Vintage Labels and Journal Cards
Click on the image above and save to your computer.
Feel free to tag me in your photos/videos. I’d love to see how you are incorporating them into your journaling!
Free printable for you to reference when employing the GTD Method.
Follow along with my video series on how I implement the GTD methodology in my planning system.
Stress and Self-Care
Panic and anxiety attacks are exhausting.
During an attack, the “fight or flight” response of the body goes into high alert/hyper vigilant mode and the body responds as if it’s in danger.
The parasympathetic nervous system that governs the “fight or flight” response can be triggered when the brain perceives itself to be in a dangerous situation.
However, it can be triggered when there is no threat at all. This can happen for a variety of reasons including stress and other medical conditions.
Everyone experiences stress from time to time and there are different types of stress, all of which carry physical and mental health risks. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.
Long term, ongoing stress an lead to anxiety and panic attacks.
The neurological condition that affects my nerves can cause them to go into “fight or flight” and causes anxiety and panic attacks.
Not all stress is bad.
In a dangerous situation, stress signals the body to prepare to face a threat or flee to safety. In these situations, your pulse quickens, you breathe faster, your muscles tense, and your brain uses more oxygen and increases activity—all functions aimed at survival and in response to stress. In non-life-threatening situations, stress can motivate people, such as when they need to take a test or interview for a new job.
Long-term stress can harm your health but there are ways to manage stress. This is why a SELF-CARE routine is so important!
Be observant. Recognize the signs of your body’s response to stress, such as difficulty sleeping, increased alcohol and other substance use, being easily angered, feeling depressed, and having low energy.
Talk to your health care provider or a health professional. Don’t wait for your health care provider to ask about your stress. Start the conversation and get proper health care for existing or new health problems. Effective treatments can help if your stress is affecting your relationships or ability to work.
Get regular exercise. Just 30 minutes per day of walking can help boost your mood and improve your health.
Try a relaxing activity. Explore relaxation or wellness programs, which may incorporate meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises. Schedule regular times for these and other healthy and relaxing activities.
Set goals and priorities. Decide what must get done now and what can wait. Learn to say “no” to new tasks if you start to feel like you’re taking on too much. Try to be mindful of what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.
Stay connected. You are not alone. Keep in touch with people who can provide emotional support and practical help. To reduce stress, ask for help from friends, family, and community or religious organizations.
When experiencing an anxiety or panic attack — remember, “This too shall pass.”
Being open, accepting and compassionate with yourself about your symptoms can help them pass quicker. Tell yourself, “It’s OK, there’s something happening in my body, but that doesn’t mean it’s dangerous or life threatening.”
Download your FREE worksheet below
Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!
Miss Southwest Sierra Marie Bonn sat down with me to talk about her social impact initiative “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” You can listen to my conversation with Sierra on my Podcast. The episode is titled “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!
Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead! is an initiative to promote STEAM education and engagement. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math. Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead! empowers young women to pursue STEAM careers.
On her website, she shares new technological advances, student-friendly STEAM experiments, events in and around the State of Kansas, and highlights inspirational leaders.
Women in STEAM Week is the third week in October, each year. In addition to learning about influential women, you can nominate someone who has made positive contributions to STEAM in your community by visiting her website, LetsGoFullSTEAMAhead.com
Light Sensitivity & Migraine Relief
Different types of light can trigger migraines, worsen typical headaches, and cause photophobia, eye pain and fatigue. The natural sunlight can trigger them as well, but to a lesser degree for me than fluorescent, LED and blue lights. Over the last few years, I have noticed increased headaches when using my phone and even working on the computer.
In my effort to educate and promote self-care, I have shared my struggles with blue lights and fluorescent lights triggering electric shock headaches and migraines.
A couple of months ago I became increasingly aware of blurry vision and talked to my neurologist about the possible causes. He referred me to an Ophthalmologist who checked my eyes and optic nerves. The Doctor said my eyes are healthy, however my age (I have celebrated my 40th birthday) is a factor, in addition to the light sensitivity. He wrote a new prescription that included the FL-41 filter for the lenses which should decrease the headaches triggered by light.
I have a pair of tinted lenses for indoor use and a pair for outdoor use.
- Indoor lenses block 80% of blue-green light associated with migraine, photophobia and other light-sensitive conditions.
- Outdoor TheraSpecs provide better protection against sunlight than regular sunglasses. They are dark, polarized, 100% UVA/UVB and block the same blue-green light.
You do not need a prescription to order these glasses as FL-41 is a filter. However, the filter can be added to any glasses with a current prescription.
I’d love to know if you order a pair, or currently have a pair of FL-41 lenses and how they are working for you. Have you noticed a decrease in headaches?
KONMARI | Clothes
I have a confession…my clothes and closet have always been the least organized part of my life. But thanks to Marie Kondo and her method of “tidying” known as KonMari, I now have a JOY-FILLED closet and am on my way to applying her technique to all the other areas of my life.
And I decided to document my process and progress to help me stay accountable and complete the task.
I have purchased the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up) and started reading it but was first introduced to it and the KonMari method through Laura at HowtoGYST
While I do not have Netflix to watch the new series where Kondo helps people “tidy up” I decided to set my YouTube to Laura’s KonMari playlist and get to work organizing my life! The first category recommended by Kondo is “Clothing” so that is where I started.
Join me as I spark JOY, declutter and change my life with the magic of tidying up!
Identifying Cognitive Impairments
“We can not solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.”
I am not a Doctor. I am an expert in me…an expert of my body. If I learned anything from the journey of losing and then regaining my cognitive abilities and memories, it is this…
My body is wiser than my words are available.
When I struggled to string together words to form coherent sentences, my body continued to communicate information through the five natural senses and what is identified as the Sixth sense. It was through this communication with and through my body that I understood my mind was not working properly and eventually, what I needed to do in order to return to a healthy state. I believe this wisdom is available to everyone, in and through their own body. I recognized this wisdom as God, ever present and guiding me through the darkest days. While I knew, without a shadow of a doubt that I was not alone, I did not always feel that way. As a result, I decided to raise awareness and educate others on the issues surrounding brain health.
According to information provided by the CDC in “Cognitive Impairment: A Call to Action, Now!” There are now more than 10 million family members providing unpaid care to a person with cognitive impairment, a memory problem or a disorder like Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. As I type this, the numbers are growing and possibly includes you or someone you love. Nearly 16 million Americans are living with cognitive impairment.
What is cognitive impairment?
Cognitive impairment is when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday
life. Cognitive impairment ranges from mild to severe. With mild impairment, people may begin to notice changes in cognitive functions, but still be able to do their everyday activities. Severe levels of impairment can lead to losing the ability to understand the meaning or importance of something and the ability to talk or write, resulting in the inability to live independently
What causes cognitive impairment?
Cognitive impairment is not caused by any one disease or condition, nor is it limited to a specific age group. Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in addition to conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and developmental disabilities, can cause cognitive impairment.
What are some common signs of cognitive impairment?
• Memory loss.
• Frequently asking the same question or
repeating the same story over and over.
• Not recognizing familiar people and places.
• Having trouble exercising judgment, such as
knowing what to do in an emergency.
• Changes in mood or behavior.
• Vision problems.
• Difficulty planning and carrying out tasks,
such as following a recipe or keeping track of monthly bills
Alzheimers, dementia, PTSD, and strokes are just a few neurological diseases and disorders that can affect cognition and memory. Some causes are well known, well funded and actively researched. Others may not be. Lesser known disorders or side effects from medications may not receive much attention and therefore struggle to gain awareness. Thus education may seem limited leading to the perception that treatment and prevention are all but impossible.
I hope to shift thinking.
If you or someone you know is suffering from any of the above symptoms, please contact a medical professional and know that you are not alone.
Why do I use a Planner? What is Bilateral Planning? How are Pageant Queen Principles incorporated?
A planner is more than a calendar.
A planner is a tool to help manage projects.
Those projects can vary from keeping your house in order, to operating a business from home; from keeping your ministry accountable and out of the red, to balancing school and work life.
To-do lists can be as varied and unique as individuals are, therefore a system for managing those tasks should be designed to meet those needs.
My unique need for a project management system, which I call a planner, came as a result of losing my cognitive abilities. My memory, both short and long term, were affected. Read the story here. As I began the arduous task of rebuilding my life, I quickly realized the need to relearn many skills that had once been second nature.
At that time, my sister introduced me to the creative community of decorative planning and I quickly realized my brain worked differently as it healed. Some days, analytical tasks like reading, list making, and counting were too difficult or incomprehensible and I leaned heavily on the creative skills associated with the right side of the brain and could surround myself with light and laughter. Other days, color and sound were distracting and overwhelming, causing anxiety and sending me into a panic attack so I leaned towards quiet, solitary activities that gave me a sense of calm and order like reading or listmaking.
I began studying how others approached project management for productivity. Soon, I discovered that while humans use both sides of their brain for different tasks, we have a natural bent towards relying on one side or the other. Some of us are more artistic in nature and operate from a right-brained perspective. Others are more analytical in nature and operate from a left-brained perspective.
Before the trauma that led to a cognitive decline and memory loss, I believed myself to favor a left-brain perspective and therefore engaged in traditionally left-brain activities, rarely pursuing those requiring a right-brain nature. During the healing process, I read much on the subject of neuroplasticity and how to “remap” the brain by continually challenging myself to learn new things. I learned, through trial and error, how to work through the anxiety and panic of not being able to think through, and therefore follow through, with simple activities.
Bilateral Planning is HOW to plan for productivity and success.
I needed to have a project management system that worked with my brain whether I was able to think with the right or left side on any given day. I believe this approach helped me heal quicker and regain much of my former cognitive abilities. While experimenting with different ways to “remap” my brain and learn information, I created a project management system called bilateral planning.
Bilateral Planning is a system of task management that allows for flexibility while maintaining efficiency. I utilize a framework for left-brain task and time management in addition to a space for creative thought processing. This system has allowed me to accomplish goals that would have otherwise been out of reach.
Take this quiz to discover whether you are left or right brain dominant.
Pageant Queen Principles are WHAT you plan.
Incorporating Pageant Queen Principles within the Bilateral Planning framework creates a balanced system for efficiency, productivity and ultimately, success – whether your goals include capturing a crown or corraling a kindergarten class.
Join me on my YouTube channel as I share techniques for creating a system that meets your needs. Be sure to download the FREE printables so you can plan along with me in upcoming videos.