Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages an acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. Around Christmas time, we see a spike in this ideal.
I always thought it was interesting that so many people took to shops mere hours after sharing a Thanksgiving meal to nearly trample others for some good holiday deals.
There are many ways consumerism damages our minds. Here are a few:
FEAR OF MISSING OUT (FOMO)
We want what they have, which can make us wildly unappreciative of the many things we do have that other may have to live without.
While this is always a good option, it kind of encourages people to spend money they don't have.
It can hurt to be unable to do what you would really like to for others over the holidays. However, most people who want what is best for you will be perfectly content with fewer gifts or even no gifts over the holidays.
IT CAN MAKE US FEEL DEPRESSED
However, it can be sad if you want or need these things to produce better work, but you simply can't afford them.
HOW TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES
These are a few ways that your mental and financial health can be threatened by consumerism this season. Here are a few ideas to help you resist the urge to go into debt or to battle feelings of sadness related to FOMO:
As you all know, I've been posting content pretty much every day this month either on my channel or right here on my blog. It is around this season and into December when many bloggers and content creators decide to take the challenge of posting something every day on their respective outlets.
Posting every single day, especially when you don't do that already, can take a toll on a number of different aspects of your health. For me, it has taken a toll on my mental and financial health. So, what did I learn and what can someone do if they've been posting every day and are finally coming to the end of their posting spree? Here are some ideas:
TAKE A BREAK
I asked a question on Twitter the other day to see if anyone had suggestions on how to recover when your blogging becomes overwhelming. The answers were clear: take some time off.
My thoughts tell me that this isn't a good idea because all of the most successful content creators credit consistency for their success. However, you can't be your best on your blog or YouTube channel if you're not at your best personally.
GET SOMEONE TO GUEST POST FOR YOU
Guest posting can help to relieve some of the stress you've built up and can help you to take some time off while knowing everything is still running smoothly. I personally haven't had anyone guest post unless it was a part of a series, but I know a number of bloggers do it. It works and it keeps your audience engaged while you're out.
STREAMLINE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
This may cost you a bit of money each month, but it is an investment into the success of your blog or YouTube channel. I know if I had a social media cross-posting tool over this blogoween/vlogoween time, I would have been much less stressed and would have saved a lot of time.
GET BACK INTO SELF CARE AND MAKE A PROMISE
Get back into your self care routine if you slipped out of it, but be sure to make a promise to yourself to put your body and your mental health first. Blogs and videos aren't more important than your health.
TRY NOT TO OVER-COMMIT NEXT TIME
I've made more commitments to do things, so I can't expect that I'll have the same amount of time to do them and do them well. Focus on what's important to you. If you have sick family members, you should plan to see them. However, you should maybe skip a party or something else that is less important to focus on your content.
Halloween is most known for scares and sweets, which can be daunting to those who are trying to stay healthy this season. What could prove to be difficult this season is teaching your children healthy habits to accompany celebrations this season.
While I don't have my own children, I've watched a fair number of them and their attitude around the holiday. Today, I want to share with you four health and wellness concepts you can teach to your children this Halloween.
1: HOW TO EAT CANDY IN MODERATION
Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think they should have to do anything they wouldn't normally do for the candy. If they usually do their homework or do some exercise, this will be OK. They already kind of worked for the candy by walking to each house. Just teach them how to eat it a little at a time and teach them about what can happen if they eat too much candy at once (belly aches, sugar rushes, etc.).
2: HOW TO CHECK PACKAGING
This is so terrifying. I'm not even a mom and it breaks my heart to know that some kids might fall victim to this over the season and, unless you're paying close attention to where each piece of candy is coming from, you likely won't be able to know who gave your child this disturbing treat.
You can follow this guide that I found to check your candy and keep hazardous things away from your children.
3: WALKING TO TRICK-OR-TREAT
4: MENTAL HEALTH STIGMA
It would be really helpful if you tell your children that the straight-jacket-wearing, bug-eyed, hysterically laughing crazy person is just a stereotype linked to mental illness. It is important that they know some people do fit that descriptor, but it is rarer than someone with more common mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.
As a mental health advocate myself, I always think teaching your children about mental health and letting them know that they can talk to you is always a good idea. Halloween, for this reason, could be a great teachable holiday for tackling this difficult topic with your children.
Lately, I've been upping my game on eating healthier. I'm pretty much a dedicated water drinker, although I do always have at least one cup of coffee a day. I recently got some snacks that I love that are healthy and also help address my graving for something sugary or fatty. HERE WE GO!
1: FREEZE DRIED FRUITS
2: CARROTS AND RANCH DRESSING
3: CHEESE STICKS
Happy #WellnessWednesday, everyone. For today’s post, I wanted to brag on my FitBit for, well, a bit! This wearable piece of technology has done wonders for my health. Let me tell you four reasons why you need to get a FitBit (or a similar tracker) for yourself:
1: THEY ARE STYLISH
You can find inter-changeable bands of any type, I personally like my silver magnetized one.
2: IT DOUBLES AS A WATCH AND NOTIFICATION CENTER
3: THEY CAN HELP YOU KEEP TRACK OF VIRTUALLY ALL FACETS OF YOUR HEALTH
4: YOU CAN ADD FRIENDS, BE A PART OF A COMMUNITY, AND PARTICIPATE IN CHALLENGES
Add them as friends and you can participate in challenges like “Work Week Hustle” or “Weekend Warrior.” If you win, you are given a “badge” on your app! It’s a virtual way of congratulating you on working so hard.
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Do you use a fitness tracker? If so, why? If not, is there a reason?
North Carolina is an amazing place to live. However, I wish we didn't have such humid weather in the summer. Last week, things at my job ramped up. We had a ton of photoshoots and things to attend outside and my hair and body was having none of it.
Naturally, when you're busy, you forget to keep hydrated. That's exactly what happened to me. A few days ago, I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a bus. I knew immediately that it was due to dehydration.
So, since my blog has served as a source of information gathering for myself and for all of you lovely people reading this, I wanted to look up some tips on how to stay hydrated in humid weather. Let's get started:
1: AVOID THE HOTTER HOURS
2: DRINK ELECTROLYTES
Sports drinks like Gatorade help to replenish your electrolytes, which keep your muscles from cramping while also keeping you hydrated. It also helps that sports drinks are flavored!
3: LIMIT SODAS AND ALCOHOL
4: EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
College season is rapidly approaching. Some of you reading this might already be in college or have children who are already on campus somewhere. Trust me when I say that the freshman 15 (or the freshman 50 for some people) is a thing. Additionally, burnout, anxiety disorders, and depression can form during collegiate years.
I will say that I didn't do the best I could to stay and my best. But, I know some things now that I wish I had known then! In today’s #WellnessWednesday post, I will be giving you a few tips to assuring your mental and physical health stays as balanced as possible during your time in college. Let’s get started!
LEARN QUICKLY THAT IT IS OK TO SAY NO
Learning quickly to say no so that you can focus on your mental health and your scholastic health will be good in the long run.
DON’T TREAT THE CAFETERIA LIKE A BUFFET
It may be tempting at first, but use your will power to keep yourself away from eating excessively.
SAY NO TO FAST FOOD RUNS EVERY NOW AND THEN
ENGAGE YOUR SPIRIT
For some, this means going to church. For others, it may be meditation. Heck, some people may connect with their spiritual self with a face mask, a lit candle, and some soft music. Do what you can to engage your spiritual side.
TRY TO WALK EVERYWHERE
I also wore makeup and dressed relatively nice at least a few days a week. I drove at that point. However, when I lived in my sorority house, I was able to walk to classes and the cafeteria with ease!
MAKE YOURSELF A SCHEDULE
It is so important, and it is something I wish I had known years before.
Like many writers, I love to write about experiences that I have that I know other people have dealt with themselves. I recently noticed that most of my health and wellness posts are about keeping my brain healthy more so than keeping my body health.
I need to have my head in the right mental state to start losing weight again. How many times can someone say that they were mentally or emotionally exhausted, so they ordered out for their dinner?
As for me, I do this a lot. I don't have a physically demanding job. In fact, my job is considered a desk job. I spend my lunch time eating my lunch in hopes that it gives me the boost of mental energy I need to get through the day. I have the most energy in the morning, but spend that on my blog or YouTube channel trying to make it better.
At the end of the day, I feel exhausted mentally. And, thanks to my anxiety disorder, I feel emotionally exhausted on some days.
An update on me, specifically, is that I am still maintaining my last weight loss weigh in. However, I'm really wanting to move forward and lose more, purely for my health.
I found a few tips that are supposed to help motivate weight loss:
1: SET GOALS AND REWARDS
I plan to continue using the goals and rewards system to help motivate me. I need something awesome to work toward.
2: VIEWING WORKOUTS LIKE YOU WOULD A SHOWER, BRUSHING YOUR TEETH, OR EATING
Some health professionals say that you only really need about an hour workout to start losing weight while eating healthy. They say to look at working out as you would any other self-care routine.
3: USING HEALTH APPS
Some of my favorite health apps include the FitBit App as well as an app that tries to make sure you're drinking enough water. You basically get a virtual plant. When you drink water, you log it and your plant drinks water, too. Your goal is to help your plant grow big and strong.
I also want to find some quick workout apps. If you have suggestions, leave them below!
4: ENTERTAIN YOURSELF
She is usually in a crate all day, and I sometimes wouldn't get to the gym until 4 or 5. I would stay for an hour and then get home at 6 or 7, leaving only a few hours for her to be out of her crate.
I'm thinking of listening to a podcast while I walk her in the mornings. I definitely think mornings are going to be better for me, mostly because it is cooler outside and I have more energy at that time.
When I'm working, I find that listening to TedTalks can be therapeutic and enlightening. After having a tough week a few weeks ago, I decided to look up some TedTalks on attitude and anxiety.
After clicking on one TedTalk and listening to it, I was recommended the below video from Isabelle Mercier-Turcotte. I promise that this 20 minutes will help change your perceptions on worry!
"What you tolerate, you worry about." According to Isabelle, more than 90 percent of Americans wake up worrying about something. She said that 40 percent of what we worry about will never happen. That's like putting a downpayment on a house you won't own. She goes on to talk about the fact that 30 percent of what we worry about has actually already happened! And 12 percent of what we worry about is health issues that aren't actually cause for concern.
Isabelle wraps up her TedTalk with a formula for dealing with worry: H.E.R.O:
H- Hush. Take some time for yourself and quiet your worries.
E- Evaluate. Is this something worth worrying about, or one of those needless worries?
R- Ritualize. Come up with a way to deal with worry.
O- Own. Own yourself. Don't let others cause you to negotiate.
WHY THIS SPOKE TO ME
It is so simple to change your perception on this. I'm not saying that I don't worry anymore, but simply that I worry a little less about trivial things.
As a matter of example on a change that I've made, I have decided to delete my work email off of my phone. A ton of successful people do this. This has allowed me to stop checking my email when I'm not on the clock. I find that, sometimes, checking my email can cause stress when I'm supposed to be out of my work environment and in my home environment.
HOW TO DECIDE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES
Your non-negotiable might be that you must leave time at the end of the day to spend an hour taking care of yourself. If anything interferes, you're not going to worry about it!
My non-negotiables are:
This is my base list! I'm still working on this and probably always will! I hope you will start taking this approach to dealing with worry.
In the U.S. alone, more than 40 million adults over the age of 18 suffer from anxiety disorders. It’s one of the most common mental health-related problem in the U.S., and likely the world.
I myself was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder in college a few years ago. To be fair, I did push myself to the limits when it came to involving myself in not only my school work, but also various clubs and organizations around campus.
I decided to test four anxiety help and management apps that were recommended by websites around the internet. Each of these apps are completely free to download, but you will have the option to purchase additional features here and there. Here’s what I found:
App Description: “Worries exist for everyone. Worry Float helps you release your worries by visualizing your worries floating away. Naming your worry helps bring mindfulness and awareness into the moment. Then you let it go."
As soon as your balloon makes its way into the distance, an affirming, “and there it goes” message pops up on the screen, along with a happy-looking sun.
My opinion on this is that, while it is a good way to visualize your anxiety, it isn’t going to take it away. I felt just as concerned about college debt when I typed it on the balloon as I did when it floated away.
App Description: “Meditation made easy. Calm is the #1 app for meditation and mindfulness. Enjoy 100+ guided meditations to help you manage anxiety, lower stress, and sleep better. Calm is the perfect mindfulness app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users.”
You then have to sign up for an account (no credit card needed) and then you are asked to purchase the full app.
While there were a few free things to listen to, I was disappointed to see that most everything was locked. I get that the company needs to make money, but I hate to be tricked into thinking something is free only to be hoodwinked.
Anyway, I was able to listen to one of the 7 Days of Calming Anxiety. It was soothing and did make me feel calmer. So, my overall opinion is that I like the concept, but I wish more was available for those who don’t have money to subscribe. Ads are a common way a brand can make money for providing free content. Subscriptions costs $12.99 a month. Or, if you have the cash to spend, you can pay $300 for a lifetime subscription. I honestly could see myself using this if it wasn’t so expensive.
COLOR BY NUMBER COLORING GAME
App Description: Color by number in a new, addictive game. Choose from a variety of super-fun images and follow the numbers to bring them to life. Coloring has never been this easy. Anti-stress coloring is the perfect relaxing activity!”
While you can pay to unlock special photos, there are a fair number of free pictures that you can color. I would most definitely recommend downloading this app. I think it is my favorite in the bunch!
App Description: Moods is the fastest and easiest way to record your current mood, which can be critical to maintaining good mental health.”
However, this is a great app to use if your doctor or psychiatrist wants you to log your mood changes. I didn’t get any demand to subscribe, which was awesome, and you can add custom notes. This could be helpful in determining treatment based off of your feelings.
I think that all of these apps can be useful if you’re willing to pay for most of them. Although I was bummed about the cost of the Calm app, you can always find a free copycat or subscribe if you have the money. The sounds and narrators are soothing for sure.
My favorite app was the coloring one. I think if getting your mind off of your anxiety is what helps you relax, this is the app for you. It makes you concentrate for a bit while presenting you with positive, cute images!