What is ‘Sleep Hygiene’?

WWS-Insomnia

A basic sleep hygiene list might look something like this:

  • Limit your caffeine intake, and don’t have any after 3 or so in the afternoon
  • Set times to go to sleep and wake up
  • No naps, not even 20 minute power naps
  • Don’t be in or near your bed for anything except sleeping
  • Try meditation, yoga, or breathing techniques
  • Try harder to relax, but don’t try too hard to sleep

Sleep hygiene is a set of rules you’re supposed to follow in order to get good sleep. Most people have the luxury of not caring too much about it, because when their brain and body get tired they can go to bed and recharge. Following these rules is important even for perfectly healthy individuals, but mandatory for those of us who suffer from sleep disorders.

There are different kinds of insomnia: not being able to fall asleep, not being able to stay asleep, and not being able to have restful sleep. I’m unlucky enough to have all three. I’m not going to lie, insomnia is incredibly difficult to live with. I almost never wake up feeling rested, which can make it difficult to start my day with a positive outlook. I get incredibly sleepy at inopportune times, and I’ve spent too many hours of my life staring at a dark ceiling. I’ve fallen into bed, completely worn out, only to find myself unable to get any of the rest I so desperately need.

One of the more frustrating things, however, is that people don’t seem to understand insomnia. Sure, most people have had a sleepless night or two at least once in their lives, but I’ve run into a lot of people who don’t understand what it means to suffer from it in the long term. Inevitably, when someone asks how I am, tired will be a part of that. People joke about how being tired is just part of their personality now, and I get it, a lot of people are sleep deprived in college. But for me, the problem isn’t temporary – I’ve been sleep deprived for as long as I can remember.

A lot of people think that not being able to sleep is somehow glamorous, like it’s my hidden superpower. While it is easier for me to pull an all-nighter, this isn’t by choice, and it isn’t a good thing – no one should be awake for more than a day. Going without sleep has huge negative impacts on your brain, and I am not immune to these – I’m just more accustomed to them.

As far as doing work, that thing that most people spend most of their day on, whether it’s academic work or their job, when you’re sleep deprived it can be near impossible to read, much less create anything decent. Yet somehow people think that because I spend less of my time asleep, then I must spend that time being productive. In reality, a lot of that time is spent just trying to wish myself to sleep. Some days, completing my work is like trying to run a marathon, except once I’ve reached the end, there’s no reward or rest.

The constant bags under my eyes are unpleasant. It’s incredibly difficult to wade through a fog of lethargy and exhaustion day after day. But honestly, what tires me out the most is the lack of sympathy. Whether it’s because of finals or an involuntary mental blockade, if your friends are tired be kind to them. Get the rest you need, and if you need some tips on how to sleep better, I’ve got you covered.

See you soon,

Hannah

[Picture Link: http://bit.ly/2o34uG8]

Funny Thing About Instincts..

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..they’re always right

For a long time I thought being able to read people and pick up on their vibes early on was a curse, but the older I’ve gotten, I have learned it is one of my biggest blessings. When it comes to making new friends, surrounding myself with a new crowd, or meeting a new guy, I know almost right away which ones are good for me and which ones I should let walk right out of my life. Maybe it is a gut feeling and my strong intuition, but whenever I try to convince myself that these negative feelings will fade and maybe they deserve the benefit of the doubt, I am utterly disappointed because my intuition should always be trusted.

I’m rather lucky because I have a small crowd I surround myself with since I choose to have people in my life who are genuine and loving and caring. I only surround myself with people who are real to their core and have a soft light in them; the people I love are absolutely amazing and I choose to have quality relationships instead of an overabundance of friendships that are mediocre at best and forced.

I know who I am, and I continue to grow with each experience, but with those lessons, I am getting even better at picking up on people’s essences right away. I don’t consider it judging a book by it’s cover, but someone’s energy is undeniable. It either meshes with yours or it doesn’t, and life is too short to force something that isn’t there. It’s also too short to run from something that feels right.

Trust your gut, even if it’s not exactly what your mind or heart wants. It’ll most likely end with some sort of heartbreak if your core is telling you to RUN. For so long, I knew something was wrong–that this feeling was not going to go away. The questioning was going to stay because my intuition begged me to let them go and I needed to value myself and only let solid and loyal people in my life.

This could always go another way, so let me say it again, trust your own intuition– don’t let other people’s thoughts or rumors about someone, influence you. You should let your gut, heart, and mind come up with it’s own opinion based on your interactions and the way you feel around them. Don’t belittle what your feeling because it isn’t what everyone else would want for you; it’s your life and who you let in it is always your choice. So let people in who are going to lift you up just a little bit higher and who will ensure your happiness.

See you soon,

Hannah

[Picture Link: http://bit.ly/2n9iL5u]

Come Alive in the Nighttime

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I’ve been a “night owl” my whole life. What does this mean? It means I perform better at night, and would rather stay up late doing work than wake up early. In college, the night owl route is a popular one, but many adults would argue that the real world doesn’t look kindly upon those of us that like to stay up late. Here’s an argument in favor of all you night owls.

First of all, just because someone works better at night doesn’t mean that they are unable to wake up early. I still like to get up at a decent time every day and get work done. I would much rather sleep at 2 and wake up at 8 or 9 than sleep at 11 and wake up at 6, though. Going to bed late and getting up early aren’t mutually exclusive.

Second, night owls will usually stay up late until a project is done. I won’t go to bed sometimes until I’ve finished an assignment, whereas some people I know will convince themselves that they’ll get up early in the morning and work on an assignment and will then forget, sleep in, or run out of time. I theoretically have endless hours of the night to get my work done!

Third, nighttime is a very peaceful time to get work done. The world is mostly asleep, and there’s a serene sort of feeling in working alone when it’s dark. I always think my best when I’m in a quiet place and I’ve had time all day to think and process what’s going on around me. In the mornings, I haven’t had time to wake up or really do anything, so it’s hard to get my brain moving amidst the hustle and bustle of a new day.

How, you might ask, do night owls stay up so late? I don’t prefer drinking coffee at night so my go-to strategy is turning up the brightness on my computer until my eyes are shocked into staying open. I wish I were kidding. Normally, though, night owls thrive on caffeine and will often sleep in to accommodate staying up.

Even though morning people are admirable, being a night owl has its perks. Need someone to talk to you late at night when you’re lying in bed thinking about the world’s problems? We’re awake! Interested in seeing all the bunnies and other creatures that are nocturnal? We are awake to see them! Like going on late night food runs? We believe in midnight snacks! There’s a good side to everything, right?

See you soon,

Hannah

[Picture Link: http://bit.ly/2nf1arF]

When Life Gives You Lemons..

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One thing we have always learned is that, “every problem has a solution.”

In the face of adversity, it’s tough to be convinced that there is always going to be a solution. Adversity is one of those things that we have to learn not to hold on to. It’s something that we should, by no means, dwell on. It may be scary, discouraging, brutal, and unforgiving but it’s also very minor.

Sometimes, you just lose the game. Sometimes, you just make mistakes. Sometimes, people just leave. Sometimes, you just miss the plane. Sometimes, you just fall short one dollar. Sometimes, you just can’t sleep. Sometimes, you screw up really bad. Would you like to know why? It’s because you’re human.

A very important way to make the most of a situation is by staying optimistic. It’s not only a much more attractive quality; but optimistic people are much more enjoyable to be around. Don’t be a complaint department. Nobody likes those.

It’s okay to vent every once in a while, but when your entire life becomes a negative array of events, it not only ruins your mood but everyone else’s as well. Wouldn’t you rather be annoyingly positive and optimistic then deviously negative and unpleasant? Negative people need to complain like they need oxygen. If you pay close attention you will notice that one of our greatest addictions, is talking about our problems. Teach your mind how to see the good in everything, you will benefit greatly from it. Our country is far from perfect; it’s full of hate, judgment and cruelty. In a world where we can be absolutely anything, be positive, be kind, and be happy.

Some people live their whole lives unhappy and never do a single thing to try and change it. This could also just be because they ignore it. They aren’t sure if what their feeling is unhappiness or simply just self doubt. It’s so important to not ignore it and to persevere toward a more positive, optimistic you. In my opinion, happiness is the most important feeling. Happiness is a mindset that takes certain people a very long time to achieve. It can be accomplished through positivity and surrounding yourself with people and activities that you love. There’s no better cure for sadness than a smile. Smiling is highly contagious so spread the happiness.

Life is full of lemon trees. Some big, some small, and some that ripen quicker than others. The fact of the matter is, that life does hand us some lemons every once in a while. It’s important to remember that every lemon decomposes, just like our problems.

Nothing’s permanent, even when we think it is. Life always goes on.

See you soon,
Hannah
[Picture Link: http://bit.ly/2ljonw1]

Influencing: New Dream Job?

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A new job is on the rise for millennials. If you spend any time scrolling on Instagram, then you know what I am talking about.

Instagram influencers are aspirational fashionistas, photographers, makeup artists, travelers, athletes, foodies and other experts in their field who collaborate with brands to reach and engage with consumers who spend hours a day on social media platforms. You may not even realize it, but these Instagrammers influence you to make purchasing decisions every day.

This sounds like a pretty nice gig, almost too good to be true. So I can just go about my daily life, posting pictures of whatever, and get paid for it? That’s not exactly how it works, though; your favorite Instagram influencer has a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes.

According to Mashable, influencers on Instagram can earn from $100 to $11,006 for content they post in collaboration with a brand. Someone with over one million followers can expect to earn between $6,104 and $24,406 per post. Not too shabby for a little square picture! A lot of this also comes in the form of exchange, where the influencer might get free product if they post a certain number of pictures each month.

So is it time to start building a social media following?

Influencer Marketing Agency (IMA) helps brands connect with the world’s top influencers to develop and manage creative influencer marketing strategies to effectively spread out a brand’s story. This makes the product more tangible and real to the consumer.

A lot plays into how much a blogger or influencer gets paid. They need to have a strong relationship with their followers, be likeable and credible. This works because what we see on Instagram often reflects everyday life; the makeup, clothes and products that are frequently posted are not ads on TV — they are real people really using the products.

This shows that people are choosing to listen to each other over brands. We believe that influencers know what they are talking about; they have tight-knit communities and can reach many people. It at least feels more authentic when we are seeing the product being used by people we admire or trust.

The popularity of influencers has caused some backlash, especially in the fashion industry. Alessandra Codinha, a Vogue Fashion News Editor doesn’t believe that influencers will last: “I have to think that soon people will wise up to how particularly gross the whole practice of paid appearances and borrowed outfits looks.” She believes instead of celebrating actual style, the influencers today seem to be more concerned with getting followers rather than being a true fashion enthusiast.

When you think about how profit plays into being an Instagram influencer, is it really sincerity the Vogue team is worried about? Or competition?

For an influencer, being concerned about your followers isn’t vanity, it’s business. Reaching the Instagram community is a central marketing strategy because social currency is capital. Labels aren’t just looking for help reaching niche Instagram communities; they also want assistance creating effective marketing strategies. Corporate brands aren’t interfering with the Instagrammer’s creative process; they are merely using people already involved in the community to present their products in a very homegrown sort of way.

So if you are already doing something you love, why not try and make a little cash on the side?

See you soon,

Hannah

[Picture Link: http://bit.ly/2mI3rv6]

To Coffee: A Love Letter

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Dear beautiful,

I’m at a loss for words when it comes to describing my feelings for you. There truly are not enough words in the English language. You make me feel like no other; you give me warmth, you give me life, and you wake up my tired eyes each morning. Your kiss is the driving factor behind getting out of bed.

If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know where I would be. My personality would be bitter, my mood would be sour, and my sarcasm would be ruthless. Without you, my days would be long and my breaks would be a bore. Without you, not a soul would dare speak to me or even look my way. You bring out the better side of me; you are my better half.

My favorite moments in life are the simple ones. My favorite moments in life are with you. The endless mornings spent hanging around the kitchen counter, waiting for you to be perfectly brewed. The number of mornings spent looking out the window, enjoying each and every sunrise with you. I cannot think of a single better way to start my day.

The winters are a special time for us; a time of true bonding. There is nothing I crave more than your warm embrace; to hold a warm cup on a cold winter’s day. There’s nothing quite like staring into your beautiful, dark abyss. There’s nothing quite like seeing the steam ripple off into the air. There’s something to be said about a steaming cup of coffee on a bitterly cold day. With each degree lower, my love for you rises.

You always surprise me; switching up your blends. Each day brings a new taste, be it Sumatran, Colombian or an Italian roast. You keep me on my feet. Will today be a french press day? A pour over day? Whatever it be, you always come looking your best. If you looked up the word “dashing,” you’d find a spitting image of you.

I can remember our first embrace like it was yesterday. I was only 15 years old and admired the inherent look of sophistication you provided. You gave me exactly what I needed–a way to grow up as fast as possible. A way to blend in with the adults sipping their drinks. A way to be the person I wanted to be.

With all that you do for me, I spend hours thinking of what I could do for you. But, there is simply no way to repay you for all of the selflessness you show me. I am forever indebted to you. You bring me everything I could possibly need to get through the mornings, and most importantly, you make life bearable.

Love,

Hannah

This was way too fun to write! See you soon.

Why Blog?

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Whether you call yourself a blogger or a content creator; whatever you label yourself, there is one constantly remaining question. Who genuinely cares what you have to say? In this modern age, most people have access to a computer. That being said everyone has deemed themselves a writer or a performer of some sort; searching for celebrity or counting their opinion as one that should be valued more than the next guy sitting at his computer.

Blogging can be used as an online expressive journal, as a way to vent helpful information or as a “how-to” for onlookers. With so many creative ideas and so many outlets to express those ideas, who has time to read? As time goes on and technology enhances, true writers are losing appreciation.

In my experience I’m finding that no one (except those who blog for the love of writing) really wants to read blogs anymore. No one wants to read anymore. Kind of like how, “Video killed the radio star,” maybe vlogging killed the blogger? There are several different types of content creators. You have your podcasters, your vloggers and your bloggers. So many different types of creative content. With all that being said, maybe people are somewhat being overloaded with information and opinions. So just how likely is it for someone to sit down, open a blog and just read?

Naturally, bloggers are in constant tough competition with each other to have their blogs noticed and read. With so many distractions and so much information just a click away, are we blogging in vain? With all the additions to technology over the years, it makes the possibility of someone else seeing or reading your blog extremely rare. So not only are we competing for the best content but now we are also competing with the variety of outlets.

So like I said earlier, who really cares what you have to say? Many would venture to ask what qualifies you?

Blogging is a complicated and ever changing “sport” due to the fact that the audience and their views change with time. Like with everything in life, there are the people who blog with the intent to gain from it financially in some way and then there are those who do it for the love of writing. Making money in what you love to do is without a doubt the best of both worlds. If you don’t love what you do and you’re only in this for money, blogging can feel like an extra job and a lot of stress.

From one (beginner)writer to another, my suggestion to you is if you’re in this for money, save yourself the time and stress, and just get out. Writing because you love it, and because you have a strong interest and passion for what you have to say is much more fulfilling.

See you soon,

Hannah

[Picture Link: http://bit.ly/2klO795]

Here is also a set of lifestyle blogs that I really enjoy:

http://www.caseyholmesblog.com/

http://www.smaggle.com/

https://www.theskinnyconfidential.com/

 

The Art of Sarcasm

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So they say you’re sarcastic, huh? Do people get offended by certain (brilliant) comments you make? Have you ever been viewed as rude? If so, don’t fret. You’re not alone. The art of sarcasm is a difficult topic to discuss, mostly because not everyone is graced with such a saucy personality. It’s something you’re born with, and not all people can fluidly respond with sarcasm rolling off their tongue like a whip. But you can. Congratulations.

As someone who has been described as “aggressively sarcastic” I can tell you firsthand that although I think I’m hilarious, (and rightfully so) not everyone agrees. In fact, being overly sarcastic has caused people to classify me as “mean” and even “judgmental.” However, what most of these silly-sallys don’t understand is that overly sarcastic people are not serious in the comments they make, in fact, they don’t take most things seriously at all.

Sarcastic people enjoy playful banter. We like being able to exercise our brains in such a way as to underline the irony in our current situation and address it subtly. We enjoy self-deprecating humor and don’t mind making fun of ourselves. Due to our own insensitivity, we sometimes forgot that yes, other people do have feelings!

A sarcastic person will often turn their caustic tongue on others, forgetting that they may view this as an attack rather than a joke. I am guilty of this daily, and I normally don’t even know when I’ve offended someone (oops). Although my close friends have learned to love and expect these mockeries from me, being sarcastic definitely has its ups and downs. Since other people realize you have this trait, it’s hard for them to take what you say seriously.

The other day I was listening to a young man discuss a class he was very intrigued about. He went on an on about the topic in depth, and his excitement was contagious. I sat and listened, nodding occasionally and smiling like the sugary-warm person I’ve trained myself to be in situations like these. At the end of his monologue I said, “Wow. That’s super interesting,” and he instantly replied with, “Oh my gosh. That was the most sarcastic thing I’ve ever heard!” Ironically, I was actually being genuine. But of course, no one knows that sarcastic people can achieve this level of emotional depth because clearly, we don’t have souls.

On the other hand, being sarcastic can also have awesome perks. People always come to you when they are looking for a good laugh, and you truly do know how to cheer someone up. You have a reputation for telling it like it is and for using dry humor to make even the most mundane occurrences satirically comical. And the best part? If some brave soul decides to join in on your fun by taking a jab at you, they know you won’t be offended in the slightest. And how could you be? It’s not like you blame them for making fun of you, because we both know you’re just dying to do the same to them.

PS: If you enjoy dry-humor as much as I do, you’ll love these shows on Netflix:

The Office | Always Sunny in Philadelphia | Workaholics | Bob’s Burgers

See you soon,

Hannah

[Picture Link: http://rdbl.co/2k5rS4P]

 

 

Keep Your Rep Up!

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When you think of Facebook, what comes to mind? Friends? Family? Entertainment? Photos? Well, for most people, networking is probably not something that comes to mind.

When Facebook was first released, it was created as a social media platform for college students to communicate with each other. You actually needed a college email to create an account. As time has progressed, that changed. People of all ages utilize Facebook for various reasons, but what most people don’t realize is that employers are looking at your profiles and your online activity.

Yes, I know. You can make it private. I know you can change the settings and no one can see what you post except your friends list. But what happens when you share a vulgar video? Someone else shares it and then someone else and so on. Well guess what? Your name is still attached to the original share and all kinds of people from all over the world are seeing this video. Maybe you didn’t create it, but your name is still attached to it.

Have you ever thought about the pictures that you post or even the picture that your friends post of you? If you have pictures posted of you dancing on a coffee table at a party or funneling beers, then you may want to reconsider a few things.

If you haven’t already, just Google your name. Because I guarantee employers will do it. You may be surprised at what you may find.

Social media has become such a large part of our daily lives that in the workplace, people are generally professional, but employers are wanting to tap in so they can see who you really are.

The world we live in today revolves around social media so it is important to build your professional brand along with your personal brand online. Think about the things that you post. How do you think others see you? Is this the image you want to create for yourself? Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t.

Building your brand online is not something that happens over night. It may require some self-development as to who you want to be and what you need to get there. Your online behavior is a representation of who you are. This is how others perceive you

Just remember this is your future. There are endless possibilities that could occur. What happens if you need a job in the future? You never know who knows who. Sometimes, networking is half the battle of landing a good job. Even if you already have a job, who’s to say there won’t be a company layoff in the year?

One of your friends on your Facebook may have the connection you need to get an interview somewhere.

Think twice about what you post.

See you soon,

Hannah

PS: Here is a link to the Facebook privacy page: http://bit.ly/2ko7CyN

[Picture Link: http://bit.ly/2ko1q9C]

As Told By a Third-Wheel

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I am a third-wheel. This sentence has become a common sequence of vowel and consonant sounds exiting my mouth, and it rolls off the tongue with an ease like my own name. Third-wheeling has become a sort of a hobby of mine; from formal dances to casual hangouts, I often find myself the loner of the group, standing alone in a crowd.

Don’t misunderstand me: I love being a third-wheel. You see, I spent a great deal of time on the other side of the equation while in high school, spending most of my time watching my friends be the third wheel to my own childish romances. But now, as I continue through the adventure of college life, I find myself riding the third-wheel train frequently. Just recently I joined a friend and her boyfriend for an adventurous night of the third-wheeler life, and I asked myself something. How many of us truly see the beauty of third-wheeling, and how many of us believe the lie that it is the worst feeling in the world? So many memes are dedicated to the sadness associated with not having a lover by your side. But can’t we recognize third-wheeling for the beauty it holds?

And yeah, it might be nice to have someone to share that with as well, but why ignore the moment you’re in just to imagine a different moment better saved for later? There will be plenty of time in the future to enjoy the presence of someone you love, so take the time to enjoy the now. Take pictures of your goofy friends ignoring you while sharing an ice cream sundae or wrestling on the living room floor. Trust me, they’ll love the captured moment when you show it to them later.

And don’t go scrolling through Facebook or Twitter just because it seems you have nothing better to do. If witnessing the magnificence of true love begins to bore you, take a look around your environment. Check out some wicked architecture, listen to the music playing above your head, count the amount of kids you see tugging on mom’s jeans. There is so much happening all around you, and this is your time to enjoy it. And who knows, maybe the person who will bring you out of the third-wheel zone will be sitting across from you at a bar, laughing at their own dorky friends wishing the same things you do. So take a moment to enjoy the life of a third-wheeler, because it won’t last forever.

See you soon,

Hannah

[Picture Link: http://bit.ly/2k2jq9e]