The Social Media Rabbit Hole

I caved last week, and FINALLY became a member of the Tumblr community. Wait, is Tumblr considered so yesterday?
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Anyways, while perusing Tumblr, I came across a community called Studyblr. I was fascinated by the aesthetics of each photo that I saw while scrolling: beautiful stationary lined up neatly, planners, stacks of books, an organized desk, laptops, beautifully written study notes, and perfect natural lighting.
Studyblrs are blogs meant to encourage others to develop healthy study habits, promote organizational skills, and even encourage tracking your daily water intake.
Yeah, it definitely caught my attention. Did I just stumble upon the holy grail of organization!?

I found myself asking how was I organizing and balancing my stressed out life and wishing my desk at home was neat like the photos I saw on Tumblr. Why couldn’t there be more natural lighting in my room? Why –?

Wait.

These are the moments in which we need to catch ourselves and break from social media. I was beginning to compare myself to people I’ve never met before. I was assuming that they have it all together. For all I know, these bloggers might not even be as organized as they seem.

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There’s a big debate in the community as to whether or not Studyblrs are helpful or harmful to ones mental health. Some stating the unrealistic study habits and pressure that’s attached to it.  After watching a variety of Youtubers and reading blogs on the Studyblr community I was able to develop my own opinion about the whole debate:

1) Studyblr photos are beautiful to me! I’m a huge fan of stationary, contrasting colors, and well organized books.

2) They have some amazing tips! But I’m here to keep it real with you. Their study tips are not for everyone, and that’s okay. Everyone learns differently. Rewriting notes in different colors might not be your thing. I had one professor in college introduce me to Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, and encouraged me to create art in class while she lectured. She knew I had my own style of learning. Read more about Gardner here.

3) You don’t have to do everything a blogger is doing. Be you. That means embracing your uniqueness and doing what’s best for you. Pick and choose what works.

4) Stop comparing yourself to everyone on social media. Be who you are in this very moment. We’re all on a different path in life. Inspired by something or someone? That’s great, but remember learning any new skill takes time. 

5) Comparing yourself to others creates unhappiness, which can lead to stress, and can manifest itself into physical ailments.

Interested in Studyblr?
-Here’s a link to a free planner
-Tutorial on how to setup a bullet journal

Check out the Studyblr community on Tumblr and Youtube. Leave your thoughts about the Studyblr, your own personal study habits, or share a moment you fell down the social media rabbit hole.

-Sarah

Brain food

Disclaimer: I’ve been evaluated by my physician for any potential food allergies. Please be aware of any food allergies you might have as they can be life-threatning. 

Let’s be honest. Being a student means being on a budget, and when you’re on a budget you tend to buy foods that aren’t exactly keeping you fueled. If we aren’t hydrating and eating the right foods are body begins to experience symptoms such as feeling dizzy, drowsy, headaches, and feeling cranky. I find when I choose to eat unhealthy, I am more prone to feeling irritable, fatigue, and stressed. So what are some foods you can eat that are cheap, won’t burn a hole in your wallet, and keep you energized during that 3-hour lecture?

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1) Bananas: Grab it and go. Provides a variety of nutrients such as Potassium which helps to regulate your blood pressure. Bananas keep you fuller longer, and are great to relieve crampy muscles.

2) Yogurt: Perfect after a tough workout or a long commute. Yogurt provides B12 which is known to promote healthy brain function. Healthy bacteria found in yogurt helps to keep you, “regular.” Don’t forget the air freshener!

3) Energy Bar: Read the ingredients list carefully. Some bars are better than others, but make sure you’re not allergic to anything listed in the ingredients. These are perfect to keep with you on the go when your stomach suddenly growls in the middle of class or on the train.

4) Overnight Oats: Not a morning person? Prep this the night before so you can just grab and go in the next day. Find a few recipes here. Add your favorite fruits to the mix and you will start your day with a nutrient rich breakfast.

5) Water: HYDRATE! I can’t say this enough. Water helps to flush out toxins, keep you regular, relieve fatigue, and promotes healthy body functions. Signs you’re dehydrated: Thirsty, dry skin, dizziness, dry mouth, ­­­­­

I’m just grazing the surface with these foods. There are countless ways to mix and match your food to not only satisfy those taste buds, but provide you with the energy and nutrients needed to conquer your long days. What are some foods you grab when you’re on the go?

-Sarah

Apps to…relax?

stressedTake a moment to look up from your phone while you’re waiting for the train. What do you notice? Almost every single person is on their phone focused on an app. It could be social media apps, games, or even a music playlist. Technology has helped human kind advance in countless ways, but is it possible to find balance using it? For the next few articles, I will be providing more helpful details to help you discover that thing that could aid in your journey to self-care. I conducted an informal search for the top apps on social media to see the 2016 favorites.

4) Head Space: Sign up for a free 10 day trial to experience a personal mind trainer. Head space offers personal customizations for those on the go. Users have reported reduced feelings of anxiety, learning to stay present, and proper breathing techniques. A monthly subscription costs around the same as a monthly Netflix subscription.

3) Calm- Meditate, Sleep, Relax: Available for Android & IPhone is an easy to use app that, which according to my friends, has greatly reduced their anxiety. Some of them utilizing the app when they have a break to help them remain present and cope with daily stress.

2) White Noise: One of my personal favorites. This app features an impressive sound catalog of 40 sounds. Discover comforting sounds like rain fall, crickets, crackling fires, and more. You’re able to mix your favorite sounds to create the perfect ambience, and even set a timer. Normally I steer clear from using my phone a half-and-hour before bed, but if I’m too restless, I’ll pick my favorite customized mix and fall right to sleep. You can download the free version or pay a one-time fee of 99 cents.

Honorable mentions include: Words with friends, Meditation guide with Deepak Chopra & Oprah, Spotify, and Pandora. And drum roll for our number one…!

1)Power Button: Just turn off your phone. Sometimes technology can make us more stressed! Take a moment to close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and stay present.

Use an app to relax that wasn’t mentioned in the list above? Share your favorites with us!

-Sarah

Don’t forget to breathe.

Being a college student has its challenges. Throw in a job, family drama, financial expenses, post-elections, and you’re on the edge of wanting to rip your hair out. Here are some Self-Care Tips to help you conquer the challenging days.

1) Breathe: Inhale on 4 counts then exhale on 4 counts. Stop reading this article for a moment. Ready? BREATHHEEE!

2) Disconnect: Turn off your phone. I’ll leave the time frame up to you. I get it. Majority of us can’t live without it. But seriously, turn it off. Don’t sit on the toilet to add a million hashtags to your IG photo or stay up half the night in a fetal position reading every funny meme on your FB feed, or scroll while you’re eating with loved ones. Give your mind a rest. Learn to be present.

3) Meditate/Exercise: Join the school gym. Use YouTube to do some yoga in your bedroom. Journal. Doodling. Ride a bike. Use your favorite body wash and stay in the shower for a few minutes longer. Whatever floats your boat. Just pick something.

4) Stop comparing: It’s easy to get caught up in the who is doing what with their lives. Everyone is you know is going down different paths. Without realizing it, you find yourself comparing, and wondering if you’re making the right choices.

5) Talk to someone: Maybe that means confiding in your friends or family. But if you feel like you have no one to talk to City Tech provides support to its students. You can get in touch with them by heading over to Namm Hall 108 (N-108) or calling them at 718-260-5030. Do you have a self-care tip that I didn’t mention? Share it with us by leaving a comment below!

Read my latest article on how some New Yorkers are managing their stress post-election.

-Sarah Serrano