Ways to Entertain Yourself on a Super Boring Day

Ever have a day where you’re so bored, you just don’t know what to do with yourself? Days where there’s no one around to hang out with, but if you spend one more second on your couch, you’re going to lose it? I have days like this all too often, so I’ve become somewhat of an expert at finding ways to pass the time and even enjoy the day. Since it’s taken me years to perfect this list, I figured I could save you all some time and share it with you! Here’s my list of ways to suck joy out of an otherwise boring day.

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Take the longest shower ever:

Nothing leaves you feeling more relaxed and refreshed than a shower where you spare no expense. Most of the time, we shower before going to work or bed and don’t have time to do all the things that make a shower satisfying. When you have nothing else to do in a day, why not take the extra time to give yourself a luxurious shower? Crank up the heat, scrub the gunk out of your hair, exfoliate your skin, shave your legs, and do whatever else you never have time to do. Maybe even take a bath, if that’s your thing. Bottom line- spending an extended amount of time in a hot water will leave you feeling like a whole new person.

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Scrape the dead skin off your feet:

Maybe it’s just me, but something about getting all the flaky skin off the bottom of my feet is so satisfying. If you’re the same way, here’s how I do it. Fill up a container big enough to fit your feet in (Doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it holds water) with as hot of water as you can comfortably stand. Pour about a half of a cup to a cup of Listerine mouthwash into the water then plunge your feet in and let them soak. You can add some Epsom salt if you want to get extra with it. Give it a good fifteen minutes then take one foot and use a pumice stone to scrape off as much skin as you can get before you swap feet. Then put them both back into the water and add some hot water and/or more Listerine as needed. I usually repeat this process three times before drying off my feet and slathering them in lotion. I have yet to find anything that works as good as this method.

Make yourself a bomb-ass meal:

Instead of spending the day scavenging your kitchen for unfulfilling snacks, get up and cook yourself something really good. We all have a Pinterest board full of recipes we want to try, so pick one that looks delicious and make it! I make it a goal to make at least two of my Pinterest recipes per month, and I’ve been slowly making my way through my entire board. Some turn out amazing and have been added to my permanent meal roster, while others have been deleted off the board. So, find a recipe you’ve always wanted to try, and try it! This may require leaving the house for ingredients, and if that’s a hard no for you, find a recipe that you already have the stuff for or alter one to fit what’s already in your fridge. If you’re a person who loves to cook, but hates the cleanup then save the cleanup for tomorrow and just enjoy the cooking process. Make it extra fun, and crank up your favorite music while you work. At the end of it all, you have yourself a (hopefully) bomb ass meal. If cooking seriously isn’t your thing, then order your favorite takeout meal and treat yourself that way.

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Do your make-up:

At some point, you’ve probably seen some dramatic makeup and thought “That’s awesome, but there’s no way I can pull it off.” If you’re just going to sit home all day, why not try one out? I have a Pinterest board of make-up ideas I love, and I try them out when I have nothing else to do. It’s a safe and fun way to experiment with different colors and techniques that you’ve never tried before. You may even surprise yourself and find a look that looks amazing on you. I know make-up is crazy expensive, so if you struggle to waste it, find a look that uses the colors in your palettes you never use; this way you’re not wasting your good stuff. If you look awesome, snap a few pics and post them on social media for a little self-esteem boost. If you look ridiculous, just wipe it off, and no one will ever know.

Deep clean all or part of your house:

Okay, I know this one isn’t for everyone, but getting your clean on can make you feel like you actually accomplished something on an otherwise waste of day. Start with something small to get you in the groove, such as doing the dishes or picking up the clothes scattered on your bedroom floor (I know you have some- we all do). Once you start, you’ll probably be more motivated to keep going. Take it one room at a time, so if you lose all your momentum part of the way through, you’ll have a whole room or two done rather than a ton of half clean rooms. I love to start with my kitchen, because I use it the most. I do the dishes, take everything off the counters and scrub them, wipe down the cabinets, clean the stove, mop the floors, and whatever else I need to do to make it look spotless. Sometimes, I stop there and other times, I continue to the next room. I keep up this pattern until I’m done with my whole apartment or run out of gas; whichever comes first. Again, crank up your favorite play list while you clean to make it way more fun. By the time you’re done, whenever that is, you’ll feel like you actually got something done.

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Set up camp outside:

I firmly believe that there is a HUGE difference between sitting inside and sitting outside. The mixture of the fresh air and getting away from the T.V. is super refreshing. So, grab a blanket or lounge chair, and get your butt outside (depending on the weather). Sit outside and read a book or a magazine, do a work puzzle, play a game on your phone, or turn on some music (or an audiobook, if you’re me) and close your eyes- whatever it takes for you to just unwind and enjoy the fresh air.

Do a workout:

This is a great way to not only pass some time, but also to give yourself a jump start. The possibilities here are endless! Go to a local gym and do some intense cardio or weight lifting. If that’s not your thing, do one in the comfort of your own home. The internet is loaded with different workouts to fit your needs, whether you want something to get your heart rate pumping or a relaxing yoga routine. If you prefer the outdoors, go for a walk, jog, or bike ride, or do some aerobics in your backyard. If you do it right, you’ll feel tired when you’re done, but you’ll also feel empowered and maybe even inspired to get some sh*t done!

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Do a craft project:

If you’re anything like me, you have all the supplies for a project that’s been sitting in a closet for months and you have a Pinterest board full of fun ideas for craft projects you’d love to try. If you have nothing else to do, get off your butt and finish one! When you get one done, you might even be inspired to do more, and you’ll (hopefully) have an awesome new piece to display somewhere. Many of us complain that we have zero time to get these things done, but when time presents itself, we waste it away watching Netflix instead of getting up and actually doing it. You can even pick a craft project you can do while watching Netflix and have the best of both worlds. Make yourself something and be proud of it, and even if it turns out to be an epic fail, at least you tried it!

 Call someone:

I much prefer texting to calling, but sometimes it’s so nice to hear the other person’s voice. We live in a world where people talk on the phone less and less, because it takes up too much time and it’s less convenient than texting. But sometimes, the cure to boredom is actually hearing another person’s voice. So, call a friend you haven’t chatted with for awhile and spend some time on the phone and really talk. More often than not, I’ll call my mom when I’m bored and spend an hour or two just talking. I think we all forget sometimes how nice it is to actually talk out loud to someone and hear their voice when they respond. You can get deep and philosophical, vent about who or what has been pissing you off, or keep it lighthearted and fun. Talk inside or outside- wherever you want- just let yourself become fully immersed in the conversation.

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If all else fails, and none of these seem alluring to you or you just don’t have the energy to do them, grab yourself a case of your favorite beer, settle in, and drink up!

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Why Dogs are Better than Kids

Maybe it’s because I’m at the ripe age of 23, but lately it seems the common goal among my peers is having kids. Don’t get me wrong; I haven’t completely turned away from wanting kids, however I’ve been trying to determine if the things I thought I wanted in my life are what I actually want or what society tells me I want. Kids are on that list. I have always wanted to be a mom and often saw my future as having three to four kids and an adoring husband, but as time as gone on, finding a desirable man that I like enough to want to be with has proved to be a challenge. I can’t help but think that maybe that’s not a path I want anymore, and instead see myself with a boatload of dogs. The more I think on this, the more I like what that future looks like and the more I see reasons why getting dogs are better than having kids.

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  1. For starters, there is far less physical pain and suffering with getting a dog. Having kids (the conventional way at least) involves nine long months of pregnancy, during which your entire body changes. And when these long, hard months finally come to a close, there’s an intense pain like none other just to get the thing out of your body. You then spend weeks waiting for your body to figure out how to go back to normal. On top of that, there are tons and tons of things that could go wrong. I don’t think there is a woman alive that would call child birth fun, but do you know what is fun? Picking out a dog. There is far less stress and pain and nothing is growing inside of you. You just get to go out, hang out with one or more dogs, fork over some cash, and go home with your new fur baby!

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  1. Speaking of picking out a dog, you get to PICK OUT a dog. If you have a kid, you are, to put it lightly, stuck with what you get. With a dog, you get to literally pick and choose exactly what you are looking for. Gender, age, color, size- the list goes on and on. You can look in a variety of places at a variety of times until you find the perfect dog. Don’t want to do the work of potty training? Pick an older doggo that already knows this trick. Landlord says it has to be under 30 pounds? You can choose a smaller breed. Because you aren’t time limited, you can take your time and be carefully selective. If you don’t care about such things, you can keep it short and just get the first one you like. Either way, the choice is yours.

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  1. If you do pick out one that you have to train, it’s 100 times easier than training a child. It’s years before a child is properly potty trained, whereas a dog takes a few months tops. It’s also easier to train a dog to sit down, stay put, and be quiet- all things you often see parents struggling with. 8 out of 10 times a dog will do anything you ask it to if you’re holding a treat. Plus, no one judges you for using food as a main motivator with your dog.

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  1. Getting a dog is WAY cheaper than having a child. The average cost for having a baby in the U.S. ranges anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. This huge gap is due to vaginal births versus a C-section birth, amount of time spent in the hospital, and the care required by mom and baby. You can easily find a dog for $1,000. Yes, some purebred dogs are a few grand, the dog will still most likely be cheaper. If you don’t care about breed as much, you can get a dog for a couple hundred or less, maybe even free! This doesn’t even include all the fees that come later, like clothes, food, activities, hospital bills, etc. While some dogs can rack up some bills, however the total cost will be way less than the total you will spend on a kid.

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  1. Speaking of money spent, dogs are way lower maintenance than kids. Dogs don’t require schooling, unless you choose to send them (and even then, it’s only a few walks). Dogs aren’t involved in 15,000 sports and activities that parents need to pay for and feel the need to attend. Dogs will usually eat whatever you put in front of them and won’t spend a half hour complaining about it. They don’t fight you tooth and nail on bedtime, and when they don’t want to get in the tub, it’s perfectly acceptable to pick them up and dump them in. Dogs don’t need new clothes and shoes and don’t scream and wail when they don’t get the toy they wanted. They also don’t need your constant, undivided attention for every hour of every day. You can leave a dog home alone for a few hours or they are often perfectly with laying down and napping in another room.

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  1. When they are misbehaving, you can put a dog in a (size-appropriate please) cage. When your dog chews up something he wasn’t supposed to or is driving you insane, it’s not illegal to lock him in a kennel for a few hours. If you do this with a kid, someone will (hopefully) call the authorities. It’s not cruel or inhumane to put a dog in a kennel, however you just can’t do that to a screaming child. This is way easier than putting a child in a time out that he constantly tries to sneak out of or putting a kid in his room while she screams bloody murder the whole way down the hall. You put a dog in his kennel, close the door, and forget about him for a while.

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  1. If you happen to need daycare for whatever the reason may be, doggy daycare is so much cheaper. Child care is usually a huge financial burden on parents, but you can leave a dog home alone during the day, and no one calls CPS. In the off chance you do need dog care, it’s probably going to be a less money. I can send my dog to daycare for 8-10 hours for $20; that’s less than you’d pay a babysitter for five. You can also usually find someone to watch your dog for free, but finding the same for kids is next to impossible.

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  1. Dogs are quiet, whereas kids are very seldom quiet. Children yell and scream and cry and shriek and never seem to stop talking. Dogs, on the other hand, cannot speak and are therefore much quieter. While some dogs have a barking problem, most of them can be trained out of this. If you are a person who values quiet time, a kid is probably not for you. A dog, however, is a great match. Even when they do make noise, it’s usually so cute that you can’t even mad about it. Kids NEVER stop making noise, but dogs, on the other hand, are happy to stay silent.

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  1. Dogs are more fun than kids. With most kids, you have to be so gentle, careful, and age appropriate that you can only have fun with them for like 10 minutes before you’re bored. Dogs can entertain you for hours. You can say what you want around them and no one seems to care and you can play rough with them while they have a blast. Dogs can provide endless amounts of fun and entertainment, while the fun side of kids is short lived. Either they end up throwing a fit, crying, or yelling, but dogs don’t do any of things. With dogs, you can also stop whenever you want to.

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  1. Dogs will love you blindly in a way kids will not. Dogs appreciate everything you do for them and try to show you how much you love them, whereas kids often take you for granted and will probably rebel against you. Dogs don’t have teenage rebellion phases, they don’t scream that they hate you, and they don’t get mad because you got the wrong brand of cereal at the store. Dogs will love you more than they love themselves and will spend the better part of your life trying to show this to you. A dog will love you no matter the flaws you have or the mistakes you make. A dog will never point out your failures or make you feel guilty for the choices you make. A dog will show you more love than you deserve; you are their world, and they will love you blindly.

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I know a lot of people in the world love kids, have kids that they adore, and want kids more than anything, but this life path may not be for everyone for a variety of reasons. I always thought I was destined to be a mom, and I always pictured human children for this. But lately I’ve been thinking I’ve had it all wrong. Maybe, I was destined to be a damn good dog mom. Maybe some people love kids more than anything, but I for one, definitely see the benefits having a dog has over having a child. Even if you disagree, you can’t deny the “scientific” evidence I’ve just given. I think at this point, it’ll take a whole lot to change my mind. Maybe I need to have a kid to know for sure, but for right now, I’m perfectly happy just being a dog mom.

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My Rescue Dog

Today marks a very important day in my life; one year ago, I became a dog mom! Anyone who knows me at all knows that my dog is a huge part of my life and one of the things I value most in this world. Adopting Koda was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I have never regretted it. I wanted to use this post to talk about the adventure Koda and I have taken together in the past year. I also wanted to advocate for rescue dogs. A lot of people shy away from this because they aren’t usually pure breeds, they tend to be older, and you can never be sure what you will get, however I think that rescue dogs need loving homes the most. They need humans that are willing to be patient with them and work with them and love them unconditionally. This past year with Koda has come with a lot of struggles and frustrations, however those struggles were beyond worth it. Watching the progress he has made has been so fulfilling, and I cannot wait to see how much he continues to grow. Rescue dogs can be some of the most loyal and loving dogs I have ever interacted with, and rescue has become my favorite breed.

I don’t know a whole lot about Koda’s backstory, but here’s what I do know. Koda had been abandoned and left in a Walmart parking lot in Alabama. He had several scrapes and scratches all over his legs and was terrified of people. He was rescued by a shelter there and would just spin around in circles in a panic whenever someone approached him. The shelter that had rescued him was a kill shelter, and due to his age and behavior, no one wanted to adopt him, so he was meant to be euthanized. Thankfully, a shelter in Minnesota rescues dogs from kill shelters in the south. They brought him up here and named him Ice because of his blue eyes. He spent one week at a foster home while I was back at home, scanning a website for adoptable dogs. He happened to catch my eye, and after reading about his anxious personality and looking at the picture of his big blue eyes, I knew I had to apply to adopt him. I felt that an anxious dog would be perfect for me, as I also struggled with anxiety. I was approved to adopt him and set up a time with his foster mom to meet with him, but I knew then that I would be taking him home with me that day. I scoured through lists of dog names, and eventually decided on the name Koda.

When I finally met him for the first time, he sat several feet away from me and shook with terror. His eyes were wide with fear and he flinched whenever I reached out to pet him. After sitting with him for nearly an hour, we decided to try taking him for a walk. He did not want to leave the house and the further we got from it, the harder he tried to pull away and go back inside. His foster mom explained that he had been dehydrated and very overweight, and she had been working on getting him rehydrated and back to a healthy weight. At the end of our short walk, I was dead set on taking him back home with me. He laid down on the floor of my backseat, shook with fear, wouldn’t eat any treats, and didn’t move the entire drive.

When I finally got him home, he went into his new kennel and would not come out. He didn’t try to explore the house or come out to see me, my roommate, or her dog. He didn’t relax, even when he was eating his food. When he finally started coming out of his kennel a few days later, he wouldn’t leave a certain corner of the living room and was even afraid of laying on his bed. It took a week for him to approach me on his own, and he would nervously allow me to pet him for a few seconds before retreating back into his corner.

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(Koda’s first night in his new home in the kennel he wouldn’t leave.)

As frustrating as the first few weeks with Koda were, I didn’t give up on him. Within that time, he began exploring my apartment and sleeping in my room with me. He was happy to see me when I got home, and soon started laying in my bed with me. Taking him for walks was extremely difficult at first, but he soon started to love them. He even started playing a little with my roommate’s dog.

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(Koda, about six months after he was adopted, being all smiles.)

Now, a year later, Koda has made a lot of progress. He has learned how to play with other dogs (for the most part), and isn’t so scared of them. He loves to go on walks and play in the snow. He is so cuddly and is full of love. He gives Koda hugs, follows me everywhere, enjoys car rides, and absolutely LOVES belly scratches. He still gets nervous around unfamiliar people, but has found a few that he is comfortable around. He greets new people (after taking some time to himself to adjust) and will accept treats from just about anyone. He walks around the house like he owns it, tells me when he needs to go potty or when it’s time to eat, and has acquired a little bit of confidence. While he still gets very anxious around new people, still flinches when I pet him unexpectedly, and still gets scared of unfamiliar noises, I cannot believe how far he has come. Watching him change and grow has been one of the best parts of this past year. Helping him work through his anxiety has also helped me work through mine. He has also showed me how much power there is in love and kindness, even with dogs. Rescuing Koda was one of the best things I have ever done, but in a lot of ways, Koda has also rescued me.

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(Koda right now as I type this, laying in my bed, on my feet, and snoring.)

You Might Have Big Boobs If…

I’m sure many of you have seen, or at least heard of, Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be a Redneck” popular bit, so I thought it might be fun to put my own spin on it. I got the inspiration for this post this morning when I was getting dressed. As I was pulling my sweatshirt down, it got caught up on my chest and hurt my wrist. While my wrist throbbed, all I could think was, “This wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have giant boobs!” Thus! An idea was born! So, without further ado, you might have big boobs if…

If you can catalogue everything you’ve eaten in a day by the crumbs found in your cleavage, you might have big boobs.

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If crop tops look like bandeaus on you, and regular shirts turn into crop tops, you might have big boobs.

If every T-shirt you find with a cute design or phrase gets all distorted and demented as soon as you put it on, you might have big boobs.

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If you’ve ever ended up with food on your chest after leaning over the table, you might have big boobs.

If you have to dig holes in the sand for your chest when you lay on the beach, you might have big boobs.

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If the thought of finding a bra that fits you for under $50 is laughable, you might have big boobs.

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If you have to hold down your chest anytime you run, even when you have a bra on, to keep from knocking yourself out, you might have big boobs.

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If you’ve ever inhaled a little too deeply, and blew out the zipper on your coat, you might have big boobs.

If you have to lift up your chest and set it on the bar when you lean against it, you might have big boobs.

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If you have a definitive line of sweat under your boobs after a workout, you might have big boobs.

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If seat belts are impossible for you to keep from wrapping around your neck, you might have big boobs.

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If you’ve ever lost something in your cleavage, and had to go digging for it, you might have big boobs.

If people are constantly bumping into, brushing against, or running into your chest, you might have big boobs.

If you put on a button down shirt and discover gaping holes between each button, you might have big boobs.

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If your boobs hit the floor every time you do a push-up, you might have big boobs.

If every time you change sleep positions in bed, you have to readjust your chest, you might have big boobs.

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If painting your toenails turn into a painful stretching session, you might have big boobs.

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If you’ve ever knocked things over, knocked things off a table, or caused mayhem on a store shelf, you might have big boobs.

If you spend a good portion of your day readjusting your wandering cleavage, you might have big boobs.

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If strapless dresses are impossible to make work, you might have big boobs.

If you have to hold your chest in place while walking down the stairs, you might have big boobs.

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If putting on a bra before your boobs are completely dry is comparable to wrangling a bull, you might have big boobs.

If you have to take your bra off slowly and carefully at the end of the day to avoid the sudden pain of your boobs dropping too fast, you might have big boobs.

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If people with a size D or DD talking about their “giant boobs” makes you laugh bitterly, you might have big boobs.

If you are the butt of countless “big boob” jokes at the hands of your friends, you might have big boobs.

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I think it’s fair to say having big boobs is no easy task, but somehow, we manage. To my busty sisters out there; keep on being your glorious selves!

If you liked this post, check out my other posts on the big boob struggle

https://historyiswhoweare.com/2016/05/15/the-busty-battle/

https://historyiswhoweare.com/2018/01/05/1318/

#97: Raising Awareness and Ending Stigmas

  In recent years, the NFL has been plagued with a variety of scandals and controversy. There have been reports of teams cheating, referees being paid off, players accused of abuse, and, of course, the heated debate of players taking a knee. Lately, it seems the NFL is always under fire, but instead of focusing on that, I want to reflect on something I feel an NFL team did right.

            Many people know I have always been a ride or die Vikings fan, no matter what kind of season they have. I absolutely love Vikings season, often get a little too into the games, and find myself in a lot of overly excited discussions. No matter the outcome of a season, the Vikings have always been my number one team. For the most part, the Vikings have steered clear of scandal. With the exception of a few incidents, such as the Adrian Peterson scandal, the Vikings seem to avoid the drama spotlight. But in spite of recent events, I think they deserve it.

            I have been watching Everson Griffin’s impressive career as a defensive end for the Vikings since his rookie season. In that time, he’s made some questionable life choices, but he has still done amazing things for our team. This past week, it has reached the news that Griffin is being banned from playing for the foreseeable future, despite the Vikings rocky start to the season. The reasons surrounding this decision all stem from Griffin’s struggle with his mental health that have been prominent in his angry outbursts at practice, as well as incident that occurred last Saturday that ended with Griffin being taken by ambulance to a mental health facility, where he is hopefully receiving the help he obviously needs.

            While I love my Vikings, Griffin being a part of that team is not the reason I want to shed more light on this topic. Instead, I see this as an opportunity to not only shed light on mental health, thus helping to end the stigmas surrounding it, but also to give credit where credit is due.

            The thing that no one wants to say or believe is that mental health does not discriminate. Everson Griffin shows that it does not matter if you are a successful man that is following your passions and making a ton of money while doing so- mental health doesn’t care. Many like to think that mental health is something you can simply grow out of or be too successful for. They think they are immune to it. But Griffin shows that you can do everything right- you can get a well-paying career in something you’re passionate about, get married, have kids, buy a house, and all things we are taught will make us happy, and still end up struggling with mental health. He shows that no one is immune to it, but also that people can still go on to have successful lives despite it. It doesn’t have to define anyone and it’s not something people should fear and look down on; it’s just part of some people’s lives. Having a mental health issue does not make Griffin “crazy” or “psycho,” it just makes him a human being that has an extra barrier to work through and has hit a minor setback. It doesn’t negate all the things he’s done and all the things he will do in the future.

            I also want to comment on the beautiful way the team is handling this. Sadly, people seem to like to make men feel like they are above mental health. All too often they are told to “man up,” “suck it up,” or “get over it.” We live in a society that loves to portray mental health as something that is only for females. Men aren’t supposed to talk about their feelings, have mental breakdowns, or seek help- they are supposed to grin and bear it. For this situation to occur in a setting as “manly” as a football team is nothing short of incredible. To see a coach step up and ban a player from playing until he had a better handle on his mental health is not something many would expect. It would be easy to discredit Griffin, call him week, or bash him into the ground, however I am inspired to see his team rallying behind him to let him know he has their support. Seeing a group of football players offering support for someone who is struggling with mental illness is honestly something I was surprised to see. To see Coach Zimmer and his teammates continue to talk up Everson Griffin without trying to cover up his struggle is inspiring. To hear them say that sanity and safety is a priority above football is shocking in the most beautiful way.

            While I’m sure this is far from their intent, I think what the Vikings team did and continues to do is a huge win in the ongoing battle of mental health. I don’t see a team that is weak or trying to cover their asses- I see a team that is saying “It’s okay struggle with mental health.” All throughout the country, there are grown men seeing this happen and maybe seeing these symptoms in themselves. How the Vikings are handling this could very well be the nudge those men needed to go seek help. Little boys who dream of playing in the NFL are seeing that mental health doesn’t have to stand in their way; that their heroes struggle to and there’s nothing wrong with that. Mental health doesn’t discriminate, but also doesn’t have to consume someone’s life and it definitely does not need to be kept quiet or ruin someone’s life. The more awareness we raise, the more when can educate about it. That’s how you end stigmas. I didn’t think it was possible, but this story makes me love and respect the Vikings even more. As for Everson Griffin- I hope he gets the help he needs and I cannot wait to see what else he is capable of, on and off the field.

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

The Female Advantage

In today’s society, it seems that there is an increasing focus on the negative aspects of being a female. Newsfeeds are plastered with impossible beauty standards, dwindling body images, and rape culture. Don’t get me wrong- these things are very important and need to be talked about, because if no one talks about them, nothing changes. These issues are something I care about very deeply, however we can get lost in these never ending messages on why being a female sucks. While being a female can be really hard sometimes, and it can seem like we don’t have very many advantages over our male counterparts, we do have some astonishing perks. These may not always be obvious or even relevant, but they are there, even if they are hiding in the shadows. Some of these may take you by surprise, but here is a list of the somewhat everyday advantages being a girl comes with.

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We have way more clothing options than our male counterparts. Our sections in department stores are usually three times the size of the guys’, and that doesn’t even include the stores that are just for us. Our outfit options are endless! Hot day? We can choose from skirts, shorts, capris, rompers, or dresses. Even our sub-categories have endless categories. Look at any red carpet looks- the woman have a huge variety of outfits. One in a sleek black dress, one in a sparkly red dress, one in a ball gown- it just keeps going. Guys? They have tuxedos and tuxedos. Dressing up for a formal event, a day at work, or even just a day at home is way more fun when you’re a girl. Plus, we don’t have to wear those horribly uncomfortable looking jockstraps.

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Shoes. Need I say more? Arguably, this could have been included with the clothing, but shoes are so important, they deserve their own. Our footwear options are limitless! I have somewhere around 30 pairs of shoes, and no two are alike. Each one serves a purpose and can completely transform an outfit. Why do girls have so many shoes? Because we can! Guys may have four different pairs of tennis shoes that they are weirdly proud of, but us girls know that is amateur work. We can have eight different pairs of boots, each and every one a different length, style, color, heel size- the possibilities are never ending! Piggy backing off the great Carrie Bradshaw, walking in a girl’s shoes is really hard; that’s why we need really special shoes to do it.

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We can get guys to do just about anything for us by acting helpless. While guys making the assumption we can’t do anything for ourselves can get unbelievably frustrating, it can be useful. There are some days where we are given tasks we really hate or just don’t feel like doing. When this happens, we can act utterly helpless and maybe whine a bit, and our “knight in shining armor” will do it for us. I use this most at my second job when I have to do something I really don’t want to. I act like I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m in desperate need of help, and most times some guy swoops in to do it for me. Sometimes I work against the patriarchy; sometimes I let the patriarchy work for me.

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We can cry our way out of anything. I personally am not very good at this, but I know lots of women who are. Those girls who can cry on command get themselves out of a lot of trouble have an incredible talent. Pulled over for speeding? Tears. In trouble with your boss? Turn on the water works. Fight with your boyfriend? Cry. This system is fool proof, especially with men. Most men don’t really know how to deal with someone who is emotional, so when they see a woman cry, they’ll pretty much do anything they can to make it stop, even if that means letting them off the hook. Cry it out ladies. You have a superpower, so you might as well use it!

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We can get pedicures. Sure, men can too, but it comes with all sorts of stigmas that can ruin the experience. Women can get them without any backlash. There are few things better than relaxing in a comfortable chair and letting your feet soak in hot water while you chat with your girlfriends. The hardest part of a pedicure is choosing which color to have your toes painted. You get to kick back and relax while someone else makes your feet look and feel amazing. Pedicures are a luxury that happens to come with being a girl.

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We have makeup. Makeup can sometimes be a girl’s greatest weapon. When we have a zit, we can cover it up with concealer. If we feel like our face is looking extra fat, contour becomes our best friend. Need a self confidence boost? Throw on some black eyeliner and bold lipstick and you’ll feel unconquerable. Makeup can help give us the extra push we need to go through our day with confidence and style. Whether it’s just a sweep of mascara or full on face, makeup can make us girls feel unstoppable. Boys, just so you know, when girls wear makeup, it’s hardly ever for you.

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Speaking of makeup, we have the privilege to get ready with our friends. Before a night out or some big event, girls love to get together and get ready. We do our makeup, fix our hair, and pick out killer outfits. There’s nothing like cranking up some music, crowding in front of a mirror, and talking and laughing while we make ourselves pretty. Some of the best memories are made during the getting ready process, and a lot of times getting ready with your friends is more fun than the actual event. Not only do we have a blast- we get to help each other out with what looks best and put our makeup and hair strengths to work on each other. Getting ready with your girlfriends is one of the biggest perks to being a female and isn’t something I would trade for the world.

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Our drinks are so much better. When we go to the bar, we drink things like sangrias, margaritas, and daiquiris without a second thought. Even tough guys love to make fun of us for our “girly drinks” while they guzzle their beers, our drinks are way more alcoholic. Ever wonder why girls get drunk after two drinks? Because our drinks are made up of hard liquor and sugar. Not only are they strong, they also taste delicious. Boys, you can keep your “manly” wheat juice and leave the hard stuff to the professionals.

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We have girl talk. There are few problems that can’t be solved by getting together with your girls and spilling your heart out. Together, we can analyze every aspect of a situation to brainstorm the best way to handle it. When we need to get something off our chests- something we feel like we can’t tell anyone- our girlfriends are there to listen without judgment. Even when we are just sitting around talking about something completely bizarre, girl talk makes us feel a thousand times better. Nothing is off limits during this time, so we can say anything without fear of being judged or our secrets getting out. Girl talk is sacred and necessary to keep our sanity intact.

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We are changing the world. Girls are taking this world by storm. We are breaking our silence and shouting at the top of our lungs for change. We are rising up to end the discriminations we face. We are calling out rape culture, shutting down slut shaming, and working on shattering glass ceilings. We are no longer taking these things sitting down; we are standing up and saying “no more.” We are done putting up with all the unfairness that is thrown at us and we are making a change. We will push through any barriers raised against us and burn down the patriarchy if we have to. We will do whatever it takes to get the respect we deserve. The world is changing, and us girls are at the front lines.

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Being a girl can be extremely difficult, but we also have indisputable advantages. We are far from perfect and we don’t have everything figured out, but there are some things we do have that are irreplaceable. Being a girl is tough journey that I’m happy I get to walk through with the beautiful ladies around me. So, let’s keep working on building each other up. You don’t have to put other women down to feel better about yourself. Let’s stop making everything a competition and stepping on the backs of our fellow women to raise ourselves higher. Instead, let’s work on pulling each other up and being there for each other. Because at the end of the day, your girls will be there for you and support you in ways no one else will, and we are stronger together.

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Sticky Notes

Years ago, at the end of my freshman year of college, one of my best friends and I had an idea. At my school, we have what the school calls “Finish Strong Week,” and what the students refer to as “Hell Week.” This is the week before finals, when everything seems to come crashing down on us. We decided to find a way to try and brighten up the students’ week. We bought a pack of colorful sticky notes, sat down at her kitchen table, and wrote inspirational, fun messages. We wrote things like, “You got this!” “You’re almost there!” and “Don’t give up!” We probably wrote about 100 sticky notes, gathered them up, and headed to campus on the Sunday before Hell Week, right before it closed. We snuck through the empty halls and plastered the walls with our sticky notes. We hit every building, and even most of the bathrooms, posting sticky notes in every hallway. No one knew what we were doing, and no one saw us in the act. We left campus that night eager to hear what people would be saying about our little idea.

The next day, feedback poured in in many different ways. While some of our friends made snide comments about the whole thing being stupid, most people loved it. There were Facebook statuses saying the sticky notes had made their day, posts on an anonymous platform thanking whoever had done it, it was even discussed in two of my classes by students and professors. Everyone seemed to be talking about it, but no one knew who had done it. Despite this fact, everyone seemed to be having a better day because of what we had done.

Throughout the week, most of the sticky notes disappeared. While I’m sure most of them fell down and were thrown away, I like to think some of them were kept by students who were grateful for our small act of kindness.

I’m currently at the end of Hell Week, but this time as a senior about to graduate, so why do I bring this up now? Why wait for three years to pass, when everyone has long forgotten that day, to come clean and admit I was one of the culprits? A few days ago, I felt so unbelievably stressed, I made myself sick. I felt about ready to break after days of late nights, presentation preparation, and frantic typing. After an especially long day, I dashed to the bathroom during my ten-minute break between classes. I was exhausted, but I still had a huge presentation to give and a class for my job to go to that night, and I felt as though I was starting to crack.

Standing at the sink, trying to gather my scattered thoughts, I saw it. It was hanging on the wall between the two mirrors. A yellow sticky note. It read, “You are bee-autiful!” It made me smile, and even get a little misty eyed as I thought back on that day all those years ago. I thought about how much I needed that simple message in that pivotal moment of doubt. I started remembering how in the past few years, I’ve seen a few motivational sticky notes pop up around this time of year. This is something, to the best of my knowledge, that hadn’t happened before. I wondered how many people felt just like me when they a saw a sticky note, reminding them of who they were and what they were doing. How many people had their day made all those years ago? How many people saw one when they needed it most? How many people felt a million times better because of a simple message written on a little sticky note?

That’s the thing about true kindness. It doesn’t need recognition or credit. It doesn’t have to be a huge, world shifting act. It doesn’t need to be life changing. It can be as simple as a compliment to a stranger, chatting with the tired worker while you order your food, or a simple message on a sticky note. Simple acts of kindness matter to the people who need it, so give it away as much as you can. It doesn’t cost a thing to be kind to others. I’ll keep working on my end to be kind. I hope you do the same.

 

Why Dogs are Better Than a Boyfriend

Recently, I made a decision to adopt a dog. I chose a four-year-old Catahoula mix who was rescued from a parking lot in Alabama. Koda, which is the name I gave him, came to me so anxious, he would barely leave his kennel. After over a month of lots of time and love, he has become one of the most loving dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. He loves to cuddle, go for car rides and walks, and has found a liking for the snow. He takes a while to warm up to new people and he’s not a fan of unfamiliar things, but given his background, I’m happy with the progress he’s made. He has mastered sit, shake, and lay down and is close to mastering stay. While there’s been a lot of work involved and a few frustrations, I can say with confidence that I am very happy with my dog. Because of that, I would like to insert a small shameless plug for adopting rescue pets. An older dog is especially good for your first, because they are usually already potty trained and have been socialized. Most just need some love and a good home.

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*Koda one week after he was adopted

Now for my main point: for a long time, I felt like I was missing something, and that something was a boyfriend. I craved a meaningful relationship with someone I could connect with on a deeper level. That search has been to no avail, however, my search for a dog went much better. This past month and a half has shown me why adopting a dog is better than having a boyfriend.

They listen to you a lot better

So many times, I hear fights and frustrations coming from girls whose boyfriends just don’t listen to them. They talk and talk, and their boyfriends don’t hear a word of what they are saying. This isn’t as big of a problem with dogs. They come when you call them, and tend to do whatever you ask them to do.

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*Koda doing exactly what I asked him to do

They don’t talk back

Not only do they listen better, but they don’t talk back to you. This means no arguing, no yelling, and no sarcastic responses. You don’t have to worry about back talk when the thing you’re talking to can’t talk.

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They won’t reject you

Being rejected by a person you like is not a great feeling, especially when you muster up all your courage to take a chance and ask them out, and they give you a hard no. First of all, dogs will always give you a chance, which already gives them an advantage. When you carefully select a guy you think is right for you, there’s a good chance we will want nothing to do with you. As far as dogs go, you pick one out that you like and go get it. Most likely, the dog you pick will be more than willing to love you forever.

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*Koda cuddles!

No fear of breaking up

Not only will they not reject you, they also won’t break up with you. You don’t have to worry about making a mistake or dread them breaking your heart, because dogs are forgiving and don’t give up on people.

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You call all the shots

With a boyfriend, you have to compromise a lot of things. With a dog, you are in charge. Not only are you able to call all the shots, if the dog doesn’t listen, it’s perfectly acceptable to put them in their kennel for a while. You can put them on a leash, so they can’t run away from you. While you could do these things with a boyfriend, it’s frowned upon.

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The love

Dogs will love you more than they love themselves. They will love you blindly and look beyond all your flaws. They are always there when you need them and will keep all your secrets. You will be their entire world and the most important thing in their life. No love from any man will ever beat the love you get from your dog.

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As humans, we don’t deserve the love dogs give us. The way they will follow us anywhere we go, press up against us to cuddle, and cover our faces in kisses. While they can’t fill every void we may have from a lack of a boyfriend, they come pretty close. They can provide a type of love you just won’t get anywhere else, and they are great combats to depression. I encourage those who are willing and able to adopt a dog and give them the loving home they deserve. I may be single for the foreseeable future, at least I have my dog.

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*Koda napping on my bed, looking adorable

Things Minnesotans Can Do When It’s 15 Below

Today just happens to be one of those days Minnesota is famous for; the days when it’s dangerously cold out, snow covers the ground, nostrils stick together, and we ask the question “Cold enough for ya?” It’s hard to find things to do when the weather is so unforgiving, but luckily there are some things we can do to pass the time.

Make a pot of coffee to keep warm. Nothing warms up the soul like a steaming pot of liquid gold. If you want to get extra warm, make it Irish.

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See if your car starts. It’s always good to know what your car’s breaking point is, and if it happens to start, let it run for a bit- it’s good for it.

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Do a puzzle. This one is great, because it requires very minimum movement, but still keeps your brain entertained.

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Make a really good meal. This one is doubly good, because not only do you get some great food, but you also get to spend some time standing over a hot stove.

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Take a hot bath… provided the pipes aren’t frozen and you have running water.

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If it’s unbearably cold, don’t waste money turning up the heat. Simply heat up the oven, and crack the door. I guarantee this will warm up the house, and it has the added bonus of possible excitement if something goes wrong.

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Stand by a door or window and yell “F**k you, winter!” at the top of your lungs. Not only will this make you feel a little better, but maybe winter will hear you.

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Cuddle up into a blanket, and watch a movie. Everyone needs a little bit of warmth and relaxation. Reading a book is also a great alternative.

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Sleep. No matter the weather, sleep is always a good idea.

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If you must, bundle up tight and brave the cold. It’s only a matter of time before you’ll see the gleaming red lights of Target.

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This cold is no joke, so however you decided to spend your day, just be smart and safe. Especially if you’re a Minnesotan, you know the unwritten rules of winter; it’s always best to honor them. Stay warm, my dears! I’ll be spending my day bundled up inside.

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