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Hair and Scalp Care

Hey y’all! So one of the things I’ve been blessed with my entire life is super thick hair. I mean, when I go to a hair stylist, I usually hear “there’s just sooo much of it” and then something along the lines of “I could do so much with this” which while I know is super flattering and great for me and my future kids, it also means I have to take care of a ton of hair. I personally love keeping my hair silky and frizz-free, no easy task in Florida, and I have to use several products to do so. So if you’ve found yourself lacking a bit in the hair and scalp care department, this post is for you!

  • Get rid of any dandruff with tea tree oil. That’s right, while those shampoos may help you out, they are full of harsh chemicals whereas tea tree oil is not. It’ll give a cool tingling feeling as it works, and get rid of any flakes you may have.
  • Use a hair mask once a week. This is important to help keep your hair healthy. Heat damage is real, and if you don’t protect and nourish your hair, you’ll have frizzy and heat-damaged ends. I use a leave-in conditioner usually on Sundays that stays in for 5 minutes and not only makes my hair smell amazing, but also makes it super silky smooth, perfect to start the week on a good note.
  • Use heat protectant. Use it before you straighten, curl, or blow-dry.
  • Get your hair cut regularly. This one is key too, you can’t have healthy looking hair if you don’t take care of it and lose those split ends that are weighing your hair down. I know it seems counter-intuitive to cut your hair, especially if you are trying to grow it out, but sometimes you just have to do it.
  • Be careful how much you color. I used to dye my hair blonde, and I managed to keep it pretty healthy by using protectants, argan oil, and deep conditioning treatments, but after several years, even with all of that, it starts to show, so be careful how much you color your hair, and make sure your hair stylist uses a conditioning product after each color treatment.
  • Get a scalp massager/brush. They cost maybe $10 at Amazon and can really help you to get rid of any product buildup and make sure you’re really scrubbing your scalp with each wash. Plus, they come in cute colors!

Do you have any tips I forgot to keep your hair growing strong, shiny, and healthy? Let me know in the comments!

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Get Enough Sleep

For this wellness tip, it’s all about catching those Z’s! We all know how important sleep is for our bodies, but yet, we never seem to get enough sleep. Did you know that an adult is supposed to get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep a night? I know people who get 5 and think that they can survive on coffee. We’ve all had to pull some late-nights, and as long as it isn’t a common occurrence, it’s not the worst, but if you consistently don’t get enough sleep, try some of these tips.

  1. Take melatonin. If you struggle to fall asleep, try taking a melatonin pill. It’s all-natural and will hopefully help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  2. Try a weighted blanket. Weighted blankets are great for anxiety, but they also will help you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  3. Drink a cup of tea before bed. Sleepytime tea is one of my go-to’s when I’m struggling to fall asleep, and the soothing blend usually puts me to sleep before I even finish my drink.
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  4. Try stretching before bed. Stretching your muscles is a form of relaxation, and can help you to get sleepy enough to fall asleep.
  5. Stay away from blue lights. You need to put yourself on blue light restriction a few hours before bed, so that means no laptop, no phone, and no tv. And definitely no Candy Crush.
  6. Cool down your house. Did you know that you actually sleep better in cooler temperatures? I personally like to set my thermostat down a few degrees and turn a fan on, that way I can snuggle up under my comforter. Try it and see if it helps you.
  7. Read while in bed. Set time aside to read for 30 minutes and see if that helps your eyes to get tired. Just make sure you’re not reading on an iPad, that will work against you with the blue light. A real book is best for right before bed.
  8. Go to bed at a decent time. This is the most important one, don’t go to bed at midnight if you have to be up at 5 am! I’m one of the only 26 year olds who can happily be in bed before 10 pm, but guess what, I love my sleep, and I’m not ashamed of that fact. I also don’t need coffee to live 😉 so just plan out enough hours to help you get enough sleep each night.

I hope these tips help, and I hope you find that with your new extra hours of sleep that you are finding yourself in a better mood, needing less caffeine, and overall living a healthier life!

 

Create a Relaxation Area

For this week’s Wellness tip, we’re going to look into what relaxes us. So I don’t know about everyone else, but for me, the ocean has always been a place that I feel peaceful. I can sit in the sand, hear the ocean waves, feel the salty breeze, and can think through whatever is going on in my life, and I just feel better. I think it’s mainly the sound, there’s something soothing about the sound of waves crashing on the shore. That’s what works for me anyway. Other people have other things that relax them. For some, it’s hearing crickets each evening as they chirp away. For others, it’s hearing nothing at all, just focusing on silence and their breathing.

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Now, how many of you can honestly say that you get to go to your relaxation area each day? Not many, I know that even though I’m near the beach, I don’t get out to it every day, there’s just not enough time for me to do so. Luckily, there’s a way to bring our relaxation to us in our homes, and no, you won’t need a lot of money or even a lot of space necessarily. Creating a relaxation area is something you can do if you only have a small corner of a room to work with or the whole room.

Here are some tips to create a relaxation area in your home:

  • Determine your space. So if you have a spare bedroom that you’re not using for anything, you can use it to create your meditation room or your relaxation space. If you don’t, don’t worry, just find space in a corner of a room or in one specific area of your home.
  • Download some apps. If noises are something that really help to relax you, download some free apps on your phone that will play different sounds. You can easily find a crackling fire or the sound of waves on the shore. With that background, if you close your eyes, you’ll transport yourself to your happy place in no time.
  • Decorate as needed. What colors help to soothe you? Do you find blue relaxing or maybe a mint green to help calm you down after a rough day? Even if you can’t paint an entire room, find a painting or paint a strip of a wall. Add some flowers or something that reminds you of that area. Put a comfy chair for you to sit and relax in the room. Make it nice and clear of all distractions and clutter, so you can focus on your relaxation.
  • Add an essential oil diffuser or candle. Whether you live with essential oils or not, there are plenty of studies showing that certain smells do help with relaxation. If the beach is your thing, there are plenty of ocean breeze candles out there, my favorites are from Bath and Body Works. If you prefer more woods or are going for a meditation room, try sandalwood or lavender scents.
  • Get an eye mask if needed. If you struggle to keep your eyes closed, and are drawn to your phone, put it in another room and get an eye mask for your area. This will help you to keep your eyes closed, and allow yourself to relax for a bit, no matter what time of day.

Whether you have a budget of $500 for this project and can go all out renovating a room or you can only spend $20, there’s a way to make this work for everyone, and then you’ll have a little piece of your personal relaxation all at your fingertips. Now more than ever, with how hectic and go go go our lives are, it’s important to find time to relax and unwind each day. The easiest way to do that is to create a relaxation area in your home.

Get Those Gains

Hey y’all, this post is for those of you readers who want to work on some gains. Well, some of these tips come straight from a coworker and friend of mine who is absolutely crushing it in the health and fitness department, and I figured I’d share some of the tips that she gave to me.

Now, I’m not really focused on becoming a bodybuilder, but I do want to build up some muscle and get my arms especially a lot more toned than they are. I was chatting with my friend about this one day, and since she’s built up her body so much in the past few years and is super dedicated and focused on healthy eating and personal training, I figured I’d ask her for some tips and tricks, anything to really help me in this fitness goal, since I don’t have a lot of information on it.

Well guys, here are her suggestions on how to get those gains, at least a few pounds of muscle, and to really tone up and build.

  1. Do cardio for 30 minutes a day. You really don’t need much more than that, she’s not the only one saying this, there are many studies showing that if you do more than that, you’re not really doing much more for your body. So aim for 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes of moderate cardio each week. This is also good for cardiac health, which is key to survival 😉
  2. Do various exercises every other day, taking a rest day in-between. So for example, if you do arms one day, do a whole bunch of different exercises to work all of the muscles, not just the main ones. Same thing for legs, but if you do this, you’ll want to do around 3 sets, and 10-15 reps of each, so you’ll definitely need to take that rest day in between your workouts.
  3. Build it up slowly. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your muscles be. So take it slowly, and build up the weights slowly. If you’re like me and are working with dumbbells, rather than building up the weights, you’ll want to build up the sets. Just take your time, don’t move too fast because an injury will put you further behind.
  4. Use protein powder to help. Make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet, and an easy way to do this is with protein powder. Every morning I make a protein smoothie for after my workout, for several reasons. One, it helps keep me full throughout the day, and two, it helps my muscles repair themselves after each workout, which is very important.
  5. Listen to your body. This may be the most important one, if your body hurts or something doesn’t feel right, listen to your body. Take an extra day off, make sure that you’re not pushing yourself too much to where you’ll suffer an injury. I know from experience that pushing yourself too hard, only results in you falling further behind on your goals, so take it from me, if your body is saying no, listen to it.
  6. Eat well. This is also key to building up those muscles, eat healthy fruits, veggies, and lean meats, and don’t be afraid to have several meals in a day. As long as you’re eating healthy things, don’t feel guilty about snacking. Snacks are important when you’re trying to build up your gains, so make sure you have good snacks like an apple in peanut butter or hummus and pita chips. Even trail mix is a great option with the nuts and dried fruit.

I hope these tips help, and if you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comments below!

Witch Hazel for Astringent

Hey y’all have you ever taken a good look at what’s in some of your skin care? I hadn’t until a few years ago, and I was absolutely blown away by the amount of chemicals, including just “fragrance” which was in everything, including my face toner! Did you fragrance, in that form, not a natural fragrance like we may think of, has actually been linked to cancers? Yeah, definitely not something you want on your skin, even if it does help keep your face clean and clear. Luckily, I found something all natural, that does the same thing. Witch Hazel!

 

That’s right, I was able to cut out that chemical filled astringent out of my beauty routine with a simple replacement, that’s actually cheaper too. Talk about a win-win. I get to save money and stop putting chemicals on my face that are then absorbed through my skin. I can’t say how these companies are getting away with this, but I do know that you have to be very careful about what products you use. I would have never thought that something I use to help with acne would be chock-full of chemicals, including a bunch that are on the list of known carcinogens. I feel bad, I’ve been using these products since I was a teenager, so knowing that I just didn’t even check what I was putting on my face isn’t the best feeling. But such is life, and now I’m sharing what I found with you all.

 

You can get Witch Hazel at any store, just a generic brand works fine, I really don’t think there is a difference. And it’s not just me that says to use this stuff, Zendaya has mentioned it in interviews for how she keeps her skin clear too!

Walking

Most of us struggle to get the right amount of exercise each day, in some cases you have to get up super early before work to get a workout in or you wait until the evening and try to work it around everything else. No matter who you are or whether you have a gym membership or not, one exercise that you can do that is great for you is walking.

The studies have spoken, and walking is one of the best forms of exercise there is. If you don’t believe me, check out this study about walking groups: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/11/710 Walking has been proven to help with weight loss, cardiac health, lower blood pressure, and decrease depression, while also giving you a boost creatively.

With all the different benefits, even 30 minutes of a brisk walk each night can make a huge difference for your health, and it’s easy enough to do. If you have time to binge several episodes of The Office on Netflix, you have time to fit in a walk.

Yoga

If you’re looking to improve your flexibility, calm your mind, and work on your core, there is one workout that does all of the above. Yoga! In college, I did rooftop yoga once a week on the roof of the gym at my school, and I absolutely loved it. Now, in the words of the yoga instructor, this was not “namaste yoga” this was “CORE yoga” and she was not kidding, it was a great workout, I felt relaxed, but I also felt it the next day, it was a serious workout. Of course, depending on what you prefer, you may choose a more relaxed yoga, a core yoga, or even hot yoga, though since I live in the South, unless it’s outside, I want my yoga air conditioned, but that’s just me.

No matter which you choose, there are plenty of benefits to it for both men and women. I slacked on it a bit after college, unfortunately finding a good yoga place here is difficult, so I started doing it myself at the house with the help of videos. No matter how you do it, you’ll notice the benefits. I always find myself more relaxed after a yoga session, and yes, it is a bit of a time commitment, but if you’ve always wondered and never tried it, I encourage you to do so. It’s definitely worth it.

 

Get a Massage

Hey y’all welcome to my section on wellness! With everything going on in our lives it is more important than ever to take care of ourselves, and an easy way to relax, unwind, and take care of yourself physically and mentally is by getting a massage.

Massages to me, are things that I budget out for once a month, as a part of my stress relief. I tend to hold tension in my shoulders, which can cause neck and shoulder pain, not to mention headaches, and is just generally bad for you. An easy way for me to fix this is with a 60 minute stress relief massage. It’s amazing, I get to just drift away into zen mode for an hour, and I always feel so much better afterwards. Maybe a little sore depending on how stressed I was that month, but you get the idea.

I’m big on saving money, and a lot of people ask why I make that a priority in my life since they can range anywhere from $30-$100 depending on where you go. I make sure to get a massage each month because I know that stress is dangerous for my health, and this is something that really helps it. To me, that makes it completely worth the cost.

Sometimes, we have to just splurge and spend money on ourselves, especially when it’s for the good of our health. Not only are massages good for stress relief, but they improve circulation as well, and obviously, we all need good circulation. I highly recommend if you’ve never had one before but have considered it that you go give it a try. I got hooked, and I’m sure you will too!

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