Month: December 2021

12 Ways Students Can Keep Their Mental Health Stable During Winter

Keep Mental Health Stable During Winter

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It is true, all living beings on Earth also go through various forms of changes along with the changing seasons. While summer and spring bring fruition and joy, autumn and winter can be the opposite.

But people are all different. And, this rule doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. However, for most people, winters can be a lot more challenging to live through and endure than summers.

Winters can be awfully long, dark, dull, and lacking too much energy or excitement for anything. The colorless skies and gloomy weather can further make general life a little more depressing and worse. But there is also an upside.

During winters, people usually have less professional work and more personal time. But not students. It is often the busiest time of the year with all the finals.

Luckily, with modern digital platforms, students can avail various services that can also help them improve their output and work. With a top-rated platform like WritePaper, you just need to search “I need WritePaper to write my paper for me” to get help with a task. This way, students can not only do well with their submissions, but also take the mind off and relax.

In this article, we will take a closer look at how students can take better care of their mental health and well-being during the winter. In no particular order, here are 12 ways how students can keep their mental health stable during winter.

Get the Right Nutrition

Being able to brave anything requires determination, energy, and grit. And although some of it comes through psychological conditioning, most of it requires daily fuel.

In this case, daily fuel means the food and nutrition that provide enough energy to take on one’s daily tasks and work.

With the right diet and nutrition, one can prepare and strengthen their body and mind more profoundly.

Try Blogging, Journaling, & Writing

One of the best ways to keep one’s mind busy while also learning about the past, present, and future is journaling or writing.

Through writing and recording one’s most essential life aspects and events, one can prepare themselves for success.

Good writing is also considered a top asset in any professional field.

Accordingly, students can also focus on converting this daily habit into a career and source of income in the future.

But, kickstarting a career in writing requires quite a bit of effort and preparation.

If this is the path you choose, you’ll need to give it a lot of your time and really love the process.

Mental Health in Winter

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Play Some Sports

In truth, keeping one’s body and mind properly healthy requires a variety of different well-being activities. And, some of the most important ones are better activity, movements, and exercise.

One of the best ways to not stay fit and in shape but also enjoy doing it is by playing sports.

Those who aren’t too athletic or sporty can also easily start with an easier sport and work their way up the fitness ladder.

Explore Different Cultures & People

Two of the best ways to broaden one’s horizon and scope of knowledge is to learn about new cultures and meet new people.

Luckily, even with the pandemic and restrictions of movement in place, one can still do these through various digital mediums. And this is the exact time when we need it the most.

During winter, students can explore the internet and social media platforms to learn about their favorite countries, cultures, and people.

Manage Your Time Efficiently & Wisely

Sooner or later, everyone realizes that a better life is almost always the result of better management of one’s time. One can easily find the reality behind this by merely observing some of the top-performing students in one’s college.

To manage one’s time better, one should start by firstly knowing all of their most important aspirations and duties in life. Then, with all the relevant data, they can create time-bound goals and plans for the future. This will help them boost their life’s efficiency.

Nourish Your Social Life

While it is important to focus on one’s own health and well-being during winter, one shouldn’t forget about the importance of other people in their lives. This means while it helps to improve oneself, it is also a good and useful habit in life to be and do better for others.

During winters, one should always make it a point to keep in touch with their closest friends and peers.

Students should realize early that having a good group of friends is also a great support system in life.

Pay Attention to Your Rest, Relaxation, & Sleep

While it is important to occasionally exert oneself, it is also equally important to focus on one’s overall relaxation and sleep.

Good quality rest and sleep can help students recuperate their energy and revitalize their bodies and mind.

You can start doing this by paying more attention to the finer subtleties in your life. This means thoroughly gauging one’s mental presence, daily energy levels, general enthusiasm levels, and more.

Look For Additional/New Gigs & Jobs

For most people, especially those in their youth, one of the biggest motivating factors to do and be more in life is money.

With money, one can get a lot more freedom and opportunities to enjoy and live more. But more money only comes with better planning and effort. And, there is no better time to start than right now.

To relieve one’s mental pressure in the future, one should start looking for side gigs and jobs today.

Try Some Therapy

Today’s world is increasingly moving towards the direction of not only curing but also finding the roots and rectifying the problems. And, one of the best ways in which this is being done is through therapy.

Modern therapists are a lot more aware, open-minded, practical, and smart. With the right therapist and techniques, one can not only relieve their mental stress but also find ways of improving their life.

Discover & Pursue New Passions

One of the best things about life is that it all depends on what one chooses to do in the present and future. This means that at literally any given place or time, one can find something new that could go on to fulfill their goals and passions.

During the winter, while people generally have the necessary space and time, they can easily find different paths and other exciting directions in life. The trick to finding more in life is being more aware and present at the moment.

Catch Up on Your Pending Tasks & Work

During college, students are often overloaded with work and tasked up to their maximum limits. And, during winters, with most institutions temporarily closed, students often get more work on their plates.

Additionally, some may be working jobs and may have less time on their hands to complete their academic work. Accordingly, winters are a great time to catch up on and complete most of one’s impending tasks.

Seek Some Adventure or Take a Trip

Because of the global pandemic, there have been several digital boosts on several fronts.

In the world of education, modern technology has enabled several institutions and teachers to continue teaching their students through digital means.

Accordingly, today’s students can easily attend their lectures and complete their work from anywhere in the world. And, there perhaps is no better time and situation than right now to study and work remotely.

The Bottom Line

With the onset of winter, students usually find themselves with more time than ever to do a range of different things. But, while some can still keep themselves proactive and productive, some may find it hard to do so.

With the above-mentioned points, one can see that one of the best ways to spend one’s winter is to do the most important things or the things they love most. Doing so would not only help them maintain their performance in life but will also keep them happy, healthy, and hearty.

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A Single Species is Destroying All the Rest. It’s Time to Stop this Madness.

BY SOFO ARCHON

biodiversity-loss-painting

Let’s talk about “biodiversity loss”. Or should I say the “mass extinction of non-human species”? For what is biodiversity loss other than a euphemism that means exactly this?

Well, if you want to be more technical, here is a definition by Britannica:

“Biodiversity loss, also called loss of biodiversity, [is] a decrease in biodiversity within a species, an ecosystem, a given geographic area, or Earth as a whole.”

If you didn’t know already, the world’s biodiversity – that is, the variety of life on Earth, in all forms and at every level, from genes to microbes to humans and all other species – has been reduced dramatically over the last couple of centuries. And that is mainly because of… humans.

The current rate of extinction of animals and plants is estimated to be up to 1,000 times greater than it was before 1800, when, through industrialization and the rapid advancement of technology, humans began to exert much greater control over the world. And as human population grows to 10 billion and more cultures across the globe adopt the ethic of economic growth and consumerism, the human-caused destruction of life on Earth is only getting worse.

But how exactly are humans driving biodiversity loss? Let’s find out.

The Many Causes of Biodiversity Loss

One of the main causes of biodiversity loss is habitat destruction. According to the IUCN’s Red List of International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are over 40,000 species threatened with extinction, mostly due to the destruction of habitats they depend on (in fact, according to a report, one million species will likely be pushed to extinction in the next few years).

That destruction can be caused by natural phenomena, such as flood and fire, but it’s mostly caused by human activity — including mining, logging, trawling and urban sprawl. But the most significant such activity is deforestation, with around half of the world’s original forests now cleared, mainly for agricultural use. To understand the level of destruction taking place, picture 30 football fields (or, if you’re from the US, soccer fields) of forest being cut down every single minute. That’s crazy, isn’t it?

Biodiversity is also threatened through pollution, particularly air and water pollution. For example, burning fossil fuels creates acidic rain, by releasing sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere, thus causing water and soil acidification, which negatively affects the biodiversity of our planet’s ecosystems. Other than polluting, of course, burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gasses that are warming our planet, which, among other things, causes soil erosion, desertification, the melting of ice caps, flooding, and extreme weather patterns, which are all immensely detrimental to the Earth’s biodiversity.

Another example of pollution-induced biodiversity loss is the sewage and chemicals that run off into water from agricultural land. Currently, humans are breeding and raising over 60 billion land animals each year, most of which are crammed in small spaces. As you can imagine, the pile of excrement of this unbelievably big number of animals is poisoning the land life around them, as well as the marine life where it sooner or later ends up in. The same is true of the antibiotics and other chemicals that are given to farmed animals in order to protect them from disease that is otherwise extremely likely to develop due to the horrible conditions they are forced to live in.

Humans are also driving biodiversity loss through “overharvesting” – or, in my words, “the mass murder of non-human life” – whether by hunting or fishing. Fishing, in particular, is responsible for the death of more than a trillion marine animals each year. Now, that isn’t bad just for those animals, but also for the entire marine ecosystems they are embedded in, since in an ecosystem, all life is interrelated and interdependent. For example, overfishing can damage coral reefs and remove essential predators, both of which mean potentially fatal effects for the oceans.

I’ll briefly mention two other significant ways humans are bringing animals and plants into extinction. The first is habitat fragmentation – that is, the breaking up of natural habitats – through activities such as dam building, which, among other things, reduces the amount of suitable habitat available for organisms. The second is the introduction (whether intentional or accidental) of so-called “invasive” species who can upset the balance of ecosystems, such as by carrying disease, or eating up entire populations of native species or the resources those depend on.

Now that we’ve looked at the most important ways biodiversity loss is being caused, let’s see why it’s such an important issue.

Why is Biodiversity Important Anyway?

Our planet is a complex system that took billions of years of evolution to reach its current state of complexity. Now, the more complex, and hence diverse, a living system is, the more healthy and resilient it tends to be. Therefore, when a living system becomes less diverse, both its health and resilience are compromised.

Here’s an analogy of the human body to illustrate what I mean. Your body is a complex, integrated system whose parts are working synergistically to maintain homeostasis and other processes necessary for keeping yourself alive and healthy. If a vital part of your body — let’s say, an organ like a lung — is harmed, then the health of your entire body is compromised. Just like your body, the Earth is a living organism comprised of organs and tissues whose condition plays a vital role in the health of the entire planet. Those include the soil, forests, coral reefs, wetlands, fish, whales, and elephants (I could offer several examples of how they all contribute to a healthy biosphere, but I won’t to keep the article shorter. A quick online search, however, would show you plenty of them). By degrading or destroying the above, therefore, we’re compromising the health of our planet. And the unhealthier it becomes, the more unable it is to recover, for the processes necessary for doing that have been interrupted.

Now, perhaps needless to say, every living being on Earth — ourselves included — totally depends on its environment. Hence, by harming nature, we’re harming ourselves and all life on Earth. So, if we want to live in a vibrant, healthy, thriving Earth, we need to stop stripping away its biodiversity. On the contrary, we need to help increase it. By doing so, not only will we live on a healthier planet, but also on a more beautiful one, for it’s the biodiversity that enriches life with animals, plants, landscapes that make the world the wonderful place that it is.

The Big Question

The big questions is: What can we do to stop driving biodiversity loss?

Obviously, we need to stop engaging in the activities that cause it. That means, we need to stop using up resources faster than the Earth can replenish them, we need to stop burning fossil fuels, we need to stop releasing toxic chemicals into the land, air and sea, and we need to stop farming animals – among other things. But, of course, that’s not a simple thing to do. And there are three main reasons for that:

Firstly, because, as paradoxical as it sounds, we need to keep destroying the planet if we want to survive in our economic system – a system that depends on infinite growth and consumption. In this system, most of us have to engage in anti-environmental behavior, such manufacturing, selling or promoting unsustainable products in order to earn a living, although earning a living this way is eventually going to kill all humanity.

Secondly, it’s hard to stop our ecocidal behavior because we’ve been conditioned since we were little kids to see ourselves as consumers whose primary purpose in life is to buy stuff. Products, we fervently believe, is what makes life rich, not realizing that we’re trying to enrich our lives by destroying the very planet we depend on and are inseparable from.

Thirdly, and in my view, most importantly, we keep on harming our planet because we don’t feel intimately connected to it. Being enclosed in man-made boxes (houses, cars, offices, etc.) and jungles of concrete for most of our lives, we have been psychologically distanced from the Earth. Hence, instead of seeing her as a sacred, living being worthy of love and reverence, we only see an inanimate bunch of resources to control and exploit. No wonder we care so little about the destruction and suffering we’re imposing upon her.

To stop causing biodiversity loss, therefore, it’s of utmost importance that we start feeling connected to our planet. And the best way this can be achieved is by immersing ourselves in nature and inspiring others to do the same. By doing so, we’ll not only discover the immense beauty, complexity and intelligence of nature, but we’ll also come to see and feel the amount of destruction and suffering we as a global civilization have been causing to it. So, whenever you can, go spend some time in the wild (or in the park or field closest to you, if the wild isn’t easily available), and if possible invite others to join you. Also, when you find the opportunity, share with others written, visual and auditory content that inspires love and stewardship toward the Earth, whether in person or through social and other forms of communication media.

Once we feel connected to nature, we’ll naturally see a shift in our values. For example, we’ll not value anymore overconsumption over the destruction of the Earth. With our values changed, our behavior will change as well, for it is largely an embodiment of our values. Then, instead of destroying our wonderful planet, we’ll want to engage in activities that have a positive impact on it. Such activities include reforestation, regenerative plant-based agriculture, as well as eco-friendly product and city design.

But then we’ll also want to radically transform the economic system we live in, realizing that it’s antithetical to the activities just mentioned. Instead of a growth-based economy, we’ll design a steady-state one that is aligned with – and not against – the natural world. Personal change is important, but even more important is collective change, and true, lasting collective change can take place only once our economic system – the very foundation of our, and any other, society – changes as well.

Bonus Episode: Kelp Farming, for the Climate

As part of our series about oceans, we’re featuring a special bonus episode from our friends at Gimlet’s How to Save a Planet. Hosts Alex Blumberg and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson explore how seaweed and giant kelp can help us address climate change and how fisherman Bren Smith has become kelp’s unlikely evangelist. Listen to more episodes of How to Save a Planet on Spotify, including part II of Bren Smith’s story. Follow How to Save a Planet and host Alex Blumberg and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson on Twitter. (Warning: This episode contains some explicit language).

Why Meditation and Mindfulness Do Not Always Work

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