4 Key Ways to Stay Stress Free

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We all hit those times, where we want to pull our hair out, because everything needs to be done and it needs to be done now. Well, these past few weeks I have been taking test, finishing projects, creating study guides–all for my college finals. But somehow, I am able to keep my stress levels low.

Here are some ways I use to stay as stress free as possible:

  1. I set my own deadlines and stick to them. If I have an essay due in two weeks. I make sure I have my research done by a certain day. It’s beneficial because I know my schedule better than anyone else therefor I know how to space my time better than others.
  2. On a similar note, I break down big projects. By taking it step-by-step, it feels more manageable and at the end I am able to look at the bigger picture.
  3. I set aside my own time, where I make sure not to schedule anything. It’s an hour that I get to myself, where I can watch Netflix, cook or just simply be with my friends without the worry of work. It’s a no-work time.
  4. I embrace my inner 4-year-old. I play with play-dough, break out my markers and color. I do simple crafts. It’s a lot of fun. 4-year-olds don’t worry.

With those 4 ways, I am able to stay (mostly) calm and collected for my finals. Do you have any strategies that you stick to when you are stressed?

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Fear Mongering: The Media’s New Weapon

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The new fad has hit the news media: fear mongering. What is fear mongering? According to Oxford Dictionaries, fear mongering is “the action of deliberately arousing public fear or alarm about a particular issue”. Can you guess what issue the media is focusing on now? You got it! Ebola.

By picking and choosing the facts they want to publish, the news media curbs people’s opinions. This is unethical and against most principles of journalism. Journalists are supposed to be watchdogs of the government, informers of the public. They aren’t supposed to be slanting the article to direct the reader’s opinion. Journalists should give accurate information so that the reader can come up with their own view point.

Though we are just consumers of news, there are ways we can prevent fear mongering from touching us.

  • check the news source. Has it been reliable in the past? Does it get mocked constantly by commentary news shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (*cough* Fox News *cough*)?
  • Another way you can prevent being influenced, get the news directly. Associate Press is one of my favorite news sites and Twitter channels. Why? It’s articles are used by thousands of newspapers in the United States. These articles are accurate, well written, and are unbiased.
  • You can always take the news into your own hands. Want to know what WHO is really doing about Ebola? Look at their website. Getting the official statements for yourself cuts the middleman out.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the news media has equipped itself with fear mongering and it won’t be the last. But being mindful of what the news is doing can help us find the real information for ourselves.

Additional Information: Salon was nice enough to create a list of past instances fear mongering was used by the Republican Party. You can check out the article yourself here. The Huffington Post too has an article about politicians and fear mongering here. The British newspaper, The Guardian, has critiqued America about fear mongering just last month here.

Why isn’t America Doing More to Battle Ebola?

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Ebola has become an international hot button topic. With no true treatment or vaccine, it feels as if Ebola will only continue to expand. But I believe, we can come together to help ourselves, West Africa, and the world.

America ignored Ebola’s crisis in West Africa until we could no longer. Ebola came to the home-front. We had taken in aid workers, but the inevitable happened. Cases of Ebola are popping up in the United States.

West Africa has been raked over the coals with this epidemic. Through NPR, updates from CDC, and CNN, I have been watching the virus spread throughout the Summer. According to CNN, Ebola has killed almost 4,000 people so far. The numbers are only escalating, and still America has not reached out to help West Africa and the WHO. If Africa had access to simple hygienic measures, such as sterilizers, and warm water, many of these deaths could have been prevented.

Original cases of Ebola have been reported in America. At the first sign that America could be in danger, we freak out. We go out and buy face masks, debate if we should work from home, and refuse to shake hands. News sources blare with Ebola symptoms and lack of vaccines. And America is finally involved.

It’s about time. If we consider ourselves to be such great international leader, we need to act like it and step up. Yes, Africa has many problems and many of them we can’t solve, but we can pool our resources and solve this one.

I was frustrated as I watched the news, learning about the spread of Ebola. But with it now past our front door and sitting in the living room, America is forced to recognize it and act.

Though we do overreact with precautions and Ebola may not be as contagious as Measles, it is important to take action. (NPR’s graphic that I love) Not for our national benefit but for the world.

I’m not a scientist or a doctor. I don’t have the experience to solve this disease. But I believe out there in the world, we can beat this. I’m just begging for America to give more.

Cases of Ebola have now reached Spain. What is it going to take to help our fellow humans?

Extra reading: Firestone has worked to contain Ebola 

Any thoughts? Feel free to contribute to the conversation.