Some of the most common questions we receive has to do with brain health. Women are scared of “losing their minds”, developing Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia, and becoming unable to care for themselves.
Since you’re reading this online, chances are you’re somewhat interested in starting your own website. But even if you have absolutely no interest in starting a business, you may still want to consider having a personal website.
I realize, that some OlderWiserWomen are just a bit afraid of all this “tech stuff” and therefore don’t even want to get started. If that’s you – don’t be afraid and don’t worry. Just take it one step at a time and I promise it will all come together (maybe not tomorrow, but it will).
For many however, the main question is not if, but one of how and what. How do you go about starting your own website and what should you use for your publishing platform?
One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of choices when it comes to starting your website.
You could pay someone to create a site for you, using any number of tools. Or you can learn some basic things about websites and just create one yourself. The platform I suggest you use to do that is called WordPress (WP). You may already be familiar with it or have heard about it.
WordPress is what I use to run my sites and it’s what you’re looking at right now.
WordPress is a “content management system” that’s relatively easy to use and easy to maintain. Getting your content onto a WordPress site is easy as well and you don’t have to hire a webmaster to get your blog/website updated on a regular basis (unless you want to).
Of course, just like with anything else worthwhile doing, there is a bit of a learning curve involved here. However, I think it is well worth your time.
Regardless if you want to update and maintain your own sites or hire it out, you still need to understand what it is someone else is supposed to do for you, at least at a basic level.
But for starters, there are 2 basic things you need before you can set up your own website:
- You need to pick a domain name and register it with a Domain Registrar. A domain name is what you will call your site. For example, this site is called OlderWiserWomen and hence the domain name registered is “OlderWiserWomen”.
- Next, you have to pick a place for your domain to live, which is called hosting. You will need to sign up for an account with a Hosting Provider to house your domain on one of their servers. Think of your domain as your house and think of the hosting as the address of your house. Just as your house has all your furnishings and all your “stuff”, your website will have all your content and all the “stuff” you want to publish on your site.
Your hosting provider “hosts” your domain and in essence provides an address for your domain so that it can be found on the World Wide Web.
Of course, there is a heck of a lot more going on than that. However, conceptually and as far as you and I are concerned, that’s what’s going on and that’s really all you need to understand at this point.
- Before I stop for today, here are a few pointers to consider when choosing a domain name:
- What is the purpose of the domain name: business or personal?
- Try to keep your domain name short and to the point
- Try to keep your domain name easy to remember
- Pick a name that is easy to spell and unlikely to be misspelled
- Avoid hyphens and numbers as part of the name
So get started with your website and think about a domain name (or 2 or 3).
WiserPreneur™ discusses all things business related: starting, running and growing your business.
Are you wondering:
- if you should start a business
- what business to start
- if you should start an online business
- should you have your own website
- if you need a business plan
- where to find the money to start a business
- what products or services to sell
- wWhat licenses and permits you’ll have to have
- what taxes you’ll have to pay
- if you should hire employees or outsource
- if…, what…, how…
We’ll talk about it all and much, much more.
So tune in and listen up…
Sleep disturbance or insomnia is not uncommon in women starting at midlife. While this may be due to a physical concern, usually it’s not. Let’s discuss some things you can do NOW to improve your sleep.
- Good sleep is a component of good health. Things that you do for good health are essential and will directly impact your quality of sleep. This means eating a healthy diet, regular exercise and good daily multivitamin/mineral supplements.
- A healthy diet that is high in phytoestrogens such as fruits and vegetables may help if the cause of your sleep disturbance happens to be related to being perimenopausal. Apples, carrots, cherries, green beans, oats, peas, potatoes, soybeans and sprouts – just to mention a few!
- Avoid stimulating agents such as nicotine and caffeine – that includes coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate. Even one cup of coffee in the morning can affect sleep quality hours later. We, as women, tend to metabolize caffeine much slower than men. If you smoke or chew tobacco, quit. Short of that, avoid smoking/chewing within a few hours of going to bed.
- Sleep in a dark room. (How bright is your illuminated clock?)
- Develop a sleep routine: going to bed at the same time; rituals such as having a cup of relaxing tea and then washing up, and the like.
- Avoid taking naps.
- Is your sleeping space comfortable? Look at light, noise and temperature. How about your bed? Is it too firm or too soft?
- Avoid late night heavy meals. However, a light snack at bedtime may be helpful.
- Try relaxation – mediate, take a bath, listen to soft music, read a gentle book, get a massage.
- Avoid the news and other violent or emotional stimulation before bed! It’s hardly relaxing!
- Avoid alcohol late in the day. It can cause waking in the night and impairs sleep quality.
- Limit your bed activities to sleep and sex.
- If you cannot sleep – get up and do something until you can sleep.
- If worries are keeping you awake, try journaling – it may provide a way for you to “release” the worry onto paper and thus relax and sleep.
- There are natural supplements that can be tried. If you are a milk drinker, consider having a glass of warm milk. Milk when it is warm releases tryptophan, the same substance that was in that Thanksgiving turkey that had you napping. On the other hand, I recently read that warm milk also has substances that can keep you awake. Let your own body tell you what it likes about milk.
Other suggestions include valerian root, melatonin, passion flower and of course the chamomile, catnip, anise or fennel teas. Some companies package teas in their own formulations for sleep, such as “Sleepy Time”. Your local herbalist or health food store may also be able to give you suggestions. As with anything else, the key to try different things and see what you respond to.
If none of these suggestions work, I would recommend the following.
First of all, see your see your health care provider to ensure there is nothing physical that needs to be attended to. Keep a sleep diary for 3 months with the goal to see if there is some sort of pattern. Keep track of the time you go to bed, awaken, how often you are awake and/or up at night. Are you tired when you awaken in the morning? What time are you getting up? Is there something that is on your mind? Does any of this correlate with your cycles (if you still have them).
Use of sleeping medication is something that can sometimes be used to get your body back on track, but it’s not for long term use, and should only be used when other remedies have been ineffective.
For additional information you may want to check the sites below:
Are you tired of reading that by taking the latest and greatest supplement, you can reverse the aging process, cure or prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, or reverse those well deserved wrinkles and gray hair? Me too.
In truth, you can do much to protect your brain. It’s not always fool proof, and you have to do the work…but like anything health related, your actions will have a direct impact on your health.
1. Body Exercise – Not only will exercise protect your brain, it will protect your entire body. It keeps you strong and agile (reducing your chance of falls), keeps your bones strong (reducing your risk of Osteoporosis and thus fractures), strengthens your heart (helping to prevent hypertension and heart disease), boosts your metabolic rate (by increasing your muscle strength, plus as a bonus you maintain or even lose weight), improve the efficiency of all your metabolic processes (lowers cholesterol, reduces glucose in your blood), and improves the flow of oxygen to your brain. And those are only a few of the benefits!
2. Brain Exercise – This is vital…surely you’ve heard the phrase, “Use it or Lose It”. Well, when it comes to the brain, take this literally – cognitive function declines when we don’t use our brains. So what can you do? If you don’t read…start. Do your figuring on paper instead of a calculator. Work puzzles and brain teasers. Stress yourself a bit and change how you are performing your daily activities…use your right hand instead of your left (if you are left handed like me), drive a different way to work, or get dressed in the dark by touch only (and then laugh at the results).
3. Speaking of Laughter – make sure you do this every day. It releases good chemicals into your blood stream, increases the flow of oxygen to your brain and generally just feels good. And you get to exercise those smile muscles.
4. Play Video games – yep you read that correctly. Several companies have begun to market video games that have “brain teasers”, but any type of game that has you thinking outside the box (strategy, mystery, etc) will probably do. Now…do you think you can get the game cube (or other device) away from your children/grandchildren?
5. Put yourself in new situations – for example, traveling allows you to see, taste and do different things.
6. Eat your Spinach! – Mounting evidence shows that all of us should have listened to the common sense of our mothers! The latest research is showing that folic acid may improve cognitive function. We’ve known for a long time that folks who have a high level of something called homocystine have trouble with blood vessels and an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks. It seems that risk also includes the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. So what is folic acid? It’s a water soluble B vitamin found in yeast extract, green leafy vegetables (among other vegetables), and dried beans and peas to mention a few).
7. Include foods high in antioxidants in your diet. – The top 5 foods include small red beans, blueberries, red kidney beans, pinto beans and cranberries. Also high include artichokes, blackberries, prunes, raspberries, strawberries, and apples. Yum!
8. Consider a Mediterranean diet. – This would include a diet that has a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals; high intake of unsaturated fatty acids (mostly olive oil), but a low intake of saturated fatty acids; a moderately high intake of fish; a low to moderate intake of dairy products (mostly cheese or yogurt); a low intake of meat and poultry; and a regular but moderate intake of alcohol, primarily wine and with meals.
9. Supplements? – Well, it’s a mixed bag as far as evidence based medicine goes. While your best bet is eating a well balanced diet with lots of vegetables, there are studies that look at the various components of a diet such as folic acid, and natural Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Vitamin B12.
10. Socialize! – Get involved with family, friends and your community. Research has shown us that the folks who are regularly engaged in social interaction with others maintain their brain vitality. This mean the more socially active you are, the better.
Of course none of these work in isolation. It’s vital that you combine all of them for the best physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.