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mental health, life hacks, self-care
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A woman embraces a beautiful new day.

Mental health is a very complex issue and it would be naive to say there are quick and easy solutions to significant issues. However, there are many things in our lives we often overlook that may be bringing us down that can be substituted for simple habits that can help bring us back up.

The National Institute of Mental Health says that maintaining our mental health requires routine maintenance known as “self-care.”

“Mental health is more than the absence of a mental illness—it’s essential to your overall health and quality of life,” the Institute says on its website. “Self-care can play a role in maintaining your mental health and help support your treatment and recovery if you have a mental illness.”

This perspective on mental health suggests it’s just as important to focus on our mental well-being as we do on our physical. The NIMH says that cultivating an attitude of gratitude, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, eating healthy and staying hydrated can all have a positive impact on our mental health.


A Reddit user by the unfortunate name pissed_at_everything reached out to the online forum asking people to share the small changes they’ve made that had a big impact on their mental health. The post received nearly 5,000 pieces of advice.

"What is something that drastically improved your mental health?" they posted on the AskReddit subforum. A lot of people said that eliminating toxic things from their lives had a big impact, whether it was social media, people or negative self-talk. There are bound to be a few suggestions on the list that can help you, too.

Here are 19 of the responses we thought were most helpful.

1.

"Sleep." — ortolon

2.

"Silencing my activity on social media, and replacing my time spent on there by reading books instead. I’ve finished 6 books since the start of January. I feel so good about myself because of it." — chick3nslut

3.


"Knowing it's okay to leave some people behind." — Black_Guardian-

4.

"Being honest and transparent about how I'm feeling. 'I'm not mad at you, my brain just hates me right now,' has helped mitigate lots of fights and awkward conversations." — Nillabeans

Ansteve1 added:

"Being honest with myself and those closest really helped. Even on bad days I don't feel like I am hopeless."

5.

"Something small that has helped me is saying aloud 'What a beautiful day, today is.' It’s small but I have better outlook." — turtlepawa123

6.

"Exercise." — iamnobody1970

Counterboudd added:

"It sucks at how well it works. I used to hate my mom telling me that exercise would reduce my depression but she was absolutely right. The issue is that when you’re really depressed it’s the last thing you feel like doing. But nothing else has as much of a positive effect on my mental state as regular exercise."

7.

"Taking vitamin D and B supplements and getting enough sleep. Really helped reduce excessive thinking and fixating on negative things from my past." — AnDagdadubh

Tracknumberseven added:

"One exercise I sort of figured out myself is: Whenever I find myself regretting things or remembering embarrassing moments is to tell myself to 'look forward, not backwards' and I'll start thinking about things I'm looking forward to or things I'm grateful for.

"If I can't think of any of these things then I'll think of things I don't have to worry about, like having a paycheck. Failing any of that I go smaller and think about positive times, making someone laugh or helping someone out and usually by that time I've forgotten about whatever I was thinking about in the first place."

8.

"Deleting my Facebook account." — theStormweaver

MichaelM_yaa added:

"Yeah, so it turns out that the algorithms that keep users addicted to social media are WAY more powerful than the AI bots that can beat the best chess players in the world. People tend to engage media that makes someone enraged or negative. it further polarizes humans. it also is a massive disinformation sink as a majority of its users do not fact check any info they see."

​9.


"Moving to a place that wasn't winter 8 months of the year and I was close to the ocean. Haven't felt suicidal in over a year and a half, probably for the first time since i was 16." — wyrd_werks

10.

"Getting a job that paid a living wage improved my mental health 1000%." — rigel899

11.


"Enforcing boundaries in work." — SmartPromegranate4833

12.

"Saying no to things that I don't actually want to do instead of trying to help everyone out." — LoanOptionsai

13.

"Stopping hormonal birth control. Didn't realize how much it was messing with me." — impossibility_day27

14.

"Eating breakfast.

"I'd often describe to my boss and coworkers that I'd have a really bad brain fog that I sometimes couldn't think at all. I usually wouldn't eat until around 1pm or 2pm when I'd been up since 9am. I had to start getting up around 8am or sometimes 7am and I would have extra time to get food.

"Once I did, the brain fog went away and the change was immediate." — Christygl7


15.

"Quit having grudges with people. Let them go and you’ll be relaxed." — Weak_Carpenter_7060

16.

"Adult hobbies. Surfing. Fishing. Running. Mine are solo activities, but you just need something challenging that you have to work at to get better. It gives you little things to look forward to so you’re not focused on all the depressing bs." — musashi-swanson

17.

"Cutting back on negative self-talk. It’s difficult to stop doing and to catch myself thinking poorly about myself but I try my best. I’ve started replacing it with kind things in a sarcastic tone, for example I often call myself a 'national treasure' or 'god’s favorite' (i am not religious, it just makes me smile) and the sarcasm scratches the itch, it works very very well. My goal is then to replace the sarcastically nice self-talk with genuinely kind and positive self-talk.

"It's helped tremendously with my self image honestly." — bunnihun

18.

"I take ten minutes a day (usually before bed) to tidy things up. I'm always surprised at how much I can get done in just ten minutes, and it's so much easier to keep the place clean that way. When things start getting really bad, the fact that I've always got a clean place is incredibly helpful." — future-unperson

19.

"Stopped paying close attention to the news. I realized I wasn't going to be making a big change in the world and all it was doing was getting me upset so I stopped. The world is just as messed up and/or ok as it was then and I'm much less stressed about it all." — rhett342

True

The last thing children should have to worry about is where their next meal will come from. But the unfortunate reality is food insecurity is all too common in this country.

In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

The KFC Sharemobile, a holiday-edition charitable food truck, will be making stops at schools in Chicago, Orlando, and Houston in December to share KFC family meals and special gifts for a few select families to address specific needs identified by their respective schools.

These cities were chosen based on the high level of food insecurity present in their communities and hardships they’ve faced, such as a devastating hurricane season in Florida and an unprecedented winter storm in Houston. In 2021, five million children across the US lived in food-insecure households, according to the USDA.

“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

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Adam Sandler and Brendan Fraser for Variety's "Actors on Actors."

There are few actors in this world as universally loved as Brendan Fraser and Adam Sandler. So when the two sign on to interview one another, you can bet that people are going to be thrilled.

During one of Variety's “Actors on Actors” segments, the two swapped stories of being in the entertainment business—from the movie “Airheads," which they both starred in, to more recent projects like Sandler’s “Hustle” and Fraser’s “The Whale.”

It’s clear that these two respect and admire each other’s work. Sandler applauded Fraser’s career-long stride of making bold and interesting choices, and especially commended him for his starring role in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” which has been hailed as a major comeback for the “Mummy” franchise star.
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Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

Joy

13 strangers became stranded at an airport, so they set off on a road trip together

The unlikely friends went viral online after documenting their 10+ hour journey.

@alanahsotry21/TikTok

From strangers to friends in one night.

Sometimes the greatest friendships are born out of the most unlikely circumstances.

Thanks to a canceled flight, 13 complete strangers found themselves stuck at Orlando International Airport on their way to Knoxville, Tennessee, with no way to get to their destination.

What started off as a disaster quickly turned around into an impromptu adventure, as the determined group banded together to rent a minivan and drive more than 500 miles from Orlando to Knoxville. Along the way they documented their travels, and the story was quickly picked up by news outlets like CNN, spreading like wholesome viral wildfire online.


The band of merry travelers hailed from different parts of the U.S. and Mexico, and didn’t all speak the same language. Plus each had their own reason for wanting to get to Knoxville. One college student was trying to make it back in time for her final. Another was hoping to tour her dream college with her mom and dad. A well-known farming influencer was set to deliver a keynote speech at a conference. A mother wanted to go fight for custody of her son, while another woman wanted to meet a friend to help her move. Others were just there to have fun.

Regardless of their differences, their road trip created unexpected community and a memory they won't soon forget.

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