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

Depression: Painful Effects on our Elderly Family Members

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, 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.

On my next update, we will be chatting about my new anti wrinkle energized mask. This product was also suggested my Jessica!

XO,

Nunzia

Shall I remind you that spring has sprung, and summer time is almost here? Now that the warm months are getting closer, and some of us travel a lot during the summer, it is the perfect time for me to be more casual.

We don’t have to worry about those heavy, long coats hiding our pretty clothing. We can hang our lovely winter jackets in the closet, and say arrivederci/goodbye to them until next year. One of my favorite things about spring is that we can throw on a cute casual dress without much effort and call it a day.

Every spring, I get this urge to clean my closet. I like to remove things that I have not worn in awhile. If you do not wear it, remove it!
If you do clean your closet for spring, please take the time to give all your old clothing items to Goodwill or a charity of your choice. There are so many people who are in need. 

Finally, this week, try to fit some “me” time into your schedule. We get so busy taking care of our families that we get lost, feeling overwhelmed and stressed out. You can prevent that from happening. Also, don’t forget to do your Yoga. It can bring us peace in a stressful world. 🙌

Namaste,

Nunzia

Here is my new article!

Published on January 28, 2019 on Thrive Global.

Yes, why you should keep your New Year’s Resolution!

The year 2019 is well underway and, as we nostalgically scroll through the month of January on our smartphones, we once again feel the need for a “fresh start.” The deep desire to feel whole again, to not surround ourselves with things that make us feel lesser, is such a powerful force. That great, peaceful sensation that touches us in the deepest places of our hearts manifests itself every January.

Once again, through the power of self-reflection and silence, we are given self awareness, a spiritual radiance and mental clarity, that inspires us to filter through and lock away those mistakes that we made throughout the previous year. Our doubts, anxiety, and that need to feel less fragmented and validated, to be more connected with our hearts, bodies, and minds is here. Implementing a change is never a waste of time. To keep that from happening, we need to set our minds on realistic and attainable goals. According to Dr.John Norcross, psychology professor at Scranton University, “Changeology helps you understand, implement, and continue goals on your own.”

Eight years ago, a simple new year’s resolution helped me become a long-distance runner. It took me to a happy place where I was able to discover a new and positive world. When I first started my training, I dealt with many challenges, not the least of which was physical pain. Regardless, I was drawn to train the very next day. This new beginning brought me better health, with physical and mental strength. It provided me with the key to strengthening my self-confidence. 

We might want to change things up, but have no idea where to start. Most Americans will unsurprisingly set optimistic goals for this new year, with hopes for a happier and healthier “us.” Big goals can feel overwhelming, especially if they require a huge change in our lifestyles. We are creatures of habit. We love routine and procedure. Everything seems like an option. We fear stumbling through our first steps toward a new goal and, if we are not careful, quietly retreating back into old habits.

Start making changes in small increments.

As we start working on our resolutions, we cannot seem to ignore that inner voice reminding us that more than half of all resolutions fail. Changing behavior is not an easy task, but let us not give up so easily. As we all know, motivation is short-lived, and staying on track can be one hell of a struggle. It is critical that we take one step at a time. After all, a year is 365 days. Over time, it is human nature for our daily habits to evolve and shift, but having a strong will helps us work hard and keep us moving forward. One step at a time.

Luis Quintero: www.pexels.com

Setting goals

As always, each time we start a new project, we tend to have the best intentions, but it is easy to fall off the wagon if our hearts are not in it, or if our family and friends are breaking their own resolutions. When setting goals, be sure that they are very specific. Focus, get organized, and think about the steps you will need to take to reach the finish line. If we try to do everything all at once, if we try to go from point A straight to point Z, we will fail. We need to have a map, with checkpoints along the way.

It is better to set our minds on the nearest checkpoint, a smaller victory on the road to our goal, rather than just focusing on the end result the whole time. Nobody thinks about the finish line of a marathon when they are just starting the race. They focus on finishing the first mile, then the second, the fifth, and so on. One mile at a time. One step at a time. Some people can finish the race without slowing down or taking a break, but others need to slow down and catch their breath before moving on. This is not only okay, but encouraged.

Regroup

Relax! Take a deep breath! We all need to take a break sometimes. If you slip, do not get stressed and beat yourself up. Pick up where you left off as soon as you can. Giving up takes energy. So, let us instead put that energy to better use. We can inspire ourselves and others with our determination.

Ultimately, perseverance is the key to success. Your friends and family do not want you to give up on your resolution. Neither do I. Does anyone ask a runner who just finished a huge endurance race whether they stopped to take a break? No! There is not a special category for runners who finished the race without stopping and those who did. All that matters is that they finished the race. So, be patient, and keep on pushing towards the things that you want most in life. You got this!— Published on January 28, 2019

Buon Befana! Today, in Italy and many parts of Europe, people are celebrating the Epiphany holiday. Growing up in Italy, getting ready for bed was the last thing on Earth we as children wanted to do. However, on Epiphany Eve, there was something magical about going to bed. I remember feeling very happy and excited. The day before, however, was never-ending. How can a 24-hour day feel like an eternity?

There was something magical in our house. Mom and Dad knew it. They watched us closely. When bedtime finally arrived, it was tradition for parents to hang stockings by the fireplace. That way, the Befana would fill them up with candy. If the children were naughty, they would get coal instead.
Did I ever receive coal? Yes, but it was the type made out of candy. So, it actually tasted very sweet.
I will never forget waking up in the morning with dolls and trains waiting for me. I wonder why I liked trains so much?

It was a fun time. Now, many, many years later, this day is still very special to me. I will always cherish these beautiful memories.

XO,

Nunzia

Days I have posted.

May 2019
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031