A Self Care To-Do List

If the only way for you to be happy is getting into your dream school, you will never make it: because the reward that you are dreaming of won’t survive the distance of time.

In the final month of college apps and semester exams, I know that all the high school seniors need to be reminded of the little moments that makes us happy. We are valuing our self worth by the college that we get into, delaying our gratification by working until burnout, and dreaming of opening the acceptance letters. But what are we seeking? Happiness? The praise and recognition of other people?

The restless nights reminded me that I should do things just for the sake of it, and believe that happiness is fulfilling what I want to do at the moment. All the positive changes I can make right now, and it doesn’t have to wait until college. Happiness doesn’t live in the future.

Things that makes me happy:

  1. journaling and writing blogs
  2. self-care app
  3. showering
  4. candles
  5. taking walks
  6. hanging out with my cat
  7. running
  8. listening to music 24/7
  9. talking to friends online

There’s no perfect formula and sometimes it’s not clear if one activity will make you more happy. You have to be really aware of how your body is feeling: don’t grind homework if you overwhelmed, do something active instead.

Live in the moment, not for others nor the future, even when you are doing it unconsciously. You have to believe that at every moment, there’s something that you can do to make you feel better.

Missing Him

From the Balcony

The picture had a missing corner

when I stood on my balcony today.

happy memories.

the thirst for the fluffiness of the clouds to be tangible,

and the coldness of the concrete that was once bearable

the moments and scenery of the cloudy sunset all to myself.

Freedom from the Routine

Whenever you feel like you are trapped in the same routine, remember that you have the freedom to do something different and break out of the mundane situation. You should never be bound to anything, especially your own expectations and worries about the things that you can’t control.

The morning walk happened without a goal. It was an important journey for me to feel better after such a long time of being trapped in business. I ahead time to think about why I’m so stressed and what things I should let go of in order to lighten the weight on myself. What good is it to set a deadline that isn’t even reinforced by reality. I recognized the world outside of the worrying mind because there are infinite ways for me to make my day different from the past by seeking out new experience and becoming lost in the moment instead of hurrying everything to get to the next self-enforced goal.

Seriously, you taking on so much right now, but what are the things that really matter?

It’s a tough question but I think it makes me better prepared for the day. I was freed from the all or nothing mentality that trapped me in my own expectations and ripped me of the freedom of my actions.

At the Trough of the Wave: Junior Year Finals Diary

5/18

I just ran today, I set a goal of reaching 200 calories but i got 198. But I wouldn’t have made it that far if I didn’t push myself to meet that goal. And looking at the result, I was satisfied because it’s not about the score that I get but the health and mental wellbeing benefits I got from doing this workout. I can see myself right now in the last few minutes of the workout, trying to get that number. Facing so many tests, I feel like my life is determined by the number that’s going to be delivered to me by college board and I cram even harder and become even more scared. It’s good to let the anxiety motivate you, but in the end though, look back at how far you’ve come, the regrets, the achievements, and the mental breakdowns. It doesn’t come down to the tests, you have already made it through so much of it. When you are at the last moment to make a difference, believe in yourself and live it the best way possible.

I’m going to try again tomorrow and get that 200. Even if it doesn’t come tomorrow I’m going to try again and again. And I’m gaining just by going through the process. Isn’t that what learning is about too? Remember what Mr. Monge said about failing this one so you can do better in the future. Let future remain as a concept that you would push yourself toward, not pull.

I’m going to leave this in draft until the next week is over. Let me try this out. see how I feel after that, just ot paralel with my experince with the work out

5/28

Hey, I’m just checking back in after the first two weeks of hell. I’m so tired, and I don’t know how I’m going to make it. I feel so drain and not even being about to write down my feelings. I’m just numb by all the practice questions and the actually tests. I’ve taken 5 of them so far and 3 more to go. I’m more than half way there, and the second half looks like it’s worse but I’ve got a lot of time to prepare for it. Last way to conquer and reach summer break!

I’m going to relax for the weekend and be ready for the last steps. Then I’ll do whatever planning necessary to get back on track.

6/16

Hello!!! Catherine on the summer break just want to tell you that everything is okay here on the other side of the wave. It gets quite boring without the studying and tears but it’s freeing, because you can sail anywhere you want to!

The freedom does come with its own challenges, though. Ever since the break started 6 days ago, my worries and thoughts have suddenly seized to exist. I find myself waking up at a very early hour without the reason behind it. I had nothing to do. Day by day, I find myself yearning for something productive to do but it was too late because I’ve lost faith in myself. I had things planned for this period, updating my blogs, planning trips, college stuff. It should be a very fun and flexible time, but with so much freedom on my hand, I was too scared to do anything. Today I went out to swim, it was really nice, especially the bubbles of the jacuzzi. I felt empowered suddenly, because I made the choice to get out of my house today and jump in the pool and it was a positive and fulfilling experience. I’ve set my intention for today to be productive and prepare for a week of adventure! I’m still on track but time is limited! don’t fall behind.

Get out of your comfort zone, jump in the pool, and believe in yourself!!

Defined as Numbers: Exam Season Stress Relieve

I’ve been struggling with major stress because I’m facing 4 AP exams, SAT, and finals over the course of 3 weeks. I’ve never experienced so much restlessness during the day but failed to do anything due to the lack of motivation.

I was in a helpless and lonely state when I turned to my friends. Even though they were kind enough to respond to my texts, the dread of sadness still lingered and haunted my mind. I noticed that this feeling is coming from inside of me and no amount of pity and encouragement from the outside will help me if I, myself, don’t chose to change it. So I hopped onto the treadmill again.

The first 10 minutes I was making it: not too intense nor too slacked off. But a few seconds later, something clicked inside my head. I set a goal for myself, the last time I worked out, that is to burn 200 calories in 20 minutes. I’m not sure about how accurately the system measures my efforts, but I didn’t care about that. All I could care about is getting that 200.

This state reminded of what I am doing for school and academics. Pouring my body and soul into getting a 95% grade in my classes, 5 on the AP exams, and 1550 on the SAT. But I realized that these numbers are same as the 200 showing up next to the label “calories” on the monitor; they are all generalizations used to define goals. Numbers, in nature, are simplifications of the nuances of life, made for the convenience of sorting individuals by erasing their uniqueness. They are easy to think about and the simple statement of “getting another 5 point” serves as powerful motivation.

But it’s hard to avoid becoming the numbers. I didn’t make it to 200 calories, and I most likely wouldn’t get all my desired test scores, but I know I’m more than just the numbers. Moreover, I’m are not my goals, either, because placing too much emphasis on the expectation can only do more harm than good. There must be a distinction between the stereotypical anchor points that we pull ourselves towards and the invincibility of our competency by believing in our true, immeasurable identities.

There is no reason for you to stop believing in yourself. Use the numbers as motivations, but do not let it shrink and define you.

Ending to My Club Experience: Lessons Learned

I’ve been keeping a venting channel for the many extracurricular that I’m doing as a highschool Junior. I’m doing an average of 6 hours of club meetings and I have to host the great majority of them, so that adds to the pressure immensely.

For one of my biggest club, we’ve decided to take a break. Scrolling through my venting journal, it took me back to all the moments of pain and joy that carried me through this journey.

My proudest achievement is being about to let go the fear of other people’s opinions of me and focus on what really mattered. Taking that step back allowed me the much needed space to breathe. Another one is persistence because preparing for two meetings to host every week isn’t easy, and I worked very hard on it. All those difficult evenings of stressing out before the meeting gave me an insight into how I handle myself in high stress situations. Those moments were the lowest, yet, most memorable moments of my week.

From the lows there are also highs, where I was able to see the impact that I’m having on my club members, building a community in which people care about. It’s the magic of bonding with people that I drove me through the repeating trials of suffering, working, and achieving, all happening in the span of a single 6-9 pm. It got me to know how it feels to really work hard for something, even if you don’t really achieve anything the end.

How suffocating it feels when all the doors are closed and how liberating the light feels when a window suddenly opens.

In the end, what mattered the most is building my resilient mindset, and the real warmth that I experienced when the group worked together, when I felt that people have got my back, and I belonged in this community.