Effective Time Management Skills

Person applying effective time management skills while working on laptop

Time Management Strategies

Learning to balance your time is extremely important to prevent burnout and mental illness from developing. Many people attempt to work harder but not smarter! They believe that if they put in more hours or stay at work longer, they will somehow accomplish more.

This mentality is wrong for several reasons: putting in more hours does not mean that you are doing a service to your mind and body, if that involves sacrificing extracurricular activities, quality time spent with family and friends and a healthy sleep hygiene!

The skills required for effective time management include:

  • Efficiency
  • Working at an acceptable pace
  • Learning to divide work among your group members
  • Maintaining a positive mindset and outlook on life
  • Learning to finish all of your quality work early
  • Not worrying
  • And most importantly, enjoying what you do

If you are doing something that you do not enjoy, it will be very hard to apply effective time management skills consistently; sooner or later, you will fall victim to burnout.

It is not hard to implement effective time management skills if you are smart and willing to make some adjustments! But if you are rigid or not willing to make a change, your time management will suffer.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Happy Healthy Food

Stacks of blueberries

The Benefits Of Blueberries

Blueberries are low in calories and high in nutrients! An entire cup contains only 80-85 calories! They are also rich in fiber, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin K; nutrients are important for the proper maintenance of cellular organelles and organs and reducing the risk of developing physical disorders.

Blueberries have one of the highest levels of antioxidants among fruits! They are rich in anthocyanins which protect your body from free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for damaging cells and contribute to cancer and aging. Blueberries also directly increase antioxidant levels in your body!

Blueberries reduce DNA damage! DNA damage occurs in every cell throughout its lifetime and is responsible for aging. It also plays an important role in the development of cancer. Blueberries neutralize the free radicals which are responsible for DNA damage.

Blueberries are very good for your heart! They reduce levels of oxidized LDL which is the bad cholesterol responsible for contributing to heart disease.

Numerous studies have demonstrated a decrease in blood pressure in individuals consuming blueberries!

Blueberries can help maintain brain function! They benefit aging neurons by leading to improvements in neuronal signaling. The antioxidants are also responsible for delaying mental decline.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that blueberries improve insulin sensitivity, resulting in a lower risk of developing type II diabetes and metabolic syndrome!

Blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections! They contain substances that prevent bacteria like E. Coli from binding to the wall of your bladder.

So what are you waiting for? It is time to indulge in your new favorite healthy snack: blueberries!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Is Pedophilia A Mental Illness?

Young girl scared of a pedophile and covering her face with both hands

Pedophilic Disorder

Pedophilia is the attraction and sexual feelings directed towards children. The DSM-V classifies pedophilia as a mental disorder accompanied by intense and recurrent sexual urges and fantasies about children, that have either been acted upon or which cause the person with the attraction distress or interpersonal difficulty.

Pedophilia is considered child sexual abuse. It is mostly documented in men but women also exhibit the disorder. It emerges during puberty and remains stable over time. Pedophiles do not choose to be attracted to children; it is self-discovered. Therapies exist but no cure has been identified.

The difference between pedophilia and heterosexuals and homosexuals is that the former causes harm to others, while partaking in heterosexual or homosexual acts is understood to be mutual between two consenting adults or two consenting adolescents. A child cannot consent to sexual acts with an adult without the child being psychologically manipulated.

Pedophiles often develop a relationship with a child and prey upon their feelings and emotions, slowly making their advance at vulnerable times. Some children learn to accept the sexual advances because they wrongly interpret them as opportunities for affection and attention; their manipulated mind works in favor of the pedophile who is clearly taking advantage.

Even though pedophilia is considered a mental illness, criminal prosecutions continue to persist due to the nature of the illness; no child or adolescent deserves being manipulated mentally, emotionally and physically. On the other hand, efforts continue for developing treatments with the goal of preventing future acts of abuse.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts

Man suffering from OCD while sitting on white metal bench during daytime

The Birth Of OCD

They come through like raining bullets; unwanted intrusive thoughts become stronger the more you experience them. This is because we usually fight uncomfortable thoughts and apply resistance by pushing them in the back of our mind; the unconscious vault does not stay locked indefinitely.

When we attempt to ignore unwanted intrusive thoughts, we are suppressing them into our unconscious mind; this temporarily removes them from our day-to-day awareness. The problem is that the unconscious mind is not a permanent storage vault for unsatisfying thoughts; they leak back into our daily stream of thoughts at unexpected times. The pattern then repeats itself.

When this pattern persists, we begin to become compulsive: we start to perform actions or ritualistic behavior with the hope of suppressing the thoughts. At first, we might notice some improvement; the thoughts are not as persistent. But over time, we must perform the compulsions more frequently in order to suppress the thoughts more consistently. The pattern then repeats itself.

The natural way of overcoming unwanted intrusive thoughts and the accompanying compulsions is to master the act of willpower. Willpower, is this case, is allowing the thoughts to be present without them affecting you; their intrusiveness no longer bother you. It is a mind state that only you can apply; a change in character that you must adopt. By becoming indifferent to intrusive thoughts, your compulsions will also start to decrease and you will start living life again without interference.

It is a wonderful feeling to overcome intrusive thoughts, compulsions or OCD altogether; it brings you joy to experience freedom again. But if unsuccessful, do not become discouraged or give up! Many people suffer from OCD and benefit from antidepressants and psychotherapy. The most important thing is to try your best and to know when to seek help; you are not in this alone!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

How To Help Someone With Mental Illness

Grayscale photo of a woman crying and suffering from a mental illness

Mental Health Teamwork

The first step is to help yourself by becoming open to the fact that mental illness is not some crazy psychological “in your head thing” caused by demonic possession or weakness; let us end the stigma that keeps many people from coming out and seeking the treatment they deserve and need. Just as how physical disorders harm the body, the same concept applies with mental illness: the mind is being rocked out of its place.

By accepting that mental illness is real and not a “weakness”, you are now ready to share your heart and mind with someone with a mental illness. Listen to them! Sometimes just listening is half the battle of helping someone defeat a mental illness. There is something magical and therapeutic by listening to someone share their symptoms: it helps them feel understood and appreciated.

Show them empathy and concern; show them that you truly care! Patients suffering from mental illness can tell when a psychiatrist is truly caring for them; it radiates like the sunshine on a warm summer day. To show empathy is to attempt to understand the emotions and suffering that someone with a mental illness is experiencing; it is stepping into their life and sharing their pain, even if it’s for a moment!

Be there for them! If it is someone close to you like a family member or a close friend, keep in contact as much as possible. When you allow someone with a mental illness to become isolated, their chances of committing suicide dramatically increases; isolation is a campground for negative and harmful thoughts. Maintaining a strong and close connection with someone suffering from a mental illness often helps them cope more efficiently and get through their illness; your presence makes a difference.

Treat others as you would like to be treated!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Imagery And Repetition Are Aspects Of Success

Young blonde woman wearing blue top while standing on plain field celebrating success

Suffering From Success

To accomplish is to first see it in the eye of your mind. Visualizing your goals before achieving them preps your path towards making them a reality. Living it in your mind before in reality allows you to connect with the emotions of that event; it increases your belief that you deserve whatever you want!

It takes much repetition in your mind and in reality to achieve success. Without persistence and hard work, success moves farther off into the distance. Most people do not want to put in the hard work because it is easier to become complacent with the current situation; this mentality promotes mediocracy.

There is suffering before success and suffering from success; one indicates that you are on the path to achieving it and the other indicates that you have achieved it but still in pain. Suffering does not go away once success has arrived; it is part of life whether rich or poor. It’s how you handle the suffering that separates resilient individuals from the rest.

To become successful, you must be willing to sacrifice time, energy and even situations; to gain something greater requires losing something lesser. For some, time is precious and are not willing to sacrifice it; they may never see success. For others, time is pointless and are willing to take up as much of it to see results; success might be around the corner.

You decide what it takes to become successful, but one common theme remains: imagery, repetition, thankfulness and sacrifice usually deliver you the results!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Wimbledon: Serena Williams

Singles tennis match on Wimbledon center court

The Underdog Alison Riske

Tennis is a beautiful and passionate sport that brings out the best in people: hard work, strength, desire, will, motivation, determination and toughness. You must be willing to wake up every day and give it your all; you have no teammates to help you out!

Serena Williams used to hit balls with her sister Venus out of a shopping cart in the rusty streets of Compton, California. Alison Riske used to hit balls in a cold bubble at a club named Windwood, in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Different stories but one common theme is evident: persistence and passion brought these players to the top of the tennis world!

If you are not able to remain mentally tough for 2-3 hours at a time, then tennis is not the sport for you. You have no teammates to assist you when you are running low on concentration or physical strength; you are out there on your own. Your career depends on how much hard work you put in since day one.

Getting your children involved in tennis is one of the best things you can do for them. The sport will teach them discipline, listening skills, the joy of winning, the pain of losing and the beauty of learning. Since you are playing on your own, it can become very gratifying to reap many wins after shedding so many tears; the feeling is priceless.

And that is what Alison Riske is set out to accomplish at this year’s Wimbledon. She will step out onto a quarterfinal stage to face one of the greatest (if not, the greatest) women’s tennis player of all time: Serena Williams. And who wins does not matter. But who leaves with a smile on their face will be victorious in the end!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Suffer The Results Of Your Behavior

Black man wearing a white sweater while reading a book

Knowledge Takes Practice

Knowledge is very important to have: it helps you build connections, maintain intelligent conversations and keeps you educated about different concepts in life. Knowledge can be acquired through life experience and reading.

No one can question your life experience! What you have gone through and seen with your own eyes is yours; you were there in that moment to take away something from it. Life experience is very valuable because it teaches you concepts and ideas which you cannot obtain from a book, such as relationships, decisions and valuable information learned from other people.

Reading teaches you information that can make you more knowledgeable on various topics. But one important point to make is that knowledge takes practice; you cannot read for a certain amount of time and expect to maintain the knowledge indefinitely. Your brain is constantly repressing old information no longer being used and applied and learning new information presented to it.

Your behavior is determined by many factors, including life experience and knowledge obtained from books. Therefore, if you lack significant life experience or you are not well-read, your behavior will deliver you results that may be subpar; you will suffer at the subpar level.

The solution is to expose yourself to as many different life experiences and to become educated through reading and learning from others. Knowledge does not last forever; you have to practice to maintain your current level of knowledge and to escalate it to higher levels!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Women’s World Cup Final

Women playing soccer during daytime

The Beauty Of Teamwork

The women’s United States soccer team won the 2019 FIFA World Cup by beating the Netherlands 2-0 in the final match. Seeing an American team dominate in the sport of soccer when traditionally the sport has been dominated for generations by other countries, is a great feeling and nice moment to observe!

Getting involved in a team sport has many advantages:

  • Making friends
  • Establishing strong relationships
  • Provides a support network
  • Learning to work together with others
  • Learning from others
  • More pressure is lifted off of you
  • Sharing victories together feels good
  • Boosts productivity
  • Improves morale
  • Teaches conflict resolution skills
  • Advances your career

Soccer is a great sport to get involved in, whether you decide playing it at age 40 or would like your daughter or son to try it out. It has many health benefits including:

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and stay active; your health and well-being depend on it!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Few People Have The Imagination For Reality

Creative person's face dreaming

Your Dreams Become Your Reality

Most people dream of a successful life where everything is easy; the problem is that they do not have a realistic plan or they give up on their dreams when their reality remains the same.

Dreaming but not having a realistic plan is equal to playing tennis without a racquet; you will be watching at most! In order to achieve your dreams, you must lay out steps and goals that will get you there. The problem is that most people do not lay out steps and goals because it is either too much work or they do not know how to.

No dream is out of reach! As long as you can imagine it, then you are already halfway there. But you need to find a way to come up with realistic steps and goals and that is often the hard part; your steps and goals must align with your dreams and must be realistic enough to accomplish.

Another problem is that people give up on their dreams when they do not see a change in their life. They have the imagination for dreaming but do not have the imagination for reality! Changing your reality may take months or even years; it is not an overnight event like a dream that you wake up to in the morning.

Another mistake that people make is that they do not dream enough! They believe that their reality is destined or controlled by fate. This type of belief system only attracts mediocracy at best; in order to reach higher levels of success, you must also tap into your creativity and dream! Feed your reality with a spoon full of creative juice.

The DSM Ready Movement is all about combining dreams and reality and creating something great in return: helping humanity be free of mental health stigma through the power of honesty, trust and love!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)