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Brookhaven Retreat Blog - For inspiration, growth & a fresh perspective.

Mental Health Month

Wednesday, 25 May 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
Too many of us take our mental health for granted without realizing how many people we know actually suffer on a regular basis. Sure, we may have time in our lives when we slip into brief bouts of depression or have passing anxiety or even experience panic attacks during especially difficult times. But unless you live with a mental illness every day, you may not realize what a struggle it can be. The simplest of tasks may take longer, feel harder or even impossible sometimes. Getting out of bed, if…

The end is near . . .

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 00:00  by Caitlin Y.
The end is near . . . The end of the school-year, that is! The Facebook posts have been filling up my newsfeed with ideas for parents on how to avoid the inevitable “boredom” epidemic. In the past few years I have started out strong with great ideas and distractions but eventually lost steam along the way. As the end of summer came around our home had become a myriad of art projects, our yard was full of DIY creations (some completed…some not), and I was exhausted! Although this is…
Summer is coming and the desire to eat more fish, especially if you live near the shore, seems to increase with the temperature. We all know fish is a nutrient-dense food that should be on your regular rotation list. But too often the mania surrounding us makes us opt to microwave it because it’s quick and alleviates the sting of a dinnertime crisis. (That’s when the dinner bell rings and not only is there nothing on the table, but you haven’t begun to decide what to make.) Another mistake we…
Since I was a child I have taken on the role of a caregiver, and ingrained it into my identity. I was taught from an early age to care for others, to be aware of their needs, and volunteer. These things come natural to me, and instead of a place of obligation, it comes from a place of love. Caring for others became as common a task as doing laundry or going grocery shopping. I usually wanted to spend my time with aging relatives or sick friends; I genuinely wanted…

Humor and Pinterest

Saturday, 21 May 2016 00:00  by Jessica K.
I love to laugh. Full out, gut busting laughing that either makes me cry or snort. A lot of times, I laugh at myself. I am really okay with this because I am, at times, a klutz and don’t always think before I do something because I become really excited about an outcome. This excitement doesn’t always lead to the outcome I want and instead of becoming sad or angry, I just end up laughing. The results are, in fact, hilarious. I totally believe in self-care as part of recovery…

Bipolar Awareness

Friday, 20 May 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
Did you know that suicide is the number one cause of premature death among people with bipolar disorder? According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), bipolar disorder results in 9.2 years reduction in the expected life span, and as many as one in five patients with bipolar disorder successfully commits suicide. Once more commonly known as manic-depressive illness, the brain disorder and psychiatric disease can cause mood disorder, a shift in energy, activity levels and dysfunction in all manner of life skills. Vincent Van Gogh was posthumously diagnosed…

10 Foods to Help With Menstrual Cramps

Thursday, 19 May 2016 00:00  by Charity B.
You’ve experienced it: cramps running through your abdomen and it seeming like nothing will help. You’ve taken painkillers, you’ve applied heating pads, you’ve spent a whole day in bed watching Netflix. However, have you ever stopped to think that what you eat during your period – and even the week before – could help your body deal with cramps and reduce other symptoms as well? Eating these ten foods, in addition to other healthy choices, can make a big difference. Water You hear it everywhere, but drinking enough water can…

Self-Empowerment In Spite of Everything

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
Where there’s a will there’s a way. I’ve heard this proverb about a trillion times since I was young, but I never gave it serious thought until now. Have you ever applied the meaning to your own life? To me it means with enough determination you can overcome any obstacle. If I am committed to making something happen, I will do it one way or another, and nothing but the cessation of my own breath will stop me. Now that my longing for improvement in every facet of my life…

Reminders of Hope

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 00:00  by Christina M.
Reminders of hope come in all sorts of packages. I call it hope but it is also the strength and drive to move forward into recovery. I also call it a reminder, because that word implies that the hope and drive was never really gone in the first place. Some people are reminded of this hope and drive by music, family, or a task/career, but whatever it is that ignites the hope it is a moment that changes our perspectives and shifts away from the impossible and looks toward reality.…

Naked Persian Turkey Burgers

Sunday, 15 May 2016 00:00  by Yolanda F.
Summer is coming and the daunting task of swimsuit shopping and going out in public wearing less than usual is not necessarily a happy thought. For some, it can inspire extreme anxiety and behavior that can turn into a full-blown eating disorder. But with almost 10 weeks left, there is still time to take a healthy approach to weight loss. The first thing to do is love yourself no matter what. The second considerate thing to do for yourself is remove the pressure immediately. Let go of it. Unhealthy weight…
Cervantes is the well-known wordsmith that created the timeless tale of Don Quixote. His tale is of a farmer whose perception of reality fades and his imagination takes over as he goes on chivalrous adventures. Cervantes explored various themes in his literature, but I am fascinated with his exploration of sanity. He was so well acquainted with limits of sanity, as he had suffered severe trauma when he was captured by pirates and imprisoned. He related with people who struggled with sanity, and many of his writings explore what sanity…
Everyone knows that exercise is good for the body, but rarely is it regarded as an essential component to mental health as well. In fact, exercise can profoundly and positively have an impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other various mental disorders. When you exercise your brain releases endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals released in the brain that leave you feeling energized and refreshed. Many times, we get distracted by and consumed with the current stresses taking place in our lives. Practicing becoming more aware of when we allow everyday stress…

Anxiety Attacks

Friday, 13 May 2016 00:00  by Brittany F.
When people think about anxiety attacks, most people associate them with hyperventilating and rocking back and forth. But anxiety attacks can take many different forms, such as: Unpredictable bouts of rage or irritability Nit-pickiness (obsessive behavior, which may be part of OCD), and even a hypersensitivity to disarray, chaos, or any sort of change Fast-talking, stuttering, stumbling over words Not talking at all Sitting rigid, staring into space, almost seeming “zoned out” These are just a few, but it gives an idea of the range in which attacks can come.…
Summer is quickly approaching, which means it’s the perfect time to fight depression with some sunshine, times outdoors, exercise, and of course lots and lots of fresh seasonal plants! Colorful fruits and vegetables offer a wide array of essential vitamins and minerals and phytonutreints. Like tomatoes, they are great source of potassium, vitamin C and lycopene that improve skin health, fight cancer and strengthen the immune system. Try these chicken tacos with fresh tomatoes, avocado, lime, cilantro and onions this season! Ingredients: Chicken 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts…
Recap: A little over a year ago, my family started to consider the idea of purchasing an apple tree. Prior to moving to Tennessee, we owned a small plot of land in Pennsylvania. It wasn’t enough for a large orchard (which I believe our family consumes about that many apples in a given year), but it would certainly be sufficient for an apple tree. We began to research and came to find that the process of planting an apple tree was much more complicated and involved than we had originally…
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