5 Easy Ways To Live Healthier And Happier This Summer

5 Easy Ways To Live Healthier And Happier This Summer

Pick up on these healthy habits now while you have some free time.
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It’s finally summer! There are so many ways you could spend each day. While the weather's nice and your moods elevated, why not pick up a few healthy habits? With more time on your hands and no classes to worry about, this is the perfect time to focus on your health. Here are some super achievable goals to strive for this season:

1. Actually getting 6 or more hours of consistent sleep.

Thank god finals week is over and late night study sessions can halt for a couple months. It is recommended that adults get 6-10 hours of sleep per night, so aiming to get a healthy amount this summer should be a no-brainer. Sleep in a little later or go to bed early some nights. That extra 30 minutes counts!

2. Eating right.

Hello, fruit season! Summer is prime time for fresh fruits and veggies. With the sun beaming down on crops around the world, healthy options will be available almost everywhere. Start your day off with some watermelon or strawberries. You'll get the nutrients from the fruit and feel great too! Click here for some in-season options!

3. Spending more time in the sun.

Exposing your skin to the sun allows your body to produce vitamin D, a vitamin which is shown to reduce the risk of multiple diseases. Depending on your skin type you need 20-120 minutes in the sun to produce a substantial amount of vitamin D. Hit the beach and get that vitamin D!

4. Working out.

Let’s be real who hasn’t started a summer body workout plan and ditched it sooner than later. However, working out in the summer can be so much more achievable. You have your motivation (think summer bod), so why not go on that run you’ve been putting off? Or check out your local gym? Even better grab a yoga mat and a friend and try some calisthenics in your backyard!

5. Reading a book.

I started reading a book over winter break and had to put it down because of school, but now with some extra free-time, it's the perfect time to pick it back up. Reading a book you enjoy can help calm your senses and take you away from the world for a little. It also helps cut back on screen time. So instead of feeling bad about yourself when Nexflix asks if you're still watching, pick up a good book and change it up a bit!

Now that you know these easy ways to improve your health and overall well being this summer, give them a try! Maybe try one or two a week. Take it slow. You have extra time this season and making some healthy habits is within reach! So eat some melon and do a few crunches before you head to the beach, then let me know how you’re feeling!

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black-and-white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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The Subconscious Line Between Empathizing And Sympathizing

Be there with the person instead of for the person.

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Whenever we see someone we love and care about going through a hard time, we always want to make sure that they know we are fully there for them. It's the line that we draw sometimes which we don't even see that establishes the way that we handle these situations. Although we may think it's apparent that those we love know that we care about them, yet it's difficult when we believe that just words can mend a broken heart or person. We tend to forget that actions speak louder than words and those acts of kindness have the ability to speak volumes to someone who's hurting.

We begin to sympathize and check in on people to see how they are doing to make sure they know that we are there for them and present. Even though that is absolutely amazing to text or call someone, we tend to lose touch of the impact we could make by a kind gesture that could make someone's day. Sometimes it's nerve-racking to do so because we don't fully know what someone's going through as we aren't directly in their shoes. If you think back to an experience in your life that you had difficulty, even though the other person supporting you didn't exactly walk the same path as you, there were able to help you get through it.

That's when empathizing comes into the picture which is an act that any human can perform by just listening and feeling out the situation. There's so need to evaluate or figure out what is wrong with another person, your job is to solely listen and show compassion and kindness towards that other person. The more that we do that, the less we have to worry about the difficulty to open up and show emotions and feelings. You'll find that even better friendships and relationships are grown through empathizing and allowing yourself to be there with the person instead of for the person.

Sometimes we subconsciously draw a line between what we think is right versus what could actually be right for the situation. We tend to draw this invisible line of sympathizing for a person rather than empathizing and not allowing for a space to be created for a conversation about something difficult. We tend to fear trusting others and to let them into our clouded windows due to it being too difficult or complicated to understand. The more we allow love into our lives, the easier it is to let that in and explore those relationships and experiences that could be absolutely beautiful.

It's easy to say these things but living them out is another story, it's not simple and it never will be. Yet it's worth a try and letting some emotions into your life and perspective may alter the way that you view your personal relationships and the things that may be keeping you from letting yourself fully feel. Just feeling something is worth a thousand words, but the second that you feel everything it's worth a million.

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