Category Archives: misc.

What is Mental Health Counseling?

You may have noticed that this blog has been writing a number of posts about mental health lately.  I truly believe that there has never been a more important time for people to be getting help if they need it.  The number of professionals choosing to work in the mental health field is growing, which is necessary because the number of patients seeking help is growing too.

If you think you’re in need of someone to talk to, it may be time to seek mental health counseling.  The word “counseling” is really just a broad term for the giving and receiving of advice or guidance.  Most importantly, a counselor gives you someone to confide in when it comes to your mental health.

A counselor can be someone from any of several different professions–social worker, therapist, even psychologists are considered counselors.  Depending on your location, you may only have one or several options on finding a counselor that’s right for you.

Mental health counseling can take many forms.  For nearly every problem a patient may have, there is usually a therapist who specializes in it.  Some examples of specialized counseling may include marriage counseling, family counseling, or drug addiction counseling.  There are also those who have certain skills in dealing with children or patients who have been through certain traumas, such as PTSD.

With so many options when it comes to finding mental health counseling, you may be wondering where to start.  Not long ago I wrote an article about how you can begin your journey and find the right kind of therapist for you. Another good way to learn about counseling options is simply through word of mouth.  Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family if they know anyone who they can recommend to help with mental health issues.  These days, the stigma on finding and getting help for yourself is pretty much gone, and most people are eager to share their recommendations on counselors they love.  It will also help to know you are not alone in your quest for mental wellbeing.

 

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Therapist, Psychologist, or Something Else: Choosing a Mental Health Care Provider

Image result for mental health provider

So you have come to the decision that you want to seek help with any mental health issues you may be experiencing.  First of all, you should feel proud that you’re making the choice to strive to be your best self.  But it can understandably be overwhelming when you begin the search to find the right type of provider for you.  There are so many choices now, which is absolutely a good thing, but it’s not always easy to determine where to find care.  I’d like to provide a small guide to help you make that choice.

TYPES OF PROVIDERS

To start off, just the terminology can be confusing! From psychologists to therapists, counselors to psychiatrists, it might be hard to know where to start.  Here’s the difference between providers and what they can offer you.

  • Psychologists–have a degree in psychology.  They have studied behavioral and personality disorders and psychotherapy. They can make diagnoses but can’t prescribe any medication.  They can help you determine a course of treatment and what your next steps might be.
  • Psychiatrists–possess a medical degree. They don’t typically provide therapy sessions, but instead meet with a patient to discuss prescribing medications.
  • Therapists–can have a degree in various fields.  They are ready to help you talk about and address problems and feelings, and guide you through them at your own pace.
  • Counselors–the same as therapists but usually they concentrate on one specialty or another, i.e. marriage counseling, family counseling, etc. Much like psychologists they can help you assess problems and follow a plan of action.

HOW TO CHOOSE

One of the first steps you will want to take is checking what exactly your insurance will cover.  Many insurances will only have a certain number of each type of provider in network.  It’s up to you to figure out if you are able to afford to go in or out of network for your coverage. Be aware that mental health issues often require multiple visits to deal with, so cost might be one of the most important factors.

Once you’ve got your list, start calling around.  You need to see who is taking new patients.  This can be a little disheartening at times because it seems that no one has an opening to suit you, but don’t give up. Providers can only take so much of a patient load and within a short amount of time there may become an opening available at your chosen provider.

If you live in a more rural area, you might have a more limited list to choose from.  I know I am in a small town and the only choice available in my town is a counselor.  Keep in mind that you might have to travel to find the provider with the right fit for you, but it’s an investment in yourself.

 

I hope this short guide has helped make your choices a little less daunting.  Most importantly, know that you are not alone, and there are people in the world who want to help you.

Why Finding a Great Pharmacy Makes Life Easier

I have lived in big cities, but I was born and raised in a small town.  Now that I’m back in my original hometown raising my children, I can appreciate some of the finer points of small town life that some people might not realize.  Although sometimes it’s a drawback that every person in town not only knows who you are, but also who the members of your extended family are and therefore will know things about you that you might not even know yourself, having this sense of camaraderie can be a benefit in many cases.  One thing that comes to my mind is using this information at your local pharmacy.

There are no big chain pharmacies in the town where I live–we have one within a bigger store, but the other two are small, family owned places that have been in business for decades and offer friendly, personal service.  Here are just a few of the ways having a great pharmacy makes my life easier.

 

PERSONAL SERVICE

When I call my pharmacy, most of the time I know who the person is answering the phone, and they know me.  I can quickly tell them who I am and what I need, and they don’t have to stay on the phone with me for ages trying to find me in their system, or misspell my name, etc.  This personal service also means that whomever you are speaking with will most likely want to exchange some small talk with you, but that’s not a big price to pay and it makes you feel like a person and not just a prescription number.

HELP WITH COSTS

Let’s be truthful, prescription medications can be expensive; this is especially the case for older people who live on a strict budget.  When you know the people who are working at a pharmacy, they will often take the time to give you extra help when it comes to giving you the best possible price for your prescriptions.  This can mean deciding which insurance to go through, whether to pay in cash, or finding a coupon for you to use such as this Advair Diskus discount. Many times the employees will do this before you even ask, so I see this as an amazing benefit.

TEACHING YOU ABOUT YOUR MEDICATION

It’s always the best idea to tell your doctor and pharmacist which medications you are on so you will know how new ones may or may not affect you.  But if you’ve been using the same pharmacy for years, the people who prepare your medicines will get to know you and therefore can offer advice your doctor may not have thought of.  For example, if you are a mother and need to be alert to take care of your kids, your family pharmacist might tell you not to take a pain medication until your kids are already in bed for the night.  They will often take more time to speak with you than a doctor will, and therefore are eager to help you be at your best.

Keep in mind, I’m not necessarily saying that people working within big chain pharmacies won’t have this fantastic level of customer service, but it’s just been my experience that every time I got to one, there are different people working…how can you get to know anyone on a personal level in such a situation.  If you can, find a smaller, family owned pharmacy to support small business and receive the care you deserve.

5 Big Cities Every Southern Girl Will Love

Nashville

In 2017, Las Vegas was the hottest housing market in the country with the average property rising by just under 7 percent.  However, Sin City lacks the charm of many cities in our great nation – something which is proven out by the fact that just about every other housing market in the Top 10 nationally was in the South.  This just goes to show that there is something about southern living and here five of the best big cities every southern girl will love.

 

Dallas

Everything is bigger in Texas and while cities such as San Antonio have received a lot of attention in recent years, the housing market in Dallas is red hot.  So hot that you’ll probably have to spend a small fortune to get the home of your dreams.  But this hasn’t slowed down demand as most builders are reporting that they can barely keep up.

What are the hottest properties in Dallas?  Candidates include the Soco Urban Lofts, which is in a building that is more than 100-years-old and has a two-story penthouse, or you could go for the slick, new Azure Condo.  But even these two properties have nothing on the Museum Tower development.  This project has redefined luxury in a city that always goes big or goes home, with prices starting at $1,000,000.

 

Fort Lauderdale

Long known for being a spring break destination, this city just a stone’s throw from Miami is finally coming of age – so much so that you will have to trade in the wine coolers of youth for a wine cooler.

A big reason for this is the awakening of Fort Lauderdale’s downtown with a mix of art districts, restaurants, condos, and rail connections to the broader region.  By the way, Fort Lauderdale is a great alternative to flying in and out of Miami International Airport.

One of the most sought-after properties in the city is the Icon Las Olas.  Not only does this development occupy a prime downtown location but all 272 of the units on sale are the epitome of luxury.

Before wrapping up our review of Fort Lauderdale, we need to discuss the beach – after all, this remains of the biggest draws in this up and coming South Florida city.  Again, the city does not disappoint as it has a laid-back vibe which sets it apart from South Beach in Miami or the ultra-monied set in Boca Raton.

 

Nashville

Besides Atlanta, this city has long been associated with the South and why not as the city is home to the Grand Ole Opry.  While the music is still big business in Nashville, the city is undergoing a transformation as it has become of the tech hubs of the South.  That’s right, move over Research Triangle, Music City is coming for your title.

In terms of where to live, developers in Nashville are rising to the challenge and any southern girl who is looking for a luxury condo won’t be disappointed won’t be disappointed.  For starters there is The Adelicia, not only does this development boast several celebrity owners the condos are some of the best in Nashville.

Beyond this, music lovers can choose The Rhythm at Music Row, which has turned out to be one of the trendiest locations in the city.  However, my choice for the best condo development in Nashville is The Encore.  This development has everything you want in a luxury development – great floor plans and top-notch design.  But what sets The Encore apart is that it is within walking distance of Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans) and Bridgestone Arena (home of the Nashville Predators) – try walking anywhere in Atlanta.

 

Memphis

Home of Elvis and the Ancient Greeks and there is a good reason why Memphis remains one of the best places to live in the entire South.  Ok, this big city does not have the same big city vibe as an Atlanta or a Dallas, and you won’t find mega developments like Vista Tower Chicago but there are plenty of great properties that you will love in Memphis.

Some of the best include the Paperworks Lofts in the boho South Main neighborhood and the Pie Factory Lofts in the Cooper-Young part of town.  Now there is something about Memphis as it has a different feel than almost everywhere in the south and if you love great barbeque and the view of The Mighty Mississippi, then this is the city for you.

 

New Orleans

Now there are so many great places to live in the South that limiting this list to five cities was hard.  For example, some readers might be upset about leaving Atlanta out of the list and there are great towns like Charleston which deserve honorable mention.  But when it comes to choosing of the best big cities in the south – and by extension the best properties – New Orleans can’t be ignored.

Of my favorites is The Paramount and true to its name this development in the heart of the French Quarter is one of the most sought-after properties in The Big Easy.  Honorable mention includes the riverside Rice Mill Lofts and the Blue Plate Artist Lofts – the latter captures the creative spirit of this city.

There you have it; five great southern cities and the properties that every Southern girl is bound to love.

5 Tips for Hosting the Perfect Movie Night

Looking for something to do that will bring your friends or family together, that won’t cost the earth and doesn’t involve and absolute mountain of effort? Then what you need is a movie night.

Movie nights are great, even more so now that practically every movie ever made is available through on demand services on the internet. Long gone are the days of relying on what your local video store had in stock – just fire up Netflix or Amazon Prime and away you go.

Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? Here are five tips for hosting the perfect movie night.

Get your film choice right

The whole point of having a movie night is to watch a movie, so you’ve got to get your choice right. Is it a family event? Are the girls coming over? Or is it a set of movie buffs getting together to critique the latest blockbuster release? You’ll want to pick your film accordingly. While most will go for a film that most of the guests have never seen before, one smart idea that can help turn this into a regular event is working your way through the IMDb Top 100 movies. You can even get your guests to rate them, allowing you to come up with your own ranking system to see how it compares with IMDb.

Know if you should make a last-minute switch

You can have the best laid out plan in history when it comes to which movie you are going for, but don’t be afraid to change it at the last minute. The Shawshank Redemption might have been set in stone as your next movie night flick, but if it becomes readily apparent once all the guests have arrived that everyone is in a silly mood, don’t be afraid to switch track and go for a more light-hearted movie to reflect that.

Get the snacks in

Only a sadist goes to the cinema and doesn’t snack on something or other. For the full movie night experience, you need to supply your guests with snacks. These can vary from the classic staple of the movies, popcorn, to hotdogs, burgers, fries or how about giving these Irish Nachos a go?

Make sure everyone is comfortable

You can’t enjoy a movie if you spend half of it thinking about how uncomfortable you are or how hot it is. Make sure everybody is happy with the temperature in the room and provide adequate seating for all your guests. You don’t need to have a luxury sofa costing thousands of dollars to do that – just good old fashioned pillows, cushions and blankets to ensure everybody is comfortable.

Leave time to talk at the end

The very best part of any movie night comes at the end, when you get to discuss what you’ve just seen. Make sure you set aside some time once the end credits have finished rolling to sit down around the table and talk about what you made of the film. You can do this with questions to lead the discussion – “What did you think the director was trying to do?”, “Did the movie succeed in its aims?”, or by just going for the jugular and blurting out whatever you thought – “That was absolute rubbish.” See if they everyone else agrees.

 

 

 

 

Choosing Therapy–The First Step on the Journey to a Better You

As a human being, it’s natural to have periods of ups and downs in our lives.  But sometimes, the low periods don’t seem to want to go away for a long time.  We may try to tell ourselves to snap out of it, or to push aside the issues, and claim that we don’t need help.  But, for a large number of people, help is something they need.  And more and more people are choosing to find someone they can confide in–a therapist.

Admitting to yourself that you can’t take on all your problems alone is the most important thing you have to do to start this process; but making sure you find the right type of therapy and a person you can really mesh with is also critical.  With today’s various methods, you have more choices than ever to find exactly what fits your particular therapy needs and personality.

TYPES OF THERAPY

Traditional One on One Therapy

I believe when most people think of therapy, this is what they picture–sitting or laying on a couch while talking about their emotions and experiences to a person who’s listening intently, taking notes, and asking questions about your feelings.  In many cases, yes, this can be true.  But the person who’s giving you help can come in many forms.  There are doctors, either psychologists or psychiatrists who can prescribe you medication if it’s determined that you are in need of it.  There are also less formal settings where you can speak to a licensed counselor.  Some places can even offer peer support, by having someone who’s gone through experiences similar to yours talk to you about how they are overcoming things.

Group Therapy

This is another stereotype that I think people imagine: a bunch of folks sitting around in a circle, introducing themselves to one another, and exchanging conversations about what they’re dealing with.  Group therapy is sometimes a better option for those who might have trouble opening up in a one on one space–sometimes hearing another person talk about a situation like yours will help you feel you’re not alone.

Online Therapy

Just like nearly every other thing in the world, you can now get your therapy online too.  Online therapy can be found on several different websites and is often the best choice for those who live in a more rural area.  Those giving help on these sites range from doctors, to marriage therapists, to social workers and more.  You are sure to find someone who can help you with almost any problem.  Often, these online sessions are cheaper than in person sessions as well–a plus if you do not have insurance coverage for mental health issues.

Unconventional Therapies

If you don’t think speaking out your feelings will help, there are other ways to confront them too.  Art therapy is often a perfect alternative for children or those who live on the more creative side of life.  Animal therapy, such as riding horses, can be good for those who don’t easily trust people, because animals are often more intuitive than we know.  Music therapy is a powerful tool for some and can evoke feelings or memories long thought lost.

 

I’ve mentioned just a few types here, but I hope it’s enough to get you started on your journey to mental and emotional well-being.  Seeking therapy is not the stigma it once was, and you should be proud that you value yourself enough to recognize that you need help.

What to Do with Grandma’s Old Ring

It’s a very special moment when a ring gets passed from one generation to the next. It might have come your way because you’re standing on the verge of getting married, or it might have passed your way through a will or estate: No matter how it came to you, there are always a few ways to breathe new life into vintage, antique or valued pieces of art. Here are some practical ideas for what to do with grandma’s old ring.

Do Your Research

Step one is to start by doing your research on the piece so that you know exactly what you have. This includes asking family members if they know the story or origin of the ring; you will also want to take a look at any serial numbers imprinted on the ring, which will tell you more about its contents – and possibly its manufacture. With this, also note its condition and – we’d highly recommend it – have it professionally looked over and graded by an expert.

A Professional Cleaning

Breathing new life into an old piece of jewelry can be as easy as a professional, good cleaning session. Now, it’s very important that you use the right cleaner for your type of jewelry, and for this we’d recommend that you visit a jewelry store and tell them exactly what it is that you want to clean. (There are many horror stories of people who cleaned a valuable piece and did more harm than good.) Read the product’s instructions carefully before you apply it to anything valuable!

 Resizing and Redoing

If you plan on wearing the ring again, it’s also worth putting some thought into getting the ring resized for your hands. Take it to an expert jeweler and they will be more than happy to resize a piece according to your requirements. If you want any changes brought to the piece, like something added or taken away, now is the time to do it. Make sure that you choose a store with a reliable reputation to work on your piece.

Wear It!

If you don’t want to go to the trouble to have the ring re-sized, you could always wear the ring on a chain instead: Ornate or simple gold or silver chains are usually easy to find and can compliment a ring perfectly.

New Life

New life can also be brought to a piece of jewelry by having it turned into an entirely new piece. Yes, most jewelry makers are happy to do this. You can have the piece melted on-to another piece, or melted down and turned into something new. Technically, it’s still the same piece – just with some new and exciting flair.

Have it Insured

Always remember to take special care with a valuable piece: Have it insured, either as a separate piece or as part of your existing household insurance. In the case of robbery, loss or natural disaster – and it happens! – you’ll really wish you had.

Sell It and Invest

Let’s face it: There are times when life hits an unexpected turn and you need some money. Or, you might just decide that you could use the money towards something for the future. Then, consider selling the piece and investing the money. If you want to sell the piece, do so through reputable dealers, and make sure that you have your paperwork in order; take detailed pictures and know exactly what you’re selling.

 

Quick Inspiration–Overcoming Gym Intimidation

What to Look for When Buying a Wine Cooler

Many websites such as focuswinecellars.com sell wine cabinets or coolers. If you’ve never purchased a wine cooler before, though, you may be lost about what to look for. Which features should you consider to get a wine cooler that meets your needs? Below are some tips that can make the process easier.

Consider the Size of the Cooler

The first and most important thing to consider is the cooler size. How many bottles of wine do you hope to store inside your cabinet? Also, think about how much space you have and your spending limit.

In general, most coolers are large enough to store 12 bottles of wine. This is a pretty standard size. If you have the space, however, choose a size that can fit an extra four or five bottles of wine. For example, a chiller that holds 15 to 18 bottles gives you plenty of storage with a little room to grow. However, they make wine cabinets that are much bigger. Some are large enough to store more than 50 bottles.

Get the Temperature Just Right

Another big factor to consider is the temperature. Any wine enthusiast knows that wines need to be chilled and stored at certain temperatures to preserve the taste. Most red and white wines are stored at two separate temperatures.

For example, red wine is usually stored at between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, while white wine needs to be a bit cooler at 49 to 56 degrees. Unless you like drinking only one type of wine, it may be beneficial to buy two small coolers instead of one large cooler. However, you could consider getting a cooler that has dual climate control.

Block Those UV Rays

Did you know that ultraviolet lights are harmful to wine? The more UV rays that wine is exposed to, the more that it changes the original flavor. One way around this is to look for wine coolers that block UV rays. They typically come with special filters for the glass doors. The filters allow you to still peer into the cabinets, but they prevent UV light from passing through. This feature typically doesn’t cost much and will do your wine a world of good.

Finding the right wine cooler can help you store your bottles properly for a long time to come. If you love drinking wine, you don’t want to be without at least one wine cooler that can keep it at the correct temperature. Considering the above factors will ensure that you never waste a perfectly good bottle of wine again.

Is it Too Late to Start a Blog?

Many people wonder if it is too late for them to start a blog. The truth is that it is never too late to start a blog. Even if your company has been going for a while, you can still benefit from a blog. Of course, most experts recommend that you start a blog long before you ever start a business. But if you are considering blogging, there are some pretty compelling reasons to do it.

Benefits of a Blog

First let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a blog. One of the first benefits to be aware of is that blogs drive traffic. If your business is an online business, and you sell items or services from your website, then you are always looking to get more traffic. Although a blog post will drive traffic to the blog, you can always redirect that traffic back to your sales page by including links within the content or sales widgets on the sidebar. In addition, blogs get you indexed for more keyword terms. This this is especially true for longtail keywords, which is going to drive a significant portion of your traffic. Finally, a blog allows you to communicate with your customer and let them get to know your company better – especially you as a thought leader and industry expert.

How to Create a Blog

So how do you create a blog? In order to create your first blog, you have to make a few choices. The first is whether you are going to use a blogging service like WordPress (the website not the platform) or Blogger, or whether you’re going to install the WordPress platform on your own website and blog there. You also have to choose a name for your blog and decide what sort of content you are going to include. You also want to figure out what sorts of keywords you want to target with your blog posts, which is what we will get into in the next step.

What to Write Blog Posts about

Figuring out what to write your blog posts about is something that everyone struggles with. Many companies write about things that interest them and those within their company, without thinking about how a customer would perceive it. Your blog post should solve a person’s problem or give them information that they needed. A blog post is not an opportunity to pitch someone your products. You can still get that traffic redirected to your sales pages if you do it carefully. In fact, let’s take a look at exactly how to do that in the next section.

How to Use a Blog to Increase Sales

If you want to use your blog to increase sales there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is one of the benefits of having a blog. But the way that you go about increasing those sales is important. For example, your blog post should be nothing more than that – a blog post. If you want, you can link to your sales pages or mention items briefly that apply to the content, or you can post a widget on the sidebar with your items for sale. But the blog post itself should be about the topic. Another way that you can use the blog post to increase sales is by getting people to sign up for your mailing list after they have read the content. This may also be done through the sidebar or through a link somewhere in the content. These are both great ways of using your blog to increase sales.