Motivational Monday: Power Through, not Down

 

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Happy Motivational Monday, friends! Can you believe we’re just 22 days away from the end of Spring quarter and a much-needed Spring Break? We’re so close to the finish line, I can see it in the not too far out distance. The thing about finish lines, however, is the closer they seem, the harder we have to push ourselves to get there. Now this doesn’t apply to every single moment, but I often feel like the closer I get to Winter Break, Summer Break, or any break for that matter, I’m less than enthusiastic about doing any work and find myself procrastinating more and more, wasting hours binge-watching a new show (The Fosters, anyone?), scrolling through Instagram (#studyblr), or doing a bit of online shopping (JCrew, take my money!). I keep putting off my responsibilities until they pile up so high, it all becomes too overwhelming. And just when the deadlines loom, I’m forced to buckle down and complete my tasks with anxiety and stress at an all-time high. Does this sound familiar? I thought so. If you’re ready to break this cycle, here are a few tips on how to power through when you’re ready to power down:
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Motivational Monday: Make the Most of Your Break!

 

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Whether you’re in middle school, high school, college, or beyond, one of the best parts about school is going on a well-deserved and much-needed break. From early September to mid-December, you work day and night for hours and hours on end perfecting projects, writing and revising essays, and studying for exam after exam after exam. Of course you’re exhausted–who wouldn’t be? And just when you thought you couldn’t handle anymore, the gates open up, the angels shine down, and the gods grant you a token for your hard work and dedication to your academics, athletics, and arts: a two-week vacation. While Netflix binges and sleep marathons are ridiculously appealing, try getting off your cozy couch (at least for a few hours a day) and consider spending your break more intentionally:

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Kermit Says: Take A (Study) Break!

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Friends! It’s almost time to celebrate, toss your texts to the side, and kick up your feet. Hopefully, you’ve caught the Hamilton buzz and have been “writing day and night like it’s going out of style.” If you too find yourself just “non-stop,” remember to take a much-needed break between your studies. Breaks are scientifically proven to improve your focus and productivity, but you have to make sure you’re selecting effective study break options that will help you reenergize and refocus. While watching Netflix or playing video games are easy go-to’s, they won’t give your brain the rest it needs to recover. Remember to schedule in five-minute breaks after 30-60 minutes of studying. Here are 10 suggestions to help you optimize your study breaks:

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Tuesday Tunesday: Best Study Playlists

 

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Happy Tunesday, friends! Finals week is officially here, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to get to winter break, but before we get ahead of ourselves, there’s more studying and essay writing to do. So, to help you make it through those late night sessions, calm you down, and stay focused and productive, take a listen to these study-approved songs, all recommended by my students. Whether or not you include these tunes on your study playlist, remember to keep the volume low, avoid the hottest hits, and carefully select songs that won’t distract you from your studies. Plan it out: use a website that will generate a playlist for you, or use a pre-made study playlist of music or ambient sound from Spotfiy, ApplePandora, or YouTube. What songs do you listen to while working? Comment below! Without further ado and in no particular order, here are their suggestions:

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Motivational Monday: Keep Calm & Study Like Hermione Granger!

 

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Happy Monday, friends! For many of us, this is the last week before we enjoy a much-needed and well-deserved winter break, but there’s just one more hurdle to master, one more thing standing in the way of endless sleep and guilt-free Netflix marathons, one more thing keeping you from freedom: finals. They say it’s always darkest before the dawn, and here we are in finals week and it’s pitch black (metaphorically speaking, of course)! So, how will you survive? Check out my suggestions to help you power through and master your finals relatively unscathed.  Continue reading “Motivational Monday: Keep Calm & Study Like Hermione Granger!”

Wellness Wednesday: Electric Smoothie

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I know this week we’ve been talking all things patience, and I oftentimes feel as though the morning rush is really testing said patience. With sleep still covering my eyes and drool fresh on my pillow, making breakfast is the last thing on my mind. In fact, it’s not even on my radar. If this sounds all too familiar, here’s a quick and easy recipe to get you out of the door in a hop, skip, and jump!

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Kermit Says: It’s Okay to Fail, But…

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Teenagers are facing insurmountable pressure from parents, teachers, college counselors, and society as a whole. They are constantly told they need to be better, brighter, more talented, and more capable than the next student. The reality is they are no longer competing with themselves or their schoolmates, but are now  competing with teens from all across the globe for selective spots that are few and far in between. Students are doing whatever it takes to be the best, and this desire, nay, requirement to be both perfect and number one is a newly formed idea that starts at an early age. This competitive nature and, quite frankly, unhealthy drive is terribly problematic, and what’s worst is that when students fail and are rejected, as we all inevitably do and are, they don’t know how to bounce back. They don’t know how to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, dust off their shoulders, and keep moving despite adversity.

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Kermit Says: Refuel Your (Metaphorical) Tank

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Every Sunday night, my high school principal sends a beautifully crafted email of encouragement and wisdom to the faculty. Of course there’s pertinent information as well, mostly updates and important dates to remember, but at the heart of her messages are words of inspiration—and this week’s was no different. Just three days ago, I received an email that reminded my colleagues and me of the importance of self-care. We’re one week shy of midterms (insane!!!), and finally halfway through the longest term of the school year. Faculty members have been trucking away like trains on a track, turning our wheels faster and faster, not breaking, not stopping, and not resting since we started orientation and planning week in August. We’re exhausted, sleep-deprived, dehydrated, famished, and probably a hop, skip, and a jump away from falling ill or quitting (whichever comes first, right?). We’re turning into zombies and pod-people—tiny shells of our previous existence. Okay, okay…maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here, but when we stop and take a moment to breathe and reflect deeply, we can start to see and feel what we’ve often been ignoring. And as I sit and consider my own thoughts and feelings, I can’t help but think about yours: how do the students feel?

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Kermit Says: Keep Calm and Pass Your Exams

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Well, friends! It’s the day most students both anticipate and dread. The day they look forward to with both excitement and anxiety. Today kicks off finals week, three days of final exams, projects, presentations, and papers that stand between you and freedom. Three days that stand between you and graduation. Three days that stand between you and summer break. Just thinking about summer vacation brings a single tear of joy to my eye. So what can you do to perform at your optimum level and excel in your classes? Take a look back at my post before winter break, Rock Yo’ Finals!

Remember, the best way to prepare for what can be a pretty stressful week is to approach it with a peaceful mind, calm spirit, and confident demeanor. You can do this! I believe in you, so believe in yourself.

Need relaxation tips? Check out this awesome Buzzfeed video that provides some calming tricks.

Good luck with finals and have an AWESOME summer! You earned it 🙂

Fearless Part IV: Handling Rejection (College Apps Edition)

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So, you got that thin envelope, huh? Or maybe you received a pretty standard and stale email? A quick scan of the note goes directly to “sorry,” “unfortunately” or “regret” or other similar synonyms. You toss it in the trash and try to throw your feelings out along with it. Rejection feels like betrayal. This institution you’ve placed so much faith in, this institution you’ve dreamed of, this institution you’ve loved for so long doesn’t feel the same way. It’s an unrequited love, and you now feel like the scorned lover. Whatever do you do? Just keep swimming! 

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