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Summer Holiday ideas to make the best of the next 3 weeks

summer holidays
Mark Kingham Mark Kingham

Summer holiday is a time for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation – or at least that’s what most people assume it’s for. Like most teachers, you probably approach the summer break with anticipation, excitement and a bunch of activities and trips that you might not have time for from September to June.

To help ensure you make the most of the remaining three weeks of your summer break, we’ve put together some ‘to-dos’ to check off your list.

Keep the learning alive

There are loads of interesting and engaging teacher wellness courses to help you take on the next year with gusto. From lesson planning and grading to classroom and behaviour management, teachers can become mentally and physically overwhelmed. Developing new skills and techniques that support a healthy work-life balance is essential for teachers. Your summer holiday is an ideal time to reflect on where you need help and how you can become more balanced in your personal and professional life.

Make a list – but be flexible

Although most people assume the summer holidays are all about kicking off your shoes and having a good time, teachers everywhere will agree that it is the one time in the year they get time to plan and prepare. Start with a list of things that you would like to accomplish over the summer and then break it down into personal and professional goals. You can schedule tasks on a daily or weekly basis – but remember, it’s the HOLIDAYS, so don’t overburden yourself and be willing to re-schedule tasks or change timelines if necessary.

Always factor in time with family and friends and ensure that you’re being realistic about what you can get done. You don’t want to end up feeling disappointed or more overwhelmed than when you started your break

Take some time off

This might sound like obvious advice, but in the rush to get things done and catch up on errands, trips and tasks, it’s easy to forget to simply take some time off. This includes turning off your phone, laptop and any other digital devices that keep you constantly connected with everyone around you.

Do the things you never have time for

Throughout the year, there are a hundred different things you might like to get done, for example, take a French class, go on a hiking trip, visit an old friend – use this time to check some activities off that list. Summer holidays are the much awaited break from a long hectic year and it’s up to you to make the most of it.

Happy Summer!

 

“Anorexia is a lifestyle, not a disease”. How pro-anorexia sites are impacting body image in teens

e-safety
Greg Johnson Greg Johnson

“Infinity is so damn sweet
Your mortal earth cannot compete
Starving for the other shore
I will not eat!
Say it loud
& say it now
I’m anorexic
& I’m proud.”

This disturbing poem features on the website ana’s underground grotto. As with several other websites just like it, it dishes out a variety of dangerous information regarding weight loss, tips for hiding an eating disorder from family and friends, and how to ‘purge’-  plus images of models and other skinny body types to endorse the ‘thinspiration’ trend.

Out of the 1.6 million people in the UK who are affected by an eating disorder, around two-thirds have visited such sites.  Data from the health and social care information centre (in 2013) revealed an 8% rise in hospital admissions for eating disorders. This surge has been attributed to Pro-ana websites which are promoting a serious mental illness as a lifestyle choice.

According to Dr. Bryan Lask, medical director for eating disorders at Charity Care UK, social media is a very important part of his patients’ lives. He explains: “Eating disorders are genetically-determined, but the society in which we live – which creates thinness as an ideal – plays a major contributing role,” He adds: “I have one patient who spends many hours a day blogging about her experiences. I have others who spend many more hours reading other people’s blogs. It becomes their lives. It’s an escape from the inner pain and the confrontation of the external world.”

The influence of social media on body image has become an important debate.  With the increase in internet use among teens, it is not surprising that the issue has gained serious significance in recent years.

In one study which examined both pro-recovery sites and pro-eating disorder websites, the researchers found that many teens had a pre-existing condition, and that viewing Pro- ana websites often negatively impacted one’s body image, even if it was not the original intent.

What are pro-anorexia websites?

Before we can begin to examine the impact of the internet or social media on body image or eating disorders, we must fully understand Pro-ana websites and the motivation behind them. As with any mental illness, Anorexia and Bulimia lead to serious psychological disturbances, often accompanied by depression, anxiety and damaged self-esteem. Anyone who suffers from these illnesses is in an extremely vulnerable position, which leaves them more susceptible to outside influences.

The word ‘pro-ana’ meaning pro-anorexia, was created by young women who have anorexia or bulimia, or are in recovery from one or both of the disorders. Eating disorders have been reclaimed through vocabulary, with terms like ana and mia becoming extremely popular ways to describe this serious mental health condition.

Several websites have been built around the notion that anorexia and bulimia are not diseases but rather ‘choices’ and don’t require treatment. While there is some debate about the extent to which these sites do any real harm, most experts agree that such websites can be seriously damaging to young people who are mentally unstable and have a skewed body image.

Most pro-anorexia sites include the following disclaimer on their homepage

This site does not encourage that you develop an eating disorder. This is a site for those who ALREADY have an eating disorder and do not wish to go into recovery.
If you do not already have an eating disorder, better it is that you do not develop one now. You may wish to leave.
(ana-by-choice.com)

What is most disturbing is the empathetic approach taken by these sites. Presumably, this is intended to lure young women who have serious doubts about their weight and appearance, or are already suffering from serious mental and emotional problems. At first glance, the sites appear to be helpful, informative and seek to support girls struggling with eating disorders. Delve a little deeper and you quickly realise that the ultimate objective is to promote an unnatural ‘thinness’ and unhealthy ‘dieting advice’. The websites are flooded with images of women who are dangerously thin, very often celebrities who have either been diagnosed with an eating disorder or photoshopped into looking like they have one.

Body image in popular media

The issue of media influence on appearance and body image has been around since the first TV commercial was shot, or probably even before that, when the first print ad portrayed a woman of ‘perfect appearance’. While this phenomenon is nothing new, it has been catapulted into a much more serious issue with the advent of the technology and the internet- especially via platforms solely dedicated to pictures, images and videos. The ideal body type and the ‘perfect face’ have been largely redefined in the last decade, with the selfie craze at the helm of this revolution.

From perfectly sized models, and flawless celebrities, young people are bombarded with unrealistic notions of beauty and perfection. With the increasing development and use of interactive social media platforms, we are no longer passive consumers of media – there is no escaping the constant trends that relate to body image and appearance.

Case in Point

The thinspiration trend

“If you have time to complain, then you have time to train”.  This is one of the slogans associated with the the ‘thinspiration trend’, a campaign meant to encourage young women to achieve the ideal body type. This is often shared in the form of images and photos of women who possess these ‘ideal’ body types.

The thinspiration trend has become serious enough for Pinterest to start posting a warning regarding eating disorders. When a user types in specific search terms, such as thinspiration, the search results are headed by a banner reading – “Eating disorders are disorders that if left untreated can cause serious health problems or could even be life-threatening. Also, the popular platform Instagram posted a ban on pro-anorexia content earlier this year –unfortunately though, researchers suggest this may have made the problem worse.

For an educator, the task of protecting children and teens from exposure to damaging content online can be extremely challenging, given that they have access on various devices. However, you can monitor your students’ internet activity at school and ensure they are safe from potential harm. Get in touch with us to find out more. Securus software solution is aimed at protecting children and teens, and safeguarding them from online dangers.

 

 

“Anorexia is a lifestyle, not a disease”. How pro-anorexia sites are impacting body image in teens

Securus Securus

“Infinity is so damn sweet
Your mortal earth cannot compete
Starving for the other shore
I will not eat!
Say it loud
& say it now
I’m anorexic
& I’m proud.”

This disturbing poem features on the website ana’s underground grotto. As with several other websites just like it, it dishes out a variety of dangerous information regarding weight loss, tips for hiding an eating disorder from family and friends, and how to ‘purge’-  plus images of models and other skinny body types to endorse the ‘thinspiration’ trend.

Out of the 1.6 million people in the UK who are affected by an eating disorder, around two-thirds have visited such sites.  Data from the health and social care information centre (in 2013) revealed an 8% rise in hospital admissions for eating disorders. This surge has been attributed to Pro-ana websites which are promoting a serious mental illness as a lifestyle choice.

According to Dr. Bryan Lask, medical director for eating disorders at Charity Care UK, social media is a very important part of his patients’ lives. He explains: “Eating disorders are genetically-determined, but the society in which we live – which creates thinness as an ideal – plays a major contributing role,” He adds: “I have one patient who spends many hours a day blogging about her experiences. I have others who spend many more hours reading other people’s blogs. It becomes their lives. It’s an escape from the inner pain and the confrontation of the external world.”

The influence of social media on body image has become an important debate.  With the increase in internet use among teens, it is not surprising that the issue has gained serious significance in recent years.

In one study which examined both pro-recovery sites and pro-eating disorder websites, the researchers found that many teens had a pre-existing condition, and that viewing Pro- ana websites often negatively impacted one’s body image, even if it was not the original intent.

What are pro-anorexia websites?

Before we can begin to examine the impact of the internet or social media on body image or eating disorders, we must fully understand Pro-ana websites and the motivation behind them. As with any mental illness, Anorexia and Bulimia lead to serious psychological disturbances, often accompanied by depression, anxiety and damaged self-esteem. Anyone who suffers from these illnesses is in an extremely vulnerable position, which leaves them more susceptible to outside influences.

The word ‘pro-ana’ meaning pro-anorexia, was created by young women who have anorexia or bulimia, or are in recovery from one or both of the disorders. Eating disorders have been reclaimed through vocabulary, with terms like ana and mia becoming extremely popular ways to describe this serious mental health condition.

Several websites have been built around the notion that anorexia and bulimia are not diseases but rather ‘choices’ and don’t require treatment. While there is some debate about the extent to which these sites do any real harm, most experts agree that such websites can be seriously damaging to young people who are mentally unstable and have a skewed body image.

Most pro-anorexia sites include the following disclaimer on their homepage

This site does not encourage that you develop an eating disorder. This is a site for those who ALREADY have an eating disorder and do not wish to go into recovery.
If you do not already have an eating disorder, better it is that you do not develop one now. You may wish to leave.
(ana-by-choice.com)

What is most disturbing is the empathetic approach taken by these sites. Presumably, this is intended to lure young women who have serious doubts about their weight and appearance, or are already suffering from serious mental and emotional problems. At first glance, the sites appear to be helpful, informative and seek to support girls struggling with eating disorders. Delve a little deeper and you quickly realise that the ultimate objective is to promote an unnatural ‘thinness’ and unhealthy ‘dieting advice’. The websites are flooded with images of women who are dangerously thin, very often celebrities who have either been diagnosed with an eating disorder or photoshopped into looking like they have one.

Body image in popular media

The issue of media influence on appearance and body image has been around since the first TV commercial was shot, or probably even before that, when the first print ad portrayed a woman of ‘perfect appearance’. While this phenomenon is nothing new, it has been catapulted into a much more serious issue with the advent of the technology and the internet- especially via platforms solely dedicated to pictures, images and videos. The ideal body type and the ‘perfect face’ have been largely redefined in the last decade, with the selfie craze at the helm of this revolution.

From perfectly sized models, and flawless celebrities, young people are bombarded with unrealistic notions of beauty and perfection. With the increasing development and use of interactive social media platforms, we are no longer passive consumers of media – there is no escaping the constant trends that relate to body image and appearance.

Case in Point

The thinspiration trend

“If you have time to complain, then you have time to train”.  This is one of the slogans associated with the the ‘thinspiration trend’, a campaign meant to encourage young women to achieve the ideal body type. This is often shared in the form of images and photos of women who possess these ‘ideal’ body types.

The thinspiration trend has become serious enough for Pinterest to start posting a warning regarding eating disorders. When a user types in specific search terms, such as thinspiration, the search results are headed by a banner reading – “Eating disorders are disorders that if left untreated can cause serious health problems or could even be life-threatening. Also, the popular platform Instagram posted a ban on pro-anorexia content earlier this year –unfortunately though, researchers suggest this may have made the problem worse.

For an educator, the task of protecting children and teens from exposure to damaging content online can be extremely challenging, given that they have access on various devices. However, you can monitor your students’ internet activity at school and ensure they are safe from potential harm. Get in touch with us to find out more. Securus software solution is aimed at protecting children and teens, and safeguarding them from online dangers.

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