How to Fit Exercise into a Busy Schedule

For those of you not involved in sports, there are a ton of other obligations that take time out of your day. Especially in your teens, exercise is very important for your health. Only recently I’ve begun exercising regularly again. With Chorus, SAT Class, Work, Homework, and my friends and boyfriend, it’s hard to fit it in. But here’s how I committed myself to exercising every day: 1.  Treat it like a daily routine. You do homework every day, because it’s part of your responsibility. Treat working out like homework. But, have fun while you do it. 2. It doesn’t have to be a long time. I run on my treadmill for 15 minutes a day. If I have time, I do other things. But commit yourself to at least 15 to 20 minutes of exercise. 3. Grab a buddy.  Yesterday Michelle and I went running (/walking) in the park. My boyfriend and I are going to go running together in the summer. A buddy will give you motivation 🙂 Remember to make it fun.   

Why Sleeping is the Most Important Thing, Ever.

How many of you have pulled an all-nighter before? Or stayed up til all hours of the night to do work?

I’m guilty of both of those things on quite a few occasions, but on most nights, I force myself to go to bed at 11 or before if I’m really tired. When I hear girls at my school talking about how they’re up until 2 a.m. every day, I don’t know why they do it to themselves.  Do you want to be focused and on the ball, and get good grades in school?

Then sleep more.

Of course, study hard. But get to bed at a decent hour. If you still have work, it’s better to get up extra early than to stay up later. Last year I had a HUGE religion assignment due and I was maybe half way through and it was 1 a.m. I called up my friend Mike crying about how it wasn’t going to get done, and he told me to sleep, and he’d call me at 5:30 and wake me so I could finish my work. Those few hours of sleep made all the difference. I was able to do my work much more easily, and I was much more focused.

Do yourself a favor, set a bed time and stick to it during the week. Waking up extra early is much better for you than staying up late into the night.

With that, I’m going to go sleep (:

Getting Through the Aches of Heartbreaks

Post By: Michelle

 

 

 

Ok so my friend Kaitlin started this site and was all excited about it and the views it was getting. I usually check it every time she updates because most of her tips help me, and because of a quote I happen to love: “Learn from others’ mistakes – you won’t have enough time to make them all yourself.” Not to say that Kaitlin is making mistakes – all I’m saying is that she has more experience in certain areas of life (such as SAT Prep or organization) than I do (I don’t take SAT classes, I’m not preparing myself in any way, and my room is in a constant state of disaster). After reading a few of her entries, I decided to try my hand at writing one of my own, especially after I added a few extra tips onto her Snow Day article.

 

 

The most recent major experience that I’ve had, for the most part, is heartbreak. Ok, so maybe it’s not quite so recent, because I know Kaitlin is reading this saying “Michelle, that was how many MONTHS ago?” But that’s not the point. The point is that it’s something that everyone experiences in their lifetime (unless maybe you’re a nun or a priest? But even then it’s possible). Last June, I went through a tough break-up with a guy who had been my best friend and promised me that things wouldn’t change between us. Eight months later and I have no idea what’s happening in his life anymore due to the fact that we don’t talk anymore. And honestly? that hurts. So after a few months of failing to get over this upset in my life, I have finally found a basically fool-proof way to get over your heartbreak (no guarantees though).

 

 

Remove any memorabilia from your previous relationship with the person who broke your heart – for the sake of me not getting arthritis typing all this out repeatedly, let’s call him (or her) George. If George happened to give you a stuffed animal for Valentine’s Day, or you have a picture of you and George on the bulletin board next to your bed, put them away, somewhere where you can’t see them easily. I, for example, didn’t have many “3D objects”, so I was able to take my old journals and cards and anything else that reminded me of my most recent ex-George and put it into a case, which I then proceeded to store on the top shelf of my closet. The less you see of him, the less likely you will be to think of him. And the less you think of him, the easier it will probably be.

 

 

Give yourself some space. If you guys have decided to be friends, don’t talk to him every second of the day about every little thing that happened. If your heart still aches, and you talk to him constantly, it’s going to be a lot harder to actually get over him.

 

 

Don’t proceed to blame anyone for the break-up. Especially don’t blame yourself. If you find someone or something to blame, then you will simply wind up hating whatever it is you blame and if that something happens to be your ex-George, things could get messy. For example, you might start ranting about how “everything is his fault” or “omg I’m such a screw up I messed this whole thing up I’m an idiot”. Ranting, in this situation, won’t help you. Yes, it will help you blow off steam and get everything that’s on your mind out of your head, but then you could find yourself talking about how you “messed it all up” or how it was your ex-George’s fault or whatever all the time, 24/7. It’s happened to me. I used to find myself talking to my friends and randomly bring up my ex-George and start talking about him. And then I’d get upset again. And then I’d have to start all over. The less I blamed him, or the less I talked about him, the less upset I’d get and the easier it was to move on.

 

 

Give yourself time. This is the most important step. Unlike the movies or books, people don’t stitch up their broken hearts and move on in a matter of days or hours. If that happened, then they probably weren’t that in love with the person as much as they thought they were. There is no set time for how long it should take someone to get over an ex-George. Like I mentioned earlier, it took me 8 months to be sure that I was utterly and completely over him (there were a lot of false alarms along the way, too). And don’t go and try to find yourself another George right away because you think that the easiest way to move on is to find a new George. It might just make things more difficult. The best way to move on is to take your time, sort out your feelings, and take things one step at a time.

 

 

Use your friends as support beams. When I say that, I don’t mean that you should rely on them for every little problem or bump in the road that you come across. But, like a house, without support beams, things have the possibility of falling apart. It’s also easier if you have a friend who is going through the same thing as you because then you can help each other through it. This past summer, for example, right after the break up with my most recent George, I was talking to another single friend of mine who was also suffering from heartbreak. While we were talking, we decided that both of us were going to stay single for the entire summer, so that we could “let ourselves heal”. It was originally her idea, and her reasoning behind this fabulous idea was that she wanted to be able to give all of her heart to the next guy she went out with – if she was still heartbroken and found another George, then she would only be able to give him pieces of her heart, and that might lead to complications in the relationship later on.

Toxic Friendships: When You Should Back Away

In life, especially in high school, friends come and go. There are friendships that do last for years and years, which I’ve experienced; and there are friendships that last maybe a month, which I’ve also experienced. It’s really tough to let go of a friendship, especially one that has lasted a very long time. But sometimes, there comes a time when you need to break off a friendship because it has become toxic. It’s hard to figure out whether a friend is a toxic friend, or if it’s just a problem that can be worked out. Here are some signs of a toxic friendship, and how to back away.

1. You provide them with something. Usually friends will give each other rides, borrow clothes, or help each other in other ways. But if it becomes a friendship in which your friend only calls you when they need something from you, you should take a good look at the situation. For example, a friend of mine has been troubled lately because a friend of hers – and an ex friend of mine – only wants to hang out with her when she needs a ride. Usually she’ll want a ride to the movies to meet some boy, which makes it awkward for my friend. friends should be friends all the time, not just when they need something.

2. They insult you. If someone is insecure, they will usually put down others in order to make themselves look good. Everyone talks about others once in a while, we’re humans. But if your friend is constantly putting you down in front of others, you need to stand up for yourself. Friends don’t make friends feel bad about themselves, especially on purpose.

3. They take advantage of your weaknesses. Here is an example: one of my major flaws is that I am one of the most forgiving human beings on the planet. If someone wrongs me, I will be quick to let them back into my life. Rather than helping you to gain strength in the areas where you are weak, a toxic friend will take advantage. If you are forgiving, like me, the person will know they can treat you badly and still be forgiven. If you can never say no to people, a toxic friend will take advantage and ask a million favors of you. A friend will not walk all over you, they will help you be stronger.

If you see these three things as a pattern in a friend, take it as a red flag. Re-examine your friendship and see if you are putting more into it than you are getting out.

“Oh no! I’ve got a toxic friend! What do I do?”

Confront your friend about what is going on. Demand respect and tell them that if they don’t change then you can no longer be a part of this friendship. Don’t do this in an attacking way, do it in a calm and fair way. Be willing to listen to anything they have to say about the type of friend you’ve been.

If they don’t change you can do one of two things: 1) Confront them again until they change (this won’t work usually), or 2) Sit them down and explain to them that you valued their friendship but you cannot be disrespected.  You can continue to be casual with this person, but don’t keep as close of a friendship as you had. Surround yourself with positive people, distract yourself, and let yourself be happy.

lastly, be proud of yourself for standing up for yourself and demanding respect. that is a huge accomplishment.

How to Recover from a Breakdown

I began writing a very nice post today about Toxic Friendships (a subject on which I am an expert), but it never got done. Sorry to whoever has been reading this. Today was a really tough day at school, and I came home wanting to shower, lay down in my bed, and not come out until tomorrow. So in light of my latest personal tragedy at school, here’s some tips that are short and to the point:

1. Get past it. Quick.  – occupy yourself, talk to a friend, stop thinking about what ever is stressing you out. Do something mindless like playing Guitar Hero or taking a walk.

2. If you have to cry, do it.  – I’m a pro at this. Don’t hold it in, go cry. Cry alone if that’s your style. Personally I call my mom from the backseat of my car crying, then call my boyfriend from the backseat of my car crying, and tell them both my tragic story and how life is unfair and I’m not getting into college. Everyone has a different coping method. But don’t hold in crying, it will make things worse later.

3. Fix it if you can, Forget it if you don’t. If it’s something like failing a test, just do better next time. Stressing about it will not get rid of the bad grade. But if it’s something like a misunderstanding with a friend, do what you can to fix it. Don’t be too persistent though. accept the things you can’t change.

I’ll finish that other post when I’m less groggy. Have a good day!

How To Avoid Facebook Drama

So recently, at my high school, there was a big “scandal” with some very questionable pictures of some girls on a school trip. Where were these pictures found? None other than Facebook. I love Facebook as much as the next teenager, so I’m not going to preach that these kinds of sites are bad and you shouldn’t have an account. Facebook is a good tool, actually. I moved in middle school, and it’s really cool to be able to talk with the people from my old town, see what they’ve been up to, and see what they look like now. But there are certain ways to be smart about it.

  • When posting pictures on Facebook, ask yourself if your grandmother saw it, would she like it.
  • Same goes for posting on people’s walls.
  • Keep your profile PRIVATE. Only friend people you KNOW.
  • Watch what you send in Facebook messages. They may seem private, but they can be printed and showed to anyone.
  • Don’t talk about someone badly to another friend. Even if the person you’re talking about doesn’t have a Facebook, someone else could show them.
  • Don’t put any information like your phone number or address on Facebook. Things on the internet can be seen by more people than you think.

I really hope no one encounters bad drama because of Facebook. I’ve seen friendships ruined over it. Try to be safe with it, and it’s a great site!

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6 Things that Chorus Taught Me About Life

For inspiration for my first blog post, I looked to my favorite blogs (Life Hack and Zen Habits). The authors of both blogs always use something they know about to give advice or explain things. So my post is going to be lessons I learned from being in my school chorus.

Now, I love to sing. And I’m pretty good at it (not to be cocky). It’s one of the few things I do that keeps me from overloading myself with stress. But my insane but amazing choral director has managed to teach me some valuable lessons while I released my stress into singing.

1. Put your body into it.

I can’t even count how many times my choral director has yelled this at the top of his lungs at us. I’m a soprano, and when the sopranos aren’t getting the high notes, he forces us to stand so we have to use our entire bodies to sing. You may be thinking, “Ok this blog sucks, this girl is giving me pointless singing tips.” But I’ve found that no matter what I do, if I put my whole body into it, the best product that I can possibly produce comes out as a result. For example, I’m working on a term paper right now. Unless I devote my entire being to that paper, nothing gets done on it. I can sit for three hours working on it while talking to my friends online and checking my email at the same time, but unless I devote my whole self to something, the quality will be greatly decreased.

2. Listen to each other.

This is said particularly when my chorus is performing a capella pieces. To know your own part is great, but unless everyone listens to each other, the pitch and rhythms won’t flow together. The piece will sound messy and ill-rehearsed. Think about the last time you had a disagreement with your best friend, mom, or significant other. Chances are it was because one or both of you hadn’t been really listening, and there for you weren’t “in tune” (excuse my awful music puns) with how each other was feeling. If everyone listened 50% more, there would be so many less misunderstandings and arguments in the world.

3. Breathe.

This could go hand and hand with listening I suppose. If you run out of breath in the middle of a phrase, you’re not in sync with your other musicians. It’s also hard to sing if you don’t support yourself with enough breath. My chorus teacher has yelled it at us enough times for it to stick with me: during tests, when i’m having an argument with my 12 year old brother, and when i don’t understand the precalculus homework and it’s 11 p.m. and i want to start crying. Taking a breath can do wonders in any situation that has the potential to stress you out.

4. Get off that phone!

Ok, this doesn’t directly have to do with chorus, but it’s something that I’ve taken from chorus and applied to my life. Of course, when we are in chorus, people text and play with their phones. It’s a group of teenage girls who just spent an entire day learning and working hard – of course they’re going to be sneaking their phones. But I realized this school year that I’ve grown much too attached to my cellphone. When I think I’ve misplaced it, I get stressed and search everywhere and yell at my brother because he hides it on me sometimes. So I took my choral director’s advice and got off the phone. Every day for about two hours or so, I turn off my phone and put it in my room. I read a book, maybe study a few things, I talk to my mom, I help her cook dinner or clean the kitchen. Simply turning off your cellphone, computer, blackberry, whatever it is – is a great way to quiet your mind and relax for a while.

5. Attendance is important.

I’m absolutely terrible at this. My choral director is s stickler for attendance. If you were in school and you miss chorus, he calls you down on the announcements and he yells at you. Or better, if you’re in his class – which I am – he yells at you in front of the class. I’ve come up with a ton of excuses as to why I couldn’t go to chorus: I have a ton of homework and I have no time, I need to pick up my brother for my mom, I have a headache and can’t sit in a room with people singing. But this year I decided that I needed to be more diligent about attendance. I realized two things: 1. It wastes other people’s time if the whole chorus isn’t there. 2. it’s a reflection of you to the teacher. No matter what kind of commitment you have: chorus, sports, a club, a class, or anything else; you should try to be good about attendance – in the long run, if the chorus director knows you’re always there and working hard, he’ll pick you over someone who isn’t for the solo :]

6. Support.

More important than supporting your voice in my chorus is supporting each other. I’m in the vocal ensemble, which is the select chorus. We stay late, which none of us are ever happy about. We have to learn a dance this spring. An Irish jig. We have one member who Irish jigs. We’re all going to have trouble, but it’s important to support each other because we’re only as strong as the weakest member. Although there’s girls who maybe don’t get along, everyone is supportive, because we are all in the same boat: we’re tired, we have 5 tests tomorrow, and we need sleep desperately. Supporting others is a huge thing in life. You can’t be independent all of the time. There is going to be group projects, jobs where you have to work with others, and you can’t go through life only supporting your self. Everyone needs support. I think that’s the most valuable thing I’ve learned from my insane director screaming at us because we’re talking and none of us know the words to the song a week before the concert. If everyone supported everyone else, this world would be so much more beautiful of a place.

If you have some feedback or an opinion, feel free to comment this post or shoot me an email (located on the about me page).