Feel Good Study Snacks!

Hi friends! It’s that time of the semester again: finals season (dundundunnn)

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It’s a time filled with a lot of things; to name a few : the sound of the textbook spine opening for the first time, sweatpants and messy buns, and – of course – lots and lots of stress. 

Something that often goes hand-in-hand with all the stressful feelings is STRESSFUL EATING. We’ve all been there, I get it.

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When you first start having the mental breakdown, the big bag of greasy chips and the entire pizza you ordered seems like a good idea. Comfort food to help you get by, right? Wrong! 

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a little bit of comfort food in moderation, at the end of the day, you know it will leave you feeling sluggish, unhealthy, unattractive, and totally unmotivated – kind of the opposite of the way you want to be feeling after a “quick” study break.

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It may take a bit of extra planning and motivation, but healthy study snacks can go a long way to helping you feel productive and in control during a busy and stressful exam period! Certain foods (ex: whole grains, fish, blueberries, seeds and nuts, broccoli, eggs, and more – see 1 and 2!) have even been found to boost brainpower and increase memory and concentration. Talk about super foods. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy either – there are tons of ideas floating around for healthy, quick, inexpensive, and easy study snacks. Try some out & help yourself stay feeling good this exam season!

Check out these awesome articles to get some great study snack ideas: 1, 2, and 3

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Happy [or at least not totally miserable and guilt-ridden] studying, you intelligent babes!

XOXO

 

 

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Feel Good Friday: Creative Outlets

[Note: if anyone’s interested, I’m going to casually stick a few of my own recent poems at the bottom of the article]

Hey all! Haven’t gotten around to updating in what feels like forever… Has it really been 2 months since school started (ew… finals in a month)?! Happy to be back, even if my posts are few and far between.

The purpose of today’s quick little update is twofold. The first reason is because it’s feel good Friday, and I’ve noticed a lot of people aren’t feeling so great as of late. It could be because of the inevitable change of autumn to winter (shorter days, colder weather, the works) or maybe because of school and work stress that always seems to accompany this time of year. Regardless, here’s a little remind to try and do something for yourself every day that lifts your spirit and benefits your mental and physical health!

The second reason for today’s post is for positive coping strategy awareness [and a fair bit of shameless self-promotion].

“Coping strategies refer to the specific efforts, both behavioral and psychological, that people employ to master, tolerate, reduce, or minimize stressful events.” –MACSES

Creative Outlets for Coping

I think it’s safe to say that every single person reading this will have gone through some sort of stressful (or at least upsetting) event/feeling within their lifetime. A lot of times, it feels like there’s a jumble of emotions in your head that you just can’t seem to express, or feel uncomfortable talking about.

These feelings can be completely overwhelming and an utter distraction to any task you might actually need to accomplish. Rather than curling up in bed and crying (sometimes a totally valid way of dealing with the world for a little bit), it can be therapeutic and very beneficial to channel these thoughts into a creative outlet. Personally, as of late, I’ve rediscovered poetry and songwriting, which have helped me through some very stressful times and allowed me to clear my mind and move forward with the other stuff on my to-do list. Check out these few articles about the benefits of creative outlets and art: 1, 2, and 3.

[Sidenote: uh, hello education system… creativity is important, too!]

There are tons of things that you can do to express your creativity, so I hope this post served as an important reminder to express your emotions, but in a HEALTHY way! Take some time for some creativity, and it may reward you in many ways (including a sense of pride after creating something beautiful!).

My Recent Coping…

to my true loveweary heart

Have a great Friday!!

xox

Making it Happen

Today is… Feel Good Friday!

Goals are one of those things that almost everybody has, but few people truly achieve the satisfaction of attaining theirs. For me, New Year’s Resolutions always start off well, and then all progress is lost before February even rolls around. If you’re like me, and you never feel like you’re reaching your objectives, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG.

All of us are familiar with the clichéd laments of teachers and family members about “setting proper goals” and having discipline, but very few of us heed their advice. I’m still getting the hang of it, but I’ve compiled a few tips that have helped me out when it comes to goal setting and goal achieving (most of them will sound familiar and seem “common sense”, but try them out! They work!):

1. Set a goal, then break it down.

When someone asks you what your goal is, what do you normally say? Mine tend to be something along the lines of “do well in school”, “get in shape”, or “eat more healthily”. These are obviously some pretty good goals, but they’re so vague that there’s no way that I can possibly feel the accomplishment of really reaching them. How do you measure “getting in shape”, for example? So, in order to feel like you’re really making a change and progressing towards your goal, break your objective into smaller steps. As a hypothetical, some smaller goals towards becoming more fit could be losing __ pounds, or lifting __ pounds or running __ km, etc [note: if you know that you struggle with/have struggled with body image issues/disordered eating, I would suggest to avoid weight loss goals]. That way, you can feel little bursts of success while feeling as though you’re working towards your overall goal!

2. PLAN.

I know, planning is annoying and totally not necessary for a simple goal like eating more healthily–right? Wrong again. Having some sort of idea as to how you will go about achieving your smaller goals is so crucial to the overall process. Questions you should be asking yourself are: “what steps can I take to achieve my goal?”, “how will I make sure I keep working towards my goal?”, and “what do I do once I reach my goal?”. Make sure your steps are logical/possible, and they will help you out. Some things that have worked for me to answer the “how” question is setting a time frame, which brings me to…

3. Hold yourself accountable.

When you set your goal, include a timeline, then work hard and reach it. Be disciplined. Be strong. You’re allowed to mess up, and it’s really unhelpful to beat yourself up over it, but hold yourself accountable. If you make a mistake, or don’t reach your goal when you want to, make sure you acknowledge the setback, but readjust the time frame/make a more realistic goal for the time being, and work towards that.

4. Get someone else to hold you accountable, too! 

This is a big one for me, and I think everyone with a goal should do this: tell someone else about your goal. Tell them what you want to do, and that you want them to make sure that you stick to it. I understand that a lot of people like to be independent and find the strength within themselves to reach their goals, but everyone has moments of weakness, or gets too busy and forgets, or makes excuses every now and then. Having someone else to remind you of what you really want helps to keep on truckin‘ (I just had to throw in a little Tim McGraw reference there.) I’d recommend this person to be someone that you admire/respect, because then it has the added effect of making you want to impress them and have them respect your hard work as well.

If it helps, write your goals out, along with their time lines and smaller goals that you want to achieve. Cross out the goals that you’ve reached, and then you’ll visually see what you’re accomplishing and feel proud and successful–it’ll definitely help you build confidence and feel good. 

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

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Laugh & “Shake It Off”

Yesterday I saw a video of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson doing a lip sync battle to “Shake It Off“, and it made me feel super happy for a while, so I thought on I’d write about some of the benefits of laughter to your mental and physical health today! But first, check out the video:

Benefits of Laughter to your Health

  • Decrease in stress hormones. The release and use of stress hormones create a competing need for energy within your body, meaning that your immune system is unable to be as active as it would normally be. If you aren’t as stressed, you’re more protected against sicknesses and viruses! (Source)
  • It’s good for your heart. It increases the blood flow in your body, much as a mild workout would. This can prevent cardiovascular problems! (Source)
  • Increases the ability to cope. Laughing can help look at things from a different perspective because you see things in a humorous light. This can sometimes be all you need to look more positively at negative situations. It can also relieve a lot of distressing emotions to reduce stress in your life. (Source)
  • Reduce emotional and physical pain. Laughter (and the feelings associated with it) signals the release of endorphins in the brain, which are some of the body’s feel-good chemicals that help relieve pain and induce happiness (Source)

Check out this Buzzfeed video that helps to explain some of the things I’ve already mentioned and to learn more:

Have a good Feel-Good Friday!!

(Photo source)

Thanks for being here!

This blog is dedicated to happiness — mine, yours, and maybe even your friends’ and family’s (if I’m so lucky that people share my posts and find them helpful)! While it’s important to be knowledgeable about current events and social justice issues, I think it’s also incredibly important to take time to be positive every day. I think there’s too much focus on the negative, and I want to try to change that in my own life.

I decided to make my quest public to keep myself motivated, and also to motivate others as well hopefully; we all need it every once in a while. Each day of the week will have a different theme to it, and they will all be wonderous (hence “wonderousweekdays”). I haven’t come up with all of the names yet, but so far there will be:

  • “Masculine” Monday – content focused on challenging gender roles and norms.
  • Tuesday to come. 
  • #WomanCrushWednesday – a play off the popular instagram/Twitter tag, Wednesday is a day to give a shoutout to wonderful women, empower females, and challenge gender roles & misogyny.
  • Thankful Thursday – a day dedicated to recognizing all the great things in our life.
  • Feel Good Friday – random acts of kindness? Good news? Cute animals? Mental health advice? If it will make you happy, it fits in here.
  • Song Saturday – sharing the healing power of positive music!
  • Self-love Sunday – let’s focus on self-care and acceptance to start the #wonderousweek off right.

Morgan