Conquering Anxiety And Achieving Well-Being, Overall

In “Sex and the City: the movie” Charlotte mentions to Carrie she hasn’t been running because her anxieties about life are stopping her. I remember when I wrote Fitness, Fashion, and Time Management, I was in a terrific state both physically and mentally, ultimately providing myself with a healthy lifestyle by working out (almost) every day and getting a salad and drinking plenty of water. Come to the end of that semester, I found myself falling off the rail and into some (very) unhealthy habits. This was due to the stress of finding a job and taking a whopping SIX CLASSES two semesters in a row. This only led me down the rabbit hole of doubt. It wasn’t until the end of the Spring 2019 semester, that I learned the importance of balance (which may seem like a course on repeat.)

Balance is essential. Mental health and physical health go hand-in-hand and balance each other out. Your education, relationships (with yourself and other people), work, and overall well-being need equal attention, which can prove itself to be difficult. No one is 100% “on top of their sh*t” 24/7. Nobody’s perfect. Life happens. But it’s important, like I said in Empower Not Tower: It’s Okay To Fall Sometimes, As Long As You Can Pick Yourself Back Up Again — the title speaks for itself! And can I just say that drinking a lot of coffee and/or alcohol does NOT help? It doesn’t. In fact, it’s actually self-medicating.

The best kind of medication without making yourself sick is 1) tea and 2) therapy. Tonight I saw a tweet by a fellow writer who was struggling with health anxiety and (for ladies, only) period stuff with accompanying physical ailments. That accurately described what I was feeling this afternoon (and prompted me to write this post.)

On the topic of therapy, I see my therapist every two weeks, just to check-in. I’ve been going to therapy since I was a freshman in high school. I’ll be honest, there were extended periods of time when I ignored therapy and didn’t make appointments. Let’s be real, a diabetic doesn’t not take their insulin because they “don’t have time.” With mental health, it’s the same concept. I remember when I used to always keep saying “I don’t have time,” and “I don’t have time to ‘make time!'” For this, this, and that, I kept using that same excuse. In fact, when people told me I needed to make time, I got pretty annoyed it hit a nerve. Now, I’m understanding the importance of it.

This brings me to my next point: you can as they say in the movie, “Tammy,” “bitch and moan” about something, or, you can do something about it. As I used to preach all the time in my Insta-stories, if you want something to happen, YOU 👏 HAVE 👏 TO 👏 MAKE 👏 IT 👏 HAPPEN.

NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing is impossible, remember that. And as to paraphrase what it says in the Bible: “The LORD helps those who help themselves.” Life is truly a blessing. So live it to the fullest and in the healthiest possible way.

This is an example of what I like to call a ROUTINE:

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No, you do not have to get up at 5:30 AM unless you’re really feeling ambitious. But a routine helps to ease the anxiousness.

In fact, by the time this goes up, I will be in bed getting my beauty sleep and getting up at a good hour for a jog.

Thank you for listening to my “Ted Talk.”  😊

xoxoxo,

April 😘💕

Burnt Out

I know, you’re thinking “it’s only week four (five now) of classes. How could you be burnt out?”

As I was typing the words, “burnt out” in the title, I looked at it and said, “has it really gotten to this point?”

As I sit in the atrium next to the Starbucks on campus, I am busy submitting poems to potential magazines and thinking about what to do next. Do I get lunch? No, not quite yet. Do I submit more poems for consideration? No, wait till you generate some more. Do I do work? Yes, April, you should OR you could write another blog post.

I wrote a blog post a while ago called Fitness, Fashion, and Time Management. Maybe this is just me, but I think that my time management is more up-to-par in the second semester. I’m sitting here yawning my like no other (mostly because I woke up at 6:30 to get ready for my 8 a.m. Management class.) I want to yawn some more just saying, “I have an 8 a.m. class Monday, Wednesday, Friday.” Yup, there I go again.

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Anyway, I’m not here to talk about how tired I am (constantly), I’m here to talk more about time management so your head can stay clear.

My morning routines (particularly Monday, Wednesday, Friday), I wake up at an ungodly hour, get dressed, get my usual venti-iced-white-mocha at the campus Starbucks and go to class. Since I commute to campus, I usually go home a half hour after my class. But today, I’ve decided to stay the entire day to catch up on work.

While I don’t have a set to-do list, I do have a consistent plan to get sh*t done. That means having a killer attitude even when you’re absolutely cranky. A constant theme I’ve noticed in the podcasts I listen to is the idea of “faking it till you make it.” To me, what that means, is faking it until it becomes reality. Last Thursday, I was so cranky and burnt out that I refused to take a joke or even smile. But then my mom, oddly enough, made me laugh about a Nacho Mama’s delivery car or something. (Nacho Mama’s is a Mexican place in Bristol). And I actually smiled!

But as I write this portion two weeks later, I have my sh*t together, and I even completed my first exam of the semester! (Pray for me, it was Management). Another thing: I started dancing again, and I completely forgot how much I loved it. Being a part of a team/club (or two, or three) really gives you balance, plus you discover what you’re truly passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing. But dance has been my first love since I was three years old. (Thanks KD for persuading me to come to dance last Wednesday.)

That goes back to my theory about balance. Balance is a necessity of life, and even if you think you’re so busy, you actually can make time for your friends and the things you love. My friends and my mom keep telling me, “you need a hobby outside of writing.” I think I found it ☻

 

Here’s To The Best Summer Of My Life: A Reflection

So, as most of you know, I just wrapped up my editorial internship at Rhode Island Monthly, and it’s been a dream come true.

Rhode Island Monthly is the premier publication in Rhode Island, and I’m forever grateful to have been a part of it for nearly four months. It’s almost weird not going into Providence every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Some of the highlights include:

  1.  Best of RI Party

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I wrote an entire blog post about my experience here.

2.  Interviewing Maria del Carmen Mercado

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via Rhode Island Monthly

Maria del Carmen Mercado is an RI fashion designer. She taught me so much in this one interview. For example, why post on social media every day when you can just post something and say “hey, this is what I’ve been working on,” or something inspiring. Read the entire article here.

3.  Trying out a (free) fitness class

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Photo by me

To read the full article, click here.

4.  Branching out of my comfort zone and writing my own fashion blog!

At RIM, I was blessed with the opportunity to create my own “fashion plate” on the site. One of the (many) things I did was go out and take photos of young women in PVD to compile a Fashion-Forward: Street Style in PVD post. This was definitely one way of branching out of my comfort zone.

5.  Throwing the first pitch at a PawSox game

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I know, I have bad form, but my aim was okay! This came as a surprise for all three of us, interns. It started with a picture, then we were told to get into a single-file line onto the field and we were each given a ball. None of us knew what we were doing! When we were told to throw the balls to the catcher, Fernando, we just went with the flow and, yes, someone got a picture of us throwing the FIRST PITCH! We then had to get all of the RI Monthly employees to sign our balls. Did the PawSox win? No, but we all won a HUGE highlight of our summer internships.

6.  Meeting fashion icon, Iris Apfel

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Yes, this is Iris Apfel still killing the fashion game at ninety-six-years-old! I met her at RIB & RHEIN in Newport. For the full article, click here.

I definitely found fashion to be my “niche” this past summer and will continue to write about it wherever the wind takes me! Rhode Island may not be the fashion capital of America, but it certainly is the “Creative Capital.”

Thank you, Rhode Island Monthly, for the best summer of my life ☺♥

Next stop, an Editorial Fellowship at College Fashionista, my junior year at RWU, and SENIOR SEMINAR/THESIS!

xoxo,

April

 

 

 

A Year In The Books | The Rest Is Still Unwritten

It took two years, but I am finally a junior in college. Woo! That’s right, I just finished up the last semester of my (second) sophomore year. I can honestly say I have no regrets after this incredible year. I don’t regret choosing Creative Writing. I don’t regret the friendships I’ve made. I don’t regret choosing Literary Publishing over Critical Writing. These are just a few. But one thing’s also true: I don’t regret transferring.

A year ago, I would’ve never thought I’d be where I am today, and I have so many people to thank for that; supporting me, guiding me in the right direction, and giving me that constant reassurance that everything will be okay. I didn’t think a “bright future” existed for me after what I’ve gone through last year. But I’ve come out the end of the tunnel a better person who knows what she’s doing and fighting for what she deserves.

I also came out of the tunnel a more confident person (though I’m not confident that I passed my Marketing final!) I began going to the gym again and even got a personal trainer! This has definitely been a semester of figuring out who I really am and bettering myself; I know, how cliche does that sound? But I promise you that I have.

In just two weeks, I’ll be starting a little mini chapter-within-a-chapter in my life as I embark on my internship and my second job. I feel like I really am living the Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle.

Picture this: Me walking down the streets of Providence while I narrate to myself, “Before there was sex, before there was the city, there was just me, April, from Bristol, RI.” 

Watching these seniors at RWU getting ready for the graduation really has me eager to graduate. In December 2019, if not May 2020, I’ll be the one wearing my decorated cap and donning my black gown with that gold and blue hood and that white collar.

I’ve never really thought of how blessed I am until now as I sit on my white leather couch topped off with pink pillows. I can’t wait to see what this summer will bring for me before I start senior seminar/thesis in the fall!

Some of my top moments this semester:

1.)  Choosing poetry as my focus for senior thesis/sem.

2.)  Taking a poetry class

3.)  Scoring an internship for the summer

4.)  Writing about fashion/recipes for Hawks’ Herald

5.)  Being a part of a Literary Publishing course and learning how to copy-edit

Be sure to follow me on my summer journey! ☺

xoxo, April

A Day In The Life Of A Blogger

7:00-8:00 AM: Wake up (and hit the snooze button a million times)

8:45-9:00 AM: Arrive at school (I commute to school)

9:05 AM: Grab a White Mocha Iced Latte at Starbucks (yes, I’m addicted), and catch up on some reading

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***But first, let me take a selfie***

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10:00-10:50 AM: Class

11:00AM-12:30PM: Lunchtime! I usually get a cheese quesadilla on the grill or a salad.

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1:00-4:00: Tutoring — I’m a writing tutor! I usually make about 2-3 cups of coffee during my shift (I told you I’m addicted). They’re usually Nantucket Blend with half&half and two Splendas.

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5:00-7:50: Yes, three-hour classes exist. I just so happen to be taking two of them this semester — yikes! But I’m not complaining because I’m loving all of my classes.

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8:00 PM and after: Hawks’ Herald meeting. For those of you who don’t know, I write recipes, fashion, and fitness articles for my campus newspaper’s Arts & Culture section. Stay tuned for my article on palazzo pants!

I also use this time to do homework, eat, study, go home and pour myself a drink and say “a toast to myself, and this blessed life I was given.”

In between everything else: My trusty Pandora stations! I usually turn to my Top Hits station, Chainsmokers, Miley Cyrus, and when I really want some throwbacks, Jesse McCartney and/or NSYNC!

This is just a typical Monday schedule for me; if you’re wondering where I fit in my workouts, I work out five-four times a week. ☺

Have a great week, A(pril)-listers!

 

 

 

Fitness, Fashion, and Time Management

Back by popular demand! Thanks to one of my good friends at RWU, I finally figured out what I wanted to write about after a month’s hiatus.

Where do I begin? Well, put simply, I’m on cloud 9! I finished my first semester at RWU with a 3.665 GPA (and made Dean’s List for the second time in my overall college career!), and I recently made some changes in my lifestyle. In my freshman year of college when I was writing for The Odyssey Online, I wrote an article about my struggles with body image in eighth grade and during my first couple of years of college. I didn’t like my puffy face in pictures anymore and I often found myself looking at old pictures of me in high school when I was in my prime fitness. I found myself body-shaming myself. That’s when I said, “enough is enough!” and started back at my local gym again, and even got myself a personal trainer. I’ve learned over time that if you want something to happen, you have to make it happen. I began stocking up on fruits, vegetables, and protein shake mix. You know you’re getting old when you get excited about going grocery shopping! X-D

I’ve heard about this program for a while, and I recently decided to give it a try. It’s called 1st Phorm where you get to sign up and get free access to workouts, diet plans, etc. In my two weeks of utilizing the program, I’ve been feeling (and looking) leaner, and more confident. *Insert Demi Lovato’s song here.*

When I look back on my high school track & field/cross country days, I made the connection that working out also helps me concentrate on my school work. When I first came to RWU, I wasn’t working out and I was eating pizza and diet coke every day… NOT GOOD!!! Plus, I was busy with tutoring and editing, but that’s still no excuse! We all come up with excuses for not paying attention to our well-being. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things in life. That means fueling your body with proper nutrients and getting enough physical activity, no matter what it is. As Elle Woods said, “exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!” I also took a couple of pages out of a People magazine about women who, literally, lost half their weight. One woman said that she is teaching her kids that food is meant to be a source of fuel and not a means of happiness. But, of course, food can make you happy, especially when you’re hangry. So, don’t punish yourself when you slip in a cookie, or something — OWN IT! Everybody deserves a break, right?

Another thing I really got into during my time at RWU was fashion. As some of you know, I was recently appointed Style Guru for College Fashionista! So, if you’ve seen me hashtagging #stylegurulove and #gettingsomewhere, they’re affiliated with that platform. I’ve gotten excellent tips on acing an interview, and of course, fashion advice. I am sort of correlating my new ~healthy lifestyle~ with fashion.

As seen on (both) my Instagram(s):

 

I’ll let you guys in on a little secret; I’m always in for a good bargain. So, I occasionally buy my leggings/tops at WalMart, and recently (as in an hour ago) Fabletics. Both places/brands have really cute stuff! My blue leggings even have pockets 😮 Another site I discovered is RainbowShops.com (their leggings are less than $10!). As you can tell, I’m addicted to leggings!

In terms of time management, I’ve learned to really “schedule out my schedule” and prioritize my health and my school work at the same time. I don’t have my own car, and I have late classes Mondays and Wednesdays, so I use the time in between getting my ride home and in between my earlier classes to do homework, tutor, and workout.

Here’s an example of what my schedule looks like:

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This will be a busy semester, for sure! But I’m determined to make Dean’s List for a third, fourth, fifth time and get leaner and stronger. *Insert muscle emoji here*