self care

Don’t Forget to Breathe: Learning the Art of Energy Management

by Marissa Mosley, NU Scholar  

Click on our playlist to listen to soothing music as you explore this blog post!

In honor of Public Health Week and April being Stress Awareness Month, we chose to feature a blog written by one of our amazing scholars—Marissa Mosley! Keep reading to learn more about how to manage your energy to promote mindfulness and avoid burnout. Enjoy!

P.S. If you find this topic interesting, check out our Public Health Week Virtual Panel! The panel recording can be found here (passcode: JL+yuu7O). You’ll hear from student leaders across multiple programs as they discuss how culture plays a role in overall health. This year’s Public Health Week focuses on cultural health, community, mental health, food, & nutrition. 🌍

Hiking through the beautiful landscape of Hana, Hawaii, one of my favorite ways to replenish my mental/emotional/spiritual energy. 

We frequently hear of the importance of time management, but very rarely do we discuss the significance of energy management. The perfect plan does little to help us produce results if we lack the energy to follow through. Learning to manage your energy well can lead to greater productivity and a more balanced life. 

It is beneficial to know to what extent certain tasks drain you. In addition to requiring different amounts of energy, various tasks also require different types of energy. To maximize our ability to follow through with our plans, it is important that we understand the primary types of energy that we utilize daily.

If you are struggling to find the energy to take steps toward your goals, you may be depleted in one or more of the following types of energy.

4 Energy Types

  1. Physical: The energy that you use to do anything physical. 
  1. Mental: The energy that it takes to plan, create, contribute to conversations, etc. 
  1. Emotional: The energy that you use to process your emotions and relate to others. 
  1. Spiritual: For those who consider themselves to be spiritual, this is the energy that you use and receive for spiritual purposes beyond the physical.  

4 Tips for Managing Your Energy Well  

  1. Perform an Energy Audit
  • Take notice of your daily rhythms (the times of the day when you generally feel drained, and times of the day when you have the most energy). 
  • Pay attention to which tasks energize you and which ones drain you.
  • Figure out if your current routines are conducive to maximized energy. 

  1. Practically Prioritize
  • Keeping your energy audit in mind, create a priority list for the day. 

  1. Prepare 
  •  Each week, on a high-energy day, take time to prepare for your busy days. 

  1. Don’t Forget to Breathe 
  • Prioritize rest. 

We can take steps toward establishing positive routines and finding balance. As you navigate this chaotic season of life, please remember to take care of yourself. Do not neglect the filling of your energy tanks.

In managing your energy well, you will be better equipped to be a help to both yourself, to those who you love, and to the causes that are important to you.

Let’s keep the mindfulness going! If you use of any of these tips and post about it on your socials, be sure to tag @nationaluniversity and use our hashtags #NUfam and #NUCSEA so we can repost!

To keep up with the Center for Student Engagement and Activities, make sure to check out our Linktr.ee and monthly flyer which can be found on the “What’s NU this Month?” tab at the top of our blog!

adult learner, Advice, nursing, Parents, self care

2020 Goals: Self-Care in the New Year

By Stacey Beaver, NU Scholar (October 2019 Cohort)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Smiling young white woman with brown hair in professional attire
Stacey Beaver, NU Scholar

My life as an adult learner is filled with a seemingly endless to-do list.  Day-to-day responsibilities extend well beyond reading assignments, projects, tests and clinical hours for my nursing program. Even with the help of my supportive and understanding husband Scott, between childcare drop-offs, home maintenance, laundry, and other housework, I don’t have a minute to spare.

With all of this busyness, it’s no surprise that I have not made enough time for self-care.  Self-care is emphasized over and over in my nursing program as a vital tool for managing stress, achieving a sense of calm, and re-energizing one’s self.  Between having a daughter and starting my nursing program, I had let many of my previous self-care habits fall to the wayside.  My daughter is almost two years old, so it’s been a while: Almost two years of driving by the gym I pay too much for, eating an embarrassing amount of fast food, and taking no time to indulge in the things I love most like warm baths or the sauna.  So, I am making a commitment now to treating myself better. I encourage you to join me in my first self-care change: ditching my fast food habit.

Here is how I plan to do it:

Eat Real Food:

I will try to incorporate as many unprocessed and unrefined foods into my diet as possible.  Examples include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains.

variety of vegetables on display
Step 1: More fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains

Meal Prep:

Too often, I have used the excuse that I don’t have time to pack a lunch before I head to clinical or lecture.  Meal prepping will allow me to spend less time every day worrying about what to eat, and instead dedicate a specific time to planning and preparing meals for an entire week.

flat lay photography of three tray of foods
Step 2: Prep multiple healthy meals at once

Drink Water:

I know it’s time to ditch the super sweet coffee and soda.  It’s so easy to take in unnecessary calories and added sugar in drinks, not to mention the cost!  I have a tough time drinking plain water so I will try to dress it up with lots of ice and a sprig of fresh mint or slices of cucumber.

sliced lemon fruit in glass picher
Step 3: Get fancy to drink more water and less soda and coffee

I hope that building this habit of making my own nutritious meals will nourish my body and mind, not to mention help my pocketbook. I hope this post inspires you to join me in making this change, or to commit to your own self-care goal. While it can be hard to justice the time at first, I promise that taking care of yourself will recharge your batteries and ultimately give you more strength and time as you move through your academic program at NU.

 

 

 

 

adult learner, Advice, self care, Undergraduate

Loving Yourself in the New Year

JD 3

J.D. Melendez

B.A. Pre-Law Studies

NU Scholar – October 2019 Cohort

close up of christmas decorations hanging
Exploring Love as a single person during the Holiday Season

Regarding that four-letter-word… LOVE

Here we are. Another holiday season, and the New Year is fast approaching. I gave up the whole “New Years’ resolution” thing a while back. Instead, I wanted to reflect on what I feel like I got right in 2019, which is LOVE. In November, I turned 38 years old, making it more than four years since I was in a committed relationship. If someone were to tell me five years ago that I’d be single and living alone with my dog Tita today, I probably would have laughed.

To be single at 38 was never my plan. More and more of my friends and family members are having children, getting married, building families, or adjusting to life with their new partners. As for me, I am instead learning the art of falling in love with who I am. I’m proud of my decision to separate from the person I am not, to move away from old behaviors that no longer honor the man I want to be. I have finalized my divorce from toxicity- both toxicity that was self-created, and the type of toxicity that I was welcoming into my life, ignoring the red flags that kept popping up everywhere. I had developed a habit of looking at those red flags, and then just painting them green. Sound familiar?

Being single by choice is not an easy thing, especially in one’s late 30s. Throughout my singleness, I continue to challenge myself to fight for my own happiness, without using another person as a crutch. By trial and by many, many errors, I have learned how to be self-sufficient, starting with something as simple as walking to the pharmacy on my own to buy flu medicine when I needed it. I forced myself to go to a movie theater by myself, to enjoy a solo steak and lobster dinner. I’ve traveled all over the world by myself (or sometimes with my dog). Through all of this, by learning how to love myself I became better equipped to love my friends for who they were, and I found myself spending time with and getting to know family members that I had rarely engaged with. I pushed myself to find a meaningful cause in my immediate area and volunteered my time and my resources to others, with no expectations or reservations. More than anything else, I started to live an authentic life; in turn, I found that others were more and more showing me who they genuinely were, with no pretense or masquerade. Traveling the world enabled me to connect with others and experience the joy of the universal language of humanity: A smile, a polite “thank you,” a nod of acknowledgment to complete strangers in the London subway, hugs from both Palestinians and Jews while in Israel, and a humble interchange of life experiences with students in China. Each time I get to experience another slice of life in a different part of the world, I come back home completely in love with humanity as a whole.

If you’re dreading the fact that you are not in an intimate relationship with someone this holiday season, please know that there are many others like us who choose to give ourselves the most valuable thing in life: Our time. You can’t get time back, you can’t promise anyone your tomorrow because there is truly no day but today. So, today, please take the time to vote for YOU, to be YOUR best advocate, and love and accept yourself unconditionally. You cannot read a book or take a course on love because it’s a spiritual journey that’s uniquely yours. You’re the author, and you have complete control of the narrative.

Perhaps you and I will meet as we travel this journey together. Work towards love, it is there for the taking. I promise you that LOVE NEVER FAILS and that it will ALWAYS be the answer!

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Excited to continue this path in 2020!