I hope if your reading this whether you are in a relationship or single that your valentine’s day was wonderful. For me it was a day of relaxing and figuring things out in my life. I did not spend it with a boyfriend because as many people know I am not dating for a year. I honestly did not even do no school work. But during the day it made me think of how many women and even men want relationships and will do just about anything to get/ keep a partner. However, that has never been me.
I will admit that at times I do want to be in relationship at night. But, I have learned thus far in my graduate school journey that I must be responsible for my own love and happiness. I cannot wait for someone to come in and love me or create the happiness I desire. When I love myself it not only places a glow upon me, but it allows for people to see how I want to be treated. Also, self-love shows people that its ok to love yourself no matter what. When you love yourself in your sad and happy moments it allows you to see the growth inside of you. It also teaches you lessons that you may have once considered irrelevant. In regard to happiness, happiness can be as simple as smiling at the fact of being alive. When you embrace the small moments, especially in the craziness, it not only helps to get through the small moments but it helps you to appreciate things even in the down moments.
Personally, in graduate school I have had mental break downs where I did not know what to do. I would cry and scream and honestly, I may do these things again before the semester is out. I would even focus on meaningless task when I knew I had an assignment due. Then I would procrastinate. However, when I begin to express gratitude for the things I am doing or even my mini successes, I begin to feel as though that everything will be ok. So if your reading this, I want you to go out, be happy, love yourself, express gratitude for the little things and smile.
Picture from: pixaby
Have your ever made so many mistakes, that you began to question why in world the universe would give you certain task? Well if you have asked yourself that question, then you are just like me. Within the past 24 hours I have made multiple mistakes that I promised myself I would not make and ignored my intuition when it said to leave certain things alone.
The first mistake I made was with school. I completely procrastinated on all my assignments that I had due. Even when I had a schedule that I was going to follow to get all of my assignments done. Did I follow it? Nope. I was on social media and doing everything else under the sun/moon. The whole time my intuition was telling me, get off your phone and other media and finish your homework and work on your personal projects. Then when I finally did sit down to do my assignments, it was rushed and it honestly showed that I put no care into the work.
The second mistake I made was with social media. I was in a group that was solely focused about dating and was talking to people as though I was interested in pursuing something romantically with them. My intuition was telling me to get off social media and was reminding me that i knew full well that the only reason I was doing this is because I am procrastinating what I needed to do. I then began to feel bad because I knew that I was cheating my year of no dating.
I knew full well I should not have been doing either one of these things. I knew that I should not have been doing any of those things. I should have been choosing to better myself and grow, rather than focusing on temporary fixes. Some may read this and believe that I am being hard on myself, however, when you know what you are capable of, you know you should not be settling for less. Despite my screw ups, I still love me. I hold myself and apologize and move forward knowing that if I choose to do the right thing in the next moment, then my wrongs are not as bad. So to anyone reading this, remember even when things do not go according to plan and you mess up, Love yourself enough to apologize, hug yourself, continue forward and smile.
As I wrote in my last entry, I began my last semester of graduate school. Even though I am excited and nerve wrecked, my mental state has began to go back to a dark place that I had been in last semester. Last semester, my mental stability took a hit because I was feeling alone and could not understand why. I honestly did not want to do any work and I was always crying. Even though I was going to gym and listening to music, I was not taking care of myself. Recently, I started feeling how I did last semester when I began to shut down completely. I have since learned several ways that I can take care of myself without feeling as though I am cheating my school work process, which is how I would feel when I was not doing my school work. So here are my four ways that I practice self-care daily.
- Writing in a journal- in my journal is where I get real and raw. I write my deepest concerns and thoughts there. In this book, I can express what I cannot speak out loud. I try to write every day because it serves as a reminder that this is an option when I get frustrated. I recommend to anyone reading this to write your heart cries and desires. It can be in a journal, on sheets of paper or even make a video recording your feelings. I say write anything and everything.
- Reading a book- I can honestly say with my heart I am a book nerd. Books are always a great way to escape what’s going on in reality. Books have been the door to a portal that was necessary for me to go into. Since being in graduate school, I have learned the importance of reading leisurely because at my other college, I could not figure out how to fit it in, but now I have figured it out. I read non-fiction, fiction, business books, young adult and autobiographies to escape. I mainly use the library because I can explore and take out books that truly interest me. (Plus, I am on a graduate school budget) So run to your local library and check out a few.
- Meditation- Meditation has honestly been my saving grace because it allows me to just breath and have my mind at ease. Usually when I mediate I will sit on the floor, in my bed, or in the chair. I just take about five minutes to just breath and allow my mind to be at ease and at times I get great ideas. I would recommend people to meditate because it is a calming experience. You can personalize meditation anyway you want to by add music, candles or even meditating outside. The important thing is you take time for yourself to breath and just allow yourself the time to refresh.
- Walking- I love walking. Walking honestly has helped me to not only clear my mind but also to gain insight and new innovative ideas. Plus it’s just a good way to get fresh air, see your community and discover new things. I would tell you to walk because not only are you being active, and for my fellow introverts it gets us out the house but it provides a new perspective on so much.
These are my daily/ weekly self care things. I also do take myself out on dates to museums, shows, traveling, laying in bed doing nothing or dinners just to appreciate myself. But I do things four things frequently because self-care on the daily basis is essential for me and you to not fall back into that dark space. Some days I do multiple of these task and some days I do one. Just know you can create a self- care routine anyway you see fit and it does not have to cost a lot of money. The important thing is you feel great afterwards and feel ready to take on the world. Just remember to smile in the moment.
Prior to me starting graduate school, I had decided that I would take a break because I needed it. I had worked at my job up until the Friday before me starting school on Monday. I had planned a nice relaxing Saturday of doing nothing. Sunday I had planned to go to a festival with my boyfriend. However, my boyfriend at that time decided on Saturday to have a big argument (which to me was over nothing, however his feelings were valid to him and I respect them) and we broke up that day. Also on that Saturday I spent the day with my little brother, which was not too bad. Then Sunday, which is the day I planned to do nothing I needed up running errands and cooking dinner. Not really leaving me much time to relax and think about things. Most importantly not giving myself enough time to get back in the mindset of school. Even though I had just finished school in May, one still needs time to get back into the mindset of school, especially when starting a new program. I started classes on Monday, and I thought I was ready, but was I wrong. I was not motivated what so ever. I knew I had not thought things through because while I was in school I felt unmotivated, kept thinking “why am I here”, and kept watching random YouTube videos. I even watched the Elle Woods scene in Legally Blonde to try and motivate myself. Even Elle Woods could not help me want to do work. It was during my night class this week that I decided to give myself a break. So, for a day and a half I took the break I needed. I had the chance to just breathe, not worry about errands, or others needs just focused on me. I think the best part was, I took a break from social media (except for YouTube because of TEDx Talks). By practicing self-care, I had the opportunity to rethink what my goals are, my ambitions, listen to TEDx Talks and even practice self-forgiveness, which is always important. By taking a break I realized how tired I was and that I had a little heart work to do. Now that my break is over I feel more prepared to tackle grad school. My message to anyone who is reading this post: Take a break if you need it and if anyone tries to tell you otherwise, tell them to take their stress somewhere else.