Monthly Archives: October 2011

Health Body, Healthy Mind

How are you today?

No, really, how are YOU today?  If you are sick, tired, or achy you’re more likely to slap me than answer the question.  If you’re stressed or in an emotionally tough situation, you might have noticed these symptoms getting worse.   Your body and mind are as connected as your fingers to your hands, but it is easy to forget how integrated they are.  If you’re feeling down, your body feels it; if you’re rested, you’re more likely to be cheerful, et cetera, et cetera.

Every decision we make and every situation we come across affects us.  It just makes sense.  But we can do little things to help that part of our mood that we can control.  Afterall, who doesn’t like feeling at their best?

Baby Steps

More than a car, our bodies are our only truly reliable form of transportation and just as an unleaded car does not run well on diesel, our bodies do not run well on sugar, starches, and fat.  This article titled, “Taking Baby Steps Can Help You As an Adult, Too” talks about taking baby steps to integrate the things that help bodies feel their best.

Yes, we all grew up listening to the health teacher at school telling us to eat our fruits and veggies  and to get plenty of  sleep but how well did we pay attention?  The 2010 Health report from the CDC suggest not very well.   I learned first hand not too long ago how important it is to keep everything working as it should.

I am not trying to preach- I know these things are true from my own personal experience.  About a month ago, I was hit with a bad upper respiratory infection, borderline pneumonia.  At the time, I was just starting a new job, dealing with unreliable childcare, living on coffee and doughnuts, not getting enough sleep, and certainly not exercising.

Stress + Bad habits = Sickness

Simply put, after about a month of constant stressors, my body had had enough.  I had done practically everything I could have done to set myself up to fall.  And I did.  Not only was I down for the count from the respiratory infection but I also had a gnarly UTI, my whole body was out of whack, I had gained weight and I felt depressed and disorganized.

It was then that I really began to pay attention to how much everything affects everything else. My body only works as well as I treat it.  Ever since, health has been on my mind- not as a pretentious healthnut but as someone whose work, life, and family are important to her.  When I was sick and feeling depressed, my work suffered, I missed out on happy moments, and most of all, I could not be the wife and mother I wanted to be.

It’s In Your Hands

We may not always be able to control the events of the day or the many troubles that plague our minds but we can make sure they do not get worse by making simple decisions about how we keep our bodies fueled and working properly.  We are not the only one’s who have taken on the issue of healthy living but navigating the way to a healthy lifestyle can be daunting.

Fortunately, there are articles on the web that can help.  I did a bit of research before writing this article and compiled a list of publications that are clear, relevant, and interesting (at least to me 😛  ).  Here they are:

Will and apple a day keep the doctor away?

Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet <—-Definitely read this one!

13 Healthy Habits to Improve Your Life <—- Another good one. From WebMD

Mind and Body  <—- This totally ties in to my experience!

Health & Yoga for the Rest of Us

Stages of Recovery can be Emotional for TBI

From Dr. Glen Johnson, Clinical Neuropsychologist and author of The TBI Guide, this article gives valuable insight into the world of traumatic brain injury


We are all different. We all have different family situations, different jobs, different strengths, and different weaknesses. Despite all these differences, there are a number of very common emotional stages that people with a head injury go through. This is based upon my own experience treating patients, but many investigators note similar findings.

Confusion and Agitation

The first phase that I see people going through is a confusion/agitation phase. This can last minutes or it can last for months. I’ve had people get in a car accident and be somewhat dazed for a few minutes, but then direct traffic around their car. Others had been brought into the hospital in a coma requiring intensive medical efforts. When they wake up, they may go through the confusion/agitation phase. In the hospital setting, this is very difficult for family members. Someone who is very meek and mild, for example, can be physically aggressive. They may punch the nurses, or swear and curse at family members. It’s very frightening for family members, and it feels like it is going to last forever. For 99% of the patients that I’ve worked with, this confusion/agitation phase goes away. It may take a while, but people eventually come out of it.
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