The 'Mini' Emergency Kit You Actually Need

The 'Mini' Emergency Kit You Actually Need

Hint: it's not the one in the cover picture

You’ve probably seen those mini emergency kits at like Fireworks and Bed Bath and Beyond that are really cute and tiny and such a good idea right? Well I don’t not agree, but I have two concerns: 1) I have heard that getting everything back into that tiny bag is basically a tedious game of Tetris and 2) Once you’ve used something, it’s a onetime done deal/use of a product, so shouldn’t you replace it? But it’s such a tiny bag…

That’s why I prefer to make my own 'mini' emergency kit. Over the years, I have learned what is a must to have when building your emergency kit. Most of us have a main bag or backpack that we like to use on a day to day basis that already has our normal stuff in it. I like to keep my emergency kit to be not any bigger than an average pencil pouch so I can easily move it from bag to bag (for example my school backpack to my night-out type bag). Here’s what you need:

1. The actual bag

Pencil pouches, small makeup bags, those bags you get from Bath and Body Works gift sets, etc. Those will work.

2. A pocket knife

I’m serious; this thing is so handy for everybody. Even if it is as simple as a pocket knife with only 3 tools, you might only use those 3 tools anyways. The most used tools on mine are the knife, the scissors and the nail file. Have a loose thread you need to cut? Need to cut some tags off of something (the ones you can’t just pull off)? Is that chipped nail driving you crazy?

3. Bands Aids/Mini medical kit

This one should be self-explanatory. I at least keep a couple of band aids in my kit and sometimes single-packaged disinfecting/alcohol wipes when I can get my hands on some free ones.

4. Medical tape

This one I cannot stress enough. We all have a pair of shoes that cause blisters. Most people turn to band aids for this, but within a couple of hours, they usually fall off or rub off. Trust me on this: use medical tape for places that will get blisters. Medical tape is meant to stay on the skin and it will stay in place until you rip it off. I also use it to cover irritating bra-strap adjusters and to keep busted wire from piercing into my chest on the fly.

5. Ibuprofen

There will always be a time when you need this or a friend will ask you if you have any (shout out to the common cramps and headaches!). There are plenty of places that carry travel sized or even emergency kit sized Advil (or any other brand of Ibuprofen you prefer) packets/containers that you can refill once they’re empty. As someone who gets frequent headaches, I almost never leave the house without some.

6. Lip Balm

Because who loves the feeling of chapped and cracked lips?

7. Tampons/Sanitary pads:

This is for everyone as well, vagina or not. Help a homie out when Mother Nature comes to ruin someone’s underwear, even if it’s not yours.

8. A small tin of bobby pins, paper clips and safety pins:

You have no idea how many times someone has asked for a bobby pin and I just happen to save the day. I also keep paper clips and safety pins for clothing/fashion “emergencies”.

9. (optional) Hand Lotion:

As someone who has chronically dry hands that are always cracked during the winter, I always keep a sample-sized tube/container of hand moisturizer in my kit. The samples I have are made to relieve the irritation or itchiness of chronically dry skin, so I try to only use it when my hands are itchy or burning (due to the dryness).

As you may be able to tell, the "optional" ones are more catered to me and my needs. I highly encourage you to do the same and fill your emergency kit with things that you know are essential to carry around with you (for example an inhaler, EpiPen, eyedrops, etc.).

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.

It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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Give Yoga A Chance, One Namaste At A Time

Flowing through into something new.

OK, hear me out. I believe that everyone should give yoga a chance. Yoga is a full mind and body workout that allows you to do things you didn't know you were capable of.

There might be the stereotype that it's just glorified stretching but anyone who has done yoga knows this is not true. There are so many different types of yoga. You just need to find the one that works for you.

Yoga might seem like a foreign language once you start looking for a class. Odds are you don't know the differences between Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, or Restorative yoga. But no worries! The yoga community is very welcoming to newcomers and will help you reach your goals. Unlike typical workouts, it's not a competition. Just you, your mat, and the instructor's voice. Everyone's concern is their own workout and bettering themselves.

Like all working out, yoga is self-motivated. The saying "you get out what you put in" is very true when it comes to yoga. You will more than likely hear you instructor talking about your practice. They are referring to what your body, mind, and effort. Whatever you want to get out of yoga is what you have to put in.

Don't get me wrong, I was a skeptic at one point too. I remember walking out of my first class saying "this is a cult." Looking back now I laugh and realize I might not have been as openminded as I should have been. Once you realize the Oms and Namestes are to help you relax and clear your mind, you won't even think about it. Going into yoga with an open mind is very important because you won't have the opportunity to better yourself if you never give it a chance.

If you are interested in trying but are hesitant or don't know what classes to take do your research. There are hundreds of articles explaining what each type of yoga is and what to expect in a class. Also, you could even call your local yoga studio and see what they recommend for newcomers.

Yoga might be a mystery to you but even if it doesn't seem like something you'd enjoy just give it a try. What could it hurt, right?

Cover Image Credit: Creative Commons

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