December 15, 2013

Dealing with Stress

As finals are rapidly approaching for some of you, have already started for others, and others still are done with them, I thought I'd share with you a few tried and true methods for dealing with stress and how to identify that you're actually stressing about something.

Personally for me, there are different levels of stress. I experience moderate stress on a daily basis at school with pressure on me from all sides. That kind of stress is easily dealt with, a good laugh with a friend is an easy cure. (Anything chocolate is as well, although that's how I got to be this…plump is a nice way of putting it.) Another kind of stress is when I was at a swim meet lining up behind the blocks, that kind of stress made me have to pee really bad before I actually jumped in the pool, at which point the urge disappears in the excitement of the race. And then there's the feeling when your room si a total mess and you're trying to pack for a trip and you're leaving the next day and it's just so overwhelming.

The kind of stress I'm dealing with now is probably the worst kind. I first experienced finals stress last year when I took 'real' exams for the first time. I get nauseous and sick to my stomach, I cannot eat one bite of food all week until exams are over, which is not conducive to good study habits. My muscles tense up and I get sore all over. Here are some solutions I've found that actually help me calm down and eat some toast or yogurt. Maybe they'll help you too!
  • Take a nice, relaxing bath (I give you some tips on how I take my best baths here
  • Get a massage from a friend, 'special someone', or even a professional if you have the means to do so
  • Take a power nap, no more than forty minutes 
  • Rock out to your "Study" playlist whilst working, and then listen to your "Relax" playlist whilst reading a good book or surfing the internet for a small break
  • Curl up with a cup of tea/mug of hot chocolate and a good book/television show
  • Open up to a friend or a close family member, share the load 
  • Plan ahead so you don't get overwhelmed at the last minute
  • Take care not to get dehydrated if you're like me and can't eat when terribly stressed, drink a bottle of Gatorade or Powerade or eat an apple or something to make sure you don't pass out during the exam

All of this won't work at all times, it helps me for an hour or so a day before I get really stressed again, but it does help relieve stress at sometimes. Take care to breathe slow and deep and don't get too shaky before/during the exam. I know I am guilty of getting really snappy with people around me when I get stressed, so take care to check your attitude before talking to people when you have lots going on. Let me know in the comments below, or on one of the avenues through my Connections page how you de-stress your life.

December 9, 2013

Bombshell Word Challenge

Okay so my brilliant love Tate came up with an idea: we would both give each other a word and then write a short post about it. I gave her the word "star(s)", easy and beautiful right? What word did she give me? Xanadu.             Yeah, I had no idea either.
So I looked it up and it means: "used to convey an impression of a place as almost unattainably luxurious or beautiful." Alrightie then…I have a place that I find very unattainably luxurious and beautiful that others may not find that way. My grandparents estate home on the beach is probably my favorite place in the entire world and it is so beautifully luxurious to me and the feeling it gives me is unattainable from anywhere else. I spent a good chunk of my chubby years (aka years 7-12) living in this house and I still visit it at least twice a year.
There is one specific place on the estate that I really really love: the hammocks near the water to the back of the house. I spent a great deal of time there this past summer, as Ammie and Dani can attest, and the feeling I get there is the most peaceful, the most serene in the entire world. There really aren't any more words to describe the exact feeling I get while I'm there, nor the reason why I get this feeling there specifically. I went there after one of my lowest moments in my entire life, I sat there with my best friend in the entire world and we dreamt together, I figured out a lot about myself and who I am whilst swinging there.
And it's not just the hammocks, it's the actual house itself. In fact, it's the memories I have of the house. The house itself is really just a shell and if we were to sell it tomorrow I would weep only because the stone marking some of my best memories, some of the memories that still continue to shape me today, will be gone, swept away like sand in a windstorm. We, as a family, designed and helped to build this house together, it is truly ours, and the fact that something so full of memories is so attainable to me, and me alone, is something I could never hope for in a million years. 
I can only guess what T is doing with her word…but I do have to say that if "The Fault in Our Stars" does not come up, I will be so shocked that I might fall right out of my chair. I hope we can do these challenges more often because it was a lot of fun (although if she picks another word out of the X section of the Thesaurus, I may have to issue her a bigger challenge…such as Chicicomicomico maybe? Well, we'll see.)
[Update: I fell out of my chair in shock, but her writing was so damn good I felt so inadequate about this post so I added a bit to it]
December 4, 2013

Bombshell Blurb: Running

As anyone who has ever talked to me for a decent amount of time knows…I hate running. Hate hate hate it. Hate it with a passion. And I know I'm not alone with this because not only do 97% of my friends hate running…99% of all swimmers hate running as well. I know, I did a non-scientific study on it. Between the panting and heaving for breath while hot sweat drips off your forehead to the aches and pains it's just…euck no thanks! I'd rather be in the pool not feeling my sweat as it mixes with the chlorine water.
However… I just went running. The logic of this decision is mind-blowing I know. But I do have my reasons. Even though I hate running, and yes I still hate it with such a burning passion, I love the feeling you get after pushing yourself really hard through any workout and running was my choice today. Mom and I want to run together over Spring Break when we take a trip to….[a destination to be revealed in a longer post later] and since I am working hard at my 'revenge' plan (although it's not really revenge…more on this later as well) that includes two steps: indifference and sexiness, working out consistently and eating right is my plan.
Let me explain how, even though je d├ęteste running, I get motivated enough to run hard. The tools I use are: kick-ass music and memories. The music part is pretty self explanatory, choose whatever song/artist/album/playlist that makes you just want to work faster, push yourself further. Today I chose the always-motivational Nicki Minaj who took turns singing "Moment 4 Life", "Super Bass", and "Starships" in my ears as I ran. The memories part requires a bit of explanation.
By "memories", I mean every time you've felt awkward/out of place/self conscious because of how you looked or felt. By "memories" I mean every time someone has called you a name, pointed at you, laughed at you, anything that has made you feel awful. This might make you feel bad if you think about it now, so don't. I choose not to think about all these things that I experience on a somewhat-daily basis because it depresses me, and being depressed is not a fun experience. So I only think about these things when I'm swimming a long set or running on a fast interval or doing pushups as way to motivate myself.
(That's actually my biggest key to how I stay confident and 'cheerful', I try not to think about all the negative things people may be saying or have said about me, and even what I've thought about myself. I worried about it too much in the past and it caused problems, one of my problems anyway. Just don't go there with yourself unless you have an outlet to deal with it.) Today when I was running and thinking over these, I actually started to run faster and realized my hands were curled into fists. It's a great way to get your anger and frustration and hurt out, without hurting anyone else or yourself. And I must say, despite the heaving and the aches, I loved seeing my tomato-red face in the mirror and those beads of sweat dropping off my face onto the treadmill track as I bent over when my set was done.
I may not like the process of running, but when this is all over and my 'revenge' plan can be put in place…I'm going to thank my lucky stars for sending me to the gym to workout on days I felt like I couldn't, 1) so I can get the 'sexy' part down and 2) so I don't have built-up anger and resentment. However, I'm doing this for me. That's the most important thing. Don't change yourself for others, do it for yourself. (Cliche I know, but there's a reason it's stuck around so long: maybe it has a point!) To quote the [insert-your-adjective-of-choice-here]
Kim Kardashian: "It was my big middle finger to the world." Running and exercise where I think about all the people and things trying to tear me down, and yet I keep rising higher is my middle finger to the world. What's yours?
Wow this post is actually a lot longer than I thought it was going to be… oh well. I'll be posting again sometime soon so I'll keep you posted lovelies! 
December 2, 2013

Where Loyalty Lies

Today I was asked a peculiar question by my trainer: "When you get married, will you be loyal to your husband?" I was shocked that he even had to ask the question. My answer? A rather splutter-y "Of-of course! I mean…is that even a question? Like…what? Of course!" He caught me completely by surprise with that question…and it got me to thinking.
So many people today are moving just so. damn. fast. in relationships that it's head-spinning. And not only are they moving fast in relationships, but they're not lasting relationships. I can see how 'moving fast' is okay if that person is in your soulmate-circle* and the relationship will last a lifetime, but these relationships are two months-max and then it's over and you've "done" it all. It's crazy, at least to me!
Call me sheltered, old-fashioned, a 'prude', [insert your own adjective here] but I've always grown up with the belief system that sex is for someone you love, something that shouldn't come until you're completely ready (in all ways including emotional, physical, psychological, material etc.) and something that I personally wouldn't even consider at this age, and I know people who have done it waaay before now. I've met some people *cough* Jules, Peter, Ammie *cough* that think the way I do, which reassures me that I'm not crazy, but the majority of people have already 'done it', are 'doing it', or are doing variations of 'it' that, quite frankly, make me want to gag when thinking about 97% of the time. (I talked to Mom about it, and my wise owl informed me that the 97% gross-out comes from not finding anyone I want to do any of the above things mentioned with. The other 3% I'm not grossed-out is me thinking about people I wouldn't mind doing the things with, if you couldn't figure that out already)
Circling back to the original point of this post: loyalty. I think one of the major problems modern day relationships have is that they move too fast, and then find themselves not attracted to the person at all except for physically and so their loyalty breaks and the relationship ends. (Btw, for me there is a difference between being 'attractive' and being 'hot'. Attractive people have a nice personality, attitude, and the looks tend to follow from that. Hot people are just good-looking, either shallow and stupid or I don't know them so I wouldn't know if they're attractive or not.)
The one person in this world that I've found myself the closest to being in-love with, not mentioning any names to keep the last shred of dignity I do still have intact, shares this belief system with me. He believes sex is for later, for someone you're in love with and actually refers to himself as a 'prude'. His past girlfriends have both cheated on him/broken up with him because he doesn't, quote, "do anything". For our entire 'relationship' (or whatever the hell it was), he held my hand twice and only because the situation called for it emotionally. (Well that kind of gave it away didn't it? Oh well.) He actually lists sex as something on his bucket list, something he wants to do "eventually". It's this belief system that I found really intoxicating about him (among several other things), because I just don't find that anywhere else. I didn't appreciate it when we were spending time together, because I was very naive all those months ago (I was a total idiot this summer if you haven't figured that out already), and now that I'm a world away I realize exactly how special he is. Oh well, I can't spend my days pining after him (although goodness knows that's all I want to do some days). I have a life to get on with. But I haven't given up completely on us yet either. We're on hiatus, there's a bookmark in our story, [insert another time-pause cliche here].
So what do you think? Am I old-fashioned in believing that waiting is best? Or is rushing through a relationship a better solution to finding 'the one'? (Yes I am fully aware some people don't believe they have one) Let me know what you believe.

*--I don't really believe in 1 soulmate-per-person, but I do believe in the idea of a soulmate-circle which is a few different people you could end up with, all of them equally 'perfect' for you, depending on what paths you decided to take in life and where you are. But the idea that there's one person out there that you'll find no matter what, out of 7+ billion people, is too illogical for my astrological beliefs.


[Revision: 8/23/14: Completely disregard everything I said about the one person I was almost in love with or whatever the hell I called him: he was an asshole, a cheater, a liar, and I know now that I was not even CLOSE to Love when it came to him. But, the message of the rest of the post still stands.]