"I have proved by actual trial that a letter, that takes an hour to write, takes only about 3 minutes to read!"

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What is the purpose of this Blog?

 

The purpose of this Blog is to share information on physical and mental health.  Every post will include one of the following: (1) health tips, (2) a text or article to promote discussion, (3) thoughts that come to my mind, in my every day life, that may be useful to followers or readers.  I encourage you to leave your comments and please, do so with ethics and inspiration!

Nadjla

Friday
Dec252015

Happy Holidays 2015!

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Saturday
Dec062014

Mental Health Access: What is its path in the US?

I have been interested in access to mental health care and resources for a fairly amount of time. Although it appears that access has gradually improved in various regions of the world, there are still a significant amount of countries, and states in the US, that do not provide the necessary access to mental health care. 



If you are interested in the topic, please, read the report from Mental Health America and provide your own contributions to the debate ... if you feel like...





New Report Ranks States’ Mental Health Status and Access to Care | Mental Health America



It is good to see a recent report on the topic and I wish much more are to come.


Tuesday
Feb122013

DISCUSSION #3: ARE YOU UP TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH?

I am a long-run advocate for mental health promotion, policies to fight stigma and to increase access to effective mental health services. This is a beautiful article posted today at The Seattle Times:

Op-ed: Changing how we talk about mental illness | Opinion | The Seattle Times

This article is especially beautiful because bring the topic in the perspective of a person that uses mental health services.  The voice of those who uses mental health services is as important as the voice of specialists and policy makers.  They are as much stakeholders as any others.  Moreover, anyone may fall into a situation in which will experience some mental illness.  For instance and in the past decades, statistics (particularly based on research from the World Health Organization) have shown that about 25% of the world population suffers from some kind of mental illness.  Mental health is part of health and it will not hurt to have more information on it.  Let's remember the unfortunate time when cancer or AIDS, for example, carried stigma: we have improved a lot after overcoming social barriers, investing on research, producing knowledge, and offering more efficient treatments. Let's open our minds to mental health and launch a time in which we will have plenty of dialogue and cooperative attitudes. 

Hope to see more of this kind of article in a short period, which, I am sure, will contribute to a better mental health system.  As a personal contribution, I invite the reader to visit my website and access my last publication "Understanding Mental Health Policies: How do Stakeholders Address the Implementation Gap?" (Readers may access this publication in this website, in Articles). This publication is my master thesis and will probably not be as beautiful and short as the article written by Alan Taylor! But, from my thesis, based on research in Brazil, in 2008, and more specifically discussing how stigma may impact psychosocial rehabilitation, I would like to reinstate "... stigma and prejudice negatively impact social and political support and therefore play an important role in shaping how societal responses contribute to implementation gaps in psychosocial policies."

Let's all make a difference!

Tuesday
Jan082013

Tip #2: MOVE YOUR BODY AND MIND!

© Photographer Srpehrson | Agency: Dreamstime.com


It is impressive how much of the media is talking about keeping fit or having new health resolutions for 2013.  The trend started in mid-December and is still rolling.  Personally, I feel glad that this is the focus because it is indeed a very healthy one!

Contributing to this trend and as a hard believer that exercising highly contributes to minimize symptoms of depression and anxiety, I would like to bring some tips to help you to keep fit or start new exercising habits: 

1. Wake up early and enjoy the day! If you are not a morning person, try to wake up 30 minutes earlier every three days until having your body adapted to a schedule that will help you. Waking up early and sleeping 8 hours/night helps to have more energy during your day and you will have a day long enough for all your shores.

2. Pick a time to exercise that best fits your personality and what would be your typical day. Try to stick to your exercise schedule and do your best to not skip more than one day planned in your schedule. 

3. Practice the kind(s) of exercises or physical activity that best fits your personality and needs. Do not pick activities in which you feel bored.

4. Help your body to keep good endorphins level and enjoy the pleasure! Exercise at least 3 times a week for 40 minutes.

5. If you are generally peer or group motivated, participate in group fitnees classes or activities such as jogging, hiking, and biking clubs. 

6. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Always have a glass or bottle of water close to you. 

7. Plan health meals and avoid drinking alcohol more than 2 times a week. At these times, drink in moderation.

8. Quit smoking and take a look in this article:  http://www.everydayhealth.com/stop-smoking/quit-smoking-lower-your-anxiety-4104.aspx. Quitting smoking also helps you to keep a good performance during a physical activity.

9. Give yourself a hug every time you finish exercising and feel the energy and the pleasure that flow in your body! Feel how your mind is alert and in peace!

To finish, remember that exercising or engaging in any kind of physical activity contributes to boost your self-esteem and confidence! Tools you will carry anywhere, anytime! 

Friday
Sep142012

DISCUSSION #2: LET’S NOT MIX ORANGES AND APPLES

Delicious meal at the Pink Door, Seattle - WA, in last Spring

During the last couple weeks the organic x non-organic debate were all over the news.  Unfortunately, in my point of view, the arguments have not been well framed. 

Says the news that a study from Stanford University proves that organic food is not more nutritional than others.  Wow, really? I have never thought this was the point.... Let’s not mix oranges and apples; an apple will always be an apple! Or, let me rephrase it: the nutritional value of a Red Delicious apple will always be the same, no matter if it is organic or not. Let’s not forget that this is true also for oranges... and... for all other kinds of food.

People are choosing organic not because of a boost on nutritional value.  What differs in this choice is the amount of pesticide and other artificial adds that may be present in non-organic food. This is THE point. Interestingly, the news says that the study also found a difference in pesticides, but apparently no one is talking about this. I don’t know who missed THE  point, if the study or the news, and I sincerely say that because I did not read the study yet. I am curious about it though.

I would like to see more research on what are the effects of long term exposure to pesticides.  How significant (statistically significant; quality of life significant; and whatever other significant value we may find). I personally know few people that are fighting disorders caused to their exposure to pesticides. These are people that had a significant decrease of quality of life and now, are disable.

For me, we need to start talking about apples. And oranges. Make your choice, and do it thinking not only about what you want now, but what do you want in your future. Think about the kids from today and the kids from tomorrow.

 

Life is made of choices. Your choices lead to who you are.

LOVE YOUR CHOICES, and do it consciously.