Shift workers beware: Sleep loss may cause brain damage, new research says

Posted by Arjen Lentz on April 6th, 2014

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Students and Mental Health at University

Posted by Arjen Lentz on April 1st, 2014

The Guardian is collecting experiences from students regarding mental health at university. I must have missed this item earlier as there are only a few days left now to get your contribution in. Please take a look and put in your thoughts! It’s always excellent to see mental health discussed. It helps us and society as a whole.

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Rude vs. Mean vs. Bullying: Defining the Differences

Posted by Arjen Lentz on March 25th, 2014

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On inclusiveness – diversity

Posted by Arjen Lentz on March 20th, 2014

Ashe Dryden writes about Dissent Unheard Of – noting “Perhaps the scariest part of speaking out is seeing the subtle insinuation of consequence and veiled threats by those you speak against.” From my reading of what goes on, much of it is not even very subtle, or veiled. Death and rape threats. Just astonishingly foul. This is not how human beings should treat each other, ever. I have the greatest respect for Ashe, and her courage in speaking out and not being deterred. Rock on Ashe! The reason I write about it here on BlueHackers.org is that I think there is a fair overlap between issues of harassment and other nasties and depression, and it will affect individuals, companies, conferences and other organisations alike. So it’s important to call it out and actually deal with it, not regard it as someone else’s problem. Our social and work place environments need to be inclusive for all, it’s as simple as that. Inclusiveness is key to achieving diversity, and diverse environments are the most creative and innovative. If a group is not diverse, you’re missing out in many ways, personally as well as commercially. Please read Ashe’s thoughtful analysis of what causes people and places to often not be inclusive – such understanding is a good step towards effecting change. Is there something you can do personally to improve matters in an organisation? Please tell about your thoughts, actions and experiences. Let’s talk about this!

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A novel look at how stories may change the brain

Posted by Arjen Lentz on January 30th, 2014

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BlueHackers @ linux.conf.au 2014 Perth

Posted by Arjen Lentz on January 3rd, 2014

BlueHackers.org is an informal initiative with a focus on the wellbeing of geeks who are dealing with depression, anxiety and related matters. This year we’re more organised than ever with a number of goodies, events and services! - BlueHackers stickers - BlueHackers BoF (Tuesday) - BlueHackers funded psychologist on Thursday and Friday - extra resources and friendly people to chat with at the conference Details below… This year, we’ll have a professional psychologist, Alyssa Garrett (a Perth local) funded by BlueHackers, LCA2014 and Linux Australia. Alyssa will be available Thursday and part of Friday, we’ll allocate her time in half-hour slots using a simple (paper-based) anonymous booking system. Ask a question, tell a story, take time out, find out what psychology is about… particularly if you’re wondering whether you could use some professional help, or you’ve been procrastinating taking that step, this is your chance. It won’t cost you a thing, and it’s absolutely confidential. We just offer this service because we know how important it is! There will be about 15 slots available. You can meet Alyssa on Tuesday afternoon already, at the BoF. Just to say hi! The booking sheet will be at the BoF and from Wednesday near the rego desk. The BlueHackers BoF is on Tuesday afternoon, 5:40pm – 6:40pm (just before the speakers dinner). Check the BoF schedule closer to the time to see which room we’re in. The format will be similar to last year: short lightning talks of people who are happy to talk – either from their own experience, as a support, or professional. No therapy, just sharing some ideas and experience. You can prep slides if you want, but not required. Anything discussed during the BoF stays there – people have to feel comfortable. We may have some additional paper resources available during the conference, and a friendly face for an informal chat for part of the week. Every conference bag will have a couple of BlueHackers stickers to put on your laptop and show your quiet support for the cause – letting others know they’re not alone is a great help. If you have any logistical or other questions, just catch me (Arjen) at the conference or write to:  l i f e (at) b l u e h a c k e r s (dot) o r g

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How emotions are mapped in the body

Posted by Arjen Lentz on January 2nd, 2014

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Feet up the Wall

Posted by Arjen Lentz on December 23rd, 2013

Gina Rose of Nourished Naturally writes:
I often spend 5-30 minutes a day with my feet up the wall. What’s going on in this pose? Your femur bones are dropping into your hip sockets, relaxing the muscles that help you walk and support your back. Blood is draining out of your tired feet and legs. Your nervous system is getting a signal to slow down. Stress release and recovery time. This position is great for sore legs, helps with digestion & circulation as well as thyroid support. If you suffer from insomnia try this before bed.
I’ve done this at times but at the time never thought through why it might be beneficial. Worth a try! And as they say, it doesn’t hurt to try – but of course it could and if it does hurt, obviously stop straight away.

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Go Home on Time Day | 20th Nov 2013

Posted by Arjen Lentz on November 20th, 2013

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The Donkey in the Well

Posted by Arjen Lentz on November 12th, 2013

One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They each grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer’s neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off! MORAL : Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. You can get even out of the deepest well.

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