Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wake up Sleepy Head

     I have always considered myself a morning person. Sure, I don't like to wake up really early but, I mean, who does? I may not have the energy or the will to get out of bed in the morning, but I am no means a snoozer. When my alarm goes off I am awake. I just have so much to do in a day and I feel like by snoozing, I am taking up a good chunk of time. But for future warning, you can bet that if I hit snooze in the morning I am either 1. tired to the point where I can't function meaning that I will not be getting out of bed or 2. deathly ill meaning that I will also not be leaving my bed.
     I thrive on routines. I wake up at the same time on certain days, eat at certain times and go to bed at certain times. Over the years getting into a routine has been tough, especially with unexpected late night homework sessions, binge watching YouTube videos or just pure insomnia. But through all of those obstacles I think I have found a few tricks to becoming a morning person and, if you already are one, a better morning person.

ONE// Don't Snooze. This is probably the hardest step, but I promise, it makes a world of difference. It is proven that our brain basically knows our snooze button. Chances are when you hit it in the morning you will fall back into a very light sleep because your brain is expecting your alarm to go off in a few short minutes. This, in turn, messes with your sleep cycle. It might sound crazy, but my alarm has a built in snooze. If I know that I have to be out of my bed at 7am, I will set my alarm for 6:50, sit up and take time to check social media or do what ever I want. As soon as the clock hits 7, I must get out of bed. It gives me time to sit and relax for a little bit while still being on time.
This is way too common for many of us.

TWO//Sunlight. The best way to wake up in the morning is to be woken up by sunlight coming through your window. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you sleepy. When exposed to the sunlight, your body is signaled to stop the flow of it. It is the way that I wake up in the morning, but if you are concerned about the sun waking you up before your alarm goes off, buy and eye mask.

THREE//Pump up the jams. As said in one of my previous posts, which you can find HERE, I talk about Spotify. Man, do I love Spotify. When I wake up in the morning I normally play one of their suggested playlists just to wake me up a little more. When you have music playing you will be too busy dancing around your room to be upset about having to wake up. Haven't heard of Spotify? That is totally ok! It is completely free to download. If you are interested, you can download it HERE.
     Some of my current favorite Spotify playlists are:
       -Afternoon Acoustic
       -Viral Top 50: US
       -Morning Commute
       -Mood Booster

FOUR//Power Down. An hour before you plan on going to bed, turn off all electronics such as TVs, your phone, iPads or computers an hour before you want to sleep. These screens will make it much harder for your brain to wind down. So snuggle up with a good book or chat with friends before you go to bed.

FIVE// Hydrate. Every night before I go to bed I put a large cup of water by the side of my bed. Drinking water as soon as you wake up not only helps to combat sleepiness but it also kick starts your metabolism to get you read for the day. During the day it is great to drink a lot of water, so this helps with your daily hydration.

SIX// Do things at night. I am the type of person that showers at night. It gives me more time in the morning to slowly drink my coffee or to check social media. I also pick out my outfits the night before so that I am not racing around my room trying to pick out something to wear.

SEVEN// Have something to look forward to. Be it a run, a hot shower or a steaming cup of coffee, having that one thing that makes you want to wake up will make it that much easier to stumble out of your comfy bed.

     Being a morning person is not for everyone and that is totally ok. I am just telling you what works for me. I find it nice to be able to wake up and go to class without the worry of possibly falling asleep during a professor's lecture.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to Plan for the Busy Weeks

Classes are slowly starting to pick up. Sometimes I find myself looking at my planner and thinking how the heck am I supposed to finish all of this? It just seems like sometimes there is not enough time in the day to complete everything that needs to get done. You know those weeks when you have some assignment due, some meeting scheduled, some practice to go to, on every day of the week? Yep, well that is how it has been here.
     Currently I am taking 16 credits of class (which is normal here), blogging, playing a sport, giving tours and maintaining a healthy social life. I guess what I am trying to say is that things get busy, but everything is manageable.

ONE// I know I say this a lot but, USE A PLANNER. If I did not have a planner I would probably die. Whether you use a paper planner or a planner on your iPhone, just make sure you have one. During really busy weeks, and I mean really busy weeks, I can even organize things down to the hour. This may sound weird, but I have two planners. One is my normal one that I use on a daily basis and the second one is one that I use primarily on Sundays. My Sunday Planner, as I call it, is a more broad planner. I write down all my assignments for the next week along with all meetings, practices and activities that I have to be at. This planner is organized into three categories:
     Could Do's- tasks that could get done if I had extra time, such as non-mandatory meetings and events and shopping.
     Should Do's- important things that I really should do, such as meetings or events. But these things can be rescheduled if need be.
     Must Do's- my non-negotiables such as assignments, studying, practice, mandatory meetings, class and keeping in touch with friends and family.
Upon breaking it all down into these three categories, it is also color coded. Each category has a color and then each day something is due has a different color. As you can probably tell, I am a very visual person.
My daily planner.

My list of things to accomplish for the week.

TWO// Make other lists. Along with my very intense planner, I also make lists for each day. These are often broken down by time segments (morning, afternoon and night). On this list I write down all the stuff that must get accomplished for the day.
I do this every day in a plain, spiral bound notebook. It just helps me to be a little bit more organized throughout the day. 

THREE//These weeks are the hardest time for me with social media. I get distracted so easily so once I open up Facebook it often sucks me in for a few hours. During my busy weeks, I often have to limit my social media usage.

FOUR// During busy weeks I often forget to take time to myself. Balance out your caffeine intake with water. Schedule when to sleep at night or when to take a quick nap (I love naps). Take breaks during the day to go for a walk, listen to some music or talk with some friends.

FIVE// Planning ahead is one of the things that I often forget to do. if you know that you have a busy week ahead of you, do your laundry before the week, get little assignments out of the way, or if you have meetings or appointments that can be rescheduled, do it to clear up sometime. Also, if I know that I have a busy week ahead I will clean up my room a bit so it makes me feel less cluttered.


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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Best

     Holy guacamole. It has been nearly four weeks since I have posted. WHAT THE HECK SUSANNA. GET WITH IT. But seriously. I am so sorry for the lack of posts lately. The past four weeks have been a whirlwind of moving in, preseason, classes, rugby and just a whole bunch of other things. I am happy to say that I am finally starting to feel settled in my new living situation for junior year and I am currently loving every second.
     So, as stated above, I've been a tad busy. So, to kind of narrow things down I have picked a few of my favorite things lately. They range in topics, so just bear with me.

SONG// Wowza. I have been listening to A TON of music lately. I have a strange taste in music. I  pretty much like everything. A perfect thing that often helps me find new music is Spotify. Man, I love Spotify. It's pre-made playlists are amazing and it helps me to find new music that I would have never heard of otherwise. Some of my recent favorites are:

     -Shut Up and Dance: Walk the Moon
     -OctaHate: Ryn Weaver
     -Beware the Dog- The Griswalds
     -Don't Wait- Mapei

SUITE// ohhhhmygoodness. I love my suite. But seriously. It is pretty much the best place in the world. I am living with amazing people which makes everything 1000xs better. We finally finished decorating our common room and we are all in love with it. Honestly, we spend way too much time in the common room. On Tuesday and Friday nights we are pretty much all sitting in there watching TLC and just joking around. My room is also amazing. This is my first time having my own room at SMC and granted it gets lonely at times, but it is nice to have my own space. Plus, I loved decorating it!
MY ROOM! I am literally in love with my room. 
(our amazing common room. We have finally finished decorating! Thanks to Candice for taking the picture)

SCHOOL// If you haven't already guessed by my previous posts, I love school. I really do. And this semester is no different. I adore all of my classes. This semester I am taking Photo Journalism, Philosophy of Ethics, Early Latin America and Race and Ethnic Relations. Even though they are a lot of work already, I really enjoy the work that I am doing for them. They constantly keep me engaged and the material is extremely interesting.

RUGBY//  Rugby has been amazing the past couple of weeks. Our first conference game was yesterday and we were all very pleased with the outcome. We beat Providence College 62-5. It was so nice to be out on that pitch again playing with some of my best friends. It was also great to see a bunch of alumni that came back to watch the game. Preseason happened a few weeks ago and it was amazing. Although it was really tiring it was so much fun. We had a camp during the weekend of preseason and Jamie Burke, a USA Women's National player and Candi Orsini, a USA National coach came and taught us some amazing skills. It was a long few days but it was so worth it.
(Rugby camp with the Burlington Women's team.)

TREATS// I don't normally gravitate towards sweets, I tend to prefer salty things. But one of my friend's mom made some AMAZING treats for us in the past few weeks. Her homemade granola bars were heavenly and just when we thought it couldn't get any better we were given cookies and cream cupcakes. HOLY GOODNESS. They are so good.

MEMORY//You are probably sick of hearing about summer camp. But I am sorry, I just can't talk about it enough. I love the place. Earlier today I was looking back at pictures from it and it just reminded me how much I miss it. If you have not considered working at a summer camp, well then, you seriously should. I can't suggest it enough and I miss it every day. The friends and memories that I made at camp are ones that will last a lifetime.
(l to r: Max, Jordan, Me)
Lifeguard training with these two goons!
(Nicole and I at our Fairy Tale staff dinner! She was Mulan and I was Flounder from the Little Mermaid!)

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