Will I Start Running Again?

Hey remember that time that I used to have a blog that I regularly updated and such? Yeah, I can barely remember that, too. This year got away from me, and that was mostly in really great ways. The idea of sitting down at my computer to write a blog post up just didn’t seem like a lot of fun, so I didn’t do it. But right now, it feels right so I suppose I’ll continue.

Part of the reason I kind of fell off the face of the planet was because running has not really been a big part of my life lately. One of the reasons why I started blogging was that I wanted a place to kind of track that whole progression. The marathon was great, amazing, etc., but after I was finished, I just didn’t really feel like running much.

I really respect people who can run a marathon and jump right back into running after a week or month, but that just wasn’t me. I didn’t suddenly start hating running or anything, but it just didn’t feel right. I no longer was jealous when I saw people running while I was driving. I wasn’t excited by running in the way I used to be. So I basically have taken a nice long hiatus from running. Like year long. I also was ready to just be Caroline, not necessarily Caroline the Runner. I love that identity, but it’s not my only one, after all.

Instead of running, I pursued a lot of other things this year. I took a dance class that really challenged me mentally and physically. I rediscovered my love of reading and read so many books this year. I started to figure out what I want to do as far as careers go and made some plans for the future. I worked really hard in school and spent a lot of time studying. And I’ve had a really great year.

Now, I fully intend to one day get back to consistently running. This past week I went for a short, little run and actually really enjoyed it. Maybe I’m ready to jump back into it, but for now I have no consistent plans or goals besides enjoying the exercise and movement I choose to do. I feel like I’m able to make a healthy choice either way, and for that I am very thankful. Running will always be there for me and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

For now, this is all I have to say. I might do an update on things that I’ve been up to or that I’ve learned this year (or maybe not). Either way, Happy New Year, and wishing you the best this holiday season!

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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?