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

My backpack essentials

College life with EG: part 7

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had an amazing weekend! I got to go home this weekend and that is always so refreshing. I had a “pumpkin-themed” weekend and carved pumpkins, made pumpkin pie and pumpkin seeds, and had a pumpkin spice latte. Honestly, carving pumpkins is one of my favorite activities but I don’t even really like pumpkin pie. However, I didn’t want to waste the pumpkin guts and I have a huge love for baking. I was thoroughly impressed with my pie, especially with a lot of whip cream on top! As for the PSL (pumpkin spice latte), it is a staple for the fall season! I have gone this much of my life without trying one, and I figured it was time. My boyfriend and I went to Starbucks to get a pumpkin spice latte, and I have to say… I am not a huge fan of pumpkin. Sorry to offend all you pumpkin lovers out there! Anyway, I hope you had some time to do some fall themed activities this weekend:)

Today, I am going to talk to you about my backpack essentials that are so important to me whether I am going to class, a study date, or anything else. First of all, I want to say that I use my backpack a whole lot less than normal because I have so many online classes. A lot of the time I can take the class right at my desk, so I have everything I need right next to me. However, when I leave my room to do a call, I make sure I have everything packed that I could ever need. Since I have classes really early, I try to always pack my backpack before I go to bed. It keeps me from having to wake up even earlier, as well as waking up my roommate.

What should you consider in a backpack?

My favorite backpacks are from The North Face. When you look for a backpack, make sure you consider all the options: size, pockets, weight, etc.

  • How much do you need to carry at once? If you only need a few things, go for a smaller backpack so you don’t hurt your back with too much weight
  • Color: do you want a fancy color, or something plain that will always match what you’re wearing? For me, I love to go for the bold colors!
  • How long do you want it to last? I always go for North Face backpacks, but they are on the pricey side. However, I have kept them for many years without them breaking! If you want the backpack to last, I would recommend spending the extra money: it will be worth it in the long run.
  • What material do you need? Do you want fabric, or do you need something more durable? I tend to spill things all the time so I always get the waterproof bags. Plus, I still have to walk to class in the winter and the rain, so I want to make sure my backpack will keep all my belongings safe!

A filled pencil case

If you are like me, you love all sorts of pens, pencils, and highlights. However, there is a limit on everything you can put in a pencil case (I know, I wish it had an endless bottom). My suggestion would be to always have two pencils: if they are mechanical, you may run out of lead, and if they are traditional, one may get dull. I try to carry at least four pens on me at all times, but usually I have more. I think you should always have at least a red, blue, black, and green. My favorite pens are the Sharpie pens and the PaperMate InkJoy. The Sharpie pens have a bold clean line and will never smear! Sometimes the InkJoy pens do smear, but they write so smoothly, and they have a 20 pack of so many amazing shades! Other than the pen and pencil, I would recommend keeping at least one to two highlighters (my favorite are the Zebra Midliners) and a calculator (only if you have a class you would use it).

Notebooks, binders, and folders

Never go to class without all the correct materials! I have a specific notebook and folder for each class that I always pack the night before. I put in every notebooks for the next day just in case I don’t have time to make it back to the dorm between classes. I would highly recommend the Five Star notebooks and folders. The folders have lasted me since the beginning of high school, and the notebooks always hold up! A cheaper notebook option I have found is the Exceed brand notebooks, which can be found at Walmart! These have the plastic cover (a necessity if you spill things on it all the time like I do), a pocket on the inside, and a guide sheet (with the map, different measurements, etc.). I know a lot of people type notes on their computers now, but I am traditional and love the notebook. I love writing things down, and it is shown to help you remember better than just typing.

Textbooks

You obviously want to bring all your textbooks to class! I like to pack all my textbooks the night before, just like my notebooks and folders. You never know what might happen between classes!

Water bottle and a snack

I usually keep a plastic AND reusable water bottle in my backpack at all times. I try to drink a lot of water thoughout the day and normally I have my Yeti on me. I absolutely swear by yetis, and drink my water, tea, coffee, and everything else from them. However, I also keep a plastic water bottle in there just in case of an emergency. I do this because I always take out my Yeti when I get to my room, and drink it at my desk. If I forget to pack the Yeti, I always have the other one on hand. I would recommend carrying one or both, anything to make sure you stay hydrated.

Also, just a granola bar or a pack of goldfish is an essential. You never know when you are going to get hungry in class, or doing anything else. Sometimes I will go study somewhere and I always like to have a snack with me. Or, maybe you have a three hour class through dinnertime (like me). At least you can get something in your body before class is over!

Chargers

If you have an iPhone, you’ve probably experienced it dying in the middle of the day. Planned obsolescence, isn’t it great? I always keep an iPhone charger in my bag just in case that happens. Since Apple took away the USB slots form their computers, I also keep a converter so I can plug my phone into my computer. I keep a block on me as well. I would also recommend keeping a computer charger in your bag! I only have one, but I try to remember to pack it if my computer is under 50 percent.

Tissues or napkins

You never know when you’re going to need to clean up a mess! If you’re anything like me, it happens probably once a day. Maybe you spill something in your backpack, or need to clean something off a table. Or, maybe you need to blow your nose! Tissues are a great option over napkins because they can be used to clean things up and are more gentle on your nose. I always get the small packs in the travel section at Walmart: they’re only about a dollar!

Earbuds

No matter what I am doing, I love to listen to music. Who doesn’t?? I love my AirPods, but any sort of earbuds will do! My favorite thing about the AirPods is that I don’t have to worry about a cord getting twisted in everything. They also connect to my computer and my phone automatically without me having to do anything!

Maybe you are going to class and you aren’t able to listen to music, but you should always have them on you! I usually listen to music while I do homework and study, and this makes it so you dont have to disturb the people around you. If you ever want to listen with over the eat headphones, beats are a great option and produce the best sound.

Computer

Everywhere I go I bring my computer because I am always doing work on it. Even though I love to take notes by hand, I have a lot of my work to do on my computer as well. Wherever I go, I always want access to my computer. I may have to do research, online quizzes, or work on my blog. If you need to buy a computer, I use a MacBook Pro because of the Apple ecosystem between the computer, iPad, iPhone, and watch.

Planner

This one shouldn’t come as a surprise to you all. I use my planner all the time and I have it with me wherever I go. That was when someone asks if I can have lunch next Tuesday, all I have to do is pull my planner form my backpack to say yes or no. You always want to be able to figure out what you’re doing and when. Plus, when I go to class I always write down all my assignments at the end of the hour. Read how I use my planners here!

Band-aid

You never know what’s going to happen, so it’s always good to be prepared. If someone(like me) falls and trips, you always have a bandaid ready to go. If you feel like you really need it, you can bring a first aid kit as well.

Lip balm and hand lotion

Always want to keep your lips and hands happy and healthy! Especially with the cold winter months coming this is extra important. Plus, when you run from one side of school to the other, the wind can really get at you! I know if I don’t carry lip balm on me I will continue to bite at my lips until they are completely raw. Same with the backs of my hands. I would recommend keeping these in a little Ziplock because it would be horrible for them to spill all over your backpack. That has happened to me before, and trust me, it is a pain in the butt to clean up.

Hand Sanitizer

In the world we live in, hand sanitizer is a must. Everywhere we go, we are touching things around us: door handles, tables, chairs, everything! And ,sometimes you want to eat a snack when you don’t have access to a bathroom. If you have sanitizer on hand (hah, get it) you dont have to worry! Even if you aren’t eating, it is always good to sanitize your hands every now and then. Especially for me, I have a big habit of touching my face! I have found the cheapest hand sanitizer at Walmart, but it is all pretty pricey right now because it is in high demand.

Polytails (and a comb)

I almost always keep my hair in a pony tail because I hate when it is in my face. If you have long hair, you know how crucial it is to have random ponytails on hand. I usually have one on my wrist as well as one in my bag. If your hair gets really knotted throughout the day, you may want to keep a collapsable brush or comb on hand as well. There is nothing worse than knotted, out of control hair!

Sleeping at College

College Life with EmmaGrace: Part 6

Welcome to part six of my “College with EmmaGrace Miniseries!” I hope you are enjoying this miniseries so far, and are happy about a little change in content. I try to throw a little bit of everything in my posts to give you some variety, which is why I don’t ONLY post the miniseries. Back when I started this blog in January, it was going to be all about bullet journaling. The goal was to show my spreads and give you some inspiration for your personal bullet journals. Then, I started sharing other craft projects and updates on my life. When I got to college, I decided to try this series out. A little change of content is always good, but I never want to forget what I started with: the bullet journal. That being said, I hope this miniseries can reach many people and help you on your journeys! I know it is labeled for college but many of these posts can be applied to everyone, at all points in life 🙂 Today I want to share a few ideas on something I think everyone can use a little help: sleep.

#1. Get into a routine

Figure out when you have to get up each morning, and make sure you are planning to sleep for at least eight hours. Even if you have varying morning classes, I would recommend going to bed around the same time every night. That way your body can get used to going to bed at a certain time, and you will start to get tired around the same time every night. Benefits also include falling asleep faster, academic success, improved metabolism, and much more.

Waking up at the same time is helpful as well and eventually your body will start to wake up by itself.

I know it’s unrealistic to go to bed and wake up at the exact minute every day, but getting into a fairly routine sleep cycle will help your internal clock, allowing you to go to bed and wake up easier. However, an occasional day to sleep in never hurt anyone ;).

#2. Pay attention to how much caffeine you drink, and when

I’ll admit it: I love my caramel lattes… nearly every day. I will also be the first to admit that you can easily get addicted and not be able to wake up without one. But that’s beyond the point. The point of this post is sleep, which means watching how much caffeine you have and what time of the day you have it.

True story: I decided to drink an entire latte at 8PM one night. My boyfriend bought me a new coffee mug that day and I just HAD to use it. I had to buy a coffee because you can’t put water in a coffee mug… right?! Anyway, I went to bed that night around 11PM and I didn’t fall asleep until past 4 in the morning. I had to wake up for an 8:30 class, and, as you may have guessed, I was miserable.

The point is: was when you drink your caffeine. On average, you should try to stop having caffeine about seven hours before you go to sleep. I usually go to bed about 11PM, so I would want to stop drinking caffeine by 4PM at the latest. The average adult can have UP TO 400 mg of caffeine a day, which is about four cups of coffee. BUT! That doesn’t mean you should do it, and if you do, make sure it’s earlier in the day.

#3. Work some exercise into your schedule

There are many different reasons behind why exercise helps sleep but a main factor is that it raises your internal body temperature. After you’re done exercising, your body temperature goes back down to normal and this can promote sleep. The timing of exercise matters to some people, but not to others. Most researchers would recommend working out in the morning to afternoon range, for about 30 minutes a day at least five days a week.

#4. Practice different breathing techniques

Practicing breathing calms your mind and body, and can help you fall asleep much faster. One thing I find really beneficial is that my mind can focus on breathing instead of all the stress of the day, or what I have to do the next day. A few breathing techniques include the 4-7-8, roll breathing, and belly breathing. You can learn more about breathing techniques here!

#5. Allow relaxation time before bed

For a lot of us, going to sleep is when all the anxiety of the day comes back. I understand that but try to get all your worrying out before you even get in bed. There is obviously a lot of stress from the day, but the best thing to do is worry about it earlier on. If something happened that day, address it then, and don’t wait until going to sleep to think about it.

Also, when you get in bed, you should be able to turn off your phone and just sleep. Before you go to sleep, turn off your phone and read, or do some meditation. Turning off electronics 30 minutes before bed allows your brain to shut down, but we’ve all heard that one before:)

#6. Finish work during the day

Finish studying and working 30 minutes to 1 hour before you go to sleep. Some nights it may be hard to do this, but that’s why you should try to get your work done all throughout the day. If you don’t have class in the morning, wake up early and get some stuff done. Or, if you only have morning classes, use the afternoon to your advantage and plug away at homework then. The more work you can get done during the day means the more time you have to relax before bed.

Of course, there will be nights that you stay up all night studying for an exam. However, if you study gradually throughout the week you should never have to do this. Plus, cramming doesn’t actually help you memorize, so don’t leave anything until the last moment… I will talk about this in a future blog post 😉

#7. Invest in some earbuds (and a sleep mask?)

One of my biggest struggles at night is falling sleep with distractions. Usually, it’s the voices in my own head, but outside noises keep me up as well. Honestly, if the room is not completely quiet I can’t go to sleep. With that in mind, buying some earbuds to listen to music while you sleep is a wonderful idea. You can drown out all the outside noises while listening to relaxing sounds that are meant to help you relax. PS: YouTube has a great selection of sleeping music.

Another great item is a sleeping mask if your roommate stays up later than you, and you need it to be dark to fall asleep.

#8.

Use your bed for JUST sleeping

This one may be a little weird, but if you do your homework or eat in bed all the time, your brain may be confused. If you only sleep in bed, your body will start to know and recognize that your bed is just for sleep. Plus, eating in your bed causes dirt and crumbs to go everywhere. You don’t need that while you sleep!

I hope these tips help you get some better sleep whether you’re in college or not! Sleeping is something I struggle with as well, so just know you’re not alone. These are just a few things that help me, but if you have any more suggestions, feel free to leave them down below!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

Surviving the First Week of College

College Life with EmmaGrace Miniseries: Part 2!

Now that you’ve made it to the first week of classes(maybe you’re a little farther in than that), how do you feel? For me, I have done a lot of introductory work and I haven’t been too stressed out about my workload… YET. I’m sure I will be in the future, but for now I wanted to give you an idea on how to handle the first week of classes, so YOU won’t have to worry about stress. My goal is for you to read this post and feel way more prepared to take on the first week of classes!

#1. Give yourself a few extra minutes to walk to class

If you read my last blog post, titled “What to Do Before the First Day of College”, you remember how I recommended walking around campus to each classroom at least once. And if you haven’t read my last post yet, you can read it here! Even if you think you know the campus really well, leave yourself a few extra minutes to get there for at least the first week. You never know if you will have a makeup malfunction before you leave the dorm, get stuck talking to a friend, or lose your way. Worst case scenario, you show up to class a few minutes early, which is much better than a few minutes late. For morning classes, I would recommend getting up a few minutes earlier than you were planning. So if you plan on getting up at 8:10 for an 8:30 class, maybe get up at 8. This allows you to have a few minutes to breathe and wake up before class starts.

#2. Write down ALL assignments

On the first day of class (or maybe even before), you will probably get a syllabus from all of your teachers, which should have all your major assignments on it. These can range anywhere from quizzes to tests to papers. You will want to make sure you have all of these written down in a monthly AND weekly part of your planner. College professors don’t always remind you when you have something to do or when there will be a test, which makes it so important that you have all the dates written down somewhere. You can even create an assignment log in your bullet journal. I will talk more about the spread in a later post, but below I’ve attached a picture of my August and September assignment logs (before I filled them out). You can highlight each class a different color, or highlight based on what type of assignment it is. Whatever way you choose to organize your assignments, it must make sense to you so you will know far in advance when you have something due. If you do not get a syllabus with the dates of all your assignments, make sure you write them down as soon as a teacher announces anything. You will want to start big assignments as soon as possible because they usually take more time than expected For example, a paper might take you more than a few weeks to write, and you should probably start studying for tests at least a week prior.

August and September assignment logs

#3. Go to all the campus activities you can

In the first week, there will be a lot of activities for you to participate in, such as involvement fairs and outside festicals. For me, there were a lot of activities within my hall and a few involvement fairs. Truth be told, with Coronavirus and social distancing/masks, it is even harder to make friends than in past years. Howver, I know colleges are giving their best efforts to make sure you still get a great college experience with great events. While it is so hard to socialize right now, you still need to make the best effort to appreciate the opportunities colleges are giving you to meet new people and do new things. Sometimes you will really not want to go, and that IS totally okay. I don’t want to make it seem like you have to go to any and every event possible. However, if you can make it to just a few things your first week(and beyond), you will most likely find something you want to be involved in. For example, you might make a friend at an outdoor event ora really interesting club at a fair. And yes, it is possible that some of the activities will be a complete bore, but you can just go home after and choose not to attend the same event again.

#4. Make your bed and do a “ten minute tidy”

Every morning, make your bed as SOON as you get up. William McCraven, a retired Navy Admiral Seal, once said, “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.” I talked about this (and the ten minute tidy) in my post “This Storm.” Making your bed will make you more productive throughout the day, and if you do it right when you wake up, you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the day. Furthermore, a ten minute tidy is something I do once a day to maintain the cleanliness of my room. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a quick room clean up that takes no more than ten minutes. I just make sure all my notebooks are put away, my clothes are in the laundry, etc. It doesn’t take long and will keep your room from looking like a complete disaster. If you don’t clean your room until it is just a tornado, you will be so overwhelmed. The ten minute tidy will keep you from ever having to feel this way. Also, I would suggest doing a thorough cleaning once a week (I like to do it on Sundays), which includes a little dusting, maybe a quick vaccum if you have one, etc.

#5. Take some self care time

At least once a day, allow yourself at least 10-15 minutes to do something you want to do. During this time, don’t think about anything else; just be in the moment. You can do anything from reading a book to journaling to just sitting by yourself. I know it is hard to find any spare time in college because you always have so much work, events, etc. However, you will stay so much less stressed if you can find just a little bit of time every day to set everything aside and only think about you. If you can wake up fifteen minutes early and do this, that’s great. Otherwise, you can just plan a little bit of time day by day. I would also suggest taking a day or two every week to do a larger self-care activity, such as getting your nails done or doing a craft. This could even be taking a nap. I have a friend who doesn’t do any homework on Wednesdays and makes this her self care day. If you can do that, that’s amazing, but for me personally, it is hard to take a whole day without work. This is why I like to break it up day by day and plan a larger activity for myself on the weekends. If you need some help coming up with self care activities, there is a list below

Self Care Tips

  • Meditate
  • Do your nails
  • Get your hair done
  • Read
  • Nap
  • Write ten things you love
  • Get a massage
  • Do your makeup
  • Go outside and take in the scenery
  • Stretch/yoga
  • Drink some water
  • Write down your favorite quotes
  • Exercise
  • Practice breathing
  • Journal
  • Blog
  • Vision board
  • Write down what you’re grateful for
  • Take a nice drive
  • Light a candle/essential oils
  • Get some coffee
  • Do a good deed
  • Try something new
  • Give a loved one a call

#6. Plan out your goals each day

Whether you have a weekly, daily, or hourly planner(or all three), or just make a checklist at the beginning of every day, make sure you prioritize your goals. The first goal can always be making your bed, which means you will ALWAYS accomplish the first goal of the day. From there, I would suggest doing one task in your room every day, which I will include a list of ideas below. A good idea would be to plan out what homework you want to get done that day, or what parts of assignments. Maybe you want to get your essay introduction done or finish studying vocabulary for Spanish. Either way, set SPECIFIC goals that are realistic for that day. For example, you may want to cover one chapter of biology and one lesson in chemistry, but it is probably not realistic to try to read and take notes on five chapters in one day. If you have all your assignments in your planner, like I suggested before, you will always know what’s coming and never have to read five chapters in one day. I would suggest making your to-do list at the beginning of the day, or the night before, then adding to it as you go to class and get more homework. Also, when I get a homework assignment, I always write the day it is due and add it to my to-do lists until that day. Then, I know I should be working on it at least a little bit until the due date. If I finish before then, I can just cross that task off!

Daily task Ideas

  • Laundry
  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Clean out fridge
  • Trash/recycling
  • Bathroom cleanup (may split this with many people, or there may be people that come do it)
  • Dishes (>once/week)
  • Disinfect surfaces (>once/week)

#7. Give a call back home

Let’s face it: being away from home this long can really suck. As much as you are homesick, your family probably misses you just as much. Give a call back home to your mom, who will want to know what you’re doing to keep busy, or to your boyfriend, just to tell him that you love him. A call to your family back home will mean so much to them, and it will also be a little reminder that people are here for you. You may be apart in distance, but your family and friends back home love you just as much as they did before. Anytime you need a little support, give them a call, and they can let you know everything will be okay. Yes, there are people that would argue talking to your family too much will cause more issues, and make you more homesick. Truthfully, I think it is about who you are and how close you are with your family. Calling your parents six times a day may be a little excessive, I don’t think a check-in call once a day is too much. Again, it’s all personal preference. For me, a quick call to my mom or boyfriend once every day or two is a reminder of the support and love I will always have back home.

Getting All Settled In!

Happy Thursday to all my friends out there! Even if you’re not reading this on Thursday, I hope you are all doing well and staying happy in wherever life is taking you right now. For me, that’s my first year in college! I moved in to the dorms last Friday, and started classes on Monday. It’s a huge life transition going away from my family, boyfriend, and pets, and I miss them all so much. I am such a homebody, that this is extra hard on me, but I am hanging in there!Today, I just wanted to give you a little update on my life and what I am doing to stay busy.

First of all, it took a few days to arrange my room (I will post pictures below) just the way I wanted it. I made sure to put lots of pictures of my family on the wall next to my bed, but they are kind of difficult to see in the photo. When I miss home, I make sure to look at the wall, and see all the happy pictures of my family. They make me smile every time. Of course, I brought my bullet journal along with me so I have something to do in my free time. In an upcoming post, I will show you pictures of all my “back to school” spreads I have done so far. They are so different and colorful, and I am so excited to share with you!

That being said, going to college is a big transition, especially in these crazy times. Most of my classes are hybrid, which means sometimes I will be in class and sometimes we will do it over Zoom. I just want to say that taking a biology class online is a LOT different. It’s difficult and I would much rather be in class, but I am so thankful for what they’re doing to make this year as normal as possible. I am doing my best to stay safe, stay away from people, wear my mask, and wash my hands all time so that we can stay in school! Moving to college is tough, and it’s even tougher when you can barely socialize. I can never tell if someone is smiling or frowning at me. But I am doing it, and I am hoping that everyone else out there is doing well with their transition as well. So far, my best advice would be to stay busy. Go out with friends or go for a walk with your roommate. Anything to get your mind going will help ease the feeling of being away from home. For anyone in college right now, I agree that it is so hard to be away from home, but I hope you all are finding people you love in a new time of your life. Also, call your parents, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, anyone from home and update them on your life! You don’t need to talk your parents 100 times a day, but just a quick text to let them know that biology today was easy, or chemistry was boring.

Finally, I mentioned this before, but I just want to give a little update on the future of this page! I plan on blogging while still including bullet journal spreads. Now that I am in college, the content will be a little different when I talk about life, but I hope you all are still connecting with me and I am so happy you are here reading ths. I have some cool new spreads coming up in the near future for you. They’re all about keeping your life organized in college, or in any level of school! Last but not least, if you ever have any questions about my blogs, or want to know more about me, feel free to reach out! Or even any suggestions on a college bullet journal spread/college geared post! Anything, I am open to talk:) Have a wonderful rest of the week!

As always,

with love,

EmmaGrace

This storm

Hey y’all! Today I’ve come with a few things to talk to about, so here’s my plan of attack for today:

  • Quote of the day from April 27 and what it means
  • Keeping motivated
  • A few simple ways to start the day off right.

Quote from April 27

Alright, so first off, I wanted to talk to you all about the quote from this Monday, April 27. It was “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I was so excited when I saw this quote because it has been a favorite of mine ever since I was little. In middle school art class, I even made a painting with it.

My middle school painting 🙂 Obviously I’m not a professional artist, but I love to create

That being said, let’s talk about what it really means. All quotes really have different meanings to different people depending on where they are in their lives. The overall message that I get from this quote is that obstacles will be thrown at you, and you can’t just sit there and wait until they go away. Either obstacles will never go away or they will beat you up in the process. Instead, you have to address the challenge and work through it, enjoying the process (AKA “dancing in the rain”). I feel like this really applies to life right now, and what is going on in the world. Most people are stuck at home in quarantine right now, including me. And trust me, I know how hard it is and how badly you want to get back to a normal life again. However, this is the challenge we are ALL being faced with. You are not alone, we are all going through it. So here’s the deal: instead of waiting for this storm to pass,(which it WILL) appreciate the process and work through it. Take this time to get something done you’ve been putting off forever. Clean that old junk drawer. Vacuum out your car. Take this time to appreciate your health and that you have a home to keep you safe right now. Take this time to do some reflecting on yourself! I suggest taking some time daily to reflect on yourself and the day.Write down one thing you are grateful for, one thing that made you smile, etc. (P.S. Should I make a post focused on that?? Maybe a reflecting journal page? Let me know in the comments or by email!)

One thing that makes me SO happy right now is that I get to blog WAY more. I love sharing my ideas and life with you all. So just remember, when this storm does pass, we will all be way stronger. But for now, work through it and enjoy life!

Motivation

Now on to a little talk about motivation! While we are pushing through this storm, let’s talk about HOW to dance in the rain. Right now, I have no work and no school, so there really is nothing pressing on me (except for ONE final exam I have to take at the beginning of May). However, it is so so important that you keep motivated and still get some work done. Here’s some awesome ways you can keep yourself motivated

  1. Start the day off right, which I will give you a few tips on later. It is so amazing getting out of bed in the morning and setting yourself up for a great day ahead.
  2. Set some goals. These can be long term or short term goals. I would suggest making one big list of things that need to be done, doesn’t matter if they are long or short term. This way you have all your goals set up in one place. Then, at the beginning of the week, make a list of priorities, or tasks you want to accomplish throughout the week. Big tasks like cleaning the garage or reorganizing a room. Then, assign one task to every day, or one task to two days depending how big it is. Finally, make a list daily of what you want to do. Here’s my favorite weekly layout right now, with daily to-dos. I’ve got a picture for you, and the link to the post: https://lifewitheg.com/2020/04/17/to-do-list-april-week-2/

3. COMMIT to your goals. If you want to get it done, you have to commit!

4. Keep your body moving. Even just a quick walk around the block. Exercise reduces stress hormones, and helps in the production of endorphins (natural painkillers and mood boosters).

5. Most importantly, keep a positive attitude. That is the best way to keep yourself motivated and happy. Kick that frown out of town, like the quote from April 28:) Isn’t it perfect how the quotes always seem to relate to my posts?!

Last but not least: A few ways to start the day off right

  1. Wake up and make your bed. This seems so minor, but really making your bed is an accomplishment. You did your first task of the day, and are ready to tackle whatever comes next. Plus, it is a reminder that the little things are important too.
  2. Do what I like to call a “ten minute tidy.” THis is just a quick room clean up for a fresh start. Pick up any laundry off your floor, take out any trash, remove any dishes from your nightstand. If you do this every day, your room can never get horribly messy, which is seriously the WORST.
  3. Take a few minutes to focus on the positive in your life. What is one thing you are looking forward to today? Why do you feel grateful? What makes you smile? Sit there and smile to yourself, no one will judge!
  4. Stretch or do some yoga for ten minutes. This will get your body moving, your brain active, and increase energy for the rest of the day. It’s also a great idea to do this before bed every night to let go of the day’s stress and all the tension in your body.
  5. Listen to your favorite song. This is sure to make you happy and start your day off on the right note. Ha, see what I did there?
  6. Drink a big glass of water. Bonus if you add lemon. Starts the day hydrated and refreshed.
  7. Open up your blinds. The light helps you wake up, and natural sunlight is so much better than a room light shining you right in the face. For real though, nothing is better than some real sunlight coming through in the morning.
  8. Set a major goal for the day. Is there something you really need to get done? Do it! Every day, choose to tackle one major thing. When there is nothing you absolutely have to do, take the time to get some housework done, or maybe even finish some artwork you have been working on forever.
  9. Write down your ten smaller tasks to accomplish. EIther do this in your bullet journal or just on a small piece of paper. The first one can be making the bed, and you can already check that off. After that, the rest is up to you. Rememeber that these are smaller tasks, so something like laundry or emptying the dishwasher is perfect. Just some little goals to keep you on top!

If you made it through this whole post, or even if you just read a section of it, thank you! I hope I was able to inspire you all in this tough time to keep yourselves motivated and happy!

As always, with love

EmmaGrace Furgason

My Post Organizer

Hello everyone! I hope you had a good week, and are coming into an exciting weekend. Or maybe the whole week feels like the weekend because you are stuck at home? Honestly, I only know what day it is because of my daily quotes. That’s one reason why I love them so much. Besides the fact that the quotes give me some inspiration every morning when I wake up, they help me remember what day it is. And, posting them every morning for you all to see makes it even better!

Whether you needed this weekend horribly or not, I am posting today with a different spread from my normal. It’s not a daily, weekly, or monthly spread, but instead is what I like to call a “post organizer.” I actually made this a while ago, for my old site. The top is filled in already with a post idea from a LONG time ago, but I finally decided to start using the spread again. So… here it is!

This spread has two post ideas per page. Of course, the first thing I did was split the page in half. Then, at the top of each section, I wrote post with a skinny box next to it for the title. As always, do some calligraphy here if you are feeling crafty. Below I split the page about 60/40, for the main points and to-dos for the blog. The main points section is pretty self explanatory, but I’ll give you an example of what I would put in the “to-do” box. For each of my posts, I take pictures of my spreads, which would be a good example of a to-do. Other examples would include coming up with a title, advertising the post on social media, etc. Last but not least, I have a notes section, which is just for any extra ideas, notes, or comments you have about your post.

I know this spread may not apply to some of you out there, but I hope you read through it anyway. If you don’t have a blog, it can be applied to other ideas, like essays! Before I write a school essay I have to sit down and get my ideas in place before I do anything else. Something like this is so helpful for that. And, if you are thinking about starting your own blog, this is a good way to organize your thoughts and get started. If you already have a blog, I hope this gives you some inspiration on starting your next post!

As always, with love,

EmmaGrace

Month of March

EDIT: I am reposting this from the beginning of March.

So I finally have a monthly spread to share with you guys! I want to say thank you for your patience as I continue to grow my website. Life has been busy, but I am trying to post as many spreads as possible. Here is March of this year, which are just my plain layouts. I haven’t added much to them, because I like to show them off simple, and you guys can always customize it exactly to your taste. For this spread, I based it off of the Me and My Big Ideas monthly layouts. I used to have the pre-made layouts with the boxes, but I decided I wanted to do it myself. Each box is eighy units by eight units, which leaves extra on the side for some notes. I used a ballpoint pen for the edges, the blue stripes are sharpie highlighter, and the date at the top is using a Koi Coloring Brush Pen. I used numbered stickers to make the dates because they are a lot neater than my handwriting. Besides that, it is pretty empty for you guys to take it in any direction you would life.

April Expenses

Finally, I am making my post about my monthly expenses spread. I know I posted this before but I just wanted to highlight it a little more in its own post. To start out, I drew “April Expenses” at the top. If you are more artsy than me, feel free to do your own calligraphy and make this even prettier. Next, I divided my paper up into sections. I based their size off how much I had to write in each one. BUT… did you catch my mistake in there?? This is an expense spread, but there is no price spot. So, either you can break the page up more, or do what I did, which is change the category section to a price section. The category would be something like food, but it is not nessecary for the spread if you have a section for “what” and “where”.

I will explain each of my sections a little more in depth. First, I started with the date. I like to know when I spend money throughout the month, and I can also see my no spend days. Speaking of no spending, I might add that to the page next month… maybe a little chart to fill in days that I don’t spend money. Let me know what you guys think about that either in the comments or by email. The more days I don’t spend, the more full the chart becomes, and the more satisfying.

Anyway, back to THIS page. My next sections are what I bought and where, which are pretty self explanatory. I have the category, (which I changed to price) which would be food, groceries, etc. If you want to keep category and make more sections than me, that is awesome. Otherwise just use price since this is a pretty essential section. Next is DC and C, which stand for debit card and cash. I had to abbreviate because there was not enough room. I don’t write anything in these boxes, but simply check which method I used. Lastly, I wrote need and want, which are also small becuase I just check which box it is. This way I can always tell if I spent money on something I actually needed to buy, or just for fun. Another idea you could add to this spread is a total at the end of the month, separated into needs and wants. If you distinguish between a need and want, you will become more aware of how much you spend on nonessential items, and hopefully cut down on those. That’s about it for this spread!

Please email or comment if you love this spread, or have any suggestions!

As always, with love,

EmmaGrace