Five Minute Friday #1: Managing Stress

Do you ever feel think, “Wow. I feel so inadequate for this right now.”?

*raises hand*

We just finished the second week of this semester, and it’s KICKING MY BUTT. I feel like we’ve been in school for two months already. But God is good and challenge is good.

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I also made a vlog for you guys today! You can decide whether that’s good or bad news. I’m thinking of doing regular Friday vlogs because it’s quick and fun way for me to catch up/talk with y’all at the end of the week. I’m calling it “Five Minute Friday’s” with the goal of keeping my yapping to a minimum.

This week’s debut is about how I’ve been managing stress (see Monday’s post…and the intro to this post). So without further ado, please enjoy the less-than-flattering angle of my face!

link to the video if isn’t working here!

I talked about apple crisp a la mode, so here it is in it’s glory:

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Lunch dessert seems 100% necessary sometimes.

Breakfast is definitely 100% necessary. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my post on Wednesday about how my omelette order got swapped with another girl’s order, and I could have solved the problem had I not doused my eggs in sriracha so quickly (the other girl does not like sriracha, so the possibility of swapping vanished).

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One last good thing to close this frenzied Friday post: I worked out outside yesterday! It’s been pretty warm this week, despite the fact that there’s still some snow on the ground.

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FRESH AIR.

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! Eat some lunch dessert.

So tell me:

Is anything stressing you out currently?

What are your favorite ways to manage stress?

Yay or nay to lunch dessert? 

Beginnings Are Stressful

Winter decided to show up this weekend.

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And it ain’t too bad so far! Now that I’ve said that, mother nature will probably release her wrath in another snowpocalypse soon. But ugly nights can turn into the most beautiful days (#wisdom).

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Four days of classes down, how many to go? Not that I’m counting, because I’m actually really diggin’ my courses this semester. However, I must admit that the start of the semester has brought about some stress already.

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not stressed about that large hunk o’ cornbread though ♥︎ 

Whenever I begin a new semester/activity/phase of life, I become extremely focused on the tasks at hand so that I stay on top of my stuff. That’s what people are supposed to do, right? I guess so, but when I become extremely focused, it becomes extremely hard for me to let go.

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A million things are always on my mind, and I {irrationally and subconsciously} fear that if I don’t have those million things on my mind at all times, I won’t get them done. Simply put, I worry. I end up doing what I need to do, but not without feeling a lot of stress and self-imposed pressure before/during.

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side note: this wrap was fantastic (tuna, lettuce, roasted vegetables, artichokes, pepper jack cheese, and honey mustard)

To be 100% honest, for a few days, my stress-mess also included invasive, slightly obsessive thoughts about working out. I did get some workouts in that felt good to me when I had time, which actually helped relieve some stress, but I never worked out for the sole reason of feeling anxious about it. Nevertheless, I was definitely thinking a lot about exercise for the first half of the week. Thankfully, the fixation is fading.

Rachel made a good point that when I’m stressed, I seek control, and thinking about workouts all the time was probably one way for me to cope (in addition to onto the school/social/work/faith-related thoughts in my head).

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more cornbread is never a bad thing

All this said, I am grateful that God has put me through very similar situations in the past. Thus, I feel fairly equipped to deal with times like these. Some pep talks that help me:

  • It’s okay that you feel anxious.
  • Worrying is not going to get it done.
  • You already wrote it down in your planner. You will see it and get it done.
  • One step at a time.
  • You’re living right NOW. You can only do what you’re doing right NOW.
  • Rest in God.
  • This too shall pass.
  • Look outside of yourself.

I’m fairly confident that this just a case of  beginning-something-anxiety* and it will pass once we get the semester rollin’. I almost feel as if I need to get out of the “habit” of feeling stressed, if that makes sense.

*Not a technical term. May or may not have scientific basis.

A good dose of friend time is some powerful medicine too, lemme tell ya.

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Our team won, just saying.

Yesterday was national peanut butter day, so naturally, I brought peanut butter to the Catholic Center pancake breakfast and slathered that stuff on my johnnycakes (← does anyone actually call them that?).

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Rachel yelled at me for bringing my own pb and banana. I’m obnoxious, I get it.

I hope you all have a fantastic, stress-free Monday!

So tell me:

Do you feel anxious/stressed when you begin new things?

What are some of your favorite self-pep talks when you’re stressed?

Did you celebrate national peanut butter day?

What did you do this weekend? 

A Look Into My Interesting First Week of Second Semester

Thinking-Out-Loud

Thinking out loud today with my fave!

1) We’re almost done with our first {short} week of classes, and I’m pretty pumped up!

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It’s been exciting to reunite with friends, and my classes are equally as exciting. I’m taking intro to nutrition, behavioral biology of women, exercise physiology, biomechanics, and modern dance (again!). Geeking out!

2) There have been some less exciting things happening this week as well though. I (and a lot of my friends) came down with a cold, and I strained the back of knee somehow after my extra long day of physical activity on Sunday. The latter gave me a limp for a few days, but I think it’s on the mend… Except now there’s a huge knot in my mid back that kinda hurts when I breathe.

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^^^I’m really okay though.

3) Rachel and I got right back to work on our food bucket list on Monday. We chose Anna’s Taqueria for some burritos!

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My burrito: rice, chicken, grilled vegetables, lettuce, salsa, cheese and guacamole lovingly hugged together by a warm, whole wheat tortilla.

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Rachel and I agreed that these weren’t the most flavorful burritos we had ever eaten, but we were hungry and cold, so these totally hit the spot!

4) Although I miss cooking my own meals, I certainly cannot complain about the food here at Boston University.

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lighter breakfast of whole wheat toast with almond butter and banana, blueberries, and a hb egg

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part of a sick day lunch: tomato kale florentine soup + cornbread

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free pasta supper at the Catholic Center!

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salad + pork and rice with mango salsa

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plain yogurt with granola and banana

5) I ate three bananas yesterday.

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6) Speaking of food and classes… For my nutrition class, I will have to record a whole day of my typical eats for a project. This includes breaking down the calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients, and then we will analyze what we should add/subtract from our diets.

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I’m not really nervous about the project, but I’m definitely thankful that I’m taking this class now rather than earlier, when I may not have been as secure in my eating habits. Nevertheless, I will take all analyses with a grain of salt!

7) Scenario #1 from yesterday:

Girl at the gym: *points to the small bottle hanging off my backpack* “Is that antibacterial hand  stuff?”

Me: *embarrassed* “…Uhh no it’s hot sauce.”

Girl: “It IS Sriracha! I thought so. I was going to be so disappointed if it wasn’t.”

People get me sometimes.

8) Scenario #2 from yesterday:

*I’m walking down the street bundled up in the frigid cold while listening to music.*

*A middle-aged, white-haired man wearing a Big Bird costume (carrying the head part) walks past me. He looks frazzled and seems to be asking another student for directions. It all just looks like part of a montage as I listen to my music.*

*My jaw drops slightly.*

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Pretty sure this was my exact reaction.

9) To end on a meaningful note… There’s an ongoing service project that a few of my dear friends help organize every week called Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen. The participants make sandwiches and bring snacks, socks, blankets, gloves, and other clothing items around downtown Boston by foot to people who are homeless. I walked with them for the first time this past Sunday, and it was a humbling, upsetting, joyful, and inspiring experience all at once.

If you live near a fairly large city and are looking for a way to reach out personally, I think this is a simple yet effective service project. (Strength in numbers! Make sure to bring friends, both male and female.)

10) Hope you all have a marvelous day! Dance like Brad Pitt a little.

So tell me:

What were/are some of your favorite college/high school courses?

Has anything surreal happened to you recently (like my Big Bird encounter)?

What do you like in your burritos?

Do you have a favorite service project?

15 Signs That I’m Back in Boston

15 Signs That I’m Back in Boston

1) I eat overnight oats the morning I travel to Boston.

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2) “Baeeeee!” – my roommate

3) Dining hall food and cottage cheese bowls (and judgement for eating cottage cheese).

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4) Absurd amounts of walking.

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I’m shocked that I walked that much yesterday. But at the same time, I’m not.

5) Being the first one in the suite to wake up because I’m hungry. And just being a bottomless pit in general (most likely due to said walking).

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Thank God for pancake mix. (And thank you to my good pal who mailed this to me! You know who you are 🙂 )
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may or may not have snagged a little bit of someone’s butter from the communal kitchen fridge

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may or may not have been disappointed that I didn’t have peanut butter in my dorm at the moment

6) Cold wind that chills my soul.

7) Taking the T (and getting off at wrong stops because I don’t pay attention).

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display of my short stature

8) Going to Mass and lunch with friends on Sunday.

9) Getting salad in my teeth and only realizing it after I leave the ten friends with whom I was just talking/smiling/laughing. (Be better friends!!!)

10) Girl talk in the dorms until we’re all ready to fall asleep. And choosing girl talk over typing up this blog post at night.

11) Always having to stop at the water fountain to fill up my water bottle and Rachel always being “shocked.”

12) This view.

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13) Lots of big hugs.

14) Scheduling meetings and gradually expanding my to-do list.

15) Dorm oats.

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with almond butter (ch-ch-chaaaaanges…[RIP Bowie])

To all my fellow Americans, Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! What a man to celebrate, yes? I’ve said this before, but the tour guide in me feels compelled to say it again: He’s a BU alum! 

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Hope you all have a blessed day wherever you are and whatever you’re doing ♥︎

So tell me: 

If you’re in college, what are some signs that you’re back?

If you’re not in college, what are some signs that you’re back to the work week?

Butter or nut butter on your pancakes? Preferably nut butter, but some classic butter can be spectacular.

What are you doing today? Meeting with a friend to work on a Catholic Center presentation, eating lunch with Rachel, going to the gym perhaps, and just soaking up this last day of break!

Spontaneity Can Lead to the Best Experiences

I’m not that adventurous.

If I say yes to doing something a little offbeat or spontaneous, it’s because I’m really going against my natural tendency. That natural tendency is to stick to plans or do productive things at home. Even in college, I can be a total homebody.

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my go-to excuse

However, during my last couple of days at home, I’ve agreed (sometimes reluctantly) to a few spontaneous ventures that I 100% loved.

It all started on Thursday morning with a spontaneous breakfast that I had never tried before: Julie’s egg white oatmeal protein pancake.

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I had been familiar with how much Julie loves this recipe for a long time, but I was always skeptical of it because the ingredients are egg whites, oats, stevia, and cinnamon. No blending involved. Hm.

Nevertheless, I branched out and made the monstrous pancake. First of all, just flipping the thing took 3 minutes. Secondly, I wasn’t very impressed at first bite, because it tasted like sweet egg whites… But the more I ate it, the more I enjoyed it. The peanut butter and banana helped, I’m sure.

Spontaneous breakfast — thumbs up!

My workout on Thursday was also spontaneous. I was kinda sore and really full for a long time from the mass of egg whites sitting in my stomach, so I bundled up, walked outside (per Amanda’s suggestion!) and headed towards the playground. When I got there I ended up doing a fun circuit workout using the bench!

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Spontaneous workout — thumbs up!

Lunch wasn’t spontaneous, but it was at a weird time of day (like, 4pm?) since I slept in and ate breakfast really late that day.

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flatout wrap with avocado, greens, honey mustard chicken, and artichokes (!!!)

I attended modern dance class at my old dance school on Thursday night, which was so fun. My good friend Susie (who was in dance company with me in high school) also attended the class asked if I wanted to join her for dinner afterwards.

My thought process: “I could go home and do some things on my to-do list. But that would be stupid and boring because COME ON, of course I want to catch up with Susie!!”

So we ate and chatted, and it was absolutely wonderful.

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We also ordered the same grilled vegetable sandwich, which was delicious.

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Spontaneous dinner date — thumbs up!

Yesterday brought about a few more spontaneous events. One was a lovely lunch date and walk with Madre! She wanted to take me to a cute patisserie in Greenwich, CT (where I spotted Food Network superstar Geoffrey Zakarian, who ignored me) called Aux Delices.

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It’s a pricey little place (classic Greenwich), but the food was well worth it.

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salmon salad, golden beets, wheat berry salad, and Italian tuna salad (#FishFriday)

Then we walked/jammed out/danced/snacked together.

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Spontaneous mother-daughter date — thumbs up!

I think the real kicker is this one. Our neighbors had two tickets to see Blind Boys of Alabama last night, but they offered the tickets to us since something came up and they couldn’t attend. I was about to say, “Aw thank you, but we have plans for dinner tonight.” But Madre quickly answered, “Oh! Thank you! Alison, you can go with Dad!”

Oooookay.

So we all ate a nice dinner at home together, and then Pop and I went to see this group that I had never heard of before.

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last sunny side eggs on avocado/cheese toast for a while! (drizzled with sriracha post-pic)

If you haven’t heard of Blind Boys of Alabama (like I hadn’t before last night), they’re a group of men who met at the Institute for the Negro Blind in the late 1930s, where they first started singing together. They toured when Jim Crow laws were still in place, and they even performed for Martin Luther King Jr. benefits (how appropriate for this weekend in America!). HOW COOL!?

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I’d describe their style as bluesy gospel with a big dose of soul and a sprinkle of funk. They’re incredibly talented people!

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Verdict? Well, I was smiling and dancing in my seat the whole time if that says anything. I might have been the youngest one in the audience, but I was clapping and bopping my head just like the rest of ’em.

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Overall, I adored their music and their fun-loving, soulful character. Check out their grooviness.

Spontaneous concert — thumbs up!

Pop and I finished off the evening with classic yogurt bowls back at home.

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No-bake treat sampler on the side, compliments of Arman!

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Throwback to last year when Pop and I ate dessert together…

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Why did we decide on Greek yogurt over ice cream this year??? Beats me.

I’m going back to Boston today! Sad to be leaving home and blogging more than once a week, but stoked to be seeing friends and diving into the semester (← also nervous about the latter).

Happy Saturday!

So tell me:

Do you like spontaneity?

What was the last spontaneous thing you did and loved?

What was the last concert you attended?