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.

How to stay organized for an assignment

Hey my loves,

so as you may know I am a college student and am currently writing a term paper for one of my English classes and I thought it would be a good time to share my guideline on how to write a paper and stay organized while doing it.

Just a quick preface, this is a method that works for me and my writing style and for the style of my Uni. Please make sure that you follow the guidelines given by your University if you have any and use this entry to however it can be applied to you.

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1) Think about your topic. – What do you want your term paper to be about? Have you been given a topic? Write down anything in regards to a rough idea of what your paper should be about.

2) Write a to-do list. – What do you have to do and in what order? For example: Have you read the primary literature? Do you have any idea what secondary literature you could use? Write a rough time outline, when you want to have what finished.

3) Start researching. – Research secondary literature. Has your professor given you any tips? Do you remember literature that has been talked about in class that could be applied to your topic?

4) Class material – Go through your class material: Can you use anything from it? Write it down.

5) Write a time schedule! – Now that you gathered all your secondary literature, write down when you want to do the work. For example, by what date do you want to be through the secondary sources? Think carefully about how much time you can and need to spend.

6) Read secondary literature! – Normally I would read my text twice, but since reading for a term paper requires a lot of different texts that would just take too much time, so I make sure I read thoroughly the first time. I mark everything that seems important. If I have more than one topic I want to cover I use different highlighter pens. I also like to write down my own thoughts right beside the text or on post-its. This helps me not only to remember why I thought it was important, but also gives me an overview of the topics at first glance.

7) Write an outline. – Now that you’ve read all the secondary literature, you can think about an order to your term paper. What is the best order for your topic? How should you divide your different topics?

8) Write out citations! – Writing out your citations with page numbers, author and title into Office is really helpful for when you write later on. Bring the file into the format you are writing your term paper in and make sure that the citations are correct. I also like to organize them to the different topics, so that when I am writing later on I know where to look.

9) Go through primary literature! – Now for me that would be a book. At this point I am going lightly through the entire book again and make sure to find passages I can use together with the citations from the secondary literature. Write down your own thoughts on post-its or into Word, but make sure to write down the page number, so that you can cite it correctly later on.

10) Start writing! – Now I always like to start with the main part rather than the introduction, because while working through my main part I may notice that my original thought will not work out. By starting with the main part I can make sure that my introduction isn’t bound to anything or that I have to rewrite it, which would take up more time than necessary. I also like to start writing down just my own thoughts without any citations of the secondary literature.

11) Add citations from secondary literature. – When I’m finished writing each section of my main part I go in with my secondary source citations and add them where I feel like they do the best job. I then add why I picked this citation or why I think it’s necessary to point it out or even disagree with it, if necessary. But remember to cite them correctly!

12) Write your introduction and conclusion! – When I am finished with my main part I like to go straight into the introduction and then the conclusion. Between intro and conclusion I like to read my main part again just to make sure that my “train of thought” is “en route”!

13) Proofread! – I always read it in stages. First stage is right after finishing the main part, then I proofread my intro and conclusion and after some time I go back in and read it again. What I also think that helps a lot is letting friends or family proofread it, sometimes you cannot find all the mistakes, so it’s good to have some extra pair of eyes to look over your work. They can also tell you, if what you wrote makes somewhat sense.

14) Final Changes – After proofreading, I like to read it again, just to make sure I do not want to add or change anything. If I do want to change some things I will do that at this point.

15) Check citations and the entire work! – Now it’s time to check if all your citations are correct, that the format is correct and that you checked everything off of your to-do list and the restrictions you’ve been given.

Now, that is all I do to stay organized before and during an assignment. What are your ways to stay organized? Let me know in the comments. I would love to know.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

XoXo, Jasmin.