Posted in Health, mental-health, Personal

Hiking. It’s Good for You

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of writing and work. The kids are back to doing school virtually, so we’ve overcome that hurdle of change.

I had a request from one of my followers to show some of the photos of my hikes, so I thought today, I’d share some of the benefits of hiking and share some of the awesome photos I’ve taken. Not that I’m a great photographer or anything like that, it’s just our world is amazingly beautiful, so not even I can take a bad picture. 😊

So, without further ado here’s my personal list of the benefits of hiking.

  1. It clears my mind. Whenever, I have a tough decision to make or I’m having trouble with my manuscript. I get out into nature and my mind clears and problems get solved.
  • Hiking is a great stress reliever. Whenever, I’m having a hectic day, I take a quick walk through the woods and it calms me and clears my mind.
  • Hiking is also great exercise. It burns calories and strengthens your muscles including your back muscles. It’s also a great way to improve your circulation.
  • It’s a great way to focus on gratitude. When you’re out in the woods and taking in all the beauty, it’s hard to be in a negative frame of mind. It’s a great place to reset and change your attitude.

So, there you have it. Five great reasons to get out into the woods and get moving. It’s good for you both mentally and physically! Here is a photo of the beauty that’s waiting for you out there! 😊

Posted in current-events, environment, Family, Parenting, Personal, Politics, raising kids, Teen

Don’t Look Now, But Social Media is Taking Control of Virtual Reality

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a stressful week of dealing with kid issues, a pandemic, work, and writing. Because I had a lot on my plate, I didn’t get a lot of writing done, but that’s okay. I needed to take a little break and refuel.

But enough about that, today I want to talk about a trend I see happening. First, I need to give you a little background, though.  Hubby and I were shopping for a virtual reality headset for the boys for Christmas. We found one we really liked because it wouldn’t be obsolete in two years. Anyway, we were all set to buy it when we discovered that in order to activate it, my son would have to open his own Facebook account.

We dug in our heels and didn’t buy it. We don’t want our kids having social media accounts right now. Especially after watching the show “Social Dilemma.” I remember after watching that show, I made the remark to my hubby that soon this is going to be seeping into the kids’ video games, and not two months later we run into the above scenario.

This is dangerous. The reason being that it’s giving social media platforms way too much control. They are changing human behavior by creating personalized click bait for each member. Their goal is to increase engagement, so your child will spend his free time on their site. Now that they’re invading video games, they’re going after the younger crowd. They’re looking to expand their customer base and more importantly they’re going to gather the same information about your child that they’re gathering about you.

social media, likes, engagement

I don’t know how we can stop this. Facebook bought the company that created the virtual headset my hubby wanted to get for our son, so they can require this. No one is stopping them. So, what happens when your child spends more time with their computer than they do with people? Loss of social graces, loss of the ability to communicate face to face, and the loss of empathy.

All these skills are needed to navigate today’s world. What happens if you as a parent do their do diligence and try to teach these skills to your children? They’ll be the only ones with these skills and get lost in a sea of dealing with socially inept humans. It’s a sad state of affairs. I’m not sure what we can do to stop this from happening.

Do we have the government regulate social media? Who trusts the government these days? What are your thoughts? Do you have any ideas? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, Personal, Women

What is your Standard of Care?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after having a couple of guests for the last couple of weeks. I hope you enjoyed them, but I’m back today after a stressful week at work and trying to work on my writing at the same time.

It has been a week of trying to find balance during an incredibly stressful period. These are unprecedented times. What with the election and the pandemic, it has been hard to focus on my goals. It’s during these times that we must focus more than ever on where we’re going. We can’t let the world events deter us from our path, no matter how much anxiety they cause us. By focusing on our aspirations, we’ll alleviate our anxiety. Moving forward is one of the best ways to deal with worry.  

I forgot this concept this week. I put my self-care on the back burner. Something I do when I’m stressing out. I don’t eat right, and I don’t exercise as much as I should. However, I saw the signs quickly and pulled myself out of my funk. I did this by deciding on a standard of care for myself. You see, I want to be healthy and active in my old age. I want to be one of those women who’s still running in her sixties. So, to do that I have to exercise a standard of care today.

I’ve been running and I’ve dropped my weight. I’ve also changed my eating habits and I’m watching how many carbs I eat a day to keep the weight off. Well, that’s my goal. This week, I veered off my path and started eating some sugary sweets and not exercising because I was stressed out. Because of this, I’m thinking I need to do some yoga to help alleviate the mental stress of trying to work, raise a family, and write during a pandemic. The exercise is awesome for getting those endorphins surging, but if it’s raining or too cold out, I struggle with jumping on the treadmill. It’s not the same as running outside. So, I’m going to add a couple more activities like yoga and Pilates to my exercise regime. I’m trying to do two things by doing this, strengthening my core and improving my mental health. Yoga is a great way to calm the turbulent seas of my emotions, and by increasing my activity, I’m changing my focus from things I have no control over to things I can do something about.

So, in a nutshell, I’m taking the standard of my self-care up a notch and I recommend that you do, too. I don’t think this pandemic is going away anytime soon and there are whispers of a shut-down. You don’t have to go gym to do Pilates or Yoga, there are plenty of YouTube videos out there. Check them out. It’ll be good for your health, both mental and physical.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. What is your standard of care? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in books, Guest Author, Writing

Writers Living Right by Sharon Ledwith

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve got a guest today and she’s going to talk about Writers Living Right…take it away, Sharon!

Writers Living Right…

Writers are mostly on their butts doing what they love to do, but our bodies were made to move. I used to write first thing in the morning to get my word count, but as the day blossomed, exercise went on the back burner. So I kick-start my day by either doing free weights, abdominal exercises, and push-ups, or gliding on my elliptical for 20 minutes. Once the exercise routine is done in the morning, I feel recharged and ready to start the rest of the day writing, planning, marketing, or promoting my books. I still try to get up and stretch every hour, and to make sure I do this, I purchased a small trampoline and keep it in my writing office. Believe me, it gets all those author parts moving and shaking in all the right places!

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Another healthy lifestyle tip for writers is to take breaks throughout the day. The truth is—we all need to periodically step away. We skip breaks in the name of “getting one more page written,” but when we don’t break from our work, our productivity suffers. We lose focus. We start making small mistakes and even forget things altogether. Our bodies have a natural ebb-and-flow response to stress that allows us to work hard and then relax and recover. The problem comes when we chronically trigger those responses. We become all flow and no ebb, and you can only cheat the system so long before it becomes counterproductive. Set a timer if you must, or download an app that will remind you to pull away from your task, but for the sake of your health, give yourself a break!

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Want another reason to rest and recharge your writing muscles? I find if I overuse my computer mouse—whether writing a novel, editing, blogging, or engaging in social media—my wrist starts to throb. Then I know it’s time to put on a wrist brace, and rest my hand as much as possible. Or I switch up and use my other hand. Eye strain happens more when I’m revising and proofing. Sometimes I use an eye patch to give my sore eye a rest. The one thing writers don’t want to screw around with is the health of their eyes. So take frequent breaks when proofing or editing. Your eyes will thank you. The key for me as a writer is that I’ve learned to listen to my body. I stop if it hurts. I rest. Stretch if I need to release the kinks. It’s pretty much all common sense!

One more thing. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your body needs lubrication. Water massages your major organs, flushes toxins from your body, increases energy and relieves fatigue. And if that wasn’t enough to get you periodically up out of your seat to go grab a glass or bottle of water, drinking enough water can also help with weight loss. A bonus for any writer who doesn’t want to drag around that secretarial spread behind them. So, drink to your health, and bottoms up!

What do you do to recharge your batteries throughout the day? How often do you take a break? If you’re a writer, what are you doing to promote health and well-being in your life? Would love to read and respond to your comments! Cheers and thank you for reading my post!

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:

Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two Buy Links:

MIRROR WORLD PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀

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Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her spoiled hubby, and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM, and GOODREADS.

BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE