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Conflict-Resolution

How to cut yourself off from society

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1. Staying inside my convenience zone is much easier. It is more comfy. It is not satisfying.

2. I can not linger for somebody to knock on my door or send out a text. I have the ability to send my own text. I have the ability to go out my own door. Joy is not going to be handed to me. I need to connect and get it.

3. Doing the exact same precise thing each and every single day gets boring. It keeps me fixed. Modification is frightening– however in order to move on in life, I require to take more threats. I require to put myself out there.

4. My good friends are not bound to stick to me through my state of mind swings. When I did whatever within my power to push them away, I can not blame them for strolling away.

5. There is a distinction in between living out a satisfying life and just existing. Making it through ought to not be my only objective for the week. There ought to be more to my life. More enthusiasm. More enjoyment. More participation.

6. Binge-watching Netflix and scrolling through social networks may be able to sidetrack me from the discomfort for a little while– however not for long.

7. Isolation is among the worst sensations on the planet. It may even be even worse than the awkwardness and shame of communicating and leaving the home with other individuals.

8. My psychological health is a concern. I ought to begin treating it like one.

9. Even the best individuals can harming me, either purposefully or on mishap. That ought to not stop me from forming deep connections. That ought to not motivate me to cut myself off from the world.

10 The little voice in the back of my head is a larger bully than anybody else. I can deal with anything else this world tosses at me if I can deal with the nasty things my insecurities inform me about myself.

11 When my regular never ever modifications, Every single day blends together. The hours drag. It seems like time is progressing without anything getting achieved. Which is not the method I wish to live.

12 Nobody else can conserve me. Not a worried buddy or relative or loved one. I need to desire to improve. I need to desire to put energy into making a much better life for myself.

13 Although I consider myself a loner, although I prevent social scenarios at all expenses, I require a minimum of a little social interaction. I require other individuals. I require to feel a little less alone.

14 Although my stress and anxiety alerts me nobody is ever going to like me and nobody desires me around, I have worth. I are necessary. My voice is worthy of to be heard. I are worthy of to have good friends. I are worthy of to be liked.

15 Locking myself away is not going to resolve my issues. I require to look for assistance from an expert in order to get much better. I require to talk out my sensations and overcome them. I require to make an effort.

No however I am quite friggin fed up with my whole life at this moment and my presence. I’m an 18 years of age with just a couple of years of McDonalds on his resume, no good friends, most significant pleasure in life is leaving your home to do any video camera activites, can’t compose essays worth a damn, is frightened of the dark (and outdoors world for that matter) Can’t remain in environments all alone and seems like headaches are essential ideas to psychological health

I seem like nobody goves a crap about me. When I returned, I bolted from my home in tears and no one followed me or asked if I was alright. They understood I was leaving as I sobbed out. It resembled it didn’t take place.

I might disappear and it would not matter. I’m sorry for that. It’s harming within a lot

The medication is no longer assisting, I’m too depressed.

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Coming here and discussing it even when you’re feeling the most affordable of the low suggests your self-confidence @MemphisBelle – and a huge factor you will never ever go back to square one. What is something soothing you can do tonight? Snuggle a family pet, view a Scarlett Johanssen film, draw something? Tomorrow is a brand-new day, and possibly if you’re feeling much better tomorrow you can take a look at the positives to those negatives you noted.

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I hesitate my pastimes are hiatus at the minute.

I get depressed viewing films trigger I believe “if just I were that man, I ‘d understand what to do” I feel insufficient compared to the entire world

I can’t take pleasure in drawing and I do not have a family pet to snuggle

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It seems like you’re going through a quite shitty battle at the minute. As much as you may believe you’re all alone, I can assure you you’re not. And might never ever even dream of seeing a method past it when I was 18 I was composing the precise very same things. It took a great deal of effort, however I arrived. And I gaurantee you it deserves the fight. You simply need to keep battling, keep attempting something brand-new and staying with it, however likewise understanding when to let go of something if it’s not working for you. I’m 23 now, and given that I had to do with 17 my entire life has actually been one big experimentation, and let me inform you there was a great deal of mistakes! That’s all right, due to the fact that every fight, difficulty, scar, every point where you feel like offering up, is an important lesson. It may not sink in immediately, however you’re developing your experiences as you go and ultimately all of it type of simply clicks into location.

You pointed out that you do not have a family pet to snuggle. What’s stopping you from getting one? Getting my young puppy was something that actually assisted me. If you believe having a family pet will assist, then why do not you get one?

Intuitive, Writer, Giver of Hugs, Seeker of Fun

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Why I cut myself off from the free world and I’d do it all over again.

Why did I cut ties with ALL of my friends, essentially abandon my blog and followers, leave facebook and stop dating for two years? I couldn’t have answered these questions two years ago. I just knew I needed to. This was not an act of depression, even though it has all the signs. It wasn’t because I hated anyone or anything. My 20/20 hindsight tells me that it was a gift to myself.

Sometimes in life, we get or give ugly gifts of love. Dropping out of life was my ugly gift to me. I continued therapy and EMDR with my amazing tattoo wearing, psychic, therapist, I hired a life coach (who sucked) and I spent hours a day working on releasing pain and anger that I had held onto my whole life.

In between therapy sessions, I had NO ONE to talk to when I was upset (by choice). Instead of venting to a friend, I had to DEAL with my emotion and thoughts head on. It was pretty awful, I’m not going to lie. I felt so alone, but I’ve always felt alone, even when I had forty-five “close” friends. By the way, I’m not recommending this to anyone. It was just what I needed for me. But, I’m a weirdo, so.

GUIDED TO ISOLATE

I remember when this life purge started. My best friend and I had been inseparable for 15 years. It was truly an epic friendship. One that I’ll always cherish. However, I started to have intuitive feelings that we were not meant to be friends forever. What a laugh, I thought! We were closer than family.

Our friendship took a left turn at Albuquerque (props to anyone who knows what that means without clicking the link) and over night we broke apart. It devastated me. Even though it’s healthier for me (and I’m assuming for him) I mourn the loss of our crazy fun friendship almost every day. But, under this feeling of loss, I can feel a deep knowing and calm about the separation.

Not long after this, I was aiding a friend of mine with her business. I enjoyed helping and being a part of a group that helped others. One day, a very subtle and gentle voice told me that we wouldn’t be close friends much longer. As always, I pushed back and asked, why? It made NO sense to me. No answer. I blew that off completely. It was only a few weeks later that I felt extremely calm about separating from her and the business. Weird.

Later, I would consciously and openly cut every single person (excluding my closest family) out of my life. Because I was so guided, I tried to tell the remaining people that I was sorry and that I just need this for me. I’m sure I sounded like a crazy person.

BEST. DECISION. EVER.

The outcome? I’m happier and healthier (on all fronts) than I’ve been in my whole life. Even my dad, who is a self proclaimed unobservant person, mentioned that I’ve seemed happier in the last two years than he’s ever seen me. Whoa. That is the one and only time my dad has mentioned anything to do the “e” word. Emotion.

For most people isolation is NOT the answer. But for me, that and a ton of good therapy is what I needed to right my ship. Fun fact, even Louise Hay, queen of self-help went through intensive therapy before she thrived in the world of teaching affirmation. My spiritual peeps, there’s no shame in that game.

There have been so many amazing things that have happened and I have many ideas for my business in the works again. It may awhile before the world will see them but It feels SO good to be leaving the “rest time” as my Guides call it and be getting creative again! Whooo Hooo!!

REGRETS – I’VE HAD A FEW

The ONLY thing I regret is that I didn’t have a real explanation for my friends because I didn’t really know what was going on. I know that I’ve hurt some people, maybe even made them feel abandoned. For that, I’m so sorry. It was not my intention but intention-schmimention. that’s painful and I caused the pain. If you’re reading this and you felt this from me, know that it wasn’t personal and that I have asked for your forgiveness on an energetic level. I’m so sorry. Love, Deb.

Expert advice on how to sidestep pitfalls that often accompany depression.

When Orion Lyonesse is getting depressed, she turns into a hermit. She doesn’t want to leave the house (not even to pick up the mail), and she cuts off contact with her friends and family.

“The more I’m alone, the deeper the depression gets,” Lyonesse, an artist and writer in Lake Stevens, Wash., tells WebMD in an email. “I don’t even want to cuddle my cats!”

Avoiding social contact is a common pattern you might notice when falling into depression. Some people skip activities they normally enjoy and isolate themselves from the world. Others turn to alcohol or junk food to mask their pain and unhappiness.

Depression traps vary from person to person, but what they have in common is that they can serve to worsen your mood, perpetuating a vicious cycle. Here are six behavioral pitfalls that often accompany depression — and how you can steer clear of them as you and your doctor and therapist work on getting back on track.

Trap #1: Social Withdrawal

Social withdrawal is the most common telltale sign of depression.

“When we’re clinically depressed, there’s a very strong urge to pull away from others and to shut down,” says Stephen Ilardi, PhD, author of books including The Depression Cure and associate professor of psychology at the University of Kansas. “It turns out to be the exact opposite of what we need.”

“In depression, social isolation typically serves to worsen the illness and how we feel,” Ilardi says. “Social withdrawal amplifies the brain’s stress response. Social contact helps put the brakes on it.”

The Fix: Gradually counteract social withdrawal by reaching out to your friends and family. Make a list of the people in your life you want to reconnect with and start by scheduling an activity.

Trap #2: Rumination

A major component of depression is rumination, which involves dwelling and brooding about themes like loss and failure that cause you to feel worse about yourself.

Rumination is a toxic process that leads to negative self-talk such as, “It’s my own fault. Who would ever want me a friend?”

“There’s a saying, ‘When you’re in your own mind, you’re in enemy territory,'” says Mark Goulston, MD, psychiatrist and author of Get Out of Your Own Way. “You leave yourself open to those thoughts and the danger is believing them.”

Rumination can also cause you to interpret neutral events in a negative fashion. For example, when you’re buying groceries, you may notice that the checkout person smiles at the person in front of you but doesn’t smile at you, so you perceive it as a slight.

“When people are clinically depressed, they will typically spend a lot of time and energy rehearsing negative thoughts, often for long stretches of time,” Ilardi says.

The Fix: Redirect your attention to a more absorbing activity, like a social engagement or reading a book.

Trap #3: Self-Medicating With Alcohol

Turning to alcohol or drugs to escape your woes is a pattern that can accompany depression, and it usually causes your depression to get worse.

Alcohol can sometimes relieve a little anxiety, especially social anxiety, but it has a depressing effect on the central nervous system, Goulston says. Plus, it can screw up your sleep.

“It’s like a lot of things that we do to cope with feeling bad,” he says. “They often make us feel better momentary, but in the long run, they hurt us.”

The Fix: Talk to your doctor or therapist if you notice that your drinking habits are making you feel worse. Alcohol can interfere with antidepressants and anxiety medications.

Trap #4: Skipping Exercise

If you’re the type of person who likes to go the gym regularly, dropping a series of workouts could signal that something’s amiss in your life. The same goes for passing on activities — such as swimming, yoga, or ballroom dancing — that you once enjoyed.

When you’re depressed, it’s unlikely that you’ll keep up with a regular exercise program, even though that may be just what the doctor ordered.

Exercise can be enormously therapeutic and beneficial, Ilardi says. Exercise has a powerful antidepressant effect because it boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine, two brain chemicals that often ebb when you’re depressed.

“It’s a paradoxical situation,” Ilardi says. “Your body is capable of physical activity. The problem is your brain is not capable of initiating and getting you to do it.”

The Fix: Ilardi recommends finding someone you can trust to help you initiate exercise — a personal trainer, coach, or even a loved one. “It has to be someone who gets it, who is not going to nag you, but actually give you that prompting and encouragement and accountability,” Ilardi says.

Trap #5: Seeking Sugar Highs

When you’re feeling down, you may find yourself craving sweets or junk food high in carbs and sugar.

Sugar does have mild mood-elevating properties, says Ilardi, but it’s only temporary. Within two hours, blood glucose levels crash, which has a mood-depressing effect.

The Fix: Avoid sugar highs and the inevitable post-sugar crash. It’s always wise to eat healthfully, but now more than ever, your mood can’t afford to take the hit.

Trap #6: Negative Thinking

When you’re depressed, you’re prone to negative thinking and talking yourself out of trying new things.

You might say to yourself, “Well, even if I did A, B, and C, it probably wouldn’t make me feel any better and it would be a real hassle, so why bother trying at all?”

“That’s a huge trap,” says Goulston. “If you race ahead and anticipate a negative result, which then causes you to stop trying at all, that is something that will rapidly accelerate your depression and deepen it.”

The Fix: Don’t get too attached to grim expectations. “You have more control over doing and not doing, than you have over what the result of actions will be,” Goulston says. “But there is a much greater chance that if you do, then those results will be positive.”

Show Sources

Orion Lyonesse, artist and writer, Lake Stevens, Wash.

Stephen Ilardi, PhD, author, The Depression Cure; associate professor, department of psychology, University of Kansas.

Mark Goulston, MD, psychiatrist; author, Get Out of Your Own Way and Just Listen: Discover the Secret of Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.В

Tanaka, E. Clinical Toxicology, 2002; vol 40: pp 69-75.

Cut Down on Self-Imposed Stress

Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She’s also a psychotherapist, the author of the bestselling book “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” and the host of The Verywell Mind Podcast.

We face enough stress in life without putting more on ourselves, but that’s exactly what many of us do, in one way or another, sometimes without even realizing it. The first step toward easing off of yourself is to realize when you might be making things harder on yourself unnecessarily.

Without blaming yourself, why not learn what you can do to stop the self-sabotage and be your own strongest ally in stress relief? Here are some of the best ways to make the most of your life and cut down on self-imposed stress.

Understand High Achievement vs. Perfectionism

Many people slip into perfectionistic habits, not realizing that there is a better way to do their best without beating themselves along the way. Many perfectionists, on some level, believe that they need to attain perfection or they have failed; this belief can not only lead to stress, it can actually lead to less success than the attitude of a regular high-achiever!

An important first step is to recognize the difference between perfectionism and high-achievement and really understand why perfectionism is more a form of self-sabotage than an asset. When it comes to stress, “do your best” is better than “be perfect,” and in the long run, it’s healthier as well.

If you find yourself emotionally “holding onto” mistakes you’ve made, noticing more of what you’ve done wrong than what you’ve gotten right, and getting anxious when you do a good-but-not-perfect job, be aware that there is a better way.  

Balance Being a Hard Worker and Type A Behavior

Working hard can lead to less stress if it translates into greater resources and a sense of accomplishment. “Type A” behavior, which can be associated with an extreme version of a strong work ethic, on the other hand, can be hard on your mental and physical health, as well as your relationships.

“Type A” people tend to experience health issues to a greater degree than the average enthusiastic and balanced hard workers, and can engage in behaviors that are less than healthy as well. You may not be able to change your personality, but you can soften the edges and shift your focus toward being more relaxed, and that can make all the difference.  

Lead a Balanced Life

Leading a full life is great, but if you don’t live a balanced life, you can feel too stressed, too much of the time. How can you draw the line between being excitedly busy and overwhelmed?

You can start by paying attention to how you feel at the end of the day, at the end of a weekend (when you’re about to start a new week with new challenges), and taking a careful look at your life to see if you have enough time for maintaining self-care activities on a regular basis, including:

  • Engaging in regular exercise
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Nurturing relationships

Taking care of yourself is essential for stress management, and no other goals should be put above it, or you won’t be able to reach those goals as effectively—exhausted people lose momentum eventually.

Think Like an Optimistic, Not a Pessimist

Many people are afraid of positive thinking, likening it to a mental trick where you ignore important problems or valuable cues in life, and eventually, make mistakes that bring even more stress.

Actually, realistic positive thinking (focusing on the positive without completely ignoring and failing to address issues that require a response) can help you to be more effective in your life, and less stressed along the way.

One of the best positive thinking strategies you can adopt is optimistic thinking, which is a specific pattern of thinking that allows you to focus your attention on the accomplishments that maximize your confidence and allow you to do your best in the future.  

Allow Yourself to Feel, Then Feel Better

You may have heard that it’s not healthy to “stuff your emotions” or to deny you feel the way you feel. This is true.

While it is important to find a balance between acknowledging your emotions and engaging in rumination, remaining in denial is not healthy either.

A more effective way to help yourself through stressful times is to become more aware of how you feel and why by journaling, talking things out with a close friend, or talking to a therapist if necessary, and then working toward engaging in activities that will give you a healthy emotional lift and moving on.

Accept Your Weaknesses, and Everyone Else’s

You may have known by the title of this article that a great way to relieve stress is to simply ease up on yourself—give yourself a break. You can also relieve stress by giving everyone else a break as well.

Don’t take things as personally, don’t hold onto grudges, and try to see the best in people by understanding how things may feel from their perspective. Learn to forgive yourself and others for past mistakes.

There are many effective ways to do this, but the loving-kindness meditation is one that incorporates the highly effective stress management tool of meditation in a way that helps lift your mood and helps you relax.  

A Word From Verywell

It’s tough to stop putting pressure on yourself. You might even be afraid that if you relax a bit, things will fall apart. But putting less pressure on yourself can be key to feeling better and living a better life.

If you’re struggling to let go, consider reaching out for professional help. Talking to a therapist may help you put less pressure on yourself so you can get the most out of life.

Going cold turkey with technology isn’t realistic in our hyper-connected world, but here are some tips to modulate usage and take back control of your apps and devices.

How often do you open your smartphone and suddenly find yourself having lost 30 minutes or perhaps hours of your day?

It’s all too easy to get lost in our screens as we tap from app to app and scroll through social feeds. Modern devices and social media apps are designed to hook you in and keep you engaged, and in some cases can lead to behavioral addictions to technology. But there are ways to retrain your mind to take back control of your tech.

Unless you’re ready to drop off the grid and move to a log cabin in the wilderness, cutting tech out of your life completely is unrealistic. What you can do is try consuming tech more mindfully.

Whether you think you’re spending too much time on social media, feel like you’re becoming too attached to your smartphone, or you’re suffering from a more serious tech addiction, we could all stand to be a little less wired. Here are some tips to wean yourself off compulsive smartphone and social media habits, and how to regain control over how you consume technology.

Change Notification Settings

Are your push notifications still set to defaults? Are you getting a deluge of emails, messages, and alerts from Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Slack, and dozens of other apps? Cut out the noise.

Go into notification settings on all your devices—smartphones, tablets, desktops and laptops—and turn everything off that’s not essential. Notifications appearing as red dots next to your app icons are visual cues begging you to check them. One good rule is to turn off all notifications except for direct messages and mentions, meaning the ones coming from real people.

Use Built-In Android and iOS Apps

App and device-makers have begun to respond to the tech addiction backlash. For iPhone users, iOS 12 includes a feature called Screen Time, not only tracks your screen time and app usage, but lets you schedule limits and “Downtime” away from certain apps and alerts. Here’s how to use it.

If you’re running the latest version of Android, you can do the same with Google’s Digital Wellbeing app. Digital Wellbeing gives you a dashboard breaking down app usage, how often you’ve unlocked your phone, and how many notifications you’ve received. You can also set app limits and turn off notifications.

Monitor Your App Usage

Grayscale

The Center for Humane Technology (Opens in a new window) (Opens in a new window) (CHT) says the “colorful icons give our brains shiny rewards every time we unlock.” Setting your phone to grayscale is a way to train your mind to check your phone less.

On iOS devices, go to Settings > General > Accessibility and scroll down to Accessibility Shortcut. If you check the Color Filters option, it unlocks a feature allowing you to triple-tap the side button or home button, depending on your iPhone, to turn grayscale on and off. With iOS Screen Time, apps you’ve opted to ignore during Downtime will also appear grayed out.

On Android, the process may vary (Opens in a new window) , but check under Settings > About phone. With Digital Wellbeing in Android Pie, apps turn gray when you’ve hit your daily limit.

Read more about the CHT in our feature story on Silicon Valley’s responsibility for tech addiction.

Stop Using Your Phone as an Alarm Clock

Don’t keep your smartphone within reach at night. Rather than charging it on your nightstand, your phone should charge further away from your bed or ideally be left in another room entirely so you’re not tempted to pick it up if you wake up in the middle of the night. The best way to do that is to get a separate alarm clock so your wake-up isn’t tied to your device.

Other good tips include not using smartphones for the last hour before bed and using apps like f.lux (Opens in a new window) or Night Shift on iOS devices to reduce blue light stimulating your mind before sleep. But the best remedy for tech-related sleep issues is to keep your smartphone as far away at night as possible.

Set Social Boundaries

Switch to a Utility-First Layout

What are the first apps on your home screen? Do Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or Reddit come up in your first few rows of apps? First, put all your social apps in a folder and banish it to the furthest reaches of your smartphone; the last of the home screens. If you want to check them, your mind will have to work for it.

Instead, turn your smartphone back into a tool. Put the utility apps on your home screen: the camera, calendar, maps, notes, ride-hailing apps, weather, etc. For everything else—games, social apps, and even messaging apps if they’re not essential—your mind should have to put in a conscious effort to open them.

Launch Apps By Typing

Modern smartphone interfaces are designed as intuitively as possible so you can use them without having to think about it. It’s easy to tap into an app and start scrolling without even considering whether you opened it for a reason. Even that small change in behavioral architecture lets you pause for a moment and think about whether you’re opening the app for a reason.

On iOS, swipe down from the home screen to open the search bar and type for the app you want. Another good tip is to turn off Siri Suggestions by going to Siri & Search from the Settings menu and toggling off the two options. On Android you can use the Search Box on your home screen.

Cut Out Distractions

There are a number of apps out there designed to help you focus and cut out digital distractions. Thrive (Opens in a new window) puts a user into Thrive Mode to block all apps, notifications, calls, and texts except for “VIPs” you’ve designated. Meditation apps like Calm and Headspace are designed to help you de-stress and focus your mind. Freedom (Opens in a new window) temporarily blocks apps and websites for set periods of time. You can motivate yourself with gamification, too. Forest (Opens in a new window) plants virtual seeds that grow into trees the longer you stay off your phone.

Extensions can also help you use sites like Facebook and YouTube in more targeted ways. Distraction Free YouTube (Opens in a new window) removes recommended videos from sidebars to keep you from getting sucked in. News Feed Eradicator (Opens in a new window) blurs out Facebook posts for users who want to use the app only as a utility for things like events and groups. The Facebook Demetricator (Opens in a new window) extension hides like, comment, and share numbers to keep you from fixating on feedback and rewards cycles.

Delete the Apps

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Having radiation therapy will most likely affect you and your family’s day-to-day life. Caring for yourself during radiation therapy is important. You may have general side effects of radiation therapy along with other effects, depending on what part of your body is being treated. Here are some general tips that may help you feel better during radiation therapy.

Get plenty of rest

Radiation therapy can make you feel more tired than normal. Try to get enough sleep at night. Being active when you can may help you sleep better. Ask for help when you need it and try to focus on the most important things you need to do. Plan a time to rest during the day. Taking a short nap, reading or listening to music can help you feel more energetic.

Eat well

Your body needs nutrients to help repair itself from the effects of radiation therapy. If you are having radiation therapy to certain parts of the body, such as the abdomen or the head and neck, this can affect your ability to eat well. Your healthcare team may suggest changes in your diet to cope with side effects of radiation therapy. Find out more about nutrition for people with cancer.

Report any side effects

Talk to your healthcare team about any side effects you are having. People can experience side effects differently. Many side effects can be relieved by medicines, a change in diet or more physical activity. Sometimes radiation treatments may need to be adjusted if side effects are severe.

Tell your healthcare team about any other medicines

Other medicines – such as creams, ointments, vitamin or mineral supplements, and herbal remedies and other natural health products – may affect how radiation therapy works. They may also cause side effects or make side effects worse. Talk to your doctor about any medicines you are taking.

Skin care

The skin can be very sensitive to radiation therapy. Be gentle with your skin and take care of your skin during radiation therapy. Talk to your radiation therapy team about any symptoms or problems you are having. Your radiation therapy team can give you tips on taking care of your skin during radiation therapy.

The following are ways to take care of your skin during radiation therapy:

  • Wash your skin gently with warm water and mild soap and rinse well. Do not scrub or rub the area. Pat the skin dry. Do not use a hair drier if you are having radiation therapy to the head.
  • Protect treatment areas from rubbing, pressure or irritation by wearing loose, soft clothing next to the skin. Cotton and silk are less irritating on radiated skin than harsh fabrics like wool and denim.
  • Ask your radiation therapy team before you use anything on the skin in the treatment area. Powders, creams, perfumes, deodorants, body oils, ointments or lotions can irritate skin or may affect your response to the radiation treatment.
  • Check with your radiation therapy team about shaving in the treatment area. Use an electric shaver instead of a razor to prevent cutting the skin. Do not use aftershave or hair removal products on skin in the treatment area.
  • Don’t wear a bra when having radiation therapy to the breast area. If this is too uncomfortable, talk to the radiation therapy team about possible options. They may suggest wearing a soft, comfortable bra without underwire.
  • Do not put anything hot or cold (such as heating pads or ice packs) on the treatment area.
  • Do not squeeze or scratch pimples.
  • Do not wash or scrub off any markings used to target radiation therapy until after the last treatment.
  • Rinse well after swimming in a pool because chlorine can dry the skin.
  • Protect the treated skin area from the sun. Skin in the treatment area will be extra sensitive to sunlight and can burn easily. Cover treated skin with a hat or clothing before going outside. Ask the radiation therapy team about using a sunscreen and when it is OK to start using it.
  • Talk to the radiation therapy team if skin in the treatment area gets cut or scraped. They will suggest ways to take care of it and how to bandage cuts if needed, such as by using tape made for sensitive skin and applying tape outside the treatment area.

Mouth care

Radiation therapy to the head and neck area can increase the chance of developing cavities or tooth decay. It can also increase the risk of infection or bleeding from dental work. If you are having radiation therapy to the head and neck, see a dentist before radiation therapy begins. They will do a full oral health exam and provide any preventive dental work needed. They can also suggest ways to help prevent or manage mouth, teeth and jawbone problems caused by radiation therapy or other treatments.

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As a caregiver you may neglect to take good care of your own needs because you are so focused on caring for your loved one. This is understandable, but to offer your loved one the best possible care, you need to be healthy and well yourself, both physically and emotionally.

Ways to Care Yourself

  • Get some form of exercise like walking or an aerobics class.
  • Create a support system. Call friends or family when you need to talk or need help.
  • Keep up with a hobby or something you enjoy doing, such as reading, painting or gardening.
  • Try to stay connected with friends even if you do have to cut back on your social life.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Caregiving can leave little time, and many people turn to fast food or junk food. Get the nutrition your body needs.
  • Have a place where you can go to “escape” and just be by yourself.
  • Set priorities each day and make sure the most important tasks get done, but try not to worry about items further down on your to-do list.
  • Seek proper medical care for yourself as well by seeing your primary care provider (PCP). Follow any directions given by your PCP. For example, take any medications as prescribed.
  • Try to cut out smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Try to get a good amount of sleep each night and find time to rest throughout the day.

Accept Help from Friends and Family. Learning to let go and to accept help will lower your anxiety levels and raise your spirits. People want to chip in, but they may not be sure what kinds of help you need. Keep a list of all caregiving tasks. That way, when friends or family offer to help, you can give them specific tasks. Try using a caregiver mobile app to help you coordinate help from family and friends.

Take a break. If you’re a full-time caregiver, you can’t always take a day off, but learning techniques to alleviate stress throughout the day can be extremely helpful. Try deep breathing techniques. Listen to relaxing music, take a short walk or call a friend. However you choose to get away during the day, you need at least 30 minutes a day to yourself.

Read the PDF, Caring for Yourself, to create a physical and mental Self-Care Plan.

Stay Calm Strategy. When caring for a loved one with cancer, there will be times that are difficult and emotional. It’s unavoidable. Prepare for these moments by having a strategy in place to help yourself calm down if you feel anxious or overwhelmed. Having a plan in place, in advance, will help you better manage unexpected intense emotions.

Try the following strategies:

  • Do a breathing exercise.
  • Repeat a meaningful mantra, affirmation or prayer.
  • Close your eyes and sit in silence.
  • Stand up and stretch.
  • Take a quick walk outside.
  • Call a close friend or family member.

Ask for Help and Delegate Tasks. As a primary caregiver for a loved one with cancer, you may worry that if you don’t take care of your loved one, then no one else will. More than likely, there are friends and family members who really want to help—they just may not know how, so let them know! Use a chart to think of some tasks and some friends and family members who can help you with your caregiver responsibilities.

Task Helper Notes
Example: Take John to appointment on Monday Aunt Susan Susan doesn’t work on Mondays and she lives close by

Caregivers and Depression. Feeling sad, depressed, or anxious after a loved one is diagnosed with cancer is normal. However, if these feelings start to interfere with your daily activities, you may need individual counseling from a medical professional. Symptoms of clinical depression include

  • Ongoing sadness or feelings of hopelessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities
  • Major weight loss or weight gain
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Fatigue or no energy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble focusing, remembering, or making decisions
  • Feeling worthless, guilty, or helpless
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

Don’t be afraid to seek help. For a referral to a mental health professional, reach out to the members of the healthcare team, visit your own doctor or call your insurance company for recommendations.

There’s no one right way to quit tobacco (known as tobacco cessation), but there are some important steps that can help make a person’s decision to quit a success. These steps can help whether you or a loved one are trying to quit smoking cigarettes or smokeless tobacco (chew, dip, or snuff).

Make the decision to quit tobacco

The decision to quit smoking or to quit using smokeless tobacco is one that only you can make. Others may want you to quit, but the real commitment must come from you.

  • Are you worried that you could get a tobacco-related disease?
  • Do you believe that the benefits of quitting outweigh the benefits of continuing to use tobacco?
  • Do you know someone who has had health problems because of using tobacco or being around it a lot?
  • Are you interested in saving the money you now spend on cigarettes, chew, dip, or snuff?
  • Are you hoping to be healthy and have more energy for upcoming events, such as a family wedding?
  • Are you ready to make a serious try at quitting?

Write down your reasons so you can look at them every time you want to smoke or dip.

Set a date for your Quit Day

What’s important about picking a Quit Day?

Once you’ve decided to quit, you’re ready to pick a quit date. This is a key step. Pick a day within the next month as your Quit Day. Picking a date too far away gives you time to change your mind. Still, you need to give yourself enough time to prepare. You might choose a date with a special meaning like a birthday or anniversary, or the date of the Great American Smokeout (the third Thursday in November each year). Or you might want to just pick a random date. Circle the date on your calendar. Make a strong, personal commitment to quit on that day. Let others know of your plan.

How do you plan to quit?

There are many ways to quit, and some work better than others. Nicotine replacement therapy, prescription drugs, and other methods are available and are helpful for quitting cigarettes. There may also be some benefit to using these when you are quitting smokeless tobacco. Learn more about ways to quit so you can find the method that best suits you. It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor or dentist, and get their advice and support. Also check with your insurance company about coverage for quit programs and quit aids, such as medicines and counseling.

Support is another key part of your plan. In-person quit programs, advice from trusted health care professionals, telephone quit lines, phone reminder apps, Nicotine Anonymous meetings, self-help materials such as books and pamphlets, and counselors can be a great help. Also tell your family, friends, and co-workers that you’re quitting. They can give you help and encouragement, which increases your chances of quitting for good.

Combining 2 or more types of quit aids may be more effective than the use of just 1.

Prepare for your Quit Day

Here are some steps to help you get ready for your Quit Day:

  • Pick the date and mark it on your calendar.
  • Tell friends and family about your Quit Day.
  • Get rid of all the cigarettes and ashtrays, or all the smokeless tobacco products in your home, car, and at work.
  • Stock up on oral substitutes – sugarless gum, carrot sticks, hard candy, cinnamon sticks, coffee stirrers, straws, and/or toothpicks.
  • Decide on a plan. Will you use NRT or other medicines? Will you call a telephone quitline? Will you attend a quit class? If so, call to find out how to sign up as soon as possible.
  • Talk to your doctor about what might work best for you and talk to your insurance company about coverage for programs and medicines.
  • Practice saying, “No thank you, I don’t use tobacco.”
  • Set up a support system. This could be a group program or a friend or family member who has successfully quit and is willing to help you.
  • Ask family and friends who still use tobacco not to use it around you, and not to leave cigarettes or dip out where you can see them.
  • If you are using bupropion or varenicline, take your prescribed dose each day leading up to your Quit Day.
  • Think about your past attempts to quit. Try to figure out what worked and what didn’t.

Successful quitting is a matter of planning and commitment, not luck. Decide now on your own plan.

What else you can do before your Quit Day

Cut down on how much you use

One way to cut back before quitting is to cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day or the amount you dip or chew each day. By doing this, you slowly reduce the amount of nicotine in your body. Try cutting back to half of your usual amount before you quit. If you usually carry a supply with you, try leaving it behind. Carry something else to put in your mouth instead.

Cut back on when and where you use

You can also try cutting back on when and where you smoke, dip, or chew. This gives you a chance to notice when your cravings are the worst. It helps you decide on a game plan if you know what triggers your cravings. Again, once you’ve decided not to use tobacco at a certain place, leave it at home when you go there. Try your substitutes instead.

Put off using tobacco when you have a craving

Go as long as you can without giving into a craving. Start by trying for at least 10 minutes, then longer and longer as you near your Quit Day. Pick your 3 worst triggers and stop using tobacco at those times. This will be hard at first, but practice will make it easier.

On your Quit Day

Over time, using tobacco becomes a strong habit. Daily events, like waking up in the morning, finishing a meal, drinking coffee, or taking a break at work, often trigger your urge to use it. Breaking the link between the trigger and tobacco use will help you stop.

On your Quit Day go down this list:

  • Do not use tobacco. This means not at all – not even one puff!
  • Stay busy – try walking, short bursts of exercise, or other activities and hobbies.
  • Drink lots of water and juices.
  • Start using nicotine replacement if that’s your choice.
  • Attend a quit class or follow your self-help plan.
  • Avoid situations where the urge to use tobacco is strong.
  • Avoid people who are using tobacco.
  • Drink less alcohol or avoid it completely.
  • Think about how you can change your routine. Use a different route to go to work. Drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place or eat different foods.

Be prepared to feel the urge to use tobacco and the urge will probably be pretty strong. But, it’s important to remember that urge will pass whether you give in to it or not. Use the 4 D’s to help fight the urge:

  • Delay for 10 minutes. Repeat if needed.
  • Deep breathe. Close your eyes, slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Picture your lungs filling with fresh, clean air.
  • Drink water slowly, sip by sip.
  • Do something else. Some activities trigger cravings. Get up and move around.

Often this simple trick will allow you to move beyond the strong urge to use tobacco.

Opioids, sometimes called narcotics, are medications prescribed by doctors to treat persistent or severe pain. They are used by people with chronic headaches and backaches, by patients recovering from surgery or experiencing severe pain associated with cancer, and by adults and children who have gotten hurt playing sports or who have been seriously injured in falls, auto accidents, or other incidents.

How do opioids work?

Opioids attach to proteins called opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, gut, and other parts of the body. When this happens, the opioids block pain messages sent from the body through the spinal cord to the brain. While they can effectively relieve pain, opioids carry some risks and can be highly addictive. The risk of addiction is especially high when opioids are used to manage chronic pain over a long period of time.

While they can effectively relieve pain, opioids carry some risks and can be highly addictive.

What are the potential side effects?

Side effects of opioids include:

  • Sleepiness
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

Opioids can also cause more serious side effects that can be life-threatening. The following might be symptoms of an opioid overdose and should be reported to a doctor immediately:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Loss of consciousness

In addition, if you suddenly stop taking opioids, you can sometimes experience symptoms such as jittery nerves or insomnia.

Addiction is also possible. Opioids can make your brain and body believe the drug is necessary for survival. As you learn to tolerate the dose you’ve been prescribed, you may find that you need even more medication to relieve the pain — sometimes resulting in addiction. More than 2 million Americans misuse opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and every day more than 90 Americans die by opioid overdose.

Are there different types of opioids?

Yes. There are many types of prescribed opioids that are known by several names, including:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Morphine

These medications are often sold under brand names such as OxyContin, Percocet, Palladone, and Vicodin.

The different types of opioids are prescribed by doctors in different strengths and administered in various forms, depending on the patient, the situation, and the type and level of pain.

Heroin is an illegal and highly addictive form of opioid with no sanctioned medical use.

How are opioids taken?

Many opioids are taken in pill form, but they can also be taken as lozenges or lollipops. Some are administered through a vein, by injection or through an IV, and others can be delivered through a patch placed on the skin or with a suppository.

How can you safely use opioids to manage pain?

Opioids can be part of an effective pain management plan, but to help avoid side effects and risk of addiction, you should use them only under a physician’s supervision.

Physician anesthesiologists — medical doctors who specialize in anesthesia, pain management, and critical care medicine — have extensive training and experience in prescribing opioid and non-opioid pain medications. If you need help managing pain, a physician anesthesiologist can work with you to make sure your pain is under control while minimizing side effects and the risk of addiction.

5 Questions to Ask Your Doctor When Prescribed Opioids

If you are prescribed opioids, follow these safety tips:

  • Talk to your physician or physician anesthesiologist. Make sure you have considered all alternative pain-relieving medications that don’t carry an addiction risk. If opioids remain the best option, ask how to minimize the risks and side effects. Provide information on your medical conditions — and if you have taken opioids in the past, tell your physician how they affected you. Also tell your physician if you have a history of addiction to drugs or alcohol; people predisposed to alcohol abuse may be more susceptible to misusing opioids.
  • Watch out for side effects. Some side effects of opioids may be mild, such as sleepiness and constipation, while others, including shallow breathing, slowed heart rate, and loss of consciousness, can be serious and may be signs of an overdose. Ask your physician what you should be aware of and what you can do to prevent potential problems. If you experience possible symptoms of an overdose, contact your doctor or call 911.
  • Take opioids only as directed. Follow your physician’s directions, and read the prescription label. If you take other medications, ask your physician whether it is also safe to take opioids.
  • Prepare for surgery. If you are taking opioids and preparing for surgery, talk with your surgeon, the physician anesthesiologist, and other physicians who are treating you. Chronic use of opioids increases your risk of complications from surgery and can lengthen your hospital stay. Your medical care team can help you safely manage your pain before surgery.

Also ask your physician about other pain management alternatives, including:

  • Combination therapy. Opioids by themselves may not always fully control your pain. Combining opioids with other medications or nonmedication treatments, while under the care of a physician, can improve your pain management and result in your needing a lower dosage of opioids.
  • Nondrug therapies. Many people find relief with alternative therapies, such as biofeedback, meditation, massage, and acupuncture. You may also get relief with interventional therapies such as nerve blocks, or surgical procedures in which the nerves causing the pain are cut. A physician anesthesiologist or other pain medicine specialist can help you find what works best for you.
  • Injections or implants. If you are having muscle spasms or nerve pain, an injection of local anesthetics or other medications can help short-circuit your pain. If you have chronic pain in your back, arms, or legs, a pain medicine specialist might suggest spinal cord stimulation, in which a device is implanted in your back and blocks pain by delivering electric pulses to your nerves and spinal cord.

Questions to Ask If Taking Opioids

Were you just prescribed opioids? Have you been taking them for a while? Find out what you should ask your doctor – and yourself – about your use of this medication.

Bullying, in all its forms and disguises, will continue until each of us takes a stand to say ‘enough is enough’ and put a stop to it. Join Tri-City Transitions Society in its support of Pink Thursday as we move from Domestic Violence to Domestic Peace as we Boldly and Bravely step into Respect and LOVE for Self and for Others.

Maya Angelou reminds us “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!”
Maya Angelou’s words remind us to rise above the behaviors of those who bully. Are we ready to take action? Bullying and Violence are intentional choices to gain control over another person. Most people believe that bullying and violence happen because the aggressor loses control over their behavior. This is not necessarily so.

Aggressors use different ways to manipulate and bully you. They use different tactics to put you down and make you feel bad about yourself. Why do they do this? Because bullies gain their sense of power and importance by robbing you of yours. If you are suffering from low self-esteem and believe that you are worthless and nobody wants you, your self-respect and self-love are depleted – you are less able to recognize the energy trap set by the bully. In addition, the bully continues to display and act out bullying behaviours because they think they can – and convince you of the same.

Bullies will do everything and anything to make you feel powerless like labelling, criticizing and shaming. They can push you to cut yourself off from seeing your family or friends to increase your dependence on them – and only them.

Yet, as Maya Angelou reminds us, “but still, like air, I’ll rise”. This is a gentle reminder, yet strong message, to remember that you are resilient and you will again feel free, loved and valued. If you are being bullied, or are in an abusive relationship, or you know somebody who is, give yourself permission to be brave and speak up. You, like many others, may need support to get out of a situation. Reach out to [email protected] Speaking up is the first, and most heroic, step to take back control of your life. Yes, it takes courage. We believe in you. Your self-respect and self-love will again begin to emerge. Just as bullying has consequences, so too does the courage to stand against bullying. Your bravery builds confidence in that profound journey towards freedom, self-acceptance and love.

Pink Thursday, your commitment to eliminate bullying one act at a time, truly is creating a community legacy.

The Home Depot Store in Coquitlam was a major contributor to the success of the Canada-wide Orange Door Project Holiday Campaign in 2020, helping the Home Depot Canada Foundation to raise over $1.2 million that was disbursed to over 125 charities across Canada. Tri-City Transitions was one of those charities. We were very pleased to receive $4,940 to put towards the critically important services and support we provide in the Tri-Cities Region to assist families, women, children, youth and men dealing with abuse, domestic violence, homelessness and life-skills. Home Depot Canada Foundation has also pledged $50 million by 2022 to improve housing options and support of life-skills development programs for youth. Pictured here is the Assistant Manager of the Coquitlam Home Depot, Clark Boysen, presenting a cheque to Carol Metz Murray, Executive Director of Tri-City Transitions Society for $4,940.85.

Special thanks to Home Depot for their outstanding support.