Posted in mass shootings

Another Mass Shooting? What’s going on in Our Country?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of work and writing. The fourth of July came and went, and we had another mass shooting. For the life of me, I don’t understand the motivation behind these shootings.

What could the shooter possibly gain from killing people who are enjoying a parade. Did you know there was a two-year-old boy wandering the streets because his parents had been killed by the shooter? A good Samaritan helped him eventually and got him to the proper authorities, but this is heartbreaking. His little socks were soaked in blood.

Something needs to be done. I hate to suggest more government intervention especially since there’s so much corruption, but I look at Canada, and they have the same issues we do, but they have strict gun-control laws, and they don’t have the mass shooting problems we do. It’s time to follow in their footsteps. I don’t want another child growing up parentless.

More gun control will help, but it’s not enough. We need to find the motivation behind these shootings. What is the killer seeking by doing this? Is it attention? Is it to alleviate their own pain? One of the things these shootings all have in common is that the shooter in every single one is male.

What else do they have in common? I did a little research, and this article gives a detailed rundown on the profile of mass shooters. It breaks them down into five categories. https://www.vice.com/en/article/a35mya/nearly-all-mass-shooters-since-1966-have-had-four-things-in-common

This article suggests there are some commonalities between the different types. School shooters both at the K-12 level and university level are or have been students of that institution. They are suicidal and have a history of trauma or violence in their past.

Workplace shooters usually have a grievance against the company and work there. Place of worship shooters are motivated by hate against that particular religion. Then we have the mass shooters at a commercial location. These shooters have a history of violence and criminal records.

Wouldn’t a history of violence be a huge red flag? We need stronger gun controls until we are willing to deal with the underlying issues that are creating these mass shooters.

We need better mental health support for everyone, but especially for men. We need better family support because many of these shooters have experienced childhood trauma.

I believe it all boils down to the family unit. I would bet my bottom dollar that workplace shooters, place of worship shooters, and mass shooters at a public location all had childhood trauma in their pasts.

We as parents need to take better care of our kids so they don’t grow up to be mass shooters. So more restrictive laws on guns, better mental health care, and better support for parents, so they can be better parents will create an environment where we can all live our lives without fear.

I know this won’t happen overnight, but we do need to make some changes and fast. How about you? Do you have any ideas? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in mass shootings, mental-health, Personal

Another School Shooting…when will they stop?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of work and editing. I’m editing my second manuscript and I’m excited about this one too. But enough about that. We had a sad event happen this week. There was another school shooting in Texas.

This breaks my heart. I think about those innocent children cowering in corners and how scared they must’ve been. My heart goes out to them. Then I think of the shooter and wonder how wounded he must’ve been to go to that extreme. He must’ve felt he had nothing left to live for.

I think of my own kids and wonder how I can protect them. I wonder if online school isn’t the solution, but also an exasperation of the problem at the same time. I mean keeping large groups from getting together will make them less likely to be victims, but and this is a big but, isolation and disconnection are huge factors that drive these kids to do the unthinkable.

I was chatting with my husband, and he asked the mind-boggling question, where did this eighteen-year-old get the money to buy an assault weapon? These guns are not cheap. I read a little bit of background about the shooter. He was a loner who had quit his job a week prior to the shooting.

This supports my theory that disconnection is a major factor in these events. Disconnection from family, their community, and society. We all need to be vigilant. As parents we can do our part and make sure our kids feel connected to their family. Family traditions are a big part of that.

allthefreestock.com

According to another newspaper article, the shooter made threats to girls online when they rebuffed his sexual advances and claimed he’d come to their school and shoot it up. These are signs that we need to take seriously. No one believed he would carry out his threats. They all thought he was kidding.

Now we know better. Now we must do better.

We need to take better care of our kids. Pure and simple. The teen years are the hardest years of our lives, and they’re harder now than when we were teens decades ago. When they withdraw, make sure they’re not dealing with anxiety or depression. I know this is hard. They won’t like your intrusion, but they’ll appreciate it when they’re older. And the fact that they made it to “older” will be a blessing in itself.

We need stronger gun laws for young kids. I am a believer in the second amendment, but I’m also a believer in keeping our kids alive. Both can be true. Young kids don’t need assault rifles. Period.

We need to train our police officers how to manage situations like this. It’s my understanding that they stood around the school for an hour, not knowing what to do. It was a border patrol officer who got into the school and shot the shooter.

We need to do more for through our mental health programs. Mental health issues start in the teen years. If your teen or a friend of your teen’s is showing mental health issues, try and get them help in any way you can.

Is there a way to prevent mass shootings? I believe we can. Maybe not prevent every one, but we can bring these numbers down. How about you? Do you have any ideas? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Posted in Health, mental-health, Personal

Is Social Media Replacing Physical Touch?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week with working and writing. I’m back to running outside. It’s finally warm enough. I’m being careful because of my back, but so far so good. I sleep better when I exercise and my mood during the day is better. I can tell a difference.

But enough about that. I’m back today to talk about our emotional needs. As I scroll through my feed on Facebook, I find many people posting about their emotional needs on social media. Need an ego boost? Post a selfie. Need prayer warriors? Make a post on social media. Don’t get me wrong I’m okay with asking for support on social media, but I’m concerned.

I’m concerned because what happens when social media becomes the only form of emotional support for people? I mean what if it replaces the hug and the touch on the arm? We as a species need physical touch. I strongly believe that. Did you know hugs and cuddling can ward off depression?

Maybe that’s why so many of our young people are depressed. Maybe they’re turning to social media and not getting the hugs they really need. It doesn’t have to be a hug. It could be a touch or just hearing the affection in the tone of your voice. You can’t get that from social media either. I’m not a therapist or a scientist, but I love to research for my stories and other things that intrigue me. So, I’m drawing a conclusion based on my research and I may be on to something here.

We need face to face interaction. There’s no way around it. We need to hear the inflection in the voices of our loved ones when we walk in the door. We need the physical touch of a stroke on our arm or a hug. Social media can’t replace that, and I feel these things are vital to our health.

We need social gatherings more than ever now and family traditions. Any type of face-to-face contact. Our kids need it so they learn social skills, and we can maintain our mental health. We need to use all five of our senses to keep our brain working properly not just our eyesight. What do you think? Am I on to something here? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, mental-health

Is Social Media Bad for Your Health?

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of work, writing, and running. This week I saw a post on Facebook (kind of ironic, I know) and it made the statement that Social Media makes you dissatisfied with your life.

I gathered from this statement that social media makes people dissatisfied because we start to compare ourselves to what other people post. The meme went on to say, get off social media, read a book, work in your garden, or go for a walk. Do something that brings you joy and do it for that reason alone. Don’t do something just so you can post it on Facebook later. Do it because you enjoy it.

I agree with this statement even though I’m guilty of spending time on social media myself. I find that scrolling on Facebook or tweeting on Twitter is a passive exercise. You’re not actively participating in life. Sure, you can connect with people and message them and that’s all well and good. I do that myself.  But you’re not actively living.

When you go for a walk, you’re not only doing something good for your body. You’re experiencing life. You’re experiencing the smells of the forest and the beauty of the wildflowers growing alongside the road. That’s living. You’ll feel better getting up and doing something. Going for a walk or a hike even by yourself is much better for you than scrolling through posts on Facebook.  

If you’re feeling frustrated with your life or you’re dealing with a problem and you can’t find a solution. Read a book. Reading is a great stress reliever and I guarantee if you read for even just fifteen minutes, the problem you’re dealing with won’t feel so big. Again, reading is active. Your brain is working, focusing on something other than your problem or dissatisfaction.

Don’t get me wrong, social media is a great way to keep in touch with people and make connections, but it’s not good for your health if you’re neglecting exercise or it creates mental anguish. Remember, the goal of social media is to keep you engaged. You have to actively set limits for yourself or you’ll get sucked in. It happens to the best of us.

Remember to actively live your life. Enjoy that walk or run while you’re doing it. Stay in that moment. Enjoy cooking that meal for your family. Enjoy the smells of the spices lingering in the air as you cook. Turn on the radio and listen to music while you work. That’s living. Social media isn’t.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you feel about social media? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, mental-health, Parenting

What is PAI?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you today. I’ve had a busy week of working, running, and writing. My Fitbit has a PAI indicator on it, so I’ve been a little more active this week. LOL

The PAI indicator is a personal physiological activity indicator. It measures, heart rate, intensity of daily activity, and other multi-dimensional characteristics to determine your PAI value. Long story short if you score above 100, you’re living your best life. A score above 100 means that you’re reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and increasing your life expectancy. So, my goal is to get a 100 or better every day.

What’s nice about that number is that you don’t have to do high intensity workouts to achieve it. It can be achieved just by going for a long walk. The days I run, my PAI is much higher, but walking a couple of miles also helps me reach my goal as well.

This gives me hope because sooner or later, I’m going to have to stop running. It’ll become too hard on my knees and ankles, when that happens at least I know I’ll be able to walk and still maintain my health.

I’m worried about the next generation, though. Many teens these days aren’t getting enough exercise. They sit and watch YouTube videos or play video games and this activity has a detrimental effect on their health. Modern technology is great, but our bodies were made to move, and the kids these days are growing up on video games, Red Bull, and fast food. Not a great combination.

I try hard to get my boys out moving, but I’m not always successful. I’m thinking about getting them fitbits and telling them they need to score over 100 on their PAI before they can sit down at the computer and play their games. But what about when they’re back at school?

I wish school required more physical activity. We need to revamp our educational system to consider both mental and physical health. Make physical education a requirement all the way up to your senior year. Or maybe schools could offer classes for tennis, running, and volleyball so kids could learn those skills, too. I’m not sure what the answer is. How about you? What changes would you make to our educational system to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of our kids? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Personal, vacatioin

Vacations: A Great Stress Reliever

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve been busy with work and writing this week. I’ve got one more scene to add to my story then I’ll have to do some more editing to take out some words…then it will be done, and I’ll be moving on to the next project.

But enough about that, today is supposed to be warm and sunny. My tulips are blooming. Finally! We are about two weeks behind everyone else. But that’s okay, they are beautiful. I want to spend as much time outside as I can today and soak up some of that sun.

But before I do that, I’m writing today’s post. Today, I’d like to talk about the importance of vacations. I’m sure it’s because it’s so nice outside that I’m thinking about our vacation this year.

We’re planning a trip this year. We haven’t taken the boys out of state yet, and they’re itching to go. So, we must decide where we want to go. We’re trying to accommodate everyone. My oldest wants to go to the beach and maybe see the ocean. My youngest isn’t sure. I know hubby would like to go fishing, and me, I want to see the giant redwoods at least one time in my life.

A friend suggested Crater Lake or Diamond Lake in Oregon. I’ve done some preliminary research and it is a possibility. However, we may just bite the bullet and go all the way to California, too.

Vacations are important for families. It’s a great way to create lasting memories and bonds. It opens the world to your kids. It opens their lens wider when they view the world. Vacations are a great way to reconnect and solidify those bonds.

It’s also a great way to relieve stress, and this year has been especially stressful with the pandemic, working from home, and virtual learning. We just need to go someplace and have some fun.  So, if you can afford it, take some time off and recharge those batteries. You’ve earned it and You deserve it.

A vacation also improves your mental health. Getting away and getting out of that rut of constantly doing the same thing is a great way to boost your moral. A vacation gives you something to look forward to. So, when you’re having a bad day, you can look ahead and know that this moment is temporary. When your vacation is over, you have something to remind you that life isn’t always drudgery. There are fun moments to look forward to and reflect on.

So, there you have it. Why vacations are important for your health. Are you going on any vacations this year? Do you have any recommendations for me on where we should go? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, mental-health, Personal

Take a Hike!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of editing and work. I’m excited about my story and I’m close to the finish line. I’ve got another story I’m just as excited about that I’ve put on the back burner so I can whip my latest project into shape.

But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about taking down time to enjoy the little things, like taking a hike. I love walking through the woods. I love the smell of the leaves as they fall mixing with the scent of soil. It grounds me. I feel our society needs more time outside. We’re all stuck in front of our computers. We’ve become the inside generation. We’re not getting enough fresh air and sunshine.

We’re not getting enough exercise. I see my boys sitting in front of their computers doing their virtual learning then gaming, and it worries me. I must become quite the Napoleon to get them outside, but they grudgingly do it.

There was a movie we watched when they were little that left quite an impression on me. That movie was Wall-E. It was the story about what happens after we’ve abused the earth so badly it has become unlivable and the humans create a home away from home. It’s a huge space station and everyone on the station is lazy and overweight. They’re so fat, they can’t walk very well, so they have these devices that transport them everywhere.

Sadly, I don’t think this future is far off the mark. Unless we get off our rear-ends and get moving. I’m trying to get outside more myself. I’m trying to set a good example for my kids, but even I fall short. Especially with winter right around the corner where we rise in the dark and get home from work when it’s dark. This not only affects my motivation but makes me want to hibernate, to hunker down and stay inside.

I think I came from a tribe of hibernators.

But I digress. Taking a hike through the woods is great exercise and it’s good for yourself mentally. It gets those endorphins running and we get something from the forest. The trees emit phytoncides.

These little guys are good for our immune system. They enhance our anti-cancer protein production. To learn more about Forest Bathing click here: https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/the-benefits-of-forest-bathing/

So, getting outside is good for our body and our souls. Let’s get moving America and get healthy again!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any outdoor activities that you like to do? Please leave a comment! I love hearing from you!