It's winter, at least where I am! Not only are you likely facing colder weather, but you're probably about to gather with a ton of friends and family for the holidays. These eight tips will help keep you as healthy as possible this holiday season!
1. KEEP YOUR HANDS CLEAN
2. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP
3. STAY HYDRATED
4. GET MOVING
5. DESTRESS FOR A BETTER WINTER
If you've been a pretty loyal reader of my blog, you know that I suffer from anxiety, particularly medical anxiety I would say. But, around this time of year, a different form of anxiety plagues many people, making it really hard for them to enjoy the season.
So, I thought I would share some information on seasonal affective disorder to spread awareness and urge those who are experiencing symptoms to seek help and guidance.
WHAT IS SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER?
Biologically speaking, scientists and researchers agree that less sunlight due to Daylight Savings Time can cause some people's bodies to react by reducing serotonin and melatonin which control mood and sleep respectively.
The fall and winter seasons are also hard for people who feel alone. During these times of year, people are normally filled with cheer, are giving gifts, and laughing with their family members. SAD can come around if someone they loved passed away in that season, if they feel they can't contribute financially to various celebrations, and so forth.
WHO DOES SAD EFFECT?
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF SAD?
SAD symptoms include:
WHY YOU SHOULD SEEK HELP
SAD can cause you to act out of character or harm yourself, and I'm praying that you don't do that. Everyone who was placed on this earth has a purpose. You mean something. If you don't feel like you mean something to anyone you know in person, you mean so much to me. Your life is precious and I don't want this illness to take anyone else from this world.
SAD, however, can be treated or at least managed by going to various therapies, exercising to reduce stress, or through medications.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, I hope you will seek professional help. If you don't have the means to do so, you can always search for anonymous chat lines and chat rooms where you can talk about your problem with a professionally-trained coach.
You are worth it. Get help so that you can feel better and so that you can brave each and every day knowing that you have someone in your corner.
Welcome to the first Wellness Wednesday of Blogmas! I'm getting so excited about the holidays ahead. I've recently joined a gym and I'm trying to be consistent about going, but the winter weather can make me want to curl up in my bed and stay warm.
So grab your water bottle and get ready for some tips that will help you ace your workout and stay healthy in the cold!
MOVE YOUR WORKOUTS INSIDE
PROTECT YOUR HEAD AND EARS
PACK ON THE LAYERS
FUEL YOUR BODY WITH HOT COFFEE
These are only five ways you can exercise and stay healthy in the winter weather that December brings. I hope some of these were helpful to you. Do you have another tip? Leave it in the comments below!
Thanksgiving calories don't count, right? I wish! If you're trying to stay trim around the holidays, Thanksgiving can be difficult, especially if you have more than one stop to make to visit different family members!
In today's blog post, I'll be giving you some tips on ways you can eat Thanksgiving Dinner without packing on too many pounds!
START WITH WATER
AVOID BREADY FOODS
PACK YOUR PLATE WITH PROTEIN & VEGGIES
GO BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING
LIMIT YOUR DESSERTS
SAY NO TO EXTRA ALCOHOL
As you can see, maintaining your diet and weight is possible, even at Thanksgiving! Do you have any more tips? Leave them in the comments below.
Everyone handles their anxiety differently, but I always love to do some research to see if someone has any new ideas on handling their anxiety. Sometimes these tips and tricks work, and other times they won’t. It just depends on the person and their level anxiety.
I would say that I’m a fairly anxious person. I’ve opened up about this in a number of blog posts. I find myself worrying over the smallest of things, like the way I spoke to someone or like small symptoms that I worry to be a sign of a bigger problem.
I know, however, that many have it a lot harder than I do. But, I hope this list of coping mechanisms and relaxation tips will help you as much as they help me!
MAKING A VIDEO DIARY
Sometimes, I feel even more anxious and depressed when I talk out loud to myself because, in all honesty, it makes me feel crazy. So, to remedy this, I decided to whip out my iPhone when I have something I need to talk about.
I record myself talking in vlog style. I just kind of open up about the struggles of the day and the frustrations I’m going through. I normally delete my videos because I don’t want to clog up my phone’s memory space. I think it would be really cool if someone created a video diary app where people could record their feelings and see where they used to be in their anxiety journey.
I love this mostly because it helps me get out my frustration and, during my little talks with my “audience,” I often find a new perspective in my feelings that helps me better deal with things.
USING AN OIL DIFFUSER OR CANDLE IN STRESSFUL ZONES
We all have different areas in our home or place of business that are more stressful than others. For me, it is my home office area and my regular office at my job. For myself, scents are powerful and really help me to calm down in stressful situations.
I really recommend an oil diffuser, especially if you aren’t allowed to have candles in your work place like myself. You can purchase oils that are specifically for stress relief. My favorite oil to use is a lavender oil. It really helps to destress a stressful environment.
MAKING LISTS AND SCHEDULES
I can honestly say that creating a to-do list or a schedule really helps me. For example, I bought myself a cheap planner to use for scheduling my blog posts. It helps me to stay organized and I can easily change my post ideas with some white-out.
I have another example. This past weekend, I went back home to help my mom declutter and clean my grandparents’ room. She had made a list of things to do, but they weren’t organized by type. I decided to organize the lists by what needed to be done outside of the house, in my grandparents’ room, in their bathroom, in my mom’s room, and around the house. Then, we were able to prioritize and get the most important things done before moving on to secondary tasks.
PLAYING BRAIN GAMES
I find that I tend to have fewer and fewer anxious episodes when my mind is busy. For that reason, I start almost every day with some brain games. I have two apps on my phone for this particularly. I normally plan a round of sudoku and a game of solitaire. Not only does this help me activate my brain and get it ready for the day, it also helps to take my mind of off super stressful things happening in the background of my life.
KNOWING WHEN IT IS TIME FOR A BREAK
I feel like a ton of people who struggle with anxiety tend to try to be people pleasers for the most part. For me, it’s all because of how I feel someone sees me. I don’t want to be seen as a bad friend for not wanting to hang out, a bad family member for not wanting to help out, or a bad employee for needing a break or being unable to complete something in someone’s desired timeframe.
But, I try to remember back to three or four years ago when I was in college and had to give up some of my leadership positions in my various groups because I simply couldn’t handle the stress. In college, I was the drum major of the band, the editor of the newspaper for three years, in a sorority where I was the president, in gospel choir where I was the president, and in a number of academic honor societies that had different requirements. On top of all of that, I was taking classes full-time.
I decided that I wouldn’t stop being in any of my groups, but I would give up leadership positions in some of them, mainly in my sorority. A group of people actually decided to let someone else be editor of the newspaper my senior year, so that also helped.
But, it is OK and good to take a mental health break. If you have some vacation days at work or you are able to take a long weekend, do it. Even if you just sit at home and watch your favorite shows. You don’t have to go somewhere to relax your mind!
DOING SOMETHING I LOVE
Whenever I'm feeling anxious, it always helps when I do something that I love to take my mind off of that thing that's making me anxious. For myself, that is usually watching a movie, baking, or writing. It is sometimes honestly just going to a room on my own and listening to my favorite music.
Your hobbies will change as you age, and your hobbies will be different. This one really works if you have some friends who also enjoy them. This gives you the chance to be around people who love you doing something you both love to do!
There are a ton of ways out there to cope with anxiety. I know there are many I didn't even mention. If you have any tips or tricks to coping with anxiety attacks, please let me know below in the comments so I can give them a try. I hope these few tips can help someone else out there!
LEGAL: All photos taken from Pixabay.com, a Creative Commons website that requires no attribution for photo use.
Candy is one of the best parts of Halloween, but it can also be one of the most unhealthiest parts of Halloween.
No matter if you're a child or an adult hoping to sneak some of your kids candy after they nod off, candy can be dangerous if you eat too much at once. It can cause you to crash, add a ton of excess calories to your diet, and so on and so forth.
I'm not making this post to say that candy is this terrible thing and you are dumb if you have a few pieces this Halloween. Instead, I had my own interest piqued and wanted to learn how many calories some of our favorite Halloween candy held.
So, if you want to know how many calories are in Halloween candy, keep reading!
CANDY CORN, CANDY PUMPKINS
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
A crispy cookie surrounded by caramel and chocolate sounds pretty good right?
These little crunchy candies allow for a serving size of three which will cost you 150 calories, making them 50 calories each. The candies also contain 7 grams of fat, 60 mg of sodium, a gram of protein, and 20 grams of carbohydrates (15 g from sugar).
Suggested way to burn those calories: To burn off these candies, walk up and down a flight of stairs six to eight times!
Butterfinger Bar Minis
3 Musketeers Minis
Lollipops are all made differently. For this blog post, I wanted to get a lollipop that had bubblegum in them, because I remember getting those often when I was a kid.
This brand has a serving size of one for 60 calories. The only other listed nutrition is 16 grams of carbohydrates (12 grams from added sugar).
Suggested way to burn those calories: Seven minutes of kickboxing!
MilkyWay Midnight Minis
Tootsie rolls are a type of chocolate caramel if I'm not mistaken! They are peanut- and gluten-free for those who have allergies.
You can have five Tootsie Rolls for 120 calories, making one 24 calories. Other nutrition includes 2.5 grams of fat, 10 mg of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates (17 grams of sugar), 12 mg of calcium, and 33 mg of potassium.
Suggested way to burn those calories: Play a round of basketball for about 15 to 20 minutes to burn off the calories you ate when you had five Tootsie Rolls!
Candy is delicious, but it certainly adds up. If you have JUST ONE PIECE of each of these candies, you will have eaten 413.8 calories! Keep that in mind when you reach your hand into the trick-or-treat candy bowl next week!
As for me, I've decided to spread the calories in the form of Halloween treat bags for my seven coworkers!
Was your favorite candy listed? If not, do some research and see how many calories it would cost you to have a single piece on Halloween!
Yet another Wellness Wednesday is upon us, so I wanted to make sure I added some physical wellness things into the mix for today's blog post. So, I would like to share a few ideas to help you "spook" up your workout this Halloween season, no matter if you lead a fitness class or work out at home.
So, grab a towel, head to your workout space, and try these workout tips. Maybe, actually, you should read them before heading to the gym. There are a few things you might need.
SUBSTITUTE YOUR WEIGHTED BALL FOR A PUMPKIN
THE FRANKENSTEIN WALK
ESCAPE THE KILLER
You've come upon a muddy pond and you have to walk through it. Lunge your way through the water (20 lunges)!
You see the police station! Run another 1/4 mile to safety!
TRICK OR TREAT FOR EXERCISES
HALLOWEEN CANDY WORKOUTS
Compile a list of Halloween candies and look up the calories it will cost you. Do different exercises to help you burn off the calories for each one. If you want to, you can always indulge in a few pieces of candy post workout, or you can burn those calories and let that be that!
- Let everyone in the group dress up for your next workout session or class.
- Watch a Halloween movie and do a set number of a certain workout every time a specified action is performed or
a specific word is mentioned.
- Let everyone come up with a workout that is Halloween inspired and perform them as a group.
Use these various workout ideas to help make your Halloween workout spooktacular! Do you have a workout idea? Let me know in the comments below.
Your skin is the largest organ in (or rather, on) your body! This means that it needs a lot of attention to stay healthy, but we often neglect our skin by forgetting to wash off our makeup and moisturize.
In the fall, skincare is essential. Chilly nights can leave your skin dry and flaky, and the winter months, which are just around the corner, will further damage the skin you neglect to take care of in the fall.
So, I wanted to share with you my skincare routine. I'll let you know how often I do these steps and hopefully I'll help someone out!
1. REMOVE YOUR MAKEUP
As for me, I use the Beauty 360 makeup wipes for sensitive skin. It does a great job of scrubbing deep to remove your makeup. After that, I usually use a cleanser to remove whatever is left. I use a generic cleanser from my local Walmart (pictured below). I remove my makeup this way every day!
2. USE A FACE MASK
3. USE A SUGAR SCRUB
4. USE AN ASTRINGENT
I recommend doing this if you tend to be acne prone. For me, I only break out a few times a month, so I like to use this each day after I use my cleanser. I use the Clean & Clear Deep Cleaning Astringent. If you're not sure what it does, an astringent contains salicylic aside that helps to fight off acne and prevent pimples. I just use clean hands to apply this, but some may use a cotton round or cotton ball. I use my astringent every day.
LOVE THE SKIN YOU'RE IN!
LEGAL: All photos in this blog post were taken by me.
Pumpkins have historically been linked to the fall season, no doubt because that is when they grow best, but also because of their connection with Halloween.
So, since today is Wellness Wednesday, I decided that it would be a good idea to tell you all some of the health benefits associated with this festive fall fruit (yes, pumpkin is a fruit)!
1. PUMPKINS HELP KEEP YOUR EYES SHARP
We’ve all heard that carrots have the ability to keep are eyesight at its best. This is actually thanks to carotenoids, the pigment responsible for giving carrots their orange color.
This same pigment is found in pumpkins. So, if you eat pumpkin, you’re getting those benefits. Carotenoids are, according to EJ Johnson, thought to “provide health benefits in decreasing the risk of disease, particularly certain cancers and eye disease.”
So, if you’ve yet to consume some pumpkin, you should get on that soon!
2. IT CAN DRY UP OILY SKIN
According to StyleCraze.com, one face treatment using the power of the pumpkin can keep your face from getting oily.
All you have to do, according to the site, is mix a tablespoon of pureed pumpkin with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar.
Dampen your face and apply the mask. Leave it until it is dried (up to 30 minutes) and rinse. Repeat this for an oil-free face!
3. IT MAKES RESTLESS NIGHTS DISAPPEAR
4. IT CAN ZAP AWAY YOUR ACNE
5. ITS SEEDS CAN STOP HEART DISEASE IN ITS TRACKS
If you’re not too fond of eating the gooey contents of the pumpkin, you can always munch on this squash’s seeds. Pumpkin seeds are high in phytosterols. This is a molecule that is closely related to cholesterol. However, the phytosterols are actually better for you than cholesterol. Their close relation actually makes them the perfect thing to fight and reduce bad cholesterol in your body!
6. HELPS YOU GROW LONG, LUSCIOUS LOCKS
7. PUMPKINS ARE A SUPER FOOD
So, now you know the incredible benefits of eating or using pumpkin! I hope you feel inspired to give this super squash a try.
LEGAL STATEMENT: All photos used were found using the "free to use or share, even commercially" filter via Google.com and do not require attribution. Contact Google for more information.
As far as medical conditions go, it is safe to say that things aren't always as they appear. However, sometimes, conditions can be very visible, but can appear as something much different. For me, answers came when my mom took a 23AndMe quiz when learning about her heritage.
I don't want to freak anyone out or trigger anyone, so I will link photos a bit farther down the page so that you don't see them if you don't want to. If you're triggered by scabs or blood (not a lot of it), then please click off of this blog. I don't want to lose you as a reader, and I don't want to set something off in you that makes you feel uncomfortable. I will use pictures of me until we get further down the page so that you don't see anything you don't want to.
was a bad habit, but I seem to fit the reasoning behind the skin-picking. When I looked it up myself, it said that most people who have this condition are genetically predisposed, meaning their relatives may also have this condition. It is also common in people with OCD, although I have never been diagnosed with it before.
For me, scabs normally start as bug bites, scratches, or pimples. I usually pick at my skin when I'm bored, but mostly find myself doing it in high-stress times. I also pick my skin because I hate the feeling of scabs and I hate how they look. I would much rather pick the scab than leave this big ugly red thing on my skin, but I just can't seem to help it.
MY CONDITION AND MY RELATIONSHIPS
Both my mom and my husband constantly scold me for picking at my arms. They use reason, which is good, but obviously that doesn't make me stop. Even while writing this, I have found myself stopping for a minute or two to scrape off dry skin or pick at my scabs. I'm not doing it intentionally.
The best way I can describe it is based off of a documentary my mom and I recently watched together. It was following a dirt bike rider who had crashed and become paralyzed. He said that he had to concentrate really hard and actually tell his brain and body parts to do something in order to move. I have to try really hard and repeat to myself not to pick at my skin.
My husband and mom both put up with it though, although they both think I can stop whenever I want. I've actually struggled with this for a long time, but never had a name for it. I remember a family member telling me in high school that people might think I was a drug user because of all of the scabs, as several drug users scratch at their skin or damage it with needles.
In the next section, I will add pictures of my arms so that you can see what they look like and how they impact my daily life. This is your warning, because I can't figure out any way to "click to reveal" the photo so you don't have to see it!
MY FEELINGS ON MY DERMATILLOMANIA
My dermatillomania bothers me more than I'd like to admit. I find myself constantly stopping to scratch. Sometimes, I will scratch myself until I bleed, sometimes even at work. I have gotten better about scratching and picking during meetings, but it still happens sometimes. I wish you could turn off a mental problem when you wanted to, but it isn't that easy. Now for some pictures.
The middle photo is my arm at the time of writing this blog. It isn't too bad, but you can visibly see scabs that are redder than others and my insanely dry skin. The other two photos are actually screen grabs from one of my YouTube videos where my husband and I played a game on a road trip. You can see my arm in both of the shots, and it looks very "dotted" and red.
This is what I struggle with. It is hard for me to take photos and videos where my arms are visible, because I know it probably looks gross and ugly. I mainly pick my arms and hands. I will sometimes pick at my legs and I often pick at my face due to the pimples that pop up and sometimes scab over. However, those are a bit easier to hide with makeup, as you can see in the screen grabs.
I really hope I didn't gross anyone out. These pictures aren't too bad, but I know that people can be triggered by this. I just thought I'd do something a bit different for today's Wellness Wednesday post. I hope that you learned something new. I only have one other friend with this condition, and he is actually my BEST friend funnily enough!
Do you have this condition or know someone who does? If so, do you have any tricks or tips for keeping your dermatillomania under control? Let me know in the comments!
LEGAL: All photos are my own.