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Page 12 Senior Times - January 2021Mental Health A MEDICARE RATED FIVE STAR FACILITY!
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Stan Popovich, Special to Senior Times
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Almost everybody worries about what will happen in the future during these fearful times. The prospect of not knowing if something good or bad will happen in the near future can produce a lot of fear and anxiety. As a result, here is a list of techniques and suggestions on how to deal with the fear of the unknown.
instance, you have to play in the cham- pionship pickle ball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imag- ine yourself playing the game in your mind. By doing this, you will be better prepared when the time comes.
               No one can predict the future with one hundred percent certainty: Even if the thing that your fear does happen there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict, which can be used to your advantage. For instance, you miss the deadline for a project you have been working on. Everything you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your boss tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes every- thing.
Take a break: Take a deep breath and try to find something to do to get your mind off of your anxieties. A per- son could take a walk, listen to some music, or read the newspaper in order to get a fresh perspective on things.
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Challenge your negative thinking with positive statements and realistic thinking: When encountering thoughts that make you fearful or depressed, challenge those thoughts by asking yourself questions that will maintain objectivity and common sense. Focus on the reality of your situation and not on your thoughts.
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Take it one day at a time: Instead of worrying about how you will get through the rest of the week or coming months, try to focus on today. Each day can provide us with different oppor- tunities to learn new things and that includes learning how to deal with your problems.
Worrying can make the problem worse: All the worrying in the world will not change anything. All you can do is to do your best each day, hope
for the best, and when something does happen, take it in stride. If you still have trouble dealing with the fear of the future, then talking to a counselor or clergyman can be of great help.
Use Self-Visualization: Sometimes, we can get anxious over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualize your- self doing the task in your mind. For
Stan Popovich is the author of
the popular managing fear book, “A Layman’s Guide To Managing Fear.” For more information about Stan’s book and to get some free mental health advice, please visit Stan’s website at http://www.managingfear.com.
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 Since 2016, thousands of North Country Trail users have signed up for and completed the annual Hike 100 Challenge. Each year this free chal- lenge renews but the rules remain the same for 2021: Hike any 100 miles on the North Country National Scenic Trail between January 1 and December 31.
100 unique miles. Log your mileage over weeks or months, or during one big adventure. Walk, snowshoe, run, ski, day hike, or backpack. Once you have logged those 100 miles, share your adventure. You will earn a commemora- tive patch and certificate of completion. A new patch design is released each year so you can earn a fresh badge of accomplishment annually!
There are several sections of the
trail that run through Michigan. The southern Michigan section is the near- est to the reader and runs from the Kalamazoo/Barry county line to the Ohio/Michigan state line. This section hosts a mix of forest and farm coun-
try that primarily follows multi-use pathways and temporary walks. You may hike through lush farmland or tramp over the back roads of a part
of Michigan where there are so many lakes that they are often referred to
by number. This section is 99 miles in length with 41 miles off-road and 58 miles on-road. Most of the off-road trail miles are multi-use pathways includ- ing walking and biking. Keep in mind that dogs are not permitted within Fort Custer National Cemetery if that is part of your scheduled walk for the day. There are long stretches of road walks with limited camping opportunities. Trail towns include Marshall, Albion, and Litchfield.
Joining the Hike 100 Challenge earns you access to exclusive resourc- es and eligibility for monthly give- aways. We also love to hear about your adventure through social media. Tag @northcountrytrail on Facebook and Instagram, and use the hashtags #hike100nct and #northcountrytrail
so we are sure to see them. You might even see your photos and stories fea- tured on our website, social media channels, e-newsletters, and more.
 To join the Challenge, you can revis- it the same mile 100 times or explore
Chief Noonday Hiking Chapter of the North Country Trail supports events in Barry, Calhoun, and Kalamazoo counties. For further inquiries, or to volunteer, please contact Jane Norton at jane_a_norton@yahoo.com.
For more information on registra- tion, see: https://northcountrytrail.org/ hike-100-challenge/. Also try the down- loadable North Country Trail Maps (free download and mobile maps, and Avenza app). You can even create a new map for each day's hike.
  































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