Monthly Archives: January 2013

Ask Angie: All my Parents Ever Do is Fight!

Dear Angie:

My parents fight all the time. It’s ridiculous. I come home and hear them arguing, and they are still going at it when I try to go to sleep. I don’t know what to do about all of the fighting, but I do know that I don’t want to hear it. Not to mention that they try to put me in between their fights by forcing me to take sides. It’s stressful and I’m losing sleep over this.

Fed Up

Dear Fed Up,

Oh no! It’s horrible when parents fight, even more so if they fight a lot. I’m sorry that this is happening to you. Although you aren’t responsible for their fighting, and as such, can’t put a stop to it, there are some things you can do to make it easier to deal.

The first thing that you can do is talk to your parents separately. Tell them that you love them, but that their constant fighting is making you feel uncomfortable and is interrupting your sleep. Also tell them that you do not want to be in the middle of their fighting and that you refuse to take sides. Hopefully, your parents will get the message.

In addition, it is important that you have someone (preferably an adult) to talk to outside of your family. Whether it be a trusted friend,  counselor, coach, minister, or teacher, be sure to talk to someone about your feelings regarding your parents’ fighting. Talking it out will make it easier for you to deal.

Image credit: ejwhite / 123RF Stock Photo

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Do You!

I love to sing. I do it all the time and everywhere—which probably makes my friends and neighbors pretty sad. But I keep on singing anyway, because for me singing represents the joy that I feel which comes from God. So I express this joy by opening my mouth and belting out the latest tunes.

Now, I am not a singer. If you stopped by the office and heard me singing, you would not assume that I was about to become the next ‘American Idol’ or anything like that. Instead, I sing because I’m happy and not because I’m necessarily talented.

So what’s my point? There may be things that you like to do, things which you enjoy but are not necessarily talented at. My advice? Do them! Yes, it might not be your best talent (I’m much better at writing than singing) but if you enjoy it, learn to laugh at yourself and go on doing what you do.

You go girl.

Image credit: piksel / 123RF Stock Photo

Winter Skin Care

The cold weather can make skin dry and ashy, which is definitely not cute. Here are some tips for keeping skin moist and supple this winter.

Essential #1: Moisturizer. You need a good moisturizer for keeping your skin soft in the wintertime. Body lotion works great. You can choose one that’s scented or unscented, but choose a lotion that fits your budget as well as your needs. For those of you who have extremely dry skin, you may want to try a crème or shea butter in order to give your skin moisture. Oils such as almond oil, are another good way to soften your skin.

Essential #2: Lip protection. Chap stick, lip balm, lip gloss…whatever works for you to keep your lips soft and smooth. Try to get a lip protector with SPF in it, since your lips are still subject to the sunshine in the wintertime. If you wear lip stick or lip color, try putting gloss on top to ensure that your lips don’t get too dry. Lip hint: Don’t lick your lips to moisturize them, this will only make them more dry.

Essential #3 Hand protection: I have a big problem with dry hands in the wintertime. In order to combat this a good pair of gloves as well as hand lotion or crème is needed. Putting on hand crème after washing hands and before going outside will ensure that your hands are soft. Also, if you apply hand moisturizer before putting on gloves, then your hands will be soft when you take off your gloves.

Winter Skin Care Secret Weapon: Petroleum Jelly, also known as good old Vaseline. For me, Vaseline can work as a moisturizer, lip protector and hand protector all in one when I need it. And, it’s cheap! So stay moisturized and have a happy winter!

Image credit: stryjekk / 123RF Stock Photo

Get Those Grades! Tips for Making it Happen

A new semester. A new chance to get a great report card. If your grades aren’t where you’d like them to be, here are some tips to get better ones. Get it girls!

Get a ‘To Do’ Notebook. Every day, make a detailed ‘To Do’ List to help keep yourself focused

Get with your teachers. Okay, so I was one of those students who hated to do this. But, it does help your grades when your teachers know you’re interested. (It doesn’t hurt) So ask questions, be kind to them. See how your grades improve. Power tip: Asking the right kind of questions was one of my secret weapons in high school. The class before a test (while your class is reviewing) ask a question like: ‘So what should we be focusing on for this test? Or something like that. Basically you’re asking a leading question to get info about what will be on the exam. Then write the teachers’ response down and take it seriously. This is your ticket to a better grade.

Get organized. This was always a sore point with me. And, I admit that I got pretty good grades while being pretty un-organized. But, I found that it’s a lot less stressful to be organized. So clean out your notebooks and folders and discover an organizing system that works for you.

Get a schedule. This sounds boring, but its somewhat comforting to go to the same place at the same time every day to study. It’s a lot less stressful and it will get things done.

Get a positive mindset: ‘If you believe it, you can achieve it’. Okay, so we’ve all heard that before. But trust me on this one. You will usually receive what you think you will receive. So always, always shoot for an A in every class, no matter how hard the class may be. Believe that you can and you will get an A. Think about it. If you’re doing this and you ‘fail’ you might receive a what…B? (Terrible, isn’t it (sarcasm) So shoot for the A…every time.

Get motivated: I admit I have had those days where it took a miracle to get me to study. So on those days I had some secret weapons. The first was simply music. Listening to music while studying motivated me to actually study. (I don’t do this on a regular basis, only on those days when I really need motivation.) Another trick that has worked has been the study 30 (or even as little as 10 for you who know your attention will only last for 10 minutes) and then take a 10 minute break. Or take a break when you finish each subject (or project) you’re studying.

Get Nutrition. Zinc is a vitamin that can make you feel calmer and more focused and can also help prevent colds! So take a multivitamin (ask a doctor or parent before doing so) that includes zinc. Also make sure you have plenty of water and/or tea while studying. Water helps keep you awake while studying and you need lots of water anyway, so by drinking it while studying, you are killing two birds with one stone.

Ask Angie: My Period Makes Me Cray-Cray!

Dear Angie,

Each month, a few days before my period starts, I feel absolutely nuts. I start yelling at people, I start crying for no reason, and I generally feel like my life is over. When I try to talk to my parents about how I’m feeling, they shrug it off, saying that its ‘all in my head’. What to do?

Signed,

Period Problems

Dear Problems,

Oh the fun world of PMS! First of all, it may help to realize that the symptoms that you have are definitely real, and that you are not alone. Womenshealth.gov notes that 85% of women and girls report having at least one PMS symptom a few days before their period starts. There are some things that you can do though, to ease the crazy feelings.

The first thing that you can do is to simply chart your symptoms. When you find yourself starting to feel angry, anxious, tearful or depressed, make a dot on your calendar. Then bring your calendar with you the next time you visit your doctor or the gyno. This way, your doctor can see whether or not your symptoms have a pattern and can talk to you about possible treatment options.

Another thing that you can do is get some exercise. Even mild forms of exercise, like walking, can help ease pre-period anxiety and depression. Also, make sure that you cut down on foods like sugar and caffeine, and increase your intake of calming foods,such as turkey, milk, cheese and blueberries.

Also, it is important to determine what you need to get you through this time of the month (in one piece). For some girls, it may mean that you may need a bit more time to yourself during the days before your period. It may mean that you read your favorite books, meditate, listen to music, or engage in your favorite hobby. For others, it may mean that you need to find a friend that you can vent to. And for others, it may mean that you talk to a minister, counselor or therapist that you trust. The days before your period are a good time to engage in those activities that help you to feel happy and calm.

Finally, if you are feeling severely depressed, unstable, suicidal or out of control, be sure to immediately tell a doctor or a counselor who you trust. Severe emotional symptoms can be a sign of a disorder known as PMDD, or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. PMDD is a serious concern, and a doctor can suggest treatments to help you manage the disorder.

Be well,

Angie

Image credit: creatista / 123RF Stock Photo

Find Out What Type of Exercise Works Best For You

Find out which types of exercise really get you motivated with this fun quiz!

 

1. If you were in a large room and no one was watching and you had to exercise, what would you do?

A.      Put on some music and dance

B.      Start running around the room…randomly

C.      Start doing cartwheels and attempting to backflip in the room

D.      Put on some skates and start skating around the room

E.       Walk around the room

F.       Feel uncomfortable. Who wants to exercise in an empty room?

2. Now picture yourself in a crowded gym. You would feel__________

A.      Excited. You see lots of machines that you can’t wait to try out

B.      Nervous. You wonder if others are looking at you while you sweat.

C.      Excited. Your fiends are at the gym so you can chat with them while you exercise

D.  You can’t picture this. You’d never be at a crowded gym…or any gym at all for that matter.

3. You’ve always secretly wanted to be:

A.      A dancer

B.      A gymnast

C.      A track star

D.      An ice skater or hockey player

E.       Nothing that has anything to do with sports

F.       On a sports team (basketball, softball, football, volleyball, etc.) or in a partner sport (tennis, raquetball etc)

4. Do you enjoy gym class?

A.      Yes

B.      No

5. You like to be with others when you work out

A.      Yes

B.      No

6. You like to exercise.

A.      Yes

B.      No

7. You like your classes at school

A.      Yes

B.      Kind of

C.      No

8. You like learning new things.

A.      Yes, I’m all about adventure

B.      It depends. I don’t do rock climbing or skiing or rafting or canoing or ….

C.      No. People who like to be adventurous don’t live very long

9. On a Saturday night, you’d rather

A.      Read a good book or watch a good movie

B.      Go out with a group of friends

C.      Hang out with one or two friends

D.      Sleep

10. When you think of the word, ‘exercise, you think:

A.      Fun!

B.      Boring

C.      Ugh! Horrible

11. ‘I would exercise more if

A.      My friends exercised with me.

B.      I had access to machines and weights and stuff

C.      I had space to dance or skate or flip or do whatever.

D.      I was on a sports team

E.       I was taking a fitness class

F.       I could do something exciting, like rock climbing or mountain biking

G.     I actually liked the thought of exercising.

Answers

1.       A (2), B (3), C (4), D (7), E (1), F (5)

2.       A (3), B (2), C (5), D (1)

3.       A (4), B (2), C (6), D (2), E (1), F (5)

4.       A (5), B (1)

5.       A (5), B (2)

6.       A (2), B (1)

7.       A (4), B (6), C (2)

8.       A (7), B (5), C (1)

9.       A (2), B (5), C (3), D (1)

10.   A (6), B (7), C (1)

11.   A (5), B (3), C (2), D (6), E (4), F (7), G (1)

Categories:

(57-62) Adventurous Babe

Go Girl! Whether mountain climbing, skiing, white water rafting etc., you never want to be bored while you exercise. Your challenge is to make sure your exercise routine isn’t…er…routine. Look at outdoor fitness centers (ie parks) that you can use to skate, bike or hike at. Also consider exploring classes or seminars in extreme sports such as mountain biking, climbing, skating, or whatever else tickles your fancy. Just don’t get hurt.

(51-56) Athlete

You enjoy organized sports. So join a team! Whether it be basketball, volleyball, track, softball, rugby, etc. Find a sport that you enjoy and stick to it.

(45-50) Friendly Exerciser

You don’t seem to like to exercise alone. Your exercise solution is to find a friend or two and together make a goal to exercise together regularly. Go for it!

(39-44) Class Act

Studious girl, you need to incorporate learning into your exercise routine. Whether it be trying a dance class, an aerobics class, a gymnastics class, check out a class that interests you and you will probably be more likely to stick out your exercise routine.

(33-38) Gym Girl

You love gyms and machines, weights, whatever you name it. Most schools now have the luxury of having small gyms. If that describes you, count yourself blessed. (My school didn’t until my junior year). Even if your school does have a gym however, you might also want to think about joining a gym in your neighborhood as well. (FYI: This is a great thing to do with your mother and/or a friend). Curves and Victory Lady Fitness are two fitness centers that I like.

(27-32) Solo spirit

You like to exercise by yourself. You hate gyms and people watching you while you work out. Consider solo forms of exercise, such as running or walking or using an aerobics video or even simply dancing around your room.

(26 or below) Don’t wanna exercise…r

Um….you don’t seem to want to exercise at all. Don’t worry, I’m like that too (Don’t tell anyone) What works for me is choosing the most minimum amount of exercise (I know that’s a dirty word…I’m sorry) possible. This might mean taking a long walk at the park…or the mall. I also like to dance around my room. Also, making small changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator can greatly elevate (pun intended) your physical fitness. So go for it girl!