As we people grow older, they may find themselves feeling a lack of mental sharpness, slower responses, and not as quick on their feet as they were in the past. Just like our bodies, the brain needs to get exercise too. As we age, so does the brain and the changes in mental functions can accompany. There are many things you can do to help keep the brain active and improve cognitive functions etc. Here are a few:
Mental stimulation. This can include activity such as doing puzzles, math problems, drawing, painting and crafts.
Another thing you can do is indulging yourself in silence and calm.
With the tremendous evolutions in our surroundings and environment, we need to have time to process it, and so that you can benefit and gain more benefits from the experiences. Practicing yoga and meditation can have a huge impact on your mental health in a positive way.
The Behind-The-Scenes Dedicated Folks Who Unselfishly Continue To Give Back
The sizzling Summer of 2018 sure has lived up to its name. And it’s not about the high temperatures in Celsius or Fahrenheit, but it’s about the extensive work done by our very own Wounded Warrior founders and associate members. Throughout the year, these Warriors may not be seen or we may not hear or read about a lot of the duties being done behind the scenes for this outstanding program. Only weeks ago, Steve Kappes, Geoff Griffin, and Steve Weaver were given accolades and recognition for their extraordinary dedication and service to helping Wounded Warriors get their lives back.
Steve Kappes, Wounded Warrior Tennis San Diego Co-Founder, recently received an award by California 79th Assembly District Member Dr. Shirley Weber at the Capitol in Sacramento. Steve was chosen as her 2018 Veteran of the Year, an award based on his post Navy career and community service. “My role with the Wounded Warrior Tennis Program has a lot to do with that recognition,” Kappes said.
Geoff Griffin, Wounded Warrior Tennis San Diego Co-Founder, recently received the honorable Ben Press Award for outstanding community service to the tennis and military communities. Steve Kappes presented this prestigious award to Griffin during the 18th Annual Tennis Fest held at Balboa Tennis Club. The Ben Press Award is based on an American tennis player, coach, and writer and he was also one of the founders of World Team Tennis. With his impeccable playing and coaching career, Press’ contributions to the San Diego tennis community and worldwide have been set in stone. Press is one of first 10 inductees to be inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame. Read more about this award here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Press.
Steve Weaver, Associate to Wounded Warrior Tennis, was recently featured in an online news outlet called Presstelgram.com. WWTP-San Diego helped inspire Weaver to start Wounded Warrior Tennis Program Long Beach in 2016. Weaver and WWTP-Long Beach have helped inspire and encourage hundreds of veterans to get ‘back in the game’. The game of life! Read the complete article here: Tennis clinic helps Long Beach Wounded Warriors get back in action:
In conclusion, the San Diego Wounded Warrior Tennis Program is not only heating up in the summertime, but it’s active all year long. Thank you to the Founders, Volunteers, and Supporters for the continued dedication and support of this worthy program!
Keep shining bright, our Warrior Stars of the Court!
For Better or Worse, Innovations In Technology Continue To Affect Our World
Whether you are all in or want nothing to do it, technology is here to stay. There is no doubt huge benefits have resulted from new technologies today. And these benefits have not only impacted the health care industry, but nearly every aspect of our lives have been affected in one way or another.
I am very intrigued by new technologies, computers, and inventions, etc., but I also want to maintain balance and wellness in my overall life. I do minimize the amount of technology and electronics that I use in my daily life to help keep me focused, mindful, and minimize stress levels. Although there may be many benefits of technology, there can also be negatives. Most people with cell phones feel that when a text is received that one must respond within minutes. Or your workplace contacts you for important documents that you need to send to them as soon as possible; this can bring stress into your body.
But besides the possible negatives of technology, there are definitely those innovations in technology that have changed the world. There have been inventions of medical devices that can help blind people see, software apps to help motivate others, and a chatbot that can help with mental health.
Incredible innovations and inventions, programs and software can change one’s life. According to this article on technologyreview.com, artificial intelligence, language translation ear buds, and zero carbon natural gas are just a few of them. Read complete article here:
Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
The world today is a much more stressful place to exist in than in years past. Which can bring along alot of challenges and obstacles that many people may need a little help conquering. Some of the factors of the onslaought of mental health struggles are sometimes beyond one’s control, and overwhelming, but you can make small changes that help deal with some of these challenges that you may be facing.
But as you strive to continuous improvement and maintaining mental health wellness, it is important to know the worst habits for mental health. This article in health.com explains the 12 worst habits for your mental health:
Hang on to your happiness
You slouch when you walk
You take photos of everything
You let a bully get the best of you
You don’t exercise
You’re in a toxic relationship
You take life too seriously
You don’t sleep
You’re never along
You don’t actually talk to anyone
Each of these are very interesting, and it’s important to understand that these habits can be changed for the better and possibly lead to more positive things. Read complete article here:
Another factor in maintaining mental health wellness, is to know the characteristics of Mental Health. As healthylife.com explains, that mental health is not just about illness, its also about how you feel about yourself and how you react to life occurances, and events, etc. This article also mentions the fact that some folks might be afraid or hesitant to use mental health services because the stigma that might be associated with this topic. Some may even think that asking for help is weakness, but actually this article explains that those who do seek help are signs and characteristics of strength.
Learn more about these characteristics of mental health here:
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Do you find yourself complaining about your neighbors, or local costs of living, and even the weather? If you do, then you may want to think about the things that do make you happy, and possibly consider moving to a new place. Or perhaps try to identify and recognize all the good things that surround you as well.
Whether you are someone who is an outdoor active person or enjoys indoor activities, where you live can make you feel happier or not. For me, I find that living in a warmer climate where I see morning sunrises each day helps me feel excited about the day that is to come. I become enthusiast about the activities I plan to do that day, then I am also motivated to make goals or create a to do list for that day as well. I feel all around happier. According to a recent blog article by Fitlife360.net, recent survey resulted a causal link between community and individual health.1. Read complete article here:
Therefore, the more happy I am, the better I feel healthwise. I am more energetic, I am motivated to exercise so I can get my blood circulating and give my heart a worked out. I am more inclined to be active in this type of climate versus a colder one. Thus, helping me maintain a healthier lifestyle and lowering the risks for chances of getting a disease or becoming ill. Or perhaps its healing for those who are not in perfect health.
But many folks enjoy a cooler climate where some of the most invigorating activities are done outdoors, but these people make the most of the indoors as well. Activities such as skiing, ice skating, walking or hiking, and many other activity types bring a lot of enjoyment to these folks. Then reading a book by the fireplace, playing card games, playing a musical instrument, or attending a fitness class at the gym, are also great indoor things that people enjoy doing also. Enjoying the activities they do, brings satisfaction, thus can result in more feelings of happiness. Happiness equals wellness.
Now many of these activities can be more difficult to do for those higher in age. So how can we still maintain wellness as we age. The National Institute of Wellness (NIW) puts it this way: “Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.”2
I found a very interesting article on whereyoulivematters.org, and the article explains the dimensions of wellness and the importance of wellness as we age. Here are a few notes I’ve taken on these:
Are you ready for a night full of fun and friends?
Join the Padres and the San Diego Tennis Community for Tennis Night at Petco Park, San Diego, California on Saturday, June 30th vs the Pittsburgh Pirates! First pitch is at7:10 PMand stay after for a post-game laser show! Every fan in attendance will receive a Trevor Hoffman 500th Save Commemorative Bobblehead! In addition, $2 of every ticket purchased will help support the San Diego District Tennis Association Wounded Warrior Tennis Program. This will be a popular game since Trevor is being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year and our Tennis Night discounted tickets are first-come, first-serve. Tickets may be purchased at https://groupmatics.events/ event/ustatennisnight.
In honor of Memorial Day; I recently had the honor of assisting the (WWTP) Wounded Warrior Tennis Program’s Annual National Tennis Camp in San Diego. This program offers Tennis lessons and skills training for wounded, ill, and injured military veterans. They also provide tennis clinics every Tuesday at the Balboa Tennis Club of which tennis isn’t the only thing this program is about.
Tennis is an activity that provides a means for many lessons, in both sport and life. The participants in the camp came from many different backgrounds to share an experience of a lifetime together. It was a week of activity and exercise; from dancing to yoga and eye-hand coordination to on-court aces! There was sportsmanship and competition as well as camaraderie and double faults. Whatever the challenge, the veterans learned how to deal with it and continue on with the game.
I saw passion and devotion by instructors, volunteers, and campers alike. It was an extraordinary sight to see. Instructors sharing their knowledge of skills and love for the game of tennis that was equally matched by the veterans who played with all heart! Massage therapists gleamed with honor as they provided healing recovery for the players.
Volunteers anxiously await the arrival of the campers every morning offering hugs and smiles to start the day of tennis. You can clearly see that these volunteers would not have wanted to be anywhere else in the world but here with nothing but their hearts, smiles and hugs.
The annual camp also provided many opportunities for social interaction and fun activities for all involved. From the dinners and conversations together to getting up close and personal with the zebra’s and giraffes at the zoo. Sometimes stepping out of their comfort zones and the incredible interaction and bonding of these military veterans, instructors and volunteers paved the path to helping build confidence, friendships, and hope. See more photos here:
The WWTP Annual National Tennis Camp offers one stand out warrior an inspirational award every year. The Lam Le Award is named in honor of Sgt. Lam Le, US Marine veteran who after experiencing deployments and duties of protecting our country, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
Le was a patriot who loved tennis and had an upbeat attitude and personal warmth that was undeniable. This is how those who knew him described Le accompanied by tears and smiles as they share stories about him.
Le passed away in 2013 and left emptiness in the warrior tennis clinics and the annual camp. From what I learned about Le recently, those lucky enough to have known him would say he exemplified honor, hard work, overcoming challenge and adversities. He also had passion and a desire to improve his quality of life, which is where tennis comes in. Holley Anne; Le’s widow, describes this honorable award inspired by her husband, as “This award recognizes those who live out their lives genuinely, fearlessly, fully.”
Please see the presentation of the award and special heart felt video by Le’s widow, Holly Anne below:
So as you might imagine, the farewell banquet for the annual tennis camp is a night of laughs and smiles, as well as tears and honor. This year’s recipient of the Lam Le Award went to Adam Navarro from Chicago.
Lam Le’s memory continues to inspire family, friends, warriors throughout the tennis community. Le’s memory thrives through close friend and tennis instructor Spike, and Steve Kappes; co-founder of the Wounded Warrior Tennis Program, San Diego; as well as fellow warriors and annual campers. Please see the farewell video that captured the entire week of the camp below:
For me, the Wounded Warrior Annual National Tennis Camp was quite an extraordinary experience. Witnessing remarkable things such as camaraderie, friendships, laughter, competition, and a lot of passion and heart definitely touched a chord in me! This year, Memorial Day brings a little different meaning for me. Remembering those who made unimaginable sacrifices and feeling pretty darn thankful for the freedoms I get to enjoy every single day. Thank you for reading.
To learn more about the program, please visit: sdwoundedwarriortennis.org.
Easy Things That Can Make You Mentally Resilient and Happy!
*Travel: When I think of travel, the first thing that comes to mind is how to get there. If its flying, then it seems the storm comes before the calm. Meaning, the stress of flying that might include waiting in long security lines, sitting in cramped quarters, and the chance of getting ill. But wait; I also think about this as being only short term and there are several things you can do to prepare and avoid getting sick during travel. According to Fitlife360.net blog; you can stretch, do low impact exercise, and breath during your travel. This includes pre-flight, during flight, and post flight. Read complete article here: How To Stay Well During Travel.
*Train Your Mind: Another technique I practice is I train my mind to think about what’s on the other end. Excited to see a new place, explore new grounds, or just simply sitting by the pool on a beautiful day. Then I can truly say, that travel makes me happy. Of course, flying isn’t the only means of travel. You can take a road trip, or even just simply taking a walk in nature can spur those emotions of happiness.
*Visit Someplace New: Feeling happy has an incredible effect on your body. It helps to lower cortisol levels to then make you feel more calm and relaxed. Thus, lowering the stress element in your body or mind that you might be dealing with. Happiness isn’t the only benefit that can result from travel. Visiting or moving to a new destination can be both exhilarating and intimidating. But it also toughens you up both emotionally and mentally. This is something I am all too familiar with. I have lived and moved around a few times while in the military, but I’ve also moved as a civilian, coast to coast; twice!
*Make a Change: Facing a new environment or culture, or even just dealing with change, almost forces you to learn to adapt and adjust to a life that might be out of your comfort zone. You learn to become more patient, and emotionally strong when coping with change or new surroundings. Read the complete article “Five Reasons Why Travel Is Good For Your Mental Health.”
There are so many other acts or tasks you can do that can make you as happy as you can be. I found a fantastic article in rd.com (Readers Digest); and here are some ideas that you can do starting right now to bring happiness into your life.
I think long and hard about this question on so many levels. Realizing how the advancement of technology has made incredible strides in industries such as healthcare, business, and other fields; I still have many reasons to say how the Internet can be bad for humans. Today, humans seem to have less social interaction in person, yet we are the most social we’ve been in history. We share our lives on social media, we share car rides, homes, and our food! Yet, communication among humans might be considered worse than its ever been.
Many times at restaurants when I am eating out, well, I take that back; the few times I do treat myself and eat out, I will look around and see so many people and families with their heads down in their smart phones. Basically not talking to each other at all. It is quite a scene.
When I see these things like the folks sitting in the restaurant not talking to each other, it reminds me to do better in my own personal life. I do not allow my phone or notebook to control my life. I make sure I maintain a balance amount of human interaction and my technology. I make sure I get together with a friend for lunch or conversation every week. I try to plan a hiking trip each week in the local area and get outside to enjoy natural living things like plants and flowers, and the fresh outside air.
One other thing I do is read one book a month. I feel these things help me to live a more balanced and healthy lifestyle; both mentally and physically.
I found an interesting article on USNews.com, where a survey was conducted and resulted in some interesting responses. The question asked is: “Has the Internet been a good thing or bad thing?” You can read the survey results and complete article here: