Thursday, September 14, 2017

5 Ways to Start the School Year in a Great Mental State

Mental health is a hot topic among college students - mainly because so many struggle with keeping up with it. College is a super exciting time, but it's easy to get overwhelmed when it starts to get busy. In order to avoid all of that, here are...

....five tips to get the year started right and stay on top of your mental health!

1. Make sure you have a planner or organizational system that works for you

Oftentimes, a huge part of stress is feeling underprepared and unorganized. Avoid this by getting a planner (or starting a bullet journal!), or putting together an organized system in place so you can stay on top of everything you have going on, and all of your school work! This is also a great idea if you have a job and are going to school full time - it's super easy to get overwhelmed, and consequently your mental health will suffer, which is what we don't want to happen!

5 Ways to Start the School Year in a Great Mental State

2. Get enough sleep!

If you've followed my blog for a while now, you know that I throw this tip in whenever I can. I truly believe you feel so much better when you get plenty of rest. Your brain is more awake, your body feels better, and your overall health is better both short and longterm. Anyone who knows me can attest to how much I love my sleep - whenever I can, I get in a quick nap and I'm seriously transformed into a new person. I really cannot function on less than seven hours, which is bad since I sometimes don't get a lot of sleep during the night, but I remedy this by taking naps! If you can't get a full eight hours of sleep, try your hardest to take naps throughout the day!

5 Ways to Start the School Year in a Great Mental State

3. Have a relaxing outlet

We all have interests and things we love doing, so make sure to actually make time to do them! If you have a favorite tv show, carve out an hour to watch it during the day, or read a book while you eat breakfast. I help keep my mind at ease by working out everyday, and reading during meals when I can. Of course I love to slip in episodes of New Girl, Criminal Minds, or Game of Thrones of course when it's finally on. Keep up with this, though, to give your brain a break! Having fun is also important, so break up those study sessions with something you love doing.

5 Ways to Start the School Year in a Great Mental State

4. Spend time with people who make you happy

Keeping up with friends can be hard in college, especially if you're living off campus after freshman year, because you all aren't next door neighbors anymore. Try and hang out with people who make you laugh so you can just relax and not worry about anything but taking the newest Harry Pottter/GOT/Disney quiz from Buzzfeed. Alternatively, you can also study with them or do homework, so you're getting work done and having fun.

5 Ways to Start the School Year in a Great Mental State

5. Get outside

REI is really moving in the right direction with their "Opt Outside" movement on Black Friday: it's important to get outside and get some fresh air every once in a while. Go on a hike with friends, go for a walk, or just sit outside and do homework. I find I feel a lot better after being outside for a little bit, and my head feels a lot clearer. Hiking is also one of my favorite things to do, so I always feel better after I've spent a couple of hours getting out of the city.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

How to be Successful in College: 5 Tips on Being Creative

Succeeding in college isn't only about getting good grades, studying for tests, and doing homework; it's also important to make sure you're staying creative and living holistically. It's easy to get stuck in the rut of studying for classes and getting stressed out, and not having a creative outlet to destress. Personally, I think it's really important to remain creative throughout college to give yourself a break from all of the busyness, but when you make it a priority it gets easier.

How to be Successful in College: 5 Tips on Being Creative

Growing up, my mom and I would do a lot of DIY projects together, so throughout high school I had a creative outlet, even though I was busy. I was worried I wouldn't be able to do the same thing in college since I'd have even more going on, but I've found that it can be done.

Here are 5 tips on how to be creative in college:

How to be Successful in College: 5 Tips on Being Creative

1. Prioritize your time so you have plenty of it to be creative

It can be hard to take time off of studying or doing homework, but it can actually be good for you to do so; it can feel like you're going crazy when you're sitting down for hours and staring at a book or your computer screen. To remedy this, pencil in some time to take a break and do something creative. After a long day at school or work I like to sit down and do some watercolor, even if only for half an hour, just to destress and allow myself to make a quick bit of art. I also like to just practice hand lettering throughout the day in the back of one of my notebooks so I get in a little bit of relaxation between classes, or while I'm eating lunch, having coffee, etc.

How to be Successful in College: 5 Tips on Being Creative

2. Have a couple of art supplies with you at all times

Okay, I'm not saying to have a full art studio's worth of supplies on you 24/7, but maybe just a couple of pens, a little paint set and two brushes, or some colored pencils and an art notebook. I like to keep one of my favorite hand lettering pens with me all of the time so I can get a quick practice in whenever the opportunity presents itself, especially if you can't plan ahead a lot for the first tip to work. This is fun to do during class breaks too, when you have a couple of minutes and a blank space in your notes that's driving you crazy!

How to be Successful in College: 5 Tips on Being Creative

3. Give an artistic flare to your notes

While some classes may require you to constantly be scribbling down notes, others might be a bit more relaxed and give you some time to add in a little creativity. If you find your notes to be dull and white, spice them up with a little color, or some doodles! You don't have to sit there and create a masterpiece - just add in some cute headings, and color code certain topics or sections of your notes. I was super bored with how my notes looked while I was studying freshman year (yes, I know, the style and "look" of your notes are not the most important thing - the content is!), so I started adding in colors and pretty headings so I was more engaged later on. This allows you to still be creative while taking good notes, and a great student!

How to be Successful in College: 5 Tips on Being Creative

4. Make art with friends

It can be so fun to just sit down with your gal pals and do a DIY, paint some watercolor, or anything else creative that interests you. Not only do you get to hang out with your friends, but you get to relax and unwind and get your creative juices flowing! If you're not into the party scene, or maybe you just want a chill night, invite your friends over to do that Pinterest DIY you've been dying to try. And of course, eat some yummy food while you're at it and watch your favorite movie or TV show, and if you're 21 and over enjoy some of your fave rosé too ;)

How to be Successful in College: 5 Tips on Being Creative

5. Keep an eye out on Groupon for art classes

Groupon should be your best friend in college if you like to do a lot of things but don't want to spend a lot of money, and oftentimes art classes pop up! Again, if you're 21 and older, watch for wine + paint nights so you don't have to pay the full price. There are plenty of other options, of course, if you're underage, so it's definitely worth a look. If you don't find art classes right away, don't fret! They are constantly updating the classes that are offered, and in the meantime, I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you, like a killer kickboxing class or a relaxing yoga one.

Alright, well there are five tips on how to be creative and successful in college! If you balance your time out, make it a priority, and apply at least a couple of these tips, I'm sure you'll find the time to be creative in college. I hope these inspired you to do so!

What are your favorite ways of being creative in college?

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