Lana

2024 Total Solar Eclipse – April 8, 2024

by Dennis Schatz & Andrew Fraknoi, Astronomers/Educators

“On April 8, 2024, there will be a spectacular total eclipse of the Sun, visible on a narrow path that stretches from western Mexico through Texas, and then northeastward toward New York, New England and eastern Canada. In such a total eclipse, the Moon exactly covers the Sun, and our star’s faint atmosphere (the corona) becomes visible. Everyone else in North and Central America will see a partial eclipse of the Sun, with a bigger “bite” taken out of the Sun the closer you are to the path of the total eclipse. If you are on the path, when only a sliver of sunlight remains visible, your surroundings will begin to darken, as if the Sun were setting in the middle of the day. Temperatures will drop and birds will go to roost, thinking that night is coming. Finally, the Sun will be totally covered and the beautiful solar atmosphere (the corona) will become visible. Totality will last four minutes or less and then the Sun will slowly be uncovered.”

Eclipse Links:

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The Great Outdoors

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is nature.jpg

Written by Kirsten Weir

Psychological research is advancing our understanding of how time in nature can improve our mental health and sharpen our cognition.

From a stroll through a city park to a day spent hiking in the wilderness, exposure to nature has been linked to a host of benefits, including improved attention, lower stress, better mood, reduced risk of psychiatric disorders and even upticks in empathy and cooperation. Most research so far has focused on green spaces such as parks and forests, and researchers are now also beginning to study the benefits of blue spaces, places with river and ocean views. But nature comes in all shapes and sizes, and psychological research is still fine-tuning our understanding of its potential benefits. In the process, scientists are charting a course for policymakers and the public to better tap into the healing powers of Mother Nature.

Find out more about the benefits of the nature with these books from the library collection.

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Loneliness

What is Loneliness?

Definitions from Dr. Bell Washington, child and adolescent psychiatrist working with Centurion and also in private practice in North Carolina and Dr. Clark, adult outpatient psychiatrist at Prisma Health in Greenville, South Carolina, and associate clinical professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville.

“Loneliness is essentially the feeling of being uncomfortable or in distress when someone feels that there is a gap between the connection they would like and the connection they actually have … you can be in a crowd full of people, you can know all of them, and you can still feel lonely.” (Washington)

“So, you might have a lot of superficial social connections, but what you really want is something deeper—someone to know you on the inside … It’s really based on perception of the difference between the relationship you’d like and the relationship that you have with others.” (Washington)

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “found 63% of young adults also suffer significant symptoms of anxiety or depression,” says Dr. Washington. “That means we have a generation of young people hungry for deeper connection who often do not have the skills or opportunities to achieve it.”

“One’s 20s are filled with countless social expectations including separating from one’s nuclear family, finding a partner, developing a career and finding a ‘tribe,’ for many this time is complicated by unrealistic social media lives which are often unattainable. That only amplifies the loneliness that young adults feel.”

Social isolation can play a role

“An individual experiencing loneliness will often describe feeling alone. This is distinct from social isolation where there is a paucity of social connectedness,” said Dr. Clark. “Social isolation can be a sequela of loneliness, but there are plenty of individuals who experience loneliness and are still socially connected.”

Social media affects loneliness

“We get these dopamine surges when someone likes our status,” Clark says, referring to a social media posting. Many, conversely, feel “sad or upset when they do not receive a certain number of likes or have over 1 million followers on their social media accounts.

“And if you’re having an identity crisis—and if you’re letting social media dictate who you are—that can create some loneliness,” he added. “We must be mindful of the psychiatric sequelae of loneliness. These include depression and anxiety.”

See full article: “What doctors wish patients knew about loneliness and health.” by Sara Berg, MS AMA-ASSN, 9 September 2022.

10 Things You Can Do If You’re Lonely from Mental Health America (mhanational.org)

1. Help others. Volunteering is a great way to form meaningful connections with others and make new friends. It is also a natural way to add some purpose to your life – something a lot of us struggle with when feeling lonely. What are some causes that you’re passionate about? Does your place of worship have volunteer activities? Is there a service club through your school?

2. Reconnect with old friends. Have you lost touch with a good friend from elementary school? Or maybe a friend from summer camp? See if you can reconnect! Especially if you’re at a new school this year – just because you don’t see someone every day doesn’t mean they can’t be a valuable friend.

3. Try something new. Is there something you’ve always wanted to try, but never have? Now is the perfect time! If you’re interested in acting, try auditioning for a school play or a local theater group. Love sports? Join a new team, or maybe there’s a weekend clinic you can sign up for. There are tons of potential new hobbies out there!

4. Figure out if something is missing in your life. There are a lot of different ways to feel lonely. Maybe you have a great group of friends, but wish you had one best friend to go to for everything. Or maybe you have one amazing friend, but miss being part of a group. Knowing what’s missing won’t magically make it appear, but it will make the overwhelming feeling of loneliness seem a bit more manageable and give you something to work toward.

5. Make time for extended family. If you have cousins or other relatives around your age that are within a reasonable distance, reach out and try to get together.

6. Watch something that makes you laugh. Put on your favorite funny show or movie—immersing yourself in a world with familiar characters can make you feel less alone.

7. Turn activities you do alone into group activities. Into gaming? Invite someone over to play with you in person. Do you like to draw? Ask your parents to help you ¬find an art class. Going to a baseball game with your family? See if they can get an extra ticket so you can invite a friend.

8. Spend time with animals. Hanging out with pets, especially cats and dogs, is a great way to feel less lonely. They will love you unconditionally and will provide you with all the snuggles you need! If you don’t have pets of your own, see if your neighbors or relatives would be willing to let you hang out with theirs.

9. Try an app. Lyf is an app that helps you reach out to others to chat about things. Q Chat has support groups for LGBTQ youth. NotOK is an app that helps you reach out to contacts that you select to let them know that you are struggling. 7 Cups has trained listeners to provide you with emotional support.

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INFLATION

INFLATION

Saving money during times of inflation

What is inflation?

Definition: Persistent increases in the general level of prices. It can be seen as a devaluing of the worth of money. (From The Penguin Dictionary of Economics)

Simply stated: Everything costs more! Here are some cost saving tips from your MVCC library:

Entertainment Savings:

FREE ebooks, comics, music, eaudiobooks, movies and TV shows! Download Hoopla – log in with your MVCC connect info.

FREE streaming access to a collection of feature films- JAWS, Black Panther, Reservoir Dogs & more! Download SWANK Digital Campus – Log in with your MVCC connect info.

Hulu’s Student Discount – $1.99/ month for College students with ID.

Health/Fitness Savings:

Moraine Valley FitRec Membership for Full-time students (12+credit hours) FREE.

Part-time students (1-11 Credit hours) $60/semester.

Discover more ways to reduce expenses- borrow these books from your MVCC library (always free!)

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