Slideshow: How To Overcome Stress Through Imagery for College Students

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I have created a slideshow in Flickr to explain and teach the methods of Mindfulness Meditation to help college students, like myself, get over stress and relax. This method, though geared towards college students, can be applied by anyone. If you would like more information on the steps and how to utilize them, please click the image of the beach below and it will take you to the original Flickr account. In the slideshow above, you will see a sample of the steps and images I’ve used and taken, personally, at my college campus and other scenic places in the California SouthBay area. If you are not able to access the Flickr slideshow via the picture, I will also leave a link to reference as well. Please enjoy =) !


Link to How To Overcome Stress Through Imagery for College Students via Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHskkWqgdR

How To Overcome Stress Through Imagery for College Students

In the life of a 13-year-old athlete…

In the November 3rd posting about Mental Toughness & Agility, I talked about my brother’s role as a middle school student and athlete. The documentary is now complete and will be shared in this post. This documentary, both directed and produced by me, chronicles his daily activities and shadows his life as a youth athlete. Hopefully this artful piece that I have constructed will allow you to see a glimpse into the struggles, triumphs, and adversities that young athletes face.

Without further ado…


Link to video hosted on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Hty_T28nFD4

 

Protect Yourself: Sunscreen

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This morning, I had an idea to start a new series. It will be a series that will help me succeed at being healthier and I wanted to share it because I feel that these topics or things are important for everyone to implement into their lives. The first topic I want to focus on is sunscreen.

Sunscreen was never important until the summertime in my household. And even then, it was kind of taken for granted. We would only apply it once throughout the day after going in and out of different settings – home, pool, beach, etc. However, I did not understand the degree of sunscreen’s importance.

A co-worker brought it to my attention earlier this year and ever since then I can’t seem to open either one of my purses or backpacks without having a sunscreen lotion in it. I am not faithful at applying it as much as needed, but I am doing my best (as evident in my purchase of sunscreen lotions and placing in every bag I own) to protect myself from the harmful and damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays and I invite you along this journey with me. Below, I have done research and found some sources on how to apply, when to apply and how much to apply sunscreen. In the bottom, you will also find a short educational video available on the TED Ed platform by creators Andrew Foerster and Kevin P. Boyd.


Sources:

Featured Photo: https://www.pinterest.com/advnbderm/skin-care-humor/

Why Do We Have to Wear Sunscreen? Ted Ed: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-do-we-have-to-wear-sunscreen-kevin-p-boyd

Vogue: http://www.vogue.com/13369480/sunscreen-winter-best-formulas-spf/

Bellasante: http://bellasante.com/why-wear-sunscreen-every-day-top-5-reasons-to-wear-spfs/

Huffpost: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/3464687

Livestrong: http://www.livestrong.com/article/73395-need-sunscreen/#page=2

Time: http://time.com/109249/yes-you-need-to-wear-sunscreen-everywhere-heres-how/

Ted Talk: Mental Toughness & Agility

In an upcoming video, I documented my 13-year-old brother’s life. He plays pop warner football and has been since he was 8-years-old. I initially wanted to show and shadow him while he ran through a number of plays that expressed his position and the need for he position in football; however, it has turned into how he manages and balances his life with football, school, home duties, and social relationships. Since the video will not be posted until after a few weeks, I wanted to share this Ted talk presentation by Dr. Sean Richardson that explains what a lot of athletes must have in order to be driven past the normal or average human barriers and that is mental toughness. The link to the video will be provided below. I will also post more about my research and understanding of both mental toughness and agility, please stay tuned ….


Link to TEDxVictoria – Dr. Sean Richardson – Mental Toughness: Think Differently about your World – https://youtu.be/LCPgvTRftZg

Interview with herbalist, Airynn McPherson

In this podcast, I am interviewing herbalist Airynn McPherson to gain knowledge on her journey with herbs and natural medicines. Herbalism is an alternative to prescription medicines that, generally, is plant based. Herbs possess, but are not limited to, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. There are numerous ways that herbs can restore your health. To find out more about the power of herbs, please see the link to an article I found entitled “The healing power of herbs”. Airynn will provide insight through her journey and her overall mission.

 


 

Links:

The Bulk Herb Store: www.bulkherbstore.com/

Bentonite Clay: www.bulkherbstore.com/Bentonite-Clay-Powder

The healing power of herbs: www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/hea…ing-power-herbs

Life Hack: Saving $$ on Utility Bills

save-money-electric

I was inspired by a few people in my life to research how I can start saving money on my utilities. Many of us are not aware of how much we use energy. We usually are not prompted to look into until we get a bill that is unbelievably high and/or learn of another someone else’s horrific-looking bill. After doing some research on common problems that lead to increases in energy and water, I have compiled a list of short and easy fixes for the non-professionals/amateurs like me. I’ve focused my research more on water conservation, because we are in a drought in California. Although it focuses more on water conservation, I hope you will find the information as useful as I have.

Trying to lower your water bill?

Running toilet problem:

Have you ever noticed that after you have used the flusher, your toilet begins to run for a long amount of time? Or could it be that it is running even when you have not used it?

There could be numerous problems as to why our toilets are running. However, unless you have a leak, it can be an easy fix.

Short fix:

Before you leave home or when the toilet is not in use, turn the water off by twisting the knob behind the toilet that connects to the line coming out of the wall. My father used this method when we would leave home for long amounts of time and showed me how to do so.

Longer run fix:

Check 1: Lift the cover to reveal the toilet tank then check the flapper to see if it is worn out. If so, replace with a universal flapper.

Check 2: Check the chain that leads from the handle to the flapper, if it is so long that it has gotten stuck between the flapper and the flush valve, snip it so that it has a little bit of slack. This stops it from leaking in between the flapper and flush valve.

Check 3: Is the water going into the overflow tube? If so, the water is too high. Take a screwdriver and lower the float. By lowering the float, the water will also lower.

Shower water problems:

Is your shower head leaking or not dispensing enough water? Do you have a habit of taking longer showers? The good fact about showering is that it utilizes less water than bathing in the bathtub.

Short fix:

Disconnect the shower head from the arm, then peel off the old tape (if present) and replace with new Teflon tape then replace the shower head.

Longer run fix:

Check 1: Turn your water heater temperature down from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 120 degrees Fahrenheit; this can help save $36 – $61 annually.

Check 2: Purchase a water-efficient shower head, this cuts the amount of water used without sacrificing the strength of the water dispersed. If Navy and/or 5-minute showers are not ideal for you, this will leave you with the ability to enjoy your usual-timed showers.

Other tips and hacks

For the sinks:

  • Use the same method of the shower short fix to fix sink leaks.
  • If you do not have a dishwasher and have to hand wash, fill both sides of the kitchen sink with water. One with soapy water and plain water. If you have only one sink, fill it with soapy water and fill a big bowl with plain water to wash your dishes. Once you are done with the clear water, recycle it by water any indoor or outdoor plants.
  • Do an energy sweep: Check rooms that are not in use and turn off/unplug any electronics and lights. If you have a thermostat, set the timer mode so that it continuously turns off and on when you are there. Turn it off when you are not home. Buy energy efficient light bulbs and replace each old bulb for your household.

For sources to more saving tips, please check out the list of sources below:

Photo Source Link: http://genxfinance.com/saving-money-on-your-summer-utility-bills/

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/smart-spending/10-ways-to-save-money-on-your-utility-bill-11.aspx

http://almostfrugal.com/2010/08/23/17-ways-to-save-money-in-the-shower/

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2012/10/16/6-simple-ways-to-save-money-on-your-water-bill

http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/01/31/saving-money-utilities/

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2014/02/21/9-ways-to-save-on-your-utility-bill

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/money-finance/saving-spending/how-to-save-money-on-your-electricity-bill

https://www.myenergy.com/tips

Inspiration: Buzzfeed Food

Wednesdays and Sundays are my happier days thanks to BuzzFeed’s Food blog and articles…

I like trying new recipes. And because I rarely have to time to cook and try new recipes, I am saddened when I am not able to. School, work, and helping out my family are some of the big responsibilities I am taking on this semester. With each part of my life being so demanding, I am just happy when I get something done in at least one of those areas.

BuzzFeed Food has changed my perspective…

On Wednesday and Sunday, I have a new hope. Buzzfeed Food. Not only are the articles filled with knowledge from credible research, these articles take little to no skill as far as knowing how to cook. If you are an amateur food preparer (may it be for just your and your family), Buzzfeed Food is a great guide. It gives you hope that you will succeed in new recipes.

Remember that time factor, discussed earlier? 

Buzzfeed Food has saved me from discouragement. Their blog is so uplifting, especially after a long day. Every week, I get tips and hacks on how to make a new meal or recipe “swaps”, as they call it. A recipe swap is when you substitute ingredients of a traditional dish or meal. It cuts down the time and difficulty of prepping a meal. Along with easier recipe hacks, they make it easier to transport to and from each section of life (home, work, school, etc). It is amazing how many of their meals are seemlessly integrated into my life now. Their guide and tutorials help navigate me to an easier and less stressful week.

And this is why they are my heroes … 

They aid you in eating and fulfilling a healthier lifestyle by encouraging you to try alternatives that are delicious, time efficient, and inexpensive.

If you are a foodie and need some inspiration getting back into the kitchen, I would like to encourage you visit Buzzfeed Food. The link to their site can be found below.


 

Buzzfeed Food Site Link:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/food

Current Buzzfeed Food Blog Newsletter: http://goo.gl/HAHCX3

Let’s Talk Herbalism…

A healthy alternative.

According to the internet, herbalism is the proactive usage of plants and herbs for medicinal purposes.

Though…

Many herbalists will say that it is a way of living a naturally healthy lifestyle without the added chemicals.

Why is it a topic today?

It is a topic that I have wanted to explore more in depth. I recently interviewed an herbalist who has practiced and implemented herbs as apart of her daily routine and for home remedies. The interview will be posted in a few days.

Using an herbal remedy on my own…

I purchased “Eden Salve” which is antibacterial salve designed to heal and soothe wounds, itches and/or bites. It is made with all natural ingredients and works like a charm. I have used it for the many paper cuts I obtained from my job and as… well, just being a student. One week, I got three! I was amazed.

Before I entered college in 2012, I had never experienced one before. The first day at my first job, I got a paper cut trying to pull files out of a tight cabinet that just would not budge. Determined to get those files out, I pulled until they came out which took about a good hour. Looking back, I laugh at my ambition, but I still admire more than ever what that ambition and determination allowed me to do. It has definitely contributed to my growth and allowed me to be who I am now.

EdenSalve

Back to the topic…

After placing the salve on my wounds, I felt a cooling sensation and it instantly soothed my wounds. It took three days to heal and did not hurt one bit.

If you would like to check out some more herbs, all links to the Eden Salve and the herb store can be found below.


Links:

Eden Salve: http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Eden-Salve-50-Off

Bulk Herb Store: http://www.bulkherbstore.com/

One healthy and easy tip…

Prescription-to-better-Sleep

Moment of Realization

I have been so exhausted lately. I am constantly moving for about 17-18 hours almost every day without much sleep. It has caused me to crave more energy. I began by drinking caffeine, eating more and more starch and sugar, just to keep my energy up. Then one day, while I was supposed to be watching a movie for class, I crashed hard. I went to sleep for a couple of hours and immediately, felt so much better when I awoke! The key to my problem is lack of sleep. My body was telling me to rest but, I needed to be there for my mom and grandma, for my studies and coursework, and for my job.

After thinking about sleep, I decided to research the benefits of sleep. As a college student, I, amongst many of my peers deprive myself of sleep. I put it off until the late hours of the night when it is almost morning again, then roll out of bed maybe 4 or 5 hours later. This does us no good deed, as our bodies will most likely pay for it later. Lacking sleep (sleep deprivation) is a health concern/issue that many of us rarely pay attention to.

There are a number of things that sleep helps us do better…

According an article on health.com, sleep can help us:

  1. Improve our memory
  2. Live a longer life
  3. Curb inflammations
  4. Aid us to become more creative
  5. Increase stamina and decrease daytime fatigue
  6. Here is a BIG one… Improve our grades
  7. Sharpen attention
  8. Lose weight
  9. Lower Stress
  10. Avoid Accidents on and off the road
  11. Stay away from depression

Source: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20459221,00.html

Photo source: http://www.fedeltahomecare.com/blog/news/post/your-prescription-to-better-sleep

Sharing the power of vulnerability …

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Let yourself been seen
Love with your whole heart
Practice gratitude and joy
Believe that you are enough

           – Dr. Brene Brown

I wanted to share this Ted Talk by Dr. Brene Brown because I found that this subject is something that many people struggle with. I am struggling with this currently. Fear is a huge barrier. Gandhi said, “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.”

We let fear consume us, define us, and keep us from moving forward. However, we are often our own barriers and unlike a character in a movie, we are not constantly acting or doing something to improve ourselves.

My problem, personally, is that I am afraid of the unknown. Not knowing how things will turn out scares me to the point where I have to turn off my emotions – numb myself. Dr. Brene Brown captured my attention when she spoke about this in her Ted Talk speech. It made me realize that this is exactly what I do. I numb myself, but the problem with that is that at times I am out of touch with reality because I cannot stand to engage in my life to stand up to my fears.

In my immediate circle of friends and family, I noticed that this numbness appears in them as well. It made me wonder how to break this chain. It has to start with someone who has the knowledge to make a plan to do it. It has to start with me.

So this is my start to helping me, then my family, and then maybe you. And I am doing this simply by just sharing this insight.

If you would like to get more out of this speech, please see the link below to the Ted Talk by Dr. Brene Brown.
I hope you will get as much out of this speech as I have and much more.

Have a beautiful day!


Sources:

The Power of Vulnerability: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability#t-1083746

Featured Photo: http://www.jeffbloomfield.com/how-the-power-of-vulnerability-accelerates-your-ability-to-connect/