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There was a time in my life when I risked everything to fulfill my dream of becoming a fisherman. I was already set to become a partner at a law firm when I decided to quit to travel to Southeast Asia (particularly in Thailand) to learn fishing. I told myself that I would only stay there for two to three months, and then I would return to the US, buy a boat, and fish for a living.
Living in Thailand was fantastic. Financially, it almost did not make an impact on my savings. Not to mention, I stayed at a fishing village most of the time, so I did not need to spend much. I learned all I thought I needed and moved back to the US.
The problem was that Los Angeles was not the best place for a fishing career. The most practical decision was to relocate to Alaska, where I could use my new boat well. My family was against it, but I insisted on doing it. The boat put a dent on my savings already, but it was nothing that I could not handle.
When Reality Turned Its Face On Me
I did not realize at the time that I was merely holding on to a picture-perfect idea that everything would turn out as great as I imagined. Before moving to Alaska, I said I would live in the boat to save money. However, being there in person showed me that I needed to rent an apartment or house if I did not want to freeze to death overnight.
I eventually noticed that the fishermen in Alaska used hi-tech fishing tools to catch as many marine creatures as possible. They were nothing like the hooks, lines, and sinkers I learned how to use in Thailand! I managed to sell a few fish to my neighbors, but I was nowhere near breaking even.
After six months of spending more than I was earning, I became broke. Even if I had not seen a psychologist yet, I also knew I had depression. I sailed on my boat back to Los Angeles, sold it, and moved back to my parents’ home, regretting every decision I made. Despite that, I wanted to get help to turn my life around before it’s too late.
This led me to the following questions:
- How can I get counseling with no money?
Various facilities offer to counsel for people who need it but cannot afford the service. Feel free to check local institutions or even Federally Qualified Health Centers for assistance.
- How much is a typical counseling session?
The base cost of a typical counseling session is $20 – you may be able to get that if you seek online counseling. If you prefer the traditional form, though, you may need to pay up to $250 per session.
- How do you get therapy if you’re broke?
You can get therapy if you are broke by going to local training institutes. They offer free counseling sessions in such facilities. If that does not work, try contacting Medicaid for mental help.
- How can I see a Counsellor for free?
You may see a counselor for free through the NHS. They offer counseling services for various conditions, including depression. What’s incredible about it is that you need not get a medical referral before contacting the NHS for mental help.
- How do I know if I’m bipolar?
From the get-go, you may notice some common symptoms of bipolar disorder in you. For instance, some days, you feel enthusiastic about everything; other days, it is as if nothing can pull you out of depression. Still, you will not know if you are genuinely bipolar unless you see a psychologist or psychiatrist who can assess your condition and provide a proper diagnosis.
- Is paying for therapy worth it?
Yes, paying for therapy is undoubtedly worth it. The reason is that free treatment can only avail you of essential tips on how to improve your life; the therapist will not spend a lot of time talking to you about all your problems. When you pay for therapy, though, you can be confident that the therapist will only focus on you and help you to the best of their abilities.
- How often should I go to therapy?
The frequency of your therapeutic sessions depends on how severe your issues are and what the therapist recommends. However, in the beginning, they may tell you to come once a week to help you get comfortable with the process and the thought of getting therapy. As weeks go by, they may suggest that you go twice per week until the sessions are over.
- Why do therapists charge so much?
Therapists charge so much because of many bills that they must pay to continue their practice. We are talking about not only utilities and rent but also training, state license renewal, etc.
- What do you do if a therapist is too expensive?
If a therapist is too expensive, some people go online and try virtual therapy offered by platforms like BetterHelp, TalkSpace, 7 Cups of Tea, etc. Others look for self-help books or mastery classes to figure out how to improve their lives without needing to pay for an actual therapist.
- Do I really need therapy?
It depends on your mental state. If you have been overthinking, fearing various things, or not behaving normally, you most likely need therapy. However, if you want to be sure about it, you should see a psychologist or psychiatrist – they can put a name to your condition and advise you if you need therapy.
- How can I get therapy if I don’t have insurance?
If you don’t have insurance but need therapy, you may contact Medicaid to see if they can access free treatment. It is also possible to receive therapy through local training institutes and Federally Qualified Health Centers. Now, in case you don’t mind paying out of your pocket, you may seek private therapists either online or offline.
- What are the three types of therapy?
- Psychodynamic therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Humanistic therapy
- Is 7 cups therapy free?
Yes, the standard plan for 7 Cups of Tea is free, considering you can gain advice through the online community. However, if you want to get one-on-one therapy, you need to pay for a better plan.
- How do you start to see a therapist?
You may start to see a therapist by talking to a psychologist first. Some psychologists double as therapists, so they may help you when diagnosed with a mental condition. Others provide referrals to other therapists so that you will no longer have to search for one.
I could not thank my parents enough for supporting me throughout my recovery. I made it clear that I would not let them pay for my counseling and therapy, so they merely helped me look for a local training institute where I could get either service for free. A few months later, I called my former boss, hoping to get my old job back. I felt overjoyed when they agreed to hire me again and promised to make fishing nothing but a hobby.
Nowadays, life can become so stressful, especially when we are at work or school. We all need a break from this monotonous cycle, and what better way to do that than going on a fishing trip? Going fishing is a fun and relaxing activity that connects us with nature and our peers. But do you know that there is more to it than fun? This form of enjoyment also has excellent benefits for our mental well-being.
Are you interested to know how fishing affects mental health? Here is how a fishing trip benefits your mental wellness.
Fishing trips allow you to reconnect with nature. As it usually involves walking through a small forest to reach your fishing area, it lowers your overall stress, improving your mental well-being.
One study has shown that this happens because a day with nature lowers your cortisol levels – the primary stress hormone. High levels of cortisol have been attributed to fatigue, mood changes, anxiety, and depression, so reducing it makes wonders to your emotions.
Also, fishing is a relaxing activity that lets you slow down from the usual grind of being at work or school. It calms you down, reducing your stress levels. This calming effect of fishing is why some therapists and counselors use fishing as a therapeutic exercise for people who have experienced trauma and chronic illnesses.
Improves Your Mood
Fishing is a rewarding hobby. For anglers, the idea of getting the next big catch is as exciting as actually sinking their hooks on the prized fish.
The idea of getting a reward improves your mood – making you happy. Compared to the rewards that we obtain from work or school, this activity is not as stressful as there are no repercussions to catching none. It will not affect your salary nor your grades. It is just a form of enjoyment that boosts your happiness.
Also, fishing trips allow you to spend time with your peers or family. Being surrounded by people you care about also improves your happiness and your mental health.
Fishing and going on fishing trips, improve your happiness, and boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. Even if it is not the biggest catch, catching something fuels your pride, making you believe in yourself more.
Lower self-esteem is not a mental health issue per se, but it can potentially lead to one. The negative emotions that we have towards ourselves impact our happiness and relationships. It has also been found that low self-esteem in your childhood to early adulthood increases your risk of addiction. It leads individuals to believe that drugs and alcohol make you forget about the negative feelings.
This impact on our happiness, relationships, and predisposition to addiction leads to mental health issues like depression and anxiety. So, improving your self-esteem through a rewarding activity, like fishing, is beneficial for your mental wellness.
Gets You Active
Taking a fishing trip gets you moving. Whether it is a short walk to the lake or river, or a few minutes wading in the waters, it gets you physically active, boosting your mental health.
Exercise and other physical activities have been found to help with depression and anxiety. It releases endorphins – natural brain chemicals that make you feel good. It also improves your self-esteem and self-confidence, reducing your risk for mental health issues.
Routines impact how well you remember an activity. And if you go on fishing trips regularly, then you are also getting yourself regular exercise.
Improves Your Memory
Going fishing requires attention and focus. It also needs planning, especially if it involves driving a few miles to a fishing destination and taking a hike to reach the waters. These activities improve your memory, resulting in a boost for your mental health as well.
Fishing also improves cognitive thinking because there is no exact science behind it. There is no one perfect way to get a catch or best bait to use. And so this activity allows your mind to think of solutions to your problems constantly. Fishing also enables you to develop both creative and analytical skills to improve your catch and cognitive function.
People with mental health issues like schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, and depression may experience memory problems like lack of attention, forgetfulness, difficulty planning, and reasoning. So taking a fishing trip is an excellent therapy to combat the effects of pre-existing issues. And over time, it may improve your mood and cognition as well.
Gets You the D
Fishing trips allow us to soak under the sun and get the necessary vitamin D that our body needs. We all know that vitamin D is crucial for our physical health, impacting bone health and brain development and functioning. But do you know how it affects our mental health?
Vitamin D is both a vitamin and hormone that helps with calcium absorption, immune system regulation, and neurotransmitters release. These neurotransmitters include dopamine and serotonin, which is what people who develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD) lack.
Depressive symptoms are common in people with SAD, especially during the winter, when they receive relatively little sunshine. Studies have shown that people with this mood disorder have also changed vitamin D levels, affecting serotonin levels in the brain. So getting some sun through fishing is an excellent way to replenish our vitamin D needs and improve our moods.
Going on a fishing trip is a pleasurable activity that connects us with nature and fellow fishing enthusiasts. It is a great mood booster that improves our cognition and mental wellness. So what are you waiting for? Plan your next fishing trip, and spend quality time outside with your friends!
When the coronavirus hit the world, it hit the wet markets hard too. They were abruptly closed due to strict social distancing measures that were implemented to stop further spread of the virus. Electronic or online selling was among the biggest saviors of those who lost their livelihoods from the market shutdowns. The fishermen and farmers were forced to learn how to go about in the world of E-commerce, as they learned to reach out to the consumers through the web and showcase their products and services.
The Movement Control Order implemented in the country of Malaysia is still in place up until today. Because of this, Steve Teoh, owner of the Deoness Plantation in Kuala Lumpur, is selling his flowers and corn online. He said he had to do something rather than just throwing his harvests when the demand abruptly declined, and flower shops, including all other shops, were instructed to shut down. It was Lazada, the popular digital platform based in Singapore, which helped Mr. Teoh and connected him to someone through the web who was willing to provide him with a customer base.
Additionally, Lazada also aided other farmers who were confronted with the same issues in Malaysia, with boxes of fresh vegetables and fruits that they failed to sell the conventional way. When the lockdowns were enforced, a whopping 1.5 tons of fruits and vegetables were successfully sold online. Mr. Teoh could not imagine what would happen to his beautiful flowers if he had not been introduced to Lazada.
My Fishman, a seafood store and delivery service in Malaysia, also experienced the same ordeal as Mr. Teoh. Audrey Goo, the company owner, recalls being depressed over the fact that she could no longer sell her fish at the wet markets, and she had no other livelihood but selling fish. That was long before she was introduced to these online platforms. “I was anxious about where to sell all the fish that I couldn’t sell to restaurants, supermarkets, and fish markets, but when I started selling online, I was just as busy as when I was selling in the brick-and-mortar store.”
These two businesses increased their sales to 150% within the first two weeks of the COVID-19 lockdowns, which was expected, as people were stocking up on food to prepare themselves for what might come next. For five months, fish and other fresh produce have doubled their sales in South East Asia. Indeed, businesses in almost all industries, even those in farming, are transforming online to adapt to the times and to seize new opportunities that have emerged from the effects of the global crisis.
Times Of Hardships And Challenges
Rumah Sayur Group, a farming cooperative in Indonesia, has tried its luck in online business to help thousands of their farmers from almost 90 villages to be able to sell their fresh produce. They formerly sold their products in hotels, cafes, restaurants, and supermarkets in Jakarta. This stopped when the pandemic happened, dropping their sales to over 60%. That was when they decided to join the bandwagon.
Pak Opik, an Indonesian farmer, sells unique vegetables like Japanese cucumbers and purple cabbages in the outside markets of Jakarta and Bandung. The present global health crisis has been quite challenging for all farmers, as they have been accustomed to selling their products through these traditional means. But the Sayur Group and its partnership with e-commerce, their harvests have reached consumers throughout the whole country, particularly during the present circumstances where people are having difficulty going to the market the way they did before the pandemic.
In Thailand, on the other hand, Lazada has also been working with their government to aid local farmers who usually export their fruits and find new customers in the local regions. Lazada made selling online possible by signing up approximately 50 fruit vendors during the fruit month campaign that happened just this month.
China’s giant e-commerce platform, Alibaba, launched the Taobao Live platform to introduce farmers and help them showcase their products through its Foodie Live stream channel, which has been connecting farmers all over China with its more than 40 million followers. The firm executives say that in the first three days of live streaming, 15 million products were sold.
The rise of the coronavirus pandemic has tremendously impacted commercial fishing. France’s quarantine guidelines, including the closure of bars and restaurants, implemented to prevent further spread of the infection have forced fishing ships to stop business and stay in port. In the country of Croatia, hundreds of fishing boats remained docked, and 80% of the white fish left unsold. Fishermen in Greece have been unable to sell their fish to the market because the borders have been closed. These are all true data gathered via satellite and other forms of observations. China and West Africa are not spared as well, with over 80% loss in their fishing business since the pandemic.
The worldwide drop in the fishing industry is not good news at all for anyone who earns from the sea, and fishermen all over the world are undeniably suffer. On the other hand, for those fish populations that are struggling – and the experts striving to help them recover – this unforeseen fishing slowdown has presented an opportunity. Somehow, this could eventually lead to a more sustainable means to navigate the oceans when the pandemic subsides.
Slowdowns In The Past
A few decades ago, several trends caused the slowdown of the world’s fish industry. Science published a study last 2019 showing decreasing fish stocks by more than 30% due to climate change. Additionally, there were cases of overfishing, which resulted in a reduced supply of sought-after types of fish, like Mediterranean swordfish and Bluefin tuna, by approximately 90%. As per the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization statistics, fishing boats go out to the sea and dock with only very few fish while consumption goes up yearly.
In the past, a lot of experts called for suspensions on specific types of fish, so their numbers will recover. This was a plea of one of the professors at the University of British Columbia, Mr. Daniel Pauly, who was an advocate for global moratoriums on high seas fishing. He said that suspending the catching of fish that were in deficient numbers would result in more affordable fishing, which makes sense.
The spread of the coronavirus infection has obligated such a pause upon the whole world. So what happens after? How will this pause affect the fish populations? A stoppage that lasts for a few months won’t have very much impact on the long-term. However, if the need for fish plunged due to a greater recession, then definitely operations could be slow to start and slow to recover. A stoppage of almost a year would probably enable those fish that are declining due to high demand to grow in number; thus, supply and demand will be equal.
Where It’s Going
In the months that commercial fishing has declined because of the pandemic, changes have been seen in fish behavior. Scientists have claimed that due to the decline in fishing boats, the smaller types of fish are visible on the ocean surface, while predators have become more active. The tuna fish, which formerly travels through the China Sea and into the Japanese fishing areas, are now seen to make a stop in the China Sea to feed.
Most of the large commercial fishing boats have docked for a month, according to people who monitor fishing activities through satellite. Chinese fishing activity typically slows down during the Chinese New Year, in January or February. This year, that decline has coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, after February, no activity has been seen yet. Reportedly, Chinese commercial fishermen are down by a million hours in fishing activity, although lately, little activity has been visible.
When this global pandemic soon subsides and disappears, there might be dangers of overfishing when fishers crowd the seas eager to go back to their livelihoods. Large fleets will take advantage of their size and dominate the seas, catching more fish and freezing them while they stay out at sea. Patrols and other organizations must be keen on stopping this. Big and small-time fishers must be equally gifted with the blessing of being able to fish again soon.
Attending the 2018 fishing event with my family is one of the best experiences I had. Since I love outdoors, I find it amusing to go on fishing as well. That is why I get excited knowing that there are so many benefits that I can get from fishing activity. But for me, the specific things I love about it are the following:
Conservation – Aside from fishing’s social bonding capabilities, it also helps in preservation. That is because many anglers value the significance of preserving the environment and the marine’s valuable habitat. That is why most fishers contribute to the wildlife programs that protect natural resources.
Stress Relief – Spending time outdoors and bobber fishing on a pond relieve stress. That is one of the mental health benefits of the activity. It allows mindfulness that connects you with nature. It reminds you that there are many beautiful things around you that you should be thankful for. It makes you appreciate every little living thing and how it contributes to life.
Recreation – Others think that fishing is a tedious activity. But contrary, fishing is fun. Not only it boosts your excitement level, but it also gives you a sense of fulfillment in doing something out of the ordinary. Aside from that, it is also a fun way of mental exercise where you practice focus and patience.
Enhanced Lifestyle – Fishing encourages a healthier way of life. Instead of eating unhealthy food, fishing allows you to be health-conscious. It helps you to become more aware of what you put in your body. It will make you prefer fresh meat instead of purchasing the ones in stores.
Well, some people may not see the benefits as others do. But for those who love the activity, they find it one of the best things to do.
Visiting Phuket, Thailand won’t be complete without having a taste of their seafood extravaganza. The island is not only known for its beautiful beaches but also for the rich marine life that has tourists and locals appreciate seafood more and eating the likes of giant prawns, crabs, and sweet shrimps should never be missed while you’re in this colorful island. (more…)
Fishing is one of those family-friendly activities that both parents and kids can enjoy. Not only does it give you the chance to bond with each other, but it also allows everyone to commune with nature and stay away from mobile devices even for at least a couple of hours.
The thing is, it is not always easy to coax the children to go fishing. That is especially true for those who are used to the city life where fish can either be seen in tanks or supermarkets. Some agree to come, considering you promise to get ice cream for them afterward. Others may show interest in the beginning, but they might drop the rod to do something else.
If you want the young ones to enjoy fishing as much as you do, here are some tips to remember.
1. Go Fishing During A Nice Weather
The first thing that makes kids act erratically is the changing weather. For instance, the sun’s shining brightly when you enter the car, but the rain started to pour as you are setting up. That can alter their mood and possibly cause them to whine and want to go home. Read more about it at Babble.
What you should do is find out the kind of weather that you can expect on the day that you plan on fishing with the family. The aspects you ought to look at are the chances of raining, humidity level, et cetera. This way, you will be able to decide if you picked a great day to fish or you have to reschedule it for the children’s sake.
2. Choose An Excellent Fishing Area
Another fact to keep in mind is that youngsters lack the patience that adults can typically exhibit when fishing. If you can sit beside the lake or on a boat for almost half the day without catching anything, the kids may feel bored after waiting for ten minutes or so. In case you love to stay still, well… you know that that’s not among the most excellent points of any child.
The ideal thing you can do is to look for a spot where fish is abundant. We are talking about unpolluted rivers, lakes, or even streams in which the children can catch something a few minutes after casting their line. That may prevent them from wandering around to, say, find a dragonfly or ask for their gadgets.
3. Settle With Basic Fishing Gears
Since you wish to fish with young kids, you should avoid buying expensive gears for them for the first time. You have no idea yet how much they will like the activity – or if they will even be okay with catching live fish. Some children, after all, get scared when they see it flapping around or splashing water on them.
For your little ones, therefore, it seems more practical to make a fishing rod out of a wooden stick instead of getting a real one in the beginning. It should not be difficult to tie a string on one end of a fallen twig or branch and attach the bait to it. If the experience makes your children want to go fishing with you again, then you may consider buying better equipment for them.
4. Don’t Stay Outdoors For Too Long
Fishing with children is different from doing it with adults – that’s for sure. The latter may not mind getting rained on, but the kids might catch the flu once they stay under the rain. Although you may find the activity calming too, you should know that the little ones always look for adventure more than relaxation.
That’s the reason why you cannot plan a full day outdoors when you are with kids. You may try it for an hour to check how they like the place. If they do, then you can return to your fishing spot again and perhaps extend your stay for a bit. As long as the idea of fishing seems fun for them, everything will be fine.
5. Pay Attention To Your Kids
Finally, you should remember to focus on the children – not on your fishing rod – no matter how much you love the activity. If you are concerned about the number of fish you can catch, then you should have brought them along another day. However, since your goal is to teach them how to fish, you need to ensure that they are enjoying themselves outdoors.
What most parents usually do is that they leave their pro fishing gears behind on purpose. If the children have to use improvised rods, they make something similar too. You will also be able to talk with the kids freely in this manner.
To Sum Things Up
Fishing with the people you love can bring you the best memories that you can hold on to for a long while. Try to teach your children how to fish so that you will be able to bond over this activity even when they are all grown up.
Situated 84 kilometers northwest of Phuket, Similan is one of the most popular island groups in the Andaman Sea. It is best known for the awesome surprise waiting right at the bottom of the clear blue waters surrounding it. Divers all over the world wanted to explore its richness. This little island is also frequented by many yachts and tourist boats.
What makes this archipelago so attractive? What attracts people into this little island is not just what is found on the island, but more of the exciting things you can see beneath. Countless and most breathtaking coral growths can be found only in Similan, that it has become the playing field for most divers.
Divers are interested in a place that has abundant marine life. They are experts when it comes to coral reefs, and diverse coral reef ecosystem is found in this tropic island of Similan.
When I first toured the island with my son, I was amazed to see these under-the-sea explorers jump from their boats and swim around. My son was one of them, and upon their return, we all watched the videos they took while they swam around the reefs. The reefs look weird and at the same time wonderful. They talked about how marveled they feel as these beautiful creations surrounded them. The reefs were just there, beautifully painting the underwater with its variety of colors, making it look splendid, as they serve as home to many different fishes and critters.
What Are Corals?
Many are confused about what corals are. Are they fish, plants, or rocks?
Corals are animals that look both like a plant and a rock. Coral reefs came into existence through the symbiosis of corals and algae that resides in their tissues. It provides them with food (photosynthesis) and the reason for their perfect, brilliant colors.
Colors Of The Rainbow
Watching my son and his team roaming the bottom, swimming around the reefs, I imagine them like those we see in the coloring books. I was actually just waiting for Sponge Bob to just come out from one of those colorful reefs.
The colors in the screen of what we were watching were so vibrant, ranging from brown, pink, yellow, purple, blue, more than the colors of the rainbow. They say these colors are produced depending on the mix of the algae that are found in their tissues. There are also corals that are fluorescent. The unusual patterns of colors are because of the outlandish concentrations of algae in those corals.
Types Of Corals
Different kinds of corals are identified into eight categories.
Massive corals are the pillars of most reefs. They look like boulders and their size varies, anywhere from the scope of tiny egg to a huge two-story house.
Encrusting corals are commonly seen on shipwrecks by divers. They are fast growing and form a crust on the bedrock and spread all over the surface creating a thin colorful exterior.
Table corals are also one you can recognize easily with its rising trunk and attached branches that expands horizontally and create the table-like assembly. They are identified with the El Nino effect and coral bleaching.
Elkhorn corals got its name from the horns of elks. They bulge out vertically growing many off shooting side branches.
Mushroom corals resemble a cup of a mushroom. These corals are solitary corals that settle on the ground, unattached. They could grow up to 25 cm in diameter.
Digitate corals are like fingers or big clumps of cigars. These corals have no branches and grow vertically.
Branching corals are the most common types of colorful small corals. They have a form like that of a tree that has many branches and that grew some secondary branches.
Foliose corals can be easily recognized by its broad plate-like winged part that protrudes from the coral bed. Most often, they are called salad corals or leaf corals because they bear a resemblance to giant lettuce head.
Diversity in the corals depends on many factors like its environment and geographical location. Some say that genetics can also play a role in their degree of variance. What we saw in Similan are different from what can be found in the Red Sea and the Caribbean.
Khao Lak Explorer Dive Center. Different Coral types and how to recognize them. Retrieved from https://www.khaolakexplorer.com/marine-life-guide/coral-types/.