Tips for helping you feel better in the cold season

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”
It’s also the time of the year when people seem to get sick more often than not.
Being sick sucks. This is a universal feeling that everyone can relate to. You don’t want to spend two days puking your guts out or being so dehydrated that you start to hallucinate. And you definitely don’t want to go Googling your symptoms only to be told by WebMD that you’re dying. So, whether you just have a bad case of the sniffles, or you can’t keep even water down, here are some ways to help yourself feel better.

1. Drink water, please, for the love of god!
No matter what is wrong with you, water will help you feel better. Drinking fluids will help flush out toxins and in general help you.
2. Get rest!
Sleep allows your body to regenerate and heal. If you’re tired, sleeping is ultimately what your body needs.
3. Listen to your body!
Your body knows what’s wrong. It will likely give you subtle hints on how to help.
4. Binge watch your favorite Netflix show or pick a movie marathon to while away the hours.
5. Cuddles
Whether it be with your pet, or a beloved stuffed animal, make sure you pull someone close (that can’t catch your cold!)

Now, go out have a great holiday season, hopefully, without any illness.

Ways to save money

Being a teenager, with a million things on our mind, it’s sometimes hard to save and even make money, depending on your age. But it is important that you make a habit of saving money. Here are some of the things that have helped me save money, and also some ideas to help you make a little extra money.

Cut down your expenses
We all spend money on things we don’t really need. Think about it, do you really need to stop by a coffee shop to get a drink before or after school? Those extra 3-5 dollars you spend will add up. Let’s say you stop by Caribou 3 times a week, and your drink is about $5. That’s $15 by the end of the week!

Limit the amount of cash you carry
Keep your cash at home so you don’t overspend. Obviously, if you don’t have a debit card, and cash is your only option, try leaving some at home when you go out so you don’t spend it on stuff you don’t need.

Sell your old stuff!
We all have those pieces of clothing that we don’t wear anymore, but are still in good condition. Or, if you’re like me, you have a lot of pieces of clothing that still have the price tags on them. Places like Plato’s Closet will look through your clothes and give you cash for the things they can take.

Use cashback sites
When you do decide to shop online, use Ebates. Ebates is a website that has coupons and also gives you a certain amount of cashback. For more details visit the website, https://www.ebates.com

These are not the only things you can do to save/make money, but these are the ways I have found to help me the most. Hopefully they help you too!

Stay warm this winter!

Not sure how to dress appropriately for winter?  Unsure about :jacket, boots, scarf, hats, gloves, socks, coats, extra sweaters, Etc.?

Get ready for the cold and start getting your gear. You might need to change your wardrobe to make space. Need help? Donate some of your stuff to Goodwill from your summer/spring clothes.

Also, some tips to stay warm are: get a heater, try to get warmer blankets, and try to change your room a little by adding winter/holiday stuff (for fun).

Want to have fun in snow? Snow gear, besides a jacket, you can wear for playing in the snow includes: snow pants, gloves, scarfs, and a hat.

This year we are expecting a bit more snow than before. If you want to stay warm then WEAR YOUR GEAR. Snow is pretty, but it can be a bit dangerous without the proper gear. 

Also, consider some other fun “cold weather” things like getting your nails done with colorful snow stuff. Always remember, something good about winter clothes is that some are soft and some are made out of cute fabric. 

Things you shouldn’t say to people with mental illness

Mental health has been a hot topic recently, and there are many ways that people view those who suffer from mental illness. The most common mental health problems are: depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Whether you know it or not, some of the things you say to people with these disorders can cause more harm than good. Here are the most common things that are said that don’t really help people who suffer from mental illness feel any better.

In response to learning someone has depression: “You should try yoga”, “Have you tried happy thoughts?”, “But you have nothing to be depressed about.”

The issue with suggesting physical activities like hiking or yoga is that depression, especially that which is caused by a chemical imbalance, isn’t that easy to get rid of. It’s not simply feeling sad or blue; it is feeling so hopeless or worthless that the simple tasks of everyday life become challenging, and even waking up can become hard. Depression is not always situational, which is caused by deeply stressful occurences in life, but sometimes is clinical, that which is caused by a chemical imbalance in your brain.

The best way to get rid of situational depression is getting rid of the stressor(s) in your life.

“You don’t look schizophrenic.”

This kind of goes for all mental illnesses.

Of course someone isn’t going to look like they have a mental illness, since mental illness is internal. You wouldn’t say to someone with heart disease that they don’t look like they have a heart disease.

Using “triggered” to describe someone who is upset.

Now, bear with me, because some of you may just think “You’re being too sensitive!”, but the word “triggered” is actually a word used in mental health rehabilitation circles. It’s used commonly in therapy for people who have experienced traumatic events including, but not limited to: sexual assault, abuse, and fighting in wars. Triggers can be certain words, smells, sights, or sounds. When people hear, see, or smell these certain things it will make the individual vividly remember their trauma. Triggers are common in people who suffer from PTSD.

In the case of sexual assault or abuse, triggers can be strange in the eyes of the person who is not afflicted, but that doesn’t make a trigger any less real for the afflicted person. There is no approved list for things that cause people to vividly remember traumatic experiences, since everyone’s brain makes connections differently.

“He can’t make up his mind! He’s so bipolar!” Or anything like that.

Bipolar episodes are not anything like common belief. Bipolar episodes can last up to months with one feeling manic and/or depressed. The switch between the two feelings is not within seconds like commonly believed. So, when you say this, you are trivializing, and minimalizing, a debilitating disorder to just being indecisive.

In response to anxiety: “Just stop being anxious!”

Wow, I’m cured. Do I even need to explain this? Anxiety can’t be controlled like this. No mental illness can be controlled. If it were, don’t you think people who suffer from it would just stop being mentally ill?

“I don’t believe in mental illness.”

Ok, good for you? That doesn’t change the fact that I’m definitely mentally ill. In fact that’s only proved to me that I can’t trust you enough to be able to talk about my mental illness.

“You’re just making it up for attention!”

When you say this to someone you are essentially telling them “I don’t value your feelings enough to believe that you’re actually going through a major problem that affects a majority of the populous, so I’m just going to assume you want attention.”

Trust me, in the case of depression, the last thing depressed people want is to feel like their depression is causing a burden on someone.

As someone who suffers from depression, the treatment of people with mental illness is a very important to me. All I’m asking for is a bit of empathy and understanding. How hard is it to be a decent person?

If you are experiencing any symptoms of mental illness, please contact a doctor, counselor, or adult you trust.

Healthy lifestyle

Transitioning from the summer and into the fall is pretty hard for a couple of reasons including: 1. work starts for many adults, 2. starting a new school year is hard for kids. But there are some ways to break out of bad old habitats, and start doing things the healthy way!

I know you’ve heard this a lot from doctors, teachers, friends, and even your parents: drink a lot of water. It’s good for you, when you’re sleeping you don’t drink any water and your body is in need of water. So, drinking a glass right when you wake up is good; it gives you energy to actually get up and get your day started.

Eat some breakfast before you leave the house; it doesn’t have to be a big meal just a smoothie or a granola bar would do.

OK, maybe you’re not a morning person. You can crank on some music, and that will stop your feelings of tiredness. Well, don’t just stand there, dance to the music! This isn’t only fun, but it could count as exercising too. Then go to school/work as happy, and energetic as possible.

It’s understandable that it’s hard for many people to start a healthy lifestyle, because most people are busy with life. But putting some effort into changing your lifestyle is all that you need. After coming back from school/work, try to exercise for at least 30 minutes; yes, that’s right, only 30 minutes.

If you really don’t feel like exercising, then try to eat a healthy meal, by a healthy meal we mean – watch out for the amount of calories it contains, and also how much carbs are in it. According to the Human Department of Health and Human Services “Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases.”

So, leading a healthy lifestyle is not only good for your physical features, and your self-esteem, but it also reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Examples of chronic diseases are: arthritis, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure. We hope this information helps you start to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Weather Review: October and things to look for in November

This year, October set the records for warmest and wettest, of the year, in the Upper Midwest region. October was unusually wet this year, and according to Southeast Regional Climate data, about 20 cities had set a new record of having the wettest October. Only 6 cities reported that October was the coldest month. Some of those cities included: Idaho Falls; Pocatello; and Laramie, Wyoming. Hurricane Nate, along the coast of the Gulf, also consider contributed to southern states having their wettest month as well. In Watertown, New York, because of the continuous rain, it is consider the wettest month.

November is the final month of hurricane season. Though hurricanes, tornadoes, and windstorms are still possible, many cities are now getting snow. Early November and late October have a long history of intense storms, especially in the Midwest region, according to Weather.com. The low pressure of the wind can cause strong winds which damage trees and create power outages. On October 24 of this year, the strong winds caused many power lines to go down in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

It also caused huge waves so there was some flooding near the coast up north. There is especially lots of flooding during this time around the Lake Superior shore. The storms caused a huge hazard for boats. In November 1975, one of the biggest storms going through Minnesota caused a boat to sink in Lake Superior.

One of things to watch out for in November is the severe thunderstorms which can leads to tornadoes or hail storm. Last November, there were about 3 dozen storms that hit the South. There is the lake-snow band to watch out for as well if you are near Lake Superior. According to the Weather Channel, the definition of lake-snow band is a weather phenomenon when cold air picks up moisture and heat while passing over a warmer lake. It causes the lake to freeze over until the moisture and heat is lost.

College crises!

Ever since freshman year, we knew that this moment was going to come. The beginning of October is when things get tough for the class of 2018. This is the month where seniors apply for colleges all around the country. It is fun, but it is also stressful because the smallest mistake could cost us our opportunity to get into the university that we decide on. We all have dreamed about the colleges we want to attend, to become something; it’s just that the process is the hard part.

There are various parts in filling out a college application. Whether it’s dealing with scholarships, to filling out FAFSA, the different parts control different areas. The main source of all applications is called “The Common App.” That app is recommended by a majority of colleges around the country. It helps send out all your information, after you fill out everything it asks for. It asks for things like: your name, date of birth, school, GPA, ACT, essay, etc. Although you might be excited to apply and get accepted, this is very time-consuming, so it’s best if you start a month ahead.

During this process, there are a lot of things you need to make sure you have BEFORE you submit your application. You need to make sure you know your class rank, GPA, and have access to your ACT/SAT scores. When you have access to those reports, it can help you fill out the application thoroughly and accurately.

When dealing with FAFSA, make sure you choose your graduation year to the next year. For example: FAFSA 2018-2019 because that is the year you would be entering college. If you mess up, you have to go back into FAFSA, fix the problem, and re-submit it.

As mentioned before, it is a very exciting idea getting to go to college and living on your own, meeting new people, and trying new things, but in order to do that, everything needs to be handled correctly before you leave high school. It is most stressful for seniors because this process involves a lot of discussion with your counselor, asking for recommendations from your teachers, and keeping your grades up while being motivated to accomplish all those things in a timely manner. It takes a lot of devotion, time, and concentration.

A positive note to all of the class of 2018: do not give up because your dream is just around the corner. Do not let “Senioritis” hit you before you submit all your applications.

For classes below (2019, etc), here is some friendly advice from a few seniors: make sure you start looking for colleges early and have some ideas on what you want to major in. It’s best to have an idea on what you want to do early, rather than coming up with something last-minute and struggling. Take some time and brainstorm. You can do anything you put your mind to, just do it.

Good luck to all Seniors, and we hope you get into your dream college.

Volunteer opportunities for high schoolers in the Twin Cities

Volunteering is a great way to help out in your community, earn volunteer hours, boost your resume, and gain new experiences. There are many different opportunities right here in the Twin Cities that can suit your different interests, and here are some of our favorites.

Animal Humane Society
Calling all animal lovers! The Animal Humane Society (115 Beulah Ln, St. Paul, MN) is a great way to spend your time by helping out at the shelter by doing various tasks. You may be bathing a dog one day, and helping a customer adopt a rabbit the next. If you’re into animals and want to help them stay happy and healthy, then this may be the place for you. If you are 16 or older and physically capable of handling animals, check it out at https://www.animalhumanesociety.org/volunteer.

Science Museum
Volunteering at the Science Museum of Minnesota (120 W Kellogg Blvd, St Paul, MN) is a great opportunity for all people who love to learn all about STEM and help others! Volunteers do all types of things including preparing a fossil, helping direct families, and answering questions about an exhibit you can learn all about. You also get many benefits such as free omnitheater films, free museum admission, free parking during volunteer shifts, a discount on the museum store, and more! If you’re 16 or older and willing to dedicate 4 hours a week or 4 hours every other weekend, apply at https://www.smm.org/volunteer

Literacy Program
The Literacy Program offers a great, easy way to volunteer. Volunteer opportunities are available Monday – Thursday from 4pm-6pm. This program offers the opportunity to work with children from grades k-3 with lessons on reading, writing and fun activities to help them in their everyday lives. Volunteers would be assisting staff members with teaching the lessons, on using vowels, blending spelling, language structure, reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Head on over to 690 Jackson Street St. Paul, MN 55130 for a great fun way to help out the community! For more information about this program visit https://www.volunteermatch.org/search/opp2789513.jsp

Feed My Starving Children
If you haven’t heard of Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) come out from under  the rock you’re living under. FMSC is a great, fun, easy way to make a big impact of the lives of many children. Volunteering is super simple and fun. You can bring your friends, family coworkers, anyone! Volunteers pack a specially made meal pack that suits the needs of the world’s neediest children. FMSC is also a great way for groups of people to bond and do some good for the world. For more information go to https://www.fmsc.org

Friends of the Mississippi
Friends of the Mississippi (FMR) is an organization based in St. Paul that works to protect and restore the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities region. They work in and around the river to combat things trying to disrupt the life and natural beauty surrounding our river. The Mississippi is something so close to home, that many of use take granted of in our everyday lives. Volunteering here is an amazing way to show your appreciation for the natural resource that we are very lucky to have right here in St. Paul. There are a lot of hands on opportunities to work with FMR, and can work for everyone. An easy way to volunteer is with their over 60 organized clean-ups throughout April and November. If you participate in 4 or more events you get SuperVolunteer status with a free T-Shirt and access to many events! You can also organize a group of 20 or more and complete your own event. They have a special program for students so we can complete our volunteer hours. For more information on how do get involved, click here: https://fmr.org/serve-river-participate-fmr-events

Children’s Hospital
Volunteering at the Children’s Hospital is an amaizng way to help people that need it the most. When you volunteer, you won’t be doing the tasks you might think of at a hospital; you’ll be helping to make the kid’s lives a little bit better. Volunteers help young children do what they’d be doing in school, like math or reading, and planning activities for them to enjoy. You’ll also do things like read to and play with the siblings of patients, to make their time their more enjoyable. For more information go here https://www.childrensmn.org/support-childrens/volunteer/

There are so many ways to help out all around the Twin Cities, and we hope you found something that inspires you to go out and try!

Don’t text while driving

Why not to text while driving
The main reason not to text while driving is because it kills innocent people and probably the person who is driving. If someone is texting you, don’t look right at your phone, instead, wait until you make a full stop.

According to the FCC (Federal Communications Commision), people who text and drive think that they can get away with it without getting caught. In a recent study conducted by the FCC, it was shown that 18% of crashes were caused by drivers who were texting while driving.

In 2012, the FCC reported that 3,328 people were killed and around 420,000 people were injured. Texting forces you to take your hands of the wheel. Statistics have shown (FCC) that 40% of teens admitted to texting while driving. In most states, texting and driving is against the law.

Texting while driving happens at about the same rate for both men and women. That means that both genders text while driving.

How to avoid texting while driving
Staying off your phone while driving can be difficult. Once you hear a ring or a buzz, you are likely to be distracted, which means your eyes will be pulled from the road. Here are some tips to abide being distracted while driving:

  • The first thing you could do is to turn your phone on silent, especially while driving. That will help you to focus more on the road than your phone.
  • If that doesn’t work, then completely shut off your phone so you don’t start texting and causing distractions.
  • If those 2 steps don’t work out for you, then keep your phone out of reach, but don’t put it near you.
  • Lastly, download an app that prevents you from texting while driving.

These tips should help prevent you from texting while driving. It is important to be alert at all times and not be a distracted driver.

Fall fun in Minnesota

Start your fall off right with our fun seasonal activities in and around St.Paul!!

Activities:
We’ve got the best apple orchards. Head on down to Pine Tree Apple Orchard (450 Apple Orchard Rd, White Bear Lake, MN 55110 ) for some great apple picking, corn mazes, baked goods, pumpkins, cute photo opportunities and more! Another exciting orchard for all ages is the Minnetonka Orchards (6530 County Road 26, Minnetrista, MN 55364). With scenic, and pet friendly grounds, this is the place to find the best tasting apples, nature trails, play areas, petting zoo animals, a corn maze and more! Visit the orchard from 10am to 7pm any day of the week!

Pumpkin patches are also the ultimate multi-purpose fall item! Head down to Afton Apple Orchard (14421 So. 90th St. Hastings, MN 55033) to find pumpkins of every shape and size! They have pumpkins for all your decoration, carving, and cooking needs. You can also find many other great foods to pick, such as apples, raspberries, strawberries, and more! It’s family friendly and open 7 days a week!

If you are looking for the perfect fall outing, Twin Cities Harvest Festival is the perfect place for you!!! Pick any chilly day and drive on up to Brooklyn Park for endless fun! Included in your $10 ticket is a corn maze (largest in Minnesota!!), hay bale maze, hayride, corn pit, petting zoo, live music, and more! When I was there I even held a baby kangaroo!! Go with family or friends and it will be a day you will look back on and remember how amazing fall is!! More information can be found here https://twincitiesmaze.com/

Haunted house! Everyone loves a good scare! Head on over to Valleyscare for rides full of fun and a haunted house that’ll make you scream! 1 Valley Fair Dr, Shakopee, MN 55379.

Have you ever gotten so into a horror story that you felt like you were in it? Well, you have the chance to actually immerse yourself into a haunted story at The Haunted Basement (Building 9 of 2010 East Hennepin Avenue). You can step right into an artist-created and terrifying environment. With real life actors there for one purpose (to scare you), you’re sure to be chilled to the bone!

In need of fresh fall fruits and vegetables? Or some artsy food photos? Head on over to the Lowertown Farmer’s Market for some healthy snacks and a lot of fun!!

Movie nights! Everyone loves Halloween movies and snuggling in warm blankets with popcorn and snacks. Here are some of our favorite movies that would make your Halloween movie marathon great!

Family friendly movies:
Halloween Town (1-3)
Twitches 1 & 2
Hocus Pocus
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!
The Addam’s Family

If you’re more into being scared this fall, here’s a list of our favorite super scary horror movies!
The Conjuring
The Shining
It
The Babadook
American Werewolf in London
The Blair Witch Project

Food:
No one can argue that apple pie is an undeniable staple of fall. The smell of the oven when you come in to warm up after enjoying a chilly fall day is an unbeatable feeling. Homemade apple pie is the best way to do it, so we found the best recipe for you!! It is from Taste of Home and only takes 20 minutes to prepare!! It can be found here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/apple-pie, and we suggest to eat with some cold vanilla ice cream, enjoy!!!

Soup is another great fall food for everyone to enjoy. It is perfect for being cozy and making you feel better when that fall cold comes around. Here are some great soup recipes that are easy to make and will guarantee to make you nice and toasty.
http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/g3026/fall-soup-recipes/?slide=13

Apples is the signature fruit of fall. There is so much you can do with them like make candy apples or caramel apples or apple salad and more! Here are some great apple recipes that will make the most of your fruit.
https://www.bettycrocker.com/menus-holidays-parties/mhplibrary/seasonal-ideas/our-freshest-picks-for-apple-desserts?&int=td&rc=&gclid=eaiaiqobchmit8hvyolu1givxesgch0ceg-jeaayasaaegjpffd_bwe
http://www.thekitchn.com/30-must-make-apple-recipes-for-fall-223857

Who doesn’t love bread (if you are gluten free or just don’t like bread I sincerely apologize)? Bread is an essential part of many meals, especially fall meals. There are many different kinds of bread that could satisfy your sweet tooth or just be the perfect addition for your soup. Here are some great bread recipes that will give you a new love for bread.
https://www.tasteofhome.com/collection/fall-breads/24/

Potatoes are always a great idea. No matter the weather nothing is better than a nice dinner with potatoes. There are all kinds of different potatoes to satisfy your potato need. Here are some great potato recipes.
http://www.thekitchn.com/potato-chips-to-bacon-bites-14-129309

There are a million more fun things to do this fall in Minnesota, but we hope you found something to do, see, or eat!