It's okay to put yourself first.
I'm not talking about being selfish and self-absorbed in your own world. This is about you making yourself an important part of your daily routine. There are so many people I know (including myself) that can't say "no" or stretch yourself thin with a full schedule. Don't get me wrong, I love staying busy and making plans with friends. I crave the happiness of being included, making memories and surrounding myself with friends. But, the importance of being is SO underrated and necessary.
It's amazing how setting little goals every day and making plans for yourself will completely change your attitude. It's honestly the little things that matter. Here's a little list of things that I've started doing that has cleared my mind, made my days more productive and changed my mood.
1. Make your bed every morning
This always starts my day off on a good note because it's a small accomplishment that is so easy to do and jumpstarts the list of things you need to do. For some reason, it motivates me to stay more organized throughout the day. Also, there is just something about how a made bed makes your whole room look a lot less messy.
2. Go to bed early
Call me a grandma because my bedtime is usually around 10:30 PM. BUT, this makes it easier to wake up at 7 AM to start your day. I used to think that only getting 3-4 hours of sleep was great or going to bed late and waking up late was fine as long as I got all my work done. Man, I was wrong. SLEEP IS IMPORTANT. It affects every aspect of your life: your attitude for the day, your attention span during the day, your skin and a long list of other health reasons.
3. Wake up early
I used to be that college student who slept until the last possible second before I needed to get ready and leave for class. This took so much time out of my day because those few extra hours could have been productive. It allows you to wake up, go get some coffee, read the paper or add those little chores that you needed to get done in your morning. Also, it trains you for real life job hours.
4. Utilize your extra time
I HAVE WASTED SO MUCH TIME IN COLLEGE. Wow. When I think back to all the afternoons that I went back to my room to nap or watch Netflix, I regret every minute of it. You get so much more out of your day if you refuse to go back to your room. Take that hour break to read over your notes that way you don't have to cram. Go hang out with a friend. Start working towards a goal you have. If you do everything you need to do during the day and during breaks, then by the end of it you can just relax...speaking of which.
At the end of each day, I have a routine that I honestly look forward to and I LOVE it so much. When I get home for the night, I take off all my makeup and get ready for bed. I light a few candles, put some socks on, pamper myself a little bit and watch an episode of my favorite show or read a book. It winds my day down so I'm not going to bed thinking about everything that I need to do and stressing myself out. It's a nice routine that adds calm to my life and encourages me to get to bed early with all my work completed.
6. Prepare for the next day
Don't let tomorrow sneak up on you. It's so easy to sit down and schedule out your day, so you can conquer it. You'll save time in the morning by picking out your clothes beforehand, packing your bags for the day and preparing your lunch. I used to run around like a chicken with my head cut off in the mornings because I was never ready. I would always be running late to class, sometimes forgetting things. Now, I'm always early and fully prepared. I hated my mornings being so chaotic and setting the day that way.
7. Write it down
For EVERYONE'S SAKE, starting journaling. I know it sounds lame, but it really helps. You can literally pour anything on your chest out, even if it's the littlest things. I very much believe that little things build up to a major breakdown. And sometimes it's not fair to pour all your frustrations and problems on the people around you. I've always been scared of being that negative friend who is always complaining and talking about their problems, instead of enjoying each other's company.
8. Reading the paper
One of my Christmas presents was a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. I'm joining the adult world and I need to know what's going on. It's important to stay informed about everything that's going on in our world. I've been living in the bubble of college - sorority, parties, classes and the latest trends. I could tell you more about celebrity news than actual issues, which I am very ashamed of. But, I'm turning that around. Plus, I want to be an intellect who can contribute to conversations that actually matter rather than is Kylie Jenner actually pregnant.
9. Not going out as much
I've realized that going out every weekend is the worst way to spend your nights. I'd MUCH rather go to the movies with my friends or do a wine night at home. It's a waste of time and money. I've gotten tired of getting dressed up every weekend, spending money on calorie-loaded drinks and waking up feeling gross. There's so much more to life than getting wasted every Friday night and ending up sweating in a dark room of strangers. Yeah, every once in a while it's fun to let loose, but the nights get repetitive and boring.
This is my list of little things that I do for myself that have made a positive impact on my life. FInd what you love to do and make time for it. Make healthy choices that your future self will appreciate. We have a limited time here and it's time that you start living for you.