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!
Burnout has become an increasingly big problem in our world today. It’s something that I am rather passionate about because I realized the other day that I have the occasional burnout myself.
Burn-out: a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
So today, I want to talk about what causes burnout as well as a few ways you can remedy it. Let’s get started:
WHAT CAUSES BURNOUT?
They include fatigue, cynicism, headaches and other physical symptoms, emotional exhaustion, and reduced performance.
There are a number of people who are susceptible to burnout more so than others. These people usually have a diagnosed mental health disorder such as depression or general anxiety disorder. However, burnout can happen to anyone and almost everyone reading this post can say that they’ve experienced it themselves.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT BURNOUT?
However, many employees feel they have been handed far too many projects to do in far too little time. Being open to discussions on lightening workload can really help your employees feel better.
You need to know that you’re going in to an environment that is conducive to productivity and mental care. Lastly, and please read closely, take your earned vacation time!
According to a survey from CNBC, only 28 percent of Americans plan to use all of their vacation days in 2019.
Use them all! At some companies, you earn vacation and sick time each time you get paid. At others, you are given an allowance of days to use. Either way, they are a part of your benefits, so use them.
SOCIAL MEDIA BURNOUT
Do you have tips for other content creators? Let everyone know in the comments below!
Recently, I heard news that 12 people had been killed by a man in Virginia Beach. The man, who's name I don't want to share because I don't want to glorify or publicize him, was described as a "disgruntled employee" who came in and shot down 12 people, injuring several others in the process.
Like everything else that happens after a mass shooting, the gun control debate came up yet again, despite the fact that the shooter was using a legally owned .45-caliber handgun with a silencer. Most gun control debates involve limiting the type of weapon, usually automatic weapons, available for sale to the public.
BUT WHY ARE WE SO FOCUSED ON THE TOOL OR METHOD OF KILLING RATHER THAN THE PERSON BEHIND IT?
MENTAL HEALTH IN MASS SHOOTERS
As I mentioned before, today's post does not intend to take blame away from the mass shooter. However, there are very limited resources and a strong negative stigma associated with mental illness all over the world and in the United States.
A lot of people either have no money to be treated for mental health problems, or they are told to just "get over it" by relatives, friends, classmates, teachers, and church officials.
I have general anxiety disorder. This means that I get anxious about certain things. I still operate normally in life and try to keep my reactions behind closed doors between trusted people like my mom, best friends, or my husband. However, I have had to fess up to my disorder to a church official who told me that, despite physical ailments that were coming to light because of my anxiety disorder, I still needed to come to church every single service, even if that meant distracting others.
I've had family members shrug off my issues. I've had coworkers unknowingly say things about my nervous energy in a bit of a negative way. Unless you've experienced my illness full-time, you don't know what it's like. Even if I told you.
WITH MANY SIDE EFFECTS OF MENTAL ILLNESSES TRANSLATING TO PHYSICAL HEALTH, MOST PEOPLE WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS WOULD GLADLY "GET OVER IT" IF THEY COULD, BUT OUR BRAINS ARE SICK
HOW WE CAN ALL HELP
1. STOP REACTING BADLY WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU ABOUT THEIR MENTAL HEALTH
Mental health problems are becoming increasingly more common as the years go on. If someone tells you they have a major mental health issue, don't get "creeped out." Many people who have major health issues are getting treatment of some sort. Don't villainize those who are upfront about their struggles.
3. CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT AND WORKER'S RIGHTS
Your representative can bring up your concerns in front of other representatives. They can help normalize the mental health talk in your country.
But another big thing that needs to be handled is worker's rights. A lot of other mass shooters are people who worked at the place they shot up, like the Virginia Beach shooting. Some employees who may have a hidden mental illness will try to take things into their own hands if their issues aren't being handled, if they feel there is a problem in the workplace, or if they feel unfairly compensated.
There are companies that don't give lunch time to their employees, don't provide proper breaks, and threaten to black-ball the employee if they leave for a new job. Americans need more time off and need to be compensated fairly to avoid mental exhaustion which might lead to depression or general anxiety disorder.
BE THE CHANGE
Speak out about unfairness toward those with mental illnesses and disorders. Instead of droning on about what gun someone used, look at that person's humanity and ask if we as a nation did enough to prevent what happened not at the gun store, but in the school, workplace, and the home.
I will say once again that while mental illnesses can't be "controlled," most reactions from them can be. Those who have committed a mass shooting should not be excused for the awful atrocities they've committed. I just think there is a better way to handle this issue.
I don't know about you guys, but I'm starting to get hot, and not in the preferred way! This week was the first week where many days had a high of more than 90 degrees.
As someone who absolutely hates heat, I wanted to share some health tips that can make you feel more comfortable is seemingly unbearable weather conditions this summer. Keep reading for my four tips!
1: PEPPERMINT OIL CAN HELP YOU COOL DOWN
She told me to dab a bit behind both of my ears and on my wrists. As someone who easily overheats, I was shocked that this worked so well. If you also find yourself getting overheated, try some peppermint oil!
2: WEAR SUNSCREEN IF YOU'RE GOING OUT IN THE SUN
No matter if you "think you'll burn or not," take some extra measures to protect your skin! Not only can this save you from potential medical issues later, you won't have to deal with sunburns!
3: REDUCE CHANCES OF SKIN BURNS IN THE CAR
4: CHILL YOUR SKINCARE
5: MAKE YOUR WATER MORE INTERESTING
juice and strawberry flavoring, to an ice cube mold. After the ice is made, you just add it to water to not only keep it cool, but also add natural flavors to the water. This makes drinking water much more appealing, which will keep you hydrated all summer long!
6: CHANGE UP YOUR LIFESTYLE OVER THE SUMMER
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a pretty bad skin caretaker. Yes, I was that person who didn’t mind sleeping in old makeup or scratching away at dry spots. But recently, I decided that enough was enough, and I needed to try something new.
I reached for Tarte's new cleanser brush as well as the company’s Squeezy Clean face wash. I want to tell you, from my experience, five things to think about when starting a new skincare routine:
1: IT'S COMMON TO HAVE A FEW MORE BREAKOUTS AFTER STARTING A NEW ROUTINE
Tip: If you start to break out in hives, you may be allergic to the skincare product. Discontinue use until you speak with your doctor.
2: IT'S OK TO CUSTOMIZE
3: USE BRUSHES FOR YOUR ROUTINE
Lastly, using a reusable brush to remove your makeup, cleanse your face, and moisturize your face will reduce waste that is commonly associated with makeup removing wipes and swabs. I never have any residue left on my skin, and I always feel like my skin has been exfoliated and cleaned thoroughly.
4: SCIENCE VS. THE PRODUCT
5: DON'T FORGET ABOUT YOUR OTHER SKIN
This is why I stopped using Bath and Body Works soaps. My skin was just SO dry! But, I will say that the aromatherapy lotions, specifically the one for stress, are highly moisturizing. I actually ran out!
Tell me below what other skincare tips you have!