A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
Unbelievable. Overwhelming. A no-good, terrible awful five days. That pretty much describes last week for me.
First, my computer died - cue one week in the Apple Store infirmary for invasive surgery. Then, I spilled water on my borrowed replacement computer. Technology 2, Casey, 0. Add too much prep for midterms and too little prepared food in the fridge and you get one crazy Casey.
Glutendude about summed it up!
Luckily for me, a rejuvenating weekend helped me survive - albeit slightly technologically traumatized. But with actual midterms week starting today, I need all the stress-busting help I can get. Cue my top 5 tips for being a relaxed ninja admist midterms madness!
1. First, find your tummy's happy place and make a reservation for the week! This last weekend, I decided to reward surviving a crazy week with a trip to Whole Foods. Coconut bliss dark chocolate ice cream? Check! And a big box from the hot bar? Well, my emptier wallet can vouch for that!
Worth the money? Heck yes!
Not only is Whole Foods a great de-stresser - honestly, there was nothing I wanted more than to eat my hot bar lunch while watching the Sunday rain - it is also a great food prep. As when I go grocery shopping, when I hit Whole Foods, I go big with the veggie sides. That way, my lunch leftovers can be upgraded with a few fridge favorites (like zoodles, sweet potato wedges and avocado) to create two more meals during my busy week!
2. Find a way to mix business with pleasure. People always look at me like I'm crazy all the time when I say I study at the gym. Working out is a huge stress reliever for me, so I bring a packet of notes, hop on the stationary bike, and exercise my mind and body at the same time!
Just studying some poetry here...
Studying at the gym is also a great way to break up the monotony of studying. Being productive gives you the perfect excuse to escape your studying cave (ahem, dorm room or school library) for an hour or so.
3. Map out your to-do list ahead of time. As a student taking 17 units, a teacher's assistant and paid note taker, and a personal chef (at least for me, myself and I), this week I especially have a lot of demands screaming for attention. By plotting out my free time between classes, taking stock of my pantry and organizing my planner, though, I'm ready for battle.
Just a couple things to do...
A quick scan at my organizational weapons reveals that Monday, Tuesday and Thursday night will be my days of attack. Those will be when I cook - simple meals like eggplant pizzas which I can't wait to try out for the first time! - and hit the books.
Midterms week can easily transform into a monster of homework, studying and personal commitments, but with a loosely planned sword at your side, you'll slay that dragon in no time.
4. In between the work, make sure to plan fun time too! I had piles of notes to memorize, essays to write and TA papers to grade this weekend, but I made sure to squeeze in a few of my favorite things: yoga with friends and running. The mantra of my yoga practice last Sunday was "live in the moment" and I think this applies to midterms week perfectly.
Sometimes you have to dance - or run - in the rain!
As mentioned earlier, it's great to know what you need to do. But, when you're taking your break, really take it. When I lay in chavasna, I didn't contemplate how to fix the thesis for my Lit250 essay. When I ran around my school's track for the first time in months, all I cared about was the beat of the music in my headphones. And when I make dinner with my friend Payton on Monday night, I'll be savoring sweet potatoes and salmon, not worrying about my Poetry Midterm that next day.
5. Finally, unite and conquer. One of the blessings of taking more upper division writing classes is that the same classmates keep popping up in my schedule. Including my boyfriend (gotta love both being writing majors). So when I'm freaking over the five essays I have to outline and write this week, so are half of my phone contacts. Which makes homework parties the perfect solution.
All the laptops, all the work!
Sure, some assignments (like studying by pacing and repeating information out loud) are too individual for an audience. But essay prompts? Worksheets? Reading? All those beg for fellow sufferers. So, ironically enough, I go to the most parties in the midst of midterms. Nothing gets the party started like six short essays for Romantic Literature due Friday!
The fact is, some weeks are just Soap Opera material - something goes wrong, just wait what happens next! Midterms week doesn't have to be one of them, though. By following a few tips, you can survive with the agility of a college celiac (100% sanity not guaranteed).