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Showing posts from February, 2021

Increasing Vitamin D Production

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have advocated walking outside. I had multiple reasons for suggesting this activity. Walking outside gives you a different environment than an at-home environment. You can see other people, and people need other people. We are social creatures, and none of us live in a vacuum. Seeing other people and being around others stimulates thoughts and also boosts moods. The fresh air also diffuses molecules. The more air you have to breathe, the more air molecules your body has to choose from. That means that smaller molecules (or even larger ones) have a harder time circulating directly into your breathing space. When you are inside, because the molecules float around the building or space all the time, you can actually develop sick building syndrome (SBS). Walking outside is also a great way to get sunlight. Direct or indirect sunlight helps with Vitamin D production. When you are outside, Vitamin D production can occur when the ultraviolet sun rays

Keep Moving In the Winter

Over the weekend, we had a beautiful snowfall. After a couple of days of rest and relaxation at home, I had to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and the new-fallen snow. Fortunately, temperatures were above freezing. The ground was still covered with slush, and I put my boots on and took a walk on the trail. I made sure that I bundled up with my warm winter coat (I have different coats that are comfortable in different temperatures), my hat, my gloves, my scarf, and warmer socks than usual. People who live in cold weather climates know that no matter how hard you try, your feet may get cold and wet when you are outside. I was excited to get out on the trail that particularly snowy day. I love the feeling of the air when it is crisp and fresh. It feels clean. I left my music at home and listened to the sound of nature, the sound of my feet as they slushed across the ground, the sound of the river flowing, the sound of the birds warbling in the trees. I listened to the sound of my brea

Moving in the Environment

We have all heard the saying that your environment can greatly affect your success or happiness. As someone who has recently changed environments, I know how true that is. We can be in an environment that is physically or aesthetically pleasing, and there are things in that environment that affect us positively or negatively. The same can happen as we move in our environment. We can choose to have either a positive or negative impact on the environment.  This week, I am walking 13,300 steps or 6.0 miles a day for 5 days a week. That's a lot of steps, and I have to do them outside or else I would be walking at home for several hours at once to get my steps in. When I walk, I occasionally take a small hike into a wooded area. I don't go hiking very far by myself because that could potentially be very dangerous. With long hikes, you always should have a hiking buddy. I learned that as a young girl growing up in Iowa. We would take class trips and hike around the reservoir where I

An Ounce of Suicide Prevention

Several years ago, two young boys committed suicide in the city where I lived. They were friends, and their deaths were only a year or so apart. The boys reportedly were bullied at school repeatedly and told to "go kill yourself." The part that I found most disturbing that eventually came out in the case was that the bullies also told these boys how to kill themselves. As someone who had worked in healthcare for almost two decades at that point and who had worked with special needs children and families, I was devastated and deeply saddened. I recall mentioning this case to a young person in my household who was the same age as these boys. His response was, "They weren't friends of mine, so it doesn't matter." I'm pretty sure my head spun around and nearly popped off my body at that point. I wondered how we had children in our community who valued life so little that "it doesn't matter" was deemed an acceptable response. I was further dis