Posts tagged ‘Mental health’

What to do if you’re bedridden — guest post by Austin Sheeley

A Hill-Rom hospital bed

A Hill-Rom hospital bed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being bedridden is a challenge both physically and mentally. You may start to feel lonely or depressed and your body  could develop bedsores. But remember, you’re not alone. This is an issue many people have faced. You may not be able  to control the circumstances that made you bedridden, but  you can control how you adapt and grow because of it.

Caring for Your Mental State

If you’re bedridden, don’t allow boredom, or worse yet, depression take over. Instead, keep yourself mentally active  and have some fun! Here are just a few ways.

1.    Pray/Meditate
Prayer and meditation help us center ourselves and remember  what’s important. They’ve helped many, many people  through trying times.
2.    Practice Thankfulness
Many psychologists believe that true, lasting happiness  comes not from getting everything you want, but from being  thankful for everything you have. Don’t let life’s  trials stop you from seeing life’s blessings.
3.    Learn!
Now is the perfect time to learn. Take an online class. Or  simply choose a subject that interests you and learn  everything you can about it. Thanks to computers and the  internet you may even be able to get a job or do volunteer  work online.
4.    Do Physical Activities From Bed
Even though you can’t run a 4K at the moment, that  doesn’t mean you can’t do any physical activities. If  you’re able, try playing guitar, knitting, or doing other  simple things from bed.
5.    Do Good for Others
Some believe that true happiness comes from doing good for  others. Send a loved one an encouraging email. Call a lonely  friend. Answer people’s questions online, or provide  encouraging feedback to one of the internet’s many wannabe  authors.
6.    Read
If ever there was a good time to catch up on reading, this  is it. See if your caretaker can bring you some books from  the library.

Caring for Your Physical State

Another way to avoid becoming depressed is to take good care  of your physical body. Now more than ever it’s important  to—

1.    Eat Healthy
Proper eating will help you maintain strength and avoid  physical decline. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and  make sure to get some protein. Avoid excessive sugars or  fatty foods.
2.    Drink Lots of Water
Water is important for circulation and cleansing so you can  stay healthy.
3.    Exercise If You Can
Some bedridden people may be able to walk across the room.
Others can sit up in a chair for a while. Whatever you can  do,  do it—even if it’s simply rolling from side  to side in bed.
4.    Reposition Yourself Every 2 Hours

If you can, reposition yourself every two hours with the  help of a bed rail or bed trapeze. This will help you  prevent bedsores—injuries to the skin caused by the  prolonged pressure of lying in one position.
5.    Use Pressure Prevention Products
In addition to repositioning yourself, you may want to use a  pressure prevention pad or mattress. These products help  prevent bedsores and can allow current bedsores to heal.
Bony areas of your body, such as hips, elbows, and the back  of feet, are particularly susceptible to bedsores so  consider getting a cushion or bed wedge to protect them.
6.    Keep Your Skin Clean
Ask your caregiver to regularly wash your skin with mild  soap and warm water, dry it off and inspect it daily for  bedsores. Depending on your condition, you may be able to do  some of the inspecting yourself.

Austin Sheeley is a senior health blogger for home medical  supplies store,, which offers a wide  variety of pressure prevention pads and other bedsore  related products.


Ways men can maintain their mental health after retirement — guest post by Mariana Ashley


Retirement (Photo credit: Tax Credits)

When we’re young and wanting only to sleep in a few extra hours past our alarm for work, we dream of the day we can hang up our working shoes and snuggle into retirement and old age. However, many young, self-proclaimed tired workers don’t realize the unexpected consequences retirement may actually have on our health. While retirement is unquestionably a time to cherish and celebrate, it is also important that we realize that it will likely require a huge life adjustment.

We spend our entire lives building a career and a life supported by this career. Our work and our jobs become so much more than just that—they are our life and an aspect of what makes us who we are. With so much of our identity residing in the work we do each day, it’s not hard to imagine the struggles retirement might be met with. While the issue of adjustment and mental and physical health worries exist for all individuals entering retirement, historically men hold their careers as more central indicators of their identities. Consider these mental and physical adjustments you can make to your daily life in order to retire in a happier and healthier state.


Of course, exercise and diet play an essential role in our overall health regardless of our age or place in life. This is something most all of us know. Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet do wonders to keep us healthy and maintain a strong mental state. However, when we enter retirement, we’re faced with significantly more time on our hands and significantly fewer responsibilities. One of the most difficult aspects of retirement for men can be losing that daily time consuming responsibility. We create a pattern of waking up at the same time, going to work, fulfilling our responsibilities, and rewarding ourselves at the end of the day with some “downtime”. Without the constant pattern of going to work each day, it can be very easy for the newly retired to lose sight of their sense of personal fulfillment. Try to create new daily patterns by exercising each and every day at the same time. Make exercise your new daily activity and routine. This is great for your physical health, necessary for your mental clarity, and can be extremely important in adjusting to your new daily life.

Find a hobby
Just as exercise and meal planning can become a wonderful replacement for daily activities, hobbies can also be extremely important during retirement. In many ways, men define who they are by the work that they perform. Entering retirement can really fragment an individual’s sense of being, even without them realizing it. By picking up a meaningful and time-consuming hobby, men can find a renewed sense of self-worth and awareness, while also filling their time with something important to them. Obviously, this hobby varies from one individual to the next—finding something that suits your interests and is sustainable is very important.
Extended learning
Mental wellness is a huge concern for individuals who have recently retired. Many men fall into bouts of depression or anxiety when their life circumstances alter because of retirement. That being said, there are many ways to combat this negativity associated with retirement at times. As the online world continues to flourish and expand, useful resources for education and extended learning are becoming more and more accessible and effective. Education can be a wonderful activity for retired individuals to take part in. Not only will taking classes, studying educational materials, and expanding one’s mind encourage the mental faculties, it can also bring greater joy and purpose to an individual’s life. Explore your many options on sites like Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Courseware, TED talks, or the Khan Academy. These online resources offer easy and exceptional avenues for learning and education that can be extremely worthwhile for individuals interested in extending their education in their retirement.

This guest post is provided by Mariana Ashley, who writes about educational issues for and can be reached by email at

Book review: “Full Recovery: Creating a Personal Action Plan for Life Beyond Sobriety”

By Brian McAlister

Review by Scott Keith

Alcoholism differs from other diseases. A pathologist can’t examine cells under a high-power microscope and make a diagnosis of alcoholism. The disease presents itself in various ways. For instance, you might find an alcoholic in a gutter swigging wine from a paper bag. Or you might find an alcoholic at the top of his or her game, running a very successful business, rarely missing a meeting or appointment. Alcoholism is a disease that strikes young and old, rich and poor. It can be a cruel disease. Sufferers can wind up in a jail cell or a hospital bed. There is no cure for alcoholism; the only way to keep the disease at bay is to avoid the “first drink.” This addiction has lead to the death of many.

A man who has struggled with alcoholism has written a remarkably candid book titled, Full Recovery: Creating a Personal Action Plan for Life Beyond Sobriety. Brian McAlister, whose sobriety date is August 2, 1990, was once an unemployed “low-bottom” alcoholic. Today, he is an entrepreneur and a board member of a major national recovery organization.

McAlister’s book focuses on recovery, or abstaining from alcohol one day at a time. Treatment facilities and 12-step programs help the addicted person recognize the  problem and adjust to a substance-free life. As life-saving as recovery can be, McAlister’s book demonstrates that it’s possible to get stuck along the recovery road.

In an interview with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing, McAlister says he started drinking as a youngster and continued until his early 30s. “Through many struggles, and lower and lower bottoms…I was chasing that first high that I had when I was a kid. I finally hit the point where I was so spiritually and emotionally bankrupt that death seemed the only option. When it got that painful, I looked for other solutions to my problem. That’s when I made a decision to try to get sober.”

After 20 years of drinking, McAlister reached sobriety through rehabilitation and a 12-step program. But it wasn’t enough.  He says one of his long-term goals was to write a book. Says McAlister, “I have so much to be grateful  for. My life is really a life full of miracles. My whole goal with the book was to show other people that miracles do happen…it’s just a matter of taking the right steps.”

Throughout the book, McAlister points out that it’s possible to get stuck in recovery. This can make it hard for a person to achieve his or her full potential. McAlister has noticed that some in recovery “start challenging their beliefs as far as how they became an addict…but they don’t take it to the next level. They don’t challenge their beliefs as far as what they believe about money, what they believe about their potential, what they believe about their career.” He says this kind of  frustration can lead to relapse.

One section of the book looks at fear. McAlister says fear can hold a lot of people back. The idea is to overcome fears and limitations. There are physical, mental and spiritual ways of accomplishing this, according to McAlister, noting that even procrastination can be a way of masking fear.

Full Recovery is an interactive book, complete with homework assignments. “My whole goal is to get them to take action and improve their life,” says McAlister. He says his book is “twenty years worth of trial and error, success and disappointment, and an intense study of success in recovery. I’ve taken it and put it into a workable program for people to apply in their own recovery.” McAlister says it’s important to keep moving forward in recovery.

If you’re suffering from an addiction, McAlister says the first step is to get off the drugs or alcohol. McAlister is a big supporter of 12-step programs. “My book takes off after that. Now you’re sober, now what?” Full Recovery is a fresh, inspiring examination of alcoholism and addiction – a book that needs to be within reach of every recovering man and woman.

Hardcover, 247 pages, $22.95, MacSimum Publishing Company, available at and

Visit Brian McAlister at