Want inspiration, motivation, + all things CHAARG straight to your inbox?

CHAARG The Vote: My Story On Working In Politics, Staying Informed, + The Importance Of Voting

2020 will be my first time ever voting in a presidential election, but I have been proudly casting my ballot in local elections since I turned 18 in 2017 — the first thing I did on my 18th birthday was register to vote. Voting is one of the simplest tasks you can do as a citizen + this year, with mail-in voting, the chance to have your voice heard at the polls is easier [+ safer] than ever. 

Regardless of your political views, my hope is that you all vote this November. It is so important for us to develop our own thoughts + practice our civil right. Educate yourself on your ballot [a great place to start is here] + remind your friends + family to vote. 18-23 year olds will account for 1 out of every 10 voters this November! There is more than just a presidential, there are key local races that greatly impact your everyday life — from deciding how much funding public universities receive to healthcare, climate change + so much more!

My junior year of high school was when I first really came to be aware of politics, + I have my 20th Century History teacher to thank for that. He always had us come to class up to date on what was happening in the news + it was the first time I really started to delve into developing my own views + doing my own research. Having to come to class everyday + really talk about what was going on in the world made me start to realize what I valued + why politics is so important.

I come from an upper middle class family, so it was easy for me to ignore politics for most of my life: decisions by politicians + our government did not affect my day-to-day life. On top of that, I went to a primarily white, affluent high school, where many people adopted the conservative views of their parents + once I started to develop my own views, I was really starting to see how privilege can allow us to be apathetic when it comes to issues here in America. If you inform yourself fully + afterwards still agree with those around you, that’s great, but I quickly found that that was not the case for me. It can honestly be scary to develop your own views, but it is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves + our community to be the best citizen we can be.

There is a lot out there + some things are a lot more biased [both conservatively + liberally] than others, so finding independent sources committed to the facts + holding our government fully accountable is what I aim for when searching for ways to educate myself. 

Finding how you like best to consume information is so important — it keeps you accountable in staying up to date + it gives you food for thought when making your choices on the ballot this November + beyond. 

My interest in politics evolved beyond voting in 2018, when Wisconsin had its gubernatorial election. I wanted to do more than just cast my ballot, I wanted to volunteer. This was the first time I got involved knocking doors + making phone calls to voters to ensure they had a plan to vote. If you’re really passionate about a candidate + a cause, consider volunteering. Although most campaigns are virtual due to COVID-19, you can make calls + send texts to voters from the comfort of your own home : ) Just look up a candidate or  your state’s Democratic or Republican party + you’ll be connected with a ton of opportunities!

In Spring 2019, I found an opportunity to do an internship through the Democratic National Committee + the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, where I was trained for 8 weeks to become a field organizer, someone who helps coordinate get out the vote efforts + volunteer teams in a local area. This is where I really leaned into my love for state-level politics: your local, state candidates are so important, so do your research!

After graduating in May 2020, I became a full-time field organizer with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin to gear up for this November’s election. Although I have now left that position, this is a reminder that there are ways to get more involved if you do want to do more than just vote. Volunteering with your local organizer can make or break an election — we call that the field margin. In Michigan in 2016, for example, Hillary Clinton lost by just two votes per precinct, that means if we can all encourage just two friends to vote alongside us, we have a chance to greatly impact the outcome of this November’s election, no matter who you are supporting. Never doubt that your voice matters + encouraging others to do the same matters, too.

Take, for instance, the nationwide poll worker shortage happening amid the pandemic. If you feel comfortable, consider becoming a poll worker! In the past, this has often fell onto older populations to fill this role, but with the threat of COVID-19 for our most vulnerable populations, we, as young people, if we are able to, can step up + do the work [+ fun fact: you get paid to do it!]. You can get in touch with your local municipality to find out how to sign up.

The last thing I’ll say is that voting is a cornerstone of our democracy. We all have to step up + participate this November. No matter who you are supporting, make your plan to vote, request your absentee ballot + be the change you want to see in this nation. 

Our work will not magically end on November 3. After that, we must continue to hold our elected officials accountable to what needs to change to create better communities for every single person in this country. Voting is just the first step, but it is the most important first step to ensuring we take control of our future.

The Importance Of Sex Positivity

TW* Sexual Harassment, Eating Disorder, Depression, Anxiety

My name is Avery Collard, I’m the Ambassador of Northeastern’s CHAARG Chapter, + I am a sex positive woman. Before I dive into my experience with sex positivity, it’s crucial to understand the history + key components of the movement. The Sex Positive movement was a socio-political movement that started in the 1960s that has morphed into a modern social + philosophical movement emphasizing sexuality as a natural ++ healthy part of the human experience, while promoting exploration, body positivity, ++ comprehensive safe sex education + awareness.

You may be asking yourself why I feel this is so important, + why I identify so strongly with this movement. I matured very quickly growing up [when I was graduating middle school people thought I was graduating high school], which led to a lot of attention from men, both my age + older. I would have grown men coming up to me when I was 14, boys at school groping me + throwing things down my cleavage in class, men online harassing me + sending me sexually explicit messages, + grown men who would grab my butt in a crowd.

There are too many other examples to name, but the point is that from a very young age, the only “positive” attention I was given by males was sexual. At the time, I thought the attention meant I was mature, which I saw as a positive thing. Nobody told me otherwise. Now, at this same time I was also battling an eating disorder + depression, which made me crave any sort of attention + praise – even from these men who knew better. As I turned 16, 17, even 18 – I saw a pattern emerging in my life. I thought that if I didn’t give the men in my life sexual attention, they wouldn’t want me, + I wouldn’t be worth anything. In my head, the only way to make sure I wasn’t left alone was to be hypersexual, because I had been groomed that way.

Not to mention, the media + social expectations for women are incredibly toxic + twisted, shaming women who dare to be sexual while praising men for the same thing. As women, we are taught that our bodies have to look a certain way to be desirable, or we’re worthless. That’s how I felt. I hated myself for not being the media’s idea of perfection, because in my eyes, perfection was dictated by how other people saw me. I have struggled [+ still struggle] with body dysmorphia since I was 13, which as I mentioned above, led to the development of an eating disorder + severe anxiety. I remember countless days when I would be trying to get dressed in the morning, + I would give up ++ sob because nothing fit me right. I remember not wanting to look in the mirror because I was so disgusted with myself.

In 2018, I was diagnosed with Depression + Anxiety disorder + was prescribed medication as well as started to see a therapist. As I started to peel away the layers of my illness, I started to re-claim my sexuality in a way that was my own. I came out as bisexual after breaking up with my boyfriend + began to experiment with different sexual experiences + partners – focusing on what I wanted + what made me feel comfortable + empowered, + just having FUN. Being sex positive allowed me to be vulnerable + courageous, while re-claiming my body + my sexuality after years of men using me for their own pleasure.

One big focus of the sex positivity movement is body positivity + self-love. Every human is beautiful, every human is deserving of love, + every human is perfect in their own way. There is no universal idea of perfection, no pressure to be a certain way, + no one telling you you’re not enough. Throughout college, I have continued to explore + express myself, while educating others about sex positivity + normalizing sex in daily life + conversation, particularly around women. Being open + honest about sex has created a supportive + healthy environment in my apartment + makes me feel comfortable with myself + my identity.

When I started CHAARG, I was worried that the community wouldn’t accept this side of my personality, because I found that east coasters tend to be less sexually liberal than the Bay Area, where I grew up. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to be an effective leader because of people’s misconceptions about sex positivity + tendency to make quick judgements. However, being a part of the CHAARG community has only made me feel more comfortable with myself + my self-expression. CHAARG is a community of open minded, compassionate people who support you no matter what + accept you for who you are. Having a community on campus where I felt comfortable being 100% myself helped me push myself outside of my comfort zone, because I know that no matter what, I will always have a community of 10,000+ people behind me. The love + support that this community creates truly allows me to be my authentic self + bring my passions into conversations, no matter how unconventional. The CHAARG community is like nothing I’ve experienced before + I am so grateful I found my home within CHAARG.

I’ll leave you with this: sex positivity doesn’t mean you have to have a lot of sex. You can be a virgin + still identify as sex positive – it’s about the community + values behind the movement. Sex positivity is about uplifting + celebrating ourselves + our bodies, while freely seeking pleasure, in whatever form that may come in. It’s about making sure that schools have comprehensive sex education, + de-stigmatizing “untraditional” sexual activities. It’s about love + support. Most importantly, it’s about making sure that no other girl has to grow up feeling like her body is an object, + that no other girl has to experience the trauma of what I, + hundreds of thousands of women have endured.

Cozy Up With Our Fall Reading List, #CHAARGBookClub

As the weather gets colder [+ darker], cozying up + reading is that much more appealing. Pair your favorite book with a DIY PSL for added comfort ; ). We asked the CHAARG community: “What has been your favorite book that you’ve read in the past month?” Here’s what you said:

.     .     .

Let us know what you’re reading with #CHAARGBookClub on insta! : ) Look for more books? Check out the CHAARG Reading List.

4 Dorm-Friendly CHAARG Workouts

As school starts up again + we make our move back to school, it can be difficult to adjust ++ start off the year with good habits. Here are some CHAARG workouts that you can do right in your dorm room or apartment to help you continue getting your workouts in when you don’t have the time to get to a gym [or you don’t feel like changing out of your PJs!]:

#1] 15 Minute Squat Burn — A quick but killer booty burn for you to do when you’re short on time. No equipment needed!

#2] Sunkissed Abs — An awesome tabata circuit utilizing plyometric exercises + bodyweight movements.

#3] Poolside Plank — Here’s an ab circuit that you can do with no equipment + minimal space!

#4] 5 Outdoor Sweat Seshes — Here are some workouts that don’t require any equipment that were written for the summer, but can be taken indoors during the winter as well!

Fancy equipment + gyms can be fun, but there is also so much more that you can do, especially from the comfort of your own home. Don’t be afraid to get creative + find new ways to get that burn in!

15 Minute Squat Burn

If you are short on time, do this quick 15 minute workout — perform for your dorm… or as a “bonus burn” after a run. If needed, take a 20 sec rest in between each exercise. 

Exercise Demos:

Turn It Up: Add weights to your booty boosts + squats
Tone It Down: Drop the bodyweight squats to 15 each

Don’t forget to share a sweaty selfie with us on insta using #inCHAARG!

Ultima Sunrise Colada

Couldn’t make it to the beach this summer? No worries — we’ve brought a taste of the tropics to your kitchen! ; )

This piña colada recipe is *super* easy to make + adds a fun spin on an island classic. We’ve added Ultima Replenisher’s raspberry flavored electrolytes to spice things up + add some *extra health* to make this the perfect post-workout recovery drink!

If you haven’t tried Ultima Replenisher yet — grab our Hydration Bundle [only $12], which includes a CHAARG Watebottle + an Ultima Replenisher sample pack! We are seriously obsessed with all of the favors, + have been drinking electrolytes nonstop at CHAARG HQ.

*makes 1-2 piña coladas

  • 1 cup Diced, Frozen Pineapple
  • 1/4 cup Canned Coconut Milk
  • 1 stick Raspberry Ultima Replenisher Electrolytes

#1] Blend pineapple + coconut milk until smooth [may need to add water or non-dairy milk to make blending easier]

#2] Pour half of the piña colada in a glass + set aside

#3] Add Ultima electrolytes to the rest of the piña colada + mix

#4] Pour raspberry piña colada into the glass with the regular piña colada — the colors should mix together by themselves!

#5] Drink immediately to enjoy a refreshing, hydrating treat!

Show us your sunrise creations! Tag @chaarg + @goultima + #CHAARGeats on insta!

Arm Pump

Who doesn’t love a good arm workout ; ). After you complete this workout, take a sweaty selfie + flex for us! #inCHAARG *Want more? Complete the circuit 4X!

All exercise demos can be found on our YouTube channel — head here + “search” for what you are looking for!

 

15 Tips On How To Stop Procrastinating

With the school year starting, + your to-do lists piling up… we wanted to talk about procrastination. First — read this article that goes in depth about procrastination. It shares:

  • The science behind procrastination
  • How to stop procrastinating
  • The daily routine “experts” recommend for peak productivity

While we love the article, we thought we would get the CHAARG community’s advice + see what your tips are on how to stop procrastinating! Here’s what you said:

.     .     .

#1] Make up fake due dates + convince yourself that it has to be done by then. — @abby_clemens

#2] Schedule time every day to do a part of a project… then you can break it up into small bits! — @jcyoder2021

#3] If a task will take less than 2 minutes, do it immediately. — @nat_alie88

#4] Pomodoro technique! — so. many. of. you!

#5] Phone off, quiet space, + work your way down the list. — @laodicean7

#6] Fill out the entire syllabus of each class in your planner + start giving yourself due dates. — @em_unt_inchaarg

#7] Incentivize yourself with a reward, + embrace the *done is better than perfect* motto. — @renata_inchaarg

#8] Write your goals on sticky notes + put them on your mirror. — @jackienoval

#9] Watch studytubers like Holly Gabrielle + Ruby Granger — @rsharma_inchaarg

#10] Tell yourself to work for 5 minutes. Once started, it will be hard to stop working ; ) — @maddiehvt_inchaarg

#11] Have a study playlist that you only play when you’re doing work — it will get you in the mindset! — @sophia_roning

#12] Set screen time limits on social media black homes to stop the endless scrolling — @laura_anne_n

#13] Start your day by making your bed. It works! — @maddie_wells15

#14] Set alarms! I set alarms for posts, homework assignments, appointments… everything! — @kentstate_inchaarg

#15] Start doing easy task that way you are at least doing something! — @kellythecooke

On Woo Woo — Top 7 Episodes From The CHAARG Podcast

Below, our top 7 episodes [currently!] on all things *woo woo* from The CHAARG Podcast.

.     .     .

#101] Cat Aldana: Akashic Records, Intuition, + “Becoming” 

Why I Love It — Cat [@cataldanasager] talks a lot about Akashic records in this podcast — arguably as “woo” as it gets. I truly learned so much in this podcast + it challenged me to think outside of my normal scope. 

Mic Drop Moment — “We are all naturally psychic, we just have to get rid of the stuff in the way.”

.     .     .

#46] Molly Coeling: Healing Trauma Through Reiki

Why I Love It — **Trigger Warning: Sexual Trauma.** Molly doesn’t only introduce + inform us on Reiki, she gives her personal + powerful testimony of its benefits. If you’ve tried various forms of healing [physical, various therapies, etc] + still need a little more help — I encourage you to start here!

Mic Drop Moment — “We carry our life experience in our bodies. I wanted to get rid of that pain for so long + I couldn’t. I went to doctors and PT, I did so much stuff. But I couldn’t let that go until I felt all the stuff that was causing that pain.”

.     .     .

#44] Tania Hughes: Chakras For Beginners

Why I Love It — I’ve always been confused about chakras + how they can be *practically* used. Tania [@taniahugheswellness] has all of the answers — she breaks down all of the chakras + what’s most important to know about them! I highly recommend this podcast for CHAARG girls who are novice or advanced in yoga alike! She also has an incredibly calming voice ; )

Mic Drop Moment — “Once you learn how to activate the chakras you can learn to stream energy effectively. This healing energy is something you can notice in your everyday life — think about the feeling + energy you get when you pick up a cute puppy or a baby. This energy is in us + is available all the time.”

.     .     .

#22] Kristine Schumann: Summer Solstice, Mala Beads, + Setting Intentions

Why I Love It — This is a great podcast to start with if you want to dip your toes in *woo* + start small [or if your skeptic!]. Kristine + Elisabeth talk about so many accessible + simple actions to improve your focus, awareness, ++ self love. This podcast has so many nuggets of info — affirmations, sun + lunar phases, rituals, mala beads, gratitude practices, sage, intention setting, chakras, social media mindfulness + so much more.

Mic Drop Moment — “Build an altar of things that make you happy — notes, gifts, pictures, special objects etc. Make it a gratitude practice to look at this every single day.”

.     .     .

#13] Sheena Mannina: Juicing, Spirituality, + Being A Basic Witch

Why I Love It — I learned the MOST about woo from this podcast + not for reasons you’d think. Elisabeth + Sheena talk about how sometimes spiritual readings + experiences don’t feel accurate + relevant, but the deeper importance is what you learn about yourself in the process. I love the perspective of spiritual journeys that this podcast gave me… it is a must listen.

Mic-Drop Moment — “[On having readings that you feel are inaccurate] All of these things [spirituality practices] point me in the direction of my own heart + soul, + that has become more interesting + insightful than anything else.”

.     .     .

#61] Cindy of Revealing Soul: Auras, Channeling, + Tapping Into Your Intuition

Why I Love It — Cindy does a great job of making mediums feel less intimidating. She talks about what mediums are, how to use them, + how to channel your own intuition. She also talks about little things you can experience, see, + notice in your everyday life that might be deeper than it seems. So many goosebump moments in this podcast <3

Mic-Drop Moment — “Life is tough. I am not going to sugarcoat it — it’s hard. + I just believe any tool available that you can tap into to help yourself, you should.”

.     .     .

#88] Andrea Fagenholz: Hypnotherapy, EFT, + Taking Your Power Back

Why I Love It — I loved listening to her career change — I really picture myself, friends, + many CHAARG girls in her shoes — starting off in a very traditional route. It helped me normalize hypnotherapy + learn how it could truly help me. Follow her at @curiouslypresent for great tips, reminders, + more info in bite sized pieces : ) 

Mic-Drop Moment — “My intention as a hypnotherapist is to allow you to feel like you can take your power back, because it is your power — it’s your body, it’s your mind, + you get to decide how you feel.”

.     .     .

New episodes every Tuesday! Listen on Spotify + iTunes! #TheCHAARGPodcast

Brownie Batter Protein Bites

Brownie Batter Protein Bites.. these are perfect for a pre or post sweat sesh snack + taste identical to brownie batter, YUP — just like licking the bowl.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/3 cup Pitted Dates [packed]
  • 2 cups Black Beans
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1/3 cup Pumpkin Seed Butter [or Almond Butter!]
  • 1/2 tsp Se Salt
  • 1 tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips [optional]

DIRECTIONS

#1] Combine all ingredients in a blender//food processor
#2] Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary
#3] Roll the dough into 1 inch bites + place on a baking sheet

** Store in the fridge!
** Yields around 20 bites 

More Like This

Birthday Cake Protein Bites
Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites
Pumpkin Pie Protein Bites

Cardio Circuits

This quick at home workout will have you sweating faster than you’d expect. Want to make it harder? Every time it says *1 minute plank* — do: 1 minute plank, 1 minute side plank right, + 1 minute side plank left ; )

All exercise demos can be found on our YouTube channel — head here + “search” for what you are looking for!