Archive for the ‘Safety/Health Awareness’ Category

Have you had your “silence” today?

February 7th, 2018 11:35pm
Spending some quiet time with my busy boys is a struggle but we make it happen!

Spending some quiet time with my busy boys is a struggle but we make it happen!

As busy moms, we definitely value the beauty of silence! It may be a rare treat in some households! But did you know there could be benefits far beyond the initial enjoyment? In 2013, a study was published by the journal Brain, Structure and Function. It was a study conducted on mice to understand the affect different types of noise and lack thereof could have on their brains. They used what they thought was just a “control” group of mice that were only exposed to silence. What the study found was well beyond what they intended to study. They discovered that the mice that were exposed only to two hours of silence a day (their control group) actually developed new cells in the hippocampus (the region of the brain most associated with memory, emotion and learning)! According to researcher, Imke Kirste, the cells appeared to become functioning neurons!

In a sense, silence quite literally grew the brain!

A similar study in 2001 discovered that even when our brains are in a “resting” state, they are constantly internalizing and evaluating information. It never truly “sleeps”.

This “resting” state is also active during self-reflection. Joseph Moran et al. wrote in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience that the brains’ resting mode “is observed most closely during the pshychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.”

It is during our quiet, focused meditation that allows our consciousness to process information from our day. These moments of silence give our brains the opportunity to reflect, associate and correlate our internal and external worlds. It gives rise to our imaginations and allows us to tap into creativity we probably never recognized was there!

Did you know that your body can release stress hormones just because you heard a noise in your sleep that you didn’t even consciously recognize?? Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University discovered that children exposed to consistently loud noises begin to cope by ignoring the noise. This may sound logical and beneficial at first glance but what he also found was that not only did these children learn to tune out the disturbing noise, but every other noise too…including things they should be registering, like speech! The results from this study were published in the 2002 Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9).

In our family, we discovered this through personal experience. I first decided to keep a dream journal…not only was I recording about my dreams, but also recording the events that transpired right before bed and during sleep. For instance, my husband enjoyed falling asleep with the TV on. This would drive me nuts because it would invariably wake me at some point during the night. So for a week, I also paid attention to what was running on the tv during out sleep hours. What I discovered was interesting…my dreams correlated directly with what was airing on the television during our sleep hours! My brain was still processing every sound it heard, even when I wasn’t “really” listening! Now my husband and I have come to an agreement…I will allow the tv on but I set a timer so that it turns off within a short time. BOTH of sleep MUCH better as a result! This is also a big reason we don’t allow tv’s or digital devices in our kids rooms…ever! We try to keep these areas as designated quiet zones.

IMG_4565One more example. My youngest has by far been one of my worst sleepers. He would frequently wake throughout the evening screaming inconsolably. What we realized is that he was never getting his “quiet” time! My older kids were always up and about through the early evening, up late with homework or coming home late from activities. Every sound was triggering a stress response in our little one! We had no idea until we moved him upstairs to a much more secluded area where the sounds and activities of my older crew were not so apparent. He has been a different child! Ironically, the cognitive functions that are most handicapped during exposure to frequent noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving…pretty sure we all could use more of these in our day!

So bottom line? Forget your “safe zones” and start working on your “quiet zones”! Make this a quiet, focused and meditative time and your brain will reap the benefits!

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April flowers bring May…showers?

May 16th, 2015 6:47pm

If you live in Arizona, this line holds very true this year! Our showers came a bit late but boy did they come! We dropped from the triple digits to the high 50’s in a single day! But if you’ve lived in Arizona for more than a year, you know very well that this cool weather is a late season tease with triple digit temperatures just over the horizon! So what comes with lots of moisture followed by extremely warm temperatures?…yup! Prepare for the onslaught of the mosquito invasion!

Now typically, I’d be reaching for my store bought bug spray. But over the last few years, I have become more and more hesitant to slather myself or my children in chemical that boasts warning labels like HAZARDOUS TO HUMANS AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS and CAUSES SUBSTANTIAL BUT TEMPORARY EYE INJURY and my favorite, WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY WITH SOAP AND WATER AFTER HANDLING! …and that was the DEET FREE “PLANT-BASED” bug spray!!!! Seriously?? And they’re somehow still encouraging us to spray this all over ourselves and our children?? So I started looking for a safer alternative that I could use without concern on both me and my children. Enter essential oils!

I personally use doTERRA’s TerraShield blend which is specifically formulated to repel those nasty little buggers that are out to get you! It is all natural, causes no skin irritation, smells wonderful and works amazingly well! A few drops applied directly to the skin or clothing will work well for about 4-6 hours! This is not the only oil that works well as a natural bug repellent. Peppermint is also very powerful and makes a great all natural bug repellent to spray directly on your plants!

Here is a homemade spray incorporating several essential oils known to repel various kinds of bugs as well as the very powerful blend, TerraShield, that has been working wonderfully for my family! It smells amazing, works incredibly effeciently at keeping all kinds of pesky buggies away and is not greasy! I make it ahead of time and keep it on hand throughout the bug season.

Don't want to spray chemical on your kids to keep those bugs away? Then make your own all natural bug spray!

Don’t want to spray chemical on your kids to keep those bugs away? Then make your own all natural bug spray!

 

 

4 TB water

2 TB witch hazel

4 drops of Thyme Essential Oil

4 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil

4 drops of Lavender Essential Oil

4 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

8 drops of TerraSheild Essential Oil Blend

Combine in a 6 oz spray bottle and keep handy throughout the season. I can even get this recipe into a 4oz spray bottle that I keep in my purse for when we’re out and about!

Want to know more about essential oils? Check out www.wiseandhealthyliving.com. If you would like to purchase these oils, visit www.mydoterra.com/theessentialhome or contact jennifer@wiseandhealthyliving.com.

 

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Those of you who were paying attention to the national news over the last month may have noticed that we, here in Arizona, got just a bit of rain…like twice our average rainfall!…in about a period of a day! What does this mean? Well, when you live in a desert, it means massive flooding, LOTS of standing water and…you guessed it…MOSQUITOS! Those of us who have touted for years the mantra “it’s a DRY heat!” are now forced to face a very frightening reality…it’s not dry anymore!

Flooding in Mesa, AZ

Mesa, Az received over 4 inches of rain in 12 hours!

So we turn to our bug sprays to save our children from those little itchy nightmares with wings…or do we? If you’re like me, you have a certain fear of the many chemicals in over the counter bug sprays. Especially when the warning labels include things like the following:
“Insect repellents containing DEET should not be used on children under 2 months of age. Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under 3 years of age. When applying insect repellents to children, avoid their hands, around the eyes, and cut or irritated skin. Do not allow children to handle insect repellents. When using on children, apply to your own hands and then put it on the child. After returning indoors, wash your child’s treated skin or bathe the child. Clothes exposed to insect repellants should be washed with soap and water.”

Carrying the frightening "West Nile Virus", we have now had an influx of these annoying little guys!

Or how about this one…
“…repeated applications may increase potential toxic effects.”
Considering these bug sprays have an active time of only a few hours, if that, what is one to do when reapplying could “increase potential toxic effects”??
Well, this momma has found an all natural alternative! Doterra’s CPTG Essential Oils!… now before you roll your eyes, hear me out! I reacted with the eyeroll my first go around with a consultant too! But then I started researching. And then I started using them. And now, I am a total believer! My current, all natural, non-toxic alternative to bug spray consists of fractionated coconut oil, Lavendar, peppermint, lemongrass, and clove mixed in a 2 ounce spray bottle. It not only smells wonderful and is good for the skin, but it is the bomb when it comes to repelling those little flying menaces! Reapply as necessary! There’s NO toxic load you need to worry about!

Doterra's Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are a very powerful all natural alternative to toxic bug sprays.

Peppermint is a natural repellant for ants, aphids, beetles, fleas, gnats, moths, plant lice, and spiders! Clove works especially well combined with lavender and lemongrass to repel mosquitos as well as ticks. Spray a little of this mixture into your hands and rub all over the exposed skin or you can spray directly on cloths.
My kids did not believe me after a day or two because, they insisted, we don’t see any mosquitos anywhere! So they decided to run off to school without their homemade bug spray application one morning. Can you guess how many bites they came home with?? My 6 year old daughter had about 7 and my 9 year old son held the record with about 18! Needless to say, they have not left the house without their bug spray since and so far, we have not had any new additions to our existing bug bite count! But what to do with those itchy bites we received in our moment of parental independence?… we use straight Lavendar oil…removes the itch immediately! Apply as needed…it also helps to heal them faster! Lavendar is a natural antihistamine!
I will admit, I am on a bit of a crusade to share these homemade essential oil remedies with all parents struggling to reduce their families toxic load. They have truly changed the way I think about home health! If you would like to know more, or even receive a sample of these little miracles in a bottle, feel free to contact me at jennifer@wiseandhealthyliving.com.

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Summertime = WATER VIGILANCE!!

June 5th, 2013 12:54am

It is never a thought we want to entertain for long…a childs young and innocent life cut short by a drowning accident. But living in a climate where swimming happens nearly all year, it is constantly on our minds. We stumbled across a wonderful article on Slate.com written by that brought our attention to the fact that while most of us are insanely vigilant with our kids around water, it might not save our children if we don’t know what to look for. They have offered up some very helpful tips to assist us in knowing what drowning really looks like…

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
  • Head tilted back with mouth open
  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
  • Eyes closed
  • Hair over forehead or eyes
  • Not using legs—vertical
  • Hyperventilating or gasping
  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
  • Trying to roll over on the back
  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder

Notice there is no mention of “flailing madly in the water” or “loud splashing” noises. That is because if someone is truly drowning, they will not make a sound. As a witness to a child slipping under the water literally right by my side, I can attest to the shocking truth that no sound is made and most of their panicking will happen under the water where we are least likely to notice. Luckily, we had fast acting help all around and this particular child was rescued quickly without trauma. But it is frightening to realize how quickly and quietly drowning happens. Vigilance is necessary but please be sure you know what it is EXACTLY that you are supposed to be vigilantly looking for!

Keep your kids safe by being informed. You can also look into getting CPR certified or other water safety classes. Check your local hospitals for information or visit the Red Cross “Take a Class”  to find out about classes being offerred near you. CPR training can be a valuable tool in protecting our kids around water but wouldn’t it be better to never have to need it??…STAY VIGILANT!

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Internet security for your kids

April 2nd, 2013 8:09pm

As our world speedily seeks to replace books with technology, our good old paperback friends have a little advice before they disappear into the background of our lives!

I know it’s on every parents mind. This is the new world of technology we live in. The internet in all it’s glory, amazement and horror are so easily accessible for our children at all times and seemingly in all places. It is becoming increasingly difficult to monitor, police, educate and generally protect our children as best we can from some of the onslaughts that await them in the interactive world we live in. But does that mean we give up?? NO! We have some amazing tools to tell you about!

First, for those of you with kids either using their own cell phones/tablets or using yours, you might wonder how can you get some control over interactive content on these devices. Our first tip is to download the Mobicip app! It is a free browser available through the app store or through their website at http://www.mobicip.com/. Once you have this browser on your device, you want to disable the safari browser or whatever browser came standard on your device. We are iphone users so we also have enabled all the security restrictions in our settings where we can control whether to allow app purchases, what apps are visible, etc. which is all password protected. At that point, the only browser available will be the Mobicip browser. Within the browser settings, you can set restrictions that are age appropriate for each user. Very handy when you have various ages using the same devices!

Now on to the computer issue. We HIGHLY recommend a program called NetNanny which can be purchased and downloaded at http://www.netnanny.com/. This program allows you to customize your settings for family members, customize your filter settings, receive reports regarding user accessed content, immediate text/email should one of your users attempt to access restricted material, and a log of every page visited by each user. This has become an invaluable tool for my family and I hope you will take a moment to review all the amazing features available through this program.

We hope you will continue to be vigilant on your children’s behalf in helping to protect them from the dangers of the internet while teaching them responsible habits in using their technology. Please weigh in on this issue with any suggestions you have found to work well in your own families and together we can help protect our families!

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Halloween Safety!

October 31st, 2012 1:09am

As your kiddos get ready to run out into the neighborhood, please be prepared with some basic safety tips and guidelines!

If your kids are anything like ours, they are chomping at the bit to get out and show off their coolest costume creations while collecting an insane amount of candy from strangers! While we want everyone to have a great time this Halloween, we are most concerned about the safety of our little ones and want to share a few reminders and tips for keeping our kiddos safe this Halloween night!…

• Children should always be accompanied by an adult whether it’s at a party, trick or treating or sitting around watching scary movies with their friends!

• Have a plan in case you get separated. Set a place and/or time where you can meet up if you should happen to lose one another.

•Make sure your children wear a light of some kind while they are trick or treating. It makes finding them easier and helps drivers to see them better.

• Remind your kids never to cut across back alleys or fields. Encourage them to stay together in large groups at all times.

• We know some consider it old fashioned, but PLEASE don’t let your kids eat their candy until an adult has checked through it. Throw out any candy that looks tampered with (ie. loose wrapping, unidentifiable treats, etc.).

• Never go into a strangers house. Whenever possible, you should stick with houses of people you know.

• Always be careful crossing streets!! Look both ways and avoid crossing altogether whenever possible. Remember, it’s dark and cars are not always able to see you, if they happen to be looking at all! Rule of thumb: remember, in a mash up between you and a car…the car will ALWAYS win! So be looking for them, don’t expect them to look for you.

For more information on Halloween Safety, please take a moment and breeze through www.halloween-safety.com.

Be safe out there and have a Happy Haunted Halloween!

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Method 6: Happy is a Choice; Contentment and Joy are Lifestyles

One of the definitions of the word overwhelmed is “to give too much of a thing.” When you truly desire to live a life that is fulfilled in all areas, you are destined to have more to do than you have the time, energy, and ability or help to accomplish or complete.  The feeling of being overwhelmed is when you have what you need and are overflowing with what you want.  When you have so much success, opportunity, potential, clients, projects, options, prosperity that you can’t “handle” or manage everything, your reaction is that you are overwhelmed.  So what about those times when you’re overwhelmed with challenges, struggles, health issues, and other life concerns?  Know the plan for your life is perfect and the struggles are never to defeat you but to make you stronger and uncover your true power.  Surrender and find peace living in the overflow, joy and abundance of being overwhelmed.

Method 7:  Building Lasting Confidence

Believe it or not, whatever you want is available to you if you have the confidence and belief that you can have what you want and that you deserve it. This does not mean confidence in our degrees, our knowledge, job titles, position, social status, etc. Instead, it is about having a pure and honest confidence in the person you are. Many successful people have achieved career success through their fear of failure.  And while such fear can be a powerful and effective motivator, it can also limit your sense of accomplishment and impede growth in other areas of your life.  For many high achievers, confidence is built on external validations like applause, accolades, wins, or promotions.  And their ensuring quest to feel this rush keeps them from being engaged in other areas of their lives.  True confidence should come from a life well lived and enjoyed…not the proverbial feathers in your cap.

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Sheri Riley offers these 9 methods to help high achievers tap into the other 90% of “who they are,” beyond “what they do,” and realize greater life balance, joy and fulfillment in kind:

Method 2:  Peace and a Positive Mind – Your Defender in the Face of Distractions

Cultivating and maintaining a peaceful life must be a goal of paramount importance.  Distractions and life’s distresses both small and large will pull you away from this goal each and every time you allow it.  Your thoughts are the training ground and spring board for your overall disposition and perspective on life.  Many accomplished people never pause to revel in or acknowledge their success.  They are constantly striving for what’s next. While not entirely a bad thing, when your desire to achieve becomes bigger than your desire to BE, your existence will be likened to a hamster running in an endless circle, never at peace and never at a point of rest.

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Ok, how many of you have been arguing with your little ones over picking up that wrapper or throwing away those scraps of paper they left all over the kitchen after their latest craft creation? Most of the time, I hear the excuse “I didn’t see it!”. I’m always amazed at how kids can turn a blind eye to clutter that seems to leap out at us parents. But no more! Enter “Mystery Trash”!…

What is “Mystery Trash” you ask? Now before I begin, I have to give proper credit to my kids wonderful teachers who instituted this practice in their classrooms as a way to encourage kids to pick up after themselves. It worked so well for them that I thought I’d give it a try this summer at home. First, I walk through the house in the morning and find some piece of trash that needs picking up. I then designate this piece of trash as the “Mystery Trash” for the day. Now for the fun part! I announce to my kiddos that the “Mystery Trash” has been selected and whoever finds it will win a special prize at the end of the day! And the race to clean begins! They race around the house trying to find every piece of trash and throw it away in hopes that they will be the winner for the day…I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my house this spotless! And the kids had a wonderful time doing it!

Give it a try and see if you don’t have some very happy cleaners in your house!

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Take steps to cure Crohns Disease

April 20th, 2011 2:06am

Hello Everyone,

I am 7 years old and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in July 2010.  I want to help find a cure so I can live a more comfortable life.  I talked to my mom about what I could do to help.  She told me about the CCFA Take Steps walk at the Phoenix Zoo on Saturday, May 7th at 6:00 p.m.  I decided to form a team called Crohn’s Cruisers.  Please join my team and walk with me and or make a donation to help find a cure. 

Love,b

Elise Burris

If you would like more information or to donate to my team please go to my web page at  http://online.ccfa.org/site/TR/2011TakeStepsWalk/Chapter-Southwest?JServSessionIda004=8v720zw251.app307d&px=2337418&pg=personal&fr_id=2643

CCFA’s mission is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases.
Information Resource Center: 888.MY.GUT.PAIN (888.694.8872)
Web site: http://www.ccfa.org/

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