Simone Biles’ Courageous Exit from the Olympics’ Finals Puts Focus Mental Health


U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles has become a role model for prioritizing her own mental health over a medal.

On Wednesday morning, Biles announced that she would not participate in the Olympic finals. The reason? To focus on her mental health.

A statement issued from the governing body read “After a further medical evaluation, Simone Biles has withdrawn from the final individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympic Games, in order to focus on her mental health.”

For years, Biles was one of the very best at focusing on winning gold. Dominating the Games. However, with Biles being the centerpiece of the Olympics, for Team USA, the pressure took a toll, and as the gymnast was doing her first rotation of Tuesday’s finals, she bailed midair on her standard vault, a two-and-a-half twisting Yurchenko, lost track of her own motion and finished just one-and-a-half twist.

Her decision to no longer participate in the finals led to a discussion on mental health. Something that isn’t quite spoken about at the games. This started conversations among her fellow Olympians on the hardships of performing on the world’s biggest stage.

“I truly do feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders at times,” wrote Biles in a post on Instagram. “I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but d*mn sometimes it’s hard hahaha!”



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Biles has since been showered with love and support from her family, friends, Olympians, fans and celebrities.

“I’m really proud of her. I think she’s setting a really strong example for other athletes as well,” Canada’s trampolinist Rosie MacLennan told CBC News.

Former Olympian gymnast Nastia Liukin wrote a heartfelt thank-you letter to Biles on Instagram for showing who she is beyond an athlete.

“Thank you for showing the depth of who you are beyond an athlete as a leader, role model, mental health warrior and person,” she wrote. “Thank you for taking the sport of gymnastics to new heights as the unanimous GOAT.

“You came here as a gymnast, and you’re leaving as a hero.”



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Peaches singer Justin Bieber also shared his thoughts, saying how proud he is of the Olympian’s withdrawal.

“Sometimes our no’s are more powerful than our yes’s. When what you normally love starts to steal your joy it’s important we take a step back to evaluate why.”



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Biles also cited Japanese American tennis champion Naomi Osaka as an inspiration, the tennis champion who withdrew from two Grand Slam tournaments earlier this year to focus on her mental health.



Whole Grain Foods Can Reduce Waist Size and Risk of Heart Diseases


If you’re someone who enjoys eating whole-grain foods, studies have now shown that it may defend against heart diseases and diabetes.

According to new research conducted by Tufts University, older adults who’ve eaten at least three servings of whole-grain foods such as brown bread, rice, porridge oats, or brown pasta, a day – enjoy lower blood pressure and glucose levels.
The reason whole grain is so essential and so good for you is that these foods have a rich source of nutrients such as fiber, magnesium, folate, potassium, iron, and selenium.

“In fact, these data suggest that people who eat more whole grains are better able to maintain their blood sugar and blood pressure over time. Managing these risk factors as we age may help to protect against heart disease,” said senior author Dr. Nicola McKeown in a university release.

More than 3,000 people in their mid-50’s participated in this research and were tracked for more than two decades. Through its analysis researchers saw how whole grains affected the participant’s waist sizes, blood sugars, cholesterol, as well as their hypertension. In fact, studies showed that within four check-ups, the waist size increased about half an inch for high intake participants, and over an inch for low intake participants. There was also an average rise in blood pressure, and sugar levels decreased for participants who ate large amounts of whole grain.

Dr. McKeown recommends that if you usually consume refined grains, replace them with whole grains throughout your day.

“For example, you might consider a bowl of whole-grain cereal instead of a white flower bagel for breakfast and replacing refined-grain snacks, entrees, and side dishes with whole-grain options.”


Eating Chocolates for Breakfast May Help You Burn Fat Better


If you’re someone who enjoys eating chocolates, then this news might just make your day. According to a new study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, eating chocolate for breakfast can lead to burning more fat and lowering blood sugar levels throughout the day.

To be more specific, eating chocolate almost as soon as you wake up improves health in a study of postmenopausal women. The research analyzed 19 women who ate 100 grams of chocolate within one hour of waking up and 100 grams of chocolate within one hour of going to sleep. They then compared the results to the participants who didn’t eat chocolate.

Based on the results, eating chocolate either in the morning or night can enhance your sleep quality, influence a person’s appetite and the gut microbiome balance. Better yet, when having it for breakfast, a bowl of chocolate cereal will increase fat-burning ability, and can also reduce blood glucose levels.

“Our volunteers did not gain weight despite increasing caloric intake. Our results show that chocolate reduces ad libitum energy intake, consistent with the observed reduction in hunger, appetite, and the desire for sweets shown in previous studies,” said study co-author Marta Garaulet in a media release.

For more information on the research article, click here.


This 9-Year-Old is Studying Two Degrees to Become an Astronaut


Adhara Pérez, a native of Mexico City is on route to achieving her dreams of becoming an astronaut.

The 9-year-old has a higher IQ than Albert Einstein, a theoretical physicist, and she’s currently studying virtually at two university degree programs – Industrial Engineering in Mathematics at UNITEC and Systems Engineering at CNCI.


When Adhara was three, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, after her mother, Nelly Sánchez, felt that her daughter behaved very differently than other children in her age group.

In an interview with Infobae, Sánchez said her daughter “would play with blocks, placing them all in rows, ate in the perique and always rocked, and could spend hours like that.”


When Adhara would go to school, she was often bullied by her classmates and she showed disinterest in the classroom. Her mother then enrolled her in the Talent Service Center, where they discovered her IQ was 162.

At the age of six, she finished secondary school, and afterward, she completed high school. At the age of 9, Adhara got accepted into the International Air and Space Program, where she will be able to study with aerospace experts.

Given the opportunity to study at the IASP, she will also be able to present a project and be awarded many prizes if she ends up being selected as a victor.


Former McDonald’s Employee Will Now Compete at the Olympics


From working at McDonald’s as a teenager to running at the Olympics, this 25-year-old has now become a world-class athlete who might possibly bring home a gold medal at the Games.

Quanesha Burks worked long hours at McDonald’s to support her family while being raised by her grandparents. However, for Quanesha, she saw this as an investment towards a future that included attending college.

When Quanesha was in high school, she knew her athletic skills would lead her to a scholarship, but for her, it was a choice between track and basketball. Once she took third place at the USATF National Junior Olympics, she decided to pursue track.

She did her research on how to get a full ride, and stuck to the goals she wrote down on paper to achieve them. By the time she graduated from Hartselle High School, Quanesha earned 11 state track titles and a scholarship to the University of Alabama.

In 2019, Quanesha’s grandfather had passed away a week before the U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships. A year after, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and unfortunately, it left hers, as well as many other athletes’ sports suspended. Not only that but as she continued to train, Quanesha suffered from a bone injury that left her sidelined for nearly three months.



“It felt like all the odds were against me,” Quanesha told Sports Illustrated. “At one point, my coach told me, ‘I don’t know if you’re going to physically be able to go to the trials.’ The doctors didn’t know if I would be back in time… I was facing so much, but I kept going back to when I worked at McDonald’s. I had my goals set and I knew I could do it.”

The athlete pushed herself to follow her Olympic dreams. Throughout her time while trying to train, she recorded a series of positive affirmations and posted them on her TikTok page.



When it was time to try out for the Olympics, she did a long-jump personal best of 6.96 meters, securing her spot on the Team USA roster.

“Knowing that I’m representing us in Tokyo is just a blessing, it’s an honor and I’m so proud of the other Olympians,” she told CBS News-19. “It all starts with your confidence within. Everything I’ve become is because of my mindset and determination…It’s been a journey and it all started with a little girl working at McDonald’s and here I am.”

Even if Quanesha doesn’t win a medal in Tokyo, the Olympian still hopes her legacy of hard work and determination will inspire other up-and-coming athletes to continue until they achieve their dreams.


Thousands of Positive Post-It Notes Cover Marcus Rashford’s Mural in Manchester


Since the loss of England’s match between them and Italy at the Euro 2020 final’s, Rashford, Sancho and Saka have been dealing with racial abuse online for missing the penalty shots during the final shootouts.

However, the people of Manchester got together this week, to bring some positivity to the teammates. What first started with a few post-it notes on Marcus Rashford’s mural, has now been showered with so much love and support towards Rashford and his teammates. By the end of the day, there was barely a spot remaining on the mural that wasn’t covered with a post-it note.

The brick wall located in the suburbs of south Manchester left Rashford “on the verge of tears” and he “couldn’t have failed to be moved as the outpouring of emotion continued.”

Rashford took to Twitter to share his feelings, by simply tweeting: “Overwhelmed. Thankful. Lost for words.”

Akse, the artist who painted the mural, had originally returned to re-spray the areas that were covered after it was defaced with abusive graffiti. When he returned and saw the community showing their support, he told Manchester EveningNews “[It] has been quite overwhelming and incredible. You can feel the community spirit.”

“But it just shows how strong the community is, how supportive and how we all come together,” Akse said. “And that’s the main message really.”

Teachers from local schools brought their students down to see the mural full of positive messages, and parents knelt down while explaining what had happened.

The day overall turned into such a positive event. The Manchester community came together, showing their support, and in fact, Marcus Rashford’s aunt represented her family at the event, took the microphone, and declared ‘we need to stand up to racism.’


14-Year-Old Zaila Avant-garde is the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee Winner


Zaila Avant-garde, a 14-year-old from Harvey, Louisiana can now add the winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee to her list of accomplishments.

In addition to winning the Spelling Bee title and the first-place prize of $50,000, Zaila is also one of the top 8th-grade basketball players in the country. She holds three Guinness World Records for her ability to dribble multiple basketballs at a time, most bounce juggles in one minute while using four basketballs, and most bounces of four basketballs in 30 seconds.

Now, the 14-year-old proved her victory in the final round of the contest, against a 12-year-old from Frisco, Texas, by correctly spelling the word “Murraya.” This is a genus of flowering plants in the citrus family, Rutaceae. The plants have pinnate leaves and flowers and are distributed in Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Australia.



Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Spelling Bee was canceled last year, however, the preliminaries were conducted virtually this year, and those who made it to the finals on Thursday night, appeared on stage at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, for the first time since the pandemic.

In the process of winning the 2021 Scripps Spelling Bee title, she has become the first African-American and first Louisiana resident to win the title in the competition’s nearly century-long history.

How to Meditate When You’re an Overthinker


If you’re someone who struggles to focus while meditating because you’re constantly overthinking, you might believe meditation might just not be for you. Well, that’s not the case. According to experts, meditating successfully is possible, even when you’re battling with overactive thoughts.

Here are five tips on how to successfully meditate.


Curate a space in your home just for meditating

Meditating isn’t an easy task, especially in the early stages. You’ve got to surround yourself in an environment that’s peaceful, and away from your personal work.

For that, it’s best to create a space in your home just for meditation. It can be a small corner, especially if there isn’t much space around.

You could have a designated chair, a candle, or an incense stick lit up with a desirable, relaxing scent, or you could sit in front of one of your favorite images. This can then help create a more peaceful environment that will also clear your mind.

Over time you’ll be able to tap into the meditative state you want to reach, especially when you’re not at home.



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Have a consistent schedule

Whether it’s to take time to journal your thoughts, to complete a project, to meal prep, or to meditate – having a routine is a habit that will calm our thoughts.

Even if it’s just scheduling in 10 minutes to meditate, consistently practicing meditation and mindfulness on a daily basis helps your brain successfully focus on the practice.



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Start off with some breathing exercises

By starting off your practice with some control breathwork, it helps free your mind. In fact, many meditation practices focus on breathing, which benefits the mental and emotional state.

However, simply slowing down your breath, calms your nervous system and reduces feelings of anxiety. While you’re paying attention to your breath, it brings focus and relief from overthinking.



Use a meditation app

Meditating can be done in many ways. There are pre-recorded guided meditations that can help the mind focus on one thing alone, and that’s the voice coming into your ears from the guiding voices.

Although this might not bring your mind into total silence, it’s still very powerful in achieving the benefits of meditation.

There is a wide range of videos and recordings that can fit your goals, whether it be a meditation for better focus, sleep, or reducing anxiety.

A variety of apps are available online, with the most popular ones being Headspace and Calm.



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Remember that overthinking is normal

If you’re still struggling to completely silence your mind, just remember that racing thoughts are completely normal. It takes time for your mind to adjust into silence, so don’t be so hard on yourself.

“Meditation is not sitting in a specific position with your palms turned upwards and your mind blank. Meditation is finding a brief sense of peace and stillness wherever you may be during a period of dedicated practice,” LCSW psychotherapist Haley Neidich told Healthline.



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In conclusion, take your time when practicing meditation. With a few simple changes, meditation could soon turn into a form of relaxation and self-exploration.


High School Graduates Donate $8,000 to Help Their Community


Graduating students from a high school in Maine have used the money they raised for a senior trip to help people in need.

13 students from Islesboro Central School’s Class of 2021 were raising money for a senior trip to Greece or South Korea. However, due to the pandemic, they were unable to go anywhere.

Instead, the students donated the money they had raised, to help their neighbors who were struggling due to the pandemic.

$5,000 went towards the Island Community Fund to help people who were out of work and in need of money for food and rent, and the rest of the money is still being decided on where to donate.

In total, the seniors raised $8,000 by holding winter festivals, hosting community suppers, and working the concession stand.

“It felt sort of obvious that it needed to go back to the island community,” Olivia Britton told AP News.

“We could really see how the whole world and the island, too, was struggling. So it felt really good to do that with our money, to give it back to the people who gave it to us,” said Liefe Temple, one of the graduating students.

Longest Living President Celebrates 75 Years of Marriage


Former president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are celebrating 75 years of marriage.

The two were born in the 1920s, three years and three miles apart from each other in Georgia. When they were just kids, Rosalynn was best friends with Jimmy’s younger sister and thought he was the “most handsome man” she’d ever seen.

When Jimmy had initially proposed to Rosalynn, she rejected his proposal. At the time, he was a young US Naval Academy student, and she had promised her dying father she wouldn’t get married until she finished college.

The loving pair continued dating, and after Rosalynn had graduated from Georgia Southwestern in 1945, she kept her promise and married Jimmy in 1945.



Former US President Jimmy Carter has not only kept a long-lasting marriage but he’s also lived longer than any US president in history. In addition to being president, he’s also received a Nobel Peace Prize and has recently contributed to helping out the country in different ways.

He’s created a new health clinic in a small town that had been without a physician for four months, and his charity has contributed to making guinea worm the second disease ever to be eradicated. He also spent his time building homes for those in need through Habitat for Humanity while undergoing treatment for stage 4 melanoma.



While volunteering for the needy, his loving wife Rosalynn has always been by his side. The two have volunteered for Habitat for Humanity for 36 years, building thousands of homes.

“Both President and Mrs. Carter are determined to use their influence for as long as they can to make the world a better place. Their tireless resolve and heart have helped to improve life for millions of the world’s poorest people,” said a spokesperson for the Carter Center in a statement.