I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve logged on and intended to type up a quick post. But then my Excel sheet to-do list reminds me about the dozen other high-priority tasks to tackle that I can’t justify postponing. In a week, my junior year of college will be over. Finals and group projects and term papers will be done. And I will regain my sanity. :)
But I have a moment now, and not a clue where to start…
There was Easter brunch, inspired by Pinterest:
In the midst of chaotic days, there were several drives out to my peaceful place:
Group projects consumed my life. There were a few spontaneous froyo stops with friends for some chocolate therapy. We’ve given ourselves a “free pass” on our diet for the last couple weeks of school. Projects, papers, presentations, final exams, packing, workouts, appointments, meetings and every day life….it can be stressful. This is the time to go a little easy on yourself and just do the best you can.
Then Ellie Goulding came to town:
Ellie was amazing live! Her voice is so angelic. People-watching the drunken freshman in crop tops and flower crowns was hilarious. And we sang along to every word we knew. “God knows I’m not dying but I’ll bleed now. And God knows it’s the only way to heal now.” “It’s a shame you don’t know what you’re running from….you know this your biggest mistake. What a waste, what a waste, what a waste.” “And I don’t know where I’m going, but I know it’s gonna be a long time…Wanna hear your beating heart, tonight.” “
The year-ending brunch for the college of business was another opportunity to dress like a “grown-up.”
I stuck with good ole’ Special K for breakfast though ;)
I have one more very exciting life event to share……
.. but I’m going to have to save that for it’s own post next time ;)
Seven more days until I move back home for the summer and reunite with my snuggle buddy Missy. I can’t believe my junior year of college is already over, but at the same time I need it to just end. This has been one of the most stressful and overwhelming semesters, academically. Fall will bring a fresh start after a summer full of eating clean and building up my running mileage again. :)
But I still have finals to get through first! Time for a best-friend-study-date. Every semester Kerri and I spend finals week together for evening study sessions with country music, Sprout’s coffee, snacks on snacks, and sporadic dance breaks :)
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.
College classes are amazing in that you can actually get credit for taking “Stretch and Relaxation” for 50 minutes twice a week. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Today was my first day in the PE class and I am already so glad I signed up! I am really excited to learn about stress management and relaxation techniques. Not to mention time dedicated to stretching, a task I often tell myself I am going to do and “forget”….
Being in college full-time as well as on a sports team, having a job and balancing a social life was one of the most stressful things I have ever done. This semester I quit my job (as a Supplemental Instructor, or teacher’s assistant) and am involuntarily on a break from cross country, so I do have a lot more time to dedicate to studying and having fun (like keeping up this blog!) But in my crazy-busy schedule last semester, I did learn that in order to keep my hair from falling out, I’d have to make an effort to reduce my stress. Some things that help:
1. Switch to decaf after around 4pm to make sure I’d be able to fall asleep easily
2. Get away from the computer/TV at least half an hour before going to bed (I like to give myself a good facial during this time!)
3. Pack your lunch/pick out your outfit the night before to give yourself more time when getting ready
4. Get outside and enjoy fresh air (I multi-tasked and got in a leisure evening walk while calling my parents just to talk a few times a week)
5. Keep an organizer to write down your schedule. My planner was my life-line last semester, color-coded and completely full of all the information I knew I couldn’t possibly remember
6. On a particularly stressful week of school, my mom sent me a special care-package….not the chocolate chip cookies and homemade fudge kind. The healthy, relaxing, spa treatment kind:
Can’t wait to share what else I learn from this class through out the semester : ) In other news, I hear my little polar bear is keeping my bed warm while I’m away. If pet’s were allowed in dorms, Missy, I would keep you with me!
Less Stress, More Fun. Share your de-stress tips!