I have always worked in restaurants, so weekends were an important part of my work week. Also, it's only two days off from work, which never seems like enough. After working forty hours in five days you need at least two days to sleep. And then two more days to do errands and maybe catch a movie or something. Right?
Well, waking up at 5am five days a week and getting home around 5pm every night has changed my feelings about the weekend. Starting on Tuesday I started to look at the calendar and fantasize about all the lovely things I could do instead of being at school all day. A full night's rest, cooking elaborate meals, going to the gym, getting a break from commuting for two full days, and spending time with my sweetheart are some of the things I long for.
Last week the theme of our weekly reflections for grad school was balance and self-care. I thought a lot about how I epically failed this one the first week of student teaching. I was staying super late into the evenings at school and only getting 3-4 hours of sleep at night. Sounds crazy, right? Was it necessary? Maybe. I was super productive, but there comes a point where you have to stop, evaluate the situation, and decide if it's really that important.
My second week of student teaching I think I did better with balance and self-care. I know there's a lot of room for improvement, but what's important is that I am intentional about taking better care of myself.
Here are some things that prevent my work week from making me feel like I am trapped in a never-ending cycle of exhaustion and desperation.
1. Having a vacation to look forward to.
A few weeks ago I read an article about how people are happier with their jobs when they have a trip or special event to look forward to. This could be a weekend camping, a concert, a trip out of town, or anything special.
So I checked out prices to Boston and found a good deal and snagged it. I can't wait to see my family and friends back home. I will have some research and writing to do, but I already have a plan to hang out in my favorite library in the whole world.
So far, it's been cool to look at my calendar and skip ahead a couple months to see B O S T O N written across a week and a half in November. I think it's totally worth it if you can plan to treat yourself in some way. It makes me feel better about being in grad school, so it should work for anyone.
2. Having people in my life that make me feel good.
I haven't had much time for friends lately, but I do have some school friends and friends that I have made at the high school I am working at. I like to call my school friends 'my ladies' because we are always there for each other through all the stress and craziness of grad school. We listen to each other vent, help each other with projects, and encourage each other to keep going.
I would say that the one person in my life that makes me feel good all the time - even when I am a crazy stress case and just can't deal with life - is my sweetheart, Brandon. He makes me dinner, washes the dishes, keeps our place clean and organized, helps me pack my school stuff the night before (which actually takes a while because it's a lot of stuff), and writes me the sweetest notes. Seriously, he is the best boyfriend ever.
If you find yourself feeling awful after you spend time with certain people in your life, dump 'em. Life is too short and beautiful to be wasting time with people who bring you down. And if you have people in your life that make you feel good and love you unconditionally, make time in your schedule to hang out with them. Before school started I got to hang out with my ladies after not seeing them all summer. I also make it a point to hang out with Brandon, even if we are just both reading on the couch, it's important to nurture the important relationships in your life.
3. Balancing the crazy, depressing news with things that inspire me and make me smile.
I'm one of those people who can't handle listening to the news on a daily basis. I get super depressed and angry. There are so many f'd things going on that I have decided I don't need to hear repeated day after day. I believe in staying informed, but I also think it's important to balance out the BS with some uplifting stories.
Here are some links I looked at that made me smile this week:
Incredible Photos That Prove True Love Exists.
Boo and Buddy's instagram site. My favorite Pomeranians in the whole world.
Camouflage octopus. AMAZING.
What Grad School is Really Like.
Tough Guy From Boston's North End
21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity.
QuestLove on Fresh Air.
Columbus Ohio librarian quietly saved a million dollars for gift back to library
If you have any links to share that made you smile this week, share them in the comments below.
4. Having a night off from all obligations.
This one is hard for me because I want to do it, but sometimes I feel really guilty about it. Last year I felt like if I took a night off from doing school stuff then I was slacking off. In reality, everyone needs a night off from obligations once in a while. Personally, I get bored with monotony, so I love finding different things to do from time to time to break up the routine.
Tomorrow night I am going over to a friend's house to watch Mayweather vs Canelo fight. Boxing seems to be the only sport I have time to pay attention to lately, since I only pay attention to the major fights.
I am so excited to watch the match tomorrow. I always get a little nervous when I watch Mayweather because he is such an amazing fighter. He is undefeated and seems to be going strong. I'm rooting for the underdog. Let's go Canelo!
Music is a magical thing. Earlier this week in a sheltered ELL science class, we were talking about the five senses and generating ideas and questions while looking at pictures. One student asked, "Why do people like music so much?" I thought this was a cool question!
I don't know what it is, but it's definitely true that music can transform that way people feel. I made a playlist at the beginning of the week and have been listening to it non-stop at home.
If you have to commute, make some mixes for your car ride. If you have to wake up earlier than you want to (like me.. hello, 5am), play your favorite tunes while you get ready. Get yourself some decent headphones and rock out all by yourself while sitting in a coffee shop or going for a walk in the park.
This week I am linking up with two blogger friends that I have made in the last month. One is Venus Trapped in Mars. Sarah is a southern gal who loves sparkles, football, and is super savvy with graphic design. Her tutorials have helped me so much with my blog. Check her out!
I'm also linking up with Whitney from I Wore Yoga Pants To Work. She is another cool chick worth checking out. ;)