If you smoke, don’t go to this link from a Finland anti-tobacco campaign-you may have a nightmare. Or, maybe you’ll decide that it’s time you stop smoking. If you don’t smoke, going to this link may keep you from starting. Either way, you’ve been warned. Here’s the link: http://tobaccobody.fi/m_en.php.
The head of the YWCA, Dara Richardson-Heron (pictured above), answered as follows in the New York Times when asked what advice she would give college graduates. I think this is good advice for everyone.
“I tell them that life is not fair. Make the best of the cards you’re dealt. I also tell them it’s important not to feel entitled or to think people owe you something. You have to earn what you get. A dose of realism is important for people who are growing their careers. Nothing comes easy. The bottom line is never, ever give up.”
If young people who drink six or more energy drinks in a month are more likely to get in a fight or have sex without a condom-is the problem the energy drink or something else? Is it something about those who drink these drinks? Whatever it is, there is too much caffeine in these drinks for anyone to drink too many of them. Why does anyone need energy drinks anyway?
Nelson Mandela died today. He said and wrote many inspiring things, but here’s something he didn’t write that people think he did. It’s from Marianne Williamson and is so powerful that I’m offering it here while you read about and remember Nelson Mandela.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
The thing about giving of yourself is that it only requires you. You don’t need money or even a ton of time-you just need yourself and a commitment that helping others is important. For example, you may decide to make the effort to be pleasant to has many people as possible, or take a few minutes every once in a while to pick up some trash in your neighborhood (I’ve met people who actually do this). Giving of yourself only requires you.
I just heard about Dosomething.org which is surprising because it’s been around since 1993 and has over 2 million members. Dosomething.org leads national campaigns that allow young people to work on various issues like youth homelessness, the decreasing number of music education programs in schools, and domestic abuse-to name just a few issues. I like to slogan on the website: “Join over 2.2 million young people taking action. Make the world suck less.” Making the world suck less sounds like something good to do today-join Dosomething.org and do your part.
All of us will eventually deal with the death of someone we love. It can be difficult, but I found some ideas on the kidshealth.org site that may help you with your grief. Here they are and I hope they do help:
- Join in rituals. Memorial services, funerals, and other traditions help people get through the first few days and honor the person who died. Just being in the presence of other people who knew your loved one can be comforting.
- Let your emotions be expressed and released. Don’t stop yourself from having a good cry if you feel one coming on. Don’t worry if listening to particular songs or doing certain things is painful because it brings back memories of the person that you lost. It’s natural to feel this way. After a while, it becomes less painful. Know that you can (and will) feel better over time.
- Talk about it when you can. Some people find it helpful to tell the story of their loss or talk about their feelings. But sometimes a person doesn’t feel like talking about a loss, and that’s OK, too. No one should feel pressured to talk.
Even if you don’t feel like talking, find ways to express your emotions and thoughts. Start writing in a journal about the memories you have of the person you lost and how you’re feeling since the loss. Or write a song, poem, or tribute about your loved one. You can do this privately or share it with others.
- Preserve memories. Create a memorial or tribute to the person who died by planting a tree or garden, or honor the person in a fitting way, like taking part in a charity run or walk.
Make a memory box or folder that has reminders of the person who has died. Include mementos, photos, quotes, or whatever you choose. If you want, write a letter to the person. In it, you might want to include your feelings, things you want to say, or perhaps thank your loved one for being a part of your life.
- Join a support group. If you think you may be interested in going to a grief support group, ask a parent, school counselor, or religious leader how to find one. You don’t have to be alone with your feelings or your pain.
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”
Why do great teams and athletes play hard until the end of the game, until the last whistle? Because they don’t know how to play any other way and because some times playing this way may lead to a win. The lesson that the rest of us can learn from these athletes and teams is to do our best and work hard until the end.
Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for so many things including the opportunity to care for adolescents and work with their families. Thank you.
“When you give and carry out acts of kindness, it’s as though something inside your body responds and says, ‘Yes, this is how I ought to feel.’”
Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of many books including When Bad Things Happen to Good People.
Now, I know some people who won’t even take medicine when they have a bad headache. I don’t think this is a good idea, but I do believe that medicines aren’t needed for every symptom. If you have a cold, you need tender loving care for sure, but often times don’t need cold medicine. There has been recent evidence that homemade remedies work just as well. Give them a try. Here are recipes for homemade cold remedies, http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/233349861.html.
Now this is interesting-young people who concentrate on eating high fiber foods will be healthier than those who concentrate on eating a low fat diet. Here are some ways to eat more fiber from www.healthychildren.org.
Foods Rich in Fiber
- Grains: wheat germ, wheat bran, whole-wheat bread and bread products, oat bran, rice bran, brown rice, barley.
- Legumes: kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, lentils, chickpeas.
- Vegetables: cauliflower, broccoli, celery, potatoes, peas, beans, carrots, asparagus, artichokes, cucumbers, summer squash, parsley, Brussels sprouts.
- Fruits: apples, oranges, grapefruits, blackberries, tomatoes, dates, raisins.
Ways To Fit Fiber Into Your Teen’s Diet
Serve uncooked vegetables as snacks and toss them into salads. Raw carrots, broccoli and other vegetables contain more fiber than cooked vegetables.
Substitute whole-grain bread for white bread.
Don’t overcook vegetables. Vegetables should be served while still crisp. Steaming them until they’re mushy destroys much of their fiber.
Garnish salads with seeds (poppy, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame) and sprouts. Bean sprouts and alfalfa sprouts lend a unique flavor to sandwiches, too.
Add dates and raisins to snacks and cereals.
Don’t peel apples, cucumbers, potatoes and other fruits and vegetables with edible skins. They’re excellent sources of fiber.
Popcorn is the perfect snack for anyone looking to bone up on fiber. But use only a small amount of butter and salt.
Eat dried beans, peas and legumes, such as lentils, kidney beans, black beans, white beans, chickpeas, split peas and the like. They are brimming with fiber as well as vitamins, minerals and both complex carbohydrates and proteins, yet low in fat.
I meet young women who are sexually active but decide they won’t use birth control because they are afraid of their parents finding out and being angry. Imagine how upset their parents would be if the young woman becomes pregnant and the parent finds out about that. I suggest choosing the birth control option.
Today is Children’s Grief Awareness Day which is meant to increase awareness of the needs of grieving children. The website for this day has resources for grieving children and youth by state. I hope that you won’t need these resources, but grief happens to everyone, including young people.
So cool! Students from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia, with science companies, built a satellite, TJ3SAT, that was just launched by NASA. Here’s the website, http://www.tjhsst.edu/students/activities/tj3sat/, where you can read more about the project, how to track the satellite and contact it. I’m watching it pass over Australia now.
Sometimes a Lemony Snicket quote helps.
“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough, and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.”
It’s amazing what makeup and airbrushing can do to change how someone looks. This video is an example of that. In my opinion, the young lady is nice looking without the makeup and airbrushing. You decide.
There’s still time to get your flu vaccine and there are other things you can do to protect yourself from the flu. This video has more information.
There is nothing like visiting someone in a hospital to make you realize how small and manageable your problems are compared to so many others’. I was thinking this today and then saw this video on the New York Times website. Question: How do you mend a broken heart? Answer: Count your blessings. Here’s the link http://nyti.ms/1brBxGh.
I know that I posted this video before, but I just love this simple dance which can get you moving and help build strong bones. You’ve got to try it.
There was a devastating typhoon in the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan which is also known as Typhoon Yolanda, Thousands may have died. Girl Scouts of America have a list of resources on their blog. Here’s the link, http://blog.girlscouts.org/2013/11/how-to-help-survivors-of-typhoon-haiyan.html.
Here’s a clip from a documentary, The Graduates/Los Graduados, I just watched. I hope it is shown again so you can watch it-maybe you’ll be as moved as I was.
“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s precisely why I succeed.”
This story of a doctor in my hospital shows the power of resilience. If he can become a surgeon after what he went through, think of what you can do!
Many young women I know are choosing long-acting contraception like the implant. It is inserted under the skin of the arm and lasts for 3 years. It’s great-you don’t have to remember to take a pill everyday if you don’t want to. Better still, you don’t have to worry about getting pregnant. What could be better than that?!
I don’t want to keep harping on this, but I have another example of what can happen if a young person doesn’t get enough sleep. A young person I know got really sick when he was on break from school because he had not been sleeping the week before break. He had slept very little while studying for midterms. I wonder if his midterm grades will be as good as they can be if he got more sleep. Plus, he may have not gotten sick. Just wondering.
A young person I know is facing a real dilemma. He can choose one of two solutions, but neither one is a great choice so he’s a bit stuck. What I do when I’m facing a dilemma is to try to put the decision aside for a while, if I can, and see if a solution presents itself. You should try this if you have to make a difficult decision. Maybe a little time will help.
Everyone gets down at one time or another and many people have thoughts of killing themselves. For this reason, I found the recommendation from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline about having a safety plan a great idea. The safety plan you develop is to be used to keep you safe from harm during tough times when you might be thinking of suicide. A safety plan is best developed with your therapist, but can be developed with a counselor from the Lifeline. Learn more here http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Learn/Safety.
Good news-the American Academy of Pediatrics just recommended that students can return to school after a concussion when symptoms are tolerable for up to 30-45 minutes at a time. This will usually be within a few days or the first week after the concussion. It is important for the school to help a student ease back in. Remember, going back to school absolutely does not mean returning to sports, including gym. Those are out until clearance by a healthcare provider.
It is cool knowing people in the news, especially if they are talking about something helpful to young people and their families. I work with Dr. Margie Hogan who with other pediatricians in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are in the news because they have new advice about media use for children and young people. Bottom line-too much of anything, including media is bad for you. So, the AAP suggests we keep ourselves on a media diet and consume healthy amounts and types of media. So, young people should use media to spend some time keeping in touch with others and should use media to help learn about the world. They shouldn’t spend hours in their rooms watching TV and being on Facebook. If you are using media this way, you’re probably not going outside and being as active as you should, or spending the time on your homework you need.
There was an article in my local paper about a young woman who seriously injured someone because of texting while driving. Wait, let me rephrase that-she was texting while driving onto a freeway! Really? Why would anyone do something so dangerous?
I keep my phone hidden in my purse when I’m driving so I’m not tempted to look at it while I’m driving. I’d rather have someone wait for a return text from me, then run the risk of hurting or maybe killing someone.
Today’s Dear Amy column had two letters from teens. One was about the pressure one teen felt to have many activities and do well in school. The other was about a teen who was using Facebook inappropriately. Here’s where you can find the column, http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/relationship/228252171.html.
It is hard for some parents to let their teen get confidential care. Some of them say to me, “I should know what is going on with my kid. If my teen is having sex, I should know about it.” What if your teen could not get confidential care and ended up being afraid to ask for birth control or get condoms? They would probably still have sex and may get pregnant or get an STD. What’s worse? A pregnant teen perhaps with an STD, or one with confidential care and access to birth control and condoms? You pick.