It's Important To Take A Mini Vacation Halfway Through Winter

It's Important To Take A Mini Vacation Halfway Through Winter

The below zero temperatures can be too much.


I have lived my whole life in Minnesota, and I can tell you that our winters aren't pretty. As years go on and global warming becomes more of a threat, our winters aren't bad because of snow but because of the below zero temperatures. It gets really really cold, unbearably cold. Usually, when I was younger and in school my family would go on vacation during spring break usually to Florida or somewhere else warm. Now as an adult, and as someone who doesn't go to college or have a spring break anymore, I'm realizing how important it is to still retreat to somewhere warm.

Ever since graduating from high school in 2016, I have visited my grandma in Florida every year; I will usually go sometime between February and April. When I take a week or two to just get away somewhere warm during the middle of winter, it changes my mood and mental state drastically. Seasonal depression is real and not being around plants, in high temperatures, or being able to swim really affects my mind. Having a break to get away somewhere warm is a way of reassuring myself that it will eventually get warm again, just not until May.

This is my first year where I'm paying rent every month, so my budget isn't the same that it has been in previous years. I have to manage my money well so that I can go on trips if I want to. As far as I knew, I wasn't planning on going to Florida this year because I wanted to save my money for different trips. But once January came and it started to get colder, I realized that I had to still go. My mind was fixated on summer and warmer weather and I knew that it wasn't going to think about anything else. Luckily, I got a ticket for a good price and was able to make it happen.

Usually in January is when I start to get a little restless about the winter. I only like winter for Christmas because I like having snow, but lately in Minnesota snow doesn't arrive until later months. So once January comes, I'm ready for spring and summer. I find it hard to enjoy this beginning part of the year because of how cold it is all the time, and how I spend most of my time thinking about how awesome summer is going to be (even though it's 5 months away).

Going away for a week or so is a recharge for my brain. I get the sun and plants I need, my mind gets clear, and I come back recharged and ready to take on the rest of winter. Usually, when I go somewhere warm, I get creative and come up with good ideas for projects or things I want to do when I come back. This can help me a lot in the winter so that I can push through some things that I would be putting off.

If you can, try to really budget in time to go on vacations, even if they're small ones. Our mental health is the most important thing we have, but we forget about it sometimes. If you can't afford to go somewhere or take time off of work, try finding a local conservatory that you can go to weekly to be around plants. We need time to recharge when our brains are going a little stir crazy and start to procrastinate everything. Sometimes the best cure for that is just soaking up the sun on a beach somewhere.

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3 Signs You're Overdoing It For A 'Bikini Bod' And Risking Your Actual Body In The Process

Eventually, the repercussions of inadequate self-care catch up with us, and we will always be the underdog on the battlefield for self-love.


Looking in the mirror, a surge of reality overtook her petite body, and her eyes opened for the first time in years to the protrusive bones at all angles of her body. Her relationships were dwindling by a thread, and the hourglass of her life was almost up, yet she continued fighting an impossible battle for an impossible body. How did she allow a seemingly harmless diet escalate into something so drastic? Why was she putting her health on the line for a body that was only seen on billboards and magazine covers?

It's that inevitable time of year when the weather's getting warmer, the birds are chirping, yet your mind has been roaring ever since Target released their bathing suit line in January. Especially during the warmer seasons, everyone wants to look and feel their best, mostly because we can no longer hide that extra "damage" done by Aunt Judy's peanut butter pie in 100-degree weather on the beach.

Having weight loss goals, or any body-related goals for that matter, are true tests of discipline and are certainly rewarding, for both our health and for our self-esteem. However, progress can become addictive, and you could very much start performing a disappearing act if you're not careful and strategic in pursuing your goals.

Particularly to my fellow extremists out there, learn to mend your battle stations wisely if you plan on preparing for the summer season, and don't sacrifice your sanity and your health for a war you'll never win. Here are some signs that you may be overdoing it, or essentially causing more harm than good.

1. You're eating numbers

Not that you literally ate the quadratic formula for breakfast, but you're seeing your food for its numerical value instead of for its sometimes soul-satiating and always body-nourishing means; knowledge is power and counting calories to lose weight is undoubtedly an effective way to track your progress. But not for us extremists. If you have obsessive tendencies, there are more precautions to consider when using this weight loss tool. When the moderate indulgence of a succulent brownie suddenly warps into an off-limits red flag, ringing in your mind: "410 calories, 24 grams of fat and 46 grams of carbs, oh my!" then it's time to step back and reevaluate your plan. Don't let numbers run your life. Food is not the enemy, and you will start becoming your own with this mindset.

2. You've been staying in on the weekends

Your goals for the perfect beach body (as seen, literally, only on TV) just don't involve a night out at the bars, drinking empty calories of alcohol, and, unavoidably, eating pizza. Getting off track for one night makes you anxious. But this will soon start to eat away at you. We are social beings and thrive in social settings. However, no one wants to be around a hangry grouch who's in dire need of many snicker bars.

3. You workout to "earn" and "burn off" your meals

Let's say you did go out one weekend and had more pizza or "off-limit foods" than you would have liked. The next day, your initial thought is to go work everything off, and you begin to form this love-hate relationship with the treadmill, simultaneously with yourself. Instead of allowing fitness to enhance your life, it dangerously starts to consume you. You're not a dog, and do not need to "earn" anything!

So why does self-love always feel like a battlefield?

We forget that long-lasting, high self-esteem stems from the invisible qualities we all have that define us, such as compassion, intelligence, humor, and resilience. Today's media has ingrained an idealistic, nonexistent (except maybe for those who eat cotton balls for breakfast and ice cubes for dinner, no judgments here though!) image in our minds, where women feel pressured to obtain a body seen only on billboards and magazine covers. We fight our bodies past their warning signs of exhaustion, making self-love feel like a battlefield.

I once overdid it.

I viewed food as numbers and for only their effects on my appearance. I had to effortfully rewire my brain to stop associating certain foods as "bad" or detrimental to my physique that I prioritized over every other aspect in my life.

I stayed in every weekend, watching my relationships crumble in a domino effect, while only having enough energy to exercise. There's nothing more mentally consuming, and addictive than looking in the mirror and wanting to become smaller and smaller every day, but this was my reality for a long time, and it started with simple diet intentions for the upcoming summer season.

Be careful with your body goals, because as humans, we always tend to take things too far, and we are not indestructible. Eventually, the repercussions of inadequate self-care catch up with us, and we will always be the underdog on the battlefield for self-love.

If you're still worried about your bikini bod, let's also not forget: One-pieces and high-waisted bottoms are always an option!

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March Madness Is The Best Time Of The Year, Don't @ Me

Nothing is better then 68 college basketball teams playing for National Championship


The best time of the year is in March. March Madness has finally arrived, and as many people have submitted brackets and watching them crumble, many people are watching some of the best basketball that has to offer. Every year, 68 teams compete for one goal: National Championship. Many organizations look favorable to win, but every year you never know what's going to happen. This is where players step up and shine in the big stage, new teams show what they are made of, and the best basketball. These are three reasons why March Madness is the best time of the year.

1. You don't know what will happen

march madness

In the NCAA basketball tournament, you never know what's going to happen. Anything is possible. Many people fill out their brackets and confident thinking this is the best bracket yet, but when games come around and the results come in. You see your bracket crumbles and you lose money. That's what makes it so much fun seeing a 16 seed defeating a 1 seed or a team no would expect to go far, make far in the tournament. It drives you crazy, but you know it's so much fun to watch.

2. Spring time

spring time

This one is a little bit off topic, but when March Madness is on, you know spring is coming. One of my favorite things about around March Madness is that leaves are growing and the weather is getting warmer. Watching basketball for a while and going outside and the weather is gorgeous. As the tournament goes on springtime just keeps getting prettier. Can't help but love the combination of springtime and March Madness.

3. Games and brackets

final four

The best part of the whole March Madness is the games and the brackets. The long hours you put into your many brackets you fill out and finally making the perfect one. Once the games start, everything didn't go to plan. That whats the best, but also the worst knowing that people who don't know much are going to win. Another thing is the games, they are on all the time throughout the first couple weeks of the tournament. The best thing to do is call off school and work and watch the tournament the whole weekend.

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