My eve-of-exam routine

I do this before every exam and I swear it helps me. Now, please note that I am an emotional wreck during exam time. Anything that can help me calm down has a good chance of benefiting stable people as well. It can be so hard to know when you’ve done all that you can do. This is my process.

1. Avoid caffeine after 5PM.

2. Stop studying at around 9PM. Make it 8PM if your exam is an early-morning one. You won’t cram any more knowledge into your poor, tired brain, and you know more than you think you do.

3. Make sure you’ve eaten. If you haven’t had dinner, do that. If you have, well done! Have something yummy with carbs and veggies. Treat yourself to something sweet if that’s your thing.

4. Take a bath or a shower and use your favourite products. Break out the Lush stuff. Use a face mask, or exfoliate your skin. Deep condition your hair. Use body lotion. All that good stuff. Brush your teeth and do your skincare. If you’re anything like me, marvel at how much better you look currently than you have in the last week.

5. Put on your favourite pyjamas. I make sure mine are clean and ready. Bonus points if you’ve found the time to change your sheets, too. Enjoy feeling like a newborn.

6. Pack your bag so you have everything you need ready in the morning. Notes, pens/spares, water, student ID, medication, campus map, etc. Give yourself one fewer thing to think about. Charge your phone. Pack yet another pen. Remember a jumper/cardigan/hoodie if your exam halls tend to get cold!

7. Read something purely for the joy of it. No notes. No textbooks. Read something you love. Start a new book. Delve into some short stories (neil-gaiman is my favourite). Take half an hour to unwind and distract your brain.

8. Set your alarm. Be asleep by 10:30PM. If you struggle, try a warm milky drink, or a hot water bottle. I sleep best when I’m cosy and these comfort me endlessly. Set a second alarm if you get paranoid about these things. Make it a little earlier than it needs to be.

Self care is always important, but during the exam period, many of us ignore it. This little routine is calming and restorative. You’re amazing. You’ve done so much already. You can definitely do this.

Black Girls Talking #44: Black Girls Traveling & #BEAUTYCHAT pt. 2

To say that things have been tough lately is an understatement* so this episode we’re in full on self care mode! CFBG aficionado Jamala Johns joins us for a fun discussion on traveling, in which we talk about our favorite locations, budgeting, safety and BLUTOPIA (Black Girl Utopia - let’s make it happen🙏🏿). We also follow up on our first #BEAUTYCHAT with updates and new faves. Look out for oncoming beauty lists and a fun challenge!

*Please continue to follow us on tumblr and Twitter for updates on current events. Stay safe and spread love <3

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The very non-intelligent box said….
170 today! That is 3 pounds lost this week. Totaling 83 pounds released since August 1, 2014. I’m going to the doctor this morning, and can’t wait to meet their non-intelligent box too. I am tired, happy, and grateful. Xoxo

Unapologetically Owning the Stereotypes and Nuances of Me

May 4, 2015 by Quita Tinsley

[Headline image: The photograph features a smiling woman with dark skin, dark hair, and dark eyes. She is wearing mascara, red lipstick, and a white and silver bracelet. She is looking off to the side and hugging her shoulders with her arms crossed. ]

As a Black, queer, fat woman, I’m constantly aware of how I navigate most spaces. I’m constantly determining whether I can talk about my girlfriend. I’m constantly wondering whether I can eat what and how I want. And I’m constantly aware of how I’m speaking, from my tone to the words that I’m saying.

Sometimes, these concerns come from a place of determining my safety. One wrong admission can put me in harm’s way of being attacked, physically or verbally. But at other times, these concerns come from wanting to avoid people projecting stereotypes onto me.

If I speak too loudly, I’m a “loud, angry Black woman.” If I say I have a girlfriend and three cats, I’m “one of those U-Hauling lesbians.” If I eat a plate full of fried foods, I’m a “lazy fat person who doesn’t care about my body or health.”

I try to convince myself that, if I navigate certain spaces cautiously, I can avoid those stereotypes as much as possible. However, no matter how I navigate spaces, I can’t prevent people’s assumptions.

My full first name is Shawnquita. However, all of my life, I’ve gone by Quita, except for the fourth grade. On the first day of school, my third-period teacher, Mrs. M, began to call the roll. When she got to my name, she said, “S. Tinsley.”

This approach wasn’t unfamiliar to me. Many teachers, instead of stumbling over the syllables in my first name, would just say my first initial and last name. And I had my standard response: “It’s Shawn-qui-ta, but you can call me Quita.” Mostly, teachers would smile at me, repeat my name, and then make a note on their student lists.

However, Mrs. M didn’t. She replied, “How about I call you Shawn.”

READ MORE.

as it gets warmer I just want to send some love to anyone on here who’s uncomfortable wearing shorts or taking off a hoodie and to anyone who wears heavier clothing because of religious reasons, etc. you’re super strong and remember to take care of yourself (drink lots of water, find shade from the sun) when it’s hot out.

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Day 3 of my Self Care Birthday Week!

Today I went for a walk along the beach, and was lucky enough to catch the most beautiful sunset. I need to walk in scenic places more often - doing so brings with it an indescribable tranquility that makes all my worries disappear…

It is true that my disability and my weight are interrelated. It is true that the physical state of my body affects my fitness abilities. There’s no denying that my disability is deeply entrenched within my identity, and it colors everything about my life. Even so, neither my body type nor my body image should be written off as mere side effects of my disability. No one should ever have to learn to love themselves in spite of who they are. I refuse to let anyone dictate the parts of me that are acceptable, because at any ability and any size, self-acceptance is about learning to love our whole selves.
—  Emily Ladau for Endangered Bodies NYC
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I was given such a beautiful present this weekend by lucidus-astrum. A self care box filled with yogi tea, colouring pencils, carmex, a candle, lush mask and shower jelly, motivational words and a beautiful journal. 

This weekend was so perfect and I already miss her <3 spending the evening getting ready for the week and trying out the face mask. </p>

10 underrated self care things to do -

  1. tidy up your bedroom.
  2. change your whole outfit - underwear, shoes, hairstyle, the lot.
  3. scribble with a crayon as hard as you can on a big sheet of paper.
  4. go to a library and wander around in the quiet.
  5. make a wishlist on each of your favourite shops’ websites.
  6. go to sleep as early as you can bear.
  7. play the “would you rather?” game with a friend.
  8. talk to your siblings, see what theyre up to.
  9. sit down and study for a bit, then see how you feel.
  10. open a window, sit next to it.