Fast Five Friday!

Hey friends!

I’m so glad that it is Friday!  Did anyone else feel like this week took forever?  …I think I feel that way every week…haha.

It’s been a busy week, and I have a busy day today – class at 9, meeting with a professor, class at 12, and lab from 1 to 5 – but then it’s the weekend!  Weather permitting, I’m planning to do some adventuring in the city this weekend…I have a list of places I’ve been wanting to visit, but this is the first weekend in I-don’t-know-how-long that I’ll actually be able to take some time away from studying to do that.  So I’m excited!  Also, our housing selection is Saturday – we get our lottery number tomorrow, so fingers crossed for a good one!

Now that I’ve filled you in on my [very open] plans for this weekend, here’s what I have been up to this week, “Fast Five”-style!

1. Eating ALL the veggies.  I don’t know what it is, but some weeks I just want can’t get enough vegetables!  I actually texted multiple friends…and my mom…raving about my salad last night and the veggies and chicken I had Wednesday night.  I guess there are worse things to go crazy over…? 😀

Roasted chicken + every vegetable I could find on Wednesday night.

Roasted chicken + every vegetable I could find on Wednesday night.

Yesterday's KILLER salad from Sweetgreen: wild rice + kale + chicken + caramelized onions + roasted mushrooms + cherry tomatoes + carrots + hummus + lemon squeeze.

Yesterday’s KILLER salad from Sweetgreen: wild rice + kale + chicken + caramelized onions + roasted mushrooms + cherry tomatoes + carrots + hummus + lemon squeeze.

2. Surviving midterms.  No, I did not fail my Orgo exam.  HALLELUJAH.  I swear, Organic Chemistry does this thing where it takes my heart and puts it in a blender and turns me into emotional soup.  Usually I don’t let classes get under my skin like that, especially because I usually end up doing okay on the exams, but there’s something about Orgo…

3. Walking.  Soooooooo many walks.  And I love it.  Yesterday, it was SEVENTY-FOUR degrees outside.  Maybe it’s actually spring…?  (Oh wait, tomorrow’s high temp is only 45.  Nope, just kidding…not spring.)  But hey, this week was pretty nice overall, and yesterday was awesome, so I can’t complain too much. 🙂  And what could be better than jamming out to music, exploring this beautiful city, and getting in some exercise all at the same time?

4. Morning quiet time.  I used to get my exercise in before breakfast-time, but there were two problems with that: 1.) I was sacrificing some sleep to do so, and 2.) my morning hunger is a raging beast from basically the moment I wake up (seriously, ask my family…don’t get between me and my breakfast when I’m hangry!).  So I’ve been waking up a little bit later for the past few months – albeit way earlier than most college students – and having breakfast while reading my daily devotional, enjoying my coffee, and easing into the day.  Let me tell ya, it is nice. 🙂  And it really helped me stay grounded this past week and a half in the midst of midterm stress!

My favorite message from this past week's devotionals (I use SheReadsTruth).  Exactly what I needed to hear!

My favorite message from this past week’s devotionals (I use SheReadsTruth). Exactly what I needed to hear this week!

5. Not wearing real pants.  Yep, you read that correctly…no jeans for this girl!  I managed to go through the whole week without wearing anything besides leggings, crops, or sweats.  Reason #258712398425741 why I’m single…

So there ya have it!  That’s the quick-and-dirty on what I’ve been up to this week.  Make sure to drop by on Monday to hear about my weekend shenanigans! 🙂

Have an awesome weekend!

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What are you doing this weekend?  

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When Life Gets Crazy.

This past week and a half has been a whirlwind of stress, craziness, and emotions.

While I enjoyed my spring break at home with my family, during which I did things like…

…find oddly shaped sweet potatoes…

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…eat colorful veggies…

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…and team up with my mom to WIN at the breakfast game…

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…I also had this big heavy cloud of anxiety hanging over me because of all of the assignments and midterms I knew were coming in the week and a half right after returning from break.  A history paper due last Tuesday, a Neuro midterm on Wednesday, a Psych midterm on Thursday, and an Orgo lab report due Friday…then an Orgo exam on Monday night…it was like a nightmare.

Usually, I manage my stress fairly well – not well, but good enough – but that is because I rely heavily on running to be my stress relief tool.  However, because I am currently not running, I discovered just how stressed I am capable of getting…and it was pretty ugly.  One of the many things I’m working to improve! 😀

Although being stressed sucks, it is forcing me to find ways other than running to get some of that negative energy out, which is a good thing.  Taking walks through the city while listening to music, yoga (sun salutations are my jam!), and writing seem to be helping.  I also have been making a conscious effort to hang out more with my friends and really open up to them this semester, because I tend to pull away when I’m feeling stressed or upset.  And I’m loving it!  I’ve made some good memories this semester, strengthened some existing friendships, and made new friends – which, let me tell you, is way harder as an adult than it is when you’re a kid!  Haha.

Life gets crazy.  It’s inevitable, and we can’t keep our cool all the time…and that’s okay.  It all works out in the end! 🙂

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What are some of your favorite ways to relieve stress?

Tips for Dealing with [Finals Week] Stress

Hi everyone!  Hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday. 🙂

My days lately are just running into one another…it’s so hard to keep track of the days when there are no classes to help me remember.

I have been extremely EXTREMELY stressed the past several days.  My Chem final was Monday and it was harder than I had expected (it was harder than EVERYONE expected, based on what I have heard from my classmates) and today I have my Bio final at 12:30 and my eight-page Theology paper due by five.  Yesterday was a hot mess and I was in the student center basically from when I left the gym at 7:30 a.m. to when I went to my room to go to bed last night.  A lot of coffee was consumed, lots of music was listened to, and an infinite number of practice problems were solved.

No wonder my friends say that I’m the “mom” of our group…I always pack myself a lunch to take with me to study.  Yup.  Coolest kid in school.

Don't judge the pretzel-to-sandwich ratio happening here.

Don’t judge the pretzel-to-sandwich ratio happening here.

Of course, I had a banana too…I just couldn’t bring myself to post another picture featuring a banana because I’m trying to pretend that I don’t have a problem.  Shhh.  It’s really cool, guys, don’t worry.

Since it is finals week for many college students right now, I thought that I would share a few of my strategies for dealing with stress.  These are specific to finals, obviously, but a lot of them apply to many other situations too!

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HOW TO DEAL WITH [FINALS WEEK] STRESS:

1.  Exercise.  <— My favorite way to deal with stress.  Writer’s block?  Grab your sneaks and go for a short run.  Hitting a wall in your studying?  Take a break and hit the gym for a little bit.  Trust me, you’ll feel a lot better.  Even just twenty minutes of cardio helps me to clear my mind, calm down, and refocus.

2.  Eat [the right] food.  Sure, that candy/pizza/soda seems like a great idea right now, but it’s probably going to make you feel like crap later and definitely will not give you the energy you need to power through studying and exams.  I’m a huge fan of sugar and caffeine (because who isn’t?) but just because it’s finals week doesn’t mean you should go to town and stress-eat everything in sight.  Everything in MODERATION.  Eat lots of protein, fruits, and veggies and treat yourself when you really need it. 🙂

3.  Give yourself a break (or two or three).  You’re not going to be able to focus on one subject for a whole day – and even if you think that you can, you’re probably not absorbing as much as you could be.  Every few hours, take a break, stretch, walk around, hit the gym…get a change of scenery.  Move to a different table wherever you’re studying.  And switch subjects/material every few hours so that you spend even amounts of time on each.

4.  Spend time with friends.  One of the worst things you can do during a stressful time is hole up by yourself and not see the outside world – let alone your FRIENDS – for days.  Even if you don’t think you have time for it, MAKE time – even just a twenty-minute conversation over crappy dining hall dinner food can help to distract from the stress of finals (for both of you!).  My thing lately is going to the gym and then straight to dinner with two of my friends.  They’re two of the things I do every day anyway, so going with friends is an easy way to hang out without feeling like I’m losing study time.

5.  Treat yo’self when you’re done!  You’ve worked hard – you deserve a reward.  For me, the reward usually involves food because, well, FOOD.  To celebrate the end of Theology (because that class turned out to be WAY more stressful than we ever expected), L and I are going brunching tomorrow (side note: the restaurant we’re going to has GF crepes and I’m SO BEYOND EXCITED).  But your reward should be something that you love, whatever that may be!  TREAT YO’SELF GIRL.

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I hope that everyone is having a wonderful week!  Time for me to do some last-minute Bio studying before the exam – and to get some more coffee in my system so I’m nice and awake for it. 🙂  Happy Wednesday!