A DAY IN THE LIFE: CDU

So I realized that I haven’t done one of these posts in a long time and wanted to share a new day since I switched rotations. For my second rotation as a psychology resident, I completed training on the Chemical Dependency Unit and worked with women struggling with substance abuse. Working in substance abuse can be such a rewarding experience, but also completely exhausting at the same time.

6:30am: I crawl out of bed after hitting the SNOOZE button for the umpteenth time and hop in the shower.

7:45am: I make it to work with a little time to spare to check my email.

8:00am: I head downstairs for morning meeting. During this time, we learn about anything major that happened on the unit the night before (e.g. discharges, illnesses, interpersonal issues between patients (this comes up a lot)). This is also an opportunity for the treatment team to discuss important things that are happening that day or that are coming up within the week. If there are any new admissions on the unit, the  team has an opportunity to meet the new patient’s during this time as well.

9:00am: I co-facilitate my first group of the day which focuses on helping my patients to work through the 12-step program.

11:00am:  I’ll meet with one of my patient’s for individual therapy and help her work through some tough issues!

12:00pm: Lunch time. I stuff my face with carbs and power up on coffee before heading into my afternoon groups (therapy can take a lot out of you).

1:30pm: I co-facilitate my second group of the day which focuses on trauma and healing.

3:00pm: I co-facilitate my last group of the day which is a psycho-educational class that teaches our patient’s about Dialectical Behavior Therapy and how to implement some of the core components in their lives.

4:00pm: I meet with another patient for individual therapy – we decide to take a walk in the nice spring weather as we have our session.

4:50pm: I rush back to my office to write my progress notes before heading out for the day.

5:30pm: I make it home and change into my workout clothes and head to yoga class.

7:45pm: Yoga was awesome! I grab a quick bite to eat before heading home and getting lost in reality TV.

9:30pm: After a quick shower, I climb in bed and watch Netflix until I fall asleep.

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HEALTHY HAIR 2017

Hi Friends!

One of my goals for 2017 was to start taking better care of my hair. I wanted to challenge myself to create a healthy hair care regimen and to see how long I can grow my hair. Another part of healthy hair is maintaining a healthy diet. I am also working on this by trying to incorporate more exercise and eating healthier options. Some days are easier than others :).

Since going natural, I’ve been able to experiment with different products and hair care lines. I’ve learned what works best for my hair and what products are easier to integrate with others. I’ve been using the Shea Moisture line since Tressemme Naturals is no longer made. Recently, I had a product haul and purchased some conditioner, creams, oils, and a microfiber towel.

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My main focus of attention is keep my hair as moisturized as possible. Moisture is essential for maintaing the health of your hair and for helping it grow. To help with moisture retention, I’m using the LOC method.

LOC stands for Leave-in (conditioner), Oil (of your choice), and Cream (of your choice). Every morning I wet my hair with a spray bottle of water, apply my leave-in conditioner, an oil (usually coconut), and a cream. In that order! It’s pretty simple and it helps to maintain moisture throughout the day. Especially in the heat and dry air!

My hair care regimen looks like this:

SUNDAY: scalp massage (with oil); deep condition under the hair dryer; moisturize using LOC method

I co-wash and detangle my hair 3x a month and on the last Sunday of the month I use shampoo. I actually just started back using shampoo because I realized I was using it too often and it would leave my hair very dry and my scalp would become irritated. Now I use the Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil shampoo – but to limit dryness, breakage, and scalp irritation, I only use the shampoo once a month. Also, scalp massages are great for stimulating hair growth. And they feel really good too!

MONDAY: re-moisturize using LOC method

TUESDAY: re-moisturize using LOC method

WEDNESDAY: rinse with water, re-moisturize using LOC method

On wednesdays I wet my hair in the shower and just let the water run through to help add moisture during the mid-week!

THURSDAY: re-moisturize using LOC method

FRIDAY: re-moisturize using LOC method

SATURDAY: re-moisturize using LOC method

And there you have it folks!

What do you do to maintain healthy hair? What products do you like? Leave your comments below!

Until next time!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Hello Friends!

I’ve missed you all dearly! I hope you had a wonderful and restful holiday season and are ready to start the new year! I have been incredibly busy juggling a lot of balls in the air, which is why I haven’t posted in a while. I’m hoping that in 2017, I can learn to manage my time a lot better so that I can fit in all of the things that I enjoy doing, like blogging.

Just to catch you up to speed, I am currently in the midst of applying to various postdoctoral fellowships, I’ve started a new rotation on internship, and I’m ironing out my goals for the new year (which includes weekly blog posts)!

Stay tuned because I have so much in store for us this year!!!

 

DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PSYCHOLOGY INTERN

Internship typically occurs during your very last year of doctoral training. As a psychology intern your day is often busy and can vary from seeing clients/patients all day to sitting in conferences/seminars or conducting research. Your role as an intern often depends on the site/setting in which you work. Some psychology interns can be found in correctional settings, schools, private practices, or hospitals. I’m doing my internship at a large inpatient hospital where many of the patients are suffering from severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. The great thing about my internship is that I get to do various rotations within the hospital. This allows me to see many different types of patients and gives me a chance to learn and interact with people who suffer from mental illness at various stages (i.e. acute vs severe).

For my first rotation I decided to work on the forensic unit. This unit houses patients who suffer from a severe mental illness and have been involved in the legal system in some way.

So, here is a typical day in the life of a psychology intern on the forensic unit!

4am – I’m annoyed at the sound of my alarm going off and quickly reach to hit the snooze button.

4:30am – I finally decide to pull myself out of bed and throw on some clothes to head to the gym.

5am – I make it to the gym and complete a full body workout that incorporates cardio, weightlifting, and a big word called “metabolic conditioning.” (yay for Crossfit!)

6:30am – I make it back home and hop into the shower. After showering, I run around my apartment looking for something to wear, do my hair, grab my lunch and a quick breakfast to go.

8am – I make it to work and quickly settle into my office and get ready for the daily morning meeting. The morning meeting is when all of the disciplines get together (nursing, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, mental health technicians, administration, etc..) to hear a report on how the previous night shift went. We learn about which patients are on restriction, if any there were any emergencies, and what to expect for the upcoming day.

9am – The team comes together for an evaluation. Depending on our census, this can be an outpatient evaluation or we can be gearing up for an admission. Either way, everything starts with a clinical presentation. This is when everyone gets together to hear a report regarding the presenting patient’s history. Depending on how many mental health contacts the person has had, this presentation can last anywhere from one to three hours!

12pm – The presentation was pretty lengthy and took us all the way to lunch. I head back to my office, gobble down a salad and check my email. Before I know it, it’s 1pm and it’s time for the team to get together to interview our patient.

1pm – The patient is brought in and everyone on the team introduces themselves and their role. The lead clinician on the case is the one who is mostly responsible for interviewing the patient. The interview consists of asking the patient various questions regarding their background (i.e. family, medical, school) and their mental health history. Sometimes, patients may be extremely sick (read: grossly disorganized and having trouble maintaining a conversation) so the interview may be cut short. Other times, the patient can be lucid and able to carry on a conversation and remember pertinent parts of their past. It all depends.

3:30pm – The interview is over and now it’s time for group! The group that I co-lead is a competency restoration group for patients who were deemed incompetent to stand trial. In a nutshell, this means that due to a patient’s mental illness (or intellectual dysfunction) they are having trouble understanding the legal system and assisting their attorney in their case. When that happens, people are usually committed to a hospital to receive treatment before heading back to court. The competency restoration group is designed to teach patients all about the courtroom process (i.e. what does a judge do?, who decides a verdict?, what is a plea bargain?) so that they are better prepared to aid in their own defense and assist their attorney once they return to court.

4:30pm – Once group is over, I head back to my office to tie up any loose ends before leaving for the day.

6pm – I make it home and change into more comfy clothes. I start dinner (tonight is jambalaya and asparagus) and tidy up the apartment.

7pm – I watch my favorite reality shows and fart around on the computer until my eyelids get heavy.

9pm – I climb into bed and watch Netflix until I fall asleep.

So there you have it, a typical day for me on the forensic ward. Everyday is truly different and I never know what to expect, which is one of the main reasons why I love this field so much. Other days are a little more relaxed and allow me time to read or work on research.

Path to Psy.D.

Graduate school can look very different depending on your school or what subject you are studying. I thought it would be a good idea to share with you the timeline of becoming a psychologist. When I first started applying to programs I was obsessed with reading the various curriculum at different schools. I was so excited to learn about what classes I would be taking (nerd alert!) and when I would start my practicum. Every program and school is different, so I can only speak to the curriculum at my school. Basically, you spend the first 3 years balancing classwork and externships and your last year at a paid internship! Four years may sound like an eternity…but trust me, it goes by very fast!


YEAR 1

Your first year is probably your easiest year. Although, it may not seem like it. This is the year you spend “getting your feet wet” and taking a bunch of foundational courses in psychology. You learn about the various types of psychiatric illnesses, the many types of psychological theories, how to interview clients/patients, and you start taking psychological assessment courses. By the end of your first year, you’re ready to start your first practicum in the population of your choice! Every program is different…at my school, we were required to apply to various sites and interview with them. At other schools, students are placed directly into a practicum and do not have the option to pick. Each route has its own pros/cons.

During your first year – coffee becomes your best friend.

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YEAR 2

Year 2 is undoubtedly your hardest year! You’re starting to work with clients/patients for the first time and honing your psychological assessment skills, while still balancing 18-20 credits in the classroom (per semester). This is definitely a writing intensive year! For me, year 2 involved taking stats classes (yuck!), learning about group and individual therapy, and picking my dissertation topic! Regarding externship, my program separates them so that students can maximize their skills. During your second year you do a diagnostic practicum where you spend your time conducting psychological assessments and writing reports.

Side note: this photo is from my third year; however, it gives a pretty accurate picture of how your time is spread out across various activities both within and outside of the classroom.

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YEAR 3

Your third year is a little more “slowed down” (if that’s even possible) but can still be intense. This is the year where you start your therapy practicum and spend the majority of your time learning about and conducting individual/group therapy. I remember feeling as though I had finally settled into graduate school and was learning a lot about myself personally and professionally. This can be a fun, but also scary process for some people. The exciting thing about third year is that you finally get to start taking electives! One of my favorite electives was a class on hostage negotiations!

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YEAR 4

For some people, fourth year may be the start of your clinical internship (which is when you finally start making money!). For many others, including myself, fourth year was a year to gain more clinical experience before applying for internship (which can be insanely competitive!). In addition, this year can also be spent on finishing your dissertation.

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YEAR 5 (optional)

You are finally done with “school!” In the traditional sense that is. There is still a lot of learning to be done, but, you don’t have to worry about sitting in a classroom. Internship is the finally step before graduation and is the most exciting because it’s an actual job where you get paid! This is the time where you hone your skills as an emerging clinical psychologist and get to do things a little more independently (while still being supervised).

After internship and graduation, many clinicians decided to do an additional year of training referred to as a postdoctoral fellowship. A fellowship allows many people to specialize in one particular area (if they choose to do so) of psychology such as, neuropsychology, health psychology, forensic psychology, or child/adolescent psychology. After graduation, you’ll spend time studying for the licensing exam. After successfully passing, you can apply and accept your first job as a Clinical Psychologist!

MY FAVORITE PODCASTS

Since being introduced to the podcast world, they’re pretty much all I listen to. They especially come in handy when I’m traveling long distances. So, without further ado here are my favorite podcasts!

 

 

the read

Hand’s down, no competition! The Read is by far my FAVORITE podcast. Kid Fury and Crissle keep me laughing for an entire hour (sometimes more if we’re lucky)! The awesome duo tackle everyday issues from annoying celebrity drama to real world problems facing the Black and LGBTQIA communities. I get my doses of tea, shade, and education all in one! If you love vulgar language and laughing with friends, give them a listen! My favorite episode (too many to name, but I’ll give you a slice): Smell & Taste

serial

Who doesn’t love Serial? A friend introduced me to the podcast shortly after they became popular during their season 1 story featuring Adnan Syed. I’ve been hooked ever since! There’s something about the way Sarah Koenig walks the audience through the story as it unfolds that makes it truly authentic. Sometimes I get goosebumps when I listen. My favorite episode (you definitely have to start from the beginning): The Alibi

undisclosed

I discovered Undisclsoed shortly after I became OBSESSED with Adnan’s story. I’ve learned so much about the criminal justice system through Rabia, Susan, and Colin, and it makes my own professional research that much more important! My favorite episode: ALL OF THEM!

 

thisamericanlife

An oldie but a goodie! This American Life has been around for years and is most likely the Godfather of all podcasts. I love hearing stories from everyday strangers. My favorite episode: The Problem We All Live With Part 1.

 

 

anotherround

I love how effortlessly Heben and Tracy mix comedy with topics that actually matter (i.e. feminism, racism, and any other ‘ism you feel like inserting). And, it also doesn’t hurt that every episode includes alcohol (hence the title)! My favorite episode: Episode 25 – Stop Telling Women To Smile

Applying to Graduate School

Since this blog is geared toward students in psychology – that is the perspective from which I will be writing.

Research, Research, Research!!!!!

Applying to graduate school is definitely a stressful process, but, it’s not impossible. My best advice is to RESEARCH! Research various programs, research various schools, and research the various types of populations in which you are interested in working. This will help you to make an informed decision about which program and school is right for you. Also, it definitely helps to talk to people who are in the field you are trying to pursue or who are already in graduate school. Having people explain their own process beforehand can help to dispel rumors and decrease some of the anxiety you might be feeling.

First and foremost it is vital that you know what type of program you want to enter. This can be a master’s program, which will typically grant a Master of Arts degree in psychology (others may award a Master of Science), or a doctoral program which may grant a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD – more traditional) or a Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD).

Many people enter graduate school without knowing what type of work or population they want to do. Which is completely normal! However, you should have some understanding because this can save you a lot of money on the backend. For example, if you want to work with children you may not necessarily need a doctorate degree to do so. You can do the same type of work with a MA and save yourself a lot of money in loans! However, if you want to do psychological assessment, you will definitely need a doctoral degree! If you are interested in a more research oriented career, then a PhD program may be more suitable. However, if you want to spend more time on practical skills such as therapy and psychological assessment, then a PsyD program may be more appropriate for you.

Also, check your states licensure requirements. Many states require that you take certain classes in order to become licensed so you want to be sure that the program you are applying to has those classes listed in their curriculum. If you plan to practice in the state in which you live, most likely the course curriculum will be aligned for licensure in that state. However, if you plan on moving to work in a different state, be sure to check that state’s licensing requirements.

Now that we got some of the basics out of the way we can focus on the actual application.

Application – Fee

Every application starts with the written application and the fee.

Resume – Curriculum Vitae

These are two different types of documents. Make sure you double check to see what is required for the application you are submitting. Resumes tend to be more career focused,whereas CVs tend to focus more on academic achievements. There are plenty of resources on the internet that can help you with formatting. It also doesn’t hurt to have someone proofread your document.

Essay – Personal Statement

Perhaps one of the most important pieces to the application. This allows the admissions committee to get to know the type of person and student you are and what you can bring to their program. Usually, the essay will be a personal statement that will prompt you to tell the committee about yourself. Or, you may be required to answer a specific question such as, “Why are you interested in this field or program?”Your essay may go through several drafts before it is ready to be submitted. As stated before, it doesn’t hurt to have someone proofread your document.

Transcripts

I feel like this goes without saying but you definitely want to make sure that your undergraduate grades reflect a good academic standing. While programs will look at the entirety of your application, having a lower GPA may not reflect as well as another prospective applicant with a higher GPA.

Letters of Recommendation

Similar to the personal statement, letters of recommendation allow the admissions committee to learn about you through the perspective of someone who has taught or worked closely with you. Choose your letter writers carefully (I’ve heard some horror stories)! Pick someone with whom you have a positive relationship (trust me, not everyone does this), someone you’ve worked with or alongside for several months, someone who knows you on an academic and personal level, and someone who can contribute meaningfully to your graduate school journey. Think of someone that you would like to stay in contact with over the course of your academic career. Someone that would enjoy receiving updates about your progress and your journey to becoming a psychologist – this is your letter writer!

GRE scores

Some people may do a review course. I just bought the workbook and the huge stack of vocabulary cards and studied on my own for the entire summer. I probably did more not studying than actual studying. But, I made a decent score. I’ve taken so many standardized tests that I honestly don’t remember my score for the GRE. It wasn’t super high, but it wasn’t low either. I scored just what I needed to make my applications strong.

Previous coursework

Most programs may require that you have taken certain courses in undergrad. If you majored in psychology you’ve probably already completed the required courses. If not, you may want to take an Intro to Psychology course and an Abnormal Psychology course. Programs will have the required courses listed on their application requirements.

PhD program versus PsyD program

Earlier I spoke about some of the differences between the PhD and the PsyD. Their application process is also a little different. Mainly, for PhD programs in psychology you are applying to a research laboratory. Most of your time as a student will be spent conducting research while also taking courses on the side. As a PsyD applicant you are applying directly to the school/program of your choice. PhD programs tend to be extremely competitive mostly because the research lab in which you are applying will be paying for your education. Thus, they tend to only have a few spots open each year – some not at all. That’s why it’s super important to research as many programs as you can. On the other hand, PsyD programs tend to have more openings for prospective students, but tend to be more costly.

In a nutshell, there is something out there for everyone!

Five Days Of Fitness

I’ve had a pretty eventful week and I thought I would share some of it with you. I managed to work out 5 WHOLE DAYS this week – sometimes even TWICE a day! And trust me, that’s a record!!

 

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*My 4am face – trying to convince myself that waking up this early is completely normal!

TUESDAY – C25K

Tuesday consisted of starting back on C25K. For those not familiar, C25K stands for “Couch to 5K.” It’s an app that works to move you from couch potato (someone who doesn’t run or runs very little) to running 3 miles. Yup! 3 whole miles. I started the app last summer, but, like most diets and fitness routines, I stopped being consistent and soon dropped it all together. I decided to start it again this summer as an addition to the new fitness routine I’m starting. I figured if I mixed up my routine and focused on a variety of different things I would be less likely to get bored and more likely to actually finish something. On Tuesday I ran a little over 1 mile after not running at all since September! I felt pretty good about that!

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WEDNESDAY – CROSSFIT/YOGA

Wednesday consisted of 2 activities (go me)! I started the day with a morning CrossFit class. I was able to meet my coach and learn some of the different moves and techniques. In the afternoon I tried a Vinyasa yoga class (which was very hard for a beginner). By the end of the day I was exhausted (and sore!) but felt really good about having pushed myself to try new fitness activities.

THURSDAY – C25K/YOGA

Third day and a little sore! Okay, a lot sore! I was starting to feel the effects of yesterdays workout HARD! Running was a little harder because it was SO HOT! But, I was able to finish day 2 of my app and still had some energy left for my evening yoga class. Luckily, the yoga class (which was candlelight!) did a great job of stretching me out. A nice long hot shower and I was ready for bed!

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FRIDAY – CROSSFIT

I had a great workout in the am! Even better, I realized that after the workout I wasn’t completely exhausted or depleted of energy. I didn’t get much sleep the night before – I think I was a little excited/anxious for the morning class. But. Even with little sleep I woke up with a good amount of energy. I still had enough motivation to head to the gym (which is totally unlike me!) Looks like my body is getting used to this new routine!

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*I have no idea why my mouth is open (ugh!)

SATURDAY – REST DAY!

SUNDAY – C25K/YOGA

Since taking a break to rest on Saturday I woke up Sunday with an actual urge to workout! (which is extremely weird! – I think I’m turning into one of “those” people!) I had originally planned to wake up early and go running but decided to sleep in a little. I kept feeling guilty about not running as early as I had planned and knew that if I didn’t run I would feel really bad about it all day. So – I got my lazy butt up and went for a run. In the afternoon I took a beginner’s yoga class. I liked this class a lot because the moves and poses were actually explained to us. And, the class went a little slower than the more advanced class that I tried before. It made me understand the poses from the 2 previous classes and I didn’t feel like a complete dork if I messed up or couldn’t get into a certain pose. This class was definitely a great start to my week!

What Is Forensic Psychology?

I get this question a lot and it’s usually followed by, “Oh, like CSI!”

Many people confuse the field of Forensic Psychology with Forensic Science. Let me be the first to tell you…they are not the same!

For those of you considering a career in Forensic Psychology, it is important to know the differences. Broadly, Forensic Psychology deals with the application of psychological science to aspects of the legal system. More specifically, we help the court to understand various psychological matters (such as, mental illness, a person’s ability to give consent, is an individual equipped to be an effective parent) and their role within a particular legal case.

Forensic Psychology can be applied to civil and criminal proceedings (which tends to be the most popular realm), involve special populations (like juveniles or sex offenders), and allows psychologists to serve as expert witnesses in court. Forensic psychologists can be found in private practice, working in psychiatric hospitals or correctional facilities, on college campuses or even within business corporations. One of the best things about this field is that there are a vast amount of sectors and populations within which a person can work. You can never get bored!

As a Forensic Psychologist you will mostly conduct psychological and/or forensic-oriented assessments for court and provide treatment in the form of therapy (individual or group).

Civil Proceedings: In civil court (unlike criminal court), claims are usually brought upon by an individual person, group of people, or corporation against another person or group of people. (Think: Judge Judy). In civil courts forensic psychologists are useful for personal injury or child custody evaluations to name a few. In personal injury cases, the psychologist may be retained to evaluate the person who has been harmed (usually physically – like in an auto accident) and claims a mental health injury (i.e.suffering from PTSD or depression after being hit by a truck).

In a child custody evaluation (which can get pretty dramatic and messy!) the psychologist may be retained to evaluate one or both parents to determine who is the “better” fit to raise the child or children. In this example, the role of the forensic psychologist is to help the court to have a better understanding of the individual as a whole and any psychological problems that may be present. And, if there are psychological problems present, will they be a hinderance to raising the child or children in question.

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Criminal Proceedings: In criminal court, claims are usually brought upon by the state or the federal government and usually end with the defendant serving time in jail or prison (Think: Adnan Syed v. The State of Maryland). In criminal court, forensic psychologists are usually retained (by either defense or prosecution) to evaluate defendants. The two most popular evaluations are Competency to Stand Trial (CST) evals and Criminal Responsibility (Insanity) evals.

To put it simply, for each type of evaluation, there are certain state “rules” that must be considered when evaluating the person and each state differs on the types of “rules” that defendants must meet in order to qualify. CST evaluations help the court to determine if a defendant has an ability to aid in their own defense and consult with their lawyer. Someone who suffers from a serious psychological disability may have trouble answering certain questions about their case or may be unable to hold a conversation with their attorney. If this is true, the person must be psychiatrically treated and stable before they can proceed in court.

In insanity evaluations, the court is trying to determine if an individual was of “sound mind and body” when they committed a particular crime or if they were suffering from a serious mental disorder at the time that the crime was committed. Just like civil proceedings, the role of the psychologist is to help the court to understand the defendant and any psychological issues that may be at play.

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Forensic psychology also deals with special populations such as juvenile offenders and sex offenders. In addition, some forensic psychologists are trained to conduct specialized evaluations such as threat assessments and Fitness for Duty evaluations.

juveniles

 

This is just a small taste of the field of Forensic Psychology. There are many other roles and opportunities available. I’ll be exploring other aspects of the field in future posts!

My Beauty Regimen

Happy Monday Folks!

With the weather heating up I thought today would be a great time to talk about maintaining healthy skin. During graduate school my stress would mostly manifest through skin breakouts! I could go from clear skin to a face full of breakouts in a matter of days. While I am definitely not a dermatologist, over the years I’ve learned which products work best for my skin and perhaps you can find some tools that may be useful for you as well.

calrisonic

I think all beauty regimens should include a deep cleansing tool of some sort. My Clarisonic works wonders for me! It provides 2 minutes worth of high pulsating  exfoliation for my face. It’s also great for removing makeup! I’ve been using this product for a while and I’ve noticed a reduction in the number of breakouts that I get – even during high stress periods in school. Even better: I was able to order the Clarisonic in my favorite color and get it engraved with my name!

 

face wash

The Deep Action Exfoliating Scrub from Clean & Clear has been a staple of mine for many years – even before I started using the Clarisonic. It has a minty smell to it and provides a soft tingling sensation when used on your skin. I love the small beads because it gives my skin a deep scrub and helps to remove all of the dirt and oil that has accumulated. I tend to use the exfoliating scrub and the Clarisonic together for maximum cleansing!

face wipes

Face wipes are a girl’s best friend! I love facial wipes because they can be used at anytime during the day and are small enough to pack in a bag or a purse. I have always had super oily skin so I use facial wipes during the day to help remove excess oil from my face. These are also good for removing makeup. I also like wipes because they are quick and do not leave my face feeling super dry after using them.

fade cream

I also love the Fade Cream by Ambi! I struggled with acne (like most teens) growing up and as a result I have small dark circles on my lower cheeks. I use the fade cream to help even out my skin tone and to lighten the dark spots. The fade cream also works for new blemishes! If I see a pimple forming I can use the fade cream on it and by morning, the pimple is gone! This stuff is the bomb.com!

For those of you looking to try out new products I would definitely recommend these. I have been using the same products for years and they have worked pretty well for my skin. In addition to drinking lots of water (I hear lemon is helpful for acne) using these tools has helped me to maintain pretty healthy skin.

WEDNESDAY WELLNESS!

Happy Wednesday Folks! Today is the first post in my Wednesday Wellness Series! These posts will feature content related to helping you maintain your sanity, especially in graduate school!

LIFE HACKS FOR MAINTAINING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

  • CONNECT WITH LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE

Perhaps one of the best things about starting graduate school is having the opportunity to surround yourself with people who are just as passionate about your field as you are. Like-minded people help to encourage, motivate, and even challenge you to do things that you may have previously thought were impossible. Surrounding yourself with people who share your same interests helps to build and maintain positive and professional networks, in addition to bringing great benefits and rewards.

  • KNOW WHEN TO SAY NO

Graduate school is stressful! There is no doubt about this! Knowing your own limits and knowing when to say “no” will save you a lot of anxiety, worry, and headaches. Grad school can get insanely competitive. Some people feel the need to have the best grades, and the top research, and the most clinical hours when compared to the rest of their peers. It can be very intimidating and you may feel the need to do everything that everyone else is doing in order to keep up (trust me: these people don’t matter). However, is all of this really worth your own mental health? How useful can you be to clients and colleagues if you are stressed, burnt out, and highly anxious because you have too many projects going on at once? Always remember: there are MANY opportunites in grad school. Saying no to one thing to focus on yourself is not the end of the world. A new opportunity will present itself very soon.

  • STAY IN THE PRESENT

This is something that I struggled with a lot during the beginning of my academic career, and also something that I am still learning to manage. I am a future-oriented person by nature. I am always thinking weeks, months, and even years in advance. I am always setting various goals for myself. However, graduate school flies by! It may not seem like it, but it does. Just as undergrad and highschool flew by. While you may have different goals for yourself, it is also important to enjoy being a student and to enjoy the process of learning and growing. Not many people will have the opportunity to study and work in your field. But, you do! Don’t take that privilege lightly.

  • IT’S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP 

This can include former and current professors, family members, friends, and even a therapist. Yes, therapists have therapists too! Knowing your limits and being able to reach out for help when you’re stressed is crucial in grad school. No one makes it through alone! Perhaps the most surprising thing during my graduate school journey was finding myself stressed about things that did not phase me in undergrad. This included giving presentations, having  a ton of chapters to read in a super short amount of time, or even having several papers to write over a weekend. Graduate school is an entirely different animal and you may find yourself surprised by things you can and cannot handle on your own. So, never be afraid to reach out for assistance!

  • ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF 

I cannot stress this enough, SELF-CARE IS VERY IMPORTANT! Especially in graduate school and even more crucial when you enter the professional field. As psychologists, we often put ourselves after our clients/patients, family, and even friends. As helpers we are used to caring for another person’s needs before we tend to our own. However, this can quickly become detrimental and lead to burnout no matter what field or population you work in. Self-care can include exercising on a regular basis, journaling, yoga, daily meditation, and my all-time favorite, sleeping! Whatever your vice, be sure to incorporate some daily self-care. Yes, this can be difficult when life gets the better of us and we become busy in our daily routines. But, your mental health will thank you for it!