Weaknesses Are Only As Strong As We Allow Them To Be

I saw this quote on Instagram, on the Optimal Living Daily account (@oldpodcast) — “The more willing you are to face your weaknesses, the less likely they are to remain weaknesses.” I wanted to know more about Tynan, the person who was quoted. I took his quote, put it onto a picture my husband took while on vacation in Hawaii, and wanted to share it. I hope this inspires you to face your weaknesses, too.

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What weaknesses are you willing to face?

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

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My 72-Hour Fasting Experience, Part 2

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I am 24 hours into my fast (48 to go!), and the first day went pretty well. I have been drinking water, green tea, San Pellegrino and taking some Himalayan pink salt every once in a while. I worked today, so I have been keeping busy and distracted.

At 1:20 pm (“Lunch break” – 18 hours into my fast) I noted I hadn’t really felt hungry at all, and I had lots of energy still.

It was a bit difficult when I got home, as my husband and daughter were making dinner. The smell of food makes me want to eat! But, I am proud to say I was able to sit at the table with them while they ate. I had my black tea and I was fine!

Watching TV is torturous! Every second commercial is about food!

I was thinking about the idea of energy and alertness. When wild animals are hungry, they are super alert and on the lookout for their next meal. Hunting takes a lot of energy. I guess that’s kind of how I feel. I am mentally alert and feel I can keep going until Thursday at 7:15pm. At least that’s how I feel right now.

I decided to take my magnesium citrate supplement. I passed on the others.

I found this video on a three-day water fast and Dr. Zyrowski answered some of my questions about how to break the fast. He suggests steamed veggies and bone broth, but I am already dreaming of bacon and eggs! I guess time will tell.

Watch: 3 Day Water Fast – A How To Guide

with Dr. Nick Zyrowski

I also watched another video where two younger guys, who had practically no body fat and lots of muscle, challenged themselves to a 72-hour fast. They only got to 50 hours.

Let’s see how I do. I have more body fat so maybe I’ll be okay.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

 

 

 

My 72-Hour Fasting Experience, Part 1

72-hour fastthat's three days!

On 14 Jan 2019, I saw my doctor and discussed my interest in trying a 72-hour fast. I explained that I have been doing intermittent fasting for the last 20 days and I also experienced one 24-hour fast already. I am feeling great, and I wanted to explore the possibility of a prolonged fast that could also help boost my immune system.

I had chemoradiation 17 months ago, and my white blood cell count has been running at a moderately-low level for a few months now. I was told that if I got a fever, I would have to go to the hospital, as “leukopenia” can make it difficult for my body to fight off infection. Also, whenever I get a little cut or something, I am very diligent at making sure I keep it clean and put Polysporin on it.

My doctor explained to me that a prolonged fast will make the liver work harder and my body may experience “starvation” mode. She explained that there are many people who fast for religious reasons, and in fact, her mom has done 72-hour fasts (she would drink only water and black tea or coffee.) She told me that she, herself, couldn’t do it. She also said she can’t “promote fasting” and suggested I speak to a dietician (as it is provided by our provincial healthcare services). I was quite convinced that I can do it without the dietician’s involvement, and I am motivated to see if it can help improve my immune system (as there are studies that show it can help).

Watch: Fasting: Awakening the Rejuvenation from Within

TedXEchoPark with Dr. Valter Longo

My doctor cautioned that if I feel faint or lightheaded, that I should stop the fast and eat something. I told her I will make sure I stay safe and I will always have water and something to eat with me. She gave me a requisition for lab work – including blood glucose and white blood cell counts. She said to get my blood tested in a fasting state and about one month after my prolonged fast has ended.

I plan to do my 72-hour fast starting tonight, after dinner. I will document how it goes in a subsequent post. Wish me luck!

Warm regards,

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

 

Intermittent Fasting – A New Way of Eating for Health and Weight Loss

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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

A couple of months ago, I read an article in a newsletter written by an acquaintance about her five-day “fasting” experience. For health reasons, she drank only water for five days. I was both shocked by this news (how could any live for five days without food?!) and curious (she said she felt better and wants to try for seven days next time.) I tucked this knowledge away in my back pocket, with the intent of learning more.

Then a few weeks after that, I listened to an interview by D’vorah Lansky, bestselling author, who interviewed Gin Stephens who wrote the bestseller, “Delay, Don’t Deny.” D’vorah had adopted the “intermittent fasting” lifestyle and Gin was talking about this way of living and her book sales. This interview was so powerful, I hung on to every word Gin said about how the time-restricted feeding pattern freed her from years of dieting. She lost 80 pounds and has kept it off.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is when you choose to not eat anything for at least 12 hours and for as long as 24 hours. It can be done for religious or health reasons.

I purchased her book (ebook for Kindle) and read it in one day. I loved everything about this new way of eating (WOE) and vowed to myself that I would start on December 26, 2018. I was going to start by not eating after supper and skip breakfast, and only consume water and black tea during my 16-hour fast.

It was much easier than I thought! I felt in control. My hunger pains were short-lived and I soon realized that I was not only eating too much but TOO FREQUENTLY. We are a “well fed” society, and the more I learn about this, the more I understand why there is so much obesity and other related health problems (central abdomen obesity, high blood pressure, high bad cholesterol, low good cholesterol, and high blood sugar). Metabolic syndrome –– which includes three of the five previously-mentioned conditions –– causes an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (heart problems) and type 2 diabetes. Increasing age also causes us to have an increased risk in these areas. I realized in order to reduce my caloric intake, instead of “dieting,” I needed to give myself a “window” of time where it was okay to eat. I am learning how to delay my meals, instead of denying them.

As I write this I am on Day 12 of my new WOE. There is a lot of flexibility with intermittent fasting. For example, my usual pattern is 16 hours of fasting with an 8-hour window of feasting or eating. This is a good place for most people to start. I “close my window” at 8pm, and I don’t eat anything until noon the next day. This gives my body a good 16-hour break from eating. I can drink all the water or black tea (or coffee if I wanted) during the fast. I found I was closing my window earlier, so some of my days were 17 hours of fasting (or more).

Some people choose this 16:8, others choose 18:6 or 20:4 – or some other variation. There are also other patterns, and “extended fasting” which is what the lady did who I mentioned at the beginning of this article. (I’ve also read any fast over 72 hours is dangerous, so be mindful of that.)

For special occasions, where I know I will want to eat or drink outside of my regular window, I can switch up the fasting time. For example, I went for a 21.5-hour fast before new year’s eve so I could have champagne and snacks during the evening. This weekend, I knew I would be having two different family meals, so I did a 24-hour fast. This is also called “alternate day fasting” (ADF) which is another pattern of eating. There is also one-meal-a-day (OMAD) in which the eating window is very short, which could be anywhere between 2-4 hours. Each person finds their own “sweet spot” and you learn how to listen to your body. The Mediterranean diet is what I prefer, as it has the most research behind it for health and longevity. Oh, and my sugar addiction is being curbed as the fasts force me to abstain.

Many people find a lot of benefits associated with intermittent fasting (IF). Improved health and weight loss are the two biggest reasons why people try it. I belong to a few groups on Facebook, and the success stories and non-scale victories (NSV) are very inspiring and encouraging.

IF isn’t for everyone, however, and there isn’t a lot of research on it as it is quite new. I’ve read Gin Stephens’ books and I am also learning from Dr. Jason Fung and will be reading his books, too. Gin says IF is not for pregnant women or children. For those who have pre-existing medical conditions, they should talk to their doctor. In fact, I’ve heard of a few people now who say their doctor recommended IF for their health! It’s been known to reverse type 2 diabetes. If you are considering trying it, please speak to your doctor first.

I am enjoying this new WOE and I am already feeling less bloated and I am sleeping better. I lost 30 pounds a couple of years ago going through my cancer ordeal, and I put most of it back on. The way I lost it was not in a good way. This time I want to lose it in a way that is intentional and will benefit my well-being. I want to reap the benefits of a healthier body that is well fed –– not frequently fed. I also have my own group on Facebook for women who are 40 and better. If you’d like to join us, please drop me a line.

Age well, my friend.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

 

The Path to Mending a Broken Heart

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I have assessed and treated a lot of broken hearts in my career. There are many causes of a broken heart, and the main ones being the loss of a loved one, or the loss of your own own health (and the anticipated loss of the future).

When a person breaks a limb, such as an arm or leg they immediately receive medical attention. The motivation is to get the broken pieces to heal back together so it can be functional again. The broken limb is promptly given a very snug-fitting, long-lasting hug in the form of a cast. Sometimes a brace. There are instructions to wear this cast for about six weeks. For some, that’s the longest six weeks of their lives. Everything changes. The way they do things changes. How they look changes. They are looked at as being somewhat disabled…broken.

When someone’s heart is broken, if they are lucky, they are given a nice warm hug. The hug doesn’t last for weeks, however, but many doses are recommended over the coming weeks and months. There is no specific doctor’s orders given on how many hugs, how long, what to expect, etc. There will be lots of tears, sadness and possibly self-isolation. I believe this is the equivalent to the cast for the broken limb. It’s a way of protecting and immobilizing the broken parts so it can heal.

Much like a broken arm or leg, the heart takes time to heal.

Although the outward signs of brokenness are not there (you can’t see the hole left in the heart, or the crack in it), there is a real, bonafide injury. I consider the spirit, soul and “heart” of a person as one and the same. When we’ve had an emotional trauma or injury to our spirit, it takes a very special form of healing. It’s something that can’t be rushed, and there is no specific time frame on when it will be healed.

A broken heart will never be the same. Neither will a broken arm or leg. For some, the heart will have permanent scarring, emptiness, or pain. For others, the pain will eventually subside, and the emptiness will eventually be filled. But we know this is not something that can be rushed. And it’s different for everybody.

If you or someone you know is healing from a broken heart, make sure you take your time.

  • Don’t force it or use pressure.
  • A broken arm can’t heal any faster if you try to use it.
  • The broken leg may become more damaged if you try to walk on it before it’s strong enough.
  • The broken heart will only get worse if you ignore it and try to push it.

When the time is right, you will start to try things that won’t emotionally or spiritually hurt you. For example, you may be encouraged to “get out” more, but you may feel it’s too soon to be around others. Answering questions such as “How are you?” may be too much for you to handle. When you feel you are strong enough, and you are ready to start getting back into “real life,’ you may want to try rehabilitating your heart first. Baby-steps towards repairing the soul can help. Do things that make your heart feel good. The soul knows what it needs. Listen to that. The practice of self-compassion is so important on this path to healing a broken heart.

Bottom line is, don’t rush and don’t push. Any broken bone or heart takes time to heal. Give yourself that time and honour your body’s natural process of healing.

 

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is creator of the Facebook communities – “Aging Well for Women” as well as “Living Well With and After Cancer” For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

 

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What a Cancer Diagnosis Taught Me About Hope and Faith

 

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Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A cancer diagnosis in April 2017 has jerked my world. Just hearing the words “You have cancer” changed my whole perception of life. There are no other three words I have ever heard that have impacted me so greatly, in a negative way. My initial reaction was all about How do I tell the kids? Then it moved to I am not ready to die. I want to see Simone graduate. I want to grow old. I want to see my grandchildren. I became very sad and scared. I was mourning the loss of my future. I found myself not only turning to loved ones in my life but God.

My gut instinct was telling me to go to church. I saw the priest and he performed an “Anointing of the sick.” I cried as he did this. I also attended a “Spirit Room” where they pray for people’s healing. I went to Sunday mass. I went to Novena. Most times I had loved ones with me. I bought a Catholic prayer book. I wore a rosary bracelet, gifted to me by a dear friend. I prayed to God. I prayed for strength and courage to get me through. I asked the priest how I will get through this. He said, “Let God carry you.”

As I went through tests and learned about my treatment plan (chemotherapy and radiation), I continued to pray. I found myself questioning why this happened to me. I was a good person. I lived a healthy lifestyle. I read a book called, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” I read all kinds of books and articles on the internet. Articles written by people of faith. People who had cancer. I tried to understand why this happens in God’s world.

I started to question natural disasters. The year of 2017 has been the most tragic I can ever remember in terms of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and mass shootings. I questioned why God would allow this to happen. Many people pray for those who are suffering, grieving, ill and forlorn. We pray to God who we expect to make things better.

I have learned throughout my cancer treatment for anal cancer (which was torturous) that God has a plan. He has given us human will. He has not taken this away from us. There are tragic events that will happen due to malicious human will whether it be from mental illness or a criminal mind. As examples, the mass shootings or terrorist massacres are a direct result of human will. In addition, tragic events happen due to human error. God does not “will” these things to happen. But He gives us the strength and courage to come together to aid and comfort one another. He gives us the capacity to love and support one another.

When God creates such a magnificent world in which we live, we have to learn how to live with the natural events that occur. Severe weather patterns, the earth’s shifts, and other disasters such as widespread fires happen which I believe is beyond God’s control. We take the beauty of a rainbow, or a sunset, or in the tiny petals of a flower as signs of God’s creation and love for us. We seek God’s good as He is an all-powerful, loving God.

When illness or suffering strikes, I witness many people praying for God’s healing powers. There are faiths based on the Bible that believe God can heal. In the Bible it says Jesus healed those who were ill.

I believe that God gives the healers in our lives the ability to learn and use their God-given talents to help when one is sick. For example, when I went through radiation, I believe it was God working through the doctor who determined where to aim the destructive beams of radiation. I trust that the specialist did her best and that God helped guide her. I also believe that God was working with all the support staff, such as the radiation therapists, who ensured the proper administration of my treatment. This is an example of my faith.

The way my body responds to the treatment is all part of the bigger plan set out by God. I believe the plan is already designed. Praying for “health and healing” won’t matter because the determination of my fate has already be set. Instead, I HOPE for these things but accept what is meant to be. This belief helps me cope with the unknown. I focus on my day-to-day life and avoid thinking about my unknown future. I think about that infamous line in the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done”, and find comfort knowing that my future is in God’s hands.

God helped me through my darkest, most traumatic times during my treatment. I pray for strength, courage, and patience. At times I called out for God to help me. The pain was so severe that one time I asked Jesus to help and I actually saw him standing by my side in his white robe. This was very comforting in the most painful time of my life.

When people pray for God to heal someone or themselves, some will be disappointed. Some people will not be healed, and they will succumb to their ailments. So if someone does not make it, does that mean God did not answer his or her prayers? Does it mean they did not pray hard enough? Maybe their faith wasn’t strong enough? This is where it gets difficult to keep the faith. It may leave people wondering why God did not answer their prayers.

I think the better way to go about praying for healing is to pray that the person has the courage, strength, and patience to get through whatever is happening and they don’t have to suffer too long. If it is God’s will that they suffer, we must remember that the reason for suffering may have an answer, or it may not. A priest I talked to even said sometimes we don’t know why some things happen. It’s a test of our faith, to know that God has a plan, and we need to accept it.

Encouraging people with cancer to “fight the fight” can also create the same kind of outcomes. If they did not “fight” hard enough – if they decide to “give up the fight” – does that mean they were bad or weak? We want to believe we have control over our health and our outcomes. We only have so much control. The rest is in God’s hands.

Hoping for a speedy recovery, hoping for the end of suffering, hoping for a positive outcome is what we all wish for. No one wants to see suffering. No one wants to lose a loved one. But if it is God’s plan that the outcome is other than what we hoped for, we need to accept it. How many times have we heard, “Now she won’t be suffering anymore.” “His pain is gone.”

Faith and hope are two concepts which are very closely related. I now understand the difference. Faith in an all-knowing, all-powerful God with a master plan helps me cope with my circumstances and what is happening to others who are facing adversity. He knows best. We can learn from these adversities. It usually helps us become more compassionate, and loving if we look for the positive in these situations. I actually admitted that having cancer and going through treatment was a gift. It has helped me become more understanding and compassionate towards those suffering or diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. I understand what “torture” is. I understand what depression feels like.

Hope is what we need to keep us going. Hope helps us sort out what is important to us and what we want and need in life. Hope is the belief in positive outcomes. It helps us cope and cling on to what we value and love. Hope is a way to show others that we care.

My faith is strong and will continue to be strong throughout my healing journey. I put my trust in God and will accept whatever His plan is for me. I will continue to hope for the end of suffering and many more years of health and happiness. I hope that I can see my daughter graduate from university, start a career (like my son Lorenzo has) and see my children get married and have children of their own. I hope that I can grow old with my husband, Agapito. God-willing.

Peace, love and hugs,

Angela G. Gentile

 

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and has two adult children. She is passionate about all things related to Aging Well. For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

 

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dōTERRA Essential Oils & Aromatherapy in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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doTERRA Essential Oils Sample, Winnipeg, Manitoba

My first experience with essential oils was when an older man I was assessing told me he was using “Tea Tree Oil” on his toenails as he had developed a toenail fungus. He applied this essential oil to his toenails at night and he said it was helping restore his toenails back to a healthy state.

The next time I heard about essential oils was when my husband was given an oral spray made with oregano essential oil that he could use for his acid reflux. How could this help, I wondered?

Then I started to hear about room sprays. Some were chemically-based, while others had pure, natural ingredients. The spa I visited had “lemongrass ritual” essential oils infused into the air. The massage therapist used “Japanese mint oil” on my back. Thermea uses many different types of essential oils, such as orange and pine. I’d see them (and smelled them!) in the mall at Saje and Escents. I started to have an aversion to products with “fragrances” from places like Bath and Body Works. I started learning more about toxic chemicals.

My love affair with learning more about natural plant-based products was born!

I have been learning a lot over the past year about different essential oils and I am amazed at their emotional and physical health benefits. Whether it’s lavender to help you sleep or lemongrass to help uplift your spirits, these natural plant products have scientific backing and their popularity is growing. There are many therapeutic properties in the natural essences of plants and flowers, too many to mention here!

The problem is, as a person new to essential oils, you can become very overwhelmed with information on the internet. There are different qualities of oils as well. I have purchased the most inexpensive ones at the drug store and off eBay, only to find out they don’t work and who knows what’s in them!

My search was on for a reputable company. I looked at Young Living Essential Oils. I compared. I read. I watched videos. Finally I found a company that was right for me – dōTERRA (pronounced doe-terra which means “Gift of the Earth”). Their products are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG).  They came to Canada (June 2016) and the company has been in operation since 2008.

As a Wellness Advocate for dōTERRA essential oils here in Winnipeg, I would love to speak to you about how essential oils can help you. I offer free consultations and classes and I have a website you can go to to see the products guide.

If you want more information on dōTERRA, or essential oils, please let me know! I’d love to share my knowledge and products with you!

Sincerely,

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW – Wellness Advocate for doTERRA Essential Oils.

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Finding a Cure for Sleepless Nights is Not An Easy Task – Tips for Better Sleep

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Image courtesy of theerapong82 @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I believe one of the most important foundations of a healthy and happy life is adequate and regular sleep. Our day starts the moment we wake up. Waking up from a night of good quality slumber is very different from starting our day after a night of restless, interrupted insufficient sleep.

Finding a way to help you with sleeplessness can get frustrating. There is so much information out there. Forget about counting sheep, research indicates it may, in fact, take you longer to fall asleep!

I asked some of my Facebook friends to give me some ideas on natural sleep aids, and they were very eager to share their tips with me. I’ll include them here as well.

Ages and Stages of Life

Everyone has different sleep habits and routines. It depends on your lifestyle, life stage, personality, and overall physical and mental health. For example, a busy and socially active teenaged university student may have many late nights going out with friends or studying, causing her to need to sleep in later in the day. Another example is a middle-aged full-time employee who works Monday-Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. The sleep habits of this mature person are most likely very different from the younger student. An anxious person may also have problems falling asleep.

Ages and stages cause us to have changing sleep needs during our lifetime. When we are very young, as babies, we need a lot more sleep than when we are adults. Older adults need about 7-8 hours sleep a night.

Problems occur when we have trouble getting the required sleep to “recharge” our batteries. The occasional restless night usually isn’t that much of a concern. We can usually catch up the next night. Chronic, long-term issues with either falling asleep or staying asleep can cause other problems in our lives. Sleep deprivation can cause us to be disorientated, agitated or less able to handle the stressors in our lives. Insomnia is often a serious health condition that requires intervention. Research tells us that women over the age of 60 are at higher risk for having insomnia.

For those of us women who are menopausal, we have other issues to contend with such as hot flashes and night sweats. Hormone changes can cause sleep disturbances, and a visit to a health care professional is highly recommended.

Caregivers of people with dementia often have trouble getting enough rest. As do new parents, especially mothers.

Sleep Hygiene, Sleep Aids and Other Tips

The basics for a good night’s rest include a comfy bed/mattress, the perfect pillow/s, sheets and blankets that provide just the right amount of warmth. If you don’t have these basics, you will need to get those things sorted out. If you have a bed partner, make sure they don’t take up too much room, snore too loud or steal your covers! (Some people have sleep apnea and this is a serious condition that requires medical assessment).

There are many articles and books written on how to get a good night’s sleep by implementing some lifestyle changes and habits. The term commonly used is “sleep hygiene.” Some ideas to try include:

  • Avoid caffeinated beverages such as colas, coffee, and tea too close to bedtime
  • Participate in some kind of physical activity during the day but not too close to bedtime
  • Get some sunlight and/or fresh air on a daily basis
  • Don’t eat a heavy meal right before going to bed
  • Keep your room cool, dark and quiet
  • Manage stress to help keep a relaxed mind
  • Meditate, pray, breathe deeply, practice yoga or listen to music before bed
  • Avoid blue light found on cell phones, tablets and computers at least one hour before sleep
  • Avoid long naps during the day

If you can’t sleep – Instead of lying in bed awake,

get up and do something else before returning to bed.

For those who are looking for a “sleep aid,” these can come in many forms. A medicated sleep aid can be prescribed by a doctor or other healthcare professional. Home remedies can be tried. Products found in nature can also be tried, such as herbs and essential oils. Tools such as sound machines or white noise can work, too. Some ideas to try include:

  • “Sound Machine” with white noise or nature sounds
  • Apps for your smartphone or tablet such as “White Noise”
  • Turn on a bathroom fan to drown out other noises if it’s close to your bedroom
  • Essential oils such as lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – in a diffuser, rubbed on your feet (put socks on after if the oil is in a carrier oil or lotion!), sprayed on your sheets or on a cotton ball by your head
  • Herbal tea to take before bed such as Sleep and Relax Tea or Nighty Night with ingredients such as chamomile, passionflower and/or valerian root
  • Supplements such as “Super Sleep” also known as Melatonin Plus from Webber Naturals or those that contain melatonin, 5-HTP and/or L-theanine; or Healthy Sleep supplement by Jamieson that contains melatonin, skullcap, Rhodiola, rosavin chamomile and L-theanine (be aware melatonin can cause depressive symptoms in some people)
  • Herbs such as ashwagandha are also helpful for some people
  • Amino acid such as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) can help you feel calmer
  • Magnesium can help people relax
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) has been known to help in some cases (ask your healthcare practitioner about this)
  • Gentle massage with an aromatic essential oil such as peppermint or lavender
  • Try some yoga poses before bed
  • Bath with Epsom salts
  • A glass of milk

Other ideas to help you feel calm and relaxed include:

  • Get an easy-to-do crossword puzzle book or do some light reading right before bed
  • Write in a journal, include things you are grateful for
  • Avoid the news, especially if it upsets you
  • Try eating some kiwi before bed

Medicated sleep aids to be used with caution include:

  • Zopiclone (by prescription, not to be taken long-term)
  • Gravol for nausea (contains dimenhydrinate which is an antihistamine and anticholinergic and can cause drowsiness)
  • Benadryl for colds (contains diphenhydramine HCl, an antihistamine which can make you feel drowsy)

Caution: Older adults are advised to avoid medicated sleep aids as mentioned above as they can increase the risk of confusion, falls and car accidents.

Some not-so-common ideas to consider:

  • A weighted blanket can help people with anxiety and insomnia (ex. http://www.gravid.ca)
  • Try an ASMR Close Whisper video to help lull you to sleep (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response)
  • Hypnosis (This option is also available for those with dementia as long as the hypnotherapist has special training.)
  • Rocking Bed – This device is attached to your existing bed to help rock you to sleep.

I would recommend a trial-and-error approach to find what works for you. What worked for you when you were younger may no longer work for you now. Ages and stages create different stressors and needs.

When you find something that works, use it for only 3-4 nights in a row and alternate with other methods. Your body will get used to it and you will benefit from switching it up.

And remember, never go to bed angry.

If All Else Fails

I saw this on Facebook so it must be true (insert a laugh here):

Did you know?

Convincing yourself you slept well

tricks your brain into thinking it did.

Please share your tips on how to get a good night’s sleep.

Sleep well, my friend. Sweet dreams.

Angela G. Gentile, MSW, RSW

For more information on insomnia, check out this Mayo Clinic article.

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Angela G. Gentile  MSW, RSW is a clinical social worker and author of the book, “Caring for a Husband with Dementia: The Ultimate Survival Guide”, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival” and the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” app for iPhone and iPad. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her husband and two adult children. She is passionate about all things related to Aging Well. For more information, visit: www.AngelaGGentile.com

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Aging Specialist Offering Two New Courses This Spring (Winnipeg)

7fd3c75caf166af80aef7cb58709152dWinnipeg, Manitoba – There are two new courses being offered by Angela Gentile, a registered clinical social worker. Angela has a Master’s degree in Social Work and a graduate specialization in aging. She has worked with many older adults and their families and she has written two books and an app. She is passionate about helping people and exploring what it means to age well. Attend these informative and interactive sessions and get Angela’s professional advice. Come away feeling confident and empowered.

10 Tips for Graceful Aging

Learn what you can do to help yourself thrive in your middle years and beyond. The dimensions of wellness will also be covered.

►Date and Time: Tuesday April 25, 2017; 7:00 – 9:00 pm.

►Location: St. James Civic Centre, 2055 Ness Avenue, Winnipeg Manitoba.

►Fee: $25.00

When a Loved One Has Memory Loss

Are you living with or do you know someone who has been experiencing memory loss and you’re not sure how to help? Get some information and tips on how to approach this sensitive and difficult topic.

►Date and Time: Thursday May 11, 2017;  7:00 – 9:00 pm.

►Location: St. James Civic Centre, 2055 Ness Avenue, Winnipeg Manitoba.

►Fee: $25.00

Registration Information:

Both courses are listed in the City of Winnipeg Leisure Guide, Spring/Summer 2017 pages 69 and 70. See page 4 of the guide for registration information which begins Wednesday March 15, 2017 at 8:00 am. It can be done online, by phone, or in-person. Limited spots available!

Contact Angela toll-free at: 1-(855) 974-4219 or online at www.AngelaGGentile.com for more information.

Learn About Burnout at the Transform Conference

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From Burned Out to Fired Up!

Angela G. Gentile MSW, RSW

I am honoured to be one of six guest speakers at the Transform Conference to be held on February 21, 2017 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I will be presenting on my knowledge and experience with job burnout and compassion fatigue. In addition to discussing the issues of the costs of caring too much, I will share my personal story of burnout. I will offer advice, tips and solutions to nurses, social workers, healthcare professionals, students and other helping professionals on how to recognize, cope and survive in the demanding yet rewarding field of healthcare.

What better way to learn. Be inspired. Some consider it a gift from a wounded healer.

You may also want to read my eBook, “A Book About Burnout: One Social Worker’s Tale of Survival“. Paper copies will be available at the conference.

For more information on Transform, the conference, please visit Sycamore Care.

www.AngelaGGentile.com