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Lifestyle

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The Importance of Sleep

Losing sleep changes your body and mind. Without some good ole R&R, our bodies struggle. Learn how to get a good night's rest and the importance of sleep! - Ali in Bloom

By 8:30 pm, I’m tired. By 9:30 pm, I’m normally in bed. 10 pm? Sleeping. If I stay up past 11 pm, I’m sure to be cranky. Some would say it’s a blessing and others would say it’s a curse that I feel like I absolutely have to go to bed so early.

Me? I’m grateful for my body’s reminder that after a long, full day, it’s time for me to allow my mind and body to rest.

No matter how young or how old you are, sleep is important. Some of the biggest offenders of ignoring the importance of sleep seem to be teenagers and early twenty-somethings (*cough* college students). Late night activities and early morning deadlines can add up to short nights of sleep. With back-to-school season starting in full swing, it’s time to talk about the importance of sleep… even for college students.

How to Organize (& Simplify) Your Life

Erin Condren LifePlanner: How to Organize Your Life - Ali in Bloom

It’s funny because when I was in college, I always thought I would have more time after graduation. Obviously, I was in for a HUGE newsflash. Time is tight around here these days. But with a little motivation and a lot of organization, everything can get done. As if I don’t talk about it enough, we all know I’m a big planner junkie. This year, I’m trying out a new brand! Erin Condren. The Erin Condren LifePlanner is customizable, beautiful, sturdy and easy to use, so it goes without saying that I’m in love.

This year I’m loving pale pink — especially during the spring time — so I chose this blush and gold cover that says “Thankful and Grateful” because it just so happen those are two of my main focuses this year (as they should be every year).

4 Reasons You Should Make New Year’s Resolutions

4 Reasons You Should Make New Year's Resolutions - Ali in Bloom

Some people make yearly goals. Some make monthly goals. Some people make weekly goals. Honestly, I’m a fan of all three. New year’s resolutions seem to get the worst rep of all, though. Why? Because most of the time people think a new year magically means a new you. It doesn’t! Just like any goal, new year’s resolutions require hard work and dedication.

With that being said, I’m a huge proponent for making goals in general, so if you’d rather start your yearly goals in March or July or even October, go for it! Here’s why I love setting goals and why I think new year’s resolutions are a great idea:

4 Reasons to Make New Year’s Resolutions

1. You’ll have clarity

Seriously, the number one reason I recommend setting goals (any time of the year) is the amount of insight and clarity creating goals gives you into yourself, your desires and your life. In order to even start making meaningful and purposeful resolutions, you have to decide what you want and what is important to you. You learn so much about yourself by reflecting on your past year and learning what you loved about it and what you want to get better at or achieve in the year to come.

2. You’ll live intentionally

Knowing what you want will allow you to live intentionally. You’ll know what decisions and actions align with the best version of you and what opportunities you better pass up in order to maintain and achieve what is important to you. But beware… never become so close minded and tunnel visioned that you miss out on possible opportunities you never knew you wanted. Sometimes goals and visions change. That’s okay!

3. You’ll never “be bored”

When you find yourself sitting on your couch on a lazy Saturday afternoon, wondering what you are going to do with your day, you’ll never be able to say you have nothing to do. Having goals means there are actions you can be taking at any time to complete those goals. You just have to be motivated to work on them! Use your free time to work toward your resolutions. You’ll feel happier and more productive.

4. You’ll grow

Working toward something, no matter what it is, will lead to growth and self-discovery. Every goal is a journey. Whether you meet your goals or not (but I hope you do!), you’ll learn and grow along the way. From gaining insight into yourself and life during the reflection and creation period of your goals to giving yourself a pep talk when you don’t feel inspired or energized to keep working to when you finally reach your goal, you will learn something and gain self confidence and prosper. If you don’t reach your goal, you’ll still learn from it. I promise! Even if you simply learn that that goal wasn’t as important to you as you originally thought.

Health Goals

Health goals are one of the most common types of goals set each year. I want to share my thoughts on weight loss goals that I posted in January 2016 at the start of the year because I still feel it’s an important message.

Often times people resolve to lose weight, exercise or eat healthy in the new year. I mean, can you prove me wrong? I’d be willing to say it’s one of the most common resolutions made on January 1st… if not the most. Unfortunately, often times they fail. In 2014, I tried to put an end to those kinds of resolutions all together. I pledged to not only love my body but respect my body, my mind and myself instead of making a new year’s resolution to lose weight that would only dwindle away and result in lost hope. The problem with a lot of New Year’s resolutions is that people don’t realize that a completed resolution often requires a lifestyle change – not a month of determination.

I’ve shared my story before: loving myself and obtaining a body I was proud of took time and was a hard journey. If you’re hoping to change your body in 2016, understand that it wasn’t until I changed my mentality that I changed my body. And now, with a new healthy lifestyle, I feel good, strong and healthy every day. Instead of hating your body and wanting to change it, learn first to love your body in any way, shape or form because the more you love your body, the more you’ll want to take care of it and treat it well – nourish it.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to get healthier. It’s great, in fact! My one hope if you are aiming for better health in 2017 is that your desire really does come from a place of positivity and self-compassion. Love yourself! I truly believe that is absolutely vital. Then you will want to fuel your body and mind, and it will make your resolution that much easier.

My Goal-Setting Tips

1. Make them obtainable, concrete and measurable to be able to hold yourself accountable and make your way toward achieving your dreams.

2. Break big goals into actionable steps to help you feel accomplished and on-track as you’re working toward your final goal.

3. Write down your goals; revisit your notes frequently to stay focused.

Do you make new year’s resolutions? What are your goals for 2017? Best of luck!! Go get ’em. Hoping everyone had the happiest of holiday seasons. Until next time…

The Computer & Eye Health

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Rohto. All opinions and text are my own.

Just because you sit in front of a computer all day doesn't mean you have to suffer the pain because of it. Learn how to prevent computer eye strain even while going to school or working a 9-5.

Whether you’re writing a school paper or working 9-5 at a desk, we spend a lot of time in front of computers. As a blogger and someone that works a full-time office job, I am so guilty. Eye health has always been important, but now as we spend so much time in front of screens, it’s even more important to take care of our eyes.

Constantly looking at a screen- whether it be the computer, a cell phone or the TV- can cause what is known as computer eye strain (also called digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome). Symptoms include everything from headache to blurred vision and dry eyes.

Technology is a blessing in so many ways, but with it, we really need to take extra measures to protect our vision. You can avoid computer eye strain be factoring in these five tips:

Eye Drops

Every day isn’t perfect. We can help protect our eyes by controlling our lighting, taking breaks and more, but sometimes we can’t control the lighting; Sometimes we can’t get away from our desks because the work is piled high. To help your eyes even while sitting in front of a screen, you can always revert to eye drops. Rohto has a number of different eye drop options to choose from- Itch Relief, Multi-Symptom Relief, Dry Eye Relief, Redness Relief and Maximum Redness Relief- to help with any unwanted eye-related symptom.


The Maximum Redness Relief, for example, soothes eye strain, refreshes and lubricates and relieves redness of the eye. Don’t overlook that Rohto eye drops are also cooling, so if your eyes start to feel cool and tingly, that’s completely normal and means they’re working!

Since you can use these eye drops up to four times daily, you’ll be able to work comfortably even with a long day in front of the computer. You can pick them up at Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger, CVS and more.

Lighting

Maybe this seems obvious, but again, like eye strain in general, it’s just one of those things we don’t always think about. Having the proper amount of lighting will greatly reduce the amount of strain put on your eyes. You can have too much lighting or too little lighting. Avoid both sitting in the dark and sitting under harsh fluorescent lighting or bright light streaming in through a window. And while you’re checking the lighting around you, adjust your computer brightness to match the lighting. They should be the same level of brightness.

Blinking

It sounds silly to say, “make sure you’re blinking,” right? But sometimes we just get into the zone of our work and we can stare at the screen just a little bit too long. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still blink! But blinking help keeps the front of your eyes moist and clean, so it never hurts to blink more than necessary. Especially as a contact wearer, I find myself blinking a lot.

Frequent Breaks

Taking frequent breaks from your computer is healthy for your eyes and also improves your concentration and productivity. Ideally, your break would include a walk or a little bit of sunshine, but even just taking a look away from your computer screen to talk to your cubicle-mate would be better than nothing. This will still give your eyes a break from focusing and staring into the blue light of your device.

Computer Glasses

Computer glasses are a serious game changer. I got my own pair last year, and I keep them at work, so I have them all the time. Don’t believe how important eye health is and how detrimental our computer screens can be? My office is buying computer glasses for our employees!

If you don’t know what computer glasses are, it’s pretty simple. Computer glasses have lenses with a special coating that reflects and absorbs the blue light that comes from your electronics and is harmful to your eyes. Blocking these harsh lights can relieve eye strain, itchiness, irritation and headaches caused by looking at your electronic screens for long periods of time.

To make them even more convenient, you can normally find computer glasses as reading glasses, prescription glasses or just plain computer glasses. I opted for regular computer glasses because I’m an avid contact wearer, and since I’m near-sighted, I don’t need glasses to look at my computer screen late at night even after I’ve taken out my contacts.

Have you noticed that tech companies are becoming more aware of digital eye strain? That’s why the iPhone now has auto-brightness and night shift (which turns your screen red instead of blue, eliminating blue light). I cannot express enough how amazing it is to see these kinds of shifts from large corporations, but it’s still our responsibility to ultimately protect our eye health. Not to mention, protecting your eyes will be all around more comfortable and enjoyable. No one likes dry eyes.

Have you ever used Rohto Eye Drops or tried out the eye-friendly iOS features? Have you suffered from computer eye strain?