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Self Care

  • Articles, Body Image, Confidence, GirlSpring.com, Health, Lifestyle

    5 Small Tips for Loving Yourself More

    body confidence

    Everyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I’ve struggled with my body confidence throughout my whole life. My extra pounds and my acne when I was younger, being taller and bigger than everyone, maybe too muscular when I used to weightlift or having no muscles at all now that I’m recovering from an injury. There’s always something to complain about my body or the way that I look… I can never be truly satisfied. 

    These past few months, after a guy that I was seeing decided to end our relationship because he “couldn’t love me if I didn’t love me”, I’ve decided to change the pattern. See, since I had been feeling the same thing for almost 22 years and it wasn’t helping me at all. Maybe it was time to try something else! And I still don’t know how, but I’ve managed to make huge changes in my confidence. So what better way to celebrate these changes than to share them with everyone else?

    Here are 5 small tips that I’ve used to accept and care for myself more:

    1. Tell the voice in your head to shut up. I know… It’s like every time I look at myself in the mirror, or I see myself in a picture, there’s an instant voice yelling “ugh… disgusting!” Well, it’s time to make a conscious effort to shut it down. I understand it will be hard, but try covering it up with positive thoughts such as “I look amazing!” “I feel great!” At first, it might seem unnatural, but after a while, you can revert the habit.
    2. Take a look at your beautiful self in the mirror. If you feel uncomfortable with yourself, it’s highly likely that you avoid seeing yourself in a mirror. I used to close my eyes a lot when I had to see myself in some sort of reflection. I didn’t want to face what was in front of me. It’s time to quit that: see yourself carefully, every little part of you. Look at yourself in the eyes and get to know who you are. 
    3. Make a list of all the wonderful things you’ve done in your life and what you’re capable of doing. When I feel sad, I remember something amazing that I did a while ago: maybe that time that I did stand-up comedy on TV, or how strong I was in a sports competition. I also take time to be grateful for what’s to come, for the many things that I am capable of doing. Body confidence to me is not about how I look, but about what I am able to do. When you take some time to remember what you’re good at and the things you’re passionate about, you accept your own self more.
    4. Be careful with social media! Social media can be very toxic. When your feed is full of pictures of what beauty is supposed to feel like, or hurtful tips about “how you should achieve your summer body” (ALL bodies are summer bodies!) it’s very hard to get out of the negative spiral. We spend lots of hours surfing through social media, so my suggestion is to clean up your following list. Be careful with who you take advice from, and try to find other inspiring things rather than just pictures of other people. 
    5. Get out. Go for a walk! Work out! Play the piano! Do whatever makes you happy. Appreciate time with yourself, do things that are healthy for you, follow your passions. I find that when I have an amazing day just with myself, I am the happiest when I go to sleep.

    Learning to love yourself can be a long journey, here are some tips on self-care that can help you along the way!

  • Articles, Birth Control, Body Image, GirlSpring.com, Health, Puberty

    Glowing Up While Growing Up: Normalizing Hormonal Changes During Puberty & Beyond

    puberty

    Guest Post

    Do you have a habit of putting your body down? Maybe you spend hours picking at blemishes in the mirror or comparing yourself to other girls around you or online. It’s possible that self-criticism has become so normalized you may not even realize that you’re doing it.

    Beginning at puberty, we experience dozens of physical changes from head to toe. When we notice these changes in others, we tend to draw comparisons. That being said, each female body was designed to blossom differently. Nonetheless, we become inclined to scrutinize and criticize every detail of our bodies. Accordingly, as our bodies change, so can our self-image.

    But our formative years are when we’re just starting to figure out who we are and who we want to be. It’s with great hope that we all strive to be happy and healthy through good self-esteem and self-worth. This is only possible if we recognize, understand, and accept our different features. Much like plants, each body grows in its own unique way but is still beautiful and worth celebrating and admiring. We’re here to let you in on what you need to know about hormonal body changes during this time in your life and how you can love and accept your body through it all.

    Acne

    The first thing we typically observe in the mirror is our face – especially if we have acne. Acne is the most common skin condition in the nation. Almost everyone experiences some breakouts in the course of their lives. Acne comes in many forms: blackheads and whiteheads, papules and pustules, as well as nodules and cysts. These blemishes can pop up in more places than just our face. They can appear on our neck, chest, shoulders, and back too. It’s extremely common for girls to encounter acne breakouts due to hormonal changes, like beginning their menstrual cycle

    However, it’s easy to forget just how normal blemishes are when we see pictures all around us of girls with “flawless” and “clear” skin. Although acne isn’t harmful to our physical health, it can most certainly take its toll on our mental and emotional health. Instead of trying to conceal or hide your acne, embrace it! Start by making positive changes to the things you surround yourself with regularly, like social media. Delete photo retouching apps on your phone and avoid using filters on your photos that give a false sense of what normal skin is. Your self-esteem will thank you! If you find that you’re still comparing yourself to others, unfollow any social media accounts that make you feel “less than” and replace them with body-positive accounts that promote self-love.

    Body Hair

    When exploring the different changes that come along with puberty, body hair is one that can cause some unsettling feelings. As you develop, you will likely notice more hair growing in new places, like your legs, underarms, and pubic area. Despite its taboo connotation, body hair is a good thing – it’s a sign that puberty is right on track! Not to mention that pubic hair, in particular, acts as the first line of defense against UTIs and yeast infections by preventing the transmission of bacteria

    Body hair might be concerning still for some girls, especially if it’s excessive or growing in less conventional areas such as your face, chest, and stomach. In this case, it may be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a common condition of females that can cause other health problems, including irregular or missed menstrual periods. So it’s important to express these concerns to a doctor who may suggest you try hormonal birth control pills (also known as combination pills). Our ovaries make the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These regulate our menstrual cycle. Our ovaries also make androgens, which can be responsible for unwanted hair growth. Hormonal birth control pills containing estrogen and progestin can balance out your hormones to reduce hair growth and regulate your period.

    In any case, body hair can serve as a reminder to take care of your body for you and your health. Not for the approval or acceptance from anyone else! Whether you choose to let it grow or let it go, good hygiene and health precautions should be at the forefront. If you embrace your body hair, keeping your skin clean can prevent the buildup of oil, dead skin cells, and other things that can clog hair follicles and cause ingrown hairs. Likewise, if you decide to shave, talk to a trusted adult about the best shaving practices to avoid any “bumps in the road,” like ingrown hairs that can lead to infections.

    Growth and Development

    Speaking of estrogen, it’s also the hormone behind the growth and development of your breasts, which is one of the first signs of puberty. Because of our unique genetic makeup, breast size varies between every girl. Keep in mind that everyone’s body develops at a different rate, and all size breasts are perfectly acceptable! It’s also normal to experience growing pains while your breasts are developing. Protecting and supporting your breasts with a good first bra can help with discomfort. Girls whose breasts are less developed may consider a training bra or sports bra. Those who have developed further may choose a bra with a soft cup. It’s important that your bra is comfortable and fits correctly to allow your breasts to grow properly!

    Along with breast development, you will also notice growth spurts in both your height and weight, as well as a curvier shape to your body. Not only are these changes normal, but they are also a healthy sign of development! Your body is producing more fat to allow for fuller hips, thighs in order to support your body as it grows. Because of this sudden growth, it’s also quite common to have stretch marks. As the name implies, your skin stretched quickly to accommodate your body’s changes.

    You may even notice the development of cellulite. Cellulite is just fat storage underneath our skin that can create the appearance of a lumpy, uneven surface. Everyone has some fat under their skin, and cellulite during puberty is, like all other changes, normal and healthy! Despite what society leads us to believe, cellulite isn’t extra fat; but rather a shift in how and where our bodies store fat now that we’re growing

    Let’s be honest; it can be challenging to welcome these changes to our bodies at first. The most beneficial thing you can do for yourself is to find the good in all of it! Focus on all of the things you appreciate and like about your body. You might say things like, “I love that my body is growing because it means I’m getting stronger, which lets me run faster, jump higher, and dance more!” Don’t let comparisons put a damper on your body-image or cause you to neglect your body’s needs. It can help to remind yourself: “I will fuel my body with the love and nutrients it needs. I deserve a healthy body and no one’s going to take care of it except for me!”

  • Articles, Health, Lifestyle

    The Stay at Home Guide to Becoming Fit During Summer

    stay at home workout

    Summer is a time for people to be outside swimming or playing sports, but not everyone likes these activities. Some people like to stay indoors with the air conditioning. They can’t be bothered to go outside. They like the indoors where they can watch Youtube videos or Netflix. Maybe they read. Either way, working out isn’t a priority. They don’t want to do it. They just want to laze around and relax, or maybe they don’t think they have time. There are easy things to do to stay in shape and continue whatever they want to do instead.

    If working out isn’t your thing then start off small and add the amount you’re comfortable with as you go.

    • The Workout
      • 10 Lunges on each leg
      • 10 Squats
      • 15 Push-ups
      • 15 Crunches
      • 10 Leg Raises
      • 1 minute Plank
      • 15 minutes Jog in place

    Working out can be daunting as a beginner, here are some ways to not get discouraged when starting a new workout

  • Articles, Body Image, Confidence, Fashion, Home Life, Mental Health

    How to Turn a Bad Day Around

    Girl down in the dumps

    There are lots of ways for a day to go bad: school, bad break ups, and even family drama can turn a standard day into a nightmare. Sometimes life can get really frustrating to the point where you just want to stay in bed for the rest of the day. Through self-care, like this routine on www.girlspring.com, you can feel good in the long run, sometimes all you need is an instant pick-me-up to straighten out the day. 

    Here’s a list of things you can do to get your bad day back on track.

    Have a good laugh

    Laughing is hard, especially if you’re not in the mood for it – but sometimes that’s all you need to drive the negative vibes away. There is even scientific evidence to back this up, with NBC News reporting that smiling can trick the brain into happiness. The news site reported that smiling “spurs a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing certain hormones including dopamine and serotonin.” The hormones you need to make you happy. If you feel like you need a quick chuckle, Buzzfeed is full of jokes, as is Tumblr, Reddit and Twitter. There are many ways to pick yourself up and a quick internet search could put a smile back on your face in no time.

    Exercise

    We know what you’re thinking: who needs exercise? It’s tedious, sweaty and an absolute chore. Well, who said anything about push-ups? Exercise can be something as fun as ice skating, swimming or biking around the neighborhood. Exercise is a refreshing way to boost your mood. Very Well Health explains that you only need to do 30 minutes a day to get the benefits, particularly when it comes to improving your mood. It can even be something as simple as walking the dog.

    Wear your favorite clothes

    Clothes are like a second skin, and can affect or even reflect your mood for the day. A study by the University of Queensland showed that we either dress how we’d like to feel, or, more often than not, how we’d like others to think we’re feeling. This is why going out can be such a chore, especially if you’re having a bad day. The trick is to have go-to clothes for going out and clothes for staying at home. If you are at home, relax in the comfiest clothes you can. Sometimes all you need to do is put on your favorite comfy pants to lift your mood. The stretchy bootcut yoga pants on Woman Within are made from a soft knit material and have an elastic waist in order to provide maximum comfort – the definition of home relaxation. The clothes you wear at home should be easy to slip into and you shouldn’t have to worry about how they will fit your body.

    Meet friends

    On the other hand you could go out. And why do it alone when you can invite a couple of friends? Go out and see a movie – or invite them over for some pizza. This isn’t about forgetting what ruined your day, but creating new memories that will top any bad experience. That way when you look back, the first thing you’ll remember is how much of a good day it was.

    Treat yourself

    Craving for some sugar? Get a tub of ice cream. Something greasy? Order pizza. Or maybe it’s been a while since you did your nails. Treating yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of things to do at home, like a skin-care routine, watch TV or take a long nap that will help lift your mood. In the chaos of the life, sometimes the best thing you can do is find some quality time for yourself. It is a good way to recharge your batteries, especially after a really bad day.

  • GirlSpring.com

    Are you Getting Enough Sleep?

    Are you getting enough sleep?

    Most Teens Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep – Here’s Why

    Did you know that teens need more sleep than children and adults? Research has found that adolescents need 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is crucial to our health, which is why getting enough z’s should be part of every teen girl’s self-care routine. But most teens get only 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep each night. Some get even less.

    Because teens are at a critical phase of their development, they need more sleep than adults. And with teens’ busy schedules and social lives, getting sufficient sleep often gets bumped down to the bottom of teens’ to-do lists. But the decisions we make as teens can have serious long-term repercussions. The sleep patterns you form in your teen years continue until adulthood. The longer you wait to fix your sleep habits, the harder it is for your body to recover.

    Is Your Room Conducive To Sleep?

    Teen sleep problems can be caused by a number of things. Sometimes, it’s a matter of changing your sleep conditions. You should treat your bedroom as a place to relax. If you associate your room with chaos and clutter, getting your brain to unwind at the end of the day can take longer than it should. A dark, quiet, and cool room is ideal. A selection of mattress reviews suggest that if you often wake up feeling tired and stiff, then your body isn’t being supported adequately, so it might be a good idea to invest in a new mattress.

    You can also use aromatherapy to help you calm down. Smells like lavender, vanilla, and chamomile can help you relax. Making aromatherapy part of your self-care routine also makes your brain associate certain smells with bedtime, making it easier to fall asleep over time.

    Having a noisy room can also affect our sleep quality. But many times, noises aren’t within our control — for instance, you could have noisy neighbors or a busy road right outside your window. Try downloading a white noise app that will produce soothing sounds to drown out the other sounds and help you relax.

    Make a commitment to yourself to get enough sleep. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it, even on weekends. This lets your body settle into a pattern and make it easier for you to fall asleep. When it’s close to bedtime, do relaxing activities like reading and journaling to help you slow down. Avoid watching TV or scrolling through your phone, and try not to leave your homework until late at night so you give your brain time to cool down before bedtime.

    Why Your Body Needs Sleep

    Today’s society places huge importance on being busy, with some thought leaders even going as far as lauding sleep deprivation as a virtue. It’s easy to see why many fall into this trap — when you want to get as many things done in a day, sleep may seem like a waste of time. But sleep is anything but unproductive.

    Sleep is crucial for your brain and body’s health. Sufficient sleep allows you to do more with your day, while not getting enough sleep can have serious effects on your mental and physical health. Sleep deprivation can lead to depression, which can lead to more sleep problems. It can take a toll on your relationships, as sleeplessness can make you irritable and aggressive. Sleeplessness can hurt your performance at school, as it limits your ability to concentrate and retain information. It can also affect your appearance, causing acne and skin problems. And skipping sleep can also be fatal, especially if you’re driving drowsy.

    After making it a point to get enough sleep, you can look out for your friends as well by encouraging them to sleep more. If you still have trouble sleeping even after trying different techniques, consult your doctor or a sleep clinic. Don’t lose hope! With some help, it won’t be long before you start feeling the positive effects of a good night’s rest.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com

    A Beginner’s Guide to a Self-Care Routine

    Blogger Believe


    By: Bielle V.   

    Hey there readers! My name is Bielle and I’m a teen lifestyle blogger currently trying to manage her way through high school!

    For the past few years, I’ve dealt with my own mental health and emotional health struggles. I’ve been dedicated to taking care of myself in a positive way, which is what made me realize the importance of self-care. Self-Care is something that is so important for everyone. Taking care of myself helps me understand and appreciate myself more as well as those around me. It is my journey of self-care that has encouraged me on the journey to loving myself.

    At first, I found it difficult to incorporate self-care habits into my daily routine. Now, I have weekly Self-care Sunday’s! In this post, I will be sharing with you my Self-Care Routine and how to build your own!

    As mentioned before, my self-care day is Sunday. Sunday is a day where I can relax and prepare for the upcoming week. My no-stress day. Here is what a typical Self-care Sunday looks like for me:

    • Drink water as soon as I wake up

    This one is super important and I’ve started doing it daily! Tip: Drinking water as soon as you wake up really gives you the energy you need!

    • Have a hearty & healthy breakfast
    • Do a face mask

    Tip: If you want to be adventurous, you could try making one of your own using eggs, honey, & sugar!

    • Taking a nice shower (Blast those tunes!)

    Personally, I am trying to be very aware of my environmental impact so I make sure to take short showers during the week and leave longer ones for Sunday! Tip: Hot showers are very soothing if you are feeling anxious!

    • Clean your space (make the bed, straighten up your desk, tidy your closet, open those curtains, etc.)
    • Paint your nails or cut & file them

    For some reason, painted nails really make me feel happy, so I really enjoy this step!

    • Organize outfits for the week

    Since I attend a school that requires a uniform, for this part I just try to decide what hairstyles and jewelry I want to wear for the week.

    • Do your weekend homework & try to get ahead in your most important classes if you can!

    Tip: I always try to start studying for my hardest classes 2 days in advance! This almost always requires weekend studying but if you plan out your time, you can make sure it doesn’t conflict with your much needed free time!

    • Exercise & Yoga

    I usually do this during the evening. My exercise routine includes yoga poses that help build my upper body strength and leg stretches! These typically last around 10-15 mins! Occasionally I will do an upbeat dance routine that I find on YouTube! My yoga routine is just the Full Sun Salutation done three times.

    • Meditate

    I love meditating so much! Meditation grounds me and helps me be in the present. I typically try to meditate every Tuesday & Thursday night before bed because it helps me fall asleep easier.

    • Read a book

    I love reading, but I often find myself unable to indulge in the hobby during the week. Reading right before bed is so calming and really boosts my creativity.

    • Go to bed early

    I cannot stress enough how important it is for teenagers to get a healthy amount of sleep! The right amount of sleep can change your life!

    So that’s my Sunday Self-Care Routine! While binge watching Netflix and snacking like no tomorrow are also part of my weekend plans, I try to make sure they don’t get in the way of my self-care time. Some weeks I’m able to complete all of these tasks, and others time, I struggle. The point is that in life, sometimes we find ourselves struggling with finding the time to truly appreciate ourselves. Self-Care can help you build the bridge to loving yourself, at least that’s what it’s done for me!

    Building your own routine is easy! You can designate a certain day just for your routine or you can try to spread out your self-care practices throughout the week. To make the most out of my time, I always plan backwards from when I want to go to sleep. The sleepyti.me website really helped me organize my sleep schedule and my whole daily routine in general!

    Self-care consists of a bunch of different things! If you want to focus more on your mental health, I would recommend crafting a routine including meditation, journaling, self-help books, & podcasts! If you want to focus more on being healthier, I would try to include healthier eating options in your routine as well as some exercising or stretching! If you really just want a Self-Care routine that boosts your happiness, try setting a day to do things you enjoy and spending some time to get to know yourself on a deeper level. Some other helpful self-care ideas include: Drinking tea, making plans with your friends, making a vision board, immersing yourself in nature, listening to music, doing an artistic activity, learning about or trying something new, and taking a phone break!

    Overall, what you do for your self-care practices are  completely up to you!

    Remember: Self-care helps to self-love, and loving yourself is a beautiful thing!

    Hope you all enjoyed this post! For more of my content, you can check me out on my blog, How To Live Your Life! You can also follow me on Instagram @bloggerbiellev & on Pinterest @biellev. For more self-care advice, check out my Self-Care Pinterest Board!

  • Articles, Health, School, Stress

    Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

    Self-Care Isn't Selfish

    Self Care ≠ Selfish

    Because being self-aware does not make you self absorbed

     

    I feel like I’m always enveloped in some sort of activity— finishing an assignment or project for school, cleaning my room and bathroom for the third time in a week, or spending time with my closest friends, doing anything from running errands to talking about our days.

    Recently, I’ve realized that there’s never a moment where I take a moment to breathe. A moment to relax, to clear my thoughts.

    Don’t do this. Make time for yourself, whenever it’s possible.

    After years of spreading myself too thin, I’ve finally recognized a crucial aspect about myself: I cope with stress and anxiety by keeping busy. Whenever I’m alone with my thoughts, I begin to think about all of the other, more productive things I could be doing at that moment. I feel guilty for taking a break.

    It’s difficult to define stress; it can present itself in a multitude of ways, ranging from napping to the inability to concentrate. However, once you’re able to detect when you’re stressed, much like I did, you can discover how to alleviate it. Is confronting your emotions easy? No. But is it worth it? Definitely.

    Self-care is not selfish. I have to repeat this mantra to myself every single day, and chances are, so do you. You’re allowed to be your own priority.

    One of my favorite anti-stress methods, and one that has helped me the most is journaling. Through writing my emotions, I have learned so much about myself, including how to identify my emotions and why I’m feeling that way.

    I’m not a fan of pushing my problems onto other people, so through journaling, I’ve found a way to express my thoughts and relieve myself of the pressure they put on me. After putting my feelings on paper, I typically engage myself in “me time.” This concept, something that leaves you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed, varies from person to person. It takes some trial and error to learn what works for you. Common methods are taking a bubble bath, applying a face mask, engaging in a type of exercise, or listening to your favorite music– as long as you’re doing something you love, you’ll come out the other end feeling better than before.

    As broad and cliché as it sounds, try to shut your brain off. Release the stress and worry of the day and be present in whatever you’re doing. We tend to become so wrapped up in our worries that we miss out on opportunities that can take the edge off, such as goofing around with friends or getting lost in the latest episode of New Girl.

    Stress is completely normal.

    So don’t be discouraged whenever that all-too-familiar feeling rolls around; above everything else, don’t burn yourself out by ignoring it. Recognize and accept what you’re feeling. Take a break to do something you love. Acknowledge that the feeling won’t last forever– you’ll wake up tomorrow, regardless of what happens day, to a fresh start.