BLOGGING | a personal reflection

I started this blog as a homework assignment for a class at my university. Throughout my first blogging experience, I have developed a passion for sharing stories and topics that mean something to me.

The process of gathering information and finding a personal connection has not been effortless, but well worth it.

Blogging encouraged me to search my mind and develop an unique opinion about popular subjects.

I found it a bit intimidating to tackle political subjects. However, blogging encouraged me to do so, while striving to maintain an unbiased opinion. I feel that blogging forced me to alter my perspective, which strengthened my ability to accept all sides of a story.

My favorite subject to write on was anxiety. I found it liberating to open up about social issues I find important. Such topics are generally shied away from and given negative connotations. However, I was able to apply personal experience and expand the conversation surrounding such subjects because the blog style of writing allowed me to do so.

Blogging is different from other news sources, because they are personal. Blogs are more relatable as they are written by everyday individuals, rather than members of corporate companies.

I plan to continue blogging in order to connect to others with similar opinions and further my understanding with those with differing opinions.

Much love and coffee,

Brooke

FITNESS AND ANXIETY | finding ways to cope

As mentioned in an earlier post, I struggle with anxiety, particularly panic disorder.

I wanted to take a moment and share a particular way I deal with general, normal anxiety along with my panic disorder.

Fitness can be a scary word for a lot of people. Exercise, of the extraneous sort, is intimidating. We are constantly told that physical fitness is pertinent if we want to live a long, happy life.

This is true. However, sometimes we get so bogged down in the “body/weight changing” aspect, that we forget how important physical fitness is for our minds. In fact, mental wellness can be improved tremendously just with a little exercise.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.”

When I started college, my anxiety issues grew exponentially. I began experiencing attacks more and more frequently. That’s when I decided to try exercise. I began making time to go to my school’s gym six days a week, often times with a friend for emotional support.

The more I exercised, the better I started to feel, emotionally and physically.

I understand that starting to exericise can be intimidating at first, so it’s okay to start at home to build your confidence.

One of my favorite youtubers is Cassey Ho, otherwise known as Blogilates. She has tons of fitness and nutritional videos as well as a blog with a free monthly workout calendar, telling you exactly what to do every day.

If you struggle with anxiety, I encourage you to start a fun exercise routine and see where it takes you!

Much love and coffee,

Brooke

POLICE OFFICER KILLED | identifying the terrors of the job

In the midst of a police brutality movement, it is easy to forget how dangerous the job of a police officer is.

According to CNN, a police officer was killed and another was wounded in a shooting outside a Pittsburgh-area home on Thursday morning.

The officers were called to the scene under a domestic violence report and were shot at upon arrival.

The responsibility of a police officer is to ensure the safety of his/her community members by upholding and defending the law. However, many do not realize how daunting a task that is.

Police officers put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis and it is important to recognize that, while those in the profession are being portrayed negatively as a whole, the majority do their job without responding falsely.

According to the FBI, 51 law enforcement officers died as a result of felonious acts in the line-of-duty in 2014. Offenders used firearms to kill 46 of the 51 victim officers. Of these 46 officers, 33 were slain with handguns, 10 with rifles, and three with shotguns. Four officers were killed with vehicles used as weapons, and one was killed with personal weapons such as hands, fists, or feet.

It is important not to over-generalize when speaking of any group. There are always bad people within every group, however, these people do not reflect the overall belief system of the group.

While education and justice are necessary when dealing with cases of police brutality, it is also important not to vilify the entire police force.

Much love and coffee,

Brooke

ANXIETY DISORDERS | why they’re obnoxious

Anxiety is annoying. That’s not usually the first thing you hear people say about this particular mental illness, but it’s the main cause of my grievances with the disorder.

Many people struggle with some form of anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18% of the population.

The National Institute for Mental Health explains that, for a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, and mine is classified as a panic disorder. I classify it as the “annoying” disorder.

Generally speaking, a panic disorder entails panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden and come without warning. There is sometimes an emotional trigger, but the attacks are largely uncontrollable. There is no way to effectively prevent one from happening, but there are ways to get out of it quicker.

So, why is it the “annoying” disorder you may ask?

  1. Making plans far in advance never turns out well. (I might be feeling 100% calm and collected one day, but the next being near people feels like an impossible task).
  2. Having to explain to friends (especially new ones) why you don’t want to hang out.
  3. Having to explain to teachers why you couldn’t make it to class.
  4. Expressing unnecessary emotions in public places, resulting in unwanted attention.

The list goes on.

The thing about anxiety disorders is that, for the people who don’t have them, they don’t seem life altering. I get a lot of, “Just calm down, you’re fine” and “you’re not physically ill, suck it up.” However, for the people who do experience them, they hinder every decision made.

The point I am trying to make is that having anxiety would not be as difficult to have if everyone understood it. The fear and judgment connected to anxiety disorders tends to fuel the anxiety rather than help it.

Stay informed. Be respectful.

Much love and coffee,

Brooke

DEMANDS FOR ONLINE NEWS| writing for a modern audience

Communicating clearly and appropriately in today’s world proves to be a daunting task, especially through online news.

Online news is ever changing, constantly being updated. The 24/7 news cycle calls for fresh, concise, meaningful stories while maintaining an unbiased stance, factual credibility, and a long-lasting presence on the web.

Because online news and its consumers are so demanding, communication can become tricky.

As online news must be published immediately, little time is allowed for editing and mistakes are common. For this reason, revisions are often necessary, but largely ineffective. Once a story has been published, whether on a news site or a posted in tweet format, readers will consume and then move on to other stories. Rarely do readers re-read articles, putting an immense amount of pressure on the online news market to remain current while also maintaining accuracy.

Nikki Usher spent five months observing the New York Times’ newsroom and explains the need for immediacy in this article.

Furthermore, language can be misconstrued in online media, because of the seemingly free nature of the internet. The anonymity provided by the screen encourages an environment of free speech with limited rules.

Additionally, the internet, having an overwhelming young audience, calls for informal and youthful language. However, the use of informal or “free” language can cause a news source to lose its reputable quality.

The world gets offended too easily, in my opinion. I feel like the media is held back from revealing all information available for fear of losing or disconnecting from viewers.

Just something to think about.

Much love and coffee,

Brooke

 

 

 

BERKELEY GREEK LIFE’S PARTY BAN | sexual assault prevention

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) at the University of California, Berkeley banned Greek life from having parties because of two reports of sexual assault Saturday.

The ban was lifted following revisions to safety plans. The IFC decided that strangers would no longer be allowed into parties.

The subject of sexual assault has appeared in the media more and more frequently following the prosecution of Brock Turner, an ex-Stanford swimmer charged with raping an unconscious girl outside a fraternity house on June 2, 2016.

The conversation continues to unfold at the University of California. College students who participate in Greek life are more prone to attend and throw parties, where drinking and drug abuse are often prevalent. The presence of these substances can lead to an unsafe environment where many reported sexual assaults have occured on campuses across the United States.

Revisions and precautions are key. For this reason, I’m grateful to see students themselves acknowledging a need for reformation. We can no longer turn a blind eye to these atrocities. We need to talk about them, take the stigma away, and encourage victims to step forward so perpetrators can be punished.

Be safe. Don’t stay silent.

Much love and coffee,

Brooke

PRESIDENTIAL RACE 2016 | why some republicans refuse to vote trump

Some republican elected officials and party elders announced Saturday that they would no longer vote for Donald Trump following the release of rude remarks he made about women in 2005.

A video was published by Access Hollywood  Friday in which Trump was recorded making vulgar comments about women. The video and audio were collected from an interview in 2005.

While news media have covered several stories involving Trump’s offensive language, this video release prompted several republicans to resign their endorsement of Trump in the 2016 election.

“This is not a decision that I have reached lightly, but his pattern of behavior has left me no choice. His repeated actions and comments toward women have been disrespectful, profane and demeaning,” Idaho Senator Mike Crapo said.

While the video was disturbing, it was predictable. This was not the first time Trump made rude comments about women, as Senator Crapo stated above. For this reason, it seems ludicrous for republicans to have waited this long to cease their support.

Voters were made aware early on that Trump was not the ideal American politician and never claimed to be. Why do they still act surprised when the media releases additional evidence?

As for me, I think it’s time for voters to look at the bigger picture. It’s time to decide. Do we want our nation to progress in her current direction or do we want drastic, uncertain change. Not an easy choice to make.

Regardless, your opinion matters. Go vote.

Much love and LOTS of coffee,

Brooke