Bonjour Mes Amis!
As October is getting closer and closer, many of our fall routines have begun to really pick up. For me, especially now that Cal Poly has resumed for Fall Quarter, I’m struggling with the adjustment from a leisurely summer pace to hitting the ground running; personally, I feel like I hit the ground, tripped over my own shoelaces, then fell! The stress of my weekend shrinking from 7 days to three, on top of four classes worth of homework, two jobs, trying to figure out my senior project, and trying to graduate a year early have already worn me back into ‘student zombie’ mode.
My sudden change in sleeping patterns and stress level have already started to take a toll on my skin, as it would to anyone’s; though age and skin type play a role in determining how it affects us, stress and lack of sleep (or both, if you’re really lucky) can make your skin dry, patchy, oily, and cause break outs, among other reactions.
This morning, when my mom got up around 6:30 (after I’d already been awake for an hour and a half…morning classes, ugh!), she looked at me, glued to my cup of coffee at the kitchen table, and said “My goodness, I think you need a day off already!” I replied with “I wish I had time for one.” Then she said, “So make some time. Don’t get overwhelmed, just take a breather and then start fresh.”
I am the type of person who, despite feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, will work from sun-up to sun-down (and often longer) to get to everything on her to-do list, even though past experience has shown me that I do not do my best work in this ‘zombie’ state. As I’ve stated before, I know every single one of us can relate to being stressed out and bogged down, but few have mastered the ability to break out of it.
So, in an effort to rid myself of the blemishes, under-eye bags, and foul mood that I’ve been battling, I am challenging myself to set aside at least 2 hours every week for “Un Jour pour Moi“, a day for me. I am going to write down a list of things that I would like to do, or enjoy but never have time for, or that simply make me happy, and assign one or two to myself every week to do during my jour pour moi. Reading a book I’ve been meaning to pick up for months, or revisiting an old favorite. Treating myself to ice cream or a milkshake. Picking up my guitar and learning a new song. Shopping (who doesn’t smile at the thought of new shoes?) in downtown SLO. Calling an old friend I’ve been meaning to catch up with. Taking a hot bubble bath. Going for a long walk on the beach. Watching a chick flick on my couch. Going for a hike in Montaña de Oro. Going to bed early instead of watching TV. Re-adopting that morning routine I talked about in July (remember this post?).
A good mood can make all the difference in the world, so I am challenging myself to make sure that, every week, I put a smile on my face before turning to my ever-growing to-do list. And I want to challenge you to do the same!
Taking a few hours out of your week to eliminate that stress does wonders for your health and your mental well-being, so try this with me! Let’s hold one another accountable on this one, because we all deserve happiness, especially from within. What do you do to relax when you’ve got a million things to do? What puts a smile on your face no matter what your mood? Let’s share our ideas and progress, and together we just might make it to the Holidays in one piece!