Media Niche

From time to time, I’ll be offering vintage and older (1700’s to early 2000’s) wellness media as I find them. Most of the information is timeless–it’s just as relevant today as it was when it was published. Some of the very old ones are just fun for learning the history of various wellness techniques.

These are one-of-a-kind books from my own personal library and that come into the Thrifter’s Niche online thrift shoppe from friends and family.

The books are posted at various selling sites so clicking the link here will take you there. If the site requires you to have an account to use it and you don’t want to sign up, send me an email at niche@healthylifestylesmedia.com and I can find another way to get the item to you. Please copy and paste the link to the item or page you’re on so I know what you’re looking for, in the event of changes on this page.

Here’s the first title being offered:

BonniePrudden-AfterFiftyFitnessGuide

Bonnie Prudden’s After Fifty Fitness Guide – $5.70 + shipping

This is one of the original wellness books that discusses  ‘myotherapy’ or what we now know as trigger point therapy. There lots of photos to show you how to use myotherapy and also how to do a variety exercise and workout routines. There are also sections on pain management. Even though it was published in 1986, it’s the type of book that has information that never gets old.

Click here to view and purchase at eBay.com


Are You Looking for Something Special?

If you’ve been looking for certain books, DVD or VHS videos, or relaxation/meditation or workout music CDs  and just can’t find it, let me know–I might have it or know where to find it for you.  I have access to a lot of media on lifestyle change, psychology, fitness, wellness, spirituality, relationships  or environmental topics.

If you’re not sure of titles, you can indicate what the book is about and the name of the author if you know it (or as close as you know it).  If you’re just interested in a topic with no particular author or title in mind, let me know that too and I can get you a list of things to choose from.

Fill out the form below to let me know


 

Week 2: Morning Stretch

exercise-machinesEvery morning is Stretch and Conditioning. The Stretches still kind of hurt and not so easy but Conditioning feels good, at least until the next day when my muscles turn back into knots. They say this should go away later on. I really hope so.

I’m rather liking the neck conditioning contraption they have me doing (the head-banging machine). It stretches muscles I’ve not stretched in 20+ years. My neck is my major problem so when that feels good, the rest of me generally does too. I usually walk out of that room feeling stretched out and even a little taller.

There’s a machine called a pull-down and its almost like lifting weights. I feel like I’m really working out on this one. I hoping this is going to firm up that upper arm flab (my ‘wings’). I have very little upper-body and arm strength so this is good for me.

Then they have me lifting a weighted milk crate up onto two heights of shelving. That makes me flash back to some unpleasant days of working on the sales floor at Target when we had to stock shelves, before they created a stock team to do it. There’s also a pulley machine that reminds me of pushing and pulling the loaded wheeled flats to the floor at 6 a.m. which was not an easy thing for me either.

I believe that job is what may have triggered fibromyalgia for me. When I got home from work, I literally could not climb the stairs to my bedroom. I would crawl up the stairs, peel off only my pants and just crash for the rest of the night in my remaining clothes. So this workout is triggering memories of a not-very-good time in my life. I know that’s not good for healing so I need to work on getting those images out of my head when I’m doing these workouts.

There are machines facing the window in this center that look out over beautiful Lake Superior, and I like these the best. Gazing at the view takes my mind off the fact that my muscles are screaming at me as I push, bend, walk, or ski. Since it’s summer time, there are sail boats drifting along in the bay and there’s just something calming about watching them. I try to do these workouts just before or just after the crate-lifting to allow those nasty Target thoughts drift away with the waves.

I mentioned in my Day 1 post that all these machines looked quite intimidating but I’m beginning to like them a little better now.


 

Week 1: The Mind-Body Connection

brain-gears-silhouette

In our Wellness Education classes, we’re learning about the Mind-Body Connection and how what we think about and focus on affects how we feel physically. Today we talked about ‘Pain and the Brain’. We received an overview of the nervous system–the brain, spinal cord and nerve pathways.

 

Believe it or not, our nervous system is made up of just THREE parts: the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerve or neural (NEW-rall) pathways that extend from our spinal column to every part of our body.

 

We learned about neuroplasticity (NEW-row-plass-TISS-i-tee) which is the ability to change the way neurons (NEW-rons) or ‘nerve messengers’ act in the brain.  These activate endorphins (en-DOR-fins), which are body-chemical messengers in the brain that promote pain relief, fight depression, and make you feel happy. We’ll go into all this in more detail in future articles, but rest assured, I’ll try to simplify it so you can get a general idea of how your brain causes or relieves pain and affects your emotions.

 

We also discussed how habits are formed and how to break bad ones by replacing them with good ones. This is important stuff because we do so much that isn’t good for us habitually and mindlessly.

 

It’s not only things like grabbing a donut at break time just because they’re on the counter in the break room or scooping up a handful of M & M’s when stopping to talk to a co-worker who keeps them on her desk.

m-n-ms

Habit and mindlessness also affects how we sit, move, walk, and carry things. We don’t stop to think about body mechanics, which is the realm of occupational therapy. OT also involves thinking about and paying attention to how we move which is another way our mind and body interact.

 

brainmapiconpngWe’ll be talking a lot about the Mind-Body connection in future lessons. Even though it sounds like a complicated topic, rest assured that you don’t need a degree in biology or psychology to learn about how your brain works.

 

After all, the goal here is to help make lifestyle change easier and that means simplifying complex ideas so you can apply them for your own needs.

 


(PS-BTW: Sorry about the M & M’s photo–it triggered my brain too! Now I can’t stop thinking about them and I cannot get to a store right now.)


 

Week 1: Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy helps you with what are called “Activities of Daily Living” or ADL’s as they’re commonly known. These are things you do every day like walking, sitting, dressing, bathing, cleaning house, driving, lifting, or things you might do on your job or around the house.

desktop

We began by working on plans for things we like to and need to do but have some trouble with. My list includes:

  • “Shopping walking” – that slow stroll with occasional stopping, reaching up or down, squatting and getting back up again.
  • Minor household repairs requiring looking and reaching up over my head or kneeling on the floor. Same as the Shopping but without the walking.
  • Sitting at my desk – I slouch when I’m working because I don’t have ergonomically-correct furniture–it’s way too expensive. I’m now trying to sit in my office chair in a semi-lotus position  so my spine is straight and that helps until my legs start cramping.

I’ve gotten so I when I go shopping, I don’t even look at anything on upper or lower shelves anymore. If I do, I’ve learned not to squat down to take a closer look. It’s embarrassing when my friends have to help me back up again.

We also learned about Pacing, which means doing whatever you do sitting or standing for about a half hour then switching to another task that requires the opposite movement for another half hour. You should also take time to gaze out the window to refocus your eyes for 10 – 20 minutes, especially if you’re doing computer work.

The occupational therapist told us about the “20-20-20 Rule” where you work for 20 minutes, break or switch to an opposite task for 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away.

timer

I tried this but stopping work every 20 minutes broke my concentration too much. I decided to try 40 minutes working with a 10-minute stretch/breathe or do an opposite task like putting in a load of laundry and putting away what came out of the dryer. Then I look out the window for 10 minutes.

My OT said my 40-10-10 Rule was good. So, for my short 10 minute break projects I’ll prep a salad for dinner or walk around the yard and water flowers, or put a load of clothes in the washer or fold what’s in the dryer.

It seems that the switching up of tasks this way–alternating sitting and standing–allows me to get more done during the day. I’m incorporating short bouts of housekeeping, prep cooking, gardening, and laundry into break-from-sitting-time. I feel more productive now.

break-time

Try the 20-20-20 Rule (or 30-15-15 or 40-10-10 or whatever works for you).  Use a kitchen timer or a timer on your computer and set it for the number of minutes for your break time.

This ‘rule’ is especially good for those who work in cubicle or desk jobs where you’re mostly sitting. Try to stand up and stretch and move around as much as you can. Look at something distant from you–a window or the far wall of the call center or office to get refocus your eyes to prevent strain.

If you do this, share how you did it and if it helped you. If it helps, how? If it doesn’t help, why?

 

Week 1 – Fitness Class: Physical Therapy and Movement (“Phy-Ed”)

Physical Therapy and Conditioning

In my weekly routines, Morning Stretch is followed by one hour of fitness-and-conditioning machine workouts. State-of-the-art fitness and conditioning machines are new for me because I’ve never worked out on anything more than a treadmill or stationary bike while doing physical therapy at my home clinic.

healthy woman legs dark

When I first entered the pain program’s workout center, I was intimidated. It looked like the set for a movie about the Spanish Inquisition, or maybe a football team documentary.

 

OK–maybe not that bad. The machine  that strengthens my neck muscles actually made me feel pretty good. They say that stronger neck muscles should help alleviate the pain caused by the degenerative discs.

 

girl head-banging to rock musicThe repeated back-and-forth motion of my neck while using this machine brings back memories of my old heavy-metal head-banging days, except in slow motion.

 

I told my 20-something-year-old therapist that I’d be ready to start head-banging again after this treatment. That made her giggle. Imagine old people like me head-banging. We still do, you know.  

 

Come to think of it, could head-banging be the reason why I now have degenerative disc disease? Do Baby Boomers have more neck problems than Gen Y’ers and Millennials?

 

The Gen X’ers of the Disco Era probably also have neck issues. There was all that pointing up and down and following their pointing with their their eyes with a steady up-down neck twist. It’s a variation of the head-bang only with a slower beat.

 

disco-dancers

Dance Mishaps

Now that we’re pondering whether dancing might be harmful to your health, let’s also consider tripping, falling and getting (accidently) decked:

Have you ever:

  • Taken a hard fall on your butt on a dance floor?
  • Been socked in the jaw by a wild elbow?
  • Tripped over a kicking foot and gone flying?

There are a lot of videos of this phenomena out there and most of them seem to be at marriage celebrations–so therefore, wedding accidents.

 

Injuries from falls very often show up later as chronic arthritis and myofascial pain: inflammation of the muscles and facia (FACE-she-ah) which are the tissues covering and connecting the muscles to the bone.

man-falling-down-img

Dancing mishaps can also occur at clubs, celebrations and community events too. Anywhere where there’s wild music.

 

Polkas are especially dangerous. All that spinning and getting dizzy and hopping on one foot then the other. All at the same time.

 

If you live in the Upper Midwest US or South Canada, you know what I mean. Oh, and watch out for that Butterfly Dance, eh?

 

If you’re wondering what that is, watch a clip here. It seems safe enough for the first couple minutes but then…all heck breaks loose. 

NOTE: to my knowledge, no dancers were harmed in the making of this video.  

 

They were having fun doing something healthy: burning up the calories consumed from the wedding feast, the cake, and the beer. OK–the beer isn’t exactly healthy for everyone but it can get people up to dance who otherwise would not do it anywhere else. And they laugh and have fun. Social connection is also recommended for healthier living. That’s for a future discussion.  

 

Dancing is a great cardio workout, no matter how you do it. It doesn’t have to be vigorous–you can do a slow waltz or just sit in a chair and move your arms and legs to music (as your mobility allows). Any amount of movement for even 10 minutes is better than not moving at all. Start out simple and easy. The more you do it, it starts feeling so good you want to do it more. 

 

“Housecleaning Aerobics”

woman dancing with mop

 

This is one of my favorite workouts:

  1. Put on your favorite dance music
  2. Crank it up (if it doesn’t bother your neighbors or housemates)
  3. Grab a broom or mop or dust rag
  4. Boogie down 
  5. Sing along (again, thinking about who may hear you and if you mind) 
  6. Sweep! Mop! Dust! Turn–and step–and wipe–123. 

 

Singing is an excellent workout for the lungs, diaphragm and stomach muscles. And it boosts endorphins too. Those are the brain chemicals that make you feel good and happy when you’re feeling that way. But when you’re not, singing and dancing can activate those little endorphins which help lighten you up, lessen the pain, and make you feel better. (Granted you don’t trip and fall while dancing with the broom!) 

 

So, to wrap this up, my recommendation is that if you don’t have access to a fitness center or conditioning machines, try singing and dancing. Doesn’t matter whether you’re any good at it or not–just do what works and makes you feel better. 

 


PS: for you aging head-bangers out there, watch for the upcoming  “Heavy Metal Aerobics” video at DIY Healthy Lifestyles’ YouTube page.

 


Comments, Questions, and Suggestions


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 1 – Starting the Day

red school blur factory

Wow. I feel like I’m back in high school again. I’ve got a locker and I’m running from one class to the next. I’ve got “gym” (physical therapy and conditioning) and “swimming” (warm pool therapy), occupational therapy, health psychology, Yoga, mindfulness and spirituality, mind-brain science, and lifestyle management.

 

It’s spread out between two days a week but it’s still a full day of activity each day.


MORNING STRETCH

The day begins with one-hour of neck-to-toe stretching using a combination of simple Yoga positions and muscle-stretching exercises. Years ago, I used to do Yoga in the evenings before bedtime because I found it relaxing.

 

Aside from the fact that it was many years ago and I can no longer do Yoga like that anymore, I’m realizing it makes much more sense to move and stretch when you first get up because it does five important things that you need more so in the morning than in the evening:

  1. Gets your airways and blood circulating
  2. Wakes up your brain and jump-starts that for the day
  3. Warms up your muscles and loosens stiff joints and tendons
  4. Gets your energy flowing
  5. Prepares you for whatever you do during your day: sitting, standing, walking, or lifting, work, activities, chores or projects.

 

But morning exercise/movement doesn’t necessarily mean jumping right out of bed and hitting the exercise mat first thing. I’ve heard of people who can do that but I’m not one of them. What works for me is to pour a cup of coffee, take a look at my planner, and plot my day. Then Morning Stretch and a light, healthy breakfast and I’m ready to face the day.

 

I recommend stretching be your first task of the day, regardless of when you wake up. If you’re not a “morning person”, just do them when you get up (after the bathroom visit and a cup of coffee).

 

It doesn’t need to be every day. Just start with twice a week and work your way into it. You’d be surprised at how this can wake you up and help you feel more motivated for the rest of the day.

 


 

Introduction to Lifestyle and Behavior Change

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Talk of lifestyle and behavior change is scary for a lot of people.

There may come a time when the realization hits that the only way to feel better is to become aware of your health behavior and move toward changing your lifestyle.

That’s what happened to me when I developed fibromyalgia. I’d been caught on a merry-go-round of prescription medications and physical therapy that would work for a while and then have no effect at all.

After about four years of this, I said “ENOUGH!” and decided to undertake some research and create my own treatment plan.

Fortunately at that time, a new physician’s assistant arrived at my clinic and I was just able to get in as the last of his quota of patients. He was the first practitioner I’d met who believed in natural healing and he supported my do-it-yourself wellness plan.

The more I learned and practiced, the better I began to feel. After awhile, it was wonderful to start feeling “normal” again that I wanted to keep it going.

Starting a lifestyle and behavior change plan can be hard but it does get easier with every success you achieve.

In this section, I’ll explain what I’ve learned about lifestyle and behavior change. It’s not as scary as it seems and surprisingly easier than you might think.

Making Lifestyle Change Easier

Discussions of lifestyle and behavior change can sound complicated, but these topics are so important to the entire DIY Healthy Lifestyles program that this is the first of the “5 Essentials for Healthy Lifestyles.”

Nothing else can happen until you understand lifestyle and behavior change.

My goal for this section is to try to explain behavioral psychology in a way that everyone can understand.

By the way, if there’s ever anything you have a question about in this section or any of the others, click this link to Raise Your Hand and ask. Don’t be afraid because “the only stupid questions are the ones you don’t ask.” That quote was posted by a Facebook friend who said a high school teacher of hers used to say it. I thought it was cool so I stole it to use here.

Health Behavior Explained

Health Behavior is defined as “the actions we take to keep ourselves healthy” like eating right and exercising. It can also refer to negative actions that harm our health, such as smoking cigarettes or eating too many high-calorie foods on a regular basis.

Our health behavior is formed by beliefs, values, motives, personality traits, behavior patterns, and habits as they relate to health. Here’s a very simplified explanation of how health behavior is formed:

It begins as children when we’re told that fruit and vegetables are good for us and that candy is bad for us. But, as children will, we decided that most vegetables didn’t taste so good and that candy did.

As we grew older, that belief may have stayed with us and it turned into the idea that anything that we were told was good for us tasted awful and whatever was bad tasted great.

That’s why as adults, we often balk at trying out health foods. We’ve prepared our minds from childhood to believe that healthy food tastes bad and junk food is great.  

Do you see how that works? As children, we form the beliefs that drive our health behavior for years to come. The behavior we formed from the belief that junk food tastes better is what lies behind our troubles today with overweight, fatigue, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other ailments. Many people are reluctant to change their diets because of the popular belief that “all health food tastes like cardboard”. This is a very common complaint that I hear whenever I talk about lifestyle change.  

I agree–there is a lot of cardboard out there, and styrofoam too (think rice cakes).

When I started venturing into a whole foods diet, I tasted a lot of very bad stuff. My belief is that food manufacturers tried to jump on the “health food” bandwagon without really knowing much about whole food nutrition.

They figured they could just make the same stuff the way they’d always made it but remove the fat, salt and sugar. And not replace it with a healthy alternative that would still make it taste good. Fortunately, health food manufacturing has advanced and now there are some great products out there.

In future lessons, you’ll learn the secrets of great-tasting health food. We’ll look at reviews of really good-tasting, pre-packaged foods you can find in almost any grocery store, plus recipes for making your own healthy foods at home.

You won’t believe you’re actually eating stuff that’s good for you! You’ll even learn not to miss sugar or salt–two of the biggest contributors to obesity, chronic pain and cardiovascular disease.

Behavior Change Models

Health behavior theories have been laid out in concise models, or simplified illustrations that show us how the theory works.

The DIY Health Lifestyles program taps into five behavior change models. (There’s that ‘five’ number again!) We’ll look into those models in detail in future sections. The discussion today is to make the term “behavior change” sound less scary and complicated.

I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this, you’re interested in making lifestyle changes. I’m also going to assume that you’ve read books and articles, watched videos or tried different programs but they were too hard to understand, too complicated to follow, or they just didn’t seem to work. That’s what most of the people who join the Center say when asked what they’ve done before.

The reason why so many wellness plans and programs don’t seem to work is that many don’t address health behavior or health beliefs.

They don’t ask about your personal reasons for wanting to change or the beliefs you have about your ability to make changes. They just tell you that you have to do this and eat that without helping you find out why you balk at doing what they want.

Learning a little about health behavior helps you discover why something doesn’t work for you or what you can do to make it work.

It can help you see where your beliefs and feelings about what is or isn’t good for you come from. It can help you learn how you can change beliefs that have been working against your health.

An understanding of health behavior and behavior change models goes a very, very long way toward helping you overcome past “failures” and succeed in finally making lasting changes.  


Personal Responsibility & Choice

blondwomanchoosinghealthy

In my studies of health and wellness management, a professor made an interesting statement in a lecture about taking personal responsibility for our own wellness:

“To talk about health only as a matter of individual choices and personal responsibility assumes that we are always aware of the choices we’re making and that we are always free to make them. The truth is that not everyone is in the same position, and there are differences in how we live and the context in which we make our decisions.”

I had to think about this. In this world of information-overload, how can we possibly be unaware of choices?  In this land of the free, how can we not be free to make those choices?  How does this affect our personal responsibility?

First, how can we be unaware of choices? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Lack of facilities, businesses or services that offer health information or healthy choices in small or rural communities
  2. Limited access to health information for low-literacy and non-English speaking populations
  3. Limited computer or Internet access to find online health and wellness information
  4. Belief that natural wellness products and services are very expensive and only available to wealthy people
  5. Confusing information about the safety and trustworthiness of wellness information and products
  6. Medical professional bias that encourages patients to discredit natural health and healing as fake or ‘just a fad’.

From the above list, we can see choices are limited by a lack of quality information in formats and places where people can easily find it. You’re not free to choose if you don’t know you have choices.

Second, what could limit the freedom to make those choices? Here are some things that can limit the freedom to make healthy choices:

  1. Health conditions that prevent eating certain foods, such as trouble digesting vegetables, fruits, legumes, or grains, or mobility conditions that limit movement
  2. The over-availability and convenience of processed packaged foods, junk foods, and ready-to-eat microwave meals that encourage convenience over healthy nutrition
  3. A steady diet of convenience foods that contain chemical additives that may promote carbohydrate addiction, or strong cravings for sugary and starchy foods, which are often mixed with unhealthy fats and oils. This addiction may cause an inability to choose healthy foods because of the strong physical cravings.
  4. Influence from family or friends who believe  natural healing is “bogus” and discourage talk about it, practicing it, or using natural products or treatments.
  5. Lack of sources for quality information and ‘how-to’ instruction.

These examples serve to show that “not everyone is in the same position, and there are differences in how we live and the context in which we make our decisions.”

Take some time to think about whether any of the things I listed affect you, your family or your friends. If you have any of these limitations, think about ways you can overcome them.

If you live in a choice-limited community, get together with others and brainstorm ideas for getting more natural health information and services. You may find ways to create some do-it-yourself healthy choices that can empower you toward taking personal responsibility for your health and wellness.

If you’re stumped for ideas or things to do, the DIY Healthy Lifestyles Journal can help you and your groups to discover ways to get around the limitations that keep you from exploring natural health.

Please use the comments box below if you have questions, comments, or would like more information.

Make This Your Best Year EVER

JackCanfieldWithin the last couple of months, Jack Canfield has become my favorite motivational “guru”.
One of the greatest things about Jack is that he fits the DIY Healthy Lifestyles criteria of ‘simple’ and ‘frugal’ by sharing his coaching free via YouTube and downloadable guides and workbooks.
The best part is that his freebies are usable and helpful. You don’t get teasers full of hints, unusable information, hype about the program  and links to “learn more now in the full program–yours for only $500+.” Jack gives you complete information and workbooks you can really use and will help you transform your wishes into workable goals.
 I’m inviting everyone to join me this year in working with Jack by following his YouTube page and getting on his email list so you can access his wisdom, webinars, workbooks and guides.

Do You Suffer from Excessive Stuff Syndrome?

It is guesstimated that nearly 48.9% of the U. S. population suffers from this condition!

WHAT IS ESS?

Excessive Stuff Syndrome (ESS) is a debilitating syndrome that has been known to cause mild to severe anxiety, elevated stress levels, and a sense of overwhelm and despair.

WHO DOES IT AFFECT?

It is estimated that nearly 48.9 percent of the U. S. population suffers from ESS, more than half female aged 40 to 80+. Common contributing factors for developing this syndrome include:

  • Strong desire for creativity
  • Interest in arts, crafts, or special hobbies
  • A love of reading and learning new things
  • Special interest in collecting
  • Underdeveloped or non-existent storage and organization skills

HOW DOES ESS DEVELOP?

ESS often begins in childhood with the onset of SSS or Saving Special Stuff, typically in small-to-medium sized containers or special drawers.

Those afflicted by SSS experience strong tendencies to save things that interest them, based upon one or more of the contributing factors listed above:

  • Books about interests (common to all forms of SSS)
  • Post cards
  • Mail advertising packets
  • Postage stamps
  • Magazine photos
  • Badges and buttons
  • Magnetic cards to stick on fridge or file cabinet
  • Keychains from trade or home shows
  • Notebooks
  • Calendars
  • Any items containing attractive visual representations of the interest focus.

HOW DOES ESS MANIFEST?

As children grow, so too do their interests. Often, growth and expansion of the interest will lead to the next stage of development, SSNS or Saving of New Stuff. The further the syndrome develops, the more precise, sophisticated, and necessary the Required Stuff becomes.

The books become larger or more accumulated and here now may be subscriptions to magazines that must be saved. Posters and charts become valuable and cherished.

Friends and family members, often unknowingly, enable the development of SSNS through gifts of activity kits or implement sets. Once the activity is adopted, there follows a need for more supplies and implements.

Other Contributing Factors to ESS

SSNS can also develop from interests that necessitate the need for special clothing such as uniforms, costumes,  identity apparel (special clothing for meetings or events), footwear, head gear, and equipment. As the child grows, the need for larger spaces in which to store it all increases.

If the contributing factor of a love for reading and learning is involved, there may be the added tendency toward accumulation of:

  • More books
  • Magazine subscriptions (as noted above)
  • Mail-order kits and learning programs
  • Notebooks
  • Binders or scrapbooks for collecting loose pages, instruction booklets, and clippings from magazines and newspapers.

HOW SSS and SSNS DEVELOPS INTO ESS

The leading contributor to ESS is the attachment to keeping the things collected from the onset of SSS into adulthood.

A primary triggering factor of ESS begins to emerge in the teen years, from about ages 15 to 21. This is the time when teens begin to consider moving away from home to attend college, go to work, or explore their options. It is a time when one must consider what they will take with them and what can be parted with.

This is also the time when the patient becomes highly susceptible to the  triggering factor of ESS known as TIIS or This Is Important Stuff.

The main symptom of TIIS is an inability to discern the Truly Important from the Possibly Unimportant. The patient may begin to experience feelings of great attachment to the Special Stuff Saved from the blossoming of their special interests as a child.

That first activity kit project becomes symbolic of their life-long love of their interest of choice. The young adult feels a great need to keep this object either on display or in a place of safekeeping.

There may be collections of instructions and how-to clippings still to be tried out that cannot be parted with yet. There may still be activity kits not yet assembled. There are still things to be explored.

HOW ESS ESTABLISHES ITSELF

The TIIS factor plays a large part in the decision-making process that arises out of the SSS and SSNS phases. Each and every item, piece, part, document and scrap must be put through the TIIS test. Is This Important Stuff or Is It Not?

The more the interest has established itself in the young person’s mind, the more difficult it becomes to determine Important from Not Important Stuff. Typically, the patient undergoes such stress and sense of turmoil that a decision is made: This is ALL Important Stuff.

All the Important Stuff is then boxed up and moved to the new location, and often, to new subsequent locations.

It is at this point that a definite diagnoses of Excess Stuff Syndrome can be made.

HOW IS ESS TREATED?

There is no known cure for ESS. Treatment can include Resolve Development where the patient decides to close the eyes and toss things out, or seek the help of a trusted friend to support this treatment.

Another form of treatment is to develop the skill of Storage and Organization.  which can be both a solution and the trigger for a secondary from of ESS known as CSC, or the Collection of Storage Containers.

CSC can mask the manifestation of ESS by creating a false sense of control by appearing to have organized and controlled the spread of ESS by having a Place For Everything, and Everything In Its Place. This can lead to an aggravation of the original trigger of SSS (Saving Special Stuff), which in turn exacerbates CSC. This can develop into a self-perpetuating and chronic ESS condition.

Chronic ESS can be a very debilitating condition. It can develop into an actual behavioral health diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder manifesting as a condition known as Hoarding.

This could ultimately require Professional Psychological Treatment if your ESS goes beyond this tongue-in-cheek article describing the condition in a  light-hearted manner. (See Disclaimer below).

OTHER SUGGESTED TREATMENTS

With that in mind, there are other milder treatments that really could be applied in less serious cases of ESS:

  • Scanning paper documents and photographing childhood projects and saving them to computer, discs, jump drives or cloud drives
  • Building and dedicating a small museum or section in your local public library or community center devoted to your interest for the education of friends, neighbors, and future generations
  • Donating your collection to a youth group or club
  • Cashing in on your stash by offering it for sale at an online sales website
  • Holding a special garage sale for others interested in your stuff

These treatments could trigger one beneficial side-effect. Seeing your Special Stuff going to people who will greatly appreciate it and give it a good home can bring about positive results, and possibly even cure your ESS.

PROFESSIONALLY-SUGGESTED TREATMENTS

There are also some mind and brain balancing techniques that can help:

  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also called ‘Tapping’
  • Support Groups and Talk Therapy – explore your thoughts about your  stuff and its meaning with others who have ESS
  • Home Organization Coaching
  • Journal Writing Therapy – working out your thoughts about ‘stuff’

The last one has worked well for this article’s author. It was an ESS near-meltdown during a studio organization session that sparked the article. Writing it out led to the list of suggestions for help with this insidious syndrome, and possibilities for its treatment if not a permanent cure.

If you suffer from ESS or its trigger or secondary conditions of SSS, SSNS, TIIS, or CSC, try out some of the suggested treatments to see if they help.

DISCLAIMER:

This article is not intended to diagnose or suggest treatment for OCD or any other related disorders, nor is it intended to belittle or ridicule such disorders. The “conditions” described above are not real conditions but developed out of the author’s imagination.

This article is strictly intended as satire and actually pokes fun at the author herself. Suggested treatments are based upon the author’s research into mind-body healing techniques that can help to deal with the issues of Saving Special Stuff and Excessive Stuff Syndrome.

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