Category Archives: Wellness & Fitness

How to Consume Social Media In A Healthy Way

Even though social media intends to connect people from all over the world, it can often make us feel more isolated when consumed in an unhealthy way. It’s so easy to compare yourself to someone else’s highlight reel on Instagram or feel left out when you see photos from a get-together you didn’t invited to. For some people, time spent on social media leaves them feeling drained and alone, but social media has the potential to do the opposite if it was used in the right way.

My first piece of advice is to unfollow any social media creator that makes you feel worse after viewing their content. This doesn’t have to be about not liking their posts or their personality, but if you can’t view their content without criticizing yourself and comparing yourself to them, it’s probably best that you unfollow them. Instead, follow creators who promote a healthy body image and present themselves as real human beings on social media. One of my favorite social media creators is Victoria Garrick. She openly shares her journey of self-love and recovery after an eating disorder. She is known for her “#RealPost”s, where she posts unfiltered, unedited pictures that normalize things like stomach rolls, stretch marks, and breakouts. Social media creators like Garrick make me feel validated and normal. They encourage me to join the movement and post real photos of myself rather than the most polished and edited versions of those photos.

I also recommend limitinghow much time you spend on social media every day. I know it’s an easy way to pass the time, but even when consuming social media in the healthiest way possible, one can feel drained after spending hours watching videos on TikTok or scrolling through their Twitter feed. One way to accomplish this is by putting time limits on these apps, so you won’t be able to access them after spending a certain amount of time on them.

On the flip side, if you’ve ever posted pictures on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or any other social media platform, you yourself are a social media creator! That means that if you’ve ever spent hours editing your photos by shrinking your stomach and putting on a fake makeup filter, you’re contributing to the problem. One of the biggest issues of social media is that many people don’t post real pictures of themselves. As a result, people viewing their content compare themselves to a person that doesn’t even exist! I totally get cropping a photo, upping the brightness, and adding a little saturation, but when it gets to a point where you hardly recognize the person in the photo, something needs to change. 

Next time you open TikTok or draft an Instagram post, keep these things in mind. Most people on social media only share the best parts of their lives, so comparing yourself to their highlight reel is unfair. The first step towards learning to consume and create social media in a healthy way is to be mindful of these things and try our best to stay real online.

Featured Image By Allison Geddie

The Allistic Guide to Autism Acceptance Month

Take off the blue shirt. And put the puzzle piece away. You won’t need that here.

It’s April, officially making it Autism Awareness Acceptance Month (AAM). You see many events for “Light it up Blue” throughout the month with puzzle piece ribbons and blue-colored snacks of some sort. But what many don’t know is what the puzzle piece symbol means, where it comes from, and why it’s harmful to the Autistic community.

Autistic people exist wherever people exist. In your classes, at your job, and yes, even the person writing this article. AAM is your chance as an Allistic (non-Autistic) person to learn a little more about Autism, the history of common Autism symbols, and how you can be a better ally to the Autistic community.

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder, most commonly known as Autism or ASD, is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate, behave and interact with the world. Autism manifests in each person differently, and some people require more support in certain areas than others. And that’s the beauty of a spectrum. It won’t look the same from person to person. 

What matters when it comes to Autism is getting to know the person and their support needs—generalizing all Autistic people to one stereotype does more harm than good when it comes to connecting with Autistic people. On that same note, Autism doesn’t fit a one-size-fits-all mold. Any person of any age, race, or gender can have Autism, so it isn’t right to stereotype us based on one person you may know. We are like any other person. We have interests, stories, likes, and dislikes. We are human, and we want to get to know you too.

History of Autism Acceptance Month

Autism Acceptance Month, then named National Autistic Children’s Week, was first started by The Autism Society in 1972 to promote Autism awareness and ignite change for Autistic people. 

While the origins of AAM seem relatively tame, perhaps even beneficial for Autistic people, many organizations involved in Autism awareness did not try to promote the well-being of Autistic people but instead tried to “cure” them of their Autism.

If you’ve ever seen Autism symbols or been to events for Autistic people (mostly aimed at children), you’ve most likely seen puzzle pieces. Ah yes, puzzle pieces. Because nothing screams Autism Acceptance like “my autistic brain doesn’t fit into your neurotypical puzzle!”

To understand why many Autistic people dislike the puzzle piece symbol so much, we have to take a step back into the history of the puzzle piece, who created it, and what role they have in the dark history of eugenics within the Autism community.

The puzzle piece symbol was initially created in 1963 by the National Autism Society. Created as a logo to represent Autistic children, the symbol was meant to say, “a puzzling condition handicaps our children.” Thus, the puzzle piece was born. However, the most recognized use of the puzzle piece symbol was co-opted by the organization Autism Speaks, another horrendous voice in Autistic lives.

Autism Speaks is a nonprofit organization that claims to support autism research and outreach activities for people with Autism. However, this can’t be farther from the truth. Autism Speaks has a dark history of eugenics and abuse towards the Autistic community. From siphoning donation money for personal gain to funding electroshock therapy for children, Autism Speaks doesn’t let Autistic people Speak. Through the lens of Autism Speaks, Autism is nothing more than a disease that needs a cure. A blemish on the world that needs fixing. But Autism is much more than that − we are people, artists and teachers and creators, and worthy of love and support. 

How to ~Actually~ Support Autistic People

Autistic people exist outside of AAM. Surprising, I know. If you care about supporting Autistic people outside of AAM, there are many ways to help out within your community and on a one-on-one basis to improve the lives of Autistic people.

  1. Support Autistic-run organizations! Nonprofits such as the Autism Self-Advocacy Network (ASAN) and the Autistic Women & Non-Binary Network (AWN) are two organizations made for Autistic people by Autistic people! We deserve to have our voice heard, not through the filter of an allistic person. By supporting Autistic-lead nonprofits, you can help Autistic people get their voice into the world and get the resources they need to connect with their environment.
  • This AAM, consider going Red Instead and using the rainbow infinity symbol in your support of Autistic people! The rainbow infinity symbol is used as a better alternative to the puzzle piece. Autistic people create it for autistic people, is it used as a symbol of Autistic pride and neurodivergent solidarity.
  1. Support Autistic people in your community! There are thousands of autistic artists, musicians, and creators right in your area. If you want to help an Autistic person right at their front door, consider purchasing from their store, donating to their fundraisers, or participating in mutual aid.
  2. We are just people! Again, another shocker. Autistic people aren’t special charity cases or people who can’t fend for themselves. We are whole humans and should be treated as such. So the easiest way to support us is just to get to know us. 

When I went into this article, I was frankly worried about publishing it. But, for you, the reader, to learn about something that I am still learning about myself. So I ask you to come along on this journey with me as we get to learn a little bit more about Autism together. 

Featured Image By Talisa Trevino

Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring is here, which means it’s a great time for some spring cleaning! If you feel like things have been messy or chaotic in your life, this is a great opportunity to take some time for yourself and get your life together. There are many ways to do your spring cleaning, but here are some of the best tips on how to begin spring cleaning and refresh your life!

  1. Clean your physical space

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

Having a clean and organized space is a great start. Taking the time to clean out and declutter your physical space will remove any distractions and bring you a sense of serenity and comfort, thereby putting you in a good headspace. A few ways to clean your physical space are:

*Cleaning your room

*Going through clothes in your closet

*Cleaning your bathroom

*Cleaning out your desk

  1. Go through your technology

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

We spend so much of our time on our phones and other electronic devices. We have so many different files and apps that it can be hard to keep track of them all. And often, we have files on our devices that we don’t have any use for anymore. There are a few ways you can clean out your technological space to get rid of any items you don’t use, which include:

*Organizing your desktop files and deleting anything you will no longer need

*Unfollowing anyone on social media whose feed doesn’t bring you joy

*Organizing or deleting photos from your camera roll 

*Going through your favorite music streaming app and removing any songs you no longer like or listen to

  1. Refresh your mind

Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

Spring is a time for new beginnings, so why not give your brain the refresh it needs. Take some time to organize your thoughts and get some clarity on the things that have been bothering you. A few ways to refresh your mind include:

*Make a list of things you’re grateful for

*Finding a journal prompt and taking 15 minutes to write about it

*Meditation

*Picking up the phone and reaching out to a loved one

While some of these tasks may seem daunting at first, breaking them up into bite-size chunks will make them much more accomplishable. Despite how busy things can get during this time of the semester, setting aside a few minutes every day can help you refresh and get what you need in life. So put on your favorite spring music and do the forms of spring cleaning that will help you refresh your life!

Mindfulness Products to Use for the Second Half of the Semester

After Spring Break, many kids come back to school feeling rejuvenated and ready to finish the year strong, tired and lacking motivation. Whichever boat you find yourself in, investing in mindfulness products can help you maintain your productivity streak or help jumpstart it. This article compiles a list of mindfulness products that can help you balance your time, manage your stress, and allow you to have the most enjoyable and relaxing end to your semester.

  1. Affirmation Deck

This deck of 40 cards has positive messages written on them to provide you with inspiration and motivation in your daily life. They’re perfect for self-care and to remind you to love yourself! These also make for a great gift and are a way to let someone know you’re thinking of them and their well-being.

2. Hemp Seed Oil Bath Bombs

This set of three muscle-soothing bath bombs contains menthol, eucalyptus, and Epsom salt – a perfect combination to reduce stress, workout aches, and provide sinus relief. Enjoy a soak in the tub to release tension and inhale the relaxing scent to ease your mind and body at ease. 

3. Coloring Book

Did you know that they make coloring books specifically for adults? These coloring books have unique, mesmerizing patterns to help take your mind off whatever might be stressing you out. Not only is this fun, but it engages the creative side of your brain too!

4. Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets are unique in that they are heavy. However, when you take them off, you literally feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Using gentle, soothing pressure-weighted blankets helps you relax more and sleep better.

5. Essential Oil Diffuser

An easy thing to keep in your dorm or living space is an essential oil diffuser. Certain scents like lavender or chamomile help you de-stress and relax. Some diffusers also act as humidifiers, which can help clear the air, thus allowing you to breathe better. 

6. Light-up Alarm Clock

This is no ordinary alarm clock. Instead, it uses sunrise simulation lighting and natural sounds to wake you up gently. It gradually gets brighter in the minutes before your alarm goes off, which is definitely better than Apple’s blaring alarm clock noises. 

7. Motivational Water Bottle

Struggle with drinking as much water as you should? This water bottle will solve that problem! It is perfect for reminding you to drink a specific amount of water at certain times and provides uplifting, motivational messages too. 

8. Massage Tool 

Gone are the days of paying for massages when you can receive a massage in the comfort of your home! This massage machine is heated and targets your deep tissue. Suitable for every body part, this is perfect for students who walk around campus or sit at a desk all day. 

9. Dry Body Brush

Dry body brushing is all the craze. Using this in the shower or bath in small circular motions on your skin helps remove dead skin cells and improves blood circulation as well. 

Some other things to do that don’t require you to go and buy things include 

* Journaling 

*Doing yoga (YouTube has some great guided meditations and yoga exercises that are beginner-friendly!). 

*Anything else that provides a sense of relaxation. 

For some, it could be taking a walk. For others, it could be painting their nails – whatever you decide to do just know you can finish this semester strong! 

HOW I WILL FINALLY DEFEAT CHRIS HEMSWORTH USING THE FITNESS APP, CENTR

I want you to close your eyes and pic- wait, hold on, open your eyes. That’s my bad. If your eyes are closed, you won’t be able to read what I’m saying. With your eyes open, I want you to picture Chris Hemsworth, the Australian actor/hunk who portrays Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Chris Hemsworth has brown hair often disguised by blond highlights, sky blue eyes and outdoorsy-white skin. He has large sculpted muscles with approximately 10-12% body fat and is 6’ 3”. Now, picture the article’s author- black hair, dark brown eyes, inconsistently 5’ 6”, slim-ish body type, warm-skin toned with a round face. What do these equally sexually-appealing individuals have in common? We both have the same fitness team.

In February 2019, Chris Hemsworth decided to share his personal team of health experts through the launch of Centr, with the goal of helping others reach their untapped potential. Then, in January 2021, after eating three donuts in one day and running out of breath walking to his car, author Isaac Hermosillo decided to purchase a year’s subscription to the Centr app.

The Centr fitness application (available for IOS, Android, and online) provides workouts, recipes, and daily articles covering various health topics. Designed as a one-stop shop, this app provides everything you need, based on your needs, to improve yourself physically and mentally. To set up your account, you must select your fitness goal, workout difficulty and type of meal plan. Centr will then develop a weekly schedule with meals, a workout, and an article about health for each day of the week. In addition, you are able to swap out any workouts or recipes as needed and can explore the countless options of workouts that are easily searchable. 

Centr boasts a support team of fitness instructors, chefs, and wellness experts to help you become healthier. I found the coached workouts to be more invigorating than the self-guided ones, which are comparable to the majority of workouts on a similar fitness app, Aaptiv. The recipes are enhanced with a virtual grocery list. The meal plans are all gluten-free, and range from vegan to omnivorous (which the app designates as “Regular”), making them accessible to those with any dietary restrictions. The tools and advice section of the daily planner consistently provides you with compelling information regarding various aspects of health. However, it is the part I tend to skip the most. Overall, the app really does simplify the fitness process and does most of the heavy lifting for you.

Armed with Centr’s professional team of personal trainers, I started my fitness journey. I was aimless, lost, following along with workouts and making healthy recipes without a goal in mind. Then, a lightning bolt from the Norse god struck me: I could make like Thanos and defeat Thor. Foolishly, the oldest Hemsworth brother has given me everything I need to build myself up to the same physical level as him. With the following advantages, I will finally defeat Chris Hemsworth.

  1. No Kids, No Problem

Chris Hemsworth has fathered three beautiful children with his lovely wife, Elsa Pataky. Unfortunately, he has spelled his own doom. Everybody knows children make you weak, which is why I don’t have any.  Newton states that when two equal and opposing masses meet, they will stay in place. However, when one of those masses is also a father, the childless shall prevail (Newton’s lesser-known Fourth Law Of Motion).

  1. Easy To Imitate = Easy to Beat

In December of 2020, the only real way I could stay in constant communication with my older brothers was to play the obscure indie videogame known as Fortnite. Unfortunately, we suck at the game and always lose to 12-year-olds and streamers with blue hair. In an attempt to better my gaming skills, I joined a random squads match and was assigned random players from around the world to my team. One of these teammates used a microphone, and I could hear their voice through the telly (television). A young British woman spoke, asking if anyone had a snipe (sniper). Knocking over everything in my path, I grabbed a pair of headphones, plugged them in, and answered her call for help… in an Australian accent

I still don’t know why I chose to do that. I speculate my theatre kid instincts got the best of me. I played with this British lass for four months and even played a couple of games with her younger brother and sister. It was a family affair. Together, the British and faux-Australian won countless games. Eventually, I ended the charade by saying I moved to America and immediately began speaking mid-sentence in my native American accent. It was ripper (that means “awesome” for those who aren’t fake Australians). Everybody knows that the easier it is to perform an impression of somebody, the easier it is to beat them. Thus is the reason all Americans can do British accents and why we won the American Revolution. Since I proved myself to be an excellent imposter by duping an entire family of Brits into thinking that I am Australian, it is clear I will beat Chris Hemsworth.

  1. Commitment Issues 

Chris Hemsworth is a global superstar with modeling and acting contracts as well as a full-time father and husband. I, on the other hand, have an aversion to responsibilities and an allergy to duties. Time, anonymity, and his ignorance of my plans ensure that he will never know what hit him when I hit him. With my ample free time, I will be able to dedicate myself completely to my singular goal: to defeat Chris Hemsworth. 

Picture this: Chris Hemsworth returns home after a long day of filming the latest Thor installment. Taking off his blonde extensions and putting his hammer down, he begins to unlace his shoes when he feels the air above him shift. Looking up, he sees me, looking down, real Batman-like. Too slow to run away (since he has kids) and unable to overpower me physically (since the Centr app allowed me to match his physique), he must close his eyes and accept defeat. 

First, I will perform an impression of him, which will be easy after listening to his Calm meditation series in which he guided me to sleep. Then, I will reveal that I have no children. My previous plan was to have Maury come in and say, “He is not the father!” 1000 times in a row, but since that show got canceled recently, I may need a different plan. Lastly, I will read him this article out loud, and he will regret not being an avid reader of BurntX, his biggest mistake. Count your days, Thor; the anti-thunder is coming. 
(Unless, Chris Hemsworth, if you are reading this, this was all a joke, it’s satire, you’re fine, man. I really loved you in Bad Times At El Royale, and I can’t wait for Extraction 2. Also, my mom is a big fan of yours.)