Lists on Lists // De-stressors
I am officially enrolled in classes for the first semester of my senior year of college. It honestly feels like only a year ago I was a senior in high school, giddy about the possibility of running cross country in college, and lining up official visits with coaches. And here we are, the aftermath of my decision.
This morning I sipped my coffee and ate a Quest bar after my 6:00am workout at the rec center while making my typical to-do list/meal plan for the day. (I do this in Excel & I have way too much fun with colors and fonts.) My life practically relies on my day planner and schedules. For example, exhibit A:
This is just a sample, and my real to-do list is about 15x longer. Group projects are my life right now. The never-ending schedule has started crowding into my all-important 8 hours of sleep. It started to stress me out. What did I do? Made a list of stress-busters. Naturally.
Kenzie’s List of Healthy Habits to Adopt for Eliminating (or at least reducing) Stress:
***First let me preface by saying that I am no model for a stress-free lifestyle. I sincerely am adopting these habits for myself during this last month of the semester***
- Unplug at night. Read a book (like my new Sports Marketing textbook, Skinny Confidential’s Lifestyle Guide, or the The Maze Runner!)
- Sip a cup of green tea daily.
- Keep a journal *see below*
- Take two yoga classes each week (Monday/Thursday)
- Take a 10 minute walk in the middle of long study sessions
- Plan one “cheat” meal a week (for my sanity!)
Starting at the top of the list.
I have realized that its habit to check Facebook/Pinterest/Gmail/Bloglovin/Hulu when I’m “winding down” for bed. Which does the exact opposite. . . Not like there’s anything useful on these sites after 9pm anyways. Social media takes over enough of our lives during the day. Cue a real live bed time story :)
I added “keep a journal” specifically because of this Carpe Diem Journal my friend Emily bought for my 21st birthday. I haven’t touched it yet. Only because I wanted to save it for something substantial. I consider blogging a form of journalism, but it is highly-filtered because I keep 85% of my life private. This particular journal is “goal” themed and you know I’m all about those. So I am making it a point to write a couple times a week for myself. It should be fun to look back on and see which of my goals I actually accomplished. :)
Then there’s those yoga classes. . .
I hate yoga. I am impressed with anyone who can sit peacefully for an hour and not feel extremely antsy. When I’m in the gym, I’m there to push myself, work hard, SWEAT. And you’re telling me to just sit here and breathe?? Isn’t that an automatic bodily function . . .?
You’re saying “inhale // exhale” but I’m thinking “if I do laundry tonight, I can wear those cute jeans tomorrow.”
A restless brain like mine could seriously benefit from a forced-relaxation session. Or 30. I’m not going to like it, but I will try. :)
Lastly: cheat meals.
Clean eating is a wonderful challenge. But as with anything that’s 100% extreme, deprivation can make you go loonie. The fact that my roomies keep ice cream stocked in our freezer. . . or the fact that the girl next to me brings heavenly toasted bagels to class. . . or the fact that the chocolate-covered pretzels call to me every time I walk through Sprout’s. . . are out of my control. But they seriously test my will power.
I don’t want to deprive myself, because that’s not healthy either. So planning a “cheat” meal once a week is just enough to avoid a case of the grumpy-gretchen’s. BUT not dangerous enough to undo the whole week’s worth of work-outs. Limiting it to a “meal” and not a “day” keeps it in control. This might also be an excuse to pop open a bottle of my birthday wine that’s been decorating my counter-top for far too long ;)
So that’s the game plan for a happy end-of-semester. Plus it’s 8:54pm so I technically have to log off in 6 minutes! ;) I would love some of your best stress-reducing tips though.