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

Topic: Life Skills

Jul 12

Manage Your Thoughts and Emotions for Less Stress

Posted By iamincontrol | July 12, 2018

It is easy for us to let our emotions get the best of us, but we can learn how to manage our reactions and thoughts to certain events. This can help us manage stress in our lives. For most people, it will take practice, but how can we practice emotional wellness? Here are some actions you can take to develop better skills to manage stress:

  • Don’t stress about what you can’t change. Don’t waste time and energy worrying about things you can’t change or events that may never happen.
  • See life as changeable. Accept that change is a natural part of living and growing. This will make new changes become less stressful.
  • Think about alternatives. Thinking about options beforehand will help you plan for change and adjust more quickly.
  • Be realistic about your expectations. You should aim high in situations but be realistic about your goals and your motivation.
  • Don’t rush into action – think before you act. Accept your mistakes and mistakes by others. Don’t let them stress you out. Think through what happened, learn from it, and plan to avoid it in the future.
  • Take things less seriously. Ask yourself: How much will this matter in two weeks? Six months?
  • Take time for yourself. Take time to relax and care for your own mental health. This will help you be less stressed and improve your well-being.

For more tips on how to better manage your thoughts, check out:

Jul 10

Bicycle Safety

Posted By iamincontrol | July 10, 2018

Biking can be a great summer activity. It’s a great way to get some exercise in and it can also be a fun way to see some new scenery. Check out these tips on bike safety:

  • Helmets help prevent brain injury in the case of a fall. Your helmet should be worn level so it covers your forehead, not tipped. Your helmet straps should be snug to keep it in place. There are measurements on the helmets to help you find the right one. If you’re not sure if your helmet fits, you can ask someone at a bike store.
  • Make sure your bike is in good shape. You can ask a parent or other trusted adult to help you do this. Check your wheels, seat, and handlebars
  • Bikes come in different sizes so check to see if your bike is the right size for you. If you stand with your feet flat, there should be 1 to 3 inches of space between you and the top bar.
  • Check your chain and add oil if it needs it. Give your tires a squeeze and make sure they have enough pressure. If not, use an air pump to fill them to the proper capacity.

When you ride:

  • Wear bright clothes so cars see you.
  • Make sure you check where and how far you can ride by asking your parents.
  • Ride with a buddy, especially on longer trips.
  • Know the road rules and hand signals.
  • If you’re riding at dusk or near dark, make sure your bike has reflectors or a head light.

Check out this website for more tips, road rules, and a guide of the hand signals!

Jul 3

Don’t Blow It: Responsible Firework Practices to Avoid Injury

Posted By iamincontrol | July 3, 2018

The 4th of July is all about parades, BBQ’s, and friends, but nothing ends the night quite like an awesome round of fireworks. Did you know, each year over 10,000 people are injured playing with fireworks. Injuries range from minor burns to lost fingers, limbs, or even blindness. This includes injuries from sparklers – they burn at very high temperatures so use caution and never wave them near someone’s face! Getting injured is not a great way to have a memorable 4th of July celebration.

So, what can you do to have a safe and fun 4th of July celebration? Check out a professional show instead! These events have the biggest fireworks and are well organized for the coolest effects. Plus, many areas feature concerts, games, or contests before the big fireworks show for maximum fun so it’s a great way to build safe memories with your family, friends or crush!

But if you and your family decide to create your own fireworks display here are a few important safety reminders:

  • Never light fireworks without an adult.
  • Keep a bucket of water and garden hose handy.
  • Wear eye protection.
  • Only light one firework at a time.
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from buildings, vehicles, and trees.
  • Never point fireworks at someone.
  • Don’t forget about your pets! Keep them inside, away from the sparks and noise.

To find out more safety tips check out:

Jun 28

Surviving Stressful Family Interactions

Posted By iamincontrol | June 28, 2018

Summer often gives people more time to spend with their families. Whether it’s a family vacation or just hanging out at home. Spending a lot of time with loved ones isn’t always easy. Being in close quarters with relatives who get on your nerves can be stressful. Here are some tips for how to handle stressful interactions in the moment and what to do to de-stress afterwards:

  • Keep a positive attitude and set an intention to have a good time no matter what happens. This can help you stay positive and not let little comments get to you.
  • Try not to take things personally. Negative remarks say more about the person who says them than the person they’re said to.
  • When you feel your stress rising, taking a breath before speaking can help you respond in a relaxed way instead of a way that adds to the tension.
  • When you do respond to comments, be direct and use statements like “I feel” or “I think”.

After dealing with stressful family, make sure to take time to recover and do something to de-stress.

  • Prioritize self-care by spending more time doing the things you like to do to relax.
  • Some things you can do either before or after dealing with stressful family members are exercising, going for a walk, skin care, reading books, or doing puzzles.
  • Getting good sleep and eating healthy meals will help you be in your best mood too.

For more information on dealing with family members who stress you out, check out this link:

Jun 19

How to Stay Cool by the Pool All Summer Long

Posted By iamincontrol | June 19, 2018

Swimming is one of the most popular summer activities, but without proper safety it can be scary. Whether you are heading to a community pool, lake, or water park, here are a few tips to keep you safe all summer long.

  • Always swim with a buddy. If something goes wrong they can get help. Plus, it’s more fun with a friend!
  • Know your limits and your comfort level. Don’t get pressured into a dangerous situation.
  • Take a CPR and first aid class, nothing is cooler than being prepared in case of an emergency.
  • Only swim in designated areas. Follow directions posted on signs or caution ropes to keep everyone safe.
  • Be careful about diving. Diving injuries can be serious so if it says, “No Diving” pay attention!
  • Always wear sunscreen and don’t forget to reapply.
  • While you are splashing around in the water all day, don’t forget to take time to drink some water.

For more tips on water safety check out

Jun 5

Summer Skin Care

Posted By iamincontrol | June 5, 2018

As you start spending more time outside, it’s important to make sure that your skin is protected. Use the following tips to make sure that your skin stays healthy throughout the summer:

  • Use a lighter, thinner moisturizer. This can help prevent breakouts.
  • Apply sunscreen every day – and use actual sunscreen. Many makeup products now have some SPF. But the sunscreen in these products are very weak and less protective.
  • Don’t forget your lips! Look for a lip balm with SPF to protect them from the sun as well.
  • Stay hydrated. Besides drinking water, you can eat certain foods to help get your daily water intake. Cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, celery, and grapes are all very hydrating.
  • Sunburned? Look for products with aloe, chamomile, and green tea. All of these are ingredients that should help with inflammation.

For more tips on how to take care of your skin over the summer, check out this link:

May 29

Cross Contamination: Don’t Cross It!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 29, 2018

You probably know someone who has gotten food poisoning. As long as you properly prepare and store food, food poisoning is unlikely to happen. One common way people get food poisoning is through cross contamination. This is when raw meat, poultry, or seafood (or their juices) touches ready to eat food or eating utensils/surfaces. Cooking foods until they reach high temperatures kills most bacteria, which is why properly cooked meats are safe.

Here are some tips to avoid cross contamination.

  1. Do not use the same cutting board to cut anything else after cutting raw meat, poultry, or seafood on it. If you only have one cutting board, make sure to clean it really well with dish soap in between.
  2. Do not use the same knife to cut ready-to-eat food or produce after using it to cut meat, poultry, or seafood. This goes the same for any other utensils that have touched raw meat.
  3. If cleaning up with a towel, do not reuse it. Throw it in the laundry.
  4. If using plates to hold raw meat, poultry, or seafood, do not return the cooked meat back onto the same plate or any other food items.
  5. Always wash your hands with soap and water after touching raw meat, poultry, or seafood before touching anything else.
  6. Store raw meat, poultry, and seafood on the bottom shelf of the fridge in a sealed container or plastic bag to prevent them from dripping onto ready-to-eat food.

For information about cooking at home and food safety, visit:

May 15

Screen Time before Bed

Posted By iamincontrol | May 15, 2018

You finally go lay down to sleep and then you scroll through all your social media or watch an episode of your favorite show. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but there are many studies that show being on your phone before bed can cause a lack of sleep. Being on your phone before bed can also make you lose track of time and stay up later than you usually would. Sleep is important for a healthy and alert mind. It can help you focus better in school and give you a better attitude during the day. There are some things you can do to avoid being tempted by your phone.

  • Put electronics away 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Put your phone on silent or don’t bring it into the bedroom, so the buzzing won’t distract you.
  • Read a book before going to sleep.
  • Take a relaxing shower.
  • Start a new hobby, like learning to play an instrument in the time before bed.

By doing these things you can cut down your screen time before bed and not feel so attached to your phone. It will give you time to focus on yourself and take a break from the outside world. You can improve your sleep and your mood. If you’re still having trouble sleeping, check out the website below for more tips on how to get a better night’s rest.

For more information, visit:

May 8

Managing Social Anxiety

Posted By iamincontrol | May 8, 2018

Social anxiety can prevent us from doing cool and exciting things because being around people makes us nervous. Common acts that trigger this type of anxiety include talking on the phone, giving a presentation, asking a stranger for directions, or going to a party and meeting new people. These feelings are normal and they can be controlled with a few simple tips:

  1. Practice what you can say before you do the anxiety-triggering thing. If you’re going to party where you won’t know many people, pre-plan a few ice breaker questions or jokes you can tell.
  2. Make goals. While staying at home may seem most appealing to you, try to push yourself to get out every once in awhile. Common goals could be: go to one football game this season, find an event outside of school to attend once a month or join a club. Goals need to be realistic and attainable.
  3. Find friends. Find friends that enjoy the same things as you AND friends that push you to do new things. It’s important to have both.
  4. Accept yourself. If you suffer from this type of anxiety, you may simply not enjoy things as much as other people. While you should still get out and do new and fun things, recognize that social interaction just isn’t your favorite activity and that’s okay.

For more tips on how to manage social anxiety, visit:

May 3

How Extreme Wildfires Could Turn Into an “Old Flame”

Posted By iamincontrol | May 3, 2018

In the past few years, the United States has seen a dramatic rise in extreme wildfires. Wildfires pose danger to people and animals living in the area and can lead to soil erosion, which can trigger landslides. So… wildfires are totally bad, right? Wrong! Did you know that fires are good for forest ecosystems and that human intervention is the reason they become so large and out of control? In an ideal forest ecosystem, natural fires should occur naturally every 2-7 years.  Since we stop all fires, highly flammable brush that would normally be eliminated is allowed to grow bigger and provide more fuel to fires. This is why those fires become so large and hard to control. Climate change also contributes by creating warmer and drier conditions—fire’s favorite!

How do we fix this problem?

One way extreme forest fires are prevented is through prescribed burns. Prescribed burns are fires that are started on purpose under controlled conditions to eliminate brush. The Forest Service also recommends forest thinning, which returns forests to their pre-human state. Trees are better able to withstand fires when they are given more space.

Want to learn more? Click on the following link!