Children’s Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

little boy maskkelly-sikkema-KIi3mFRh3Jw-unsplashAmong the most talked-about consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is the toll taken on mental health, both in children and adults. Mental health experts were concerned about repercussions from the very beginning, but inevitably, given the stakes of contending with the virus and the unfamiliar territory we’ve all found ourselves in, it has been difficult to manage proactively.

Now a year into the pandemic, hopefully with the worst of its acute consequences behind us, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago was eager to understand parents’ experiences monitoring and managing their children’s mental health. Recently, they polled 1,000 parents across the US, focusing our inquiry on how parents contextualize the impact of the pandemic on mental health, what choices they regret making, and what they’ve done to constructively address challenges. For parents who live with multiple children, they asked them to focus their responses on the child they are most concerned about with respect to mental health.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago began by asking parents to describe their general feelings about the pandemic’s effects on mental health. Not surprisingly, a majority of parents are distressed by the situation. Seventy-one percent believe the pandemic has taken a toll on their child’s mental health, 69 percent say the pandemic is the worst thing to happen to their child, and 67 percent wish they’d been more vigilant about their child’s mental health from the beginning. Read more

15 Good Luck Plants To Bring Positive Energy to Your New Home

Plant Parenthood Booms shared that plants pose a variety of benefits and have been celebrated for centuries. Horticulture therapy eases stress and increases feelings of well-being, while NASA studies prove some plants can purify your home’s air.

On top of health and wellness benefits, some plants are believed to be lucky. Good luck plants are especially popular during the Chinese Spring Festival or Lunar New Year.

Lucky plants are a gift of prosperity and wealth, and different plants offer different opportunities for luck.

Whether you’re looking for a housewarming gift or want good fortune for your pre-approval and house hunting, these good luck plants will look and feel great.

1. Citrus Trees

Citrus trees are fragrant, beautiful, and provide delicious fruit for your family to enjoy. All varieties of citrus trees are considered lucky — especially since many citrus fruits are round and gold, resembling coins for wealth.

Citrus trees are popular gifts to celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival. The more fruit your tree has, the luckier it is. These trees require specialized care, so research its care needs first to decide if it’s right for you. Read more

108 Smile Quotes To Make Life Brighter

Portrait of happy family looking at cameraSince we share tips to improve positivity and boost mental health, Lydia from thought our readers might enjoy these 108 smile quotes to brighten your day.

Did you know that smiles have been shown to have wide-ranging health benefits, from releasing happy hormones to reducing blood pressure?

There’s a special kind of magic behind a smile. No matter if it’s one that spreads across your face when you see someone you love or one that’s shared with a stranger passing on the street, a smile has an uncanny ability to brighten our spirits and turn a bad day around — not to mention the numerous health benefits of flashing a grin.

After all, we put a lot of work into making our smiles stand out, so we should do ourselves (and others!) a favor and share our smiles as much as possible.

When you need a little smile inspiration, it’s easy to find joy in smile quotes from those who are just as great at crafting their words as they are at sharing a toothy grin.

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How To Reduce Stress When Moving With Kids

Portrait of man taking cardboard boxes out of moving van and passing them to his wife in front of new house Moving Company Reviews published an article by MOLLY HENDERSON, who has been writing about the moving industry for more than 10 years, that states that on average, each person in the United States can expect to move about 12 times in their lifetime. Ask anyone who has moved even once, and they’ll tell you that moving can be one of the hardest things to do.Even though they may not be involved when their parents decide that a whole family will move, moving also takes its toll on children. This is why it’s crucial to do as much as you can to ensure that a move causes as little stress as possible to the kids.

Even though moving can be complicated, we all find ourselves having to relocate at one time or another, especially when we’re still young. This is a reality confirmed by the United States Census Bureau, which reports that “At age 18, a person can expect to move another 9.1 times in their remaining lifetime, but by age 45, the expected number of moves is only 2.7.” What this implies is that people are more likely to move when their children are still young.

The good news is that as challenging as moving can be for the kids, you can do a lot to reduce the stress. This article focuses on how you can reduce stress when moving with children. It starts by exploring why moving can be stressful for children and how moving can affect a child in the long run. The article also provides advice on things you should avoid when moving with children. Then, it looks at how you can help the kids adjust after the move.

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Supporting a Child Whose Loved One Has Cancer

 Muslim mother and daugther

Erin Anderson – Advocacy Associate at Mesothelioma Hope, shared with Healthy Lombard that having a loved one who has cancer can flip a child’s world upside down. Most times, this situation is a child’s first time experiencing illness and death.

It is important to provide your child with the support they need during this difficult time. Taking the time to teach your child healthy coping mechanisms and answer any questions they may have about cancer can help them get through this new and challenging experience.


How to Tell a Child That a Family Member Has Cancer

The thought of explaining that a loved one has cancer can be very overwhelming and devastating. Telling your children that their loved one is ill can be very difficult and emotional for everyone involved.

Your child may be upset, angry, confused, or frustrated when they find out that their loved one is sick. Mentally preparing yourself for your child having all these different emotions can help you navigate this topic in a healthy and understanding way. Read more

How to Prevent Animal Cruelty

Active senior woman hugs dogAs pet owners and animal lovers, it’s unimaginable that anyone would want to hurt these sweet, furry creatures.

Sadly, animal cruelty is incredibly common, and it happens everywhere—from urban areas to the most remote locations. Our nation is no exception.

While it’s virtually impossible to calculate the number of animals who are neglected and abused annually due to underreporting, The Human Society of the United States reports that a whopping 71% of domestic abusers are also cruel to their pets. Additionally, 88% of people under surveillance for child abuse commit animal abuse as well.

Preventing Animal Cruelty at the Congressional Level

Although the above-mentioned statistics are disheartening, Breed Advisor is devoted to stopping animal cruelty in its tracks. We’re encouraged that congressional leaders have gotten involved bypassing the 2018 PAWS Act, which criminalizes animal abuse, and ensures domestic violence survivors are able to keep their beloved pets. Although long overdue, this act was passed at a pivotal time in history, as domestic abuse cases have skyrocketed due to stay-at-home orders and mounting stress caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ending Animal Cruelty: A Guide for Individuals

We’re thrilled to see the government getting involved in the prevention of animal cruelty, but it’s important to note that there are countless steps we can take at the individual and community levels to ensure safety, security, and the best possible quality of life for each and every animal. Read more

How I Drastically Reduced Social Anxiety And Negative Thoughts Through Mindfulness

Mike Wilhelm, the founder and editor at Confidence Headquarters, a website that aims to help people tackle the root cause of negative mental states such as anxiety, shared the following post with Healthy Lombard:

In this post, I am going to give you the painstaking details on how I managed to reduce social anxiety and negative thoughts in a very short period of time.

As you might know, negative emotions such as shame and anxiety, and negative thoughts such as ‘’I’m not smart enough”, or “I’m not good-looking enough”, can have a significant impact on your life.

While the conventional tricks (such as exercising more, eating healthy and congratulating yourself on small achievements) can often provide some relief, it usually doesn’t tackle the problem at its root.

So what does? How did I manage to overcome the anxiety that had such a big impact on my life for such a long time?

Well… It’s called “The Television Technique”.

Practicing this technique almost guarantees that you’ll be able to liberate yourself from the negative thoughts and emotions that are the cause of your anxiety.

Keep reading to learn the details…

How I Used The Television Technique To Get Rid Of My Social Anxiety And Drastically Improve The Quality Of My Life

A few years ago I decided to completely devote myself to the television technique in order to put an end to needless suffering.

The technique instantly changed the way I viewed and interacted with the world that was unfolding around me. And let me tell you, it was more than necessary…

A few days after starting the television technique, I felt a lot more self-conscious and noticed a slight decrease in overall anxiety.

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What Are the Common Causes of PTSD?

We Ask an Expert About the Common Causes of PTSD

When Elevate’s own Aspen Jewel and Dr. Merchant went live on FB a while back, they dove right into the subject of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) causes. But first, a bit about Tyler Merchant, DO: He’s one of our wonderful and compassionate cannabis doctors at Elevate Holistics. In addition, he’s the medical director of Holistic Family Medicine and Obstetrics LLC, located in Sedalia, MO.

Dr. Merchant’s Experience

While he is not a psychiatrist, Dr. Merchant has seen his fair share of people living with PTSD. According to him “With PTSD, and to be upfront with everybody here who’s listening in, I am not a PTSD expert, focused just on PTSD. That’s not my sole expertise, and I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m a family doctor, but I work a lot with patients with mood disorders and traumas.”

After listening to his experiences and insights, it’s apparent that Dr. Merchant has some super-helpful knowledge and understanding to share from a medical standpoint. When Aspen jumped right in with causes of PTSD questions, he offered some real and raw answers.

What Are PTSD Causes?

Aspen (Elevate Holistics): So let’s just talk about PTSD. And how does someone get PTSD? How does it work? What is it?

Dr. Merchant: Good question. So we actually at this point, don’t have a firm understanding of the actual pathophysiology or meaning of the process that it takes. Or why some people get it when exposed to this thing that other people can. But then again, I guess it’s the same as with depression or anxiety. Why are some people more predisposed to things than others? But typical triggers aren’t really that surprising. So a significant number is, for example, combat veterans. Even people who actually haven’t been in the line of fire or in a situation where they witnessed gruesome deaths in front of them or bad injuries but even just the thought of being someplace that is dangerous can provoke, can be a trigger for it in some folks.

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Put Some Pep in Your Step with Peppermint

Green mint leaves growing in garden. Herb close upCollege of DuPage Nursing Student Justin Feliciano shared with Healthy Lombard that many people may not be aware of the fact that peppermint is an all-purpose ingredient used in many household items such as teas, coffees, essential oils, and even candy. Not only does it have a minty refreshing taste, it also has medical properties that we can all benefit from.

Peppermint is known to help with digestive properties to ease stomach upset. According to Dresden (2020), peppermint leaf and peppermint oil have a long history of use for digestive disorders and enteric-coated peppermint oil has recently been found to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome may struggle to relieve symptoms and peppermint is easily accessible and aids with this problem.

Peppermint can also help to relieve gas, bloating, and menstrual cramps. In a double-blind study performed by Masoumi and colleagues (2016), 127 students who had experienced primary dysmenorrhea took a drug including mefenamic acid and mint and found that while the heaviness of the menstrual flow was not reduced, the pain and severity of symptoms decreased after taking peppermint. Women who suffer from menstrual cramps may have gastrointestinal problems although, with peppermint as a home remedy, they are able to promote their overall health.

This essential herb not only helps in the lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract but also benefits the health of the mouth for many who suffer from plaque and gum disease. Oral hygiene is vital to the maintenance of health, for persons of all ages. Oral disease not only impairs nutrition but may also affect cardiac health. An easy way to combat oral bacteria is to mix tea tree oil, lemon, and peppermint and then gargle this solution (Fletcher, 2019). This combination reduces the odor caused by bacteria but may also decrease the occurrence of cavities. Toothpaste is one common item we see containing these ingredients to counteract these symptoms. With the help of peppermint, we can all have minty-fresh breath. Read more

Walking a Tightrope: 3 Ways to Stay Steady, Safe and Healthy

tightrope walkwr Healthy Lombard Partner Lori Wrzesinski, Health, Life, and Confidence Coach, wrote  the following article:

When I was a kid, I loved going to the circus.  Peanuts, cotton candy, three rings of entertainment.  The one act that really kept my attention was the tightrope walker.  I was nervous and excited at the same time.  “What if they fall?” I would think.  Then I remembered the safety net below them as they precariously traversed the tightrope 40 feet above the heads of the gawking audience. I never did witness anyone fall and be caught by that net, but I will tell you that I have too often felt like that tightrope walker and know many other such people.  We all hope that we don’t fall.

As a coach, I have had countless conversations with people on this topic. It’s not as if they came to me saying, “So Lori, I am just terrified that I’m on this tightrope and what will happen if I fall.”  What happens during our conversations though is, they begin to uncover this feeling and realize they are searching for a way to keep their balance.  I am most definitely not the consummate tightrope walker, but I have discovered three things that you can put into place that can help you find some confidence as you walk.

First step: Look at the tightrope and define its beginning and end.  When I am experiencing that dizzying sensation as I am on my tightrope, I must identify where the endpoint is.  If I think that this is how my whole day, week, month, or year is going to be before too long I realize I’m going to fall.  That means I am going to get “injured” in some way: my physical, mental, or emotional health could be compromised; my family connection comes more from the picture I have on my desk at work (even if you are working from home right now), or your work performance suffers.  When you define the endpoint of that tightrope, you first look at what it is.  Is it a multitude of projects that have no end? Is it this expectation you’ve placed on yourself that everything has to be done and done to perfection?  When you define the endpoint of your tightrope, that might be you saying: “I’m going to shut down my computer at 5:30 p.m. three days this week.  Or you might say: Better done than perfect, turning it into a mantra that can help shift your perspective and give you that endpoint of your tightrope.  Knowing there is an end can bring you some much-needed relief if you can see that it will not go on forever. Read more