Trauma Resources

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With recent violent events, it can impact people in different ways. If you know someone experiencing trauma, try your best to support them and let them know about their available resources. If you or a friend is in need, remember that you can always reach out to or depend on these things:

  • Close family members and friends
  • Professionals – local clinics, hotline, therapist, etc.
  • Online support communities
  • Click here for facts/info about trauma in the state of Minnesota
  • For local helplines in Minnesota click here!

“Anyone can help someone who struggles with trauma—whether they work in the medical or mental health community, or are just a caring individual.

The National Council for Behavioral Health would like to share a few resources about trauma:

  • INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Signs A Person May Be Experiencing Trauma
  • INFOGRAPHIC: 10 Tips to Help Someone Experiencing Trauma
  • TIP SHEET: Trauma in the LGBTQ Community: What Practitioners Should Know in the Wake of the Orlando Shootings.
  • FACT SHEET: LGBTQ Mental Health: How the Orlando Shootings Can Broadly Impact This Community.” – Rightful owner

 

This Month in Japan | July

Fumizuki, a traditional name for July, refers to “book/origin month. The true meaning of the kanji is difficult to decipher. One theory is that fumizuki is a shortened form of hofumizuki, referring to a time when rice becomes ready for harvest. Another possible explanation is that the name is short forfumihirakizuki, meaning to hope for an improvement in one’s calligraphy skills.

July 7 is Tanabata or the Star Festival, that celebrates the meeting of the deities named Orihime and Hikoboshi. The third Monday of the month is Marine Day, commemorating the return of Emperor Meiji to Yokohama port from a boat trip to Hokkaido in 1876.” – Rightful owner

In July, parts of Japan is experiencing the rainy season while other areas will have very hot and sunny weather. Places in higher elevation like Hokkaido will probably have better weather conditions. There are plenty of things to do and lots of festivals to attend throughout Japan. If you are visiting Japan during this month, prepare an umbrella, sunglasses, and light clothing. Here are some things that are happening in July in Japan:

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Geishas during the Gion Matsuri Festival.

http://www.goldenjipangu.com/

  • Summer in Japan means that there will be tons of festivals being hosted through out the entire month and country.
    • Gion Matsuri is a festival celebration that occurs in Kyoto for the entire month of July! Hosted in Kyoto, this festivals displays 10 to 20 amazing decorative floats. People come to enjoy the sights and foods, but also to buy good luck charms to ward off evil. For more in depth info on the event, location, time, and its history, click here!
      • Tenjin Festival is big festival held in Osaka that showcases fireworks, parades, geishas, river boats, and so much more. It attracts people from all over Japan to attend this event for For more in depth info on the event, location, time, and its history, click here!
    • For a calendar overview of all the official events happening in Japan during July, click here!
  • Beach season is on full fledge and it’s time to enjoy the coastal regions of Japan. There are a lot of beaches to go to depending on where you want to visit. It is probably best to avoid the most popular beach destinations so you wouldn’t have to compete with so many people on the same beach.
  • For other events/festivals occurring in July, click here!

This Month in Japan | June

June is the start of the rainy season for most parts of Japan. The summer weather is often divided between the rainy season following by the high levels of humidity. Despite the weather conditions, people can still enjoy their time in Japan. It is a good month for travelers to visit Japan because travel prices and the amount of tourists are low. Of course, be prepared for the rainy and humid weather; bring an umbrella and maybe some rain boots.

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http://china.org.cn/

Looking for activities to do during the month of June? Here are some events that are occurring in June around Japan!

  1. Sanno Festival is held in central Tokyo from June 7, 2017 to June 17, 2016. Located in Chiyoda-ku and hosted by Hie Jinja, it includes parades, people in dressed in traditional clothes, festival foods, and more! It one of the three major festivals along with Kanda Matsuri and Fukagawa Matsuri. “The Sanno Matsuri is famous as a festival permitted by the Shogun to enter the grounds of Edo Castle during the Edo Period (1603-1867), along with the Kanda Matsuri.” – http://www.jnto.go.jp/
  2. Hokkaido Shrine Festival is located at Maruyama Park in Hokkaido, Japan. It occurs from June 14 to June 16 and about 1 million people attend the summer festival each year. A highlight would be people wearing the summer kimono, yukata, and the endless amount of festival foods.
  3. Other tips for travelers in Japan during June are:
    1. If you want to visit beaches, resorts, or/and amusements, book your tickets and go before July when school children are done with school!
    2. Make sure to check out tours that can give you special deals! Here is a quick link!
    3. For any hot countries: Bring clothes that you could layer with! Also, having a good pair of shoes to walk in all day would help you best when discovering Japan on foot.

This Month in Japan | May

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www.cheng-tsui.com

With the arrival of May, it signals the mass amount of holidays celebrated during this time. People can find that Japan is the most busiest time as everyone is trying to get to their destination and are going away for vacation. At the same time, it can be quite quiet in big cities like Tokyo as most people are not working and visiting other cities or relatives who lives further away. Here is what you need to know for the month of May in Japan:

  • “Japan Golden Week is a collection of four national holidays that take place within a week including Showa Day celebrating Emperor Showa’s birthday; Constitution Day; Greenery Day, a national holiday dedicated to nature; and finally, Children’s Day with families praying for the health and success of their sons.” – http://www.onthegotours.com/
    • Golden Week is in between April 29 to May 5. Make sure if you are planning to a trip to Japan during this time be aware that tourist spots, famous attractions, and traffic will be quite busy. During this time period is when many Japanese people take vacations and have time off work.
    • Children’s Day is on May 5th and it celebrates the happiness, health, and personalities of children! A distinctive feature of this holiday in Japan are the carp-like kites which are used as decorations.
  • The weather in May is probably one of the best time for people to enjoy nature and visit sites. It’s a period of when it is not too hot and before the arrival of the rainy season, so people are more likely to be outside from April to June.
  • For more info & events of Japan in May, click here!

The Truth About E-Cigarette

People think that using e-cigarettes in place of smoking cigarettes is a “healthier” alternative. It has become more popular among youths as it provide similar effects and it comes in various flavors. Social media and pop culture has been glamouring vaping as form of a trend and “cool” thing to do. But studies have shown that regardless of smoking cigarettes or e-cigarette, both will put your health at risk at the exposure to nicotine. Here are some facts you need to know about e-cigarettes:

  • Nicotine affects brain development among children and teens
  • Harmful chemicals can be found in various flavors and affects the body differently
  • The vapor created from using e-cigarettes contains leads, tin, nickel, and other metals
  • E-cigarettes are not an effective way to quit smoking, people trying to quit should try to quit completely
  • “Initial tests have found e-cigarettes contain varying levels of the addictive substance nicotine as well as cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde.” – www.lung.org

CDC E-cigarette Fact Sheet

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Year of Fire Monkey

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Lunar New Year has come at Feb 8th – the Year of Fire Monkey, many celebrations hosted around the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese American communities.  BALL Partners like to remind everyone – having fun with families, but not overdoing with holiday food, and continue to exercise during the 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) Continue on with your new year’s resolutions!
Whether it is your goal to become healthier, achieve a career goal, finish your education, or simply training to run a 5K marathon, believe in yourself that you can do it! It is much easier to follow through by planning and taking small steps throughout your entire year. (Suggesting having a planner would be helpful and motivate you to do something everyday!) Don’t try to go cold turkey on anything and try to slowly cut back on certain things or improve on other aspects of your life. Every little effort will count in the long run!
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5) Pack up and go discover the world!
The new year represents new opportunities for everyone. Possibly a trip to a place you always wanted to visit? Plan it, save up, book it, and make sure to have your passport done a few months prior to your departure. (Minnesota now requires all people flying in states and international flights to have a passport so be aware.) Traveling to another place means you’ll get to discover other areas and experience different cultures!

Ways to Create a Healthier Community

There are many issues in the community that needs to be addressed and fixed. But we cannot do that alone as it requires everyone’s active participation. We should make a team effort, to not only educate those in our community, but everyone else in this world.

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Original artwork belong to rightful owner.

“The National League of Cities (NLC) report states that one in three children in the U.S. are overweight or obese, and that children aged 2-19 from low-income families are 1.7 times more likely to be obese.” – http://preventobesity.net/

Problems like obesity, racism, health inequality, and such will continue to exist. But we can always put effort in positive changes that will help make our world better. Here are a few tips on how to:

  • Listen to one another in a respective manner. Sure, we are all different, but that doesn’t mean we should be close minded to another. That is ignorance and the will to not listen to others only results in anger and frustration. Take the time to listen to your friends, relatives, and those around you. Although you may not agree with others, it is more about broadening your perspective and understanding how or why people think the way they do.
  • Encourage your community to become healthier! Whether it is making healthier choices, buying more to organic produces, reading and researching into what you are purchasing, or anything else, it is a great start to live a healthier lifestyle. You can become motivated by others or become part of someone’s else motivation. So share the healthy lifestyle with everyone you know and on your social media platforms and please do share it @biculturalliving.
  • Be the change you want to see! If no one is fighting for your cause, you can start an organization/club/group for those who may share the same goals as you. It does not have to be a big cause and small goals are more attainable. Such as fundraising for animal causes, health awarenesses, and more!

This Month in Japan | January

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http://travel.rakuten.com/

“The old name for the month of January, Mutsuki, means “month of harmony” or “month where friends and relatives gather.”

One of the most important national holidays in Japan is Oshogatsu (New Year’s Day). Schools are typically closed for about 2 weeks, and many business are closed from December 28 through January 1. Read 14 Ways to Have a Happy New Year in Japan.

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http://www.dnaindia.com/

Coming-of-Age Day, observed on the second Monday of January, is another national holiday this month. On this day, women often wear an elaborate style of kimono called furisode while men typically wear formal suits to celebrate being 20-years-old, the age of adulthood in Japan.” – Rightful owner

Here are some fun things that occur in this month:

  • Wakakusa Yamayaki – January 23, Nara
    Centuries ago there was a land dispute between Kofukuji and Todaiji temples in Nara. As part of the dispute someone ended up burning down Mount Wakakusa. Now they do it every year as part of the Wakakusa Yamayaki Festival.” – http://www.japan-talk.com/
  • There’s a ton of festivals that features snow/ice art in the cold season of Japan. They are visited by people who comes to visit the beautiful sceneries.
  • Although it is the coldest month of the year, this is the time where the sun shines the most. This allows people to enjoy outdoor activities even more!
  • This is the month that signifies the beginning of a new year and that means that many people will come visit shrines to pray.

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

In celebration of Martin Luther King day, let’s highlight some of the accomplishments from the African American community and other fun facts!

  • On November 2, 1983, the bill for Martin Luther King day was signed by President Ronald Reagan.
  • Michael Curry became the the first Black leader of Episcopal church in June of 2015.
  • “The poverty rate among blacks is the highest of any racial or ethnic group, but has declined slightly over time, from 31.3% in 1976 to 27.2% in 2014, according to census data.”  – http://www.pewresearch.org/
  • Here are some ways to reflect on this day:
    1. Think about yourself in place of other people who are different from you.
    2. Become part of or be a supporter of a positive change! Whether it is in politics, activism, or a cause that you believe in.
    3. Open your eyes and ears! Start to take notice of the injustice around the world and think about what you can do to serve others.

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For more info, click on the link here.

Avoid Identity Theft

Have you been doing lots of shopping this holiday? You probably aren’t worried about having your identity stolen, but you should still try to be aware of it. Why? According to the https://www.ncjrs.gov/, the majority of identity theft victims (86%) experienced the fraudulent use of existing account information, such as credit card or bank account information. Most likely you are using a card during your shopping trips. That’s it is important for you to be reminded of a few things when you are shopping this holiday.

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www.uwlax.edu

Here are some tips on how to avoid identity theft:

  • Avoid scams online and in person! Websites that starts out with the “https” will tell you that they are actual online shops. So don’t buy in on spam emails that say they are from your favorite stores. Also, the common knowledge is to avoid buying anything from people who are randomly selling products because you never know where it is from and what it is.
  • Keep track of all of your spendings! Most importantly, keep track of your credit cards and debit card. If you notice that there is money being taken out of your card, contact your bank or credit card immediately.
    • “Under federal law, your liability for unauthorized use of your credit card tops out at $50. If you report the loss of your credit card before someone else uses it, you are not responsible for any charges you didn’t authorize. If your credit card number is stolen, but not the card, you are not liable for unauthorized use.” – http://mn.gov/commerce/
    • For debit cards, it is your liability to report it as soon as possible as money is being directly taken out from your account.
  • Make sure that you buy things online buy it through Paypal or create an account with the stores so that your financial information is secured. If not, it is best to go directly to the store then clicking on a unknown link.