5 Ways To Brighten Your Day

5 Ways To Brighten Your Day

No matter how much you try to avoid them, bad days are going to happen. A number of reasons can cause you to feel sad or out of it, so I have provided a list of easy tips to get you feeling like your happy self again.

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Your rent is due. You forgot to do your homework, again. You feel isolated and helpless. These are all common causes for a bad day, especially as a struggling college student, but there are simple remedies to weaken the sting.

1. Open your blinds.

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Something as simple and available as natural sunlight can boost your serotonin levels, and make it easier to smile on a bad day. The chemical serotonin is produced in your brain, and it is an important mood stabilizer that helps to reduce the effects of depression, according to Healthline. Opening your blinds or pulling open the curtains is an essential first step to feeling better.

2. Eat something.

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Along with exposing yourself to sunlight, eating is another way to lift your spirits when you are down. Maintaining a healthy diet and meal schedule will help to regulate your brain's chemical levels throughout the day. Some foods that can raise your serotonin levels are red meat and cheese. No wonder hamburgers make people so happy.

3. Drink a cup of coffee or tea.

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Another quick way to lift your spirits is to drink a steaming cup of caffeine. Dopamine and adrenaline enter the body through caffeine which can cause you to feel more energized, alert and cheerful. So, if you're looking for a quick fix to your bad mood, don't hesitate to splurge at your favorite coffee shop.

4. Listen to your favorite playlist.

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Music allows for us to become inspired and uplifted. It is even used as therapy to assist people physically, socially and emotionally. Listening to music can help you take your mind off of things that are distressing, and indulging on your favorite songs will remind you that life is awesome.

5. Roll your windows down.

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On a nice day, one of the best things to do for your mental health is to roll the windows down in your car. The sunlight warms your skin, fresh air fills your lungs and you are left with a feeling of freedom that is guaranteed to benefit your mood.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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When You Just Can't Stop Binge Eating

As summer approaches, I fear that my binge eating will kick back into high gear.

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I've opened up about my experience with binge-eating disorder (BED) before. I've had my ups and downs, but I was at my worst during last summer, the summer of 2018. While right now I'm somewhat managing it, the cravings and lack of control are starting to creep back up on me.

After returning back to college after spring break, I have had at least one doughnut—if not two or three—every single day. While that might not seem like a HUGE problem to the average person, to me, it's a big red flag. Having a doughnut every single day for the past month means that I'm not only losing my self-control, but I'm also losing the ability to tell myself "no".

The thing about binge eating is that you feel like if you don't eat something right then and there that you're just going to die. You feel like if you don't consume something at that moment that you just wouldn't be able to handle it. And so you eat. And you eat. And you eat. And you eat...

...And you just can't stop.

So while as of right now the worst of my problems is eating an entirely too sugary doughnut every single day, tomorrow I fear that it might be just as bad as it was last summer. Maybe eating a family size bag of BBQ chips, a box of Cheez-its, a bowl of ice cream, a bar of chocolate, some mac & cheese, a yogurt, and who knows what else? Because that's what almost every single night of my life looked like for three months last summer. While I feel good when eating every piece of food that goes inside my mouth, the guilt that follows (and the stomachaches) is excruciating.

I know I shouldn't eat that much. I know I'm going to feel guilty afterward. But I just can't stop myself. And so then you want to do something to make all the pain go away. That's what leads to bingeing and purging.

I've never purged through vomiting. Of course, I've thought about it before, but then again, what person with BED hasn't? Then there's always laxatives, overexercising, or restricting. And trust me, I have a lot of experience with those remedies. And I'm ashamed. It only adds to the guilt that I feel and the emotional pain that I endure. Because I know I have the power to say no, but then again—I don't. And feeling powerless, in any situation, is what really takes a toll on someone. After crying almost every single time I binged last year, I dread feeling that lack of control this coming summer.

And I've said this before and I'll say it again. I HATE when people tell me that I'm skinny. Because I'm not skinny from default, I'm skinny from deceit. Anyone can intake too much fiber or too little calories or overwork their body for days on end. So don't tell me that I'm skinny and that I don't have to worry about eating too many doughnuts, because neither of those is true. Don't tell me that if you ate three donuts a day that you'd be obese, but I would be too. It's a matter of illness and eating disorders are no joke. Don't tell me that just because I look like I'm healthy, must mean I'm healthy too because trust me, I'm anything but healthy.

So while summer creeps up on us and you and your friends spend your days happy out in the sun, I fear the time I have on my hands will be spent bingeing. I'm watching my self-control slowing slips out of my hands—and I can't bear to go through that again.

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