Straight From Rojae's Desk

June 7, 2011

10 Commandments for the Over-50s

1. Act and behave your age

Face and accept the reality of getting old, its consequences, and the limitations which growing old brings. Quit fooling yourself by trying to look like you were in your youth.

2. Move on

Focus on enjoying people and not on indulging in/or accumulating material things. Enjoy life and meet new people. Do the things you have always wanted to do but was unable to do so. Follow your dream and your hearts’ desire.

3. Plan to spend whatever you have saved

You deserve to enjoy it and the few healthy years you have left. Travel if you can afford it. Don’t leave anything for your children or loved ones to quarrel about. By leaving anything, you may cause even more trouble when you are gone.

4. Live in the present

Live in the here and now, not in the yesterdays and tomorrows. It is only today that you can handle. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may not even happen.

5. Spoil your grandchildren

Enjoy and spoil your grandchildren (if you are blessed with any) but don’t be their full-time baby sitter. You have no moral obligation to take care of them. Don’t have any guilt feelings about refusing to babysit anyone’s kids, including your own grandkids. Your parental obligation is to your children. After you have raised them into responsible adults, your duties of childrearing and babysitting are finished. Let your children raise their own offspring.

6. Accept your health

Enjoy whatever your health can allow. Accept your physical weakness, sickness, limitations and other physical pains. It is a part of the ageing process.

7. Retire

Enjoy what you are and what you have right now. Stop working hard for what you do not have. If you do not have them, it’s probably too late.

8. Love yourself

Accept yourself for what and who you are. People, who truly love you, love you for yourself and not for what you have or for what you can give them. Anyone who loves you for what you have will just give you misery.

9. Forgive and forget

Forgive and forget all those who have wronged you. Forgive yourself and others. Forget the slights, hurts, and misfortunes of yesterday. Look towards the future. Enjoy peace of mind and soul.

10. Befriend death

Don’t be afraid of death. It’s a natural part of the cycle of life. Death is the beginning of a new and better life. So, prepare yourself not for death but for a new life.

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March 18, 2011

11 Ways to Sleep Better [By:Ririan]

Filed under: Thoughtful Thots — Adventurous AdventuRoj @ 8:09 pm

Sleeping Better

Studies show that far too many of us are not sleeping well, and lack of good-quality sleep can lead to more than just feeling tired: everything from traffic accidents and poor work performance to crankiness, illness, and a less-than-attractive appearance can be the result of sleeping poorly.

To look and feel your absolute best, you need to get approximately seven to nine hours of deeply restful, quality sleep each night. Here are eleven simple tips so you can start sleeping like a baby. Find out how to get a great night’s sleep, right here:

1. Create a sleep-conducive environment.

The room you sleep in is vital to getting rest. Make sure it is dark, clean and has good ventilation. Try to keep the air fresh and the room temperature between 60 and 65 degrees for the best sleeping conditions. Make sure you have the right amount of blankets and soft pillows. If it isn’t comfortable, you aren’t going to sleep. Also minimize noise and light during sleep by using ear plugs and window blinds.

2. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.

Caffeinated drinks and food such as coffee, tea, sodas and chocolate will keep the mind stimulated much longer than some people think.

And while alcohol may feel like it’s putting you to sleep, its sedating effect won’t last the whole night. Alcohol is a depressant; although it may make it easier to fall asleep, it causes you to wake up during the night. As alcohol is digested your body goes into withdrawal from the alcohol, causing nighttime awakenings and often nightmares. Excessive alcohol use can lead to dependence, and the withdrawal from alcohol dependence can also affect your sleep.

Nicotine is also a stimulant and should be avoided near bedtime and if you wake up during the night. Thus, having a smoke before bed, although it feels relaxing, is actually putting a stimulant into your bloodstream. And by the way, maybe you should think about quiting smoking for good.

3. Exercise regularly.

Working at the office might make you sweat mentally, but it’s not giving your body enough work. People who work physically strenuous jobs experience fewer problems with insomnia than those with office jobs because their bodies feel exhaustion too.

Get plenty of vigorous exercise early in the day so you’ll be naturally tired come bedtime. Try working out for as little as 20 minutes and your body will feel stimulated. Exercise will also help you get more oxygen to relax more. Remember not to exercise at least a couple of hours before bed so that you have time to wind down afterward.

4. Have a bedtime schedule.

Your life may not be routine, but your body likes it that way. Try to fall asleep and wake at the same time each day-yes, even on the weekends. Figure out how many hours your body needs to feel rested and schedule your sleep that way, even on nights you don’t feel tired-it’s good practice and your body will appreciate it. Once your body gets used to a routine, it will naturally want to fall asleep at the designated time.

Keep your biological clock going in the right direction, otherwise you will be fighting against it.

5. Keep bed a place for sleep.

The bed should be for only one thing: sleep … well, two things–but only for sleep and sex. Many people tend to read, work, watch television, some even eat in their beds, but your mind should never associate it with anything else. Let your mind and body identify that comfy spot with sleep.

Also, don’t watch TV or even so much as look at a computer screen at least 30 minutes before you lie down. The light from both a television as well as a computer monitor mimic the same intensity of light as sunlight. This fools your body and brain into thinking it’s nowhere near time for sleep. Also the best way to fall asleep is to clear your mind of all thoughts-the last thing you want is to lie in bed awake and thinking. If that happens, get up and do something non-stimulating, then try falling asleep again.

6. Warm milk or herbal tea.

Looks like Mom had it right when you were a kid. Milk contains calcium to help you relax, while the warmth is also soothing. Milk also has an amino acid in it called Tryptophan that increase the levels of serotonin and/or melatonin in the brain which slow down brain activity. It’s science folks.

But dairy products aren’t always right for everyone-in that case, have a cup of tea. There are many herbal types that are made specifically for sleep aide, but chamomile, anise, fennel and lavender are known for their soothing and relaxing qualities.

7. Relaxation: massage, warm bath, meditation.

There are plenty of ways to relax, yet not enough people do it. You can simply take a bath in warm water containing a cup of bath salts, as long as the water isn’t too hot. A nice massage after work or even a quick back rub from your spouse can do the job. Relieving tension and stress will help you clear your mind before bed so you can concentrate on sleep and nothing else. Play soothing music-even ambient noise will drown out street noise-while aromatherapy also has relaxation qualities, so you may put a drop or two of soothing essential oil of lavender or Roman chamomile on your pillow.

Meditate. No, don’t cross your legs and hum, but focus on relaxing…if that makes sense. Take deep, long breaths. Tense each muscle one at a time from head to toe. Focusing on doing this takes your mind off of other things and you’ll be in lala land in no time. Certainly there are other benefits as well. The Transcendental Meditation technique has been shown to produce deep rest, reduced anxiety, and very effective relief from insomnia.

8. Have a “going to bed” ritual.

Do you have to think about washing your hair? How about showering?

If you’re like most people, these are periods of lost time where you’re doing something but you don’t actually have to think about doing it. They’re so automatic that you can daydream about anything else and come back down to earth when the task is complete. If we can establish such a state before sleep by establishing a repeated pattern, then we’ll set ourselves up for a perfectly relaxed state.

A typical pattern may be:
1) Read for some time
2) Brush teeth
3) Turn on fan
4) Set alarm

After following such a pattern for long enough, you’ll not only induce the relaxed state, but you’ll condition yourself to make the whole process more effective. Like Pavlov’s dogs, once that fan gets turned on (for example) our pre-programmed physiological relax-sleep response will kick in.

9. Don’t nap during the day.

I know it may sound contradictory as I already wrote about the benefits of napping, but practically speaking if you sleep too long during the day, then this will disrupt night time sleep, so it’s important to find the right balance. But if you can’t find that balance you better stop napping during the day.

10. Don’t eat before sleep.

A light snack may be sleep inducing, but a heavy meal too close to bedtime interferes with sleep. Digestion takes lots of energy and will keep you awake. Also spicy or fatty foods may cause heartburn, which leads to difficulty in falling asleep and discomfort throughout the night. Foods containing tyramine (bacon, cheese, ham, aubergines, pepperoni, raspberries avocado, nuts, soy sauce, red wine) might keep you awake at night. Tyramine causes the release of norepinephrine, a brain stimulant.

But if you do get hungry close to bedtime, try eating something that triggers the hormone serotonin, which makes you sleepy. Carbohydrates such as bread or cereal will do the trick.

11. Medication.

Insomnia stems from a number of reasons, and while it is usually due to stress or anxiety, it can be associated with physical disorders. If you find simple methods aren’t helping you fall asleep, it’s time to see a doctor.

Though doctors will probably suggest sleep tips first, they can also prescribe drugs to assist you in sleeping. Always remember that medicines have potential side effects, and though they can help some people beat insomnia, they may not always work.

These are the majority of the things I have either tried or actually do routinely. And remember that by improving your sleep you will have a dramatic impact on your body composition, performance and health. So good luck, and Sleep Well!

March 10, 2011

Stop whining and take charge of your own life [Courtesy of CHICO AND DELAMAR]

Filed under: Thoughtful Thots — Adventurous AdventuRoj @ 9:39 am

May 25, 2010, 3:29pm

 

DEAR CHICO AND DELAMAR…

 

I am a Nursing student who just graduated with honors. When I was applying for college, I was thinking of taking up what my parents considered as a “dead-end course.”

When I enrolled, the chance of getting a nursing job was still high. But now that I am preparing for the board exams this July, my classmates and I can’t help but think about what will happen to us. Many of our school’s previous topnotchers are still unemployed until now and we are very pessimistic about our future.

Many of my classmates are exactly like me, teenagers who had their parents pick Nursing for them. Most of us feel angry at our parents since we feel that they did not just deprive us of our happiness, but also of employment. Many of us cringe at the possibility of being unemployed or that we will be waiting in the very long list of unpaid (sometimes even paying) nurse-trainees in the hospitals for a few months then become unemployed again. Many of us will probably end up as call center agents. Of course, many of us also feel bad about not fighting to the death to study the course that we really wanted. I don’t know how I could live with myself for having a hand in my own destruction. Help! – Lady

 

CHICO SAYS…

If there’s anything I learned in college and eventually the workplace, is that there is NO WAY anyone can predict who will do well and who won’t in the fickle winds of career.

Some people who, on paper, should succeed beyond expectations, fail miserably.

Some losers who were prognosticated to wallow in lifelong mediocrity have hit it big, against all possible odds. And of course there are the many who lived up to expectations either way, good or bad.

All I’m saying is, it’s not what you study in school (or which school for that matter) that would determine a person’s success or failure. There are just way too many factors involved in the mix that eventually guide each and everyone to our individual destinies. There is no such guarantee in terms of course taken that would ensure a bountiful future, or a poverty-stricken one for that matter. There are rich doctors and poor doctors, rich artists and poor artists, rich politicians and…oh well, two out of three will drive home the point.

All I’m saying is, it isn’t the course you take in college that will determine your destiny. Don’t blame your parents for something that is in your own hands.

If you feel strongly about it, there’s still time to shift. I started from English, then Journalism, before I ended up in Broadcasting. And it’s worth mentioning that most of the radio greats didn’t even graduate from Communication! And even if you do shift to the course of your choice, it still is no guarantee for success. The best argument for it, is at least you’re following your passion. But whether you take the course you really want or the course your parents pressured you to take, it will be by your own hand that you will steer your future to either success or failure.

I remember sticking to being a DJ even if everyone was telling me that it was a dead-end job. I was earning 800 pesos a month for six months! But because I enjoyed it, I stuck with it for as long as I could. Whichever course you do eventually choose, the road will bring you to the same point nevertheless: it’s not what you got, it’s how you use it.

Although I strongly disagree with parents pressuring their children to take courses against their will, I also believe that you reach a point where you just have to stop blaming them and start taking charge of what’s left of your future. You can only whine for so long about how you were powerless

against their wishes in the past.

Now is a different matter and maybe it’s time to start taking charge of your own life. Parents only want what’s best for their children. If you show them just how passionate you are about what you really want to do, maybe they’ll eventually relent and let you pursue that which will give you personal and professional satisfaction, even if it may or may not entail generous remuneration.

In the end, your heart will pull you into doing what you really want to do with your life, as opposed to what pays copious amounts of money. It’s a long and sometimes painful process, but trust me, you’ll get there. We all do.

 

DELAMAR SAYS…

 

First of all, don’t sabotage yourself by saying you have a hand in your own destruction. That’s too melodramatic a statement to make in this situation. You’re just at the crossroads of your life and being there is one of the hardest places to be in one’s lifetime. There’s a lot of uncertainty there.

Every new graduate feels exactly what you are feeling. You don’t know where to go, what will happen and if you’ll be able to achieve the success you’ve always hoped for. It’s just that Nursing students always had a guarantee of sorts that they will be in demand by the time they graduate and eventually pass the board exams. And now that that guarantee has failed, you are expectedly upset and scared.

Take responsibility for your decisions in life. Yes, your parents might have pushed you down the nursing path. But they didn’t put a gun to your head to take that course. You DECIDED to follow their recommendation.

You are not a victim here. Think about it, would your parents deliberately sabotage your life by making you take up nursing? No. As a matter of fact, the very reason they thought it might benefit you is precisely because at the time, there really was a high demand for nurses all around the world.

So blaming your parents totally for this situation is NOT fair and you avoid taking responsibility for your decision. I think you are just scared at the scarcity of prospective jobs so you are jumping into blaming your parents because it is easier. However, the first step to being a grown up is taking responsibility for all the decisions we make and living with their consequences.

So accept your part in this scenario. Doing so will make you more eager to make better decisions for yourself next time.

So, what to do? Well, for starters, take away the negativity. This is an energy that will make things worse rather than better. Remember, you are taking the board exams in July. That is your priority. Don’t focus too much on getting a job right now, focus more on passing and maybe placing in the Nursing board exams.

The next steps you will just have to take when you’re there. Cross the bridge when you get there. What is the alternative anyway at this point? Drop everything just because it’s hard to find a job? That will just all the more lessen your chances of getting a good job. Right?

You’re at this point in your life because of decisions you made. And sometimes in life, we will make mistakes but it is up to us to handle life’s unexpected twists and turns. Life is never all planned out. Most of the time we wing things because unexpected things arise that we need to deal with or overcome.

The uncertainty of life IS part of what makes life difficult, unpredictable and well, truthfully, fun! You have to respond to the challenges of life at every turn. There is no other way. Giving up is not an option.

So take the exam. Give it your best shot. Then go and think of the ways to get into the medical field. You’re not even out there yet and you’ve already given up. Yes, you’ve heard stories from past graduates but that’s their experience. It is up to you now to make your own way into the world. And you have to be resourceful and really have the hunger to find your spot in the medical field.

When you realize that just getting your parents to send you to school is already a blessing just because others don’t even have that, then you will become grateful and not angry at them.

In the US, teenagers send themselves to university.

Their parents don’t even pay for their college education but yours did. Isn’t that a good thing? Just because there is at this moment scarcity of jobs doesn’t mean they were wrong. At the time the decision was made, it was the RIGHT decision because you agreed. Right now though, the situation has changed. And now, you will have to respond to this challenge the way other people before us have done it — FIND A WAY. Strive. Struggle. Make do with what you got in front of you. Persist. Forge on. Don’t throw in the towel even before the real fight starts.

Lose the sense of entitlement and lose the expectation that life is going to be easy. It won’t. The most you can hold on to is, you have the freedom to decide where your life goes at this point: HOPE or DESPAIR. Please choose hope. It will lead you to better things.

(Chico and Delle welcome your letters. Write to: youth@mb.com.ph or fax through 527-7511. Listen to the Dynamic Duo Monday to Saturday, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. over Monster Radio RX 93.1)

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