I’m Back!

Well it looks like I ended up taking a month-long blogging hiatus. It’s been a bit of a crazy month to say the least.

I’ve settled into the school routine again. It always takes me awhile but it feels real now. Having two midterms (can they even call them that?) in a day made it real.

I’m excited to get back to the regular type of programming and all the topics I like to write about (health, food, running, respecting your body, confidence, etc., etc….), but for now I thought I would include some highlights from the past month.

I went to a leadership conference for my sorority in Atlanta with some of my favorite ladies. I learned so much about my own leadership style, how I relate to others, and how to create programs that are enriching and fun! It was an awesome experience!

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I’ve been loving spin classes lately and that’s how I’ve been getting a lot of my exercise lately. It’s been nice not having running goals since it’s been allowing me to pursue other ways that I like to move!

I donated blood for the first time! Honestly the worst part was when they did a finger prick to find out if my iron levels were okay. I mean it’s not exactly comfortable having someone stick a needle in your arm to look for a vein but it’s not that bad! Giving blood made me so thankful that I am in good enough health to do so. I’m at a healthy weight and have good iron levels which isn’t something I’ve always been able to say.

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My friend is back from being abroad and it makes me super happy (she probably will eventually read this, so hey Claire). It has meant lots of lunch dates and catching up. She also agrees to go to social events with me in matching athletic clothing and tolerates my weird antics. That’s true friendship!

I’ve been drinking lots of tea and coffee lately. It hasn’t been horribly cold here in Virginia but once as it hits 50 degrees or lower, it’s hot coffee and hot tea all the way over here.

I read 5 books in January! The Last Anniversary and The Husband’s Secret (Liane Moriarty), Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov), 50 Children (Steven Pressman), and Like Water for Chocolate (Laura Esquivel). My favorite among these was Like Water for Chocolate. I love mystical realism and a lot of the magical elements in this book surrounded cooking so it was delightful for many different reasons!

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I’m currently reading Kane & Abel (Jeffrey Archer) and The Secret History (Donna Tartt). I’m always open to book suggestions!

I’ve been watching The Vampire Diaries on Netflix. I judge myself for it but hey it’s some great drama!

I’ve been cooking a lot more for myself this semester. Funny story, I usually post my breakfasts/meals I cook on Snapchat and a lot of my friends enjoy seeing them I guess? I think it’s because our dining hall food isn’t that great so anything homemade/slightly aesthetically pleasing seems amazing by comparison.

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Old picture, but basically same breakfast I eat half the time

Well that’s about all from me for now! I hate to disappear off the face of the planet for so long, so I’m hoping to get to more regularly scheduled blogging, but I make no promises!

Wishing you a happy Monday!

Peanut butter in oatmeal, yes or no?

Last book you read?

Do you wear athletic clothes in social settings? about 75% of the time…

Healthy Habits in the New Semester

Hello and Happy Tuesday! I’m back at college again, after a nice 5-week long winter break. My classes don’t start until Wednesday, but I ended up coming back on Sunday because that’s the day that worked best with my family and their work schedules. Luckily, the drive went very smoothly and safely! I ended up spending my Sunday evening with a trip to Trader Joe’s, unpacked while watching Netflix, made myself a mushroom and avocado quesadilla for dinner, read some of a book, and went to bed at 10:30PM. It was glorious.

So right now, I’m sitting around for a bit, getting a bunch of small tasks and stuff done. Not big, huge stuff, but the typical kind of uninteresting tasks that need to get done before the hustle and bustle of a new semester sets in.

Right now, I’m savoring this little breath of relief in this transition period that I have right now. Yes, I know I’m coming off a 5-week break from studies, but there’s something nice about being at my campus, hanging out with friends before classes start, crossing small items off my to do list, and just being present.

Right now, I have the upcoming semester at the forefront of my mind. Thinking about the classes I’m taking, marking important due dates in my planner, and honestly kind of amping myself up for a lot of stress.

But, I realize that’s probably not the healthiest way to go into a new semester. With any transition and change (hey New Year), I think the natural impulse is to make resolutions and aim for big change. Now, I’m not aiming for huge change or anything. But, I’ve decided that this is the semester to prioritize my own mental well-being.

We live in a culture where stress is glorified. If you’re stressed, it means that you’re working hard, you have big goals, you’re doing allthethingsss… But, I’ve realized at least for me, being crazy busy and stressed all the time is not the greatest. Yes, there will be weeks where life is more stressful than others. But I want the overall tone of this semester needs to be more focused on not being stressed, and doing what it takes to do that.

With all that said, here are some of my plans for having a healthy semester!

Make time for 10 minutes of focused alone time in the morning, and 10 minutes in the evening. I want to start my days off with doing something I enjoy, rather than just scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. The first thing I reach for in the morning is my phone but 9/10 times, nothing important has happened while I slept. Instead, I want to use those 10 minutes that I have in bed in the morning to journal/pray and focus my day, and those 10 minutes before I go to sleep reading. I feel better when I give myself time to take care of myself.

Laugh every single day. I love to laugh. I think most people do, too. I hear about all the health benefits of laughing. I want to do more of it. It means taking some focus off of all the things I have to do, and instead, turning my focus outwards. This will probably mean socializing with people I love, which is never a bad thing.

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Sleep like it’s my job. I am that person who needs 8-9 hours of sleep to feel basically functional. I really try to do that, but I need to work on consistency. This also goes hand in hand with my desire to reduce my caffeine intake. By the end of 2016, it was getting insane. Feeling like I need coffee to get through the afternoon is not ideal. Once in awhile it’s fine, but I don’t want to do that every single day anymore.

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Hugs. I’m not the best at telling people how much I love them. But I am so grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve been blessed with in my life. From my family to my friends to my coworkers, I realize how truly lucky I am. I want to show it more often. Whether it’s through physical affection (roomy, yes I will hug you), or through texts or phone calls, I want to be better about showing love to those that I’m surrounded by.

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Accepting things. Sometimes, life is really imperfect and just isn’t working out. Sometimes, I’m functioning on too little sleep, too much caffeine, and I’m crying and emotional. And I need to realize it’s okay not to be okay. I think many women feel like we need to “do it all” and take care of those around us, but it’s okay to ask for help, say no to something because you’re stressed, or take a long time to respond to emails and texts. I want to accept the situations I end up in, and realize I’m doing my best. And reaching out to others when I’m having a rough time. It’s hard to admit that we’re not perfect and can’t do it all, but at least by admitting and accepting it, I’m owning it.

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I’ve used this image before, but goodness gracious I love it so much.

How do you handle stress?

Any back-to-school tips and tricks you have?

Caffeine – yay or nay?

Self-Care Tips & Links

Hey there and happy Friday! It’s my last Friday of break and it’s bittersweet. I’m excited to head back to school and start a new semester but I’m also sad not to have as much free time to just relax. I love having a schedule and structured days, but I think it’s good to change things up every once in awhile if it means some important relaxation time.

Today, I have self-care on the brain. I first heard the term self-care about 6-8 months ago. I thought at first it was some kinda hippy-feel-good-vibey thing. Silly me to jump to conclusions!

I’ve learned that self-care is actually more about taking care of yourself rather than being burned out all. the. time. It means taking a minute or an hour to pause: to watch Netflix, go on a walk, bake something delicious, journal, pray, etc. In a world where there’s a lot of bragplaining about how busy everyone is, self-care is desperately needed. I think we’re meant for more than mechanically just getting by and always feeling exhausted.

Here are three things I’ve learned about self-care:

It’s not something to feel guilty about. Taking 20 minutes of every day to write in a journal, read a book, or watch an episode of your favorite T.V. show isn’t unproductive. It’s rejuvenating. It’s necessary to prevent yourself from burning out. And sometimes you’ll only need 10 minutes a day to do this, other days you’ll need 3 hours because the day has gone poorly. Either is okay.

You need to figure out what self-care is to you, because it’s probably going to be different for you than your neighbor. For me, I always feel way more centered and peaceful when I take some time to pray, journal, and read God’s Word. I don’t do this every day, but it’s something I at least make an effort to do. I also feel rejuvenated and refreshed when I go on a run, read a good book, or color. For some of my friends, it means doing yoga, or playing an instrument, or watching the Bachelor, or getting a pedicure. Whatever it is, don’t feel ashamed for taking a break from the things you have to do to take a few to care for your soul. Everyone must rest.

Sometimes you don’t have time for even 10 minutes to yourself. But there are small things you can do. For example, let’s say you have a commute that you have to do on top of a crazy busy day that is filled from morning to evening. Use that commute to listen to a favorite playlist of your favorite songs, or an audiobook. Have to rush out the door early and mornings are rough? Buy some good coffee to make for yourself. Small things can make a positive impact on your day.

I’ve found some really great links from around the inter webs that are filled with some great tips and tricks for practicing self-care. Check them out!

DIY Self-Care Box!!! (LOVE this idea)

Reading a good book is self-care!

That’s all for today. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of self-care and rest!

How do you practice self-care? 

Read any good books lately?

Favorite snack (I need inspiration!)?