why donate blood

5 Reasons Why You Should Really Consider Donating Blood

I have wanted to donate blood since forever, and a little while ago I finally decided to just go ahead and do it. I had my blood tested, and when everything turned out fine I went ahead and donated for the first time. I was happy to see that there were plenty of other people at my local blood bank donating as well, but blood and plasma donors are still necessary, which is exactly why i’m writing this post.

Now please, if you can’t – or really don’t want to – donate blood, you shouldn’t feel obligated to do so. But I realize that ‘wanting to donate blood’ is something on lots of people’s (bucket) lists, but it’s also one of those things that you kinda keep in the bang of their minds, like it’s never the right time or whatever.  That’s what it was like for me anyway, until I decided to finally go ahead and do it. Here are some (unexpected) benefits to donating blood!

You help save lives

Obviously the number one reason to donate blood is that your blood helps save lives. In the United States, every two seconds a patient needs blood. Blood goes bad too, so we always need more of it. Many hospitals unfortunately don’t have enough blood to satisfy every patient, but your donation can help achieve that goal!

I often notice that people think about blood donations after hearing about a high-profile catastrophe that has left many people injured, like shootings or natural disasters. But there are less dramatic, but equally pressing, requirements for blood donations every day: leukemia sufferers can need six to eight infusions of platelets every day for a month, and blood is often required for women suffering catastrophic miscarriages or difficult childbirth. People getting an organ transplant and premature newborn babies also need blood.

You get a mini check-up

Before getting your blood drawn, you get a little mini check-up from the nurse. During the check-up, you get a chance to find out what your body temperature, pulse, hemoglobin and cholesterol levels are. I’m kind of a stats nerd anyways, but little check-ups like that never hurts! Read More »

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help my friend is depressed

My Friend Is Depressed: An Incomplete Guide To Helping Your Suffering Friend

First of all, kudos for you if you opened this post because you’re worried about your friend. It’s really hard to see someone you care about sink into a mental illness, not knowing what you should do or say.

One out of every ten adults in the US suffers from depression.  Not to mention that this number would probably be much higher if there wasn’t any stigma attached to this disorder, or going to therapy at all. At worst, depression can lead to suicide – the second leading cause of death in 15-29 year olds. As someone who has suffered and has seen people suffer from this mental illness, I wanted to share some thoughts on the subject.

Understanding What Depression is (And Isn’t..)

I think the first step is to understand what your friend is going through. From another person’s perspective, depression can look like regular sadness. Your friend might not get out much, they’ll say they are sick, don’t feel well but that it will pass. Regular sadness will pass with time, but depression doesn’t work the same way.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. HamiltonMistral’s Kiss

Depression is much more extreme than regular sadness. It lasts longer. It’s more intense. Depression is not sadness. It feels like a dark hole, like all the air has been squeezed out of your lungs, and at worst, it will make you feel completely numb. It’s important to know that – just like many illnesses – the symptoms aren’t the same for everyone, which is one of the reasons I called this guide incomplete. Some people suffering from depression have trouble concentrating, while others are irritable or just feel empty. Read More »

The Truth About Eating Disorders: Why We Need to Stop Romanticizing The Anorexic

I knew a girl.

Pale. Delicate. Skinny. There’s something so romantic about her. Something that needs to be protected. She draws you in. Beautiful and broken and lost. She has those big, nervous eyes. She’s made of glass. Every word breaks her. And she bleeds. She bleeds all the time, but you wouldn’t know. Because the outside is always perfect. Day after day, she’s striving for perfection. You think you know that girl: the Anorexic.

Only you don’t know her. I’m sure of it. Because I was that girl.

They don’t tell you the whole story. All you see is that beautiful fragile girl with the needy eyes and nervous smile. All you see is someone with lots of motivation. Good grades. Perfect make-up.

They don’t tell you about the nights where they can’t sleep because of the hunger, and they go downstairs in a haze to binge on food. You don’t know about the purge that comes afterwards: the vomit mixed with blood. The kilometers on the treadmill that are never enough to get rid of it all.

They don’t tell you about the mornings that they contemplate going to class. Not sure if they have enough energy. Not sure if people will notice that they lost even more weight. But at the same time hoping that they will.

”Soon, I’ll be thinner than all of you, she swore to herself. And then I’ll be the winner. The thinner is the winner.” – Steven Levenkron

Read More »

positive thinking

Why Thinking Positively Doesn’t Always Work (And What to do Instead)

As a self-help blogger, something I see a lot in this community is the notion that ”positive thinking” can change your life, and that it’s all you need to change your life.

Personally, I believe that positive thinking has a place in this community, and it’s important to take a critical look at your own thought patterns, but it’s not the end-all solution to all of your life problems.

[unpopular opinion] Positive thinking will not solve all of your problems. In fact, thinking that positive thinking is all you need to feel better and become this success machine is quite a dangerous way of thinking. [/unpopular opinion]

But please don’t crucify me just yet. Read More »

20 Ways To Instantly Reduce Stress And Feel Better

It’s incredibly difficult in today’s day and age to find time to wind down and relax. However, it’s super important to relax if you wish to live a long, healthy and happy life.

Because I know you’re short on time, I’ve created the list of all the lists: 20 activities that will instantly reduce your stress levels!

Get more sleep

Believe me, getting enough sleep doesn’t make you lazy. Sleep is the body’s natural way to heal it, and you also allow your brain to get some rest. Allow yourself to rest and get at least 7, but preferably 8 hours of sleep every night. You’ll notice a huge change in your attention span, energy levels and food cravings.

Write your thoughts and feelings down

We all have things that we don’t want to talk about with other people, yet they still occupy our minds. When you start getting into a journaling habit, you’ll notice that the little notebook will become your new best friend.

Take a drive to nowhere

I’m among the people that enjoy taking trips to nowhere: whether it’d be driving or taking a train. Sometimes you just need to do that to declutter your mind. I like to go to the beach and watch the sunset all by myself, or go into the city to watch people walking around enjoying themselves.

Check in with yourself

We get so distracted by work and taking care of others that we can forget to check in with ourselves. Ask yourself ‘what do I need today?’ and you’ll find an answer. Be sure to schedule whatever it is that you need. Self care is important!

Get dressed up for fun

I believe ‘dressing up for the job you want, not the job you have’ is one of the best pieces of advice out there. Dressing up makes me feel good, and you don’t need a reason to doll yourself up! It’s also a great excuse to take some selfies.

Drink some tea and read a book in bed

Tea makes you feel warm inside, and reading a novel or a good non-fiction book has tons of great benefits. Bonus points if you listen to a relaxing playlist and light a scented candle at the same time. So cozy!Read More »

6 Ways Becoming A Minimalist Will Change Your Life

When I first started experimenting with minimalism two years ago, I had no idea that it would change my life as much as it did.

I thought I would declutter my space and just feel slightly better, but that’s not what happened. Instead, my entire life changed for the better, and if you’re contemplating becoming a so-called ‘minimalist’, your life will probably change in a similar way.

The minimalist community has grown exponentially in the past few years. I believe this has everything to do with worldwide financial turmoil, concerns for the environment, high levels of debt, and just the general realization that there’s more to life than just possessions.

Minimalism is everywhere around us. Ever since smartphones became popular and widely available, many people have ditches their address books, MP3-players, separate camera’s, books and more.

The same things happens in the drug store. Lots of brands are buying into the minimalist marketing approach – brands that used to package their products in glittery, colourful bottles are now going for sleek, simple design with clear call-to-actions and promises of the products. That’s what the people want these days.

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 17.58.08

Of course, then there are people like me who like talking about being a minimalist as much as being one – this lifestyle has truly changed who I am as a person, and I would love for other people to experience the same thing I did. Here’s how my life changed

Financial freedom

Being minimal means having to spend less money, because you feel the need for less things. But not only that, my minimalism journey completely shifted my perspective on consumerism. Suddenly, clothes, purses and expensive make-up didn’t seem that important to me, especially if they aren’t ethically produced.

I learned that cheaper isn’t always better, and now often opt for a slightly more expensive option that will last me for a longer amount of time. I still buy what I need, but only what I need.

If you like fashion and make-up, that’s completely fine to spend money on, but for me, those things don’t bring me a huge amount of joy.

Being aware of the environment

Minimalism made me realize that consumerism really does have a big impact on our planet. By having a more minimalist lifestyle, you avoid (overly) contributing to landfills and you’re decreasing the demand for products. Minimalism seeped into many different aspects of my life, including the food I eat, the products I buy and the way I choose to travel. 

Of course, not everything I own is ethically produced – you could even argue that nothing is completely ethical – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to use fewer resources. When fewer resources are being expended, less pollution will be entering the ecosystem – and every little bit counts. Read More »

how to go braless

Why I Stopped Wearing Bras And How You Can Too

I vividly remember the first time I truly considered going braless. I had been talking to a friend who has much bigger boobs than me – she’s a D cup – and she goes braless all the time.

”It’s fine, a bit uncomfortable at first, but I wouldn’t have it any other way now.”

What intrigued me, was that I never even noticed she didn’t wear bras. She’s one of those people who always dresses well, has a distinctive style and perfect make-up. At that point, in my mind going braless was still something only sloppy people did. Something I’ve changed my opinion on since.

And the funny part was, I have much smaller boobs than her. I sport a small B cup, to be exact. I’ve grown to love my small boobs, and came to the realization that I only wore bras because it was normal to do so. With my size, I don’t need the support of a bra and I personally don’t care a whole lot about a nipple poking through every once in a while. Not to mention that there is some scientific evidence that wearing a bra can actually be bad for you.

So, I decided to stop wearing bras. In the beginning, it felt like everyone was staring at me. Even though they weren’t, well, except for a few people.

An older lady at a restaurant.

A guy when I was waiting in line at a bank.

A friend saying my girls looked so perky.

But I liked it. And I continue to go braless about 90% of the time. If you want to go braless but you’re worried about nips, your self-esteem or you just feel a bit uncomfortable, I have a few tried-and-true tips for you!

How To Start Going Braless: 4 Tips

Wear thick fabrics or layers: I like wearing layers in the spring when it’s not super hot outside. I pair a tight, thinner shirt with a jacket or cardigan that falls over my boobs so my nips don’t show. If you just want to wear a shirt or top on its own, try to look for fabric that closely resembles the fabric of a sweater, as it’s usually a lot thicker.Read More »