What Do Your Clothes Say About You?
Nothing? Actually, they say a lot…
I got into the fashion industry due to a product idea. I simply wanted to create an apparel piece that kept my shirt from coming up while I was practicing yoga. I knew I wanted my company to do good beyond the products we offered and empower the community we built, but that seemed rather standard in my mind. Then I started to realize just how few clothing companies actually try to empower the women who wear their clothes. It was almost the opposite in a lot of cases.
Not all clothing is created equally. Nor will all clothing represent you in the way you desire to be represented. The way you spend your money and the items you put on your body are some of the most visible forms of showing your values. Since I started Noya, I’m happy to say new trends are arising across the fashion industry that make it possible for you to show your voice and values and feel empowered through the clothes you wear.
Empowering Trends to Look for in the Fashion Industry
Just like people, brands have the opportunity to channel their voice. From the design, to the production process, to the partnerships they forge, it all tells a story. Considering the following when making your next clothing purchase.
Demand Brands that are Body Positive
I’m thrilled that more and more positive messaging is popping up through apparel. Unfortunately, we still have models who are deemed “too fat” if they have a half pound more than the unreasonable industry standard. But not all brands are strictly promoting skinny as the exclusive way to be beautiful. Muscles are coming into style! So are reasonably sized hips and thighs! Although this messaging may seem more subtle than, say, a brand’s tagline or written messages on their marketing and clothing, it still speaks loudly to men and women alike.
If you walk into a shop and immediately feel like you need to lose 10 pounds, get the hell outta there! I say, the more you’re able to relate to the model showing off your potential new outfit, the better. At the company I started we don’t even have numbered sizing. Noya’s apparel is proudly made by women for women and we advocate for positive body image through a unique sizing system.
There are tons of ways brands are trying to speak up about the issue of body shaming. But it’s a tough trail to blaze. Show your support by supporting them.
Look for Ethical
Like a lot of factory work, when you start digging under the surface of where items are made, it can get ugly fast. Almost every article of clothing you wear is made by human beings—and working conditions vary significantly. There are issues with this across the board, but the most famous incident happened only a few years ago when a Bangladeshi factory collapsed and killed over 1,000 workers inside. The conditions of the building had been unsafe since its construction, but due to high-pressure deadlines and low-priced promises the owners of the factory pushed forward. There are thousands of other issues that happen on a daily basis that are never publicly acknowledged. From child labor, to abuse in the workplace (the majority of sewers are women), to working hours of 12-14 hours per day, 7 days a week, to wages not high enough to make a basic living. Human rights are massively overlooked because transparency is almost unheard of in the fashion industry. The issues likely aren’t going away until regulations are in place. These regulations will likely mean higher prices for consumers and transparency for retailers. Ask the brands that you shop, who made my clothes? If they aren’t willing to give you a full description, you may want to start shopping somewhere else.
Wear Clothes that Speak Your Truth
Aside from the logo on your clothes, you have other ways to represent your values through what you wear. Have you gone to any women’s marches? Even high-fashion designers are jumping on the opportunity for a less-subtle form of messaging. I love that graphic tanks and tees are trending again. Growing up I always thought it was weird to see large statements across someone’s shirt (or really cool depending on who and how someone was wearing a particular message – you know, some people can just pull that off!). In my wardrobe, printed writing on clothes was almost exclusively reserved for band shirts from concerts and athletic shirts from tournaments or events. Nowadays wearing a shirt that lets others know a little more about you is on the rise. Want to tell the world how much you love cats? There’s a shirt for that. How about a shirt that ironically calls out people who don’t believe in Global Warming? Yep, there’s one for that too. Whatever it may be, you have choices. Wear them proudly.
Choose Brands as Green as You Are
Trying to be more green? Eco-friendly isn’t always easy to find in the clothing available to purchase, but there are some easy ways to know that you are choosing the best option in front of you. No matter what your political views are on shopping USA made, if you live in the US, USA made is often a greener (and more ethical) choice. There are tons of resources used to ship items across the globe. For instance, a typical piece at Noya will be sampled at least three times before we move to the next step of production, the sizing stage. After sizing is sorted we move to a full production run. Each stage requires fabrics, patterns, and other materials shipped. There are a minimum of 16 shipments completed for each item before the product ever arrives on a consumer’s doorstep. Imagine the difference between shipping from across the globe to shipping within the United States (or even better, within a particular state or city). It adds up. Fast.
Other (usually) greener choices include garments made from materials like: bamboo, organic cotton, modal, tencel, wool, silk, linen, hemp and recycled materials.
Just Try One
I own a clothing company and I still feel how daunting it is to hold myself to always making the ethical, empowering, eco-friendly, value-based fashion choice. There’s a lot of research that would need to go into each purchase decision. The good news is, you’re already way ahead of the game by knowing that these choices exist! Just like any change that you want to stick, you have to introduce it into your daily life a little dose at a time. Maybe next time you shop you start becoming aware of tags. Then start to notice imagery and messaging. Before you know it, you’ll start to identify the brands that empower you. Those are the brands you want in your closet.
Christine Reppa is founder of Noya, activewear made for women by women. She is an environmentalist, women’s rights activist, yogi, and adventurer. You can read more of her musings at the blog on her website noyayoga.com.
7 Benefits Of Being Single
More and more people are embracing the single lifestyle. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than half of the U.S. population over 16 years of age were single in 2014, compared to just 37.4 percent in 1976. So, why are relationships fading in favor of the single lifestyle?
Eating Out is Cheaper
Eating out when you’re in a relationship is downright expensive. Even at mid-grade restaurants, you can easily spend $40 on dinner for two. When you’re single, though, you’ll pay just half this amount. You can then take this money and save it for a vacation, new clothes or anything else you want to buy.
Holidays Are Less Stressful
You can also relax just a little more during the holidays when you are single. You won’t have to visit your partner’s family or buy them gifts, reducing the chaos associated with this time of year. From Thanksgiving to the New Year, the holidays are less stressful when you’re single.
You Can Watch What You Want
If you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship, you’re probably familiar with television battles. You want to watch “Game of Thrones,” but your partner wants to watch the local news. With only a single television in the living room, you are forced to throw in the towel and turn on the news. This isn’t an issue when you’re single, however. You’ll have complete control over the television remote at all times. If you want to watch a movie or show, you can flip the channel without worrying about upsetting your partner. You can also watch adult content on websites like Nu Bay without having to worry about making your partner insecure.
You might be surprised to learn that being single is good for your health. According to research cited by Huffington Post, single men and women who’ve never been married get more exercise than couples in relationships. The reason for this is unknown though some experts theorize that singles are more conscious of their health and appearance. Regardless, you’ll reap the benefits of better health when single.
More Time to Read
If you’re a bookworm, you’ll have more time to read when single. Many men and women stop their personal hobbies once they enter into a long-term relationship. If you have a partner, for instance, you may struggle to find time to read. But when you’re single, you can laze around reading whenever you choose. Whether it’s a workday or the weekend, you’ll have plenty of time to knock out those books on your reading list.
When you’re in a serious relationship, you may distance yourself from friends. While usually not intentional, most people in relationships lose track of old friends. You may stop calling your old high school friend with whom you grew up, instead focusing your time and attention on your partner. When single, though, you’ll naturally want to foster stronger relationships. This means calling up your friends from high school as well as coworkers and social acquaintances.
Your Browser History And Social Media Profiles Are Safe
Finally, you don’t have to worry about someone scrutinizing your web browser history and social media profiles when single. Granted, not everyone will look through your computer or smartphone, but many partners are guilty of doing this to their significant other. It’s frustrating when you send a friendly message on Facebook, only for your partner to accuse you of flirting. Well, you are free to look at and post whatever you want online when single.
As you can see, there are many benefits to being single. From the cost-savings benefits of eating out to better health and stronger friendships, there are many reasons to embrace the single lifestyle. With that said, relationships offer their own benefits as well. So, choose your own path in life and find enjoyment in your present status whether single or in a relationship. If you need some more help and advice, there are loads of websites to help you manage issues, for example, get over betrayal.
Monica loves to write about television and film and is a regular contributor to www.bighivemind.com. When she’s not typing over a hot keyboard, Monica loves to keep fit by running, cycling and going to the gym.
Learning To Unplug As An Entrepreneur
When you’re attempting to detach yourself from your work and social media, it can get tough. Facebook, Twitter, and other websites and apps are used so often they feel like routine. Breaking the habit of checking each one every so often outside of working hours isn’t something that can be done overnight, nor should it be taken lightly. Social media, emails, et cetera can be addictive despite being necessary to function in our increasingly smartphone-laden world.
The key part of the unplugging experience is not that social media and technology are bad. They’re convenient tools to keep up with friends and handle business as a busy, but singular entity. It’s overuse and overreliance when you shouldn’t be focusing on work that can make them toxic to your ability to function without, and like most good things, should be done in moderation. If you’re finding yourself already down the slippery, compulsive email and phone-checking slope, you’ll want to take these steps to back away from technology. Here are some tips and suggestions to ease you out of your dependence and unplug yourself from your business.
Little by Little
Unplugging should be done piecemeal, with baby steps and breather periods. Like any other habit or routine, the “cut it cold turkey” method seldom sticks for long. You should begin unplugging as soon as you leave your place of work. Wind down your busy thoughts during the commute home. Listening to podcasts
during your commute is a great way to divert your thinking. At home, start with the simplest exercise by putting your phone on silent during morning and evening hours. That includes notifications in addition to your ringtone. The less it rings and buzzes, the less often you think about it. Go about your off-hours only checking messages and calls as necessary, and keep your mind on your family and personal tasks. The less you think about your phone, the better. Removing any notification-laden apps from your home screen can also be helpful in this exercise. Anything that helps you access work-necessary content without also tempting you to check the unnecessary apps and websites is key.
Replace some of the tools you otherwise used your smartphone or computer for with their more mundane counterparts. Buying a traditional alarm clock to replace the one set by your phone lets you place your phone far away from you overnight, decreasing your likelihood to check it first thing in the morning and letting you avoid scanning your phone before bed. If you do need to use your computer outside of work,download an internet lockout program to prevent your usage from drifting from the intended. Keep notes or to-do lists on good old-fashioned notepads.
Set boundaries on what you can and can’t engage in, and for how long you’re going to allow yourself to spend on social media and other pursuits when with family, friends, and away from your business. Test yourself to see how long you can go without checking your phone after you wake up in the morning. Push the limit with each successive day, until you no longer feel compelled to look immediately at work notifications on waking. Make your phone a method for easy access, and not your sole tool to complete tasks.
Start reading a book on your off-hours. If you have an alternative to checking your phone while you wait in waiting rooms or during other downtimes, you’ll drop the compulsion. While it might be tempting to use an E-book app on your phone to read, steps like these are much more effective if you are not acknowledging your phone for longer swaths of time.
Off the Grid
Perhaps the most drastic way to properly unplug is to physically remove yourself from your business for a period of time. Everyone has somewhere they’ve always wanted to go, and the best opportunity for a relaxing tech-free adventure is with a good, old-fashioned cross-country road trip. Give notice to those who might wonder where you’ve been, or even bring along a pal, but make sure the rule stays: no social media, no emails, no unwarranted phone calls, and certainly no talking about it. Make the road trip something you’re experiencing as it happens and not something you experience to post for likes on Facebook or Twitter.
If you’re not feeling so dramatic with your unplugging, you still need to find a way to divert your attention. Picking up a new hobby is an ideal way to channel your former tweeting and emailing time into something constructive is one of the better ways to handle it. All your newfound free time can be used in learning an instrument or other skill, like cross stitching or knitting. Starting a small garden is also an option, as it provides a constructive routine. Exercising on a regular basis can also keep your mind away from the invasive entrepreneur-oriented thoughts.
Diligence and repetition are the best way to build new, healthier habits. Whether it’s about exercising, eating, or social media, habit-building is a full-time job that can’t be expedited. Keep yourself calm and distracted from your smartphone compulsions and engage more with the physical world around you, as it will be just as—if not more—rewarding.
Haley is from Gilbert, Arizona. She loves reading and writing just about anything under the sun. In her spare time, you can find her exploring outdoors or sippin’ on a craft brew.
How To Stay Mindful In A Fast Paced World
It’s no secret that we live in a world that never shuts off. We’re constantly bombarded with various messages and typically glued to our devices on any given day. With the pace at which we’re living, it’s no wonder so many people suffer from illnesses and health issues. It’s difficult to stay mindful. The good news is that there are ways to slow down and get to a better place, both mentally and physically.
It’s time to stop letting the world control you and return to the driver’s seat of your own life. You’re putting your wellbeing at risk if you don’t begin to make changes soon. Think of how much happier and at peace you’ll be when you take time to stay mindful in a face paced world.
It’s as simple as taking breaks more often throughout your day. Walk away from your desk, fill your water bottle or look out the window for a few minutes. These small moments add up to a much more relaxed and mindful you. Your brain can only work at full capacity for so long before it needs a rest too. It’s all about knowing yourself and recognizing when you’re feeling tired and need to step away to re-energize. You’ll make fewer mistakes and be more alert. You won’t feel like you need to crash right when you get home from work.
Care for yourself
You can’t be mindful and in the present moment if you feel like crap. Eat well, exercise, laugh and get a good night’s sleep each day. Stay on top of your health like it’s your job because it’s what’s going to allow you to function at your best and have an abundance of natural energy. Use a calendar if you have to and enter in “me time” on a regular basis, whether that’s swimming laps or sitting on your patio. Put yourself ahead of your schedule and responsibilities for once. If you do, you’ll soon realize that you feel great and it all still gets done. No one else can do it for you; you have to put your foot down and refuse to let your daily tasks get the best of you.
Manage your Stress
Mindfulness is all about acknowledging your thoughts and then letting them pass. It’s in your control whether you let your mind take over and allow it to make you feel stressed. Manage your stress to stay mindful, regardless of the pace at which the world is happening around you. If you don’t get in front of it, you risk becoming caught up in the external universe and letting other people and situations upset you. Remember that it’s what you do in your downtime that matters most. This is because you’ll be able to remain mindful when faced with chaos in your environment.
Know how to Rest
Ask yourself, do you truly know how to rest and relax, or do you feel guilty each time you do? Stay mindful by grounding and centering yourself regularly. It’s not a practice you should pick up when you want for it to work. It has to become a part of who you are and how you live. Learn how to put your feet up, read a good book, drink tea and not care that your phone is going off nonstop. Your health suffers when you respond to others and work before giving yourself a break to breathe first. Consistently kick back and do whatever makes you happy and allows you to completely decompress.
Your first step is to surrender and admit you can’t do it all. Don’t be afraid to do this because there’s a tool called prioritizing that will help you get through this adjustment in your routine. Always make lists for all that’s on your mind and then prioritize the items. Focus on what needs to get done first and leave the other tasks to another day. This ranking and organizing truly works and it’s a lifesaver for someone who’s always on the go. This will keep your mind on what matters most and not ruminating about your entire year of to-dos. Remember to always keep some sort of wellness behavior near the top of your priority list each day.
Train your Brain
Unfortunately, you can’t wish, hope and want that you’re mindful. For the practice to work, you have to train your brain so that it is mindful. Do this by playing brain teasers, taking nature walks, reading books on mindfulness and practicing meditation and yoga. There’s no shortcut and you won’t master it overnight. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the experience of learning. Know that this way of thinking and slowing down is going to feel uncomfortable and strange at first, but don’t let that scare you away. Instead, take notice of how much better you feel and more enjoyable life becomes when you’re not always racing around and chasing.
Do more of what you Love
When you’re in a mindful state you’re free from others and society telling you what to do and how to think. It sounds cliché, but it’s true, mindfulness allows you to find who you are and the courage to explore your true desires. You’re your own person, moving along at the pace you wish to progress. Take time to do more of what you love and let your true self come to life. You’re simply more engaged and in tune with what’s in front of you when you’re following your passions and aren’t worried about judgments being passed. You’re living in the moment, with purpose and you’re happy. The craziness of what’s going on around you won’t seem so threatening to you and you’ll start to see your own judgments and criticism of others subside.
Always believe you can change and you will. Mindfulness is a practice and skill anyone can do if you put forth your best effort and stay patient with yourself. It’s a useful technique for anyone looking to not just to get by, but thrive in a fast paced and unpredictable world.
Katie Carlson is a seasoned professional with skills and experience in education, training, event planning, social media, blogging/writing, technology, marketing and customer service. She’s been published on websites such as SheKnows and Thought Catalog. In her free time she loves playing soccer, golfing, running, cooking, volunteering, reading, traveling, having dinner with friends, being creative, writing, engaging in stimulating conversation, going to the beach and blogging, of course.
She resides in Wisconsin with her loving husband, James. Katie created The Social Being721 in order to make sure she practices what she preaches and takes time each day to reflect and give thanks and gratitude for the very special moments in life. She thought she’d have some fun doing it and share content her readers can connect with and embrace. It doesn’t have to be complicated or a place to make judgments, it just IS. Inspiration, laughter and human connections keep Katie rounded and motivated. She’s always hungry to learn and grow!
How To Tackle Time Management And Procrastination
The famous quote by Michael Altshuler “The bad news is time flies; the good news is you’re the pilot”. What this phrase actually means is that even though time runs out pretty fast but managing the time efficiently is completely is in your hands. Being a pilot of your own time doesn’t really sound difficult but the harsh truth is that a lot of people take this as a huge challenge in their life.
Let’s talk about what time management actually means:
Time management simply means using the available time efficiently by allocating right amount of time to the right activity. Effective time management helps to assign sufficient time for important activities to complete or perform it. Deciding how much time should go to each activity is one of the crucial decisions that one must make for successful time management. There is no hard and fast rule for time management because every person has their own way of dealing with the time allocations. Lacking to follow the above statements leads to struggle in managing the time properly and effectively. Procrastination is the one of the direct result of poor time management.
Time management is definitely one of the major skills a managing student must have to take over various activities in his management career. When a student gets difficult papers to write under a schedule or a deadline, the student struggles with proper utilization of time available to him for completion. Some of the ways to mitigate such struggle can be proper planning, prioritizing of activities and delegating work to various assignments help services which can lead to a lot of effective time utilization. Proper time management is one of the key factors in achieving success in completion of Management Assignment under a deadline.
So, important question that arises here is that how to improve time management?? Let have a look to the points given below & get answer to above question
Setting time management objectives and goals: The main objective of time management is to change a person’s behavior towards utilization of time rather changing the time limits. One should start with this by reducing his time spend on unproductive activities. For example, one can decide to avoid any personal phone calls or text messages while doing important work.
Effective planning: Planning the day in advance will provide the planner with utmost results which are required for proper time management. You can make a “to do list” for the day’s activities which should be noted down according to their importance.
Setting deadlines: Set particular time limit for every task according to the requirements. You need to understand how much time will be required for a particular task to get completed. It is considered to be a success if the tasks are completed in the assigned time otherwise the purpose of achieving proper time management will not be achieved.
Delegation: “We accomplish all that we do through delegation either to time or to other people” Stephen R. covey. If you are working in a team, try delegating the work among the team members as it will save a lot of time. Main motive of time management is to save time as much as possible and use the time most efficiently. Management assignments which are done by students can be eased up with the help of internet as it provide information according to the requirement.
Prioritizing the tasks: You should keep the priority of tasks to be done in such a manner that most important tasks must come first than less priority tasks.
Time management is important when it comes to saving time because without managing the time, one cannot really handle every task which are suppose to be done. Poor time management will eventually lead to procrastination also.
So, what does procrastination mean?
In Simple terms, procrastination means delaying the work to be done due to various reasons needlessly. Reasons mainly are habitual carelessness or laziness. If a person is not able to manage the time which he has, it will lead to delay of work for future point of time. Many times procrastination is done by a person out of his/her habit. Based on a research by Joseph Ferrari, 20% of adults claim to be chronic procrastinators and rate is as high as 70% when it comes to college students. Procrastination occurs mainly due to poor self-care and poor self-management.
And to deal with this situation, here are some points which will help you to overcome this: Try to keep a positive attitude towards completing the work and feel the happiness of the completed work, it will definitely boost you up for work. Try doing the easy part of the work first which will set a momentum. In the end, we can say that Time management and Procrastination are two faces of a coin. Both of them can be dealt with easily if we remember all the points mentioned in the article. If you also faced this type of situation in your life, then share the ways you followed to manage this in comments section.
Monica a self-driven person and loves to spend her leisure time reading interesting books that come her way. She is passionate about writing and collecting new books. She believes in hard work and it is her persistence that keeps her doing better. She is a perfectionist and doesn’t let go off things that don’t appear perfect to her. She loves traveling whenever she needs time off of her busy schedule. Her favorite holiday destination is Hawaii.
6 Habits That Will Improve Your Quality of Life
It’s true what they say—life’s a journey, not a destination. You have the power and ability to change the quality of your life, and thus your journey, at any given point. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” person, and not just because perfection is subjective and doesn’t exist. Humans are innately flawed and can fall into a variety of traps. However, addiction is one of the most dangerous, and it can be impossible to untangle yourself without the help of experts. As we begin a new year, challenge yourself to a better, healthier, and more enjoyable life.
Here are six habits that can make a huge difference:
Be honest with your technology addiction and get help if necessary. Drug and alcohol addiction is well-known, but technology addiction can be a little murkier. After all, it’s conceivable in western culture to avoid alcohol and drugs for good, but not technology. Most of us need tech for work, to connect with loved ones, and simply to enjoy activities of daily living. There’s also the issue of “technology addiction” being made flippant (kind of like OCD). It’s not taken as seriously by mainstream society, but that’s starting to change. There are recovery centers prioritizing tech addiction and can help sufferers identify tools to better co-exist with technology. An addiction can be defined as any habit or substance/product that interferes with other parts of your life including health, work, and relationships.
Give appreciation freely and honestly. This goes for both those around you and yourself. It’s amazing how something as simple as a genuine compliment can turn a person’s entire day around. Every day, try to find an authentic way to compliment at least one person. It kickstarts the cycle of caring and compassion, and you’ll benefit from an endorphin rush of making someone else feel good. (Plus, if you believe in karma, there are some excellent karma points to enjoy). Also, appreciate yourself and speak kindly about your worth, whether aloud or to yourself. Silence that inner critic.
Get outside for at least 20 minutes a day when weather allows. There are countless studies touting the benefits of the great outdoors. If you live in a metro area, try to seek out a park so that the greenery can feed your soul. Try to avoid bringing any technology with you. Spend time appreciating the beauty of nature, whether it’s a leaf or a nearby river. You’ll be energized and may even be able to ditch that afternoon cup of coffee.
Swap coffee for tea at least once a day. Green and black tea have both been tied to a number of health benefits including being potential arthritis and dementia fighters. They have a gentler caffeine boost than coffee and can be a great way to start your day. Choose a cup of green tea instead of java first thing in the morning if you’re a coffee addict, and consider a decaf “sleepy time” tea as part of your sleep best practices.
Find out how many hours of sleep you need on average. Many people think eight hours is the standard, but that’s just an average. People need various amounts of sleep, and the only way to find out is to figure out how many hours you require to wake up without depending on an alarm. This is the first step in creating better sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is a set of best practices to optimize quality sleep. Additions include ditching screen time at least two hours before bed and making sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and tech-free.
Move at least once a day for 30 minutes. Movement doesn’t necessarily have to be hardcore exercise. Movement should be joyful and desirable. Try out a new dance class, check out urban hiking trails, or find a gently used bike and explore your neighborhood in a new way. Moving is essential for energy, joy, and health.
Healthy habits don’t have to be a sacrifice. There are many ways to up the quality of your life without making a huge commitment. How will you be better to yourself in 2018?
Emily Walters is a freelance content writer. She has written for a variety of industries including business, beauty, healthcare, technology, and travel. Aside from writing, Emily enjoys traveling, gardening, and paddle boarding.