How I Like to Put #MeFirst

February is not just about Valentine’s Day. This time of year serves as an excellent reminder that we should all take time out of our busy lives and show ourselves some love as well. As Buddha said, “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Here are my tips on self-love and putting #MeFirst sometimes.

 

How to Fall In Love with Yourself

1. Say “No” to comparisons: No matter what, there will always be someone who seems smarter, stronger, prettier, livelier, wealthier (the list goes on and on) than you. The most important thing to know is that there is only one “you.” So instead of beating yourself up over your perceived shortcomings, accept who are and keep on trying to be the best you can be.

2. Eat with love: Healthy food = a healthy body. You don’t have to eat at five-star restaurants or spend your whole paycheck on a fridge full of 100% organic foods to be healthy. Be conscious of what you eat and make better choices. Love your body enough to feed it the best you can.

3. Treat Yourself: Every once in a while we deserve to spoil ourselves. So yes, it’s okay to get that fancy purse you’ve been eyeing for months or indulge in that box of chocolates you’ve been day dreaming about. You’ve worked hard, so you should get to enjoy a few simple pleasures.

4. Be kind to people: Simple acts of kindness toward the people around us can really increase our “happy vibes.” Holding a door open, giving a compliment, helping someone carry their groceries, these are all easy ways to brighten someone’s day. Just imagine how you would feel if someone was kind to you for no reason. Pay it forward.

5. Say “cheese:” Even if you have to fake it. Smiling is a natural, contagious way of boosting your mood, and of course it makes everyone look better. Take some photos while you are at it. It is always fun to look back at pictures and smile.

 
Let It Go

1. Physical clutter: A clear mind can never be developed in a cluttered environment. To create a clearer and happier life, our space must be clear and happy as well.

2. Resistance to change: Change is inevitable in life, we are constantly evolving. We need to embrace change so we can improve and help others improve as well.

3. Need for control: To all the self-proclaimed “control freaks:” let go of the reigns! It is unhealthy to try to control everything around us. Life has a crazy way of changing our plans.

4. The past: The past will always be what it is. We cannot go back and change it no matter how much we want to. All we can do is embrace what has happened in our lives and use those experiences to become better people. The best is yet to come!

5. Expectations: The things people expect from us and the things we expect from ourselves can cause us to put too much pressure on ourselves shoulders and make life seem like a rat-race. We should always try to keep pushing ourselves to become better but do not let the line between positive expectations and “over-working” blur.

 
How to Put Yourself First

1. Accept that you deserve “me time:” Without a doubt, each and every person should be able to accept the fact that they deserve some guilt-free time completely to themselves. Once we can accept that then it becomes very easy to actually carve out time to do so.

2. Say “No:” It is absolutely alright to shake your head and say “no” to people’s requests. We should allow ourselves time to breathe and take care of the things we need to do for us, and not what others want us to do for them.

3. Spend a few minutes a day doing what you like: Whether five minutes or 20, spend some time each day doing something you love. Whether it’s listening to music or reading a book, it will breathe some fresh air into your daily schedule.

 

Guest Blogger:

Komilla Karim

Communications Intern

Mental Health Association of Montgomery County

Keep Your Cool Now That the Kids are Back in School

It’s time to say goodbye to sand, beach and weekend barbecues. Back to carpooling, soccer practice, study schedules… ahh! This exciting yet hectic time of year can push stress levels to warp speed. But as always, we’ve got you covered with tips to help keep the back-to-school stress to a minimum.

Stress less

Create a direction for your day
Create meaningful goals to guide your days that contribute to your bigger picture. Since we know we may not get to accomplish everything that we want to, prioritize your goals to ensure you complete everything that absolutely needs to be done for the day.

Let go
If we could steer the course of our days there would be no such thing as traffic and lines at Starbucks would be nonexistent. But the reality is that most aspects of life are simply out of our control. Learn to accept what we can’t control, and let your worries over those things go. Instead, focus your energy on the things that you do have control over.

Realize that you can’t do it all
Do you begin the day with an enormous task list and find yourself only halfway through it by the day’s end? That’s perfectly okay. There will always be one more spot that needs to be cleaned, one more email that needs to be written before going to bed. At the end of the day sometimes we need to tell ourselves, “You have done enough today.”

Learn to say “no”
Your time is a precious commodity and it must be protected. There’s just no way that you can accomplish your own goals if you are constantly completing tasks for others. Before you commit to doing something, ask yourself if it’s realistic to add to your work load. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for what you just don’t have the time to do.

Shut it down
Set a cut-off time each day for working and using technology. Shut down your laptop and TV and give your mind and body the time needed to unwind before falling asleep. If you like to go to sleep by 11 pm, set a 10 pm cut-off time. You may find that you sleep a bit more restfully and become more motivated to complete your day’s work in the hours before your cut-off time.

 

Take time for yourself every day

It isn’t hard to forget about your own needs in between making sure the kids have eaten and that your deadlines at work have been met. But it’s crucial to make sure that you’re taking time for yourself.

 

Click through below for a few ideas for mental health moments throughout the day:

Kids’ Mental Health Matters

During back to school time, parents make sure to get all of the necessary immunizations and physical health check-ups kids need, but ensuring that your child is mentally healthy is just as important.

If you notice any changes in your child’s behavior, it could be an indication of a mental health issue. Warning signs to keep an eye out for that interfere with his or her daily activities include:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family members
  • Avoidance or disinterest in activities
  • Avoidance of eating, or weight loss
  • Low self-esteem
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Drastic personality changes

Keep an open line of communication with your child. Don’t be afraid to ask children how they feel with direct questions like, “Are you sad?,” or open-ended questions like “What was the best part of your day?” Make sure you REALLY listen. Read more about what to do if you think your child is struggling with a mental health issue here.

 

Guest Blogger:

Jasmine Berry

Communication, Education & Advocacy Coordinator

Mental Health Association of Montgomery County

The Other Side of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Treatment

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, and it does not discriminate.

A year after the Boston Marathon bombing, it has come out that more than 10% of the children who witnessed the event are likely to exhibit symptoms of PTSD.

There are three types of PTSD symptoms: re-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal.
Common symptoms under these three categories are:

· Flashbacks, recurrent and persistent distressing thoughts and effort to ignore or suppress such thoughts
· Difficulty falling or staying asleep and/or recurrent distressing dreams/nightmares
· Avoiding places, objects or events that may remind a victim of the trauma
· Guilt, depression, mental numbness and worry
· Loss of interest in activities once enjoyable
· Difficulty concentrating and memory difficulties
· Hyper vigilance, irritability or outburst of anger

In addition to the children of Boston, the victims of Hurricane Sandy are suffering from the mental and emotional repercussions of such a traumatic event.

Other well-known victims of PTSD include veterans and active duty military members. One in three American troops returning from overseas experience PTSD, but less than 40% will ever receive help.

Victims of sexual assault are even more likely to suffer from this common mental condition. Almost 31% of sexual assault survivors develop PTSD at some point in their life, and 11% of those survivors are still experiencing symptoms of PTSD.

Anyone can experience a traumatic event and at least 70% of Americans do. Twenty percent of those who experience such events develop PTSD as a result.

Nancy Brisebois-Good LCPC, NCC is a licensed bilingual mental health therapist with the N*COMMON program at the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County. She works with newly arrived French-speaking, multicultural clients, who have mostly come from countries in West Africa, and are in the U.S seeking political asylum. Many of her clients suffer from PTSD, as a result of severe trauma and torture.

“Some of my clients have lost their families and everything they owned and they are here because they are being persecuted in their country,” says Brisebois-Good.

These clients frequently suffer from nightmares, insomnia and constant fear. The triggers are sometimes hard to distinguish.

“Sometimes there’s no trigger at all because they are constantly thinking about their trauma,” says Brisebois-Good. “A slight noise can lead them to be jumpy and scared.”

When it comes to treating these issues, Brisebois-Good is one of many who prefer Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a method of treatment that addresses dysfunctional emotions and thoughts and the impact of these thoughts and feelings on a person’s behavior.

Another method of treatment used by Brisebois-Good is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBTI) which involves that the client filling out a sleep journal. Later on, the therapist can look at the journal to see what is most likely causing the insomnia and decide from there how it should be treated.
Exposure, Relaxation, & Rescripting Therapy (ERRT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment for trauma-related nightmares also used by Brisebois-Good.

Most of Brisebois-Good’s clients have nightmares. By using ERRT, the client is able to (if they agree to do so) relive and discuss their nightmares with their therapist, where they feel safe.

When they do so, they discuss disturbing details of their nightmares. ERRT helps to re-script these details by supplying clients with the tools to empower themselves.

Brisebois-Good described a scenario where a client might have a nightmare about someone violently chasing them. She would tell them to imagine what they would do if they had all the superpowers in the world, and then she would ask them what they would do next.

“And that’s when you start to see them smiling,” says Brisebois- Good.

Over time, the clients are able to use ERRT techniques to create a more positive outcome in their nightmares. Soon, Brisebois-Good says, they are able to feel more assertive and confident while awake as well.

Several other techniques are used in these therapy sessions, such as narrative therapy, Gestalt, and relaxation techniques.

“Sharing their experience in a safe environment allows the clients to process the trauma,” says Brisebois-Good. “Learning tools from all these modalities, provides them the knowledge and psycho-education necessary to be able to live in a more functional and comfortable way.”

PTSD can often seem and feel very debilitating, but with treatment, recovery is possible.

If you think yourself or a loved one may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the most important measure to be taken is to offer emotional support.

For additional help:
National Center for PTSD: 1-802-296-6300
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
Suicide Prevention Lifelines: 1-800-273-TALK, 1-800-SUICIDE
MHA Military/Vet Resource Line: 1-301-738-7176

Guest Blogger:

Rain Freeman, Summer Communications Intern

@_RainFreeman

Rain Freeman

Mental Health Association of Montgomery County

A Walk a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

 

shoe

Opportunities to get “well” are all around us. They are shouted from billboards advertising gyms, hidden in community education catalogues, and “sold in a store near you.” It’s exhausting.

 

In my role at the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, I manage a group of wellness programs called the Healthy Communities Partnership. Every day, I hear many, many messages about wellness, and I’m constantly working with my team to come up with messages and strategies to help people find the information they need.

 

But maybe we’re over-thinking this. Is it possible that there is a simple answer? A recent video by Dr. Mike Evans promotes a single therapy that has been clinically proven to:

 

  • reduce depression and anxiety
  • reduce progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  • reduce progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes
  • reduce hip fractures in post-menopausal women
  • reduce overall risk of death
  • reduce fatigue
  • increase quality of life.

What is this miracle drug? Walking. Walking 30 minutes during the day has been proven to accomplish all of those things.

 

I like this idea because almost anyone can do it without spending a lot of money or dramatically changing their lifestyles. The problem with most of the wellness strategies I hear about is that they just don’t fit my life. I can do anything for a few weeks, but I’ve got a son to raise, a job to do, a house to maintain and a television to watch! I’ve got priorities! But I can walk. All I need is a pair of sneakers and a few minutes.

 

We recently competed in an internal walking challenge here at the Penny George Institute. It wasn’t complicated. We divided into four teams, and the team with the most steps at the end of six weeks wins. We measured our steps with high-tech pedometers called Fit Bits.

 

During those six weeks, I figured out how to walk 10,000 steps a day without compromising other parts of my life. I walked my dog every day, something I wanted to do anyway. I worked in short walks during the day. We had some walking meetings. I took the stairs more. And I felt better!

 

You can take or leave the pedometer. I found it useful, personally, and you can get simple ones for less than $10. But the goal is to walk. It’s the easiest way I know to dramatically improve your health.

 

Guest Blogger:

Nathan Kreps, Healthy Communities Partnership Program Manager/ Live Well Blog Writer

Penny George Institute for Health and Healing

Maintain Your Mental Health As A Social Media User

Do this. Open your search engine. Start typing in “social media makes me.”  What are the top search results that you see?

Here’s what I saw:

social media makes me lonely

How many happy days have been destroyed by Facebook posts about your ex and the new girl/guy? How many relaxing nights alone at home have been ruined by Instagram pics of friends out on the town, having a great time while you’re downing pints of Ben and Jerry’s in your zebra onesie?

Social media is an incredible tool. It has the power to reconnect us with friends we haven’t seen since we were kids, to share good news with millions of people worldwide in seconds, to even make dreams come true. But it also has the power to control our lives and our moods – if we let it. Like any powerful tool, use it wisely we must.

 

use it wisely

 

I’ll share a few tips on maintaining positive mental health as a social media user found around the web, as well as a few tips I’ve picked up from friends’ experiences and from some of my own.

 

Is your social media use cutting into the real-life things that make you happy?

  • Talk to your friends – Make sure you’re connecting with your friends in person, or at least via phone or video chat. Constant liking, sharing and commenting can make it seem like we’re always connected to friends. Social networks are no substitute for having actual, meaningful conversations.  Meet up for a cup of coffee or give a friend a call who you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Set Time Limits – Set boundaries for yourself so you don’t end up checking your accounts continuously throughout the day.
  • Be in the present – Scrolling through your feeds all day means that you miss out on the greatness happening right in front of you.
  • Remember that Facebook friends DO NOT equal real friends – Your roommate has more than 1,000 friends on Facebook. You have 250. That means she’s more loved than you, right? It’s easy to get sucked into this way of thinking, but there’s no way she can call on those 1,000 people to vent at the end of a long day. Think about the real people that you can depend on in your life. Those are the friends who count.

Are you trying to keep up with the Joneses?

  • Keep in mind that people share selectively – When checking your social media updates, it seems like everyone’s getting engaged, everyone’s getting promotions, everyone’s doing something exciting. Remember – people only choose to share those spectacular moments in life. No one shares about being short on rent or getting into a fight with their spouse.
  • Don’t use social media to seek validationIt feels good when people like your posts and pictures. It’s tempting, but don’t utilize your social media accounts to seek validation. When you share a picture of yourself that you think is cute or a post you think is hilarious, your lack of likes can be a blow to your self-confidence and a serious downer. Don’t give your networks that power over you. Self-confidence and true happiness comes from within, not from some acquaintance of yours giving their stamp of approval on your outfit.

Do you need a social media vacation?

  • Delete social media apps from your phone – Has that 4 inch screen growing out of the palm of your hand taken over your life? (Side note – that much hunching over your phone cannot be good for your neck or posture.) Consider removing social media apps from your cell phone to limit your access to your accounts and cut down on the time you spend posting and perusing feeds.
  • Remind yourself why you’re using each social media platform. There are a million social media applications available. Do you really need to be on all of them!?

 

We love social media – it’s what allows us to connect with you! Just make sure your mental health isn’t being negatively affected while using it.  

 

And follow us, we promote positivity, won’t spam your feeds and share really great articles on mental health and wellness.

 Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr

 

Guest Blogger:

Jasmine Berry, Communication, Education & Advocacy Coordinator

Mental Health Association of Montgomery County

A Healthier, Happier You in 2014!

What is it about the beginning of the year that suddenly makes us want to be our greatest selves? More than 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Of them, only about 8% keep them. In fact, most people have broken theirs before the end of the first week. Remember January 2012′s promises to eat healthier, save more and be more adventurous, only to spend the majority of 2013 eating two pound burritos (extra sour cream, please), not sticking to your savings plan and spending your free time doing the same old thing? Yes, we’ve all been there time and time again.

This year, My Mental Health Day offers these tried and true tips to help you be in the top 8% and stick to your resolutions. We intend to keep our resolutions and invite you to join us. We’re going to provide you (and us) with quarterly challenges that revolve around keeping our minds, bodies and spirits healthy and happy.

Here’s the game plan for winter:

Mind
Choose three goals: Two short-term and one long-term. Remember, when setting goals they should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). We’ve established the “T” in the short-term goals with our plan – to achieve by the end of 2014.

Next, identify two concrete steps toward accomplishing each goal. For example: “By October 1 (time-bound) I will be able to run a 10K (specific – does not say ‘I will get into better shape.’).” You have to determine for yourself if it is attainable. If you’ve never run before, maybe you should try a 5K first. You will also decide if it’s relevant, it’s your goal.
- Step One: Register for the Marine Corps Marathon 10K.
- Step Two: Create a training plan.

 

Body
Decide on your choice method of exercise for the winter. Then pick a backup exercise. (Meaning, if your plans change and you aren’t able to make it to your pilates class, you can still get in a core workout in the living room with a DVD.) Need ideas? Check out sites like Groupon or Living Social for deals on exercise classes in your area.

Choose three healthy foods/drinks (that adhere to any dietary restrictions you may have) to incorporate into your everyday diet. Then choose three not-so-healthy foods/drinks you want to go cold turkey on. Need ideas? Adding more water, dark leafy greens such as spinach, and fruits are simple starting points. We like this list from Fitness Magazine.

Spirit
Work on letting any hurt, disappointment or anger from 2013 stay in 2013. Write down all of the things you know you need to let go of as you enter the new year, and one thing you learned from each experience.

That goes for people as well. Think of relationships that leave you feeling more drained than uplifted. It is important to appreciate how well they served you once, and understand that it is okay your life paths are no longer intertwined. Life is too short to surround yourself with people who give you anything but love. If you find you’re having a difficult time in accomplishing this, seek a mental health professional to talk you through it.

 

Check in with us on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to share your progress with us using the hashtag #MMHDhealthierhappier. 

Click here for a MMHD Winter Challenge printout.

We’re here to support each other!

Giveaway Day Winners!

DSCF0094Yesterday was My Mental health Day Giveaway Day! If you were following along on Facebook, you already know all the winners and hopefully found time to read some of the great stress reducing tips and articles we provided throughout the day. But in case you missed it or you want to double check your raffle ticket number(s), below is the full list of lucky giveaway winners.

If you weren’t able to purchase a raffle ticket, there are other ways to support the campaign throughout the year. Our mission is to educate the community about the importance of mental wellness, taking time for yourself, and reducing stress. Eliminating the stigma associated with mental health takes many voices and we are ever grateful for your help and support.

Carla S (#1061): Leroy Neiman Limited Edition Serigraph called “Cal Ripken, Jr.” which commemorates his record-breaking “2131” game.  The serigraph is pencil signed by both LeRoy Neiman and Cal Ripkin, Jr. and comes with authentication information for both the artist and the athlete (note: this piece comes unframed).   Estimated retail value of $3,500.  Donated by Ronald D. Paul Companies, Inc.

James T (#0869): Three hours of financial planning services.  Expiration June 30, 2014 and appointments must be scheduled in advance and at convenience of Monument Wealth Management.  Winner’s name and contact information to be provided to the firm.  Estimated value is $1,200.  Donated by Monument Wealth Management/Mike Jacobs.

Sarah L (#001): Ten passenger Limousine for 3 Hours of Service. Value is $450. Gratuity due at time of service. Expires May 24, 2014. Donated by RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation.

Sarah L (#004): A $400 gift certificate redeemable at any Black Restaurant Group location.  Value is $400. Donated by Black Restaurant Group.

Kathleen R (#048): Four hours of home Maintenance and handyman service. Service available in the Washington DC Area and in San Antonio, TX.  Winner must allow for a few weeks advanced scheduling. Estimated value is $360. Donated by Hassle Free Home Services Inc.

Melanie & Lawrence N (#1478): Nikon Coolpix P7100 10.1 MP Digital Camera. Estimated Value is $350. Donated by Joy Paul.

Susan F (#086): IPad Mini (7.9” display, 16 GB) or New Kindle Fire HD (7” display, 32 GB)* Estimated Value is $229-$329.  Donated/purchased with My Mental Health Day underwriting support from the Jerome S. & Grace H. Murray Foundation.

*Item winner to select color (if applicable) within 14 days of being notified of winning and selection will be limited to the available stock at Apple, Amazon, or MHA-selected retailer.  Prize will be ordered upon receipt of that information from the item winner.  The item will be available to the winner upon receipt of the package by MHA.  Wi-fi/phone service charges are NOT included with this prize.

Amanda Curoso (#1024): IPad Mini (7.9” display, 16 GB) or New Kindle Fire HD (7” display, 32 GB)* Estimated Value is $229-$329.  Donated/purchased with My Mental Health Day underwriting support from the Jerome S. & Grace H. Murray Foundation.

*Item winner to select color (if applicable) within 14 days of being notified of winning and selection will be limited to the available stock at Apple, Amazon, or MHA-selected retailer.  Prize will be ordered upon receipt of that information from the item winner.  The item will be available to the winner upon receipt of the package by MHA.  Wi-fi/phone service charges are NOT included with this prize.

Hope G (#064): Baroni hand crafted Tourmaline Citrine Topaz Crystal necklace. Estimated Value $289. Donated by dmf collection.

Michael M (#124): Visit to the flower wholesaler and one flower arranging lesson with Ellen Seagraves.  To be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time.  Valid until May 2014.  Estimated value is $250.  Donated by Ellen Seagraves.

Jenifer J. (#098): Hand crafted Gold fill Tourmaline crystal topaz necklace. Estimated Value $239. Donated by dmf collection.

Shadow Graphix (#1506): Three-month membership to Rock Creek Sports Club. Estimated Value $210. Donated by Rock Creek Sports Club.

Elizabeth H (#016): Hand crafted Sapphire Zircon Crystal necklace. Estimated Value $189. Donated by dmf collection.

Carla S (#1065): Four weeks of class and membership at My Gym. Estimate Value $167. Donated by My Gym.

Stephanie A (#082): Golf Lesson at Congressional Country Club and lunch at the Founder’s Pub (Bethesda, MD).  Winner’s name and contact information to be provided to the donor.  Dates and times will be at the discretion of the donor.  Estimated value is $150.  Donated by Haywood Miller.

Amanda C (#1023): Aspen Hill Club (Silver Spring, MD) One Month Couple Congressional Membership. Estimated value is $119. Donated by Aspen Hill Club.

Kathleen R (#046): Two tickets to the Olney Theatre Center production of Rancho Mirage (Showing October 2-October 20, 2013). Estimated Value $113. Donated by Olney Theater Center.

Hope G (#066): A $100 Amazon gift card. Estimated value $100. Donated by Cindy Flanders.

Adrienne Fierro (#091): A Washington Redskins  autographed “Limited Edition 2012 Team Laser Signed” football. Estimated value $100. Donated by the Washington Redskins.

Nick A. (#0929): Circa at Dupont (DC Restaurant) Gift Certificate for $100.  Estimated value is $100.  Donated by Circa Dupont.

Mark and Ann B (#0900): Circa at Dupont (DC Restaurant) Gift Certificate for $100.  Estimated value is $100.  Donated by Circa Dupont.

Ronald D Paul Companies (#1458): Hand Crafted picture frame welded combining brass and copper elements. Estimated Value $100. Donated and hand crafted by Gary Rosenthal.

Teddy A (#0934): A $100 gift certificate to Newton’s Table. Value is $100. Donated by Newton’s Table. Expires 4/11/14.

Michael D. (#0928): Baroni hand crafted inlaid pearl five ring set. Estimated Value $99. Donated by dmf collection.

Madelon J (#104): Baroni hand designed gold five ring set. Estimated Value $99. Donated by dmf collection.

Shu-Ping C (#1072): Baroni hand designed moonstone oval ring. Estimated Value $99. Donated by dmf collection.

Yoko Consulting (#1504): One hour massage with Val Ford at Ninotch Spa in Bethesda. Estimated value is $95. Certificate excludes Gratuity. Donated by Val Ford and Ninotch Spa.

Mary K (#0923): Roger Bernadina autographed baseball from the Washington Nationals. Estimated Value is $85. Donated by the Washington Nationals.

Anthony C (#0877): Two space-available passes for The Studio Theatre production of Baby Universe: A Puppet Odyssey. (Showing June 26th-July 14th, 2013). Donated by The Studio Theatre.

Ronald D Paul Companies (#1456): A $50 American Express Gift Card. Estimated value $50. Donated by Joy Paul.

Stephanie A (#084): A $50 gift certificate to Clyde’s An American Bar. Estimated Value $50. Donated by Clyde’s Restaurant Group. Expires 5/2014.

Steve S (#0962): A $50 gift certificate to Old Ebbitt Grill. Estimated Value $50. Donated by Clyde’s Restaurant Group. Expires 5/2014.

Carla S (#1066): A $50 gift certificate to Tower Oaks Lodge. Estimated Value $50. Donated by Clyde’s Restaurant Group. Expires 5/2014.

Alexa H (#0939): Two Day Passes or Two Open Climb Passes at Climbing Earth Treks Centers. Estimated Value $50. Donated by Climbing Earth Treks Centers.

Lee H (#010): Two Day Passes or Two Open Climb Passes at Climbing Earth Treks Centers. Estimated Value $50. Donated by Climbing Earth Treks Centers.

Amanda C (#1022): A gift certificate for a free manicure and pedicure from Nails by Timothy. Estimated value $40. Donated by Nails by Timothy.

Richard M (#0891): A gift certificate for a free manicure and pedicure from Nails by Timothy. Estimated value $40. Donated by Nails by Timothy.

Abbey K (#062): Baroni hand designed green and blue crystal silver chain earrings. Estimated Value $40. Donated by dmf collection.

 

Do You Wear Pajamas to Work?

Aly WEAR

Aly Jacobs at MIX 107.3 Morning Show
With My Mental Health Day WEAR Bracelet

The first question I always get regarding my morning show job is, “how on earth do you wake up at 3:30 in the morning?!” That question is always followed by “when do you have to be at work? When does the show end? Do you wear pajamas to work? It must get easier, right?” To put it lightly and g-rated, no it does not get easier…and no I do not wear pajamas to work…anymore. Over the eight years of my career as an on-air morning show personality, there are ways that I have learned how to deal with the stress of the monster that is my 3:30am alarm.

I remember the first time my alarm clock went off at 3:30 in the morning. I was a junior in college.  I looked at the obnoxiously beeping clock like it had 3 heads…like it was speaking a foreign language (other than Spanish)…like it was trying to explain to me the Sequester (yeah I still don’t get it). Eight years later and my alarm is still working- louder than ever.  I used to just come home and sleep the day away after work and in between my classes. That was leaving me groggy, angry, and I was beginning to “sleep eat.” For those who have never woken up from sleep elbows deep in a bag of chips–you’re lucky. It was not a pretty sight. That is when I realized that I needed to channel my “job hour” stress elsewhere. I am head over heels for radio and what I get to do for a living, so I just needed to figure out a way to stay healthy- mentally and physically.

Six years ago I discovered running, and my life has never been the same since. Every day I head to the gym either right after work to sweat out the stress from the day…or, I will take a quick nap and rather than eat or drink my way through the day, I will meet friends at the gym and make it my social activity for the night! From Bosu Bootcamp to Bikram Yoga, Zumba class, or a long run around the Nation’s Capital, working out not only keeps me in shape, but it gives me the mental clarity that I need to stay balanced with my unusual work schedule.

Incorporating exercise into my daily routine has also changed my eating habits. I now love to cook and experiment with different recipes (see below for one of my favorites)! From Cauliflower Crusted Pizza to Kale Chips- cooking is therapeutic and fun…especially after you sweated out the stress earlier! Sure waking up at 3:30 isn’t ideal- but when you find ways to channel the negative into something positive, well then life is pretty great!

Click Photo to Enhance Aly’s Favorite Recipe

recipe--Aly Jacobs

 

Follow my sometimes “stress-free” life at https://alyjacobs.tumblr.com

To buy a MY MENTAL HEALTH DAY W.E.A.R. Bracelet:  www.wearproject.com/    WEARing mine reminds me to take a deep breath and sweat it out!

 

My Mental Health Day Thanks:
Alyson Jacobs, On-Air Personality/Producer WRQX-Mix 107.3
https://alyjacobs.tumblr.com

 

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