Slow and Steady

When it rains, it pours. The past few weeks have been nothing short of chaotic (as shown by my absence from the interwebs–sorry!!). I have 3 major papers due in a week and a half, I strained my left gastrocnemius, and I’m just getting over a stomach virus. Needless to say, I haven’t been having the easiest of times. However, my papers need to get done, I want to be able to run without pain, and I’d like to get all this done without pulling out my hair.

photo cred: irunnersblog.com

I’m going to start with using the crap out of my planner. This time last week, I was making a schedule  to allocate my time this weekend. It may seem excessive, but I wrote down what time I plan to wake up, what time I want to get to the library, and how I plan to use my time (45 minutes for an outline, 35 minutes for research, etc). I benefit from this type of structure, and by breaking down one big project into manageable parts, it seems less intimidating.

Listening to my body is going to be vital for both my recovery and my papers. Sitting at the computer for 12 hours in an attempt to finish all my work is not going to be productive. It’s quality, not quantity, right? I also have to listen to my body as far as exercise goes. While running is my main source of stress relief, if it hurts, I simply can’t do it- there are other cardio machines at the gym that I can use to cross train. In order to be an active participant in my recovery, I’m attending physical therapy once a week and have been a stickler about doing my exercises and stretches.  I also got new running shoes because although I loved them, mine were a hot mess.

Womens <em>New Balance 749</em> Running Shoes WR749ST

photo cred: newbalance.com

Lastly, I’m going to go easy on myself. This one is going to be challenging. As a perfectionist, I have a tendency to beat myself up if I don’t live up to my (unrealistic) expectations. It’s important for me to recognize that my expectations are ridiculously high, and if I let something falter, it’s not the end of the world. I think this will be a process, but my injury has shown me that pushing too hard too frequently doesn’t yield desirable results.

Oh, and I’m scheduling a facial after I hand in my last paper 🙂

How do you handle stress?

 

–Ariel

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Drained

So I’ve had a post set aside for about a week and I just haven’t had time to finish it. Have you ever put so much time and energy into something that you don’t want to do that you can’t find the energy to do things that you enjoy? That’s the way I’m feeling about school right now. I have a paper due, a test, and an oral presentation, all on Tuesday. I’ve been studying like crazy and have had zero free time. My mom recently taught me how to cable and I haven’t even had time to knit! I know that this is a temporary feeling, so I’ve just been reminding myself that it’ll be over soon. In the meantime, here is a picture of a guilty pleasure that makes me happy.

That’s right, chocolate covered gummy bears. I’m not a huge candy person, but these are delicious and a great treat for when you’re feeling bogged down with work. I find that giving yourself little rewards is a great way to motivate yourself. Yesterday was the most gorgeous day ever- no wind, 60°, and sunny. PERFECT day for a long run. Or you know, for writing a paper. So I set a goal! If I can finish half of my paper, I will go for a nice bike ride with Mike. And I did.

It is equally important to push through and know your limitations. I know that may seem contradictory, but everyone gets writers block. Whether you don’t want to write about a given subject, or you just don’t know what to write, know that if you are able to start just one more sentence, it could get the ball rolling. Make an outline or just come up with a general theme you want to discuss and go from there. That being said, know when to stop. At around 10:30 last night, I knew that I wasn’t going to produce the quality of work that I wanted. I could tell that I wasn’t just unmotivated, I was spent. If you set aside specific times to do your work, and stick to that schedule, you may not feel overwhelmed.

Remember, most things in life are temporary, and not everything will turn out how you want it to. The best you can do is be yourself, and nobody can tell you that you’re doing it incorrectly.

 

–Ariel

Want to vs. Have to

Every weekend is a slight battle of the want to versus have to. I WANT to go for a run and spend all my time outside soaking in the beautiful autumn weather. I HAVE to write a paper that is extremely time consuming and requires way too much research. I WANT to buy new shoes for fall. Like these. And these. Oh, and these. I HAVE to conserve my funds so that when I’m living in a cardboard box after graduation, I can at least buy some food. And maybe some fro yo. You know, the essentials.

I WANT to have something tasty and filling for breakfast. I HAVE to eat something good for me so that I can function for the rest of the day. Luckily, the oatmeal bowl I’ve been making as of late combines the want to and the have to. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve made the switch to having oatmeal in the morning. During the spring and summer, I usually have yogurt with protein powder mixed in and some fresh berries, but dropping temperatures and increased winds means something warming.

I kind of made this up the other day when I wanted to incorporate fresh apples into the oatmeal. First take your favorite kind of apple. Mine is braeburn or gala, but this is a red delicious. Chop it into medium sized pieces, then throw it in a microwave safe bowl.

Sprinkle quick oats and cinnamon (optional, but recommended) on top. I believe I used 5 tablespoons of oatmeal and a few shakes of cinnamon. Pour 2/3 of a cup of water over the whole thing and pop in the microwave for 3 minutes.

Take it out, stir, and put back in for 2 minutes. Once done, I like to sprinkle more cinnamon on top and drizzle some pure maple syrup over the top. Yeah, the pure stuff. None of that imitation, sugar-free stuff. Go for the pure thing, you’ll thank me. Like most of my recipes, this is adaptable! I imagine this is great with slivered almonds or some sort of nut butter mixed in. Pumpkin butter and dried cranberries?! The possibilities are endless. Just like my damn research paper.

What are your favorite autumnal comfort foods? Do you have a daunting research paper to do?

E-mail us at apositiveregard (at) gmail (dot) com!

–Ariel