Sunday, December 15, 2019

Regardless

“Being born again allows us to grow into the spiritual person that we were intended to be regardless of how flawed we have become.” (John Di Battista)

26 Now in the sixth month of her pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you!” 29 Startled by his statement, she tried to figure out what his greeting meant.

30 Then the angel told her, “Stop being afraid, Mary, because you have found favor with God. 31 Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.”

34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this happen, since I have not had relations with a man?”

35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come over you, and the power of the Most High will surround you. Therefore, the child will be holy and will be called the Son of God. 36 And listen! Elizabeth, your relative, has herself conceived a son in her old age, this woman who was rumored to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 Nothing is impossible with respect to any of God’s promises.”

38 Then Mary said, “Truly I am the Lord’s servant. Let everything you have said happen to me.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38 ISV)


The Holy Spirit conceives in us new spiritual life. He regenerates us in a way that raises us from the dead spiritually.


Jesus answered, “I assure you, everyone must be born again. Anyone who is not born again cannot be in God’s kingdom.” (John 3:3, ERV)


No one enters God’s kingdom without experiencing a birth.


 It is not the flesh that gives a person life. It is the spirit that gives life. The words I told you are spirit, and so they give life. (John 6:63, ICB)


The Holy Spirit breathes into us new spiritual life, and that’s what makes us able to respond to the gospel.


At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God. You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else.

4-5 However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace.  (Ephesians 2:1-5 CEB)

The Holy Spirit in your life is three things:


1.     His work is unassisted. (See Ephesians 2:4-5 above)


2.     His work is gracious.


You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. (Ephesians 2:8-9, CEB)


3.     His work is positive.


God will continually revitalize you, implanting within you the passion to do what pleases him. (Philippians 2:13, TPT)


 “Why does the sinner choose a life of sinful indulgence because he prefers it? Man chooses that which is according to his nature, and therefore, before he will ever choose or prefer that which is Divine and spiritual, a new nature must be imparted to him; in other words, he must be born again.” (A. W. Pink, 1886-1952)[i]



[i] Inspired by the sermon “Conceiving: Christmas Spirit, “(installment two) Sunday December 8, 2019, Pastor Dave Jansen, CenterPoint Gahanna Church Gahanna, OH.
 

Friday, December 13, 2019

The Fridge

“Whatever your problem is the answer is not in the fridge.” (Mastersinlife.com)

At the end of a stressful day if the first thing you do is open up the junk food cabinet, and start mindlessly munching on something unhealthy, you’re an emotional eater. We emotionally eat out of habit sometimes without even realizing we’re doing it. We instinctively respond to stressors by reaching for the junk food. We’re aware that it’s not rational to be pile in junk food just because our emotions are all over the place, but it feels like we can’t stop.
 
We no longer eat to solely fuel our bodies. The days of eating for survival are gone, and food has taken on a whole new meaning. We’re in the comfort food age. Our emotions and eating habits are often as intertwined and twisted as that spare forgotten pair of headphones in the bottom of your bag. We turn to food for comfort in response to emotional triggers with complete disregard to actual hunger.

The food and beverage industry start targeting us as kids with commercials that equate junk food with happiness, adventure, and love – anything positive. As adults, we mimic the habit of rewarding ourselves with food whether it’s in response to something positive or negative. When turning to food for comfort we generally choose high-fat, high sugar junk food which gives us brief hits of pleasure.

While the release of serotonin may make you feel better for a short period of time that mild high will quickly fade. If you turned to food for comfort, the feelings that led you to open the fridge door will still be there when you shut it. You most likely will actually feel even worse after you do. It’s a completely vicious cycle that leads to terrible eating habits, excess fat, and lots and lots of sadness. The following five tips will help you step away from food when you are emotional.

 Figure out what you’re feeling. Determine if your desire to eat is true hunger or something else. Is your stomach growling? If not, drill down deeper to identify the trigger (the sight and smell of food can elicit an emotional response, too). If you name it, you can tame it. If you’re feeling anxious and tense, just say out loud “My anxiety and my nerves are powerful.”
 

Keep some distance. Another trick: Don’t identify with the thoughts directly, so you have some distance to make a good decision. It’s the difference between “I’m angry” versus “I notice that I’m having angry thoughts.” That way you’re not swept away by what you normally do when you’re angry. If you can mindfully notice those angry feelings, you put yourself into that gap where you can notice and choose.
 

Mind your thoughts. Thinking “I really want a cupcake” might feel like your free will has been hijacked. But what is a thought, really? It is a fleeting experience that has no real power over you. A craving is just words or activity in the brain. You’re imagining how good something will taste. Similarly, if you break down what it means to be sad or mad or ashamed into component parts, you’ll realize it’s merely feeling anxious or having your muscles tense up or your breathing speed up.


 Practice putting space between thoughts and actions. When you delay cruising by the office snack table in response to a tense run-in with a co-worker, you give yourself the freedom to make a different choice. But it takes practice. The next time you feel anxious challenge yourself to see how long you can embrace the emotion. See if you can welcome it for two minutes. Try saying “I know what this is and I can handle it,” instead of saying, “A muffin would make me feel better.”

Take a long, slow inhale. Deep breathing may be one of the most effective strategies you can adopt to help lessen the intensity of strong emotions. When you’re anxious, your breath quickens. But breathing into your diaphragm may reduce levels of tension and stress. It helps take the edge off that negative feeling, lets you reframe how you’re thinking about it, and helps you get through that moment without eating.


 “If I eat when I’m upset, I will only end up with two problems: The problem that made me upset in the first place, and now the additional problem of feeling bad about myself and my eating. As [you], do I want to have one problem or two problems? (Anonymous) [i]




[i] Sources used:
·        “5 Ways to Stop Emotional Eating and Lose Weight” by Ultimate Performance

·        “5 ways to take charge of emotional eating “By Sara Elizabeth Richards

 
 

Solution

“Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.” (Bryan Lewis)

Do you ever struggle with negative thinking? It’s one of the most destructive forces you’ll ever have to face, and it’s inside your own head. It’s that negative, judgmental voice telling you you’re not smart enough or you don’t work hard enough or you don’t deserve to succeed. We all have a constantly running soundtrack of self-talk in our head.

It’s stronger in some than in others, and the content is variable, too. Negative (unhelpful) thinking patterns can have a strong and sometimes devastating impact on our relationships, our health, our work, and our lives.  A lot of it is harmless, even helpful–“Don’t forget, you’re meeting with John”–but if your inner voice ever takes a negative turn, you need to know how to tame it. Here are eight powerful ways to quiet your negative self-talk:

Accept your imperfections. No one is perfect, and the sooner you know it, the better off you will be. We all have strengths and weaknesses. If you choose to concentrate on your weaknesses rather than your strengths, you’ll spend a lifetime feeling that you can never measure up. But if you choose to spend your time on what you’re good at, your thoughts will be positive and gratifying.

Back up for a better view. If you’re serious about taming your self-talk, take a step back and really listen to your thoughts. Write them in a journal in any form that appeals to you. Go back and read them after some time has passed. Once you’ve done that you’re already engaging in the process of repair. Sometimes when we create distance, we can see how far we have come.

Be conscious of what you say. Rethink your thoughts. Sometimes repeating a thought more than once and really listening to what we’re saying is enough to bring us back into reality. Work to build more constant conscious awareness of how you talk to yourself.

Distract yourself to reboot your mind. You may sometimes become so busy overthinking everything that your thoughts go around and around and you cannot stop yourself from thinking and rethinking the same negative thought. If that happens, distract yourself. Stop thinking and start doing.
Stop chasing the wrong thing, and give yourself time to catch up with the right things. Maybe by distracting yourself you can figure out what is right for you. There are exactly two things that can prevent you from positivity and happiness: living in the past and treating ourselves negatively. Don’t be guilty of either. Learn to tame your negative thoughts so you think about a positive future.

Listen to what you’re telling yourself as if you were telling it to other people. None of us would ever speak to anyone the way we speak to ourselves. We’re too often negative, condescending, and just outright rude. Learn to treat yourself with the same patience, compassion, and respect you would give to any other person.

Not everything that was true in the past is true today. Just because something happened to you in the past doesn’t make it true today. In the here and now, you are more skilled, more qualified to be doing what you need to do. Any thoughts and beliefs about you from the past no longer pertain. Some things you have to leave in the past while you work on being successful for the future.

Remember, someone is listening. If your self-talk is positive, you’ll have positive thoughts and actions. If it’s negative, it will create negative thoughts and actions–and, most likely, negative outcomes. Negative self-talk can even lower your self-confidence so remind yourself that you’re listening to yourself and that the consequences are as real as if you were talking to someone else.

Stop judging yourself so harshly. A lot of low self-esteem comes from harsh and merciless self-judgment. Sometimes our judgment is distorted and our thoughts become warped into negativity. If you tend to judge yourself harshly, the best way to tame the negative talk is to ask others how they see you, and listen to what they say. You might be surprised. Another technique is to ask yourself how you’d consider someone with about the same level of talent, ability, and accomplishments.

“You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared, or anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a ‘negative person.’ It makes you human.” (Lori Deschene)[i]



[i] Sources used:
·        “8 Effective Ways to Tame Your Negative Thoughts” by Lolly Daskal

·        “How to Tame Negative Self Talk in Your Mind” by Lewis Humphries

·        “The Four Keys to Overcoming Negative Thinking…for Good” by Melli Obrien

 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Gradually

“All bad habits start slowly and gradually and before you know you have the habit. The habit has you.” (Zig Ziglar)

Everyone has at least one bad habit. Whether it's being chronically late, tapping your feet, chewing gum too loudly, eating sloppily, over sharing on Facebook, or eating junk food. Bad habits interrupt your life and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. They jeopardize your health (both mentally and physically). They waste your time and energy. Putting them behind you can have a major positive impact on your health and social life. To change some bad habits may require professional help, but considering the basic principles of behavior modification can give you a head start on the process:

Decide that you want change and convince yourself you can All psychological models of change emphasize the importance of commitment as a necessary first step. If you don't see a problem, you won't work on changing your behavior. The more honest you are with yourself about the nature of your bad habit. The more likely you will be to start on the path toward change.  You might want to start by keeping a log of your bad habits. To help motivate yourself, a forthright conversation with the people closest to you may prove valuable.  

People who care about you can give you the mirror you need to see your problematic behaviors for what they are. Once you've decided you want to change, convince yourself that you are able to achieve your change goals. You need to strengthen your belief that you can accomplish what you want. Seeing other people change successfully is inspiring, but you need to see yourself as having what it takes to make those changes in yourself. 

Gain insight on what's causing the habit Once you figure out your inner motives and the external incentives that are driving your bad habits, you'll go a long way toward changing them. Take a good hard look at the situations that lead you to commit your bad habit. It's also possible that your behavior is motivated by a kind of self-defeating need to undo yourself, or what psychoanalysts might call "neurotic behavior."
Do you unconsciously try to thwart your own success because you don't feel you deserve to do well in life? Are your addictions perhaps motivated in part by some need that you have to fail or shorten your life? These sorts of inner motivations may interact with influences that are acquired through specific experiences.  

Everyone responds to reinforcements-- the rewards that strengthen our behaviors. Some bad habits just feel good, so we keep repeating them. They may also make our other problems, such as stress, temporarily go away, and this relief becomes another source of reinforcement. Social rewards add to the mix.

In fact, the behavior of other people might keep your bad habits going. By figuring out what's causing the bad habit, you can also work on deciding how to manipulate the outcomes of your behavior. Take the outcomes that are reinforcing the bad habit, and then use them to reward you for the behavior you want to acquire. Do you savor the attention of being late? Figure out other ways to be noticed.

Measure progress and don't be discouraged by occasional slips If you're going to reach your ultimate goal, you'll need to know how well you're doing on achieving the reasonable goals you've set as first steps. This means that you have to keep a journal. In the case of exercise and weight control, for example, you can take advantage of online recording programs that also give you tips that adapt to your record of progress.

There are certainly "apps for that" which can make your record-keeping easy and perhaps reinforcing in their own right. When it comes to chronic tardiness, you should write in your calendar (virtual or paper) when you arrived at your meeting or social gathering, or when you submitted your assigned work. See if the times start to creep closer and closer to hitting the punctuality mark.

Your motivation to change will be fired up in part by the rewards you get from your new behaviors. However, even the people most dedicated and determined to change will suffer an occasional relapse. If you use that slip as "proof" that you can never change, you will in fact not be able to change.  Instead, try to figure out why you slipped. Perhaps your reinforcement system didn't work and the pleasure of engaging in the habit outweighed the pain of changing the habit. Record these incidents in your diary, but if they keep happening, you may need to tinker with your reward system.

Seek additional support if habits are proving harder to change One of the best ways to build your inner resilience is by looking outward for support. If you're having trouble making these changes on your own, reach out to your friends and family. Formalized support programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers are built on the assumption that it's tough to go it alone, which is why sponsors are such a key part of their approach.

Entrenched or change-resistant habits may also require psychotherapy. If you're afraid that reaching out to a mental health professional will be time-consuming, costly, or just not worthwhile, you may be surprised to learn about psychotherapy's proven track record. Newer psychotherapy methods are shorter and more focused than old-style psychoanalysis.

 Needing help doesn't mean you've failed. It just means that the change is going to require more resources than you initially anticipated. By breaking down the change process into measurable goals, rewarding your success, and reaching out when you need help, you'll be on your way to a longer and more fulfilling life.

Set reasonable goals Your bad habits have taken years to establish themselves. You're not going to throw them off in an instant. Decide on a realistic schedule that will work for you based on goals that you believe you can meet. Overcoming your sedentary lifestyle is a good example of how you can proceed through this step. You'll be bound to fail and then use your failure as proof that you can't change.

When it comes to a social behavior such as being chronically tardy, your ultimate goal of never being late may also be hard to achieve in one step. If you're typically running 20 or 30 minutes late for your appointments, set a preliminary goal of "only" being 10 minutes late (still annoying to other people but not quite as much).

It's unlikely you can change completely right away if this is an ingrained habit reinforced by others and caused by some self-defeating tendencies. Cutting the tardiness factor by half is a good start.
 “The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit.” (Bryant McGill)[i]



[i] Sources used:
·        “5 Steps to Breaking Bad Habits” by Susan Krauss Whitbourne

·        “Habits to Avoid If You Have an Addictive Personality” By HealthPrep Staff

·        “How to Break a Bad Habit and Replace It with a Good One” by James Clear

 

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Any Fool

“Any fool knows men and women think differently at times, but the biggest difference is this. Men forget, but never forgive. Women forgive, but never forget.” (Robert Jordan)

It’s no secret that males and females are vastly different. The differences between genders extend beyond what the eye can see. Research reveals major distinguishers between male and female brains. In a world of equal rights, pay gaps, and gender-specific toys, one question remains central to our understanding of the two biological sexes. Are men's and women's brains wired differently? How is that relevant? 

Do men and women perform the same tasks differently? Do such differences affect men versus women's vulnerability to different brain disorders? The perspective that "gendered" preferences can be explained through hormonal activity and differences in the brains of men and women remains controversial.

Scientists also have discovered exceptions to every so-called gender rule. With all gender differences, no one way of doing things is better or worse. The four differences listed below are simply generalized differences in typical brain functioning. It is important to remember that all differences have advantages and disadvantages:

Blood Flow and Brain Activity While we are on the subject of emotional processing, another difference worth looking closely at is the activity difference between male and female brains. The female brain, in part thanks to far more natural blood flow throughout the brain at any given moment (more white matter processing), and because of a higher degree of blood flow in a concentration part of the brain called the cingulate gyrus will often think over and revisit emotional memories more than the male brain.

Males are designed differently. Males are more likely after reflecting more briefly on an emotive memory, to analyze it somewhat then move onto the next task. During this process, they may also choose to change course and do something active and unrelated to feelings rather than analyze their feelings at all. Observers may mistakenly believe that boys avoid feelings in comparison to girls or move to problem-solving too quickly.

Chemistry Male and female brains process the same neurochemicals, but to different degrees and through gender-specific body-brain connections. Some dominant neurochemicals are serotonin, which among other things helps you sit still. Testosterone is the sex and aggression chemical. Estrogen is a female growth and reproductive chemical.

Oxytocin is a bonding-relationship chemical. Because of differences in processing these chemicals, males on average tend to be less inclined to sit still for as long as females and tend to be more physically impulsive and aggressive. Males process less of the bonding chemical oxytocin than females. A major takeaway of chemistry differences is to realize that boys at times need different strategies for stress release than girls.

Processing Male brains utilize nearly seven times more gray matter for activity while female brains utilize nearly ten times more white matter. Gray matter areas of the brain are localized. They are information- and action-processing centers in specific areas of the brain. This can translate to a kind of tunnel vision when they are doing something. Once they are deeply engaged in a task or game, they may not demonstrate much sensitivity to other people or their surroundings.

White matter is the networking grid that connects the brain’s gray matter and other processing centers with one another. This profound brain-processing difference is probably one reason you may have noticed that females tend to more quickly transition between tasks than boys do. The gray-white matter difference may explain why, in adulthood, females are great multi-taskers while men excel in highly task-focused projects.

Structural Differences A number of structural elements in the human brain differ between males and females. “Structural” refers to actual parts of the brain and the way they are built including their size and/or mass. Females often have a larger hippocampus, our human memory center. Females also often have a higher density of neural connections into the hippocampus. As a result, girls and women tend to input or absorb more sensorial and emotive information than males do. By “sensorial” we mean information to and from all five senses.
If you note your observations over the next months of boys and girls and women and men, you will find that females tend to sense a lot more of what is going on around them throughout the day, and they retain that sensorial information more than do men. Before boys or girls are born, their brains developed with different hemispheric divisions of labor. The right and left hemispheres of the male and female brains are not set up exactly the same way. For instance, females tend to have verbal centers on both sides of the brain, while males tend to have verbal centers on only the left hemisphere.

This is a significant difference. Girls tend to use more words when discussing or describing incidence, story, person, object, feeling, or place. Males not only have fewer verbal centers in general but often have less connectivity between their word centers and their memories or feelings. When it comes to discussing feelings and emotions and senses together, girls tend to have an advantage, and they tend to have more interest in talking about these things.

“Men mourn for what they have lost. Women for what they ain’t got.” (Josh Billings) [i]




[i] Sources used:

·        “Brain Differences between Genders” by Gregory L. Jantz

·        “How different are men's and women's brains?” by Maria Cohut

 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Tidy

“People aren't tidy creations to be stacked neatly in the Tupperware, or poured in premeasured quantities from a box into the Cuisinart with no spills. Everybody alive is a lost and disastrous mess.” (Joel Derfner)

If you looked into a suburban living room during the 1950s and 1960s, you might see a well-mannered daytime party of women in odd hats playing party games, tossing lightweight plastic bowls back and forth, eating punch and cookies, and talking about their lives as they passed around an order form for Tupperware.
Although they engaged in lighthearted socializing, Tupperware party organizers were running thriving, woman-owned businesses. The women who participated in them weren’t just stocking their homes, but experimenting with cutting-edge technology that helped food stay fresh for longer. Tupperware was breaking gender stereotypes even as they reinforced home businesses. Selling Tupperware was a viable side job for many stay-at-home mothers and housewives of the 1950s, 1960s, and beyond.

The Tupperware Home Parties of the 1950s and 1960s were the only way to purchase a line of Polyethylene plastic storage containers that were the brainchild of Earl Tupper, a Massachusetts Costa Rican businessman and inventor who figured out a way to turn an industrial byproduct into an improvement on plastic in the mid 1940s. Tupper introduced Tupperware after World War II. At first, nobody understood what they were or how to use them. It would take an ambitious woman and Tupperware’s Direct Sales Manager (Brownie Wise[i], a single mother from Detroit, Michigan, in 1949), and an army of amateur salespeople to sell the innovative containers to America.
At first, homemakers were wary of a material they associated with bad smells, a weirdly oily texture, and cheap construction. Tupper's first product, the Wonderbowl, introduced the iconic "burp seal." The bowls’ most unique feature was also what held it back initially. The airtight lids wouldn’t seal unless they were “burped” beforehand, and that confused consumers, who returned them to stores claiming the lids didn’t fit. The seals achieved a partial vacuum seal that was important for keeping food fresh. The lid design was inspired by a paint can. The first Tupperware product ever developed was a bathroom drinking glass.

Tupperware currently comes in 25 colors with unique names like Cool Aqua, Pink Punch, Guacamole, Celery, Caribbean Sea, Frogger, Papaya, Margarita, Rhubarb, and Grape Fizz just to name a few. Tupperware was dubbed one of the 10 greatest inventions of the 20th Century by the Guinness Book of World Records. Over 100 Tupperware items from 1946 to 1958 are on display in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and the National Museum of American history.

In 2014, Tupperware Brands Corp. made $2.61 billion in revenue. There are 2.5 million Tupperware sellers around the world. Tupperware is produced in 6 countries, but sold in more than 100. Overseas sales produce more than half of its revenue, and its largest market is Indonesia. Today, across the globe, a Tupperware party is held every 1.4 seconds. (Over 500,000 Tupperware parties are held each year in France alone.)

“Remember Tupperware? That was the toughest stuff ever. Why can't they make a phone out of Tupperware?” (J. B. Smoove) [ii]


[i] See the 2017 movie about Brownie Wise called Tupperware Unsealed (starring Sandra Bullock)
 
[ii] Sources used:
·        Publish date:
·        Tupperware Parties: Suburban Women's Plastic Path to Empowerment” by Author:
·         Erin Blakemore
 
·        “10 totally random Tupperware facts” By admin

·        “8 Neat Things You Didn't Know About Tupperware” By

·     “15 Tupperware™ Facts From the Back of the Fridge” BY Nicole Garner
 
 

 

Realize

“You don’t realize how much you take breathing for granted until your nose is stuffed up.” (Woman’s World)

Have you been suffering from coughing, wheezing, chest pains, lethargy, itchy noses, sneezing, watery eyes, or insomnia this December? Do you notice itchy, red bumps (a rash) on yourself when you string lights on your Christmas tree? Do you have to use more frequently your asthma inhaler over the holidays? People who notice their allergies worsening this time of year might be experiencing what’s called Christmas Tree Syndrome.

Christmas Tree Syndrome is a seasonal illness which is caused by your Christmas tree (or your Christmas wreaths). The allergic condition is caused by the presence of a Christmas tree in an enclosed indoor space, which brings with it mould that grows in warm environments (your living room or bedroom). It goes on to cause respiratory allergies.

The fact that Christmas trees stay in most houses for the better part of a month only heightens symptoms and increases your chances of catching the dreaded Christmas Tree Syndrome.  Here are some tips for preventing Christmas Tree Syndrome in both live and artificial Christmas trees.

In live trees:

·        Families with severe allergies should avoid purchasing a live tree, (or keep it in house for no more than seven days).

·        Live trees naturally carry microscopic mold spores that can trigger allergy symptoms. This can happen instantly, or within the first two weeks of putting up a live tree in your house.

·        Sit the tree stump in a bucket of water and let it dry outside for a few days to prevent mold from growing.

·        Spray off the tree and its branches with water before bringing it into your house to help remove pollen and mold. (You can also give it a good shake or a blast with a leaf blower).

·        Tree sap contains substances that can irritate skin and mucous membranes.

·        Wear gloves and long sleeves when bringing the tree indoors to avoid sap touching your skin.

In artificial tees:

·        Some of the materials used to make artificial trees can cause sinus irritation.

·        Store them properly, wrap the tree securely, store in a cool and dry place, and avoid storing in places that accumulate dust and dirt.

·        Use a small amount of spray snow to frost your windows. Any aerosolized chemical can irritate the eyes, nose, or lungs.

·        Wipe down ornaments.

·        Wipe down the tree before putting it up in your home

Allergy suggestions:

·        Use allergy drops for your eyes.

·        Use Hydrocortisone cream for  a rash (though you might need stronger treatment from a dermatologist)

·        Use long-lasting, non-drowsy antihistamines for sneezing or your runny nose.

·        Use nasal steroid sprays for your stuffy nose.

·        Use nasal washes to clear your sinuses and to soothe inflammation.


“If you are unsure if it’s a Christmas tree causing a reaction, we would recommend keeping a diary of your symptoms, monitoring when you are in contact or proximity of festive spruces.” (Brian Cox)[i]



[i] Sources used:

·        “Could you have ‘Christmas tree syndrome’?” by Anna Hunter0

·        “Could your cold really be the 'Christmas Tree Syndrome?'” by Joel Brown

·        “What is Christmas tree syndrome and is it making us all ill?” by Jenny Proudfoot

·        “What is Christmas tree syndrome?” by Kara Wada
 

Regardless

“Being born again allows us to grow into the spiritual person that we were intended to be regardless of how flawed we have become.” (John D...