I'm not gonna lie, my Master's program is really throwing me for a loop. Re-entering society after a year of lockdown in the middle of a portamento is no small feat, and honestly? I think we could all use a nap right now. However, since some of us are not the napping type (not me obviously, but some), I've compiled a list of things that are saving my sanity right now.
On god, I never thought I would be the kind of lady to blog about loving candles. But here I am, sitting here, blogging about how much I love candles. Especially now, when it's getting colder and grayer here in Chicago. I promise, bestie, get a set of tea candles for like $5 at Target and watch your morning sleepies melt away.
2. A Solid Morning Routine
I know, I know, Morning Routines are for TikTok Influencers and straight people that drink matcha. I'm telling you though, having a morning routine and sticking to it has led to a great day basically every day. I'm just saying; every day I do my silly little morning tasks, I have a great day. It doesn't have to be crazy. Just think of things you already do in the morning (my first one started with "wake up," no lie).
You thought I wasn't gonna include something for my Type-A friends? These highlighters come as a direct recommendation from my friend, who is easily one of the smartest people I know. In her words; "I can't explain it, but they make me smarter."
After asking after the rest of my 1st-year grad student cohort, there was a RESOUNDING response with the theme of self-care. From journaling to therapy, cooking, meditating, planning and cleaning, there was a massive outpouring of responses that had a lot to do with "me-time." It's weird, it's like all of the things people tell you to do to feel better actually work. Honestly, I think the key here is just being curious about how you feel when you're doing basically everything. Think; what does your brain say to you when you skip class v. when you plan and mediate? (An argument can also be made for cognitive therapy here, but I'm neither a doctor nor your mother and I will tell you to go to therapy).
5. A Community
Stick with me. I am not a "joiner," nor am I someone who cares much about social standing and I've also got a lot of anxiety surrounding the relationship between socializing and money. However, I've noticed that I really do feel better when I get to spend time with the people in my program. They just...get it. So I'm here, encouraging you to make friends, in or outside of your program.
6. A Freakin' Bomb Comfort Playlist
I have three that I constantly rotate through, curated specifically for the ~*vibe*~ I'm trying to create. My favorite right now is my "Two Glasses of Wine and a Silk Bathrobe" playlist. It's perfect to celebrate the end of the day, whenever that may be for you. I also have one specifically for Bath Time. I do. I'm not ashamed.
7. My Artist Loft Dot Journal
Let's face it, we are nothing without a solid planner. And listen, I know that you're gonna think "this woman is so straight-passing it hurts" when you click that link, but I could not be more serious about this, bestie. It was always one of those things that I thought about starting but didn't want to put in the time or effort. Ironically, the hardest part was just deciding what I wanted it to look like and how I wanted to use it. The actual setup probably took an hour and a half or so, and I took a LOT of breaks. Anyway, if you're looking for a great product, this is it. The pages are much thicker than others I've tried (looking at you, Moleskine), and the leather binding is durable and not at all bulky. 10/10 would recommend to everyone.
8. My Takeya Water Bottle
Fondly nicknamed my "emotional support water bottle." Need I say more.
9. Outside Interests
In the words of a very wise man from Georgia: "It takes some time away from being "productive," but at least you aren't selling your soul to your degree." Plus if I'm honest, I feel a lot more whole when I try to incorporate everything I love into my life (especially when one of those things are talking at people on the internet).
10. One small thing, each day
What, you thought I wasn't going to end on a sentimental note? It's basically science, bestie; do one thing, get dopamine. If your brain is telling you you're not doing enough, give it evidence that you are doing things, even if that thing was getting enough sleep. I promise, it's worth it.
Let me know what you think in the comments! Also, if you guys want to see what my planner looks like, let us know in our comment section!