De-Stress Tips

Today, I want to talk about how to reduce your stress level. If you’re anything like me, I have a tendency to try to multitask too many things all at once. So I guess I’m pretty guilty myself when I tell my students how important it is take things slow and relax. (haha) But I’m working on taking this advice for myself! You may think that your day is too jam-packed with meetings and events to find the time for relaxation. Believe it or not, you can take easy measures to reduce your stress levels that won’t even take a lot of your time. Here are five tips that can help you de-stress.

1. Sensory Break
A sensory break is going to mean different things for people. What’s a tool you can use that makes you feel better? For me, it’s using a jade roller on my face. This tool revs up circulation, de-puffs the eye area, and improves skin elasticity. And since it promotes lymphatic drainage, it’s detoxifying. My addiction really lies in just how soothing it is to place the cool stone on my face when I need to de-stress. It’s also small and lightweight so you can carry this with you on the go.

2. Aromatherapy
The benefits of aromatherapy still impresses me by the speed with which a single sniff of perfume can change my mood. I purchased an Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser with changing LED mood colors on Amazon earlier this year. After trying it out for myself for a few months, I’ve definitely converted to using this little gadget pretty much everyday. This doesn’t even have to be turned on before going to bed but even during the daytime. Just place it somewhere close to your bed or desk and it will not interfere with your sleep or distract you during the daytime in any unpleasant way; the mist of the oil diffuses slowly the next few hours in an aromatic experience and keeps you feeling in a great mood.
Suggestion: If you don’t like the idea of using a machine, an all natural essential oil jelly (similar to vaseline) will do just fine. I use this Lavender organic breathe easy rub by The Honest Co. whenever I need a quick breather under my nose. Breathe into it or rub it under your nose. I guarantee it’ll feel amazing.

3. Wave Therapy
This one is similar to an aromatherapy oil diffuser but only used at night going to bed. This little machine is an all natural sleep aid after a stressful day. It facilitates a restful night’s sleep and is also recommended for babies in the nursery. You have the option to choose between 6 soothing nature sounds: White Noise, Fan, Ocean, Rain, Stream, and Summer Night. Place it on a 15, 30, or 60 minute timer or just place it on ON all night.

4. Laugh
Laughter really is the best medicine, and if you can laugh away the stress, your outlook for the rest of the day will be a lot more easy. What I like to do is watch a quick 5-10 minute stand up comedy video on YouTube. Dave Chappelle, Aziz Ansari, Ali Wong, and Louis Ck are a few of my favorite stand up comedians. Just be careful to stick to 1 or 2 videos if you go to YouTube since it’s so easy to end up browsing a million other videos.

5. Hobby
Aside from focusing on your major or career, having a separate hobby that interests you is important. It gives you a sense of purpose and helps you to stay productive. So whether that’s blogging, taking pictures, or volunteering at an animal shelter, having something to look forward to do at least once a week helps you to take some personal time for yourself aside from just studying or working.

If you have any great de-stress ideas that works for you, write me a comment below!

Not sure yet what major or career to pursue? That’s ok.

For this week’s post, I wanted to share a personal struggle of mine.
To start, I want to talk about the past. What flashbacks come to you? Are there moments that replay in your head? For many of us, it’s our 20s where we will discover a lot ourselves and who we’re meant to be.
Two main things that will happen in your 20’s into your 30’s will be 1. career/job situation and 2. people (relationships, friends, family, colleagues..)

I went to college wanting to pursue something in entertainment or in fashion. Thinking back to this today, I was intrigued by those two industries thinking it was “glamorous” and would somehow ease my low self-esteem. (by the way, nothing wrong with working in these industries) I decided to not stress on it and let the days pass. After a year of trying to work in fashion and social-media related jobs, it was clear that this industry was not for m. I knew I wanted a career with purpose and what truly interested me was talking and relating to others who have gone through hardships. I didn’t know what this meant yet but I just moved toward what interested me. People are hard wired not only to gratify their personal desires but also to care for others. I started to ask myself, instead of asking what do I want to be? I changed it to “In what ways do I wish the world were different?” “What problems can I help solve?” This put the focus on where I should be – on how I can better serve others. This was when I discovered the field of counseling and therapy.

It’s funny how love and relationships dictate so much of our actions and behaviors. As much as your 20’s are important for pursuing your dreams and career, always make time for the people who show they care about you. There will be seasons in your 20’s when you will experience a lot of growing pains whether it’d be from your relationships or job but never feel like it’s the end of the world. Don’t allow a person to become your identity and define you as a whole. Your group of friends or the person you are in a relationship with should push you to become better everyday. Be honest with yourself when it comes to your relationships.

Some of the students I do counseling for have a lot of uncertainties and questions about what college will be like and what post grad life will be like. I’m not going to lie but it’s going to be tough for a while if you are not sure what you want to do yet. But that’s okay. Even after you figure it out, there will still be seasons where you may feel uncertainties about a lot of things. Continue to stay true to yourself.

Love to Travel? Try Study Abroad

I mentioned in my previous post that I used to DREAD traveling. But after an eye-opening experience in July 2011 studying abroad at Cambridge University U.K. through my school UC Irvine, I completely changed my mind.
This past week, I traveled to New Orleans with one of my close friends and had SO much fun. I love traveling so much. It allows me to experience beyond my day to day norm. In the near future, if I come across students who are considering taking a gap year, which has been a popular choice among high school seniors these days, I would recommend them to travel. If their finances aren’t an issue, travel not just for the sake of sight-seeing but through a program that involves volunteer work or an internship. These experiences will enrich your growth and perspective in the real world that college won’t teach you. There are a numerous amount of gap year programs now where students can take half or a full year abroad to discover the world, focus on a new language, and new cultural activities. If you’re interested, check CIEE for more information. Coming back to reality after a vacation is always tough as I’m busy getting back to my daily readings and assignments for my classes but I’m really enjoying my educational consulting courses so far. To end the post, I’ll post a few pictures of my walk down memory lane in Cambridge/ London. Enjoy!

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Pembroke College, Cambridge University

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Stonehenge!

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Somewhere in Scotland

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In a castle somewhere in Scotland

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Took a weekend trip to Paris. Study abroad programs usually give you free weekends to travel to other close countries.