Ecobricks are your simple solution for plastic.

Originally Published on ecobricks.org

An Ecobrick is a plastic bottle packed to a set density with used, clean and dry plastic to achieve a building block that can be used over and over again. Ecobricks can also be packed with other non-biological un-recyclables that, uncontained, are toxic to the environment (i.e. styrofoam, wires, small batteries, etc.).  Ecobricks are used to make modular furniture, garden spaces, walls and even full-scale buildings.  Ecobricks are an exciting way that individuals, communities, and companies can start their immediate transition from plastic towards ever greener harmony with the Earth’s cycles.

Ecobricks are a stepping stone out of the old paradigm of ‘waste’ and ‘trash’.  Ecobricking gives value to what was once value-less.  Ecobricks are designed to leverage the longevity and durability of plastic, to create an indefinitely reusable, cradle to cradle, building block.  They are made by cleaning, drying and then packing plastic into a PET drinking bottle. This enables plastic to be kept out of the environment, and out of the ineffective industrial recycling system. Once packed solid (with a minimum density of 0.33g/ml) ecobricks can be used to build green spaces for our community, furniture for our homes, and many other practical applications.

This site and our Ecobrick Guides have been crafted to help you get started ecobricking, to assist the training others to ecobrick, and to establish best practices for the making and application of ecobricks.  Our goal is to empower you and your community with the know-how to make ecobricks and build with them.  Our GEA resources are the result of years of research, experimentation and trial and error around the world through the Global Ecobrick Alliance.

 

Learn More

A Dancer’s Journey

Valerie Estrella was raised in Stockton, California but her parents called her by her middle name which is Georgianna. They called her Georgi for short. She was born in 1967 in the Summer of Love or actually Fall of Love. Her first generation Mexican American Father was a musician and her Mother was a nurse. The Apple didn’t fall far from the tree because Valerie definitely has a passion for music and as a health coach for healing. 


John, Valerie’s father in 1968. He was a music teacher for Stockton Unified for over 30 years and a local musician. Valerie credits her father for having music in the house. Everything from classical, jazz, disco, funk and Mariachi. Thanks for loving music.

Valerie was the youngest of four children. She has three older brothers. When Valerie was born, the Dr. lifted her by her legs to show Leonora her baby girl. That’s when Leonora exclaimed, “Look at those legs, she’s going to be a dancer.”

Valerie’s mom Leonora was the first in her family to graduate from College. She went to school while working full time. She was a nurse over 40 plus years. Leonora supported all of her children in their pursuit of music and art. She’s a talented artist too.

When Valerie celebrated her 8th birthday, her mother gave her a black leotard with pink tights and Georgi just died. Her gut instinct was “NO I DON’T WANT TO DO IT.” Leonora was gentle and said let’s just try it and see how you like it. She didn’t have a choice so she went. Turns out she had a blast and fell in love with dancing. She studied with Judy Ratto at Judy’s Dance Studio in Stockton, CA. She progressed to point shoes within a year as she had very strong ankles and feet. After a little while she started to take tap and jazz. She enjoyed it and danced consistently for 5 years.

Valerie at 9 years old on Point.

When she was 13 she decided she was too cool to dance. So she did what parents dread and she quit. Although she took a break from dancing in a dance studio, in high school she was a Song Leader at Del Mar High School in San Jose. Valerie transferred schools her Junion year and decided to go by her first name which was Valerie because Georgi was too much of a nick name. When you transfer schools your Junior year of high school you kind of want to blend in. She got tired of having to explain why she had a boys name. Valerie as she was now known was able to choreograph some of their dances at Del Mar High School in San Jose and had fun. She was able to dance at the 49ers HalfTime show with about 500 other teenagers who went to the United Spirit Association Camp. It was a routine to Footloose by Kenny Loggins in 1984. Joe Montana was the best!!

In college Valerie studied ballet at San Joaquin Delta College with Dorothy Percival. Dorothy was really good with technique as she carried a little stick and wasn’t afraid to use it. Just that little extra bit to get you set up correctly. This is where Valerie became really flexible. She graduated with her Associate of Arts Degree in General Education in 1988. She finally decided she needed to pick a career. She really wanted to be independent so she ended up majoring in Criminal Justice at California State University Sacramento. She graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice.

After she had been working for about 10 years for the State of California she really was experiencing pain through her back, severe insomnia, depression and anxiety. She had just gone through a stressful divorce and had relocated from Southern Central California to Northern California. Valerie knew that yoga would be her cure for back pain.

She started taking yoga at her local gym and one day she heard an ad on the radio about becoming a Yoga Instructor. Her eldest brother, Christopher had recently passed away. He was very much into Eastern philosophy and studied meditation and energy. She decided to become a yoga teacher in honor of her brother. In 2008 she completed her Ashtanga yoga 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certification with Michelle Paisley Reed. Michelle went on to become a best selling author. This is where Valerie first heard the concept of being able to manifest. Valerie was really happy that she had learned so many different ways to stretch. And in 2009 she started teaching at Millennium Sports Club in the North SF Bay of California.

John Christopher, Valerie’s eldest brother was instrumental in Valerie becoming a Yoga Instructor. Chris as he was known was a drummer and had very strong arms. You might not be able to tell but he had a super strong grip strength and was into advanced meditations when it wasn’t cool in the 70’s. Chris is so loved and will be forever honored as a true Earth Angel.

Valerie became absorbed in the gym culture which involved maintaining certifications, getting new training and continuing to get stronger and develop herself. The Millennium provided her with opportunities to get excellent training in Les Mills Body Flow, Les Mills CX Worx, Zumba and U-Jam Fitness.

Valerie in 2012 with Solano County Zumba Instructors. Look for the Legs and you’ll find Val

Zumba is where Valerie really got the confidence to dance in front of people. She also participated in many Zumbathons for Party in Pink, ToyAthons and many other fund raisers. Valerie was having so much fun because she was dancing and helping the community.

Look at the lovelies from Solano County Viva Zumba

In 2012 Valerie was still experiencing quite a bit of stress from work and was exhausted, moody and just feeling overall no good. So she went to a work shop called Growing Wild in Santa Cruz with Joy Smith who was also a Zumba Trainer and a health Coach. Joy encouraged participants to become a health Coach. It was dancing and juicing and clean eating for 3 days and after doing that Valerie began to feel better and decided that she needed to learn as much as she could about healthy eating. So she decided to become a health Coach in 2013 through Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

Organic Greens are great just wash them really good.

In 2015 Valerie began to study voice with Alina Adams. It was divine intervention that Valerie began to study voice. It is because Valerie had paid for her daughter to have voice lessons who did not want to do it anymore. So Valerie started to take lessons and she really started to enjoy it. Alina really worked with Valerie. Zumba gave her the courage to get in front of the crowd. She decided to Sing Like Nobody is Watching You can watch her sing here.

Valerie performs Shatter Me at a local recital

After a few years the Millennium, it was bought out by In Shape SportsClub. Well it was beneficial because the Millennium was suffering from the 2008 recession and was getting ready to shut their doors, it started to feel like it was work. Logging into websites for training, too many small changes pushed her over the edge and she decided she didn’t want to deal with all of these changes. She was working a stressful job and she was at the end of her career. She had to work until October 2017 and it was just getting to be too much. So she decided to resign from teaching.

After she resigned from teaching she created EnlightenYourLives.Com as she knew that she had so much information to share with the world and felt that a Blog would be the best way to share it with the world. She could influence more people on a global basis than taking a few clients here or there. She also wanted to focus on her own dancing and began to study with Angeline Lucia of Dio Amore Dance and Fitness. Angeline has a large background in dance. Not only is she a fantastic dancer but she’s an excellent instructor. Valerie studied, Ballet, Tap, Salsa, Hustle and too many to list. (All you have to do is go to one of her dance socials and you are doing Waltz, Fox Trot, Tango, Salsa, Bachata and so on and so on and so on. Angeline was instrumental in getting Valerie prepared for a performance at her retirement party in October 2017.

Valerie definitely decided that she was going to continue to dance and that’s what she has done. She stopped taking dance lessons because it was time for her to dance to her own beat. To take everything she has learned through dance, yoga and fitness and begin to integrate it into what works for her. She really started to have fun with improvisational dance. You can catch up with her on her Youtube channel.

She’s having fun dancing to whatever her heart desires. Ballet, tap belly dancing. She’s exploring and enjoying her freedom and Belly Dancing is in the air for 2019. In March 2019, Valerie will perform at a restaurant in the SF Bay Area. Here’s wishing her much success in 2019 and beyond.

Mother and daughter in 2017 at Valerie’s Birthday Party. Special thanks to the mom who inspired dance in her child even when the child didn’t want it. XOXO

BRING BACK THE MERRY-GO-ROUND: It is a therapeutic tool

Originally Published on balancedandbarefoot.com

BRING BACK THE MERRY-GO-ROUND It is a therapeutic tool
Playgrounds have drastically changed over the years and it is affecting child development in ways that would surprise most seasoned professionals. Due to increasing liability and safety concerns over the years, we’ve replaced the metal playground equipment that towered over us as young children with brightly-colored plastic chaos.

We’ve taken away merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters. Swing spans have decreased and slides and climbing structures are surprisingly close to the ground. Kids appear to master the equipment at a young age. When the equipment no longer presents an age-appropriate challenge for the children, they quickly become bored and indifferent to the plastic play pieces.

However, this problem goes even deeper than simply offering an appropriate level of challenge and letting children take risks. Changing the playground equipment actually affects children on a neurological level. Think about it. It really goes back to your basic physics classes. If you shorten the length of swings and slides, children are naturally going to be receiving less sensory input; specifically what we pediatric occupational therapists like to call vestibular (balance) input.

Children need rapid, changing, and accelerating movement on a regular basis. They need to swing high up into the air, they need to sled down large hills, they need to spin in circles just for fun, and even hang upside down from tree limbs. These types of movements are very therapeutic to the growing child and supports attention and school-readiness. It is when children’s movement is restricted or limited that we start to see problems in sensory integration, body awareness, self-regulation, and simply focusing in the classroom.

Not only are children not moving enough throughout the day, we’ve gone and changed a good thing: their playground equipment. Believe it or not, the metal playground equipment of the 1960s and 1970s were actually highly therapeutic to children. One great example is the merry-go-round.

As a child, I loved the merry-go-round! It was such a thrill. I remember holding on to the metal posts as we ran around and around, finally jumping onto the merry-go-round at the last second, hanging on for “dear life” as we experienced the thrill and funny sensation only the merry-go-round could provide. As a therapist, I believe the merry-go-round is one of the most powerful therapeutic pieces of playground equipment ever invented.

Pediatric occupational therapists use special equipment and swings to create a centrifugal force during treatment sessions very similar to what a child would experience if they were to ride a merry-go-round. We do this to maximize activation to the vestibular complex found in the inner ear, to help improve self-regulation and sustained attention to task in children. This is a very powerful tool, and if done on a regular basis, would strengthen that child’s vestibular (balance) system and improve their attention span over time.

I’m constantly hearing from teachers that attention in the classroom is problem. One teacher told me that on average, eight out of her twenty-two children have trouble with attention on a good day. Veteran teachers are also complaining that kids are falling out of their seats at school, running into walls, and are overall clumsier than they were thirty years ago.

In the days when playground equipment actually provided a thrill and a challenge, children were getting powerful sensory input on a regular basis. Kids were able to focus for longer periods of time and had better strength and stamina. You have to wonder if taking away equipment like the merry-go-round was really a good idea.

Merry-go-rounds, teeter-totters, tall swings, and slides all help children establish strong balance systems. They give us our “center” and allow us to move through space safely. By taking these away, we are exposing children to less vestibular (balance) input on a regular basis. In the meantime, children are becoming increasingly unsafe on the equipment. What do we do when kids become unsafe? We limit their exposure to risks–risks they actually need in order to develop a healthy sensory system. It is a vicious cycle we need to stop.

If our goal is to do “no harm” to our children, we need to re-evaluate our perception of playground equipment. We need to start providing equipment that will actually challenge and stimulate growth. It is time we brought back some of the thrill-provoking playground equipment of the past – for our children’s sake.

References:

Ayres, A. J. (2005). Sensory Integration and the Child: Understanding Hidden Sensory Challenges (Rev. ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.

Frick, S., Kawar, M. (2005). Astronaut Training: A Sound Activated Vestibular-Visual Protocol. Vital Links, Madison, WI.

Jensen, Eric. (1998). Teaching with the Brain in Mind. ASCD: Alexandria, VA.

Lundy-Ekman, L. (2002). Neuroscience: Fundamentals for Rehabilitation. New York: W.B. Saunders Company.

Show Me the Science – Why Wash Your Hands?

Show Me the Science - Why Wash Your Hands

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.

How germs get onto hands and make people sick

Feces (poop) from people or animals is an important source of germs like Salmonella, E. coli O157, and norovirus that cause diarrhea, and it can spread some respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease. These kinds of germs can get onto hands after people use the toilet or change a diaper, but also in less obvious ways, like after handling raw meats that have invisible amounts of animal poop on them. A single gram of human feces—which is about the weight of a paper clip—can contain one trillion germs 1. Germs can also get onto hands if people touch any object that has germs on it because someone coughed or sneezed on it or was touched by some other contaminated object. When these germs get onto hands and are not washed off, they can be passed from person to person and make people sick.

Washing hands prevents illnesses and spread of infections to others

Handwashing with soap removes germs from hands. This helps prevent infections because:

  • People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realizing it.
  • Germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.
    Germs from unwashed hands can get into foods and drinks while people prepare or consume them. Germs can multiply in some types of foods or drinks, under certain conditions, and make people sick.
  • Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands.
  • Removing germs through handwashing therefore helps prevent diarrhea and respiratory infections and may even help prevent skin and eye infections.

Teaching people about handwashing helps them and their communities stay healthy. Handwashing education in the community:

  • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 23-40% 2, 3, 6
  • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58% 4
  • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21% 3, 5
  • Reduces absenteeism due to gastrointestinal illness in schoolchildren by 29-57% 7

Not washing hands harms children around the world

About 1.8 million children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, the top two killers of young children around the
world 8.

  • Handwashing with soap could protect about 1 out of every 3 young children who get sick with diarrhea 2, 3 and almost 1 out of 5 young children with respiratory infections like pneumonia 3, 5.
  • Although people around the world clean their hands with water, very few use soap to wash their hands. Washing hands with soap removes germs much more effectively 9.
  • Handwashing education and access to soap in schools can help improve attendance 10, 11, 12.
    Good handwashing early in life may help improve child development in some settings 13.
  • Estimated global rates of handwashing after using the toilet are only 19% 6.

Handwashing helps battle the rise in antibiotic resistance

Preventing sickness reduces the amount of antibiotics people use and the likelihood that antibiotic resistance will develop. Handwashing can prevent about 30% of diarrhea-related sicknesses and about 20% of respiratory infections (e.g., colds) 2, 5. Antibiotics often are prescribed unnecessarily for these health issues 14. Reducing the number of these infections by washing hands frequently helps prevent the overuse of antibiotics—the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world. Handwashing can also prevent people from getting sick with germs that are already resistant to antibiotics and that can be difficult to treat.

References

 

 

This Is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much

Originally Published on Psychologytoday.com on Nov 27, 2015 By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D.

This Is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much

… and why it says nothing about your worthiness for love.

The opposite of love isn’t hate; it is indifference. Ghosting, for those of you who haven’t yet experienced it, is having someone that you believe cares about you, whether it be a friend or someone you are dating, disappear from contact without any explanation at all. No phone call or email, not even a text. Ghosting isn’t new—people have long done disappearing acts—but years ago this kind of behavior was considered limited to a certain type of scoundrel. In today’s dating culture being ghosted is a phenomenon that approximately 50 percent of men and women have experienced—and an almost equal number have done the ghosting.1 Despite ghosting’s commonality, the emotional effects can be devastating, and particularly damaging to those who already have fragile self-esteem.

Why do people ghost?

People who ghost are primarily focused on avoiding their own emotional discomfort and they aren’t thinking about how it makes the other person feel. The lack of social connections to people who are met online also means there are less social consequences to dropping out of someone’s life. The more it happens, either to themselves or their friends, the more people become desensitized to it and the more likely they are to do it to someone else.

“I didn’t understand exactly how I actually felt at the time, so instead of trying to talk it out, I ghosted.” 2

“I used to disappear when it was all I thought it was [a fling], or I got scared of finding what I wanted…Or some kind of fear factor from a past relationship kicks in.” 2

“Looking through the lens of a coward, passive withdrawal from dating seems like the easiest and nicest route…until it’s done to you.” 3

“I kind of think that it’s part of what makes the online dating scene so appealing. Since you don’t have friends in common or weren’t introduced through some other channel, it’s not the end of the world if you just drop off the face of the earth.” 4

“I, for one, consider myself to be an honest and straightforward person. And yet I’ve ghosted…And I’ve told myself, time and time again, that it’s all the fault of the toxic dating culture we’ve created. And at the end of the day, I think that’s what we’re all telling ourselves.” 5

How does it feel to be ghosted?

For many people ghosting can result in feelings of being disrespected, used and disposable. If you have known the person beyond more than a few dates then it can be even more traumatic. When someone we love and trust disengages from us it feels like a very deep betrayal.

“I felt like an idiot. Like I had been played a fool. And more so I felt disrespected. Take the romantics away, to have a great connection with a new friend and then all of a sudden never hear from them again? That’s painful and really disappointing. No one deserves to be blown off.” 6

“It still felt a bit like someone had punched me in the gut when it happened. The disregard is insulting. The lack of closure is maddening. You move on, but not before your self-esteem takes a hit. The only thing worse than being broken up with is realizing that someone didn’t even consider you worth breaking up with.” 7

“Going from texting every day and seeing each other a couple times a week to nothing without the slightest hint of why was a kick in the gut.” 8

“Ghosting is one of the cruelest forms of torture dating can serve up.” 9

Why does it feel so bad?

Social rejection activates the same pain pathways in the brain as physical pain.10 In fact, you can reduce the emotional pain of rejection with a pain medication like Tylenol.11 But in addition to this biological link between rejection and pain, there are some specific factors about ghosting that contribute to the psychological distress.

Ghosting gives you no cue for how to react. It creates the ultimate scenario of ambiguity. Should you be worried? What if they are hurt and lying in a hospital bed somewhere? Should you be upset? Maybe they are just a little busy and will be calling you at any moment. You don’t know how to react because you don’t really know what has happened. Staying connected to others is so important to our survival that our brain has evolved to have a social monitoring system (SMS) that monitors the environment for cues so that we know how to respond in social situations.12 Social cues allow us to regulate our own behavior accordingly, but ghosting deprives you of these usual cues and can create a sense of emotional dysregulation where you feel out of control.

One of the most insidious aspects of ghosting is that it doesn’t just cause you to question the validity of the relationship you had, it causes you to question yourself. Why didn’t I see this coming? How could I have been such a poor judge of character? What did I do to cause this? How do I protect myself from this ever happening again? This self-questioning is the result of basic psychological systems that are in place to monitor one’s social standing and relay that information back to the person via feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. When a rejection occurs your self-esteem can drop which social psychologists propose is meant to be a signal that your social belonging is low.13 If you have been through multiple ghostings or if your self-esteem is already low you are likely to experience the rejection as even more painful, and it may take you longer to get over it as people with lower-self-esteem have less natural opioid (pain-killer) released into the brain after a rejection when compared to those whose self-esteem is higher.14

Ghosting is the ultimate use of the silent treatment, a tactic that has often been viewed by mental health professionals as a form of emotional cruelty.15 It essentially renders you powerless and leaves you with no opportunity to ask questions or be provided with information that would help you emotionally process the experience. It silences you and prevents you from expressing your emotions and being heard, which is important for maintaining your self-esteem.

Regardless of the ghoster’s intent, ghosting is a passive-aggressive interpersonal tactic that can leave psychological bruises and scars

How do you move forward?

The important thing to remember is that when someone ghosts you, it says nothing about you or your worthiness for love and everything about the person doing the ghosting. It shows he/she doesn’t have the courage to deal with the discomfort of their emotions or yours, and they either don’t understand the impact of their behavior or worse don’t care. In any case they have sent you an extremely loud message that says: I don’t have what it takes to have a mature healthy relationship with you. Be the better person, retain your dignity, and let him/her go peacefully.

Don’t allow someone else’s bad behavior to rob you of a better future by losing your vulnerability and shutting yourself off from another relationship. Keep your energy focused on doing what makes you happy. Know that if you are someone who treats people with respect and integrity then the ghoster simply wasn’t on your wavelength and someone better is coming your way, as long as you keep your heart open and your focus forward.

References

  1. http://www.elle.com/life-love/sex-relationships/advice/a12787/girls-ghos…
  2. http://www.chicagonow.com/accidentally-sexy/2015/03/ghosting-three-guys-…
  3. http://goodguyswag.com/ghosting-when-a-nice-guy-is-too-scared-to-say-no/
  4. http://www.vice.com/read/i-asked-men-why-they-ghosted-me-511
  5. http://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/08/why-good-people-ghost-how…
  6. http://www.therefinedwoman.com/ghosting-so-thats-like-a-thing-now/
  7. http://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/08/why-good-people-ghost-how…
  8. http://www.gq.com/story/the-reason-you-just-got-ghosted
  9. http://goodguyswag.com/ghosting-when-a-nice-guy-is-too-scared-to-say-no/
  10. Krossa, E., Bermana, M., Mischelb, W., Edward E. Smith, and Wager, T. 2011. Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 108 (15), p. 6270–6275, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102693108.
  11. DeWall, C., et al. 2010. Acetaminophen Reduces Social Pain: Behavioral and Neural Evidence. Psychological Sciences, 21 (7), p. 931 -7
  12. Cynthia L. Pickett, C., Gardner, W., and Knowles, M. 2004. Getting a Cue: The Need to Belong and Enhanced Sensitivity to Social Cues. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30 (9), p. 1095-1107.
  13. Leary, M. R.,Haupt, A. L., Strausser, K. S., & Chokel, J. T. 1998. Calibrating the sociometer: The relationship between interpersonal appraisals and state self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, p.1290-1299.
  14. Hsu, D. et al. 2013. Response of the μ-opioid system to social rejection and acceptance. Molecular Psychiatry, 18, p. 1211–1217.
  15. Williams, C., Richardson, D. Hammock, G., Janit, S. 2012. Perceptions of physical and psychological aggression in close relationships: A review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17, (6), p. 489–494.

This Is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much_1

Dr. Jennice Vilhauer is the director of the Outpatient Psychotherapy Treatment Program at Emory Healthcare, the developer of Future Directed Therapy, and the author of Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life.

www.futuredirectedtherapy.com

To view my 2015 TEDx talk on Why You Don’t Get What You Want click here.

This Is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much_4

Jennice Vilhauer, Ph.D., is a clinical faculty member in the School of Medicine at Emory University and most recently served as the director of the outpatient psychotherapy program at Emory Healthcare. She was formerly the director of psychology training at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her undergraduate training in psychology at UCLA and her graduate training at Fordham University, followed by postdoctoral training at Columbia University. She is the developer of Future Directed Therapy and the author of Think Forward to Thrive: How to Use the Mind’s Power of Anticipation to Transcend Your Past and Transform Your Life.

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says

Originally published on bustle.com  By Emily Dixon
Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says
By now, most people have heard the arguments that social media can have a negative impact on mental health. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to renounce the platforms altogether, particularly as they now play such a fundamental role in how we stay connected to each other. Fortunately, a new study suggests that you needn’t shut down all your accounts to reap the mental health benefits; in fact, simply limiting your social media use can improve your wellbeing. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania asked undergraduate students to cut down their time spent on social media to a total of 30 minutes per day — and saw a significant improvement in their mental health.

The connection between social media use and poorer mental health is a vigorously debated one, as Bustle has previously reported. Studies have associated the use of social media with an increase in symptoms of anxiety, and linked Facebook use with a decline in wellbeing. A 2015 study from the Pew Research Center suggested that using social media might make you more stressed — but confusingly, it can also serve as an outlet for your stress. And some, like Guardian columnust Dr. Frances Ryan, have noted that access to social media can be vital for disabled people and members of other marginalised groups.

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says_2

So what did the University of Pennsylvania study indicate? The researchers divided 143 student participants into two groups: a control group, who weren’t asked to alter their social media usage, and an experimental group, who were asked to limit their use of Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to 10 minutes on each platform per day. They completed a wellbeing survey both before the study began and after four weeks of adhering to their assigned social media limits, rating aspects like access to social support, fear of missing out (FOMO), anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and loneliness.

At the end of the study, the students who restricted their social media use demonstrated significantly lower levels of loneliness, and those who indicated a high level of depression at the start of the study experienced a “clinically significant” reduction in their symptoms. There was no significant difference between the control group and the experimental group when it came to levels of anxiety, social support, fear of missing out, or self-esteem, however.

Limiting Your Social Media Use Can Improve Your Wellbeing, A New Study Says_1

By now, most people have heard the arguments that social media can have a negative impact on mental health. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to renounce the platforms altogether, particularly as they now play such a fundamental role in how we stay connected to each other. Fortunately, a new study suggests that you needn’t shut down all your accounts to reap the mental health benefits; in fact, simply limiting your social media use can improve your wellbeing. Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania asked undergraduate students to cut down their time spent on social media to a total of 30 minutes per day — and saw a significant improvement in their mental health.

The connection between social media use and poorer mental health is a vigorously debated one, as Bustle has previously reported. Studies have associated the use of social media with an increase in symptoms of anxiety, and linked Facebook use with a decline in wellbeing. A 2015 study from the Pew Research Center suggested that using social media might make you more stressed — but confusingly, it can also serve as an outlet for your stress. And some, like Guardian columnust Dr. Frances Ryan, have noted that access to social media can be vital for disabled people and members of other marginalised groups.

Another interesting finding? Overall, both groups — even those who weren’t asked to limit their social media use — showed a decrease in fear of missing out and anxiety. The researchers hypothesised that this could be “a result of the self-monitoring inherent in the study,” as both groups were asked to send screenshots of their iPhone battery usage pages to measure how much time they spent on each app. So if a 30 minute social media cap sounds too restrictive for you, you might still experience some benefits just by keeping an eye on the time you spend online.

The researchers concluded that “limiting social media usage does have a direct and positive impact on subjective wellbeing over time, especially with respect to decreasing loneliness and depression.” Suspect that social media is negatively affecting your mental health? You might just have found your New Year’s resolution.

Dancing to Eternal Music

About almost 300 years ago in 1721 Bach wrote the Concerto #3in G major. It’s such an amazing composure. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! This piece of music is about 6 minutes and it was written for the Catholic Church. I think it would be have been pretty amazing to hear this in Church.

So here I am dancing improvisational to Bach and I hope you enjoy it. The music is just AMAZING and it’s so good to listen to the music. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to share this beautiful music with the world.

Better yet what’s your favorite song or type of music? Feel free to share below. We may not know everything in life. But one thing I know for sure is Bach was a genius. XOXO VALERIE


Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and Labrador Retriever.  As you heal yourself, you heal the planet.  Find your joy and live it.

Have you ever wondered how to Hang from a tree?https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/01/11/when-was-the-last-time-you-hung-from-a-tree/  Find out how to do it here?  It’s so awesome!!

When Was The Last Time You Hung From a Tree?

In this short video I demonstrate a couple of ways you can hang from a tree even with your feet on the ground. You just keep your feet on the ground but allow your upper body to release and get a really nice stretch.

I couldn’t edit this for the life of me. Oh well, life isn’t perfect buddy.


I hope you get a chance to hang out with some lovely trees soon. There are many beautiful birds you can see. They are so adorable. Take care friend. Hope to see you soon!! Oh yeah if you don’t mind subscribing to my Youtube channel or sharing this video. Maybe it will help somebody. Even kids need this more than ever. Thanks for shining your light. It doesn’t have to be super in your face. but you know you can share your light on the DL if you know what I mean. Take care beautiful!! Valerie

Cómo manifesté un coche eléctrico

Cómo manifesté un coche eléctrico
Hace aproximadamente un año compré un vehículo porque me compré a mi cachorro, Amber. Después de eso me di cuenta de que había cometido un grave error y debería haber comprado un híbrido. Pero en cualquier caso, decidí que quería canjearme comprando un automóvil eléctrico.

Entonces, lo que hice fue comenzar a mirar autos eléctricos y concentrarme solo en ellos. Muy pronto los estaba viendo por todo el lugar. Sólo estaba familiarizado con unos pocos coches. Por supuesto, Tesla y el Leaf y algunos otros autos que son demasiado caros o me niego a comprar a las compañías corruptas.

How I Manifested an Electric Car_2

Avancé tan rápido hasta octubre de 2018 y mi amigo me regaló una revista de coches eléctricos. Comencé a estudiarlo y observé todos los precios y rebajas, etc. Encontré un auto que era un gran precio, todo eléctrico y parecía muy deportivo. El auto en el que estaba interesado era el Hyundai Ioniq. Comencé a buscar en línea y solo los tenían en el sur de California. Así que llamé a un concesionario de automóviles y no lo tenían en stock.

Acababa de regresar de un viaje donde me quedé en Santa Clarita, así que hice clic en el enlace de Santa Clarita y terminé en Parkway Hyundai en Valencia.

Les envié un mensaje en línea y de inmediato recibí una llamada de Manny y él estaba listo para ayudarme. También recibí una llamada de Danny también (sí, sus nombres riman). Les dije qué auto quería, respondieron todas mis preguntas y me aseguraron que podían cuidarme. Dijeron que era un automóvil muy solicitado, pero me cuidaron de una manera increíble. Iba al sur de California a fines de mes, así que concertamos una cita para conducir el automóvil y sellamos el trato.

Le estaba diciendo a Danny que tanta gente quiere autos eléctricos pero son difíciles de encontrar. Mencioné que deberían especializarse en automóviles eléctricos e híbridos. Entonces, ¿qué hizo Danny? Tuvo una conversación con el gerente de su distrito. Su gerente estuvo de acuerdo y les va a dar 10 vehículos eléctricos. Eso es tan fenomenal. Entonces, si no puede encontrar Hyundai Ioniq Electric en el norte de California, realice el corto trayecto en automóvil hasta Parkway Hyundai. Seguro que me alegro de haberlo hecho. En realidad me lo habían entregado.

Estaba tan feliz de tener finalmente mi coche eléctrico. Fue una verdadera bendición. Y el coche es tan asombroso. Quiero decir que en realidad es solo un vehículo increíble. ¡¡¡Tiene algo serio de recogida !! Quiero decir, increíble lo rápido que va y está tranquilo. Me encanta. Recomiendo el Hyundai Ioniq y no tenga miedo de conducir para obtener el automóvil que desea.

No discutiremos la primera vez que lo cargué. Realmente no lo haremos. Pero ahora lo tengo todo resuelto. Si puedo hacerlo, tú también puedes. Y no soy una persona tecnológica. Pero obtendrá la asistencia que necesita. Lo prometo. Así que empieza a soñar con eso.

How I Manifested an Electric Car_3

Valerie es una entrenadora de salud y bienestar y una instructora de yoga. Le apasiona la vida verde y seguir sus sueños. Ella vive en el norte de California con su hija y su perrito Amber.

Receta De Sopa Cheddar con Brócoli Vegano

Encontré esta sopa y compré todos los ingredientes. Entonces el día que lo iba a hacer, ¿adivina qué? No pude encontrar la receta. Así que solo tenía que hacerlo. Esta es la receta alada y resultó bastante buena. Lo hice un par de veces y una vez no tenía caldo y solo usaba agua y aún así resultó bastante bien. Pero definitivamente mejor si se usa caldo.

En realidad lo hice en Vegan Vallejo como un sustituto de “Chef”. Así que también puedes ver el video también.

Los ingredientes

4 papas rojas de tamaño mediano (siéntase libre de poner más si realmente le gustan las papas)
1 gran manojo de brócoli
1 cebolla entera
3 tallos de apio
2 zanahorias
1 hoja de laurel
sal
pimienta
caldo de verduras (utilicé un caldo de pollo vegano, por favor, no me preguntes cómo es vegano el caldo de pollo)
1/2 paquete de Di