​Self-Care Isn’t Always Pretty

​Self-Care Isn’t Always Pretty

But we have to do it anyway.
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On the whole as a society, when we think of the term, “self-care” we think of fuzzy blankets, tea, bubble baths, and string lights in our rooms. We tend to think of taking the day off from work or class, sleeping in, eating comfort food, maybe some meditating, and just letting ourselves rest for the day. That’s all well and good, but there comes a point where that is hurting you more than it’s helping you.

Self-care isn’t always pretty. It’s not always putting on a fuzzy bathrobe and drinking hot cocoa. When you go through a period of time when you’re struggling, and you’ve been putting off responsibilities at every turn, eventually you reach the point where blowing off said responsibilities is the exact opposite of self-care.

Loving yourself isn’t always pleasant. A huge part of loving yourself is doing things that your future self will thank you for. When it finally gets to be too much, and for the third day in a row you feel like you don’t have the physical strength to get out of bed, I promise you that you can. You can do it, and your future self, even the future self as close as tomorrow, will thank you for getting up, showering and putting on something besides the pajamas you’ve been wearing for a week.

Sometimes loving yourself means you have to force yourself to do the things that you’ve been dreading, or confront the issues that you’ve been too drained to address. The frilly image of self-care that everyone has in their heads is only conducive for a very specific spectrum of situations. But more often than not taking care of yourself means managing to drag yourself out of bed and doing your chores so you have clean clothes to wear and dishes to eat off of. It means making yourself go to the store so you have fresh food in the house to eat, because you know those leftovers are beginning to become questionable.

Self-care is exactly what it sounds like: it’s taking care of yourself. And that means you have to do the things necessary to give yourself a happy, healthy life. Which means yes, sometimes you have to treat yourself to a day where you turn your phone off and watch Netflix all day, but it also means that you need to get up, wash the sheets on your bed, take out the trash, and open the textbook that has been staring at you from your backpack for the last four days, because you have an assignment due tomorrow that you haven’t even looked at yet.

Struggling with stress, mental health issues, and just the overload of responsibilities that life can throw at us in general can be difficult to deal with and extremely overwhelming. And I am not writing this to diminish the fact that sometimes all you really need is a day where you don’t do anything. But you have to keep in the back of your mind that there is a balance to everything that you do and don’t do. Constantly deciding that, “not today” is the right answer will hurt your mental state more in the long-run. There comes a point when you need to make the active decision to do the not-so-fun parts of taking care of yourself. But more often than not, those are the most important parts.

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An Open Letter To Every Athlete On Their Senior Night

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened"
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Dear Seniors,

For many of you, today was a day that you had always wished would come sooner, only to find that when the day arrived wishing for it to come was the last thing you truly ever wanted.

When stepping out onto the court or field or rink for the very last time today, take a moment to stand quietly and look out into the crowd, look to your teammates, to your coaches, and to your fellow seniors, and remember the way this made you feel, as this is a feeling you will remember for the rest of your life.

Today and every day moving forward will be filled with memories that will last you a lifetime.

Today is a day bound to be filled with endless amounts of tears, both happy and sad, so let it be. Let these feelings consume you, and serve as a reminder that no matter where you may go in life from this very moment, that you have made a family of your own. That you have changed the lives of others by just simply being in theirs.

That all the little things were really the big things, like the nicknames you had for your teammates, or your favorite song to sing in the locker room before a game. These things that never seemed to mean anything at the time are all the things that you will carry with you when you leave this place you call your home away from home.

On this day, years from now you will not remember the wins and losses of each season, but the people that took this journey with you and never let you look back.

The teammates that picked you up and carried you through the good and the bad of each day. The ones that taught you to see the good in all things. The ones who never let you live down the stupid things you did, mainly because they did them with you. And even the ones that you couldn't stand 99.9% percent of the time.

You will remember the coaches that pushed you and never let you give up.

You will remember all the times they yelled and made you run until you couldn't walk. The times that they depended on you to be the leaders we all knew you could be. But more than any of that, you will remember the opportunity they gave you to play the game you learned to love, the game that changed your life, the game that taught you more lessons about life, love and dedication than anything ever could.

On this day I ask you to remember a few things. I ask that you remember that the impact you have had on your teammates' lives is unmeasurable, never doubt that. The time you have spent dedicated to this sport that you love was never, EVER a waste of your time, because you are a better person because of it.

I ask you to remember that although the sadness you may hold in your heart overwhelms you, that you have found a part of you along this journey that will help you follow your dreams, whatever they may be.

Play your heart out today, and leave knowing you've given it all you've got just one last time. Leave knowing that you are one of the lucky ones. Remember the love, remember the defeat, remember the laughs and the tears, remember the battle wounds. Remember this feeling, always and forever.

Best of Luck,

Your Biggest Fan

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15 Fall Festivities To Get Floridians Feeling Spooky

Because hurricane season just isn't spooky enough.

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Fall weather in Florida may be non-existent, but that doesn't mean Floridians can't get in the fall spirit!

Nothing compares to the crisp air and colorful leaves that fill the forests up North in October, but there are still ways to get in the spooky spirit no matter where you are.

Here are 15 fun ways to embrace fall in Florida.

1. Go to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios 

Take a trip to Orlando for a night of endless scares. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is a must for most Floridians! Halloween Horror Nights is a nighttime event where Universal Studies transforms the park into Florida's scariest Halloween experience, filled with walk-through mazes, intense scare zones, terrifying live shows and rides.

2. Visit Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

If you're not a fright night person, still consider taking a trip to Orlando to attend Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! Disney World does an amazing job of transforming the parks to celebrate every season, but Disney World in fall is my all-time favorite. It's spooky without being scary, and extra Halloween fun awaits every night with special events in Magic Kingdom!

3. Enjoy EPCOT's International Food and Wine Festival 

Fall isn't just for scares, it's also for food! This food and wine festival goes on for weeks, with more than 25 global marketplaces. You can sip and taste your way around the world just by walking through EPCOT's World Showcase. EPCOT's International Food and Wine Festival is heaven for all you foodies out there!

4. Spend the weekend at Oktoberfest

There are Oktoberfest-styled celebrations all over Florida around this time of year. These festivals are put on by German American societies and are huge hits for everyone 'of age'. They're packed with food vendors, beer vendors, entertainment and people ready to have a good time!

5. Go on a haunted ghost tour

Florida is filled with old historical buildings, many with haunted legends attached to them! These Haunted History Tours give you a tour around your city, usually, as the sun is going down. They're interesting to more than just history buffs because they give you the chills every now and again.

6. Visit your local pumpkin patch

Pumpkin Patches like Farmer Mike's U Pick, doesn't only offer fields of perfect pumpkins for you to chose from, but also mazes! The normal corn maze is difficult enough, but Farmer Mike's also has a huge haunted maze that will make you feel like you're in a scary movie! If being chased by clowns isn't your thing, you can stay on the safe side and have a photoshoot where you pretend it's #sweaterweather.

7. It's DIY season

There's no better crafting season that fall! Put your DIY skills to the test and make all those fun crafts you've been saving on your Pinterest board! You'll be 'fall'ing in love with your fall-themed living space in no time!

8. Pumpkin spice everything

Spice up your life by adding pumpkin spice to absolutely everything you consume. Whether you're a baker or a buyer pumpkin-food is everywhere and it gives you a great excuse to indulge! With pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake and of course, pumpkin spice lattes, you can't go wrong!

9. Fall = football

Whether you're at the game supporting your team, or having a football party at your house, you know fall just isn't fall without football!

10. Candles, candles, candles 

Even though it's anything but sweater weather outside, doesn't mean you can't pretend like it is inside! Sweet cinnamon pumpkin, pumpkin pecan waffles, marshmallow fireside, pumpkin cupcake, pumpkin apple, you name it your local candle retail store has it! My favorite candle seller, Bath and Body Work's, has great sale's on candles this time of year!

11. Scary movie marathon

Movie Networks like Freeform, SyFy and Disney all have great scary movie marathons throughout the month of October and you can find the movie schedules online. Netflix and Hulu tend to update their selection this time of year for spookier options so they can compete with regular TV channels!

12. Take a trip to the farmer's market

Florida has great weather year round, so fresh produce usually isn't hard to find any time of the year, but it always seems best in the fall so don't miss out!

13. Endless costume choices 

What's nice about Halloween in Florida is that costumes aren't constrained by cold temperatures. You can wear whatever you want and you sure won't be cold!

14. Spruce up your wardrobe 

Fall is the cutest clothing season, and Florida clothing stores are great about having light-weight fall fashion options! Since Floridians won't be splurging on a new pair of Uggs, they can spend their money on cute fall pieces to spice up their closets. Wearing darker nail colors and dying your hair darker are other great ways to follow fall trends without wearing thick flannels in 90 degree weather!

15. Eat some candy 

If Reece's pumpkins don't get you in the spirit, I don't know what will!

Embrace fall no matter what temperature it is, and stay safe Floridians, nothing's spookier than hurricane season!

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