How I’m Trying to Supplement My Immune Health in Grad School

Going back to in-person classes this fall means I’m going to have to take a critical look at my health and daily habits. As we all know, COVID-19 is no joke, and I’m about to be sharing a building with about 250 people each day. While I’m typically pretty healthy, I know there’s more I can do.

I’m starting with taking elderberry supplements. My mom started using elderberry syrup a few years ago. It helps your body fight off cold and flu symptoms (hello Corona virus symptoms) and supports general immune health. Elderberry is packed with vitamin C! It’s also anti-inflammatory and is a good source of antioxidants. I think it tastes great on it’s own (plus adults are only supposed to take about thirty drops a day) and I couldn’t taste it at all when I mixed it into a cup of water. It’s a super easy way to boost your immune system, so if you’re looking for something that’s approximately zero work, this would be it.

I use Mary Ruth’s Organic Elderberry Syrup

Stress can also weaken your immune system, so trying to be as stress free as possible will do your body good (and not just with immune health and COVID – limiting stress is good for heart health and cholesterol levels!).  

One thing that people are predicting about COVID during the school year is that people are going to be more stressed than usual – even children. Parenting blogs, and even the CDC, are teaching parents the warning signs of stress and anxiety in kids, and trying to provide ways to combat it. Exercise, nutritious foods, and limiting screen time outside of classes helps. Last semester, when my school went full on remote learning, I tended to do my work outside on the porch because I found that I felt better in the sunlight. I also gave myself time to stand up and stretch in between classes. A short walk is better than no walk at all! 

Stress lowers your body’s ability to fight infections like COVID-19. Limiting caffeine intake helps reduce stress (but honestly I’m being a bit of a hypocrite because I drink multiple cups of coffee a day during the school year because I’m constantly exhausted). Getting eight hours of sleep, on average, a night also helps your immune system regulate itself. This is also me being hypocritical because I am too often awake at 1am trying to finish a reading that’s due in less than eight hours. But the point is to try and get eight hours of sleep. Here it’s not the thought that counts, but if you’re pushing yourself to develop better sleeping habits then you’re doing the right thing for your body, even if you only manage to get a half hour more sleep than you usually would.

I’m also trying to eat healthier this go around to give my body a fighting chance against contracting any viruses. I was not very healthy my first year of law school, and I definitely ate out more than I should have. Whole foods and lots of fruits and vegetables are what I’m focusing on this school year!

What ways are you trying to protect yourself from COVID this school year?

This post was sponsored by Mary Ruth’s Organics as part of a SLACK influence campaign. I earn a small commission when you shop through my links. Posts like these help keep my blog up and running!

My Eye Brightening Trick

No matter how much sleep I get I always look tired. Pair that with an important interview or a date and people start to think I look disinterested. I almost wish I could have a sign that reads “This is just my face. It’s how it always looks. I’m not tired or mad or bored. It’s just my face.”

While I’ve tried lots of different things, like the cold spoon technique or Blaq eye masks (review on those coming soon!), I always end up looking like I need a cup of coffee and a nap about an hour after. Go figure. So instead of trying to fix the skin around my eyes, I decided to make it stand out by adding a little sparkle.

I do my normal concealer and foundation routine, adding some extra concealer in a shade lighter than my skin tone around my eyes, and then pop some thrive cosmetics brilliant eye brightener in Stella in the corners. The product is sheer and sparkly, allowing me to build it to the intensity I want. On a normal day I usually go for one swipe. The very pale nude is many shades lighter than my usual skin tone, and when popped directly into the corner of my eye it instantly brightens my eyes and makes me look a little more awake.

A lot of the reviews online express disappointment that the product isn’t full coverage on its own. I’d encourage you to think of it more like a highlighter. You wouldn’t use your highlight as concealer or foundation, so why are you doing that around your eyes? Instead of being used alone to cover up dark under eye circles the thrive brilliant eye brightener is meant to distract.

The best part about the product? I got it for a discounted price in my winter FabFitFun box. Usually $25, I got this product along with a handful of others for only $50. Boxes are usually a $200 value (!!!) but you only pay $50. Better yet, you can purchase through my FabFitFun link for $10 off your first box! Here’s the link: http://xo.fff.me/lIjDp

This post contains affiliate links. I make a small percentage of every purchase made through those links, which helps me keep this blog up and running.

Tarte Drink of H2O Hydrating Boost Moisturizer

Let me start this post by saying that I’m not a makeup guru. I hardly ever wear more than foundation and mascara. That being said, I love Tarte cosmetics for many reasons, their Shapetape foundation and concealer being one of them!

Tarte is not only vegan, but makes products especially for sensitive skin. My skin likes to have allergic reactions to things off and on. Sometimes I’ll use a foundation for a few months and then boom! allergic reaction. This hasn’t happened with Tarte’s Shapetape line (I’m praying I don’t jinx myself as soon as I hit publish…).

When they sent me a free sample of their Drink of H2O hydrating boost moisturizer from their Rainforest of the Sea collection for my birthday, I was ecstatic. My skin is both very oily and very dry. Go figure, right? I’ve been doing my best over the past year to really rethink what I put on my skin and how the weather is going to make my face react to different product combinations. The winter months are usually when my nose and cheeks get flaky while the rest of my face decides to repel any and all moisturizer in favor of a nice sheen of grease. It’s great. In comes Drink of H2O. I’ve been using it under my foundation off and on since school started back and while there is still some shine on my forehead, it’s not nearly as bad as usual. The driest parts of my face are no longer dry! Mission success!

There are two sizes available. The 1.70 fl oz can be found here, and the 0.5 fl oz can be found here. The price point seems a little steep, but I would consider it well worth it for the quality of product you’re getting. My skin almost immediately lets me know if something’s irritating it. I have not had an allergic reaction, itchiness, or a major breakout since beginning to use this moisturizer and coming from me, that’s a pretty good track record!

I am in no way, shape, or form affiliated with Tarte cosmetics – e.g. this post is not sponsored – I just really loved this product! (but I do receive a small percentage if you buy a product through the Amazon links)

If you want to read any of my other beauty product reviews, you can check them out here.

Thoughts About Self Care and Competition

A friend recently asked me “how often do you write?” To which I responded, “not enough.”

We’d been talking about how everyone everyone has been a little obsessed with Lady Gaga at some point. He mentioned that he liked how she’s unobjectively herself. I mentioned that I really appreciate that she’s learned how to be herself without having to be forceful about it (I wasn’t a fan of her during her meat dress faze, to say the least). You can be yourself without throwing yourself into a random party outfit generator each morning. You can be quirky and not have your outfit scream to the world that this is who you are. There is courage in doing that, yes, but there’s also courage in being firm in who you are without having to prove it to the world. And I think that’s where Gaga is now.

Getting back to the point: I was analyzing the evolution of her lyrics with my friend as we drove to dinner. Not to be cocky, but I could overanalyze anything. One could call it my hubris. But tonight, it worked out in my favor. My friend started asking me about my writing. Now, I love to talk about loving to write and all the plans I have for novels that aren’t going to go anywhere and how I used to perform slam poetry blah blah blah, but this conversation, for whatever reason, made me realize that I wasn’t doing what I loved as often as I thought I was. 

I created a motto for myself this school year: Do more of what makes you happy. By not making the time to write, am I not following my motto? By making the time to write but not writing what I am really passionate about, is that also breaking my motto? Sadly, I think so. It’s not that I am intentionally depriving myself of some mental need to obtain joy via the written word (*insert sarcastic eye roll here*), it’s that I am missing out on extra joy because I subconsciously internalize my want to produce literature. I don’t make time for writing, other than my blog, because I feel like there are so many better, more productive things to be doing. I could be studying for tests, or reading for bookclub, or calling my parents. I could do my laundry, cook real food for dinner, or vacuum. It feels like there are a thousand more important things in my life right now. But more important to whom?

That’s the catch right there.

I care how people perceive me. I overanalyze it to the point of lunacy. There’s this little voice in my head telling me that if someone caught me spending an hour a day writing for pleasure I would be stripped deserving the titles I have. If I spent an hour a day relaxing by planning out my next novel instead of preparing for Homecoming or reading over my UGA tour notes or creating guides for my next-to-impossible biology exams someone is bound to say that I don’t work hard enough for what I have.

I know I’m not the only one that looks at the things that make me happy and push them to the side because there are “more important” things to do. Part of this, from what I can tell, stems from how competitive my graduating class is. I remembering being in high school where people would brag about not sleeping for days, or using Adderall to stay awake long enough to do weeks worth of homework in a single stretch. I didn’t want to participate in things like that, so I did what I could to keep my grades up and still be a functioning human being. I got into college and that same thing kept going on and on and on. I’m even friends with people that still post on social media each time they’re up in the library past 2 am studying for a test. It’s a competition to prove that you’re the best student because you work the hardest, and it’s not healthy.

We, the collegiate millinials, have an unhealthy competitive edge (that’s probably going to lead us to early graves if I’m being honest). We care too much, and because we care we work to impress others (whether others actually care or not) rather than to fulfill ourselves. I am not asking everyone to become self involved workaholics. I am simply stating that doing self-fulfilling tasks with the fervor you put into your studies and extracurriculars would be a nice change of pace. So, instead of glorifying not sleeping or studying until you nearly collapse, let’s glorify doing things for not other reason than that they make us happy.

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Links I’m Loving

It’s been such a long week, filled with some crazy good surprises!

First off, I made it onto the 2017 Homecoming Committee! For those of you that are new to Bailey Studies Psych and don’t know, I was on the Homecoming Committee for 2016 as the Community Outreach Chair. This year I’ve been selected to be the Court Chair, which plans and executes Homecoming Court interviews, selection, voting, banquet, and crowning.

I also made it into The Arch Society for the University of Georgia (which was perhaps the greatest surprise of the week).

I’ve also been doing yoga more, following an amazing Youtube yogi named Adriene.

Speaking of yoga, check out this sweet set of yogi master army figurines!

And just in time for Valentine’s Day – comedic candles that smell like certain world leaders (lookin’ at you, Justin Trudeau)

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Happy Day! Have a great rest of your week!

xo Bailey

Ten Healthy Goals for 2017 That Won’t Stress You Out

So it’s basically the end of January and I realized just how crazy these “new year new me” challenges have gotten…is it just me or is everyone trying to slim down a dress size or have ‘gains’ for spring break? While hitting the gym five or six days a week is a great goal, sometimes it isn’t obtainable, so don’t feel bad if you miss your Zumba sesh or only run a mile one morning. As a college student I often find myself studying until late at night and having a hard time getting up at 6 or 7 for a run, so when you skip a workout you’re definitely not alone! Instead of focusing on how often you’re working out during the school year try a different approach – small steps to health that take up almost zero time throughout your day!

1. Drink a glass of water before having a “regular” drink at a meal

This is something I picked up on at camp as a child as really wish I’d followed through on during middle and high school. Water does such great things for your body! Having a glass of water in the morning before your usual cup of coffee helps keep you hydrated (sounds self explanatory but coffee is a diuretic and can slightly dehydrate you). Water during dinner helps to flush impurities from your system. Drinking eight glasses a day is the ultimate goal to strive for and this is, in my opinion, the easiest starting point.

2. Whatever your average step count is for Monday-Friday try to double it Saturday and Sunday

FitBits and step counters seem to be more popular than ever nowadays, but do they really improve our lifestyle? While I usually get 10,000 steps a day walking to and from classes, I don’t actively pursue ‘real’ exercise after I’ve hit my step count. If you’re like me, or are just trying to hit 10,000 steps at least once or twice a week, try doubling your average step count on the weekends. For example, my average step count this Monday-Friday was 7,356 so for both Saturday and Sunday I’d try to hit 14,712. For me, that’s roughly 7 miles. It sounds like a lot, but if I spent an hour jogging as opposed to watching Netflix I’d be nearly finished for the day.

3. Stand up and walk around every one to two hours

Did you know that being seated for more than an hour and half is bad for your heart, spine, brain, and digestion? Because I didn’t! Sitting for prolonged periods of time (i.e. over an hour) slows your blood flow and makes it easier for fatty acids to clog your arteries. If you’re sitting incorrectly this puts an abnormal amount of pressure on your neck and shoulders, leading to pain and/or stiffness. Sitting extensively also prevents your brain from getting fresh blood flow and a good amount of oxygen, leading to fuzzy or slowed thinking! And what most people are probably concerned about – lots of sitting causes your digestion to slow, causing bloating and sometimes weight gain. While just standing up and stretching for a second each one to two hours doesn’t seem like much, it makes a world of a difference for your body! And walking a lap around the room, to the bathroom, or even just to fetch a fresh cup of coffee helps to keep your blood moving properly and takes a lot of stress off your shoulders (literally).

4. If you read a lot, or have to read for class or work, try reading while using a stationary bike or treadmill

Last semester I read at least one book a week for class. It took up a lot of the time I’d usually spend exercising, so I came up with a compromise. I took my book, and a highlighter, to the gym and sat on a stationary bike for an hour. Audiobooks are great for when I’m running or walking, but if you need to write in the books you’re reading for class I’d definitely suggest my stationary bike method.

5. When buying unhealthy snacks or desserts opt for the smaller carton or the prepackaged servings

Such. A. Good. Idea. Because who hasn’t eaten an entire chocolate cake before? Pro tip: if baking your own goodies cut the amount in half or more so you don’t end up with three weeks worth of servings for one person, if not share with friends!

6. Do calf raises, squats, lunges, or some other easy leg exercise while brushing your teeth

I had the unfortunate experience to have my calves called out in Calculus class early last semester. Two cross-fit junkies decided it was a good idea to make the entire class aware that they were jealous of my “muscular man calves” and ask for my secret as to how I got them this toned. The only thing I do specifically for my calves are calf raises while brushing my teeth, which also helps strengthen the ankle I rolled last January. When you think about it, doing four minutes of light leg workouts a day ends up being a whole lot of muscle toning by the end of the year.

7. Take a multivitamin with your breakfast

Easy, peasy, lemon squeezey. Just make sure to look for one containing both calcium and iron if you’re still a “young adult” like me!

8. Cut out the negatives for your life

We’ve all heard this a million times. But seriously, go do it. It’ll take some time, but if you’re scrolling through Insta anyways then what’s a little unfollowing going to hurt? Same with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and the like. Surrounding yourself with positive people removes stress, which can eventually lead to better heart health and weight loss!

9. Do pushups, crunches, yoga stretches, etc. during commercial breaks or in between Netflix episodes

Think of it as a light pre-workout exercise or a stretch session. You shouldn’t be sweating or breathing hard, but you should definitely be using your muscles and slightly elevating your heart rate. This not only leads to better overall health but can keep you awake and focused for longer, meaning you can binge watch to your heart’s content (or at least until class starts…)

10. Smile

Think happy thoughts! Radiate happy thoughts! Be happy that your happiness is helping others be happy! That’s not just the little psychologist in me speaking – studies show that smiling more can help reduce blood pressure.

Product Review: Biore Charcoal Pore Strips

I went home the other weekend and decided to treat myself to a little at home spa day. I put coconut oil in my hair, did my nails, and thought really hard about doing a facial. For some reason I always manage to get the facial goop in my hair (or in my eyebrows…yikes) so I typically avoid them. One way to clean out blackheads, dirt, and oils from problem zones without all the hassle of a facial or face mask is a pore strip!

With all the hype surrounding them, I figured I’d try Biore’s charcoal pore strips. I’d used their charcoal face wash in the past and absolutely loved it, so I hoped these cute little black strips lived up to the challenge…

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The before picture is on the left

The after picture is on the right

Needless to say, there was no difference, other than a slight black residue left on the top of my nose. I’m pretty sure my blackheads were rejoicing, although I was not.

Their product also claims to keep oiliness at bay for 24 hours. Keep in mind that I have fairly oily skin, but my nose was greasy by dinner that night.

On Staying Young

I work as a lifeguard at a resort. Each weekday morning I open the pool half an hour early for a water aerobics class attended by elderly women from the surrounding neighborhood. Today was no different. I opened the gate, set out freshly rolled towels, opened umbrellas, and turned on the speaker. However, there was one thing out of place: someone had left a large beach ball in our lost and found bin.

One of the Aquafit ladies found the ball and tossed it to her friend in the pool. A game of volleyball, held between five seventy to eighty year old women, commenced. Never before had I seen such joy on their faces, even though the game was more of chasing after bad passes and missed catches than anything else. But, after all, isn’t most of child’s play chasing after things?

Children are so good at running after whatever captivates them in a singular moment in time. Adults are much more focused on details, plans, and long term consequences. We tend to get so wrapped up in things that we live in the future rather than the here and now. Visually, this can be represented by samples of Picasso’s work.

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child. – Pablo Picasso

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How to be “younger”? Be more here and now. Focus on how you feel, what you want, what joy the next five minutes can bring you. Better yet, can you make someone else’s day better in the next five minutes? Live in the present more often and you’ll find yourself to be living a more youthful life.

xo, Bailey

A Playlist for the Week

Hello all! So sorry my posting has been infrequent at best, I’ve been under the weather recently. Finals, spring allergies, and the rounding up of the semester (i.e. projects, papers, and mas chaos) has killed everyone’s immune systems. No body even bothers to shush the coughing student in the library anymore.

Which brings me right on into my playlist for this week! Because I’ve had absolutely no energy and about ten times my normal work load for school I needed an extra boost. Despite the ever present cup of coffee in my hands, I was still tired all week (and still am, gosh darn it). So what better way to put a pep in my step than to create a happy, energizing playlist?

macaroon playlist

What are your go to songs when you’re feeling sluggish?

xo Bailey

P.S. All you Amazon junkies out there – be on the lookout for an EPIC new post later this week!

Ten Things Only People Living in Freshman Dorms Will Understand

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Ah the freshman dorm…the newbie residence of choice. Whether you were forced by your university to live in the dorms or you did this of your own free will, you’ll know there are a few unmistakable hallmarks of this type of living arrangement. From the wild parties to the bonding time your hallmates and you had complaining about the terrible wifi, you’ll only understand how real the struggle was if you lived in a freshman dorm.

 

1. Turning on three showers to get the hot water to turn on…

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2. That *one* person

You know who I’m talking about. You hear them making promiscuous sounds at 2 am. Every week night.

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3. The laundry room has no chill

If you’re one second late taking your clothes from the dryer I will dump your clothes on the ground.

4. The casual elevator drunktumblr_n8q1zvsaat1tbh1dho1_400

Typically a he, usually partied too hard that night and tried to find his way back to his dorm alone, only now he doesn’t know what floor he lives on…we all feel a strange sort of envy for this guy. He’s gonna have some great stories to tell ten years down the road.

5. Central heating attempting to turn the dorms into Central America

Could we maybe turn it down to…I don’t know…something other than 85 degrees? Thanks.

6. So help me if anybody burns their popcorn at 1 am ever again

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7. Dorm parties are great until someone gets hurt

Or, ya know, falls out of a 9th floor window. Ouch.

(it happened at my school, read the article here)

8. “We have excellent wifi on campus!” except the freshman dorms apparently

Thanks, Paws-Secure 1, 2, AND 3, for disconnecting during online tests, dropping during crucial essay writing moments, and never being there for me whenever Netflix was my top priority.

9. If you give a mouse a cookie…

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10. “These are the best years of your life!”

Yes, through crappy dorms, scary advanced classes, and a few rocky starts these years will shape up to be some of the best. So even though your shower might not have hot water or you had to stand out in the snow during the wee hours of the morning due to burnt popcorn and a fire alarm, you’ll get through these last few months so quickly and wish for them back – just so you can do it all over again!

xo Bailey