6 Newsletters That Got Me Through

When the grueling process of job hunting begins, you never know how long it will take. Whether you are just company-hopping or doing a full blown career change, the process of applying, networking, applying, following up, and *hopefully* getting the interview can be daunting and exhausting. At times it can be mentally draining and defeating – for those of us who are Type A, a lack of patience plagues our personalities, and not hearing back from your dream company can be downright depressing. To take my mind off of situations out of my control, I read and tried to absorb as much as possible, turning everything into an opportunity to learn.

After 4 months, I recently finished my grueling job hunt, landed an amazing opportunity, and went through the emotional roller coaster that finding a new job always is. Throughout the process, these newsletters really got me through, offering daily tips from career advice, financial tidbits, health, lifehacks, recipes, beautiful travel photo eye-candy, and DIYs that I never would have thought of or just really needed to read at the right times. Maybe you’ve heard of these, perhaps you have not – I can’t recommend these daily reads enough! Some even offer amazing Sunday Editions that showcase some sites and articles for extended recommended reading as well. I hope you find these as helpful in your process as I did. Would love to hear of any newsletters that helped you through your latest job hunt process! Comment with any recommendations 🙂

The Dreaded New Years Resolution

I hope everyone had a safe and happy NYE celebration! Now that 2013 has officially begun, what is your New Year’s Resolution?

I always used to make resolutions I would forget about as soon as March rolled around. Since I turned 20 I’ve been making a conscious effort to make resolutions that are legitimate things I’ve wanted to change about my lifestyle for the better. For instance, last year my resolution was to take a daily multi-vitamin plus a hair, skin + nails supplement. To this day, I have kept that resolution.

This year I’m torn between two resolutions I should really make: 1. Faithfully do yoga or some sort of physical activity for at least 20mins 3 days per week, and 2. Decrease my frequency of online shopping and make the effort to go into the store to purchase. That last one is a huge challenge for me; the majority of my online shopping is on sites that don’t have retail stores (Zappos anyone?) or stores that are based in the UK. It’s less of a resolution and more of a way to keep my shopping addiction in check. Typing that, I can already tell the first one is going to be the one for 2013 😉

If you’re unsure of what to make your resolutions about, see my breakdown of worthwhile and waste-of-time resolutions below. If you’re the type that writes off New Year resolutions…why are you reading this post?

Resolutions that are Worth Making:

Lifestyle Changes

Legitimate changes that you will stick to because of health, environment, social good—something with an incentive for you or for a cause you believe in.

  • ∞  I will take public transportation twice a week to decrease my gas expenses and consumption
  • ∞  I will eliminate all fast food, or fried food, from my diet
  • ∞  I will donate the money I would have used for a daily Starbucks run to a charity of choice (may be best to save up over the course of a week or a month to make an impressionable donation)
  • BBBBB• If you’re not in the position to give away money (yes, college readers I’m talking to you) then simply use the money from one Starbucks trip to buy a bag of coffee/box of tea and save the money from your daily Starbucks addiction for something more worthy of your money: a bus trip to visit your friend? A graduation dress? A manicure?
  • ∞  I will make sure to wash off all makeup before bed EVERY NIGHT to decrease my acne from sleeping with makeup on and getting clogged pores
  • ∞  I will make a conscious effort to recycle all plastic, glass, and metal waste I produce

 

Resolutions to Stop Kidding Yourself Over:

Dietary Changes

If you still refer to changes in your food consumption as “going on a diet” then it’s not a resolution. It’s a short-term temporary change that you won’t commit to. Once you stop putting a label on the changes you’re making to your diet you will have less of an ability to brush them off. For instance, people often say “Oh, I was bad: I broke my diet this weekend.” If you’re making a legitimate change to your eating habits then its becoming part of your normal routine, not a temporary fix to shave off a few pounds. Fun fact: ____% of people who “go on a diet,” gain all the weight right back after their diet ends. The solution: make your “diet” a permanent lifestyle change. That’s the best way to keep those lost pounds off, and to make a permanent healthy change (NOTE: consult your physician for an optimum diet change, if you’re unsure).

Habit Changes

It takes 6-8 weeks for an action to become a habit. If you honestly think telling yourself that  “I’m going to work out more this year” is going to get your butt off the couch, think again. If you honestly do want to start working out more, find what you’re comfortable with first. Working out doesn’t mean you have to join a gym—I work out in my living room! You just need to find what you’re comfortable with: running, strength training, yoga, Pilates, dance classes, cycling, whatever it may be test the waters to find your perfect fit, no gym membership fees required. Once you find your niche start out doing it 2-3 days a week to make sure you like it enough to stick with it. From there, just have fun with it!

Vague Statements

Saying “I’m going to swear less” or “I’m going to work out more” is a nice thought, but unless you give yourself a bit more structure to the statement, you’re going to forget about it and no change will be made. Instead, try “I’m going to swear less. To ensure this happens, I’m going to keep a ‘swear jar’ and every time I say a profanity, I contribute a minimum of ____ cents/dollars.” If you give yourself a monetary punishment/reward system you might feel more inclined to stop that bad habit, especially if it comes to a point of “I can’t buy my morning coffee—I swore too much this weekend,” Ha!

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Unexpected Pick-Me-Ups

Feel like you’ve been drowning the past [day][week][month][semester][year]? We’ve all been there: you’re overworked, and life has finally taken its toll on you. You’re feeling ragged, possibly even a bit down on yourself because you haven’t had the coveted “me time” you’ve been needing. While your schedule may still be overworking you, here are a few unexpected pick-me-ups. Some of which you can even fit into your lunch break!

1. Pamper Yourself

While this may seem like an obvious solution, as women we like to go a bit overboard with the pampering. If your schedule is still screaming demands at you, find small ways to pamper yourself. The perfect example: freshly done brows. Your eyebrows frame your face—the first thing people see; having them done (waxed or threaded) will give a cleaner feeling to your face instantly. My next suggestion is something you don’t even need to pay for (unless you’re in the market for a new shade): do your own mani / pedi! There’s nothing more perfect than those afternoons when you can carve out an hour or so to remove old polish, file, shape, and apply fresh coats to my digits and toes. It’s more rewarding than you think—and no one to tip but yourself 🙂

2. Feel Sexy…For YOU

When stress levels are high, sex is the last thing on your mind. But feeling sexy doesn’t  equate to sex. My most surprising pick-me-up was my first Brazilian wax. What you’d expect to be a painful trip to the salon actually leads to a huge mood boost upon exiting the building. You’re walking along the sidewalk after you’re bare down there and realize you have a sexy secret. It sounds weird, but it’s a provocative treat for yourself! Another way to feel sexy: indulge in lingerie that YOU want, not him. Even if you don’t ever have an occasion to don slinky slips or tantalizing teddies, the mere act of browsing through the selections online or in person will make you feel a bit decadent and take your mind off of the stressors in your life.

3. Let Your Mind Take a Break

When you’re overworked, you’re overworked physically and—more importantly—mentally. Giving your mind a break for about 15-20mins will give you enough mental clarity to resume your task at hand with a fresh outlook. Things as simple as going for a walk on a nice day (or your lunch break!) or even calling your best friend from home just to catch up and see what’s new in his/her life can be all it takes to rejuvenate your mind.

4. Expand Your Mind

After an extended period of time where your mind is hyper-focused on a specific task at hand, you can often have mental fatigue and not know why. If you can take the time to learn a new recipe or try a book in a new genre you will feel a bit more adventurous—opening your mind to new experiences is the best thing when stuck in your work-induced rut.

5. Take the Focus Off of YOU

When pining for that much-needed “me time,” we often think about it a lot. When we think about ourselves a lot we tend to dwell on things, which only makes your overwhelmed feeling worse. Take the focus off of you and your woes! Strike up a conversation with a stranger, compliment someone ELSE, or even focus more on others throughout your day. Did you say Hi to your doorman/mailman/bus driver/server at the cafeteria?—it will make you feel a bit more at ease.

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When Over-Eating Doesn’t Need to be Over-Thought

Thanksgiving is the kick off to a never-ending slew of holiday parties among friends, family, workplaces, neighbors, and nearly any social group. As I’m sure you all experienced with Thanksgiving, the holidays also tend to mean indulging in things you wouldn’t normally, i.e. fatty foods, seasonal drinks, a higher number of drinks, and increased laziness (read: slacking on workouts).

The holiday season presents many dietary hurdles for those of us watching our waistlines—leaving many women searching for the almighty answer to “how can I maintain my figure during the holiday season?” Let’s face it: the holidays are the one designated time of year to spend with family. Being around those you love makes everyone more comfortable and tends to make people deviate from their normal eating and drinking habits. Whether it’s the warm fuzzy feeling of bonding with Mom in the kitchen over a family recipe (that uses full-fat everything), to going out to bars with friends you haven’t seen in years once you’re actually home, to the spread of comfort food at your holiday feast—I’d be shocked to hear if you didn’t expect to gain at least a pound or two. There’s no reason to stress about this! Too often I hear women saying, “Ugh, I feel disgusting from eating that [insert comfort food of choice here]. I need to go on a diet this week.” Instead of mentally preparing yourself for a near-starvation diet, simply follow these easy 3 steps.

1. Don’t worry about it! Stressing over a few  pounds or a little bloat  may result in even more over-eating, not to mention a decrease in self confidence. There’s no use in over-thinking the damage that’s already been done. Nervous eaters take note! Giving this more thought than necessary will lead to even more over-eating. Let this slide—it’s a mere slip-up in your normal dietary routine. You’ll get back on track tomorrow 🙂 (Don’t just say it, actually follow through with it!)

2. Don’t automatically think that 1 day of indulgence means you have to go on a crash “diet.” It is always best to think about your normal eating routines as just that: your norm. If you’ve overeaten for a day or so, going on a crash diet will not be fun. Because your stomach will already be stretched out to the quantity of food you consumed, you will feel like you’re starving yourself if you severely cut your portions to miniscule amounts. Instead, switch back to your normal portion sizes for the next few days and simply make healthy eating choices. After a day of overeating (remember last Thursday?) I make sure to increase my consumption of water based foods (salad, raw veggies + hummus, actual water) and switch back to my typical smaller portion sizes. There’s no need to punish yourself, just revert back to your norm.

3. Sweat it out! Don’t lose sight of your workouts & portion control. Just because you may feel slightly pudgy-er due to your food baby doesn’t mean that you should pity yourself and slack on workouts. There’s no better feeling than working up a sweat (hello, endorphins!) and it will make you feel a bit more at ease because you’re being proactive about alleviating your bloat. There’s no use in putting yourself through an especially grueling workout—you will be excessively sore tomorrow and won’t want to continue to work out for a few days, only making your gross feeling even worse. Opt for a light cardio routine (yoga, brisk walk, light jog) to get the food “moving through your system” 😉

 

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