Bicultural Healthy Living is the ability of immigrants and refugees to bridge two cultures, the American mainstream culture and their culture of origin, into one that allows them to live healthfully and happily. By leading a bicultural healthy lifestyle, we hope that Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities can find a path that allow both their Asian/Pacific islander and American culture to co-exist with the ability to use one or both cultural protective factors when needed. This blog will explore the various ways and strategies to improve the health of AAPIs and the community as a whole by living a bicultural healthy lifestyle.
“Community efforts across the country are improving the health of more people by working with groups that include public health professionals, hospitals, local community members, and more.
By Nolan Ly
A lack of access to healthy living opportunities in communities can affect obesity and other preventable chronic diseases. Learn more about community efforts to support healthy eating and active living: http://bit.ly/2knQTvl” – https://www.cdc.gov/
What are the benefits to a active community?
- Reduce pollution and trash to the environment
- Provide social and economic opportunities for the people of the community to collaborate and develop better relationships
- Support social cohesion, events, and activities
What can you do to take part:
- Going out to explore and enjoy the community by walking, biking, via other outdoor activities etc., either with yourself, friends, or family members.
- Volunteering at a community garden to help grow veggies/fruits for the community and learning more about gardening along the way.
- Educate your family, friends, and yourself on recycling, the benefits to it, and how it’s a little step towards making the Earth cleaner.
- Volunteer for local parks and recreation centers to support and spread awareness for environmental concerns.
Things don’t always go according to plan and it could be upsetting. Whether you’re an organized person or not, we all hope that the plans we make could go accordingly and smoothly. The key to counter this is by thinking about possible alternatives, keeping a open mind, and understanding that it is not the end of the world. Here are some tips to help you be a flexible planner:
- Keep track of things. Set up reminders, write things down, or use a calendar to help you keep track of small to big events, goals, or dreams. It helps you the most when you take steps to motivate yourself.
- Make back up plans. Ask yourself what you plan to next do next if your initial plan doesn’t work out. Although you may end up getting sidetracked to point b instead of point a, just know that it can be a new opportunity for you to do something else.
- Throw away your feelings of dejection/rejection. It doesn’t mean that you are left with no options, in fact, there’s too many options out there in the world today. Take the time to reevaluate your situation and think about what is it that you really want to do or achieve. If you’re over/under qualified for something, seek better opportunities suited for you or seek out opportunities to improve areas in which you can work on.
- Being flexible means you’re open to new things. Don’t be too strict on yourself in life or refrain yourself from experiencing that you’re not used to. Even if the experience was positive/negative, you have least learn something and gain new information. Also keep in mind that it is your perspective that will influence your experiences in life and to be self-aware of your own thought process.
Feeling good about yourself starts from within. It’s okay to have things that you like and dislike about yourself whether it is physically, personality wise, etc. It only means you seek to change and improve yourself throughout life. Society and social media have their own standard for “beautiful” or “perfect” people, but don’t let it influence you to have a skewed image of what perfection is. It is like trying to fit a piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit because of it’s different size and shape.
The best thing for you to do is to develop a better understanding of yourself. It will take some experiences before you can confidently say you’re happy with who you are.
Here are five tips on how to retain/gain positivity within yourself:
- There is no one like you in this world and this holds very true. So be proud of it! (It can be proven with the blueprint of your fingerprint!)
- People come and in go in your life, it doesn’t mean that you’re alone. Some people in your life are bound to stay (family, close friends) while others will naturally leave. For those who have been around you through the hard times are the ones worth spending your time with (also, these people tend to give you the most support and share your happiest moments with you).
- Don’t just say or plan, take action! If you feel like your constantly stalling in life, maybe it’s time to take action instead of thinking about it. It can be small steps towards a healthier and brighter lifestyle. Like participating in a local club, exercising with friends, spending time with your pets, etc.
- Cut out negativity around you. You should try to avoid negativity from other people, television, social media, and so on because it will make you feel it too. Whether it’s cutting out hours of being on social media or with negative people in your life, it would improve your overall mood.
- Don’t live your life constantly in the past or the future. It is great to plan your future and reminisce the past, but don’t let it overshadow what you can be doing in the present at this moment. If you want to do something or achieve a goal, make efforts in the presence today to make it happen! You have to motivate yourself to do something for yourself, whether the reasons are to help other people, help the environment, or help you develop new skills.
“While there are many questions around alcohol and drug use and addiction, it’s not always easy to find factual answers. Information from the internet, social media, TV, movies, and music isn’t accurate.
For young people, friends can also be a source of misinformation. From January 23-29, National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week provides the facts about drugs, alcohol, and addiction. This week-long health observance is an opportunity to hear directly from scientists and other experts through educational events, Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day, and partnerships. While the week primarily targets high school students across America, the resources and information from these events can be used by any organization as a part of their prevention strategy.” – https://teens.drugabuse.gov/
- Drug use is most common among young adults who are 18 to 25 years old. Rates of current (past month) use of illicit drugs in 2015 were higher for young adults aged 18 to 25 (22.3 percent) than for youths aged 12 to 17 (8.8 percent) and adults aged 26 or older (8.2 percent)
- Although drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks.
- About 570,000 people die annually in the U.S. due to drug use. That breaks down to more than 480,000 deaths related to tobacco, about 31,000 due to alcohol, nearly 22,000 due to overdose from illicit (illegal) drugs, and close to 23,000 due to overdose from prescription pain relievers.
- In 2015, the Monitoring the Future Survey reported that 10% of 8th graders and 35% of 12th graders drank during the past 30 days, and 5% of 8th graders and 17% of 12th graders binge drank during the past 2 weeks.
- According to NIDA’s Monitoring the Future survey–a national survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders–past-year use of illicit drugs other than marijuana was down from recent peaks in all three grades in 2016. Also notable is the decrease in tobacco use, which is now at the lowest rate in the survey’s history for all three grades.
Statistics were taken from https://teens.drugabuse.gov/ and www.cdc.gov/.
Each year, people make New Year’s resolution goals that they want to achieve for the upcoming new year. It usually is a goal that seeks self improvement or changing things in one’s life. It’s not necessary to start out the years with goals or without, but it is good to at least have some idea of what kind of things you want to do or change either about yourself or your life.
So what’s the point of New Year’s resolution goals?
- It serve as a reminder of the goal that you want to achieve throughout the year
- Motivates you to take action and stay on track with your plans
- It is small stepping stones that can people take to achieve bigger goals
There are different goals for everyone, but the most common ones are:
- Lose weight
- Live a healthier lifestyle
- Do well in school or go back to pursue education
- Obtain something important (buying a home, getting a car, obtaining citizenship, etc.)
- Travel more
- Save more money
So what actions can you take to achieve your resolution goals?
- Put a reminder in a notebook, cellphone app, or on a piece of paper on your fridge to constantly tell you what you want to do differently, achieve, or improve on
- Plan and take small steps first (Putting aside $10 a month can help you buy something more valuable in the future)
- Think about the reasons why you want to achieve your goals:
- Is it for self-improvement? What about yourself specifically that you want to improve on? Your sociability/communication skills? Your physical state? Your living lifestyle?
- Is education important to you? Do you plan to pursue higher education and beyond? What type of field that interests you that would need you to have a certain type of educational background?
“More than 1 in 8 Americans are both raising a child and caring for a parent. They are known as the sandwich generation. Seven to 10 million adults are also caring for an aging parent who lives far away.” – https://www.cdc.gov/
So why is this occurring? Possible reasons are because:
- More people than ever are aging
- People are living longer due to advancements in medicine and technology
- It is taking longer and harder for children to become financially independent
(CDC) Some caregivers may need to change an employment situation to fit in their caregiving role. Caregivers may consider talking to a supervisor about work options allowing the caregiver to maintain both their employment and caregiving roles. These options could include the following:
- Having more flexible hours
- Reducing working hours
- Working from home
- Taking a leave of absence
- Downgrading to a less demanding job
- People giving care to both young and older family members report higher levels of depression, anxiety, and lower quality of life. Research has shown that 17% of these caregivers rate their health as “fair” or “poor” compared with 10% of non-caregivers.
- Among the 44 million unpaid caregivers to older adults in the United States, 75% are employed. The average employed caregiver works about 35 hours a week.