How to use your smartphone like a hammer

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

If we used our phones more like a hammer, would our life be a lot better? At least, according to the musical genius himself,

Look at your phone as a tool, not an obligation. Would you walk around with a hammer in your pocket?  You would pick up a hammer when you needed it. You would never be addicted or obligated to it. Use your phone like a hammer only pick it up when you need it.Kanye West

It is a bit of very good advice.

I still use the iPhone 5SE I purchased almost three years ago that has been begging to be put out of its misery for quite some time now. I chuckle a bit inside whenever I drop it and everyone around me gasps in terror. It is so old that I couldn’t care less. It is almost ridiculous how often I drop it from various heights and angels, and it, somehow, has refused to break and end its own misery.

My dad has joked that Apple might have a trophy for me for managing to still use such an old iPhone model, and for how beat up it is while still managing to work. If they do, please contact me here.

.  .  .   Continue reading “How to use your smartphone like a hammer”

Dear Diary: Keeping a daily journal for mental well-being

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Photo by Rachel Lynette French on Unsplash

Writing can be a very therapeutic endeavor.

Any form of writing, including artistic, academic, or otherwise, can serve as a form of self-therapy, a way to make sense of our thoughts and feelings and discover our deepest desires. One way to incorporate writing into our daily routine is by keeping a daily journal.

In 2009, I wrote my first-ever journal entry on an online diary. By 2013, I have managed to write thirteen entries. Although, I would always promise myself, and my diary, that I will, for sure, write more this time around, it took four years to seriously immerse myself in keeping a daily journal.

Since 2014, I have written 1128 entries, about 280 entries a year. Continue reading “Dear Diary: Keeping a daily journal for mental well-being”

Fostering critical consciousness for youth empowerment

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

In a previous post, Youth citizenship: An intersectional analysis, I briefly touched on the importance of youth engagement to provide young people the knowledge and skill sets needed so they can become active citizens that contribute to building healthy communities and a stronger nation.

The need for involving young people as leaders for social change strategies has recently gained momentum. We recognize that young people carry knowledge and expertise on the conditions of their marginalized position in society and the stresses that such conditions impose on their everyday lives [3].

As such, youth are important sources of knowledge and power, and should be given the opportunity to participate in public life and to contribute their knowledge to the public sphere. Continue reading “Fostering critical consciousness for youth empowerment”

Sleep hygiene: is your sleep dirty?

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

In my previous article, titled how to fill our days, I mentioned, rather sarcastically, that we should all denounce the Busyness Olympics, and instead brag about the glorious 7 to 8 hours of sleep we get each night.

Unless there is a legitimate reason for an individual to sacrifice sleep, such as needing to work lots of hours, running multiple side projects, and/or other obligations, everyone should aim to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, or whatever amount of sleep one needs not to operate on sleep deficiency.

Sleep deficiency is no joke. So much so that it is one of the very few of our biological needs that the science seems to be in unison on— getting enough sleep is vital for our overall health and well-being. Continue reading “Sleep hygiene: is your sleep dirty?”

#Textiety: Is texting culture giving us anxiety?

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Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

Writing is a very therapeutic and self-reflecting practice for me that allows me to learn a lot more about myself.

Until I started my research for this article, I did not know there were, in fact, plenty of blog posts, articles and even peer-reviewed journals out there on the phenomenon of texting anxiety. Although I didn’t feel I was entirely alone in suffering from texting anxiety, I didn’t think the problem was relevant enough to grant clinical terms, such as textiety and textaphrenia.

Textiety refers to the anxious feeling one gets from not receiving or sending text messages.

Text messaging is an essential part of communication that is a quick and convenient method to stay connected with our friends, family, and acquaintances. Despite being a useful mode of communication, the expectation to be reachable and responsive 24/7, literally, can be very stressful and overwhelming to some.

Mental health professionals are starting to see anxiety around texting show up in their offices more often, and it’s part of a new area of research and treatment related to mobile devices and online communication.

Continue reading “#Textiety: Is texting culture giving us anxiety?”

What gets measured, gets managed: Program evaluation for youth work

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Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

A few days ago, I was catching up with a good friend of mine, and during our mutual vent-session over the frustration we feel about the youth sector, she mentioned something I found so bizarre. Some key youth organizations in our community are opposed to evaluation practices to assess their youth programs and services, even when the opportunities to do so were available. Not surprisingly, some of these programs were not doing so well, although some have been running for a decade or so.

Often times, it is easy to assume that if we make services and programs available to support young people, they would be effective and impactful, which is not always true. Other times, it is easy to become attached to the program, or the funding, or our own ego, and we do not want to find out our program could be no as effective as we thought.  However, if we value the youth and communities that we serve, we must be open to employing systemic measurements to evaluate the outcomes and usefulness of our programs and services. Continue reading “What gets measured, gets managed: Program evaluation for youth work”

Stoicism for happiness: the dichotomy of control

Naturally, I stumbled upon stoicism during one of the worst times of my life.

It was fall 2016. I have just started my first semester of grad school and had to take a social theories class that was required for all sociology majors. Quite frankly, that class made me feel so utterly incompetent and useless, I might have considered to mention it on a suicide note that, thankfully, I never got around to. Despite the brilliant and quite interesting professor, I could not figure out Foucault to save my life, and lucky for me, the whole course was on Foucault.

Here’s an accurate depiction of me in that class: 

Continue reading “Stoicism for happiness: the dichotomy of control”