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Maggie DeMellier

Maggie DeMellier

Maggie DeMellier has been Health Journeys go-to customer service representative and marketing associate since March 2012. She worked as a surgical technician and pharmacy technician before she earned a BA in Mass Media Communication at The University of Akron. She operates a freelance writing business, specializing in medical ads, news articles, police blotters, features and business writing.  She was a teacher at a career college for six years, and earned a MA in Forensic Psychology in 2010. Maggie is the co-author of Parenting by Law or Grace, published by Synchronisity Press, in 2004.

"Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all."—Bill Clinton

This year, for Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 4-10, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has chosen the theme StigmaFree.

Each year, during the first week of October, NAMI and its participants across the country bring awareness, fight stigma, provide support for those with mental illness, educate the public and advocate for equal care. By taking the StigmaFree pledge, we are asked to:

  • Learn about mental health—educate ourselves and others

  • See the person not the illness—strive to listen, understand, tell our own story

  • Take action—spread the word, raise awareness, make a difference

September iis Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month.

An eye-opener for me was learning about the many ways people sustain brain injuries. Professional athletes, boxers and veterans of military combat are high-risk for TBI, but so are high school, middle school and even elementary school athletes, infants who are shaken and victims of domestic violence.

Here at Health Journeys, we have heard from an increasing number of people seeking guided imagery resources to accompany treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI). Many of them are practitioners who request information about Belleruth's Guided Meditation for Traumatic Brain Injury audio program for their clients.

Last week's blog for September is Healthy Aging Month was all about attitude. This week, we take a look at some recommendations for maintaining physical health while keeping that positive attitude.

Get Proper Nutrition: That means eating well and when necessary, taking nutritional supplements. We hear the virtues of nutrients like Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, Omega 3 fatty acids and even dark chocolate being touted for their ability to support senior health, but what should you eat, which supplements are right for you and how much should you take? There are numerous publications and websites dedicated to nutrition. One book I heartily recommend is You Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Looking Good and Feeling Great, by Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz. The book was updated and released last month, and it contains the latest information about nutrition for maintaining optimal health.

September is Healthy Aging Month and we decided that, because this is such a huge subject, we would include it in two weekly blogs. This week, it's all about cultivating a wellness attitude.

Next week we will include some tips for physical fitness. The good news is that, according to Dr. Christiane Northrup's new book, Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality and Well-Being, this decade's seniors comprise the largest and healthiest group in U.S. history.

"Centenarians are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population (increasing at the rate of 75,000 people per year)," she said. She attributes many aspects of seniors' healthy lifestyles to attitude. "Age is just a number, and agelessness means not buying into the idea that a number determines everything from your state of health to your attractiveness to your value."

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
--From Anthem, by Leonard Cohen

If you've recently had your heart broken, experienced a divorce, break-up or another form of loss, there is no doubt you have heard all the platitudes. "There's more room in a broken heart; he/she wasn't right for you; there's a lid for every pot; there's plenty of fish in the sea; when one door closes..."

People who say those things to you are trying to help, but all you hear is, "Suck it up, man up (especially if you are male); get over it; move on; find someone else." When you're hurting, these things are hard to hear, harder to do and not at all what you should be doing.

If your children have gone back to school, and you are finding that all they want to do is go back to sleep in the morning, you are not alone.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has declared sleep insufficiency to be a nationwide public health epidemic, and the American Academy of Pediatrics in its recently released policy statement, School Start Times for Adolescents said "Insufficient sleep represents one of the most common, important and potentially remediable health risks in children, particularly in the adolescent population, for whom chronic sleep loss has increasingly become the norm."

If it's true that a plan not implemented is just a wish, what are some of the ways we sabotage our own wishes and how can we get on track to turn them back into plans and help fulfill them?

Complacency: Failure to Take Stock

What do you plan to change? Do you want to lose weight—but you will start next week, stop smoking—when you're not under so much stress or find a new relationship—after you lose weight? If you have too many things on your plate, and too many excuses, you might simply not start. Journaling is a great way to figure out where you want to go and how to get there. Choose the most important goal on your list, and begin writing at least three pages every day about your thoughts and feelings regarding the goal. If you keep writing, you might discover that what you really need to change first is quite different from what you wrote on your list. There are numerous websites and publications about journaling. My favorite instructional journaling book, which I have often recommended to my students, is The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron.

There's so much excitement brewing around here about Belleruth's upcoming Google Hangout on Air. It will be her first live webinar. Mark your calendars for Thursday August 27th from 1-2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

"This will be an open Q and A, back and forth, shoot-the-breeze, share-the-info with yours truly about any of your guided imagery questions, concerns, experiences, additions or corrections," Belleruth said in her recent blog post First Free Hangout On Air with Belleruth! Ask, Opine, Interact!.

We get so many calls from people asking, "When will Belleruth be speaking next?" or "When is she coming to my town, how can I ask her questions directly, and where is her next seminar." We now have a great answer for them. It's coming up on August 27, between 1 and 2 p.m. Eastern Time, and you can attend online, free, and right from your own home or office.

Here in Ohio, we are excited about the upcoming sports season, but we're holding fast to summer, hoping it lingers for a long while. Though we might be lucky enough to enjoy warm weather a little longer, we can't delay the onset of many pre-fall events, the first yellow leaves, the back-to-school shopping season and that favorite end-of-summer event—training camp.

August ushers in the beginning of football practice, band and cheerleader camps, soccer, track, lacrosse and cross-country training, a proliferation of marathon and other running events and preparation for virtually any type of amateur or professional sports performances.

Despite the fact that it's a harbinger of summer's end, I love the whole back-to-school gestalt. There is a sense of optimism and excitement in the air and we are surrounded by a plethora of brightly-colored educational supplies—a treat for the senses and fodder for the creative spirit.

Many classrooms are switching from notebooks and textbooks to computers and electronic tablets, but this time of year, even computers, phones and tech gadgets get to dress up in cool sleeves and covers. There are backpacks, lunch bags, new clothes and shoes to buy. Don't forget to check out the list of states that offer tax-free holidays for the purchase of school supplies.