All posts by jessica153118975

About jessica153118975

My name is Jessica. I am on an adventure to find the best career to fit my needs and the needs of my family. I will be exploring and researching different careers in the hope to find a match. Lets take this journey together...... Any thoughts or ideas please feel free to leave a comment

Time for some Self Care!

I know after a semester in college we forget what its like. I can’t be the only one who missed this.

Self-care is something that everyone talks about but very few actually work everyday to achieve it. I know personally it is hard in my day to day to remember to check in. To ask myself one simple question: How are you feeling today?

What is self-care? Self-care is a general term that describes everything you do deliberately for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. (The Importance of Self-Care – Perimeter Healthcare)

As a single mom of 4 biological kids and 2 adopted kids that simple question can sometimes be impossible to ask; let alone answer! I know as a single mom that I am not the only one who feels this way. I have friends and family that struggle with this simple notion as well. Sometimes I remind them to remember what about you? But even with all that being said I forget about me. We all as people worry about the ones we love, that being said if we don’t take a selfish moment we are no good to anyone else.

But than I decided to try to take the pressure off of the self-care notion. After reading this list of ideas on self-care:

Some tips for self-care include:

  • Live Healthy, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and avoid drugs and alcohol. Manage stress and go for regular medical check-ups.
  • Practice good hygiene. Good hygiene is important for social, medical, and psychological reasons in that it not only reduces the risk of illness, but it also improves the way others view you and how you view yourself.
  • See friends to build your sense of belonging. Consider joining a support group to make new friends.
  • Try to do something you enjoy every day. That might mean dancing, watching a favorite TV show, working in the garden, painting or reading.
  • Find ways to relax, like meditation, yoga, getting a massage, taking a bath or walking in the woods. (Taking Good Care of Yourself | Mental Health America (mhanational.org))

I decided to find one thing to do for myself a day. I stay off social media as much as possible. I always make sure that I feel my best when getting ready for the day. I have been working on finding hobbies that give me an out. Or honestly just soaking in a bath with my own thoughts.

Self-care does not have to be much it just has to be. You as a person have to remember that you are just as important as the one you are looking after. 

Homework or No Homework: That is the question

As a parent there are many topics that are of great debate in my household, one being Homework. How do we balance school, then coming home and doing 4, sometimes 6 assignments due the next day?

Even though this article is outdated, homework has been an ongoing issue for years with schools.

The argument is whether children should have homework or not. I agree with many other parents and say “No Homework.”

One of my kids spent 4 hours on 1 assignment that was due the next day for school, leaving her no room for any outdoor activities. There are so many children who do not get homework and then there are others who get an ridiculous amount throughout the week, and since the pandemic hit the entire world, school become that much more difficult for some.

One parent states “I think they should have homework. Some of it is about discipline.”https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/the-growing-argument-against-homework/article23358570/

If my kids did something terrible in school is my child there are other consequences rather then homework being sent home. I want them to enjoy education, not hate it.

I do not agree with homework being a crucial part of a child’s success. What they do in school matters the most. What if they have questions that the parent cannot answer? I do not know how many times I have had to write a note to a teacher explaining that I could not help my child because this is new curriculum from when I was in school.

I also look at the obesity rate. Kids bringing homework home doesn’t allow them to participate in afterschool activities. It would be difficult for them to juggle both, there for they would have to sacrifice afterschool activities.

Childhood obesity rates continue upward climb in US (hospitalmanagement.net)

The principle makes great point in her article. I want the best of both worlds: Education and Physical activity. As of right now, my kids do what they can with their homework and if it’s not done then it’s not done. They tried.

PTSD

Everyone has heard of it, but does everyone truly know what it means? I’m talking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 4 words that can mean the difference between functioning without problems, and never living again. 

I have been thinking about this topic and the effects that it has on all different types of people. When I first learned about this, I always thought it was just for Veterans who are coming home from war and cannot seem to un-see what they have seen. But I have learned that it’s so much more than that for them at PTSD: National Center for PTSD Home (va.gov).

This website has opened my eyes to learning more and more to be able to help, instead of being ignorant as to what it means. They could be at a grocery store and a loud noise of any kind can bring them back to a moment or even fireworks on the Fourth of July. I knew that it was not something that I could possibly understand fully because I have not been to war, but then I realized that PTSD was more than just going to war.

My nieces and nephews have forms of PTSD due to childhood trauma. The things that they have been thru and seen, may cause them never to be able to form a healthy relationship as adults. 

My friend has a form of PTSD due to a sexual assault. She has never felt comfortable in her own body and has never liked being touch after that. When someone tries to touch her or even gets close to her, she goes back in time and relives it all over again.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is not just a simple black and white can only be a mental disorder for one group or another. Anyone can get it, young or old, at war or just being at home. It is a disorder that I believe that people are quick to know, but not always quick to understand.

 Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic is another website that I went to because not only is it a credited medical website, but it can also even go as far as if you need to see someone you can make an appointment. They can walk you thru how you can be there for someone to getting help for that loved one who may not want to deal with the problem.

I think about PTSD and I think I want to help. I want to be able to understand. I want to offer the support to move forward. For me, it’s not always about knowing the most, but it’s about being able to understand that LISTENING and HEARING will go a long way.

“Luxury Tax”

When a girl becomes a woman…. Those are the moments that all girls look forward to, they believe they are now all grown up, but it’s also the moment that changes everything.

It’s an industry that makes billions a year off of just women. Why should a woman have the cost of something that they have absolutely no control over? Pads and tampons are products that women can not live without, but are charged for: costing thousands in a lifetime.

Being a mother with daughters, one of which has lovingly started into womanhood just a few years ago. Realizing that now with 2 needing supplies at different times of the month I was spending almost 20 dollars just on pads and tampons. It doesn’t count the Tylenol for cramps or replacing clothing that gets ruined.

I started to look into why? Why would something a woman can’t help and need products for cost so much in this country? And why were other countries moving forward when the United States stayed the same. 

Of the 45 states that apply sales tax, nine have exempted the sales tax on tampons: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania (Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Montana, and New Hampshire do not levy a tax on any sales). In most states, however, tampons are subject to regular sales tax. In 2018, Nebraska, Virginia, and Arizona introduced “anti-tampon-tax legislation” that is currently pending, according to NPR (The Ultimate Guide to Feminine Hygiene | Duquesne University School of Nursing)

A lot of countries over the world have started passing laws for feminine products. I couldn’t believe that the US has not done the same. Countries all over Europe have now made it that products are free for school-age kids, but also college kids. These are the future generations, and giving them a product that can make the difference in confidence. As a kid, no one wants the embarrassment of leaking thru their pants in the middle of class. As a college student money is tight living on very little, the moment when you are an adult, but also semi a child still.

It’s these thoughts that I just can’t get over how the US is so behind until I found out that Scotland became the first country to make feminine products free for all! (Scotland Becomes 1st Country To Make Period Products Free : NPR) Scotland got it right!

“Down with the pad Tax”

Women make up half the population in the world, yet a product which they absolutely need costs up to 20 dollars a month. Why add extra costs on half the population?

Let’s get behind the moment in which the US needs to stop making money off of women alone! Women need these items, it’s not a choice. The government has a choice! Let’s take Scotland as an example of how to move forward and give all women the resources that they need.

Atypical

Autism, ADHD, ODD, etc is just the beginning of the list of mental disabilities that affect any one family at any given time. The families during this pandemic have been hit the most, not just because of the fact that jobs have been lost, but because those with these disabilities don’t fully understand. Children are not allowed to go to school; distance learning even when they are non-verbal. Parents having to take leave of absences from jobs just because their child needs that extra care. It’s in these moments, where a disabilities unseen, needs the most exposure.

“Autism is like a rainbow. It has a bright side and a darker side. But every shade is important and beautiful.” -Rosie Tennant Doran

When I read this quote, I think of the families who I have seen first-hand where they have a child or a relative that has special needs. They always say, they have good days and bad days, but it’s the good days that help get you thru the bad.

I personally could never imagine the struggle that my friends and family have had to go through when it comes to a child with a mental disability. I watch in awe, honestly, wondering how everyday without complaint they get up and fight another day. I have family member that has to deal with the brighter side of high functioning Autism and ADHD. Where she struggles making sure during this pandemic that online learning is complete and that necessary appointments are kept, even online ones. I have a friend who has 2 boys with Autism, and she takes them to appointments, gets them what is needed to continue on even during this time of uncertainty. They fight for the normalcy of their child, even when no one is watching. It’s in those moments that I want to help, but truly don’t fully know if I can.

Seeing is believing, but in my opinion it’s not always fully knowing. It’s the help of my family and friends that educating myself on how to help is the best way. Learning that not all the kids with the same disability can be looked at as the same. Having the moments, like during this pandemic, it’s the little things that matter to these children and families the most.

I have gotten a lot of information from the Autism Society of Minnesota website: AuSM

But also from working within a school district learning about the special education department: Special Education Department (mpls.k12.mn.us)

But also, just from simply asking someone, never be scared to ask the question, because without the question, you will never get the answer.

Mental Health

Mental health a problem in America, but still such a taboo to speak about.

The fact that it’s frowned upon to even admit too among certain groups of people is part of the problem with individuals getting help. This Pandemic has seen a rise in mental health cases, being from the isolation of oneself to the stress of the unknown. Its because of these exact things, that mental health needs to apart of the conversation.

The World Health Organization defines metal health as, “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

With that being said by WHO, mental health can come in all shapes and forms. Lots of people suffer from a mental health disorder without anyone ever knowing about it.

I, myself, have an anxiety disorder. I wasn’t one to fully talk about it but knowing that making awareness of something such as this, could help that next person get the help they need. I have times that my thoughts, behavior, and even my mood is affected that I can’t even function in that moment. My heart with race and it will be hard to catch my breathe. But I have to remember that it will pass, I learned that certain types of things can set it off, so I avoid them. But honestly there are times when moments happen that are beyond my control and will set me into a spiral of an attack. It’s those moments that are the hardest, but it’s in those moments that I remember that it can be overcome.

I also know that I am not alone with my anxiety disorder. In fact, Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health disorder in the United States effecting 40 million American adults over the age of 18. Which only 36.9% of those that are suffering get treatment. Here is a link with other facts on Anxiety and other Mental Health disorders. Facts & Statistics | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA

I have witnessed was mental health can do to a family firsthand; from family members having depression to friends a dissociative disorder. I know that without the fact that they were willing to say something to get the help they need, I probably would sadly have lost them.

Covid 19 has made mental health a forefront finally. People are realizing that they are not alone. They can get help, and they have people who will listen. People have been fighting for their lives and finally the world is taking notice. Finally people are able to come forward without it being such a taboo to get the help that is needed from them to live another day!

Mental Health and Covid-19

Here are a few charts showing the impact that Covid-19 has had on households within the past year or 2 years.

The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use | KFF

For anyone how might know someone or might need help themselves please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255

You can even text: “MN” to 741741 to get the help that is needed.

Website: Lifeline (suicidepreventionlifeline.org)