One of the most beautiful things about becoming older is learning more about yourself and what helps you thrive. If I find there’s something specific that makes me more successful, comfortable or generally just works better, I feel compelled to share it.
For people out there like me — maybe a little uptight, extremely busy and a lover of tiny luxuries — I’m introducing a new series where I recommend whatever has brought me joy over the past week.
After midterms pass, students find themselves adrift among their normal assignments, upcoming holiday plans and preparation for final exams and projects. For the next month I’m on a quest to make myself feel grounded, prepared for my obligations and generally in good spirits during a time that can feel like a full throttle frenzy. Here’s how I’ve decided to take care of myself so I can make it to Thanksgiving break (in one piece):
- Pick the right outfit.
Putting on appropriate clothes makes a huge difference for the day. If I have a big day coming up, I always feel better if I’m wearing something smart. Also, if your day involves a lot of running around, walking a long way or being outside, you need to dress the part. Your clothes are your armor, and your physical comfort level has a lot of control over how productive you’re able to be. If your feet are sore at the end of the day from wearing wedges, you’re not going to feel like doing more work when you come home. Invest in clothes that are both nice and comfortable to wear so you feel put together.
- Stop staying up so late
This one is a challenge and a little cliche — I’m aware of it. One of my worst habits is staying up way too late and sleeping in longer than I should. Fellow night owls, take my word that waking up early will only make you feel better. Nothing good ever happens at three a.m., including assignments fueled by Redbull. Choosing to wake up before noon will help you keep a more regular sleep schedule and keep you on track for the rest of the week.
- Take a one-day vacation
Procrastination runs rampant in my world, especially when I’m overwhelmed. If you find that you’re having a hard time committing to getting a task done, take a look at your schedule and make a list of when your to-do list items need to be accomplished. If you can afford to, give yourself a one-day break from all the tasks you’re worried about. Taking some leisure time and telling yourself that you’re allowed to stop worrying means you will come back to your projects refreshed and less frazzled about your deadlines.
- Travel tissues
Maybe this is a no-brainer for some, but I never think about carrying tissues with me and end up needing one all the time. Occasionally you need a little crying session, and we all have seasonal allergies at this time of year. A six pack of Kleenex On-the-go is $1.99 at Target. They take up minimal room, and you’ll never regret having a more dignified way to blow your nose than those napkins you keep in your car.
- Save/plan for holiday gifts now
I’ve recently made my stand on how much I dislike Christmas preparations coming earlier each year (find more of my opinion here), but with rising costs, you would do well to start planning now. Make a list of the people on your gift list and the possible things you’d like to give them — purchased items or homemade. Make a budget for gifts over the next couple of weeks and ensure that you have enough time to make homemade gifts. Having gift ideas on the brain before going home at Thanksgiving will help you brainstorm or listen for hints while you’re around your friends and family during the holiday.
Graphic by Neako Hallisey.