I've seen the "Look up" advertisements on a couple of buses recently so I decided to find out what it was all about. The Look Up movement is based on research by neuroscientist, Dr Fiona Kerr. We spend so much of our lives looking down that we miss out on really living. The Look Up campaign encourages us to put down our phones and look up, to engage with the environment and those around us. According to their website, "scientists have discovered looking up is good for our brains, our bodies, our relationships, and our shared experience of the world." You can find out more at www.lookup.org.au. I took the photo above on my morning walk today. Before you reach for your phone, look up!
Spending some time alone each day helps you to unwind and reduces stress. Life can get hectic and noisy so it's important to slow down and take a break from it all. You can create a cozy spot in your room to hang out or get out of the house. My favourite things to do during "me time" are to read, write, get crafty and listen to music.
I have a confession to make, I don't spend a lot of time on Instagram. This week I thought I would do some "research" and spend a bit of time exploring. By the end of it I was sick of looking at perfect bikini-clad bodies, perfectly cute couples, perfect families, perfectly styled hair, perfectly applied make-up, perfectly styled homes... you get the picture. Don't get me wrong - I love my life, but it doesn't seem to stack up against these immaculately staged snapshots. But that is just what most of them are - staged. Life is not perfect - it's messy and hard sometimes. There are plenty of apps, filters and editing programs that can erase blemishes and other imperfections. It's important to remember that what you're looking at, and comparing yourself to, is not real. Instagram use has been linked to low self-esteem. Psychologist, Dr Marny Lishman, suggests that we cull who we follow in Instagram every few months. She said we should ask ourselves, "does this account make me feel inspired, or does it make me feel bad?"
We've all sat down to check Instagram for five minutes, or gone to bed and watched "a couple" of youtube videos only to put the phone down an hour later and wonder where that extra 55 minutes went. It can be very frustrating and stressful when you lose track of your break time and end up being time poor for important tasks like getting ready for school or finishing your homework. Here are some tips to prevent wasting time:
This Ted Talk is only 20 minutes - but it could change your life!
It's easy to spend an hour or more scrolling through social media at bedtime (I know I've done it myself on occasion). Do yourself a favour and use that time to sleep instead - teenagers need between 8 to 10 hours a night!
I used to be scared of asking questions at school in case I looked stupid, but then I would end up looking stupid because I hadn't asked the question. The worst case scenario is that your question is a silly one and someone might giggle or the teacher might grumble. On the other hand, if you ask a question, it shows that you are interested, listening and thinking about the topic. It is also better to ask a question and check that you only have to do questions 3 and 4 for homework, rather than staying silent and doing questions 1-10 because you weren't sure. 99% of the time it's better to ask the question.