Self Harm Awareness Month
Self-injury or self-harm is a response to severe emotional distress. Intentional, non-suicidal injuries are a way for a person to mirror psychological pain with physical pain.
In some cases, the physical injury has a temporary calming effect and, in others, a self-inflicted wound is a means of “feeling something” to combat emotional numbness.
What Are the Signs of Self-Injury?
For family and friends, especially those who have loved ones suffering some type of mental illness, it’s important to watch for signs and patterns of self-injury. These might include:
- Arms, legs or other parts of the body that show signs of consistent injury, such as scabs, bruises, burns and cuts
- Overdressing in particularly warm weather, wearing, for example, coats, long sleeve shirts or pants
- Repeatedly making excuses for why or how they got injured
- Avoidance, isolation and withdrawal from activities and relationships they previously enjoyed
American National Nutrition Month
Most health risks that are linked to produce can be eliminated with proper food preparation such as cleaning produce thoroughly.
- Go to the farmers market early to avoid produce that has been sitting out all day.
- Ask the supermarket produce manager if there is more produce available, if you are not satisfied with the store's selection.
- Buy loose produce rather than packaged for more control over what you select.
- Avoid produce with mold, bruises or cuts.
- Select only the amount of produce that you will use within a week.
- Purchase produce that is in season when possible.
- Promptly store produce that needs refrigeration.
- Note that some fresh, whole produce does not need to be refrigerated (such as bananas or potatoes). For other produce, refrigeration may lengthen the shelf life (such as with apples or cucumbers) or prevent rapid spoilage (berries and mushrooms).
- Refrigerate fresh produce within two hours of peeling or cutting.
- Throw away leftover cut produce that is left at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Discard cooked vegetables after three to four days.
- Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables with cool tap water immediately before use.
- Clean produce before peeling to prevent dirt and bacteria from passing from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable. Gently rub produce while holding under plain running water; no soap is needed. Scrub firm produce, such as melons or cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
- Cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating. Remove and discard outer leaves of lettuce.
- Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
- Use two separate cutting boards to avoid cross-contamination, use one for raw meats and the other for fruits and vegetables. Color-coded cutting boards can help you remember which is which.
- Cook raw sprouts (such as alfalfa, bean and clover) to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
Protect Our Civil Rights
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the nation’s strongest law protecting the civil rights of people with disabilities. It prohibits discrimination based on disability and guarantees equal access to public buildings and businesses.
National Careers Week (Mar. 7-12)
National Careers Week celebrates career guidance for young people, helping them to explore different career paths that may make sense for their interests.
Improve Your Sleep Quality – 10 Sleep Tips
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends. It’s important for your body to have a regular sleeping schedule.
- Set a relaxing bedtime routine, such as listening to calming music, reading a book or taking a warm bath.
- Make sure your bedroom is cool. Your body temperature naturally decreases to initiate sleep. A bedroom temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit helps promote sleep.
- Make sure your bedroom is quiet. Turn off noisy distractions such as a TV. Silence unwanted noise with earplugs or use “white noise,” such as from a fan, sound machine or an app.
- Make sure your bedroom is dark. Use blackout shade to block out unwanted light and dim the lights on your digital clock.
- Sleep on a mattress and pillows that are comfortable and supportive.
- Finish eating meals 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Exercise regularly. A low-impact fitness program, like walking, swimming or yoga, is helpful for managing pain and stiffness and improving sleep.
- Try to limit how many caffeinated products you consume in the afternoon.
- Alcohol and nicotine in your body can disrupt sleep and can cause nighttime waking. For optimal sleep, skip them close to bedtime or altogether.
National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, or NDAFW, is an annual, week-long, health observance that inspires dialogue about the science of drug use and addiction among youth. It provides an opportunity to bring together scientists, students, educators, healthcare providers, and community partners—to help advance the science, so that we can improve the prevention and awareness of substance misuse in our own communities and nationwide. It was launched in 2010 by scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to stimulate educational events in communities so teens can learn what science has taught us about drug use and addiction. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism became a partner in 2016, and alcohol has been added as a topic area for the week. NIDA and NIAAA are part of the National Institutes of Health, and work with leading organizations, media outlets, and other Government agencies to spread the word about NDAFW.
Self-injury awareness day (SIAD) is held on March 1st of every year and is an international event that is recognized all across the globe. The entire month of March is recognized as self-injury awareness month. Self-harm can be difficult to understand and due to this, many people react in a negative or judgmental way. Raising awareness about self-harm is incredibly important as it leads to community understanding and empathy, banishing stigma and judgement and reducing the number of people who may suffer in silence. In the current times we are living in, with isolation and depression/anxiety at an all-time high due to COVID-19, it is critical to understand why people may turn to self-harm and what to do if a loved one reaches out for help.
What is self-harm?
Self-harm is usually a sign that a person is having a tough time coping with their emotions. The term self-harm encompasses a variety of behaviors that may include but are not limited to cutting, scratching, burning, picking etc. People who self-harm may do so for some of the following reasons
To help manage unbearable emotions and symptoms
To help regain a sense of feeling (for those experiencing numbness)
To help relieve stress and pressure
To help feel in control
To reenact a trauma in an attempt to resolve it
To protect others from emotional pain
On Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS calls on countries to examine discriminatory provisions in their laws and policies and make positive changes to ensure equality, inclusion and protection.
On Zero Discrimination Day, UNAIDS recalls the equal dignity and worth of every person, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is calling for action to change discriminatory laws and practices, which are a significant barrier for access to health and other services.
Women’s empowerment promotes a sense of self-worth, an ability to determine one's own choices, and a right to influence change.
World Down Syndrome Day (Mar. 21)
Down syndrome (or Trisomy 21) is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement that has always been a part of the human condition.
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Mar.21)
The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is observed annually on the day the police in Sharpeville, South Africa, opened fire and killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration against apartheid "pass laws" in 1960.
In 1979, the General Assembly adopted a program of activities to be undertaken during the second half of the Decade for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination. On that occasion, the General Assembly decided that a week of solidarity with the peoples struggling against racism and racial discrimination, beginning on 21 March, would be organized annually in all States.
World Bipolar Day (Mar. 30)
The vision of World Bipolar Day (WBD) is to bring world awareness to bipolar conditions and to eliminate social stigma. Through international collaboration, the goal of WBD is to bring the world population information about bipolar conditions that will educate and improve sensitivity towards the condition.
WBD is celebrated each year on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as probably having a bipolar condition.
WBD is an initiative of International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) in collaboration with the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD) and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD).
For those living with bipolar disorder, World Bipolar Day offers an opportunity to connect with others as well as assistance in gaining access to valuable resources and relationships that can improve their lives through treatment.
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