Tuesday, June 06, 2017

thriving over surviving

i have been extremely stressed this past week thinking about what the rest of summer holds, as well as my last two semesters of grad school next year. i have started to realize that i may have over committed myself these next 2 months. i think in my mind summer was going to be this slow time with so much openness, and a month in i am already feeling overextended. my word for this year is thrive and i feel like i was able to have more of a balance of thriving over surviving during the spring semester, maybe because i knew going into it that it was going to be overloaded. and now that summer has started with classes and two jobs, i've lost that balance. 

i've been thinking a lot about needs vs wants this past week. i have said no to a lot this past year in order to keep grad school a priority and have time to rest with Thomas and invest in our relationship. we still did things i wanted to do during the school year like go to the zoo and day trips to the coast in the winter, but i made sure the "needs" were met before those things happened. i've learned there is a fine balance in keeping needs vs wants in check, and that our needs and wants change with each season we are in. i just happen to be in a really time extensive season right now where the "needs" pretty much take up my life.  

so, here's some things i am doing to help myself thrive through the summer and the last year of grad school:

making goals
i made a physical list of goals for myself of what i need and want to do between now and graduation next May. i am going to leave this list on my desk so that i see it daily and remember to work towards these goals. if anything that i want to do or get asked to do in the next year doesn't align with these goals, then i cannot make it a priority. my priorities need to align with the goals i am working towards achieving, so frequently checking in with my goals and making sure my commitments are in line with them helps to keep me on track. making goals only helps me out if i am frequently coming back to them and making sure that every action i take is moving me closer to these goals. however, also realizing that goals change as time goes on, so adjustments to my goals will be needed during these "check-ins" as well. 

one of my goals is to spend more time exercising, since that has been on the back burner this year with everything else going on. there are some weeks where i have spent 4 days doing some type of exercising, but there have been some weeks where i barely have time to sleep, let alone exercise. but exercising and being healthy is part of caring for myself and this body that the Lord has given me. i have also started doing yoga these past few weeks. it all started with a yoga class that my summer job offered and now i am hooked. i realized just how relaxing it can be, while also helping me to build strength in my body and block out all the stressors and worries of life while i am practicing. so i have really pushed myself to practice at least 3 days a week as a way of resting and having that down time for myself. it has definitely helped cut down on the stress this past week. 

saying no
i can be a bit of a workaholic at times and i've been learning these past few years that as life gets busier (and it never gets less busy as we age apparently) there are more and more times that i will have to say no. i guess i have always looked at saying "no" as a negative thing, but i'm learning as time goes on that saying no is necessary so that i can say my best yes to other things. this summer i said "yes" to too many things, not realizing that it had happened. now as i am looking towards this next school year, i am having to say "no" and let some things end with the summer because i just can't do it all. and that's really what saying no is about - realizing and accepting that we as humans cannot and should not "do it all."

how do you keep track of your goals? what ways do you practice self-care?

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