10 Little Things: Self-Advocacy Edition

10 Little Things: Self-Advocacy Edition

"Improvement begins with I."

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I recently started a self-improvement series I like to call 10 Little Things: because the biggest changes in life have to start somewhere small. This week, I'm focusing on a self-care topic that seems to go overlooked quite often-- self-advocacy.

The simple definition of self-advocacy is "the act or condition of representing oneself", but I think the true meaning of this phrase goes a little deeper. Being your own advocate means being honest with yourself, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and generally being your own biggest fan. NO ONE is going to be able to help you grow if you're not willing to help yourself. A little self-love and motivation goes a long way when it comes to self-improvement. Read on for 10 Little Things you can do to start being your own advocate.

1. Be big enough to admit when you've messed up...

When things go wrong--whether it's a bad grade or a bad argument--it's not always someone else's fault. Excuses are never going to get you anywhere. Being aware of your own mistakes and shortcomings will benefit you more in the long run.

2. ...but stand up for yourself when you know you haven't!

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to defend yourself--especially when it's to a friend. It's okay to forgive and forget, but it's not okay to let others walk all over you. Know your worth.

3. Do ONE scary thing a day.

At least. Your comfort zone is something you should always aim to expand. It can be as simple as forcing yourself to talk on the phone or as challenging as introducing yourself at a networking event. Embrace the uncomfortable! You'll feel pretty kick-ass.

4. Practice your "Elevator Pitch".

If you haven't heard of this before, now's your chance.This should be something that's always in your back-pocket! An elevator pitch is a 30 second summary of yourself--your major, your career aspirations, your interests, etc.--that you use to talk to professionals. You never know when you're going to have an opportunity to make a new contact. Be prepared to sell yourself!

5. On that note, don't sell yourself short.

You are smarter and more capable than you think you are, trust me. If you don't brag about yourself (at least a little) to employers, who's going to?

6. Learn the art of eye contact.

In today's digital world, the confidence to look directly in someone's eyes during a conversation does NOT go unnoticed! It can be kind of uncomfortable at first if you're not used to it, but it is a quick and easy way to start feeling like a real professional.

7. Have a PROPER handshake.

There is nothing worse than having a "dead-fish" handshake when you're trying to make a good first impression. Whoever you are introducing yourself to will NOT forget it. Firm, 2 shakes. Trust me on this.

8. Kick self-deprecating jokes to the curb.

I've written about this particular topic before, but it's worth reiterating. You won't realize how much of an effect this is having on your confidence until you actively choose not to use it. Don't take yourself TOO seriously, but know when to stop making fun of yourself.

9. Dress for success.

This doesn't necessarily mean wearing heels daily--it means dressing for the YOU you want to be. Find out what makes you feel polished and comfortable and strive to incorporate it into your daily wardrobe.

10. Celebrate the little victories.

Every step forward--no matter how small--is a step in the right direction. Be proud of yourself for what you've already accomplished!

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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9 Ways For College Girls To Destress

Sit back and relax sister.

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We could all blow off a little steam no matter what age, but sometimes college just seems so fast paced and crowded we get lost in the stress and quickness of class on top of class and some students even hold jobs on top of that. So to all the super stressed gals out there, here are a few tips on how to take a few minutes out of your day to have some time to yourself!

1. Have a spa night

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Buy some face masks and invite some friends over or even turn on your favorite movie and have a spa night to yourself!

2. Go on a drive

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Turn on your favorite playlist and just drive around your town or even a mini road trip! Long drives really relax a lot of people.

3. Cry

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Yes, I know that sounds like a joke but sometimes all you need is a good cry so turn on your sad music playlist (I know you have one, everyone has one) or your favorite tear jerking movie and let the tears flow girl!

4. Laugh

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On a happier note... crying isn't for everyone! I, for one, am not an emotional person so humor is more my style. Go see a funny movie, hang out with your friends, or watch a comedy show! Anything to get you laughing!

5. Go to the gym

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This one is good for you mentally and physically! A lot of people say the gym is their favorite place simply because its where they can blow off all of their steam. Try it! If you like it, it's a great new hobby to have!

6. Try a new hobby

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Try something to get your mind off of whatever is stressing you out! It could be painting, writing, singing, or dancing! Whatever you want to give a shot at doing, go for it!

7. Go online shopping

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I only recommend this one if you have money to spend. If you have no self control (like myself) then this one can get you into some trouble! Shop wisely people! But don't forget to treat your self every now and then!

8.Try out a new sport

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A lot of colleges have intramural teams you can join of almost any sport you can think of! Try one out to take your mind off whatever is causing you stress!

9. Take a nap

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I know this seems kind of self explanatory but a lot of times we forget that sleep is kind of a thing that we need to survive. So if your stress is causing you to lose sleep, or your staying up late working on classwork, then take a nap!

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