6 Ways To Stay Positive On Dark Days

6 Ways To Stay Positive On Dark Days

Even if you feel like giving up.
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As I've gotten older and depression and anxiety have been introduced to my life, it is often times hard to remember how to stay positive. There are times where it seems like everything is against you and then there are times where you just can't get out of a funk.

Personally, I've been struggling with a broken foot and have found my go-to medicine, running, hasn't been in the cards for me. So here is a few little things you can do to stay positive in days where it doesn't seem like you can be positive.

1. Set a reminder to smile

Back in Freshman year of high school my friend stole my phone and set a reminder to go off every day at noon to tell me to smile. Although this may seem like a silly idea every day at noon, I force a smile.

2. Think of one thing that you're thankful for

To go with the above idea of taking a minute out of your day to smile comes my second tip, while you are sitting there smiling, think of something you're thankful for that day. For example, today while I forced a smile I thought about how I'm only a week away from seeing my siblings again. I only have a week before break and I'll be able to be back with my family and work.

3. Free association writing

Sit down with pen and paper and just write down everything and anything that comes to your head. The purpose of Free Association Writing is allowing yourself to be uncensored and just write. This has helped me get my feelings and frustrations out while I may not be able to construct the worlds verbally.

4. Go on an adventure

Luckily, living in Chicago allows me to have access to the CTA and Uber/Lyft with the help of an app. Some days the only way to get out of a funk is to just get lost. Head out somewhere and run with wherever it takes you. Usually, this leads me to a new coffee shop or just simply allows me to walk down a road I may have never really paid attention to.

5. Tell yourself to be positive

Here is, yet again, probably a very hippy sounding idea, but sometimes the only one who can instill positivity is yourself. By starting off your morning by telling yourself you will have a good day and will be happy will force you to try and keep this promise to yourself.

6. Blast nostalgic music

By finding music that you associate happy memories with, you can change your attitude. Psychology explains with mood-congruent memory that your state of mind will determine the type of recall of memories. If you're feeling down and listen to music that makes you think of things that also bring you down then you need to switch the playlist.

There will certainly be days that are harder to stay positive and will feel like nothing can go right, I have these days more often than others. You just have to remind yourself that there is so much more to life then what you're able to see now. Change your perspective and continue to find little things to enjoy in the day, find solice in little pleasures.



Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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7 Reasons Not To Be An Organ Donor

Actually, there aren't any.
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Absolutely none.

Recently, I became an organ donor, and I was shocked at how easy it was. All I had to do was make a check mark on a form at the DMV. The simplicity of a decision that could potentially save the life of another human being is outstanding. Do you want to know what shocked me even more, though? The deficiency of organ donors. According to Donate Life America, 90 percent of Americans say they support organ donation, but only 30 percent have taken the steps to become one. I constantly see people sharing and praising stories of kids given a second chance at life due to organ donations.

If so many people share these articles and pride themselves on being empathetic and wanting to help others, why do we have such a shortage of organ donors?

Don't take my word for it, let's look at the stats.

According to U.S. Department of Health and Human services, there are 121,347 people waiting for organs; 121,347 families that are counting the days. Standing by the phone in hopes of it ringing. Yet, in the past year, there were only 28,000 organ transplants and currently, there were only 15,000 new donors from the past.

If that's not enough to open up your eyes, just know that every 10 minutes, a name is added to that list. While an average of 79 people receive organ transplants a day, 22 people die waiting for an organ that never comes; 22 people don't get a second chance at life.

These statistics might only sound like a bunch of numbers I am spewing at you but let me put them into perspective. Every single one of those 22 people that die every day is a mom, a teacher, a doctor, a 3rd grader, a lover, a human. They are not just a number. Every single one of them has a family, has goals, has feelings and has lost a chance.

SEE ALSO: To The Organ Donor Who Will Save My Life

Why shouldn't you be an organ donor?

1. I want to have an open casket funeral, and I can't if organ donation mutilates my body.

Actually, organ donation doesn't impede you from having an open-casket funeral. Your organs/tissues are removed through a clean surgical procedure, and you are sewn back up. After your body is clothed for the ceremony, there are no signs of organ donation. Even if you decide to donate your bones, rods are inserted into their place.

2. If doctors know that I am an organ donor, they won't try to save my life as hard.

This is absolutely ridiculous. A doctor's top priority will always be the life of their patient. They will put in 110 percent their effort to keep you alive. The donor program isn't even notified until death is proven and declared.

3. Doctors might not be 100 percent sure that I am dead.

According to the Center for Organ Recovery and Education(CORE), brain death is pronounced when there is a lack of blood and oxygen flow to the brain. It is "the medical, legal and moral determination of death." There is no recovery from this. It is not the same as a coma. Furthermore, organ donors are actually given more tests after death over a period of time to verify death than a normal person.

4. I'm too sick for organ donation. My organs wouldn't be useful.

Don't pre-disqualify yourself. Doctors have tests they run to make sure the organs they utilize are safe and healthy. While some of your organs might not meet these standards, others could.

5. My family would be charged with the costs of the organ transplant.

Your family would only have to pay for the medical costs associated with any procedure done before your death. Organ donation costs are fully covered.

6. Organ donation is against my religion.

Actually, according to CORE, all major religions view organ donation as a final act of love through sacrifice.

7. I don't want my organs going to somebody that destroyed their own.

While organ donations do help people suffering from addiction by letting them correct their mistakes, "less than 5 percent of people awaiting transplant have destroyed their organ through substance abuse and they must achieve and sustain sobriety before they can be listed for transplant (Center for Organ Recovery and Education)."

If all these reasons are still not enough to convince you to make this decision, know this:

By becoming an organ donor, you could save the life of not just one person but of 50. You could be the reason a father is able to dance with his daughter at her wedding. You could be the reason a 7-year-old girl is able to see the colors of a sprouting bundle of flowers on a fresh spring day.

You could be the reason a mom is writing out invitations for her son's eighth birthday party instead of making funeral arrangements. You could be the reason that newly married couple ends up sitting around a fire on Christmas morning with their six grandchildren.

You could be the reason love strengthens, new life is born, accomplishments are made and society improves. If anything, you could be the hope restored in the broken hearts and minds of the family and person receiving that organ. You could be that second chance, that silver lining, that miracle.

We glorify the idea of a miracle but here we have the opportunity to make them actually happen. All this can be done by you simply taking an hour of your time to visit this website and take the steps necessary to register as a donor. If you live in New York State, you can register online right now, right here.

Save a life.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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The Lazy Girl's Guide To The Gym

Also, everything else you should know if you're a slightly out-of-shape girl (like me).

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With my freshman year coming to an end, I realized a lot of things. I made new friends, I found new hobbies, and I learned a lot of lessons. One of them being that the "Freshman 15" is very real and very scary.

While my friends and family have attempted multiple times to convince me that I'm just being dramatic (I am), I still want to make a change in my lifestyle or I will, in all seriousness, be on track to the "Sophomore 20".

Here is a list of my best gym and healthy lifestyle tips that I am slowly attempting to live by this summer in order to resurrect Emily's 18-year-old body and health.

1. Increase water intake.

2. Find a gym buddy.

3. Start off with cardio.

4. Don't stop on your cardio until you're dripping in sweat.

5. Chug a LOT of water an hour before the gym.

Do not do it right before, or you will be in pain.

6. Eat light beforehand but just enough to hold you over. 

7. Plan out what your routine will be BEFORE you get there.

My routine: Elliptical for a mile, Stairmaster for 10 minutes, ab HIIT workout for 10 minutes, 5 more minutes on Stairmaster.

8. Buy healthy foods while you're feeling motivated.

9. Find a gym that isn't too far from your house. 

10. Don't get mad at yourself if you don't see results in a day.

I know this is a hard one.

11. Try fitness classes. 

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