Image Courtesy of Women’s Health
By Maisy Sullivan
As college students, the vast majority of us have the tendency to get stuck in a monotonous everyday routine. We wake up every morning, wishing for just a few more minutes of sleep. We attend classes, do homework, and lounge around at every opportunity that presents itself. For myself at least, those repetitive, lackluster days cause me to regret not being more productive.
I have observed a variety of methods that help me feel fulfilled on the days that I feel inspired to get more done. Our lifestyles as bustling young adults have a necessity for self-help. Though most of the suggestions I have to offer are simple and unembellished, they can make a genuine difference in mood and productivity.
The first lifestyle tip is: make your bed when you wake up. It is such an innocent and seemingly empty act, but it provokes more small actions that will improve one’s lifestyle significantly. It can even improve the tone for the day.
Seal William H. McCraven, a retired U.S. Navy Admiral SEAL, says in a commencement speech, “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
This speech was about changing the world, but using the mundane action of making your bed inspires others to start small, since sometimes a paramount goal can be hard to imagine when everyday life seems difficult to accomplish.
Beyond just making your bed, organization in general is essential to a productive day. A clean space is a solid motivator to get tasks done. “Organization” does not mean shoving clutter in random drawers or stuffing clothes under the bed. It means sorting through the clutter, getting rid of useless items, and finding designated spots for all belongings. That way, everything is easy to locate, giving you less to worry about when the time for productivity comes.
After everything around you is clean, focus on yourself. Look at your own state of mind and the condition of your body. Take a bath. Relax for a little while, push aside an hour for self care so you can emerge rejuvenated to finish your day fruitfully. Play some music, do a face mask, pick out an outfit that makes you feel confident. Even if you don’t want to take an entire hour for yourself, at least shower so that you feel your best in order to do your best.
On the topic of the self, after your day winds down, it is important to reflect on the positives and negatives of the day. If that means journaling, then write. If that means sitting in silence, close your eyes and meditate, pray, or just think. If that means planning for the next day, make a to-do list of what needs to be completed.
Regardless, find what needs to change, and remember that for the future. Find what has benefitted you during your day, and be sure to repeat it. Reflection is subjective, and not every method works for every person. Figuring out what works best for you uniquely is how you succeed and make your lifestyle extraordinary.
Daily life doesn’t have to be all work because, for obvious reasons, that would cause major stress. I asked some friends what self-help methods they use in times of stress and anxiety.
Sophomore Ava Pisauro said she likes to play guitar. She went on to explain that activities that distract the mind without forcing active deliberation can help to calm racing thoughts after a taxing day.
Playing the guitar, free writing, physical activity, art and many more activities don’t require the same stressors that writing emails, doing homework, or interacting with others require. The former of the mentioned pastimes require more pleasant, serene manners of thinking.
As explained, these lifestyle suggestions are completely subjective, and not all of them will work for each and every person. The moral of the self-help conversation is that every single human needs to take care of themselves, and these are just a few manageable suggestions to brighten your mood and ability to be productive.