Getting back into a routine during Lockdown

Hey my loves,

I don’t know about you, but I had enough of this whole pandemic. But what can you do, right? Well, in the past couple of months I have been through all of the emotions. I felt sad, depressed, happy to have some time at home, emotional, blessed that so far, I haven’t gotten the virus and so much more. Especially the first few months were horrible. I am so dependent on seeing my friends, I have to see them at least once a week as well as my granny and all of them I couldn’t see. It was hard, but I got through it. We got through it.

As of Monday, we will go back into a light version of a lockdown, which means again a little more restraint and a lot less contact to people. I am also fully back at Uni (online) and am working (home office), so I spent a lot of time by myself in my apartment. But I’ve gotten a pretty good routine down, I would say. And I think even though we tend to stray from a routine with so much time at home, I truly think having a routine is the best. Especially for people, like me, who struggle.

I have a pretty busy schedule, all in all I have nine courses for Uni, and I work around seven hours, I also visit my grandma once a week to take care of anything she needs and to spend some quality time with her. So, my days a pretty packed, which is why it is important to have a structure.

Here is what I do:

I like to get up one hour or two before my day gets started with work or Uni. If I have gone to bed late or had troubles falling asleep, I sometimes only give myself like 45 minutes to get my day started, but that’s just a personal choice. Do what you prefer and are used to. If I hadn’t showered in the evening, I usually do this first thing in the morning. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t eat right away, especially with being home I don’t feel hungry at all. After some time in the bathroom, where I tend to at least somewhat comb through my hair and sometimes do a little bit of makeup to make myself feel better (all this heat from the radiator is messing with my skin), I like to get dressed in comfy bottoms and a big sweater and some fuzzy socks.

Some of my favorite loungewear items for a cozy work day:*

  1. Ripped PJ’s
  2. Hogwarts Hoodie
  3. Glitter Socks

*Not affiliated. Just recommendations.

One thing I like to do right away getting out of bed is pulling up all the blinds and open my windows to get some fresh air into my apartment. I usually leave it open until I get a bit cold, which is usually around like two to three hours. After my time in the bathroom I go into the kitchen to make myself a hot tea or coffee, whatever I feel like that morning, and I also get some water. If by then I am hungry I will make myself a somewhat big breakfast, since I usually just snack during Lunch (no matter what I eat, warm food or salad, I get sluggish). I’m currently obsessed with cucumber and cream cheese, so I usually snack on that.

I usually have pretty good plan on what I have to do each day and also what I can do each day. Wednesday is my longest Uni day, which is why I usually just take part in the classes and actually use the breaks in between to move around and relax. It’s so important to get some movement in your day if you sit long hours at your desk, like I do. Besides making sure I move around I also like to call my grandma during lunch hours to just chat with her. If the weather allows it, I also like to go for a walk around the neighborhood to get some fresh air.

Something I didn’t do in the first lockdown is something I changed very quickly: I set myself on a time limit. It is so easy to just keep going with work, Uni stuff or something else, but taking time off is equally as important. So, I like to end my workday around 6 or 7 pm, if possible. That way I have enough time to cook and relax and take time for my nighttime skincare routine. It is so important to set yourself boundaries or else you’re constantly working and that is not healthy. It’s good to be productive and active during lockdown, but you cannot forget that this whole situation is still very stressful and emotional. It’s okay to take time for yourself.

Three Tips if you’re feeling stressed:

  1. Get out. Go for a walk. Listen to music or not. And just breathe.
  2. Workout. Something I haven’t been doing as much as I should, but it helps. There are so many great workouts you can do from home now.
  3. Talk to your family and friends about something else but Covid and work. It’s so important to keep up with the people you love when you cannot see them as much.

I also have to admit that my eating habits were so bad in the first lockdown and I felt not only my skin changing, but also my moods. That’s what I probably changed the most: I incorporate a lot of healthier foods and time slots for eating than I did before and I not only have more energy, but I also feel a lot better about myself.

Taking care of myself doesn’t mean “me first.” It means “me, too.” – L.R. Knost

All in all, take each day as it comes. There is no have to or must’s, you can only try to do your best each day. I hope this entry helps you out a little and I am always open to a conversation in the comments or my Instagram direct messages.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.

Guide to University Success – 10 Tips

For students at universities or colleges all across the world, a new academic year has either already begun or will begin soon. Summer is over, and we need to get used to using our brain again, to getting up early in the morning.

For those who are only enrolling in university now, it is far more than that: you are facing new challenges, a new world with new people in it. I remember my very first day in university, when I was only 19 years old, very shy and pretty much overwhelmed with everything. I will say, it’s scary, but worth it.

What I would have wished for back then are a few helpful pieces of advice on how to be successful at university. I didn’t have that, though, so I had to make my experiences on my own, and some of them I learned the hard way. So when Jasmin asked me to do a Motivational Monday about the start of the semester, I decided to give you ten tips on how to survive life and studying at university and graduate in the end.

1. In every building, find the cleanest and most quiet bathrooms.

Because usually, people like to pee in peace. From experience I can assure you, the best toilets are never on the first floor (or ground floor, if you’re a Brit). They’re used by far too many people.

2. Don’t get lost on campus.

Make sure you know where the rooms are your lectures take place. If you want to make extra sure, be there a week before lectures start and look for ways to get there, you might even find shortcuts.

3. Make acquaintances in every course.

They don’t need to be your best friends, but you need someone you can ask for help should you ever not be able to show up (be it because you’re sick or because you’re skipping) or should you have serious issues with the subject. If you think you can manage university without help from others, you’re only kidding yourself. And there is a saying that friends you make in college are friends for life.

4. Bring your own food.

At least whenever possible. Trust me when I say that relying on the cafeteria can be fatal when they either have only shitty food or too many people were faster than you and there’s nothing left. Besides, paying for lunch every day will make you indigent faster than you know.

5. Be there early.

In big universities with 20,000 students or more, it is vital you be there early enough to get a seat if you don’t want to end up standing, or sitting on some stairs, or the floor, even. If you’re there half an hour before the lecture starts, you get a seat, I guarantee it. If you’re there even earlier, you still have time to go to the bathroom and get a coffee without being in a hurry, a great thing if the lecture is in the morning hours.

6. Don’t do homework at the last minute.

For homework that you need to hand in to pass the course, don’t do it. Just don’t. It puts you through an unnecessary amount of stress, and since you don’t have enough time to properly proof-read what you wrote, you could fail because of too many minor mistakes.

7. Divide your revising wisely.

Do less work for the courses you know you’re good in, and in return do more work for the courses you are having trouble with. Every lecturer will treat their course as the absolute priority, but you need to figure out in which course you need to invest the most time. In the end it comes out even.

8. Find a studying method that works for you.

For some people it is enough to just memorize the contents, but others also need to practice applying their memorized knowledge to exam-format questions to be able to succeed. You need to find out what applies to you.

9. Don’t panic.

Some lecturers like to make you nervous by rattling off statistics about their exams, like e.g. the failure rate is seventy-five percent, for every lecture you need to do two hours of revising or you will not make it, yadda yadda. My advice is: don’t listen to them too much. If you make yourself crazy before an exam, that doesn’t help anybody, least of all you. You should go into an exam with the appropriate amount of respect, but don’t be scared. If you’re really nervous, you can always find higher semester students and ask them about their experiences.

10. Decide whether you actually want it.

This is the most important advice I can give you. If you only enrolled in university because

a) your parents wanted you to do it, or

b) you didn’t know what else to do, or

c) both of the above,

there is a high chance of it leading you nowhere. Sure, the experiences you make at university are great ones you will not want to miss, but if you know you don’t actually belong there, you should reconsider. When you are studying something you don’t really want to study, going through with it is incredibly hard, and I admit that I could not go through with it when I first enrolled. If you think you are strong enough, go for it. But think about what it is that you want, and pursue that.

“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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