Welcoming Home Kittens~

Y’all might remember me telling you about our precious little cat, Chloe that passed away in early February and how painful this loss was for us. Our other cat Sundance missed his sister just as much as my husband and I do. The poor little guy was lonely, and we knew we were going to have to get him a friend to keep him company, especially when we were working. I looked online for kittens to adopt for several weeks and one that we thought was beautiful. I emailed about this kitten a few times and was told to apply online to be approved for adoption. I was no able to see anywhere on the page where the adoption application was, but I did not give up.

After following up on this several times and not getting anywhere, I was about to give up and move on. I decided to send one last email about the kitten we had found and finally received an email saying the application was somehow removed from the page, but they did email me the application. I completed the application right away and sent it back in. The next morning, which was on a Tuesday, I received an email stating we had been approved to adopt this precious kitten. We scheduled an appointment for the following Saturday to go meet the cat and make a final decision.

On Saturday, my husband and I loaded up the carrier and drove about an hour to meet this kitten. I am the type of person that tries to always be prepared, so I made sure we had the cash for the adoption fee with us. The moment we walked into the room; I fell in love with the kitten. The foster mother had another kitten with her as well that she was taking to PetSmart to be put up for adoption and she was so tiny and precious. As my husband and I were getting to know the kitten we went there to adopt, the other kitten walked right into the carrier and made herself comfortable. Of course, being an animal lover, I am I looked at my husband, who has a soft spot for cats, and asked him if we could adopt both kittens.

My husband hesitated for a few minutes and asked if I thought I could handle having three cats. We had two for so long and cats are easy to take care of, so immediately said it would not be a problem at all. It did not take long to convince him to adopt both little girl kittens. It did help that the foster mother said if when we got home it either became too much or our other cat did not take well, we could return one or both kittens.

When we finally made it home with both kittens in the carrier, our cat Sundance did not know what to think. I think he was a little overwhelmed because in all the years we have had him, he has never once hissed or made any aggressive movements, but he looked at the carrier and let out a big hissing sound. After we saw his initial reaction, we figured it would be best to do the introduction a little slower and gradual, so we locked the two girls up in the guest bedroom so they could all smell each other through the door for a few days. On the fourth day of their lock-up, we let them out of the room and let them roam free throughout the house.

It has been a little more than a week since we brought the girls home and things are going very well now. The larger kitten in this picture is about 10 months old and her name is Willow. The smaller kitten is about 7 months old, and her name is Penelope. Sundance and Penelope have become surprisingly good friends because she is not as standoffish as Willow. Penelope and Willow are both sweet kittens, but Willow is not nearly as sociable because she is rather shy. Penelope already allows Sundance to give her kisses on the top of her head just like he did with Chloe. He did attempt to kiss Willow, but she was not having that yet. Penelope makes her little self nice and comfortable at night by getting in bed with me, where she gets under the covers and lays her cute little head on my pillow with me.

I do believe we made a good decision by adopting both kittens and know all three cats will get along great! I will continue to do random updates on the progress with how the cats interact with one another. I never thought that we would end up with three cats, but I do not have any regrets. All three of them have their own little unique personalities and they are just precious and full of love! I am just curious, how many of you think we are insane for adopting 2 kittens and now have 3?

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site and read this post. I hope you enjoyed the post and the pretty kitty pictures, and I look forward to reading what you thought about it. Even though it is only Tuesday, I hope you are having a great week and you are staying safe! Although I have been vaccinated, if I do leave the house I still behave the same way I would if I had not been vaccinated. Some people probably think I am taking it a little too far, but COVID still makes me nervous. I hope you never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Stress Awareness Month

Since 1992, April has been used to increase awareness regarding the causes and remedies to handle stress. Often stress makes you feel like you are drowning in quicksand and every time you try to break free from the stress, it swallows you up again. Until we can address our stress complications and establish better ways to handle the stress, it will continue to be a vicious and never-ending cycle.

Stress does not discriminate and creates so many further problems. With everything going on around the world, the level of stress is increasing at a rapid speed. Over the past five years, American’s who ensure moderate stress reported an increase of 44%. Since the pandemic began more than a year ago, stress has increased by 55%. These numbers are staggering, and we need to work together to find a way to reduce stress, especially for things we have no control over.

What Is Stress?

Stress for some people is not as simple as a slight predicament but it is a daily debilitating battle that is extremely consuming. Stress is something that affects everyone in different ways. It depends heavily on the situational factors involved. Stress is a broad topic, but it can be further explained in the following five categories.

1, Acute Time-Limited Stressors refers to situations such as public speaking or mental arithmetic.

2. Brief Naturalistic Stressors may be real, short-term challenges such as an exam or interviews.

3. Stressful Events Sequences are stresses that take place and continue to give way to stress in the future. This might revolve around a specific event, such as the loss of a relationship or a natural disaster.

4. Chronic Stressors result from ongoing and everyday situations affecting or having the chance to influence an individual’s body, mind, family, or community.

5. Distant Stressors refer to traumatic experiences that occurred in the past but still have the potential to continue effecting the immune system function due to the long-lasting cognitive and emotional repercussions. A few examples include child abuse, combat trauma, witnessing a brutal crime, or an accident.

Stress is a struggle to deal with and can also be extremely dangerous. There are numerous effects stress creates and each should not be ignored but handled promptly. The following are a few of the effects of stress:

Cognitive/memory problems include poor judgment, inability to concentrate, brain fog, indecisiveness, start numerous tasks and not achieve much, and self-doubt.

Emotional troubles include moodiness, irritability, panic, fatalistic, cynicism, anxiety, frustration, and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Chronic stress wears you down emotionally, which is what leads to an increased risk of depression.

Physical issues include fast heartbeat, aches and pains, reoccurring colds, skin conditions, indigestion, and high blood pressure. Also, may have intensified headaches and tension. Long-term stress weakens your immune system defenses, leaving you vulnerable to illness, infections, viruses, etc. And escalated risks of a heart attack due to increased heart rate and high blood pressure which is damaging the arteries. The muscles that assist with breathing can tense when stressed, which may lead to shortness of breath,

Behavioral issues include isolating yourself, sleeping too much or too little, feeling unmotivated, and a loss of sense of humor. Stress can make it challenging to fall asleep and stay asleep leading to insomnia.

Stress awareness is only in April, but so many people, including myself, live with stress issues all year. Instead of only paying attention and raising awareness to stress in April, maybe we should try to focus on a few ways to observe stress year-round. The following three ideas might help us all!

1. Utilize meditation practices. To manage stress effectively, we sometimes must silence our minds. I find this exceedingly difficult because my mind is always going in a million different directions. Meditation is a very well-known and common way to achieve this goal. One of our fellow bloggers, Bella at https://thoughtsnlifeblog.com/ has shared some fabulous information regarding easy ways to meditate. If you have not already visited her site, you should check her out and you will find great information. She is also very understanding and helpful and responds quickly to messages!

2. Develop an exercise regimen. I will be the first to admit that I do not do much exercise. Honestly, the only exercise I get is walking up and down the stairs multiple times a day. As you already know, I work from home and the home office is set up in the finished part of the basement. This might not be considered exercise, but right now it is all I do. This in no way shape or form means you need to join a gym, but this only needs to be a short or long walk outside enjoying the fresh air or other simple exercises that do not put too much harsh impact on your legs or back.

3. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. Try to not wait until your stress gets too out of control and dominants your life before getting the needed help. Your doctor should have the most knowledge and advice to help you discover a stress-free lifestyle. One simple phone call to schedule an appointment is the first step!

4 Most Know Stress Facts

1. The National Institute of Mental Health has suggested that at times stress can be beneficial. Stress can motivate people to be more prepared. It is a catch 22 because of the pros and cons there are with stress.

2. Stress can literally make you sick. Those that susceptible to chronic stress are also prone to a variety of ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

3. The American Psychological Association discovered the five most common sources of stress are money, work, family, economic outlook, and relationships.

4. WalletHub shared a report regarding stress. These findings indicated the three most stressed-out states in America are Louisiana, New Mexico, and West Virginia. The three states in America with the least amount of stress are Minnesota, North Dakota, and Utah.

Unfortunately, we all face different types of stress during our life, and we do not always have control over certain types of stress. However, we can learn how to conquer the circumstances we cannot change. While dealing with times like this, the Federal Occupational Health suggests changing your technique to the situations. You can try this simply by the following:

1. Acknowledge when you do not have control and let it go

2. Avoid becoming anxious regarding things you are unable to change

3. Focus on something that keeps you calm and maintain control of how you react

Managing stress can be challenging considering sometimes it seems like an endless battle. I can and will fully admit that I do not always deal with stress in the best and most effective way, but over the years I have become somewhat better and partially because I know the massive issues stress and Multiple Sclerosis cause. I found some useful ideas the CDC offered to assist with dealing with stress.

1. Take care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising regularly, get adequate sleep, and give yourself a break when you feel stressed.

2. Discuss your problems with someone you can trust, such as a parent, friend, or someone else you feel comfortable confiding in.

3. Avoid drugs and alcohol

4. Recognize when you need help and when you need to talk to a psychologist, social worker, or counselor.

Thank you for reading this post I hope the information in this post was helpful for you and will help you find ways to a stress-free life! We have all heard that stress is a silent killer, so it is crucial for anyone that has massive amount of stress to find ways to get it under better control. If you have any other advice for those battling stress, please let us know! I promise to respond to all comments as fast as I possibly can.

I think it is important to have an outlet in life, which is one reason I love to write. I hope you have a great day and please continue to stay safe because COVID is still a problem. Of course, many people have received the vaccine, but know there are other variants to COVID that keep popping up! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

Happy Monday y’all. I hope you are doing well and your weekend was wonderful. I have not done any posts in about two weeks and I am so sorry for that. I mentioned to y’all a few weeks ago that I was dealing with tooth pain and it was just miserable. The dentist put me on an antibiotic which ended up making me feel pretty terrible, but I am doing a little better and just have to wait for the not- so-exciting root canal to be done. I am hoping to get back to normal with blogging this week because April is Stress Awareness Month and I do have some good information regarding stress. Considering I want to get back to my with blogging,

I want to share a motivational quote with y’all to get our week started on the right track. Many days during our lifetime we are forced to deal with struggles and we may forget that each struggle provides us with a learning opportunity. It is not always easy to recognize it, but ALL of the struggles and trials we endure in life offers us the strength and resilience we need for the days to come.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you have a great day and your week gets better with each day that passes. I will be doing a few posts regarding stress and I also have some fun news to share with y’all. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Been Out Of Sorts

I have been trying for several days to write a post, but I have not been able to. I have a few reasons why things have been so challenging, and I will try to explain. One issue is I have not been sleeping well due to awful tooth pain. I know my fear of the dentist is very irrational, but I have never been able to shake this fear in all my years. After several mornings waking up at 3:00 AM in excruciating pain and it takes me a while to fall back to sleep, I finally scheduled an appointment with a dentist. My husband and I are still relatively new to where we are living and I did not know any dentists, heck, I hardly knew of any doctors besides my neurologist, but I reached out to an extremely sweet couple that has lived in the city for years for a recommendation. This couple is kind, trustworthy, and I feel confident they would steer me in the right direction, the only problem is the dentist did not have any openings until April 19th, but I have dealt with it this long, what is a few more weeks?

The other issue I have been experiencing is my legs and feet are feeling the annoying tingling, pins, and needles sensation, and a great deal of spasticity. This seems to be getting increasing worst at night, which makes it hard to get comfortable and fall asleep. Even though it is known to those with MS that heat causes issues, previously a heating pad on my legs would help calm the problems down. Unfortunately, a heating pad or a warm bath is not helping at all and I am just having to be patient with my legs and feet, which I am not good at being patient at all!

As y’all know from things I have said in previous posts fatigue is a huge issue with people with Multiple Sclerosis, so not getting anywhere near enough sleep due to my tooth pain and twitchy legs is only producing more fatigue. I do not know about you, but when I get too overtired, I become very irritated with everything. It does not matter how small the issue is, it will make me want to scream and or cry. You can only imagine how I would feel if something huge happened.

I like to think that I am a patient and tolerant person, and always try being understanding because I do know everyone is going through something in their life. It takes a lot to push me to my breaking point, which is not always a good thing because that involves a lot of pent of frustrations. While it can be a good quality to be able to let go of things that are not crucial, the built-up of frustration can be like if a volcano, collided with a tornado, and an earthquake happened simultaneously. This is just me and I might be abnormal because I hold onto things for extended periods of time before anyone would ever know something was bothering me and I know this is something that needs to be worked on and improved.

I am not making any promises because I do not like breaking a promise, but I am going to try finishing the posts I had mentioned before. I know March and Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month are over, but there are still a few things I want to mention. March being over does not mean that those of us living with Multiple Sclerosis get a break because unfortunately, we still have the same battle to fight.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to visit my site today. I still have so much that I would like to write about, and I am doing the best I can. I hope your week is going well and you are continuing to stay safe. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Motivational Monday

~Let’s Start This Week With A HUGE Smile~

Happy Monday y’all! I hope you had a nice and safe weekend. My weekend did not go exactly the way I had planned because I did want to complete a post I started about Multiple Sclerosis but honestly did not have the energy needed. I think I might have been a little overly exhausted from the week and did not want to halfway write a post, especially one so meaningful to me. What I will say is, I will finish this post early this week and will not rush through it because I want to provide you with the best information I possibly can. It is amazing how one week can take so much out of us.

I was pretty stressed about a power issue we have in our house. Last week, on Thursday, the power in our basement only stopped working and our home offices are set up in the finished part of the basement. It did not make sense because the power in the upstairs was fine. My husband did check the several breaker boxes in the basement and one outside but did not see what the issue was. Thankfully, my mother-in-law gave me the number to the place we had a contract with before, which covers electricity and plumbing. The company is coming out today between the hours of 11-2, and I just hope the issue is not big and can be fixed easily today! I am a little nervous about having people in the house because of COVID, but I will wear a mask while they are here.

As we are beginning another long week, I think we could all benefit from a little motivation. My hopes are that the quote I am sharing with y’all today will provide you the motivation and encouragement needed to start this week on the right foot! We can all agree that the weekends are far too short and the weeks are way too long, but we are strong enough to make it. I hope you have a great day and your days only continue to get better with each day that passes. I would love the opportunity to read what you thought about the quote I shared with y’all today because your opinions matter to me.

My husband and I did not do anything for Easter because he had to work, but my mother and her boyfriend did send me a beautiful bouquet of my favorite flowers. The funny thing was, the flower shopped messed up a little and sent me two bouquets. Now I have one in the living room and one on my work desk! My favorite flowers are stargazer’s lilies. They smell so amazing and now the upstairs smell like them and my work area smells like the lilies as well! The flowers on the left are the ones I have in the living room and the ones on the right are on my work desk!

I do want to thank you for visiting my site today. I also want to apologize for not finishing the post I told you I was going to try doing this weekend. Fatigue and life really does create challenges way too much and I do not enjoy it at all. I can say that it was nice to relax over the weekend and try to eliminate my stressful thoughts. I hope you never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

Let It Go Friday

~Congratulations! It Is Finally Friday~

Happy Friday y’all! How was your week? I hope you had a great week and you are looking forward to the weekend! I am so happy the weekend is finally here and I have two days of not waking up early and then staring at a computer screen for eight LONG hours! I sometimes think that the computer ends up causing some nasty headaches or maybe it is “some” of the people I have to deal with. You will not be surprised that I do not have any plans for the weekend. I even already did my grocery store delivery, so I do not have to do that. I know I told you the other day that there were a few more posts I wanted to do about Multiple Sclerosis, which I hope to complete this weekend!

Now that the weekend is almost here and the weekend is upon us, it is time to let go of any negative feelings the week may have caused. Our weekends are so short and the work-week is so long, we need to be able to enjoy our weekends to the fullest, but please do so safely. I hope the quote I am sharing with y’all today will provide you with the means to let go of the negative and embrace the positives in life! For all the things we may regret we did during our life, we should use them as learning experiences, not do them again, and let them go. It is important to live, learn, grow, and move on!

I hope your weekend is full of nothing but happiness and enjoyment. Y’all already know that we are not completely out of the water yet with the fears of COVID, so please be sure to stay safe. I would love to know how your week went and any plans you have for the weekend. Unfortunately, I still believe the United States is still going through many difficult and tragic times, but during times like these, we need to do our best to be understanding, compassionate, empathetic, and kind to others. The truth is, we never know what someone else is going throughand their troubled times may alter their personality. I do believe in that old saying “Kill them with kindness”.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope you enjoyed the quote I shared with y’all and do look forward to reading what you thought. I do promise to try responding to all comments as quickly as I possibly can. Also, please know that I will be working on the posts to share a little more information about Multiple Sclerosis. I know March is over and it was Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, but just because the month is over does not mean those living with MS are free of it! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa