It’s Fall, Y’all

I know I know… the diehard summer enthusiasts are screaming at their screen “fall begins on September 22nd not September 1st, not September 12th… September 22nd!” To which I say, when Starbucks brings out the PSL, it’s officially fall. But I digress… Fall is the season of harvest, of reaping the hard work that comes from busy seasons of planting and tending. It’s the last hurrah before plunging into winter… which if last winter is any indication could last straight into next summer. As we approach fall I challenge you to Continue reading

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Is that fall around the corner?

Fall weather is coming!September is here! Now let’s hope that it brings with it some cooler temps. Summer was especially cruel around the country this year with multiple heat waves, rain, devastating fires and other challenges. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’m glad to see it go. But just because it’s September doesn’t mean it’s autumn-like weather just yet either. It’s been Continue reading

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Fall Celebrations

fallWell, Fall is finally here even if in most parts of the country it doesn’t feel like it.  Most people associate Autumn with its two main holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving.  I know that if you were to play a word association game with me, I’d tell you that Fall makes me think of warm apple cider, jack o’lanterns, pumpkin pie, turkey and trick or treating.  All those things are connected to the holidays.

I thought to myself that there had to be more to the season.  Guess what?  There is so much more to celebrate.  I came across a website (http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/october/) that lists all of the “National Days” that you might hear mentioned on the morning news or radio.  Some are serious, but most are a bit silly.  I, for one, don’t think you can have too much silly in your life.  So, while there were so many for the season, I thought I’d share my favorites for October.

  1. October 4th – National Taco Day. Have Mexican food for lunch or dinner to celebrate!
  2. October 8th – National Fluffernutter Day. Make yourself a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich.  If that’s not your speed, celebrate National Pierogi Day instead!
  3. October 10th – National Kick Butt Day. This is the day to give yourself a kick in the pants and get yourself moving on something you’ve been meaning to do for a while.
  4. October 12th – National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day. Get all of your co-workers involved and have a slumber party!
  5. October 14th – National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day. Make sure your kids know you expect them to celebrate this day!  And, have the pie or ice cream at the end because it’s also National Dessert Day!
  6. October 17th – National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day. This might be the easiest cleaning chore of them all! Click and clean!
  7. October 18th – National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Buy yourself a chocolate cupcake as a reward for all of the hard work you did yesterday!
  8. October 22nd – National Nut Day. Peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios…so many nuts and only 24 hours to celebrate!
  9. October 28th – National Breadstick Day. I wonder if Olive Garden knows about this day?  It might be fun (and tasty) finding out!
  10. October 30th – National Candy Corn Day. Finally, a reason to dig into the Halloween candy early!
  11. October 31st – National Knock Knock Jokes Day. Have some fun with the trick or treaters by telling funny and corny knock knock jokes all day.  You’ll have a captive audience because they’ll want the candy!

This website serves as a reminder that there is always something in life worth enjoying.  Plus, there is no law against you creating your own day of fun for your friends and family.  In the end, it’s just important that we, as the website’s motto says, “Celebrate Every Day”.

 

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October 2015 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2015 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by MS.

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

October Artist of the Month:
Bean Fairbanks – Seattle, WA

 Bean Fairbanks - Blowin in the Wind

About the Artist:
“All of my life, I have been part geek and part artist. Since 1987, I have been living with multiple sclerosis. One of the consequences/opportunities of MS has been that I have had to reinvent myself over and over again to maximize my current talents and surmount obstacles. That has been true of my career as well as my art work. Over the years, I have crafted with charcoal, pen and ink, pastels, acrylic and oils as well as my first love: textile arts.

Now most of artwork is augmented digitally. My laptop is much more forgiving of my hand tremors than pen and ink! The computer allows me to bring my artistic vision to light. Art remains my inspiration, therapy, passion and a means to communicate. My artwork is as eclectic as my moods, whether reflecting frenzy, sensuousness or the bare essence of being.”
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Be inspired – please send an online card featuring artwork by MS artist Bean Fairbanks and spread awareness of MS and MSAA.

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September 2015 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2015 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by MS.

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our MS Art Showcase online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

September Artist of the Month:
Barbara Hall – Jersey Shore, PA

 Barbara Hall - Autumn Walk

About the Artist:
“I believe this is my fourth year entering the MSAA Art Showcase. I continue to take painting classes and hope that I am making progress. My MS might have affected my handwriting but not my paintbrush! I hope to continue to paint through 2015. I am honored to be included with all these talented artists.”
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Be inspired – please send an online card featuring artwork by MS artist Barbara Hall and spread awareness of MS and MSAA.

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Happy Halloween 2014

Boo! From all of us here at MSAA, we’d like to wish the multiple sclerosis community a safe, happy, and fun-filled Halloween!

By Johnny Martin ecdl (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Feeling SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder

rsz_young_woman_cryingIt is commonly known that MS can impact mood and can cause an increased risk for developing depression and anxiety which MSAA detailed in the Winter/Spring 2014 issue of The Motivator. However, you may be unfamiliar with another condition – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – which may be something to pay attention to as the seasons change.

SAD is a type of depression which is hallmarked by its “seasonality” generally beginning in the fall and lasting through the winter months. SAD typically tends to creep up as the daylight hours get shorter and the weather gets cooler and the impacts on mood may become more severe as the season goes on.  Like other forms of depression, individuals who experience SAD may experience low energy (fatigue), may lose enjoyment in activities they once enjoyed, may experience changes in eating or sleeping habits, may have persistent sad or depressed thoughts, and may even think of engaging in self-harm. As with other forms of depression, individuals with SAD may benefit from the use of medications and/or talk therapy to help address this issue. One major difference with teasing out SAD from other forms of depression is that individuals with SAD may also benefit from using “phototherapy” or specialized light therapy; a person may even be assigned a specific amount time in their day to sit under the specialized light or lamp to help improve their symptoms.

If you have noticed that the fall and winter seasons tend to impact your mood, or if you have noticed a lower overall mood, please discuss the issue with your treating physician…sometimes just shedding some “light” on a situation can make a world of difference.

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Looking Back to Move Forward

rsz_couple_with_two_young_children_and_dog_running_in_park

Subtle hints of fall have spread throughout the northeast – the falling leaves, cooler nights, pumpkins, and mums popping up in local stores. While summer is slowly on its way out, it is bitter sweet to reminisce about the times had. This summer we talked about ways to beat the heat, many of which involved remaining indoors, or doing activities in cool public places. Regardless of where you made your memories, it is important to keep those happy memories alive and present to take with you into the fall.

Journaling about an event or encounter that makes you smile will bring you back to that moment and hopefully increase your mood. You can look back at those journal entries and remember the good times that were had. Also having pictures or souvenirs from a trip or event can help to bring you back to that moment. Try taking a moment to close your eyes and remember how you felt at that time.

When times are hard or you are having difficult feelings about a situation, take a moment to re-focus your thoughts on one of those happier moments. Re-focusing your thoughts can help momentarily take your mind off of a certain problem or situation and better prepare you for dealing with the task at hand.

When looking back on those happy moments, focus on the feelings or emotions that were created in you at that time. Allow yourself to re-live that moment and take a deep breath.

What moments do you carry with you? How do they help you in times of stress?

 

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September 2014 Artist of the Month: Celebrating the Work of Artists Affected by Multiple Sclerosis

MSAA is very proud to present our 2014 Art Showcase – celebrating the work of artists affected by MS.

We have received many wonderful submissions from across the country and are delighted to share their work and their stories with you. Please visit our online gallery to view all of the new submissions.

September Artist of the Month:
Laura Patchen – Pittsford, NY

 Laura Patchen - Alma Mater

About the Artist:

“I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November of 1998. At the time, my daughters were just 8, 10 and 13, and I had a flourishing career as a speech-language pathologist in private practice. I feared that my life would change, and it has, but not quite in the ways I thought it would. I had to stop working in 2005, due to physical and cognitive limitations. It was difficult to give up something I loved to do, but eventually, I’ve found other things, including painting.

The “Alma Mater” is the building my speech classes were held in….a wink to the past, and a fond memory. Life goes on, MS causes changes, but being able to document important memories in acrylics helps me cope.”
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Be inspired – please send an online card featuring artwork by MS artist Laura Patchen and spread awareness of MS and MSAA.

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Fall is Upon Us!

As the calendar reminds us to say goodbye to the summer season and hello to the beginning of fall, it’s a good time to start thinking about what the change of season means to you. Some people see the season change as something to embrace; to take advantage of being outdoors to enjoy the cooler temperatures, or to prepare for upcoming fall festivities and holidays that approach just as quickly as the seasons change. Do you enjoy the cool, leaf laden fall atmosphere? What about the shift from longer days to longer nights?

Children heading back to school and stores stocking up on holiday decorations are just some of the hallmarks that depict the fall season. The sound of leaves crunching under feet; the orange, red and yellow colors that paint the streets and the sight of birds making their way south for the upcoming winter months are some of the scenes that represent this fall solstice. What do you like most about the fall?

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