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The Year that Just Wouldn’t Quit

The Year that Just Wouldn’t Quit

I think we can all agree that 2016 needs to come to come to an end…the sooner the better. Preferably yesterday.

Down with 2016!

Every social media outlet, friends and family have stressed the trials that 2016 has brought. If you conduct a search on the internet, you will come across countless articles with the same theme; Predictions I Wish Didn’t Come True in 2016. Dear 2016: You are the Worst Year and Here’s Why. Hashtags revolting against this year have emerged to join forces against the evil powers that be.

#RIP; to some of the greats; Price, David Bowie and Muhammad Ali to name a few.

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#BlackLivesMatter; in the wake of shootings and racial injustices creating national conversations.

#Election; creating chains of discussions and arguments around one of the most controversial elections in history. Even a flurry of memes have emerged displaying the “before and after” effects 2016 personally bestowed upon them.

“Me at the beginning of 2016 vs. the end of 2016” are hilarious, yet so utterly truthful. Oh, Leo, we all get it, trust us.

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    Twitter

    Universe, I beg of you. Have we not suffered enough?

    Exploring my own personal struggles, I can’t remember a time where I have felt more pain and anguish spanning over months. Not just a single event, but continuous, hard blows to my psyche. So much change was surrounding me at once that I had never experienced before. My coping strategies were lacking and eventually had a breakdown. My company swallowed a 15% budget cut; which equated to 24 talented and cherished employees. Both my parents were diagnosed with cancer and I was divorced. Those are certainly heavy crosses bear. Somehow, though, every single morning I woke up. I opened my eyes to a day reset. Another chance to take on the world; or in 2016’s case, dodge some more bullets.

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    One of the few good things that I can point out, is the birth of my nephew. But even that was veiled in irony; he was born on April 1st. The universe literally had a laugh at our expenses. Twisted, I know.

    Enough is enough.

    It’s exhausting to regal over all of these events, but it is with purpose. I’ll put a gentle reminder back out to everyone; we are all in the same boat. Though all from different walks of life and experiences, we are sharing the same struggle. We all get it. I have never felt such a rise of empathy and unity. So in the moments where your life has beaten you down and you’re dragging your feet; remember, we are here for you. We support you. As much turmoil as there was, there was a collective joining of forces across not only the nation, but globally. Social media certainly dampened the mood on 2016, yet let us not forget that positive events were still occurring, just may not have been broadcasted as well. The bad always seems to outweigh the good, doesn’t it?

    So as 2017 rapidly approaches, let us collectively have a shift in our mindsets. We shouldn’t let the negative forces follow us into a new year; a mark of a chance to start anew.  Let us instead take our trials, our worries, fears and bad memories and mold not only 2017 but our entire futures with a stronger, braver outlook. We have made it; we have done it. Let’s hold on to that thought and use it as momentum to carry us forward. For time has not crumbled and given up on us. The world is still happening and evolving around us. Let us be an integral part of that with our knowledge and experiences. Though it was hard, the proof of our strength is that we are still standing, persevering and moving forward day by day. So when you find yourself in 2017 facing adversary, frustration, struggle and doubt; just stop and say to the universe:

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    “Try me.”

    #2017strong

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    Jillian Skoczylas

    Clinical Liaison for Intensive Care Management at Beacon Health Options

    The Year that Just Wouldn’t Quit Hindsight is 20/20: 5 Lessons From Your Life

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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    Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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