Seriously, Laugh At Yourself

Seriously, Laugh At Yourself

It will make your journey a whole lot better
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This is the time of the semester where we feel the pressure of everything starting to cave in. From schoolwork, to the never-ending list of extra curricular activities, to trying to maintain our social lives, we begin to drown in everyday responsibilities. As we try to breathe and stay above water, we forget to enjoy the process. We forget not to take life so seriously and the things we are worrying about today won't even matter in a few months. We forget that all we have this life is the journey, and we should enjoy it to the fullest, no matter what life throws at us.

I challenge you. Laugh at yourself. When you stumble walking to class, laugh at yourself. When you do badly on a quiz (grieve a little) then laugh at yourself for your bad guesses. When you have way to much stuff to study before tomorrow, sing the information to yourself. When you say a bad pun, still laugh at yourself!! We need to stop taking ourselves so seriously. I learned this best in Nicaragua.

Even when we were packed on a tiny bus for 13 hours feeling like we were about to die, we were still laughing at it. When we had an essay due that we hadn't even started we would laugh at how we had to BS it. When I botched words in Spanish that changed the meaning of a sentence, my host family would burst into laughter. We would continue to use the wrong words for the rest of the semester as a joke. I learned not to take myself so seriously and it was the best lesson ever. When we don't take ourselves so seriously, others around us become more important. Laughter really us the best medicine to our stress and fears. We can't forget to refill that prescription. So I challenge, laugh at yourself today.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317756.php

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5 Things I Really Wish I Knew ~Before~ Losing My Virginity

Advice to our younger selves.
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Everyone has a first time. We're all at different stages of our lives when it happens, which impacts how we approach the situation and how we feel about it immediately after and in reflections. Some people idealize their first time, some people regret it, some people feel nothing about it. I agonized over my virginity.

I wanted nothing more than to throw it at the first willing participant. I felt that it made me someone inferior to my friends who had already had sex, like somehow I was missing out on some great secret of life or somehow I was less mature than them. I spent a lot of time wishing it would just happen, and then one day, it did when I wasn't expecting it. I don't regret my first time, but because I had wished for it to happen for so long, I had built up this image in my head of how it would be that was completely unrealistic.

So, this is for those girls like me whose imaginations get the best of them. Here are some tips to ease your worries and prepare you for what it's really going to be like.

1. It's going to be awkward.

Not just the first time, every time. No matter how much porn or how many blogs or erotic fiction you read, you will not have any idea what you're doing. The other person probably won't, either. There are too many variables, and you're both so concerned with doing it well, you'll be focused on too many things to properly control your limbs.

2. Don't think about your body.

The angles that are required for things to work leave both participants in awkward positions with limbs in strange places. Don't look at your body; don't even think about where your limbs are. Just keep your eyes and mind on the other person and what they're doing and how you're feeling. If you're feeling bad, let them know, so you can change it. If you're feeling good, enjoy it.

3. Don't do it drunk.

Not even a little tipsy, at least not for the first few times. Alcohol throws in another variable and another reason your limbs are flailing listlessly on top of other unforeseen complications. Just wait until you've had a little practice to introduce alcohol into the mix. You want to actually remember your first time and understand what's going on.

4. You're not going to feel any different after.

I expected to feel a weight being lifted or some newfound maturity, but I really didn't feel any different at all. That's because I really was just the same girl as before. Finally having lost this imaginary flower didn't make me physically any different at all.

5. You're going to feel something.

There wasn't some profound emotional release afterward, either, but I did feel a little different. Again, not in the sense that something had actually change, but I felt different because I had placed so much importance on this, on having sex, and now it had happened. I wanted there to be some big release or celebratory moment, but really, I just felt the same. I didn't even feel a little more mature or experienced. I was positive that if I ever did it again, I would still have absolutely no idea what to do (which was true).

Cover Image Credit: Seventeen

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5 Ways to Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle Without Breaking the Bank

A healthy lifestyle doesn't begin with a good paycheck and a fresh pair of kicks.
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We have all read those health books about eating better and living your best life -- but let's be honest, the minute we put the book down - we go back to our same old habits. Sure, eating raw and organic sounds great or going to hot yoga after class seems like the perfect way to jumpstart your new health kick. Sadly, the unfortunate reality is that the average price for one yoga class is about $16 and anyone who can afford a whole foods diet on the regular should just stop reading now.

Still with us? Good! Now check out some of these ways to jumpstart that diet and start feeling better without breaking the bank!

1. Find motivation from within

Find something that inspires you or interests you and take advantage of it. For example, if you enjoy a certain podcast, how can you make it into something more beneficial? Take advantage of these things and instead of listening to it at your desk or after class, enjoy it while on a bike ride. If you like to cook, turn it into an Instagram account for healthy meals. Whatever your passion is, seize the moment and turn it into the inspiration that will motivate you to eat healthier or exercise more in a way that doesn't feel forced.

2. Utilize new means of transportation

Recently, there has been an increase in dockless bikes and scooters throughout many cities across the U.S. These new services offer a cheap and fun alternative to driving a car or taking a rideshare service. With car accidents and greenhouse gas emissions on the rise, you will not only be getting a little fresh air and exercise, but you will be helping reduce your carbon footprint.

3. Find tech that motivates

There are tons of free apps out there that can help jumpstart your healthy new lifestyle. Embrace technology to build strong new habits. Find free motivational apps available that can help you clock in your meals, log your daily goals and even track your sleep patterns.

4. Get more sleep

New studies have found a link between sleep duration and depression. According to the genetic study conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, "Healthy sleep is a necessity for physical, mental and emotional well-being," said Dr. M. Safwan Badr. "This new research emphasizes that we can make an investment in our health by prioritizing sleep." The best thing about these study results is -- sleep is free! Placing emphasis on better sleeping cycles will ultimately have a trickle-down effect on your day-to-day life and well-being. Sleep deprivation even after one night can leave you hungrier, more likely to be involved in an accident, more susceptible to becoming ill and yes -- beauty sleep is a real thing.

5. Small habits with big consequences

Changing small habits on a daily basis can also help curb unhealthy rituals. It's an all too common occurrence once 3 pm rolls around to be reaching for that sugary snack. Beat that afternoon struggle by filling up on food that is packed with energy and low in sugar and fats. Instead of the chocolate chip cookie or even granola bars (most aren't that healthy), try plain Greek yogurt with a piece of fruit or raw unsalted nuts.

Small steps can make a big difference in mental clarity and how you feel. For example, simple changes like having a cup of chamomile tea before bed instead of snacking can make a big difference in your diet habits. Another example is skipping the popcorn when you go to a movie and instead of a coke, get an unsweetened iced tea.

A healthy body starts with a healthy mind. Practicing mindful meditation through any creative outlet can be extremely beneficial to your mental health. Meditation can help alleviate stress, pain, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, and insomnia. In as little as ten minutes a day, meditation can counteract many of life's daily stresses. Meditation is not only incredibly effective, but it's also free. If meditation isn't your thing, try setting aside ten minutes at night to write down three things that went well in your day and why.

Cover Image Credit: Visual Hunt

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