I have officially completed my first week of my second term of graduate school, and there is something like a routine starting to develop, but it is more in the way in which I approach a day in general. For example, I no longer set my alarm for too early in the morning, because who am I kidding I will never get up that early. When it comes to surviving, I would call myself an expert (and I’m sure everyone else can say this too, because whoever you are you are reading this, therefore, you are surviving, good for you!). Needless to say, here are my 5 Things to Survive Winter (in Graduate School, in Toronto, in Your Twenties, in Life):
1. Merlot. I am not advising alcohol all of the time, but find something that relaxes you that you can have on hand mindlessly. Last week I had cranberry juice, this week I have merlot. Other than caffeine, find something that takes the edge of in a way that supports you. My other go to is a great cup of tea.
2. Protein. This is a basic life living skill, but don’t forget to eat protein. Sometimes, when we are being healthy, we focus a lot on drinking water and eating good vegetables, or even eating enough, but there is some much needed love for protein that is essential to getting through the day. I don’t love falling asleep mid-class, or on the subway, and having taken a lot of protein into my daily diet I’ve combatted that head on. I’ve recently discovered energy/protein bars, I dig Luna, but there can be anything available like hummus, yogurt, or anything more substantial than coffee or a protein shake (but I mean, if you have to, smoothies!).
3. Blankets. This seems a bit of a given, like protein, but ever since my last year of my undergrad I have had to have tons of blankets ni my apartment in all kinds of places. Near my desk? Near my yoga mat? In the bathroom for after a bath? At the kitchen table? Okay,these are all exagerations, but if I’m honest there is nothing better than coming home from a long day, taking a half hour to watch a good sitcom, and snuggling under a blanket on your bed/floor/chair, because the comfort is there. Blankets are universally known to support you, they are proven to be warm and cosy, and what could be better than a failsafe security (ha-ha) blanket?
4. Skincare. I write so much about my skin, the way I wash and moisturize my face, how much water I drink, and so I won’t be writing too much about that anymore (if you’re looking for what I do in skincare, take a look here!) but what I WILL chide on about is how nice it is to massage my face when I’m feeling stressed or having a busy time. In my stocking I got this Aveeno Intensive Care moisturizer and man, is it mazing. Even just after a simple wash just spending a good minute rubbing my face helps the blood flow and relaxes the muscles in my face. If you don’t moisturize daily I recommend it to keep yourself sane, it reduces my headaches and helps me wind down (or up!) for/from a long day!
5. “Don’t Be An Island.” A good friend said this to me while I was going through a really hard time last term, and I have recently just understood what it means. When you try to go through everything alone you can’t handle it. You just can’t. things get forgotten or you lose things, or you lose your mind, or you will never sleep because there are so many things inside of your head (all true stories from yours truly) and so, here’s what you do: Find someone who is NOT in your situation (at school, work, your family, etc.etc. up to you what you choose) and confide in them when you are feeling overwhelmed, or when things are going great, or when you are scared or tired. Invite these people to your island and start a metropolis (like Manhatten! I do this by living my “Sex and the City” life everyday) and make sure you don’t go through your life alone. Maybe you can be an independent person, a private person, but even introverts need somewhere for their thoughts to go. So try it out.
And if none of these things work, I encourage you to find some new things to help you survive. I like to be out in the fresh air alone, I like to listen to music loudly in headphones, and I like candles, all more things to help you get through what you’ve going through.
Also, join my metropolis! I could always use some more islands in my fleet!