Greetings!

Last year, a year after my first knee surgery, I was inspired to write an article called Doctor and Patient to encourage people to communicate with their physicians. These dedicated and caring professionals are there to assist us 24/7. When it comes to any type of trauma, flu, broken bones, you name it, these amazing human beings, with their overwhelming and exhausting schedules, are always ready to take care of us! These men and women deserve the highest credit for the brilliant work they do for us.

Last Friday, I had my second knee arthroscopy, which is a surgical procedure for diagnosing and treating many problems around the knee joints. My knee was fixed for the second time by a wonderful orthopedic surgeon.

Sadly, shortly after the surgery, the doctor informed my family that running can be detrimental to my knees. So, to avoid further problems and surgeries, I should avoid running. My doctor did, however, suggest swimming and biking as replacement exercises. I decided that, if a sports doctor advises his patient not to run, I need to take that advice seriously.

The love, the help, and support from my whole family has been unwavering. Now I am on the road to recovery, and I am looking forward to starting a new cardiovascular program that will keep me in shape. As for now, I miss running, but let’s take it one day at a time.

I will chat with you on a new blog post coming soon. XO!

Hi, everyone! 

The days are getting warmer and sunnier. For me, every Memorial Day is “the start of another beautiful summer.” 

I hear you. It is not technically summer yet, but hey, you can’t blame a girl for dreaming. Hopefully, spending more time outdoors, and receiving plenty of

Vitamin D directly from the sun, will bring a big smile to your face.

Even though there are times when we don’t feel like smiling, remember that we are the co-creators of our own happiness. What we believe in our minds, we create.

What are you doing each day to increase your happiness? Where are you choosing to focus your thoughts and energy? Life is super, super busy, and filled

with challenges. There are some days when happiness seems to be elusive and far away, but it is important to keep our desire in our hearts, to find that purpose and that trail that will eventually lead us to a happier life.

I recently wrote an article on depression that got published by the Health Journal, and I can’t seem to stress the importance of exercising enough. Exercise has such a profound effect on our mood and well-being that we can’t ignore the correlation between exercise and happiness. 

A recent study showed that “Exercise makes you happier than money, according to Yale and Oxford research.” So, there you have it! No more excuses. If you are a runner, go for a long run. For those of you who are less active, take a five-minute walk, take up yoga, and be happy! 

On a different note, here they are! I am sharing my new shoes, everyone knows that I love Chiara Ferragni.

I will be back soon. I am getting ready to have another knee surgery on June 7th. Will a second surgery stop me from running? I think some of you

already know the answer to that question.

Xo,

Nunzia

Hello, family and friends! I am super excited to announce that my new article has been published by the Health Journal. I will post the link on here.  One of the best things about celebrating life’s accomplishments is celebrating with the ones that are close to your heart. You guys are truly my rock stars. Thank you. Xoxo

April 25, 20195 min read

elderly depression

Written by Nunzia Stark

One of the greatest mental health challenges Americans are facing right now is depression.

Depression is like the flu virus. If left untreated, it will undoubtedly get worse, which could lead to self-harm or death. This silent killer is responsible for damaging or ending tens of thousands of American lives each year, and it is reaching epidemic levels both in America and around the world. According to the World Health Organization, there are currently more than 300 million peoplearound the globe struggling with depression.

Sadly, depression can be overlooked by medical professionals. This is especially the case for senior citizens, simply because seniors are sometimes unwilling to seek help. When elderly family members are diagnosed with a chronic condition, they are often aware of their imminent loss of freedom. They may try to hide their symptoms and isolate themselves.

There is a tendency to believe that symptoms of depression are a normal part of aging. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), that is not the case. Depression is not solved by putting mind over matter and getting through it. 

We need to learn how to listen attentively to elderly people who struggle with mental illness and are suffering in silence. As a community, we need to act and get involved with helping them improve their psychological immune system. Through social media, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared his thoughts about opening up:

“Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it all in. You’re not alone.”

To explain more on the subject, Dennis Ramos, a psychotherapist from Corpus Christi, Texas, fielded some questions about depression in the elderly.

How can a therapist help elderly people with depression?

Ramos: I have learned in working with elderly clients over the past 25 years that depression is quite common. What appears to be causing this to a large degree is grief and loss. Yes, they can have biological factors as well, but that is many times not an issue. As a person ages, they will begin to lose their abilities. This includes the ability to be independent, the ability to work, the ability to go and come as they wish. They often can’t do things they enjoy like running, swimming, playing games, gardening, traveling, making love and many other activities that help a person manage stress. Each one of these losses can, and usually does, lead to feelings of grief. Older people also have more traditional types of losses, like losing a spouse, friend, or relative. Grief is a normal human response to loss.

Many times, the people in an elderly person’s life will not understand this simple fact. Loved ones, friends, and doctors may say to a person, “just accept it, get used to it, get over it, it’s just part of life.” Or they may just try to ignore or minimize what the elderly person is experiencing. What a good therapist understands is that grief is helped by acknowledging that it is valid and real. I will encourage healthy processing of these normal feelings. “You’re not crazy, or weak, or defective, just having normal feelings of loss. It’s OK to feel sad.” With gentle and positive feedback and encouragement, an elderly person can often become less depressed. A therapist can also help to monitor the status and depression of an older person, and make referrals for needed medical care, when indicated.

How can caregivers and family members help?

Ramos: Family members and caregivers can be very helpful to an elderly, depressed person, especially when they understand that grief and loss are normal experiences of aging. They can help to acknowledge and support the reality of the losses that elderly people deal with. So, allowing that person to feel sad, cry, or even get angry can be helpful. Sometimes, we don’t want to see our loved ones sad and grieving, so we may avoid them, ignore them or try to change the subject. But understanding, encouraging and supporting the process of grief can be a very loving and helpful thing to do. If the depression appears to be getting worse, it is good to help that person get some help from a therapist or doctor.

There is an urgency, in every community in America, to learn about and research different ways and strategies to help someone who is struggling with depression. Dealing with and fighting depression requires action. It takes bravery, strength and persistence. Mental illness does not make you less of a person, just as a sports injury does not make you less of an athlete.

Who to call for help

Like the athlete, you will get better and get back in the game if you have professionals monitoring your recovery. Confidential hotlines are there to help. Nonprofit organizations can connect you with a trained therapist. Need to speak to someone right away? Text “CONNECT” to 741741 in the United States to connect with someone from www.crisistextline.org if you are feeling depressed. There is also the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255.

Also, if you know someone who is feeling down, you do not need to be a trained professional to check on them. Use technology to send them a virtual hug via a caring text message, an e-card or even just an old-fashioned phone call telling them you were thinking about them.

We can drastically reduce and eventually eliminate the suicide rate from depression by becoming more aware of red flags associated with this illness, as well as becoming more comfortable with simply acknowledging and discussing the topic of depression.

Hello, friends! I hope all of you had a great Easter, and are having a great week!

Beauty tutorial
Once again, many thanks to Jessica Alba for her recent informative beauty tutorial on Instagram. Needless to say, on that day, I was able to learn about two beauty products that I already cannot live
without: the Everything Cream Foundation, that I already reviewed last week, and the product I will quickly review today: the Anti-Wrinkle Eye Mask. I purchased this product on Amazon for a very reasonable price. I love not spending a fortune on beauty products.

I have been using this Anti-Wrinkle Eye Mask for about two weeks now, and I already noticed a decrease in puffiness under my eyes. As many of you already know, I suffer from severe allergies all year round. As a result, my eyes are constantly red and puffy. So, finding a product that helps blur out the puffiness means the world to me. This eye mask is travel-friendly, soft on your fingers, and designed to fit perfectly under your eyes, anywhere and anytime. I highly recommend it.


As for Claudio, I am still trying to teach some new tricks. This week, we have been learning the words “stop” and “sit.” Around his nap time, when I ask my furry baby to sit, he happily runs off. Have a great week! XO, Nunzia 

Hello, everyone!

Last week, I was on my Instagram page when I noticed that Jessica Alba was doing a live makeup tutorial before attending a birthday party. Thanks to Jessica, I learned about this amazing product that I already cannot live without: the Everything Cream Foundation.

The Search

Many of you who have been following my blog are well aware that I have been searching for that perfect foundation. I could write a thesis on how difficult it is to find your perfect brand and shade. I hear
you clearly. Finding that perfect foundation can be daunting for your skin and your wallet. Needless to say, after searching for almost two years, that precious and unforgettable moment has finally arrived.

Yes, many of my readers know that I get overly excited if I find a great beauty product for a great price. I am always on the lookout for a product that really works.

How it Feels on your Skin

I know it sounds too good to be true! This mess-free, travel-friendly foundation provides exactly what I need: even coverage and a youthful, refreshing look. It has become a part of my daily makeup routine. 

This soft, comfy, creamy formula comes in 14 flattering shades. The Honest Beauty company did a super job creating a product formulated to deliver coverage that stays on all day long. The creamy texture blends like a dream. 

What really sold me is the flawless look that lasts all day. It goes on smoothly, and you do not look like your are wearing a thick vale or mask over your face.

How to Apply

1. Moisture is the key! Wait 2-3 minutes after applying moisturizer, until it is absorbed well into the skin

2. Use a primer that will help blur the dry fine lines

3. Starting at the center of your cheeks, apply the creamy foundation. Buff well with a brush in circular motions. I use a large brush, like the one Jessica used during her live makeup tutorial

With this product, the circular and buff techniques are very important to achieve that perfect/impeccable finished look. Please don’t hesitate to build it up. Trust me on this one, because I have already tested this repeatedly on my skin, and I am very pleased with the results.

I give this product 5 out of 5 stars.

XO,

Nunzia

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