Wellness Wednesday Issue #42

The Assist Newsletter
October 17, 2023
Wellness Wednesday

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs


Finding Calm Amidst Chaos


Turning on the news these days is enough to make anyone feel anxious and overwhelmed.

With divisive politics, the extreme violence in Israel, climate disasters, and more, it seems like the world is a giant pressure cooker about to blow. The state of constant stress can take a real toll on our mental health.

While we can’t snap our fingers and make the world’s problems disappear, we can take back some control over our peace of mind.

According to psychologists and mental health experts, there are effective ways to reduce anxiety, calm your nervous system, and find a sense of inner stillness, even in the midst of outer turmoil.

Try these proven tips to ease anxiety and manage stress when the world seems chaotic:

  • Stick to routines. Maintaining daily routines in sleep, diet, exercise, and work activates the logical left brain, bringing calm.
  • Limit news intake. Constant media exposure fuels anxiety. Check news just 1-2 times per day max.
  • Share feelings with loved ones. Voicing worries relieves pressure. Support from others reminds you that you’re not alone.
  • Focus on what you can control. Make positive changes in your own life and community to gain a sense of empowerment.
  • Practice mindfulness. Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and walks in nature work to calm the mind and body.
  • Keep perspective. This too shall pass. Visualize getting through the chaos and better days ahead.
  • Laugh and exercise. Both boost feel-good endorphins to lighten your mood.
  • Get proper rest. Anxiety disrupts sleep but lack of sleep also elevates anxiety. Prioritize regular sleep schedules.


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Recognizing and Setting Boundaries with Toxic People


We all have that friend or family member who drains our energy and brings negativity into our lives.

You know the type – the constant critic, the drama queen, the narcissist — in other words, a toxic person.

Toxic relationships take a major toll on mental health and wellbeing. That’s why recognizing toxicity and setting boundaries is so important.

What Makes Someone Toxic?

🚩 Toxic people exhibit certain behaviors that are red flags:

  • They criticize and belittle to boost their ego.
  • They break promises. Their actions don’t match words.
  • They resent others’ accomplishments and relationships.
  • They distort facts and gaslight.
  • They thrive on drama and negativity.
  • They blame external forces and play the victim.
  • They impose unwanted advice and demands.

The most toxic people display a pattern of multiple harmful behaviors rather than just a single lapse in judgment.

Pay close attention to how someone makes you feel.

Do you consistently end up drained, angry, resentful, or down on yourself? That likely signals toxicity.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Toxic relationships need boundaries. Firm limits communicate that you refuse to accept the unhealthy dynamic anymore.

First, identify deal-breakers. What behaviors can you absolutely not tolerate? Get clear on what’s unacceptable.

Directly communicate those boundaries along with consequences. For example, “When you criticize my life choices, I feel disrespected. If it happens again, I will immediately leave the conversation.”

Stick to boundaries. Toxic people look for loopholes, so enforcement is crucial. Consider substantial consequences like taking a break from them.

Limit exposure, too. Keep interactions brief, take time responding, and avoid one-on-one encounters, depriving them of opportunities for toxicity.

Letting Go of Toxic Relationships

In severe situations, cutting ties may be healthiest.

You’re never obligated to keep a toxic person around, even if they’re family.

Going “no contact” with family is difficult emotionally. Counseling helps process guilt and grief over losing someone close. Leaning on friends can also provide support.

Letting go of a friend or ex can often bring relief. Their absence leaves room for positive new connections.

Regardless, reclaiming your happiness requires reducing or eliminating contact with toxic people. Healthy relationships enrich lives – they don’t suck the joy away.

Prioritize your wellbeing by recognizing toxicity and taking action. Your future self will thank you.


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Eating Healthy on a Budget


It’s a common myth that healthy eating has to be expensive. With planning and smart shopping, you can stick to your health goals on a tight budget.

Make a Meal Plan

Strategize ahead weekly. Map out meals and make an ingredient list. Meal planning prevents impulse buys that raise your bill. It also lets you maximize ingredients across recipes, like using rotisserie chicken in various dishes. Less waste means less money wasted.

Buy In-Season Produce

Opt for affordable, in-season fruits and veggies. Peaches and watermelon are summer bargains, while fall brings cheap apples and squashes. Check seasonality charts online to know what’s peak.

Shop Store Brands

Get the generic or store brand for pantry staples like beans, pasta and rice. They taste the same as pricey name brands. Just compare ingredients and nutrition. Store brands are big discounts.

Buy Frozen Produce

Flash frozen produce can be just as nutritious as fresh. Stock up on those budget-friendly bags of frozen broccoli, berries and more. Frozen produce avoids waste while retaining nutrients.

Cook At Home

Cooking at home lets you control ingredients and portions for a fraction of takeout or dine-in costs. Double recipes on weekends for quick leftovers during your busy workweek.

DIY Healthy Snacks

Skip pricey pre-packaged snacks. Roast budget-friendly chickpeas in olive oil and sea salt for crunch. Whip up energy bites with oats, peanut butter and chocolate chips. Pop your own kernels for cheap homemade popcorn.

Drink Water

Hydrate with free tap and filtered water. Use a reusable bottle for free refills anytime. Water saves you money over juices, sodas and bottled drinks. Jazz it up with fruit or herbal tea.

With some effort on planning and smart shopping, you can eat healthy, nutritious meals while sticking to your grocery budget.


Halloween Trivia


Test your Halloween knowledge with these trivia tidbits :
  • Halloween colors orange and black represent fall harvests and darkness/death.
  • Trick-or-treating evolved from the medieval practice of souling, where poor people would go door to door asking for food in return for prayers for the dead.
  • Harry Houdini died from a ruptured appendix on October 31, 1926 – Halloween.
  • Extreme fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia.
  • Candy corn first debuted in the 1880s and was originally called “chicken feed.”
  • Halloween traces back over 2,000 years to the Celtic festival Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter
  • The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed over 2,500 pounds.
  • In the 1940s, trick-or-treaters used to soap car windows instead of egging them.
  • Ireland is where the Halloween tradition of turnips carved into Jack-o-lanterns originated.
  • Halloween generates over $6 billion in candy sales each year.
  • The world record for the fastest pumpkin carving is 16.47 seconds.
  • The mask worn by Michael Myers in the original Halloween movie was actually a Captain Kirk mask painted white.


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