The time has come and here is what you need to get motivated to stop smoking!
Main QUIT message:
Smokers know that cigarettes are bad for them. Many of them feel that quitting is too hard, that they won’t make it – or that they will do it tomorrow, next month, when they’re 30, or when they’re 40. The QUIT campaign reminds smokers that it’s never too late, and that quitting is worth it. Most people try to quit a few times before quitting for good, and each time, they gain skills and confidence that help them to take that permanent step.
Why is it so difficult to stop?
Stick with it. You have to remember all the benefits of a smoke-free life. For example:
For help to QUIT smoking:
There are several different types of baldness, some of which can be temporary. However the most common form of baldness that men worry about is known as male pattern baldness. 95% of male hair loss is caused by this.
The fancy scientific term for male pattern baldness is androgenic alopecia. Bit of an unsexy mouthful eh?
Balding generally starts when a man is in his 20s or 30s. About 50% of men begin to lose their hair by the time they are 30, and 60% of men have lost hair by the time they are 60. It is a genetic condition, which means that you are born with the tendency to develop this type of baldness.
What causes it?
Basically male pattern baldness is caused by the male hormone testosterone converting to a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the glands of the scalp.
DHT then shrinks and reduces blood flow to the hair follicles. With reduced blood flow and shrinkage, hair can no longer re-grow. So it starts to fall out. First the hairline recedes back, followed by the hair on the top of the head.
The amount of DHT you produce and your sensitivity to it is controlled by your genes. It used to be thought that the genes for male pattern baldness came only from the mother’s side, but we now know that they come from both sides.
Trauma can cause temporary hair loss also i.e. car accidents or severe emotional upsets. However, this hair loss is usually temporary and does not start with receding along the hairline as in male pattern baldness. Rather, the hair falls out fairly evenly all over the head in such cases. This type of temporary hair loss can also be caused by an underactive or over active thyroid, nutrient deficiencies and hair pulling.
What can you do about it?
We're all different. We come from diverse backgrounds and cultures, we like different things and we have different beliefs. And we also all have very distinctive body shapes and sizes.
Healthy body image
What do you think when you look in the mirror? Are you happy with what you see or do you spend ages worrying about whether you look the way you ‘should’?
Don’t get hung up on your body, remember It takes all sorts to make the world. There are millions of different types of people so accept yourself as you are. With all the bodily changes (and life changes) taking place during your teens and early twenties it’s easy to become obsessed with how you look. Afterall your body is going through a lot of changes during this time and all those hormones whizzing around can really affect your moods.
It can be really hard if you are developing faster or slower than your friends, but remember that everyone develops at a different rate. In the long run, it makes no difference when you start and it won't affect what you will be like as an adult. This body stuff is not a competition. Try to relax, and if you are really worried talk to your parents, friends or someone that you trust.
Remember: you are who you are, there is no one in the world like you–which makes every one of us different and special in our own right. Each of us has a purpose, we have our own skills and talents, our own ambitions in life and our own sense of who we want to be.
You don’t have to follow trends to be ‘cool’ or to be part of the ‘in crowd’. Just because a singer, movie star, or even friends want you to look or act like them or do what they do doesn’t mean you have to.
You can be an individual, wear the clothes you want and choose whatever accessories you wish–as long as you feel happy with yourself, that’s all that counts.
Make sure you don’t let others put you down or try to change you, they’re not you! They don’t feel what you feel. You live your life and let them get on with theirs. Be happy in your own skin and enjoy being your own individual self.
Accept you for who you are. Try not to wish you were someone else. Everyone is unique, try some of these tips for accepting yourself:
Contributing to friendships, family and the community around you can improve your mental health.
Tips for contributing positively to the world around you:
Connect with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Investing in building and nurturing these relationships will support and enrich you every day.
Tips for connecting with the people around you
Just 30 minutes of exercise a day and eating a balanced diet can make a major difference to how you feel on the inside and the outside. Often times, we can find it hard to get that 30 minutes in and it can be much easier to settle for a pizza in the oven, if this is you; then check out our ten tips for being healthy.
We can’t always control our thoughts but we can decide how we act on them. Choose to ignore negative thoughts and try to stay positive if you can. Try some of our tips to learn how to be more aware:
It’s not often you can save money and raise money at the same time...by NOT doing something. That is what Spring Break is offering. Our Spring Breakers will take on their almighty abstinence challenge and friends and family (who clearly don’t believe their loved ones can go 31 days without a drop) will help us raise money for SpunOut.ie
The simple premise of getting sponsored to take a break from drinking for April, will see the nation gripped by talk of ‘mocktails’, Hall passes (which can be bought for those special occasions when you just HAVE to have a drink), absent hangovers and loosened waist belts.
And with the average Irish person spending approximately €200 a month on alcohol, that is the equivalent to around on average 2500 calories and €50 a week worth of alcohol. Spring Break has worked out that that’s the same price as a luxury spa treatment or Hot Lap at Mondello...so what’s not to love?
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of female infertility and is thought to affect about one in ten women of childbearing age. It can manifest itself by way of reduced ovulation patterns, a higher-than-average rate of male hormones or by the presence of small cysts on the ovaries.
The exact cause isn’t clear and while it can be managed, there isn’t a cure. Its symptoms can include increased bodily hair growth; acne and oily skin; weight gain or obesity; skin tags; pelvic pain and painful ovulation and anxiety.
Treatments include taking birth control pills; eating healthily and taking exercise and taking fertility medication or having surgery if you’re trying to become pregnant. The syndrome can be tested for by means of an ultrasound or scan or blood tests to establish the measure of certain hormones in your system. Many of those one-in-tens have high levels of the male hormone testosterone. Women with PCOS may be advised to also have tests for diabetes and high blood pressure levels as there is an associated increased risk of both.
As a hormonal teenager, hearing that you have PCOS can come as both a blow and a relief. At the time, I felt outcast but also as though I finally had an explanation for the physical and mental symptoms I’d been experiencing. There’s no point denying, it doesn’t sound joyous. Yet with some adjustments it can be managed and prevented from inflicting on your daily life.
It’s a pity that more is not heard of these methods; PCOS seems to me as though the silent syndrome. From chatting with friends and people I’ve come in contact with over the past few years, lots have received a similar diagnosis and gone through similar experiences. PCOS affects different people in different ways, however, while one might have battled with their weight, unwanted hair growth would have been a more prominent issue for another.
Taking care of yourself and how you eat, feel and exercise can go a long way. Personally, I found yoga a great antidote to anxiety which was likely brought on by the syndrome. Even if you’re stressed about other aspects, relaxing and reducing your heart rate can be both effective and enjoyable. I believe adopting a positive attitude can immediately improve your quality of life. Experiences are, after all, what you make them.
While the pill is a commonly-used treatment method, not every type suits everyone’s system so don’t be afraid to change if you don’t like the effect yours has on you. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have PCOS.
If you do have it, you don’t need to let it get you down: there are several helpful techniques out there and you don’t need to suffer in silence.
Shopping healthily means cutting out junk and processed foods and stocking up on a variety of healthier options.
Try these healthy snacks to keep you going when the munchies hit:
Some content thanks to YouthHealthNE authors and the Community Nutrition & Dietetic Service of the Health Promotion Department, HSE Dublin North East.
Free condoms are available in the organisations listed below for anyone aged 17 and over. Thanks to Dublin Aids Alliance for compiling the list!
Many students unions provide access to free condoms. If you are a student, check with your students union office.
Dublin AIDS Alliance, 53 Parnell Square West, Dublin 1
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 9:30am to 5:30pm, and Fridays 9:00am to 5:00pm
Red Ribbon Project, Redwood Place, 18 Davis Street, Limerick
Opening Hours: Monday 2:15pm to 5:00pm, Tuesday to Friday 9:30am to 5:00pm
AIDS West, Ozanam House, St. Augustine Street, Galway
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm (closed from 1pm to 2pm)
The Sexual Health Centre, 16 Peter’s Street, Cork
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm