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Last updateMon, 11 Dec 2017 12pm

Lifestyles

Volume 90 (Fall 2017 - Spring 2018)

Beating the Winter Blues

The end of the semester is quickly approaching, so that means finals, heading back home for the holidays, and also the winter blues. As you relax and unwind in preparation for a new semester, you obviously want to make the most of winter break. Give the following tips a try if you don’t want the winter blues to bring you down!

BuzzFeed offers some of the best ways to keep your spirits up, even on the gloomiest, coldest, and darkest of days. One of the first things is to go outside within the first hour or two that you wake up.

It is safe to say that nobody wants to leave the comfort and warmth of their bed to venture out into the cold, but it is still important to get some fresh air and sunshine. You can do something as simple as walking your dog or taking a stroll around the neighborhood.

Not only should you get some sunshine yourself, but let natural light into your home or apartment by opening the blinds and curtains. You can even brighten up your home by getting light colored pillows and blankets. Just because winter has its cold and gloomy days doesn’t mean your home has to be gloomy too.

Senior communication student Elliot McPherson has experienced the winter blues before as the cold weather keeps us trapped inside. “While some people can deal with the isolation, it drains you not being able to enjoy the weather as much and having to constantly battle the cold. Also, the shorter days can really hinder what can be completed during the day,” he said.

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The Importance of Ugly Sweaters

Importance Ugly SweatersFor those who celebrate Christmas, it is a known fact that there are a vast number of people who overdo the decorating aspect of the holiday. For those who purchase an over-the-top Christmas tree to those who simply enjoy their Charlie Brown tree, the spirit of Christmas impacts society in huge ways. The newest phenomenon, however, has been the new love for ugly sweaters, or Christmas sweaters. The true question is, why have they become so popular?

Throughout the past few decades, ugly sweaters have been making their way to store fronts and into people’s lives. Many see it as a way to celebrate and create new traditions with their families.

Junior psychology student, Siobhan McLoughlin took the time to explain how her family utilizes their love for these holiday sweaters: “I love ugly sweaters because my family always does this tradition with white elephant where we switch gifts that are not labeled or anything. So, everybody goes and grabs a gift and every year we always regift these two ugly sweaters. If you get these two sweaters, you have to wear them to Christmas the next year. Right now, my cousin and his girlfriend have them and I cannot wait to see them in the sweaters!”

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Staying Motivated During these Final Weeks

Motivation During Finals WeekUsually during this time of year, people are full of joy that the holiday season has finally begun.  With that being said, the same cannot particularly be said for college students. For some of us, this is a new experience that we have yet to understand. For others, it is a known fact that these few weeks before celebrating the holidays with family and friends can be a living nightmare. 

Homework piles up, assignments seem to be doubled, studying for exams seems to take up all of our time, and our mental anxiety can make us seem insane.  The one thing college students are searching for during this time of mental stress is motivation.  Essentially, we are all working towards the goal of finishing the fall semester with grades that satisfy us, as well as spending the holidays with our families.

Junior social work student, Caileen Makovec spoke about motivation during this grueling time of the semester, she said, “Motivation is very important.  If I’m not motivated to accomplish my goals for the end of the semester, nothing will get done.” 

Makovec also stated that she tries to achieve her goals by completing set tasks at a time.  She said, “Don’t let your assignments pile up, that’s the easiest way to feel the most overwhelmed.” 

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Dodging Grandma's Questions

Thanksgiving isn’t all about the turkey and Christmas isn’t all about the presents. The holiday season also involves spending a lot of time with your family. Of course this is a good thing, but sometimes this brings with it a berating of a million questions that no college age student wants to hear. Some of these typical questions we’ve all probably experienced are, who you’re dating, how you’re doing in school, and if you have a job lined up for after graduation. So if you’re looking to enjoy the holidays instead of answering question after question, Life Hacker lists some of the best ways to avoid them.

The number one way to save yourself from intrusive questions is to either turn the question around or answer the question with a question. If you’re asked something that is really awkward or intrusive, ask the person how they would feel about answering that question. On the other hand, if you’re asked about a post-graduation job, say something like, “I have a friend that actually waited a month before starting a career, isn’t that a good idea?” This then shifts the subject away from you without being too obvious. By using this technique, you don’t have to answer those questions, and it also discourages family members from asking more.

Another great way is to distract them and rid their mind of whatever uncomfortable questions they’ve been dying to ask you is you can ask everyone if they need a drink or anything else while you’re getting up, and then take your time doing so. Then hopefully when you return, you’ll have nothing to answer because they would have forgotten the question. If you don’t have the chance to escape, you can always turn things around and make them be the center of attention. If you’re asked a question, simply say something like, “I’d much rather hear about how you’ve been! How’s your job going, did you get that promotion yet?”

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Cold Weather Style

Cold Weather StyleAs the leaves start falling off the trees, the brisk air surrounds us as we step outside, and jackets are ultimately essential for any outing, you know the winter season is upon us.  Although for some this may not be the most ideal weather condition to be fashionable, there are ways in which we can still look great, while still staying warm.  Although it may seem almost virtually impossible making the transition from nice summer and fall outfits to heavy jackets that overtake an outfit, there are ways in which to alter your wardrobe to stay warm this winter.

When speaking with junior social work student Claudia Sanchez about her taste when it comes to being fashionable during the winter, she shared, “My essential winter clothes are, cardigans, sweaters, scarfs, and tall boots. They are usually something I tend to wear more during the winter season.” Sanchez also noted that she usually tends to layer her clothing more during these cold months to be fashionable, as well as warm.  Sanchez had a few words of advice for anyone looking to alter their wardrobe for the winter. “You can make anything look good, even by adding small details to your outfit such as a scarf, long sleeve, sweater, and sweatshirt.  Most of these pieces will add to your outfit, ultimately making it look more fashionable,” she said.

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Spending the Holidays at Two Homes

Spending Holidays Two HomesAround the holidays, the large majority of people on campus are ecstatic to go home and celebrate with their loved ones, whether they live on campus or not. Those on campus do enjoy the time at home more, but either way, the holidays bring joy and comfort to everyone. Although this may be the case to the vast majority, there are a number of those students who find the holidays stressful and difficult.

Students who struggle with parents who are divorced, or in other family situations, may view the holidays as a time of picking or choosing sides and hurting the other side’s feelings. In this article, however, students that do find these times particularly hard will discover a few ways to cope with this.

Considering that having divorced parents is not a child’s choice, it would be nice for the families to acknowledge that. Sadly, this is usually not the case. When reaching the age of being able to decide where to go for dinner or who to spend the day with, it can be overwhelming on the child. “I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings,” or “What if they get upset with me?” Questions such as these tend to run through the young adult’s head when given the option of where to go. In order to cope with this, one should sit down with both parents and explain how they are feeling. For example: “Hey, I just want to let you guys know that having this decision every year of where to go really stresses me out and if we could all come to a solution together I would feel a lot better about all of this.” Planning the holidays may be a tad insane, but if this decreases the amount of anxiety and overwhelming stress placed onto the young adult, then why not take a chance?

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Best Foods for this Thanksgiving Season

Best Food Thanksgiving 2017October has officially come to a close. Our focus begins to shift once we toss out all the extra Halloween candy. Stores have already begun decorating their shelves with gifts, vibrant lights, and counterfeit snow. Christmas season is officially here. This tradition of skipping over one of the most important holidays is nothing new, but still rather appalling.

To skim over a whole holiday, one that celebrates gratitude (as well as food) is a flawed tradition. Rather than use Thanksgiving as a segue to Christmas, we should experience Thanksgiving in all of its turkey induced glory.

That’s why, to make it easier for you, we at The Outlook have already compiled a list for you of the top five foods to have on your table for Thanksgiving.

When interviewing students as to what their favorite dish is to have at the table, the winner was clear: turkey. “It’s one of the main courses for Thanksgiving; without turkey, is it really thanksgiving?” said junior communications student Jordan Smith.

Junior business student Robert Disko went on to emphasize the importance of turkey. He said, “It’s just dinner; without turkey Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving.” The second central food to a great Thanksgiving dinner is mashed potatoes. “Mashed potatoes compliments turkey. They go great together.” Junior business major Max Sobrano commented.

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Protein Shakes to Please your Tastebuds

Protein Shakes Please TastebudsLiving a healthy lifestyle is the best thing you could do for yourself. Especially in a world where society shames those who do not fit into the physical mold the mainstream has created. College students are highly affected by this and by the people surrounding them. Another component to striving to be healthy is just to feel better in your own skin. Some have set out to find tasty, healthy smoothies and protein shakes that everyone can enjoy. Here are some of the results that would benefit everyone!

When making these shakes, one must remember that protein powder is the key ingredient. With help from the Tasty app, you can find a few recipes that give you a high protein level but also taste great so that you can drink with ease. Sometimes protein shakes leave a chalky aftertaste or are unbearable and end up throwing them away because they are so bad. But there are ways to create your own smoothies that you will love to have for any meal!

The first shake you can attempt is a Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie. After setting up your blender, you will want to grab all of your ingredients: your choice of water, yogurt, or milk (this determines your thickness and even sweetness); chocolate protein powder; peanut butter; dark chocolate cocoa powder, and two frozen bananas. For this, you will want to have sliced the bananas and placed them into the freezer for at least an hour before beginning.

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Counting Calories for Thanksgiving

Counting CaloriesWhen you pile food on your plate during Thanksgiving dinner, you’re probably not counting calories. According to Real Simple, the average American consumes several thousand calories on Turkey day between all the plates of food and dessert.

Thanksgiving is the one day a year where your diet goes out the window, but if you’re looking for ways to make it healthier, here’s how.

One way to ease off the calories is by having more of what actually is healthy, like vegetables, and less of what isn’t. Have smaller portions of the less healthy stuff, like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and rolls.

Another way to count your Thanksgiving calories is by watching what you eat and drink while cooking all day. You might be proud of yourself for skipping the mashed potatoes and stuffing, but if you nibbled on cheese and crackers all day, you’re still consuming lots of calories.

Try to hold off until dinner because that stuff comes once a year. You can eat cheese and crackers whenever. Also, if you like lots of wine or beer with your dinner, that’s even more calories.

Freshman social work student Kayla Greiss watches her portions. She also doesn’t like turkey, so that helps her in avoiding calories. She said, “I try to eat small portions instead of stuffing my face. You can incorporate more veggies to make it healthier. Since I don’t like turkey, I usually will have ham instead. I eat everything else on the table besides turkey, and without it I’m still stuffed.”

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Thanksgiving Activities for Everyone

Thanksgiving Activities 1There is something so great about the crisp air that is formed during the shorter days and cooler nights, and what better way to take on the fall season and the holidays than by going out and doing activities?

Between the colorful trees and admirable fashion, fall is the perfect time to get some fresh air, go outside, and get involved with nature!

One of the first simple things that comes to mind when thinking of activities to do in September, October or November is what they call, “leaf peeping.”

This involves going out on nature walks and admiring the different colors that the leaves turn. It is calming for when you’re stressed if you want to be active, but most of all it really shows you how beautiful nature can be.

Since we have now passed October and all of the pumpkins have been picked and carved, you can go apple picking at a local orchard and get that fresh fruit ready for your Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving is a great time of year because the weather is cooler, it’s a time to give thanks and recognize everything that the world provides for us.

Sophomore psychology student Samantha Cappitelli, said, “Every year I go apple picking with my whole family, then we go to a festival up in Pennsylvania.” Family traditions are things that can be carried out for generations so something as simple as a fun road trip is worth considering.

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Reasons to Volunteer

Reasons to VolunteerFormer President Ronald Reagan once said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” Volunteering is a great way to make the first step to at least helping someone.

Many people only think of giving back or volunteering when Christmas rolls around, but giving back is perfect any time of the year. Based on observations at a nonprofit organization, most donations are made at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but summer is the time when they are actually needed most.

 

According to Help Guide, a resource for mental health, volunteering brings happiness and fulfillment not only to your life, but to the lives that you help. For one thing, volunteering connects you to others in a way that nothing else can. Doing something so small and so simple for someone could mean the absolute world to them. Volunteering also opens your eyes to appreciating everything that you have. Those who are struggling pray to have what we take for granted every day.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

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The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu