Community Intervention
KNOW! To Laugh Your Way Through the Holidays
 

The holiday season is upon us, as is the anxiety and stress that are likely to accompany it (for a variety of reasons). And where there is stress, there are people attempting to cope. How does that look in your home? If it involves you (parents) reaching for an alcoholic beverage or a cigarette to relax, consider what those actions so clearly convey to your child.

We’ve got a healthy coping strategy to help you through all the hustle and bustle; it’s one that doesn’t always get its due credit, but one the whole family can benefit from:laughter.

No joke, laughter provides powerful health benefits for the mind, body and spirit(for all ages).

Top Ten Reasons To Laugh More:

1.Stress Buster: Stress hormones physically decrease during a good, hearty laugh.
2. Improves Circulation: Blood vessels more easily expand and contract after laughing.
3. Internal Workout: One minute of laughing out loud = 10 minutes on a rowing machine.
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4.Strengthens Immune System: The body’s natural defense mechanism increases.
5.Reduces Pain: Feel-good endorphins release to ease pain and provide a distraction.
6.Diminishes Aggression: Release of emotion that helps us better deal with conflict.
7. Perspective Changer: Allows us to look at things more optimistically.
8. Social Booster:It helps people connect and build relationships.
9.Magnetic Appeal: Laughing is fun, feels good, makes others want to be around you.
10.Laughter is Contagious(like a smile): One of the few good bugs to catch & pass on!

There are many positive ways to deal with stress - laughter is just one of them. And while it will not get your house clean, take care of your gift list or mend every hurt relationship, laughter can truly help you breathe easier, lighten the mood, and allow you and those you love to enjoy this season and all that it can offer, a little bit more.

This holiday season provides an exceptional opportunity to model positive behavior for your children, not only in the sense of being thankful and giving to others, but in the sense of strengthening your core family bond. We encourage you to do something fun with your children; talk, laugh and just enjoy the gift you have - in having each other!

Sources: Frog Recruitment: Top Ten Reasons to Laugh. Laughter Yoga International: Harnessing Nature’s Stressbuster. WebMD: Give Your Body a Boost – With laughter. Strangely Charming: The Science of Laughter - Dr. William Fry: Stanford University.
 
KNOW! the Impact of Childhood Obesity
 

Know! The Emotional Impact of Adolescent Obesity

 

Childhood obesity is a serious health condition that has been on a steady rise for the past three decades. For adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19, obesity is at an all-time high, having more than tripled since 1980 - according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While many people are aware of the associated physical health risks of childhood obesity (cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, breathing issues, joint problems and musculoskeletal discomfort), many are not aware of the severe emotional impact it can cause. 

 

When compared to an average child of healthy weight, an obese 10-year-old may or may not experience a lower sense of self-worth due to his/her weight.  

 

However, by the time that same child reaches 14, he/she is much more likely to experience low self-worth if the extra weight remains. Research shows that low self-worth paired with obesity places teens at greater risk for engaging in hazardous behaviors such as drinking, smoking and using other drugs. 

 

Adolescent obesity is also associated with depression (sometimes due to failed attempts to lose weight and/or feelings of hopelessness), anxiety (many times due to taunting and teasing by others) and poor body image (which can unfortunately bring it full circle, causing many youth to avoid participating in physical activities altogether).

 

 If your child's weight falls under the category of obese, for these reasons and many more, it is important to help him/her make lifestyle changes now. Experts say that an effective and lasting weight control plan must focus on healthy eating as well as increased physical activity and should involve the child, the parents and the pediatrician's input. If you are concerned about your child's weight, act now; reach out to your pediatrician and begin the lifelong journey toward healthy living today.

 

 

All families are encouraged to take action to support healthy, active lifestyles during Childhood Obesity Month and year-round - here are some tips to strive for:

  • Start each day with a healthy breakfast;
  • Include five fruits and vegetables daily;
  • Cut screen time to no more than two hours per day;
  • Incorporate a total of at least one hour of physical activity daily;
  • Lose or at least limit the sugar-sweetened drinks and fast food;
  • Eat foods high in fiber and rich in calcium;
  • Whenever possible, plan and prepare meals as a family, then sit down together to eat and talk. 

 

 

Sources:American Academy of Pediatrics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Livestrong.com 
 
What Keeps Children Substance-Free?
What keeps children substance-free?
Communication, Information, Education and Participation
Know what you can do to keep our children substance-free.
 
Know! To Prepare Your Child for New or Increased Pressure
For many students, the desire to fit in and be liked among peers gives way to experimentation. Could this be the year your son or daughter is approached or pressured to take that first drink, smoke or pill? With preparation and a little practice, you can help your child clearly and confidently turn down such offers.
 
Know! How to Help Students Get Their Head in the Game
This article will inform parents what they can do to reduce their student's back-to-school stress and encourage a positive start to the school year. 
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