Inkwell ANNIE WRIGHT UPPER SCHOOL
Letter from the editors Even with the start of a new year, the COVID-19 pandemic is at the forefront of not only the news, but many minds. In this issue, Inkwell staff went beyond the pandemic and explored the wide range of important aspects of the human body. As New Yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; resolutions begin, Inkwell is here to provide the nutritional, mental and physical tips to help you out. From addressing the toxicity of diet culture and delving into eating disorders to investigating art therapy, there is much to discover on how to find balance with your own physical and mental health. Working remotely certainly can take a toll on the body and mind. We hope you are able to discover new ways to treat your body and mind kindly in such isolated and uncertain times. Wishing you good health in the new year! Julia Henning Editor-in-Chief
ANNIE WRIGHT UPPER SCHOOL
Inkwell NOVEMBER 2020
827 North Tacoma Avenue Tacoma, WA 98403 email@example.com | 253-272-2216 Issue 2 | Volume 63 EDITOR IN CHIEF Julia Henning PRINT EDITOR Gabrielle Krieger ONLINE EDITOR Parker Briggs SOCIAL & MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Sebastian Bush NEWS EDITOR Sofia Guerra
Gabrielle Krieger Print Editor
STUDENT LIFE & SPORTS EDITOR Lauren Cook STAFF WRITERS Olivia Near Knoopy Yi Clara Wessells
Cover photo by Sofia Guerra.
Inkwell aims to provide the Annie Wright community with dependable and engaging coverage of school, community and global topics. Inkwell publishes articles of all genres weekly at anniewrightinkwell.org as well as four themed magazines during the course of the school year. Submissions of articles and photographs, correction requests and signed letters to the editor are most welcome. Please email the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org. All published submissions will receive credits and bylines.
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Contents What medical profession is right for you? Non-traditional therapies Meat alternatives TikTok's dangerous and unhealthy trends Reviewing exercise trends Eating disorders Beans: the miracle fruit Skincare in the Annie Wright community The true cost of caffeine Contraceptives and teen pregnancy Young adult mental health culture Coming together while apart Vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians...oh my!
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Quiz Are you interested in a career in healthcare? Take this quiz to find out what kind of medical professional you should become. Would you rather specialize in one thing or know more general information? a. I’d like to be the person to call when someone needs immediate assistance. b. I’d like to know a lot about general medicine and help people stay healthy. c. I’d like to know a lot about one topic and be an expert in my field. d. I’d like to know how to improve healthcare practices on a larger scale.
Do you get grossed out easily? (Would surgery, blood, vomit, etc. make you too uncomfortable to work?) a. Not at all - I’m looking forward to saving people’s lives through surgery! b. A little, but I’d get used to it. c. Yes, I would not like to see bodily fluids regularly. d. Absolutely! I don't ever want to see that at my job.
see next page for results
What type of work would you like to do?
Is money a big factor in what career you choose?
a. I’d like to do fast-paced work, saving people’s lives on a regular basis. b. I’d like to do a little bit of everything with everyone. c. I’d like to examine patients in a clinical setting. d. I’d like to work with others to improve healthcare overall, rather than medical procedures.
a. Maybe… it would be nice, but it’s not the most important thing. b. I’m much more concerned about helping people than the money. c. Absolutely! If I’m going to school for that long, I should be making bank. d. I expect to make more money as my career opportunities grow.
How much time would you be comfortable spending at your job?
Does the current COVID-19 pandemic have an impact on how you view medical professionals?
a. 24 hr. shifts b. Flexible hours c. Mornings or afternoons only d. Regular 40 hour workweek
a. Yes, and I would be excited to work in a fast-paced setting, saving people’s lives! b. Yes, and I appreciate all the doctors warning their patients how to stay safe. c. Yes, but I would not want to work with really sick patients every day. d. Yes. I appreciate all the medical professionals, but I especially appreciate those working behindthe-scenes in policy to help keep the virus under control. I would much rather work to control and spread awareness about a virus than combat it on the front lines.
Who would you most like to work with? Senior citizens, children, women, or everyone? a. Whoever comes to the hospital is who I’ll treat! b. I’d like to work with families and/or people of all ages. c. I’d like to work with people with specific problems that I know how to fix. d. I want to take care of everyone, but maybe not in a clinical setting.
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Mostly A’s - You might like to work in a hospital setting You like a faster-paced environment and don’t mind long hours or a changing schedule, because it’s the important work you do that’s rewarding. Some paths you may be interested in include surgery, nursing, obstetrics, anesthesiology, or occupational therapy.
Mostly B’s - You might like to work in a general, clinical setting You want to know a bit about everyone and you really care about helping people. In this area, you will be able to see people of all ages, genders and socioeconomic backgrounds, and help them to get better over time. Possible careers include: family practitioner, medical assistant, pharmacist, or other general medical jobs. You may also consider teaching medicine to students or residents later in your career.
Mostly C’s - You might like specializing in a certain area of medicine You might feel more comfortable knowing all there is to know about a particular medical field. Doctors like otolaryngologists, psychiatrists, chiropractors, cardiologists, and gastroenterologists specialize in their chosen field and take care of patients struggling with very specific problems. If you are particularly fascinated with one specific branch of medicine, there are many more potential careers that you could check out!
Mostly D’s - You might like a career in public health If you got mostly D’s, maybe working in a hospital or clinic isn’t right for you! Many other fields require less hands-on work but are just as important, like a career in public health, biostatistics or epidemiology. If throughout the pandemic, you’ve been following Dr. Anthony Fauci and thinking about how you could improve Department of Health guidelines, this field could be your best way of making a difference.
Student art submission by Ren Henry-Mitchell (USG '23)
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Non-traditional therapies by Julia Henning
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EDMR)
EMDR, developed in 1988, reprocesses the mind to allow people to heal and de-stress from traumatic events. This is done by showing photos similar to their trauma while externally stimulating the brain at the same time to allow the brain to connect the traumatic experience with more adaptive memories. According to the EDMR official website, 84%-90% of patients no longer experience PTSD after only three 90-minute sessions. It is officially recognized as an effective form of treatment by the World Health Organization and American Psychiatric Association. One phase of EMDR includes bilateral stimulation or rapid eye movement such as sleep. In most forms, the patient moves their eyes back and forth while thinking of a negative memory from a traumatic experience and then is asked to allow their mind go blank repeatedly throughout the session. There is little to no speaking or homework involved, unlike traditional therapy.
Animal Assisted Therapies
Animals have long been a source of stress relief for ill and healthy people alike because spending time with animals can cause humans to release dopamine, creating a sense of security and pleasure for humans. For patients with acute to chronic illnesses, animals can be used in a therapeutic setting to reach physical, emotional or mental goals. Animals in the hospital setting can assist with rehabilitation of strength and balance as well as stress reduction. While not many studies have been conducted, there is some data to suggest that the brain may release pleasure hormones when it sees a puppy or kitty.
Christenson received a small card to remember her visit with Gidget, the therapy animal. Photo by Lauren Christenson.
Lauren Christenson (USG ‘21) had a short post-surgery treatment with a therapy dog at Mary Bridge Children’s in Tacoma. Christenson underwent a five hour surgery in the morning and spent time with a young dog named Gidget in the afternoon. Christenson said, “Although I was 16, I was still in the children's ward so they came in with books and stuff and then they brought in the dog and they didn’t even tell me they were bringing it. It was a nice surprise after a five hour surgery and the dog was really well behaved.” Christenson got to keep a small card with information about the dog. “Overall, it was a cool experience because it inspired me to get my own dog registered as a therapy dog,” said Christenson.
In the 1940s, many dancers and choreographers observed the benefits of dancing on dancers' health and well-being. The use of movement for cognitive, social and emotional growth came out of this moment. Dancing, similar to animal therapy, releases dopamine and many endorphins to give a sense of pleasure while moving to reduce anxiety. Lorraine Constantine, director of ballet and choreographer at Image Studio of Dance, noted the benefits of dance and movement therapy on many levels.
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“[Movement therapy] has been monumental for both physical rehabilitation as well as mental. Before language was developed, we had non-verbal communication and a lot of that was gesticular and in the ways that we were trying to express our feelings. Flash forward hundreds of years later, we still have a means of communicating through movement,” said Constantine. Recently, a viral clip of Marta C. González, a former New York City Ballet prima ballerina living with Alzheimer’s disease, has been circling around the internet for its presentation of how music and dance can stimulate memory. In the clip, González recalls the choreography of Swan Lake from hearing the music. Constantine noted, “In any language, there is a limitation on what you can express. But through the physical form, the expression is limitless. It’s very special to be able to access that because you are limited by verbal communication quite a bit so I think as dancers, as people who connect with music and movement, we have such a broader range of communicating.” Trials show positive correlation in quality of life or coping with disease for patients using movement therapies. In the COVID-19 pandemic, dancing in one's home was a big suggestion by psychiatrists and officials to fill time and to get moving during lock-downs and quarantines.
Acupuncture is a treatment where fine, sterile needles are inserted in the epidermal layer of skin at points in channels of the body. It can treat many types of pain or inflammation including migraines, knee and back pain and tendinitis.
Cornelia Moynihan, NDLAc, owner of Pegasus Acupuncture and Natural Health in Tacoma, helps all types of conditions with naturopathic treatments. “Most people will definitely experience a reduction in pain symptoms. How long that takes can vary. Sometimes it’s very dramatic. Say somebody walks into the clinic and has an active acute migraine, they might walk out migraine free,” said Moynihan. According to Moynihan, about 90% of the population responds to acupuncture positively, but it is possible that some people will not respond at all —Dr. Moynihan said there is an uncertainty as to why. Varieties of acupuncture include electroacupuncture, fire needle acupuncture and scalp acupuncture.
The treatment of cupping (or fire cupping) uses glass domes that seal against the skin. The technique pulls the oxygen out of the domes, typically by flame, to suction them to the skin. Cupping gained popularity during the 2016 Summer Olympics when many swimmers were spotted with red circles from the marks their cupping treatment left behind. While there are skeptics of its effectiveness, reports from athletes on the increased range of motion and recovery for sore muscles demonstrate the positive effects cupping treatment can have. “[Cupping has] an interesting effect on the muscle and the connective tissue around muscles. The reason people do it for tight muscles is because it helps release the fascia. Swimmers and athletes that are going to be doing strenuous training can get very tight muscles. Cupping will help release that connec-
Constantine works with two of her dancers in a weekly teen ballet class during the pandemic. Photo by Julia Henning.
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Plus a recipe for caramelized golden tofu by Clara Wessells Veganism and vegetarianism date back to 500 B.C., but the increased popularity didn’t start until about 50 years ago. According to the Vegan Society, the number of vegans in the U.S. has grown by 600% from nearly 4 million in 2014 to 19.6 million in 2017. Being “vegan” or “vegetarian” means that a person chooses to eliminate animal products from their diet. In veganism, all animal products are eliminated, meaning no eggs, dairy or meat products. Whereas vegetarians do not eat meat, but can still eat eggs, cheese and other dairy products. With a steady rise in people choosing to reduce or eliminate animal products from their diets, the demand for meat alternatives has grown.
Meat alternatives are made to mimic the taste and texture of real meat. Often, they are sold in the form of fake chicken and ground beef. Popularized with the rise of vegetarianism and veganism, meat alternatives have been around for over 50 years. According to Time Magazine, veganism is said to be officially named in 1944, by Donald Watson, but many South Asian cultures have been practicing fleshavoidance for many centuries. Meat alternative companies, such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, became mainstream in the 2000s. These meatless meats are made with various plant proteins and natural oils.
Impossible Foods burger patties include genetically modified yeast for taste and color. Some people can’t even tell the difference. As for cost, meat alternatives generally cost more than standard meat, but most people that are looking for it are willing to pay. On the other side of the meat substitution list is tofu, which has origins in China. It is a staple food for many vegans and vegetarians. Though it’s not imitation meat, it still has been providing people with protein for about 2000 years. Tofu is bean curd, made from mashed soybeans, and generally used in many Asian dishes. Included is a tofu recipe that is straightforward and fun to make.
Profile of student workers during COVID-19 by Olivia Near
Student workers reflect on their changing experiences at work, due to COVID-19 and virtual school.
Hannah Altayar Hannah Altayar has been working at a clothing store during the pandemic. “I’m really lucky because I have an understanding boss that gets that school has to come first. That’s usually how I manage it, working on the weekend mainly and only taking a couple of shifts.”
Altayar said that online school is far better for having a student job, “because there’s so much more free time, and there’s time to get your assignments done and get ready. If you finish at a certain time, you can be out at that time, and there’s no commuting, so for me, it’s been a lot easier.” Her job “is still pretty [much] in person, but we’ve had a larger on shipping online orders… which just means more work for everybody.” “Customers and employees have to
wear masks, and we have temperature checks before work. There’s plexiglass glass between us … so we don’t see or touch [the products]. It’s really wishywashy what corporate does. However, occupancy has been lower, at only 14 people instead of 25. There’s a lot of precautions in some areas and not a lot in others,” Altayar said about workplace safety. “Our fitting rooms should’ve been closed this entire time, and not open for the months of September, October, and November. Ideally, we wouldn’t
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Photo of tofu by Clara Wessells
Tofu Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. Caramelized Golden Tofu
Small bowl Spoon to mix Spatula (the type used for pancakes)
Water accessible Tofu: One package of firm or extra firm tofu 2 tablespoons peanut oil Sauce: 2 tablespoons soy sauce 3 ½ tablespoons light brown sugar
Cut open tofu package and drain–blot with paper towels
Place skillet on stove and heat to moderately high heat, add peanut oil and wait until after a drop of water is added it sizzles
Sharp knife Medium nonstick skillet Tablespoon measure
Remove tofu from packaging and cut into squares, about one inch by one inch, ½ inch thick
Add the tofu slabs and fry until golden
be accepting any cash, especially since we have Apple Pay, and other ways to get paid. … Fitting rooms and cash are probably what’s keeping up the least safe.”
If I wasn’t a senior, it would probably be fine. I’ve done class from work before so that I could just start immediately afterward. It makes my schedule a lot more flexible, which is nice.”
In regard to keeping everything sanitized at work, Altayar said that “there’s a lot more cleaning involved than there was before. We would still wipe down all of the rooms, but now it’s in between customers.”
Kennedy says her “job has become more difficult, with delivery with Doordash. ... It’s just a rush because delivery services are so unorganized right now.
“It’s an added layer of responsibility of keeping people safe,” said Altayar.
Rachel Kennedy Senior Rachel Kennedy works at a pizzeria and has experienced some of the recent guideline changes personally. “With college apps, [work] is stressful.
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Flip so that both sides get browned While tofu is cooking, mix soy sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl When golden brown, remove from pan and place on paper towels to drain Add a bit more oil if needed, then pour the sauce into the pan Reduce heat to medium and add tofu Add 3 tablespoons water and cook until the sauce coats the tofu in a syrupy glaze After making this recipe many times, I’ve found that it only requires 3 teaspoons Remove pan from heat and let the tofu cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a serving dish “Interactions with customers are sped up, so you don't learn as much. Customer service isn’t as much of a thing. I think I’d be working a little less [without COVID-19] … if we were in school because I wouldn’t be able to end a call, and then be at work.”
“As soon as I get home, I put all of my clothes in the laundry, because I am seeing a lot of people. I also never wear the same mask twice, and if it’s going to be a busy night, I usually wear two. I sanitize my steering wheel too,” she said. “When people were allowed to eat in the restaurant I was a little uncomfortable… but now it’s better.” Photo by Olivia Near
#skullbreakerchallenge TikTok's unhealthy and dangerous trends by Sebastian Bush
Since 2018 and 2019, TikTok has become one of the world’s most popular social media apps, and according to TikTok (via CNBC), its total monthly active users have sky-rocketed from 54 million in January 2018 to almost 700 million as of July 2020. This surge in popularity was only amplified by the COVID-19 lockdown, as TikTok offered the perfect trendy social media platform for many stuck at home. In fact, as of December 2020, TikTok is the No. 1 app in entertainment and the No. 2 overall app in popularity on Apple’s App Store. Out of 27 AWS students surveyed, 15 said that they regularly or sometimes use TikTok. However, as anyone might predict, the rise of this social media giant has come with some dark sides. TikTok has become yet another social media platform inadvertently promoting dangerous and ill-advised trends to the masses. One such trend is the “Outlet” challenge, where participants plug a charging brick halfway into an outlet and slide a penny down the wall and onto the prongs. The resulting reaction can cause severe electrical damage. In one case two 15-year-old teens faced charges after they short-circuited an outlet at their local High School. This event even spurred the local fire marshal (Peter Ostroskey) to make an announcement about electrical safety, according to CBS news. Let us just be real here. These trends are simply that, trends, things that catch on and convince people to join in, regardless of the repercussions. A trend can grow quickly, as it starts appearing on even more For You Pages (TikTok’s page that
suggests new content to watch based on previous views), convincing more people to participate in these dangerous, and sometimes deadly challenges. Yes, deadly. According to Forbes, a teen girl died from overdosing on Benadryl after seeing a post on TikTok that it would make her high.
"... a teen girl died from overdosing on Benadryl after seeing a post on TikTok that it would make her high." TikTok needs to regulate these parasitic trends. Although they have taken down clearly dangerous hashtags like #skullbreakerchallenge, these challenges are still resurfacing over and over again. Yes, they have millions of videos to comb through, but they still need to do a better job of blocking dangerous and harmful content from being seen. Their platform is solely based on AI recommendations, so if one person likes a dangerous trend, there is a high chance they will see another one crop up on their For You Page. This cycle of seeing and consuming potentially harmful content only sends the message that these trends are safe because everyone is participating in them. This peer pressure mentality encourages people, especially impressionable youth and teens, to participate in these dangerous challenges. It is a circle of consumption,
being driven to participate, and posting for others to consume. And although some come out unscathed, many don’t. Remember that #skullbreakerchallenge? The one where participants knocked the feet out from underneath one of their friends, resulting in the friend crashing down to the ground? That one. This could be arguably one of the most dangerous trends out there, with countless stories of injuries. According to the New York Post, doctors warn that the challenge could cause severe spinal cord injury, and even be fatal. In one recount via The New York Times, a 13-year old boy was sent to the hospital after suffering a concussion as a result of the challenge. The two ‘friends’ that knocked him down? They were charged with aggravated assault and endangering an injured victim (both third-degree). So what can TikTok do? They can at least attempt to flag more of this content and block it from being seen by kids and teens. They could implement a ‘Kid’s Mode,’ or a ‘Teen’s Mode,’ that flags inappropriate and potentially harmful content. Yes, they do have a restricted mode in settings. Although adding optional filters isn’t a very effective tool when it comes to teens. They should at least automatically sort teens under 18 into this restricted mode, or a similar teen’s mode and then add the ability to opt-out of said mode. Although it may seem like the same thing to many, it could be just enough of a hindrance that teens don’t feel the need to switch to a full TikTok experience, hopefully saving them from seeing harmful trends along the way.
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What people with chronic pain want you to know by Gabrielle Krieger Chronic pain, or “the invisible disability,” is not something that others can see; yet, it’s always there in some form. I wish I could easily summarize what chronic pain is like, but the truth is, there is no accurate comparison. I have experienced my share of acute pain, and none of it comes close. Chronic pain is defined as any ongoing pain that lasts over six months. I have dealt with chronic pain for nearly three years, and I will likely deal with it in some capacity for the rest of my life. My experience with chronic pain started in my freshman year when I injured my head and neck. I had a singular full-on migraine for over a year– as in not one day passed when I was lucky enough to have even just a simple headache. After several treatments, including physical therapies, pain killers, migraine medications, massage therapy, acupuncture and more I got to a point where my migraines would only last for a few months at a time, with headaches in between. This brings me to my first point of advice for people not struggling with chronic pain: if you know someone who is, and you are not their doctor, please avoid giving them medical suggestions. We
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You ca n have some pain or a lotta pain
ut n abo ? pain
Conversations with chronic pain Comic strip made on Canva by Gabrielle Krieger.
know you mean well, but chances are we have tried whatever you are about to recommend. This is also frustrating because it assumes that we are not doing everything we can to get better, when the truth is, in many cases, there is no cure. If someone is opening up to you about their experience with chronic pain, they probably just want support.
"If someone is opening up to you about their experience with chronic pain, they probably just want support" Currently, my migraines only last for a few days to a week at a time, though I still have chronic pain from other conditions. For instance, I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Part of EDS is that all of my bones are constantly popping partially out of their sockets. It also means that my connective tissues do not function properly, which is why my neck injury has not fully healed, and likely never will. In addition, I have postural orthopedic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which means whenever I stand, my heart rate significantly increases. This causes lightheadedness, brain fog and chest pain, among other symptoms. These
conditions are only a few of what I deal with on a daily basis. But aside from the constant physical discomfort, the hardest part of chronic pain is the isolation. Chronic pain, and the fatigue and brain fog that accompanies it, has impacted every part of my life. It limits my capacity for schooling, extracurriculars, social activities, physical activities, basic selfcare and anything else that falls under the general category of having a life. One of my least favorite things people say to me is that I’m so lucky I don't have to do something. In actuality, it’s not that I do not have to do something, it’s that I do not get to. I hate canceling on people or having to miss out on things because of my pain. I hate feeling like I am letting people down. While I understand that it is difficult for people without chronic pain to grasp that there is no getting better for me, it hurts when people lose their patience and get annoyed at me, or assume that because they cannot see anything wrong with me, I must be exaggerating. This is not to say that you should feel sorry for people with chronic pain. I just want people to realize that, unless you have chronic pain, there is no way for you to completely understand what it is
Reviewing exercise trends by Inkwell, sidebar by Sofia Guerra
With all the gyms and athletics shut down during quarantine, online exercise programs became a staple in many people’s fitness routines this past year. Inkwell tried a handful of YouTube’s most popular fitness programs for a week and wrote up their reviews for each below.
Julia - Nil Sani
Although this is an unofficial exercise challenge, Nil Sani still gained a lot of traction from her five minute “booty burn” workouts. I did it every other day for two weeks to allow for a fair assessment along with recovery and to also have time to focus on other muscles. The workout definitely gets your heart rate up and works your thighs and glutes. I would recommend adding some cardio to it for toning. I would also add ankle weights or dumbbells to the movement. The timing of the videos are quick so I always did it twice because five minutes didn’t feel satisfying. By the end, I felt happy with how much easier it was to go through the workout and add more weight on. The only criticism I had was that you do all of the exercises on one side and then all again on the other instead of switching for each exercise. I will definitely be taking some of those moves into future workouts though.
Final Score: 4/5 Dr. Nolan - MadFit
Canadian vlogger and YouTube fitness instructor, Maddie Lymburner, started her fitness channel, Mad Fit, in 2018. Her channel grew when she started adding song-specific workouts to popular hits like Billie Eilish’s “bad guy.” During the Covid-19 pandemic, her channel exploded in popularity. I have been following her workouts consistently since 2019. I keep coming back to MadFit because she has a variety of videos, including cardio, strength, bodyweight and HIIT. I particularly like how stackable her workouts are. I often combine a warm-up and cool down with videos of various lengths to make a workout that fits the amount of time I have. I often have trouble following exercise videos, but Lymburner’s videos are very clear. She demonstrates the exercise and then does them along with you. I love that she doesn’t talk very much in between demonstrations; instead, she plays upbeat music in the background and I find it easier to concentrate and follow along. I also like the timer and countdown she always puts in her videos. The workouts themselves are challenging and I feel like I can squeeze in a good workout even on days where I only have ten or 15 minutes. My only complaint is that she rarely includes modifications to her videos, so her workouts may not be the most accessible.
Final Score: 5/5 Sebastian - Chloe Ting
Over the past summer, I too, wanted to become more active. After searching for a doable exercise plan, I found Chloe Ting’s website and YouTube, both with a plethora of plans to try. I did the "2 Week Burn Challenge." I will tell you this, it wasn’t easy. The workouts were long and hard, and there were a lot of planks. However, I found the workouts to be rewarding, sometimes. Other times I just felt tired. Perhaps this just wasn’t the workout type for me, but I didn’t love it. There were barely any rest days in the plan, and after the first few days, I didn’t feel like my muscles were being stretched or worked very much. Ironically, as I said, I was somehow still very tired. Otherwise, the music wasn’t great, but the timer/break system was nice. One thing I didn’t like was the length. I was going to try to do it again recently, but I found that I didn’t have the time. I didn’t want to sacrifice sleep for exercise, and because they were so long, it was hard to fit the workouts into my day. Overall, they were fine, but not my favorite.
Final Score: 3/5
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Gabi - Yoga with Adriene
As someone with physical limitations from injuries, Yoga With Adriene workouts are a great and gentle option to get moving. On her YouTube channel, Adriene Mishler has a range of yoga sessions for every situation, from morning yoga to more niche options like office break yoga. Her instructions are always clear, and told in a calming voice. I love that even when she is guiding me through more complicated poses, I never feel intimidated. The atmosphere in her videos is inviting, and her channel feels as close to a yoga studio as you can possibly get online. I do not have a lot of time to workout, but when I need a quick boost of energy or a deep stretch throughout the day, she has plenty of short videos that still feel satisfying. I felt more limber after just the first week of following her shorter videos on a daily basis. Overall, her yoga sessions are an effective way to decompress both physically and mentally.
Final Score: 5/5 Clara - Kathryn Morgan
Kathryn Morgan is a former soloist with the New York City Ballet and Miami City Ballet. She creates YouTube videos with various ballet-centered workouts as well as lifestyle videos directed towards young dancers. I have been watching and following along with her videos for a little over a year. With much more time on my hands during quarantine this summer, I was doing her fullbody strength and stretch videos every other day. Morgan’s videos are easy to follow and provide a good workout that still feels dance-related. Much of the time, I get bored and don’t get all the way through a workout video, but Morgan’s videos are engaging and not so tiring that I don’t have the energy to finish. She also posts ballet barre lesson and full-length ballet classes that I have done on numerous occasions, which are really great because there are lots of options for different skill levels. Overall, for ballet dancers, Kathryn Morgan’s videos are really instructive and were excellent to do in quarantine, because I was increasing not only my strength but also my technique.
Final Score: 5/5
Exercises to do at your desk Spending too much time seated in front of a screen? Here are 5 easy, equipmentfree exercises to do during passing period.
How to: Stand with your back straight and your arms perpendicular to the ground. Rotating from your shoulders, do 20 tight, controlled circles clockwise and then another 20 counterclockwise. What are the benefits? This exercise is a light warmup to get the blood flowing. It also develops arm muscles like your shoulders, triceps and biceps.
How to: Stand about three toe-to-heel steps away from any wall. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the wall. Keeping your back and legs aligned, lower yourself towards the wall, bending your elbows at 90 degrees against the sides of your torso, then push back up. Repeat 15-25 times. What are the benefits? Wall push-ups are less daunting and less likely to cause
a headrush than normal push-ups. Additionally, wall push-ups activate your triceps, shoulders and core.
Standing Toe Touches
How to: Stand with your feet shoulderwidth apart. Keeping your legs straight, bend down and touch one hand to the opposite foot, return to an upright position, and then switch sides for one rep. Repeat 20 times. What are the benefits? The exercise acts as a warmup to elevate your heart rate. It’s also great for stretching your hamstrings and back muscles.
How to: Stand about two steps away from the edge of your chair Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down, keeping your weight on your heels and your knees directly above your toes. Lower yourself until you touch the edge of your chair, then push back up. Repeat 15-25 times. (Note: for this exercise, you must have a stable chair. Mobile or adjustable chairs pose a risk of injury). What are the benefits? This exercise is a modification of the classic squat. Having
your chair as an indicator of how low you should squat helps guide your form and keep you from damaging your knees from over-squatting. This exercise targets your glutes, calves, hamstrings and quads.
How to: Stand behind your chair, using the back to help balance yourself. Stand with your feet about two-fists-width apart. Rise onto your tiptoes, hold the position, then lower yourself, making sure to control your movements. Repeat 20-35 times. What are the benefits? This exercise is a gentle warmup to wake up your feet and legs and encourage better posture. Additionally, this exercise both stretches and builds your calf and foot arch muscles.
Additional exercise tip
If you want to find ways to build muscle or burn more calories doing everyday tasks, try wearing some weight or ankle weights or a resistance band around your legs. These small pieces of equipment have big impacts in the long run.
Eating disorders The role of body image in social media and dance communities. by Julia Henning Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, binge eating and many others affect approximately 70 million people worldwide. Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. It is defined by a distorted body image and fear of weight gain that is associated with over-exercise and under-eating. Ela Escobar, Annie Wright graduate and a first-year student at the University of Puget Sound, struggled with her own body image and anorexia in high school. “I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa in 10th grade, but they determined I had it since about seventh grade. I didn’t seek help and I didn’t want help. There was a moment in Ms. Barber’s class where I started having a panic attack because I ate a bagel for breakfast and I just lost it,” said Escobar. After this moment, Escobar was sent to the school counselor’s office where she opened up and was put into treatment within a couple days. Laurel Madson-Lawson, licensed mental health counselor and owner of Løsninger Counseling in Tacoma, provides support for people with a variety of needs related to depression, PTSD, relationships and eating disorders. According to MadsonLawson, treatment for an eating disorder looks different for every person. “Individual counseling outside of a treatment center is essential for
continued recovery. It is difficult for someone with Anorexia Nervosa that is in a large body to be around someone with the same behaviors but have the social benefits of being in a thin body. Then, take someone bulimic who is in a large body and they too restrict, but it is rewarded (in society) because they are in a large body,” said Madson-Lawson.
"People come in all shapes and sizes...we need to rethink bodies and know they are all different" American diet culture reinforces restrictive eating by insisting everyone needs to slim down. 89% of girls diet in some form by the age of 17, according to the Polaris Teen Center. Evidence shows that many popular diets are more destructive than helpful because they quickly lead to habits of restrictive eating or bingeing if the diet encourages consumption of fewer calories or over exercise. Madson-Lawson said, “The diet industry is a billion-dollar industry that benefits from body hatred. It is a social justice
issue. People come in all shapes and sizes. You wouldn't ask a bear to be a snake, why are we asking someone who is in a large body to change their body, why are we asking someone who is trans to fit a stereotype of a binary gender? We need to rethink bodies and know they are all different.” The use of social media can have varying effects on how young people perceive their own bodies because it only shows a small part of someone’s life, giving the impression of having an unrealistic ‘perfect’ life or body. Laynee Resnikoff (USG ‘23) noted how social media negatively impacts her perception of herself. “I don't even follow any models or anything,” said Resnikoff. “Personally, I rarely post anything on social media. Not because I'm not doing anything, but because [it] almost feels too [unrealistic] to wipe my tears, put on a mask and pretend like my life is perfect." Some social media influencers are changing the narrative around this though. Brittani Lancaster, for example, shares her experience with eating disorders on TikTok, Instagram and Youtube, while also encouraging recovery for others and providing resources to get help.
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In the ballet world, 16.4% of ballet dancers will develop an eating disorder, over 4% higher than the average rate in the world. These rates continue to grow at an alarming rate. According to Lorraine Constantine, director of ballet and choreographer at the Image Studio of Dance, because of the origins of ballet, especially in the Balanchine era, the dance community has long been influenced by the idea of having small features in order to get jobs and join a company. Young teenage girls and boys, taking classes in front of mirrors all day plus the competition of the ballet world, are more prone to pick apart their flaws or engage in unconstructive conversations about their body.
“You can’t change your physicality, the true structure of your body,” said Constantine. “And what the danger becomes then is they start cutting back food, self-harming and getting into really dark mental spaces, and I feel compelled to nip it in the bud because I know where that thought can go. We [the studio directors] have always strived and tried to find a different way to redirect thoughts that might be detrimental to our students. The amount of physicality it takes to do dance well is incredible and you can only do that if your body is fueled and nourished.” In response to advice commonly given to people struggling with their image, Escobar said, “when people are
struggling with their body image, no matter how many times you tell them they’re beautiful, they’re not gonna understand that or see that. But they can understand to an extent that maybe my body isn’t the enemy. Food isn’t your enemy.”
If you are struggling with behaviors of eating disorders, please contact 1-800-9312237 or for emergent situations, text NEDA to 741741.
The number on the scale causes many young people to feel the need to lose weight, while in reality every body is different and changing. Photo by Julia Henning
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Beans: the miracle fruit by Parker Briggs
Beans, beans, the musical fruit; The more you eat, the... lower your risk for cardiac disease.
benefits. “Beans have a lot of nutrition for such a little seed!” noted Young.
That isn’t quite how the saying goes, but it's certainly medically accurate. For a multitude of health problems— including those most common in America— beans are an often overlooked, yet easy and effective remedy. Whether pinto, black, kidney or navy, beans, when added to any diet, can provide a gold mine of extraordinary health benefits.
Registered dietitian Sara Young of Sierra Nutrition, located in Tacoma’s Stadium District, prescribes the consumption of beans for both preventative health measures and diagnostic treatment. Notwithstanding the food’s near-panacea status, she acknowledges that common knowledge is correct: Beans do cause gas. This is the effect of the legumes’ high content of oligosaccharides, a type of carbohydrate. “The oligosaccharides in beans resist digestion all the way until they meet the bacteria in the large intestine,” she said. Because the human digestive tract lacks the enzymes needed to break down the oligosaccharides, the bacteria in the large intestine rapidly ferment the carbohydrate and produce methane gas. Because of this, registered dietitian Joan Hogan, of Food 4 Life Nutrition, encourages people to start slowly when introducing beans into their diet: “If you eat too large of a quantity too quickly, you may experience a lot of gas.” “Fortunately,” added Young, “many of these negative effects can be mitigated by soaking and cooking beans thoroughly.” She suggests cooking beans with kombu— a sea vegetable, available at most groceries, that contains many of the enzymes humans are missing. Young recommends holding “Frijole Fridays” or “Meatless Mondays” as a way to incorporate plantbased protein into your weekly menu. Surplus wind is only a minor cost for beans’ outstanding health
Beans have an especially high fiber content, ranging from 11g per cup for kidney beans to 19g per cup for white navy beans. Because you should aim to consume 30g of fiber per day, consuming beans is an easy way to support digestive health. According to Hogan, “Fiber also is of benefit in promoting healthy probiotics that can help immune health, weight loss, cardiac disease and certain cancers.” Also present in beans is resistant starch, a compound that receives much less attention. “It’s called this because it resists digestion,” similar to fiber, said Young, “leaving you feeling fuller longer when you eat beans.”
A cup of cooked beans contains roughly 6g of plant-based protein. Because they lack an amino acid necessary for the body to create a complete protein, beans are best served with rice or any other grain. This combination provides the remaining amino acids needed to make the protein complete. Hogan shared that “Unlike meat and a number of other animalbased proteins, they are low in fat, high in fiber and high in phytochemicals.”
These phytochemicals, she says, “are nutrients unique to plant foods that are of benefit for overall protection against several diseases.” These maladies include certain cancers, kidney disease, neurological problems and immune deficiency.
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Beans are an excellent source of nutrients such as fiber, iron, folate and complex carbs. Photo by Parker Briggs.
According to Young, “Beans have a good amount of iron for a plant-based protein, at 4mg per cup. However, the type of iron found in plants is less absorbable than that of fleshy proteins, so you need to make sure and eat plants high in iron with a vitamin C source, like bell peppers, to help it be absorbed.” Healthy iron levels can be important in avoiding heart disease. Furthermore, Hogan says she “work[s] with people with cardiac disease, using beans to help with this getting better management of their cholesterol.”
Beans contain high levels of complex carbohydrates, which are more nutritious than simple carbohydrates found in bread and processed foods. Whereas simple carbs quickly turn into sugar in the body, complex carbs such as those in beans take longer to
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break down, providing a stable source of energy in the form of glucose to the bloodstream.
“Folate,” Young said, “is one of those important nutrients no one talks about until you’re expecting a baby. But it’s important in helping red blood cells grow, and assists in cell replication. Beans have a ton of folate–one cup of beans is about a third of what we need for a day.”
A cup of beans contains almost three times as much potassium as a banana. “I recommend beans as a good source of potassium for individuals with hypertension. Beans are an easy way to increase potassium intake.”
Skincare can be a valuable form of self-care. Graphic made on Canva by Gabrielle Krieger.
Skincare in the Annie Wright community by Gabrielle Krieger
In recent years, the skincare industry experienced a dramatic increase in popularity on a global scale, which even outpaced the makeup’s industry’s rate of growth. According to Technavio, a major market research company, the industry grew by an estimated 5.82% in 2019 alone. Even in 2020, despite extreme economic decline due to COVID-19, the skincare industry saw an increase in revenue. But what does this trend mean, and what’s causing it? While it could represent a global focus on wellness, it could also be driven by unrealistic beauty standards about what skin “should” look like. To investigate skincare’s increasing popularity, specifically within the Annie Wright community, Inkwell spoke with several Upper School students about their skincare practices. Among the students who were interviewed, the majority said that they do skincare as a method of self-care and for the positive impact it has on their mental wellbeing. Nadine Gibson (USG ‘23) used to be concerned about what others thought of her skin, but “now it’s [skincare’s] just more of a factor of like taking care of myself and self-care,” she said. “I’m doing this for me and my health and a moment of mindfulness with myself, rather than ‘oh my gosh I hope my
skin looks clear for this or that reason.’” Similarly, Katherine Maas (USG ‘23) said skincare is comparable to “getting dressed for the day and cleaning your room, and stuff like that is self care because it makes you feel good about yourself.” For Noelle Hwang (USG ‘21), creating her skincare routine was a self-care journey. “Although my skin isn’t flawless—which I’ve learned is perfectly fine—I’m quite happy with how far I’ve come, and the confidence I’ve gained by carefully working with what my skin needed,” she said. However, some students did cite external pressures as at least part of the reason they do skincare.
“I do skincare for me. I like to look in the mirror and see me, not the pimples on my face." For Samantha Salamone (USG ‘22), skincare is a mixture of self-
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care and managing her acne to avoid unwanted attention to her skin. She said, overall “I do skincare for me. I like to look in the mirror and see me, not the pimples on my face.” However, her attention to skincare also stems from her experiences in middle school: “I had horrible acne in eighth grade, and everyone felt the need to give me unsolicited skincare advice, as though I wasn’t aware that I had severe acne. After that, I just tried to avoid being in the situation.”
their skincare practices and relationship with skincare over the course of the pandemic. “Although I neglected my skin when the lockdown began, I’ve learned to take advantage of being socially distanced and staying home by doing things that make me happy—like experimenting with homemade face masks and having spa nights with my mom—without the feeling of doing it only to have better skin or improve my appearance,” Hwang said.
Some students also reported experiencing a positive shift in
Diet trend red flags by Sofia Guerra
It seems that new diet trends pop up every day. While not every popular trend is necessarily unhealthy, it’s certain that not all diets are created equal. Here are some red flags to look out for before trying any diet.
Cutting out whole food groups or dividing foods into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ categories Food groups are labeled as food groups for a reason. Even in elementary schools, it is taught that a healthy and balanced diet consists of moderate portions of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, dairy, fats and sugars. If any diet calls to completely eliminate intake of any of these groups— most commonly carbs, fats or sugars— it is not to be trusted. This goes hand in hand with the labeling of foods or food groups as ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Broccoli is ‘good.’ but bread is ‘bad.’ Salmon is ‘good,’ but egg yolks are ‘bad.’ While it may be true that certain processed foods and ‘junk’ type foods aren’t as nutritious as lean protein and fiber-rich legumes, villainizing entire food groups and banning them from one’s diet often causes deprivation and a lack of nutrients. All sugars are portrayed as fattening or addictive when fructose and lactose actually play an important role in stabilizing blood sugar levels after eating. Fats are widely feared due to being viewed as calorie-dense, but the moderate consumption of dietary fats and omega-3s offer a plethora of health benefits: lowering ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and inflammation, and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Carbohydrates are far more than just cakes and white bread, and are actually the body’s main source of energy and aid in digestion. A diet that cuts out major food groups likely only focuses on reducing the number of calories one consumes, not tracking the nutrients lost in tandem.
Promise of rapid weight loss One of the biggest red flags to look for is the promise of rapid weight loss (i.e., ten pounds in a week). The Mayo Clinic
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recommends weight loss of one to two pounds a week, at most. With a pound of fat consisting of 3,500 calories, this would entail cutting 3,500-7,000 calories weekly, or 500-1,000 calories daily. For reference, the recommended daily calorie intake for a sedentary person weighing 150 pounds is around 2,000 calories. Even losing the recommended two pounds per week would mean cutting half of one’s total calories consumed. Now, picture losing 10 pounds in a week. To feasibly shed 10 pounds of fat in one week, one would have to burn 5,000 calories a day. To burn 5,000 calories, one would have to run for about 10 hours, on zero food. Given this is clearly an impossible feat, these types of diets actually use a sort of ‘trickery’ to make it seem like one is losing weight. Usually short and involving strict rules about food intake, most of these diets focus on losing water weight with drastic (and depriving) changes in the types of foods included. These diets will show promising weight loss in the time outlined, but are not effective, sustainable or healthy.
No mention of exercise Diets that solely revolve around diet alone and fail to recommend, at a minimum, 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3-4 times a week are almost always unhealthy. For healthy weight loss, it is necessary to incorporate some form of exercise into one’s lifestyle alongside developing a balanced and moderate diet. Exercise, namely resistance training like weightlifting, helps to develop lean muscle mass, which in turn increases one’s metabolic rate, or calories naturally burned over time. Diets that focus on weight loss via calories deficit alone have the opposite effect and can cause the body to slow its metabolism, meaning that all weight lost (and potentially more) is quickly gained back once one is off the diet and is no longer drastically restricting calories. Any diet that doesn’t include recommended exercises, or even explicitly advertises weight loss without exercise, is not sustainable as a lifestyle choice.
The true cost of caffeine by Parker Briggs
A can of Monster contains 57g of sugar and 169mg of caffiene— more than 2 1/2 cups of espresso. Photo by Parker Briggs.
For teenagers, caffeine is a familiar drug. Students use it to pull all-nighters and to stay awake for morning classes. But few teenagers understand the true effects of consuming caffeine. Melisa Suarez, Spanish teacher in the Upper School for Boys, is an expert in the field of biology, with a major in biochemistry from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas, Venezuela. She explained the science of what actually happens when a teenager knocks back a Red Bull. “What does the most harm is the combination of caffeine and sugar,” said Suarez. “The majority of caffeinated drinks that have a high caffeine content also happen to have a high content of sugar. “One standard 250ml can of Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine— less than 1 cup of coffee, but with 27g of sugar. A 500ml can of Monster has 169mg of caffeine— the same as three cups of coffee, but with 57g of sugar. The caffeine in a 330ml can of Coca-Cola is less than in a single cup of coffee, but is paired with 39g of sugar. “If energy drinks only had caffeine, it would be better; but it is the combination of caffeine and sugar that does the most damage. On account of the stimulation it gives you, it is truly a
bomb to the nervous system. Caffeine alone wakes you up, but is not as hyper-stimulating to the nervous system. “Consuming pure caffeine like coffee, without any sugar, also does not have as bad of consequences. The best option for consuming it is having only caffeine and minimal sugar. Low levels of caffeine are also better. Green tea, for example, has caffeine, but only in minimal quantities.” Even though students often consume caffeine to temporarily boost their cognitive performance, Suarez says this practice is misguided. “When you drink lots of caffeine, you become agitated and very active, but have a decreased ability to concentrate,” she said.
"You are being cheated by your misperception of caffeine's effects." “You don’t have mental clarity. You have lots of energy, but cannot concentrate on a specific idea. You think you are being productive, but you are being cheated by your misperception of caffeine's effects. So, if you already have any problems with keeping attention, this type of drink is terrible for you.
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“After drinking excess caffeine you cannot concentrate; you cannot make coherent decisions; you cannot remember things. In the short term, of course there are also benefits: you are awake; you are active. “If a person suffers from headaches or migraines, a little caffeine can help because it constricts the blood vessels. That is a fact. But if someone has too much caffeine, it can affect the nervous system. It affects the blood circulation system of all of the cerebral vessels and can have effects like a ‘mini stroke’.” For teenagers, the long term consequences are most concerning. “The most important thing to understand,” said Suarez, “is that consuming caffeine as an adult over 25 years of age is not the same as consuming caffeine as an adolescent, between 8 and 24 years old.
"As a teenager, you inhibit the development of your brain and suffer permanent consequences." “If an adult over 25 years drinks a Monster, it does damage but nowhere on the scale it would for a teenager, because the brain is in a stage of development and plasticity. The brain of an adolescent is not fully formed, and to have the kind of stimulation you get from the combination of caffeine and sugar is dreadfully explosive. “Because the brain is still in stages of development, the process of making neural connections has not yet been completed. Excess stimulation from caffeine and sugar is unhealthy for this process of maturation of the brain. “The problems caused by caffeine come from one: excess, and two: repetition,” said Suarez. “You could drink a whole liter of black coffee today, and nothing is going to happen if you don’t have any more until the following year. But if every day you introduce the same quantity of caffeine into your body, your nervous system is going to begin to require it to be able to stay awake. “In the long term, you develop dependence and addiction. You cannot remember events; you consume too much caffeine and you are unable to mentally catalog what things you did. In the long term, your dependence requires you to take caffeine to be able to stay alert. In the long term, the neural connections in your brain are not as good. “When you go to bed, you will not sleep well. You may fall asleep and think that you are resting, but you are still under the
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effects of caffeine. Caffeine in the body reduces the amount of deep sleep, REM, which is vital for neurons in this stage of development. Teenagers need more hours of deep sleep than adults, because when you sleep your brain develops new connections between neurons. “This is when the brain consolidates and solidifies information, and is in the process of changing into the brain of an adult. If you don’t receive deep sleep, REM, for long hours as an adolescent, this interrupts cerebral development. So it really does damage over the long run. Teenagers who consume energy drinks or caffeine in excess are inhibiting the long-term development of their brains. “When you are a child, consuming caffeine does harm, but your brain is not in the same process of development as when you are a teenager. The time of the most drastic, radical development in your life, is adolescence. Whatever happens to your brain during this stage of adolescence will stay there for the rest of your life. “For a child, caffeine will create dependence but not have the same consequences in the long term. But as a teenager, by consuming caffeine you will inhibit the development of your brain and suffer permanent consequences.
"Whatever happens to your brain during adolescence will stay there for the rest of your life." “By consuming caffeine as a teenager, you create dependence in your brain. When you become an adult, you will have lost the capability to concentrate without the use of caffeine. Without caffeine, you will naturally be in a state of lethargy. Without caffeine, you will not be able to stay alert and focused. Without caffeine, you won’t be able to take in new information. Your brain will not have the capability to do these things. “You drink more coffee to stay alert, and then you end up continuing to feed the loop. It is very difficult to break that sort of pattern. People who are addicted and have consumed caffeine since adolescence, who are 30 or 40 years old and go without coffee, will have a higher risk of getting in a car crash, will struggle to perform at their jobs, and will have a hard time remembering things, all because their brain is working much slower. “If you develop dependency as an adult and don’t get enough caffeine, you may get a headache. But if you develop dependency during adolescence and go without caffeine, you may not be able to understand the words someone is saying.”
Contraceptives and teen pregnancy by Lauren Cook
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that teen pregnancy rates are steadily decreasing, there still seems to be a prevalent stigma around sex and contraceptive devices. Additionally, with many schools across the nation still preaching abstinence-only sex education, it can be confusing and challenging for many teens to get the resources they need to protect themselves sexually. Dr. Loris Hwang is the associate professor of clinical pediatrics and director of adolescent reproductive health, clinical care and research at the University of California, Los Angeles. According to Hwang, “Among females 15-19 years old who are sexually active [and] who report that they use some form of contraception, the most commonly used methods are condoms [used by about half of these females] and the pill [used by about onethird of these females].” Hwang says the most effective forms of contraception are called the “long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs),” which are intrauterine devices (IUDs) and the arm implant, a small rod inserted in the arm that releases pregnancy-preventing hormones. One reason these methods are the most effective is because they require minimal effort from the person on a daily basis. “A teen could get a LARC and it lasts for several years,” said Hwang.
“However, very few teens use LARCs… fewer than 5% of contracepting teen females have an IUD,” she continued. Other female contraceptive methods, like vaginal rings or birth control pills/shots “can get as high as the 98-99% range of effectiveness, which is pretty good, but the person would need to be super careful about keeping the correct schedule. For many people, the effectiveness for the pill, ring, or shot can fall into the lower 90% range because of normal life interruptions that made it hard to stick to the schedule. But for teens who figure out good ways to stick to the schedule, the pill, ring or shot can work out well for them.”
"We definitely want to protect health by having the right ‘tools’ in place to protect from infection and unintended pregnancy.” While all these methods serve to prevent pregnancy, Hwang explained that there can be other benefits to using contraceptives: “We commonly use hormonal contraceptives as a form of medication to treat menstrual symptoms, such as when teens suffer from heavy periods, prolonged periods, irregular periods, or PMS.
Pills that contain estrogen can be helpful for acne. Sometimes teens start hormonal contraception for these reasons alone,” she said. “Then maybe later, if the person becomes sexually active, then the contraception fulfills all these purposes simultaneously.” Due to the common misconception that the use of hormones can negatively impact the teen’s fertility in the future, Hwang says there are “situations where a teen’s parent or relative has expressed some strong feelings or concerns about the use of hormones.” In these instances, Hwang is careful to discuss the possible risks and benefits with the teens and their families. If teens do not wish to involve their families in seeking medical procedures or contraceptive devices, they can receive care without parental consent or knowledge in Washington, said Dr. Angela Duke, an OB/GYN at MultiCare in Tacoma. “However, if the minor is using insurance through the parents (which is the case for most insurance), the parents will get a billing statement, even if they owe nothing for the visit,” Duke warned. “Thus, the parents are entitled to know the details of the ‘diagnosis code’ so the parents might then figure out that it was a contraception-related visit.” If minors wish to have complete privacy, she rec-
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ommends using clinics that don’t require insurance, many of which offer free or reduced-price STI-testing and contraceptive services. Unfortunately, Duke says, there is a stigma around contraception and reproductive health, especially among females. Because of this, “some teens and also adult women may be engaging in sexual activity but do not feel comfortable admitting they are sexually active… [however], delay in seeking care can also lead to delayed recognition of pregnancy and delay in starting important prenatal care,” she said. “I think that the most ideal situation is when a teen and their parent/guardian feel comfortable talking about sexual health so that the teen is not alone in
seeking care,” agreed Hwang. “But if that communication is not possible despite everyone’s efforts, then I think it’s still important for teens to be able to get confidential care, compared to not
everyone waits], so we definitely want to protect health by having the right ‘tools’ in place to protect from infection and
getting any care at all.”
“Since national surveys show that around 20% of 15-year-old teens report that they have had sex, the education needs to start earlier than that!” Hwang added.
This stigma is perpetuated by the ongoing controversy surrounding sex education and the curriculum it promotes. While many people voice their concerns about incorporating topics of sexuality into the classroom, Duke argued that they are important discussions to be had. “Ideally, people will wait to have intercourse until they are in a mutually monogamous relationship AND mature emotionally and mentally, which comes with age,” she said. “However, [not
Washington recently approved the controversial Referendum 90, a bill that requires public schools to implement age-appropriate and comprehensive sex education into the curriculum for all grades, starting in kindergarten. Additionally, beginning in the 2021-22 school year, schools will be required to incorporate discussions of consent and healthy relationships.
There are many forms of contraception, many of which serve other purposes as well. Graphic by Lauren Cook.
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Young adult mental health culture Introduction
by Sofia Guerra
When it comes to most aspects of culture, there is often a distinct gap between the ways of older generations compared to the new. The subject of mental health is no exception. For younger generations like Generation Z or Millenials, their cultural understandings and ‘normals’ surrounding mental health and mental illness are unprecedented by any previous generation. In regards to Generation X or Baby Boomer mental health culture, Dr. Merit Rome, a psychiatry specialist, said, “I think in general, for many years, people believed that you should always be able to help yourself. That because the symptom of a mental illness may involve a lot of emotional changes, that that is something that one should be able to take care of in this pull-yourself-up-by-your bootstraps sense in society. To have the need for treatment or to even just have a psychiatric condition used to be perceived as being weak, or that you are responsible for it.” However, for today’s young adults and adolescents, the idea of repressing or hiding a mental illness is much more foreign. “More and more young people seem to be less hampered by the stigmas about mental health and [getting] treatment,” said Rome. There are numerous observable sociocultural customs and patterns that have emerged to contribute to the current young adult mental health culture. This piece will explore the positives and negatives of some of the most prominent of these factors.
Point: Portraying and documenting mental illness in media such as shows, movies, and literature spreads awareness and educates the public on these issues.
Counterpoint: Inaccurate or poor portrayals of mental health issues in popular media leads to romanticization or further stigmatization of mental illness.
The struggles of those suffering from mental illnesses is a common topic of many shows and movies. Many works dating as far back as the mid-1900s have been praised for their depictions of characters’ mental health issues. When done well, these types of works help to provide insight into some of the difficulties of those suffering from mental illness and show the public the nuances of different types of illnesses. “I feel relieved when I see an accurate portrayal of a patient and a mental health professional in a way that honors people’s needs and really illustrates important things like confidentiality, respect and thoughtful communication. [These types of portrayals] give people the sense that ‘huh, maybe I’ll do that someday,’ or ‘that was really helpful to that person in the show, maybe I should do that,’ or perhaps, ‘maybe I should make a call [to get help] tomorrow,’” said Rome. Furthermore, these works help to create feelings of empathy and understanding, which further chip away at any negative societal views surrounding people with mental illnesses.
For every positive depiction of mental health, there is an equally damaging and inaccurate portrayal. The terms ‘romanticization’ and ‘glamorization’ are defined as the action of making something appear more appealing. Recently, these terms have been coined in reference to the phenomenon of impressionable young adults viewing common mental health issues like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, self-harm and suicide as attractive and desirable. This effect is often traced back to the treatment of mental health in popular media, with numerous studies finding shows guilty of leaving out the gritty and uncomfortable details of mental illness, and instead portraying these issues in a beautifully tragic light comparable to, for example, the protagonists’ deaths in Romeo & Juliet. Another common result of poorly delivered content on mental illness is only contributing to many negative stereotypes surrounding individuals suffering from mental illness. “I don’t look at my patients and their conditions as the same thing. I think it’s inappropriate [when TV shows] talk about someone as a ‘schizophrenic’ or ‘obsessive-compulsive’. You don’t name people according to their diagnoses, they have that condition.” When characters are defined only by their mental illness, or only given characteristics related to their illness, it furthers the damaging idea that a
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The humor younger generations use to address mental health can be candid and even brutal at times. Graphic by Molly Mesec
Meat alternatives Point: The rise of discussions of mental health problems, both via online platforms or person-to-person conversation, helps to de-stigmatize and normalize these issues.
Counterpoint: Because of the rise in discussions about mental illness, having a mental health issue has become a sort of ‘trend.’
The roots of this phenomenon are difficult to pinpoint, but it is undeniable that its effects are very negative. In viewing mental In 2020, the subject of mental illness is no longer treated as illness as ‘trendy,’ a mental health issue becomes an asset similar taboo. Many people speak out against stigmas, educate the to owning the most popular brand of shoes: it seems necessary public and reassure those who suffer from mental health to fit it. With this mentality, people may now be more hesitant issues. Hundreds of communities devoted to supporting and to reach out for help, worried that once their mental health connecting people have been created via online platforms and issue is gone, they will no longer be able to relate to their peers. social programs. Especially in the age of the internet, one does Making the responsible and healthy decision to overcome their not have to look far to find information in the form of studies mental illness is no longer desirable, with the fear of becoming and research, personal experiences or coping suggestions. outcast contributing to or even overtaking the grips of the illness The mental health culture of young adults is more open and itself. Another possible consequence is an emerging suspicion accepting than ever before. With mental illness no longer that some people may be faking a mental illness to defend their simply being swept under the rug, people who suffer from actions, appear more relatable or manipulate others. This leads mental health issues may not feel as alienated or as alone. It to a dangerous countereffect where people try and 'call out' is no longer seen as ridiculous or weak to reach out for help or 'expose' those they believe to be fraudulent in their claims. for a mental illness. Going to therapy is something mentioned This surfacing practice of attacking others for talking about in casual conversation, when before it was a carefully-kept mental illness, regardless of whether or not those in question secret. This increase in dialogue surrounding mental illness are actually feigning, may further intimidate people who actually has come to empower people and encourage acceptance and suffer from mental health issues from speaking up. It solidifies the fear that any mention of their mental health will result in estrangement, rejection and other negative reactions.
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Point: Using humor when addressing mental health issues can be a helpful coping method.
Counterpoint: Dark humor tends to be indelicate and can harm those who do not respond well to this type of humor.
Dark humor, the name given to the subcategory of humor that takes ideas and events normally seen as distressful or tragic, is not only acceptable but ubiquitous in Millennial and Gen Z mental health culture. While reasons vary, many people find dark humor to be a useful coping mechanism. This type of humor is known as self-enhancing humor, which aims to provide a more positive outlook on life, or to take away the power of something intimidating by ridiculing it. It is not uncommon to hear people with mental illnesses like anxiety or depression make candid jokes about their condition as a means to mitigate the severity of their struggles.
To people who do not have the same sense of humor, jokes about mental illness may come off as crude, dismissive and offensive. For those who prefer to take mental health issues more seriously, the act of mocking or deprecating their struggles can be hurtful and cruel. Another case against dark humor is that sensitivity is key when dealing with something as impactful as mental illness, and it is inconsiderate for people to so imprudently exchange jokes that could be further damaging to the mental health of others.
Art therapy: Coping with anxiety and depression by Sebastian Bush
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), over a quarter of all children aged 13-18 suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder in the US. In addition, another 40 million adults also suffer from anxiety disorders. And, according to the ADAA, Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the US. Inkwell wanted to learn more about how AWS students treated their anxiety, and how art helped them do that.
Nadine Gibson Gibson (USG ‘23), who uses she/they pronouns, says that when it comes to using art as a coping mechanism for anxiety or negative emotions, “I think it goes in waves. For the past few weeks, I’ve been on a ‘not’ art wave, but in the past few days, I’ve started looking to art. So, because it goes in waves, [I use art] off and on.” They say that when they use art, or when they don't, depends on “why I’m feeling those negative emotions. Or I guess, how I'm responding to those negative emotions. When I’m sad or down, I feel like unmotivation comes into that. It depends on how I choose to address my negative feelings, whether I’m unmotivated, or feeling motivated.” Gibson said her use of art differs from that of other people. “A lot of people I know use art to make political statements or to make bold statements. They use art to engage with the world around them. But I use art to kind of do the opposite, I use art to not make a statement, [but] to let my mind be creative in ways that it can’t really be creative in this world.” “I use art to, I don’t want to say escape, because I'm not living in a hell, but I use art to escape into my own creative world,” Gibson says. “For some people, art therapy is for addressing the issues of the world, but for me, my art therapy is engaging with my creativity, and freeing myself from the problems of this world.”
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Graphic made on Canva by Gabrielle Krieger
Gibson says they connect their art with “creativity, inspiration, curiosity and excitement.” “When I see what I’m able to create, one, I feel proud of myself, but then I also feel super curious, like ‘Wow, if I can create that, what else can I create?’ So from that comes motivation, and then excitement, from the limitless possibilities of art and my mind, and how those two can come together.”
"... my art therapy is engaging with my creativity, and freeing myself from the problems of this world."
Lauren Christenson Christenson (USG ‘21) says that her relationship with art as a coping mechanism is a bit more distraction, and a bit less therapeutic. “Honestly, when I’m feeling down I just kind of deal with it in other terms, but I do use art to distract/entertain myself in certain circumstances...I’m a perfectionist and I can’t just half finish a painting and not feel stressed about it. Usually, I use art as a distraction from other problems, but it helps me feel like I’m being productive and it’s fun at the same time. I used to use art as a coping mechanism because I was going through some stuff, and painting took up both a lot of time and energy, so if I put my all into something I would feel a lot better in general.” Christenson also mentions, “Usually, I watch YouTube videos or movies while I’m painting and it’s like my own fun little party with an RSVP of me, myself and I. I have a lot of fun using different references or writing letters to people with little paintings in them. I get a lot of joy out of it.” Christenson says her favorite mediums of art are gouache or acrylic. “[I think they are] the best so far because they are the only mediums I have cared about to learn how to work with and use. It’s satisfying to be a part of the process because you can start out with a really pretty or cute sketch and then start painting and it looks like an absolute disaster but somehow it ends up exactly how you wanted it and it’s perfect. I think that’s my favorite part: the train wreck turned ‘masterpiece.’” She also thinks her artworks serve a sentimental purpose. “I also like saving everything I’ve done because I can look back and realize that I’ve made improvements in my art, and that’s always cool to see. It helps me put things in perspective and take a step back and see the bigger picture.”
INKWELL | JANUARY 2021
Coming together while apart Food sharing in the Tacoma area by Lauren Cook Food insecurity is a pressing issue worldwide, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Feeding America, one in nine people in Washington struggle with hunger and require 440 million dollars annually to “meet their food needs.” However, a growing organization hopes to eliminate such problems in the State of Washington. You may have noticed food tables sprouting up if you live in the Tacoma area. Organizations like Food Is Free Tacoma are encouraging the sharing of food to decrease food insecurity, shortages and create a sense of community among Tacoma residents. Food Is Free Tacoma’s website states that their gardens and tables help people “[take] your food security into your own hands,” as well as inspire a stronger sense of community as neighbors build safer and healthier neighborhoods. According to Kari Whitney, a North End resident who started her own food sharing table this past year, Food Is Free is an international movement that aims to encourage people to plant their own gardens and “share the bounty that grows from them.” “Food sharing is simply sharing food with whomever will eat it. My table's tagline is, ‘Take what you need, share what you can (food only, please),’” she said. Whit-
ney believes that “generosity is contagious” and food sharing helps strengthen the community “and humanity in general.” She is inspired by the “basic virtues of Lushootseed culture, [be kind, be helpful, be sharing], particularly since we reside on the Indigenous lands of the Puyallup people.”
“Will you eat it? Take it. Will it save you a trip to the grocery store? Take it. Will it help with your grocery budget? Take it. Does it help keep you out of crowded stores during a pandemic? Take it. Do you need a snack right now? Take it.” Whitney recently became involved with the organization, saying “I recall seeing a table and thinking it was a nice idea... if I had a garden. But our backyard doesn't have much space to plant beds.” She later saw a social media post from David Thompson, the organizer of Food Is Free Tacoma, about building a garden in a parking strip.
“I thought ‘what a great use for that space,’ and started making plans,” Whitney said. “Then I saw that FiF [Food Is Free Tacoma] was organizing food distribution events and encouraging FiF table managers to take and share them. I recognized that our parking strip, being on an arterial road, might be [easily seen by] people both in our neighborhood and those passing through. So I set out a picnic table we'd found on the side of the road, bought a FiF sign from FiF Tacoma, and responded to the next food distribution event that came along.” Due to COVID-19, many Food Is Free sharing tables have had to alter and monitor the types of food they put out for the public. “The current pandemic has exposed the widespread food insecurity in our city and many FiF ‘sharing tables’ have shifted their focus to providing non-refrigerated grocery items to help with this growing problem,” Whitney said. “I was once asked why I don't just take stuff to the food bank. Oh, but I do! When I'm able to give money, I give it to the food bank, and I have an annual foodand-fund drive for them on my birthday. But food sharing isn't the same as a food bank,” she continued. “Our local food bank, Nourish, has a mission is to feed people in need. Food sharing includes people in need, but also
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anybody else who will eat the food we have. We're sharing food, feeding each other, nurturing the community, and reducing food waste. And here's a fun fact: food banks are among some of FiF Tacoma's community partnerships! They use us to help reduce food waste when they're faced with a surplus!” Although there are many ways that food sharing helps food insecure communities, Whitney makes it clear that her table is for everybody: “Will you eat it? Take it. Will it save you a trip to the grocery store? Take it. Will it help with your grocery budget? Take it. Does it help keep you out of crowded stores during a pandemic? Take it. Do you need a snack right now? Take it.” “When I encounter people at the table and they ask if the table is mine, I explain that I manage it, but others are providing the food,” Whitney said. “We occasionally set out items when we have extras, but most of the food comes from others: individuals who drop off items or from food distribution organized by FiF Tacoma through their partnerships with grocery stores, distributors and restaurants and farms. The offerings change daily (sometimes hourly) because of this.” If you are interested in setting up a sharing table, Whitney suggests you “do a little planning about where it will be, how
much food you can manage, if you have a plan for when it rains or gets lots of summer sun, and how you'll monitor potential spoilage or other issues.” You will also need a food worker card, which you can get online: Whitney says the whole process is “quite informative.” “Of course, you don't have to manage a table to get involved,” she continued. Those interested in the project could assist in food distribution at Tacoma Urban Farm in South Tacoma, helping with tasks such as deliveries, clean-up, sorting the food and more. There is no volunteer manager at Food Is Free Tacoma, so Whitney suggests checking in directly with the organization to find out how you can become involved. Whitney said there are many ways to help with the growing community project. Often, table managers aren’t available when a new distribution is announced and appreciate help carting away the food from their tables (“hey, are you everyone’s ‘friend with a truck?’” she joked). “And if you have a business that wants to distribute large amounts of food through FiF, contact Food is Free Tacoma to make arrangements,” she noted. To get more information or join the Food is Free Tacoma network, contact foodisfree253.com and follow them on Facebook (@foodisfreetacoma).
Hunger in Washington State One million Washington residents visited a food bank in the past year.
1 in 10 Washingtonians consistently struggle with hunger.
1 in 6 Washington kids live in a
household that faces challenges in putting enough food on the table.
1 in 8 Washingtonians live below the poverty line.
1 in 8 Washingtonians relies on the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to purchase food. Half of all people on SNAP are kids. Statistics from Northwest Harvest
Members of organizations like Food Is Free Tacoma set up public spaces to help with food insecurity and to create a sense of community. Photo by Lauren Cook.
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Vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians...oh my! by Olivia Near. Many students at Annie Wright partake in various diets, for reasons such as personal health, environmental awareness and animal health. A couple students spoke on their experiences with specialized diets.
Logan Hancock (USB ‘22), vegetarian diet Hancock started his diet mid-2019, originally for health reasons. “My reasoning today is how it’s helped my athletic performance, along with the environmental aspect…I’m very passionate about sustainability and coalescing ourselves with nature.” said Hancock. “The year before I was officially vegetarian, I had been thinking about it, and easing myself into it. I had decided I was going to eat more vegetables and less meat, and one day I was like, ‘alright, let’s do this.’” “I’ve been judged by a good few amount of people, but a lot of the time I don’t take too much offense to it. There are a lot of people who are generally inquisitive and want to know about it, and I do find that good. I embrace judgement on this kind of thing, because I want to know what other people do.”
people assume that I feel judgemental towards them, because they’re not vegetarian and I am. I do find that a little hypocritical, because they judge me. I personally do not care…if you eat meat, I’m fine with that. Even in the realm of sustainability I’m more focused on how I impact the environment than how other people do. They assume [because of my diet] that I’m liberal. I do believe there’s credible backing to that…The data does show that most people who are vegetarian are liberal.” On being the only vegetarian or person on a strict diet in his family, Hancock said, “it was a bit of a large step for my family... They were very skeptical and they didn’t understand what exactly I had allowed myself to eat, and what allowed myself not to eat…I feel very bad saying ‘no I can’t eat that’…But overall I would say that the issues I face are pretty minor. A lot of people just don’t know what [being a vegetarian] actually is, and I found that really surprising.”
"As far as others making similar diet choices, I think they should do whatever makes their heart and tummy happy, because that’s what I do."
People tend to assume that protein and vitamin B-12 are difficult to come by, according to Hancock. “Vitamin B-12 is found mostly in animal products, however even in animal products it is getting scarcer and scarcer due to increased regulation on making sure that meat is clean, as well as plants. There’s a lot of people who say ‘oh that’s beneficial, I’m not eating anything dirty and I’m not getting sick,’ and that’s true, but at the same time you’re actually losing a lot of stuff like B-12 and other vitamins,” said Hancock. In terms of common assumptions Hancock said that “a lot of
However, there are still setbacks in terms of food availability and Hancock said that he is having difficulty finding healthy options since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic. According to Hancock, restaurants are sometimes unreliable when it comes to dieting options. “You have got to actually commit. It’s a difficult thing to do at first, and a lot of people quit quickly. Once you get over that
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Illustration by Olivia Near
little hill of difficulty, it’s pretty smooth sailing from there. But for more specific stuff, drink a lot of water, and make sure you are getting protein,” said Hancock regarding aspiring vegetarians.
Nadine Gibson (USG ‘23), plantbased diet Gibson has been on a plant based diet for about six to ten months, and was a vegetarian in the past. She said that she’s been judged because “they don't know my reasons or my motivations, and they make their own assumptions…as to why I make the decisions I do.” People have assumed that she has changed her diet because people think she is trying to be ‘uppity,’ said Gibson. “My primary, actual reason for [starting a plant-based diet] was for the environment…I became more aware of the farming industry’s impact on the environment at large…These practices really don’t sit well with me. I don’t want to continue to support something that I disagree with so heavily. Not eating meat was a decision I was grateful I could make,” said Nadine.
Wright…it has a lot of personal dietary options…it was pretty easy to make that shift [to a plant-based diet]. When I told my friends I first they didn’t really take it seriously. I think I was embarrassed to be like ‘oh, I don’t eat meat anymore,’ because I do think there was a level of ‘oh, are you doing it for attention?’” Consuming a plant based diet versus a vegetarian diet has, I [wouldn’t] say changed me, but opened my eyes to more because…I’ve been able to learn more about my own health, what works for me, and what doesn’t. I think that if somebody had come to me and told me ‘Nadine, you’re going vegan because I’m telling you to,’ I would have been like no. But because I was able to make the decision by myself, I think that’s why I’ve gained so much from it. As far as others making similar diet choices, I think they should do whatever makes their heart and tummy happy, because that’s what I do. I do think that alternative dietary changes should be made more accessible to people, because, like I said, I’ve been very blessed to be in a family that can afford dietary supplements. Regardless of peoples’ diets, I do think that the farming industry as a whole should be changed, if not abolished. It’s not the fault of the consumer.”
Nadine continued, saying that, “I felt supported by Annie
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Health Tips For Parts of the Body! By Knoopy Yi THE HEAD
Keep your eyes' exposure to screens at a reasonable limit. Prolonged usage could cause eyestrain, headaches and blurry vision.
Keep your posture straight and upright, especially when sitting or lying down; since in high school your body is still developing, it takes only a short time to inflict hunching, muscle soreness around the lower back and the shoulders, neck pain and many other abnomalies.
Use the 20-20-20 rule! break away from the screen every 20 minutes, and looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds during that rest. Take deep breaths; it may seem strange, but deep breathes decreases stress and helps your body relax by helping the brain to produce less cortisol, the stress-inducing hormone. It's the same reason why deep breaths help before public speech.
THE LEGS Stretch! Whether you're standing or sitting, you're constantly putting pressure on them. As mentioned above, staying in one position for a long time causes many problems, and your legs are no different. They need blood circulation just like every body part.
THE TORSO Eat healthily! A very common piece of advice, but still has a huge impact. A healthy diet keeps your body fat in control, helps maintain/improve the body's blood circulation, plus gives you the correct nutrients for keeping many organs in order and bumps up immunity. Avoid excess salt, sugar and fat.
Graphic made with Canva by Knoopy Yi
Exercise regularly. Teens need to be physically active for at least 60 minutes per day, and it also helps clear your mind and puts your mind at ease.