It is that time of year again. Time to hit the books, get back to classes, and wind back up after a long summer. For me, this is the first time I have gone back to school in three years and I am beyond terrified. So, in case anyone is feeling the same way (anyone?) I am rounding up my top ways to make the transition back to school a bit easier on all of us. Because I need advice more than ever right now? AAANNNNDDD GO!
Invest in some Quality Meal Prep Containers
I love these. They motivate me to prepare meals so that I am not stressed out later on in the week.
Prep 1-2 Meal-Prep Friendly Recipes Per Week
Even if it is just a dessert or a healthy lunch, doing something for yourself can make all the difference. Some of my favorites include this quick sweet potato bread, this yellow split pea soup, and this thai slaw
Get a Grounding Mat.
Grounding mats are all about reconnecting with the earth as a means to promote energy. I started sleeping with one and no joke I genuinely started sleeping better and through the night. I’ll also sometimes bring it to class to rest my hands on.
walk in between classes
even if just for 10 minutes
schedule breaks throughout the day
even if it is just doing personal things, taking breaks can be 1 hour grocery shopping, home and study, 1 hour cooking, home and study, 1 hour walking, study
organize supplements for the week in pill container
get up and stand in the back of class
try to do even just 10 minutes of yoga
Either before class or on your lunch break. you just need the time to stretch out muscles I love doing the Yoga with Adreinne videos.
get a desk elliptical for under your desk at home
it makes for a way to move your legs even while you are studying. I like this one.
get a good planner
meditate for 10 minutes every morning
I use the headspace. it does wonders for me.
keep your space clean, minimal, and have a few low maintenance plants
it promotes clear thoughts
use essential oils
particularly, invest in ones that stimulate focus and memory, like rosemary, clary sage, basil, and lavender
make a friend text you every few days to check in on you
keep a cocokind matcha stick in the refrigerator and apply it under your eyes when you feel super stressed or crazy. Feels so relaxing I’m convinced it instantly plummets cortisol levels.
try to free yourself of the idea that you have to keep to a rigid schedule:
you may find that some days you prioritize some things more than other things. somedays I make it a point to awake up a half hour before class to take a walk. other days I just really fu**ing need to sleep. And others I need to get up study. Sometimes I try to study in the afternoons and other times I’m so fidgety that I just need to get up and go run or lift weights to release stale energy. Things don’t fit into compartmentalized time slots as neatly as we would like. And that’s okay. Take it day by day and try to adjust in the moment rather than being disappointed when you plan something so precisely and it just doesn’t work out. Prioritize two things you need to do that day and try to do those.
change your meditating routine
rather than finding a chunk of time to meditate –5,7,8 breathing or meditation here and there really helps me reset throughout the day and prevents large waves of stress at the end of the day
don’t save all your human duties for one day
it can be incredibly overwhelming. I usually do laundry Friday, 1/2 meal prep Saturday, 1/2 Sunday
bring your notes / notecards on a treadmill and walk while you read them
any little bit of studying helps
home workouts are your best friend
I like alexia clark, popsugar fitness, kayla itsines, physique 57 – these all require minimum equipment / time
keep motivational words next to your desk
they will make you remember WHY you’re going through such a grueling schedule. I love resilience and strength
keep plants in your room – ones that are super low maintenance that don’t require much watering
did you also know you can buy succulents online? I did not either.
buy yourself flowers
treat yourself fancy. get em at Trader Joe’s in you can find them.
make it a point to do one thing non-school related thing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
go to the movies. make dinner with a friend. have a drink (alcoholic or otherwise). even if just for two hours, make the time
remember the things that make you HUMAN
for me that’s a yoga class or going for a walk or staging photos for instagram or my blog or dancing. These are the thing that make me feel unique and impactful – try not to let them be entirely eliminated despite not having as much time for them anymore. Envision as your non-negotiables, as you’ll likely deteriorate quite quick if you put a halt on them.
surround your self with really absurdly inspiring people
whether they are in your field or not, feed off of their energy to keep you going on particularly challenging days
especially at night or if you get home and are just so tried and feel compelled to eat a bunch of junk. Drink one cup of tea and take a few deep breaths before doing anything else. I love this brand and this brand
start celebrating the small wins
the small wins start to feel very big. write them down, text them to your mom. for example, catching the bus you wanted to. finding a way to run up and down some stairs during your lunch break. putting away your laundry. those are amazing! and that’s the stuff that keeps you going throughout the day
don’t be afraid to cry. break down, release energy.
I know it can seem embarrassing to cry in front of a ton of people but hey, it’s cathartic. and sometimes you need that outburst to allow you to move on and keep trudging through.
have a therapist on speed dial
I have said this once and I have said this again: therapy honestly has saved me in more ways than one. I don’t way for tragedy to make moves to have someone who can help you. have them in your back pocket so that when something does strike, you have the resources to try to handle it. start trying therapists out when you feel well, so that you know you like them when you start feeling unwell. Also, if you feel you need to try something a little less of a time commitment, try Talkspace.
you don’t have to do it alone and you can’t do it alone
For me, this was one of the big things I just had to get over. lean on your classmates, your parents, your friends, your significant others and tell them when you’re about to freak. ask them to make some soup for you. ask them to throw in your laundry. ask them to work out a knot in your upper back. ANYTHING. your crew will support you in more ways than one
write a letter to yourself
why you are putting yourself through this absolute misery to remember the big picture and read it on days when you just want to give up
keep a broader perspective
read the news, participate in a charity event, volunteer – the world is bigger than what you are studying and there are way larger issues going on in the world. And what you are studying will totally make a difference.
don’t judge yourself for the mean thoughts that may arise
fraud syndrome, i can’t do this, why did they let me in, do i deserve to be here? i get it. i’ve been there.in those moments picture stroking yourself like a puppy. it’s okay. you’ve done the hard work so far. you deserve to be there. there’s a reason why you were chosen to be there. You can handle it. the rest is just maintenance.