First things first: Long time no see peeps! I realize it’s been quite a long while since I last checked in. I could easily give you a myriad of reasons as why that is, but, instead I think it’ll just be easier for me to apologize and just move on ahead with this post!
So, I am sorry I’ve been gone for so long! I hope you can forgive me and that we can go back to being besties!
Now, onto today’s post:
We are well into this new year and by now you may be close to letting that drive to a “New Year, New You” slip away and getting lost behind the hustle and bustle of what has certainly been a bumpy start to 2017.
Before you let those hopes get lost in your busy lives, just take a minute to hear my few tips to a healthy lifestyle that help me stay on track and live a healthy lifestyle even with the stresses that accompany an undergraduate senior as she maintains a full course load, 3.9 GPA and a 30 hour-work week!
- First of all, take time to care for yourself! This can be anything from painting your nails, to doing a face mask, to listening to music, to having 10 min of media “time-out” time during the day. One of the most important things I’ve learning is that you must be mentally stable in order to be happy with your successes. You can reach that 4.0 semester and still be dissatisfied if you aren’t feeling happy and life yourself. And really, whether it be good grades or getting a promotion at work, unless you are doing these things for yourself and because it makes you happy, these accomplishments will simply feel like a to-do list rather than a success. (Trust me, I’ve been there money is inciting but if you aren’t in it for the right reasonings you won’t be as happy as you deserve to be.)
- Find a hobby. Find something that is completely different from your job, or maybe even not so different from your job if you are lucky enough to love what you do, and really delve into exploring this thing. Growing up I always had music and at times, after declaring my Music Major, the last thing I wanted to do after three hours of music theory homework was to come home and play more. During these times, I would bake and ever since whenever I feel stressed or really burnt out and music, or self-care aren’t enough baking fills that void. Now, I still loved music but after having it taken from a hobby and made into what felt like a job, in which I had to compete impress my peers and had immense pressure to succeed, I needed some space. This brings me to my third tip:
- IT’S OKAY TO NEED SPACE! In this time of history there is an overwhelming amount of pressure to be constantly around people. Now for some of those lucky ducks who are true extroverts you are probably thriving in this 21st century lifestyle and you can disregard this tip. But for the many others out, like myself, there who are feeling truly overwhelmed. Know this: it is totally and 100% okay to need time alone. This is something that I have grappled with feeling guilty about for many years and only recently did I realize you don’t need to feel guilty to want to be alone. And if the people you choose to call friends are really good friends they will understand because realistically they also like to have alone time from time time. Remember, there is a BIG difference between taking time to be alone and being lonely. So, don’t let people assume you are lonely if you can be enough entertainment and can satisfy your needs without the help and company of others!
- Exercise! I have always been an active person. I played sports, took Karate lessons, and was generally high energy, however, when I went to school a few years back I fully embraced the I’m a college student now I’m too stressed to work out mindset. That is until about six months ago. I got super involved with outdoor activities, like tennis and running, over the summer and made it a goal to stay active even into the depths of a bitter Pittsburgh winter. This goal has totally met, if not exceeded, the expectations I had when it was first set. I feel better, both physically and mentally, and working out has become a great hobby and stress relief for me. I recommend taking some type of group workout class if you don’t feel you’ll be able to maintain a routine during busy times. I find having friends and others around, who are also aiming to better themselves mentally and physically, really help hold me accountable not only to work harder and push past the tough, tiring times but also simply make it more fun!
- Eat well. I am a firm believer in the philosophy of: you get out of your body the same effort that you put into it. This mean is you don’t put good things in, nothing good will come out. So, if you want to feel good on the inside and outside, you should be giving your body good foods and nutrients. These good foods and vitamins and other factors of a healthy lifestyle are vital because, your other healthy changes will only be half-way felt if you are still eating toaster pastries and burgers 24/7. I have to admit living on a college budget (which essentially means a negative bank account for the next 10 years) eating healthy sounded initially intimidating.But, I now realize this was yet another excuse and assumption that I have since proved false. Don’t get me wrong there are some stores and places that often up-charge to make healthy items more expensive (likely with the goal of making these items feel exclusive) but realistically eating well should not break the bank! As someone with numerous food allergies I have first hand experience with the frustration that accompanies seeing a $6 jar of sunflower seed butter next to a $2 jar of peanut butter. But, it is important to realize that yes gourmet nut or no-nut butter’s are going to more expensive but you don’t have to go gourmet in order to go good. Use coupons and shop around at places like Aldi and Sam’s club where you can buy staples like Oats and Veggies in bulk at a fraction of the price. Experiment with freezing fruits and veggies and lean proteins. Try a generic brand of coconut milk. And READ THE INGREDIENTS LIST!
I hope that these tips are helpful and I would love to hear your comments on how you stay healthy both mentally and physically. I am also always open to questions and will answer them to the best of my ability and as quickly as possible!
I hope you are staying sane in this crazy atmosphere that 2017 has created thus far, I know I am trying my best but we shall see! I suppose its a good thing I’ve started this blog with the understanding that things might get weird from time to time!
Later for now alligators!