10 Ways to Improve
Your Mental Health This Summer

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10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health This Summer
Switching to flip flops and sunglasses does not mean that every day will be sunny! Unlike school, our stresses don’t pause during the summer. So while you are protecting your skin with sunscreen from June to September, try some SPF for the brain with the following suggestions: 1. Journaling A great way to protect your mental health this summer is to set a few minutes aside each day to journal! Journaling is a relaxing and creative way to put into words what is bothering you. They say the “pen is mightier than the sword” and writing our concerns down is a great first step in conquering our stress. Grab a cute summer-themed notepad and write away! 2. Unplug Even if it's just for a few hours, take a break from your phone and other devices. Resisting the urge to check that notification ping is a great way to recharge your brain. This is especially true for those non-stop work notifications – studies have shown that separating your work hours and non-work hours can help you mentally recover from the work week and enjoy your personal time. It’s too nice outside now to gaze at that iPhone nonstop! Your body needs a break from constantly staring down at a screen 3. Try Something New Try a new recipe, book, TV show, or hobby! Trying new things can give you a hit of dopamine, which is a chemical responsible for making you feel pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation. Break your regular cadence and do something new!  Maybe a new recipe for next weekend’s pool party? Mixing up your routine will boost your mood and is great for your mental health. 4. Share some Gratitude Sharing appreciation is a great way to improve your mental health. Gratitude makes people focus on what they have, instead of what they lack. Try writing a thank you note, or calling a friend to tell them you appreciate them. Studies have shown that gratitude is directly linked to increased happiness!  5. Exercise Exercise is essential to your physical health, but it's just as important for your mental health! Exertion during exercise stimulates your body to create more mitochondria inside of your muscle cells. Mitochondria are known as the “powerhouses of the cell” because they are responsible for converting the food we eat into fuel for our bodies. Having more of it increases your body's energy supply and makes you feel more energized! Running on the beach anyone? 6. Eat Healthier Foods Of course eating healthy is crucial in maintaining good physical health, but eating foods that are good for your body help to maintain a good mental health as well! Sugar and processed foods can lead to inflammation throughout the body and brain, which may contribute to mood disorders such as anxiety or depression. A healthy well balanced diet can help us think clearly and feel more alert. 7. Restrain Yourself from Alcohol Although it may be fun to drink at parties from time to time, alcohol is actually a depressant drug that can increase stress and anxiety. Depressant substances are drugs that lower neurotransmission levels. They affect the central nervous system, slowing down messages between your brain and your body. Alcohol affects concentration and slows down your ability to respond to unexpected situations. A great alternative to alcohol is Baloo! Baloo’s functional ingredients like nootropics and adaptogens give you an extra mood boost and help manage your anxiety and stress levels. 8. Go to Bed Early Did you know that the average adult aged 18-60 is recommended to sleep at least 7 hours a night? With everyone's busy schedule, it seems impossible to get this much sleep daily. However, going to bed a little earlier might just be the change you need to improve your mental health. Sleep is our brain's time to rest and recharge. When we get proper sleep, our brain can efficiently process all the information we need for the day, such as new memories and emotions. Have you ever noticed when you get too little sleep you tend to be more sensitive, easily irritated, or impulsive? There’s a biological reason for that, and it has to do with different areas of the brain called the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. The amygdala is in charge of our emotional response, and the prefrontal cortex is in charge of controlling our impulses. In order for each of these functions to work correctly, we need to get enough sleep! I know we have more daylight these summer days, and enjoy them, but go to bed a little earlier each night – it will make all the difference! 9. Soak Up the Sun Summer is coming up, and that means lots of sunshine! Apply your favorite SPF and go enjoy some downtime in the sun! Studies have shown that people experience more mental health distress during seasons with little sun exposure. Sunshine has proven to increase serotonin and help with depression and anxiety. In addition, sunlight is crucial to increasing vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb and maintain calcium and phosphorus, which your body needs to build bones. Vitamin D has also been proven to reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections, and reduce inflammation. 10. Smile Summer is here! When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides. These neuropeptides include serotonin and dopamine, which help lower your stress levels. These hormones signal to your body that you are happy, and because of this your happiness increases!  Sources:  Journaling for Mental Health The Benefits of Unplugging from Your Smartphone Novelty AIDS Learning Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier Does Exercise Really Boost Energy Levels Eating Well for Mental Health Alcoholism and Psychiatric Disorders Sleep and Mental Health: Why Our Brains Need Sleep 5 Ways the Sun Impacts Your Mental and Physical Health - Tri-City Medical Center Psychology to Grin about: The Benefits of Smiling and Laughter 
What are Adaptogens: The Science of Herbs for Stress Reduction
No matter what your environment is, stress seems to be an inescapable part of our daily lives. Whether it is the constant “breaking news” on television, the ever-worsening state of our environment, or even our own financial pressures, our daily stressors can be overwhelming. This makes you wonder, how do we handle this unavoidable stress? Even more importantly, how do we handle this stress in a healthy, natural way? How does the body naturally react to stress? While updating an iPhone to a new operating system is a breeze, our biological systems that handle stress don't have it so easy. Enter the "hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis" (HPA), a crucial mechanism in our bodies that responds to stress. Comprising the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in the brain, as well as the adrenal glands on the kidneys, the HPA axis plays a vital role in regulating hormone levels and the body's stress response. In times of stress, the HPA system springs into action by releasing hormones that impact the nervous system, causing effects like sweating and an increased heart rate. These hormones then travel through the bloodstream to the adrenal glands, where the infamous "stress hormone" cortisol is produced, prompting the well-known "fight or flight" response. However, there's a catch—the HPA system is still wired to react as if we're facing ancient threats, like being chased by wolves or engaged in tribal warfare, even when we encounter modern-day stresses. So, the question remains: How can we adapt the HPA system to cope with today's challenges? How can adaptogens provide a healthy solution to Stress? When it comes to tackling stress and enhancing overall well-being, one natural and time-tested option stands out: adaptogens. Adaptogens encompass a variety of herbs, roots, and plant substances, including mushrooms, that have been utilized for centuries to help individuals manage stress and promote better health. The underlying mechanism behind adaptogens' effectiveness lies in their ability to regulate the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, thereby stabilizing cortisol levels. In times of stress, our cortisol levels tend to soar, contributing to feelings of anxiety and tension. Adaptogens step in to counteract this response, helping to bring these hormone levels back to a more balanced and relaxed state, inducing a sense of calmness. One well-known adaptogen is Rhodiola Rosea, a perennial flowering plant native to wild arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. Throughout history, Rhodiola Rosea has been extensively used in Russia to reduce depression and enhance productivity. Another notable adaptogen is L-Theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves, particularly abundant in green tea consumed in Japan for centuries due to its calming effects. Both L-Theanine and Rhodiola Rosea, which are key ingredients in Baloo, have demonstrated their ability to help combat the effects of stress, depression, and anxiety. Remarkably, both of these powerful adaptogens are utilized in the formulation of Baloo products! Why are adaptogens gaining popularity and how can they benefit you? In the post-COVID era, there has been a noticeable increase in the use of adaptogens within Western culture. But what's the reason behind this surge in popularity? The answer lies in the ever-present stress that surrounds our daily lives. In these challenging times, it has become more crucial than ever to explore natural and healthy methods of managing stress effectively. It's important to recognize that each individual's body is unique, and as a result, people may experience different reactions to adaptogens. Your response to these natural remedies is influenced by factors such as your overall health, dietary habits, and lifestyle choices. The fascinating aspect of adaptogens is that they possess the ability to adapt to your personal health status, allowing them to work in a targeted manner tailored to your specific needs. As you incorporate adaptogens into your routine, you may notice that their effects manifest at varying rates. For some individuals, the benefits become apparent within just a few days, while for others, it might take a month or two to experience the full range of results. Remember, exploring adaptogens as a part of your stress management strategy can lead to valuable insights into what works best for your body, promoting a healthier and more balanced life. What lies ahead in your journey towards stress management? When it comes to seeking a healthy and natural way to cope with stress, adaptogens may hold the key. Baloo Sparkling Water with Adaptogens offers a promising solution, featuring two renowned adaptogens: Rhodiola Rosea and L-Theanine, both recognized for their ability to combat the effects of stress and anxiety. By regulating the HPA system and stabilizing cortisol levels, adaptogens facilitate a more relaxed state within your body. If you're ready to embrace a stress-free approach to life, consider giving Baloo a try today. Take a step forward, leaving stress behind, and unlock the potential of adaptogens in your journey towards enhanced well-being.
5 Mental Health Tips to Get You Through the Holidays
Let’s face it, the holidays can be exciting, but also exhausting and overwhelming. Whether it’s the stresses of seeing family, the sadness from having loved ones no longer present, the pressure to drink and overindulge, or a million other demands, we all know that sometimes, the holidays can just be TOO much. While we understand that this time may be chaotic, it’s important to take a step back and check-in with your mental health. Here are 5 tips to help you get through this holiday season: 1. Acknowledge your feelings Don’t force yourself to smile and act like everything is ok. If you need a good cry, recognize this and take some time to express how you feel. 2. Don’t abandon healthy habits While it’s totally ok to overindulge sometimes, don’t treat the holidays like it’s a free for all. Overindulging will only make you more stressed and add further guilt. Instead, enjoy delicious cookies but don’t completely abandon your regular routine of taking care of your body (ie working out, eating your fruits and veggies). 3. Be realistic The holiday traditions that you grew up with might not be the same that you have now- and that’s ok. Instead of getting sad about how “things used to be”, create new traditions for the way things are. 4. Learn that it’s OK to say no Know that you don’t need to go to every holiday party you’re invited to. If a packed schedule overwhelms you, remember that it’s ok to set boundaries and choose to go to things that make you happy. 5. Take some time for yourself Whether it’s taking a walk outside to listen to your favorite podcast or reading a book by the fire, it’s important to carve out some time for yourself. --- Sources: Reisner, Peter . “9 Tips to Fend off Holiday Stress.” Mayo Clinic Health System, 31 Dec. 21, www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/fend-off-holiday-stress-with-these-tips. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.   Baloo does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a replacement for medical advice. Always consult a qualified health or mental health professional with any questions or concerns about your mental health.  
How Expressing Gratitude Can Make You Feel Happier?
Thanksgiving. A time to reflect, spend time with family and friends, and be thankful for what we have. While we understand that Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude, what does being grateful actually mean? To take this one step further, can gratitude impact our happiness? First, what is gratitude? The word gratitude comes from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. The act of gratitude is a “thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible.” By practicing gratitude, you are drawing attention to what you are thankful for. It could be something as simple as being thankful for a sunny day or more complex like being thankful for a loving family. The commonality between these two things is that you are being thankful for people or forces that are outside of you as an individual. Positive psychology research believes there is a strong association between gratitude and happiness. According to a study from Harvard Medical School, gratitude helps individuals experience “positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” We live in a world, where we’re always comparing ourselves to others and asking ourselves “why don’t we have this” or “why don’t we look like this”. Whether it’s scrolling through social media and seeing friends on luxurious vacations or being envious of influencers with expensive clothes and bags- we are stuck in a world of always recognizing what we don’t have. Gratitude helps put our lives into perspective and helps us refocus to recognize what we do have in our lives that we are thankful for. So, how do we start being grateful? What are simple ways we can express gratitude? One of the best ways to experience gratitude is to practice acts of kindness. Here are a few ways we’ve been able to experience the impact of gratitude: 1. Keep a gratitude journal Every morning when you wake up and have your coffee, write down 5 things you are grateful for. This starts your morning in a state of positivity and reflection. 2. Do something unexpected for someone We’re all going through a lot these days. Doing little things that might be unexpected (like opening the door for someone), can brighten someone’s day and in turn, have a positive impact on yours. 3. Take time for self-reflection It’s important to be thankful for who you are. We all can be our worst enemies through our constant self-criticism. Instead of being hard on yourself, take some time to reflect on your accomplishments- whether big or small. Life is hard enough without beating yourself up. 4. Meditate in gratitude We’ve all heard how good meditation is for the mind. Start creating grateful energy through meditation. In anticipation for Thanksgiving, HERE is one meditation we’ve enjoyed doing. 5. Get into nature Sometimes just taking a hike outside and being with mother nature can put things into perspective. Give gratitude for the beauty and simplicity of mother earth. For other ways to express gratitude through acts of kindness, see here. --- Sources: “Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier.” Harvard Health Publishing, 14 Aug. 2021, www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier. Accessed 23 Nov. 2022. Baloo does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a replacement for medical advice. Always consult a qualified health or mental health professional with any questions or concerns about your mental health.
What Does “Functional” Mean in Food and Beverage?
If you’re like us, the grocery aisles in this post-covid world have started to look a bit different these days. Whether it’s cookie dough, coffee alternative or even trail mix, adaptogens and nootropics have expanded outside of the supplements aisle. So, you might be wondering, what the heck is an adaptogen and a nootropic? Let’s break it down. What are adaptogens? Adaptogens are plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Adaptogens have been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic healing traditions, and have been known to strengthen the body’s immune system, promote vitality, stabilize mood and improve performance and focus. A few popular adaptogens you may have heard of are ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, asian or american ginseng panax or cordyceps. What are nootropics? Nootropics nicknamed “brain boosters” are natural or synthetic substances that can be taken to improve brain health and mental performance. Nootropics have been used for memory, focus and mood enhancement. One of the most popular nootropics in the world is caffeine. What adaptogens and nootropics are in Baloo? The nootropics and adaptogens in Baloo were all specifically chosen based on their benefits from scientific studies. The nootropics in Baloo- 5-HTP, GABA and L-Tyrosine- have shown to have an impact on the body’s serotonin and dopamine levels (“happy chemicals”) and nerve cell hyperactivity associated with anxiety, stress and fear. Baloo’s adaptogens, Rhodiola Rosea and L-Theanine, have been shown to help relieve the body’s stress, helping the body perform its best. So, what does this all mean for you? If you’re looking to add something more to your everyday health routine, adaptogens and nootropics may be great options to help decrease your stress and impact your mood. Baloo is a great upgrade to your average sparkling water because it is not only zero calories and zero sugar, but also uses specific scientifically-backed nootropics and adaptogens that are known to help boost mood and reduce stress levels- that something extra we all need. --- Sources: Julson, Erica. “The 14 Best Nootropics and Smart Drugs Reviewed.” Healthline, 26 Jan. 2022, www.healthline.com/nutrition/nootropics. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.“Adaptogens.” Cleveland Clinic, 10 Feb. 2022, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/22361-adaptogens. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.   Baloo does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a replacement for medical advice. Always consult a qualified health or mental health professional with any questions or concerns about your mental health.