Big Life Changes

Hello again! Has it really been March since I’ve last posted?!? Things have gotten quite busy over here since my last post at the end of March. I had some posts that were almost ready to go up, but they never got finished because we were hit with some major life changing news at the beginning of April. We’re having a baby!

This pregnancy, though very much wanted and planned, has not been the easiest. With everything that has been going on some things (like this blog) have had to fall to the wayside in order to figure out this new change in our lives. Within the next month or so we will be welcoming our new family member and figuring out parenting. While I would love to say that I would be able to post up here regularly and manage everything else too, I know that isn’t a realistic goal for now. I am going to try to put up some posts here and there, but I’m not going to promise a schedule for the near future. Once we finally figure out our “new normal” I hopefully will be back here once again.

I hope you are all having a wonderful December so far! If I don’t manage to make another post before our little one comes have a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and happy new year.

Keeping Active: Fitbit Review

Since school is now in full swing a lot of us will be trading our more active free time for sitting and studying. This doesn’t have to be the case. Though it can be hard to keep fit during school, I’ve been getting extra motivation from my Fitbit Flex. I’ll be giving you a little review of my thoughts on the Fitbit Flex after having it for about a month now.

fitbit flex

The Fitbit Flex is an electronic fitness tracker. It can track steps, distance travelled, calories burned, exercise/activity level and how you sleep. When using the app or online dashboard you can track your food or water intake, make meal plans, and add activities you’ve done through the day. It vibrates when you reach your daily goal or when you set alarms.

I originally chose the Fitbit Flex because it was small and easy to wear. It doesn’t have a screen, but by double tapping you see a series of lights that tell you how close you are to your daily goal. I like how it has interchangeable wristbands so you can change the look to fit whatever you’re wearing. The bands are also made of silicone so they are easy to clean. The battery life is pretty amazing for the Flex. I find I only have to charge it every 5 days (using it 24/7) and it only takes ~3 hours to fully charge. The battery life can drain faster if you use the alarm options constantly on the Flex, but I haven’t noticed a dramatic decrease. The Flex also claims it is water resistant enough to shower with, but I haven’t tested that claim (though it does put up with rain and washing dishes). The only down-side I have found for the Flex is the sensitivity of the tap sensors. In order to change it from sleep-mode to awake you need to tap it for a second or two, but I find myself trying for 2-3 minutes to get it to switch sometimes.

There are two ways to see the data from your Fitbit. The first is to use the online dashboard. I really liked how you can customize the dashboard to show exactly what you want to see. It’s really easy to move things around and see the different aspects of your day in more detail (activity levels, sleep patterns, etc.).

fitbit

The other option is to use the app. As far as I know the app is available for both apple and android devices. I have a picture of the apple app interface below. I like that it is very organized and you can see everything your Fitbit has been recording at a glance. The app is also customizable and you can change what you see and the order of the main screen.

fitbit app

However, my favorite part of the Fitbit is my ability to compete with friends. The app and online dashboard makes it easy to find friends and cheer them on or taunt them through the day. It really motivates you to get up and move (and it’s fun to compete with friends).

All-in-all I have been really impressed with the Fitbit Flex. The Fitbit user interfaces are easy to use on both your phone or online, and the Flex is a great little device to have. Though you may not be doing a full on exercise routine every day, it is nice to know how active you are in your every-day life.

Seriously Stressed?

As a full-time student who has almost finished my degree, stress is no stranger to me. From school work and exams, to work, to life in general, stress pops up everywhere and can take over your life. This week I thought I’d share some tips and tricks to deal with stress so it doesn’t bog you down.

1) Take A Break: While you shouldn’t leave things to the last minute, you also shouldn’t lock yourself away to work endlessly on homework, taxes, or studying. Take a walk, step outside, enjoy the sun. If you spend all your time working you will cause yourself unnecessary stress. So take that 10-15 minute break. You deserve it.

2) Breathe: If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by stress just take a deep breath. It may sound silly, but it actually does help. Taking a few deep breaths when you get really stressed can help you body loosen up and relax.

3) Exercise: I’ve always found going for a walk or run when I’m stressed out can help improve my mood and relax me. Not only do you get the endorphins from exercising, but you’re forcing your mind to concentrate on something that will not cause you stress.

4) Unwind: If all else fails a nice bubble bath or relaxing shower can soothe a stressed mind. Pull out the bath salts, bubble bath, bath bombs, whatever you want to use to pamper yourself. Even aromatherapy like spearmint or lavender will help relax your body and mind. You deserve it

5) White Noise: When I’m stressed I can’t turn off my brain, which can make sleeping very difficult. It ends up stressing me out more because I can’t get to sleep and I can’t stop thinking about everything that is stressing me out. Recently I found an app that has really helped with this problem. Relax Melodies is a free app that I got from the iTunes app store. You can choose a variety nature sounds and other melodies and even create your own combination of sounds. I’ve been using this app for a month now and I absolutely love it (and it’s free so that doesn’t hurt either).

Hopefully this post has given you some tips or ideas of your own on how to stay less stressed.