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.
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.
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.
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.
How do you handle stress?
Any back-to-school tips and tricks you have?
Caffeine – yay or nay?