Photo by Ales Krivec
It makes me laugh looking at the sporadic range of blog posts that Liz and I do. You’ll have a very detailed account of Liz’s trip to the Blue Mountains, preceded by a quiz that determines what burger you are, to this post on an entirely unrelated matter – moyndfullness. Like Moy + mindfulness = Moyndfullness. I pretty much came up with that just then.
So I’m deep in week 2 of exams, after probably one of the most hectic uni semesters ever. You can read about my Week 10 whinge binge here.
I’ve never really been one to take time out and make sure that I’m ok mentally. I’ve always just kept battling and pushing on ahead, generally feeling happy – admittedly stressed, but still happy. It wasn’t until last exam period that I realised I was unnecessarily winding myself up, doing every single practice exam under the sun since 2000, and constantly in a state of perpetual panic. It was just lowkey bubbling under the surface, and whilst it never resulted in a big Britney ’07 style meltdown, I did reevaluate life post exams and realised that I needed to change my work ethic.
This exam period has been a gazillion times better. Probably aided by the fact that I’m about to jet off into the world and travel for essentially 7 months, but I’ve made a conscious effort to make sure that my mindset each day is positive, and I take time out of studying to do something I enjoy.
So here are my tips to what I’ve done to combat moydfullness, and maybe you can use these as a starting point if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed:
“Meet me at the smoothie place in 10 mins, I just have to put on my Lululemon activewear and we can grab a green juice before yoga.” – every girl living in the inner suburbs of Melbourne.
No, that ain’t me. I mean, I did do a trial month of yoga last year and was possessed by some Lorna Jane inspired devil to get up at 5am to do 6am yoga. And whilst it was therapeutic and I could see the sun rise, it also meant I needed a coffee to get through the day and me and caffeine is just a heinous combination (I was still jittery in my 3pm lecture when I had the coffee at 7:30am – go figure). So whilst I could fork out money for the trial month, I just couldn’t justify paying money on a weekly basis for yoga to contort my body into weird shapes and almost queef whilst trying to get my body into said weird shapes.
So I hopped off the yoga train for a while, but recently, jumped aboard it full express. And even better, it’s entirely free! And I can do it at home where no one can see me crash into my piano because I have the balance of a 2 year old and can’t stand on one leg! Youtube is a beautiful place. I was recommended this channel called ‘Boho Beautiful’ by one of my girlfriends, and don’t be fooled by the hippie-esque name. It features yoga and pilates workouts by a beautiful couple, who literally travel all over the world and film their videos in some stunning backdrops. And she has every type of yoga you can imagine – yoga for digestion, yoga for the morning, yoga to destress, yoga to tone, the list is endless. And you can take it at your own pace, and in your Big W activewear so you can save the Nike for when you go for brunch.
Every morning, I wake up and try and squeeze in some yoga. The best thing is that the videos are around 20 minutes long, so it doesn’t take too long to do. But, if you’re looking for a longer session, just do 2+ videos. I ALWAYS wake up in the morning feeling incredibly sore and stiff, and need a stretch of my muscles. Yoga is a fab way to start my morning, and by the time I’ve sat down at my desk ready to do some study, I’m feeling as bendy as one of those plastic cheese sticks we all ate as kids. It also means time for me to stress out, relax, and my biggest worry becomes the pattern of my breathing. It has done wonders for me – and everyday I look forward to doing some yoga. This is one of my favourite sequences, and I’m sitting on my Aldi yoga mat typing this post after some Sunday morning yoga:
There is something for everyone on this page – and the girl in the videos is SO ATTRACTIVE. Girl crush levels peaking.
GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND MOVE
Whether this be in the form of running, walking, bike riding, rollerblading, whatever takes your fancy – it is one of the best feelings to get out and breathe in fresh air, and not breathe in dust that’s accumulated under your notes. After a whole day of sitting, my coccyx gets sore, I’m getting SEVERE FOMO looking outside my window to see the sun just beaming away, and I know I need to exercise. My mind is absolutely numb and in a rut and I know I’ll be 10/10 more unproductive if I just sit there and keep studying. I know I’m stating the obvious but it just feels SO GOOD to get outside.
I usually like running – I blast 80’s bangers and just go go go. I don’t run particularly fast, or far, but I run to work up a decent sweat for 30-40mins. It feels so refreshing to move all your limbs and get your entire body moving after sitting hunchbacked in an office chair all day, but don’t be silly like me and run in Nikes which are pretty terrible for your feet and self diagnose yourself with shin splints (turns out it was just stress fractures in my lower legs, but still, OW). Chuck on some trusty ASICs, and away you go.
Alternatively, on days when I’m feeling sluggish, lethargic and probably on my period and don’t feel like running, walking is fabulous as well. Some people (like my mum), firmly believe that walking is x10 better than running. I don’t really care – I just do what will make my body feel good. Some days I don’t have the energy to run and the mere thought of huffing and puffing my way up a hill is hideous. But walking is actually therapeutic. I love to walk. Maybe it started with needing to hike all the way across uni to catch the bus home when I didn’t have my license, but I’d walk anywhere if I could. I have a little nature park near my house, so I do my best Kath and Kim and power walk through there and do some loop to get back to my house.
I get that walking can be a
little unbelievably boring at times. But that should NOT BE AN EXCUSE. I’ve recently discovered podcasts, which are a godsend. Instead of listening to the same songs again and again, podcasts always provide you with something new. It’s basically like listening to someone read you a story whilst you walk – and this way you totally forget how long you’ve been walking for, or how far away from home you are, you’re just listening to these people talk and it passes time like crazy.
I have a varied preference for podcasts – but they generally revolve around celebs and stories about their life. Here are my recommendations for excellent podcasts:
- The Hollywood Reporter: this one is amazing if you’re into movies and acting. Each episode is about an hour long (perfect length) and features interviews from prominent actors who feature in upcoming Oscar movies, or popular TV shows. And it’s not just the regular snippet interview where the actors are asked the same question – it tracks their life from start to now, discussing career highlights and things they’ve learnt along the way. It is so fascinating.
- I Don’t Know How She Does It: this one is from MammaMia and although it predominately targets mothers with children, I love it. Last time I checked I was not a mother of 2, but each episode a famous woman in Australian society gets interviewed on how she juggles a hectic work and family life. It’s pretty motivating hearing how these people do it, and it provides good inspiration for me to smash out some work after I get home from my walk. Favourite episode is obviously the queen of everything, Zoe Foster Blake.
- Hamish and Andy: you just can’t go wrong. Although, may have to give a disclaimer and say that passerby’s may think you’re a lunatic as you start laughing to yourself on a regular basis.
These are my top recommendations for podcasts based on what I like and what I find interesting, but there are literally SO many on the Podcast app! So rather than being a pesky little app that you can’t delete despite having zero storage on your phone, make good use of it!!
Hopefully this can give you a springboard to finding your own way to be mindful, and take care of yoself.