HOW TO TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT EATING DISORDERS

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is upon us, and sadly, some of our vinas may suffer from an eating disorder or have suffered in the past. If you suspect your vina has developed an unhealthy relationship with food, knowing how to talk to them about it can be really hard. Luckily, we compiled some conversation tips to help you become the most supportive friend you can be!

DON’T ACCUSE, SUPPORT

When you’re worried about a vina’s health, sometimes the go to reaction is trying to make them see that they have a problem. Although you may be badgering them out of love and fear, they will more often than not see it as an attack and either shut down or turn nasty. Creating a safe space within your relationship is vital. Starting with something like, “Let me know if you ever want to talk,” is a great way to let them know that you will be there for them when they need you.

OBSERVE, DON’T STATE

“It seems like you’re feeling anxious right now,” or, “I’m noticing you haven’t been nourishing yourself recently, do you want to talk about it?” is a better approach than “You’re obviously anxious about eating that,” or “Why didn’t you eat lunch?” Avoid accusatory language that could make your friend defensive or scared.

NEVER TALK TO THEM ABOUT FOOD OR EXERCISE WHILE THEY ARE EATING

Their eating disorder is the most active when food is around. Take the conversationa way from food or exercise to avoid triggering your vina.

RESEARCH TREATMENT OPTIONS

One of the hardest things about having a friend who is suffering from an eating disorder is making the decision whether or not to intervene. First, offer unconditional support and a space to talk. Later, if you feel your friend is really in need of professional help, research treatment facilities that are convenient and preferably work with their insurance. Print out lists and leave pamphlets on their bed or desk. This may seem passive, but it works better than verbal confrontation. A lot of the time the eating disorder flares up when confronted or threatened, but usually there is a deep authentic desire to get better, and you may catch your friend at a time when they are aware of their suffering.
The most important thing to keep in mind about breaching the subject of an eating disorder with your friend is to be an ally to their healthy selves. Don’t attack the eating disorder, rather, be a resource for the part of them that wants to be healthy. They are suffering, and all they really need is a vina to listen. 
Learn more about NEDA here.

THINGS WE ALWAYS FORGET TO THANK OUR BESTIE FOR

After a while, a bestie can start to feel like an extension of yourself. You don’t thank your right hand for being a hand, do you? We often fall into the same trap with the people we keep close. There are probably tons of things you regularly forget to thank your best vina for, and here are just a few:

  • Wearing sweatpants when you need to wear sweatpants. She might be able to conquer the world that day, but you can’t, and she’s totally willing to get on your level.
  • Memorizing your triple-shot-hemp-milk-latte-with-no-sugar-added order by heart.
  • Having your back. Allegiance goes a long way, and we often take that for granted.
  • Reading the rough draft.
  • Eating the extra fries, so you can’t.
  • Listening to rehash for months and months after the breakup.
  • Openly judging when you do it again.
  • Telling you the first outfit was cuter.
  • Giving you her hair tie even though she needs it.
  • Committing a whole day to watching Netflix, even though she isn’t the hungover one.
  • Having the bottle of wine open when you get there.
  • Being your biggest cheerleader.

 

What sweet things does your vina do that deserve a thank you?

(Featured image via en.stylenanda.com)

THE 5 TYPES OF FACEBOOK FRIENDS EVERY VINA HAS

You may have mixed feelings as you scroll through your Facebook newsfeed, but admit it, the people you friend and follow certainly enlighten and entertain you. After all there probably wouldn’t be any reason to use Facebook without your most fascinating and funny friends!

Though everyone uses Facebook in a different way, we’ve identified the five different types of friends you’re likely to see on your news feed. Here’s what makes them great both on and offline!

laughinggif.gifTHE MEME AFICIONADO

This Facebook friend has a taste for Evil Kermit, Crying Jordan, and all things that are both trending and laughable. Perhaps they’ll even create their own takes on already-popular content or make something completely original go viral! Whatever they share, you are likely to react with the “Haha” face. As evidenced by their shares, they are likely to have an impeccable sense of humor and keeps the crowd chuckling at every group hangout and party they’re at.

THE TRAVELER

When you aren’t able to take a vacation, this Facebook friend will take you where you want to go. When you see that check-in from their home airport to a far-away destination, you know you both are in for a treat! Whether it’s shopping on Fifth Avenue in New York City, visiting museums in Paris, or relaxing on the beaches in Bali, they really know how to have a good time wherever they visit. They take in the food, the shops, the landmarks, the culture, and the locals. Their photos belong on a postcard, and frankly, it’s difficult not to be a little jealous of them! In addition to being an international explorer, this friend is most likely to be adventurous in other aspects of their life.

THE LIFE SHARER

Even though this Facebook friend may not be one of your closest real-life friends, it definitely feels like you know them well. They’re always sharing posts about work or school. If they’re a parent to a child and/or a pet, you can count on them to post adorable photos with doting captions. Maybe they are passionate about a hobby or lifestyle, like fitness, music, or writing. The journey of their lives is something that they’re not afraid to put out there. On and offline, they are truly dedicated to the things and the people they love and are happy to share their accomplishments with others.

THE FOODIE

giphyemm.gifWhether they like to dine out or cook at home, this Facebook friend is constantly posting photos that make your mouth water! They never fail to post a tantalizing snap of their latest culinary creation or the fancy dessert from the new restaurant they’re checking out. You might see them checking in to their neighborhood bistro or sharing those addicting recipe videos from Tasty. You already know that you’d go to their house for dinner or at least meet up with them for brunch because they know where all the hot spots are at.

THE OPINIONATED ONE

This Facebook friend is quite opinionated about the going-ons in the world. The latest Apple products? Yes. The hottest celeb gossip. Totally. News, current events, and the state of society? Check. You may not necessarily agree with everything they have to say, but they may have some hot takes that you can relate to or otherwise find fascinating. Much like The Life Sharer, this type of friend is very passionate about their interests. They also happen to be very outspoken about them!

Which Facebook friend are you? Are there any that we’ve missed? Share your thoughts below!

 

SHARE A SITTER FOR A MOM’S NIGHT OUT

Being a mom is, well, let’s face it – HARD, WORK. It’s a full-time job. Between regular household duties, work duties, parental duties, & spousal duties, it can feel like there’s no time left for ourselves.

When you’re a mom, you start finding other vinas that are moms. You all sort of start subconsciously attracting each other into your little circle of moms, which is great! But then, the play dates start to become redundant, & the juice stains on your shirt aren’t funny anymore. But you can’t schedule a play date every time you need adult time…

So, you try to plan a night of JUST adults. No kids allowed. But then grandma & grandpa have bingo plans, & the aunts & uncles are out of town. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. You’re never getting a break. This is parenthood.

But wait

Why not hire a sitter? Well because you have to hire one, & if your vina’s kid’s grandparents are at bingo, too, well now she has to hire a sitter, & now we’re both trying to find a sitter & one of them might cancel last minute & then you got all ready for nothing & now the house is burning down & all your hopes & dreams have vanished.

But WAIT.

Why not hire & share a sitter? Two birds, one stone. Two sets of kids, one house, one sitter, one pay rate. That’s right, you heard me. Now instead of your original plan with two separate sitters, where both of you have to pay each one in full – now I’m telling you you can cut your personal sitter cost in half. Can it be? Oh yes, yes it can.

Much like the Hey! VINA app that brought us all here to begin with – making vinas, one swipe at a time – there is actually an app for sitters. Ohh yeah, vinas. Would I lie to you? Never.

Either you, or your vina, can create an account on Care – the most reliable sitter site, complete with background checks & all – & find the PERFECT sitter for your night out. You can even find a handful of backups for worst case scenarios.

Back on cloud nine yet? Thought so.

So what are you waiting for?! Find yourself a sitter, grab your vinas, & venture out into the night – childless. But remember, it is just one night, so don’t go too crazy! (Who am I kidding, take advantage & have a blast – it is just one night!)

(Feature image via shopsweetthings)

HOW TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS EVEN WHEN YOU’RE LOW ON CASH

Gone are the days of friendships that revolved around free excitement. Remember when your parents would take you and your friends to the movies, or out for dinner and ice cream? Aah, the good days when concert tickets, theme park visits, and even gas to get from place to place was all provided by the grownups. It’s not quite the same anymore. Now whenever you and your friends want to get together it’s all out of your own pockets. So what happens when those pockets  are full of nothing but lint and old gum wrappers?

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I have been working in retail for over a year now and because of my lack of hours and minimum-wage pay, I’ve always been strapped for cash. Two big moves within two years, including the move out of my parents house have added to the financial strain. However, a girl’s gotta make friends, you know. So while I have turned to Hey! VINA for some social interaction, a little voice constantly reminds me, Girl you have no money.

You can’t let this stop your social life! Even though it can feel debilitating when you can’t hit up every club and brunch spot, you just have to be more selective about your choices and how often you make them. It’s also important to maintain healthy relationships with people. Canceling plans because you can’t afford to go out can and will lead to completely going ghost. So be real with your friends, because people will be more accepting of a friend who can’t always afford to go out than they will of someone who is always flaking on plans.

You don’t have to dive into detail about your financial sitch, but personally – it helped putting myself out there and letting the girls know that my job didn’t pay well. You would be surprised at how many people will sympathize with your plight because they know that the struggle is real.

For now, keep in mind all the great things you and your friends can do at little to no cost at all. Set up some workout dates, or go for a bike ride. Go for a walk in the park and have a picnic, or even walk to the coffee shop around the corner for a chat. I know we all want to make a good impression and connect over cool activities, and feeling broke is certainly no fun. Just keep in mind though, that the best friends you have in life are the ones who will want to hang with you no matter what your bank statements look like!

Now that you have a few budget friendly vina date ideas, get out there and meet your vina!

HOW TO BE A GOOD FRIEND TO SOMEONE GOING THROUGH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

Even in today’s changing world, the conversation surrounding mental health is stigmatized, often because vast misinformation is still circulating. It’s because of this stigma that so many individuals dealing with mental health issues remain silent, even while they’re suffering.

If you notice that a friend is dealing with mental health issues, you may feel a bit lost and unsure of how to help them in a productive way. Here are some ways to be the best friend you can be to someone dealing with issues involving their mental health.

LET THEM KNOW THEIR FEELINGS ARE VALID, EVEN IF YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND 

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It’s often difficult for those who have never had to deal with mental illness on a personal level to understand what it feels like. But, when supporting a friend who is going through symptoms of mental illness, it’s important to validate the way they’re feeling.

Telling them to “just stop thinking about it” or that their symptoms are merely a case of “mind over matter” is more than just unhelpful, it’s damaging and can cause your friend to feel even more misunderstood. Instead, be empathetic toward your friend and the situation; it’s okay if you can’t fathom exactly how they feel, but try for a moment to understand what it is they may be going through. Let them know that it isn’t their fault that they’re feeling this way and that their feelings are valid and worthy of being listened to.

HELP THEM GET OUT OF THE HOUSE 

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When fighting the symptoms of mental illness, your friend is going to try to protect themselves as best they can. It’s common to try to accomplish this by implementing unhealthy coping mechanisms; one of which is isolation. They may believe that things won’t get worse if they just keep to themselves – not leaving the house and avoiding interaction with others may be one of the ways they try to accomplish this, but it can often exacerbate feelings of loneliness. 

Do your best to invite them out,  just you and them one-on-one, in a relaxed and stable environment. Try going out for a meal, or doing something physical like taking a walk around a nearby park.

SUPPORT THEM IN ANY WAY YOU CAN

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If you can’t get your friend to spend one-on-one time with you, the most you can do is be there for them in whichever way you can, even if it’s not in person.

Let them know that you’re there for them no matter what and that you’re just a call or text away. Help them understand that they’re not alone and that there are people they can reach out to, including you! Part of being a friend is being there when times are rough, and not just when things are light and carefree.

BE A SOURCE OF COMFORT, BUT REALIZE THERE IS ONLY SO MUCH YOU CAN DO1484099995217.jpg

It’s important to be there when a friend is struggling with mental illness, but there is a point where you need to realize that there is only so much you can do. While having the support of friends can be comforting, at the end of the day, you aren’t a professional and you can’t make your friend’s symptoms disappear, no matter how badly may you want to.

If your friend is not already seeing a psychologist, therapist, or counselor, bring up the idea to them. Talking to someone who is a trained and licensed professional can only move things in an upward direction, and they can help your friend deal with the symptoms  that they are experiencing. They can also work with your friend on a treatment plan and teach them healthy coping mechanisms for when their symptoms become heightened.

Do you have any more insight on how to help a friend going through mental health issues? Leave your suggestions in the comments below, and check out https://vina.app.link/emma to meet more Vinas in situations just like you. 

(Feature image via @lisamabecker)

CALLING ALL TRANSFER STUDENTS! HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AT A NEW UNIVERSITY

College can be brutal, but a solid group of friends will get you through anything. Whether you’re new to the university or you’re just looking for new friends in general, there are countless ways to make new friends on campus!

SIT NEXT TO THE GIRL WHO’S SITTING ALONE

You are not going to be the only one looking for friends on the first day. When you first walk into the classroom, take a few seconds to look around and find someone who is sitting by themselves. This is a great opportunity because she is probably looking for a new friend too. Introduce yourself – maybe ask her what she’s studying, how long she has been at this university, and if she has heard any hints about the class! Since people tend to sit in the same spot everyday, you now have a person to talk to every week.

SHOW UP TO THE (UNIVERSITY) CLUBS

Student organizations are always looking for new members, and the start of a new semester is the perfect time to show up. You can join an academic club related to your major, or even a sorority or something related to a hobby. Become a regular, and you will slowly get to know people who have the same interests as you. Taking on a leadership role also gives you more time with your peers, which will lead to new friendships.
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FORM A STUDY GROUP

Even if you find a class pretty easy, take it upon yourself to share that knowledge with your classmates. You can either ask random people in class, or send out a class-wide message on an eLearning system to find anyone that might want to meet up weekly to study. Hanging out in a study group with your classmates is a sure-fire way to get to know new people.
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NEVER LEAVE CAMPUS

Naturally, you’ll probably want to go back to your apartment or home right after class. But, try to force yourself to stay on campus. You might even consider coming a little early to study or sticking around between classes. The more time that you spend on campus, the more likely you are to run into familiar faces, and the more likely you are to form lasting friendships.

USE YOUR HEY! VINA APP

You’d be surprised to learn how many people on your campus are using hey! VINA – and you know these girls are looking for friends, so why not give it a try? Since your schedules are likely to overlap on campus, you can meet up with a new vina in between classes for coffee or lunch!
How do you meet friends when you’re new on campus? Let us know in the comments!

ELIMINATE WHAT DOESN’T HELP YOU EVOLVE: HOW TOXIC FRIENDS HOLD YOU BACK

We all know no one is their best self 24 hours a day. But how do you know when a friend has gone from a bummer to just plain toxic?

A good friendship means bearing with each other when you aren’t your best, but when a friend constantly drags you down, it might be a sign that you are in a toxic relationship.

Don’t get me wrong! I’m not telling you to ditch your friend at the first sign of trouble. Friends are there to support each other, in the good times, and especially the bad. But might come a point when a vina hurts you too much that it’s better to them go.

I had an experience like this myself not too long along. When I decided to move abroad, of course some friends were disappointed because we wouldn’t see each other as often. But most of them were super excited for me!

There was one friend, however that really tried to make me feel bad. And it wasn’t in a, “I’m going to miss you too much,” way. It was pure malicious intent. She started small, like telling me how horrible the weather would be and how awful the food was. Then she went deeper with things like, “You won’t have enough experience to find a job when you return,” and, “You won’t fit in there.”

Whether it was jealousy or some other issue of her own, he comments put a huge damper on my excitement for the journey I was about to take. I started to think she might be right, maybe I shouldn’t go, or I wasn’t ready. Her constant comments made me doubt myself, and that is exactly the opposite of what a friend should be doing.

I tried to distance myself from her and it was difficult in the beginning, but I soon noticed that I was happier and more confident without her around. I learned that when your friends can’t be happy for you or support you, they’re not your real friends. Sometimes taking some space will help, sometimes it’s better to end the friendship completely.

Overall, friends should build you up and encourage you to reach for your goals. They should be happy about your achievements. They should accept your decisions and support you no matter what, unless you’re hurting yourself or someone else. Building a friendship is hard; letting go of it is even harder. But when your friend doesn’t support you, it will just hold you back, and no one wants that!

Plus, it turned out my former friend was wrong – moving abroad was one of the best decisions I have ever made!!

Have you had a toxic friend in your life? What did you do to deal with it? Let us know, and check out Hey! VINA on the app store. 

 

(Feature image via @lorilyes)

FOOLPROOF WAYS TO BECOME BESTIES WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS

People just don’t celebrate community like they used to. What happened to block parties and tree houses? We think it’s possible for community to still come first! Your neighbors’ near proximity makes them instant and viable candidates for new friends. Plus, if you’re moving into a new neighborhood or building then it’s a great opportunity to go looking for a new circle or some close vinas. But how do you start? As per usual, I’ve got a few ideas…

HOST SOMETHING

Open your home to your neighbors. Write a little invite and slip it under their door or put it in their mail box. Keep it casual and leave the hours open. If it’s summer and you have a yard then do an all afternoon BBQ. The casual setting creates something less awkward if only one or two people come by at a time. Or, if you’re in an apartment building host a wine night! Nothing gets people talking like a glass of Pinot.

Diverse Neighbors Drinking Party Yard Concept

STOP BY WITH TREATS

No, for real. This could be anything from homemade granola to a bottle of wine or a potted plant. It just serves as an ice breaker to stop by and introduce yourself.

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SAY SOMETHING

Just speak up in the elevator, or in passing as you’re out for a walk. Next time you see that potential vina just wave, walk on over, and then say something. It could be totally awkward but endearing like, hey I just moved here and am looking to meet some amazing new people! or I live just over there and  I’d love to get together if you’ve got time. If you’re new to town, ask for some direction to the best coffee shop or yoga studio.

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MAKE YOURSELF VISIBLE

Often times just running into a neighbor is enough of a reason to make conversation. So literally put yourself out there. Hang out in the front yard and garden, read in the common room of your building, do laundry on site, have a yard sale, go for a walk. Pretty much all of these ideas boil down to the same point. You’ve got to put yourself out there so that when you see an opening, you’re free to introduce your beautiful badass self.

Having a hard time meeting your neighbors? There’s a good chance you’ll meet some of them on Vina! So download the app and get swiping.

(Featured Image via The Huffington Post) 

HOW FRIENDS CAN IMPROVE YOUR LOVE LIFE

Friends will always be a life necessity and they are definitely there for us for small talk, weekly dinners, spontaneous travels, and all of that good stuff. But what happens when friends intersect with your dating life and romantic relationships? Well, as much as the mere sound of that sentence can be kind of scary, there are actually quite a few benefits friends can have on your love life. Read on to see how your vinas can work some magic love potion on you.

THEY CAN BE YOUR WINGWOMAN

This one is a no-brainer. Some of us have the jitters when it comes to approaching the hottie we’re eyeing from a distance at the bar. But, we all definitely have at least one friend who can help us gain the confidence to do so or act as the messenger. They can also go a more indirect route and act as a second pair of eyes for you (AKA scouting out for potential matches for you). Whatever happens, they are there to cheer you on when it comes to landing a number or perhaps even a date!

THEY CAN RELATE YOUR ROMANTIC DILEMMAS, AND EVEN HELP OUT

Had a terrible dating app experience? In a bit of a pickle with your partner? Who better to talk to than your vinas! Your friends have likely been there, done that. If not, they still may be able to offer perspective on any issues you’re facing with either a new potential squeeze or an established other half. A vina’s good advice can definitely help you gain some clarity and approach your situation for the better of your relationship.

GROUT OUTINGS CAN BE MORE FUN

We know that there has to be a line drawn somewhere between friends and partners. But if the chemistry is there and there’s no weirdness, having your friends (With or without their own partners) hang out with you and your partner can actually be a blast. The more, the merrier, right?! Activities like game nights, bowling, mini golf, and watching sports can be way more fun in a bigger group. Plus, introducing your partner to your friends exposes your partner to more of your world and in a way, allows them to get to know you a little bit better.

TIME WITH FRIENDS MAKES YOUR RELATIONSHIP STRONGER

Remember the phrase “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”? Investing in some serious friend-only rituals like brunches, spa days, or girls nights out gives you precious time with your vinas while giving you time to unwind from dating or your relationship. It also allows you to assert your independence and contributes to a well-balanced life. A little distance from your love life and more closeness with friends makes it so much sweeter when it’s time to come back to your loved one.

What other ways have your friends improved your love life? Share your stories and thoughts in the comments, and download Hey! Vina to meet new friends near you!

(Feature image via Maria de rio