Parent Central: How to Speak with Your Kid About Anxiety – PsychCentral.com

Whether it’s you, your child, or a loved one experiencing anxiety, knowing how to explain it to your kid can help.

If you’ve ever felt the tightness in your chest of a worry you can’t seem to escape, you know the reality of anxiety. That pit in your stomach. The shortness of breath. An inability to sleep at night, as your brain whirs and whirs. A sense of dread or uneasiness — sometimes without a clear cause.

It’s a reality I’ve dealt with for most of my life. Only, when I was a kid, I didn’t know there was a word for it.

Even when I was finally given a diagnosis, it was handed to me with nothing more than a prescription for meds. No one took the time to help me understand what was going on or to assure me that I wasn’t as broken as I felt.

Maybe you’ve experienced something similar. Or you have a child who seems to be dealing with anxiety. You want to help the little ones in your life understand what’s going on and provide them with vocabulary that can help them describe their experiences and ask for help when they need it. But you’re unsure of where to begin.

Perhaps you’re anxious just thinking about it.

We’re here to help. Why not start by taking three deep breaths? In through the nose and out through the mouth (smelling the flowers and blowing out the candles, if you will). And then… let’s begin.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), anxiety is “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes.”

If you have an anxiety disorder, you may experience frequent and recurring intrusive thoughts or worries that can be difficult to control. These thoughts usually don’t go away and may even get worse over time.

People with anxiety often fixate on their worries and have difficulty clearing their heads or focusing on other things to the point that the anxiety may affect their daily life. They may even begin to avoid activities or things they used to do or enjoy.

Anxiety can also manifest in physical symptoms, including:

If any of this sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in the United States today, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). It affects roughly 40 million adults and 4.4 million children between the ages of 7 and 17.

Anxiety can also occur alongside other conditions. For example, it’s common for those with depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to also be diagnosed with anxiety.

The good news is that anxiety is highly treatable and the more a person understands about their condition, the easier they can develop tools to help manage it.

This is true for both adults and children.

Given the prevalence of anxiety disorders, it’s likely your child knows someone who has experience with anxiety or they’re dealing with it themselves.

Your child doesn’t even necessarily have to have a personal connection to anxiety for them to have questions about it. The condition often shows up in television and movies, and they may hear celebrities they follow talking openly about their own experiences with anxiety.

This is one of the beautiful things about increased awareness.

The more people who support and speak up about mental health — either from their own personal experience or as an advocate — the easier it becomes for others to understand and talk about it.

Whether you, your child, or someone you love is dealing with anxiety, the conversation with your child can start by getting curious and exploring what they already know. From there, you can dispel potential misinformation and explore how to approach the topic further.

It’s a good idea to explain to them that just like our bodies sometimes get colds, our brains sometimes get sick as well.

Younger kids may already have an understanding of what worries are and that feeling worried or scared can affect people mentally and physically, but it may help them to learn more about the why.

You may want to talk about how anxiety happens when the brain starts working too hard and getting too protective, like a worker bee tasked with keeping the queen safe. It buzzes and buzzes and wears itself out.

For older children, you can talk about how that then impacts the mind and body, and some of the symptoms they or their loved ones may experience as a result of anxiety. You can also discuss different types of anxiety, such as related to school, the future, or other things.

It’s also important to talk to your kids about managing anxiety and to let them know that it’s helpful to share when they’re feeling anxious so they can get the support they need.

For starters, you can share and practice breathing techniques with them (like the one mentioned at the beginning of this article — smelling the flowers and blowing out the candles) that promote relaxation and calm.

Still, depending on the severity of your kid’s anxiety, it’s also a good idea to talk to them about getting help from a mental health professional and to normalize mental health treatment, including therapy and medications.

For younger children, you may want to say something like “Sometimes worries or fears get so big that it’s hard to deal with them on our own. Your anxiety has made it really hard for you to leave the house (or go to school or to the doctor or play with your friends). A therapist can help you and Mommy and Daddy learn how to make our worries a little less big and scary.”

Regardless of your child’s age, they will likely have questions when the topic of anxiety comes up. Here are some common ones you might want to prepare yourself for:

What if my brain isn’t wrong?

For a child who’s experiencing anxiety themselves, the worries they’re carrying are very real. It’s important you don’t minimize those worries by brushing them away as unlikely or saying their brain is overreacting.

Instead, you want to let them know that fears and concerns they have stem from real places and are valid. But the extent to which those fears and concerns are taking over their thoughts is where their brain may be struggling.

One helpful way to do this is to talk them through their fears and to point out possible solutions or ways to resolve those fears. Remember: the fear itself isn’t invalid — but the amount of brainpower being taken over by the fear may not be helpful.

Is something wrong with me?

Kids who experience persistent anxiety may also have difficulties with self-esteem and confidence. They may assume they’re bad or the “problem” in any given situation, or that they did something to cause their anxiety.

It’s important to remind kids that there’s nothing wrong with them or anyone who has anxiety.

They’re not broken or defective, they just have a health condition — like any common cold or sore throat, except it occurs in the brain. You can also explain that certain events like trauma, stress, or adversity may cause mental health conditions.

Try to make it clear to them that having anxiety isn’t their fault, and more importantly, it’s something they can get help for.

What does treatment involve?

When talking about getting help for anxiety, children may want to know what that looks like. Depending on the severity of their anxiety, therapy is often the first step in treatment. Research has found that therapy alone can often be very helpful.

Psych Central has a great child-friendly guide to therapy that may help your child prepare for that step.

You can also talk with your child about medications that may be available in addition to therapy, letting them know that just like taking antibiotics for an illness of the body, anti-anxiety medication can help with anxiety symptoms. Some research has shown that a combination of psychotherapy and medication is effective for some people.

Will I always feel this way?

For a child experiencing difficulties with anxiety, fears about the future can be a large part of their experience. It makes sense that a child with anxiety would be worried about always having those symptoms.

Now may be the right time to remind your child that help in the form of treatment is available and is very effective in helping with anxiety.

You can tell them that many people get treatment for mental health conditions and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you’ve had mental health treatment yourself, you can share with them what that experience was like for you and how it helped.

You can also practice deep breathing exercises with them and ask them to pay attention to how they feel before and after those exercises are complete. Chances are, they’ll feel much better after — and you can use this to show them that there are tools available that help.

Still, if they feel like the exercises are not helping, it’s good to acknowledge and validate that things may feel really bad right now, but that doesn’t mean they will feel that way forever.

I’m a mom with anxiety, raising several children with anxiety — books are great resources in our house! We love the following:

For my older child who has spent a lifetime in foster care and lives with separation anxiety as a result, “The Invisible String Workbook” has also been an incredible help.

Plus, Psych Central has put together a list of 18 books about anxiety for children and their parents, if the above suggestions don’t seem quite right for you.

Other resources to check out include:

If you and your child are talking about anxiety, it may mean your child or someone else in your home is dealing with it. This is a great opportunity to model for them what getting help looks like.

That’s right: the best next step, after a conversation, is to reach out for help. Your child’s pediatrician can provide resources for your child if they’re the ones experiencing anxiety. And your doctor can help if you are.

Either way, it’s good to remember for both you and your child that no one has to go through anxiety alone. Treatment is available, and it can make a huge difference.

Want to learn more about starting therapy? Psych Central’s How to Find Mental Health Support resource can help.

The following section is intended to be read to or with your kid to help them better understand anxiety.


Photo Courtesy of Leah Campbell

Leah Campbell is a writer and editor living in Anchorage, Alaska. A single mother by choice, Leah is an adoptive and foster mom to four biological siblings who spent way too much of their life apart. She’s the author of the books “Single Infertile Female” and “The Story of My Open Adoption” and has written extensively on the topics of mental health, adoption, and parenting. You can connect with Leah via Facebook, her website, and Twitter.

How Exercise May Tame Our Anxiety – The New York Times

To better cope with all the dispiriting news this winter about rising Covid-19 cases and so much else, you might want to get out and play in the snow, according to a new report. The large-scale study of almost 200,000 cross-country skiers found that being physically active halves the risk of developing clinical anxiety over time. The study, from Sweden, focused on skiing, but the researchers said almost any kind of aerobic activity likely helps protect us against excessive worry and dread, a cheering thought as we face yet another grim pandemic season.

Science already offers plenty of encouraging evidence that exercise can lift our moods. Experiments show that when people (and lab animals) start working out, they typically grow calmer, more resilient, happier and less apt to feel unduly sad, nervous or angry than before. Epidemiological studies, which often focus on the links between one type of activity or behavior and various aspects of health or longevity, likewise find that more exercise is linked with substantially lower chances of developing severe depression; conversely, being sedentary increases the risk for depression. A remarkable neurological study from 2013 even found that exercise leads to reductions in twitchy, rodent anxiety, by prompting an increase in the production of specialized neurons that release a chemical that soothes over-activity in other parts of the brain.

But most of these studies were small, short term or mainly relevant to mice, leaving open many questions about what kinds of exercise might help our mental health, how long mood enhancements might potentially last, whether men and women benefit equally and whether it is possible to work out too much and perhaps increase your likelihood of feeling emotionally worse off.

So, for the new study, which was published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, exercise scientists at Lund University in Sweden and other institutions decided it would be worthwhile to look into the long-term mental health of the thousands upon thousands of men and women who have raced Sweden’s famous Vasaloppet cross-country skiing event over the years.

The Vasaloppet, which celebrates its centenary this winter, is the largest series of cross-country ski races in the world, with crowds of racers annually lining up in the woods of central Sweden to whoosh, glide and pant through races ranging in length from 30 kilometers, or almost 19 miles, to the showcase distance of 90K, about 56 miles. Because this kind of endurance event requires abundant health, stamina and training, researchers previously have used data about Vasaloppet racers to study how exercise influences heart health, cancer risks and longevity.

“We use participation in a Vasaloppet as a proxy for a physically active and healthy lifestyle,” said Tomas Deierborg, the director of the experimental medicine department at Lund University and senior author of the new study, who has twice completed the 90K race.

To start, he and his colleagues gathered finishing times and other information for 197,685 Swedish men and women who participated in one of the races between 1989 and 2010. They then crosschecked this information with data from a Swedish national registry of patients, looking for diagnoses of clinical anxiety disorder among the racers in the following 10 to 20 years. For comparison, they also checked anxiety diagnoses during the same time period for 197,684 of their randomly selected fellow citizens who had not participated in the race and were generally considered relatively inactive.

The skiers, the researchers found, proved to be considerably calmer over the decades after their race than the other Swedes, with more than 50 percent less risk of developing clinical anxiety. These good spirits tended to prevail among male and female skiers of almost any age — except, interestingly, the fastest female racers. The top female finishers from each year tended to be more likely afterward to develop anxiety disorders than other racers, although their risk overall remained lower than for women of the same age in the control group.

These results indicate “the link between exercise and reduced anxiety is strong,” said Dr. Lena Brundin, a lead investigator of neurodegenerative diseases at the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Mich., who was another author on the study.

And helpfully, you probably don’t need to cross-country ski for long distances in the snowy woods of Sweden to reap the rewards, Dr. Deierborg said. Earlier studies of exercise and mood suggest that following the World Health Organization’s recommendations of about 30 minutes of brisk walking or similar activities most days “has good effects on your mental health,” he said, and these benefits appear to apply to a “broader population” than just Swedes.

Still, it may be worthwhile to monitor your psychological response to intense training and competition, especially if you are a competitive woman, he said. The finding that the fastest women tended to develop anxiety more often than other racers surprised the researchers, he said, and suggests perhaps performance anxiety or other issues could be initiated or exacerbated in some people by racing.

“It is not necessary to complete extreme exercise to achieve the beneficial effects on anxiety,” Dr. Brundin said.

The findings have limitations, though. They cannot prove exercise causes people to enjoy better moods, only that highly active people tend to be less anxious than their more sedentary peers. The study also does not explain how skiing might reduce anxiety levels. The researchers suspect physical activity changes levels of brain chemicals related to mood, such as dopamine and serotonin, and reduces inflammation throughout the body and brain, contributing physiologically to stouter mental health. Getting outside among silent, snow-drenched pines and far from Zoom calls while training for a Vasaloppet probably does not hurt, either.

Any exercise in any setting likely should help us cope better this winter, the researchers said. “A physically active lifestyle seems to have a strong effect on reducing the chances of developing an anxiety disorder,” said Dr. Deierborg, who hopes to extend those benefits to the next generation. He plans to enter and train for another Vasaloppet in a few years, he said, when his young children are old enough to join him.

Healthy lifestyle: Foods to Include And Exclude – the Ayurvedic way – News18

As per the age-old principle of Ayurveda, each distinct species of every living and non-living being in the Universe has its own characteristics due to the difference in the combination of their Mahabhutas – commonly known as the five elements. Each of these represents the five senses. Every substance contains at least some of six rasas (taste) and they are: Svadu/Madhura (Sweet), Amla (Sour), Lavana (Salty), Tikta (Bitter), Ushna/Katu (Pungent), and Kashaya (astringent).

Ayurveda expert and co-founder of Ayushakti, Dr. Smita Naram, has stressed the importance of a healthy nutritional diet. Speaking to Hindustan Times, she said, “Healthy food habits play a vital role in the growth of an individual and are necessary for overall holistic development and lifestyle.” Starting from breastfeeding to old-age, the food we intake is important to determine the establishment of the right habits.

Health tips for children

As per Dr. Smita, breastfeeding is a very crucial part of the early stage of an individual’s life and so it is strongly recommended for the mother to have nutritious food so that the child can receive the right amount of nutrition required. “Kids should be taught to have options for breakfast, instead of having bread butter they can have chickpea crepe (chilla), boiled eggs, ragi porridge, and protein shake made from nutritious fruits and vegetables,” suggests Dr. Smita.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle amid the ongoing pandemic and beyond, the Ayurveda expert reveals a few nutrients one must include and foods one must ideally eliminate from their daily diet for overall holistic development and lifestyle.

Foods an adult must include in daily diet

-High fiber grains

-Millets

-Cooked vegetables

-Beans and lentils

-Eggs

-Fruits like papaya and pomegranate

-Mung beans

-Also add lots of spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander and cumin to the food.

Foods an adult must exclude from daily diet

-Raw foods

-Foods that are high in inflammation like sugar and sour food

-Processed meat

-Foods made with white flour, cheese and butter.

There could not have been a better way to gain realisation around focus on health and a better lifestyle than the ongoing pandemic. The daily and common struggle for individuals due to the crisis has prompted people to develop the right food and living choices. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is now more important than ever and so is bridging the physical and mental health gaps.

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here.

Top 10 Tips for Natural Bodybuilders – Bodybuilding 101 with Coach Maxwell Alexander – Hudson Valley Style Magazine

Natural bodybuilders may have a leg up on their gym-loving counterparts when it comes to building muscle and cutting fat, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to put in the work to get there. Making healthy food choices, getting quality sleep, and hitting the gym consistently are just some of the things you need to be doing as you build your best body ever, but there are other things you can do too. Check out this list of 10 tips from expert natural bodybuilders that can help you bring your best self to the stage.

Top 10 Tips for Natural Bodybuilders – Bodybuilding 101 with Photographer, Fitness Model, Certified Elite Fitness Trainer and Bodybuilding Coach Maxwell Alexander

1) Eat Enough Protein

No supplement is more important to a natural bodybuilder than protein powder. It doesn’t matter if you take a whey, casein, or pea-protein powder—each and every product contains high-quality protein, which is key to building muscle mass. When you’re working toward your fitness goals, it’s vital that you eat enough quality protein every day; about one gram per pound of body weight is ideal.

Top 10 Tips for Natural Bodybuilders – Bodybuilding 101 with Fitness Model, Certified Elite Fitness Trainer and Bodybuilding Coach Maxwell Alexander
Top 10 Tips for Natural Bodybuilders – Bodybuilding 101 with Photographer, Fitness Model, Certified Elite Fitness Trainer and Bodybuilding Coach Maxwell Alexander

2) Sleep Well

Getting quality sleep helps you recover faster and grow stronger. Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Stick to a regular sleeping schedule and keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. If you have trouble falling asleep, take an evening walk or read a book in another room until you feel tired enough to fall asleep. Before going to bed, don’t look at any bright screens such as phones or laptops; they can make it hard to fall asleep as your eyes will be used to brighter light.

3) Keep Track of Your Progress

One of the most important tips for natural bodybuilders is to keep track of your progress. There are many bodybuilding charts out there and all you need to do is pick one, or make your own. If you have ever heard about rubber-banding then that is a good way to keep track of your gains, because you will know when it’s time to pull back on workouts and watch what you eat.

Top 10 Tips for Natural Bodybuilders – Bodybuilding 101 with Photographer, Fitness Model, Certified Elite Fitness Trainer and Bodybuilding Coach Maxwell Alexander
Top 10 Tips for Natural Bodybuilders – Bodybuilding 101 with Photographer, Fitness Model, Certified Elite Fitness Trainer and Bodybuilding Coach Maxwell Alexander

4) Train Intensely, But Take Rests

Getting big requires you to train intensely. However, when training intensely, your body needs longer rest periods. When it comes to bodybuilding, resting is just as important as training. If you don’t give your body enough time to recover, you’ll find yourself unable to complete workouts—which will lead you nowhere.

5) Put on Weight Between Meals

As you probably know, protein is an important part of bodybuilding—and not just to keep muscle on while you’re cutting. Most people eat plenty of high-protein foods: steak, chicken breast, eggs, fish, and so on. But when weight training or trying to gain lean mass (the goal of bodybuilding), be sure to incorporate healthy sources of protein into every meal or snack.

Top 10 Tips for Natural Bodybuilders – Bodybuilding 101 with Photographer, Fitness Model, Certified Elite Fitness Trainer and Bodybuilding Coach Maxwell Alexander
Top 10 Tips for Natural Bodybuilders – Bodybuilding 101 with Photographer, Fitness Model, Certified Elite Fitness Trainer and Bodybuilding Coach Maxwell Alexander

6) Don’t Substitute Training with Cardio

Don’t do hours of cardio in lieu of weight training. Research has shown that it takes more than five hours of cardio each week to maintain muscle mass, and most natural bodybuilders can build much more muscle by doing intense weight training. If you’re cutting calories to lose fat and your caloric needs are low, try just cutting out junk food instead. You can drop those extra pounds naturally without spending countless hours on a treadmill.

7) Plan For Success

Planning your training regimen is key to success as a natural bodybuilder. Decide what you want to focus on and learn how to train around it in order to maximize your results. This may mean increasing or decreasing your volume and intensity, or changing up movements. Be willing to adapt based on how your body feels, but also realize that adapting doesn’t necessarily mean you should abandon previous plans—changing it up just means adding something new into an already successful system.

8) Listen to What Your Body Needs

When you’re following a natural bodybuilding diet, what to eat is only part of your nutrition plan. You also need to make sure you’re eating enough to fuel your workouts and recover from them so that you don’t lose muscle mass. If you aren’t making progress toward your fitness goals, take a look at your eating habits to see if they are supportive of—or sabotaging—your goals.

9) Prepare Everything in Advance

Even bodybuilders who are on a budget must prepare in advance. Plan your meals, portion out your calories, and take snacks with you so that you’re never tempted to splurge. Also, consider bringing extra protein powder or food bars with you to help tide you over between meals. Planning in advance can make sticking to your diet much easier when hunger strikes unexpectedly.

10) Staying Motivated Is Important!

Staying motivated is arguably one of your top priorities as a bodybuilder. If you let your motivation slip, all of your hard work will be undone, and you’ll have to start from scratch all over again. Motivation is an emotional response, so it can ebb and flow with your feelings. You may be super motivated when working out one day, but unmotivated when it comes time to hit the gym on another day.


The Secrets of Natural Bodybuilding by Coach Maxwell Alexander
The Secrets of Natural Bodybuilding by Coach Maxwell Alexander

I would like to ask you a question. Are you looking for a way to build muscle? Are you interested in getting a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger without spending thousands on bodybuilding programs and apps or buying all the expensive equipment? Are you going to the gym every day, but you don’t seem to be noticing any results? I am here to tell you that you are not alone! The art, science, and goals of Bodybuilding are very different from those of General Fitness, so keep reading to find out more! Now you have the opportunity to download a brand new eBook that was created specifically for you! This awesome book is perfect for you if you want to learn more about bodybuilding and learn the facts about it.

This eBook covers everything one needs to know about bodybuilding, and it’s easy to understand! My clients have even referred to it as the “Bodybuilding Manual”! As if you had a bodybuilding expert at your disposal to call whenever you need to, ask questions! You will discover a wide array of tips, including how to build your body properly! In the beginning, I myself was looking for a way to tone and build muscle, but it wasn’t easy! It’s not easy to find information about these things… Particularly the kind I wanted to make bodybuilding easier. Everything pointed to expensive body building machines or personal trainers. To be quite honest with you, I was tired of searching and looking all over the place, so I decided to get certified myself. In addition to the fitness trainer program, I completed a specialized course focused on the science and art of bodybuilding. Then I polished my own bodybuilding experience and decided to write this definitive book on bodybuilding.

You’ll learn so many ways to build up your body with minimal effort! You will not only learn how bodybuilding is simple and easy, but you will also learn bonus tips that will help others as well. The following is just “a small preview” of what you’ll discover with my bodybuilding ebook – The Secrets of Natural Bodybuilding:

  • Become familiar with the terminology.
  • Set up a workout plan of your own.
  • Learn exactly how bodybuilding will benefit you.
  • Learn how your diet affects your health.
  • Find out what nutrients you need.
  • Get to know the importance of carbohydrates.
  • Find out why fat still has an important place in your diet!
  • Get some ideas for meal preparation.
  • Learn how your goals are affected by sleep.
  • Take advantage of the power of supplements.
  • Discover whether supplements are harmful.
  • Explore women’s bodybuilding.
  • Discover how teenagers can build muscles.
  • Also, there’s a lot more!

The new breakthrough book is really a guide. The culmination of years spent researching, studying, and reviewing hundreds of websites, books, and magazines. And this isn’t one of those “code” books where you don’t understand what’s being said. It’s all in plain English, so there’s no need for translation books. You won’t have to spend weeks reading this book on bodybuilding because it is completely understandable.

Why not start now? Start living the life of victory right now by downloading the best bodybuilding eBook by Coach Maxwell Alexander! Download my new book on bodybuilding here >>

Study shows spike in COVID-related depression, anxiety among Israeli teens – JNS.org

There was a significant spike in mental health diagnoses and consumption of different types of psychiatric medications by Israeli adolescents during the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study has shown.

The data, released on Tuesday by Maccabi Healthcare Services and its KI Institute for research, showed an overall increase of 55 percent in the diagnoses of eating disorders, 38 percent of depression and 33 percent of anxiety.

It also found a 28 percent increase in the administration of anti-psychotic drugs.

The problem was even more acute among adolescent girls, according to the study, which showed a 68 percent increase in the diagnosis of depression, 67 percent of eating disorders, 42 percent of anxiety and 29 percent of general stress.

Researchers analyzed 200,000 medical records of teens between the ages of 12 to 17 from before and during the pandemic to reach their conclusions.

“The alarming findings once again indicate the need for national preparation, not only against the pandemic but also against its mental effects,” said Dr. Gilad Bodenheimer, head of mental-health services for Maccabi.

He called on the state to allocate a budget for a national program to respond to the mental state of children and youth.

“The program should focus on preventive care,” he said, “and integrating the arms of education, welfare, and, of course, health.”

This is not the first study to identify mental-health challenges in Israel as a result of the virus. A study released in August by scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science, for example, showed increased mental distress among Israelis, especially among women, young adults and people who became unemployed as a result of the crisis.

A report released in April by Professor Michal Grinstein-Weiss of Washington University and the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, together with Professor Rami Benvenisti of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, showed that one in five children—21 percent and three times more than before the coronavirus crisis—were suffering from symptoms of anxiety.

UNC Reports 1,000 COVID-19 Cases to Start Spring Semester – Chapelboro.com

As UNC began its first day of classes Monday, the Carolina Together COVID-19 dashboard showed more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 in the campus community.

According to the dashboard, the university reported 1,002 total cases of COVID-19 between January 3 and January 9: 840 students and 162 employees. Through campus testing at the Carolina Together Testing Program and Campus Health, there were 599 positive cases of COVID-19 between January 3 and January 9.

All unvaccinated students and all students living on campus were required to complete reentry testing for COVID-19. The university urged all students to also test even if it was not required.

Between August 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 there were 887 positive COVID-19 cases through on-campus testing.

The 1,002 cases also reflects recent spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19 at UNC despite high attestation of vaccination. According to the Carolina Together dashboard, 94 percent of students and 89 percent of all employees attested to being fully vaccinated as of January 10. Additionally, UNC reports a booster shot total of 7,495.

Weekly testing for COVID-19 remains a requirement for all unvaccinated members of the campus community. Additionally, masks are required to be worn in all university buildings and are encouraged outdoors for group events and gatherings.

On-campus students who test positive for COVID-19 can isolate at their home or in their residence hall room – leaving only for food pickup and medical care. UNC is not currently offering separate on-campus isolation housing for residential students who test positive for COVID-19. Students who miss class because of omicron will receive an excused absence for a week.

Some departments, like the UNC School of Public Health, preemptively moved their courses online for the first few weeks of the semester due to concerns from the omicron variant. University leadership said deans have the discretion to temporarily modify modes of instruction for specific courses.

COVID-19 cases overall have increased in North Carolina since the start of 2022 – largely due to the omicron variant. According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Orange County had 1,722 positive cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days.

North Carolina saw roughly 18,000 new cases reported Monday – resulting in a 31.1 daily percent positive rate. Since the start of 2022, there have been more than 200,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Lead Photo via Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill


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Chris Dickerson, Who Broke Bodybuilding Barriers, Dies at 82 – The New York Times

His Mr. America win signified more than muscles.

Like Miss Americas, Mr. America was expected to represent “this unbelievable image of the most perfect, virile American person,” a figure most often expected to be white, Richard Cavaler, a bodybuilding contest promoter and administrator who booked Mr. Dickerson in the 1970s, said in a phone interview. Along with physiques, judges took into account the contestants’ interview skills and their potential to represent the sport favorably on a national level.

Black athletes had taken the competition’s Most Muscular title on multiple occasions: Arthur Harris did so in 1959, and Sergio Oliva of Cuba followed in 1965 and ’66. But the overall victory had never before gone to a nonwhite competitor.

That groundbreaking win was more important to him than even his Mr. Olympia title, Mr. Dickerson said. “I had to say a few words, being the first man of color to win the competition,” he said in an interview with The Bodybuilding Legends Show in 2015. “I didn’t want to make it a racial issue, but the fact was, it was.”

While competing, he stuck to the basics: an impressively sculptured physique and a quiet respect for the sport, his colleagues said. He was known for his grace in posing, informed by ballet lessons he had taken as a young man.

“He brought class and dignity and culture to bodybuilding,” Mr. Neylon said.

At the 1980 Mr. Olympia competition in Sydney, Australia, Mr. Dickerson placed second to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the future governor of California. Some attributed that result to favoritism. In a 2009 paper published in Iron Game History: The Journal of Physical Culture, Mr. Dickerson took note of the obstacles he had faced in bodybuilding. The promoter of the Mr. Olympia contest, he said, “was a real low life, a bigot, who had a real dislike for me — partly on racial grounds and partly for my sexual orientation.”

Dietitians ready to share nutrition tips toward healthy lifestyle – Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — Dietitians at the Giant Company offer free live nutrition classes via Zoom.

“Over the past year, thousands of aspiring chefs of all ages participated in our virtual nutrition classes and we are excited to bring them back and better than ever for 2022,” said dietitian Kilene Knitter.

Foodie Fun for Mini Chefs and Families begins at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays. A story is offered while creating nourishing snacks.

On Saturdays at 10 a.m., January classes feature Frozen fun with Olaf personal pizzas and Elsa’s frozen blueberry cookies or bake up red velvet sugar cookies and quick homemade pretzels in February.

From wellness workshops every Monday at 7 p.m. to healthy choices for weight control on Wednesdays at noon, dietitians are ready to help. Classes also include better for you baking Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and freezer meal prep classes Thursdays at noon.

February is Heart Month and the dietitians have classes scheduled to showcase tips and recipes. Mondays at 7 p.m. learn more about heart health and how sodium, fiber and fats can all play a role. Every Tuesday at noon, recipes are shared along with pantry suggestions for cooking with canned goods, dried beans and global grains.

All classes are free but advanced registration is required at thegiantcompanynutritionists.eventbrite.com. Customers can earn rewards points when they attend the entire nutrition class.