How to Have a Productive Spring Break

Hi friends! It’s about that time when Spring Break sends college students from across the country to the southern U,S. to relax on the beach (with or without alcohol). As much as I NEEDED this break from classes and work, I’m definitely the type of person that doesn’t know how to handle free time.

If you’re like me, and also too broke to spend this week “relaxing” in Panama City, don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to make your spring break worth while:

1. Start a blog or finally write a blog post

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You see what I did there? The main reason I don’t keep up with this blog as well as I should is because of the hundred other things that I have to do to keep up with my lab, class work, or extra-curricular activities. But with this week long break, I am able to sit down with my thoughts and try to create something somewhat meaningful or interesting.

2. Spring Cleaning

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This totally sounds lame, but I love cleaning. In the middle of the classwork, I am forced to stare at the dust on my shelves and the clutter in my closet because I simply don’t have enough time. This week gives me more than enough time to do a little bit each day to keep my apartment shiny! So, yes, go through your closet and throw out those jeans that are three-sizes too small and, finally, organize that pile of clutter on your desk.

3. Go home and spend time with your family

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Your parents probably haven’t seen you in a while, and even if they did, they haven’t seen you without the stress of the next exam and piles of homework to do. For once, you can go home without worrying about an assignment due the next day. You won’t have to shut yourself alone in your room to work on that 2000 word essay. You can actually go home and spend quality time with them–I am positive that they will appreciate it!

4. Don’t forget your hometown friends!

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Your old friends want to see you too, even though you haven’t really kept up with them since graduation. Real friendships can pick up after any amount of time, you just have to give them a chance!

5. Finish your Netflix binge

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I don’t care what you say, this is still being productive. I started House of Cards about two weeks ago and am finally able to binge watch without guilt. A few Netflix/Hulu suggestions:

  • House of Cards
  • Call the Midwife
  • Greys Anatomy (always)
  • Friends (Why haven’t you watched this yet?)
  • Fuller House
  • The Office
  • The Mindy Project
  • Jane the Virgin
  • Supernatural (if I didn’t mention it, Eric would be disappointed)
  • Grandfathered
  • Orange is the New Black
  • American Horror Story
  • Melissa & Joey

I know my Netflix history is cliché. No shame.

6. Car Maintenance

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This week is a great opportunity to finally get your car maintenance. Get you oil changed, tires rotation, new windshield wipers…whatever you’ve been putting off for the last few months. Clean that bad boy from the inside out, spring is near!

7. Homework/Projects

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I know this is the last thing you want to do during Spring Break, but sometimes its good to be proactive. If you’re really nervous about one of your finals, why don’t catch up on some studying now or read ahead. This will be super beneficial when you get back from spring break and don’t have a mound of work to stress out about. By all means relax if you’d like, but classes aren’t over just yet!

 

Thanks for reading,

Yin

 

 

 

Back in the grind: Stress without suicide

Hi there, busy bees.

If you’re like me…you don’t have time to make long blog posts, so let’s get to the point here.

I am smack dab in the middle of the semester—classes are going at full speed. I’ve been spending ALL my time in class, at meeting, volunteering, in the lab, and only occasionally relaxing. I had the absolute WORST day yesterday and the reason being is that I didn’t make ANY time for myself!! My schedule was completely filled—every second of every hour. It was just the worst.

So, how to be stressed without killing yourself in the process? DON’T go through a day like I did yesterday. I specifically wrote in my planner “Don’t ever schedule another day like today.” I didn’t even have time to write that in until this morning!! That being said, here are XX ways to have a stressful day without going overboard:

1. Wake up earlier than you have to

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Rise and shine! Pending that you went to bed early enough to do so, wake up an hour or two earlier than you have to so that you can start your day the way YOU want to. What you have a super busy day so you can’t eat that new cereal you bought at the store that you wanted to try? DO it! Wake up and having an hour or two for yourself—trust me, it will make your day go much smoother and you will be a such a better mood when you finally have to accomplish some of those tasks of the day.

2. Dress with confidence AND comfort in mind!

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The worst thing about having a super long day is wearing those itchy jeans or that shirt that you feel like you look like a hobo in. Then, in the middle of the day, you’re stuck in that outfit…feeling uncomfortable or sludgy, and it really just drags you down. Next time, put on something that address both of these problems. Something comfortable, yet stylish and makes you feel confident. This is a long day…you don’t get to crawl back to your apartment in the middle of the day to change because your potato sack looks gross and its itchy. Have some go-to outfits readily available for this purpose!!

3. Remember to schedule time to eat

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HA! Totally forgot to do this yesterday. I ended up having to skip out on one of my meetings, because lunchtime rolled around, passed, and Yin was STARVING! Please, please remember that nothing is more important than your health and nutrition. A girl’s gotta eat, no matter what impending tasks are upon her. Trust me, that meeting can be rescheduled for another time.

4. Schedule “YOU” time

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Remember, this is your life. A day without showing appreciation to yourself is a day wasted. Half an hour devoted to doing something that makes YOU happy is just what you need to avoid insanity. Sometimes it’s hard to go through a whole day, realizing that nothing that you’ve done is what you enjoy or really wanted to do. Combat that. Clock in an hour of “me” time!

5. Don’t be afraid to say “no”

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One of the hardest things for me. I am always saying “I can do it” or “I’ll do it!” with excitement and joy, without realizing that I simply do nothavethetime. At some point, volunteering your time for every little thing isn’t even helpful anymore, because with your physical and mental exhaustion…you won’t be of any use. I like to tell myself that if I can’t fully devote enough time to an event or task so that I can accomplish it to my absolute best, then I don’t have time for it. Remember, you are human, and you can only do so much!

6. Remind yourself that this is temporary and that everything will be okay!

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You know what? Your stressful day will end. This long and boring meeting will adjourn. This incredibly difficult class will be over. The exam will be over soon. And you’ll survive it! You wouldn’t believe how amazing our bodies are and what we, as humans, can endure. You’ll look back and remember how crazy the day, week, or semester was…but you will have grown and you will have survived it. Yay you!

7. Reflect

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Once you finally get home in bed, reflect on how everything went. Was it good? Bad? Was it too much? Too less? What could you have done to make it better? What helped you get through the day? What didn’t help at all? I think sometimes we have to realize what our breaking points are and learn strategies to persevere through them or change the situation so that we can live our lives comfortably, happy, and healthy.

 

Lately, I’ve been super busy. Although I am the type of person that likes to stay busy, yesterday was just a little too much for me.  I hope these tips can help you cope with any stressful times that come your way in the next little bit. Feel free to share any other thoughts about how to combat stress or just tell me about your day! Let me know if you try any of these tips and how they worked for you.

 

Thanks for reading,

Yin