Category: Uncategorized

A Gallon a Day, Helps Beyoncé to SLAY!

Amanda Benko | Intern UAB School of Education – CHHS

Image Source: Getty / Kevin Winter/BET

Staying Hydrated – Why is it important to drink enough H20

Beyoncé says, “I try to take care of myself, drinking at least a gallon of water with lemon a day” (Cut, 2016). Did you know that water makes up most of your body weight and involves several vital functions, including removing waste from the body, regulating your body temperature, and helping with brain function? It is essential to note that water plays an important part in our body’s functioning. According to the CDC, getting enough water daily is necessary for your health. Drinking water daily can help you stay hydrated (CDC, 2022). It can also help regulate body temperature, help keep our joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and ensure that organs function properly. Being well-hydrated can help you improve the quality of your sleep, mood, and cognition. According to experts, one should drink approximately 11 cups of water daily for an average woman and around 16 cups for men. Water plays a vital role in various body functions, such as the digestion of food, absorption, circulation, and excretion (Aschwanden, 2021). Research has shown that drinking plenty of water helps transport nutrients, oxygen, and hormones across the body.

Drinking plenty of water also helps in the hydration of cells and tissues. Our bodies are composed mainly of water. Every cell, tissue, and organ depends on water for proper functioning. Proper hydration can help you maintain the balance of fluids within the body, enabling you to maintain optimal energy levels, enhance concentration, and improve one’s overall productivity. Studies also reiterate that drinking plenty of water is good for skin health. It can help keep your skin hydrated and moisturized, reducing the risk of dryness, wrinkles, and disorders affecting the skin. This helps promote a healthy complexion, possibly contributing to a more youthful experience.

In conclusion, water is essential to almost every part of your body. Drinking the recommended daily amount of water will help you maintain your current state of health and improve your overall health. If you are exercising or living in hotter regions, it is essential to increase your water intake to avoid dehydration. What steps do you find helpful to keep hydrated?


Aschwanden, C. (2021, September 17). How much water do you actually need?. The New York Times.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, June 6). Water and healthier drinks. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cut, T. (2016, January 14). 33 celebrities on drinking water. Forbes.

Stay hydrated for Healthier Living. (2014). Nursing Standard, 28(47), 13–13.

Is cosmetic surgery worth it?

By Terrie Johnson | UAB Community Health & Human Services Intern

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Plastic surgery, also commonly referred to as cosmetic surgery, is increasing in popularity throughout the United States. This practice can be defined as trying to uniquely enhance one’s physical appearance by undergoing surgical or medical procedures. According to Theunissen Aesthetic Plastic Surgery of Baton Rouge, some of the most frequently received plastic surgery requests are for nose enhancements, breast augmentations, and butt enlargements. Additionally, people often make surgical changes to their cheekbones, stomach area, and arms. Individuals are spending thousands, and sometimes having multiple surgeries, to look younger, more attractive, and socially appealing, often at great risk. The prevalence of butt injections has resulted in numerous deaths with several individuals being incarcerated for illegally providing them. For example, journalist Adriana Diaz of the Daily Mail wrote about the case of Maxine Messam of Bridgeport, New York, who died after receiving botched injections and being driven to the hospital unconscious.

Theunissen Aesthetic Plastic Surgery warns there are repercussions people far too often overlook. While the obvious benefits of altering one’s individual look can be achieved, undergoing plastic surgery procedures can lead to major health issues. This may include developing bacterial infections, having surgical complications, and/or experiencing unforeseen illnesses. Also, some candidates for surgery may be high risk for problems due to their current health state while others may encounter lasting scars, viruses, and/or a diversity of other lifetime consequences.

As such, it is highly suggested people explore healthier alternatives before seeking plastic surgery. If not, there can be significant psychological issues that accompany any operations. Specifically, Michael Reilly and Karen Parsa of Psychology Today warn people that they may develop body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). This is a mental illness individuals develop after becoming addicted to plastic surgery. People with this issue are obsessive in their thinking or compulsive in their actions. Additionally, researchers Randy and Lori Sansone of Psychiatry (Edgmont) found there is a stark rise in patients of primary care physicians and mental health professionals that have undergone cosmetic surgery. These individuals are often at a higher risk for suicide, BDD, and other psychiatric comorbidities. However, there are healthy ways of preventing these mental illnesses. The most beneficial steps individuals can take is to work on their self-esteem and level of confidence.

Comprehensively, Melissa Dittmann from the American Psychological Association (APA) states, it is imperative more psychologists start to evaluate issues related to cosmetic surgery. The importance arises from a major increase in popularity of cosmetic surgery and a rise in the number of people dissatisfied with their appearance and body image.” As such, it is not advantageous to try to keep up with societal norms and magazine standards for beauty. These industries use manipulation tactics to alter the appearance of models, actors, and tv personalities in a way that does not align with their natural state. This makes it important for people to know what they see is not real. Instead, we should embrace our own beauty and not allow society to make them feel less than. Still, for people that choose to pursue plastic surgery for other reasons, it is important to do research on the procedure and the professionals performing it. Per, Theunissen Aesthetic Plastic Surgery following all post-op care orders to prevent complications, infections, or life-long difficulties is imperative.

So what about you? Have you considered cosmetic surgery? Are you working to improve your appearance? Leave a comment on this blog and/or join us on Facebook.


Dittmann, Melissa. (2005). Plastic surgery: Beauty or beast? American Psychological

Association (APA), 36(8). 30.

Delray Plastic Surgery. (2020). Fall in love with the way you look at Delray Plastic Surgery.

Diaz, Adriana. (2022). Naked woman, 53, dumped outside Bronx hospital dies ‘after receiving botched butt injections’: Police hunt two women who dropped her off. The Daily Mail.

Reilly, M., & Parsa, K. (2020). Cosmetic surgery and psychological disorders. Psychology Today.

Sansone, R. A. & Sansone, L. A. (2007). Cosmetic surgery and psychological issues. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 4(13). 65-8.

Theunissen Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. (n.d.). Cosmetic plastic surgery pros and cons.

What is Self-Care? Why is it Important?

Ny Shon Mack | UAB Community Health and Human Services Intern

Photo by u0410u043bu0435u043au043au0435 u0411u043bu0430u0436u0438u043d on

Self-care, also known as self-awareness, is a lifelong habit and culture, and is one of those things that is easier said than done. Although it is highly recommended, not many people practice it or even know what it is. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider (Self-care interventions for health, 2022). It simply means recognizing the current relationship we have with ourselves, prioritizing it, and working towards better self-treatment. Placing yourself as a priority is equivalent to telling yourself that you matter and that your needs are valid.

There are three types of self care: 

Physical Self Care- focuses on taking care of your physical health and wellbeing

Mental & Emotional Self Care- puts your mind and feelings first

Spiritual Self Care- Centers faith (whatever you believe in)

The benefits of practicing self-care are simple. You may experience lower cortisol levels, happier relationships, improved immune response, better sleep, increased self esteem, decreased depression and anxiety, and more.

Examples of self-care may include taking care of your personal hygiene, eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, making time for social activities and paying close attention to how you may think or feel. Believe it or not, practicing self-care is one of the most important ways to boost and maintain both emotional and physical aspects of our health.

It can sometimes be hard for us to maintain all of these tasks from day to day. Self-care efforts are often neglected due to lack of time, which, in turn, negatively impacts our lives and the lives of those around us. I recently took a weekend trip to Destin, Florida for a little stress relief. During my stay, I was able to relax and reflect on myself and my needs. I then realized that self-care should never be a chore, but something you learn to enjoy with time. 

MBA, W. by: S. S., & PharmD, R. by: D. W. (n.d.). Self-care: Definition, benefits, & ideas to try. Choosing Therapy. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from 

World Health Organization. (n.d.). Self-care interventions for health. World Health Organization. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from

Yanulevich, T., College, U., Reese, J., Albuquerque, D., Moyer, C., Mayer, C., Williams, B., Burns, M., Keleman, M., Barrett, M., Caramico, L., Shellabarger, R. A., Crockett, K., Stephenson, J., Ankney, T., Larsen, K., & Sybert, C. (2019, October 16). 5 reasons why self care is important for your health. The Odyssey Online. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from 

What Do I Do Now?: Overcoming Stagnancy in Life

By Tan Walker|UAB Community Health and Human Services Intern

Photo by Luca Nardone on

There are times in life when we feel like we are excelling and accomplishing our goals. There are also times where we feel stagnant, and our lives have come to a complete halt. Believe it or not, it is quite common for us to sometimes feel uninspired and unmotivated to complete certain tasks or become a victim of procrastination. This can feel like a never-ending cycle of feeling like we’re on top of the world and drowning all at once. Here are some signs that you are stagnating:

  • If you are experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals and aspirations
  • If you’re not in the mood to do anything
  • If you rely on sleep, eating, and other activities for entertainment and comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new in the last few months
  • If you feel like you are not reaching your potential

Trying to face stagnation in life can be a sign of a deeper problem. It is important to not eat yourself up over it and focus on overcoming this feeling. These few steps can help you gain the momentum you need to help you get back on track: 

Realize that you aren’t alone- Everyone feels stagnant at some point or another. You are not alone, and it is completely normal.

Find things that inspire you- Set goals for yourself and believe that there are no limitations for yourself.

Give yourself a break- Normalize taking breaks for yourself. Taking 3-6 months to rewind and regroup can be very beneficial.

Change your daily routines- It’s okay to change things around. Doing the same things over and over again can sometimes make us stagnant.

Make a small step- It is important to take action towards the goals that you set. Don’t be afraid of the unknown, or worry about being a perfectionist. Take things one day at a time!

Always remember that everything starts with us. We are responsible for what we choose to do within our lives and how we feel about certain things. Don’t let stagnation define you!Celestine ChuaCelestine is the Founder of Personal Excellence where she shares her best advice on how to boost productivity and achieve excellence in life. Read full profile by following the link below.

Chua, C. (2020, January 21). 5 steps to move out of stagnancy in life. Lifehack. Retrieved November 7, 2022, from

Understand the Risks, Avoid Incarceration, & Change the Negative Narrative for Men of Color


Photo by Ron Lach on

In many metropolitan areas across the country, if you watch the local news, you will often see stories painting a very negative storyline of men of color. It is almost as the local news vans and their local stations do not miss an opportunity to show the adverse challenges within urban communities or communities inhabited by people of color. This trend is very concerning, as representations of crime in the media shape public opinion, particularly through the frequency in which crime is reported and the characterizations of criminal participants and victims (Bjornstrom, Kaufman, Peterson, & Slater, 2010). Similarly, previous studies suggests that when overrepresented in the media as perpetuators, racial and gender stereotypes may be reinforced within society and raise public hostility toward groups like men of color (Dixon, Azocar, & Casas, 2003; Dixon & Linz, 2000).

Unfortunately, older research from 1997 does suggest the lifetime risk of African-American men going to state or federal prison from birth is 28.5%.  A special report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (1997) estimated 1 of every 20 persons (5%) can be expected to serve time in prison during their lifetime. The lifetime chances of a person going to prison are higher for men (9%) than for women (1%) and higher for blacks (16%) and Hispanics (9%) than for whites (2%) (Bonczar & Beck, 1997).  Thusly, at the time of the report, if incarceration rates were to stay the same, newborn black males in this country have a greater than a 1 in 4 chance of going to prison during their lifetimes, while Hispanic males have a 1 in 6 chance, and white males have a 1 in 23 chance of serving time (Bonczar & Beck, 1997).  WE CAN CHANGE THE NEGATIVE NARRATIVE!

If men of color are being targeted by the criminal justice system, that is even more reason to be intentional about avoid criminal circumstances…even when we are enticed by others who we know. Let’s be clear, in many communities, being a man of color within the United States of America means there is a need to act with extraordinary caution and sensitivity in these manners. Collectively, we must work to avoid committing felonies, the most serious of crimes such as intent to commit heinous crimes, causing grievous injury, or destroying property. We must put down the guns and reduce incarceration due to drugs. Although less serious, misdemeanor crimes are punishable by jail time of one year or less per misdemeanor, a fine, or alternative sentencing like probation, rehabilitation, or community service. Infractions and violations are minor offenses like jaywalking and motor vehicle offenses that result in a simple traffic ticket. Still, any of these offenses can be more serious trouble for men of color.

Proverbial wisdom suggests men of color, all persons really, should refrain from criminal activity…PERIOD. Among many reasons, one rationale to avoid criminal activity is because ultimately criminal actions will lead to state or federal prison…or worse. So, let’s focus our efforts on living with honor and integrity. Work to be honest in words and deeds and advocate for the less fortunate. And let’s vote to support those who experiencing targeting by the criminal justice system, while helping us all to KEEP OUT of jail and prison.

Readers, offer your comments here. What do you believe is the risk for young men, specifically men of color, for going to jail or prison? What are ways young men can avoid committing criminal offenses? Specifically, what young men (& women) do to prevent criminal activity when it may be all around them (i.e., in their homes, neighborhoods, family, friends)? Leave encouraging comments here.

Bjornstrom, E. E., Kaufman, R. L., Peterson, R. D., & Slater, M. D. (2010). RACE AND ETHNIC REPRESENTATIONS OF LAWBREAKERS AND VICTIMS IN CRIME NEWS: A NATIONAL STUDY OF TELEVISION COVERAGE. Social problems57(2), 269–293.

Bonczar, T.P. & Beck, A.J. (1997). Lifetime Likelihood of Going to State or Federal Prison. Bureau of Justice Statistics. U.S. Department of Justice.

Dixon Travis L., Azocar Christina L., Casas Michael. The Portrayal of Race and Crime on Television Network News. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 2003; 47:498–523.

Dixon Travis L., Linz Daniel. Race and the Misrepresentation of Victimization on Local Television News. Communication Research. 2000a; 27:547–573.

Drink Your Water, but Not Too Much!

By Tan Walker | UAB Community Health and Human Services Intern

Photo by Ray Piedra on

How much water should you drink a day? You probably already know that daily water consumption is a daily necessity, but can you consume too much water? The answer is yes! But how is this possible?

The popular recommendation for water consumption is to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day, which is roughly 2,000 oz. Consuming over the recommended amount of water daily results in many complications, illnesses and even death. Hyponatremia, also known as “water intoxication” causes abnormally low levels of sodium and other electrolytes in your bloodstream, which can then lead to serious health problems such as seizures, coma, and in rare cases, is fatal (Hursh et al., 2022). 

You may also experience water poisoning or a disruption of brain function. This happens when there is too much water in the cells (including brain cells), causing them to swell (WebMD., 2022). You may experience things like confusion, drowsiness, and headaches. You may also be at risk of having seizures or going into a coma.

The good news is there are plenty of signs that suggest you may be consuming too much water:

  1. You never leave the house without a water bottle in your hand.
  2. You have throbbing headaches throughout the day.
  3. Your urination is beginning to become uncontrollable.
  4. Your urine looks like water (no color).
  5. You urinate frequently (including during the night).
  6. You drink water even when you aren’t thirsty.
  7. You experience leakage.
  8. You experience nausea or diarrhea.
  9. You notice swelling or discoloration in your hands, lips, and feet.
  10. Your muscles feel weak and tend to cramp easily.
  11. You feel tired and fatigued.

Hursh, L. R., Conklin, L. M., & Andersen, C. H. (2022, August 1). 11 potential signs you’re drinking too much water, from doctors. The Healthy. Retrieved October 5, 2022, from 

WebMD. (n.d.). What happens when you drink too much water? WebMD. Retrieved October 5, 2022, from

How to Stay Safe When Walking Alone

By Tan Walker | UAB Community Health and Human Services Intern

Photo by Rene Asmussen on

It is more common for people to walk alone than you think. Some people walk to work, around a college campus, walk home, or even just to their cars. Although people don’t think twice about walking alone, there is always a higher risk for something dangerous to happen. 

Unfortunately, violence is an urgent public health problem, and it affects people in all stages of life. It can also lead to a lifetime of physical, emotional, and economic problems (Violence prevention home page, 2021). In 2019, more than 19,100 people were victims of homicide and more than 1.5 million were treated in hospital emergency departments for an assault-related injury (Violence prevention CDC, 2022). 

Safety should be the number one priority when planning to go anywhere.It is important to have a plan for safety in place to ensure that you are protected. A few things to consider when walking alone include:

  • Always being aware of your surroundings 
  • Don’t wear headphones when walking by yourself
  • Don’t daydream as you walk
  • Consider walking with a friend or family member
  • Hold all personal belongings close to your body and in sight
  • If you sense danger, move quickly to a safe location
  • Carry a small weapon with you to use for self-defense if needed

Listed below are a few weapons that can be used for self-defense:

  • Pepper Spray
  • Pocket knife
  • Taser or Stun Gun
  • Concealed Gun
  • Panic alert button on your cell phone

Having a safety plan in place when walking alone won’t lower the risk of violence, but it will help people like you and me to be better prepared for anything coming our way!

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, September 28). Violence prevention home page. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, January 18). Violence prevention at CDC |Violence prevention|injury Center|CDC. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from 

Homedefense. (n.d.). How to stay safe while walking anywhere alone. Home Defense Academy. Retrieved September 20, 2022, from,wooded%20areas%20away%20from%20public%20view.%20More%20items 

Quiet Quitting: A Battle between Old and New-Aged Employees

By Tan Walker | UAB Community Health and Human Services Intern

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many individuals to take on the responsibility of becoming “essential” in the workplace. Since the pandemic, working conditions in the United States have progressively gotten worse, resulting in workers beginning to set strict boundaries with their employers.

According to CBS News, “Quiet Quitting” has been a trending topic over the past few months. This catchy phrase is code for “just doing your job” and was created by Gen Z and millennial employees (CBS Interactive, 2022). But is it really quitting if they are still technically working? This has been a controversial topic between older and younger employees.

Many conservatives believe that going above and beyond in the workplace is an unwritten expectation for all employees. Conservatives also think that “quiet quitting” is an act of laziness, selfishness, and lack of professionalism.

However, Gen Z and millennial employees beg to differ. This generation believes that doing the bare minimum at work is sometimes necessary to protect their peace and mental health. They also question if giving 120% to a job is worth it when the majority of employers don’t really care about their well-being anyway. Most modern-day employees are exhausted from dedicating majority of their time to an unfulfilling 9-5 and believe there is more to life than working.

So, what happens next? At this rate, economist predict that the U.S, will experience higher levels of job insecurity, recessions, and higher inflation and interest rates (CBS Interactive, 2022). Will Gen Z employees become more efficient in the workplace, or will they continue advocating for themselves and play America’s game?

CBS Interactive. (n.d.). “quiet quitting”: A revolution in how we work or the end of working hard? CBS News. Retrieved September 15, 2022, from