This month's newsletter includes how to improve your mental health by staying connected, informed and safe online, knife safety and skills, how to make a burrito bowl for Cinco de Mayo and a delicious mango salsa that can also be made with peaches or pineapple.
National Mental Health Awareness Month logo
Research shows that being social enhances your emotional and mental well-being. Being social online comes with benefits and risks. Devices, such as smartphones, computers and tablets enable us to communicate with relatives and friends and meet new people. Staying intouch virtually, through video chats, text
messages or social media, helps us feel less isolated. It reduces feelings of loneliness, bringing a sense of comfort and community. We canread online books, watch movies, listen to music, find information, learn new skills, post pictures, look at picture’s others posted, play games (which can strengthen brain functioning), visit museums, attend performances and travel.
The fact that you can communicate whenever you want, wherever you are, and to whomever does not mean that you should. Wanting to connect with someone right now might not be shared. Those we want to talk to may be accessible but not available. Similarly, the fact that we receive an email or a message does not mean that weneed to respond right away.
Research suggests that being glued to our screens 24/7 is harmful to our health. Also important is not the time we spend using our electronic devices but how we use them.
ARCS refers to four ways to better control using your devices:A = Avoid negative people and sites - Being online means exposing yourself to messages that may cause anger, fear, hatred and other harmful emotions.
R = Resist distractions - Your devices send you constant notifications about breaking news, emails, messages, or phone calls. One survey reveals that Americans check their smartphones 80 times a day. Checking what’s going on immediately creates a false sense of urgency. This can interrupt what you are doing and stress you out. Being dialed in 24/7 is not good for your mental well-being. People who respond to their phones more often have higher stress levels.
C = Curb your screen time - With the 24/7 availability of online resources, you spend an increasing amount of time staring at a screen. Many of the activities online are designed to be addictive. Decide how much time you want to be online, what hours and for how long.
S = Shield your privacy - Scammers target people who might be vulnerable and are new to the internet. Beware of emails or messages from people you do not know and even people you do – especially if the message looks off or not typical for that individual.
Try the ARCS principles for a week. Take note of how it makes you feel.
Most important: stay connected, informed and safe online!
How to Make Meals Fast - Build a Burrito Bowl
Throw together precooked or leftover protein, veggies and brown rice for a tasty meal. Top with salsa or avocado.
Ingredients2 large ripe mangoes1 small cucumber2 medium green onions1 medium jalapeño pepper2 medium limes½ teaspoon saltPinch of cayenne pepper1 medium bell pepper, optional¼ cup fresh cilantro, optional
Chef’s Notes: Mangoes usually feel a little softer when ripe. If mangoes are not in season or not in your store, use canned peaches or pineapple, packed in juice. Drain before using.
An EEO/AA institution. This material was funded, in part, by USDA’s SupplementalNutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), an equal opportunity provider.
Healthy Aging Initiative
Join us for an informative and engaging event discussing the health disparities and equity issues marginalized older adult populations face. Our expert speakers will examine Alzheimer's and related dementia, gender responsiveness and care partner violence and explore potential solutions to promote health equity for all. This event is a wonderful opportunity to gain experience from experts in the field and connect with others who are enthusiastic about promoting health equity for older adults.
Gottschalk, S., 2023, Healthy LIVING while aging! (2023-05), Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, Newsletter
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