A New Way to Connect with Your Menstrual Cycle

It seems like there’s no end to cool menstrual health products these days — from the DivaCup to those new absorbent underwear (which, by the way, have some pretty awesome new ads), the number of available period-managing options seems to be expanding every time I go on the internet. So, when one of my suite mates came into my room a few weeks ago, claiming she found yet another intriguing new product, I immediately wanted to know more.

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It’s midterm season, and it can be easy to let stress get the best of you. But fear no more! Here’s a playlist that might help you with your studies and stress relief simultaneously. Music has always helped me focus and decompress. This semester I’ve started a new routine I like to call the Study/Jam. So far I’ve found that listening to non-lyrical music improves my attention-span while reading/writing/studying. These songs help me visualize the setting of my readings and push me to consider rhythm and sound when writing. After a while, intense study can get to a point where I feel like I’m having a staring contest with my notes. When my body starts to get antsy, I push aside what I’m working on, clear my floor and take some time to jam out. Forcing myself to move in between working clears my head and helps me think more creatively.

This playlist budgets an hour of reading time, but is peppered with songs that make me (and hopefully you, too!) want to DANCE. After about 20 minutes of reading/writing/studying time, there’s roughly 10 minutes to kick your feet, throw your hands in the air, do cartwheels (if your single is larger than a pantry or your roommate is elsewhere), let your body speak while your mind rests!

Good luck with exams, everyone! Remember not to forget about taking time for yourself. I hope this playlist allows you to study more productively with time to jam and decompress in between :)

Sweat It Out – tips, tricks, and suggestions for on-campus exercise possibilities

Midterms have come swiftly upon us – and with all of the busyness that they bring, it is easy to forget about taking care of yourself – and especially ~exercising~. Fitting in a run, class, or time at the gym can seem unnecessary or even more stress-inducing during an especially busy time. However, working out can be an incredible tool for managing stress, improving mood, boosting your immune system, having more energy, sleeping better, and literally feeling strong and ready to take on the world!

Check out even more wonderful ways it can impact your life: 13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise. What an amazing tool it can be!

It’s easy to feel scattered or have a one-track mindset during midterms (tests, tests, tests, essays, projects, etc.), but taking care of yourself during this time will benefit both you as a person and a student. Learning, growing, and working are all easier to do when you are taken care of. :) Exercise can be an important part of caring for yourself, however not everyone’s self-care will look the same or necessarily involve working out. If you do want it to be part of your routine and are looking for more tips on how and where, read on!

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Some Jams for October

Hey yall!

I hope your Octobers are full of pumpkins. Unfortunately, mine is also full of midterms! I remembered recently how much music helps, especially some good R&B. (Interestingly enough, a lovely student came around in Joe recently asking people if R&B helps them study, so apparently this is a common refrain!)

My friends and I spent a little while pulling some of our well- and woman-adjacent favorite tracks, some old but more new, while trying to enjoy some of the last sun today. Enjoy the crisp beautiful air while it lasts!

A quick warning: be aware, there’s some less-than-kind language in a couple of these tracks. Take care of yourselves.

While we’re at it, two fun surprises that might make your day:

  1. Did you know that Babeland offers a 10% student discount? If you’ve ever been curious about the wide world of sex toys (or if you’ve been paying full price!), this is for you!
  2. Did you know that Barnard student health is now inserting IUDs right here on campus, and that they’re free with Aetna Student Health? If you don’t know what an IUD is or you want to know more, here are two great resources that can really help–and of course the well-woman office is always a great resource for info as well!
    1. Some IUD facts from Planned Parenthood
    2. Autostraddle’s Big Queer Guide to IUDs!

Best wishes for pie and joy in October!


Composting in a Cosmopolitan Environment

It’s easy to think that living green is tough in a place like New York, and of course it can be at times. However! After moving off the meal plan and into a suite with a kitchen, treading lightly on this planet has become a source of happiness and convenience for me. Here is a couple tips about how to compost your organic waste and why that can be useful!

Q: How can I compost?

A: There are a couple ways. If you have access to a refrigerator or freezer, then the cheapest option is just to put your organic waste in a brown paper bag or plastic bag right in the freezer. This prevents any odors and creates a wild veggie ice sculpture! Another option is to purchase a compost container that does not need to be refrigerated. These tend to cost around $10-$15 and can be bought at most hardware type stores. You can also watch the decomposition process occur which is pretty cool.

Q: Where do I dispose of this veggie ice sculpture?

A: We are so lucky because the farmers market that occurs every Thursday and Sunday on 116th and Broadway has a compost collection site! So all you have to do is bring your veggies to the compost tent called Grow NYC (which is the first stand right by the Columbia gates) and dump your green goods into the bins they have there! On Sundays the truck comes and collects the waste at 1:00pm, but Thursday it stays open until 3:00 pm.

Q: What’s in it for me?

A: SO MUCH! Firstly, you wont have stinky trash! If you compost and recycle, you actually produce very little general waste, which takes up less space and requires you to remove it less frequently. Also it reduces fruit flies or any other pests that may manage to creep into your space. You also get the satisfaction of knowing that your waste is being used for growing more things which is just pretty awesome if you ask me.

More information on why you should compost from Grow NYC here: http://www.grownyc.org/compost

Me when I go to compost: giphy

Quick q’s for a frantic self: learning to attack unhelpful thoughts

this is definitely one of those “easier said than done” things and definitely not an “be all end all” method to calming anxious thoughts but sometimes just the process and patience of asking + answering questions to yourself is helpful.

for those moments that we are our own best friend:

questions for anxiety

sometimes neglecting your basic bodily needs is the final straw. consider these questions and tend to them accordingly. this isn’t a to-do list, but rather to draw your attention to what your body might be asking for.

  1. When was the last time you ate?
  2. Did you have a piece of fruit today?
  3. Have you taken a moment to yourself today?
  4. When was the last time you took a shower?
  5. Have you seen a friend today?
  6. Have you moved around in the last few hours?