3 tips for managing stress in nursing school (and life)

greetings from my kitchen! i’m currently taking a little study break to meal prep for the week and figured it was a good time to stop by and share a little update with y’all.

we’re about 5 weeks into nursing school, and thus far everything has been going well! last time i checked in i was dealing with a lot of struggles, but a few of those things have gotten better as time has gone on. i’m loving living here in atlanta, have been meeting a lot more people, and just feeling a lot more at home here.

one thing that didn’t just magically go away, though, was the huge amount of stress that i was carrying around on a daily basis. i was stressed about moving and being in a new place, doing well in school, meeting people, personal life issues, and more. we all know that being stressed isn’t good for our bodies and minds, but the issue was stopping the stress before it started taking over everything.

i thought i’d share a few ways that i have been able to combat being really stressed/anxious with you guys in the hopes that it might help you in whatever life difficulties you’re dealing with now! (would also like to note that getting professional help is always important if that is what you need.)

waterfall vickery creek

(aside from these tips, i can’t tell you how magical it was to literally sit in a waterfall last week. nothing but the sounds of rushing water and its pressure on my skin calmed me in so many ways)

1) remind yourself: you are different than everyone else.

this is the most important thing that i’ve learned in the last 5 weeks. it’s easy to say, but sometimes hard to remember, especially if you’re in a situation like nursing school. everyone is constantly doing something, and if i let myself get caught up in it, i started to feel like i wasn’t doing enough or that i should be doing what everyone else is doing.

at this age in life, i know myself pretty well. i know what i need to do to get work done, i know what i need to do to stay sane, and no one else works in the same way that i do.

the best example of this i can think of is feelings i had last monday. on mondays we have 7 hours of classtime, starting at 8am, ending at 4pm, and a full day of sitting. the second that the last class was over, i was ready to run out the door and go workout. sitting for long periods of time is hard for me, my concentration was shot, and i needed to move my body and shut off my brain for awhile. but as i was leaving the nursing school, i heard a few other students saying that they were headed to the library to study. immediately i questioned if i should be going home and spending a few hours going to work out. i started to feel guilty for taking time off of school to work out.

and as soon as those thoughts started, i needed to stop them. because i know myself, and i know that i would not have been productive if i had gone to the library. i know that i don’t study well in libraries, period. and i know that i needed to move my body and workout to decrease my stress levels and anxiety and keep myself feeling good.

so i left, i went and i worked out, and i came home and did work later. because that’s what works for ME.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

2) make a toolbox and use it

what i mean by a toolbox, is to make a list of things that you can do for yourself that decrease your stress. they can be little things that only take 5 minutes or bigger things that take more time. this is the list that i keep in my phone:

img_6702

 

whenever the stress starts to mount and feel uncontrollable, i make myself stop and do one of the things on this list. in the short run, it takes time away from doing work, but in the long run, it makes me more focused because the stress isn’t making me feel anxious.

for me, sometimes i need to work out. but sometimes i’m stressed because i’m tired and i need to take a nap. and recognizing that is key! so make sure that whatever you’re using in your toolbox isn’t adding to your stress.

3) write down three things you’re grateful for every day

put things into perspective. this is something that i was reminded to do in a holistic health class we’re taking. i used to do this all the time but needed a reminder to continue to do this. writing down 3 things that you’re grateful for in the last 24 hours, without just saying broad things like “my family” helps you to focus on all the positive things in life. focusing on the positive can shut those negative thoughts down. and days that i’m feeling especially stressed i go back and i start to read all of the things i’ve written down in the past.

fullsizerender-1

i hope you can take something from any of these tips and incorporate them into your life! perspective is everything, and finding the positivity in my life has been helping me stay happier and more stress-free <3

xo,

signature gold

things no one tells you about moving

just wanted to share something that’s been on my heart lately in the hopes that it helps some of you out there.

to start things off, i have been looking forward to this move for a very, very long time. i felt trapped in LA, and while i had some of the most incredible people in my life there, in my heart, it never was my home. i missed fresh air, the outdoors, the adventure, the quietness of less people, and being able to drive down a two lane road with the windows down and music blasting, and a lot more.

don’t get me wrong, i loved my friends in LA and how much there was to do, but it was never a permanent destination. so, for the last year of my college career, i was so excited to get out of LA. ask any of my friends and they’d tell you that- they understood that it just wasn’t my place.

IMG_2225

moving to georgia was something that felt so right. way back when, i had this feeling in my heart that God was calling me to Atlanta, before i even had heard that i got into school here. i was so ready for it.

and now that i’m here, for the first time, i am studying something that brings me joy and is interesting to me. i’m living in a city that’s surrounded by all the outdoor adventures my heart could desire. things are beautifully green and i love my apartment, and everything is just as i imagined.

except one thing. i was expecting things to be great here. i wasn’t expecting to be in a place that i know is so right for me, in a place where i know i am supposed to be, but yet feel all of these things i am going through. i was completely unprepared for what i faced when i got here. i was completely unprepared for the deep loneliness i would feel being in a place where i didn’t feel known yet. where i didn’t have any friends or know where my grocery store was or what church i would go to or even what running trail i would fall in love with. i was completely unprepared for the waves of feeling totally overwhelmed in school, and to feel like i’m doggy paddling in a big storm in the ocean. i was completely unprepared for the anxiety i would have about meeting new people and trying to make friends and find a new little family here in georgia. i was completely unprepared to feel sad being here in a place where i should be so happy.

i still feel that way. i still feel alone, i still feel overwhelmed, and i still feel sad. i feel all that in juxtaposition to the excitement i have for school, the love i have for this area, and the joy i feel at being in a place that i know i am supposed to be.

yesterday evening and this morning, i just completely lost it. i was calling friends and family, texting new friends, and yet feeling so alone and lost. nothing could make these feelings go away, until i pulled out my journal where i write down my prayers, and i just prayed. i prayed for peace and for strength and for the reassurance that this season won’t last forever. i know it won’t, but when you’re in it, it feels like it will never end. i don’t know what exactly i believe about God, and i have a lot of questions about things, but in those moments of prayer, those were the only moments i was able to escape the sadness, the anxiety, and the loneliness. those were the only moments in which i knew that things are going to be ok, that it’s ok to feel what i’m feeling in this season of life, to know that i am not alone.

this song also has been on repeat this morning:

i hope if you are out there, reading this, and going through something similar, that this helped you to not feel so alone. feel free to email me or text me or whatever if you need anything. even if we haven’t talked in a long time or you’ve never spoken to me, if you feel alone and broken i’d love to do something as simple as just pray for you or talk to you and talk about what we’re going through.

praying for peace, courage, and love to touch all of you today. <3

xo,

signature gold

the start of nursing school

hello friends!
long time no see, but i thought i’d pop in and say hello! i figured that i will at least be updating the blog every once in awhile if anything just to stay in touch with all my friends and family back home, and give you guys a glimpse into my life as a nursing student. i honestly am not sure just how much time i will have to write nice posts with photos, but since i’ve long since made the decision that this is in no way shape or form my business, i’ll just be writing when i can and leaving it at that. sound good? :)

i started nursing school last week and it is incredibly overwhelming, keeping me very busy, but also already leaving me very fulfilled. i know that this is what i want to do and i know that i am in the right place, and that is such an amazing feeling after not knowing for so long. don’t get me wrong, i still have no idea what kind of nursing i want to go into or where i eventually want to work, but i do know that i’m on the right path, as long as it’s taken me to get here.

(views from my hike in the north georgia mountains this morning!)

life has been crazy, y’all. taylor and i drove across the country which was the trip of a LIFETIME, and he helped me get all moved in and left just two days before my first day of orientation. and then we had two days of orientation and then three full days of class last week.

i’m in six classes, which include:

  • health assessment
  • pathophysiology
  • bioethics
  • health promotion
  • clinical practicum
  • foundations (which kind of goes along with the clinical practicum class)

i’m certainly not used to the sheer volume of things that i have to keep track of since on the quarter system i usually only had to keep track of three or four classes! the accelerated program i’m in, it isn’t accelerated in that we are doing more each semester than regular BSN students, we are just doing things in a slightly different order and continuing school through next summer so that we can graduate in winter instead of spring. we are starting clinical rotations in real hospitals in 5 weeks, and i’m absolutely terrified and excited at the same time – pretty much my feelings about nursing school in general.

a little health update: i’ve still been cooking lots of delicious meals while i’ve had the time, but i’ve also been getting better about buying more food that’s easily grab and go, and prepping more food in advance. this week i already cooked a bunch of chicken and i bought some extra protein bars as well as these fun little sargento snack containers that have cheese, nuts, and fruit in them.

i’ve also started going to crossfit (i found a new box here, and it’s been great so far!) at 5:30 in the mornings, and let me tell ya, that is an adjustment for sure. the days in school are long and i find myself exhausted at the end of each day, so i figured that fitting workouts in in the morning is my best bet. i’m proud of myself for making it to 3 classes last week amongst the chaos that is the start of school, and i’m hoping to continue to get to 3-4 classes a week. i know that even though it takes time out of my day, it’s important for my sanity and my health to continue to do something that makes me so happy + is good for me.

one more thing before i go – the move in itself, while wonderful, has definitely been an adjustment. i was so incredibly happy to get out of LA and i absolutely love it here- things are GREEN, the air is fresh, there are plenty of activities to do and places to explore, humans are actually nice, and nature is just a stone’s throw away- but that doesn’t mean that everything is easy all the time. moving is hard, you guys! i’ve had a few moments where i’ve just missed the comforts of being around people who know me well, being somewhere where i know where everything is, and stuff like that. it’s hard not to get caught up in the fact that i’m thousands of miles away from my entire family, my boyfriend, and my closest friends, but reminding myself of why i’m here and that everyone is only a touch of a button away has definitely helped.

a little self-help tip before i go as well–> i was listening to the girls gone wod podcast the other day (highly recommend if you want a good laugh and to listen to two ladies who are just honest about life and give great advice!) and they were talking about having different tools in your toolbox to cope with stress in your life. i know that there’s going to be a lot of stressors in my life in the upcoming 15 months, so i actually took the time to write out all the things i can do to relax and calm down the other day. my “toolbox” includes stuff like taking a bath, lighting a candle, going for a walk, listening to a podcast, calling taylor or a family member or friend, taking a nap, and much more! it was really helpful to actually write it all out as a reminder that i have a lot of things i can do for self-care, and if there’s one thing that’s been emphasized here, it’s that you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. <3

that’s all for now- i’m back to getting my reading done for class tomorrow, but if you made it this far, thank you so much for being here. love you all and i’ll be back soon!

xo

Julianna

a little bit torn

helloooo from the east coast!

i made it to atlanta, guys, and am so excited to be here! my apartment is infinitely better than my tiny little place in LA and thus far the humidity hasn’t killed me either. i had the most amazing road trip on the way over here, and the past week has been spent getting all moved in. now the only things my roommate and are missing is a couch & coffee table which is pretty sweet if you ask me.

anyway, i’ve been thinking about a lot things lately, and i’m a bit torn about something i’ve been considering. i’ve been blogging in this space for 5 or so years now, but as much as i don’t want to admit it, i just don’t feel the passion for it anymore. i feel a little obligated to still be posting healthy living content- food, fitness, etc.- and while i still love those things, they just enhance my life. they aren’t my life. and i’ve been dragging my feet about posting blog posts about things that i was & am totally stoked about- the whole trip across the country, the move in process, and more. if you asked me in person, i probably wouldn’t shut up about them!

i’ve been playing with a few ideas, since i don’t know if i’m ready to just stop blogging entirely. it’s been apart of my life for so long, brought me so many sweet friends, and i thoroughly enjoy writing. so i’m not really sure why i haven’t felt passionate about *this* blog. i don’t know if it’s because so much of my past  is on here and i feel ready for a fresh new start, or if i don’t know how to blog about new things other than food and fitness, or if i just am tired of blogging, period. i’ve taken mutiple breaks off of blogging and none of them have sparked the desire in me to get back to it.

i miss the days of writing lots of posts, not expecting anyone to read them, and just getting so excited about this space. that hasn’t happened in awhile, but i just don’t know if i’m ready to let go of this space, and everything it has brought me.

being in atlanta has made me so excited for the future; all the adventures i’ll go on while i’m here, the new people i’ll meet, the new food places i’ll try, the bonds i’ll make in nursing school, the things i’ll learn, and so much more. it feels like such a fresh start that i’ve been toying with the idea of starting a new blog entirely separate from this one. for a chance to start over and have a blog name that doesn’t sound like a sixteen year old came up with it (for real, that’s how old this blog is).

i’ll keep you guys posted on what i decide, but for now.. i just want to say thank you for everything that you all have given me- support, virtual hugs, and a safe space to express myself. i truly am grateful!

i’m so excited for these new adventures and i’ll be sure to let y’all know if i create a new little space!

xo,

julianna

graduation weekend 2016!

now that we have the backstory out of the way, here’s a little recap of graduation! **edited to add, i wrote “little” and then got to the end of the post and was like whoa. this a long one. grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine, it’s going to be awhile! haha**

i know it was a little over a month ago, but hey, you only graduate from college once (ok ok, i will be graduating twice, but you get the point haha).

IMG_3413

like i said in my previous post, taylor surprised me in the middle of finals week, so he literally did everything he could to help me in those last few days. i was studying hard but he did my laundry, dishes, helped me study, and even went and got me coffee, donuts, and my favorite protein bar in between finals. talk about a keeper.

once my finals were over, it was time to celebrate! my parents got in on thursday night right after i’d finished two finals, so we took it easy, went out to dinner at 800 degrees, and i was back early at the apartment. that night i went out for drinks with my roomies and we came back and danced in the living room for hours. it was literally the perfect way to end things and made me so sad that i’m moving out soon! the three of them are still living together so i’m going to be visiting often <3

IMG_3120

unicorn palace 5ever <3

unicorn palace 5ever <3

the next day was the big college of letters and science graduation ceremony! it was 2 hours long and i don’t remember much, but we took so many pictures after which was really fun.

IMG_3128 IMG_3132 IMG_3134 IMG_3148 IMG_3170 IMG_3183 IMG_3191 IMG_3202 IMG_3257 IMG_3293 IMG_3298 IMG_3265

i wrote the sappiness in a previous post with some graduation photos we had taken, but i truly wouldn’t be here without the support of my family, friends, and boyfriend. i am so thankful for them all! <3

this special lady put on all her graduation garb just to come to campus to take pictures with me. talk about a good friend! we had classes together almost every quarter and she was the only other person in the sciences i was friends with. i can’t tell you how many life crises and classes i wouldn’t have gotten through without her! i also have her to thank that i have any clue of what’s going on in the world and her to thank for endless laughs while in college. she is currently applying to med schools and i know she’s going to go on to do amazing things with that big heart & brain of hers as well as all the hard work she puts in day in and day out. love you corinne!!

IMG_3318 IMG_3326 IMG_3353 IMG_3355 IMG_3362

we also took some photos against this brick wall which ended up being some of my favorite photos from the day:

IMG_3375 IMG_3382 IMG_3393 IMG_3400 IMG_3405 IMG_3415 IMG_3459

after we finished taking pictures, we went to peet’s for some iced coffee (what else is new) and then off to shake shack for my graduation dinner! i’m not one who loves fancy dinners and i love shake shack so this was perfect. great burgers & fries & desserts, and even better company.

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

the next day we were up super early to go to disneyland!! my parents bought tickets for everyone (huge thank you to them) so that we could go there to celebrate since i didn’t have my second ceremony until the next day. we spent the day fastpassing our hearts out, riding my favorite rides, drinking out of a BB-8 cup (i was SO EXCITED about this!!), and eating mac n cheese cones from carsland. it truly was so much fun <3

Processed with VSCO with c3 preset

IMG_3488

from snapchat! follow me @julibananna

IMG_3486

and then sunday was the final ceremony for my department! i was in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology and although they completely butchered my name when they called it, it was nice to be in a smaller ceremony.

more pictures:

after this i had to take my parents to the airport, and by this point, i was 100% exhausted. i came back and relaxed and then Taylor and i did my favorite de-stressing activity: hitting up PetSmart to look at cute kittens and puppies, going to Marshalls to shop, and then Sushi Stop for my favorite cheap sushi. there’s nothing better!

more to come soon!

xo,

signature gold