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5 Study Tips If You Can’t Concentrate

Hey there!

Welcome back to another Self Care Sunday! I have an exam coming up so I thought it would be best to share some studying tips that I’ve been implementing. I don’t think I’ve ever perfected a specific studying method during my college days. I get easily distracted and fairly quickly lose motivation to study. I hope these help you if any of you are planning to take summer school or are starting a new school season.

**Note: For each tip, I’ll describe what I personally do for studying. Remember, you know yourself the best. These tips are adjustable to however you see fit. There is no linear way to do things**

TIP #1: Figure Out What Distracts You. Create Your Optimal Study Environment. 

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I create a clear work environment. I personally need a big table because I like to feel more open when I’m studying. I’m also one of those people who CANNOT study in complete silence. I suggest listening to music that do not have any lyrics to them. There are plenty of study playlists on Spotify to choose from. My personal favorite as of right now is listening to cafe ambient sounds on Youtube. If you miss studying in a coffee shop, this would be the perfect option to get your fix.

Here are some videos that I personally enjoy while studying:

Coffee Shop Sounds for Study and Concentration
Restaurant Ambience – 10H Busy Coffee Shop Background Noise
Rainy Day at the Coffee Shop Ambiance – 8 Hours of Rain, background chatter and Jazz Music

TIP #2: Create Time Blocks / Use the Pomodoro Technique

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Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

In order to prevent burn out, I create a set amount of time for studying and a set amount of time for breaks. On days where I’m not really in the mood to study…but I still need to get sh*t done I do 30 minutes of studying and 5 minute breaks. Usually, I’ll do 45 minute study blocks, and 15 minutes of break time. After usually 3-5 rounds of studying, I’ll take a longer break for a meal or snack.

There are apps and websites available to help you with your study time blocks:

I personally use Forest. It’s a cute timer app where whenever you want a set amount of time to stay focused, you “plant a tree.” The tree will grow during the duration that you had set in the app (ex. 45 minutes). If you leave the app, it will cause the tree to die. Oh no!

You can also Google “Timer” and there’s a timer built in you can use from the browser.

TIP #3: Write Down Lingering Thoughts

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Have you ever started studying and then you randomly start thinking about how you’re running low on milk or that you need to start a load of laundry? Then, you go down this spiral of other things that you need to do, and as a result you just stop studying? Happens to me constantly. I like to keep a small notebook next to me. Whenever I have thoughts that aren’t related to the subject that I’m studying, I write it down in that notebook and go back to what I was doing.

TIP #4: Change Your Study Intake Method

If I’m dealing with different subjects. Sometimes I like to change topics after a certain time block to keep the learning “fresh.” Or if I’ve been taking notes about Anatomy for a good chunk of my study session, I’ll switch to a different source of Anatomy learning for the remainder of my study session.

I like to watch Youtube videos on the topic I’m studying about. I personally use Crash Course and Khan Academy for some extra studying resources on the science classes I’ve been taking. **Crash Course has a free app that provides virtual flash cards so you can review the topics that they talk about in their videos**

I also use Quizlet to use study flashcards that I’ve created. Or I search for some that have already been created by other users. I also go over previous exams and attempt to retake them.

TIP #5: Study More Frequently For Shorter Durations

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To prevent myself from feeling overwhelmed, I study every day BUT I don’t study for the whole day. For me, that would seriously be information OVERLOAD.I space out my study sessions depending on how I feel.

Remember to listen to how you’re feeling. Forcing yourself to do something creates a “hostile” study environment and those hours you put in won’t be as productive as you plan them to be. Sometimes I’ll even give myself a goal for example, “Okay, I’m going to do 3 rounds of 45 minutes with 15 minute breaks in between. And then I’ll go for a walk.”

Have any study tips that you’d like to share? Connect with me via Instagram @heytherecarmi and let’s discuss!

Until next time! Thank you for continuing with me on my journey to somewhere…

Self Care

Time to Rest…

Hey there!

Welcome back to another Self Care Sunday! I’ve been studying non stop this past week. Yesterday, I took a break from my usual Saturday Review Session and it felt really good.

I spent the whole day helping my boyfriend clear out his old bedroom since he wanted to move into a bigger room in the house. I had gotten him a desk set up as an early birthday present and we spent a couple of hours putting the drawers together. Room renovations can be exhausting, but the end result is soooo satisfying. I don’t recall eating one healthy thing yesterday, except for an apple. We mostly ordered fast food since we’ve been working hard to clean and reorganize the new room.

I felt exhausted, but I felt refreshed because I was doing something other than taking in information about Anatomy. (I’m currently taking an Anatomy & Physiology class). It was pretty fun! It’s nice to do something different from the usual routine every once in awhile.

Today, my body woke up mad at me because of the unhealthy eating I did yesterday. I woke up with a headache. My entire body felt warm, my thighs sore, and my fingers were swollen. I was supposed to go out jogging, but given how I felt this morning I knew I shouldn’t. I was kind of bummed, but there’s always next time. Not exactly the best idea to put more stress on my body with more exercise, when I should be resting.

With this quarantine situation, I feel like I’ve gotten a much better understanding of my body. I’ve learned to not push myself as much when it could be detrimental. I’ve adjusted to not being so hard on myself when I can’t do things, or I’m not feeling well. Sometimes…it does suck because I don’t like feeling left out. I’ve adjusted and I’m proud of myself for that.

I hope you’ve all been doing well. Stay home, stay safe, stay healthy! Feel free to connect with me if you need someone to talk to…or share random memes with hehe via Instagram @heytherecarmi

Until next time! Thank you for continuing with me on my journey to somewhere…

 

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Three Months Later = Three Months Later

Hey there!

So it looks like LA County will continue its stay at home order for another THREE months. I’m a little bummed. I miss having the choice to visit my friends and family without the fear of possibly spreading COVID or even catching COVID. I keep telling myself that the stay at home order is for the health and safety of everyone, but damn…I just miss everyone.

I only go outside to get fresh air and I never leave the neighborhood. I rarely go out for errands anymore, but when I do….I noticed a developed anxiety when I see a handful of people in a confined space. I get nervous. I mostly get everything delivered nowadays. On the rare occasion, Mike and I went to a local taco place for Cinco de Mayo. The workers were understaffed and overworked. The customers, irritated and closing in. It freaked me out and I can feel everyone around me getting worked up over not getting their orders fast enough.

Little tip: don’t go get tacos on Taco Tuesday when you’re supposed to be staying SIX FEET APART. Also, please be kind to one another. We’re all trying our best. Nurses. Doctors. Grocery Store Workers. Restaurants. Cooks. Small Businesses. Convenience Store Workers. Etc. Please remember to express your gratitude… a little kindness goes a long way.

It’s crazy to me. January and February felt like it’s own separate year. I literally had plans every weekend and it was fun! I felt like I was able to reconnect with friends that I haven’t seen in forever since before the holidays and even far before that! March hit and now we’re almost halfway through the year.

With all that’s going on…there are some things I’m pretty excited and grateful for. Because I’m furloughed, I’m able to dedicate majority of my time to completing my science classes. I finally joined a book club. Something that I’ve always wanted to do in my lifetime. I’m spending time with my significant other on a completely different level of knowing and understanding each other. I’m focusing on things that I enjoy, the ones I used to be “too busy for.”

So even though we’re stuck at home, I’m glad I’m able to have this time to shift my focus and figure myself out a little bit more. 2020 – a year I couldn’t even imagine happening that way it is now.

Have any thoughts you’d like to share about the stay at home extension? DM me via Instagram @heytherecarmi . Until next time!

Thank you for continuing with me on my journey to somewhere…

Self Care, Uncategorized

Mother’s Day | Setting Boundaries

Hey there!

It’s another Self Care Sunday…which happens to also be Mother’s Day. So Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there! While today might be a fun day of celebrating mothers, some may not see today’s holiday as such a joyous occasion. To some, their relationship with their mother isn’t the best or is even nonexistent. Today’s Self Care Sunday post will be about setting boundaries for those that may have tense mother-daughter/mother-son relationships. Here are some boundary tips to get though this day if you plan on interacting with each other today:

**NOTE: This post isn’t about how to reconcile, but rather how to get through this holiday. I’m also not a professional/expert.**

Be Honest With How You Feel: Don’t be the person who posts about their mother on social media wishing them a Happy Mother’s Day (regardless if they’re going to see the post or not) if that’s not how you truly feel. Whatever you’re feeling, don’t fake it. It’s better to acknowledge your feelings than to keep them inside.

Refrain from Politics Talk: Kind of an obvious one – especially during this time. You may have opposing views from your mother. Or someone may be really passionate about a certain topic. Refrain from any talk that you already know causes tension or can be seen as controversial

Acknowledge the Amount of Time in Each Other’s Presence: “I can only handle being in the same room for ________ minutes/hours…” If this is you, acknowledge this time and make an exit strategy. If two hours is all you can handle of being around each other before things begin to tense up, make a mental note of what time to leave before arriving to the place you’re meeting. Leave BEFORE the mood shifts, so that the quality time ends on a “good note.”

If You Aren’t Happy to Do It, DON’T DO IT: Your mom may ask you for favors that you probably don’t want to do. Learn to say “no.” Set your boundary on tasks that they ask you to do. If you do what they want grudgingly, you’re only setting more negative feelings towards your mom even more.

Celebrate the Positive Motherly/Female Role Models in Your Life: Ok….so you may not exactly have a good relationship with your mother. Who do you have positive relationships with? Who out of those people have influenced you into becoming the person you are now? Acknowledge and celebrate those people today.

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I hope this post helps in someway during this time. Some of you may feel like an outcast for not being so excited about Mother’s Day and that’s ok. You’re not alone.

Connect with me via Instagram @heytherecarmi , until next time! Thank you for continuing with me on my journey to somewhere…

Monthly Challenges, recap

April Reflections & New Challenges

Hey there!

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog post. I’ve been studying for my Biology final and let’s just say it’s not my favorite/best subject. Thankfully, I finished with a B in the class. 3 more classes to go! So it’s time to reflect on the month of April. If you want to read about my April Challenge post, click here.

Quarantine update: The stay at home order will be lifted on May 15th. Supposedly. Things have been changing every day. So who knows? I hope everyone is still doing okay during this unprecedented time.

With April’s Challenge, I was supposed to express daily gratitude. At first, I was writing in my Passion Planner what I was grateful for as a “journal entry.” But then I kind of forgot about it, tbh. Then I started shifting towards expressing my gratitude whenever I took a shower. Anyone else get lost in their own thoughts while showering? Because I know I do. THEN…. I added expressing gratitude before I went to sleep at night. I would go over what had happened that day and say my thanks, that way I go to sleep with a smile and positive thoughts in my head.

So how has expressing daily gratitude influenced my life? 

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My mood has improved. My interactions with other people are a lot better. I don’t have much of a temper as before. I feel like a have a little bit better control over my emotions. I’m not going to lie….I’m pretty emotional. LOL

I sleep better. I’ve been waking up feeling refreshed more frequently compared to the previous month. I haven’t been waking up in the middle of night as frequently as before. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I get annoyed and it affects my mood.

I’m motivated to actually do things. I’ve been getting out of bed a lot earlier and I’ve been feeling much more accomplished with the various tasks I’m able to complete throughout the day. Lately, I’ve even been waking up and getting ready for the day BEFORE Mike. Heck yes!

This gratitude challenge is something that I’ll be more conscious about in continuing for the entire year. So now for the May 2020 Challenge. Because my goal is to become a Certified Nutrition Specialist, I wanted to do something that encourages a healthy lifestyle. I also want to share the things I learn with other people so they can be influenced to make healthier choices. For this month’s challenge, I will be discussing and consuming benefits of various foods on my blog and instagram. I’m not sure how this information will be delivered in detail, but I’ll figure it out. Be on the lookout for my first #FoodFacts post THIS FRIDAY!

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Feel free to connect with me on Instagram @heytherecarmi . Let’s discuss food! Until next time and thank you for continuing with me on my journey to somewhere…

 

 

 

Self Care

Learning to Balance In a Time Like This…

Hey there!

I have to be honest… the momentum of me working out in the home gym has definitely slowed down. I’ve been “lazier.” For the past week, it’s taken me FOREVER to just get out of bed in the morning. Should I even be calling it morning if I haven’t been getting up until past noon? heh. I’ve been feeling fatigue and fragile lately and that’s ok.

Expressing daily gratitude for my monthly challenge has helped me tons. For the days I don’t want to get out of bed, instead of feeling miserable for myself for “wasting my days” I just stare at the ceiling and give my thanks. If I can’t get out of bed, I should at least express my appreciation for everything that I currently have. If I do that, at least I’ve accomplished one thing that day. And that’s ok.

I’ve been taking self-paced courses to complete my prerequisite science requirements, but lately I’ve been unmotivated and distracted to study. I have a goal to complete everything by the summer, it feels so close yet so far away. It’s weird because now that I’m not working, I feel obligated to have my days jam packed with productive tasks. All these ideas going through my mind, yet no motivation to actually get them started. I’ll switch subjects sometimes just to keep myself interested. And that’s ok.

I use the Pomodoro method when I study. Usually I’ll study for 45 minutes and take 15 minute breaks, but because I’ve been struggling lately I’m usually devoting 30 minutes of studying at a time. It seems to help when I break down my tasks into short increments. Even when I’m not studying, I’ll use this method to slowly ease myself into tasks. After 30 minutes, I’ll evaluate whatever I’m doing and that’s when I decide if I continue with what I’m doing or to move onto the next task. Whatever works, right? And that’s ok.

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Sometimes I don’t even feel like blogging.  But I promised myself that I would consistently write these posts, even if I don’t feel like it because I want to keep track of how I’ve been feeling and what my thoughts are. April has been a blur and this current reality…it’s been unreal. I’ve taken this time to go easier on myself. I feel more in control of my emotions because I let myself feel them instead of trying to hold it in or force myself into things that I’m clearly not up for. I’ve been listening to my inner self and this time being stuck at home for over a month has helped me a lot more than I had realized. I needed this, even when I didn’t know I needed it. and that’s okay….

Until next time! Thank you for continuing with me on my journey to somewhere…

 

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Happy Earth Day! 5 Eco-Friendly Habits You Can Adopt RIGHT NOW

Hey there, everyone! Happy Earth Day 2020, the 50th Anniversary!

I know I can get overly ambitious in wanting to save the planet. I’ve told myself I want to compost, I want to go zero-waste, etc etc… It’s NOT easy and you shouldn’t hit yourself over the head for trying and not getting it down perfect. Today we celebrate the Earth and thank her for the resources she has provided us to live our lives. Today we should also take the time to educate ourselves and others on the current environmental issues around the world.

So do you want to give thanks? Here’s 5 EASY habits to adopt and live an “Earth” friendly, sustainable lifestyle RIGHT NOW.

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1. Stop Buying Disposable Water Bottles: This is the most obvious one that everyone suggests, but it makes a difference. “According to the Container Recycling Institute, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter.” Not only is it wasteful, it could potentially be harmful to your health! When plastic water bottles are left exposed to high temperatures (ex. leaving it in your car, having a case of water sitting out in the sun), “chemical bonds in plastics like plastic bottles, and those chemicals can migrate into beverages they contain” . If you can, opt for a regular cup, or invest in a non-plastic water bottle.

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2. Bring Plants into Your Home: Ok, BIOLOGY 101: Plants give off oxygen, and absorb carbon dioxide. There are plenty of low maintenance plants that you can bring into your home like the snake plant or pothos plants. Here’s some other plants you may be interested from The Sill. Various plants can help with air purification, have shown to improve mood, productivity, and creativity, and so much more! If you’re interested, check out WebMD’s slideshow of the health benefits of houseplants.

3. Wash Your Laundry Using the Cold Water Setting: According to the EPA“Hot water heating accounts for about 90 percent of the energy your machine uses to wash clothes — only 10 percent goes to electricity used by the washer motor.”  Using the cold water setting is actually better for keeping the color of your clothes too. If you REALLY want to get into it, sort your clothes by FABRIC NOT COLOR. By doing so, you’re actually washing your clothes more efficiently since all your items are getting equal TLC in the washer. Also, if you have the option to: skip the dryer and hang dry your clothes.

4. Buy Second Hand Clothes: In a world of fast fashion, trends come and go. Many clothing pieces are made so cheaply nowadays out of polyester or acrylic (both forms of plastic). Invest in clothing that will last you a lifetime. Look into clothes made of more natural materials. I would suggest thrift stores, but since they’re closed at the moment… try online, like ThredUp! It’s one of the largest online second hand stores. You can potentially find name-branded clothes for only a fraction of the original price. You can also sell or donate your clothes to them.

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5. Eat What’s On Your Plate: Have you ever heard the saying “Don’t bite off more than you can chew?” Well it actually applies to being eco-friendly. According to the USDA, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply in the United States. When organic matter (food) mixes with other waste and decomposes together this generates methane (CH4), which can hold 25 times more heat than carbon dioxide (CO2). And according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “On a global average, per capita food wastage footprint on climate in high income countries is more than double that of low income countries, due to wasteful food distribution and consumption patterns in high income countries. ”  

I guess this this counts as a sixth tip, but I just want to conclude by saying Use What You Have, THEN Invest in Reusable/Eco-Friendly Alternatives. I’m tired of seeing people purchase a whole bunch of “eco-friendly” things and then tossing out their plastics and other non-ecofriendly products. Instead of buying a crap ton of metal straws, how about opt for NO STRAW? Stop trying to be aesthetic with your eco-friendly purchases and just use what you already have. If you already have plastic containers that you use to store your food, don’t toss them all out to get that bamboo or aesthetically pleasing glassware. The resources and energy to create those plastic things has already been done. Use it till the end of its life. Don’t purchase new things unless truly necessary because it just means we’re using more of earth’s resources. Remember, you don’t need to do things perfectly. Just as long as you start…as long as you try /endrant.

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Feel free to DM me via Instagram @heytherecarmi to have more Earth talks. Until next time! Happy Earth Day and thank you for continuing with me on my journey to somewhere…