Monday, 7 July 2014

Mental Health #5 - Expectations

Denis is an 11 year old, short, dark and chubby boy who loves playing with cars and trucks like other boys do, except that he has an exceptional interest in making his own cars with wire. Making extra little miniature cars for his friends doesn't come cheap as he sells them to earn extra pocket money. His dad does not really have a stable job and dreams of Denis becoming an engineer. Eight years down the line, Denis is doing his first year in Civil Engineering at one of the Universities chosen by his parents. He does well in his course, completes his degree in the set out 3 year period, and graduates cum laude.

A local engineering giant co. offers him a lucrative salary for an entry level position, but Denis is uncertain of the position, he takes 4 weeks to think about the offer and what that would mean for his family especially his dad, so he decides to accept the offer and starts working as a junior engineer. At age 25, after working for the engineering co. for four years, Denis’s mom notices that he’s losing a lot of weight, his skin is becoming dull, he leaves church earlier than usual, does not participate in family gatherings anymore, and has become quite withdrawn. On the other hand at work, his manager sets up a meeting with him over his slacking performance since his promotion to the senior engineer role.

You see, Denis has been struggling with depression and chronic stress for as long as he can remember enrolling for the Engineering course; he had never wanted to be an engineer that…was his dad’s dream. Denis has always wanted to be a layout artist so that he can create quality publications for the ministry he was interested in joining, but due to his family’s situation he chose his dad’s dream over his call. Denis still wants to follow his call, but does not know how to break the news to his family. Did you know that like Denis, many individuals are stuck in occupations they never wanted to be in? They’re stuck in relationships that hinder their spiritual growth, and are living according to the expectations of their loved ones or general others. Did you know that many people have suffered long-term health illnesses; some have even died due to unhappiness? What has God called you to? Are you heeding that call?

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Mental Health #4 - Family Matters

Emily is gifted five year-old with kinky coily hair. Today, she has arranged a new piece of scripture song during her music lessons and would like to share it with dad when he gets home. Mom has prepared dad’s favourite meal, lasagne, baked potatoes & tossed spinach salad with chickpeas. The day has been long, and she too has a lot to tell dad about the day’s activities and about Emily’s latest achievement. Dad arrives home at 7pm, tired as usual; he greets Mom and Emily then heads straight to the study room. He works for a big corporation and has had tight timelines and projects since the day he signed their contract. Emily runs to the study room, elated to share with dad what she had learnt. “Not today my angel, dad is very busy, how about you tell me tomorrow? I promise I will listen.” Emily turns away disappointed, her hopes shattered. Will dad ever be available to listen?

Emily grows up unstable, and moves from relationship to relationship, with the hope of one day meeting someone who’ll give her the attention that her dad never gave. On the other hand Sarah (mom), grows estranged from Larry (dad), he’s hardly ever home, and when he is home, he’s always working. Sarah frequently suffers bouts of depression and anxiety; she develops peptic ulcers and is now scheduled for an operation. Had Larry foreseen that while his plans to secure a “better life” for his family were good, those plans would come at the expense of love and neglect of his wife and daughter, would he have risked?

Many children, spouses and parents have long lasting wounds from neglect, lack of love, broken promises, lack of time and appreciation from their loved ones. Mental conditions like depression, anxiety and stress among others are among the many causes for broken homes, conditions like ulcers and instability in various areas of life. Have you spent time with your family lately?  Spending time together enhances ones emotional well-being and behaviour. Do shared activities with your family like outdoor exercise, attending religious services and family worship together, having at least one meal a day together without TV, mobile handsets and the technological gimmicks. Try it and let us know how it goes (leave a comment below)….your family matters.

“As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities them that fear him.” Psalm 103:13

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Mental Health #3 - Never Doubt

What are some of the causes of being mentally out of sync?  A story is told of a family of swallows whose nest was right above a big river. The mom and dad swallow had four chicks which were now off-age and ready to leave the nest. So as nature calls, the mother swallow takes the first little bird and throws it over the edge of the nest...each time going down to swoop below the chick and transporting it safely back into the nest. This training was done until such a time as they were ready to go off and fend for themselves.

As has been before, the mommy swallow threw out the first little one from her nest and watched…with its tiny wings it flapped & flew and so did the rest of them, except for one fellow, who thought that he would stay in the nest forever. The mother swallow tried to throw him out, however; he held to the branch with his beak, so mom started to peck at his beak till it was more painful for him to hold on than to let go. Eventually he let go and as he was frantically flapping his tiny wings, somewhere in mid-air he realised that his wings were actually designed for flight and so he flew off like the rest of the birds.

Take a moment to reflect…did the mother bird seek the best for the little swallows? Did she always make sure that they got a squirmy worm each day? Why could this little bird not trust the mother’s care? Why do we distrust our Heavenly Father’s care? Why do we doubt His goodness? Does He not seek our good? Does He not provide for all our needs each day? Doubt not only robs us of the happiness which the Lord wants us to have, but it also spreads shadows of darkness in our minds and to others, thus covering the Sun of Righteousness, [our only hope] from our view. The effects of doubt on the brain are immeasurable, for what we say with our mouths tends to be what our mind believes as reality. The words of doubt we utter today may just be the very thing keeping us from grasping tightly to the hand of faith, it is a hindrance from seeing the reality of exercising our faith…“so then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Mental Health #2 - Vital Connection

We live in a fast-paced society where almost everything is concrete and the works of men are all we see. The challenges brought by this fast life pose a threat to the much needed connection with our Creator. We need time aside to reflect...on life, it's purpose, our purpose and actually find ourselves. But what other place would be conducive to encourage such thoughts than amidst nature? There are plenty of lessons we can learn from this silent minister. Nature writes a picturesque and evident story of the Creator's love and constancy, just like an evergreen tree. The beauty of quietude and purity found in nature "leads the soul away from sin and worldly attractions and toward purity, peace and God."

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed;" 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9

Monday, 26 May 2014

Mental Health #1 - Walk by Faith

Do you know of someone suffering from a mental illness? How have you dealt with the individual? How can you ensure that you don't become a statistic? First we need to understand 'what is health?' I suppose an assortment of answers can be given in response to the question, however; health is said to be "the absence of disease." We add that health is when the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of any human being are maintained at optimum equilibrium (balance). What is mental health? I'm sure you get an idea now, it is however; amazingly common for people even in our day to think that mental health almost inevitably refers to conditions like schizophrenia, depression, or madness to the exclusion of negativity, pessimism, hatred, jealousy, and fear etc. among others. But did you know that even the currently excluded conditions can be classified under the banner of mental illness? Many individuals including Christians are held captive by their own imagination, but what causes these mental problems and how can one foster optimum well-being mentally? Now, do you know someone suffering from a mental illness?

Follow the logic as we go through some few pointers on maintaining mental well-being over the next few weeks:

"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Beat Colds and Flu

Having trouble with common colds and flu?

Step 1: Ascertain the cause, 
Step 2: Correct harmful/wrong habits (dietary or lifestyle)
Step 3: Exercise (mental, physical, spiritual)
Step 4: Drink water at regular intervals

Step 5: If you can feel the symptoms coming:

You'll need:
 1 clove of raw fresh garlic crushed (let it stand for 10 min)
1 teaspoon raw fresh ginger root crushed
1/2 a lemon 
1/4 teaspoon raw honey
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Add all the above-mentioned in a small pot of boiled water, let it stand and once it is just warm enough to drink, then you can drink a cup of the mixture, wear socks and warm loose sleeping clothes. Get inside the bed, cover yourself and rest. You'll start sweating, then get into a bath of warm water or a shower contrasting the water from hot to cold. Sit in the tub for another 20 min and you'll continue to sweat, drink warm water every time you sweat to restore the lost electrolytes. Then wear dry warm clothes and go get bed rest.  This will relieve unnecessary pressure off the system and will assist nature in restoration.

Friday, 21 February 2014

The Science of Vegan Cooking

Optimum-Health-Outlook is available to conduct Nutrition and Vegan Culinary Art seminars. Contact us now for details. Dates for upcoming seminars to be announced. Keep on the loop!!

~ "The kitchen is a jungle, explore it!"~ N. Litsibane

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Mask Yourself: Bentonite Clay

In various African cultures the application of clay on the face or the body has been done for years, but it had never occurred to me that the people could be using it for detox purposes or even for beautiful skin…excuse me for being backwards! With so many detox regimens these days we can barely count what, when and how these things work and the effect they have on our system, but I must say that I love the smell of clay on my face not only because it smells so natural, but it also feels so natural. J One of my favourites is Bentonite clay since I can use it both internally and externally, now that’s cost saving. After a long hard day, drinking and applying Bentonite clay on your face is quite beneficial.

What are the benefits of BC? The brief:
·         BC can be used for cleansing the system since it absorbs toxins and also helps in elimination of those toxins. (Mix 1 tablespoon of clay with 1 cup water and drink the solution)
·         Supplies the skin and hair with the much needed minerals
·         BC is best for oily skin and should be applied lightly on sensitive skin
·         BC is a good exfoliator, mix 1 tablespoon of clay with ¼ cup of water or until textured, but smooth, apply the clay and wait 15-20 minutes. Rinse with clean warm water; rub with a dry towel…et voila!

Go ahead, mask yourself J