Happy Valentines Day, everyone!
And Happy Valentines Day to my perfect valentine! I love you so much more than you know. I can’t wait to celebrate our third Valentines Day together this weekend!
Today I’m linking up with a couple of my favorite bloggers, Shay and Erica, for their monthly “How We…” Wednesday. This month’s topic is “How We Take Care of Ourselves”, which is a topic I’ve really grown to appreciate under the stress of grad school.
During undergrad, I used to rely pretty much on weekly sorority events and weekends out with friends as stress relievers and now wanted to be able to rely on some things that brought more relaxation into my life throughout grad school. From my own experience, school work can quickly consume you as the semester progresses, which would cause me to forget to set aside time for the things I enjoy. Well, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t become consumed by the stress of my first semester of grad school like I had during my toughest semesters of undergrad at CMU and I have to say, it worked out really well (yay for no mid-semester mental breakdowns)!
Here are the few things I’ve made a conscious effort to include more of in my daily life for my own self care, simply because I love how much relaxation each one brings me. Some have even carried over into becoming a few of my new years resolutions for 2018!
I love to read and I love how relaxed I become every time I do, but I never took enough time out of each week of undergrad to read books I enjoyed. I always felt guilty for reading something that didn’t pertain to school or for not spending that free time studying (yes, the CDO major does crazy things to your mind). Well, after getting so many new books for Christmas (plus a new cookbook) and in an effort to read more this semester, I made reading one of my 2018 resolutions!
Yoga had always been something I was interested in trying, but never got a jumpstart on. Before moving to Toledo I found out that my new roommate, Natalie, was a yoga instructor at Grand Valley and I was looking so forward to trying it out for the first time with her. Lucky for us living in Toledo, every Saturday morning this past Fall a local yoga studio hosted outdoor yoga classes right downtown and I. Fell. In. Love! I also tried aerial yoga for the first time at the end of last semester (when it eventually became too cold for outdoor sessions) and loved that too!
Yoga has quickly become one of my go-tos for self care and stress relief (shoutout to Natalie for getting me hooked). I love the way both my mind and body feel after every session. I seriously can’t wait for the outdoor sessions to start back up again downtown this Spring, but for now some classes at Yogaja Yoga will work!
This one seems a little obvious when it comes to self care, but it’s really something that I’ve tried to be more mindful of than I have been in the past. I’m the type of person that gets sick the second I become run-down or overtired (or work with kids in both school and clinic settings) so I decided to start making sleep a bigger priority last semester and it did me wonders. I didn’t get sick one time… not even once! Miracles do happen!
Whether it’s a Mud Hen’s Game, the Toledo Zoo lights, a comedy show, the weekend Farmer’s Market, or a Saturday morning yoga session, the local places and events that Toledo has to offer have been the most perfect way to get my mind off of school for a little bit (plus, make some memories in Toledo while I’m at it). Even though these kinds of events may not be the most relaxing things in the world, they’ve been exactly what I need on the weekends!
THE PERFECT CANDLE
There’s just something about lighting the perfect candle (aka Bath & Body Work’s Flannel Candle) that immediately relaxes you and takes all of your stress away. Candles have become a necessity for all evening homework sessions.
Last year, I made a new years resolution to travel more and I truly think 2017 ended up being one of the greatest years of my life because of it. Every destination that I had the opportunity to travel to allowed me a different kind of self care. Whether it was spending quality time with the girls of my family in NYC, cherishing the last few days of summer relaxation while camping at Pictured rocks with my boyfriend, or soaking up some much needed sun on tropical beaches with my best friend and family; I was able to gain relaxation that can only be found on vacation.
You can read my 2017 Travels blog post HERE!
Now that I’m in grad school, I won’t have as many opportunities to travel as I did last year, but my goal is to continue to make the best of the time off I’m given by fitting in weekend getaways (Chicago, I’m coming for ya this Spring Break) or small trips this summer. Until I graduate next year and actually have a salary (ahh, those will be the days) I’m going to do my best to continue including travel in my life wherever and whenever possible!
Last but not least… blogging!
I’ve always loved to write and since starting this blog back in May, blogging has been a relaxing way for me to reflect on and share my current experiences. Even though I don’t have as much time as I’d like to blog right now, evenings spent blogging are definitely a perfect way for me to unwind and relax.
And that’s all I have for my Valentine’s Day How We Wednesday.
I hope the rest of your week is full of the ones you love and plenty of relaxation!