Diva Musing:Red Flags of Mood Disorders…

Red Flags of Mood Disorders
In this global pandemic we may all feel off center and afraid. However, here are some red flags you may want to consider to keep you fighting fit…
The national Institute of health is constantly publishing articles updating us on the fact that depressive disorders are growing. We will post another article on diagnosing whether or not yours is clinical or a passing sadness or grief.
The feelings of grief, frustration, sadness, should not be ignored but are normal Emotions if not in the extreme.  Emotions if not in the extreme. Young and old have moments where the brain fog hits and we forget things. We forget simple things like where we put our glasses or our dogs name.
Depression on the other hand involves a complete lack of concentration and making decisions. It may even prevent you from wanting to get out of bed in the morning. You may start avoiding human contact.

Statistics have shown that depression is not just a mental disorder. Clinical studies have shown that a major percentage of persons report to their doctor visit for aches and pains. Mood disorders can show up with definite physical symptoms.
You may notice that things that have always brought you joy and happiness no longer interest you. You may have become empathetic to your favorite activities and hobbies. These may definitely be red flags. Often people with depressive or anxiety disorders may also be substance abusers. If you use drugs or alcohol to help treat these feelings it is suggested that you get help immediately.

Several of my friends, who deal in therapy daily, tell me that people should not overlook sleeping irregularities, insomnia, oversleeping, intermittent sleep patterns. These are things you should consult your physician about if you are experiencing them.

We all go through food binges at one time or another… Whether we wish to admit it or not. Some people binge on sweet others on salty. I personally never have a problem with losing my appetite. So I have to watch on the binge issue.  Just know that significant changes in appetite and weight can signal signs of depression. Again consult your physician or therapist.

Agitation, temperaments, and mood swings need to be addressed as well. Just because you throw a temperament does not mean you are depressed. However, if it’s a regular habit you may want to consider it a sign of depression.  Someone chewing food too loud at the table next to you can irritate anyone. However, if thought surface of self harm or desire to hurt someone else, again, consult someone for help at once.

There are unacceptable limits of feeling guilt or self reproach. Deep feelings such as these can often be a red flag to depression. If you constantly feel worthless and have thoughts that you don’t deserve love, this can spiral into a bigger problem. If this spirals into thoughts of self harm or death please seek immediate help. You, me, everyone deserves help when these feelings arise. Get that help sooner rather than later. Sent with love and hope.

Namaste, The Queen Cronista…

*Always consult your professional doctors or therapists for questions about your mental well being & health…

Diva Musing: Thoughts on Anti- Inflammatory Foods…

Inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases, but you can fight it with food. Arm yourself with knowledge, and then use these delicious, disease-fighting recipes from my cookbook, Meals that Heal.
By Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD
Top 8 Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Eat Leafy greens (romaine, arugula, spinach, kale)
  1. Extra-virgin olive oil
  2. Berries
  3. Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts)
  4. Fatty fish (salmon)
  5. Green tea
  6. Fermented and probiotic-rich foods (yogurt, kefir, kombucha, kimchi)
  7. Nuts and seeds
Top 8 Pro-Inflammatory Foods to Avoid
  1. Foods high in saturated and trans fats
  2. Foods with added sugars and/or artificial sweeteners
  3. Fried foods
  4. Processed foods
  5. Cured and processed meats
  6. Alcohol in excess
  7. Caffeine in excess
  8. High omega-6 to omega-3 ratios
From Subtle to Serious
Think of initial chronic inflammation as a small fire in the body. It’s localized and not yet severe. Poor food choices trigger inflammation that can result in slightly higher than normal blood sugar or blood pressure.
But just like how sparks from a small fire can create a second or third fire, this initial inflammation can increase the body’s sensitivity, making it easier for irritants to result in inflammation in another area of the body. Poor food choices, combined with stress and inactivity, can trigger inflammation in the form of weight gain, hypertension, and/or insulin resistance.
If these small fires aren’t put out, more fires start, and they become one large systemic blaze. In the body, symptoms become more noticeable. If nothing changes, inflammation pushes the body to serious conditions, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Diva Musing: Home Schooling…

Home Schooling
Some of you may have been unprepared to tackle the current social distancing phase. We wanted to offer some sound advice from others to help along the way.
People new to the idea and concept of homeschooling often have a thousand of questions to raise. Here is some helpful information to guide you in weighing things out:
Some homeschooling advantages:
1. Allow quality time, providing individualized attention and instruction. Homeschooling parents can better understand their children; observe how kids progress, what areas they find difficult and help them out.
2. Children learn in their own pace. At home school, children can advance at any time, not waiting on others or if the kid is a slow learner or having difficulties in a certain subject area, she/he can remain to focus on that area without pressure that others are already moving on.
3. Parents pattern their teaching style and curriculum in accordance with the child’s learning style, allowing him/her to successfully understand the subject matter, thus better results are achieved.
4. No peer pressure. At a home-school, age classification is not a factor, therefore children not only associate with children their same age level, but with children of different ages and adults as well, so they can decide on their own without the influence of peers.
5. “Hands on learning”. Activities which are outside the context of books are very much essential to the child’s learning process. Trips to the park, the museum, the zoo, going fishing with mom and dad can be a great time to spend an afternoon educating your child.
Some homeschooling disadvantages:
1. For the homeschool parent, much time and effort is required for preparation of teaching materials, lessons and managing the child’s opportunities in order to cultivate friendships and expand on the child’s interests.
2. Parents who homeschool do not have enough time to spend for themselves when kids are constantly at home. This frequent time of being together can be at times suffocating and, therefore, can not work in certain families.
3. Homeschooled children do not have a lot of opportunities to bond and develop friendships with peers. For many families, this really is not a problem and is supplemented by taking the kids out to play in the park, attend lessons in ballet, jazz, etc. However it takes a lot of effort on the part of parents to insure that their kids have these opportunities.
Whether to homeschool or not, it all depends on you, as a parent, on how much are you willing to give your child. On top of all the learning materials, the field trips, home schooling entails a lot of love, patience and encouragement.
Home Schooling Requirements in California:
Home schooling programs vary from state to state in the U.S. As a personal option of parents for their children, the need to comply does not end in enrolling. Parents play a big role in its success.
In California, it is a compulsory for all children to acquire public or private schooling and be given the right education. Under the educational codes of California, methods of exemptions to the mandatory school attendance have alternative learning options as follows:
1. The child has private tutors who have valid credentials for specific subject matter. The number of hours of instruction must be three hours a day, 175 hours a year. All parents who opt for this choice at their discretion do not need to send the child to formal schooling.
2. Home Study Program (HSP) and Charter Schools of California – Parents have the option to enroll their child to the nearest public school for a home-based study program, where the school will assign a teacher who will facilitate and check the student’s home-schooling on a monthly basis. The tutorial program sessions are under the parent’s responsibility at home.
3. Private Independent Study Program – almost similar to public chartered school enrollment with differences in curriculum and rigidity in training. Private schools in California are not required with heavy restrictions on credentials.
4. Complying R4 Form (Private School Affidavit) – Home education system can be established by individuals in their respective homes by just complying the requirements set by educational codes of California Department of Education. With least restriction from among the alternative methods of home-schooling schemes, this is purely a program for very few students of not more than five attending schooling at home in a very private environment.
Certainly, change in a child’s schooling scheme affects parental goals and orientation.
The advantage of institutionalized schooling is the amount of time parents get liberated to spend on their career while their children get the substantial education they pay for. Home schooling on the other hand, requires the entire time of parent participation, which is a great career sacrifice in exchange of personally educating a child. The price is spending quality time and close bonding with the child.
Assuming how the child will have substantial positive socialization is the main consideration of home schooling. To families of reputation or those who have “special child,” the need for home schooling is not questionable. The correct formula to child education cannot be determined because the whole process will not be projected by imagination. It happens in a span of decades.
As always use your discernment to meet the need of you and your students. 
Namaste, The Queen Cronista…

Diva Musing: 2020 Retrograde…

People laugh at me when I talk about the “crape’diem” or Mercury Retrograde or as military personnel call it Retrograde Mercury. Ask a WWI Pilot what they think of it …You’ll be surprised. I’ve talked about it before. Here was a good article I found as a reminder. Namaste, The Queen Cronista….
Fog alert! The first Mercury retrograde of 2020 is here. This signal-jamming transit adds an extra dollop of disarray to our daily routines and affairs. Find out how to stay afloat while Mercury is in reverse!
by The AstroTwins
Mercury is retrograde from February 16 to March 9 is the first Mercury retrograde of 2020 (there are three!). The backstroke begins in watery Pisces, then, on March 4, Mercury retrogrades back through intellectual Aquarius for five days.
What is Mercury retrograde?
Three or four times a year, Mercury passes the earth in its orbit. As it rounds the bend, Mercury slows down and appears to stop (station) and spin backward (retrograde). Of course, it really ISN’T moving backward, but much like two trains or cars passing each other, this creates the optical illusion that one (Mercury, in this case) is going backward.
Mercury rules technology, travel and communication, so during Mercury retrograde, all of these things can go haywire. Any time the messenger planet shifts into reverse, our thinking can get muddled, communication can go sideways, and scheduling will require extreme flexibility—and patience! (See also Mercury Retrograde: How to Survive A Three-Week Communication Crisis)
This is the first Mercury retrograde of 2020, the others will be June 18 to July 12 in Cancer and October 13 to November 3 in Scorpio.
What you can expect during the first Mercury retrograde of 2020
While Mercury backs up through Pisces from February 16 to March 4, the sign of hidden agendas, illusions and the imagination, it’s going to be hard to pinpoint what’s true or real. During this time, take nothing at face value. You also can’t rely on people to be upfront with their intentions. Accept the fact that it’s going to take until mid-March to get a straight answer out of anyone.
If you considered turning up the heat or delivering an ultimatum, we recommend a different strategy. Pressuring people might get you a very loud, “Leave me alone!” or a yes that turns into an “Oops didn’t mean to say that” three weeks from now. Also, you might think you’re saying it with poetry, but other people just feel pressured. Don’t try to manipulate people with sweet talk or a sweeter deal than you can actually deliver on.
When Mercury retrograde rounds out its reign of extraterrestrial terror in Aquarius from March 4 to 9, protect your tech! Okay, maybe it won’t be THAT bad, but given that Aquarius is the natural ruler of the Internet and all of our electrical and wired-up devices, you can’t be too careful. Switch to the strongest possible passwords and maybe turn off your Bluetooth when you’re in a busy public place. Put a lid on any drinks if you’re sipping near your laptop.
This final portion of the first retrograde of 2020 can cause team dynamics to go off the rails. If you have to make a group decision, coming to consensus could be as easy as herding cats. If possible, postpone any hiveminds and masterminds until after March 9. And if that’s not possible, bring a good old-fashioned talking stick to the meeting and set firm ground rules. All feedback must be constructive—and no one’s allowed to use the talking stick as a weapon!
Here’s how your zodiac sign can cope in the potential crosshairs of the first Mercury retrograde of 2020:
Truth is stranger than fiction…or is it? With Mercury retrograde in your twelfth house of illusions, you may need to battle some rumors. Don’t believe everything you hear, Aries. It’s an excellent time to dust off an abandoned a creative project, especially one that summons the nostalgia of an earlier era or bygone time of your life. Reunite with old collaborators from March 4 to 9.
Protect your tech while Mercury backs through the digital domain of your chart until March 4, Taurus. With the messenger planet rogue in your friendship zone eleventh house, you could reunite with old crew members or navigate team tension. Career curveballs may come from March 4 to 9, so prepare for interruptions by having a smart backup plan and all your materials organized.
Career and long-term goals could get delayed or derailed with Mercury in your ambitious tenth house until March 4. Step away from frustrating work and clear your head, Gemini. Break big jobs down into manageable tasks or ask for a deadline extension. Your father or an important guy could be the source of some friction now. From March 4 to 9, choose every word wisely because your well-meaning advice could wound a tender soul. Travel plans may be delayed or need adjustment.
It’s not often that we have to discourage Cancers from taking risks, but with Mercury rogue in your expansive ninth house until March 4, your timing could be off. Emerge from that shell a claw at a time. Save your outspoken remarks and shocking debuts for next month, along with any overly complicated travel plans. In the early part of the retrograde, you’ll want freedom, but watch your jealous streak from March 4 to 9! Try not to push a good one away in February just because you want your space.
Mercury is retrograde in your intimate eighth house of merging and money until March 4, Leo, making it hard to join forces for both business and pleasure. Tread carefully with your trust and use this time to process any intense emotions you’ve swept aside. Take special care with legal and financial documents, giving them an extra look—or hiring a pro to assess. An ex or old flame could return from March 4 to 9, begging for a do-over or to “work on building a friendship.” It’s worth exploring if there’s still some magic there but proceed with extreme caution. If you know they’ll disrupt your ability to move on, keep the door closed.
Assess your partnerships—are they balanced and harmonious, Virgo? Mercury retrograde in your seventh house relationship zone could bring back an ex or reignite an old resentment between February 16 and March 4. Talk it out diplomatically and directly, avoiding the Piscean obscurity at all costs. Review contracts with an extra-keen eye, since vital details could be missed. Still hanging out with that energy vampire? Quit asking yourself why; just invest in other, more rewarding relationships instead. From March 4 to 9, focus on self-care and wellness but avoiddiagnosing with Dr. Google! Book check-ups and procedures for after March 10.
Order in the Libra court! Mindful Mercury’s mayhem happens in your sixth house of health and wellness through March 4, ramping up stress and making it hard to stay on top of the details. Your self-care schedules could get thrown off and you may find it hard to juggle everything. Slow down, prioritize and ask for help—from the right people, since even your normally rock-solid supporters might not be available. If you can avoid any medical procedures before March 10, do, otherwise,walk in fully informed. Romance could hit a rocky point from March 4 to 9 but keep calm and don’t say things you’ll regret!
Drama alert! Mercury retrograde in your expressive fifth house could bring back a dramatic ex or just make you a little “extra”—without the comedic timing that would make that amusing. Deep breaths, Scorpio, and ignore those button-pushing texts when you’re tempted to take the bait. Pour your passion into a creative project that got sidelined. Just say no to that style overhaul…but “yes” to clothing swaps, vintage remixes and giving your closet a good edit. You could revive a flatlining relationship, but that may require some negotiations around privacy and personal space from March 4 to 9.
Home and family can be a source of chaos is Mercury disrupts your domestic sector/fourth house. Mothers, children and female relatives work your nerves especially, Sagittarius, and your emotions are pretty prickly with normally-sensible Mercury making you moody and thin-skinned. Ramp up the self-care and use this period for some nostalgic trips down Memory Lane…or a home decor overhaul. Finish any household projects up or do a deep declutter that would make Marie Kondo proud. Reunite with pals from your past and work on half-finished writing projects from March 4 to 9.
Choose your words with care, Capricorn. You’ve got a double dose of retro since Mercury is askew in your third house of communication and information until March 4. Honest conversations, especially with siblings, friends and neighbors, can help clear the air. But you’ll need to be majorly diplomatic to pull that off, stepping into the other person’s shoes and mirroring back whatever they say with “active listening.” Even still…facts get obscured, messages get mixed and signals jammed. Triple-check reservations, as you’re likely to double-book or get the time wrong. It’s a not-so-funny comedy of errors trying to keep your plans straight. Stick to a strict budget from March 4 to 9.
Money could slip through your fingers with Mercury off-kilter in your finance and work second house. Colleagues and clients could get under your skin, Aquarius, and office electronics could break down without notice. Take stock of your spending and other habits and look where you can make impactful improvements. Ditto for your budget. Use this retrograde to self-audit and self-edit—then make a plan for strengthening the weak spots. When Mercury retrogrades back into your sign from March 4 to 9, you could revive an old passion. Keep it to yourself initially because we guarantee: People will NOT understand.

Cancel the PR tour: With Mercury retrograde in YOUR sign until March 4, the less you say, the better, Pisces. Curb the over-sharing and think before you hit “post” or “publish” or “send” on anything. Better to use this period to refine your ideas before you unleash them on your public. Avoid any dramatic changes to your appearance. Just say no to the pixie cut or body sculpting treatment while Mercury’s awry in your first house of image. Need to make amends or drop a grudge? March 4 to 9 could bring a round of deep healing. But keep some boundaries in place, especially when it comes to your personal time and space.
Were you born during Mercury retrograde? Find out!
Use our handy calculator to discover if Mercury is retrograde or direct in your birth chart.
To learn more about how to handle the first Mercury retrograde of 2020, see Mercury Retrograde’s Shadow Phase: Decode the ‘Retroshade’

Diva Musing:Lemon Hacks….

More Helpful Hacks
I’m into hacks this month as I begin spring cleaning. Namaste, The Queen Cronista…
1. Make fluffier rice that won’t stick
Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the water and rice as it cooks for fluffier rice that won’t stick.
2. Make lemons juicier
Here’s an easy way to make juicing a load of lemons easier. Stick the lemons in the microwave oven for just 15 seconds. You’ll be amazed how much easier they are to juice.
3. Have lemon juice on the fly
Now that you know the trick to easy juicing, make a big ol’ batch of lemon juice. Pour the juice into ice trays and freeze. Then add them to recipes as needed.
4. Make your own lemon-fresh kitchen cleanser
Don’t pitch the peels! Add lemon peels to a large jar. Pour in white vinegar and store for two weeks in a cool, dark space. Then combine your lemony vinegar concentrate with an equal amount (1:1) of distilled water. Boom! You have your own DIY all-purpose kitchen cleanser!
5. Make homemade sports drinks
Save a ton on sports drinks by making them at home. Combine the juice of half a lemon with a pinch of salt, 2 teaspoons of raw honey, and 8 ounces of water, shake it up, and chill. It’s a terrific refresher on a hot day. Here’s another DIY sports drink recipe that calls for lemon juice and orange juice.

Diva Musing: Successful People…

One of the bloggers I follow posted this one. I found the message uplifting and solid in thought process. Thought I’d share. His blog info is at the bottom….
Successful People
For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by people who are phenomenal at what they do; especially those who are success in more than one area of their life.
After all, my first ever “big dream” was when I was seven or so years old, and I wanted to change my name into Chris Packlem, and become the richest man ever. Funny how things change over time. Or better said, how we change. But how do successful people do all that they do? Over the years I’ve read the books written by/about the highly successful, watched interviews, read their blogs, etc. And I’ve learned that successful people are not more intelligent, or just lucky, or born into the right family. But they do certain things differently than other folks.
1. S.M.A.R.T.
Successful people know that one cannot hit a target one does not see. They know what they want, why they want it, and what steps they need to take to get it. Successful people create and pursue what is commonly known as  S.M.A.R.T. goals.
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely
  • Specific– for a greater chance of being accomplished because it has defined parameters and constraints.
  • Measurable– When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach certain milestones, and experience the dopamine release of achievement that spurs you on to continued efforts required to reach your final goal goal.
  • Attainable– To be attainable, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work.
  • Relevant– Choose goals that matter.
  • Timely– A goal must be grounded within a time frame, giving the goal a target date.  A commitment to a deadline helps you focus your efforts on the completion of the goal on or before the due date.  This part of the S.M.A.R.T. goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by daily distractions.
When you identify S.M.A.R.T. goals that are truly important to you, you become motivated to figure out ways to attain them. You develop the necessary attitude, abilities, and skills. As they say, you either find a way or make one.
2. They ACT. There’s a huge difference between knowing how to do something and actually doing it. Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action. It’s as simple as that. Success hinges on the simple act of making a decision to live – to absorb yourself in the process of going after your dreams and goals. So make that decision. And take action.
3. Productive, not just busy. Most people are busy, mistaking motion for action. The difference between these two is as follows: motion is like a rocking chair; lots of movement, but it’s not going anywhere.
Being busy is oftentimes a way to mask mental laziness… it’s busy people who are always in such a hurry to be late; heading to work, meetings, social engagements, etc.
But are they getting stuff done? Are they reaching their goals? Or are they just like hamsters on wheels?
The solution to all this?  Review your commitments and goals. Put first things first. Do one thing at a time.
4. They know perfection is a lie.
Do not be afraid of perfection, for you will never reach it. Also, perfectionism is simply procrastination in disguise. Perfectionists have a hard time starting things and an even harder time finishing them, always.
In truth, the world rewards those who get the job done. And you will never get anything done if you want to make it perfect. So make a decision. Take action, learn from the outcome, and repeat this method over and over again in all the areas of your life.
5. They step outside their comfort zones.
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.
Keep this in mind next time you want to retire to the comfort of the familiar.
6. They focus on making small, daily improvements.
The so-called compounding effect.
Small daily improvements added over long periods of time can literally make you something else.
Imagine going to the gym. One hour every single day. Doesn’t seem like much. Odds are, there’s not much change happening for months, maybe even a year or so.
But after that?
You will literally be made of something else than most other people.
7. They aim to better themselves. It might seem pretty obvious, but most people are more than happy to stagnate.
When it comes to their work, this means oftentimes doing the same things over and over again. Successful people actively try to become better at their jobs. They never stop learning, they never stop looking for ways to improve themselves.
8. They learn from their mistakes. Life will test you again and again and again, until you learn what is needed to overcome certain obstacles. You either evolve or repeat the same lessons. Every mistake you make is progress.  Mistakes teach you important lessons. Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal. You’re not a failure until you give up or blame someone else.
9. They are extremely selective when it comes to the people they surround themselves with.
Successful people associate with people who are like minded, focused, and supportive. They choose to interact with those who create energy when they enter. You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. As they say, birds of a feather flock together. If you hang out with losers, you will end up a loser.  But if you hang with the right people, you will become far more capable and successful than you ever could have been alone.
10.  They persevere. No matter what. Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”Calvin Coolidge
Cristian Mihai https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/2662201

Diva Musing: Perspectives…Labor of Love…

Perspectives Labors of Love….

One of the teachers asked if I was doing a scavenger hunt this year. I love doing this kind of thing for the students. However, the last one we did had a team of 8 working like a hive to get it all done and make it creative, fund and challenging. I’m not even counting the time when one of us would awake a t 3 AM and text the group with ideas or things to remember. When I added up our time from soup to nuts we had over 800 hours in it without actually the set up and clean up for day of.

Sadly with only several weeks of school left I had to say NO, because I don’t have a willing team this year, nor enough time left to pull it off fabulously.

Whenever you attend a fun event, remember the people who are doing it do so as an act of love and fun. We need to appreciate the outcome as well as the people who make it happen! It sure gave me a new perspective on this kind of fun. Namaste the Queen Cronista…