First of all, happy fair trade month! Second, I hope that your mid-semester exams are going swell. Today I am taking some time to share with you some great ways to destress when you feel like your only option is to go, go, go, until you crash and cry.
This weekend, after suggestions from various people, I'm taking the weekend off. What does "taking the week off even mean?" That's what I asked myself when first suggested to take it easy. Honestly, I am a goal setter and someone who works on stress (AKA - high energy situations). However, everyone has their limits! Since the start of graduate school I have been so stressed, keeping up with the never-ending readings, taking 5 courses (I ended up dropping one because I didn't realize how much MORE WORK graduate courses are than undergraduate courses), completing twice my Fulbright Fellowship application (which I really had to do twice since I crazily swapped the country of application) and my December/January trip to Guatemala (which fell apart last minute and I am in the process of re-planning).
Either way, the point is that I need to take more time to relax and not constantly plan and plan and plan. So... this weekend I am taking control! Vuwahaha! To kick it off I took a trip to the mall and got a few fun self-care items that I am running low on. I don't know about you, but for me, a great way to anti stress is to take care of yourself. God created you not to be a working machine, but to live life. For me, I usually consider taking care of myself luxury time, which I shouldn't... caring for myself should be a part of every day life.
Tips to Destress
- Pamper Yourself: I gifted myself with some fun new makeup colors and luxurious shower jelly. To pamper yourself, you don't have to buy anything. Pampering yourself can even include making a cute DIY hanger project or giving yourself a homemade spa (try this avocado face mask recipe).
- Read Something Super Interesting to You: I am also learning to enjoy reading much more, so I decided to take time to read what I want, and not only academic readings.
- Breathe Fresh Air: I also love long walks and jogging, so I am going to make it a point to do that more often. Of course diet is important.
- Watch Your Diet: Instead of reaching for that chocolate pudding, pull out the carrots and hummus! Instead of cookies, reach for cranberries and almonds. But hey, this doesn't mean you have to say good-bye to the bad foods all together. I still have chocolate a few time a week, swapping out milk chocolate for dark chocolate.
- Detox From The Cellphone: The last thing I want to suggest is putting your cell phone down. Gah! I'm not an addict but wow do I spend time on that little metal box. Girl, PUT IT DOWN! Breathe!
- Shape Your Day Into A Positive One: A few more daily tips are to do a morning stretch right when you roll out of bed, drink tea when you feel on edge, take time away from other humans when needed, become engaged in a small task when you feel like you are loosing-control and need to refocus, and smile and give more hugs. I like this last one most. :)
Okiedokie, so now for the review! Well, in honor of fair trade month and my overall attempt to be a conscious consumer, I shall start by talking about where I purchased. When I make a trip to the mall my purchases are usually from LUSH and The Body Shop. Why? At all of the other stores I typically worry about the sourcing and am bummed out when I look at the tags and find nothing impressive. I am a consumer making an investment with my money. I deserve to know what I buy and from where it's from! Below is some more info on the fun things I got for my "take it easy" weekend.
LUSH this UK cosmetic company sells all fresh, handmade, vegetarian, non-animal testing and ethically sourced cosmetics and self-care products! My favorite things from LUSH are their liquid eye/lip makeups and their very squishy shower jellys! The shower jelly I got this time is an (obviously all-natural and vegetarian) pomegranate cinnamon scent which I die for. >.< At first the felt like a 6th grade science experiment, but you just lather a little pinch onto your loofah and vuwahla! (Also, the shower jelly is less expensive than it's twin in bar-form). I'm always pleased with the products I buy from LUSH.
The Body Shop is a UK self-care brand which sells all natural and ethically produced products. All of their products are not fair trade or direct trade, but each product has at least one community traded ingredient. My favorite products from them are their eyeliners, which are made of natural oils and beeswax, which glide on and last long! I also love their body gels. I'm about to try out their liquid eyeliner for the first time. We shall see how I like it. This time around I received the honey body butter and little samples free!
And lastly, I purchased Comercio Justo Para Todos (Fair Trade for All) written by economists Joseph Stiglitz (2001 Nobel Prize in Economics Winner) and Andrew Charlton from 2005. I figured that this would be an awesome supplementary book to couple with my academic readings for my International Trade courses. Also, this will help me with my business economics Spanish vocabulary. The book discusses how trade policies can impact the developing parts of the world. Looking at Latin America and East Asian economic growth, the book takes a stance from a post-developmental lens. I'm excited to dive into this book and really just expand my knowledge on fair trade, international trade policies, theories, and different perspectives on the general area of post-developmental trade policy theories. :)
With this and more time for God, I think the rest of this weekend will be great.
What do you do to relax when you are super overloaded with stress?
Looking Forward To Your Responses,