Feeling Overwhelmed With Life?

Join a Self- Help Group

If you’re depressed or suffering from anxiety it isn’t always easy to talk to friends and family. They may tell you to suck it up, and get over yourself. What is really annoying is when they tell you to count your blessings. Yes, you should count your blessings, but right now you have problems to solve, and need advice on the best way to proceed.

This is where a self-help support group can help you put things into perspective. You feel more at ease because everyone there needs help with something. Members are encouraged to share their stories and you might find the missing pieces in your life by listening to others.

Here are five good tips to help you find the right self-help group:

What Are Your Issues?

This is where you need to do a little research to find which self-help group is going to be more beneficial for you.

It seems like some self-help groups try to lump many problems together. People suffering with depression will not benefit as much from a Generalized Anxiety group, and need to join others who are depressed.

Consult Your Doctor

Ask your doctor for some support groups he may know about. Your conversation is confidential, so you won’t have to worry about the doctor blabbing all over town that you are depressed and need a self-help group.

Location of Meeting

Is the meeting near your house, or will you have to take an extra hour up the freeway, with a handful of rude drivers getting on your last nerve? This may turn out to be a convenient excuse to skip the meeting and you may feel even more depressed.

Go As a Guest

If you can, talk to the group coordinator and tell her you would like to attend as a guest. Listen carefully, and if you feel the spirit, you can share some of your story. The good thing is that you don’t have to talk and can just listen, or you can even leave early if you want.

How Do You Feel Afterwards?

Did you feel more positive and that the meeting really gave you comfort and hope? If you aren’t feeling too positive after a couple of meetings, that group isn’t for you. You’re there to get better, not to get worse.

Are your symptoms improving? If you answer yes to this question, that’s great! That means the self-help group is working for you. Keep going to meetings and continue to improve.

Once you have found the right support group for you, make a commitment to attend the meetings and participate in the process. You’ll feel better and may make some new supportive friends along the way.



Bloom Where You’re Planted

You Won't Be There Too Long!

I like to start the day by reading something inspirational. I found an article called “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” I gained a lot of nuggets of wisdom and I knew I had to share those with you.

As midlife women, we’re not always happy with the shape of our bodies. We have a little more jiggle and wiggle, and wouldn’t mind losing a dress size or two. We find a dress or pantsuit we like and promise to buy it when we lose those twenty pounds. By the time we lose the weight or give up trying, the outfit we once admired is no longer available.

It was always available in our size, but we didn’t want to admit to ourselves or anyone else that we wore that big a size. We are so much more than a number on a clothes chart and should celebrate our lives now no matter what size we wear. Buy the outfit now. If you lose the twenty pounds, have the garment altered or buy something else.

We are always waiting for something better to come along and miss the joys of today. That job that we dread going to every day will be a thing of the past when we hit the lotto. We drag ourselves out of bed, hit a Starbucks for a caffeine blast, and sit sullenly at our desks.

It’s true there are people hitting the lotto, but since the odds are so long, wouldn’t it be better to try and bloom where you’re planted and improve your situation? What could you do to brighten up the day?

Bring donuts for a morning treat. In my office, when donuts appeared, all diets were kicked to the curb, and everyone gathered around the break table. Frowns were replaced with smiles, and people started talking to one another.

Terry Bullock, CEO of Macy’s, learned some good advice about blooming where you’re planted. Terry was a trainee at Bullock’s and was moved into an assistant buyer position. He was called into the office to talk to Gene Ross, the man who recruited him.  Terry told Gene that he thought he could do more if he were moved to another position. Gene was a wise man and he nodded his head and pointed to a poster on the wall. The poster had a little tree in a pot, that said, “Bloom where you’re planted.”

What was the moral of this story? Terry wouldn’t always be in this job, but if he did well, others would notice and he might receive a promotion.

My challenge to you today is to bloom where you’re planted. There are plenty of opportunities right where you are today. One thought brings me comfort, and that is that every step in life prepares you for the next one.


Are You Ready For Swimsuit Weather?

Give the Low-Carb Diet a Try

It’s almost summer, and that means more time outside doing things that you enjoy. If you own a boat, you need a swimsuit so you can participate in all your favorite water activities. Swimming and waterskiing are great options for exercise, but you may not feel comfortable wearing a swimsuit.

When you can pinch more than an inch, it may be time to think seriouosly about losing some weight and keeping it off.

It seems like everyone I know is on a diet, and the low-carb diet is gaining in popularity. If you’re a meat lover, this diet will make you think you have died and gone to heaven. Steaks, hamburgers, pork chops, eggs and bacon are all low-carb foods. Wow, sign me up!

But just like everything else in life, you have to take the bad with the good, and you can’t live on meat forever. Some of your favorite side dishes may pack a hefty wallop of carbs, so here is the low-down on the low-carb diet.


It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that breakfast cereals such as Frosted Flakes™ or Lucky Charms™ have too many carbohydrates. What is surprising is that whole-grain cereals such as Grape Nuts™, pack a whopping 46 grams of carbs, with 5 grams of fiber.

You would think that steel-cut oats would be a healthier choice, but you would be wrong. A half a cup of cooked steel-cut oats have 29 grams of carbs, with 5 grams of fiber.


When I eat out, I can hardly wait for the bread basket to be delivered. Wheat rolls, white rolls, bagels or croissants oozing with butter, are a must in my book.

If you have more willpower, you can refuse the bread basket, and save yourself calories and carbs in the process. One slice of wheat bread has 17 grams of carbs, and only 2 grams of fiber.

Some Fruits

The nutrition gurus have always advised people to eat more fruit, which can lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. However, most fruits have a lot of carbs. Of course my favorite fruit is bananas, and that is one of the fruits you want to avoid. Dried fruits are also high in carbs.

You can’t even enjoy a small apple. I was very surprised that something this tasty packs a wallop of 21 grams of carbs. At least if it does contain 4 grams of fiber.

Now for a bit of good news. Berries are tasty, lower in carbs and sugar, and you can eat them plain or incorporate them in other dishes.

Beans and Legumes

I was raised on beans and cornbread, and had no idea that a one-cup serving of beans contained 45 grams of carbs. On the plus side, the fiber count clocks in at about 15 grams. You can cut down your portion size and work them into your daily carb count.

Peas have always been one of my favorite vegetables. Yes, surprisingly, one cup of peas has 25 grams of carbs.

Eating a low-carb diet can definitely help you shed excess pounds, but make sure you’re still eating a nutritious diet. Eating smaller portions of your favorites may be just what you need to avoid being so discouraged that you give up and go back to your old eating patterns.


Are Your Joints Aching With Painful Arthritis?

A Walk-In Tub Offers Relaxing Relief


As I have aged, I have noticed that my joints are more painful. Fingers that want to point outwards, knees that creak and crack when I finish exercising, and let’s not forget my painful back and neck.

Each person will have a different experience, but one thing you may notice is that you’re having a harder time getting into the bathtub. Since your joints are not what they used to be, there is a greater chance that you may suffer a fall, or at the very least pull a muscle or two.

This is where a walk-in tub can make your life easier. Instead of swinging your leg over the edge, a low step entry allows you to walk right in. The floor is made of non-skid material so you won’t have to worry about purchasing a bath mat. If you have trouble standing, purchase a tub that has a shower seat.

The tub is deep enough to fully submerge your body, so if you like to take a bubble bath, you can have a nice long soak. The warm water can relax your whole body, and may help you sleep better. When you’re finished, grab the safety bars to pull yourself into an upright position.

Your walk-in tub usually comes with a faucet head in case you would prefer to take a nice warm shower.  Some tubs also have a bidet so you can clean those hard-to-reach places.

Now, to the not-so-good news. All this comfort can put a big hole in your budget, and tubs range from $5,000 to $7,000. Don’t count on Medicare or Medi-Cal to pick up the tab, but check with your private insurance to see what is covered.

One reason an insurance company may deny coverage, is that they are not sure how many of your family members may also be using the walk-in tub.

One trick that may turn the tide in your favor, is to ask your doctor to write a note stating that the tub is a medical necessity.

If your insurance refuses to cover, there are some other options you can try. It’s possible that you may qualify for grants or a low-interest loan from the Department of Agriculture. You’ll have to meet income requirements, but if you’re not eligible, they can refer you to other resources.

Contact the National Home Modification Action Coalition to find out if you’re eligible for grants or loans. If you’re a veteran, check with the Veteran’s Administration.


When You’re At the End of Your Rope

Help is on the Way!

Did you ever watch that TV program Bewitched? Samantha could control her world with just a twitch of her nose. Wouldn’t it be nice to have your life turn out the way you planned with no annoying problems? Yes, that would be nice.

You may have had your share of successes, and at least worked through some of your problems. You feel happy about that, but something always comes up to keep you from reaching your goals.

If you feel like you’re stuck and don’t know how to get your life moving again, it’s time to ask yourself some hard questions.

What’s Bothering You?

This where a journal can really help out. Sit down where it is quiet and you won’t be disturbed. If you have trouble getting started, just write I am unhappy and I don’t know why.  Keep at it until ideas start flowing, and write them all down. This can be a painful process, but keep writing.

What Can You Change?

Most problems have a solution, but it may take you out of your comfort zone to make changes. For example, you may be burned out at work and ready to walk out, but first see if it’s possible to make things better.

Is it possible to job-share, switch to part-time hours, or work another shift? Now might be a good time to use some of those vacation hours and relax.

Can you talk to your boss about your concerns? Pick a time when he/she is not too busy and don’t get angry or bad-mouth other employees. Offer to be part of the solution and put in extra time if needed.

What Can You Accept?

What if your talk with the boss doesn’t go well, or you are just burned out and want to change careers? Are you willing to accept that you may have to put up with a less than desirable boss until you find something better?

Changing jobs may require extra time and expense to upgrade your skills. The economy is not what it used to be, and jobs are not as plentiful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, just be aware that life may get uncomfortable in the meantime.

It’s often necessary to move forward in faith. Trust your gut feelings, and you’ll probably have some rough patches on the road to success. Keep moving forward and don’t let anyone or anything stop you.