Little Things To Appreciate During A Busy Life
College Life |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

Little Things To Appreciate During A Busy Life

We don't do this enough.

Let's be real here: life gets really hard and really busy.

No matter who you are or where you're at in life, life can be really tough sometimes. If you don't take a step back and give yourself time to breathe, you will simply burn out. No one performs at their best when they're rushing around, or they haven't done anything for themselves in ages.

After a slightly crazy start to summer, I went to my family's cabin up in the mountains with most of my family.

When you're up there, away from people, schedules, technology and your overall fast-paced life, you are able to kind of re-calibrate your priorities and your mental health.

I just enjoyed the little things in life for that time.

It sounds a little cheesy, but it's really wonderful to do when you're just feeling mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted. Here's a list of some of those little things that anyone can appreciate:

1. Family.
Family can be just what you need when you're feeling drained. They know you better than almost anyone else, and they have seen you at your worst. Your parents have the experience and wisdom to help you get through an awful day.

Your siblings have probably been through a similar experience, and know how it feels to have an awful day and what to do to get you through it. Any relative can be a comfort in busy times because they are willing to sit down and use their knowledge of you and what you need to de-stress.

2. The smell after a rainstorm.
This is a personal choice of mine, but any kind of smell can help you de-stress. Just sitting there and breathing it in helps us to take a second and remember to actually appreciate whatever the smell is.

I personally love the smell after a storm because it is so fresh - like the whole world has been cleansed. When we are stressed, anxiety about our busy lives can actually make us feel like we're having trouble breathing. Don't forget to breathe, and enjoy your favorite scents.

3. A good talk with a friend.
You know the kind of talk I mean. The best ones, where you are left feeling energized and you wish it could have gone on longer. The ones where you just feel like you both click on every level. The ones that you look back on and smile about.

Talking deeply about life or even just venting for a while about your busy schedule can be almost like you are detoxing the stress. When you both are able to do that, you are mutually understood by each other, and you also remember that you're not alone in your busy, crazy life.

4. A compliment.
Real, sincere compliments are so wonderful. You know that they come from a place of genuine admiration for you, even if it's just something like, "I love your shirt!" When life is busy, it's easy to brush it off, quickly say "thanks," and continue on your way.

But, when you take the time to appreciate the comment and the person who made it, it is a little break in the craziness, and a reminder that people really admire you for everything you're doing.

5. A beautiful sunset.
Sunsets are the natural decoration of the world. They are strikingly beautiful almost every single night, and also different every single night. Pause every once in a while, take in that natural beauty, stop thinking about the email that you have to send and just appreciate the lovely world we live in.

There is a sense of satisfaction whenever you do that. It helps us to see all of our various tasks in perspective. Work and school are important, but living in the moment is as well.

6. Exercise.
This one is hard because exercise can sometimes be painful! You can do a tough workout or pull a muscle and wonder why you even worked out in the first place. It has been scientifically proven, however, that exercise boosts chemicals in our body that lessen stress and are responsible for happiness.

When you work out, even if it's just a quick jog between tasks, there are numerous benefits. After a workout, you will feel strong, happy and less stressed. I always feel restless when I haven't exercised in a while, and there's a reason for that.

For mental, physical and emotional benefits, there is nothing like good exercise.

7. A job well done.
Finally, when life gets really busy and you hardly have any time for a break, appreciate yourself and your own hard work. The fact that you're doing what you're doing, that you're able to do it and you're doing it well, is something to be grateful for and be proud of.

Don't forget to appreciate yourself during your busy life.

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College Life | 

6 Reasons You Should Embrace "Booty Calls"

No need for wining and dining or discussing each other's day--just relaxing, mindless sex.

While I don't necessarily condone the "Netflix and Chill" trend, I am a big advocate of booty calls. Let's just be real for a moment and point out that people who shame others for casual sex probably people aren't getting laid themselves. It's 2015. If I can't text someone at 1 a.m. to get a little action after a majorly stressful day, then this is not a world I want to live in.

1. Sex is a great stress reliever. Sometimes college just hits you really fucking hard. Four of your professors decide it's a great week for exams and the other two are shoving group projects and papers down your throat. All that stress can seriously build up. Best way to release it? Casual, no-strings-attached, on-demand sex. No need for wining and dining or discussing each other's day--just relaxing, mindless sex.

2. Less pressure than having a serious relationship. We're in college and the most of us aren't here to get our MRS. Degree. We're here to get an education, figure things out, and manage countless clubs and extracurricular activities. Not to mention we have a kick-ass group of friends to devote our attention to. Between all the chaos is there really even time for dating? It's so much pressure and time to devote yourself fully to another person. That doesn't mean we want to give up sex, but we just aren't in for the whole relationship thing. We may not have time to devote ourselves to a SO, but we do have a couple hours here and there to get in a little R&R in the sheets.

3. You can run things on your terms. There's no pressure to see the other person just because it's been a while, no need to be constantly in communication just to keep them around. If you're busy for a couple weeks, so be it. Text them when you need it and don't when you're busy. The whole point of a booty call is to keep it super low maintenance.

4. No obligation to be anything to the other person. You don't have to pretend to care about their interests. You really don't have to give a fuck if they passed their econ exam, how many siblings they have, and what they want to be when they're older. All you need in a booty call is a mutual respect for one another and an understanding that all you essential are is fuck buddies and that's as far as your relationship needs to go.

5. You can still be single and flirty, AND get laid on regular basis. For some, college is the last few years before we start to seriously date those we may have a future with. It's the last few years of freedom before responsibilities and real adult life take over. Now's your time to flirt and mingle and enjoy every aspect of being single. If I can do all of that and get laid on the reg, count me in.

6. Not adding to the infamous "number." (Not that this actually should matter.) If you want to sleep with two people, sleep with two, if you want to sleep with 22, sleep with 22. However, for those of you who love sex, but are a little "number" sensitive, a booty call is the way to go. If you catch yourself a regular, it's nice to know you can get laid whenever and keep your number to a minimum. Booty calls are really a win-win.

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College Life |  Source: popsugar.com

HeTox: The Post Breakup Cleanse

Breathe in, Breathe out...

Cleanses have always been vital to health in more ways than one. People can cleanse their kidneys, liver, or pull a Serena Van Der Woodsen, and cleanse their lives by summering in the Hamptons.

"Detox" is a term often used when it comes to cleanses, which basically means to get the toxins out of your body. What about when it comes to the toxins that drain us from break-ups and negative relationships? There definitely needs to be a cleanse for that. I'm sure we can think of a few ways to attain this goal...

1. Meditation
Most bad moods really can be cured with "mind over matter" techniques. By simply taking a few moments when you wake up to meditate, it can really set the mood for a better day ahead.

The same goes for when you go to sleep at night. Take some time as you're drifting off to sleep to count the things you have to be thankful for in your life, and open up room for some pleasant dreams.

Meditation can be breathing exercises, repeated positive mantras, light stretching, or even just a few moments of silence and good thoughts. Start doing this every single day!

2. Exercise
Exercise releases endorphins, so you're basically going to be all doped up on good vibes once you leave the gym. Half the battle is getting there, so do yourself a favor and just show up and see what you can get done.

3. Change Up Your Diet
It's true that you are what you eat. Processed foods and other crap can literally bring down your mood. Start lunching at Whole Foods and making your own healthy dishes straight from your Pinterest board.

Now that you don't have to keep up with that ex-loser, you have time to play around with recipes and try new places. If late-night pizza reminds you of him, the good news is you can swap that out for early-morning brunch with the girls.

4. Set New Goals
The two of you had been living in your routine so much that you forgot the pleasures that come along with the new and exciting. Don't look at your break-up as losing one thing, look at it as gaining everything. The world is yours to have.

You've always wanted to start golfing...do it! You've never had a spa weekend...go! There's nothing holding you back from leaving this town... plan on moving to a new city! Pull an Eat, Pray, Love and find yourself again.

One thing that I started doing after a break-up that made me feel better was keeping a journal. I would journal about new goals to set, travel experiences, and anything else that would pop into my mind!

5. Keep Busy
Throw yourself into your work, hobbies, and friends. Go after that promotion you deserve, get better at your acroyoga, and invite your friends over for dinners. There's so much you can be doing other than dwelling on the past.

Grocery shopping, days at the office, getting involved in philanthropy, reading books, watching new shows with your girls, spending time with your family, redecorating the house... You get the idea. Just keep busy until it's time to hit the sheets!

When it comes to break-ups, the first move doesn't have to be hiding in the dark with Netflix, spending every night at the bar, or jumping into a new relationship. Reflect on the time you had together one time, wipe your tears, and cleanse.

It only takes 21 days to form a habit, so make your next habits beneficial to YOUR progress. In the grand scheme of things, 21 days is NOTHING. In the grand scheme of life, neither is the guy that broke your heart.

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College Life |  Source: jobe1kanobi

Ways To Make You a Better You This Summer

We all need a mental cleanse.

In case you are tired of doing the same things each day, or want a little change in improving your overall health and wellness, here are just a few ways to help make you a better YOU! It only takes a few quick tips and moments to turn your bad day into a meaningful one.

Eat cleaner.
When you eat healthy food, you feel good too. Try swapping out chips and salsa for apples and peanut butter. Or trade a diet coke for a strawberry and banana smoothie. When you eat better, you feel better. It's true. And when your craving a little something sweet, have a piece of dark chocolate after dinner.

Dark chocolate contain nutrients such as fiber, and minerals including iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants which positively effect our health.

Go for a walk.
If you're not into exercise, that's okay. You don't have to start going to the gym for three hours everyday or start running six miles a day. It can be as simple as going for a walk. Get a step counter such as a FitBit or use your Health app on your phone to see how far you walk each day.

Start to challenge yourself to see how far you can walk, and maybe soon that walk will become a light jog.

Clear your mind.
Take some time out of your day to close your eyes and think about yourself. Concentrate on your breathing, and try to forget about the stressful things in your life. Don't think about tomorrow, just focus on the present moment.

Drink tea.
Start your morning off with a relaxing warm cup of tea. Coffee can give us the jitters or make us feel like we need to drink it in order to get through our day. Tea is just as good a substitute and leaves us feeling ready for the challenges ahead, without the coffee breath. Tea is also great after you return back home. A nice vanilla chai, lavender aroma, or chamomile tea is just what your body needs to unwind before bed.

Write things down.
All it takes is three to five minutes to write down a few things that you are grateful for. Write down things that made you happy that day. Write down people that help make you a better individual, and write down those who made you smile that day. Writing down the little things that make you happy will open your eyes and heart to what you are truly grateful for.

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College Life | 

How to De-Stress in Seven Weird Ways

Adult coloring books are a thing.

College life is sometimes a shit show. If you're anything like me, your room is about as neat as your overcrowded computer desktop; you subsist on ramen noodles and boxed wine; and you haven't washed your sheets in three weeks. It's easy to get lost in the chaos.

"You're not fixing anything--you're just putting a band-aid on the wound," my overly concerned, meditation-enthusiast mother likes to say to me, shaking her head sadly at the anti-anxiety meds, caffeine pills, and melatonin that line my bedside table, like some weird shrine to the stresses of college. Meanwhile, my mom meditates for an hour each day and is literally a transformed person. She's ten times more chill than she was two years ago.

But as a college student, no amount of scientific studies or convincing articles or success-story moms would ever convince me to sit in silence and think about nothing for an hour. My attention span can't handle it. Alternative stress relief options don't look too hot either. Sleeping more is unrealistic, running is hard, and yoga just confirms that I have the flexibility of an 80-year-old man.

Thankfully, these surprisingly healthy ways to destress are a lazy kid's best friend.

Coloring books: Art therapy has been around for a while, but adult coloring books are trendy af right now. Your college bookstore will have them, and they're basically a mindfulness practice for cheaters: when you color, you are able to zone out and focus at the same time. It forces you to set everything else in your life aside for a little while.

Wine: You probably already know that most alcohol has sedative, de-stressing qualities. But best news ever--wine is also full of a compound called resveratrol, which does good stuff for your heart and your immune system. It'll help keep you from feeling run down, so drink up.

Puppies: It's obvious why emotional support dogs are a thing.

Knitting: LOL. But really, the same mentality behind the coloring books applies to this one, too. When you keep your hands busy, your mind stays focused on the present. The health benefits of knitting are backed by science. Seriously, you can Google it.

Guacamole: Avocados have lots of vitamin B, and vitamin B reduces stress. So, splurge on that burrito.

Sex: YAY! It releases feel-good hormones that curb stress and anxiety. A little solo action will get you the same effect.

Comedies: Laughing is truly the best medicine. It decreases stress hormones and increases your oxygen intake, which will leave you feeling calm and alert.

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College Life |  Source: N. Leeper, FlockU

Lead A Healthier Lifestyle Without Changing Up Your Exercise Or Diet Routine

I'm not trying to sell you snake oil

You know the routine. You made a "new year, new me" resolution, a new fad diet caught your eye, or you splurged on that expensive-ass gym membership.

Two weeks later (maybe three if you're a real trooper), you're right back where you started, and ready to give up on ever being able to achieve that healthier lifestyle you were aiming for.

Consider this: maybe you've just been going about it the wrong way.

Allow me to suggest an alternative method for fixing your messy life: just declutter.

Decluttering means revolutionizing your entire organizational strategy. It means rearranging your priorities and deleting the excess. And it doesn't have to be as boring or tough as it sounds. A lot of the process can be fun and relaxing, because it is all about finding what works for you.

1.Figure out what your stressors are.
Got tons of student debt? Rearrange your budget. Pinched for time? Create a schedule for yourself. Maybe you don't know what's making you pull your hair out. Book a therapy session and get help sorting it out. Or just talk to friends and family.

2.Put yourself first.
This is probably the best and most exciting part of revolutionizing your lifestyle. Start by making a list of self-care tasks or routines you can add in. Do you like yoga? Sign up for that vinyasa class. Join one of those online wine clubs, or get those bath bombs you've been eyeing.

3.Drown some kittens.
Hold up and listen before you call PETA. Drowning kittens just means dropping some things you love from your schedule. They should be fluffy things you like but don't need. Maybe you ought to cut down your Starbucks intake to save money. Or lose that Hulu subscription and stick with Netflix. Or drop that club you're just too busy for.

4.Try new things.
If you feel bored or stagnant, strike an item from your bucket list. Get on Groupon and find a ballroom dancing coupon, or go rock climbing on discount day. Go out and find your new favorite hobby.

5.Connect.
Get with others who are going through the same process. It'll give you a sense of direction, and help you as you navigate the changes.

6.Buy a planner.
Instead of making it a chore, have fun with this one. Buy cute highlighters and channel your inner soccer mom as you color coordinate your schedule. Do this in a way that makes you want to sustain it.

7.Purge your junk.
This is a big one. If you haven't worn that romper since 10th grade, maybe it's time to go your separate ways. If you still have your seventh grade binders laying around, I promise that you don't need your biology notes anymore. Ditch 'em. That old car you keep throwing money into? Sell it and use a Zipcar when you need a ride.

8.Get your squad involved.
Why hoard all the life-changing? Get your homies in on the process and keep each other accountable. Hard things are always easier (and more fun) when they're shared. And they're more effective when you're held accountable by people you care about.

9.Brag about it.
Maybe you've been a self-caring, life-changing superstar all week. Shout it from the rooftops. Get on Facebook and do a little boasting about your progress. Support from your loved ones can only help.

10.Treat yo self.
Time to celebrate! Indulge in your guilty pleasure once in a while, because you're a badass and you did a great job.

It may look like a lot, but you've got this. Throw that old New Year's resolution out and get down to business.