Three Things Thursday: A Balancing Act

Hey friends, happy almost-weekend! We are in the home stretch and it sure does feel good! I’ve had a busy week of studying and work, so I am ready for a day or two of relaxing.  I truly can’t believe I’ll be taking my final exams in 3 weeks. Where did this semester go? I am already starting to experience those familiar anxious feelings I vividly remember having near the end of every semester at Bryant University when completing my business degree.  You know the nervous, heart palpitations, exhausted, anxious feelings, and the “how am I ever going to remember all of this stuff” thoughts?  I fear those may become a daily occurrence around here, but I’m going to try my best to not let that happen.
(I loved that quote!) Source
Now that I’m 4 years older (and wiser, I like to thinkWinking smile) this time around back in school, my goal is to continue to maintain balance throughout my days, even while studying and during finals. During my years at Bryant, I was terrible at keeping a balance within my life. If I had an exam, I would lock myself in the library and simply study for days and days. I look back now and cringe because I know I wasn’t eating properly or sleeping enough, which are both very important factors in preparing for exams! Now that I understand the importance of taking study breaks, fueling  properly, getting enough sleep, continuing to exercise, and just ‘living’ in general, it’s very important to me that I keep-up with a good balance. That’s my goal and I’m sticking to it!

Anyway, to help me achieve my goal, I thought I’d turn ‘Three Things Thursday’  into three things that have helped me maintain a balance each week until finals are over. So, here it goes! This week:

1) I cooked a casserole:
I attribute this week’s balancing act success to a great meal I made on Tuesday night: Taco-Inspired Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie.
I always seem to forget about casseroles and their benefits. Most of them create meals you can eat for multiple days that are perfect for leftovers and reheating, they taste better as the days go on, and for the most part they can be relatively inexpensive to make. This was simple and delicious, a major hit in this household!   I’ll post the recipe soon : –)IMG_2833

2) I squeezed in exercise when I could:
I don’t know about you, but exercise is my outlet. It clears my head, makes me feel ‘up’ when I’m down, and is just something I enjoy. Although I consider myself to be a 100% morning exerciser, my new schedule with work and studying just doesn’t allow me the time I used to have to work-out when I want to most mornings, but that’s okay. I am listening to my body, sleeping later when I know I need to, and just fitting  in exercise when I can. It surprised me, but I’ve really enjoyed all of the evening runs I’ve taken. I’ve seen some beautiful sunsets!

3)I made time to laugh..and eat ice-cream:
When I’m stressed, I really have to remind myself to take a chill-pill, and then I talk to my twin sister. Last year she made a career change and went back to school for a nursing degree, so she’s gone through all of the classes I’ve taken and had the similar stresses I’m having now. She lets me vent and our conversations always end with a smile. Plus, the pictures we send each other never cease to make me laugh, either!
(We really miss each other…but her dogs always help cheer us up!)

Oh, and a soft-serve cone always helps too : – )

What’s your favorite casserole to make?
What are your tips for maintaining a balance in your life when you get too busy?
If you’re a student or you’ve been a student, what did you do to stay healthy during finals?
I always try to get 8 hours of sleep per night during exams, stay hydrated, and eat nutritious meals. Your brain needs lots of fuel for all of that knowledge!

29 thoughts on “Three Things Thursday: A Balancing Act

  1. I’ve only ever made breakfast casseroles with lots if eggs and cheese. I need to remember to make them for dinner! I love Mexican food so I can’t wait to see what you put in yours :)

  2. That casserole looks soo good! I cant wait for the recipe! I usually make a really simple noodle/chicken/peas and mushrooms casserole. Its really satisfying. You and sister are so funny and those dogs are SO cute. And yeah, i agree, i think sleep is the most important factor when preparing for exams or even dealing with stress in general. Sleep and a good workout can really clear your head.

  3. I feel the same way about my studies when I was in college – bad eating habits, all nighters (GROSS!) and constant stress. I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully with this upcoming set of finals! :) That quote is rocking, and so is Natalie Portman. She’s the best actress! That casserole looks so good, minus the meat! Can’t wait to see the recipe. Exercise is definitely an outlet for me also, and that picture is stunning. What a beautiful scene to see as you run! And how cute to you and your sister and the dogs! So precious. To maintain balance, I try to stay slow, if that makes sense. I just envision success at the end of the road and ensure I take slow and steady steps to get there so I don’t make mistakes. I hate feeling regretful – especially when it comes to unhealthy habits. I believe in you girl!!!

  4. I LOVE casseroles for all the reasons you listed out! As I have a crazy schedule and don’ thave time to cook during the week, coming home knowing that I have healthy leftovers to reheat is the best! Ugh, we both know I am not-so-good at balancing, but I am trying to get better! I do always manage to get the sleep I need, otherwise things would be so bad. Hang in there, love! You’ll do fine, you always do:) xoox

  5. Your college studying at Bryant sounds exactly like the way I lived all throughout undergrad. So dumb now that I look back! Balance was never a part of my college life haha! Good luck on your exams! I’m a big fan of taking breaks to paint my nails or go on a short walk!

  6. Oh, I don’t miss finals! But I agree with Natalie Portman. I loved school and learning. Good luck rocking your tests. You’re doing all the right things… All things I wish I would have realized back when I was a student with the same awful habits. You and your sister are too cute. And I love the route of your sunset run! Gorgeous!

  7. I do all the same things for stress management, especially exercise — although I also am of the opinion that soft serve solves an astonishing number of problems in life. ;)

    Good luck with studying for and kicking butt on your exams — you’re going to do an awesome job!

  8. I am craving a busy life right now!! I am hopeful next month things will begin to pick up! Taking those mini breaks to give your mind a rest are KEY! Exercise for sure, and eating LOTS of dessert!

  9. Eating healthy during finals is tough!!! I have to pre-package single portion snacks. I take them with me or eat them at home while I’m studying. If I make them convenient like that then I don’t feel compelled to grab a bag of chips :p

    Anyways, good luck on your last 3 weeks!

  10. Wow, I LOVE that Natalie Portman quote…couldn’t have said it better myself. :) My fave casserole to make is a veggie casserole. Can’t wait for the recipe for that sweet potato casserole though. Looks so delish!

  11. That casserole sounds delicious!! Can’t wait for the recipe!
    I definitely call my sister when I am feeling down! She can always make me life and remind me that whatever problem I think is SOOO life-crushing at the moment, in reality, is not that big of a deal. :)

  12. Pingback: tex-mex inspired sweet potato shepherd’s pie | What Meredith Makes

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