I read the following on the City Year website: Ubuntu—a term borrowed from the Zulu tribe of South Africa—means “I am a person through other people; my humanity is tied to yours.” I was moved by the saying and by the work of City Year. I’ll write more about City Year soon.
I keep thinking about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, PrEP, which is a pill that when taken daily protects against HIV. I wrote about PrEP recently, but I’m surprised about one thing I read about PrEP-very few people are using it. I wonder why that is? Why if someone is at risk for getting HIV, why wouldn’t they do everything they could to protect themselves? I guess the same question could be asked about condoms-why wouldn’t someone simply use a condom to decrease their risk of getting HIV or any STD? I don’t get it.
“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”
I realized a few years ago that 4-H clubs are found in urban as well as rural areas. Click here to find out what a Minneapolis 4-H club has been up to. http://www.startribune.com/video/237060011.html?chan=/video&pn=1
I know this doesn’t directly relate to health, but I enjoy watching this video and think you might also, just click this link.
The winter Olympics are in Sochi, Russia next year. In order to get encourage activity by citizens, machines have been set up that give tickets for free subway rides in exchange for 30 squats. Check out how it works here:
I also love this video from Bedsider.org. What a Grandmother!
I was showing a young person the Bedsider.org site today and found this funny video.
I know someone who advises young people to plan how much they will drink before they will go out partying. He hopes that if a young person plans how much they will drink they will be less likely to drink until they are drunk or pass out-they’ll stay in control. This is how it may go-you plan to have 2 beers when you are at a party because someone you have a crush on will be there, or maybe because you know that if you drink more you will feel sick in the morning. This is drink planning. Give it a try and see if it will help you remain in control.
I watched a security tape of two people as they were about to rob someone. I wondered how they would react if they saw themselves. Would they have regret or feel embarrassed? How about you? How would you react if you could watch yourself and see your actions after the fact? Would you be embarrassed or proud? You’re not going to try to rob someone, but you’ll have opportunities to choose how to react in a certain situation. To choose whether to sit back and allow bullying, for example. How would that look on camera?
“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
I met a young person who has begun to exercise and her sister is her exercise partner. Having an exercise partner is a great way to double your motivation. You may feeling too lazy to exercise, but if your exercise partner decides that they are going to exercise without you, you probably won’t want to be left behind and will go also. Doubling your exercise motivation might work for you also.
Tell young people the truth about sexuality through comprehensive sex education and they will be more likely to make good, healthy choices. Here are youth from Alabama reminding us of this.
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.