It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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7 Best Mental Health Activities for Students of any Age

Mental health is an important topic to discuss, but it can sometimes be uncomfortable. Regardless, raising mental health awareness is critical since it can lead to various positive effects. Students must be monitored closely since they may develop depressive moods under pressure. They should be given some free time for playful activities and fun. We have compiled a list of some of the best activities for students’ mental health below:

7 Best Mental Health Activities for Students of any Age

The most-effective mental health activities for students of any age are:

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How Cleaning Your Space Can Improve Mental Health

Have you ever come home from a long day only to feel more exhausted when you step inside your messy house? Science can explain why you find clutter so frazzling.

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A Simple Guide to Achieving Self-Acceptance

The mental health movement is normalizing therapy, psychiatric medications and self-work. However, one emotional sector people often struggle with is self-acceptance. Society belittles this concept by pushing diet pills, clothes, accessories, meal plan kits and other products, so it can be difficult to appreciate who you are without any products.

Consumers are increasing their awareness of harmful advertising and its impacts on mental health. Improving your self-acceptance can increase your quality of life. There are five simple ways to enhance your well-being every day and quiet all that external noise.

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8 Unique Ideas for Boosting Your Mental Health

Psychotherapy, yoga, meditation, and physical activity are all great for treating mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, but some lesser-known mental health activities include art therapy, energy healing, and video gaming. Check out these eight unique ideas from SoulSpring to learn how to alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression and kickstart your journey to improved mental and emotional health!

1. Art Therapy

You don’t have to be creative or good at art to benefit from art therapy, as the goal of this mental health activity is to express yourself through painting, drawing, coloring, and other creative techniques such as journaling, sock puppeteering, and sculpting. Regardless of skill or artistic talent, art therapy helps to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, ease stress, boost confidence and self-esteem, and overcome addiction.

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Make Time For Yourself - A 'How To' Guide

Our hectic schedules and the fast pace of life can make us feel overwhelmed, tired, and stressed. That is why many people around the world seek ways to relax and make some time that they can dedicate to themselves. However, this can often be a hard task since we have a lot to do throughout the day, but it is not impossible. There are plenty of ways to dedicate some time to yourself and here is a short guide on how to do it. 

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Good Health Begins With What Three Things?

When we talk about health and nourishing our bodies, the conversation usually turns to diet and exercise.

In fact, dieting has almost become a national pastime. Turn on the television or look online and you can’t miss the ads for pills, drinks, classes and even surgical options for those looking to get healthy fast.

Sadly, these very popular “fast track” health options rarely create lasting results.

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Your Brain’s Most Important Relationship Is Not With You.

You can’t have a thought, feeling, sensation, or mental image without calling upon your brain, and this close relationship makes us human. Since 100 billion brain cells are constantly generating your mental life, no relationship seems more important, and everyone has a fear in the back of their mind about what might happen in old age if Alzheimer’s strikes, in essence destroying the mind-brain connection.

But as precious as this relationship is, your brain has a more important relationship that was hidden until about twenty years ago. This precious relationship is with bacteria, and even when you are asleep or thinking about nothing at all, the communication never ceases between the brain and bacteria, specifically the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract (the gut microbiota).

Between them the brain and your GI tract have created a real-life matrix, just like the one in science-fiction. You are alive and relate to your brain inside this tight structure of biochemicals that carry thousands of messages per second between microbiota and brain. At first sight this seems unbelievable, because few life forms have genetics as rudimentary as a bacterium, and no life form has a brain as complex as the human brain. An old proverb says that even a cat can look at a king. Biologically speaking, the lowly bacterium (along with viruses and microscopic fungi) does a lot more than look at your brain, more even than eavesdropping on it.

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5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Mental Health During Winter

Have the winter blues got you down? Seasonal affective disorder affects about 1%-2% of the population, and milder forms may affect as much as 20%. This mental health condition occurs at the same time each year and can take a toll on every aspect of your life, from work to relationships to your sense of self-worth.

The good news is that, like other forms of depression, SAD is treatable — and there are plenty of steps you can take to help yourself feel better. Here are five simple ways to take care of your mental health so you can break through the gloom and actually enjoy the season.

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Holistic Tips to Fight Off Winter Blues

Whether you have seasonal Affective Disorder or plain old winter blahs, these ideas can help



With the end of daylight savings time and the longer nights and shorter days of winter, many people may experience symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

SAD is a condition that typically affects people in the colder, darker months. Symptoms may include sadness, moodiness, and a lack of energy that begins in the fall and continues through winter.

As a mental health condition, SAD is more than just feeling down about the cold and gloom of the winter months. It can keep you down and affect your mood for prolonged periods. If you suspect you might have this disorder, consider seeing someone who can help.

There are a number of holistic remedies that can help with symptoms of SAD as well as the common winter blues. Here are some to try:

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7 Benefits of Exercise to Your Mental Health

(Mental) Health is Wealth

Prioritizing one’s mental well-being is one of the extremely crucial realities underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic. The seemingly unending months spent in quarantine made everyone realize the need to reset mental focus ASAP.

The past year was quite a rollercoaster of events that smothered salt on old and new psychological wounds. Some people had to endure a prolonged period apart from their loved ones, while others were stuck in a toxic home environment. Millions of families lost their loved ones to the deadly virus.

The road to improving one’s mental health and overall well-being is 90% hard work and commitment. Hard work in the literal sense that you need to embrace lifestyle changes to be more physically fit. A well-exercised body is integral in nourishing your mind. You must commit yourself to adopt healthier habits that involve your diet, physical activities, stress management, and coping mechanisms, as well as your thought patterns.

That said,  exercising is a great place to start. The positive effects of exercising on your physical body are carried over to your internal well-being.

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What We Truly Need

"To lose patience is to lose the battle."
—Mahatma Gandhi


I've Been Thinking...

I'm a journalist and my beat is life. I’ve always been a curious person, because I want to discover how one can build a life of meaning, joy, purpose, and love. I’m curious how we are meant to survive all that life throws our way without losing hope, joy, and ourselves along the way. I'm curious how we can build lives that stand on solid ground and that are capable of responding to the moment, whatever that may be.

 

I think about this a lot. I think about building my own meaningful life, one that is spiritual, purpose-driven, connected, loving, and joyful. A life that makes me feel full, happy, and hopeful about myself, my loved ones, and my country. I apply those same values to this publication. Its focus is on helping guide you to a place where you feel safe, seen, and supported on your path. Its focus is on making sense of all that is going on around us with an eye to the future. It’s about now and about what’s to come.

 

Every week when I sit down to write, I think about that. I think about what is going on in our world and how to make sense of it in a way that makes sense. I think about you reading what I write and how I want it to bring value to you. I want it to make a difference.

 

Sometimes I don’t know what to write. I sit and nothing comes up for me, or too much comes up at once. Usually when I’m unsure what to write, I walk or I talk to someone. And then, for some reason known only to God, I find my theme.

 

This week’s theme comes from a conversation with my friend David.

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How to Breathe in the Wake of Suicide

The beginning of October holds the anniversary of my brother’s death. He committed suicide before I turned 20, on his 25th birthday. Even after all these years, I have complicated feelings about his death. I am still learning how to breathe in the wake of a suicide, and not for the reasons you might think.

Every year I think about my brother and the role he played in my life. On his birthday this year, I received acupuncture. Could this energy work help me let go of any suppressed grief or other emotions? The session included tuning forks, sound bowls and needles. The goal was for an opening to be found somewhere in my psyche, that would help release unhealthy energy trapped in my body, and mind.

One tiny needle, called a Press Tack, was left in my wrist. It was secured under breathable tape, and would last for a couple days. This little needle would possibly help me continue processing old emotions. The tiny tack caused more discomfort than the longer needles. Was this an indication of what was to come in the near future?

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9 Healthy Fall Activities to Help You Get Outside

It’s sweater weather! Get outside with a pumpkin spice latte and enjoy the crisp fall air. Whether you have little ones and are looking for family activities or you want creative ways to stay busy with the days getting shorter, here are nine healthy outdoor activities to enjoy this autumn.

  1. Rake the Leaves

Raking up leaves might sound like a chore, but it's also a fantastic workout. Effortlessly elevate your heart rate by raking quickly. You'll be feeling the burn in your obliques and forearms for days. Get your kiddos involved by having them help rake for a bit, and then reward them with jumping in piles.

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Thank Your Mind

"When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary."  —Fred Rogers

I've Been Thinking...

Today is World Mental Health Day. Before you read further, I'd ask that you take a moment to check in with yourself this morning.

Check in with your mind. Sit with how you feel for a bit and don't judge. Think about all your mind does for you. Think about all it keeps track of for you. If you are like me, you probably drive it too hard. You probably put too much on its plate. You more than likely berate it for not being what you think it should be.

Pause.

The truth is, your mind is extraordinary and uniquely your own. Sure, it may drive you nuts at times (I feel you). You may wish it were different—maybe smarter, quicker, or better at retaining everything you want to remember. Maybe, like me, you wish your mind were less dark. I get that. But remember: your mind is yours and yours alone. Today, my wish is that you honor your mind's beauty. Honor its unique abilities, its perseverance, how extraordinary it is, and all it does for you. 

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Feel Whole

What’s left out?

The Practice:
Feel whole.

Why?

When I look back on mistakes I’ve made – like dumping my anger on someone, making assumptions in haste, partying too much, losing my nerve, being afraid to speak from my heart – in all cases, a part of me had taken over. You know what I mean. The parts of us that have a partial view are driven by one aim, clamp down on other parts, really want to have a particular experience or to eat/drink/smoke a particular molecule, yammer away critically, or hold onto resentments toward others.

The mega part – the big boss – is of course the inner executive, the decision-maker, and the driver – some call it the ego-centered in neural circuits in the prefrontal cortex, behind your forehead. This part is determined to a fault, running things top-down, ignoring bottom-up signals of growing fatigue, irritability, burnout, and issues with others. It draws on and gets wrapped up in the sequential, action-planning, language processing parts of you that are based in regions in the left side of your brain. (The statements here about sides of the brain are reversed for about half of all left-handed people.) Meanwhile, the boss part shames, disowns, and suppresses other parts of you, especially those that are softer, more vulnerable, and younger.

But when you open to the whole of your experience, you have more information and can make better decisions. You perceive more fully, seeing the big picture, putting things in perspective. You free up energy that was spent pushing down your real feelings. You tune into your body, your heart. You’re less fixed or attached in your views. You recognize the good things in you and around you that you’d tuned out. You feel more supported, more protected. You take things less personally.

You feel at home in yourself.

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7 Reasons Keeping Your Inner Child Alive Is Good for Your Mental Health

Are you acquainted with your inner child? This psychological concept evolved to explain the complex way our minds and physiology remember the events of our youth. They can drive our attitudes and behaviors, even if we aren’t conscious of them.

However, it benefits your psyche to get in touch with this miniature you. Better yet, you should bring them out to play now and then. Here are seven reasons keeping your inner child alive is good for your mental health.

1. It Helps You Understand Your Present Relationships

Do you find yourself attracted to the same type of person over and over again? Worse, do you find yourself repeating old toxic patterns that you seem unable to break? Doing inner child work could help you understand and reverse the cycle.

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Still Not Healthy - Even with A Perfect Diet?

"And here’s the thing, you can eat a perfect diet and take all the right supplements, but if you’re not sleeping well and managing your stress, all bets are off. I see this every day in my private practice." 
Chris Kresser, 9 Steps to Perfect Health, p. 34


I also see it every day in my private practice. I work with people who work very hard to be healthy. They eat all organic foods. They tune into what kind of eating plan is right for them – vegan, vegetarian, Mediterranean, Paleo, modified Paleo, and so on. They exercise regularly. They might even sleep well most of the time. But they are still not healthy. They still hurt. They still have low energy, fatigue, and low immunity. What is the problem?

Time and again, I discover that the main problem is how they manage stress.

In our current culture, stress is inevitable. We can't completely do away with stress, but we can learn how to manage it in ways that promote our health rather than destroy it.

I used to be one of those people who didn't manage stress well. I would get anxious a lot. I often felt angry or down. I carried a lot of tension in my body. And I was not well.

I read everything I could find on health. I ate really well – all organic, no processed foods, no sugar. Still, my health was going down – until I started to practice Inner Bonding.

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Global Well-Being Takes a Big Step Forward

Mixed in with its devastating negative effects, the COVID pandemic had at least one positive effect: The world felt united as never before. If this feeling of unity continues, huge challenges can be met together. One that touches me personally is the drive to democratize well-being—the gap between haves and have nots is physical, mental, and spiritual, not just economic.

A bit step in the direction of democratized well-being was taken by a unique program that uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to rescue people at high risk for suicide. We’ve become huge, enthusiastic supporters of Piwi, a chatbot that anyone in crisis can have a conversation with (https://www.x2ai.com/piwi). Here’s how this breakthrough intervention works.

It has been shown repeatedly that when someone is having suicidal thoughts, the best way to rescue them is through personal contact, which usually is conducted with another person at the end of the line. But it is also essential to have a follow-up contact to make sure that the intervention has a lasting effect. Piwi accomplishes both goals with very impressive results at a uniquely low cost.

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Holistic Healing for Veterans, COVID-19 Survivors and Other Victims of Trauma

June is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, and recent research on the emotional roots of PTSD, anxiety, and depression indicates that energy healing through The Emotion Code energy healing modality holds promise for relieving symptoms among trauma survivors.

Although PTSD is most commonly associated with combat veterans, any terrifying, traumatic, or life-threatening event that is either experienced or witnessed can result in PTSD. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry found that 30% of COVID-19 survivors experienced PTSD. Other traumas that can lead to PTSD include sexual assault, accidents, physical assault, disaster, or witnessing a death or injury.

PTSD is a common and debilitating ailment resulting in emotional detachment, depression, anxiety, withdrawal from friends and family, and loss of interest in everyday activities. PTSD sufferers may experience extreme emotional or physical reactions such as panic attacks, heart palpitations, nightmares, crying, insomnia, paranoia, nausea, and chills when they are reminded of the traumatic event or events that led to their PTSD. Hyper-vigilance, a state of being constantly fearful and unable to relax is a hallmark of PTSD and the body's response to avoid more pain, danger, or stress.

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The Mind-Body Connection Comes To Mental Health

In very important ways mind and body are being connected as never before. The separate specialities that modern medicine is divided into are blurring around the edges. This is particularly true when it comes to mental health, which has long been outside the skill, or interest, of M.D.s who are not psychiatrists.

As mental health is increasingly connected to the body, it is becoming clear that a faraway region like the intestine, and its population of micro-organisms known as the microbiome, plays a major role in a person’s moods and general susceptibility to anxiety and depression, both of which rose alarmingly during the COVID crisis.

By now most people have learned at least the basics about the gut microbiome. Its teeming microbes are essential for digestion, and the proportions of thousands of species of bacteria are dynamically changing all the time. The advent of the microbiome is barely a decade old as a serious subject of study, but research has progressed rapidly.

You don’t really know your own body unless you have absorbed the following facts:

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Weekday Personal Support

Join Panache Desai each weekday morning for support in reconnecting to the wellspring of calm and peace that lives within you and that has the power to counterbalance all of the fear, panic, and uncertainty that currently engulfs the world.

Designed To Move You From Survival and Fear to Safety and Peace. Available Monday - Friday. Meditation begins at 9 AM.  Access early to hear Panache's monologue -  around 8:30 AM. 

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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