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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
May 1

Follow us on Twitter!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

Want to find out when IAMincontrol has a new post?  Follow us on Twitter @IAMincontrolIA for tweets about our posts and events for teens.  Retweet to share your favorite posts with your friends!
May 25

What Can Kanye West Teach Us About Self-Care?

Posted By iamincontrol | May 25, 2017

In November, Kanye West was hospitalized to receive psychiatric treatment after placing a “medical welfare” call. Police responded to the 911 call and reportedly admitted the rapper for his own health and safety. According to West’s friends and family, his hospitalization followed several sleepless nights where he would stay up drawing and exercising. The circumstances surrounding his hospitalization were extremely demanding. Kanye was in the middle of his tour, maintaining his personal fashion line, contributing to a contract made with Adidas, and was involved with complex family dynamics and stressors. Those closest to him say that he was extremely overworked and overwhelmed in the days prior to placing the 911 call.

Since the rapper’s hospitalization, he has been ridiculed for canceling the remaining days of his tour. Both fans and fellow celebrities have mocked him during a time where he clearly needs support, well-wishes, and to feel understood.  Unfortunately, we live in a society that expects business. We equate success with active involvement in a variety of activities. We look up to people who can juggle the most extra-curricular activities at once. When someone experiences a stressor or traumatic life event, it is often expected that they may miss a class or two, but after you attend that appointment or return from that funeral, it’s time to make up your school work and anything else you may have missed.

Kanye West’s hospitalization speaks to the ways that these sorts of expectations are unrealistic and harmful. Is it wrong to engage with the things you enjoy? Of course not! But it is important to remember that you are only human, and you cannot run at 100% capacity 100% of the time.

For more information on self-care or to access several resources related to self-care visit: https://rvap.uiowa.edu/help/self-care/

May 23

What Should You Major In?

Posted By iamincontrol | May 23, 2017

Choosing a major can be difficult, especially because it seems like it will determine your entire future. It’s important to remember, though, that a lot of people change their declared major several times throughout their time in college. Other people end up working in a field that they love that is completely unrelated to their major.

Some important things to think about when you are choosing a major are:

  • Your interests: What classes ant to be able to travel? What kind of setting do you want to work in? Thinking about the environment you want to work in might help you choose a major.
  • Your dream job: Do you have a specific field you’d like to go into that requires a specific major, or would you like to have more options? For example, a chemist needs to have a background in chemistry, but psychology is a major that can be applied to many different fields.

These are all just starting points, but they can be a good starting point to make the process of choosing a major less daunting.

For more information on choosing majors visit: https://www.princetonreview.com/college-advice/choosing-college-majors

May 18

Eating the Rainbow: How to Get More Fruits and Vegetables into Your Diet

Posted By iamincontrol | May 18, 2017

We all know that adding a lot of fruits and vegetables is a good way to get important vitamins into our diets and to replace junk food snacks with healthier, more energizing ones. However, eating apples every day for a snack or broccoli with dinner every night can get boring. Trying new fruits and vegetables can make eating healthier a lot more interesting and exciting. Here are some ways to add new foods into your diet:

  1. Shop based on the season

Make a list of seasonal fruits and vegetables at the beginning of each season. Then, go online to look for simple snack or meal recipes you can make yourself using your list. You can also ask your parents about incorporating a new vegetable or fruit that no one in the family has tried into your meals for the week. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are often less expensive and better quality than ones that are out of season. Look at what’s in season here: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/what-fruits-and-vegetables-are-in-season.

  1. Eat the rainbow

Getting a good variety of fruits and vegetables is important because different kinds of fruits and vegetables have different kinds of nutrients, and you need a mix of them to have a balanced diet. Try making a point to try fruits and vegetables from different color categories each day, so you get a variety throughout the week. For example, try apricots from the yellow/orange list and asparagus from the vegetable list. You can look at a list of different fruits and veggies for each category here: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/fruit-and-veggie-color-list.

  1. Get creative

As long as you’re getting in more fruits and vegetables, it doesn’t matter how you eat them. Canned, frozen, and dried fruits and vegetables all count. Try buying frozen fruits to blend up and make healthy smoothies out of (you can add in some greens, like spinach, too). Drain and rinse canned vegetables to add them into dishes without taking the time to cut them up. If you don’t really like a lot of fruits or vegetables, try recipes where they are hidden in other dishes to make healthier versions of your favorite foods. You can get more inspiration for hiding fruits and vegetables from this blog: http://www.hiddenfruitsandveggies.com.

May 16

You’re Not a Burden

Posted By iamincontrol | May 16, 2017

Guest blog from a mental health professional:

When you are experiencing a mental health issue, such as depression or anxiety, reaching out to another person can be a difficult thing to do. You don’t want to be a burden or want to bring anyone else down with you. These feelings can make you feel isolated and alone. It can create fear and feelings of being judged. While your experiences are unique to you, there are people who have similar thoughts, feelings, and situations similar to you.

You are not alone. Many social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists and other professionals have personal experience with mental health issues. They may have friends or family members whom have a mental health issue or have issues themselves. We are trained to not judge and they understand that your experience is unique to you. We want to hear your story and hear your needs. There are many people who are willing to help and reaching out is the first step.

In Iowa, we have some fantastic supports for people with mental health issues. Have you ever noticed the phone number at the top of our website? That’s our Teenline which is open 24/7 just call 1-800-443-8336. Or you can chat online Monday through Friday 8am-8pm with the link at the top of the page.

Another resource is the Iowa Help Line. They provide help to people in a crisis situation or need help with finding additional resources or need to someone to talk to about issues they may be having. They have an online chat from 2pm-2am at iowahelpline.org and you can also call or text them at 1-855-800-1239.

If you live in the Iowa City area, UAY/United Action for Youth is a fantastic organization. It is a safe space for teens. They have many different activities and groups that people can be a part of. They also provide counseling for teens. They are located at 355 Iowa Ave. in Iowa City, there phone number is 319-358-9406. They also have an on call counselor for teens, there on-call number is 310-338-7518. There website is www.unitedactionforyouth.org

To find resources near you visit: http://www.iowachildhealthconnections.com/resources/

May 11

How to Find Your Passion

Posted By iamincontrol | May 11, 2017

Having passions in life is important for keeping us going when we have to do work that we don’t enjoy. Passions can also be a good starting point for figuring out what your future career might look like, even though someone’s passion and career might end up being different. A passion might end up being a hobby or a side project that you do outside of your career, but these questions can be helpful for finding a direction either way:

  1. Think back. What are some of your favorite memories from your life? What specifically did you enjoy about those times? For example, if you liked family vacations a lot, did you like the traveling aspect the most? Make a list of some of your best memories and what you liked about them.When you were a young child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Can you remember why you wanted to be that?  Maybe someone you knew and admired had that job and you wanted to be just like them. What qualities or experiences does that person have that you would also like to have? Write those down, too. What do you enjoy the most now? What school subject do you like the most, and why? Do you enjoy playing a sport after school? What do you like about it?
  1. Ask questions. What specific things about each activity do you like? For example, maybe you don’t really like math as a subject in school, but you do like the satisfaction of solving a difficult problem. You might write down that “problem solving” is something that you are interested in. Look for phrases that you wrote under more than one activity. The phrases you wrote down the most are likely the most important or interesting to you.
  1. Try new things. Trying new activities can give you a better idea of what you do and don’t like. You can take the list you made and try to find new opportunities based on the things you enjoyed in the past. For example, if you like working with others, you could volunteer.

 

Are there are any new hobbies or activities you’ve been curious about? Has your friend been trying to convince you to join a certain sport or club? Try it out and see if you like it. Even if it isn’t something you want to do for a living, you might find a new hobby out of it.

For more information about how to start figuring out what you’re passionate about visit:

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/inside-the-classroom/learning-what-you-love-in-high-school

May 9

Relationships: Why You Don’t Need ‘Em

Posted By iamincontrol | May 9, 2017

Quest blog by Tierra:

All throughout high school, I had a boyfriend. It began my senior year and lasted up until my sophomore year of college. I think that when we broke up everyone expected me to be depressed and not get on with my life. However, I did just fine. I’m still living to write this blog post, so I guess I beat the odds. Anyways, my point here is that no matter what you think, you do not NEED a significant other in your life to make you happy. Sure, having that one person there for you whenever you need or want someone is nice, but learning how to make yourself happy on your own is honestly one of the best feelings ever. If you surround yourself with amazing friends and family, it makes it all so much easier. I can honestly say that the past 3-4 months that I have been on my own have been the happiest days of my life. I finally came to terms with the fact that I can make myself happier than any boyfriend or girlfriend could ever make me. I am in control of my life. Start creating your own happiness and stop expecting another boy or girl to do it for you. Life will be so much more meaningful.

For more reasons why being single is awesome visit:

http://www.seventeen.com/love/a34253/tk-reasons-being-single-in-your-teens-is-the-best/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/24/10-reasons-why-dating-in-_n_2543186.html

May 4

Misfit Melons

Posted By iamincontrol | May 4, 2017

Sometimes strawberries grow odd lumps and oranges have patchy yellow skin. Less-than-perfect produce items are very common, but consumers don’t often see the unique fruits and vegetables the earth creates. This is because many pieces of produce don’t meet grocery store criteria and are rejected and go to waste. Typically, misshapen and ugly produce taste the same and have the nutrients as their prettier relatives, but consumers shrug in disgust at the site of them. The important part of produce is their high nutritional value and necessity in our diets. Teens ages 14-18 require about 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits and 2 ½ to 3 cups of veggies per day. Nationwide, only 32% of high schoolers get at least two servings of fruit per day and only 15% get at least 3 servings of vegetables. Ugly produce can still provide all the necessary dietary needs you have, so always consider that when shopping for produce. By purchasing and eating odd fruits and vegetables, you can make a difference by reducing waste and changing norms.

Thankfully, some grocery stores are making strides to accept these ugly fruits and vegetables to cut down on food waste. Keep your eyes out the next time you are at the store, as you may begin to see ugly produce on the shelves before you know it.

If you would like more information about your diet and meal tips to achieve the correct servings of fruits and veggies visit: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/fruit.

If you are interested in finding out more about food waste projects, such as the Ugly Produce is Beautiful Educational Campaign visit: http://www.uglyproduceisbeautiful.com.

May 2

Improving Your Self-Esteem & Poll Results

Posted By iamincontrol | May 2, 2017

Poll results are in and Iowa teens think they can control they’re own self esteem!

Self-esteem is a major issue that a lot of people in our world face on a regular basis these days. Some people have great self-esteem, and others have almost no self-esteem. Self-esteem is very important to have. If you feel down, it helps you feel better or if something is a little awkward to some people, to others it wouldn’t be as awkward. Self-esteem is how you see yourself or how you feel about yourself. The more self-esteem you have, the better you see yourself. I had very low self-esteem in high school, but when I went to college I decided I was going to love myself and my body more. I started doing the things I wanted to do, saying the things I wanted to say and just acting more like myself. And overtime my self-esteem rose! “Fake it until you make” was my motto. I faked being proud to be who I was until I actually felt proud to be who I am! My life has improved so much since the day I decided to just be myself. It took a while, but I did it. Eventually just being myself actually helped others realize who I was at a person and I ended up with more friends. As a matter of fact, a very tight knit group of friends, that are basically family to me. Once you start working on your self-esteem, it not only helps you feel better, but you actually start seeing improvements in your life!

To learn more about improving your self-esteem visit: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/self-esteem.html

Apr 27

Mental Health is NOT a “Fake Illness”

Posted By iamincontrol | April 27, 2017

When you call in sick to work or school, you often call in with a headache, stomach bug, sore throat, etc., but very few people can call in with overbearing sadness, anxiousness, or other emotions. Why do you think that is? Are physical illnesses just more obvious to see? Sure a broken limb is more obvious than depression, but why should one be less important than the other? It’s time to tackle the myth that mental illness is less important than physical illness.

Although the attitudes toward mental illnesses are changing, there is still some bias that they aren’t “as real” as physical illness. Here’s the facts! Mental illnesses aren’t just your normal sad and happy days. In fact, mental illness causes real and physical health problems if not properly treated. Mental illnesses don’t go away on their own, and it is much more serious than being a crybaby. If somebody breaks his or her leg, we don’t expect the bone to magically heal on its own. We need to have this same attitude toward mental illnesses. If somebody needs to treat their broken leg with a cast and a set of crutches, people don’t judge much as we shouldn’t about the use of medications to help treat mental illnesses. Depression and anxiety affect millions of Americans each year, and helping to reduce the stigma that surrounds these illnesses may help those suffering come forward and get the help they need to live their best life.

For more check out this video.

Apr 25

Embracing Your Period

Posted By iamincontrol | April 25, 2017

Whether it’s cramps or PMS, periods can be hard to get used to. But don’t worry! Lots of women have the same troubles with their period. Learning more about your body can help you embrace your period, and do the right things to cope with it.

CRAMPS

Many women experience cramps during the first few days of their period. This happens when chemicals in your body force your uterus to contract. Exercise releases “happy hormones” called endorphins, which can help with cramps. But if that doesn’t work, ibuprofen can help.

PMS

PMS stands for premenstrual symptoms, and they happen to a lot of women. Doctors still don’t know what the cause is, but they think it has to do with changing hormones. There is a wide range of symptoms, and they include:

  • Acne
  • Bloating
  • Being very tired
  • Backaches
  • Sore breasts
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression

Some ways to cope with PMS are to avoid caffeine, get enough sleep, exercise, and eat a balanced diet. If these symptoms are severe you should make an appointment with your doctor.

For more information about your period visit: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/menstrual-problems.html?ref=search#