Tag Archives: wellness

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!

A Beginner’s Guide to Tea

Nothing screams “I’ve got my life together” more than brewing yourself a good cup of tea, but often, tea is seen as the lesser cousin of the venerable coffee. This article is a local tea aficionado’s attempt at making the case for why tea is indubitably the superior beverage.

A Beginner’s Guide to Tea

By Morgan Scruggs

The Basics

The three main categories of tea are black tea, green tea, and oolong tea. Black tea has the highest caffeine content and is often the best option if someone makes the switch from coffee to tea and wants their cup of tea to pack a punch. Green tea,  most famously known for its matcha variant, can be quite strong but has less caffeine than black tea. Finally, oolong tea has the least amount of caffeine and often has light, floral notes that enchant the more refined palate.

Tea is a healthier option than coffee since it doesn’t leave you dehydrated and isn’t as potent if you like drinking multiple cups a day. Personally, I switched to tea because coffee made me extremely anxious, which wasn’t a great way to set the tone for the day.

Tips on how to enjoy 

Choose your player

If you are just starting on your tea journey, use your favorite beverage as a template for what types of tea you will most likely enjoy. If you are someone who loves energy drinks, don’t opt for oolong or more floral teas; instead, try green tea, especially green tea with fruit or mint flavors–Interested in swapping out coffee for tea? Try darjeeling or assam tea (both are types of black tea). If you love holiday drinks all year-‘round, black tea, milk and an array of spices from cinnamon to nutmeg are your best bet (also known as chai lattes).

Ice ice baby

Everyone knows the best coffee drinks at Starbucks are the iced ones, so why should tea be an exception? Use everything from giant ice cubes to fancy, tiny silicone ice cubes to amplify your tea. Just be sure to brew your tea hot and then add it to ice because brewing tea cold could subdue its flavor.

By Morgan Scruggs

Ditch that microwave

Not everyone has access to a stove, and it’s completely alright to heat the water for your tea in a kettle or a microwave. If you do have access to a stove, though, take the extra time to brew your tea at the stove. It heats your water more evenly and usually at higher temperatures than a microwave. This heat heightens the tea’s aroma and overall flavor.

Loose-leaf superiority

Loose leaf tea is better for the environment and honestly, makes better tea. You will need a strainer and it does take longer than using a tea bag but, I promise you, the results are worth it. Also, as an added bonus, the used tea leaves can be used as compost and are great for your plants!

Spice it up

Froth your milk for your tea lattes, add cinnamon honey, and play around with different types of milk alternatives like almond or oat. Whoever said tea was boring wasn’t creative enough. You can add flavors to highlight the espresso in coffee, so why should tea be different? Also, pro tip: chai lattes with almond milk are a divine pairing.

By Morgan Scruggs

Make your own

Ordering tea at a cafe is definitely an art in itself, and once you find an order that does not result in a burnt mess, it can be hard to pass up the convenience of buying your drink. However, making your own tea is a therapeutic act and makes the overall experience of consumption more enjoyable. When you are involved in making your own tea, not only do you appreciate it more, but you can customize every aspect of it.

So go ahead out into the world and enjoy your tea, for you are no longer a tea novice but a budding tea aficionado!

I tried “slugging” for a week

Skincare trends have risen in popularity since the beginning of quarantine in 2020. TikTok has especially influenced unique skincare trends that many people never heard of before seeing it on the app.

What is slugging?

One TikTok skincare trend that has risen fame recently is slugging. This trend has nothing to do with slugs or snails but does involve putting on a slime-like substance on your face that does remind you of slimes.

Slugging requires you to do your whole nighttime skincare routine, then apply petroleum jelly to your face to lock in the moisture and ingredients from your skincare. Slugging  only needs to be done at night and kept on while you sleep. Then in the morning, you just need to wash your face with a cleanser and continue with your normal routine.

What are the benefits of slugging?

Slugging is supposed to help moisturize your skin and achieve a dewy look. Slugging can be particularly beneficial in the winter time, when skin tends to be on the drier side. 

My experience slugging

I was a little worried slugging would clog my pores and cause more harm than good. However, I was surprised to wake up to the softest skin I have ever had after one night of slugging.. 

I enjoyed my glowy skin in the morning, and won’t lie – I sometimes didn’t cleanse my face in the morning to remove the jelly because I thought it looked really nice. I love makeup and can say that slugging did not change how my makeup applied but did  give me a natural highlight look.

However, there were a couple of things that annoyed me about slugging. For instance, I hated how my face constantly stuck to my pillow and made my pillowcase feel sticky. 

Another issue I had with slugging – which you may not happen if you don’t have pets – is having cat hair stuck to my face whenever I applied the jelly because my cat would be near me.

Final Thoughts

Slugging was not a major commitment to my skincare and was honestly pretty low maintenance since I didn’t need to buy an expensive skincare product to achieve a dewy look. 

I would definitely recommend slugging to people who want their skin to feel softer and glowy. If that’s you, o hurry up and go buy petroleum jelly to start your slugging journey!

Featured Image by Talisa Trevino

My Top 5 Favorite Exercises

Keeping active while balancing school and other activities can be challenging, but it’s a great way to decompress and give yourself a moment to not think about anything that’s stressing you out.

Here are my top five exercises to try out:

1.  Bench Pressing using a barbell

This semester, I took a weight training class, and my favorite exercise was bench pressing! It was one of the first things we learned and I’m so glad it was a part of our workout program!

2.  Goblet Squat

I used to dislike these because they were so difficult for me, but once I got my form down, it was a piece of cake, and I increased the weight every single workout.

Tip: if you’re having the same trouble with squatting form as many people do, pull your hips back before you bend your knees and make sure to keep your spine neutral, instead of bending both hips and knees at the same time.

3.  Deadlift

 I didn’t start doing deadlifts until recently, but I find I really like them. The only thing I don’t like is the pain from gripping the bar. I haven’t had any calluses form, but my google search says I’m grabbing the weight wrong, and that’s something I’ll need to work on.

4.  Pigeon Pose

Okay, I use this one to stretch, not for its exercise, but I LOVE it so much I couldn’t exclude it! This pose is perfect for your hips and back, and I always feel like I can push myself a little harder than usual, especially after killing my legs with lunges.

5.  Jump roping

Of course, I could not forget at least one cardio exercise! It’s really fun when you have a set of earbuds in and jump to the beat of your new favorite song. Besides, it never gets boring since there are tricks you can learn from the pros online.

I like to use an app called Strong (not sponsored, but if you thought it was, thank you because it’s actually very flattering) to keep track of workouts and learn to do more exercises. You can create an exercise template or use one of the example templates instead. There are written steps and videos, and images to help guide you. There is a premium service, but I’ve only been using the free version, and it’s good enough for me.

I’m not going to lie, weight training looks intimidating, but it’s actually so fun challenging yourself to see how much stronger you can get. Jump roping will be more challenging than you remember, but still just as fun! Try some of these out, or look to other people’s gym routines for inspiration. Working out doesn’t have to be the dreaded thing you need to check off your to-do list, and you don’t have to do anything you don’t like.

6 Tote Bag Essentials For UT Students

Something pretty strange but really exciting happened to me the other day: I was wearing a tote bag, and another person who was passing by me as I entered the PCL had the same tote bag that I was wearing. It was funny when we complemented each other and went on about our days. After leaving the building, I started noticing more tote bags on my site; many people made their tote bags their finishing touch to the outfit. So as a tote bag user myself, I compiled the tote bag essentials, you should be carrying around campus.

Phone, keys, wallet, headphones

Laptop/iPad, notebooks, pens and pencils

Our other most important essential is necessary to complete these last few weeks of the semester. All of us tote bag enthusiasts must carry around at least one of these to finish strong in the winter. (From one UT student to another, you’ve got this!) Whether you’re hitting the books digitally or paperback, having a great color coding technique helps a lot when studying. Having some writing utensils is also essential for homework or even when we just need to write some thoughts down to alleviate the stresses of school.

Water bottle and snacks

Walking around can get tiring, and sometimes studying for a long time can be interrupted by all the grumbling you’re trying to suppress in the library. So, have your water bottle on you as well as a few substantial snacks. There have been way too many times where I’ve forgotten these and don’t have them when I need them the most, like after climbing up South Mall. So, take it from me when I say these are essential.

Pictures

Why pictures? You should always carry around pictures of people you care about and things you like seeing. Print them out, and you can look at them while you’re walking to remember the fun moments you had, which is the point of why you keep them on a plastic-coated paper, right? All joking aside, I carry around my disposable camera prints with me to look at them whenever I want to reminisce or show them off to people I’m hanging out with. It’s a good conversation among others when trying to explain what is going on in a picture even though you may not even remember what’s happening in it.

Chapstick, hand sanitizer, hair tyes

These small essentials in a zip-up bag can be a lifesaver — I cannot stress this enough. Never leave with chapped lips, keep hand sanitizer handy in case public places don’t have any and if it’s too windy in this cold weather, keep your hair out of your face with a headband or hair tie. All of these can be really convenient when life gets a little rough.

Mask, books, sunglasses

Remember to keep your masks on to end this pandemic —don’t leave without it. Books can also be essential when you have some downtime at the lawn in front of the tower or laying in the hammocks at the SAC. And when the sun is actually a little bright, or you just want to add a cool touch to your outfit along with your tote bag, bring a pair of sunglasses. Once you use them more often, you’ll realize how much more convenient they are. 

These essentials are what I, essentially, always need to carry in my tote bag when I am around campus, and I wanted to share some of them to make another student’s trips around campus a little more convenient. College students live busy and independent lives, and with a tote bag by your side, nothing can possibly come in your way. So show off your tote bag that has you prepared for being on campus and looking cute!

Featured image by Ivana Alexa Darancou