Bullet Journaling, Fruit for The Soul

College of DuPage Nursing Student Sofie Langan shared that on the surface, bullet journaling appears to be a trend straight out of Pinterest. With a simple Google search, thousands of photos of pastel-colored tapes, rainbow highlighters, and pens designed especially for the thin paper of a journal, appear. Endless blog posts, books, and tutorial videos are available to teach bullet journaling. It almost feels intimidating to try. However, diving a little deeper into the topic can be truly eye-opening. Journaling is a beautiful and creative process that gives one’s imagination no limits. Everything can be designed, drawn, colored, and decorated, to meet the ideals of a creator. The benefit of this practice is the mindfulness and reflection it encourages. When done constructively, bullet journaling can be extremely effective in maintaining good mental health.

Stress Reduction  – Journaling can decrease stress by providing an outlet to reflect and think. For example, many people feel stressed in a state of chaos or disorganization. A day-to-day spread, or journaling a to-do list, can help manage time and organize events. For those that struggle with stress affiliated with negative thoughts, gratitude or a prompt-based journal can promote positive thinking and general optimism. The truly amazing aspect of bullet journaling is that whatever is causing stress can be used as inspiration for creation. Everything can be specifically designed for the purposes of the individual and their personal growth goals.

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40 Body Positivity Quotes to Help You Practice Self-Love

group-of-business-peopleMany of us can’t help but compare ourselves to others, becoming hyper-critical of how our own bodies look. When negative self-talk creeps in, it’s important to do things that remind us of our endless beauty and worth. That’s why Tommy Johns compiled 40 body positivity quotes from respected authors and public figures who have dealt with self-esteem issues and have some wisdom to share on the topic.

Body positivity quotes aren’t a cure for low self-esteem, but they can certainly be a catalyst for a more positive outlook on life. Hopefully, you’ll have some “aha” moments as you read so that you can start stepping outside radiating with confidence.

Body Positivity Quotes For Every-Body!

Nobody is immune to struggles with self-confidence. Women and men alike battle feelings of unworthiness that tear us down rather than build us up. When the going gets tough, remind yourself of these affirming body positivity quotes that will help you feel good in your own skin again.

1. “Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others.” — Oprah Winfrey, Host & philanthropist
2. “And I said to my body softly, ‘I want to be your friend.’ It took a long breath and replied, ‘I have been waiting my whole life for this.’” — Nayyirah Waheed, Poet, Salt
3. “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Psychiatrist
4. “You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” — Louise Hay, Author
5. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” — Thich Nhat Hanh, Monk & Poet
6. “Don’t let your mind bully your body.” — June Tomaso Wood, Therapist
7. “You can’t hate yourself happy. You can’t criticize yourself thin. You can’t shame yourself worthy. Real change begins with self-love and self-care.” — Jessica Ortner, Author

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Cosmetic procedures demand up during pandemic

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Eleanor Mackey, Ph.D., a child psychologist who works primarily with the Obesity Institute and Children’s Research Institute (and a mother of 2 girls) wrote for “Rise and Shine” that now that school is back in full swing, many households are dealing with how to handle homework. Helping your child be successful at homework is very important because it is a very critical part of children’s academic success.

Homework helps children in several ways, including:

  • Continues learning after the school day
  • Teaches responsibility
  • It helps parents stay aware of what their child is learning in school

Being involved in your child’s homework is important. As with all parenting endeavors, though, there is a fine line between being too involved and not being involved enough.

So, what’s a parent to do?

Step 1: Set expectations
Set up appropriate expectations for your child and their homework responsibilities. For example, depending on the age of your child, they might be responsible for determining which homework needs to be done, doing the actual homework, and putting their completed homework into their backpack.

It is very important that the child take responsibility for the actual homework, not the parent. A parent might commit to finding a quiet space for the child to do the homework, checking answers, double-checking that everything has been done, as well as being on hand to answer questions. Read more

Wellness Wednesday- Mental Illness and Recovery

Kitten sleeping on the heart-shaped pillowNatalie Altenburg wrote in the DePaul Take Care Blog that now, more than ever, it is important that we have a “safe space” to allow us to cope with our emotions and regulate them. In this sense, a safe space does not necessarily have to be a physical place; it can simply be having tools prepared to help you feel safe when handling challenging emotions and situations. Here are a few tips she has for setting up your safe space!

  • Set and maintain boundaries. By doing this we are being proactive and protecting ourselves by setting clear expectations with others regarding what is and is not okay. Boundaries can be physical (ex: “Knock before coming into my room”) or social/emotional (ex: “I am not in the emotional space to be able to help you with this problem right now”). It is important for everyone’s physical and emotional safety that we set boundaries and respect the boundaries of others.
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Cyberbullying: How to identify and handle online harassment

Family in living room with laptop smilingAri Howard is an Associate Writer for the Allconnect team, focusing on broadband and wireless news, as well as broadband and TV provider deals. She shared with Healthy Lombard that similar to how a playground or workplace bully will terrorize someone in person, a cyberbully will harass and threaten their targets through various forms over the internet.

As our world becomes increasingly digital, dangers like cyberbullying that plague the online world continue to increase as well. COVID-19, unfortunately, exacerbated online bullying since millions of students were exclusively taking courses online and relying on the internet for most types of social interaction.

This increase in screen time throughout 2020 caused an immense spike in cyberbullying, with nearly 50% of students between the ages of 10 and 18 reporting that they were cyberbullied during the pandemic. In fact, the amount of reported bullying and hate speech on online chats increased by 70% in 2020.

What is cyberbullying and what does it look like?

Even though cyberbullying isn’t face-to-face, the effects can still be detrimental to the person experiencing the bullying. In fact, emotional distress can be even more severe when online bullying occurs anonymously. And the bullying is more likely to occur for a longer stretch of time since there are no immediate repercussions for a cyberbully.

Cyberbullying can occur through various online avenues, but here are some of the most common forms of cyberbullying among kids and teens:

  • Cyberbullying through chat rooms associated with work or school topics
  • Harassment on social media platforms
  • Online rumors
  • Purposefully leaving someone out of a chat or online group
  • Threatening emails
  • Anonymous apps
  • Harmful text messages
  • Compromising pictures

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If you’re still working from home, now nearly 18 months into the pandemic, you’ve got no excuse—at this point, you should have put together a proper workspace or home office (or found a professional contractor who can help).

Certainly, many people have limitations in terms of space, but much can be done with little, and you don’t necessarily need to break the bank to look professional in the Zoom Age. By now, at a bare minimum, remote workers should have a dedicated, functional space that supports their bodies, appropriate accessories to look and sound professional on video calls, and something other than a blank wall in their background.

For the most part, people are getting their act together, pulling their cats off their laptops, rejecting the kitchen counter as a “desk,” and learning the essentials of lighting. But many more are still several home improvement projects away from being in a place of comfort, productivity and professionalism.

CRAFTJACK recently surveyed 1,520 Americans who have been working remotely during the pandemic to understand their experiences in improvised workspaces, their attitudes towards presentation on video calls, and the consequences of their bad habits. Read more

15 ways to remember 9/11

  –  Contributing Writer for the Business Journal, wrote this article in 2011.  We think they are still applicable in 2021.

This September 11, marks the 20-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93 that crashed in western Pennsylvania.

Recalling the devastation wrought on that day is filled with pain for many. Yet we must remember the past, or we deprive ourselves of its lessons for overcoming our present struggles and divisions.

Here are 15 ways that all of us can take action and find common ground by memorializing the events of September 11, 2001:

  1. FLY your flag at half-mast for the 2,996 innocent human beings and 11 unborn babies who lost their lives, as well as the service members who died or were wounded in Operation Enduring Freedom.
  2. TAP into the love of country that flows through your veins. Give blood to the Red Cross to show solidarity with the more than 6,000 injured on that day.
  3. ATTEND and participate in community events to observe the six moments of silence for each key event of the attacks.
  4. SHARE your memories of the attacks with loved ones and friends.
  5. POST an appropriate picture or remembrance on social media or your company’s website to show your solidarity with the many innocent victims.
  6. PARTICIPATE in a local 9/11 Stair Climb to show gratitude and understanding for the grueling conditions our first responders perform under in the line of duty.
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8 signs you’re overdue for a mental health day

Edward Elmhurst Health shared in its bog that we’ve all been there. You haven’t had a break— from work, from the kids, from life in general — in ages. You’ve been in high gear for so long now that you’ve gotten used to feeling mentally and physically depleted.

It’s important to put the brakes on before your health really suffers. Long-term stress weakens your immune system and can cause a number of health problems or make existing problems worse.

The following are eight signs you’re overdue for a mental health day:

  1. You’re easily agitated. You feel on edge, temperamental, and irritable more often than not.
  2. You’re having trouble concentrating. You find it difficult to focus at work and at home.
  3. You’re forgetful. You can’t remember simple tasks, like putting in a load of laundry.
  4. You’re always tired but you can’t sleep. Furthermore, you are exhausted, but you toss and turn all night and you don’t wake up refreshed.
  5. You’re overly emotional. You are sensitive to things that normally don’t bother you.
  6. You’re sick all the time. You are coming down with frequent illnesses and health issues.
  7. You’re annoyed by others. You have a low tolerance for other people lately.
  8. You’re not having fun anymore. You can’t remember the last time you had a good laugh.

If you can relate to most of the above, it’s time to re-focus on your well-being. There’s nothing wrong with needing a day off, so take one. You’ll come out of it more rested, energized, and productive.

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