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34 Ways to Combat a Gray Day! (or a Sunny Day, if you’re still bored)

15 Jun

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Sorry about posting a day late, everyone!

While summer is well-known for sunshine, not every day can be bright and sunny – in fact; we’re coming up on storm season! There are many things to do when it’s beautiful outside but what can one do when picnics and runs to the ice cream truck aren’t necessarily an option? I’m here to help! Many of these things take minimal resources and suck up varying amounts of time. While not all of them are necessarily productive, they may help you get through a dreary afternoon inside.

◊ Rent a movie, pop some popcorn and have a showing

◊ Make a “red carpet” out of two or three towels and have a movie premiere in your hallway with friends. Bonus: Someone can be Joan Rivers.

◊ Paint your nails in the brightest, sparkliest colors available to remind you of brighter days

◊ Light a candle and roast s’mores for one

◊ Visit TV Tropes and read. You’d be surprised how much time you can use up reading that site.

◊ Find a loved one (significant other, pet, stuffed animal) and have a cuddle party

◊ Take a wonderful nap as rain beats on your windowpane

◊ But a new garden plant in preparation for bad weather and enjoy effort-free watering

◊ Pick a take-out place that you want to try or haven’t eaten in a while (I like Yelp, but for added fun, try the Wheel of Lunch) and call it in. Kick back and wait for your food to arrive.

◊ If you don’t mind rain, take a jog outside! You never know – it might be refreshing! Be sure to take a warm shower afterwards.

◊ Relax into a steaming hot bath and let the pitter patter of rain lull you into relaxation

◊ Avoid driving to the mall and do some online window shopping. Not sure where to start? Amazon is a great source for most things you may need, but just to browse, try Shop Style.

◊ Host a personal dance party in your bedroom

◊ Take the time to learn a skill or do a craft you’ve been meaning to try

◊ This seems obvious, but read a book! Escaping to a world unlike your own may help you forget dreary weather.

◊ Make a mixtape filled with mood music. Do you want to listen to something that reminds you of the rain and gloom? Would you rather play something that brings to mind heat and sunshine? It’s up to you!

◊ Take some time to yourself and make fantastic plans for the future

◊ Make that phone call that you’ve been putting off for ages

◊ Teach yourself a basic magic trick. Searching “learn magic tricks” in a search engine should get you started.

◊ Look up one of those amazing TV shows you never had the time to get into or have to catch up on – for me it’s United States of Tara and Dexter – and have yourself a personal marathon

◊ Google “fuck yeah + your favorite topic/celebrity/color/etc” (omit the plus sign) and see if it has a corresponding tumblr. If not, make one!

◊ Learn to play a common card game – Spades, Poker, Hearts, etc. Next time it starts up at a party, you won’t have to watch on the sidelines!

◊ Do something in the bathtub that doesn’t normally happen in a bathtub. I like eating cake. A word of warning: be careful with electrical devices!

◊ Make an account on We Heart It and “heart” to your heart’s content

◊ Look up your friends’ birthdays (if you’re on Facebook, this is incredibly easy) and mail them a personalized card instead of sending a text or writing on their wall. You’d be surprised how easy this is and how much people enjoy it.

◊ Doodle!

◊ Write a resolution list – resolving to do better isn’t just for New Year’s! From personal experiences, these work best when you are both brief and specific. It’s hard to keep up with a long list of vague things like “be neater”, “be more mindful of money”, “don’t suck at life”, etc.

◊ Are you the type of person that feels like you never know what to wear? Take the time to plan out a couple “go-to” outfits – things you know you look good in when you’re all out of ideas. You’ll be thankful for them someday!

◊ Write positive messages to yourself and stick them on your bathroom (or bedroom) mirror. Consider dispersing them where more people can find them.

◊ Take the time to imagine the ideal place you could be. A tropical island, perhaps? Seeing a show on Broadway? Or maybe you’d rather be on Unicorn Planet?

◊ Now that you’re done brainstorming, provided your ideal location isn’t fictional, what does it take to get there? How can you do it? Using Kayak’s explore feature can help you get a more concrete idea of what it could take.  Now start taking steps!

◊ Go through old newspapers and magazines and create an inspiration board. It could be for anything: your favorite color, a mood, your future plans, your favorite fashion looks…

◊ Create an account on OKCupid and take their various tests. Answer their match questions too! Even if you’re not looking for love, it can still be quite fun.

◊ Take photographs of your everyday life – try to vary up the perspectives and viewpoints. You’d be surprised how memorable things can be if you take a second glance.

Next time you’re stuck inside for a dreary day or you’re just plain bored, I hope these help! Post your favorite rainy weather activities in the comments.

xoxo, Tara

ps – If you like what you read here (and I hope you do!), don’t forget to nominate me for a Black Weblog Award. For more info, click here.

Mid-Summer Check-Up – 42 Fun Activities to Give Your Vacation a Boost

7 Jun

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So! For all of you that are school-aged and on your summer vacation, we’re partway through! Depending on where you attend school, your summer may actually be just starting. For those of us who have been on break, are you still amped for summer or is the enthusiasm starting to die down? Are you still chock full of ideas or are you finding yourself spending your days vegging on the couch watching awful daytime television? For the people who are just starting their vacation, do you have anything planned or have you only gotten as far as “get a job”, “sleep in” and “ice cream for breakfast”? Here are over 40 ideas to help you get started or keep your summer going strong!

Simple Fun

♥ Have a picnic – fresh fruit is in season! Get some sparkling cider, get some fruit and lay out in the sunshine on a checkered blanket. Cheese, egg sandwiches and the like are purely optional!

♥ Get a bottle of bubbles from a dollar store and make rainbows!

♥ Find a children’s playground and indulge yourself on the swings (& monkey bars could be a great arm workout – just sayin’)

♥ Get some soda pop, bubble gum and a stack of two dollar comic books.

♥ Have a fashion show with some of your closest friends – and document it with photos!

♥ Flirt with someone – same-sex, opposite sex, ten years older, whatever. It’s all good, (somewhat) clean fun.

♥ Get some sexy underwear – I am partial to Frederick’s, personally – and spend some quality alone time with yourself. Bonus points if you indulge in decadent lotion and other forms of self-pampering.

♥ Get a squirt gun – perfect for sudden cool downs or an impromptu water fight

♥ Zone out with a sleep mask and a pair of headphones

♥ Pick a bright, summery color and paint your fingers and toes

Be Creative

♥ Go to your local video store and check out a movie you’ve never seen – maybe in a different language. Watch it and dissect it like a snooty critic.

♥ Make morning smoothies, tailoring a personalized recipe for whatever health issue you may have.

♥ Make a mix CD filled with songs from your childhood – for me, it would be *NSYNC, Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls, Robyn, B*Witched, S Club 7 and the like. Make yourself some childhood snacks (PB&J and Kool-Aid, anyone?) and savor your youth.

♥ Purchase a basket of hanging flowers and work at keeping them flourishing and happy

♥ Take a pair of ill-fitting jeans and turn them into shorts

♥ Check a cookbook or crafting book out of the library and try something out

Get Out

♥ Find the neighborhood swimming pool and take a dip

♥ Take a walk in the park – bonus points if you leave your iPod at home and take in nature’s soundtrack

♥ Practice guerrilla gardening and spruce up your local pavement

♥ Find a museum you’ve never been to, even if you aren’t necessarily interested in the subject. Many of them have discount days!

♥ Look out for the tourist attractions in your very own city – you never know what to do in your own backyard

♥ Stop by a flea market and buy jangly bracelets, gigantic rings and statement necklaces.

♥ Make some lemonade and spread out in a pair of cute underwear under a strong fan

♥ Relax with a tall glass of ice water (with lime or lemon on the side) and a great book

♥ Throw yourself a personal party to celebrate your radiance and fabulousness. Make yourself a card and/or a cake. Get candles too! Maybe even a present!

♥ Gather up some friends, buy a map and get your show on the road

Help Out

♥ Clean out your closet and sell your clothing on Ebay or at the local consignment store. If it doesn’t sell, donate it to the local Goodwill.

♥ Help the elderly with basic chores and learning basic skills.

♥ Offer your services on Craigslist or freelance gigs

♥ Carpool with a friend and save on the gas!

♥ Skip the gym membership and take a run outside – make sure to have the proper sun precautions though!

♥ Volunteer at your local library and help children read

♥ Make a heightened commitment to going green

Learn Something New

♥ Take a short-term class at the local community college and learn a skill

♥ Visit videojug and learn skills like sewing, makeup application, home upkeep and gardening

♥ Learn to do a cartwheel, handstand or a split! (All of those are on my personal list)

♥ Plant some vegetables and foster a greater appreciation for where your foods come from

♥ Take an art class – I took a pottery wheel class and it was incredibly fun

♥ Learn the dance from your favorite music video. (Bad Romance, maybe?)

♥ Make some choices that put you out of your comfort zone, like a zany haircut, a new experience or different food

♥ Learn how to spell your name in a different script

♥ Attend a cultural event for a culture you are at least somewhat unfamiliar with and learn something new

Do you have any ideas? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo,

Tara

ps – don’t forget to nominate me for a Black Weblog Award. For more info, click here.

Have Your Meat and Eat It Too: An Introductory Primer to Flexitarian Eating

31 May

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Happy Memorial Day, everyone! While this is a great opportunity for those of you in the United States to remember the sacrifices the brave men and women have made while protecting our country, many people also use this opportunity to take the day off work and have a good old-fashioned cookout! Many people are spending the day enjoying the scent of hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to discuss my particular dietary choice, flexitarianism, or the practice of limiting one’s meat intake significantly but not fully and focusing on fruit, grains and vegetables instead.

Note that I am not a dietician, nutritionist, or doctor, so please consult with a credible medical source before radically changing your diet.

+What is flexitarianism?

Flexitarian is a portmanteau word of “flexible” and “vegetarian”. Due to that fact, many people like to call flexitarianism a limited or part-time form of vegetarianism. Not so! Some vegetarians criticize this usage of the word because it insinuates that it is possible to maintain a vegetarian lifestyle while incorporating meat. For that reason, I tend to stay away from classifying it as such, but you can think of it as the practice of regularly following a vegetarian diet with limited meat consumption.

There is no hard and fast rule about how much meat one can eat while still being considered a flexitarian, but the general consensus is that there should be a higher concentration of vegetarian-based dietary choices than ones based from meat. While flexitarians do include meat in their diets, many choose to exclude red meat and pork products in favor of fish and poultry.

+What are the benefits?

There are many! If you find full-on vegetarianism too extreme or you’re looking to transition into it, you may want to try flexitarianism. This is partly because your body and mind might not respond well to you abruptly changing your diet . I know my body doesn’t react well to an overnight diet change; plus you might find it difficult to give up certain dietary staples cold-turkey. You don’t have to cut all meat – giving it up a few days a week or making it a complimentary flavor instead of the focus of a meal can do the trick.

It can also be a healthy alternative to a traditional meat-based diet if done correctly. You can reduce your intake of saturated fat while upping your fiber, for instance. You can also help the environment. As seen in The Cheeseburger Footprint, regular meat consumption can leave a hefty carbon footprint. Just limiting your intake can help, so give it a try!

flexitarian-food-pyramid

Basic Flexitarian Food Pyramid

+How Do You Do It?

Moderation, moderation, moderation! The key to a successful flexitarian diet is to take everything (other than fruit and veggies) in moderated servings. Phase meat out slowly until you find a system or schedule that works for you. While at school, I decided to stick to eating meat when I ate out. Because I was on a limited college budget, I only ate out on the weekends, so I had meat on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Maybe try a Meatless Monday for a month and see how it works for you, or limit meat to only one meal a day.

Another thing? Expand your mind past salad! When I first tried this, I operated under the assumption that salad was the only viable vegetarian food option that I had. How wrong I was! You’d be surprised how many of your favorite foods can be made vegetarian and in the case of those cutting out red meat, how many poultry-based options that you have. (I’m partial to turkey burgers, myself.) For food ideas, try the book Eat to Live which has both vegetarian and flexitarian options, as well as The Healthy Hedonist cookbook.

+Things to Watch For

While this diet is pretty moderate (which is why it probably appeals to me – I tend to take things in moderation), there are concerns you definitely need to take care of:

Protein: If you’re going to limit your meat intake, you may run into the hazard of limiting your protein intake as well. While many flexitarians manage to get their protein from poultry products (especially eggs), you can also try options like beans and legumes, as well as soy-based products such as tofu and soy milk. Tofu gets a bad rap because of its texture, although there are many varieties to try until you can find what you like. One of the best things about tofu is that it doesn’t carry a strong flavor, but can easily absorb the flavorings of what you make it with. In other words, mix it in with your favorite dishes to make it taste exactly how you want.

Fiber: One of the main goals of a flexitarian diet is to increase the amount of fiber in one’s diet. While many people associate fiber with products such as Metamucil (and we all know what that’s for), if can also lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Many fruits and vegetables are natural sources of fiber but you can also get it from grain-based products. Note: Try not to make complex carbs (such as regular pasta) a staple of your diet to replace meat; stick to whole wheat instead! The catch is that many flour-based products claim to be high in fiber – statements of “100% wheat” or “multi-grain” may not be reliable. Your best bet is to check the nutrition facts for dietary fiber – at least 5 grams of it per serving is ideal.

+In conclusion

Flexitarianism is a great option for those who want a moderate diet that is extremely healthful without being extremely exclusive or limiting. It also works for people who want to test the waters of vegetarianism to see how it works for them.

For more information, check out these links:

+Medicine Net: Can You be a Vegetarian and Eat Meat?

+Mayo Clinic: Could you be a Flexitarian?

+Lifehacker: Losing Weight the Flexitarian Way (No Wheatgrass Required)

What do you think of the flexitarian diet? Do you think it’s too limiting, or perhaps not limiting enough? Do you have any other thoughts, comments or concerns? Let me know in the comment box.

Until next time:

Xoxo,

Tara

I’m Walking on Sunshine – How to Get Ready for the Summer!

5 May

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Even though summer doesn’t officially start until June 21st, the warming spring weather is providing plenty of clues for what’s to come. For those of us who are still in school (or work for a school), summer vacation is either already here or coming soon! While all the seasons have their positive traits, I adore summer due to the fantastic weather and the ability to kick back and relax. Even if you don’t have an official summer vacation, you can still enjoy many of the benefits of the season – and here’s how!

Get Your Supplies

Even though there is a tendency to rush into summer head-first – I can still pleasantly remember how giddy I was in elementary school as I rode that yellow bus back home on the last day of school – freeze! There are some things you need first, before you immerse yourself in summer madness.

Sunblock – Essential, essential, and did I say essential? Everyone needs sunblock, regardless of age, race, ethnicity and what have you. While it’s recommended that you wear sunscreen on a daily basis (the sun doesn’t leave in the winter, although it may feel like it), the harsh UV rays present in the summer make sunblock especially important. (Note that this is not the same as sunscreen, which is more opaque and less effective) Studies have shown that the most effective way to use sunblock is to apply it 15-20 minutes before expected sun exposure, and to re-apply 15-20 minutes after. If you plan to stay outside for a while, re-apply two hours later. Afterwards, re-application is only necessary in cases such as heavy perspiration, swimming and rubbing/wiping. Also, make sure you use enough! The FDA advises that the average adult female (someone five foot four) uses about an ounce of sunblock on her body. Using less can cut sunblock effectiveness, so don’t skimp! It expires after a couple of years, anyway.

Drinking water – Don’t let yourself fall victim to dehydration! Most studies show that adults need about one to two liters of water daily to avoid dehydration, but you should plan to drink more if you are exercising or in an especially humid climate. To avoid using wasteful plastic water bottles, invest in a reusable water bottle. I have a Vapur and have also used a Nalgene with great results, but if you shop around, you can definitely find one that fits your size, design and budget preferences. While these bottles are more expensive initially than that disposable bottle, they’ll quickly pay for themselves depending on how often you normally drank bottled water.

Cover-ups – Make sure to get a chic pair of sunglasses and a nice hat to limit sun exposure, especially during the peak hours in the early to mid-afternoon. Sport a bucket hat only if necessary.

Plan it Out! (in moderation)

I am a compulsive planner sometimes. I like to think things out well in advance. While I haven’t gotten to the point of micro-managing my entire summer yet, it’s threatened to get there sometimes. Rather than doing that, keep in mind a list of things you wanted to do over the summer. One thing I’ve learned is to try to get a bit specific, so when you look to it for suggestions, you have a clear set of options in front of you. Unless it’s what you truly wanted, no one likes to be the person spending their summer days vegging in front of the TV or on the computer. The weather is a perfect opportunity to go outside and enjoy yourself, especially if you have a day job and your time is limited. Exceptions made for rain and movie dates.

Examples:

Day (or longer) trips: Are there any nearby sites you wanted to see in person? Any tourist spots that you think would be fun? I know for me, there are a few museums I’m trying to see again, as well as taking a trip to the Inner Harbor to visit the National Aquarium. If you’re stuck, try the hospitality website for your local city or township  – not only do they have the interesting spots to visit, but they can also keep you up to date on concerts, fairs, festivals and other short-term events that could be happening in your area. You never know what kinds of cool places could be in your hometown or close by. Best of all, many of these things (especially events) are often cheap or free.

Upkeep: Are you finally going to organize your bedroom? Clean out that closet? Rearrange some furniture? Awesome! Put that on your summer list. This, more than anything, is best served if you break it down into specific parts. Rather than say, “clean up my closet” – because let’s face it, that’s really vague – maybe start with, “Sort my clothing: Keep, Donate or Throw Out”.

Self Improvement: Summer is a great time to practice skills you are rusty on or would like to learn. Hopefully during this time I can finally learn how to knit and do basic sewing. If you have a local community college or community center, check to see if they offer any short-term classes in an area of your interest. My local CC has classes ranging from Tai  Chi to nature photography to salsa dancing. If that isn’t a feasible option for you, there’s always the internet! Some of my favorite sites include Wiki How and Video Jug.

Miscellaneous: Some things aren’t heavy-duty but can be kept in mind when you find yourself flipping channels with nothing to do. These are things like reading (or writing) a book, going on a picnic, seeing the latest summer blockbuster, going swimming or getting ice cream with friends.

Relax and Enjoy

This is what summer is for! Enjoy the nice weather before autumn comes and it gets chilly again. Indulge in a nice pedicure and show off your toes. Make sure to make every minute count, whether you spend it on a fabulous excursion or sleeping under a fan with a glass of lemonade nearby. Most importantly, have a great summer! (and take pictures!)

What are your summer time essentials? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo,

Tara

How To Survive Finals Week Part 2!

29 Apr

Surprise! Okay, not really. Because of the fact that I missed a bunch of posts last week, here’s an extra post! Hooray!

In my last finals week post, I addressed what you can do (outside of studying) to help you get through your finals relatively unscathed. But what about when you are studying? What then? Well read on:

How to Survive Finals Week: Part 2

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Get some sleep. This is one of the most important things I can say, so it comes first. You can study hard into the night, but if you are running to that test on three hours of sleep, it might feel like you haven’t studied at all. One thing I’ve come to realize is that an extra half hour of sleep means more to my success than an extra half hour of studying – especially if my eyes are drooping and I can hardly pay attention to the words on the page. If you feel like your productivity has taken a nosedive, go to bed instead.

Plan, plan, plan! It might seem overwhelming when you have four or five finals – and this might not even include final papers – in the same week. The most effective thing to do is to make a plan of attack! Schedule your time effectively, and space out your study time – that way you aren’t forced to cram last-minute as you freak about all the vocabulary and equations you have to memorize. Start early and plan accordingly depending on when your exams are scheduled as well as how much prep time you think you’ll need.

Find a Productive Space. This usually means eliminating distractions in your study area. For me personally, it can be very difficult to study in my dorm room – it tends to get cluttered in high-stress times, plus it is full of distractions like my television and laptop.  If this sounds like you, relocate to the nearest library, lounge, coffee shop, etc. and get your study on in peace. Sometimes these places can get really crowded during peak study time (aka Finals Week), so come early and stake your claim on some prime studying real estate before everyone else does.

Study in a Group. Studying in a group can be quite productive – if you let it. When you’re studying with classmates, it gives you the chance to run questions by your peers that they could help you with – saves you the time of going to office hours. It also gives you the opportunity to hash out the concepts out loud, which is a really basic, effective way to test your own comprehension of the material.

Re-do your notes. This might seem crazy, but bear with me! This works well when your professor hands you a list of “terms to know” for your exam. If not, it shouldn’t be hard to make your own, depending on the material. One of the most effective study tactics I use is taking these lists and defining the terms in my own words, without the help of my notes. While something can make sense in the pages of your textbook, asking yourself to recall it without aid is a completely different story. It will quickly let you know what you do – and do not – have a grasp on. When you’re done, check your answers and put a star next to the terms you were unable to explain accurately. Then, give yourself a refresher.

Read over your work in the morning! This relates to papers. I cannot stress this enough. Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re plugging away at a paper until finally, the light bulb above your head illuminates? Suddenly, you’re typing ferociously, your late-night epiphany giving you the motivation to finish. While it certainly feels awesome, often times these four a.m. caffeine-fueled “epiphanies” aren’t as genius when your professor is trying to make sense of your words. Set aside some time to reread your work – out loud, so you can properly hear how it sounds – and make changes if necessary. If you can, schedule time with a peer editor; their job is to spot the nagging errors people tend to miss in their own work.

STUDY! Of course. None of these will work if you don’t actually sit down and get your work done. Know thyself, and whatever makes you most productive and efficient, do it! Dress the proper way. (I can’t work unless I’m wearing a proper pair of pants, for example. Weird, but true.) Play the right music. Pick the right study spot. And work! Don’t put it off until the last-minute, because you might spend some of that precious time agonizing about what little time you have left.

Good luck on finals, everybody!

xoxo,

Tara

Do you have any study tactics to add? Let me know in the comments.

How to Survive Finals Week!

28 Apr

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I don’t know about you, but here at the University of Pittsburgh, we are in the midst of Finals Week (Also known as F***, I Never Actually Learned S*** Week). With all the papers and exams you have to look forward to (or are currently completing), here is a primer on how to make it through finals week alive!

Get some exercise! Take a break in the midst of your studies by going on a quick jog, doing some yoga or even release the tension with some kickboxing! Often times campuses offer exercise programs during finals as a means for stress relief, so make sure to check some out. If you want fitness ideas you can try yourself, look at Fit Sugar, which has a ton of free workout regimens and tips.

Drink Water This is nature’s all-natural, all-purpose Gatorade! It can keep you hydrated and refreshed – something you need when hitting the books. Also, it’s (obviously) sugar-free, so you don’t have to worry about the health concerns like there are in drinks like soda. Using a cute, reusable water bottle can do wonders in making you want to drink water.  I use a Vapur water bottle (in purple, of course). Are you not a big water drinker? Try adding a splash of lemon or lime. 

Get outdoors. It is spring, so chances are, the weather is pretty nice! Take a break outside and soak in the sunshine to get the valuable vitamin D boost your body needs. If you want to go the extra mile, why don’t you pack up your books and study outside?

Don’t forget fruits and vegetables! You’re going to need your health more now than ever while you pull those all-night study sessions. Keep your body ready by eating well. You don’t need to have a fancy salad necessarily – keep yourself prepared by having bite sized vegetables and fruits in your fridge so you’re always ready for a healthy snack.

Get yourself a hobby. Are you an avid chess player? Painter? Photographer? Dancer? Video gamer? Runner? Indulge yourself in your hobbies in between study sessions. They can do wonders for stress.

Pump yourself up! Take the time to re-affirm yourself. You’re brilliant and talented – so what’s stopping you from laying waste to these finals? Rather than reminding yourself how much ground you have left to cover and how completely screwed you are, make sure you remember that you have the ability to do great on your exams.

Get Lost in the Music. Listening to your favorite music and dancing can keep you happy. If you want to study harder, turn on instrumentals that allow you to have pleasant background noise without focusing on vocals, like Classical or Jazz. 

Put Out…that Cigarette. While I want to feel clever, that saying is actually from a t-shirt I got from the Panther Well program here at Pitt. While you think that cigarette is relieving stress, it’s actually doing the opposite. Studies have found that minutes after smoking stress level rises and creates greater depression. Want to learn more about why you may want to consider quitting? Check here.

Write out your thoughts. I don’t know about you, but for me, writing is a very therapeutic experience. When your thoughts are a messy jumble, sometimes it can help to get them on paper so they make a lot more sense. I have a notebook specifically reserved for my bad days – that way, I can write my dark thoughts and easily close the book on them – that way, once I have gotten them off of my chest, I don’t have to deal with them again if I don’t want to.

Clean Your Room! A long time ago, I heard the idea that the state of your room can often show the state of your mind. After giving it some thought, I realized, in a way, that it was true. You can tell when I am going through times of stress when you look at my room and see piles of clothes in my chair, an unmade bed and shoes all over the floor. Cleaning up your room can make thinking and working that much easier – and you won’t have the stress of looking for things! Plus, you’d be surprised how much cleaning you can do in a short amount of time.

Chill out. Sometimes, you just need a break. Turn off your computer, close your books, dim your lights, and take a few minutes to yourself. Maybe you’d prefer to meditate, maybe music will help you zone out, or maybe you need a nice, long shower with your favorite gel. Whatever it takes, give yourself time to breathe and relax.

I hope this helps! Good luck on finals everybody, and I’ll see you with my Weekend Links on Friday!

xoxo,
Tara

ps – What are your strategies for surviving Finals Week? Let me know in the comments.