December Spreads

It’s that time again! The end of the month, which means the beginning of a new month, which means…wait for it…new bullet journal spreads! I usually wait until the month actually starts to post my spreads, but I really want you to have them this Monday, instead of next. That way you can get the spreads ready for the month a little early! I have done many monthly spreads in the past from habit trackers to goals to expenses. If you want to see some of these, take a look at these posts:

Now for this month’s spreads! These aren’t my typical “monthly” spread that you can use for any month. Instead, I have made spreads that just relate to the month of December and the season of giving. No matter what holiday you celebrate, you will be able to use these spreads to help buy gifts for everyone on your list! For the first spread, you can plan out what gifts you will be giving to each person. In my second spread, I have stocking stuffer ideas for all of you. The bottom of the spread includes a place for you to plan out your own stockings. Lastly, I have a spread to plan out gifts for people, how much they were, if you already bought them, etc. This is my favorite because I can track the prices of everything and make sure I am staying within budget. It also shows me if I already have everything, and what else I need to buy.

Gift Giving

This is a pretty simple spread but allows you to plan out exactly what you want to buy everyone. I started with the simple “Xmas Gifts 4 All” title. Of course you can change this to any holiday you are shopping for, and use any type of fancy calligraphy you can do. Next I planned out my boxes (I wanted six) for everyone on my list. I did combine some people that I will shop for together. If you have a lot more people on your list, you may want to do 8 or 10 boxes. Then, I made a little header for each of my boxes, three rows deep. I tried to make each box look like a present so I drew a bow in each of the headers, and a tag with the person’s name on it. I used the bow drawings below for inspiration. Finally, I just wrote presents for everyone inside of the “presents” (boxes). I took a picture of this spread before filling in the presents because a lot of people on my list read my blog (thank you for the support:)).

Stocking Stuffers

This spread is mostly just to give you some ideas for stockings stuffers for everyone and anyone. I started writing stocking stuffers at the top (in my best handwriting, but you can probably do better)! and drawing a stocking. I stuck to a pretty simple stocking drawing, but may I say I am pretty proud it? Then, I have lots of ideas for you guys to shop for anyone on your list! You’re welcome;). If you did want to recreate this spread, in the bottom I just wrote names of who I am buying stockings for. I simply wrote wrote name with a line under it. I am only making two stockings this year, so I did not have much to write. If you have to do stockings for an entire family, you could take up a whole page for this. Under the names, I have a section for the gifts and the prices. Finally, at the bottom is a total box so I can see exactly how much I spent.

Money Spread

Like I said before, I want to make sure I know just how much money I spend for Christmas. I love to go all out for Christmas, but I am still a young college student which is why I love budgeting spreads. I can track just how much I spent and how much more I would like to spend. I actually went and got most of my gifts this past weekend because there were Black Friday deals going on all weekend. Anyway, to make this spread you want to start out with a column for the name of the person you are giving it to. If you want to organize the spread even more, you could do one person for the first ten rows, the next person for the next few, etc. However, sometimes we add presents for people way later on, so if you just make a name column and write in names as you go, it may be easier. Next is the column for what the item is. You want to make it somewhat large in case you have a gift with a really long name ( I accidentally split the column in half.. don’t do that!). The next two columns are how much you wanted to spend, the “budget,” and then what you actually spent. Then you have boxes for bought and wrapped. After you have done these things, you just put a check mark in the boxes. This allows you to make the spread before you go shopping, then cross things off as you buy them. This year, you will probably do a lot of online shopping with COVID, so you could also add a column for “received.” This way you can track when the package has actually arrived at your house. Lastly, I just wrote a column for extra notes. Maybe you need something else for the gift, it will be here late, etc.

When you’re out there buying gifts for others, don’t forget to treat yourself a little bit as well! Have fun and be safe:)

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Home for the Holidays

Hi all!! I am so excited to be writing to you today from MY desk…my very own desk at home! The semester is finally over (actually, my last exam is virtual today) and I am back home for the holidays. That means… another update on my life! I did this a little while back but I figured I would let you all know what I am up to for the break, and what my plans are for next semester. Sometimes like to switch up the content from my college miniseries and bullet journaling to talk about me:) That is what a blog is all about, right?

Well, I am back home until the beginning of January and I am so excited. I am very much a homebody. While I’m home, I will go back to work at the coffee shop in my hometown where I have worked since high school. I am thankful that my boss is letting me come back because I don’t have to find another job, which would really suck. At school, I do not work yet, but I probably will in the future. I am thinking an on-campus job because they are really flexible with your schedule. Since my class schedule is a little hectic, it would probably be difficult to find an off-campus job. Plus, a flexible schedule is nice because I like to go home on the weekends sometimes.

As for the break, I hope to keep up on my blog and produce some amazing spreads for you all. With a little more time on my hands, I want to focus on making more spreads for my bullet journal. So, stay tuned for that! Besides blogging, bullet journaling, and working, I of course want to spend a lot of time with my family. My mom and boyfriend are my biggest supporters and the people I want to spend the most time with at home. That means lots of Christmas movies and hot cocoa! Another goal is to do some really amazing crafts. If you have any ideas, PLEASE leave them below! I always love doing crafts but love them even more when I get to give them away for Christmas presents. I think making presents for someone just makes it so much more special. Especially cards… why buy a card when you can easily make one AND make someone feel super special and loved?! Let’s just say my basement may turn into a little bit of a craft shop for the next two months (sorry mom!!).

When I go back to school, I will be in more education classes that will help me with my elementary education major. Let me tell you… I am beyond excited. If you read “An Update on Me” back in early October, you know that this semester I took a few classes from the nursing major thinking I might want to be a nurse. Probably not for me. Especially since I ripped a scab off of my foot and could barely control myself. Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about my next semester and the classes I get to take! I have an educational psychology class that focuses on the growth and development of children academically, socially, etc. It also has a field placement where I will either work at a school or teach children online. I am so looking forward to that and I hope to be able to go into a real classroom. This semester, I had a field placement in my special education class but I had to teach it over Google Meets. While I absolutely loved that opportunity, it would be even more amazing to be able to actually go into a school. Unfortunately, schools are trying to limit the people coming in and out right now. This semester’s field placement was special education and next semester will be general education. It seems like they would have me do general education first, but I guess not! Although I loved doing special education but I think that my path is more general education. The background is amazing because even in general education you will have children who receive special education. It is really important to me that all teachers are trained to help all students. If you have not noticed before, education for all is a really important topic to me. Just like I don’t understand how children cannot go to school but we can still go retail shopping.. but that’s a topic for another day… LOL.

So… along with my general education class and field placement, I also have an educational history class. This class focuses on the development of education through the years. If we’re being honest, history is NOT my strong suit, but hopefully it won’t be too bad. I probably should have a background on the history of what my job is, right? Next is a class focusing on teaching P.E. Even though I don’t want to be a gym teacher, everyone in the education major has to take this class. I also have to take a class on teaching art, so it must be just to have a background on all the “specials.” I also have an “encounter with cultures” class that looks at the foundations of many diverse cultures. I am taking this class as part of my ESL (English as a Second Language) endorsement. I honestly do not know much about that class right now but will keep you posted! My last class is Calculus 2, which I have to take because I have a math concentration. I will be able to teach anything from K-5, but be able to teach math up to eighth grade with the concentration. This also means I have to take about five more math classes before I graduate. Most people I talk to think that sounds just horrible but I am actually excited. I am much better at math than science or english, which is why I chose that as my concentration. Anyway, I probably won’t be teaching elementary children calculus, but you have to take it to complete the math concentration. I guess they want teachers to be really educated on what they are teaching, who would’ve known?? It is crazy to think that in four short years, I will know how to teach children! I am so excited for that day:)

Finally, I want to apply to the education department next semester. In order to take the higher level education courses you have to be in the department. This means the 300 and 400 level courses (which I want to take next fall). However, to apply for the department, you must have completed a few beginner classes, such as the special education class I was in this semester and the educational psychology class I am taking next semester. By the end of this semester, I will be done with all the minimum requirements. As long as you will have completed all the minimum classes by the end of the semester, you can apply, which is why I can do it this spring. I was debating waiting until the fall to apply so I could get to know more teachers for the teacher recommendations (you can apply in the fall or spring), but it is recommended that you do it as soon as possible to start those higher education courses. So that is what I will do! When I apply, I will let you know, so wish me luck!

Thank you all for reading a little bit more about me today! I can’t wait to share more with you. Stay tuned next week for a bullet journal themed blog:)

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Studying for Exams

College Life with EG: part 10

It’s finally here: exam week! I still have a few more days until exams start, but I believe that my college is doing exams before many others. I thought I would share a few tips I have for studying, so hopefully you get these before your exams start. I am going to give you many tips, and the truth is that some may help a lot and some may not help at all. You just have to experiment for yourself and see what works and what doesn’t. I will start off today giving you some do’s and don’ts and then will talk about different ways you can actually study.

What is the “study cycle?”

1. Preview

Look over what you will be learning BEFORE going to class. This means reviewing past notes and looking over reading the chapter you will be discussing. Most of the time professors post the schedule at the beginning of the year so you know exactly what you will learn at each lecture. You don’t need a super thorough understanding, but should look at some of the main points/headers in the book.

2. Attend

Go to class! This is an obvious step but I know attendance is hard sometimes. Especially as we get to the end of the semester, I just want to skip and go back to bed. However, try really hard not to do this! Also, don’t just go to class, be present in class. Stay off your phone, ask questions, take notes, and engage with the lesson. When you take notes, make sure you are focusing on the lesson as well and not just trying to copy everything off the presentation.

3. Review

When class is over, don’t just ditch your notes. Look at what you wrote, make changes, highlight what is important, etc. If you missed something from the lecture, try to figure out what it was from the book or online. Make sure your notes are understandable so you can use them to study in the future.

4. Study

Another obvious part of the study cycle. I try to study a little bit of the material daily starting a week or so before the test. For each time you study, have a goal in mind. Do you want to cover one section? Or maybe be able to answer all the learning objectives from one lecture?

5. Check

Do you know all the material that you should? Just like you should check in on your mental health, you should check in with yourself on your preparation for the exam. If you get to this step and realize you have no idea what the quadratic formula is, you probably want to go back to studying

(Information from learningcenter.unc.edu)

General Tips

Figure out exactly what you need to study

First of all, is your test going to be cumulative, or just an exam over the recent material? One thing I find really nice about my classes is that a lot of them are just over the last unit, meaning the finals are worth the same amount of points as a normal test. However, this is not always going to be the case, so make sure you know what the exam is on. Then, figure out if there are learning objectives or if your professor just expects you to know everything they have covered. Some professors are much more generous in this way than others. You may only have to know what the professor talked about in class, or you may have to know entire sections of the book that they never even mentioned.

Look for resources

Did you get a review sheet? If you did, that’s great! I would look hard at that review, but make sure you look at other notes as well. While the review is a good start, it usually does not go over EVERYTHING on the exam. So, if you only focus on that, you might run into some troubles. If there is no review sheet, look for other things that might be helpful. For example, learning objectives can help you tune in on what you should be studying. Homework assignments are usually a good resource as well because sometimes professors use the same questions on the exam. If there is anything out there that MIGHT help you, try to use it!

Make a Schedule

A lot of people in high school start to study just the night before the exam, but this probably won’t be the case in college. That being said,  you should probably start to study a couple weeks before exams. If you can get in an hour or so everyday, that is perfect. Make a schedule for each class about what days you will study what material. If you have to go over seven chapters of genetics, maybe do one chapter every other day for two weeks before the test. If you only have a couple topics on something, you might want to study each more in depth because there is less material. I would write out a plan for everything on a calendar and stick to it. If it helps, write down a daily/hourly schedule too so you make sure you have enough time to study each day. I would recommend doing it at the time you are most productive, which varies for each person. If you can schedule your day around that, you will be golden! 

Don’t study too much at once

If you put too much into your brain at one time you will never be able to remember all of it. You want to break everything down into more manageable steps, which is why I said to make a schedule. For example, your brain will not remember anything if you go over 50 pages of notes at once. I personally have tried to go through too much material at one time, and by the time I got to the end, I had no idea where I started. This also means that you should not try to study for ten hours straight. If you have so much to do that you absolutely MUST to do this, make sure that you give yourself a brain break every once in a while. Get up and walk around, drink some water, have a snack, etc. Research says that you should take a break every hour for at least five minutes, but every 2 to 4 hours, you should have a longer break (around half an hour). If you give yourself a break, you will actually do better and avoid pushing your body to exhaustion.

Don’t cram

 I will leave it at that. You have heard it a million times.

Relax

No matter what happens at the end of exam week, it will be over and you will have survived. It make not feel like it now, but you will get through exam week. Try to keep that mentality while still maintaining the right amount of stress to keep you motivated. As I talked about last week, you want just the “optimal” amount of stress, which is just the amount to make you do the work and power you through. It is hard to think about at the moment, but exams will be over and once they are, there is nothing you can do to change them. Try to relax throughout the day but also while you’re studying. If you’re relaxed while studying, you will focus better and be able to remember more. If you need some ways to relax, try reading my “Relaxation” blog. And, as I said before, give yourself brain breaks often or you will burn out.

Find your place and time

Everyone has preferences as to when/where/how they study, and you may or may not know yours yet. Try to study in a few different settings to see what works best for you. Are you most productive in the night or the morning, in a quiet or noisy area, alone or with others? Give each of these scenarios a try! Also, find YOUR place on campus. I think getting out of your room is really helpful, so is there a study room you can go to, or a student center? We are all different in this way, so just do what makes you happy. Chances are that you will like to study in a much different setting than your roommate and best friend, and that is okay! Personally, I study at night by myself and I need it to be decently quiet. One idea is to go to a local coffee shop and treat yourself to a drink while you study. You may also want to try to drink tea, have mints/gum, use a diffuser, or listen to meditation music.

Settings to consider

      • Time
      • Lighting
      • Sound
      • Smells(essential oil?)
      • Gum/mints/tea/water
      • Other people

Prioritize

Prioritize: the act of studying

Make it a priority to study for a set amount of time each day. Like I said, put this into some sort of schedule. If you must use an hourly schedule so you know exactly when you will study, do that. If you know you can study at 12PM each day, that is great too. This week, I will study for 1-2 hours each day because I started reviewing early on. If I had waited until the last minute, I might have to study for 5-6 hours a day. Knowing myself, my brain is not able to handle that.

Prioritize: material for individual classes

If you are running low on time, or if you waited until the last minute, set priorities for each class. What do you know the most and the least about? There are two ways to prioritize in a crunch and you have to find what works best for you. The first is to realize what you know nothing about and just leave it at that. If there are other things you know really well you can continue to study those, knowing you will get that section of the exam right. You know you will get some wrong from parts you do not know, but at least you have a really good understanding of the other parts. This one is a bit risky because you do not know how much the test will hone in on what you don’t know. The other option is to try to learn a bit about everything, to feel mediocre about all the information. I usually opt for this one because when I get to the test, I can try to narrow some things down to common sense.

Prioritize: Each class

I think this one makes a lot of sense: if you have biology tomorrow and psychology in four days, worry about the biology exam now. First of all, assess what you know for each class. You will have to study for some a LOT more than others. If you feel like you have a good foundation on one class, you don’t have to worry about it as much as one you think you know nothing about. For me, I know that my biology exam is going to be much harder than my special education exam, so I make that a priority. However, you also have to think about how well you are doing in each class. For example, if you already have a 100 percent in math class, but are on the verge of a D in chemistry, you may want to study chemistry first. Your math grade can take a little hit, but you really should put the priority on the class that you HAVE to do well on. Finally, don’t just put off studying for an exam because you know it will be a lot of work. I tend to push off studying when I know it is going to take a lot of mental effort, and this is a bad habit. Chances are if I know the studying will be hard, I should really focus on that class because the exam will be difficult as well.

Different ways of studying!

  • Notecards: you can use notecards to write definitions, learning objectives, break down long topics, really anything you want. They engage you in active recall because have to “actively recall” the information from memory, which aids in putting the knowledge into your long-term memory. For example, if you look at the definition and try to remember the word, you are actively recalling that information. You should write the cards, study them, and even talk through them. As you read through the cards, make sure you mix them up every time so you don’t just memorize the order. Also, put cards in a pile of what you do and do not know so you can study better. You don’t have to study a word you know perfectly every time because that just wastes time. I love notecards because I can take them anywhere, use them in many different ways, and break down the information in any way I want. For example, I can break down an entire law into different sections on different notecards. It is much easier to remember things in small bits of information rather than one large chunk.
  • Quizlet: if you have not used the Quizlet app/website, it’s basically just virtual flashcards. It has many of the same benefits of notecards, but online. You can generate tests, do matching games, etc. Also, you can print the flashcards to take them with you. The only downsides I can think of is that typing does not have the same benefits as writing something down and you cannot use photos unless you have the paid version.
  • Teach other people: this is proven to be one of the best ways to study because you are repeating the information, hearing yourself repeat it, and explaining it in depth. It is called the protégé effect and has many benefits, including having you actively repeat information in your head and allowing you to review the main concepts and organize the information better. To do this, first teach yourself the material (teachers don’t teach about things they know nothing about!). Then, find someone to teach, or just pretend! Sometimes I just teach the wall, and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are actually teaching someone else, there are even more benefits because they can ask you questions about it. When they ask you questions, you must think on the spot and recall that information, which allows you to realize what you do and do not know a lot about. Finally, teaching others will increase your confidence about the topic! (Information from effectiviology)
  • Reread the book/notes: this is ONLY a starting point. Studies show that solely rereading your notes/the textbook will not do much. The problem is, if you just read the book over and over you never do anything with the knowledge, and if you are anything like me, you zone out a lot. However, I usually start by doing this so I have the information fresh in my mind. Then, I make notecards, rewrite my notes, teach other people, etc.
  • Organizing/rewriting your notes: you can organize you notes by highlighting the important parts, adding to them, filling in parts you missed, etc. I would do this pretty quickly after the lesson so the information is still fresh in your brain. Make your notes are good enough that you can study from them in the future, even if you totally forgot the material. Of course, hopefully you do NOT forget all of the material in the future. You can also put your notes into something visual, like a concept map (which I will talk about next). Later on, you can even rewrite you notes altogether. This is a way to test everything you know for the exam. Try to remake all your notes with everything you can remember and then compare them to the original to fill in the gaps.
  • Concept map: this is a simple overview about all the information you know. A great example is the nervous system. For example, you may start with nervous system, and break it up into the peripheral and central nervous systems. From the central nervous system comes the motor neurons and receptors, etc. There are not a ton of details in these, but they can give you a big picture idea of the topic.
  • Make your own questions: go through your notes and think about questions that might be on the exam. Write down anything you can think of and put it on a notecard, a blank piece of paper, or anywhere else you will study off of. When you do this, you are working with the information in a new way. You are diving deeper and having to explain what you know. So, try to think like a professor, and maybe you will have some of the actual questions on the exam.

I wish you all good luck on your exams(if you have any, and if you dont, thank you for still reading!) and hope you have a great rest of your week!

As always,

with love

EmmaGrace

Relaxation

Hello everyone! Ready to start this week off on the right foot? I know I am! I only have one more week left of classes for the semester and I am so excited! With that being said, I know there is a lot of stress going on for everyone. Whether it be last week’s election, getting ready for finals, or anything else, we must all take some time to relax. That is why I wanted to give you a few tips today on how I relax. Honestly, I can be a pretty tense person and I need to face that fact. When I get nervous, I get REALLY nervous, to the point where my stomach hurts. However, I have learned how to control that over the years and how to be more in tune with myself. I included this post as part of the College Life with EG series, but it can honestly be applied to anyone, at any point in your life! First, I want to explain what stress is and how important it is to take some time to relax, and then I will go into a few of my favorite ways to do this.

What is Stress?

When we become stressed, it can cause many physical, emotional, and mental issues. It comes with so much that you may not think about. I am sure you’ve heard this a million times, but stress can cause mental issues such as poor judgment and lack of concentration, physical issues such as stomach pains and nausea, and emotional issues such as depression and irritability. That being said, there is so much you can do to help yourself, especially before you reach the point of “too much stress.” Yes, there is optimal stress, which is just the right about of stress to be productive and move forward. However, past optimal stress comes distress, which is negative stress that causes negative effects on our bodies. When you’re stressed, the body puts out stress hormones, which is where the sympathetic nervous system comes into play. The sympathetic nervous system causes your increased heart rate, blood pressure, and sweating.

The body goes through three “phases” in response to stress, which are the alarm reaction, adaptation, and exhaustion. In the alarm phase your body gets really excited and prepares for the fight or flight, but it cannot stay here very long. Next comes the resistance stage, where your body tries to resist the stress. If it successfully does this, the stress can go away. However, if the stress continues and the body cannot maintain its defense, you will finally reach exhaustion. At this point, your body is exhausted and this could result in illness.

Why Relaxation is so Important

Besides all the negative effects of stress, there are many BENEFITS of relaxing. I won’t go into too much depth, but it can obviously aid in your physical, emotional, and mental health. Physical benefits include a lower heart rate and blood pressure (the opposite of these increasing due to stress), less body pain, and loosened muscles. Emotional benefits include happiness, high self esteem, and confidence. Finally, mental benefits include more energy, better sleep, and a sense of calm in the world. If you think about all the negative effects of stress, most can be reversed with relaxation techniques.

Relaxation Techniques!

Now, what you have all been waiting for.. ways to relax your mind and body!!

  • Meditation: this is a great way to not only relax your mind, but also your body. There are many types of meditation, and you can look them up or just do your own thing. The major goal is to focus on clearing your mind, breathing, and being in tune with your body. The benefits of meditation include lowering anxiety, helping illnesses, creating a sense of calm, etc. Mayo Clinic says that you need five things for meditation: full attention, a breathing pattern, a private, quiet, setting, an enjoyable position, and an open mind. If you need some ideas on how to meditate, visit this website!
  • Reading: there is really nothing better than reading a good book! When I need to take my mind off of something, I dive right into my book. Whether you enjoy love stories or scary ones, reading can help ease the mind and make you feel so much better. I recommend putting on your pajamas, getting under a warm blanket, and making making some hot cocoa when you read. If you’re comfy it makes the experience so much better. While I do love psychological thrillers, when I am stressed that is NOT the type of book I look for. Instead, I would turn to a Nicolas Sparks novel or something more “laid back.” You don’t want to have to think too much about the book, or if the main character is going to be killed.
  • Baking/cooking: Baking is one of my favorite things in the world! Whenever I come home from college, I bake at least one desert… per day. Is it Halloween? We must have Halloween cookies! Is it Christmas? Must have Christmas cookies! Is it the second Friday of the month? Perfect, cupcakes for the second Friday of the month! The point is, cooking/baking can take your mind off of anything stressing you out, and you get to eat delicious food after. A win-win if you ask me. It also encourages you to release some creativity. You can always fine tune something exactly how you like it, and make up new recipes! If you’re baking, there are a million ways to frost a cupcake. I always try to make the cutest deserts, and sometimes they just look like blobs of nothing, but that’s okay! Just try your best and be creative:)
  • Deep breathing: this is probably the most obvious relaxation technique but I think people just look past it sometimes. I talked about deep breathing in my “Sleeping at College” blog as well. If you picture your breathing when you are relaxed, what does it look like? Slow and calm, right? So it makes sense that when you are anxious, a good way to relax is to take some deep breaths and focus on only that. A quick fact about why deep breathing is good for you (biology wise) is that it increases the amount of oxygen your brain receives, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the opposite of the sympathetic nervous system (which increases heart rate, blood pressure, etc) because it calms your body down. If you need some techniques on how to practice deep breathing, try this website!
  • Sleep: sleep is a great way to get your mind off of everything, and everyone needs it! When you have gotten an adequate amount of sleep, you can handle stress better. However, it is important that you don’t just make sleeping your “scapegoat.” Like I said before, stress hurts your ability to concentrate, while sleep can help restore that. It also restores the calmness in your body and gives you more energy. Lack of sleep can also mess with your hormones which is never a good thing, especially when you already are stressed. Plus, I don’t think there is anyone out there who would say that a nap wouldn’t be amazing! I would suggest getting into a sleep schedule where you get at least eight hours of sleep as well as taking a nap sometimes throughout the week if your body needs it.
  • Yoga: no matter what shape you’re in, yoga is a great form of exercise and a great way to relax. Not only is it great for the body, but it’s great for the mind, which is what I really wanted to focus on with this post. On the physical side of things, it eases up tension on the muscles, increases flexibility, and decreases pain from anything else going on in your body. On the mental side of things, yoga refocuses your attention, calms the mind, and helps you concentrate. There are many ways to do yoga, from an actual class to a video on your phone to making your own yoga routine. Whichever you choose, make it YOUR yoga. The goal is to tune into your body and to be able to do what you need. Yoga sessions can last from 10 minutes to an hour (or longer) depending on the time you have and what you need that day. If you only have ten minutes before your next meeting, great, get some yoga in. Feeling bored at night? Great, do some yoga. Yoga with Adriene is a free YouTube Chanel with all types of yoga workouts! Grab your mat and find your zen!
  • Art (any form you please): honestly, I love all types of art. I love drawing, painting, ceramics, anything you can imagine. That being said, I am not the best at it. My biggest problem is that I want it to be perfect, and sometimes that causes me more anxiety. However, I have realized I must relax and enjoy myself. Who cares what your art looks like, it’s yours! Art is so amazing for you because it increases your creativity, and you can create anything you could ever imagine. Sometimes you might want to draw a beautiful flower and sometimes you want to draw your inner demons. Or, if you aren’t feeling super creative, you can use a coloring book! No shame in that 🙂
  • ANY self care activity: a self care activity is anything you do for yourself that makes you feel GOOD (this can include any of the relaxation techniques on this list). I have a whole list of ideas on my blog post, Surviving the First Week of College! Before you can have a good relationship with others, you must have a good relationship with yourself. I believe self care activities can get you so much more in tune with yourself, and boost your self confidence. Some people brush over self care or think that it makes them selfish… it doesn’t! You are not doing self care activities because you care about your needs over others, you do it because you recognize you do need YOU time! If you can make time for yourself just for five minutes a day, you will feel so much better. If you can have an entire DAY for self care, that is perfect. We all have different needs and time constraints, but try to work at least a little time for self care into your life.
  • Journaling: this is another one of my favorites, partially because I love all the different types of journals out there. I could sit at a store and look at journals for HOURS, and I already have way more than I will ever use. In a journal, you can write down any feelings, thoughts, or questions you ever have. If you had a bad day, you can write it down. If you had an amazing day, write it down as well. I love blank journals, but I also love prompted journals like this one(my boyfriend bought me it for Christmas and it is so awesome!). Sometimes it’s just nice to write out all your thoughts because you can get your anger out on the paper rather than on a person. Furthermore, I think memories are really important, and you can put those in a journal. Eventually, I would love to fill out journal prompts daily. Something that goes over my highs and lows of the day, something I learned, etc. Maybe I will make a bullet journal page for that in the future!
  • BLOGGING, duh:): I mentioned it before, but I would highly recommend blogging to all of you. Many of my followers are bloggers, but if you are not, why not give it a try? It’s a lot like journaling, but you can take it anywhere you want. If you want it to just be for you, great! If you want the world to see, great! In a blog, you can get all your anger out just like a journal. Or, you can turn it into something creative where you share ideas and inspiration. Blogging can help you get focused and organized, as well as work on your writing skills. I am by no means an amazing writer (and I never liked English class), but I would argue that blogging has improved my skills so much more than I could ever have imagined. P.S. If you are going to share your blog with the world, make sure you do not have TOO much personal information on there;)

That’s all I have for you today! I hope you all have a relaxing rest of your weeks. Let me know in the comments which of these strategies you try out!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

A little inspiration

We are born to be originals, not carbon copies. It’s great to be inspired by someone, but be bold enough to be yourself.

Hello all! Today I want to just share a few of my weekly spreads from my bullet journal. I know that sometimes it can be so difficult to find inspiration to create AND plan out the week. I hope that these spreads help you find some creativity!

As for the quote, it reminded me of my teacher when I was younger. She used to tell us that there was nothing wrong with getting inspiration from other artists. That’s why they do what they do: to inspire us! Of course, the goal is not to copy, but instead to build off of the work of others. That is what I hope you can do today! Build off of my ideas and make your spreads even more beautiful! So, here they are!

I would love for you all to share your spreads with me! I am always up for some inspiration from others. Or, if you used these for your inspiration, let me know as well! 🙂

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

November Spreads!

We made it to November! Woohoo! That means only one more month, and we have made it to December, AKA Christmastime!! My favorite time of the year! Did you all have a great Halloween? I sure hope so. I had an amazing time with my family at home, and we did lots of Halloween activities. Friday night I celebrated my dad’s birthday and Saturday night I had a little Halloween party with my boyfriend. Sunday I got to relax and make dinner. Sunday night is always a relaxing night in my house. My mom, boyfriend, and I sit down and watch a movie on Sundays (when I am home, of course) to mentally prepare for the week ahead. This weekend was no different:)

Well, it’s a new month and you all know what that means: new spreads!! Today, I am going to focus on the Happy Planner spreads that I use, which come straight from this planner pack! You can also buy it at Michaels and other craft stores! Be a smart shopper and go where there is a discount;)

Monthly dates, goals, etc.

November dates, goals, etc!

This spread is so amazing because you can write down everything about the month all in one place. First off, all the birthdays in your life. I usually keep birthdays on my phone, but transfer them to this spread as well. I put them on the other spread (the monthly overview) that I am sharing with you as well. Next up is monthly goals, which can be anything you want! Do you want to learn how to cook, do you want to make your bed every morning, do you want to work on not pressing snooze? No goal is too small! Then, it has an important dates section. Aside from birthdays, what else is coming up this month? For me, I include any tests I have, major assignments, dinner dates… anything that I know I should remember. I do not include weekly/daily events, such as tutoring every Thursday. Of course, there has to be a don’t forget section! If we’re being honest, sometimes I just use this space to doodle:) Last but not least is my favorite part, labeled “currently.” Here is where you get to list everything you are “currently” doing for the month, so feel free to be creative. If you can’t read the picture, it has everything from reading to watching to feeling. Of course, you may not be watching the same show all month, but this is just something fun to fill out at the beginning of the month to check in on yourself. If you keep these pages after the month is over, it’s a fun page to look back on and see what you were doing with your life at that specific month.

Monthly layout

This is just your basic overview of the month. I did post about this spread once before, in my “Using my Planners” post. This month is a bit more full because I have final exams at the end and a lot of other work to do. In the spread, I write down all my big events for the month, from birthdays to tests. I also try to make it colorful with lots of stickers. My favorite sticker pack to use for this spread is the Happy Planner seasonal pack. It has cute stickers for every time of the year!

I would recommend color-coding this spread(although I did a horrible job this month) according to each event. Maybe birthdays are pink, tests are yellow, and family events are blue. You can do this with colored pens or even highlighters! Just like the first spread from today, I don’t really put in all my daily/weekly commitments like classes and tutoring. Instead, I focus on the major dates I need to remember, including holidays and appointments. As soon as I schedule an appointment, I put it here! Then, I add it to my weekly spread when it comes time!

So, what are your big plans this month!? Let me know in the comments. Also, please reach out to me and let me know what type of spreads you want to see next month!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace