What You Post Matters: Positivity in Action

When you’re scrolling down your Facebook newsfeed (or checking out another social media platform), do you ever see something that makes you feel anxious or sad? It seems like there’s far more bad news than good news out there lately, but that’s really not the case.

I believe that everyone should educate themselves about current events, but do not succumb to fear tactics. Don’t be afraid. Be excited to change the world in wonderful ways. Stand together. Reach out to people and spread the love.

Did you know what you post on social media matters? A study showed that if you post something positive on Facebook, your friends are more likely to post something positive, too?

I’m planning on posting a positive picture (like a motivational quote or a picture of a cute animal!) on my timeline every day for an indefinite amount of time. If it makes one person smile, it will be totally worth it to me.

Want to do the same? Here are some great positive places for you to check out! ūüôā

1.) Huffington Post Good News 

Stay informed and hopeful.

2.) Postive quotes! 

So many quotes!!! Words are powerful.

3.) 50 Things That Make Life Happy 

4.) 28 Things That Will Make You Impossibly Happy No Matter Your Mood 

5.) The 35 Happiest Things That Have Ever Happened 

6.)  my personal favorite: This List of Beautiful Things That Happened in 2016 

Stay positive. Stay supportive. Stay sane.

 

Advertisements

A Bright Future

Tomorrow is inauguration day. I know a lot of people who have concerns about what the next four years with our president-elect will be like. I know people who are deeply scared and anxious.

And if you’re one of those people, I say to you, “Fear not.”

It’s okay to feel afraid. It’s okay to be anxious. It’s okay to be angry. Acknowledge those feelings as real and valuable and feel the hell out of them.

And then, take a deep breath.

Because it’s all going to be okay.

I was born in 1996. There have been countless changes since then. We have changed for the better as a culture. We are loving each other more. We are loving ourselves more. We are moving towards protecting human rights. We are shifting to renewable sources of energy. We are recognizing species of animals that are in danger of becoming extinct and helping their populations thrive. We are making innovations in science and medicine that people could not even conceive of in the distant past. So many amazing things are happening around the globe, even though you might not see them on your newsfeed.

Never forget about all of the wonderful, amazing, phenomenally-splendid things that this life and this world and this universe has to offer. Never ever forget. Fight for love and justice and kindness. Be unapologetically passionate about making the world the best and brightest it’s ever been.

Let’s do it together.

How to Make Some Money Without a Job

Buying and selling items online is gaining popularity. I didn’t think I myself could become a seller, until I discovered two websites: Vinted and LetGo.

Vinted is about selling clothes, shoes, and accessories. It is easy to list items, communicate with potential buyers, and safely transfer funds to your account. This is my favorite platform, because I’ve had success and ease with listing my items quickly and easily and selling them! You can choose to meet up with your buyer if they live near you, or ship your items safely and track their journey.

On LetGo, you can sell pretty much anything! I’ve seen everything from tires to baby clothes. LetGo is much more like Craigslist because you see local listings, and meeting up with your buyer is the only option. If you’re going to meet up with any potential buyer, I recommend bringing a friend with you and telling another person where you will be. Just to be safe.

So now that you know about these sites, what should you sell?

I have a lot of stuff that I don’t need. I buy a lot of jewelry and clothes that sit in my closet, gathering dust. I firmly believe that it’s much better for something to find a good home with someone else than for it to sit on a shelf! I clean out my closet on a regular basis, and I don’t feel a lot of sentimentality towards items. If you struggle with parting with things, look at something and try asking yourself:

1.) How do I use this? When do I use it?
2.) Does it make me happy?
3.) Does having it add anything to my life?

If you struggle to come up with these answers, it might be time to turn that item into spending money!

So now that you’ve got an item or two, or a whole bag, that you want to sell, how should you go about selling them?

1.) Start with a descriptive title. Instead of “sweatshirt,” what about “Cozy, Oversized Gray Hoodie.”
2.) Take good pictures! Use natural lighting when you can. Find a nice clean space on your wall, or on the back of a door. Stick a nail or a command hook up there, and you’re good to go! Model your items or put them on a hanger to hang on the nail/hook. If you’re feeling really ambitious, stage your items! You could lay an outfit that your item would complete, a plant, and perhaps an accessory on ¬†a table and really showcase how great your item is. Be careful if you use filters or edit your photo, because buyers might think your item looked different than how it was advertised.
3.) Give your item a good description. What is it? Does it have any cool features (e.g., detachable hood, it’s reversible, it’s limited edition, etc.)? Are there any flaws, rips, stains, or anything of the like? Is it super comfy? Is it oversized or a little small for it’s size? All of this is important!
4.) Be positive and don’t give up. It took me a while to make my first sale, but when I did, I was so happy!
5.) Consider starting a companion account, like an Instagram, to showcase available fashions. Get the word out that you’re selling awesome, affordable, pre-loved clothing!

Happy Selling! Comment your screen name for either of these websites below and I’ll follow you! ūüôā

 

The Care Package Post

I am all about care packages. If you have a little money and a little time, you can send a package to a friend or family member and remind them that they are loved! Here are some resources about how to create care packages for anyone:

themes: 

peanut butter & jelly 

a box of sunshine (1, 2, 3, 4)

out of the blue

blue without you

movie night

sorry I’m cheesy!¬†

I’m so lucky you’re mine

orange you glad

colorful care packages 

whale hello there 

who are you sending it to?: 

a college student (just add water) (1, 2)

a college student athlete

a caffeine fiend

someone who’s sick (1,2,)

someone who’s going through chemotherapy¬†¬†(#2

a friend

someone serving in the armed forces

someone you’re in a long distance relationship with

someone who’s pregnant¬†

for a kid (1, 2,)

someone who loves their car  (#2

someone in need

someone who has just gone through a break up

a lack of vitamin me

occasions:

birthdays

Easter

Halloween

Christmas (all I want for Christmas is you)

anniversaries 

anytime 

here are some ideas of what to put inside:

  • pictures of you and your friend
  • a card with a sweet message
  • sweets! (cookies, candies, fudge, etc.) no one makes them like you do, but if you don’t have time and/or baking isn’t your thing, you can buy some here. (here are some tips on how to ship cookies)
  • non-perishable food items like: oatmeal, cereal, pasta, tea, hot cocoa, crackers, chips, trail mix, dried fruit, pretzels, etc.
  • a small stuffed animal or a couple of toys
  • pens, colored pencils, art supplies, a coloring book
  • a blank journal or a good book
  • jewelry (like a necklace or a pair of earrings)
  • a keychain
  • toiletries & beauty products (mini deodorant, body wash, shampoo, lotion, makeup, makeup brushes, makeup remover/face wash, nail polish, nail clippers, nail file, fake eyelashes, lip balm/lipstick, aspirin)
  • home decor (like a canvas with an inspirational message, a scented candle)
  • slippers or fuzzy socks
  • a blanket
  • a scarf

where to buy pre-made care packages: 

more resources:

Tell me about a care package you’ve sent or would like to receive!

Thanks for reading ūüôā

How to Do A Beach or Park Cleanup

One of my favorite things to do when I’m bored is to pick up trash at a local park or beach. I love nature, and it makes me feel really sad when I see trash in a beautiful place. I decided that I’ll keep trash bags and gardening gloves in my car so I’ll have them if I need them. I think this is something that’s worth posting about because people might not realize how easy this is and how good it can make you feel! Getting outside can improve your mental health, and you can get some exercise while doing good.

Here’s how you can do a cleanup:

– Preparation –¬†

Dress in clothes that are comfortable and weather appropriate. If you want to bring friends, send them a message. Pick a location that’s convenient for everyone (e.g., a park, playground, forest, beach, pond, or other natural area). If you want to bring a pet, make sure the area you’re going to allows them to be there.¬†You can bring reusable bags to hold the trash that you can toss in the washing machine when you’re done, or bring compostable (or regular) trash bags. Wear gardening gloves or gloves made out of a similar material to protect your hands. Make sure you have a dumpster or recycling center in mind that you can bring the trash to when you’re done.

– Once You’re There –¬†

Congrats! You’ve made it. Now it’s time to have fun. Take a walk around the area with your friends and pick up rubbish as you go. You don’t have to pick up every cigarette butt that you see. Do whatever you can to help make this area a better, healthier place!

Thanks for reading! I hope this post encouraged you to consider doing a mini-cleanup somewhere near you! ūüôā

Here’s a picture of a beach that I did a cleanup of earlier this week!

img_4987

 

 

 

 

A Late Post About New Years Resolutions

I’m a little late, considering it’s January 6, 2017, but this new year means a fresh start for all of us. A blank canvas, a clean slate, a clear horizon‚ÄĒwhatever metaphor you like. Awesome things are going to happen over these next 12 months.

I’m not the best at making resolutions and sticking to them. I tell myself I’ll eat better, that I’ll go to the gym three times a week, that I’ll drink less coffee and eat better. But then life happens and I don’t do as well as I hoped I would, and it’s so discouraging.

So this year, I want to try something different. Here are some broad guidelines that I’m going to try and practice this year to make my life better:

1.) love & take care of my body, spirit, and mind

I want to love myself. I want to exercise and eat well as much as I can (even if that means walking laps around a mall) because my body is where I live. It does amazing things for me and I want to treat it well. I want to put meaningful art on it. I want to pray more and explore different religions and see what other people believe. I want to challenge myself intellectually and relax and care for myself when I need rest.

2.) love others & do good

I want to make lots of new friends. I want to be the best partner I can be. I want to continue learning to communicate effectively and honestly with others. I want to be loving and warm and kind and generous as much as humanly possible. I want to love and protect the world we live in and everyone and everything in it.

3.) stay positive & forgive yourself 

There will always be a spark of positivity burning inside me, even on my hardest days. I will strive to do the best I can with what I have, and always forgive myself and others when mistakes and inevitably made.

Here’s to striving to be better and love each moment of 2017.

How to Help Low Income Friends

At the end of¬†Scrooged (1988) Bill Murray exclaims: “Some people are having trouble making their miracle happen!”¬†For those of you who haven’t seen this phenomenal movie, ¬†a selfish TV executive is visited by several ghosts on Christmas eve and encouraged to change his life for the better. It’s a hilarious and poignant take on Dickens’¬†A Christmas Carol.

When I googled “how to help low income friends,” nothing really came up. I am a privileged person, but I work for a non-profit that helps families who live in poverty. Here’s are the tips that I’ve come up with:

1.) Listen to your loved one. 

The best thing you can do is really listen to your loved one. What are they going through? How are they feeling? What kind of support do they need from you? Are they looking for resources you could help them access?

2.) Little things matter. 

You don’t have to buy someone something in order to make a difference in their lives. If your loved one has a child, offer to babysit for free for a night. You could also try to find things to do together that won’t cost them anything, like going on a random road trip or going for a hike. Here’s a link to 102 more suggestions about cool things you can do that don’t cost a dime!

3.) Don’t assume that they need your help.¬†

This is something that I’ve really been trying to work on. Don’t assume that your friend needs your help just because they are low income. People all maintain some sense of pride. They may feel shame, embarrassment, or anger if you suddenly insist on paying for their bills or groceries.¬†It’s important that you offer your friend the support they need to break down the barriers they face themselves, rather than trying to “save” them. At the same time, don’t be afraid to start a conversation with a friend you suspect is struggling. Let your loved one know that you care about them and love them, and that you’re worried that they might be struggling financially. Reassure them that if they are, that is not something that they should be ashamed or embarrassed about, and that you would like to help them if possible.

4.) If they do ask for your help, consider getting them a gift card to a local store or making them a cute care package. 

Everyone loves getting mail or small gift out of the blue! You could send your friend a card with a gift card anytime. Gift cards are great because they allow the person to pick out whatever they want, but I love love love making care packages for people. See the link above for thousands of ideas about what to include in care packages and how to decorate them.

5.) Help them help themselves. 

Help your loved one to feel empowered. What are they struggling with? Do they need a job, or are they working a job that doesn’t pay them enough? You could help them search for jobs and create an updated resume and/or a LinkedIn account. Are their bills unmanageable? Help them compare rates for different insurance and energy companies. You might find that there are better packages out there that will cut costs. You could also offer to come over and cook dinner with them one night a week.

6.) They are still the same person. 

Don’t forget that your loved one is still who they were before they were struggling, or before you knew that they were struggling. Don’t pity them or avoid inviting them to social gatherings assuming that they won’t be able to go.

If you’re a middle class person like myself, think of all the things you do everyday without thinking about them. Perhaps you buy a coffee each morning on your way to work. When your gas tank is empty, you fill it up. When you’re hungry or thirsty, you can purchase what you need. You know you’ll be able to pay your rent and your bills. For many people, their lives revolve around ensuring that their families will have something to eat tonight. Many people worry about how they’re going to stay warm in frigid temperatures.¬†Some people are having trouble making their miracles happen, but everyone can help.

This is by no means a post written by an expert. Please comment below if you have any ideas about how to help friends who are struggling financially!

Have a great day ūüôā