Tag Archives: healthy

This Summer, Get Your Life Back Together

This summer is all about big and scary changes for me. What about you? What areas in your life — mental, financial, relationships with siblings or spouses, diet, etc. — need the most improvement? What makes you frustrated or unhappy is the area that needs the most work. Let summer 2013 be all about making healthy steps forward, not backward.

1. Mental Health 

Do you wish you had someone to talk to in confidence? Do you feel depressed, angry, hopeless or frustrated and not sure how to get out of this mess? Gather up your courage and locate a mental health professional. Focus on practical methods of therapy that will help you to focus immediately on the major issues and he or she will guide you to make the necessary changes in life.

  • Find a therapist at therapists.psychologytoday.com and enter your zip code.
  • Choose someone that specializes in areas you need work on (eg: anxiety or substance abuse, marriage counseling) and that accepts your insurance or offers a sliding fee scale — one of the most common reasons for putting off seeing a therapist is the thought that one cannot afford it — not true!
  • Make an appointment for next week.

2. Physical Health

Feel sluggish all the time, tired, and winded going up a few flights of stairs? Recently gained weight? Never exercise? It’s time to change.

  • Start small — 3 times a week for about 30 minutes.
  • Make it easy — take a walk after dinner. No purchases required to get fit.
  • Make it fun — involve your friends/family. Play tennis, play tag with kids, go to the beach and walk along the shore, go swimming, take Zumba, etc. Find something you like.
  • Make it last — attach the habit of exercising with something you already do everyday. Drive past a gym on the way home from work? Keep your gym clothes in your car and head there immediately before going home. Need to watch a certain show every night? Exercise during that program.

3. Spiritual Health

  • If you are religious and have been slacking on going to your church/temple/place of worship, it’s time to recommit. It’s a great place to feel a sense of community and faith like nowhere else and feel like you’re part of a bigger whole, which is comforting. Also, start reading your passages and reflecting silently, too. How can you be a better Christian/Jewish/Buddhist/etc. person today? Can you volunteer, help someone, read a new passage, pray, be closer to nature?
  • If not religious, you can still work on your spiritual health. Practice saying a mantra everyday that makes you feel empowered. Or go to a quiet place of nature and reflect silently.Take steps everyday to remain positive in your life and believe in the magick/karma/The Secret. Meditate. Do yoga. Feel more in tune with your body & soul. Align yourself — become more balanced.

4. Diet/Nutrition

  • This is an important step. Diet has a profound impact on the way we feel, think, and our ability to perform/function in our daily lives. Take this summer to practice eating habits that make you feel better. Journal what you eat, at what time, and how hungry you were. Note how it makes you feel after eating and what emotion you were feeling. Note trends in how you feel hours later or the next day, too — especially if you eat a lot of carbs (sluggish, tired, bloated). Change your habits one meal at a time and become more conscious of the calories you consume — though you don’t have to count them, it’s a good idea if you want to lose weight.
  • Eat cleaner, local, organic foods — search for local farmers markets in your area.
  • Eat more vegetables. Every meal. And try a new veggie once a week or so.
  • Drink water, not calories. An easy way to lose weight and feel better is to drink more water and replace sodas/juices/etc. with water.

5. Social Life/Happiness/Relationships

This is an important one to work on. Ask yourself honestly: How can you be a better…daughter, mother, son, father, wife, husband, friend, relative?

  • What relationships in your life are fading and need TLC? Who can you call that will brighten their face? Catch up with old friends.
  • Ditch the toxic people in your life, as well. If you feel negative when you’re around, make bad decisions like drink/smoke, or if they treat you badly, ditch them. Life is too short to hang around with awful friends. You can always make new friends that align with your goals. Seek them out.
  • Do something that makes you happy everyday. Even if it’s a little bit selfish. If you are not happy everyday, than what is the point of living — seek help if you are feeling depressed, and seek ways to bring happiness into your life on a constant basis.
  • Make an effort to be social, friendly, and confident — even if you don’t feel like it, fake it. It will get easier, I promise.

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If this article helped or inspired you in any way please let me know what you will be working on this summer. I have my own list and I’d like to see what you will be up to.

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February, or the month of GSD

So January is almost over, and PROGRESS-WISE, that leaves me barely a stone’s throw away from where I started since 2012 ended.

I figure since February is such a short month (28 days!) that it’s time I mentally, physically, and metaphorically get shit done. Hence, Feb 2103 = Get Shit Done Month (GSD for short or if you don’t like swearing).

I’ve been lurking over at jessicamullen’s blog for a while to generally inspire myself and to think more positively about stuff. I’ve been trying to inject pieces of positiveness into the universe, take risks, and do things that terrify me, like participating in my classes. Just recently I took the plunge and gave myself a raise, technically speaking, on Fiverr: instead of getting 500 words for $5, I’m charging $5 for 250 words. And people are still ordering from me! My fears have been abated. I deserve more. I write good (er..well). People like my work. I’ve been committing to going to classes like it’s my job. I like learning when I’m there. I like my teachers. I like feeling productive, instead when I skip I feel useless and generally crappy.

the only thing that I’m not working on at all is my weight situation, which is, er, a huge problem. I’m tired of gaining and not losing. I want to be healthy, happy in my own skin. But I’m not acting like I want to be those things. I’m behaving like I want to be unhappy, unhealthy, and uncomfortable. I have to reverse this horrible habit. So this month I’m mostly going to concentrate on going to the on-campus gym (which is right there and, free) after classes at least three days per week for 30 minutes to start. The weather is a tad less wintry and awful, so I’ve been walking to school some days, which takes 15 minutes one direction. I will end up not taking my car completely when it is consistently warmer out.

I’ve been adding healthier things in my diet, but I also eat a lot of nonhealthy things, and just plain unfood. Cookies, chips, and other things I inhale to distract myself from other things just has to stop. It’s time for lettuce. tomatoes. broccoli. Things that make me feel better after eating, not worse. not things that make me sick. figuratively and literally.

I also need to make my DAYS more productive. How do business people act? People who freelance professionally? People who have the lifestyle I want? I need to emulate that. People who create multiple streams of income online do not sleep until 2pm. People who freelance professionally do not stay up until 3am eating cookies (I think).

These people wake up early, at a set time everyday, exercise first thing in the morning, eat a real breakfast, get their work done early and don’t bullshit on the internet half the time, and keep their house clean and orderly. They manage their time well and don’t have to rush for deadlines, well unless they like the rush (don’t all writers? we like punishing ourselves this way, don’t we). They know how to get into FLOW and FOCUS. They take breaks and eat regular, balanced meals. They still have plenty of time for other creative and social activities. They know what to do to avoid getting depressed or feeling hopeless.

This February, I will GSD. Will you take the challenge with me?

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Eating Clean: Learn The Basics in Three Minutes

Vegetables

Clean eating is much more fulfilling than a Big Mac.

By the time you read this article, you will be able to quickly analyze your current eating habits and begin eating cleaner. What is eating clean? Clean food is fresh, unprocessed food. Clean food is not preservatives, food dye, and flavor enhancers. Clean food is not sugar, artificial sugar, or artificial flavorings. Clean food is not McDonald’s, Lean Cuisine, or anything with MSG.

1. Take a minute to think about what you currently eat. Do you run to Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s for quick pick me ups? Do you buy potato chips at 2:30 P.M. because you missed lunch and you’re starving? Do you HAVE to have dessert — or anything chocolate — once a night?

2. Take another minute to decide on healthier alternatives.You don’t have to run a marathon after learning to crawl, so breathe and pick one area you think you can handle right now. Hate feeling tired in the mornings because you don’t eat breakfast? wake up 10 minutes earlier and grab a yogurt and drink some water. If you really feel up to it, scramble some egg whites and put it on some whole wheat toast. The key to eating clean is to eat a combination of healthy protein and carbs at each meal. This will keep your energy up, and you’ll feel better because you’re eating real food. Think about the perimeter of the store you shop at: vegetables, fruit, chicken, turkey, learn ground beef, learn cuts of steak, milk, eggs, whole wheat bread. That’s really all you need.

If you need some help, here’s a quick guide to mix and match meals for carb + protein. Just mixing these suggestions can yield 49 meals. Add a glass of water and you’re all set. Healthy cooking methods: Roast, bake, steam, grill. I also like to pan-fry with a touch of calorie-free PAM (or the cheaper store brand equivalent).

CARBS:

Lettuce. Potatoes. Whole wheat bread. Broccoli. Apple. Spinach. Kidney Beans.

PROTEIN:

Boneless skinless chicken breast. Salmon. Ground turkey. Low-fat cottage cheese. Sirloin Steak. Roast turkey breast. Eggs.

3. Take the last minute to create a goal. Now that you have a basic idea of how to construct a clean meal, create your goal using the worst meal or type of food you currently eat. It’s good to start small, but a bit out of reach, for your first goal. What do you want to accomplish and measure in a short amount of time? Do you want to lose 5 pounds by next month? How about a jean size?

The next step is to go shopping, buy clean foods, and do it!

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Wake Up With a Smile and a Mantra Everyday

SmileMost people wake up in a fog (or hungover) and groan as they pick themselves up from their bed, peel off that oh-so-comfortable comforter blanket and shuffle their way to the coffee-maker. What is the first thought that goes into your head when you wake up?

Mine is: I am healthy, happy, and strong. I will work on my goals today and be productive.

Not quite what you’d expect, right? It wasn’t always that way. I used to hate waking up, wanting to hide under the covers all day rather than risk wasting the day hating myself and my life. I would immediately turn on the train wreck of negative thoughts and worry about what I had to do that day, and how I’ll probably find some way to mess it up or that I won’t have time to do it all, or that I will somehow waste the day.

It took me a long time to realize that when I wake up thinking negative thoughts, they just snowball into a huge boulder on my chest, preventing me from going after what I really wanted for my life. And when I am thinking negative thoughts, it becomes nearly impossible to think of positive ones.

So I started to try out this positive mantra of how I see myself wanting to be: strong, healthy, and most of all, happy. People don’t just wake up and suddenly become happy. But you can change your cognitive thinking to more positive thoughts, and it will be easier to learn to be happy.

Yes, you can learn to be happy.

Being happy isn’t a goal. It’s not a place you get to and then start living the good life. It’s not an endpoint. It’s the journey. It’s the attitude. It’s a feeling. The easiest way to tell if someone is happy is by their facial expression: what is the universal symbol for happiness? A smile. So start your day with a smile (and breakfast), and you will start waking up a lot easier without negative thoughts.

When you smile, instantly think of a positive mantra. You can use mine, or you can think about your favorite inspiring quote. Flash an image that makes you happy — your kids, your boyfriend, a friend that makes you laugh, flowers, you meeting an important goal, anything — every morning. Having trouble thinking of a positive mantra? Need some ideas? Download this pdf file of great ones.

Soon it will be automatic, and you will begin to face each morning as a new day to conquer your goals, not as just another day to get through and get it over with.

Every day is a new chance to do something important for the rest of your life. 

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5 Small Ways to Save Money And Eat Healthy

rice

At 3 cents per ounce, rice is a serious money-saver.

Hopefully this article will help many of you dealing with trying to cut back this year while also eating healthy. I’m committed to doing both, because eating healthy foods does not and should not be expensive. I have actually saved money by not eating out and by following the tips I’m going to share with you today. I’ve come up with a brief list of ways you can save money while still being healthy.

  1. Brew your own coffee, don’t buy coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. Buying a can of coffee can cost about the same as one large specialty coffee drink, but it can last weeks to a month (depending on your frequency). Plus you can relax at home while making breakfast, rather than getting in your car early and waiting in line, which is a waste of time. You still save even if you buy a more gourmet type of coffee, but I usually stick to the cheapest on-sale brand. Make sure to look at the unit price/ounces too, a $3 can is not a deal if it is only half the size of the $4 can.
    • Better yet, drink tea. A box of simple black or green tea has about 100 packets and is a couple of dollars. That makes tea about as cheap as rice when you look at the unit price. Also, tea is easier to drink plain (without added sugar or cream) because it is not bitter like black coffee, saving even more money.
  2. Eat the same breakfast everyday.It is easier to stick to healthy habits if the meal preparation doesn’t take much thought. What easier way to do that than having the same breakfast everyday? Wake up. Coffee or tea. Oatmeal. Banana. It’s easy, and requires no thought, no rushing around seeing what you have and what to make. A box of oatmeal is a couple of dollars and has 8-10 packets, a box of cereal is $3-4 and lasts weeks.
    • Getting bored? Write down 2-3 breakfast choices that are easy to make, quick and balanced. Keep them handy such as on the fridge so you can look at it and decide which one you want each morning, and get to work half-asleep. You can reap the benefits while also have more than one simple choices to vary it up. For example: day one: oatmeal, fruit, coffee. Day two: cereal, fruit, coffee. Day three: 2 egg whites, fruit, coffee. Shopping will be a breeze since you’ll know exactly which items to purchase.
  3. Buy in bulk and do the work yourself. People pay more for convenient foods: individual packets of oatmeal, prewashed salad mix, pre-cut fruit pieces, canned beans. Usually buying in bulk will mean bigger savings for you. Look at the unit price of the items when shopping, and you will notice a savings of say, about 50% just for buying the canister of steel cut oats than the 10 packets of oatmeal in a box, plus you’ll be getting more for your money so it will last longer. And don’t even think about buying those “express” versions of single servings in a bowl. That can be over 50% MORE expensive than buying the box of packets. Same goes for buying meat — buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself, buy lettuce heads and wash and cut it up yourself. It really won’t take up much of your time, but it sure will make a difference in your wallet.
  4. Eat meat less. While we’re sticking to the grocery bill, try to cut out 1 or 2 nights a week where you and your family do not eat meat. Instead, have a dinner focused on protein alternatives. Try a mexican style night with beans. You can also do pasta night or pizza night without any meat/meat alternatives. With most meats running at least $1/lb (for chicken on sale) to over $10 (for good quality steak), you could shave off a good percent of your food bill if you focus on say, the vegetables one or two nights, than the meat. This is a great time to experiment with recipes from other countries where meat is not a staple or even present in most meals. Asian countries have rice as a staple, which is extremely cheap. Remember to follow tip #3 and buy the rice in bulk, where it can run as cheap as a mere few cents per ounce (for example, a 20 lb bag of rice is less than $10.)
  5. Eat more salad.Ever notice most of the packaged/processed food basics we buy are carbs? Mashed potato flakes. Pasta. Bread and bread products. This means that the food is generally more expensive. I say generally because pasta is a serious go-to staple to keep for cheap dinners, especially ramen. At least a couple times per week to start, have a meal that lets veggies be the star, not carbs or protein, and by that I mean, eat a salad. Fill a bowl or plate with various vegetables (doesn’t have to be fancy — most of my salads are just lettuce and tomatoes), pick a light salad dressing, maybe sprinkle some cheese on there (I love my cheese…sadly dairy products are also pretty expensive).
    • Another cheap food item many people don’t take advantage of are eggs. Don’t save eggs for breakfast. These are a great way for getting in lots of protein and vitamins. Simply hardboil them and cut them into slices and top off your salad with filling protein.

I hope you found these ideas useful and show that you can eat pretty healthy while saving money off your grocery bill. If you take away one thing from this article, it’s this: pay attention to the Unit Price of items, and watch your bill shrink.

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Why You Eat When You’re Sad

This is an extension of the post I did a few days ago called How to Stop Emotional Eating – For Good. Emotional eating can take many forms, but most people can probably agree that it is when you are sad that the cravings for cookies and ice cream start calling. I wanted to do a more in depth exploration of why this happens, and of course, ways to help overcome it.

Stress.

The number one reason we will eat is due to the stress that negative emotions cause us, especially sadness. Most times, stress goes hand in hand with depression and can either be a symptom or a factor in being sad. When we’re stressed, our bodies release the hormone cortisol, which creates cravings for unhealthy foods and stores these extra calories in the belly, the visceral fat region which is a danger zone for heart attacks. Some people also feel the need to soothe their oral fixation caused by anxiety or any other emotion, which can be soothed by the repetitive motion of picking up handfuls of food into the mouth.

So how to reduce stress? There’s plenty of techniques, but here’s just a few to get you started:

  • Meditation – it sounds corny, but it really does work. Search around for some meditation videos on YouTube like this one or this one, and lay down face up (or however you’re most comfortable) with arms down your side and preferably headphones on. Listen to the music, or the music with guided meditation (helps with imagery). A good meditation session will leave you less stressed and relaxed like you’ve just woken for a nap.
  • Nap – if the meditation isn’t your thing, then you can take an actual nap. It doesn’t quite solve anything, but it does help you to sleep on some hard decisions.
  • Deep breathing – breathe deeply through your nose for about 5 seconds, hold for just a sec, and slowly release through your mouth for about 5-10 seconds. Do this for a couple of minutes, especially at moments of high stress, and see how you feel.
  • Yoga – yoga is another thing that’s not for everyone, but if you like it, you’ll love it. You can also do some basic stretching (not yoga-y) while using the deep breathing technique to really reap the benefits. You can do a quick pose when you’re feeling stressed at the office, or you can do it every time you wake up (and do the Sun Salutation).

Numb or Distract Ourselves.

Going back to the pain/pleasure principles discussed in the How to Stop Emotional Eating – For Good article, people don’t like to feel pain and will instinctively find any way to stop pain and increase pleasure. This often includes distracting ourselves from difficult news or emotions. Food is a way to distract ourselves from the pain and to induce pleasure with the chemicals and sugars found in foods. The repetitive act of eating is soothing, as well as the sensations of food which cut off our thoughts.

Habits/Learned Associations, such as from Childhood.

Most moms can admit to using an ice cream cone as a pick-me-up for their children when they get a minor injury, such as falling off a bike. However, if used enough times, the child can learn to associate good feelings with food. Food is seen as the way to make the pain go away, or to stop crying. Maybe moms should start using carrots instead of cupcakes, and the world will be a better place 🙂 Ahh, but even though this may be an ingrained response from childhood, it is fairly simple to unlearn the association. One way is fear – imagine spiders and other gross things on your favorite junk food item or literally throw dirt on your junk food item before you’re about to eat it (a waste of food yes, but for an important point). Or as soon as you feel a craving for that specific treat, such as ice cream, pinch your wrist very hard. Soon you will learn to associate the junk food with pain.

As an example: One time I spent far too much time on Youtube watching gross videos about decaying animals, just for the curiosity of how flies and maggots play the role in the circle of life. I had also watched a fascinating time lapse of all kinds of fruit decaying and molding in a bowl. Unfortunately, the next day my sister gave me a cherry to eat, and I literally could not stomach the thought of eating that cherry. It disgusted me to look at the fruit and be reminded of that video. So it can be done. Next time I’ll try to find something about ice cream.

Ignoring the Larger Problem(s).

This is related to numbing/distraction, but usually the problem is far worse than normal thoughts throughout the day. Perhaps you have a dark secret that even yourself cannot bear to think about – do you have a sudden urge to eat potato chips or the like? Some people hide their disparity about their failing marriages or their cheating husbands by gorging on food at night because they can no longer cry about it, or the food helps them ignore the problem. This is when it is time to see a professional, to uproot these issues. Being raped or molested is another huge reason girls will overeat, as a way to provide a buffer so that they won’t be noticed by predators. Short of seeing a therapist, which is highly recommended (especially if you’re eating to cover up feelings about serious depression or suicidal/harmful thoughts), you can try these things:

  • Journal! Write it out, and tackle your feelings head on. Write a story about it, in third person if you must, and share it with someone. Chances are there are a lot of people who can relate, too. Sharing makes it easier to go through the experience.
  • Pick up a creative hobby to do instead of eating. Can’t write or talk about it? Try drawing or painting. You don’t have to be good at it, just do it for the therapy.
  • Try CBT therapy on your own. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a technique that many therapists are skilled in. You can try a simplified version by yourself, if you’d like: CBT’s goal is to find out the reasoning behind your behaviors and to try to alter your thinking patterns and inspire better behaviors. For example, your undesired behavior is that you eat too much, and your cognitive functioning is that you eat because you’re sad. Write out why you do this, and find the real problems. If you’re crying, or it feels hard, then you’ve found the real reasons. Once you’ve pin-pointed the thoughts that are making you do this behavior, then it’s time to find out how to change those thoughts and therefore your behavior. Whenever you think a negative thought, change it into a positive. Work on your self esteem. Change your surroundings so that you can change your problem. And then you can also consciously work on changing your behavior. The two are related, so you’ll start seeing improvement both ways. It’s usually a long, difficult and drawn out process – which is why professional help is recommended. I’ll write a post more about CBT later, however.
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If Your Life Sucks, Do Something About It

SadYou know when you get in one of those moods, and you start to feel pretty frustrated with your life? Maybe even depressed? I was feeling it a couple of nights ago, and fueling the fire with more and more pitying thoughts. After a while, I started to get sick of it. I forced myself to stop the lonely pity party and do something about my problems. I’ll make it easy and even provide some suggestions so that the next time you’re feeling this way, you’ll be able to stop yourself and attack it at the source.

The only way to get yourself to stop feeling like your life sucks is to be proactive about your problems and find solutions.

The “Do Something About It” Template
you can use this template to really think about your goals. What part of your life can you not stand the most? Which area is the most pressing? Your health? Your job? Your wife or husband? It’s time to align your life with your priorities. It starts with defining exactly what it is that upsets you or stresses you out the most, and then finding a model (ie: a person to look up to) so you know what it should look like. I strongly recommend that you write this down; fill in the blanks on a piece of paper or online journal:

  • Something you dislike about yourself:  ___ (choose one each time for simplicity)
  • On a scale of 1-10 (10=most), how much do you dislike this? ___
  • Why does this part about your life suck?
  • How did you end up in your current situation?
  • Whose life (or facet of life) do you look up to or wish to be?
  • How do you think you can emulate this person’s life so you can improve your own?
  • What tools or resources will you need to have? What will you have to learn or buy?
  • Define your goal for this change: ___
  • Now make steps for working towards this goal, of changing what you dislike about your life.
  • What can you do this year? This month? Today?

Examples to get you thinking and on the path to change.
Here are some ideas of common life suckers and how to change them. I can’t give all the answers, and I wouldn’t know them anyways (since there are many paths to the right choice), so I’m going to lay out all the options I thought of for each of the scenarios and it’s up to you to put them to the test and see which change will work.

  • You hate your job. Start by finding out what it is that you hate: your boss, your coworkers, the industry you’re in. You may have to switch departments, location, or even find a new career that you love. The first two reasons will mostly consist of finding out how to do those things, and interviewing at a new branch. You may want to brush up on job interview skills and update your resume. If you choose the last option, your goals will also include perhaps going to community college or new training. Research what you want to do and see what schools will allow you to get a job with a degree or certification. What brings you the most joy?
  • You don’t like something about yourself – clothes, weight, hair. Physical appearances are relatively simple to change. If you don’t like your clothes, find out why and start learning about how to have style. Buy a fashion/style magazines (girls, go to Allure or Glamour; men, try GQ) and go online for ideas. Try some retail therapy. Depending on your budget, go to stores like Macy’s Kohl’s, etc. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money: try thrift stores, Savers, Goodwill. Or, swap clothes with friends and ask them for advice. If you dislike your hair, do the same thing, but look at hair magazines and consider a totally new change like cutting your very long hair or straightening your curly hair. A good color change and hair cut will do wonders for self esteem. Weight is a different animal. This requires learning new nutrition and fitness information and implementing better habits daily. Start exercising every morning and eat more vegetables to start. Read a fitness-minded magazine like Fitness or Shape and go online to find a good exercise equipment, video, or gym membership plan. Make sure you also tackle the bigger issues here – emotional eating, large portions, or even depression. Seek professional help when necessary, even if it’s just one session with a personal trainer.
  • You hate where you live – your room, your apartment, maybe even your state. Make sure you define clearly what it is you dislike before doing anything drastic. What bothers you the most about where you live, and what answer do you think will make you happier? Look around for different apartments in the area and find a better floor plan, more space, less money. Tackle roommate issues head on, even if it means you moving out. If it’s your area bothering you, start exploring new cities around you or in a different corner of the state. This could be hard if you live in a large state. Ask around in forums or craigslist for information on other cities and towns in your state for better living areas. If you dislike your state, find out why (the snow, the harsh summers?) and choose states to visit first that don’t have what you dislike. If you hate snow, consider moving south or west where the snow barely hits. If you hate summer, move up north. If you like all the seasons, go towards the northeast. Search online for places to visit and that would interest you – make lists of the perks they would offer – excellent schools? low crime rates? cheap rent? nicer people? no hills? culture-rich city? quiet rural area? commuter friendly? Consider what is important for you. Visit places first and if you like a place, look for jobs and apartments/houses to move there. Make sure you consider all risks and costs involved with this step, especially the further away you move. Make sure it is something you really want.
  • You don’t have many friends, or the ones you do have suck. Look in the mirror first. Are you a bad friend too? Consider working on your weaknesses like being bossy or avoiding calls to hang out first. Then consider what bothers you about your friends. Are they sketchy? Do you feel like you’re being used? Do they never call but hang out with their other friends? Do they lie? Are some of them downright abusive or manipulative? Get rid of toxic friends first. This is an awkward situation, so end it as clean as you can. Be straightforward and end all ties that are holding you down or making you feel awful. If you’re feeling lonely, find out if depression isn’t making you avoid your friends and/or interests. Then force yourself out of your comfort zone and find ways to make new friends — at parties, clubs/bars, libraries, gyms, school, the bus station, the park. Be friendly and don’t be afraid to ask people for their number or email address. Make plans to hang out with people and have fun with new activities. Pretty soon you will introduce him/her to your own circle of friends (and your new friend will introduce you to his/her’s) and your friendships will expand, giving you more opportunities to meet new people.
  • You feel like crap, and you want to eat and live more healthfully. This usually goes hand-in-hand with being overweight. Figure out what your bad habits are and why you do these things. Make an active effort to learn more about healthy eating (magazines, library books, youtube) and start buying more fruits and vegetables. Start small and replace unhealthy versions with better ones that offer more nutritional value and lower calories. And if you eat out a lot, learn to cook a few healthy staples — you will lose weight, eat more vitamins, and save money, too.
  • Your life is a bore, and waking up feels like a chore. If you have the following symptoms: lack of appetite or increase, insomnia or sleeping too much, not interested in things you used to love, isolating yourself from friends and family, feeling down, sad, or irritable, and thinking about suicide or death, you may have depression. If this has been going on consistently for more than 2 months, please make an appointment to see a therapist. It may be hard to take that first step, but it is worth it. Depression may underlie many of the symptoms listed here as hating your life, and may manifest itself into eating too much (or not at all), avoiding friends, hating your job, or not feeling pretty or worthy of affection. If you feel like your life is never good enough, and it is a struggle to do even simple everyday tasks like take a shower, eat, or get out of the bed, then you need to seek help immediately. Search for a psychologist in your area A.S.A.P.
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