It can be hard to get a good night’s sleep, especially around midterms season. According to this Buzzfeed article, stress often causes sleeplessness and difficulties falling asleep. Check out this article if you want to learn more about sleep and how to improve your sleep in specific circumstances.
Personally, I am adamant about getting enough sleep in college. I learned my lesson in high school, where I consumed concerning amounts of coffee per day to combat my exhaustion from sleep deprivation. I usually aim for 8-9 hours per night, and I have a routine that I follow. I go to bed at the same time every night, usually starting to get ready for bed way earlier so that I give myself time to fall asleep without feeling pressure to. I shower to relax, and I read something fun (not schoolwork!) for few minutes to distract my mind before turning in. As for waking up in the mornings, nothing motivates me more than a cup of coffee (my everlasting love)! Getting enough sleep improves numerous aspects of my life…having energy throughout the day, paying better attention in class, getting sick less often, being in a more positive mental state, and being more productive. Why not start some new healthy sleep habits today?
And of course, the Well-Woman office has TONS of resources about improving sleep and reducing stress if you want to stop by for more information. Don’t forget to take care of yourself in this rough time of the semester!
Love Rachel Katz
for anyone interested in yoga (never tried, total expert, & everything in between), there’s some good news floating around the upper west side.
YOGA TO THE PEOPLE (a donation-based open level yoga studio) has opened a new location at 104th and Broadway! it’s on the second floor, above CityMD (you can’t miss it on the west side of broadway) and the space is huge and beautiful.
i’m challenging myself to go everyday before spring break, hopefully i can stay accountable. if you’ve been meaning to try a new workout routine, or revisit your old yoga practice, take a springtime walk down to 104 and check them out!
note that their *suggested donation* is $10, but it’s really suggested and if they’re true to their mission, they really don’t want cost to be a deterrent to anyone interested in yoga. click the image above for all their info and remember that if yoga on campus is more your style, Well-Woman offers classes Thursdays and Sundays at 7.15p!
see you on the mat!
As I was doing a Friday-morning Facebook peruse, I came across this article about the dos and don’ts of vaginal washing. Bottom line: vaginas clean themselves and don’t need much help!
As they explain in the article, the vagina is full of good bacteria that keep your pH levels where they should be. Meaning that douches, many soaps, and other urban lore methods of vagina cleaning (steaming was apparently a thing…?) can actually be harmful to your vaginal health. Nice warm water whenever you’re in the shower should do the trick for cleaning the vulva (the outer genitalia — labia and clitoris), and the vagina will take care of itself. For more information, check out this article and as always come visit the office if you have questions!
I recently re-read “The Now Habit” by Neil Fiore, and came across a time-management strategy that includes taking breaks, having leisure time, getting exercise and maintaining general wellbeing (!) as an essential part of productivity. The author recommends setting up something called an “Unschedule,” which is pretty much a blank schedule of your day split up into half-hour blocks with a few guidelines on how to fill it in.
One of the slight differences between the unschedule and a normal schedule is that in addition to putting in all the fixed commitments you have (classes, meetings, etc.) you also schedule time for exercise, breaks, meals/snacks, and fun events. (The author suggests using different colors for different recurring activities). The idea is that since your leisure and self-care time is more structured, you’ll be less likely to skip it and more likely to be more focused while doing your work since you’ll be working around commitments that you’re looking forward to.
The second part of the unschedule is filling in the time you’ve worked after you’ve been working continuously for at least 30 minutes (the author suggests using your favorite color for this part), or if you haven’t gotten around to work yet, writing in what you’ve been doing in a different color. Seeing the blocks of time in which you were working is intended to motivate you to fill in more of them, and see more of that color on your schedule. Since the blocks are 30 minutes long, if you’re unproductive for one 30 minute block, you have another to try again. I’ve attached two versions of a blank unschedule if you’re interested in filling these out by hand, and there’s always Google calendar as an alternative! Also, stop by the office to check out our other books on time management, stress and a whole slew of other wellness topics!
This is an example of an unschedule filled out.
Here are the two versions of blank schedules! Hour version Half-hour version
Q: What do you call a fake noodle?
A: An Impasta
I student taught first grade this semester, and I quickly learned that a six year old’s sense of humor is very different from my fellow Barnard students. They loved it when I did the unexpected. If I said the month was July instead of December it would cause an uproar. At first I was puzzled at what they found so funny about going against expectations, but then it hit me. Little kids have just figured out the system. A little kid has just figured out that December follows November. When I kid and say the new month is July they laugh because they are finally in on the joke.
College humor is a bit different. There are definitely some things that never change, as the dick that is often drawn in the snow outside the Quad shows. But for more “highbrow” humor, adults love biting illuminations of the system. Shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report thrive on showing the ridiculousness of government. Topical humor is based on the idea of bringing a new light to common experiences. Adults, and especially college students, crave this humor because we’ve realized that we don’t know the rules of the system. We may know the months of the year, but we don’t know what we are doing a year from now. We love it when it seems like someone else knows what’s going on.
It’s hard to know the rules of the system when the system is always changing. Once you’ve mastered high school you get thrown into college where a whole new host of expectations await. Once you’ve finally understood all the campus jokes and explored the tunnels it’s time to graduate into the “real world”. It’s scary and daunting. But unlike a six-year old, you have experience that proves your strength. It’s hard to tell a child that everything is going to be all right because they don’t have any empirical data to back it up. “How do you know my friends will still love me if I don’t sit at the same table as them, even if there’s no room? I’ve never experienced that before.”
But as college students we have. We have been faced with challenges and have proven our mettle. Even if it may seem like we haven’t done much, just the sheer fact that we have made it to where we are, wherever that may be, shows our worth. We may not know all the rules, but we have the experience to know we can figure it out.
As I graduate and move onto the next chapter of my life I want to leave a few parting words. Laugh at the elucidation of the system. But also laugh at the unexpected; the mistakes you should have stopped making years ago. Like trying to balance hot coffee and a full stack of papers. Or believing that a 9 AM lab on a Friday will encourage you to go to bed early. We are all still figuring it out. Some of us are just better at faking it than others.
Just remember to be well and always look on the bright side of life.
So long Barnard, and thanks for all the feminism,