Taking a Mindful Minute, or Two

Try this quick mindfulness exercise to help you stay aware and present! The technique will take you less than two minutes to complete but the relaxing effects will last all day.

Begin by sitting on the floor or in a chair, finding a comfortable position where the spine is tall and straight and all the muscles of the body are relaxed. If in a chair, place both feet flat on the ground and if on the floor, sit on the shins or with legs crossed. Place the hands palms down on the tops of the thighs. Close the eyes if you are comfortable doing so.

Take a deep breath in through your nose, imagining a glass being filled with water. Fill your body with air just like the glass fills with water, from the bottom up. First filling the belly, than the ribs, the chest and then the collar bone. Exhale and imagine the glass of water being poured out, emptying from the top down. Exhaling air through your nose from the collarbone, then chest, then ribs and finally the belly. Breathe in this way for about 10 breaths and return to your normal breath.be calm (1)




Through the Grape Vine…

This is Healthy Habits with Kyle Merritt and today’s topic is Grapes. Grapes, also known as “the Queen of fruits”, are a kind of berry. They have a leathery covering and a fleshy inside, similar to blueberries. With more than 8,000 varieties, grapes are the most popular fruit.  Grapes…

  • Strengthen your bonesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • Reduce chance of heart disease
  • Help with your digestion system
  • Prevent exhaustion
  • Prevent Diabetes
  • Prevent cavities
  • Improve blood cholesterol
  • Prevent breast cancer
  • Prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Wow! Look at all the benefits of the grape. They are delicious, and healthy, so eat your great grapes!


In a recent study it was said that 30 million people suffer from eating disorders. Women account for 20 million of that number (2/3) while men take up 10 million (1/3).

anorexiaEating disorders are “any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits (such as anorexia nervosa)”. Basically that means the act of eating and then purging (vomiting) or abstaining from eating entirely.

Two common ones are bulimia nervosa more commonly known as bulimia, and anorexia nervosa or more commonly known as anorexia. Bulimia is the eating disorder that requires the individual to purge after they eat. By require I do mean the mental need to purge the body of the substance that they just ate entirely. Anorexia is the lack of abstaining from nutrition completely. The person will not eat or drink in order to lose weight. While in some cultures this may be considered as fasting, and is required for some religious holidays, anorexia is the act of eliminating food and drink 24/7.

While we may think we look better on the outside, what we do not see is actually what we are doing to our insides. With the lack of nutrition and water, you begin to not only lose fat but you will lose muscle as well. Your bones will eventually become weak, and brittle. You will feel fatigued, and your heart rate will slow to a dangerous rate to where heart failure is a major risk. If your body isn’t hydrated, or you haven’t had water for a long period of time you will suffer from severe hydration which will result in kidney failure. While you may think this will not happen to you, the chances that it will are extremely high.

The truth of the matter is, is that in today’s society the idea of perfection is painted across all media platforms (social media, magazines, television, movies) but perfection is always to good to be true. Most of the time those images that we see and aspire to be like are edited or entirely fake.

Just recently famous fighter Ronda Rousey came out about a photo shopped photo showing her on a late night television show, and how she was against it showing side by side photos between the real one, and the fake one. If that isn’t crazy enough, the celebrities that we aspire to be are suffering in there own way. Demi Lovato, and Ke$ha have come out and have stated that both had to be treated due to having had bulimia.

The fact of the matter is that we are all perfect in our own way. We all have our own talents that make us unique. We do not have to aspire to be perfect because we already are.

If you think that you are or a friend are suffering from an eating disorder, the best thing to due is to tell a trusting adult, or to talk to a physician. Don’t keep it inside, because if you do it might already be to late.

For more information on eating disorders click here.


I’m Late for School!

September means the end of swimming, the end of cookouts, and the end of summer time adventures. However September also brings the beginning of school for students of all ages.

student_stress_600_2September means an increase of stress for a lot of students in the United States, due to homework, tests, sports, and especially new school settings. While all of these things are stressors in their own right and form they are nothing to be afraid of.

While stress may be unwanted for most people stress can be very beneficial for students. The stress of a big game makes us practice harder for sports. Stress also makes us study harder for that math test that we want to do well on. School time stress and stressors are nothing to be afraid of, they are going to happen.

Some of the best ways of beating unwanted stress are doing the things you love! Ride your bike, play with your friends, sing, write, and laugh. All of these things will be best at defeating all of your unwanted stress. So the next time you are in a situation where you are feeling stressed, take a deep breath, and relax. It’s normal!


It’s November is National Inspirational Role Models Month! Founded in 2005 by award-winning journalist Darlene House, the ongoing purpose of NIRRM is:

“To acknowledge impact contemporary and historic role models have on our lives. Individuals chosen for recognition may include celebrities, historic figures, relatives, friends, colleagues and associates. Celebrate with creative projects and activities featuring historic role models and by spending time with contemporary role models.”

With Thanksgiving pretty much tomorrow, it is a fitting time to recognize and give thanks to those persons in our lives who have made a difference or who continually inspire and give us that love and support (IM40 Asset #1, Family Support).

Inspire word cloudSo what is a role model? A role model is someone that motivates, encourages and is someone others aspire to be like. They help us become who we want to be. They have behaviors, attitudes, actions, traits and roles that others want to model. It doesn’t mean they are perfect, because no one is perfect. But it does mean that they have something someone else thinks is worth having too.

A role model could be a family member, teacher, coach, artist, musician, business(wo)man, tv/movie actor/tress, peer, boss, or even friend. Role models come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

Oftentimes, role models have qualities others want. We like list that Marilyn Price-Mitchell PhD, published on Roots of Action.com complied as a result of a study she did detailing the top five role modeling qualities that matter to teens. And the voices that shaped the list were the voices of college youth. Okay, what are the qualities?

  • Passion and the Ability to InspireSuccess-climber
  • Clear set of Values
  • Commitment to Community
  • Selflessness and Acceptance of Others, and
  • Ability to Overcome Obstacles

If we took a look at the IM40 Developmental Assets, these qualities represent several of the assets, including #3: Other Adult Relationships, #9: Service to Others, #14: Adult Role Models, #15: Positive Peer Influence, #26: Caring, #27: Equality and Social Justice, #28: Integrity, and #39: Sense of Purpose. Those assets fall under the categories of Support, Empowerment, Boundaries and Expectations, Positive Values, and Positive Identity.

When could someone have a role model? Anytime! Many people attribute role models to children or youth, but even adults have people they admire and aspire to. You can have a role model as a young person all the way through old age and for any length of time.

Who were or are the Inspirational Role Models in your life? Maybe you had one role model when you were a young child and now you have a different role model for a different reason. Many people even have role models that are no longer living. That’s okay! Role models are a personal decision that someone makes and they determine why they choose who they choose.

Where can you find role models if you don’t have one already? Before you begin your search, make sure you have an idea of what you’re looking for. It’s okay to make a list of the qualities that YOU want for yourself and then a list of people that exhibit those qualities. Maybe you want to be honest to a fault, poetic, and successful in your career, so when you look for people they should have achieved those attributes. Don’t forget to look around you. There may be role models closer to you than you think. Your role model may even become your mentor. Other places include youth organizations, like schools and clubs, or community leaders.

Lastly, how does one become a role model for someone else? You cannot make someone choose you as a role model and there are many definitions of what a good role model is out there. But here are just a few things you can do to put yourself in a position to be seen as role model material, if you will…

  • Be accountable and honest. No one expects you to be perfect, you will make mistakes, but take responsibility for your mistakes and be honest.
  • Be consistent. One of the most important contributors to learning is repetition. 1+1=2 every time you do it, so try to make sure that what you do is consistent so you’re not modeling confusion. If you change up, explain it and why. This helps teach that there can be some gray areas.
  • Think out loud. Show others how you come to the decisions and conclusions you do, even if it’s a hard one. This helps them visualize and learn the process of decision making and problem solving.
  • Walk your talk. This is another form of consistency, but warrants its own process. Don’t say one thing and do another. Your words and actions should match. Remember as a role model, you’re being watched and copied.
  • Treat everyone with respect. This is very important. No one can go through life without interacting with others, so modeling respect forrolemodelparents others will help others show respect, as well as respect you.

Take a moment and find the role models around you! Watch your development take off!

October is Bullying Awareness Month

Stop bullyingOctober is National Bullying Prevention Month, but not many people know what bullying means, they hear the term but cannot identify with the actual definition of bullying. In 2014 the Center of Disease and Control released the first federal uniform definition of bullying for research, and surveillance. They stated that bullying is any unwanted aggression behavior by another youth, or group of youth who are not siblings, or currently dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance, and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated.  Bullying may inflict harm, or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm.

More than 160,000 kids stay home from school each day to avoid being bullied. Those 160,000 kids missing school are in fear on a daily basis because of being picked on, taunted, or beaten up, sometimes all three!

There are two types of bullying that are most common, the first is physical. Physical bullying is the use of physical force by the perpetrator against the targeted youth some examples of that are hitting, kicking, punching, spitting, tripping, and pushing. The second most common type of bullying is emotional/verbal bullying. Emotional/Verbal bullying is written, or oral communication by the perpetrator, or against a targeted youth that cause them harm.  Some examples include calling the youth names, threatening, offensive written notes, or hand gestures. There are even cases where bullying happens over the Internet! That is called Cyber Bullying.

So how can we stop bullying? The best way to stop bullying is to speak up!! If you see people getting bullied, tell someone! Sometimes the victims of bullying need your help! So if you see someone being bullied, or someone you think is being bullied, please tell someone. However we are afraid to speak up sometimes in fear of what might happen. If you are being bullied, or know someone who is, talk to a TRUSTED adult! It can be a parent, a relative, or even your teacher! Adults can get you or someone you know the help that is needed in dealing with this situation, as well as guide you along the way.

For more information about bullying, visit www.stopbullying.gov