Posts tagged with "mental health"

count to ten cover art by Bri Hall for use by 360 Magazine

COUNT TO TEN PODCAST RELEASE

COUNT TO TEN’ PODCAST WITH CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED BIPOC AND QUEER ARTIST, INFLUENCER, AND CONTENT CREATOR BRI HALL LAUNCHES NEW EPISODE: RACE & ROYALTY WITH BRITTANY LACKEY & GERMANI MANNING OF BLACK GIRL BRAVADO 

“Some proclaim the title of social media influencer just because they have a lot of followers, but [Bri Hall] is using her platform for good to reach her 1 million followers around the world.” — START YOUR DAY, BLACK NEWS CHANNEL

“[Count to Ten] aims to unpack appearance-based discrimination and more… [Bri Hall] wants the podcast to elevate people’s various lived experiences with the hope of also hitting home with those who haven’t lived them.” — WWD

Multi-hyphenate BIPOC and queer artist / influencer Bri Hall launches episode 2 of her new weekly podcast ‘Count to Ten presented by RedCircle. Available across all streaming platforms now, the new episode entitled Race & Royalty features Brittany Lackey and Germani Manning of Black Girl Bravado. Oftentimes when we think of a “post racial society,” we hear about minorities who have “made it.” Minorities who exist in the top 1% of society as the beacon of hope. Sometimes this is used to gaslight experiences with race by saying, “that was not racist, it was classist,” when it can be one, the other, or both. Today’s episode is all about exploring intersectionality of race, class, and power. Tune in now, here.

Raised in the DMV area (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) and now based in Los Angeles, Hall has achieved over 1.1 million followers across social media plus 50 million views and counting on YouTube as a content creator. Through her various work, including partnerships with Fenty Beauty, Calvin Klein, Clinique, Facebook, Google, etc, and her music project under the moniker La Hara, the rising thought leader has garnered positive praise from ABC, Allure, BET, Black News Channel, Bustle, Cheddar, Elite Daily, Harper’s BAZAAR, ESSENCE, NBC, NYLON, PopSugar, Refinery29, Washington Post, WWD, among several others. Utilizing her dedicated fanbase and established platform, Hall hopes to open an honest dialogue around delicate and indispensable topics such as race/racism, feminism, sexuality,  intersectionality, the model minority, DACA/Dreamers, invisible disabilities, mental health, and more. 

‘Count to Ten’ is a statement of defiance against the notion of “staying calm”—something individuals in marginalized groups are told to undermine their experiences when facing complex issues around social and racial injustices, gender or identity inequality, mental health, and more. Taking ownership of the phrase “count to ten,” the podcast is Bri Hall’s way of breaking that silence and creating a safe, educational yet entertaining space where listeners can feel seen and heard. Throughout the podcast, Hall will tap a special guest to provide their unique insight and expertise on select themes. Upcoming guests in the first season include Keziah Dhamma (aka Swirly Curly), Brittany Lackey and Germani Manning (Black Bravado), Bukola Odeosun, Darian Harvin, Aliza Kelly, Kristopher Head, Charlotte Nguyen, Helya Mohammadian (Slick Chicks) and Marta Elena Cortez-Neaval (Abilitee), MANNYWELLZ, and Jen Winston (The Greedy Bisexual). 

For Bri Hall, every project is an opportunity to explore new avenues to push boundaries and showcase different sides of her as an ever-evolving creator and trendmaker. On the ‘Count to Ten’ podcast launch, she states, “I’m excited to share a huge part of myself that supporters don’t always get to see from an Instagram photo or a makeup tutorial. Between filming for videos and creating content, I’m deeply engaged in conversations with colleagues, friends, and family about social justice, personal struggles, and marginalized identity. It feels like such an organic step to use my platform to further delve into these stories on a larger scale. I hope that people will learn more about marginalized identities and themselves through this podcast. Oftentimes, the gap between empathy and apathy is a lack of understanding and a fear of asking the wrong questions. By having a first person, fly-on-the-wall invitation into these conversations, I hope a deep feeling of connection between diverse communities will emerge for my fans and new listeners.”

‘Count to Ten’ episodes:

  • January 18th — Do I Seem Relaxed with Keziah Dhamma (Swirly Curly)
  • January 25th — Race & Royalty with Brittany Lackey & Germani Manning of Black Girl Bravado 
  • February 1st Being First Gen with Bukola Odeosun
  • February 8th — Do the Write Thing with Darian Harvin 
  • February 15th — Hex and the City with Aliza Kelly
  • February 22nd The Truth of Invisible Disabilities with Kris Head
  • March 1st Excluded? The Model Minority Myth with Charlotte Nguyên
  • March 8th Ableism in Fashion with Helya Mohammadian (Slick Chicks) and Marta Elena Cortez-Neaval (Abilitee)
  • March 15th Show Dates: How DACA has Impacted Artists with MANNYWELLZ
  • March 22nd The Greedy Bisexual with Jen Winston

About Bri Hall:

One of the brightest cultural leaders of her generation, Bri Hall embodies the kind of visionary creativity that defies all boundaries and transforms the way we view the world around us. With a global reach that now includes over 1.1 million followers across all platforms, the 27-year-old artist, social-media creator, and motivational speaker has continually turned her creative passions into a conduit for community-building and increased awareness of such crucial issues as social justice and mental health—all while channeling the singular joy of unbridled self-expression.

A first-generation American whose mother immigrated from Jamaica, Hall was born in New York but moved to Maryland at the age of five. As a young child she started drawing portraits, discovering an affinity for art that she partly attributes to an urge to connect with her absent biological father (a stained-glass artist). A lifelong creative polymath, Hall took up poetry in third grade, and within just two years saw one of her pieces published in a national poetry journal. Later on, she earned the distinction of being one of two students in the entire state to be accepted into a highly competitive visual and performing artists middle school, which helped to refine her raw talents and self-taught skills. Throughout her childhood, Hall further broadened her artistic horizons by learning to play clarinet in elementary school and later taking up piano while enrolled in a prestigious science and technology program in high school. During her junior year, she began exploring social media by kicking off a weekly Facebook feature in which she created time-lapse videos documenting her work as she drew or painted a portrait based on subject requests submitted by her followers. The feature was an instant hit, and in 2011 Hall launched a YouTube channel to showcase her increasingly in-demand speed portraits. 

While studying animation and game design at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Hall continued posting art videos and began appearing on camera—a turn of events that soon led to the launch of Smartista Beauty, a separate YouTube channel that served as a hub for the hair and beauty tutorials her viewers immediately clamored for. With her very first Smartista Beauty post amassing a staggering number of views, Hall quickly emerged as a beauty guru backed by an immensely devoted following (as well as support from global brands like Calvin Klein and Google). Not only known for the awe-inspiring ingenuity behind her wildly popular tutorials, she gained widespread recognition for the vulnerability and candor of her content, often using her videos as a sounding board for such complex and intensely personal topics as self-love and Black feminism. As more and more viewers tuned in for Hall’s insights into living a more fulfilled and empowered life, she took the stage for a TEDx Talk in 2018 and detailed her journey in following her creative dreams to incredible success.

In all of her endeavors, Hall merges her limitless imagination with a profound sense of purpose. In 2019, for instance, she made her musical debut under the name La Hara, an R&B project whose first round of singles included “Hereafter”—a quietly powerful track she wrote after the death of a close friend, then released during National Suicide Prevention Month in order to help others struggling with grief. More recently, Hall has aligned her longtime mission of increasing representation in media with her growing fascination with cosplay, tapping into her extensive makeup savvy and morphing into a series of iconic characters rarely performed by Black artists and creators.

In her commitment to endlessly magnifying the impact of her platform, Hall is now set to launch a weekly podcast called ‘Count to Ten.’ Presented by RedCircle, the show will include intimate and unfiltered conversations with guests whose personal experience speaks to the inequities affecting marginalized populations all around the world. To that end, the first season of ‘Count to Ten’ finds Hall and her guests discussing everything from the model minority myth and the intersectionality of race and class to ableism in fashion and the politics of natural hair. Inspired by the heart-to-heart talks she engages in on a daily basis—and the moment of re-centering pause many people with intersectional identities must frequently take in order to coexist in a variety of spaces—’Count to Ten’ ultimately reflects the driving force behind all of Hall’s output: a one-of-a-kind gift for taking the ordinary stuff of everyday life (a conversation, a bare face, a blank page), then introducing the extraordinary to expand our sense of possibility and reshape the way we live, work, and care for each other.

Seven Tips to Help Yourself Unplug Before Bedtime

Modern society is becoming increasingly reliant on technological devices. While many of the technological advancements of the last decade or so have arguably changed life for the better for many, new technology also presents a host of new issues.

Screen addiction, constant notifications that can cause anxiety, and the way social media can make us feel insecure and isolated even though it’s supposed to connect us are just a few of the downsides of technology that we have started to notice over time, and that we have to be aware of. These factors don’t mean we shouldn’t engage with new technologies, but instead that we just have to be a lot more mindful of how we engage with them. 

One area where many people would benefit from being more mindful about technology is before bedtime. You likely know the benefits of unplugging before bedtime, but powering down our devices and detaching from the stress of the day can be easier said than done. It can be a challenge to calm racing thoughts or stop planning how you’ll tackle your upcoming stressful day. 

Thankfully, several research-backed methods help you slow down and prepare for sleep. Here are seven ways to calm your mind and get better rest. 

  1. Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Aim to get ready for bed at the same time every night. Wind down from a stressful day by taking a warm shower. Consider listening to soothing music while applying essential oils to pressure points and moving through simple yoga poses to further your relaxation. Next, move into bed and read a book until you start to drift to sleep. Try to go to bed and wake at the same time every day, even on the weekends.

Consider these additional factors when making your room the perfect environment for rest. Ensure your bedroom temperature isn’t too hot or cold — the ideal temperature for sleep is between 66 and 70 F. Get blackout curtains or eyeshades to keep the sunshine out of your room. Try a white noise machine or fan to limit noises in your home that interrupt your rest.  

  1. Turn Off Your Phone

One of the best ways to help you prepare for rest is to turn off your phone. The high-energy blue light in digital screens can cause interruptions to your sleep patterns and suppress melatonin secretion. You could find it more difficult to unwind or rest if you use a blue light device too close to bedtime. However, 71% of Americans report using their phones until they fall asleep. 

Studies recommend avoiding blue light two to three hours before bedtime to keep your circadian rhythms in sync. Consider blue light suppressing glasses if you need to use a device to work. You can also apply an app on your phone or tablet to filter out damaging blue light. However, the best practice is to sleep with your phone charging outside your room.  

  1. Use Meditation Techniques

If you find your head spinning with thoughts as you lay in bed, you might soon begin glancing at your watch as your anxiety starts to rise. You can stop those thoughts in their tracks with helpful mindfulness and breathing techniques.

  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Use this mindfulness technique to activate each area of your body and eliminate the stress you’re carrying. You’ll progressively tense and relax each muscle group, relaxing into sweet slumber.
  • 4-7-8 breathing technique: To practice this breathing activity, inhale for four counts. Hold your breath for seven seconds. Then, exhale through your nose for eight counts. Repeat this technique to steady your breathing and lull you into deep relaxation. 
  • Yogic breathing: The practice of pranayama or yogic breathing has been proven to slow one’s breathing, blood pressure and heart rate. Practicing it for five minutes can prepare you for sleep.     
  1. Exercise More

Consider adding exercise into your daily routine. Whether you bike, run or walk, research suggests there’s a positive relationship between exercise and sleep. You’ll find it easier to unwind and fall asleep the more regularly you work out. However, because physical activity is stimulating, it’s best to exercise earlier in the day and at least three hours before bedtime.    

  1. Make a List 

If you find you have a lot on your mind and are having difficulty shifting your thoughts from the stresses of tomorrow, consider making a list to organize the coming day. Write down all the things you’ll need to accomplish, outlining the necessary tasks at work and home. A study conducted in 2018 found participants who created to-do lists for their upcoming days fell asleep faster than those who didn’t. 

  1. Disconnect From Work

Make an effort to create boundaries between you and your job. Do not check your work email in the evening or only do so once for half an hour after dinner. Put this plan into effect by turning off your notifications when you get home and resisting the urge to check them. Consider turning your phone off and putting it away if you think you’ll be tempted to do it. Remember, the boundaries are to help you unplug and unwind. 

  1. Limit Social Media

Another great way to feel more relaxed and ready for bed is to limit your social media use. The easiest way to restrict it is to turn your phone off an hour before bed. This might not be an option if you use your cellphone for other purposes like an e-reader or a white noise machine. 

Try scheduling your social media time to an hour a day. That way, you don’t waste time mindlessly scrolling. Another great option is to limit your platforms to a couple of sites rather than all of them. You’ll be happy you don’t have to keep up with all the notifications. 

Follow These Steps to Detach

Following these tips will give you the best opportunity to get quality rest. Utilize mindfulness and breathing techniques to relax and unwind if you find it challenging to unplug. You’ll be entering dreamland in no time.

Ten Tips for College Students to Take Care of Their Health This Semester

Taking care of yourself in college is challenging. Students balance the pressures of school, work, and a social life, all while trying to make decisions about their future careers. With all of these pressures, it’s no wonder that poor mental health and burnout are common. 

However, students can fight burnout and protect their health by developing a set of simple, healthy habits. Here are 10 ways that college students can take care of their health this semester. 

  1. Plan to Sleep

American culture vastly underestimates the importance of sleep and its impact on productivity. Without proper rest, your body and brain will start to have trouble functioning. Although every person is different, the human body is wired to work on a cycle where sleep is very important to wakefulness. 

Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If you’re serious about getting enough sleep, make sure you create a bedtime routine that allows you to turn the lights off when you actually need to. There is always something else to do, but you won’t have the energy you need for tomorrow without a good night’s rest. 

  1. Move Your Body

By the time they reach college, the typical American student is used to sitting still for long periods of time each day. However, the human body does not respond well to long periods of inactivity – it was made to move. One of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health is to get active. 

Sign up for a group exercise class or workout with YouTube in your dorm. Even doing jumping jacks or push-ups for five minutes can help you get your blood moving and refocus on your homework. Two of the most basic needs your body has are movement and rest, and meeting these needs will make it much easier for you to reduce stress and stay healthy.  

  1. Watch Out for SAD

During the spring semester, more students are likely to experience symptoms of depression. There’s less sunshine, students aren’t spending much time outside, and they’re already tired and stressed from the fall semester. During these darker months, it’s especially important to care for your mental health. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) describes the way winter conditions can cause seasonal symptoms of depression. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to combat these feelings. Taking vitamin D, investing in a sunlight therapy lamp, and exercising may all help to reduce symptoms so you can finish the semester strong. 

  1. Outsmart Stress

Before “stress” was used to describe feelings of anxiety, it meant to put pressure on something. Constant stress puts pressure on your mind and body, weakening your immune system and making you feel sick. It’s important to find ways to reduce stress in your daily life to keep yourself healthy. 

Start by identifying what causes you stress. For college students, stressors could include getting poor grades, uncertainty over the future, low finances, and relationship challenges. Confronting the issues that are causing you anxiety can help. For instance, talking through an ongoing conflict with a friend or making a financial plan for the semester can reduce your levels of daily stress. 

  1. Eat Whole Foods

Every article out there about health for college students mentions eating well. While it may get repetitive, consuming whole foods and drinking plenty of water are two of the best ways to invest in your health this semester. The typical American diet – full of processed carbs and sugar – is a disaster waiting to happen for your health. 

Proper nutrition improves sleep, memory, focus, and your ability to respond well to stress. The food you eat is the fuel you’re giving your body to run on. Especially in college, you need this fuel to be top-notch. Although you shouldn’t rely on too much caffeine for energy, coffee in moderation can be a good source of antioxidants

  1. Build Friendships

Prolonged isolation is incredibly damaging to your physical and mental health. People need connection, so taking the time to build friendships is an investment in your health. Time spent with friends can help you unwind from school and refocus on what matters most in your life. 

College is an ideal time to build friendships and connect deeply with others. You are surrounded by people your age who are facing the same challenges you are. Students can support each other during this phase of life by promoting healthy habits and offering emotional support. 

  1. Work Through Your Thoughts

Taking care of yourself physically will go far toward supporting your health. However, many students are carrying such a large load of stress and anxiety that these foundational steps may not be enough. If you are practicing self-care but find that you’re still overwhelmed, it may be time to focus more closely on your mind and emotions. 

Studies have shown that people who journal are better able to process their thoughts and find peace in challenging situations. Meditating on healthy ideas can also help you keep worry at bay. You should never feel embarrassed about talking to a certified counselor or therapist – this is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. 

  1. Enjoy Fun Hobbies

Hobbies are another way to take care of your health this semester. A hobby can be something as simple as baking every Friday night or something as complicated as running a YouTube channel on the side. The important thing is that you find an activity outside of school that brings you joy. 

After you leave college, hobbies are a part of your daily routine that you can take with you. They can make the transition from school to adult life easier, and they offer stress relief. Hobbies improve productivity and may even give you insight into your future career path. Although they may feel like a guilty pleasure, they are well worth your time. 

  1. Focus on Giving

Looking outside yourself and giving to others can also increase your mental and physical wellbeing. Volunteering and donating to worthy causes are two ways you can incorporate giving into your weekly schedule. However, there are many meaningful ways you can support the people around you each day. 

Calling your parents, sending a stressed friend a card, and driving another student to the grocery store are all ways to give back. Even smiling has been shown to have powerful health benefits. Practicing kindness can raise your spirits if you feel low and encourage those around you.  

  1. Celebrate Everyday Moments

Because it can be hard to slow down during college, one strategy is to make the most of small moments. For instance, you can take time to notice nature and the weather while you’re walking between classes. You can also plan small moments of enjoyment throughout the day, like stretching for ten minutes in the morning or drinking tea while the sun goes down. 

Celebrating the everyday is sometimes called “romanticizing your life.” This is based on the idea that you’ll find what you’re looking for – whether that’s more stress or a moment of peace. College students in particular can benefit from taking deliberate moments to slow down and remember to enjoy their day. 

Health Is a Priority

Caring for your health is important, especially for students who are experiencing high levels of stress at college. Investing in your health will keep you focused, emotionally stable, and ready for whatever curveballs college life throws at you. 

Follow these 10 tips to stay healthy and make the most of your college years. Feeling good is worth the extra effort, and every step you take matters. You’ve got this!

Five Tips for Starting a Gluten-Free Diet

In 2022, consumers have a large selection of gluten-free options, improving their quality of life. For individuals diagnosed with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivities (NCGS) in past decades, their dietary selection was minimal. Whether you live in a region with a vast selection of gluten-free options or a limited variety, you may utilize these five tips to effectively start your diet.

Many individuals struggle to maintain a celiac-friendly diet because of limited awareness and education. When consumers increase their recognition of gluten-free labels and naturally allergy-safe foods, they can achieve a healthy diet without stress. Before evaluating the five tips, individuals may benefit from exploring gluten allergies and their physical impacts.

What Are Gluten Allergies?

Celiac disease results in an immune reaction when one’s intestines come in contact with gluten. The physical response damages the small intestine over time, causing malabsorption. Intestinal degradation causes anemia, weight loss, bloating, fatigue, and diarrhea.

The disease may also cause osteoporosis, skin rashes, mouth ulcers, migraines, and fatigue. Other individuals with the condition experience numbness of the feet, legs, and hands, as well as joint pain. People effectively reduce their symptoms over time by consuming a strict gluten-free diet.

Individuals also treat NCGS with gluten-free diets. The illness is similar to celiac disease, except the condition is non-detectable by certain testing. People with NCGS experience brain fog, abdominal pain, migraines, chronic fatigue, bloating, joint pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

A team of researchers at Columbia University identified the effects of gluten on the intestinal health of individuals with NCGS. They discovered similar immune responses and stomach cell destruction associated with consumption. Researchers believe the reaction may relate to a different component in gluten that causes its lack of appearance on celiac tests.

Scientists look at individuals’ reactions to amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) and fructans when assessing the cause of NCGS symptoms. Understanding the severity of gluten allergies and their probable causes can support informed dietary choices. The first step to starting a successful gluten-free diet is deepening your understanding of the allergen.

1. Expand Your Gluten Education

Gluten is a protein found in various grains like wheat and rye. It is a naturally occurring part of many plants, and researchers discovered a way to extract the protein. Many processed foods contain gluten as a binding agent, holding them together and adding texture.

The protein is present in bread and pasta because it comes from barley, wheat, spelt, rye, durum, emmer, farro, triticale, and other grains. Some naturally gluten-free grains include rice, quinoa, and oats. It is important to look out for specifically gluten-free oats at the store because some products experience cross-contamination.

If oats grow in a field with wheat or rye, they may receive a coating of gluten, decreasing the safety of their consumption by individuals with allergies. When oats are processed in the same facilities as gluten-containing grains, they also may experience cross-contamination. Remaining aware of the naturally celiac-friendly foods and the risk of contamination supports a successful diet.

2. Identify Sneaky Sources of Gluten

Another beneficial tip for starting your gluten-free diet is remaining aware of the sneaky sources of allergens. Medications and supplements often use gluten as an external coating or filler. Before consuming a new pill, it is important to contact your doctor to evaluate its dietary safety.

Processed meat, poultry, and fish often contain wheat as a filler or bast. Most deli meats, hot dogs, and sausages contain gluten, making them not suitable for consumption by individuals with celiac disease or NCGS. Some meat substitutes also use the protein as a filler, creating dietary challenges.

Imitation seafood, like the crab inside sushi rolls, and seitan, always contain gluten. Some veggie burgers also use wheat and other grains to bind the other ingredients. Many sauces additionally utilize wheat as a thickening agent.

Soy sauce is a common culprit of accidental gluten exposure. Restaurants also regularly add barley to miso, making it not suitable for gluten-free consumers. Fortunately, there are many safe alternatives to wheat-containing foods, like tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

3. Plan Ahead When Eating Out

The worst feeling is showing up to a dinner out with friends only to realize you cannot eat anything on the menu. Researching a menu before attending a restaurant is the best way to avoid dietary mishaps. Some eateries have designated gluten-free menus whereas others may have zero options.

Calling a restaurant ahead of time is the best way to ensure your ability to safely eat there. Some chefs may even encourage individuals to bring their own gluten-free bread, flour, or pasta to accommodate their dietary restrictions. Individuals can also plan ahead when eating at a friend’s house by bringing a celiac-friendly option.

4. Convert Your Favorite Home-Cooked Meals to Gluten-Free Options

While traditional Italian dishes often contain gluten, individuals can substitute wheat components with chickpea, almond, or rice flour. Consumers with celiac disease and NCGS may make their favorite dishes like pizza using gluten-free substitutes. One pizza recipe uses rice and tapioca flour instead of wheat to create the crust.

It also utilizes xanthan gum to keep the dough together, binding it as gluten would. The crust is also dairy-free and egg-free, making it a suitable option for vegans and lactose-intolerant individuals as well. When making celiac-friendly pizza, it is important to prepare the dough away from wheat-containing dishes to limit cross-contamination.

5. Beware of Cross-Contamination

The final tip for starting a gluten-free diet revolves around cross-contamination. When individuals cook celiac-friendly foods in a wheat-containing kitchen, the meal may come in contact with gluten. Sharing cooking surfaces, utensils, and containers with wheat-containing items can create unsafe dishes for consumers with celiac disease and NCGS.

Flour containing wheat can remain airborne in bakeries for hours, increasing the rate of cross-contamination. Before ordering food from a restaurant or eating at a friend’s house, ensure they have a celiac-friendly kitchen. Many Individuals designate a section of their kitchens to gluten-free meal prep to decrease the risk of cross-contamination.

The Benefits of Eating Gluten-Free

Many individuals benefit from eating a gluten-free diet, especially consumers with celiac disease and NCGS. When you eliminate gluten from your diet, you preserve your small intestinal lining. The diet also decreases abdominal discomfort, migraines, brain fog, and rashes, helping individuals live a normal life without adverse symptoms.

How to Learn to Embrace Change

The past two years have ushered unprecedented changes to daily life, no matter how much media pundits try to pretend everything is normal. The pandemic upended the economy, but the more dramatic shift continues behind the scenes in everyday people’s attitudes.

People now realize the old narrative no longer works. Spending every waking hour away from their family slaving for a company that would replace them tomorrow if they died at their desk is a waste of this one divine life they have been given. They are demanding a radical new direction in the usual order of business.

Some are downsizing, moving off the grid or into vehicles to escape the relentless grind of a societal wheel that demands cash payment for everything but the air they breathe. Others are starting over in other ways, taking new jobs or refusing to return to substandard working conditions, contenting themselves with less.

However, all this chaos amid a pandemic blended with widespread economic uncertainty causes understandable unease. If you feel like the bottom has been pulled out from under you, you are not alone. Here are three principles to guide you through learning how to embrace change — because it is the one thing in life that remains constant.

1.   Establish Your Core Values

Who are you, and what matters to you the most? These questions aren’t ones you can ignore after you declare your college major and settle into your chosen path. They should guide your daily decisions, helping you resolve conflicts by calling upon your core values to make the right choice in how to behave.

Internal conflicts arise when your chosen lifestyle no longer aligns with your core values. It influences everything from your choice of a life partner to your selection of jobs. For example, people who cherish human relationships probably won’t thrive in a role that requires them to deliver eviction notices. Those who crave nothing more than quiet family life in the country could find themselves endlessly frustrated if they chose a loft-dwelling city slicker as their mate.

Establishing your core values isn’t about feeling superior to anyone else. It’s simply defining who you are in the world and what you represent. You don’t have to exclude others from your circle if they have different beliefs — on the contrary, having a firm sense of who you are can give you a greater appreciation of the beauty in diversity.

However, your core values help define what role various other people and organizations play in your life. For example, if you cherish positivity, you’ll limit your contact with those who complain for complaining’s sake. If you don’t like how a certain store treats its employees, you can take your business elsewhere.

2.   Embrace Radical Acceptance

If the events of the past two years taught people one thing, it’s that life isn’t always fair. Some people lost loved ones amid the pandemic, while others lost work and homes. It can seem like lightning strikes with no rhyme or reason, destroying even those who work hard, follow the rules and try to do everything right.

Embracing radical acceptance doesn’t mean taking a dismal view of events, assuming the worst will inevitably occur. It simply means stopping your behavior from turning temporarily negative circumstances into lifelong spirals of despair. It requires you to step back from your emotional reactions and take a neutral view of circumstances, focusing on what you can control and letting go of what you can’t.

Radical acceptance helps you embrace change by breaking the rumination cycle. Think about the mental energy you expend on thoughts like, “what did I do to deserve this” and “why is this happening to me?” While these may be valid questions, you know you’ll never get an answer in this lifetime. All musing on such ideas can do is reinforce your negative emotions, in turn amplifying your mind’s dark whisperings, on and on until you spiral into depression, substance abuse or both.

Achieving a state of emotional detachment helps prevent these dark feelings from becoming behaviors that further deteriorate your situation. If you lost your job, staying in bed in a depressed stupor instead of looking for a replacement can mean falling short on rent. If you turn to the bottle, you could lose your relationship, career or both.

All change requires some hardship. Some circumstances are tougher to navigate than others. Embracing radical acceptance prevents you from letting impulsive emotions make a bad situation worse. It helps you focus on the possibility of a positive outcome — which is at least equally as likely as a tragedy.

3.   Create Meaning Amid the Chaos

If you’ve endured emotional or physical trauma — or both — toxic positivity is an instant turn-off. Words like “everything happens for a reason” ring hollow when you are mourning the loss of a loved one or waving goodbye to most of your worldly belongings, courtesy of an eviction notice.

However, you might do better at embracing change by finding comfort in the works of Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who went on to become a psychologist and neurologist. He endured unimaginable shifts in his life — and yet, he helped humanity.

In his book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” he discusses how it’s perfectly normal to behave abnormally under abnormal circumstances. What that means is that you should treat yourself gently, the way you would a beloved friend, when you’re going through a radical life change. Instead of beating yourself up for mistakes, understand that you are doing the best you can.

If you’re changing jobs or homes, forgive yourself if you sometimes run short of patience or skip a healthy meal in favor of a fast-food treat. Leave the dishes in the sink if you can’t manage one more thing at the end of a trying day.

Frankl’s main point is that achieving a healthy mindset regardless of horrific circumstances creates a sense of purpose. Think of yourself as the main character in a movie about your life. What would they choose to do in your place? What is their motivation?

Your objectives need not be anything earth-shattering. You might find your purpose in treating everyone you encounter with kindness, putting a smile on one face per day. Imagine if everyone in the world adopted such a goal!

How to Learn to Embrace Change

The past two years’ events have led to unprecedented shifts for many. You aren’t alone if you’re feeling adrift. Ultimately, it’s up to you to create your anchor in life by establishing your core values, embracing radical acceptance, and moving forward with purpose. Following these steps will help you learn how to embrace change.

yoga illustration by Heather Skovlund for use by 360 Magazine

Six Hobbies That Relieve Stress

Some hobbies are excellent stress-relievers, as physical activity puts us in a meditative state. Doing something we enjoy triggers the release of dopamine. When you use your body or hands, your mind focuses on the task at hand. Add a bit of creativity to your life! Discover six simple activities that can give you a break from the constant barrage of stress.

1.   Dance

Research conducted by Pennsylvania State University has demonstrated the stress-relieving effects of dancing. Endorphins released in your body make you feel good. If you don’t have a Delta 8 hemp flower on hand, try dancing to feel better quickly!

It does not matter if you choose free dance, instructed dance, or dance workouts. YouTube has a plethora of tutorials for any style, from hula to ballet. All you need is some space and inspiring music to get your groove on!

2.   Drawing, sketching, coloring, or painting

Any of these activities will take your mind off the things that worry you. Focus on a creative project to de-stress. According to a study by Harvard, drawing and painting are particularly effective in this regard.

You don’t have to be an artist to experience the benefits! Download an app for digital sketching (for example, Procreate), buy an adult coloring book, or find some classes at your local Art supply store, museum, or library. The internet has a wealth of free information, including fun tutorials.

3.   Writing

Different forms of writing, from journaling to letters to writing stories, alleviate stress. Jotting down your emotions is a proven way to feel better. Even 10-minute writing sessions are guaranteed to bring positive effects.

4.   Playing a Musical Instrument

Listening to music and creating it can make you feel happier and more content. By playing an instrument, you will not only express yourself but also trigger an emotional release. According to a study in the Federal Practitioner, “there is evidence that playing an instrument elicits brain changes that positively influence cognitive functioning and decreases stress.”

Learning to play music is easier than before, as there are so many digital tools to help you. First, you can download apps for learning to play the guitar, piano, and other instruments. YouTube is packed with tutorials. Finally, you can always find private or group lessons. If you are too busy to learn, even listening to your favorite playlist will improve your emotional state.

5.   Knitting

This is another meditative activity connected to calmness and happiness. You can find a treasure trove of step-by-step videos on YouTube. Every week, schedule a time for a meeting, alone or with a friend! The positive effects of knitting have been shown in a study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy.

6.   Photography

You do not need a high-end camera to experience the positive effects of photography. Even simple snaps with your smartphone can melt your stress away! Go outdoors and take photos daily to improve your well-being, slow down and find meaning in small things.

Illustration By Alex Bogdan for use of 360 Magazine

Juice WRLD × Fighting Demons

December 9 marks the inaugural Juice WRLD Day in Chicago, IL. The Live Free 999 Fund, which honors the legacy of Juice WRLD through giving support to young individuals in their own personal battles, will bring people together to commemorate his life and music. Juice WRLD Day will see his closest family, friends, collaborators and fans come together to celebrate and continue on his legacy.

For more information on the Live Free 999 Fund see HERE.

Viewers can experience Juice WRLD Day no matter where they are by live streaming on the Amazon Music app and the Amazon Music channel on Twitch at 8PM CT/ 9PM ET on Thursday, December 9.

Juice WRLD Day precedes the release of the new Juice WRLD album Fighting Demons. The cover and track list of Fighting Demons has just been released, and tracks include collaborations with artists like Justin Bieber, Polo G, Trippie Redd and SUGA of BTS.

Pre-save Fighting Demons (Grade A/ Interscope) HERE.

Fighting Demons TRACKLIST

1.) Burn

2.) Already Dead

3.) You Wouldn’t Understand

4.) Wandered To LA (with Justin Bieber)

5.) Eminem Speaks

6.) Rockstar In His Prime

7.) Doom

8.) Go Hard

9.) Juice WRLD Speaks

10.) Not Enough

11.) Feline (with Polo G & Trippie Redd)

12.) Relocate

13.) Juice WRLD Speaks 2

14.) Until The Plug Comes Back Around

15.) From My Window

16.) Girl Of My Dreams (feat. SUGA of BTS)

17.) Feel Alone

18.) My Life In A Nutshell

yoga illustration by Heather Skovlund for use by 360 Magazine

How an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Helped Me to Overcome PTSD

By Beth Lauren, certified Ayurveda Wellness Counselor, founder of Sangha NYC and author of Reeling: Misadventures in Moviemaking, Money and Love

It can be challenging to assess how the mind contributes to a person’s overall physical health. Still, the mind-body connection is now widely accepted by Western medical traditions as it has been by Eastern medicine for centuries.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that can occur in people who have experienced a traumatic event such as combat, a severe accident, or sexual assault. Studies have shown that the hyperarousal symptoms of PTSD may also put a survivor in a constant state of stress and anxiety. It’s common knowledge that both put tremendous strain on a person’s body, increasing the risk for physical health problems including cardiovascular disease, asthma, chronic pain, sleep apnea, and a host of gastrointestinal disorders.

The mind and body work together in both harmony and disharmony. For years PTSD troubled my mind and continued its descent through my body, resulting in bouts of IBS, sleep apnea, and insomnia. PTSD was my enduring legacy as a rape survivor. I was just 12 years old at the time of my assault. I would be 46 when I first began to process this violent and painful experience that was too much for both my brain and body to handle for 34 years.

Five years later, I became an Ayurveda Wellness Counselor and adopted the daily routine, or dinacharya, an Ayurvedic lifestyle recommends practitioners follow. And now, at the age of 55, I’m experiencing the best mental and physical health of my life.

Ayurveda is an ancient healing system. Using a holistic approach, Ayurveda balances manas (mind), shareera (body), and atma (soul) for optimal health. The goal of practitioners is not merely to prevent and cure disease but to focus on optimizing physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Managing both mind and body together is the approach needed to treat symptoms of PTSD successfully.

Ayurveda also offers a personalized methodology that is well-suited for treating the individual needs of those who have PTSD. No one’s pain is the same. How trauma manifests in the body can be affected by climate, pre-existing health issues, age, genetics – so many factors.

An Ayurvedic way of living: diet, daily routine, yoga, and meditation 

On my journey, I found that I wanted my body and soul to follow once my mind was free from suffering. I began by paying close attention to how my eating habits affected my mood, digestion, and weight. It wasn’t just what I put into my body, but when I ate—the time of day and my state of mind when I was eating contributed to my malfunctioning digestion. Emotional eating was an issue for me, as it is for so many survivors, especially women. How many television shows and movies have we all seen where the heroine soothes her broken heart with a pint of ice cream?

In Ayurveda, food is medicine, not a consolation prize. Choosing foods that are in harmony with the season, grown locally, and favor one’s dosha—the energetic force of nature that comprises one’s unique body constitution—is essential for following an Ayurvedic lifestyle. I also found that eating primarily hot cooked foods and adding warming spices such as turmeric, cardamom, cumin, and cinnamon nourished my body and brain.

The more I learned about what an Ayurvedic lifestyle could offer, the more it seemed intuitive. Simple adjustments such as having my largest meal for lunch instead of dinner made sense to me. Why wouldn’t I give my body as much waking time as possible to digest heavy foods?

Digestive strength is paramount in Ayurveda. Maintaining strong agni or digestive power supports the body’s immunity, and a robust immune system is essential for managing daily stressors. Digesting doesn’t just apply to nutrition. We are constantly digesting our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Healthy agni is key to a calm and peaceful state of mind, so all three don’t overwhelm us.

My daily practice includes 1-2 cups of Cumin, Coriander, Fennel (CCF) tea, a traditional Ayurvedic blend that supports digestion and gently detoxifies the liver. CCF’s calming and cooling qualities work well with all constitutions.

Several Ayurvedic herbs nourish and calm the brain and body, but the one I recommend as the most productive is ashwagandha.

A powerful herb in Ayurvedic healing, ashwagandha has been used in India for centuries for a wide variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, insomnia, joint pain – the list is endless, and it includes some of the most common PTSD symptoms. In Ayurveda, specific herbs are adaptogens, which help the body cope with external stresses such as toxins in the environment and internal stresses such as anxiety and insomnia. Ashwagandha is one of them.

Yoga is so much more than a way to stretch and strengthen muscles. Daily practice can provide mental clarity and peace, providing a spiritual and psychological foundation for Ayurveda. It’s no mystery why certification as an Ayurveda Wellness Counselor includes a yoga module. For me, slow-paced yoga postures such as paschimottasana (seated forward bend pose) and matsyendrasana (half spinal twist pose) help to keep me calm and relaxed.

Given that the mind-body connection is fundamental to Ayurveda, it’s evident that meditation would be, like yoga, an integral component of its practice. Meditation helps us to attain awareness and harmony by experiencing inner calm and deep relaxation. While the violence I survived will always produce lingering feelings and thoughts resulting in anxiety, sadness, and eyes that fill with tears, all those emotions are less charged now. Those memories no longer imprison my body and brain. I can honestly write that a 5,000-year-old modality has been a massive part of my recovery, and for that, I am very grateful.

ABOUT BETH LAUREN

Beth Lauren spent over a decade in the film industry as a writer, producer, and director. She poignantly and humorously documents the devastating journey to produce her second feature in her memoir, Reeling: Misadventures in Moviemaking, Money, and Love. Beth wrote and produced the feature film, Fairytale of New York, which premiered at the New Filmmakers Series 2000 in NYC. She wrote, produced, and directed the short films: Immaculate Concoction and Getting Ned, in addition to co-producing and consulting on several plays and short films.

She is a certified Ayurveda Wellness Counselor and is the owner of Sangha NYC, where she offers virtual and in-person Ayurvedic counseling services and products. Sangha NYC enjoys a partnership with Nirogam, one of India’s largest and most trusted suppliers of Ayurvedic medicines. Beth is the Well-Tech World Summit organizer, which will take place in Dublin, Ireland, in March 2022.

CBD Gif by Reb Czukoski for use by 360 Magazine

What Are the Top Treatment Options for Anxiety? 

Are you someone who struggles with anxiety? If so, you are not alone. There are lots of people who struggle to deal with anxiety, and there are plenty of treatment options available. If you struggle with anxiety, one of the first things you need to remember is that you need to talk to a mental health professional. A mental health professional can take a look at your specific type of anxiety and customize a treatment option to meet your needs. Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can manage your anxiety. What are some of the key points you need to keep in mind if you are looking for anxiety treatment?

Therapy Is the Cornerstone of Treatment

First, understand that therapy is the cornerstone treatment option when it comes to anxiety. Therapy is important because it can help you understand why you suffer from anxiety. If you can get to the root cause of your issues, you might be able to develop a treatment plan to address them. If you are having trouble finding a therapist to help you manage anxiety, you should reach out to your primary care doctor. He or she might be able to provide you with a referral to a therapist in the area. The hardest thing about therapy is taking that first step. Once you get in a rhythm, therapy can dramatically help you improve your ability to manage anxiety.

Understand Abortive vs. Preventative Medication

Next, you must understand the difference between abortive and preventative medications. Both of these medications can be helpful in managing anxiety. As the name suggests, abortive medication can help you abort an acute panic attack. Some of the most common symptoms of a panic attack include rapid breathing, a high heart rate, sweating, and an impending feeling of doom. If you are developing a panic attack, short-term benzodiazepines might help you stop this in its tracks. Your doctor may prescribe you a short-term benzodiazepine in the event of a panic attack; however, you do not necessarily have to use them. A lot of people feel better just knowing they’re there.

On the other hand, you may need to take preventative medication as well. These medications are designed to prevent you from developing a panic attack. These are medications you may need to take every day. Many of these are long-term benzodiazepines; however, if you do not want to take this class of medication, there are other options available. What you need to do is talk to your mental health professional about options that can help you prevent panic attacks from taking place.

Build a Strong Support System

Furthermore, you need to build a strong support system. One of the biggest reasons why people develop anxiety is that they feel like they have to face their problems on their own. You need to find ways to build strong relationships with your family members and friends. That way, if you are feeling stressed, you have someone you can talk to. If you feel like you don’t have to face everything on your own, you might have an easier time managing symptoms of anxiety. It can be difficult to build a strong support system because you have to open up to others about your internal feelings. Therapy can help you overcome this challenge.

Give CBD a Try

Finally, you might want to consider getting CBD a try. CBD stands for cannabidiol, and a lot of people use it to manage mental health issues. It can also be helpful for managing anxiety. If you are interested in giving CBD a try, you may want to take a look at Weedmaps to learn more about some of the dispensaries in the area. Then, you can talk to a professional at one of the dispensaries and find a CBD product that might work well for you. Before you try CBD for the first time, you should keep your therapist in the loop. Let your mental health professional know that you are thinking about trying CBD for anxiety.

Find a Way To Treat Anxiety

In the end, there are lots of people who suffer from anxiety. Therefore, if you are dealing with anxiety, there are lots of people who can relate to what you are going through. Furthermore, there are mental health professionals who can help you manage anxiety. It is important for you to talk to others because you can build the skills you need to cope with symptoms of anxiety. That way, you may be able to leave prescription medications in the rearview mirror. Finally, there are other treatment options as well. For example, you may want to try CBD. There might be some local dispensaries in the area, so consider trying CBD to help you manage anxiety. This can help you improve your quality of life.

Gaming illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Fifteen Health Tips for Gamers

Gaming is a fun pastime, but it’ll only stay fun if you keep yourself healthy enough to enjoy it for years to come. Nourish your body properly and give it time away from screens to relax and repair. If you start taking excellent care of yourself, you may notice that your mood and energy levels improve, too

Gaming has become one of the most popular pastimes in the last few decades. The world contains around 3.24 billion self-proclaimed gamers, all people who take comfort in fictional worlds or pave their paths through a story. With gaming being so interactive and engaging, it can be hard to pull yourself away or take care of yourself as you need to. Try out these tips to keep yourself healthy through your long gaming sessions and beyond.

1. Take Breaks

When you’re gaming for multiple hours in a row, your body is bound to feel it. When you start to feel like you’re getting stiff or can’t remember the last time you stood up, take a break. Use your break time to stay away from technology, as tempting as it may be to check your phone. This practice gives your eyes a rest from straining against technology, and you can take the time you need for a bathroom break or rehydrate yourself.

2. Sit Up Straight

Gaming doesn’t always mean you have the best posture. You should watch your posture, especially when in front of electronic devices. When you angle your head the wrong way for hours at a time, you apply more pressure to your neck than necessary, rivaling the weight of a child. If you’re gaming on a couch, try to adjust your posture and sit up straight. If you play from a chair, make sure the one you’re using supports your body well.

3. Hydrate Adequately

Many gamers turn to energy drinks and other liquids laden with sugar to keep their energy levels high while gaming. While these drinks can give you a boost, they aren’t the greatest for your body and don’t give you much nourishment. Opt for water instead — you can always mix in flavor powder if you don’t like the taste of plain water.

Lots of people try to follow the eight cups of water a day rule, but how much water you need depends on several factors like your height, weight and activity level. If you’re concerned, talk to your doctor about the water requirements your body needs.

4. Take Care of Your Teeth

Your teeth are one of the most important parts of your body. If you don’t care for your oral hygiene, you might get toothaches or other preventable issues that could affect your body as a whole. Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay, but it can also affect the rest of your body by keeping you at risk for other diseases. You should aim to brush at least twice a day, and brush thoroughly, not just the spots you can see.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is your body’s time to relax. It’s best not to use any technology for a while before your bedtime so that you can transition easily into sleep. Set a “winding down” period where you can ensure that you unplug from your gaming setup and start preparing for bed.

You’ll want to aim for around seven or eight hours a night if you’re an adult and more than that if you’re a teenager. Getting enough sleep ensures that your body will function properly in the days ahead.

6. Snack on Wholesome Foods

Instead of snacking on processed foods while playing games, consider swapping them out with healthier options. Opt for an apple instead of potato chips if you’re searching for something with a crunch factor. You can even make chips by baking kale. Find a sugar-free substitute for your favorite candy — or if you need a dose of sugar, consider eating some naturally sweet fruit instead.

7. Eat a Balanced Diet

Even if you don’t change your snacking habits, you should consider eating balanced meals to offset the processed foods. Healthy foods can make you feel stronger and give you the proper energy you need for long gaming sessions.

To best safeguard your health, focus on eating lean meats and other proteins, fruits and vegetables. Since you aren’t very active while you’re gaming, you don’t need a ton of carbohydrates, but you shouldn’t cut them from your diet entirely. A balanced diet consists of all food groups in moderation, with healthier foods being more plentiful.

8. Find an Active Game

Gaming can take up a lot of time, so if you’re dedicated to getting in a few hours of games every night, you may not find yourself as active as you want. Consider picking up a game that requires you to be involved, such as “Just Dance,” which can get your whole body moving.

You also have the option to go for “Ring Fit Adventure,” a popular Nintendo Switch game that lets you progress through a fantasy world by keeping you active. Active games will help you feel good about yourself while also giving you the pride of accomplishing something.

9. Wear Blue Light Protection

Staring at a screen for hours on end can mess with your eyes and impair your vision. Consider focusing on something far away for around 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of gameplay. By following this 20-20-20 method, you can safeguard your eyes against some damage.

Another option is to wear blue light protection. Some special glasses, with or without prescription, can limit the amount of blue light rays that your eyes take in. If you’re planning to sit down for a more extended gaming session than usual, consider putting on a pair of these glasses to protect your eyes.

10. Improve Your Social Life

When you spend hours gaming, you’re away from your phone or other people who may want to talk to you. Instead of gaming alone, try to pull your loved ones into your favorite game with you. Whether you play co-op or competitive, you’ll have a fun time socializing with friends and family while introducing them to your interests.

Having a thriving social life could be linked to being healthier. When you have a great support system, you can feel more confident and more likely to accomplish your goals. Gaming with your loved ones might be an excellent stress relief.

11. Remember to Stretch

Reduce stiffness in your joints by stretching now and then. When you work at a desk, you’re supposed to take short breaks every hour or so. Why should it be any different when gaming? Giving yourself a break means allowing time for stretching.

Research some stretches for your hands and push in the direction you aren’t using them. For example, if you find your thumbs stiff from clamping down on the controller too long, you may choose to bend your thumbs back or rotate them to alleviate some of the soreness.

12. Stand Up

When you’re sitting for a long time, you open yourself to risks you may not have been aware of. Sedentary lifestyles can lead to more blood clots in your legs, leading to more complications or even death.

Make time to move during your gaming sessions, and stand up if you can. While it may be challenging to stand up and game with PC setups, you can easily stand up when playing on a console. Move around and pace a bit to get the blood flowing, especially if you’ve been sitting for a long time.

13. Care for Your Mental Health

Even your favorite game can take a toll on your mental health. If you find yourself becoming overly sensitive to the events that happen while you’re gaming — whether it’s the topics in the content or the frustration of PvP matches — it might be time to step away for a bit. Do something else to refresh your mind so you can come back to your game with a renewed mood.

14. Rest Your Eyes

If your eyes start to hurt while gaming, it should be time to take a break and rest them. Allow your eye muscles to relax by pausing your game and leaning back. Close your eyes and just rest for a few minutes, allowing your eyes to relax from any straining they had been doing. After a few minutes of letting your eyes rest, you can get right back to gaming while feeling fresh.

15. Start Today

The best thing you can do for your health is to start now. When you’ve already done the damage, making adjustments later on won’t help you prevent the adverse outcomes you could potentially face. You can choose to make changes one step at a time. Each step forward is a move toward a better and brighter future.

Get Your Head in the Game

Gaming is a fun pastime, but it’ll only stay fun if you keep yourself healthy enough to enjoy it for years to come. Nourish your body properly and give it time away from screens to relax and repair. If you start taking excellent care of yourself, you may notice that your mood and energy levels improve, too.