Advice, Life

The Age of Non-Awareness

Music, social media, games, e-books, messaging. What do all of these have in common? They are all distractions. They have become even bigger distractions since the growth of technology, especially with the growth of the cell phone. It is really amazing all the power one has at one’s fingertips with this tiny device. One can kill almost any boredom, keep up with classwork, stay in contact with loved ones, and do almost anything with the tools now available on the the cell phones. However, like it has been said before, with great power comes great responsibility and many cell phone users are doing quite the opposite. The more technology seems to grow, so do the amount of accidents and deaths from cell phone usage. While there have been many stories where having a cell phone on hand has saved many lives, it does not balance out with the amount taken. Many will blame the cell phone for this, but it cannot take the blame alone. The blame falls with the individuals as well. By not letting ourselves become irresponsible with cell phone usage and then letting the distractions from it overwhelm our sense of awareness, we leave ourselves open to mistakes which leads to accidents or worse.

This article below is one of many that show how much our everyday awareness has become effected. In this news article, they speak of how a shooter who had his gun put in plain sight was looked over because everyone was more focused on their phones and not the situation unfolding around them:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/san-francisco-train-shooting_n_4066930.html

It is pretty scary reality how people can get so sucked into the world of their phone to notice such a serious threat in plain sight. Some believe this will get worse with the rise of technology and while this may be true, there are measures we can take to be more responsible with this phone power we have come to possess. If we can take these measures and turn them into habits, then maybe we can not only keep ourselves safe but the people around us.

TIP 1: Make “Airplane” mode or “Do Not Disturb” mode your best friend
– Before you get in the car or take a walk somewhere or do anything where awareness of traffic and surroundings is needed, put your phone in one of these modes. By doing this, you can keep messages, calls, or notifications that most feel obliged to look at or answer from distracting you. You can focus on the things around you and prevent any accidents. It can also teach that you do not need to be at everyone’s whim at the drop of a dime or need to know what is going on in the world at all times. This alone can lessen stress to some extent.

TIP 2 : Out of Sight, Out of Mind
– If you worry that either of those modes are too easy for you to turn off and on. There is the option of putting your phone one of those modes or turning the silent mode on and throwing it into the bottom of your back or purse. Somewhere unreachable. However, I don’t recommend doing this if you work, travel, or live in a unsafe area. Because even though your phone can be a distraction, it can be a lifesaver in a pinch.
TIP 3: Always looks, Never assume
– This rule applies to everyday people but mostly school and college people because that is where I see it happen the most. They literally will walk right out in the middle of the street without a second thought. Most the time it is because they are looking at a phone, but I have seen many not looking at their phones do this also. No matter where you are crossing the street at, even at a legitimate crosswalk, you need to always look before you walk because you never know when somebody could just not be looking, distracted by their phone, or are just going to fast that they end up running that red light. I have seen all three of these examples happen and usually the person who got hit gets turned into street pizza.

TIP 4: Turn that racket down
– So this tip is mainly for those music lovers out there that either have a million songs on their phone or listen to a music streaming service on their phone. There is nothing wrong with listening to music, but you also need to be responsible with it when you are out walking or driving. If you want to listen it loud, thats fine. But don’t blast it so loud that you forget about your surroundings. You have to keep your senses and awareness alert at all times. I love music, I live and breathe it, and I know how hard this can be especially when your favorite song comes on. But it is better to be safe than sorry or dead because you did not hear the car vooming through that stop sign or someone walking behind you getting ready to mug you.

TIP 5: Learn the Wonders of Being Unplugged
– The best moments I remember having with friends or family was when I turned my phone off to enjoy the time I was spending with them. Heck, one of my favorite things to do is to go to the park and turn my phone off. This way I can fully immerse myself in the nature around me and chill. Not only is unplugging really good for stress levels, but it can really open your eyes to the many things you were missing out on.
I hope these tips help in some way and get through to some of you. This article is meant to remind you of how important your awareness and safety is. When you let devices like phones hinder your senses to where you become oblivious to the world around you, you not only put yourself in danger but it also can show little you think of yourself. You are way more important than any silly device that gives you some entertainment from time to time. Lives are more important than that silly device. Some people you meet may make you think otherwise, like your boss who is always nagging in your ear about something arbitrary or that customer who talks down to you any chance they get. But you should still place importance on your life and others. Love yourself and those around you.

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Advice, Life

M.A.P. : Making A Plan

Setting goals and getting stuff done is what life is all about! Or is it? Everyday you can find people making hash tags about achieving their goals, D.I.Y. Pinterest ideas, self-help planning books and even merchandise for helping to set/attain goals. There is an endless amount of resources for anyone that wants to start making a plan for themselves. There is an array of things that you can do this for, such as setting plan for what classes you need to take for college or steps needed to be taken before trying to land that big job you want or even just for your overall life in general. The possibilities are endless. However, plan making is not easy for everyone. There are many hurdles people run into along the way of making or sticking to a plan and there are two things that seem to really stick out as problems.
The first is being overly influenced by someone like a family member, friend, or someone you look up to. There is nothing wrong with following in the steps of a parent or an individual you respect or look up to. However, this can lead to early burnout before any or all goals are reached and sometimes a feeling of discontent even when you do reach all your goals. This usually happens because the plan you made was not your own. This situation also happens with people who have had a path or set of goals forced on to them because they are expected to be something that is not even close to who they are or want to be. This can also lead to feeling the pressure of you feeling like you have to live up to the expectations of others or the need to be exactly like someone. This is why making a plan for you and only you is very important. Also, when you make a plan for yourself, the feeling of satisfaction when you complete your plan will feel much more rewarding.
The second thing that can almost instantly become a problem when making a plan is taking on too much at once or even setting up goals that are not realistically within your reach at this very moment. Sometimes you have to work yourself up to those bigger points. Stress is one of life’s many vicious monsters that comes in many different forms and is not something one should take lightly. Stress in large amounts can cause detrimental damage to your health. This is why you should always be mindful of it even in plan making. A good suggestion is to start with a small set of goals within a small time frame and then stairstep from there. An example would be make a small list of 5 – 10 goals, they can be anything from errands or projects that need to get done fairly in the next few weeks or in a month. Then once all goals have been reached for that small plan. Then you can move on to a bigger list of of maybe 10 – 15 goals that need to be completed in a 2 -3 month period. After each plan is completed, you stairstep up a bit more each time. This will not only help you gradually get use to setting and completeing goals, but also lower the amount of stress and boost your confidence when it come time to take on the really big goals you have in mind.
I hope this article has helped you or someone you know in some way. Like I have said before, I am not a doctor of any kind. Any advice I give is from personal experience, the experience from friends, and knowledge that I have gained from books or articles. I hope you always try to remember that this is your life and so when it comes to the goals you want to achieve, that only you should get to call the shots. Do not be swayed by others or feel you need to conform to the society around you. In the end, it is about your passion and your happiness. Also, never be afraid to try for something, but also do not forget to be kind to yourself when you run into a problem or a failure. That is all I have for now. Thank you for your time and lots of love until next time.

“He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life.” – Victor Hugo

Advice, Life

No, I don’t wear make-up & No, I have no problem if you do, but….

Before I start, if you are looking for an article that demeans people who wear make-up and puts people who don’t wear make-up on a pedestal, then move along. That is not what you will find here. This article will talk about my history with make-up and what led me to stop wearing it. I also want to talk about how there is nothing wrong with wearing make-up, but I would like to share some advice and tips that I discovered along the way for making sure you are doing this for your true self and that you are being caring towards your body and the skin it lives in.

My history with make-up has been up and down. When I was kid, I could not stand make-up or frills or dolls. I was a tomboy for the most part. I liked getting messy, climbing trees, playing with “Alien” movie action figures over Barbie dolls, playing video games. I did a lot that most girls my age would never dream of doing, at least in my neck of the woods. I did not begin getting curious about make-up until my teen years when every other girl was giving me the the degree about not wearing it and how they wanted to try different looks with my face. I eventually gave in; I wore it off and on. Every time I would wear it, I never really felt like myself which added to my low confidence of thinking at the time. I had thought if I truly acted like me that people would dislike me. Because I was a geek and had not met anyone who liked what I did. So, for me, it became more of a cover-up of who I really was. Then, when I began to work and began meeting actual people like me who loved a slew of geeky stuff, I started to not really care about my looks in that way. I completely stopped wearing make-up and began to feel comfortable in my own skin. I still had quite a few low confidence issues going on but it had nothing to do with that aspect of myself anymore. There was a brief period in college when I hit a low point like that again, but it didn’t take me long to come back to who I feel like I truly am. I know that I am a bit of rugged beauty and I am okay with this. I will admit, I will throw on some light BB crème sometimes for really special events or interviews where I know pictures will be taken to cover up my rosacea when it flares up.  But in my daily life or at work, I don’t think two licks about it. I wear no make-up whatsoever. I have many friends who wear make-up and I am fine with that. As long as they are staying true to themselves, then I am fine with it. This is what leads me to the next part of this article.

I have met many people who wear make-up. Some do it for cosplay, some for fun, and some just like to wear it because it is their preference, which is all awesome. However, I have also met quite a few who have worn it either to conform to social standards, because they want to fit in, and it is the only thing that gives them confidence either to be who they are or who they think they are or should be. This in my opinion are huge no-no’s. Many people know by know how badly media has come to have a huge impact on our social lives. This includes magazines, television, the Internet and more. The media has over glamorized the need to being this perfect being. Magazines have been known to do it to the point where they use Photoshop to make the people they take pictures of look ultra-fabulous because their looks alone along with the make-up they have already had put on is not enough for their covers. Refer to the video below for an example of what I mean:

So much media these days seem to scream the message “No matter how good you may actually look and no matter what you do, you will never look that fabulous but you can try.” Then those same people slam a random ad that then screams “Here look at this new make-up being worn by the famous so and so. If you buy it, then you can come close to being fabulous like them.” That is the message that I and many others I have met take from that. Also, while the overall message has changed over time; it still sticks with the message you have wear a specific something, be it make-up, skin products or clothing, to be accepted among society. That being you is not enough and it is horrible. This way of thinking leads many people, both young and old, to have low self-esteem and confidence issues. Which in turn, you end up with people that have to fancy themselves up just to go check the mail or go to the convenience store down the street. If you are one of those people, then there is a chance you may need to do a double take of yourself. When you use make-up or other material items as an emotional crutch, it can lead to actually covering up the actual problem at hand. I believe everyone as some point in their lives needs to learn how to physically accept who they are as is. I know that is not an easy task, but when you learn to accept how you are; it can open so many paths for you with the most important path being that of self love.  Some people I know that still wear make-up and have accepted who they really are, said they have enjoyed wearing make-up more because they are no longer constricted to worrying about what others will think of them and or worry about what shades are in. They wear the colors they want, they have fun with it and some even treat it more like an accessory than a have to. It does not make them who they are. They are who they are and they use make-up to express who they are or as an add-on to who they are. They use it more like a confidence booster and not a full-on embodiment of their confidence.

Another thing I noticed about many of my friends who wear make-up and have accepted themselves. While they may be no longer concerned what others think of them, they have learned to care more about how they treat their body and the skin that covers it. So, when they do wear make-up, they try to wear stuff that is not harmful to the skin but they also make sure they take extra care if they do wear something that may have a harmful ingredient in it. There are many simple things you can do or ingredients you can keep an eye for to prevent any breakout or skin damage. Let us start with ingredients to keep an eye for. If your make-up has any of the following ingredients, there is a chance you are not doing your skin any favors:

 

No-No Ingredients (Editorial, 2017):

– Ethyl-paraben

– Butyl-paraben

– Isopropyl-paraben

– Salicylate

– Formaldehyde

– Phenacetin

– Coal Tar

– Benzene

– Ethylene oxide

– Chromium

– Cadmium

– Arsenic

– Crystalline silica (Or quartz)

Also, make note that some of these ingredients can be found in acne and skin treatments, which is pretty scary. Now this is only a small list of ingredients to watch out for and it can be hard to find make-up without at least one of these ingredients. Another thing to keep in mind is just because a make-up says it is organic, eco, natural, or non-toxic does not really mean anything when it comes to the safety of the make-up because those terms don’t have any kind regulatory meaning when it comes to cosmetics. (Gabillet, 2018)The list below is just some tips that can help prevent and maybe even protect from any really bad skin damage. Disclaimer: I am in no way a doctor of any sorts. These were tips giving to me by friends and beautician friends I know. Now, you may be familiar with most of tips but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded:

Love Tips for the Skin:

– Always wash any make-up off before bed with a warm washcloth or soap and warm water. Heck, even if you don’t wear make-up. Cleaning your face off before bed can really help against any dirt or any other germs that may want to your hurt your skin.

– Wash off your make-up brushes after every use and give them a deep clean once or twice a week depending how often you use them. You may as well be brushing dirt on your face if you don’t clean them and take good care of them.

– Clean/sanitize your cellphone or any other digital items that are near your face or skin. If you are like many people I see these days. There are many people who use their cellphones often and usually have it plastered to their face a lot. Cellphones, headphones/earbuds, and other items like these usually carry a lot of residue or dirt on them from daily use. So, by wiping them daily you can help minimize the amount of dirt that will get on you and cause possible breakouts.

– Give your skin a break. Take a one or two days a week where you can go make-up free for the whole days. There are many make-ups that are known to clog your pores or suffocate the skin which can lead to infections or skin damage. Just like clothes, your skin needs to be given time to air out and breathe.

– Exercise. Yes, I know it is a scary word, but it can do wonders for the skin. Mainly because of how increases blood flow which can help nourish skin cells. Check out this link for how exercise can help with better skin, even for those with acne or eczema problems: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/features/exercise#1

– Sleep. Oh, Lovely, beautiful, and restful sleep. Staying up late and binge watching the newest season of your favorite show is always fun, but is it good for you?  Probably, not so much. Sleep does wonders for not only your skin but your overall body. If you are given the opportunity to hit the hay early, go for it! Having trouble getting to sleep? Listen to some music, read a book, or do something that will really bore you. I know that works me, lol! Supposedly, 7 to 9 hours is the average amount of sleep we should get. I know in this day and age, it can be hard to do, but your body and skin will be thankful to you when you do.

There are many other tips I can suggest but these are the main ones I believe anyone, make-up or no make-up should keep in mind.

I hope this article was helpful in some ways. Like I said before, I think every person should be allowed to do what they want, but as long they are true to themselves. Society can be a suffocating thing and it can be hard to find where you fit in when it is all around you. It can also turn people on one another, which is what I feel has been happening lately with this whole make-up, no make-up debate. Whatever you do decide, whether to wear make-up or to not wear make-up. Remember it is a choice, and it is a choice for everyone. If you don’t want to wear make-up but meet someone who likes to or vice versa, please remember that it is okay. Do not demean someone for their choice. Spread love, not hate.

P.S. Ever thought about making your own make-up? I found this link while doing my research for this article and checked into the different ingredients used for most the recipes. They are pretty legit and skin friendly. If you’re curious, then check it out: https://lovelovething.com/18-homemade-makeup-recipes/

“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”
― Markus Zusak

Works Cited

Editorial, C. (2017, Oct. 18). 10 Harmful Side Effects of Makeup. Retrieved from Curejoy: https://www.curejoy.com/content/harmful-side-effects-of-makeup/

Gabillet, A. (2018, Jun. 20). What Happened When I Tried Nontoxic Makeup For 90 Days. Retrieved from Popsugar: https://www.popsugar.com/beauty/Best-Non-Toxic-Makeup-42307799