What does it mean to "die with dignity?"
Five US states allow individuals to choose when to end their lives due to a terminal illness. Many safeguards are in place to guide the process and prescription of the lethal medication.
Brittany Maynard is a 29 year old woman with end-stage brain cancer. Her story is all over the internet, and not all information that is posted is accurate.
My hope is that her story and advocacy will raise our awareness and start a discussion. There is a lot of controversy over the topic, which is not surprising, it really is a "life or death" topic.
Get real information, think about it, and talk with your loved ones. None of us know when a terminal illness or major accident is going to happen.
For more information go to:
Article about Brittany Maynard
Death With Dignity
How to Die in Oregon - movie
RIP "Death Panels"Read Now
The holidays mean many different things to different people, but some remain constant. Usually we all see our families at some point, which can be relaxing and stressful, all at the same time. We also end up eating, usually too much, then taking a nap. While these things can be relaxing and a break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the year, it can also lead to some stressful situations. Here are 5 tips on taking care of yourself during the holidays (or any days).
1. Get enough sleep.
Yeah, there are those late nights, staying up playing board games with family, or having long conversations with your cousin that you haven't seen in 2 years. However, as much as possible, maintain your sleep schedule that you have the other 360 days a year. Staying up late and sleeping in can throw off your Circadian Rhythm. There are many benefits to getting enough sleep. If that's not enough, think about how rough it will feel to go back to work on January 2nd, when you've become used to sleeping in until 10am.
2. Eat (as) healthy (as you can).
I know, Christmas cookies, your mom's famous cheesecake, etc. etc. I'm not saying don't partake. But just be conscious. Many times, people are conscious of their eating habits all of the other days of the year, but around the holidays, they let anything fly. A little moderation never hurt anyone. I didn't say
Oh how easy it is to forget to do this basic life-sustaining activity. Yes, our bodies do it automatically, but have you ever noticed that when you're stressed, you hold your breath? To become more conscious of your breath, try "Square Breathing," count while you breathe. Inhale 1-2-3-4, Hold it in 1-2-3-4, Exhale 1-2-3-4, Hold 1-2-34 and repeat. Focusing on your breath not only brings more oxygen to your body, it helps ground you in the here and now moment, rather than focusing on anxiety (toward seeing your baby cousin who cries all the time).
4. Create / maintain your boundaries.
We all have that awkward uncle (aunt's husband, not related by blood, obviously) who knows which buttons to push and that annoying topic to bring up. The thing is, that's his stuff, not yours. Have you ever contemplated that he might be saying those things because of the reaction he gets out of you? Stand back and look at the situation. Don't let someone else's junk get tossed in with yours. Chances are, you have enough to carry on your own.
5. Take time for yourself.
Let's be honest, we give-give-give, and then give some more, especially during the holidays. There is always one more person to visit with, one more set of cookies to bake. But remember to take time for yourself. That might mean taking a hot bath, getting a massage, or going to brunch with your girlfriends. Whatever this looks like for you, make it a point to do at least one thing that's just for you this holiday season. Your family isn't going anywhere.
Tamara will be posting about topics relevant to caregivers and seniors. More conversations take place on our Facebook Page.