Ways to Keep Up Friendships During Social Distancing

Social distancing is, unsurprisingly, hard on social lives. Learn ways to show friends you care and support them without breaking social distance rules.

Social distancing is putting a real damper on just about every part of social life. College students are now home and separated from friends they’ve gotten used to living just a few steps away from. While you can’t get together with your friends right now or even meet up anywhere, there are still a few ways to keep your friendships strong. Check out these ways to keep up friendships during social distancing.

Covid19 Resources:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
WHO: https://covid19.who.int/

Write An Old-Fashioned Letter

You most likely have a lot more time on your hands now than you used to, so why not sit down with a fancy greeting card and write a little note to your friends? This means a real note on a real card that you send via snail mail. You’ll get to look forward to them receiving it and you will brighten their days by letting them know you’re thinking about them—plus, you put in extra effort by mailing a real card, rather than sending a text or direct message.

female holding coffee on laptop

Schedule Virtual Hangout Nights

More than a group video call on one of the countless video calling apps, schedule a video call with a purpose. Taking the time to schedule an actual activity for you and your friend group to do together can allow you guys to bond the way you would in person. General virtual hangouts that are just about checking in can get old, since everybody’s day was about the same—isolated and low-key. Here are a few ideas of activities you can schedule with your friends.

  • Charades: There are apps you can use to play charades at a distance, where one person guess what the others are acting out.
  • Slideshow presentation battle: Ask each friend to prepare a 10-minute slideshow presentation on the funniest subject they can think of and present to the group.
  • Show and tell: Have each member of the group bring the item they own that has the best backstory and share the stories with each other.

Drop Off Packages

If you’re lucky enough to live near your friends, try putting together little care packages and leaving them at your friends’ doorsteps and texting them to check their doors. These packages are a great way to keep up friendships during social distancing. You’ll get to retain your social distance (don’t tell them to check their doors until you’re safely back in your car) and give your friend a fun surprise. You can include simple items to keep them entertained and show them you care and are thinking about them during this tough time. Here are some ideas of things to include for your friends:

  • Face masks: These are a fun way for your friend to relax and practice some self-care.
  • Coloring books: Coloring is a fun activity that can be calming and help pass the time, all while creating something beautiful.
  • A good book: Including a copy of a book you love can show the time and effort you put into their package and give them something fun to do.

Meet the Author

Kayla is a writer, artist, and designer from the Chicagoland area. She incorporates her creativity to produce work that is informative and thought-provoking.

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How to Feel Good About Your Body

This post was written by Sasha

Most of us have something that we don’t like about ourselves, which can greatly affect our self-esteem. This can lead to us feeling more insecure, depressed, self-conscious and impact our overall quality of life. Changing the way we see ourselves takes time, but it can be done. Here are some ways to feel better in your body.

Avoid Negative Environments

If you realize that social media makes you feel bad, try to minimize the amount of time you spend there. Moreover, you can also block or mute people that make you feel down about yourself. In case you want to take it a step further and take control of your life, do a social media cleanse and delete all those apps from your phone for a few days.

Additionally, if there is a billboard on your way to work that is harmful to your mental health, try to find another route to work. If you notice that the shows you follow send a bad message, look for something else to watch. You can also use an ad-blocker in your browser to avoid those annoying pop-ups.

Body Positive Image | Ways to Feel Good About Your Body

Surround Yourself with Positive People

Just like you should avoid negativity in the media, you should also do it in your personal life. If any of your friends make you feel worse about yourself, consider whether they are actually your friends. Minimize the time you spend together and see if you feel better after a while.

It is much easier to accept yourself and your body when the people around you accept you for who you are. That is why it’s so important to surround yourself with supportive and positive people.

Body Positive Image | Ways to Feel Good About Your Body

Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Another thing to keep in mind is that everyone has a part of their body that makes them feel bad. Even Rihanna struggles with body image, can you believe it? Well, you should. Realizing that nobody is perfect will help you on the path to self-love.

This is precisely why you have to stop comparing yourself to other people. You might think that your best friend has the perfect legs or arms, but maybe they are thinking the same about you. Talk to other people, and you will see that we all feel bad about something. Maybe you even get a compliment about a part of your body that you hate.

Find Things You Like About Yourself

Don’t just shrug off compliments, accept them. This can be a great confidence boost; however, you need to realize that confidence comes from within.

This is a great reason to write down things you like about yourself. Make a list and revisit it every time you feel down about your body image. As your self-esteem grows, you’ll be adding more things to the list until you finally accept yourself as a whole.

Stay Active And Healthy

Physical activity helps alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Exercise can even improve your confidence as it releases feel-good brain chemicals. If you are a beginner, try to find a personal trainer who will be able to create the perfect workout plan for you.

Keep in mind that the food you eat also plays a crucial role in staying healthy. Stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water every day and always drink water before your meals as that will decrease your hunger. On the other hand, make sure you intake enough calories as well. While exercising, many people also use supplements. For a beginner, making a protein shake is probably the easiest way to go, so you should look for some of the best whey protein powders that will help you achieve your goals.

Body Positive Image | Ways to Feel Good About Your Body

Do Something For Yourself

Doing something nice for yourself is vital for feeling better. Keep your Sunday schedule free and relax in a bubble bath, take a long nap or book a massage. Choosing only healthy beauty products will assure you that you are not harming your body. Look for clothing that makes you feel beautiful. If you can’t find anything that you like in stores, talk to a tailor. We should feel comfortable in our clothes as that can help us feel comfortable in our skin.

Going on a vacation can be a great learning experience. Exploring the world and traveling often will help you realize that we come in all shapes and sizes. Seeing the diversity among the people will lead to having a better opinion of yourself.

Accepting your body as it is is a process, and it can take time. However, the most important thing is not giving up. Take it a day at a time, and you will definitely see an improvement. Like Jonathan Van Ness says, “You are strong, you’re a Kelly Clarkson song, you’ve got this.”

An Intro to Astrology | You’re More than Your Sun Sign

Have you ever read your horoscope and thought, “hmm, that doesn’t sound at all like me…”? I sure have – I’m a Leo sun, but I shy away from the spotlight, and I want everyone to be in harmony. Once I found out I was a Libra rising, and Libra moon, I started to buy into astrology a little more because that made much more sense.

I’m here to shed some light on these three major aspects, but first – a little background and explanation of why I think astrology is important. This post is written by Sarah Ghekiere, ND.

Importance of Astrology

I like to think of astrology as a mirror of the energy patterns already happening on earth. The Babylonians were the first ones to realize this concept over 4,000 years ago. They were able to relate the earth’s energy patterns to what was happening in the sky. They realized it was a direct mirror. Astrology was then taught to the Greeks and Egyptians where it was regarded as a science which was used to bring order to chaos, predict weather patterns, wars, and natural disasters. Every king and emperor had their own personal astrologer. So cool, right?! I’d even go as far to say that even though it’s a little “Woo,” government officials around the world still have astrologers on staff. but that’s just my opinion. 😉

Importance of Astrology for Me

The earth is on a set trajectory – it was before we were born, and will continue after we are gone. So when we are born, we are born into this set of energies that is already on a certain path. Therefore, it’s been studied that our natal charts (the exact location of all the stars and planets at the moment we are born) are actually a blueprint of our souls’ energy and purpose. This is why, as a naturopathic doctor, I have taken such an interest in astrology. Not only is it fun and interesting to me, but it also allows me to have “an inside look” as to what my client may be going through and ways I can potentially help them live out their souls’ purpose.

Birth Chart

There are many different aspects to a birth chart, but I am only going to explain three major aspects – sun, rising/ascendant, and moon. To find out what sign yours are in, you need to know your birth date, time, and place. Then head over to astro.cafeastrology.com. Enter the information, and it will produce a chart for you.

Sun Sign

The sun sign – also referred to as star sign – is which zodiac sign the sun was in the day you were born. The sun stays in each zodiac sign for about 30 days. This aspect is known as your “core self or ego.” It is who you knowing or unknowingly are trying to be. It is also known as your souls’ potential. Which is why I think a lot of the time when you read about “your sign” and it doesn’t make sense to you, you haven’t become that person yet. This is true for me, like I was saying before, I hate being in the spotlight but I know that I am meant to be seen and that I will grow into that person, it’s literally written in the stars!

Rising Sign

              The rising sign, or ascendant, is the placement of the sun in the horizon to the east at the exact time you were born. The sun changes this position about every two hours or so. This aspect tells how you relate to your environment and how you express yourself to the world. It is usually the way others see you – much more evident of the person you are rather than your sun sign when it comes to others seeing you. When you are under stress this aspect becomes heightened, it’s your tendency of acting when you are craving control.

An Introduction to Astrology | You’re More than Your Sun Sign

Moon Sign

              The moon sign is the zodiac sign the moon was in when you were born. The moon changes this position every 2 – 2.5 days. Additionally, the moon represents your emotional tendencies. It’s the structure of your mental wellbeing, your needs, desires and emotional psyche, and how you process information – your emotional response system. There are also different phases the moon goes through, and depending on which phase it was in when you were born, tells you a bit about your tendencies.

Balsamic Moon

For those born under a Balsamic moon, (3 days before a new moon) you stand back and see things from a higher level, you could take or leave relationships, and you have a sensitive energy body.

New Moon

For those born under a new moon, you are very curious. You must learn things for yourself, through trial and error.

Crescent Moon

Those born under a crescent moon, this lifetime is all about growth and continuous projects.

Full Moon

Those born under a full moon, your life is relationship orientated.

I’ve had a lot of fun learning my tendencies, and “subconscious” actions revealed to me as I learn my astrological natal chart. I hope you find some enjoyment in it as well!

More About the Author

Hi! I’m Dr. Sarah Ghekiere, a naturopathic medical doctor.

I am passionate about empowering patients while supporting them through energetic and scientific principles.

From the time I was 13, I knew I wanted to be a doctor. I had pneumonia for weeks before it was finally diagnosed. I went through four different doctors before one finally took the time to listen to me, which gave way to the missing piece the other doctors had missed. It was then that I knew I wanted to be a doctor just like her – one who actually LISTENS. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

During my training and clinical experience, I learned how incredible the body is at healing itself. Therefore, I recognize that I am not the one doing the healing. I am simply providing the correct environment and information that my patients’ need for them to heal themselves. Nothing gives me greater joy than seeing my patients face light up once they’ve made the connections that free them from the discomfort that they were in when they first walked into my office. I show people that they have the ability to rise above the storm of life that has captured and whipped them around for so long. ⠀⠀
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I received my Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences from Western Michigan University in 2013, and my Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from National University of Health Sciences in 2018.

I want to provide care to people all over, especially to those who may not have an ND near them but are looking for an alternative treatment. Therefore, I provide remote visit options, known as telemedicine, that can be done through video chat!

I am trained in supporting the body through a variety of conditions such as, but not limited to – depression, stress, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, migraines, autoimmune conditions, thyroid conditions, insomnia, sleep disorders, allergies, digestive issues, woman’s health, and men’s health.

Check out bluewaternd.com if you’re interested in learning more!

7 Self-Care Tips for A Happier Version of You

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Our lives will always have difficulties that others may never understand. We should never forget that even though others may want to reach out to us and help us, the only person who can ever care more about you is yourself: self-care.

To take care of ourselves, we have to know what it is we should be focusing on. In this mini-guide, we look at the 7 essential tips that can help you be the best version of you to tackle life’s great difficulties.

1. Express Yourself Freely Through Writing

Sometimes we need a healthy outlet for our overwhelming emotions. Other times, we want to entertain some thoughts, bounce new ideas, and plan our life.

Journaling gives us a chance to listen and think to ourselves. As a tool, it allows us to speak our minds without the influence of social norms, criticism, or judgment. Deliberate writing has shown a positive effect on reducing anxious feelings and depression. It’s why we see this method repeatedly preached as one of the great ways to relieve stress and practice self-care.

You can learn more about journaling and how you can start one on the URMC website.

2. Enjoy the Sunshine and Fresh Outdoor Air

Without movement, there is no life. We should always be on the go so our bodies can stay active and our minds can be well. The body needs exercise to keep itself healthy and happy.

Simply walking outdoor can provide a lot of benefits to both your physical and mental well-being. You can adopt an outdoor activity like hiking and sailing to make life a little more interesting.

Learn more about walking and exercise, visit HelpGuide.org.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Mental Health

3. Sleep Well and Sleep Consistently

When we aren’t taking good care of ourselves, sleep is usually one of the first things to go out the window. Our sleep is unsurprisingly tied to many aspects of our lives.

When we throw our sleep out the window, we also throw our internal clocks out of sync. We might need the next day or the entire week to get back to our normal selves.

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If we sleep well, we can better control our mood and emotions, remember things better, and it also plays a large role in our physical recover as the body makes repairs during this time of rest. Getting better sleep is amazing self-care

You can learn more about sleep and the best practices of it at MySleepyFerret.

4. Eat Well and Keep Healthy Food Around

Food provides the fuel for our body and mind. It gives us the energy to get things done throughout the day. When we put the right food in our mouths, we can feel better and have the energy to accomplish what we set our minds on doing.

We can’t tell you what exactly your diet should consist of since everybody is different. Some research is necessary and speaking to your family doctor or nutritionist is important.

There are some guidelines we can use to help us think critically about what we are eating and what our eating patterns are like. According to the U.S. dietary guidelines of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, we seem to be taking in too much sodium, saturated fats, and sugars. We can also see from the charts we do not have enough intake of vegetables, fruits, and total grains.

You can also learn more about healthy eating and make a printout of a useful diagram as a reminder of eating healthy at Harvard T.H. Chan.

bedroom

5. Take Care of Your Bedroom, and Home to Take Care of Yourself

Our home can be a reflection of our minds. The more cleaned, well-organized, and kept together they are, the better our minds and our feelings toward ourselves can be.

Over time, it’s easy to forget about cleaning our home, and it can get to a point where our homes can make us sick. We can fall ill due to allergies, from food poisoning, or from pollution of some sort.

Much of our lives can be out of our control. What we can control is what is in front of us, and our home is arguably the closest to something we can improve.

Clean the clutter. Organize your bedroom for cleanliness and beauty. Make your bed a place for sleep and sex. Take good care of yourself because you deserve it. At least from there, whenever we have a bad day, we can always come home to somewhere great.

For more information and insights on decluttering your home effectively, check out ZenHabits.

6. Listen to Others and Help Them When They’re in Need

We as humans are social creatures. Without love and support, we suffer terribly. When we socialize and interact with others, we learn from one another and can contribute to each other’s’ lives. The health benefits are real, especially for our mental well-being and self-care.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to socialize. You can use social media tools to arrange times for phone calls and meeting in person. You can also visit a local community center or join local social and hobby groups. Who knows. You might find a friend or two for life.

You can learn more about socializing at PsychologyToday.

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7. Do Things That Make Your Life Better

This might seem obvious. Sometimes we need a reminder. It’s easy to let your inhibitions and impulsiveness take ahold of your day. It’s also easy to begin eating unhealthy, sleeping late, sit in front of a computer all day, let your home become a mess, and isolate yourself socially. We know these are inherently wrong. There’s no question about it, yet somehow we lose control.

That’s ok. Dust yourself off and start doing things that make your life better. Whenever you fall off the wagon, you can ask yourself three questions:

  1. Pick a hot spot in your life, like your relationships or career. Ask yourself where are you now?
  2. Where do you want to be?
  3. What obstacles might be in your way, and what can you do about them?
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Asking yourself these questions (maybe in the form of a journal entry like self-care tip #1) can help you break cyclical unhelpful behaviors that make our lives a little worse each day. It also makes you think and find solutions instead of focusing on any negativity that can be holding you back.

When you start taking action and doing things to make you better, we might run into some resistance. What we do might not be perfect, could be wrong or it might not work out, but at least we won’t be in doubt about ourselves.

Final Thoughts on Self-Care

It’s easy to forget the few essential things we can do to truly take care of ourselves. We hope this mini-guide serves as a reminder of the simple things we can do today to make our lives easier, better, and more enjoyable.

Meet the Author

This post was written by Brian Ferret. Brian is a sleep enthusiast who enjoys a good bedtime story. He is on a mission to create awareness on the best practices for sleep. His goal is to educate others on how they can sleep better so they can live happier, healthier, and better lives. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to learn how you can improve your sleep. You can also visit his website at MySleepyFerret.com.

Nurture Your Inner Beauty to Boost Your Self-Esteem

No matter what people may think, inner beauty is far more critical than what you physically see on the outside. This is the only truth people don’t seem to get. So, stay with us if you want to know how to nurture it and boost your self-esteem at the same time. Here are four useful tips on how to accomplish that goal, so check them out and enjoy!

Do Nice Things For Yourself On A Daily Basis

One of the best ways to nurture your inner beauty is to do kind things for yourself on a daily basis. And what does that actually mean? Well, you’ve probably already figured out that it’s the small things in life that make a huge difference. And the small things are precisely what you should start with.

You might make yourself a cup of lavender tea, visit the sauna, get a relaxing massage, or make yourself a bath. You can also read your favorite book, watch a good movie all over again, or prepare a healthy and nutritious meal. There’s nothing wrong in pampering yourself, and you’ll see an instant improvement as soon as you realize that!

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Love Yourself No Matter What

Yes, we agree that this may sound quite simple and logical. Unfortunately, it isn’t the case with the majority of people, from all over the globe. This is because of the substantial impact of social media. Social media have raised the bar and set the standards so high that almost no one can keep up with them.

This is why millions of young women are struggling with their self-image. As they feel that they aren’t good enough because they aren’t pretty enough or don’t have perfect body measurements. If that’s the case with you, make sure to understand that a few extra pounds or a little bit of belly fat don’t tell you who you are. Your physical appearance has nothing to do with who you are on the inside. While outer beauty can come and go, and your character stays forever. So, give your best to love yourself just as you are. Remember the famous Mark Darcy’s quote from Bridget Jones’ Diary? “I like myself, just as I am.” Your love for yourself is exactly what matters most. So, try to never forget that, and you’ll undoubtedly become much more confident and content.

Seek Professional Help

However, if you cannot deal with your insecurities by yourself, you should definitely seek professional help. Seek out someone who can teach you and help you overcome your insecurities. Even though a lot of people are ashamed to admit it, the truth is that there is nothing bad or wrong in seeking the help of a professional.

A large number of Australian women have recognized the importance of that issue. This is why they wanted to find a psychologist in Sydney to help them get to the heart of the problem and achieve real change. This is important not only when it comes to improving your negative self-image, but also when speaking of other issues. These additional issues might include relationships, family conflicts, work-life balance, grief and loss, depression, and many more. Additionally, there are some great workshops held by experienced psychologists. These workshops can help you deal with anything that bothers you, so be sure to seek professional help, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your goal.

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Surround Yourself With Positive People

Boosting your self-confidence and nurturing your inner beauty can also be done thanks to the help of your loved ones such as your partner, parents, kids, and best friends. One saying says that you are the company you keep, which basically means that the people you hang around with often affect all aspects of your life and shape your personality, attitudes, and thoughts.

So, when you know this, it’s essential that you surround yourself with people who profoundly care about you, who love you and appreciate your presence in their lives. These people should have the qualities you appreciate and, above all, a positive attitude towards life and everything around them. Keeping such people close to you is crucial, so bear that in mind, and you’ll do the right thing!

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As you can see, nurturing your inner beauty and boosting your self-esteem doesn’t have anything to do with your physical appearance, the clothes you’re wearing, or the smartphone you currently have. It’s all about learning to love yourself and doing nice things for yourself while being surrounded by the people you love. Of course, you shouldn’t be afraid of seeking professional help either, especially if you can’t overcome particular problems all by yourself. Once that’s done, you can be sure that you did everything you could to improve the quality of your life – but spiritually and emotionally, not materially!

Helen Bradford photo

Meet the Author

Helen Bradford is a journalism student who always seeks new ideas to write about. She enjoys blogging about beauty, health and style trends for women. When she’s not writing, she spends her spare time being active through fitness and traveling.

Embracing Self-Care Even When It’s Hard

There are many times in life when suddenly your ability to care for yourself goes out the window. In a flash, all of your learned habits become extremely difficult to uphold, and before you know it, you are letting yourself get behind with your own self-care. When this happens, however, it is best not to let yourself beat yourself up about it – as this will only actually make it worse in the long run. Instead, you should aim to get yourself back on track – not by deriding yourself, but quite the opposite – by taking positive steps in the right direction. Given that these circumstances are usually stressful or out of your control, it can be hard to do this – but still entirely possible with the right approach.

Dealing with Life Situations

First of all, you need to make sure that you are actually dealing with the life situation which has caused you to put your self-care on hold. This is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if there is something like this in your way, it is a good idea to get it out of your way  – and that means solving the problem, if possible. Secondly, your life situation is not separate from your ability to care for yourself but instead wound up within it. By dealing with the one, you are also helping the progress of the other. Fast solutions are best. If the situation is a divorce or a break-up, go for out-of-court solutions to get back on track faster. If it is the death of a loved one, grieve properly. Deal with your reality.

A Lesson on Self-Love: The Importance of Loving Yourself

Putting Yourself First as Self-Care

Usually, in times of stress, we have a tendency to look to others for guidance, leadership, and support. This is natural, healthy and to a certain extent useful. But if you have started to notice that you have probably been playing too much emphasis on others, then you might want to remember to try and put yourself first. This means stepping back, taking a moment to ask yourself what your own opinion on the matter is, and doing whatever you think to get your self-care back on track. You are the most important person in your self-care, so this is a hugely valuable thing to bear in mind.

A Lesson on Self-Love: The Importance of Loving Yourself

Being Kind to Yourself

If you are someone who often derides yourself for feeling a certain way or failing to be always positive, it’s helpful to learn not to engage in that behavior. Ultimately, it doesn’t help. What does help is to be as kind to yourself as you can manage so that you can look after yourself both now and in the future? You will find that this makes an enormous difference, so it is really worth thinking about. The kinder you are to yourself, the more likely you are to be able to embrace your self-care – exactly when you need to do that the most.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



Ebracing Self-Care Even When It's Hard

Seeing the World from Another Angle: Developmental Disabilities

I have worked in the mental health field for a decade. My favorite part of that work was the last half of it, working with kids from ages 3-21 with developmental disabilities and delays. I had absolutely zero experience with this population before then but I left with a lot of experience and a totally different person and mother.

Working with Developmental Disabilities

I was admittedly afraid of the kids at first because I knew that they could hurt me, and they did. I have a scar on my right eyebrow to show for it. A kid hit me in the face with a stereo cord because her CD skipped in the CD player. Before I left this facility, I would get injured in a lot of other ways. I was able, however, to help some of these kids be toilet trained, learn sign language, bond with others, and have fun.

Developmental Disabilities

I learned that kids with disabilities are just like other kids, which I already knew. They need love. When they don’t get it, they will act in ways that scream for that attention even though they can’t say, “Hey, LOOK AT ME! I NEED YOU!” or something like it. They can and will throw things. They will urinate on themselves and sometimes on you. Over a long period of time, their caregivers (or parents) will give up on them and bring them to facilities like the one I worked for.

What I Have Learned

These kids also need people to not give up on them after they don’t get something the first time. Their brains do work. I promise you they do. They just work a little differently. They may or may not be able to speak, but they can communicate. One of my favorite kids squeezed my arms every day to say “hello”, “goodbye” and when she was happy. Even though most kids with severe autism don’t even think of hugging you, she hugged me when she was being released. I cried along with her behavior analyst.

Most of all, they do hear. They hear very well. They can hear every word you say, and they can read your feelings when you are around them. If you don’t want to be around them, they can tell. If you love being around them, they can feel that too. I had so much fun working with these kids. It was not always pretty- I left work many days extremely tired, bruised and wondering why I ever signed up for this job, but I went back the next day ready for another round.

The best part was watching a kid finally “getting” something that a teacher, behavior analyst or one of us workers had been trying to teach them. It was incredibly rewarding, and hard to describe. It was also a lot of fun to do one-on-one work with them.

Developmental Disabilities On A More Personal Level

Each child has their own personality, and I am a mother of three. My younger son has severe ADHD and is also on the autism spectrum. He was diagnosed while I was working at this facility. As a result of his ADHD, he sees the world a lot differently than I ever will, and some days I wonder what the world is really like for him. He has some sensory issues and is a quiet child. We love him just the way he is. He just chooses to see the world from another angle, just as the kids I worked with and many others do.

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When you see a child with a developmental disability out in public, don’t automatically assume that they are to be pitied. You may be amazed at what they can do.

Wrae Sanders

Meet the Author

This Guest Post was written by Wrae Sanders of Brave Wings Coaching. Wrae is a life coach in Louisville, Kentucky and a mom of three with a BA in Clinical Psychology. When She is not working, she can be found reading or listen to podcasts. I hope you enjoy what she has to say about her experience with developmental disabilities.

Read more from Wrae here, or check her out on Facebook and Instagram.

Seeing the World from Another Angle: Developmental Disabilities

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10 Ways to Reduce Your Anger

I have recently been feeling very angry. This anger feels overwhelming and just builds and builds until I end up exploding on someone. Anger isn’t a good feeling, nothing good comes out of it. Because I have recently struggled with and have been working through anger, I have decided to write about coping with anger. Thus, 10 Ways to Reduce Anger is born.

#1 Remove Yourself from the Trigger

The first thing I do when I begin feeling angry is to remove myself from the trigger. A trigger is a situation, action, or anything else that prompts the angry feeling. This might include loud chewing, a certain word or phrase, standing in line. Everyone has different triggers and ultimately everything can be a trigger.

A peer was frequently disrespecting me, and this was my trigger. After a couple of instances where I was disrespected, I began preparing myself to feel angry. This only made me angrier. This is called rumination. Rumination is when you either frequently think about or talk about something, usually in a negative context, which allows the emotions to build and become stronger.

Because I was coming into situations expecting to become angry, I was quicker to anger. I quickly realized that when I started to feel the anger, that I needed to remove myself from the situation as quickly as I could. By removing myself I could stop the anger from rising.

#2 Take a Deep Breath

Once I have removed myself from the triggering situation, I breathe. There are a couple of reasons why I stop to breathe. The first is that it forces me to take a break from ruminating. By forcing myself to focus on breathing I am no longer continually thinking about what had made me angry.

When I am taking a deep breath, I make sure that I am performing diaphragmatic (or deep) breathing. Simply breathing isn’t enough. Diaphragmatic breathing refers to a type of breathing where the stomach (not the chest) rises when breathing in, and settles when breathing out. Breathing this way stimulates a nerve that, in turn, stimulated the system in your body which relaxes you.

After a couple of minutes of deep breathing, I am calmer and often, no longer angry at all.

#3 Distract

There are a million ways to distract yourself when you are feeling angry and this is different for everyone. It is also different in every situation. Sometimes, deep breathing is enough to distract me, while other times I need to take part in an activity like cleaning or watching funny videos to keep my mind off the trigger.

The goal of distracting yourself is to put a stop to rumination and to calm down. Distracting yourself from the trigger will not make the situation go away, you will still need to confront whatever is making you angry. But it gives you enough time to cool down, re-evaluate, and return to the situation with a new perspective.

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#4 Talking to a Close Friend

My boyfriend is my rock. Whenever I find myself worked up or feeling down, talking to him always makes me feel better. I think this works so well because it’s a positive distraction. Not only am I distracted from the anger, but I have vented out everything I wish I could say to my trigger. I no longer feel angry.

Talking to a close friend is always helpful, so long as you aren’t co-ruminating (rumination by more than one person together). Whether you’re venting or keeping distracted, it is always helpful to know that you have someone on your side supporting you. Sometimes, at least for me, I just need to know that I have someone cheering me on. Someone who believes in me.

Try talking to someone if you’re angry. If you don’t have a close friend you’d trust, counseling is always an option (see #10).

Anger Teddy Bear

#5 Comedy and Humor

Whenever I am feeling angry, I find it incredibly helpful to watch or listen to something funny or humorous. My go-to is YouTube. YouTube is full of hilarious content that is sure to boost your mood!

When you are busy laughing at something it is impossible to feel angry. So, if you’re getting worked up, try searching “funny animal videos” (these are my weakness). You could even try searching for videos of your favorite comedian.

Whatever makes you laugh, use it to de-escalate your anger!

#6 Apologizing

Apologizing is hard, but believe me, it’s therapeutic. Recently, I allowed myself to ruminate and my anger to build. Once I had arrived at a potentially triggering situation, I was already angry. So, naturally, I was triggered and snapped. Unfortunately, I allowed myself to get angry to the point of taking it out on my peer. This was another disrespect situation like I mentioned before, but snapping on her was completely uncalled for.

After taking a few deep breaths I privately apologized to another peer who was nearby when I snapped. Thankfully, she was understanding, because I was embarrassed that I had acted in such a way (completely out of my character).

I gave myself a lot more cool-down time, mustered up some courage, and apologized to the co-worker I had snapped on. While she was being disrespectful (my trigger) it was wrong of me to have yelled at her, especially in front of another peer.

She accepted my apology, though did not seem to listen to my explanation of what had triggered me. This triggered me again, which was even more difficult. I tried to keep distracted and to breathe deeply, but I was in a situation where she was attempting to apologize and I could not remove myself. I just kept breathing deeply and attempting to keep calm, I was apologizing for snapping. It was not the time to snap again.

As soon as I could remove myself, I did. Maybe I had not allowed myself enough cool-down time before apologizing. That being said, after apologizing and cooling down, I felt much much better. I had essentially confessed my sins and had no reason to feel bad. The triggers kept coming, but I felt better prepared to keep my cool.

#7 Do Something Enjoyable

It goes without saying that the things you enjoy make you happy, right? Well, then shouldn’t these things also help to de-escalate your anger? YES, a million times, YES!

Smile Happy

If you are starting to feel angry and there is an activity that makes you happy, then do it. For me, oddly enough, it’s organizing. I love organizing, it relaxes me and puts me in a good mood. I feel as though I have accomplished something that makes my life easier. So, as I have already mentioned, when I am feeling angry, I organize. Sometimes I am organizing something that has already been organized. But if it reduces my anger, then I am not going to stop.

Do something that you love to reduce your anger!

#8 Clean or Organize

What I am about to say is obvious because I have already mentioned it several times.

I find that when I am angry, I do my best cleaning and organizing. Anger, for me, needs an outlet. Most often, when I feel angry there is something in need of cleaning that I have been neglecting. In fact, when a disrespectful peer triggers my anger, I can remove myself from the situation and clean the kitchen or bathrooms at my place of employment. In fact, the cleaning is part of my job. Talk about killing two birds with one stone, right?

When you become angry at home, try hiding in your room and cleaning (I know you’ve been putting that off). Do what you need to do, cleaning and organizing is not for everyone. If this doesn’t lessen your anger, then don’t do it to reduce your anger!

#9 Exercise

Exercise does wonders for anger. Exercise doesn’t have to mean an intense session at the local gym pumping iron.

When I get angry, I like to go for walks. During these walks, I might sometimes listen to music as a distraction, or I might focus on my surroundings (this is a way of practicing mindfulness, read about it here). Something about exercise, fresh air, and some nature just puts me in a good mood. But not only does exercise work for me, it just works. Like I mentioned already, anger needs an outlet. What better outlet is there than exercise. Not only are you able to kick the anger, but you can also feel good and get healthy!

#10 Get Counseling

If your anger has become overwhelming and very frequent (or even non-stop) seek professional help. I am talking from experience here (a story for another time and post). Counselors are professionals, they are trained to help you with your anger. They can help you to understand and identify your triggers.

Once you understand your anger, you can work towards decreasing it. Your counselor will work with you to have a plan in place for when you begin to feel angry. If you’re open to getting help from a professional, they can do wonders!

There are also groups for those who struggle with anger. It may sound scary, but these groups are really cool to be a part of! It’s so cool because you are surrounding yourself with others who are going through the same thing you are. Everyone is getting help together while helping each other.

These are just ten ways that are helpful to me when I am feeling angry. What helps you to calm down when you are feeling angry?

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