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Brain Injury Services Chosen for 2016-17 Catalogue for Philanthropy

After completing a rigorous review process, Brain Injury Services has been chosen for the 2016-17 Catalogue for Philanthropy. This catalogue features the Greater Washington Area’s finest community-based charities. Brain Injury Services has been selected to be featured in the 14th edition of the Catalogue for Philanthropy which will be released November 1st, 2016!

“We are thrilled to be part of the Catalogue for Philanthropy” said Karen Brown, Executive Director of Brain Injury Services. “Their stellar reputation in providing visibility to a diverse group of quality non-profits is unsurpassed. We look forward to expanding our reach in the community to access additional support for those we serve.”

This accomplishment affirms Brain Injury Services’ commitment to our core values of integrity and cost-effectiveness across the organization. By providing evidence of impact in the community, we have proven to be a highly effective non-profit in our area.

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How to Start a New Habit that Actually Sticks

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” When it comes to living a positive lifestyle, our habits either make or break us. Habits decide our physical health, emotional well being and even our outlook on life.

But when it’s time to start a new healthy habit, it can be pretty difficult. If you’re interested in starting a habit that you can actually stick with, check out these useful tips.

1. Use a trigger.
All habits—negative or positive—come from a trigger. A trigger automatically initiates a behavior and leads you to do something else. Using cues like time of day, place and circumstance with your trigger will increase the likelihood that your habit will stick.

Use the trigger process to remind yourself when developing a new habit. A good reminder encodes your new behavior in something that you already do. For example, “Before breakfast and after I shower, I will meditate for 5 minutes every day.” By incorporating your new habit into behaviors you already practice, it will be easier to remember and participate in.

2. Start habits small.
Lasting change is a product of daily habits, not once-in-a-lifetime transformations. It’s important to start your habits small so they’re easier to manage and can grow through time. First, decide what you want your new habit to be. Then, ask yourself the question: “How can I make this behavior so easy to do that I can’t say no?”

If you want 6-pack abs, it’s not going to happen in a week. Start by committing to a 10-minute ab workout every day, and then increase gradually from there. Stick to a sustainable pace and be patient; big changes take time.

3. Keep a larger goal in mind.
Keep your immediate goals small, but remember to dream big for the future. Decide on your ultimate larger goal, and then develop a plan with smaller steps to get there. Make bigger goals a reality by doing a minimal amount of work each day to achieve them.

By establishing your larger goal, you’ll have something set in mind while working every day on small steps. For example, if your dream goal is to lose 50 pounds, start by jogging 10 minutes every day, followed by 30 minutes then followed by an hour every day.

4. Reward yourself.
It’s important to stay positive while creating new habits, and the best way to do this is by rewarding yourself for even the smallest of victories. If you complete an action and have a positive reward at the end of it, you’re more likely to do that same action again and form a routine. Repeat this routine enough, and it becomes a habit.

Reward yourself each time you practice your habit. This can be something as simple as telling yourself “Good job!”, “Victory!” or “That was a hard workout, and I did awesome.”

5. Get back on track quickly.
Nobody’s perfect, and you won’t be perfect when you’re developing a habit. It’s okay to make mistakes, but it’s important to get back on track quickly when you do. Abandon the all-or-nothing mentality, and instead plan for failure. Missing a habit once or twice is okay, but be consistent enough to not do it repeatedly, and return to the behavior as soon as possible.

Focus on building the identity of someone who never misses a habit twice. If you worry about the “Ah, screw it” mentality, come up with a Plan B to get yourself back in the zone. Examine the habit and where it breaks down, then incorporate an “if-then” scenario. For example, “If I forget to meditate in the morning, then I will meditate for 5 minutes when I get home from work.”

On average, a new habit takes 30 days to develop, so don’t be discouraged if you struggle at first. Stay positive and focused on the goal, and your new habit will get easier and stickier.

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8 Ways to Have a Philanthropic Summer

Summertime is upon us, which means bike rides, fireworks and lazy days beside the pool. But summer can be more than just some extra vacation time—it’s a chance to get involved and volunteer in the community. Summer is an opportunity to give back in philanthropy, so here are 8 hot ways to do just that.

1. Hold a Yard Sale
A yard sale is a super easy way to give back that also helps you. Clean out unnecessary stuff around the house and raise money to donate to a local charity. Then, give any extra items to your local shelter. Have children? Get them involved by letting them pick the charity!

2. Sell Lemonade
While hosting a yard sale, you may as well have a lemonade stand while you’re at it. This is a great way to get kids involved and excited about raising money for philanthropy. Not only do they gain a sense of responsibility, but they understand the value that goes into helping others.

3. Do a Trail Cleanup
For those who love going on long summer walks and bike rides, a trail cleanup is the way to go! Then a trail cleanup is the way to go! Clean up any trash you may see along the path as you go. This is one small extra step that goes a long way in helping your community.

4. Run a Charity Race
If you’re trying to get in shape this summer, consider running a charity race. These are running events held where participant registration fees go towards a philanthropic cause. You can look up local races via theme, distance or nonprofit organization.

5. Host a Block Party
Hosting a summer block party is a fun way for your neighborhood to be involved in a cause. Send out invitations asking friends to bring freewill donations to donate to a local nonprofit. This way, you get to eat and celebrate with friends while also helping those in need.

6. Coordinate a Car Wash
Car washes are an awesome way to raise money for nonprofit causes. Get your family, friends or kids involved in promoting and working the car wash for a collective goodwill. Let customers know where their money is going, and watch your donation dollars soar in.

7. Adopt an Animal at the Zoo
If you’re an animal lover, then adopting an animal at the zoo is a wonderful philanthropic option. Kids enjoy watching as the animal grows and develops, while you feel the satisfaction of aiding an animal in the community.

8. Volunteer on Vacation
For those truly dedicated to having a philanthropic summer, consider volunteering while on vacation. Some options include working with local people, participating in an environmental cleanup or building up parts of the community. Instill a sense of philanthropy in yourself and your children while still having fun family tourist time.

Summertime is the best time for eating popsicles, swimming and lying out in the sun, but it can also be the best time for giving back to those in your community. By getting involved in philanthropy this summer, you can be a huge part of helping those in need and still soaking up those hot summer rays.

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Celebrating National Gardening Exercise Day

Being around nature has always been therapeutic, but gardening especially has its advantages. It benefits your mind, body and soul. June 6th is National Gardening Exercise Day! This is an entire day dedicated to recognizing the important health benefits of gardening. Check out a few of the many advantages to be gained from gardening listed below.

Physical Exercise
There’s no question that gardening is a physical hobby, but it is also more exercise than some may expect. Any repetitive activity like digging, planting or weeding are useful forms of low-impact exercise, especially for those who find high-impact activity a challenge.

Gardening also has the advantage of being goal-oriented, meaning people are more likely to stick with it. It’s not just exercise for exercise’s sake—you are capable of literally seeing your efforts planted and growing into something beautiful.

Stress Relief
A recent Dutch study by Wageningen University and Research Center asked two groups to complete a stressful task. Afterwards, they had one group of participants garden for 30 minutes, while the other read indoors. The gardening group not only reported being in better moods, but also had remarkably lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to everything from obesity, to memory or learning problems and to heart disease.

Today’s society is consistently fast-paced and surrounded by to-do lists. Taking a few minutes each week to relax and garden not only breaks the pattern, but can also relieve stress and pressure.

Brain Health
Physical activity has also been associated with increased brain health. Two recent studies tracked individuals in their 60s and 70s for 16 years, and found that those who gardened regularly had between a 36 and 47 percent lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s than non-gardeners, even when outside health factors were taken into account.

Even being in a garden environment can be therapeutic, as many residential homes for people with dementia have implemented gardens on their grounds, to help improve patients’ dexterity and problem-solving.

Mental Health
Likewise, gardening is an excellent source of boosted mental health. Horticultural therapy is a treatment some therapists have begun using to help patients cope with issues such as anxiety and depression through gardening. Benefits stem from a combination of physical activity, awareness of natural surroundings, cognitive stimulation and work satisfaction. Patients who have utilized this type of therapy have reported a renewed desire to live, decreased anxiety and improved self-worth. Gardening therapy has been used in individuals suffering from various ailments, including depression, addiction, eating disorders and more. With success like that, there’s no reason not to partake in this special holiday.

To celebrate National Gardening Exercise Day, go out and see how you can utilize a garden to enjoy its plentiful benefits. Soak in the rainbow of colors, feel the fresh dirt between your fingers and smell the array of crisp fruits and veggies. Embrace nature, and nature will never cease in giving back to you.