How Teen Mental Health is Affected by What They Watch and Read on The News

Image of glasses, newspaper

Do you remember the movie Back to the Future that was popular in the ‘80’s?

This iconic film takes us on a journey with Marty McFly as he travels back in time and struggles to get back to 1985 where he belongs. This story is science fiction, but lately many of us are secretly questioning if we are revisiting the past. All we have to do is turn on the news or read the headlines to make us question this possibility.

Today, we are greeted with stories about Russia, North Korea, Nazi’s, calls for impeachment, civil rights, and more. Whether it is a viral social media post or a clip on the local morning show, many of us feel like we are bombarded with negativity and issues that were buried in the history books. As we stumble across fake news, mudslinging politicians, tumultuous world events, terrorism, and natural disasters, it is only normal to question how this is affecting our children’s mental health.

The Role News Media Plays in Teen Mental Health

In a recent research study, nearly two-thirds of our youngest teens have admitted to feeling anxious, fear, grief, or depressed after exposure to today’s news. Alone, this statistic is heartbreaking. After all, we ultimately want to provide a safe environment for our kids. This finding can lead us to consider banning media in our homes as a last ditch effort to protect our kids from all the negativity and fears in today’s news.

However, we need to consider the same study also unearthed 70 percent of teens also felt smarter after viewing, reading, or listening to the news. This startling fact is important because even though the world can be frightening, the news provides them valuable opportunities to comprehend world events and be part of a bigger picture. The news fosters awareness, which gives our children opportunities to develop empathy and compassion.

5 Essential Steps to Make the News Less Frightening

It’s no secret that we want to give our kids the tools needed to succeed in society and life- not hold them back. However, this is easier said than done in today’s world. To help make the news less frightening and more empowering, scroll through the following tips:

Be involved and informed. The study from above also mentioned that our kids are more likely to trust or believe news told from a member of their family. It is essential we begin an ongoing conversation about current events and social media so we know our boys and girls are getting correct information. This will help combat fear and misinformation while ensuring our children are kept in the loop.

Make teens feel safe. Today’s news headlines and stories often make many of us anxious and fearful- and we are adults. Now, imagine filtering today’s news through the eyes of a child. We can help reduce fear and anxiety by letting our kids know they are able to discuss their beliefs, thoughts, questions, and feelings. Even though we might disagree with our child, we need to provide a safe environment at home. Try to avoid name calling, fear mongering, blaming, and yelling. We can also set limits for digital devices and create technology free zones in our homes to reduce the media’s influence.

Boy watching TV

Take advantage of news outlets and media created for youth. We can bypass a lot of negative and inappropriate content, by finding reliable news geared for kids and teens.

Teach ways to distinguish “fake” news from the real deal. Fake news is a hot topic, especially in the world of politics, but there is some truth behind all the claims. As social media and a host of new media outlets have become mainstream, we see a lot of fake news in typical “click bait” articles and videos. While this type of news is great for sharing on social media, it can be difficult at times to know if the reporting is accurate or created with the sole intention of stirring fears. We need to make sure our kids know how to find reliable news sources, fact check, and question the reporting.

Don’t over explain topics. We know our kids want to be informed, however, it’s common for the news media to go above a child’s head with complex terminology and concepts. Our children might struggle to comprehend or understand the topics. Keep explanations simple and offer a basic overview of the subject. If a teen has questions, feel free to go into more detail if asked or as needed.

How is your teen’s mental health affected by today’s news?

5 Tips on How to Avoid Speading Pink Eye

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of TRP. All opinions are entirely my own. 

PinkEye Relief

As the kids head back to school a lot of exciting things are happening! They are learning and making new friends, developing new interests and of course, picking up all kinds of germs which lead to illnesses like the flu, colds and pink eye to name a few.

Pink Eye sounds scary, but when you spend time in close quarters with others, it happens. There are a number of causes of pink eye and they can be allergy, virus or bacteria related. Luckily, pink eye may happen but it can be treated with ease.

What is pink eye?

Pink eyes may be due to inflammation o the outermost layer of the eye, although a number of conditions can make the eye look pink or red. A physician’s counsel should be sought in order to rule out any serious conditions. Pink eye can also occur in adults, but most often occurs in children, who are more vulnerable.

As a school employee and a mom, I keep Pink Eye Relief in my first aid kit. I love that it is good for all ages and it has no known side effects. It simply provides fast and efficient relief for itchy pink eyes! With so many forms and causes of pink eye, it makes sense to be prepared, because you never know when it may pop up this school season.

PinkEye Relief
What is PinkEye Relief®?

PinkEye Relief is the only homeopathic eye drop with five, 100% natural active ingredients formulated to relieve your pink eye symptoms.

PinkEye Relief works fast to help your eyes clear up and find soothing relief. It gets right to work combating symptoms of the pink eye such as Redness, Watering, Burning sensations, Swelling, Sensations of Grittiness and Overnight Crusting.

It’s available at major retailers like Walmart, Target, and CVS to name a few. I love that it is sulfate free and gentle on irritated eyes. It has no known side effects, interactions with other medications or contraindications.  I love that it is easy to use and easy to find! Perfect for ages 2 and up.

PinkEye Relief® is the winner of the 2017 Women’s Choice Award for America’s most recommended Pink Eye Care, that was voted for by thousands of women across America. PinkEye Relief® is the only pink eye product you can trust to be both safe and effective.

PinkEye Relief Award

With school in session and all of the activities, there are to partake in, you never know when pink eye will happen. Keeping an easy to squeeze bottle of Pink Eye Relief in your bag or first aid kit ensures that when irritation hits your family, you can give them a squirt and find start soothing their eyes!

Have your kids ever had pink eye? It can be alarming to see their eyes so red. How did you offer relief to your kids? I remember having it as a kid and getting a warm wet washcloth to hold me over until I could see the doctor. It is a great thing that now you can start finding relief before a trip to the doctor!

5 Tips on how to avoid spreading Pink Eye

  1. Keep hands washed, often
  2. Avoid rubbing the eye area
  3. Change Pillow cases frequently
  4. Wash towels and wash cloths as needed.
  5. Keep a bottle or two of PinkEye Relief on hand.

As you stock up your first aid and medical supplies for the cold and flu season will you add a bottle of Pink Eye Relief to your shopping list?

Want to learn more about Pink Eye? Visit PinkEye Relief’s website here.

Participate for a chance to win a backpack full of school supplies and the best TRP products here→

Disclosure: Life of a Southern Mom received compensation and/or a sample for this publication. All thoughts and opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. This blog is not responsible for awarding prize to winner.

10 Ways to Boost Women’s Overall Health and Fitness

Womens health and fitness

As a woman, it is imperative to look and feel your best. There are different ways in which you can boost your health, maintaining an excellent level of fitness at the same time. One of the most important things to remember is that age is just a number; you should never give up on certain activities, just because you are older. You can continue being active for as long as you want, enjoying an excellent state of health and impressing others with how fit you are. Keep on reading and discover unique ways to boost both your health and fitness level.

#1 Vary your exercise routine

Going through the same exercise routine every day, you might feel more tempted to quit and go back to old habits. If you want to stay motivated, it is recommended to vary your exercise routine. In general, it is a good idea to change your routine every two weeks. This will take the boredom out of the picture, allowing you to stay fit and interested in working out. Moreover, as you will try different workouts, you will work on various muscle groups and achieve better results.

#2 Work out with a friend

When it comes to staying motivated, a friend can be just the answer you were looking for. Studies have demonstrated that people feel more motivated to go through a workout routine when they have a friend engaged in the same activities. Moreover, by working out with a friend, you will burn more calories, which is an added benefit to take into consideration. A friend can help you push harder, thus achieving your objectives in a shorter period of time.

Ways to Boost Women’s Overall Health

#3 Outdoor activities

While going to the gym is great, it should not represent the only opportunity for physical exercise. It has been demonstrated that outdoor physical activities, such as jogging, running or hiking, can help you burn quite a lot of calories. Apart from that, by being in the fresh air for a longer period, you will fight the symptoms of depression. Outdoor activities stimulate the release of happiness hormones at the level of the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, helping you keep depression at a safe distance.

#4 Meditation

Living in the age of technology, we have become busier than it is necessary. The disease of being busy has affected both our physical and mental health, promoting a sedentary lifestyle at the same time. Well, if you are looking to make a change for the better, you should consider meditation. You can meditate in the morning, clearing your mind and letting go of all worries. As you will eliminate stress from your life, you will also enjoy a better state of health.

#5 Visualization

Visualization is an interesting technique to try out, one that you can use to achieve your training and health goals. All you have to do is set some time aside and use it to visualize yourself achieving the desired goals. Visualization helps you see the desired outcome, thus allowing you to feel more motivated and less tempted to quit. Visualization serves the subconscious directly, allowing you to move in the desired direction.

#6 Natural remedies

If you are going through “the change, ” and you are dealing with menopause hot flashes, you should consider using natural remedies. These can help you re-establish a healthy hormonal balance and feel better in an instant. Among the most recommended natural remedies that you can resort to, there are black cohosh, dong quai, red clover, kava, ginseng and evening primrose oil. As always, you should talk to your doctor before taking any natural remedies for menopause.

#7 Healthy diet

While this might sound like the obvious thing to say, a healthy diet can help you stay healthy and fit at the same time. For this reason, you should say goodbye to processed and refined foods, sugary drinks and junk/fast food. Instead, your diet should include as many fresh fruits and vegetables as it is possible. This will provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, preventing the appearance of certain chronic conditions.

#8 Sleep

If you are looking to stay healthy, you need to pay attention to both sleep quality and quantity. To maintain an excellent state of health and avoid weight gain, it is recommended that we sleep at least 7-8 hours per night. About sleep hygiene, it is advisable to avoid looking into bright screens before going to bed. You should also avoid heavy meals, alcohol, and smoking before sleep, as all of these things can have a negative impact, keeping you up at night.

#9 Physical therapy

After a certain age, we begin to suffer from certain age-related conditions, such as arthritis. When seeking out information about arthritis, you will see that physical therapy is one of the most recommended forms of treatment. This is because physical therapy can help you deal with the symptoms of arthritis efficiently. After a brief assessment, the physical therapist can recommend a program of exercises; these will help you eliminate pain, inflammation, and redness. Moreover, by performing these exercises on a regular basis, you will increase your overall range of motion.

#10 Less technology

While technology has improved our lives tremendously, this does mean we should spend all of our time connected. People who use technological devices with an increased frequency suffer from supra-stimulation; their nervous system is thrown out of balance, this having a negative influence on the quality of sleep, a general state of health and weight. Spend less time using technology and go outside; interact with people and re-discover what socialization is all about.

These are some of the best ways in which you can ensure an excellent state of health for as long as it is possible. Once you are healthy, it will be easier to maintain a good level of fitness and impress everyone with your appearance. Just make sure you stay motivated and always work towards achieving your goals.


Author Bio:

Sophie Addison is a popular blogger and skincare expert. She is very passionate about writing on skin care and beauty. She has posted articles on tips for fine lines and wrinkles, joint pain treatment, weight loss and fitness news. Apart from work she likes gardening and listening music. You can also contact her on Facebook, and Pinterest.

6 Tricks to Stop You From Constantly Fidgeting

constant fidgeting

Fidgety children are usually more energetic and creative. Sometimes, hyperactivity disorders such as ADHD can also lead to fidgeting. According to pediatric occupational therapists, fidgety children tend to experience low self-esteem and have a negative self-image.

Moreover, fidgeting excessively can make you look nervous and rude in professional and social life. At worse, it can have unwanted side effects, such as if you constantly click a pen during an interview, the interviewer would perceive this activity as lack of confidence.

Constant fidgeting also portrays you as being absent-minded, even if you are entirely focused on the subject or topic.

What is the Need to Fidget?

The constant urge to move leads to fidgeting. What is this urge? Let us explain!

Many people adopt different kinds of fidgeting habits such as nail biting, shaking a leg, revolving chairs and pulling on hair. Initially, these fidgeting habits can distract you from being nervous, confused or lacking confidence. Gradually, your body adapts to the positive effect of fidgeting, ultimately leading to an unwanted and unintentional habit of fidgeting.

fidget spinner

Most often, the craving is so strong that you cannot resist it. The only way to get rid of the habit of fidgeting is to divert your focus towards another habit which you can quit easily. The concept of fidget spinners and toys is based on this theory.

The following are six essential tricks to stop you from fidgeting constantly.

Relax Yourself

We know it is easier said than done, but you need to relax and calm your nerves. Yoga and meditation are effective exercises for increasing balance and coordination in your body. Meditation increases your positive energy and makes you more productive and creative. It increases your self-control and boosts the production of ‘happy’ hormones – oxytocin and serotonin.

Regular practice of yoga and meditation will bring positive results in your body. Meanwhile, seek assistance from yogic breathing exercises. Known as Pranayama exercises, these deep breathing exercises can relax your nerves and make you more focused instantly.

Exercise More

Any kind of cardio exercises such as running, jogging and swimming improves the coordination of your mind and body. People with hyperactivity problems can invest their energy into productive activities such as healthy sports.

Get a Fidget Cube

Fidget cubes are a small, six-sided tool to distract your mind from being nervous. As mentioned earlier, fidgeting can be controlled by replacing your nervous habit with another distraction and then quitting the distraction. A fidget cube serves this purpose effectively.

fidget cube

On each side of the cube, small tools in different shapes and sizes are attached including an on/off turning button, a joystick, and others. These cubes are small in size so that you can keep them in your pocket, use as a key ring, or keep at the office desk. No matter where you are, you can use a fidget cube to distract yourself from harmful fidgeting habits. You can look here to see 5 of the best fidget cubes available to buy.

Learn Stress Management Techniques

For managing extreme stress, you may need to visit a psychiatrist. However, everyday stress can be easily managed at home with the following techniques.

  • Make it your habit to write down everything that has made you stressful throughout the day.
  • Practice doodling.
  • Learn to smile more. Say cheese!
  • Add a few drops of an essential oil in your bathing water.
  • Massage your feet with an essential oil, preferably lavender oil. Also, pour a few drops of lavender oil on your hand and gently apply it on your forehead with fingertips before bedtime.
  • Adopt a warming up routine. This includes a gentle facial massage with a cleanser, 5-minutes of stretching, 5-minutes of deep breathing and 10-minutes of any kind of exercise.

Reduce Refined Sugar and Caffeine Intake

Caffeine, sugar, and alcohol are common stimulants of stress and anxiety. When you become stressed or nervous, you become more addicted to fidgeting and other such nervous habits.You can replace caffeine with herbal tea. Chamomile tea and chrysanthemum tea are effective for managing everyday stress and anxiety.You can replace refined sugar with natural sugars such as organic honey, maple syrup, and fruit sugars.

Alter Your Bedtime Routine

Avoid drinking coffee or alcohol before going to bed. Stop eating anything at least three hours before your bedtime, and do not become involved in any activity that may keep you up for a long time. Practice visualizing exercises right before sleeping. For this, close your eyes and think about everything in your life optimistically. Visualize yourself and people associated with you in a good way.

Engage in a healthy physical activity if you fidget due to hyperactivity. Socialize more, take adequate sleep and learn to take action instead of only making plans. This will help reduce restlessness and stop you from constantly fidgeting.

What to Do Once Your Child Has Been Diagnosed with Asthma

child asthma

Every parent wants the best for their child, especially when it comes to their health. But what happens when your child is diagnosed with a health issue? Parents and kids can find it a rough go at first as they learn what this means to them, their daily life, and their future.

If your child has been diagnosed with asthma, it’s normal to feel shocked, sadness, and anger that they now have a health issue they need to deal with. Before getting too caught up in the emotions and stress, here’s a look at the basics of asthma, and what to do if your child has been diagnosed with it.

What is Asthma?

While the diagnosis of asthma may have come as a shock to you, the fact is that’s about seven million children in the United States suffer from it. While any person of any age can develop asthma, it usually begins in childhood. Asthma is described as a chronic lung disease that actually narrows the person’s airways, which can make it hard to breathe.

Typical signs of asthma include a wheezing sound when the person is breathing, a shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. The coughing tends to flare up in the morning and at night in most sufferers. A person can suffer from a severe form of asthma or a mild form, and it can change over the years. While there is no cure for asthma, sometimes it can go away on its own.

What Treatment is Available?

Even though this is no cure for asthma, there are a number of available that act as excellent treatment options. These medications include such popular options as Advair, Atrovent, Brethine, Flovent, and plenty more. Your doctor will work with you to find the best treatment for your child. Treatment will depend on the severity of the asthma, your child’s triggers, their health, and other factors.

What is an Asthma Flare-Up?

Even though asthma is a chronic condition, it does have what is called flare-ups. This means it is worse at certain times. Flare-ups are typically brought on by a trigger which can be something such as illness (a respiratory infection), allergies, exercise, etc. During a flare-up, the symptoms will be much worse, and your child may need to take their medication in order to help open their airways.

During these flare-ups, the inflammation in their lungs gets much worse. Therefore it becomes much harder to get air in. A flare up should be taken seriously and may even require emergency medical attention.

What Can You Do to Help Your Child?

Besides making sure they get their medication when needed, there are some things you can do around the home to lessen the odds of an asthma flare-up. Ideally, you want to eliminate all the triggers in the home. Keeping allergens at bay is a big thing, which means regular dusting, vacuuming, and washing. Get rid of irritants such as perfumes, hair spray, and room sprays. Pets can also act as triggers due to their dander.

While it’s never ideal to have a child diagnosed with a chronic health issue, learning all you can about asthma will certainly help make you and your child feel more comfortable and prepared.


Loving Tips to Promote Senior Health and Physical Activity

From encouraging low-impact exercises to making physical activity a family affair, these are the best ways to keep your aging loved ones in good physical health.

Senior health is important. Sometimes, it’s hard for younger generations to understand all of the complications and challenges that go along with staying fit throughout advanced years. Yet, as children or grandchildren of the seniors in your life, you can help to promote healthy, physical activity. From encouraging low-impact exercises to making physical activity a family affair, these are the best ways to keep your aging loved ones in good physical health. 

Get the Family Involved 

Physical activity doesn’t always have to feel like exercise. Consider making physical activity a part of your loved one’s daily, or weekly routine. Get the entire family involved. A simple walk around the neighborhood or an afternoon at the park can do the trick. Even a jaunt around the city zoo can be a good way to keep in shape and works as a simultaneous field trip with the family.

Encourage Low-Impact Activities 

Healthy joints are imperative to senior health. However, some activities can wreak havoc and cause pain in the joints. There are a variety of low impact senior friendly exercises that can keep the seniors in your life fit and healthy. 

Swimming is considered a no-impact exercise, as the buoyancy of the water counteracts gravity. This activity is great for socializing in groups and it is a fun way to exercise.  Yoga, for those of senior age, is also considered a low-impact exercise and can promote flexibility. Some studios offer senior-friendly yoga classes.

Aerobic exercise, like walking, is great for overall body conditioning and it’s gentle on the back.

Suggest Fitness Trackers

Fitness trackers are great for people of all ages. GreatCall specializes in some of the best fitness trackers for seniors. The Lively Wearable can be worn as a watch or on a lanyard around the neck during daily activities. The tracker monitors step count and offer daily brain challenges to keep the mind sharp. The senior fitness tracker also has built-in urgent response feature that can signal that help is needed. Plus, there is a non-emergency feature, so you can rest assured knowing that you can keep an eye on Mom and Dad during physical activity.

From encouraging low-impact exercises to making physical activity a family affair, these are the best ways to keep your aging loved ones in good physical health.

Recommend a Trainer 

Getting in shape as a senior can be difficult. If your parent or grandparent is recovering from an injury or has just lost the motivation to keep active on their own, consider recommending a trainer. There are specialists that work with seniors that provide senior-friendly activities, whether it’s flexibility exercises or gentle movements. These trained professionals know just what activities and exercises are best suited to the senior in your life. 

Gamify Fitness

Video games aren’t just for the younger generations anymore. Interactive gaming like Wii can keep seniors mentally stimulated and provide a gentle workout, too. The games can be played in the comfort of their own home, all while encouraging play, interaction, and physical fitness. Plus, games can be the bonding connection between younger generations and seniors, making it a family-friendly activity that everyone can partake in.

Aging is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be something that your loved one dreads. Keep these tips in mind to help promote health and physical activity for a senior in your life. 

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