Being a Flexible Planner

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

This Month in Japan | December

Like other countries located around the world, Japan is experiencing winter and celebrate the snowfall in their own unique ways. Despite the oncoming cold weather, Japan is remains a popular destination to travel to during the winter because of the festive events, beautiful sceneries, and amazing shopping experiences. Here are some activities and events occurring in December around Japan:

2

http://www.kyotoguide.com/

  • Kasuga Wakamiya On-Matsuri is held in mid December, usually around Dec 15th-18th. “The On-Matsuri is a festival held at Wakamiya-jinja Shrine which stands in the precincts of the Kasuga Taisha Grand Shrine. It was first organized in the 12th Century when an epidemic prevailed, and prayers were offered at this festival for the eradication of the plague and also for the blessing of a rich harvest. This historic festival continues to be one of the largest annual events of Nara Prefecture, attracting a great many tourists.” – https://www.jnto.go.jp/

aj201112030009

flutrackers.com

  • Sendai Pageant of Starlight is a free illumination event where pedestrians can enjoy the view of tons of LED light bulb to bring in the holiday spirit. It is held outside and throughout the entire month of Dec. “The venue for the light-up is the Zelkova lined boulevards of Aoba Dori and Jouzenji Dori right in the center of Sendai. A good starting point is Kotodai Station at the eastern end of Jouzenji Dori.” – https://japancheapo.com/
  • A event held in mid Dec and again in mid Jan is a flea market where people sell old antiques, toys, food, plants, and fabrics. “Setagaya Boro-ichi is a Tokyo-designated intangible folk cultural asset dating back some 430 years.” – http://www.gotokyo.org/
  • Popular destinations to visit in Japan are Kyoto, Takayama, Tokyo, Hokkaido, Sapporo, and more! These are just a few locations that offers great sight seeing, seasonal food, and famous local cuisines.

Tips for this Holiday!

healthy-holidays
1) Keep the focus on fun, not food. Indulge in only the most special holiday treats.  For example in the Chinese new year eve dinner, the dumpling is the most special dish, and when families prepare the dumplings, they will hind the couple coins in the dumplings, who gets to bite on the coins, who will have the best luck at coming year.  It’s fun to eat the dumplings to find the coins, but keep in mind not overdoing it.
2) Staying physically active during the holidays.  A study conducted by the U.S. government found adults gained, on average, more than a pound of body weight during the winter holidays – and that they were not at all likely to shed that weight the following year.  The good news is that the people who reported the most physical activity through the holiday season showed the least weight gain. Some even managed to lose weight.
3) Toast the new year with just one glass of bubbly.
Alcohol can interfere with your blood sugar by slowing the release of glucose into the bloodstream; it also contain a lot of calories – 89 calories per glass of white wine or champagne, 55 calories in a shot of vodka, and 170 calories in a pint of stout beer. What’s more, alcohol breaks down your inhibitions and judgment, which makes you that much less likely to resist the junk foods that you would otherwise be able to pass by.
4) Shop wisely this season. It’s easy to be tempted to buy things that you don’t need that are on “sale” and “clearance”. Best thing you can do to prevent this from happening is:
  • Set a budget to limit your spending on gifts.
  • Make a list of all the people you are going to buy gifts for and the things you plan on buying.
  • Differentiate wants from needs. “I want this, but do I need it?”
  • Use coupons when applicable. There are coupons available through online websites, in your mails, and in stores.

Distracted Driving

What is distracted driving?

While driving, the driver is engaged in another activity that hinders their ability to drive a moving vehicle safely.

What can you do?

  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Follow basic driving regulations and speeding limits.
  • As passengers, alert distracted drivers of oncoming traffic and inform them

A Message from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety:

Distracted Driving, a Deadly Choice for Teens
 Twenty percent of fatalities involving teen drivers in Minnesota are distraction-related.
Distracted-related teen driving fatalities and injuries
Year
Fatalities
Serious injuries
Other Injuries
2011
1
38
1,181
2012
3
21
1,242
2013
8
39
1,117
2014
6
24
999
2015
7
25
1,153
Total
25
147
5,592
Make the Safe Choice
  • Cell phones — Put the phone down, turn it off or place it out of reach.
  • Speak Up – Offer to be the driver’s designated texter.
  • Music and other controls — Pre-program radio stations and arrange music in an easy-to-access spot. Adjust mirrors and ventilation before traveling.
  • Navigation — Map out the destination and enter the GPS route in advance.
  • Eating and drinking — Avoid messy foods and secure drinks.
  • Children — Teach children the importance of good behavior in a vehicle and model proper driving behavior.
  • Passengers — Speak up to stop drivers from distracted driving behavior and offer to help with anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road.
 

The Unmarried and Single Americans

cb16-ff18-graphic-single-americans_crop

http://www.census.gov/

We want to highlight the contributions of people who are unmarried and/or living the “single life” in society. Let’s celebrate the idea of living and being single in the US. We are always told that we need to be with someone most of our life to be happy. But being happy starts within yourself. By being alone, you can discover what you enjoy doing, what you dislike, things that makes you happy, and so on. And best of all, the single life also means you are responsible for yourself.

Fun facts:

  • 109 million – The number of unmarried people in America 18 and older in 2015. This group made up 45 percent of all U.S. residents 18 and older
  • 88 – The number of unmarried men 18 and older for every 100 unmarried women in the United States in 2015
  • 59 million – The number of households maintained by unmarried men and women in 2015. These households comprised 47 percent of households nationwide.

All statistics accredited to http://www.census.gov/.

Health Topic of the Day: Breastfeeding

breastfeeding_2499833g

www.thehindu.com

Today’s health topic is all about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is usually defined as a mother providing her infant with food/milk from her breast. It was commonly practiced in the past (nowadays it is more prominent poor/rural areas) in when mothers had to provide for their babies with their own milk and the availability of baby formula or food was not as common. The practice of breastfeeding gradually faded in human society as it advanced. But recent studies showed that we should get back to breastfeeding as it was proven to be more nutritious and beneficial to both the mother and child.

What are the benefits of breast feeding?

  • Breastmilk has all the nutritions and antibodies passed from the mother to the infant which can contribute to the baby’s overall health and growth
  • Builds a bond between the mother and child
  • Breastmilk is easy for the baby to digest
  • Mothers can choose on how long they want to breastfeed
  • Breastfeeding can help reduce cost for baby formula/food for a period of time
  • For more info on the benefits of breastfeeding, click here!

According to CDC:

  • 4 out of 5 (81.1%) started to breastfeed. High breastfeeding initiation rates, or the percentage of infants who start out breastfeeding, show that most mothers in the U.S. want to breastfeed and are trying to do so.
  • In Minnesota :
    • Breastfeeding rate at 12 months increased from 35.8% to 41.0%, a total of 15% increase.
    • Exclusive breastfeeding at three months went from 48.6 to 53.9 percent, an 11-percent increase.

“These rates make Minnesota a top breastfeeding state in the nation, ranking seventh for beginning breastfeeding (initiation) and fifth for breastfeeding at six months.

Though the percentage of women initiating breastfeeding in the Minnesota WIC Program has risen from 63 percent to 80 percent since 2001, some women face more barriers to breastfeeding and are initiating at lower rates. Minnesota breastfeeding rates vary significantly by race and ethnicity. MDH and partners promote public health strategies that make it easier for all Minnesota women to breastfeed. This work includes supporting peer counseling and breastfeeding friendly policies and practices in hospitals, workplaces, childcare settings and the community.” – http://www.health.state.mn.us/

 

Tips for the School Year!

back-to-school-tips

crystalandcomp.com

Staying active, productive, and attentive in school can be a challenge. Whether you’re in high school, college, or middle school, there’s something that we all need to do to be successful in school: maintaining balanced lifestyle! Here are some tips that can help you survive your school year:

  • Set your priorities on a list. What’s important to you while you’re in school is your grades. Although it doesn’t define your intelligence or who you are as a person, it does reflect on your commitment to academic achievement. List everything that you will be busy this year/semester. Is it your homework that you need to focus on? Or being able to take better notes? Or is doing a sport/club activity also important to you? See if you can determine what will impact you the most and what you have to focus on first.
  • Balance your time on a calendar or using a reminder! Timing in school is very important; deadlines, due dates, & scheduled meetings. If you know you have a lot of things to do, make sure you set at least a week or a couple days to finish. The length of time will vary depending on how much work you need to do, whether it’s a solo or group project, and the type of project.
  • Need help on homework? Don’t fear because you aren’t alone in this. You may be struggling in math or writing or reading but there are many experts and resources out there to help you. You can rely on your family members to tutor you, if not, there are tutor programs, and you can always turn to your peers/teachers/friends for extra help. Don’t feel like you have to take everything on your own because there are resources and people around you who are willing to help.
  • Make a year end goal! What’s your goal by the end of the school year? What is it that you want to achieve or maintain? It doesn’t have to be a academic goal, it can be anything. Set a goal for yourself that you can achieve; joining a photography club, getting a internship, going to the gym/working out more during the school year, or volunteering for pet shelters. The main goal is to keep you motivated towards something positive throughout the year and to have something that you want to do.