Wednesday, January 25, 2017

6 Ways to Stay Out of the January Slump!

I was sitting in class today and realized that it's already week four of my university's quarter. Being on the quarter system means that everything moves so quickly, but the fact that it's already week four is so scary. Surprisingly, I have found myself to be really motivated this term, which can be hard during winter quarter since it starts out in January, the low point after the high of the holiday season. I'm actually really enjoying my classes so far, so that's probably a huge part of it.

Every year, though, it seems like I find it harder to stay organized and motivated as January is coming to an end. The month starts out great after relaxing during the holidays, and you feel the freshness of the new year. Towards the end of the month, however, you start to feel yourself tire out from all of the hard work of staying motivated, and it's super easy to fall into the trap of letting yourself slide back into old habits, and not stay as organized. I hope that isn't happening for you, but if it is, I thought I would put together a little guide on how to stay out of the "January Slump," or get out of it if you find yourself there!

1. Exercise at least 3-5 times a week, or make sure to move a little extra each day.
I find that when I stick to my exercise routine, I'm more motivated in the rest of my life. Getting tasks done is easier because I have more energy, and the endorphins from working out really do help. If exercising isn't really your thing, that's totally fine! Do lighter activities like stretching-based yoga, walking, biking, or light swimming. You can even just make sure that you stand up throughout the day if you're stuck at a desk, and do some simple stretches. This helps your blood to keep flowing, which is what you want in order to stay energized and motivated.

2. Fuel your body with healthy foods.
After the holidays, it's easy to crave healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, but after a couple of weeks of an especially green diet, your body can go back to wanting sweet things. Moderation is key here, and it's important to not slack off and fill your body with junk again. Sure, you can definitely have a small bowl of ice cream a couple of times a week, but make sure you're giving your body lots of healthy food to keep energy levels high! There's so many healthy recipes out there that are also really yummy, so if you need some inspiration, go to Pinterest! Macro-bowls are a huge trend right now, and they're so great because not only are they super healthy and filled with great nutritional value, but they're also really hearty and use things like sweet potatoes, brown rice, and quinoa to fill you up.

3. Make sure to use your planner.
This is a great tip if you're in school, and tend to forget about assignments as soon as you leave the classroom (ahem, I'm pointing a big finger at myself on this one). Whenever my professors or TA's mention an assignment in class, I make a point to take out my planner and write it down then and there. This gives me no excuse to forget about it later, and helps me get everything done on time. I also like to write down any big assignments I know will be due throughout the quarter, like huge papers, at the beginning of the term, so I have a heads up weeks in advance.

4. Write down your goals for every week.
I got into the habit of doing this last year, and it helps so much. I didn't know how useful it would be, but it forces me to look at the week in a more wholesome way, and helps me get into the mindset of getting tasks done. Creating little boxes to tick off is also a super easy way to motivate yourself if you're anything like me, because the satisfaction of marking something off is ridiculously pleasing. Doing this in the beginning of the week is also a really great way to start it out by knowing the things you need to get done, so you aren't rushed on Friday trying to scramble a ton of assignments and other miscellaneous tasks together.

5. Change up your living space.
This can be as simple as moving your bed into a different part of your room, or putting up some new artwork on the walls. Changing up the spaces your in everyday and see multiple times a day can be a really great way to inspire yourself. I don't know what it is about moving things around, but I'm always so satisfied afterwards. It keeps my creative juices flowing and motivates me to get other things done in my life. It's also exciting to come home to a different space, and see how it inspires you in different ways.

6. Clean and organize your living space.
This sounds stupidly simple, but cleaning up your space can de-stress and motivate yourself at the same time. Whenever I'm super stressed and feel like I'm in a slump, cleaning perks me up and motivates me to get other tasks done. There's just something super refreshing about cleaning up your living space that motivates you in other aspects of your life. I also just feel better when I know my apartment is clean, and it's super relaxing to come home and be able to unwind in an organized space. Maybe I'm just crazy, but cleaning is one of the best forms of therapy for me.

Alright, well there are six different ways of staying out of the January slump, and how to motivate yourself if you're already there! Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm definitely going to go and clean my bathroom and organize my desk, which will hopefully motivate me to get all of my class readings done for the week...

How do you stay motivated?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

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