Staying Active

Photo Credit: Edson Hong via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Edson Hong via Compfight cc

We all know how easy it is to get distracted by social media! I can think of times, myself, where I’ve spent way too much time looking at posts when I could have been being productive. Staying active and getting schoolwork done early can really help with your child’s stress management especially when it is building up. Looking at social media sites is OK to do every day, but make sure you set a limit so they have time to do other things and keep themselves healthy! On average, it is said that an hour of physical activity a day decreases stress tremendously, which can then lead to a healthy mind!

With spring approaching and the weather getting warmer, think of some activities your teen can do outside! Some examples are:

  • Hiking
  • Bike riding
  • Playing a Sport
  • Going for a walk with their friends after school

Can you think of anything else you or your teens love to do outside? What are some ways you set limits for your or your child’s social media use? Let us know!

Numbers, Data, and Statistics


Photo Credit: Daniel Pascoal via Compfight cc


If you’re looking for basic public health information about mental health, look no further than the Center For Disease Control’s (CDC) Mental Health page.  This website provides users with a good starting point for learning about mental health.
This page gives:

  • a definition of mental health
  • indicators of mental health
  • data and statistics on depression
  • data on surveillance of mental illnesses
  • information on psychological distress
  • data on the stigma of mental illnesses
  • information on well-being.

Viewers also have access to published papers for additional, more in-depth research.  Additional links to other organization’s websites are included.

Did any fact, number, or statistic on this site surprise you?
Featured image: Fe_Lima via Compfight cc

Which health app is right for me?

Have you ever downloaded an app to help you with your health? What happened? Was it useful or did you end up deleting it when you were cleaning up your phone later?

One problem currently with apps available for download is it can be hard to figure out whether it will actually be helpful to you or not. Apps are advertised and users leave ratings. Which ones show up first is determined by an algorithm – or formula – made up by that specific app search engine (like the iOS app store). Its kind of like healthy diet books. Some of them might have really pretty book covers and claims from famous people that they work – but then you try it out only to find its not what you were looking for. is trying to provide a solution to that problem. It is a website collecting apps for health and providing information from patient reviewers about what worked for them.

You can browse by health category and see a lot of information about each app including whether it is free and whether the app includes different features like:

  • support to deal with symptoms
  • social network
  • reminders
  • keep track of symptoms
  • self-monitoring

They even have a place where you can submit apps you have found useful too.

If you find a useful app through, share with us below!

Social Media and Distraction

Time management is not easy. It is even more tough to teach your child how to manage their time. Kids are so busy these days – AND can easily get distracted by their technology.

Photo Credit: Celestine Chua via Compfight cc


You can help them set limits in a couple of ways.

Access Times

Help your child think through what times of the day they could limit using social media. Is it right after school? Is there an hour when they have to put away their phone and only focus on homework? A good time to put away technology is dinner time. Having a regular family meal is a great way to say healthy. It can promote communication between the family, and be a way families can spend quality time together, including thinking about what you are eating instead of mindlessly scarfing something down. This can be tough for busy families – but try it at least a couple of times per week.

Computer Websites/Apps

If you or your child need some help limiting your use, there are some great online apps available to help.  There are different apps with slightly different abilities, so here’s a guide that will help you pick your best option:

  • Leechblock- a free online app that allows you to block certain websites for a desired amount of time.  Learn more and download Leechblock here. (Only supported by Firefox web browser)
  • KeepMeOut- also free, this app helps you create customized bookmarks to use instead of standard links, and will alert you when you visit a site a certain number of times in a set amount of time. Get started here.
  • StayFocusd- an easily modifiable app for Chrome users, this free tool allows you to modify which sites you are allowed to visit and when.  Learn more and start staying focused here. (Only available to Chrome users)
  • Cold Turkey- another great tool to block distracting websites.  Basic functions are available for free, and you can upgrade for higher functioning.  Go cold turkey using this link. (Only supported by Windows)
  • SelfControl- similar to Cold Turkey, this site allows you to block sites for a set amount of time on a Mac.  Click here to learn more and download the app.
  • Tomato Timer- if you aren’t quite ready to go cold turkey and you think maybe you can control yourself and stay focused with just a little help and a few breaks, this is the right tool for you.  It uses something called the Pomodoro Technique to help keep you productive.  Click here to start!

Phone Apps

You can stop yourself from accidentally logging onto Facebook on your computer, but what happens when your friend posts a photo and you get a notification on your phone?  It’s not easy to ignore, and phone providers make it difficult to limit access to certain sites from your smart phone.  Because of this, there aren’t as many tools for your phone to limit distractions.  However, there is an app called Forest that works really well to encourage you not to be on your phone, instead focused on the task at hand.  You enter the app and can “plant a seed,” which takes 30 minutes to grow into a tree.  If you leave the app at any time to check another app (*cough* like social media) the tree will die, and you’ll have to start over.  Eventually, your hard work will grow into your own personal forest in your phone.  Interested?  Click here to learn more.

Do you have any tips or tricks for limiting your own or your child’s social media use?  Let us know in the comments below!

Writing Away the Stigma

I recently found out about this book Writing Away the Stigma: Ten Courageous Writers Tell True Stories About Depression, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, OCD, PTSD & more

mental health priorityOne in four American adults will endure the trials of a mental health condition this year, and more than half will experience one in their lifetime. Yet the stigma of mental illness remains, leading many to face their difficulties in shame and silence. In this collection, ten writers confront the stigma of mental illness head-on, bravely telling stories of devastating depressions, persistent traumas, overwhelming compulsions, and more.

I thought it was very cool that so many people contributed to the book to write about their experiences with mental illness. Being receptive to talking about mental illness makes it easier for our adolescents to talk to us about what is happening with them.

E-book and paperback versions are available now through Amazon.

What do you think of sharing your story? Does it help you to be open about your struggles? 

Take a break with

You might have heard that taking a pause in the day to recenter yourself and let yourself just be without judgment can be a way to de-stress. There is a website that can turn your computer or phone into a relaxation zone. Check out this beautiful website: or download the app. 

There are some people in our office who use it while we work, we think it’s lovely!

If you tried it, let us know what you thought about it below!