I urge everyone & anyone to check out MeYou Health and participate in the Daily Challenge. Each day comes with a simple challenge to improve well-being, one small and manageable step at a time. For example,
DAILY CHALLENGE – THURSDAY JUN. 16, 2011, FROM MEYOU HEALTH has an Emotional Health focuses on daily experiences related to happiness, enjoyment, sadness, and stress in evaluating overall well-being....
Make funny faces in the mirror until you laugh!
HOW TO DO IT: LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND STICK OUT YOUR TONGUE, CROSS YOUR EYES, FLARE YOUR NOSTRILS – MAKE ANY RIDICULOUS FACES UNTIL YOU START TO LAUGH.
WHY IT MATTERS: LAUGHTER IS GOOD FOR YOUR BODY AND MIND. IT INCREASES ENDORPHINS, THE BRAIN’S FEEL-GOOD CHEMICALS, AND IT ALSO STIMULATES YOUR HEART, LUNGS, AND MUSCLES. A GOOD, LONG GIGGLE ALSO RELIEVES STRESS AND HELPS YOU RELAX. MAKING FUNNY FACES IN THE MIRROR WILL TAKE YOUR MIND OFF ANY WORRIES YOU MIGHT HAVE, AT LEAST FOR A FEW MINUTES.
FUN FACT: THERE ARE 357 MIRRORS IN THE HALL OF MIRRORS AT THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES IN PARIS, FRANCE.
(Taken directly from: https://challenge.meyouhealth.com/2011/6/16/make-funny-faces-in-the-mirror-until-you-laugh#)
Eek… that is a lot of Mirrors in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles in Paris, France! Hopefully they are the kind they have in dressing rooms… that make you look thinner – positive Self Esteem mirrors!!!
I know I make funny faces because every time I get my picture taken, I seem to make one of them… and that’s why digital cameras are great… I can delete the ones I don’t approve of, i.e., where I don’t look my cutest!
I also make funny faces getting ready for the day… putting my contacts in, moisturizing, mascara (if I wore it)!
Trouble is, I can’t seem to make a really good ‘n’ Funny face on purpose:( But, I will ask a bunch of 7 year olds and some 11 year olds today, while I am working. Maybe we will even have a funny face contest… Thanks for the idea DC! Except it will not be called ‘Funny Face Contest’ because that promotes competition and silliness, soo… I shall call it a Social Health & Wellbeing Break, yeah!
It actually has great potential to be a learning opportunity. It could teach that sometimes it is ok if someone laughs at you… as opposed to most of the time when the kids make fun of other people and treat them poorly and then come a’tattling the second someone does it back… I really try to get them to understand the Golden Rule and Empathy (they all get it in theory but not its application). And Name-calling… yikes… young ones think anything other than their names is bad… they just can’t seem to shrug it off when someone calls them ridiculous things that aren’t even insulting, like “Salami”… it would be in the tone and how the person says it… so, I always give my “Name Lecture”: We all have a name and if you are calling anyone ANYTHING else other than the name they use, and they tell you to stop, and you do not, then you are bullying them!
… OR, A TECHNOLOGY-FREE MORNING…
Early in the morning of June 8th, we had a magnificent storm. The eerily comforting glow and hum of digital/technical life was replaced by the repeated shine and crackle of lightening, the angry booming of thunder, the teeming rain and the assault of hail on the window panes. As suddenly as it came, the storm passed and the house grew abnormally silent and dark.
Shortly after 5 am (boo!), My Hubby and I were (quite rudely) awakened to the sound of the phone ringing, as the alarm clock no longer worked (Note to self: Replace battery in Alarm Clock). It was my Hubby’s father and Boss calling to see if we had power…
“Huh?! What? No! What time is it?! Yikes!” Within a couple seconds, we had him out the door in time to leave with his ride for work.
So, after that excitement, I couldn’t get back to sleep. I was thinking back to the Great Power Outage of 2003; it lasted more than one day! And, I had just gone to great lengths to procure Radiohead tickets for the sold-out Toronto show, only to have it be cancelled and postponed to a date I absolutely could not attend. Anyway…
As the years pass, more and more people are replacing newspapers with online news and listening to radio online or on satellite. But what happens when we have no access? What happens when the power goes out?
The mobile phone is good for awhile, until the battery is used up, and it is my only lifeline to other people. The iTouch is also rendered powerless when the battery is spent, and without a Wifi connection, it is not so useful anyway.
I was lying in bed trying not to think about all the food that we couldn’t afford to replace that could have gone bad. And then, the most disturbing and distressful thought of all, “HOW WILL I STRAIGHTEN MY HAIR?” (You see, I had my shower the night before so my hair is a disaster area until I run my trusty ELECTRICAL straightener through it.) I reluctantly came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t be straightening my hair, and then, “I am working at a school in town, where we have no power. Will there even be school today?” Normally, I would check the Board’s Website, but I couldn’t – No Power. I may have had to actually go outside and talk to real live people for some information – just like the good ol’ days (so I hear!).
Ironically, this forced a Technology Detox from my frighteningly techno-dependent life. I had just started reading “The Digital Diet” by Daniel Sieberg. Regaining balance in our lives and breaking our technology addictions are the main themes in the book, and one of the first steps is a Detox, and there’s the irony!
So, I’m not sleeping, and I’m thinking all these things and I find some paper and a pen (wow, old-school!) and I get out of bed to sit by the window. It was turning into a hot, sunny morning. The effect of no power was quite evident, allowing a reflection on how I depend on it and the part it has in my life. With the noises of life silenced, I could clearly hear the birds, singing their morning songs, quite clearly unaffected by the turmoil their human neighbours were experiencing. Here is what I didn’t hear:
No constant hums of the fans, the refrigerator, or the computer powering up. No YouTube videos or songs playing on iTunes that accompany my morning routine. Not even an alarm clock going off! Just the shrill ring of the cell phone (a temporary tie to our technological life).
As I was sitting there, in a state of fleeting peacefulness at 6 am, I made a list of how this lack of power has affected me:
- No coffee (in a power outage, coffee makers and electric kettles are rendered useless.)
- No smoothie (ditto with the Blender)
- No light to help me find clothes (Note to self: Find flashlights and make sure there are batteries)
- No computer/Internet to see if I missed anything during my slumber (Facebook withdrawal is setting in…) And, I can’t help but feel slightly unsettled without the muted glow of Computer, which, admittedly, is the first thing that gets turned on upon arisal and arrival.
- No status updates, no Tweets, no checking the weather on-line (oh, wait… My cat’s fur had gone sort of crimpy. That meant it wass humid out… )
- No air conditioning, no fans
- I’ve already mentioned that my hair straightener was cruelly unavailable (Note to self: get a mini-generator for next time – I must be able to straighten my hair at all times!)
- Heck, I can’t even charge my tooth brush (Note to self: Get backup non-electrical one)
“Oh, dear! WHAT DO I DO? WHAT DO I DO? WHAT DO I DO? WHAT DO IDO?”
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Things to do with No Power:
- Eat all the food (Romantic-Style Candle Lit Dinner, not in front of the Telly or Computer)
- visit someone with a BBQ
- read (by sunlight)
- write (My. gosh! I still remember how!)
- Art (on paper, with a pencil or crayons!)
- play cards/boardgames (how they were originally meant to be played)
- Make a List of things needed to be done before the next power outage
- Take a walk and notice your surroundings… and, if it gets to be night and still no power – gasp, oh the horror! – then marvel at the world without power
- Reflect on how technology (and lack thereof) affects you
- Exercise (most likely does not require electricity)
- Talk to actual people!
So, I got ready for work, the best I could in the dark with no power and I walked to work. No power means no school. I walked home from work and found that…… the power had returned. I thought to myself, “Ah but why not use this as an opportunity to stick with a power-free day, to step away from my monitor and my gadgets. Take the time to appreciate REAL LIFE. Why don’t I exercise? Why don’t I…….” Excuse me, computer has booted up;)
1. We are screwed if the apocalypse or some other worldly disaster were to occur!
2. Perhaps, I should follow through with the Notes to self!
3. Maybe, we should try to do some of those things that don’t require power a little more often!
If I knew then what I know know.....Le sigh. It's a cliche, I know, but geez, it's so very true! I really wish I was more interested in History and Politics when I was in school… now, I am interested… and isn’t that a fundamental issue of education? So much of what we try to teach our students do not interest them at present, and no young person believes it when adults say, “Believe me, I felt exactly as you did when I was your age…” I know I didn’t believe them, and I smile slightly when I find myself using that same line with young people today, secretly believing that I may actually get through to them, as I’m sure the teacher saying it to my class secretly believed exactly that.
So, the question is, “How do we reach young people, so that they realize that History and Politics do affect them?” Maybe, just maybe, most young peoples’ brains are just not ready to grasp these concepts. They are dealing with their own dramatic worlds as they grow up and figure out how to be adults. I am not being sarcastic or belittling in any way. I believe that being a teenager is a naturally egocentric time. A lot of stuff is going on, so how do we reach young people?
Here is a comment I found on Facebook, expressing this sentiment: “I have a question – our 5 daughters and their spouses aged 20 – 26 all refuse to vote as doesn’t make any difference. Even when we stress that voting is a privilege they don’t care. Is this normal? How do we stop the apathy? I am embarrassed and wonder how we missed teaching them this lesson. It perturbs me a lot.”
And, just to be clear, I am not blaming anyone – not the parents, not the teachers, nor even the youth – Blame is not going to help. What is clear, is that we need to find solutions.
Rick Mercer has tried to do this…
Raffi has a campaign to catch the “Beluga” generation as adults with the voting message…
Perhaps, we need to do more of this sort of thing… and who better to do it? Who better to show they actually care about the citizens of the very Country they want to Lead, than Politicians? Nobody! Perhaps, instead of wasting so much money on those sleazy slanderous campaigns full of lies and blame and belittling and creative story-telling, maybe they should spend money on ads informing the public HOW OUR ELECTORAL SYSTEM WORKS, WHY IT IS A RIGHT AND A DUTY and definitely A PRIVILEGE, and HOW ONE PERSON CAN ACTUALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE. They need to encourage people to vote. And, if they aren’t willing to do this, then perhaps they don’t really want people to vote… (Oh, I get it.)
Come on, Politicians, Bump It Up – You gotta DO Better to BE BETTER!
MeYouHealth (http://www.facebook.com/meyouhealth) has offered this suggestion today:
Pay it forward today: Make eye contact and say “hello” or “Have a nice day!” to someone in your community that you don’t usually talk to.
I love that I live in a town where people say, “Hello!” as we pass each other. I can tell when I’m in the “Big City”… I try this, people often look at me as if I have two heads! It is sad that being unfriendly has become a norm in many places. This simple act makes people feel a part of the community – connected, and, nowadays, unless we are online, it is easy to feel lost in the world.
As an occasional teacher, I always try to greet the students at the door in the morning, offering each one of them a cheery, “Good Morning!” If I know the kids, I add their names. Sometimes, this simple gesture, on my part, can set the tone for our day together. I believe it shows I care, and that I am in their classroom for more than just a pay cheque. Even grumpy and sleepy students can’t help but mumble something back to me, “mumble Morning.” Ps. This also works on teachers, parents, secretaries, custodial staff and principals!
A smile is a frown:( upside down:) You just never know who’s day you can turn around by this simple act. Random acts of kindness, whether on the giving or receiving end, can bring more happiness than anything money can buy. It’s amazing to see the transformation on someone’s face when you do it. It is often difficult to scowl when someone genuinely grins at you, and says, “Hi, there!”
Nicola Schneider, Occasional Teacher, 13 years