What is ‘Sleep Hygiene’?

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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]

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]

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]

OITNB is Back!

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My inner OITNB fan girl internally screamed when Netflix released the latest trailer for season four of “Orange Is The New Black.” For those of you who have not yet binged OITNB, the story for the show is based off Piper Kerman’s 2011 memoir, “Orange Is The New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.”

OITNB is anything and everything. According to IMDB.com, the show centers around Piper Chapman, a thirty-something who is sentenced to 15 months in a prison after she’s convicted of a decade-old crime where she transported money for her drug-dealing girlfriend. Essentially the show in a nutshell is badass.

For my fellow OITNB binge-watchers, let’s recap what happened last season:

1. Bennett went MIA

Bennett and Daya were happy and about to have a baby when poof! Bennett went bye-bye after spending time with his beloved Daya’s crazy family. I know I was really rooting for Bennett and Daya to fall happily ever after. Damn you Bennett!

2. Nicky gets ahold of Vee’s stash

Nicky gets ahold of Vee’s heroin stash at the end of season two. With Nicky being a recovering addict, she decided she had to get the drugs out herself. She enlists corrections officer Luscheck, who ultimately throws her under the bus. (Bastard.)

3. Piper enlists the women of Litchfield to sell underwear to pervy old guys

Piper was assigned to making underwear for the Whispers lingerie company. She would gather unused material to make her own underwear and have the lovely women of Litchfield wear them around and then sell them online to creeps. (Ew.)

4. Black Cindy converts

After the prison food is replaced with mush, Black Cindy learns that if inmates are Jewish they can receive kosher meals. Black Cindy makes it her mission to convert to Judaism and actually “finds her people.”

5. Alex is back

That’s right. Pipers boo thang is back in Litchfield. Alex immediately believes someone is out to get her. At the end of season three she is cornered by one of the drug cartel members which makes us all feel a little on edge.

Now that we’re pretty much up to speed on what happened in season three of OITNB, what do we have to look forward to in season four? Well, you can imagine there will be more drama, romance, friendships and backstabbing.

The official trailer for season four teases us viewers that Piper doesn’t feel safe in Litchfield, Taystee now has a desk job as Mr. Caputo’s assistant, there will be new prisoners and there will be secrets, lies and deceit that will unfold this season when the ladies of Litchfield return June 17 on Netflix.

A ‘Grey’ Thursday? We’ll See.

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For Grey’s Anatomy fans everywhere, it’s a big day. The season 12 finale premieres tonight. After experiencing emotional trauma that even Owen Hunt couldn’t salvage, we know to brace ourselves when a season comes to a close. With that in mind, here are a few hopes shared by Grey’s fanatics for this upcoming TGIT. Listen up Shonda Rhimes:

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1. Cristina Returns

The landmark character loss that eternally changed the course of the show was Cristina’s departure. Meredith is struggling without her person. She needs Cristina there to give her pep talks, talk some sense into her decision making, and most importantly bring back the dance parties with tequila.

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2. Arizona and Callie Get Back Together

Second to Mer-Der, these two were the ultimate power couple up until Shonda shattered our last hope at finding love. In the finale, fingers are crossed that these two realize how absurd this custody battle is, forgive each other, get remarried, and live happily ever after (until the next earth shattering tragedy at Grey Sloan Memorial).

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3. Jo Says “JK!”

Last week, after Alex’s third proposal to long term girlfriend Jo, she gave him an answer, but it was the wrong one. Alex has been through almost as much emotional turbulence as Callie (which is a whole lot) and deserves a happy, lasting relationship. Jo needs to snap out of this BS and accept the proposal. If not, she probably has some terrible mental illness that inhibits her from seeing how sexy/caring/doctory Alex is.

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4. April and Jackson Find Peace

I don’t care what form this comes in, but I can’t stand to watch them go through any more pain together. Remarry, raise the kid together, or never speak again, but please no more ups and downs. Although, I wouldn’t mind if they did decide to get back together, after all she did leave a guy at the alter for Jackson and that shouldn’t go to waste.

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5. Meredith Wakes Up

I know Derek’s dead and we can’t really bring him back as that would defy the whole “science and medicine” thing. BUT, he can’t just lay in the ground and let Meredith go get it on with the next hot Doc in town. She needs to wake up, next to Derek, and shake off the bad dream that has been the last two years. PLEASE, SHONDA!

There’s No Place Like Home

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Let me preface this article by saying I am not a hermit. I love spending time with my friends, going to the park, shopping at Kroger, etc. But anyone who knows me is well aware that my favorite place is my bed, wearing pajamas and fuzzy socks, with a mug of coffee. While some might say acting like an 80-year-old when you’re a college student is “lame,” being a homebody definitely has its perks. Here are a few reasons why.

Let’s Get Moving

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Classes are finally out (for some), all stress is gone, and being able to sleep in and not have a care in the world is the absolute best feeling. Summer break is only a few months long, and the time always flies by. I usually create a fun bucket list for the summer to ensure I make time for adventures.

Here are 20 things I plan to do, and everyone should try to do before summer is over:

Go to the Aquarium:

Getting to see all the different types of fish, sharks and all sorts of things there is definitely worth the trip and money.

Go to the Zoo:

Seeing all sorts of animals in their semi natural habit is a fun and eye opening opportunity, and a super fun trip for the summertime.

Go to a Baseball Game:

Doesn’t really have to be a baseball game, but get out and go somewhere to watch a sporting event! They’re always fun and entertaining. (Plus the food is always delicious – and bad for you)

Go Fishing:

Getting to go to a pond or river to try and catch some fish is rather relaxing and can be a fun trip with friends. Wear sunscreen, trust me.

Go to the Beach (or Lake):

Beach trips are essential for any summer break. Getting away from home, staying in a house or hotel and being able to relax for a week or so is so nice. Being able to hear the waves crash on the shore and lay in the sand is one of the best feelings

Eat lots of Seafood:

One of my favorite things about the summertime is being able to eat seafood, especially Rockefeller Oysters!

Sleep Under the Stars:

This doesn’t cost anything! Grab a friend, a few sleeping bags and enjoy nature for a night! Watch for unsuspecting animals though.

Go to an Amusement Park:

Going to any amusement park during summer break is always a must. Getting on as many rides as possible and getting you or your friends out of y’alls comfort zones is one of the biggest perks of going!

Go on a Picnic:

Pack a lunch, go to a park or a fun place and eat with some of your friends while enjoying time outdoors. Take your pets! They will love it just as much as you!

Go Kayaking:

This is really fun, and something a lot of people have never done. Head out to a near by lake and start your adventure.

Have a Bonfire:

The real reason to have a campfire is so you can roast marshmallows and make as many s’mores as possible.

Try every DQ Blizzard flavor:

What challenge could be better than trying to eat as many DQ blizzards as possible? I can’t think of anything.

Go to Church:

This is a free activity that just helps me personally feel good.

Get out and Run:

Maybe try for a 5k or just simple run here and there.

Go Biking:

As long as you have a bike, this is a great way to get some exercise at the same time as having a blast. Being able to bike somewhere that has different sightseeing opportunities is an amazing experience.

Glow-Bowl:

This a cheaper, fun activity to do to get out of the house and have some fun.

Help a Stranger:

Giving back and helping someone else is really rewarding not only for yourself but it benefits that stranger tremendously.

Go Hiking:

This is a cheap way to have an adventure and be able to experience the awesomeness of nature at the same time.

Learn Something New:

Whether it be learning how to play an instrument or a video game, expand your mind and see what you can accomplish!

Grow as a Person:

I think this is one of the most important things you can do for yourself this summer. Take time out to really discover who you are and what you want out of life. This will help you grow and start to figure out your future!

What’s Free Time?

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Here are my thoughts on how to manage your precious time while in college:

SCHOOL COMES FIRST.

Yeah, I know I probably sound like your mom, but what’s the point of spending money on college if you’re not going to put in the work? College is your job. If you haven’t realized that now, you will by your junior year. I promise. Once you understand this, managing other things becomes a little easier.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR.

Thank you Steve Jobs for the iPhone calendar that alerts me when I have things coming up. At the beginning of the semester, go through and write down when all your tests/projects/presentations are due – you will know what days and weeks will be your most busy ones. Also, if you have a job, mark down your hours ASAP.

TAKE A BREAK.

This is what my friends and I are personally struggling the most with this summer. We’re in the height of our junior year, and our schedules allow for very little free time due to jobs and classes. No matter how busy you get or how long your list is, you need to make some time for yourself. Pick at least one day on a weekend and devote to making irrational purchases, eating like a pig, and staying out with your friends at 4th Street Live until 4am.

COMMUNICATE.

Between you and your friends and family. The ones who truly care about you will totally understand if you forgot to call them back or have to reschedule a dinner date. However, they deserve a few hours of your undivided attention now and again. Let them know your schedule and make sure they understand you haven’t forgotten about them.

YOU WILL SURVIVE.

Some weeks, there just isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done that you should have. This is a revelation I had last year. Never should you compromise your health or well-being to ensure that you got every single thing accomplished. You will know you’re on the right track with time management when the balance scale lays straight. We’re human – not perfect, and there’s always tomorrow!

 

 

Well, That Stinks.

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Doing laundry stinks (pun intended). So why not reschedule for next week, next month, or the next time you visit your parents’ house? Because it’s gross, that’s why.

Here are five signs it’s time to man up, grab a roll of quarters, and drag your smelly hamper down to the nearest Laundromat ASAP.

WHERE’S MY FLOOR?

Generally, floors are made out of three basic materials: hardwood, carpet, or tile. Therefore, if your floor looks like it’s made entirely out of clothes, it’s time to do your laundry. You never know. You might find a couple extra quarters beneath all that mess.

MISMATCHED SOCKS

Look at your feet. Are your socks different colors? Is one an ankle sock and the other a tube? Yes? OK. Now look in a mirror and reevaluate your life.

Mismatched socks are a sure sign that it’s time to do your laundry. So remember, always look down before you go out.

DIDN’T YOU WEAR THAT YESTERDAY?

What do you do when someone asks, “Didn’t you wear that yesterday?” First, lie. Second, run home and do your laundry. Third, avoid that person for at least a few days.

OVERFLOWING HAMPER

Most hampers are designed to carry a single load of laundry. So, if your hamper’s overflowing with dirty clothes, it’s time to dump in the wash, throw in some Tide, and do your damn laundry.

EMPTY HANGERS

Take a look inside your closet. If there are so many empty hangers it looks like a sale rack on Christmas Eve, today is laundry day.

Just do it. You will thank yourself later.

 

Let’s Do This

Finals. This is the most stressful time for any class. Along with worrying about papers, tests, presentations, projects and whatnot, we also have to worry about the grades that have been accumulating all semester. Sometimes it can come as a shock that you’re just not doing as well as you want to in one or more classes. While worrying about grades is super fun and all, there are more constructive and productive things to do this time of year.

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  1. Attend and Participate in Class

In many classes, participation really does count. If you attend the rest of your classes–and really try to pay attention and participate (speak up in class, unless it’s a big lecture class where that’s not expected), it can make a huge positive bump in your grade.

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  1. Talk to the Professor

Professors are the ones that will be giving grades–they’ll tell you exactly why you’re getting that B, C, D or F. Most of the time they will also be able to offer you extra credit or ways to make up for missed assignments and classes.

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  1. Ask Questions

On the note of talking to your professor, another great thing to do is to ask questions. I usually start the given homework on the day that I get it (even in class that day, if I can manage it). That way I have plenty of time to ask questions and so I don’t spend hours struggling on something the professor could explain in two minutes.

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  1. Reassess Time Commitments

While you’ve managed to get through a good chunk of the semester fulfilling time commitments, whatever they may be, it doesn’t mean that you’ve been handling them as well as you thought. Personally, my motivation for school went down last year so I decided to ask for fewer hours at work, which gave me more time to focus on school. Considering this is my last year, I figured I should enjoy learning in a college environment while I can! There’s always time to make money later in life. Maybe.

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  1. Cut Down on Binging to Get More Sleep

Whether you’re a late night heavy drinker, heavy reader, or heavy Netflix binge-watcher, it’s probably taking a toll on both your sleep and homework needs. Take advantage of any early weeknights to stay caught up on sleep, this way you’ll have more focus during class and during study sessions. I have to actually set an end point in my shows so I’ll get to bed at a decent time instead of watching an entire season of Bob’s Burgers.

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  1. Finish strong

With these tips, your grades will be looking fabulous by the time finals roll around. But that’s no reason to not focus on finals, really putting effort into final projects and other assignments will boost your grade even more and show your professor that you are dedicated to raising your grade! You can do it.