365 days of self discovery: Day 21

9.24.18

What lessons have you learned from traveling?

When I give this some thought, I never really thought of my traveling as a lesson to be learned each time I got on the road — I only thought of the adventure, so when I made this list (very short list) it was hard because I am sure there has a been a time where something didn’t go as planned during my roadtrip and I made it a point to not have it happen again, but nothing came to mind right away, so I might possibly come back to this question if anything should arise. Hopefully many of my travellers who follow my blog, will have many things to say, especially those who travel long days on foot, car, plane, train, etc. So don’t be afraid to share your lessons, who knows? it might spark my light bulb just enough for me to add it to my own list. 

  • I have learned that different cultures & environments breed people to react towards me differently.
  • Always to research the area(s) that I plan on traveling to beforehand
  • if I can, travel with a buddy for safety or have an emergency contact in case something was to happen
  • Always alert friends/family of your travels before heading out, so everyone is well aware of where you are going, who you will be with, etc in case again, an emergency should happen. 

If you are someone who has never traveled before, these four rules will come very handy to you, no matter where you go because they are just common sense things to do for your own safety but also, be sure to have your electronics (phones/tablets) charged fully as well, because you never want to be someplace unknown with no way of calling in case something should happen. In times like this, being too cautious is a strength. 

Shay-lon

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World Autism Awareness Day

For those who are unaware, today is “World Autism Awareness Day” — I am all for mental health awareness (my blog focuses on both mental and physical health). I think it is good that we keep ourselves educated and aware of current events going on around us, mental health issues/conditions and wanting to understand other people’s experiences. I know autism isn’t anything new, but I know people who suffer from a mild form of it, and some of my family members have worked with kids who suffer from moderate to more severe forms of autism. We have come a long way in science, but still there is no affirmative answer as to how some people become autistic and others don’t. It is believed that both environmental factors and genetics play a part in autistic persons but NO specific environmental causes have been proven yet. For a while I know many people blamed the vaccination that prevented childhood infectious diseases but multiple studies have said that the vaccinations did not increase the chances of autism — not saying that these studies are 100 percent true, because I believe there may be studies who slightly disagree with this claim, but I suppose it all depends on what source is saying what and your thoughts around it after gaining more understanding and research on the topic. 

 

If you are unaware of what autism is, it is characterized as “a developmental disorder that that impairs the ability to communicate and interact”. With this being said, it doesn’t mean that everyone with autism cannot speak or form sentences, or is mute; I have a client with autism, who functions and speaks just the same — as said before, some have mild forms and others have more moderate or severe forms of autism. 

 

Common signs of autism?

 
  • Social impairment and communication difficulties — some people find social interactions difficult. Simply avoiding eye contact, not respond to their name, children with autism may find they would rather be alone (play games by themselves vs playing with other children), many people with autism may have a difficult time with talking about their feelings and understanding other people’s feelings. Delayed speech, no speech, inappropriate forms of speech, awkwardness while talking, may repeat phrases, or give unrelated answers to questions.. etc.
  • Repetitive & characteristic behaviors: Repetitive movements or unusual behaviors, become obsessive over certain topics, preoccupied with certain aspects of a toy, many people with autism thrive from routine (changes can be challenging for them), anger or emotional outburst. etc. 

There are more signs I hadn’t listed but this gives you somewhat of an understanding but it’s always good to get more information from your medical doctor or a specialist in the area of mental health who can provide more answers. 

 

Treatments can include medications that DON’T CURE OR TREAT MAIN SYMPTOMS, medications can help some of the symptoms (anxiety, depression, obsessive behavior), another treatment is “educational & behavioral interventions (which have been proven to be helpful) 

 

Diagnosing autism can be difficult at times because of the fact that sometimes symptoms go unrecognized for a period of time & not everyone experiences the same type of symptoms. 

Some early on indicators might be: 

  • poor eye contact
  • no response to name
  • no babbling or pointing by age 1
  • no smiling or social responsiveness

just to name a few. Later indicators:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • repetitive or unusual use of language
  • abnormally intense or focused interest
  • preoccupation of certain objects or subjects

plus more that I haven’t listed. Again, the best thing to do is ask questions to medical professionals or do your own research, because even if you don’t know anyone who suffers from autism, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever come into contact with someone who doesn’t have it. Hopefully this information was somewhat helpful and more of you share your own tidbits of information in the comment sections; thanks for reading, comment, like, and share! 

 

Shay-lon 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

It is getting to be that time of year where people typically get more gloomy because of the weather, and the seasons changing. Not only do people tend to get allergies or aches/pains, their personalities or moods can change. I have to thank a friend of mine for bringing this disorder to my attention because we were talking about how the weather makes us both kind of “blah” because of the lack of sunshine and it becoming more and more cold outside. Neither one of us has been diagnosed with “Seasonal Affective Disorder” and I don’t believe I have it and neither does she, but it brought up a good point because this isn’t a disorder that I hear much about until it gets to be about this time of year – even then, I don’t think a whole lot of people think twice about it. I decided to do some research and learn something new about a disorder and hopefully share what I have learned with all of you, BUT I always appreciate it more when it comes from someone who has the experience because it is more realistic and more personal – so if you have something to add to this, please do in the comment section 🙂

 

First things first, what is seasonal affective disorder? In simple terms, it is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. Most often occurs in the early fall/winter and usually ends sometime around spring/summer. Clearly not everyone loves the cold weather but it doesn’t mean you have seasonal affective disorder. With this being said, I have some fun information below:

 

Word of caution: This disorder is not considered as a separate disorder. In order for someone to be diagnosed with SAD, they have to meet the full criteria or major depression coinciding with specific seasons for ATLEAST 2 years. This means it needs to be more frequent compared to other depressions. So having said this, there are reasons for why someone would be diagnosed with this, this isn’t just somebody who doesn’t like winter or cold weather – more goes into a diagnosis. 

 

Signs/symptoms:

Winter Pattern:

 
  • Low energy 
  • hypersomnia
  • overeating
  • weight gain
  • craving for carbohydrates
  • social withdrawal 

Summer SAD:

  • poor appetite /weight loss
  • insomnia 
  • agitation
  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • episodes of violent behavior

Then also consider some of the major depression signs/symptoms along with these. 

 

Risk Factors Associated with SAD

  • Females are diagnosed more often than men with this disorder (lucky us ladies!, lol)
  • Living further from the equator
  • Family history of depression
  • Younger age

Treatment options:

  • Medication
  • light therapy
  • psychotherapy 
  • Vitamin D

With this being said, Vitamin D supplements haven’t been 100 percent proven to treat seasonal affective disorder, but having more time in the sunlight seems to help and taking the supplements is neither here or there in research.. depending on the individual. Now there may be new treatments available or perhaps more treatments I have not listed, and so share them if you will. If you have your own way of dealing with SAD, please share it for my readers and so I can also learn something as well. Thank you for reading, please feel free to share, like, reblog, and follow!

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon

 
 

World Mental Health Day

Mental Health Awareness!

Spread knowledge, understanding, love and patience.

https://soundcloud.com/shay-lonfitnesswonderwoman-moss-fitness-wonderwoman/fitness-health-advice-10-world

With today being “World Mental health day” , I wanted to make a post and podcast about mental health. Every Thursday I dedicate my blog to mental health awareness because I believe it is so important to make these disorders known so that they become less of an omen and more of a way to enlighten, teach and hopefully make it so people understand the different mental health conditions – in hopes that we will find more ways to help these individuals and also to help ourselves from being ignorant of the matter. Mental health has been in this world for a long time, there once was time when it was looked down upon and people were sent to places that weren’t so great and were treated very poorly. Being in 2017, it has definitely gotten better but we aren’t perfect, many illnesses are still frowned upon and haven’t been thoroughly researched enough to understand them fully. While I believe we have gotten to a place where people know more than they did, I still believe it is important we continue to educate ourselves and spread awareness. I, being one who suffers from social anxiety and have had my issues with mild depression and nervous breakdowns, it isn’t always easy to talk to people about it, and sometimes it is difficult to share our stories or experiences with others because there is always that fear of judgement or fear that we will be the outcast because of it. Many people who suffer from mental health disorders live normal lives, and work with you and play with you and probably smile in your face at the grocery store but it doesn’t mean they don’t have an inner demon or that they aren’t wearing a mask to get through their day. It is not easy to spot mental health disorders in others and I don’t expect anyone to be professionals at it unless it is their job BUT my goal and hope for all of you is that if someone who know is suffering and trust you with this information, that you can be their light at the end of the tunnel or their ear when they need to talk or their friend when they feel alone— it won’t be easy, God knows, and it probably won’t seem like you are doing anything special for them but from my experience, sometimes knowing that you aren’t a burden to someone because of your illness can make it a little easier. 

 

We all have our own lives to live & our own issues to deal with — I’m not asking people to go out of their way to listen to everyone’s story and play superhero, I just ask that we keep open minded & try to have patience and give what little time we have in our day to a loved one or friend who may need someone to see them for who they are when they aren’t having to disguise themselves in front of the world – because many times if they allow you to see them “raw” as such, it is their way of opening up and hopefully you feel honored knowing this because many hide it and disguise it for a long time & either end up taking their own lives or abuse drugs/alcohol or end up in worse case scenarios. With this being said, I appreciate all of my readers for being supportive of me having to open up to all of you on my blog about myself  and my world and i have had the pleasure of reading and talking to individuals who shared some deeper thoughts/dealt with deeper issues – which in turn helped me to gain understanding and insight into their world. I want all of you to know, I don’t mind being an ear or a friend or being a inspiration to get through the day/ you can count on me to listen and while I might never have the right answers, I will do my best to be there. I love you and I hope everyone has a wonderful Tuesday. 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

 

Shay-lon xo

ADHD (mental health awareness)

Attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder

mental health awareness

I knew someone who had ADHD all my life, but I didn’t realize what it was when I was younger, I just knew they acted “differently” in a way I could not express nor understand at the time, and not to mention they were taking meds – but when I got older my mom had explained to me why they were taking meds, and I still was unclear of the situation but had a better understanding than I had in the beginning, so with that being said, I know people who have mentioned to me that their child has ADHD and I know some adults do as well, or have been diagnosised with it, so I thought today would be the day to discuss this disorder a little further to gain some understanding and hopefully challenge all of you to share this with your peers and share your own experiences as well. 

 

What is ADHD?

Is categorized as a brain disorder that happens to interfere with functioning or development. 

 
  1. Inattention: a person who wonders off task, lacks persistence, disorganized and has difficulty sustaining focus
  2. Hyperactivity: someone who moves about constantly
  3. impulsivity: Makes hasty actions before thinking about them which could lead to harm or desire for immediate awards. 

Causes?

It isn’t 100 percent sure of what causes ADHD, but some things that are considered risk factors:

 
  • genes
  • cigarette smoking, drugs or alcohol abuse while pregnant
  • exposure to environmental toxins during pregnacy
  • exposure to environmental toxins at a young age
  • brain injuries, and
  • low birth weight

Said to be more common in males vs females. 

 

Signs/symptoms

  • Overlook details 
  • make careless mistakes on homework or during activities
  • problems with sustaining attention
  • easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or stimuli
  • forgetful of daily activities 
  • fidget or squirm in seat
  • run around or climb in situations that are inappropriate 
  • talk nonstop
  • problems waiting his/her turn
  • interrupt or intrude on others

This list not the whole list, but gives you an idea, but be sure to do your own research as well for other signs/symptoms. These are just some of the ones I know. 

 

Treatment:

  • Medication (stimulants and non stimulants)
  • behavioral therapy
  • family and martial therapy
  • parenting skills (for parents who have children with ADHD, this could be helpful in understanding how to handle the situation)
  • for kids: help them to make a routine of their day they can stick to, being clear and consistent, giving praise or rewards when rules are followed, finding ways to organize their binders
  • For adults: keeping reminders, making a routine of your day, using calendars, making list for different task, assigning special places for important things like keys. 

So while this information is on an individualized basis, be sure to speak to a specialist to obtain more information and do your own research on the matter to gain more understanding. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to like, comment, share and follow! thank you for reading. 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

 

I have Social Anxiety (Mental Health Awareness)

I will be first in line to admit that I have social anxiety (I believe I have mentioned this many times before) and while many people are in shock when I tell them this, because I come off outgoing and very talkative – this doesn’t mean anything, just means I mask it fairly well – not to mention, if you don’t understand social anxiety and what it means, you might not know what to look for when I am put in situations where I react. Now with this being said, this post will be both informative and yet, I will speak from my own experience as well, so hopefully you enjoy stories and perspective. I will start with the basics, what does it mean to have “social anxiety”?

 

Social anxiety is fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people BUT,  it stems from having a fear or anxiety of being negatively judged or evaluated by other people. —- I have dealt with this fear ALL MY LIFE and it sucks because I wanted to be more like the ones who “don’t care what others think” but even when I try, I know deep down I still care (even when I play if off like I don’t) now with this being said, yes, there have been times where I literally do not give a shit about what others think of me, or how they perceive me, and that usually is when I am at the gym or grocery store because I just feel like I have built confidence in those scenarios/environments. Although if you put me inside a new gym or a grocery store in a different town or area, my social anxiety will kick in because it is a new surrounding with new faces and I don’t know how to handle it.. so I just freak out in my mind. For some people they avoid situations like so, but I have learned to force myself to step outside my comfort level and make myself intentionally uncomfortable in order to fight my anxiety. 

 

Now let’s discuss some of the symptoms & I’ll share which ones i have, if any:

 
  • Rapid heart beat- this is another one I experience
  • blushing or sweating- sweating is one for me
  • feeling of mind going blank – I have this one
  • makes little to no eye contact 
  • speaks with overly soft voice
  • self conscious in front of others, feeling of embarrassed or awkward – This one I have
  • Being very afraid that other people will judge them – this one I have
  • Stay away from places where there are other people

Now, as you can see, I have quite a few signs/symptoms and some people have more or less, and not every situation do all these sign/symptoms display themselves. I personally know another sign/symptom that people I have dated have noticed and even people I have talked to, I tend to ramble when I speak in a conversation with someone, especially if I am interested in someone, or if I don’t know how to end a conversation, or if my nerves are all over the place. I know my ex used to mention that I ramble a lot on and off the phone and she would make jokes about it and I knew that sometimes it was awkward but since that relationship, I have been trying to get better at catching myself ramble and doing it less often. I guess for me, it is really tough to not ramble, because it is my way of comforting my anxiety or “hiding” it, but when people notice and make light of it, it makes me feel a little discouraged at times or feel insecure or puts me in an awkward position where I don’t know what to do or how to handle it – and that just means I went from social anxiety to now I am upset with myself and feeling really embarrassed by my actions. None of my friends or family have ever made comments on my rambling and that might be because I don’t ramble with them .. it’s weird, but also I am comfortable with them. I never notice other’s with social anxiety, it goes over my head if someone does and they are talking to me, because I am so focused on my own response and reactions & trying to come off less awkward that if anything I just assume you are shy and nothing more. 

 

Another thing I have noticed is, depending on the person and type of compliment they give me, I tend to get weird and say quick thank yous without even looking in your direction or I am pleasant and want to connect with you and my thank you comes off more friendly. I handle compliments better coming from females vs males as well. For some reason, I have yet to ever be awkward with a female who compliments me, but when it comes to males, it happens often unless I am comfortable with the male figure. Growing up, it wasn’t always like this but as I got older, it started to make sense as to why (& we won’t get into that at this point) but regardless I love compliments but handle them differently depending the nature of them, the sex and how comfortable I am with that person. I have known both, people who are flattered by compliments and others who get really tense and don’t like them.   

 

Causes:

There is NO one cause of it, but many factors that can lead to one possibly having social anxiety – but doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get it just because you happen to have these issues but the chances could be greater. 

My mom has social anxiety and her’s is worse than mine, I would say, but she reacts to it differently than I do, on the other hand both of my younger siblings don’t seem to have it from the outside looking in, but I am not a professional so I wouldn’t actually know if they did unless they told me – so families can carry this trait. 

Misreading people’s behaviors toward you can be another cause of social anxiety- and I think I am decent at reading people, but I do tend to over analyze at times.

Underdeveloped social skills – this is a possible cause for myself. Growing up, I had friends but I was always the awkward duck, I didn’t know how to properly interact with others and not feel like an outcast and I think because I lacked some self confidence at times, I was always doing weird shit or saying weird random shit that in my mind was my way of trying to fit in but in reality was probably causing people to think I was weird or pushing people away. I developed a more comical personality in order to handle social situations and instead would always be the class clown and make people laugh and that is how I combated my own issues. 

 

As far as treatment goes, I never saw a professional for it, never had therapy or medication for it, and I refuse to go that far for myself because I think I have more of a handle on it now than I did in the past and I don’t feel like mine is very severe compared to other cases. I have learned to mask some of it, in order to push through and I have learned that if I force myself to confront my anxiety by stepping outside my comfort zone, it helps to build my confidence and encourages me to find ways to manage it better. For example, last year and previous years, I would go to Columbus here in Ohio for a weekend and stay in a hotel by myself and explore the city – downtown area, just walk and explore the stores, bars, etc all alone and  by doing that, I met people, I learned to find my own way and to handle situations that would make me uncomfortable and I loved doing that. This year, I went to a bar in my town alone, and the first time it went well, but the second time it went horribly and so I haven’t done it since then but I might consider doing it again at a different point in my life. My new goals to battle my social anxiety is to attend a movie alone and to eat at a restaurant alone because I am so used to doing them both with friends or family, so I want to step outside my comfort zone and do them by myself – also, I would like to attend a concert by myself and would love to drive out of town by myself again and explore another area .. so those are all goals to help me. 

 

I would love to hear from all of you with social anxiety, speak on what helps you, or try one of these ways of coping and let me know if it worked. If you enjoyed this post, like, comment, share and follow! 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

 
 

PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Mental health awarenesss

Welcome back bloggers to another mental health Thursday post! I hope all of you have been enjoying my mental health Thursday post, raising awareness on mental health and making it less of an omen & giving understanding. I am not sure if any of you have heard of PTSD, but if you have, you probably have commonly heard war veterans speak on it — but it isn’t exclusively happening to just war veterans but also the general population as well. I know someone personally who has PTSD, hell, I probably know more than a couple of people and each of them handle it differently and have different reasons as to why they have it. I won’t discuss their stories because that is private information but if anyone wants to leave in the comments or email me their own experience, that is fine, otherwise I don’t expect people to be as open about their experiences because it becomes really personal. 

 

Now keep in mind, all my information about PTSD does NOT mean that it is the same for everyone, everyone is an individual case so treat my answers as such. If you know someone who has PTSD, I am either hoping this will help give you insight, possible understanding and perhaps help you have a better handle on things because I dated someone who allegedly had PTSD (wasn’t brought to my attention until the break up) and the way they explained it, they couldn’t but I could tell something wasn’t right at the time with this person and while they never did get a diagnosis; they figured they did enough research to narrow it down to PTSD — I wish I could have known sooner because maybe it wouldn’t have been too late to look into handling a relationship with someone with possible PTSD but with that being said, many spouses who live with someone with this condition, it can sometimes be stressful and very exhausting if you don’t understand or if you are feeling abandoned, it is never easy to put your foot into someone else’s shoes if you have never experienced what they have experienced and while we sympathize with them, it doesn’t mean we have a hold on the issue at hand – because sometimes we don’t, sometimes we find ourselves thinking we ‘got it’ just to find out we we’re way wrong, and that’s okay because we are only human. 

 

What is PTSD?

 
  • Failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event 

Not everyone with PTSD has gone through a painful event – losing a loved one can also cause this to happen. 

Symptoms

  • Flashbacks/reliving the event (nightmares, etc)
  • scary thoughts
  • Avoiding places, or situations that remind you of the event
  • Might have more negative beliefs or feelings
  • hyperarousal
  • feelings of hopelessness, shame or dispair
  • possible drinking or drug issues
  • employment issues may occur
  • relationship issues may occur
  • depression 
  • anxiety
  • many of the symptoms depending on the severity could lead to suicide.. 

Children with PTSD

  • Might experience bed wetting habits
  • Forgetting how to or being unable to talk
  • Acting out the event during playtime
  • Could be unusually clingy to a parent or other adult
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Act out the event through drawings 
  • Could become more irritable or aggressive
  • Might have problems with friends, or school work
  • might try to avoid going to school
  • depression as they get older
  • anxiety
  • withdrawal or possible reckless behavior as they get older

Risk Factors

PTSD can happen at any age! 

  • war veterans
  • sexual abuse
  • physical abuse
  • loss of a loved one
  • witnessing a dangerous event happen to a loved one
  • childhood trauma
  • having a history of mental illness
  • having little to no social support after the event
  • Stress after the event can make PTSD more likely

With this being said, PTSD can occur soon after the event or take months to years before it triggers & it can come and go. Again, everyone is different. 

 

Treatment:

  • Psychotherapy for PTSD
  • Medications

The ONE thing is for sure, we always want to push people to ask for help, but sometimes that person doesn’t always realize they have an actual issue and some people live in denial. You can offer help, but doesn’t mean they will take it. I once told somebody: “getting help seems easy to do coming from people from the outside looking in, but for me, it is letting go of my pride, being vulnerable and accepting it and that’s just not easy to do” so take that how you will, but in knowing my own situation, my anxiety and how it hinders me sometimes – that’s how I feel about things, hints why I have never sought out help BUT don’t do as I do, do what works best for you, and your circumstances because help is important in order to better handle things sometimes. I will mention, my anxiety is A LOT better than where it used to be but it probably would have saved me a whole hell of lot more to seek help back when. It’s never too late to ask for help or seek a professional, so don’t give up on yourself. 

 

P.S I will always be honest with my readers about how I handled my own mental health issues and break downs, etc and I will be the FIRST person to say, I don’t seek professional help for things I go through, because I just deal with it & sometimes I pay a hell of a lot of consequences and sometimes I come out okay, but regardless, my pride and stubbornness gets the best of me,  and that’s why I am a bad example , lol 

 

Hope all of you have enjoyed this post, be sure to like, comment,share and follow!

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo