3 Winter Wellness Tips for Men

A middle aged man with a contemplative look on his face. He could be worried or depressed about something.November is here, and fall is turning to winter. This time of year, days are becoming colder, darker, and feeling shorter. While winter brings with it the festive holiday season, it is also a time that challenges men’s wellness, both physically and mentally. From feelings of isolation to the cyclical sense of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), winter can be a testing time for everyone.

The good news, however, is that there are a few ways you can combat the winter blues and keep your mental and physical wellness in tip-top shape during cold and flu season! Read on to find out a few of our favorite ways to maintain happiness throughout the season!

Share How You’re Feeling

Sharing how you’re feeling can come in several ways. Luckily, there are varying degrees in which you can talk about your feelings. Taking a note of your day in a journal to simply reflect on what you did or how you feel can be a great and easy stress reliever. If you are beginning to feel symptoms of anxiety due to whatever factors, it’s also important to confide in close friends and family.

While certain light topics are perfect for journaling or venting to friends and family, other topics can be more challenging. If you find yourself struggling to cope with stress or anxiety, talking to a licensed online psychiatrist for professional advice could be just the experience you need to get back to feeling yourself.

Make Social Plans

Getting out and seeing friends in different surroundings isn’t only fun, but also essential to improving your mood. Socialization has massive benefits to your health in many ways. Conversely, a lack of socialization or face-to-face communication can increase feelings of depression. A great way to combat this is by making plans for time with friends and family.

If the winter weather has you feeling the need to stay indoors, there are still plenty of alternative solutions to outdoor activities. FaceTime or Zoom catch ups have similar effects to meeting in person and are easier if your friends live long distances away. Other indoor activities can come by way of planning themed dinners or parties at your home to keep the weekends exciting and fresh! Read more

What Is Doxxing & How To Protect Yourself From An Attack

While “doxxing” has been around since the 1990s, in recent years, doxxing attacks have become increasingly common, with celebrities and laypeople alike falling victim.

This article, by Pixel Privacy, goes into detail about what doxxing is and its real-life consequences. In addition, it explains how you can protect yourself from doxxing attacks.

What Exactly Is Doxxing?

“Doxxing” is when someone finds personal information about someone else, usually an internet user, and publishes it online for the world to see. That’s why it’s called “doxxing” – referring to “documents,” shortened to “doc” and then changed to “dox.”

The information that’s published can include the real name, home address, email address, telephone number, photos, and other personal information of the victim, leading to attacks that can move from the online world to the physical one.

Read more

Anxiety and the Body

portrait of worried and stressed hispanic girl biting nails and looking at camera on white backgroundCollege of DuPage Nursing Student Krystal Stevenson wrote for Healthy Lombard that as many as 40 million U.S. adults suffer from some type of anxiety disorder (Hrabowy, 2018). Many people may experience anxiety now and then, which is normal. However, chronic anxiety, or anxiety that interferes with a person’s daily life, may have detrimental effects on the body. Few people know of the toxic effects that can occur when stress and anxiety go untreated, or how these effects can lead to long-term health problems.

There are several disorders that that fall within the scope of anxiety. Most of them consist of similar symptoms including irritability, feeling nervous or restless, hyperventilation, sweating, trouble sleeping, GI problems, and difficulty controlling worry (Mayo Clinic, 2018). These symptoms can even manifest into panic attacks which cause shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or an intense feeling of impending doom.

Read more

9 Ways to Make Social Media Safer for Children

Cute asian little girl using laptop at home . Seleted focus.Laura from infinitydish.com shared that as parents, our two top priorities are to keep our children safe and to provide as many opportunities as possible for them to make the most of their lives.

However, we also know that it can be challenging to do both at once; allowing our children to experience life often comes at the cost of having to expose them to dangers and threats from which they were previously sheltered.

Of course, trying to keep children from the world certainly won’t work, and is neither practical nor responsible parenting. It’s much better to provide them with guidance and equip them with knowledge so that they can navigate this crazy, exciting world in a safe and meaningful way.

There is no better example of the challenge in finding this balance than social media. Both a rich resource and a hotbed for fraud or worse, it’s essential that we do everything we can to make social media – which is not inherently dangerous – safer and more constructive for kids to use.

The Perks of Social Media for Children

Some people are quick to say, “children don’t belong on social media.” And while there is some merit to this argument, it’s simply not practical to take this approach. Recent research from Pew found that 95 percent of kids – particularly teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 – have access to the internet, with just over 50 percent of respondents saying they are “constantly” online.

It doesn’t help that most social media platforms only require you to be 13 (Facebook) or 16 (Snapchat) to join, meaning you’re fighting an uphill battle to keep them from these platforms. Read more

How to Help Someone Experiencing an Anxiety Attack

John from the mentalhealthhotline.org shred that as an estimated 40 million Americans are painfully aware, anxiety is a real, devastating disorder, one that can dramatically and negatively impact their lives. Unfortunately, the loved ones of someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder know that these challenges can leave them feeling helpless, unable to assist the person that they care about in combating a very damaging illness. Thankfully, there are many ways that a person can help someone who is suffering from an anxiety disorder.

What Is an Anxiety Disorder?

An anxiety disorder is defined as anxiety that grows worse over time and is more than just the occasional challenge or normal reaction to everyday circumstances. It is anxiety — or fear of anxiety — that interferes with everyday life, causes needless pain, and ultimately sucks the enjoyment out of living. Anxiety disorders do more than just annoy; they also make it harder to work, enjoy our relationships with loved ones, or function in society.

What Are Some Types of Anxiety Disorders?

It is important to realize that “anxiety” is a wide-ranging term that means so much more than someone who feels afraid of a particular situation. Indeed, there is a range of anxiety disorders. These include:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized anxiety disorders are among the most common anxiety disorders. They are characterized by relatively constant anxiety or stress that seems to exist for no reason at all and has no specific trigger. Symptoms include constant fear or worry, extreme irritability, fatigue, physical aches and pain, and challenges with sleep. It can best be described as constant free-floating anxiety that seems to exist without a cause or trigger.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by a constant compulsion to engage in certain types of behavior, such as touching things, cleaning, or other rituals. The need to perform these rituals is driven by a fear that something “bad” will happen if they are not performed, and not performing them can lead to extreme increases in anxiety. Read more

12 Ways To Stay Positive While Recovering On Crutches

Senior woman injured sitting in the hallway of hospital holding crutchesAdam from World Crunches shared that a close relationship exists between physical injury and mental health. This reality is supported by research, which concludes that a severe injury can trigger mental problems like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Such a conclusion indicates that recovery from a severe injury is not just a physical process but also a mental one.

If your injury has left you in crutches, and you are struggling mentally, this article is for you. We focus on ways to stay positive and take care of your mental health while recovering. Before exploring different methods of dealing with anxiety and depression during recovery, we look at how a physical injury affects mental health.

Effects Of Physical Injury On Mental Health

In an article about how being injured affects mental health, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) suggests that “the psychological response to injury can trigger or unmask serious mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, disordered eating, and substance use or abuse.” The NCAA describes itself as “a member-led organization dedicated to the well-being and lifelong success of college athletes.”

Some emotional responses listed by the NCAA include:

  • Sadness
  • Isolation
  • Irritation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Disengagement

 

Read more

Not Just ADHD?

The CDC shared that many children who have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have other concerns or disorders. Recognizing symptoms of different disorders and finding ways to help children can be a challenge for families. Learn more about how to help children who have ADHD and other disorders.

Is it ADHD?

It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.

A child with ADHD might

  • daydream a lot
  • forget or lose things a lot
  • squirm or fidget
  • talk too much
  • make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
  • have a hard time resisting temptation
  • have trouble taking turns
  • have difficulty getting along with others

Read more

Blues after Birth

College of DuPage Nursing Student Sandy Cesar shared with Healthy Lombard that many feel that women having a baby is all happiness. It is challenging work, there can be complications, and the first couple of days after birth a mother tends to be exhausted.

Exhaustion can have negative effects on a new mother if she doesn’t get enough rest during the postpartum period. The mother can experience what is called “baby blues” or, if symptoms are more severe, a mother may be experiencing postpartum depression.

Learning to differentiate between baby blues and postpartum depression. Baby blue’s symptoms are irritability, unexplained crying, mood swings, and bouts of sadness. Baby blues usually happened between the 2nd or 3rd day after birth, but usually resolves themselves within the first 2 weeks as the new mother acclimates to a routine with the baby (Bradley, 2020). Postpartum depression symptoms are depressed mood or severe mood swings, excessive crying, difficulty bonding with the baby, withdrawing from friends and family, insomnia, irritability and anger, and much more. Postpartum depression can manifest between 2 weeks or more after birth, but can start as early as two weeks after birth (Mayo Clinic, 2021).

Activities that can be done to decrease baby blues or postpartum depression are important. Sleep as much as possible, rest and relax, exercise, eat a well-balanced meal, get a family member to help around the house, spend time outdoors and enjoy the scenery, and enjoy a night out with your spouse or partner without the baby (Bradley, 2020). Read more

Bullet Journaling, Fruit for The Soul

College of DuPage Nursing Student Sofie Langan shared that on the surface, bullet journaling appears to be a trend straight out of Pinterest. With a simple Google search, thousands of photos of pastel-colored tapes, rainbow highlighters, and pens designed especially for the thin paper of a journal, appear. Endless blog posts, books, and tutorial videos are available to teach bullet journaling. It almost feels intimidating to try. However, diving a little deeper into the topic can be truly eye-opening. Journaling is a beautiful and creative process that gives one’s imagination no limits. Everything can be designed, drawn, colored, and decorated, to meet the ideals of a creator. The benefit of this practice is the mindfulness and reflection it encourages. When done constructively, bullet journaling can be extremely effective in maintaining good mental health.

Stress Reduction  – Journaling can decrease stress by providing an outlet to reflect and think. For example, many people feel stressed in a state of chaos or disorganization. A day-to-day spread, or journaling a to-do list, can help manage time and organize events. For those that struggle with stress affiliated with negative thoughts, gratitude or a prompt-based journal can promote positive thinking and general optimism. The truly amazing aspect of bullet journaling is that whatever is causing stress can be used as inspiration for creation. Everything can be specifically designed for the purposes of the individual and their personal growth goals.

Read more