DIY Body Care

 

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Happy lunar new year!!

About a year ago, I began changing my daily body care routine. There were several reasons – minimize the amount of unknown ingredients I use on my body, it’s good for the environment, – but mostly, I love DIYs and it’s been a surprisingly smooth sailing process!

Here is a link to one of the things I replaced in my cosmetic bag – homemade deodorant! On this site also is a link to instructions on how to replace shampoo with baking soda (I’ve started doing this and it’s been really great – except my hair gets really static-y? I am still tweaking my routine).

Angry Chicken Homemade Deodorant Recipe

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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?

Add New Practices to Your Skin Care Regimen!

Hey well people!

Today’s post is a video from blogger/vlogger Fran of Hey Fran Hey. Fran has tons of videos and blog posts on skin care, natural hair care, alternatives health options, fitness, and more. She does an awesome job of talking about how these methods can be beneficial to your overall health and offers affordable ways to live an intentional  lifestyle.

In this particular video she shares her her full body skin care regimen. One practice that I’ve adopted from this video is dry brushing before showering. Dry brushing rids the body of dead skin cells, stimulates blood circulation, cleanses the lymphatic system, and has other life-improving benefits.  Check out the video for more detail on dry brushing and other awesome ways to keep your skin and health on point!

Happy Hump Day,

Kyara 🙂

Why Therapy isn’t So Scary…as explained through 30 Rock gifs

A few weeks ago I was at a panel on mental health and one of the student panelists had a great line: “At college you get assigned an RA, an academic adviser, and even a personal librarian.  What they really should assign you is a therapist.”

My personal librarian was assigned to me, and I knew that she would be glad to help, and that everyone else in the class had either seen her or wished they had the time.  I never thought like I would be a burden for asking for help when it became too hard to find information, and I certainly didn’t think it made me any less of a student.  Yet when it comes to going to a therapist, there’s a lot more hesitation.   People have less of an idea of what it means to go to a therapist than they do to go to a librarian.  So to clear up some common misconceptions, I present “Why Therapy isn’t so scary… as explained through 30 Rock gifs.”

When you think of someone who goes to therapy, most people think of someone like this:

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You don’t need to be “crazy” to go to therapy, and going to therapy doesn’t make you crazy.  Therapy is a place to explore your past, to figure out how to solve things differently, or to have an objective observer listen to your day.  Everyone could use a pair of trained ears, and you don’t need to have a problem to benefit from therapy.

Some people like to take pride in their struggles.

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But going to therapy isn’t going to negate that.  Instead it can help you learn how to turn your experiences into the person you want to be.

Does this mean I’m suddenly going to have to confront all my deepest, darkest fears?

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Maybe.  But what’s super cool about therapy is that YOU get to control what happens in it.  Want to go deep and unpack your childhood trauma from when the teacher ran out of horse stickers right when they got to you- go for it.  But you can also use the space to decompress about what is going on in your life and the best strategies for handling right now.

But doesn’t going to therapy mean I’m not the superstar everyone thinks I am?

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Nope.  Going to therapy doesn’t mean you can’t still be a role model.  It doesn’t mean you can’t still be there for friends, or that you can’t talk to your friends about your personal problems.  And it doesn’t mean you need to become a therapy advocate.  It just means that you are choosing to take some to take care of yourself in a particular way.

How can I be the super-awesome, taking 10 classes and involved in 16 different clubs  and go to therapy?

That’s why the resources we have at Barnard are so wonderful!  We have so many different options, that one should fit into your schedule.  Check out the bottom on the post for the entire schedule!

I still don’t think therapy is for me.

And that’s ok!  A lot of people can benefit from seeing a therapist, and it may be right for you at a different time in your life or not at all.  You also don’t have to stick with the first therapist you see.  Just like we don’t instantly click with everyone in a class, you might not like the style of the first therapist you get assigned.  Don’t be afraid to speak up if it’s not working, or even to request one that specializes in specific issues/identities.

Regardless of how you feel about therapy and if it is right for you, remember to make self-care a priority during the semester.  Everyone’s self-care is different, and don’t force yourself to do something because that’s the “only” way to relax or care for yourself.  Do what makes YOU feel happy and healthy.

Furman Counseling Center Hours: 

Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm

Phone: (212) 854-2092

Location: 100 Hewitt Hall, First floor

Pre-scheduled evening appointments: 

Mon-Thurs: 5pm – 7pm

After-hours Psychological Help LIne

(877) 941-1695

Listening Hours: (Walk-in sessions available in the evenings)

Plimpton Hall: Mondays, 7-9:30 pm

Elliot Hall: Thursdays, 7-9:30 pm

Epistemologies of Healthy Eating

This may turn out to be more of a rant than I’m intending, but bear with me.

Today, I was in a discussion section for anthropology in which we were discussing sugar. The book we’re reading, Sweetness and Power, focuses on the history of sugar and the way that it has been an indicator of social class from its conception to the present. Anyway, I won’t focus too much on the book itself. Basically, the TA made it relevant to the modern day by asking about types of sugar people put in their coffee, like Sugar in the Raw, the non-descript white sugar, sugar syrup, Sweet’N Low, etc., and what types of people we associated with each kind of sugar.

People were going around, saying their opinions of each, and a common theme was the word “education”. Apparently, if you are highly educated, you are taught what is “healthy” and what isn’t. Sugar in the Raw is, apparently, healthy, while plain white sugar is not. Diet soda is healthy while regular soda is not. Gluten-free is healthy and gluten is not. Unprocessed foods are healthy while processed foods are not. And the difference between people who eat healthy and people who don’t? Education.

This was so infuriating to listen to.

While I’m certainly not saying unprocessed foods are unhealthy, or even that they aren’t more healthy than processed foods, the reason people are attracted to unprocessed foods isn’t education surrounding what defines health–it’s money and status. While people in the room claimed that unprocessed food was the healthier kind, they were unable to define the difference between processed and unprocessed. They’re vague terms that are often thrown around, with people claiming that unprocessed sugar is so healthy while processed sugar is not. If you’re lucky enough to have a Whole Foods in your neighborhood and can afford to shop there, great, buy your Sugar in the Raw and claim to be significantly healthier than the population that may not even be aware of what Whole Foods is and certainly can’t afford it. It has nothing to do with health education. By that logic, “education” has also taught us that people should avoid carbs at all costs, eat granola bars or shakes in place of meals, and do regular juice cleanses–diet fads marketed to the rich, who are privileged enough to cut meals rather than settling for what they can afford. While any or all of these may be the secret to healthy living (which is unlikely, but I’m not ruling anything out), they typically aren’t focused on health as much as the popular idea of health at the time (which generally includes weight loss.) Again, I’m definitely not saying that unprocessed foods aren’t significantly healthier than processed foods, but let’s think about the demographic to which health foods are marketed. Typically, the person shopping at Whole Foods isn’t living below the poverty line, and I’m certain there are people who eat well, feel great, and don’t buy all organic, all the time.

Basically, all I’m saying is that the ways in which “healthy” is portrayed by the people selling the food or encouraging the weight loss should be viewed critically. Nutrition, while important to living well, is, in today’s society, heavily linked to weight loss and the need to sell a product. Diet fads and perceptions of health by the media are typically targeted to rich, white females–health isn’t a word that belongs to the poor.

It’s a class thing, it’s a privilege thing, it’s a gender thing, but it’s certainly not an education thing.

 

Second Monday Message Challenge: Get a flu shot!

This week, our Monday Message was all about getting a flu shot. Getting a flu shot is an important thing to do for your health and the health of others around this time of year, and it’s especially important in college communities, where people typically live close together. I got my shot at Primary Care’s first Flu Shot Fair of the semester, but if you missed it and don’t want to wait until the next one, Primary Care at Barnard gives flu shots any time by appointment, or on a walk-in basis from 9am to 11:30am Monday through Thursday, and 9am to 4pm on Fridays. Barnard students can reach Primary Care at (212-854-2091) for more information, or to make an appointment!

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Me after my flu shot – feeling fine, and I got an awesome sticker!

Doctors suggest evidence-based policies for contraception access

Feministing has had a few great pieces lately on the intersection of women’s health and policy, discussing recent debates over how and which kind of contraception should be available. Several groups have recently made announcements relying on science, rather than fear-based rhetoric, to encourage greater access to contraception for women and other uterus-having people of all ages.

Last week, the site discussed a group of OB/GYN doctors who think birth control pills should be available over-the-counter. They claim that such availability would increase access and make it easier to take birth control pills regularly, which certainly seems like a great move to promote public health and increase the ability for people to control their own bodies. Another good point is that emergency contraception, a higher dose of contraceptive hormones, already can be purchased over the counter, which on top of the medical establishment’s support suggests that this would be a safe and helpful advance for reproductive health.

That is, you can get emergency contraception if you’re over 17. As Feministing discusses, there have been major disappointments in terms of access to emergency contraception for minors, but recently a group of pediatricians has stated the age limit should be removed. This policy suggestion also seems like the right move for preventing unwanted pregnancies and allowing people of all ages to control their own bodies.

I am hopeful that these suggestions may work their way into laws, as the scientific evidence begins to outweigh baseless concerns that this access somehow promotes sexual activity at a young age or would endanger the health of those taking birth control pills. What do you think, readers–will these evidence-based recommendations be heeded anytime soon?