5 ways to recharge your mind and body

5 Ways Hit The 'Refresh' Button On Your Life

These tips will help recharge, reconnect, and destress your mind, body, and soul.


It seems life is unbelievably overwhelming a majority of the time. Whether you are being faced with a loss of any kind, a physiological injury, a physiological setback, or you are just plain bored and confused with your life, it can put a damper on your mood, health, and excitement for life. While I have been home for break, I have caught the bug of negative nostalgia, which has left me sinking in a reminiscent vat of "happier" and "simpler" times.

Then Tuesday morning came along, and I woke up feeling old. Yes, 18-year-old Annabelle felt like an old, dilapidated lady with creaky bones and a feeling of lost time. Dramatic, I know, but at that moment I decided I was done wallowing. I picked up my journal and I wrote down a list of healthy ways to regain my youthful momentum and curiosity for my future. In other words, I decided to hit the "refresh button" on my life. So in this article, I am going to share with you 5 ways to feel fresh, excited, and overall grateful for the tools you have been given through experience.

Before I begin, I want you to realize that each of these steps can be altered for your personal use. These steps are mere guidelines to get you thinking about ways to de-stress and recharge, so if you don't relate to something fully, feel free to change it according to who you are and what you need.

1. Write it all down.


If you have read my article A Journal To My Future Self, you know how fond I am of journaling. When your brain seems to be up to its old tricks and it just will not, even for a second, be quiet, try writing everything and anything you are thinking down. That way you will be filtering, reflecting, and quieting the dialogue that takes place in our busy minds. For this particular journaling session, I suggest writing in three different categories. First, try writing down all of the memories you miss, all the people you miss, all the places you miss, and all of the feelings that you have towards all of it.

Second, try writing down all of the lessons and life experience those memories/peoples/places gave to you and the gratitude you have for each. Third, try writing down a list of all of the thing you are excited for in the next month if you think you have nothing to look forward to, make or plan something to look forward to; maybe reach out to a friend for coffee, or plan a movie date with yourself!

2. Have a spa day for yourself!


Dedicate a full day to yourself. It's okay to have days where you are undeniably and unquestionably focused on yourself. Self-love is not selfish. I invite you to preplan a whole day where you do everything and anything entirely for your self-enjoyment. Wake up naturally to the sun or wake up bright and early to watch the sunrise. Draw a bath with oils and candles, or take a long, hot shower and lather yourself in your favorite-smelling soap. Read a juicy book, or binge watch your favorite tv/movie series. Eat whatever you want. Take a nap, heavens knows we could always sleep more. Take a moment to unplug and just bask in having zero responsibilities for that day.

3. Declutter your space.


I don't know about you. but my mind is a hot mess if my space is one. It is important to take moments in our week, or even throughout our day, to declutter, organize, and deal in our spaces. This could mean completely reorganizing, and purging your closets, cleaning out and refiling your backpack, or taking a good long look at that toilet scrubber, and just going for it. Once you have tidied up your space, it gives you the freedom to breathe, reassess, and approach your mental state without any distractions. I also suggest listening to a really interesting, funny, or spooky podcast to help the time fly and quiet thoughts like, "When did I get Chinese food??"

4. Fill your calendar.


It's hard to keep up on all of our to-dos and assignments when we depend entirely on our memory. Maybe it works for some people, and I applaud you, but think about what you could be using that brain power for instead! I am a firm believer in writing lists and keeping an up-to-date calendar. It makes me feel so much more at ease, knowing that I will not miss or forget an appointment/assignment because I have it all written down for quick reference in those moments where I think "Is there something I should I be doing right now?" So even just taking a few minutes to write down everything you need to accomplish in your upcoming week can seriously destress your life.

5. Exercise at your own pace.


Before I lose you, hear me out. I'm not here to tell you that you need to run your guts out of attending every single workout class your university provides, although if that would help you individually, then go for it! I am here to suggest taking a moment to go on a walk, breath in fresh air, and let your heart fill with gratitude as you behold to the beauty of the world you live in, the body you experience with, and the mind you have. Exercising gives you a time and space to truly feel alive and connected to yourself, and I think in this modern day of constant stimulation and distraction, taking those moments is extremely important.

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.

College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.

There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


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Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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12 Unhealthy College Habits That Never Should Have Become Normalized

No, you shouldn't have to pull an all-nighter to pass every exam.


College is a weird time in our lives, but it doesn't have to be bad for our health. Here are some trends I've seen on social media and watched my friends practice that really never should have become a "thing" for college students in the first place.

1. The "freshman 15."

Everyone has heard of the dreaded "freshman 15," where college freshmen gain 15 pounds because of access to all-you-can-eat dining halls. Rather than eating healthier options at the dining halls or, you know, only eating until you're full and not stuffing yourself, we've just accepted our fate to gain what's really a large amount of weight. Not a very healthy mindset.

2. Eating only junk food because we're "too poor" to buy real food.

For off-campus students, the theme is ramen and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. This is really not how it needs to be. You can buy a bunch of romaine lettuce for around $1 at the grocery store I go to in my college town, and other produce like broccoli, potatoes, and apples are always cheap. Shop sales and keep your pantry stocked on staples like dry pasta, rice, beans, and other canned vegetables. It's not that expensive to eat decently.

3. Gorging on food at the dining hall just because you can.

This is what leads to the freshman 15. Just because you can eat whatever you want doesn't mean you should.

4. Procrastinating EVERYTHING.

I'm always ahead of my schoolwork, but all of the people in my classes push things right down to the wire. It creates unnecessary stress. Just get things done in advance so you don't have to worry.

5. Being generally unorganized and struggling to keep your life together. 

Actually using my planner is one of the best things I've done for myself in college so far. I don't know why it became popular for college students to be a hot mess all the time, but again, do what you can to avoid putting unnecessary stress on yourself.

6. Pulling all nighters, ever.

If you don't understand it by midnight, you won't understand it any better by five in the morning. You'll do so much better with less studying and more sleep than the other way around. Take the L and go to bed.

7. Waiting until the very last minute to start studying for your finals.

This is what typically leads to the aforementioned all-nighters. If you have an exam in two weeks, start studying NOW. Give yourself time to figure out what you need to focus on and get in contact with your professor or a tutor if necessary. Do yourself the favor.

8. Getting blackout drunk Friday and Saturday night...every weekend.

A lot of college students like to drink. That's fine, I get it, college is stressful and you just want to have a good time. But you don't have to go out every night of every weekend and drink so much you don't remember anything that didn't occur between Monday-Friday every week. Give yourself a break from drinking every so often.

9. Getting iced coffee before class and being late because of it.

I always make sure I get to campus early if I plan to get Starbucks, which I often do. It's rude to come in late, and it's detrimental to your education to consistently miss class. Your coffee can wait if you're running late. Plan better next time.

10.  Committing to 10 different extracurriculars because "it'll boost your resume if you have more on it!"

If you only participate in one club where you're the head of marketing and the treasurer, that will look SO much better than if you participated in five clubs but were just...there for all of them. Excel in one thing rather than being mediocre in many.

11.  Skipping class whenever you feel like it.

You can take the occasional mental health day, but if you're just being lazy, you're only hurting yourself. Go to class. You're paying a lot of money for it, after all.

12.  Spending every last penny you have to go somewhere for spring break (Daytona Beach, anyone?).

"Broke" college kids always end up taking the most extravagant spring break vacations. I'm sure it's fun and you'll cherish the memories, but wouldn't you cherish that $500 more if you saved it for things you actually need rather than living off of ramen for a month when you get home?

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