A Good Night for an Even Better Morning

Last week was the craziest week! It was so full of the unexpected. When I’m working extended hours while under pressure, I try extra hard to make sure I decompress by making a good dinner and getting a good night’s sleep. Although some things went by the wayside (I didn’t post last week – did you notice?), I feel like I was able to reasonably keep it together. Today I’m going to share some things I do in the evenings to ensure I get quality rest and am ready to hit the ground running.

1. Get together all outgoing items. I put some bottled water in my bag, plug in my laptop and phone (my charging area is next to my “landing strip”) and make sure anything that is leaving the house with me tomorrow is already in the car or is in my bag. That way, I can just grab everything and go. For lunches, I put everything in a re-used grocery bag so that I can toss it in my bag and not have to worry that I’ve left something.

2. Shower. This may not apply to everyone. I shower twice a day. Morning showers get me woken up and give me a fresh start, while evening showers wash the day’s dirt down the drain. Besides, I don’t want to crawl into a bed with the previous day’s grime already embedded in the sheets! If showering in the evening isn’t for you, make sure to do a hygiene or full beauty routine to help skin heal and prepare it for the day ahead.

3. Do a quick tidy up. Before going to bed, I like to make sure there are no dishes lingering in the sink. I also walk through the house and put things where they need to go, fold up throw blankets and put the remotes in their place. I HATE leaving the house in a messy state and doing it before I go to bed puts my mind at ease – one less worry!

4. Turn off the screens. From the point I get in the shower at night, I make sure my phone’s on the charger and my laptop’s either charging or closed and I also turn off the TV. I usually turn on the radio to the local public radio station. It’s just another way of winding down by bringing down the visual noise and quieting my brain. If I’m not feeling sleepy, I’ll grab whatever book I’m currently reading and read a few pages.

5. Brew up a warm drink. Having a warm drink is so relaxing. I brew up my tea just before stepping in the shower. By the time I’m out it’s still warm but cooled enough to drink. My favorite is get some zzz’s from Republic of Tea. It’s a little pricey, but Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime Tea is very affordable, easy to find and comes in tea bags and K-cups.

Instead of turning my evening routine into a novel, I thought I’d spare you all and distill it into its most essential elements. Getting through my evening ritual ensures I have the best possible likelihood of having a successful morning. What about you? What’s part of your evening routine?


Make the Most of Your Summer: Volunteer!

By now summer plans are in full swing. Some of you are vacationing or otherwise relaxing, others are working and a few of you are probably taking a summer course. One thing I hope you’ll consider adding to your schedule is volunteering.

There are a few schools that actually require students to accumulate volunteer hours as part of their degree requirements or to complete their portfolios. I can’t think of a better time to work on these hours than summer. Continue reading

6 Things to Consider When Adding to Your Wardrobe

I think for most folks out there, we’ve hit the end of the semester and finals are over, so I’m going to cut back on the advising posts for a bit. They may pop up here and there, though.

I’ve gotten a few questions on how to create a “minimalist” wardrobe. “Minimalist” and “minimalism” are words I’ve come to shy away from, as they seem to have become somewhat buzz words. However, there are folks out there who are teaching themselves to make do with what they have and are learning how to stretch ever more limited resources. I consider myself to be in the latter camp as opposed to being a “minimalist”.

I have drastically streamlined my wardrobe and it has become more flexible. I never thought this would happen: the more I wear the items in my closet, the more I want to wear the items in my closet. I have become more discerning in what I add to my wardrobe and I add only when an item will fulfill a need. Perhaps in a future post, we can discuss the contents of my closet, which I’m sure would satisfy the voyeur in all of us.

We’ve all had those times when we’ve found the “perfect” item. The perfect dress. The perfect sweater. The perfect shoes. But, is it really perfect? We might think so at the moment, but over time that item may not prove to be as useful as we thought in the beginning. I’ve compiled a list of 6 things that I consider when adding a new item to my wardrobe.

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What To Do When: You’ve Said Something Offensive

Well, I’ve got a true story for you. I was sitting in a meeting last week and, out of ignorance, I blurted out something that was offensive. We were trying to look up something via the school portal and we were getting a heaping helping of nope. I said, “yeah, my Internet’s been garbage off and on for the past couple of weeks.”

Little did I know that a director in information technology services was in the meeting and of course she was the chair of the group. Of course. She took it graciously and we had a jovial banter, but believe you me, I felt awful. Afterward, she approached me and said she understood that I meant no harm and to let her know if my Internet connection was dodgy; it was most likely do to icky old cable in our building. This person had been nothing but welcoming and kind to me, so naturally, I felt like a heel. Of course I apologized, but it seemed weak. Here’s how I dealt with it and hopefully this will give you some ideas on how you can recover when you’ve said something offensive.

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