Author: davisge2

34 Self-Care Tips to do Before Bedtime

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Maintaining a steady routine of self-care is important for your mental and physical health, especially during these tough times. It all starts with getting plenty of sleep. If we don’t get our recommended 7-9 hours of rest each night, it might lead to problems such as increased stress, impaired cognitive thinking, poor attitudes, and the inability to focus. 

Creating a bedtime routine and sticking to it can go a long way in helping you get a good night’s sleep, namely because it will signal your body that it’s time to rest. Having a comfortable sleep environment and taking time to relax as you get ready for bed can set the stage for restorative sleep, and can result in you feeling alert, well-rested, and ready to take on the upcoming day. 

Of course, no one bedtime routine is the same as people have different needs and preferences. While some self-care tips apply to folks of any age, such as creating a comfortable sleep environment, each age group also has tips that address their specific sleep needs. 

  • Children: Children need the most amount of sleep, between 9 and 16 hours depending on age. 
  • Teenagers: Without adequate sleep, teens are at increased risk of mental health problems. 
  • College students: As they transition from kids to adults, college students need a good night’s rest to maintain strong mental health. 
  • Adults: Getting a good night’s sleep helps promote long-lasting good physical and mental health. 
  • Parents: Self-care that includes relaxation tips and stress relievers goes a long way in helping parents get restorative sleep. 

34 Self Care Tips 

This guide will review important information for each of these age groups, and provide tips on how they can achieve healthy and restorative sleep.


  1. Talk about their emotions. To help promote healthy sleep, it’s important for children to express their thoughts and emotions. The Washburn Center for Children in Minneapolis recommends talking with your children about their feelings on a daily basis so they see it as a normal part of their day. Ask things like, “what has been a highlight of your day and why?” or “you seem down today, what has you feeling sad?” Really listen to what they have to say, and respond thoughtfully in a way that encourages them to keep talking. 
  1. Try children meditation apps. Apps can be a handy tool to help calm children as they prepare for bed. For instance, “Stop, Breathe & Think” offers mindful sleep stories and meditation activities to help ease the mind. “Smiling Mind” features meditation techniques to help children sleep better, while “Sleep Meditation for Kids” provides mediation stories to help children relax. 
  1. Go outside. It’s no secret kids have a lot of energy, so it’s important to allow them time to expend that energy before bedtime. Let them go outside and play in the afternoon, but limit exercise within four hours of bedtime, per Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Otherwise, they could become over-stimulated when their bodies should be winding down. 
  1. Limit screen time. While electronic devices have become a normal part of most kids’ lives, they should not be a part of any child’s bedtime routine. In fact, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, screens in the bedroom are accompanied by insufficient sleep that affects 30% of toddlers, preschoolers and school-age children. Therefore, eliminating screen time at least one hour before bedtime can help set the tone for a more restful night’s sleep. 
  1. Set expectations. Another way to help prepare kids for a good night’s sleep is by setting expectations for bedtime. Remind them of the evening schedule, such as finishing homework after dinner followed by a bath and story time before bed. 
  1. Prepare for tomorrow. Encourage children to prepare for the next day by picking out their clothes for school and packing their lunch. This will help them take ownership in their daily routine. 


  1. Encourage a routine. Like younger kids, teens need a routine to help them feel settled. For instance, they have to finish their homework before playing video games, or no more electronics past a certain time. 
  1. Limit caffeine. Many teenagers start drinking more caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and energy drinks, which can be overstimulating for them. As such, their daily caffeine intake should be limited to one cup of coffee, one or two cups of tea, and no more than three cans of soda, per the American Academy of Pediatrics. They should not have any caffeine within an hour of bedtime. 
  1. Relax somewhere other than your bed. While it’s tempting to text your friends or watch TV as you lounge in your bed, this should be avoided. You want your body to recognize when it’s time to sleep, and climbing into bed should be a signal that sleep is on the way. Therefore, keep your bed as a “sleep only” spot. 
  1. Take a hot shower or bath. Many teens jump in the shower first thing in the morning, but research from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin found that taking a warm bath or shower one to two hours before bedtime can significantly improve sleep. Water should be between 104 and 109 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results.
  1. Get regular exercise. Just as kids need exercise to expend energy and maintain good health, so do teenagers. Getting in the habit of exercising at a younger age can help ensure teens maintain this healthy routine, which will lead to better sleep. 
  1. Talk to them. The teen years can be extremely stressful as kids transition through young adulthood, experiencing a new range of emotions and situations. Encourage them to voice their feelings and their stressors so they won’t stay up all night thinking about them. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry recommends teaching them assertiveness training skills so they can state their feelings in polite, firm and not overly aggressive or passive ways.  

College students

  1. Maintain open communication. College can be a huge transitional period for young adults, so it’s important to keep the lines of communication open. Build on the talks you have had with your parents through the years, and tell them how you are feeling. Remember that discussing your feelings go a long way in helping you sleep well. 
  1. Create a care package for sleep. Put together a sleep kit with your favorite sleep mask, earplugs, aromatherapy scents, white noise machine or soothing music. Dig into this kit anytime you need to reset your body for a good night’s sleep. 
  1. Use “do not disturb” mode. Young people today are more plugged in than ever, and it’s important to unplug at least an hour before bedtime each night. Turn your phone on “do not disturb” so you can tune out your friends’ text messages or late-night notifications from your apps. 
  1. Set up a spa night. Stress plays a key role in disturbing your sleep, so it’s important to de-stress often. Take time to unwind with your friends by indulging in a little pampering, like applying face masks or giving one another pedicures. These are a great way to wind down and reset your body’s stress levels. 
  1. Plan your day. Planning out your next day’s schedule during times of busyness or stress can help you feel in control of what you need to do. Amherst College suggests planning out your day by writing down what you have to do with deadlines so you have a handle on what needs to be accomplished when. 
  1. Try journaling. Writing down your feelings goes a long way in helping you process and sort through what you are experiencing. For instance, writing out a frustrating situation or something you’re stressed about and then destroying that piece of paper can help you let go of the negativity you feel about it. 


  1. Set aside time for a bedtime routine. It’s easy to feel too busy for a bedtime routine, and, instead, just fall into bed when you’re exhausted. However, bedtime routines are essential for good sleep, so, if necessary, build it into your schedule. Don’t be afraid to set a reminder of when to start your bedtime routine, so your body will know it’s time to start winding down. 
  1. Substitute your nighttime wine for tea. Although wine could help you feel sleepy, it may actually disrupt a good night’s sleep. Trade it out for a caffeine-free tea that promotes sleep. A few good choices include: 
  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
  • Yogi Bedtime Tea 
  1. Practice good skin care. While removing your makeup and applying moisturizer is a great way to maintain healthy skin, it also can help your body relax as part of your bedtime routine. It’s one more signal to your body that rest is on the way. 
  1. Meditate. Meditating before bedtime helps you achieve a sense of inner calm that can lead to more restful sleep. It also can help reduce cortisol, the hormone associated with stress. To help you implement meditation in your bedtime routine, you can try a meditation app such as:
  1. Read a book. It’s often said you can get lost in a good book. By doing so, you escape the stress of everyday life. In fact, according to the University of Minnesota, reading can relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. Per a 2009 University of Sussex study, reading also can reduce stress by up to 68% and works faster than drinking hot tea or listening to music. 
  1. Set goals. Listing your goals for the next day, whether personal or work, sets the stage for a productive day. Write out at least three goals, but make sure they are realistic so you aren’t stressed about getting them done. 
  1. Get out of the house. When you’ve been home for long periods of time, the stress can accumulate and start to feel overwhelming. Therefore, it’s important to get out of the house and enjoy a change of scenery before you start your bedtime routine. Take a walk around the block, spend a few minutes in the backyard swing or play with the dog. 


Raising kids can take a toll on parents if they don’t make time for themselves. Include one or more of these self-care tips in your bedtime routine to promote better sleep. 

  1. Try aromatherapy. The essential oils used in aromatherapy have been shown to help reduce anxiety and promote calm. Using sleep masks and pillows infused with scents such as lavender, chamomile or jasmine can help you relax, per the Mayo Clinic
  1. Write down wins and struggles. Expressing your achievements and difficulties in writing helps you sort through and process your thoughts and emotions, which can reduce stress. 
  1. Shower in low lighting. Taking a warm shower before bed can promote relaxation throughout your body. Turning the lights down can further aid this relaxation. 
  1. Indulge in adult coloring books or puzzles. According to the Cleveland Clinic, spending time coloring relaxes the brain, diverts attention from your worries and increases pleasure, all of which reduce stress. Focusing on an adult puzzle can also help clear the mind. 
  1. Get intimate (singles and couples). A healthy sex life promotes good health from lower blood pressure to decreased anxiety to, yes, better sleep. Even individuals can benefit from self-intimacy. 
  1. Enjoy a massage (self massage or couples). Massages have been shown to reduce fatigue and improve sleep because it relaxes the muscles and calms the brain. It also improves blood flow, reduces stress and boosts serotonin, which promotes sleep. 
  1. Listen to audio therapy. Although loud noises like listening to the TV are not conducive to a good night’s sleep, listening to soothing music or a white noise machine can relax your mind and promote sleepiness. Incorporate this technique into your bedtime routine by turning on the music or white noise 30 to 45 minutes before you want to fall asleep. 
  1. Look at old photo albums of good memories. To reduce anxiety and refocus your mind, take a stroll down memory lane by looking at photos of favorite vacations, special occasions and fun moments throughout the years. The emotions of these memories will boost your body’s dopamine production, which makes you feel good and more relaxed. 
  1. Journal with your spouse. Just as writing down your own thoughts and feelings can help you process your emotions, journaling with your spouse can help you work through problems together, reaffirm your love for one another, and lead to deeper intimacy. These processes can reduce stress and improve your sleep. 

Incorporating self-care into your bedtime routine will go a long way in improving your sleep as well as your overall health. In our busy world, that can be difficult, so it’s imperative that you make time for a consistent bedtime routine every day.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sleep Tips to Help Combat Common Mental Health Problems

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Sleep Tips to Help Combat Common Mental Health Problems

Research shows that people with mental health problems are more likely to suffer from insomnia or other sleep-related disorders such as restless leg syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. However, the connection between sleep and mental health works the other way too. Poor quality sleep can hurt your mental health and worsen existing issues. Here are some steps you can take to sleep better and rejuvenate your mental health.

Avoid Sleeping with Pets

Sleeping with your dog may be comforting, but it could be disrupting your sleep more than you think. People who sleep with dogs tend to wake up more often throughout the night and report lower sleep efficiency than people who keep their pets off the bed. Large dogs can be particularly disrupting as they force you into uncomfortable sleeping positions. SheKnows lists several other good reasons to keep your bed pet-free, including bacteria, parasites, and allergens that may be damaging your health.

Get a New Mattress

As you look for a crate for your dog, consider picking up a new bed for yourself as well. Old mattresses can contribute to sleep disorders. So, if your mattress is over 10 years old, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Take some time to decide what kind of mattress would be best for your sleep style, body type, and personal preferences. For example, memory foam mattresses work well for a wide variety of individuals and they also tend to last longer than innerspring mattresses. Look for a memory foam mattress in your desired firmness level, and make sure it fits your budget and sleep style. Familiarize yourself with mattress brands and read reviews before buying.

Transform Your Bedroom Into a Dedicated Sleep Zone

Replacing your mattress isn’t the only thing you can do to improve your bedroom environment. Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary by keeping it cool, dark, and quiet. To achieve a sleep-friendly bedroom, you may have to buy some blackout curtains and a white noise machine. The Spruce also recommends incorporating calming, muted colors into your bedroom décor and doing away with stimulating clutter. If you struggle with anxiety or ADHD, you may find it impossible to relax when you’re surrounded by stuff.

Develop a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

Going to bed right after squeezing in some last-minute work or watching a stimulating show can leave your mind reeling. A calming bedtime routine can help you wind down in the evenings. Focus your routine around activities that are good for your mental health, like meditation, yoga, and journaling. If you have trouble clearing your mind at night, try writing a to-do list for the next day. Reading a good book or taking a bath can also help prepare your body and mind for sleep.

Exercise Daily

Exercising daily is one of the best things you can do for your sleep quality. However, people struggling with their mental health can have a hard time finding the energy or motivation to exercise. Start small and find exercises that you really enjoy. If you’re motivated by others, join a fitness class or find a gym buddy. If you prefer to be alone, try an at-home bodyweight workout or go for a walk in the forest. According to the American Heart Association, walking in nature can help diminish a variety of mental concerns from stress to depression.

Many people aren’t aware of the close connection between sleep and mental health.
While sleeping better may not cure mental illness, it can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression during the day. If you’re struggling with mental health concerns, try redesigning your bedroom and adopting some healthy sleep habits — it might just change your life!

Guest article written by Brad Krause from

Categories: Uncategorized

New recreational marijuana laws

Marijuana legalization in Michigan, rules, and penalties if the rules are broken

For the past decade, the people of Michigan have been trying to make marijuana legal in the state. Finally, a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana was certified by the Board of State Canvassers in April 2017 and the proposal was voted ‘Yea’ just a few weeks ago. So what does all this mean to the residents of Michigan? Read on to find out the rules and penalties for legal use of recreational use of marijuana in Michigan:

How will recreational marijuana be regulated in Michigan?

Marijuana will be regulated just like alcohol. This means the under the new state law, one will be allowed personal possession and use of marijuana as long as one is at least 21 years of age. Further, the marijuana sold in retail stores will need to be legally cultivated and sold only in licensed stores. There will be a tax on marijuana, just like alcohol. A photo ID may be required for people who look younger than their stated age. For the seller, it will be illegal to sell marijuana to any individual under the age of 21. Further, all marijuana retailers and growers MUST be licensed by the state.

Will I be able to smoke marijuana anywhere?

Absolutely not: Just like you are not allowed to drink alcohol in a public place, the same rules will apply to recreational marijuana. The business owners or the landlord may prohibit the individual from smoking marijuana on their property. In addition, one will not be able to smoke marijuana in a mall, park, or on a public street. As long as your landlord allows it, you will be able to smoke in the home. If it is your home, then you have nothing to worry about.

Can I drive a car while smoking marijuana?

This topic still remains debatable because there are no tests to determine if you are high on marijuana while driving a car. However, experts in law recommend that just like alcohol, avoid driving a car while you are smoking marijuana. If you have just smoked marijuana, get someone else to drive you. The legal system may err on the side of safety and blame you if there is an accident.

How much marijuana can one buy at any one point in time?

Based on the proposal, any individual over the age of 21 will be able to buy, use, and process 2.5 ounces or 15 grams of marijuana concentrates.

Will I be able to share my marijuana with others?

According to the proposal, you can only share your marijuana without payment to an individual over the age of 21. If you distribute or share the marijuana with anyone under the age of 21, expect a heavy monetary penalty.

What doses of marijuana will be available from retail stores in Michigan?

In the retail stores, marijuana will be sold in increments starting from an eighth to a quarter ounce, half an ounce and an ounce.

How will the recreational marijuana be available?

At the moment, retailers who are licensed will be able to sale processed marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles only in government-approved stores.

Will I be able to grow marijuana plants in my home?

The proposal will allow individuals to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use only and store up to 10 ounces from these plants in the residence provided that the product is kept in a locked container.

How much marijuana will a resident in Michigan be allowed to keep at home?

The proposal will allow for a 10-ounce limit on marijuana in the home. In addition, any amount over 2.5 ounces will need to be secured in a locked container.

Will the marijuana sold in retail stores be taxed?

Yes, there will be a 10% excise tax on all marijuana sales. Here is how the Michigan State Treasury Department plans to spend to tax money earned from marijuana sales:

  • The money will go towards administrative duties and enforcement of the marijuana act
  • Any remaining money will go towards more research and clinical trials that have been approved by the US FDA and sponsored by a non-profit organization or a scientific researcher at an academic institution. The research will need to be conducted on the clinical benefits of marijuana for a variety of medical conditions.
  • Any money left over will be split as follows: a) 15% will go to the local municipality where the retail business is located b) 15% will be for the local county where the marijuana business is located c) 35% will go towards the local schools and d) 35% will go towards repair of the roads and other infrastructure in that particular area.

What about the use of recreational marijuana in the workplace?

Just like you can’t drink alcohol in the workplace, you will not be allowed to smoke recreational marijuana at work. If you do, you may be terminated. Many employers in Michigan do conduct pre-employment testing. And once you are employed, you may be tested for use of illicit drugs. Because most workplaces have zero tolerance for illicit drug use, the best recommendation is not to use marijuana in the workplace.

Where can I grow marijuana?

While the proposal does allow one to grow marijuana at home, this must be in a secure area and not visible to the public. The area will need to be enclosed with locks and/or security. You may have to tell your home insurer and/or local utilities that you are growing marijuana at home.

Can marijuana be banned by any county in Michigan?

Yes, under the proposal any local county will have the right to ban the operating of marijuana farms or retails stores. In such scenarios, these municipalities will not be entitled to any of the tax revenue.

What will be the cost of marijuana sold in retail stores?

While the exact prices have not been fixed, it is expected that one ounce will probably be sold for $150. This is the price for an ounce in several other states and surveys indicate that most consumers are happy with the fee.

What will happen to the people who were previously arrested for marijuana possession?

Those individuals who were arrested previously for marijuana possession will not automatically be pardoned. At the moment, the proposal has not addressed if these individuals will be able to buy or possess marijuana in future- but experts feel that once recreational marijuana is available, they will have the same rights of purchase or to grow the recreational marijuana.

At present, there is also a nationwide movement going on ways to legalize recreational marijuana and many lawyers are claiming of fair treatment of those previous incarcerated for possession.

What other states have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana?

Besides Michigan, California, Maine, Colorado, Nevada, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Nevada, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington all permit legalized use of marijuana only for recreational purposes.

However, all Michiganians should know that under federal law recreational use of marijuana is considered illegal. For example, if you buy recreational marijuana legally in Michigan, you cannot sell or transport it to another state. Even carrying it on an airplane is considered a crime. The present Trump administration and Dept of Justice are continuing to restrict the use of recreational marijuana. Fortunately, there is currently a partisan bill making its way through Congress that may limit the federal laws when it comes to prosecuting Americans for recreational marijuana use.

The Bill was known as Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act will ensure, “that each State has the right to determine for itself the best approach to marijuana within its borders.”

How will the state monitor the sale of recreational marijuana?

Since the State will be collecting taxes, it will license each marijuana retail business including retailers, growers, processors, and distributors. Anyone not licensed will face severe penalties.

When will the recreational marijuana be legally available in Michigan?

It is hoped that recreational marijuana will be available in early 2020. It may take a few more months to organize the licensing of the stores and manufacturers, plus the state has to ensure that everyone is aware of the rules and regulations. So realistically, recreational marijuana should be available in the early part of 2020.

Categories: Uncategorized

Alcohol abuse during holidays

There is no question that people drink a lot more during the holiday season than at any other time of the year, and this applies to both the regular drinker and the social drinker. The most drinking is done during the July 4th weekend holiday, followed by Halloween. The Christmas and new year holidays are a close third. For some unknown reasons, alcohol plays a major role in almost every festivity, party or celebration during the holiday season. The most common alcoholic drink consumed during the holidays is beer, followed by wine. During the Christmas holiday season, the majority of alcohol is consumed at parties, clubs, bars and other people’s homes. The one other fact is that during this holiday season, binge drinking is very common. Many people make a promise of abiding by just one alcoholic drink but unfortunately, the ‘party’ mood and peer pressure leads to excess drinking.

The real problem is that drinking alcohol during the holidays usually leads to making a bad decision(s). Besides ruining one’s health, many people get behind the wheel of a car and consequently get involved with the law; and in the majority of cases, the outcomes are never good. Those caught drinking and driving are often arrested, some lose their driving privileges temporarily, others have to pay monetary penalties, enter rehab and worse, if there is an injury to other people or property, the driver is often incarcerated and faces huge monetary penalties. In many cases, the repercussions of alcohol consumption during the holidays go way beyond the party; those who get involved with the judicial system often lose their jobs, families are torn apart and havoc is created in both interpersonal and interprofessional life.

There are many reports indicating that alcohol consumption during the holidays is often associated with a greater rate of motor vehicle accidents, personal injury and property damage.

The repercussions of alcohol

Binge drinking during the holidays is a nationwide problem. The Centers for Disease Control has stated that binge drinking not only leads to alcohol toxicity but is associated with serious impairment in judgment, motorcar accidents, falls, violence and even damage to the liver. In addition, alcohol removes inhibition and many people participate in a liberal sexual activity which also places them at risk for sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. In short, except for feeling exuberant for a few minutes, no good ever comes out of drinking alcohol during the holidays.

Why do people drink more alcohol during the holiday season?

For many people drinking during the holidays is normal practice. For decades, the tradition of serving alcohol at parties has been gathering momentum. Alcohol seems to be a ‘magnet’ for an invitation to parties; many people do not turn up to events where there is no alcohol. Others drink to be sociable and acceptable. During the holiday season there are way too many parties both at work and at clubs; in addition, the gathering of family and friends usually puts everyone in the mood to drink a little alcohol- but more often than not, the ‘little’ drinking soon gets out of control and everyone drinks a lot.

There are several other reasons why people drink during the holidays including depression, being lonely, stress, and feeling isolated. Tragically one very common reason why people turn to alcohol is because of financial difficulties which usually start because of the need to maintain a certain status in society. Some people feel that they must buy the perfect gift for everyone and very soon realize that they are not able to afford it. Others spend so much money on presents that they are not able to pay rent; and in such circumstances, some people drown all their problems and sorrow in alcohol.

How many people drink alcohol during the holidays?

The exact number of people who consume alcohol during the holiday is not known but the numbers are huge. People of all ages, race, gender, and ethnicity imbibe in alcohol. Data released from the Distilled Spirits Council of the US reveal that just during the months of November, December, and January, consumers spend over $9-$12 billion on alcoholic drinks. Go to any liquor store during the holiday season and at any time of the day, night or weekend, there are always long lineups of people either waiting to get in the store or waiting to check out the alcoholic drinks. What is worrisome is that during the holiday season, people buy all types of alcoholic drinks and when they can’t find what they want, they will pick up anything left on the shelves. And a great many people do actually buy potent alcoholic drinks without even knowing the potential harm that can happen.

What else makes the holiday season dangerous?

While alcohol itself is a potent poison that can impair judgment, during the holiday season there are also many more cars on the road and the weather is often poor. What is also a major problem over the past decade is that many people combine alcohol with other illicit agents like marijuana, prescription medications, methamphetamine and cocaine. And with people continuing to use their digital devices in the car, these deadly series of risk factors place the alcoholic driver and everyone else on the road at serious risk for injury including death.

Attitudes towards holiday drinking

During the holiday season, for some unknown reason, the public lets off their inhibitions and throws all cautions away. The public is usually only interested in getting to the party, drinking alcohol and having a great time. During these parties, the alcohol also leads to unpredictable and erratic behavior, combined with screaming matches, physical altercations, and rowdiness. To make matters worse, alcohol fuels inappropriate comments, ill-advised sexual overtures towards the colleagues and even violence- often leading to the pink slip on the spot.

Accidents and Death linked to alcohol

On average, there are about 1,000-1,200 alcohol-related deaths during the holiday season. In addition, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal that December is a dangerous month for motorists and pedestrians. For the past decade, almost 40% of the fatalities that occur during the holiday season have been linked to alcohol. And to make matters worse, thousands of people are injured during motor vehicle accidents, some with serious injuries leading to lifelong disability. Those convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol often face steep monetary penalties, loss of their driving privileges, fees to pay a lawyer and then are faced with civil suits by the injured parties.

So what should the public do during the holidays?

  1. If possible one should abstain from alcohol during the holiday season; if that isn’t

possible, go easy on the amount of alcohol consumed. Spacing the alcoholic drink over several hours and drinking ample water in between the drinks allows the body to break down the alcohol. The water also dilutes the alcohol and minimizes the adverse effects. 2. For those planning to drink alcohol at a party, make sure you have a designated driver or a sober friend who can drive you back home. Rest assured, law enforcement is out in force during the holiday season conducting sobriety checks. 3. For those who have multiple parties to attend to, just limit yourself to one drink only and abide by that rule. 4. For those who are concerned about alcohol consumption during the holiday season, one

other way is to avoid people who drink and/or avoid places where alcohol is being served 5. Visit bars that promote non-alcoholic drinks; to entice guests these bars often provide free non-alcoholic drinks, and this is the ideal way to enjoy your holidays.

What about chronic alcoholics who want a break from alcohol?

The holidays do create a lot of stress on some people and this often leads to excess alcohol consumption. For those who feel that they do not have control over alcohol, perhaps a short inpatient stay in a rehabilitation facility may help. Most of these rehab facilities are empty at this time of the year and getting into the center is a lot easier and faster. However, one should try and get into the rehab center before the end of the year, because by January, there is a high burnout rate and the places get full pretty fast. Unfortunately being an inpatient at a treatment program during the holidays is not fun but for some, this is the only way to avoid the temptation to drink alcohol.

Most alcohol rehab facilities also have their own Christmas party and New Year celebrations, but instead of alcohol serve other healthy alternatives. In addition, these centers do encourage supportive family members and friends to join in the celebrations, so the admitted person does not feel lonely. While being admitted to a rehab center for a drinking problem may appear as big negative, it will allow you to start a new life after the treatment. This will give you a chance to develop confidence and better work ethics so that when you leave the center you can apply for a decent job. Many employers are sympathetic towards alcoholics who have taken steps to correct their drinking problem.


The holiday season should be seen as a privilege and one should appreciate that fact. This is something that you have earned and thus, the holidays should be considered an investment. Hence, take into account the negative effects of alcohol and how it can ruin your social, financial, personal and professional life. Granted alcohol consumption is a historical tradition for the holidays but if you want to live a life with no hassles, there are many better ways to enjoy the holidays. Give alcohol a break this holiday season and avoid putting your life or the lives of other people at risk. Instead of drinking alcohol, drink water instead. This bland beverage is free, has ZERO calories, will not make you fat and will never get you into any problems with the law. Have safe holidays.

Depression during the holidays

Holiday Depression

For most people holidays are a time of joy and being happy. The holiday season is a time when families and friends gather and celebrate the festive season. Most people look forward to the holiday season because they will be family gatherings, big dinners, exchange of gifts and a chance to reminisce about the past. Unfortunately, there are a significant number of people for whom the holiday season brings about depression, anxiety and a great deal of sadness. These people may start to feel sad, anxious, moody or irritable. Many of these individuals become socially withdrawn or isolated during the holiday season, which worsens the state of depression.

The exact number of people who develop depression during the holidays is not known, but the numbers are not minuscule. It is believed that depression during the holidays affects one in seven individuals and the depression can be mild to moderate. In rare cases, the depression can be very severe and associated with suicidal thoughts. The holiday-induced depression is not only a North American phenomenon but is seen globally and chiefly affects adults of all ages, race and culture. Of all the holidays, it is the Christmas season that brings about depression in most people.

What are the symptoms of depression?

The classic symptoms of depression include the following:

Extreme fatigue: one may gradually develop no energy and feel fatigued the whole day. Just getting out of bed may be a chore and often the fatigue worsens as the day progresses. The fatigue in some people can be so severe that is leads to time off work and/or school. Having difficulty remembering details, trouble with concentration and unable to make any decisions. Many people remain indecisive and are not able to make the simple decisions like what to wear or eat. Feelings of worthlessness, guilt and helplessness are very common. Some individuals lose all perspective of life and do not see anything good. Feelings of hopelessness are also common and may be associated with questions about whether life is worth living. Difficulty sleeping, early morning wakefulness or sleeping too much. Restless is a common feature of depression. The individual may not be able to make up his or her mind, remain dubious about many things and has an inner sense of restlessness with the thoughts. Irritability is also a feature of depression Have no interest in things which were once pleasurable including sports, sex, or hobbies Loss of appetite or overeating. In general, mild depression may be associated with overeating but when the depression is severe, the individual may skip meals. Vague pains that come and go. Many people with depression complain of muscle and joint pains. The pain is like an odd ache, dull and constant. Often this type of pain does not resolve with the usual over the counter pain medications.

Constipation and a bloated sensation may occur in some people. Feeling sad, tearful or crying may be intermittent and may come on during the day. Some people may continually cry Having suicidal thoughts. Some people with severe depression may develop suicidal ideations and unfortunately, some may complete the act. Data, however, indicate that the actual number of suicides is not very common during Christmas but suddenly increase in the post Christmas period.

Why do people develop holiday-induced depression?

Some of the reasons why people get depressed during the holidays include the following:

  1. Unrealistic expectations: The holidays are a season of giving and unfortunately some people cannot keep up with the societal standard of giving exotic and trendy gifts to their friends and family. Others are looking to give the perfect Christmas gift and spend endless hours searching for the ultimate gift- but unfortunately, never find one. However, many people keep up with the tradition of giving gifts and then put themselves in a severe financial strain. The internal stress to maintain a certain standard of giving gifts often leads to depression, anxiety, and misery. So it is important to set realistic goals when giving gifts; the most important thing is to have a budget.
  2. No family: The one universal feature about the holiday season is the family gathering. Sadly there are many people who either do not have a family in the city where they reside or have no connection to their family. This often brings a great deal of sadness. Deep down everyone wishes they had a family to spend the holiday season with, and without a family, even the best dinner may not look appealing or appetizing.
  3. Past tragedy: For some people, the holiday season may bring back sad memories. Someone may have lost their mother, father, sibling or best friend during the holiday season, others may have broken up or ended up divorced. When reminiscing about the past, these events often lead to sadness which may be prolonged.
  4. Seasonal depression: There are some people who may have a seasonal affective disorder. The cold gloomy weather often triggers depression which can be mild to moderate. However, the symptoms can be severe, sapping all energy and making one feel irritable and moody. The disorder can lead to social withdrawal, problems at work/school and even thoughts of suicide. The good thing about the seasonal affective disorder is that it can be treated at home with light therapy plus some type of psychotherapy. In severe cases, one may need a prescription antidepressant.
  5. Demands: Another reason for depression during the holiday season is the number of tasks and demands from friends and family. The holiday season is often spent at the malls shopping for gifts, running errands, sending out invitations, preparing the home for guests, ensuring that

everyone does have a present and so on. For some people, these holiday demands can be overwhelming, and instead of being happy, lead to frustration, anger, and extreme anxiety.

  1. Health: Some people with chronic health problems or those who have had an acute illness often get depressed during the holidays. For example, one may need to be in hospital following a heart attack, stroke or some type of emergent surgery. Because of the need to remain hospitalized and not be with family, this can lead to depression. Some people may have a physical handicap and not be able to enjoy the season’s festivities or outdoor activities and this can also lead to depression. No one likes to be stuck in the home alone for long periods.

So how does one combat holiday depression?

The treatment for holiday depression firstly depends on the cause. The great thing is that in most cases, holiday-induced depression can be prevented or managed with simple changes in behavior and lifestyle.

If you have been buying too many gifts and are unable to afford them, stick to a budget and be selective what events you attend. Do not be forced to buy expensive gifts that will leave you in debt. If there is a high-end party that you have been invited to but can’t afford the gift, then it is better not to go or you will go into debt and feel worse. Be realistic: One of the best ways to counter disappointments during the holiday season is to be realistic. Do not fret over small things and takes things easy. Do not feel that you are obligated to give everyone an expensive gift or attend every party. Develop a support system: For those who are alone during the holidays, developing a network of family and close friends is helpful. It is important to be with someone or at least keep in verbal in contact until the holidays are over. Do not be shy about asking for help; you will be pleasantly surprised that there are still some decent people out there who will go out of their way to make the holidays special for you. If you do not have family or friends nearby, connect with friends at the local community church or an online group with similar interests. During the holiday season, many communities encourage seniors and others living alone to come and socialize with other people, and at the same time be offered food. Exercise: The value of exercise for treatment of depression has always been underestimated; more evidence is accumulating that exercise is one of the best ways to combat many mood disorders including depression. This does not mean that you run a marathon, undertake intense aerobics or join an expensive gym; simply going out for regular walks for 1 hour every day is as good any exercise. With a brisk walk, you get to enjoy nature, lose weight, meet other walkers and it refreshes your mind. Best of all walking is free and does not require any fancy or expensive equipment. Relieve stress: For individuals who are under stress, some of the ways to relieve stress include practicing yoga, meditation, spiritualism, tai chi, and deep breathing exercises. One does not have to perform all these activities but whatever activity you select, at least be consistent and regular.

Volunteer. If you are alone for the holidays and have not been invited anywhere, the best way to enlighten your spirits and cheer up is to volunteer. Go volunteer at the local soup kitchen, create a toy drive in your community or visit sick people in the local hospital. People who volunteer often regain their self-esteem and confidence and at the same time make new friends Take a break from social media: one reason why many people get depressed during the holidays is that they see others on social media looking beautiful and having a great time- social media creates an illusion that everything is greener on the other side- most of the stuff on social media is phony and deceptive. So take a break from social media, instead go out for a walk, read a book or listen to music. Finally, get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each nite, do not attend too many parties, do not stay longer than you want and eat healthy. No matter how seductive alcohol may appear, do not rely on it to drown your mood. Alcohol may drown your sorrow for a few hours, but it also acts like a potent depressant- so avoid it. If you feel anxious about going to a party alone, take a friend along; having an ally will provide you with more comfort.

If none of the above methods help, seek help from a mental health counselor. There are two ways to manage depression and they include psychotherapy and/or use of antidepressants. In most people with severe depression, a combination of these two therapies may be required. Psychotherapy involves regular sessions spaced over 6-12 weeks. The antidepressant drugs do work but often take 2-4 weeks to fully reverse the negative mood. For those with mild to moderate depression, one may require these medications for a few months at a minimum.

Finally, no matter what activity or treatment you select to manage holiday depression, remember that this is not a one-shot deal. Depression rarely resolves in a day or two and most people start to see a difference in their mood after several weeks. But the good thing is that once the symptoms of depression resolve, you will start to feel better, energetic and look forward to a new day. For those who feel that the depression is out of control and associated with suicidal thoughts, call National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) or National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

What to Expect When Quitting Opioids

MDADS Quit Opioids

Quitting opioids is not easy. As soon as you cut down on the number of pills you take, the withdrawals start. This makes you nervous, and as time goes on, your mind tells you that you’re not going to be able to make it through the day. That’s when you cave.


Opioid addiction takes control of you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Getting away from it means teaching your body, mind, and soul how to live without them again.


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Understanding what you can expect as you go through opioid detox and then recovery can help you prepare yourself to quit them once and for all. Knowing what you’re dealing with is common will help you hang on until the withdrawals start to subside.


Playing the Mind Game


The mind is a powerful thing. As soon as you decide you’re going to either reduce the dose or quit cold turkey, your mind is already revving your body up in anticipation of the change. This can happen in as little as 12 hours.


The mind gets nervous. Something that was so normal before is going away, and that is frightening to the mind.


We are creatures of habit – internally and externally. Habits don’t die easily. It can take a month or more to drop a habit, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just takes time.


When the Body Fights Back


The physical body reacts to the stress the mind is creating. The body starts to fight back by making you feel agitated, irritable, and anxious. It wants you to get those pills and it’s going to make you sick until you do.


You must resist. Don’t let your mind and body win.


The body will turn it up a notch when the preliminary withdrawals aren’t enough to make you use.

  • Runny nose
  • Teary eyes
  • Hot and cold sweats
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea


These withdrawals symptoms usually peak around the 4th day. Once you get over day 5, you will start to feel less sick. This is when your body finally starts to function on its own – free from the drugs that have been controlling your life.


But, wait, what if you still don’t feel well?


People can suffer from withdrawals for as long as a month, and there are some side effects of opioid addiction that can be felt two years later. Most of these are the mood swings, anxiety, and depression.


Does this make you not want to recover from your opioid addiction? Consider the consequences of NOT quitting.


If you don’t quit opioids, you will continue to suffer from the life effects that have made you want to end your addiction now.


  • Job loss
  • Relationship problems
  • Money trouble
  • Loss of control
  • Health issues
  • Cognitive difficulties


You don’t want to live the rest of your life using opioids. You know your tolerance will continue to increase, and getting your drug of choice will be increasingly difficult as the government cracks down on the opioid crisis.

Make your life easier and better by quitting opioids.

Get help with opioid withdrawal Today!

Factors Affecting the Duration and Intensity of Opioid Withdrawal


Everyone is different. Your friend may be able to get over opioid addiction in a week, while it could take you longer.


The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence says, “There are several factors that can impact the duration and severity of withdrawal. For instance, the more dependent a person is on hydrocodone, the more significant the withdrawal symptoms may be. Drug dependence may be influenced by family history of addiction, genetic and biological factors, as well as environmental aspects.”


In other words, you don’t know the intensity and longevity of your withdrawals. All you can do is buckle up, hang on, and refuse to let go. By doing whatever you need to do (besides using again) to rid your body of all opioids, you will get yourself back to a life free from the control of opioid addiction.


How to Get Through Opioid Addiction Withdrawals and Recovery


You shouldn’t do it alone. It can feel 10 times worse to go through withdrawals by yourself because you’ll constantly feel as though there’s something medically wrong with you and you have to use or you’ll die.


Medical supervision during detox and/or counseling can help you understand that what you’re feeling is normal and you’re safe. This will give you the strength to get through the roughest part of the detox stage.


Anyone who has tried to detox or withdraw from opioid withdrawal knows how difficult it can be, so if you are doing this for the first time, just take our word for it. Reach out for support as much as you can to stabilize yourself through the storm.


Once you get over the biggest hurdle, counseling is incredibly important to the recovery process. You started to use opioids for a reason, and you continued to use them for another reason. You need to know why you needed them so much, and then seek out healthier ways to cope.


Many people addicted to opioids are truly in physical pain. As much as living in pain can seem unbearable, there are other ways to cope besides being addicted to opioids. Working with a medical professional AND a counselor can help you find other pain management solutions.


You do not have to be addicted to opioids for the rest of your life.


Recovering from Opioid Addiction


Michigan Counseling Group can help you recover from opioid addiction. Not only do we have the services available to help you through detox and staying clean, but we have counseling resources to get you through the mental and emotional anguish you’ll surely go through in the next few weeks.


It’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be worth it. We understand what you’re going through, what you’re about to go through, and what life can be like after your addiction.


Addiction help is just a phone call away. Our specialists are available to give you the resources and services you need to tackle this life challenge you’ve found yourself in, so you can come out a much healthier, calmer, and happier person.


We know you’re sick and tired or being sick and tired. Let’s make this all stop for you.


Contact us.

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National Suicide Prevention Week Brings Awareness to Mental Illness and Drug Addiction

September 10th through the 16th was National Suicide Prevention Week. During this time, many events were held to raise awareness for suicide. Stories were told about suicide attempts, lost loved ones, and experts discussed how to prevent it from happening.

The goal of the events was simply to bring awareness to the rising problem of suicide. Every year, approximately 34,598 people die from suicide, and 864,950 attempt it. This translates to about 94 suicides a day, or one person every 38 seconds tries it.


Many people are scared of getting murdered, but the risk of suicide is higher. It’s the 11th cause of death for all ages.


The risk factors are many, but most of them have to do with:


  • Mental illness (depression, anxiety)
  • Alcohol and/or drug abuse
  • Family history

What This Means

If you’re struggling with a mental disorder or alcohol/drug abuse, you are at risk of suicide. Even if you do not think or plan on doing it now, there may be a time in the near future that this could happen. The risk increases significantly if someone in your family either committed suicide or attempted.


Once you are in the depths of suicidal ideation (the thoughts of killing yourself), it’s difficult to free yourself from them. Fascination comes into play, and that can take you to a place where convincing yourself it’s not the right choice becomes nearly impossible.


That’s why it’s important that if you have any of the major risk factors, such as mental illness, addiction, and/or family history of suicide, you seek help immediately.


How Michigan Counseling Group Can Help

Michigan Counseling Group provides services to help you or your loved one prevent suicide. We offer:


Counseling: Therapy offers an out for people. Talking about issues, understanding why they are issues, and coming up with a plan on how to solve them can be overwhelming to do on your own, but not with a counselor. This professional can help you understand your thoughts and feelings, and relieve them enough so you can take steps that will prevent you from feeling hopeless.


Testing: Accountability means a lot when you’re trying to recover from an addiction. Knowing you’ll have a drug test in morning can keep you clean the day before. As you get through the beginning of recovery knowing you’re being tested, it will become easier to deal with the withdrawals and the cravings will decrease.

At Michigan Counseling Group, we are committed to providing the services needed to help people recover from addiction, alcoholism, and mental illness, so they can lead better lives.


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If you or someone you know needs help, please call Michigan Counseling Group today.

Categories: Uncategorized

Tiger Woods Seeks Prescription Pill Class for Recovery

Tiger Woods Seeks Prescription Pill Class for Recovery

After his May arrest on suspicions of a DUI, Tiger Woods has sought and completed a recovery program in order to help him with his addiction. While it is unknown what Woods plans to do next, and if he intends to return to the PGA Tour, it does seem the program was helpful to him, according to his statement.


Tiger Woods’ Pill Addiction

Though the possibility of an alcohol addiction was ruled out when Woods was arrested, it soon became known that he was struggling with another type of substance use disorder, one that are a large number of Americans are currently dealing with: a prescription drug addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 7 million individuals reported past month prescription drug abuse, and the number has steadily climbed higher ever since.


While this is a serious disorder that can cause problems just like any other substance of abuse, such as arrests, overdose, etc., it can be treated with therapy, medications, and other options often found in rehab centers like the one Tiger Woods attended.


Rehab for the Golf Star

According to a statement made on social media on July 3rd, Woods says he has “recently completed an out of state private intensive program” in order to help him with his substance abuse. He states he will “continue to tackle this going forward” with the help of his “doctors, family, and friends.” He also mentioned his thanks for the support he has received from others.


Addiction is a serious issue that, in most cases, requires multiple treatment programs and a long-term recovery. As such, it is unknown whether Woods will require further care, but he currently seems to be doing his best to seek help and recover safely from this issue.


Michigan Counseling Group Offer Prescription Pill Class for Recovery

If you’re seeking a prescription pill class for recovery like Tiger Woods, you’ve found one right here. We offer an effective class that has helped many people who are addicted stop their struggles with prescription pills.


Our classes are led by experienced addiction counselors who understand what you are going through right now, and know how to end the turmoil that you’ve found yourself in because of your addiction. You will learn why you may have become addicted, how to start the withdrawal process, and how to live with the drugs in your life. It may sound frightening to live without them, but it is possible, and you can have a great life without them.


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Call us today for more information and to sign up for the class.


The Tragedy of a Drug Overdose Only a Grief-Stricken Mother Can Tell

An image of a mother helplessly lying on a hospital bed with her dying son has swept the world on social media. This Canadian mother shared the post to send an important message to mothers and their sons and daughters that THIS could be them.

Her son overdosed on fentanyl. In the post, she writes:

“I just want everyone to know that my son Michael overdosed on fentanyl. My son was not an addict he made a mistake that cost him his life. I just want to make everyone aware of the epidemic that’s going on right now that’s killing 5-7 people in every city in Canada.”

She goes on to say that she’s lost her son to this horrifying drug, and really wants everyone to know that this isn’t just her son’s tragedy. It can be anyone’s worst nightmare. He was only 22 years old.

About Fentanyl

Fentanyl can be mistaken for heroin. However, it’s much more dangerous. The high is quick and strong. Heroin highs can last hours, while fentanyl can last only a few minutes. It’s because the drug is mixed with an unknown amount of heroin, marijuana and other drugs. No one knows for sure what is in it when they are using it. That’s what makes it so risky.

People are using fentanyl without even knowing it, and yes, addicts and non-addicts. Some people take the chance because of peer pressure, and they have no idea what they are really using is the deadlier form of heroin. Addicts are at a higher risk because they are often using what they buy off whatever dealer is available, and no one really knows what the drugs are made up of when sold. And when you don’t know what’s in it, you don’t know if you’re taking too much – a deadly dose.

What to Do About the Epidemic

This epidemic is killing innocent people around the world. We’re surrounded by people dying every single day because of overdose. It needs to end.

At Michigan Counseling Group, we are committed to helping addicts start and remain in recovery. Our services offer a full suite of recovery services that can keep people addicted to drugs in the community clean and productive.

Services include:

Testing: With regular alcohol and drug testing, we are able to keep people accountable for their actions. These services can be used by the court or for personal use, making it perfect for parole offices and parents.

Counseling: The underlying roots of drug addiction lie in not only biological causes, but emotional and mental ones as well. Counseling provides support, guidance, and education to help undercover the reasons why people turn to drugs, so they can learn better coping mechanisms.

License Restoration in Michigan: Losing a license can be a devastating experience for someone who is trying to get his/her life back while in addiction recovery. At Michigan Counseling Group, we help people get their life back for a low price. We believe in second chances, and with your license back. You can have that second change.

GPS Monitoring: GPS monitoring is another service we highly recommend. This can help parents, loved ones, and parole officers keep track of those who are having a difficult time staying on track. With this, boundaries can be set with alerts to keep people on the right path.

Please contact us for more information on alcohol and drug testing, counseling, license restoration in Michigan, and GPS monitoring. We’re hoping to help as many people as possible NOT become like the mother and son mentioned above.


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Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol

Driving under the influence of alcohol, or DUI has claimed more than 10,000 lives across the US, and has led to over 1.5 million arrests, which is quite a staggering figure for any progressive society. According to US government estimates, there is a DUI related incident recorded every 53 minutes.  The Drug Enforcement Agency, or DEA, is out there trying to prevent the sale and use of illegal substances and alcohol, especially among younger demographics.

DUI or Driving Under Influence

It is illegal to be driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of prescribed or recreational drugs and/or alcohol, and this is termed as driving under the influence. An individual can be charged with DUI if he/she is found to have alcohol or drug above a certain threshold level. Often people have to undergo Michigan Drug Assessment Test if they have been booked for DUI.

Some of the signs that confirm drunk driving include:

  • Driving at high speed,
  • Stopping the vehicle at without any reason,
  • Taking wide turns,
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road,
  • Swerving,
  • Switching off the headlights while driving at night.

The permitted limit of BAC or Blood Alcohol Concentration is 0.08. Alcohol affects a person both emotionally as well as physically while changing their behavior. From the liver to the brain, and from the heart to the excretory system, everything gets affected by alcoholism. However, when someone drives under the influence of alcohol, the chances of an accident tends to increase exponentially.

How Alcohol DUI is tested?

A Michigan alcohol screening test is conducted on individuals suspected of DUI, and when it is confirmed the individual is arrested for DUI. Presently there are 3 different types of BAC tests performed.

Breath Test

Very popular among law enforcement agencies, the Michigan alcohol screening test is compact and portable, and provides results immediately. During this test breathalyzers are used wherein the driver is required to blow into an apparatus containing air sacs. This instrument is capable of determining alcohol level in the breath.  


Blood Test

Though this is a more time consuming procedure, the blood test to determine the toxicity levels is more accurate. Since this is an intrusive approach, law enforcers need the consent of an individual before extraction. Not giving consent for this test, and later testing above the legal limit, will land an individual a longer jail term and larger fine as Michigan Super Drunk Law is some of the most strict in the entire US.  

Urine Test

This is the least accurate BAC test but can be used when the other tests cannot be performed. Michigan Welfare Drug Testing does not make this a mandatory test as the alcohol level in the urine often gets affected by other external factors.