Tag Archives: young people

How’s your Mental Fitness?

brain fitnessYesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day 2014. Ireland has a very high rate of suicide and we have all been touched by it in some way. The stigma of mental illness is finally eroding and the fact that we have a day that allows talk and discussion is great.

Doctors tell us that our mental health is very important. Anyone of us can be affected by a knock that life throws at us. Having the tools in your mental fitness belt can help. The little things you do all add up.

1. Be mindful of negative thoughts and learn how to cope with them. They cannot be blocked but distracting yourself from them or giving yourself a break (be kind!) may help. If they get too much there are lots of people out there qualified to help you. And they want to help.

2. Tap into your ‘inner resource’. Clinical psychologist Richard Miller, Ph.D has recognised the importance of this and has been working a lot with trauma survivors including returning soldiers from war. Think of your happy place…be it a place, sound, smell etc. Tap into this and think of it a few times in the day – every day – until it becomes a part of you. So when a negative experience happens you can go to this ‘inner resource’ and maybe deal with what is happening in a calm, controlled way. See www.irest.us for more details.

3. Try become more mindful of where you are, who you are with, what you are doing. It may mean turning off the phone. Do one thing at a time. Become focused on what you are doing.

4. Exercise – the importance of this cannot be emphasised enough. There is so much information and studies on how exercise benefits one’s mental fitness. Join a walking group, join a gym, take up yoga!

5. Hobbies are a great way to switch the chattering mind off too. Doing something you enjoy not only occupies the brain but will release endorphins and make you feel good.

6. Set a personal goal, maybe give yourself a month to do it and then reward yourself with something on completion. Keep it simple but of course the reward can be big!

7. Express yourself! Tap into your creative side and help release some emotions …writing in a journal, art, singing (even in the shower). Anything that gets your tapping into the creative, left side of the brain.

8. One of the simplest ways of keeping mentally fit is to laugh. However there will be times when this is probably one of the hardest things to do. In this age of easy access to everything there is so much comedy out there. Have a go-to show on stand by that you know will give you a giggle…for me its ‘Saturday Night Live’ and there are plenty of old sketches on YouTube.

9. Have you ever thought of volunteering? It’s one of those win-win activities. As humans there is an inherent want to help others and the reason is that it in turn makes us feel good. The other side is the receiver of your help benefits too.

10. Self care – think of the flight attendant telling you that ‘when the mask comes down in the event of loss of cabin pressure, place on your own mask first before attending to those with you’. How important it is to look after yourself or you are no good to those around you…in a nutshell! Any of the above can be considered self care. Even 2 minutes of self care everyday is a good place to start. An hour massage once a month is a necessity not as luxury. Make  a point to make time for yourself. It’s an investment for your mental fitness.

What will you do to kick start your mental fitness regime?

Sites you might find it helpful to visit:

 

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Did you know today is World Population Day?

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Today July 11th marks World Population Day. What dos this mean?

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

This year they are raising awareness on the issue of Adolescent Pregnancy.

UNFPA advocates for the welfare of young people by:

• Promoting the human rights of adolescents
• Preventing HIV infection
• Engaging young people in decisions that affect them
• Supporting age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education
• Creating safe spaces for adolescent girls
• Encouraging abandonment of harmful practices
• Encouraging leadership

UNFPA supports healthy families by:

• Training health workers to deliver quality family planning services
• Supplying contraceptives in emergency situations
• Ensuring youth-friendly reproductive health care
• Providing counselling and choices to women who want to avoid or delay pregnancy
• Educating men on the benefits of birth spacing

UNFPA supports maternal health by:

• Training midwives and health workers
• Preventing and treating obstetric fistula
• Supplying clean birthing kits following disasters
• Strengthening emergency obstetric care
• Ensuring reliable supplies of essential medicines and equipment
• Enabling birth spacing

Join the discussion on Twitterand Facebook  #worldpopday

http://www.unfpa.org/public/world-population-day

 

Is Your Texting Creating an Ongoing Pain Condition?

texting cat

C’mon, it’s a cat texting!

By now, most massage therapists are aware of the infamous Texting Thumb—the hand, finger and thumb pain and stiffness that can result from overly enthusiastic texting, or typing on a hand-held phone that does everything for you.
New research shows that a second phone-related condition is making itself known: neck-and-shoulder pain directly related to texting.
“Most young adults  prefer texting over e-mail or phone calls, and ergonomics researchers are starting to wonder whether it’s putting the younger generation at risk for some overuse injuries once reserved for older adults who have spent years in front of a computers,” noted a press release from the department of Epidemiology at the College of Health Professions and Social Work at Temple University (Philadelphia, USA), whose researchers conducted the study.

Judith Gold, an assistant professor in the department, recently presented preliminary research that suggested that among college students, the more they texted, the more pain they had in their neck and shoulders. “What we’ve seen so far is very similar to what we see with office workers who’ve spent most of their time at a computer,” said Gold, who directs the Ergonomics and Work Physiology Laboratory. “The way the body is positioned for texting—stationary shoulders and back with rapidly moving fingers—is similar to the position for typing on a computer.”
Current studies on computer use show office workers are prone to carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, and tendonitis. Massage and other bodywork techniques have been shown to lessen neck and shoulder pain and improve range of motion.

 

“Looking around our campus, you see every student on their cell phones, typing away,” Gold said. “It’s the age group that texts the most, so it’s important to know what the health effects may be to learn whether it will cause long term damage.”

What can you do?  This little info-graphic is brought to us by So King, the inventor of Candy Crush (I haven’t tried it yet and don’t want to!). It’s a mobile warm up designed for those addicted to the games but it still is relevant for texting.

king-hand-exercise-graphic