More Me Time

In between the crazy demands of school, family, friends and the gazillion other things we cram into our lives, it becomes really easy to forget about yourself. As a student, I’ve learnt not only that me time is precious and hard to come by, but that making room in your busy schedule to make it happen is so worth it.

It’s the same story for most: We have class, homework, assignments, tests and in-between the never ending work, still have to find time to eat, socialize and get enough sleep! I seems just about impossible when you first start getting in to the groove of the school year, so “me time” is something a lot of people overlook or forget about entirely.

But here’s the thing… you shouldn’t!

I know, I know, it’s so easy to start worrying about taking time away from the library (it’s definitely hard for me) but once you exercise your “me time” muscles, it really does help you out.

School is important and obviously staying on top of assignments and readings is why you’re here, but burning yourself out by not taking breaks or time to follow hobbies and relax is sooo counter-productive! Not only will you feel the stress building up on your shoulders, but almost every other area of your life will begin to feel the effects of overwork.

Our schedules are so hectic as students, they start early and end later than they should, and amidst it all, it’s hard to fit in all the things we need, to get done. Here are some simple ways to add “me time” back in to your schedule without putting school on the back burner!

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Set a Bed Time

This one seems a little odd but let me explain! I go to bed (or try to anyways) at 10:30 every night, and at 9:30, I stop any work I’m doing and do something I want to do. My evening me time usually consists of self-care type things and doing yoga. Setting this time standard is so helpful because it becomes really easy to build this hour in to your schedule (taking an hour to wind down before bed is also an amazing way to fall asleep faster if you have trouble with that).

Wake Up Earlier

If you’re more of an early bird, waking up an hour, or even half an hour early can work wonders. Starting the day quietly by taking care of yourself (maybe make a fancy breakfast or take a soak in the tub) will start your day off on a totally different foot. I’m determined to become a morning person this year and while I’m not fully there, I’ve definitely noticed a change in my mood and stress level if I start the day out by doing something I like (it’s also so much easier to wake up if you have something to look forward to!)

Extend Your Lunch

If you aren’t a night owl or an early bird, taking an extra long lunch might be just the right thing for you! Lunch is a lovely time of day to focus on doing something to destress and focus on yourself, I mean what’s better than reading a few chapters of your favourite book while eating?

Take Breaks

During study sessions, make sure to take breaks. They don’t have to be long (fifteen minutes usually does the trick) but make sure you take them regularly (say every two hours). Not only will this break free up your mind, you can take some time to stretch or grab a snack, and  you’ll feel so much more motivated and ready to sit down and work again!

Schedule It In

Sometimes, there’s nothing else we can do and our time seems to escape us. If you live because of your planner/daily schedule, physically pencil in some me time. It doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be extravagant, all you need is twenty minutes to decompress and focus on yourself! Writing this time into your daily schedule makes it easier to work your day and responsibilities around it so that you can make everything work (it’s also another reason to spend a good half hour organizing and list making – a favourite pastime of mine).

Join A Club

Joining a club for something your passionate about and interested in is the perfect way to put some me time in to your schedule. It might not be your typical “alone time” but with mandatory events and meetings, this time to get away from the stress of school work is built in! Clubs also provide the perfect setting to make friends and build a support group from people with similar interests and values!

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Life can get pretty hectic and if you don’t take the time you need to rest and recoup, you can hardly expect to reach your potential! Hopefully this post has given you a few tips for adding “me time” back in to your crazy schedules!

What’s your favourite way to spend free time?

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Dress Up Your Desktop

Hello!

As school became more intense and hellish over the year, I started compiling motivational quotes. I wrote them in my agenda, the corners of lecture notes and on post-it’s stuck all around my dorm room. Cheesy I know, but on rough days when it seemed you could barely make it to the bathroom alive, a few sentences of encouragement were just the thing to give you an extra push.

I’ve especially taken a liking to motivational laptop wallpapers, because opening up my computer to a quote or message that makes me feel strong is awesome and gets me more in the mood to conquer whatever work I have to get done! I’ve searched high and low for some good ones, but ended up making my own with sayings I find especially encouraging, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you to help you stay motivated when life gets intense!

BE KIND TO YOURSELF-2
This quote is especially important to me, and is something I tell myself a lot. When life gets busy we tend to beat ourselves up when things don’t go well (or who we planned anyhow), but, everyone should remember to be kind to themselves (that whole your body is a temple philosophy) because you have you for life, and you’re pretty amazing.

 

BE KIND TO YOURSELF
A similar phrase with a more flowery background (because who doesn’t want to smile when they see pretty pink flowers?)
be your own hero
The most sustainable source of happiness, is yourself! If you can find your own peace and joy, you are indestructible!

There you go! Hopefully using these will brighten your laptops/desktops a little and remind you to give yourself grace (in the words of Justin Bieber).

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2016 // Get It Girl

2016 has become (to my surprise) a year of action. The “Get it Girl” year I’ve been pining for. The last few months of 2015 were incredibly trying for me and as New Years came and went, I decided I was sick of feeling powerless in the face of my life, like I didn’t have any sort of control over what was happening. The exact opposite is true of course, my life is in my hands, and the moment I realized that, everything changed.

I’ve made some lofty goals for myself, and while it isn’t impossible to implement them all, New Years resolutions have never been my forte. In an attempt to make sure I stick to all this good stuff, I decided to share them with you good people of the internet, not only to hold myself accountable, but to hopefully inspire one or two of you to stop saying “tomorrow” and finally do the things you’ve always wanted to (Nike was right guys, Just Do It).

One of my favourite Instagramers Karla Reed (a fabulous/hilarious/goals worthy mom and blogger) inspired me to follow in her tradition of picking a word/quality to focus on in the new year, and through some weird coincidence, we picked the same one: JOY. After a difficult 2015 full of changes and some not so great stuff, focusing on joy and cultivating self-love seemed like the perfect plan of action. When I say I want to focus on joy, I mean looking at the little things, the blue sky or chirping birds; finding and enjoying the beauty already in my life, more than I have been.

I’m excited to see what happens when I start appreciating these little joys more regularly and I’m excited to see who I’ll leave 2016 as. I’ve written a bit of an essay here (#sorrynotsorry) so bare with me here!

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Journal More

I recently started journaling because I’ve heard so much about it’s therapeutic effects, I figured if it helped me get things out on paper (something I often find difficult to do) it would be worth while. Journals aren’t judgmental, they aren’t going to yell at you for bad ideas, or bitchy thoughts. What they will do, is egg you on and never get tired of listening to your problems. You can go on and on about so-and-so and what’s-her-face without the thing batting an eyelid; essentially, it’s a cheap therapist.

While it’s been difficult to get into a steady journaling habit (university, need I say more?), the time I have taken to write, has been good. It’s been emotional, fun, healing and it’s let me figure out some things that I would’ve needed longer to process on my own. I hope that throughout the year, I can get in to a groove (even if it’s only writing a couple times a week) at the very least I can actually use all the pretty notebooks I’ve hoarded throughout the years!

Be More Active

This is probably the world’s most popular New Years resolution, and while I’ve said this every year since middle school, for some reason in 2016 I’ve finally acted on it. Miraculously, I now workout six days a week school permitting (my parents are just as surprised as I am). I’ll do a more in depth post on this change in my life at a later date but let me just say this: boy was Nike right when they said “Just Do It”. Honestly people, pushing yourself to get up and move is one of the most rewarding and productive feelings and I can only hope to keep my motivation up throughout the year!

Take More Me Time

Throughout my first year of uni, I’ve learnt that me time = sacred time. In between readings, homework, assignments, tests and like, a billion other commitments, the only me time students seem to work in regularly is checking social media or going to bed (if they’re even that lucky). This year I’m making me time a priority, be it taking an extra half hour before bed to do yoga and read a book, or an entire day to relax and do the things I love to do (shopping, eating, crafting…the list goes on).

I know as a student things pile up and taking time away from studying seems scary and impossible, but when you take a moment to clear your head and relax, it’s amazing how much more productive and motivated you’ll be when you come back to your to-do list (again, an in depth post about this is also on the way).

Be More Creative

It’s become my opinion that stress (read: school) kills creativity. There doesn’t seem to be any time to craft, or read, or write anymore and that makes me sad! While this one kind of goes with my “me time” goal, I’m also trying to find smaller ways to be creative. Taking more pictures of the beautiful things I see everyday, finding things that inspire me in the ordinary and not holding my life to unattainable standards, but enjoying it for what it is.

Creativity is, I believe, something you make yourself with what you have, and while Pinterest, magazines and the internet in general are great for inspiration, it’s also really easy to get caught up in comparing your peaches to someone else’s kiwis. All this fancy wording to say, I want to focus on my own form of creativity, my uniquely “Lauren” ideas, without worrying what anyone else thinks of them. This is certainly going to be easier said than done, but we’ll see what happens.

Surround Myself With Beauty

This is a pretty simple goal really. I’m already surrounded by beautiful people and places, but this year, I want to expand this a bit more to the little things (like fresh flowers and scented candles) and to my general life. I like to call myself a positive person, but in the last couple of years my positivity hasn’t been around much. In 2016 my goal is to purge the negative vibes/people/habits/shoes/clothes etc. from my life. Anything that doesn’t support or make me feel strong, has to go.

I think as I’ve gotten older this has been an easier thing to do. During my first semester of university, I was really hit with how temporary some things and people are, whether you want them to be or not, and while it’s hard and sad at first, I’ve learned to accept that sometimes, even when it feels crappy, getting all that bad stuff out is better in the end.

Cherish The Little Things

This is exactly what you think it is, no hidden meaning here. My mom has always been a big believer in “Gratitude Journals” so as part of my journaling goal I’d like to start doing this (maybe I’ll make a series on the blog?).

Find New Hobbies & Explore Them

This definitely ties to my creativity goal, but throughout the year I’ve found a love for sewing and working out (among other things) and really want to explore these hobbies and work them in to my life in a more significant way.

Appreciate The Wonderful People In My Life More

This is also pretty straight forward, but the world is so busy that sometimes amidst it all, we forget to take a moment and thank the people who help keep our heads above the water. I am so blessed to be surrounded by amazing friends and family and I don’t tell them nearly enough how important they are to me. I definitely have to up my game here!

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So, those are my goals. I’m sorry this post was so wordy and essay like, but I really wanted to get in to (more for myself) the nitty gritty of this stuff, to explore it a little bit.

Do you have any goals for 2016? Let me know in the comments because I’d love to hear them!

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