How relevant is this topic, right now?! I have my first exam tomorrow (wish me luck!) and more next week so amidst all of the revision fun, here are 10 things that always cheer me up when I’m feeling a little down [Cue “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music]:
1. Music: I am a huge playlist person since organising my music into neat little categories is so me. Among others, I have a “2015 Year of Dreams” playlist that I’m adding to with songs from happy points throughout the year, a playlist my mom made me about 4 years ago with more nostalgic and comforting songs, my Broadway playlist (I really belt out these songs sometimes, especially when I’m driving), and my newly made “Smart Girl/HBIC” playlist that is my ultimate power playlist. This is the one that I really jam out to when I’m having a tough day or just need to smile and relax a bit.
2. Cooking and baking: There’s something so rhythmic about being in the kitchen that makes you forget everything else because you have to pay attention so much. There’s a quote from the movie Julie and Julia where Julie gets home from a miserable day at work and tells her husband, “You know why I love cooking? Because on a day where nothing makes sense, I know that if you mix egg yolks, sugar, chocolate and cream, it will become thick and perfect.” It’s my zen.
3. The West Wing: I’m on a West Wing kick since nothing inspires me in the intellectual sense quite like this show. It’s familiar since I grew up watching it and it makes me think of my dad, but it’s a political masterpiece and reminds me of why I study what I study, and who I want to be one day.
4. Yoga: There’s no problem that a good headstand can’t fix! I remember the day I could finally do a headstand in the middle of the room and let me tell you, that feeling when you get your legs right in the air and you can view the world upside down is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Beyond headstands, though, the stretching feels amazing and I get a nice buzz afterwards.
5. Long walks: I always make sure to take a break in between major chunks of work since getting my blood moving is exactly what I need! I especially love my walks here since I get to drink in the beauty of London and clear my head a bit.
6. My Vinyasa scarf: My mom got me the Lululemon Vinyasa scarf for my birthday and I am in LOVE! It’s so soft and stretchy and you can wear it like a scarf, a shrug, a wrap, and even a blanket. I love curling up in this and feeling warm and cosy.
7. Making lists and organising: When life starts to feel overwhelming, taking a few minutes and making a list of things to do and things you want to do is very therapeutic. Added bonus: colour-code it! There’s something about a neat list that makes life seem a little more manageable. Also, cleaning helps, too! A few weeks ago, I spent about 15 minutes tackling this huge pile of papers, ticket stubs, pamphlets, etc. from this whole year, condensed it, and fit it neatly into a plastic envelope that looks much less scary! It was such a feeling of accomplishment!
8. A hot drink: cappuccino or Egyptian Licorice tea: I’ve recently discovered the beauty that is a good cappuccino, and while caffeine isn’t the best for anxiety, it just tastes so warm and luxurious! My favourite tea is Egyptian Licorice tea (from Yogi Tea) and I’ve been drinking it for years — it has a lovely spicy-sweet taste and instantly puts me in a good mood.
9. Digital content: It sounds a little odd, but I always set aside time once or twice a week for all of the digital content I like to read. This can be articles I’ve saved in my reading list on Safari or checking blogs, columnists, and websites that I find inspiring. I like feeling caught up with the world and I find I learn a lot from these little catch-up times. Also, I Pin a lot of the articles that I like so it goes back to the organising thing. Extra points if you combine this with tea or a cappuccino.
10. Reading: When I’ve had to read for revision for several hours, a change of pace with one of my favourite books does wonders! It lets me escape and be taken for a ride by a story, rather than facts that I have to put together.
11. Harry Potter audiobooks: When I was about 11, I borrowed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix audiocassette (it was 2005, people!) from my aunt and I think I listened to the book about 5 times that summer. I used to carry my Walkman with me to car rides and swim meets, and listen to it in bed, because Jim Dale (the narrator) has the voice of an angel. It’s so familiar to me that listening to it for just five minutes totally relaxes me. In fact, I downloaded the audiobook onto my laptop a few months ago and am listening to it again! I listened to a few of them last summer on my commute to work, and it was the best way to start my day!
12. (This is the last one, I promise!) A good chat. Whether it be with my mom, my dad, my brother, or my friends, a good chat refreshes me and puts things in perspective.
I know that was more, but it actually helped after a long day to think of “My Favorite Things”!
Inspired to be,