Natural Health
Better living through nature

6 Tips On Discussing Your Mental Health Issues With Your Friends

Do you have a difficult time in explaining your mental health issues to your family and friends and having them understand where you are coming from?


Here are six suggestions on how to discuss your mental health issues with your relatives and friends.

1. Talk To A Counselor: The most important thing that you need to do is to talk to a counselor about your mental health problems. Seeking professional help will help you to overcome your current issues. In addition, a counselor will be able to give you additional advice on how to deal with your friends and peers.

2. Don’t Argue With Others: It is important that you do not get into arguments with those who are giving you a hard time. Your number one priority is mental health recovery. It is not your job to convince people that you are right and they are wrong. Your health is more important than what other people may think.

3. Watch Who You Hang Out With: It is important to surround yourself with positive people. Try to keep your distance from those people who are giving you a difficult time. Remember that your goal is to remain positive and hopeful. Do not let the negative people in your life bring you down.

4. You Are Not Alone: It can be very frustrating to deal with your mental health issues when your friends and relatives are on your case. Remember, you are not alone. There are millions of people around the world who struggle with their fears, anxieties, depression, and stresses. The key is to find those people who can relate to you through various support groups in your area.

5. Stand Your Ground: It is important to stand your ground when dealing with family members and friends who are giving you a hard time. Explain your situation and your feelings to the people in your life, however don’t let them hassle you. Your number one priority is to get better and not to please everyone that you know.

6. Join A Support Group: There are many mental health support groups in your area that can help you. Many hospitals, churches, and counselors in your area will be able to provide you with a list of groups. These support groups will be supportive of your situation and can give you additional advice regarding your problems. Joining a support group is very important in a person’s recovery because it will help you find people who can relate to you.

Managing Chronic Pain Through Healthy Living

Many years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I also have arthritis in my knees. Multiple car accidents seemed to have exasperated my chronic pain, especially in my neck and back. Over the years it has been quite challenging to deal with so much pain on a daily basis. But I really hate taking pharmaceuticals so I have sought natural methods to deal with the pain. I hate taking medicine so much, that I would rather live with a certain amount of pain than deal with the possible side effects of synthetic medicines.;

Nud hike MEL
Photo by Faithful Homesteader

I have not found a magic cure all in my search for healing, but what I have discovered is that in seeking an overall healthy lifestyle, I have managed my pain levels.  Years ago I was having so much daily pain that I could not stand on my feet for very long at all. If I was walking, it wasn’t so bad, but standing in one place was too much. I sat for everything even if everyone around me was standing. I carried a cane chair everywhere that went. Even standing in line at the grocery store was too much.

But sitting was not always the best either. Most chairs did not help my cause. So many that I encountered were too hard on my back and I was never comfortable. Standing was difficult, but sitting could be bad too. Lately, I have thought back to those days and I realized that I wasn’t having those same issues. Now I can be on my feet much longer and I can sit in an uncomfortable chair without feeling quite as bad as I once did. I attribute it to a healthy lifestyle.

Over the years I have worked to eat a much cleaner diet. I try to get plenty of vegetables in my diet. I cut my soda consumption way down. Kombucha and natural sodas with stevia have helped me with that. I eat organic whenever possible as well as grass fed meat and pasture raised poultry. I am not perfect, but I do strive to limit sugar as well. I also take supplements like fish oil and curcumin.

I notice that when I do go off the wagon, that the arthritis in my knees becomes a problem. I can go long periods of time without noticing the effects of it, but when I eat more carbs and sugar, I can tell the difference. It is a way to get me back on track because I know that’s what it takes for me to lessen the pain.

I still deal with daily chronic pain, but what I notice when I am eating well and exercising, is that I can do most of the things that I want to do. My pain is less. Some exercise routines that have helped me are Tai Chi and strength training. When I am able to do both of those consistently, I feel so much better. It feels good when I am strong. I also love to go on hikes with my dog as well. Walking and nature are a great combination.

I am never perfect on my healthy living journey, but when I look back, I can see that it has helped me greatly. I think about just how much better I might feel, if I could be even better with it. I will continue to push forward and strive to live the healthiest life that I can live.

How Yoga Helps To Rejuvenate Your Body and Mind

Are you tired of this lifestyle which you are following? Do you have problems with enjoying the small moments of your life? The reason I am asking you these questions is the fact that a majority of the population is facing similar problems. It seems that no one is happy with the life and world they're living in. Lack of inspiration is one of the major issues people face in today’s era. Owing to the time-poor environment and heavy workload, drooping of shoulders is quite common among the working population. The world certainly looks like a boring place to exist.

Ever since yoga was introduced to the whole world, it has been successful in offering the global community a reason or two to smile. From physical to mental to emotional, the ancient India-born science has contributed to the overall wellness of human life. Every time one feels they're losing the race of being at the epitome in life, yoga can come to the rescue and inspire him/her in different ways. There is no doubt that yoga is one of the finest paths to remain happy and refreshed in life. Let’s talk about how yoga promotes complete rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul.

woman meditating on deck
Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Yoga — the term comes with the sensation of a relaxing exercise, which it actually is. The practice of yoga is probably the best way to live a tension-free life. Yoga makes sure one lives with complete harmony, with no sign of stress and anxiety. Talking about the practice of meditation, it is all about being silent and feeling the calmness of this universe. After long working hours in the office, when you close your eyes to focus, all forms of tensions get erased from the mind and soulful beauty starts dominating your life. Balasana and Savasana are two of the other fine yoga poses that are associated with making one highly energetic. If you like to be completely free from the stressful aroma of this world, enjoy these exercises of yoga on a daily basis.

Nourishes the Circulatory System

One of the most popular benefits of yoga is promoting the flow of blood throughout the human body system. Talking about yoga asanas, the body gets stretched in a number of ways, giving the muscles enough reasons to soak in blood. Due to the largely immobile living style, there is hardly any chance for the red fluid to flow freely to all the parts of the body. Yoga asanas make sure each and every part of the body receives a substantial amount of blood. Blood flow brings energy to the body and one feels highly rejuvenated. Again, with the practice of meditation, the mind calms down and the issue of high blood pressure gets healed. The mindful exercise lets the blood reach every cell in an equal amount to give the body great enjoyment.

Relaxes the Nervous System

Yoga is one of the most effective restorative exercises on the planet. The ancient science helps the nervous system relax so that the whole body remains refreshed. Various poses free the muscles from their tensed state. Yoga relaxes the body and strengthens the nervous system to help you face stressful situations quite easily. Pranayama is a great way to enjoy good health and inner morale boosting. Regular inhalation and exhalation gives immense peace to the body and mind. With the practice, one can boost the ability to have a better sleep. You are advised to live a yogi’s life to experience the complete revitalization of the mind and body.

Tones the Body’s Muscles

A healthy body feels the beauty of invigoration in the most amazing way. There are a number of yoga poses that are highly dynamic in nature. These exercises are known for their ability to tone various muscles of the body and give a practitioner enormous physical strength. With strength, comes inner fulfillment that is strongly attached to the theory of complete refreshment. Yoga asanas such as Kapotasana, Dhanurasana, Bakasana, are some of the names from a long list of intensive yoga poses. These yoga practices offer immense benefits when it comes to toning the muscles.

Makes the Body and Mind Flexible

Flexibility is again a major contributor to a rejuvenated body and mind. The more flexible you are, the better your life is expected to be. Be it the flexibility of the physical body or the mental aspect, the ancient science of yoga will certainly help you in both ways. With yoga asanas such as Adho Mukha Svanasana, Koundinyasana, Chakrasana, Hanumanasana, etc., the body learns the teachings of adapting to various circumstances. Yoga’s mental exercises such as Mantra Yoga, Meditation, etc. nourish the brain to face distinct situations and take swift actions. All these traits are related to inner revitalization. When you enjoy your life unhindered, there are more chances of being a happy soul.

A life with enormous happiness and animation through the yogic means can be enjoyed in the best fashion in Rishikesh — the birth land of yoga. You should join a 200 hour teacher training in Rishikesh in order to learn the art of being energetic. In the yoga capital, you will come across a number of yoga fanatics, who not only practice yoga but live the spiritual philosophy. Find the truest way to reach the epitome of rejuvenation with yoga.

Bipin Baloni is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He organize 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. Bipin conducts Yoga Teacher Training in India in different cities and Ayurveda courses in Kerala. He loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas.

Dealing With Pregnancy Complications Naturally

Pregnancy and childbirth can be some of the most wonderful experiences in your life. However, they can also bring many different complications, cares, and concerns. The good news is that there are many different natural ways to take precautions in order to prevent or minimize complications as you go along.

For instance, eating a specific diet and avoiding toxins are a good start. In addition, it’s good to ask questions like what it is that makes a pregnancy “high risk” or what rights you have when medical professionals start poking and prodding you on a regular basis.

woman's pregnant belly
Photo by on Unsplash

Tips to Avoid Pregnancy Complications

Here are a few of the most important ways to help keep the risk of complications throughout your pregnancy to a minimum.

Good Prenatal Care Matters

Taking the time to find a good maternity healthcare provider is one of the best investments you can make in the name of a healthy pregnancy. This doesn’t just mean looking for a doctor or midwife with the highest recommendation, though. You also want to look for a practitioner that is willing to listen to you and work with a natural approach. If you start off your pregnancy arguing with your doctor or at odds with your midwife, it can make for a stressful time as you go along.

It is also highly recommended that any pregnant woman take the time to attend all of the proper prenatal care appointments. Prenatal care is a critical component of making sure that both mother and child stay healthy and everything stays on track for a healthy delivery.

Experts suggest regular appointments for optimal prenatal care: once a month for the first and second trimesters, twice a month for the following two months, and then once a week until you deliver.

Watch What You Eat and Purchase Good Vitamins

Food and weight gain are both critical factors of a healthy pregnancy. Excessive or minimal weight gain during pregnancy can affect the health of both mother and child in the long run. Your midwife or doctor should be able to help make sure your weight is in a good place. However, if you’re interested in doing your own research on the subject, you can find a good breakdown of recommended weight gain based off of your BMI here.

In addition, make sure to take the time to eat a quality diet. On top of generally eating healthy, you can tailor your food intake to deal with complications like nausea (eating natural sources of vitamins B6 and K can help regulate the nausea part of the brain) or depression (again, vitamin B6 is key with this one). It’s advisable to talk to your medical provider with any specific questions about diets that may arise due to more serious complications like hypoglycemia or severe anemia.

As a final note regarding vitamins, cheap supplements can have a lot of junk in them, so make sure you’re getting high-quality foods to help provide the proper nutrients and vitamins required while pregnant and breastfeeding.

Avoid Harmful Chemicals

There are many different chemicals that can be dangerous to have around when you’re pregnant. For example, retinol (found in many anti-aging skin creams) can be harmful to unborn children. Synthetic fragrances are another chemical-laden concern to avoid. Whenever possible, search for unscented or naturally scented products or consider using homemade alternatives while your pregnancy lasts.

Ask Questions

One of the key ways that any pregnant woman can naturally address an issue is simply having the confidence to discuss it with medical providers. Even if you don’t have a degree, your opinions, thoughts, and feelings hold value. Make sure to talk through any and all questions or concerns through with your midwife or OB/GYN before they potentially become bigger issues. It may also be a good idea to hire a doula to help provide support, insight, and comfort in the lead-up to your delivery.

“High Risk” Pregnancy and Understanding Your Rights

There are many different reasons that a pregnancy can be flagged as “high risk.” For example, issues with previous pregnancies, such as early delivery, can mark you as high risk in the future. The label can also be applied if a mother has health concerns (pre-existing or not) that could affect the pregnancy or delivery.

However, just because you’ve been given this label doesn’t mean anything is going to automatically be different or wrong with your pregnancy. It simply means you’ll be more carefully monitored to diagnose any possible complications as quickly as possible. The fact still stands, though, that many of the complications you may be on guard against can still naturally be avoided by continuing to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Following all proper prenatal care protocols will help.

Finally, remember that you have rights when carrying and delivering your child. Just because a medical professional thinks an action is necessary doesn’t mean they can simply do it without discussing it with you and gaining your consent first. In addition, negligence or laziness in properly looking for various, dangerous conditions, like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, can have serious consequences, such as a medical malpractice suit. Make sure to be informed, talk things through with your midwife or medical provider, and don’t allow yourself to be pushed around.

Having a Healthy Pregnancy

There are many different ways to help ensure that your pregnancy is as healthy and free of complications as possible. As you go about taking care of both your unborn child and yourself, though, it’s also important to remember that pregnancy is a wonderful experience that shouldn’t be overshadowed by potential complications. Once you’ve done your due diligence, try to remember to also enjoy the journey as you go through each and every day of the miraculous process that is pregnancy.

Gramma's Homemade Foot Butter

I am plagued by dry feet that get severely cracked and sore if not dealt with on a regular basis. This is not a seasonal thing. I get this affliction all year long. I guess it doesn't help that I love to go around barefoot in the house and out in the yard and garden. Dry cracked feet is the price I pay for the freedom. Yes, wearing shoes and socks would be much more sensible but I'm not. Sensible, that is. There's something earth mother-ish about running around barefoot.

Both my mother and grandmother were do-it-yourself-ers. My mom gave me this recipe that she says my grandmother made when my mother was young. (Some day I'll tell you about the bread and milk poultices she says my grandmother used on her to cure nail puncture wounds! Holy cow!) I modified her recipe and we all think it's better than anything! I use shea butter instead of lanolin. (Grandma used lanolin.) I also deviated from the original recipe by adding tea tree oil.

This recipe is very flexible. Use more or less of the key ingredients and you get a different consistency. You can experiment around to see what works for you. I'll tell you what I do to get a firm consistency that is very effective.

Basic Recipe Ingredients


• 2 oz shea butter (#1 key ingredient; relatively soft; very emollient)
• 1 tablespoon cocoa butter (#2 key ingredient; firm; has moisturizing properties)
• 2 tablespoons beeswax (#3 key ingredient; very firm; strong moisture barrier properties)
• 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil (#4 key ingredient; adds anti-oxidants; softening)

Don't forget olive oil

• 2-3 drops rosemary essential oil (energizing, fights tension and fatigue)
• 2-3 drops sage essential oil (purifying)
• 2-3 drops peppermint essential oil (aromatic tonic)
• 2-3 drops red cedar essential oil (calm and balance energy)
• 4-6 drops tea tree oil (antibacterial, antifungal)


• Double boiler
• Measuring spoons
• Digital kitchen scale
• Hand grater (Don't use a mechanical device. You'll gum it up. Watch the knuckles.)



Measure out your shea butter.


I got a digital scale a while back and I love it. I always know exactly how much something weighs down to the decimal. It does other types of measurements, too. So, yeah, I love it. In the olden days an analog kitchen scale would have worked well enough or just rule of thumb. Put your shea in the top of the double boiler and set it to a slow boil. I don't have a real double boiler so I use a stainless steel bowl set inside another pot. I put a clothes pin on the side so I have something that won't conduct heat to hold to steady the bowl. Once the shea melts, and it will melt quickly, you can turn the heat off. You don't want the shea to boil. You just want it to melt. Meanwhile, grate your beeswax and cocoa butter.


Add it to the shea. Stir with a wooden utensil until everything melts and blends. Add your olive oil and essential oils. Stir to combine.


Take a whiff of the scent. You can add more essential oil as you like. Always add one drop at a time. You can't take anything out so if you overdo it your goose is cooked. Easy does it!

Once you have the scent the way you like let it set until it firms up. This is a trial to see if you like the consistency because it’s annoying to have to keep scooping it back on forth. It’s easier to leave it in the heating bowl in case you have to add anything and re-melt.


After it solidifies and you like the consistency warm it up again to melt and carefully pour it into your heat proof container.

The divot is where I stuck my finger in to try it!

Don't be concerned if your consistency is too soft at first. This recipe "cures" and becomes stiffer in a few days so unless you want a very stiff consistency (which is what I like) you should go easy on the beeswax. Beeswax is what causes the salve to firm. If you like it soft I suggest adding a tablespoon more shea butter. I like it firm so I add a tablespoon more beeswax.

Use this on any part of your body that needs extra help. It's great for feet but it also works on elbows and hands.

8 Tips on How to Increase Your Self-Confidence

Do you have trouble building up your self-confidence? If so, you are not alone.

Everybody has trouble with building one's self-esteem in today's world. The key is to be persistent and to find the ways to improve your confidence so you can be successful in life.

Here are eight tips to increasing your self-esteem in your life.

trees against twilight with stars
Photo by Pixabay

1. Know Your Weaknesses and Strengths: It is important to know what you are good at. Taking a skills assessment test is a great way to determine your strengths and weaknesses. Once you realize your skill sets, the next step is to focus on those things that you are good at doing. A person can' be good at everything so don't take yourself too seriously.

2. Accept Yourself: You are unique in this world. It is important that you do not beat yourself up over the things that you have trouble doing. Instead of complaining about what your weaknesses, try to find ways to improve your life. Take a class at a local community college to learn a new skill. Accept yourself for who you are.

3. Remember Your Accomplishments: Many people downplay their successes and focus on those things they struggle with. This is a mistake. Always remind yourself of your past accomplishments no matter how small they may be. Do not downplay the positive parts of your life. Stop focusing on the negative parts of your life and instead concentrate on your past achievements.

4. Read Positive Affirmations: It is important that you read affirmations that make you feel confident. Read a self-help book and then write down all of the things that motivate you. Read something positive on a daily basis and reflect on what you can do to improve your situation. Don't focus on the things that make you feel anxious and fearful.

5. Think About Your Future: Take time to think about what you really want out of life. Do not live your life for others. Spend a lot of time and energy thinking through what you really want in life and decide what is you really want to achieve. Once you determine what you want to accomplish, then write it down and use it as motivation.

6. Create Goals for Yourself: Set achievable goals on a regular basis and then take small steps to accomplish them. Make sure your goals are measurable and monitor your progress. Don't get upset if you don't accomplish all of your goals. You can always change your goals so that you can be more successful.

7. Talk to Your Friends: It is important that you talk to other successful people in order to get a better perspective of your life. Listening to other people's challenges and accomplishments can go a long way in feeling better about yourself. You can also learn how to find ways to overcome your obstacles in your life.

8. Be Persistent in What You Do: Do not give up in achieving your goals in your life. Learn from your mistakes and try to improve on your situation. Do not make excuses on why you should quit or give up. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to be successful. The key is to keep at it until you get what you want.

Living a Healthier Life Through Better Self-Care

While it is all too easy to neglect prioritizing self-care and personal well-being – there is only so much time in the day and so much to do between jobs, kids, pets, and parents – it often comes with a price. Stress can be a trigger for many health problems. It is all too easy to become overstressed and overstimulated as you rush from one obligation to the next. Frustration and fatigue build until managing your life feels more like a challenge than a privilege. Self-care is the only way to fix it.

woman with arms in arm, looking up to sky
Photo by Shutterstock

Understanding Self-Care

Self-care might sound like a buzzword, but it is actually a critical component to living your best life. It is not a single focus or a road to laziness. Instead, the term refers to the efforts you take to handle your emotional, mental, and physical needs. Having the right self-care in place can help you live a healthier and happier life. It prevents issues from becoming problems and helps fortify you against whatever happens in your world.

To get started in self-care, you don’t need to disappear on a meditation retreat or even completely revamp your life. It only takes a series of small changes to start practicing self-care.

Move Your Body

Moving your body more is a good way to feel more energized. It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise is a stress-reliever and mood-booster all in one. Yoga is one option, but you could also just take the time to stretch periodically throughout your day. You could also dance, go for a run, swim a few laps, ride a bike, or just go for a walk. If your activity takes you outside, even better! Spending time outdoors, especially in green areas, is a way to improve mental health and resilience while lowering tension.

Eat More Produce

Food can impact your stress levels. For instance, consuming high amounts of sugar can increase anxiety and make you short-tempered. You can also trigger blood sugar swings, and by extension mood swings, by not eating regularly. Your digestion might suffer too, especially if you are eating the wrong foods. In contrast, when you load up on colorful fruits and veggies, you enhance brain function, improve digestion, lower your cholesterol, strengthen your bones, and improve your metabolism, as well as boosting your mood and your ability to handle stress. Research shows that eating seven servings of fruits and veggies a day is optimal for your happiest life.

Simplify Your Life

Technology has become an almost indispensable trapping of modern life. New tools help augment your reality and expand your world far beyond the neighborhood or city in which you live. It is also ubiquitous and that makes it easy to get consumed by technology. Don’t let that happen to you. One of the best ways to use technology is to help take things off your plate by automating tasks. When you automate necessary tasks like paying your bills or monitoring your identity online, you can free up time that could be better spent fortifying your health and your relationships.

Live your healthiest life through better self-care. By putting some of your needs to the top of your priority list, you can become healthier and happier. You just have to move a little more, eat a little better, and simplify your life through automated tasks. These small changes will help your body fight the impact of stress and make it easier for you to handle whatever life throws your way.

Renee Ann Butler is a freelance writer with over 15 years of experience in business and management. Her writing has appeared on SCORE, TheStreet, Marketwatch, Insider Monkey, Seeking Alpha, and Motley Fool. She has an MBA in Finance and undergrad degrees in psychology and sociology. She specializes in retail, technology, and consumer goods. Butler is also involved in a variety of nonprofit work. She has served on several boards, including an economic development commission and a local arts council. In this realm, her focus is on small businesses and the arts. Butler is also a trained artist working in photography, oil, ink, and pastels as well as fiber crafts.

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