What to Do If You Lost Your Job

Suitably: a womenswear D2C startup

Discouraged and hopeless may come to mind when thinking about how layoffs, furloughs, and canceled internships have become the norm in response to COVID-19. Now transitioning into the summer, many of us anxiously await for post-crisis opportunities amid a market heading into an unprecedented recession. Though openings remain scarce, there are concrete actions you can take from home to prepare yourself for long-term change and stand out amongst potential candidates.

Here are five steps that can make a difference in times of fear and uncertainty.

(For more advice, check out Suitably: a D2C startup that offers staple workwear and resources for young professionals to jumpstart their careers)

Ask for recommendation letters

As you update your resume and LinkedIn, think about former colleagues and alumni associations you could reach out to write on your behalf. Now more than ever, people seek authentic voices. Stories about your trust and accountability add more value and say more about you as a person than condensed, bulleted summaries.

Increase your online visibility

Even if you lack experiences with SEO, or search engine optimization, you can add keywords and phrases that reflect qualifications sought out by the desired company and/or role. On LinkedIn, utilize the summary section to highlight the attributes that separate you from the crowd and support your personal brand image.

Even without coding skills, you can also build an online portfolio. Many software programs offer drag-and-drop options, and I started a blog on Wix before transitioning to WordPress for sharing my passion projects and past, published work.

Prepare for online interviews

Shifting to remote hiring and interviewing, though unexpected and uncomfortable for some, should not hinder you from thorough preparation. As if in-person interviews weren’t stressful enough, we now think about our camera angle and internet connection. If worried about how you look and sound on video, you can do a test run with a trusted friend or family member who would be willing to offer honest feedback.

We also joke about dressing up from the waist up, but you may be surprised about how video cameras pick up color and lighting, even if unflattering. Consider what people wear in your industry and how you wish to present yourself.

Suitably Starter Kit

Master the cold email template

Though intimidating, sending a cold email can help get your foot in the door. Remain wary of sounding professional versus pushy, but don’t be afraid to space out a second or even third follow-up email if you don’t initially hear back.

Check out this article on Suitably for a free, cold-email template.

Learn new skillsets

No one can deny COVID-19’s long-term effects on the skills necessary for the workforce. Many colleges now offer free courses for us to immerse ourselves in.

 


For more advice and resources, check out Suitably and Well Suited.

Quarantine Yogi

Yoga has been practiced around for centuries, and as we stay home, the benefits of this relaxing practice can genuinely lift your spirits. The word “yoga” means “to unite” and refers to the liberation of the body, mind, and spirit coming together through meditation, breathing, and physical movements.


There are many benefits to practicing yoga. YouTube has a variety of videos that can be played from the comfort of your home to follow along and reap these positive feelings. My favorite is Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube; she has many videos to choose from and leads a lovely flow.


Practicing yoga can improve both your physical and mental health as well as calming the nervous system. Through the stretches, your body can release the tension built in the muscles. Yoga also helps increase circulation, enhance digestion, and helps eliminate toxins in your body.


Overall, yoga helps relieve the everyday stress that we all have, and especially during these times of uncertainty, you may find that practicing the meditative form of yoga will help reduce your stress levels. Yoga can be easily adapted to different skill levels and emphasizes the quality of movement rather than quantity. Now is the perfect time to start your journey to self-fulfillment with yoga!

Photo creds: https://www.spiritofchange.org/alternative-health/Yoga-Integrates-The-Mind-Body-And-Spirit-And-Prepares-A-Person-For-Meditation/

Plants are My New Friends

COVID-19 has made going outside an extreme activity. Hugging our family and friends is no longer permitted and staying inside while keeping to ourselves is our only option. However, plants can bring light into this dark time by filling your rooms with life! Buying a plant has never been easier too, with websites like Bloomscape, plants.com, and The Sill. Though these websites may not ship at this time, they are good to know about for future reference!

 

If caring for plants is a worry you have, worry no more. These websites offer the best caring tips and articles relating to the specie of plant you may buy. For example, the Fiddle Leaf Fig has large leaves that will make any home look tropical, and the Monstera has leaves that you won’t want to look away from, with multidimensional angles.

Plants not only provide greenery to an indoor space, but they are a source of responsibility and care. Plants have been found to make you feel better; by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, they support fresh air and eliminate harmful toxins. Studies have also found that plants increase levels of concentration and productivity, boost your mood, and reduce stress levels. In these stressful times, plants provide a connection with nature when we are not allowed to leave our homes. If it is possible to order a plant, I highly recommend doing so.

Unhealthy Health Apps

Younger generations have been experiencing health in a way never encountered before, with the availability of phone apps to quantify exercise and calories. Phone manufacturers like Apple offer health-focused apps to track seemingly every variable in a person’s life. The App Store is also saturated with other software bundles that claim some variation of helping the user lose weight or otherwise maintain good health. The functions range from mileage trackers for runs to detailed nutrition facts on all food intakes, to programs designed to make you get better rest at night. The novelty of your watch telling you to stand up and move around is undoubtedly cool, but is there actual usefulness in this expensive tech?

Photo creds: https://www.apple.com/ios/health/

One type of fitness app that may be unfamiliar to some are sleep trackers. Any insomniac will tell you how much a good night’s rest will impact the coming day, but how much can a high tech sleeping pad really help? It turns out the answer is entirely clear cut. No commercial tracker can directly measure sleep cycles, so they instead rely on data such as movement and heart rate at night. This can often result in the apps not addressing any issues actually disrupting rest. Perhaps technology will improve in the future, but real concerns will still be best answered by a doctor.

 

Many people are aware that what you eat makes as big an impact on your health as physical activity. The availability of calorie tracking apps lets anyone track their food intake. Just add meals and the app will tell you what you can eat for the rest of the day. The problem with this is that users can become obsessed with the idea of calorie counting and then avoid higher calorie healthy foods like avocado or olive oil. Many nutritionists stress that moderate consumption of even less healthy foods is better than eating fifty servings of low calorie foods or drinking a liter of diet soda. Again, it’s best to leave the health advice to doctors for now.

Probably the most commonly used health app are fitness trackers. I personally use my smartwatch to track heart rate and distance on my runs and gym excursions. For the fitness-inclined, these can be lifesavers when developing workout plans or to see when you are pushing yourself too hard. A negative side-effect is how this functionality forces itself into everyday life. Many may find themselves constantly checking how close they are to their step goal for the day just like they would refresh an Instagram feed. Sometimes you can’t address the push notification telling you to be more active if you’re in the middle of a lecture. These apps cultivate a dependence to their data, which may be difficult to break like any other app addiction. The endorphins that come naturally from exercise should not be overshadowed by the chemicals released from seeing that you walked more than average for the day. The concept and goals of fitness are shifting from simple healthiness to constant improvement at any cost, for better or for worse.

Look Good, Feel Good

Look Good, Feel Good

Our bodies are constantly changing; however, they can’t keep up with the rate of the latest fashion trends. Clothes come in and out style as the seasons come and go, but our bodies shouldn’t. I’d rather work on building a body that will last me a lifetime, not a season. Lifestyles shouldn’t be seasonal they should be sustainable. While we are working towards our realistic and time-consuming goals, why not look good doing it? Here are my favorite brands ranked from inexpensive to pricey, and casual to contemporary.

Photo creds: Maddie Costantino

ACTIVEWEAR ON A BUDGET

Do you want to get a workout in without spending tons of money on what you’re about to sweat in? If you don’t feel like wearing your same old extra-large T-shirts, you can shop for activewear without needing to sacrifice your style and look like a fitness guru without spending your entire paycheck. These are some of my favorite cheap cute finds in places you would never think to shop.

| Fabletics | Nordstrom Rack | TJ Max | Forever 21 | Marshalls | Amazon | Target |

STANDARD AND SPORTY

If you are willing to pay an average price for some high-quality athleisure wear, these are the places to go. Sticking to an affordable, but popular brand will leave you feeling comfortable in your skin and confident in your body. Versatility and comfort will have you more than ready to take on your workout.

| Nike | Adidas | Gymshark | Lily Bod | Do You Even | Under Armour |

SWEAT IN STYLE

Bandier is a fashion-forward brand reinventing the way women shop activewear. Their mission states: “ Its high performance, sweat proof, and trendy sets will have you itching to hit the gym. From sweats, to tanks, leggings and puffer jackets, Bandier has it all.

| Bandier |

IN IT TO WIN IT

Now for some of the most chic, lavish, and high-end brands out there…if you are looking for fit inspo this is it. From classic prints, to bold colors, to cutouts, you will be leaving your workout the best dressed. These upscale brands provide you with the most modern and contemporary looks. Every workout piece is sleekly designed, downright trendy, and uniquely extravagant in its own way. The activewear ranges from stylish sneakers, vibrant and radiant sets, to sporty tanks and tees. Whether you are hitting the weights, the treadmill, or the yoga matt, each brand has it all. You can now feel good in what you’re wearing, and look even better!

| Splits59 | Veronica Beard | Alo Yoga | Carbon38 | All Access | Alala | FP Movement | Koral | P.E Nation | Spiritual Gangster | Adam Selman Sport | Beach Riot | Lulu Lemon | Tory Sport |

Sustainable Fashion is Not Just the Latest Trend

Sustainable Fashion is Not Just the Latest Trend

Surprising ways that your choices contribute to the deterioration of our planet and encourage unethical practices.

Every day in the United States, people throw away enough trash to fill 63,000 garbage trucks. More than 15 million tons of textile waste is produced and placed in landfills each year in the United States alone. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2018) The fashion industry is the second largest industry contributing to the destruction of the environment following closely behind the oil industry. 

 

Fast fashion is one of the world’s primary polluters, which has led to a massive movement and interest in creating sustainable apparel and footwear. Producing clothing and footwear has been taking a toll on our environment for decades and finding a way to reverse the effects is a global concern. The task of making quality and fashionable products without further harming the environment, while still propelling the fashion industry has become a challenge. 

Picture Creds: https://wtvox.com/fashion/what-is-sustainable-fashion-a-guide-for-consumers-and-brands/

Especially as college students, we are compelled to purchase the newest on-trend pieces at the lowest prices, so we look to online stores such as Boohoo, PrettyLittleThing, and Forever 21. These companies are banking off of our low-income budgets and are producing these clothes that will not last for our instant gratification. We have to understand that this is not a sustainable lifestyle, and we cannot go on purchasing clothing so quickly without thinking about the process involved and the resources it takes to make these garments. 

 

Little steps to properly carefor your clothes includes following labels to make sure they last (e.g. using cold water when we wash our clothes) and trying to hang dry as many garments as we can. When purchasing new clothes, I think that people should utilize second-hand shopping. Whether it is online or retail stores such as Goodwill, by giving clothes a second life, we can still be happy with a new piece for our closet while also being mindful of the planet. If you are looking for a specific garment and are unsuccessful with this method of shopping, then I think it is essential to be aware of the stores you purchase your clothes from and do research before buying. It is necessary to know how the companies manufacture their clothes, where they do so, and what fibers are used. As consumers, we need to think about our purchasing decisions and if we need these items or if they are to give us joy for a short moment. Clothing is essential, but we cannot destroy the place we call home. 

Picture Creds: https://hubbub.org/p/sustyclub/

Disposable Memories

Disposable Memories

The comeback of disposable cameras and the precious memories they hold

As Instagram has taken over the world, photos have taken a new meaning. Photos are not as unique as they are instantly taken and posted for everyone to see. Disposable cameras are exciting as you build anticipation, waiting to see how your pictures have come out. Fujifilm, a leading brand for disposable cameras, states that it has seen a rapid increase in sales over the past two years. Influencers have been increasingly using these cameras and popularizing this method of photography. History is bound to repeat itself, and as fashion trends re-emerge, so do old technologies. Gen Z and millennials are fascinated by nostalgia seeking the life of what once was and want to take a break from the rapidly developing new technology.

It is crucial to escape the digital world and come back to reality. People can genuinely hold memories and look back to them without looking at a screen. Not only are disposable cameras coming back, but vinyl records, record players, cassette tapes, and Polaroid cameras have also resurfaced. I believe that this trend says a lot about our generation and how people want to connect and live on more than the surface level. Physical connections are lost as the world has become more globalized, and as humans, we are not meant to be naturally isolated. Yes, technology connects us, but I think there is something special about old technology. Companies should try and find ways to combine the old with the new.

We scroll through Instagram and see everyone’s perfect selves, but there is something about the pictures from a disposable camera that are real and capture life’s imperfect moments. People are tired of the fake and want to capture moments more authentically. We are all human, and no one is perfect. With disposable cameras, nostalgia, and essential values make a comeback.  

Picture Creds: UDRESS Inspiration PowerPoint
Inspiration: UDRESS Inspiration PowerPoint

‘Tis the Season to be Healthy

‘Tis the Season to be Healthy

The holiday season is full of food, family, friends, and fun! However, many people struggle with overindulging in food at this time and find it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am here to lend you a helping hand and share my tips with you!

Picture Creds: Madeline Costantino

EAT THE COOKIE!

The holiday season is a time to be celebrated with your family and friends. Don’t ruin your fun by restricting yourself of sweet treats and yummy dinners. Eat what you want in moderation! Don’t overindulge, be aware of your choices.  You don’t want to feel like you have missed out, but you don’t want to feel like you have indulged in something that wasn’t worth it.

STAY HYDRATED!

Water delivers important nutrients to all of our cells and is crucial for our body. When you don’t drink enough water, your body tends to retain more of it, causing you to feel bloated and hungrier. Water helps you feel full longer without adding any additional calories. Most times you aren’t hungry probably. In reality, you may be just dehydrated.

GRAB A BUDDY AND WERK!

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year with the people you love. Why not get a sweat in together?! Partner workouts are a great way to hold each other accountable and stay in shape during this time. Plan your workout regimen around your holiday agenda and shorten the routine if need be. It can be done at home and still be quick and effective. Then, later on you can cuddle up and sip on hot cocoa by the fire, with the satisfaction of a finished workout.

LOVE YOURSELF!

Self-care is essential at all times, especially around the holiday season. Make time for yourself to relax and release all that stress. It is a busy time of the year, from catching up with old friends, to running around shopping for gifts in a hectic mall, to last minute cooking and more. Take a moment to breathe and unwind. Try out a yoga class, meditate in your room, read a book, or take a hot bath. Treat yourself and someone you love to a couple’s massage as an early Christmas gift, or have a spa day with your mom or friend! These are amazing ideas to help keep your cortisol levels low and limit stress.

SUBSTITUTE!

There are plenty of healthy options you can substitute during the holidays. Ditch the sugary alcoholic beverages and chasers. Alcohol is full of empty calories, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a glass of wine or a night out at the bar. Stick to plain old vodka and a seltzer as a chaser, which are low in calories and don’t have much sugar. Food wise, try substituting eggs, bananas, and chocolate protein powders in your baking recipes, instead of baking soda and other sugary ingredients. However, when you make healthier choices, watch out for additives when catering food! Most places overdo it on the dressing, so ask for it on the side or water it down yourself. Forget the extra salt, dips, and sauces. Create your own healthy dressings and homemade dips. With that, whole grain and multigrain chips are the best way to keep it somewhat healthy and tasty at the same time.

REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN!

The holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. Go out with your friends and family, eat the foods you want, and dance your way through the night. “Life happens quickly, and before you know it mid-November will become New Year’s Day. Don’t let those moments of magic and joy during the holidays slip by!”

One Sip at a Time…

One Sip at a Time…

As John Maxwell said, “[s]uccess comes to those who have an entire mountain of gold that they continually mine, not those who find one nugget and try to live on it for fifty years”. Everyone in the world wants to achieve their best self, physically, mentally and financially, but no one wants to put in the work. Not everyone is willing to deal with the dedication, patience, and failures that come with success. You can’t build all that you desire without consistency and discipline. Everyone wants but no one is willing to give. Give up your time, give up your excuses, and give up your doubts that are blocking you from your dreams. This process is also implemented in fitness, starting with the small steps that lead you to create a happy and healthy lifestyle.

 

 

If you want to get in shape or simply achieve something you see as unattainable, I am going to help you put these plans into action. It’s combining all of your tiny consistent efforts that define your results both in and outside of the gym. Nothing you do should come easy. It will be hard, but that is why you take it one step at a time. Start drinking more water, one sip at a time. Start choosing healthier foods, one bite at a time. Start exercising more, one movement at a time. Start living more, one smile at a time. Take it slow and steady, one step at a time.

 

Picture Creds: Madeline Costantino

Strive to constantly move forward; however, know you’re going to have failures along the way and be willing to accept them. When you fall one step back, take two steps forward. Know you will have days that you feel you ruined all your progress. That is when you should take a step back and breathe. They are just cookies, it’s just one bad grade, it’s just one mean comment on Facebook, it’s just a slice of pizza and one missed day at the gym. NONE OF THESE THINGS DEFINE YOU! Calories, grades, and comments are just numbers – same goes for the number on the scale. What defines you is your heart, your happiness, and who you are as a person on the inside. What defines you is when you keep moving forward after you fail. Failing and falling apart is one of the best things in life. Fall as many times as you can because the more times you fall, the more opportunities you are given to get back up and bounce back stronger and smarter than ever.

Picture Creds: Madeline Costantino

It’s all mental. You must know you will have days you want to quit. Don’t. This isn’t just about weight loss or fitness goals. This goes with everything in life. We all want it 1,2,3 and done tomorrow, but that’s not how it works. Consistency, patience, and hard work are needed in every aspect of our life. You can’t achieve your dream job or body without constantly chipping away at your goals. You need these tools and qualities to be successful. You have to start somewhere, so start now. Cut out the excuses. Don’t wait for it. GO FOR IT! “If you wait until you feel like doing something, you will never likely accomplish it”, John Maxwell declared. Engage in the process of action one step at a time and I guarantee you will be successful.

Picture Creds: Madeline Costantino

The Harmful Effects of Blue Light and the New Accessory That Can Help​

The Harmful Effects of Blue Light and the New Accessory That Can Help​

In today’s technical age, everyone is constantly glued to their phones, from the moment they wake up to when they close their eyes to go to sleep. I, myself, am guilty of going to bed holding my phone while watching a show on Netflix or a video on YouTube. Although it may seem like the only issue with this is your empty iPhone battery, looking at your phone immediately before bed is actually bad for your eyes. For years, scientists have warned against looking at screens before bed, and the reason for this is that blue light is emitted from these screens.

Blue light is a certain type of visible light found all around us. With the rise of technology and the use of screen such as those in televisions, iPhones, and computers, our exposure to blue light has increased immensely. People might wonder, if blue light is found naturally all around us, why is it so bad? When people are constantly looking at their screens, their eyes are being constantly exposed to light that our retinas aren’t capable of handling. Long-term exposure can also lead to issues such as eye strain and retina damage.

One of the biggest issues that people are finding for blue light is how it is detrimental for your sleep. It has been scientifically tested that blue light keeps people alert while also slowing down your body’s creation of melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates your sleep. As college students, it is crucial for us to be getting enough sleep. When we are running around to class and spending long hours in the library, we need to balance it with good rest or else you can burn yourself out. Getting enough sleep isn’t only important for you physically, but mentally, and if you don’t rest your body properly it could make you more exposed to sicknesses. This is why doctors don’t suggest the use of phones at night, and although this may be difficult for college students who study right before bed, we should all begin the practice of separating from our technology when it’s time to get some rest.

Picture Creds: http://briabella.com/the-quay-australia-blue-light-glasses-magnetic-clear/

With the rise of this information on blue light, eye glass companies are stepping up with a new invention: blue light lenses. Companies such as Warby Parker and Zenni Optical have begun production of glasses with special lenses that help protect your eyes from blue light. These lenses are a great buy for anyone stretching from college students to children to people in the work force. This day in age, everyone is looking at screens, and with the purchase of these glasses you can maintain your eye health and protect yourself from the harmful rays of your iPhone. An added plus to these glasses is the array of styles they come in; unlike the readers found in shops like CVS or Walgreens, these lenses can be put into various styles and colors, so you can find the ones that fit you best. The production of these glasses is spreading, so if you don’t find a pair you like on one website, scour the web for other companies, and there’s a good chance you’ll find ones you love. Not only will you be protecting your eyes, but you’ll be doing it with style.

Picture Creds: https://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/israel-news/1319606/screens-blame-haifa-u-study-blue-light-emitted-screens-damages-sleep.html