• Lifestyle

    The feeling factor

    Emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ) is the ability to manage emotions and respond to them correctly. It also refers to understanding, recognizing and handling the feelings of others. Research suggests that young adults need to develop this type of intellect to succeed professionally and personally.   Learning emotional intelligence  Sarah Blackmore is a children’s media producer for EastLink community television in Newfoundland. She received her master’s degree from Toronto Metropolitan University. Her skill set and personal life experience have given her a lot of insight into what it takes to develop EQ.   Blackmore believes one major part of emotional intelligence is lending an ear to other people.   “Try to keep…

  • Lifestyle

    Solving hunger in Ontario

    Almost a quarter of Canadians can’t afford groceries. Food insecurity affects low-income households the most. With food shortages, supply chain issues and inflation on the rise, food insecurity in Canada is increasing.  “Food insecurity is a symptom of poverty,” says Elaine Power, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University. “You can’t really fix food insecurity without fixing the underlying problem.” The Food and Agricultural Association of the United Nations (FAO) explains that a food insecure individual is someone who doesn’t have enough money or resources for food.  To some, this might seem obvious. Yet, the solutions to solve food insecurity are mostly focused on…

  • Lifestyle

    How to break out of a reading slump

    Were you the type of 12-year-old who could binge read a whole book series in the span of a few weeks? Did reading slowly become less of a habit as you inevitably became preoccupied with school, jobs and other real-world stressors? Reading books has been scientifically proven to be beneficial for our mental health. A 2009 research study found that 30 minutes of reading lowered the heart rate and blood pressure of the participants.  Getting back into reading is definitely feasible, but it can be daunting for those who feel they’re too busy and simply don’t have time for it.  However, we could all use a method to destress and…

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    The benefits of learning to play a musical instrument

    Albert Einstein once said, “I get most joy in life out of music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” Even though he never received a formal education in music, Einstein taught himself to play the violin and piano.  If you’re a musician or are learning to play an instrument, you’re probably familiar with the passion that Einstein described. Science has shown that the intensity of repeated practice when playing an instrument results in an improved performance in cognitive, sensory and motor abilities.  So it’s time to face the music and see why playing an instrument is good for you.  Structural brain changes…

  • Lifestyle

    Out with the old, in with the new

    It is no surprise that since the COVID-19 pandemic began, online shopping has seen an influx while in-person shopping has drastically decreased. But the decline of in-person shopping started long before the pandemic. In a research study done in 2017, Credit Suisse predicted that 25 per cent of all U.S. malls will close by 2022. This was after Michael Kors announced the closures of 125 stores and department stores like JCPenney, Sears—which no longer has any stores in Canada—and Macy’s announced shutdowns of several locations.  Retail analyst and author Bruce Winder says malls are now replacing department store areas with places like gyms and grocery stores, while also adding more…

  • Lifestyle

    The deciding factor

    As far as insignificant decisions go, deciding what to wear or what restaurant to go to isn’t going to majorly affect your future.  However, there are choices you make that will have a meaningful effect on your journey through life; some of which will cause stress and uncertainties. That’s why it’s important to have a plan of action when it comes to making these choices.  Make lists  When faced with tough decisions, making a pros and cons list is a valuable strategy. They can help you organize your thoughts, weigh the positives and negatives of a situation and visualize outcomes.  Samanda Stroud, a 28-year-old editor, agrees with this sentiment. When…

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    Get the vegan perks without giving up your meaty favs

    In May 2020, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a controversial advertisement linking the COVID-19 pandemic and previous pandemics to meat consumption.  Plastered across brightly coloured billboards, alongside a cheerful tofu-inspired animated character, was the message, “Tofu never caused a pandemic. Try it today!”  The billboard is wrong for many reasons; not only does it trivialize the pandemic and misplace blame, but it also represents a larger issue with the approaches adopted by PETA and other vegan organizations.  These approaches often rely on shaming tactics, like the billboard, that create a binary between meat eaters and vegans. It’s a binary that dictates that you belong to one…

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    Why doodling is good for your brain

    Whether it be spiral designs on your lecture notes, little faces drawn in the margins of your textbooks or silly sketches on the newspaper, doodling comes in many different forms. To doodle is to draw or scribble idly for entertainment. It can also be a form of expressing oneself when in deep thought. Doodles aren’t necessarily detailed or elaborate, even though they can be. The main difference between doodling and mostly any other visual form of expression is that doodling is done aimlessly and doesn’t have too much thought or effort put into it.  The conventional definition says that doodles are seemingly mindless drawings done subconsciously while our thoughts drift…

  • Lifestyle

    Plants: your new favourite coworker

    Gardening has its benefits, like cleaning the air and reducing the risk of anxiety, depression and stress. So why not bring the garden indoors to your work setup?  Whether it’s in a home office, a make-believe classroom or at the breakfast table, keeping plants can help spruce up your workspace and emotional state. Here are some of the many benefits to having foliage keeping you company while working. Attention and concentration In an experiment, researchers measured the psychological advantages of having green plants near the participants. The researchers had subjects study in the presence of a live plant, an artificial plant, a photograph of a plant and without a plant.…

  • Lifestyle

    Growing a green thumb 101

    Almost everyone picked up a new hobby during the pandemic. Some people started knitting, some took up soap carvings, some began jogging. There were hobbies that endured, like yoga, and some that flaked out (is anyone still making bread?) One hobby that became popular was gardening, as many flocked to grocery stores and plant nurseries to pick up a few leafy babies.  If you’re interested in getting into gardening, read ahead for some sure-fire tips that will keep your plants healthy and awaken your inner earth goddess.  Know your space While the pineapple plant might seem like a good idea, it’s a tropical plant and probably isn’t going to be…

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    Crafting the way to success

     It’s no surprise that hobbies are a critical component of a fulfilling life. When it comes to creative pastimes, career-oriented people sometimes need time to de-stress and find it beneficial to focus on craft-based projects. Forbes notes that creative hobbies can improve mental health and cognitive function and Indeed says that developing creative thinking during downtime can help people “consider situations from innovative perspectives” in the workplace. All of these benefits combined can help someone become successful in their main career path, even if the career isn’t in the arts.  Joshua Goodman, a psychotherapist located in Ottawa, says that having creative outlets is essential to him. Playing music and working…

  • Lifestyle

    Influential female authors of Canadian literature

    Often overshadowed by our neighbours to the south, Canadian authors have contributed more to literature than people realize.  Specifically, 20th century female authors have had significant contributions in the literary world. The following writers are considered pioneers of their genres, especially to feminist Canadian literature. 1. Margaret Eleanor Atwood (1939-present) Margaret Atwood is a writer, poet, essayist, teacher and activist. Her works have been published and translated in over 45 countries and 30 languages, and she is widely regarded as one of Canada’s most prominent writers.  Atwood has published works ranging from children’s books, graphic novels, poetry, fiction and nonfiction, as well as television, radio and theatre scripts. Her pieces…

  • Lifestyle

    Can cannabis be used as a sleep aid?

    The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the lives of billions upside down. With schedules thrown into disarray, one of the simplest parts of many people’s daily routine has been disrupted the most: sleep. Occupational therapist Judith Mendoza says that much of this COVID-19-induced insomnia stems from the loss of regularities in everyday life, such jobs and social interactions. “There’s a lack of rhythm, a lack of regular scheduled activities. All of that has been really disrupted,” she says. “When it comes to our physical systems, as well as our mental health, when we have predictable, regular rhythms that have been in our day-to-day life that it is really helpful.” People who…

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    Developing a sense of self while entering adulthood

    Who am I? What do I want to do with my life? Am I going down the right path?  These are just a few of the questions a young person might ask themselves when they are searching for their identity or sense of self. In late teens and early 20s, people are left up to their own devices for the first time and are responsible for the decisions they make about their lives.  Mary Charron, a clinical social worker and therapist who specializes in childhood and adolescent mental health says, “It’s kind of like we were going down this waterslide that was really predictable our whole lives, we knew the…

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    Life as an introvert

    The world is designed for extroverted people. Crowded places, strangers that want to have small talk while waiting at a bus stop and countless public speaking presentations at all levels of education are just a few examples.  That’s why the outspoken and socially assured receive praise for social qualities that, although are great to have, don’t come as easily to introverts.  These daily environments often make introverts feel anxious, giving them the urge to dodge talkative cashiers, cold calls and social gatherings.  It is not better to be an introvert or an extrovert, they’re simply different. One major difference is that introverts often feel excluded from the social corners surrounding…

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    The return to a slow life: explaining the cottagecore trend

    Anna Shishmanov loves to encompass the joys of being an imaginative kid again, exploring her backyard and local forest in search of mushrooms, flowers and new plants to study. Back at home, she continues to cherish each moment through handmade hobbies such as baking and knitting.  This aesthetic lifestyle was coined by Tumblr in 2018 as “cottagecore.” The emerging trend is best described as bucolic, relating to the simplicity of a slow and self-sufficient countryside life. It romanticizes overgrown plants, wildflower fields and loose vintage fabrics like gingham and floral print. It brings upon a feeling of coziness, in contrast to the loud and busy hustle culture of cities.   On…

  • Lifestyle

    Becoming a pet parent

    Having a pet is great—they can be your best friend, a confidante and it never hurts to have someone who’s always happy to greet you at the door (and immediately alert your attention to their empty food dish).  Besides getting a new buddy, there are a lot of benefits associated with owning a pet. In a report published by Human Animal Bond Research Institute, it was found that 74 per cent of pet owners reported mental health improvements and 96 per cent said that their pet has had a positive impact on their lives.  It’s no wonder so many Canadians are pet parents. In November 2020, Narrative Research released a…

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    The pandemic pet boom

    COVID-19 has brought trials and tribulations upon many. 21-year-old Tracy Dumael found herself facing personal challenges during the pandemic and decided that she needed a big change. The pandemic has forced families and individuals to stay home, with limited opportunities to go to work, school or travel. For some people, it has become the perfect opportunity to integrate a pet into their lives. In May 2021, the Dumael’s welcomed a new member into their family: Riley, a rottweiler mix.  “I’ve always wanted a dog,” she says. “Instead of spending another birthday alone during lockdown, I thought it would be the perfect time to ask my family for a puppy—to have…

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    Dear younger me

    Earlier this year, I turned another year older. As I slowly approach three decades on planet earth, it’s inevitable to reflect on what is yet to come in my life. Especially after enduring a global pandemic and living yet another year in a semi-lockdown, my reflection and mind-wandering is at an all-time high. I have started to review my childhood and where I came from, how I got to the point I am at now and what’s next. Despite all the twists and turns this year, and all that life has presented, I am enjoying the journey more than ever. I would not be where I am now without all…

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    The stories our toys tell

    Long gone are the days of Tamagotchis, Bop It and Barbies. However, certain toys contain more sentimental value than others and often evoke nostalgia in individuals as they reminisce on the experiences they had with them.  Youth Mind reached out to some individuals about their favourite toys growing up, and asked what made them so special.  Martina’s kitty  My favourite toy growing up was this little brown stuffed cat who I very creatively named Kitty. The story is that I stole her from my mom, who stole it from her brother when they were growing up. I took her absolutely everywhere with me for quite a few years. She got…

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    Growing older and growing apart

    Growing up, friends are a vital part of our lives. We spend copious amounts of time together, whether it be playing sports after school or having sleepovers on the weekends.  One thing we are sure of is that our friends will be there until the end—or will they? I’ll be moving away from my hometown soon, the place I have lived for the majority of my life and potentially will never live in again. I’ll be starting a new chapter in my life in a different province where I don’t know anyone. Because of this,  I have been thinking a lot about friendships and the importance they hold during our…

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    Stuck in the past

    Whether brief, long-term, casual or serious, past relationships can affect new ones with current or future partners. Although it is never recommended to hold onto the past, it can be unavoidable to think about how much former partners have impacted the way someone views intimacy. An article published in The Everygirl says there are two harmful qualities that pondering past relationships can leave on current ones: restricting joy and preventing growth between a person and their new partner. However, people learn from their mistakes and there can be some benefits to looking back on the past. This can include learning what one enjoys and what to avoid in the future.…

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    How to feel like you’re travelling (even if you can’t)

    There is nothing quite like experiencing a new country, culture and environment. Travelling for pleasure is a commodity that often entails new experiences, gaining a different perspective and making lifelong memories. Statistics Canada reported that international travel to and from Canada declined from 96.8 million travellers in 2019 to 35.9 million in 2020.  Travel and border restrictions were enforced in March 2020 in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But now as cases are declining, vaccination rates are increasing and borders are reopening, travel in the near future is on the minds of many.  However, leisure travel can also be out of reach for people who do not have…

  • Lifestyle

    Swiping right

    It should come as no surprise that many couples now meet through online dating. A survey conducted by Stanford University found that the number of heterosexual people who met their partner on the internet rose from two per cent in 1995 to 39 per cent in 2017. This is a different outlook from just a few decades ago, when meeting your partner in a restaurant or bar was more common. There are now over 1,500 dating apps or websites. With over 270 million users globally, the $3 billion industry is a key player in many love lives. Online dating is the second most common way for heterosexual couples to meet…

  • Lifestyle

    Pandemic pastimes

    After over a year of lockdown boredom, some Torontonians have been inspired to rekindle old hobbies or start new ones while isolated at home.  A Canadian research study found that 63 per cent of Canadians have begun new hobbies to pass time while staying at home. Playing games, cooking and baking were the most commonly-reported pastimes.  Sania Siddiqui, a nutrition and food service management student at Centennial College, revived her love for baking as a form of relaxation and de-stressing during the pandemic. “As soon as school finished, I didn’t have much to do. So it made perfect sense for me to get back into it,” she says. “It did…

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    Finding comfort in the horror

    Some people crave thrill-seeking activities, even if it makes them nervous. For adrenaline junkies, this could mean skydiving, swimming with sharks or other pursuits that require someone to ignore their natural desire to retreat.  The same could be said for those who enjoy huddling on a couch and peering through their fingers while watching a scary movie.  Horror movies aren’t just popular around Halloween. Hit films like It: Chapter Two released on Aug. 26, 2019 made roughly $211.5 million, and The Invisible Man released on Feb. 24, 2020 made about $65 million.  These films are popular because of the sensation of adrenaline people get from watching them. An article published…

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    The breakup

    Alexandrea Fiorante glued a pair of feathery false eyelashes to her glittered eyelids as she chugged down a beer. She then slipped into a backless black dress before piling into an Uber with her friends.  Destination? Any club she could get a cute picture to post on Instagram, simultaneously making her ex jealous and proving that she’s “winning” the breakup. At least that’s how she imagined dealing with the heartbreak of ending her long-term relationship with her partner last November. But the continuous lockdowns in Toronto have restricted Fiorante from taking the rom-com suggested formula for getting over a breakup.  Instead, she had to sit alone in her bedroom with…

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    Travelling in a post-pandemic world

    The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a massive dent in the tourism industry. Its sector saw a loss of nearly $4.5 trillion US in 2020, according to a report released by the World Travel and Tourism Council. The report also revealed that approximately 62 million jobs in the travel industry were lost, leaving only 272 million employed globally. However, with vaccination rates rising and pandemic restrictions loosening, it is expected that international travel will be possible again very soon. Linda Hoang, a travel blogger based in Edmonton, hopes that masks and hygienic practices will still be normalized once travelling is more widely available.  “If there’s more hand sanitizer, if people…

  • Lifestyle

    Running your way to a healthy lifestyle

    Running is a great way to beat the COVID-19 blues; it keeps you energized, as well as physically and mentally fit. As a Skechers performance athlete, I run year-round and participate in competitive races—although virtually since the start of the pandemic. Here are some tips that will help if you’re new to running and don’t know where to get started.  CHECK THE WEATHER   The temperature can change at a moment’s notice in Canada, so make sure to check the weather in the area of your run and dress appropriately. During the summer, it’s best to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes. Typically all you need are shorts, a shirt, socks and a…

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    What I learned from travelling solo

    I wasn’t quite sure the best way to start this piece. It was left open to my interpretation, as long as it centred around my time spent circling the globe alone. But with an adventure such as that one, where do I even begin? Do I tell the story of how I spent 10 days in a town in the middle of the Swiss Alps creating a short documentary, or the time I drank a questionable beer (the questions were definitely warranted) and FaceTimed a friend during their dance class from a random alley in Budapest? Or maybe how an Australian hostel friend got me to slap him every five minutes so…