Sunday, December 29, 2019

TIP - Daily Inspirational Goals

Good vibes only neon sign in orange and black
Inspirational thought

Along with your long-range plans to live a healthier lifestyle, you will want to include daily inspirational goals. Inspirational thoughts could be “I know I can do this” or “I will focus on positive thoughts” or “I will find something to enjoy every time I take a break from work.” These simple thoughts, repeated throughout the day, will help you reach your lifestyle goals. You will find many more inspirational thoughts and quotes on the Internet.

The key to choosing a good daily inspirational thought is to make it your own, aligned with your personal likes and dislikes. Then the inspirations will help you reach your lifestyle goals.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

TIP - Dealing with New Year's Resolution Lapses

Male hand with index finger pointing up and a reminder string tied to it
Reminder string

It’s going to happen. Sooner or later, you are going to break your resolution, go back on your promise to yourself, or revert to old undesired behaviors. Remind yourself that this lapse is temporary.

If several lapses occur in a short period of time, you may begin to think your resolution or behavior change plan is too difficult. It’s not. Don’t let these negative thoughts take over. The lapse is temporary only. Everyone makes mistakes.

Tomorrow is another chance to start over again. You can do it!

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Back-Seat Driver Can Be a Driver’s Helper

Highway guard rail broken from car crash
Broken guard rail on a highway

Distracted drivers kill approximately 9 people and injure over 1000 more each day in the US. Automobile drivers can be distracted in three ways:

  1. Manually, mainly taking your hands off the steering wheel
  2. Visually, taking your eyes off the traffic and road
  3. Cognitively, not thinking about driving

Many activities people engage in while driving are distracting. Texting is especially problematic, because it combines all three types of distraction.

Instead of nagging the driver about potential distractions, the back-seat driver can be part of the solution. Here are a few things a passenger can do to aid the driver.

  • Read maps and road signs. Look for landmarks or places to take a break or grab some food. 
  • Be in charge of electronics:
    • Operate the GPS
    • Check information on the mobile phone
    • Answer text messages and phone calls
  • Keep the car comfortable with air conditioning, heating, and music.
  • Take care of children and pets in the back seat. Be sure they are all properly secured. Sometimes it is best to sit in the back seat with a cranky child or nervous pet to keep them calm. 

If the driver does become distracted, gently remind him or her to focus on driving. If the problem seems to be driver fatigue, suggest pulling over for a break, a meal, or a change of drivers.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

TIP - Improve your self-confidence

Woman with brown hair confidently writing "Self Confidence"

If your belief in yourself needs improvement, try these strategies.

  • Consider your personal motivations. Knowing what encourages you to succeed will allow you to rethink your life path.
  • Identify your personal strengths. Use them to accomplish what you need to do to succeed.
  • What have you done in the past to succeed? Once you know that, you can focus on those skills this time around.
  • Plan to take small steps. Don’t try to do too much all at once. Break down large goals into smaller sequential targets.
  • Recognize that we all have setbacks in our progress. That’s OK. Just start over again the following day.

These five steps will improve your self-confidence and help you plan and achieve a healthier life.

Monday, December 2, 2019

December 3 is Giving Tuesday - please help support Virtual Ability

Virtual Ability is grateful for your support

Dec 3 is Giving Tuesday. Here are some ways to support Virtual Ability.

  • Support Virtual Ability when you shop at Amazon
    If you are one of the many people who use Amazon, you can support Virtual Ability every time you shop.  Just use to set up or change your charity donation. Then use to launch Amazon instead of the usual “,” and Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of your purchase price of qualifying items to Virtual Ability, Inc. There is no additional cost to you (or to VAI) whatsoever and it's totally anonymous. 

    Just remember to use this link to get started:

  • If you know a virtual world researcher, have them get in touch with Gentle Heron.  We can help them design and execute their research in virtual worlds.

  • Also, if you have contact information for a Center for Independent Living (CIL or ILC), please pass that to Gentle Heron.

  • If you know of a foundation that funds non-profit work, please let Gentle Heron know that too. We can apply for grants to help offset our SL expenses.

  • Donations are always appreciated! You can donate Linden dollars or RL cash.

You can donate Lindens in the wishing well on Virtual Ability island here:
and you can donate through PayPal on our website here:
You can request that a tax receipt be sent to you for cash donations, because we are a registered nonprofit.

  • One final way to help Virtual Ability is by purchasing a parcel on one of our residential islands: Cape Able, Cape Serenity or Cape Heron. Chat with our estate managers: Treasure Ballinger, Zip Zlatkis, and iSkye Silverweb. 

Thank you for your interest and support of our community.

NUTRITION TIP - Include these in your diet to boost your immune health

Immune system health
Immune system health

A strong immune system is important, especially in cold and flu season. Your immune system protects your body by detecting pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, and destroying them before they make you sick. Include these seven nutrients in your diet to strengthen your immune system.

  1. Vitamin A is a regulator of your immune system and fights inflammation. Adequate supplies are necessary to prevent infections. Vitamin A is found in color vegetables (carrots, kale, red bell peppers, spinach and sweet potatoes) and in egg yolks.
  2. Vitamin C also protects against infections. Eat citrus fruits, strawberries and tomatoes for this vitamin.
  3. Folate (folic acid, a B vitamin) helps your body produce red and white blood cells. Leafy green vegetables and legumes (beans and peas) are good sources.
  4. Protein is one of the building blocks of the antibodies created by your immune system. High quality protein is found in eggs, fish, lean meat and poultry.
  5. Zinc reduces inflammation and is involved in the production of germ-fighting white blood cells. Foods containing zinc include beans, dairy products, nuts, seeds, oysters, lean meat, poultry, and whole grains.
  6. Selenium has antioxidant properties and supports immunity. Find it in barley, Brazil nuts, broccoli, garlic, sardines and tuna.
  7. Probiotics are live bacteria that aid the function of your digestive system. These “good bacteria” are found normally in the human gut. They are present in fermented vegetables (kimchi, sauerkraut) and fermented dairy products (kefir, buttermilk, yogurt).