21 Self-Care Activities for When the World Feels Like It’s Falling Apart

Self-care activities and ideas. / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Recently I had a popular tweet– well, popular for me at least. It was a moment of panic and feeling totally helpless that seemed to resonate with other people too.

Self-care activities / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

If you struggle with your mental health– or hell, even if you don’t– what is going on in the United States seems super scary. At the time I tweeted this (and many times after) I felt frozen in my own anxiety thanks to the direction or government is taking. And the only thing that has been able to pull me outta those feelings is a little self-care.

For some, self-care can seem daunting and overcomplicated. But it definitely doesn’t have to be. There are many different ways to self-care so I thought I’d share some easy ones. If you ever feel like the world is falling down, stop and give yourself a little love with some of these self-care activities.

21 Simple Self-Care Activities:

  1. Exercise. Stress or anxiety can manifest itself into physical tension that can easily be released through exercise. If you’re a gym buff, then get there and burn off some steam. If you want something more stationary, try yoga videos on Youtube. Anything to help you move your body and momentarily distract your mind. Plus the post workout endorphins aren’t bad.
  2. Listen to a podcast. 
  3. Take a really long shower. Turn your bathroom into your personal music video and go nuts. Plus that hot water feels good.
  4. Laugh. Netflix comedy specials are fantastic, as are old standby sitcoms like Will & Grace, Friends, and Modern Family. Also never underestimate the power of Youtube (can you tell I love Youtube?) for even older shows like Who’s Line is it Anyway? or content creators like Grace Helbig, Caspar Lee, or other comedians.
  5. Meditate.
  6. Deep breathing. If the idea of meditating is too overwhelming then just focus on breathing. Take three deep breaths, inhaling for 5 seconds and exhaling for 8. Feel your lungs fill with air, and then slowly express it. If it feels good then do 3 more.
  7. Read a book.
  8. Wash your sheets and then lay in your bed. Fresh, cozy sheets FTW.
  9. Help someone. Doing an act of good can make you feel good. Donate $5 to an organization that is important to you. Send a loved one a nice message. Write a nice message on a post-it note and stick it in a place others will see it. Let your mind wander with ideas for how to make someone else feel great.
  10. Read a book. Immerse yourself into a book you love and forget about the rest of the world.
  11. Cook something delicious.
  12. Eat something delicious.
  13. Unplug. Turn off all your electronics and step away from the news. Do whatever you want to that isn’t related to social media, the TV, our computer, iPad, or anything else electronic.
  14. Clean your home. 
  15. Write in a journal. Better yet, start a compliment journal by writing down 3 good things about yourself per day. Use this time to focus on your positive attributes and what you think you excel at. This is a double-whammy activity because it’s a great self-esteem booster as well.
  16. Craft, or do a DIY project.
  17. Pamper yourself. Do a face mask, paint your nails, do your hair, play with your make-up or go get a massage. Just do something to make yourself feel good.
  18. Have sex. Or masturbate. (Sorry not sorry, but I had to say it. It’s not just for dudes!)
  19. Dance it out. The Girl Power playlist on Spotify is BOMB.COM.
  20. Have a glass of wine.
  21. Call a friend and just chat. Tell them what’s bothering you or just talk about nothing in particular.

The possibilities for self-care activities are really endless but these are my favorite. The key to self-care is just doing something you enjoy, or that gives you an pleasant feeling. Just make sure you are taking time for yourself.

Got other self-care activities you love? Share them in the comments!

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How to Contact Your Representative

How to Contact Your Representative / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Hello, hi, howdy and welcome to my first official political post in which we discuss how to contact your representative. Regardless of what your political opinion is, it is very important to know how to contact your officials. Your voice doesn’t end with voting for your president and it’s important to stay in contact with your officials. But unfortunately, not everyone knows how to talk to them– or even who their representatives are. So let’s change that, huh?

Let’s just start by saying that this is a non-partisan post. I obviously have political opinions (follow me on Twitter and you know exactly what those are) but this post is not for that. The point of this post is to make sure each person is armed with the knowledge of how to stay in contact with their officials, regardless of their ideologies.

How to Contact Your Representative:

  1. Know your elected officials. Your senators and representatives are JUST as important as your president. This website is the official US Gov site on contacting your officials, but (in my opinion) isn’t as user friendly. WhoIsMyRepresentative.com can help you find who your representatives and senators are by searching via zip code or by state. It will also link you to their webpages and contact info.
  2. Learn their stance on issues that are important to you. The internet has tons of great resources to find out more about them and their voting record. VoteSmart.org and OnTheIssues.org are great sites to learn about their stance on important issues and how they’ve voted in the past.
  3. Write them a letter. They represent YOU. Let them know what issues are important to you. If you don’t agree with their record, you can tell them– but be respectful about it. They’re not likely to pay attention to a letter full of expletives. Explaining your points and why you feel that way is a much more valid argument than just telling them they’re wrong. Even if you do agree with their record, tell them, and tell them why. About.com has a great article on tips for writing a letter, and although this other template is about biology, it’s a great example of the format a general template for writing to your representatives. Just take out all the science stuff and replace it with what is specific to you.
  4. Stay updated on what is happening. Whatever happens in congress is public record, and is archived. The best places I found to read about the legislation in the senate on Senate.gov, and the House of Representatives on Clerk.House.gov. The websites aren’t super user-friendly, so take some time to explore them. Each bill has a name, so you can watch pieces of legislation as they are updated. You can follow specific pieces that are important to you and track their progress. And although the news covers them, you can also follow Executive Orders signed by Trump on WhiteHouse.gov and read them for yourself.
  5. Continue to voice your opinion. If something happens that you are happy about then write, email or call your representative’s office. If something happens that you don’t like, do the same. They are YOUR representative. And the only way they can represent you is if they know how you feel.

Bonus: Always, always, always fact-check yourself. Don’t blindly share things that you see online. There is such a thing as “fake news” and it’s unfortunately all over social media pages. A quick Google search to see if something is real will save you from spreading false info. It’ll also keep you from looking dumb, which is nice.

There are tons of other ways to stay updated with what is happening in our government, but this is what works for me.

If you have other ways you like to contact your congressman, or other ways to stay updated on what is happening in congress, please leave them in the comments for others to see. Let’s make it a little easier to make our voices heard.

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Netflix Original Stand Up: Jim Gaffigan “Cinco” Drinking Game

Brand-new Netflix Comedy Special: Jim Gaffigan's Cinco Drinking Game! / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com
Image credit to NETFLIX

Guess who’s back-back, back again… Jim Gaffigan!

I looooove Jim Gaffigan. The audio recordings of his other 4 hour-long specials regularly get me through the work day– AKA make me giggle like a fool at my desk so my coworkers question my sanity. And I couldn’t be more excited that he has a new special coming out on Netflix on January 10th. The special is appropriately named “Cinco” as it’s his 5th comedy special and a lot of his jokes center around his five children and I can’t wait.

In celebration for the comedian that doesn’t drink, I decided to create a drinking game for his special. Take a drink every time he references some of his favorite topics, and finish your drink whenever he mentions my favorite bit.

I tried to stay on the “safe” side so you don’t end up so inebriated that you can’t remember his special, but Mr. Gaffigan has his favorite topics, so I hope this game will be fun. So sit back, pour a favorite cocktail, and enjoy. If you need recipe ideas, check out Elle Talk for some bomb cocktail recipes.

Enjoy!

Brand-new Netflix Comedy Special: Jim Gaffigan's Cinco Drinking Game! / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

*This is 100% not sponsored by Netflix or Jim Gaffigan. I’m just a fan who loves spending Friday nights with a glass of wine and a comedy special. Pls don’t hate me, Netflix.

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2017 New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year! Let's talk about our 2017 New Year's Resolutions! / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

Happy New Year! Anyone else waste the first day of the brand new year on the couch? No? Me either. Let’s not talk about it. But you know what we should talk about? Goals for 2017– also known as New Year’s Resolutions. Those are fun and not at all soul-crushing come October of said new year and you realize that you’re still fat, broke, and single despite making a drunken declaration as the ball drops.

So fun! Let’s do them. Below are my New Year’s Resolutions. Don’t forget to share yours with me in the comments!

  1. Eat better. I am going to start taking my lunch to work, and making an effort to cut down on unnecessary calories, like sauces, dressings, and anything else that makes food edible. But I will probably take a cheat day once per week. Give myself a chance to have something delicious. Or maybe I’ll take two per week, just to be safe. Or three. Ya know, I won’t really know until I really get there. Maybe a cheat meal… like, per day. We’ll see.
  2. Exercise more. Maybe I’ll do Pilates. Or yoga. Or Pi-Yo. Or Pi-Yo-P90x. Or just blend up a yoga mat with some kale and drink that while staring at a women’s health magazine. Probably same effect, right? And it’s healthy!
  3. Save money. I am going to start keeping a log of everything I spend my money on. Including the hundreds that I personally donate to GrubHub each month in exchange for semi-stale and cold food to be delivered to me on my couch. And stop taking Ubers when I already pay for a bus pass. Except when it’s cold, or my feet hurt, or the bus is going to take longer than 8 minutes to get to me. I have to draw the line somewhere.
  4. Be more responsible. Do my laundry before the pile casts a shadow over my kitchen counter. Buy toilet paper before I completely run out. Bring my own reusable bags to the grocery store. Stop shopping as a way to fill the emotional void. Ya know, just be smarter with my choices.
  5. Find a boyfriend. I have decided to finally give into the social construct that a woman is not allowed to be single by choice. Even though dating makes me want to throw up, and I work two jobs and like to spend my downtime on my couch as opposed to at bars that also make me anxious, 2017 will be the year I find a mate. No lesbian jokes at Thanksgiving 2017, no sir. Not this year!
  6. Accept the current political climate, hold onto my reproductive rights, feel safe walking down the street alone at night, personally identify who the Zodiac Killer is, solve world hunger, pass an Illinois State budget, and finally match up all my socks. If I have time after yoga, that is.

Happy 2017! Cheers to a new year and a new you! Good luck on your New Year’s Resolutions! #Werk

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Sephora VIB Sale Haul: Bite Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills & More

Sephora VIB Sale Haul, ft. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Bite Beauty, Sephora Collection, and Peter Thomas Roth / www.CandidlyKelseyBlog.com

A few weeks ago was the Sephora VIB sale. Twice per year Sephora puts on their 20% off sale for VIB and VIB Rouge members. Bascially, if you spend enough money they reward you by offering you an opportunity to spend more money. How thoughtful, thanks Sephora!

I posted my VIB Sale Wishlist a few weeks back, and may or may not have gotten more than I lusted after. Some of what I originally wanted was sold out (thank god) but I still managed to scoop up a few things that I had my eye on for awhile. It’s hard to look past a 20% off discount when Sephora so rarely does sales like this. And as the Sephora VIB sale only happens twice per year, how can you turn it down?

So let’s take a look at my loot, shall we?

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in “Allison” – Holiday Kiss Collection

If I could sing to this lipstick, I would. I wore this lipstick 3 times last week and got so many compliments each time I wore it. The formula is the classic ABH matte liquid lip: not too drying, great pigmentation and comfortable to wear. ABH isn’t my favorite formula, but it’s a good one and I looooove this color. It’s a great pinky/purple/brown that is dark but great for daytime as well. And it’s limited edition this holiday season so RUN and get it.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

I had to cash in on this cult favorite. I just recently started doing my brows and needed to try the holy grail brow pencil. Thankfully the color (Soft Brown) is a great neutral/ash brown color that goes well with my brows and my fading red hair color. Though I have nothing to compare it to, the brow pencil is doing exactly what I hoped it would– meaning, it does a good job of helping me add color and shape my brows. I also picked up two other less expensive brow pencils during Black Friday to do a comparison. Look for that blog post in 2017!

Bite Beauty The Perfect Bite Set

Four neutral color lipsticks all in one cute little package. The colors are all great, but they are sort of hard to apply. I am not sure if it is because they are sample sizes or if it is just how the lipstick is cut, but it was hard to apply with my shaky little hands. I definitely need a lip liner because for some reason I cannot get a straight line around my lips with these. I have yet to try a lip brush because it’s not like I am going to carry around a lip brush with me to touch up my lipstick on the go. But the formula is great and so are the colors.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Oldie but a goodie. If you want an ink-black liquid liner that is super easy to use and stays through the entire day, this liner in “Trooper” is your new best friend. It is worth mentioning that these liners have brush tips as opposed to felt tips, so they are different to apply than regular liquid liners. If you’re not careful when applying then the tip of the liner will give you tiny little split marks where the brush tip fans out. It does take a bit to get used to, but when you get the handle of it this liner is bomb AF.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Teint Infusion Ethereal Natural Finish Foundation

I’m high on a foundation kick right now, and this foundation was on sale for $11 as opposed to it’s usually $24. It had 4/5 stars so I decided to try it out. Though I love the texture, this foundation shows allllllllllllllll of my pores. It sits on top of my skin instead of sinking into it like I’d like, which is a bummer. I have yet to try it with a silicon-based primer, but I have mixed feelings on how this foundation lays. For someone with less textured skin this may be a lot nicer looking, but I don’t think I’m a fan.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Daily Brush Cleaner

This. Sh*t. Is. GOOD. I have a habit of liking the same 2 brushes and using them continuously, and this handy little spray cleans it right off between uses. Two sprays on the brush head and a quick wipe on a towel and the pigment just falls off the brush. My natural hair brushes that seem like they are impossible to get clean look spotless after using this spray. 10/10 recommend to anyone.

SEPHORA COLLECTION Eye Mask

I bought two and have used one so far. Honestly this is my first eye mask so I don’t have any others to compare it to so maybe I’m just not an eye mask person. I noticed no real difference and I don’t think anything I did see couldn’t have also been achieved by using one of my existing moisturizing masks on just my under eye area. Though I will use the one I already purchased, I don’t think I’ll buy it again when I could just use products I already have. Gotta save dat money, ya know?

Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-Holic 5-Piece Set

A full review of this set will be going up next week, but the $75 dollar price tag seemed like a good chance to try these 5 super popular masks. I don’t regret purchasing, but am a little disappointed. The only two masks I really like are are the 24K Gold and the Irish Moor Mud masks. If you want all my thoughts on each of the five masks in the set, check out next week’s post for my full review of the set.

And that’s it! Now to wait until Spring for the first 2017 Sephora VIB sale. Until then, tell me what you got. Did you shop it? Did you fill a cart with products and then think better about it and then exit out of the browser really fast? Good, that’s probably what I should have done too. Hindsight, ya know?

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