4 Faith-Driven Student Athlete Character Builders & Busters Collaborating with Coach Gary Waters

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March Madness is amongst us and we all could probably name our favorite teams! As you know, I’m a huge Auburn fan so I’m excited to see them advancing to Sweet 16! War Eagle! Auburn believes in hard work, character, dedication and integrity.

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When I think about athletics, I know there is a huge amount of discipline and dedication that goes into becoming a great athlete. Some of the best coaches teach character building traits that will impact athletes lives beyond playing sports. I’m teaming up with Coach Gary Waters to bring you a wonderful about character and integrity.

4 Faith-Driven Student Athlete Character Builders & Busters by Coach Gary Waters

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At a time when sports, coaching and even athlete parenting have become a never-ending chase for profit, popularity and prominence, it can be difficult, and sometimes seemingly impossible, to cultivate character and integrity in student athletes—whether they be NCAA-level, high school or even middle school age players. 

Just one quick Google search can reveal the extent to which honor and any notable “code of ethics” in student sports is suffering amid a pervasive glut of incidents from coast to coast involving cheating, abuse, and other forms of misconduct. One particularly high-profile example underscoring how insidious the problem is the FBI investigation revealing that head and assistant coaches were using NCAA monetary profits for bribery gain. This resulted in a mass arrest of head coaches, assistant coaches, and staff members. While this traumatic event changed NCAA college basketball practices interminably for the better, in the process the NCAA board suffered extreme embarrassment and strife from the fraudulent exposure while coaches and other staffers suffered irreparable career damage—not to mention the “collateral damage” to players, their families and the university’s, themselves.

Given what seems to be an endless array of scandals, there is a beacon of light in the form of Coach Gary Waters, a former Kent State, Rutgers, and Cleveland State Head Coach. As one of the nation’s preeminent Character Coaches, Waters urges that parents, coaches, team leaders and anyone engaging with student athletes should establish—and wholeheartedly assure adherence to—a defined set of godly principles that have the express intention of bolstering a student athlete’s character, values, and principles both on and off the court. Coach Waters, believes that character is defined by moral excellence and firmness, having remarked that “that the highest standard of character is set forth in Scripture and is exemplified in Jesus Christ. When a person’s godly principles, ethics and integrity are aligned, staying in the guidelines for the law and regulation comes effortlessly, like a second nature.”

Today more than ever, student athlete coaches and programs are instilling the importance of honor, valor and integrity, and parents at home are eager to follow suit. With this in mind, Coach Waters offers these fundamental basics on what a sports-driven student should do—and not to do—as they endeavor to build character:

***Character Builders – DO This:

Work Hard At What Matters…Fearlessly:

Coach Waters believes, and one can nary disagree, that the effort one puts forth directly correlates with the outcome of what one pursues, and that a great number of those “sweat equity” efforts should be proactively focused on endeavors that further life goals—be those related to athletics, career, relationships, family dynamics, spirituality or other areas of self-improvement and personal growth. Modern-day life is filled with a glut of complexities that can make it difficult to “see the forest through the trees” and aptly discern exactly what matters most in achieving various goals, and prioritizing in kind. It can actually be overwhelming—especially when the goals ahead seem insurmountable or entirely unreachable.

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Time is finite and there’s only so much of it to be had each day, so Coach Waters underscores the importance of allocating dedicated and concerted time on the most meaningful and impactful areas needing attention—those that will yield short term results, but will also be mindful of longer-term objectives. As importantly, Waters also advocates “attacking” one’s goals fearlessly so as to counteract self-doubt, uncertainty, hesitation and other detrimental inner dialogue that can present obstacles and swiftly thwart one’s best hopes and intentions. It’s been said that FEAR stands for “Forget Everything And Run” and, according to Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” fear is “that uncomfortable, disconcerting feeling that causes us to take a back seat in our own life and prevents us from proactively moving forward to reach our goals and aspirations. Instead of facing a personal, business or workplace situation head on and taking control of the proverbial handlebars of life, fear causes us to turn the other way, freeze in our tracks, or poke our head in the sand.”

According to Lewis-Fernandez, fear of failure can be particularly debilitating. “All too often we stop short of attempting something new for fear we might embarrass our self or, worse, fail all together,” she says. “Any given undertaking has the possibility of resulting in failure, which is never a desirable or welcome outcome.  But, when facing something new, a fear of failure can be amplified as anxiety or nerves, and our ‘fight or flight’ instinct kicks in.  These intense feelings can cause us to put our aspirations on the shelf where they can languish in perpetuity.”  She also cites fear of vulnerability as another area of concern.  “While it can be uncomfortable and downright scary to open yourself up and expose your true inner self and your ideas and aspirations to others of importance in your life, doing so can be cathartic – and a true turning point in effecting positive change,” Lewis-Fernandez notes. “Letting down your guard takes courage and strength, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable can help you better relate with people on a more personal level.”

Value And Demonstrate Loyalty:

Loyalty means different things to different people. For Coach Waters, loyalty is about the commitment one makes to a cause, a particular group or specific persons. It involves a feeling of devotion or obligation to someone or something in both good times and bad. Other definitions describe loyalty as involving faithfulness to something or someone to which one is bound by pledge or duty. In all instances, however, loyalty is about integrity—keeping one’s word or upholding expectations of another as demonstrated through one’s actions, optimally in a sustained and habitual manner. Coach Waters believes that ingraining a sense of loyalty in student athletes certainly begins at home, but extends far to other role models—whether they are intentional or incidental. This includes coaches, administrators, teachers and even other players.

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To understand the extent to which one is demonstrating loyalty in their everyday lives, Coach Waters recommends an easy exercise to determine one’s “loyalty score” relating to various endeavors. He suggests doing a self-analysis rating one’s self in relation to a given venture (like loyalty to one’s team or sport at large). On a scale of one to five, ratings can be related to key tenants of loyalty like honesty, trustworthiness, support, generosity, commitment, reliability sincerity, consistency and partiality. Assessing one’s commitment to a specific endeavor with these attributes in mind can be a powerful tool in determining if a better effort needs to be made…and in which areas. Even caregivers, coaches and others can use this tool to rate the student athlete, and then use it as a springboard for discussion that can manifest in a powerful dialogue—a tactical growth moment for all involved.

***Character Busters – DON’T do This:

Demonstrate Undependability

Coach Waters concedes that, amid stressful schedules and demands on a player’s time and resources, remaining dependable and steadfast can be difficult. Worse, he feels there is lessening value being placed on these attributes despite the fact that they can play a critical role in one’s success trajectory. He also feels that all too these traits are being cultivated as it relates to the game itself, but not carried over into other facets of the player’s life and value system overall.  “Success in the classroom and growth in the player’s personal development often isn’t valued, and parents and coaches often aren’t supported in their efforts to help players grow as people…only as players,” he laments. Worse, role models and mentors like coaches themselves often set examples of disloyalty, by foregoing a commitment to their institution in favor of money and acclaim elsewhere.
For a student athlete, they have many ways that they can demonstrate their dependability each day, week and month—both within and outside of their sport. And, Waters suggests proffering rewards for them doing so. Relating to athletics, this can include making a staunch commitment making it to every practice (and on time and fully prepared); being “present” at practice by being fully engaged in the lesson or drill at hand; and being known as someone known for “going the extra mile” to help out other players when needed—whether that’s understanding a play or providing emotional support when things aren’t going well. Outside of sports, dependability can be shown in areas like turning in complete homework on time, every time; being where you say you’ll be at the stated time; handling responsibilities at home like chores in a self-directed manner without need for prompting or reminding; and being willing to “lend a helping hand” or a “supportive ear” when someone is in distress. Doing any of this involves an outward point-of-view and nurturing an altruistic spirit.

Undermine Authority

According to Waters, “Having a reverence for authority, as demonstrated by overtly respectful treatment and regard, is a mission-critical aspect of character building. Respectful behaviors and attitudes should certainly start in the home with parents, but needs to carry over to all others in a student athlete’s life: relatives, coaches, administrators, teammates, referees, friends and even strangers like the elderly. When a fundamental respect for authority doesn’t exist, it becomes a slippery slope that can lead to contentious relationships in every direction, missed opportunities or, in worst case scenarios upon festering longer-term, full expulsion from the team.” This scenario is made far worse when a disrespectful player actually undermines authority at large, such that their actions are making otherslose respect for the authority figure(s) as well, he notes.

This is an insidious situation Waters knows can have a grave effect on a sports program in short order, “corroding the foundational value system needed to have a productive and winning mentality.”

In kind, it’s imperative that student athletes are diverted from this behavior, being redirected to engage in more productive ways. But, what does “undermining authority” look like when not in the form of public back talk, snickering and general rudeness? Rest assured that undermining authority does not always involve obvious discourtesy, but rather can be quite clandestine.  According to Waters, there are some less obvious signs a student athlete may be undermining authority—or anyone for that matter—and need to be course-corrected as part of their character building effort. One red flag he points out is when someone consistently prompts others to defend their opinion, assertion or point-of-view. Those who undermine authority also often dole out “backhanded compliments” that actually serve to reference or highlight a negative aspect of a situation in a counterpoint contrast to the positive. A third thing to watch out for according to Waters is subversive advice packaged as being helpful, like an alternate plan purported to be advantageous for the authority figure (or group at large) when, in fact, more selfish motives and benefits are at hand. Knowing what to look for is key for helping student athletes avoid this kind of surreptitious or even inadvertent self-destructive behavior.

For coaches, parents and other ‘key influencers,’ it’s imperative to not only push physical development of a student athlete but also instill a reverence for character development founded on a stated and shared value and belief system—a critical facet of their personal growth and development and one entirely under their span of control. Student advisors must also lead by example and walk the walk, making being principle and ideology-driven a cyclical endeavor without hypocrisy. Only then can the student, team, family, game, school, program and industry at large be elevated, allowing everyone to reach their full potential.

As John Wooden famously said about coaches, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Morning Routines- featuring Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter

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Hi Friends!

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You’re either a morning person, a night owl or a mixture of both and I tend to be a mixture of both a morning person and a night owl. But, I can honestly say that I love morning routines. There’s something about starting your morning on track that makes your entire day go smoother. This week, I’ve teamed up with Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter to bring your some tips on how to make your morning routines less stressful. I hope you find all of these tips useful.

4 Tips For Creating Less Chaotic,

More Productive Mornings

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When the alarm rings each morning, do you arise quickly, eager to take on whatever the day brings?

Or do you drowsily reach for the snooze button?

Your answer could be crucial because the mindset you start the day with can play a significant role in whether the rest of your day is filled with successes or setbacks.

“Every time the sun rises, so do new opportunities to grow, develop and improve,” says Dr. Rob Carter III, co-author with his wife, Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter, of The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life(www.themorningmind.com).

But to make the most of those opportunities, you may need to adjust your morning routine to better prepare your mind and body for what’s to come.

“Your morning routine can be as little as 15 to 20 minutes if you like,” Carter says,  “but the idea is to have time dedicated to you and habits that support you.”

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Carter offers these suggestions for starting the day right:

Plan your day the night before. A peaceful morning can quickly turn chaotic if you don’t have things carefully planned out. “It’s not unusual for people to be heading out the door and discover they can’t find their car keys,” Carter says. A lot of morning stress can be relieved by planning your day the night before, he says, such as deciding what clothes to wear, making sure your phone is charged, and writing the next day’s to-do list.

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Make time for yourself. If you’re married with kids, this can be a challenge. But Carter says everyone needs time for reflection, which is unlikely to happen unless you make it a priority. Set aside time to meditate, pray, do yoga or even do nothing for 10 minutes. “Spending time by yourself,” he says, “allows you to reflect on life’s happenings and can increase productivity and focus, and make you appreciate time with others more.”

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Minimize noise and distractions. Many people start the day by turning on the TV, the radio or other devices. Avoid that urge, Carter says. Instead, devote your energy to getting yourself mentally focused for the day. “You definitely want to avoid watching the news if at all possible,” he says, “because the often-stressful images you’ll see aren’t conducive to a peaceful morning.”

Create a morning-exercise routine. Exercising gives you a sense of achievement to start the day with, provides you with more energy for the rest of the day, improves your mood, and makes you feel in control of your life. “Research shows that people who exercise in the morning are more consistent with their routine than those who try to fit exercise into their schedule later in the day,” Carter says.

“The most important thing about a morning routine is that you create one that you enjoy so much you will stick to it,” Carter says. “If you begin to realize that any aspects are not making you feel good, then get rid of them and replace them with something better.”

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About Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter

Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter are co-authors of The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life(www.themorningmind.com). Rob Carter is a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, an expert in human performance and physiology, and has academic appointments in emergency medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, in public health and health sciences at Los Angeles Pacific University, and in nutrition at the University of Maryland, University College. Kirti Carter was born in Pune, India, and received her medical education in India, where she practiced as an intensive-care physician before moving to Texas to complete postgraduate training in public health. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress (FAIS), has more than 18 years of experience in meditation and breathing techniques, and has been facilitating wellness seminars for the past decade.

Surprising Skin Sins That Age Your Face with Dr. Manish Shah.

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Your skin is the biggest organ in your body, so it’s not surprising to find out that we do a lot of things to harm our skin within our daily routines. Well, today I’ve teamed up with a skin expert to bring you some amazing advice for the spring and summer months. Let me know in the comments which one of these habits you have and plan on changing. 

SURPRISING SKIN SINS THAT AGE YOUR FACE

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Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that smoking, not wearing sunscreen and going to bed with your makeup on hardly produces the coveted look of Instagram’s “glass skin.”  Aside from these three ‘skin sins’ there are many others that are not so obvious. We turned to Denver Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Manish Shah who is a big believer in pre-juvenation and a holistic approach to youth. 

 Inconsistent Dieting

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“Many people think caring for your skin is skin-deep,” quips Dr. Shah. “It is not.“ Inconsistent or inadequate nutrition that has your body mass and weight moving in a yo-yo motion up and down the scale can contribute to ruined elasticity and reduced collagen in the skin. This is part of the reason why specialists will recommend a two-pound maximum weight loss goal per week because your skin needs time to adapt to the loss of mass. Dr. Shah explains that the skin needs to be nourished from the inside as well and many of the trend diets like keto and paleo focus on one group of food and though it can help keep a caloric deficit, it can also create a deficit of the necessary vitamins and minerals you need to keep your skin looking healthy.

Drinking Too Much Coffee

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“Excessive amounts of caffeine can increase the levels of insulin and cortisol in the system,” explains Dr. Shah.  Insulin increases inflammation and cortisol is known as the stress hormone. This combination could mix up your sleeping habits and contribute to continued stress which can lead to sleep deprivation. “Sleep deprivation prevents that regenerative rest our skin and mind need to stay healthy.”

Neglecting the Skin Around Your Eyes

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“The skin around your eyes is the thinnest and has very few oil glands,” says Dr. Shah. Pamper your eyes and stave off signs of aging by choosing a daily eye cream that includes peptides. Dr. Shah explains, “They work to stimulate collagen production and prevent fine lines. Be sure to check the label.” Other notable ingredients that reduce puffiness, lines, wrinkles, and under eye circles are caffeine and nicotinic acid (a form of the B vitamin niacin).

Expecting Instant Results from Beauty Treatments

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Most of us are guilty of trying a face cream or anti-aging treatment once or twice and then giving up on it before it has had a chance to work. A majority of anti-aging treatments take up to a month to begin showing positive effects. Dr. Shah explains, “This is due to the cycle of your skin, which undergoes a period of cellular structure renewal over a span of 30 days. In our instant gratification mode, we often toss a product before giving it time to work.”

Taking Medications With Side-Effects on the Skin

Certain medications like corticosteroids for asthma and arthritis cause the skin to thin and weakens blood vessels. Medicine to treat seizures can cause heightened sensitivity to sun damage in the skin which is a common perpetrator in premature aging. Blood pressure medications that block calcium channels have been studied in relation to their inhibition of collagen production by obstructing the absorption of vitamin C by the cells. Vitamin C is an important part of collagen production.  “If these medications are being prescribed to you by your physician then the benefits outweigh their effect on collagen production. There is no need to stress over this, as long as you take care of your skin in other ways you should be fine,” explains Dr. Shah.

 Consuming Excessive Amounts of Salt

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“By all measures, an excess of salt in your diet is detrimental to your kidneys, your cardiovascular health and, yes, your skin,” says Dr. Shah. Salt absorbs moisture and it can aid in making your skin look dry and less vibrant. Reducing your sodium intake and sticking to a moisturizing routine should help your skin stay healthy and smooth.

 Facial Expressions

Every time you move that beautiful face, your skin wrinkles a little bit. Most of the time your face bounces back and those little wrinkles disappear once new skin cells grow.

Soap

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While you may think that soap is your skin’s best friend, this is actually not the case. The reason for this is that your skin has an acid mantle which is a natural protective barrier of the skin. When you wash with soap – which is generally alkaline – it can remove this protective layer of oils and dry out the skin, eventually leading to wrinkles. Dr. Shah says that “While it is not advisable to stop washing entirely, try swapping the soap for a PH-neutral and chemical-free cleanser, and bear in mind that there is such a thing as over-cleansing your skin.”

 Tugging on Your Skin While Applying or Removing Makeup

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To minimize the damage to the skin around your eyes, follow these quick tips from Dr. Shah:

Use your ring finger to pat on products around your eyes, including serums, oils, moisturizers, and concealers. Your ring finger is the least likely to pull or tug at your skin.

Apply eyeliner and eyeshadow by gently closing your eyelids, rather than by pulling them taut. If you’re struggling to apply without pulling, consider investing in products that are made to apply smoothly, like cream or gel formulas.

Have patience when removing makeup from the eye area. Use cotton or another soft product, coated well with your favorite makeup removing solution. Hold the cotton over your closed eye without wiping, allowing the product to break down the makeup. After a minute or so, wipe gently to remove the makeup.

 Picking Your Skin

You’re not a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician. You should not be picking at your pimples, ingrown hairs, or anywhere else on your face. It’s one of the biggest assaults against your skin and can have permanent effects. “The more people press and manipulate blemishes, the more inflammation they create underneath,” explains Dr. Shah. “The result is scars, pockmarks, and discoloration that can become permanent.”

Licking Your Lips Constantly

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There’s a myth out there that claims people can get addicted to lip balm. “These people just have dry skin and miss the feeling of the balm when it’s gone,” says Dr. Shah. Lip licking can become a bad habit. But when you moisten your lips that way, you actually wind up making things worse. The water in your saliva evaporates, leaving lips dry and cracked. “Saliva can contain bacteria and irritants, so you can end up with a rash around the lips as well,” says Dr. Shah. Try a lip balm such as Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm, Original Beeswax with Vitamin E & Peppermint Oil.

 

 

 

Becoming Your Best Self, featuring Ray of Hope Counseling

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Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

– E.E. Cummings

 It’s important to remember, the things we do in this life don’t need validation from others. When you place your self esteem in the hands of other people, you will always find yourself questioning your worth. Healthy self esteem is an essential component to leading a healthy life. It’s important to know that you are enough. “Many people base their self-esteem on external factors, such as how much money they earn, how much they weigh and whether people like and appreciate them. If one of these external variables change, self-esteem can be broadly affected. For example, if your self-esteem is based on the fact that someone else loves you, then you risk feeling extremely vulnerable and worthless if that person’s love ends. By the same token, building self-esteem is not an easy task if you have been abused or have suffered years of personal or professional failure.”- Dr. Lynn Ponton, Building Self Esteem 

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So, how do you remain positive when society often pressures people to compare and compete? Know your worth. We live in a fast paced, digital/social media society that consistently places worth on outward things. But, what happens when you realize that your value isn’t determined by what you have or don’t have?  Value comes from knowing who you are as a person. Take the time to learn your likes and dislikes. Know your abilities and talents. Know what you will and won’t tolerate.Take the time to inventory the skills you’d like to become better at, but don’t look at growth as a shortcoming. The process of learning something new is beneficial and ultimately growth changes your perspective.

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Next, surround yourself with uplifting people who accept you right where you are in this life. You should be the best version of yourself when you’re around close friends and family and you shouldn’t have to downplay your personality, talents, likes or dislikes. It’s important to be cognizant of the fact that everyone is unique and capable. Open minded, kind souls often make the best friends because they encourage you and inspire you to be great. Everyone should be heard and feel appreciated. Life looks different when you have people in your corner. Your close circle of friends should be filled with people who are rooting for your rise.

Low self esteem often causes self doubt, anxiety and depression. Seeking the help of a Mental Health Professional may be beneficial in order to rebuild your self esteem and self worth. As a therapist, I believe it’s important to remain in a healthy state physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Seeking guidance from a therapist will not only help you navigate through tough times, but you will also gain a greater sense of who you are as a person.

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If you’re in the Atlanta area and you’re seeking a compassionate group of therapists, be sure to check out Ray of Hope Counseling. Clinic Director, Lynn Thompson Umstead, LPC, NCC, CIRT, CAMS is the founder and clinical director of Ray of Hope Counseling Services, Inc. She is a trained mental health professional, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science degree in Clinical Psychology. In addition, she is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a certification as an Imago Relationship Therapist (CIRT). Lynn also holds a certification as an Anger Management Specialist (CAMS). She is registered by the state of GA as a Civil and Divorce Mediator. Lynn is a National Certified Counselor and is a member of the Licensed Professional Counselor’s Association of Georgia. She has had experience in a wide variety of settings when working with individuals, couples, and families. These settings include in-home therapy, in-patient and out-patient hospitalization programs, group homes, administration of psychological testing in private practice and in a hospital environment. Lynn is also Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) trained (for More Info Click here). EMDR is a powerful psychotherapy approach that helps relieve many types of psychological distress as well as treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Currently Lynn treats clients in a private practice setting, and supervises interns and therapist working toward full licensure. For more information about Ray of Hope Counseling, visit their websiteRay of Hope Counseling Services. Help is out there. Never be afraid to take step toward becoming your best self. 

 

Myro Collaboration

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D9DDCA66-525B-4C82-8946-EEF3E31C8635.jpegI love sharing all things natural, so when I had a chance to collaborate with @itsmymyro I was so excited to try plant based deodorant. So, basically the entire system is $10.00. You select the color of your case and the scent of deodorant-That’s it. Replacements arrive every three months. You get to choose whether you want to change the scent or pause the shipment. I chose the scent “solar flare.” With no aluminum, parabens, phthalates or talc to mess with your day. Only clean ingredients, barley powder to keep you dry and essential oils that release scent over time, not all at once.

I love the fact that I’m wearing a natural product that smells good and it’s long lasting. I have been so cautious about products with toxic additives. Be sure to head on over to @itsmymyro for more details. Myro

Financial Stress

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Throughout life, my family has taught me the importance of investing in myself, my future and my finances. Budgeting comes second nature to me because it’s an important concept that I was taught at an early age. I believe it’s never too late to start gaining knowledge that’s needed to plan for later in your life. Financial stress could potentially happen to any of us, but it’s important to plan for potential setbacks.

So, how does a person try to avoid financial stress? First, have a plan. Whether your plan includes details for a month from now, 5 years or 10 years from now, map out a solid plan of life goals and the finances that will be needed in order to obtain those specific goals. Second, have an emergency fund in place should an unforseeable event happen that causes you to be out of work. Whether it be a layoff, sickness, family emergency or a life event-always do your best to have a plan in place should unexpected life events happen.

Financial stress often takes a physical toll on our bodies. Worry and stress cause migraines, depression and other chronic conditions that can be a detriment to your health. The American Psychological Association says, “Stress about money and finances appears to have a significant impact on many Americans’ lives. Some are putting their health-care needs on hold because of financial concerns. Nearly 1 in 5 Americans say that they have either considered skipping (9 percent) or skipped (12 percent) going to a doctor when they needed health care because of financial concerns. Stress about money also affects relationships: Almost a third of adults with partners (31 percent) report that money is a major source of conflict in their relationships.”

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Developing a lifestyle that incorporates less stress about your finances may be difficult at first, but it’s definitely beneficial to your overall health. For me, I’ve adopted the pay yourself rule. Every month, I have a set amount of money that goes toward recurring monthly expenses first, I then deposit a large percentage of my earnings into my savings account and the money I have left over, I deposit into an account that is specifically for entertainment. I’m a free spirit. I enjoy spontaneous trips. I love traveling and I enjoy getting away at a moments notice for a relaxing weekend trip. I fund my weekend trips by planning ahead. I believe it’s important to enjoy your life, but you also have to live responsibly.

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How do you differentiate between a want and a need? Having the necessary essentials in life is great. I believe anything over and above is a WANT not necessarily a NEED. A year ago, I purchased a new car, I’m in the process of starting another business and I’m also looking at relocating. Essentially, all of my financial goals have been geared toward a new step in my life.  As an entrepreneur, it’s important to me that I not only have a plan in place, but I also have several backup plans prepared to implement in the event my plans don’t work out the way I thought they would.

So, what are some ways to reduce the amount of money you spend on a daily basis? Think of the things you enjoy and make a chart of how much you’d be saving if you enjoyed those things a few times a week versus every day. For instance, if you’re a coffee drinker and you enjoy fancy coffee that costs $8.00 a day, make your own coffee at home a few days a week. If you eat out every day, pack a lunch a few days a week instead of eating at a restaurant. You would be surprised at the amount of money you will save just by making small changes to your daily habits.

So, what if you’re already in financial hardship and you need help right now?  Chapes-JPL has specific programs that may be of assistance to you. Chapes-JPL has one simple goal, to provide affordable asset loans on jewelry, gold, diamonds, watches, and other valuable assets, at a low rate and at fair value.They offer loans as low as $100 and as high as $5 Million at some of the best interest loan rates in the industry.Unlike typical pawn shops that lend at extremely high rates (and in public storefronts for the world to see), Chapes-JPL provides loans at low rate and in private financial offices. You can feel much more confident when you reach out to a business that’s committed to helping those in need. Connect with Chapes-JPL and their wonderful staff by visiting their website. Chapes-JPL

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Article Feature: Burn Baby, Burn: HOT Cardio Tips for the New Year! By Julio A. Salado, NSCA-RCPT*D

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Warning: The following HOT cardio tips may result in a NEW leaner you.

Do you spend forty-five minutes on the treadmill three times a week or log 15,000 steps a day, and eat healthfully but see no progress toward your weight-loss goal? Or worse, have you gained weight while doing “all the right things”?

Before we go any further, it’s important to give yourself kudos for putting in the time to reach your fitness goals. You are light years ahead of those who are “thinking” about starting a body- sculpting program. It is important to stay active and educate yourself about how to be more efficient with your time.

Effort is important, but knowing where to channel your effort makes a big difference.

To that end, it is necessary to understand how to select cardio equipment with the appropriate intensity to overcome weight-loss plateaus.

My advice will help you channel your energy and understand how to select and set cardio equipment with the appropriate intensity for overcoming fat loss.

Let’s begin with a review of universal principles used by all weight-loss programs, which includes energy balance, energy expenditure, and caloric deficit.

Without a continuous caloric deficit from either food consumed or physical activity (or a combination of both) that measures below your personal total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), you will not lose weight.

Healthy weight loss may vary from half a pound to two-plus pounds per week. It will depend on your current weight, average caloric intake, and/or caloric expenditure from exercising prior to initiating a weight-loss program.

Body transformation results arise from your consistency and adhering to the guidelines of the diet that are designed for a caloric deficit and physical activities geared for specific energy expenditure.

Fine-tuning your cardio workout by choosing the most effective settings will fast-track your weight loss.

Most of the cardio equipment (treadmill, arc trainer, ellipticals, rowers, spin bikes) will measure your energy expenditure either in “METs” or “Watts.”

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METs (Metabolic Equivalent of Tasks) is simply a measurement of how many units of energy is required for the duration of the activity.

For example, walking on the treadmill for 45 minutes at 4 mph equals 5 METs, according to the 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21681120.

Watts is a unit that measures the power you generate during an activity.

You can use either of these measurements for your cardio exercise.

Here are the steps to jumpstart your weight-loss goal using “The A.I.M. Method”!

What is The A.I.M. Method?

A program that teaches you about your innate potential and helps you optimize your results

  • Assess your goals and use science-based tools to personalize and create a realistic and measurable program.
  • Initiate the customized nutrition and exercise prescription with a purpose.
  • Motivation will be gained from learning how to overcome your own challenges and avoid common setbacks.

We first need to Assess your baseline of Watts or METS for your normal duration of cardio.

  • Write down how long you use a particular piece of equipment and your average Watts or METS.

The next step is to Initiate your cardio program!

Do the following for the next two weeks:

  • If you use METs, then increase your average by 1.5- 3 METS.
  • If you use Watts, then increase your average by 15-30 Watts.
  • You do not need to change the duration of your cardio routine.
  •  However, you should explore other cardio equipment that will result in the MOST METS or Watts used for the same duration. Usually this is equipment that utilizes both the upper and lower body.

Lastly is the Motivation to continue daily efforts conducive to your goal.

  • At the end of two weeks, compare the average to your baseline. Note your progress!
  • Decide whether to keep the new average or incrementally increase it for the next two weeks.

The A.I.M. Method is from my book, “BREAK OUT of Breaking Even”, 3-Step Method for PROVEN Long-Term Results.”

The A.I.M. Method is NOT a diet, nor is it a linear weight-loss process. Any setbacks will become learning experiences about how to overcome challenges whether you have sugar cravings, can’t find the time to work out, or feel unsure how to begin. Let The A.I.M. Method navigate you through your weight-loss journey and become the compass to help you reach your goal.

Most people can lose weight; however, keeping the weight off for the long term tends to be more difficult.

With “BREAK OUT of Breaking Even” you will no longer lose or gain weight without knowing why and learning how to overcome it!

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Julio Salado, a native of Boston, is the founder of fitnessfoundry.net (www.fitnessfoundry.net), a leading online resource for health and fitness. For more than a decade he has been helping individuals achieve their body sculpting and personal training goals. He was recently voted Boston’s #2 best personal trainer by Boston A-List. He is the author of Break out of Breaking Even!

Green Denistry Featuring Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS

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5 Reasons Green Dentistry Is Gaining Popularity
For a growing number of patients, a trip to the dentist isn’t what it used to be – and that’s how they want it.
Rather than just a routine “drill-and-fill” for a cavity, they may receive a head massage,  meditative advice and diet suggestions that would seem more befitting a gastroenterologist. What they won’t receive are traditional amalgam fillings – about 50 percent of which are composed of mercury, which has been associated with numerous health issues and is considered an environmental hazard.

This emerging branch of dentistry – which dental professionals say is largely patient-driven – is called “holistic” or “holistic biological.” Holistic dentists believe that poor oral health leads to poor physical health. They perform traditional procedures but consider the whole body – diet, lifestyle, emotional health – when treating teeth. They also focus on using what they consider to be safer materials.

 

“It’s the opposite of common dental culture, which is simply ‘drill and fill,’ ” says Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS (www.sfgreendentist.com), author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. “Holistic dentistry is looking at and addressing the underlying causes for gum disease and cavities; for example, is it your diet, hormonal changes, or acid reflux?
“For many years in the dental profession, it was assumed that your oral health had only a tangential effect on your overall health. We now know better.”
Dr. Patel provides five reasons holistic dentistry is trending up as a treatment approach by patients:
  • Focus on the whole body and root cause. Holistic dentistry looks beyond symptoms to find root causes for dental issues while expanding methods of preventive care. “It’s a deeper look at a patient that offers them numerous benefits when considering diet and lifestyle and how it all connects with oral health,” Dr. Patel says.
  • Minimally-invasive treatments. “The focus is on helping patients avoid unnecessary, painful and drawn-out procedures that can hurt overall well-being,” Dr. Patel says. “That doesn’t mean sacrificing high-tech treatments for disease. Laser treatments for gum disease and cleaning are one example of minimally-invasive. The latter does a great job of destroying bacteria that are the biggest danger to your oral health. Air abrasion and ozone therapy are effective other effective minimally-invasive procedures.
  • Biocompatible and non-toxic materials. Holistic dentists will remove amalgam (mercury) fillings and favor dental appliances made from more natural substances. “A traditional approach to dentistry often uses mercury fillings or crowns and other harmful materials when treating dental issues,” Dr. Patel says. “Research has shown all kinds of health problems related to mercury, from thyroid issues to Alzheimer’s. Holistic dentistry will use non-toxic resins and materials fully compatible with the body.”
  • Alternatives to root canals. Dr. Patel says holistic dentists are more likely to look at alternatives, such as herbs, laser therapy, or extractions. A key reason: “Research shows unless root canals are completely sterilized and cleaned of all bacteria, the bacteria can get in the bloodstream can cause chronic health complications,” Dr. Patel says.
  • Balances cosmetics and function. “Missing, damaged, or crooked teeth can make you feel self-conscious and affect your quality of life,” Dr. Patel notes. “Holistic care takes a balanced approach to both form and function when developing a dental care plan. For example, if you’re worried about stained teeth, they’ll guide you first to healthy foods that alleviate the problem.”
“Holistic dentistry is committed to making sure you’re comfortable, making your teeth last a lifetime, and using the most natural materials available,” Dr. Patel says.
About Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS
Dr. Nammy Patel, DDS (www.sfgreendentist.com) operates a practice called Green Dentistry in San Francisco and is the author of Age With Style: Your Guide To A Youthful Smile & Healthy Living. A graduate of the University of California’s School of Dentistry, she is a leader in the movement to bring environmental sanity and well-being into the dental world. Dr. Patel focuses on helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health.

Saranghae Skincare Love Story

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Love the Skin You’re In

Let’s face it, friends. Skin is a topic that always seems to come up at various stages in our lives. And, although many of us have had ups and downs with our skin, it’s so important to love who you are. You were uniquely made and created to be exactly who you are. When I think of self love, I think of taking care of yourself after a busy week. Or maybe taking time to spend some time relaxing and doing the things you love. It’s so important to lead a balanced life that includes hard work AND relaxation. Is this easier said that done? Sometimes, but when you learn to set aside time for yourself, your body will thank you.

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So, let’s talk skin. I grew up competing in beauty pageants, so skin became important to me early on. In my teen years and into my early twenties, I started to have trouble with cystic acne. You know, the acne that is super noticeable… I would try products televised on tv and they’d work a little while, but I would always stop seeing results after a few months. I finally decided that I would go to see a Dermatologist. After seeing a Dermatologist, it was recommended that I start a series of Glycolic Treatments. After I started Glycolic Treatments, my skin started to respond in such a huge way. For the first time, my skin actually began healing. It was such a great feeling to see my skin improving. Since my 20’s, I’ve been someone who hasn’t had many issues with my skin breakout wise, but I have developed sensitive skin. Which is the reason I spend so much time researching products before I ever use them on my skin.

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As a blogger, I have an awesome opportunity to try many different skincare brands and if they’re not legit-I don’t share them with my readers. I believe in authenticity and integrity within my brand. Every brand that I choose to share has changed my skin in a great way, and that’s why I love Saranghae Skincare. Saranghae knows skincare and their brand is authentic, top notch and cutting edge. The first couple of times using Saranghae, I noticed my skin was dewy and glowing. I believe you can truly tell the difference when you’re applying quality products with nourishing ingredients on your skin. I’m always cautious of new brands because of skin sensitivity, but after using Saranghae, I had no skin sensitivity. Yes, you read that correctly. No sensitivity at all. 

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So, who would I recommend these products to? Anyone who is willing to make an investment on their skin. We spend money hundreds of dollars on makeup, but often times we skimp on facial products. If you’re willing to make an investment on your skin and take the time to care for your skin, I guarantee the results will be worthwhile. I encourage you to embark on a journey that includes loving yourself from the inside out and loving the beautiful skin you’re in. There’s only one you. Be sure to check out Saranghea on all social channels. You won’t regret purchasing their products! If you do purchase their products and you aren’t satisfied, Saranghae offers a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee. 

5524DE2D-6DA3-447E-A8BA-80E7A2E0074Dhttp://www.lovesaranghae.com http://www.facebook.com/lovesaranghaeskin http://www.instagram.com/lovesaranghaeskin http://www.pinterest.com/lovesaranghae http://www.twitter.com/saranghaeskin

DADFFBE5-57AD-4F26-8A59-155789293F99.jpegFor more information please visit: Saranghae

Burst Oral Care Collaboration

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Hey Friends!

I’ve been collaborating with @toothbrushlife and @burstoralcare the past three weeks, so I’m giving you my honest opinion tonight. I’ve been searching for a sonic toothbrush that provides great results and I’m so happy with this one. My teeth feel so smooth after using this brush. I love the fact that this toothbrush has 3 different modes. My teeth actually feel super clean like they do whenever I leave the Dentist’s office after a cleaning. To give you a little bit of background, I wore braces for several years in high school and college. I’ve always had very white teeth, but after wearing braces I noticed the color of my teeth changed a little bit. So, after that, I began using items that would give me a vibrant smile. I’ve switched back and forth between a manual toothbrush and the results aren’t the same. Its a new year and if you’re someone that would like to try an awesome toothbrush head on over to @toothbrushlife. Y’all want to join me? Head on over this link to purchase your own. There’s even a 40 percent off coupon! Head over to burstoralcare.com and use the code: FFERVX to receive a 40 percent discount. I’ll add a swipe up link in my stories for those that are interested. Happy Sunday!

https://www.burstoralcare.com/product/toothbrush?coupon_code=FFERVX