Kill Stress Before It Kills You

Stress is Poison

April is National Stress Awareness month.

Stress management is essential to our physical and emotional well-being.

  • Stress’ purpose
  • Prolonged stress is deadly
  • Controlling stress

Continue reading

I’m Hiding, It’s Almost April Fool’s Day

Jokes and pranks are fun, but not when they are mean. April Fool’s Day should be fun without harm.

Here is a great prank to play on your kids – be warned it’s only fair when they get you back. It will also make a great family video, but resist the urge to put them on YouTube. That is just mean.

This prank is best for school-age children. Younger children may not understand and get upset.

  • Start as soon as possible and solicit friends and family members to join in. The more people you get involved in this prank, the better.
  • Invent a story about a make-believe endangered animal such as a snipe (I’ve hear this also with a jack-a-lope, too.) You can photoshop pictures of existing animals as well to make the hoax more elaborate.
  • Here’s a story to get you started (feel free to edit or elaborate in any way you’d like):
    • There are only 2 snipe left in the world. If they do not breed soon, the entire species will become extinct.
    • Your local zoo has the female snipe in captivity and has spotted a male snipe in your area. They need everyone’s help to catch this male snipe and bring it to the zoo so that they can breed it and save the snipes from extinction. (You may even tell your children that there is a massive reward being offered to the person who catches the snipe.)
  • Make plans for your family to participate in the snipe hunt on Sunday. Build excitement by telling your children about snipe spottings near your home. The more you build it up, the more effective the overall prank becomes.
  • Here’s the best part – make up ridiculous rituals for hunting snipe such as shaking a paper bag and giving the snipe mating call (which can be any silly sound that you can come up with. You can even make up a snipe mating dance that must be performed in order to catch a snipe. You may wish to rehearse the ritual so that everyone is familiar with it.
  • On April Fool’s Day, take the family out to snipe hunt – it can be in your backyard or a park. Pretend to spot a snipe and “allow” your child to do the honors of trying to catch the snipe by performing the ritual.
  • After a few minutes, let your child off the hook with a hearty “April Fools.”

Make sure that your child learns how to take a harmless joke. Learning to laugh at yourself is healthy.

Warning – they will try to get you back, so watch out. As for me, I’m hiding for the rest of the day.

Remember, putting the video on YouTube is just mean, resist the urge.

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Self-Destructive Self-Improvement

My first house was built in the late 1890s and generations of previous owners left their belongings in the attic. It was just a bunch of junk according to the previous owner. I could throw it away or give it away, it didn’t matter to him.

To my surprise, sitting in the corner of the attic was a dusty, old Singer Sewing Machine, the kind with the treadle. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

My husband couldn’t understand what I could possibly want with that dusty old thing or why I thought I belonged in our dining room.

I am admittedly domestically challenged. I got Ds in Home Economics (who measures when they cook? Why sew when you can go to Walmart?)

I couldn’t thread a needle if my life depended on it (if a button falls off, the outfit is trash as far as I’m concerned.)

But, now all of a sudden I wanted a sewing machine in my dining room?

He actually offered to buy me a “real” sewing machine that ran on electricity if I wanted to try sewing. He was tired of paying to have stripes sewn on his military uniform. Continue reading

Granny says: Food Fights – Are You Kidding Me?

This article is in honor of my mother’s 70th birthday today.

Thanks Mom for not letting me run the show.

Granny’s kitchen was the center of the family universe. Everyone gathered there not only to eat, but to interact.

But make no mistake, Granny ran the show in the kitchen and no child had a vote.

You knew instinctively not to open a pot lid or ask what was for dinner.

Any family member who dared such blasphemy would be met with, “ooo, uh oh,” from the others before finding themselves facing the wrath of Granny alone.

No one wanted to be a material witness so they scattered quickly.

All kidding aside – juvenile diabetes is nothing to joke about. Childhood obesity is one of the causes. It can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and even stroke. There is nothing funny about that.

You can help prevent this from happening to your child by controlling the foods they have access to at home and making sure that they have a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.

So, in an effort to help parents enjoy their parenting more fully, I bring you part 2 of Common Parental Delusions – Food Fights – Are You Kidding Me?

It has come to my attention that mealtime is less than pleasant in many an American household. Mealtime should be one of the most pleasant family times of the day. If you find that you and your children are engaging in Food Fights rather than pleasant family gatherings, you are delusional.

The following tips will help you out:

  1. Health vs. Happiness
  2. Don’t confuse your child
  3. Anorexic toddlers don’t exist
  4. Dictatorships not democracies
  5. Hunger heals anger

Continue reading

Well-Balanced Mental Health Food Diet

When I was a kid, they had the four basic food groups. Life was easy – 2 servings of meat and poultry, 3 servings of dairy and 4 servings of each of vegetables and fruits, and breads and cereals.

Growing up dinner consisted of a meat, a vegetable and a starch (grain of some kind) – easy as pie.

Then, someone decided that we should move to some sort of weird pyramid. I never got the hang of that thing. (Did you notice that the obesity problem coincided with the introduction of the pyramid? Just sayin’)

Thank goodness that the First Lady Mrs. Obama saw the light and created some sort of plate thing. Far as I can tell, there are 5 groups on the plate.

Then they wonder why obesity has become epidemic. It’s because eating has become too complicated.

I’ll just stick to the four food groups – they’ve kept me healthy for 39 years and they’re easy. I’m just not that sophisticated.

  • Meat: anything that was once considered an animal (that includes fish and shellfish)
  • Vegetables and fruits: If it grows in the ground and is not found in the bread aisle, then it is a vegetable or fruit. (The tomato thing is also too complicated. I know it’s a fruit, but to me fruit is sweet and tomatoes aren’t, so they’re veggies.)
  • Grain: We called these starches. If you found them in the bread or cereal aisle, then they were grain. Grain was identified by its white or yellow color (wheat, rice, potatoes, noodles = grain)
  • Dairy: This was anything that came out of a cow’s udders. I know that cheese can be made from milks of a variety of animals, but I don’t like to think too hard about the origin of my food. It either tastes good or it doesn’t.

Just as you need a balanced physical diet to keep the body healthy, you need a balanced mental diet to keep the mind healthy as well.

Many of you are mentally unhealthy because you don’t eat a balanced Mental Health diet (or are still functioning on the pyramid.) A balanced diet is the key to health.

Here are the four Mental Health Food Groups (this is my blog, so I get to make up my own food groups.)

  • Proteins: Build strength and muscle.
  • Sugars: Provide energy.
  • Fats: Provide stored energy for lean times.
  • Fiber: Provides roughage to keep your system running smoothly and provides regularity.

You should eat a well-balanced mental health food diet every day. Continue reading

Chocolate Cheesecake for the Brain

Today is National Create Your Own Holiday Day!!!

What fun!!!

For those of you who may be too young to remember this, Chuck Wagon was a dog food made by Purina. They don’t make it anymore. Click here to view the YouTube video of the Chuck Wagon commercial. (Is it just me or would you think about eating that for dinner?)

Decades ago, I worked for an advertising firm that created a holiday called Chuck Wago Days instead of the normal boring Founder’s Day.

They used the Chuck Wagon commercials as their theme. They created miniature refreshments (including decorated “donuts” made from Cheerios) and dressed up in Wild West clothing.

What a morale booster. Everyone had fun.

Whether you run a business or not, finding a reason to celebrate is great Mental Health Food. It’s like chocolate cheesecake for your brain without the calories.

For those of you who are regular readers of this blog, you know that I love to find goofy things to celebrate – Happy Umbrella Day is still one of my most popular posts of all time.

Wouldn’t it be great to create a holiday for your next birthday? After all, you are the “founder” of your life. Continue reading

Versatile and Inspiring More Awards

I was the kid that was never picked for a team in gym class but my fellow bloggers have decided to pick me for two more awards this week!!! This is so exciting; I don’t know what to say.

I will display blogger awards immediately in order to thank the award giver for the honor, but I will post my nominees for the awards on a special Saturday post so that I can give the awards the time and attention they deserve.

The purpose of blogger awards is to share love. Please visit these amazing award-winning blogs and share love, a comment, a like and maybe even subscribe. If you are nominated for these awards, don’t forget to share the joy by nominating others.

The rules for both awards require that I reveal 7 things about myself, so that is a great place to start.

  1. I have pet goldfish. Yes, goldfish are pets you just can’t pet them or else they will die.
  2. My grandson evicted me from my home office. He doesn’t live with me, but he had to have his own room in my house, i.e. what was formerly my home office. I have been working from my kitchen table for 19 months.
  3. I do not drink. I stopped drinking when I was pregnant with my 27 year old daughter (she is 27 now, not when I was pregnant with her) and I never started again. Yes, folks I am 100% sober at all times. Scary thought, isn’t it?
  4. I was a cheerleader in high school. That’s weird because I wasn’t popular in high school; I was just a good cheerleader I guess. I never got to sit with the cheerleaders or the football players at lunch, I hung out with the nerdy kids (I was one, which doesn’t fit the cheerleader thing at all.) Anyway, that was a long time ago. I am so over it.
  5. I started college when I was 16 and graduated when I was in my 40s – wait, I’m only 39. I’ll take that back.
  6. I can usually find something I like about most people (except politicians.)
  7. My parents though that sending me to an all-girls high school and an all-girls college would somehow reform me. Didn’t work – although I appreciate it because I was able to excel in math and technology which are subjects that are usually introduced to boys in co-ed schools (at least back in the dark ages when I went to school.)

Versatile Blogger

Thank you A Second Cup for this wonderful award. Readers please visit and subscribe to this awesome blog. This blog is designed to be read with your second cup of coffee in the morning. It is a tad edgy at times, but always intelligent. I usually agree with the opinions here, they are very common sense. I would welcome the chance to share a daily cup of Joe with Dave, but unfortunately I must settle for just enjoying his blog.

Share seven things about you. Done.

Pass the award along to 15 other blogs.

And the winners are…

Very Inspiring Blogger

You won’t believe this (I know that I don’t) but Mental Health Food has been given another awesome blogger award, this time the Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Let Life In Practices.

I write all of my blog posts on the weekend and schedule them to release every day. This means that my posts are already written before I read your posts. I wish I had a nickel for every time that I would read one of Kristin’s posts only to tell her that I have written an article about the same subject that will post the next day.

Thank you Kristen for such an amazing honor.


Thank the person that has given you the award. Done

Tell us 7 things about yourself. Done.

Give the award to 7 people.

And the winners are…

5 Common Parental Delusions

Last week The Today Show featured a family who was complaining that Jet Blue put them off a plane because their toddler melted down.

What the heck is a toddler meltdown? Did their child get trapped in a nuclear reactor? Does the child glow in the dark?

No, it seems that this couple and I speak different languages. I learned that the translation for meltdown was the phrase that child has lost her everlovin’ mind. I’ll save my hazmat suit for another day.

Around my house we preferred the phrase I ain’t havin’ it.

NOTE: Proper grammar is not required in cases of extremely spoiled children and their delusional parents. Continue reading

10 Great Excuses to Use to Goof Off

Yesterday’s post took a lot out of me. Luckily today is National Goof-Off Day and I plan to do just that  — only I have to do this little thing called “work.”

Good thing I teach in a school full of very creative students. They give me lots of excuses why they were late, missed class or why they didn’t do their homework. These are the best of the best (trust me, these guys should be in the Excuses Hall of Fame.)

  • Sorry I’m late, but the bus caught on fire.
  • I missed class on Tuesday because they had to remove my ankle bracelet (I’m finally free.)
  • I couldn’t do my homework because I was in jail and forgot my books.
  • I didn’t do my research paper because the library went out of business.
  • My grandmother died again. (Last count, this student was up to 9 grandmothers.)
  • I was driving to school and I looked up and had no idea where I was. I found it, though. Sorry I’m late.
  • My boss was holding me hostage; so I couldn’t make it to class.
  • My two-year old flushed my flash drive down the toilet and my homework was on it.
  • I couldn’t come to class because I lost my cell phone. (NOTE: being without your cell when you’re 20 something is like leaving the house naked.)
  • I didn’t come to class because I forgot to do my laundry.

I swear I did not make these up. They are actual excuses from my students. The worst part of this is that I have to keep a straight face while they give these excuses. Laughing is unprofessional, I’m told.

Which one should I use when I call off today?

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Out of Darkness

That’s me in my tic-tac (my nickname for my little car, get it?)

Besides being tremendously fun, my tic-tac is a symbol of triumph. You see, I used to be not only afraid to drive, I would have severe anxiety attacks upon leaving my house alone; so I didn’t. I was trapped in a deep, dark hole created by my own mind.

It’s been 25 years since I came out of that hole and I haven’t really talked about it much. Quite frankly, I’d rather not, but I need to because there are readers out there who are trapped in a similar hole and need to know there is a way out.

It’s time for me to show you how it’s done.

Now, I’m not a mystic, psychic or some chosen person who has been given a special gift. I just know that it’s time to share the same way a pregnant woman knows it’s time. There is something inside me that needs to get out in order to give it a chance to bless others.

It’s time to show you my bundle of joy.