How You Can Help Family Members Who are Clinically Depressed

Have you ever suffered from depression? Depression is one of the most common mental health challenges, but can also be one of the most difficult to overcome. If you have successfully climbed that mountain and now have a sense of balance in your life, you no doubt have a sense of empathy for anyone else undergoing a similar struggle.

For persons who have not experienced it, depression can be tough to understand and that makes it more difficult to have the same amount of empathy for those who are struggling. This can even apply to family members who are clinically depressed.

The following suggestions are not meant as a substitute for professional therapeutic treatment but can help to make the depressed person feel more comfortable at home.

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Talking about depression can be quite difficult; a sense of trust is very important. Ask the depressed person if they would be interested in talking to you about what they are feeling. Don’t be discouraged if they say no; just let them know that you are interested in helping and ready to listen whenever they change their mind.

Other people, however, can find it easier to talk to relatives than to professionals. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have answers. Any therapist will tell you that there rarely are simple fixes for depression. The fact that you want to know more (and, by definition, care) can be therapeutic in itself.

Encourage Them to Seek Help

While you can definitely help out at home, a person with clinical depression needs professional assistance. Encourage your family member to see both their general practitioner for a health assessment and a therapist or psychiatrist. Talk therapy may provide the key or medication may also be necessary.

Ensure That Your Home is a Safe Environment

If the person is talking about suicide, contact professional help for them. In the meantime, remove things that could be used to inflict self-harm, such as firearms or drugs.


How to Keep Your Chin Up

No matter what your gender, your line of work, your nationality, or your age, there can be times when we find it tough to stay positive. This can be due to any number of things in our personal lives or possibly as a result of what is going on in the world at large.

While there are some things in life that we cannot change, it is still possible to take steps that will help to minimize the impact of those down times. If you find yourself feeling quite blue lately, try some of these suggestions:


That sounds like an unpleasant word, and it can be. But it can also be a great ally when it comes to improving your mood. It’s simple in theory: if a person or situation brings you down, then just avoid them. Easier said than done sometimes, but it is worth the effort and a few possibly awkward moments. There are times when it is fine to put your own best interests first and this is one of them.

Keep Moving

Remember how you always feel great after some vigorous exercise? That’s because physical activity benefits both body and mind, so get out there and do something. It can be as simple as walking or as complicated as a marathon, but just get out and move.

Linger on the Positive

Here’s a switch: instead of lingering on the negative, linger on the positive. Instead of getting caught up in that old trap of regret and worry, spend your time thinking about the fun things that lie ahead. Going on holiday? Meeting with friends? Getting married? Eating at your favorite restaurant tonight? If you think hard, you can definitely come up with a few things to look forward to. Try putting them front and centre and shove the lousy things to the back of your mind.

Tips to Help You Stay Sharp

It is a huge advantage in life to be intelligent. Some people are born smart, while others become that way thanks to long and dedicated study in the halls of higher education. The best way to stay sharp is to not let your brain stagnate. Here are some tips that can help you remain on top of things and ready to excel:

Hang around with smart people

Intelligence is not like osmosis; just because you are in close proximity to a bright person, their smarts will not be absorbed by your brain. However, spending time in the presence of intelligent people causes you to listen and work harder. That means not only more effort in keeping up your end of the conversation, but also more opportunities to learn new things through the simple act of listening.

Read a lot

These days, many people spend a good portion of the day staring at screens, and what they are reading is usually not very challenging or worthwhile. That is not to say that there is nothing of interest on the Internet, but you need to be selective if you want to expand your horizons.

Choose sites known for their intelligent, detailed, well-researched articles and opinion pieces. Also make sure to pick up a good old-fashioned book every once in a while. You can learn just as well from them and they are easier on the eyes.

Cut back on junk food and alcohol

People rely on these to get a quick fix, but the trade-off is they are not good for your body or mind. The high levels of sugar and caffeine in junk food only boost your brain temporarily, leading to a big crash. Alcohol may help to calm me down, but also causes you to lose brain cells in the process. Find a more useful way to relax and take the time to eat a healthy diet. Both your body and brain will thank you.



Ways You Can Stop That Angry Outburst Before It Starts

While anger is not always the healthiest response to any given situation, it is not always a bad thing. Releasing such heightened emotions can help to calm a person down and get them more emotionally stable. However, that can come at the expense of emotional calmness to the people around them, so most people would rather not respond in such a fashion, at least publicly.

Anger can lead to violence, and it can also be emotionally disturbing for children to witness. Prolonged bouts of anger can also be hard on your body, specifically your blood pressure.

So, do you feel that you are losing your temper excessively? Here are some ways you can help to rectify that:

Take a step back

When you find yourself in a situation that makes your blood boil, take a step back and exit. Very few people who are in a heightened state of emotion can think rationally; this is not the time to try and work out the particular problem. Walk away, calm down, and then think about it afterwards. You are more likely to come up with a satisfactory resolution at that time.

Learn some relaxation techniques

If there is no way to exit a tense situation, there are still methods that will calm you down. Taking some deep breaths and exhaling slowly is surprisingly effective at slowing down your blood pressure. There are also other ways, such as meditation, they can help you find your emotional centre quite effectively.

Come up with a temporary fix

As mentioned, we do not make the best decisions when angry. However, it is usually possible to come up with a solution that will calm things down, at least temporarily. When these heightened emotions have passed, you will then be in a better position to think of the most effective resolution to the situation.

Battling Writer’s Block? Here’s What You Can Do

Whether you write to live or live to write, there will be days when it is not only tough to get started, but even tougher to continue. Those times can be quite frustrating and dispiriting, sometimes leading talented and enthusiastic scribes to throw in the towel.

Here are a few ideas that can help to get those creatives juices flowing once more:

Try a Different Spot

Not getting anywhere in your current location? Maybe you need a change of scenery. Do you tend to write in public? Then go somewhere private for a change.

Try a New Time

Tend to write in the evening? Switch to the break of dawn. Sometimes our brains are at a different place at various times of the day, and that new period just may be a more creative one for you.

Try a New Medium

Do you use a computer to write? Maybe it’s time to go old school and switch back to pen and paper. Conversely, maybe you have been putting off computer use and it’s time that you finally plunged in and learned how to use Microsoft Word. It may just be psychological, but sometimes the method your words are preserved with can make a difference in how effectively they come out.

Take a Vacation from Writing

Don’t see this as a defeat, but as a way to recharge your creative batteries. Sometimes you just need to forget about something that isn’t working and concentrate on the things in life that are. Don’t worry, chances are your inspiration will come back to you.

Try a New Project

Words not flowing on a project that is very important to you? Put it aside for the time being and concentrate your efforts on something that matters less. This just might be the break that will help to get you back on track.

Why It’s Important to Keep Busy

More and more people find themselves leading lives in which free time is a luxury. Being overly busy is not good for your health, so we need to make sure that we all have relaxation periods built into our daily schedules.

However, you can also go too far in the opposite direction. Having too little to do is also not helpful for either your mind or body. Here are a few reasons why being busy can sometimes be a good thing.

Continual Learning

It is always good to learn new things and you don’t have to go back to school for that to happen. Read a book, watch a documentary, join a local society, tour a museum…you never know what you might develop an interest in. Be open to trying new things.

Stave Off Boredom

No one likes to be bored. Boredom is not productive or satisfying on a personal level. Why not spend your downtime doing something productive? Make the effort to do something.

Keeps Your Brain Active

Scientific research has shown that it is important to keep your mind engaged. It can help to stave off degenerative brain issues, such as dementia. Read, do cross word puzzles, engage friends in conversation…every little bit helps.

Impress Your Supervisor

It is not always possible to remain busy at work at all times. However, the most productive and engaged employees find ways to make good use of those extra moments in a way that aids the company. Supervisors notice and remember employees who make that extra effort.

Distract Yourself from Problems You Can’t Currently Deal With

Sometimes we have issues in our lives that cause us stress (e.g. a terminally ill relative), but there is nothing we can currently do about them. One way to deal with any stress or depression that results is to distract yourself from the pain. This can be done by keeping busy with other endeavors.

Why It’s Good to Have a Hobby

Many people have hobbies, but don’t realize that they can also be a very important aspect of their life. Hobbies are something that we discover and come to find rewarding. Those that come to us naturally, rather than being forced upon us by, say, our parents, tend to be the ones that stick. After a long week of work and other responsibilities, it can be very satisfying to do something just for the fun of it.

If you ever question whether your own hobby is a waste of your time and money, some of these points may help to change your mind:


It is very important that we all have some time each day to unwind. Remaining in a constant state of stress is bad for both body and mind, and can actually lead to disease. Also, if you are the type of person who doesn’t like to waste time, think of a hobby as a break from life in which you actually accomplish something.

Enhanced Creativity

In addition to providing you with some solace, a hobby can also give your mind valuable stimulation that is directly related to your own interests. That can help to enhance your creativity, not only in regards to the hobby, but other areas of life.

Concentrating on a hobby not only helps you to learn more about that past time, but about other things that can also be useful to you in ways you might not expect.


Almost all hobbies offer new chances for connection. Whether you are seeking out people who may help you expand a collection or linking up with others have who similar interests, hobbies provide a way to expand your circle of friends. That means more opportunities to learn and grow as a person. And, yes, to have more fun!

Lunch is More Important Than You Might Think

Right from childhood you have probably heard about how important breakfast is. It’s the first meal of the day and a key to starting off right by giving your body the energy boost it needs. So, how important is lunch? If I eat a really big breakfast, do I even need to bother with lunch?

Well, yes you do! Lunch is actually quite relevant when it comes to giving you the lift needed to perform well for the rest of your day.

Most people have breakfast several hours before they sit down for lunch. During that time, your body has been using the nutrients you took in from that initial meal. Your blood sugar levels have dropped and that reduces both your energy level and your ability to concentrate and do good work. These are both renewed by a healthy midday meal. Regular meals on a familiar schedule also help to keep your metabolism active, which is good for your bodily functions.

If you are looking to lose some weight, skipping lunch can seem like an easy strategy. However, this is actually a bad idea as your body will simply crave food even more. That can lead to giving into temptation when faced with easy, empty calories like junk food and unhealthy snacks.

There is also the relaxation factor. A busy day can mean cutting back on free time, but skipping lunch is bad for both body and mind. Even a lunch break of only 30 minutes can provide your brain with the relaxation, rest, and distraction it needs to deliver the kind of performance you need to finish the day on an upswing. It may be tempting to keep working right through lunch, but resist and take that time off that you need. Your work and overall health will reflect that extra consideration.

How is Canadian Thanksgiving Different from the One in America?

Canadians and Americans both have Thanksgiving each year and some of the traditions are the same, like the traditional turkey dinner and pumpkin pie for dessert. However, each country celebrates them in a different month and there are a few other differences as well.

Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October, so it’s out of the gate first. However, the country also apparently was first, period, when it came to Thanksgiving, with the original celebration taking place in 1578. That’s about four decades before America decided to join in the fun.

However, unlike America, the Thanksgiving holiday is not statutory throughout the entire country: Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador all leave it up to individual employers as to whether employees will get the day off. While they do get the holiday, many people in Quebec don’t bother to observe it, preferring traditions more directly related to their own culture and traditions.

One major difference between the two countries is the shopping angle. America celebrates Thanksgiving in the last week of November and that includes the infamous Black Friday shopping spree where many companies offer major discounts for consumers. There is no Thanksgiving equivalent to this in Canada. However, the ongoing popularity of Black Friday (and, more recently, Cyber Monday) down south has prompted some Canadian retailers to follow suit during that same week. Hopefully, we won’t suffer the same degree of pandemonium at our stores.

One advantage Canadians enjoy here is the weather. While it can often be colder in the Great White North, the fact that our Thanksgiving occurs almost two months earlier means there is also a much better chance that our citizens can plan outdoor activities on their day off. Depending on their state, Americans are more likely to find themselves shoveling snow.

Is Public Transportation Safe for Women?

Women are much more likely to suffer sexual harassment than their male counterparts. Also, because of their image as the so-called weaker sex, they are also more likely to be victims of robbery or violent crimes.

Personal safety can depend on a number of factors, not the least of which is location: where you live can determine how safe you are in public. In general, riding in a car is safer than taking the bus or riding the subway. The reason is simple: you are alone in a personal vehicle or sharing it with people you know and trust. Public transportation means being around many more people you do not know and, therefore, might not be trustworthy. While this may make some men uncomfortable, the threat is likely more tangible for a woman.

On top of that, there is the question of actually getting to the transportation in question. If a bus or subway stop is not near the place the woman is leaving, there is the potential of danger, particularly if she is alone and it is at night.

All of these points are unfortunate. In addition to the threat possibilities, that lack of safety can cause some women to restrict their travel. That can limit their possibilities for both personal and professional growth.

Various strategies have been tried to increase the safety of women using public transportation, including segregated travel options.  Another is to include more staff members on buses and subways to act as both a deterrent and a form of assistance that can respond to an incident faster than police.

One possibility that would seem highly effective is to design public transportation with the needs of women in mind. This approach has been adopted in several areas and received praise for increasing a woman’s safety under such circumstances. Having more women employed in transportation service professions can also provide benefits: they will be able to clearly point out areas they feel are lacking in safety.